I Heart Faces Photo Challenge – WATER


Thanks to Jan over at The Diamond E, I’ve been introduced to another photo blog site, I Heart Faces. Each week, they invite amateur and professional photographers to submit their photos that fit a particular theme. If you’ve been following my blog, you’re sure to have noticed the Weekly Photo Challenge hosted by The Daily Post (a sidebar of WordPress.com). Now, I get to add another one of these to my blogging schedule.

So let’s get to the photo.

This week’s I Heart Faces theme is WATER. I’ve been in Kentucky the last two weeks (returning to Texas tomorrow) and I captured this photo of my dad with Emma (one of the neighbors along Shady Grove Knoblick Road) as they were feeding the fish.

While Emma’s face is hidden, Dad’s is visible - I hope this counts in the contest…..guess I’ll find out if my entry is deleted.

I think it’s a great shot of these two in action, especially the pellets in the air and Emma’s little fingers. It’s definitely turning my maternal clock a bit faster, as I know my parents would love to become grandparents. Besides, my own grandmother is instructing me to “get on it” so she can see her only granddaughter become a mother and embrace another great-grandbaby. Yes, my grandmother is encouraging Husband and I to hurry up.

Anyway……….I hope you enjoy this photo and I look forward to participating in future I Heart Faces events. Check out their site, there are lots of great photos for this theme, as well as others.

Thank you, Jan @ The Diamond E, for introducing me to this site. You’re the best blogging friend a blogger could ask for ~ now if we could just meet in person, considering we live so close to each other!

And the winner of GIVEAWAY 3 is……


What? You thought I’d announce the big winner immediately?!

You must be crazy.

Let’s talk a bit. What should we talk about?

Hmmm.

I got Haiti vaccinations yesterday, two in each arm. The injections didn’t hurt, but …….

OH-MY-GAWD-WHAT-AM-I-THINKING-GOING-TO-HAITI-THIS-CRAP-HURTS

My arms hurt so bad I can’t stretch them out straight. I made Husband go with me to hold my hand, catch me in case I fainted, AND to drive me home. Just. In. Case.

Husband’s life-saving strategies and valet services were not needed.

I wore my Big Girl Panties and did NOT pass out. The nurse asked me lots of questions and had me jibber-jabbering the entire time. I swear, sometimes I’m the freakin Energizer Bunny and don’t know when to shut up. The next thing I knew she said ALL DONE!

Just think, I had to PAY for this torture!!!!!!

I went to the Tarrant County (Fort Worth) Health Department to their Traveling Health Services and spent $215.00 for an office visit (that was $25.00 on its own) and FOUR injections. Plus, I have two prescriptions to fill and TWO additional office visits (another $25.00 each) for the second and third injection of Hepatitis A/B. This got expensive fast. Thank goodness for insurance – which I am hoping will actually pay for this torture.

One more thing before I announce the big winner……..

I love my Mom. The woman is freakin’ awesome. She sent a check for the Haiti Mission Team and taped it inside a sympathy card. No joke. BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

I love you, Mom.

 

Back to the giveaway, here’s the complete list of participants, in the order that they posted a comment:

 

I used Random.org to choose a number between 1 and 19. The lucky winner is:

 

#8: Beth Smith

 

Congratulations, Beth!!!! I sent you a message on Facebook and I’ll be sending you an email shortly. I need your mailing address ASAP so I can send your Teeny Tiny Spice tins.

Beth chose “Citrus Pepper” and “Montreal” as her spice gifts. I’m so excited for her to try Citrus Pepper, I think it’s pretty amazing.

Thanks to everyone who entered – I love every single person that visits this blog. 

Y’all are all a blessing and, in the words of FnkybeeAWESOMESAUCE!!!!!!! 

 

Blog Lovin’ Award


I just got an awesome SURPRISE – thanks to Lisa at  Life’s Little Slices for selecting my blog, 27 & Counting, as one of her favorite blogs. This is so cool. I get to add this amazing logo to my sidebar – I’m moving on up in the blogging world!!!!

