Monday, January 23, 2012

A little update

 Once again, your Monday is my Saturday. Today has been a great day even though I woke up to the gray clouds and the melting away of the snow from the rain in January. (p.s. last night there was a thunderstorm. In January.) 

I woke up today and took care of some insurance business. Matt had class most of the day today so we spent the early afternoon together and grabbed some lunch at Chipotle. We had the vegetarian burrito and Matt was a little sad that his had no sour cream. Which leads me to the vegan diet update. 

It's been over a week now of no meat, no dairy, no eggs, and we definitely feel better. It has been hard at times. We are big breakfast date people. We had a hard time and we're missing eggs and sausage. We improvised and found Gimme Lean sausage. It's vegetable and soy and it tastes JUST like sausage. So delicious. We mixed it with some hash browns, onions and some salsa and it took away our craving. 

We've enjoyed all the meals we've eaten. To be honest, I do not miss meat at all. The hardest part is the eggs and cheese. I don't miss milk because I thoroughly enjoy soy milk. 

I tired the vegan gourmet soy cheese and it was nasty. I couldn't handle it. 

Matt and I have done a lot of talking lately about the future. We're still up in the air about where we will be in 5-6 months. We've talked about all of our possibilities and back up plans. We know that it is inevitably not in our hands and trust that God has the plan all settled for us. We're trying to trust in that now. It's exciting all at the same time not knowing where in the U.S. we will be in 6 months.

Here's a phone photo dump from today. 

Vegetable stir fry with tofu and jasmine rice. 

Vegan mayo! I made this--- 

Vegan cole slaw!

Matt is in class this evening.

This is what my night has in store for me. 

Netflix, Tazo passion tea, plenty of candles and Trader Joe's dark chocolate. 

Happy Monday!!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


About a month ago Matt and I started watching different documentaries on Netflix. It's been a really good thing for us. We watched "The Business of Being Born" and it really changed my opinion of Labor and Delivery in hospitals. Interestingly enough I want to be a Labor and Delivery nurse. We'll see what happens. I will be interested to see when I can get a job in L&D if the documentary portrays the hospital setting correctly. 

Another documentary that really changed our minds was Food, Inc. 

 This movie highly changed our opinion of the food industry and the food we were putting into our bodies. I could not believe how bad the conditions were in some of our farms and "factories" in this country. I have never really been one of those "animal rights" types. I never really saw myself feeling that way. I was more like the rest of America with my beliefs of "God made animals to eat them". Not true at all. 

After we watched this documentary I tried to be more cautious about the food I was purchasing. I tried to buy more grass fed meat. I tried to buy more cage free eggs and free range chicken meat. It was hard to find and becoming a bit expensive. So, I eventually gave up and just kept buying my meat at Super Target. Then, Matt and I watched another documentary (I'm coming to the conclusion that maybe we shouldn't watch these things?! maybe we're too easily swayed?!) 

 We watched, Forks over Knives

After watching this movie we literally decided sitting on our futon that we were.... going vegan. A couple years ago I tried being vegetarian for a week. It really wasn't that bad, but I literally lived on a college campus and ate at a cafeteria, there was no way I could be a vegetarian eating in a college cafeteria. 

Matt and I made the decision to try being vegan for a month. No meant. No dairy. No eggs. We cleaned out our fridge and got rid of some of the lingering dairy and turkey hot dogs we had. We still have some ground beef in our freezer (just in case we change our minds, if not we'll donate to our friends). 

So, I started to do some research on what essential vitamins and nutritional supplements we needed. We went to Trader Joe's and loaded up on produce, rice, Quinoa, rice noodles, soy milk and other necessities. We had such a great time. We've been looking up new recipes and filling our mouths with fruits, veggies and nuts. After 4 days I have felt so good. The first couple days my stomach FREAKED OUT. I think I was getting rid of all the nasty sugars and "toxins" I had put in my body recently, but I was feeling better. I have cut out as much coffee as well. I've only been having 1 cup each day with just a little bit of soy creamer and attempting to cut out Splenda. I have been waking up around 6 or 7 in the morning with more energy than I have ever had. I was typically the person at work during my 12 hour shift that I would need a large coffee just to be motivated to talk in the morning, not to mention half way through the day I would CRASH and burn. Yesterday, I worked a 12 hour shift and had energy all day. I could not believe how good I felt. 

Here are a couple recipes I've tried so far and loved. 

I modified this one from one I found on I have found this blog really helpful. It's not all vegan but she has an archive of her vegan recipes. 

So far I think I can stick to this for the month and even longer. I think I can see Matt and I adding some meat occasionally. I have talked to a couple of the doctors I work with and they say a little meat every so often is okay. They did discourage the amount we consume in our country. 

Anyways, it's been fun so far. We've had a good time and feeling great. the next goal is to go to the gym. I am still working on that. 

I'll start posting some more recipes and keep ya'll update on our progress.

 I highly suggest watching those 2 documentaries if you're interested.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Happy Weekend

Happy Saturday! 

It's a blustery winter day here in Chicagoland. 
Matt and I have separate plans today. His involve board games with guy friends, mine involve outlet shopping with the girls of the husbands playing said board games. Tonight we plan on eating a good homecooked meal and watching a movie or two cozied up on the couch.

We're soaking up the bits of winter here. We got our first big snow of the winter just a couple days ago. I have a pretty much hate relationship with snow. It's pretty and lovely, yes but mostly it is cold and blustery and I am the type of person always on the go and sometimes the snow prevents me from doing that. 

