Monday, September 26, 2011

I Heart Faces Photo Challenge: Best of Summer 2011

This week I am entering this photo of Tyler into the I Heart Faces Best of Summer 2011 contest.

This was him playing in the Sesame Street Water Park at Sea World this last July.

Best family vacation ever!


Check out all the other wonderful photos from this summer by clicking the link below.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Epiphanie

I have been searching for the perfect camera bag FOR-EV-ER. I wanted something super functional that would allow me to carry all my gear {trust me it’s not a lot} or to take with me on day trips with the kids. I also wanted it to be stylish and not scream camera bag. I had googled {I use it for everything} ‘cute women’s camera bags’ and came across Epiphanie. I instantly fell in love with Lola. She was everything I ever wanted to in a camera bag. And she was red. She was also cute, stylish and functional. But boy was she a hot item! I waited for as long as I could and decided to go ahead and get Rose from Jo Totes. She has been a wonderful camera bag, but I still really wanted Lola… and she was in stock!!

I did have a problem today. I had been tracking my UPS shipment and when I got home from lunch it said that my package had been delivered. Problem was, it was nowhere in sight! Panicked I started walking down my block and found both of my packages on the doorstep of a house 3 doors down. They had mistakenly dropped off the packages at the wrong house! So I swooped them up and went home hoping that no one was going to call the cops on me. I am so glad that I went looking because…

I ABSOLUTLY LOVE THIS BAG! She really is just as beautiful in person. First thing you see when you open the box is the brightly colored dust bag. All you have to do is unzip that dust bag and there she it! There she is in all her red glory with a camera charm hanging down. The material on the inside soft and the dividers can be taken out and customized any way you want them. I have actually been setting it up and taking it out trying to find the perfect fit. And the best part is I can throw in my wallet and use it as a handbag as well :)

I can’t believe how padded the shoulder strap is either! Almost all of the camera bags I have had became uncomfortable at one point or another due to the fact that the shoulder straps were so thin and dug into my shoulder. Definitely not a problem with this bag.

Overall… this is the perfect bag. I love everything about it. The look, the color, the style, the comfort, the size, how it protects all my gear and how it can double as a handbag. Definitely a WIN in my opinion. I know I am not a big time photographer or anything, but I can say that if I was… this bag would be my IT bag!













Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My First Ever… What I Ate Wednesday {WIAW}

I love reading Peas and Crayons!

Every week she does this thing called What I Ate Wednesday.
And I thought it would be fun to give it a try.

My life is not that exciting, so I try to make my food somewhat exciting.
Maybe someone will find what I ate this week interesting :)

Michelada and Chili Rubbed Fajitas {recipe coming soon}


Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato & Basil Sauce and Salad with Homemade Vinaigrette.


No I did not make this sushi but it was still yummy!
Philadelphia Rolls with Smoked Salmon and Spring Rolls.


If you would like to see what other people ate this week head over to Peas and Crayons!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato & Basil Sauce

I always make spaghetti the way the boys like it. You know the kind. Either I crack open a jar and add a little zing to it or I make a really thick sauce with lots of meat.
Tonight was going to be different.
I bought some fresh noodles at the grocery store, so I wanted something light to compliment the delicate noodles.

I decided to make a fresh tomato sauce with garlic and basil. I had never made a fresh sauce so it was either going to be a huge success of a huge disaster.

I think it was a success. All three of my boys scarfed it down and wanted more :)

I started out with my main ingredients: organic grape tomatoes, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil and garlic.
I also used salt, freshly ground black pepper and crushed red pepper.


I started by cutting the tomatoes in half.
I think the knife I used was a little big for the tiny tomatoes.


I then squeezed all the seeds out the the tomatoes so that they are now hollow, empty shells.


This was the fun part! I just went to town choppin’ away.


Once the tomatoes were chopped, I minced up a couple of cloves of garlic and added everything to my pan that had 2 tbs. EVOO drizzled into it.
Can you smell it yet?
You can at this point add the salt, pepper and red pepper if you like.


Chop up your basil and set aside.


There are several pictures missing here. I got caught up with my cookin’ and forgot to snap the photos. So let me fill you in:

Boil your water and add a splash of olive oil to prevent sticking. You only boil for about 45 seconds or so since they are fresh noodles.

Immediately drain your noodles and add to tomato sauce. Mix noodles with sauce until well coated.

Add about half of your basil and some freshly grated parmesan if you like. Stir.

Once plated sprinkle some fresh basil on top for garnish.


Doesn’t it look yummy?!


For the garlic bread:

In a bowl mix half a stick of real butter with about two teaspoons of minced garlic.
Spread over bread and broil on LO in the oven until toasted.


