Cake Batter Pancakes

We now interrupt this weight loss plan to bring you something really, awesomely bad.  My friend posted a link a few days ago to these amazing-looking cake batter pancakes.  I've had them in my head for days and at precisely 7:17pm, I decided we were having brinner (breakfast for dinner) and that these must be part of it.

I pulled up the original recipe with the pretty, pretty pictures taken in a beautiful natural morning light (which makes everything look better), put on some Radiohead, and started dancing around my kitchen like Thom Yorke.  The recipe was super easy to prepare with very basic ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.   I cut it in half because there's only two of us, and what do you do with leftover pancakes?

The results were great.  I was a little low on sprinkles, but I don't know how I could've handled any more sugary anything.  These puppies are even sweeter than I expected, and I expected it to be really, really sweet.  Next time I make them, I may add some blueberries to the batter to lighten it up a bit.

They would be a perfect, fun, birthday breakfast for your kiddos, your sweetheart, or yourself.



Couch-to-5K is a running program for non-runners and couch potatoes.  I am about as non-runner as it gets.  I'll do any workout video you throw in front of me.  I'll walk the dog for an hour.  I'll even hop on an eliptical for 30 minutes if I must.  Just please, please don't push me outside and make me run.  Please?

It seems that so far this semester, my life has been about doing things I hate to do because they are good for me.  I often fall on my face, but I'm learning how to fail, and how to get back up and try again.  This is just another one of those things.

I've been interested in doing C25K for a long time.  I first heard about it a last year when we were new to St. Louis.  One of our pastors, Noah, was beginning the program and regularly posting his progress.  More recently, my friends Keli and Courtney (both non-runners) have turned into genuine running princesses, which sparked my interest even more.

The way it works is you download the app for your iPod or iPhone, choose the music you want to hear while you run, and then a little guy comes on telling you in intervals when to run and walk.  Today I completed Week 1, Day 1.  I couldn't do all the things the guy kept telling me to do.  Several times I ignored him when he told me to start running again.  It sucked.  Big time.  I never want to do it again, and it was only day ONE.  Running is so not for me... but I'll keep trying, anyway.

When it was over, I mentally felt like this.  A little fuzzy, but strong.


Physically, I felt like Watson.  He, too, was exhausted, dirty, and panting.


I'm not going to make any declarations.  I'm not going to promise that I'll finish this thing.  I can only promise that I'll keep striving toward healthier living, and I'll definitely fail along the way.

p.s.  I haven't quit Weight Watchers.  I haven't counted points for the last couple weeks because I've been so overwhelmed with school.  Hopefully now I'm adjusting to the work a little more, so I'll start seeing those numbers go down again.  Praying for more motivation and self-discipline, which I lack in just about all areas of my life.


August Gate at the Mardi Gras Family Carnival

Our church volunteered all day at the Mardi Gras Family Carnival.  This was a family event and a lot of fun!  Kyle and I worked the "robes" station, where kids could come and make their King Rex Robes.  Apparently, Rex is the king of Mardi Gras.  Who knew?  All the AG volunteers worked hard and seemed to be have a great time talking to kids, their families, and making colorful things.

It was a fun day and great to be out as part of the community.

If you can't see the photos, click here.


