Saturday, January 30, 2016

{ Friday and Saturday just flew by }

7:05 PM 2 Comments
Ok, so I was planning on stopping by on Friday and making a post, because I've actually been very good at updating my blog and I'm proud of myself hahaha

And then I blinked, and I opened my eyes and here we are, Saturday night.  Like, how did that even happen???

So, how are you all doing, how have the past two days been for you?  I've been busy, and I think that's why I let these two days go by without even realizing it.

Let's have a little chat and I'll tell you what I've been doing, but don't expect anything super fun or awesome, it's usually just he same ol' stuff around here.

I'm so proud of myself, I did my workouts every single day last week, and I couldn't be more excited to keep going.  I always feel so much better with my body and with my mind, when I'm working out and making the conscious effort to take care of myself.

_MG_1921

I took these two photos on Friday morning, it just looked so beautiful and peaceful and I had to capture it.

I love how in the top photo you can see Mars shining brightly behind the branch, such a pretty shot.

_MG_1920

And in this one, this eagle had come to perch itself on the high branches and just watch as I took the pugs out to potty.  I always keep an eye on these guys because we have eagles and owls and coyotes etc.  Speaking of coyotes, they were quite loud last night, it was a little unnerving.

_MG_1924

This was my breakfast on Friday, I'm really enjoying my yogurt parfaits in the morning, and I think I've had it pretty much every day for the past month.

With me starting my workout routine, I have also started enjoying smoothies right after my workout.  I didn't have spinach when I made the one above, but it was almond milk, mixed frozen fruit and blueberries.  So good.

_MG_1927

I worked on my menu plan and grocery list so that I could go to the commissary this morning.

And I did, and then I came home and recorded a grocery haul, and then proceeded to deleted it by accident and ended up with no haul.  I am so annoyed with myself because it's not the first time I have done this, my word.

After I got everything put away, I took an hour break just to straighten up the house and cleaned my bathroom and then Curt and I ran up to the Family Dollar so I could pick up some big storage tubs.

We are working on the garage tomorrow, cleaning, organizing and I really want to get rid of all the cardboard boxes and switch to plastic tubs, I think it looks better, I can stack them, and it also keeps the mice and other bugs from getting inside and ruining everything.

I'll take pictures tomorrow of the progress so you can see what it looks like now and then the finished product.

_MG_1928

Just had to share this picture, she is so cute, and I love how she's laying on top of the couch with that little leg splayed out.  LOL

Anyway, I know this post is not very long, but I just wanted to come in and say a quick hello, tell you what I've been up to and share some pictures.

I'm hoping to get some crochet done here in a minute, and watch some shows, but I've had the worst headache for the past hour and I've taken something for it so I'm waiting for the pain to go away.  If it does then I can crack on with my plans, if it doesn't, then I may have to just put everything away and try to get some rest, which I'm hoping is not the case.  It's only 8pm and it's a Saturday night and I would much rather enjoy it.

Let's see how this goes.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Cooking Thursday - Spicy Bean Sprouts

6:29 AM 5 Comments
Good morning everyone. Can you believe that it is Thursday already?

That means, it's time for our Cooking Thursday and today I'm sharing this recipe for Spicy Bean Sprouts. It's something that the family and I always used to enjoy back in Arizona, when we ordered from our favorite Korean place Takamatsu.

If you like spicy food, this is one you'll have to try.

cookingthursday

Spicy Bean Sprouts

Spicy Bean Sprouts
Source: http://seonkyounglongest.com/


1/2 lb. blanched sprouts
1 1/2 tsp. Fish sauce
2 Tsp. Gochugaru, AKA Korena red pepper flakes (I just used the red chili flakes I had on hand)
2 tsp. Sesame oil
1/8 tsp. Black pepper
1 Clove garlic, minced (approximately 1 tsp.)
1 Green onion, chopped (approximately 1 Tbs.)


