Thursday, December 30, 2010


This little series is harder than I thought it would be...
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010


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This was one of the toughest to choose from yet. All my favorite quotes were like a PAGE long.


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I LOVE The Chronicles of Narnia. The books, not the movies (I've seen half of the first guess as to why I only saw about half of it).
The books are so beautifully written, and elicit every possible emotion in me during the course of reading them. I make a point to reread them annually, and the 2010 read has commenced. As I'm reading through it (not in order) I'm enjoying coming across old quotes that I marked and marking new ones again.
I decided while reading to put one of my favorite quotes up from each book as I finish it. I had thought I'd do this daily...umm...daily posting probs won't happen, but I will get these quotes up! And it's difficult choosing just one. The Horse and his Boy had a couple of front-runners, but I'm only doing one.
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Snow = Forced Rest

Snow = forced rest.
The morning it snowed I got out of bed long enough to boot B. out the door for a few minutes, laughed at her reaction, fed her, then hopped back into bed to read for three hours. THREE. At around 11:30 I decided I should get up and head outside to take a few pictures. I wore almost four layers, by the way.
Now, I'm not one to be big on many pictures of one subject. But B. was SO CUTE in the snow. She's so cute anyways. But oh gosh, in the snow...I mean, just look:

And here she is playing. I was pretty proud of myself for managing to throw the toy and get pictures. As you can see in the top right picture she forgot it at one point. This was all fun for all until she lost her toy and decided to snap at my camera. That didn't work for me so well, and she got left for some independent play while I took pictures in the front of the house.

As you were probably expecting, here is my snow mishap story. The night before when I got home it had been snowing/raining and I parked my car in a hurry to get inside. Per mentioned, I didn't leave the house for a number of hours, so the snow accumulated on my car windows. It comes time for me to go and meet a friend and I put my belongings in the car and while still standing outside, lean in to turn on the car (because I needed to go knock snow off the back). Well...I had left the windshield wipers on. The next thing I know after I cranked the car is a WALL of snow coming at me, and I'm frozen in horror watching it come. Snow floods into my car, covers was horrible. I apologize to the good neighbors on ****** ***** who heard me scream.
My time with B. is wrapping up. In the past couple days she has shown some puppy behavior...aka chewing. I thought I had left my gloves adequately out of reach...nope. They were fingerless when I got them from her clutches. The worst though...I'm re-reading the Chronicles of Narnia and last night as I finished it up I left it on the back of the couch I was sitting on while I went to put something up. Suddenly, I hear a peculiar sound. I hurry back to the sunroom and what to my eyes should appear but my book on the floor (BTW this book is over 700 pages) and a page sticking out of her mouth. And not just any page...the last page of The Last Battle which has one of my favorite, if not favorite, quotes on it. Oh bummer.
See this face?
It's the face of a quote-eater.

All the pretty lights

What a FULL two weeks it has been. I've been working three jobs almost everyday. Trying to make sure that said jobs didn't cut me off from people I love, and getting preparations done for Christmas (mom if you're reading this your box for Canada is still waiting to be sent off).

Wednesday onwards the week of Christmas was lovely. I spent so much time with people I love. Christmas Eve was spent at the Gap (not super busy but had a number of characters)-Waffle House (with church family, and such a GREAT time)-AFUMC for the 11:00 p.m. service (and yes, I may have nodded off a bit). On Christmas day I rested a bit, ran, made dressing, and had such an incredibly sweet and fun afternoon/evening with my dear friends John & Cindy and their family.

Christmas night brought SNOW (in case that memo was lost on anyone). Not a fan of the wet-cold but I will definitely concede that it was very beautiful. I did turn down an invitation to go sledding though...the idea of throwing myself down in it willingly doesn't sound all that appealing to me (the company, YES. Snow,

I have a lot of precious memories from the past week and I'm so very thankful.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Adventures in Pet-Sitting, part 734

I get home today between jobs to grab dinner and hang out with my charge (referred to from here on out as B). B is a sweet golden-doodle who loves to play ball in the afternoons. I go outside to start playing with her and I notice that she looks filthy and I'm worried she's started to dig by the fence. She's excited to see me (noted by my many cries of "DOWN B! DOWN B! B!!!"). I go to grab her ball (the squeaky toy from h. that I mentioned in an earlier post) but she wants to play with something else.


