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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

On Location - Delayed Flight and A Good Attitude

I'm sitting in the airport right now about to head back from a fantastic 4 days in Napa Valley and San Francisco, and I can't help but think of how fortunate I am. 

My handsome husband, and best friend, is sitting right beside me and we were able to eat and drink our way through the last few days. This was the first trip we took, just the two of us, since our honeymoon 10 months ago, and it was more than wonderful. 

How can I complain about a 2 hour delay of my flight when I have the privilege to fly in the first place? I'm writing this, of course, after I complained for 10 minutes :) how audacious are we as humans to expect such instant gratification? So bold to be frustrated when something runs a little late. Maybe the plane was delayed to keep us safer... Regardless, I'm going to talk to my man and not worry about the rest! 

Ill get home soon and wrote more then ;) be thankful today for technology, and not just frustrated when it doesn't serve your needs!


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Lovely Picnic Engagement Party


I am not sure if I have previously introduced Courtney and Adam to you, but if not, it's definitely time!  

Bill and I love them dearly, and are honored to be a part of their wedding in the spring.  Myself and a few wonderful ladies organized an engagement party get together for these two in a park by our house to get their friends together to celebrate the upcoming nuptuals.  It was  a simple BBQ and Potluck.  We played lawn games, kids ran around, ate yummy picnic food and just enjoyed each others company.

To me, weddings are such an incredible time of celebration.  The older I get the more I love them and each part of the process leading towards them.  Bill and I are in my brother's wedding coming up in September, and every moment it gets closer I get more excited.  Maybe experiencing my own wedding awakened something in me.  I am so happy to celebrate marriage and see people find the one that their soul loves.

Sigh.  Court and Adam, we are so glad you found each other!

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Truth Comes Out - My Struggle With Simplicity


I spent an afternoon last weekend sipping lime sparkling water and painting this canvas.  

I absolutely love to paint.  It is both therapy and relaxation for my soul.  I can get lost doing it for hours and I love simply enjoying the process and letting time go by slowly.  It's something that I prefer to be alone for and I dream of a huge easel in my future home on my wrap around porch where I can spend Saturday mornings.

The message of this painting was something I needed to be reminded of, so I took the time to paint it and put it up in my home to remind myself of remaining simple in my life approach.  Living in Orange County can make you feel like you will never have enough.  I strive after a simple home, a dog to greet me, and a wonderful table to share meals with friends and family.   However, living here makes me feel like if I am not wearing new clothes and going out to eat all the time, I am not living life to the fullest.

To be honest, I get sucked in sometimes.  I step into a boutique and feel the need to buy everything.  I want to eat at fancy restaurants every day and I want to indulge in fine wine and sparkly things catch my eye.  I want to travel the world and eat and drink my way across every country.  I am not a diva or even a materialistic person, but I often wonder why it is so hard to keep your focus on what matters!  

Loving well and living intentionally are how I want to be known.  Generous, kind, loving, Godly and sincere are words I hope float around when people mention me in casual conversation.  Isn't it amazing how quickly we can drop what we know is right and pick up what we are feeling in the moment?  We throw all our work away at being more like Christ because someone frustrates us or rubs us the wrong way.

Constantly remind yourself who you are and who you were created to be.  Do not give into temptation to live self indulgently or to excuse your behavior.  

Live Simply.  That will be my motto in this season of my life.

What words do you want to be associated with you?  
What words will you live by?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Food I Ate Friday - A Week of Deliciousness


You know those weeks where you feel guilty and happy in every moment because you have indulged in so much deliciousness you feel like it can't possibly be allowed?

I had one of those weeks last week.  

Pictured above are the lemongrass and basil scented mussels that Bill and I made from mussels we picked up at our local farmers market.  The most fragrant ingredients imaginable (ginger, lemongrass, basil, shallots, etc...) were all thrown in a pot and worked together to create this wonderful union.  Sigh.  Along side we had a loaf of crusty bread and the head of roasted garlic pictured below the mussels, which was so soft it spread like butter.  Heavenly doesn't even begin to describe.  

