Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dinner is served!

I'm sure I've mentioned this before and I'm pretty sure that I will mention it again, but here it is: I love to cook! Cooking makes me happy. Here are some recent meals/ pictures of dishes that the Hubby and I have created. 
No. 1 All-American  
{Last Saturday, we had movie night. Movie night
means wings. Wings mean veggies and dip. 
Veggies and dip mean cheese fries. The best thing
is that all of it is SUPER easy!} 

No 2. Mexican
{Tex-Mex Rice}


{All plated up!} 
{Not really sure why all the pictures are turned funny. Sorry.}

I wasn't a big fan of Mexican food until about a year or so ago. It just wasn't something that my family ate growing up. We would eat tacos and the occasional frozen "Mexican" thing-a-ma-bober from the store, but that was it. Since dating/marrying the Hubby I have developed a taste for some Mexican foods.  The rice recipe is super easy and VERY economical (Read: cheap!). I like to stretch my dollar as far as I can and I really like it when I can make something from scratch that stretches me dollar. I'm not a big fan of preservatives, additives, and other all around yucky stuff. I feel like most of the foods I like aren't that difficult to make and with millions of recipes out there I'm bound to find one that I like or that I can doctor so that I like it. That's the beauty of food- the only rule is to make sure it doesn't kill you. I also feel like most foods that are full of gunk can be easily made without all the gunk and that they will taste better.  Hence, the reason that I prefer to "DIY it" than "prepackage it". 

{Note: I am by no means against junk food... It's just not worth the trouble or possible to make some things (ie: snack food) but for full meals I prefer to do things myself. It's relaxing. It gives me a sense of accomplishment. It makes me smile. I'm also not against all prepackaged foods, believe you me, I use them but I try to not over use them b/c of all the gunk in them and b/c they cost a small fortune!}

I promise to post recipes soon. In the mean time, here's something the think on. My enchilada recipe is a spin-off of my mother-in-law's and The Pioneer Woman's recipe. I love the Pioneer Woman's recipes! You need her book. You need her emails. Promise. My friend, Anna told me to get Pioneer Woman's book and that I'd love it- she was right. And now I'm telling you. Get the book- you'll be so glad you did! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ideas for an office space

In case you didn't know already, I'm a newly wed. We live in a 1 bedroom 1 bathroom apartment. We really like the layout and the space if really great, especially for the money. However, there have been some changes in our lives since we tie the preverbal knot, mainly a new job. Originally, we thought that a 1bed 1bath would be great for us and we would stay there for a couple years, but this just isn't realistic anymore. My husband's new job requires him to work from home quite a bit and we desperately need an office space. Currently, my (our) dinning room table is serving as the "office/work" space, but let's face it- this isn't going to work forever. In light of this reality, we (I) am on the hunt for a 2 bed 1-2 bath apartment. And in light of having an extra room to decorate, I am looking at inspiration for our future home office. Here are some ideas... 

{This will never actually happen in out apartment
but I liked it.}

{I love that there is a place/drawer/cubby for everything!
And I love the white with the green and yellow accents!
Office color scheme maybe???}

{I know it's a Christmas photo but check out the chair!
Love it!}

{Again with the cubbies and drawers... I hate not 
having a place for everything.} 

{Ok, this is waaaay too chaotic for me but notice the
vintage wire baskets up above- LOVE!}

Let's review, shall we? 
1. The styles are all over the place but that's ok. 
2. There is a lot of white as a base with other accent colors. 
3. I love cubbies and drawers. 
4. I love the color combo of white, grey and yellow. Like this. What ya thin? 

{compliments of pinterest} 

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Do you have a goal? Have you ever had a goal? I like goals. I have lots of them. Goals keep me motivated and on track and I very often set different goals for different parts of my life. For example, this week my goal has been to clean our apartment one room at a time from top to bottom. I was going to do one room a day but that hasn't gone according to plan. However, everything is getting cleaned and I've only for out itty-bitty bathroom and not-huge-but-not-itty-bitty kitchen. I am hoping to muster up the energy to tackel those rooms today, but I may only get one room done. 

I am part of a young married woman's Bible study at church. We've only met a couple of times but it's so great to have other women who share my current position in life to talk to. Our book is challenging to say the least, it's about the Proverbs 31 woman. My husband told me a while back before we were married that he always knew the woman he would marry was going to strive to be the godly woman Proverbs 31 talks about. I can honestly say that I am not the perfect woman of Proverbs 31, but I am trying. 

In the three and a half months that I have been married, I have learned that being a good wife is not about what you do. It's not about having a spotless house or always having clean laundry or how many meals you cook (Good thing too, because I don't have a spotless house, we riffle through the clean laundry to find clothes for the day and we have been know to order pizza). It's about the heart. Specifically, it's about my heart. 

