Friday, November 2, 2012

Oh, Beautiful Friday!

Oh, what a beautiful morning!
With the elections coming up and so many other life stresses in high gear right now, I have been praying these verses from Colossians over so many different people lately, especially my husband.  With so many uncertainties in the everyday, these verses have brought me such comfort!  These are words Paul and the disciples prayed over the  people of the early church in Colosse.
So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.
We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.
Colossians 1:9-14 
I love the picture above, it looks so calm and peaceful, un-rushed and organized. 
If only this is what my morning Bible readings, devotional time, or study sessions looked like.
I hope you have a wonderful Friday and blessed weekend :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Metabolism: Nothing Simple About It

One test stands between me and quite possibly the best fall break yet :)
(Nashville + Atlanta + family + college friends = absolute wonderful-ness)

Pray for me, I can do physical therapy.  Clinical application, yes, love it, this physiology stuff, not so much... 18 hours.  I can conquer anything in 18 hours, God willing, this is going to happen.

PS - how awesome are our bodies, that a bite of a cheeseburger has SUCH complexity even in just turning food to useable energy! (and that is a simplistic diagram!)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Happy Fall Y'all!

Some quick updates, before I forget!
 1. I can't help but start with the most fun one, we are all decorated for fall! Two weeks ago I went to my favorite store on the planet for some unwinding from a stressful week, and Hobby Lobby did not disappoint! The UGA platter was a birthday gift from my husband. Aaand, I found some very cute little ceramic pumpkins hanging out at the dollar store too :)
On top of that, used my antlers in this bowl as a fall filler, love them!
And that is our home right now :)
2. Spinning is awesome.  I am completely addicted.  Do not be surprised if I start posting spin work outs up here.  I love knowing I will be on a bike for 45 minutes and burn 400+ calories.  Its like I am in a class, yet can totally chill and just zone out... Anyways, love spinning.
3. I have been alternating running/spin class days and love it because I got some new running shoes from my parents for my birthday
Aren't they beautiful? They are my first pair of Brooks, but after the first run I was hooked, I felt like I was cheating it was so easy to just keep running! :)
4. Classes are H-A-R-D this semester. There is not just one chill class, they all have assignments and are all time demanding.  And that is enough on that awful topic :P
5. We are almost out of tea.  Why? Because I have felt terrible lately, my little natural medicine self is seriously contemplating getting some allergy meds... absolutely no idea why my allergies would be SO much worse this year than last, but that is that.
6. I am in a Bible study with the women from our Sunday school class and am LOVING it.  We are going through the book A Woman's High Calling, and all I can say is I am convicted with pretty much every sentence I read.  To be a better wife, friend, and woman living completely sold out for the Lord is constantly something it challenges me to.
7. DJ is taking two classes (principles of accounting 2 and business law) this semester, so to say we are spread thin would be a crazy understatement.  I am so proud of how hard he works and jealous of his incredibly thorough work ethic. Busy is definitely the adjective of the semester though!
8. We had a wonderful time with my siblings-in-law last weekend.  It was so special to be super transparent about our marriages and encourage one another in the goings on.  Read all about it here
Overall things are great, football season is here, the weather is beautiful, and there are just a little over two weeks until fall break (and a whole lot to do!) but we are trying to love every little bit of it!
Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Gurgle Pot Love

I have spent the last 36 hours recovering from our first neuro exam Thursday morning.  It went fine, no big news there or anything, but the stress I put myself under was pretty bad.  So bad that I spent most of today sleeping it off, with the high hopes of not getting sick!
Anyways, I couldn't help but smile at the Lord's perfect timing.  I arrived home yesterday comepletely exhausted and just wanting to collapse (needless to say, I do not handle stress well) to not one, but three packages, which totally brightened my day!  My favorite of which was my birthday present from my sisters.  It was a little late due to a slight detour it took in the shipping process, but the timing could not have been better!
We went to Wilmington, NC a few months back and in a little beach shop came across the Gurgle Pot.  I absolutely loved that it was a little different, and the goofy-ness of the noise it made.  However, due to a pretty high price tag for a simple pitcher, decided to pass.
I didn't think much more about it, which is why I was SO excited when it came in the mail yesterday!
I was super surprised and love how thoughtful a gift it was :)
Whenever you pour it it goes "gurgle gurgle glug glug glug"
Super fun, and just quirky enough that I absolutely LOVE it! :)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Impromptu No Bakes

Today was wonderful!
After a stressful week, with both of us seemingly on edge non-stop, today was very much needed.
Yes, we did both spend the day studying, but were both super productive, got good work outs in, and took some time to reflect on the Lord and what He is doing in our lives.
Dessert was not optional, definitely a necessary end to this wonderful day.
I had never made no bake cookies with cocoa before, I usually use chocolate chips, but it was all we had, so I tried a new recipe.
I was SUPER surprised that the cocoa version was so simple {even more so than using choc chips}.
Anyway, if you're looking for a classic and simple no bake recipe, here ya go!
PS - she also managed to take the best no bake picture out there!
Happy Sunday!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I Won't Back Down

Its one of those days.
Failure is not an option, so the alternative is to step it up, get it together, and move forward.

