Monday, January 28, 2013


I don't usually use this blog to share my inner thoughts, fears, prayers, and concerns but I felt a little tug to share this simple quote and what it has stirred up inside of me. 

I can't even remember where I came across this quote but it grabbed my attention and I can't shake it.

Lately I have been wondering "How do I hear God?"
Sometimes I hear stories about how people heard God talk to them and this weekend I have been seeking God's guidance in many areas of my life. 

I think this quote is so powerful because it applies to every aspect of our lives.
Comparing our houses, cars, relationships, material possessions, jobs, kids, events, and so much more.

It is easy to feel wonderful when you have the nicest wardrobe, car, or job of all your friends
that doesn't matter at all. 
I want to appreciate, recognize, and cherish the simple and grand things in my life.

My husband and I have had some challenging times in our marriage, haven't we all??
He is a super creative musician and was able to process many things through lyrics and we are now at the other side celebrating our journey. 
I used to look back and feel sad for myself and compare other marriages. 
I am so thankful today that God has put the joy in my heart to appreciate what I have.

I teach 2nd grade and one of the things I love most about my full day with kids is watching them be joyful. Simple things excite them and they don't have the worries that can come with being an adult. 
Oh to be a kid again and not know what calories are.....

I have put this image as my background on my phone and it is a wonderful and constant reminder to be content and thankful.

I have a pot of soup on the stove and some great tv to catch up on.
I hope everyone has a great week!

Monday, January 7, 2013

New plan!

Look at me go, three posts in three days. 
Don't hold your breath.
Something is off today- I actually came home from work and didn't take a nap. I hopped straight on the treadmill. 

I'm sure I have said it before but the husband and I eat very different meals.
He tries not to eat carbs and sugar, all meet and vegetables.
I don't eat any meat and try to only eat whole grains and vegetables but have a serious love for pasta, white potatoes, white rice, and sweets. make things work we usually conquer and divide.
I will make the sides which are vegetables and he cooks his own meat (thank God)- the thought of chicken on my counter sends me into cardiac arrest.

At the end of my two week vacation I needed to start thinking about meals and groceries again. The husband and I may or may not have eaten out every meal the past couple days....thank you Waffle House and Egg Harbour.
I have been in the bad habit of stopping at the grocery store multiple times during the week and then wasting food and throwing it away. 
I have decided that I am going to be more diligent in my meal planning and try to eat leftovers and use up all ingredients throughout the week.
My goal is that we will eat well, healthy, and save some money. Although not if I keep picking up magazines in the check out aisle, they just look so interesting!

Here it goes: 
I found a free menu printable from Pinterest and planned my meals on Sunday.
I decided to start with just planning Sunday-Friday, too overwhelming to plan all 7. 
Plus I love to go out to eat with the husband.
Sunday- Wisconsin cauliflower soup
Monday- Butternut squash salad
Tuesday- Shaved brussel sprouts with shallots and apple, and sweet potatoes with rosemary, garlic, and walnuts
Wednesday- Spaghetti squash
Thursday- Cinnamon apple steel cut oats, eggs, fresh fruit, and whole wheat sweet potato muffins.

Sunday was my first time making soup, ever. 
I am a very finicky soup eater. Don't like anything with beans, tomatoes, peppers.

This soup had onion, water, chicken stock, skim milk, cauliflower, and cheese.
I added some broccoli that I had left over.

 I was pretty excited to use my hand blender.

While the soup was cooking I roasted some cauliflower and broccoli in the oven to put on top of the soup.

 I topped the soup with the roasted veggies, delicious crackers, and some colby jack cheese.

These crackers are a must! They are full of flavor and are made from whole wheat and have no sugar!
They were perfect crumbled on top of the piping hot cauliflower soup.

The husband also approved of the soup.
His exact text read 'umm it was the bomb diggity.'

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Winter Wonderland

I have this odd quirk that I have to un-decorate from a holiday the day it ends. I can't stand to see Christmas decoration on the 26th. My husband does not get it. I swear he wants to run away when he hears me talk about bringing down the bins to pack up the decorations.

The up side to un-decorating Christmas is that I get to decorate for January! I hosted a brunch this year a few days after the new year so I added some new things and had some motivation to get everything up and ready!
I love mercury glass and have been picking up pieces throughout the last couple months.
Pottery Barn has the best selection.

I found this vase filler at Z Gallery and want to fill my whole house with it. I despise fake plants but loved this because it is shiny and looks like paper but has a lot of texture and dimension. 

Snow frames on the table behind the couch.

These wood pieces are usually on my mantle but didn't have room for them this year. Found them at an antique store and love them!

The banner is made from burlap, twine, and paint.

A student gave me the frosty owl for Christmas this year so I added him to the mantle.
I also found the white snow balls at an antique market and love them! There are also glittery little birds near them but hard to see.

White felt snowflakes and silver garland are scattered on the mantle.

I kept my snowman collection up after Christmas, hoping it still works with the winter theme for January....

Pottery Barn pillows

 I hosted the small brunch a few days ago and had so much fun putting the table and decorations together.

I borrowed some supplies from my MIL's party pantry and used what I had to make a pretty festive and inexpensive brunch.
Turquoise square chargers, blue plates, and white napkins with silver borders.

