A Few of My Favorite Things!

img_4956So I am officially 30.  It happened.  The world did not come crashing down around me in a wrinkle filled rain full of lost thoughts and uncontrollable pee… but I think that’s the joke of it all.  It will happen and is happening, slowly, over time and one day I will realize… damnit… I’m old!

Until then, however, I will share a few of my favorite things with all of you in hopes to spark some happiness, smiles or relaxation in some way!

 

 

 

  1. I, of course, must share my favorite book.  This was a difficult decision because I img_4998have so many!  But this one in particular, I’ve read several times.  So that must show how good it is, right?  It’s called Fall On Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald.  It’s based in Cape Breton many moons ago and it began my love
    affair with dark tales.  I think I enjoy darker stories so much (especially now as I’ve written one) because to write such a story, you have to really dig deep into your most vulnerable memories in your life to truly touch on the feelings and emotions of your characters.  Vulnerability, to me, makes some good writing and helps to build a good writer, and person for that matter.  Building walls does nothing for you creatively or in your real life relationships.  I believe that we all have secrets.  From the goody-goody girl in your 8th grade English class, to the homeless drug-addict on the street corner… however obvious or not, we all have some secrets within ourselves, within our families, in our group of friends… and those secrets make the best stories if you are willing or brave enough to share.  And if you can’t share, that can also makes for an interesting person.  Because I think to live your life holding onto something like that, but seemingly unfazed, makes you one hell of a strong and/or intense person.  Anywho, enough with my touch on the psychology… do yourself a favor, and go pick up this book at your local Barnes and Noble or off Amazon.

IMG_4996.JPG2. I guess I must also share my favorite author.  I have read several of Jodi Picoult’s novels and fall in love with her characters and stories.  However I believe my absolutely favorite (at the moment at least) is Liane Moriarty.  She has such a real and honest way of writing that I feel my own is similar to. (I hope) Talk about people with secrets… if you read her books, you’re hooked and you will not be able to put them down.

 

 

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3. I wouldn’t be able to share a list of favorites without including wine.  Duh! So here is Handsome Devil.  It’s a Malbec.  And my favorite.  I do love my Pinot Noir, however this particular delight helped me through the majority of the completion of my own novel and it will always have a special place reserved in my soul.

 

 

 

4. I LOVE crafting… especially easy things that I can start and finish in a day or two IMG_4994.JPGthat help me feel accomplished and confident.  This is my latest project and I love it.  It used to be espresso with plain brown knobs, and I really wanted a bench for under the shelves we made, but I just couldn’t find one I loved enough to buy.  So in the meantime, i slapped some Annie Sloan Old White chalk paint on it and some leftover crystal knobs I had in my craft drawer, sanded the edges and legs a bit, and used some gift cards from Christmas to get some pillow and now I have a nice little piece.  Now I just have the rest of the living room to fill up now that Christmas has gone and left big empty spaces all over.

  1. Screen Shot 2017-01-05 at 9.58.24 AM.png5. Exercise is not only one of my favorite things, but it’s one of the few things I can do that doesn’t take any thinking.  I don’t get to do it as much as I’d like since I stay home and can’t take my kids to my gym, but it’s an outlet to clear my mind, destress and get healthy and I always feel amazing when I do it.  I have purchased a few weights and smaller workout equipment that we keep in the garage on days I’m desperate and need to do SOMETHING.  I also take the girls in the double jogger and pathetically jog the neighborhood a few times a week.  I probably look like an idiot, but I feel good so OH WELL!

 

That’s it!  My top 5 favorite things!

And since Winter has finally arrived, a day late and a dollar short *eye roll*

Let me leave you with my favorite turkey chili recipe!  Another Pinterest win, and the only thing I did different from this was I used 1 can of whole kernel, no salt added corn and i only used 1/2 a yellow onion because apparently, onions are bigger in Lafayette!

(recipe by Snixy Kitchen)

Healthy Turkey ChiliIMG_4628.JPG

•1½ teaspoons olive oil

•1 pound lean ground turkey

•1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

•1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

•1 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

•1 cup frozen sweet corn

•1 red bell pepper, chopped small

•1 yellow onion, chopped small

•1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

•5 garlic cloves, minced

•2 cups water

•1½ teaspoons cumin

•1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

•½ teaspoon garlic powder

•1½ tablespoons chili powder

•½ teaspoon paprika

•¾ teaspoon dried oregano

•½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

•½- ¾ teaspoon salt

•½ teaspoon ground black pepper

•2 teaspoons reduced sodium soy sauce or gluten-free tamari

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy bottom pot over medium heat.

2. Add the turkey and cook until browned, stirring to break it up as it cooks.

3. Add the onion, red bell pepper, and garlic, and cook for a few minutes, stirring,         until tender.

4. Mix in canned tomatoes, beans, corn, spices, and soy sauce. Add the water and stir to combine.

5. Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer partially covered for about 30 minutes until the chili thickens. (*Sometimes I simmer with the lid on, sometimes completely off – if you’re finding that your chili isn’t thickening to your desire, try removing the lid completely)