Sunday, October 11, 2009

Book Review: The Book Thief

A couple of weeks ago, I joined a book club! I am so excited about this and I was practically waiting on my tip-toes the 5 days that it took my first three books to get here from I had never heard of any of the books that I was about to read, but I was sure that it was going to be enjoyable.
I am used to reading fantasy books and I really enjoy them. Some of my favorite books are The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Harry Potter, The Wheel of Time, and the Mistborn Trilogy. Those are usually the type of books that I seek out.

When I heard the title of this, The Book Thief, I imagined a story about a mischievious child that goes about stealing books, which is kind of what this book is, but I imagined it to be much more mischievious and much more lighthearted. I wondered to myself while waiting for the book what we could possibly talk about in our book club if the book was so basic. I opened the book and with the first couple of words, I was enticed, captivated, and very reluctant to set it down. Usually I can read through books really fast, and I was decently fast with this one, but I needed to make sure that each word sunk in.

About The Book:
Liesel Meminger is only nine years old when she is taken to live with the Hubermanns, a foster family, on Himmel Street in Molching, germany, in the late 1930s. She arrives with few possessions, but among them is The Grave Digger's Handbook, a book she stole from her brother's burial place. During the years that Liesel lives with the Hubermanns, Hitler becomes more powerful, life on Himmel Street becomes more fearful, and Liesel becomes a full-fledged book thief. She rescues books from Nazi book-burnings and steals from the library of the mayor. Liesel is illiterate when she steals her first book, but Hans Hubermann uses her prized books to teach her to read. This is a story of courage, friendship, love, survival, death, and grief. This is Liesel's life on Himmel Street, told from Dealth's point of view.

This is my favorite excerpt.

They say that war is death's best friend, but I must offer you a different point of view on that one. To me, war is like the new boss who expects the impossible. He stands over your shoulder repeating one thing incessantly: "Get it done, get it done." So you work harder. You get the job done. The boss, however, does not thank you. He asks for more.

Read it. You won't be sorry that you did.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


After 5 months of looking and 4 miserable months working at Walmart.... I got a job!!!!

You are now reading from a Health Unit Coordinator for Intermountain Healthcare. I'm working in the Medical/Surgical unit. No, this isn't EXACTLY what I wanted since I trained to be a Medical Transcriptionist, but in this day where everybody is looking for experience and I couldn't get anyone to hire a new graduate... I thought it couldn't hurt to apply for a position that required knowledge of Medical Terminology and organizational skills. ALL THE MAKINGS OF A GOOD MT.

I may not be there yet, but I know I'm one BIG step closer.


I spent all morning yesterday getting poked and prodded. Drug tests, blood draws to check my immunizations, and a Tetanus shot. BUT I'M SO HAPPY.

Look at me go! :-P

Monday, August 3, 2009

My Very First

I have decided that I need to start my transformation into a Homemaker now before I have kids so that when I have a little tot cruising around that I'll be able to keep up with it then too. I have 3 projects so far that I want to show you guys and I'm really excited because 2 of them were taken from something I saw and I tweaked them a bit and made them mine!
My sister-in-law, Maria just moved out-of-state with her husband and baby so her husband could start law school. I wanted to make something that would be fashionable and remind her that Emi and I care and that we think about them all the time. I decided that I wanted to make them a throw blanket and 4 pillows. I mulled over this for about a month before I finally bought the fabric. You see, I've sewn once in my life. It was in a Home-Ec class in 7th grade. I made a drawstring bag and I obviously couldn't sew a straight line to save my life. UNFORTUNATELY, this is still a work in progress.
My mom is an amazing sewer. She made all of my formals for High School dances and my bridesmaid dresses for my wedding. Not to mention the countless things she has fixed or hemmed for me. In short, she is amazing. She is teaching me how to sew and is helping me to make sure I don't screw up these projects too badly... :-D. She is also letting me use her 41-year-old sewing machine! I am going to be buying one here shortly though. I promise to post pics of that momentous moment. :-P

Here are the action shots from our sewing and the finished project. Pretty homey, if I do say so myself... and I DO!

Friday, July 31, 2009

I used to be sane, but I got better.

Hello everyone!

