Friday, May 30, 2014

Crispy 'Tains

I have always loved plantain mash with some pulled pork. Way to stupid-easy to make. Way to good to not eat. After making it time and time again, I came to love plantains in another form but this time by my mistake. It's called the nursing brain. Seriously. You walk into a room and forget why you even went in there. Or you leave the room and forget to go back to what you were suppose to. And then there's times where I stop mid-sentence and forget what I'm even talking about. It's bad. Real bad sometimes. And awful when it happens while you're with someone you don't even know because they think you're an idiot. Then I pray I never have to see them again.

Anyway, I've decided I'm hooked on some of these plantain crispies! It just so happened that one afternoon I threw these on a frying pan, left the kitchen, and forgot I was cooking them. I kept knitting away out front in the sun, enjoying the afternoon until I had to come inside for a minute. I realized it smelled like a carnival and remembered the frying pan. The pan, well it was literally frying the you know what out of the plantains. After they cooled, they were nice and crispy. And after they were crispy I thought I doubt I can use these for some mash so why not eat one. And you'd think I came up with an invention of some sort for a minute. It was plantain heaven! Not only can they be served with dinner, but I've decided they're an even better snack with some sprinkles of cinnamon and salt!

Crispy 'Tains
3 plantains, sliced then halved
coconut oil, enough to have a layer on your pan for frying
dashes of salt
dashes of cinnamon

Let your 'tains fry on a med-high heat for 5-10 minutes so the oil soaks into them while they begin to cook. Then let them fry baby fry on that pan until they are nice and crispy (you may have to add oil if they take a while to cook). It's as simple as letting them go while you go knit or find some project to finish while they cook themselves crispy. Let them cool so you don't burn the crap out of your mouth and enjoy!

Mistakes happen for a reason. Glad this mistake happened.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Celiac Disease Research Study: Beauty Inside & Out

This is what I've been doing every night. Every. Single. Night.

I call into the CDSD line, a British woman asks me all the questions below, I respond
with a 1 or a 2 meaning yes or no, then she clarifies my response, and I have to respond
in the same manner yet again, 1 or 2. It takes up 5 minutes of my life every night. Doesn't seem like much but trust me, when you fall asleep in 2 minutes, it can easily put you to sleep while you're doing 
it  in bed. It also took $100 of my own personal money to pay for the additional cost 
on my cell phone bill in addition to the regular bill.
Don't get me started on that one.

I will forever have dreams about question #1...the way the woman says "loose, mushy,
or liquid bowel movements" is weird. Weird enough that it made me laugh every time.

Good news about this whole thing is I've gotten all the lab tests and an EGD for free.
We all know I love free. But the best part...I get paid to be a guinea pig!

So for those of you who didn't get to the update weeks ago, my lab tests came back in
the normal range for my celiac disease and the EGD...I'll have you know that the doctor said I had some good looking insides! That's what I call beauty inside and out!

So beautiful, it deserved to be shown off in photos. See for yourself...

However, because I eat 4-5 meals per day on my long shift days I was disqualified from the study.
The research group could only afford to give each guinea pig enough enzyme for three meals
each day...if only I didn't eat as much as I did in a day!

That's all I've got for ya in regards to my gut because I knew you were all wondering. 
As the British woman always said at the end of the conversation,
"Don't forget to check back tomorrow. Thank you & Goodbye."


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Well Hello, Again.

I remember when I once said "welcome back" a while ago and then I actually disappeared. Weird situation. Forgive me for my poor judgement and what I thought was a great idea. It obviously wasn't. My bad. Apparently, I thought it I could do it a home, move, do house projects, work, keep up with family and friends, and blog. Lesson learned. I'm definitely not superwoman. I mean, I did have blog posts prepped and ready to post but then we got to moving and house projects and guess who forgot to call the cable company to install our internet at the house? Oops! With no internet it made it a little difficult to blog. In fact, it made it a bit difficult for much of if you sent me an email in the last two weeks I still may be trying to work through them all (I doubt any of you actually sent me an email, you never have and will most likely never need to but just in case...I'm ready for them now). There was no way anybody could bribe me to blog from my phone either. I'd rather die then blog from an iphone. Ok, maybe not die. That's a bit overboard, but I definitely cringe thinking about it.

Anyway, we're not only back to the 21st century of wireless internet, but we also got an additional megabite (is that even the measurement of internet?) of speed for cheaper than our previous package. And we all know I love deals and budget friendly things. Now that's cool. Really cool and really fast. But on a serious note, how crazy things like wireless internet exists? It's beyond me. The whole idea of typing all this out for the blog, it going into space, saving on the world wide web for years and years, and that anybody in the world can read it. Hello to Africa, hello to SE Asia, hello to the east coast.
So weird.

