Happy Saturday! Welcome to our weekly ‘Three Things” post where you’ll find a peek into my week and some things that are making me happy.
Three things is just how I start and organize this, though – I throw in bonuses and often links to some fun recipes, diy projects, and garden ideas that I find inspirational or helpful. So, yeah – you’ll want to read to the end! (Note: the links I provide are often affiliate links, though not always.)
I have been wanting a way to listen to audiobooks for awhile without paying the usually big bucks, but always ran into the issue of living rurally and not being a part of a library system. This last year our daughter moved to town for college and got a library card that I could share, except she uses the only library app I’d heard of, Overdrive, so I was stuck. A few weeks ago I learned about another app that allows you to borrow digital items using your library card, Hoopla, and I’m in love! Can I just say audiobooks rock? I was so giddy browsing all the titles I could borrow my heart was actually racing, ha!
It might help you to know I’m a big library girl and going to our Portland libraries – with and without the kids – was like Christmas to me. Sometimes I just couldn’t believe that they’d let me take all those treasures home! And so the last decade living rurally without an awesome library at my disposal has been sad for me, making this all the more sweet.
I will say that I learned with the very first book that hearing someone else’s interpretation of the book can be a bit of a downer – especially in the two non-fiction books I started with. They just didn’t read it like I think I would’ve and one in particular made the author sound a lot more condescending than I think it would’ve if I had read it. Minor issue, though, compared to the big picture = books read! Up next is a fiction, which I think will be better.
So yeah, Hoopla is the thing for me right now. 🙂 Oh, and the links here are for the web version – go to your app store on your phone or tablet to download the app to listen/read/watch on them – it will look like this:
Don’t even pay attention to the ratings stars – if Overdrive doesn’t work for you, this is perfect! (It isn’t quite as user-friendly, but it works fine).
And guess what? I’ve already completed two books in the two weeks since downloading the app and am almost finished with a third! You cannot imagine how happy this makes my multi-tasking, box-checking, get-things-done heart. These are going on my 2015 Books Read list and since I’m still reading ‘normal’ books, be prepared for my humble goal of 1 book a month to be blown out of the water, ha! Here are my brief reviews of these two books:
So very weird. I bet you’ve heard a lot about this book already and I’m thinking the reviews didn’t start this way, right? Don’t get me wrong, there are great ideas here – I truly believe getting rid of piles of unused stuff does make you feel different and affects your mental well-being – and I plan to implement her method (the “KonMari” method) to clean by category, all at once. But oh, man, was I ever laughing (out loud – while listening with earbuds…) at some of her ideas and thoughts!! While I had read that she advocated thanking your clothes for their service before tossing them (whatever…), she goes much further:
- Socks are on a vacation in our drawers and aren’t allowed to rest if they’re bundled up in little balls (i.e., hooked together so you can find them…).
- Empty the entire contents of your purse/bag every night – how would you feel if you had to sleep with all that weight?
- Greet your house every time you return and than it for keeping everything while you’ve been gone.
And then this, which didn’t make me laugh, but just feel sorry for her: she says she was a lonely child and felt her first unconditional love from her personal objects. Oh gosh, that’s just sad, right? So the takeaway is: take the good stuff and leave the rest. And remember – she’s not married, a mom, and her job is tidying. Whenever she’d say, “that may seem like a lot of time (for this little thing)” I’d remind myself of this!
Oh man, the reader of this audiobook was terrible! He reminded me of those 20/20-48 Hours show hosts who say things in such a way as to sensationalize it for ratings or something. Ugh. This book though, is meant for controversy, I think. You can see it in the Amazon ratings – people either love it or hate it. And the author is NOT saying that there is no celiac disease or true gluten sensitivity (the history of celiac disease was super interesting – the best part of the book, I thought), just that anti-gluten has gotten out of hand (which I do agree with – sheesh, the bottle of lemonade I bought the other day had “gluten free” written in big letters on it, wha-ha?). He talks about the history of a lot of food fads, which I also found really interesting.
You all know I’m a firm believer in moderation in all types of food – that’s how I’ve reached my healthiest weight ever and I’m rarely sick. So that’s another thing I agree with the author about. BUT, I do think our American diet is heavy on sugar and grain-based carbs, and he seems to think none of it matters – just eat anything you want.
I believe that changing what we eat can make a big difference to our lives. That’s why just going to a real, whole-foods diet can make huge changes for people. Sometimes, though, that change to a whole-foods diet was brought on by an issue and gluten (sugar, fat, etc.) was the thing that became the focus. Better health and wellness resulted – but was that due to the lack of a specific food or the fact that the diet was overall healthier than previously? Is it short term? Sustainable? Able to translate to others? This is why nutrition science is so difficult.
And this is one of the things I got from the book: nutrition science is one of the hardest sciences since it is almost impossible to not have a lot of things happening at once. And it’s anecdotal. And based on our recollection. And memories. And highly influenced by the placebo affect (which I think is real and a good thing, not bad, if it helps wellness – I see it as a way of our mind helping our bodies!). And I think it’s wise to always, always be leery of people who stand to make a lot of money from their point of view – especially when it’s not backed up anywhere else.
Am I endorsing this book? No – I especially didn’t appreciate his take on myths and religion – but you may want to check it out from the library and skim through the history parts, they really are very educational and eye-opening.
Did you know that this humble, metal, everybody-probably-has-one, steamer basket you place in a saucepan is the answer to hard cooking eggs that are consistently easy to peel? Me neither! Until we visited with my cousin in California and she clued me in by serving easy-to-peel soft/medium “boiled” eggs for breakfast she cooked this way. She had read about it in Cooks Illustrated and I came home, Googled it and saw that many others have found success with this cooking method, too.
My family loves, loves, loves hard boiled eggs – plain, deviled, egg salad, you name it – and cooking them perfectly (no gray rings) while peeling without half the whites clinging to the shells has always been an issue. For years. I’ve tried all the different ways to cook them (boil a minute, leave to sit for 12 minutes; low boil; 10 minute boil; oven cook; vinegar water, etc.) and none of them ever worked consistently to produce easy-to-peel eggs.
So I tried it and it worked beautifully! Here’s how to use this steam method:
- Fill bottom of a saucepan with about an inch of water to just below the bottom of the steamer basket.
- Place steamer basket in pan, cover and bring water to a boil.
- Add eggs, replace cover, and reduce heat a bit to keep a low boil (like steaming vegetables).
- Set timer for 7-8 minutes for soft/medium boiled, 13-14 minutes for hard boiled (you may find you want to adjust these times by a minute or so each way depending on the desired consistency – cook a few first to find the perfect time for you).
- Just before timer goes off, fill a bowl big enough for the amount of eggs you’re cooking with cold water and add ice cubes.
- When done, use a spoon to transfer the eggs from the pan to the ice water and let set until cooled slightly. Eat right away or refrigerate for a week or so.
Many times after using one of the other methods, the eggs would peel fine right away, but be totally stuck to the shell after a few days in the fridge. Not these – they peel easily after days of storage. I’m SO happy to finally find the actual perfect way to
boil hard-cook eggs!
Have any of you cooked your eggs this way?
Three Fun Links:
1. I’ve had some readers asking about what to plant for fall – here’s a list of 15 vegetables you can plant in autumn.
2. 21 easy slow cooker meals – with side dish ideas, too.
3. Love this Ikea Tarva dresser turned into an apothecary cabinet!
Like these links? I’m always pinning these and lots more – follow me on Pinterest for more inspiration and ideas!
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