Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday Sweets

1. Shake Heaven

Yeah, Montell Jordan. He's also known for singing "This Is How We Do It." In a recent interview he stated he's retired and will never perform that song again. He's a worship leader now, and his interview--on 95.5 The Fish (a Contemporary Christian radio station I listen to...always)--on secular music and Christianity was very powerful.

We're taking back the music!

2. Nor can I get enough of Casting Crown's new powerful song, "Jesus, Friend of Sinners."

It's hard to choose just one set of lyrics because they're all unbelievably powerful, but I find myself constantly singing these lines:

"Nobody knows what we're for only what we're against when we judge the wounded. What if we put down our signs, crossed over the lines and loved like you did."

3. Want a fun fact: The majority of women surveyed said stubble on a man makes him appear smarter.

Hmmm...I was thinking rugged or manly.

But I like it.

4. Here's your "Smile' for the day:

Darn tootin'.

5. It was Banned Books week at the library. If you ever get a chance, check out why some books were/are banned. It's pretty ridiculous.

Like Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr.

This beloved children's book was banned in January 2010 by the Texas Board of Education because the author has the same name as an obscure Marxist theorist, and no one bothered to check if they were actually the same person. (Check out the article here.)

My thoughts...if a book offends you, put it down and don't read it. You have that choice.

I've done that many times...with The Catcher in the Rye, Will Grayson, Will Grayson and many more.


I could take some healing today.

7. Mr. B celebrated his 29th birthday this week.

8. The best news I heard all week. The refs are back!

Things were about to get real. Ai yi yi...come on.

Sadly, it still didn't help my Brownies.

With Love and God Bless,

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hey, Mr. B!

I just wanted to wish you a "Happy Birthday" Sweet B style.


You are an amazing husband and an even more wonderful man of God. I know you know that, but I want everyone to know.



Happy Anniversary to My Best Friend!

I cannot believe it's been three years, Jess! 

Happy Day to you and Cameron....and many, many more :)

With Love and God Bless, 

Monday, September 24, 2012

7 Days 1 Challenge: Thirty-Nine

Honestly, I think last week's challenge to enjoy my food was the hardest for me yet. Something so simple yet it proved to be a definite issue. This challenge brought to my attention how busy I have let my life become. I know there are some areas that can't be helped, like my job--we're just busy this time of year, and I love being busy! It makes the days go by faster, I feel more accomplished at the end of the day when I see all of the checks on my to-do list, and there's just so much that needs to be done and (that I want to do). Granted, I do get a lunch break, but I mostly use that time to chat with Mr. B (because we don't get to talk that much during the week) or to catch-up on my reading while I'm eating.

And at home, if the kitchen doesn't need cleaned then there's laundry to do and groceries to buy.

Last week was an eye-opener, and I realize I need to cut some stuff out. I've cancelled a few TV shows from the DVR I could not care less, really, if I watch...I'm back to making menus and meal planning...and I'm focusing on one book at a time (!)...and I'm committing to going to bed at a decent hour so I can use my mornings for more than just sleeping and rushing out the door.

Oh, and I haven't made my oats in months! Therefore, I'm getting back to setting things out the night before so I can actually enjoy my breakfast.

It's all about making small changes.

But anyhoo, Happy New Challenge Day!

*In case you're new to these challenges, the challenge starts on Monday and ends Sunday night. The following Monday I'll post a new challenge.

This week's challenge:
Get your 8 glasses of H20.

Source: Google Images
Do you get your daily eight glasses?

I used to and then I don't know what happened.

Actually, I do.

I keep forgetting my cup with a straw. Did you know that you drink more when you have a straw? It's true.

Also, did you know that you can't drink through a straw with a broken nose? Yeah, I found that one out the hard way....but that's neither here nor there.

But back to discussing water.

It has sooooooo many helps with skin care, over-eating, flushing out toxins, boosts your mood, and regulates your body temperature.

