A Very Nice Cuppa

We have a lovely little thing here at my workplace. It's called the "Help Yourself" table. On mondays there are homemade rolls, during the holidays there are lots of baked goodies . . . you get the idea. Well lately, in honor of the economic downturn and our company's subsequent furloughs, lots of pantry items have been showing up . . . mac and cheese, soup, you know. Today the variety boasted soggy strawberry cake, green-pepper jelly, a few Reader's Digests, and something that has made my afternoon fragrant and wonderful.

I present to you, Good Earth Raspberry Red Tea. What a treat. I'm usually a fan of herbal infusions, but this little blend packs lots of antioxidant and a nice, subtle raspberry flavor, but it also has spicy hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, spearmint, star anise, and ginger and  chicory root. So nice. 

Thank you tea fairy.

But wait! There's more. 

The little tab on the tea bag even had a very thought-provoking quote. I wonder what you guys think of this one:

"It's easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." 
--Alfred Adler (1870-1937)


Hello There!

Hi friends! Sorry for my absence of late! I've been snowed in  in Colorado and getting my face burned off made worth it by a fabulous day of skiing, and now I'm trying to organize photos so I can tell you all about it. 

In the meantime, here's a treat to hold you over.

Thanks to Annie, I discovered a great website called Fantabulously Frugal. Check it out!

Today I got a new Schick Quatro Titanium razor sent to our house for FREE, AND will redeem this coupon on my way home from work for a FREE cute little lunch bag from Whole Foods!

FREE stuff is so fun! Right up there with postcards and fresh-from-the-oven chocolate-chip cookies!

AND We're getting a screen door today! Hello fresh spring breeze!


Potted Herb Garden

I've been hearing a lot this year that the best time to plant a garden is Easter weekend. Which, is really kinda funny to me because Easter weekend varies a lot from year to year. But what the hey, I decided to go along with it and plant a little potted herb garden today. It'll be so nice to be able to walk out on our landing and pick fresh herbs! I don't know about you, but I always get a little annoyed when recipes call for a lot of fresh herbs. They are are so good and worth it, don't get me wrong, but I always feel silly buying herbs at the grocery store, the majority of which I know will go bad before I use them. No more! I've got all my favorites, sweet basil, cilantro, thyme, rosemary, and sage. Let's hope these turn out better than last year's garden attempts!


.Beautiful Food.

(image from La Tartine Gourmande, mentioned below)
As you may note if you visit my blog in person rather than through a feed-reader, I have recently discovered a few more gorgeous food blogs--most noteworthily, The Wednesday Chef. Hers isn't the most beautiful food blog on the block (that award goes to La Tartine Gourmande probably, though her recipes kinda scare me), but yesterday I wrote down about 8 recipes from her archives that I want to try immediately. With that said, I decided to share with you a list of my favorite recipes from this year (some you've seen before), and another list of ones I can't wait to try.

My Favorites:
The "To-Try" List:
Yum! I'm hungry now. Today for lunch I made us this Grilled Zucchini and Quinoa salad. I'll let you know how it goes. Check out these recipes, they're healthy, beautiful, and, most importantly, DELICIOUS.


.a list.

I found this list on a friend's blog, who found it on another friend's blog . . . but I couldn't resist posting it here. Keith and I have been trying to engage our hearts in dreaming (making room in our hearts, dreaming for the future, praying, imagining what ifs, brainstorming ways to love and serve, etc.) lately, and some of these definitely spark some dreams and ideas (though many terrify me). For me, they're 2, 35, 38, 39, 42, 45 . . . What about you? Which one's spark something in you? Are you already doing something like this?

