Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy Halloween!

I’ll post more sometime about our super fun costumes this year, but for now, Happy belated Halloween! =)

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What I Wore

I actually snapped some pics this week! I think I was getting hung up on “It needs to be a good pic”, instead of, “This is actually what I wore”. So, here ya go…

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Shirt & Necklace – Kohl’s

Shorts – Anthropologie

Shoes – Guess – DSW

Necklace

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I can’t believe I haven’t shared this dress with you yet! I wore it to church this week. I think what took me so long to share it is I had to find a slip *gasp* to wear with it. Seriously? Who wears those anymore! I ended up finding one at Kohl’s.

Dress & Belt – Charming Charlie’s

Slip & Earrings  – Kohl’s

Shoes – Gap

Here’s one more from another angle…

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Shirt – TJ Maxx (super old!)

Shorts – Ross

Flip flops – Old Navy

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Trick of the Trade Tuesday–Put a Twist on Gifting Gift Cards

For those of you who know me, it doesn’t come as a shocker that I’m not the best when it comes to gifts (or thank you cards). I’m not sure why, I think I dwell on getting the PERFECT gift, and then just end up scrambling.

So when I recently attended a double baby shower, I again, waited too long to go pick out something super cute. Plus, it was the third and fourth for these two cute mommy friends. So really, while it’s nice to get new things, they NEED very little at this point.

So I thought what I might enjoy.

STARBUCK’S!!! What new mom wouldn’t, right?

But, how boring to just gift a gift card. So I came up with a clever little card to accompany said Starbuck’s card…

Here’s the front:

Baby Shower Card - Front

Really? You HAVEN’T gone through the Starbuck’s drive through to get your older child milk because you ran out and didn’t want to have to get out at the store?! Well, kudos to you for having it all together. Winking smile hehe

And the inside:

Baby Shower Card - Back

Much more fun than just getting a gift card, right? Well, maybe a little. So, below is the free printable! If you just print it out on a normal sheet of paper, then fold like a card in fourths, you’re good to go. Hope somebody out there can use this in a pinch, too!

Baby Shower Card

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday Faves–Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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If you’re unfamiliar with this scene above,

or with the title of this post…

RUN AWAY!! (you are unworthy)

If not, please click the picture above for a modern trailer of the ever nostalgic movie, ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’. Who would’ve ever thought you could make the hilariousness that is this movie, look like a legitimate feature? Trust me, you will not be disappointed.

In fact, I think I may have to watch it this weekend while I’m packing!! Yes, you read that correctly. We’re in escrow and if all goes as planned, we close September 30th.

Cue freak out.

That is all. Happy Friday!

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Seeing as it is Friday the 13th, I had to add one more Friday favorite memory. (And no! I am certainly not procrastinating from all the things that must be done when one is planning to move in 2ish weeks!!) Please leave a comment if you recall your school ever doing this.

Growing up, my classmates and I in elementary school thought we were SO hilarious when we collaborated to pull a Friday the 13th prank on our recess aides.

When the recess bell would ring, the entire playground either froze still, or fell down (as if we were dead).

I know, we were pure geniuses, right? Winking smile

Happy Friday the 13th!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

What I Wore–9/11/01

Our TV

I don’t usually remember what I wore 12 years ago, let alone one week ago.

But I do remember what I was wearing 12 years ago today.

I had the amazing opportunity to do part of my student teaching overseas in Papua New Guinea. I worked at an international school and stayed at a base camp with the organization Wycliffe Bible Translators. Hence my more conservative attire.

Most Americans old enough to remember can easily recall what they were doing and where they were the day of September 11th, 2001. My circumstances were that much more unique in the sense that I was out of the country. But let me tell you, it made that day somehow even more memorable.

Similar to many, my roommate and I awoke to a phone call, her dad, calling to tell us of a major catastrophe in the states. He couldn’t talk long. Each phone call cost a fortune! And unfortunately, we did not have access to any form of media. That little TV pictured above was for VHS videos only.

But, when we arrived at our school that day, the principal had hooked up cable and nearly every teacher, certainly every American teacher, was huddled around a tiny TV watching the horror that was 9/11 play out in front of us.

The love and respect non-Americans around us poured upon us was unreal!! They all noted their condolences as every one of us walked around with heavy hearts. It was odd trying to process the events while so far away from home, and yet, so bizarrely encouraging to see people of so many different places and culture come together in sorrow.

Altogether I was out of the country for over 3 months total.

Our flight out of Sydney, Australia on September 21st was the FIRST international flight from Sydney to the states after the attack. Man was I thankful to be home. Many people question me about how terrified I must’ve been to fly. I honestly had no hesitation whatsoever. Really, it was probably one of the safest days to fly…ever, when you think about it. Talk about heightened alert!

