Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What's Up Wednesday


Today I'm linking up with Mix and Match Family and Pinterest Told Me To for What's Up Wednesday!  I love that they are going to start doing this the last Wednesday of every month.

What we're eating this week....
This Crockpot Cashew Chicken recipe that I found on Pinterest is AWESOME!!!!  I love cooking it and eating and Dustin likes it too--he just doesn't want to admit it.  This recipe is great if you really miss eating Chinese but want to stay healthy.

What I'm reminiscing about...
Our wedding :)  We've been married for 9 months now and whenever I see a picture from our wedding, it automatically takes me back to that memory!  I absolutely loved our wedding day and wouldn't change a thing!


What I'm loving...
the fact that summer is only 4 weeks away and that includes giving end of the semester exams!  I need a break ha!

What we've been up to...
Building a house.  No biggie, right?  Dustin has been to the house every day to check on it and I've been almost every day.  It's amazing seeing the progress AND  we found out that we're down to less than 2 months until move in day!
Here's a little shot of what they just finished yesterday!!!  House update coming soon, I promise!


What I'm dreading...
Statistics this summer--yuck!  I have to take statistics for some strange reason and thankfully I'm taking it this summer so that I will have all summer to study.  I'm going to need prayers now to get through that class.

What I'm working on...
Picking out things for the house.  I'm having to finalize pain color decisions, appliance decisions (like convection oven or a conventional oven??), interior door style, counter tops--you name it and I'm making a decision about it.

What I'm excited about...
There are a million things!!!  Getting out of school (although this group of kids has seriously been my favorite), finishing grad school next year, moving into our house, going to the beach twice this summer, and having free time!

What I'm watching/reading...
I recently did a post on the shows I'm watching.  I really haven't been able to read anything since I started grad school but I've managed to sneak in a couple books from the Unwind trilogy.  I read UnWholly and am now slowly making my way through UnSouled.  I only have time to read at random times--get to school early, between classes, in the car, etc.

What I'm listening to...
I just finished listening to the Secret Church simulcast on Friday night/early Saturday morning!  It was amazing and I can't wait to study my notes more in depth.  

What I'm wearing...
This morning my mom dropped something off at my house and we walked out wearing very similar outfits!  I'm turning into my mom and I'm perfectly fine with that!  She's a great woman!



What I'm doing this weekend...
I was looking at grad school deadlines last night and realized that my finals are this weekend.  I thought this whole time that they were Mother's Day weekend, but apparently not.  So I've got assignments due and finals at the same time.  

What I'm looking forward to next month...
TWO trips to the beach!!!  Alabama seriously has the best beaches in the world and I can't wait to spend June relaxing on them!  And eating at my favorite restaurants!

What else is new...
I signed up with a personal trainer and have my second session tomorrow afternoon.  The first one was TOUGH and I couldn't walk for three days after.  Hopefully, I get much stronger so recovery isn't so hard.  I've also incorporated protein powder into my morning smoothies for recovery.  I'm so ready to be done with grad school so I have more time to workout on my own in between training sessions!

Monday, April 27, 2015

My First Time to Cook Quinoa--a Recipe

I had always been intrigued by the idea of eating quinoa, but I was a little intimidated to cook it myself.  I had only had quinoa in two dishes--one in a roasted butternut squash spinach salad at a local restaurant and then in a broth bowl at Panera.  That was the extent of my quinoa consumption.  But I knew that it had huge health benefits (TONS of protein, fiber, B12, magnesium....that's just to name a few).  And it was a grain.  I texted my friend Sarah last week while I was in Walmart telling her I was taking a leap of faith and buying a box and that I needed her favorite recipe.  Luckily, she was headed into Walmart and met up with me to talk about her favorite recipe.  She emailed it to me and I tried it a few days later!  

(Note:  I accidentally messed up on the recipe and had to alter the recipe super fast--like, in the middle of cooking because I misread the directions.  So this is my version.  But I really like Sarah's as a dip--which is how she served it Friday night.)



Sarah's Southwest Quinoa

I cup cooked quinoa
1 can drained black beans
1 bag frozen corn kernels
1/2 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, minced (I used 1 tsp minced garlic)

1. Cook the quinoa and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
2. Combine the black beans, corn, onion, and red bell pepper and sauté on the stove until onions are transparent (and corn is cooked thorough).
3. Combine all of the sautéed vegetables and cooked quinoa in a bowl. 
4. Mix together olive oil, lime juice, salt, cumin, and garlic and pour over the quinoa and vegetables.  Mix together well.

