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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Shrimp - what could be easier in the summer?

Yummy shrimp recipe...even better that it's quick, easy and low calorie.


  • 1    pound shrimp raw
  • 1    clove garlic small, minced
  • 1    inch ginger piece, minced
  • 1/4    teaspoon salt   
  • 8    ounces snow pea pods   
  • 1    each sweet bell pepper yellow, orange or red, largish diced
  • 1/2    cup scallions, spring or green onions sliced
  • 1    clove garlic large, chopped
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons sugar   
  • 2    tablespoons rice vinegar   
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons ketchup   
  • 1    tablespoons cooking sherry or shaoxing (Chinese cooking wine)
  • 1    tablespoons chili garlic sauce   
  • 1/2    tablespoon sesame oil   
  • 1    teaspoon soy sauce   
  • 2    teaspoons cornstarch   
  • In a medium bowl. Mix together the shrimp, garlic, ginger and salt. Set aside to brine for 20 minutes at room temperature
  • Meanwhile prepare the green onions, red pepper and garlic.
  • Add the sugar, rice vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, sesame oil, chili garlic sauce, sherry and cornstarch to a small bowl and whisk until combined.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of peanut of vegetable oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high to high heat until the oil just starts to smoke.
  • Add the snow peas, red bell pepper and garlic to the skillet and stir-fry (constantly stirring) for a couple of minutes until the veggies are slightly blistered and beginning to brown.
  • Remove the veggies from the pan and set aside.
  • Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan. 
  • Add the scallions and stir fry for 30 seconds.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and add the shrimp. 
  • Cook for 30 seconds to one minute.
  • Then add the sauce and allow to poach for about two minutes until the sauce has thickened is more sticky and coats the shrimp. There will not be a lot of sauce.
  • Add the vegetables. Toss to coat.

Serve immediately over rice.

Recipe from

Personally, I think i'd serve it over lo mein type noodles or rice noodles...but it would be good over rice as well.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Thank a vet!

Or wish him a happy birthday.

My grandfather just turned 90. He's in his hometown for the summer and they're throwing a party - gotta love small towns! 

Today I found out they're also doing a card shower - so if you're so inclined...he would be tickled to get a gazillion cards from anyone and everyone. Message me if you want to send one.

Here's where he made the front page of the local paper - and an entertaining article.

Gazette photo by Paul Collins
World War II vet Harrison Withrow is gearing up for a birthday bash that will celebrate his nine decades on planet earth.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Today is the first day of the rest of my life.

Today is the first day of the rest of my life.
Today I woke up, slathered some lotion on my feet, dug out a pair of socks and laced up my brand new sneakers.

Ryka sneaks - LOVE them. My last pair had hot pink instead of navy and silver. Thought i'd change it up this time.

Today I moved the treadmill and got it set up.
Today I got ON the treadmill and actually used it.

Why today? I'm now accountable to my skinny, neighbor who works out off and on all day (he has one of those pull up racks in his back yard and every time he walks by it, he hops up and does 10 pull ups or dips or whatever). That's not why i'm accountable to him...i'm accountable to him because he helped me get the treadmill out of the truck and into the house - and on his way out the door said "these things are great. If you use them". Really? Oh no he didn't...he was a jerk back in high school and shocker, he's still a jerk...only now he's of minor use to me because he lives next door.

So this morning I rearranged the living room to accommodate this giant piece of equipment. It's uh slightly larger than I remember. At least the platform folds up. I put it in front of the window so I would at least have something to stare at while I figure out just how out of shape I am. More on that later.  

I guess I should also mention that my 20th high school reunion is in November. I may or may not go. I went to one (5 year? 10 year? I don't remember) what I do remember was it being a huge waste of my time and money - so we'll see how I feel about the whole thing down the more details about it come to light.

Now that's not the reason for my decision and action. Nope, it was more due to opportunity at the Paisley Cottage. It's also been something I've been meaning to do for a long time. Not the treadmill specifically, but getting a little more exercise into my life. The treadmill was a of my co-workers put her mother-in-law in a nursing home and when we were at lunch one day I said something about dying to get a treadmill and she said she has recently gotten rid of hers and then "oh Annabelle has one - i'm sure she's never used it, let me know when you want to come get it" - two weeks later, Mr. Paisley and I drove up to her neck of the woods and loaded it up in the truck. It does indeed appear to be brand new. Hell Annabelle is like 90 and she ordered from an infomercial. I seriously doubt she could even hold the weight of the platform to bring it down from being folded up. There is zero wear on it. No marks on the belt, no scratches, nothing. 