So thats what I'm going to do!

The Lord is my light and my salvation
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When evil men advance against me
to devour my flesh,
when my enemies and my foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall.
3 Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then will I be confident.

Psalm 27:1-3

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Such a Serene Sunday Morning

A Thursday Birthday followed by a nice looong Labor Day weekend at the beach...
Better than anything I could ask for.
 Reflecting on the past year all I can say is I am blessed beyond measure.
Since when does real life end up as amazingly as you hope and dream?
Our life is not perfect by any means, but the imperfections are well worth the blessings that come out of them.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100
Have a restful and safe Labor Day weekend! :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Some Pinterest-y Reviews

Last week was awesome to say the least!
I am always amazed at how the time off between semesters always seem to be just enough, even if it is just a week and a half or so, I always seem to get everything done, which is absolutely wonderful!
That being said, last week I tried some of my pins out and here they are:

1. Chicken Picatta (without white wine)
This was a definite WIN.  Loved it! 
I wanted to try a recipe that did not use white wine because I always feel super wasteful opening a bottle for one recipe. I haven't been drinking lately due to headaches, so it just sits in the back of the fridge for way. too. long. I also used bottled lemon juice rather than fresh lemons, which worked just fine :)

2. Cleaned our pillows
This was SO much easier than I had imagined.  I washed two pillows at a time and it took me two dry cycles on low to get them fully dry, but the tennis ball/sock trick worked perfectly!  No rubbery tennis ball smell and the pillows did get fluffed & dry.
This one was disappointing :(
My husband absolutely loves cookie cake, so I tried this recipe titled "Best Homemade Cookie Cake " on Pinterest. 
Not the case.
The taste was good, but the consistency was very crumbly.  Which was frustrating, because I did not overcook it, the cookie still had plenty of moisture, just not great consistency.
The only reason I could think of that this short coming would be my fault is because I used chocolate chips rather than M&Ms.
So, if you try this recipe with M&Ms & it turns out well, let me know and I will give it another chance!
Finally, my favorite,

I was SUPER excited about this one.  I bought a pewter plate at a thrift store a few weeks ago, but it had stains where the food would be.  I figured while serving on it I could use a doilie or something to cover it up.  So, when I saw this tutorial, I knew this was perfect for this plate. 
I did not follow the same tutorial as on the link above.  I applied two layers of basic acrilic black paint and then two layers of chalkboard topcoat with a sponge, all of which I purchased at hobby lobby.  No tape or spray painting required. LOVE it!
Also, was super pumped because visiting Hobby Lobby saw that they had nativity sets!  I searched high and low for one I liked and that was not too expensive last year without success. So, yes, I was the person who bought a nativity set in the middle of August, and could not have been happier!

I will be sure to show better pictures in December-ish, when I actually take it out of the box :P
I am a huge "remember the reason for the season" person. I use that cheesy line as little as I possibly can, but truly was excited to find such an iconic centerpiece for our home.
Anyways, hope you enjoy the rest of your week!
But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me,
and through each night I sing his songs,
praying to God who gives me life
Psalm 42:8

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Peace for Today, and Confidence for Tomorrow

Classes start tomorrow.
And honestly, I am kind of surprised at how chill I am today.
Usually I am in an anxious tizzy to get EVERYTHING done, but right now seems like just another day.
Things are happening, God is moving in ways I can't even grasp yet, and I get to contently spend my last day of summer in peace.
Switching loads of laundry, washing pillows, scrubbing the tub, I am getting ready for a crazy semester, but am not living with this dooms day attitude, which is very uncharacteristic of me.
I have been more disciplined about being in the Bible over these past three weeks than I ever have before and it truly is amazing what God will do with faithfulness!
I go into this semester with this verse at the forefront of my mind:

"Be strong and courageous! Don't be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria or his mighty army, for there is a power far greater on our side! He may have a great army, but they are merely men. We have the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles for us!"
Hezekiah's words greatly encouraged the people
2 Chronicles 32:7-8
This life is not my battle to fight, it has already been won.
Who or whatever your "Assyria" is gives you no reason to fear!
Anyways, happy Wednesday and I hope you can begin this next year with the confidence and hope of the Lord!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My Very First (Completed) DIY

So, I am fabulous at beginning a DIY project and letting my husband or parents be the "yourself" part (at least when it comes to big projects).  I am typically the one with all the ideas and the start up... but not so much finish to it. Until now!

