Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Birthday, Brother!

I gotta be honest.  I'm a lucky girl.  I have the best brother in the world.

And, today, he turns 20.

Yes, he's a Halloween baby.  The year he was born I was five.  I was so mad that he was born on Halloween because I thought that meant that I couldn't go trick or treating.  I told everyone that night that my new baby brother was "a trick and not a treat."

But, truly, he rocks.

Friday, October 23, 2009


So, #5 on my 25 Things To Do While I'm 25 list was to get a job.  Well, yay! I got one (FINALLY).  I get to work for a really cool company in Dothan, Alabama (less than an hour from my house) doing payroll and human resources-type work.  I will commute for now.  I'm super excited! I start Monday!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Word for October- gimcrack

For my word of the month, per my 25 Things To While I'm 25 list (#19), I have chosen the word gimcrack.  Here's the definition from my MacBook Pro's Dictionary application.

gimcrack |ˈjimˌkrak |
adjective: flimsy or poorly made but deceptively attractive : plastic gimcrack cookware.

noun: a cheap and showy ornament; a knickknack.

gimcrackery |-ˌkrakərē| noun

ORIGIN Middle English gibecrake, of unknown origin. Originally a noun, the term denoted some kind of inlaid work in wood, later a fanciful notion or mechanical contrivance, hence a knickknack.

My example sentences:

1.  Instead of going to Ulta, I bought a gimcrack straightening iron at the dollar store.

2.  It kind of bugs me when people fill their homes with silly gimcracks like troll dolls and stuffed animals.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I love FALL!

Y'all, these last few days in South Georgia have been fabulous...I've been loving cool (cold!) temperatures, enjoying abundant sunshine, getting to wear closed-toe shoes and jackets for the first time in a year and a half and eating pumpkin bread.  Fall is my favorite season.  Here are a few reasons why.

1.  autumn decor.  I love the colors of fall and the exciting ways people use them to decorate their homes.  Some of my favorite autumn-inspired projects that I've seen in Blogland lately are  Make It and Love It's Autumn Wheat Basket and The Inspired Room's Gilded Pumpkins (pictured below...image from Country Living).  Better Homes & Gardens (BHG) always has a bunch of great ideas.  Click HERE for a few.

2.  clothes.  When it's time to start wearing longer sleeves, closed-toe shoes, boots and cute jackets, I get really excited!  Something about the fit of fall clothing is comfortable yet flattering.  Some of my favorite fashion sites include (this is their fall fashions link), The Faithful Fashionista and Sensibly Styled.  If you've never visited Shabby Apple, do so now!

3. pumpkin-spiced goodies. Yummy pumpkin-spiced food screams "FALL!"  I love the pumpkin bread recipe that I posted a few weeks ago and have made it several times.  Some new things I want to try include Joy the Baker's Pumpkin Spice Pancakes (pictured below) and Design Mom's Pumpkin Cookies.  Also, my friend Andrea in South Asia has some tasty recipes at SouthAsiaRocks.

4.  soups.  It's the best time of the year for tasty soups, stews and chili.  I am almost always in the mood for a hot bowl of goodness at this time of the year.  Try Eliz's Hamburger Veggie Soup (pictured below) or Simply Recipes' Spicy Vegetarian Chili.  Find a host of other soup recipes at BHG.

Friday, October 16, 2009

...Foodie Friday...Homemade Pancake Mix

For today's Foodie Friday @ Eliz in ATL, I want to share with you a recipe given to me by my friend Linda Sue.

In India, pancakes tended to be a go-to meal.  Part of the reason for this is that Linda Sue gave us a plastic storage container with homemade pancake mix in it.  All we had to do was add oil, water and an egg.

(this image came from the Web...)

It is so easy and so tasty! This mix keeps well in an air-tight container.  You can eat pancakes about three times before having to make the mix again.

Pancake Mix

4 c. flour

4 Tbsp. baking powder

4 Tbsp. sugar

1 1/3 c. powdered milk

2 1/4 tsp. salt

TO USE: Simply mix 1 1/2 c. of pancake mix with 1 egg, 1 c. water and 2 Tbsp. of oil.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Last week in Athens...

Sorry about being MIA this last week.  I took a fun trip for the week to Athens.  Highlights from the trip included lots of time with my little brother, a going away party for CT and reunions with the newest Mrs. Parham, DD, Sara and Mitch among many others.  I stayed with the lovely girls of the "Taj Mahal" and had a blast.  Thanks y'all...I'll be back soon!

CT's party was awesome!

A-group reunion...missing some of our lovelies, though.

I heart CT!

Mrs. Parham...I had so much Katherine time! It was great!'s a girl this time!


I couldn't be there for the wedding (though I was asterisk-ed in the program).  But, I was there for Mitch's ordination.  Congrats, friend!

25 Things...

It's my 25th birthday! Yeah! A quarter of a century...


In honor of this momentous occasion, I decided to make a list of

25 Things To Do While I'm 25
(in no particular order)

1.  Take a Home Depot Do-it-Herself workshop.
2.  See the Grand Canyon.
3.  Read all of The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.
4.  Learn to crochet.
5.  Get a job (for realz, y'all).
6.  Make my India scrapbook.
7.  Memorize Philippians.
8.  Break the fast (out of my control but fun to hope for!).
9.  Start baking my own bread.
10.  Learn to French braid.
11.  Take a beginner sewing or quilting class.
12.  Participate in Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University program.
13.  Read Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility.
14.  Do Pilates regularly.
15.  Go on a volunteer mission trip.
16.  Bake an apple pie.
17.  Lose 10 pounds (ha!...right after I "bake an apple pie").
18.  Take a fun craft lesson at Hobby Lobby or Michael's.
19.  Expand my vocabulary by learning a new word each month and actually using it.
20.  Start my own herb garden.
21.  Take the train somewhere in the U.S. (perhaps to the Grand Canyon?).
22.  Learn how to drive a stick shift.
23.  Adopt a puppy (we'll see...).
24.  Read Francine Rivers' Mark of the Lion series.
25.  Visit the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Happy Birthday, Akka!

Reba, my partner in crime and roommate in India, is celebrating a birthday today (along with Gandhi-ji!).

Akka = Big sister in Kannada, the language we learned.

Naanu niimanu pritisutiini YAAVAGALU!

Foodie Friday...Pumpkin Bread


In honor of FALL, my recipe this week for Eliz's Foodie Friday is Pumpkin Bread.   I first tried this recipe last year in India after my mama sent over a can of pumpkin.  I found the recipe for this tasty treat on the Grace Violet blog HERE.  Here's my adaptation. 

Pumpkin Bread
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin

4 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

2/3 cup water

3 cups sugar

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

(I add 1 tsp of vanilla extract to the wet ingredients.)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (that's 175 C for you folks not in the U.S.).  Grease whatever baking dishes you are going to use.  I used my Pampered Chef stoneware mini loaf pan plus a cool little muffin tin-type thing that looks like pumpkins!  I made 4 mini loafs and 12 muffin-sized pieces with this batter.  Each mini loaf had about 1 cup of batter, and each muffin-sized piece had about 1/2 cup of batter.

In as big a mixing bowl as you have, mix the wet ingredients (pumpkin, eggs, oil, water and vanilla extract) with the sugar.  Blend well.

In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon).  Then slowly add the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl with the wet ingredients until "just blended." Pour the mixture into your greased pans. 

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Then, enjoy the goodness!

Easy as pie.

Thanks, Grace Violet, for the excellent recipe!