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….

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(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

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