Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Announcement

It's official. In 17 days  my sister, Heather, and I will be headed to Disney World!

We will be staying here:
Disney's Coronado Springs!!!

We will head out on the night of the 22nd after I get off work. Honey will drive through the night and we will hit the parks as soon as we get there on the 23rd until we can check into our hotel. I am BEYOND excited!

And instead of paying the $400-something for the 4-5 days worth of tickets, I will be getting a great deal(thanks to my sweet friend, Dara who offered her cast member discount) on an Annual Pass. So I can go back as often as I want this year!!

Everything has happened so quickly but I am so excited. Our hotel is booked and dining reservations are made. Disney, here we come!

Expect LOTS of pictures between me and my sister. She hasn't been to Disney in about 17 years so it will be a fun, magical trip. I am looking forward to spending Christmas in my favorite place with my best sister-friend, my Honey and all the friends I will get to see!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

God's perfect timing

A week ago Thursday, my morning started off, in my mind, horribly. As soon as we got into work we were told that we wouldn't be able to make up our hours(People had been sent home early both Monday and Tuesday) and that we were off work until Thanksgiving day. I was annoyed to say the least that we weren't allowed to come in on Friday to even reach our 40 and we were just taking what we had at the end of the work day. To make matters worse, we didn't even get to work the whole day on Thursday. I clocked out at 9:30am with less than 30 hours for the week.

I climbed back on the wing wall on the dry dock to access the gangway to the Abraham (one of the guys had borrowed some of my tools and I needed to get them back before I left) and was stopped by a supervisor from another company. He and I had talked before when he asked me why I was in scaffolding so he knew about my drafting degrees. He asked why I had all of stuff and where I was going. I explained what was going on and he asked if I had a resume. Thankfully, my jump drive is always in my purse and it had a current copy of my resume. I got my jump drive, he printed off my resume and within 5 minutes of his project manager looking at it, I had a job!

God's perfect timing. There is no other way to explain it. If I hadn't been sent home for the week, I wouldn't have gone back on that boat that day and I wouldn't have been free to drive to Pascagoula for my drug screening. And because I had been sent home from the week, I was able to start work with them Friday morning. The work is so much easier and the pay is such a blessing(including benefits!). Saturday Diamond layed off 20-25 employees. I would have been on that list. They only kept 8 "free world" (non-prison work release) people. If I hadn't quit Diamond on Thursday and started my new job on Friday, I would be jobless right now. God's perfect timing. No other way of explaining it!

I am now an employee of Ardent Services, a company which specializes in electrical work on boats and oil rigs. Right now I am pulling cable and looking at blue prints to help find routes for running cable and installing trays. They have already promised me that as soon as they have a full-time drafting position(whether it is here at BAE systems or another site), that it is mine. Right now, I am content with what I am doing. I am able to look through the drawings, interpret them, problem solve and learn the electricity business from the ground up.

Another blessing? Rather than having to go home and having to come back to work Thanksgiving day, I got to be home for Thanksgiving. Tomorrow morning it is back to work for me until December 23rd. Translation? I get overtime which Diamond never allowed(obviously it was like pulling teeth just to get your full 40).

I am grateful for the experience and knowledge gained from scaffolding, as well as the friendships that were formed with my Diamond family. For the longest time, I wondered why God had brought me to a shipyard until I discovered my passion for the boats. Then I wondered why I was doing manual labor for $8/hour and my raise was never going through. I was patient(which has never been my strong suit) and God revealed his perfect plan in His own timing.

I feel blessed beyond measure!

Friday, November 12, 2010

On the night shift

Last Sunday, the 7th, I arrived back in Mobile from a short, wonderful trip home to Jackson around 7:20pm. At 7:26pm I got a call from my supervisor asking me if I was in town and wanted a couple of hours overtime. Sure, why not?! He told me to be at the shipyard at 8. AM? Nope. PM! I had 30 minutes to eat, change clothes and make it to work. Thankfully, I only live 10-15 minutes from work and he lives 45. I got there a little late but he was still a good bit away. I have never been in the shipyard at night. Honestly, it was kind of creepy how quiet everything was but I loved the way the shipyard was lit up. Granted, it was a Sunday night and most night shifts(including ours) are off on the weekends unless they are working on a special project. This being the case we had to modify a scaffold for the machinists so that they could reach ONE bolt. The modification didn't even end up reaching it, so my supervisor gave up hooked his harness to the highest point possible and stood up on the handrails of the scaffold to the job. We were all satisfied. The machinists got their bolt in place and we got 4 hours on the clock for about an hour and a half of work. ;)



I really wish I could take my camera into work. iPhone 3 quality photos just don't seem to do it justice.

