Today is the final day of January... the month where we all gave it our all to try to stick to our goals for 2011!

Recap of January:
-Cooked new things.
-Spiced up the blog (a little).
-Lots of pictures taken.
-Classed started.
-Planner filled with school happenings and semester stuff.
-Evacuation research article... beginning to see the light at the end of a tunnel. Final form by February for the long awaited publishing process.
-Thesis ideas are on the table.
-Game plan for semester made.
-Road to a doctoral program... in the making.
-Arizona visit booked. We will go to Tempe to visit a med school David is interested in.
-Atlanta trip planned.
-Back in the swing of a Crossfit and workout routine.
-Christmas decor down (yes, I just took down my wreath... the sugared apples made me happy).
-Deep cleaned the apartment.
-CSA membership accepted. Start getting weekly produce baskets in April.

They say how you spend your New Year's Eve is a peek into how your year will be spent. How did you spend yours?
David and I spent it here at the apartment-- cooking. Our plans were cancelled because of the severe weather headed our way so we cooked and watched Dick Clark on ABC.Then as the night went on and the severe weather got closer, I stayed up texting with my weather pal about the storms. It was a stormy night... so I guess 2011 will be filled with weather watching, cooking, and laughing with David. Fine by me :)

I think that is about it for January... if I had to choose one picture to represent January (why did I do this to myself... too hard to pick just ONE).

I just think this was the coolest ever.

The main reason why I picked this one... we literally were walking and just happened to look down to see this. This was not man-made, this was just naturally there for David and me to see. God loves us and gives us little Post-its like this all the time. 
STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN just like we were taught as a kid. 

So-long January... month #1 of 2011 was great! 
Hello February!

My 4 year old door mat

Laugh today :)


Crepes and a Par-tay!

Nothing like a good ol' birthday party! Today I got to be the photographer at an 11 year old's bday party! We had a blast :) It was our good "Monday night dinner" friends (we do eat weekly with them)--- their niece's birthday. She and her 28 friends were very entertaining to say the least! We went on a hike (whew, workout!) and played 4 games! So fun :)

The best crepe maker made me a special brunch today! It got me all set for a day of fun :) Here are the pictures from the crepe makin'...

Batter up ;)

Swirl around then flip!

Plate is ready.

Crepe flat on plate.

Toppings ready!


Strawberries all lined up.

Powdered suga' on the inside.

Liquid from strawberries!

All wrapped up!

Strawberry on top.

I did not plan on that strawberry looking like a heart... but let us all "aww"

And devour the goodness!

It was a great Saturday! Hope your's was too :)

Way too late for me to be up! Gotta get to bed.

Loads of love and laughter,



Hummus Recipe!

So obviously this is "Share Recipes Week" for the blog.... I had no plans for every post this week to be a recipe, but it happens and it has happened this week. David and I bought our groceries Sunday and have been cooking every meal. A lot of our protein choices were on sale at the store so we have been putting on our planning hats and have made a pretty awesome menu for the week. We had all the meats cooked by Tuesday night, and the veggies prepped. We bought chicken, pork tenderloin, and already had in the freezer some lean ground beef.
  • Chicken-- baked with herbs on it and yesterday we shredded it and put it in some spaghetti sauce (had it with noodles made out of brown rice; we have had veggies noodles the past week so we wanted to try something new).
  • Pork Tenderloin-- baked with herbs and will make some acorn squash soup to go with it.
  • Beef-- browned it Tuesday and made tacos that night.
We finished the potato soup yesterday... and considering making some Chicken Noodle soup out of the left over noodles from spaghetti and chicken that didn't go in the sauce. We have an onion and bag of carrots that are begging to have a place in our menu. So... we shall see.

This week has been crazy, school work wise, so having a food plan just checks one of the important items off my daily list!