I'll tell you what though....I've been thinking a lot about blogging. By the time we got the internet
last week I decided not to waste any blogs on a weekend that most of you were out of town.
So guess who's back (again)? The Stanleys. We back! What have we been doing?
I'll give you a little sneak peek.

When it rains, we work inside. 
When it's dark, we continue to work inside.

We have been moving. Obviously.
The move has led to random projects. Things like cutting out box spring into two pieces to get it upstairs. It had to be slightly reconfigured and back upstairs after the first attempts failed 
(Carter, the dog, was supervising as you can see)

We have been finding homes for everything.
Box by box, I can say we now only have a few boxes left in this whole house to go through!

We've been planning and organizing each space. 
And seriously, do it right the first time. That is, planning and then doing. Don't throw things in 
cabinets just to get them out of boxes. Trust me. You'll thank me later. 
Our kitchen is nicely put together like this and I can't tell you how happy I am to see all my 
white serving dishes in one place now!

Again, we've been doing more organizing.
Use baskets for everything....even your bathroom items. It saves a few seconds,
looks a million times better than clutter in the cabinets, and you can make it stylish where
nobody even looks. Slightly odd, but it's definitely one of my little obsessions right about now. 
Next time you go through somebody's bathroom cabinets (like mine), you'll find what you need with one pull of a basket.

When it's beautiful, we do work outside.
Why would we not?

The jungle has been cut down.
Credit to my dad on this one. It was weed-wacked, then mowed 3 different times. Each time
he did a strip of grass he had to empty the bag. Over and over in this giant yard.
I'm not even sure how much gas it took to do the whole thing but I can tell you I've had to fill
the tank at least once to mow the front two lawns and the back lawn. Did I mention I LOVE
mowing the lawn? My new favorite thing!

Family and friends have visited. All have asked to work.
Above is my mid-70 year old Papa climbing and chopping down trees and
he also cleaned out half the gutters. And he thought he was just coming to see the new place ;-)
Thanks Grandpa!!

We've been prepping the grounds and taming the weeds.
Eventually we'd like to utilize this space for something...composting, chickens, or something
else functional. For now, I sprayed 4 gallons worth of round up between this area and the area
behind where I'm taking the photo.

We've been fixing the porch.
Apparently the man who owned the home before the previous owners had blue astroturf on the
porch. Super stylish guy I imagine. The previous owners scraped all of it off, but underneath was left
as you see above. So we are in the middle of priming and painting...and I have to say it's already
our first mishap on paint color. It's just a little lipstick until we can eventually redo the porch someday.

We've been planning the front yard landscaping.
Have I mentioned I know NOTHING about yard work/landscaping. I wish I did, but I don't.
So instead of researching, I've been going to the store to buy a million trees, shrubs, and plants.
Bringing them home to see what works and what fails (so far, most have failed). Then
I go back to return them. I've done this several times now and I'm pretty sure the people at Home
Depot think I'm nuts, which is probably slightly true. Somebody tell me they do that so I 
don't feel quite as nutty.

We've been doing other projects outside for the inside.
Details on this guy will come later.

We also have taken a few breaks.
Because we can.

This was one of my favorite moments...catching my dad and Ty's dad in the middle of something 
good. Clearly. If you know my dad, we all know he really gets into his stories. I love that 
about him. And I just happened to catch it in the action. They deserved a little food and a good 
break for moments like these!

Many of the things above were projects from week one and of course we'll save our photos
of the inside projects until some of the rooms are completed. I'm learning that will all take
lots of time so if you don't see any full room photos it's because 1) I can't make decisions on how
to decorate OR 2) we've been working on outdoor projects instead.

A big, big thanks to everybody who helped us move, unpack, organize, clean, and do all these projects.
And an even bigger thanks to my mom for giving up days, hours, and her nights to not just help
but in doing projects we weren't looking forward to. Now we can say they are done...

Next project here we come!


PS-eventually I'll get to posting other things besides home updates, but let me get them out of my
system. We're only kinda excited about all this! ;-)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Realtor Everybody Wants!

I'm not sure what Ty or I would've done without our realtor, Amy Tierney. I'm not kidding you whatsoever. From finding us our first home, being so incredibly flexible, always available, honest, being my alternative phone service lady (when my crackberry croaked on me), and saving me when I had that moment of panic the day we signed. She is incredibly devoted to each of her clients all hours of the day. Again, not kidding. Those random questions or concerns we had at 9 or 10pm...she found the answer for us. Early in the morning she'd be right back at it. I'm not sure when we allowed her to sleep in the last 1 1/2 months let alone the rest of her clients. Looking back, we're sorry for that Amy!

