Thursday, June 30, 2011

Back on the exercise wagon...

sort of... I've been horrible lately about working out.  I keep meaning to do something whether it is a Lindsay Brin video, letting Jillian Michaels kick my behind, or simply getting out for a walk or jog... but meaning to do it and actually getting it done have been two concepts very hard for me to put together.  So... with the help of sunshine and happy summer weather to encourage me, I'm getting myself back on the exercise wagon.  I'm not doing much, but have been walking with the girls (with a short spurt of jogging thrown in). 

My walks have strongly reminded me of an item that is at the top of my wish list... a Bob Double Jogging Stroller.  I've been trying to talk Carl into letting me get one for the better part of a year now, the cost is just kind of hard to get around... But the 2nd hand one I inherited from my sister just isn't doing the trick.  I know I'm being picky... the hand-me-down is free... but living on a gravel road with lots of hills, it would be nice to have a stroller better designed to handle it, like this one:

I know that I'm just getting myself back onto the exercise wagon, but also know that I'll use it.  I'm planning to run the Windermere Half Marathon next May and would love to have a stroller that works to bring the girls with me for the occasional training run.  My current hand-me-down won't work for much more than a brisk walk (and a short one at that!!).

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

One of my views

I feel so blessed to live where I do.  I was sitting outside watching my girls play today and had to take some pictures of the view from my back patio.  The mustard in the neighbor's field is blooming, so the yellow is a pretty back-drop.  Ignore the yellow in our yard, we've had a hard time keeping up with the sprinklers this year!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Greek Orzo Salad!

I know it's finally summer when the sun and weather prompt me to crave Greek Orzo Salad... it is one of my go-to salads for hot summer days, potlucks, or any other occasion I can use to make it.  It takes a little bit of prep work in the form of chopping, but is so worth it!!

You start with boiling 1 1/2 cups of orzo pasta according to package directions.  I prefer my pasta less al dente, so tend to cook it the full amount of time.  If you like a little bit of extra bite in your pasta salads, cook it a minute or two less than package directions.  Also, I've found that salting my water and making sure it is at a full rolling boil before adding my pasta helps keep the orzo from sticking to itself.  When cooked, drain and rinse in cold water to cool pasta down and stop the cooking process.

While pasta is cooking, start chopping!!  I use:
  • 2 -3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 - 1/2 red onion, finely chopped (feel free to use more, I'm not an onion lover so prefer to keep the taste mild!!)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives (you can also use a 2oz can of sliced black olives if you prefer a milder taste, just drain before adding)
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Look at that yumminess in a bowl!!

Add your pasta, along with:
  • 1/2 tsp lemon pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano 
  • up to 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (I did not have any fresh parsley so I sprinkled just a little bit of the dried stuff - I tend to go light with the dried herbs since I don't like the graininess it adds when eating the salad)

Then make your dressing:
  • 6TB Olive Oil
  • 5TB Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2TB Lemon Juice
Mix these three together until combined.  You will notice that it almost seems to thicken after stirring a minute or two - this is the sign that it is fully combined!

Pour over salad and mix (I tend to not always use the full amount having 1 - 2TB remaining depending upon how saturated the salad looks).  Refrigerate for at least an hour or even overnight.  The flavors meld together and are so good the longer it sits before eating!

Then just enjoy!!  My kids eat it really well and even my husband eats it (who doesn't care for tomatoes, olives, or cucumbers)!!

Adapted from Greek Orzo Salad Recipe and comments posted on

***************** July 28 Update ********************************

Linked to The Larson Lingo's Summer Salad Swap - Enjoy the salad party!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Fun in the Sun!!

I'm going to lift an idea used in a couple of other blogs I read... wordless wednesday!   :)  We are currently visiting my folks and are thoroughly enjoying the beautiful weather!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Slowly getting organized!!

Well, it has been a painfully slow process... mostly due to my own reluctance and procrastination with tackling it, but I'm finally starting to get those "cluttered" spots in my house organized.  I decided to start with the girls room.  There were two reasons for this... the primary one being that it was driving me crazy every time I walked into their room (good reason, right?!) :)

The second reason was that it just needed some revamping.  When we had Karen, her room was originally our guest room and we never completely cleaned it out of all the stored stuff (aka junk) to make it her room.  This wasn't too big of an issue until we had two of them in there. Lately I've been going bonkers because their closet is unusable because there are so many odds and ends still stored there and the book shelf was always a mess mostly because I was still using a couple of shelves for my own books.

So I still have the closet to tackle (hope to post an update later today with some progress)!! But I did accomplish thinning out and reorganizing toys and the book shelf.  The pictures are pretty self explanatory on how much better it looks!!



Saturday, June 11, 2011

I'm still here!!

It's amazing how a "little" break can turn into a really big break!!  Once I stepped back for a couple of weeks, every time I intended to share a short post, I found I kept getting sidetracked by other things... momentum (or in this case, the lack-thereof) is a crazy thing!!

So... this is me finally jumping back into the blogging world to say that I'm still here and will put up some posts soon!!  I've got tons of pictures on my camera for things that I've intended to share with you, so hope to get some of those up soon.  In the meantime... Hello!!  I'm back! :)