Friday, August 31, 2012

Ikea Haul

This past Monday was a big day for me. It was my first trip to Ikea. Now if anyone knows me and has been to Ikea they know that they must have had me in mind when they created Ikea.

My two roommates and I made the trip to Ikea in Robinson to look for a few things we wanted for our house. We found everything we wanted and even a few things we didn't know we needed.

We needed a some sort of cart/shelves to hold our microwave and small appliances. One of my roommates bought this and it was about $60.

I bought this coffee table. I think it is really nice and will probably find it useful for a while. It was only $19.99.

I was going to clean it off, but some junk on it is a little more realistic of day to day life.

We got two "ledge shelves" for the living room. Hopefully they will stay on the wall with command strips. These were $11.99 each and after price comparing were cheaper than Target's similar wall shelves.

I got this tall slender container for cereal, snacks, or something like that. This was $3.99.

Finally, I bought this grill pan for $14.99. Confession-I have never used one of these but know I want to learn how to so for that price I was ready to learn.

Ikea was made even sweeter by the .50 cent hot dogs.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Good Morning!!

Sometimes a "beautiful" breakfast can just make your day and start it off well.

This made my day brighter even though we didn't have hot water and our heat kicked on during the night because the fans were so effective. Problems from opposite end of the spectrum but problems none the less.

Hope you have a good day!!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Another Group of New Students Oriented

Well tonight concludes another orientation and another group of new students oriented. The returning students are filtering in and this campus is slowly bursting back to life.

Orientation always gets me excited about this school and makes me fall in love with it all over again. I love how excited people are to go here. I love how our theology professors and other professors directly involved in passing on the deposit of Faith are required to take the oath of fidelity. (If you want to read more about that look back to this post.) I love how beautiful this campus is in the summer. I love how filled with the Holy Spirit this campus is. I love how the Lord is doing great things at this school(not to say at all that He isn't doing great things other places too!) I love the smoggy air and the polluted air because it reminds you that you are home. Yes, home. When I left for college nearly three years ago I swore I would never call my college home. However, now I sit here, transferred, and most defiantly know this place is home.

So, Welcome Home!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Roasted Vegetable Tomato Sauce

So I get asked often enough for how I make my tomato sauce. A few weeks ago I decided to document the process and recipe so that I could share it with those that ask :) Enjoy and let me know if you try it!!


Look I actually chicken scratched some measurements and directions for how I make my sauce. I normally am a "go with the gut, see how it looks, recipes are inspiration rather than law" type of cook so this was a big deal.

First things first, heat up a generous amount of olive oil on the bottom of a stock pot, chop up about 2 medium onions and 4 cloves of garlic and sautee them until they are a light brown on the edges.

I only used one onion but look how HUGE my onions were. That is a normal size coffee mug and that is the giant onion.

Once the garlic and onions have had some time to brown it is time to add the tomatoes. I had picked these from the garden about 15 minutes before I made the sauce to ensure that they were as fresh as possible. I used about 10 tomatoes of all different sizes. Don't ask me what kinds they were because I have no idea, just used whatever was ripe. If you hadn't noticed by now for everything in this "recipe" you can pretty much use how many you want/have.

Chop the tomatoes just so that they are not whole and put them in with the onions and garlic.

Now for the best part, the wine!! Most bottled sauce has alot of refined sugar in it so rather than adding sugar I use the sugar from the wine to sweeten the sauce. I have no idea exactly how much I used just whatever was left in the bottle.

And of course some wine to drink while doing all this cooking!

Once all that starts to bubble turn it down and and cover it. Now let it cook. I let mine cook for 2 hours, you could probably get decent results in a half hour but you could also let it cook all day.

Now time to make it Roasted Vegtable Tomatoe Sauce. I chopped up almost a full zucchini and yellow squash into small bite size pieces as you see in the picture below. I added these vegtables because curerntly there is a prethera of them and to add a little more veggie to the meal.

Place the chopped veggies on a cookie sheet, drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper on them. The oven should be turned on to 400 degrees. I baked them for about 15 minutes flipped them and such and then baked them for another 15 minutes. Basically you want to bake them until they are a little roasted.

Now while the vegtables were roasting, I was blending the base of the sauce. I was lucky enough to find an immersion/hand blender at a thrift store a few years ago for $3 (score!!!). These work great but if you don't have one you can just pour the sauce in a blender.

Now here is the sauce all ready for the vegetables. Don't fear if it comes out a little more orange than red. Bottled sauces have added dye that makes them look more red. (Can you tell I am not Italian? I don't compare my sauce to my grandmas family recipe but to the bottled sauces that we grew up on.)