Take brown and black bits on soybean sprouts, and wash throughly under cold water. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring 10 to 12 cups of water(or enough to cover soybean sprouts) to boil in a large pot. Add 1Tablespoon salt. Add clean soybean sprouts and cover immediately. Cook it over high heat for 4 minutes then remove from heat. Let it seat for 1 more minutes. Do not open lid during this cooking/resting time unless you might end up with unpleasant smell of soybean sprouts. Also make sure you count the time because you don’t want to over cook it.

When it’s time, uncover and drain soybean sprout; since under cold water and drain completely.

Spicy Bean Sprouts

Add prepared sprouts in a mixing bowl; gently mix all ingredients together using your hand until everything combined well.

These will last about 5 to 7 days.

Spicy Bean Sprouts

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

{ Tired, creepy noises and what is going on? }

9:53 AM 6 Comments
January 26, 2016

I am so incredibly tired right now, I don't know how I even got the energy to get my workout done today, but I did it.

Didn't get a chance to come in yesterday for a post, had a busy day organizing and unpacking the last few office boxes, but was also chit chatting back and forth with my sister in law.

By the time I stopped, I had to get dinner in the oven, I just made a simple chicken and potatoes dish, and then cleaned the kitchen, took my shower and took my allergy meds.  I laid down in bed with hubby to watch an episode of our show and within 5 minutes I was fast asleep.  Bummer, I wanted to watch that episode but those little pink allergy pills really pack a whallop at times.

January 26, 2016

January 26, 2016

Now where does the tired come in, well, it was one of those nights where Bella was very restless and she got us up quite a few times, and the times we were laying down we weren't able to sleep because she was running around the bedroom whining and wanting company.

To say hubby and I are exhausted this morning, would be a total understatement.  It was definitely one of those mornings where the alarm clock went off and I wanted to smash it Hahaha


January 26, 2016

But, last night, one of the times she had us up, we found our kids walking around the house quite scared and freaked out.

They both said that around 1:45am they both heard a very loud sound, like the chiming of a grandfather clock that reverberated through the whole house.  My husband and I didn't hear it, and the strange thing is that we don't even own a grandfather clock or a clock of any kind that would make that kind of sound and that loud.

We looked everywhere, and tried to understand where that sound would have come from, but with no luck.  I'm completely confused.

January 26, 2016

I've talked a little here on the blog, about experiences I've had as a child, where I always felt like I was the target, not my brothers, but me, constantly hounding me and scaring me.  I saw strange things, I felt strange things and I spent most nights wide awake with the lights on, waiting for morning light to come so I could get maybe an hour or two of sleep before having to go to school.

I'm the type of person that if I walk into a house, I can usually tell if something is off.  I haven't felt that in this house at all, and I don't think there's anything here, but there have been a few sounds that we haven't been able to understand and have found quite creepy.

One of the times we were all in the kitchen, me, my husband the two kids.  This was shortly after moving into this house.  We were standing there getting a drink and snacks and talking and the next thing we started hearing what sounded like a musical box or toy going off, but not like the proper sound, more like when the batteries are going.

It played for a few seconds then stopped.  We searched everywhere but couldn't locate where it was coming from, then it did it again.  It happened a few times but we've never heard it again after that day.

The kids bedrooms are on the opposite side of the house to ours, and they have on a few occasions mentioned some sounds that they heard.

I really don't know what is going on, like I said, I haven't felt anything and I don't think there's anything here, but I have a very strong faith and have already asked the Lord to protect us and told whatever it is, or whoever it is, if there's anything here, to leave.

It's one thing to freak me out, but when my children are involved, mama bear is going to come out fighting.

January 26, 2016

I mean, this is an old house, it was built in 1969, and there are a few thumps here and there, but the chiming the kids heard, they say was loud enough that it drowned out the sound on their laptops.  Not cool, not cool at all!!!

So yeah, a little weird.

Anyway, with all this nightly excitement, I'm exhausted but I haven't let that hold me back, I did my Day 3 workout for today.  I have to tell you that my legs are killing me so bad, but I'm loving it, I think I'm one of the few people who love exercising.