Birthday #26

The events leading up to and including the day I turned 26 years old.
  • Feb 7, 1:00am: Outburst of tears as we get ready for bed and the dread of the coming school week gets the best of me.  I tell Kyle that I don't know how I'll ever survive this semester.  He comforts me and prays for me right then and there.
  • Feb 7, 1:00pm: Major outburst of tears after a horrible therapy session where I fall flat on my face.  My terrible performance as a speech therapist is well-documented and pointed out to me by my clinical supervisor.  Cue sobbing.
  • Feb 7, 3:15pm: Have my first laugh at how badly I just failed. It was bad like whoa.
  • Feb 7, 3:45pm: Arrive home and begin reading birthday cards in which multiple members of my family write that my hard work will pay off and I will make a great SLP.  Cue another 45 minutes of tears.
  • Feb 7, 5:03pm: Kyle offers to do anything I want for dinner.  I pick Cheesecake Factory accompanied by a trip to Macy's to scope out mixers.  Sadly, I wasn't even excited.
  • Feb 7, 8:00pm: Return home feeling moderately better, but still rather crummy.
  • Feb 7, 11:42pm: Decide that though I've been dreading turning 26, it's really a good thing.  It's one year closer to 27, when I'll graduate, to 28, when Kyle will graduate, and then to my 30s, which I am praying will be much less angst-y than my 20s.
  • Feb 7, 11:58pm: Cue Peter Bjorn and John "Nothing to Worry About," and let the solo living room dance party commence.
  • Feb 8, approximately 12:15am, end said dance party and go back to homework for another hour. Mentally prepare for the upcoming day of being on campus from 9am to 8pm.  Wince. 
  • Feb 8, 7:42am: Robin singing in the tree outside my bedroom window puts tears in my eyes. I haven't heard a bird sing like that in months, and it feels like it is a gift just for me.
  • Feb 8, 8:43am: Leave home.  It's cold outside but the sun is shining and the sky is blue.  Feels like it's going to be a good day.
  • Feb 8, 11:15am: Walk to the law building to meet Kyle for lunch.  He surprises me with Chick-fil-a.  He walked all the way to the student center (far from the law building) in windy, 10 degree weather to get it for me.  I color worksheets for my afternoon client and get odd looks from law students. 
  • Feb 8, 5:07pm: A few classmates sing a slap-happy "Happy Birthday" in the dungeon.
  • Feb 8, 5:10pm: Sweet classmate, Megan, delivers to me the most delicious chocolate raspberry tort thingamajig I've ever tasted. 
  • Feb 8, 5:19pm: Whole class sings at the insistance of Dr. Fuller.  Blush.
  • Feb 8, 6:03pm: Give the wrong answer to a question in class for about the 123rd time. Shrug.
  • Feb 8, 8:09pm: Finally arrive home after 11 hours on campus to find that Kyle surprised me with one more gift: a Kate Spade case for my Macbook that I've wanted for a long time.  
  • Feb 8, 8:10pm: Find out that even though is says it's for a 13" Macbook, mine doesn't actually fit in it.  Bummed, but not that bummed.
  • Feb 8, 9:36pm: Kyle surprises me again and breaks into the living room singing with a Mrs. Fields cookie cake he ordered days ago and picked up today.  He put candles on it and made sure the cookie decorator used a lower-case b in birthday, because he knows that birthday should never be capitalized, and it's an ongoing joke/pet peeve we have. 
  • Feb 8, 11:20pm: Finish responding to all 181 Facebook messages, wall posts, tweets, emails, texts, and phone calls.  Feel very loved and blessed that 181 people would take the time to wish me a happy day.  
  • Feb 8, 11:38pm: Decide that there's no way I can finish all that needs to be done for tomorrow.  Decide that I'll take a good night's sleep over an A+ on tomorrow's quiz and call it a night.
Thanks be to Jesus, my husband, my family, and my friends who all made this birthday so incredibly special.


All about Ellie

I don't talk about our little kitty much anymore.  While she used to be #1 around here, her low-maintenance ways have sent her into a back seat position around here.  It isn't that we don't still adore her, it's just that she's so good and so easy (especially compared to a certain other animal in our house), we sometimes don't appreciate her like we should.  In fact, some of our friends forget that we even have a cat because we talk about Watson so much.

Here are some things you should know about Eleanor:

She is really pretty and we absolutely love those baby blues.


When we first found our little stray kitten, she was all grey and she fit perfectly on the palm of my hand.  Sometimes I look at her and can't believe it's the same kitty.


She loves to lay in window sills and warm, sunny places.




She spends most of her time either sleeping in a warm place or watching Watson from behind the TV.  Sometimes she also sleeps behind the TV.


She has this weird thing about strawberries. Every time we bring them in the house she tries to rub all over the package.  She doesn't like to eat them, but they make her crazy!



She loves to be as high as possible.  One of her favorite spots is the top mantle in our bedroom.  She sleeps up there and keeps her eye on Watson when he's in his kennel.  I'm still amazed when I see her jump up there.  It's SO high!


IMG_7419 copy

She loves to get inside of anything she can.  Boxes, cabinets, bags, you name it.


In general, she's just a really good girl.  Sometimes she starts trouble with her puppy brother, but she also puts him in his place.  We like that about her.


The Dilemma of Painting

It has been nearly two years since I painted anything, and at 11:30 last night, the urge hit me and I just had to paint.  I've been holed up in the office most of the day finishing it.


