- 2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into thirds (I bought the frozen bag of green beans that were already cut, super easy!)
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 to 4 small ribs celery with leafy tops, chopped
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
- Salt and pepper
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 2 cups water
- 1 28-ounce can tomato purée (Crushed works great too)
- 1 cup mini penne rigate or mini rigatoni, such as Barilla brand
- 1/2 basil leaves, torn
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 loaf crusty or stale bread
- 1 3-ounce jar pine nuts or 1/3 cup
- 1/4 grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more to pass at table
- Preheat oven to 325˚F.
- Heat a soup pot over medium to medium-high heat with EVOO, 2 turns of the pan. Add onions, garlic, green beans, carrots, celery, bay leaf, garbanzo beans and season liberally with salt and pepper. Cook vegetables 7-8 minutes to soften then add in stock and tomato purée. Bring soup to a boil, add penne and cook 5 minutes. Stir in basil and turn off heat.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a small pot over low. Pulse bread and pine nuts together in a food processor. Turn breadcrumbs out onto a cookie sheet and toss with butter and cheese. Toast in oven 12-15 minutes, until light golden in color.
- Top soup with breadcrumbs and serve.
October 31, 2009
October 30, 2009
October 29, 2009
How far along? 18 weeks/ 5 months
Total weight gain/loss: 8 lbs.
Maternity clothes? Really loving my maternity jeans right now, my closet full of choices is becoming increasingly smaller
Stretch marks? none
Sleep: Sleeping through the night, getting up a few times to use the bathroom
Best moment this week: Finding out the gender
Movement: I think I felt a little movement this morning, not sure but I think that's what it was
Cravings: Weird, but I'm craving soups and potatoes
Labor Signs: none
Belly Button in or out? In
What I miss: Having a closet full of clothes I can wear, I pretty much hate getting dressed in the mornings.
What I am looking forward to: Shopping and planning a nursery now!
Weekly Wisdom: None
Milestones: Finding out the gender this week!
October 26, 2009
October 25, 2009
October 23, 2009
How far along? 17 weeks/ 4 months
Total weight gain/loss: 8 lbs. to date
Maternity clothes? Still not wearing maternity clothes.
Stretch marks? none
Sleep: Sleeping ok, but still getting up to use the bathroom.
Best moment this week: buying the crib and changing table.
Cravings: Potatoes in pretty much any form.
Labor Signs: none
Belly Button in or out? in
What I miss: Coffee
What I am looking forward to: Finding out the gender next week!
Weekly Wisdom: I had a great convo this week with my friend Jessie, thanks Jess for your encouragement!
Milestones: Buying my first pair of maternity pants this week! Who knew elastic waist bands could be so comfortable!
October 22, 2009
October 21, 2009
4. Switch one appliance to an energy efficient model (look for the "energy start" label). 5. Stop using disposable bags - order some reusable bags, or make your own. [I got a ton of these for free at a local fair]
6. Buy a reusable water bottle, and stop buying plastic disposable bottles.
7. Wash laundry in cold water instead of hot.
8. Turn off lights when you leave the room.
9. Don’t turn on lights at all for as long as you can - open your curtains and enjoy natural light.
10. Drive the speed limit, and combine all your errands for the week in one trip. 11. Better yet, walk or ride a bike to your errands that are two miles or closer. 12. Support your local economy and shop at your farmer's market.
13. Turn off your computer completely at night. [saves energy & your computer life] 14. Research whether you can sign up for green power from your utility company. 15. Pay as many bills as possible online. [saves stamps and money]
16. Put a stop to unsolicited mail - sign up to opt out of pre-screened credit card offers.
17. Reuse scrap paper. Print on two sides, or let your kids color on the back side of used paper.
18. Conduct a quick energy audit of your home. 19. Subscribe to good eco blogs.
20. Before buying anything new, first check your local Craigslist or Freecycle.
21. Support local restaurants that use food derived less than 100 miles away, and learn more about the benefits of eating locally.
