June 26, 2013

Fantastic Flatbread

I know, I am not the best when it comes to creating names for recipes.  But hey, it was pretty fantastic and when you have the chance for alliteration, you go for it. 

Today I was pondering the question that continues to stump humanity throughout the ages (namely "What to have for lunch?")  when I recalled the package of flatbread sitting in our pantry.  I pulled it out and after musing over which ingredients to use I hit upon this fantastic flatbread flavor. 

Fantastic Flatbread

1 Flatbread
2-3 tbl  Hummus (I used Sabra Original)
1 Small tomato
4 Fresh basil leaves
2 tbl Italian dressing
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese

Place flatbread on a non-stick baking tray and turn the broiler on high.  Move oven rack to the top.  Spread hummus on flatbread.  Slice tomato into thin slices and arrange on hummus.  Chop basil leaves into small pieces and sprinkle over tomatoes.  Dash the flatbread with Italian dressing and cover with mozzarella cheese.  Broil on high for 2-3 minutes.

I didn't measure at all while I was preparing the flatbread, so the measurements I have written down are approximate. Feel free to add or subtract ingredients and amounts to taste!

June 25, 2013

Modest Monday: Pretty in Pink

Just joining the Modest Monday party? Here's the original post (from My Spare Oom): 

Today I pulled out this light, flowy, flowery skirt that was perfect for the humid and sticky weather we've been having.

This skirt goes with brown and cream and purple, but today I felt like pink so I pulled out a pink cotton v-neck.  To pull the piece together, I added a brown leather belt with a floral cut.

To accessorize I had a beautiful bracelet and earring set...

A sand dollar I found on the beach turned necklace...

and pulled my hair back into a french braid/side ponytail with a big white flower clip.

All together, a fun, pink, cool outfit for a hot summer day!

June 20, 2013

A Prayer for All in Trouble

In case the font above is too small to read, here is the text of the prayer below:

Most blessed Virgin, in your life of glory, remember the sorrows of earth. Look with kindness on those who suffer, who struggle against difficulties, who drink unceasingly the bitterness of this life. Have pity on those who love each other and are separated. Have pity on the lonely of heart. Have pity on the weakness of our faith. Have pity on the objects of our affection. Have pity on those who weep, those who pray, those who fear. Obtain for all, hope and peace. Amen.

June 19, 2013

Five Favorites - My Favorite Mom Bloggers

I was thinking of what to do for my five favorites this week when I realized that I have five mom bloggers that I follow.  I look forward to reading their posts and gleaning some words of wisdom along with some very entertaining stories.  So without further ado... my five favorite mom bloggers


Of course, my number 1 favorite blogger is my mom, Laura over at Homeschooling with Joy.  I admit, before I went away to college for a year and a third I didn't really read it all that much but while I was there it was nice to have a way to keep up on all the things going on at home.  In case you were wondering, the caterpillar on the branch isn't some commentary on the homeschooling life... my mom's just an awesome photographer and rotates the header photo on her blog with the time of the year.


Hallie over at Moxie Wife is another favorite of mine.  I've been following her writing for a good while, starting back when she was still "Betty Beguiles".  I love reading all of her posts, but her ones on marriage are by far my favorites.  She always leaves me with something new to ponder over, or little thoughts to file away for later when I'm married.  She also has had some great thoughts about make up and style, my favorite being "Cultivating a Positive Body Image".  I've certainly needed that advice at times!


Kelly at This Ain't the Lyceum.  I cannot say enough about this woman!  With two young children who have Spinal Muscular Atrophy, I can't imagine how trying life must be sometimes.  Yet she is always so funny and upbeat. (I especially love her "What I Wore Sunday" posts.  Hilarious!)  I always get excited when I go to my blogger newsfeed and see a new post.


You may have read stuff by Simcha Fisher from her blogger column over at the National Catholic Register.  Now you can follow her blog over at Patheos.  Simcha blogs about a whole gamut of topics - Catholicism, modesty, family, marriage, world/national topics.  She's not afraid to give her opinion and if you don't like it, well that's nice and have a good day.   I don't always agree with her, but I always get a kick out of her snarky way of writing.  

Last but not least is Anne (spelled with an "e"!) at the Modern Mrs. Darcy.  I just discovered her lovely blog the other day... honestly, I don't know if I even remember how I came across it!  I am so very glad that I did, and I have been enjoying reading her new posts as well as going back into the archives to read some old ones.  (Such as this wonderful "Life Lessons from Green Gables" series).  I'm looking forward to reading more from Anne!