And what's funny is I don't really drink anything but's in my coffee and my tea (maybe not so much in my Caramel Macchiatos or my apple cider, but I limit myself to only ONE of these treats a week). But if I don't drink it out of my glass with a straw, it's hard for me to count it as my water intake. Therefore, this week I'm making sure to get my eight glasses. And with the chilly mornings, I'm looking forward to my hot water with lemon.

Now, let's get back to our water!

Who wants to take the weekly challenge? Let me know by sharing your thoughts/struggles and link ups below!

With Love and God Bless,

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Peach-Berry Tart

When the leaves start to turn red, orange, yellow and brown, and the air holds a chill, that's when I know it's time for my homemade chilis and cobblers.

And one of my favorite cobbler ingredients is the juicy peach.

Every fall I try a new peach cobbler treat, and this season I decided to pair my peaches with blackberries in a very scrumptious cobbler-like tart.

And it turned out beautifully.

The only trouble: It was me and the tart. All alone. In the house.

You'll be very surprised to hear I had only one piece.

Only one piece each day. For four days.

And then Mama and Daddy visited, and my waistline and I thank them for taking some home.

Peach-Berry Tart
*slightly adapted from Martha Stewart

Serves 6-8

Crust and Topping:
1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp almonds, ground (optional)
10 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut in pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the insides of a 9" spring-form pan.

Using an electric mixer, mix together flours, sugars, spices, salt and ground almonds. Incorporate butter on low speed, and mix until the dough sticks together when pressed together in your hands. Press three fourths of the crumb mixture into the prepared pan, and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until set. Set aside to cool while you prepare the filling.

1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/3 c sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/3 c plain Greek yogurt
1/4 c skim milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
4 firm peaches, sliced
6 oz blackberries

Whisk together flour, sugar, eggs, yogurt, milk, extract, salt and nutmeg. Scatter fruit in the bottom of the crust and pour filling over fruit. Sprinkle with the rest of the crumb topping mixture. Bake 45-55 minutes, or until the filling is set and beginning to brown.


With Love and God Bless,

Monday, September 17, 2012

7 Days 1 Challenge: Thirty-Eight

Did everyone get their letters out this week? I did but I can't say who the recipient is because he/she might not have received his/her letter yet.

I really, really enjoyed this challenge and found it to be very calming and a great stress-reliever. It's so nice to catch up with someone and share what's going on in your life, or even to show forgiveness or apologize through the written word on paper. There's just something special about opening an envelope and seeing someone's handwriting.

But anyhoo, it's Monday and time for a new challenge!

*In case you're new to these challenges, the challenge starts on Monday and ends Sunday night. The following Monday I'll post a new challenge.

This week's challenge:
Take time to enjoy your food.
A healthy breakfast I actually made time to enjoy this weekend.

With all of the home remodeling and library program planning that has been going on over here, I'm either wolfing down my food, grabbing something quick and not very nutritious, or missing meals. Definitely not good.

And with the weather getting colder, cold season is right around the corner and I need to be in tip-top shape. So instead of throwing something in the microwave, I'm going to make the time to enjoy the process of making my food as well as eating it.

This also means sitting down at the table instead of eating over the sink or grabbing a bite here and there as I pass by the kitchen, and turning off the TV, computer, etc. By doing this you pay more attention to how much you eat and when your body actually feels full.


Who wants to take the weekly challenge? Let me know by sharing your thoughts/struggles and link ups below!

With Love and God Bless,

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday Sweets

1. It's fall, fall fall! And there are so many things I want to do! So far I've started the Fall Photo Challenge, pulled out my fall decorations (which is pathetic, making me fully aware of how small our apartment truly was, and now I need to find more decor!), made my first peach cobbler-ish dish, and lit my favorite fall candles.

2. It's definitely casserole season, and I made a delicious Ham and Asparagus one last week. Here's a link with a few more I have to try.

3. And now I'm super excited to get this into the oven.

4. At the store apples are plentiful, which means it's about time to make my Homemade Apple Butter. And it makes the house smell fantastic!

