...a hobbyist's apartment...
chronicles of life as I know it
Sep 1 '10

okay sorry for being fickle

and for changing things around all the time (or at least I feel like it’s all the time…)

but I have switched my primary blog over to:


Overall, I just like it better! Sorry, Tumblr!

Thanks to the readers I have for making the switch. Xo!

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Aug 23 '10

easy & delicious apricot chicken

I was grocery shopping like a mad woman today (I think I bought one of everything. oops.) and my mom called me asking for a recipe. I was able to tell her about it in a matter of about a minute and she could remember it all without writing it down because it’s THAT easy!! So I thought I’d share it with you.


10 oz. Red Russian Salad Dressing
12 oz. Apricot Preserves
1 package onion soup mix
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Mix the first three ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside. Line a baking pan with foil (hello easy clean up!) and place the chicken inside (try not to overlap). Pour mixture over the chicken. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

And it’s done! It’s great served over rice or with mashed potatoes… and any sort of vegetable makes a great side! It’s easy peasy and takes hardly any time at all. Put it in when you get home from work, relax for a bit and it’s done. Super.

If you try it let me know how it goes for you!

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Aug 23 '10

books books books

I have been a book buying FOOL lately. Jonathan and I made a deal that neither of us are allowed to purchase a book for the next month, starting today. We just get so excited about deals and good looking books… and then we’ve spent our entire bank accounts on books. Okay.. maybe it isn’t that extreme. But still. I need to read the books I have and then increase my library. Here are some of my latest purchases. I’m eager to read all of them!

  • The Crockpot Cookbook - I am so excited about this one! I’ll use it often. I absolutely love my crockpot. I love anything that calls for a crockpot. It’s always so delicious when the ingredients have a few hours to blend together for a fantastic dish and it’s always so easy! This book has recipes for appetizers, main dishes, drinks, desserts… the works! The prep time for each recipe is under 20 minutes. How perfect is that? I’m going to try a few new ones this week. I’ll let you know how it goes!
  • The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins - I’ve heard lots of interesting things about this book lately (book one of a Trilogy) and decided it sounded interesting enough for me to pick it up. When I saw it at Borders for the same price as the cheapest on Amazon.com, I just had to have it! (Okay, I realize that’s an overstatement but I just love love books!) Here’s a synopsis from Barnes & Noble’s website: "Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games." The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat’s sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place." The children selected to fight are fighting for food for their district. If they win, their entire district receives food for a year, if they lose… the child is killed. I’m not normally into sci-fi, but this seemed too interesting to pass up.
  • The Nanny Diaries by McLaughlin & Kraus - I don’t know much about this novel but I had a few friends recommend it since I’m a nanny. I was cautioned against reading it before I started my job, but now that I’m in it and LOVE it I thought it might be a fun read. And I found it at Half Price Books for $1.00. Why not? Have any of you read it?
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket - I really enjoyed the movie version of these novels. The book series contains 13 books, each under 200 pages. I enjoy young adult novels so when I saw these on sale at Half Price, too, I figured again “Why not?” I just bought the first one to see how I’d like it and figure if it was enjoyable, I could gradually purchase all 13 and then keep them for the young adults I hope to have of my own one day!

So what about you? What do you like to read? I just can’t seem to get my hands on enough books! I really love magazines, too. No need for cable at my apartment… I keep plenty entertained and informed with pages in my hands. I can’t seem to travel (even for a weekend) without a few magazines or books in my bags. What can’t you live without?

Anyway, today will be filled with cleaning my apartment, grocery shopping, making dinner for Jonathan and me, and baking an apple pie (with this recipe from my friend Michelle) for some friends & taking it to their house to eat it with them. It should be a good, productive day! Hopefully I can fit some time for reading in there somewhere. The day might be wasted without it!

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Aug 16 '10

25% off Mary Kay Inventory!

Hi friends,

So as some may know, I signed up to be a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant at the beginning of my summer. Life got a lot busier than I expected and with my mom’s recent diagnosis, my extra time and energy is going towards that. So.. while I will still maintain my “consultant status” I am not actively selling the product right now. If you ever want me to order you something, I will.. but no parties & phone calls for me.

