Monday, January 31, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I finally got around to making my Chocolate Chip Cookies from scratch! Check HERE to see why I wanted to do it in the first place. Had I known this was going to be this easy, I would have done it forever ago.

Here's what you will need:

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1tsp baking soda
1tsp salt
2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 11.5 oz pkg milk chocolate morsels
1 cup chopped nuts (which I omitted, because I don't like nuts.)

Directions...with pictures, just so I have proof!

 Get all of your ingredients handy.
 Combine flour, salt and baking soda into a small bowl and set aside.
In a larger bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until creamy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Gradually beat in flour mixture.
Stir in morsels and nuts. (Remember, I omitted the nuts- Yuck.)

Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. (I greased mine anyway. I hate it when stuff sticks....also, my tablespoons weren't round and a little large, but whatever.)
Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for about 2 minutes.
Remove to wire rack to cool completely.
I am storing mine in a cookie tin from Christmas. How handy!

My cookies turned out soft and delicious. I'll let Mark have the final word when he gets home...though I am sure he will like them, too!

*Kelis- Milkshake

on loss

Five years ago today, my Dad left us to be an Angel. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of him. Miss you daddy. Love you so much.

Your Princess

last hunting weekend

Hunting season is over. I'm happy to report that I'm a little sad about it. There's just something about being with nature that early in the morning (and sometimes in the afternoon) that really sets me at ease. That is, until a duck or goose gets within shooting range and then I completely forget myself and freak out. It's exciting!

Mark was able to go with me and he liked it well enough that we went back out with Bill on Saturday morning too. Success! I am really looking forward to the season opening back up again. It's a long wait though. I don't think we go back out until September. I didn't get a lot of great shots, but I did capture some good memories.

*Riders on the Storm- The Doors

Thursday, January 27, 2011

of this week and whats yet to come

This week I have kept up with my Comcast workouts really well. Today I plan on abs and cardio. (Wish my flab luck!) I have already done Upper body (Crunch Fitness) and Lower body (kick boxing, Buns and thighs 2, and a Billy Blanks video) and cardio each day. I can't say enough about variety. I get SO bored when I have to do the same thing everyday.

 Anyway, it's been a sort of slow week here around the house and I am really learning the meaning of that phrase 'a woman's work is never done.' I cleaned the entire house on Monday. I swept, mopped, vacuumed, did my bathrooms, the laundry, etc. Today, I am doing it again! I know part of this is because we use kerosene in the winter and that makes a dusty mess everywhere and the other fact is due to Saber blowing her coat. The dog fur! Oh, the DOG FUR.

 Today it's sunny and warm so I am leaving her outside. Last week I gave her bath and since her favorite thing to do after I give her a bath is roll around in red clay mud, I have been keeping her outside visits brief. It may sound a little gross, but Saber only gets a bath about twice a year. Her coat keeps us from doing it anymore frequently than that because if we did, she would have some serious skin issues. The other dogs get a bath much more frequently, though. So. I'm re-cleaning. I guess while I am at it, I will catch the laundry up as well.

Tomorrow I am super excited for! Mark is going hunting with me and Bill! He has taken an interest in it, and wants to check it out before he makes any real commitment. I have learned that hunting is expensive! Just the money you have to put into clothing and apparel alone is quite a bit. That's not even mentioning licensure and waterfowl stamps. I am so looking forward to spending time both with him and time in the wilderness. There's something about being outside that makes me so happy. I am already thinking about getting to plant flowers in the spring and looking forward to some remodeling projects that Mark and I are hoping to put into action this summer. Hellooo warm weather!

*Happy Together- The Turtles

Monday, January 24, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

fitness and the like

Last year, Mark and I did the 30 day shred. We hated Jillian then and we hate her now. She is such a literal pain in my ass! ( She does, however, work miracles, so there's that, too.) Anyway, I eventually got bored, because I hate doing the same thing over and over, and quit. This year, or yesterday, really, I decided I was gonna try something different every other day and do Jillian in between. Today I did Yoga on On demand. Kudos to Comcast, folks! There's an exercise channel with like 100 workout options on it!!

I love all the stretching! It just feels good! Any ideas as to what I should do on Friday? Because tomorrow I am supposed to be hating Jillian somewhere between the hours of 5 and 6. Lucky me!

I have also been experimenting with breakfast food. Lots of different fruits and yogurt. Hey- I like mango flavored stuff, but not actual mangoes. Is that weird? Same thing only opposite with bananas. Love the fruit, can't stand banana flavored stuff... weird.  Anything particularly healthy? I've also been drinking smoothies...which I love. What do you eat for breakfast?

