Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I'm a fan.

AT&T Park, Home of the San Francisco Giants
I went to a Giants game with a friend the other night. She had an extra ticket and invited me to go. I didn't hesitate to say, "YES!". I haven't been to one game all season long and I was beginning to get sad about it. I am a fan of baseball, and especially the SF Giants.

We hit the road as soon as I got off work, dressed in our Giants gear and ready for an evening of baseball. I got nachos, she got a Cubano and a little later we shared a Ghirardelli hot fudge sundae. (Oh, yes we did.)

The game was GREAT. The weather was perfect. (We thought it might rain...but it didn't, thank goodness.) And we had a lot of laughs.

We got back into town around 11:30 and I was in bed, sawing logs by midnight. And let me tell you, 5:30 came way too quick for this mama. I need at least 7 hours of sleep (preferably 8).

But it was worth it to be able to go to a game, hang out with a friend and watch my team get a (hard earned!) win.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Menu Plan Monday.

I concur.

So this is what's on the menu for the week, because we love to eat. I'll only plan five meals as we'll be eating dinner out on Tuesday for Chris' birthday :) and then one night will be a free-for-all.
  • Roasted chicken, mac and cheese and salad (I'll pick up the chicken on my Costco run after work)
  • Oven Baked Tacos with Chimichurri rice (from Trader Joe's...good and so easy!)
  • Crock pot ribs with baked potatoes and salad
  • Sandwiches and frozen fries
  • Pizza bread and salad
I prepped a few ingredients on Sunday. Everything else will be simple prep with a few items straight out of a bag like salad mix and frozen fries, or tossing something in the crock pot when I come home for lunch so it's ready at dinner time.

Doing my best to use up what I've got in the freezer and keep meals quick, simple and somewhat healthy.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday morning..


Saturday, September 27, 2014

well, hello there Saturday morning...I've been waiting for you all week.

Betty is having a bad hair day...aka molting.
The weeks have seemed so long lately...not sure what it is. All I know is that by the time the weekend rolls around, I am rea-dy.

The temperatures are steadily cooling...mornings are crisp and my toes are just a bit cold under the covers in the morning. It's almost time to switch to our cozy comforter...one of my favorite moments of the year.

I'm still gathering a few tomatoes here and there...two this morning and four earlier in the week. There are a handful of green tomatoes still on the vine...we'll see if they ripen up this next week when the temps rise back up into the 90's. I'll sure be glad when it gets cold for good. Yes, I will miss garden fresh tomatoes...but they'll be back next year.

The chickens aren't laying many eggs. Or...it could be that a possum is getting into their coop and helping himself to a midnight snack. We're not quite sure yet. We have lots of trees in our neighborhood which means we also have lots of critters.

Just yesterday morning I had just got out of the shower and the cats wanted to go outside. I opened the front door and both cats were suddenly on guard and cautious and peering at something in the darkness. I could hear a scratching noise and thought maybe it was a possum. To my surprise it wasn't a possum, but rather a family of raccoon's! There were two clinging to our tree trunk and four on the ground. We all just stood there staring at each other. I didn't know what else to do, seeing as how I was standing in the doorway in a bath towel! Fortunately, the cats stayed on the porch, and one by one the raccoon's disappeared into the darkness and headed down the street. In the 16 years that we've lived here I haven't once seen a raccoon. Plenty of possums. But never a raccoon...let alone SIX! It was kinda cool...and a little scary.

So the weekend is finally here. And today's (very loose) schedule includes the usual; menu planning, a little grocery shopping, a bit of cleaning (my poor floors), and of course, laundry. When I first started working full-time I really didn't want Saturday to be a day full of chores and more work, work, work. But I'm finding that if I take it slow and play the Food Network or a good movie in the background that it's not so much a chore, but more just a time of taking care of me and my family.

Speaking of family, Chris is gone for the day at a conference, Ian is sleeping in and I am starting the day off with my usual coffee sippin', blog writin', hangin' in my pj's routine. Oh Saturday...thanks for showing up right on time. I sure do love you.

ps...I just glanced up at my ceiling fan and realized I need to add one more chore to the list...yikes, is it ever dusty!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

this morning...

this was from the other night...we took a little drive
This morning...
  • the coffee is hot and strong. I need it.
  • I awoke to rain coming down outside my window and instantly knew today was going to be OK.
  • lunches and snacks are packed...a mini cooler for the boy and a flowery tote for me.
  • I've been up for about an hour and I'm almost awake...it takes me a while. I get up early for the sole purpose of moving slow and taking my time. It works for me. 
So far, so good...
Have a good day...xo

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wednesday in the Word

I need a renewing...


