Friday, March 29, 2019

Five Things for Friday

1. This week I've been CRAVING Panera's Green Goddess Cobb with Chicken Salad. I've thought about it many times every day. This is not unusual for me. My love for this salad cannot be overstated. I've been eating it for a few years and I can never get enough. I just had one for lunch last Saturday and I'm going to try to get another one this weekend. I usually customize mine by adding extra avocado and dressing (the dressing is soooo good!) and cancelling the bacon. I LOVE THIS SALAD! And I love Panera for making it!

2. Speaking of chicken, on Tuesdays I usually make a crockpot chicken dinner because Sam's piano lesson is at 5:00 so it's nice to come home to dinner that's already pretty much made. My love for crockpot chicken is another thing that cannot be overstated. I call it "crackpot chicken" because the chicken is so tender and warm and flavorful when I sample it directly from the crockpot that I usually can't stop myself from taking several more bites. I have a serious love for crackpot chicken!  

3. I was going through an old list of blogs I used to read and almost every single one of them is no longer active. Ten years ago the blogging community was very active and there were so many bloggers who were supportive of one another--I had a lot of "blog friends" and we'd comment on each other's blogs all the time and we got to know each other pretty well through our blogs, but so much of that has gone away over the last several years. Now it's almost non-existent. There are the big popular money-making blogs and the small personal ones like mine and not too much in between, whereas there used to be a lot more in between and many, many more smaller blogs. I guess people don't blog as much anymore because it's not as trendy and popular and "new" as it once was, and I'm sure the rise of social media has a lot to do with it too. Plus, life is busy (but it was busy back then too, wasn't it?).

In any case, I continue to blog because the medium works for me. In large part it has replaced scrapbooking and photo albums for me. I have my blog printed out in books every so often so that we have physical copies of the family memories and other things that I chose to write about. It's also a good creative outlet for writing and picture-taking, so it helps me to keep my skills up.

I don't really blog that much for an audience anymore, although having a small one helps keep me motivated to edit and make things look nice (and I'm so thankful for every person who regularly takes the time to read my humble little blog!). I think I'll disable comments since hardly anyone ever comments anymore anyway. If you want to talk to me about something I post, talk to me or email or text me about it (or just fume about it to yourself, ha ha). I guess that's my way of modernizing my blog, instead of giving up on it altogether as so many others have done--and I don't mean that judgementally at all. I can definitely see how blogging can easily fall by the wayside and not be a priority in life for so many people. I just happen to have the time and desire to keep on doing it.

So even though there have been several close calls in which my blog has almost disappeared (and did in fact once actually disappear, thanks once again to the maddening antics of Google/Blogger), The Doll Sweet Journal is still very much alive and kicking! There was that big hiccup over the last few months when I couldn't post my pictures, but I defeated Google/Blogger once again in that battle and came out victorious. 🙌

4. The best news story I heard this week is about a Market Basket grocery store here in Massachusetts that is rumored to be haunted. A Victorian-era female ghost has apparently been spotted there by several people. How cool is that?! I'm certain that ghosts do exist because of some memorable experiences I've had and also because of my religious beliefs. So I believe this story could very well be true. One of the best things about this story is the Market Basket spokesperson's statement that the ghost must be attracted to their Victorian-era prices. What a great plug! 😂 

5. March passed quickly and really did come in like a lion and is going out like a lamb. We finally got the big snowstorm that I waited for all winter, and now I'm ready for spring. Some things I'm looking forward to in April are General Conference (in which I hope they'll announce that early-morning seminary is no longer going to be in the early morning and will instead maybe be part of the new youth program that's being developed to replace Scouts and the other youth programs. John starts seminary in the fall and I'm not looking forward to the super-early mornings, plus I don't think they make a lot of sense for the nocturnal circadian rhythms of teenagers. One can hope!)...okay where was I? I'm also excited about our Universal Studios vacation to Orlando, and Easter. And the warmer temperatures and budding blossoms and the overall general loveliness of spring. Bring it on!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

January 2018 Phone Pics

The Bas Bleu catalog has the best covers for book lovers!

I'd almost always rather be reading!

Victorian Trading Co. has some good catalog covers too. I like this lady's dress as well as the whole romantic scene. 💘

This spoke to me enough that I took a picture of it that day, and now it's made the cut to appear on my blog. These are wise words from President Thomas S. Monson.

This was a very cold day! (stating the obvious)

This other day was not that bad by comparison! (But still bad...I don't miss Iowa's frigid winter temperatures!)

Score one for Massachusetts! My favorite cookie turns out to be from my home state!

