March 28, 2011

week in photos

This week wasn't a particularly active one. The last part of the month keeps Matt at work more often, so there was a lot of cuddling and fetch playing with me and Harlem Jones. But it was a good week :) Here a few random moments from it in picture form.

I had cookies and milk for breakfast.....again. You should know by now that I have a serious cookie weakness.

I made a delicious chili. I found the original recipe on Kristens blog, and modified it just a tad.

Hung out backstage with hubby's band, The Waking Point, before their show on Saturday.

and, like I said, played lots of fetch with Harlem. We play fetch inside when it's cold out, because Harlem will not stand for the idea of not playing fetch at all for even one day. Here she is taking a quick break from our game of living room fetch...

and here she is 30 seconds later, done with break and ready to go.

Here's the recipe for that delicious chili, made in the crock pot : )

{ Brown Sugar Chili }
Crock pot: high 2 hours

1 lb extra-lean ground beef
½ c brown sugar
2 Tbsp prepared mustard
1 med-size onion, chopped
(2) 14 oz cans kidney beans, drained
1 pint low-sodium tomato juice
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
3 tsp chili powder
frozen corn or drained can of corn
about a tbsp honey (I use raw honey)

Brown lean ground beef & onion in a nonstick skillet over med heat.
Stir brown sugar & mustard into beef.

Combine all ingredients into slow cooker.

Cover. Cook on high 2 hours. If convenient, stir several times during cooking.

next time I think I might add some crushed red pepper or more chili powder to add a little more heat. But it was SO good. Matt said it was some the best chili he's ever had!


Music Monday: Landon Pigg

Todays music is "Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop" by Landon Pigg. This song is several years old, but I just saw the video for it a couple months ago. Is it not the sweetest video you've ever seen?!?! Swoon. I could watch it over and over. I love the concept, the tone, everything. I also want to paint my nails all different colors after seeing it on the girl in the video! Prepare to have your heart melted : )

March 26, 2011

spring goals part deux

I'm trying really hard to stick to my spring goals list. So far the things I'm doing best at are writing plans down and exercising 3 times a week. I got that little planner at Target, but then a couple weeks later I got an iphone, and I've been using the calendar on that to keep all my plans and stuff in. It's working out really well because it's always in my bag, whereas I might not always have a paper calendar with me and then forget to write stuff down. Also I think to look at my calendar on my phone everyday, whereas with the one I got from Target would sit on my dresser untouched sometimes for a couple days. It also has a little reminder alarm go off an hour or 2 before everything I schedule, so I can't forget. It's really nice. I feel a lot less scattered and unorganized now that I'm keeping my schedule.

As far as exercising, I've been mostly taking Harlem out and doing the walk/jog thing, and also I've found 2 dvd's that I really like. One is the Gaiam yoga conditioning for weight loss and the other is Jillian Michaels 30 day Shred. I like the yoga one because it focuses on the health aspects of yoga and how it helps your body. I tried to do a yoga video once and the first thing they said when it got started was to invite the sprits of whatever into my soul or something. Obvi not my thing, so I promptly said "pass" and turned it off. THIS yoga video, however, is only interested in helping you get healthier and more in tune with your body, which I'm all about. She explains why certain moves are beneficial while you're doing them, which I really like. For example, I never knew that twisting your torso helped to flush toxins out of your body. I think that's pretty cool! It's challenging but relaxing at the same time. I really feel good after I finish it. The 30 day shred is HARD. Like, I thought it was highly possible that I would keel over half way through, but I like it because 1) she doesn't say stupid crap like " you look great!" When she clearly has no idea how I look because she not here to see me. She says stuff like " If you want results, you have to fight for them." and "I know you want to quit, but don't. You can do this." and "There is no shame in doing the modified version, don't hurt yourself." And TRUST me when I say, I am doing the modified version. She also breaks everything down into 30-60 second circuits, and I really like that a lot. She goes from cardio to strength to abs and back again over and over for 20 minutes, but it doesn't feel repetitive or boring. And it's REALLY challenging, but I feel good after doing it.

I also THINK I'm doing good at being encouraging and wifely to Matt, but that I can always get better at : ) I have some ideas for crafty things, so hopefully I can do some fun stuff soon. My biggest struggle has been quiet times. I schedule them in every day, but the problem is actually doing it even when I see it on my schedule. It's so easy to get distracted. But I'm working hard on it!

As far as finding specific ministries, As I've prayed about it I've realized that the one thing I've been really heartbroken over and interested in for like a year is human trafficking and modern day slavery, so I've been getting involved with organizations and activities to help fight it. I'm walking in a 5k in April where all the proceeds go toward fighting human trafficking. I'm really excited to be a part of it and to Learn other ways that I can be a part of the fight. I'm praying that God opens doors for me to be make more of a difference in the lives of enslaved women and children in the forced prostitution industry, and in the lives of forced slaves all over the world.

Hope you're having a great weekend!

