Wednesday, January 19, 2011

These are a few of my FAVORITE THINGS!!!

Everyone has them, heck, Julie Andrews even sang an entire song about them.  They are your favorite things.  They can be your favorite things for a reason, a season or a lifetime so here is my current list.  Just a fun little shapshot of the things that make me smile.

1. The Book of Lamentations- It's in the old Testament and I usually read the Old Testament and get very little out of it but I really enjoyed reading this and got a lot out of it and found myself daily reflecting on what I had read in it.  My fave verses are: 
Lamentations 3: 22-26  
22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, 
   for his compassions never fail. 
23 They are new every morning; 
   great is your faithfulness. 
24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; 
   therefore I will wait for him.”

25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
   to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly 

I have a lot of patience for people but when it comes to my own life, my patience run very thin- to the point of being non-existent.  The last verse cuts me like a knife, but in a totally awesome way.  (I totally recommend checking it out)

2. Who would have ever guessed it: STARBUCKS
AND right now my favorite drinks there, are
 Caramel Macchiato
The Caramel Macciato- I drink it iced in the summer, hot in the winter and I order a Skinny Venti with 4 shots.  I even eat the icecream that they make.  What can I say, I like this A LOT!!!
Skinny Latte
The Skinny Cinnamon Dulce Latte- Venti Quad shot.  I only drink it hot and when the Pumpkin spice lattes have run dry.  It is equally as good as a Pumpkin Spice Latte but alas my heart lies with Pumpkin for our 4 month affair!

3. Bronze Goddess Perfume by  Estee Lauder

My mom always, ALWAYS wore Estee Lauder perfume, she had an entire dresser top full of different fragrances but all by the same designer.  I love all of them but not for me particularly, but because they remind me of her.  BUT when I smell this one a few years back, I was in love and have been an Estee Purist since then.  It only comes out in March and is available through August so I have to pace myself and my stash of it.  One year I ran out mid-February and it was a rough couple of weeks. I feel naked without perfume.

4. Homemade Protein Powder found at  The Daily Garnish
It's 100% vegan and gluten free AND the best part is that I know EVERYTHING that went into it and I know that I love it and I can adjust the flavor components easily if I want a taste of something different.  The initial cost was almost equal to that of a huge tub of some other protein powders that I wasn't sure if I wanted to invest that much money and not like it.  With this I made a small batch and have enough to make at least two more from the main ingredients and multiple  more batches from the other ingredients. I ordered all of the ingredients except for PB2 at ............................

5. NutsOnline  I think I've wasted, ahem, spent too much time on this website but how could you NOT.  I have a shopping cart going again, the running total right now is just over $100 but I've been put on restrictions to NOT buy anything until after the move.  It's like a foodie's dream in a town like Des Moines where you can find some, but not all of the specialty things that I am looking for like Hemp Protein, Maca Powder, Spirulina and Chlorella.  In my current basket I have Sweet Potato Butter(OMG YUM!!!!), dried gooseberries(for my dad, he loves gooseberry pie), banana peanut butter(HEAVEN!!!!), Matcha Green Tea Powder, Coconut Oil, Raw cashews, pine nuts, etc.  They are all in 1 pound bags but you can buy larger quantities than that but the smallest you can get is one pound.  AND they are all a pretty good price, there is no price for being able to buy all of that in one place too.  AND an added bonus, they shipped my order literally 20 minutes after I hit the order button and they send fun emails like "You're nuts are on their way" or "Hey I heard your nuts just arrive".  Totally fun!

6. MORE COFFEE - Jitters Coffee Bar in Mason City, IA.  One of the few things that my sister misses about living there, but it is SO worth missing AND going back for, which is easy because my dad and Nadine lives a hop, skip and a jump away so its a great treat when I visit.

As posted previously, I LOVE my Starbucks and I'll stay ever so true to the Pumpkin Spice Latte because I've tried them all and Starbucks just knows how to do it.......................Until I had Jitters.  I almost bought two at once so the wonderfulness would last longer.  A) their coffee is wonderful and B)it made the latte even better than wonderful!!!!!   Their "brewed" coffee is done by the cup, per order on this contraption that looks like some sort of medieval torture device.  SO if you're ever in Northern Iowa or if you're car gets stuck and they close the interstate and they have a towing ban on(yeah it totally happens) tell the nice people who come get you out of your car, tell them to take you here for some nice hot coffee at Jitters, its a small town, they'll know where to take you.  It will be so worth it!

