Tuesday, August 30, 2011

what could you give up this week?

I'm sure, if you are a long-time reader, you are well aware of my admiration and involvement with World Vision. Steve and I sponsor three children; Majlinda and Redion in Albania and Boikokobetso in South Africa. I've been sponsoring Majlinda for FOUR years this month, which is just amazing to me. Despite never having met her, she's become a big part of my life, and she has a piece of my heart, halfway around the world.

Along with my monthly sponsorship, I do try to contribute in other ways, when I can. I can't as often as I'd like, but every little bit helps. World Vision is all over the world doing amazing things and right now, they have a campaign in Africa, to aid with the hunger crisis that exists.

Just a few facts-

  • 12.4 million are affected in the region

  • More than 35% of all children in the region are now facing emergency levels of malnutrition

  • Starvation is a real threat in famine-declared areas of Somalia

  • Some 30,000 children have already lost their lives

  • Worst drought in 60 years

  • World Vision has assisted communities in the Horn of Africa for 3 decades. Even now, our teams in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia are responding to this crisis with food, water, blankets and other critical needs for families

The one that kills me? 30,000 children have lost their lives. This shouldn't happen. I don't need to post photos of starving children; I know you've seen them and they bring tears to your eyes, like they do mine. I wish I could save them all, but 30,000 is a lot to save. I feel better, knowing that I am saving three right now.

Right now, World Vision is working against hunger in the Horn of Africa, and you can help in just a small way. Take just a moment to text in your $10 donation to "FAMINE" to "20222" and join World Vision in fighting hunger in the Horn of Africa.

Ten dollars. That isn't much at all. That is a mocha and a scone from Starbucks. That is two magazines. That is one yard of fabric. That is a cocktail from your favorite after work spot. That is also one pizza delivered from Dominos.

This week, instead of buying any of those things, I am going to text and donate to World Vision and their fight against hunger. Granted, skipping Starbucks and Dominos isn't a huge sacrifice for me, but I am such a magazine junkie...I have stacks and stacks of cooking magazines everywhere! Also, you know how much fabric I buy!

Also, if you do text and donate, please consider blogging about this too, and link up to the original post. Tweet about it too, using the hashtag #faminenomore and blog about the ONE THING you typically spend $10 on that you could give up this week and use the money you save to help those in the crisis in the Horn of Africa?

Instead of spending money on that one thing, text in your $10 donation to "FAMINE" to "20222" and join World Vision in fighting hunger in the Horn of Africa.

Children should not go to sleep hungry. Ever.

Monday, August 29, 2011

a giveaway, with a twist

Good morning! How was your week? It seems it was a bit crazy in DC, with an earthquake and then a hurricane! Luckily, neither was too bad and everything was okay in the end.

I spent most of the weekend cleaning and getting things done around the house. I had a few crates of books to unpack and find homes for. In the process, I found a bin full of high school mementos, including diaries, chemistry quizzes, college acceptance/rejection letters, etc. Why I save such things, I have no idea ;)

Anyway. I began bagging up books that I plan to donate to the library, but then I had an idea. I recently discovered an author called Kate Morton. She's Australian, and has three books- The House at Riverton, The Distant Hours and The Forgotten Garden. They are not a series. Each book was so lovely, I really enjoyed them all. I've found myself recommending her to everyone lately, as I loved them that much. They take place in England and tie together several stories at once with such beautiful language and imagery. These are books that I'd love to see turned into movies, actually. Such stories!

I found this hardcover version of The Distant Hours.

from amazon-

It starts with a letter, lost for half a century and unexpectedly delivered to Edie’s mother on a Sunday afternoon. The letter leads Edie to Milderhurst Castle, where the eccentric Blythe spinsters live and where, she discovers, her mother was billeted during World War II. The elder Blythe sisters are twins and have spent most of their lives caring for their younger sister, Juniper, who hasn’t been the same since her fiancĂ© jilted her in 1941. Inside the decaying castle, Edie searches for her mother’s past but soon learns there are other secrets hidden in its walls. The truth of what happened in “the distant hours” has been waiting a long time for someone to find it. In this enthralling romantic thriller, Morton pays homage to the classics of gothic fiction, spinning a rich and intricate web of mystery, suspense, and lost love.

I thought perhaps one of you might like to read it, and then I had an idea. Remember The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants? I thought about doing that, with the book, though it doesn't need to come back to me in the end!

Leave a comment and I will pick one randomly and send the book to that person. When you are done with it, do a little review of the book on your blog and then offer to send the book along to someone else. Then that person will do the same thing. And so on, and so on, and so on.

Leave a comment and I'll pick someone on Friday, and then mail it to that person as soon as they send me their mailing address.

Does this sound fun?

Friday, August 19, 2011

too much tea?

I've created a little tea corner on my desk at work...so now whenever I need a spot of tea, it's just right there!


Oh, and that calendar? It is from 2006, but I love the photos of the English countryside, so I still use it!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

wordless wednesday: just because

These were delivered to me last Thursday....

just because....Steve

I love that even though we live together now, he still sends flowers to me at the house, and I still send cards in the mail!

just because

Monday, August 15, 2011


I learned to knit over the weekend, thanks to Jennifer! We began the afternoon with brunch at Kramerbooks Afterwords Cafe, then wandered through the Dupont Farmers Market, then went to Looped Yarn Works, where I purchased needles and two things of yarn. Then we went to Hello Cupcake and she gave me a lesson! I have a few more rows than this right now, but it's a start!