I have a small box of inventory I would like to sell…. so here’s what I have to offer…. itemized by price with the 25% discount! If you are interested in any of these items, email me, comment, call, text, whatever… and I will get them to you. It would really help me out.. and it’s cheaper for you!

Here’s a link to see the catalog if you’d like to view the items you’d be purchasing:

Mary Kay Catalog

Thanks. :)

  • (4) TimeWise Miracle Set [3-in-1 Cleanser, Age Fighting Moisturizer, Day Solution & Night solution], Regular Price: $90, After 25% off: $67.00
  • (3) 3-in-1 TimeWise Cleanser, Regular Price: $18, After 25% off: $13.00
  • (4) TimeWise Age Fighting Moisturizer, Regular Price: $22, After 25% off: $16.00
  • (3) Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover, Regular Price: $15, After 25% off: $11.00
  • (2) Black Waterproof Mascara, Regular Price: $10, After 25% off: $7.50
  • (2) Black Ultimate Mascara, Regular Price: $15, After 25% off: $11.00
  • (6) Tinted Lip Balm Sunscreen [various colors], Regular Price: $13, After 25% off: $9.50
  • (2) Eyesicles Eye Color [Vanilla & Island Bronze], Regular Price:$10, After 25% off: $7.50
  • (3) Mineral Cheek Colors [Blush, Sunny Spice, and Strawberry Cream], Regular Price: $10, After 25% off: $7.50
  • (1) Cooling Bronzing Stick, Regular Price: $20, After 25% off: $15.00

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Jul 30 '10

a positive diagnosis

This week, my mom was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. It came as a shock to my entire family (when does cancer ever come at a time that isn’t shocking for anyone involved?) and we’re still dealing with our initial emotions and thoughts towards it all. The only information we have so far is that it is a form of IDC (Invasive Ductal Carcinoma) and that she will definitely need chemo and radiation. About.com describes it this way:

"Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC) is a very common type of breast cancer. It starts developing in the milk ducts of your breast, but breaks out of the duct tubes, and invades, or infiltrates, surrounding tissues. Unlike ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), which is a non-invasive cancer, IDC is not a well-contained cancer. IDC has the potential to invade your lymph and blood systems, spreading cancer cells to other parts of your body.”

About.com also said that about 8 in 10 women with breast cancer have IDC. I am thankful that this is a well researched cancer and that mom has the opportunity to make a full recovery after months of treatment.

So…. because of its nature to spread, she will have to do all available treatments to get rid of it. She’s currently at a doctor’s office somewhere in Dallas, TX meeting with a wonderful specialist who will present treatment options & time lines to her.

Please be in prayer for my family… we’re all a little scared at this point. In the words of my friend Michelle (some of the best feedback I’ve heard) “It’s very sad but God is bigger.” That’s the biggest and best truth we have at this point. God is bigger. God is bigger.

God IS bigger.

My question to you is…. do you have any scriptures or quotes you’d be willing to share? Something that addresses courage, fear, strength, cancer, anything positive really. I’m wanting to put something together to give my mom for her chemo days. Will you share what you have used in times of struggle and fear with us?

Also.. if you have struggled with breast cancer or who someone who has… will you share your positive stories with me? I’m sure those will be of encouragement to my mom, also.

Thanks for your prayers… really. I can’t imagine how people without faith get through times like these. We’re so thankful for all of you.

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Jul 21 '10

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Jul 14 '10

reading regimen

I made mention in my previous post to my new reading regimen. I met Tadashii (a Christian hip-hop artist… maybe more on that story later) on my flight back from Florida a few weeks ago and this is similar to how he reads books. I was so inspired that I’ve started doing it for myself.

I read at least 4 new books each month following this schedule:

Week 1: A book from the New York Times Best Sellers List to keep me in tune with what’s culturally relevant. If I’m reading what a lot of other people are reading, it will help me get on their level & create conversation based on their interests and not just my own.

Week 2: A Spiritual/faith type book that gets me thinking of new ways to build the Kingdom. This will also hopefully help me to think critically about my own faith journey and about how the church is reaching the culture today.