Got the dishes all done, the kitchen clean, laundry going and now I'm going to sit down for a bit before lunch, and watch a show and work on joining my 4th row of my crochet blanket.

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday :)

Monday, January 25, 2016

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 01/25/2016 }

7:13 AM 15 Comments
Good morning friends, sure hope you had a wonderful weekend.

It's Monday morning and the start to a fresh new week, so let's see what is going around our homes, shall we?



The Weather:::
Pretty cold mornings but we've had nice warm afternoons.  This week looks like we'll be hanging out in the 50's, but next week we'll be in the 70's which will be quite nice. 


Right now I am:
Still in bed, it's 7:40am and I'm working my way through my youtube vlogs, working on a menu plan, to do lists etc.  

Thinking:::
Have quite a bit on my mind.  My brother and his family are finally making the move to Texas, and will be moving in with us again.  It won't be as long as last time, obviously because the circumstances are completely different seeing as they're not new to the country anymore.  Nonetheless, I have a lot to get done and ready as they'll be here in 3 weeks.


Looking forward to:::
So I haven't done a proper Zumba class since last year May and I wish you knew just how much I truly miss it.  I'm starting a new one middle of February but until then, I feel like I need to get back on track, so starting today I'm trying a new exercise plan from Lucy Windham-Read.  If you want to try it too, just head on over to her website.  Check out her January workouts, she puts these out for every single month and they are great short workouts that can be easily done in a day.  Here's the list for January, this is the beginners which is what I'm going to start with because I haven't exercised properly in so long, but she does have a list for intermediate too.

On my reading pile:::

Still working my way through the two library books.    


On my tv:::
I shared with you all that I've been watching, in my last post, or most of what I'm watching there arE far too many to share.  Rhonda had a question about the website I shared, just to clear it up, you can click on any of the links, they all work and I've never had an issue with viruses of any kind.
Hubby and I have discovered a new favorite, well for us science nerds anyway.  It is called Secret Space Escapes, you can find it on that website too and it's a brilliant show focused on accidents or situations that have happened during astronaut space missions, anything from fires aboard the space station, to the Challenger accident etc.  The actual astronauts give interviews and guide us through the situations and how they overcame them.  


Things that make me happy:::
Spending time with my husband, whether it is watching a show in bed, going out to breakfast or just running to the corner store. 

On the menu for this week:::
Monday - Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans
Tuesday - One skillet chili mac
Wednesday - Slow baked potatoes and Chicken
Thursday -  Pork Chop Casserole
Friday - Chicken with tomatoes and carrots, Rice
Saturday -  Grocery shopping day, Out to eat for dinner
Sunday - Chicken Milan with Egg Noodles


On my to do list:::
Laundry
Menu Planning
Homeschooling
Starting a new exercise routine this morning 


What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
Crochet blanket
One shelf left to paint and distress
Need to strip the dining table in the green living room



Looking around the house:::
The sun is shining brightly and bathing the whole house in the most glorious of golden light.  I do love mornings when the sun is coming through the windows, it just makes the whole house look so pretty.  I have some tidying to do, but the house is actually tidy, which is nice. 


From the camera:::
I've been enjoying going back through my blog and looking at previous years.  This picture below is from this exact date back in 2012.  Love it :)


2012_01250007


On my prayer list:::
My brother and sister in law, for their upcoming move.  Hoping my brother manages to get a transfer here to Texas, but if not, then that they both find jobs pretty quickly.
For this country, more and more I am sadness by some of the things I see.  It's really heartbreaking to witness how God keeps being removed from everything around us.


Bible verse, devotional, favorite quote:::




Sunday, January 24, 2016

{ Lazy Sunday crochet and a cool new website for online tv shows }

7:13 PM 4 Comments
Well, here we are, Sunday night and I'm about to sit down and catch up on the new Call the Midwife episode, Beowulf and War and Peace.

