Favorite Microwave Dinner a la Acorn Squash

Can I introduce you to my favorite quick dinner? It starts with a single acorn squash. I had one sitting around in the fruit basket that needed eating. Every time I have bought them it has been to make these -also delicious. If you have ten minutes and a microwave this is a meal for you.

Wash the acorn squash.
Take a sharp knife and poke through skin all over.
Microwave on high for 5-6 minutes per lb. (I cooked mine for 7 minutes)
Let squash cool in microwave for 1-2 minutes.
Cut squash in half and remove seeds and ‘the other stuff’
Top with butter, chives and s+p OR butter, brown sugar and dried fruit
Eat! (I like to put one half of the squash in a deep bowl and eat it like a grapefruit).

P.S. Acorn Squash is LOADED with vitamins and minerals. An excellent source of Vitamin C and Magnesium.


Library Files No 1

I thought it would be fun to start sharing what books I am reading, music I am listening to and movies I love here on the blog. I always find myself pulled to many different genres so this could be interesting.

Music: I can't get enough of artist L.P. and her EP 'Into the Wild'. It's perfect summertime music and makes me think of warmer weather.

Books: I am about 3/4th way through Jim Fergus' One Thousand White Women. Its such an interesting read, completely fiction but written around a couple of true events. 

12 in 12 Challenge

The idea for the 12 in 12 Challenge has been percolating in the back of my mind for quite a while. On the surface, the basic idea is to buy only 12 clothing related items for 12 months. The reasons for doing this challenge are simple:

·         Limit impulse buying and spending
·         Develop thoughtful consumer buying habits
·         Free up resources (ie money) for other things/causes
·         Challenge myself (an admitted typical American Consumer) to complete this challenge

Here are some of the reasons I decided to do this challenge: Possessions STRESS me out. Do you ever walk into your closet full of ‘nothing to wear’ and realize that none of the infinite ‘just ok’ outfits look good, and that just a handful of quality items is all you really need? Most people find themselves wearing the same things over and over anyways- I know I do

So why do we continue to spend without thought?

For one, it makes us happy. Who doesn’t like to purchase something shiny and new? Also, we are bombarded with advertising, marketing and cheap products. Who hasn’t been into Target for toothpaste and veered over into the clothing department. Cut to the checkout line 40 minutes later and you have a basketful buggy full of cheap, trendy clothing you were never even thinking of purchasing before this moment. Oh, and you forgot your toothpaste.

Please don’t think that I am completely trying to eliminate impulse buying or treating yourself to something unexpected every once in a while. What I (myself) am trying to accomplish through this challenge is to eliminate the second nature feeling of impulse shopping. American consumerism is such an integrated part of our society that I personally feel I need a period of detox (the 12 in 12 challenge) to consciously practice thoughtful spending.

Hopefully another positive result of this challenge will be the freeing on resources for other purposes. Mission trips, charitable giving, ministries projects, etc. There are an infinity of uses for our financial resources and the least of them is purchasing more stuff.

The rules that I have developed are pretty straight forward:

·         I will strive to buy only 12 clothing related items during the 2013 calendar year (1 item per month = easy math)
·         Clothing related items include all clothing, shoes and accessories. I am not including underpinnings (socks, hose, intimates)
·          As I purchase an item I will publish it to the blog to catalog my purchases.

Purchases of the 12 in 12 Challenge:

·         (1) Black Burlap Toms: I needed some new casual shoes. I love the Toms ‘buy one, give one’ program so I picked Toms. Plus, I got them at 20% off. Hopefully this was a good choice- we’ll see!

I will also say this: I was a little nervous (and still am) to even publicize this challenge. Some days I think that this challenge will be easy, and others I know it will be quite difficult to accomplish. I am hoping that the accountability of posting all my purchases will aid in this challenge.

Wish me luck Peeps!

Curly Hair

I loved this and had to share- here's to all the curly heads out there.
Happy Monday Peeps!


Around Here

This week in review:

-SNOW! We even got a bit here in Birmingham (which is rare). Actually 3-4 inches right north of the city. I only saw a dusting in my neighborhood- I was a little sad actually- I love the occasional snowy weather.

-Some great spreads in this month's Birmingham Home&Garden. Hoping to share one of my favorite's on the blog later this week.

-The 40 Day Paleo Challenge continues. Berries for a daily snack. After one week into the challenge I'm feeling pretty good.

-I finished crocheting this cowl earlier this year. I finally took the opportunity to wear it this weekend during a windy walk around the neighborhood with Ben.

-New Toms! These are the black burlap ones. Only complaint- the dye is rubbing off on my feet?!? Has anyone else experienced this?

-One of my favorite movies has been on cable recently- You've Got Mail! I think I have the entire dialogue memorized.

-Levi's Jeans. I bought these back before the holidays, but they have recently moved up into my list of favorite clothing items. Do you ever 'rediscover' an item you've had forever?

-The layers in my hair are finally growing out long enough to create a nice looking braid. Yes!

-Trying my hand at homemade paleo-power bars this weekend. Store bought Lara Bars are delicious but so expensive. I'll keep you posted on any great recipes. Notice my Klean Kanteen in the background. It's never too far from my reach these days with trying to up my water intake.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!


