Monthly Wrap-Up

January has come and gone in a sudden hurry. I’m pretty sure I was here when it happened, but honestly I’m beginning wonder. It was a whirlwind month, full of energy, life and great company. I didn’t hit all my goals but I sure as heck made a good effort, and for that I am proud. I’ve been waiting for quite some time for some sort of snow to arrive because I admit I was getting really annoyed with the empty promises of our local weather men. But low and behold January did deliver, and snow we did receive. It was glorious, I tell you. But best of all, it was getting to spend the evening with the Mr. and the mutt building, playing and laying in the endless white bliss. January was a good month.

Onward to February. I can take it.


30th, 2012 / Danielle

Book Review

While wandering around my local book store I happened across Maria Menounos : The EveryGirl’s Guide to Life. Now, I’m not prone to pick up books in the  Self Help section as I just assumed it was full of “Help Me I Can’t Stop Eating”,”My Life is Over, Now What?”, and of course “How to Help a Family Member Overcome ______.” which we all know is code for “I’m really the one with that issue”. Regardless, I slide over to the display shelf and picked up Maria’s book. With lightening speed I scanned over the book to see if anything “normal” would pop out at me. Surprisingly enough there was. I was delighted to find a well designed book, with chapters, photos and get this… content that appealed to me. It was a great general all-purpose hand guide to organization, health, beauty, food, cooking, lifestyle and just all around goodness. Her writing was honest and easy. I didn’t feel sugar-coated or even talked down to. But rather, I was empowered to take a look at my own life and make changes that I needed, guilt free. And that is JUST the way I like it. Being able to make changes that come without pressure and judgement or the fear of adding yet another item to my to-do list. A simple change that comes of my own free will.

So the bottom line Ms. Menounos – I enjoyed your book immensely. I was glad I sucked up, the somewhat cowardly courage, to browse your book in my local book store that ultimately lead me to make some great changes in my own life.


27th, 2012 / Danielle

Service

Each and everyday we have the chance to serve other’s. Whether it be by some grand and glorious act or just something small and simple, we choose to serve. The last few days have become a blur as I prep, scrub and overhaul my house for our appraisal. I am a detail freak and nothing can be too perfect as far as I’m concerned. I enlisted the dear help of my mother, who so far, has graciously helped me finish up the last details on our home. I am in debt to her service and grateful for her willingness to always help me in whatever endeavors I seem to come up with. I guess I need to grab hold of that quality of and start serving other’s a bit more in my own life.

Mom +1; Danielle 0.


19th, 2012 / Danielle

Spiritual Spotlight

This year I wanted MLK Day to be a bit more than just a full filled cleaning day that I had planned for weeks in advanced. I wanted to have a “Rocky Balboa” moment where I jump around with one hand in the air fist pumping to “Eye of the Tiger” for Civil Rights. Yeah, one of those moments exactly. But in all seriousness, what this man did and said in his “I Have a Dream” speech is something that has and will withstand the walls of time. His references to Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, the Declaration of Independence, the Emancipation Proclamation, and even Shakespeare leaves little room for disappointment.

There are many men and women who have fought long and hard so that we may be where we are today. I am grateful for their countless hours of services and there fighting spirit that never shook when the battle grounds where sometimes more than they could handle. Much kudos to you MLK, and many more thanks to your dream.


16th, 2012 / Danielle

Merry Makings

I always feel the urge to fill my plate with way to much of everything in January. Perhaps it’s the overwhelming feeling of setting goals and having to get things done… Pronto. This sudden haste causes me to reflect back to the past few months to find that, like always this habit and lifestyle is really no differ than any other crazy month with Danielle. I’m a mover and a shaker, what can I say.

My goals thus far have been working out fanatically. Conquering the kitchen with tasty healthy foods has gone over pretty well, of course that is minus the disaster that occurred on a bleak Monday evening. I have even managed to not only stay awake during morning scripture study, BUT even have been reading. (Even if it is only with the use of my alarm clock for light and proper bed covers for warmth, I’d say it’s a massive success.)