She's probably not dirty from digging to escape, no no. She's probably dirty from getting this little guy. Normally I'm not grossed out by these sort of things, but when I have an oversized puppy leaping into my face with it in her mouth and dropping it on my foot, it brings out the squeamish factor.

Now I need to go deal with this, and convince her to leave it outside.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Work x ?

I'm babysitting right now for a family who is at some Chrismas parties in Atlanta, so they're getting back rather late. The kid has been asleep (I hope) for almost 3 hours. I've written all my Christmas cards and made a few lists. I don't want to read because I'm scared I'll doze off, so blogging is the clear answer to the question, "what do I do now?" They have a gas-fire and I was sitting in front of it while composing my cards. At one point I thought I smelled something funny...yes, I was sitting too close to the fire. My sweater felt like IT was on fire. I reluctantly pulled myself an inch away from the fire, as that a burn on my back would probably be a damper on the weekend.

I worked at Gap today before babysitting. Christmas is a week away, and the volume of shoppers let me know it. I had a great shift though. The nosy part of me loved seeing what people were buying as gifts (or for themselves; the sale was SWELL today. I left with a shirt for $5, without using my employee discount). And the busy traffic (and getting to be at cash-wrap a lot) really made the hours fly by. This was a definite step-up from the last shift I worked...few (and curt) customers and being exhausted made the hours dddrrraaaagggg.

I also babysat on Thursday for one of my very favorite families. Let me preface this story by saying that I have NEVER fallen asleep while babysitting (unless it was an overnight job and that CLEARLY does not count). I'm blogging right now to stay awake until this family gets home. Anyways, I was flabergasted when one of the children asked me during the movie we were watching, "Diana, are you still awake?" Has my reputation of falling asleep during movies preceeded me that far?!?! I do have a feeling though, that her momma may have shared with her how I can fall asleep rather quickly (and in random places or while sitting straight up).

I definitely avoid watching movies while babysitting because it is so hard for me to stay awake during them (and once while sitting I stood up during amovie to stay awake). But I am doing better though. I stayed awake for two ENTIRE movies in the past few months, no, THREE. Something I watched with roommate, Elf (I think I stayed awake...), and Disney's Robin Hood (which I was watching on Thursday). I'm on a roll!

Toasted...mentioning "toast" I just want to share that I'm having the most intense craving for (my) French Toast. I prefer the French Toast I make over most restaurants. I don't have any time to cook until Wednesday (hello diet of Greek Yogurt, apples, and Luna bars), but getting that made is a high priority. Along with cookies. And granola.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up. Sorta.

I'm house and pet sitting for a few weeks. This evening I decided to come blog in the sunroom where the dog is for some quality time with her. It's kinda late so I figured that she'd just settle down (since we played a lot earlier). No. She gets on her bed which I had pulled besides the couch and she starts to chew on the squeaky toy. The LOUD squeaky toy. I tried to ignore it. I really did. I turned up the volume, opened up my computer...SQUEAK SQUEAK SQUEAK. I then did the equivalent of being a bad babysitter and tossed the toy outside. I offered her the opportunity to go outside to chew it but she didn't take me up on the offer. I came back inside thinking again, all would be quiet. No. She decides to start hopping on my lap, licking my lap-top, et cetera. However, her utter and complete adorable-ness in no way deters any ire.

