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Life and Orange Chicken

5 Sep

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As easy as it was for me to delete my last post, it’s not so easy to delete from my life. I started the business with a partner, and as it often times goes, our creative visions ended up being very different. After a few months of trial and error and weighing it out in my head, I had to decide to let The Bus Stop Diner continue without me. I am still looking for my food truck, and still building my own ideas.

In the mean time, my fella and I have purchased our very first house! A charming three bedroom, two bathroom cottage with a fenced in yard for the dog friend to run.  It’s in town, and there is plenty of room for gardening. We will be closing next month and moving in November. I can’t even convey our excitement!

I’ve been busy with work, web design classes, playing my drums, searching for new ideas to decorate our house and doing a lot of cooking. While saving for our house we have discovered all kinds of ways to cut unnecessary costs from our budget. We have both been eating breakfast and having coffee at home. I discovered an amazing granola bar recipe that I can’t wait to share with you! We have been taking our lunch to work, and going out less. We were struggling with dinner though. It’s so easy to just slip on down to our favorite bar and let someone else feed us. I have searched out meals, and planned dinners and tried new dishes to keep us from getting bored with the routine.

I happened to discover a tasty little dish that I got from a pile of old recipe cards that my sister was throwing away. It called for a some chicken pieces, so I bought a whole raw chicken and watched an amazing YouTube video on how to cut it.

It is absolutely not for the squeamish, but the result was plenty of chicken for dinner and next day lunch and two large breasts to put in the freezer. I took the chicken guy’s advice and used the carcass to make about 6 cups of broth that I portioned and froze. I stretched that little chicken just as far as I could! Thanks chicken!

Orange Chicken

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350°  1 hour

1 frying chicken (3 – 3 1/2 lbs)

1 clove of garlic minced

2 Tbsp butter chopped into little pieces

tsp black pepper

4 Tbsp fresh orange juice

2 tsp grated orange rind (I used 1 orange for this recipe)

1 Tbsp brown sugar

After you dismember your chicken, or buy chicken like a normal person, put enough in a baking dish with a lid. I used the legs with the thighs attached, and the two wings so I could send leftovers with my fella.

Sprinkle the soy sauce, garlic and black pepper over the chicken and then drop the little chunks of butter on top. Cover and cook for 30 minutes at 350°.

While this was happening I cooked some rice and put some brussel sprouts and butter in a pan with a lid. I cooked the brussel sprouts on low for about 40 minutes and the result was tender amazingness.

When the timer goes off pull out the chicken and pour the orange juice and some rind over the chicken. Spoon all the juices over the chicken then sprinkle the brown sugar on top and put the lid on. Cook for another 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

When serving, garnish with a little more rind and a few orange slices. The sweet orange went perfectly with the bitterness of the brussel sprouts, and the rice kept it simple. This is one of my new favorite meals!

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DIY Vanity Makeover

16 May

IMAG1928Anyone remember that old mirror that I turned into an earring holder? It was ok, but I really wasn’t crazy about it. I had three of these mirrors in the little vanity area of my bedroom and I craved something new. I mixed a little paint together to match one of the colors in my bed spread and I painted all three mirrors this nice maroon-like color. I had this whatnot that I picked up at the goodwill a few months ago and I decided to paint it too!

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Natural Vegetable Garden Tips And Tricks

13 May

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How many little garden tips and tricks can you find in the picture above?

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New Roof Achieved!

13 May

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In just 8 days, 87 very generous people were able to fully fund a much-needed new roof for my good friends. Most people are good, don’t ever let overwhelming reports by the news and media sway you into thinking otherwise.

Help Put A New Roof On A House That Needs It

5 May

This is Danny Proctor, close personal friend. If you recall I hosted a surprise birthday party for Danny a few months ago and wrote about throwing a party in a small space. Danny is in dire need of a new roof, please read his story and visit his GoFundMe site.

Created by Danny Proctor on May 5, 2013

Madison, TN

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 Raindrops keep falling on our heads! We have major leaks in our very old roof that require more than patching. We need a new roof ASAP!

Long story short: I had surgery for prostate cancer in 2006. No more cancer. In March 2009, my housemate and partner Daryl Pike was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. After chemo and then going into remission, he relapsed and required a stem cell bone marrow transplant in May 2011.

The good news: Daryl’s cancer is gone! The bad news: Daryl has been unemployed since May 2011 and I quit my full-time job three years ago to be his required 24/7 caregiver. We have no health insurance (we’ve exhausted all options, believe me) and very limited income. I’m working from home making what money I can.

A friend in the roofing biz gave us an estimate for a new roof. The $6,000 will cover the materials, labor etc plus any incidentals (such as gofuncme.com’s fees). We want to install a metal roof, which is recommended for a low-pitch roof, plus the economic value. Any mold, fungus etc. can be dangerous to Daryl’s new immune system so we can’t have rain literally dripping on his bed anymore. My friend has patched the roof twice, stopping the kitchen and bathroom leaks, but the leak over Daryl’s bed is still there.Between Daryl and myself, we have nearly 4,000 Facebook friends. A few dollars each would give us this roof that we desperately need.

Believe me, begging is a last-ditch effort. Please forgive us but know anything anyone can give would be a blessing.

To help, please visit Raise Our Roof by Danny Proctor

 

Ants In The Dog Food Bowl

3 May

It’s only when you are doing something totally absurd, that you think is totally normal, you remember exactly who you are.

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Today I came home from work to find ants in the dog food bowl. No good. I mean, good because that means it’s finally warmed up after what seemed like an eternal winter. Bad because I don’t want my little dog friend eating ants! So as I was filling up the pan with water, I thought about how crazy I may look to an observer.

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Now It’s My Dress

3 Apr

I found this lovely polka dot dress at the Goodwill last week.

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I paid $8 for it, all the dresses at my local Goodwill are at least that much. I complain a little, but it’s much less expensive than a large retail store. I am frugal yes, but the main reason that I continue to purchase my clothes second-hand is because I love individuality.

I tried to wear this dress last Saturday and it looked awful on me. It was that length that is way too long to be short, but too short to be long. I felt frumpy, none of my shoes looked good with it and it seemed a little plain. I changed into one of my trusty black skirts and put it in the back of my mind to float around.

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Studded Phone Case And The 3%

28 Mar

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I grew tired of the green eyes that would replace my brown ones. Every time I would see one of those studded phone cases I was in love, but not enough to shell out the cash. You see dearies, I am very frugal. I like to save my money for bigger and better things instead of spending it on the trivial things. As a waitress you understand more than most that pennies really do add up to dollars. I prefer to make the things that I covet, and in doing so I am able to exercise my artistic expression as well as set myself apart from the norm. I used the last of my studs, and a feather that broke off an earring.

I will be shopping for more studs asap. If anyone has a favorite site to order studs from please feel free to let me know.

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Dogs And Rawhides

6 Mar

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We’ve been friends for years, I raised him from a pup. We’ve moved together, been through breakups together, usually we vacation together. I feed him, he loves me. I pet him, he loves me. My nieces know and love him like the part of the family that he is. I can’t imagine my life without this guy, he is literally my reason for getting out of bed.

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Diy Tea Organizing

4 Mar

Hi there tea drinkers! If you are reading this I assume you have also longed for a little more organization in the tea area. I never longed for such a thing until I suddenly found myself with four boxes of tea. My kitchen is rather small and cupboard space hardly exists, so I really didn’t have anywhere to put them. They stayed on the counter underneath the little shelf that holds my coffee pot and supplies, no room for anything else up there.

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