Honey Dijon Salmon - Failed Attempt

I just want to let you know beforehand that, 
I am not including this recipe with these photos.
The reason I'm not including it is because it wasn't good enough.
I decided I don't want to post recipes unless I absolutely love the recipe.

I think this was a recipe-gone-wrong because I kind of guessed with a lot of it.
It was meant for grilling, but it's freezing outside so that was not an option.
I also didn't include the asparagus or Worcestershire sauce.
Also,for some reason I read corn meal instead of cornstarch..
Yea, I know. Way to go, Evie.

Anywho, if you want to try it the way it was meant to be, click here.

We used couscous as our side. 
That part actually came out delicious.

So here it is, my failed attempt at honey dijon salmon:

First, I thawed the frozen salmon filets.

Then, I made the sauce.

Then, I chopped up some walnuts.

Then, I got some foil out and put it all together.

Then, Ruben made some couscous.

Finally, we ate it.

Don't be fooled. It wasn't as good as it may sound or look. 
Well, the couscous was.
I'll try it again another time and if it comes out better I'll let you know.

Have a great weekend!


It's not the Way that is Should be

Recently, we made friends with some of the guys who live across the back alley behind us. The main friend we made is named KD. I wanted to hug him as soon as I met him (he looks like he's a really good hugger), but I didn't cause that would have been super weird of me. We let them borrow some tools to install their new system. They worked hard for 3 days and we caught up with him every time we came home. When they were done he looked like a little kid with a new toy. He was super excited to use his new system he and his friends have worked so hard to install. They spent the last day thoroughly cleaning the old van to make it look as perfect as possible. I told him I liked the blue lights he has on the new radio/mini tv he installed and he said he might put some in the back. I told him he had to cause it would look awesome. He doesn't have them yet, but assured me he was going to get them. When Ruben mentioned how hard they have been working on this the past few days KD responded with, "you know, just trying to stay out of trouble." 

If you know where I live, you know that it's not the best neighborhood in Chicago. I was so encouraged to meet this young guy who is breaking the chains. Breaking this cycle of a life that is not productive, but instead very painful and destructive. He is a hard worker and so are his friends. They give me hope. Hope that the next generation of this neighborhood and neighborhoods alike will break the cycle. Will see there is another way. Will stop the violence and increase the peace. I hope that the younger ones will see there is another way. I know that we are living here for a reason. I hope that we can do something to help. I hope that we can be what we need to be here for our neighbors. Likewise, I hope they can be what they need to be for us. We can help each other learn and grow in so many beautiful ways.  We can work together to do something great here. I hope to still be here when (not if) something great happens.

There are too many words to explain how heavy my heart has been for the people in my neighborhood. I want to help. I want to love. I want to serve. I want to provide a way out, but I don't know how, yet. Thankfully, I believe in a God who does.

I really liked this song when I heard it. You may not like it, and that's ok. 
Since it's my blog, I wanted to share it.

Jahaziel - In My Neighbourhood

Everyday another gun gets manufactured 
Another man's blasted
Some blame gangster rappers
I ain't trying to say gangster rap's the problem
But it don't solve them and it keeps on revolving
And nothing won't change lest we change
And if you wanna see change then be changed
And rearrange your thought pattern towards action
Cos if we do nothing then nothing what's gonna happen
As for this thing we call rapping
Time to use in it's true power and give the youth power
Cos death and life is found in the power of the tongue 
and it's not in the barrel of a gun
I'm shocked at how has become
Every coward's got a gun and 
They're letting shots shower in the slum
Young soldier's bling for gun culture
They the one's dying 
Who's flying the guns over? 