I ordered pictures to go along the plethora of Christmas cards I bought last year to be my change of address card. I wanted to send out something cute about a new address and I thought that a picture would get the job done...we'll see. It was negative one-million (or 20-something) outside when roommate got my pic and I uploaded it to be printed fairly late...we'll see how good it looks. However, as I am thinking about how I'm going to make it I realize it's either going to look cheap (which it kinda is...) or cute. I'm hoping for cute, but realistic Diana says it's going to look less than great. Oh well.

Ridiculous story of the week...Sunday morning cleaning. I was getting ready for some lunch guests and cleaning up the condo. I was hurrying to finish because I was a little behind schedule (the schedule that I write out for myself weekly; that's normal, right?) and needed to get to Trader Joes to get ingredients for the incredible meatballs that I made. I was cleaning still wearing my pajamas, which includes a scarf (because it is a mite frozen at parts of the condo). I leaned forward while vacuuming to pick up something (know where this is going yet?) and the vacuum caught my scarf. That was around my neck. And started to suck it up. And began to choke me.

Ridiculous? Yes. Was I phased afterwards? Nope. Just detangled myself and moved on. A few minutes later I realized what happened and thought, seriously?!?!?!

Story two. Roommate and I are chatting while I'm putting something into the dryer. I really enjoy the smell of laundry, and I decide to sniff the dryer sheets. I start to say "I love the smell of OW!" I poked myself in the face with the box.

My baking has slowed down because of house sitting, but I made some STELLAR cookies last weekend. And the best was a recipe I made on my own. Mostly. I did have to check a cook-book to see if it was baking soda or powder that you combined with salt to make things rise, but I did not follow a recipe at all and guesstimated my way through it. Am I pleased with it? Very much so. They were SOOOOO good.

In the construction process I got some batter on the wall. The wall BEHIND me and around a corner.

I think rolling things in almonds is the clothing equivalent of throwing on some pearls. Almonds just make most everything look (and taste) better--green beans, chicken, salads, desserts.
Aren't they pretty?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree...

In addition to lots of food pictures this season, there will also probably be loads of ornament and Christmas light shots. I like them.
Youth staff. It's swell.

Party 2 of...

AFUMC Staff Party!
I love working here!
The three of us have adjourning offices. Daynes and I share an office, and Katherine is right next door. Love it!


I wonder just how many posts I'll have about cooking this season. But let's be honest. Baking is one of the (FEW) things I enjoy about winter. FEW.
Anyways, I was asked to bake a dessert for our AFUMC Staff Christmas party. I naturally heard "a dessert" and decided to make TWO desserts (for variety). And of course, anything worth doing is worth doing well, so quality baking ensued. I made my FAVORITE sugar cookies and icing (seriously...worth every bit of delicious effort), and "Royal Canadian Cream-Cheese Brownies" (a recipe from the Grit). Each recipe was a bit time consuming, but oh. so. worth. it.

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Holiday party 1 of...

I love parties, especially those of the holiday nature. A perk (one of many) of my job at AFUMC is that in one week I had TWO holiday parties for work in ONE week! YES! The first one was for the youth staff, and it was fun to get to see the people that I email with weekly (I talked to many of them over emails, but had had few "real" conversations with them). The party was at Hendershots and a few of us got there early to set up and decorate. We got there a mite early, and I hadn't any coffee yet, so I promptly got a "cup". I sat down with it, and we noticed that there was quite a size difference between Jason and my cups. Maybe I drink a lot of (good) coffee...
Mine is the cup on the right.
I'm hesitant to put up any of the party pictures with people in them because of not really knowing the people in them, etc. but here are a few pics I got while Iwas standing, I mean...yeah, standing around trying to not look (or feel) awkward.
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Saturday, December 4, 2010

EPIC mac-n-cheese.

