Adventures Driving a Smart Car = I Got My License!

Hey My Sunny Blue Skies!

Life likes to get busy even when you try to take a break. But, then again, I’m grateful for that, since I go insane when I have absolutely NOTHING to do. (One reason I cross-stitch, pin on Pinterest, play games with friends/family, etc. while watching a movie — I’ll get bored quickly otherwise.) In the midst of this busyness I went to the DPS and took my Driving Test!


After filling out the paperwork and taking new pictures/fingerprints/eye exam on Monday, I was off on my adventure.


Can you guess what I took my test in??


Yep! A Smart Car! :D


It is absolutely ADORABLE!!! For years I’ve been joking with my parents that I should just take the test in a Smart Car since they’d be so easy to parallel park, so when my cousin offered to let me take my test in her car I quickly accepted!

(My cousin described to me that unlike other cars, Smart Cars are actually a combination between an automatic and a stick shift. So other than being smaller, they are actually built a little differently too — the car can either handle the clutch or you can control it. I never knew that about them. Getting used to the system was still fun though!)

When my appointment arrived, I headed out to the car, turned the keys, and drove the car to the back to meet with my testing instructor. My tester was super sweet and made me feel comfortable instead of scared. As with all driving tests, I started with parallel parking.


Like I would with a regular car, I lined up the back of the car with the pole, signaled right, put car in reverse, and turned the wheel one and a half times to the right.


I slowly backed up into the spot, and as soon as I passed the pole, I turned the wheel sharply to the left and aligned myself in the spot, adjusting as necessary.


Let’s just say I didn’t have to worry about hitting the poles while driving this car. (And it’s the easiest thing to park in regular parking spots too!)

Then I headed off around town, following the instructions of my driving test instructor. After backing up 50 feet; stopping at stop signs; turning right/left at traffic lights; and driving carefully through neighborhoods, around cars, and over speed bumps; we arrived back to DPS 15 minutes later.

At the end I got two thumbs up!


So now that I have my license, my parents get to add me to their insurance and I get to do drive around town doing errands for my mom and taking my sister to activities.

With freedoms come responsibilities too.

Any tips/advice for a new driver? :)

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! <3

With lots of strawberries and grapes,

Kathleen

I Got A Call From My Endocrinologist!

Hey My Swirly Vanilla Spice Balls! <3

Thanks for all of your comments on my What Kat Ate. I really want to continue doing these, as they help show a more accurate way of how I eat instead of just a lot of oatmeal/bananners with nut butters. I’m also glad you liked reading the eleven questions and I answered. :)

I saw a very sad sight yesterday afternoon:


The bottom of my Homemade Sun Butter Jar. Oh, and I definitely did NOT leave it like this after my amount for my banana. He-he, I finished him up! Still sad, since I don’t have any sun flower seeds and I didn’t pick up any from the grocery store last time. Hopefully I can get some more the next time we go.

Talking about Nut Butter, guess what I got in the mail!


A special Blendtec jar made for NUT BUTTER MAKING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

I love how the lid has those long black “legs” and can twist, helping keep the nuts from gathering up on the sides of the jar (which is one of those things I have to do manually if I use my other jar). I’m so excited to try this baby out! I’m thinking about those walnuts and almonds I have in the freezer…… Walnut Almond Butter perhaps?

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We’re having a Teen Game Night tonight. Over thirty-five teenagers are coming over to our house (and those are just the ones that RSVPed, so I don’t really know how many are coming). Their each bringing their favorite treat and/or a favorite game.

Some of the games we have include: Scattergories and Catch Phrase (both of which I’ve never played before), Rummikub, Othello, Clue, Racko, Apple to Apples…..


…..Sorry, Monopoly, Mancala, Scene It, Life, Bananagrams, Tumbling Towers, Uno, Blink, and Phase Ten. These are just the ones we’ll probably be playing, not including the ones others might bring.


I also found this little darling taking a nap under the table while I was taking pictures. :)


In addition to the fourteen pizzas we bought for tonight, my mom and I made some Pizza Spaghetti Casseroles this morning (which were super easy: spaghetti, spaghetti and/or pizza sauce, pepperoni, and shredded cheese).


I also made some Jam Jam Bars (cake mix recipe). I would have also made a veggie tray for everyone to share, but we don’t have all the veggies I would need for it – especially since I just finished munching on our last stalk of celery. ;)  Nonetheless, since everyone is bringing a game and a treat, we shouldn’t run out of games nor food. I know it’s going to be fun!

(If you’re wondering, I probably won’t be eating any of the pizza or bars since they all have milk in them in one form or another; nevertheless, I’ll probably just make a Morningstar hamburger with some guac for myself alongside a banana with nut butter or something — not too hard and not out of the way.) 

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I got a call from my endocrinologist. She told me that my bone density tests were normal (nice and dense like they should be), my hormone levels were normal, my vitamin/minerals were normal, and that there was nothing in my blood tests that wasn’t normal. So now, I have officially baffled many pediatricians, adolescent doctors, GYN doctors, and now an endocrinologist with why I’m not having my TOM. She said she couldn’t think of a good solid reason why I’m not having it. She said that the three months I did it may not have been enough to have my body start doing it on its own; even though my hormone levels are normal, she said my body may just not be making the amount to kick it back into gear. My levels are normal, but I may just not be making that little bit more that would give me my TOM. So, she’s having me double my calcium and vitamin D supplement that I take everyday and she’s also putting me on a low dose of BCPs for six months and see if that works. I hope this works. I really want this to all be sorted out before I head off to college this next year, so if it takes taking BCPs for a few months then I’m willing to try it.

