Thursday, July 17, 2014

Changing It Up

So I'm changing it up a bit around here. A new header, a bit more up to date on who I currently am and where I'm headed. Not sure how this blog will change over the next year, lots of changes happening in my life, so if I keep it up it may be a bit of a rollar coaster on how roll with life's changes and all the awesome adventures that lay ahead.

For today, I'll just leave you all with a few of the recipes I've made lately and enjoyed. Happy summer everyone!

So this seemed like the odest combination, but it is AMAZING! The flavors are so great together!
I just used kosher salt and left off the pepper. Such a perfect summer "salad"!

Mini Pies - Cherry & Strawberry-Raspberry
why yes, that is the state of Wisconsin on top of 2 pies :)

Sorry, I don't have a recipe for these guys. I used the recipe out of the Better Home and Gardens cookbook. My fiance had requested cherry pie for his birthday so I printed out a ton of recipes and ended up just using the simple one from my cookbook. Perfect with ice cream!

 So I did make this sauce to go on a burger, which was wonderful, but found that if I add it to my wraps (with some lettuce/spinach, tomatoes, ham and mozerella) then it's so so good!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

7 Quick Takes (vol. 20)

A quick catch-up, since summer awesomeness has happened around here. Here's a compact list from my little corner of the world.
~~ 1 ~~
It's been wedding central for me. His great pic is from a reception of one of my best friends. It was such a great weekend, spent some time with my parents, had awesome fresh veggies and enjoyed country life for a weekend.
~~ 2 ~~
 Got to see all these awesome college friends at another friend's wedding. We even got to celebrate and engagement :) So blessed to know these awesome people!
~~ 3 ~~
I made it to a baseball game the other week. I helped chaperone some of our kids from church and it was a great evening. I think I like the smaller scale games (we watched the Madison Mallards, which apparently are a "collegiate summer baseball team") verses major league games...although those are pretty darn fun too.
~~ 4 ~~
 So I got this pineapple corer/slicer for my birthday (it was on my wedding registry :) and I love love love it! seriously! So easy and fresh pineapple is sooooo much better than the canned stuff. If you like pineapple you should definitely consider getting one, or talking someone into getting it for you ;)
~~ 5 ~~
I've been reading and listening to audio books, which means sometimes I'm not getting a lot accomplished at home. I love books you can't put down! Anyways, I finished listening to
 This was so fascinating! This was a great compilation of Lewis and Clark's writings, letters from and to them and just a great over all biography of Meriwether Lewis.
 I'm still not sure what I think of this one, but I'm only about 1/4 of the way through, so we'll see.

I just finished reading Halos by Kristen Heitzmann
I love Kristen's books. There's always a love story, always a little faith (but not over the top unbelievable stuff) and always a good plot that pulls you along. Definitely not anything deep, but good inbetween books when you don't want to really think too much. This one I didn't like quite as much, the guy was a jerk in the beginning and there were some disturbing parts, so yeah, wouldn't buy it, but it was good.

~~ 6 ~~
I've been going to Concerts on the Square every Wednesday since they started this summer(which has been 2 so far) and absolutely love them! Random fact: apparently there are over 20,000 people that come every week! Crazy awesome! Last night it was "American Fanfare" themed, so they played patriotic pieces like Stars and Stripes Forever, 1812 Overture, Fanfare for the Common Man and did a great Armed Forces Salute (which recognized each branch individually). On top of those they played great pieces like All I Ask of You from Phantom of the Opera, and Trouble from Music Man.
~~ 7 ~~
I'm excited for the long weekend, and I'm excited because I'm going to attempt to make these:
So we'll see how they turn out. Hopefully they're awesome!
hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July weekend!
For more Quick Takes, head on over to Conversion Diary.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Today I turn 29. The final year of my 20's, so I suppose I should make it count. To celebrate the day (and remember who I am at this moment in time) I thought I'd list 29 things that I love (in no particular order). I can be quite the random person, so it's quite the random list :) Celebrate today, do something you love.