One of my favorite "go-to snacks" is veggies/pita chips with hummus! I just put a layer of hummus down at the bottom (like a tablespoon) of a small container then stick my carrots and broccoli straight down in the hummus. And "waaalaaaaa" put a top on it and whip it out in the middle of class or walking to class OR sitting at my desk and have a delicious snack! Sometimes, if I remember or out of one of the veggies, I will throw a small bag of pita chips in my backpack or lunchbox.
*Yes, I am in grad school. And yes, I do carry a lunchbox. Yes, a lunchbox and my mason jar= some funny looks from undergrads (secretly they wish I packed them a lunchbox too)*

Hummus Recipe

  • 15 oz. Can of Chickpeas (or Garbanzo Beans... same thing just some people like one more than the other)
  • 1/4 cup of the juice from the can of beans
    • Just stick your strainer over a measuring cup and then pour out what you do not need.
    • The first time I made hummus... I just drained my beans and forgot I needed the juice, whoops. SO TRY NOT TO FORGET.
  • Tahini Paste
  • Sea Salt
  • Chopped Garlic
    • Better if you have fresh, but I was out so I used my little go-to already chopped container of garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • Lemon Juice
    • Fresh if you have it

Cast of Characters


1. Put your beans in your processor.

2. Put in 1 1/2 tablespoons of tahini.

3. Use the juice from half of a lemon (keep the other half out, probably use it later on).

4. Add garlic (2-3 cloves... or around 4 teaspoons).

5. Drizzle of EVOO (around 2 tablespoons).

6. Just do some pulses on low to get everything starting to groove together.

7. Add 1/4 cup of your bean juice. 

8. Pulse on high now... until everything is getting cozy. 

9. Give it a taste, I usually add some juice from the rest of the lemon at this point.

10. Another taste... or tastes! Hurry put it in a container before you eat it all!

Hope everyone has a great Thursday :) 


Comfort Soup

Potato and Onion Soup

It is so yummy!

Here is the recipe so you can try this deliciousness :)

  • 4 small yellow onions
  • 10 small red potatoes
    • About 2 pounds.. red was on sale, you can do any potato though
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 5 cups Chicken Stock
  • 3 cups Milk
    • I used lactose free 2%.... but whatever you got in the fridge
  • 4 tablespoons of butter 
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
    • Comfort in a carton right here- CAUTION don't look at the nutritional content haha if you do- remember you are only using a LITTLE, it'll be okay)
  • Roux ingredients 
    • 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of flour
  • Salt/Pepper 
    • Sea salt if you have it
  • Garlic Powder 
    • If you only have Garlic Salt, use it and only do pepper with it
  • Bacon
    • Used for topping, also sprinkle on some of your leftover chives


  1. Wash and Prep Veggies
    • Potatoes (leave the skin on- nutrients are hidden in there), onion, and chives
    • Cut them uniform if you can... it just makes cooking them evenly a lot less of a headache
  2. Warm up 4 tablespoons of butter in your pot over medium heat.
  3. Once the butter is all melted- throw in your onions and cook until they are pretty much clear. Add a dash of salt here. 
  4. Put in your potatoes and chives. Add a dash of pepper and garlic powder here. Literally, just put like a teaspoon of each.
  5. Pour in 3 cups milk and 5 cups of stock.
  6. Stir and get everything groovy with one another.
  7. Cook (stirring every 5-10 minutes) for 30-45 minutes-- until potatoes are "fork-able"
    • Meaning you can stick in a fork in the potato easily
  8. Roux time
    • Melt your 2 tablespoons of butter, and slowly sprinkle in your 2 tablespoons of flour while you whisk. Keep whisking until it is thickened and no flour clumps are visible.
  9. Stir the roux into the soup and cook until it is all warm and cozy again (check the fork-ability of the potatoes again to double check)
  10. If you want bacon on top (I do not see why not) cook it. I do it in the microwave, but do it however you are accustomed to or follow the package instructions.
  11. Now put in some salt and pepper and garlic powder to your liking. Just put a little, stir, and taste. You can always add more  but it is very difficult to take out (I know from experience)
  12. David got my immersion blender out and blended our soup, but do whatever you want at this point. 

Top with bacon, chives, pepper

We also bought some fresh bread at the store and warmed it in the oven. The we cut us some small round disks of bread.

Who needs a spoon when you have bread and bacon :)

This is a simple recipe and will make about 10 servings... make sure you go ahead and put the soup in storage containers within about 30/45 minutes of cutting the heat off (with the cream and all you just want to play it safe). 

A versatile recipe... just see what you have around and substitute where you need to! I do not think you can mess this one up. 

