Finally Friday.



Nothing like a four-month hiatus. Let’s call it summer break and then some. Mmmmk?

All I have to say for this week is that thank goodness it’s Friday. There was a spider in my car (which is NOT ok on so many levels), I spilled nail polish all over my comforter and duvet, Eleanor has been fighting a stomach bug and simultaneously fighting sleep… which means we’re ALL fighting sleep.

With that said, this weekend should be pretty low-key (which I’m very thankful for). The only real thing on the agenda is a birthday dinner which will be delicious. I’m hoping we’ll get out for some walks in this wonderful fall weather and just get caught up on life (re: dishes and basement organization, #adulting). I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Here are my finds from around the interwebs:

Can I just tell you that it’s not often that I find myself totally enamored with something. In this case, that something is Real Talk Radio. I’ve enjoyed every. single. episode I’ve listened to and can’t recommend it highly enough. Its long form format digs deep and keeps things real  (hence the name). Download it. You won’t be sorry.

I’m not sure I would have categorized myself as a “highly sensitive person”… but after reading this list of things a highly sensitive person needs it must be true. I really resonated with #4, 6 and 10!

Have you heard of the 16 Personalities personality test? It is hands-down the most accurate personality test I’ve ever taken. When I was reading the description I had to really consider if someone had taken up post inside my mind. Take it and let me know if it’s as accurate for you as it was for me.

Being a Mom is hard and wonderful and the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in how motherhood is affecting me that I forget that it’s hard for them too.

Chrome is my browser of choice… Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari are {mostly} dead to me. With that said, it would be hard to make me love it more, but these Chrome life hacks may have done the trick.

A couple of months ago I had an EPIC craving for something asian. We were at the height of Eleanor’s food allergies which meant I couldn’t eat anything delicious. I stumbled across this pad thai recipe and we’ve been making it a couple of times per month since. It’s easy, delicious and just so happens to be gluten, dairy and soy free!

Finally Friday.

Finally Friday!

Hello Friday, it’s nice to see you. This week has been good and packed full of bible study, time at home, comedy works with my family and good weather. The only downside was the BIG TIME explosion of purple berry smoothie early this morning. But that humiliation (and extreme amount of clean-up) has now passed and made room for Friday excitement.

This weekend we’ve got lots of down time (which is always nice) — we’re having a BBQ date night tonight at Hickory House in Parker. Tomorrow we’ve got some birthday festivities and then we’re headed to the zoo for Christian’s summer work party (hippos + vino = yes, please). Sunday we’re going on a hunt for the cheapest organic produce near us — Costco and Sprouts, I’m looking at you.  Hope you have a great weekend!

Here are a few of my favorites from around the interwebs this week:

So I found this site from another post on raising a family outside the US, [side note: I LOVE reading about other cultures… or people in general… cannot get enough] and this post with the line “I make the babies, you kill the spiders” totally echos my sentiments when it comes to my marriage, but also embodies my fear of spiders 10 fold. Think we have spiders here in the US? Check out the ones from this post in the Congo.

Currently, we have 13 zucchini and squash plants growing in our back yard. I planted all these seeds thinking that only a few of them would actually come up. I was wrong (they all did) and then when I couldn’t give them away, I felt bad murdering the little baby sprouts that I had planted. Anyways. I’m about to have a plethora of squash varieties that will need to be used, and these zucchini pancakes look like a great option.

How often are you asking yourself “how much can I get away with?” — I’m guessing it’s a lot more than you think. I’d never heard it put this way, but your beliefs and efforts might be what’s holding you back.

I loved these free planners — especially the blog post layouts. Maybe if I write it all out for August it will inspire me to actually stick to a posting schedule. Just maybe.

Have you ever had paleo bread? I haven’t. But, I think I’m going to try to make a loaf this weekend and see how it turns out. I’m thinking either this cinnamon loaf or this more general bread recipe. If it goes well I’ll report back with details.

For the past few weeks I’ve been getting my butt kicked by Jillian Michaels in my living room, but sometimes I need a break from the same video routines. This pyramid workout might have to get added to the rotation.

Bonus: Here’s a free marriage manifesto printable — I’m a sucker for any sort of typography print, if you haven’t already noticed. How much is too much when it comes to hanging words on your walls?

