January 26, 2012

A Meal and a Message

I know this is going to be shocking to most of you that know me, but I, Amber Marie Dunn Gilliam, am beginning to actually "get in" to cooking.  I know, I know...  Several of you have just fainted away.

I am a lot of things...but a cook is NOT one of them.  And it's not because I don't like to eat, but it's because I HATE cleaning.  HATE. IT.  If kitchens cleaned themselves after we cooked, you wouldn't be able to get me out of the kitchen...and I'd be posting about my continuous struggle with weight loss (HAHA).

For Christmas, I requested...no, I BEGGED for a new set of pots and pans.  There really was nothing wrong with the ones I've had for 13 years, other than they were "stainless" steel and not non-stick so cleaning them was even more of a nuisance.  Well, my mom heard my cry and bought me the Paula Dean cookware set!!  :)

I also got a new cookbook.  This is actually my 2nd cookbook.  The first one I got several years ago.  It's for crock pot cooking.  I do not own a crock pot.  Yeah.  The first cookbook is totally useless to me at this point in my life.  Never fear...I do have plans to buy one--I just keep forgetting.

My mom and I made a trip to Ponca City to a book signing.  Not just any book signing.  We met Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman!  I follow her blog, follow her on Facebook, on Twitter and Instagram. Yeah, she pretty much intrigues me.  I am fascinated at how this one woman can do SO much!  She home schools her children, cooks and has a cooking show, she blogs, she does photography, she lives on a cattle ranch, writes books and SO MUCH MORE!  I thought I was a busy lady--but compared to her, I am a sloth.

I actually assisted mom with dinner one night and made Pioneer Woman's Mashed Potatoes.  This was my second attempt at preparing a PW recipe.  My sister and I prepared a meal for New Years day that consisted of PW's mashed potatoes, PW's Chicken Fried Steak.  I will say this one thing about her cooking--if you are lactose intolerant, you CANNOT eat this food.  They are loaded with dairy, cream and cream.  L  O  A  D  E  D.  But sooooo delish.

So, 2012 looks to be an adventure into the realms of cooking for me.  Which frightens and excites me.  I am hopeful that some of the new recipes I've discovered can be converted into more Weight Watcher friendly versions--otherwise, I'll be posting whine-fests about how I cannot seem to lose any more weight!  HAHA!


This is just a quick note to say that my brother is awesome.  I've known this for a long while.  Well, probably since we were kids.  Aaron was "the good kid" and the only boy, so he was SUPER special.  Like nauseatingly special.  HA!!  He was also a genius.  His high school GPA was over a 4.0.  He's always been someone I admired and respected because he has always given 110% to anything he has ever attempted and/or accomplished.

Last night, he preached a message titled:  "Move Over Mediocre".  It was awesome.  It was inspiring.  It was challenging!  There is no time to just half-heartedly move through this life and not doing ALL we physically, mentally and spiritually can to survive.  We must be wiling to be the VERY BEST we can be, no matter the cost.


January 4, 2012

She Resolves...

For the last several New Year's I've just kinda let them go by without any really goal or direction for that year.  And I think it's because I was pregnant, then had a baby...and well, now that Ella is a toddler, I am reclaiming bits and pieces of my life and myself and maybe THIS YEAR it's time to do a little planning.  

There is an old wive's tale or rumor or something or another that states that whatever you are doing on New Year's day is what you will be doing the most of the rest of the year...so, I made a list.

New Years Day Dress

First of all, I crocheted the New Year in.  I know, I am almost ashamed to admit that, but it is true, nonetheless.  Then, I did a little altering to a jacket I bought Ella.  It was a 4T (YIKES, this kid is HUGE) and fit everywhere but the sleeves were a bit long.  So, I borrowed a trick I learned from New Dress A Day (truly, an amazing blogger I follow--she continually inspires me).  The pin and ruche trick:  

New Years day consisted of church, praying with a first time visitor, lunch with friends, hanging with my sister and brother-in-law and cooking (well, really assisting my sister) and baking.  I don't know about you, but my 2012 is going to be AWESOME!!!

As for resolutions, I'm still hammering out the details.  But I spent 2011 losing weight which I've been able to keep off (sorta) and this year I want to get in shape.  This is where I need more details...I'm not sure HOW I plan on going about this.  I'd like to start running, but I am afraid the wear and tear on my "old lady" knees might be too much.  So, I'm considering Pilates--but I am kinda scared of that too.

I'd also like to get more organized in 2012.  I mean, like really and truly ORGANIZED.  I want all my closets to be "working closets" (thank you Kendi Everyday) and all my cabinets to be FUNCTIONAL.

I'd am also going to try to be more creative.  And I don't mean more daydreaming...I mean DOING something creative.  I'm thinking along the lines of sewing (Lord have mercy...) and probably more crocheting (definitely more of that!!) and perhaps even teach myself to knit.

Blogging.  Yeah, I've been taking quite a bit of a hiatus.  Perhaps I've just not had a lot to say.  Or maybe I am STILL trying to find that niche that all bloggers eventually gravitate to.  I'm not sure.  But this year, I want to put more direction and FOCUS on this blog.  If anyone has any suggestions, I'd be glad to know them.

And, probably MOST important, I'd like to start a Bible Study--with myself.  Does that seem strange?  I picked up a book on being content a few weeks ago.  I FEEL like I'm a pretty content gal, but there are times I get frustrated with people and things and life...and I wonder--is it possible to really and truly be CONTENT in all things...ALL THE TIME?  I don't know if that's even humanly possible, but I'd like to try.  What's the worse thing that could come out of that?  Perhaps having more patience?  Drawing closer to God?  Finding peace?  Those sound like decent side effects, if you ask me.  

Ultimately, I am most excited about 2012 because it will mean getting back to traveling with Pookie.  I've spent the last 5 years more or less sitting on the sidelines (due to my full time job--which has been a blessing) and now that I am no longer employed, I get to do what I was born to do.  Yes, indeed...2012 is going to be an awesome year and I am so thankful for all the things God has in store for my family.