As you may know by now, we live in a very cozy little 1 bedroom apartment.  Space is like gold, so using it efficiently is essential.  I tried to throw things we no longer needed away, but somehow piles of papers started to accumulate.  With classes, bills, and all sorts of other stuff, it was no wonder our little file box was not fitting the bill.

I was not at all happy about the idea of having our cute little home dominated by an uglier-than-brown file cabinet. I started looking for alternatives. It was then I came across this idea on Pinterest.  My parents had offered us an old file cabinet, so the wheels started turning...

While it looks better than the icky brown file cabinet, it still wasn't something I particularly cared for, so I started my usual brainstorming and found this image.

So, I compromised. For the price of the first and as close as I could get to the look of the second, this is what happened:

(excuse the poorly made bed)

Just sayin... for a relative shot in the dark idea, I'm pretty proud of how it turned out

As far as step by step goes:
I measured the dimensions of the cabinet, made a quick trip to Lowe's, to pick up some bead board and trim . The salesman that helped me suggested using those little corner pieces because I didn't have a special saw to mitre (?) the corners with.  I used (A LOT of) Elmer's carpenter glue to attach the beadboard and let it sit with clamps on over night.  Then added the trim in the morning and it was ready to caulk that evening.

I used white Rustoleum spray paint so it would stick to the metal and wood and not scratch with every little thing I set on it.  Overall, I am super happy with how it all turned out, I may try to add a rub to it down the road to make it look less white white, but for now it does its job and our space still feels like a home.

We decided to use it to replace my bedside table so our living room wouldn't look too furniture filled. It works perfectly, and no more paper piles :)

Anyway, this guy is about as subtle as a gun when its time for his walk, so please enjoy the post, and have a happy Tuesday! :)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

15 Marriage Admonitions: A father's words to his daughter

I came across this on Pinterest the other day and knew it was something I 1) wanted to share and 2) keep in the forefront of my mind.  I admit I had to visit a time or two while reading this, but did not want to change the beautiful language it was presented in.

15 Marriage Admonitions source

(Prior to his daughter's marriage, Mr. Richmond put into her hands a paper of directions for her future conduct, which, for simplicity, affection, and sound practical wisdom—may be considered one of the best dowries that a Christian parent could bestow on his child.)

My much-loved daughter,
When your sister Mary left her paternal roof, I gave her a paper of admonitions, which I requested her to read often. I do the same for you, in the form of a friendly string of maxims, to regulate your conduct in your new and very responsible situation.

1. Aim at keeping a devoted heart for God in the least and most common transactions of every hour—as well as in those events which may seem to call the loudest for manifestations of Christian prudence and principle.

2. Pray regularly and frequently, not seldom and occasionally—for grace to live by.

3. Remember the Christian principles and examples of your father's house, and everywhere endeavor to preserve its character, by consistency in conduct, conversation, and temper. Keep in constant recollection—the wise, prudent, and conscientious example of your dear mother.

4. Form no hasty friendship; and none whatever, but such as may promote seriousness of heart, tongue and life.

5. Beware of cheerfulness degenerating into levity. Let no natural vivacity of temper, no occasionally indulged sallies of humor and jocularity—throw a shadow over the exercise of solid principle. Little foolish things give a color to character, and are more easily imitated, than serious and good sentiments.

6. Guard against hasty judgments of character, and above all against uttering hasty opinions, and making remarks to the disparagement of others. Particularly avoid making the errors, failings, faults, or follies of others—the subject of rash and unguarded remarks. Be known for charity, forbearance, and kindness. Be slow to judge—rather than swift to speak.

7. Wherever you are, in the first place, remember that God's eye is upon you; and then imagine also that your husband and father are present. It may be a fanciful—but it is a profitable supposition.

8. Keep Christ's golden rule, "Do unto to others—as you would have them do unto you" in perpetual remembrance. It is the panacea for most of the social evils of life.

9. Be conscientious towards all; friendly with few; confidential with fewer still; strictly intimate with fewest of all.

10. When you think of your father, bear with his infirmities and pardon his faults—but remember his principles and instructions, so far as they have been agreeable to the Word of God.

11. Do not be content with anything short of deep, sincere, diligent, and decided piety.

12. If you and your husband happen to differ in opinion or feeling on any point—remember whom you have promised to love, honor, and obey—and this will settle all things.