And that is that, my dear readers!  I do hope you will check out these lovely women's blogs for yourself, and once you are finished with that... head on over to MoxieWife (Ha, see! you have no excuse not to visit her!) for more Five Favorites!

June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day Daddy!

My mom likes to roll her eyes at me and exclaim "I always forget... you look like me, but you are just like your father!"  There have been more than a few parties where some of the more extroverted members of the family will come up to us and say "Gosh, you look like you are having a terrible time!" when all we are doing is taking a step back and observing, rather than participating.  There are a lot of people who think my dad is super intimidating... which I suppose I can understand since he's 6'4", he's not afraid to give his opinion and when he sees a group of little kids doing things they shouldn't you'd better believe he's going to let him know that.  If you ask me or my siblings though, we'd say he goofs off too much and makes us laugh too often to be intimidating.  (Although based on his expression in the above picture, I'm not sure my Knight would agree with me! ;-) )

So what if I'm biased, I think I have the best dad in the whole world.  
Happy Father's Day Daddy!  I love you.

June 15, 2013

Twitterature - June 2013

Dear friends, I have discovered a new link up!  This one is a monthly book review link-up over at the Modern Mrs. Darcy's blog.  The short and sweet is that you write short, casual reviews of the books you've been reading lately.  

The Dorothy Martin Mysteries by Jeanne M. Dams

Middle aged American widow relocated to England.  She solves mysteries, marries the chief constable and wears awesome hats. #greatread #thinkAgathaChristie

The Little Women Letters by Gabrielle Donnelly

The great-great-granddaughter of Jo March, who discovers her grandmother's letters in the attic.  Cute story, though the characters felt a bit forced at times. #goodifyoudon'thaveanythingelse

The Wedding Dress by Virginia Ellis

Set in post-Civil War, three sisters are living together.  The two oldest are widows and the youngest wants to marry.  They start making a wedding dress in the hopes a groom will someday arrive. #anothercutestory #alittleslow

The World's First Love by Fulton J Sheen

Stop everything and go and buy this book.  Beautiful writings about the Blessed Mother in a way that is so profound, and yet easy to comprehend.  #absolutelybeautiful #alsoapparentlythetitleofagayanime #don'tgoogleimagesearchwiththistitle

For more awesome Tweet length book reviews head on over to the Modern Mrs. Darcy!

June 13, 2013

Five Favorites: A little bit of everything


First off... the words Wisconsin, two weeks and airplanes.  Because it reminds me that in two weeks an airplane will be bringing me my Knight and he and my family and my grandparents and I will be heading up to the north woods of Wisconsin on vacation!

[insert vacationy photo here]


Thrift stores.  They can be really super frustrating, though they have gotten better since I have accepted the pant size I actually am and stopped trying to fit into the size I thought I should be.  You can usually find some good things there (heck, over half my wardrobe is from thrift stores), and every once in a while you find a real gem.

Like this Ann Taylor pantsuit in perfect condition for only $9. 


Or this beautiful sundress that I plan on pairing with either a white, brown or blue shrug.  Photoshoot will be forthcoming!

On one of my trips to the library I discovered a delightful new series of murder mysteries entitled The Dorothy Martin Mysteries.  The descriptions sounded interesting, and really... when a book is described as a "modern Agatha Christie", how can you go wrong?  The mysteries follow the adventures of a middle aged American widow relocated in a small English town.  They are very charming and - as another review pointed out -  "G rated!", so you can enjoy them and share with younger siblings.

Book #3... about a dollhouse collector


I heard this song, oh, back around the time The Voyage of the Dawn Treader came out because, as I found out, this was the first song Carrie wrote for the end credits.  (Replaced by "There's a Place for Us".)  I really connected with it after I started dating my Knight, and it's usually the first song I find myself going and listening to when our visits come to an end.  I just watched the music video and... it made me cry.  I had never connected it with military families before, but it's perfect.

June 12, 2013

Job Searches and the Blackhawks

As much as I love working at my current job, I've known for a while that I need to upgrade from the very part time to a full time position.  The searching began back in February-ish, and I've had a few interviews, but nothing has come of it so far.  I did just have an interview today though, and I think it went rather well!  I the two people who I interviewed with were awesome and very, very nice.  They said I'd hear back by the end of the week, so here is hoping....

