Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Taste of Summer

Sweet, sweet summertime. Although I don't enjoy going outside in the blistering 100 degree heat of the afternoon, there is nothing better than hot summer evenings. I love to be outside as much as possible after the sun starts going down. We enjoy going on walks at dusk or going to the park.

Pesto Panzanella
In summer, I love to grill outside. Hot dogs piled with relish, watermelon and berries on the side? Yum! I also love having fresh summery foods, like this tasty, tasty bread salad. Pesto is honestly so good. I love adding fresh herbs to my foods!

Right now, Daniel and I are visiting my grandparents in Richmond, VA. Walking around outside we saw a glorious creature... the firefly! I SO wish we had fireflies in California. Aren't they just so magnificent? Something about seeing them just takes me straight back to being a little kid, catching fireflies and putting them in a jar. 

Another great part of summer? Sleeping in ((sometimes)). I am in summer school, but we have had two weeks off so it's nice for the chance to sleep past 6 am! Daniel and I haven't quite gotten off California time so we are sleeping in very late. Oh well... I enjoy lazy summer days. With school going year around, I don't get much of a chance for lazy days. 

Speaking of lazy days, I still haven't found a really good book to read. I've read several so far but didn't enjoy them all that much. Any suggestions? We are headed to the library today so hopefully I will find something good.

In the summer, I also love trying new workouts. I don't run as often because it is so hot outside. I've been doing some dance workout videos as well as other workout videos from Popsugar. I also have been doing some great circuits that I found on Pinterest. You can check out my "happy and healthy" board here. I am also doing the 30 day squat challenge. I did it several years ago and I couldn't believe how strong my legs were when I finished!

All in all, our summer bucket list is going pretty well. We've checked off several items and once Daniel's back heals, we can check off even more! What fun things are you doing this summer?

P.S. Thanks for praying for Daniel. As far as he can tell, all his sciatic pain is completely gone. He is healing really well and feeling SO much better. Praise God! 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Stop Waiting and Start Living

Driving home from school yesterday, I was thinking about this little ol' blog. I have been meaning to post since Monday but haven't seemed to find the time. Being that my goal is to be able to post about three times a week, I started thinking, I can't wait to be out of school so that I will have time to do things I really enjoy, like blogging. 

Wait, what?? After this thought, I couldn't believe that I have gotten into such a bad attitude. Honestly, I shouldn't be sitting around waiting for life to get "better".  I've written about it before, but found myself falling back into the same attitude of, "I can't wait for....."

I don't want to spend my time wishing to be done with school so I can be happy. I want to be happy with life, right now. If I think that my life is somehow going to be magically perfect when I'm done with school and that I will have all the time in the world, I'm really kidding myself. 

What really brings joy? Being content. Looking around and appreciating the things that you have and the people who surround you. 

I might not have time to blog every day. I might not have time to scrapbook as much as I want. I might not have the money to go out to eat all the time or do every activity that I want.

But what I DO have is a life absolutely full of good things-- a loving God, a wonderful husband, a supportive family, caring friends, a path to a career I am passionate about. I need to spend much more time being thankful for those things! 


What are you waiting for? Be happy!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Elementary School and Photos

Ever look back and laugh at a style you had when you were younger? Obviously, the answer is yes. For me, it is often a resounding yes. 

One of my favorite hair styles was to wear my hair in a half-ponytail bun. I remember my mom begging me not to wear my hair like that for school pictures, but I insisted. Good call. Thankfully, I ignored her advice and insisted on this hairdo. 

Fast forward to my spring pictures from the same year. Overalls, patchwork shirts, and butterflies, Oh My! Honestly, you can never have too many colorful butterfly clips in your hair. If you have not utilized this hairstyle thus far in your life, I highly encourage you to try it out right away.  

I loved wearing cat sweaters and bangs. Doesn't matter the year, doesn't matter the season. Honestly, I don't even like cats but cat sweaters are a whole different ball game.

This dress is super cute, but guess what? I wore it practically every day when I was six (yes, that means my whole sixth year). Truly, wearing the same thing every day makes picking your outfit so so simple.

I think this is my favorite one... my hair and outfit look cute so I'm just going to assume that my mom picked those out.

Elementary school and picking out my own outfits just doesn't go together. I looked so much cuter when my mom dressed me. Maybe we should all just have our moms dress us forever... ?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


On Monday, my sweet hubby had surgery on a herniated disk he had in his lower back. For more than a year he has had leg pain that limited pretty much everything he did. He has been to doctors, physical therapists, back specialists, and now surgeons. He tried every other method besides surgery. Sadly, nothing helped! He continued to have pain.

So about two months ago we met with a surgeon. We made an appointment for Saturday, June 13th (it kept getting postponed until Monday, which is another frustrating story).  Finally we were called to come in on Monday morning. I was in class so I rushed out to meet Daniel at the hospital. I texted my best friend, Bekka, who came and sat with me the WHOLE time. 

We were at the hospital for about 6 hours and then Daniel got to come home. The surgery went well and for the next six weeks he needs to focus on recovering! He is in a lot of pain right now but I'm praying that he will start feeling better over the next couple of days. For now, I'm trying to help him out as much as possible (as well as force him to get up and walk around every one in a while!) 

