February 28, 2012


I am referring to the cookbook we all own:

Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook: Feasting with Your Slow Cooker

If you do not own this cookbook, go get your copy here and FAST because you are missing out!  You are not only missing out on great recipes, but on the time you save with using your slow cooker.

My mom gave me this cookbook years ago (Thanks again Mom!!!) and I have never looked to update or, gosh forbid, sending it to the rummage pile.  There are so many recipes to try.  I write dates and comments after each taste testing.

You can blindly pull meat out of the freezer and guaranteed you will find a recipe in this book to use!
Be creative and add things to make it your own too, but be sure to write it down for the next time!!

Tonight's recipe:

Perfect Pork Chops
Brenda Pop, Dundee, OH

2 small onions
2 3/4-inch thick, boneless. pork chops, frozen (mine are thawed already) Oops...
fresh ground pepper to taste
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/4 cup hot water
2 Tbsp. prepared mustard with white wine
fresh parsley springs, or lemon slices, optional (thank goodness!!)

1. Cut off ends of onions and peel. Cut onions in half crosswise to make 4 thick "wheels."
Place in bottom of slow cooker.
2. Sear both sides of frozen chops in heavy skillet. Place in cooker on top of onions. Sprinkle with pepper.
3. Dissolve bouillon cube in hot water. Stir in mustard. Pour into slow cooker.
4. Cover. Cook on High 3-4 hours.
5. Serve topped with fresh parsley sprigs or lemon slices if desired.

Wah-lah!!  Tah-dah!!  That's all folks!! 
But.....here is my question: It asks for prepared mustard with white wine but I have never heard or seen this item, have you?  My vision is add the prepared mustard as stated in Step 3 with one hand while drinking the white wine with the other hand!?!  Just an option.....


February 27, 2012


On this MONDAY, my MIND is more or LESS on the big game tonight.  Our Lady Bulldogs will be playing in the District Championship game tonight.  Very exciting for the girls and fans.  We went into overtime this last Saturday to make it.  We have a team full of talent and they are not afraid to use it.

Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.
 -Michael Jordan
I play to win, whether during practice or a real game. And I will not let anything get in the way of me and my competitive enthusiasm to win.
-Michael Jordan
Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game.
-Michael Jordan

See you there!


February 23, 2012


  • My Cherry earrings with sparkles
  • My Montrail shoes
  • Running
  • My pups
  • My purse made by my DakotaMaid Mom with matching pouch for my new lipstick
  • New business cards that arrived yesterday from VistaPrint
  • Blogging
  • Sewing
  • Knitting
  • Macaroni & Cheese
  • Dreaming of exotic vacations (at this time, any vacation is exotic for those of us that live in tim-buc-tooville)
  • Talking and texting my mom every day
  • Receiving and sending fun things in the mail (Hint, hint)
  • Catching up with old friends and meeting new ones
  • Volleyball
That is just to name a few.  Try this out: Write down all the things you love, big and small.  If you are similar to me in any way, your mind begins to overload on all of the wonderful things out there to love, which in turn makes your mind go blank at the same time.  Anyone else suffer from this?
  • Sunshine
  • A clean car
  • A clean house
  • 4 seasons
  • Dirty Dancing (the movie, of course!!)
I could go on and on, but will spare you the time.  :) 

Most of all, I love my family, my husband and my friends.  I love that my parents taught me to see the good before the bad.  I was taught to fight through the bad because the good is worth it.  I have learned many lessons the hard way, but in doing so, I learned that I can do almost anything. Dont ever be afraid to reach out to your loved ones in times of need as well as the times of celebration. 

Still thinking of all the things you love?  Me too........
  • Disney World
  • Vanilla Wafers
  • Hiking
  • Camping
  • My Smuf figurines
  • My wedding quilt and shawl
  • My Duffy bear from a gal I love very much
  • New fabric
Lots of Love,

February 22, 2012


I missed last week's workout Wednesday due to illness.  Take that as advice tidbit #1: When you are sick, worn out, injured or all of the previous, TAKE TIME OFF!!  It is not good for yourself and just prolongs your recoup time.  I can hear my mother saying the infamous words of "I told you so." 
Other motherly quotes to follow:
Take your vitamins.  Eat your vegetables.
What was your mother's best advice that took you years to realize she was actually right?
Tidbit #2:
When working out whether you are a veteran or a beginner, do something you love, enjoy and can handle both physically and mentally.  I LOVE to run.  It does no good to think that you can run a marathon when you know you might only be able to do a 5K.  Start slow and each day work towards the bigger goal.  Baby steps.

Tidbit #3:
BRAG ABOUT IT!!!!  I LOVE, love, love to hear from my friends when they find the joy and passion in running like I do.  I run for the calm of the open road, the sounds of my pups panting beside me and because it relaxes me while at the same time energizes me.  I don't view it as "bragging."  I view it as passion and excitement that they want to share with me.  Who doesn't want to hear about their friends' excitement?!! 