13. Of your husband's warm affections towards you, I entertain no doubt—strive to preserve them by daily elevation of character; and not so much by fondness—as by prudence and dignity. May you both learn to raise a home of marital happiness—by mutual wisdom and love.

14. Observe great simplicity and plainness in dress. You should be a pattern to others in this respect. There is a just complaint made of many females who profess to be pious—that they are far too showy and mirthful in their outward apparel. Remember the apostle Peter's injunction, "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."

15. Christ has been made known to you fully and freely; let Christ be your all in all, both now and forever.

Receive my parting advice in love, and be assured, my beloved child, that it comes from the affectionate heart of your dear father.

Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Best Week Ever

My husband tells me this is not really the best week ever, I am just out of touch with how normal people live.  However, it started out with breakfast in bed and has included most of my favorite things thus far, so it will continue as "The best week ever" because:

1) Monday started with "Happy Vacation Week" breakfast in bed, which was followed by afternoon kayaking, followed by evening crafting/home projecting {with minimal conflict} and this awesomely fun Monday, was then concluded with my absolute favorite thing, watching the college world series with DJ :)

2) Tuesday, we took Peyton to Petsmart {presh}, DJ took my car to get taken care of, aannnnddd we stopped at Chipotle for lunch! My love for Chipotle runs deep, for Valentine's Day this year, we actually cancelled our fancy pants reservations, for some good smoked Tabasco and burritos, thats love.

I did mix up tea and tablespoon in the biscuits this morning, oops. Home maker in training, what can I say?

3) Finally, tomorrow we are headed to visit my Granny in Wilmington, NC to squeeze in some quality catch-up time and a few days at the beach! Fav, fav, really really fav.

My first clinical starts a week from today, I am a pretty balanced combo of excited and nervous{psh, I wish, I'm scared to death}.  I packed today and now feel a little bit more calm about it all :) {minus the fact that my pants were a little snug, but eh, whatev}

Anyways, here is a little photo summary of my past two wonderful days!

We learned all about wire shelving {and got bunches of new storage space!}, I know, no big deal, but I'm proud of it :)  {Big thanks to Sheila for letting us share her washer/dryer, just one of the many ways she is wonderful to us!}

I killed two pins with one project, both of which were rockin ideas:
See here and here for my inspirations

And we loved being "splorers" on the river, checking out all sorts of different places

Anyways, happy Tuesday!  Hope you are having an awesome week too :)

PS - HUGE praise that the Lord brought Audrey and her nursing team home safe from Cambodia this morning!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Just Another Crazy Weekend

 Such a special weekend of celebrating!

We spent the weekend with DJ's family celebrating Grandma's 90th birthday!

And were also able to spend Saturday night celebrating Catherine and Chad's wedding with them!

All in all we came away from this weekend feeling completely exhausted, but also very blessed by all of the family and friends the Lord has surrounded us with. 

3 days until the end of Maymester and 2 weeks until clinical begins!
Happy Monday!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Test of Fire

Now, I am not Catholic, but I am very passionate about Biblical Truth, our great country, and these upcoming elections and think this is a very impactful clip.  There is no "moderate" in this election, the lines are clearly drawn in the sand, and I am praying with everything in me that the American people get out and vote to uphold the Constitution and governmental system this country has abided by for over the past two centuries.

If you do nothing else this election season, please use your blogs and other social media to share where you stand and why.  We need to stand up and stand out for what we believe in.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Chris Tomlin and Banana Bread Kind of Day

There are some days I wake up feeling energized and blessed to be alive, unfortunately today was not one of those wonderful days.

Today has been a yo-yo of emotions, brought on by circumstances of course, and my inability to see past them at initial glance.
However, it started with the most wonderful news of a sweet friend's engagement, which is the result of none other but the Lord's amazing leading and plan.  Despite that wonderful news, and early morning and a long class managed to take the wind out of me, which brought me to Pandora and this beautiful song.

It is amazing that something as simple as a song can re-direct my entire afternoon. 

I am reminded of my moodiness with every change of the weather, and am continuously amazed at the loving support system the Lord has constructed around me, giving me the strength I need to face the challenges and struggles of this world daily.  I am so richly blessed.
On that note, I wanted to do something to brighten DJ's day, and banana bread seemed like a simple way to do that.  This is the first time I am using this recipe, but it turned out deliciously!

