Friday Favorites: Alone On Valentine’s Day Edition

Happy Friday! I’m linking up with Andrea today to share my Friday Favorites and since I’m already late getting this done I will spare you a long introduction and just get right to it….

(small intro, sorry!!) I’m single and will be spending Valentine’s Day at home catching up on things for work and school, editing a novel, working on the development of a new series, and enjoying a relaxed, not at all stressful Saturday at home…the first such day in a VERY long time….

1.) I will be watching this movie:

My all time favorite romantic comedy, a twist on Pride and Prejudice, starring the amazing Tom Hanks…you cannot go wrong with this movie.

2.) I will be cooking dinner for my family – one of my favorite things to do and we will be having Chicken Pitas with Whipped Jalapeno Feta courtesy of Janssen at Everyday Reading.  I prepped these tonight – the feta and tzatziki sauce are probably two of the most delicious things I’ve had in a while!! I highly recommend this recipe!!

3.) I will also soon be making a batch of Shay’s Chocolate Chip Neiman Marcus Bars – they are my dad’s absolute favorite and a close second is her S’Mores Bars. These are the most baked things in my house even though I have tried to explain to my dad that there is a new recipe every week that I would like to try…these two are favorites in my house. Mom and dad both love them and I love to make them!

4.) Here’s the thing – I’m not actually going to be “alone” on Valentine’s Day, I’m going to spend the day surrounded by family, sure I’m single but that’s okay. I’m not defined by my relationship status – I know that God has someone out there for me, that someday I will get to share my life with a husband, make a home for a family, and I’m content where I am in my life right now. I’m single, I’m happy, and I’m loving my life right now!!

Thank you so much for stopping by! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Blessings,

Megan

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Announcements!

This post comes to you today in four parts:

1.) An announcement

2.) A project
3.) A new series
4.) Another announcement
Part one – an announcement!
For the month of July, I have committed to writing a 50,000 word novel….as part of Camp NaNoWriMo. For those of you unfamiliar with NaNoWriMo here is a little background: November is National Novel Writing Month…NaNoWriMo. For the months of April and July NaNoWriMo has done, and will be doing summer camp sessions, and I have signed up for a month of insanity writing. A really good friend of mine (and fellow writer) is taking on this assignment with me, and I’m really glad that we will be cabin mates (in the same writing group) for the month! I’m going to try to update the blog throughout the month and let you know how I’m doing as far as my word count goal, and whether or not I’ve completely lost my mind yet!! 
Created by me with Studio for iPhone! Love that app!!

Part two: A project

I received a bag of fabric and sewing supplies from a dear lady at church and am looking for the perfect project to use this fabric for. I’m looking for some dress patterns with kind of a vintage feel to them. I’m also working this summer on making a custom dress form (along with writing a novel, and trying to read through that list I posted last week) so that I can make some better fitting dresses! So that was two projects really!
Part Three: A new Series
I’m planning a new series for the blog!! I’m calling it “Homemade” I’ll be sharing some of my favorite recipes, either made be me, passed down to me, or from some of my favorite bloggers. I have a few recipes in the works, and one that I will be testing tomorrow night! 
another graphic made (by me!!) with Studio for iPhone
4.) Part Four: Another announcement
Now that I’m at part four I forgot what my other announcement was going to be…..well, that tells you what this day has been like!!
I get to start writing in a few days, I have lots of fun recipes coming up, and maybe a fun collaborative post or two! 
See you tomorrow! 
Blessings, 
Megan  

7 Quick Takes: 10/11/13

I’m alive I promise!! It’s been almost two weeks since my last post, and I feel pretty bad about it….not sure why though….maybe it’s false guilt – but that is all beside the point…the point is I’m back to blogging, and I have a Quick Takes post ready for you, so here it is:

1.) I’m typing this as I’m standing in my kitchen waiting for a batch of Brown Sugar Maple Bars to bake, and listening to some music on my computer which reminds me of a blog post a friend of mine recently wrote all about the Soundtrack of a Story…..it was really good, you should check it out….I can wait…..

oh good, you’re back! Well, what did you think?! I love movies with strong soundtracks, in my own personal playlist I have Band of Brothers, The West Wing, The Hunger Games, John Williams (I didn’t want to list all the movies)….this is just a sample of what I listen to, but these are easily some of my favorites.

