Sunday, June 15, 2008


I'm going through some changes around here, trying to decide what/who I want to be when I grow up. I'm having a hard time finding my niche in life or the place I need to be.

I'm trying to decide what my next step will be. It's really scary but exciting at the same time. Somehow I have developed this fearless attitude that is so unlike me. I guess you just get to a point where you get so beyond being fed up that change is the only option.

Please say a prayer for me as I go through these next few months. I have no idea what will happen!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Pumping Iron

I absolutely love working out. Its one of my favorite things to do in life. I have never really been someone who hated exercise, I have always known my body needs to move. Lately, I hate it when I don' t exercise because my body gets stiff and sore from lack of movement.

I have been sick for over a week and today was the first day I got back to the gym. Lifting weights is one of my favorite forms of exercise. I lift twice a week, about an hour each week, and I lift heavy (for a girl) on upper and lower body. My goal is to bench press 100 pounds. I've done 75 lbs for 6 reps so far. Go me.

I have a gym membership where I pay $36 a month. With this membership I get unlimited access to the gym which includes cardio machines, weight machines, aerobic classes, yoga classes, a pool and a sauna. This is an expense I have that I would never give up.

I have come to realize that there are certain expenses in life that I am always going to have because they make a positive impact on my life. The gym membership is one, eating out for lunch everyday is not.

I think it is important to know which expenses you have that contribute to your overall well being and help nourish your spirit. I'm better off in the long run for having my gym membership, what expenses do you have that contribute to your well being? Where are you spending your money that, in the end, really doesn't do you any good?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Lazy Days of Summer

Its a hot day today, 90+ degrees in St. Louis. Normally, I would be outside sitting by the pool, basking in the sun. But I was outside a little to long yesterday and I'm a little red and peeling (yes I used sunscreen!). So I thought it would be better if I stayed inside today.

Earlier I did a 20 minute yoga session from my ipod, that was great considering I have been sick for the last week and my body is stiff. So right now I'm sitting on my bed, with my laptop, listening/watching Father Roderick play his game on UStream, and eating a bowl of strawberries and oranges. Yes my friends, life is good here in St. Louis.

In a minute I will be catching up on old movies that are on my dvr. These include: The Incredible Journey, Making Mr. Right, Girl's Best Friend & Queen Sized.

Since I've had an unusual amount of time on my hands to do basically nothing, I revisited one of my favorite websites I had sort of forgotten about. Etsy is by far the greatest thing I have ever found online. Today I have been searching for homemade body & facial products and of course I got sucked right in. I try to remember my mantra that I am making it my goal to live more simply but I did need a few items today and this is what I got. I ordered from Dress Green and I can't wait for my calming and clarifying green tea facial cream, my toning and clarifying facial serum and my pomegranate juice body exfoliant and moisturizer!

Most of the items on this website can be purchased very inexpensively, they are unique and refreshing to find. I have really stopped buying most of my health and beauty products from big chain stores. I don't like all the harsh chemicals used in most of the products you find on the shelf today. I used to purchase from Mychelle, but the pricing has gotten a little bit high for my liking. I still really like the masks the company makes, but I can hardly justify paying those prices. My favorite site for homemade soaps is Crystals Country Store. My two favorite soaps are the fruit slices and rose w/ rose petals. Next time I order, I'm trying the fuzzy navel.

I mentioned in a previous blog posting about buying items locally. While this was definitely harder than I thought it would be, I've been thinking about this almost every day. I'm slowly transitioning myself to start supporting individuals rather than Corporate America. Sites like Etsy allow me to do so. Even though these items are not local, it gets me thinking where the things I buy are coming from.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Cutest Picture Ever!

I snapped this picture of my cat, Toby, yesterday. Just had to share, too cute!!!

Foccacia bread and olive oil dipping sauce with herbs

This is my new favorite recipe this summer. I can't get enough of it! The recipe is simple and inexpensive, but it looks like you really went to a lot of work to prepare it! It is not my recipe, I don't even want to pretend that it is, I got the recipe when I took the class on herbs and I have made this every week since!

