Sunday, October 20, 2013

Recipe Sharing Time: Paying it Forward

I don't have cable. So, unfortunately, it is rare that I get to enjoy some of the (very few) good things that come with cable. Like: the news, new episodes of the shows we follow (parks n rec, new girl, walking dead, etc), and- getting to the point- cooking shows. The treadmills at the gym have a television equipped with cable and while I was on it yesterday morning, Rachel Ray came on and I learned a new recipe that I was determined to try so first thing this morning before I prepared my Primary lesson for church, I got up and made breakfast for the household. Here goes:

French Toast Casserole with Peaches and Sausage

Ingredients: one loaf of either french bread (fresh, preferably)
2 peaches
 citrus juice (lemon or lime)
Sausage (I chose a smoked turkey sausage because it is more lean than pork)
Everything you need for french toast: eggs, milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg

First, I cut up the peaches and threw a little bit of lime juice ontop to keep them fresh and to help ripen them for the casserole.

Then I cut up the sausage and threw it in a pan to braise a bit

Next is the bread. I just took a fresh loaf of French Bread from Safeway and ripped it up into semi big chunks.

The last step before slapping it all together is making the cream mixture. Take about 2 cup of milk ( I did 1 cup of milk and 1 cup half and half to make the mixture more thick). Add three eggs, a tsp of vanilla extract a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Whisk it all together:

That's about it, folks. Take all the ingredients and mix them together with the cream mixture poured ontop evenly throughout the dish.

Throw it in the oven for about 45-50 minutes at about 375 degrees. Here's the finished product!

Let me tell you. The combination of the sausage and the peaches contrasting together with the cinnamon taste was marvelous. I highly recommend this casserole to anybody. As a breakfast meal, we drizzled syrup ontop and ate it but you could also have it for lunch with a salad on the side or paired with some veggies for dinner. It's such a versatile dish, it would be sinful for me not to share. If you try this one out, enjoy and pay it forward!

peach, love, and all that happy stuff
Till next time, friends  

Friday, September 27, 2013

Sleepy Week

I'm not complaining because this is what I wanted for this semester (right?). I wanted to take on work like a steam train so Dugan could focus on his school work and homework and not stress so much about money. In an ironic hilarity, Dugan told me yesterday that this has been the "easiest semester he's taken". Joke is on me! This week I have been working every day for no less than ten hours a day between the restaurant and the babysitting and when I come home late at night I lay down in bed and struggle with falling asleep. I'm not sure if my brain is on overload or if the change in the seasons is messing with my head or what the heck is going on but i'm not regenerating over night and I am still heading off to work each day.

Again, I'm not complaining im just updating the times of whats going on with me and whats happening this week with me. Last week in September: spent not sleeping and away from home. If anyone feels the urge to come take me away from myself for a day or two, follow that urge. Today i'm running on fumes and coffee. Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Craft Project: Autumn Wreath

I don't quite remember where this idea came to mind. Maybe my mom showed it to me, maybe its from Pinterest, who knows. But I got this idea in my head and I wouldn't quit until, I had accomplished it. I went to Joanne's and bought some fabric and set the project aside to do with a friend. Well, I successfully waited for I think 4 days and then I couldn't take it anymore so I caved and went to work. I made an Autumn Wreath for my front walk way out of only a wire hanger, strips of material and a ribbon for the top:

The instructions are so simple that it hardly needs to be said. You bend the hanger into a circle, then tie the themed strips of material onto the metal. Easy. Awesome. Beautiful!

Could it get any easier then this?

So cool, right? I over-guessed how much material I was going to need for it so I had enough left over for a whole other wreath so I have two. (Don't worry, Julia, the other one is for you since I did the craft without you). I will be doing this again for all the seasons! Try it out, it's fun!

A Much-Needed Day of Lazy

I say "lazy" in the loosest way possible because while, yes, we are taking the day to relax, we are in no way neglecting more important or productive things so we can relax. I don't upload quite as many photos as I have known to in the past because not much new stuff happens for me to document. My crafts have been very few and far between and our adventures are getting smaller as time billows past us. The time spent together is in the late evening after long all-day shifts at work and all we want to do is eat and go into a long coma of which we wake from and start all over again.
 Our mornings have been starting at 5:00 AM since both Silas and I have to be at work by 6:00. He is working 5 days a week at Home Depot and spending the other two days of the week on school. I am working 5 days a week as well spread out among my two jobs; at the restaurant serving old people their coffee and pancakes and at the Lemke household sitting a sweet 4 year old three times a week. Many days, we start first thing in the morning and don't get done until late at night. We still find time somewhere between shifts and classes to take the pup to the park and every once and awhile, fit in some time at the gym or on a bike ride. Like I said, after work and school, our energy is low so there is not much activity in our day to day. I have been doing quite well, however, going on long walks with Grayson when I am nannying on those days.