As the snow lays outside Matt and I can't help but think about what the spring and summer will bring us. Matt will graduate in May with his masters degree (a 4 year masters at that...). He has recently finished all of his applications for PhD programs. We're in the in between right now. We have no idea where we will be in 5 months. As excited as we are for the next phase of life, we're a little bit worried and anxious as well. There are a lot of ifs, whens, what ifs going on in our minds. Right now we're just trusting in God knowing that he has already figured out where we will be next. 
As the snow fell and as I unburied my car yesterday I was voting for Fuller University in California to be where Matt gets in.  Sunshine, sunglasses, sun dresses, sun tans. I think I can be okay with that for a few years (even if it is far far away from our families. Major downfall...).

Happy Weekend everyone! 

Enjoy! ;-) 

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Holidays

This year Matt and I had a very different, and yet wonderful Christmas season. Being a nurse, I had to work on Christmas day. So, we packed up and headed home to West Virginia the weekend before Christmas to have a pre-Christmas weekend with our families.

My brothers and my parents. Miss them all so much!
My nieces are so adorable! Kadence is the oldest and Ava is the youngest. My entire family did a fun new thing this year,  we took my nieces to "Breakfast with Santa" at this really nice hotel. We ate a lovely breakfast buffet that was delicious and my nieces got to meet Santa. We also got this awesome family picture with Santa.  

Matt and I spent the first 2 days of the weekend with my family. Saturday we had our "Christmas" with my family. We woke up and opened gifts and hung out with my family.

Kadence loves BINGO. She has a wildlife bingo that she loves to play and learn about the animals. This year she got OCEAN BINGO, naturally we all had to play. It was a blast. My family was never really into games. Christmas was pretty much one of the only times we ever played board games. This was so fun for all of us.  

We spent the next 2 days with his family. I apparently didn't take any pictures at their place. We got a flip video camera and all I did was take video with them. I will spare you those treasures.

It was a very wonderful time at home. I miss our families a lot.

I worked Christmas day from 3pm-11pm. Matt and I had planned on waking up on Christmas morning and opening our gifts before I went to work. On Christmas eve, however, we put all of our gifts out underneath the tree. We were like 2 little kids. We honestly could not wait to give each other our presents. So, we decided we would just open our presents Christmas eve. It was a lovely time. We made coffee, we ate cookies, we listened to Christmas records and opened our gifts. Such a good time.

Matt got me an Anthropologie mug that I have been eyeing for a year now that I would never spend the $6.00 for (I have no clue why?! it was $6.00 for goodness sakes!) He also got me a necklace from this lovely etsy shop, The Civil Wars record on vinyl, a dress from H&M I wanted, a shirt from Anthropologie, new boots, and tons of other goodies!

And Matt got:

  a banjo!!! He loves it! He has this dream of owning tons of stringed musical instruments. So far we have a ukulele, a banjo, and 2 guitars. We're on our way to a lovely music room filled with stringed instruments and my piano.

Christmas was quite lovely this year. We had a wonderful time. Now, here we are in 2012 and I am just updating this blog from Christmas time. I have been MIA. You see, we got an IPad for Christmas. I have been staying up to date on all of your blogs and reading them everyday. I just have not had the motivation to blog lately. I have been thinking about the direction I want to take this blog in for 2012 and honestly for about the millionth time have thought about giving it up completely. I am reevaluating what I want from this even though I so desperately want it to be something that it probably never will be. I read all of your blogs and follow your beautiful lives and I just don't know that I can live up to the expectations I have for myself. I have messaged some of you with advice and appreciate it all, but I think this blog will probably stay the same with it's grainy point and shoot photos and meandering words. I think I am okay with that. I know not many people read this blog, but I am okay with doing this for me. It's a way to capture my life and this next year is going to be a big one. Lots is going to happen. So, for now, I will continue to do what I do and we will see what 2012 brings for The Lovely Purl.

Happy New Year blog world. (a couple weeks late).

Monday, December 5, 2011


Does anyone else feel extremely nostalgic this time of year? I mean, to the point where you find yourself wishing you didn't grow up?! Okay, maybe not that much, but I find myself thinking of years past a lot more often around the holidays. The things I think of most are baking with my grandma, waking up to snow and being unbelievably excited about it, decorating with my parents, looking through all my parents decorations and thinking about what they all mean to me, my Pap and his complete and utter joy about Christmas, my family, and so many more. The memories will come to me in a moment least expected and I will stop what I am doing and just think of that moment in time. 

Today, I baked cookies that are so dear to me. When I think of these cookies it reminds me so much of my mamaw and Pap. My mamaw and I made these together so many times. They are a rather difficult and time consuming cookie to make and today was my first time attempting them on my own. I was so excited to attempt to make them. The entire time I was in the process I was thinking of years past. Through all the nostalgia, they turned out great! 

This evening I sat down to catch up on all my favorite blogs. I read back on years past (I can't believe I have been blogging for 5 years now). I read this post and let Matt read it when I was done. His exact words were "you have not changed a bit". 

I am learning that I am not good with change. My neighbor here at Trinity is one of my closest friends. She made my move here so easy and lovely. Unfortunately she and her husband moved out this week. They moved only about 10 miles away and I must admit, I cried when I found out. Things change in life. We grow up, our friends move away, we move away from our families, we have to work on Christmas day, and as hard as it can be at times, life is wonderful and great things happen every single day. I am thankful for great memories and a wonderful life that I can think about and cherish forever. 

What are your favorite Christmas memories?