Quick Foccacia Bread

2 cups baking mix (biscuit mix)
2 tsp minced sage (or herb of your choice)*
1 cup milk
6 tablespoons olive oil
garlic salt
shredded cheese (optional)**

In a large bowl, mix the baking mix and the sage, stir in milk until blended. Pour 2 tablespoons of the oil into a 9x13 pan, spread oil over the bottom ( I didn't do this I just used regular cooking spray). Place dough in pan and pat into an even layer. With your fingertips poke holes in dough at 1 to 2 inch intervals (I couldn’t get this to work). sprinkle cheese over the top. Brush remaining oil evenly over dough and sprinkle lightly with garlic salt. (I didn’t have a brush for olive oil so I didn’t do that either!). Bake at 400 degrees until richly browned (about 25 min).

* you can really use any herb of your choice or a combination if you wish. I have made this before using thyme/rosemary/sage and a combination of two or all three. Every time it comes out good! Just make sure you chop them up kinda small

** Shredded cheese is optional, the recipe did not call for this but I started adding it myself and really liked it. The first time I just sprinkled it across the top before baking. I have also mixed it in the dough and sprinkled it across the top and its good both ways!

Olive Oil Dipping Sauce

Take about a half cup to a cup of olive oil and add in your favorite chopped herbs. I tend to use thyme and rosemary, I like it the best. Add all ingredients in a glass jar and let sit for a few hours before using to dip the bread in. This mixture will last a few days in a sealed jar. Although when I make it, I tend to eat it all in a day or two!

Friday, June 6, 2008


I am reading the book called "Animal,Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver. I found this book at the airport while I had a 2 hour wait for my flight. I love this book. I love it so much I am only reading a little at a time, almost as if I can savor the book and make it last longer by only reading little bits here and there.

I love this book because it is so thought provoking-- the main premise of the book is eating locally, buying all your food from locally grown establishments or growing it yourself. In the book, Kingsolver makes it her goal to 'live off the land' and try to support her family by buying their food locally or growing it at home. She discusses the quality of the food we eat and the 'things' companies do to keep our food looking great while it travels the 1,000+ miles to get to our plate.

This got me thinking...

I have a garden where I grow tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, broccoli and brussel sprouts. I have a few more peppers and tomatoes on my porch growing in containers. I have mentioned before that growing your own herb garden in containers is an economical way to experience the flavors of fresh herbs. I wrote about this before. I still love my herbs!!! I thought I would try eating locally to see what it would be like. Can't be that hard, right?


I ran into a few problems.

First, what do I do from now until the end of June/beginning of July while I am waiting for my garden and container pots to grow? I don't have any produce to pick from my wonderful garden. The farmers market isn't up and going yet. I drove 30 miles (one way with $3.89 gas) to go to a farmers market in the St. Louis area. I was disappointed. I went in May, when it was asparagus season! The asparagus I picked up had been shipped in from California. I got to looking further, most of the other fruit looked imported too. Dang.

I was able to find a few items at this farmers market that were produced locally, but not enough to make the trip worth while.

Second, I like bananas and many other fruits that are just not able to grow in the Midwest. Strike 2.

Third, what about all my other grocery store staples? The basic things like flour, spaghetti sauce, and my Hansen's soda?! When I started looking closely at the labels and realizing none of it was local I got discouraged. There are a few places around here that you can find locally made items, but then you get to looking at price and it becomes a whole new problem to ponder. Strike three.

For me, trying to shop locally did not work that well. At least at this point in the year. Maybe once my garden is up and growing (if it ever stops raining here) it will be a little easier for me. I would like to learn how to can so I can save all those luscious tomatoes and peppers and everything else that is nice for next year. Not only would that be an awesome way to make sure everything in my garden is used up but it will be very cost effective AND help me eat closer to home!

I really love the idea of eating closer to home, trying to buy everything that I consume from places that are local. It is much harder than I thought it would be. I just don't have the means to do something like this at this point in my life. I am aware and I am making small changes to try to buy locally but I still have a long way to go.