That is the Gulmar Falcon. We really haven't done much work on it. It's a tiny boat compared to the ones we normally work on. Here is a shot of it during the daytime.

Sorry for the blurry mess at the bottom of the picture. I was trying to take the picture through bars on the Abraham. Ha, I'll try better next time.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Views from Work (Part 2)

By now I am at work ready to "work on" for my 8 days. 

A couple of weeks ago we had several rainy, nasty days at work. On one of these days, I ended up having to work in the yard. When you are in the yard, you are basically left to unstack and reorganize material that has been brought back from the boats. It means a lot of lifting and packing material across the yard to the appropriate rack.

But, because of the rain, I found myself hiding here...
These are 2 steel pieces set on top of each other creating the perfect hiding place. And obviously I wasn't the first person to hide here because there was a chair in there just calling my name. That is a rack of material that you can see through the opening.

Normally the skyline is beautiful in the morning, just glowing and bright. Instead, it looked like this...
Kind of depressing. Notice that you can't even see the top of the buildings through the clouds.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Having a Moment

Or rather 30 minutes to an hour.
I seriously just spent entirely too much time looking for the jeans that I had gathered this morning. I looked all over my bedroom, the bathroom, everywhere downstairs... even in Rachel's bedroom, knowing I hadn't been in there at all today.
Guess where they were... IN THE WASHING MACHINE. CLEAN. Yes. Here I am looking for my jeans because I needed to get them washed, frantically trying to find them and I had already washed them.
I can hear my mom chuckling right now, with that look on her face that is reserved only for my "Ashley moments". And if she was here she would probably pat my head and say "Bless your heart, baby". Can you tell that these moments happen way more often than they should? Haha

Mom, I love you!
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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Confessions of a Codependent Female

In all the changes that have come in the past few months, I have made several realizations and developed into a stronger, better person. The biggest realization came today. After months of being "alone", I have realized that I am a thoroughly codependent person. Here I am, cooking by myself, for myself and eating by myself. How depressing, right? Ha. But it really isn't all that bad. I am in the comfort of my own home. I definitely couldn't go out and eat by myself. However, it is on a list of things to do along with going to a movie by myself.

The biggest part of the realization for me is going through the day and wanting to share little moments with someone. Just little things that don't really mean a whole lot but wishing I had someone to tell it to. In taking steps towards being independent, I am going to start a journal. My sister, Heather, and I actually had a phone conversation about journals/writing on Saturday. Yes, we were both on the road home and she was a few car lengths ahead of me... and we talked on the phone for at least 30 minutes. Talk about codependency. There it is again! I love blogging but there is only so much that I can share. And honestly, what I feel like talking/venting about some days would bore the socks off of my few lovely readers. I need somewhere that I can write down everything so that I can look back on it. So I am going to start a journal. For now, it will be simple notebook paper and a 3-ring binder. But at some point, I will have to invest in a pretty journal. :) Somewhere I can write down all of my thoughts and feelings without having to worry about being discreet for fear of being judged. I already feel like I am under a microscope sometimes. I don't need to magnify anything and make it worse. ;)

Especially on days like today when I am not working and I am literally home alone ALL day, I am going to force myself to do a few things instead of feeling bogged down and lonely.
1) Write a letter(doesn't matter who it is to)
2) Get up, get dressed and feel good about myself. Am I the only one who feels so much better prepared to take on the world and my day starts off better if I am dressed and ready to go? I am all about my t-shirts and comfy clothes. Whether I have plans for the day or even intend on leaving the house, it just seems to give you a pick-me-up.
3) Go for a walk, even if it is just around the apartment complex.
4) When I feel lonely or like I have no one to talk to, remind myself that I am never alone and Someone is always ready to listen... no matter how trivial or dumb my thoughts my seem, He cares.
5) Enjoy an old movie or watch something on the DVR - computer-less and phone-less. 

Another form of codependency? This blog! What blogger doesn't like knowing they have readers and thrive off of comments? Well, I cut myself off on that one by making this blog private. It probably won't be private forever but, for my own safety and sanity, it has to be for now. I just need to remind myself to keep updating. No more thinking "well, no one is actually reading" or "my last post didn't have any comments". Can I blog "independently"? We shall see.