I've the the laziest day, I mean, to the point where my butt is actually numb from sitting on my bed with my laptop on my lap watching the most interesting of shows, ever.  I know that sounds like a pretty crazy statement, but I am not joking.

Ok so I have to tell you about this website I came across.  I've given you all some links to online places you can watch your favorite TV shows, not only from here in the USA but especially for us Anglophiles to indulge in our faves.

January 23, 2016

But with most sites, some shows are not on, some don't have the latest episodes, or are missing a certain season etc.  I am constantly trying to track down new places where I can find exactly what I'm looking for.

I came across such a site yesterday and I have been glued to my laptop, no joke, I take it with me everywhere, if I'm cooking or doing laundry it's there.  I've been able to find some shows I've been wanting to watch but couldn't get anywhere else, and I've even found many that I didn't even know existed and, oh boy am I excited.

Rlseries

Between yesterday and today I have watched so many:

Call the Midwife
Beowulf:  Return to the Shieldlands
Victorian Bakers
Jericho
Evil Lives here
Saints And Strangers
The Frankenstein Chronicles
Stitchers

Just to name a few, there are over 100 pages of all kinds of shows, lots of UK ones, including Eastenders and Holby City, Come Dine with Me etc.

So yeah, if you're looking for a place to catch some good ones, do check that one out and let me know what you think.

I also worked on my crochet blanket and took a few pics just to show you the progress.

January 23, 2016

January 23, 2016

January 23, 2016

I'm enjoying working on this one, it's one of those projects that is easy, doesn't take a lot of concentration and is quick to come together.

Alright, now I am off to watch some TV with the hubby and then turn in for the night, I'll be back in the morning with Happy Homemaker Monday!

Blessings.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

In the Kitchen - Homemade Hamburger Buns

12:33 PM 6 Comments
January 22, 2016

I already have a recipe for homemade hamburger and hotdog buns, here on the blog, but this is a different one and I think I prefer this one for the hamburger buns, to be honest.

The other recipe is great for the hotdog buns though, so give that one a try.

Yesterday I was making sloppy joes for dinner and realized that I had completely forgotten to buy the bread.  Good thing about making your own is that you don't have to rush out to spend money, and they usually turn out better, cheaper and more delicious than store bought anyway.

These do take time to rise, but aside from that, they are easily one of the easiest bread recipes you'll find.


January 22, 2016

Hamburger Buns
Source:  Chef John


1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast (such as Fleischmann's ActiveDry Yeast(R))
1 pound all-purpose flour, or as needed - divided
1 cup warm water (105 degrees F/41 degrees C)
1 large egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk


Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
Place yeast into bowl of a large stand mixer; whisk in 1/2 cup flour and warm water until smooth. Let stand until mixture is foamy, 10 to 15 minutes.

Whisk 1 egg, melted butter, sugar, and salt thoroughly into yeast mixture. Add remaining flour (about 3 cups).

Fit a dough hook onto stand mixer and knead the dough on low speed until soft and sticky, 5 to 6 minutes. Scrape sides if needed. Poke and prod the dough with a silicone spatula; if large amounts of dough stick to the spatula, add a little more flour.

Transfer dough onto a floured work surface; dough will be sticky and elastic but not stick to your fingers. Form the dough lightly into a smooth, round shape, gently tucking loose ends underneath.
Wipe out stand mixer bowl, drizzle olive oil into the bowl, and turn dough over in the bowl several times to coat surface thinly with oil. Cover bowl with aluminum foil. Let dough rise in a warm place until doubled, about 2 hours.

January 22, 2016

Transfer dough to a floured work surface and pat to flatten bubbles and form into a slightly rounded rectangle of dough about 5x10 inches and about 1/2 inch thick. Dust dough lightly with flour if needed. Cut dough into 8 equal pieces. Form each piece into a round shape, gently tucking ends underneath as before.