It ain't the way that I would wish it, but it's just the way it is…
In My Neighbourhood
It's not the way it should be, but it's just the way they live…
In My Neighbourhood

I'm waving a white flag
Trying to make somebody aware and be like 
'Dag, how did we get here?' 
Cos by this time next year another young buck 
Loses the chance to breathe fresh air
That's why I make tracks trying to catch your attention
Praying that my raps don't fall on death ears
For sure, the real cure is prevention
And we don't need to see a mother shed tears
How many funerals do we need? 
How many families grieve and crying
Their son was too young to leave them
And some claim it's a catch 22
Either get jacked by a crew or pack a 22
And that's exactly what many do
That's why so many of our youth never see 22
Now what we gonna do about it
As for me I'm a stand up on the roof and shout it 
I'm a tell the truth about it 

It ain't the way that I would wish it, but it's just the way it is…
In My Neighbourhood
It's not the way it should be, but it's just the way they live…
In My Neighbourhood

See the words that I speak are sincere 
It's death that men fear
I know that life I've been there
If it wasn't for the fact God filled me
I'd probably still be
Sticking up shops and robbing jewellery
Licking shots at the judge and jury
'cause they don't understand
Why a brother got a gun in his hand
I'm a young man confined by limited chances
In a system that's run by political gangsters
I see their gangster tactics
They got us paying taxes like it's a protection racquet 
But still, I'm the one who gets labelled as the thug they hate
For distributing them drugs they make
Man, I thought that it was much too late 
I've gone too far
But God's love was just too great
I drew faith from the bible pages
And truth loosed my mind out of iron cages

It ain't the way that I would wish it, but it's just the way it is…
In My Neighbourhood
It ain't the way it should be, but it's just the way they live…
In My Neighbourhood

It's time for us to fight back with Peace man
Fight back man, by the Grace

And Let me hear you say
Silence the violence
Increase the peace

Silence the violence
Increase the peace

Silence the violence
Increase the peace

One life, one love
One life, one love


Leftover Coffee

I'n not sure if this happens to you, but recently we have been having leftover coffee.
We make the same amount every morning, but sometimes Ruben doesn't have any.
Throwing it away makes me feel sad and slightly guilty.

I remembered I had those glass bottles I showed you a few days ago.
So, I pulled one out, poured in the coffee, and put it in the fridge.
I enjoyed it later that evening with a mini muffin
It was perfectly chilled.

If you ever have this issue, try it.


Mini Banana-Nut Muffins

Ok so, remember how I'm obsessed with All- Purpose baking mix right now?

Well, I had some bananas that were nearing their end:

I knew that if I didn't act fast, they would be gone forever,
and I would be out of some delicious banana bread.

So, I did what any normal banana bread lover would do, 
and got to mixing.

Because I keep forgetting to buy a loaf pan, and because I don't have a muffin pan,
I used a cupcake pan.

The original recipe says to bake for 50min, but since these are smaller, 
I only baked for 20min like I usually do for cupcakes.

It was actually perfect.

Here are my mini banana-nut muffins:



We desperately need a chandelier above our dining table.
One day (maybe when my cousin Pete comes to visit), 
I want to make this:
It seems pretty simple, and looks awesome.
To see how, visit --> re-nest - DIY Mason Jar Chandelier

I really love all the things you can do with a mason jar.
-->  Here are some more lighting ideas. 
I'm especially fond of the mason jar fixture. I might do that one too.

Hope you are all enjoying one hour less of sleep :)

This week has been pretty bad for me.
I think my body is falling apart.
Luckily, I'm on spring break.
Hopefully next week will be better.


Glass Bottles

Recently, I have collected some glass bottles and jars.
Finished mineral water, peanut butter, and pickles.
I refuse to throw them away. 
I took off all the labels and stored them for future use.
I was thinking to use them for decor, or as vases for flowers.
Then, I remembered I had some lemonade mix.

So, I made lemonade:

We're planning to make Veggie Quesadillas again tonight.

I'm pretty excited.

Hope you are all having a fantastic Saturday!



This morning I woke up thinking of when I was little.

My mom used to take us to McDonald's for breakfast sometimes.
I was a picky little eater.
I would ask for a plain biscuit and some grape jam.

I don't even have words to describe what my brain remembers of this biscuit/jam mixture. It's weird how memories from when you were little stick with you. This morning, I decided I wanted to recreate my delicious breakfast treat.

