Tuesday, November 26, 2013

{In my kitchen...}

Chicken Pot Pie & Gluten Free Cornbread

(I don't really worry about measurements when I'm cooking!)
1: herb-roasted rotisserie chicken, meat pulled and torn/chopped into bite-size pieces (will shred more as soup boils)
10-ish: Baby yellow potatoes, roughly chopped to bite-size pieces
2 large handfuls: fresh green beans, snapped 
7-ish: carrots, sliced
water, vegetable broth, & cream of chicken (or mushroom) to add some thickness
garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, sea salt
*David suggested adding some cornstarch next time to help thicken.

Mix all ingredients in dutch oven and place over medium-high heat. Cover and boil about 30 minutes (or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork), stirring occasionally.
Reduce to simmer for a few minutes before serving.

For the cornbread, I used Bob's Red Mill cornbread mix and just followed to recipe. Delish.

{my aura}

So I gave in and took that little "what color is your aura" quiz that's floating around facebook. Here is my result... creepy accurate.


Your Aura is Green!
Personality: Most people associate green with money, which green is one of the least materialistic auras around. Comfort is most important to them and they like to feel as relaxed as possible in any situation. Greens also like to try to make others feel at ease. Greens tend to shy away from aggression and anger, and are usually the peacemaker. The one thing that ticks greens off is when people can’t get along; they wish everyone was kinder to one another. They always have a fresh perspective on things and are very innovative and smart. Greens tend to embrace change and growth, and are always excited about what’s on the horizon. They are very driven, competitive, and even a bit jealous. However, they seek out balance in their lives and usually achieve it. Greens are a natural healer and persuader. They always find it easy to get what they want in life, whether it is material success or just making a difference in other people’s lives. A strong Green individual lives in a world of intangibles where hopes, dreams and emotions are most important. You look at the big picture, are not detail oriented, and like to explore possibilities and alternative ways of doing things. You march to your own drummer and frequently find it difficult to get on the same wavelength as others. This often puts pressure on your relationships. You have a rich vivid imagination and thrive in an atmosphere that encourages the use of your creative abilities and talent. Your intuition is highly developed and you seem to be able to sense what others are feeling. You are practical, down-to-earth person. You are stable and well balanced You are kind, generous and compassionate. You have a great need to love and to be loved and you tend to wear your heart on your sleeve- you are an open book. You have a need to belong. You are at home in any social situation. You have high moral standards and doing the right thing is important to you. You like to be accepted,appreciated and admired for the good you do in the community as well as in your family life. You are a loyal friend and a faithful partner, gentle but not passionate. You are strong-willed and do not like to be told what to do by others. You do like to win arguments and do not concede defeat easily. You are not a risk-taker and not action orientated, rather more of an observer. Detail bores you. You process information quickly and prefer to develop an idea, organize a plan and then delegate the rest to someone else. The ability to put yourself in the shoes of others is one of your true talents.

Love Life: Picky with high standards, it's hard to find your match. You need someone as driven as you are!
Yellow: Greens may be attracted to yellows but KEEP MOVING ON!!
Red: To cruel to even consider greens needs
Pink: Very Quirky but not something greens take an interest into
Orange: You had a crush on an orange for the longest time now its time to move out of the “Friend Zone”
Blue: The perfect mate for a green aura they are very loyal and meet your standards to their highest.  
Purple: Purples never even seen of a green aura before they are way to high maintenance for a green
Perfect Color Love Match: White: Your long lost soul mate is definitely a white!
Friendship Color: Orange,  no matter what they will always stick by your side 

Color Opposite: Your color wheel opposite is Red. Every time you feel grounded, a red person does their best to shake you.
Words that Describe Green: Balanced, Relaxed, Flexible, Compassionate, Philosophical, Humble, Loyal, Inventive and Unique
Purpose of Life: Inspiring Others to Be Great

Saturday, November 23, 2013


{reading. watching. listening.}

My thoughts:
I really liked this one. I'm a sucker for a good indie film. Even though this has a cast full of big names, it still feels like a heartfelt indie to me. Basic synopsis: 2 teens are raised by their lesbian mothers and when Joni is 18, her brother convinces her to track down their sperm donor (father). There are a few rather graphic sex scenes, but other than that, this is a really great film.

My thoughts:
I love Kristen Bell. Her performance in this little film is spot on. As a 29 year old myself, I could totally relate with her feelings of being lost. I cried along with her and Little Jason. Again, graphic sex scenes...

I watched Sex and The City sporadically...
I started this on netflix yesterday, and I am already addicted. I think AnnaSophia Robb is perfection.