  1. Bubbles. Seriously, people cannot be in a bad mood when blowing bubbles. Not possible.
  2. My hot fiance. I do love him so much, but I suppose I wouldn't be marrying him if I didn't...
  3. Baking. I love the whole process (when it's going smoothly of course) and I love people enjoying what I make.
  4. Family. Immediate and extended, they are all awesome and I am so blessed to have them in my life.
  5. Thunderstorms. I love the sound of rain and thunder and lightning in the distance. Beautiful and powerful.
  6. The water. Lakes, rivers, the ocean, it doesn't matter, I just love being by the water.
  7. Hiking. Being in the woods, out of earshot of the passing cars, listening to the birds. Love it!
  8. Reading. I'm a sucker for a good book (I'm all about happy endings, a good love story, an exciting true story and a well written memoir). I'll get nothing else done if I get into a book.
  9. Musicals. I love seeing a good musical at the theater. Great talent, great sets, great music and scripts =  Awesome!
  10. Canoeing and kayaking.
  11. Friends. A night in or out with a good group of friends or even just one good friend is always a perfect night.
  12. The Catholic Church. I really do love the complexity of the Church, the traditions, the universiality.
  13. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables. There's nothing better than coming back from the farmer's market with bags full of great food...well maybe picking it from your own garden, but that will have to wait.
  14. Snapdragons. Like bubbles, you can not be in a bad mood if you are making a snapdragon talk.
  15. Hallmark movies and Christmas cheesy romantic movies. Always have a happy ending, always predictable. Will always put me in a better mood after watching.
  16. Exploring new places. I love stopping at the quirky small town attractions, going to a town's festival, traveling in general.
  17. National Parks. I've only been to a few, but all of them are absolutely gorgeous and make me stop and appreciate our God who created such majesty.
  18. The saints. If you know me, you have heard me mention the saints, especially my go to guy St. Joseph. Love him, love them!
  19. The Green Bay Packers. Love that the team is owned by the fans. Love that everyone in the state can tell you the score if you missed the game. Love that if you're a Packers fan you're a Packers fan, no switching because the season isn't going how you'd like it to.
  20. Badmitten. I really haven't played in a while, but I grew up playing a lot with my siblings and I just love it.
  21. Tea. Right now it's sun tea I'm drinking, but hot or cold I'm a total tea girl.
  22. Snickers Peanut Butter. At the moment it's my favorite candy bar, but I'm sure they'll come up with something new and I'll switch. But right this moment it's pretty great.
  23. Fresh herbs. I love being able to walk out on the patio and pick some herbs then continue making dinner. So good.
  24. My happy box. One of my best friends gave me a decorated box when we graduated from high school and I've filled it with letters and cards, photos and trinkets that I've been given over the years that always make me smile, make me feel loved and remind me how wonderful of a life I've had so far.
  25. Concerts on the Square. Madison offers free concerts once a week during the summer. The Madison Symphony Orchestra plays about a 1 1/2 hour concert and people just bring their picnic blankets, food and drinks and enjoy the music. A perfect summer night.
  26. Blogs. That's probably an obvious one, there are a lot of awesome people writing awesome stuff, sharing great DIY projects and tasty recipes. It's a fun world we live in. (new blog I'm loving:
  27. Bonfires. Roasting s'mores, talking with friends, moving your chair just a little closer, smelling like the fire when you walk away.
  28. Listening to acoustic guitars. There's just something about listening and watching someone play that I love. And the sing alongs that go with it are always great too.
  29. Singing. Whether it's to the radio, around the piano with my siblings, jamming out in the car with friends, in adoration, it's all beautiful and makes me happy :)
That's my list.  Love what you do, love your family and friends, love yourself.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thankful Thursday

  Since it is Thursday, and since there is always much to be thankful for, here is my list of the moment.

(1) Answered Prayers. 