25. Watch The Story of Stuff with your kids, and talk about the impact your household trash has on our landfills.
26. Learn with your kids about another country or culture, expanding your knowledge to other sides of the world.
28. Lower the temperature on your hot water heater. 29. Unplug unused chargers and appliances.
30. Repurpose something. 31. Collect rainwater, and use it to water your houseplants and garden.
32. Switch to cloth diapers - or at least do a combination with disposables.
34. Use a Diva Cup your monthly cycles.
35. Make rags out of old towels and t-shirts, and forego buying paper towels.
36. Use cloth napkins daily instead of paper.
37. Read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and open your eyes to the way conventional food is processed.
38. Repurpose glass jars as leftover containers and bulk storage. 39. Five-minute showers - make it a goal for yourself.
40. Donate to - and shop at - thrift stores such as Goodwill. You’ll be recycling perfectly usable items, and you’ll be supporting your local economy. 41. Bring your own reusable coffee travel cups to the coffee shop.
42. Reuse paper products (like toilet paper rolls) for arts and crafts. 43. Use Bio Bags for your pet’s you know what. [our HOA provides these so it's easy] 44. Use covers or upside down plates when storing food in the fridge instead of plastic wrap.
45. Reuse the plastic containers food comes in (like yogurt) to store your own leftovers. 46. Keep your heat as low as possible [hello, you have blankets right?]
47. Open a window before turning on the AC.
48. Don’t throw away anything before offering on FreeCycle.
49. Use half a dryer sheet. 50. Use reusable containers instead of baggies in lunch boxes. [hubby does this well]
51. Buy bulk. 52. Garden 53. See trash? Pick it up!
55. Make cloth sandwich bags.
56. Eat more vegetarian meals.
57. Can your own fruits and veggies.
59. Bring your own silverware to work. 60. Use a reusable lunch box.
61. Ditch plastic freezer bags and go with reusable containers. 62. Turn off the water when brushing your teeth.
63. Buy concentrated laundry detergent.
64. Go with a tankless hot water heater. 65. Eat out less. [this is easy for us, since we hardly eat out at all]
66. Use used coffee grounds as fertilizer
67. Place a brick in your toilet take to use less water 68. Never run your dishwasher if it’s not full.
69. Have cats? Try green kitty litter. [we don't have cats.] 70. Bring your own tupperware for leftovers at a restaurant.
71. Freeze leftovers.
72. Use yogurt and pudding cups for crafts or seedlings. 73. Air dry your dishes or turn off the heat cycle on your dishwasher
74. Recharge your batteries
75. Dispose of unrechargeable batteries with other hazardous waste
76. Cover your pots when cooking
77. Use pressure cookers and steamers 78. Take a shower instead of a bath 79. Use a low flow showerhead
80. Buy smart - a 1.5 liter bottle requires less energy to produce than three 0.5 liter bottles 81. Buy recycled paper products 82. Plant a tree
83. Plant scrubs around your home to help keep your house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter
84. Buy a programmable thermostat
86. Stop food waste
87. Ditch the carpet for natural hardwood (sustainably harvested of course) or a natural carpet, like wool
88. When painting choose low or no VOC paints and make sure the dyes used in the paint are VOC free
89. Unplug your appliances when not in use
90. Buy recyclable plastic only
91. Fill up your fridge and freezer - use bottles of water to fill up space if needed
92. Instead of drive through, park and go inside to save running the car while ordering
93. Insulate water pipes
94. Insulate your water heater
95. Insulate your roof space 96. Use cold water instead of hot to wash hands etc
97. Buy recycled glass
October 20, 2009
October 19, 2009
Just a few cards from people sending their love! Thank you so much I cherish the words written inside.
October 17, 2009
October 16, 2009
Kait asked: Concerning this post: What temp do you keep your thermostat at?
We keep ours at a constant 70 degrees, we turn on the heat when necessary and keep lots of blankets close to the couch. Mostly for me since I always get cold. Now, that we live in warmer weather we don't use the heat much but keep the same temp. Find out what works best for you and your family concerning this issue and then figure out the best way to cut your electric/heat bills every month.
Alicia Marie asked: Tell me about the magic of this lens! I am intrigued.