Banana Bread
makes 1 loaf and is super easy
{I rarely follow a recipe successfully, so easy to me means you can do things whatever which way you want and it will still taste good! :P}
original recipe


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
5 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup mashed bananas
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1. Mix the flour, baking soda, sugar, baking powder, and salt
2. Blend all other ingredients together
3. Slowly combine the two mixtures by adding the dry to the wet ingredients
4. Put in a greased 1.5 q loaf pan
5. Bake at 350* until the top is browned and loaf is cooked through

Happy Tuesday! :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Stove Top Popcorn

I've been trying to make my snacks healthier lately and this was a total win!
I was nervous about burning the bottom of the pot or stinking up the apartment, but it turned out perfectly (and I am inhaling as I type now!).

Stove Top Popcorn!

1/3 cup corn kernels
3 T coconut oil (or one that can handle high temperatures)

  1. Heat the oil & salt in a 3-quart saucepan on medium high heat. 
  2. Put 3 or 4 popcorn kernels into the oil and cover the pan. 
  3. When the kernels pop, add the rest of the 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels in an even layer. Cover, remove from heat and count 30 seconds.  This method first heats the oil to the right temperature, then waiting 30 seconds brings all of the other kernels to a near-popping temperature so that when they are put back on the heat, they all pop at about the same time.
  4. Return the pan to the heat. The popcorn should begin popping soon, and all at once. Once the popping starts in earnest, gently shake the pan by moving it back and forth over the burner. Try to keep the lid slightly ajar to let the steam from the popcorn release (the popcorn will be drier and crisper).
  5. Once the popping slows to several seconds between pops, remove the pan from the heat, remove the lid, and dump the popcorn immediately into a wide bowl.
Makes 2 quarts and almost all the kernels popped.

Initial instructions are from here

I love knowing exactly what I am eating and it is super super cheap compared to microwave! :)

Eggplant Parmesan in the Crock Pot

Crock pot eggplant "parmesan" with Feta
{My response to "we should try using the crock pot more"}

With discipline and intentionality, I was able to kick the plague that overcame me and continue pushing through this difficult time they call May-mester {which we have renamed "cray-mester" and its just the first week!}.  It has been intense!  Leaving us with little going on in the kitchen.  My sweet husband made dinner every night this week because, I am sad to admit, I once again fell prey to the freak-out-because-I-will-never-get-through-this attitude.  You would think that third semester around I would get with the program.  Anyways, I have, and I will get through it, and I will do it all while we eat tasty healthy food too!

It is for this reason, you understand that DJ saying "we should try using the crock pot more" was not nagging or dissatisfaction.  It was a response to the idea of eating salads for dinner for the next 5 weeks.  So, here comes my attempt at slow cooking!

Our fridge is getting bare, I was sick for the first half of the week and now he is coming down with it, not conducive to grocery shopping. We don't have much, but we do have 3/4 of an eggplant, and so in response to "Crock pot eggplant" {real creative}, Google brought me to A Year of Slow Cooking.

Not vegan, but gluten free!

Crock pot Eggplant Parmesan with Feta

-3/4 of a large eggplant
-3/4 cup plain breadcrumbs (gluten free is what I used)
-4 t Italian seasoning
-1 jar organic marinara
-Extra Virgin Olive Oil
-Block of Feta cheese
-salt & pepper

  1. Wash the eggplant and slice it into 1/2 inch slices
  2. Cover the bottom of the crock pot with sauce
  3. Dip each slice of eggplant into the olive oil, coat with breadcrumbs, and layer into the crock pot.
  4. Once you have filled the crock pot with the eggplant, pour the remaining sauce in on top of the slices.
  5. Crumble feta on top, cover, and cook!
I cooked it on low for 4-6 hours.  The recipe also said you could cook on high for 3-4 hours. 

I served mine over rice and DJ's over spaghetti.  He's not a big fan of eggplant, I'm thinking maybe I'll try the same recipe with zucchini.  It was all super good and very easy to make though, and made our apartment smell amazing! :)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sick Day!

Sick day!
The only reason I give that statement an exclammation point is because it has been a day full of cuddling up and watching The Big Bang Theory and Sherlock episodes :)
{If you haven't seen either of those, I highly recommend them, a single Sherlock episode is like an hour and a half long though... so needless to say, I don't get to it often}

Unfortunately, this awful nagging sore throat, cloudy head, and stuffy nose have come at the end of break rather than the beginning.  I am super bummed to be starting May-mester on such an icky note, but am SO excited to share this giveaway!
 I just had to share because I love cute preppy things, but I love them even more when they are free! :)

Southern Tide Skipjack Polo Giveaway

Sweet Designs by Amy Atlas

Friday, May 4, 2012

Trying My Hand at Indian Cooking

My inspiration came from our upstairs neighbor, who told me about an Indian market not too far from us and thanks to that inspiration, decided to try some Indian cuisine out.  After all, I LOVE Indian restaurants, why not try making something for myself?
I say myself because it really is just myself, DJ is not a fan of international food.  I love eating for health, taste, and flavor {in that order}.  He is more of a quantity over quality kind of guy when it comes to food.  Which makes cooking for both of us somewhat difficult, but we have our "regulars" that we both like, so its all good :)
Anyways, I had this week off from classes and took some time to try some new recipes!