5. Mama and Daddy came up for dinner last night. I wish we could do that more often. Nights like those don't come very often, and they make you appreciate your family so much more. I hope you all make time for your families and cherish those moments. Fall is the perfect time for walks, day trips and football parties :)

6. TOUCHDOWN!!!!! (Can you tell I'm watching my Brownies while I blog? I'm brilliant at multi-tasking.)

7. My brother is a huge Cincy fan (which is who we're playing), I'm debating when I should call him today...should I call him while I'm happy, because I know he'll call me when I'm mad. LOL.

Gotta love family rivalry.

8. Now I think I just want to curl up and enjoy Sunday Football.

And pretend I don't see that huge pile of folded clothes that needs to be put away, or the dishes in the sink, and oh yeah, dinner.


With Love and God Bless,

Monday, September 10, 2012

7 Days 1 Challenge: Thirty-Seven

My pampering consisted of having a free Sunday. I had to touch up some paint in the kitchen, but other than that, it was the first day since June that I didn't have to house-hunt, budget and buy supplies, or do any remodeling.

It was amazing!

I enjoyed a cup of coffee on the deck with Daddy, watched football (all day, of course), made lunch, dinner and cupcakes for my co-workers (to kick off our Fall Programming Schedule) and I blogged.

And then I drank the last of the wine.

I was excited. I hope your pampering was as good as mine.

And now it's Monday and time for a new challenge!

*In case you're new to these challenges, the challenge starts on Monday and ends Sunday night. The following Monday I'll post a new challenge.

This week's challenge:
Write a letter.
Write a letter. An actual hand-written letter. Sent through the U.S. mail.

Write to a family member you haven't seen in a while, a friend to catch-up or to a soldier over seas.

Do not underestimate the power of a good letter.

I sought out Mama for this week's challenge. And she always knows what to do when I'm stuck in a rut. This is something I had on my list of things to do for awhile, and now I have the motivation to do it.

Who wants to take the weekly challenge? Let me know by sharing your thoughts/struggles and link ups below!

With Love and God Bless,

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A New Home

We got the keys to our home on August 1st, and six weeks later we are moved in and the remodeling is finally finished.

Yesterday, with the help of my daddy (who am I kidding, he did pretty much all of it), Mr. B and I were able to finish the kitchen and trim some branches. We also hung pictures, and that is what makes a house a home....seeing your own touches, lives and moments on the walls.

It took a lot of time, money, tears and help, but I'm now sitting in my beautiful living room, while our dinner is cooking in my spacey, blue kitchen, writing this post.

However, our move wasn't without its casualties.

Our poor coffee table; at least only one slate broke. And the curio cabinet lost two glass shelves. And I now need a new carafe for my espresso yi yi.

But we're in and settled and FINALLY able to ENJOY our home!

It's so nice not worrying about the apartment, or how much money we need to budget, or how much painting we have left to do. The hard and stressful stuff is over, and now we can do projects at our own pace on our own know, like homeowners :)

And, yes, we'll now be requesting Lowe's gift cards. How grown up our we?

But, anyhoo, lots of thanks to all who helped us move and remodel. We couldn't have done it without you. And Jess, I could not have made it through without your fabulous housewarming gift.

Thank you for the wine, and Mr. B thanks you for the bread.

Here are some before and after photos. Enjoy!










As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.    --Joshua 24:15

With Love and God Bless,

Monday, September 3, 2012

7 Days 1 Challenge: Thirty-Six

Are we organized?!


The guest room was the last on my list, and little by little, I finished it last week.

Ta da!

Okay....those boxes just need to be taken to the attic. And then...Ta Da!

It's (Happy Labor Day) Monday and time for a new challenge!

*In case you're new to these challenges, the challenge starts on Monday and ends Sunday night. The following Monday I'll post a new challenge.

This week's challenge:
Pamper yourself.

Kind of the opposite of "labor" but we all need a little relaxation and indulgence. I haven't had any in over two months and my nails look pathetic, I miss my baths, and it wouldn't hurt to schedule an eyebrow appointment. So whether you schedule a complete spa day, get your hair cut, paint your nails, or enjoy a glass of wine with your bath (or make the time to actually enjoy your beverage at Starbucks instead of taking it on the go), make time this week, and maybe a little time each day, to pamper yourself.

