Thursday, September 28

Product Pickiness

Are there any products that you are very particular about, that you simply must use? For lip balm, I have been using Lush Lip Service exclusively for over six years. It wasn't referred or gifted to me originally for me to start using it. I was in the Lush shop for the first time in Glasgow, Scotland in 2000, and their lip balm was on the counter by the register. I was purchasing something else and saw their Lip Service and grabbed one. A total Spontaneous Buy. The thing stores like you to do. I became hooked. Unfortunately, I didn't realize how much I liked it until I arrived home; thus, I couldn't stock up on it. The stuff stays on a really long time and isn't too neosporin-like or slippery in its consistency. My supply has typically come from my own visits to Scotland or the UK or other friends buying it for me and bringing it over. There is a US website, (linked above) but the shipping makes the product cost even more.

Had I considered the actual $US amount that the first purchase amounted to for one Little Jar of lip balm, I might have reconsidered that very first purchase. But now I gladly spend $7 per container on it.

So, call me a lip balm snob. Readers, please tell me. Is there something you are particular about? A certain store? Brand? Flavor? Do tell!

Lip Balm Snob

Sunday, September 24

Photo Quiz #6

What are they?

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Tuesday, September 19

Answers to Quiz #5

Answers from the most recent quiz are:
1. Pineapple top
2. Airplane wing

Many got these right, nice job! I was hoping to make these harder. I may slack on posting the next quiz, but it will come in this lifetime, unless Christ returns.

Sunday, September 17

Orzo Salad & Jerk Chicken

I added a Cooking Light recipe to my 'Salads' cookbook to the left, called Orzo Salad. It has full flavor since it uses balsamic vinegar and feta cheese. I found it easy to make and delicious to eat. I will probably make for a future fellowship dinner at church as it should be made ahead.

I am currently grilling jerk chicken kebabs using the marinade from this recipe, and it smells incredible. I'll let you know how it turns out. I finally purchases some skewers yesterday!

Tuesday, September 12

Ladies! This post is for you.

What, for you, warrants a bowl of ice cream or other desperate, fatty indulgence? A proven equation for me is:

One developing cold + one jar of peanut butter that went MIA between my grocery basket and my house + one trip out to store to get new PB for recipe + one parchment paper roll that flips out of the box onto the floor, unrolling + one glump (is that a word?) of peanut butter which falls off rickety scale and face down on counter* = a spoonful of peanut butter for me

What about you ladies? (men, I single out the ladies because we tend to cave nutritionally in situations like this; feel free to answer) Or, what is your favorite fatty indulgence? Now, I do see a slight pattern of peanut butter being involved in this mischief. I'll look into it.

* just like my old PB open-faced sandwiches used to do, all by themselves. Yet Dad (hi Dad!) would ground me from eating them for a while.

Quiz #5

What are they?

Monday, September 11

I love my car, I hate my car. I love my car, I hate my car. I love....

All this just to be able to drive a nifty SUV for a few days? (Picture here)

And, my new best friend is How [Auto] Stuff Works.

As some of you know, my check engine light came on a couple weeks ago. This is a major event in my life (not really, well sort of. Actually, no). I hoped it was just the gas cap not being on quite tight enough. While hoping that was the case yet starting to realize it was probably something else considering I've had 17 drives after tightening the cap (and the manual says the light will clear after 3 if it's the cap), my car got my attention by Not Starting on Friday night. I arrived home from working out and was going to leave again to shoot some photos of the nice evening light. Turn key. Nothing. No [insert sound of car trying to start]. Just the radio. Turn key again. Same. An hour later, I was back home after I eventually got the car started (well, I didn't do anything was all the car) and my friend Joanne (hi Joanne!) met me at Honda so I could leave my car for repair over the weekend and get back home.

Honda calls today. Not the actual Honda, mind you, but a man from Honda, and we'll just call him "Honda" (very original, I know). Honda says the check engine light went on because my catalytic converter and O2 sensor need to be replaced. Uh-huh. That means nothing to me right now. What are those things again? I have heard of that particular item before.The PRICE however, means much, much, much more to me. O.n.e.cough.t.h.o.u.s.a.n.d.
cough.d.o.l.l.a.r.s. Yes, sir.

Now, I, being a 1) woman and 2) mostly uneducated in the realm of cars, immediately jump, in my mind, to paying for it. And if I should put that much money into my car or put a brick on the gas pedal at the edge of a cliff (sorry car), believing the guy (mostly) that it's a life or death repair. Of course I wouldn't go to that extreme, but you get the point. Now, men, tell me, do you first think, in reponse to Honda, "Well,what about this and that and this, and I know this and that and this, and you are a this and that and this, and I'm not going to be taken in by this and that and this and so on"? You see, this is mostly the only time I don't particularly like being a woman because I know so little about cars, I don't like sounding dumb, and I don't like being dependent on someone else's knowledge with whom I have no prior relationship, when it has to do with my money and possessions. I told him that I would wait on the repairs, thankyouverymuch. Now what? I certainly don't want to contribute to global warming with poor emissions (rolling eyes).

Well, I learned more about these two parts, thanks to another mechanic, two co-workers and my new best friend (per above). I talked to Honda again, and the O2 sensor is bad and the catalytic converter is cracked. It is not clogged (worse to be clogged). It's not an urgent repair (though looming in my superb). I would rather not go too long though with it like this, because according to my new best friend, "When the oxygen sensor fails, the computer can no longer sense the air/fuel ratio, so it ends up guessing. Your car performs poorly and uses more fuel than it needs to."

