Friday, September 28, 2012

Random Rambling 006 - Fitness Editions



01::  So, I have these diamond studs that I wear during my runs.  It's my little way of trying to look cute while running {Trust me, I am not cute when I run, I'm a hot mess}.  Somehow, I have managed to loose them this week, and I'm so sad. {I'll be headed to Charming Charlie to buy another pair - and maybe a few more things - soon!!}

02::  On Wednesday, hubs practically dragged me out the door to go for our run.  Seriously, I did NOT want to go and had all of my excuses lined up.  I'm tired.  The house is messy.  I just want to be home - we haven't been home all week.  Ten minutes into the run, I was so thankful that man made me do it.  It was one of the best runs we've had recently - even with the speed work.

03:: Success really is just doing it. It doesn't matter if it's only for ten minutes, or if it's slow, or if you look like a hot mess.  I'm thankful for the small successes.

 
04:: Last week when we ran our intervals, this man cheered us on from his front porch.  His encouragement surprised me at first, and I wondered if he was making fun of me.  But, he wasn't.  It was exactly what I needed to keep sprinting through that first set.

05::  I am so humbled and honored by friends who have recently said my ridiculous instagram pictures have inspired them.  Your words keep me motivated and mean the world to me.  Thank you!

{P.S. Don't forget about the make-up offer my friend Laura Sue is offering us!}

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Guest Post: Laura Sue & MK


Hi Friends!  I have some exciting news!  My long-time, very sweet friend Laura Sue is guest posting today on my blog.  She is a Mary Kay consultant and offering all of you lovely readers a 25% discount from her shop!  Whoo-hoo!!  I love, love, love their lip-glosses!!!  Earlier this year I went super-bold and picked up a tube of the Rock 'n' Red lip gloss, but I can't wait to get my hands on the Cafe Au Lait color.  They are not sticky or tacky, but light and make your lips feel so fresh!   My mom always says you look better with a little color on your lips.  :)  Take a look around her shop {the link is below} and think about taking advantage of the 25% discount.

Let me tell you, I've got my wishlist - face wash, moisturizer {well, the whole Miracle Set}, the microdermabrasion set.  I really love MK's skin care.

I'll let Laura Sue tell you more of her story.



Hello, lovelies!  This is so fun. I’ve never done a guest post on a blog, so this is exciting!

A little history - LeAnne and I have been friends for-ev-er.  There’s something so special about growing up with someone.  You know her in such a different way, you know?  You can’t lie to someone who loved you through your NKOTB phase.  And when you’ve shared as many coffee dates and chick flick dates as we have through the years, there’s no denying that we’re kindred spirits!

Well, LeAnne asked me to drop by and share a little about what I do.  I have one of the coolest jobs on the planet - seriously!  I spend time with women of all ages, and my number one goal every time I sit down with someone is to help her feel a little bit better than she did before we met.  Sound weird?  Maybe.  You see, I teach skincare and color cosmetics with Mary Kay.  I know what you’re probably thinking two things:  
  1. How on earth does someone make a living out of selling lipstick?
  2.   Do you have your pink Cadillac?
Ha!  Well, first of all, I don't sell that much lipstick compared to our other products (although Midnight Red is my favorite shade of all time!).  I joke with my customers that this isn't your grandma's Mary Kay!  You see, even though I’m technically in sales I don’t think of myself as a sales person.  In fact, I don’t really care for sales people.  Shocking, I know.  My focus is always on serving.  You never know when someone’s having a rough day and just needs to feel a little better about herself.  If you’re anything like me, I sit a little taller, smile a little wider, and laugh a little louder when I feel good about how I look.  When we, as women, feel good about ourselves it makes us better wives, mothers, friends, etc.  For my customers - whether  they just want clear skin or a fun, new eye shadow - my goal is always to help them find what they need.  The majority of my services are actually free, so it’s fun to sit down with someone, pressure-free, and just play with products!

One of my favorite things about Mary Kay as a company is that it has a deep heart.  The Mary Kay Foundation is dedicated to donating money to women’s shelters as well as research for cancers directly affecting women.  Click here to read about their most recent donations.

As a former high school teacher, I’ve seen a lot of kids who come from homes that are clearly unsafe.  I love knowing that in sharing Mary Kay products with others, I’m also helping families find a safe place of refuge when things get rough.  