I have never considered myself to be one of those females who has to be on her man's arm to be complete. Yes, it is different without Trevor because I am alone and single. But I feel like I have always more dependent on the presence of my family and friends than anything else. In Mobile, I don't have many friends and Heather is the only family I have here. Between our work schedules and everything else, we don't get to spend a lot of time together. I am alone and on my own for the first time in my life. It's kind of weird and very lonely. But I am looking on it as a way to grow and expand as a person. I know on my old blog I posted lyrics to a Wayne Watson song called GROWING and it feels fitting for right now as well.
I'm growing. 
I don't like it.


I'm growing, and it hurts.


I love You, but I'm tired.


Guess I've got a lot to learn.


Yeah, I guess I've got a lot to learn. 
 
Don't be surprised if I do regular updates on my codependency issues. ;) I know I am not the only person out there. In what ways do you feel like you are most codependent? What ways do you find to break lose and become a little more independent?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Finally Friday - Details of my job

I "worked out" yesterday. Worked out in the physical sense and in the work sense. They moved the Abraham up onto the dry dock yesterday. Translation: to get onto the boat we have to climb 4 flights of stairs. Add to that all the climbing of stairs and ladders that we do anyway and it's a killer of a workout. I literally had to climb down the boat 7 times yesterday. My leg muscles are loving it. HA.

I've been given new responsibilities at work. I am now a part of quality control and safety. Our mornings start off at 6 with signing in, JSA(Job Safety Analysis) and a safety meeting. We all do stretches as a group and then split off into different crews. Normally, I would go off with a crew but now I get to go sign tags. Every time we build a scaffold, we tag it(red for danger, yellow meaning caution and wear a harness and green meaning good to go, no harness necessary). Each day the tag has to be signed off on before the other crafts can use the scaffold. In signing them we have to inspect them and change/fix anything that does not comply with the tag that is filled out for it. The past few days I was over both dry docks, the Abraham and the Falcon. I start off with the Falcon(2 scaffolds) and dry dock 17(6 scaffolds). Dry dock Alabama(underneath the Abraham) has 8 scaffolds. The Abraham is the kicker. The boat is HUGE and has so many passages, holes, holds, areas, etc. There are over 50 scaffolds on that boat! It's a lot of climbing but I love my new position. I get some peace and quiet to myself while wandering around all areas of the boat. I have no idea what it is about the boats but I am beyond fascinated and would love to do drafting/design work for boats one day. It took me about 3.5 hours to sign tags yesterday. After I sign tags, I am responsible for pulling 10 people aside and filling out "near miss" paperwork. Basically it is a form that has to be turned into our office and then is taken to Safety. We list something that is a safety issue/could cause a problem. I have to write down the nature of the deficiency and then write out what immediate corrective action was taken or needs to be taken. The crew members sign them and I turn them in.

After the paperwork end of it is done, I get to join a crew and do some building. Yesterday, I didn't build. We have a lot of new people who haven't learned all of the material and basics of building, so I helped pass/gather/tote material. Needless to say, I am glad that it is Friday and I worked out of my shift. Today starts my 6 days off. I work back in next Thursday. I hate that the first day that I have off after every 8 day cycle of working is absolutely lazy and unproductive. I usually have the best of intentions but it never seems to get me anywhere... My body is just tired. I have nothing on my to do list until 4:15 this afternoon. We can't pick up our checks on Friday until 4:30pm, so I'll be back at the shipyard to pick it up.

Hope everyone has a lovely Friday! What are you looking forward to this weekend?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Views from Work

If you are friends with me on facebook you probably already saw these pictures.

I love my job. No, it isn't easy. Yes, it is physically exhausting. But I love it and it is just what I needed at this time of my life. My favorite part of the mornings are between 6-7am. The first thing we do in the morning is do our stretches as a group then we head onto our respective boats and do "housekeeping". Basically, cleaning and straightening our materials up while the tags get signed and we wait for the welders and other departments to get there.

Here are some pictures I took from the boat I have been working on the most recently, the Aban Abraham.

I love looking at downtown Mobile in the early morning. It's beautiful!

