Monthly Archives: January 2011

House list

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I don’t remember where I read about it, but I read somewhere about a blogger who made a list of house improvements that she wanted to make this year. I thought it was such a good idea that I made my own list! Unfortunately, I then completely forgot to post it here. Oops. Well, better late than never!

I divided my list up by room, and tried to make it not too expansive, because even though I have a year to complete them, I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew, of course!


Living room:

  • Hang a wedding picture on the wall
  • Hang and decorate with frame shadow boxes (I will post about these when I hang them up; they were another Freecycle find!)
  • Get a new rug
  • Hang the mirror (a gift that I haven’t gotten around to hanging up yet)
  • Get 2 chairs and sell the Freecycle couch (or at least get rid of it, but I’m hoping to sell it!)
  • Get a small coffee table (I have my eye on one posted on Freecycle, actually!)

Kitchen:

  • Replace switch plate covers (check! Post coming soon on that!)
  • Get a new dining room table (Not feasible right now, based on the space we have so I’m putting this off until later)
  • Find a nicer way to store our plastic to-go containers (please tell me I’m not the only one who battles with this!!)
  • Fix screen door
  • Stain deck (OK, this is outside, but it’s off the kitchen, so that counts!)
Den:
  • Get his and her recliners and a couch
  • Sell Freecycle sectional (seeing a pattern here?)
  • Hang Dark Side of the Moon poster (it needs to be leveled…it’s kinda a pain to hang, but it needs to be done!)
  • Replace switch plate covers
  • Fix weather stripping on the door to the garage
  • Replace door to garage? (I’m not sure if we want to or need to do this, but it has a doggie door that we don’t use, so a new one might be nice
  • Find better curtains
Master bedroom:
  • Hang something above the bed (we have a big, empty wall!)
  • Sand and refinish my bedside table
  • Build a stand for the TV and DVD player
Office:
  • Repair and rehang broken frame
  • Mount speakers on the wall (We decided to sell these instead)
  • Find a desk with more storage (thank you Craigslist! They even delivered!)
  • Sell the desk we currently have (again, Craigslist!)
  • Organize!!!
Guest room:
  • Find a small mirror or full length mirror to hang
  • Replace or paint dresser
  • Spray paint bed frame white
I will keep you posted as I progress in my goals!

I’m Grateful Wednesday

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Every Wednesday (well, almost every Wednesday!) I try to do a post on things I’m grateful for over the past week. This helps keep my mood up…especially in the winter. Give it a try, it helps!

This week I am grateful for every one of my readers. There may not be many, and I may not get a lot of comments (or any…) but I’m grateful for you all. Anyone who puts up with reading my small space on the internet deserves recognition!

I’m grateful for the sun today. It’s been rainy and generally gloomy recently, but I just looked out the window and saw sun! This makes me happy.

I’m grateful that my job is going well, my manager seems happy (for the most part) with my work and the drivers enjoy me.

I’m grateful that my 52 Letter Challenge is going well and I’m pleased to say that I have yet to miss a week! It’s early yet, though, so don’t get too excited. I’m sure a missed week (or more!) is in the cards.
As an aside, this week’s letter was written to an old friend who I don’t talk to nearly often enough. She is recently pregnant, and though we had a long conversation when she told me, we haven’t talked since, or much before. I feel bad so…a letter was due. I think next week’s is going to my grandmother though, since I got a letter from her in the mail!

But I digress. I am also grateful for Mint.com which I have recently fallen in love with. A whole post on Mint is coming, though I’m sure a lot of you have heard of it and use it already. It’s changed my life already and we’ve only just begun.

On a related note, I’m grateful for the bank! We opened up another checking and savings account so we can filter money into different accounts for different goals. Very exciting. Once we get credit card debt paid off we are going to start saving for things like a vacation to Hawaii next year and a replacement car that is (hopefully) still 4-5 years away.

And finally, I’m grateful for Swagbucks! (yes, that is a referral link, but if you don’t want to help me, just go to the site yourself. It’s so worth it). I’ve earned about $20 in Amazon gift cards ($10 of which went to a Christmas gift in December) and I’m loving it. It takes me about a month to earn a $5 card which seems like forever, but it does add up! And I love that Amazon will hold onto your gift cards and accumulate a balance. I’m not sure what I’m saving for yet, but I do know that I love free Amazon.com money! (Who doesn’t?) There are plenty of other things to earn on Swagbucks, but Amazon cards are my favorite.

And with that, I’m back to work! I’m grateful that I only have about 4 hours left of work…the afternoon always seems to go faster than the morning!

What are you grateful for today?

Pieces of the puzzle

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I was reading a friend’s (private) blog post which happened to mention mental illness.
{Side note: mental illness is defined as any disease of the mind; the psychological state of someone who has emotional or behavioral problems serious enough to require psychiatric intervention. This includes depression.}

Anyway, this particular friend was discussing her own mental issues, and the problems she was having with a particular friend who just didn’t understand, which I get. One of the comments her friend made that this friend took offense to, was that “nobody considers mental illness to be a part of their identity.”