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Below was my journal entry from that day….

9-12-01

(remember, we were half way around the world)

“We were awoken early this morning by a phone call from Jen’s dad informing us that 2 planes were hi-jacked by terrorists and flown into the world trade center twin towers within an hour of each other. There were also 2 other planes – 1 crashing into the pentagon and the other landing in a field in Pennsylvania.

As we arrived to school, more and more people began sharing what they’d heard and all of a sudden, a spontaneous chapel was called. Dave Pederson shared, reminding us that our God is not a God of chaos – that He will prevail. Sort of in the dark to all that had happened, I finished teaching that morning and retreated to the AV room to watch an Australian channel covering the numerous plane crashes.

My jaw dropped at the images of the planes crashing into the twin towers, the heat from the explosions weakening its structure, causing the upper floors to collapse, the weight of these floors bringing down the remainder of the building. People jumping out of the windows, falling to their death, chaos as people scattered throughout the streets, escaping the crashing rubble. Then – bringing my amazement to a heightened degree, scenes of people celebrating in Afghanistan filled the screen. HOW – was all I could think as the news calculated the possible death toll to be near 50,000, mostly consisting of innocent bystanders!

The mood was somber for the rest of the day – I felt pretty detached from home.”

So…yes, I WILL NEVER FORGET.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

10 Things I’ve Learned in 10 Years of Marriage–#4. Study Your Husband

Marriage Tip #4

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My husband and I dated for 2 years before getting married, but one of those two years we spent halfway across the country from one another. So not much “studying of my husband” (well, boyfriend at the time) was going on (other than how hot he was – and seeing as it was long distance, not even a whole lot of that was going on). And let’s face it, when you’re newly married, you can’t help but get caught up in the excitement and fun of it all! While you’re head over heels in love with your husband, realistically, you’re not really, truly studying him for those first few years, unless you choose to be intentional about it.

Things I’ve learned about my husband by studying him…

1. To unwind, he plays video games.

2. He is a homebody. Socializing does not energize him.

3. He eats a light breakfast and lunch, and is famished when he gets home!

4. Simple ways are best when it comes to expressing that I love him.

5. He’s FOCUSED! And by that, I mean, he could literally go a month without realizing I swapped out pictures in our house. This doesn’t imply he’s not aware, he just tends to have a narrow focus on the task at hand.

Those just scratch the surface, but are helpful for knowing things like…

1. When (and when NOT) to have important conversations with him (for example – do NOT bring up anything important while he’s playing video games or right before bed)

2. How often (or infrequently as the case may be) I can book a “social agenda” for us as a couple

3. He’s SOOO interested in what we’re having for dinner (see #3 above) Winking smile

4. Giving him a night to play games, or simply telling him how thankful I am that he works so I can stay at home with the kids are better ways to show him I love him than concocting some elaborate scavenger hunt date night. While he would gather that I loved him by doing so, it would not be necessary, so why I ask you, why?

5. I should not be offended when he fails to notice that I cleaned the kitchen, or added a new piece of d├ęcor. It’s not that he didn’t appreciate it, it’s simply not on his manly radar. Winking smile

By studying your husband, you can learn to love him in a way that HE feels truly loved. So, for example, while I would totally melt if my husband were to randomly surprise me and take me out swing dancing (HINT HINT), he would be kinda irritated (social activity, not in the house).

So, to help maintain a strong marriage, study your husband and love him the way HE wants to be loved (not the way you think he should be loved, ‘cuz chances are, that ain’t it).

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

What I Wore Wednesday

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Nothin’ special…and only one.

You’ve gotta cut me some slack. MOPS starts Monday (I’m the coordinator, aka, busiest time for me!) and I’m in escrow! Eek! I’m not 100% committed because you just never know until you get the key, but there are changes ahead! Any local peeps, don’t worry, it’s only about a 5 minute move, but it’ll be OUR house. Yay!

Shirt – Old Navy

Shorts – Banana Republic

Shoes – Walmart

Happy Wednesday!

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Trick of the Trade Tuesday–How to cut mango

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This picture was taken awhile ago, with the intent to post this as a trick of the trade, and here we are, well…quite a few months later. Anyhow!

My good friend Mary taught me how to cut a mango. Remember my blog description? My journey of becoming comfortable in the kitchen? So yeah, I needed to be taught how to cut a mango.

My kids LOVE to eat mangoes this way! (YES! Even my picky eater Allie!)

Instead of shooting a video myself, here’s a pro to show you how. Just click the picture to take you to the link.

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By the way, I use the second method he shows, and you don’t have to make quite so many cuts. If you see in the picture of my son above, I think I made 4 slices each way, but you can even get away with only 3 and just have some BIG bites too. Enjoy your mango!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Menu Plannin’ Monday–Happy Labor Day!

