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Showing posts from January, 2011

January Meals

Sometime during the first part of the month, I decided to start photographing the meals I made. I try to cook about 5 nights a week and photographing my meals has been great motivation.
I  have been debating if I wanted to include lots of recipes on my blog... for now I have decided to just post a weekly recap with links to recipes. To kick it off, here are the meals I made {and photographed} during the month of January. They are all pretty healthy with lots of veggies. 
Bon apetit.
Turkey, Vegetable & Orzo Soup
Recipe via
Tomato & Orzo Soup
Recipe via
Chipotle Turkey Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries
Pan-Seared Steak, Mushrooms, Baked Potato and Sauteed Asparagus
Southwestern Omelet with Chipotle Salsa
Maple Mustard Pork Chops with Maple Glazed Butternut Squash and Steamed Green Beans
Salmon with Red Peppers and Sugar Snap Peas
Recipe via
Barbecue Chicken Breast with Asparagus and a Salad
Chipotle Angus Burger with Homemade Fries
Roasted Vegetable Minestrone
Recipe via The Pioneer Woman
Beef B…

McDonald's Bottled Water

It seems that more and more fast food places are either charging a small amount {$0.25 or less} for water in a paper cup or they are doing away with tap water altogether, leaving you to purchase a $1+ bottle of water OR one of their less healthy offerings.
This morning, I went to McDonald's and was surprised to find that a bottle of water was my only option if I wanted water. In this particular case I was actually going to get a cup of water for my dog {we were going on a walk and I wanted to have water available for her after the walk}.
When I discovered they no longer offered water in a cup, I declined to pay for a bottle, but proceeded with my breakfast purchase. I am slightly appalled at this for a couple of reasons: water is a fairly cheap resource and up until recent years it has been a free alternative to buying a sugar-loaded, caffeine-enhanced soft drink. Now you have to pay for the privilege of a bottle of water. In addition, bottled water is not really sustainable and in…

Greeting Cards: I Love You More

Back when Daniel and I were living in two different states, I started a series of 5x7 cards that I would sneak into his luggage when he left for the week.
Unfortunately I wasn't able to keep it up the entire time {read: I got lazy, or busy, or both}. Anyways, the cards I did make, Daniel kept and they are now a sweet reminder that we made it through a difficult time together.
I have been thinking about these cards lately and decided to finish the series. This will help me to mark #58 off of my life list and it will be a great creative outlet for me while I have extra time on my hands {read: only occasional freelance projects and the unlikely chance of a full-time design job in rural Alabama}.
So, I have decided to share one design each month throughout this year. To kick of the series is the very first card I made for Daniel.
For us, the pun "I Love You More" has special meaning since our last name is Moore. In addition, I am addicted to blogs and coffee, but Daniel …

Imprint Comfort Mat: A Review

I cook at least five meals every week. This has me in the kitchen for a minimum of 30 minutes per meal {sometimes closer to an hour or more}. I have been doing this for 8+years.
Anyways, several years ago, I noticed that I started getting pretty bad pain in my feet and my back while cooking. I tried wearing different shoes. I tried standing on a cheap, kind-of-thick mat {from Walmart}. I blamed my pain on the fact that we had tile floors and lamented that I really couldn't cook sans shoes. And the pain continued for years.
A few months ago, Daniel suggested that we look into getting a mat that would be more supportive for me. I think that his original idea was an anti-fatigue mat that he had seen for garages. Let me tell you, I did NOT want an ugly garage mat in my kitchen, so I wrote the idea off. 
Then he showed me some mats from IMPRINT that were kitchen worthy, but I still wasn't sold on the idea. But on Cyber Monday of last year, an old colleague who works for IMPRINT, faceb…

Bed Inspiration

Daniel and I have been thinking about getting a new {king-size} bed for our master bedroom. Our bedroom is large and a king-size bed would fit the space better. We love our current bed, but the occasional time we let Sophie get in bed with us, it is waaaaayyyyy too crowded. In addition we currently have a futon in one of our guest bedrooms, so it won't hurt to move our queen-size bed upstairs.
We are in the window-shopping phase, but hopefully we can find something we can both agree on. I really want an upholstered bed – it is perfect for reading in bed. This is a feature that I love in our current bed. I also want to have a foot board because when we lived in the camper we didn't have a foot board and all of our blankets always ended up in the floor.
So here are a few options I like... 
This is very similar to our current queen-size bed.

I really like the shape and color of this one, but it doesn't have a foot board.
Again, no foot board.
Why don't they make more beds with …

It's for the dogs...

A couple of days ago, Daniel noticed several of the dogs on our street congregating around something in the back of our neighbor's yard. He got out his spotting scope and saw what he thought to be half of the carcass of a deer.... not sure where the top half was. Let's just say that the dogs {and cats} have been having a little party over this deer. Thankfully Sophie has been too intimidated by the other dogs to venture near said carcass.
Today she must have mustered up some courage because I looked out the window to see her over where the thing was {luckily most of it is gone at this point}. Then she came back to the porch with a 4-inch bone in her mouth, wanting to be let in.
Of course, I had no desire for a bloody bone to be in the house so I wouldn't let her come inside. She pouted and decided to go lay in the yard to gnaw on it for a little while. I eventually let her back in, but it took some coaxing to get her to drop the thing.
I have heard that Beagles are known to …