I liked the front and back covers of Anne of Green Gables that I saw at Barnes & Noble. It was the special B&N edition.

This will probably be my last phone pictures post for awhile (dry your eyes) because the last couple of times I've uploaded my phone pics to Shutterfly, Shutterfly has interspersed them by date with all of my other photos. I don't like this at all. It was much better when they allowed you to make your own albums when you uploaded pictures--it's so much easier to keep things organized that way. I'm not going to comb through thousands of pictures trying to pick out the phone pictures I want to include on my blog, so...c'est la vie to that! In the future I'll try to figure out a work-around, because I do take some good/relevant/funny pictures with my phone (if I do say so myself), but for the rest of my 2018 posts, there probably won't be many (or any) pictures from my phone.

Added a few days later: Never mind! I figured out a way around it. It was pretty simple too! 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019


There was a magical morning in January 2018 in Iowa City, Iowa when everything outside looked like it was covered in gleaming frosty crystals. It was like the world of Frozen come to life. I hurried out to to take pictures from the side of the house before the sun melted this beautiful frozen world away!

If I'd been dressed in clothes instead of pajamas and not busy getting the kids ready for school, I would have walked out and taken some close-up shots of the frost-covered branches and scenery, but by the time the kids were off and I was presentable enough to be seen by neighbors, this magical world had melted away. 

Winter certainly does have its beautiful moments!

Monday, March 25, 2019

January 2018 Randoms

Here's what January of last year was like as far as my camera was concerned...

I liked the cover of the January PBS TV guide. Victoria is one of my favorite shows.

John had a gymnastics meet in St. Louis. He did well!

Here he was waiting to do his rings routine. Rings was one of his best events.

While we were in St. Louis, we went to the City Museum. It was the most unique, hard-to-describe, funhouse type of museum I've ever been to. I'd love to go back at some point. My pictures really don't do it any justice!

Sam found a giant geode there. 

Check out that ceiling! 

Dinnertime in our house is a time to be fed physically and spiritually--it's when we eat and read scriptures together as a family.

Hedwig had her own place at the table thanks to Sam (but no food. Well, except for spiritual food 😄).

A bouquet of pretty pale pink mini roses that I got at Costco. Pale pink roses are one of my favorite things.

I think I took a picture of this because I opened the fridge and this little tower of healthy yummy foods looked picturesque. It's hummus and organic blueberries and raspberries.

Valentine's Day and winter decorations

Peter had a birthday!
John's room was clean and organized (mostly thanks to me) and I took pictures to document it.

 Sam and I read The Boxcar Children together for school. It was fun reading it with him. I liked the series when I was a kid. Today, over a year later, we're still reading Boxcar Children mysteries together on a regular basis. We both like mysteries!
 And last but not least, one of my favorite wintertime cocoa with whipped cream on top!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

December Sunrise

I was poking around my computer desktop files and came across these pictures from December 2016 that I never posted on the blog but meant to. So after patiently waiting for two years, they're finally having their moment in the spotlight! 👏


I've said it before and I'll say it again: I miss my Iowa views!

Phone Pics, November-December 2017

This was at dinner at The Chocolate Emporium at Universal Studios Orlando. The restaurant has a cool steampunk theme and these two "steampunkers" (my word) were walking around talking to people as they sat at their tables.

Sam took these two pictures at SeaWorld:

Cute towel at a diner we ate lunch at on the way to the airport at the end of our Orlando trip.

I can do that!

A catalog cover I liked. Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong era.

The owl sheet mask from Target that I had to get. See yesterday's post for the funny pics!

An awesome Labyrinth t-shirt that I bought from Zulily and only got to wear like twice because it shrunk so fast. So cheap! I should have ordered it in a size XL so that I could have worn it a few more times! 

Interesting thoughts from Mr. Carnegie. (Not sure why I felt the need to take a picture of this, but okay.)

A big picturesque pile of pineapples at HyVee

After about six years of fun, I sold the Jungle Jumparoo because the boys had pretty much outgrown it and didn't use it that much anymore. Thanks for the good times JJ!

At Orchestra Iowa's annual Christmas concert in Cedar Rapids. They did such a great job with their Christmas concerts! They were one of my favorite things to attend each December.

John on Christmas Eve in his new Patriots shirt. I texted this picture to his cousin/my niece Hayley, who's the one who got it for him.

This is from Penn's alumni magazine. This lady is my kindred spirit!

Paddington 2 was a great movie!

My blingy Kate Spade owl ring and earrings that Peter got me for Christmas. I made it easy for him by sending him the website links, and was well-rewarded for my efforts. 😊