Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What I'm Reading Wednesday

What am I reading today? The same things I was reading last week at this time! :) I haven't sat down to read much so far this week. I have been pretty busy! I have been:

  • emptying and cleaning out our laundry room, cupboards and all for starters. 
  • I also emptied and cleaned our closet-my husband and I share a closet. It isn't huge, I could stand in it and touch the front and back at the same time, and the length is not much bigger. However, we are just fine with it. It has a few drawers for husband's folded clothes and a few cubbies for things like luggage and sleeping bags. I got rid of a trash bag of clothes/bags I don't use and husband got rid of a bag of clothes, as well; things we just don't wear because of the style or fit.
  • Also, we worked on our "junk drawer" in the kitchen, the catch all for miscellaneous stuff-we didn't get rid of the drawer altogether, but it is much emptier. :) 
  • I emptied out our front coat/shoe closet, too! We needed to sort out and put away summer shoes, get out boots (I certainly hope we don't need snow boots soon, but it was time to get them out...) I vacuumed the carpet in it since shoe dirt falls there, and organized the shoes as I put them back into the closet. 
So, three big tasks and one small task down. They were tasks I thought wouldn't take too long, but each took longer than expected. All three made me sigh in relief when they were done, and glad I had completed the tasks. We also carved our pumpkins, and I got to go get new running shoes! So, it has been a busy, productive week, thus far. Tomorrow I am planning on getting out my children's books and sorting through my "future classroom" items. I am planning on attempting to put favorite books on either Book Retriever or Book Crawler so I know what I have. I have so many children's books-so many tubs full! I would love to have them sorted and out on bookshelves. Someday I will have a wonderful "Grandma" library at my house that my grandchildren will love to come read/be read to in. :) At least that's my dream someday. :)
I did do some reading yesterday, I almost forgot! I kept a kindergarten age little girl for a neighbor and we headed to the bookstore to pick a few books, read and enjoy. I read to her and loved it. :) We read:

  • The Day The Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt. It was the first time I had read it and it was a cute book-would be great to introduce children to, or refresh minds about, writing letters. 
  • Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson was a good book to read with someone. I don't foresee it being a good read-aloud classroom book, but it was very cute, also, showing changes in seasons and trees through the seasons. It was also the first time I had read this and I found it sweet and simple.
  • Last I read A Turkey For Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting. We have it here at home and I didn't care for the selection of Halloween stories/Fall stories, so we jumped ahead to this cute story about Mr. and Mrs. Moose wanting a turkey for Thanksgiving. Also a heart-warming story. What I really wanted to read was Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White, but they didn't have it. Sadly, I don't have it either, I lent it to a fellow teacher while I was subbing and they kept forgetting it. I never got it back. I will have to re-order it so I have it for my collection.
It has been a fun, busy week! :) I hope yours has been too, Reader!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Social Media Monday and Recipes I Have Tried

Yesterday I posted on Twitter and on Facebook a wonderful recipe I tried yesterday morning: Cranberry Orange Muffins. I was in the mood for them, and in the past I have made them from a mix. In an effort to eliminate some of the unnecessary ingredients from our diets, I decided to make them on my own. I love baking when the weather is cooler, anyway, so this was a good excuse. :) They turned out quite delicious and were pretty easy! I also tried a seafood jambalaya recipe last week, that I have listed here as well. I left out the andouille sausage, for our vegetarian daughter, and didn't get the shrimp with the shells, just used frozen and the ice/liquid they thawed in into my soup. Two nice warm cooler foods! Hope you like them, Reader!

