Sunday, March 31, 2013

Glorious Day

I pray you are having a very blessed Easter.

Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it."  
Mark 8:34-35 (NIV)

 Today I'm sharing one of my favorites, Casting Crown's "Glorious Day."

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer.
One day the stone rolled away from the door.
Then He arose, over death He had conquered.
Now He's ascended, my Lord evermore.
Death could not hold Him.
The grave could not keep Him from rising again.

With Love and God Bless,

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Good Morning!

Just another short inspirational post, "Good Morning" by Mandisa ft. TobyMac.

Every time I hear this song in the car I can't help but MOVE. I added it to my ipod because it's the perfect workout song. (What I really need to do is make it my morning alarm. This would make getting up when it's pitch black out much, much easier.)

I woke up to a brand new day. Annnnddd I saw some sunshine!

God is good. :)

I couldn't find the video with Mandisa and TobyMac, so I hope you enjoy this version.

Now I'm smiling and I'm kissing all my worries goodbye.
Got the feeling if I spread my wings I might even fly.
You are my truth, my way.
Give me the strength to say,
Get up, get up, get up,
'Cause it's a good morning

Also, below is Mandisa's Zumba video to this song. (For you, Mama!)

With Love and God Bless,

Monday, March 25, 2013

7 Days 1 Challenge: Thirteen

I had another food challenge scheduled for this week. But then I thought y'all might be tired of food challenges (even though I really enjoy them....however my co-workers don't think I do). While brainstorming for other ideas, I was washing my hands. As I grabbed some paper towels it hit me. Do I really need this many paper towels to dry my hands? Would one suffice? Actually, two (because they're extremely small) work well. Soooooo, this got me thinking.....

*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:
Be conscience of your waste.
Yes, this week I'm challenging you to become aware of what you use and how much of it you use. Can you replace it with something else? Do you really need to take that long of a shower or leave the water running while you brush your teeth (Mr. B, I'm talking to you.)?

Here are some examples to help you this week:
  • Don't let the water run.
  • Turn off the lights when not using a room. (Mr. B constantly reminds me of this.)
  • Use glass containers instead of plastic Tupperware.  Watch your use of paper plates. (I'm constantly reminding Mr. B of this.)
  • (And my favorite...) Reusable mugs! Invest in a good coffee mug or water bottle. I also keep mugs in my car just in case. A lot of places will give you a discount if you bring in your own mug. Starbucks takes off 10 cents. Starbucks also offers reusable cups for $1.00, but you still need a sleeve if ordering a hot beverage. Which brings me to my next example....
  • Reusable sleeves! My friend, Jessica, bought me my "B" sleeve (which is quite famous on Sweet B's and I'm constantly asked where I got it--btw, she purchased it at a Hallmark store) and it's one of my favorite things. If it's not on my beverage than it's in my purse. I use it for both hot and cold drinks.
  • And napkins, which I'm kind of not sure about. I've been told by a few people to switch to cloth napkins for home and work. Regular napkins are bio-degradable. Cloth napkins have to be washed. But now I'll have to use extra water to wash napkins and towels. We have a well and try to preserve as much water as we can, especially after last year's very dry summer. 
Which is actually better? Hmmmm.....let me know what y'all think! (And feel free to add more examples below; I just suggested a few to get you going.)
  • Oh, and I know my friend, Jessica, would say cloth diapers to you mamas out there!

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

With Love & God Bless,

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Juicing Power

After Christmas, when my juicer arrived in the mail I was stoked. Super-excited, I immediately started juicing every fresh produce I could find. At first I was afraid to try random combinations because I didn't want to waste good vegetables and fruit on something that would taste just awful.

But I have a secret.

If you include an apple, it will be tasty.

Three months later and I'm happy to say I'm still juicing three to four days a week. There are days when I get up and cannot wait for my morning glass of fresh juice. Maybe even more than coffee. (Ha, relax. I'm joking.)

I didn't want to make a huge investment into a juicer just in case I decided I didn't like it. This juicer was closer to $100, but I was able to snag it for much cheaper after the holiday season. All of the parts are dishwasher safe, but I hardly use my dishwasher. I've been doing dishes since I was five, so I'm much faster and more proficient. I found a toothbrush works best on the filter, and once I scoop out the pulp, a quick rinse and dry is often enough. The only con I have with this juicer: it doesn't juice leafy greens very well. They get stuck and with barely any juice, it's not worth it. But I'm fully satisfied with the other plethora of vegetables and fruit in my fridge, so I don't mind. I rotate between juicing and making smoothies, and I get plenty of spinach in my smoothies.

