where are my glasses?

a blog by a girl who loses her glasses daily.

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Can’t Sleep So I Made Chili

For whatever reason woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t fall back asleep so I made some chili.

I made what is a quadruple batch for L and I but growing up I think my Mom would have considered it to be a double batch for our family of four.

It’s a pretty basic recipe and there is just a hint of spice in the background because I am not a fan of things that are overly spicy.

I’m also working really hard at staying on a strict budget because I’m trying to save for the adoption costs so I was able to make this quadruple batch for $12! In the past I probably would have doubled the meat I used in the recipe but since there is plenty of protein in the beans I figured I’d save the $2 and only use a pound of meat.

Here is my recipe: Quadruple Batch of Chili


  • 1 pound ground turkey (beef or chicken works too)
  • 2 onions
  • 4 – 14.5 oz cans of tomatoes
  • 4 – 16 oz cans kidney beans
  • Chili seasoning (powder or packet whatever works)
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Note: I had two red bell peppers in the fridge that were getting a bit old so I diced them up and threw them in the pot the same time I threw the onions in. I figured it helped to add a bit of bulk since I was using less meat this time.


    1. Place large stockpot on medium heat. Spray lightly with cooking spray (I use Olive oil in a Misto sprayer.)
    2. Dice onion and throw in pan. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 3-5 minutes.
    3. Add ground turkey. Add up to a tablespoon of Chili powder to taste. Cook until meat is cooked through. (If using a higher fat meat drain excess fat.)
    4. Add chili seasoning packet or powder to taste and cook for about 5 minutes.
    5. Divide meat mixture into 4 different bowls.
    6. Add one can if diced tomatoes to each bowl of meat mixture.
    7. Drain each can of beans and rinse with water (I like to think that this helps remove some of the sodium – also I like a thicker chili so I would drain them regardless.) add the beans to each bowl.
    8. Let cool. Then label a 1 gallon freezer bag and pour each bowl into its own bag. Lay flat to freeze (it makes more room for storage in the freezer by having quite a few large bags.
    9. To reheat just let thaw in fridge overnight or throughout the work day, place in saucepan or microwave safe bowl and enjoy!

    As a side note check out my pretty new pot! It was part of a new set that my parents got me for Christmas!

    I eat chili a variety of ways. Sometimes I top it with sour cream, shredded cheese and Fritos, other times I use it as a topping on a baked potato and sometimes I’ll throw in some noodles to make Chili Mac.

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    20140103-052331.jpglinking up my weekly phone pics with jeannett. i’m tlbridges on instagram if you want to follow along!

    To be honest some of these pics are from a fancy pants camera but they were saved to my phone and then shared with the Internet via Instagram so I’m breaking the rules a bit.

    I love this girl! She turned 15 months on the 28th and we are entering toddlerhood – she has so much sass and I love her personality.

    Grades were loaded for the semester and I ended up getting two As. I definitely don’t feel as if I deserved one of them but am thankful and blessed that I have a professor that understands that sometimes life has to come first.

    My brother and his fiancé got me a baking stone for Christmas however it cracked down the middle the second time I used it. I’m hoping that the manufacturer will replace it free if charge since it was practically brand new.

    We spent New Year’s Eve in the Twin Cities with one of my dear friends.

    Oh how I love this girl! She is the sweetest thing and while she peacefully slept as we rang in the new year she definitely is the most joyful part of 2013.

    The first time I had fruit in a salad! This Winter Citrus Fruit salad was the start to the most incredible dinner I have ever had. Pepper crusted beef tenderloin, roasted vegetables and lemoncello ice cream with fresh raspberries along with the salad made the perfect dinner to say goodbye to 2013 and hello to 2014. (Additionally there were scallops at dinner but they are not my jam.)

    22 years these families have been getting together on New Year’s Eve! I’m honored to be included as their guest.

    My gorgeous friend Steph – I’m so thankful that we met my first semester at Stout and even more thankful that we are still close and are committed to making time to keep our friendship growing.

    Snuggles with my love on Mew Years Day morning. This was followed by breakfast and nap time before we made the trek home from the Twin Cities.

    And this one because it makes me laugh – I’m a serious pool player – hahaha.

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    New Year and some resolutions of sorts

    In the past I have always made a big old list of resolutions and then promptly failed at all of them. This year I don’t want to have a huge list of unattainable things for me to fail at.

    (Also these pictures don’t really have anything to do with this post – they are from last night’s festivities)

    1. Try one new food every month. Last night I had citrus and pomegranate in my salad, roasted asparagus and roasted fennel for the first time and all three were amazing! I also tried scallops and while they weren’t my jam I’m happy that I went out of my comfort zone and tried them!

    2. Love my family more. Rather than let the negative take over I want to remember to love. It doesn’t mean that I will turn a blind and forget everything in the past but I will show love them regardless.

    3. Focus on school. last semester I received an A in both of my classes however I definitely didn’t put in the work that I should have in one of my classes and feel like that A should have an asterisk by it.