2.) I bought my Halloween costume for $10 this year. Or I bought the pieces of it rather. It is a “some assembly required” costume, the pieces of which came from my local Goodwill store, and with a little time spent on the sewing machine hopefully I will have a dress that resembles Snow White’s iconic gown…..

via Google

3.) I’m also eating butterscotch chips by the handful….but I don’t think you needed to know that.

4.) I finally watched Iron Man 3 last weekend and it was AMAZING!! I love Tony Stark, and I love Robert Downey Jr.. I love anything Marvel comes out with, and have learned to watch a movie to  the VERY VERY end, even past the credits……******SPOILERS AHEAD********

This made my nerdy heart extremely happy!!

AH!!! I know, I’m a nerd, but I LOVE IT!
5.) The bars are out of the oven, and I have a caramel frosting to make…I’ll be back! 
6.) Caramel frosting is done….and insanely good! We are heading up to Frankenmuth tomorrow to do some shopping. We will hit up Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, and a few other local stops. If you didn’t see it already, here is the post I did about Frankenmuth….It was featured on Janssen’s Everyday Reading. 
7.) As always, I’m linking up with Jen and the others over at Conversion Diary. Make sure you read Jen’s post about the centipedes and scorpions. I live in Michigan, but still made it a point to check my bed and blankets before going to sleep the other night…..read this post, and you’ll understand why! After reading this, spiders aren’t looking too bad!! 
Have an awesome weekend! GO BLUE!!

Blessings,

Megan 

Birthday Breakfast

Saturday was my Mom’s birthday and I wanted to do something special for her, so I combed through my boards on Pinterest until I came across a Fiesta Breakfast Casserole. This is a great recipe, but I ended up modifying it based on my family’s personal preferences. Here is what I did.

1.) I sprayed a 9×13 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray, and covered the bottom with a layer of frozen hash brown potatoes.

2.) I diced up one red bell pepper, and a small onion. I layered this mixture on top of the potatoes.

3.) While I was working on the veggies, I had some bacon cooking in a pan on the stove. I cooked it until it was crisp, and then crumbled it over the top of the peppers and onions. 
4.) In a mixing bowl, I mixed nine (9) eggs, and seasoned them with salt, pepper, cumin, and cilantro. I use a salt grinder so I didn’t actually measure the salt, I just used two (2) twists worth of salt, a palm full of pepper, and two (2) pinches (literal pinches, with my fingers) of cumin. The only cilantro that I have is dried so I added three or four shakes…..as you can see, when I’m cooking I don’t really measure…I just play around with the seasonings as I go. I whisked all of this right into the eggs…
5.) Pour the egg mixture over top of everything in your dish and top with cheddar cheese. 
6.) I did mine the night before, and left it in the fridge over night. In the morning when I got up, I put it in the oven @375 for 45 minutes. The cheese got bubbly and golden brown, and the eggs were cooked through! Serve with salsa, green onion, or whatever other fixins’ you like! 
ENJOY!
Happy birthday to my sweet Mom! I love, and appreciate you so much more than you could imagine! 
Blessings All!! 
Megan 

Back in the Swing of Things

I have a lot to catch up on….but I’ll try to keep it pretty brief:

School started, I started running, I finished a few books, started a few books, baked some new recipes, working on a book review (or two or three), and I have a few new sewing projects in the planning stages.
I’m really loving my Abnormal Psychology class. It’s been pretty interesting learning about what “Abnormal Psychology” really means, and you’d be surprised how our society today has kind of twisted that into something totally different.

I started running….something that I haven’t done in 7 or 8 years. I haven’t done it since I was graded on how fast I could run a mile in High School. Let me tell you, running at my pace, when I want to, because I WANT to…is much more fun than being made to do it for a grade.

I have a Lemon-Blueberry bar recipe to share with you soon….

I have a book review in my drafts that I’m still working on, look for that coming soon…

and at some point I will share a tutorial for a homemade iPod/iPhone arm band for running, walking, mowing the lawn, and what have you!

So, be looking for those posts coming to you soon!!

Blessings,

Megan

Catching Up

I’ve been slacking a little bit as far as blogging goes, so I’m going to try and catch up a little bit here.

