Wednesday, February 26, 2014

God's Warrior

I cried today.  I haven't done that in awhile.  I watched this.
I had a friend in high school, Lyndsi.  We haven't spoken since high school, we just went separate ways, separate many high school friends. She had a little sister and a little brother, Trey, and we first met at church when their family first moved to town.
Her little sister passed away 26.  That should be a crime.  She battled for five years with ocular melanoma, a very rare form of cancer.  She's the beautiful, young woman in the royal blue shirt and glasses in this video.  Her name is Meredith and she truly was God's Warrior.  The faith that poured off of her in buckets was so inspiring.  Through a terrible tragedy she kept pushing through and living her life to the fullest.  We could all learn from that.
I can remember sitting at the house with Meredith and Trey, around Christmas of 1996 or 1997 when their parents went to the annual Holly Ball in town.  She would have been 9 or 10.  I really don't think we did anything but watch TV, but the kids were great and the Christmas spirit was alive. I still remember the beautiful decorations.  The tree looked as if it were pulled straight from a home decor magazine with deep burgundy sashes and gold lights.  That's the only memory I have of being with Meredith, my sisters could probably give you more since they are the same age.
That brings more tears. I only hope that we can all be warriors of God in the toughest of times.  Wouldn't that be something?
Here is an amazing article showing Meredith's true spirit written by Adam Lucas.
Source :Adam Lucas

Friday, January 17, 2014

It's January....Let's Get Organized!

Here it is January, the month to get organize, and I'm probably at my most chaotic.  I started a few new classes and work is picking up.  One of my classes is a personal financial managment class and we had to take an inventory of our assets.  My goodness I have a lot of stuff!  But I'm glad we were given this assignment, because it forced me to take a look at everything I owned.  I had to ask myself "If I lost this in a natural disaster tomorrow, would I want to claim it to replace it?", and I actually found myself saying no more often than not.

I want to use January as a kickstart to the year and take some time each month to organize at least one thing.   My first organization project of the year?  The Cookbooks.  They are a massive collection of delectable morsels just waiting to be created.  The problem is, they've been waiting for years.  Some of them have been waiting for more than 5 and dare I say more than 10 years!

With the creation of Pinterest, my "cookbook" boards have replaced the actual cookbooks.  If you follow me on Pinterest, I apologize for the recent bombardment of every recipe known to man!

A very long time ago, when I first became a big girl and got my own magazine subscriptions, I started to tear out and collect all the recipes I wanted to make (and all the exercises I wanted to do...but that's later).  I've accumulated a huge, messy pile of these magazine pages in hopes of organizing them.  The binder I was using wasn't all that big and at times, I'm sad to say, I would go through and throw away the recipes I thought would take too much time or had too many complex ingredients.  But I still had a big enough binder to cause frustration.

I got the bright idea to add all the recipes to Pinterest. Since the magazines are online, the recipes should be as well right?  Sometimes.  I have things like this list of what food coloring to mix for the right color cupcake frosting.  Can't find it.  Now it's here and I can throw it out (if you haven't guessed, I am the farthest thing from a pack rat).

All those 50 things booklets that are inserted into the Food Network Magazines, yep, saved all those too.  Now in their organized Pinterest Boards.

I'm still deciding what to do about the many cookbooks that are taking up valuable real estate in the pantry.  Any ideas?

What are you organizing this month?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Warm, Comforting, AND Healthy!

I don't know about you, but when it comes to food, January speaks to my soul.  It whispers creamy soup, comforting casseroles, and warm fuzzy chocolatey drinks.  Cold dark nights make for wonderfully filling menus.  Now, if I listened to everything the new year whispered I might be as big as my house.  So instead, I took it upon myself to find some of those warm, comforting foods in a healthy recipe that is not only good for my soul, but good for my waistline as well! 
Crockpot Chicken Taco Chili

Your first stop for anything healthy should be Gina's Skinny Taste recipes.  I love this page and frequently visit to find yummy and healthy eats. This recipe is a favorite in our house.  It's easy, it's healthy and it's filling!  We put it atop brown rice, or scoop it with whole grain tostitos {my son's favorite!}.
Cheeseburger Casserole
Here's another one I keep thinking you couldn't possibly make healthy! But she does!