Tuesday, September 23, 2014


I am not a high-maintenance kinda gal. (At least not physically ;)

I keep things pretty simple...jeans or a maxi skirt, t-shirts layered over tank tops, flats, a scarf or necklace to jazz things up, always a pair of earrings and hair pulled back in a pony tail. (I try and try to wear my hair down, but it ends up driving me crazy, so up it goes.)

As for beauty aides? Simple drug store items work for me...Neutrogena face wash, a light moisturizer, Loreal mascara in Black, Jovan Musk and lipstick (I am currently using Mary Kay, Raisinberry) with a bit of Burt's Bee's gloss in Flutter on top for some shimmer.

Done. That's it.


What's your favorite beauty item?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Oh, Monday...

Trying to stay positive.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday morning...

Did you get that? It's O-KAY.

As a matter of fact, it's that little bit of brokenness that often times speaks to others. It draws them to you so that you can let them know that it's gonna be OK, that they're not alone on this crazy, wild, amazing, frustrating, exhilarating, adventure called life. 

So just be yourself. And go easy on yourself. 
We're all a little broken...and that's okay. xo

Saturday, September 20, 2014

I feel like I just keep talking about the same things over and over...

Work, the weather, food. Work, the weather, food. It seems that's all I talk about lately.

But I guess that's life, huh? Whatever season we're in is what we're going to talk about. (Even if it is boring and repetitive...)

When I started to blog in June of 2008 it was with the intention of sharing frugal meal ideas. That first blog was titled The Frugal Feast. And that's the season I was in...our finances were tight and I needed to get creative in feeding my family good food on a budget. And I did...I learned so much during that time, things I still employ even though finances are a bit more stable these days.

However, blogging only about frugality got old fast. I didn't like feeling like that was the only thing I had to talk about. I wanted to share more than just food and frugal ideas but felt confined by my blog title. So I stopped writing.

One day, months later, I was at a friend's house picking figs...we were talking about family and life and God. It was a good afternoon. We were under the canopy of her three, huge fig trees and I felt a nudge from God to begin blogging again. I liked the idea of writing again...but what would the blog be called?

I wanted it to be called something with biblical meaning but not religious. As I visited with my friend, picking figs, avoiding the ones the deer had nibbled, I began praying about a title and the words Give a Girl a Fig came to mind. Kind of like if you give a mouse a cookie, what are all the things it will do? It was sort of the same idea...that whatever was given to me, either by a sweet friend or by God, how would I make good use of it? How would I share it? How would I be a good steward of that which is provided to me? How would it grow and spread to others?

I came home that day with boxes of beautiful figs...hot, sweaty and with dried fig leaves in my hair...and a full heart knowing that God was prompting me to start another blog, but this time with Him in the center of it. Not only was I to share about my life, but also about God.

So, shortly thereafter I created Give a Girl a Fig. And I've done my best to share about life...the good times and the bad. I've done my best to share about God...His goodness, His provision, His grace and mercy...that He's real and that He loves us.

Over the past six years the point of view here has gone from stay at home mom trying to stretch her pennies by making things from scratch and growing her own to... full time working mom who is going to take advantage of modern food conveniences all in the name of at least just getting something edible on the table.

But one thing that hasn't changed here is my love for God. And His love for me. And my reliance and dependence on Him. And His faithfulness and care toward me. That has remained the same. And for that I am eternally grateful...that I love a good God who is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Situations change and evolve, we change and evolve...and through it all, God is there, steady...guiding, loving, providing, teaching.

Maybe I should have said that all I talk about here is...work, the weather, food and God.

Friday, September 19, 2014

It's Friday!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wednesday in the Word

Love is everywhere.

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, 
love one another, be compassionate and humble. 
1 Peter 3:8

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Donner Lake at dusk.

I need a little extra peace today... xo

Monday, September 15, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

So this meal planning thing is going pretty good. (For what? All of ONE WEEK? Ha!)

I don't necessarily cook everything I plan to cook. But it's good to know that the options are there and already thought out.

Last week we had the pizza (that was an easy one!). And I served the stuffed peppers with the leftover barbecue ribs to make thema bit more palatable for the guys. As it turns out they both liked the peppers, but agreed that next time I should omit the italian seasoning in the tomato sauce and add more cheese. Okie dokie! I can do that! (And honestly, I can't say when I'll make stuffed peppers again...I get a hankering for them about once a year...so...)