This will be served hot.  This can be a side dish or even your whole meal.  You can also add in grilled chicken!  I first ate it as a side in our meal one night and then ate it for lunch by itself the next day.  It was filling just by itself!

This is such an easy introduction dish to quinoa and will be on rotation in our house!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Favorites!

I'm linking up with Andrea and Erika today!


For today's Friday Favorites post, I'm going to talk all about my favorite TV SHOWS!  Woo hoo!!  

Since I started grad school, I record a lot of my tv shows and try to catch up on them throughout the week.  It's also caused me to weed out some shows that I watched before but didn't have any substance.  Actually, when you see what I watch, you'll see it's a lot of reality tv......don't judge :)  And when I started going through everything I like watching, I realize that I like watching tv...I just feel like I never get to do it!


I've been watching Scandal since season 1!  I CANNOT believe what happened last week with the character revelations....Russell=bad guy!  What in the world?!  I'm pulling for Olivia to fall in love with Jake (because I'm not convinced that he's gone) and forget Fitz because he's married!!  Get with it, Liv!  (PS I didn't get to watch this last night so don't ruin it for me!  I'll try to watch Saturday or Sunday.)


Oh, Mad Men.  How I've stuck with you.  It's been slow at times, but since I've also watched this since season 1, I'm not quitting.  I haven't watched it at all since it premiered on Easter, but all of the episodes are recorded for when I have lots of time.  One thing I've loved about this show is the costume choices!  I have really enjoyed seeing how fashion has changed and evolved throughout the 60s.


Does anyone else remember watching this show when TLC was doing specials with them?  Like the ones with them only having 14 kids??  (And I just said only having haha)  Love this family!  I love that they love the Lord and are so open about it.  I also am amazed at how well their family works--the kids are so well-behaved and their household is so efficient.  I loved Jessa's wedding dress and can't wait to see her find out what she's having...she's secretly my favorite Duggar :)


I used to cry in every episode of this show...now, not so much.  Except last night's episode!!!  Oh my goodness, how sad!  I thought last night's episode was beautifully written, and the song that played at the end was one of the songs that they played in season 1 with Derrick and Meredith (I have the soundtrack...that's how much I loved Grey's).  I have a feeling this season is it.  


Dustin and I like to watch Southern Charm together!  I'm amazed at Patricia's house with her two butlers and Thomas's plantation home.  I love Charleston and even though this show is lots of drama, it's still interesting.  Cameron is my favorite because she seems the smartest.  Landon might be the second smartest--although she lives in a house boat right now.  Not sure what she's doing or what her plan is.


I am so fascinated with Alaska!  I remember the first time I watched this show and I had no idea that some houses still had outhouses.  No thank you.  I will stay in Alabama where ALL of our houses have indoor toilets!  The housing market in Alaska is interesting and I love seeing all of their houses!  I watch this show whenever I see that it's on.  I have no clue what day or time new episodes come on.


I read Outlander a couple of years ago for my book club and was so excited when I saw that Starz had picked up the rights to a series.  The book was amazing (just not the end) and I've loved each episode so far.  I'm dreading the end though.  The novel is part of a series of maybe 7 books??  I didn't read any past Outlander, but I read that Starz will have the 2nd novel made into a tv series too.  Love love love this show!  (You should read the book if you don't have Starz)


This show would be my guilty pleasure.  Sometimes it's so unreal the things that this family does, but I have to watch.  I'll watch until they either make me mad or they quit filming.

I know that looks like a lot, but I promise I don't watch these all the time!  I try to catch up with a recorded show about every other night or on the weekends if I have time.  The best time for me to catch up is really when Dustin is on nights and I'm home alone!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Life Lately

Today's post is a little iPhone dump from this week.  I'm glad I actually remembered to take pictures of things I did this week because I have been doing a horrible job of that lately.  I think if I can just make it to this summer, then I'll be good!

I borrowed my dad's Nutribullet Saturday in order to try making smoothies for breakfast.  I feel like smoothies would be a lot healthier than other options and way more filling.  But be careful, you can make smoothies fattening too!

This one below had a little too much spinach in it for a Monday morning.  It was my first one to make though.  I put in spinach leaves, pineapple, papaya, strawberries, a spoonful of nonfat Greek yogurt, a tiny spoonful of honey (to counter the yogurt), and water.


We also started state testing on Monday and I was giving the test ALL DAY.  I was in the laptop lab so I dressed comfy! 