So friends, this morning I had biscuits with some grape jelly, butter, and eggs.

I was not disappointed.
Did I mention how ridiculously EASY it is to make these biscuits??

All you need is some basic All-Purpose Baking Mix (Sara Lee, Bisquick, Aldi, etc.) and milk.

That's right.
Just the mix and milk.
2 1/4 cup of the all-purpose baking mix
1/4 milk
That's it!

The box also includes a bunch of easy recipes like pancakes, biscuits, shortcakes, muffins, waffles, banana bread, etc. All the recipes are just as easy to make. They just include a few more ingredients.

When I discovered this mix a year ago, my life was changed.
I know, it's sad that I only discovered it a year ago, but hey.
Better late than never, right?

Anyways, the recipe:

Preheat oven to 450. Place mix and milk into mixing bowl. Stir ingredients together into soft dough. Turn out of bowl onto surface lightly dusted with baking mix. Fold dough (knead) three or four times (do not knead excessively).
Roll or pat dough to desired thickness (about 1/2-inch). Cut with 2 1/2-inch floured biscuit cutter (I substituted one of my glasses because I don't have biscuit cutters) and place on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.
Makes 8-10 biscuits.

The opening of my glass was 2 1/2 inches, like the recipe called for. When I make these again I am probably going to make them bigger. It depends what you use them for. We are going to use them for egg sandwiches next time. At this size, the egg doesn't fit properly. If they are just a side to your meal, then this size is perfect.

Fun Fact: 
This is actually the same mix you would use to make those delicious Cheddar Biscuits I told you guys I wanted to make. I haven't made those yet, but don't worry I haven't forgotten.




*Note: This is my longest post to date. 
I would really appreciate if you read the whole thing.

Thanks in advance for your time.

 Here is a song to play while you read.
As some of you know, I went to Florida this weekend for a wedding.

The wedding was in every way beautiful. Straight out of a magazine.

Seriously. Gorgeous.

Tuesday, March 1st arrived with my time to come back to Chicago.
I woke up expecting a typical last day in Florida.
As the day progressed, I experienced just the opposite.

I will never forget Tuesday, March 1, 2011.

Let me explain:

So I get to the airport at 7pm  thinking I have just enough time to check in and wait a while before my 8:05pm flight. Well, it just so happens that Southwest Airlines decided to make a huge change to their rewards program this same Tuesday. This upgrade caused their online system to crash. They also had what they describe as an unrelated issue with the systems in many big airports, including Fort Lauderdale. Because of all this, they had to do everything manually. The problem to me wasn't this system crash and unbelievable inconvenience. I had a major issue with how people were being treated. It was just not ok.You can read more about it here.

So I finally get my hand written boarding pass and go towards security. I end up standing in the same spot in the security line for about 40 min. During this time they have those passengers with printed boarding passes from home go through. However, those with handwritten passes, like me, had to stay put till they could figure out what to do with us. So from my understanding, they pretty much had no idea who was supposed to be on what flight and where the planes were. The system was completely down. We just stood there. Luckily, I am a social person, otherwise I may have gone mad. So I start talking to all the people around me and come to the conclusion that most of us are supposed to be on the same flight. What I don't understand is why they would allow those with the printed boarding passes through. They ended up boarding flights and having them leave without multiple passengers with hand written passes. They were stuck. Some with no place to go. From what they were saying they were not going to reimburse or provide hotel. It was messed up. Thankfully, they announced that they could go ahead and continue with security. They also let us know that they would be holding the flights to Chicago for us.

This is when I met Barb. After showing my ID and what looked like a joke boarding pass, I was instructed to go to the line farthest right. Behind me was a woman who I later found out was named Barb. So, because I'm Evie, I started talking to her. In minutes I was speechless, tearful, and incredibly saddened all at once. Barb started to explain her day to me. Earlier, this very same day, Barb was in Chicago. She was with her mother in the hospital while she was having surgery. Her mother was moved and was now in recovery. The doctor said she was doing very well and should be fine and able to go home the next day. Because Barb has kids and husband at home who needed her and because she knew her mother would be going home the next day, she got on the 12pm flight back to Florida. Moments after landing in Florida, she received multiple messages saying that she needed to get on the first flight back because her mother was about to die.