Use your hands to gently pat and stretch the dough rounds into flat disc shapes about 1/2 inch thick. Arrange buns about 1/2 inch apart on prepared baking sheet. Dust buns very lightly with flour. Drape a piece of plastic wrap over the baking sheet (do not seal tightly). Let buns rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Beat 1 egg with milk in a small bowl, using a fork, until mixture is thoroughly combined. Very gently and lightly brush tops of buns with egg wash without deflating the risen dough.

Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned on top, 15 to 17 minutes. Buns will stick together slightly where they touch. Let cool completely, tear the buns apart, and slice in half crosswise to serve.

January 22, 2016

Friday, January 22, 2016

{ A slow Thursday }

10:31 AM 2 Comments
January 22, 2016

Good morning everyone, hope your Friday is going well so far.  I can't believe that this week is over, not that I'm complaining I'm quite looking forward to sleeping in for the next 2 days.

I put up a few posts yesterday and didn't want to overdo it, so ended up not showing you my day, but since this Friday I'm planning on literally doing nothing, I know there won't be many photos taken or anything really exciting to share later, so I figured I may as well show you my yesterday.

It really was quite a slow day, I got my usual stuff done around the house, but it's so cold here that I find myself struggling a bit.  Never you mind though because I still managed to potter around the house, slow as it may have been.

MORNING::::

January 22, 2016

Nothing like being comfortable but still cute.  I don't believe in walking around the house looking disheveled or frumpy, and I also don't believe in walking around the house dressed like I'm headed to the ball.  I honestly think there needs to be a happy medium.

I had on a black long sweater, super comfy patterned leggings and my cute slippers.

January 22, 2016

Coffee, as always and a few pages on my library book.

January 22, 2016

Mid morning house chores, laundry which is never ending....

January 22, 2016

And some breakfast, strawberry yogurt, granola and frozen blueberries

January 22, 2016


AFTERNOON::::


January 22, 2016

Preparing bread for dinner, I made slow cooked sloppy joes and then realized I had forgotten to buy the hamburger buns, which is not a problem because they're so easy to make at home and taste so much better.

January 22, 2016

EVENING::::

January 22, 2016

Preparing dinner.  I like to clean things as I go so as not to have a full sink or dirty counters etc.  I don't know, but I feel like I can't really function in my kitchen if it's a mess.

January 22, 2016

Delicious, simple dinner.  I really wish that so many more homemakers would realize just how easy it is to make certain things yourself instead of buying.  It does take a little planning but the rewards far out weigh the time spent getting things done.

I'll have the recipe for these buns up shortly.

January 22, 2016

The day ended with one of the most beautiful sunsets I've seen in a long time.  It's just gorgeous isn't it?

I worked on a little crochet, I've now got the third row blocks all done and am going to sit down here in a minute and get them joined to the rest of the blanket.

These blocks work up so quickly that I can make 2 or 3 in about an hour, but so I don't feel rushed or pressured, what I've been doing is making one every morning while I watch my soap or vlogs.  Depending on how many rows I want to have overall, if I keep at this pace, every Friday I will be able to add on a row to the blanket and before long, it will be done.  :)

While doing the crochet last night, I actually caught up on some shows on the DVR and watched the first episode of Texas Rising which I thoroughly enjoyed.

This morning, I watched the newest Jericho episode and am now going to start on Beowulf.

But first.......well first I need to go and get some boiled eggs in the pressure cooker so that I can make the kids a Tuna salad for lunch, and a tomato and egg sandwich for me.

Tonight's dinner is going to be homemade pizza which is always a hit around here.

Wishing you all a wonderful rest of Friday.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

New Period Dramas to watch!!!

8:14 AM 7 Comments
There are so many great period pieces either airing now or coming soon.

It's been a while since I've updated the lists or even shared any with you, and I think it's high time I did, so without further ado, let's get right into it.



Mercy Street

Based on real events, Mercy Street goes beyond the front lines of the Civil War and into the chaotic world of the Mansion House Hospital in Union-occupied Alexandria, Virginia.