Take the roasted vegetables out of the oven and add them to your sauce. I then let it simmer for nearly another hour so that the vegetables could take on some of the taste of the sauce.

I am bummed but I never got pictures of the final result. It was late and I was just excited to get them into bags and the freezer. I put individual size portions into freezer bags and got nearly 10 bags! I also made a larger "lasagna bag" so that I could make a lasagna or something this winter.

Hope you enjoy the recipe!!

Please leave questions or comments below.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Orienting the Disorienting

I have been a bit busy lately.  On Monday I moved back to Franciscan again.  I am here early and on orientation team.  We have been being trained on how to orient the disoriented new students. Can't wait to see this campus of students, studies, and life again!!

Look forward to pictures of my new house and new semester.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The 10 Virtues of Mary

If we are trying to live in imitation of Our Blessed Mother I argue that it is important to have the virtues attributed to her displayed in our living space/home/dormroom, so why not do it in a pretty way?

I searched the internet and pinterest for inspiration for this project but really didn't find anything so I had to ignite my creative side and come up with an idea on my own. Now I admit, I am continuing to ponder a great way to display the virtues on canvas, maybe with stenciling or just pretty lettering. However, the way I created this piece of "art" was so darn easy and I think it produces a really nifty result.

How to: (Now I didn't take any pictures of the process because honestly it was that easy!)

Materials Needed:

-8x10 frame of your choice (really any frame size you would just need to adjust the paper accordingly)

-piece of paper of your choice

-some program to make a document with the virtues listed, preferably one with amble font options

The frame I chose was just a simple wooden frame I picked up at a garadge sale for something like .50 and painted and then distressed a little with sandpaper.

You could use any frame you have lying around, buy one you like or repaint one like I did-the possibilities are endless.

Then go into Word (or a similiar program) and list out the 10 Virtues of Mary (by St, Louis de Monfort, a quick google search will give you an accurate list).

Lets see can you come up with half of them without looking?

Ardent Charity

Heroic Patience

Lively Faith

Surpassing Purity

Angelic Sweetness

Profound Humility

Continual Mental Prayer

Divine Wisdom

Universal Mortification

Blind Obedience

Then play with fonts and make each virtue a different font. Rearrange the order, change the size, go back and forth between fonts just get creative and make something that visually appeals to you.

Once that is done print it on paper that compliments the frame. It could be just plain old white paper, card stock, interview paper, patterned paper, scrapbook paper whatever your heart desires.

Put the paper in the frame and admire the piece of "art" you created. Display it and look to it often. One piece of advice I have that has greatly enriched my prayer life is to pick a virtue on any given day and come back to it throughout the day in prayer or thought. It is such a simple way to grow in her virtues without being overwhelmed by the holiness of all of them.

I also give you a link to a great article about the virtues and what they all mean. (Because admit it, you aren't exactly sure what mortification even means)

P.S. Soon I will post pictures of it in my new house!!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Pinning It Down #2

So it is that season of the year where if you have a zucchini plant you have zucchini coming out of your ears. We give alot of ours away but I am trying to get creative and use as much as possible.

So I found on pinterest a recipe for zucchini pancakes and I thought I would give it a try.

Now here is a disclaimer. I see recipes as more inspiration than something to be followed perfectly. With that being said I used a really big pinch of flour, I used dried chives and parsley instead of the fresh chives and mint, sea salt rather than kosher salt, and I found out we don't have a zester so the lemon zest is absent.

Some pictures of the process.

The fresh ingredients! Zucchini from our garden, onions from the Amish Farmers market on 700, and potatoes from the vegetable stand down the street.

The shredded zucchini.

I forgot about the fresh eggs!! We get fresh, brown, organic, cage free, grazing (do chickens graze or just cows?) eggs.

Frying up the pancakes.

The finished plate. Random things to eat with it-half a ham and cheese sandwich and half a veggie pattie sandwich.

So conclusions, the zucchini pancakes were good but a lot of work. I probably would make them again but continue trying to make them better.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Whada' do today?

Well yesterday...

What did you do to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption.

Mine began with Mass in Little Italy

It then continued with wedding dress shopping. This is my first friend getting married and my first experience at a bridal salon.

And what a better way to end an exciting summer day with friends than some fro-yo. Well and looking through pictures of the Bride-to-Be in potential wedding dress again and again :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Guest Post at "The Recovered Catholic"

I am so thrilled to be able to guest post at "The Recovered Catholic".