SVRS HomeI find so much joy and blessings in my job on a regular basis. From other people just simply loving their job and making sure they do the absolute best they can to random chats with my co-workers in the kitchen.  I can honestly say that I wake up each morning excited to go to work and when I had a three day weekend I was itching to go back on Tuesday.  It just doesn't seem like "work" when you enjoy it!

8. Le Creuset
6 Piece Classic Set
I have actually purchased a piece of this(the grill pan to be exact) for my sister's birthday last April BUT I have yet to purchase any for myself.  As a true foodie who absolutely loves to cook, I feel like the French Oven(at least) is a necessary piece to my kitchen, just like my KitchenAid stand mixer.  (When I move there will actually be 2 in our household, one that used to be my mom's and one that used to be my aunt's.)

9.This set of mixing bowls had to sit under the Christmas tree for a month and now have been sitting in a moving box for the last three weeks and I'm getting super antsy to get them unpacked and use and abuse them to their fullest potential!

10. Lavender, anything that smells like or has the word lavender in it, I'll buy it.  I can't get enough of that smell.  Not the frilly fake manufactured smell but the true pure lavender smell.  I.  will.  melt.  when I smell it.

Well I think that's it for now!  

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I'm an evil genius in the kitchen

I've been told that I'm an evil genius in the kitchen.  The only training I've had is years and years of watching my mom cook(before she passed away) and years and years of a very deep rooted love of cooking.  Above is one of my evil masterpieces!  It's a quad-colored(I'm guessing you know its four layered if it's "quad".  I'm giving you all more credit than the multiple Starbucks employees who have a hard time processing the fact that I want a quad, WHICH MEANS FOUR, shot latte.  But I digress) velvet cake with cream cheese icing and don't for a second think I used a box or a can or that the cake is anything less than Meredith Home-made.  It was freaking good too!!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Silence is Golden, so I am not

I'm breaking my Blog silence, I guess it's been a busy couple of months.  The Holiday whirlwind of travel/ massive amount of food/time off/shopping/getting the flu, needless to say it has been busy.  Bonus: I got a new camera for Christmas so hopefully there will be more pictures on the Blog, and hopefully I can add some of my older pictures to My Journey to add to the effect!  Some more exciting news: I'm moving! My sister and I are moving back in together into a condo in West Des Moines, just a short jaunt away from my office which is FABULOUS!!!!  I plan on a lot of walks to work!  I'm excited.  Its a three bedroom condo, so plenty of room for guests and family visits.  Although some concerns have been voiced about Meg and I moving back in together, I have prayed about it and I wholeheartedly believe this is a good and positive move for all of us.  I got to see the actual condo last night and I almost peed my pants(good thing the floors are hardwood-easy cleaning:)) It's not extravagant but its exactly what Meg and I were looking for when we were looking to move from the south side apartment together. I have one thing to say: thank goodness its going to be painted, the person who lived there previously must have been color blind, holy cow!  We will be moving the weekend of January 29th and I am super excited, if you couldn't tell!  Well, I guess my life isn't that exciting because that's all I can think of!  I'm excited for 2011, 2010 was awesome and I was blessed far beyond my wildest imagination.  Some recaps of my many blessings:
1. NEW JOB in May!!!!! and a fabulous job it is, I might add.  Every single day I find multiple things to be blessed with and the continued realization that my co-workers are beyond excellent!
2. I moved into a house and OUT of the south side apartment in March
3. Moving again!  (Yes back to an apartment but its a really really good one!)
4. Fantastic co-workers
5. Wonderful friends
6. Phenomenal family
7.Being continuously humbled by the response from my writing
8. NEW CAR!!!!!!!!!! While it was forced upon me but more than one mechanic, I did buy my SECOND car.  Its a nod to the original one, and it has been a weird/emotional transition but I love my new car and wouldn't have loved anything else except that specific one.
9. Business travel.  I loved my trip to Salt Lake City and I'm going back in May 2011 which makes me happy!  It's super pretty and so clean, highly recommended if you're looking for a cool vacay destination.
10.  God's grace, patience, and most importantly my salvation from Him.

There's so much more, and I remember telling Meg on New Years Day 2010 as we drove around Downtown Des Moines, that 2009 kinda sucked but I thought that 2010 was going to be a better year and it was.  It really was.  More than I had hoped/wished/prayed/dreamed, so here's to an even better 2011!!!!!