I have a huge dilemma when I finish a painting.  Often I start a painting with the intent that I'd like to try and sell it, and or give it to someone in particular.  By the time I finish it, however, I've poured hours of work and love into it, and I love the way it turned out, and I don't want to part with it!  Such is my dilemma today.


Kyle's suggestion is to list paintings like this that I love on Etsy, ask a decent price (X hours labor, plus supplies) and if no one buys it, we get to keep it.  According to him, it's win-win.  I still hate to part with it, but we could use the money.


Whatever shall I do?


Winter on Magnolia Avenue

Back in the fall, I gave you a nice little photo tour of our street.  While Winter lacks the color and warmth of autumn, it has its own kind of beauties.

The ice began falling from the sky Monday afternoon and hasn't stopped falling yet.   When I stepped outside last night the ice-covered trees sparkled in the dark.  It was kind of magical.  I took Watson on a little walk this morning and noticed all kinds of wintry beauty in the neighborhood.

I adored the spectrum of reds, purples, and greens in these icy buds.  I walk by this small tree multiple times a day and I never noticed the colors until it was covered in ice.
Frozen Buds 1

This little old fence is covered with climbing flowers in the summer, but in the winter you can appreciate the intricate patterns and twists that have withstood years upon years of extreme weather.

Frozen Magnolia

None of this is snow on the ground.  It is all ice for now.  With every little stem of every little branch of every big tree, you can really see the richness and fullness of these trees.  I'm amazed by the details.

Frozen Magnolia

None of this is snow on the ground.  It is all ice for now.  With every little stem of every little branch of every big tree, you can really see the richness and fullness of these trees.  I'm amazed by the details.

Frozen Magnolia

My favorite thing about a snow storm, or ice storm in this case, is the way it makes the city so quiet.  I'm sure I've said it before, but my least favorite part about living in the city is the noise.  Somehow the snow and ice have a way of dampening everything.  People stay in and so there aren't as many cars on the road or neighbors outside.  There's silence and peace.  When I took Watson for a walk this morning, we didn't see another living being besides birds and squirrels out looking for food.  I love that.

Ice Puppy

Watson looks cute all the time, but I like him covered in little ice crystals.  He likes it too and did not want to go inside today.  In fact, he's been begging all day to go out.  Times like these I wish we had a fenced-in yard...


He kept getting hit in the eyes with sleet while I was trying to take his picture.  He sat still like a good boy, though.  I almost felt bad for him, but the look on his face was also pretty cute.

Back inside the house, a few of our windows are iced over...

Iced in

... and there's turkey roasting in the crockpot.  Phoenix, Snow Patrol, and Mumford & Sons are giving me a warm, happy feeling through the stereo.

Roasting Turkey

Hope your snow/ice days have been peaceful.  Here's hoping we get a repeat tomorrow!

Help me decide!

For Christmas my dad spoiled me and supplied me with the means to purchase the KitchenAid stand mixer of my choice.  After much deliberation (for the last 6 weeks) and visiting multiple websites and stores, I am still at a loss!  I want to get it right because this thing is going to be around for a long time.  I've finally decided on a model, the 5 quart Artisan Series, but I still can't pick a color.  The real problem is that every color renders differently depending on the website, so I'm not really sure what any of them are going to look like in real life.  I've gone to look in stores, but they only ever seem to have red, white, black, and silver.

From Bed, Bath, and Beyond, I like the colors Ice...
and Tangerine...
On Macy's site I like Pistachio...
and now Cinnamon.

How in the world am I going to choose?  I need your help.  Now, I can't promise that I'll choose the most popular color, but it will definitely influence my decision.

Things that may influence your decision:

  • My kitchen has each these colors (and many more) in the decor.  
  • I don't intend to leave this thing out on the counter.  I can't stand a cluttered counter, and since I have the cabinet space I will be putting it away.
  • I want a color that makes me feel bright and happy when I see it.  I want to pull it out of the cabinet and smile, not just because I'm about to make something delicious, but because I'm using this happy-looking machine.
  • No, I really don't want white, black, or silver.  Yes, they may be a little more classic and timeless in appearance, but I'm going for pure joy here, people! 
  • For some strange reason, I feel like the color I choose says something about me and I'm having a mild identity crisis.  
Which color are YOU?  (Browse many more color options here.)  Maybe you've already found your perfect color like my friend, Keli, who is SO Empire Red.  

Which one of these would you pick for me? Halp!