When I decide to do something I am committed to following it through to completion, and I rarely deviate from what I first decided. I am open to other suggestions, but if it something I'm doing on my own, I'm rarely budging.
Case in point for the week: macaroni and cheese. I was invited to a pot-luck dinner on Friday night and I said that I'd like to make mac-n-cheese. My friend Daynes had mentioned that she had the recipe for 5-Star Day mac-n-cheese and I decided that THAT was what I wanted to make, without perusing the recipe first. I copy the recipe, get to Kroger, then read it as I'm walking down the aisles.
Smoked gouda cheese. Half-and-half. Cheddar cheese. Milk. Parmesan cheese.
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Ooooh my. That's a lotta fat. I tried to make it not as a nutritional train-wreck by using whole grain shells instead of white elbow macaroni. I didn't hand grate the cheddar or parmesan for the cheese sauce because I was short on time (I only hand grated the cheese for the top). And if I ever make this gem again I'm adding in fresh spinach and broccoli.

However, it came out quite well. And I have WAY too much (nothing new). Want some mac-n-cheese?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Best birthday ever.

I turned 25 this year (an age I've been looking forward to). This birthday was definitely my best birthday ever. The birthday weekend began with a super fun birthday dinner on Friday night at SpeakEasy with some sweet friends, including my friend Katie who drove up from Atlanta. My actual birthday was on Saturday, and on Saturday morning Katie and I went to the ladies breakfast my church has weekly at Momma's Boy (and to which my friend Daynes came to!) and we went for a long walk on campus (where I got the tree pictures posted below). After she left I had some home time, and then got ready for the super awesome dinner Mary organized for me. I felt SO loved and blessed at this dinner, and had such a fun time!
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Side-story...I babysit a lot, and when I was babysitting the week before my birthday I asked the little girl (who is 6) what I should do for my birthday. She responded with "I don't really know what you should do when you turn that old." Me, "well, what do you think you'd do?" Her, "Oh, I know! You could get a limo and then paint your nails and stuff." Me, "I really don't think I want to do that. What else could I do?" Her, "You could have a SLUMBER Party!" Me, "Um...I'll think about that. Let's go play outside."

I ended up having two overnight guests the weekend of my birthday, so I guess that happened!


Fall in Georgia this year was gloriously filled with warm weather AND beautiful leaves.
I loved every minute of it.
And even though it JUST left, I'm missing it already.

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Fam photos with a toddler!

I did some family pictures for my friend Mollyanne. I really hadn't taken pictures with a toddler, so it was definitely a great learning experience. I had a lot of fun with them (both times; I went out once to get an idea of where I was shooting at and for the little one to get a little familiar with the camera) and learned a lot!
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Thanksgiving 2010

I love a morning when my first thought is, "I need to start cooking!" That is exactly what my first though was on the morn of Thanksgiving 2010. I was invited to have lunch with my kind friend's the Moore's, and to hang out with my friend Christie and her fam (along with a couple of other great invites. I'm very blessed). I braved Publix on Wednesday afternoon to get necessary ingredients for homemade stuffing. I had it made up in my mind that I was going to make stuffing, and that was what I was completely committed to. And, oh my. It. was. incredible. It is taking every ounce of my self-control to not go devour the left-overs cold (not even heated up because I don't have a microwave and it is that good cold).
I used a Real Simple recipe for my guidelines, but I made it my own. Some of the cast of players in this stuffing include a whole-grain baguette, half a white-wheat baguette, herbs de provence, chicken broth, mushrooms, carrots, parsley, and onions. Pictures are below of how it came together. I also roasted about 5 lbs of sweet potatoes, and proceeded to forget them at home. I'll be eating those all week. I roasted them in the oven, and added parmesan cheese to one batch, and slivered almonds to another.
The only snare in Thanksgiving food preparation was when I sliced off a chunk of my thumb when I was dicing up the sweet potatoes. I totally blame the sprained fingers...I didn't have full control of my hand! But roommate definitely heard a cacophony of not frequently used phrases coming from me after this happened. We went to Target and she started diligently looking for something in the kitchen area, and when I asked her what she was looking for she said she was looking for gloves to wear when you slice things so you wouldn't cut yourself. I don't know whether to feel touched or patronized.
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That is a sneak-peek of how my kitchen looks. A blog home-tour will be up soon! If I'm ever home in the afternoon to get good pictures...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Picture-less musings.

