Tag Archives: Snow

Thursdays are for Thinking Out Loud #1

Hey! What’s this? A post on a Thursday? I know, I know. I’m a constant bundle of surprise.

I decided to break my normal posting schedule to support Amanda and her new weekly link-up for Thinking Out Loud! I’m not sure if I will do this every week because I don’t want all of my posts to become solely for link-ups, but I couldn’t miss out on this inaugural event. This is history in the making.

Thinking-Out-Loud

In true Thursday Thoughts fashion I am taking a cue from Ms. Spoon’s book and going with some numbers….

1. I’m just not feeling super festive yet. Anyone else? Maybe it’s because I still have school in my constant thoughts. If that’s the case, it probably won’t be until next Saturday that I actually start feeling like it’s Christmas time.

thurs-thoughts-christmas-tree-cats

2. Despite not feeling all Christmas-y, the constant influx of snow is not letting me forget that we are indeed drawing nearer to Winter. While not a “warm” welcome, it does make me a little giddy and nostalgic to awake to a fresh bed of whiteness on our school lawns. Those happy memories are quickly forgotten though when my feet get soaked as I trudge through the wet snow. I need a new pair of boots that aren’t as thin as paper in the heels.

So basically, I feel like this whenever I go outside.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0NenJrWflQ&w=420&h=315]

3. Speaking of boots, lets talk about Uggs for a moment. I own a few pair of knockoffs and they are so warm and comfortable. But are they cute? The consensus among my roommates is no. However, one roommate insists that they are adorable. I think that by definition they are ugly, and that is almost part of their appeal. They aren’t super high fashion so they are accessible to everyone and I feel like I can wear them everyday without much concern. Again, they are the epitome of warm. Nothing more.

thurs-thoughts-uggs

 4. I have realized recently that I do best with small changes. Occasionally I do well with just jumping feet first into something (like with this blog, one day it was non-existent and the next I was blabbing away to you all!) But with most things in life it’s better if I get adapted slowly. Like with exercise. I don’t know how many times I have tried to go all out and exercise a lot everyday when I’m first starting. Then within no time I lose that initial excitement and it quickly falls to the way side.

Since Elf For Health‘s challenge on Monday though, I’ve begun slowly adding in just a “bit” here and there. I almost forgot to do the circuit challenge for the day so before going to bed I quickly busted out 5 minutes worth of toning exercises. Is it an overnight transformation? Heck no. However, I’m not doing this to lose weight, and really, I’m not even doing it for the health benefits like potentially reducing the risk of disease, illness, spontaneous combustion, etc. Recently I’ve been intrigued by the idea that incorporating exercise into your daily schedule can help reduce stress and possibly even better digestion. I’m all for that.

Three nights in a row and going strong! 😉 Lol. I have no naive thoughts that what I’m doing is nearly enough, however this time around I want to try the slow approach, adding in a little each day. If you don’t already do wall sits, you really should. Feel the burn.

Workout: Dorm Lower Body

5. Up next I’m going to make an easy 5 minute arm workout for myself. I love circuits for their short and choppy nature. With reading my favorite books I have no problem doing the same thing for hours on end, but when it comes to working out if I’m repetitive my interest fades fast. What I need is quick and effective stuff where I won’t lose my mind in boredom.

thurs-thoughts-boredom-1

6. Tomorrow (Thursday) is the Hobbit 2 premiere and I am super excited. While I liked the original Lord of the Rings film trilogy I actually think the Hobbit is better thus far. My Loki-loving friend managed to snag seats to a special early showing tomorrow afternoon, so we are driving about an hour north to the city to watch in style. The only thing that could make this sequel better than the first is with the addition of some stellar new cast members. Oh wait, there is! Orlando Bloom as Legolas and Benedict Cumberbatch (as the dragon!). Aren’t you pumped? 😉

thurs-thoughts-hobbit-2

8. There are still open spots for the 12 Days of Christmas Recipes link-up! There are 3 or 4 themes left and for those of you worried about being too busy with work and such, all of the days remaining are towards the end so you can work on it in your spare time over Christmas vacation 🙂 A few of the other participants have already been e-mailing me with rough draft versions of theirs (not that you have to do that), which just goes to show how super easy it is join in!

12-days-1

9. I was just going to end with 8… then I suddenly felt a cold blast of air. For some reason unbeknownst to me (and the rest of humanity) someone keeps on turning the air conditioning on in our room. 😯 Hmm… That 6 degree temperature prediction for tonight is not in Celsius, is it? No. No it’s not. However, I’m keeping my lips zipped and pulling on my house slippers in silence. “Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men…”

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Questions for you:

What are you thinking about on this bright, cheery (cold) Thursday?

Does ending on an odd number bother any of you?

Have you considered joining in our Christmas recipe fun?

How do you keep warm during the winter? (Electric blankets is not an acceptable solution per University policy. No matter how much I would love to convince them otherwise…)

What I Ate When My Toes Almost Froze Off

If you know me at all, then you know that I’m usually a very hard worker. When it comes to certain things though… not so much. One of those “things” is walking the fifteen minutes to my car every Friday.

Last semester my parents drove me to school so that we could save money on car insurance (it costs extra for keeping cars at college). This semester however, I had to buy a parking permit and drive myself. Since I’m no longer on my school’s student meal plan (well, I’m trying to get off it at least) I have to go home every weekend to make the food that I’ll eat for the following week.

