Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Vintage Wear

Here are a couple iPhone shots of what I wore this weekend...a dress my mom made before I was born!
My wedges had a blow out in the Panera parking lot.  In front of a window where people were sitting.  Glad I could entertain.
I have another dress she made that I have to alter (major 90s neckline that has to be changed!).  Hope to have pics for you soon!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Easy Peasy Spicy Black Bean Soup

This will be the easiest bean soup you'll ever make.  If you find an easier way, then let me know!

This recipe (although made before I went gluten free) could be gluten free if you double check your ingredients and make sure you don't get salsa or beans or seasoning with gluten hidden in them.

Can of black beans
Can of refried beans
Jar of salsa
Seasoning-- will depend on you, but I'll get to that in a second

Take the beans and salsa, throw it in a crockpot and add seasoning.
How spicy (or not) you like your food will determine what spices you use.
Here's what I used:
splash of olive oil for flavor and liquid
splash of water for liquid
garlic powder
onion powder
salt & pepper
chili powder

Cook on high for an hour, then put the crockpot on warm and let it warm for a few hours.
I let it cook on high for an hour on my lunch break, and put it on warm when I went back to work.  It cooked for about 4 hours on warm.
That way the beans don't overcook.

When ready to eat, top the soup with shredded cheddar and sour cream.

Colin and I love spicy food, and we really liked this soup.  If you don't like spice, use a mild salsa and season accordingly.

This would also be a great party dip.  We threw tortilla chips in our bowl.

I got the idea for the soup from Real Simple but simplified it and used what ingredients I wanted to!

This will be a great winter soup, but I had to go ahead and try it, and we loved it even though it's over 100 degrees outside!  I hope you enjoy it too :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Gluten Who?

Deep Breath.

I am having to try a gluten free diet.


There.  I said it.

Remember how I said I wasn't feeling too well?

Well, I have been tested for hypothyroid, lupus, anemia, on and on and on.
And everything came back normal, which is a huge blessing.  But something was still wrong and still had to be figured out.

I was tested for celiac disease, and that test came back normal as well.  But my doctor is still wanting me to try the gluten free diet.  He said I could have a gluten sensitivity that doesn't show up in tests.

So I started googling gluten free and saw everything I couldn't (repeat: could not) eat.

That was a downer!

It got very dangerous so I had to put the internet search car in reverse and head a different direction.

I started searching for what I could eat, and that was much more of a relief.

Colin and I went gluten free shopping Monday night and found quite a few things.  Everything is much more costly, but we bought enough for me to eat for about a week or so before needing to restock.

I found some gluten free chips (my weakness and the one thing I was really discouraged about possibly giving up!), rice crackers, rice noodles (lots of rice items), chocolate (desserts are also a real tough sacrifice), and super expensive gluten free bread.

My first gluten free meal was Sunday night.  When I woke up Monday, I was not feeling the change.  (I know it takes time, but I wanted it to be like a magic wand and work instantly).  Monday was actually really tough.  I had a headache for over 24 hours and just felt terrible.  The work day went very slowly feeling like that!

But today, Wednesday, I feel pretty good.  I have completely abstained from any gluten whatsoever.  Last night Colin made shrimp pad thai that was to die for...which gave me more hope that maybe this diet really is possible!

If I get all better and all symptoms go away, then I know gluten free is what's for me.  But if I don't get all better, then I know more tests and a specialist are next on the list.  Both options seem dim.  I love all food and love to try new food, so going gluten free seems like an impossible challenge.  But I also don't want anything more serious to be wrong with me and think it's worth the trade to be completely healthy.

I owe a huge apology to those of you who have to be gluten free.  I had no idea the health/medical reasons, and I had no idea the cost, sacrifice, and lack of availability of foods.  I now sympathize!

If you are gluten free: I would love to know what resources are out there and to know how you do it.  And what about eating out at a restaurant or fast food?

To those of you who are not gluten free: Don't be like I was in being ignorant about people who eat gluten free.  It's not a fad (well, for most).  It's a required diet change necessary for a healthy life for many.

To all: Sorry this post is so long!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

SCUBA Certified!

This spring my dad and I became certified Open Water SCUBA Divers.  I'm not yelling SCUBA at you; it's supposed to be in all caps.  I promise :).

My dad has always talked about wanting to scuba dive (I can't yell scuba at you any longer), and I've been pretty interested in it for awhile.  Dad, Colin, and I took an intro course in January, and we were hooked.  An intro class is a really great way to see if it's something you'd be interested in doing.

Dad and I had two weeks of classes in which we were in a classroom and in the pool for several hours.  At the end of that two weeks, we had to pass a multiple choice test.

Then came the big test.  Out in the open water.

For two days at the lake, we had to pass a series of water tests.

Did you know that you can clear a mask full of water while you're under water?

And the number one rule of scuba is to never ever hold your breath.  So you learn to breathe even if you lose oxygen.

Here I am with the instructor.  I'm about to dive off our boat.

This is me and Dad after we were certified.
We got to go on a dive by ourselves.

I'll save you the misery of seeing any close up photos of me in a wet suit!

We have our own snorkel, mask, boots, and fins, but we don't have the rest of the equipment yet, because it's expensive!
Scuba is definitely pricey to get in to, but it's so worth it!  If you're interested, do it like me and invest a little at a time.

Scuba is definitely not for those who have even a slight fear of water.  You've got to have your head about you when you're 60 feet under water and can't see very far in front of you-- I would know!

But if you love water and a little adventure, scuba is for you!

And here's an obligatory picture of Ruby.
She has an aversion to the camera, so face shots are hard to get.

Oh, and if you're wondering why Colin didn't get certified, he will soon.  I told you it was pricey!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hello, Again.

I have been sick for two weeks straight.  Hence the no blogging.  Not even blog reading.  Sad time.

I'm not completely on my feet yet, but I've missed you all!

So, I'm starting back slow with a simple blog post.  Hopefully the crafting with be revived soon, and I'll have some good crafting/cooking posts for you.

Today let's just take it easy and drool.

Exhibit 1:
I think I would definitely be on the road to recovery if someone made these for me.

Exhibit 2:
This site has lots of ways to have fun with fruit.
Fruit is the best medicine...

I know exhibit 1 and exhibit 2 are health opposites, but we all need balance in our lives, right?
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