Sunday, August 29, 2010

Quinoa with Pesto and Feta

Here is a little dish I made up thanks to an overabundance of basil in my mom's garden.

1 c. quinoa
2 c. water or broth (chicken or veggie)
2-3 Tbsp. pesto
2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. feta
1/4 c. dried cranberries
salt and pepper to taste

Cook quinoa in the water or broth on low heat until liquid is absorbed. Turn heat off and stir in pesto, olive oil, feta, cranberries, and salt & pepper. Can be served warm or cold. Add more olive oil to create desired texture (i.e., if it's too dry).


Thursday, August 26, 2010

How to Make Ends Meet in Hard Times

Many of you know at least a little bit about my family's current situation. I won't bore you with a lengthy description of all the ins and outs. Suffice it to say that David and I were both sans employment within two months of learning that I was pregnant with our first child. Really, God? This is the plan? I will find myself asking that question repeatedly over the next ten months and counting!

To make ends meet, David and I made the decision to rely on the help of family until we could get our feet back on the ground. We expected that David would have a job within at least three months. Mistake...don't force God's timing. Ten months later, we have been blessed beyond imagination, but strangely enough none of the blessings have included full time employment for David. Our family has been provided for nonetheless. David has made connections throughout Nashville and has been called in for weeks of freelance at a time enabling us to pay the obligatory bills, but not reliable enough to sustain us for the long haul. My parents have lovingly supplied us with all the comforts of home without hesitation or judgment. We have a four month old daughter now - Sofia Eloise - and she is our joy. Every day with her is amazing and we have a hard time imagining life without her. She is reveling in the attention she gets, not just from us, but from her Grammie and Grandpa who get to watch her grow and change and learn new "tricks" every day.

No one could have prepared me for how I have taken to motherhood and you couldn't pry me away from this precious child for any amount of money. In my efforts to find ways to make ends meet without giving up my most important job of mama, I am rediscovering the perks of a home-based business. I have dabbled in this business over the years, but never really took it seriously. But now, driven by an intense desire to be at home with my little bug, I am re-evaluating the possibility of earning a reasonable income as a Shaklee Distributor. I stumbled across a program called MAHMA, specifically designed for mothers at home who want to build a Shaklee business. Hey, that's me! Wait a minute...that's a lot of mamas!

Here is my list (off the top of my head) why this endeavor is important to me:
1. The ability to raise my little bug

2. Earn a source of income, esp. since David's work is unreliable right now
3. Have the funding to live in our own house/apt/townshouse at get our stuff out of storage!
4. Be able to afford health insurance
5. Live a healthier life by using the products
6. Help other people live healthier and more financially secure lifestyles
7. Be able to travel and play without having to worry about a schedule

8. Ability to call the shots - be my own boss
9. Not have to depend on the government for retirement funds
10. Drive a nice, reliable car
11. Get a horse or 2.

Okay, you get the general gist!

I thought building a successful business was beyond my ability, but then I realized that a) I have the motivation right now and b) I'm pretty much amazing! So here we go...Let the adventure begin. I will keep you all posted on how it goes. If you're interested in learning more about MAHMA, call into the conference call on Saturday mornings.

Project MAHMA - Moms at Home Making a... Difference! And a lot of Money! - Weekly Opportunity Calls are held every Saturday morning at 8 am Pacific / 11 am Eastern Time. Hear how the Shaklee Products and Opportunity can help make a difference in your life! Dial 1-212-990-8000 / 6262#

Monday, August 23, 2010


I am a birthday person. I anticipate each birthday the way a child anticipates each Christmas. I thought that as I aged, the exuberance of birthdays might wane as the gray hairs increased. But it hasn't yet. Maybe I'm not gray enough yet! I did not come by this idiosyncrasy on my own. It was bred into me by a family that celebrates not only birthdays, but birthday weeks which extend for usually at least ten days. (I could explain the math to you, but it would make your head hurt!) My father used to kick off my birthday week by giving me change to equal my age (e.g., age 12 would earn 12 cents). During the course of the week, this monetary gift would work itself into dollars (e.g., age 12 would earn $12). I loved the game. So did my piggy bank.