At this point. I couldn't breath and tried with everything in my to hold back the tears.

This can't be happening. This is not fair. This isn't real. Why???
All of these thoughts ran through my mind as I'm sure they ran through hers.

3 hours ago she is fine and ready to go home.
3 hours later a priest is calling about last rights.

As you can imagine, if today was a bad day for anyone in this airport, it was Barb.

I found myself getting angry and frustrated with passengers who were complaining about getting home 2 hrs late. Passengers complaining about things that were in every way less significant than what Barb was going through at this very moment. I wished so badly that someone somehow would get her to Chicago as soon as possible in some private jet or helicopter. Whatever it would take to get back to that hospital and see her mother.

Because all of these things happened with the system being down, they were doing security very thoroughly. Pat downs that seemed incredibly inappropriate and bag checks that went through every single item in depth. When it was my turn to have my bag checked, they ran the swab through my bag and put it in this machine that checked for any explosives.

You won't believe what happened next.

That's right. Something, somewhere in my bag, made the alarm go off.
So here I am totally clueless as to what is going on, staring at this machine that is blinking "EXPLOSIVES" in red. Because they aren't used to doing things manually, the man checking my bag freaked out. They were all so young. None of them were around when they checked bags like this. No one knew what to do. You would think, it being 2011 and all, that they would have a pretty good plan B if anything like this were to happen. Well they didn't. Luckily, there was a man there whose name I don't remember. Older. He looked through my bag and mentioned that "sometimes the machine does this" then sent me on my way. Well, by this time, I was the last one to board. I get to the gate I was assigned and try to speak to the man to let me on the plane and he is on the phone totally disregarding my existence. Like I said, these employees were rude in every way. Whether they spoke to you or acted like you were a wall, they managed to perfectly define rude. So he finally get's off the phone and asks me "what I want". Well, sir, I want to get on that plane. He looks at my ticket and says my plane isn't leaving yet. I said well, where are all the people who I was supposed to be flying with?

Remember? I met them earlier when we were waiting.
We all confirmed we bought tickets for the same flight.

To add to the complications of the day, I find out that I have been incorrectly placed on another flight. All the people I had seen earlier were boarded on their plane and ready to go home. I turned around and looked at the group waiting in their seats. I knew no one. Usually, I wouldn't mind because I never know anyone I'm flying with, but this was different. I was actually looking forward to flying with all those people I talked to earlier..

Then I saw her.

I immediately re-played everything she had told me 15 minutes prior.
I wanted to cry again, but knew I couldn't.
Why would a stranger cry over some person she doesn't even know?

I ask her how she is doing and she updates me on what is going on, repeatedly saying she just wants to be there already. I listen but have no words to give for comfort. My mouth does the same thing it did earlier. It just hangs there. Open and wordless. "It's just not supposed to be like this". I keep hearing those words replay in my head.

An announcer comes on (the rude one I tried to talk to from before) and lets us know that because of weather, they are going to have to delay the flight even more. Barb, having been there just that morning, assures us that this information is totally incorrect because this afternoon when she left "it was a beautiful day". Sure enough about 10 minutes later, that same rude man gets on the speaker and announces that it was actually because everything is so backed up in Chicago and then let us know that the delay was extended to 40 min.

Really? Weather? Is that the best you could do to try and cover up the fact that you guys are still at fault?

Barb's face said it all. I felt like I was feeling everything she was thinking.
No one said anything.

I went to call Ruben to let him know what was going on, when suddenly the rude guy gets back on and tells us that we can actually start boarding now. I hung up immediately and got in line to board the plane.

Being one of the last of only 30 people to board this flight, I was able to see everyone as I headed to my usual seat in the back of the plane. I saw Barb in a row alone and decided to continue to the back, thinking that she would probably want be alone. I asked her how she was doing and she said she would be ok, and that she was going to try to fall asleep. I smiled, said ok,  and went to a seat 3 rows from the back.