 I (along with many others) have been praying for my fiance to find a job, so that I'll know where we'll be settling after we get married, but more so that he can put the degree he just earned to use doing something he enjoys. Well he was offered a job last week and he'll start the beginning of June. So praise God for answered prayers.

(2) Forever Friends.

 I was at a bachelorette party over the weekend for one of my best friends. It was like a reunion of college friends and I loved it! I'm so thankful that no matter the distance, I will always have these ladies in my life.

(3) The Farmers' Market. 
I finally got a chance to hit up Madison's awesome farmers' market last Saturday and I got all kinds of goodies. I'm thankful for all those who put in the work to grow the fruits and veggies and seedlings so that the rest of us without a big yard can enjoy them.
(4) Family. 
I had the chance to celebrate my younger brother's birthday last week as well as have dinner with my older brother. I'm so thankful that we all live close enough to get together. My parents are coming up tomorrow, so even more family awesomeness. All of Jeremiah's siblings were able to come celebrate his graduation and I insisted on a photo. Family is important. I'm thankful that was ingrained in us growing up, and I'm thankful that it holds true for the family I'll be joining in a few months.

(5) Beautiful Weather. 

Spring was extremely short and Summer seems to have appeared here. I'm loving being able to go bike riding or hiking for a few hours after work and still be home before it's dark.So thankful for health, beautiful weather and longer days.

(6) Pictures.

 I've been trying to do a little catching up on my scrapbooking, along with getting pictures printed. I'm so thankful for all the memories represented in each shot and all the people who make them up.

(This picture is of the first bible study I was in in Madison. Awesome group. 2 are now in the seminary and 2 have left the state.)


(7) Happy Hours.
Yesterday some of my coworkers and some of the ladies that used to work at our office all got together for some drinks, appetizers and catch-up conversation. I'm thankful for good people to catch-up with, patio seating and great food and drinks.

There's the short list of what I'm thankful for this Thursday. Enjoy it friends! There is much to be thankful for!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Summer List

So one of the blogs I follow (I can't remember which one, sadly) posted a Summer to do List, which sounded too good to pass up. The summer always seems to fly by and there always seems to be something "summery" I missed, so I thought I'd put together a quick list of some of the great summer-stuff that I hope to do over the next few months.

Make It Count! My Summer To Do List.

  1. Blow bubbles
  2. Go kayaking/canoeing
  3. Have a picnic
  4. Make & eat popsicles
  5. Go hiking
  6. Find a new summer salad recipe I love
  7. Go to at least 3 town festivals
  8. Go to a county fair
  9. Bike ride as often as I can
  10. Go for long walks, just enjoying the season
  11. Go to a baseball game
  12. Share an ice cream cone with my guy
  13. Make root-beer floats
  14. Watch an outdoor play
  15. Go to the farmer's market as often as I can
  16. Go to concerts on the square
  17. Make salsa
  18. Make ice cream
  19. Go camping
  20. Stop to smell the flowers

So there's my list to start with, I'll try to post some awesome pictures when I check things off. If you made a summer list, what would it include?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Life has been pretty great around here, and with Spring finally showing it's face there is much to be thankful in my life, so I thought I'd revive my Thankful Thursdays (at least for this week...)
At this moment I am thankful for...
(1) Wedding Planning, and not being overwhelmed..yet. 6 months to go and things are coming together and I'm thankful that everything seems to be falling into place.
 (2) Friends that are full of joy and make me want to be more joyful. I am blessed to have many wonderful friends that show the joy of Christ to others on a daily basis. It's the Easter Season, we should all be more joyful.
Alright, so these are my brothers (not technically just friends) but this picture is so joyful. Love it!