On the left is the bruschetta I made for the 4th of July.  I got the recipe from my boss and I am sharing it below.  It was so easy and so delightful, and definitely will be made again!  I love fresh ingredients melded together to create something that feels so organic and light.

These are just two of tons of amazing, fresh meals (and two I had to snap a picture of!).  I feel spoiled, and maybe a little heavier :)  But sometimes I think it is such a good thing to roll up your sleeves and enjoy what we are eating.  God gave us so many amazing flavors, and I think he revels when we discover more and more of his creation!  Experimenting with cooking is something that brings me great joy, and I know it brings him joy to see me explore this world.

Enjoy your weekend friends!  Eat well.


Bruschetta Recipe

2 cups of little tomatoes, cut in half or quarters (you can add heirlooms as well)
1/2 red onion diced
3 tablespoons of fresh, chopped basil
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 1/2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to Taste (I always throw in extra black pepper)

Stir to combine.  Enjoy with Crostini or Crackers.

I would recommend doubling the recipe... this little batch is never enough!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Weekend Away - Celebrating and Relaxing


Oh Vegas... It never ceases to produce fantastic stories and memorable experiences.  Our trip last weekend was no different!  

We made the almost 4 hour drive out to the desert, where it was 100 degrees at 10pm every night, to celebrate my mother in laws 50th birthday, and celebrate we did.  We arrived to a sweet surprise midnight celebration followed by a huge win for Bill and I and the fun continued from there.

Guilty pleasure fast food, lots of penny slots, pool time, huge breakfasts, and lots of smiles and memories.  Honestly, I always feel lucky when I leave Vegas, as long as I got time with my amazing husband and wonderful family.

So much goodness... I am blessed.

Monday, July 8, 2013

A New Treat - Limoncello


I am a sucker for citrus.  I love lemon and lime, so it is no surprise I have always wanted to try Limoncello! However, whenever I went to buy something new at the liquor store, it never made the cut.  Well, thank goodness I have a fantastic husband who has heard me mention it quite a few times and suggested it right off the shelf and into my hand.

While it is sweeter than I imagined, it is absolutely lovely on a hot summer day when you want something to sip on.  It is like alcoholic lemonade, minus all the tartness that it usually offers.  

I'm in love.  It's (exactly) like lemon pudding in a glass.  I definitely treat it as a dessert, and look  forward to finding my favorite producer and stocking up.  

I love new discoveries :)  



Friday, July 5, 2013

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things - Mint Green Toes, Green Tea and Patterned Goodness


This little collage makes me so happy.

I have been drinking lots of green tea lately, and I am hoping to pick up more at the farmer's market this weekend.  Sometimes, I just want a cup of green tea, and I am genuinely embracing it and loving it.  Just a squeeze of honey and I'm a happy girl :)

I rarely get my nails done, but when summer hits and I am showing my feet constantly, I generally think a pedicure is in order - just a little clean up ya know?  Is it something I can live without?  Absolutely.  However, I snuck away to enjoy this mint green polish, read silly/trashy magazines, and let the massage chair work on my back.  It was glorious.

This cute little bag is something I have wanted for awhile, but have always felt a twinge of guilt about purchasing.  It is a bag to hold my nail polish, and isn't this pattern wonderful?!  Up until now, my nail polish collection has been in a gallon size ziplock bag, but I have made the upgrade and I have to admit, I am glad I took the plunge.  I just do not love spending money on items I don't need, but this vain purchase makes me so happy and makes me want to do my nails more often :)

What are you simple pleasures this week?  What makes you smile?

Have a lovely weekend friends!  



Monday, July 1, 2013

A Penny For Your Thoughts - Grateful and Humbled

Be thankful for what you have.

I am constantly reminding myself that some people would kill for my normal…

People would give anything to marry their best friend.

People would give anything to have a family that supports and loves them no matter what the circumstances.

People would give anything to have a job that they enjoy going to and respect for and from people that they work with.

People would give anything to have friends that continue to seek them out and share their hearts.

People would give anything to have food on the table and a roof over their heads.

People would give anything to have a savings account with money in it.


I have no right to complain.

I have no right to be afraid.

I have no right to be ungrateful.


Mine is a life FULL of love.  
Blessed doesn't even begin to describe it.