 And my outfit for Tuesday's testing.  Apparently I have a thing for blue tops and purply pants :)  They are comfy!


 Tuesday I was also craving chocolate like no other!!!!  For my break during testing, my sister dropped off some of her dessert that she had made the night before.  It was so good!  It had oatmeal, peanut butter, raisins, and chocolate chips.  Way to go, Rachel!


 We also went and looked at the house progress this week after walking at the park.  I love that our new house isn't far from the park at all!  I'll be doing a house post within the next two weeks. :)


 This was my favorite breakfast smoothie!!!  I actually bought different fruit and it added a nice taste.  I used strawberries, red raspberries, and blueberries.....so yummy!


I tried this new quinoa recipe last night that my friend Sarah had sent me.  It was wonderful and super easy to make.  I accidentally messed it up and I think I liked the way I cooked it better than what the recipe called for.  If you've never had quinoa, you need it!  It's a little expensive, but it's a plant food that has tons of fiber and protein along with lots of vitamins like iron and vitamin B.  I'll post this recipe later, too!


Monday, April 20, 2015

Weekend Recap

Thursday night I decided to experiment with another bundt cake flavor.  I made lemon and made it sugar free.  All I wanted was one piece of it, and then I sent it to work with Dustin Friday morning.  It was so good, and I could have eaten the whole cake!  I am such a sweets fan.

Friday after school Mom, Rachel, and I met up for the matinee showing of The Longest Ride.  It was my FAVORITE Nicholas Sparks book so I couldn't wait to see the movie.  Let me tell you, it did not disappoint.  It's my favorite story line and I only cried one time during the movie.  

Excuse what we look like.  Mom and I had already had a looooong day teaching (and a long week) and Rachel had been doing house calls for Hospice all day long.  We were tired.  And this isn't the best picture, but oh well.



Dustin worked days this weekend, so Saturday morning Mom and I met up to go preview a yard sale in town.  I had been eyeing a leather couch and love seat that I knew would be perfect for our upstairs game room.  When we got there Saturday morning, the furniture had already been sold but I did end up with these Christmas decorations...... :)  The mini tree will go in my classroom and the glitter trees are going in the new house for Christmas!!  Eeeek!


The Lilly for Target sale.  Oh my.  If you read Friday's post, you know that I had planned to meet up with a friend at 6 am to wait in line early Sunday morning.  Well, our area had been getting threats of very severe weather so I ended up staying home.  I researched the online sale and saw that it was being released sometime between midnight and 2 am.  I set my alarm for a little before midnight and rushed downstairs as soon as it went off.  

Apparently midnight wasn't the release time.  I looked through the online lookbook again and decided to check the #LillyforTarget on Instagram.  THANK GOODNESS I DID!!!  I saw all of these posts of order completions and I started freaking out.  How were these people ordering already when the site wouldn't work for me?!?!  After reading through the comments, I realized that the mobile site had accidentally opened early.  I rushed to find a shift dress I wanted and it let me order it!  Then I went to get another shift I wanted and it had already sold out.  This was about 12:15-12:20 am.  All of the shift dresses in my size had already sold out except the one I already ordered.


 This is the message I got used to seeing :(


I saw this Sunday night and thought it was hilarious!  I sent this to Mom and Rachel because this is so true for us!  Especially on birthdays....cake was ALWAYS for breakfast on birthdays!

This week we start state standardized testing and my test days are today and tomorrow.  Testing lasts two weeks and then we only have three weeks of school left--and that includes giving semester exams.  This year has really flown by!  I genuinely love everyone of my classes and I am going to be so sad to see them go!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Favorites!

For some reason, this week has felt super long.  Probably because state testing starts on Monday and this week has been crunch time!  (Actually the past month.....)  I will be so glad when testing is OVER and we're back to more enjoyable stuff in class :)

I'm linking up with Erika and Andrea today!


ONE

Yesterday, my sister Rachel came to eat lunch with me!  I told her as soon as she got to school that we needed a picture and then I didn't remember until after she left.  Boo.  She went by my mom's school first to speak with her first graders about the human body, so she had on her scrubs when she came to school.  After lunch I heard tons of questions like this: "Who was that girl?" "Why are you so much taller that her?"  A student replied to that question by telling the other student that it was because I was older than Rachel.  Apparently she hasn't finished growing ;)

This is a picture from Rachel's rehearsal dinner.  I guess you'll grow taller when you get older, Rachel!


