52 Suppers

I was never really one for New Years resolutions. “Lose weight”, “eat better”, “exercise more”. Those are things I have to recommit to every single day. January 1st doesn’t make them any more or less attainable. Last year however, my goal, (I am going to call it that cause resolution sounds so…cheesy) was to not buy Superstore clothing. I know, it sounds like a funny thing to decide but I was finding my wardrobe was filled with clothing I barely wore that didn’t fit well and looked shabby pretty quickly. So basically I was wasting my money.

I shop at Superstore pretty regularly and the clothes section temped me every single time but I am happy to say that I did not give in. Instead I bought fewer but better quality clothes that I hope to have for much longer.

For 2016, I will continue to stay away from the cheaper clothing (and might even add a few more stores to my no-go list). But also have thought of a few new goals.

  1. To text/ facebook message/ email people back within 24 hours. I often read a message and then get distracted, or need to think about an answer, or need to check something with Gary and then COMPLETELY forget about getting back to the person. It is a terrible habit that I think makes friendships in our day and age even more difficult then they already are. So in my effort to be a better friend, I am setting this goal. (Let me tell you, it is January the 8th and I have already messed up once or twice! Ah! Hold me to if friends!)
  2. My second goal I am calling 52 Suppers. I Love feeding people and having people in my home so I am challenging myself to host 52 dinners at my house this year. That is one a week and I think that is pretty do-able. I am limiting close friends/family dinners to counting only 6 times each in order to push me to invite new people. I hope to keep track of most of these dinners here so I can remember who all came over and what I fed them :).
  3. I also want to read at least 12 books. One a month should be manageable and maybe put just enough pressure on that I choose to read instead of watching Netflix. Haha!

Happy New Year friends! And if you want to come over for dinner…let me know! 🙂

 

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A List on a Rainy Weekend

It has been a super rainy weekend and has seriously lacked in productivity. I got up late on Saturday (despite my 7 am alarm aspirations), fumbled through a slow breakfast while I did paperwork and finally made it outside at 10:45 to clock in a few hours of yard work. At approximately 11:05 it began raining. Dang. But then, I came inside and made the most amazing vegan chocolate cookies (which I will post ASAP), updated my iPhone, did the dishes and did my best to not check instagram every 5 minutes. Sunday was more normal with church in the morning (I wore pants so tight that I couldn’t even cross my legs haha!) then a matinee with my mom and sister and later, grandmas 80-something birthday in the evening. Obviously I have had some thoughts this weekend, (cause when do I not?) so I made a list.

  1. I am slightly (and only slightly) ashamed of the copious amount of selfies on my phone…wanna see some?
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Bored Selfie

On-my-way-to-an-adult-job selfie

On-my-way-to-an-adult-job selfie

Wine Drinking selfie

Wine Drinking selfie

1/2 face selfie

1/2 face selfie

New Glasses Selfie

New Glasses Selfie

Gym Selfie

Gym Selfie

Excessive right?

2. Late night gym workouts are actually awesome. I almost always hit up the gym    before noon but Saturday night came and I had no plans, Gary was going out so I decided to do a long medium paced cardio work out. There was almost nobody else at the gym. I listened to country songs too loud and tried to walk backwards on the treadmill. I almost ate it and then laughed at myself.

3. Reading is a much better idea then watching episodes of Dexter on Netflix. Partly cause the show freaks me out and partly cause I just finished the first 9 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy and seriously need a media break. Also, at this rate I am going to be reading East of Eden for 5 years.

4. I can’t wait till it is warm enough to plant my garden! The short, rainy, time I spent  outside on Saturday was so exciting! My flower gardens were looking more healthy and well spaced then ever before. The lack of buttercup growing was also encouraging. I have spent soooo many hours just digging that pesky weed outta my flower beds. ALSO, my rhubarb is shooting up and even has a few leaves starting! Its going to be pie time before I know it!

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First bits of Rhubarb life.

5. Oh dear, I am already at number 5 and I am coming back to the selfie topic. Fantastic. I am now vowing to take more pictures with other people. Do you ever find it awkward to ask someone to take a selfie with you? Or is it just me? Like my friends are generally older then me…and being all….”hey lets take a selfie!” just seems kinda…immature. Or do I just need to get over myself and just be myself Yeah…probably.

6. I am super blessed to have Grandparents and especially to be able to spend time with them as they get older. We make sure to celebrate every birthday with my grandma Garner specifically. I remember last year when she said something about how she didn’t think she had any more birthdays left. That makes me panic a little bit while also feeling super thankful that we did get this whole year with her.

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Grandma on her 89th Birthday

7. Gary bought me a bunch of lamb from a hay customer. The meat I mean. Its in my freezer, not in the barn (just to be clear). I have no clue how to cook it. I have some in the fridge to make into Greek inspired skewers…but what else?

8. Blogging is the ultimate procrastination for working on my adoption book. Cause I am writing things about our life, and posting pictures…which is kinda like my adoption book..except 100x less stressful. If my grammar is bad (likely) and my punctuation is questionable (undoubtedly) it doesn’t matter so much on the blog. In the adoption book it feels like my future, our future, is in the balance of every sentence I write and every picture I select. I know that god is ultimately in charge and I really have to try to remember that when I face the task of getting that book done this week.

So those are my 8 weekend thoughts. Tell me what to do with lamb meat! Weigh in on how you feel about selfies! Come back tomorrow for Double Chocolate Gluten Free Cookies (that also happen to be Vegan!).

Weekend

Weekend around here are usually not that exciting. Saturdays are a work day like every other and the cows still have to be milked on Sunday.