I know this abrupt change came as a surprise to a lot of people and it will probably take awhile for people to trickle over and I'll probably have to start building my followers all over again, but hey! I am EXCITED about this change. I have been stagnating over in the cooking world for a little while. Don't get me wrong! I still love it and I still hope to play a major part in it, but I think I might have some other things to offer as well.
Like I said in my previous post, I need a creative outlet. I can only post so many craft, painting, sewing projects on my family blog before people start getting bored and wonder why I don't talk about my hubby more. I started writing a journal and that didn't turn out to be enough. My husband is going bonkers because I keep telling him all about blankets, changing pads, curtains, blah blah blah that I want to share so instead YOU (lucky you...) get to hear all about it.
One of the first things I want to change from my previous blog is I want to add a playlist on here. I know some people despise these things and for that, I am terribly sorry. HOWEVER, music is very much a part of my life! So scroll on down to the very bottom and get to know me a bit by looking at my musical choices.

Hope you enjoy!


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I Need a Creative Outlet.

I think I am going to change the purpose of this blog. I am interested in so many things and want to do so many things and I would love to share all of these things with many people. (I also consequently am not paying very close attention to my grammar.)
I want to make this blog respresent me. I'm still planning on posting recipes (which I have like 5 I need to post btw) but I would also like to post book reviews, movie reviews, crafts I want to do, crafts I've done... etc. and get feedback on all of it. This may not make a lot of sense to some people, but it makes a lot of sense to me, because that is how my mind works 99% of the time. One big jumbled mess of life.
I don't promise that it will be interesting, but I do promise it will be me.

What do you think?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Greek Potato Salad

If you ever are wondering what I'm doing on a Friday night when my husband is still at work, you can be sure to find me searching the internet for yet another food blog so that I can expand my cooking horizons. I found this blog a couple of weeks ago and I LOVE it. My brother has been begging me to make her Chicken Pineapple Blackbean Enchiladas for him and I have her another recipe of hers on the menu for this next week. Thanks to Mindi for having such an awesome blog!

I was hesitant and excited to try this greek potato salad. I was unsure of whether or not Emi or I would like it because we are kind of potato salad snobs. :-D I loved cutting up all the vegetables and the delicious smells that came from them. Nothing smells better than fresh cut vegetables... seriously... nothing. However, this recipe wasn't mine and Emi's cup of tea. We weren't sure why exactly. We didn't hate it, and we didn't love it. I wanted to share it though because I'm sure other people would find it to their liking. My mom tried some and she loved it! I gave it to her and she said that she even ate some right before she went to bed! Haha. So if your game, definitely try this recipe. Who knows.... you might like it!

1 ½ lb. red potatoes, cubed
1 C. cherry tomatoes, halved
1 C. cucumber, seeded, diced
½ C. pitted Calamata olives, sliced
¼ C. red onion, diced
1 T. chopped fresh oregano
1 C. shredded grilled chicken (optional)

½ C. feta cheese, crumbled
1/3 C. fresh lemon juice
¼ C. olive oil
2 T. plain yogurt (or Greek yogurt)
1 t. sugar
Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, 12-15 minutes; drain.
2. Mix all the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a blender.
3. Combine tomatoes, cucumber, olives, onions and oregano.
4. Add potatoes, chicken and vinaigrette.
5. Lightly mix until vinaigrette is evenly distributed.
6. Chill the refrigerator before serving.

Source: Mindika Moments

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Steak Kabobs

I have really been enjoying being able to cook on the grill. This last meal I cooked was completely by myself with no help from Emi and the steak ended up being cooked perfect!!! It still had a bit of red in it and was moist and flavorful. I changed this just a little bit from the orginal recipe. For one thing, I used 2 garlic cloves instead of just the 1 and Emi and I never use hot sauce, so I didn't want to buy any for 1/8 of a tsp. Plus, I was a little afraid that if Emi saw the hot sauce, he wouldn't even try the steak, although I'm sure 1/8 of a teaspoon wouldn't add any heat to it. Instead I added 2 T of teriyaki sauce. It turned out great!!! My vegetables of choice were red onions and green bell peppers.