Wednesday I tried Eggplant and Mushroom piccata {making chicken for him}, yesterday experimented with cold Quinoa salad, and today jumped into Indian cooking with both feet trying a vegetable masala {I didn't know what it was either until I got started}

I have learned two big things from this experience:
First, NEVER BUY SPICES AT THE GROCERY STORE.  I'm sure you seasoned home-makers are well aware of this but for those of you that this is news to, let me explain.  A .9 oz jar of cloves at the grocery store is $12.05 an ounce, at the International Market, a 7 oz bag of cloves was only $3.50... I was blown away!

Second, dry beans take a REALLY long time to soak {Chickpeas took me ~12 hours}.  Just a heads up so you can prepare accordingly{or just go with canned beans} :)

The recipe I used, I found here, but by the time I made my changes, it was a whole new recipe :)

Vegetable Masala
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30-40 minutes

3 red skinned potatoes cubed
1 cup chickpeas
4 cups of cold water
1/2 cup frozen sweet peas (thawed)
1 t salt
1/2 t turmeric
1 T coconut oil
1 t ground cumin
1 small sweet onion (finely diced)
2 cans diced tomatoes (with juice)
1 t garam masala
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t chili powder
1/2 t ground ginger
1/2 t fennel seeds

  1. Soak potatoes & chickpeas in the 4 cups of water while prepping other ingredients, drain before using.
  2. Mix salt, turmeric, potatoes, chickpeas, and sweet peas in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 8 minutes
  3. Heat oil in saucepan, mix in cumin.  Add onions and cook until traslucent.
  4. Once onions are cooked, stir in tomatoes in juice, with garam masala, garlic powder, chili powder, ground ginger, and fennel seeds. 
  5. Stir microwaved vegetables into the rest of the ingredients
  6. Let simmer until potatoes & chick peas are fully cooked, adding water or broth as needed
I served it over brown rice and would be delicious with some yogurt if you'd like :)

Mmmmmm!  I am not sure how "true" to Indian cuisine this is, but I loved it :)

Monday, April 30, 2012

Some First Anniversary Hoop-lah!


We did the whole wedding cake on our first anniversary thing...

 It looked so much prettier than it tasted(unfortunately)!  But I loved looking back through the pictures, reminiscing, and remembering how I/we felt at every moment of that wonderful day :)
Also, sticking with tradition, our gifts to each other were paper themed.  DJ gave me a bunch of vegan and health books I had been wanting and I made him this for his office:
The idea came from here
The first is a map of where we met, with a little basketball stitched around it.
Second, is where we were engaged with diamond stitching.
And the third is where we were married with a heart around the spot.
Super easy project, but meaningful and not too too cheesy :P
Believe it or not, the most difficult part for me was lining up the letters... I am so artistically challenged! 
I love DIYs but either 1) do not finish them or 2) have someone else help me finish them... working on that.
Anyways, we are planning to celebrate our anniversary in August with a night or two at a beach somewhere (hopefully), that seems so close yet there is so much going on between now and then!
{DJ is planning on going back to school, so any plan requiring $$ is tentatively on hold.}

Until later, hope you have a wonderful week! :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Has it Been A Year Already????

This year has been a whirlwind to say the least!
Overall, we have both grown so much individually as well as with each other. We have built our first home in a new city and enjoyed getting to know each other more everyday!
While I know many would scoff at the idea of the things I have learned after only one year of marriage, I thought I would at least share some things I have learned this year about myself as a woman and a wife.
Here they are, the top 20 things I have learned over the past 365 days (in no particular order):
1.Anything followed with “or the highway” is not a good thing (in thought or word, probably subconsciously). The Lord convicted me of this in a big way, it took me a while to let go and realize almost every word out of my mouth should have been followed by that phrase, because, in truth, not many of my "suggestions" were optional.

2.Get in the word together! I wish I could brag that we do this all the time, but honestly, we don’t. I have plenty of excuses why not, but when it comes down to it, nothing is more important than this.