Thanks Lisa – you’re awesome!

 

OK, now I am supposed to answer a couple of questions. I hope I do this correctly………

 

1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.

Life’s Little Slices 

 2. Share seven random facts about yourself.

  • My blood type is sweet tea
  • I wear contacts all the time because I don’t like myself with glasses.
  • If you hurt my feelings, it’s because you’re a mean and cruel person.
  • Standing nearly six-feet-tall, I’m at least 8-inches taller than most of my girlfriends. They’re all skinny and I’m fat. Go figure.
  • I’ll make a great mom someday.
  • I’m hoping Bravo will ask me to be a Real Housewive of Joshua, Texas
  • I love my Husband so much….even if he does roll his eyes and think this blog-thing is crazy.

3. Pass the award along to 10 deserving blog buddies.

Thanks again Lisa, you’re awesome and I’m very appreciative by your shout-out.

HEY BLOG READERS……..

Have you entered my current GIVEAWAY?

Well you should. Click here and leave a comment with your name, email, and TWO spice selections from Teeny Tiny Spice Company. Contest ends this Saturday, June 24. One random winner will be selected and notified Sunday morning. Before I leave for church, of course!

Love y’all – thank you so much for visiting my blog and reading this mumble-jumble mess that I post nearly every day. It’s a ton of fun for me, I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do.

Coal miner’s daughter and a GIVEAWAY


I didn’t realize until researching for this post that Father’s Day might have originated in 1907 at a memorial service for a group of men, majority of them fathers, killed in a coal mining accident in Monogah, West Virginia. This is near and dear to my heart.

I’m a coal miner’s daughter.

I know first-hand the nervousness from watching my Dad pull out of the driveway for another shift in the darkness of an underground coal mine. Despite the dangers associated with mining, my Dad’s work ethic is second to none. It’s just one of the many characteristics I admire about him. When he’s not working at the coal plant, he’s in the garden or honing his vintner (wine-making) skills. Between the fresh produce and homemade wine, many people consider my father a saint.

I completely agree.

In honor of Father’s Day, this is for my Dad…

Things I’ve learned from my Father

  • Win (and Lose) Gracefully — While I do not play golf nearly as much as I used to, the game still means a lot to me and the relationship with my dad. He taught me the game at a young age. It’s something we did together and enjoyed it thoroughly. I believe golf is an outdoor classroom, not just a form of entertainment or physical activity. I credit my relationship-building skills, mannerisms, etiquette, honesty, and maturity to my parents, but to golf as well. During my competitive years, I enjoyed success but suffered plenty of disappointment too. It didn’t matter if I brought home the trophy, though. Did I respect myself? Did I represent my family in the best possible way? Did I honor myself by trying my best? Did I respect my opponents for their efforts? Did I win like a champion or lose with grace? If I answered yes to these questions, I learned the lesson. If not, I lost the competition AND respect for myself. 
  • Don’t settle for chicken if lobster’s available — This is just another way of saying don’t settle for less. When it came to relationships and looking for a husband, I had a long list of requirements. As such, I did not date in high school. Truth be told, I didn’t have time because I was too busy (focused) on golf. Another truth: my expectations were too high and the boys at my school were too short. Fortunately, Kevin EXCEEDED all of my expectations……and he’s tall.
  • Address every situation with good posture and a pleasant smile — I can’t think of any experience where this advice has not been beneficial to me. Thanks Dad!

Something my husband has learned from my Father

  • Keep big guns

Ummm, yeah……my Dad’s not messing around with his toys.

And, this is just one of many.

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Blah, blah, blah – what about the GIVEAWAY?!?

In honor of Father’s Day, I am offering a giveaway for the adorable, wonderful, and lovable men in our lives. As such, this giveaway item is guy-friendly. However, ladies can benefit as well. 

Nicole, enough already – what will I win?!

Go to Teeny Tiny Spice Company and check out their products page.