Right now, $1 will be donated to The Mary Kay FoundationSM from each sale of limited-edition Beauty That Counts® Mary Kay® NouriShine Plus® Lip Gloss in “Inspiring” and “Possibilities.  As a thank you for ordering one or both of these shades, I’m offering all readers of LeAnne’s blog 25% off your ENTIRE order through Sunday, September 30th.  Just enter the code RAMBLING along with your payment info when you order, and I’ll add your discount when I process.  Oh, and shipping is always free :)

Thanks for letting me share with you today.  If you don’t currently have a Mary Kay Consultant, I would love to take care of you.  Also, feel free to visit my blog over at Love, Laura Sue!  Have a beautiful day!

P.S.  I’m working on that Cadillac! :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Baked Couscous

When Mom and Dad were visiting a couple of weeks ago, Mom cooked dinner a couple of nights.  She's been trying to get me to try this dish for almost a year since I mentioned that hubs and I have been eating less meat.  It's been on my radar, but I just haven't gotten around to it.  Well, let me say it's delish!  {Sorry, I don't have any cool, step-by-step pictures to go along with the recipe}

Disclaimer: This recipe does not have specific measurements, so I apologize.  I'm usually a strict recipe follower {at least the first time around}.

Baked Couscous
1 cup Israeli couscous {this is the larger pearlized kind}
Broccoli chopped
Carrots chopped
Spoonful of mayonnaise
1 teaspoon garlic
1 cup grated parmesan 

Step 1:
Cook couscous according to the directions.

Step 2:
Chop broccoli and carrots and steam together for 3 minutes.  You still want your veggies to have some crunch to them as they are going to be baked.   I usually eyeball the amount of vegetables {well, the one time I made this dish} to use in this dish.  Special note: you can choose whatever veggie combination you like.  I happen to like broccoli and carrots together.  Plus, my mom said it's the best combo.

Step 3:
Mix together couscous, vegetables and remaining ingredients in a casserole dish {maybe an 8x8 pan}.  You want just enough mayo to wet ingredients.  I would rather skip the mayo bit but I haven't made this recipe enough to figure out what else to use.  Sprinkle top with parmesan.  

Step 4: 
Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

Enjoy!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fill in the Blank Friday

 
1. Something I am very proud of is    running this week and choosing to live a no excuses life {one step at a time, my friends}    .
 
2. My favorite thing about myself is   my Southern-ness - that I care about cooking good food, being hospitabe, welcoming people into my home, being opinionated, {or stubborn}, saying yes ma'am {even as an adult}, being a story-teller, loving college football {and tailgating}, our Bible-beltness, our loyalty, our screen porches     .

3. My favorite color for fall is    mustard yellow, but I don't have anything that color right now.  Hmm, maybe I need a little shopping trip  :) .

4. Something I've been learning lately is how important good, true, authentic community is and how to better at intentionally being part of that kind of community      .

5. A book I am reading now/have read recently is   The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman.  This is the third or fourth time I've read this book {this time around it's for the class mentioned below} I like it because of its focus on Jesus' ministry and the uncomplicated strategy of how he did {does} things .


6. My favorite Pandora Station is   Ingrid Michaelson. I just started listening to Pandora again so I can't really remember all of my favs.  What do you suggest? .

 
7. This weekend I will   be going to a retreat for a discipleship/spiritual formation course at our church this year and it's the kickoff event.  I'm pretty excited about getting started, getting to know the folks in the class, and being intentional about my own spiritual formation  .
 
{P.S. I'm linking up to The Little Things We Do}  



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Working It OUT



Alright, here's where I post about how awesome my run was yesterday and how I killed it.  Ugh, let me be honest, I did not kill it.  I survived it.  It was a tough run. 

1.  First off, I was sore from Monday's run, which left my pace a little slower. {Sidenote, Monday's run was awesome - I pushed myself on speed and to pick up my feet instead of my usual shuffle}.

2.  Work was a little rough yesterday because I wasn't nearly as productive as I had hoped to be, which made me less motivated to exercise when I got home.

3.  I wore shorts for intervals - that was a BAD idea.  My shorts kept riding up, which in and of itself is pretty uncomfortable.  The bigger issue is that I'm embarrassed of how I look in said shorts while running, especially when they creep on up to.  Not to mention the thighs rubbing together thing.  Altogether uncomfortable.  I will not  be wearing shorts on a run anytime soon.  Anybody feel me on this one?

