About Me

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Charlotte, North Carolina
I am starting out my social work career and my marriage. I write to relieve stress...mostly by sarcastically telling life stories.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Fairy Tales

Over the Christmas Holiday my husband gave me one of Barnes and Noble's leather bound classic books. I haven't had time to start reading it until this week.
I wanted to collect several of these special books. I think they are beautiful and the fairy tales are really neat because of the illustrations on the inside. I mentioned before that I also have the Alice in Wonderland edition.

But- has anyone ever taken the time to actually read fairy tales once you grow up? How did we go to sleep after reading these stories as kids? They really should have given us nightmares. Cinderella's evil step sisters hacked off their toes and heel to fit into the special slipper. The prince then realized they were not Cinderella because they were squirting blood on the shoes. Seriously, this is a kids story.

Plus- now that I am about 100 pages in I can no longer count the amount of stories that end with death. Death of all forms- beheading, murder, etc. In general if you are the "bad" guy you will be killed- graphically. So, I guess it is true that fairy tales teach you morals. So much for my dreams of reading my fancy book to my future kids one day.

I literally sit around laughing as I read them because they are so odd. My husband then makes me read aloud so he can laugh also- or look at me like I'm crazy. But, I got used to that a long time ago. Ha Ha.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Skillet Cornbread

So I have mentioned, many times, my love for Pioneer Woman's recipes. I literally have never had a food question that she doesn't answer- it's amazing. My husband got me her first cookbook last month and my favorite recipe- so far- is her skillet cornbread.

Here are the lovely ingredients:

I actually changed the recipe some because my husband and I like sweet cornbread and her cornbread recipe is original stuff. I added the sugar and honey. Even with sugar and honey it is only mildly sweet. Often, when I eat sweet cornbread it is almost like a cupcake-without frosting. This recipe is not like that. It is just a little hint of sweetness. I have made both recipes and it is good either way.

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoon shortening
3 Tablespoon sugar
2 Tablespoon honey

Here we go:
1. Preheat the oven to 450 F. In a bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt and baking powder and stir together.
2. Measure the buttermilk and milk in a measuring cup and add the egg. Stir together with a fork. I added the honey at this point also.
3. Add the baking soda to the wet ingredients and stir.
4. Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients.
5. Stir with a fork until just combined. Do not over stir.
6. In a small bowl, melt 1/4 cup of the shortening in the microwave.
7. Slowly add the melted shortening to the batter, stirring constantly until just combined.
8. In an iron skillet over high heat, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons shortening. Pour the batter into the hot skillet and spread to even out the surface. Cook on the stove top for 1 minute, then bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. The edges will be crispy.
9. Slice into squares and serve!

P.S. I am now obsessed with making pictures look like the are from the 1960s.

Now I would like to take this moment to say that I love the crispy edges. I mean love it. I am traditionally a squishy center piece kind of person. For instance, the new brownie pan that makes all corner pieces is, in my mind, complete sacrilege. What would I do without the gooey center??

But cornbread- that is a whole other ballgame. This is why I am currently obsessed with buying one of these:
Of course, when I called my mom with this idea she looked to see if she had one- and then laughed at me when she found two. I need to go antiquing because you really don't see them around that often. Good luck if you make it! It is a true Southern dish of yumminess.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Crafty Thursdays

I have been racking my brain trying to think of something I could do every week. Since I seem to post a lot about crafts I do I figured I could post each week about crafts I have seen that I like.

Of course, Valentine's day is the next Holiday that will come around. I was looking for Valentine Wreath ideas before I decided to make my tiny one.

Here are my top 5 Valentine wreaths:
From: Tator Tots and Jello
From: Nature's Heirloom
Obviously, this one is not really Valentine's but imagine it in pinks, reds, and whites! Cute stuff!

From: I'm a Yarner

From: Our Best Bites

As you can see I tend to like complicated or time consuming projects. I think these wreaths are lovely though. Hope they inspire you like they did me! 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

So much for that..

So the ukulele was a total bust. Do not buy musical instruments at Barnes and Noble. Who knew? But, after I bought it my husband couldn't get it out of his head so we went to our local music shop and bought a real one. They actually are not that expensive anyway.

I also had time to make a new home decor item that I saw on-where?- pinterest of course!
Our room had nothing on the walls and I thought this was cute.

You will need:
4 canvases (mine are 8x10)
buttons (lots!)
and a glue gun

I bought everything at Hobby Lobby. They actually sell little packs of fabric that coordinate. The packs come with 5 different patterns and I had to trim them because they were too big. I used the glue gun to glue the fabric around the back of the canvas. I then laid out my buttons into the letters and painstakingly glued each button on. Burning myself multiple times in the process.