Strawberry Asparagus Salad from I Heart Nap Time
I am a big fan of a bold beautiful salad for lunch. They are pretty, crunchy, flavorful and healthy.  This never used to be the case for me, my salads used to look like they were drowning in creamy white liquid, but I am a ranch-addicted convert!  Now my dressing of choice is Balsamic Vinaigrette. 
Salad for Lunch: 1/7/2013
Above was my lunch today; Low Sodium Oven Roasted Turkey, baby Spinach, crunchy Carrots, Red Onion, Broccoli and Radishes with Balsamic Vinaigrette.  Beautiful colors with flavors that pop! 
Healthy Fettucini Alfredo from Betty Crocker

Who doesn't love a good fettucini alfredo?!  I could eat bowls and bowls of this stuff!  It's nice to have a recipe for a bowl that won't kill me =)
Healthy Hot Chocolate
Here is a simple and healthy version of a wintertime family favorite.  Too often we don't think about the caloric value in our drinks, but they add up!  I found this chocolatey drink at Look Local Magazine based out of Ontario.  You could even make your own homemade marshmallows like these at Living Better Together!
Easy Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas from Eat at Home

The crockpot is a lifesaver when it comes to a working household.  I use it often! We are also a taco-loving family.  Trust me, when I find something that my 6 year old son will eat, we repeat it often.  But we don't want to burn out on a good thing, so variation is good!
Healthy Crockpot Chili from Healthy & Fit Life
Now we all love chili.  I think it's the ultimate comfort food on a cold wintery day.  Pair it up with a healthy cornbread.  When you visit Healthy & Fit Life for All, please read her story...very inspiring!
Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lasagna from Eating Well

Another slow cooker favorite is lasagna.  Lasagna just happens to be my favorite ooey gooey cheesy mess, that lasagna is the best.  But a veggie lasagna is just as flavorful and a bunch healthier.  This one is from Eating Well Magazine.
Buffalo Chicken Chili
I love love love buffalo chicken anything! There were nights, when my husband and I were first married, that our dinner would be buffalo chicken dip and tostitos.  Very very good, but not so healthy these days.  This is a healthy version of buffalo chicken chili I found over at Tracey's Culinary Adventures.  She has a list of 53 healthy recipes you should visit.

Healthified Monkey Bread from Pillsbury
Healthier Monkey Bread?!?!  Really??  We love Monkey Bread, but it's a special Christmas treat.  Now we can make it more often!

Friday, January 3, 2014

12 Fun Snowy Projects

 I don't know about you, but I love the snow.  I love winter, I love Christmas, and I love the cold weather!  It's a blizzard where we are today...ok so maybe it's only 4 inches or so, but it's more than we've had all year!
So many bloggers have tons of pins on fun winter crafts.  I wanted to share with you the fun snowy projects I've found that I want to try with my family!
DIY Cup Cozy from Setting For Four
 This is just pretty.  It could also be a fantastic gift for any coffee or tea drinker!

Snowy Pine Cone Cluster from Domestically Speaking
Snowflake Candles from Hands Occupied
Felt Snowman Ornaments from Talk Crafty to Me
Snowman Gift Bag from Craft Designer
Snow Pine Cone Candle Jars by Crafts by Amanda
Snowflake Mason Jar from Ginger Snap Crafts
This is my favorite!  I love the look of the frosted glass!

Snowman Pillow from Sew Sweet Vintage
Paper Snowman Luminaries from Crafts by Amanda
These luminaries would be so quick and fun for the kids!

Let it Snow Window at Sparkles and a Stove
These windows are amazing!  Wouldn't it be nice to be walking along one day and run into a pile of unwanted window panes?!

Old Window Winter Decor from Ode to Inspiration

Elsa's Snowflake Hair Barrettes
 I don't know if you've seen the new Disney movie Frozen yet, but we have!  It was fantastic!  My niece was walking around the house with her hair braided to the side asking "Do I look like Elsa?".  When her father replied, "you look beautiful!", she said "But do I look like Elsa?".  LOL!  She would love these!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Trendy Obsession: The Rainbow Loom

My son loves his Rainbow Loom.  We got him one for his birthday back in November, before the big Rainbow Loom craze!  I didn't know what it was, but seeing as we are in Michaels quite frequently, he kept seeing it and really wanted it {like most things he sees!}.
After about a month of "I want it", I talked to my husband about getting one for him for his birthday.  He didn't see why not, of course he had no idea what it was either.  Once he saw how Ethan loved it, he went to Michaels and bought one for himself and created a bracelet with Ethan's initials!  Who knew my husband was crafty?!
Little did we know that these little colored rubber bands would be everywhere!  They remind me of the bands that my sisters used for their braces.  They are on the floor, in the vacuum, and in the dog's mouth lol.  He's pretty good mostly, we got him two of these plastic cases and he's organized them well.
The bracelets are fun and cute!  They look like the threaded friendship bracelets that we used to make in high school.  He's made one for each of his friends, his aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins!  He's always asking someone what their favorite colors are.
I was even special enough to get one to match my outfits for work!