Live with Intent

"Live less out of habit and more out of intent." (+ my 5 favorite free brush style fonts from dafont.com)

I learned something new this week: if you squint, and kind of cross your eyes, and kind of don’t look directly at them….carnations can look kind of like peonies. I mean, they will never replace them, of course, but they fill the void slightly until the return of peony season. I snapped this photo of my (dying) carnations while wearing a neon pink top and thought it was kind of groovy how the pink was reflected on the white background. I overlaid the image with this quote using a few of my favorite free brush fonts from DaFont.com: Levi Rebrushed, Rags to Riches, Dead Island, Art Brewery, and Handbrush.

Recipe: Bacon Cheddar and Jalapeno Wonton.

Last Friday night we had too much fun grocery shopping and cooking up a storm. We made one of our favorites—-a Tomato Basil Bisque recipe that we’ve been perfecting together for years (recipe coming soon)—–and then these oven-baked Bacon, Cheddar and Jalapeno Wontons which we definitely made up on the fly but they were so good that we had to share. It definitely isn’t a health food but it’s not the worst thing you can snack on during this weekend’s football games.

INGREDIENTS

4 Slices of Black Pepper Bacon
2 Fresh Jalapenos
6 oz Cheddar Cheese Spread (or shredded sharp cheddar)
Wonton Wrappers

DIRECTIONS

Start by prepping your ingredients. Set the cheddar spread out so that it warms up slightly. Cook the oven by simply lining a pan with tin foil, place a wire rack over the top, lay the strips of bacon out on the wire rack and bake on your lowest oven-rack for 18-20 minutes at 400 degrees.

Finely chop the jalapenos, I suggest using an electric chopper. When the bacon is done cooking lightly pat it with paper  towels to remove excess grease and then chop or crumble it into small pieces. Place the cheddar spread in a bowl and stir in the bacon bits and chopped jalapenos. Now you’re ready to assemble the Wontons.

Place 1 tsp of the mixture into the center of a wonton wrapper, fold it in half so that it makes a triangle and seal the edges with a beaten egg or simply water. Use the pan and wire rack that you used for the bacon and line the wontons up in rows on the wire rack. The grease from the bacon will be just enough to keep the wontons from sticking to the rack. Continue until you’ve used all the cheddar mixture up (should yield 12-15 wontons) then bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown, flipping halfway through. Serve with a side of sriracha sauce for extra spice!

If you like a crispier wonton you can brush the entire wrapper with egg before baking.

 

Perfect Fall Layers with the GAP sweatshirt dress, plaid scarf, tights and booties.

It has been a chilly, rainy day here in Wisconsin and I finally lit my Apple Honey Butter Candle (from DW Candles). So, things are feeling pretty fall around here and this dress from GAP looked positively perfect in their morning email blast. I would totally cuddle up in this sweater\hirt dress. Where to Get It: GAP Sweatshirt Dress ($44.95), Wool Plaid Scarf ($33.00), Hanna Andersson Tights ($18.00), Loeffler Randall Ella Booties ($395.00).

"I've learned that everyone wants to live on top of the mountain. But all the happiness and growth occurs while climbing it." - Andy Rooney

I think of this quote whenever I attain a goal (and also because Andy Rooney was da man). It never fails that I reflect on the journey and am always thankful for having it. No matter what the goal is, the work and dedication that was required to get there is always an experience in itself and usually sets me up for selecting my next challenge.

(background image found via Wikipedia)

Fall 2014: Books to add to your reading list.

A few book suggestions for your fall reading list, synopsis & buying information at links below:

1. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs-  A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. (continue reading…)

2.  The Fever: A Novel by Megan Abbott - The Nash family is close-knit. Tom is a popular teacher, father of two teens: Eli, a hockey star and girl magnet, and his sister Deenie, a diligent student. Their seeming stability, however, is thrown into chaos when Deenie’s best friend is struck by a terrifying, unexplained seizure in class. Rumors of a hazardous outbreak spread through the family, school and community.  (continue reading…)

3. The Dinner By Herman Koch- Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act; an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their families. (continue reading…)

4. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty – A murder…a tragic accident… or just parents behaving badly?   What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.  But who did what? Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads. (continue reading…)

5. Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman – Relax in the OITNB off-season with the book that started it all. Season 3 will be available on Netflix Summer 2015 (continue reading…)

6. The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell - Following a terrible fight with her mother over her boyfriend, fifteen-year-old Holly Sykes slams the door on her family and her old life. But Holly is no typical teenage runaway: A sensitive child once contacted by voices she knew only as “the radio people,” Holly is a lightning rod for psychic phenomena. (continue reading…)

7. What If? by Randall Munroe – Serious scientific questions to absurd hypothetical questions (continue reading…)

8. Yes Please by Amy Poehler – Release Date: October 28, 2014 In Amy Poehler’s highly anticipated first book, Yes Please, she offers up a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice. (continue reading…)

9. Not that Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham – Release Date September 30, 2014 For readers of Nora Ephron, Tina Fey, and David Sedaris, this hilarious, poignant, and extremely frank collection of personal essays confirms Lena Dunham—the acclaimed creator, producer, and star of HBO’s Girls—as one of the brightest and most original writers working today. (continue reading…)

10. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins – The movie, Mockingjay Part I, will be released on November 21st. Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding. (continue reading…)

11. The Paying Guests by Sara Waters – Release Date: September 16, 2014. It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned; the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa—a large, silent house now bereft of brothers, husband, and even servants—life is about to be transformed as impoverished widow Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers. (continue reading…)

12. Women in Clothes by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits and Leanne Shapton – A conversation among hundreds of women of all nationalities—famous, anonymous, religious, secular, married, single, young, old—on the subject of clothing, and how the garments we put on every day define and shape our lives. (continue reading…)

13. Every Secret Thing by Laura Lippman - Every Secret Thing is a riveting story of love and murder, guilt and innocence, adult sins and childhood darkness that the New York Times Book Review hailed as, “powerful…disturbing.” (continue reading…)

14. Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer- Book 1 in the “Southern Reach Trilogy” Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide, the third expedition in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. (continue reading…)

15. The Long Way Home by Louise Penny - Together with his former second-in-command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, and Myrna Landers, they journey deeper and deeper into Québec. And deeper and deeper into the soul of Peter Morrow. A man so desperate to recapture his fame as an artist, he would sell that soul. (continue reading…)