Week 3: A biography of someone who somehow changed the world, for better or worse. I think learning from other people’s successes and failures is a good way to think about and plan for my own goals in life and give me some added insight on how I can achieve them.

Week 4: A book of my choosing (novel, classic, etc), just because I feel like it! There are surely many books on my list just because they seem interesting to me or are fun to read. For example, I am in the process of rereading the Harry Potter books and would also like to reread the Twilight series. I also just picked up The Princess Diaries collection (for $4!) at Borders and hope to read that soon, too… just for the heck of it.

So what about you? Do you read specific types of books? Which are your favorites? What would you recommend I add to my reading lists based on the types of books I want to read? I want to know what you think!


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Jul 12 '10

Eat Pray Love

book cover

After hearing some mixed reviews on this book, I decided that I needed to pick it up. I’ve always loved reading but have neglected that particular hobby for a little while now. So, off I went to Borders bookstore and picked it up. (I also grabbed Julie & Julia, having never read it either. It was buy one, get one 1/2 off. What’s a girl to do? Buy them both, of course!)

I realize this book has some controversial content for Christians seeing as how the author’s religious beliefs are very different, but I think Christians could learn a lot from other traditions. That doesn’t mean we have to adopt them, but we can gain from their practices and see how we can integrate the same dedication and purpose into our worship and relationship with God. That being said, I also think it’s important to be reading what is being read by a wide audience. If we want to be culturally relevant and want to be able to build relationships with those outside of our traditions, why not educate ourselves on their interests and gain a bit of insight on the way they think? (Remind me to tell you about my new reading regimen. I’m very excited. The next post, perhaps?)

So, this book is about a woman (the author) who goes through a troubling divorce (are any divorces NOT troubling?) and winds up wanting to do a bit of self exploration by journeying to Italy, India, and Indonesia. She spends 4 months in each country, meaning she spends a year away from home. She goes to Italy for pleasure… just to enjoy life for a bit. India is for the spiritual part of her journey, and Indonesia is for the combination of the two. Elizabeth’s writing style is fun and easy to keep up with. She’s got a wit about her that is very entertaining! The book does contain some language, but not so much to keep me from reading it.

Reading about her travels really made me want to visit those places, too. She is very vivid & colorful in her descriptions and gives a lot of information on the history and setting of each place she visits. I found that I was learning while reading her story. It was such an interesting read! If I ever read it again, I’ll be writing down the names of all the restaurants she visits so I make sure to go sometime in my life as well. They all sounded so delicious.

In reading about her spiritual journey, I was really awed at her commitment to figuring it out. She asked questions, was seriously dedicated to her purpose, and found value in herself along the way. As stated earlier, I don’t necessarily agree with her religious beliefs, but I learned a lot from some of the philosophies she shared & dedication she achieved.

All in all, very insightful, very fun, and very easy to read. I’m now very looking forward to the movie that’s coming out soon. I really enjoy Julia Roberts, so I can’t wait to see how she interprets the book!

Here’s the trailer….. and go pick up the book to read before you watch the movie. It’s almost always better that way. :)

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Jul 12 '10


okay so I apparently am no good at blogging… but I want to be. So here is my attempt [again] to be better at this.

maybe I’ll post book reviews and movie reviews (because I know you’re all dying to know what I think). or maybe I’ll post recipes & good places to eat. or perhaps I will chronicle my days… where I went, what I ate, who I saw, etc. etc.

or maybe I’ll do all of those things! wouldn’t that be fun?

we’ll see.

be checking back… I want to revamp the look of my blog in hopes that it will keep me coming back to, well… blog. And maybe if it is really visually stimulating… you’ll keep coming back too!

so… here’s a promise. a book review later today! I recently finished “Eat Pray Love” and really enjoyed it. can’t wait to share!


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Mar 11 '10
I will be making a cake like this (or the one previously posted)… maybe over spring break?? then again with my sweet friend Michelle!


(via thesunsetshere)
Website | Recommend | Submit | Ask

I will be making a cake like this (or the one previously posted)… maybe over spring break?? then again with my sweet friend Michelle!


(via thesunsetshere)

Website | Recommend | Submit | Ask

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