We wanted to find fresh herbs (other than chives) to put in here, but this time of year it is just hard to find fresh stuff. Hang in there- almost Spring!

Have a great Wednesday y'all!


Pizza Time...

We haven't cooked pizza in a while so David and I decided pizza night was long over due.
Once you have a homemade pizza like this you will not want to ever buy a frozen one again! I promise!

Before you go to the grocery store... decide on what type of sauce you want. Red (tomato) or Green (pesto... garlic/basil/nuts/olive oil)? David picked the sauce this time... green! So from there decide on what kind of toppings (don't get "set" on the toppings... you never know what will look more appealing/fresh at the store)... this was my job last night. Then together we picked out the cheese at the store... parm or moz.

Our Ingredients:
- Store Bought Pizza Dough... We got Italian 5 Grain. Not frozen... at Publix is over beside the bakery... beware there will be some amazing smells over there, be strong... or cave in like me :)
- Organic fresh spinach (we used about 4 cups)
- Red Bell Pepper (1 whole)
- Portabella Mushrooms (the small black container... we did 2 cups cut)
- Store bought pesto. We usually make our own but we couldn't find fresh basil
- 4 cloves of garlic
- EVOO (aka Olive Oil)
- Salt/Pepper
- Mozzarella (8 rectangle shaped slices... we bough the "hunk" and sliced it)
- Oregano

A bottle of red wine goes great with this

Steps to make your very own FRESH pizza

  1. Put PIZZA STONE in oven and turn your temp to 425 degrees
  2. Take some flour and put on your hands (don't forget this... the dough is SUPER sticky) then get the dough in your hands and just give it a LIGHT covering of flour. If you have room to do this on your counter, sweet action, but I do not so I got a cutting board out and put flour on it and then plopped the dough down there to hang out.
  3. Prep all your veggies. 
    • Wash them off then lay out your spinach on a towel to dry off. 
    • Take your mushrooms and cut them in thin slices. 
    • Now take your bell pepper and "gut it" then cut the "wedges" into long skinny pieces (like match sticks). 
    • Garlic time... break the bulb of garlic and get out 4 cloves. Take clove and cut off both ends then peel off that paper like stuff. Now just thinly slice it up. Repeat for the rest of the garlic cloves.
    • Go ahead and slice the cheese into rectangular shapes.. not too thick.
  4. Now make your crust. I saw Claire Robinson doing it this way so I have done it her way ever sense. I take it and hold it up like I am holding a steering wheel and just drive it around (not literally... unless you feel the urge to make some driving noises) once it is pretty close to a circle, lay it over one of your fist and then put the other one under there (like it is a skirt for your fist). Now just work your fist up and down so the middle starts falling a little more... throw it in the air if you can and then put it on your cutting board to finish off your shape. (Sorta curl up the sides to make an edge)
  5. Take out your pizza stone (it should be piping hot) and do some olive oil down on the bottom. Take your pizza crust and put it on there... careful this is a "hot" job. 
  6. Spread your pesto
  7. Put your spinach on then layer on the rest of the toppings (mushrooms, bell peppers, cheese slices)

You can see the layers pretty well here

    8. Drizzle some EVOO

Drizzle, drizzle, drizzle
   9. Dashes of pepper, salt, and oregano

Sea salt if you have it

   10. USE your oven mittens and place it back in the oven until the cheese is all melted and the crust is nice and golden on the edges... it took ours around 15 minutes.


   11. Slice it up and enjoy!

This will be your new addiction

Wine selection for this meal... we did a Cabernet Sauvignon. And this was actually our first time to try this one (we try to buy a different one every time.. been doing that for the past 2 years now). UNLESS we have some in the cabinet from our California trips :)
So... we bought Root: 1 (Colchagua Valley, Chile 2009). It is a "rich red wine with black currant, mocha, and cherry flavors." It was great... it is better if you go ahead and pour a glass and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes (it allows it to "open" up).

I sure hope you try making your own pizza... it is a fun date night and this will deliver some amazing flavors :)

Church was great this morning... we had fun in the Faith Factory for sure! We did one of my favorite songs this morning... Romans 16:19 Says:

Now I am officially attacking my "to-do list #2," school time!