They are currently featured in Real Simple Magazine and have a Father’s Day Special featuring two of their wonderful spices. I had the “citrus pepper” at a friend’s house and let me tell you, it was AWESOME! We had steak and chicken kabobs and the seasoning was perfect.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

For this giveaway, I’m offering TWO spice blends!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Here’s how this works:

  • Go to Teeny Tiny Spice’s website and choose TWO seasoning blends you’d like to have
  • Leave a comment on this post, include your NAME, EMAIL, and SPICE SELECTIONS
  • One entry per person please
  • U.S. shipping only
  • You’ll be really awesome if you re-post this giveaway on your blog, webpage, Facebook, and Twitter

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Deadline to enter giveaway is midnight Friday, June 24. The winner will be announced Saturday.

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Good luck!

Birthday Party ~ Rapture-Style!!!!


I’m still here. All of my friends and family are here too. The horses were in the pasture when I got home this afternoon and Husband was snoozing (and snoring) when I walked in the house. Obviously, the idiots (c’mon, they are) that tried to persuade everybody that the world would end yesterday were wrong.

Nonetheless, while in Austin for Kimberly’s belated birthday celebration, we lived it up as best we knew how and made fun of everything worth making fun at. If you haven’t figured it out yet, anytime Kim and I are together we’re laughing and misbehaving. We’re cool like that. After watching Bridesmaids – which, by the way, is a GREAT movie and very, VERY funny – we took a quick trip to Wal-Mart; and, as usual, Wally World did not fail to entertain. As we were leaving the parking lot, we saw this:

We went out of our way to get a better look at this piece of spectacular-ness. We’re curius: does the canoe come with the car? or is that extra? 

Kim and I decided the ONLY thing better than a canoe strapped to the hood of your car would be a mattress, because you never know when you need a nap or the extra protection during a hail storm. We live in Texas, after all. Long-distance travel is a given here and the weather (especially hail storms) can be so unpredictable.

Moving on to the good stuff…

If you’re in Austin and looking for a nice place to meet friends for good food and wine, check out Apothecary Cafe & Wine Bar. The location is great (and easy to find, even for an out-of-towner like me!), the drink selection is extensive, the food is amazing, and the ambiance is wonderful for an evening with friends. Did I mention the food is amazing?

Take a look at some of the menu items we devoured:

Tapas Trio: olives, red pepper hummus, tomato brushetta with assorted breads & crackers

House Salad with Grilled Chicken

Nutella Crepe with Mixed Berry Compote

Wow, I’m hungry just looking at these plates of food. Believe me, the food tastes as amazing as it looks!

No doubt, it was a wonderful evening with Kimberly and her friends and co-workers. I’m looking forward to future get-togethers and any excuse to get in the car and go to Austin. I’m really starting to love the Capital City of Texas.

I’m all for keeping the city weird too. I met a particularly WEIRD resident of Austin this weekend, his name is Bob, or so he said.

Smiling Bob

This was the conversation between Bob and I….it was rather extensive:

(Bob enters Nicole’s personal space and sits on the stool next to her.)

Bob: Hi!!!!!!!

Nicole: Umm, hi?

Bob: I’m Bob!!!!!!!! Who are you?

Nicole: I’m not interested.

(Bob quickly exits, searching for his next conversation.)

Gotta love Bob.

Blessings abound


When I started this online journal six months ago, I never dreamt it would be this fun, interactive, or rewarding. I also never imagined how much I would enjoy sharing life’s struggles and celebrations with my blog readers.

To every visitor: I’m grateful. To every visitor: I appreciate your time. To every visitor who’s left a comment: I appreciate your kind words.

To all of you, whether a first-time visitor or a long-time friend (or my parents – hi Mom and Dad!), I’m glad you’re here. Thanks for visiting and I hope you’ll come back again. Share the link with your friends, invite them to my little place in Blog-land.