I have my next Driving Lesson tomorrow morning! This will be my sixth drive (so hopefully he’ll teach me how to parallel park; I should have learned to do it on my fourth drive, but they got confused and I sort of did my “fifth” drive twice). I did watch while my teacher taught a young man to parallel park, so I saw him do it (turn to reverse gear, turn the wheel all the way to the right, back up, turn the wheel all the way to the left, continue in, then turn to straight and pull up a little – did I get it right?). Anyways, I’ll see what happens!

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Do you have a favorite game? I REALLY like Bananagrams, Rummikub, and Phase 10!

Do you have your license? If so, do you ever have to parallel park much? Ha-ha, I’m going to have fun trying to parallel park our minivan to be able to get my license this spring.

What do you do when you hit the bottom of a nut/seed butter jar? Sometimes I’ll make it into a OIAJ; sometimes I’ll just finished it up; and other times I’ll hurry to the kitchen, whip up a batch, and fill it all up again. 

xoxox,

Homemade Protein Powder!

Hey my Absolutely AMAZING Chocolate Chip Bananners! :D

Thanks for all of your comments on my Finger-Lickin’ Peanut Butter Hummus Dip! I have really been enjoying the dip – but I haven’t been really eating it as a dip. I like dipping carrots into it, but right now I am trying to do an orange-detox because my orangeness is not getting any better, especially with getting up to 5 carrots a day (and that’s just CARROTS, not including the other orange foods….), it’s getting a little out-of-hand. This orangeness is not balance, and since that is what I am striving for, I am going to focus on the other colors of the rainbow for a while (since my body apparently has enough vitamin A to last an eternity). Anyways, I’ve been just eating the dip with a spoon. Best way to eat it I think.

Ok, time for some Homemade Protein Powder!

One of my readers reminded me that I had promised to share how I had made my homemade protein powder, which I mentioned in June. Here is how I make it! I grind up a ¼ of a cup of dry roasted soy nuts with a tablespoon of cocoa powder (or carob powder for more sweetness), a dash of cinnamon, and a packet of stevia. I grind it all up in my blender until it is all powdery. It has a nutty kind of flavor that I find works best when combined with oatmeal. I haven’t made that in the longest time, since I buy my own protein powder now, but I make it if I run out. :)

What’s been going on in my life?

I had my first driving lesson this morning! We started out in the parking lot practicing my turning the wheel. Then he got me onto a divided highway and then out to some rural roads. We did lights, drove up to speeds of 65 mph (which is pretty high since yesterday when my mom took me out to practice driving, I never left the parking lot and NEVER drove higher than 15 mph; so going from 15 to 65 all at once was actually pretty exhilarating – very scary at first, but now I love it!), went through the neighborhood roads at 30 mph, and practiced turning smoothly. He did save me a few times, but for my first drive, it was fun! He told my mom that I know 80% of what I need to know to be a good driver, and since I never drove before (the week before, when my mom took me to the parking lot for my first practice, was the first time I had ever sat in the driver’s seat and turned the key to even START the ignition), I wouldn’t have any habits to have to break. The things I need to work on include the following: backing up in a straight line, changing lanes (with checking the proper checking mirrors in the right order), and parking straight. So now, I just need to PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE!!!

I went to a dance this last weekend.


And you know that squirrel in the movie Over The Hedge when he gets that caffeine in his system?

Yeah, that was me –

Just I didn’t have the caffeine and I was STILL pinging around like him. I was jumping around and being crazy the entire night. :D I had such a great time.


I made dinner! This is the Vanilla Cranberry Quinoa I made! It tasted alright. I’ll have to keep using quinoa is other ways, but I love how easy it was to make in the slow cooker. My family gave it a rating of 2-3 stars.


We had some Split Pea and Lentil Soup (which I made). Now this – THIS was AMAZING!!!!! It was sooooo delicious! My family gave this a 5+ rating! Gosh, I am telling you – the flavor was incredible! I have never had a more delicious split pea and lentil soup in my LIFE! :D


For my snacks for the past few days, I’ve been having my Finger-Lickin’ Peanut Butter Hummus Dip – eaten with a spoon. :D It is a little rich, but very yummy. For you guys who like sweeter desserts, I would definitely say to up the maple syrup and stevia a little bit in this. The sweetness is perfect for me, but if I were serving it to others, I would up it a little.


Another adventure with STEEL CUT OATS! This time, it’s in the form of oatmeal! Chocolate Valentine Oats that is. I really like it with the Peanut Butter on top – without the peanut butter on top, it’s a little bland, but the nut buttah adds a little kick and makes it delicious. So this one: about 4 stars.


On the side I had me some roasted cauliflower and a veggie burger. The savory from the burger and the simply incredibleness of the flavor of the roasted cauliflower– they complement each other SO well! 5 stars here!

Now I’m off to go have a date with the 8lbs of Strawberries I have in the fridge (I love my Daddy). And then I’m babysitting this afternoon, and this evening I have another driving lesson – this will be my first night-time lesson. I’ll have to tell you how it goes!

Ever tried making your own protein powder? I love how high in both protein AND fiber this one is!

Sweet or Savory? Peanut butter, roasted cauliflower, and that veggie burger (which I swear smells like a sausage patty) are making me say SAVORY!

Do you like to use a slow-cooker? I love how you just throw everything into the pot, set the timer, and dinner is served!

xoxox