I might even go back and actually watch SATC.

Sad about Mark Darcy.
Happy that Bridget is back though.

I didn't expect anything less.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Friday, November 15, 2013

{Because, sometimes...}

You come home from a particularly irritating work week and find that one of your precious pups has pood in the crate that she shares with her sister.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

{reading. watching. listening.}

what I'm reading:

I've actually just finished Austenland. It was more of a suspense than I was expecting...but then, I didn't really read the synopsis. It was a good story, not amazing, but entertaining. As for Miss Dickinson's life and letters, I'm only on chapter 2 or 3, so I'll keep you posted ;)

what I'm watching:

I curled up in bed with my sweet dogs and a hot cup of tea and loved every minute of this. One of my all-time favorite novels. The actual documentary is on netflix and a little over an hour in length. enjoy.

what I'm listening to:

Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
I stopped at the park near home after work and while I watched the ducks and the fountains, I streamed this goodness on iheartradio.

Monday, November 11, 2013

{Because, sometimes...}

You just need to stop and visit with the ducks after work.
(sorry for the quality...I'm still figuring out the new phone.)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

{A little stroll.}

The other day, I spent my lunch hour in a garden. It's the best remedy for the office dulls. I wish you could hear the squirrels chatter as they scurried all around.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

{About time. A review.}

Yesterday was payday, which means that last night was date night. We grabbed some burgers at 5 Guys and then strolled through the Square to the theater. There was a very light sprinkle and the air was almost crisp. There weren't too many obnoxious teens roaming around, which is always a plus. Anyhoo, about this movie...
Oh my gosh.
It is absolutely perfect.
It stars Rachel McAdams (always adorable.) & Domhnall Gleeson... aka "Bill Weasley". Love them both.
I don't want to give anything away but this story is beautiful. It will make you laugh out loud while simultaneously breaking your heart and then piecing it together again.
The writing, the soundtrack, the performances, the setting... I adore it all.
We even ended up sitting next to Nicole and her hubby who were also out on date night!

Enjoy this little preview and then go see it.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

{The Life and Letters of Emily Dickinson}

One of my "most happy places" is a bookstore. I'm not picky...I love them all. Barnes & Noble, Half Price, tiny shops tucked away, libraries (I know-not technically a store)... I try to visit one of them at least once a week, sometimes more. Sadly, I don't always get to.
A week will go by, or two or even three and I will find myself physically missing the smell of the books. I'll get an itch, and it will have to be scratched.
This happened yesterday. After work, I drove to my local HPB, found the very first spot open and waiting for me, hopped out of the car with a smile on my face and went inside. Instead of going to the right side of the store per usual, I switched it up and went left.
I don't think I will ever start on the right again.
I found treasure. Treasure that's probably been there forever, but because I'm usually preoccupied and looking for a specific book (on cooking or crafts or other stuff that I think I *might* need, but in reality gets flipped through once or twice and then tossed aside), I've missed it completely.
The treasures I found were old and faded and leather bound and delicious.
I gently ran my finger across the spines. Inhaled the smells of the bindings and the papers and...the past.
That's when I saw it. The Life and Letters of Emily Dickinson. A 4th "impression" (edition) from the 1920s. Now, I'm no poet addict or anything, although I do enjoy the classics, but I've always had a soft spot for Ms. Dickinson. I remember when I was 11 or 12 and an English teacher was giving away some of her books before she became a stay-at-home-mom. I grabbed a copy of Anne Frank's Diary and a small, soft pink copy of Emily's poems. I read them both, cover to cover, and then I lovingly placed them on my shelf...to be read again many times. I still have The Diary.
It's a funny thing, priority.
You see, when I was young, I adored my books. They were my prized possessions. The only immaculate spot in my disaster of a bedroom. Just ask my parents. They will confirm this.
These days, the bookshelf is more of a dumping ground. There's books, junk mail, papers...dog hair and dust.
When I'm finished with this lovely story, I vow to place it gently on my bookshelf and cherish it until the day comes that it should be shared with someone else.
And I promise to only buy books that lift my soul.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


{gratitude in November}

day1. for my husband. there really aren't words for what he means to me.
day2. for the ability to do housework.
day3. for my Lord's unfailing grace.
day4. for clear(er) visions of my life's purpose.
day5. for soggy autumn weather. and cozy fires. and homemade soup.
day6. for used-book stores and the treasures they hold.
day7. for warm pjs and dogs that love snuggles.

day8. for a wedding song that is more true today than it was 7 1/2 years ago.