I created this blog without a distinct purpose or theme. I had a similar blog going at Blogger, but to be honest, I was bored. Someone once asked me which blogging platform I preferred (Blogger or WordPress) and I responded with WordPress for one reason: its streamlined simplicity. I have nothing against Blogger (still have an account there), but I felt disconnected with other bloggers and longed for a sense of community. I feel connected within the WordPress family. I especially love browsing through Freshly Pressed and participating in blog groups, such as the weekly photo challenge. I’d love to be “freshly pressed” someday….hint hint, WordPress people!!!

Feeling that sense of community and connectedness with fellow bloggers is just one of the many reasons I love sharing my rants and raves in a public forum. My friend, Lisa, introduced me to WordPress through her personal blog, but she also has a fashion blog at Blogger, which I love and follow religiously. Funny thing about Lisa and I: we’ve never met face-to-face. We used to work for the same transportation consulting firm. Lisa was in the Norfolk, VA office and I was in Dallas/Fort Worth. We both worked in marketing and business development. I can’t tell you the number of times I’d call her in a panic for a project code or photo or project manager’s bio hours before a deadline. She’d laugh, provide the information, and then we’d talk for 30 minutes as if deadlines were nonexistent. I miss the phone ringing and seeing her name on the caller ID. I always knew a treat awaited on the other end of the line. Nowadays, she’s still doing her thing in marketing (but with a different, more friendly company) and I’m spending my days with cranky teenagers as a middle school teacher. Not much as changed in my world….except three things every teacher loves: June, July, and August.

Anyway, I’m really proud of Lisa and consider it a privilege to call her my friend. She is constantly sharing tidbits of her life, whether it’s a to-do list gone wrong or tips on how to effectively (and fashionably) pack for a vacation. You’d be surprised how much she can fold inside a carry-on luggage piece! Her blog expectations continue to exceed her imagination and I’m so glad to share in her journey. Most recently, she received a pair of Costa Islamorada sunglasses to review. Not only is that a wonderful opportunity, but it’s a compliment that speaks volumes to Lisa and her blog.

Lisa - thanks for the digital camera suggestions and discount links…..YOU ARE THE BEST!!!

Another blog “connection” I’ve made in the virtual world is with Jan, over at The Diamond E. If you’re a regular visitor here, you might recognize her name because she was the winner of my giveaway last week. Jan and I met through a WordPress group. I read her post about working in a hay meadow and pulling a truck and trailer through the pasture. Since I’m permanently banned from operating any automobile or piece of equipment with an attached trailer, I instantly considered Jan a hero. Our blog-ship (blogging relationship) blossomed even more when we realized that we lived within 30 minutes of each other. What are the chances?!

I bet Stefanie Gordon never imagined her transformation from just another passenger on a Delta flight bound for Florida to an instantly famous snapshot-taker of the Space Shuttle Endeavor as it launched from Cape Canaveral, FL headed to the International Space Center early Monday morning.

Space Shuttle Endeavor from Delta Flight 2285 ~ Photo courtesy of Stefanie Gordon

I saw this photo on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams and knew I had to share it with my students as we were discussing the beginnings of NASA and the construction of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. I even assigned a current event article summary based on the current Endeavor mission. I never imagined I would “connect” with the actual photographer via WordPress when I saw Stefanie had been “freshly pressed.”. Again, this blog thing is crazy.

Congratulations, Stefanie, on being Freshly Pressed and taking such a memorable photograph during your flight!!!!

I’m constantly impressed with the opportunities that present themselves through unconventional channels. A few years ago, my Aunt Georgia gave me a book that she had read with her book club and wanted me to have it for my own collection. That moment changed my life forever. The book was The Organic God by Margaret Feinberg. Fast forward to today and I have Sacred Echo, Scouting the DivineTwentysomething and Margaret’s most recent publication, Hungry for God.

"Hungry for God" ~ Photo courtesy of Margaret Feinberg

I’m always excited when I receive a piece of mail from Colorado, as I know it’s from Margaret or her assistant, Jade. Those ladies know how to make me smile….send me a book and my soul is happy. Send me an autographed copy of Hungry For God (released THIS WEEK) and I scream, shout, and dance around the dining room table.

