May 29, 2012

30B430: Stop Drinking Soda


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Hi Friends! I'm back to share with you another 30B430 goal that I've crossed off my list! You can see the original list here.

They say that it takes 21 days to break a habit, this one was definitely a habit that I think took longer for me to break. Simply because it came down to will power. Which apparently, I didn't have enough of to start with.

#28. Stop drinking soda.

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We don't keep soda in our home, so if I drink it it's because we're out to dinner. Or were at the movies, etc. But the problem was during those occasions I would have 3 or 4 Dr. Peppers during the coarse of one meal. Crazy, drinking that many calories and sugar not to mention. 

So at the beginning of this year I was set out to stop drinking soda for good. Drink more water, anything but soda. 

January, was a complete fail. I'd do really well and then I'd go to dinner with friends and again be back in my trap. February I started over. And this time it was for real! 

I've successfully been off soda since February. I'm drinking more water than ever, it's been a great and welcome change. It's been a good decision for me, and pretty much now I don't crave it or really remember the taste of Dr. Pepper or Coke Zero which were my regular soda go to's.

What about you, made any lasting changes this year? Broken an bad habits? Tell me about it in the comments below. 

May 25, 2012

Honey Sesame Chicken

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I usually like to try a new recipe once a week, but last week I tried two. I already shared with you the first one, today I'm showing you the next.

I'll be honest this one got mixed reviews in my household. I loved this one, my Hubby did not. I hope you try it and let me know what your family thought.

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken
Recipe adapted from: Baby Center

Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thighs would be fine too)
Salt and pepper
1 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (could also use olive oil or canola oil)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional - doesn't really add heat, just adds more flavor)
4 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 6 Tablespoons water
Sesame seeds

Directions: 
Season both sides of chicken with lightly with salt and pepper, put into crock pot. In a small bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Pour over chicken. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 hours, or just until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from crock pot, leave sauce. Dissolve 4 teaspoons of cornstarch in 6 tablespoons of water and pour into crock pot. Stir to combine with sauce. Replace lid and cook sauce on high for ten more minutes or until slightly thickened. Cut chicken into bite size pieces, then return to pot and toss with sauce before serving. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve over rice or noodles.

May 23, 2012

Pasta with Pesto Cream Sauce

The Pioneer Woman, she gets it right.

And it's good.

I made this last week for dinner and it was delicious. I grilled up some chicken breasts and added them with our meal.

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Here's the recipe, via Pioneer Woman. GO here to read her full post.


Ingredients

  • 3/4 cups Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons Pine Nuts
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Peeled
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan (additional)
  • 12 ounces, weight Pasta (cavitappi, Fusili, Etc.)
  • 2 whole Tomatoes, Diced

Preparation Instructions

Cook pasta until al dente.
Add basil leaves, 1/2 cup Parmesan, pine nuts, and salt and pepper to a food processor or blender. Turn machine on, then drizzle in olive oil while it mixes. Continue blending until combined, adding additional olive oil if needed. Set aside.
Heat cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add pesto and stir.
Drain pasta and place in a serving bowl. Pour pesto cream over the top. Toss to combine. Add diced tomatoes and toss quickly. Serve immediately.

May 21, 2012

It's Been A While Since we Had a Fashion Related Post

So I thought I'd reprise that with a little fashion run down from last night's Billboard Music Awards. If you're like me you mostly watch these awards shows for two things; the fashion and the performances.

Okay, you with me?

Here's a little run down of last night's gowns that I found both interesting and fun.

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I kinda like Taylor with a full bang and straight hair. Makes her look older. 

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Natasha Bedingfield, I just really liked this color. It's a pretty one don't ya think?

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Katy Perry, love the color and the liquid beading.

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Julianne, she went short. I'm a sucker for sparkles.

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Jordin, she jumped on the short band wagon too. And gave an awesome tribute to Whitney last night. Google it, you won't be sorry.

And last but not least, my personal fave:

Carrie Underwood channeling her inner Carrie Bradshaw with this one;

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Can you tell her Hubby is a hockey player, and doesn't walk the red carpet much!  They still look adorable together even if he is slightly awkward. 

What do you think? Did you watch, who was your best dressed?

Tonight I'll be tuning into the Dancing season finale. 

Followed by The Bachelorette. 

And then Tuesday I'll be reading this, and joining in on the conversation about all things Emily a la Bachelorette! Join me won't you? 

Happy Monday Friends! 

{all images msn.com}

May 16, 2012

Things I'm Afraid to Tell You

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This post has been swirling around in my head for a few weeks now.  Since I read this post, and was inspired. So brave. 

Then Monday, I was reading through my blog reader and came across this post by one of my faves. Again, the bravery it takes to be vulnerable enough to share what's on your heart is inspiring. 