I have to note that she did this all while having an infant at home. I find you slightly crazy in a good way, Amy. Not sure how you do everything you do! Some people can be damn good realtors, but you can pull all of that off all while being a great Mom. I suppose we can give Brad a little credit here too, right? You two make quite the team and we have no doubt you guys will do wonderful things for all those future home buyers!

If any of you are interested in getting connected to a realtor, Amy began her career years ago selling in the North Portland areas in which she has become very familiar with. She also knows the Vancouver area from living here and enjoys selling homes in the Beaverton area as that is where she grew up and knows the ins and outs! Amy works with Keller Williams and you can find her contact information
by clicking the link below or find her on Facebook where she posts updated photos of homes
she's showing. She's wonderful. I suggest you call her. Like now.

Amy Tierney with Keller Williams

photo credit: 
Amy Tierney with Keller Williams Facebook page

Amy, you have gone miles and miles for us. We can't thank you enough for putting up with us, all your hard work through the bumps in the road in this home buying process, seeing us all the way through when we signed at the title company's office, and of course, handing over that key! You ease the way of all of us home buyers and we appreciate all you've done.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Welcome To Our Home!

Being an adult is weird. I use to get excited about so many other things and now that I'm old, I get excited about looking at homes, working on projects, going to the home improvement stores, taking evening strolls through the neighborhood, and doing nothing with my evenings unless it involves our close friends and family kicking back. Times have changed. I can't imagine what's going to happen to me when I get any older! I partly don't even want to know. Apparently this is also where we have to be more responsible or so we've learned...

Our initial plan was to get out of town and check out Yosemite on a whim for Spring Break. Why not take to another Stanley adventure? Instead, two weeks prior to this whole excursion we decided we'd get together with our (now) relator "just to get on her email list for new houses" and let her know that "we aren't in a rush" and that "we probably won't want to buy for another year or so since we have some other plans first" as I had said yesterday. Next time, someone tell me to shut my pie hole. Why do I think I can control all of that? Because guess what, things don't always happen in order you think they're going to.

That Friday afternoon came and the first house we went to (the one we initially didn't like after a quick drive by months ago), eventually became our home! The offer was in that night and the process had just begun. Nearly 2 months later, here we are....two big grown ups as first time buyers! We realized we needed to be an adult, become more responsible, and stick around the area for this
whole home buying process.

What we ended up what we like to think is a gem in city!
an old 1940s Cape Cod style home in the downtown area, in a tree lined neighborhood on a 1/4 acre. Somehow we landed a spot on a rare double lot which is nearly unheard of in the city! And as some of you may know, old homes are built more up than out so the house sits on very little of the property and the rest lends itself to plenty of leftover property!

The house itself was completely redone except for part of a bathroom and part of the kitchen. Even the basement is fully completed and can be converted to a living space for someone with their own entrance! As far as storage goes, we now have not only a single car garage with an attic but a double car garage with an attic as well...and the big garage is heated! We fall more and more in love with
the place now that it's finally ours!

I am currently holding off on posting photos of the front of the house on the internet due to our own privacy, but here's one from the backside to get just a slight idea of what we get to call
home along with some photos of the inside!

The hidden dog run/eventually a chicken run and coop!

Finished basement with one bed and one full bath...

Main floor dining and living room...

Another room or office space...

Another bedroom or maybe my craft room?...

And a photo just because...the jungle we had to take care of last night!
The kids had a blast playing jungle animals. This is a view from the top floor...

At the top of the stairs there's another bedroom off to the right and a lovely large nook to the left...

Needless to say, those blinds most likely won't hang around for too long...

This is the two car garage that is heated and has an upstairs "attic" with a rig system
to pull up all those heavy storage items. The single car garage is to the right of this photo
 at the end of the driveway.

As I said yesterday, find me on Instagram @cstan512 or Ty @tstanley4 for day-to-day updates, follow me on Pinterest for home and outdoor inspirations, and help us bring the number of followers up by following us here on the blog on the right hand side (anyone with a google account can follow by a simple click!). Thanks and love!


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Stanleys, Where You Been?

Let's just say I jumped the gun a little too soon when I said I'd be taking a break from blogging. I do that far too often. Jump the gun that is. I haven't learned patience in the last 27 years, but maybe in my 28th I will. But seriously, one minute we're in the realtor's office and I'm saying, "we're not in a rush," "we're just looking," and "we probably won't buy for another year since we just haven't seen the one." Next minute we're putting an offer on the first house we had gone to. Seriously. Ok fine, maybe it wasn't minutes later. More like hours, but still. It definitely wasn't that "year" I told her from the get go. That's apparently where I also thought the process just goes smoothly from there on out. Who was I kidding? You're probably thinking, what an idiot....what home buying process is that quick and that easy?!

