Monday, September 30, 2013

I feel a good time coming on

Last weekend, I went to a Keith Urban concert.  I have never been the biggest Keith Urban fan, but I'd heard that he has one of the best country shows ever.  And boy, does he! It was, by FAR, the best country concert I've been too.  Dustin Lynch and Little Big Town opened, and though I didn't love either, I was thoroughly impressed with Little Big Town's talent.  They sure could harmonize. After playing about an hour and a half, Keith said goodnight and left the stage.  A bunch of people left but there was so much cheering from the fans, he came back and played for another hour.  It was awesome! You should check him out and go see his show if you get a chance! It is well worth it.   

Even The Stars Fall 4 U by Keith Urban - on Grooveshark

A beautiful night in an outdoor arena!

I also got to go see the new movie The Ultimate Life.  It was directed by Michael Landon, Jr. who always does great, clean movies.  It was such a feel good movie about realizing what is important in life and what really brings us happiness.  It didn't hurt that it had Logan Bartholomew in it, either. (:

Lastly, Friday was (hopefully) my last day on crutches.  Man, I seriously never realized how hard it is to be on crutches. I am now going to really empathize for anyone I see walking on crutches. It makes everything difficult and every part of my body aches! A big shout out to my lovely friend, Bekka, who was super supportive and helped me out with everything, even when I was being a big baby! You are the best! xo

Hope you are all having a joyful week!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

One of my all-time favorite meals

1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 lbs chicken cutlets
2 TBSP olive oil
1 cup white wine
Linguine Alfredo

Combine flour, salt and pepper in a flat dish and dredge chicken. 

Cook chicken in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, flipping sides until cooked through.  Remove chicken from skillet and keep warm.

Add wine to skillet and cook 1 to 2 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half, stirring to loosen particles from skillet.

Arrange on serving platter and drizzle with wine sauce.  Serve with linguine alfredo.

Linguine Alfredo:

10 oz container Alfredo sauce
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/2 cup white wine
3 TBSP sour cream
1 garlic clove, sliced
8 oz refrigerated linguine

Process Alfredo sauce, parsley, wine, garlic and sour cream in food blender until smooth.  Serve with cooked linguine.


Friday, September 20, 2013

How to Have an Instantly Better Day

If you are in need of some cheering up, I have a suggestion for you: use crutches for a day.  I recently hurt my foot (how, I do not know) so that it has been very painful to walk around on it all day at school.  It is only getting worse, causing me to limp.  Yesterday, I thought I would haul out our old crutches from the 1980s to get around school. I was nervous about how I would get around/opening doors/stairs, etc. 

I was pleased to find how kind people were to me! Seriously, I never had to open a door myself. People way ahead of me would notice me and hold the door. People behind me would run up to hold the door. If someone was in my way, they would apologize profusely. I could ask anyone where the elevator was.  I entered a building and stopped, trying to figure out where the elevator was.  A guy rushed up to me and asked if I need help.  I asked him if he knew where the elevator was, and he didn't, so I said I would take the stairs.  He offered to help me up the stairs! Everyone was incredibly nice so my day was really cheered up.

P.S. Just a warning... using crutches is extremely hard.  There is definitely a trade off. People will be nice to be you but you will also be in extreme pain.  I can scarcely even lift my arms today.  I might need to work out more or something.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Failing at Chemistry

Heart’s Content by Brandi Carlile on Grooveshark

Guys. I love this song. Seriously can't stop listening to it.  I just adore Brandi Carlile's voice. Ahh.

In other news, microbiology is hard.  Or rather, hard for me.  The first two weeks went along fine and I was actually thinking it was going to be quite easy.  Then, today, we had a chemistry quiz (chemistry is a prerequisite) and it was oh-so-hard.  There is a very good chance I failed it. Come on, are we really expected to remember an entire semester's worth of chemistry? Okay, apparently we are. The lecture was today a serious struggle for me to follow along because I remember almost nothing from chemistry! Also, in lab, I am always asking the most stupid questions because I am so lost.  He answers like I am 4 years old. So, basically, my professor thinks I am really dumb.

Pretty much my exact expression during class

Another happening today: I witnessed a brawl in the middle school parking lot.  Not a real brawl but there was some serious yelling.  In one of the rows, the front car had parked for, like, a minute and when he didn't move the mom behind him gets out of her car and rudely starts yelling at him.  He refused to move! Then all the other people in the cars behind him were getting out and yelling back and forth about how he wouldn't move.  Things like that make me really depressed about people. Can't we just be a little more patient with each other? 

Lastly, yesterday was the first day in three weeks that I have not had neck pain/a headache. It was so awesome!

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Sweetest Thing

One of my best friends, Joy, just got into nursing school! To celebrate, I made her one of my all time favorite pies... Go Joy!

1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups hot milk
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 TBSP butter

Mix sugar, flour and salt.  Add hot milk and cook until the mixtures is thick.  Add butter and eggs, stirring quickly.  Remove from heat and cool slightly.  Pour into a baked pie shell. 


1 cup flour
1/3 cup Spectrum shortening
1/2 tsp salt
3 TBSP ICE water
Mix flour, shortening, salt with a  pastry blender until crumbly.  Add water and mix with your hands, taking care not to overmix.  Roll into the shape of your dish.  Be sure to use plenty of flour when you roll it out!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Summer, please stay!

There was ice cream... always.

I can't believe we are already getting to the end of summer! All summer I have been going to these summer concerts hosted by the community.  They are Thursday nights and always sooo nice.  We take chairs and sit outside by the amphitheater and the pond.  The area is set up with really gorgeous buildings, olive trees, and white lights! Anyway, next week is the last week is the end and it's very sad that summer concerts are coming to a close.  We love our beautiful little town!

The bell tower!