At first, I agreed with my friend. Mental illness is my identity. My depression is my identity…isn’t it? Then I started thinking. Depression is part of my identity, but it isn’t my whole identity. It’s a piece of me, just like the fact that I’m a girl, or that I have brown hair and blue eyes. It’s always there, it’s not something I can change.

I feel like depression is like that, too. I can cover it up with therapy or drugs, just like I can cover my hair with dye. I can’t change it permanently, however…and I’m not sure I want to. My depression is there, just like everything else that is part of my identity. But I refuse it let it identify me solely, and that is where (I feel) many people go wrong. They allow depression to win, to identify them completely, and it shouldn’t. It’s only a piece of the whole puzzle that makes you, well, you.

Part of the puzzle that makes me Megg, is my depression. But it’s also my brown hair, my blue eyes, and my feminine wiles. (Well, maybe not the latter…) I refuse to let the depression win and define me completely. And while this is difficult, I like to think that I’m making progress…a little bit at a time.

Cranberry nut bread

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Oh friends. I have been slacking on posting. There are many reasons for that lately, but the biggest two are my new schedule and the fact that we joined a gym! Though these are both very exciting things, but they left me exhausted last week. This week, however, promises to be easier as I ease into my new schedule.
Anyway! That is not the point. The point is, last night I decided to bake. Do you ever feel like you just want to bake something? Usually, for me, this comes with a really cold house, because I want to heat the house without turning the heat up! Last night I was just bored, however.
We had a huge bag of Craisins in the house so I decided to try cranberry nut bread! Like my friend banana bread, cranberry nut bread is a quick bread, which means it doesn’t have to rise. Although, since it has to cook for over an hour, I think maybe quick bread is not the right term for this type of bread. Maybe it should be called faster than yeast bread that still takes a long time to bake? I guess that’s too long, so we will stick with quick bread.
The recipe for this bread isn’t that difficult or unusual, in fact if you search fro cranberry nut bread you will probably find the same or similar recipe that I used. However, I’m a big fan of using the cookbooks I have, so I used a new cookbook I hadn’t tried out yet.

The recipe was quick and easy, and even though it calls for fresh cranberries and recommends fresh squeezed orange juice, I used Craisins and Tropicana orange juice and it came out pretty good, if I do say so myself! Here is the recipe, in case you get bored one night too.

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick butter
1 egg
3/4 cup orange juice (I ended up using 1 cup because my batter was really dry)
1 tablespoon grated orange peel (about 1 orange)
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh cranberries (I used Craisins!)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I used pecans!)

Mix the dry ingredients, including the cranberries and nuts.
In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients and combine, just until moistened. It’s important not to over-mix the batter or else your bread will be dry and tough.
Pour the batter into a greased 9×5 inch pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for 75 minutes.
Cool on a rack for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Let the loaf cool completely, wrap it in foil and let it sit overnight before slicing.

Enjoy!

Not just a girl

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I have so many ideas and thoughts in my head right now, but I’m too tired to even think clearly. So tonight I leave you with this, a very special guest post by yours truly.
I want you to read my post, but then I want you to read the other posts that readers have done relating to depression and Alise’s You are not Alone series. They are very moving and touching, and enlightening. Whether you struggle with depression or not, I encourage you to read these, because they will open your eyes…they did for me.

This weekend, hopefully, I will get these thoughts out of my head. Until then, enjoy your Friday!

I’m grateful Wednesday

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This week I’m very grateful for my new work schedule! I am now working Tuesday-Saturday, 7 am-3 pm. Sure, I’m giving up most of my Saturdays but since Saturdays are slow and I get off at 3-3:30 every day, I am willing to make this sacrifice!

I’m grateful for the fact that my new schedule is allowing me to go back to helping out at my church youth group on Wednesday nights and our local cat shelter on Thursday nights! I’ve missed my kitties!!

I’m grateful that this week Geoff’s flat tire happened in the parking lot of his work, not on the road.

I’m also grateful that the flat tire pushed us to do what we have really needed to do for some time…get new tires on his car.

I’m grateful for a job that allows us to be able to afford things like four new tires!

I’m grateful for our local thrift store. What a haven of exciting finds that place is! Yesterday I got a very exciting, much coveted item for a huge bargain, and on Saturday I scored 5 books and a springform pan for under $4! Now I need to practice making cheesecake!

Finally, I’m grateful for my wonderful, amazing husband with whom I am planning on working out at the gym we joined this weekend.

What are you grateful for this week?

1 letter down, 51 to go!

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This week’s letter will be mailed out with a package for a good friend who I hope doesn’t read my blog!

Our local thrift store had books on sale, 5 book for .99! I bought three animorphs books for my friend (and two for me) and wrote her a letter along with her (super cheap) gift. This particular friend collects these books, and the best part is, if she has the three I’ve sent her, I spent less than a dollar on them so she can just donate them to goodwill herself.

Who did you write to this week?