1/3 cup lemon juice
2 T oil
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp paprika
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 T teriyaki sauce
3/4 lb steak- cubed
veggies of choice (like onion, mushrooms, peppers)

Combine first 9 ingredients. Pour 1/4 cup in a large zip loc bag. Cover and refrigerate remaining liquid. Add beef to bag and marinate at least 2 hours. Put meat and veggies of choice on skewers (soak skewers in water for 20 minutes before putting meat and veggies on them so they don't burn). Grill until desired doneness brushing with reserved liquid.

Source: Tried and True Cooking With Heidi

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sausage Calzones

Here is another wonderful recipe from Annie's Eats. My husband just LOVED this and told me to make them again soon! These were really easy to put together and satisfied my pizza craving that I always have! (I always crave pizza or tex-mexican food. :-D) I didn't have all the ingredients that I needed so I played around with it a bit and it turned out great!
However, I'm just going to include Annie's recipe because how I wish I had had everything I needed because I bet it would have been even better. I didn't have mushrooms or spinach so I left out the mushrooms (sad day) and put in some fresh parsley instead of spinach (obviously not as much). I have a little pot of parsley that is growing nicely on our balcony that was just begging me to use it. I also added the tomato sauce to the calzone before I put it in the oven! Yum!

Check out Annie's Eats Sausage Calzone recipe here.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

How to Grill Pizza

Hello Again!

So I'm giving myself 100% for my efforts on blogging this past week. :-D I'm pretty much caught up now and I need to find some more recipes to grace you all with.

Since its pretty much summertime, we are doing most things on the grill. I am not a fan of cooking things over the stove because I always worry that it isn't done, and dislike cooking with oil. Last week, I decided that I wanted to try cooking pizza on the grill. I had never done this before and I was SOOOO nervous. My husband was even more nervous that I was going to ruin his precious grill. :-D

I could not for the life of me find a good tutorial on cooking pizza on the grill. So... I read a couple of different things and just decided to go for it! And here is my tutorial for you. :-D

1. Oil down grill. To do this, pour some olive oil onto a paper towel and rub down the area you will cook on.
2. Turn on grill and put it on high heat. Mine was at 500 degrees by the time I was ready to put the pizza on.
3. Make pizza dough. Lightly brush pizza dough with olive oil. Once dough is ready, place it on the grill. It will start to bubble immediately. Turn grill down to low heat. Once it is puffed up, you know to turn it on it's other side. (You may want to use two spatulas or a pizza turner. I made my pizzas kind of small since I don't have another grill spatula or a special pizza one!)
4. Start adding your pizza sauce and toppings.
5. Close the lid and allow cheese to melt. Once melted, your pizza is done!

SUPER EASY... and I didn't ruin the grill!

Here are some pizza recipes you can try on the grill.

Chicken Barbeque Pizza (This is the one pictured above)
Chicken Garlic Pizza
Ranch Chicken Pizza

...or you could always go for good ol' pepperoni and cheese!

Source: Gianina

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Chicken with Lemon Sauce

This was another meal that me and my mom put together for a get together at my parent's house. My mom did most of the work, but I provided the recipe from Delectable Dining.
This dish turned out amazing and was so creamy. My only advice would be... make sure that you cool the sauce a bit before you taste it. I tasted the sauce and couldn't taste the lemon so I added more and it was a bit overpowering. I will definitely make this again!

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup all purpose flour, divided
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 teaspoons salt, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper, divided
2 eggs
5 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups apple juice
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Flatten chicken to 1/4-inch thickness. In a shallow bowl, combine 3/4 cup flour, Parmesan cheese, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. In another bowl, beat the eggs. Dip chicken into eggs and coat with flour mixture. In a large skillet, cook chicken in 2 tablespoons butter and oil over medium heat for 3-5 minutes on each side or until juices run clear. Remove and keep warm. In a small bowl, combine the remaining flour, salt and pepper; stir in broth until smooth. Add apple juice to the skillet, stirring to loosen any browned bits. Stir broth mixture and add to the pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Stir in lemon juice; cook for 1 minute. Add parsley and remaining butter; cook and stir until butter is melted. Serve over chicken.

Source: Delectable Dining
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