Weekly Meal Plan: 27 October to 2 November

Weekly Meal Plan: 27 October to 2 November (a humble place)

I roasted the last of the sugar pie pumpkins this weekend. I thought these would last me the rest of the season but I was very wrong.

I spent pretty much all day yesterday organizing all of my craft supplies and B’s toys. What a task. But it’s done and I think everything is sorted in such a way to actually encourage me to do some crafting, rather than opening up the closet, trying to pull something out of the mess of yarn and fabric and paint without it all falling on my head, and giving up. I’ve been needing to make new Christmas stockings for all of us as B’s still isn’t done and C doesn’t even have one. E wants us all to have matching ones….so I think that’s probably my next big project.

If you’re in the Denver area, I just heard about this new website called The Farm 2 Table Trading Post where you order various farm-produced products (like meat) through their website, and then head to a local farmer’s market on the following Saturday to pick it up. Their prices for roasting hens absolutely can’t be beat, though they don’t include the giblets. Still….we’re going to have to try it one of these weeks.

Weekly Meal Plan: 27 October to 2 November (a humble place)

Also, elections are coming up next week. If you’re in Colorado, be sure to VOTE YES on 105!!! Weekly Meal Plan: 27 October to 2 November (a humble place)

I’m going to include links to the recipes that are available online, otherwise I’ll include links to the resource where I got the recipe. Here’s this week: [Read more...]

Waiting

Waiting (a humble place)

I’ve hesitated to write here about how we’re handling the job situation for various reasons. But lately, even with all the post topic ideas I have rolling around in my head, I just can’t seem to sit down and write long enough to get anything even remotely coherent out. I keep telling myself to just write….JUST write! But for whatever reason, I’m backed up.

So I’ll write about the thing that has weighed most heavily on my mind since June 26th.

The last few months have been really, really hard.

For that matter, this whole year has been hard. We started with the last month of my pregnancy with C, a stressful pregnancy in and of itself, that ended even more stressfully with high blood pressure fears and going over the due date fears and VBAC fears, etc. etc. But C made her appearance and we thought we were in the clear.

The next few months brought deaths in my family and that of a high school friend’s mom who used to be like a mom to me. There was illness for those around us. There was adjusting to life with two kids and eternal mommy guilt of how I was treating my son. Then we lost Muse.

And then the lay off.

Since then it’s been intermittent sadness, feelings of being overwhelmed and, at times, feeling mostly hopeless, sprinkled with days when a job prospect pops up that has E and I a little more upbeat than normal. But then these just fade with time.

I don’t even really know what to say here. I’m just sad.

I’m sad that we were so close to buying a house and now we’re still stuck in our condo where B doesn’t have access to a yard. I feel like I’m damaging him somehow by not letting him run wild and free for hours on end each day. But I’m thankful that we didn’t actually buy a house because things would look a lot more dire right now if we had a huge mortgage to worry about.

I’m sad that E was treated the way he was. But I’m thankful that they showed him a lot more courtesy than they did some of the others who were laid off.

I’m sad that our ten year anniversary is coming up and neither of us feels much like celebrating, nor can we justify the added expense…nor can we really do anything outrageously awesome due to the aforementioned two kids. But I’m thankful that we’ve made it ten years.

I’m sad that we can’t move forward and are stuck in limbo until the job thing is figured out. But I’m thankful that we had money saved for a down payment on a house and that with E’s severance has allowed us to continue to be able to buy food and pay the bills so while we’re in limbo, we’re not in jeopardy.

Honestly, things really could be so much worse and I’m thankful for how God has provided for us. I do see that He has provided for us and I do honestly believe that He has a better plan for us than where we were headed. It’s just frustrating to be stuck.

I hate waiting.

But God is still good.

Weekly Meal Plan: 20 October to 26 October

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Weekly Meal Plan: 20 October to 26 October (a humble place)

creamed honey. nomnomnom.

Yesterday was C’s dedication at church and also marked the end of two very, very busy weeks for us. I’m glad the busy-ness is done and we can get back to our somewhat regularly-scheduled autumn which includes a leaf-collecting walk this week and a pumpkin patch next week. Can I emphasize enough how much I love this time of year? I’ve gone on and on about it in the past, but seriously, folks….it’s awesome.

