Tuesday, August 31, 2010

tuesday's thoughts

today was a rough day. a head cold + pounding headache + test review game + no real break = not a very fun day. it is so easy for me to get wrapped up in this world and my life and just want to complain {philippians 2:14}. i love when the Lord reminds me that i need to re-focus on what is important.

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16 - 18.

for me, {and i think many would agree} i have to surrender my life, my will daily to God and ask Him to work in me and through me. it is a refining process that is good, but not always easy. i love jj heller's song "only love remains". it speaks to this idea of the Lord purifying her life until "only love remains". The lyrics are so raw and beautiful:

Scenes of you come rushing through
You are breaking me down
So break me into pieces
That will grow in the ground
I know that I deserve to die
For the murder in my heart
So be gentle with me Jesus
As you tear me apart

Please kill the liar
Kill the thief in me
You know that I am tired of their cruelty
Breathe into my spirit
Breathe into my veins
Until only love remains

You burn away the ropes that bind
And hold me to the earth
The fire only leaves behind whatever is of worth
I begin to see reality
For the first time in my life
I know that I’m a shadow
But I’m dancing in your light

Teach me to be humble
Call me from the grave
Show me how to walk with you upon the waves
Breathe into my spirit
Breathe into my veins
Until only love remains

i am overwhelmed with how blessed i am. i am loved by the King who will never give up on me, though i fail miserably to bring Him glory in EVERYTHING that i do. grace, my friends, is good.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

birthday picnic

last night we had the harts over to celebrate our july and august birthdays. we had originally planned for a dinner picnic, but due to the constant rain on saturday, we decided to take our picnic inside. we snacked on hummus, bean and corn dip, and honey greek yogurt with berries.
for the main dish, i tried a new pasta salad recipe. now, when it comes to picnic-y foods, i usually struggle with pasta salads, potato salads, chicken salads, etc. because i am not a huge mayo fan. i also was looking for something light and healthy. so, when i found the zucchini and almond pasta salad on smitten kitchen's website, i was excited. healthy, easy, and didn't break the bank. the three requirements that i strive to reach with every recipe. i made a few adjustments and i was very pleased with the results!
  • box of whole wheat rotini
  • 3 zucchinis
  • small package of sliced almonds {about 1/2 cup}
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 TB basil
  • parmesan cheese
  • 5 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper
what i did:
  1. cook pasta according to package, drain, and let cool.
  2. slice zucchinis thinly and cook down for about 5 minutes in a skillet with some olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. toast almonds on a baking sheet in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes at 300 degrees
  4. cube chicken breasts and cook in skillet. season with basil, salt, and pepper
  5. in a large bowl, combine pasta, zucchinis, almonds, and chicken.
  6. in a separate bowl, combine 5 TB of olive oil, juice of 1 lemon, and pepper to taste. whisk together.
  7. pour dressing into the large bowl and toss.
  8. add parmesan cheese shavings and salt and pepper to taste.
  9. chill in refrigerator until ready to be enjoyed!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

good saturday mornin'

let me just start off this post professing my love for weekends. after waking up at 5:50 am monday through friday, all i want to do is sleep in. i miss recreational sleeping during the week so much that i look forward to going to sleep friday night, just because i get to sleep in on saturday. well today, i "slept in" until 8:30 {gosh, when did i grow up?} and decided to start the day off with some hearty breakfast. i found a yummy recipe for blueberry pancakes and decided to give it a shot. the best part about this recipe? i had all of the ingredients already. it called for 3 cups of buttermilk, so i got to use more of the buttermilk that i had to buy for the red velvet cake that i made last weekend. here is what you'll need:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 TB sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups of buttermilk
  • 4 TB butter, melted
  • 1 cup of blueberries
now what?
  1. whisk dry ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. add the eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter and whisk together
  3. add 1/2 cup of mixture to griddle or pan and flip when you it begins to bubble!

what a good morning.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

it's always a party when this one comes to town.

