02/14/2013

L-O-V-E

Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope your day is filled with nothing except indulgent chocolates and treats, beautiful bouquets of flowers, millions of hearts, sentimental cards, and the most absolute, pure feeling of love that you can give and receive.

Although Valentine’s Day is just a Hallmark holiday to many, as Ihave said before, to me it is a reminder to tell those in my life just how much I love them. Sometimes it is easy to assume my family and friends know how much I care without telling them, but I also know how great I feel when I am verbally reminded how much I am loved. It’s not that I think we should only go out of our way one day out of the year, but it’s that sometimes I believe having that reminder to go above and beyond can be the nudge we might need.

We are never guaranteed another moment or another Valentine’s Day, so I hope you will take the time today and let those around you know how much you care. That is absolutely one thing you will never regret!

In regards to Valentine’s Day this year, I am not sure what the plan is yet in my house. I have a feeling we will try and go out this weekend or have a big dinner at home to celebrate, but for the most part we will probably be laying pretty low with the actually holiday being on a Thursday.

I remember that one of the most memorable Valentine’s Days in my book was when Tim and I were first engaged and I was really looking forward to spending time with my new fiancé. We had a big romantic dinner planned at Fleming’s Steakhouse, but instead of dining in a fancy restaurant, eating a perfectly cooked steak and enjoying every minute of the evening, we instead ended up staying in at my parent’s house while I fed Tim an elaborate dinner of saltine crackers and Gatorade. It turns out he was really sick, but had been trying to pretend he wasn’t when he picked me up after work. There he was, holding a beautiful bouquet of baby pink roses with a card to match, along with a face that was as pale as a ghost. He wanted to try and still go out, not wanting to disappoint me, but I wanted us both to enjoy the dinner and not just try and get through it. So instead, we waited until the weekend when he was finally feeling better and the dinner turned out better than it probably would have even been on Valentine’s Day. It was not only less crowded, but we also didn’t feel rushed going there straight from work. It is funny how sometimes delayed plans really do turn out to be for the best!

I struggled with what to get him this year, so I decided instead to keep it simple and write a list of the 10 things I love most about him, along with the details why. I don’t want to share everything since he would probably prefer I keep some of the things just between us, but in honor of my Valentine, here are some of the things that I love most about my husband:

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  • I love that he is going to be a daddy (and an amazing one at that!) to our children someday.
  • I love the way he always tucks me in at night and kisses me good morning.
  • I love the way he allows me to sleep however is most comfortable for me. (I have been known to be a wild sleeper! I know he gets kicked a lot, but never complains!)
  • I love the way he goes to church with me and prays with me.
  • I love the way he makes me laugh every day.
  • I love the way he always fights for and believes in us and our marriage.

 

I saw this image on Pinterest, linked from Etsy, and I knew I just had to share it with all of you. No matter who your Valentine may be today, remember there is one who is our Valentine every day and promises always to give everlasting love.

John 3:16 -Bookmark Bible Verse - Valentines digital printable - 2x6 Bookmark

(Source)

Questions for You:

  • What are you getting your Valentine this year?

  • Do you have anything special planned to celebrate the day?

  • What is the best or worst Valentine’s Day you can remember?

  • What do you love best about your Valentine?

02/13/2013

WIAW: Vanilla Custard Oats

So far this week, work has been super busy and this means my days have seemed to fly by right before my eyes.  The weather has been chilly, but sunny outside and just seeing the rays of light have me craving spring time already!  Until then though, I will just be enjoying my winter decorations as long as I still have them up and until the season’s truly start to change.  Here is the wreath I made after the Christmas decorations were put away and after the first of the year.  It will make me sad when it comes down, but I will just have to make and hang a spring wreath instead!

winter wreath

By the time I have been getting home, making dinner, and cleaning, there is nothing I have wanted to do more than cuddle up on the couch and watch a couple of my favorite shows, The Bachelor and Pretty Little Liars.  The Bachelor on Monday was the best episode so far this season, at least I think, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to finally not have to deal with Tierra every week!  I was sad to watch Lesley go home, but I think it was pretty obvious that her and Sean’s relationship just wasn’t on the same level as his and the other girls.  I like all four of the women who are left and can’t wait to watch next week and see how he narrows it down.  I think as of right now AshLee is my number one pick, but I also really like Lindsay a lot more than I thought I would from the first episode.  However, Des and Catherine seem like great picks too, so I think now that Tierra is gone it’s hard for Sean to go down a bad path!

Are any of you watching The Bachelor?  Who is your favorite to win?

Another thing I have been doing in my down time is trying to finish reading Safe Haven on my iPad.  I am a little more than half way through and I really can’t wait to see the movie, but not until I complete the book.  The plot is getting really good right now and my heart literally races at certain points during the story.  I like Katie’s character a lot and love that Nicholas Sparks created her to be quite the brave and strong woman.  I am looking forward to seeing how it ends, and I really hope the movie lives up to the hype and to the book’s expectations.

