Lori of Pretty Things alerted me to a great blog called 31 Days.  The blog challenges us to write every day during the month of October, along the lines of a general topic.  The topic I chose is Personal Endeavors.  I like that I get to chose how I would like to grow, and in what direction.  But I do need some curbs on my lane, otherwise I might drift too far.

I am a girl who likes lists, what can I say :-)  

So I am going to choose 7 sub-topics for the days of the week:

Wednesday - New Favorite Blog/Book
Thursday - Travel Locations on the Bucket List
Friday - Focus on Life
Saturday - New Favorite Recipe
Sunday - Best Family Photo of the Week
Monday - What's New in the Bead Studio
Tuesday - Taking a Stab at Fiction Writing

Okay - so for today I need to tell you about a New Favorite Blog.  This one isn't new or new to me (is it breaking rules when you just made the rule up for yourself like 3 sentences ago?) but it's irreverence, salty language and laughs often are a highlight of my carpool driving days.  Definitely not safe for work or kids, or sometimes even husbands: The Bloggess

If you find you like her writing, I urge you to go get her book, Let's Pretend This Never Happened.  It is a book that made me laugh out loud. A lot.  And we all need some of that don't we?

See you here tomorrow!  ~ Elisabeth



I have had the laziest afternoon ever. I had a job interview this morning, got some quick errands done, went on a bike ride with my husband, ate some lunch, and then completely lost steam.  But I did do some handiwork (ha ha) this morning - I used the recently-moved-from-garage-workbench-to-bead-room-dremmel to clean up my latest batch of beads.  I have been making a lot of beads lately and plan to photograph them tomorrow and list my beads for sale - for the first time ever - yippee!



See other handiwork here:


 My friend Sarah gave me some of her jewelry to repair.  I love taking stuff apart and making it wearable again, and Sarah has such great style that there was great stuff to work with.


There were two earring orphans though, who needed a new purpose in life.


So they became the focal in a new necklace.


I also finally finished a necklace for a different stylish pal.  It's not a complicated design, but getting the right colors and shapes together took me a while.


And then I realized my studio looked like this, so cleaned up again.  What a great day!





Today, for some reason, I decided to pull out all of the dog earned printouts and newspaper clippings that constitute my recipe collection and organize it.  I've become addicted to recipes from the Pioneer Woman and Foodie with Family, and my "Yummy Ideas" board on Pinterest is 1100 pins strong.  I love to cook.  And I love to eat, and there are 3 (4 if you count Layla) others in the house that like to eat too.  Hence the out of control recipe collection.

Among the bit and pieces was this book - "Mommy's Small Book of Lists."  I wrote it right before I deployed to the Middle East for a year.  As you can imagine, even knowing it was possible to be deployed, actually deploying was a bit of a shock and a bit scary for us all.  So I sat down and cut and pasted together every important phone number I could think of, the usual week day schedule for the kids and the dog, grocery lists and a collection of tried and true recipes.


We still use it for three particular recipes and it's looking a bit worse for wear.  In all the various computer upgrades I have lost the soft copy, so as part of my recipe organization project I typed these three out to add to my new book of recipes.  I thought I would share them here - enjoy!

Homemade Pizza Dough

1 1/3 cups water
¼ cup oil (canola works best)
½ tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
4 cups bread flour
2 tsp yeast

Put all in bread machine on “dough” setting.

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Mickey Mouse Waffles 
 (adapted from the recipe book that comes with THIS)

2 eggs, separated
1 ¾ cups milk
¼ cup veggie oil
1 ¾ flour
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Plug in waffle iron to heat up.  Beat egg yolks, stir in milk and oil.  Add flour, sugar, baking powder and salt (can also add cinnamon).  Stir just until lumps disappear.  In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff (they should look like cool whip).  Gently stir into batter.  Spray waffle iron with oil before the first waffle (should not be required on subsequent waffles). 

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Cinnamon Car/Train Muffins (because we have a pan like THIS)
(adapted from Small Batch Baking)

1 cup flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 generous tsp cinnamon
½ cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar
2 eggs
½ cup veggie oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 single serving tub apple sauce (or puree 1 apple)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray muffin pan with baking spray (the kind that includes flour works best.  Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  In a second bowl, place sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla and whisk to blend.  Stir in the apple sauce.  Stir in the dry ingredients just until the dry ingredients are moistened.  Spoon the batter into the pans, filling each about 2/3rds.  Bake 20-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the muffins comes out clean.  Let cool for 5 minutes, then turn over onto a cooling rack.



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