At least, despite the handicaps I mentioned above with regard to cars and me, I didn't believe the non-starting issue had anything to do with the emissions issues. As a result, I asked Honda to test for other problems, nothing is coming up for that...the car has to be in a state of Not Working in order for it to show up on the diagnostic test.

So, the moral of this story is a question and not a lesson: How do you handle car repairs? (and what would you do in my situation)

One last very final thing: After arriving back home on Friday night, I noticed my cute little flash card still in the card reader by my computer. I wouldn't have been able to take any pictures anyway, had I made it to my destination! I had a good chuckle at that one. The Lord is always good to His people.

and yes, a new photo quiz will be coming this week.

I Remember, Too.

Some of my friends have been posting their remembrance of September 11, 2001. I wasn't in a prominant place that day (while some were). I was just at college my senior year, and it was a sunny, chilly morning. I was near the mail room in the Student Center when someone came in and said something about a plane hitting one of the WTC towers. I went upstairs to study, thinking it was a freak accident. After a few minutes, I kept thinking about it, so I left the table where my roommate, Kim, was also studying. I went downstairs to watch the TV where many were gathered and silent, and I was completely thrown by what I saw on TV. I was due in class but couldn't leave the TV except to go back upstairs and get Kim. I stayed for about two hours (classes were cancelled) and just watched and watched and watched, in near disbelief as to what was going on. I just could not fathom that those towers were collasping I as I watched and that so many perished as I watched. I'm used to hearing about tragedy after the fact. This happened as I watched. Later, I called my mom, and we cried. My mom thought my dad, who worked for the judicial branch of the government at the time and was in Erie that day, would have to Shanksville (where Flight 93 crashed) to help out at the crash site. I was so sad that he would potentially have to witness that scene (thankfully he did not have to do that).

The rest of the day, I watched the news with my friends. I remember how quiet the skies were. While, I don't remember many particulars of the days following, I do rememeber all the footage of people praying and caring for each other. With sadness, I realized that many of the people praying were not praying because they acknowledged God for who He is or because they trusted in Him for their salvation and comfort. It was simply because they were needy, hurting, and prayed to "someone up there". I also realized that we tend to think an awful lot of ourselves as a country and many say "God Bless America". God has done and will do as He pleases with this country, and my heart doesn't really echo the sentiment of God blessing America. He blesses His people alone for His own name, whether American or not.

Wednesday, September 6

Grill Grill Grill Grill Grill Grill Grill Grill

My grill is functional again! This is a momentous occasion. It has been 9 months since I last used my grill. Like a new baby! Haha, not really. I bought a new propane tank and grilled some pineapple tonight (in the dark) for Grilled Pineapple Salsa to go with pork tenderloin tomorrow. The tank, not the regulator, was the problem.

One of my favorite desserts ::clapping hands::

eek!! I just discovered that one of my favorite desserts is available online from Real Simple. The recipe for Individual Chocolate Melting Cakes was originally found in the magazine about five years ago (by my mom, I think, Hi Mom!). Real Simple is connected to Cooking Light, so I've successfully added it to my desserts link to the side. I'm making this tomorrow for some friends and particularly like to serve it with Starbucks Coffee Ice Cream. Note that I use ramekins instead of muffin tins, and I serve the cakes in the ramkens placed on a plate (for spillage). Also, I've never used the caramel sauce it calls for.

I am quite excited that I can share it with you all and have it as an item in my online cookbook to the side. If you like chocolately-velvety-richness, this is the recipe for you.

What does it mean that I am so giddy about this? Doctor, please?

Free Music! From Someone Talented!

I'd like to plug, as Josh did, Derek Webb's new album called Mockingbird, and it is available as a free download here. I haven't listened to his solo music before today, but Caedmon's Call is one of my favorite bands. I've nearly listened to the whole album and am really enjoying it. I don't have any intriguing artistic critiques or reviews on the music...I just like listening to it.

Tuesday, September 5

Quiz #4 Answers & The Smallest State

The answers to Quiz #4 are:
1) Toothpicks
2) Avocado pit

Congrats to Josh and Anonymous for guessing the second picture right! I don't believe anyone guessed toothpicks from those who guess via email, comments or in person. Next quiz coming soon.

I went to Rhode Island this weekend and had a great time with Maureen, Alastair and their bubbly baby boy.
On Saturday, the sea was choppy and rough with large waves . It was spectacular to watch. On Sunday, I was blessed to visit the RP church plant in Providence and meet a great group of committed church planters. We left at 6 am Monday for the beach (very ambitious of me, I know) and the weather was clear and beautiful for the 5 hours we spent with the sand, waves and gulls. I'll post some pictures later this week.

This was my first time going to Rhode Island, and I loved the New England homes, like these (courtesy

The first home is listed for over $3 million. The second two were around $700k. Whatever. Who needs money, right?

Friday, September 1

Women Where?

I appreciated a recent post by Jared regarding a woman's "place". I very much agree with what he said and encourage you to take a look at it. I commented over there, so I won't add anything here.

A friend emailed me saddening info related to Walmart and their recent, blatant endorsement of homosexual marriage (and thus destruction of true marriage), and you can read about it here. The cycle of man seeking to serve himself goes 'round and 'round and 'round.