4.  Most importantly, somewhere in my mind I think that because I've decided to start exercising that running should be easy.  It's just not easy.  It's not supposed to be easy. This expectation is where there is a break-down.   I compare myself to some of my friends who seem to be able to run several miles with MUCH greater ease than me.   Why can't I be like them?  Then, I get down on myself for my supposed lack of success.   Yesterday, I wanted to quit my run before I even started the intervals. 

Usually I feel pretty good after a run but not yesterday.  Hubs had to remind me of the success.  My thinking has to change so that I can see finishing the run {or even getting out there in the first place?} makes it a worthwhile workout. I'm hoping that one day soon these runs get a little easier.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Weighty Goals


Today I realized that I started this blog almost three years ago to document my weight-loss journey.  I had just joined a Biggest Loser Competition with some of my friends and was attempting to lose 15% of my body fat.  Since that first competition, this blog morphed into more of my ramblings besides my weight-loss adventures, and I'm good with that.  Now, I'm back on my weight-loss, exercise more, be healthy and happy about it journey. 

This time I'm not in a competition.  This time I have more manageable goals.  This time I'm planning to share at least once a week about the journey here.  My goal is to lose 20 pounds - 5 pounds each month.  August was awesome.  I met my goal and lost the five pounds - equivalent to a bag of sugar.  I counted my calories and exercised.  I'm thinking the Olympics help inspire me.

Then, September arrived.  I have not lost weight but instead have seen the scale go up and down and back up {I'm up three of the five pounds I lost}.  I'm frustrated.  The honest truth is that I haven't been as disciplined as I should have been.  I cheated.  Thankfully, today is a new day, and all I can do it move forward.  I'm not sure if it's possible to lose 8 pounds in the next 13 days healthfully, but I'm back on the train, folks.

I'll be jogging 2-3 miles tonight after work.  Hubs and I are mapping out a 5K training plan tonight.  There is talk among friends of starting p90x in the next couple of weeks... 

I'd love your comments and encouragements along the way {yes, I'm even shamelessly soliciting them}.  I'd love for any of you to join me in this journey. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Mom & Dad's Visit - The Small Things

Mom and Dad came to visit.  Have I mentioned this seventeen times already?   Well, it was pretty exciting and fun to have them here.  Really, it was just so great.  My favorite part of their trip were the little things - when we didn't do much of anything special.  

Each morning Dad drove me to work so that he and Mom could use the car to sight-see while hubs and I were at work.  It was my favorite part of the day.  Even though the ride was super short {I only work one mile from home}, it was quality time with him.  It felt like schooldays all over again, except the car was a little less embarrassing than his two tone Crown Vic.  One morning he was a trooper and helped me pick up breakfast for a work-meeting - I rushed him all over the store.  So thankful!

We played this game Dominion a couple of nights.  Mom was hoping that we'd play Settlers of Catan.  We never got around to it.  Maybe next time.  

Mom cooked a couple of our suppers.  And, Dad was the amazing, superstar dishwasher all week long. And, he mopped my floors.  Mom bought me a little plant.  They went grocery shopping.  Thanks so much.  

Hanging out on our porch after it rained for 10 minutes.  
On Saturday morning, we went on a walk at the Rose Bowl. Well, hubs ran a lap while the three of us walked it.  Mom and Dad set the pace, and it was pretty challenging keeping up with them. 

We tried {some of} our favorite restaurants: the taco truck, In N Out, Porto's {for their delish cheese rolls and potato balls}, and Yogurtland.

Mom & Dad with their burgers.  Dad wasn't that impressed, but Mom liked her's.
Our time together was one of my favorite visits with them.  I loved, loved, loved having them here in Pasadena.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

An Unforgettable Day


I will never forget.  I was in Dr. Wasley's eight am Modern Poetry class where we were  ironically discussing Eliot's The Wasteland.  Someone walked into class and asked if we had heard the news.  We hadn't.  We couldn't believe it was really true.  

It was the beginning of my junior year at the University of Georgia - one of the first cool mornings of Fall.  A Tuesday.  Same as this year.  By lunchtime UGA had become practically deserted.  That afternoon, my roommate and I invited all of our friends over for dinner.  We just wanted to be near to people we loved.  Is it strange that I remember exactly what we ate {jumbalaya, green beans, and fruit salad}?