Tidbit #4:

Do it for yourself and no one else!!!

Find your groove but don't forget to take breaks and be realistic to yourself!  You are not Jillian Michels!!!
I LOVE to run.  What is your passion? 
 I also love to sew, knit, cook, garden, snuggle with my pups, kiss my husband!!


Today's workout was a run and some bike trainer.
Oh, and don't forget the bathtub push ups and leg ups while brushing my teeth.  :) 

February 21, 2012


Worms in Soil
Gummy Worms
Chocolate Pudding
Clear plastic cups

Make the chocolate pudding as directed.
Crush the oreos. (Be sure to taste test them of course!)
Add spoonful of oreos to bottom of each cup.  Top it off with pudding.
Add gummy worms to the top and spread the remaining oreos around them.

Be sure to have fun along the way and make it tasty for you.  I had a few chocolate chips to get used in the fridge so added them to the first batch of pudding.  I put a gummy worm in between the pudding layers.

I am teaching 3rd grade boy scouts tomorrow and was scratching my head for a fun snack to go with my conservation theme.  Worms in Soil!  Get it?!!!  Cannot call them worms in dirt because dirt is filthy and should never be tracked into your mother's house!  Its all part of my presentation.

Wish me luck as I have never entertained 8 to 9 year old boys.  I'm looking forward to it, as I am full of odd questions to keep them, as well as myself entertained.  :)


February 16, 2012


What "things" did you do today?

I took minutes at a board meeting, presented at a board meeting, deposited checks, kissed my husband, vacuumed my floors, kissed my cat, loved on my pups, got the mail, ordered trees, answered phone calls, laughed, blew my nose many...many times, ordered supper for the husband and friends, watched dvr, searched on etsy, searched on ravelry, played some bejeweled, played on facebook, text my mom, text my dad, wished a good friend happy birthday, drank some hot apple cider and now......I am going to bed.

Always doing "something"...........TJO

February 14, 2012


Taking a detour from Tasteful Tuesday to wish you a

I'm guessing (and hoping) that all of you lucky ladies out there are saying the same thing as me on this day of love and romance:
I am the luckiest wife with the best husband!!

What a great way to start out my day. 
Apple Crisp for breakfast.
Plain M&Ms for lunch.
Peanut M&Ms for supper.

What special plans do you have?


(PS. What does it say when I tell my husband to get me two yards of fabric instead of flowers?!!)
I am definitely my mother's daughter!!

February 13, 2012


If I just had one more day, one more day and I could accomplish everything I wanted to this weeked!
Yeah right!!!! 
We sure didnt get much done around the house this weekend, but we had fun.

I headed out for a run in the cold Saturday morning as part of the Virtual Run for Sherry and got but maybe a block away before my iPod froze up and so did my lungs!  Runners, please be smarter than I was and dont play Superwoman in the below zero temperatures!! (Sure did feel good to be back to pavement pounding though!!!)

We then got our bags packed and headed to Langdon for a day of ball with a great friend. Started with an hour and a half of racquetball.  I love racquetball and even getting beat badly but my husband cant ruin the fun.  I just have to remember that I can beat him any day in a foot race!!! Ha! Love you dear!!
After getting our sweat on, we headed off to watch some boys basketball district games.  And what games they were!!  Our hometown boys played their hearts out, just to get beat by a buzzer beater, game winning shot from half court.  What an amazingly fun game to watch, but also such a bummer. 

Sunday brought a little bit of cleaning and then into the Etsy world I dove.  Out into the natural light my projects, camera and I went.  Thank goodness traffic was minimal as I stood out there in my pjs!!
Many clicks later, I had projects ready to be listed.  Check some of the out here:  DakotaMaid
and check back in for more coming!

PIP time!
I could not go an entire weekend at home without sewing time!!!
Here is my Sunday's creation.
My oven is now ready for Spring and chirping birdies!
I made the towel from scratch and then added some fun material and stitching.  Wahhhhh-lahhhhh!
Will use as decoration first and then into the daily use drawer it goes.
So much fun!  I have my next one already planned out.

Do you put decorative towels on your oven? If so, what is your favorite?  Seasonal? Animals?

Happy Mindless Monday,

February 11, 2012


One of the best groups I have ever joined is the running group.  This group has members from around the world and many of them I have only met once on the trails and many others that I hope to meet on the trails
This community has no specific website, no registration fees and no limits to the possibilities.
The Virtual Run for Sherry is a prime example of just how awesome the running group is.  People from across the USA coming together for a fallen member.  I get goosebumps just typing that.
The ND cold could not hold me back and the pups were fired up.  We didn't go for long, but the point is that we went.  The cause is great and there is still time for you to join us!
Many prayers from our family to yours Sherry!

(President of my own running group.)  :)  Want to join?!