Monday: Oven Fried Eggplant (I may have gotten an obscene amount of eggplant in our Farm Fresh delivery this week, so…)

Tuesday: Zucchini Mac & Cheese (and, a wee bit of news…I may or may not have picked a zucchini while house hunting! The house was vacant, it would’ve gone to waste. Winking smile Stay tuned for more info!)

Wednesday: Taco Casserole

Quick & Easy Taco Casserole.  This super yummy family-pleasing recipe whips up in just 15 minutes, and is ready to serve in 45!  The perfect go-to recipe for busy weeknights!

Thursday: Loaded Eggplant Rounds

Loaded Eggplant Rounds

Friday: Black Bean Spinach Enchiladas

The Garden Grazer: Black Bean Spinach Enchiladas

Saturday: Date night! Mac & cheese for the kids

Sunday: Teryiaki Chicken

Teriyaki Chicken

MPM-Summer

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What I Wore Wednesday

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Necklace – Steinmart

Shirt – Target

Shorts – Banana Republic

Shoes – Walmart

Remember last week when I said I’ve graduated to “adult” sandals? Here they are! *Gasp* I’m not wearing Old Navy flip flops?! What is wrong with me? These are surprisingly comfortable and I get lots of compliments. Way to go Walmart!

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Shirt & Jeans – Lauren Conrad @ Kohl’s

Shoes – DSW Jessica Simpson

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Shirt – Marshall’s

Shorts – Banana Republic

Shoes – Walmart

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Menu Plannin’ Monday

Nothin’ fancy this week, but I think sometimes it’s nice to show that some weeks are whatever you can throw together because it’s the end of the month and you’re trying to stay on a budget! hehe =)

Monday: Beefy Pasta (sorry, can’t find the recipe online)

Tuesday: Turkey & Cranberry Chutney Sandwich (carryover from last week)

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Wednesday: Baked Potatoes, Chicken & Salad

Thursday: Throw Together Kidney Bean Burritos (from Real Simple)

Friday: Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken

Saturday: Invited to dinner at a friends, lucky us!! =)

Sunday: Eat out – celebrate hubby’s 4 day weekend!

MPM-Summer

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What I Wore Wednesday–Not Too Shabby

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CONFESSION TIME…

I think I’ve not been posting any OOTD (outfit of the day for any newbs) pics lately partially because I’ve not been trying my best to look nice.

It’s hot. I’m tired. I’m trying to stay fit (i.e. sometimes I haven’t showered and am in gym clothes). And I’m chasing my kids at parks.

ALL THAT SAID, I’m glad I took this pic. I don’t look too bad. Winking smile 

Shirt & Flip Flops: Old Navy

Shorts: Loft

Earrings: Gift from when I was a teacher

Sunglasses: Target

And one I took awhile back but never posted, just for fun…

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Shirt & Flip Flops: Old Navy (I’ve since graduated to what I call “adult” sandals, but wasn’t there yet for this pic. Hopefully I’ll post a picture of those cute shoes soon)

Necklace: Charming Charlie’s

Shorts: Banana Republic

Bracelets: H&M

Monday, August 19, 2013

Menu Plannin’ Monday

Gosh, time flies! I’m too embarrassed to admit the last time I posted my menu plan. Not that I haven’t been doing it, just not posting. But, here goes…

Monday: Chicken, FB Broccoli Recipe & Salad (it was super healthy!)

Photo: This recipe should be illegal!<br /><br />Preheat oven to 375°<br />Chop a head of broccoli (do not rinse  immediately prior to preparing!)<br />Mince 2-3 cloves of garlic<br />Put broccoli, garlic, 2 tbsp. olive oil, and a few shakes of salt and pepper in a ziploc bag.<br />Shake it up (my daughter loves to do this part)<br />Spread out on baking sheet, place on top rack, and bake for about 30 minutes.<br />Broccoli will be crunchy and delicious! I make this at least 3 times a week and have to control myself once I take it out of the oven, I could eat this alone for dinner! -Danae

Tuesday: Bite-Size Chicken Empanadas (new to me recipe!)

Wednesday: Chicken Fajita Melts (second time making it, yum)

Chicken Fajita Melts Recipe

Thursday: Greek Orzo Stuffed Peppers (second time as well, yum)

Greek Orzo Stuffed Peppers Recipe

Friday: Artichoke Pizzas (This is an easy go-to for me I found a LONG time ago in Real Simple. It has almonds on it and is delish!!)

Artichoke Pizzas With Lemony Green Bean Salad

Saturday: Burgers, Sweet Potato Fries & Salad

Sunday: Turkey & Cranberry Chutney Sandwich (second time yet again, and yummers!)

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MPM-Summer

Strawberry & Nutella Crepes

Strawberry and Nutella Crepes

Short and simple post for ya!

