Pugs & Kisses

Remember how I started the Grilled Chicken Sandwich Challenge?

yeah, I barely do either, but last night I remembered while I was getting take out & thought, why not?

Its a HEART! awww

Course this morning I almost forgot it in the fridge!  Doctoring it up didn’t really happen but I did remember a pack of honey & one of barbeque sauce in my desk.  Less than thrilled? So was I.

However the Lemonade Girl Scout cookies were a nice surprise!

Last night a friend & her daughter were selling them & I knew I HAD to replenish the Thin Mint supply.  Along the with Thin Mints I just asked her to pick me out another box of something yummy.  Lemonades it was.  Typically I never think lemon with cookies and at 1st I almost said “pick a different one!” but it WAS her choice, so I went with it.  I brough the box into work to share in hopes to sweeten the day.  So far its only worked on me, but that’s ok.

In case you want to try them, there is a Girl Scout Cookie finder ap for your iPod available at iTunes! Yes I have to admit I  downloaded it after a friend mentioned.  Or you can check this website for them.

Also a few pieces of things I love today.  Since I pulled a card from a fun “tarot” deck I had at the house.   Not sure why, but it was sitting there on the shelf as I walked by & I thought why not?

the Lovers from the Housewives Tarot

The Lovers card.  I’m partially ignoring the obvious since I’m still on the fence about this whole let Shadow back in my heart or keep moving on searching thing.  Who knows.  Time to think isn’t going to kill anyone…  So focus on this other great love.  Baxter.  The pug adores me.  I adore him.  What more can a gal ask for?

my Baxter

its a mini-Baxter! full of knowledge!

I would love one of these for the bedroom redo!  Hoping that Mod Cloth has them in stock then.  It would look cute on a dresser or shelf up against the sage/mint walls.

because, well he does..

I will gladly take the morning Keurig in one of these… especially if its German Chocolate Cake coffee like this morning! Delish!

muwah! pugs & kisses

Also I love this stuff!  I got one for each member of my family as part of their holiday gifts.  Bonus: It benefits the Pug Rescue Network who use the money to help pugs with medical care, finding homes & all that other stuff that seems to come along the way for pugs.

Advertisements

Pug Party & My Saturday Adventure

Today was the first time Baxter & I were able to attend the local pug meet up group!  It was fantastic!

yes that's Baxter right up front coming towards me!

Pugs everywhere!

new friends everywhere!

We took over the dog park – although a few other small dogs stayed around to be honorary pugsters!

Baxter is already ready for next month's meet up... & a nap...& a bath...

So home it was to get in a nap… & off to explore a few sites of my own since this nap was sure to be a long one.

missing the convertible but the sunroof is still nice!

First a pit stop for something delish… a BBQ chicken sandwich at one of my favorite places – Chris’ Cosmic Kitchen! If you are in the Wilmington, NC area, this place is a MUST try.  WARNING you will crave it after you taste it & there are not enough days in the week to try everything you want to there. But if you are brave, attempt the Large Stack of pancakes! Only 5 people have been able to finish them.  If you do you get to join the hall of fame & even get a T-shirt!  Impressive.

Seriously good stuff! He even makes the BBQ sauce from scratch.

After lunch I decided to drive just out of town to check out an antique store to see if it might be a good place to get some furniture to fix up – after I end up getting in a better financial place…. like with a job!

No real luck, but it was an eye opener to see a few things I had as a kid being sold IN AN ANTIQUE store!

I had one of these! ....but I'm guessing no one paid $95 for it!

Tempted by this (THE MUPPETS!!!) but in the spirit of decluttering, I left it on the 50% off shelf. I'm STRONG!

So no luck there.  On to another shop that I always tend to find something I wish I could bring home with me.  But I wasn’t sure if they had beds…. found out they had a few, but not many queens & not really any that worked with the look I was going for, even repainted.  Still the stock changed every week so it could be fun hunting just in case.

I was able to spot a few pieces that with some paint & maybe new hardware might be great finds!

Both of these caught my eye, but do I want more storage or comfort while sitting in front of the mirror? Both need some white paint!

Maybe its the colors on this, but its cute!

This sign did inspire... but I had to leave it there to inspire someone with more cash flow.

these lovely ladies wanted to come stay at my house, but we all decided they needed a grander (bigger) yard to view

The bonus here is that the longer it sits on the sales floor the more the price drops.  So when I do get the money coming in, these may even be a better deal.

So maybe I am open to a few other ideas than just the IKEA stuff.  But I still love my Hemnes pieces!  Who knows?! But what fun it is to dream.

Oh & as far as purchases… I did AWESOME!

Didn’t get a thing other than some creamer for tomorrow’s coffee & a few supplies to make it easier to eat in rather than picking up take out again.

yeah me.

Now…. where is that pug?  Its BATH TIME!

the Grilled Chicken Sandwich Project

Started on December 23, 2010…..

