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Must Do Daily

30/04/2011

Daily 10 was a show on E! before they realized it was EXACTLY THE SAME as E! News.  Let’s face it, I watched both because E! is where I get my news.  It’s helped me win many trivia contests along the way.

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I create daily, weekly, monthly, yearly to-do lists…heck even hourly. I want to accomplish everything all the time.

to do

(source and a great resource)

Even amidst these lists I have one more VIL – very important list.  My own Daily 10 things to keep me sane.

  1. Food that tastes good.  Cooked at home, rushed at my desk or ordered to go.  As long as it good my day is happier. IMG_7744
  2.  Soundtracks for the day. Music or Podcasts honestly improve my productivity.  This week it’s been my Adele station on Pandora for the calm soothing voice.

    Some days it’s Nerdistto laugh my hiney off.  Then there are the days it’s a random station I created with show tunes, Metallica and Michael Buble.

  3. Mental breaks.  Usually this is blog reading time.  For fun, inspiration, intrigue, or laughs.
  4. Target or Grocery trip…even if only in my mind.  I dream, not dream or day-dream about my favorite places all the time.  fresh market(picture from Courtney)
  5. Sweat it out.  Gym, moving boxes, hot kitchens, or finding the remote by tossing cushions leading to pillow fights.
  6. Prayer.  Whether structured – or a little less than– Prayer gets me through the good and bad.
  7. Connection.  A quick email, tweet, Facebook post or call is essential.  It let’s others know I’m still alive and I care.
  8. Water.  Preferably to drink but I enjoy puddle jumping and pool antics as well. IMG_3726
  9. TV Zone.  Even if all my to-dos aren’t to-done…time with Hunni is important while relaxing with a movie or our favorite shows.
  10. Breathe.  Sometimes I forget.  IMG_5264Honestly I need to go back to #3 or #5 or #6 or even #9 to remind me it will all be okay if I breathe.

What’s your Daily 10 to keep you sane?

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Roasted Easter Dinner–Recipe

29/04/2011

While everyone enjoys big Easter dinners with family after church services, I took a nap.

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It takes a lot out to set up the services for Holy Week so I was sleepy.  Same thing happened at Christmas when we ordered Chinese food. Smile

This year I wanted to cook dinner even if we ordered sushi for lunch – and my cupcake.  Easter is a fabulous holiday celebrating new life in Christ and I wanted to celebrate the new life with spring vegetables in my favorite.  Roasting takes little prep and allows me to accomplish other tasks while dinner cooks itself.  My new food motto…”If you roast it, they will come…to the table.”

Simple Spring Veggie Roast

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Ingredients

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  • Asparagus
  • Radishes
  • Grape or cherry tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • White wine vinegar
  • Sea Salt
  • Garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Take pretty pictures of veggies because they are so colorful.IMG_1547  Okay that’s just me, but they are pretty.IMG_1513 Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line baking trays with aluminum foil for easy clean up.IMG_1563
  2. Cut asparagus in half or three segments.  Slice radishes using mandoline or very sharp knife.  Place both in a bowl with tomatoes.
  3. Add 2 tbsp. olive oil, 8 tbsp. vinegar, garlic powder and salt to taste.  Combine using tongs and spread onto pre-prepared baking sheets. IMG_1570
  4. Roast for 35-45 minutes depending on how hot your oven is and how crispy you like your veggies.  IMG_1573 Meanwhile, mist pan with olive oil and “fry” an egg until runny.IMG_1594If runny eggs skeeve you out, cook how you like…but you’re missing the fun of runny eggs dripping into your veggies. IMG_1596

Enjoy each spring filled bite.  Confession: I went back for more veggies…they were spring-rific!

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To save time throughout the week, we roasted a ton to throw on salads, fill sandwiches, bulk up wraps, scrambles and whatever else you can dream up.  I’m imagining some fun with my Eggplant Bacon. Perfect because asparagus is in season and the tomatoes pop in my mouth, like little spring bombs. Open-mouthed smile

What recipe says SPRING to you?

Name Game

28/04/2011

I love names.  I had a personal baby name book as a teen looking for origins and derivations picking names for story characters…and fun.  Biblical footnotes explaining names for children inspire me to understand what names mean in all situations.

I at my name; Cynthia is from the goddess of the Moon and Lee is English for field.  Nothing to do with me although perhaps I might be a goddess at times – or just a diva – and love running through fields. field

I saw this name game on several blogs and thought it was fun, especially with my love of names.  I giggle to think Momma – who’s name is Beth – could have been a Martha Louise.

