Friday, June 28, 2013

Quick Takes-vol. 17

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--- 1 ---
Happy Friday!  Our move was successful and we have officially been residents of NJ for just over a week.  We're really loving our house!  It's the perfect size for us and has lots of character (circa 1876) and it is sloooowly coming together.  It may still me a while before I have those promised pictures, but I will definitely share them.  My mother was here for a few days and she was a big help getting things cleaned and unpacked.  She enjoyed our walking town and we sampled the Irish pub and the ice cream shop (x2).  We also all went to Mass together on Sunday (again, walking!).  We met a few people from the young adult group at a luncheon for the young priest who is leaving.  It's a shame because he is a very vibrant, enthusiastic priest (can't be any older than us, I think).  When he mentioned becoming a priest in 2009, I think it got my husband thinking about the start of his vocation in 2009 and whether or not he had made the right choice how happy he was with his choice!  I love being so close to this church.  I've been to mid-day Mass twice this week and will plan to go again today.
--- 2 ---
We don't have central air conditioning in this house (we have two window units, one in each bedroom) so we are making use of fans and the good cross ventilation we get from the design of the house.  But I am trying to avoid heating things up more with the oven and all.  Last summer in  Germany we obviously didn't have air conditioning either so I had asked for ideas for meals to not heat things up.  Basically the only options are grilling and using a Crockpot, neither of which were options for us there.  But here, they are.  We haven't purchased a grill yet (we're so excited--any that you recommend??), but we certainly have the Crockpot again.  I decided it was time to take advantage of the new eMeals slow-cooker plan!  I've written about eMeals before and what a great idea it is (and not going to break the bank at all) and I'm so excited now to have more ideas for my Crockpot.  (They have options for any style eating you want; gluten-free, Paleo, clean-eating, low-carb, vegetarian, etc.  Even lunch and breakfast options!)  I feel like I always make the same three or four things.  This will be a BIG help this summer!  (FYI: I went ahead and signed up for the family size because I want bigger meals with leftovers)
--- 3 ---
I got my first haircut not by a student in years yesterday!  And it was so quick it shocked me!  Don't get me wrong, I've loved  being able to help out students by giving them someone patient to practice on (I think it's a bit like being a student nurse), but after the debacle from my last cut, I decided a more experienced professional was in order, at least this time.  And it was nice to not have to be there for over two hours.  And again, I walked!  I haven't actually driven anywhere since Tuesday!
--- 4 ---
Next week for the 4th we are going to Chicago!  My husband has been wanting us to visit for awhile and we always figured we'd get around to it since my cousin (we were "twin" cousins growing up--don't think we'd anywhere near pass for it now) and her husband live there.  Well, they are moving in August and  that was just the kick in the pants we needed to make sure we didn't waste the holiday.  We'll be there for a long weekend and I'm sure it'll be jam-packed--our first travels since Europe and it feels like it's been a long time!
OK, this is the best I had, but this picture is over 8 years old at this point...
--- 5 ---
Remember how I'm highlighting the blogs in the sidebar there?  Well, some of them aren't exactly blogs, just links to sites that readers who like my blog might like.  Encore clothing store in Hyde Park is the store that my cousin (above) manages.  It's a great little shop that she's loved working with for a few years now and I know she'll really miss it.  If you happen to be in the Chicago area, check it out!  They keep their prices low even if it's something really high-end so they are able to keep their clientele.  It's a great ministry.  (And she's the younger sister of my cousin who blogs at Handspun Hope in Rwanda, the blog I highlighted a couple of weeks ago.
--- 6 ---
The link to White Flour is really worth checking out as well.  David LaMotte is a singer/songwriter from my home state of North Carolina.  He lives and plays in the mountains and would often come to the Montreat Conference Center at Montreat College in Montreat, NC (near Black Mountain).  This is the where I went every summer in high school for the hugely successful Presbyterian (USA) youth conference.  (Seriously, people drove days to get to a place we had just a couple of hours away--Presbyterians joke that it is "Presbyterian Mecca".)  Anyway, David is great with activism and social justice and has some really fun songs out there (check out "Pushin' six" and the "SS Bathtub" for your kids--it's also a book--and "Stupid in Love" for you and your mate), plus some other more serious but great tunes like "Butler Street" (I think of this song every time I look at a beautiful view of creation), "Hard Earned Smile", "We are each other's angels", and "Song for you".  Anyway, he wrote this book White Flour about an actual occurrence of peaceful counter-action to racism.  I hope that you'll check out the site, share the book with friends, and order a copy for your kids.  Knowing David personally, I can vouch that he is a genuine, Godly man.

Now the book, read by David himself:

--- 7 ---
Project 7 is an organization I admittedly don't know particularly well.  But I saw some gum for sale at Target awhile back and checked out the site.  The basic ideas is that they sell products that people buy anyway (like gum) and the profits benefit charities related to the product (like hunger).  Check 'em out. 

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. I'm so glad your move went smoothly! Can't wait to see pictures of your house!!

    Have a safe and fun trip to Chicago!! :)

    1. Thanks, Caitlin! Can't wait to hear if it's a boy or a girl!

  2. I'm SO sad that you'll be in Chicago THIS weekend! I'll be there next weekend and it would have been so cool to overlap!!! Have a blast! The best pizza is Giordano's, if you were wondering ;)

    As for grills, you seriously can't go wrong with a Weber. We got one and LOVE it. It's worth the money to get one that will lsst and cook everything well!

    1. Aw, man! Bummer! We will make a note of your vote on pizza--we have other attestations for other establishments as well so it's hard to know who is right!

      We ended up buying one from a guy off Craigslist on Sunday afternoon. It's a Brinkman. On the smaller side and not fancy or stainless like everyone else likes these days, but it's good for us!


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