Monday, November 25, 2013


Today's word is vigilance.
1. state or quality of being vigilant (keenly watchful to detect danger; wary); watchfulness
2. pathology, insomnia (ever awake and alert)
adjectives: alertness, attention, heedfulness, concern, care

Vigilance looks a little like me these days. My hair may be coming undone and my house is going through some pretty rapid seasons of clean, then messy then back again. But I have my eye on the big picture and I'm doing something about our future, so all the rest is small potatoes.

I wake up with a smile on my face more often than not these days- eager to go to work. I've certainly never come across that before. I'm easily here 6 days a week, scooping up those overtime hours by the armful. I enjoy what I'm doing, I enjoy the people who work here and I'm putting forth my every effort to get hired permanently. The idea of having a steady job to rely on while Mr. E works to learn the ropes of the industry makes me just want to burst.

I'm writing, too. That is a lot of the reason why I'm not around the blog as much. It seems like everyone and their mother these days is writing, so I figured I'd try my hand at it. The fact that it's a mostly free creative project didn't go unnoticed either. Mr. E and I are both at the computer, typing up stories, bleeding out words in the hopes that something will form itself into a short story or a screenplay to use.
Vigilant is Mr. E spending half of his day keeping up with contacts around the city, dropping his name in an effort to stay relevant and noticed and remembered. The film business is less about the job postings and more about the people you know and the projects you're willing to tolerate for the next gig. He's been so great about keeping the house together, walking the dog and running errands in between resume revisions and phone calls. It's all foundation work.

Even Ripley is vigilant lately. Mr. E took a short stay-cation to the mountains with a friend to hammer out some screenplay ideas away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Rips didn't let a single hour go by without pausing what she was doing and staring intently at the door, waiting for her favorite snuggle buddy to rattle his keys. She wouldn't even sleep with me, choosing instead to sit at the foot of the bed, face towards the door in the hopes Mr. E would creep to bed in the dead of night as he's been known to do.
So sorry if there's not much going on in the way of keeping anyone updated. I have crafts and recipes and all sorts of stories to tell you, but in the mean time you'll probably find us on Twitter (@thEccles and @danofthe) or on Instagram (@brieccles and @danofthe) because you can never have too many Ripley photos in your life.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Bacon Cinnamon Rolls

I have lots to say to you. Really. I do.

But life hasn't just creeped in the way, it's stomping around with bells and singing boisterously, making sure that I'm paying attention.

More on that later.

Honestly, I think it's fitting that when I come back to write to you all that it's about bacon. Because priorities.
I had seen this recipe around the web for a while, but I wrote it off as outlandish and extravagant. Who really needs bacon IN their cinnamon rolls? THIS GUY.

In a stroke of culinary luck I had a small tupperware of cream cheese frosting left over from baking a carrot cake the other week. That's enough excuse to make cinnamon rolls, right? And when you have an unopened package of all just rolls together, pardon the pun.

These days I'm feeling the urge to "Rachel Ray" everything- make my life easier by using pre-made ingredients, working with what you have. We bought Pillsbury crescent rolls for Lil' Smokies, but never got around to using them. So our recipe is sort of janky- and could be upgraded for those who have the desire.

Bacon Cinnamon Rolls
1 tube Pillsbury crescent rolls
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp sugar/cinnamon mix
4-6 slices of bacon

Instead of using the pre-formed triangles in the rolls, I used a pizza cutter to make slices. I then microwaved the butter and sugar/cinnamon mix together until it was completed melted and brushed it all over the dough.
You need to cook your bacon for a few minutes before adding it to the rolls- you don't want to rely on the dough/oven to cook your bacon for you. Just enough that it's not raw, but not so much that it's stiff. You want something that will roll. We didn't do real well with that step, but breaking it into pieces seemed to work too. Besides- then you have ready made snacks while the rolls are cooking. I'm just sayin.

Roll up and cook for approximately 12 minutes at 375 F.

Ours turned out a nice dark gold and very flaky on the outside- and since we had rolled them up so tight to keep the bacon in, some of the middle wasn't cooked as well, but it was just a little soft and squishy, not necessarily doughy.

Top with frosting and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Juicing Over.

I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am that I'm not juicing anymore. I joined my coworker in an effort to challenge myself- to see if I could do it, to see how my body responded to the absence of processed foods and wheat, and to potentially gain more energy.

Boy, was that a lie.
By day two I knew it was sort of working- I was cleansing alright. As in right through. But I didn't feel bad. There was no sick-to-my-stomach-feeling or indegestion or cramps. And to clarify, I was never really hungry (as long as I ate all my shakes). Frankly, I was drinking so freaking much that I couldn't think about much except peeing ever 2.4 seconds. Multiple bathroom trips meant multiple hand-washings and by the end of the week my poor hands were cracked and dry because of the heat and the soap. But I've never seen such clear pee!
The shakes were much better than that first day- sure, the first and last shakes of the day tasted like dirty lawn clippings (that would be spinach, lettuce, cucumber and celery, ya'll) but the other ones were passable. Lemon-lime coconut with avocado for good fats? Yes, thank you. Ginger-carrot-miso soup? Another serving. But that supplement water? Literally tasted like bile.

I made sure that Mr. E tasted all of the shakes. Even if he wouldn't do the cleanse with me I wanted him to know what I was going through when I sat back and complained about them. He was pretty smug sitting in his "Chew Only" camp, and he didn't even think my supplements tasted bad! What a weirdo.

The best part was the fact that if I added water to my shakes, I was able to chug them a little easier. This is super professional, especially when your supervisor happens to walk by.

The negatives:
I had a small sore throat almost every day. I'm not sure if this was because of a post nasal drip or allergies or my shakes, but juicing sure didn't help.
My hands are SO dry from washing them so often.
I never got more energy.
I was so bored by Day 5 that we decided to cut the cleanse short and only go 6 days- also partially because I didn't want to juice and have leftovers from my 3 serving shakes.
I missed fruit. A lot.
The positives:
I was never once achy. I certainly wasn't working out any more than I normally do (lots and lots of walking) but I wasn't sore or crampy, which was awesome.
I never had to think about what I was eating the next day- I always had a shake or two in the fridge.
I wasn't energetic, but I had a clearer head. I went through the entire week without coffee and never once missed it. I was able to get my projects done at work without that fuzzy "out of it" feeling.

So would I do it again? Probably not.

But if I did, I would add fruit. Lots of fruit to give that liquid coleslaw shake some flavor.
This is what I ended up eating on my last day- carrot fritters!