important nothings blog

"which of all my important nothings should i tell you first?" – jane austen


March 2014

Pinterest fail – gluten free pancakes.

We decided to have pancakes for dinner. Which is something we almost never do…but it was cold outside and it just felt like a good dinner option.

I had read online about making pancakes with bananas and egg – no flour! gluten free! guilt free!  We only had a couple of bananas, so in my constant quest to sneak healthy food into our diet, I thought that I would make some regular pancakes – and then make some of these banana pancakes…and have a pancake duel at dinner.

That wasn’t necessary.

Here are the pancakes.  Take a guess at which one is the gluten free one?2014 pinterest fail pancake

Let me mention too that they really didn’t taste good.  They tasted like bananas cooked with eggs with syrup on them. Maybe it’s an acquired taste. Maybe I just really like pancakes to, well, taste somewhat like cake.

Pan + Cake. go figure.

Since this time, I have found a few other blogs that have said that you really should add things like baking powder, cinnamon, peanut butter…these thing all make sense just to fix the consistency.  I’ll probably try to make these again – but I will probably be alone. And I will probably document it again if it is another massive failure… but until then. Gluten-free 2 ingredient pancakes. #Pinterestfail


Seriously – I say this all the time – but if you shop online and you don’t check ebates first, you are just giving away money.  This is our money saving year – and ebates fits in great.ebates check

We bought some of our Christmas gifts online this year – you probably did too – but did you get a check back for $71 after Christmas?  If you didn’t, well – you just missed out.

Here’s a linksign up – you’re welcome.




The Lenten inspiration

“Seemingly small gestures can have a big impact…”

This year, for Lent…

This year, for Lent, you may know I’m reading a devotional that I’m flat out giddy about…sadly, it’s a bit hard to find.  I should have shared this earlier…


But what else?  I know that this is a season where many people give up something…but I know that if I gave up sweets or chocolate or wine – I would say that it’s because of Lent…but it would honestly be more of a test on if I could do it – or because it would be a great way to lose a few pounds over the next 6 weeks.  Lets be honest, when someone says “here eat a brownie” if you say “it’s Lent” they don’t badger you on it.  They go – “oh, that’s cool” and then they eat the brownie.

I want to be honest about that. (Plus I did give up sugar one year. And then on Easter I ate a box of marshmallow peeps.  And then I threw up.)

At church on Sunday, part of the sermon was about light in the darkness.  And then I saw a sweet video about an elderly woman who waves at school children as they walk by her house each day.  This Valentine’s Day, the teens honored her because they knew, no matter how bad their day was, she would be there with a smile and a wave.

So I decided that’s what I could take up this season.  Highlighting the people  who do whatever they can do be a light.  Not big organizations. Not famous people (ok – maybe a few famous people)… but just folks that I run into who make a difference.  I bet many of them don’t even know it.

I was going to post one today – but I decided that a picture would need to be added…so tomorrow I’ll need to start documenting…until then…

Remember that lent and ash Wednesday is not just about putting away the bad things. It is about creating good things and helping the poor and the needy, being kind to people and much more.
~ Jacob Winters

Lent, and seeing clearly…

ice lentYesterday C and I went for a ride to go pick up our dogs from the groomer.  It was the second snowday in a row, and while the roads were clear, the remnants of the ice that had hampered traffic and business the day before were beautifully evident on the trees on the hillsides.

It may be March, but it’s not apparent on this road.  The grass is browned and the trees are bare from the long winter. But this day, the brown bare trees glistened from the ice as the sun tries to appear.

The landscape of Tennessee was stunning. You couldn’t help but want to soak in the simple beauty.

I started to see things I hadn’t noticed before. I wondered about a road that has been hidden by the leaves and made a note to find it one day, partially for the experience and noting that could be a great shortcut next time traffic backs up.

I got to admire beautiful homes that were now exposed without the covering of leaves.  Creeks and valleys unknown to me suddenly appeared between the road and the horizon. And while we have driven this road countless times, this was the first time I was able to take in the view with this sort of clarity.

We chatted about how C used to live on a mountain, and most of the year, the view from their home was just leaves. And more leaves. And more trees.  But in the winter, you could see homes, roads, hillsides, and their small town below.

Maybe that’s a way of looking at Lent. A few weeks focused on stripping away distractions and coverings to be able to see. Clearly. To be able to re-direct your path and get a better vision of the horizon.

And then when the promise of spring arrives, I know I can enjoy the beauty of green grass, budding flowers and leaves and warming air, while being grounded in my new understanding of the road to follow.

Ok – so this is one of those things that I am not sure how I lived this long without knowing….

Our awesome friend Marla was over – I had made brownies.  I went to cut them and, of course, a bunch of the dough stuck to the knife.  We like our brownies undercooked a bit, and I just thought that was how it worked….metal knife brownieThen Marla said “why don’t you use a plastic knife?”

My mind was blown. Sure enough -plastic knife, no stick. Metal knife, brownie massacre.plastic knifeThere you have it. Older. Wiser. Better looking brownies.

Save money. Eat Thai food

Ok – it’s still the budget year.  We are doing ok – but I have not been anywhere near as diligent as I should be.  I’m holding true and have still not had more than 1 drink when we’ve been out. I’ve clipped WAY more coupons than before…

But I may have found the best saving piece of the puzzle.  Deliciousness from the little Asian grocery stores in the neighborhood.  Soy Sauce is at least a dollar less than at the grocery store – and in WAY bigger bottles.  Frozen and fresh veggies are cheaper.  But this is my new secret weapon.

soup 1Exhibit A

$1.89.  Can of Tom Yum soup.  It has pieces of lemongrass, a hot red pepper, and giant mushrooms in the can…then you can add in chicken or shrimp if you want. But you don’t need to.  This tastes exactly like the soup I get at our local Thai restaurant – only with a $2.00 savings.

This soup isn’t for the faint of heart. I just had this for dinner. My throat has been bugging me for a few days…but no longer.  I also can’t feel my lips. But it was SO delicious.

soup 2

So you don’t have to buy a bunch of strange ingredients to eat Thai at home.  You don’t need to overspend whenever you get a craving.  And chances are, you have an international grocery somewhere near you. I know of 4 within a few miles of our home.  They are all small, all in strip malls, and all of them are run by wonderful, hard working new Americans, who are going after their own dream.

I vote to support small business.  Support new Americans. And eat really delicious food…

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