In other news, I watched my first full (more or less) hockey game the other night (the one where the Hawks won in double over time!) and I am now a hockey fan.  I will admit, my interest was first sparked by the fact that my Knight is a Bruin's fan and my competitive streak came out.  Go Hawks!  I was going to go out with some friends to watch the first game for the Stanley Cup, but weather knocked those plans out of whack.  Sad day, I guess the radio will have to do instead!

And that concludes today's edition of random news in the life of Amanda.  I'm still getting the hang of this talking about random things in my day thing.  Bear with me!

June 7, 2013

Scrumptious Blog Award

Awarded to me by the lovely Clare from Come Further Up.

1) Once you are awarded, post about it on your blog and leave a link back to the person who awarded you 
2) Answer all the questions on the tag 
3) Do not award anyone who has less than 100 followers 
4) Come up with ten new questions 
5) Keep your questions clean and refrain from using vile language 
6) Tag 5 to 10 people

1. What book are you reading right now?
I am actually in between books.  I don't know which of the 9 I checked out from the library I'll pick up next, but I just finished Breakfast at Tiffany's.

2. Which of the four Gospels is your favorite?
Ooh, this is hard!  I think I'd choose Saint Luke though, because of the account of the Annunciation and Visitation... my middle name is Elizabeth so I've always been partial to the latter.

3. Is your home style more sleek and modern, or antique and quirky?
Well, I can't say that our home necessarily has a "style".  I suppose more of the quirky... mismatched furniture that we've picked up over the years, odds and ends and stuff.  Definitely more "home-ish" than "stylish".

4. Do you like poetry?
To read, not so much.   I do enjoy writing it, however.

5. What are a few of your hobbies?
I have a rather shameful lack of hobbies.  I do read a lot, play the piano and enjoy photography when pressed to answer that question.

6. City or country girl?
Country girl all the way!  I love the wide open spaces, no neighbors, the quiet, the peace.  I think I'd go nuts if I had to live in a city.

7. What’s something you’ve accomplished in the past year that you’re proud of?
At first this question left me feeling a little despondent, because there really hasn't been anything big or important that I've accomplished in the last year.  Then I thought about  it, and realized that that's okay.  I'm in a bit of a quiet phase of life right now, where there aren't any grand or important things that I've been doing.  I have however strengthened old friendships and planted new ones and I've continued to do the best I can to be a loving and supporting girlfriend to my wonderful knight, and I am proud of that.

8. Of all the places you’ve actually been to in the world, which is your favorite? Why?
I went back and forth a few times before I realized that there really is no competition for this one at all.  My favorite place that I've been to is The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Alabama.  If you've ever been there, you'll know why.  If you've never been there... all I can say is I'm sorry for you, and I hope you are blessed to go there soon!

9. White or red wine?
White wine.  I suppose I haven't had too much of either to really be a good judge, but I'll go with the white wine.

10. Where would you like to see yourself five years from now?
I would love to see myself married to my Knight with a home of our own and a little prince or princess on the way.

My Questions
Allison at Faint Hue of Grace
Renee at Sweet Unrest
Victoria at Victory Rose for Christ (Because she needs to start blogging again...)
Elenatintil at Elenatintil

1. Which person of the Old Testament do you most admire, and why?
2. Of all the films coming out this summer, which one are you the most excited for?
3. Who was your best friend when you were a little girl, and are you still friends with them now?
4. Baking or cooking?  (Baking implies desserts, cooking just regular old food.)
5. If you could live in any state in the US, which state would you choose?
6. Do you like to follow current fashion trends, or are you your own trendsetter?
7. What do you enjoy most about your current job?
8. Look back at who you were five years ago.  Are you pretty much the same person or do you think you've changed a lot?
9. Do you like to sing?
10. In your opinion, what is the best cool drink for a summer day?

June 6, 2013

Kindred Spirits

Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It's splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.” ― L.M. MontgomeryAnne of Green Gables
The other day, I decided that there are friends and acquaintances, and there are kindred spirits.  You don't have to be kindred spirits to be very close friends, but I think it can be agreed that there are some people that you meet that you have that extra special connection to.  You click together a little better than you do with other people.  Months can go by without saying more than a few words but it doesn't matter because when you finally run into each other again it's as if no time has passed at all.  You fall right back into conversation, and any silences are the silence of comfortable companionship and not awkward "Well, we've caught up and now what?"

