Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday: Ring in the New Year

Best Blogger Tips Okay, so I know that New Year's was last month, but I'm talking about a different "ring in the new year."

My wedding ring, to be exact. 

It's actually a lot shinier and sparkly than this, but you get the idea.

I think I might have shared this with you before, but I'm going to again.

My husband and I didn't have a big elaborate wedding or even a ceremony in a church. Instead, we eloped. 

Nothing says "classy" like a wedding photo framed by a metal detector.

Three days before the "Big Day" (and yes, it's even a big day when it's just a courthouse wedding), we picked out our rings. I chose the one above because it was the ring that fit in the style I liked. We didn't have time to get it sized before we married.

However, platinum is a soft metal and I've lost stones. I lost one small diamond at work one night. Before we realized it, the baguette-style diamond ended up in the trash because my supervisor thought it was a shard of glass. Thankfully, it was under warranty. On our tenth anniversary, the center stone fell off. By some miracle, we found the diamond in a chair minutes after realizing it was gone. Consequently, I only wear it on special occasions when I won't be working with my hands. 

When I was teaching every day last spring, I started wearing it to school. But, it's heavy and I couldn't wear it working out. One afternoon after work, I went to the Y and didn't have a place to put it. So, I set it in a locker in my shoe. I had my husband take my shoes home for me, completely forgetting my ring was in them. 

And then, it was gone. 

I looked everywhere. I searched under the seats of both of our vehicles. I climbed under our bed, hoping it had fallen off the bedside shelf. I pulled all my shoes out from under my dresser, praying that my ring had been knocked behind it. I even walked the parking lot at the Y, wondering if it had dropped out of my shoes. 

Despite all the searching, I couldn't find it anywhere. I kept praying every day that it would turn up. I had dreams that I had found it, only to wake up on the verge of tears because it was still missing. I finally gave up hope, but prayed anyway. I knew every passing day made the chances of finding it less and less.

We looked for one to replace it, but, of course, they no longer made the style. It would have to be custom made. It just didn't feel right to buy a new one.

Last week, ten months after I lost the ring, I returned home from the store to my husband bragging about how he had saved us money. I teased him that it must be from switching our car insurance. Then, he held out his hand, my ring in his palm.  I cried.

Apparently, it was in the back of the junk drawer. There is no viable explanation as to why it ended up there, in my opinion. God had to have sent some angel to put it there for me. 

It still seems too good to be true. I check to make sure it's in my jewelry box about once a day. 

And now, on to what I ate. 




Lentils cooked in mesquite beef stock 
and stir fry veggies with Frank's Hot Sauce

Two baked chicken strips


Romaine salad with balsamic vinaigrette, smoked northern beans, 
grape tomatoes, and Daiya cheese
Steamed asparagus
(I also added fresh rosemary to the recipe.)

and a slice of bread I made today with wheat I ground this afternoon.

1. Have you ever lost anything really important to you? How did it turn out?
2. Do you believe in miracles, even in the little ones?

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RECIPE: Thin Mint Protein Shake

Best Blogger Tips I'm a sucker for any kid who comes to my door selling stuff.

My husband was a Boy Scout and I was a Girl Scout, so that makes it even worse. We can't deny the kid who will go door-to-door for a good cause. Plus, who can resist the cookies and popcorn!

Thin Mint Protein Shake

Since I usually try to limit my sugar intake, I decided to mix up a Girl Scout protein shake instead. I don't like the heavy feeling of eating breakfast, so protein shakes are perfect for me. Plus, the entire shake is only 179 calories as opposed to 160 calories for only four Thin Mint cookies.

Thin Mint Protein Shake

by thewaybyelle
Prep Time: 5 min
Keywords: blender sugar-free soy-free low-carb
Ingredients (serves 2)
  • 4 c. unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 scoops soy protein isolate (or other unflavored protein powder)
  • 1 tsp. liquid stevia
  • 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
1. Blend all ingredients thoroughly in a blender. Serve immediately to avoid separation or refrigerate and shake well before serving.
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1. What is your favorite kind of Girl Scout cookie?
2. Do you like to eat breakfast?

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Happy Campers and the "Heirstream"

Best Blogger Tips A month or so ago, we inherited my parents' 1972 Land Yacht Airstream trailer.

After sitting at my brother's house in the country for almost eight years, it needed some love. We spent a few Sunday afternoons vacuuming, wiping down all of the surfaces, and cleaning the carpet and upholstery. With lots of  help from our friend, Michael, my husband was able to get the electrical working. We didn't have a chance to fix the plumbing, but that didn't stop us from taking her out on her "matron" voyage.

The Wednesday before Labor Day, we decided to take the "Heirstream" up to Camp Arrowhead for family camp. As a child, I went to Camp Arrowhead for a week each summer as a camper, riding horses, canoeing, and singing songs around the campfire with other kids. Although our boys are too young for camp kids camp, we thought it would be great for all of us to go together for family camp. We all needed to "unplug" for a while and get away.

Since Camp Arrowhead is a church camp, the grounds were clean and safe. Our two year-old ran around both days until he nearly dropped. Our six year-old played Uno and Frisbee with other kids. He also went on the zipline and rode an ATV around the camp. Before we left, the boys rode horses for the first time. 

I'm not saying that everything went smoothly. We used the nearby bathhouse and carted water from the water pump, which began to get irritating. On the way there, a tire on the Heirstream blew out about 10 miles from the camp. Thankfully, the owner of another RV lent us their spare tire to get to camp.  An electrical problem with one of the power poles (which was likely struck by lightning the night before) caused a power outage for several hours. Temperatures neared 100F that day and the AC couldn't keep up, so it began to leak at about 10:00pm. Overall, it was perfect, however. We had fun and managed to sleep well.    It was odd to come home from a short vacation well-rested instead of exhausted!

Here's the food I've been eating.


Egg and kale fritatta
and red beans with Frank's Hot Sauce
and a cup of Bulletproof-like coffee
Green beans, bean fry bread, and fried eggs

"Nutella" protein shake. 
Oh my you have no idea how yummy this is!

BLT salad
made with a whole romaine heart,
mayo, turkey bacon, and tomatoes from my garden.
We have been eating a lot of these this summer!

And can we talk about that Bulletproof-like coffee?

It is the best thing. Yes, it really is. 

I'm nearly addicted to the stuff. I don't use the fancy beans or special oil the original recipe calls for, but the taste is still fantastic! I make it with 2 cups of French press brewed coffee, 2-3 Tb. Rumiano salted butter, and 2 Tb. organic virgin coconut oil. It is divine.

Did you do any camping this summer? How was your Labor Day?

Are you a coffee or tea drinker?

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