TWO

The Lilly for Target line is going to be released on Sunday!!!!  I have been waiting MONTHS for this release.  If you loved Lilly as much as I do and have seen the prices of these beauties, you'd be excited too!  I am meeting up with a friend in Madison to wait in line for the store opening.  We're kind of hoping that we're not the only crazies out there waiting in line, but then again, we're also hoping we are the only ones out there waiting so we have the release all to ourselves!  I cannot wait to see these pieces in person.  I will be doing a post next week about our early Sunday morning adventure, so stay tuned!




THREE

Our house progress is moving right along even though it's been pretty rainy this week.  We went over to the house Wednesday after I ran and checked out the progress.

This is the back side of the house.  The double windows are where the breakfast room is.

As of Wednesday, this is the only side of our house that's completely bricked!!  I love this brick and am so glad that we went with a darker brown than what we had originally wanted.

Now the next decision to make is the trim and cedar shake.  We've been scouring Pinterest and Houzz and anywhere else we can find for help in making a decision.  As of today, it still hasn't been made.....oh well!  For the good news, we found out that insulation is supposed to be delivered today and sheet rock on Monday!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

What I Wore Wednesday: Easter Edition

I had been meaning to do this post last week, but you know.....grad school.  So a week and a half late it is :)

A few weeks ago I did a post on choosing an Easter dress this year.  I had listed choices from Lilly Pulitzer and Anthropologie.  I love buying an Easter dress each year.  But this year I ended up doing something different.

A small group in my church had decided to forgo the usual Easter outfit and wear a t-shirt from Forget the Frock.  When I heard about this I immediately dismissed it.  I didn't want to do something just because other people were and I honestly didn't feel convicted of it.  That happened one morning, and it seemed like that day at school the thought just kept entering my mind and I just kept dismissing it.  Later that night I was doing my quiet time in Romans and reading something that did not pertain to any of this when I immediately thought, "Satan is trying to use my love of clothes and material things against me.  This shirt will feed an orphan and hopefully will bring awareness of the orphan crisis to people in my church."  It was then that I decided I was ordering the shirt.

This is what the website says about the campaign.  By the way, this year they raised over $250,000 for orphan care!

"Emily, born and raised in the South, knew all too well the annual Easter lead-up: stores filled with expensive frilly clothing, mom’s discussing the perfect dresses and little Easter suits for months before the day arrived. She had lovingly participated in the tradition her entire life and as the mom of two young girls the tradition was sure to continue.
But, you see, God had begun to change Emily's heart. Thanks in part to the adoption process of her best friend Emily's eyes had been opened to the plight of the orphan. Her heart had been stirred for the needy, the helpless, the widowed, and the victimized. God had meticulously planted a seed of change in her heart, which had taken root and demanded more room, more time, more focus...and suddenly, she found the entire Easter tradition frivolous.  
Instead of seeing frilly dresses, she saw hollow bellies and sunken eyes. Every price tag reminded her of just how many children could be fed with that one purchase.
Emily had recently become acquainted with Feeding the Orphans, how the purchase of just one t-shirt from their site could help feed an orphan. She knew she heard the gentle voice of Jesus nudging her to do something to honor the orphans He loved so dearly.  
Forget the hair bows, forget the shoes, and forget the dainty little cardigans… FORGET THE ENTIRE EASTER FROCK… The Fox Family would FEED an Orphan with their Easter attire!
As Emily and her husband, Jason shared their convictions, people began to share the passion... others followed their lead using social media sites to spread the word and invite friends to join. Soon, hundreds of people, even entire church congregations, were choosing to “Forget the Frock."  The numbers are humbling. Since 2011 FORGET THE FROCK has helped raise nearly $250,000 for orphan care simply by asking people to dress with a PURPOSE on Easter."


Rachel and Nick ordered a different shirt and I loved it so much!  This is a ministry that I plan on supporting for a long time and this shirt will be my next purchase.


Please know that I am not saying that buying a new outfit for Easter each year is sinful.  I'm not saying that at all!  God doesn't look at our outward appearances--which is why He doesn't care if we wear jeans to church or a 3 piece suit.  He looks at our heart and judges us by that--not our clothes.

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7

Monday, April 13, 2015

Weekend Recap!

This weekend was a ton of fun!  The weather was absolutely gorgeous, and Dustin was off work, too!