March 21, 2011

Weekend in Photos

This was a fun weekend. I saw lots of people that I love and ate good food. Can't beat that! Friday night we went to a Chinese Buffet. Buffets are another thing I took a solemn vow against long ago but I've recently decided that foreign ones are less dirty and yummy, so I'm making a compromise : ) Matt loves dessert at buffets, so he got a little of everything

Saturday, I went to a human trafficking awareness event at my old church, Fairfield First Baptist. It was hosted by my bestie and Stop Traffick Fashion was there sellling fair trade goods. Learning about and supporting the fight against modern day slavery has become close to my heart this year, and I'm really proud of Sarah for getting it together. This church and the people in it are so special to me. I love them so much. I was so glad to spend some time with them! Here is one of the tables set up from Stop Traffick Fashion...

and sweet Camille was there munching on some pound cake, I love her SOOOOOO much!

Then I visited with my grandma for a little bit while I waited for the beard to get off work. We went home and played with this pretty girl

On Sunday, we had breakfast at Red Squirrel. Look at that stud.

And then went to Fairfield First for the ground breaking of The Rock Community Center. They've been wanting to build this since I was there, and that was 3 years ago that I left to go to Crossroads with Matt. It's so exciting to see it finally happening!

Then we went to the antique mall with Sarah, but my phone was dying so I couldn't take it in for pics. I was so bummed! But it was a wondrous weekend! How was yours?!

March 17, 2011

the day I became an iphone junkie.

I would say how I feel about St. Patricks Day, but I think Abbi pretty much summed it up for me. I'm much more interested in the fact that today was the day that I joined the iphone club. And within an hour of having it I'd already tweeted twice. This may not seem like a big deal to many of you, but about a year ago I took a firm and solemn vow not to tweet because of something about narcissism and America. I don't know. Matt even created a twitter for beardedlady and I wouldn't use it. Apparently all it takes for me to become a narcissist and start tweeting like a madman is the iphone. But what I'm really excited about is the pictures!! I always wish I'd brought a camera with me almost everywhere so that I can catch little moments and have memories, but I never really want to carry a bulky camera, and the camera on my old phone Sucked with a capitol SSSSS. So needless to say I am all over the instagram and photo apps. Tonight we did some fun stuff so I got to break myself in. The huz and I had a little date at Johnny Rockets. Gosh I love cheeseburgers. It's almost embarrassing how much I love cheeseburgers. Then we met our friends Nate and Emmy and walked from their house in Pleasant Ridge to Molly Molones... but that's it. We literally walked there, saw the amount of people and heard that is was 5 bucks just to go in, and turned around and walked back. We opted instead to have some drinks on their deck and then go to yagoot with their super awesome dog, Zach. Zach loves strawberry yagoot. I got the italian cocoa and banana flavors swirled together with some granola. YUMSVILLE!!! I didn't get a pic of that because I was too busy devouring it. Anyway, here's some pics from the evening. Hope your's was just as swell : )


March 16, 2011

A Wednesday.

Tonight we are doing pretty much nothing except what this picture would suggest...

except for I am also looking for pretty iphone cases, because mama's gettin' an iphone 4 tomorrow. What. Up.

Happy Wednesday.

March 15, 2011

Siren Magazine/Promise Tangeman

I just read an interview with Promise Tangeman over on Siren Magazine's website. Awesome interview. I adore Promise Tangeman. She is SOOOO inspiring to me. Everything she does is super. I love the points she makes about creativity and the church. I think she hit the nail on the head!! I'm also at this moment obsessing over, which she recommends in the interview. You should hop on over to Siren's website and read the interview! It's pretty neato! If you want to go straight to the interview, click here.

March 14, 2011

Stolen thunder...

Lanna took my video. Mike Mains and the Branches were absolutely ridiculous live. You need to see them.

Music Monday: Mike Mains and the Branches

OMG. This band is so good. Hubby's band, The Waking Point, got to open for them on Saturday in Louisville. I didn't get to go but I've watched the video about a hundred times. I am LOVING this song. The lyrics are incredible. I'm looking forward to hearing more from Mike Mains and the Branches because they are FANTASTIC. Wouldn't you agree??

March 13, 2011



That describes how I feel about life right now.

Being a nanny often times means you catch bugs. No matter how hard you try to wash your hands, it's gonna happen. I had a feeling my time was coming, and it came. One of the boys had a bad stomach virus on Thursday, and I started feeling it around 8 Friday night. And let me tell ya, yesterday was NOT a good day.

The only thing good about me getting sick is that I eat 15 fla-vor-ice in a day and no one cares.

If you don't know what a fla-vor-ice is, I feel very sorry for you.

Anyway, today around noon I think to myself, "maybe I should try to eat something more substantial than a fla-vor-ice." So logically the best thing for me to eat is a hot dog.

Really, self? A hot dog?

Not my best choice in life. So I'm about half way through said hot dog, and I realize it was a bad choice. So I put it down and when I'm pretty sure I'm not gonna vom all over I go get another fla-vor-ice. And when I return? The hot dog is gone. GONE. Harlem Jones strikes! She waited til I walked out, grabbed the hot dog, and then curled back up on the couch and pretended to innocently be taking a nap. Then about 10 minutes later I leave the room again, and come back in to find her licking the plate! Returning to the scene of the crime?! Poor form, Jones, poor form.