Cranberry Orange Muffins

From Food Network Kitchens
Rated 4 out of 5
64 Reviews

Total Time: 0 hours 55 minutes

0 hours 30 minutes
0 hours 25 minutes


12 muffins




  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened, plus more for preparing the muffin tin
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar, plus up to 1 tablespoon for topping the muffins, if desired
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Copyright 2001 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Put the cranberries and orange juice in a small saucepan, and bring just to a simmer over medium heat. Remove berries from the heat, and set aside to cool and plump. Drain off any excess liquid and set aside. Lightly brush a 12-muffin tin with butter. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with an electric hand-held mixer in a large bowl, cream the butter, orange zest, and 2/3 cup sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Fold the flour in 3 parts into the butter mixture, alternating with the milk in 2 parts, until just combined. Fold in the cranberries. Do not over mix. Divide the batter evenly into the muffin tin and sprinkle the tops with sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Cool muffins in the pan on a rack. Serve warm.
2 pounds medium gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined, shells reserved
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound andouille sausage, cut into rounds
2 green peppers, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
3 ribs celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 Spanish onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
Kosher salt
Pinch crushed red pepper
3 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups long-grain rice
2 fresh bay leaves
1 bundle fresh thyme
5 scallions, whites and greens thinly sliced, for garnish
For the shrimp stock: toss the shrimp shells in a large pot and fill with water. Bring the water to a boil, turn off the heat and let sit for at least 15 to 20 minutes, although longer is fine. Strain the shells and discard.

Coat a large, wide pot with olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Add the andouille and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the sausage starts to brown. Add the peppers, celery, and onion to the pan, season with salt and a pinch crushed red pepper. Cook 7 to 8 minutes or until the mixture has softened and is very aromatic. Toss in the garlic and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes. Add the tomatoes and cayenne. Stir in the rice.

Add 4 cups shrimp stock, bay leaves, and thyme bundle. Season with salt and taste it to make sure you are on the way to something delicious. Cover and cook over medium heat for 25 minutes.

Stir in the shrimp and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink. Serve garnished with chopped scallions.

Read more at:

Saturday, October 26, 2013


As I continue to write blog posts about our family, and our daughters getting older, I am thankful for my blog friends. I have been reading some of your blogs for 8 years, since I started blogging, and you have been regular readers for a while. As my girls grow and my life as a mom changes, it's nice to see you women, moms, still close to your children, but in a different way now that they don't live with you. I am also grateful for the advice you drop in on my blog like appreciate the girls, and my time with them, as it will soon be the exception. I appreciate the experience and advice. I am grateful to have "met" you wonderful ladies who share your wisdom with me. Thank you.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Thursday's Helpful Apps

Today's Thursday Apps are under the heading Organization for me. They help me organize my data, my schedule,  and my thoughts and ideas. Do you use any of these apps, Reader? Which do you like best? Or do you use something different altogether?