But at the end of the day, there is nothing better than feeling satisfied with my current design projects, curling up with Nate and Poe to laugh endlessly over The Big Bang Theory, and stuffing our faces with home-made Gougères. It’s moments like this that make getting all those things I want done pronto not such a worry anymore.

Here’s to good food, good people and good laughs.


12th, 2012 / Danielle

January 6th { Epiphany

It is always sad to see the Holiday Season come to an end. The time when all the lights comes down, the trees disappear and perhaps everyone is just a bit less jolly. Over all it’s just down right depressing. So rather than visiting my local “Good Earth Pharmacy” for some herbal drops that would throw me on the happy trails band-wagon, I’ve decided to continue on with my “Twelve Days of Christmas” theme and bring my Holiday Season to a close on the “Day of Epiphany”. I have planned a grand feast with our “Kings Cake” which happens to be a Yule Log this year, the removal of all Christmas decorations, and finally taking the time to reflect on the past year. I’m grateful for everything in the past and looking forward to everything in the future, but as of now I’m ok with it just being today.

{ Yule Log Recipe }

Even though Chocolate is not my thing, at all… the role itself was light and fluffy. Not too sugary and not to bland, just a nice close to a sweet season.

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3 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon butter extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/3 cup of water
1 cup of CAKE FLOUR
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup raspberry jam
powdered sugar
raspberries

- – – – – – – – -

Preheat oven to 375°.

- – – – – – – – -

1. Line a 10” x 15” pan with parchment paper.
2. Spray parchment paper with cooking spray, save for later.
3. Lay out a clean non textured kitchen towel, ( no terry cloth, please).
4. Dust a generous layer of powdered sugar onto the surface of the towel, ( try to make this area a few inches larger than your pan dimensions).

– – – – – – – – –

1. Beat the eggs, on high-speed until them become very thick and lemon colored ( 5 minutes).
2. While the mixer is still running gradually add 1 cup granulated sugar.
3. Put 1 teaspoon butter extract into a 1/3 measuring cup and then fill the rest of the measuring cup with water (water + butter extract should = 1/3 cup).
4. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and water/butter extracts to batter and mix well.
5. Add 1 cup of CAKE FLOUR, 1 teaspoon baking powder and ¼ teaspoon salt to the egg mixture and beat just until batter is smooth.
6. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.

– – – – – – – – –

1. Slide a knife around the cake edges to loosen it from the pan. While cake is still hot, turn it out onto the powder sugared kitchen towel. Immediately roll up the cake, with the kitchen towel starting with the narrow end.
2. Set the kitchen towel wrapped cake on a baking rack to cool for 45 minutes.
3. When it has cooled for 45 minutes, unroll the cake/towel (gently peeling the towel away from the cake as you unroll). The surface now facing you will have no powdered sugar on it.
4. Stir the preserves well, to get them all loosened up, then spread it on the cake. Gently roll the cake back up (with NO towel this time).
5. Wrap the whole thing in plastic wrap and let it cool completely.
6. When cooled, take plastic off and top with glaze.

– – – – – – – – –

We used a modified version of Colleen’s Classic Jelly Roll Cake. Without her we would have not even known where to start. Thanks Colleen!

 

 

 


6th, 2012 / Danielle

Welcome January

Welcome, Welcome 2012! My oh my do I have plans for you this year. But no reason to bite off more than we can handle, rather let’s just bite off one slice at a time – like a slice of January. This months theme is “Out with the Old and In with the New.” For me this means taking time to change habits, routines and my lifestyle to be one that is happier, healthier and cleaner.

Lets start with the 3 basics, shall we. Your Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Health. Without balance in theses 3 areas, Danielle’s boat doesn’t float… I’m a sinker looking for a life raft. So to help me stay afloat, I’ve set aside some goals for each of theses areas for this month.

Physical:
Yoga will become my close new friend.
Our food budget just got increased by two-fold so that I may start cooking
with Natural Whole Ingredients.

Mental:
Read something that isn’t a RSS feed, was made into a Movie, or has fun pictures.
Less “thinking” about doing something, and more “actual” doing it.

Spiritual:
Stay awake for Personal & Family Scripture study in the wee morning.
I love to see the Temple, so in short.. I need to go see it.


2nd, 2012 / Danielle