A Little More Pink.

This is something of a guest post.  My mom made this and wanted me to share it, so I'm calling it a guest post:

My cousin, Erica, found out she was pregnant with twin girls in January and is due October 7th.  We couldn't be more excited for her!  My other cousin, Megan, and my mom are throwing a shower for her this Saturday and for decoration my mom made this beautiful sign.  If you haven't heard or read those words before, then you are missing out on life.  It is from a book called Love You Forever by Robert Munsch, and it is fantastic. 

 She got an old cabinet door on freecycle and painted it peach with a chalkboard center and a white edge.  She then bought some doorknobs and screwed them on.  She also stapled a ribon on the back, so that Erica would be able to hang it in her nursery.  Cute and cheap, just the way we like things here.



   Alright, so here is book number two in The Uglies trilogy written by Scott Westerfeld.  Going along with the theme this one is tittled, Pretties.
       This book continues to follow Tally Youngblood.  She has finally been turned into a "pretty" and is now loving love, or at least it appears so.  Until someone from her past shows up and shakes her world.  You will embark on another journey with Tally as she tries to figure out how to "cure" her brain.
     This book, like the last one is fantastic!  Westerfeld has thrown yet another curve ball with this book.  From the crazy "pretty language" to the adventure you go on, it is a great read.  It continues to touch on the way society views people and the world around us.  Definitely a must read.



We hit 5000 pageviews!  I know, to you that probably doesn't seen like a lot, but to little old me, that seems like a ton!  I'm so blessed to have such lovely people reading this blog!  Thank you so much for all of the tops that you have stopped by!  I never would have been able to do it without you!

A Summer Night.

Today has been a pretty so so day.  I cleaned my fish bowl, organized my bathroom, oh and I got a massage.  It was the first massage I've ever gotten and it was amazing.  I think I would get one everyday if I could.  Tonight I've been watching the olympics opening ceremony, because who wouldn't be?  It is the olympics after all!  I've also been working on rewriting my mom's recipe cards (aren't I a great daughter...did I mention she's paying me?) And I made some more zucchini.  That's about it.

I wasn't kidding when I said my mom's friend gave us a HUGE zucchini.  I absolutely love cooking vegetables, because it's so easy and you can put whatever you want in it.  For this particular pot, I put in:

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Basil
1 Tablespoon Garlic
Lemon Pepper and Salt to taste.

I just put it all in a big pan and let it cook until it was warm, but still somewhat firm.  This is fun though because you can experiment with different flavors.  And as always, enjoy!



Ever since the movie Ratatouille came out, I have been dying to try to cook that colorful and delicious looking dish.  Two weeks ago, a friend of ours gave us a HUGE zucchini and I thought what better to do than make some ratatouille.  I gave it a try tonight, and it was fantastic.  So, here it is:

1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
10oz tomato puree
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small eggplant
1 smallish zucchini
1 smallish yellow squash
1 longish red bell pepper
Few sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
1/2 lemon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Pour tomato puree into bottom of an oval baking dish, approximately 10 inches across the long way. Drop the sliced garlic cloves and chopped onion into the sauce, stir in two tablespoons of the olive oil and season the sauce generously with salt and pepper.

Trim the ends off the eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash. Carefully, trim the ends off the red pepper and remove the core, leaving the edges intact, like a tube.  Cut the eggplant, zucchini, squash, and red pepper into thin slices.

Atop the tomato sauce, arrange slices of prepared vegetables from the outer edge to the inside of the baking dish, overlapping so just a little bit of each flat surface is visible, alternating vegetables. It's okay if you have leftover vegetables.

Drizzle the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil over the vegetables and season them generously with salt and pepper. Remove the leaves from the thyme sprigs.  Sprinkle the fresh thyme over the dish.  Squeeze lemon half over vegetables.

Cover dish with a piece of parchment paper. Cut to fit inside.

Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, until vegetables have released their liquid and are clearly cooked, but with some structure left so they are not totally limp. They should not be brown at the edges, and you should see that the tomato sauce is bubbling up around them.

Serve on cous cous.  and of course, enjoy!

The Day After Vacation.

I have decided that the day after vacation is the worst day ever.  I hate unpacking and putting clothes away, so I decided to leave that for tomorrow.  :)

 Instead, Mom and I went to Costco and bought food for college.

Tomorrow is clean-up day.  But, to make the day a little bit more fun, I am going to be making Ratatouille, which I am so excited about!
I also received my books in the mail!  It's going to be one busy and rough semester, but I'm really excited about the classes I get to take!



Alright, so I found another restaurant for you to try if you're ever in the San Francisco area.  When we were on the plane, the girl sitting behind us was raving all about this seafood place called Scoma's.  So, we figured we would give it a try.  The girl on the plane new what she was talking about.  It was so delicious!  It's in an older building that floats in the bay.  This is another restaurant that you are going to need to make a reservation for, and it is totally worth it.  Here is the link for it if you want to take a closer look.  This is a must try when in San Francisco.  We went to the one in Sausalito, but there is also one on pier 49 in San Francisco.  I ate the Pasta Pescatore and it was to die for!  I wanted to finish it all, but it was so big that I couldn't.  I can't remember what everybody else ate, but everything was delicious!  We also ate their creme brule, chocolate torte, and berry cobbler for desert.  They were all fantastic!  It is definitely a good choice when hanging out in San Francisco/Sausalito area.  