  1. I have some apps to organize my to-do list, and notes. I previously noted the Notes app that comes on the iphone. It used to look like a yellow legal pad of paper but since the iOS7 update, it looks a white lined pad of paper. It is just a place to jot down things. I have put addresses in there, foods to look up a recipe for, lyrics to songs to look up or even t-shirt sayings I liked from cross country meets. Again, it's not a fancy app, just a place to jot things down to remember or some people to use it as a to-do list and jot down plans for the day.
  2. I also use the Reminders app quite frequently-actually more since the operating system update. On this site, they mentioned these notes below about the app: With Reminders, you can: Create and organize multiple lists, Use Date/Time or location-based notifications, Search for specific reminders, Reorder to-dos, View your reminders by list or scheduled view, and Automatically update all your devices and calendars using Calendar, Outlook, and iCloud.
  3. I have a wonderful journaling app, DayOne, also. I had heard about it on someone's blog where they touted its wonderful qualities, but I didn't want to pay the price. Then, I saw where they had a try-it-free promotion, which is when I downloaded it and have been using it ever since. You can add tags to things, for example I have my daughters' names as tags so if I'm looking for a journal note about them I can search by tag. You can also put in pictures, places, links. You can also set reminders. I have one set at 8:00am each day. It reminds me to journal each day then. You can also sync between devices. 
  4. Another favorite is GoodReads. I have the app and I use it frequently. I'm pretty sure I've blogged about it before, but I was just telling a friend about it recently and was surprised she'd never come across it before. It is worthy of blogging again. ;) It you are on it and would like to share book information, let me know, Reader! :) I often like to look for books I like at the bookstore, scan their bar code into my app and then I can look them up at the library. It's a nice way to see what I have read, what I want to read and books I have liked so I can look up similar books. Here is itune's description: Keep track of what you want to read, review the books you've read, and organize your reading history by adding books to your shelves. Find new and interesting books by looking at what your friends are reading, and comment on their reviews. No other app combines the power and depth of the Goodreads community with an enormous catalog of books and reviews. Use our barcode scanner the next time you are in a bookstore. Add the book in your hands to your "to-read" shelf and easily view its reviews before buying.
  5. I have also mentioned Pinterest, here, as well, I think. I love it. It is also a website, but I think the iphone app is even easier to use than the site. Such a good place to organize ideas for all areas of my life, like organization, gardening, teaching, Bible verses, and so much more. I can get lost on it before realizing how much time has passed. :) It is also nice to use the app from my phone sometimes to send a funny meme to my daughters. A nice, quick, simple way to share our interests and sometimes a laugh. Here is itune's description:Pinterest is a tool to find your inspiration and share it with others. Use it to collect things you love, organize and plan important projects, and more.
    • Pin images from around the web
    • Explore pins and boards you’re interested in
    • Get inspiration from DIY, Travel, Food and other categories
    • Pin with your camera
  6. I used to use Google Reader until it was no longer up and running. I loved having blog posts I read from several different blogs and websites in one place. I chose Feedly as my replacement. I like the website better than the iphone app, but they are making nice changes to it over time, as their user base continues to grow.  "Feedly is a better way to organize, read and share the content of your favorite sites."
  7. Last, an app I have and go in phases with. Some phases I love this app, Evernote, and some phases I don't open it for days. I'm sure it could be a wonderful tool to organize so many things, but I haven't gotten into the habit of using it. I could probably use this app for all 6 of the items above, or at least 4 of them. I may, still, but not today. Their theme is "remember everything". Here is the description from itunes:Evernote is an easy-to-use, free app that helps you remember everything across all of the devices you use. Stay organized, save your ideas and improve productivity. Evernote lets you take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders--and makes these notes completely searchable, whether you are at home, at work, or on the go. 

    New York Times ‘Top 10 Must-Have App’, Winner: TechCrunch Crunchies, Mashable Awards and the Webbys. 

    Key Features:
    • Sync all of your notes across the computers and devices you use
    • Create and edit text notes, to-dos and task lists 
    • Save, sync and share files 
    • Record voice and audio notes
    • Search for text inside images
    • Organize notes by notebooks and tags
    • Email notes and save tweets to your Evernote account
    • Connect Evernote to other apps and products you use
    • Share notes with friends and colleagues via Facebook and Twitter
    • Works with Evernote Business: Capture, browse, search, and share Business Notes and Business Notebooks from your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
    ◦ Premium feature: take notebooks offline to access them anytime 
    ◦ Premium feature: allow others to edit your notebooks
    ◦ Premium feature: add a PIN lock to your Evernote app

    Evernote is free to download and use. Evernote Premium adds the great features above and is available through an auto-renewing subscription.

    Two subscription options: 
    ◦ Evernote Premium monthly for $5 
    ◦ Evernote Premium annually for $45 

    Subscriptions will be charged to your credit card through your iTunes account. Your subscription will automatically renew unless cancelled at least 24-hours before the end of the current period. You will not be able to cancel a subscription during the active period. Manage your subscriptions in the Account Settings after purchase.