Next Tuesday (May 24), I will get an opportunity that I’ve been looking forward to since the moment I opened Organic God: I will meet Margaret Feinberg. She is taping a segment on LIVE Today and Margaret has invited me to be in the live audience at the studio located in Euless (a suburb of Fort Worth). Excited doesn’t even come close to my emotions right now.

To celebrate two milestones here at my blog,  27 & Counting, Margaret has graciously offered to host a giveaway and I’m including some surprise gifts of my own too. Please check for updates on this exciting event, I’ll be celebrating my 100th post soon and more than 5,000 site visitors.

I couldn’t do any of this without YOU, my visitors, so thank you. Again. From the bottom of my heart.

In the meantime, visit Margaret Feinberg or her Facebook Fan Page and Twitter @mafeinberg.

Check it out: http://mar.cta.gs/00y

my marriage debacle


My marriage is in trouble. The deep doo-doo kind of trouble.

Kevin and I don’t have arguments or fights and we can have a thorough conversation without communicating a single word to each other. It’s a gift we have. We might toss around the idea that one of us is completely insane for being with the other (the jury’s still out on that one), but overall we have an extremely (ir)rational relationship.

Kevin calls me crazy. All. The. Time. My usual response,

I’m crazy in love with you!

He rolls his eyes.

Kevin farts. All. The. Time. My usual response,

Eww! Put a plug in it.

His response,

Do you want me to blow up?

He has a point.

You can often find me running to the bathroom like a crazy buffoon about to pee my pants and when I reach the porcelain throne and realize the toilet seat is up, I start to panic. That 0.4 seconds it takes for me to put the lid down is critical. I could have an accident.

Fortunately, hasn’t happened. Yet.

I say the toilet seat goes down. Kevin says the toilet seat stays up. I’m always putting it down. He’s always putting it up. One of the many things I love about marriage. And living with a man.

While we’re in the bathroom and still on similar topic, we occassionally have an issue with the toilet paper. Kevin could give a hill of beans (a.k.a. he doesn’t care) if the T.P. goes over or under the roll, he just simply puts a fresh roll on the thingamabobber and goes on about his business.

When we remodeled our bathroom we installed the toilet tissue holders that have the little arm thingy that the T.P. slides on, instead of the roller-springy-thingy you have to take apart, remove empty roll, insert new T.P. roll, and squeeze back on.

Did you get that? I’m not sure I did either. Moving on…

What else do I love about my husband?

The man will cut the balls (ahem, testicles – sorry Mom) out of a bull calf, but he simply REFUSES to touch a dirty dish. He’ll be knee-deep in horse poop, up to his elbows and eyeballs in grease, or weld a metal pipe fence, but don’t expect him to touch anything in a sink of soapy water. Oh. Em. Gee.

Where am I going with this post?

(waiting for the light bulb)

Oh, I remember!

Kevin thinks I’m crazy (he’s right), I think he’s crazy (I’m right), but one thing we both agree on: I drive him absolutely bananas when I leave the light on in the garage. I don’t think it would be an issue if I didn’t do it all the freakin’ time.

We have two doors in our utility room. One goes outside and the other into the garage. There is a light switch near the door to the garage with two lights: one for the outside security lights and the other one for the lights inside the garage. It’s taken me four years, but I’ve memorized which switch works for which light. What I have NOT memorized is to turn the lights OFF upon my re-entry inside the house.

Take last night for example…..

6:30 – Kevin had already gotten home from work and left with Blue for the roping pen

7:45 - About dark, I turn the OUTSIDE lights on. A nice gesture on my part, right?!

8:30 - I turn on the INSIDE garage light because I’m getting my school bag out of my car. I retrieve the bag, return to the living room.

9:00 - Kevin gets home and turns off all the lights.

9:05 – I return to the garage for my cell phone. (lights remain ON)

9:15 – Kevin goes outside to the barn to check on horses. Turns OFF all lights.

9:30 – I go to the garage to get my wallet. (lights ON again)

10:00 – Kevin goes to bed.