This is the Aban Abraham. I have climbed around this boat so much in the last month. It's killer on my thigh muscles. ;)

Another boat came in to be decontaminated from the oil spill. It was huge. Unfortunately I can't find any pictures of it. It was a Helix boat. We built several scaffold off the sides of the boat and down in holes in the side. But unlike most boats, this one did not have railings on the ledges of the starboard or port sides.

That line you see on the floor is a rat tail. We hook our harness to it as we walk back and forth with material. The wall on the left is the dry dock, which is a dock that sinks down into the water and raises back up after the boat is steered onto it. So the only thing holding you onto the boat is that cable. Otherwise you have a 60-80 drop onto a steel dry dock. Ouch! I tried to get a good picture of the drop but because of where the sun was this is the only picture that even really turned out.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Our State Fair

When I think of State Fairs, I immediately think of Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical versions. I own both and love both. Granted, state fairs are no longer what they used to be in the glory days but I still love them. The rides, the food(or at least smelling the food), the atmosphere. Once again, I realize I was just born in the wrong time period. ;)

Last night, I took my 14 year old brother, Josh, and 2 of his friends to the fair.

I felt so honored that Josh thought I was cool enough to hang out with his friends. Honestly, they were hilarious, awkward, goofy teenage boys. Teenagers have changed so much in the past 10 years. Honestly, it freaks me out to know what other kids are doing and know that my brothers and sisters are growing up in a world where such ungodliness and worldliness is readily accepted. We opted out of a ride because a group of teenagers in front of us would not stop cussing and were having thoroughly inappropriate conversations in mixed company. It was refreshing to see that there are still "good" kids out there and that my brother and his friends chose to walk away from it.

 D'Lynn went to the fair with her friend Megan and her family but Megan got sick. So Dee joined us and saved me from the boys. ;)

I have been horrible about taking pictures. Last night I went with good intentions of taking pictures but I didn't even pull out my camera until the last ride, the Ferris Wheel.




 This picture describes Harrison to a T. Honest.
 Josh proclaimed that the Ferris Wheel was so boring he could fall asleep.
 Josh and his "I am only taking this picture because my big sister is making me" smile.
I decided to poke Josh. At least he had a genuine smile and laugh going on in this picture. Note the Clegg nose wrinkle and his serious need of a haircut. ;)
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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Welcome!

Welcome to the new Spoonfuls of Sugar. I debated long and hard over whether to completely change my blog title or not. But coming out of an abusive marriage I think the title is still appropriate. Healing takes "medicine" and, after all, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. ;) Besides, I still need a touch of Disney in the title. It's a must!
The blog is still a work in progress and so am I. Amy is going to be creating a layout for me, so I can start out with a lovely fresh look. I am beyond excited to get back into blogging and need to catch up on reading and commenting.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day, Sweet Momma!

My mother is more than just a mom. She is my confidant, guide, mentor, dear friend, and role model of a Godly woman, wife and mother. 
Not everyone has the type of precious relationship that we have. I know that it seems so cliche to rave about my mother on mother's day and so typical in this blog format. But this relationship is anything but cliche or typical. I know that I caused my mom much headache, heartache and gray hairs over the years(especially during those rough teen years). I absolutely adore my mother and I would love nothing more than to be just like her. 
She has raised us to know and love God in a way that most children are only exposed to inside of the church. She made sure that learning the Bible and lessons from it were taught in a fun, real way. Growing up we were always listening to praise music, memorizing verses(through Awanas and Hide 'em in Your Heart), listening to Adventures in Odyssey. She taught us from home and invested in our lives in a way that very few parents are able to do. I cherish the memories I have of being homeschooled and hope to one day have those same sweet memories with my own children. She put up with me when I insisted that I would never read as a kindergartner and teased me kindly as a teenager because I wouldalways have a book in hand. My mother lead me to Christ during a spelling lesson when I was in 2nd grade. There are so many more examples of how she has thoroughly imprinted my life through her love. My hope is to let her know daily how much I love her, appreciate her and want to be just like her. I want to make my mother proud of me because I know to reach that point I am becoming the type of person that my Heavenly Father wants me to be(my ultimate goal).

