Monday, October 25, 2010

Cooking for the soul

I love my new kitchen. Seriously. But...I haven't used it much yet. After we moved, it was under construction for so many weeks. By the time it was finished, I was in the throes of preparing for a month-long vacation, and cooking unfortunately ended up near the bottom of my priority list. A lot of days, it was cold cereal for breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinner. One of my goals for this fall is to get back into my healthy eating habits.

To that end, here is the spinach frittata I made for lunch. The recipe called for goat cheese, but, since I don't usually keep that stocked in my refrigerator (*cough, cough*), I used Swiss instead. I also more or less halved the recipe (it's hard to make half a recipe when it calls for nine eggs...), which still made plenty. These things are best consumed while they're fresh, in my opinion. (And yes, we do use 1970's olive green and gold china for everyday in our house... Hee...)

Amid all this cooking, I have discovered something. I think I knew it before, but I forgot. Cooking is, quite simply, good for the soul. You take a bunch of unrelated ingredients, mix them up, and something yummy and nutritious (hopefully) results. Kind of what God does in our lives...puts a bunch of seemingly unrelated events and circumstances together, mixes them up, and in the end, it's all good.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The View from My Window

One of the things I'm most thankful for in our new house is that it has a walk-out basement. I can see our yard and my garden from my desk and from my sewing workspace. The "mushroom life" (as my dad called it!) in our previous house was just so...mushroom-y. I am loving seeing the leaves change outside my window! I also love the natural sunshine that streams in all morning and early afternoon.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn't it?"

~Anne Shirley, Anne of Green Gables

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

New House Progress

We have been living in the Big Pink House for two months now. Six weeks ago, a demolition crew appeared at our door at barely 8AM to begin the process of remodeling our kitchen. We are finally, almost, nearly done. Care to see?

First, let's all remember the BEFORE (cue dramatic music):

Notice the worn, light oak floors, pickled wood cabinets, clashing, heavy dark granite (which we learned is called "Ubatuba"...heehee...), and little counter space considering the size of the kitchen. Also, the only oven was a microwave-sized wall oven barely large enough for a cookie sheet, much less one of my sister's giant cake pans or a Thanksgiving turkey. Most of the island was covered by a barely-functional and impossible-to-clean glass cooktop.

In progress, the entire kitchen was gutted to the bare walls

And now for the AFTER:

Cherry cabinets with a cranberry glaze, light-colored granite, and refinished floors. I'm also so happy about having a new refrigerator that DOESN'T make dying moose sounds (as my sister called them).

On the other side of the kitchen is the new gas range and full-size wall oven

Obviously, there is still some work to do. The light that used to be above the eat-in table will not always dangle from the ceiling like that. ;-) One day, I hope we will get rid of it entirely and put in pendant lights above the island. Also, the holes in the wall behind the sink? Those aren't staying, either. ;-) We haven't picked out tile for the backsplash yet, but hopefully that will happen soon.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Drinking smoothies like it's summer

I love a smoothie for lunch on a summer afternoon. It's not quite summer here yet, but I'm drinking them this week anyway. (My motivation was that e had some spinach in the fridge that I knew was going to go bad.) I'm typing this and sipping at the same time...mmmmmmm...

Here are my highly-technical ingredients:

♥ A couple spoonfuls of plain (non-sweetened) yogurt
♥ About 1/2 can of coconut milk
♥ About a cup of fresh spinach
♥ A large drizzle of maple syrup
♥ Three frozen bananas

Blend the first four until the spinach is all blended, then add the bananas. I like to add a nice little dollop of coconut milk on top to make it pretty. I'm all about pretty food.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

How to Get Home Projects Done {When You are Really Busy!}

I am a regular reader of "The Inspired Room" (and I've combed the archives there more than once since we bought our new house!). Today's post is How to Get Home Projects Done {When You are Really Busy!}, which was exactly what I needed to hear. In the midst of research papers, exams, being self-employed, and fulfilling my ministry responsibilities, the just the idea of getting any arranging/organizing/decorating done in the new house has begun to make me feel tired. It doesn't help that I am a (recovering) perfectionist, and want everything to be done and "just right" (as Goldilocks would say) all at once. Melissa's post today helped bring me some perspective, and not just for home decorating but any projects I have going in life.

Where I'm From Wednesday

Where I'm from, getting from the parking lot into church on Sunday requires a short walk through a traditionally-landscaped Japanese garden.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Moving...and the beginning of adventures in remodeling/decorating

My parents signed the papers yesterday, making this house officially ours. Our current plan is to continue living in our current (paid-for) house while we do renovations on the new one, and move into the new one only after we have either finished remodeling the kitchen or we find renters for our current house (whichever comes first). Not only is the house peachy-keen (er...not so much) on the outside, but it is a lot of shades of peach on the inside. Now, we have nothing especially against peach, but this is a bit MUCH.

On my way home from dropping my sister off at work this morning, I picked up some paint chips and color idea booklets at Home Depot. I think I have *almost* convinced my family to give me free reign to decorate and choose colors. Almost. ;-) Of course, I will want their input.

I have only been to the house once, when we went for a second showing with our real estate agent. That was about two months ago. I really want to get over there to see what is coming up in the garden! Maybe this weekend...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Where I'm From Wednesday

Where I'm from, a family outing in spring means dressing up to match your sister and the cherry blossoms, and going for a walk in the park.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Where I'm From Wednesday

I'm from a place where the copious shoreline and dramatic tidal distances provide lots of opportunity for several generations of families to dig clams for their evening meal. Japan may be industrialized, and the wealthiest country in Asia, but the old traditions live on.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Where I'm From Wednesday

I'm from a place where the department stores have rides and games on the top floor (or on the roof!), and you can ride around the circle on a bullet train, sitting on Daddy's lap.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Where I'm From Wednesday

I seem to be addicted to blog series. My wordless weekends are pretty well neglected. Nonetheless, I am always thinking up new ones.

I had a remarkable childhood. Wonderful, really. I want to share my roots with you. Every Wednesday (Lord-willing) I hope to post a picture of something special (or normal, if you're looking at it from my perspective) about where I'm from. I'm looking forward to it. I hope you are too.