Guess what’s on all night?!?!?!

7:00 am - I head into the utility room to retrieve clothes I’m going to wear and wouldn’t you know…

HOLY CRAP

Sweet Baby Jesus, thank the Good Lord, that I found it BEFORE my sweet, loving, caring, and compassionate hubby-dearest found it. Ohhh, that was a close one.

For the record: when I left the house this morning, I checked, double-checked, and triple-checked that ALL the lights (inside and out) were turned OFF.

If I were a cat, I’d be down a life or two right now.

Have a great day, Y’all!!!!!!

Drum roll please…….


Whomever said Friday the 13th was unlucky obviously did NOT enter my giveaway contest.

I’m so excited to announce the BIG WINNER for my FIRST GIVEAWAY.

(drum roll)

How ’bout them apples?! Jan at TDE (that stands for The Diamond E – don’t worry, I didn’t think of that all by myself…I deserve zero credit) is one of those whodathunkit buddies. She has a fabulous blog (click here) that I found and whodathunk that we live within 30 minutes of each other. Such a small world.

So, what has Jan from TDE won????

Jan, over at The Diamond E (I like saying this, can you tell?!) has won the grand prize: an all-expense paid vacation around the world including airfare, lodging at a super-sweet resorts, five-star meals, fun and games, and a lovely t-shirt that says

Wheeww!!! That was a scary moment for my checking account. Instead, Jan, at The Diamond E, will be receiving her selected choice:

Sorry Jan, no around-the-world trip for you, but I hope you enjoy the H20 Sea Salt Skin Smoother headed your way. I already have your mailing address so I will place the order today and it should be in your snail-mail box within a couple of days for you to enjoy.

With this being my first giveaway and all, I want all y’all (that means all of you, just checking to see if y’all are awake) to know that I did not cheat in this contest. First, I took all the comment entries and listed them in numerical order, in the sequence they were received.

Then, I went to random.org for a number generator and this is what it selected.

To the rest of y’all: Please stay tuned for other giveaways and contests. This was really fun and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I’m nearing 5,000 site visitors AND my 100th post in the coming weeks. I think that calls for a celebration where my visitors can win a fabulous something (obviously, not a trip around the world but something a little more practical…seriously people, let’s me real).

Thanks again to everyone that visited my blog and entered my first giveaway, I really appreciate you reading all the crap that’s in my head. I hope you’ll visit again…and invite your crazy friends.

Now, I need to finish getting ready for a lunch party at my house that I’m afraid no one is going to show for. Such is my life.

Let me just through this little tid-bit out here:

I sent CUSTOM invitations with HAND-WRITTEN addresses on the envelopes to 24 people. I also sent an eVite to everyone, just in case they don’t check their snail-mail boxes in front of their house. (you never know ’bout people these days) The theme of this party is Recipe Swap and Potluck. Basically, everybody brings a prepared dish to share with the group, including copies of the recipe. In theory, lots of people will attend and we’ll all share lots of good food and leave with lots of recipes for our own collection. I am using simple plates, cups, and bowls in a variety of bold and bright colors (on a white tablecloth) and fresh flowers are scattered around the house just for good measure. My favorite “extra touch” are the eight – yeah, count them, EIGHT – gift bags (also in a variety of bright colors) each filled with recipe-inspired gifts for the lucky winners to take home. There are also two bags filled with spa-inspired goodies to encourage those lucky winners to pamper themselves and one bag contains a couple of goodies from Starbucks®.

K.H. (who stayed the night with us) says I should have lived in another era. She’s probably right. At least she brought her recipe (on a magnet no less, proudly displayed on my fridge already) and enjoyed a glass of sweet tea. S.M. – who had a c-section last Tuesday - said if nobody shows up she’ll bring the crew (including N, H, and C) and supplies (breast pump and burp clothes) over. How sweet is that deal?! Actually, that’s kinda pitiful and pathetic on MY part. If nobody shows up to play in my sandbox, I gotta call post-prego lady with breast pumps.