To-do List

I grew up cleaning on Saturdays.... I knew after watching Saturday morning cartoons it was cleaning time. My sister and I split up the tasks and got to work...

So today... it was cleaning day at my apartment :) I enjoy cleaning... ask anyone. And I LOVE making a list... crossing things off that list is awesome in my book!

I was going to do a small sheet of paper... BUT I needed to pull out the big stuff.

I got out the yellow legal pad.


And made THE list... started around 10:30 this morning.

Separated by room :)

And finished around 5.

I did eat lunch within marathon of cleaning

And oh yes... what a beautiful blue sky we had today!?!?

After that David and I went to the grocery store. We had some new recipes to try-- I will post pictures later. We cooked a homemade pizza tonight and then some potato and onion soup for the rest of week :)

Tomorrow will be dedicated to SCHOOL work... I just can't do major school work without cleaning or I will have excuses to NOT read/study haha!

I want to leave you guys with this song....

Good night y'all... I wish I could share the food tonight (it smells great in here)!



That's what is for dinner tonight!
Thursdays are CRAZY for me... I am thankful for school, work, etc. BUT on Thursdays I struggle to keep myself pepped up. I have a class tonight 6-9pm and I get off work at 5pm.... so I am needing something FAST and something good for me! Which sends me to Zoes... chicken kabobs :)

I hope everyone has had a wonderful day... snow is coming in for the northern part of the state. I think we will get maybe a dusting here in central Alabama. 
Don't hate the snow... remember all the winters that we didn't get even a flurry :) 

Tomorrow night David and I are going to the gymnastics meet... front row seats! Oh yes, I am very excited :) 

Laugh today,


Woohoo Wednesday/Get With It!

I am going to start with my "get with it" moment for the day. I MUST START reading for my classes... MUST. It is interesting stuff to read, well my severe weather stuff, can't really say that for the methodology class (haha). ANYWAYS, I MUST GET WITH IT.
Got it... now I must start reading.
But before I end this on my "light a fire under me" segment... I want to share some pictures from today!

Woohoo Moments for today... starting with I AM FREE!! I am free to do my homework, I am free to read my Bible when I want to, I am free to go to work, I am free to go to class, I am free to go to church and spend time with my chicks there!! I AM FREE! 

We sang this tonight with the kids... and we just made up our own hand motions and had a blast!

Hope you enjoyed that! It is just nice to know we are free to live :) 

So today...
  • I completed my 4th day of working out (Sunday was yoga; Crossfit with some yoga Monday, Tuesday, and TODAY!) YAH!
  • I was surprised at work today. I walked in and was talking to my boss and she told me to go over to my desk... So I did and BAM there was our coworker that we MISS SO MUCH there to tell us bye! She graduated in December so we had rushed goodbyes and so she came in to see us :) It made out afternoon! 
TCF... with our Queen/boss :)

And we will!! Chocolate lovers! We learn it from our boss!
  • At church tonight majority of the girls memorized all their scriptures and other things they have to recite weekly (the definition of determination; bottom line; things like that). They do awesome at it and amaze me every week! Here is a peak of the "photo-shoot" from tonight... 
Pretty girls
And the boys crash the photo-- luckily not the camera!

Love the looks on the girls' faces! 

Welcome to ZONE 56! Where we have so much fun with the 5th and 6th graders... yes, this is exclusive to ONLY that age... well in addition to their dear ol' leaders. They love having an area to themselves. I think they really dig it and it will prepare them for the next step.. YOUTH!

Boys left... now back to smiles :)

Chicks! Love 'em!

And finally... this was planned last week. I guess they expected me to bring a rope maybe to attach to the ceiling them float over them (with no shadow) and capture them from above. HAHAH we improvised and the other leaders held me steady on the couch LOL the girls were just a bunch of giggle boxes! Look at these pretty laughing faces? How can I not have a great Wednesday!?!

I HEART how everyone of them is in middle of laughing! This makes me so happy!
I hope you have had a great and productive day.. and it will continue through the week! 
Be blessed and notice the little post-its God will leave for you in your surroundings! Never know when one will pop up :)

Loads of love... and 
laughter (REMEMBER: laughing makes you skinny, crying makes you wrinkle)