I made crepes for the first time this morning…it will CERTAINLY not be the last or else my hubby will never forgive me for making these on a work morning when he has already left the house. Winking smile

Clipped the recipe out of a Mother’s Day issue of Family Circle. (and yes, I’m just now getting around to trying it! – instead of being embarrassed about waiting this long to try the recipe, I will pat myself on the back for hanging onto a paper copy of said recipe for oh…4 or 5 months. BAM!)

SUPER EASY…AND SUPER DELISH! Too bad my daughter still chose to pick out the ONLY healthy part – the strawberries. *sigh*

strawberry & nutella crepes

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1. In a medium bowl, whisk 2 eggs, 1 cup skim milk, 1/2 tsp almond extract, 1/2 cup cornstarch, 1/2 cup flour, 1 tbsp oil, 2 tsp sugar, 3/4 tspbaking powder, 1/4 tsp salt and a pinch ground allspice. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Stir.

2. Heat an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. With a ladle or 1/4-cup measure, add 2 tbsp batter to skillet. Tilt and rotate pan to coat. Cook 30 seconds or until crepe is browned on bottom and edges are dry. Lift with a silicone spatula and flip over. Cook 5 seconds, then transfer to a sheet of wax paper. Repeat with remaining batter, stacking crepes with wax paper in between. Spread with Nutella and scatter sliced strawberries on top. Fold, then dust withconfectioners' sugar and cocoa powder.

Enjoy!

Friday, August 9, 2013

10 Things I’ve Learned in 10 Years of Marriage–#5. Maintain Your Girlfriends

Marriage Tip #5

I clearly alluded to this same tip in my last marriage post, here, but indulge me in allowing me to provide further explanation as to how beneficial your girlfriends can be!

#1. You need a shopping buddy, and your husband is probably not the right person. Winking smile 

#2. Chick flicks! I don’t see them often, but every once in awhile, I get sucked in. The last one I saw was “Safe Haven”. I’m confident my husband would rather poke his eye out with a spork than to have seen this movie. Or worse yet (for him anyway) listen to 2 hours of country music.

#3.  Girl’s nights. There’s just something about kicking back with a group of your closest friends, laughing, sharing kid stories, etc. that simply makes the heart happy.

#4. She’ll tell you the truth. Not that your husband won’t, but if you ask him if you look fat in your new dress, and he were to actually tell you that yes you do indeed, look fat in the dress, you might punch him in the face (or worse, withhold sex! DON’T do this ladies, seriously…while you think you might be gaining an upper hand, you’re just leaving the door open for him to find that fulfillment elsewhere). Your girlfriends have that way of being honest, without damaging your ego too badly.

#5. You need a sounding board. Not if, but when you get frustrated with your husband, it’ll be helpful to have a girlfriend to process with, and gauge whether your emotions are legit, or totally out of whack. Word of caution, however, just as women run on love, men run on respect. So don’t go around bad-mouthing your man or saying such awful things your friend will never be able to respect him. Try to share your frustrations in a logical fashion. In other words, try to present the scenario in a way that is unbiased. She’ll also be able to provide better feedback/advice that way, too.

#6. It’ll make you a better person. It’s unrealistic to expect that your husband will provide you with everything you need. You need support from other people and not become completely codependent on your husband. That won’t be healthy for either of you. We should always go to God first, with everything, but God also intended for us to have support from others. And ladies, we need support from our fellow ladies!

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One more thing to note on this topic…

Notice the depth of the friendship described here, and the word “maintain” in the tip. In order to maintain girlfriends, you have to make an effort. You need to call them, email, text, plan play dates, plan girl’s nights, etc. Friendships don’t just magically happen (or rarely do). You have to show the person you care.

This is something that I’m working on, and need to. I’m blessed with some amazing girlfriends, that apparently love me faults and all, because I often get caught up in my own, silly, busy world, and forget to say “Hey, we need to hang, and talk meaningfully, instead of in between yelling at my kid and changing a diaper.”

So to my girlfriends…you know who you are…bear with me as I learn. And point it out when I’m failing, please, I’m giving you permission. I love you deeply and am thankful to YOU for helping me to be a better person.

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P.S. – Take pictures with your girlfriends! I went to find some with mine, and seriously? I have like 10,000 of my kids, and like 3 with girlfriends…maybe. So watch out friends, I may start making you take selfies with me! hehe

Okay, I’ll at least leave you with this gem I found of one of my longest girlfriend relationships from waaay back in jr. high. Love you Kel!

Becky, Kelly and Julie at Dland

Oh my word! I just laughed out loud, with tears, for maybe like 5 minutes after giving this a good look over. My husband asked why I do this to myself and I said, “’Cuz sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself!”