So how'd I do for my first round? It was sad. Very sad. 10 minutes. 10 minutes at 2.3 miles per hour. That got me just under a 1/2 mile according to the control panel. The control panel actually has a pulse monitor thing on it and a chart for age / target rate, etc. 10 min put me at 130 - which is right on the money for a 40 year old. I'm 38, so I guess that's good enough.  I obviously don't get out enough. That said, maybe brand new sneakers might not have been the best plan. I still have my old ones and will go another two 10 minute rounds today before I go to bed. Research shows that three 10 minute bursts are equally, if not more effective than a solid 30 minutes. I'm going to go with that for now. My firs short term goal will be 30 min in the morning before work and another 30 before bed. After that I just might start walking with the lunch crew at work. Of course if it's 98 degrees that ain't gonna happen. Too hot! 

Today i'm satisfied that I did 10 more minutes of actual physical activity that I didn't do yesterday. Or the day before. Or the day before that. So it's a step in the right direction.

I'm thinking about hiding posts from one of my friends on Facebook. She's recently become obsessed with being a fitness model / bikini competitor. She's my age, with a younger husband and two kids. She already looked fabulous, but she needed more fabulousness I guess. 6 or 8 months ago she went hard core and she posts about it constantly. She's currently at the beach on vacation and this was one of her (many) posts before noon today.

"I never understand peoples ideas of cardio... 10 minutes at a slow place does NOTHING. stepping off to turn the TV.. get a drink.. talk on the phone... silly stuff. To me, if you're not gonna do it right-- why waste your time??? MOVE IT PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!"

I beg to differ. 10 minutes at a slow pace does nothing for HER. 10 minutes at a slow pace does a lot more for ME at this stage of the game. Now I have zero interest in being a fitness model / bikini competitor and I'll never be a size 4. I want to be thin-ER, fit-ER than I am today and better yet, who gets to decide what is "right"? If it's not right for her, then she shouldn't do it, but at the same time it may very well be right for someone else. Like me. So since it seems negative to me personally, though I know it isn't directed at me, maybe those 10 min slow pacers that are in her way are the same as me and would take it personally. It's a public gym (or at least not private as in, yours and yours alone) so suck it up and get over the fact that you aren't running the show. If they want to do 10 minutes crawling on the treadmill, so be it.

And on that note, I think I will hide her posts for now and then i'll go change into my old sneakers and see if I can't bust out another 10 minute round. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Goodwill Hunting!

I finally made it back to Goodwill today. A few months ago, I changed office locations and now I don't pass the Goodwill on my way home from work every day. At least not the one I've always gone to...nope, I am now closer to the mother of all Goodwill stores - it actually used to be a department store. Montgomery Wards. It has the actual Goodwill Industries training / education center, a LARGE store, and the clearance outlet. Yep...and it's only about 10 minutes from the office. It's not like I haven't been there before, just not as frequently as the smaller store that is 5 minutes from my house. The big store could actually be on my way home from work as well...just depends on which road I decide to take home.

At any rate, today I didn't have a plan for lunch. So I just got in the car and drove...and ended up there (and then in the drive thru for a $2 Taco Bell lunch). It was crazy busy at 2 in the afternoon. I went in anyway.

This is a store you could spend all day in...because you're nearly shoved out of the way by workers putting more stuff on the shelves and racks while you're looking! Lord help me, if I leave now, I might miss something good they're about to bring out of the back! 

I spent $20.91 today. That's a lot for me...especially at a thrift store! My first find was a wood, square, chunky candle stick for $.99 - need. Have to make a stand for my new cloches! Then I found a lower case wooden "r" for $.69. Hello - Robin. Yeah, needed to add it to the "R" collection. Then SCORE, the matching candle stick for another $.99. Then I nearly knocked over a little old lady (not really...well, she wasn't OLD) to grab an old Scotch plaid thermos! $2.99 - it had the cup/lid and the cap.  It has a super clean, clear (glass?) interior, a rusty metal bottom and a dent that you can hardly see due to the plaid design. LOVE it! It will be going up on top of the cabinets at The Nest. Then for another $.99 I found one of the bowls to my mom's Christmas china (yeah, I know we've BTDT before - only this time it really IS her china - I didn't ask, I just know it's not my pattern LOL). Then I made another lap thru housewares to make sure I didn't miss anything and that was when I scored the two wooden geese - these will also be going to The Nest - they'll be great on the wall of the porch. I will be changing the ribbon and ditching the twigs and dead leaves (ummmm right...not sure what that is all about) - they might also lose the hearts. We'll see, that would require touch up work for sure. The large one was $7.99, the small one was $4.99.  A bit more than I think they're worth, but I haven't bought anything there in awhile, so I decided to get them.
Pardon the treadmill intruding on the photo op. I finally got Mr. Paisley to get it out of the storage unit for me and of course it's now just sitting in the middle of the living room - that will be changing.