Finally Friday.

A Glimpse of My Week

It’s Friday and I have some AH-MAZ-ING news…

The black widow is dead. [Insert happy dance]. I officially evicted the little creature and placed his tupperware out on the back deck on the 27th (of May). It died half way through this week (for those not keeping track it lived about 3.5 weeks in the tupperware without water, air or food). I’m thinking that it was the 91 degree day that really did him in. Either way, he’s toast and I’m thrilled.

Anyways, enough about the spider and on to something a little less creepy (and dead). From the bottom of my soul I am just so very thankful for summer and each and every day I just can’t soak up enough of the sunshine, crisp green leaves and the little blooming flowers that are poking up everywhere. Plus, our garden is planted and growing – it’s wonderful! When its 75 degrees outside with a light breeze blowing, I’m not even sure how I survive winter… needless to say, it was a good week.

This weekend is also packed with goodness: I brought a big container of cookies to work today (which makes Friday that much sweeter), then we’ve got date night tonight, a family portrait session tomorrow morning followed by a BBQ with some family in town from Iowa. Then on Sunday we’ve got some top-secret plans on the books. Looking forward to it all!

Here are my favorite finds from around the interwebs:

Spoiler Alert: I’m not pregnant, but after watching my sister go through her pregnancy and hearing all the criticism out there about gaining weight while growing a baby, I thought this article was a very important reminder that pregnancy comes in all shapes and sizes… not just skinny.

There’s something about having to start at the beginning or start over that always leaves me with a sense of apprehension. I want to be an expert from the start, you know? That way I don’t have to worry about making stupid mistakes or failing all together. But, in reality, that’s not how it happens. You have to start somewhere.

Is it just me, or does everything have the possibility of giving you cancer or ruining your health? First it was sunscreen now its the particle boards inside our walls. Le sigh. In an effort to combat it, here are some tips on de-toxing your home. With the warm weather going on around here, opening the windows more often shouldn’t be an issue!

If there’s something nearby with the words chocolate and peanut butter in the name, you can be certain that it will find its way into my pie hole. The whole salty sweet combo gets me nearly every time. When I saw this recipe for Vanilla Peanut Butter Chunk + Chocolate Ice Cream I wanted to inhale my screen. We should try it.

Have you heard of Naptime Diaries? I. Love. Her. Blog. It’s so uplifting, real and absolutely centered on Christ. Plus, their print shop has me wanting to buy every single one for our home (I bought this one, recently). This week she released a free scripture print that you can download and then print yourself – in almost any size.

There is never a time when taking two months off in the middle of the summer doesn’t sound good. The same can be said for a leisurely meal outside a sweet little cafe. Maybe I’m meant to be French? I’ll settle for living in Europe… at some point. Mmmk? This post on “WTF America” makes me want to slow down, live a little more intentionally and move to Paris.



Finally Friday.

Life, Love & Garlic: You're The Chicken To My Waffle

Ahem… It’s Fri-yi-dahy! AND it’s Memorial Day weekend (re: three-day weekend)! Doesn’t get better than that. Oh wait, there’s forecasted good weather – it, in fact, does get better! Which is great timing since this week was really slow for me. The dogs have been waking us up 1-2 times a night and it’s starting to take its toll. They’re cute. That’s what keeps them alive.

We, also, caught a black widow in our garden last weekend which is now living in a Tupperware on our table. Each time I look over at it, I get that heebie-jeebie, shivery feeling makes its way up my spine. I wish it would just die already so I wouldn’t have to look at it and continue my mandatory “bang it on the table to see if it moves and is hence still alive” maneuver each morning. People keep telling me to just “kill it”, and to them I say “you want to take the top off the Tupperware? Be. My. Guest.” Maybe I’ll just leave it, in the Tupperware, out in the sun. That’ll cook it, right?

This post has taken a turn for the weird.

Anyways. What’s on tap the next three days? Some of my family from Iowa, including baby Bentley, are coming to visit for the weekend (they get here this afternoon), I’m photographing a wedding on Saturday and then taking it easy the rest of the time. I do believe there will be hamburgers on the grill and a few glasses of wine in my future. Oh, and some baby holding since there will be two babies hanging around. It will be great, I just have a feeling.