January Loves

It's back! My loves are back! (only because I'm a loser and have nothing else to do with my spare time other than make fun of myself for your entertainment.)

Alas, here are the things I am loving in January. No particular order...

1. Hummus. Have you tried it? Wow. Love me some Hummus.

2. Painting. I guess technically I love painting all year round. I am really enjoying it this month. : )

3. Photography...Mmmm. My new camera gives me chills. And they are multiplying if you know what I'm sayin'.

4. Hunting. More like a new found respect for the regalia (is that a word?) of it? It's sort of regal. Whatever....

5. The idea of a Tea Party. (NOT to be confused with THE Tea Party.) I'm talking teapots, people.

6. Snow. I say that quietly, so that no one can come beat me over the head with a bag of salt and a shovel.

7. The Soup Kitchen. Holla. So GOOD.

8. The Pop Rox. -An 80's cover band that rocked my face last weekend.

9. Reading. I always love to read, but this month I've had time! Bookshelf inserts coming soon.

10.  Craftiness. I like to repurpose things.

Hopefully, I'll make a list next month. (If I remember.)

Until then, sweet friends...

* Judy is a Punk- The Ramones

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Mark and I were discussing horses on the way home from a friends house the other day when the topic of communication found its way into our conversation. Mark was talking about when he was young, taking care of horses was a sometimes daunting, but mostly fun task. He was telling me that sometimes when you saddle a horse that it will hold its breath- either to mess with you, or because it's uncomfortable being saddled. He went on to say that if the horse did indeed hold its breath, that once you tried to get on the saddle, that it would either wobble to much or swing completely upside down, thus making you start the entire process over. The horse holding its breath made me think about the ways we communicate with one another.... Wouldn't it be so easy if all we had to do is hold our breath to get our way or mess with someone else? Language really tends to slow things down in the communication department sometimes...

Just sayin'.


That Jake LOVES to hunt.

*New York- Alicia Keys and Jay Z

Thursday, January 13, 2011

fish or ram?

I've been an Aries since I was born! Now astrologists and my local news crew say I just might be a Pisces-which I can't even spell. I had to look several times at the website I was referencing to check spelling. This 13th sign is really throwing me off!  Check it out here :
So, in an effort to decide what I truly am I read my horoscope(s) for today:

Aries: Thursday, Jan 13, 2011 -- Normally, too much restraint would make you feel restless, but today it probably won't cause you much concern. In fact, you may be eager to meet all your obligations because that would separate you from the pack and show others what you can do. Additionally, once you finish your chores, you'll be able to justify doing something that's more pleasurable and no one will be able to find fault with your plans.

Pisces: Thursday, Jan 13, 2011 -- You are standing right at the edge of a profound breakthrough, making it vital for you to maintain a positive attitude. However, being confident doesn't mean that you're fearless; it simply means that you are willing to face your fears. Ultimately, the forces of optimism and good luck can overcome most obstacles today, so continue pushing forward while it still matters.

This really didn't help me decide, so I am going to put Aries/Pisces info on here, and let you decide. I may know myself better than anyone else, but a second opinion is always welcome here.

All About Aries

March 21 - April 19

Rise and conquer! You Aries stare roadblocks straight in the face with a headstrong, take-charge attitude. And you Rams don’t have horns on your head for nothing -- they certainly come in handy when diving headfirst into goals and projects, which you so often do.

Others are drawn to follow you, as Rams also make great action-oriented leaders with know-how. Although you're eager to face your fears in order to beat them, you are certainly up for the challenges that come your way.

While it may be backwards for others, your motto is "Ready, fire, aim!" because you take a different approach -- you learn as you go along, which speaks to your level of confidence. At the same time, that impulse to “dig in” can cause false starts, and before you know it, you’re in too deep. Oftentimes, you’re forced drop one project and move on to another, before even finishing the first task. Take your time in the decision-making process and make sure you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.

The Aries element is Fire

It makes perfect sense that as a Fire sign, Aries are naturally warm, but they’re also spontaneous -- and obviously at times, just plain hot. So even when others feed on your survival skills, you stay full of warmth. You don’t make moves based on logic, but intuition, while keeping in the moment.

Horoscope house: 1st

Everything begins with the 1st house, and Aries is the first sign of the zodiac. The 1st house symbolizes our physical body and personality, and how the rest of the world sees you -- not how you see the world. New beginnings, childhood or the start of a budding relationship or project are also represented.