    Here are some ways to use Evernote for your personal and professional life:
    • Research smarter: snap photos of whiteboards and books
    • Take meeting and class notes, draft agendas and research notes
    • Plan a trip: keep track of travel plans, plane tickets and passports
    • Organize and save recipes; search by ingredients later
    • Create a grocery list or task list and check things off as you go
    • View web pages saved in Evernote on your desktop
    • Capture ideas and inspiration on the go
    • Access files and notes you create on your phone from your desktop
    • Keep track of products and prices for comparison shopping purposes
    • Keep finances in order: save receipts, bills and contracts
    • Reduce paper clutter by taking snapshots of restaurant menus, business cards and labels
    • Use Evernote as part of your GTD system to help you stay organized
    • To get the most out of your Evernote experience, download it on all of the computers and phones that you use.

    Evernote is available for: Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Web
    Web clippers available for: Evernote for Web; Web Clippers for Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer

    Learn more:

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What I'm Reading Wednesday

Since my currently-reading-list looks the same as last week (The One Year Wisdom for Women Devotional, Art of Being a Healing Presence and At Home in Mitford) I thought I'd list a few that suggested. Since I had been reading murder mysteries, it suggested a few, among them were these five below that I added to my "to read" list. Thought I'd finish "the year of mysteries" with a few more. :) Are you reading anything interesting, Reader?

*At 4:00pm, updated: I finished my Art of Healing Presence book noted above and began a second book recommended by care ministry. It is Christian Caregiving-a way of life by Kenneth C Haugk. As I continue on my journey, on a path with a direction I am unsure of, I am glad to be reading these guides that will help me to care for others.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

To Organize

My goals to accomplish by this weekend-well, in the next three days-thought I'd set them here to motivate me:

  • My closet (my husband and I share and it's become a catch all again!) and dresser (needs a quick purge because it wasn't that long ago that I did it.) I'm planning to do this Wednesday.
  • Our laundry room (since older daughter's graduation, some items that we used for serving/special occasions that don't fit in kitchen cupboards have been residing here. Feels cramped and messy when I go to the laundry room to use it for its intended purpose, which isn't fun anyway...) I'm planning to do this Tuesday.
  • Our coat/shoe closet (It's time to swap flip flops and sandals for boots-much to daughter's chagrin, and swap out jackets, light ponchos for winter coats and gloves/hats... let the arguing about outer-wear begin... ;))
Any "fall cleaning tasks" ahead for you? I'm trying to tackle a few more before November swoops in.

Talk About Family Tuesday

We had a very nice visit from my husband's recently-widowed grandmother. It was so good to see her. She seemed content to be with family, after I'm sure missing Grandpa. It was good to see her getting around and enjoying the great grandchildren. My youngest daughter loves to play cards and games like I do. My mother in law had learned a new card game and taught Grandma. She played and played it with our daughter. They each had such a nice time playing together!! I love those memories she will have of growing up. Then she came home and taught me! :) Grandma and Grandpa were known as a tough team to beat when playing euchre-their favorite card game. Grandma tried to play at their retirement/assisted living community, but it wasn't the same without Grandpa. So this game is two handed euchre so she can play with one other friend at a time. Different, but similar. Here is the link to the rules we learned to this two-handed euchre.

Social Media Monday

My Facebook post from Sunday after our long-awaited half marathon:
We all three had a great race at the Nationwide Children's Half Marathon! Husband and I PR'd (he did awesome-1:33:59 and I PR'd by two minutes - 1:45:05!) and Oldest Daughter completed her first in 1:48!! So proud! And tired! 

It was a long day, but we all accomplished it and I was extremely pleased that my injury didn't show itself until over halfway. Saturday night I told my husband that I was still shooting for my 1:45 goal. He looked at me like I was crazy due to this injury issue. I told him I had to think like I could make my goal in order to get there. 

