Sunday, March 31, 2013

An Easter Blessing

In church this morning, the theme of the Easter service was "Isn't It Enough?" Isn't it enough that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose again?
Sometimes we get caught up in the problems of day-to-day life, and we wonder why. Why do my friends have this or that, but I don't? Why is God letting certain things happen to me? But we often need to take a step back and remind ourselves: isn't it enough? When we think about all the things we've been blessed with, we realize that we live a very rich life. 
Jesus is the link between us and God.

I never get tired to hearing the story of how He died for us, and it always brings tears to my eyes. But the fact that He is alive today and taking us through each step of the way is just the encouragement I need. Isn't that enough? 

P.S. If you haven't seen any of The Bible on The History Channel, I highly recommend it. It will also be available on DVD beginning this Tuesday. At least watch the final chapter... the Easter story. Happy Easter to all!

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Perfect Date

Today I'm linking up with Kelly's Korner Blog for my idea of some fun date activities. I'm not sure I can say that I've ever been on a "perfect" date. 

There was the one time when I went to the movies with this guy and I think he had bathed in cheap cologne before he got there. I felt nauseous the entire time from the smell! And then he took me to an awful Thai restaurant. Let's just say my appetite wasn't exactly up to par after smelling his eau de stink all night!

And then there was the time where the guy had me meet him at a farm, and all we did was walk around and he talked about how much he was obsessed with his new camera. Lunch time came and went, and there was never any mention of eating! A girl's gotta eat!!

And then there was the guy who cooked dinner for me (major points), but then he decided that his pretend friends on the computer would be more entertaining then actually having a conversation with me.


Oh, and then there was the guy who canceled the first date the morning of. He decided that going to a football game sounded more fun. Nice to know ya, dude. 
So needless to say, I'm not the most experienced when it comes to perfect dates, but I do have some ideas! I definitely think that Starbucks is a great place to meet someone for a first date. It's a casual place, you can stay (or leave) as long as you want, and it's a nice atmosphere to just chat and get to know each other. In fact, my brother recently told me that I should start hanging out at Starbucks more often, and maybe I'd meet a nice guy there! I just might have to give it a try!
Once you get past the initial meeting, or if you already know someone and you're ready to dive into a full blown date, I really think sporting events or concerts are fun activities. They allow you to feel relaxed and still have fun. A picnic also seems like a fun and romantic way to spend a weekend afternoon, especially if the weather is beautiful. Any activity where you're actually moving... like taking a walk, hiking, kayaking, etc. is a fun way to spend time together without it feeling so formal and uptight. I know dinner and a move is so typical, but I really don't think movies are good. You don't get a chance to talk at all!! Dinner is ok, but it can be nerve-wracking at first.
The bottom line, though, is that any date can be wonderful if it's with the right person. When I meet my soulmate, if we spend a date watching paint dry, it will still be fantastic because I'll be with the person I'm meant to be with.
Along with date ideas, I would be curious to hear about ideas of good places to meet quality people, too!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

My Morning Visitors

I moved into my current place back in August, and I really love living here! It's so quiet and peaceful and really beautiful! My porch overlooks the fairway on the golf course, and early in the mornings, the sandhill cranes come to visit. Well, the first morning I woke up here, I had no idea what I was hearing!! It sounded like some strange alarm, or like a clown car was driving by. I soon figured out that it was the call of the sandhill cranes!! Now that I know what it is, I enjoy waking up to their sound. The other morning, I was enjoying breakfast out on my porch when two of the birds and their babies passed by. I thought they were just too cute, so I snapped a couple photos! 

These birds are no dummies, either! Once the golfers start coming out, they leave. And they even wait to cross the road until a car passes by! 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

In the Kitchen: Panini

I've just been cooking up a storm lately! Between all the great recipes I've found on Pinterest and the cookbooks I've gotten from the library, I've had fun experimenting with new foods! Who says you can't cook for one?! For dinner last night, I wanted something quick and simple since Monday night's dinner took almost two hours to prepare (roasting your own red peppers on a weeknight isn't the smartest idea)!