If I am going to be the godly wife who Proverbs 18:22 calls "a good thing" then I have to have my heart right with God. Now for a little more honesty: my heart is not always right. My attitude isn't alway right either, just in case you were wondering. I get moody, upset and frustrated just like I'm sure everyone else does too. And when my actions portray less than fabulous attitude, I feel like a failure at life afterwards. 

Lately, I have been praying for the Lord to change my attitude when I'm frustrated with something, particularly when I'm frustrated with another person. Ultimately, my frustration is just about my expectations for ________ not being met. And lets be clear, I get frustrated a lot. Frustrated when I have to wait in line at the grocery store. Frustrated when I have to fold laundry and I'd rather be doing ______. Frustrated when my husband gets home later than I planned and I have to reheat dinner (this has only happen once, btw). Frustrated. 

As you can guess, I pray that prayer a lot. A whole lot. But the thing is, it works. Well, it works if I am willing to let go of my frustration and let God give me a new attitude. And let me tell ya, there are PLENTY of times when I don't want to let go of those negative feelings. The good news is that when my heart is not right and far from where it needs to be, the Lord forgives me and lets me try again. How cool is that?!? This is good news for me because I mees up so often. 

I know that if my heart is not right then nothing else I do really matters. 1 Corinthians 13 says that without love we and all that we do is nothing more than a noisy gong or cymbal (my paraphrase). I don't know about you but the last thing that I want is to be an obnoxious cymbal or gong. My constant prayer is that God would work in my heart and deepen my love for Him, and deepen my love for my husband. This doesn't mean that I don't love both the Lord and my husband, but rather that I recognize the room for growth that exists in my life. 

I am encouraged with the knowledge that for every mistake there is grace and forgiveness and the opportunity to try again. I don't have this whole "wife" thing down yet, and I never will but as I draw closer to the Father I get a little bit closer to becoming more like Proverbs 31 woman. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I love to cook. Love. Love. Love. When the D and I were registering for wedding gifts, picking out anything kitchen related was my favorite and the easiest part of the whole process. We were very blessed to  have been given most, if not all, of those items as wedding gifts. I love to try new recipes and discover more foods that my husband and I like. Prime example: last night. I tried a few new things mixed with a few tried and true items as well. New foods: 'juicy' chicken (friend gave me the recipe and that's it name b/c the chicken is well, juicy) and grilled squash and zucchini (this was new for D but something I have loved for years). Tried and True foods: grilled corn on the cob, long grain and wild rice,  and grilled vidalia onion.

I realize that this is a lot of grilling but it's summer so it's time to grill... And my wonderful grillmaster husband does it for me, which means that dinner gets done quicker because we are working as a team :).  Here is what the grilled portion of last night's dinner looked like:

{the foil ball is the vidalia onion; doesn't it look yummy?
He did a great job!}

Sorry I don't have a picture of the rice and chicken. While it tasted a-m-a-z-i-n-g, it looked like any slow-cooked chicken and any rice pilaf you've ever seen. Thursday, I am going to be trying paella, an oh so versatile and yummy rice dish. Love it! And ours will include spicy chorizo sausage :). I'm looking forward to it, if you can't tell. Next week, I am thinking about having Israeli/Middle Eastern food for dinner one night. I've done similar things before but I am thinking of revamping everything but the chicken. I'll let you know how it turns out. 

Ok, enough about food. In other news, my hubby has a blog! Yes, you should check it out! is his blog. Go there, you'll like it :) 

Monday, June 13, 2011

I love you in a practical way

This weekend, my purse fell apart literally. I've been carrying the same purse for the better part of a year. I know that may seem a little crazy but changing over to a new purse can be time consuming and a bit of a hassel (this doesn't mean I haven't done it, I have. I just haven't done it all that often.). I suppose it is a miracle that the purse lasted a year before going to pieces considering that it cost me $20 on sale at Charming Charlie.

Because my purse died, my husband said I could go purse shopping. I was planning on getting another inexpensive purse from some random store, but that's not what he had planned. My husband surprised me with a purse from my favorite designer line- Coach! Coach is my favorite designer purse and I've never owned one till now. This was a HUGE surprise for me! I still can't believe it! D very accurately said, "this is 'I love you' in a practical way." It is a practical splurge to be sure. I am so very blessed to have a husband who is so generous and understanding! I love him, and not just because he buys me purses! :) (Just so ya know, he says 'I love you' in other practical ways too... like helping with dinner, taking out the trash and getting the stuff off the top shelf that I can't reach just to name a few)

Friday, June 10, 2011


I am thinking of trying my hand at gardening. This may prove to be pointless since I couldn't even keep a potted orchid alive for very long but right now I'm counting the orchid's untimely demise as it's nature, orchids are finicky.