My parents have a precious, wonderful and beautiful relationship and have been a great example of what a Christ centered marriage is like. This morning our sweet family friend, Mrs. Becky Pearce, summed our family and my parents up better than I ever could."Your family really, truly and genuinely loves and caresabout each other. Not many kids, spanning that much in age, actually LIKE each other. Sure they love each other but you enjoy each others company. Each one of you glow around the other and it is obvious that the love your parents share has carried over into each of you. Your parents aren't afraid to gaze adoringly at each other in public, they are 100% living for each other and to make each other happy. And the weirdest thing? Theylike being around each other ALL the time. Most married people enjoy each other but also treasure their time alone." My parents take PDA to a whole new level but in a completely acceptable, sweet way. ;o) I just hope that years down the road T and I will still have such a wonderful marriage. 

PSALM 127:3-5

 3 Sons are a heritage from the LORD,
       children a reward from him.
 4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
       are sons born in one's youth.
 5 Blessed is the man
       whose quiver is full of them.
       They will not be put to shame
       when they contend with their enemies in the gate.

PROVERBS 31:10-31

10 A wife of noble character who can find?
       She is worth far more than rubies.
 11 Her husband has full confidence in her
       and lacks nothing of value.
 12 She brings him good, not harm,
       all the days of her life.
 13 She selects wool and flax
       and works with eager hands.
 14 She is like the merchant ships,
       bringing her food from afar.
 15 She gets up while it is still dark;
       she provides food for her family
       and portions for her servant girls.
 16 She considers a field and buys it;
       out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
 17 She sets about her work vigorously;
       her arms are strong for her tasks.
 18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
       and her lamp does not go out at night.
 19 In her hand she holds the distaff
       and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
 20 She opens her arms to the poor
       and extends her hands to the needy.
 21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
       for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
 22 She makes coverings for her bed;
       she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
 23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
       where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
 24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
       and supplies the merchants with sashes.
 25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
       she can laugh at the days to come.
 26 She speaks with wisdom,
       and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
 27 She watches over the affairs of her household
       and does not eat the bread of idleness.
 28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
       her husband also, and he praises her:
 29 "Many women do noble things,
       but you surpass them all."
 30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
       but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
 31 Give her the reward she has earned,
       and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Theater Thursday - North Avenue Irregulars

It's Theater Thursday over at Crazy Shenanigans!



There's magic in the memories as great Disney moments are captured right here for you and your family to enjoy. The new preacher in town joins forces with the most unlikely group of organized crime fighters anyone has ever dreamed up -- six lady church members who are dedicated, eager, ready, willing ... everything but organized! The result is an action-packed comic caper that's as funny as any Disney comedy ever filmed!
 (summary from Disney Movie Club)

The new reverend at North Avenue Presbyterian (Edward Hermann) finds himself in a mess when he entrusts the church's sinking fund to Rose Delaney (Patsy Kelly). Unfortunately for the reverend he does not know that her husband is a compulsive gambler who bet the entire fund on the a horse race. Though the reverend finds out about the bet, his attempts at stopping the wager fail miserable. 
That night, rather than giving his regular sermon on the local television broadcast, Reverend Hill starts ranting about illegal gambling and how the local authorities seem to look the other way. This catches the attention of FBI agents and they contact Reverend Hill and ask him to set up a sting operation. None of the men in the congregation are willing to go up against the mob and the reverend is close to giving up when a group of church ladies come forward asking to help. The crew includes, the professional mom, Vickie (Barbara Harris), the bride to be, Annie (Karen Valentine), the rich perpetual single, Claire (Cloris Leachman), the retiree, Rose (Patsy Kelly) and the wife of a small business owner, Cleo (Virginia Capers). 
The crime fighters are faced with failure after failure, which provides for much of the comedy throughout the film. The ladies finally realize that they can't shut down the gambling locations or track down the leaders, they decide to go after the bank itself. The hunt to find the location and the chase that ensues lead to "a wild demolition derby". 

This is not one classified as one of Disney's great films, yet it is one of my favorites. It is full of laughs and, something rare in this world, clean. Below are some videos that feature Cloris Leachman's character in particular.





Thursday, April 22, 2010

Share your chicken and veggie recipes

Kerri asked for recipes on her blog. I decided to pick some of our favorite, easy recipes. Kerri mentioned that she liked chicken and veggies, so the recipes I picked revolved around that theme.I am using MckLinky for the first time and hopefully I won't be left looking lonely and pitiful. ;) Link up and share some of your favorite chicken and/or veggie recipes!

Baked Chicken
1 or 2 chicken breasts
Barbeque Sause or Italian Dressing

This recipe works well with either "marinades". It all depends on what you are in the mood for.
Preheat the oven to 450, cover chicken with sauce of choice(optional: add water for the BBQ), cover with aluminum foil and bake until chicken is cooked(approx. 30-40 minutes).

