Pasta Salad

>I have to preface this by saying that – I do not enjoy most cold salads (excluding taco or green salads.) Most potato and pasta salads are not enjoyable to me either. Actually, let me clarify – it’s mainly anything that has Miracle Whip or Italian Dressing (from a bottle). I am not a fan of potlucks for this very reason. =)

On our recent stay in Portland – my cousin made a pasta salad that made us all rave! Shannon made it from scratch and I snagged the recipe from her when I got home. So, today I bought the ingredients to make it. (And as usual I made my own adjustments/variations of the recipe.)
I prepared a package (12 ounces) of cork screw pasta (the three color variety). I salt the water heavily – so that I don’t have to add much salt later (to the dressing). I cook it just before it’s al dente, drain it and run very cold water over it to stop the cooking process. I drizzled a bit of olive oil over it and let it to continue draining while I ran errands.
When I got home I threw in the Magic Bullet equal parts of lemon juice and olive oil, 1 teaspoon of lemon zest, 1 clove of garlic, 1 clove of roasted garlic, salt and pepper to taste, a bunch of fresh basil and flat leaf parsley, 1 teaspoon of red wine vinegar, and a dash of sugar. It almost makes a pesto-like sauce. It should be on the thinner side so that the pasta has liquid/flavor to absorb. Note – You don’t have to use a magic bullet or food processor – this saved me a ton of time and I like how it emulsifies the vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil.
I dump the dressing and toss on the pasta. Then I added about a 1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese, chopped tomatoes (or baby tomatoes) and it’s sitting in the refrigerator right now. Right before I serve I am going to toss in frozen peas and pancetta.
There are so many other veggies that would be good in this, but this is what I have on hand. Let me know of any variations!! I’m loving this! I keep going to the fridge to snag some.
Oh, I also have to mention that Shannon’s recipe did not include sugar, red wine vinegar, garlic or parsley.
Did you know flat leaf parsley is better for you than spinach? I grow it in my herb garden and try to add it to everything.

Race of a Lifetime :: Part One

>(I wrote this 4/28/09 – I spoke at campout at the end of May.)

I’m working on a project. I’ve set aside this week and cut back on a few extras in my life in order to truly concentrate on this. I am not sure that I have been able to accurately describe the impact this opportunity is having on me. It. Is. A. Big. Deal. For. Me. I could cry just thinking about it. Honestly. There are things in life that don’t make sense. But somehow through this opportunity there are season and experiences in my life that are now making sense.
I’m excited. I’m nervous. I’m thrilled. I’m terrified. I’m all these and so much more. My bags are pretty much packed. I still have a list of about ten things to do before I board the train, but I’m pretty much ready. Well, okay not at all. I have pages and pages and pages of notes. I read them and they don’t make sense there is no order and zero organization. I’m overwhelmed too, did I mention that?
I would never take back this opportunity, not ever. Over the past day or so I keep asking myself, would I take back the invitation because of all this? No, the answer is definitely no. Why? I know God has big stuff in store. Probably more for me to learn through the kids than them from me.
Well, I better get back to writing and my lists. You know how much I love my lists? I sure do love them.

The Pool

You must read this post to understand this post. Thank you. 🙂

I set a goal at the beginning of the week to work out every day this week – Monday through Friday. The summer has been so busy that my consistent work-outs have fallen by the wayside. I’m so thrilled that I can say – I did it. Every night I packed my gym bag with my suit and towel and showed up to swim around 1pm the next day. I also started back on Xango. (Dad & Kim if you’re reading this – sorry!) Everyday this week I worked out and drank Xango. (If you want to know more about what Xango has done for me – ask. I do not sell it.)

So, everyday that I go to work-out in the therapy pool I am eager to see who else will be there. Opal and Sally have become my favorites. Today, as I was walking laps in the pool with Sally (who I have just started getting to know) Opal came in and said, “oh, my two favorite ladies!” It just warms my heart to know that I am fully accepted and acknowledged as a friend to these ladies. For starters – I am usually the youngest by at least 30-40 years! Anyway, it’s so fun getting to know them. They have the most amazing life stories, attitudes and personalities. I am, among all, most richly blessed!

{joeybelle designs} Baby Shower Invite


As usual – I LOVED working on this project for my good friend Sarah. Her sister, Tracy, is having her first baby and Sarah is throwing her a baby shower. Sarah sent me a link to the baby’s bedding and said to keep with a garden theme. The bedding is adorable – so it was fun to try to compliment it and re-create it for these invitations. Tracy told Sarah that the pink stripe matches the pink stripe on the walls of the nursery! I had NO idea. So fun when something like that happens! I love when clients are happy with the final product – it brings me so much JOY! Thanks for yet another fun project, Sarah! 🙂

>My Life. In Pictures. Vol 2. Day 5 :: Black and White

>My ten year high school reunion was about a month ago. It was so fun to reconnect with old friends. Brittany (far left) and I have maintained a friendship since high school, but Sarah (middle) and I reconnected a few years ago via myspace and facebook. It was so so so fun to actually see her and get to hug her and hear her sweet laugh again. I’ve missed her. We went to grade school through high school together and used to live on the same block. I was even able to meet her kids for the first time. Reconnecting with Sarah was definitely the highlight of my high school reunion.

Aidan and Finley Videos

Portland Vacation – July 17 – 22, 2009

On our recent trip to Portland, we got stuck in three airports in one day! This video is just a short clip of how we filled our time in the Spokane Airport – our final airport of the day, but still not home.
Finley loves to sing and be sung to. Her favorite song is “Jesus, I Know” which is actually “Jesus Loves Me.” When she sings she mixes all her favorites: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, ABC’s, Rockaby Baby, and Jesus, I Know. I’m trying to bust out some new tunes to add a little variety, but recently – as soon as we start singing with her – she puts out her hand as says, “stop, I sing.” She’s got a unique, sweet voice (and personality).
On our trip to Portland, we stayed with my cousin Christie and her boys. They have a pool in their backyard! It was beautiful every day – so we spent lots of time in the water. Aidan (4) became fast friends with his second cousin Abbie (almost 4). Though Aidan has not taken swimming lessons – Christie has a cool suit that allowed Aidan to swim, jump, dive and cannon ball his way into the water while keeping him safe – like a life jacket. We were all so amazed at how quickly Aidan took to the water. This video shows his skillzzzz and enthusiasm for his love of the diving board! Way to go, Aidan! (Hopefully, there’s a Summer Olympics in his future – that would make this aunt very happy.)