Here are a few of my favorite finds from around the interwebs for this week:

My very favorite post of the week was this list of 10 blog posts you’ll wish you had read sooner. In fact, it ate up a couple hours over the course of two days. The best of the list includes:

This list of common misconceptions will eat up the better part of an hour to look through, but trust me when I tell you it is not time wasted. I was particularly intrigued by the entries about: seared meat, nails growing after you’re dead, hydrogen peroxide and blood.

I love the idea of showering someone with affirmations on their birthday! Doesn’t it seem like such a genuine way to celebrate exactly who they are? I’ll have to remember this since birthday season is almost here.

Have you ever had one of those moments where your friend (mother, sister, boyfriend, cousin etc.) said the most perfect thing possible — even when it wasn’t a “sunshine and rainbows” kind of moment? Here’s a list of  things we don’t say enough (and when to use them) that will help you be the person with all the wisdom and perfect words.

Lately we’ve been having smoothies for breakfast and salads for lunch… it really takes all the decision (and cheating) out of 2 meals a day! Plus, those two can be made in infinite ways, making it a new endeavor each day! I think, next week, I’ll try this Bacon Apple Vinaigrette Salad – seems so summery and it has bacon! as one of the main ingredients!

Learning to tell Christian what he means to me in a way that means something to him (still with me?) has been something I’ve had to work on. While I may want fluffy and romantic, that stuff doesn’t do a whole lot for him. Hence why I found this guide on 62 things to tell your husbands to be a good, quick read!

P.S. I’ve been having WAY too much fun with the A Beautiful Mess app on my iPhone — the options are endless and so is the stream of randomly captioned photos of the dogs that I’ve been sending to Christian. Also, that waffle photo? Compliments of my new app and the way I show love. Food. And weird comparisons.

Best Present EVER.

I’m terrified of bugs. Absolutely terrified. I will jump out of the shower (shampoo in hair) and run down the hall screaming if a spider decides to drop in for steam bath. I can’t sleep in a room if I know there is a spider lurking, and don’t even get me started on that whole “you eat 8 spiders a year while you sleep”. Can’t handle it. Nightmares.

So, my quest for a bug killing solution started a few years ago while I was studying in Spain with my amiga Jacqui. We were staying with this little senora named Rosario. Darling woman. She only had one big front tooth, but she could make a Spanish tortilla like nobody’s business. If not for all the walking I would have gained 50 lbs. in a month. Here’s a picture of our little Rosario:


Told you she was *tiny*...


We, of course, didn’t have air conditioning in our building. I mean why, in 100+ humid weather, could you possibly need air conditioning? Considering everytime an ambulance wailed by she would comment on losing another “old” one to the heat… we were obviously just fine sweating through our clothes. In order to not die we opened the windows into the courtyard — well not so much a coutyard, but a hole in the middle of the building where everyone hung their clean underwear, but that’s another story…

It was one of our last nights in Granada and we were finishing up our final projects when a BEAST BUG flew in through my open window. It was essentially a big, green cockroach with wings. Imagine me… screaming, flailing and trying to communicate (insert language barrier here) what the hell was going on. I run through the one long hallway yelling “cucaracha, cucaracha” (the spanish work for cockroach) due to the lack of the actual BEAST BUG’s name. Little Rosario pulls herself up from her nightly soap, grabs a can of what can only be described as toxic waste and sprays the thing to death. A few minutes of aerosol toxic waste. In my room. With the BEAST BUG. At least he was dead right?

She grabs him up and sends him swirling down the toilet. Things had calmed down, until I re-entered my now bug free room and began to immediately choke on the toxic waste. Coughing, heaving, eyes watering, gagging, more heaving etc. were all a part of my next hour. If I ever develop some sort of respiratory disease or lung cancer, this is why.

I have since determined that there has to be a better way to manage these pests. Running soap in eyes through the halls and choking on toxic waste just can’t be the only options. Enter my birthday present:

It electrocutes any little creepy crawler or flying beetle that decides to mess with me and/or just hang around on the front porch. Some call it sadistic, I call it preventative measures.