    4. Be healthier. Eat more whole foods, exercise more, get enough sleep, have a positive view of who I am. I’m leaving this generic to a degree because I don’t want to say that I’m going to exercise 5 days a week or not eat fried foods or whatever silly thing I have told myself I would do previously. I just want to feel better about myself and I know that a combination of my thoughts, eating habits, exercise and good sleep will help with all of that.

    It’s definitely things that aren’t overwhelming or so specific that I will fail and more than resolutions I’m seeing them as positive life changes.

    I know that with the adoption this year will probably be one of the most mentally challenging years that I will have but so worth it to wake up and get to see the love of my life every day.

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    I don’t really know what to title this post nor do I know what I’m really going to write about.

    I’ve been busy as of late – well I guess I’m always busy with a kiddo, work and school. But lately it’s even been more intense with Beans and I both battling colds, a house that is always in a state of disarray, figuring out a budget that includes the expenses of the little one, some big projects to work on for class and of course the ever stressful holidays.

    So I guess the next thing on my list is to work on my time management skills and find a better balance with everything so I’m not quite so overwhelmed.

    I’m looking forward to this week being over because I’m heading to the cities to see my dear friend Steph who will also be taking pictures for this years Christmas cards.

    I don’t really know what else to say right now because my brain is in desperate need of a nap so good afternoon all.

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    Birthday Dates

    A couple of years ago I started taking my nieces and nephew on birthday dates rather than getting them a gift for their birthday.

    Throughout the year they spend the night and we go out to dinner or go on some ‘adventure’ together but birthday dates feel different. Typically it is just the birthday kiddo and me (and now Beans since she is my sidekick.)

    In October my oldest niece turned 9 and we had one of my favorite birthday dates yet – mainly because I was able to surprise her. We went to Red Robin for dinner and I secretly told the waiter about it being her birthday dinner. The shock on her face when they came out with an ice cream sundae and sang to her was priceless. I was ‘in the moment’ and completely forgot to take a picture but I’ll never forget that face.

    After that I let her pick out two movies from Red Box and we fell asleep watching them after we put the Bean to bed.
    Saturday started off with burnt cinnamon raisin toast (I was using the broiler to get all three of our breakfasts done quick) and fruit smoothies. Then I took Trin to dance camp at UW-Stout.

    It’s a one day clinic that is out on by the UW-Stout Dance Team. The girls learn a routine and get to perform on the field at half-time. It’s so fun to watch Trin focus on what her big buddy is showing her and seeing her get just a little nervous before her performance time. It makes an auntie proud. She did great and enjoyed getting to see her littlest cousin during breaks.
    Meanwhile during class I had to get creative to keep a 13 month old busy since campus is too far of a drive to come home for just a few hours.
    Today we went to church this morning after much deliberation (by myself) and I’m glad we did because it was a great service. After church we headed to Target for a few things and then headed home. I’m feeling under the weather (think it is a reaction to my flu shot) so after Beans and I woke up from our nap we laid low and had an easy dinner because I’m in survival mode. Fortunately I’m then only one that seems to be sick at this point but I think that 24 hours of fluids, DayQuil, Airborne and cough drops will get me back on pace.


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    The journey that Leilla and I have been on has been long. There is so much to share and so much that I can’t share because it involves family and I need to respect their privacy.

    Just over a year ago my cousin had a daughter, Leilla. Unfortunately she is unable to care for her – I can’t go into the details as to why she is unable to care for her just that she is unable. Leilla’s grandmother was initially granted guardianship however she was a temporary caregiver due to health concerns.

    On October 2, 2012 my life completely changed, Leilla was just 4 days old when we met and I fell completely and madly in love with her. At the time I was recovering from an ankle surgery and was on crutches so I visited Leilla as often as possible and continued to fall in love with her more and more each day.

    Two day’s before Thanksgiving 2012 I was FINALLY off my crutches and done with physical therapy. The next day I picked Leilla up for our first sleepover together with the plan of her grandmother taking her home after our family Thanksgiving the next day. However, I couldn’t imagine not having another night with her so I was able to care for her over the long weekend. And with the exception of three weekends over the course of the past year I have spent every weekend with her. Eventually it became that I would take Leilla for an additional day during the week here and there all the while growing the most incredible relationship with this teeny tiny human.

    Along the way we have had ups and downs and have learned so much about one another. Our situation may not have been ideal but we figured out a way to make it work. Leilla, who picked up the nickname Beans along the way, has flourished in everyway and continues to do so.

    About six weeks ago circumstances that I can’t go into changed and we were able to begin the process of me becoming Leilla’s successor guardian. Last Tuesday I was appointed as Leilla’s permanent guardian. It has been a long and trying process but I’m so happy that the next chapter of us being together has begun. I can’t divulge what our next step will be until after they are completed because of privacy issues but know that positive thoughts and prayers are welcome as we navigate the upcoming months.

    Over the next weeks or months I hope to share much of our first year together, since I finally can, as well as what is going on in our lives now.

    Posting may sometimes be spotty since being a full time mom, working full time and taking classes part time leaves my schedule pretty full but I want to have this record of our lives together.

    I want Leilla to know that I will always be fighting for what is best for her and I hope that she can use this blog to see that even though I may have not birthed her I have a love for her that runs as deep as any mother’s ever will.



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