Well I clearly just thought ours would be that rarity and we'd be on the move in a short time. That's right about when I said I'd be leaving the blogging world for a while....because I thought our time would be soaked up in the home buying process. Partly true, but there'd be numerous days I'd go on doing nothing. Just waiting. Waiting a lot. And have I ever told you how patient I can not be sometimes? Especially the month I wasn't blogging, I had no money to do anything with, I had no yarn left to knit hats with, and I had a soon-to-croak crackberry that only worked part of the time. It makes for a rough life if you know that I have to be doing something, always.

So after that long haul of the normal home buying process plus a few extra minor things that extended the process...we are officially home owners! Welcome to the big kid life, Stanleys. Welcome to mortgages, home projects, and a ton of yard work (our place is on a rare double lot in the downtown area, so we may be investing in a riding lawnmower for this place)! And how cool that it turned into the biggest (literally) birthday present I've ever received?! Nothing like stepping up to the big world with new smart phones and a new home all in one day.

In case you were wondering, that's what we've been doing. Lots of paperwork, inspections, appraisals, meeting with various contractors, project planning, packing up our entire place, waiting a lot, and buying a home! So just a few things on top of everything else that was going on in our life ;-)
Although I tried to keep it a secret, that long wait just kept killin' the secret keep leaking out
day by day. I couldn't help myself really. Truly, many of you knew what was going on and lots of you had no clue so technically I kept the secret from more people than I actually told. Good enough, right?

Welcome back to the blogging world for me and welcome back to those few readers that 
stop by to keep up with the Stanleys!


Friday, May 2, 2014

Living On A 50

Remember when I wasn't blogging and instead I was blowing up Instagram. Sorry for that. Some days I would get out of hand and other times I'd go for days without posting anything. Definitely had no balance on that. Sorry for that too. However, today will just be a one time deal. I felt the need
to make this post before it goes way overdue. Then I'm going back to the calm before the storm.
We can update you later on all that jazz. Until then...

Remember the time I posted my 50 dollar bill and I promised I'd tell you what I got for 50 bones for a full month? Well this is how $50 was spent. And I like to think it was well, but don't we all
think that of ourselves and our choices ;-) Here ya have it...

1. Two balls of yarn to feed my knitting addiction.

2. Two birthday cards for two special guys, big and little.

3. One almond milk latte.
And that piece of hair in the background, that was free.
Pretty sure it belongs to me anyway.

4. One bunch of fresh farmer's market flowers.

5. Another ball of yarn.
No surprise, right?

6. $4 to buy into Cosby game night. Came out a winner...Won $10.
Increased monthly allowance by $6.

7. One Easter bunny cookie from the local bakery for the kids.

8. One iced coffee.
Not for me. And all because I lost in a game of hoops. I had to pay up with
getting my main squeeze (Ty, obviously) an iced coffee.
Tip: Never lose. In fact, never bet.

9. Two dollar tip for the first coffee, another dollar tip for the second coffee.

10. Five craft sticks.
Used to organize all the ribbon, jute, and scraps (see below).

(side note: I only ended up needing 3 sticks to complete this project)

11. One more ball of yarn.
I had to or I'd drive everybody nuts (I had no more yarn to knit with, very little money
to do much with, I'd finished my book, and organized the house).
I HAD to get a ball of yarn to keep me busy.

12. I donated some $ to Ty (because we all know he spends his money rather quickly).
That way he could join me in celebrating the end of the month by doing this (see below).

13. We went to DQ.
We splurged from our normal eating ways. And we'd do it again with no hesitation.
I mean, that soft serve. I haven't had that in way too long. Now I want it every night!
(Credit to Joe Murray for the idea. Let's be honest, it was probably the best idea of the month)

 Plus I got to share a lovely walk and evening out and about with the man who's
booty made a background appearance in the photo above. I like to think that's a great thing.
Plus that part was free ;-)

Anything leftover?...
You bet...3 bones and some change! I was able to splurge on some drinks, eats, crafts, donations
to Ty, home organizing projects, game nights, and a few things for others. Not bad, right?

My tips to you...
coupons, coupons, coupons,
find the deals, and
don't spend it all in one place!

So $50 doesn't look too exciting does it? To each his own though, right? Some of you may want it
for going out for drinks with friends, some for a movie night, or for some, who knows what else.
Clearly, we all have our wants and needs. Now you take a minute to see what you could live
off of for a month and try it out! Don't have too much fun with it ;-)


(a little note to you readers: our budgeting systems allows us to budget for a separate gas amount and groceries, so essentially this $50 is our "walk around" money)