Friday night started off exactly how I wanted it to--at home doing nothing!  I had seen advertisements for Barbara Walters's interview with Mary Kay LeTourneau (sp?), the teacher who had a child with her 6th grade student.  They are married now--and have been for 10 years--with two teenage children.  She's 53 and he's 31.  The interview was weird and you could tell that there wasn't any love between them.  Yuck.  I just remember when the national news was covering her affair and thinking how disgusting it was.  And now that I'm teaching 12 year olds, I can't even fathom what that woman did.  The thought of it makes me want to throw up--they are children!  Little kids!  Yuck yuck yuck!

Saturday morning I went to a boot camp class at the stadium.  It was a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to more!  After the class I went to my friend Sarah's house for a quick visit.  It's nice to be able to go for a quick visit to a friend's house.  Then Dustin and I went fishing.  It was gorgeous outside and I even caught a fish!

Dustin caught one first though :)

We had lots of company, too!  Actually they just wanted to know what was in our tackle box ha!

Saturday night we went to Bridgestreet to eat at The Melting Pot!  We got there about 2 hours before our reservation so that we could walk around and look for some flip flops for me.  Side note:  Friday at school I tripped UP the stairs and broke my favorite flip flops.  I was so sad about my flip flops because they I bought them while I was in college at the Clarks store.  Well, of course, they don't make them anymore.  I thought I had settled on Rainbows except that none of the stores had my size :(

The Melting Pot was such an experience!  I had been there before but Dust hadn't.  They came around and took pictures of everyone (not sure why?) and I found it on their FB page.

We were a little sunburned from spending all day outside.

Sunday we went to church, and we went to a birthday party at the lake for Dustin's little cousin.  Then we decided to go by our new house with Dustin's family to walk around the inside with them since they hadn't done that yet. Saturday the workers got a good bit bricked and the entire roof shingled (is that a verb?).  I LOVE THE BRICK COLOR!  While we were there, Janie and her husband Chris drove up--which was so funny because they now live an hour away and were in town to see Janie's parents.  So we showed them around, too.  The last time Janie had seen it was after they poured the slab so it was a big difference!

This weekend was a blast!  I am so thankful for the perfect weather and the time with my husband.  We really cherish these weekends that we have together since he works two weekends a month.



Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday Favorites!

Happy Friday, y'all!  I am beyond thrilled that the weekend starts at 3:00 PM today!  We've got a busy weekend planned and the best part is our date night Saturday to The Melting Pot and a movie!  It's much-needed after adjusting to a new routine with grad school.  Speaking of, I just took my first midterm Wednesday night and made a 92!  Whoop whoop!  With my grades, I'm hoping to get early admittance into a certain class this summer.  So here's to statistics this summer and hopefully one more class!  Can I go ahead a hire a tutor now for statistics??

I'm linking up with Andrea and Erika for Friday Favorites!

Today's post is all about OUR HOUSE!  It is progressing a lot faster than I had anticipated, and it's been really fun checking out each stage!  I've learned a lot about construction :)

When we first signed our contract in February!  We had no idea that snow and ice would be delaying our ground-breaking.



Pouring the footer


Putting the cinder blocks on the footer (I have no idea what the technical term is--Dustin is at work and I can't ask him ha)


I think it took like 2-3 days for them to frame the whole house!  I couldn't believe it when Dustin and I drove over one day and saw this!!!


This was the day they put the tubs in!  I spent a lot of sleepless nights over these fixtures.  I'm so glad we decided to upgrade to the oil rubbed bronze.  I almost went with a brushed nickel look but I am so not a gray person.  And I realized that I would need to do a grayish-white marble countertop and the antique white cabinets that I wanted were an off-white and wouldn't go well together.  So we upgraded, and when I saw this, I couldn't stop talking about it!  Best decision!


The view into our master bath.  I went to the house yesterday (and should have taken an updated picture) because there is a pocket door that was installed on the right where the framing stops.  


Ahh, I can't wait to take nightly baths in this beauty!  We opted for a soaking tub instead of whirlpool because of the up-keep.  


This is the upstairs bath.  The bathrooms in this house are really great sizes!


A view from the front door.  A column is going where that pole is.  We chose an open floor plan so the dining room is open to the living room and the breakfast room/kitchen.  I can't wait to turn that fireplace on this winter!


Whoa!  It went up fast!  Again, I should have taken more pictures yesterday for a better updated post because the brick stacks are placed all around the house along with stacks of shingles.  The front and back doors and windows are waiting in the garage--I'm obsessed with our front door!


We have prayed and continue to pray over this house.  We pray that we can use it to glorify God--whether we open our home to church groups, church members, or if God is calling us to sell it in a few years and go somewhere else.  We pray for obedience in everything we do.