1. Fast for the 2 billion people who live on less than a dollar a day.
2. Contact your local crisis pregnancy center and invite a pregnant woman to live with your family.
3. Ask your pastor if someone on your church’s sick list would like a visit.
4. Join an open AA meeting and befriend someone there.
5. Adopt a child.
6. Mow your neighbor’s grass.
7. Volunteer to tutor a kid at your local elementary school. (Try to get to know the kid’s family.)
8. Grow your own tomatoes–and share them.
9. Ask a small group in your community to meet regularly for intercessory prayer.
10. Build a wheel chair ramp for someone who is homebound.
11. Read the newspaper to someone at your local nursing home.
12. Plant a tree.
13. Look up the closest registered sex offender in your neighborhood and try to befriend him.
14. Throw a birthday party for a prostitute.
15. When you pay your water bill, pay your neighbor’s too (they’ll let you… really).
16. Invest money in a micro-lending bank.
17. Ask the next person who asks you to spare some change to join you for dinner.
18. Leave a random tip for someone who’s cleaning the streets or a public restroom.
19. Write one CEO a month this year. Affirm or critique the ethics of their company (you may need to do a little research first).
20. Start tithing (giving 10%) of all your income directly to the poor.
21. Connect with a group of migrant workers or farmers who grow your food and visit their farm. Maybe even pick some veggies with them. Ask what they get paid.
22. Give your winter coat away to someone who is colder than you and go to a thrift store to get a new one.
23. Write only paper letters (by hand) for a month. Try writing someone who needs encouragement or who you should say “I’m sorry” to.
24. Go TV free for a year. Or turn your TV into a pot where flowers grow.
25. Laugh at advertisements, especially ones that teach you that you can by happiness.
26. Organize a prayer vigil for peace outside a weapons manufacturer such as Lockheed Martin. Read the Sermon on the Mount out loud. For extra credit, do it every week for a year.
27. Go down a line of parked cars and pay for the meters that are expired. Leave a little note of niceness.
28. Write to one social justice organizer or leader each month just to encourage them.
29. Go through a local thrift store and drop $1 bills in random pockets of the clothing being sold.
30. Experiment with creation-care by going fuel free for a week–ride a bike, carpool, or walk.
31. Try only reading books written by females or people of color for a year.
32. Go to an elderly home and get a list of folks who don´t get any visitors. Visit them each week and tell stories, read the bible together, or play board games.
33. Track to its source one item of food you eat regularly. Then, each time you eat that food, pray for those folks who helped make it possible for you to eat it.
34. Create a Jubilee fund in your Church congregation, matching dollar for dollar every dollar you spend internally with a dollar externally. If you have a building fund, create a fund to match it to give away and by mosquito nets or dig wells for folks dying in poverty.
35. Become a pen-pal with someone in prison.
36. Give your car away to a stranger.
37. Convert your car to run off waste vegetable oil.
38. Try recycling your water from the washer or sink to flush your toilet. Remember the 1.2 billion folks who don´t have clean water.
39. Wash your clothes by hand, or dry them by hanging to remember those without electricity or running water. Remember the 1.6 billion people who do not have electricity.
40. Buy only used clothes for a year.
41. Cover up all brand names, or at least the ones that do not reflect the upside-down economics of God’s Kingdom. Commit to only being branded by the cross.
42. Learn to sew or start making your own clothes to remember the invisible faces behind what we wear. Take your kids to pick cotton so they can see what that is like (and then read James).
43. Eat only a bowl of rice a day for a week to remember those who do that for most of their life (take a multivitamin). Remember the 30,000 people who die each day of poverty and malnutrition.
44. Begin creating a scholarship fund so that for every one of your own children you send to college you can create a scholarship for an at-risk youth. Get to know their family and learn from each other.
45. Visit a worship service where you will be a minority. Invite someone to dinner at your house or have dinner with someone there if they invite you.
46. Help your church congregation create a Peacemaker Scholarship and give it away to a young person trying to avoid the economic draft, who would like to go to college but sees no other way than the military.
47. Eat with someone who does not look like you. Learn from them.
48. Confess something you have done wrong to someone and ask them to pray for you.
49. Serve in a homeless shelter. For extra credit, go back and eat or sleep in the shelter and allow yourself to be served.
50. Join a Yokefellows ministry at a prison close to you. Remember that Jesus said he would meet you there (Matt. 25).