{Source}
I remember wondering, "what's next?  Are we going to war?  Is {more} war coming to us?"  Someone hung a flag from the arches on campus and students lit candles as a memorial.  It is a day so many of us won't forget.  That day {and maybe week?} time stood still for so many of us.  And, for so many of us our lives have been changed forever.  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Book Club

Mom and Dad flew home earlier today.  It was such a fantastic visit with them - probably one of the best {their first to Los Angeles}.  Hubs is suggesting that I stay busy this next week to distract me from missing them.  Luckily for me, my book club met tonight.


Earlier this summer a few friends and I started a book club.  This month, we read A Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.  It was an interesting read about a futuristic dystopia told by Offred, the Handmaid.  We never learn her real name - only that she is the Handmaid of a Commander whose first name is Fred.  This is how all the handmaids are named as part of their Commanders' identities.  Her voice was compelling and I was so drawn into her story.  I loved the way she flipped from present to flashbacks.  While I can't say I loved the book, I have to say that I couldn't put it down.  I finished it in less than a week and gave it four stars on Goodreads.

What are y'all reading now?  Any friends in Pasadena want to join us next month?


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Quick Update

 
Mom and Dad are here visiting.  It's the first time they've been out to see us since our move last summer.  I'm enjoying every minute with them {even the ones when I turn into my 15 year-old self}.  Last Friday, hubs and I met them in San Fransisco and spent the weekend sight-seeing {more on this in a separate post} and drove down the Pacific Coast Highway on Sunday.  I wish we had had another day or two to meander through the little towns, hike or even camp along the way. 

Now that we're back in Los Angeles, they're spending their days sight-seeing in the LA area while hubs and I go to work.  I'm loving having supper with them every night.  Last night Dad and hubs went to the grocery store after supper.  I promised to make chocolate chip cookies if Mom and I could stay home.  {I am not a fan of going to the grocery}.  I halfed the recipe because I only had one egg, but I forgot to half the butter.  While the cookies were pretty tasty, they came out of the oven a little flat.  The sad thing is, I didn't realize what I did wrong until this morning. 

Here's to soaking-in every moment with my family - flat, overly buttery cookies and all!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fill in the Blank Friday

Today, I am linking up with Lauren from the little things we do for a fill in the blank friday post.  Hope you enjoy! 


1. The best thing to do on a hot day is  head to the beach early {so you get good parking} and stay all day with a good book or magazine, a cold drink, good friends and lots of sunscreen  .
 
 
2. The best place to be on a hot day is  Blue Springs when there was still a spring there.  It was the best place to swim on a hot summer day because the water was so cold.  I'm hoping and praying that our natural spring will one day run again    .

3. The best thing to eat on a hot day is cold watermelon {I've really been on a watermelon kick lately}...or having cookout food, like a hotdog with cheese on it {right, Shelby?} and key-lime pie  .
 
4. Hot days are my fav.  They make me wish I were at the beach {I may have been listening to a little Jimmy Buffet earlier today} or on summer vacation.  If I'm inside, I'm grumpy because our little box air-conditioning unit doesn't keep the house very cool.


5. My go to uniform on a warm summer day is a cotton skirt, my new orange tank top and rainbows {with painted toe nails, of course}... and a pair of stud earrings.
 
 
6. The scent that reminds me of summer is  Confederate jasmine...heavenly   .
 
7. My favorite thing about summer is the longer daylight hours.  It makes it easier to fit in fun activities with friends after work   .
 
 
What are your favorite things to do in the Summer?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Random Ramblings 005



01::  Hubs and I have been staying up way too late every night watching the Olympics, and we're pretty sad that it's over.  I loved watching the games with him and being amazed at how fast and skilled these athletes are.  It's been inspiring to watch Mo Farah, Missy Franklin, the Fab 5 and Kirani James {first medal for Granada!} win the gold. It kills me when they show the athletes' parents cheering for their kids.  And has anyone else noticed how good the commercials are?

02:: Apparently the Olympics inspired Mike and me to start running again.  Tuesdays, Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays we run 2-3 miles after work {in the hot, hot sun}. Glad to have exercise in our lives again.  Hubs gave me a Timex sports watch for our anniversary so that I can keep track of my running times - it totally motivates me to push myself on our runs.   