Christina at "The Recovered Catholic" is a beautiful woman who, praise the Lord, has returned to the Catholic Church! She shares her story about the joys she finds having returned to the fullness of Truth and the struggles when not everyone around you agrees with your decision.

So please go over to her blog and check it out!

And if you are visiting here from Christina's blog, welcome! Please look around a little, comment, and come back for more.

Some blogs in the work:
Back to School
The 10 Virtues of Mary
Dressing with Modesty

Artificially Colored, Early Death Filled, Sugary Goodness

So even people who label themselves as health conscious indulge in naughty treats every once in a while. Hence this 22 oz cup of, as the title suggests, artificially colored, early death ingredient filled, too much sugar through a straw Speedway Freezy yumminess.

Don't worry my bloated stomach and sugar coated teeth regret it.

I tried to make it up by eating this delicious dinner.

Couscous, Kale and Beans with a side of garden fresh green beans and yellow squash.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

New Camera

So I celebrated a birthday last Thursday and I was lucky enough to receive a new camera from my parentals. Yes, I Natalie, moved from the world of point and shoot to the world of DSLR. I knew I was capable of taking great photos on a nice camera and I was just antsy to have my very own DSLR camera!

I knew my only regret was that I didn't ask for it earlier.

So expect to see some blogs with better pictures. Maybe some posts about me learning my new camera and if you have any recommendations on blogs or websites that could help teach me it would be greatly appreciated.

O yeah, and if you were wondering exactly what kind I got it is a Nikon D3100 in black from Best Buy.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Pinning it Down #1

I along with every other middle class female (yes there are some men) am a fond user to Pinterest. I don't have a need to check it every day or even every couple days. For me it is more like a "I have 20 minutes and I just want to veg so I am going to go on pinterest" However with these veg times I have found a lot of great ideas, recipes, crafts, etc.

So I introduce to you the first spotlight on things I have pinned and actually carried out.

Here is the inspiration for the project

And here is what mine looks like

Now it is clear I didn't follow what she did exactly, ie I didn't sandpaper the edges nor stain it. I don't love how it turned out but I did like it. Considering the project probably cost something around $5 it was a good effort and will look nice in my house for this upcoming school year. And of course it is awesome that when someone goes "O I like this. Where did you get it?" I can respond with, "Actually I made it!"

Monday, August 6, 2012

Consulting God

So the other night while lying in bed I had one of those moments were you take a definite step in your faith than realize you have taken this same step 100 times for better or worse.

I remembered that we should "consult" God in every little thing we do. You see I had a lot of things on my mind. I was mulling and thinking about how to respond to a controversial topic discussion with a classmate from high school. I was debating on whether or not I should take time to do something the next day. I was getting excited about going back to school. And I remembered that in all these things I should consult God, seek His guidance, His peace, and invite Him into my celebration. He longs to be invited into our lives, we need only ask.

Friday, August 3, 2012

7 Quick Takes (Vol. #2)

--- 1 ---

My fruit and veggie strong dinner. (That "diet" is another post for another day) Yum, yum. A panini with ham, Havarti cheese, garden tomatoes, and pesto sauce. Garden cucumber salad. Fresh fruit salad with strawberries, blackberries, peaches, and pineapple. ANd yes that is a ice-cold end of a summer day beer sitting next to it, you were just supposed to ignore it.

--- 2 ---

Chick-fil-a Appreciation Day-did you go? I unfortunately was not able to go. Our closest one is a half hour away and I just couldn't make it work. Instead I ate a yummy brinner made by someone else (when made homemade by someone else it always tastes even yummier) however I did have a chicken finger at the TOB night I went to later that night.

--- 3 ---

Speaking of Chic-fil-a, I have been pleasantly surprised by the media coverage I saw of it. First of all, I was delighted that it even made the news. Secondly, I was impressed with the way it was covered. It showcased the point that for many people it wasn't even about the same-sex marriage issue but more about the fact that Dan Cathy should be able to make a statement about his beliefs based on his first amendment right, something that our country seems to be forgetting. Lastly, it clearly showed that people were delighted to wait in line even if it was hours in the hot sun.

--- 4 ---

Speaking of TOB. Wednesday night reminded me how much we need to pray for young people that they have the courage to discern the vocation that God created for them and the ears to hear His quiet, gentle voice.

--- 5 ---

Well this is what I was up to today. It doesn't seem like much but it takes longer than you think to prepare, photograph, and post items for ebay.

--- 6 ---

One book. That is all I need for my classes next semester. It is a combined book for both pediatric and maternity nursing. Getting ready for a great semester!

--- 7 ---

I love the Olympics, but who doesn't at this point?

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!