These posts, they led me down my own thoughts. Often times, I think we're afraid to say what we really think and feel out of fear. 

How will people react to them?

What will they say? 

Will they look at me differently now?

Will they judge me?

But sometimes, for me I think I'm afraid to say things out loud because the reality is then that makes them all the more true. If I say them out loud, if I tell you then I really have to come to terms with these thoughts and feelings instead of just always keeping them to myself. 

At the same time I think there's bravery and freedom that can come from letting these thoughts out and sharing them. 

So here goes, some things I'm afraid to tell you........

1. Lately I've been checking my blog stats a lot! For the past year I'd say I've become mildly obsessed with it. At first it was to try and understand Google Analytics, SEO and all that other garb better, but then it became every day. Trying to figure it out, see who was searching, what they were reading, etc. And to be quite truthful it's been driving me crazy the last few weeks. What blogger doesn't want their blog to grow right? Ever since coming back from SNAP!, I've been really feeling like I need to take a step back, remember why I started blogging in the first place, and not be so focused on the numbers, and my traffic. I never paid much attention to it before, so why was I now? Especially since all it was doing was driving me crazy. Here's the conclusion I've come to in the last few weeks; different blogs grow at different paces for various reasons. If I'm doing what I love, sharing and writing what I love the rest will come and fall into place. So here's to stop being obsessed with checking my stats, and worrying about blog growth. That's not to say I don't care, I do. But, I need to find a better priority in all of it, and I think I'm finally finding that. 

2. This is not a craft blog. I'm a creative person, I have more ideas sometimes that I know what to do with. I love creating, and making things lovely. Some days I'm creating projects and other days I'm not. This blog will never solely be a craft/project blog. That's not my life, and that's not what I will share here in this space. I love the creative community but I don't believe that I have to be solely a craft blog in order to be successful in this world. 

3. For me, I don't feel like I can't be the mother I want to be or need to be for my family and work full time. I've been working full time outside the home for almost two years now, and constantly it's an on going struggle to find the time to do everything. There are moments that I have missed out on due to working full time that make me truly sad, they grieve my heart. They are the breeding grounds for all sorts of motherhood guilt. To truly be the mother and wife that I know I want and need to be this lifestyle will change. 

All that being said this brings me to the last thing I'm afraid to tell you.....

4. I don't like my day job. I love the people I work with, they are the sweetest. But I truly don't love my job, truthfully I sit bored half the time and my mind races and wonders what more productive things I could be doing at home, or with my child. I think most people get the impression that I work because I want to, but the truth is I work because at the time I had to. I had to make a choice and a sacrifice for my family. Not really knowing at the time the other things I would sacrifice in the long run. 

Whew! I feel better. 

What things are you afraid to speak out loud that have been on your heart? 

May 14, 2012

Our Love Story: Our First Date

Last Saturday marked seven years that Orion and I have been together. It was the anniversary of our first date: 5/12/05. I remember that day like it was yesterday, so I thought it was only fitting to tell you and take a little walk down memory lane and celebrate that day.

Orion and I met in January of 2005, and we'd slowly been becoming friends. There was a period of about a month before we went on our "first official" date where Orion seemed to be everywhere I was. I went from not ever seeing him at school, to seeing him everywhere I went.

There were days when he'd just happen to be walking outside my apartment and we'd sit and chat for a while before I headed inside. He would show up on my route to my classes and walk with me and we'd talk. Then there were all the Wednesday nights after church service that a big group of us would go out to eat. He'd always end up sitting near me or next to me.

Our friends were also good at pushing this along. They would invite Orion to do things with us, and suddenly there would be 3 other couples and Orion and myself. Below is a picture of such an event, a Twins game that Orion showed up to and I "just happened" to be there too.

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Looking back now, I am so thankful for all those events that enabled Orion and I to get to know each other. It made our first date less awkward and fun. By the time Orion asked me out on a date, I was comfortable with him and he was already my friend. 

Orion asked me to go out on a date the Saturday of a friend's wedding. I'd been planning on attending this wedding for months, and I knew that I didn't want to miss it. I was going to go with my best friend Sara and her Husband. I'd thought about asking Orion to be my plus one to the wedding since I didn't already have a date, but I thought that would be an awkward first date at a wedding. 

So instead I asked Orion if we could go out the Friday before the wedding as our first date, and then asked him if he would attend the wedding with me the next evening. Luckily he agreed. Our first date, 5/12/05. Just thinking about that day, brings me back. I remember spending part of the morning with my friend Sara at her apartment, talking about what I was going to wear and where we were going. Truthfully, I was emotional that day before heading into our date that night. 

