Monday, July 30, 2012

Miscellaneous Monday

My Randoms on Monday!

1. I hate staying up late to do dishes. Doesn't everyone? Or maybe you never have had to because you're one of those people who springs up after dinner and has your entire kitchen clean in 15 minutes. I am not :( I tend to linger to long at the table and procrastinate on the dishes. Then it's 11 pm and it takes everything in me to just suck it up and get them done even if I'm sooooo tired and just want to crawl into bed! I keep reminding the morning I NEVER ever regret staying up to do the dishes. I love waking up to a clean kitchen, it starts my day off right! 

2. Have to share these adorable pics that my brother took of Juliana. I try not to be that parent that's always posting a million pictures of their kid....but couldn't resist today. Have to be that mom for a minute!!!! She's just so sweet!

3. Who isn't jealous of this hair? This made me crack up! This girl---just like her mom--will never need an ounce of volumizer! 

4. I love love love that we have so much family nearby. I know my family can be overwhelming cause we're so loud and there are so many of us. But I love my family and I am so grateful that my daughter will grow up with so many loving aunts, uncles and cousins. 

Ages 10 months, 11 months and 12 months!

5. I really want a piano. I love playing and jules thinks it's a great toy -- haha can't that be a legit reason?? I have been keeping my eye out and hope to come across one sometime soon. 

 6.  Today is my parents 35th wedding anniversary! My parents amaze me. Their marriage is such an example to me. The way they treat and love each other challenges me everyday. And it stems from both of their love for God and their desire to serve him through their marriage. I love them !!!!

7. I have a really bad habit of eating chocolate chips from the freezer. Throughout the day I go over and plop a handful in my mouth. If you've never tried frozen dark chocolate chips please don't cause then you'll have to break a bad habit. I would like to stop this :( maybe by writing it down I will be so embarrassed I will stop??? nah....

Happy Monday!!!

miscellany monday at lowercase letters

Friday, July 27, 2012

Wishful Thinking :)

Some of my favorite pins for the home : )
Just a lil inspiration for ya!

I love this yellow. I've definitely spent far too much time reading tutorials on how to redo furniture to get it like this. Can't wait to try it out in our new place!

Gaahhhhhh!!! And another one with the same distressed look!

I love the cheerfulness of this kitchen. It's so comfy and a perfect blend of colors. Very shabby chic :)

I wish I had the boldness to paint a piano this color! I would be so worried of ruining it but I love how happy this looks!

My Friday Letters....

Here are my Friday Letters. I had a challenging week in the sense that, I am learning new things this week.  Aren't we always supposed to be learning and growing??? Well some weeks pass me by and I am not thrilled with how I spent them. 

I want my blog to continue to be honest and heartfelt and not full of fluff and nonsense. You have better things to do with your time than read about something that doesn't matter. So I hope that my blog and thoughts always provoke thought, challenge and encourage you! That is the point of community! With that here they are :) 

Dear God, thank you for what you've been doing in me this week. Growth is hard. Thank you for giving me opportunities to grow and learn. I have loved my quiet times with you this week and need to make them a daily necessity. In my quiet times this week you worked in my heart and showed me new things. I love you. I am learning and I want to honor you with my life. Nothing else is as important to me as you. 

Dear Husband, you are working SO HARD and I can tell you are so exhausted. Thank you for coming home and playing with Jules despite your tiredness. You are an example to me of someone who loves God and allows him to lead their life. I am in love with you so much more today than any day before, and that is how every day goes! 

Dear Daughter, you are amazing. Watching you walk around the house with your tiny little 10 month legs makes my heart soar. You are a constant joy to us and you make my days so bright and wonderful! You help me learn new things about myself and about my relationship with our God.  I have grown since you came into my life. I love you baby girl!

Dear Internet, it would be wonderful if you could stop having your issues and just work. "Suck it up we all have problems!" (sorry....quote from the office!). I would love to continue to grow my community of friends via this blogging world so please keep working :) BUT....thank you for going out for a couple days so that I could refocus and spend time reading, praying and not having any distractions. Ok, I guess I sorta appreciate it. 