We went down to the race, in increased security due to Boston, and waited for over 30 minutes in the very cold, and dark with 19, 000 others. I realized with about 15 minutes that I needed one more bathroom stop, but the lines were still long and there wasn't really time. So we started and then there were porta-potties at mile 2. I ran in to use them! And I still made my goal time! :))

I look forward to a run that is pain free-well, injury free, a half marathon probably won't be pain free, hm? :) But I was so proud of my husband and daughter and so happy to be able to do it with them. Now, onto recovering so I can get there again! :) 

Last Friday's Recipes

Last week my husband tried a new soup recipe. It was a chilly evening and he was trying to use the ingredients in our house. So, below was what he made. Delicious and hearty. :) Enjoy! {And this may not be it exactly, but it's close and it's located here.}

Spicy Sausage, Brussel Sprouts, Potato, Onion and Mushroom Soup Recipe

Difficulty: Easy | Total Time: 40 minutes | Active Time: |
A delicious hearty winter soup, that has a bit of kick thanks to the spicy sausage, but is perfect for the winter.
  • 6 cups of stock - preferably homemade
  • 4 spicy Italian sausages - cut into pieces
  • 1 chopped red onion
  • 1 chopped portobello mushroom
  • 12-15 brussel sprouts - halved
  • 3-4 red potatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of white pepper
  • 1 tbsp of chili oil
  • 1-2 tbsp of salt - if stock not already salted
  1. Sautee the onion for a minute in the chili oil, then add the sausage to cook for 7-8 minutes.
  2. Then add the potatoes to cook for another 5 minutes.
  1. Add in both the mushroom and the brussel sprouts, cook for 2-3 minutes, then cover with the stock, and add the other seasonings.
  2. Cook for another 20-25 minutes, until the potatoes are perfectly tender.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thursday's Helpful Apps

Today's apps I have chosen to write about are the Health and Fitness apps.

  1. MyFitnessPal is a helpful app for me, and several of my husband's family members. It is a free calorie counter where you can input your exercises (where you are burning calories) and account for the calories you are putting in. You can set a goal of losing one pound per week, two pounds per week, etc and that gives you a goal amount of calories. Our daughters were running so much over the summer and burning so many calories for their skinny selves, that I had them do this with a goal of gaining a pound and a half per week. ;) I use it to keep track because I "run so I can eat what I want", but the truth is that I was eating too many calories even though I was running. In the evenings I was still snacking, but the calorie total was still sitting in my mind. It's even just a good tool to make you aware of what you are eating. Here is their itunes link with more information.
  2. MapMyRun and MapMyWalk are good apps to keep track, like my GPS watch, of my times, splits, courses and details on my phone. I just have the basic version, but I do like it. I use the Running app and I use it when I walk, bike or run. It's nice to hear my split times, sometimes, in my ear, especially when my watch isn't charged. Here's the description: Real-time fitness tracking, at your fingertips, on your iPhone, no extra devices required. Our apps use your smartphone's GPS to record every detail of your workout. Follow your route on an interactive map while logging time, distance, speed, pace, elevation and calories burned.
  3. I recently picked up one of the "free app of the week" cards at Starbucks. It is called Yoga Studio. I haven't tried it, yet, since I'm working on resting my injury for Sunday's half marathon, but am excited to try it during yoga practice at home. Here's their description on itunes-they have a lot more detail on the actual site, which I linked here, also: ★ Recommended by: Mac|Life, 148Apps, iMore, Gizmodo, Fox, MSN, The Guardian, Huffington Post, and many more
    ★ Featured by Apple in "New and Noteworthy", "What's Hot" and the "Get in Shape" Essential App Collection
    ★ Voted runner-up in "Best App Ever" Awards 2012 (Health category)

    Introducing the ultimate yoga app: Play, create, customize and schedule easy-to-follow HD video yoga classes.
  4. I have had this Pocket Yoga App for a while, but also have had this injury for a while. ;) I have seen several good reviews on it, also, and am excited to start back into a regular yoga practice again after this half marathon. Here are some of the listed features: The practice of yoga becomes beneficial when done on a regular basis. With Pocket Yoga you can keep up with your practice at your own pace and schedule in the comforts of your own home. Simply set your iPhone, iPod or iPad in front of your mat, start a practice, and Pocket Yoga will guide you through your entire session.