I'm sitting on the couch musing over a few things from the past week. I'm not a "muser." I often don't find myself absorbed in thought--it's just not in my strengths set. I'd rather be doing something, and rarely find myself without things to do. At the moment I am ignoring a rather large number of cookie trays and muffin pans to clean from this week's cooking exploits...something that will have it's own blog post when I am reunited with my camera. Yes, reunited. I left it at a Thanksgiving celebration and I've been without it for two days. When I called to inquire about it's location I believe I used the phrase, "I think I left my child, I mean camera, under the dessert table."

Back to some musings.

Roommate and I got the second wave of bills in for the past month and they were gloriously low. I mean, I may have giggled when I saw them. Accordingly, I am now committed to seeing just how low they can get. A snare in this is some biting cold weather that has blown in. One beautiful part of the condo is that there is an entire wall of windows--I. LOVE. THEM. It is one of my favorite features. However, said windows are a little (LOT) drafty. This morning when I was working on another blog I realized at one point I couldn't feel my fingers. Turning the heat on would be the practical solution to this, but would go against my new project. We'll see how roommate feels about it. Her room is upstairs and heat rises, so that's good. And when I bake the entire downstairs gets rather toasty, so I feel an easy solution to the cold living room is baking more. More tasty food, warmer sitting area...boom.

Trader Joes has opened up in Athens. A number of blog posts and facebook status updates were dedicated to this event, and I've been a number of times with consistent positive experiences. Today as I checked out the cashier kept complimenting me on how healthy my basket was--spinach, bananas, bag of apples, a tomato, and a honeycrisp apple. What he doesn't know is that I had to talk myself out of dark-chocolate covered candy jo-jos, a number of dark chocolate bars, and ice cream.

Honeycrisp apples. They are sitting strong in my current consistent food cravings (along with chocolate cheerios [thanks Nutan!], peppermint mochas in red starbucks cups [with no foam/fat/whip], and roasted sweet potatoes [only with a little olive oil, salt & pepper]). Per mentioned, I bought one at Trader Joes today and had it inhaled before I got back home. I'm already wishing that I had bought two.

Black Friday. I have a part time job at the Gap (hello, incredible discount), which means I got to work the infamous black Friday. I had a 6:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. shift, which means I got up to go to work at around 4:00...I was slightly delirious when I got home from work. Being overly ambitious I went to the gym after work to run. I made it ten minutes at a brisk walk before I was convinced I was going to die if I continued. But back to Black Friday. When I got to work there was a crowd outside the door, albeit a friendly crowd. Our promo was the entire store was 50% off EVERYTHING, so that garnered some attention.

I was placed in baby & kid land for the beginning of my shift (no regrets on not cashiering because I couldn't take off sensors with my sprained below for THAT story). I really regret not tallying the number of times I was asked "how much is this?" as a tag was shoved in my face. "Half-off," I'd reply. "Yes, but HOW MUCH?," the overly eager shopper would ask. "Half-off the lowest ticketed pri..."HOW MUCH?" Oh gosh. Divide by two, that's all.
One dear as she walked in barked (harsh term, but I'm being real here folks) "ya'll just don't have nothing on sale do ya?" To which I calmly replied with a smile "well, everything is on sale to half off it's price" then bee-lined to the back of the store to make sure none of our friends with sticky fingers were making off with already cheap onesies. Fortunately the shift went by fairly fast.

As I close out this post, it is necessary to share the story of why I currently have a rather painful sprained finger (and have all on my right side a ginormous [understatement] bruise on my thigh, bruised forearm and shoulder blade, achey hip, and slight amount of treadmill burn on my calf). Know that it is completely okay to laugh at this story. It is ridiculous.

