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Stone Soup

Most of you know that we recently moved into a new apartment. It is starting to feel like home. Plus, we have quite a few super cool neighbors.

A few nights ago, after Marshall and I returned home from visiting my family, we offered to make beef stew for our friends who live in the main house (we are in the apartment above their detached garage) and for our other friends who were visiting.
I was so excited because I love cooking for people and I love stew and it was to be the first hearty filling meal I’ve made since Fall began.

I start grabbing ingredients and realize I only had some meat, a few potatoes, and a rutabaga. Not quite all I needed for awesomeness. So I asked the friends in the main house and they gladly contributed and then suggested inviting the neighbors too. So we walked over, invited them, and then acquired more veggies from them.
I think we ended up feeding about 20 people. My mom would’ve been proud haha.

It was so much fun to have that kind of freedom. Where we lived before I was scared to walk out the front door alone. Let alone knock on a neighbors door and ask for something!

I’m just so thankful and feel so blessed right now. I had to share.

View from our porch. :)

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Random updates

I am stinky at remembering to blog! I’m going to try to be better about it!

This weekend we relocated to a new apartment that resides in our friends backyard.

We still have about ten boxes to unpack/purge. But we are really loving the new place. It is small in size but big in love! I can’t wait to make it more homey. More our own. We need to convert my old desk into a kitchen island/table, and we need a tall dresser and/or tall bookshelf. Apparently hobbits made all of our furniture :/

I’m stoked to be adding a little one to our family in February! I can’t stop smiling, especially now that I’m not puking every ten seconds. :)

My dreams are filled with cloth diapers, baby clothes, cradles and murals.
This is a photo of Marshall, Baby B, and I. I’m only 13 weeks here I believe? Saturday I’ll be 20 weeks! Someone come take some decent pictures of my belly!

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My friend Amanda is home!!! She and her husband were missionaries to China up until last week when they received some big news. She has leukemia. It was and still is a shock to them and everyone they know.

Keep her and her family in your prayers as they seek Gods will for a treatment plan.

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Photo Credit: Erin Bedenbaugh

P.s. If you’re not subscribed to her blog… You should be!

Green

I don’t really know how this happened, but I’ve been really motivated to eat and live more natural and healthy lately.
My mom raised us on healthy diets, don’t get me wrong. But being rushed by everyday life has led me to a lot of ramen noodles and pizza in these last couple of years.

The first step to trying to achieve us eating better has been by making and consuming Green Smoothies twice a day. Marshall is being a real trooper by going along with me on this and is actually appearing to enjoy them. :)

I’m not an expert or anything, but I’ve been really happy with the 2 types of smoothies we’ve had so far. The reason we’ve had these are because it’s what we already had in the fridge. I’ve been researching and want to try Kale and Cabbage smoothies next week. I hope to go to the farmers market for supplies tomorrow. If anyone wants to go with, let me know!

We have only been drinking these smoothies for about a week, but already we feel more energized, our skin looks softer, and our waists look slimmer.  I definitely recommend trying this.

Simple Smoothies:

Add at least the bold items into your blender and blend until smooth:
2 or 3 large handfuls of spinach OR half a head of Romaine lettuce
1 ripe banana (fresh or frozen)
1 cored apple cut into pieces
1 handful of berries (fresh or frozen)
1/4 C Flax seeds
1/2 Yogurt
Enough water to make the blender work (If you have a cheapo one like me)

New

I’m newly married
Newly a house wife (until March)
Newly drinking green smoothies daily
Newly trying to eat healthier and more organically within our budget
Newly a gym member (trying to work on being more regular about exercising)
Newly happy and refreshed with joy
My husband is newly employed and loving it
Newly impressed daily by how blessed we are
After quite a while of really hard difficult times, things are so so very sweet right now.

I’m excited about life. About beginning our house hunt, getting health insurance, dreaming of babies to come, and enjoying these precious moments.

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Yummy Soup Recipe

I’ve been experimenting in the kitchen lately, here is one of my latest concoctions. :)

Sweet and Savory Winter Squash Soup
-With a dash of warmth.

((Photo Credit: Marshall Bogue))

 

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons Butter
1 Medium Yellow Onion, Chopped
1 Butternut Squash
1 Acorn Squash
1 Carrot Chopped finely (optional)
1 Stalk of Celery, Chopped (optional)
1/4 Cup Roasted Red Bell Pepper, Chopped (optional)
1/2 Teaspoon fresh Ginger, minced (or dry if you must)
1 medium fresh Jalapeno Pepper chopped, seeds and all
1 Medium Golden Delicious Apple, peeled and chopped
4 Crushed Garlic Cloves
1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne
2 Cups Apple Cider (Or Simply Apple Juice)
2 Cup Chicken Stock (Or Broth, whatever you have)
1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dollop of sour cream per serving(optional)
Crusty Bread (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 375 F

Halve the squash and scoop out the seeds. Cut in half lengthwise and cover all sides with olive oil. Salt and pepper and then place face down on cookie sheet. Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until a fork slides easily into the squash.

Meanwhile place butter, chopped onion and all the dry spices into a big pan/pot and saute for 10 minutes. Add fresh garlic, celery, carrot, roasted peppers, ginger and Jalapeno and saute for 5 minutes. Add apple, apple juice, and broth and simmer until carrots are tender. About 20 minutes.

Take squash out of the oven and let cool until easy to handle. Peel off skin and add the meat of squash to the simmering pot….heat through for 5 minutes. Turn off heat!

Puree in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return to pot and depending on size of squash you may need to add water until texture is a little thicker than you want. Then stir in cream. Heat more on low if desired, but unnecessary if eating right away.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream and some crusty bread.

ENJOY!

To come….

I have some crazy town cleaning, organizing, hand washing of the laundry, and straightening to do…..then I’m starting homemade chili…and THEN I shall upload photographs and blog, I promise! Excited? You should be….ha riiiiggghhhttt

Here have a photo :)

Marshall's birthday dinner


Marshall’s birthday dinner last month:
Chicken Bryan, Caprice Rolls failed and turned into a salad, flavorful rice, garlic and parmesan green beans

Nanny quest

Most of you know I started a nanny position almost immediately after arriving back to the states. Well, I thought it was a nanny position. It actually is more like a housekeeper-maid-chauffeur-cook-personal assistant-slave type position. No thank you, all those positions get paid much much more than I do. Except for slaves, and even those probably get treated better than I am being treated.

She is always telling me that her other help was better, and that if I can’t do this that she will find someone who can. Constantly belittling me.
I actually told her to find someone else yesterday.
She’s been calling me ever since trying to negotiate, and then ends up yelling at me again when I tell her I am only doing nanny duties. I don’t care if it is only 2 hours a day. I’d rather eat ramen for every meal than cry my eyes out every day.

This woman, the mother, yells at me constantly, sets no expectations, and yet is constantly angry and screaming at me for being “incompetent”. I’m on call 24 hours a day, sometimes I work 12 hours of that day. I never have a set schedule. I can’t get her to make me lists of what she wants done. She is absolutely impossible. She is a child. She has yet to pay me for last week, and is going down on her rate for this week. I’m forcing myself to endure this til friday, get all that is owed to me, and hopefully never look back.

I was so hopeful, in the interview I thought that everything was cut and dry…simple…I will be interviewing a lot differently from now on.

Rant session is over. Sorry about that.

Next plan? I have an interview lined up for monday and possible another one on Tuesday.

In other news, I stopping using shampoo a month ago and I love it!
I’ll write about that endeavor soon. I should have a lot more time on my hands to be creative and do fun things to write about.
I can’t wait to start gardening, baking and cooking more…and maybe a little more tennis time