This lens does a really great job at focusing on what your shooting and blurring the rest. it gives that really cool blurred effect that you see in photos. it's really great for shooting details like wedding rings, flowers, stuff that's small and you want to get every detail of it. I really love it! check out my photography blog to see some shots.
BMWenz asked: Because you are so honest on here, I was wondering if you do still journal or if this has taken it's place?
Well to be honest yes, I still journal. I keep a journal by my bed and pretty much write every day in it. Sometimes multiple times a day. I love the blog, but there's something for me about the written word that I just can't get out of me. Plus, even though I'm pretty honest on the blog there are some things that are just to private for it. :)
For two years I was the Director of Scholarships & Fundraising for the Miss Twin Cities Organization. The Miss America Organization is very dear to me since I was a titleholder back in college in Iowa. Pageants are not for everyone, but for me they were a way of branching out, learning about myself, and pushing myself to reach goals and dreams. Many of the lessons I've learned today came from being involved in this program. Much of who I am as well was shaped by this experience. So now, as an adult I love giving back to this program and helping other young women achieve their dreams and goals through this avenue.
Alicia Marie asked; Where did you get the wall monogram at in this post?
I love monograms, I think they can make anything look more fancy and expensive than it really is. Plus, I just love how classic they are. This one I got in a store up in Alexandria, MN. But I've bought a few other ones online from UppercaseLiving.com they have a ton of great stuff. Check them out.
October 15, 2009
How far along? 16 weeks/ 4 months
Total weight gain/loss: 8 lbs.
Maternity clothes? Not yet, even though I think I need to break down and buy some pants
Stretch marks? None.
Sleep: Waking up once or twice to use the bathroom.
Best moment this week: Hearing the baby's heartbeat.
Movement: None yet, can't wait for that!
Cravings: Chinese food, I don't know why it just always sounds good.
Gender: Unkown, couple more weeks till we get to find out.
Labor Signs: None
Belly Button in or out? In
What I miss: Coffee, the real stuff and clothes that actually fit like their supposed to.
What I am looking forward to: Finding out the gender in a few weeks.
Weekly Wisdom: Nothing this week.
October 13, 2009
Seven Things I Plan To Do Before I Die:
1. Visit London and see Big Ben
2. Travel to all 50 states
3. Have my photography published in a magazine
4. Write a book
5. Get my Masters Degree
6. Visit Paris and sip coffee in a cafe'
7. Have our home tour featured in 'The Nest' magazine
Seven Things I Can Do:
2. Take photographs
3. Talk a lot!
6. Change a flat tire
7. Edit web pages and HTML!
Seven Things I Cannot Do:
1. Handle the smell of smoke
2. Drive a stick shift car
5. Watch scary movies
6. Be around bugs
7. Ride roller coasters
Seven Things that Attract Me to My Mister:
1. His sense of humor, everyone says this but Orion really is the funniest person I know!
2. He's laid back
3. His compassion for others
4. The way he can carry on a conversation with anyone, anywhere!
5. Obviously, his looks....I won't lie!
6. His singing ability
7. He likes to cuddle
Seven Things I Say Most Often:
1. You Know what I mean?
2. You Know what I'm saying?
7. Love you!
Seven Celebrity Admiration's:
(in no particular order)
1. Reese Witherspoon
2. Nicholas Sparks
3. Rachael Ray
4. Mariska Hargitay
5. Kirsten Haglund
6. Carrie Underwood
7. Giada DeLaurentis
Seven Favorite Foods:
1. Red Jello
2. Chicken Enchiladas
3. Chips & Salsa
4. Chicken Alfredo
5. Red Delicious Apples
6. Grandma Posey's Cheesecake
7. Salmon & Shrimp
Seven People I Think Should Do This:
The first seven people to comment on this post! :-)
October 12, 2009
October 10, 2009
October 8, 2009
I love the look of the peaking out behind the frames and candles on our mantle, I've always wanted a fireplace and now we have a pretty sweet one:
I have a whole sheet left, I think I'm going to use them to decorate some frames and other wall art. Stay tuned.