52 Books: Book 6

Infidel is the autobiography of Ayaan Hirsi Ali. It tells her story of growing up in Somalia, Saudi Arabia and Kenya in a very strict Muslim household, the daughter of a Somali revolutionary. She survives female mutilation, regular abuse and civil war before finally escaping an arranged marriage and taking refuge in Holland. 
Ali struggles with her feelings of honor for her family and the conflicting desire to be her own person. In Holland she is exposed to new ideas and a modern society. She is able to gain her citizenship which leads her to study at a University, eventually becoming a member of Parliament fighting for women's rights.
Ali has many threats on her life as she openly speaks out against Islam. In a political move, the Dutch government takes away her citizenship based on a lie she made about her name. In the end, the name is proven to be a variation of her real name and she is reinstated as a citizen. She ends up in the United States where she currently works.
I found t…

Date Night: Geno's and a 3D Movie

Friday night was date night for us. Daniel and I had dinner at Geno's Pizza and Grill and then went to see The Green Hornet at our local movie theater. Normally we don't like to pay full price at the movies, but since there is so little to do in our town, we decided that going to the movies occasionally is a cheaper alternative than always driving to the city to do something.
This was my first time at Geno's and I was pleasantly surprised. Their drinks are served in 32 oz styrofoam cups {much more than I needed, but I didn't have to worry about running out of Dr. Pepper}. We had the equivalent of their supreme pizza. It was thin crust and tasted great. We will definitely add this to our list of regular places to eat in Scottsboro {there are like 4 places on our list}.
The movie was pretty good. At first we were surprised to be the only people watching The Green Hornet, but right before it started a bunch of teenage boys walked in. They were a bit obnoxious but soon they …

Weekend Getaway: Knight's On Main

On the final day of our trip, we opted to sleep in. We briefly considered trying to go tubing, but in the end we decided that we could do it another time and that relaxing is just as important as having fun.
So is breakfast.
Daniel and I really enjoy going out for breakfast {maybe I like it more than him, but he appeases me}. Going out for breakfast was actually his idea.
We went to Knight's on Main. I thoroughly enjoyed a steaming cup of hot coffee {actually I drank an entire pot} and I had eggs over-easy with country ham and potatoes. Yum. Daniel had pancakes and country ham {we should have just split the ham}. It was all delicious – though a bit expensive for breakfast food... maybe that is because we were in the mountains and everything is a luxury?

I would definitely recommend Knight's on Main. If it is cold outside, try to get a table that is not right by the door.

Weekend Getaway: Bistro Roca

After two days of activities, Daniel and I were pretty tired. We decided to search for the best place to eat locally. It turned out that we had actually eaten at several of the tops picks for the area, but we finally settled on Bistro Roca in Blowing Rock.
I quickly jotted down the address and stuck it in our GPS. We had a 6:30 reservation and 30 minutes to drive. We should have had plenty of time.
Our first problem was that we took a back route from our cabin that included a jaunt on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This was fine until the BRP closed 1.5 miles before we needed to get off of it. So we took the exit at hand and the GPS recalculated.
We made our way to Blowing Rock, but soon we were in a neighborhood with no restaurant in sight. Daniel had me call the restaurant to get specific directions to their location. I called and they told me that we should turn onto Laurel {which intersected with Main}. The only problem was I thought the guy said "Wallow" and I asked him twice to …

52 Books: Book 5

I just finished Away by Jane Urquhart. It is a novel that is set in Ireland and Canada. It was a type of story that I wanted to like, but could never get into it. I found myself having to reread entire sections because I couldn't stay focused. The history and politics throughout the book could have been made into a more interesting story, but unfortunately it never captivated me.
Excerpts from the book:  Winter became a season of waiting, almost a hibernation, the odd neighbor breaking into the trance of the cabin...
We collected folklore. He thought he loved legends – but you can't love something you don't believe in and he never believed a word of it.
"I think the English took the land from the Indians same as they took it from the Irish. Then they just starve everybody out, or they evict them, or both."
"All stories.. have sorrows." She sensed her own story unfolding without her as she cooked or slept or built fires, trapped by winter in a house from whic…

Weekend Getaway: Grandfather Mountain

Daniel and I lived in North Carolina for 6 years and never made it to Grandfather Mountain. We did try to go one time, but because we are frugal, we opted to pay a $5 parking fee to park at the base of the mountain and hike up. It was 4 miles of switchbacks in the woods with no view. After an hour of hiking, we threw in the towel. Sometimes it is OK to quit when you recognize that you aren't having fun.

Anyways, that was years ago. This past weekend we went up to stay in Blowing Rock for the weekend. We learned how to snowboard and then we looked into the possibility of cross country skiing for day #2. We really thought it would be fun to go ski at the Moses Cone Memorial Park where there are 25 miles of carriage trails to play on.

We found an outfitter that rented skis, but when we called it was too late in the day and they were out of rental equipment. Cue disappointment.

Instead of cross country skiing, we decided to do the next best thing: go to Grandfather Mountain and take Sop…

Weekend Getaway: Snowboarding at Sugar

My husband is an engineer. And as you might guess, this makes him very practical and a bit of a planner. As in, there are not many things that he can do without sitting down and making an excel spreadsheet first. However, he does have a spontaneous side. When it comes to planning trips, he will do his research ahead of time and figure out basically what we will do, but the actual committing to a trip can come at the drop of a hat.

Case-in-point: We were considering taking a winter trip to the mountains. MLK weekend seemed like a good time. And with the recent snow precipitation, it seemed perfect. So last Thursday afternoon, Daniel started calling cabins to see if we could get a rental for the long weekend. We were both a bit doubtful that anything would come up as it was a holiday weekend, it had just snowed 8+inches AND we were looking for a rental for the next day.

Surprisingly enough Daniel found a place. And as a bonus, he managed to get us one night for free. This is how we roll. …