I came across a recipe for Greek Paninis on Mix and Match Mama's blog the other day. I was excited to see that this could be made into a vegetarian version just by leaving out the chicken. So simple! It definitely didn't lack any flavor, either. The combo of pesto, fresh spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese and red onion really packs a punch! I used multigrain bread instead, and next time I might try it with hummus instead of pesto, although I did love it so much I'm not sure I can change it up! I think the combinations for this basic sandwich are endless! In fact, this recipe inspired me to consider buying a panini maker. If I can justify enough uses out of it (I need plenty of veggie options), I might just have to add one to my wish list! 
If you don't have a panini maker, don't worry! You can just do what I did. I placed a heavy skillet on top of the sandwich while it was cooking, and then I also pressed it down with a spatula. It works well, but you don't get those great grill marks. I'm thinking a caprese panini or a mushroom melt version would also be great! In fact, mushrooms sound delicious with some meunster cheese, red onions, tomato and olive tapenade! Yum!! Maybe I will have to consider that panini maker after all...

Friday, March 22, 2013


JTT. Those 3 initials probably ring a bell, right?! I was obsessed with Jonathan Taylor Thomas back in the day!! I even got tickets to a live taping of Home Improvement and dragged my poor dad out to Los Angeles with me to see it! You were supposed to be 16 years old to get in, and I was so nervous that I'd get caught (I was not quite 14 at the time), but luckily I passed for a 16 year old! (By the way, it's weird how that works. When I was that age, everyone thought I was older, and now everyone thinks I'm younger than my age. Not complaining, though). 

Imagine my excitement when I saw a commercial the other night for Tim Allen's show, Last Man Standing, advertising a guest appearance by none other than JTT himself!
I honestly thought he had fallen off the face of the earth! After he quit acting and went to college, I kept trying to find out what he was up to, but never could. I used to daydream on the bus ride home from school that I'd get off at my stop and Jonathan would be there waiting for me, and we'd get married and live happily ever after. I even used to buy all the teeny-bopper magazines at the grocery store just so I could read the articles and drool over the pictures of him. I was embarrassed about my crush, so I'd go pay for the magazine in the checkout line while my mom was still grocery shopping!

I'm pretty sure I owned this exact issue. No way I could pass up those 2 giant posters!

Needless to say, I'm stoked to see him on TV tonight!! Last Man Standing is a really funny show, too, and one that I usually watch if I'm home on Friday evenings. Be sure to check out my teen crush on ABC at 8/7 central. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Shades of Spring

Spring has sprung and if you haven't already started wearing all the fun, bright colors, what are you waiting for?! We only have a short window of time before we'll be in the summer wardrobe and color rut again. I mean, when you think about it, what are the "official" summer colors? Are they red, white and blue for 4th of July? At least fall and winter have all the earth tone shades. 

Anyway, I found 3 new nail polish colors that I had to have for spring! These just scream Easter and they make me think happy, cheery thoughts! :) Below are my top 3 shades. 
Essie Mint Candy Apple

Butter London Jasper

Butter London Molly Coddled

I own all of these and I've been rotating them each time I paint my nails. And here's a funny side note about the Butter London shades. My family dog is Molly, and my aunt and uncle's dog is named Jasper! These colors were meant for me!!

I'd love to hear about other fun spring shades, whether it's nail polish, clothing, home decor, whatever!! 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Redbook Has a New Look

Is it just me, or has Redbook given itself a complete makeover? I always thought the magazine was geared toward 40 to 60-somethings, but the last time I looked, Lauren Conrad was on the cover! And when I looked back at images of the covers from recent months, they were all graced by younger women. 
I haven't flipped through the pages of Redbook since its new look, but I'm about to find out everything I need to know because I scored a 1-year subscription for only $5! It's not like I need another magazine subscription right now, but for that price, how can you pass it up?! If anyone else is interested in this deal, just use my LivingSocial link below. It expires in a few days, though, so hurry! 

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Travel Bug

For the past couple years (ever since my brother moved to Dallas), we've made a tradition of taking a brother-sister trip together. The first year, I flew out to Dallas to visit him for the first time. 

