Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Stressleupagus

The past two weeks we've been living in the House of Kennedy Zoo. A large, unwanted animal has been the main attraction: the stressleupagus. It hypnotizes us and pretends to be more important than other things, but actually it's just a stressleupagus. It divides my attention from Zane and vice versa. It's a menacing creature that's messing up our lives.
This is a rough-drawing. I made it in Paint, and I only have a touch-pad mouse, so it's hard to control lines. We try to ignore the stressleupagus in the room, but lately it's been commanding our attention. There are those times when we break free from its luring charms...

Like last night, when we unexpectedly had a free night due to a cancellation of plans. We ate fast food, watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and had fun just being together. I love that quality time!

The stressleupagus left us for an evening, but this creature's got ways of sneaking back into our perfectly happy lives. Be on the look-out and beware.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Recipe: Pumpkin Muffins

Since it's officially fall in Florida (meaning, I have put out my fall decorations), I think it's about time to share a great recipe that I did not invent. A friend shared this recipe with me, and I will now share it with you.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins
1 box of Duncan Hines Spiced Cake ($1.79 at Publix)
1 15oz can of Libby's canned Pumpkin ($1.59 at Publix)

Mix both ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit in a cupcake pan for 15-18 minutes. Makes 18-24 muffins.

It's really that easy!

I searched for nutrition facts, and found them here.

Now, I baked mine in this adorable cupcake pan made by Nordic Ware. Baker's Joy cooking spray is a must-have, because it has flour in the spray. Nordic Ware and Baker's Joy helped me create adorable leaf-shaped muffins!

Even though I'm not including the pan cost in the total recipe cost, I'll let you know the pan was $18.00 at Walmart. Most Nordic Ware bakeware is $30-$40. Not bad, Walmart. With the combined cost of Baker's Joy ($2.50 at Publix, but only used half a can), cake mix and pumpkin, the cost per muffin is approximately $.26. That's a deal.

Two ingredients + moist, delicious taste + affordable price + adorable presentation + fairly healthy = perfect holiday treat.

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Locked-Out Remedy

Wednesday morning I left the doctor's office with an authoritative command to lower my stress. I've never considered myself a stressed-out person, but there have been seasons of life that test my anxiety levels. I guess I'm in one now.

Yesterday, I got home from work, threw my stuff down, and walked back outside to water the plants. Since it was a blazin' 97 degrees Fahrenheit, I pulled the door closed, meaning to leave it a crack open, but it closed all the way. This door has a tricksy lock that locks itself all the time, so I immediately knew what I had done. I tried the handle in vain.

Zane had just texted me saying he wouldn't be home for a while. My phone and keys were now inside. No way of contacting anyone. No breeze. 97 degrees. Blazing sun. Work clothes.

In a semi-shaded swing across the street, I sat for a while, thinking and praying about whatever came to mind. Eventually, I realized I had two choices: sit here until Zane gets home, which could be hours away, or walk five miles to my parent's house.

I chose parent's house.

People don't really walk anywhere in Orlando. Especially in the suburbs. We drive. That's it. So, I felt out of place walking alongside the busy state road in my work clothes. Walking through my parent's neighborhood, I sang to myself and chuckled at my situation.

My fingers and feet were swollen, due partly to poor circulation and partly to bad shoes for walking. I sweated and needed the restroom. When I arrived, they gave me food, water, laughter, and free use of the toilet.

This whole situation had potential to be stressful. But it actually forced me to take a break from life and have an adventure, even if a small one. When the doctor told me to lower my stress, she probably didn't mean lock yourself out of the house. However, that 30 minute walk to my parent's house was the most lighthearted I've felt all week.