I’ve been digging out my old Nourished Kitchen weekly meal plans and am going to try to start incorporating them here, so you’ll be seeing those more. Mainly it’s because I’m getting a little bored with our standard fare and those add a good variety of dishes, but I also like the fact that that’s three meals that are already laid out for me and it’s seasonal. Even though I subscribed for something like two years, there were a lot of recipes I never got around to making. I’m hoping to change that and make meal planning even easier.

I’m going to include links to the recipes that are available online, otherwise I’ll include links to the resource where I got the recipe. Here’s this week: [Read more...]

Weekly Meal Plan: 13 October to 19 October

 

Weekly Meal Plan: 13 October to 19 October (a humble place)

Sugar pie pumpkins from Azure Standard!

We’re in the middle of two very busy weeks with things like a trip to an apple orchard for B’s curriculum, a trip to our raw milk dairy to pet some cows, our annual family portrait session, as well as every-day life. If nothing else, it makes things more interesting, which can’t be a bad thing….right? Weekly Meal Plan: 13 October to 19 October (a humble place)

I’m going to include links to the recipes that are available online, otherwise I’ll include links to the resource where I got the recipe. Here’s this week: [Read more...]

Image Dump: October 2014

Thanks to B’s preschool curriculum (a post about our progress so far is in the works!), we’ve been getting out of the house a lot more, which I think is a very good thing. It’s pretty easy to go stir-crazy in our tiny condo with no yard. It’s a bit cramped for four people, especially when one of them is a four-year-old boy.

I’ve gone in waves with my camera the last few years, not having it with me more and more often and using my iPhone instead. While the phone takes nice pictures and it’s fun to feed my Instagram addiction, there’s nothing quite like the depth of field and shutter sound I get with my DSLR. Before E was laid off, I was actually saving my way to getting a new one as I’ve had the current one for seven years now and it’s time for an upgrade, but that’s on the back burner for now.

Until then, I’ve been trying to take my old one out as often as I can (well…as often as I get out, anyway) and I think it’s been good for me.

Image Dump: October 2014 (a humble place)

Image Dump: October 2014 (a humble place)

Image Dump: October 2014 (a humble place)

Image Dump: October 2014 (a humble place)

Image Dump: October 2014 (a humble place)

Image Dump: October 2014 (a humble place)

Image Dump: October 2014 (a humble place)

Can I reiterate how in love I am with fall? The colors, the cooler temperatures, the food….all of it. It’s the best time of year.

Moussaka!

Moussaka! (a humble place)

Say it with me! MOUSSAKA!

Here’s a recipe that’s not only tasty and a favorite in our family, but it’s also fun to say…

Moussaka!

Any time B sees eggplant at the grocery store, the first words out of his mouth are a request for moussaka (he actually calls the eggplants “moussakas” but we’re working on that). I had never even heard of it until I started down this traditional foods path and it’s now one of my go-to recipes come eggplant season.

Bonus: it tastes even better the next day.

This particular recipe is adapted from the Nourishing Traditions version which makes an ENORMOUS amount of food and is far more complicated than I have the energy to deal with right now (peeling tomatoes? pffffffft. who has time for that?). My version is mom-of-two-young-children-friendly. Moussaka! (a humble place)

Moussaka! (a humble place)
Moussaka
Moussaka! (a humble place)
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 1 eggplant
  2. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  3. 1 lb ground beef or lamb
  4. 1 onion minced
  5. 2 ripe tomatoes coarsely chopped (or 1 cup jarred diced tomatoes)
  6. 1/4 cup chicken or beef stock
  7. 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  8. 1 tsp sea salt
  9. 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. About an hour in advance of cooking, peel and slice your eggplant into very thin slices. Layer the slices in a bowl, sprinkling each layer with salt, then let it rest for an hour.
  2. When your hour is close to being up, you can start to brown the beef. While that's cooking, drain your eggplant slices in a colander and rinse them well. Lay them out in a single layer on a broiler-safe pan (I use a cast iron skillet) and brush them with plenty of extra virgin olive oil. Broil them until they're slightly browned (8 minutes for me, but your mileage may vary).
  3. Meanwhile, once your beef has browned, add the onion, tomatoes, stock, cinnamon, and salt and simmer it all until most of your liquid has evaporated.
  4. Brush a casserole dish (I use a 9-inch round dish) with extra virgin olive oil and put down a layer of eggplant slices. Top that with a layer of the beef/tomato mixture and repeat this process until you have no layers left. Top with the grated cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes (or until cheese starts to turn golden).
Adapted from Nourishing Traditions
a humble place http://ahumbleplace.com/
Linked on Thank Goodness It’s Monday.