Dear Dad, Thank you thank you thank you for all your help with our new house! Many hands make the work light and you have helped us so much and are continuing to do so as I write! We love you and are so thankful to have you nearby :) 

Happy Friday Everyone!!!! 


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tangy Chicken with Mango Salsa

I love summer fruit, I feel like I could eat it all day long. Nectarines are my favorite. (There are none in this picture because I ate them already!)

First things first, the mango salsa. I actually just bought a batch of fresh mango salsa from a local gem that makes it perfectly (and saved me at least 30 minutes....and considering the mess I make when I cook probably more!) It has a nice spice to it so I added another 1-2 mangoes to make it more "chutney" like.

Even if you're just serving for your family, food is supposed to be pretty! Take advantage of simple garnishes like fresh cilantro, basil or mint (really good mixed into melon salads!) These are pretty much items I buy weekly at the store cause I know I'll use them.

The chicken was marinaded in a simple combination I use a lot seen here then grilled. 

Serve over brown rice and top with the chutney and cilantro! And BAM! Dinner is done :) 

One of the best parts of this meal is lunch the next day! All but the rice can go into yummmmmmo lettuce wraps!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Chocolate Bark

Last night I got together with some friends and I wanted to bring a quick dessert but (as often happens at my house) we had no butter or eggs. This is my go to quick dessert because it seriously took me all of 10 minutes to make and even though it is incredibly easy, it looks so impressive! 

This is French Chocolate Bark because instead of American bark where all the goodies are mixed into the chocolate, they are displayed on top of it. Which really makes for lots of pretty color :) I originally saw the recipe from Ina Garden (of course.... my fav!) and have done so many variations of it since then. The original recipe is here if you would like it! 

Since I was serving it that night I didn't worry about tempering it this time, but it is a great skill to know how to do if you want to check out this video. Tempering is important so that you don't end up with cloudy colored chocolate or a crumbly consistency. You want it to be glossy and have a nice crunch to it. There are a couple different methods to tempering....I don't have a candy thermometer so I've always done it either in the microwave or the double boiler (which for me is just a pot with simmering water and a glass bowl over it!) If I do it in the microwave I keep stirring every minute or so until just melted, then I add in about a half a cup or so of chocolate and stir it in till melted. Of course you could use chocolate buttons or a block of chocolate cut up but I always just use chocolate chips. (dark!!!!! Is there another kind??

Here is what I had in my cupboard :) 

Have a cookie sheet with parchment paper ready as well :) 

I chopped up my raw almonds then toasted them (microwave for a couple minutes). It gives an amazing extra boost of flavor.

Another tip I learned is to never use a wooden spoon because it can trap water and release it into the chocolate. Water + Chocolate = NO GOOD! It will seize! I've done this countless times :(

Once you've stirred in the last of the chocolate chips and they melt, plop the whole thing onto the parchment paper. 

Spread evenly :) 

And then the fun part! Sprinkle the toppings all over! In the past I've used white chocolate shavings, cashews, pistachios, coconut, etc! Anything will work :) 

YUMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!! One dry cut into pieces. If you need to pop it in the fridge to get it all the way hardened it should be fine if tempered correctly! 

Enjoy! We all did! 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Farmer's Market Saturday

Yesterday was a typical, wonderful Saturday! Started the day off at our local Farmer's Market with my sisters :) Something we enjoy pretty much every Saturday. And although by the time we load up all our strollers (usually all together there are 4-5 strollers!), get our coffee and actually make it down to the produce it's 11 am. But we still have a great time. I LOVE farmer's market. I wish we had the budget to get all our produce and meat there!

Seriously the biggest blackberry ever!

 She's not THRILLED about her butternut squash and peas :) 

Our stroller brigade hehe

Just chillin :) 

Support your local agriculture!

 MMmmmm! Veggies! Dinner at my parents house! 

 Good job dad!

I love my parent's greenhouse, it's where we eat all our summer meals! 

Great food, ambiance, and family!