Because I have been working a lot more then usual, I used this Saturday to catch up on sleep as well as clean up my house! Gary did an awesome job keeping our house tidy during the week, but farm living = never ending dirt. Even when I wasn’t working, it felt like I was cleaning our house constantly! I am not super worried about our house being clean all the time, but I know Gary really likes a clean house so I try and make that happen for him. Maybe that sounds pretty anti feminist… But I really embrace traditional roles and they work for us and our marriage. I love to be home cooking and cleaning, weather that makes me anti feminist or not. 🙂

Here is a snap shot of my weekend:

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Bc young farmer spring party Friday night, so I did my hair for the first time in weeks.

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Saturday, Gary went to an auction and bought a bus….

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My momma brought me three baby chickens as a birthday present!

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My great aunt and uncle came over for dinner Saturday night and I made this cake! I fed them meatballs and rice and broccoli. It wasn’t as fancy as I would normally get for company, but sometimes it’s about the visit more then serving fancy food.

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Sunday consisted of church, lunch at the Veddar Mountain Grille, and relaxing on the couch.

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In the evening we went out for dinner and bowling with some of my cousins. Things like this make me aware of the fact that we are all growing up. We get to choose to be friends rather then just family. It’s a cool feeling, this whole growing up thing. A couple of weeks ago, my younger sister came over to borrow a
Purse and she stayed for few hours. We have never just sat and happily chatted for a few hours. I loved it and look forward to growing all my family relationships into deeper friendships as time goes on.

Fool Proof Roast Beef and Right Living

Today at 11:30am I decided I was going to cook a big family dinner. My two close cousins were coming into town, I had a free afternoon and a roast thawed and ready in the fridge. It was super last minute but everything just worked!

(dinner for 9 please and thank-you)

I spent the morning at the Yarrow Plant Sale with my mom, sister and grandma and then invited them over for coffee and cake and cookies ( ahem yes at 10am) and to come look at my gardens. Also, my mom did my dishes and picked a bunch of pretty blooms from my garden for my kitchen! Lovely.

(These are all from my yard! So fun!)

(garden touring)

(Thank-you Momma!)

Until recently I have not had a green thumb. Not even close! I have actually killed everything I have tried to grow in my house except a Christmas cactus which can go a very long time without water and still come back to life. Early this spring I planted basil and lavender seeds in small containers in my house. To my surprise 99% of the seeds came up and are now living happily in bigger pots! The lavender will take a good year longer till I will ever see flowers. Talk about patience.
I also have spent hourssss weeding and pulling out buttercup ( ahh I HATE buttercup!) from my mostly overgrown rental house gardens. They are now looking pretty good and healthy! I just hope we get to stay here all summer so I can enjoy all my work! I actually am starting to feel knowledgeable in my gardens and really loving being out there on gorgeous, sunny days. I have planted a very small veggie garden of brussle sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, peas, sugar peas, swiss chard, tomatoes, dill, summer savory and mint. Ok that list doesn’t make it seem small..but its like… four or six plants of each and the garden plot is verrry tiny. The herbs and tomatoes are in pots on my porch. Ohh yes and 12 strawberry plants!
Also, I am helping Jill plant her gardens (and to share in the harvest) at my mom and dads house. We expanded the previous garden so we could plant more potatoes and zucchini and cucumbers! Today we worked on weeding a insanely overgrown smaller garden where we hope to plant corn, pumpkins and squash.

Its great gardening with Jill because she knows sooo much and, as a bonus, I get to spend time with my sister. Jill went to UFV and got her horticulture certificate? diploma? I don’t know…two year program thing. Anyways, she knows a lot about all sorts of gardening things so she it a great person to be learning from.

(Matching garden boots)
(Jam cat in the row of peas)
(Essie painted nails permanently caked with mud…also this is probably not good for my wedding rings)

After spending many hours in the gardens today, I made a super great dinner for my cousins, sisters and mom and dad! We had roast beef, roasted potatoes, roasted broccoli and zucchini chunks and a fresh salad. (wow so much roasting going on). It was a super easy dinner to feed so many people! (nine in fact). I did have help from everyone though. For dessert we had left over chocolate sheet cake, ice cream and vanilla sugar strawberries.

(easy, delish dessert)
(tossing broccoli and zucchini)
(medium- cooked roast)
  
Fool Proof Roast Beef
      While this does occupy your oven for quite some time, it also lead to a great, hands off dinner!

2-3lb Roast thawed and brought to room temperature
              (today I used a sirloin tip roast, but I have also used a prime rib roast and a rib roast with success!)

2 tsp Herbes de Provence
1 tsp Garlic Powder

1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
3 tbsp Olive Oil
*any spice combo would do, this is my favourite right now* 
1. Preheat oven to 375 degree F. Mix together herbs in a small bowl.
2. Rub roast with olive oil then, while your hands are still slimy, rub herbs liberally into roast. Use all the herbs and cover the entire roast.
3. Place roast into a roasting pan fat side up ( if possible) and place in heated oven for 1 hour.
4. After an hour, turn heat off but leave roast in the oven for an additional hour this hour should end about 1 hour before dinner to be served.
5. If you do not need your oven, leave roast in oven till 30 min before serving time. Turn heat back on at 375 degrees F and heat till warmed through. Let sit on counter 10 minutes covered with foil, before slicing. With a three pound roast this should be about medium rare. If your roast is closer to two pounds decrease waiting in the oven time to 1- 1 1/2 hours.

6. If you do need your oven, remove roast from oven and immediately cover roasting pan. Wrap in a towel or place somewhere to keep it warm as long as possible. 30 minutes before serving place back in oven till headed through. Let sit on counter ten minutes covered with foil, slice and serve.

*cooking longer during the second heating time will result in a more well done cut of meat. Mine was in for 45 minutes and was medium-well done*