03::  I am loving this new basecoat called "Sticky" from CND.  My friend Paige suggested I get some after complaining that my nails were chipping the day after I painted them.  Seriously, this stuff works.  It keeps nail polish on my nails for a week plus!

04::  I've been thinking about taking a break from facebook or completely disabling my account. What do you think? I think it's more of a time-waster for me these days than anything else.  At the same time, it would be hard since we are far away from so many friends and family, and I love being able to see their pictures and updates.

05::  We bought a new dresser {well, new to us} last Sunday night.  I was so proud of hubs.  He was spontaneous with me and jumped in the car after seeing a post on Craig's List.  Now, I'm itching to redecorate our bedroom.  I'm sure I'll post more details about it soon.  :)

What was your favorite Olympic event?  I loved watching the runners, but diving was my favorite.  Since we don't have cable, Hubs was bummed because he couldn't watch the less popular sports {table tennis, kayaking, basketball}.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hollywood Bowl


Earlier this month, our BIL gave us incredibly good tickets to the Hollywood Bowl to see Frozen Planet.  The Hollywood Bowl is a beautiful outdoor venue in the Hollywood Hills that plays concerts all summer long.  It was our first time at the Bowl, and we loved it!  We had box tickets with an incredible view.  The box has four seats that face each other before the show so that you can use fold-up tables to picnic or order dinner.  Once the show begins, ushers come by and take the tables.

We got there an hour early so that we could eat a picnic dinner - a spread of chicken salad, pimento cheese, peaches, potato balls, pita chips and lemonade.  I was a little worried at first that we would have to share our box with another couple, but {thankfully} they didn't arrive until right before the show. 


Once the sun went down, the show started!  It was amazing to hear the Los Angeles Philharmonic play the soundtrack to the BBC documentary while we watched on the screen.  It was pretty cool to see George Fenton, who wrote the entire score for the documentary, conduct the orchestra that night.  Frozen Planet is the third part of the Planet series and focused on the life and environment of the Artics.  The whole documentary is amazing, but we loved watching the penguins and a family of baby polar bears.


Hubs and I had a great time together and look forward to going back to the Bowl later this summer.  Next time, I'm sure we won't have such good seats.  :)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Birthday Boy

Hi there!  It's me, your old friend.  I know it's been a while since I've shared anything on here.  Thankfully, life has been so good to us, and we've been busy enjoying it.


This month, in particular, we've been celebrating hubs' 30th birthday!  And, while I still feel a bit guilty about not throwing a huge birthday bash, I think we've been having a good time.  This year, hubs and I decided to celebrate each others' birthdays for the entire month.  


On hubster's actual birthday, we had a family dinner celebration.  Mike's sister, brother-in-law and niece over for homemade calzones, salad and cake {white chocolate raspberry cheesecake} from our favorite bakery.  It was fun to hang out with them and see Gracie-girl help Uncle Mike open his presents.



The next weekend we went with our friends, the Lam's, to Fosselman's for ice cream.  I had the chocolate covered strawberry, and hubs' had taro and coffee.  The taro was soooo good.


Last weekend, we went on a morning date to see The Amazing Spiderman and then for a quick lunch at Chick-fil-A.  We really miss Chick-fil-A so it was quite a treat go there- the closest one to our us is in downtown LA {a thirty minute drive without traffic}.  One of the local theaters offers half price tickets if you go to a show before noon {hence the morning date}.  It was a fun day and the movie was better than we expected {maybe it was because I'm such a big Emma Stone fan}

To round out the celebration, I took Mike to get a cupcake from Wonderland Cupcakes in Old Town Pasadena yesterday.  This guy is a two time winner of the Cupcake Wars on the Food Network. And, let me tell you, they are definitely delicioso.  

Last night, we had friends from our Life Group over for low country boil.  They had no idea what it was so it was fun to introduce them to a Southern specialty.  Then, we met some other friends to see The Dark Knight Rises.  {Are you seeing a pattern?  Apparently, we like food and movies.}  :)


Happy Birthday, Mike!  You are my favorite, favorite!  The love of my life and my best friend.  I hope that this year brings lots of new adventures. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

May Musings

Alright, I know I've been MIA lately.  I don't have any excuses...here's a quick upate.