    Choose between 3 different practices, 3 different difficulty levels and 3 different durations. A total of 27 different sessions!

    With the Pocket Yoga store, you now get even more from practicing yoga. Unlock up to 10 beautiful environments simply by doing the routines you already love.

    Practices in Pocket Yoga are the unique and original creative design of the world-renowned school of Gaia Flow Yoga.


    • Detailed voice and visual instruction guides you through every pose, including each inhalation and exhalation. 
    • Over 150 beautifully illustrated pose images with correct posture and positioning.
    • Dictionary of poses containing descriptions and benefits of each pose.
    • Unlock a series of serene environments by practicing yoga.
    • Quickly preview a practice to see if it's right for you.
    • Maintains an ongoing log of all your yoga practices to track your progress and promote consistency.
    • Practices designed by experienced yoga instructors.
    • Ability to play music from your library in place of the default music.
Do you have any apps you use for regular health and fitness, Reader?

What I'm Reading Wednesday

What I'm Reading:
I am still working away at my devotional: The One Year Wisdom for Women Devotional: 365 Devotions through the Proverbs, and I still love it. It is a great way to dig into the Word to start the day.
I am almost done with the The Art of Being a Healing Presence: A Guide for Those in Caring Relationships. I am reading this book lent to me from our Care Ministries department in church, in the hopes of preparing me for being of service, serving more at church. I am excited at the prospect! The book isn't difficult, it is easy to understand and goes quickly, if I don't have distractions at home. ;) But isn't that the case with most reading at home? ;)
My other reading choices listed from last week were left by the wayside. I have spent my time reading the two above books or-don't laugh-digging into an old favorite. I needed something to soothe the soul and I decided to start the Mitford Series again. I have read the first book 1 1/2 times, and read every other book by Jan Karon. I loved these books. They are "a balm for the soul" as Pastor Tim (main character from the books) would say. I plan on reading them all in order again. So, don't be surprised if you see them in this weekly segment. If you haven't read them, please do! They are a wonderful series. The first book started slow because the author is introducing so many characters and the setting, but about 1/2 way through or 3/4 of the first book, you will want to read them all. They have nice stories and just leave you feeling good! :)
I may pick up A Peach of a Murder again, but we'll see. Been a busy couple of days, here, so we'll see. I do still have two books to meet my goal for 2013! :)
What are you reading, Reader? Do you have any long-time favorites to suggest?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Social Media Monday on Tuesday

We had a very busy weekend! So, today I will catch up from our busy weekend, to talking about family and Social Media. :) Our oldest daughter wasn't going to come home this past weekend. It was her fall break (no classes Fri.-Sun.) However, all her activities and observations for Friday were canceled. She had plans with another girl who was staying on campus, but our girl was homesick because her younger sister's family birthday get together was Sunday morning. We've always all been together for birthday celebrations, so this was a bummer of a milestone-I do understand that will soon be the norm, not the exception. However, my in-laws said they'd drive 2.5 hours to get her and surprise our younger daughter. They didn't get back until 11pm and our oldest couldn't wait so she went in and woke our youngest. Our youngest has no recollection of this and slept-talked through it. In the morning, as our youngest was getting ready for her cross country meet, I told her to be careful not to be too loud. She asked why and I said because Sis was still sleeping. She ran in and crawled into bed with older sis, not knowing she had come in the night. :) It was a sweet sight to see. It will be nice to see our oldest again so soon when she comes back this weekend for the half-marathon the three of us are running in.
On Sunday we made a breakfast/brunch with some new recipes (which I will share on Friday!) And spent time celebrating our youngest, being together and then we all four headed to take our oldest back to school. We stopped at a local on-campus favorite restaurant for lunch and enjoyed just a little more time together.
Our oldest has started to think about transferring colleges for next year. Her roommate now, whom she adores, will be rooming in another dorm so she will have to find another or "wing it". Plus, she is a family girl, a homebody and I think she would like to transfer closer. However, she likes it where she is... So, another adventure. We told her she at least has a one year commitment, but she does need to be looking ahead to find the transfer information in advance.