I did give away the culprit...the treadmill. Last week (or maybe it was two weeks ago) a local gym was offering free boot camp classes. The only time that worked with my schedule was the 5:30 a.m. option. I went on a Wednesday morning and LOVED it, and committed to myself to check out the remaining free mornings. Thursday morning rolls around and I don't wake-up till 5:22, and don't get to the gym until 5:31. I HATE being late. Hate-hate-hate it. When I'm running late I get tunnel vision and can ignore circumstances and things around's bad. And yes, that was some foreshadowing...So I get to the gym at 5:31, toss my stuff down, and look for a machine that's empty to hop on to start my cardio. I see an empty treadmill and make for-it. Remember how I just said I get tunnel vision? Well, I didn't see anyone on the treadmill so I leapt onto it with both feet to get on to make it go. (I am cringing as I'm writing this because I'm reliving it. Yick.)

Funny thing though, it was already going. Full-freaking-speed. When I leapt on (again, with both feet) I got FLUNG off. Not cute little, "oh I stepped off" and had a graceful landing. I mean, FLUNG-off, landed sideways (hence all my injuries being on my right side), and insult for injury my hooded jacket tie (because I hadn't gotten to the point of getting it off yet) got stuck in the treadmill and was pulling me into it until I ripped it out.

Remember now, I'm at a 5:30 a.m. boot camp class. The people in this (full) class are INTENSE. It takes a special person to willing get up at 5:00 in the morning to exercise. And I was running late. All the cardio machines face a wall of mirrors. So my fall was to an audience, and even if they hadn't seen, they definitely would have heard the strangled-eeeek type noise that came from me. And the slap as I hit the floor.

I'm pretty confused as to why I'm on the floor (it's maybe 5:32 at this point) and a woman comes over, who tells me she had gotten off the treadmill (without stopping it) to grab something. Funny timing, eh? Anyways, I pull myself up and realize, "wow I hurt." I can feel the bruising beginning on my thigh, a little blood oozing on my calf (treadmill burn), and my hand feels like it's on fire. The woman asks "are you okay?" and I don't know how I responded. The instructor comes over and asks, "did you not see the machine on?" I took it as a mark of the Holy Spirit in me that I did not respond with the smart-a** response that came to mind an hour or so later, instead meekly replying, "no, I did not."

I'm still standing a little dazed and confused, the woman who's treadmill I just wiped out on is talking to me (I think...again, I was dazed) and another woman comes over and asks us (we're standing in front of the infamous treadmill), "are you going to use that?", I'm pretty sure I can't move right now. The instructor tells me to hop on a different machine. At this point the searing pain in my right hand and on my right side has sufficiently woken me up so I say, "I think I'll just be leaving, I don't feel up to moving right now." I grab my stuff and hobble out to my car. When I get to my car I immediately begin praying "Jesuspleasedon'tletmyfingersbebroken, Jesuspleasedon'tletmyfingersbebroken." I start pulling on them, moving the bone around, etc. and get pretty convinced nothing is broken.

It's around 5:40 at this point, and I didn't want to waste the waking-up time and knew I'd probably be getting sore, so I drove over to my gym and "exercised" there. I say "exercise" because I basically just hopped on the elliptical at a snails pace for 30 minutes and may have done something else before going home. I get to work, grab some tape from the first aid kid, and have had taped fingers since.

Enough musings. I have chores calling my name. I have some posts with pictures (including my birthday!) to go up soon.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Life IS a Treasure Hunt!

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Photos with the Klaymans!

I took photos of the Klayman's.
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So much fun.

Photo-shoot with NRC

Conversation between Nutan and I...
Me, "You know, I've really been wanting to shoot in dawn-light. Hey Nutan, how would you feel about waking up at 6:00 a.m., letting me do your hair & make-up, and taking off to do some pictures?"
Nutan, "Sure, sounds fun."

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Photo-shoot. Again.

Try-two of a photo shoot with Juli. The first time I was painfully clueless as to what I was doing, but Juli and her family were gracious enough to let me practice photos on them. By this time though, I had a a little bit more know-how. I had SO much fun shooting with her!

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