Now, I'm off to go lay in bed and whimper til the mister comes home.

March 8, 2011

Professional Dreamer...

Most days i wake up and wish this was my office.


Spring Goals

I decided today that it would be fun/challenging to make a short list of goals for the spring, and then continue to build on them or make new goals at the beginning of each season. I've had a lot of stuff going on in my mind lately as far as things I want to do/get better at, and I think writing them down and making them semi-public to the 3 people that actually read my blog would help me stay accountable! So I wrote my little list down in my journal and now I'm going to post it, too. If you want, you should make some goals and tell me so I can see them on your blog! We could have a little spring goals blog party! Yeah!


Anyway, here's the list of my goals... they're in no particular order.

1. exercise at least 3 times a week. Either jogging, yoga, pilates, or something like it. Going on walks doesn't count because I could go on walks all day long. I want to take care of my's the only one God gave me! I used to work out as sort of an act of was my way of acknowledging that God created my body and wants me to take care of it as a holy vessel. I used to be a little cheesier than I am now : ) but I still feel that way about our bodies and I want to take care of the one I've been given!

2. Be more diligent in planning and DOING my quiet time. I used to make sure I had a quiet time every day to read my bible, pray, journal, or just be in God's presence. I also used to be a youth leader so it was easier for me since I knew I was teaching/modeling it for the youth. I need to get better about doing that again. I've slacked big time since I stopped leading and I definitely feel it!

3. Get better at writing down plans when I make them and keeping a schedule. I bought a super cute planner at Target for half price on Sunday. I'm really pumped : ) My BFF can tell you that I often times forget plans and double book myself. I don't like that about myself, so the easiest way to change it is to WRITE IT DOWN and keep my planner with me. I'm hoping it'll also help me stay accountable to my quiet times.

4. Promote and do senior pictures. This would have to involve getting a better camera. And by better I mean getting A camera. The one I've been using is my friends, and she needs it back since her super awesome one is at the doctor; and I really don't like taking it from her anyway. So I'm hoping I'm provided with a really awesome canon : )

5. Make at least 3 crafty things. Duh.

6. Pray about and pursue specific ministries to be a part of. I want to choose 1-3 specific ministries that I can be a part of in a way more than just money. I typically want to be a part of everything I see/hear about and end up doing nothing, so I need to narrow it down and actually do it!

7. Be as encouraging and helpful as possible to Matt. I want to be the best I can be for him. He's working really hard to provide for us and I want to be a soft place for him to land at the end of the day!

So those are my spring goals. What are yours?!!


March 7, 2011

I love emery

I got to see these guys for the third time this weekend. They never ever disappoint. I have so much respect for musicians/bands who show up and out-do their recorded songs live. Emery is by far one of the best bands i've ever seen or heard.

Music Monday: Local Natives

I may or may not have already feature Local Natives. I don't know. I also don't feel like looking. So there's that.

I'm a new big fan of Local Natives. I can't wait to see them live one day. I bet there is lots of dancing involved in their shows. Just like this video!! It definitely makes me want to dance and jump around with my franz!

March 2, 2011


Here are 2 shots from a special little family session I did today. I can't wait to finish editing and share more!


I want to try to start posting recipes on here periodically. I LOVE to cook. I love to feed people and bless them in that way. I love knowing that I can make a nourishing meal for my hubby and myself and one day our family. But I've gotten stuck in a cooking rut. I've noticed I have a regular dinner rotation and that's what I always make and, while I'm good at those meals, I really want to try new things.

So tonight I tried a recipe from Kristen's blog that she found on Real Simple. I heart Real Simple! It was super easy to make and so yummy! I wasn't sure how it would turn out because I've never tasted Coconut milk, but it was a really subtle, yummy flavor. I would even maybe add more next time! I left out the beans because I don't have any, and I added broccoli, and orange and yellow bell peppers along with the red. I don't really measure things so I don't know if I followed the recipe exactly but it was pretty close. Next time I'll add more cumin, and maybe just a tad more salt. I would definitely recommend trying this! Even if you're not really a cook, it is so easy! I wish I had more pics to share of it, but I didn't get the idea to take pics and blog the recipe til half way through making it, and the only decent shot I got was of the coconut milk, so that's all you get : ) I got the coconut milk in the mexican section at Kroger for like 2 bucks or maybe less.

So here's the rest of the recipe!

1 cup long-grain white rice
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2 1/2-inch pieces
kosher salt and pepper
1 large red bell pepper, sliced 1/4 inch thick ( I also used orange and yellow)
1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced
as much broccoli as you like!

to make the beans:
1 19-ounce can black beans, drained
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Cook the rice according to the package directions, replacing 1 cup of water with the coconut milk.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
Season the chicken with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook for 3 minutes. Turn the chicken and move it to the sides of the skillet.
Add the bell peppers and broccoli and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until the bell pepper is slightly soft and the chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Transfer to plates.
Add the beans, cumin, ¼ teaspoon salt, and the remaining oil to skillet. Cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve with chicken and rice.

Since i didn't use beans, I added the cumin in with the garlic. It turned out great!

Hope you like it!