I went back through my Twitter and Facebook posts for my Social Media Monday post and found that I tweeted/re-tweeted several quotes (see below), a link to Runner's World where they discuss running the muscle issue I have (piriformis), and this: 10 Apps to Relax Your Body and Mind from PBS. I haven't gotten any but some sounded interesting. (Some sounded silly, but who am I to judge. ;))

I hope you are feeling relaxed and healthy today, Reader!

  • RT"@DrHenryCloud: Remember....when we open our mouths, something happens. Words are difficult to take back. Use them wisely.”
    • RT "@LiveInspired: Every smile makes you a day younger.
      -Chinese Proverb”
      • RT "@RealSimple: Today's thought: "It is never too late to do right." —Ralph Waldo Emerson #quotes

Friday, October 11, 2013

Recipes I've Tried This Week

As you may have read, my youngest daughter had a birthday last week. We went out and about and stopped into a French restaurant for brunch. We all loved our foods! They had lovely spinach quiches, so I ordered one of those. They were on the small side, my eyes said ;), so I also ordered an orange chocolate muffin. The combination of quiche and coffee filled me almost all the way so I took a taste of the muffin and then brought the rest home. It was almost rich, which I have rarely said of a baked good. It was moist and had a lovely flavor! So, I looked up a recipe. This seems to be close, but the one I had also had some bits of fruit in it, as well, almost the texture of a moist dried apricot... So, I technically haven't tried this recipe, yet, but as the air gets colder and I make warm coffee here at home with free time on my hands, I will turn, as my mom does, to baking. :) I'd better keep running! ;)

Ann Marie Kostyk's Chocolate Orange Muffins

Also, I had vegetables left from a cross country dinner for my youngest daughter and her team. I looked for a "roasted vegetable" recipe, but I also wanted to add pasta. So, I found this: Roasted Vegetable Pasta from the Food Network. The vegetables I had were broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and a few snap peas. Also, I didn't have a can of tomatoes, but I had some yellow pear tomatoes-the last from my garden-that needed to be used. So, I put those into my saucepan instead of the diced tomatoes. It turned out delicious! Was a nice, fairly low-fat meal, and vegetarian for our daughter. We could have served it with meat-chicken cubes may go along nicely with it. It was delicious, and easy, Reader! And warm-great for fall weather and using up those last garden harvests!

Roasted Vegetable Pasta from the Food Network

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Top Ten Favorite Podcasts

In my Thursday's Helpful Apps post earlier today, I mentioned the podcast app and I wanted to share some I like. A few of my favorites are: 

  1.  The Alton Browncast via nerdist. Alton Brown does a great podcast where he talks with chefs and shares his culinary knowledge.  
  2. Travel with Rick Steves is a good podcast, although I haven't listened to many, I loved his Italy book when we traveled there two years ago. I do enjoy his show, as well, and these podcasts are often full of information.  
  3. NPR's Ask Me Another, which is a trivia game show for the ears. I love it! 
  4. The Nutrition Diva's Quick and Dirty Tips for Eating Well and Feeling Fabulous shows you "simple and painless" ways to change your eating habits to head to a healthier you. 
  5. Stuff You Should Know Podcast tells you lots about things you may not know. They discuss a variety of topics and I have found many of them interesting. 
  6. NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me is a show where they quiz you on current events-or quiz the guests. It is very funny! 
  7. The Paperclipping Roundtable is a show about scrapbooking where they often talk to people about inspiration, creativity and educate you in the process. I often like the episodes with mainstream scrapbooking artists that I've seen online or in magazines the best.   
  8. Stuff You Missed In History Class   This has long been one of my top favorite podcasts. I love listening to historical stories made interesting. I would often let my students listen to a podcast or make it "bonus" if they did so on a weekend, to supplement their learning about topics from our class. The topics range in areas and time periods. 
  9. What Really Matters with Vicky and Jen "Each weekly show offers candid, entertaining and informative interviews with a wide variety of guests: professional organizers to chefs, parenting experts to doctors and television personalities to best-selling authors. Join us as we learn, laugh and grow together. And make every day matter." 
  10. Another Mother Runner Podcast is a podcast where the authors of the Another Mother Runner book are "engaging and encouraging you to run like a mother"
I hope you find some to listen to, that you would like, Reader! They are a lovely way to pass the time when you aren't in the mood for music. On long driving trips, when I am the driver, and even when I am not, they help me pass the time.