I'm not thinking about attempting anything like this:
I think this is a little too ambitious (for those who don't recognize it, this is a picture from "The Secret Garden", one of my favorite movies as a kid).  But I am thinking of planing some herbs, like basil, rosemary, sage, parsley, and oregano. Maybe something like this

I would love to be able to try my hand at growing real food like this 
But I 1. don't have the outdoor space for that (we have a balcony, no grass) and 2. I've never really grown anything in my life. I mean, I've tried to grow little pots of sunflowers and such but that's it. I can keep ferns and other plants alive, but they have always been someone else's and I just did the watering. Gardening would be an adventure for me and I'm kinda excited about it. Thoughts or comments are greatly welcome! 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Brownies and homesick

Yesterday, I made these. I have been wanting to make these brownies for about four weeks. Guess what? They were just ok. I was expecting them to be a-m-a-z-i-n-g but they were a little bit too much for me and I realize that I prefer a simple, traditional brownie. However, If I had a pot luck or something like that to attend, then I would probably make them- they would be a hit!

On another note.... I recently saw a friend's pictures of Israel posted on her blog. Seeing those pictures made me realize how much I miss Israel. I was there in May 2007 for 14 days and almost everyday since them, I have missed it. It's kind of like being homesick. There's really no place like it and there's no way to really describe how incredible it feels to be in the same place where Jesus walked and taught or to walk in the land given to Abraham and his descendants forever. Here are a few pictures from my trip, I hope you enjoy them.

{Dome of the Rock; Jerusalem}

{Children coming home from school}

{Ancient Roman Aquaduct;
Caesaria By the Sea}

{The Mediterranean; Caesaria By the Sea}

{The Judean Wilderness; read Ps. 23}

{Another view of the Roman aquaduct}

{The Kotel, aka the Wailing Wall, the Westen Wall; 
this is the holiest site in Judaism; Jerusalem}

{Prayers left in the Kotel by worshipers}

{Hibiscus flower in the Galilee} 

{Jerusalem, the Holy City}

{Ancient oliv tree in the Garden ofGethsemane
on the Mount of Olives; Jerusalem} 

{Wild flowers in a field; either the Golan region or
the Galilee region}

{Sign in the Old City of Jerusalem; 
there are 4 quarters: Arab, Armenian
Jewish and Christian}

{Flower in the Old city}

{Worshipping the One who holds Israel in his hands}

{Random street corner; Jerusalem} 

These are just some of the nearly 1500 pictures I took. Even now, after choosing the pictures and posting them here, my heart feels squeezed with homesickness. I hope that someday I will get to return to Israel but more than that, I hope and pray for the Peace of Jerusalem, the Peace that only Messiah Yeshua can bring. 

שאלו שלום ירושלים

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What were they thinking?!?!?!?

I recently found this picture that I had saved to my computer because it was so unbelievably horrible that I had to keep it as proof of it's horribleness. Here's the picture:

If I wanted to wear a trash bag, I would have just grabbed one from under my kitchen sink! What was this designer thinking????? As my mom would say, "do they have a mother?!?" Definitely NOT beautiful! Ok, now that you know what I think about this, tell me, what do you think about this... dress?  