The 2 hour drive itself isn’t bad. There are tons of interesting radio stations on during Friday afternoons. Last week I listened to everything from cheesy jewelry store advertisements to a talk show about gun control, from the good time oldies, to my favorite station- country music.

What is bad is the fifteen minute walk to my car. In the cold. Through snow.

wiaw-cold-self

As you can see, I took this picture *before* I headed out… hence the happy smile still on my face.

What is bad is making it through that long excruciating walk, and then this happens:

wiaw-car-snow

Yep. My Friday was basically ruined when I found out that my car wouldn’t start. Here I was all packed and ready to go, with just a teensy little huge roadblock standing in my way.

So, I called my dad and asked for his advice. Then I walked back to my dorm room and called AAA. I waited on the phone for probably twenty minutes and got disconnected within the first five. The lady who finally answered was pretty snooty, but in the end she wished me the best of luck and hoped that I’d get everything worked out.

Needless to say that when I hung up I started to cry.

A big wave of emotion hit me like a freight train. They were sending a tow truck in 45 minutes to try and jump start my car. I should have been ecstatic. But instead I was just so upset. First of all, I had eaten my last morsel of food for lunch, expecting to be home by five for supper. Second, when I talked to my dad, I was pretty rude and strung out. Not good. And third, my car stopped working. In the middle of winter. And there was no one I could share my grief with at school. My roommate was gone for the weekend, my one friend lives off campus, and the others were off with their boyfriends.

So, I trudged back out to my car and waited for 30 minutes by myself. I attempted to stay warm by using a small blanket that I found in the back, and rubbing my hands together inside of my gloves. But let me tell you– It was COLD. Like, upper-teens cold with wind chills in the single digits.

The tow truck arrived in pretty good time and the operator was so nice. He was incredibly patient as I explained what happened, and within minutes my car was running.

When I drove back to my dorm to pack up my things, I seriously couldn’t feel my feet. I changed into a clean pair of fuzzy socks and shoes since my others were soaked from melting snow. And low and behold my toes were a bright bright red. You may laugh, but I actually had a little difficulty walking for the first few minutes as my feet thawed out.

wiaw-cold-socks

To conclude this miserable (and yes, somewhat melodramatic) story, I made it home safe and sound just before 8:00. About 3 hours later than planned, and boy was I starving!

For this WIAW, I’m going to share with you a few of the things that I made after My Toes Almost Froze Off.

First up, a picture that I took at school, but one that I’ve also enjoyed at home a countless number of times: Beef and “Noodle” Soup (made with peeled Yellow Squash, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt). Extra broth alongside.

wiaw-cold-soup

Next is another favorite of mine: Glazed Carrots (cooked carrots topped with coconut oil).

For reference sake, here is a picture of the carrots before, chopped and raw:

wiaw-carrots-raw

And here is a picture of them after, cooked to perfection and topped in yummy goodness:

wiaw-carrots-cooked

Finally, I want to share a new GAPS recipe that I made this weekend. It’s adapted from a Friday Food Find I did a few weeks ago, and it’s seriously awesome.

And it’s perfect for using up the half of a cow that we purchased this last week! We got all of the different cuts from ribs to roasts, from ground beef to stew meat. This cow is from a local farm and it was grass-fed and pasture-raised:

*Vegans and Vegetarians Avert Eyes*

wiaw-cold-grass-fed-cow

Super exciting stuff.

Anyways, moving on to what I made:

Shepherd’s Pie

Adapted from Heart of Cooking

Allergen-Free, Grain-Free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan/Vegetarian Option, GAPS, SCD, Paleo

wiaw-shepherds-pie

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cups squash, mashed (alternatively you could use cauliflower puree)*
  • 1 pound grass-fed ground beef*
  • 1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
  • 3 large carrots, chopped (around 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 zucchini, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil plus more for pan
  • water or broth for cooking vegetables
  • sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and coat a 8×8 casserole dish with coconut oil.
  2. In a large pan, add a few cups of water (or broth) and your ground beef. Cook on high, breaking up the meat. When almost done, add all of the vegetables. Let cook for an additional ten minutes or until soft.
  3. Drain the vegetables and meat and spoon into greased pan. Sprinkled with a little sea salt.
  4. In a separate bowl mash the cooked squash with 2 tbsp coconut oil. Spread this mixture evenly on top of the vegetables and meat. Sprinkle with a little more sea salt.
  5. Bake for approximately 20 minutes and enjoy!

Variations:

Vegetables- Any vegetables would work well in here. Onions or broccoli would fantastic to add, I just used what I had on hand. Any kind of squash would work great in this recipe. I used a combination of mostly butternut and a little acorn.

Meat- Any kind of meat would work in here as well. My mom made one with shredded chicken and I think I might give that a go next. Ground lamb would be fantastic.

Vegan/Vegetarian- For an alternative to the meat, I think that cooked lentils (about 2 cups worth), chopped mushrooms, or a meat substitute would all be lovely in this dish.

Sorry I only have one picture to share! The picture I took of the whole casserole turned out really blurry. I promise that when I make it again I’ll take more.

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Do you normally fare well with customer service?

Here’s a customer service video that YOU HAVE TO WATCH. It made me feel ten times smarter. Seriously.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zN9LZ3ojnxY]

Has your car ever failed to start in the cold? Do you have AAA?

What’s your favorite thing to listen to on the radio?