May was fantastic - I'm sad to see it go.  It's my birthday month, which of course makes it my favorite month.  Hubs did a terrific job celebrating my birthday - all. month. long.  It was full of fun things and a few surprises.  We went to a new restaurant, The Boiling Crab, for my actual birthday.  So delish!  I'm a big fan of low country boil, and this place almost serves low country boil - as close as you can get out here.  Babe, you did a great job making this girl feel loved.

The next night, I went out with the gals from my Life Group.  My sweet friend Jessie coordinated the time for all of us to get together.  We went to this super cute place, Magnolia Lounge.  After we ate supper {the best salad ever - steak, pears, figs, blue cheese}, these ladies shared words of encouragement.  It was the best gift!  I am humbled to call these women friends.  Trust me, they know how to make me feel special and incredibly blessed.  Can't wait to do this again with them!




Thursday, May 17, 2012

Recent Reads


I'm reading {listening} to a book on tape {err..mp3}, Where the River Ends by Charles Martin.   He's a Southern lit guy, and I like the way he captures the South with his words and stories.  Basically, he is Nicholas Sparks meets Pat Conroy.  Today, on the drive home, I heard this description of Southerners and it resonated with me and reminded me of my people.  It reminded me of where I came from.

"[Southerners] talk slower often stretching two syllables into five, use phrases that make little sense on the surface, dip Copenhagen and drink beer simultaneously, and have no desire to understand a New York minute.  Admittedly, college degrees are not the norm.  PhDs are few.  And while outsiders drive across the bridge and see little more than drunk rednecks, they do well to never confuse cultural difference with ignorance or stupidity. 

Beneath the twangy exterior, they value common sense, make due with less, laugh easily, and will give you the shirt off their backs.  They are the salt of the earth.  When you’re not in a hurry, pull up a chair and you will find your stomach full and that laughter has creased your face with wrinkles."
 Where the River Ends, Charles Martin


What do you think?  What words ring true to where you came from?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

True Confession

I am a slob.  Let me just put it out there - I'm slobby {is that a word?}.  I pile my clothes on the floor ; I leave papers on the table and shoes by the door.  And...hub's favorite my stuff is everywhere on the bathroom counter.

I wish it weren't so, but it's true.  While I really love a clean house {it makes me feel better about life}, apparently I don't love it enough to actually so something about it.  Anyone feel me on this?  These days I blame it on our old-school apartment - no dishwasher.  {All of our clean-up time goes to hand-washing the dishes}.  If you ask anyone who has ever lived with me, they'll tell you it's true.

Before leaving work today, I had grand plans to clean the house from top to bottom because our life group from church is coming over tomorrow night.  {I mean, c'mon, I don't want them to see our dirty house}.  Well, it didn't happen.  I had a hair appointment at 7:45 tonight which meant my evening got cut in half.  I didn't get into a cleaning groove before I left, and by the time I got home I had no motivation to do it.  I guess our friends will just have to see how the Kelly's really live.  :)

Sometime a couple of weeks ago while browsing Pinterest, I found this cool calendar guide to keeping my home clean.  I love lists and tips.  I've been trying oh-so-hard to follow this guide, but haven't been 100% successful.  I'd say I've been a little better about doing the dishes at night and trying to put my clothes away {tonight I hung up 7 pairs of pants - no, they weren't all on the floor}.



Here's to lofty goals and {hopefully} a cleaner house.  Do you have any tricks or tips for cleaning the house?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Random Ramblings 004




Hello! It's been a while, huh? How have you been? Me? I'm fine...good, even. It's hard to think of where to start since I've been absent for so long. Hope you can enjoy my crazy rambles and a quick update.

01: It's National Volunteer Recognition Week - the biggest week of the year for my department. I mentioned in a previous post that I work with volunteers at a hospital. Every day this week, I {along with my incredible colleagues} have hosted a lunch for 200+ volunteers and hospital staff, nurses, doctors, and executives to thank them for their service. It's been an amazing time {and quite exhausting} to interact with our volunteers who really are changing lives.

02: This week, right before one of our Volunteer Appreciation lunches started, the heel on my pump broke. This is the second pair of heels in the last week that I've managed to break. It's a bummer. Thank goodness I brought a pair of flats to work with me. I mean, who can stand in heels all day long? Not this girl. I've always been rough on my shoes - even as a little girl. Hubs asked me this weekend {before this week's shoe disaster} if there were such a thing as shoe insurance. This is why we have more than one pair of black pumps, right ladies? At least I get to go shoe shopping soon {if I could only get the pumps in the picture}!