My current favorite combo is my A & C juice. I call it this because I pretty much toss in all the "C" ingredients I have in my fridge...cucumber, carrots, celery. For a guaranteed yummy taste I add an apple, and since I always have lemons, half of a peeled lemon.

Knowing it's not good to consume large quantities of fruit juice in its raw form like this, I always try to limit myself to including only one or two fruits into each juice. The majority of my juice comes from the vegetables.

A & C Juice

1 apple
2 celery stalks
2 carrots
1/2 of a large cucumber
1/2 lemon, peeled
2" piece fresh ginger, peeled

Cut (and peel, if desired)vegetables and fruit into chunks to fit juicer feeding tube. Add all ingredients; juice and enjoy the deliciousness immediately. Serves 1.

That's it folks. It's simple. It's tasty. It's super-healthy. And a great way to start your day.


With Love and God Bless,

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


I'm missing this green scene.
These "Currently" posts are going around the blog world, and I jump at any chance I can to share who I am, what I'm thinking, my beliefs, and thoughts with my readers. It's kind of the same thing as my "A Photo an Hour" or "Wordless" posts, only with words and my thoughts. Thanks to Jenna (at Eat, Live, Run) for the idea.

I'm currently....

Watching....The Bible! I've been anticipating this series on the History Channel ever since my pastor came back from a conference a few months back telling us all about it. He and his wife were one of the guests ask to preview it and my church has been all a-buzz. It's inspiring, emotional, and invites conversation. AND for those of you who are local, keep an eye out for my church (Faith Family)--we have a commercial! (Our tag line is "Doing Church Different." And feel free to visit us online at to watch live or past sermons!)

Eating....Cold Vegetable Pizza. I threw this together this morning, since I work late tonight, so Mr. B won't starve. But I took some for my lunch today. Yum-O.

Planning....Summer Reading Programs at my library for the kiddos. This year's theme is "Dig into Reading," and we have a lot planned including, yoga, puppet shows, animals, mystery programs, pirates and princesses, composting, gardening, and so much more. I'm already excited and enjoying every down moment I can because once the last week of May hits, I won't be able to breathe until August!

Reading....Caldecotts. Caldecotts galore. Caldecott Winners and Caldecott Honors....There are currently 316 of them and I'm almost halfway. Anyone a fan of picture books will enjoy this list and note the differences in text and illustrations from the very first Caldecott Winner in 1938 (Animals of the Bible) to this year's winner (This Is Not My Hat).

Inspired yoga practice. Every day I am more aware of my body, my breath, my lifestyle, my mind, my heart, my faith. I look forward to my mat time every morning.

Excited about...SPRING! Not only for the warm weather, but for a change of wardrobe. For getting outside for physical activity instead of being cooped up in the house. For a chance to try my hand at gardening. For grilling outside and enjoying meals on my deck. For walks with my hubby down to the park. For saying good-bye to mittens. For asparagus. For GREEN.

With Love and God Bless,

Monday, March 18, 2013

7 Days 1 Challenge: Twelve

Did anyone find a new cardio routine they absolutely love? My weekly kickboxing is fun and fabulous, but I can't wait to get outside and back to running. Speaking of that, what happened this week?! Last week we were in the 60s, this time last year we were in the 80s, and yet today it's a high of 38. It's Ohio. That's what.

Here's next week's challenge to cheer you up (or maybe mot once you see what it is).

*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:
No cheese.
Source: Google Images
I have been eating and craving grilled cheese like crazy lately. This happens every few months. And while I love every minute of it, I think my body needs a break. I'm trying to limit my dairy intake this week, but instead of cutting out all dairy (I think I'd go crazy...although that would be quite the challenge...) I'm cutting only cheese from my diet this week. Mostly, I do without cheese in my salads or on my sandwiches, it's the pasta I struggle with. Mmmmm pasta. Mmmmm cheese.

Ha. Good luck!

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

With Love & God Bless,

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Yes, I'm a Children's Librarian

Seeing how we are in a new season, a different year, and because I'm passionate about sharing my career, I decided it was high time I blogged again on what my day as a Children's Librarian is like. (Feel free to read my last day-in-the-life post if you want a refresher.)

Here's a look at last week's Wednesday:

Before I headed out the door this morning, I had plenty of time to juice. With the money gifts I received from Christmas this year I purchased myself a juicer. I wanted one for a while now and finally decided to do it. It's March and I'm still finding the time to juice three to four mornings a week. (Stay tuned for an up-coming juicing post!) This morning I had an apple, half of a large cucumber, half a lemon, a couple carrots, and a few celery stalks.