BLAH right?

So last night I thought ahead & picked up a grilled chicken sandwich.

Felt good going a healthy route, but dang that sandwich is less than inspiring.

Some how I managed to find a small thing of honey, which added some mild flavor, but all in all I wanted something else.

Which got me thinking.

Wonder how many possibilities there can be to jazzying up a simple grilled chicken sandwich.

Once a month,  I will be getting a grilled chicken sandwich & jazzing it up.  Join me & share your experiences & suggestions!

The Morning After

Some Saturdays you just want to be lazy.

This was one of those mornings. I was FINALLY able to get a full night of sleep! Which is no small matter for me & certainly hasn’t been the norm for the past few months. I didn’t sleep entirely through the night, but almost! Getting nearly 8 hours of slumber is worth celebrating in my life!

Still with the dawn comes responsibilities.. like breakfast.

This morning didn’t feel like cereal or any of the normal choices. Time to get creative!

So I made what I will call the Morning After!

Starts with a leftover steak, chopped into small pieces & heated in a small pan.

Added in a couple of eggs & a splash of my favorite steak sauce.

Cooked the eggs almost fully then tossed in some provolone & colby cheese!

Heat til the cheese melts.  I went ahead & warmed my bun while the cheese melted, but this might also be just as good on toast (If I had a loaf of bread in the house at the moment!).

Then just enjoy!  Preferably back in bed with a glass of pomegranate blueberry juice.

Next time I will &  I HIGHLY suggest adding spinach.  Maybe even some red pepper chunks.  But for this time.  This was perfect for this morning.

Just after finishing up breakfast I got the best surprise!

My own personal blue bird of happiness, my budgie Bongo, FLEW across the bedroom!

I know birds fly… but this is HUGE for him.  He LOVED soaring around my house more than any bird I know. Around the time I was going thru the second surgery on my hand this past summer, I discovered he had blood on his beak.  He had gotten injured under is wing.  The only thing the vet & I could figure out was that he had gotten hung on a perch that had calcium & gotten chewed down.  He got several different medications & check ups.  It healed but I was told due to the way it healed, he most likely would never be able to fly again.  Broke my heart.  He seemed to have adapted but I could tell he missed doing laps around the room with his cage mate.

Lately he has been trying.  Tends to end up in a giant leap a couple of feet with a nice landing on something close.  But TODAY HE FLEW not leaped ACROSS around 14 feet!  He hasn’t gotten turning in flight but he did stay up! I’m so happy for him.

Back in Action Again

Also gives me more hope.  I can over come my own injuries.  Even if they say I won’t… who knows.  No one can say for sure.  One thing I can take from Bongo.  If you want it, you have GOT to keep trying.  Otherwise you haven’t got a chance!

ok I caved into the Pie-mania

Yes. Those ingredients are for pie.  All the talking of pie reminded me of one of my favorites that I haven’t had in years, Egg Custard Pie.

Start by combining 2 Tbsp butter, 1/2 tsp salt & 1 1/2 cups sugar.

Add in four eggs to the sugar mixture.

Then add 2 cups milk.  But I suggest doing so in a bigger bowl than I did because otherwise mixing all this together gets very tricky, or messy.  Thankfully I didn’t make a mess but I regretted not going for a bigger bowl!  Add in 1 tsp vanilla (or a bit more if you are like me).

Next pour into 2 deep dish pie shells that have been poked a few times with a fork.  I don’t actually know why, but I was taught to do that so I do.

Then you want to dash on ground nutmeg.  Some just sprinkle a little.  I sprinkle a lot.

Finally bake in a 425 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

They will still be jiggly when you pull them out of the oven.  Let them sit to cool for a while.

One reason I adore this pie (& the only reason I talked myself into making it) is that its even better after sitting in the fridge all night.  I would store it in the fridge.  Since its EGG custard & eggs are notorious for being breakfast food, I plan on having this for breakfast for the next couple of days.

Dinner ended up being simple again.

Macaroni & Cheese Soup

I saw a friend from high school talking about having macaroni & cheese soup one day & I had to ask what she was talking about.  Thankfully she was sweet enough to give me the recipe.

One box of the blue box mac & cheese.  Prepared just as the directions say.

Then add in 1 can of cream of chicken soup & 1 can of milk.

Add in chicken broth to get it to the desired consistency.

I added a side of grilled cheese to my bowl of Macaroni & Cheese soup.  With finally getting over a cold, I seem to be overly excited about adding cheese back into my diet!

This soup strikes me as a great base for a variety of different ideas.  Maybe adding some jalapeno slices, can of veggies, or frozen broccoli & cauliflower!  When I thanked my friend & mentioned I made it, she told me she has since added bacon pieces to the soup & loved it.  I’m not a bacon girl, but I imagine a lot of people would love that version.