(3) The quirky devotions of the Catholic faith. I went to a talk earlier this week entitled "Quirky but Beloved Prayer Practices". It was about the origin of some of the various devotions that are practiced (or used to be practiced) in the Catholic Church. It was fascinating and it was fun to here what others grew up doing in their families or communities. We talked about praying to St. Anthony to find lost things, burying St. Joseph when trying to sell a house, dressing the Infant of Prague and much more. The origins of all these practices, the stories of why certain saints became the patrons of the things they are is so interesting. Love it!
(4) Graduations. I have a good friend who just graduated with her nursing degree and my fiance is graduating on Saturday. I love to see people succeed and am so thankful for all those who follow their dreams.
Follow your dreams, even if it involves taking a picture with a giant mouse.
(5) Thunderstorms. We've had a lot of rain this week, which is great for the farmers. I love thunderstorms (as long as I'm not driving in them), I love to hear the rain coming down and see the lightning. It's a beautiful reminder of God's power.
(6) Letters. My mom writes all of us kids a letter every week. I love hearing about the news from back home, what her and dad are up to, what the neighbor did, etc. I'm so thankful for a mother who puts such a strong emphasis on staying in touch with those you love.

My mom and dad riding a jackalope at Wall Drug in South Dakota.         Blowing bubbles at my sister's wedding reception.

(7) Growing plants. I planted some spinach and salad mix seeds the beginning of the month and I love seeing their little green leaves peaking out of the soil. There was an unwanted squirrel who decided to dig around a bit the other day, but I suppose I should be thankful even for squirrels and that I live in a place that they can jump from tree to tree.

Alright, that's it for me. Enjoy the rest of your Thursday! What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Five Favorites (vol. 1)

It's been a while since I posted so I thought I'd join Hallie over at MoxieWife for her Five Favorites link up.

Here's my 5 favorite pics from some awesome adventures over the past couple of months.

 One of my best friends got married a couple of weeks ago. Even though this shot is blurry I love the look on their faces.

This is the crew I hung out with the weekend of the wedding. 4 different states, all awesome people.

Easter Sunday I was blessed to become Godmother for this beautiful little boy. This is the first time I met him, a week before he was baptized.

I love the water, I love the ocean and lakes and rivers and just being near it all. I got to visit this lovely friend out in South Carolina and so we of course spent lots of time walking along the beach. It's cold, yes, but we still walked for hours.

Also when I was in South Carolina we visited Charleston Tea Plantation. This picture shows some lovely Spanish moss and the tea plants in the background. Tea is awesome and tea grown in America is even better ;)

Another dear dear friend (my maid of honor) is getting married in less than a month! We had a great shower with some beautiful friends, it's always fun to get together with these women!

Friday, March 7, 2014

7 Quick Takes (vol. 19)

Another week come and gone, and Lent is here to stay for a while. Here's some randomness from my week.

~~ 1 ~~
So I started Reading this book
And it's great. Even though I'm not married yet it's has some great exercises to do with your significant other and I love that it's based on years and years and years of research. It's fascinating!

~~ 2 ~~
Did anyone else read hardcore depressing books in middle school and Jr. High? I was all about Lurlene McDaniel. This article is spot on and cracked me up.

~~ 3 ~~
Super exciting news! So Venerable Fulton Sheen is one step closer to becoming a Blessed and then a Saint (God willing)! 
James' alleged "miracle" is one step closer to being recognized as a miracle by the church!
Head over to Bonnie's Blog for the full story and press release from the Archbishop Sheen Foundation.

~~ 4 ~~
So it feels like Spring! I don't want to jinx it but I am all for it and can't wait for this again
fresh flowers sound amazing!

~~ 5 ~~
Speaking of spring...I love the idea of growing a garden with a them. For example: a pizza garden or salsa garden. I'm great with herbs so maybe I should add tomatoes this year. The promise of Spring is exciting :)

~~ 6 ~~
One of the things I'm doing for Lent this year is being more present in my prayers. I found myself "multitasking" while saying some of my prayers throughout the day, so this Lent I'm sitting still, often closing my eyes and actually focusing on the words I'm saying. I should probably apply this to other aspects of my life as well. Being present is important and whomever I am talking to, whether it's God, a friend or my fiance, they deserve my attention. They are worth it.