Tuesday I decided to go to bible study at the last minute so everyone fended for themselves...cereal, sandwiches, whatever they could find.

Thursday Chris was gone for the evening, as was Ian, so we all just sort of did our own thing that night, too.

Then last night we went out to eat to celebrate some family birthdays. That was easy!

So...out of five meal ideas on the table for last week (Get it? See what I did there?) I used two of them.

That means that a few of them will go on this week's menu, making planning all the easier!

One thing that needs to happen, no matter what, is that I need to do our menu planning based on what I already have in the freezer. Our freezer is jam packed with food. Packed. Like, almost no room for anything else. I tend to stock up when meat is on sale. Couple that with not cooking and you get one full freezer. I keep adding to it without taking away. So...the next few weeks our meals will revolve around meats I already have. No biggie...

What's on this week's menu, you ask?

BLT's - either with salad, or frozen fries
Kielbasa and fried potatoes with salad
Greek marinated chicken thighs with couscous and salad
French toast with fresh fruit
Quesadillas, rice and black beans with cumin and lime

Nothing fancy...but we're not gonna starve!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Sunday morning...

I'm trying.


Saturday is the new Friday.

I don't know what the perfectly round shiny little dot is.

Before I began working outside the home, and when the boys were younger, Friday was my favorite day of the week. I loved that we'd all be home and could hang out, watch movies, stay up late, have sleepovers and just relax. Something about Fridays made me let out a deep exhale.

Now that I'm working full-time, however, Saturdays have become my new favorite. Don't get me wrong, I do love me a Friday...nothing like turning off the alarm...for good. Nothing like the promise of the weekend ahead. Not to mention, Fridays can be a bit more relaxed in the work place, which is nice. But still, you are at work. And if you're anything like me, you're exhausted on Friday night after a long work week and can't really stay up to enjoy it.

So, that being said...Saturday is my new favorite.

Sleeping in (if I wanted to), slow mornings sipping coffee, reading blogs, watching cooking shows. Time to breathe slow, move slow and just be.

There's no rush. I like that.

Take today for instance. It's after 1pm and I am still in my pajamas. Now, this is not the norm as I usually like to at least get up, get clean, get dressed, get ready for the day, even if I am not planning on going anywhere. But today I guess time got away from me...so here I am, still in pj's.

Even still I did some writing, I did some cooking, I did some washing...the day is not a total loss. And we have dinner plans with some new friends later this afternoon, so that is something nice to look forward to. I'm bringing dessert (even though I don't bake much)...looks like we'll be swinging by the bakery on the way to their house.

How about you? What's your favorite day of the week? Friday? Saturday? Or maybe you're a Monday person? (You never know...it could happen!)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wednesday in the Word

Sometimes, when times are particularly dark, 
and words escape me, the only prayer I can think of is...
"God, please hear my heart."

And you know what?
He does.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

anxiously awaiting fall.

Donner...where temps are always cooler.

I am so ready for fall. SO READY. I'm ready for cool mornings and gray skies and rain. I'm ready for pots of soup and roasting dinner in the oven. I'm ready for closed toe shoes and sweaters. OK, maybe not close toed shoes, I'm never ready for those. But everything else? Ready. (Broken record, I know. But I can't help it. I'm so over summer!)

Unfortunately, the weather man doesn't agree as we are in for hot temperatures for another little while, hovering right around 95 for the next week or so (at least). It's not uncommon for it to be hot here even on Halloween. Or, it could rain. You just never know. With that in mind, I guess we could have to deal with hot weather for another 6 weeks or so. Oh, how I hope not!

Even still, changes are happening...the garden is withering away, the light is changing, the mornings and nights are cooler, there is moisture on the windshield as I head off to work. It's happening. It is. Just ever so slowly...

Monday, September 8, 2014

Menu plan Monday.

twice baked potatoes awaiting their second bake.
these got flash frozen for later use.
So I wonder if I commit to the whole Menu Plan Monday thing if I will actually create a menu each week? Let's give it a try, shall we?

pizza and salad (quick and easy for weeknight dinner guests)
Stuffed bell peppers
sweet and sour meatballs and peppers over rice
Sausage and fried potatoes

 I am going to assign meals for the week, but not necessarily for the day.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunday afternoon...

Saturday, September 6, 2014

slow Saturday...