Isaiah 43

1 But nowthus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name ; you are Mine! 2 "When you passthrough the watersI will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorchedNor will the flame burn you. 3 "For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior ; I have given Egypt as your ransomCush and Seba in your place4 "Since you are precious in My sight, Since you are honored and I love you, I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life5 "Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, And gather you from the west6 "I will say to the north'Give them up!' And to the south, 'Do not hold them back.' Bring My sons from afar And My daughters from the ends of the earth7 Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My gloryWhom I have formedeven whom I have made."8 Bring out the people who are blind, even though they have eyes, And the deaf, even though they have ears9 All the nations have gathered together So that the peoples may be assembled.Who among them can declare this And proclaim to us the former things ? Let them present their witnesses that they may be justified, Or let them hear and say, "It is true." 10 "You are My witnesses," declares the LORD, "And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will benone after Me. 11 "I, even I, am the LORD, And there is no savior besides Me. 12 "It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed, And there was no strange god among you; So you are My witnesses," declares the LORD, "And I am God13 "Even from eternity I am He, And there is none who can deliver out of My hand ; act and who can reverse it?"14 Thus says the LORD your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, "For your sake I have sent toBabylon, And will bring them all down as fugitivesEven the Chaldeans, into the ships in which they rejoice15 "I am the LORD, your Holy OneThe Creator of Israel, your King." 16 Thus says the LORD, Who makes a way through the sea And a path through the mighty waters17 Who brings forth the chariot and the horse, The army and the mighty man (They will lie down together and not rise again; They have been quenched and extinguished like a wick ): 18 "Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past19 "Behold, I will do something newNow it will spring forth ; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wildernessRivers in the desert20 "The beasts of the field will glorify Me, The jackals and the ostrichesBecause I have given waters in the wilderness And rivers in the desert, To give drink to My chosen people.21 "The people whom formed for Myself Will declare My praise.22 "Yet you have not called on Me, O Jacob ; But you have become weary of Me, O Israel23"You have not brought to Me the sheep of your burnt offeringsNor have you honored Me with your sacrifices. I have not burdened you with offeringsNor wearied you with incense24 "You have bought Me not sweet cane with moneyNor have you filled Me with the fat of your sacrificesRather you have burdened Me with your sins, You have wearied Me with your iniquities25 "I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins26 "Put Me in remembrancelet us argue our case together ; State your cause, that you may be proved right27 "Your first forefather sinned, And your spokesmen have transgressed against Me. 28 "So I will pollute the princes of the sanctuary, And I will consignJacob to the ban and Israel to revilement.

Monday, June 6, 2011

What a week!

Wow, last week was intense! I haven't been that busy in... quite a while. A quick recap of last week: housesitting, taking car of our house, babysitting, sick (Read: broken) car, sick (Read: really sick w/ bronchitis) hubby. Yes, it was C-R-A-Z-Y! But we made it. I however, cannot say that I responded with grace to all of this... In fact, I  was more this last week: 

Definitely not graceful. My husband is really wonderful and not only understood, but he doesn't hold my crazy-non-gracefilled reactions against me. I am one blessed girl! 

Now on to something else. This picture. 
Yes, it's the same picture from the top of the blog. I took tis picture in May of 2007 when I was in Israel. Those little red flowers, if you can't tell (or are like me and tend to be a little bit ignorant in this area) are poppies and they were everywhere in Israel! This specific picture was taken in the Garden of Gethsemane. I chose this picture for the top of the blog because it was simple but beautiful. You wouldn't think of pretty little red flowers growing in the middle of a heat soaked, arid semi-desert, but they do. I love the simplistic beauty of these flowers and the garden in which they were growing. That's your "all things beautiful" picture of the day (maybe picture of the week). 

In other news... D and I have been married 3 months! Yay! Can't believe it's been three months already! Time flies! 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

More adventure than I planned on...

Do you ever have one of those days when end up with a little (or a lot) more than you bargained for? Well, today was one of those days. Let me explain. Every afternoon this week (except Monday), I have been babysitting for some friends, they have two wonderful little boys. Having grown up in a house with three younger brothers, I understand the need for little boys to have something to occupy their time (it can get a little messy and/or creative otherwise) and having an event or a place to go can be a good thing to keep them from going stir-crazy. Hence, I have been trying to have an outing/activity for a few hours each day this week. Today's outing was supposed to be the library. I love the library. The boys love the library (and they love being out of the house). However, this was not to be.

Not only did we not get to the library, but something rather unexpected happened: my car died. Yes, died. Died meaning there was the smell of something burning and smoke coming from under the hood. Praise the Lord I was able to get off the road and into a Walgreens parking lot safely. I then called my wonderful husband and dad, at which point they both said they were coming to get me and the boys.

In the meantime, the boys and I wandered around Walgreens and got something to drink (it was in the high 90's today). Once my Heros arrived, it was determined by my dad (who operates an auto repair shop) that the compressor in my airconditioner had seized up, causing the belt that controls the water pump to quit working thus making the water pump not work and the engine quit. Needless to say, I'm getting a new airconditioner in my car. (There has also been a noise under the hood, I was told it was probably a pulley or belt that was going bad and to keep an eye on it. In keeping with this, I had noticed that the noise seemed to be getting worse so I was planning on taking the car in next week when I could be without it for a day or so... guess I don't have to worry about it now.)

Through this whole ordeal, the boys were great! They were also very eager to announce to anyone who would listen that my car was broken- kids are awesome! In spite of the heat and a broken down car, today wasn't horrible. It has been stressful but not horrible. The fact that we could get off the road and into a parking lot without any injury or problems is a God thing (drivers around here aren't the best, to say the least). I am grateful, so very very grateful for His hand of protection and His grace for that situation.

So, how was your day? Did you have more adventure than you planned on? Have you a time when you knew God's hand was at work in your life, protecting you? Please share!