When my husband David entered my world, he had a dizzying amount of information to learn about me and my family's tradition, especially birthdays. In the beginning he thought a ten day birthday "week" was just insane, but came to embrace the ritual and now goes above and beyond by presenting me with a birthday "month" gift on the first day of August. I love him.

Especially important to note is that I have had a secret desire for a surprise birthday party for YEARS! I have thrown them for dozens of other people as a hint that I really like surprise parties, but no one ever picked up on it. What did they think - I was throwing them because I wanted to! Haha...just kidding. Kind of. Every year, David would ask me what I wanted for my birthday and I always mentioned that I really wanted a surprise party. The past five birthdays have come and gone with no surprise parties.

My birthday week this year met all the criteria for a spectacular event. David presented me with the new Jewel album for my birthday "month" gift. We began celebrating on the 14th with a trip to Red Robins to cash in my free birthday burger coupon. And Marble Slab for some free birthday ice cream. (Yes, I join all kinds of clubs right before my birthday to reap the benefits of free stuff). We continued the celebration on my birthday (Monday, August 16th) at The Mad Platter for some lunch at which time David handed me a mystery card that instructed me to pack my bags. We were going on a trip over the weekend and I wasn't allowed to ask any questions. Hmmm...could this be the surprise party of which I'd dreamed?

I managed to deduce, with David's help, that we would be taking a road trip to Memphis to return our niece Olivia to my sister and brother-in-law. But try as I might, David would release no other information. We made it to Memphis on Saturday afternoon and no hint of my party...yet. There was a long debate about where to go for dinner. Strange...if there was a party involved, wouldn't they already know where dinner was going to be. After all that's where everyone would need to be to leap out and shout "surprise" while throwing confetti and taking pictures of my astonished look. I thought, "Well, maybe Mary and David will call everyone after we decide and they will meet at the restaurant. How cool that everyone is just on standby waiting for the call!" We got to the restaurant, a sushi joint over by the Macon Starbucks, but there were no friends leaping out shouting surprise, no noisemakers, no confetti, no cake setting off fire alarms with a gross number of candles. Oh well. No party this year. Something to look forward to next year. We had a lovely dinner. My first sushi since Sofia was born.

Mary suggested that we rent a movie and crash at the Cranfords' house, where David, Sofia, and I would be spending the night. She made a big fuss over hoping that the Cranfords wouldn't mind her family showing up unannounced. But the ability to put on pre-pajamas and lounge around was so appealing. David took the long way as usual, so Mike and Mary beat us there. David grabbed the bebe and I filled my arms with luggage. It's amazing how much extra luggage one tiny child adds to a weekend getaway! We walked in the front door and....SURPRISE! There was my party! All of my dearest Memphis friends gathered in the Cranfords' dining room. There was confetti and noise makers and crazy bird streamers and cake with ribbons and little pinwheels in cheese and very good wine and lots of yelling and laughing and playing Rock Band.

I love my friends. I love my sister. And most of all, I love my dear sweet husband who finally realized that all I wanted for my birthday was a surprise party.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I'm bound to win something someday

So my adventures in blogging have introduced me to the world of contest entries. So far it seems like cloth diaper giveaways find their way most often to me. Where are the fine wine and cheese giveaways? This is the contest I entered today.

In order to celebrate the arrival of our long-awaited Limited Edition, we at AppleCheeks™ will be giving away TWO Orange Zest Little Bundles (cover+insert)!

New to Blogging

So, I've come to the conclusion that I need a blog. After all, isn't that what all the cool kids are doing. I have no idea if my writing will be witty or compelling enough for people to want to read it, but I thought it was worth a try. I don't even have a clear idea of what the content of my blog will be. I have a really cool four month old daughter now. She's pretty fun to talk about. But who wants to read about my kid every day? I'm hoping that as the writing progresses, I will be visited by some inspiration as to the direction of the blog. For now, let's just say that this will be a place for my musings, experiences, questions, answers, and varied research. For those of you who know me, I spend a lot of time researching every aspect of just about anything!