Aries' key planet: Mars

Don't mess with Mars! When others stand in your path, Mars inspires you to fight with determination. Not only is Mars called the "Warrior Planet," but it’s also referred to as the God of War in Greek mythology. Fighting aside, you want to be on the move constantly, and Mars represents your expression of energy and the way in which you move forward in life. In regards to Aries, it results in jumping right in and moving forward with tenacity.

Your greatest strength

You overcome fear with courage

Your possible weakness

You don't finish what you start

All About Pisces

February 19 - March 20

Fish act as one when swimming with their schools, and just as each fish is part of a greater whole, you Pisces Fish are more aware of interdependency than any other zodiac sign. It's as if you live in an ocean and the spirit that flows through you is one that flows through all fishes. The symbol of the Fish is also the symbol of Christianity, the predominant religion during the past two thousand years -- also known to astrologers as the "Age of Pisces."

As a Pisces, you are spiritual in nature and emotional in expression. Intuition and imagination are both your strengths and weaknesses, and you are attracted to the mystical side of things -- this can be dangerous, though, because the realm of imagination offers little structure to your everyday life. Without the foundation of reality, it becomes easy to flounder. Your own salvation, then, can come from helping others less fortunate than yourself -- those who have been caught in the currents of life and into addiction or spiritual confusion.

Your motto might be "Reality is just a shared illusion," and, in a higher sense this may be true. Nevertheless, you still need to survive in this "shared illusion" of reality, which can sometimes become a struggle as you compassionate Fish often feel the pain of the world as if it were your own. There's no easy escape -- your best path is to follow a creative or spiritual pursuit while doing your work in the real world.

The Pisces element is Water

The waters of Pisces are the waters of consciousness itself. Just as Water is the element of emotion, the Water of Pisces connects each of us to one another in ways that go beyond the rational and into the sea of thoughts and beliefs.

Horoscope house: 12th

The 12th house is like the astrological refuse collector. It's not about endings in the traditional sense; it's more about recycling. Here is where we brush up against our own limitations and see how they undo what we've done. Here is where it all dissolves into the boundless cosmos, only to be transformed and to start anew, back in the 1st house, all over again.

Pisces' key planet: Neptune

As the key planet for Pisces, Neptune is about the spiritual and the mystical. It's about what we cannot see with our five senses. Neptune was the God (or Goddess) of the Seas. She symbolizes the dissolution of reality, for all earth arises from the ocean and eventually to it returns. Neptune is represented by the mists, which prevent us from seeing what's really "out there." Instead, we must rely on our own imagination to guide us through the hidden realms.

Your greatest strength

You have compassion for those in need

Your possible weakness

Your confusion can be a disadvantage

SO...I don't know what all of this means, aside from the fact that I am confused (which points to Pisces, I KNOW!) ...However, I don't set a whole lot of store by this whole astrology thing anyway, it's just fun. This new sign, Ophiuchus, is making things KOOKY! : )

*Age of Aquarius- The Fifth Dimension     (Oh, you KNOW that's funny!)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

if I'm not careful... will turn into a photography blog. (Oh well, that might not be so bad!) Anyway, I recovered pictures from my second hunting excursion and have more to add! This hunting thing has really gotten me off schedule. Waking up at the crack of dawn is not ordinarily my thing (as any of my faithful readers will already know and can easily attest to). It is fun though. Once I am up and out there, it's really quite enjoyable. There were some moments of frustration and I am still learning new things about my camera, but as long as I enjoy what I am doing, I'm gonna take that as a job well done. Being outside makes me really happy. : ) It's gooooood for me... here are a few of my favorite shots...Enjoy!

So much fun, and lots of sweet dog faces! : )  See you next time, duck and geese!

*I'm Waiting on the Man- The Velvet Underground

Monday, January 10, 2011

Duck, duck, goose

I have actually been hunting twice since my last post about it, once with Jake and once with Scout..Bill was there both times, of course. Somehow I deleted the pictures of Scout hunting before I uploaded them. (GRR!)  We are also going back out tomorrow. Sunday was the COLDEST by far. Nine degrees outside when we left, folks. Freaking NINE! BRRRRRR! 

The makeup this times isn't much better than the first. The second time was awesome, and I didn't capture it. Oh well. We also had a missed opportunity (both gun and camera wise) that Bill and I may laugh about forever. Oh well. It's a lot of fun! Except for the nine degrees. That part sucked. : )

Anyway, back out tomorrow, and hoping to get some fantastic photos with snow and geese and dogs and water. I'll update soon.