3. Asking him the same question 2543327894 times is not respecting or submitting. {See #1}

4. Make sure your desires for your spouse and future do not become expectations. (Andy Stanley’s iMarriage series is AWESOME!) In expecting things from DJ, there is no joy and/or appreciation when those things do happen. You look at things as "he was supposed to do that" rather than "I am so happy he did that."

5. Oftentimes pride is the driving factor behind an arguement. Stubborness comes under pride, both make apologies especially difficult, trust me.

6. When he asks what he can help me with “I don’t know” is not helpful to either of us when he truly is trying to make my day better.
7. Just because I am tired, doesn’t mean his day was any less tiring than mine
8. I can not tell him how awesome-ly he is my superman often enough! True story, he is wonderful :)
9. Laugh hard and often, its more fun than an ab workout :P

10. Just because you sin differently doesn’t mean one is worse than the other (SO difficult to embrace).

11. Get involved in a church. We love our church home! It is completely dedicated to growing Christian men and women, with an awesome focus on marriages!

12. Don’t let other people tell you what your relationship should look like. Who are they and what do they know?? You're the only two with the inside scoop :)

13. On that same note, do not hesitate to seek out loving and God centered counsel! Another reason I LOVE our church :)

14. Just because someone has been married longer than you, does not mean their advice is valid (“Just wait, you won’t be smiling in 5 years” is not applicable to you or your spouse AT ALL) {Refer them to #2}.

15. Hugs don’t solve problems, but they make almost everything easier to work through, together :)

16. Love is not based on performance, and if it is, its not really love. This is kind of tied to #8, no one likes to fail, but it is 10x harder for DJ when he doesn't succeed than it is for me.

17. We are nothing but blind navigators without the Lord’s guidance. What more is there to say about this? God is God, we are not and should not try to be.

18. Sitting next to each other on the couch doesn't automatically mean its quality time (Is technology present? Be with the person you are with! You love them more than anything else, remember?)
19. Surprises are always fun (We hide sweet notes for each other, and never fail, finding one always brightens my day)
20. Love never fails. As long as this is your common ground, everything will work itself out, no matter how frustrated you are (frustrated may be too sweet of a word to describe the ugliest of arguements, but you get the idea :/...)
In conclusion, I love him more than I know how to put into words, yet crazy as it seems, so much more than I could have even comprehended a year ago. The Lord has challenged us in so many different ways this year, and looking back I would not change any of it. We are truly blessed.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Embracing the Unconventional

Photo credit

Another book I had hoped to get through but ended up skimming is Kim Barnouin's new book Skinny B*tch: Home, Beauty, & Style. In this book she highlights the gross gunk we encounter everyday that goes without our noticing. She gave some super helpful {and applicable} advice on minimizing the effect of toxins in our environment, cosmetics, and even the clothes we wear!

I had heard most of it from my mom here and there already, and honestly don't have the time or dinero to follow much of the advice given where I am now, but something to keep in mind when we are future apartment shopping, eventually start looking for a house of our own, and/or start talking babies {someday}.

It was overwhelming to read about all of the chemicals we encounter in our everyday lives, and if I were to obsess about it, would be able to worry all of the fun out of anything and everything, but it is definitely something to keep in mind when considering home goods purchses {and will definitely be vacuuming more often!}

All of this brings me to the picture above, with the beautiful, natural, lived in kitchen... and then I have to wake myself up and get back to reality. Life is wonderful right now, and I don't want to let myself wish our penny pinching, lovey-dovey low key weekends, or my reckless late night cramming sessions away for an instant!

We are making memories right where the Lord has us, and I wouldn't trade that for any amount of organic cotton sheets or butcher block counter tops :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

It's Spring Break! {and I'm Loving It!}

We were able to take a long weekend to St Augustine to visit my grandparents and see my sister and cousin while down there, such a good time all around! :)
We were SO thankful that DJ's sister was willing to add Peyton to her crew for the few days we were out of town {even if he is the most needy dog on the planet now, we can tell he was very loved on}.
{as you can see, we are making great headway on the laundry!}
Yesterday, I got caught up on errands galore, which made me feel super accomplished and on top of things, yet completely miss when I used to get paid to run other people's errands :P
And on top of those errands, I made it home in time to make my first meal/recipe using Quinoa!
I was pretty proud of myself because I am pretty good about trying new veggies and such, but those bulk bins at Earthfare always intimidated me. I usually go, get my flax seed, and wonder what all the rest of it is used for.
Anyways, I had this preconceived idea that buying dry grains or beans would make the whole cooking process much more time demanding, but with Quinoa, that was not the case.
I got home around 5 and by 7 had this delicious chili on our table!
I am back to eating vegan after I read The Kind Diet while in St Augustine, and am hoping to stick to my guns with it this time, no more back and forth wishy-washy-ness anymore!
Topped my bowl off with a dollup of vegan sour cream and we had a nice relaxing low key night at home :)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Yummy Ending to a Rainy Day