(sigh)

If anybody’s hungry or thirsty, I got enough strawberry lemonade and chicken salad to feed an army. C’mon over.

My apology to the housecleaning fairy


Dear _________,

I am soooooo sorry my house is a mess, it’s been a crazy couple of weeks. Anyway, thanks for coming on such short notice, I really appreciate it. (you can leave the key under the black mat by the side door)

Love, Nicole

Seriously? (note to self: you say seriously too much. Seriously.) Who does this? Apologize for a messy house? Tell the housecleaning fairy you love her? What’s wrong with me?

This is the bottom of my hand-written (on personalized, even monogrammed, heavy stock stationery) apology note to the Housecleaning Fairy. I obviously have two problems: keeping a clean house and an obession with fine writing materials. (note to self: you say obviously too much. Obviously.)

I really do love the Fairy. I really appreciate her and I’m extremely grateful for her too.

When she works her magic and the house is spotless, you can see your reflection in the stainless steel sinks, perform (and pass) a white glove test on all the furniture, and the smell is absolutely the best. It’s the kind of smell that only comes after a wonderful Fairy has swept, mopped, polished and dusted her way through your hideous mess you call home.

My house hasn’t been cleaned since the last time she was here. That was seven (gasp!) weeks ago.

I’m appalled. I’m embarrassed. I’m disappointed in myself. I’m supposed to work harder at keeping the house cleaner. I think my Mom calls this “maintaining” your house? I’m supposed to do more laundry through the week, instead of letting it pile into huge mounds to be tackled on the weekend. I’m supposed to clean the kitchen every night before going to bed.

I’m supposed to do a lot of things. But I don’t.

Before I went to bed last night, I picked up the dirty clothes off the bathroom floor (and stuffed them in the already-overflowing hamper “hidden” in my closet), unloaded and re-loaded the dishwasher (emptied this morning and loaded again…..heavy sigh), and finally moved the clutter from the dining room table to a “neat stack” in another closet.

In the Best Wife for Housekeeping contest, I get a big fat F.

Thank goodness for the Housecleaning Fairy. She kicks ass and takes names.

I’m willing to bet my name is first on her list of Asses I’d Like to Kick.

Four-Ingredient Pizza


Plain. Simple. Cheap. Milk-free.

My favorite words to describe a fresh homemade meal.

Even though I cannot enjoy the creamy delicious-ness of an ooey-gooey cheese pizza, I can satisfy my cravings by using non-dairy (most often vegan) equivalents. My biggest complaint, however, is that “faux” cheese doesn’t melt. You can grill it, broil it, bake it, or fire it with a torch and the stuff won’t melt. OK, I made that last one up, but I’m telling the truth about the others.

If you prefer a pizza pie that’s no-fuss, I think you’ll like this little creation. I used a prepared crust and pre-made sauce, but I cooked my own pork sausage and used organic goat cheese.

Four ingredients.

The recipe below is completely dairy and milk-free but feel free to make this pizza to your liking, that’s the beauty of homemade pizza anyway.

I used Freshcetta Artisan® thin pizza crust. It was on a corner-display at the local grocery AND it’s milk-free. When I find new products that I think might be tasty and they’re milk-free, I get excited. Again, use your preferred brand of pizza crust or make your own.

FYI: This is not a paid advertisement or a product review.

1 prepared pizza crust

1 jar pizza sauce

1 lb pork sausage, cooked and well-drained (I seasoned with chopped onion and diced garlic, plus paprika, salt and pepper)

6 oz. crumbled goat cheese

Preheat oven according to package directions. Spread sauce evenly on top of crust then add your favorite toppings. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted (if you’re using “faux” cheese this would be a waste of your time and the pizza will be ruined) and the crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool at least five minutes before slicing.

Easy stuff.

I drizzled olive oil and both sides of the crust before adding the sauce and toppings, then sprinkled with chopped basil and parsley. A pound of pork sausage might be too much for some, especially if you add more toppings, but I like a meaty pizza.

Make. It. Your. Own.

 Amen.

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