Thursday, September 30, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup

Credit for this recipe goes to my mother-in-law.  It was FANTASTIC!  I already liked eating the Wegman's butternut squash soup plain, but Beth added some really great enhancements.  If you don't have a Wegman's by you, other brands would probably work just as well.  I know V-8 has one.  Or Imagine (the brand not the verb).
One of the biggest reasons I love this soup, minus the DELICIOUS taste, is how quick it is to prepare.
Ingredients:
1 carton of Wegmans Butternut Squash Soup
1 butternut squash halved, cored, and peeled
1/4 cup heavy cream
sour cream (optional)
Parsley (garnish; optional)
Shake and pour the carton of soup into a saucepan.  Gently heat through on a medium/medium-high heat.  Stick the halved butternut squash into a large ziplock bag tightly.  Microwave for 5-6 minutes.  Or, you could bake it in the oven at 375 F for 45 minutes or so.  Then, mash the squash up with a fork and add the cream.  You could also add some butter if you wanted an even creamier taste (or if you need the extra bit of fat before/after strenuous exercise).  Mix in with the soup.  Pour into bowls to serve.  Add the sour cream and/or parsley if desired.  Serve hot.

Monday, September 27, 2010

First Step to Organized

I have been inspired lately to make some changes by my ever increasing frustration at my inability to maintain an organized and clean home.  Catching up on my blog reading, one post in particular caught my eye.  It's from a good friend back in college, Kelli Lund, and her recent post A House of Order.  I loved the simplicity of the idea to list the chores and spread them out.  But I was feeling the need for something more.
Yes, I am that lazy.  I wanted someone to tell me exactly what to do and how to do it.  I didn't want to take the time to make my own list.  What if I forgot something?  How often do I need to clean this or that?  How do I fit this around my sporadic work schedule?
What to do?  Buy a book!  I sat at Borders and looked through all their books.  This one was my favorite.  Not only does it have a reasonable price, $15, its pages were simple and not cluttered with information and tips.  It is applicable for a disaster house, or just a messy house, like mine.  It works with kids, or without.  Whatever it was that gave me the feeling, "This is the book,"  I now am committed and am going to work my way through it.  I plan on writing down my steps and progress and hope it helps any of you out there looking for more tips.  Her website is here.
First Steps:
1.  Shine the kitchen sink
2. Get dressed and put on your shoes
3. Hair, makeup, accessories, ect.
4. Decent bedtime with plenty of rest
Having written that down.  I am off to deep clean and scrub the kitchen sink, I am already dressed and done up for the day.  I need to find a pair of shoes I can wear around the house (sounds odd but thousands of women who have tried it, swear by it.  I guess its worth a shot.  The theory behind it is that it makes you feel like you're more ready for the day.  Better than pajamas, sweats, or slippers, I guess.)

First Step to Organized

I have been inspired lately to make some changes by my ever increasing frustration at my inability to maintain an organized and clean home.  Catching up on my blog reading, one post in particular caught my eye.  It's from a good friend back in college, Kelli Lund, and her recent post A House of Order.  I loved the simplicity of the idea to list the chores and spread them out.  But I was feeling the need for something more.
Yes, I am that lazy.  I wanted someone to tell me exactly what to do and how to do it.  I didn't want to take the time to make my own list.  What if I forgot something?  How often do I need to clean this or that?  How do I fit this around my sporadic work schedule?
What to do?  Buy a book!  I sat at Borders and looked through all their books.  This one was my favorite.  Not only does it have a reasonable price, $15, its pages were simple and not cluttered with information and tips.  It is applicable for a disaster house, or just a messy house, like mine.  It works with kids, or without.  Whatever it was that gave me the feeling, "This is the book,"  I now am committed and am going to work my way through it.  I plan on writing down my steps and progress and hope it helps any of you out there looking for more tips.  Her website is here.
First Steps:
1.  Shine the kitchen sink
2. Get dressed and put on your shoes
3. Hair, makeup, accessories, ect.
4. Decent bedtime with plenty of rest
Having written that down.  I am off to deep clean and scrub the kitchen sink, I am already dressed and done up for the day.  I need to find a pair of shoes I can wear around the house (sounds odd but thousands of women who have tried it, swear by it.  I guess its worth a shot.  The theory behind it is that it makes you feel like you're more ready for the day.  Better than pajamas, sweats, or slippers, I guess.)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

My Organ Debut

A Post from our Utah trip this past June/July! (Computer problems delayed my ability to share. You'll get a few more of these.)

While in Utah, we visited our good friend, Zhenya, who is getting an MA in Organ performance at BYU. She's the one who gave us the bell tower tour in 2008. Here's a video of her playing:




I'm sorry! I memorized the song title so that I could list it here in the post... but that was over 2 months ago and it is no longer available for recall, apparently. But as you can witness yourself, she is AMAZING!

Then, she had me play a song. I've never played the organ before so of course, I picked a harder song to play (hindsight would have been helpful in advance so that I could have picked an easier song. Oh well! It is one of my favorites!) The song is A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief from the LDS hymn book. Enjoy my debut!



I'd like to learn to play the organ. It's on my someday list. Kind of requires access to a piano to at least practice that much... which I don't have for the time being. Works out well since I already have loaded myself up on enough "projects" of things that I want to learn. Anything new, like the organ, is going to have to be put on the waiting list. Life is too short not to live simply.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Meet Mimsy

A long due post. Meet Mimsy, our newest cat. We brought her back with us from our last trip to Utah this last June/July. Mimsy was found by Xan's parents within 3 weeks of them finding Toad. Both were bottle fed together three years ago... so not from the same literal litter, but they grew up together as if they were. These two cats are still best friends and love to play fight and chase each other.

Mimsy is also a HUGE cuddler. Toad needs some cuddle time, but he'll settle for you foot lightly touching him. Mimsy, on the other hand, is not happy unless she is in your lap, on your back, or wherever she will fit. Like right now. She's in my lap over my left arm while I type. I caught this picture that's below yesterday where she climbed up and sat on my shoulder for at least 20 min before I had to get up and finish getting ready for the day. We love having Mimsy and can't wait to share our two cat's antics with you now that I now how to upload videos using Wordpress.


Toad doesn't always move out of my way when I make the bed so sometimes I just make the bed with him still in it. Mimsy thought it was lots of fun jumping on Toad while Toad tried to find a way out.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIn5jeafDhY&fs=1&hl=en_US]