On my way to my seat I saw another woman who had heard Barb's story had made her way to the back as well. I told her how I was feeling and she agreed that she could not believe it. She said that she told Barb she would be praying for her. I was pleased to hear that I wasn't alone and found comfort in the now 2 people of this 30 praying for our new friend Barb.

As soon as I sat down, I decided I had to sleep the whole flight. For some reason Barb's story wouldn't stop running through my head. The plane took off and I switched between all three seats in my row to try to find a comfortable place to fall asleep. It was useless. I moved around as if ants were all over me. I could not sit still for a second. My mind was racing. I told myself to just try and read, but couldn't do that either. Then, I made a plan. I decided I had to talk to Barb.

Seeing as how I am literally 3 rows away from the bathroom in the back of the plane, it would have definitely been weird for me to walk all the way in front of the plane to use the restroom. Regardless, as soon as the seatbelt sign went off, I waited for someone to go to the bathroom behind me and I got up and went forward. I used the restroom in the front of the plane and then headed back to the aisle being careful to look to my left because I remembered that's where she would be.

I spotted her. She has obviously been crying. My heart broke.

I asked her how she was holding up.
I then immediately felt stupid and thought to myself "How do you think she's holding up, Evie? Her mom is dying.."

She held up her little cup of wine, smiled, and said she was going to be ok.
I asked her if I could sit with her.
She agreed, but you could tell she was apprehensive.
I am, of course, a complete stranger..

I sat down, and before we knew it, 3 hrs later, they were announcing that we are beginning to descend into Chicago. In this 3 hours I heard the in's and out's of Barb's past 2 years. I think she noticed at some points that I was trying desperately to pretend I wasn't so incredibly affected by her story.

This can't be happening. This is not fair. This isn't real. Why???
These thoughts ran through my head all over again, but this time it meant more.

I was attached. I am attached.
I am hurt and hurting for her and all that her family has gone through in these past 2 years.

I told her I was and will be praying for her multiple times throughout our conversation.
I ended our time together asking if I could hug her. She said yes.
I squeezed that woman with all I had. I didn't want to let go.
I wanted to tell her that everything was going to be ok, 
but she and I both knew I couldn't.
She thanked me for keeping her mind off of things and smiled.
She has a really sweet, genuine smile that reminds me so much of my mom's.

I went back to my seat before they turned the seatbelt sign back on and prayed and cried and prayed harder. When we finally landed I looked for her, but she was no where to be found. I worried and then told myself to stop it. I went to baggage claim and secretly looked in every direction for her, but still nothing. Then, out of nowhere, she walked towards me. She was waiting for her bags too. We talked a little and then the woman in the back of the plane found her way to us too. Barb said nothing of her mother and both of us were to scared to ask. The last thing we knew is that they were trying to stabilize her before doing an emergency surgery to try and save her.

We got our bags all one right after the other, and then walked out together to wait for our rides. We talked about the weather, where we live, and how far the drives will be. Nothing too serious. Everything in me wanted to ask if she had heard anything, but I knew it would hurt too bad.

I saw Ruben pulling up and told them he was here. I hugged both of them goodbye. Not any of those sissy hugs either. I gave them real, I love you kinda hugs. They reciprocated. Then I told them how it's not every day you hug the people you just flew with. We laughed, and I left.

I broke down as soon as I got in the car. Let's just say Ruben was a little confused.

Why is this woman affecting me so much?
Why is her story imprinted in my brain?
Why do I feel so connected to her?

I still don't know the answers to these questions.
I still have no idea if her mom made it.
I never will.

The only thing I know is her name.

Her story really touched me.
I wanted to share it with you all so that I could ask you to do something with me.


I feel like I know so much and yet so little.
What I do know is what I shared in this post.
Her name is Barb. Her mother's name is Philis.

I ask that you join with me in prayer for Philis, Barb, and their family.

Thanks for your time, and thanks in advance for your prayer.