I'd known Orion was a great guy, that I liked him. And I hoped it would go well, I couldn't help thinking that this was going to be my last first date ever. I never was the type of girl who wanted to date a lot of guys. The truth was, that a lot of my guy friendships and relationships never got past friends because I knew there wasn't a future there, and I didn't want to waste my time, or loose a friendship with someone I knew I couldn't see myself with. 

But, Orion he was different. I knew I could see a future with him. And, that scared me a little bit, but it also made me very excited. 

I could tell you every little detail leading up to that night when he knocked on my door. I can tell you exactly what I wore that evening right down to the shoes. What Orion wore, and I can also tell you how for the longest time I didn't want to part with that outfit because it was what I wore the day I went on a date with the guy I would eventually marry someday. 

That evening Orion took me to dinner downtown Minneapolis at a restaurant called McCormick & Schmicks. I can remember exactly what booth we sat in and what we ordered. I remember the chit chat and small talk we made about classes and school, our families. You know all that typical stuff you talk about on a first date. 

At one point in the evening Orion got up to use the restroom, and while he was gone I remember sitting there thinking how much fun I was having, how great of a guy he is, and how I didn't want the evening to end. When dinner was over and Orion paid for the check we headed outside, it was raining that night in Minneapolis. His car was in the parking garage across the street, we decided to make a mad dash across the street in the rain. 

Without hesitation he grabbed my hand and we ran across the street to the parking garage. Seamlessly and effortlessly, we were comfortable with each other. We drove around the city for a few minutes admiring downtown, and truthfully I think he was stalling because I knew he didn't want the night to end yet either.

I did something then, I'm sure no one ever does on a first date with someone. I suggested we go over to my friend Sara's house and hang out with her and her husband. Orion was up for it. So I called my friend Sara, who I'm sure was like why are you calling me on your date. But anyway, she invited us over to hang out. So off we went to Loring Park to see friends and spend the rest of our evening with them. We pulled up to their building which happened to be a beautiful high rise apartment, they lived on the 12th floor. 

They greeted us at the door, Sara and I spent a good amount of time giggling and talking date night details in her kitchen before heading to the living room to settle in to watch a movie. Movie of choice that night was Ladder 49, I remember cuddling and holding hands with Orion underneath the blankets while watching the movie. 

About half way through the movie, their fire alarm went off in their building. How appropriate is what I was thinking. We made our way down 12 flights of stairs before sitting outside with the rest of the building residents, waiting for fire trucks and fireman to make their way. Turns out it was a false alarm, and everything was ok. Orion and I decided to head back to my apartment and say good-bye to our friends. 

Orion drove me back to my apartment. We sat inside and talked for a little while longer, making plans for the next evening when we'd attend a friends' wedding together. Before he left, we had a conversation where Orion told me that he'd really like to start dating me, he told me how great a time he'd had that night. I agreed, I wanted to start dating him to. It was official, from that evening on we were together. A couple. The next night we attended a friend's wedding together, and took this which would be our very first picture together:

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After seven years together he still makes me laugh. He's still the one I want to be with, the one I love. Falling in love with Orion was one of the best experiences of my life I can't wait to share it with you. 




May 11, 2012

30B430: Have Another Booth at a Craft Fair

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I'm back sharing another goal I've crossed off my 30B430 list! I've been really wanting to stretch myself with my handmade business and grow it. And I really enjoy meeting people and seeing them excited about my products. I knew I wanted to do another craft fair of sorts. 

My church had a local fair the last weekend in April. I signed up a few months ago, and have been busy making lots of new things. Here's what my table looked like that day:

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This was my second craft show, I learned a lot the first go around. So it was nice to apply what I learned this time and see improvements.

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I'm excited to be listing and offering a lot of the items you see here this weekend in my Etsy shop: Worley House Designs.  Look for fun new headbands, earrings, and clips! 

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And for a special treat we're having a Spring Sale! Use code: SPRINGSALE30 for 30% off your purchases! 

See the original list here. 

May 9, 2012

Tulips Are My Favorite

Next to a white lily, tulips are my absolute favorite flower. There were plenty of these beauties in Utah when I was there for SNAP!, we stayed at Thanksgiving Point which just happened to have a tulip festival happening at the same time as the conference.

Destiny and I took a little walk one afternoon and took in these beauties. As well as having a little photo shoot of our own.

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Such a beautiful place to get away for a few days with friends. I love taking pictures of scenery, it always amazes me the beautiful things that God creates. Down to every last detail of the inside of the petals. God is always in the details. 

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Thank you Destiny for taking these beautiful pictures of me and helping me update my photos. :)

Today is also my beautiful Mama's birthday, Happy Birthday Mom! We love you!

What's made you smile today? 