Enjoy.

I however will be enjoying a slice of pie.

Dining all over Disney

In my family there are a few things that always come up when we talk of Disney trips.  The Magic Kingdom, Mickey Ears, Monorails & the food.

Granted there was a time where it seemed to be the same overpriced hamburgers or chicken nuggets anywhere we went, but things have changed over the years!  There is a lot of variety to be found & more food to eat than stomach to hold it.  Especially if you are brave enough to try something off the beaten path or willing to spend more than you normally would – which my family wasn’t.  I swear one day I WILL dine in Cinderella Castle! 😀

Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe is a family favorite & I remember being dazzled as a kid as Sunny Eclipse would entertain us with his lounge act featuring nothing but hits & jokes about the universe, cosmos, galaxy….you get the idea.  This is THE burger joint of our memories!  BUT it is much more than a burger place.  There are 3 bays to order from – one features chicken items, one burgers, and the final one is soups, salads & sandwiches.  I reliving my memories went for the cheeseburger & topped it with lettuce, some bbq sauce & more cheese sauce from the massive toppings bar.  I love it.  Not in a its the best thing I have eaten way, but in a I feel like I am 7 again & estatic way!  And no back then the apples were not an option for the side, but I think grapes were.  Still I went all out & opted for the fries….with a drizzle of cheese sauce of course!

Another Disney legend is the Mickey Waffles.  What kid doesn’t want a waffle that looks like Mickey?  For the 1st breakfast I got a waffle that was topped with bananas & warm salted caramel.  Alas it as delicious as it was, it was no Mickey shaped.  Bummer.  So the second day, I got my Mickey waffle.  I also realized I needed a bit more than just carbs & sugar to fuel me along, so I went for the breakfast platter.  WAY more food than I wanted, but it had my waffle – a mini version anyway, which was okay by me!  The eggs were what I needed.  It also came with a biscuit, potatoes, turkey sausage link AND 2 slices of bacon.  I quickly gave the bacon & sausage away since they aren’t my style.  Over all I left stuffed & didn’t finish the plate.  Especially since we got a chocolate croissant to share!

Later for dinner we went to a place that is pure bliss – the Rainforest Cafe.  I remember being young & being just amazed at all the animals, stars, the storms… & I still am!  Just feels magical.  I’m a sucker for all the atmosphere.  Plus the food was divine.  I got the Jungle something or another… it was coconut shrimp skewers, shrimp scampi, steak with butter on it, garlic mashed potatoes & mixed grilled veggies.  HEAVEN ON A PLATE!

Right before I jetted off to catch my flight I was lucky enough to meet up with my cousin for lunch.  We were tight on time, so we thought something light – sandwich.  Where else does a sandwich better than the Earl of Sandwich?! So we went.  I immediately knew what I was getting after a quick glance on the menu.  The Holiday Special!  Something about warmed turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce & stuffing just sounded amazing.  It also comes with mayo, but I don’t like mayo & it seemed unnecessary anyway.  Now the bad thing is, I LOVED IT.  Where on earth am I going to find a way to get the fix of this craving? Might have to find a way to recreate this one at home.  Either that or just move on down to the Orlando area.

The most spectacular dining memory is by far the late snack we had sharing a funnel cake from Sleepy Hallow while watching the Boo To You Parade float by across the bridge.  We had a great view, all had comfortable seats & delish nosh to share together.  Family memories just seem better with food it seems.

So what foods remind you of Disney?  Anything you just feel like you haven’t had the Disney experience without?

Simplicity

today’s tame turkey lunch

Something I am realizing with this challenge is that I am starting to look forward to lunch again!  Before there would be days where I dreaded it.  I would be hungry, but just completely not in the mood for the junk that I brought that day. 

Today I didn’t prepare anything the night before (too much time dining out with a dear friend!) & as I got Baxter & myself ready to head off to work, I thought “Oh noooo.  Another crappy meal.”  Then it dawned on me that I had prepared for this.  So I got out the flat bread, turkey & cheddar I had picked up.  Also wanted to get the baby lettuce, but turns out the shelf life was shorter than I was expecting on that one! Gross wilted browning leaves are not appetizing, especially in the early morning. Skip that one.

So today’s lunch is simple.

Honey roasted thinnly sliced turkey, slice of natural cheddar on a piece of flat bread.  Easy peasy & hit the spot after I warmed it slightly in the microwave at work!  The side of baby carrots has become my new favorite thing! I may turn orange soon with all the carrots & pumpkin in my diet but its worth it.

Brought a stick of colby but I ended up not even eating it.  Snack time some other day since I have some blueberry yogurt in the fridge for any afternoon cravings – long work day & dinner date later. 

So no reciepe today, but a reminder that simple is good.

This is a life change & it has to be doable. 

Sometimes special, somtimes simple, but its all times now.