Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bittersweet Changes

I've been a nanny for more than 6 years. It was a great job to have through college because it allowed me to work part-time and still keep up with all my classes. My latest nanny job I've been doing for a year and a half, and I love it. The girls I watch are awesome and the parents are kind and flexible. I couldn't have asked for a better part-time college job and I'm so thankful for it. 

Next week, I'm embarking on a new adventure to Canada. I've quit my job and hope to find a full-time summer job when I come back.  Come fall I will be starting Physical Therapy school full time. (Whoo hoo, I got in!)

I know that life can't always stay the same, and I don't really want it too, but it is bittersweet to be leaving this wonderful family and job. However, I'm excited for all the wonderful things that are to come! 

Change is hard, I think!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Daffodil Hill

My friend Naomi came to visit from LA so Bekka, Naomi and I headed to the gorgeous Daffodil Hill for the afternoon. It was so gorgeous there! I wish my yard looked like this (:

The perfect picnic... egg salad sandwiches, BBQ chips, sugar cookies, and lemonade!

Monday, March 17, 2014


I LOVE bread salad and this one is so filling with it's beans that you can serve it as a main dish! 

3/4 lb sourdough bread, cubed (~8 cups)
2 TBSP olive oil
8 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 15-oz can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 14-oz can artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained
1 cups thinly sliced roasted red peppers
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced
3 TBSP capers, drained
1/4 cup Greek olives, quartered

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 TBSP minced fresh parsley
3 TBSP olive oil
3 TBSP lemon juice
2 TBSP white wine vinegar
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 garlic clove, minced

In a large bowl, toss bread with oil and place on baking sheet. Bake at 450 for 8 minutes. Cool.
Combine tomatoes, beans, artichokes, peppers, basil, olives, capers and bread.

Whisk dressing ingredients and drizzle over salad. Toss to coat. ENJOY!

Thursday, March 13, 2014


A couple semesters ago, I took a class where we looked at the power of advertisements. Seeing this one today stopped me in my tracks. Whether Marilyn Monroe meant this as a good thing or not, I think it is incredibly sad that this quote is being used to sell hairspray ("sexy" hairspray to be specific).  Before I took that class, I don't think I would have even noticed this ad's message, but now it makes me so mad.  How sad it is that our culture truly does care more about our looks than our virtue.  How sad that this is seen as a positive thing. How sad it is that this message is propagated to sell hair products. 

These aren't the things God is looking for.  

A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
    where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
-Proverbs 31:10-31

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Birthday treat

Daniel loves rice pudding, so for his birthday I fixed some! He seemed to like it (:  It takes a while but it's very easy!

Creamy Rice Pudding
3/4 cups uncooked white rice
2 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1 TBSP butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan; stir in rice. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes.

Add 1 1/2 cups milk, sugar and salt.  Cook over medium heat until thick and creamy, about 20 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup milk and beaten egg, cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla. EAT.

Friday, March 7, 2014

High 5

Linking up with Lauren for High 5 For Friday!!

1. Having one of my favorite lunches with some of my favorite people!

2. Seeing this picture of the cute girl we sponsor in Kenya, Mueni!

3. I wasn't there, but Jeremiah surprised Joy by coming home last night!

4. Wonderful evenings with Bekka and Sarah

5. Finding out I got accepted at University of Pacific!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

7 Habits

I have finally finished The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People!! It took me forever to finish, so I'm obviously not all that effective.  I'll be honest, while I really loved the idea behind this book, I feel that it is a bit overwhelming and hard to follow.  Maybe I'm just too simple, because I know a lot of people rave about it, but I like to read "self-help" books where I feel that I can implement the ideas into my life. I got a bit lost in this book because it is so detailed. However, the principles of the book are wonderful and so I will do my best to recap my favorites for you! While I'm certainly not doing justice to the book, this is what I got from it and hope to add to my life.

The author, Stephen Covey, coined this term where P stands for production and PC stands for production capability. As far as I can tell, the point is that to be effective, you must maintain a balance between the two. If you push, push, push, for production (in work, relationships, children, etc), you will eventually lose the ability to produce. Instead, you must also spend time cultivating production capability. This might be spending extra time to make your spouse feel happy (PC) in order to keep growing in love (P). While it might seem like more of an effort up front, expecting love without putting anything in is surely going to lead to an unhappy marriage. It's the same with our jobs, our kids, and every other relationship. I love this idea because it really goes along with the idea that we get back what we put in. If we take the time to make an effort, we will truly experience richer lives.

Proactive, not reactive
To be proactive is about taking responsibility for our lives. It is accepting that the way we act is actually not controlled by our circumstances but by our choices. Reactive people allow their circumstances to dictate their happiness, and therefore their actions. Instead, we must realize that we can take control and choose how we respond! YOU are the only one who has that power!

Beginning with the end in mind
The idea here is that instead of getting bogged down in the daily minutia of life, you focus on WHO you want to be at the end of your life. If you don't work on that person now, they will never exist.  Stephen Covey suggests writing a personal mission statement that includes what you want your character to be like, what you want to achieve in life, and what values will guide you. If you pick up a copy, he has some wonderful examples of personal mission statements and I really liked writing mine! It is focusing on the big picture, not the tiny things!

Seeking to understand
I love this concept! How often do you listen to other people and interpret what they say in your own viewpoint? If you disagree, you are quick to tell them how they really should act/feel and then you move on to the next conversation. However, this is simply not effective when you are dealing with people! People seek to be UNDERSTOOD.  Whether talking to your business partners, children, or neighbors, it is important that you put yourself in their shoes and take the time to show that you relate to them. The author gives many examples of how using this tactic brought about the desired results (business partnerships, children obeying, etc) because it shows them you are investing in the relationship. He suggests doing what he calls mimicking content, where you essentially repeat back what a the person says but in your own words. This shows that you are absorbing, understanding, and reflecting what they are feeling. Boy, does that go a long way in relationships!

Sharpening the saw
The last of the principles I loved in this book is somewhat similar to the P/PC concept. It goes back to the idea of taking the extra time up front to save yourself all kinds of time and energy in the end.  Covey gives the example of a man who has spent many hours cutting down a tree with a dull saw.  When asked why he doesn't just sharpen the saw, the responds that he doesn't have time to because he is cutting down the tree! Obviously, we see how ridiculous it is that the man is spending all the extra time instead of taking a few minutes to sharpen the saw.  But how often do we do the same thing in our own lives?  He gives the example of exercising. Although we know that in the long run, exercise will save us from all kinds of illness and cost as we grow older, many people choose not to exercise for a mere 30 minutes a day because they don't have time.  How ridiculous that is! Thirty minutes a day is nothing and investing that time will save many, many problems as we age.

Lastly, I'd just like to say that while I felt that this book was a bit overwhelming, I still thought that the ideas were wonderful. If someone were able to break it down and apply it in life, I think they would truly be more fulfilling. Stephen Covey, the author, seems like an absolutely amazing person. I thought that he was going to be focusing on how to be effective in business, but he just as much talked about how important his family and family life are. And to me, that's true success!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


I don't care for salmon much, but I will eat this recipe any day!

6 4-oz salmon fillets
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 TBSP Dijon mustard
1/2 cup panko

Sprinkle fillets with salt and pepper; spread mustard over tops and sides of fillets. Press breadcrumbs onto fillets.  Place on lightly greased wire rack on a foil lined baking sheet.  Bake 12-15 minutes at 450, or until fish flakes.

Quick and easy!!