~~ 7 ~~
My brother is throwing a Mad Hatter party tonight. So I'm off to that.

hope you all have a fabulous weekend!
For more Quick Takes, head on over to Conversion Diary.

Friday, February 28, 2014

7 Quick Takes (vol. 18)

Alright, so it's Friday (finally) and I'm super excited for a weekend...with no plans! Yep, I'm off to spend it with my fiance but other than that it's a clean slate. I'm excited. Here's my random list for the moment...

~~ 1 ~~
So I made these last night

Yep, Blueberry Donuts. They're pretty great. I left off the glaze (I can't handle too much sugar in the morning) and the recipe made 1 pan (6 donuts) of the full size donuts and 1 pan (12 donuts) of the mini donuts (the minis I baked at 350 for 8 minutes). If you haven't made homemade donuts, you should. They're easy and oh so yummy.

~~ 2 ~~
 I finished "Dear Mr. Knightley" last night and loved it! This is the 2nd book in a row (the first being "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society") that I have finished which are the only books the author has written.  I want more, more from these characters I've come to love. Anyone else ever feel like that? 

~~ 3 ~~
There is a lot of cute wedding stuff and there is also a lot of ugly wedding stuff out there. Since I'm getting married at the end of the year I've been browsing everything from cake stands to floral arrangements. There's something to be said for simplicity.

~~ 4 ~~

Lent is next week. That's crazy, and also kind of awesome. I was talking with a couple of friends last night about how great the season of Lent is. I'm not sure exactly when I switched from dreading Lent and the idea of giving up something I loved to loving the idea of sacrificing so that I can grow stronger in my faith and closer to God. Whenever it happened, I'm glad it did.

~~ 5 ~~
So I'm on the search for lunches that I can take along to work in the morning (salads and wraps are great for only so long). Any favorites? This living 35 minutes from work put a stop to my going home to eat on my lunch break. 

 ~~ 6 ~~
 I'm ready for a road trip, a change in scenery. Thankfully I'm finalizing plans for a trip the end of March. Bring on the grown-up spring break (more sleep, great conversation, awesome new adventures).

 ~~ 7 ~~
Have an awesome weekend! It's Friday Night! Does anyone else ever miss TGIF on ABC?  I'm sure the shows wouldn't be as good if I watched them again, but still, best night ever!

For more Quick Takes, head on over to Conversion Diary.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What I've Been Up To (The Sunny February Edition)

What I've been reading.

What I've been baking
This was my Valentine's Day dessert. The icing is amazing! A word to the wise, if you're going to make chocolate covered strawberries eat them right away. I tried to freeze them, big mistake, although I heard you can refrigerate them.

I used Nutella as the filling
Great with crackers. My recipe was out of a Jamaican cookbook, but looks very similar to this one.

What I'm listening to (Music).

 I am loving John Mayer's album Paradise Valley.

What I'm listening to (books).
  Now that I have a longer commute to work I've been flying through audio books. Some were great some, well not as great. I'm just going to include the ones I liked.
This story was so interesting. It's about the true story of one of the main contributors to the Oxford English Dictionary.
by Edward Irving Wortis

I loved this story. It's a great adventure story, something I wanted to keep listening to until the end.
This book was wonderful! It is definitely one of my favorite books, and the audio book was so well done.
I listened to this on my long drive to Nebraska. It was great. I don't have kids and I still loved it.
What I've been doing to enjoy these past few snowy months

Well I got engaged a few months back :)
So it's been a lot of trying to decide what our wedding will look like. Lots to plan.

Also, I moved the end of January, so I've been settling in and still doing a bit of rearranging.
That's been my life recently, oh and watching the Olympics, which I didn't have nearly enough free time to watch. Hope you are all well and enjoying life!

Any suggestions for books to read or listen to? I'd love to hear what you're loving!