Things have been pretty busy at work and at home getting ready for school to start back up. I finished my transfer orientation, toured campus, and purchased my text book. I’m only doing one class for fall due to the fact that tuition at U of M Flint is much higher than at MCC. I am enrolled in Abnormal Psychology for the fall semester, and I’m really looking forward to it!

I was sent a copy of a Young Adult Novella written by a former teacher of mine that I will be reviewing soon, so be looking for that.

I will get back on schedule with a special Fall edition of 7 Quick Takes this Friday, and I have a few recipes to share with you soon as well!.

How’s that for catching up!?

Blessings All!

Megan

7 Quick Takes: 8/9/13

Happy Friday! I don’t really have much of consequence to share with you today….it was a pretty boring week…but, lets see what I can come up with, here goes nothin’

1.) There was an accident just recently at our church campgrounds; a young boy (about 4 yrs. old) ended up being air lifted to University of Michigan Children’s Hospital. He is in ICU. Please pray for him and his family!

2.) It has been almost two months now and I am still having some pretty bad digestive issues….and I can’t seem to find a solution. I’m very reluctant to go see a doctor, but I’m thinking right now that may be my only choice…..(please note that if a doctor or nurse happens to read this and might be willing to answer a few questions, please send me an e-mail!!!). Okay, that will be the last time I beg for help, I promise!!

3.) We went bluebe5.)rry picking this week, but not one of us thought to take our phones and get some pictures……I will however try to post pictures of the pie, jars of jam, and maybe just a bowl of blueberries, because I know you are all just dying to see them right!?

4.) Our Vacation Bible School is starting up on Monday, please pray for our leadership, our workers, our Children’s Pastor (my dear ol’ dad!), and especially the kids that will be coming! Mom and I are doing snack and Bible memory, Dad is in charge, and we are hoping to have at least a hundred kids (but more would be awesome!). Please pray that lives will be  changed during this awesome week!

5.) I finished my quilt, but I’m not going to post pictures to this post. I’m going to give my quilt it’s own post later this week……this is because I have not been able to get any decent pictures of it yet, but I’m trying hard to get some decent ones! Look for a post coming soon!

6.) I am so looking forward to our family reunion tomorrow!! We only do this every two years, so it will be wonderful to see everyone! We have family coming in from out of state, new babies to love on, and lots of stories to tell and food to eat! It should be lots of fun!

7.) I’m linking up with Jennifer Fulwiler over at Conversion Diary as I do every Friday. Go check out all the other Quick Takes this week!!

Blessings,

Megan

A Whirlwind Weekend

Guys! I’m SO excited! I’m being featured today (on one of my very favorite blogs) Everyday Reading. Each weekend Janssen features a different blogger and their city! I look forward to these posts every week. I love traveling, and a lot of these have given great trips on where to eat, and where to travel in general. Janssen’s blog is one of my favorites. She always posts great recipes, book reviews, or craft ideas. I just happened to stumble across it one day via Pinterest (of course!) and now I’m totally hooked!

You can check out my Whirlwind Weekend in Frankenmuth, Michigan right here.

Janssen, if you happen to read this…Thank you so much! I just sent this off on a whim, thinking that you would get flooded with e-mails and not even see mine, thank you for allowing me to share not my hometown, but one of my very favorite day-trip locations with you and your readers!

Blessings,

The Bottom of the Barrel

Today is grocery day….yay! That may not seem like a big deal but it really is. You see, the fridge was pretty empty when it came time for lunch yesterday so I did what I could, with what I had….here is the result.

Easy Jalapeno Chicken Nachos:

(That title makes it sound waaaaay fancier than it actually is. What is really is, is scraping the bottom of the barrel, and just using whatever I had on hand. It is crazy easy, and you can mix and match ingredients….you do not have to follow this completely.)

1.) I figured out what I had on hand, I happened to have a jalapeno and half and onion. I thinly sliced the pepper, and diced the onion,

I just wanted to get a little color on the onions and peppers, so I tossed them in a saute pan with some butter, and cranked up the heat on the burner. 

