Monday, March 25, 2013

It's Official, But...

It is now officially Spring, but it is so stinking cold outside! We had a freeze last night and of course I had already planted my tomatoes, peppers, tomatillo, basil, etc. I think they are ok and it is warming up. I just want to be outside, digging, pulling weeds and planting flowers. I'm craving color and warmth. I'm ready to run and want to be outside. Spring weather, where are you?

The redbud is blooming.
 Spring 2013

And so is the Plum tree. Spring 2013

The poppies and larkspur are growing like weeds. Spring 2013 Spring 2013 Spring 2013

And the veggies are all in the ground. Spring 2013

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Enjoying the Season

It is my favorite time of year in Texas. Spring and Fall are probably equal in my book, and Fall has my birthday and mine and Frank's anniversary. However, Spring has flowers, and lovely weather and working in the yard as much as possible. I love both, but right now I'm just living in the moment, enjoying the season. Frank and Lucy went with me on my hill walk on Sunday. I've always wanted to take a picture of this hill because it is so steep. I guess you can't really tell here, except that the road disappears. It is a great workout. Spring 2013 Spring 2013

 I found some treasures on our walk.
A plum branch.
 Spring 2013

Mockingbird feathers.
 Spring 2013 Spring 2013 Spring 2013

If you need me, I'm probably out in the back yard admiring my seedlings. Poppies, spinach, kale, nasturtiums, larkspur, and lettuce are already growing. I just brought home sunflower, zinnia, hollyhock, cucumber, and basil seeds and tomato, tomatillo, eggplant and pepper plants. What fun!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Belated Belated

This is a super belated sharing of Gretchen's super belated Birthday gift. I started this project after her birthday, which is six days after mine in November. I don't think I got it in the mail to her until early February. I hand dyed some ombre yarn, which was a cool technique to learn. I knit it in endless stockinette and I'm a slow knitter anyways. It is just a big triangular scarf. I like the way it turned out. Gretchen's belated birthday gifts

I love the stippling effect that the dye created. Gretchen's belated birthday gifts

I intended this doo-dad to be a brooch but I thought it came out too big, so it is just a thing-a-ma-bob to look at. I embroidered on felt and stuffed it with polyfil. Gretchen's belated birthday gifts

I always enjoy making things for friends, sometimes I'm just a little late doing so.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Attempting to Eat Clean

Feeding us is a constant struggle that I have talked about before. I don't want to grocery shop when I get off work (I work at a grocery store) and I don't want to shop at my work on my days off. I have been doing better with keeping food in the fridge and recently threw together some random ingredients that turned into a delicious meal. I baked a sweet potato and used half for my lunch. I topped the sweet potato with chopped kale and spinach, which I did microwave for about one minute to soften, though that may not be necessary. I added chopped red bell pepper, turkey breast and red scallion. The key ingredient that made it taste great was hummus on top. Yum! Clean eating

The spinach and red scallion were from our garden, which is just getting going. I love checking on the progress of my seedlings each morning. Early harvest

I have so much to learn about eating healthfully, the wide world of nutrition seems very daunting. I know what foods are good and bad but there is always so much to learn.  My theory is to add more of the good instead of trying to totally cut out the bad. My downfall is snacking, I always crave something sweet in the afternoon with coffee and something salty late at night. I usually give in and my choices aren't the healthiest. I have to learn how to get Frank a healthy breakfast and a lunch to take with him to work. Dinners are no problem for me as long as I'm not closing at work, which is usually only once per week. When Frank first got diagnosed with High Blood Pressure last Fall I asked my facebook friends for recommendations and resources for whole foods, clean eating, nutrition info, etc. I got a great list of blogs and websites that I have only started to delve into. I thought I would share them here, feel free to add more in the comments if you have any that you frequent. Pinterest has also been a great source for recipes and I started a new board for Healthy Options. One of my goals is to get our blender fixed and start making smoothies for breakfast. I love that they can be packed with so many nutrients.