40 Day Paleo Challenge

As I mentioned yesterday, I am on a 40 Day Challenge to eat strictly Paleo along with two of my friends, Louanne and Bethany. Lou is a crazy crossfitter at the locally famous IronTribe Fitness. I would love to join 'the tribe', but after last year’s run-in with a back injury and my strong suspicion that a lot of my back problems stemmed from lifting kettle bells too heavy and too fast- I’m taking things slow this year.

You might be asking, What is Paleo? There are tons of sites telling you exactly that is I won’t bore you with all the specifics here. The overall diet follows the principle that we should eat like our caveman ancestors with a diet based mainly on meat, leafy veggies, fruit and nuts. Foods to avoid include all grains, sugar starchy vegetables and dairy (this is the hard one for me.) I have followed Paleo before, but never so strictly. Even when I am not following it strictly but cutting just grains and sugar makes me feel noticeably better.

They say the best defend is a good offense so I headed to the grocery store to stock up on Paleo friendly foods this weekend. I already eat a lot of things that are Paleo friendly so-hopefully- things will go well this week. And if I feel myself slipping from the Paleo bandwagon? Well, that what Lou and Bethany are for-there is strength in numbers.

I got a head start this weekend by making a Paleo dinner for the Downton Abbey viewing party I had Sunday night. I made this recipe for Paleo Chili which was a hit and  is in constant rotation at my house- it is delicious! I’ll try to post any other great Paleo recipes I come across in the next few weeks.

Wish me luck peeps!


Around Here

It's been a busy, busy week at work, and this weekend has flown by. It was overcast here all weekend, but with the temperature 60+ degrees it was sure hard to complain.

I recently purchased a Klean Kanteen water bottle.It is part of my attempt to drink more water on a daily basis. So far so good. I've found that its easier to get my daily quota in when I have a bottle on my desk. My only complaint about the bottle is the sport cap- which makes a high-pitched squeak when you drink from it. But after a quick email to Customer Service they are sending me a replacement top! Thanks KK

Ben is doing must better after his doggy back surgery the week before Christmas. He's still being a pill 90% of the time. He's a love bug and can't understand why he has to stay in his kennel.

It's CLEMENTINE high season. Hope you are all taking advantage because they are delic!

I'm starting a 40 Day Paleo Challenge with my friends Bethany and Louanne tomorrow. Lou is cross-fitting over at IronTribe Fitness (I have yet to make the jump to CrossFit) but we are going to do this challenge together. I've been enjoying a few favorite eats this weekend -Starbucks Green Tea Frap and Triscuits- because they will be on the no-no list starting tomorrow.

I've just jumped on the Downton Abbey bandwagon this Season (it began last weekend) and tonight I'm hosting the viewing party for some friends. So excited for some more Matthew and Mary! Are you a Downton fan?

I recently finished this book on audio and LOVED it. Have you read it- I want to read everything else by Malcom Gladwell now. It is typically hard for me to remain interested in non-fiction but I loved this!

I know it's only January but I've just started planning a trip to California with some college friends for this coming June. I have never been to California and I am already pumped! We hope to visit San Francisco, Napa Valley, Big Sur, Yosemite, and maybe Lake Tahoe. Have you been to CA? Any advice/suggestions?

I just added this gold pillow to my living room sofa. It is amazing how one pillow can pull things together.

Hope you had a very lovely weekend wherever you are!


An Abundance of Beautiful

Let me start this post by saying, please pardon me for my lack of photos on the blog. Blogger is refusing to let me upload from my computer?!? Finding a fix is on the 'to do' list this weekend.

I meant to post this yesterday but was out of town on business all day. I am guest blogging over at An Abundance of Beautiful written by my amazing friend Bethany. She’s one of those rare people whose humor mirrors mine perfectly and she can reduce me to fits of public giggles that have people turning their heads- everybody needs a friend like that. You can read my interview here.

Happy Friday Dearest Peeps!


Yogi Love

After a lower back injury last year and the issue becoming an unwelcome reoccurrence in my life, I have recently found myself on the hunt for exercises that both protect the spine and build the core slowly and gently. I ran across this video while doing some research and I had to share-  I think it’s lovely.


Carpe Diem

Did you make a New Year’s Resolution this year? For once I didn’t. That’s not to say that I don’t have goals for the year ahead- I do. I just didn’t want to set myself up for failure (yet again). I read somewhere recently that the third Monday of January is the saddest day of the year and that almost a third of resolutions have been broken by the end of the month. They call it Blue Monday- sad indeed.

Resolutions always run through my head this time of year- most times of year if I’m honest. The unending things that I don’t do, but should.

Floss more
exercise more
watch less TV
read more
spend more time in prayer
make more friends
eat better
lose weight
work more
sleep more
 travel more
care more
yell less
clean more
work less
drink less coffee
drink more water
be more spontaneous


It’s always MORE or LESS. I rarely feel balanced and settled. Do you?

So this year I decided to take baby steps. Yes, I have goals for this year- attainable ones. Maybe more important than that, I have people who know my goals and will hold me accountable to them in this year ahead. January 1st is just a rolling date on the calendar- symbolic yes, but just a day, equal in time to any other.  So here’s to seizing the day…one day at a time.

Happy 2013.