These summer days are just about tucked away for the year behind the late evening breeze and the color-changing leaves. The sunshine is still peaking it's stubborn head out from behind the clouds around mid day giving us a very good sizzle and a great big blanket of warmth as if to say "I'm still here... I'm still here". I made a bargain last winter that if the sun would come out and stay out for a great long while this summer that I would try my best not to complain about the heat and I feel that I have done my best at accomplishing this. There may have been a few complaints while I was in phoenix here and there but... it's phoenix... Can you really blame me?
Though winter is about to barge in through our front door with it's teeth bearing and it's claws out, I am still basking in this Autumn air with all that is in me. I am a forever lover of Autumn. The colors, the breeze, the smell of cocoa and tree sap that fills the air as the leaves and pine cones start jumping from their branches all seem to astound me and leave me grinning from ear to ear.

Today we decided to make into a "pajama day" at home. Neither Dugan or I are wearing our pajamas but our bed remains unmade and little to no chores have been done today. We woke up, went to breakfast, came home and nestled ourselves into our books, video games, and art projects. Dugsan is currently poking around in his garden which, if I may add, is probably his favorite place on earth. I have completed a few projects I have been meaning to do for awhile and felt inspired to blog about current events. Here is us on our "pajama day" soaking in our version of what lazy is:

As a testimonial of other current and recent events here are just a few things that have transpired since my last post:
Odin got snipped. He was very brave and very um... drunk... for the first day but healed up quick and now he is good as new. Poor Puppy.

Our living rooms is almost completely done being decorated and rearranged. I am happy with the way it is now. We finally have a working tv, our pictures are up and autumn decorations are set out.  Done and happy.

See, not much happens here but the small thins that do happen bring warmth to my heart and I think those are the important things to share. I am blessed with many good things. Lasting summer sunshine, a family that loves me almost as much as I love them;), jobs that help me pay my bills and keep me busy and my days full, and much much more. I am doing better at keeping my head on screwed tight as long as I am getting enough sleep and getting my exercise. Things are good. Autumn, I welcome you with open arms... as long as you hold off winter as long as you know how.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Home Improvement

I feel as though we have done only good things to this house so far. Chances are, you have all seen my old post about our new house. If not, skim through it to get a feel of the place.

We are fixin up a few things here and there, getting some new furniture to spice up the place a little, fill in the blanks, and make it feel more like home. We are also redoing the back yard, attempting to plant some grass and doing pretty well with a tiny vegetable/herb garden.





We have just a couple new pieces of furniture but I love them! They were both very good bargains(thank you yard sales and craigslist!) and I feel like they just complete the whole living/dining area!
LOVE my new yellow chair! So does the kitty...

Adorable pub table that perfectly matches our bar stools!!!

It's all still an improvement but we are working on it. I hope by this time next month we will have thick, beautiful, green grass and a completely decorated and furnished home!

Where are all of you?

I have to say; I am a bit disappointed with how well my friends and family have been keeping up on their blogs, which is why I started this whole business to begin with. I enjoyed that I didn't have to log onto Facebook to see how the people I love are doing and what their day to day life looks like. I enjoyed that I could read about their thoughts and passion here on their blogs and feel like each picture and each word was put here for me to read. Sadly, no more updates have been given for at least 4 months from anyone in any direction and it saddens me and discourages me from updating my blog. I figure no one will be reading any of my posts since they've given up on their own. Still I push on. I don't like Facebook. It is not personal or where I can store any of my thoughts or passions. It is hardly somewhere I feel like the ones who love me should know my day to day life and know where my life is at. So, if I am slow with my posts, know it is not because I don't care about my blog... because I do. It is solely because I may or may not believe at the time that absolutely no one out there is actually paying attention anymore.

 This summer has been full of moving and job hunting. My days are spent babysitting a sweet almost three year old named Aven who is just the coolest three year old you could ever meet. Love him to pieces. Regretfully though, it has been my mission to find a job that can stabilize my schedule and give me a full time doing something besides picking up puke and wiping bottoms.Not that I don't love doing that or anything... I just figured there will be plenty of time to do all that later in my life when the kids are mine.

Other than the moving and the job searching and the babysitting on the side, how about I fill you in on what else has been going on with some photos and some subtitles. Are you still with me?

