Friday, January 27, 2012

I need your ideas!

So I'm moving into the exciting world of paid blogging! Yes, I will have my very own spot on the SABalance website starting next month. I must confess that someone didn't find me online and thought that I was absolutely wonderful. No, my workplace is taking over the website and asked for contributors. I DID however, submit some of my better (read cleaner) material from here and a committee did find me wonderful enough to have my own little corner rather than an occasional article writer. In fact they even said I could keep my humor as long as I watched my language. Whoo!

I'll be writing about cooking/healthy recipes (of which I must find), canning, green stuff, gardening, backyard chickens and pretty much whatever else I want. Although I was told that I could not post about trying to find sports bras for under $60 for big boobs (a post I'm currently working on for here so stay posted). The only other regular blog will be about Fitness/Working Out (don't have to worry about much crossover between us). The website as a whole is a Family Orientated site about finding your balance. So how to you find time to balance work, family and staying healthy. It will be a reference site and contain useful and beneficial articles, recipes, and tips, plus my crazy.

I need a little help coming up with a title. The top contenders around the office from numerous submissions are:

Getting back to simplicity

Farmer Faith, A city girl's guide to urban farming

Sustaining Wellness

Well Said by Faith

Self-Sufficient in the City, A city girl finds balance between convience & sustainability

I like all of them, but it's hard to find something that encompasses everything I'll be covering. Do you have a favorite? I'll also consider any other bright ideas.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Extreme Makeover Home Edition San Antonio

Very late on Monday night John and I got to go volunteer at the EMHE build site.


The build site




The Harris Family in Floresville, TX are the recipients. Shilo Harris was in Irag and suffered injuries from an IED. His face was melted away and he had burns on over 40% of his body. The couple now works with the Wounded Warrior Project and Shilo is a motivational speaker. (source)

Since it was very early on in the process, they announced to the family on Saturday and on Sunday night at 1 am poured the foundation, there wasn't a lot for us to do.


We went in and swept the garage and kitchen area half a dozen times.

The guys would jump at the opportunity to carry ANYTHING into the home.


Mainly we tried to clean and stay out of the way of people that were holding very heavy nail guns and saws above your head.


We also picked up loads of trash, scrap wood and helped serve the 10pm meal.

During the time we were there, we saw an entire roof go on the house and saw all the windows and doors installed.



Since volunteering I've been staying up to date via Morgan's Wonderland, another great non-profit and the first non-profit to partner with EMHE. You can also follow their Facebook page where they've been documenting the process.

It's amazing to see how much has changed since we were there on Monday

(picture from the Mongan's Wonderland Facebook)

The big reveal is on Saturday evening and the show will air sometime in December (thus the red and green hard hats and many behind the scenes facts like relighting the Riverwalk and a trailer full of Christmas decorations).

It was so great to be apart of this and to contribute in some little way. It was announced on Thursday night that the show received money to do 10 additional houses for Wounded Warriors. I'm not sure if they will all be in the San Antonio area or not, but if so we'll make the effort to be a part of it again.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

On Working Out

I came back to work after Christmas and could find only one pair of pants that fit. Currently that number is at 2 and has resulted to me wearing a lot of dresses and control top tights.

So I've started hitting the gym. You'd figure that since I work in one (granted in the corporate office that just happens to be in one of the gyms) and walk through one at least 10 times a day, I'd work out a bit more. But just like everyone else I'm exhausted at the end of the day and want nothing more than to just go home and veg out on the couch. I've put a little calendar up on my wall in my office and have been checking off the days that I work out hoping that people will hold me accountable.

I figure if I can do at least 30 minutes at least 3 times a week with an hour of yoga or pilates thrown in there I'd been happy. 30 minutes is better than no minutes right? Usually when I work out I hide in the back corner on a bank of ellipticals that look out onto the parking lot. I'm hidden so people can't come ask questions (just wait until someone asks you about their paycheck while you're in the shower. It happens) and I don't have to watch the fitness floor because you know what? It can drive me insane.

I'm totally that person that will roll out of bed, add pants and a sports bra to the t-shirt I slept in and will go to the gym. I go insane with the girls in the locker room that are concerned about whether this or that shirt looks better or if their hair isn't just right, or their makeup isn't perfect. You're.At.The.Gym. You're lucky I at least brushed my teeth before I came.

So the other day it was crazy busy and I couldn't get my usual machine. Instead I ended up on the bank that faces the entire floor. It was the worst 30 minutes of my life. This bank of machines has a bank of bikes that face it. So you're pretty much looking someone else in the eye while you work out. Even though I had my headphones in and my TV on, I couldn't help but watch the person in front of my that was just laughing away at whatever it was that he was watching. If he wasn't laughing he was red in the face and looking like he was going to fall off the bike. All I could think was, "please don't pass out because then I'm going to have to jump off here to help you." There was the girl with the glitter baby doll tee and her Coach purse walking around with the intention of looking pretty instead of working out. There were the people that wandered around, looking for something to do or trying to figure out how something works and all I wanted to do was to go help them or grab a staff member to go help them. It was incredibly stressful. I couldn't help to either be annoyed or to turn my brain off from my job so I could enjoy my 30 minutes of working out.