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Did you go to Big Lots on Sunday?

I said I would and I did - dragging Mr. Paisley along kicking and screaming! We had our usual breakfast at IHOP - only we were early. Evidently much earlier than usual because A) there was hardly anyone there and B) 3 of the servers commented on it being early for us LOL. Yeah...they know us there. 

So we headed down to Big Lots - it's not even 10 minutes down the road from IHOP. It was busy! Luckily they open earlier than noon on Sunday. I grabbed my reusable shopping bags, my 20% off coupons and a cart and made a quick loop thru the important sections. First order of business - the Keurig! Well 2 of them. Now as I said, i've been watching them for ever (well, since January anyway) at Big Lots and they were tagged $79 which is what I expected. Then there was another sign that said 'special' $69 - shut up! I grabbed the one I could reach and then impatiently waited for the hubs to amble over to reach one of the 2 that were on the top shelf - yes, there were THREE in the store. I did indeed snag two of them...with the coupon they were about $58 each. For that price, I was getting one for the house as well as the cabin, even though we don't drink coffee. I mean, it does make hot chocolate and hot tea as well...both of which I drink. 

I also grabbed 3 cans of Rustoleum spray paint $3 each before the coupon. Satin Colonial Red, Satin Cream and Satin Espresso. Yummy! I always have spray painting projects. Outside of that, I tossed in 2, 2 packs of disposable 9x13 cake pans with covers. Ever since I changed office locations it's pot luck city. They come in handy.

Did I mention I shoved Mr. P and one coffee maker into a separate line so I could get 2 $20 purchase credits toward my next 20% off coupon? Yep...sure did.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friends & Family time at Big Lots!

That's right, it's that time again! 20% off your entire purchase at Big Lots on Sunday 7/17/11.

I will be picking up one (maybe two) of the small Keurig Coffee makers. I have a cheap coffee pot up at the cabin for other people (Mr. Paisley and I aren't coffee drinkers), but  no coffee. LOL Yep, i'm a bad hostess I guess.

Wouldn't the Keurig be sooo much easier? And the coffee wouldn't get stale. AND there's hot chocolate and hot teas as well. As I recall, Big Lots has it for $70 (or maybe it was $80). Either way, it's already cheaper than at the other stores and an added 20% off - sign me up. 

Sometimes they have good stuff in the hardware section - like good spray paint and piano hinges. Or storage containers. Or Lock n Lock (love me some Lock n Lock in the kitchen). Once I even picked up an adorable forest green Halston sweater for my cousin's little girl there. HALSTON. Seriously! And I have a short Nichole Miller trench coat that I scored there. The often have refurbished Dyson vacuums as well (my mom picked one up with a 20% off coupon a few years ago). 

Yes indeed...I will be at Big Lots on Sunday. What are you going to buy?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bad days....

Today has just not been good. For the 2nd time this week I managed to turn off my alarm on my phone before going to bed. So I woke up late. Which made me late leaving for work. Which put me in the wrong place at the wrong time. I got rear ended.

I was stopped at a red light at a major intersection. I was at least 3 cars back in line. The light turned green, the cars in front of me went, I took my foot off the brake and WHAM!

The car behind me was hit by an Escalade and pushed into the back end of my Mustang. Luckily not hard enough to deploy the airbags. It was hard enough to snap my head enough that several hours later my back and shoulders are aching. The car is drivable, but needs a new rear bumper.

After calling it in, FHP showed up over an hour later to wire the report...which took another hour plus. I was less than 10 minutes from was 11:30ish when I got to the office due to a 9:00 accident.

Mr. Paisley stopped by to check on me and went to Mc Donald's to get me a Diet Coke since I hadn't had breakfast and clearly wasn't going to have that opportunity.

So here it is 2:30 and I'm waiting on lunch at my favorite Italian place. And wondering wth is taking so long. Long enough that I ate my salad, checked FB, played WWF and Swyped this entire blog post and still no food.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Unexpected score.

That's the best kind right?

