Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Saw the latest Narnia movie with the family on Saturday and really liked it.  It is not 100% faithful to the book, but it is just as good.  Some parts were a little scary for my 7 year old, but she claims to have loved it anyway - "Mom, I read the book with Daddy, so how can I be scared of the movie?"  So, if you are a Narnia fan, I recommend it!  

Friday, January 21, 2011

Winter Joy

Nothing much to say, just wanted to share some photos that make me happy.  These are from our snow days in Jan. 2011.


(Woo Hoo, whatever this stuff is, it's great!)

(Hmmm, what is this stuff on my nose?)

Repost of Discoveries and Blogs

My apologies if you have read this before - in Cleansing my blog, I was horrified at how many of the posts were just plain old book reviews. How boring. But there were a couple posts I am proud of for the info they contain, so I am going to repost the information to bring it to the front of the new and improved Books, Blogs and Assorted Musings:

Today's Discovery: TAZO white cranberry (white tea with white cranberry juice), found in the refrigerated section of Whole Foods. Can I just say YUM?! I am usually only a hot tea drinker (which almost got me expelled from the Southern Chicks' Association - they believe sweet tea is the only appropriate non-alcoholic drink) but this ROCKS!

Today's Blog/Site: Check out www.mentalfloss.com - started by Duke grads, so you know it's good! For example, did you know the following about Sesame Street:

Oscar the Grouch used to be orange! Jim Henson decided to make him green before the second season of Sesame Street. How did Oscar explain the color change? He said he'd gone on vacation to the very damp Swamp Mushy Muddy and he turned green overnight.

I get the magazine and the emails, both of which are incredible sources of information that will amaze and confound your friends as they wonder where you get the time to learn such trivia. Your secret is safe with me!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Carrot Soup

Well, I said I was going to do the Big Cleanse, and as much as I hate to admit it, that had better include what I eat.  Since I don't want to send my body into shock (hah!) I am starting with trying to use more whole foods in my diet.  That translates into cooking more and buying less processed food.  The other night the hubby thanked me for cooking this carrot soup and I realized I had enjoyed making it.  It's those nights when four people need to eat at four different times, there's nothing in the fridge, and no inspiration in the brain, that kill me.  When I have time and can do it mindfully, I love cooking.  So this can count as part of Step Four.  Still not ready to give up the caffeine though!

Anne's Carrot Soup

Combine 10 peeled and sliced carrots, 1 peeled and sliced potato, and 4 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, about 15 minutes or until veggies are soft.

Meanwhile, heat 1 Tablespoon of butter or oil in a small saucepan.  Add one medium chopped onion and 11/2 teaspoons salt and saute for 5 minutes.  Add in 2 cloves chopped garlic, and dried herbs to taste (I use oregano, thyme and basil, between 1/2 and 1 teaspoon each, heavier on the basil because I love the flavor). Saute 5 more minutes.

Once carrot mixture is soft, add onion mixture to it, and then use a handheld blender (Best. Kitchen. Tool. Ever.) and puree the whole thing.  Simmer, covered, until ready to eat.  Be careful when you take the top off as it will "bloop" at you like spaghetti sauce does.

If you need to make ahead, it reheats nicely.  

PS: I will start trying to add pictures to the posts soon.  Got to learn my new camera...  Step Three!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Big Cleanse

You may have noticed a long run of book reviews.  Well, it's about to stop.  Why?  The Big Cleanse.

I have been reading other blogs about being true to yourself and treating yourself well.  I have failed at both recently.  I got so caught up in who I thought I might want to be that I forgot who I am.  In my rush to become a "blogger" I signed up for all sorts of review programs, researched ways to make money on my blog and obsessed over it without accomplishing much.  After I finished my last batch of reviews I realized I wasn't having fun.  Yuck.  Plus the blog was getting mighty boring - I wouldn't want to read it either.


Baby Steps.

The Big Cleanse:

Step One: Finish all outstanding book reviews I have been assigned and from now on only review things that I read or did because I wanted to.  I'll still accept requests, as I've found some awesome books that way, but only if the book really interests me in the first place.  STATUS:  DONE!

Step Two: Stop collecting (that's the nice word for hoarding).  I have more junk that I have kept just in case I might need it one day (fabric sample books, anyone?  anyone?).  It's making the house feel heavy, so out go many things that I can't think of a need for in the next month or two.  If nothing else, it will make me use them if I feel that strongly about getting rid of them.  STATUS: in progress, but going well.  The thrift shop and trash can are my friends.

Step Three: Start concentrating on things that are important and/or fun for me.  That includes family, church, Triune Mercy Center, friends, exciting new business ideas and opportunities (more on that in another post), and living in general!  STATUS:  in progress and taking off - already have several fun friend/family trips planned, books I want to read just for the heck of it (BTW Carl Hiaasen's Skin Tight is great brain cheetos), fun creative group with some great gals and some cool business things going on.

Step Four:  Treat the body better - yeah, I have to get off my lazy rear and exercise and eat better.  STATUS: working up the energy.

More later!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Unto the Hills - Book Review

Thomas Nelson, Inc. has brought this book back into print 25 years after it was first published.  It is one of Billy Graham’s devotional books with 365 days worth of meditations, bible verses and prayers to guide and comfort the reader.  This book is a wonderful way to spend quiet time with God.  I found all 3 aspects of it, the scripture, Dr. Graham’s observations and the suggested prayers to be reassuring and calming.  They also provide a starting point for further contemplation of issues facing us today.  I recommend this book for anyone seeking additional ways to learn and worship.

I received a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

If God Is Good - Book Review

If God Is Good
Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil
By Randy Alcorn

This book is Randy Alcorn’s argument that evil and suffering serve a purpose in this world, one that we will one day understand. I confess that I began reading with the idea that I probably wouldn’t like it, as I disagree with many of Alcorn’s stances on Christianity.  However, I found the book to be well-written and, at least for me, true.  As a believer in God, I accept that He is all-powerful, but for reasons I may not understand, chooses not to eliminate evil and suffering from this world.  For those wrestling with the why and how of this, the book provides excellent and thought-provoking arguments for the reasons.  I would recommend this for anyone struggling with these questions, whether or not you agree with Alcorn’s personal politics.

"I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review"