I will admit that I bought my buttons in the fabric area and they cost a small fortune. Apparently, Hobby Lobby also sells a large bucket of buttons in the scrap book area. I had no idea that I should look there but when I was buying my SECOND batch of buttons they told me. So much for me- but look there to save money!

I really liked the idea of this project. You could make so much with it. I wish I had bought larger canvases because I have a lot of wall to cover but I know I can use these again if I end up moving it one day. Happy crafting!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Barnes and Noble

I love Barnes and Noble. It is up there on my list of happy places. Today, I went there with my friend who was looking for a book- I guess that was obvious. I thought I could go with her and find some cool stationary. Which I did!

One of my best friends- who have I have known since 3rd grade- recently moved to Nantucket. This seriously limits my amount of friendship time- as I really don't have that many close friends. Especially girls- it is hard to find a good girl friend. Anyway, since she has left me for Nantucket (I'm not bitter or anything) we have decided to be pen pals. Hence, the awesome Andy Warhol stationary. And the random bookmark that I decided I wanted.

Then I went to find the aisle my other friend was actually shopping in and there- right in front of my face- was a gift that had to be bought for my husband.

When my parents went to Hawaii I asked for a ukulele. I had no idea that they are thousands of dollars in Hawaii. But, at Barnes and Noble I can afford one! My husband plays guitar and has asked for a ukelee several times. Although this, obviously, is not a nice one I'm hoping it will do- at least to learn the cords. My mom pointed out that I should have saved it as a Valentine gift but, as I have said before, I can't ever wait to give a gift once I have it!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Day off!

I worked on Martin Luther King day so that I could have today off. Ahh..relaxation. I was home before the sun went down last night- which is a small miracle. I had time to actually make dinner. Skillet cornbread (from Pioneer Woman of course) and a yummy Alfredo pasta that I bake. It was the first dinner I have been able to make during the week for a long time.

Today, I even whipped up a Valentine Wreath. I had time for crafting! Yes, I am aware that I am a dork but it helps me relax.

I just made another yarn wrapped wreath. I learned how to make the felt roses from pinterest (http://www.littlethingsbringsmiles.com/2010/12/felt-fun.html).  I could get severely addicted to do it yourself projects on pinterest if I let myself. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Martin Luther King Day

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

Every year I hear this speech and I am amazed at it's words. The simple fact of how much it touches on our country's dark past and, at times, it's present. I think there is a part of me, as a therapist, who carries speeches like this in my mind as I enter into homes that prove the racial divide still exists. I have lived in every state in this part of the MLK's speech. I love that I am a Southerner but I also know we have history of segregation and exclusion and I refuse to still take part in these judgmental attitudes as Civil Rights now looks on to the gay/lesbian community. I hope that in another forty years we can hear this speech and be closer to the idea "that all men are created equal". 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Holiday Crash

I don't feel like I have had four seconds to myself since Christmas hit. I am working like a manic and seem to constantly have plans on the weekends. Between Christmas in Texas, my husband's New Year's birthday, and making a weekend trip to Atlanta to be able to see the extended family I am spent.

This is the first month that I have to turn in case studies for my therapy license. Have I started said case study-not even one sentence. Those of you who know me at all know that this is causing me slight anxiety. I have to have it mailed off to the licensing board by the end of the month so I have to find time. That is easier said than done when you get home from work at awful hours every night.

This weekend my cousin and her husband are coming to stay with us and we are going over to my husband's aunt's home on Sunday. One day maybe I will actually have time for friends again- right now I really feel like being a hermit. Is that bad? Does anyone else have urges of staying in bed for an entire weekend?

I have had no time for fun meals, crafting, or some other activity I enjoy. I started to look at making a new wreath for Valentines- but I haven't even had time to go to a store to get stuff. Also proof that I am spent. Normally, I always make time for something to contain my fidgety hands.

My dog has also turned into more of a freak than she normally is. I think it is because I have been gone for several weekends. She apparently has severe separation anxiety- which I firmly believe is ridiculous. I have now caught her several times literally howling in the house when she realizes we are gone. No- my dog has no form of hound in her blood or any other breed that would make this "normal".

I had a "high" in therapy this week with a client. A kid who I thought would never open up to me told me he had written a song for me to read. (He has a hard time verbally explaining himself). He forgot the paper at a friend's home but I couldn't believe he made a song! Plus, his mom told him to trust me that she could- "talk to me all day". I don't know why but I felt so good after the session. Sometimes I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing but this made me feel like at least I made the kid trust me. Gotta start somewhere! 

Does this blog prove I am tired? I am all over the place. I am hoping life will slowly be getting back to normal now. Or at least I can dream....I do work in the mental health world.