Yesterday, on my lunch break, I went to Ross to return a strapless maxi dress that was something along the lines of a fall hued peacock feather design. I really don't know what I was thinking when I bought it in the first place...but back it went. There was a super long line when I walked in so I just bee lined for the shoes (nothing) and clearance aisle before getting in line.

There it was. In the clearance aisle.

$3.00 - for an adorable glass cloche with a darling bird perched on top! I continued thru the small furniture section and into the decorative housewares where I spotted...

A matching large cloche like this one pictured at A Lapin Life 
It was $7.49 on clearance.

And then tucked in a corner on a top shelf, the medium sized one as well! It was on clearance for $6.99

Evidently they were leftovers from Wisteria
According to some links on Kaboodle - they were about $42 each. I'd call that a major score.

Here's a photo of all three
Classicly Amber has them in her Cloche Envy post from awhile back.  I love how they're all a little different in shape. 

Can't wait to decide where to put them! For now i'll put them at Coastal Charm for the Nifty Thrifty Tuesday party.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mary Mary quite contrary...

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row
Although when I was little we used to trade out the last line for "and one darn onion" - I have no idea why.
I guilted invited my mother to go to the cabin with me for the 4th of July weekend since Mr. Paisley was working thru the holiday and after several calls back and forth with my Tennessee neighbor - I just really felt like I needed to go. Turns out my bench was the only thing missing - from my house. My neighbor was kind enough to move the rest of it into the house...I asked her if she could put it on the screened porch - it's locked and frankly, more trouble than it's worth to break into. She rolled up my rug and put it out there...everything else she put in the living area inside. 
While I sincerely appreciate her doing that...OH MY FREAKING GOD!  The bugs, the spiders, the spider webs I kept walking into, the dead things...I nearly had a heart attack after running into the "critters" that were living in the stuff that she brought into the house. Seriously. 

For instance...this beauty (pardon the crummy cell phone picture and the fact that there is like no light in the downstairs bathroom). That's a dead (THANK GOD) spider. Please note the size of the drain in relation to the size of the curled up and dead spider.
Kill me now. As if the spider wasn't bad enough...there was the thickest, stickiest, ridiculous web coating nearly half the tub. HALF! 
Another of these lovelies turned up as I went to do a load of laundry. It was IN the washing machine. I popped the lid open, it ran, I cranked it up to a full wash cycle on heavy duty with hot water and ran screaming - to myself, but screaming in my head none-the-less. Spiders don't swim. I nearly barfed when I was shaking out a towel fresh from the dryer only to find a few crispy stray spider legs. Long crispy spider legs. 

Kill me now.
I ran into on SMALL spider still alive. I sucked it up with the vacuum and then dumped the canister over the deck rail. Then there was the centipede...or millipede. Whatever - I didn't stop to count the legs. I stomped on it, screeched and did the "ew ew OMG it's on me, get it off" dance.  
My aunt and one of her granddaughters came down from Ohio for part of our visit. We had a good time.

The day my aunt was leaving, she and my mom decided they needed to plant me a garden. Like that? Proper English / Grammar Police beware! The said I should have hostas there. Well duh...we planted, oh I dunno, 10 or 11 of the damn things last summer, they didn't come back. So they raked. Worked on my little rock wall. Ran the drip hose. Made a couple trips to Lowe's for plants and rocks and planted a nice little garden that I don't have great photos of...but here they are anyway. 
I bought a cute red, white, and blue pinwheel for a little 4th of July festive-ness

Hostas, day lilies, lantana and a couple of other plants that I can't remember the name of (probably stuff we don't have in FL)
My creative aunt added two sizes of rocks in sort of a wave pattern to look like they had washed down the hill from the road above.

The hose isn't pretty, but not sure what else to do with it. It will get partly covered up as the lantana starts to creep.

My aunt says she's going to drag her ex-husband down to the cabin with her one weekend and totally redo my rock wall. She said "it needs rock glue" whatever that is...she's always the one with the best looking yard, so she can do whatever she wants with it!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Are you Pinterested?

You know that file where you keep the pages torn from magazines? The IDEA file. The cRafTiNg file. You know what i'm talking about. How about all those websites and blogs you have bookmarked for that one thing that you swear you're going to do? We all have them. Now you can access them anywhere you can get online thanks to PINTEREST.

I'm seriously in love with this website. 

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a Virtual Pinboard.

Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.
Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.

What do you put there?

Well, how about this?
or even

Pinterest is by invitation click HERE and request an invite. I will love it!

Wanna see what i'm pinning?