Because I did this:
I completely wore out the belt of my treadmill. The repair guy came today and replaced it for me and when I saw the backside of the old belt I was surprised it hadn't completely come apart while I was using it and super lucky I didn't hurt myself! The duct tape did the job just long enough, I guess, but that sucker was totally frayed on the back. I had ordered the replacement part and thought I would put it in myself until I saw the instructions... then I called Sears. lol. I'm pretty handy, but watching the guy replace it confirmed that I made the right decision - it took him an hour and he had to pretty much take apart the entire thing. I'm looking forward to working out in the morning without worrying about stepping in that hole!
And now... drumroll please... I did a layout! I know. I haven't scrapbooked since before Christmas. I'm not sure I've got my mojo back (let alone the time), but I've had insomnia this week so I worked on it a bit in between other things in the middle of the night. This is from the first time I met Adorable-Niece-Aubrey back in October at the hospital in Virginia.
And a little close-up:
Hopefully it doesn't take another six weeks before the next layout. lol.
Of course, even without the scrapping mojo, I've still been cooking! I've made some really delicious stuff in the last month. However, since I haven't posted anything in forever, I figured posting all the recipes at once would probably be a bad idea. So here's a little collage of the yumminess.
From top-left down to bottom-right, we have my not-quite-world-famous Tex-Mex Chicken Soup which I can never get enough of. Next, a fantastic olive tapenade that I made and took for the little snack buffet we had before our class discussion of Man's Search for Meaning last week. It's made with kalamata and black olives, pistachios, garlic, lemon juice and a touch of olive oil. Next, from the Lebanese cookbook I got for Christmas, stuffed squash along with some Muhamarra and endive lettuce (the recipe for that was from Ellie Krieger's book, The Food you Crave which is fabulous.) Next, because I couldn't bring myself to throw out the insides of the squash, I made a soup with it. It's pumpkin, squash and potato mixed with cinnamon, allspice, salt, pepper, honey and some greek yogurt. Toasted pepitas on top and it was fabulous! Then, another from The Food you Crave - a corn-crusted roasted ratatouille tart. There's one word for that one. Yum. I'll be making that again. Finally, this weekend I went back to Claudia Roden's Arabesque for a Moroccan recipe - chicken with dates. It doesn't look like much, but it's in a caramalized onion sauce made with ginger, cinnamon, saffron and honey and there are some little dates stuffed with blanched almonds. It was fantastic (and yes, I ate the onions. Go me!)
Whew! And since I'm already talking about food, I have to bring up a few things that I'm totally addicted to.
Medjool dates. I could eat them like candy. In fact, I kind of do. They're insanely good and I can get them in big packages at Costco. Bonus! Sometimes I stuff them with a light cheese, honey and chopped pistachios. But I could just eat these all day long.
Justin's Maple Almond Butter. I love almond butter in general, but this stuff is sooooo good. The sweetness from the maple is insane. I have a very hard controlling myself enough to remember that it's 3 points per tablespoon. It's expensive, but worth every penny - especially if you just eat a little at a time.
Finally, believe it or not, I'm addicted to the Target version of fat free cool whip (it has to be FF, not light). I think it has way better flavor than actual Cool Whip brand. I could eat an entire container in one sitting if I didn't watch myself. It's my little trick for feeling like I'm indulging myself. I may or may not occasionally mix a few tablespoons of this with a tablespoon of almond butter. Just sayin.' Reduced fat graham crackers may also come into play.
Okay, that's it for now. I've got a full day tomorrow and I'm going to try and get to bed early to make up for some of the insomnia.
P.S. I found out that my school trip includes a stop in Marrakesh! I'm super excited. It wasn't on the original list, but it looks like that's our first city. Marrakesh has been on my top 3 list of places I want to visit for years. For the rest, we're all keeping a close eye on the Egypt situation to see if we need to change plans. For now we're not, but we'll see what happens. I hope it all works out... I'm really looking forward to seeing the pyramids! Crossing my fingers.