: )

*Cyndi Lauper- Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

a day off

It's an extremely rare occurrence when Mark takes the day off. It's an even more rare occurrence when works tells him not to come in. Remember when you were in elementary school and the weatherman even mentioned the word snow? All hell broke loose. You looked out your window every five minutes before your parents made you go to bed and then the first thing you did when you woke up in the morning would be to look out the window in the hope that the weatherman was on his game and delivered. Those days are so rare as an adult, because we are always expected to be there anyway, snow or no snow, because we are adults and can fend for ourselves. (I guess.) Anyway, I still run to the window in the morning! And today, it looked like this:

I certainly was happy! Mark got about halfway to work, slipping and sliding the whole way, before they called it off. The picture above was taken around 3:45AM. (The man works EARLY.)  After taking some pictures, I decided it was back to bed for me. When I woke up, there was more snow. We spent the day slipping and sliding in our backyard. The dogs loved it, and we invited Jackson down to do a little sledding with us too.

To those of you who got one, happy off day! I'm sure you deserved it!

*When You Were Young- The Killers

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

out with the old...

...and in with the new! As promised, I am posting pictures of the repainting of one of our upstairs bedrooms. Just to be clear, I really LOVED the color that was on the walls previously, but it really didn't flow with the rest of the house and since it's upstairs, that's been driving me a little crazy. So here are the before and afters:

Before: Cool Jazz..

After: Vanilla Brandy...

I haven't touched up the trim yet, however, I am really pleased with how the color turned out. The other thing is that I can't wait to decorate! I bought a new comforter to go on the bed and have selected some cool frames to go on the wall. Exciting! All done by me!

*Iron and Wine- Such Great Heights

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Duck Hunt

No, I haven't been playing Nintendo! (Though I do have one and there's a thought!) I actually went Duck Hunting on Monday and thought I would share some picture love. I got several that I really loved, but here are a few of my favorites....and then one of me in hunting garb, all dressed out. Next time I promise to do better on my make up. : )

Here's Jake. Looking stoic and lovely..

Here's a lovely shot with the sun in the background and the reflection, framed by trees

Here are Bill and Jake. The best hunting buddies ever!

And here I am. Practically makeup-less. I need to perfect my camo application.

I had a wonderful time...we did get one duck. A gaddy, I believe. Bill says he prays for a good, quick, clean kill. Unfortunately for me (and more so for the duck) it wasn't so. She survived the shot, but was mortally wounded. We had to hang her. It was extremely unpleasant for me. I really wanted to help her, I felt very torn and struggled with it for sometime. The thing that makes me feel better is that Bill and his wife (along with Mark and I) eat everything he kills. That helps some, but I really understand the importance now of a quick kill. It's better all around, especially for the bird. I'm headed back out into the wilderness again on Friday, if the roads don't ice over and I can drive out to meet Bill. I really want to get some great photos, and I think I have made a decent start here.

*Journey- Anyway You Want It

breffast in mah belly

In an effort to eat better, I started the day with a bowl of Greek Yogurt and assorted fruits including pineapple, blueberries, strawberries, grapes and kiwi. Holy meatballs, batman! Why haven't I tried out Greek yogurt before now? It's delicious if you haven't tried it, and I strongly recommend that you do. I bought Greek Gods Traditional Greek Yogurt. It was so rich! It's thicker than regular yogurt, and I bought honey flavored, so it was really yummy!
I realize now that you can't really see the yogurt in bowl because of all the fruit! It sort of looks light like cool whip, but is actually very thick. Anyway, I just thought I would make a plug for it here, because I thought it was totally amazing! I will say that you really do have to add something to it though. I really like plain vanilla yogurt, but this stuff goes best when I has something to stick to and fresh fruit did not disappoint! I found a recipe for homeade granola that I think would be great with it, so maybe I will post that one later.
I'm off to paint. I have officially started working on the guest bedroom. I'm so excited! I will post pictures (before and afters) as soon as I get the chance! Happy Tuesday!

*Bad Company-  "Feel like Makin Love'

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Kicking off 2011

Mark and I are back from the mountains, and like I mentioned in last years post, I am so happy we have started a new year! Our mountain getaway was full of fun things: PLINKO!, booze, friends, laughter, fun and adventure!

All in all, I have to say it was a really fun weekend. Things I am looking forward to in this new year: Taking more time for myself, doing things I enjoy, cooking, being a good wife, being greener and spending more quality time with my friends. I hope your new year is as delightful as my hopes are for mine. Time for an upswing. Hello 2011!

*Paparazzi- Lady Gaga
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