February 10, 2012



My poor dad has to listen to me sing that to him on his voicemail this morning! Ha, that is what he gets for not answering his phone.  :)

I cannot begin to put my love and admiration for this man into words.  He has always been there for me and you know what I have learned throughout my years?  Fathers really do know best.  Even when a teenage girl can't see that right away, we eventually look back and say thank you. 

Thank you Dad for all of your support, help, guidance and love.  I have never had to look back as I always know you are behind me.  Even with many miles between us right now, your support is always here.

Have a great birthday, Dad! 

LOTs and lots of LOVE,

PS Make Mom spoil you!!!!

February 8, 2012


How many of you have used the line "I would love to workout, IF I only had the time?"
I am raising my hand with you, so don't be embarassed!!
I LOVE to workout, but lately I have fallen into a slump and have been using the time excuse excessively.

Using the words of Charles Buxton:
"You will never "find" time for anything.  If you want time, you must make it."

So, now lets look at your time management in a different view shall we?
How many of you:
Brush your teeth daily?
Walk from your living room to the back room?
Use the bathroom?

Ok, everyone should have their hands raised by now.

Here are some exercises I do, while going about my regular day and in reference to the above list.

I do side leg raises while I brush my teeth.
I will do lunges down my hallway. 
Before exiting the bathroom, I will do 10 pushups off the side of the tub.

We will drive by that first parking spot available and opt for the last one when shopping.

While blogging, be sure to sit tall and pull in your ab muscles (regardless of what you may be thinking here, yes, we ALL have ab muscles!)  Just keeping proper posture is great exercise.  For a more advanced option, I will do leg lifts. Keep your abs tight here too.  Think of it as pulling your belly button to your spine.

There are many more ways to "work" some exercise into your normal day.  Tomorrow, from the moment you get out of bed to the moment you crawl back in keep track of all the small, spare moments you have in your day.  Sneak in a walk around the block on your work break.  Go get your own knitting needles instead of asking your husband to do it the next time he is up.  (Who does that?!!!)

Think outside of the box!
Working out DOES NOT have to take place in a gym or weight room and it DOES NOT have to be a burden on your already overscheduled day.  Start small and work towards a goal.
In the words of my husband, baby steps!!

Off for a quick walk around the block.

February 7, 2012


What better way to kick off my first TASTEFUL TUESDAY than with some TASTEFULLY SIMPLE?!
I just closed out a catalog party with Rolla's newest consultant, Jacie Belgarde.  Great big shout out and thank you to her, also wishing her lots of luck in her new business.
I was a consultant in the past and I was, by far, my own best customer!! 
Who doesn't want one of everything??

This recipe is my favorite so far and it is definitely restaurant quality.

Submitted by Rosemary (MN) HQ Resident Chef

2 pork tenderloins (about 1 lb. each), trimmed 
(I use pork chops or whatever kind is in my freezer)Salt & pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. Onion Onion
1 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup Merlot Sauce
Cut pork into 1/2-inch-thick medallions; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat butter and oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Dip both sides of medallions in flour (I don't believe I do this step); sauté in batches, about 2 minutes per side. Keep pork warm in 250°. oven (I just put in oven . Add Onion Onion™, broth and Merlot Sauce to drippings in skillet. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil 5 minutes; return pork to pan. Cook 2-3 minutes or until pork is cooked through. Serve with mashed potatoes. Makes 6 servings.
For more ideas and recipes:
Tastefully Simple Blog for customer submitted recipes.
You can sort by product, by category or using a keyword.  Its just that simple!

Not up for hosting and its just too cold outside to leave the house for a party? That's OK! You can contact Jacie at jmb_xray@yahoo.com and she can get your order, whether big or small.  She's awesome!  BUT....don't take it from me! See for yourself, she's ready to help you.

Hungry Yet?! 
What is your favorite recipe?

Thanks for stopping in.
Tune in tomorrow for some workout tips after you ate too much! :)

February 6, 2012


I have been inspired, fired up, excited, influenced, encouraged, stimulated, infused, sparked....insert many more synonyms for inspired.

I had the privilege of meeting some very inspiring women this weekend at the Dakota Grown Foods Conference in Fargo, ND.  I learned many things for both work and personal uses. I am going to try some new things to weigh out the results and learn from each thing tried.  First attempt is to theme my blog posts by the weekday in attempt to keep myself inspired for new posts more frequently than in the past.  My mom is my biggest fan and majority of my posts have been for her to stay in touch with what I am doing (or not doing.)  After this weekend, I have a belief (though it is slight) that maybe some others are interested too.  Please don't be shy in weighing in and commenting on my posts in both positive and not so  positive directions.  Each comment is a learning experience.

I want to keep this short, so stay tuned and please be sure to go check out these sites from some amazing ladies!!!


Rhubarb and Venison

Pinke Post

Also, check out sites from amazing ladies that have inspired me for many, many years:

Knit and Pearl

Sall's Country Life

Overwhelmed yet???? Me neither!  :)
Enjoy and Thank you for visiting!!!