Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Be Alive

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." ~Howard Thurman

This quote used to confuse me. I used to think we should ask what the world needs first. Now, I think we should ask what gift God gave us to give the world. That's the gift that will make us come alive and it's what the world needs.

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Chinese New Year

It was technically last week, but my family celebrated tonight at a Chinese restaurant. Before the feast began, my uncle dedicated the first pot stickers to my grandma (because they were always her favorite).

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Victorian Housewife

Because I need help in the realm of all things domestic, "Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management" looks rather enchanting. It was originally published in 1861 and sold 60,000 copies the first year. The author wasn't even 25 years old (she died at 28), and her book is still in print more than 150 years later.

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

New Favorites

I tried two new recipes today, and I loved them both. The salad is adapted from one I ate at the Purple Onion earlier this week. I discovered the mushroom sage sauce here. 

Spinach, Pea & Pesto Salad

  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 1 1/2 cups peas
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan
  • Pesto (a few spoonfuls)
This salad is so easy! Nothing needs to be chopped. Defrost frozen peas with warm tap water. Mix all ingredients and dress with the pesto. Different and delicious. 

Mushroom Sage Cream Sauce
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots (I used about a cup)
  • 8-10 ounces mushrooms, cremini or shitake, thickly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream (light cream may curdle, so use heavy cream)
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh sage (again, I used more)
From Simply Recipes: Melt butter in a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Add shallots and sauté for one minute. Add mushrooms and sage and sauté for 5-10 more minutes, until the mushrooms have browned. If you are using unsalted butter, sprinkle on a pinch of salt. Add vermouth and deglaze the pan, scraping up any bits that may be sticking to the bottom of the pan. Stir in the cream. Bring to a boil and cook the sauce down until it is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (about 10 minutes). Garnish with parsley.

Bon Appetit!

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Goodnight, Week

It's time for you to be put to bed.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Junk Room

I've conquered the junk room. Now, I need to conquer the junk that was displaced to all the other rooms.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Kind of Renovation

Sometimes things have to be taken apart just to be put back together.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

3 a.m. to 5 a.m.

Dear Brain,

Unless it is Black Friday, we do not want to be awake during these hours. Your cooperation would be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards,
The Rest of Your Body

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Miracle Seeking

To the Unknown & Unnamed Saints
of Homemaking, Housecleaning and Organization,
Please pray for me.
Amen.

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Thank You, Niners

I only know a few things about football. I listed them all to John today. It didn't take long.
Despite this, the 49ers have always been my team (because they've always been my dad's team).
My favorite thing about this season was the reminder of how important it is to have the right coach. That's one of those lessons that applies both on and off the field.

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mutual Admiration

You know how parents like to brag about their kids. Kids like to brag about their parents, too. Usually when they are not listening.

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Clean Eats

I know I'm eating more organic. I found dirt in my fridge.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sick, Again

Dear 2012,
I'm determined to love you. But this is the third time in less than three weeks that I've been sick. The insanity must stop. Health is one of my resolutions, for crying out loud.
xoxo!
Christina

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Toxic Chemicals

Umm, so I need a plastic bubble. One big enough for me and everyone I love. Wait, not plastic. Plastic is bad. Glass. We need a glass bubble. Something nice and cozy and safe from our current air, water, food and cosmetic supply.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Green Smoothie Recipes

I don't yet have a juicer, but I've been putting my blender to good work.

Basic Green Smoothie:
1 cup water
1 cup spinach or kale
1 cup frozen berries
1 banana
Ice, if desired

Slightly Greener Green Smoothie:
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups spinach or kale
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 cup frozen berries
1 banana
1 tablespoon almond meal
1 tablespoon chia seeds
Ice, if desired

For a tart taste, add lemon juice.

PS: John says for a sweeter taste, add sugar. But you don't want to do that.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Honoring King

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." ~Martin Luther King, Jr. 

"Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness." ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
"I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear." ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Closets ...

... are like clown cars. Small and packed with scary stuff.

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Transformation

I wonder if the caterpillar (while busy making its cocoon) ever thinks, "This is never going to work."

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Bumper Sticker Wisdom

Love > Fear

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Forward Motion

The trick to moving forward is ... to keep trying.
(I had to think about that one.)

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sleep 2.0

My body requires sleep. I would like to upgrade to a version that doesn't.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Seeking

Sometimes people surprise me.
Tonight at a committee meeting (the church kind that begin with Gospel reflections), the question was, "If Jesus were to ask you what you are looking for, what would your answer be?"
My mind was a blank. The word peace popped in my head, but so did the word answers.
The woman next to me said, "Forgiveness and salvation."
The woman next to her replied, "Wholeness and holiness."
If they weren't so utterly sincere, their smarty-pants responses might have been annoying.
But they weren't. They were beautiful and honest and a reminder of what this life is about.

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Monday, January 9, 2012

Juiced

I'm pretty sure I was the last person on earth to watch, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. But I'm so glad I did. Now I feel like eating kale and buying a juicer.

PS: Which juicer should I buy?

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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Monday Blues

I don't think it's fair to have two 3-day weekends in a row and not make it a weekly tradition.

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sliding Doors

The 1998 Gwyneth Paltrow movie was referenced three times this week. Random, right?

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Friday, January 6, 2012

The Last Feast of Christmas

Today we celebrated La Befana.

You remember. She was the old lady who turned down the wise men's invitation to follow the star to the Christ Child. She wanted to clean her house instead. But she regretted her choice. She left her home in search of the wise men and the Child, but never found them. So instead, she gives gifts to all children on January 6th, the same date the wise men gave gifts to Jesus.

In other words, it's the solemnity of the Epiphany, which means food and wine and dessert and gifts and paper crowns. It's a good time.

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Just Ask

I keep thinking about my friends' son, Ben.
He's 5, and so smart.
Instead of requesting a specific toy, he asked Santa to bring him the Best Stuff.
I'm pretty sure this is why Jesus tells us to be childlike --- so we will ask God for his Best Stuff and trust he is going to deliver.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wish List

I started to write a wish list today. Not a must-do resolution list or a far-reaching Mondo Beyondo list. Just a simple wish list with as many specifics as I can dream up. You know, for when I go 'shopping' for my heart's desires.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Long Holiday

Just so you know, it's Christmas until Friday. Which means any New Year's resolutions that require exercising or avoiding sweets are on hold until Monday. Pretty fabulous, huh?

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Monday, January 2, 2012

Rough Start

I won't hold this against 2012, but I spent the second day of the year sick with a sore throat.

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hello, 2012!

I am so happy you are here. I have a plan for us. It's going to be a magical year.

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