Thursday's Helpful Apps

The apps I'm linking today are the apps I listen to. I listen to music or podcasts on them, normally. 
Those apps are:

  • itunesWith iTunes, it’s easy to get all your music organized. Any song or album you purchase from iTunes goes straight into your music library. And when you import your CDs, iTunes automatically adds the album, artist, and song names, along with the album art. Then, with your whole collection to choose from, you can create the ultimate playlists for rocking out, working out, or chilling out. You can also rate your songs with one to five stars, so it’s easy to find your favorites later.
  • iphone's app: "music" which plays my itunes songs-This is essentially itunes on my phone. It just lists it as a "music" app. However, it is organized the same as my itunes/music from my laptop. 
  • podcasts-this is similar to the music app-but it is strictly for podcasts. Podcasts are so enjoyable for me to listen to! They are sometimes radio shows being replayed, sometimes stories, sometimes facts-whatever you'd like to listen to or learn about you can most likely find a podcast about! And quite frequently they are free to download. I listen to my favorites and then delete them when I am done. I will be posting my top ten favorite podcasts in another podcasts later today.
  • Shazam is a fun app because it can tell me what song I am listening to. I can be in the car, hear a song I like and the radio personalities might not let me know the song or artist. While it is playing, I can hit the Shazam button and it will listen and promptly tell me both! It can't always, such as if there is too much other noise or a very new song, but it is often correct with its response. You can then, if you want, order the song from itunes or tag it for later.
  • ESPN radio app-In the mornings, I often like to listen to the Mike and Mike radio show. Sometimes I want to work in the yard, especially in the summer, and I will listen to Mike and Mike from this app. Good sports information on some radio stations. This isn't a daily used app, but it it helpful when I want to use it. 
  • Pandora-Here you can like or dislike songs on a radio-like station. Eventually, it will try to discover songs you like and play those streaming like a radio station. Here is what it tells you on itunes: Great music discovery is effortless and free with Pandora. Just start with the name of one of your favorite artists, songs, genres or composers and we will do the rest. It’s easy to create personalized stations that play only music you’ll love.
    Tap into an entire world of music, including almost a century of popular recordings - new and old, well known and obscure. Create up to 100 personalized radio stations with your free account.
    Not sure where to start? Create a free account to explore hundreds of music and comedy genre stations.
    Already a Pandora listener? Even easier. Just log in and enjoy the same free radio service. Your Pandora is the same across the web, on your TV and in your car—access your free personalized radio wherever you want to hear great music. Enjoy all your existing music and comedy stations - and create new ones right from your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.
  • and itunes Radio-which is Apple's answer to Pandora and Spotify, where you can listen to a radio-like station to the genre of music of your choice, "liking" or "disliking" music so it will play more of the songs you like: "Check out iTunes Radio on your iPhone, iPad,iPod touch, Mac, PC, or Apple TV. You’ll have access to more than 250 DJ-curated and genre-focused stations — including everything from Hard Rock to Doo Wop, all with crystal-clear sound quality. Your stations evolve based on the music you play and download. So the more you use iTunes Radio and iTunes, the more iTunes Radio knows what you like to listen to — and the more it can play music you’ll love."