day9. for chilly breezes through open windows, making a sweater and slippers feel just right.

day10. for sleep...and a lazy day full of it.

day11. for a husband that is dedicated to his school work, even when it makes no sense.
day12. for venti sized starbucks treats and the warmth they provide when the temp drops.

day13. for waking up warm and cozy when it's below freezing outside. thank you husband and dogs for the snuggles.

day14. for my work commute. It lets me see both the sunrise and the sunset (almost daily).

day15. for a glass of wine after a long day.

day16. for an afternoon spent with the bestie and her baby boy (aka sister-n-law and nephew).

day17. for another quiet day at home.

day18. for realizing "debt free" is just around the corner!

day19. for a delicious dinner waiting when I got home.

day20. for coworkers that will walk to 7-11 ("next door") to get me stuff.

day21. for being able to come home when I don't feel well.

day22. for a pot of chili and warm blankets and crackling fire and knowing how blessed we are.

day23. for an easy work-morning.

day24. for "2nd" families and early Thanksgiving dinners.

day25. for a winter storm that didn't hit.

day26. for wee little Christmas trees. sometimes less really is more.

day27. for work luncheons. and jobs that encourage celebration...and prayer before meals.

day28. for a day of thanksgiving.

day29. for the official start of Christmastime.

day30. for the common cold...making it okay to spend the day watching netflix between nyquil naps.

...farewell November, you've been lovely.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

{soul searching...}

Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light... Psalm 37:4-6

Holy epiphany, Batman!
I'm sure that I've written before of my desire to know God's plan for me...and if you've read that post or heard me wonder aloud about it in real life, disregard everything I have said up until this moment. You see, I was on the right track, but I was oh so wrong. It's not about what I feel I've been denied.
You know how when you are a child and someone asks you what you want to be when you grow up? The answers always seemed to change from week to week, right? Mine didn't. I mean yeah the first answer that I can remember giving was "marine biologist" even before I really knew what that was... Hello, have you seen Free Willy? Have you watched fish swim around aquariums, dazed by their awesomness? I also remember saying "singer" (I went on to sing in choirs for my entire school-life), "teacher" (I went on to spend 6 years teaching at a preschool), "housewife" (I got married in 2006). It's that last one that truly got me excited. It seemed to light a fire deep in my gut. To have a family, and spend my days caring for them and loving them and puttering around my home....that would be bliss. Maybe it's because I never knew my biological father and we moved around a lot and then getting thrown into a mixed family with step-people... my heart yearned for the day when I would be in charge. Even as a child.
I've always been one for simple pleasures. Give me a comfy chair with a good book, a quiet stroll through the park on a sunny day, a pretty skirt or dress that makes me feel like a lady...a marriage full of love and laughter. A child to call me "mom".
Yet, somewhere along the way, I lost all that. I stopped paying attention to what makes my heart overflow with bliss and what kindles that little flame deep inside my gut. I've gotten lost in the grind of work and bills and trying to keep up with the Joneses. (And by Joneses I mean all of my facebook friends filling my wall with photos and cute quips of their adorable little ones.)
And then I started what I call The Proper Lady Project. And, I've started to find myself again.
I'm seeing our modest little house in a whole new light. I'm actually enjoying (and feeling a little excited!) doing the housework that I have been known to let pile up. I'm finally feeling comfortable in my skin when I'm dressed more ladylike and feminine (hello skirts and shoes and accessories!) I'm looking at my husband with a whole new love.You can call me old-fashioned, and maybe even boring or weird... and that's okay, it's a compliment really.
So what if I don't hear a little voice calling me "mom", that'll will happen one day, or maybe it won't...and I truly believe I'll be okay with that. It doesn't mean that I can't take care of myself and my husband and our home with the same dedication and effort that I would give if there were a child involved. It doesn't mean that I have to let work and bills and the Joneses determine what truly makes my light shine.
God has repeatedly shown me the desires of my heart, and I am not going to let Him down again.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

{Goodbye, October...}

Wow. I still can't wrap my brain around the fact that it is November 2nd. October was a beautiful month for us Martins. Family time, new babies, old friends...so many blessings. Here is a photographic recap:

...finally, Autumn!
...shelter from the rain.
....awesome kids and fun games.
...king-size headboard + mid-size SUV = hilarious.
...well, hello there.
...eldest niece (17 years), youngest nephew (6 months).
...dear friends. mothers. daughters. sisters.
...my momma and our oma.
...little Eli. 1 week old.
...brand new niece. 
...dinner for brother and bestie.
...dinner for little Eli's parents.

...thank you, October, for being so lovely.