8:30-9:00 a.m. I allow myself this first half hour to answer emails, check the day's agenda (without my calendar I'd be lost), and get some minor office organization done. I had oatmeal at my desk while I made sure the box of toilet paper rolls were in deliveries to a co-worker at the Main (downtown) library. (Since my branch is bigger than other branches, meaning it has a basement, a lot of our--Youth Services-- materials are housed downstairs. Which means every time another Youth Services (YS) Librarian needs supplies, I have to hunt it down and send it to them. It's bitter-sweet; I have the luxury of just walking downstairs and grabbing all the supplies I need, while I have to make time to get stuff for everyone else. It's okay. Just don't ask me to get you stickers.)

9:00-9:30 a.m. Shockingly, I don't have a program today. However, this usually means lots of program planning and meetings. Once a year my library closes its doors for Staff Day, where every employee gathers for a day of learning, webinars, meetings, and other fun stuff I'm sure. (I haven't experienced one yet.) Staff Day is coming up in a few weeks, and in my email today I received the agenda. I had to choose what I wanted to attend, pick a webinar, fill out forms, and, of course, make my Panera luncheon selection.

After, I discovered one of our Summer Reading Program (SRP) [which begins June 3rd!] performers could not make my branch's kickoff party. I quickly had to dig into (<---haha, that's the SRP theme) our resources and schedule a new performer, a West African performer from Mansfield (small world). BUT, I could only check availability because we hadn't asked our Library Friend's for the funds yet. (My co-worker asked at the Friend's meeting later that night, and we did get the funds, in case you were wondering.)

Then I went in search of a missing Arthur book, which is still missing, and prepared for today's meeting.

9:30-12:30 p.m. The next three hours consisted of up-coming program planning.

Thursday's (tomorrow) Toddler Tales. I'm in the mood for teddy bears, so teddy bears it is. I gathered puppets, books, instruments, and rhymes.

Friday's Preschool Story Time (PSST). This week's theme was "Storyteller's Choice," but since I'm going to a workshop next week and won't get to do PSST, and since I have two PSSTs this week, I'm doing two separate story times. So, the theme I'm working on right now is "Seeing Green." Rhymes on turtles, frogs, and the color green will be featured along with music, three to four books, and an iguana craft.

Too cute, I know.
Next Wednesday's Crafty Kids. The theme is "March Madness," so pretty much anything March. I'm thinking hand-print frogs, rainbows, bunnies, and spring trees....

Love when I can get messy at work :)
Next Saturday's Butler program. For this program the library partners with The Butler Museum, and my part is to read the kiddos two books relating to the artwork on display at the time. However, at this time the museum has nothing on display (...huh?), so I'm going for green and kites.

Up-coming yoga programs. I have two yoga programs over the next few weeks at various branch locations, and this month I'm fitting the well-known Sun Salutation flow to Jean Marzollo's picture book, Sun Song. Right now I'm debating over which craft I want to work into the program. I'm liking the sun made out of paper plates and hand-prints.

12:30-1:00 p.m. Lunch time, my friends, which consisted of leftover green bean casserole (you can find the recipe here; I'm obsessed with this new recipe), some fruit, and a re-fresher on Beautiful Chaos.

1:00-2:00 p.m. Caldecott updates and 1,000 Books before Kindergarten project.

Because it's a personal goal of mine and now that I am going to ALA's Annual Conference 2013 in Chicago (did I mention that I'm going to ALA's Annual Conference 2013 in Chicago?!) which also happens to be the 75th anniversary of the Caldecott (awarded to the best picture book in children's literature), I've been hitting up some Caldecott's I haven't gotten around to reading yet. Taking notes. Being nerdy. That sort of thing.

The Caldecott is awarded to the illustrator of the most distinguished American picture book for children.
My co-worker really likes the idea of "1,000 books Before Kindergarten," so her and I have teamed up to, hopefully, make this a possibility at our library. The idea is to encourage kids to read 1,00 books before kindergarten, starting from the age of two. Meaning parents need to take the time to share books with their kids. If you bring your toddler or your four-year-old to a library's program, for instance my PSST, you're getting at least three titles right there in under 30 minutes. One thousand books is completely doable.