I would sure appreciate prayers that Daniel will recover quickly and that this will finally solve the pain that he has been having! 

ha! Right after he woke up, Daniel snagged my phone and sent this photo out. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Meal Plan

I have found that meal planning is a great way to save time and money. I try to be somewhat frugal when it comes to our meals, while still making food that is exciting and tasty. One way to do that is plan meals that you already have a lot of the ingredients for. I also try to fix things like pasta with meat, to still get protein but with a smaller amount of meat. Sometimes I even add tofu to the pasta. To make them healthier, I prefer to use whole wheat pasta. 

It also helps to choose recipes with some of the same ingredients. For example, I chose two recipes that use mozzarella so that I can save money by just buying one type of cheese.

Since there are just two of us, I usually make recipes that will have leftovers to take for lunch the next day! That way, we save a lot of cash on lunches because each meal I make really feeds us for two meals. Cheese is probably the most expensive ingredient I end up spending money on... but I just can't live without it!


Zucchini Ricotta Gnocchi

One of Daniel's coworkers brings us huge zucchinis every week so I've been looking for tasty new ways to fix zucchini.


Sweet Potato and Kale Pizza


One of my tried-and-true favorites. Sweet potatoes are cheap, my mom grows kale, and the pizza dough is so simple! What could be better?

Tuna Patties


I LOVE tuna and it is awesome because cans of tuna are just so cheap! 

Healthy Fettuccine Alfredo with Cauliflower Sauce and Peas


I've never made this before but it looks so tasty! I'm eager to try the cauliflower sauce!

Breakfast Burritos


My hubs is going to love these! We already have most of the ingredients so I really will just need to buy ham for this recipe.


BLT Chopped Salad

Goat cheese is expensive, but it is just so good. When I splurge on it, I put it on pretty much every meal I make, so it will be well used. Avocados are typically on sale this time of year and we have a stash of bacon in the fridge already... Yum! 


Carne Asada Tacos

I don't have a recipe for this one but I like to throw peppers, onions and carne asada into the skillet with a little olive oil for a tasty taco filling. Sprinkle a little lettuce and leftover cheeses onto 'em and you have an easy little meal.

What's on your meal plan for this week?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

I Feel Pretty

Our culture is obsessed with looking good. Why? Because what people first see is what you look like. Unfortunately, sometimes that's as far as it ever goes. Sadly, how we look is such a focus that often we don't pay so much attention to WHO we are. 

I've noticed that even when it comes to taking care of yourself, such as exercising and wearing sunblock, it's often more about looking good than preventing obesity, skin cancer, and many other diseases. It's so sad that we often care more about looking good than being healthy!

I read this quote the other day and I loved it. Why not? Why do I spend so much time worrying about being "pretty" when I should be worrying about being kind, and smart, and funny, and strong? People might like you at first because you look good on the outside, but if you don't look good on the inside, most people will figure it out pretty quick.

So next time I think about "pretty", I will wonder if I am pretty kind, smart, funny and strong!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Write About Flowers

In an attempt to think of something interesting to write about, I often scroll through blog post ideas. One such was "write about flowers", so that is what I will do.

Flowers-- one of the biggest joys in my life. I truly believe that they are. Flowers bring beauty to the ordinary. They bring color and life. They also give me the absolute belief that God not only exists, is not only the Creator, but is also loving. So loving that He would create something of such beauty, just to bring joy to those who behold it!

Fields of wildflowers, spring blossoms, flowers from your husband on a bad day, a wedding bouquet... just a few of my favorite things! 

Perhaps there is also a small lesson to be learned from flowers. Flowers grow from tiny seeds. Flowers grow in the dirt. They need rain and sun. To achieve the beauty of a blooming flower, there is first much preparation. To have beauty, we too must grow!

To blossom, you must grow.

        There are always flowers for those who want to see them. Henri Matisse

The flower does not think if competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.

We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses. Abraham Lincoln

I'd rather wear flowers in my hair, than diamonds around my neck.

Every flower must grow through dirt.

Flowers are always a good idea.

The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of them all.

My beautiful wedding bouquet!

Monday, June 1, 2015

May is Over!

Aaaand... it's back to school! But not before a lovely weekend with some of my favorites!

Saturday afternoon Daniel and I went with my sister and Bekka to the State Capitol. We had a tasty picnic on the beautiful grounds and then toured the inside of the building. I have been before, but I had forgotten how ornate it is. It's very beautiful and my pictures don't do it justice!

The ceiling was gorgeous! I wish you could tell from this picture!

The Senate room

The assembly room

Goof :)

After looking around the Capitol, we checked out the Rose Garden. We only lasted a few minutes because BOY was it hot! My sissy took these pretty pictures of a few roses.

On Sunday, my whole family went to Marinwood for our annual Sunday School picnic at church. We had classes on Focusing on God's Kingdom followed by the most delicious potluck and fun games! I didn't take many pictures but I did manage to capture a few charmers ;) We finished up a lovely weekend by having a delicious barbecue with some of our friends in the Bay area.

My parents being very chill