03: Mike's parents came to visit earlier this month during my MIL's Spring Break. It was really great spending the week together! While they were here we went to the Los Angeles Zoo {our first visit}, ate at the Oinkster, introduced the fam to Porto's {a local restaurant and bakery with the best pastries ever}, and planned our Wild West Family vacation {more on this later}.

04: We took a trip to Ikea on Saturday to buy a much needed bookcase {plus a few other things}. This week has been so crazy for us that we haven't had a chance to put the thing together. Once it's up, I'm sure I'll share pictures {I have lots of homey things to update y'all on}.

05: Have I already talked about how much I love our Life Group? Earlier this year our group had to split in half because there were just too many of us in one group. We now are part of a group of 5 couples {including us} - plus 6 kiddos - who meet for dinner and Bible study every Friday night. It's been a really great experience, and I've loved figuring out how to do life together {it's still a work in progress}.

What have you been up to lately? Do you have any shoe disaster stories?


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Flex-itarian Ways

Hubs and I have been making an attempt at eating less meat {I know I've mentioned this in previous posts}. Over the summer, hubs read this book that convinced him we should eat less meat for health, societal, humane, and environmental reasons {I haven't been brave enough to read it yet}. Interestingly enough my whole family is choosing to eat less meat.

Anyway, I had this eggplant in my fridge we had to use or toss so tonight we tried a new veggie pizza recipe I found from the web {I'm making a renewed effort to make sure I'm not throwing out unused food}. I would have taken a pic of the process, but I didn't think of it. And, because I came home from the grocery with a terrible headache, my sweet hubs made our supper. We were pleased with the recipe and will make this pizza again.

Garden Eggplant Pizza

1 large eggplant, peeled
1 medium tomato
1 red bell pepper
1 onion
1 small zucchini
3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 (14 oz.) prebaked Italian pizza crust {I made my own pizza dough}
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Chop first 5 ingredients coarsely, sauté in 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 10 minutes or until tender. {We should have put some of the seasonings in the skillet with the veggies before we layer the toppings on the dough}. Layer pizza crust evenly with cheese and eggplant mixture, sprinkle with basil and next 5 ingredients. Drizzle with remaining oil.
Bake pizza at 425°F for 10 minutes or until golden

Here's what's on the menu for the rest of the week:

Polish sausage, potatoes & onion skillet with green beans
Spicy Vegetable soup
Baked Ziti and Asparagus
Bean enchiladas & Spanish rice.

Do you have any delish eggplant recipes...or other vegetarian recipes? I think I'm trying to convince myself to like eggplant. :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Weekending

Sorry for my lapse in posts recently. Every time I decide to post, I get distracted by facebook, pinterest, my friends' blogs and all other randomness on the internet.

Anyway, I've been loving our weekends recently. Today has been a lazy Saturday so far. While hubs watches the football play-offs, I get to piddle around my house {piddling is my favorite}. Tonight, we're headed out for a date at our favorite burger place and to watch a movie with some good friends once their kids go to sleep.


Last weekend, we had a great time hanging out with my SIL and her family. We went to the outlet mall, which is ironically in Commerce, CA {for those of you who aren't from Athens, we used to go to the outlets in Commerce, GA} to help find a pair of sunglasses for my brother in law. Afterwards, they came over for a delicioso supper of homemade veggie calzones. It was super fun to have family dine at our new table {more on that in a later post}. We played Bezzerwizzer after dinner - it's a trivia board game. We played with them a year ago and decided it was too hard, but it was much more enjoyable this go-round.

On Sunday we got to take our favorite little boys to church with us on Sunday. We loved getting to spend some extra time with them! I'm not sure if I've mentioned before that our friends from Georgia, the Lam's, moved here a year before us so that they could go to school at Fuller too. They have the best two sons - ages 4 and 2. It's been super fun getting to share life with their family.

The rest of the day we relaxed: watched some football {well hubs watched and I painted my nails} and Kung Fu Panda 2. Cute movie. Overall, it was a great weekend.

What are you favorite things to do on the weekend?
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