2:20-4:00 p.m. Meeting downtown with a few co-workers. Met with Ellen, our liaison, to look at new books and select a few for purchasing. Book titles I purchased for my branch included, a six-title set on foods/recipes without gluten, dairy, sugar, etc; OSU vs. Michigan; How a Book Is Made; a few composting/gardening titles; a few Hulk books for the little boys.

4:20-5:00 p.m. Weeding Y Books (picture books). The words every librarian hates to hear: We're running out of space.

I have new books coming in but nowhere to put them. Shifting hasn't allowed for much room, and now I need to weed through the picture book collection. My co-worker was so kind to start the list for me and pull a few titles. I then go through the titles, check their last out dates, number of circulations, conditions, relevance, number of copies in our library system, date added to the collection, and decide if I want to pitch it, put it in the book sale, add it to our professional collection which us librarians only use, or put it back on the shelf. (Most head to the book sale.)

FYI. I love weeding. Most librarians despise this part of the job, but I like knowing what I have in my collection and what is going out and what isn't. It's the nerd in me.

And that was Wednesday in a nutshell. And a very slow Wednesday.

With Love and God Bless,

Monday, March 11, 2013

7 Days 1 Challenge: Eleven

This weekend the sun came out and the hubby and I got out doors. We played some basketball (a.k.a making a fool of myself...I'm absolutely awful at basketball and cannot wait to get my volleyball court set up in the backyard this summer) and took a few walks through the park. I am ecstatic to see the sun and to don my shades. I'm up to my eyebrows with cabin fever. I'm tired of waking to a freezing house and having a blanket wrapped around me 24/7. I usually love the cold, but now that we own an older house...not so much. If it's cold there must be snow. If not, then lots of sunshine...but no humidity.

I digress. Onward!

*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:
Cardio every day.

Source: Yahoo! Images
With the abundance of sunshine over the weekend, I was motivated to get outdoors and back to walking/running and fun, physical activity. I also got back into my kickboxing on Sunday. I fell in love with this type of cardio when I was in high school and we had to attend classes for volleyball. Love it. I feel strong, motivated, and in control when I'm kickboxing. AND it's an awesome stress reliever.

This week I challenge you to discover the cardio that works best for you, whether it be Zumba, running, cycling, basketball, swimming, you name it. Find whatever makes you happy and strong, and do a little of it every day (or try something new each day).

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

With Love & God Bless,

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Our Top 10 Meals, Part 1

As new recipes grace the posts of Sweet B's Impressions, I'm sure most of you are wondering what Mr. B and I eat for dinner most nights. But I must confess. I am not a fan of the usual. I like variety and trying new dishes. So, it's quite the revolving door over here. However, we do have a few favorites, mostly because they fit in with our busy weeknight schedules, we turn to at least once a week.

And instead of overwhelming you with a bunch of recipe must-trys, I'm breaking the Top Ten into a few different posts.

*And these are in no particular order.

Baked Egg Rolls and Fried Rice

This dish makes an appearance at our dinner table probably three times a month, and that's a lot for my dinner table. (Like I said, it's a revolving door.) By the time my homemade egg rolls are coming out of the oven, my rice is ready. And it's pretty much a one pot kind of dinner. Well, one pot and one baking sheet.

And P.S. these egg rolls are better the next day, which makes for a perfect work lunch.

Baked Egg Rolls
Serves 6 (2 egg rolls each)

12 egg roll wraps
1 lb cabbage mix (coleslaw mix)
1 Tbsp soy sauce
dash of ginger
1 1/2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp flour
1 tsp minced garlic
olive oil

Preheat oven 425 degrees. Coat baking sheet with non-stick spray; set aside. In large skillet, over medium heat, drizzle some olive oil in pan and add cabbage and garlic. Saute 5 minutes but don't let it get soggy (keep it crisp). Sprinkle on soy sauce and ginger, mix and let cool. Once cool, mix water and flour, in a small bowl, to form a paste. Dab your finger in paste and wet the top point and sides of an egg roll wrap. Add 2 tablespoons of cabbage mix to lower center of wrap. Roll up the wrap, tucking in the sides. Lay on prepared baking sheet and continue with the rest. Lightly top with non-stick spray and bake 10 minutes until starting to brown. Turn on the broiler; broil egg rolls for 2 minutes more. Serve with sweet and sour sauce. (Meanwhile, start the fried rice.)