Here are the websites that were shared with me:
http://www.thegraciouspantry.com/ 
http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/ 
http://www.greenplaterule.com/ 
http://nourishedkitchen.com/ 
http://thestonesoup.com/blog/

Two others that I was already frequenting:
http://www.sproutedkitchen.com/
http://mynewroots.org/site/

Monday, March 11, 2013

Birthday Season

My Sister in law's birthday was Saturday. I made a cake, the same one I made her last year and we took her some roses.
 Birthday Cake for Natalie Birthday Roses for Natalie

This is the season of Birthday's amongst our friends and family. Robin, Natalie, Alley, Dad, Frank and then Mom all within a three month time span. I flex my cake baking muscles a lot in the Spring. My Maternal Grandparent's birthdays were Friday and today and I miss them all the time. I posted these old family pictures last year and it makes me so happy to see them. If they were still around I would bake them a cake, putter around the garden with Pawpaw and do some sewing with Granny. I mentioned recently that I have been trying to root succulents. That was Pawpaw's specialty! Everytime I check on their progress I smile and think of him. Sewing for Karlie, makes me think of Granny because she made things for every child in her life. I am making K an Easter dress. Last night I talked to her on the phone and the first thing she said was "Hi Aya, how is my Easter dress coming along?". This girl is 3 1/2 and is getting so big.

Rooting succulents Karlie's Easter dress in progress Begging

I have an odd workday today and don't go in til 4:30. I'm trying to talk myself into bundling up and going for a jog. My foot has been giving me a little pain so if I do I will take it easy. I am thinking of not running the Capitol 10K since I kind of just want to relax in Austin and enjoy a weekend off. I'm still undecided though.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Crack Pie for Robin

Robin wanted Pie for her birthday instead of cake. I used that opportunity to try a new recipe, "Crack Pie" from Momofuku Milk Bar. I still don't have the cookbook but have already made the Blueberry and Cream Cookies multiple times and they are a favorite. The Crack Pie recipe makes enough for two pies but I made it in one big casserole dish. Like the Blueberry cookies, this recipe calls for unusual ingredients and multiple steps. Also like that recipe, this one is worth the trouble! Crack Pie for Robin's birthday Crack Pie for Robin's birthday

It wasn't a very pretty dessert, but it sure was yummy. It tasted like a caramel pie. Crack Pie for Robin's birthday

The odd ingredient here was Freeze dried corn powder. After doing some research I figured out that you can make your own by grinding Freeze dried corn, easy peasy. Crack Pie for Robin's birthday Crack Pie for Robin's birthday

The additional step is first making An Oat Cookie Crumb. You mix and bake it in one big cookie and then crumble that. The crumbles get mixed into the cookie crust. I felt like the crust sort of melded into the pie, and I'm not sure if that is how it is supposed to be. Either way it was delicious. Crack Pie for Robin's birthday

I found the recipe over at Scarletta Bakes.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

R for Robin

Goodness, going through my photos and organizing them makes me realize I haven't been a very good or consistent blogger lately. I have so much to share, but work and everything else tend to get in the way. I'll start with the most recent thing that I want to share with you.

Our good friend Robin had a birthday last week and we came up with such a personal and lovely gift. We know her pretty well and knew she would love this, and she does. I saw this idea on Pinterest, so I can't take full credit. Robin told me that she wanted a cool succulent planter like we gave her last year. When we got to Lowes they had a ton of varieties of succulents and I was literally jumping up and down with excitement!
 Sneak peek

We found the perfect hollow metal R at Hobby Lobby.
 Working on Robin's gift

See, I still do metal work. We had to get the top off so that we could plant the succulents in the R. Working on Robin's gift Working on Robin's gift

It took a little while but we got it done and spray painted the R orange. Robins birthday gift

Here it is all planted up with the succulents. Isn't that clever?! I want an A for my backyard. Robins birthday gift

We had so much fun with this project, Frank and I really enjoyed the process and it came out great. I love it when things work out.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

So I did it!

I ran the 10K last Saturday. It was awesome! I was cold but did start to warm up about half way through, shedding layers little by little. I ran the whole stinking way and was so proud of myself! I finished in 1:04:22 and thought that was great for my first try. I was exhausted after and sore for a couple of days, but oh so proud of myself.

Here is a picture of me after the race. I was hoping to find some pics on the race website, but my bib number was on the back of my jacket, which I took off during the race, so there are no pics to be found.
 Just after my first 10K

 I loved the experience. I had on headphones and took them off at one point to take off my neckwarmer. I was blown away by the sound of everyone's feet hitting the pavement. The other thing that stuck with me is a snapshot in my mind of the race. As we turned East onto the Trinity Trail and the sun was rising in front of us, there was a sea of people running and you could see the breath rising from the crowd. I don't think that image will ever leave my mind. Such a cool memory! I'm planning on running the Capitol 10K in Austin next month. It is the day after my dad's birthday and I got that weekend off.

 I have lots of crafty things to share like baking, cooking, sewing, knitting and gardening. I hope to get around to that soon. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
xoxo
Ashley