Have you read Save Haven?  Are you hoping to see the movie?  What is your favorite Nicholas Sparks book?

 

Here we are though, Wednesday once again, but this time I have no entire day of eats to share with you.  However, I’ve still been eating some delicious meals and treats that I did remember to snap a couple pictures of the food highlights that really stood out in my mind.   Here is this week’s WIAW (Thanks Jenn!):


 There isn’t a single veggie to be found on today’s post unfortunately, but there are plenty of other yummy treats.  Just because there are no pictures though doesn’t mean I haven’t been eating my veggies!  A lot of kale, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and broccoli have made their way into my menu this past week, just not into photos.

I found this recipe on Pinterest for Jamie Eason’s Cinnamon Swirl Protein Bread and decided to make a batch to snack on while at work.  I cut the batch into eight slices, and have been eating them this week as an afternoon snack, or sweet treat after lunch.  When the bread first came out of the oven on Sunday, I had a piece served hot and drizzled with peanut butter.  I would highly recommend trying it! 

cinnamon protein bread

This was the perfect way to get that cinnamon roll craving fulfilled without hitting up the local Cinnabon, (although I have known to love splitting a delicious and huge Cinnabon with my mom!).  Save that treat for a special day out, and enjoy this recipe any day of the week.

cinnamon protein bread slice

Ashley has been sharing her snacks lately on WIAW, and I keep noticing recipes from Gina showing up on her menus.  As silly as the name sounds, ‘Amazeballs’ make for the perfect little quick afternoon snack or as a little fuel before the gym, which has really come in handy at 5:00 a.m.  I followed this recipe for Chocolate Chip Protein Ballz, but used peanut butter instead of almond butter, honey instead of maple syrup, and no chocolate chips since I didn’t have any on hand at the time.  The recipe made four servings and I have been keeping my small batch in the refrigerator ever since.

Amazeballs 

I also wanted to share a recipe I have been absolutely loving lately!  Ashley has once again been inspiring me, but this time it was with her post about custard oats.  I had never heard of them until I spotted them on Courtney’s blog, and was actually (mistakenly!) pretty skeptical at first.  I couldn’t imagine adding an egg to my oats and steered clear for a little while.  However, I started to see the trend catching on and I had to admit that there are many recipes I was nervous of at first and now love, like kale chips, spaghetti squash, and green smoothies.  I first gave it a shot back in the fall by making a batch of pumpkin custard oats, and now it is pretty routine for me whisk an egg into every batch of oatmeal I make. 

This recipe has a secret ingredient that may not be deemed as a breakfast food, but it is perfect to have as a special treat and it makes a simple bowl of oats taste absolutely amazing!  Seriously, for either an indulgent breakfast or a healthier dessert option, I highly recommend giving this easy recipe a try.

vanilla custard oats

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup of oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 cups water (I know it seems like a lot of water, but the chia seeds really soak it all up)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar-free vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 egg
  • Peanut Butter (optional)

Directions

Over medium heat, bring oats, chia seeds, and water to a boil.  Remove from heat and whisk in pudding mix and egg.  Pour oatmeal into a bowl and top with peanut butter.

 

Questions for you:

  • Answer the questions above about The Bachelor or Safe Haven.  I want to hear your thoughts!
  • Are you a fan of custard oats?  What is your favorite way to make a bowl of oatmeal?
  • What meals have you heard of that at first you didn’t think you’d like, but after trying it, you now love it?
  • What’s the best thing you’ve ate this week?
02/12/2013

Chicken Enchilada Tortilla Soup

Last Wednesday, I mentioned eating a bowl of hot and spicy Chicken Enchilada Tortilla Soup for lunch on Super Bowl Sunday. I had actually made this meal the night before and it made for the perfect dinner to warm up a cold January night. I originally meant to make it in the crock-pot, but around 4 o’clock I realized I had forgotten what was on the meal plan for the evening. I changed my idea just a little and decided to give it a shot on the stove-top instead. Turns out that it was just as delicious as I had hoped! This meal is quick to throw together once you have your chicken boiled and shredded, and you can adjust the heat depending on those who will be sitting around your dining room table by leaving out the green chiles, and/or using a mild version of enchilada sauce.

 chicken enchilada tortilla soup

 [gmc_recipe 479]

soup up close

Here’s a tip if you want tortilla strips the healthy way:

I simply take a flour tortilla that is light or low in carbs, like the brand La Tortilla and Flat Out Wraps.  I then preheat the oven to 375 degrees, cut the tortillas into strips, spray with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and garlic powder.  Bake until golden brown, 10-12 minutes and then toss on top of your soup!  You can make these in place of tortilla chips too by cutting the wrap into triangle shapes.

tortilla strips

Questions for You:

  • What is your favorite kind of soup?  Broccoli Cheddar, Tomato Bisque, Chicken Noodles, Black Bean, others?
  • What is your favorite soup topping?  Cheese, Tortilla Chips, Green Onion, Sour Cream?
  • Are you a person who likes spicy foods, or do you prefer your meals to be more mild?