Do you knit? Any advice for me??

Friday, August 12, 2011

the help, or something like it

I'm a big reader; I'm sure you've figured that out by now. I read all sorts of things, of most genres and am usually willing to try something new (okay, I will admit- I still have not read the Harry Potter series, the Twilight series or The Girl Who Played with Fire, etc- they just don't appeal to me!). My mother read The Help last summer and told me how much she enjoyed it and how she thought I'd like it, so I added my name to the queue at the DC Library. To my surprise, I was somewhere around 300 on the list. No worries, I had several other books to read. Eventually I got it, and had been hearing of it's popularity and how much everyone loved it. I had high hopes for The Help. How could I not, really?

Confession- I did not love The Help.

I didn't hate it, I didn't dislike it, I just didn't LOVE it, the way everyone else LOVED it. People raved and raved and raved; it was the best book they'd ever read. They couldn't put it down. The read it in one sitting. They said it was the best book ever.



Really? Ever? Now, I am not sure what I'd consider to be the best book ever (maybe Ramona Quimby, Age 8!), but I know for certain that The Help was not the best book I ever read. There was just something about it that irked me. I can't put my finger on it. It was good, I enjoyed the story, but I just found myself somewhat bothered by the storyline. The characters seemed to be well developed, for the most part. I didn't dislike them, I just found it somewhat difficult to relate to them. Yes, this could be because I didn't grow up in the Deep South and I wasn't around during this turbulent time in American history, so maybe that is where part of my difficulty came from. I just don't understand how it was okay to have someone care for your child, yet it wasn't okay for them to use your toilet.

Needless to say, I do want to see the movie. I'd like to see the characters come to life. Maybe I should read the book again, before seeing it, as it was about a year ago that I read it. Again, I liked the book. I just didn't LOVE the book, though I feel that I'm the only one!

So tell me. Did you read The Help? Did you like it? Or did you LOVE it? Am I the only one who didn't LOVE it?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tasty Tuesday on Wednesday!

I posted this yesterday in Scarlet Threads blog and wanted to share it here too! We post a weekly recipe for the Tasty Tuesday feature, and I'd love to share one of your favorite recipes! Please let me know if you'd like to contribute something to us!


Happy Tuesday, and you know what that means....another Tasty Tuesday recipe for you! This one was sent to me from my friend Hillary...my oldest friend in the world! Our parents lived across the street from one another, so we've been friends since the day she was born- I was born in January, she was born in February!

Here's a photo of us in July 1980...I'm on the right, she's on the left...aren't we cute? I love how she's trying to hold my little hand! :)

So cute, hehe!

So, without further ado!

Carrot Raisin Buckwheat Muffins

If you are a buckwheat lover then you will to enjoy these gluten-free muffins. Try adding more carrots, raisins, some shredded apple, or any chopped nut for a denser, more nutritious treat. These muffins work great as a quick breakfast, simply serve with a green smoothie for a balanced and energizing meal. I grind my own buckwheat flour from raw buckwheat groats. I find the flavor and texture of this fresh flour superior to that of the packaged roasted, ground buckwheat flour. You can use a Vita-Mix to grind the flour or a small electric grinder such as a coffee grinder.

2 ½ cups buckwheat flour
½ cup tapioca flour
½ cup organic brown sugar, Sucanat, or maple sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger powder
2 cups applesauce
¼ cup melted virgin coconut oil or grapeseed oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup grated carrots
½ to 1 cup raisins, soaked for 10 minutes in ¼ cup water (then drain)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil muffin tins or line with paper muffin cups.

In a large bowl combine the buckwheat flour, tapioca flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt, and spices. Mix well.

Place apple sauce into a separate bowl and add the melted coconut oil, vanilla, carrots, and raisins; whisk together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently mix together being careful not to over mix.

Spoon batter into oiled muffin tins. Fill each muffin cup to the top. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 25 minutes. Loosen sides with a knife and gently take out of tins and place onto a wire rack to cool.

Then, enjoy!

What's baking in your kitchen this week??

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

on being taken advantage of

I'm such a bad blogger lately, eh? I still owe several posts about our trip to the UK two weeks ago, which was all sorts of wonderful, but there is something bothering me.

Last week, Steve was in Indianapolis for a conference for much of the week (we got home Sunday night and he left again Tuesday morning!). He had a hotel room for the time he was to be there, which makes sense, of course. He found out that a "friend" of his was going to be there too. This friend is the brother of a college friend, I don't think they were that close, really. Since Steve is a good guy, he offered to let the friend crash with him in his hotel room, since the friend didn't have any accomodations set up.

He accepted, and crash he did.

He stayed there through Sunday and never once offered to pay a dime towards the room bill, nor did he offer to take Steve to dinner or anything, as thanks. Also, Steve had rented a car, to get around the city, and the friend rode with him to the conference center each day.

I just feel like Steve was completely taken advantage of. He agrees, though would never say anything to the friend, which I don't blame him for- it's not as though I would say anything either. It just seems insane to me that this friend would think that he had a totally free ride for the week and I am appalled at the behavior of this "adult." I would think he should have offered top split the cost of the room, or taken Steve out for a nice dinner, or something. I hate seeing Steve get used by a so-called friend! He seems less bothered by it than me, which is typical of us, I think! He lets these things roll off much easier than I do.

What do you think? Am I taking this too seriously? Or am I justified in being totally annoyed with this "friend" of Steve's???