Not that anyone is really out there marking their calendars or anything, but our kitty, Ramona, had her 2nd birthday in the end of june. I just lit a candle, stuck it in some wet food, and almost burnt her whiskers off then called it good for the day. We love her a lot.

Next up is Independence Day weekend. I've been noticing that hardly anyone calls it "Independence Day" anymore, which is what it is. Though it is the "fourth day of July" calling it that is defacing it's definition. Therefore, every time I refer to Christmas to many of these people who say "4th of July", I will call it "The 25th of December" just to see if they get annoyed.
For the holiday, we went to Phoenix for the weekend where we got to spend some MUCH needed time with many people who we have missed! We spent the day swimming in the pool at Dugan's Mom's place and I got to catch up with my dear friend Jessika whom i have not gotten to see since the beginning of April when her baby was born. I know it is horrible. The valley is hot... we try not to go down there very often. One more person we got to see was my sister Hillary. I am SO excited that she has moved back to Arizona (finally!) and I can (try) to spend some more time with her. The trick is getting her up to flagstaff to see me every once and awhile. (this is a battle I may never win with my peeps). So here's photos:


Moving on.

Next up is Jessika's wedding and our Housewarming party.
Jessika, whom I have been close friends with for 7 years (holy moly!) got married a couple weeks ago and I had the unexpected pleasure of attending!  put on a pretty dress, drove to Mesa, and attended this little but beautiful Rustin wedding.

On top of all this, we have had a couple good nights where we go get milkshakes and nights where we invite people (now that we have the room to entertain them!) over to our house and laugh and share stories and have a good time. We had a small housewarming party that went very well and everyone enjoyed themselves.

To wrap it up, I will leave you all with a delightful photo I took of my husband sleeping at 4am the other morning. Under his pillow. What a goober.

Thank you, whoever out there still believes in blogs and took the time to read! Happy sunny days everyone!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Home In Progress

Recently we moved from 1000W Forest Meadows, an apartment way too small for our large personalities, to 1104W Overland Pass Dr. We LOVE our new home. It is a townhouse located about three miles away from our old place and in a much more secluded area, while still giving us access to all the nearby stores and restaurants. In this new place we have:

a nice spacious backyard for Odin to run around in
a living area AND a dining area
3 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms
a garage
Lots of storage space(something our apartment was seriously lacking)
DOZENS of running trails
A laundry room
lots of windows for natural lighting
a doggy door connecting our bedroom to the backyard(AMAZING!)
Some of our favorite things about this place are, of course, the doggy door, the yard, and the fact that the master bed and bath are downstairs and the other two bedrooms are upstairs giving us more of a "living together but separate" feel with our roommates. We have a pretty good family atmosphere in this house but it is nice having our personal space back.

Odin is absolutely loving all the room he has now to run around. All day and night he lets himself in and out through the doggy door and we are constantly playing some form of tug of war or fetch when we go out back with him. The running trails in this area have been a great surprise. We are closer to the Flagstaff Urban Trail System now so there are a lot of paved paths we can take. Our favorite time of day to run is either before 7am or after 7pm because any time between those two hours are too hot for my Husky!

I, personally love my kitchen and just the space in general. I am still trying to get my things where I want them to be and to get my pictures hung but for the most part, there is so much more space here that I am at loss of what to do with it all!

Alright, I will stop talking now and just show some pics of the new house. I will leave out the boring photos like our bathroom decor and the laundry rooms. If you really want to see those things you'll just have to come visit.
 Dugan's gardening area in progress
 Living room from the bottom of the stairs:
 From the top of the stairs:
First half of the bedroom:
 Second Half of the Bedroom:

I also left out pics of the upstairs bedrooms and the bathroom up there. Its pretty standard stuff. Fun, spacious and so much more comfortable!

We are in love with our new place and the new situation we have. It's good to be home.

Now come Visit!!!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Currently packing everything we own into boxes so we can move three miles down the road. Dugan's been gone at drill for a week and a half so I am double busy. Boxing up things, cleaning, organizing, AND ontop of all of these things, staying consistent with a 4 week bootcamp that Rachel, Andy, and I are doing(3 and a half hrs cardio, strength training on the legs&butt, arms&back, and the abs with a weekly running goal of 15 miles). We're into week two and so far loving it!

So here's a couple photos so you know what is up in the Eckstein household:

 And with all the hard work and packing, this is what little help Ramona is being. Lazy kitty. This is why we call her "meatloaf" because she is just about as useful as a meatloaf sometimes...