It's Saturday and I'm doing my usual, sipping coffee, catching up on blogs, doing a little blogging of my own and not rushing. Not that I rush during the week, I'm not a good rush-er no matter what day it is. I need time. I wake up early just so I can have time to putter, read, sip coffee, listen to Joyce Meyer and the news and wake up slow. Rushing stresses me out. And gets me off to a rough start. So I make sure that I don't have to.

We're going to head to a gathering later this afternoon...Chris told the host I'd bring pasta salad. I'm getting it going early...that way it's nice and chilled and the flavors have time to settle in together. I keep it pretty simple...tri-color rotini, red onion, bell pepper, olives, some tomato, maybe some parmesan cheese and whatever bottled vinaigrette I have on hand...I think I've got a Newman's Own in there that will be tasty.

In the meantime I guess I'll do the usual around here....tidy up a bit, tumble some laundry, wipe down surfaces and vacuum floors...the leaves are falling outside and we track them in faster than I can sweep them up. The price you pay for a gargantuan shade tree, I suppose.

We went to dinner at mom and dad's last night, an impromptu gathering. They remodeled their kitchen recently and are getting rid of lots of stuff so I went through a few boxes to see what I "needed".

Um...you guessed it, nothing. I needed nothing. But did that stop me from bringing home a giant bag of stuff? No. No it didn't. I tried to keep my choices useful...things that I will actually use. And I did good, I practiced restraint. I did. But I also grabbed an item or two that aren't useful, but they are special.

One item is a cute plate that Noni got for mom as a gift years ago (it has a chicken on it!) and the other is a vintage light-up Christmas tree that was my dad's aunt's. I actually can't wait to display it at Christmas.

Hold on. Wait. Wait just a minute. Did I just say "I can't wait" in reference to anything Christmas?

Oh dear...this could be bad. I better go take my temperature...something must be wrong with me!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wednesday in the Word

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.  -2 Timothy 4:2-6

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

cats in the garden.

Whenever we're in the garden the cats come to join us. They like to sit nearby and watch us dig or water or harvest. Bear likes to hide under the plants and practice his hunting skills on unsuspecting bugs. Pablo is more chill...preferring to be an observer....maybe rubbing up against your leg now and then to let you know he's there.

Monday, September 1, 2014

September 1

Bear in Noni's water fountain. 

It's September. Already. That means Autumn is coming (granted...it comes a lot later around here, but it gets here eventually). I breathe a sigh of relief just thinking about it. I'm so looking forward to cool, crisp air, gray skies and rain, rain, rain. We didn't get near enough rain last winter.

I know...some people think it's weird. But I can't help it..I love the rain. Always have.

Today is a bonus day off...and I'm grateful for it. I think we should switch to a four day work week across the board. When I was a counselor in a group home I worked four, ten hour shifts then had three days off. It was great. One day to work, one day to play, one day to rest. And when it was time to return to work, I was ready. I don't suppose I could convince our entire society to switch?

So on this bonus day you will find me preparing food for this week's meals, doing a bit of laundry, blogging, demanding a few shows that I missed last week and maybe watching a movie. It's a good day to stay inside as it's supposed to hit 100 degrees. Bleh.

I actually made a loose menu plan for this coming week. I am finally planning meals, just not saying what day I'll make them. (Ha! I'm getting closer!) There will be crock pot ribs, kielbasa and fried potatoes, pastrami paninis and oven baked tacos.

I did a big grocery shop with a friend yesterday and as I crammed even more food into my already full upright freezer I realized that next week's menu plan needs to use up what we already have. Well, next week's menu, and the week after that, and the week after that, and maybe even the week after that! I tend to stock up on meat when it's on sale. So let's just say, I've got plenty to choose from.

And just out of curiosity, do you ever grocery shop with a friend? I gotta tell ya, it sure takes the drudgery out of that chore. I shop with a friend periodically and I really like it. It's a good way to multi-task...time with a friend and getting your chores done. It's even more fun if you throw in a lunch date or grab a coffee along the way.

Anyway...that's about all I got for right now...gonna make the most of my bonus day. I thought to maybe head out of town for the day, do something fun, but the idea of fighting traffic and crowds didn't appeal to me. I'm not big on doing big things on big weekends. I'd rather do something big when nobody else is. Such a party pooper, I know.

Not to mention, it's hot. I though a hike would be fun, or a canoe ride or something outdoors. But...it's just too dang hot. So...staying home and cooking and scrubbing it is. Doesn't that sound so much better?!

Enjoy your Labor Day...xo