Thursday, January 23, 2014

7 Quick Takes About Crazy Weather, Birthday Plans, Sofa Shopping Woes, and Gluten - Vol. 14

Crazy fricking Texas winter weather:  it's like riding a rollercoaster!  Plus, you never get to put your summer clothes away, because when you do, BAM! The temp drops 30 degrees.
Dallas 7 day Forecast
It's a little over a month until my 35th birthday, and I've got so many things I want to do to celebrate the day.  Last year, I got to be a taste-testing judge at a BBQ chicken competition, and that was so much fun!  I'm definitely planning on doing that again at this year's competition, but this time I'm going to volunteer to taste test something a little awesomer than chicken -- like pulled pork or RIBS!!

I'm also contemplating attending the North Texas Irish Festival, since it's on my birthday weekend, and I've never been to it, and I absolutely love cultural-type events.  And then, of course, I have to decide where I want to go out to eat.  I'm thinking sushi...

I'm a little bummed about having to miss my local March for Life this year.  But given my Grave's-induced susceptibility to getting sick, and the fact that I am a moron and have not gotten a flu shot (!!!), I thought it best not to risk exposure from 10,000 other Marchers.  I am sick of being sick, and the flu can just stay away, thankyouverymuch.

I don't remember if I've mentioned on here before that I've starting collecting Fiesta dinnerware.  About a year ago, I was through with the plates we got when we were married.  The color didn't match anything in our decor, and the plates kept breaking, so I jumped on the Fiesta bandwagon*.  Let me tell you, I love these plates!  They are so freaking sturdy, and so pretty!!  And I seem to have developed a slight obsession with collecting the various pieces in my color choices.  I would LOVE to go to the factory store in WV someday (somehow, I don't see the husband being all that thrilled with a vacation centered on pottery).

Do you collect Fiesta?  If so, what colors?  My colors are marigold, cinnabar, paprika, chocolate, and ivory.
Marigold Soup Tureen
Isn't this soup tureen delicious? Marigold is such a lovely, bright color for the table.  Too bad this piece was so darn expensive!  Source  

*Stupid-but-necessary-disclaimer: I'm not being paid to endorse Fiesta, I just love it and want to share the joy.
James and I would love to get a sectional sofa for our little living room.  It's not a very big area, and a sectional would help us make better use of the space.  But I've discovered something while window-shopping online:  sofas are ridiculously expensive!  I mean, man, a really cheap one is $1000, and most are more in the $1500 - $2500 range!  Those numbers make me want to crawl into my closet and hide.

I've thought about possibly using cra.igs.lis.t, but the uncertainty factor kind of freaks me out a little.  If anyone has any cra.igs.lis.t buying stories they'd like to share (good or bad) please do!

I really, really, REALLY want to have a vegetable garden this year.  I wanted to last year, but it didn't work out.  I was already starting to chronically feel bad and lethargic, and I just couldn't bring myself to get started.  But I need the exercise, the sun, the fresh air, and the joy of growing things.  I just hope I've got the energy to get started.  I think if I can get started, I can keep it up.  Bring on the fresh onions, lettuce, basil, and okra!

It seems like everywhere I look online, people are talking about going gluten-free, for one reason or another.  I know there can be significant health benefits for some people on this diet, and I've thought about trying it, but I just don't know.  Giving up wheat, in particular, seems so very hard to do, when I love so many things made with wheat.  Like pasta!  And cookies!  I know there are gluten-free versions of these available, but those are quite a bit more expensive than our normal groceries, and again, I'm kind of cheap.  I know I could do a lot of from-scratch cooking, to save money.  I just don't know if I could make it work.  But I'm thinking about it, especially if it might help me get and keep my crazy hormones under control, and help me avoid losing weight as my thyroid slows down.  Thoughts?  Suggestions?

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  1. Definitely go to the factory. My family is from West Virginia and it would be a beautiful trip. I live in the Dallas area and my husband is in the antique business. There are several antique dealers who deal in vintage Fiesta in the area. You might find some vintage pieces to mix and match with your new dishes. My SIL gave our boys a new Fiesta plate with Scooby Doo on it about 15 years ago and that thing is still going strong! Annette

    1. Thanks for the suggestion, Annette! I really do hope to get to WV some time. I'm sure it is beautiful. I too am in the Dallas area, and every once in a while, I'll browse through an antique shop, just to see what they have, since Fiesta is so collectible. I do love how sturdy those dishes are!

  2. I want a garden too! I'd settle for an herb garden but fresh tomatoes, peppers, and squash sound preeeettttty darn good too......

    1. Right on, Hannah! Herb gardens are so great, since they are so easy to grow, plus, they second as butterfly gardens! And fresh tomatoes right off the vine? Soooo good!

  3. The research on gluten is inconclusive about weight-loss and health thus far. I have to avoid it (to the point of using different pasta spoons) because of gluten sensitivity, which is no picnic. If you don't have to why bother? The gluten-free products are much more expensive, and often the wheat ones are enriched with vitamins and the gluten-free ones aren't. I have heard some people that happily cut out all grains, since it's possible to get all your fiber etc from non-grain produce. But I don't see the point in just cutting out gluten and getting gluten-free products if you don't have a reaction to it. That said, I'm really reaping the benefits from this particular fad :)

    1. Yeah, I know the jury is definitely still out on gluten-free. I know that I have read some pretty amazing anecdotal stories about the changes people have experienced with going gluten free, but it's definitely not a universal response. Of course, if I did go that route, I wouldn't just buy a bunch of gluten-free products. You're right, they are usually too expensive. I would just try to cook my own gluten-free meals. (Yikes!)

      Thanks for stopping by, Caroline! I always enjoy reading your comments.

  4. You just named a whole bunch of things I would love to do or already love...Irish festival (want! DO IT!), sushi, gardening...and needing a new sofa. Gardening is so worth it, once you get started. And I'm sad to hear sofas are so pricey, because I need a new one badly.
    As far as gluten free...have you considered give up just some, but not all? OR (my latest craze), sourdough. It helps break down gluten, making it much easier to digest, and supplies your digestive system with very essential acids to aid both your immune system and digestive system.
    This is a novel so...we can talk more, if you like. :)

    1. Hi, Heidi! Thanks for commenting! It sounds like you have fantastic taste! ;)

      Gardening is definitely worth it. I've loved gardening in the past. It's just getting started that's the hard part! And not all sofas are that crazy expensive. Just the sectionals, which is what we want. And anything made of leather, of course (which we don't want. Too hot to nap on!)

      I didn't know that about sourdough bread, but that is very good to know! I might have to try that. Anything to aid the immune system and the digestive system!

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