Weekly Meal Plan {6 October to 12 October}

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Weekly Meal Plan {6 October to 12 October} (a humble place)

The Domestic Man’s grain-free pizza crust was a success a few weeks back. This was B’s first experience with pizza and I think it’s a repeat. 

Admittedly, we’ve been struggling in the Humble household in the last few weeks. I think we’re ready for a change…or at least a vacation from life of some kind. It sort of came to a head this last week and now we’re just trying to figure out what to do next… or, really, what we can do next.

Oddly enough, at the top of our list is buying a new couch. I know… random. Sometimes we personify our problems into objects and this couch, which we got nearly ten years ago, seems to be taking the blame for all the negativity going on in our house right now. It’s been clawed to death by the cats (leaving two giant holes on either side), spit-up on, had breastmilk spilled on it, more cat puke than I can remember, and of course, my water broke on it. To say that it’s a little beat-up is a pretty big understatement.

It’s probably time for a new one. Maybe all of our problems will go away when we get rid of it?

Weekly Meal Plan {6 October to 12 October} (a humble place)

At the top of my personal list was a new site design and I managed to get it up this weekend. If you’ve read my site for any length of time, you know redesigns are pretty common for me and I’m shouting out a big thanks to those who have put up with my blog fashion show over the years. It’s a creative outlet for me, so I most likely won’t be stopping any time soon, but I do seem to be doing it a lot less often than I used to. If you see some issues with the site, please let me know! It’s impossible for me to test it in all browsers, operating systems, and devices so you all can be my guinea pigs. Weekly Meal Plan {6 October to 12 October} (a humble place)

On to food…

I’m going to include links to the recipes that are available online, otherwise I’ll include links to the resource where I got the recipe. Here’s this week: [Read more...]

Simple Isn’t Really All That Simple

A while back, I read this article about the photographer who does the product images for Apple. He’s doing an amazing job of making iPhones and iPads and iWhatevers into somewhat iconic images. In other words, you know when you’re looking at an Apple product because you can mark off all the boxes in the stark-ad-campaign checklist:

  • Here’s a white background.
  • Here’s a product in front of the white background.
  • Here’s a hand using the product in front of the white background.

Done.

And he makes the products seem so squeaky clean and neat and… well… simple.

What struck me in the article, though, was this image:

Simple Isnt Really All That Simple (a humble place)

That’s what it takes to make things look simple.

And I thought it was fitting because that’s how I feel about the whole simplicity movement that seems to be making headway in the blogosphere these days.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for simplifying. I’ve posted in the past about how we’ve tried to do it, even so far as to make a little reminder for myself to post on the fridge. Simplify. Have less. Do less. Less less less.

But does it really just boil down to “less?” Can the concept of simplicity be simplified into one word? The more I’m trying to get into it, the more I’ve learned that it can’t be. That simplifying in and of itself can be a complicated process.

Case in point… E wants to get one of those $400 neat scanners so we can scan all of the documents in our paper filing system (which I painstakingly set up and am probably a little inappropriately fond of) and save them in the “cloud” (I kind of hate the “cloud”), then shred our paper files and throw them into the air like confetti.

Okay, not the last part, but the general idea is that he wants to get rid of our paper filing system.

My argument is that it’s a whole lot easier and simpler for me if I can open a piece of mail or whatever, walk into the closet where our filing system is, pull open a folder, and drop it in. Honestly, sometimes I have a hard enough time doing even this much, so I can’t see myself sitting down with random receipts, statements, and bills that we get over a month’s time to scan each and every one of them, then do whatever it is I’ll have to do to get them to the cloud. So is it simpler to embrace the cloud and go paper-free or simpler to save some money and keep the paper files?

Or getting rid of stuff… the “less” side of simplicity. Then discovering a week or month later that I really did need that thing, even though I only use it every so often, and now I have to go out and buy a new thing. And then that makes me question getting rid of other things, because I don’t want to have to buy new things.

There are books and online guides and advice galore extolling the virtues of simplicity and offering up 5-step processes to get you started on your simple way. But I start these and never finish them because I get so caught up in the preparation for simplicity that I think I really lose sight of why simplicity is a goal.

And I think that’s really what it comes down to.