Get them nice and caramelized, but be CAREFUL they don’t burn! There is a fine line between caramelized and burnt….do not cross that line! Caramelizing gives great flavor, burning does not!
2.) Earlier in the morning, mom boiled some chicken breasts so that we could use them up. I took a now cooled chicken breast and shredded it. 
3.) After I shredded it, I tossed it in the saute pan with the onion/pepper mixture, and added another tablespoon or so of butter. 
4.) While that was heating up, I melted shredded cheese over some tortilla chips (I’m telling you, this is the easiest recipe ever!). 
5) When the chicken was at the temperature that I wanted it, I simply piled it all on top of my chips……See, crazy easy!
Top it off with your favorite salsa, or hot sauce. A dollop of sour cream, and may some cilantro if you have it on hand, and you have the easiest Jalapeno Chicken nachos. 
This is one of those dishes where, all I did was use what I have on hand. If you don’t have sour cream, thin out some plain greek yogurt with a little squeeze of lemon or lime. No jalapeno? No problem! You could use any kind of bell pepper, or don’t use any at all if don’t want to! You can do what ever you want with this dish. Mix and match ingredients, play around with it until it’s what you like! Have fun with it. 
This recipe (if you can call it that) probably isn’t blog worthy, but what the heck, here it is anyway. I was thinking that if you wrap it all up into tortillas, you could do enchiladas with a salsa verde, or grill it up in quesadillas. Who knows, I’ll have to test it out soon!
Blessings, 
Megan 

The Pin Tester Movement

If you are anything like me, you have boards on Pinterest full of things you want to try right? You see it, say to yourself  “I’m going to try that! I can do it!!” and you never actually get around to doing it….I know I do! Well, I decided to join “The Pintester Movement” and finally try out one of those many pins that I said I would try. Here’s how it went.

I saw this pin on Pinterest for homemade Cheeze-It crackers.

via: http://shopgirlmaria.blogspot.com/2013/02/homemade-cheez-its.html

I followed the directions to the letter. It was really easy to make, and they were delicious but something was off. They were really moist, and chewy. Not crispy and crunchy like a Cheeze-it. I played around with the recipe a few times, changed the type of cheese I used, baked them longer, nothing helped. I honestly don’t know what to do to make them crispy. If you would like to try the recipe for yourself here it is: {with notes from me, Meg, in black}…

YOU WILL NEED:
8oz shredded cheddar cheese (I used sharp aged white cheddar) { Author’s note: I did NOT have 8oz of ONE cheese…I had 3oz of shredded mozzarella, 3oz of shredded colby jack, and I made up the last 2oz using string cheese….}
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 tbs unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp salt
3 – 4 tbs ice water
DIRECTIONS: (These are Shopgirl’s Directions…with my Pictures)


1. First, mix together the shredded cheese,  half of the salt and the softened butter. (I used sharp aged white cheddar cheese, but you can use whatever kind of cheese you like. I shredded my own cheese just because I think it has better flavor and melts better, but you can use pre-shredded too to save some time!) Add in the flour and mix until the dough looks like little fluffy clumps. Then, with the mixer running begin adding the ice water and mix until a soft dough forms. (use as much ice water as you need for a dough to form).
2. Divide the dough in two, form each into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes. Then, roll the dough out on a floured surface into about an 1/8 inch thickness and using a fluted pastry cutter, cut the dough into about 1 inch squares.
Meg’s Corner Shelf
3. Preheat your oven to 375 deg F and line your baking sheets with parchment paper {if you don’t have parchment paper, don’t sweat…silicone baking sheets work great}. Transfer your little cheez-its onto the parchment paper, make a hole in the center of each with a toothpick, then sprinkle them with the rest of the salt. Bake for about 7 – 10 minutes (baking time will depend on your oven, just watch them carefully so they don’t burn!), or until they have puffed up and the edges begin to brown. Let cool before eating. {…or don’t let them cool…they taste great right out of the oven.}
Meg’s Corner Shelf
Even for turning out really soft,chewy, and bigger than I imagined, they still had great flavor and are amazing right out of the oven! I wouldn’t necessarily call this test a fail, but I don’t feel right calling it a win either. So it’s  a draw….a very tasty draw. Try it, you just might like it. 
Now I want to urge you to pick a pin from your boards and get to testing! You might just find that you love whatever it is you try! Don’t worry if you fail, or if it isn’t what you expect join the movement, and test those pins!
Check out the Pintester for more…well, pin testing! Have fun testing!! 
Blessings, 
Megan

p.s Go ahead and give me a follow if you like! I write about just about anything you can imagine. Sewing, cooking, books, movies…….