The salad was my favorite part! I was not too sure how Michael was going to like it, but he loved it!

In a small bowl add 3 tbs. of red wine vinegar, 1 tbs. freshly minced shallot and 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard.


Whisk together with 3 tbs. EVOO until everything is well incorporated.


Put your salad into a bowl and drizzle the dressing over the leaves.
Mix gently to coat the leaves.
Add some freshly shaved parmesan and serve.


I will ever use bottled salad dressing again!


Happy Eating!


Everyone Needs A Few

Super cute camera bags that is!

I am not a big time photographer or anything… I just happen to be a wannabe with a fancy camera who loves a cute bag.
I do have hopes that someday, maybe, I will be good enough that people want to pay me to take a few pics here and there. I just have a looong way to go before I get there.

I currently have the Jo Totes Rose Tote in Teal. She has been a really good bag. All the other bags in my closet are jealous because of all the fun places she gets to go. Rose has plenty of room for all of my camera accessories plus more. Right now in my bag is: my Canon T2i with 18-55mm lens, 55-250mm lens, polarized filter, cleaning kit, lens cleaning cloth, USB cables and remote. I know I don’t have as much as some, but I can fit so much more in with no problems. The only downside to this bag is that she is waay to big to carry as a camera bag/handbag for my liking.


I would love to have this beautiful Mimi bag from Kelly Moore. I am not a big fan of purple… sorry… lavender, but I love it on this bag. She is a bit pricier than the Jo Tote at $199. I have never seen one in person, but from the looks of things she seems to be quit roomy and seems to hold a lot. The best part is that it could also double as a handbag!


Then there is Lola from Epiphanie. Lola is stylish, functional and she is the beauty that I just ordered today. Yippie! 
Ever since I laid eyes on her a year ago, I knew that I needed one. I tried everything. I entered my name in every giveaway possible with no luck. So finally, after a year of waiting {and them being in stock}, I broke down and ordered her! She should be here in a couple of days {I paid for rushed shipping} and I couldn’t be more excited.
And even though I have never seen one in person, but I have seen many pictures and know that I will just love her…
my camera will too!


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Toddler Tattoo’s

Lately Tyler has been obsessed with ‘tattooing’ himself. I really dislike the fact that he is drawing on himself everyday, but I admit that the little tattoo people he draws are absolutly adorable.
He draws these little circles with a face and legs. For 3 y/o I think that his pictures are a work of art.
Now  I just have to convince him that we don’t need to ‘tattoo’ our clothes.

Tyler's Tattoos

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Anointed Transformed Redeemed

Yesterday was the beginning of 10 weeks of Kids Small Groups {or KSG} for Jacob and a Beth Moore study for me.

I am extremly excited to be doing another bible study and even more excited that Jacob gets to participate in his very own bible study this year!


It is called Anointed Transformed Redeemed: A Study of David.
Here is what the Lifeway website says about the study: contains the audio and video portions of the Deeper Still conference featuring Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, and Kay Arthur. You’ll laugh with them, cry with them, and learn to love God with them. These authors' messages are divided into three segments, two lessons each. Each segment focuses on the life of David at a different stage of his life: as a young man (by Priscilla Shirer), as a middle-aged man (by Beth Moore), and as a man facing the final third of his life (by Kay Arthur). You'll laugh with them, cry with them, and learn to love God with them.

And Even though he has only been once, Jacob is really enjoying his class and talks about wanting Jesus in his heart.
Makes me teary eyed thinking about it.

I am also loving my bible study!

Our first lesson was done by Priscilla Shirer. 
She is such an amazingly gifted woman who has a wonderful way of teaching and making you crave more.

She talked about how David knew for certain that the Lord had established him as king. And that no one can take away what the Lord has established or ordained. That God has to be the center of what we are doing. She talked about ‘God Consciousness’ which is setting up the presence of God into everything we do on a daily basis, inviting Him into every corner of who we are.

I can’t wait until next week!

P.S. I even enjoy the homework :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Beth Moore’s Living Proof Live

This last Saturday I attended Beth Moore’s Living Proof Live simulcast. And I wanted to show you parts of my day through the lens of my iPhone.

Have I told you how much I love Beth Moore? Well I do!

My BFF and I attended the simulcast at a small church in a neighboring town. I was shocked that more churches in our area were not having one, but that may have been due to the fact that she was only like 2 hours from here!

The day was wonderful! They had breakfast, lunch and snacks for you to munch on throughout the day and childcare. Michael took the day off to watch the boys for me so I could enjoy myself, and while I was gone he cleaned the house! I’m talking scrubbed baseboards and washed windows cleaned too. Have I told y’all how much I love him? Well I do! A lot!