SO easy!

Roasted root veggies


3 large carrots, cut on the bias
2 Yukon Gold potatoes, cut on the bias
1/4 cup asparagus (about 4 stalks)
1 small onion
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chopped chives
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
2. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden, about 5 minutes. 
6. On a baking sheet, toss all the vegetables in the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Add to the oven and roast for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring midway through baking. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with fresh herbs.

Easy, delicious and healthy! Since I found this recipe a couple of weeks ago, I have eaten this 2-3 times a week. And now I think I want this for dinner. Ha


Chicken Rice Casserole

1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1 can Chicken Noodle soup
3/4 cup rice, long grain - raw
4 Boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 tbsp Italian Dressing
Dash of salt
Dash of black pepper

Combine the two soups in a medium casserole dish. Add 1/4 cup water and the rice. Blend well. Place chicken on top of rice mixture. Pour Italian dressing over chicken. Salt and pepper lightly. Cover and back in a 350 degree over for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until chicken is done. Uncover and brown 15 minutes more. 
  
This is a large recipe but it makes for GREAT leftovers. One of the few leftovers that I can actually get T to eat. Ha

Chicken Stir Fry 
2 Boneless Skinless Chicken breasts
 Teryaki Sauce to taste
 1-2 cups rice
Olive Oil
Veggies

Choose whatever veggies you would like and cut them into small, bite sized pieces.  
 Cut chicken into small pieces. Cook in oil. Remove chicken. 
Add veggies and cook. 
Add cooked chicken and sauce and continue cooking. 
Serve with prepared rice. 

I have started using brown rice whenever we have rice. I like the Minute Rice Ready to Serve bowls and I am going to try the boil in a bag brown rice. For SUPER QUICK AND EASY Stir-Fry for 1 person, try I ReadyServe bowl of rice, 1 box Green Giant Immunity Veggies and Low Sodium Teryaki Sauce to taste. Yum!


Chicken Bake
1-2 Boneless Skinless chicken breasts
2 potatoes - peeled and sliced
4-5 carrots peeled and cut
green beans - 1 can
italian dressing - low fat, 1/4 bottle

Spread chicken in the bottom of a baking dish.  Put potatoes, carrots, and green beans on top of steak.  Pour italian dressing over the top of the vegetables.  Cover with aluminum foil.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 1 hour, until potatoes and carrots are done.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Scents of Walt Disney World

What are your favorite scents from Disney World?


I follow WDW Daily News on twitter and saw that they had updated a post on WDW Central that immediately caught my attention: Top 5: Scents of Disney World
I have always been one to associate scents with good memories and it always seems to make them more distinct. One smell can send you through a thousand memories. I love it!
These are the Top 5 that they listed on their post.  

5. Spaceship Earth (Burning Rome): A great smell that is distinctly “Disney”. A classic that most can recognize – it had to make this list!


4. Soarin’ (Orange and Pine): Soarin’ is one of my favorite rides ever. And anytime I’m in the “real world” and get a whiff of orange or pine scented air freshner or spray, it instantly takes me to Soarin’.

3. Monorail (Air Conditioner): You know the smell. You are waiting in line for the monorail in the hot Florida heat. The monorail finally pulls up and you enter the wonderful ice-cold monorail car that has that air conditioner-ish smell.

2. Hotel Rooms (Clean scent): You’ve walked up stairs or taken the elevator with luggage. Hunt your room down, and when you find it, you walk in to that clean smelling (most of the time) room that welcomes you to relax and turn on the TV to watch Stacy.

1. Water Rides (Chlorine/Water smell): Any ride that has water: Living with the Land, it’s a small world, Pirates of the Caribbean and the like. Walking into the building that houses the ride, you get closer and closer to the actual attraction and the smell of chlorine in the water lets you know you are there.