Kindred spirits are the people that you want to go to with any funny story, joy or sorrow - no matter how trivial - because you know they'll get it.  Other people might not understand, but you know they will.  Maybe you don't have exactly the same interests and likes or dislikes, but you both get the same joy out of life and you have the ability to truly value and be enthusiastic about what they are interested in.  When you're with a kindred spirit, life feels a little more perfect.

Kindred spirits are a very special type of friend.  Through our lives we are very likely to run into kindred spirits that we may only know for a few hours, or a short period of time.  In that short time however, you still make that connection and walk away the better for having met them.  Other kindred spirits may find us and stay with us for much longer and if we are fortunate, for the rest of our lives.

It's a great blessing to have friendships and people that you love and value.  Finding a kindred spirit does not make your other friendships any less or not as important, by any means!  It does, however, make your friendship with your kindred spirits a little more special.  You never even have to say anything about it, because they'll know.  Kindred spirits get you, in a way other people don't... and isn't it splendid, when we discover like Anne did, that there really are so many of them in the world?

June 5, 2013

Modesty Monday: Bright Colors of Summer

Just joining the Modest Monday party? Here's the original post (from My Spare Oom): 


Between the cooler temperatures and days of rain and gloominess we've been having lately, it hasn't felt much like summer but today it was warm enough that I could pretend in a sleeveless dress layered with a denim vest on top. 

It's a fun, flowy outfit and was the perfect thing to wear to brighten up my day.

My flowery brown strapped sandals for when I headed off to noon mass and lunch with a few friends.

And my awesome Mockingjay pin just because!

Dress: thrift shop!
Vest: Christopher and Banks
Earrings and necklace: yard sales
Mockingjay Pin: Christmas gift from my boyfriend =]
Purse: Walmart
Sandals: Payless Shoe Source

And joining in is my sister with her own summery, bright colored outfit!

Earrings: Charming Charlie's
Top: Wal-mart
Skirt: Thrifted

June 4, 2013

I don't know what to blog and my brother is super creative

I was told recently by some friends that I don't blog enough, and I have had the same thought myself.  I would like to put up posts more often.  The trouble is, I'm not always sure what to blog about.  So I suppose I can ask my readers - what do you want to read?  Movie/book reviews?  Profound thoughts? (If that's the case you aren't going to end up with more frequent blogging... profundity doesn't strike every day y'know!) Thoughts and stories from my personal life?

I've always felt kind of funny blogging about "Oh hey, this is what I did today!"  It seems to work for many of the other bloggers I follow though.  In fact, random stories about what went on in their day are some of my favorites to read.  I can try that.  I think I'll have to work on making them more interesting to read, and like telling a story.  I doubt any of you will want to read posts that go "Okay so today I did this, and then I went here.  Then this funny thing happened... ramble... ramble.  And yeah, so that was my day today."

Branching off on a different note - can I just say I have a really creative little brother?  Brother 1 been on an alien creating spree lately, complete with illustrations and minute details about these creatures daily lives.  After he has a few he'll follow me around the house rattling off the height and digestive systems of his newest creations.

The Walking Taco

The one that I remember the best because, well, I was listening a little more than I was for some of the rest of them, is his "Walking Taco" alien.  These little parasitic creatures originate on a planet without any humans or intelligent aliens.   To feed, they latch on the their pray and the only way to get them off is to amputate the part of the body that they are on.  They can kill you in less than a month, and sometimes they'll hook on to animals that fly through space and end up on planets with people/aliens.  They've become relatively rare because only 1 in 20 Walking Tacos can reproduce, and those ones are easy to target for killing because they are bigger and have eggs that look like cheese on them.

I'm not sure what all of these are, except for the millipede one down in the bottom corner.  Those aliens come from a moon, and are the best pilots in the galaxy.  They have brains that stretch the whole length of their body, and attend school specifically to study flight and maneuvers. There are two different kinds - the hard shell and soft shell millipedes.  The hard shell ones are the ones that most often become planets because it's dangerous for the soft shell ones to leave their moon.  However, in the event that they get drafted into the army they are given iron plated skins to wear for protection.   I think he said something about their being another sort of skin that makes them transparent so they can be spies?  But I could be making that part up.

So yes, I have one very creative brother.