I used my dining room table because it can seat a lot of people.

I found these sparkly silver trees from Crate and Barrel after Christmas for under $1, they are supposed to be ornaments but I cut off the string and used them as place cards. I was unsure of who would be able to make it the day of so instead of names I put little cards that said "hello 2013."

Flowers are always a must for any gathering at my house. I am no florist but went for it on my own this time. I was very pleased! I got my flowers at Trader Joes and only spent $16. I was able to use flowers from the yard for filler to add some other colors. I went with white and light blue flowers, hydrangeas and button mums. 

These little mercury glass ornaments were from Paper Affair after Christmas and have very pretty details on them.

I LOVE the centerpiece. It is a silver Target tray, big brown pine cones, small frosted pine cones, and silver jingle bells. I added in some mercury class candles and a big painted pillar with a candle in the center

The vases were from Michaels after Christmas and have silver details at the top.

I love that the monogrammed 'H' on my chairs blended in perfectly!

'Cheers to the New Year!'

Centerpiece in the kitchen for the food table. 
This antique bird tray was a lucky find in Palm Beach years ago, so glad I could use it again!

I added in lavender and rosemary from the yard.

I served champagne with peach juice and orange juice. 
We also had flavored water; cucumber mint and lemon lime.

Maple, brown sugar, and bacon glazed biscuits.

Strawberry poppyseed salad with pecans.

Sausage balls

I made the crack potatoes, a must for every occasion. 

Monkey bread

I have no idea the name of these. Some french thing- Croque idea.
They were buttered bread with egg yolk, ham, cheese, and a white sauce.

Potato and honey baked ham quiche that was to die for.

Sweet baby Asher joined us for brunch! 

It was a great morning with wonderful women in my life. 
I am so thankful for the relationships that God has placed in my life over the past couple years from work. We all share a love of food if you can't tell!

I have been blessed with such a long and wonderful break from work, tomorrow is my first day back. I have to admit that I am super bummed about getting back into my work routine. I really struggle with finding balance at home and at school. I am always tired and mentally exhausted after teaching all day. 

Lately my biggest struggle is the battle between food and exercise! 
I don't do New Year's Resolutions and really don't care for the holiday. This is a battle that I have all year round. Do I eat super healthy and work out every day and try to completely change my body? OR Do I have a balance of food and exercise and enjoy things. The real problem is that I think about food all the time and live to eat instead of eat to live.
Does anyone else have this dilema? 
I have eaten like a hoss over this break, it was amazing. 

I just tried a new recipe tonight and will share later!
I am going to finish my break off with a Sex and the City marathon.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Christmas Past

 I win the award for worst blogger ever.
Once school got out for Christmas vacation I let go of everything.
Being home these past two weeks has been perfect. 
I am in serious mourning about going back to work....

 For Christmas this year I made treats for my teacher friends.
To me there is nothing better than a mason jar to package goodies in, add some fabric and a gift tag and you are all set!

I filled the jars with Christmas Crack-I had never made this before and I don't think I will be allowed to make it again because I have zero self control with it.
You basically layer saltines, melted butter, brown sugar, chocolate and bake. 

 Christmas morning was quiet at our house. The husband and I opened gifts with the pups and then headed to his parents for breakfast and gifts.

Each year I choose a wrapping theme and make tags and ornaments for each family member.
This year I went with reindeer, I had so much fun making the ornaments.
I always decorate Christmas with pink and green so I was really excited when I found the polka dot paper at Hobby Lobby, great place for wrapping paper!

I promise he was happy Christmas morning.
He was so festive with his Bill Murray Santa shirt....

The pups were spoiled from their stocking full of toys!

This was one of my favorite gifts for my husband.
I bought a bunch of small whisky bottles from total wine and arranged them in a tray. I used mens dress shirt fabrics to sew little bags to fit the bottles in and tied them up with twine!
I also gave him etched whisky glasses with his initials.

 This year we did Christmas with my side of the family at my parents lake house in Lake Hartwell. I went up after Christmas and had a lovely vacation there, nothing but naps, puzzles, food, books, and family. 
We don't really decorate the lake house for Christmas so I brought up my mini pink tree from school to be festive. 

My favorite gift for my dad this year was lots of restaurant gift cards! On the tags I wrote the famous slogans and had him guess where they were to- "I'm lovin' it!"

For the guys I made the reindeer ornaments with red ribbon and I spray painted bottle caps red.

This owl bag was full of prizes for my beautiful niece Letty.

Family stockings!

The ladies ornaments had pink ribbon and pink bottle caps. I also stamp the year and my initials on the back of the ornaments each year. 

I made the reindeer tags on my cricut.

These ornaments are super special. My parents painted them their first year married and we brought them up to the lake to decorate the tree with, very vintage!

Poncho's spot at the lake.

My mom got this baby nativity for Letty to play with as she grows up. It is adorable and plays Away In A Manger when you push on the angel.

Sweet Letty ready for a walk at the lake. How cute is she dressed? 

Uncle Andy playing with Letty.

Letty in her new overalls and new red rocking chair!

It was a wonderful week at the lake and I wish I could go back right now!
It was so much fun to spend time with family and relax.