Who wants to take the weekly challenge? Let me know by sharing your thoughts/struggles and link ups below!

With Love and God Bless,

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sunday Sweets

1. Breakfast this morning.

2 College Football started this weekend. WOOT WOOT!
Source: Sport Nation's Facebook

STATE is back!

3. I want to make this and this wreath.

4. And I MUST own this and this.

And Mr. B, get me this pronto! Please <3 (Here's the link to get you started.)

As a thank you, I'll get you this.

5. We're moved in! And it looks so much like our home now. Thanks to everyone who helped!

6. Fall is almost here!

7. N.F.L. That's right. This week, baby. XOXO

8. I cannot tell you how excited I am that I will have free time again! I can finally paint my nails, run to the park, lay out my yoga mat, read a book and do my fall crafts!

Have a happy Labor Day weekend :)

With Love and God Bless,

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Eight Things I'm Loving Right Now

1. Tall Dirty Chai. (Chai Latte with a shot of espresso. Except I like mine with two.)

When I found out about this heaven in a cup back in January (it's not listed on their menu) I was in love. And then I went back to my Caramel Macchiato favorite and completely forgot about this little gem. That is until a couple of weeks ago. Now I can't stop getting them!!!!!!


Wait. Don't.

I'm enjoying this torture.

And now it's almost hot apple cider season. Their Caramel Apple Spice is just awesome. And then it will be hot chocolate season. And their Signature Hot Chocolate is to.die.for. Ahhh....Starbucks. I'm sure it's my greatest obsession. Ever.

2. The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.

I've been reading this series since January and I'm only on Book #4, Drums of Autumn. These books are huge and there's a lot of them, but I can't stop. I get lost in Claire and Jamie's Scottish world. It's historical fiction/romance and Gabaldon's writing is done so well you can't help but to be overly involved and intrigued.


My co-worker is currently listening to the series' audio books. She says they're fabulous. But I started with the print and I have to finish with the print. But maybe the next time around....

3. Painting.


Everglade Glen

I love painting It's my favorite thing to do when it comes to re-modeling (and I have done a lot of it in my lifetime). However, taking down wallpaper in order to paint, definitely not high on my list of....anything actually. Except maybe my list of things I least like to do....

But it's down and now more painting!

4. The Olympics.

It's true they're over, but my girls rocked it! Misty and Kerri are still the QUEENS of the sand! Here's looking forward to Rio in 2016! (BTW, I'm devastated that Misty is retiring.)

In the meantime, I'm dying to get onto the sand volleyball court that's in the park across the street.
Who wants to play?

5. Organization!

Between organizing my desk at work (multiple times a week) and organizing our new home, I'm definitely Organization Nation over here! But I can't help it. I have to have things organized. If not I stress. Then I freak out. Then no one wants to be around me.

Then I need a cup of tea.

6. Robek's Naturally Coffee Smoothie.

Every time I go I usually get the P-Nut Power Shake, but then I decided to try the coffee.

Because I love coffee.

And why not?

And I need a little pick me up.

Best decision I made that week for sure.

7. Football.

With the season quickly approaching, I'm ecstatic. This is my favorite time of year....cooler weather, gorgeous foliage, cobblers, boots and comfy sweaters, and all things fall. Including my football!! And fantasy football! And I just have to share this: Last year I went undefeated in my fantasy football league. I mean through the regular season and playoffs. Me. Undefeated. Pure awesome-ness. I got a trophy and everything to beautify my Yahoo! profile. And then my account was hacked. I had to delete it. No more trophy. No more glory. Tear.


NFL. College. High School.


8. And of course, Our new home!

And saying "good bye" to our apartment.


I wake up every day thanking the Lord for this blessing. A lot of sweat and tears went into this house in order to make it our home. But God never gives us more than we can handle; however, I'm sure He would have liked us to have handled it differently haha.

This is why we need lists.

And coffee.

With Love and God Bless,