May 8, 2012

An Award and A Survey

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Yesterday  I received a Liebster Blog Award from the lovely Mindy at Cute N' Crafty Creations. This award is given to bloggers who have under 200 followers, and passed around to others who also have less than 200 followers! What a great way to spread the word about great blogs!



Alright so as with everything there are a few rules to follow when you receive a Liebster Award. Here they are:
1. Post about your win on your blog
2. Link back to the blogger who presented you with the award: Cute N' Crafty Creations (be sure to follow me! Check out my Facebook and Twitter too!) 
3. Copy and past the award button to your blog.
4. Present the Liebster Award to 5 blogs that have fewer than 200 followers that you think deserve to be recognized.
5. Let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here are 5 that I think you might enjoy!


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Now for the other fun part, the survey!

One of my goals after coming home from SNAP! was to try and get to know YOU, my readers better. See what you're loving on the blog, and what you're not. So, I created a lovely survey for you to take! I promise it won't take long, and it would really help me out if you'd take a few minutes to respond! 


Thanks friends! 

Life via Instagram

I'm probably never, never going to get sick of Instagram. It's my most fave ever app. I think I kinda like it more than Twitter, because pictures tell more of the story that words ever could. Right?! Some scenes from our life via my Insta gram feed.

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Wednesday I made a pan of these yummy Scotcharoos for my co-workers retirement party. They went fast, but I had to snag a few to take home for the hubby. {reciepe to come.}
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Thursday we baby sat for some friends so they could enjoy a date night! We love having their two boys over, and Ava loves them too.
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Waiting in the pick up line for Daddy is tiring work! Right Ava?! Snoozin' while we wait for hubby. She's so cute, and I just love her so. My fave apps in addition with Instagram are: PicFrame & Phonto. Check them out, if you're an Instagram user you'll probably love them as much as I do!

Linking here. 

May 7, 2012

Blog Roll Monday: A Night Owl Blog


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Let's get back to our regularly scheduled programming and share with you one of the blogs on my reading list! I love meeting new bloggers, and meeting them in real life after you've been reading their blogs for a while is always a lot of fun.

A Night Owl Blog


I met Kimberly from A Night Owl Blog a few weeks after we started following each other on Twitter 7 Instagram! We met for the first time at The Glitter Academy event back in March! It was so great to finally meet in person and put a face to the name! She's just as sweet in person as she is on her blog.

She's new to blogland, but her blog is growing amazing and she's got some awesome things going on over there! A weekly Pinterest link up party, and Instagram link up to share all those awesome photos you're taking and sharing!

She also shares some fun projects, like crafting and thrifty finds! Which I really enjoy because I love seeing a good deal.

If you haven't seen her blog yet jump on over and check her out! Say hello, and tell her I sent ya!

Click the banner link above or click here:

May 3, 2012

SNAP Recap: Learning, Growing & Connecting

This post is long over due, I wanted to still share with you all my experience and trip to the SNAP! Conference back in April. I'd been looking forward to this trip for sometime, and was excited I got to travel and spend quality time with my friend and blog buddy Destiny.

We had an early flight (6 am) out of Phoenix, and arrived in Utah around 9 am. We met some of our other blog buds at the airport. Holly met us there and picked us up. BIG thanks to Holly for picking us up, and taking us back to the airport when SNAP! was over.

A lot of people ask me all the time what's the point of attending such a conference? For me, it's the chance to rub shoulders with other creative minds. With women who enjoy and appreciate blogging and being creative.

But, also I have the chance to learn.

To grow.

To connect.

SNAP! was a great weekend of all three of these things. So with out further adieu I bring you my SNAP! experience through pictures;

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Us with Holly at the opening session.

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Amazing necklaces from Amy Cornwell. The theme of the conference was 'Just Be You.' Such a powerful message and reminder to be yourself.

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Destiny & I.

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The amazing Kristen from 6th Street Design School. I'm not much of a designer and decorator. I feel like I have a lot to learn but she had some amazing tips and tricks for making your space your own. 

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The amazing Queen Bee Market was even more awesome than I imagined. So many talented and awesome creative shops in one place. I came home with just a few goodies for myself and Miss Ava.

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Collecting business cards like trading cards. So many great new blogs I can't wait to check out!

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One of my favorite workshops was called 'Blog to Book.' One of my dreams one day is to author a book of my own. During this workshop I was able to hear two amazing authors and an editor at Random House speak on writing a book. Writing a book proposal, and getting published. It was an amazing experience, and I'm excited about the opportunities that came from the people I met during this workshop. 

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The AH-mazin' Shelley Smith from The House of Smiths. 

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Me & Holly.

Next up, I'll share some amazing scenery from my time in Utah! I hope you enjoyed my first little recap of SNAP!

psst: We're having a little giveaway going on over at my Facebook page! Go here, to like this pic and be entered to win. 

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