ha. no, but really. miss k.t. came to auburn town this weekend, and we had a blast. now, i am kicking myself that i don't have pictures of two things to show you: 1) we went to earth fare for lunch and had amazing sandwiches and 2) then we went to the new cupcake store in town. yep, auburn is cool. i will be going back to both of those places soon, so i will have to document them on my next go around. anyways, back to the weekend. we also hit up the apartment pool {what-what} and partied with the fam at night. the night was over around 8:30, which was perfect because we then got to do what we do best: fall asleep during movies. {lindsay, you should have been there.} tyler rented the book of eli. when he explained it to me after my long nap, it sounded really good. too bad i was out cold. church was fabulous as usual and then katie had to go :( it was a short visit, but a good one. my afternoon was spent at the k-roger and then in the kitchen with this girl:
red velvet. 6 layers, ready to be devoured. this will definitely make monday a little brighter. yay for my co-worker's birthday!

the bar stools, finally.

welp, i am a little behind on posting these pictures, but hopefully you will be able to let it slide. see, life has significantly picked up over the past few weeks {educating middle schoolers is quite time consuming}. however, i hope to maintain my level of blogging throughout the school year.

okay, so about those bar stools. our new deluxe apartment in the sky did not have any room for our huge dining room table, so we decided to get bar stools and store the table. but, who knew those things could be so expensive? i looked into everything from walmart to the pottery barn outlet, but nothing for less than$70 a pop. so, i decided to go to goodwill. for $40, i was able to get 3 of these:
they reminded me of the ones my grandparents had in the early 90s. a classic barstool shape, they just needed a little tlc. so i decided to sand them down {thanks to chane's sander}:
prime them, and then paint them a stone color. a nice neutral that went well with the granite in our kitchen. here they are in action:
the paint is walmart's colorplace brand and the color is sycamore grove. i also sealed them after they finished drying with some satin polyurethane. a special shout out to my sweet husband who helped me speed up this process by painting a few coats while i was at work. one project finished, a few more to go...

Monday, August 16, 2010

now, is that really necessary?

when i got home from work today, there was an unfamiliar friend in my usual spot. hopefully he is just a visitor...
you better hit the road, big boy. this isn't monster truck rally, ya know. just a parking lot.
after gawking at this jumbo truck, tyler and i worked more on our bar stools. we are almost finished with them. all we have to do is seal them. i will post more about them later and include before and after pics {hopefully tomorrow}. here is a picture of one of them mid-process:
then we made some turkey burgers and sweet potatoes fries. i of course had to make some fried green tomatoes for mine. we went bunless this time and used boston lettuce instead {my fav}. such a yummy dinner. for more on this dinner, check out my previous post.
hope you had a wonderful evening! off to bed.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

bonobos: the better fitting pant
hello there blog readers! do you know any men in your life that need better fitting pants? tired of the pleats and saggy bottoms? well, then bonobos is what you need! it is a new men's fashion company, started by a really cool group of men out of new york. their store is online, and they are known for their wonderful customer service. they have free shipping both ways, which makes shopping online effortless. they also have a variety of different materials and looks and all of their products are of great quality. my husband started wearing bonobos clothes about a year ago, and he swears by them. while they are known for their great fitting pants, bonobos also sells shorts, shirts, shoes, and a variety of other items for men.

if you are interested, go to this link and receive $50 off your first perchase of $100 or more!

Friday, August 13, 2010

pizza partay

on tuesday, our sweet small group from church planned a "welcome back to auburn" pizza party for us. we introduced the idea to everyone last year and did a group pizza party which was so much fun, so we were really looking forward to this event. each couple brought different toppings and we made a variety of pizzas to share. it was so much fun to be back with everyone and catch up on our summer lives. we are so thankful to have a wonderful church here in auburn and to have other young, married couples to hang out with! it was such a great start to another year in auburn! here are some of the pizza pics:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

weekend in the A-towns

this past weekend i drove to atlanta on friday to meet up with tyler and spend the evening with my besties one more time. then, saturday we drove to athens! besides going back for the georgia/auburn game and to visit the sister once, i had not been in athens since graduation. and let me tell ya, it felt so good to be back. we got to see the sister and some old friends, eat lunch at last resort, get yogurt, and then go to a friend's wedding and celebrate! it was a glorious day. we even got to stay at one of my friend's precious new house. it was definitely a short trip, but it was a refreshing one. then sunday we woke up, drove to atlanta, packed up our last bit of stuff, drove to auburn, and finished moving in to our new place. definitely felt productive. here are some fun pictures from the trip...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