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Bring on the name fun. Smile

1. How did your parents decide on your name?

The joke is someone wanted to name me Liberty – my maiden name is Bell.  Good God, thank you for saving me from school humiliation.  It was hard enough being called ding-a-ling and ring-a-ding though middle school. Imagine a girl near Philly named Liberty Bell.

liberty bell

(source)

Instead my dad named me.  Cynthia was German based – I was born in Frankfurt – and I have many, many, many relatives with Lee as a middle name.

2. Do your initials (first/middle/last) spell anything funny?

My maiden name initials were CLB so I was called Club and Slob once or twice but they didn’t stick.  Married is CLC so nothing funny there either.

3. Did you take your middle name from childhood or did you drop your middle name & take your maiden name as your middle name?

The only thing Hunni wanted when we got married was for me to take his last name…oh and a cake. Smile

wedding dress 2

No one in his family pronounces it the same, so once we agreed on a pronunciation – prior to the wedding – I took his name and dropped the maiden name.  I’m old school like that!

4. Are you or will you name your children systematically? (i.e., same first letter, same origin, etc.)

No system here.  We don’t want to end up on a TLC show.  We chose family sort of names instead…and meaning is important to us too.

5. Did you decide on baby names as a little girl? Did you stick to them or change your mind?

Oh yes!  I wanted my First Daughter to be Mary Jo Elizabeth after an old family joke…Momma is Elizabeth and her sisters are Mary and Jo.  Grandma would call all three to find out who was in trouble.  The joke was we needed a real Mary Jo Elizabeth in the family and I liked the idea.  Hunni think’s it’s sweet and a family name so he was okay.

The other girl name was Mercedes Grace.  Mercedes means mercy in Spanish and I love the way it rolls off the tongue.  Hunni vetoed it in a second saying High School boys would want “to take her for a test drive.”  I can’t get that image out of my head so it’s a no go.

Boys names I wavered on.  I never thought about having boy children really…they pee on things and people.  Disappointed smile

6. Does your family have any names that have been passed down through generations?

My brother’s name is Alan which is my dad’s middle name.  Hunni is named after his grandfather.  Other than that not much.  We want family names but not juniors.

7. Do you look at the meaning of the name or just the name itself?

Both.  I want the name to have a good origin and meaning as well as significance to Hunni and our family.  It means I can dig out my baby name books from High School. Open-mouthed smile

8. Do you name pets with human names or pet names?

We rescued our dogs so they came with names.  Leo is an old-fashioned human name.  He’s our little old man.

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Peanut is definitely not a human name…I think.  I have no idea how she got her name.  She’s a grouchy old lady who should be named Maude.

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“I’m being anti-social today.”

9. Are there any names that you have an affinity or dislike for based on a childhood experience/someone you once knew?

There will be no Todd’s in this family…EVER!  I taught high school Spanish for 2 years and was terrorized by a Todd who once told me to go F&$K myself.  Also Chastity is out along with any other names which can sub for adjectives or nouns, like Christian or Apple.  Hunni doesn’t think a kid should have to live up to a title.

10. What are some of your favorite names & why?

Mary Jo Elizabeth is a given.  I promised my grandma and I love the tradition.  For boys we go round and round but currently like Joel.  If we have more than two children we’ll be blessed but God help them because we have no ideas on names.

Ok, your turn.  Go play!

*Note: We are not pregnant in any way shape or form.  This was just for fun.*

Easter Breakfast Bake- Recipe

27/04/2011

While Hunni and our congregation enjoyed a cold Son Rise service overlooking the town, my job was to make breakfast.  I don’t mind.  I can enjoy a cup a coffee in the warm kitchen while they are a bit chilly.  At least this year there was sun and not snow.

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Cooking breakfast for a large group means the same thing…breakfast casserole.  I prepped everything the night before, ready to pop in the oven early.  Left me plenty of time to sip coffee.

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For three years breakfast has been the same recipe…with a tweak here and there.

Traditional Easter Breakfast Bake

Ingredients

  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Sausage
  • Bread
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Veggies (optional)

Instructions

Cube bread to cover bottom of casserole dish. Dice sausage and add to dish.  Combine eggs and milk with salt to cover sausage and bread.  Top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until set in middle.

*I don’t do exact measurements.  Honestly they change them each time.  I add and subtract but the basic ingredients are always the same.  Several variations are available all over the internet.*

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This year was a bit of a predicament.  I can’t eat most of the breakfast ingredients.  Left me with two options…my typical Rice Chex with berries and Hemp milk or create a me-friendly version.  Easter required something special.