Nutritional Information
Per egg roll: 80 Calories, 1 Fat, 14.2 Carbs, 1 Fiber, 3.4 Protein

Fried Rice
*adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book

Serves 3-4

2 c brown rice, cooked
mushrooms, sliced
2 eggs, beaten
3 Tbsp soy sauce, divided
peas, frozen or fresh
2green onions, chopped
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 Tbsp canola oil
2 c mushrooms, sliced
Carrots, celery, peas (optional)

In small bowl combine eggs and 1 Tbsp soy sauce. Heat sesame oil in the same skillet the cabbage was in for the egg rolls over medium heat. Add egg mixture and garlic, and stir to scramble. When set, remove mixture to bowl and set aside. Add canola oil to skillet. Toss in mushrooms and stir-fry 2 minutes, or until crisp tender. (At this time I would normally stir-fry sliced carrots and celery in a separate pan because Mr. B does not like these veggies in his rice and I do. If you like them, feel free to add these veggies and whatever else you like at this time.) Add cooked rice. Sprinkle with remaining 2 Tbsp soy sauce. Cook 5 more minutes until heated through. Add cooked egg mixture and green onions. Cook 2 minutes more. Serve with egg rolls. (At this time, I add peas to my portion because, you know, Mr. B....)

Nutritional Information
Per 2/3 cup: 141 Calories, 6 Fat, 18 Carbs, 2 Fiber, 5 Protein

Lemon Linguine/Pasta Primavera
I always try to limit myself to no more than two pasta dinners a week, at most. (We like our protein over here.) And if I'm running short on time, and ingredients, I throw together one of these simple pasta dishes using whatever veggies need my attention (for the primavera), and I always have lemons on hand for this light(er) linguine.

For this mouth-watering lemon pasta dish click here.


Of course nothing is faster than a tray of nachos. We can't even drive to a restaurant in less time than it takes to make this dinner. (And these ingredients are necessary pantry staples in my kitchen.) Toss on your favorite veggies, beans for the protein, a sprinkle of cheese, and some garnishes like plain Greek Yogurt, sliced green onions, homemade guacamole (which I always have in the freezer), or every-now-and-then sour cream. Delicioso. We usually have this dinner every other week. Sometimes we get into nacho cravings and have it every Sunday....usually during football season.

Snack Plate and a Big Chopped Salad

Hands down this is one of my favorite dinners. I LOVE a Big Chopped Salad, with all of the fixings, bring it on. I usually make this when I find our fridge jammed packed with fresh produce, usually after my weekly trip to the grocery store. After purchasing all the vegetables my bags can carry, I'm eager to taste a little bit of everything, and that's where my chopped salad comes into play. It's one simple and quick way to get a ton of tasty veggies into our bellies. Plus, it pairs well with a snack plate. If we're having a Big Chopped Salad, our snack plate consists of crackers, chopped fresh deli meat and cheese (my personal favorites are turkey and ham with Havarti and Munster), and grape tomatoes (God's candy is what I like to call them).

A Big Chopped Salad
(My must-have ingredients)

Romaine lettuce
Bell peppers
Hard-boiled eggs
Shredded cheddar cheese
Green onions
Sprinkle of red pepper flakes

Get out your biggest cutting board and sharpest knife. Chop up your veggies and combine in a huge bowl; sprinkle on a dash of salt and pepper. Toss. Drizzle on your favorite dressing. (My current favorite is Honey Mustard.)

Stay tuned for the next Top Ten post! Happy eating.

With Love and God Bless,

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Mid-Week Inspirational

Here's a little motivation, courtesy of Royal Tailor, to get you through the rest of the week.

"Make a Move" is also a perfect workout song. So get to it!

We don't need permission, 
To go outside of these doors

And dream some crazy dream 
No one else has dreamed before.
To show love and compassion,
Whatever way it may be.
To put faith into action, 
Do more than just believe
We are hope to those who have been broken.

We were made to make a difference


With Love and God Bless,

Monday, March 4, 2013

7 Days 1 Challenge: Ten

All I can say about last week's challenge: I had the best of intentions.

I don't think I had a challenge yet where it seemed everything contradicted it. Never have I been more compelled to do the complete opposite. Welp, you win some you lose some.

This week, cheers to a fresh start. :)

*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:
Start and end your day in the Word.

Did anybody watch last night's premiere of The Bible Series on the History Channel? Amazing. I always try to begin and end my day in God's Word, and after last night, I'm even more inspired by His promises. So much that I feel this needs to be one of my weekly challenges in order to encourage others to find their strength, a deeper faith, and a closer relationship with our Father by really digging into what the Bible has to offer, what it has to tell us.

The Bible is meant to be bread for daily use, not cake for special occasions.

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

With Love & God Bless,