trying to make it a home

yesterday i moved back "home" to auburn. while driving around running errands, i stopped by our old blue house to get some mail and saw this:

love what you have done with the place, boys. the authentic "dixieland" sign really adds charm to the front porch. green plastic chairs also encourages the fratastic theme. i am not sure what the deflated tiger stripe thing is, nor do i really want to know. not pictured in the photo is their two trucks with their pi kappa alpha stickers on them. dad, your "brothers" are in need of some help.

meanwhile, i am doing some decorating myself, trying to turn this apartment into a home. the apartment looks like a tornado just whipped through it, but the walls are starting to look good. i finished the photo collage record fast and without butchering the walls. happy wedding pictures definitely warm up the hospital white walls!

that's about all i can show you right now. i am in the process of sanding/painting 3 barstools. hgtv makes sanding look way too easy. i will post those pictures {hopefully} soon. i will leave you with our view.

beautiful auburn sunset.

what's been cooking

why hello there faithful blog readers. i apologize for my delay. for some reason, i just have not found the time to blog lately. a lot has been going on, and i have been in crazy transition. so, this post is going to be a bunch of things all crammed into one. i just need to catch you up on so much! okay, so first off, what's been cooking. i was recently {i say recently, more like 3 weeks ago} was in kroger, aimlessly walking around trying to figure out what to cook for dinner. i knew i wanted shrimp, but what to go with it? i picked up this:
and found a wonderful shrimp dinner. definitely go out and grab it if it is still available! i made the "penne with pistachio pesto and white beans", "spicy chipotle shirmp salad", "farfalle with tomatoes, onions, and spinach" and the "chipotle - lime chicken skewers". it also has great burger ideas {obviously} and everything is yummy and good for you. a lot of the dishes have summery foods in them {think melon, berries} so hang onto summer and make some fresh dishes before things go out of season!

there are too many great recipes that i would be here forever if i shared them all. i will share the first dish i made, the spicy chipotle shrimp salad. i never follow a recipe perfectly, so here is my version.

what i bought:
  • 1 large bag of frozen shrimp {peeled and deveined}
  • 3 TB chopped red onion
  • 2 TB chopped red pepper
  • 2 TB chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 TB mayo made with olive oil {i use kraft's version}
  • 1/4 tsp ground chipotle chile pepper
  • 3 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • small head of butter lettuce
  • salt & pepper to taste
what i did:
  1. grill shrimp
  2. while grilling, mix in chopped onion, pepper, cilantro, mayo, chipotle chile pepper, lime juice, and cumin in a bowl
  3. add cooked shrimp to the mixture and stir
  4. arrange butter lettuce on plates and top with shrimp mixture
this recipe is beyond simple and it is so fresh and healty. serve it with some grilled pineapple and mango and it is delightful! i sadly don't have a picture to show you how beautiful this dish was...i was too hungry to remember to photograph it!

what else have i been up to besides cooking new yummy dishes??? well, lately i have been in a lot of transition. i finished up my babysitting job :(, we moved into our new apartment, and said good bye to the city, my atlfriends, and summer.

{special thanks to tyler's parents and small group friends for all the help! finished photos will be coming soon...hopefully sooner, rather than later!}

we spent the last friday in atlanta with some friends eating alon's take out at the drive in theater {2 movies for $7! what - what} and then roadtripped to asheville, north carolina on saturday for the day {we may or may not have woken up at 6 AM...}

while we were there, we of course ran into this one...

we had to eat at my favorite restaurant in asheville

and eat the best bacon in town

we then walked off a verry late lunch

saw the seights, before heading home

and then we may or may not have been stuck in traffic for 3 hours...

but we didn't care, because the day had been a shopping success!

what a wonderful end to a perfect summer!!!