Here we are at the Rangers game

The next year, we met up in Seattle and spent a few days there and did lots of driving... to Vancouver, Canada, and to Mount Rainier National Park (the most beautiful place I've ever seen)! 

Me and my baby snowman at Mount Rainier National Park

Last summer, I was supposed to fly back to Dallas, and then from there we were going to drive to Austin. Well, a bad storm hit Florida the night before I was supposed to leave, and I didn't think I'd be able to get to the airport, so I canceled my flight, and we decided to plan a trip to NYC in the fall instead. I had never been before, and it was such an exciting place to see, especially while it was decorated for Christmas! 

My brother and I in Central Park, NYC

But, I still have my flight voucher from my canceled Dallas trip, and I have to use it by this July. I've been thinking about where we could go in the next few months. My brother is usually nice enough to leave it up to me!! (He's a pilot and travels all the time.) Any suggestions of must-see places would really be appreciated!! I'm thinking I might like to go to a non-city place this time since we just did NYC, but there are tons of cities I've never been to and would like to see on future trips.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Unruly Brows

For whatever reason, I have the most unruly eyebrows! They drive me nuts! When I was younger, I once had my mom put a professional straightener on them to try to tame them. It worked for a little while until they started to grow out again, which was about 2 days later. And because my brows are so dark against my light skin, every little hair shows. When I was a young teen, someone once suggested that I use clear mascara on my brows. I couldn't understand what that was going to do, but I thought I'd give it a try! Well, lo and behold, it was amazing!! I've been using CoverGirl Clear Mascara on my brows ever since.

It truly is a miracle product, and one of the top beauty items I can't live without! It has a perfect applicator wand, and just the right amount of "gel-ness" to hold my brows in place without feeling too stiff or sticky. If your brows are unruly like mine, give it a try! I promise you'll be hooked!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

From Mama's Table to Mine

I get 99% of my books from the library. I just don't see the point in buying them because once I've read something, I typically don't read it again, and I'm the total opposite of a pack rat so I don't want a bunch of books stacked around my house collecting dust. That being said, I did find a book that I just might have to purchase, but of course it's a cookbook!! 
This past weekend, I checked out Bobby Deen's newest book, From Mama's Table to Mine. This book was just released last month, and it's already hit number 1 on the New York Times Best Sellers list. I can see why. This cookbook is fabulous! It has all the great southern food you'd expect from his mama, Paula Deen, but Bobby puts a healthy spin on it. No matter your food preferences, I can guarantee there will be several recipes in the book that you'll want to try! I'm already anxious to make the Black-eyed Pea Salad, Loaded Lasagna (vegetarian), Black Bean Soup with Avocado, Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms, and much much more! (Is your mouth watering yet?)
This cookbook even has helpful menus, tips, and tricks in the back. What more can you ask for?! Bobby hit the ball out of the park with this cookbook! I love me some comfort food, and the fact that he makes it healthy makes him a hero in my book!


Friday, March 1, 2013

Get Pin-spired: March Edition

Today is the first of the month, so I'm linking up again with Mix and Match Mama, Pinterest Told Me To, and The Larson Lingo for Get Pin-spired: March edition. 

My outfit this time is a little more "springy." I love the bright colors of the season, and when I saw this picture on Pinterest, I knew I could easily re-create the look and make it my own. Because I live in Florida, when it's the appropriate time of year to wear white jeans, it's too hot for jeans here!! So I used white denim shorts instead. I love the mint, pink, and white combo, which I would not have thought to try on my own. And... I actually wore the same mint necklace in last month's Pin-spired post!! I love getting many different uses out of one piece. 

Top: Gap
Shorts: JCPenney (old)
Necklace: Etsy

Just for kicks, I also did a Pinterest Told Sheaffer To, and then she told me to... 
I wore the same scarf, which I bought after reading about it on Sheaffer's blog, and then I incorporated the green with my skinny jeans instead of a cardigan. 

Scarf: Old Navy
Denim shirt: Gap (old)
Tank top: Old Navy
Skinny jeans: Gap (no longer online)

Until next month, go get Pin-spired and wear those items hidden in the back of your closet!