Alrighty, for those of you that live, love, work, or travel to the San Francisco area, this is for you.  As we have been traveling around San Francisco, we have definitely stumbled upon some delicious food places.  The first one we came across was in the heart of Sausalito.  Copita, a delicious little Mexican Catina with a fantastic wait staff.  Here is the website, so that you can look at it a little closer.  Trust me, if you are in San Francisco, it is definitely worth the 10 minute drive across the bridge.  I do suggest you make a reservation though, because it can be a bit of a wait if you don't.

 Most of us got the 24-hour Carnitas, and they were fantastic.  Maddy got the Wild Mushroom Tacos and couldn't stop talking about how good they were.  The two Seasonal Salsas were extremely fresh and delicious.  However, the two things that you MUST get when you go are the Sopes and the Chili Jicama and Cucumbers.  The Sopes were absolutely delicious and the cactus on them was something fun and new to try.  The Jicama and Cucumbers were covered in chili, lime, and salt and were incredible!  I will definitely be figuring out a recipe for those and posting it.

So there you have it.  I am not a fan of Mexican food at all, but this was delicious!  It was all so fresh and I didn't feel gross or weighed down when we left.  So it is a must try when going to San Francisco!


Hello from San Francisco

Sorry if there aren't any posts for a little while.  I am kicking it back in San Francisco!  


The Uglies

I love to read.  I love the people I meet, the places I travel to, the new things that I learn, and the way that a book can stretch my imagination further than I ever thought possible.  That being said, it should come as no surprise to you that I am going to start including book reviews on Mindless Muses.  I even created a new tab for it!  So, here it is, the first book review.  

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
This book is the first one in the Uglies trilogy.  Scott Westerfeld takes Tally Youngblood and the reader on an incredible adventure from "Uglyville" to the infamous and unknown "Smoke."  In this futuristic society, when a child turns 16, they undergo a surgery to change them from "ugly" to "pretty."  Tally has anxiously awaited her 16th birthday so she can turn pretty.  However, when unexpected events force her to travel to the Smoke, she is unable to undergo the surgery.  She must travel alone to the Smoke to rescue her friend from the "smokies," a group of ugly people living in the wilderness.  Once she does this, she will then be able to turn pretty.  However, upon arriving at the Smoke, Tally is unsure if having the surgery is all it has cracked up to be.  

I absolutely love this book!  It is a fantastic book that touches on societies skewed view of beauty.  It also looks into how we treat the natural world around us, and even makes you wonder is we are quickly destroying our world.  It is a fairly quick read and it is great for all ages.  Westerfeld includes a love story, but I feel like the main plot has to do with saving the natural human race.  I would go as far as to say that it is as good, if not better, than The Hunger Games.  You'll just have to read it for yourself! 


Wrinkle Free.

If there is one thing I will have mastered this summer, it is ironing.  I think I have ironed at least twice a week, every week.  Between work pants and shirts, linen shorts, and t shirt dresses that have flipping hems, there has been a lot of ironing.  I love it though, along with laundry and cleaning.  It's all just art of being a mom, and I think that's what excites me the most.  One day I will get to do this for my husband and little kiddos, but until then I will continue to master the art of it.  Anyway, I thought I would snap a few pictures of it for you.  Don't you just love how exciting my life is?   

On a side note, my mom's friend just gave us a huge zucchini out of her garden, so I think there might be a recipe for ratatouille coming soon.  Keep your eyes peeled.  
Also, I have decided to start putting up book reviews every time I finish a book, since I love reading so much.  So keep an eye out for that as well.  


New Camera

I finally did it!  After a year of trying to save up for a camera, I bought one(with the help of my generous parents and Costco's great deals)!  I am the proud new owner of a new canon rebel t3i, and I absolutely love it!  So, here's what you can expect: lots and lots and lots of pictures.  There will be new pictures under the Photography Tab, better and more pictures for DIYs and recipes, and there will be random days(like today) where I post random pictures I took throughout the day!  As always, enjoy!

We had a girls day out today.  We went clothes shopping, antique shopping, and to peachwave for some frozen yogurt. 

I got some new Toms today!  Thank goodness too, because my old ones have about seen their day.  

Today was payday, so after work I decided to swing by the lovely Starbucks.  The one by our house is open until 12am!  It's both a blessing and a curse.  Anyway, I stopped in for a Cinnamon Dolce Latte and a couch to read my book.  As you can see (thanks to my lovely new camera :)), I'm reading Uglies by Scott Westerfeld.  It is fantastic so far and I highly recommend it.  


A New Coat of Paint.

So we recently moved from Overland Park, KS to Kansas City, Mo.  It's only 30 minutes down the road, but it contains a whole lot more character and quite a few friendly people.  I absolutely love it here!  From the huge old trees to the park across the street to downtown being only 5 minutes away.  It's perfect!  However, our side porch is or rather was far from perfect.  It was really the only neglected part of the home.  It was covered in dust and dirt.  So, we decided to do something about that.  Mom washed it all and then bought us some paint.  We spent two very hot evenings (over 100 degrees!) painting and fixing, but it was all worth it, because it turned out beautifully and we love it!

  The "before" pictures.  Just some plain boring white.


We didn't care too much for the colorless porch, so we decided to add some blue to the ceiling!

We also didn't like the fan blades being just white(or the tops being so dusty), so after much debate as what to do with them, we decided on a simple fleur de lis.  Mom cleaned them and found a stencil and I sponge painted them in a navy blue.

So this is what it looks like currently.  Did I mention that we absolutely love it?!  It is however unfinished as of right now.  We plan on painting the floor when it cools of a little bit more, so who knows when that will be.  Darn this midwest heat!  Anyway, I hope you like it.  It was such an easy fix, and it looks ten times better.