Some others that stand out to me...
- Turkey legs
- Smoke from Stitch's Great Escape(a not so pleasant smell, but definitely unique and distinct)
- Stink Bug smell from It's Tough to be a Bug(yet another not so pleasant smell).
- Rock N Roller Coaster - I don't know what the smell is or how to define it... but it has a smell. Yeah. I'm sticking to that.
- Carousel of Progress - Yes, it smells old and musty but I love it anyway. It's like you can smell the history as you go through the different time periods. 
- Apple Pie in Philharmagic - Oh how I love me some Philharmagic.
- The Christmas store smells(Downtown Disney and MK) - It's a deliciously happy cinnamon scent. 
- A Mix of the scents from the Main Street Bakery and the Ice Cream Shoppe. Between the sweets at the bakery and the waffle cones baking - yum!
- Casey's Corner - not sure if the "lovely" scent is the hotdogs or what. But you can definitely smell it on a hot summer day from a mile away. Sadly, it might make you lose your appetite. ;)
- The Grand Floridian - If elegance has a smell, the Grand Floridian has captured it.
- Yak and Yeti at Animal Kingdom - on a hot summer day wheneveryone everything smells yucky, their food smells so delectable and over powers most of the negative smells.
- Everest - The smell in the queue, most likely from the artifacts and items themselves, and the ride. It's a unique, rustic, almost rusty, smell. 

My goodness, I am sure I could go on and on but that are the first few that struck me. 
It's only been 2 months since we went and I already have Disney fever. Oh. Dear.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Architectural Project

Project: To take this house and downscale it while still maintaining the architectural detail and integrity of the exterior and the features of the interior.
Sussex house
I will be eliminating the basement entirely because it is supposed to be a house plan that could be used locally. How many basements are there in Mississippi? ;) Plus it will take away a lot of unused square footage. I'm still trying to decide what to do with the back stairs? Take them out completely? Raise them to give access to the second floor? Ideas?
One of the main features I fell in love with was the kitchen/living space. It is large, open and such a good place for a family to gather together.
It is absolutely amazing. Points of interest:
- I like how they added cabinets along most of the walls (look at the 1st and 3rd kitchen pictures).
- Check out the ceiling - I love the wood accents!
- In the first picture you can see a small butler's pantry tucked away to the right side of the stove
- You can't see the pantry too well in the pictures but it is a large walk-in pantry (7'-0" x 7'-0" according to the plan, not square but more triangular because of the wall angles.
- I like the generous size of the bar and island.
- I am definitely keeping the second sink that is by the pantry.


1st floor. Honestly, how many families need 2 2-car garages? ;) Check out the size of the master closet and bathroom. Or the whole master suite for that matter. *sigh*
If you click on the link above it says there are only 2 bedrooms. Yeah, there are definitely 6, including the second master suite. And they aren't small bedrooms either. The second floor also includes a 3rd living area. 
The basement includes a ridiculously large recreation room with full kitchen, a playroom, a 2nd office, a ridiculous amount of unfinished storage and a home theater. How many "real" families actually need all of that? Note that I said need not want. ha

What is your favorite feature of this house? What should I keep and what, other than the obvious, is unnecessary?  

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Parmesian-Basil Tilapia

I knew I wanted something light but flavorful and my first thought was to bake a tilapia filet. We normally take a frozen filet, cover it in lemon pepper and bake for 25-30 minutes. But I wanted something different. And I found it! ;)

I got the recipe from Shape Magazine's website. Since it was just me eating, I halved the recipe with the exception of the olive oil. 
I didn't have any lemons or lemon juice so I passed on their version of the green beans and made my own.

Parmesan-Encrusted Tilapia
4 skinless tilapia fillets (1 pound total)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon dried basil
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons olive oil
 
Directions

Preheat the broiler. Cut the tilapia fillets lengthwise into two pieces, then pat dry with a paper towel and season to taste with pepper. In a small bowl, combine basil and Parmesan cheese; set aside. 

Heat olive oil in a 12-inch heavy ovenproof skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Sauté the fish for 3 minutes or until brown. Flip the fillets over and remove the skillet from heat. Dust the tilapia with the cheese mixture. Place the skillet under the broiler to finish cooking the fish and slightly brown the cheese, about 3 to 4 minutes.

I don't have an ovenproof skillet so I placed it in a baking dish. It adds an extra dish to wash but totally worth it. ;) It was delicious, light and refreshing!

Clegg's Kitchen Green Beans
I love me some green beans. I like them to be flavorful. I suppose you could say I am picky when it comes to my green beans. But I blame it on my mom for making them taste so good. ;)
For every one can of green beans, add one chicken bouillon cube. Sprinkle with onion flakes. Bring all 3 ingredients to a boil. Stir to break up the cubes and reduce heat until ready to serve.
Yum!