Not that I enjoy working out. I don't get that high afterwards. I don't feel energized the next day. I feel like shit. I'm hot and sweaty and I smell afterwards. Then the next day I feel like crap from whatever exercise I did the day before and wonder, why on earth I did it to myself.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Chicken First Aid

Poor Midge suffered another attack by Rufus. John had let the dogs out and had forgotten the chickens were also out. Maudene and Agnes hid under the porch while Midge took a beating.

While the attack lasted less time than the first it was a lot worse. Her feathers are all gone on the back of her neck, but Rufus also pulled off a hunk of skin from the front of her neck. It's pretty gross. It's down to the muscle and you can see her swallow. I honestly didn't think she'd survive the night.

One of my Christmas presents was Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens. This thing is seriously the chicken bible. There's a whole chapter on chicken first aid and it's what I referred to this time around. I considered another trip to the vet, and honestly the amount I spent on supplies it may have been the same, but at least I'll have everything handy. I'll also be able to use it on the dogs if something happens with them as well.

So to deal with the hole in her neck this is what I did/used:

An old towel to wrap the chicken in so she doesn't injure you or herself.

Paper towels to blot excess solutions from the wound.

Scissors to cut away any feathers that may be hanging into the wound.

Sterile saline solution for cleaning the wound.

I found a pretty decent sized bottle at Walgreens, but one bottle barely got the job done. I checked at two pharmacies and they didn't have large bottles, but a friend was able to order me some.

Povidone, an iodine antiseptic for disinfecting the wound.

I found a large bottle at the feed store but you can also find it at the drug store. My large bottle was the same price as the smaller one you get at the store.

Neosporin - I bought the spray kind since it's a bit easier to apply on a wiggly chicken.

Wonder Dust, to help stop bleeding.

I also bought this at the feed store.

Antibiotics - either Aureomycin or Terramycin

I bought feed that contains it. Since I'm keeping her isolated from the others I'm able to just feed her the antibiotics instead of everyone. Isolation also keeps the others from picking at her. She may survive the attack, but the others could actually be what kill her. I have a big plastic dog crate that I'm using since it's colder out. I throw a towel over the holes at night to help keep it warm.

Her wound is pretty nasty but she seems to be doing ok for now. I'm going to keep her on the medicated feed for about two weeks. Isolation may be longer depending on how she heals. I'd hate to move her back early and have the others pick at her so we'll see how long that goes.

Thursday, January 05, 2012


I've had this one pinned for awhile and tonight while I was trying to figure out what to make I turned to it. I didn't have a pork tenderloin and used chops instead. I also only marinated it for about 15 minutes and cooked it on the stove top In a grill pan. It turned out fantastic! I bet it would also be great with chicken.

Grilled Basalmic Garlic Crusted Chicken

4-5 garlic cloves, finely minced or crushed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pork tenderloins (about 1¼ pounds each)
2 tablespoons canola oil (if preparing in oven)
Stir together garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a small bowl. Rub the paste all over pork. If you like or have the time, marinate overnight. If not, no worries, it will still be great!

Grill preparation:

Sear the tenderloins on all sides, then grill for about 20-30 minutes, rotating every 10 minutes, until the internal temperature is 160 degrees. Try to let it rest before slicing.

Oven preparation:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat canola oil in a large, heavy saute pan over medium-high heat.  Working in batches if necessary, add pork, and brown all over, about 4 minutes.

Transfer pan to oven. Roast pork, turning occasionally, until the internal temperature is 160 degrees, about 20 minutes. Transfer pork to a cutting board, and try to let it rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

2011 Year in Review

In January we rang in the New Year with a house party at Kandis and Greg's.


I got a head start on my garden and found out I'd have to have surgery on my Old Man Toe.

We also finished our guest bath reno after oh, 7 months.


In February in preparation for my surgery we made a headboard so I'd have something comfy to prop myself up on.


I had surgery on my toe and that same week we also had snow that stuck to the ground for the first time in forever.


We were all very entertained during the halftime show of the Superbowl.


In March I did some purging and found some awesome stuff from my childhood.

I continued to recover from my surgery and celebrated my 29th birthday with a disturbing sight of some camels


and getting our butts kicked in laser tag by some 6 years olds.


April brought the greatness of food on a stick via Oyster Bake and NIOSA.


and then I went to an awesome charity wine event.


I ended April with a trip to Austin to see Matt Logelin.


In May I lost and then found my engagement ring at Home Depot.

I took a trip to Dallas and picked up the chickens


In June we complete the master bath reno

68 Vanity Installed

and got new furniture for the living room.

I also headed to Houston to see NKOTBSB for the first time.


and then Kandis and I had such a great time that we decided to go again in San Antonio a few days later.


We also had the 4th Annual Hinchman Olympics.


at the end of the month I lost my grandfather and embarked on a road trip with my parents to Indiana.

The chickens also started laying while I was gone. Oh and I also saw NKOTBSB a third time while I was in Indy. I just never posted about it.

August we started planning for our October European vacation - well at least I was planning the clothes.

I also had to take Midge to the vet after she suffered a dog attack. A hilarious story.

In September we celebrated our 4th anniversary,


went to a panda party for Stephanie's birthday


and celebrated Rosa's 30th.


In October we went on our big European trip. Not enough words! LOL

What's sad is that I don't have any posts in November about what we were up to. They were all about our trip. We did go to Wurstfest

My favorite part of Wurstfest.

and had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Part II

December brought lots of celebrations,


kicking Karl's ass in burrito eating,


and finally Christmas!


Happy New Year!

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