I'm so excited about this one, I've always wondered why the UK can put out so many wonderful period pieces and the USA was more focused on trash reality TV.  So when I saw this one popping up on PBS, I breathed a sigh of relief.  Let's just hope it's opening the doors for many more to come.

You can watch the episodes online at PBS.


 War and Peace

After Napoleon's invasion of Austria, Pierre Bezukhov inherits his father's fortune, leaving him at the mercy of fortune seekers, especially Helene Kuragin. Prince Andrei Bolkonsky goes off to war, leaving his pregnant wife at home while Natasha Rostova is left worrying about her brother Nikolai who has also gone off to fight in the war. Paul Dano, Lily James, James Norton star in this four-part mini-series event.


This may only be a 4 part series, but it looks like it's going to be amazing.  I watched the first episode and it was so good.  You can watch it online as well at Lifetime.



Jericho

Set in the Yorkshire Dales in the 1870s, the drama from production company, ITV Studios, focuses upon the shanty town of Jericho, home to a community that will live, thrive and die in the shadow of the viaduct they’ve been brought together to build.


Oh my goodness, this series is so good, it also helps that the main character is portrayed by Jessica Raines from Call the Midwife.  If you enjoyed Hell on Wheels, you will certainly enjoy this one.  There have been 2 episodes so far and the third airs today.  You can watch both online by going here.


Beowulf:  Return to the Shieldlands

Set in Scandinavia. Beowulf, a hero of the Geats, comes to the aid of Hrothgar, the king of the Danes, whose mead hall in Heorot has been under attack by a monster known as Grendel.


I've always loved Beowulf, and have watched pretty much anything that has been made about the one of the world's greatest literature, so am really excited about this new version.  I think there have been 3 episodes already and you can watch them all live through ITV or online here.



 Dickensian

Drama set within the fictional realms of Charles Dickens' critically acclaimed novels, bringing together some of his most iconic characters as their lives intertwine in 19th-century London.


Who doesn't love Charles Dickens?  How exciting is it to have an actual series on the air that centers on this amazing author.  This is such a good series.  You can catch up with the episodes on BBC iplayer or online here.

 
Texas Rising

TEXAS RISING is a 10-hour event series that details the Texas Revolution and the rise of the Texas Rangers.


I was saying earlier that the USA doesn't have many good period dramas, but that was before I came across this one on the History network.  Oh goodness, this looks amazing and there are episodes out already.  I'm going to check it out today.  You can too by watching on the History Channel network or online here.


Versailles

Versailles is a Franco-Canadian historical television series about the construction of Versailles Palace during the reign of Louis XIV that premiered on November 16, 2015 on Canal +. In 1667, 28-year-old all-powerful king of France, Louis XIV, decides to build the greatest palace in the world – Versailles. But drained budget, affairs and political intrigues complicate things.


Another fantastic series that you have to add to your list to watch.  I don't know where I'm going to get the time to watch it all, but I'm sure I can squeeze in a few episodes here and there.  Watch Season 1 online here.  There is a Season 2 coming sometime in the future too.




The Hollow Crown - The Wars of the Roses
Henry VI part 1, Henry VI part 2, Richard III

Adaptations of Shakespeare's History Plays, Richard II, Henry IV parts 1 & 2, and Henry V

I still haven't watched the first series, I didn't get a chance to, but I'm adding it to my list and will try and get to it this weekend.  Meanwhile the second series is set to be released this year and just look at some of the cast.....Benedict Cumberbatch as Richard III.  OH MY!!!!


There are a few others that are coming up, like Queen Victoria in 2017 starring Jenna Coleman from Doctor Who.  I love anything to do with Queen Victoria and have watched all the movies that are out, so this should be good, an actual series as opposed to a movie on the life of Victoria.

As they become available, I'll be sure to share them with you.  I know there are quite a few of you out there who love Period Dramas just as much as I.

This list should have you set for a while right????

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