The amphitheater, filled with people dancing

Saw this guy with a glorious mullet wig... Had to take stalker pictures

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


You know the blogger side of me, but today I'm going to share the really weird side of me.  I have some confessions that will make you realize that I'm not as crazy cool as you thought... cause that IS what you thought, right?!  I hope you will still like me after you find out all my strange confessions. Without further ado...

Things You Probably Didn't Want To Know 

I have these amazing clavicles, that when tapped, are really, incredibly loud.  It's my only real talent.

To relieve awkward situations, I start humming. For example: if I awkwardly meet someone's eye I start humming.  This actually makes it even weirder.  

I sigh A LOT, somewhat loudly, in class.  "Hmmmmm." I sometimes wonder if the people around me wonder what is going on.  

I pee in lakes.  Also in the ocean, river, and occasionally pools.  Come on, people, we all do it so let's just stop pretending.

I am incredibly gifted at doing embarrassing things.  My friends will actually ask me to tell them recent embarrassing things that I have done.  My stories always win at embarrassing story parties (yes, we do have these).  My friend Bekka and I have started a v-log so that I can look back at the good old days of being 22 and oh-so-awkward.

I am more obsessed with underwear than the average person.  What can I say? A good pair of underwear can truly make your day.  Also, why do we call it a pair of underwear?  A pair means two, and personally, I don't wear two!

I am a master stalker.  Seriously, I can find anyone on the internet.  I don't even need a last name to find them. A good thing? Probably not. 

Sometimes when I walk into public restrooms, I start unzipping my pants before I get to the stall.  Then, I realize what I am doing and stop.  #soexcitedtousethebathroom

I am afraid of hair.  Not hair attached to someone's head, but detached hairs... in library books, shower walls, bathroom sinks, etc. I barely stand to look at it and I can NOT touch it.

I love my brother's name.  Love it so much that I used to take a water bottle of his with his name on it to the gym and hope that people thought my name was Dalton. 

Very few things make me more excited than when people tell me they read my blog (shout out to my #1 fan, Levi G, I hope you are reading this)
I love checking things off on my to-do list.  So much so that if I do something that wasn't on the list, I write it and immediately cross it off.  BOOM.  I get stuff done.
I can make these faces. 

Monday, September 9, 2013


If you have been reading this blog for a while, you will know that I have a lot of headaches.  They can vary from every day to just two a week.  But for the past three weeks, I have had particularly bad neck pain that is nearly constant.  I try to write this blog from a joyful perspective (Pure Joy, c'mon!!) but I must be honest and tell you that I am having a really hard time finding joy in this. It is so hard not to sit around feeling sorry for myself and making excuses for why that is okay. Intellectually I know that so many others have it way worse than I do. And I AM thankful for all the many things I do have.  But it is so easy to play the comparison game the other way, too, and think that it is not fair that I have to have this when so many people don't.  Perhaps that is one of the reasons, then, that God gives me this.  To learn to accept it.  To learn that things won't be perfect but that I need to find joy anyway.  I stumbled upon this a few minutes ago on Pinterest and in that moment, it was exactly what I needed.  


Friday, September 6, 2013

Passionate Life: Slow Down


I may not be very old, but I certainly can't believe how quickly time goes by.  I've scarcely blinked and I'm no longer 16.  I'm sure you can all relate-- time goes by but you don't feel any older.  I so wish that I had realized when I was younger to slow down and appreciate life.  I spent so much time just wanting the next big thing. Whether it was a day, a month or a whole semester, I couldn't way for time to go by.  A phrase I used quite frequently was "I can't wait..."

I have pretty much eradicated this phrase from my life now.  I no longer want to wish away my life, waiting for better times.  I need to learn to live right now, to be thankful for each breath and the people who surround me. I am saddened to think of how much good I could have accomplished if I'd just been able to appreciate what was right in front of me. 

Think of all the good you can do with each moment.  Instead of settling while you wait for "real" life to happen, we can build each other up.  We can passionately serve God.  We can be more like Jesus.  

Like I talked about in this post, I think one of the keys to passionate life is to not waste the precious resources we have: time and words.  We can use them for good or we can squander them.  We can use them to build ourselves and others, or we can use them to tear us apart.
Dear 16-year-old Danielle: Slow down. Love. Be thankful for what you have.  You will be glad you did, because the moments sure do fly by. 
Read more about passionate life here and here!


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Family faves


Today I have a very special treat... A recipe from Supermom!! She cooks delicious meals for the 7 of us every night!! Here is one of our favorites!

2 chicken breasts, cooked & shredded
1 can cream of chicken soup
½ - 1 cup chicken broth
Cooked onion, celery, carrots
1-1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
¼ cup baby lima beans
1 cooked potato, chopped
1/3 cup white wine
¼ - ½ tsp EACH ground sage, thyme, poultry seasoning, pepper, garlic, celery seed, paprika
½ cup sour cream
2 slices swiss or havarti cheese
Pastry for 2-crust pie (homemade, of course!)
Mix all ingredients except sour cream and cheese.  Simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Lower temperature.   Add sour cream and cheese.  When cheese melts, pour into a deep dish lined with pie crust (I use a 10x6x4 dish for my family of 7).  Top with remaining crust. 
Bake 30 minutes at 400 degrees until browned.
2 cups flour
2/3 cup Spectrum shortening
1 tsp salt
6 TBSP ice water
Mix flour, shortening, salt with a  pastry blender until crumbly.  Add water and mix with your hands.  Divide dough in 2 portions and roll into the shape of your dish.  Be sure to use plenty of flour when you roll it out!

Monday, September 2, 2013


I spent the last week in British Columbia and was so excited to get to go to the Buchart Gardens.  It was absolutely breathtaking.  Pictures cannot capture how incredible it was, but here are a few of my favorites.