Cynthia’s Traditional Easter Breakfast Bake

Ingredients

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  • 1 piece gluten-free bread – I used Udi’s Whole Grain Bread
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/4 cup alternative milk –I use unsweetened hemp milk
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/4 cup spinach
  • 1/2 cup Daiya cheese – or shredded cheese of your choice

Instructions

  1. Cut bread into quarters and add one piece to bottom of 1/2 cup ramekins. IMG_1677If using larger casserole dish, cut more bread and cover bottom. I take that back…use a larger dish.  I wanted more or at least some fruit while everyone else enjoyed cinnamon buns.  Must create recipe soon.
  2. Layer salsa and spinach on top of bread. This is my last jar of cilantro salsa from last year. Sad smileIMG_1681 Combine egg, egg whites, milk and mustard in bowl with whisk, pouring equal parts into ramekins. IMG_1683
  3. Top with cheeeeeeeeeeeeese.  Casserole may be refrigerated overnight for easy baking in the morning.IMG_1685
  4. Bake casserole at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until egg is set.  Bubbly, crunchy, cheesy goodness. IMG_1930

Quick to prepare and delicious to eat.  Easter was wonderful all around.

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What is your favorite fancy breakfast?

Barefoot in the Spring

26/04/2011

No need to wait for spring.  Time to live carefree.

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“If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.

~ Nadine Stair

Perhaps I should get a pedicure first. Rolling on the floor laughing

Anyone up for a day of pampering?

Cupcake Wonderful Cupcake + Goals

25/04/2011

Ahhhhh Easter Sunday.  Celebration with my church family was fantastic and full of rejoicing.

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Then there was the cupcake.  Oh my wonderful cupcake.

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*Note: Jesus Christ’s resurrection more important than any cupcake.*

Hunni and I enjoyed our delicious Easter lunch, which I’ll share Thursday, and then Easter dessert.  For him it was his favorite , coconut pie…

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For me it was the Kryptonite…I mean my ginger chocolate cupcake. They were out of my ginger one, but the chocolate are pretty good too.

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Smells divine and I might have made googley eyes at the gingery chocolaty goodness.

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It was good…very good.  Truth be told like any cupcake the frosting was better than the cakeIMG_1855

I ate a few bites and then licked the rest.

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It was worth the wait. Smile

Last Week’s Goals:

  • Mail Taxes.  Hmmmm.  I did mail them off.  I usually send them off week’s early so I didn’t realize I should have gone to the POST OFFICE instead of dropping them in the mail box, which had already been picked up for the day.  The IRS will forgive this small error, right?  Please Mr. IRS man…or woman.
  • Crazy Busy Schedule. I’m proud to say…I was done all my church tasks in advance.  Okay they’re always done before Sunday if you consider 11:59 pm Saturday.  However this Saturday night was the BBCA season premier of Dr. WHO.  I know Hunni and I weren’t the only ones watching.  A lot of other work was don this week but we all know Dr. Who was important. Smile
  • Organize my sh**.  Why is packing things away so hard?  I dry-cleaned my winter coats for packing away…and then it snowed. I did however make lists of all the things to put away…I like lists. Smile
  • Read and relax.  Hmm.  When I’m productive I have more time to read.  In fact I finished two books this week.  It might have something to do with insomnia. Annoyed

This Week’s Goals:

  • Slow and steady.  Despite accomplishing a ton last week I still have a good bit left on my to-do list.  I’m taking my time to do it right the first time because I do not wish to be up all night getting tasks done.  Did you hear that brain…I don’t want to be up all night!
  • Wakka-WakkaUh, that should be walking…a 5K that is.  My 10K race is Saturday but my ankle is not so keen on the idea.  Instead my friend Emily is walking with me and we’re playing cheerleaders for the other CDNY girls who are running the 10K.  Run, Bloggers, Run!
  • Write it down.  Lots of stress leads to lack of sleep.  To ease my troubled mind, I’m keeping my notebooks next to the bed.  Blog ideas, to-do tasks, and randomness pop in all night long.  Instead of worrying I’ll forget them, I’ll write them down.  

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    Warning to self:  They may look like this.

  • Rituals.  My OCD comes can get out of control at times but I have rituals to prevent more rituals from happening.  Make sense.  Don’t worry I’ll explain what rituals keeps me sane later this week.  I need to get back to them.
  • Friends and Family.  So many things happening at once.  Friends and family are keeping me – sort of sane – now.  Sort of is better than insane, right?

What goals are you tackling this week…I might have missed something? Smile

What the Egg?

24/04/2011

What do bunnies and eggs have to do with Easter?  They’re fun to eat.

Other than that not much.  Yet I love these eggs…

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Resurrection Eggs are filled of reminders of Jesus’ journey to bring us salvation.

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“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.  But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”

~ Mark 16:6-7

Happy Resurrection Day!