The simulcast was amazing, just as I expected it to be. The message came out of Luke 1:1-4 and Acts 1:1-5. The seven points of the day were:
1. We were created for good company.
2. An individual calling can only be fulfilled in a ‘we’ context.
3. God never overlooks a single ‘me’ in the bigger ‘we’.
4. Jesus became a friend of sinners so we could become a friend of God.
5. We can revel in the certainty of the things that we’ve been taught.
6. Jesus has passes us the salt also.
7. We can ALSO be many convincing proofs that Jesus is alive.



This woman here is one of the best friends I have ever had. She is truly an amazing woman. She is wonderful at all she does. She makes me want to be not only a better wife and mother, but a better person. She is like the big sister that I never had.

I met a lot of wonderful ladies. They were all so sweet and welcomed everyone with open arms. If I lived there, I would definitely attend church there.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

On My Reading List…


I am so glad to have 5 minutes to post. I have been home with two sick little boys today and life has just been chaotic! Cartoons are on and it’s eerily quiet around here right now. See… cartoons do cure everything :)

My good friend recommended the book The Power of the Praying Wife, so the other day when Family Christian was having a sale and I got to use a coupon. I absolutly love the book! I find myself reading it pretty much everyday. It has taught me how to pray for Michael in a completely different way and to pray for things I didn’t really think about.

She loaned me a book that I am reading through called She’s Gonna Blow! I find it comforting that I am not the only mommy that has mommy meltdowns. Apparently it happens quite often with people. Who knew right?

The two others that she loaned me I have not even had the chance to crack open are Bringing Up Boys and The Mom I Want to Be. They both look like really good books and I can’t wait to read them!

The last one that I got was Becoming the Woman God Wants Me to Be and I exchanged it yesterday to get Michael the Power of the Praying Husband. I flipped through it and decided that it was not for me. The first couple of chapters were really good, but then it got into things like don’t budget because it’s obsessive on your part and don’t worry about how much money is in your account just make more of it. I just did not find it helpful, well, at least the parts I read. I’m sure there are people out there that would really like to read it though.

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lord Show Me the Way

Can you remember being a kid and wondering what you were going to do when you were ‘all grown up’?

I know that I did, and I knew that I wanted to do something that I loved more than anything in the world.

And that is what I am doing! Being a stay at home mom to my boys and a wife to my husband is what I love. More than anything in the world. Sometimes it’s not the most glamorous job or the most desirable, but it’s the most rewarding job in the entire world. And I won’t lie… there are days where I want to quit! There are days where I have had enough of everyone's whining and crying. But what mother doesn’t get sick of hearing it at one point or another?

Every once in a while I feel like my boys are growing up so fast that they are needing me less and less. Deep down I know that it isn’t true, but still it’s there.

I have considered going back to school and actually planned on seeing a counselor, but in the end after lots of prayer and talks with the hubby, decided that this time with the boys is too precious to waste in a classroom if I don’t have to. Michael told me that I can always go back to school, I can’t go back and be a mom to my boys when they are small. Isn’t he wise?

I know God has more in store for me, and even though I don’t know what it is yet… I know it is going to be something that will glorify Him.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Kitchen Counter Decor

Lately I have been trying to beautify my house.

When you live with three guys sometimes it’s not always the easiest to have pretty things everywhere.

And it doesn’t help that I am kind of a tomboy myself. But I try.

So, I thought that since I am in my kitchen quite a bit, that it needed some sprucing up.


I need new frames, or just to paint the old ones. 
But a must is having a picture of my boys close by!


The 8x10 frame is perfect to display special artwork and can be changed out as often as needed.


Note: The walls right now are painted ‘Fabulous Red’, but will soon be painted more of a toned down, deeper color like a barn red or something. And hopefully I will get around to sanding down and re-staining the cabinets sometime in the near future.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Makeshift Mudroom

After school started I had a problem. Not a huge one, but one that needing a solution.  

That problem was my kids walking in the door after school and throwing their backpacks and lunch boxes on the floor. Not only did they get dog hair all over them, they were kinda in the way.

I needed a place to hang backpacks or lunchboxes, then it hit me! A mudroom would be perfect! Only problem was I do not have a mudroom and the lack of space for one creates and even bigger problem.

Hobby Lobby to the rescue!

And this was what I came up with…


I want to make cute little tags for these baskets, I just have not figured out what to put in them yet…


I have to say that I absolutly love it!


I did move it to another wall {which I wish I would have taken a before and after of because it is a HUGE difference}. And I changed purses… again.