Such a wonderful weekend!
It started with learning to play Spades with our Sunday School class Friday night, and spending Saturday in Charleston on our friends "baby-moon" {thanks to beautiful weather!}.
Today was wonderfully restful and gave me the perfect opportunity to try a new recipe for dinner :)
Cilantro Lime Shrimp!
Recipe is from here and it was delicious!
We served it over brown rice and with a mixed greens salad, it was SUPER spicy and completely hit the spot!
Nice and casual cozy enjoying a cold rainy night!
This weekend served as a much needed break from classes, hope it was enough to hold me over until Spring Break :)
Hope you have a great week!

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Pinterest-y Idea

Oh Pinterest, if only I could make things as cute as I see them!
Here is the link to this sweet creation.
And here is mine
Definitely not as cute but it was my first attempt at celophane, so I'm pretty proud.
Planned on sticking the spoons in the bowl, but didn't want to open them, so went with second best :P
I have missed many a wedding shower living outside of Atlanta, but living in Columbia and actively involved in a newly-wed Sunday School class definitely has its perks.
Baby showers are coming up!
We are definitely not looking to go down the baby road right now, but I am loving getting to be a part of new friends adventures and blessings :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Italian Popcorn!

I know there are a million different ways to fancy up popcorn, but here is one way I tried last night and LOVED! Added some parmesan on top and it was SO good! :)
Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day :)

I hope everyone has a very special Valentine's Day,
focused on the people most important to you rather than the things that accompany this pretty pink and heart covered day :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sushi Wednesday!

I have had seaweed wraps in the pantry just waiting to be used for way too long!
I had never made sushi on my own before, and honestly, it was a lot of work for lunch for one person, but in the end it was delicious!
I filled the rolls with brown rice, avocado slices, slivered cucumber, and matchstick carrots... mmmm!
Followed directions from this blog
I put too much rice on the first roll, but by the second all of the kinks were worked out!
Not trying to go pro or anything, but I'm pretty proud of it :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

This Crazy Life!!

This semester is flying by!
Here are the top ten things going on in our lives lately:

1. We have stuck to our healthy {mostly} eating routine. Both have continued to eat vegetarian and DJ has stayed away from sugary sweets completely. I have managed to keep my resolution and have planned at least two meals a week ahead of time. These Mexican Baked Eggs were my most recent accomplishment

visit here for the recipe:

2. I got a car!!! We made it through the first 8 months of being married with just one, which was not easy, but definitely worth it for how much money we saved,
and I love my cute little zippy car! :)

3. We are still at the same church and in the same Sunday school class, studying Song of Solomon right now, which continues to challenge us in our relationships with the Lord and each other everyday.

4. I started swimming... I was researching the most efficient way to get maximal resistance and cardio training at the same time and that was it, so now I run most days and swim 2 or 3 days a week.

5. Gross Dissection. Is exactly what it sounds like, we are dissecting a human body this semester, which I am surprisingly LOVING. There are so many things about the human body that I appreciate so much more now that I have seen it all in person! Our buddy was a 90 year old pilot who died of prostate cancer... SO interesting!

I am so thankful for the people who donate their bodies to science, we really have learned so much through this.

6. DJ has really enjoyed looking into getting more involved in politics, especially the Presidential race, which has given us some awesome discussions lately, and surprisingly enough, we have come out on the same side in almost everything :)

7. The bulk of my classes are based on orthopedics this semester. I have been focused on learning how to evaluate patients, use ambulatory devices (crutches, walkers, etc) correctly, and tons of really interesting information about injury and treatment mechanisms.

8. We still love taking Peyton for walks as often as we can {this is where most of our political discussion and plans for the future get talked out, which is always tons of fun (in my oppinion)}

9. We have started reading Frances Chan's book Crazy Love together. Which for those of you who are not familiar, it is about the crazy awesomeness of our God and how unbelievably amazing it is how and why He loves us. It really helps us keep everything going on in perspective and focused on what really matters

10. DJ still plays basketball pretty much every chance he can get, which works out perfectly for us right now because I study all. the. time.

That is the story of our lives right now. We went out to lunch with some friends after church Sunday and were asked how we manage things, with me living the student life and DJ being a grown up. Neither DJ nor I had any sort of answer. Our life is crazy and chaotic, but really, whose isn't? At the end of the day we just have to realize that everything happens for a purpose and the Lord is molding and shaping us right now for His master plan.