Simplicity isn’t just getting rid of stuff or becoming more organized or buying the right document scanning system. It’s a new way of thinking, a change in mindset that manifests in a simpler lifestyle holistically. Getting rid of stuff or things in your schedule or going with that less is more mindset is great, but how do you decide what that looks like for you and how do you maintain that mindset once you’re there?

Being a child of the 80s and raised in a more-is-more kind of family, it’s been difficult to break free of that mindset, especially when things like neat scanners make it seem like more really is more…or more really is less?

It’s an enigma.

Weekly Meal Plan: 29 September to 5 October

Weekly Meal Plan: 29 September to 5 October (a humble place)

I feel like the last few weeks have just been a complete whirlwind that’s finally coming to an end. There have been a lot of work things, which is both satisfying and tiring. I love the thrill of completing a job and doing it well, but I don’t love when I’ve overextended myself and I feel as though I’ve been doing that a lot lately. Still … the extra income is very welcome right now.

Here’s to hoping things quiet down a bit. I’ve got posts simmering in my head that I’d love to pound out one of these days. Thoughts and ideas and, hopefully, new ways of thinking for myself. I think I actually need time to think, though, before I can get them out. I also have some ideas for a new design brewing as well … have they figured out how to clone people yet?

I’m going to include links to the recipes that are available online, otherwise I’ll include links to the resource where I got the recipe. Here’s this week: [Read more...]

System Status: September 2014

System Status: September 2014 (a humble place)

Pssst … today I’m also over at Keeper of the Home sharing what a day in my life currently looks like!

So we’re going to try something different for the system status this month and join others for the What I’m Into link-up. Because link-ups are fun!

Among other things happening in the month of September, I turned 34 on the 19th. This was the first year in a very long time that I didn’t build my hopes up to epic proportions for the day of, only to have them crash down in a big, messy pile of tears and self-pity. And it ended up being an okay day. Imagine that.

In the end of September, I’m into …

Books.

I finally finished A Year of Biblical Womanhood (Amazon had the Kindle version for $.99!) this month. I liked this book. A lot. I think it opened a lot of interesting doors for me to explore in the realm of Christianity. I like exploring.

I started What Alice Forgot per the recommendation of Sarah Bessey. I love it so far, partially because the story is very engaging and well-written and partially because the narrator of the audiobook version has a cute, perky, Australian accent. It makes me think about how I may have changed since I started my 30s and hoping that it’s been for the better.

TV.

New fall previews and football have dominated our TV-viewing time (which is very limited these days) this month. E actually records some of the football games on his computer and we try not to look at the scores (we don’t have the TV on when B and C are awake) so the game is a surprise. Silly, I know, but these are the types of things that get us through the long days. In our Hulu queue we have The Blacklist, The Middle (for some strange reason, I love this show – also, Sue looks pretty much exactly like me when I was in high school), Modern Family (I’m eh about this show, but E likes it), Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (which got a LOT better at the end of the last season), and then a few new ones: Manhattan, Forever, and Gotham. We canceled our Netflix subscription when we restarted Hulu so I have until October 6th when it ends to watch the entire third season of Call the Midwife, which they just added. So much to watch! What a horrible problem to have.

Music.

The Transfiguration by Sufjan Stephens is the newest song in my collection (aside from the U2 album that’s free in iTunes but I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet).

Movies.

Jane Eyre. This is one of my favorite books, but I’ve never found a movie version that really does it justice. It usually just makes the whole story look like a really shy young girl falling for the first older man who shows her attention who ends up being a little psycho. Okay…that’s sort of what the story really is, but there’s so much more to it! This one wasn’t bad. But I think in order to really capture the book, the movie would probably have to be about ten hours long.

Captain America: The Winter Solider. Pure fluff! Also, Scarlett Johansson looks hilarious on the cover. System Status: September 2014 (a humble place)

New feeds in my Reader.

Lunar Baboon. I subscribed to this after E showed me a few of his comics. I’m completely hooked now.

Coffee + Crumbs. I different kind of mom blog. Very honest and refreshing.

Enjoying.

Twice! I’ve kind of become obsessed with clothing resale places lately, especially as I’m still working on losing baby weight but don’t have a lot of any extra money to spend on clothes that fit. I just got a box of clothes from them and the overall experience was fantastic. (I’m thinking a post about this is probably in the works. :))

And there you have the state of the Reb. System Status: September 2014 (a humble place)