Thursday, December 30, 2010

still celebrating

We had a wonderful Christmas with Aaron's family in Chattanooga, TN. I couldn't believe it, but we had a very white Christmas! This was my first white Christmas, and I just kept feeling like I was in the movies. There were moments that I was singing, David Gray's "Slow Motion" in my head. If you need to.. sing along as you get to see a sample of our wonderful Christmas. "life in slow motion, somehow it don't seem real, snowflakes are falling, I'll catch them in my hand..."
 I built a little Lego house for this man... I was probably more into than Asher.
 He finally woke up to open presents!
 White Christmas! Mark and I made a snowman. I would have made Christi so proud!
 He (Leon) is taller than me! Aaron is wearing an Ole Miss santa hat, which he wore all day!
Well, I had no boots so I tied grocery bags around my running shoes. Worked like a charm. You can sort of see Biscotti in the back she had way too much fun in the snow. She loves it!
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

merry mondays

I can't believe there is only 5 days till Christmas! We're wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! Hope you've been caught under mistletoe or have at least Elfed Yourself this year. You know the typical things you need to do before Christmas day! Hope that makes your Monday entertaining.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

new music wednesday

Full of Christmas cheer, I share a free Christmas album with you. If you like Sufan Stevens Christmas album then I bet you'll enjoy this. Click here to get 8 song album.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

i love a card

Oh how I love Christmas! I have been listening to Pandora’s “Swingin’ Christmas station for almost 10 days straight now. I made Biscotti on Saturday, Christmas parties are happening, I’ve been wrapping like crazy, and my hands are old lady dry! Nothing says Christmas quite like that.
I love Christmas cards, love receiving them, love giving them, love displaying them. However, displaying has been a little more challenging this year. I couldn’t find anywhere to display them. I looked through some magazines and stole this great idea.
I put this little display in our window that looks through our Kitchen to the Den. It has been great seeing many of your faces as I wash dishes. Just thought I would share this idea if you need a way to display those fun photo cards you receive at Christmas. Mine has ornaments tied to the bottom... I think that looks better that way :). Merry Christmas, and hope you can also enjoy these 2 pictures from our recent YL Christmas party this year!
YL Staff Christmas Card

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

new free music for your wednesday

This weekend was so great. Got to see Martha run her first marathon… which she totally dominated and I was able to jump in and run half of it with her. I know she’ll put up some of her pictures soon, so be on the look out of her crossing the finish line! Also, had the joy of seeing some of my best friends since middle school and college… shout out MM, KT, & Lindz. Eventually, I’ll get those pictures up too.
Anyway, it is true another Free Music Wednesday! I got an e-mail last week about this artist. So, I saved it to share with you today, and then Linnae sent it to me too. Apparently Joe Purdy is spreading like wildfire! Join me and download THIS free album now. You’ll thank me later. Ok, your welcome.

Friday, December 3, 2010

i was runnin' in memphis

I’m so thrilled that I’ll be heading to Memphis today. Martha will be running her first full Marathon tomorrow, and I’ll be jumping in to run the 2nd half with her. Make sure you wish her lots of love and luck! I love all of the excitement of race season. Last week I was running in Georgia this week Tennessee! My little Garmin has had some fun mapping my runs this year…California, Georgia, Louisiana (of course), New York, Texas, & Tennessee. Can’t wait to visit friends and enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

new free music wednesday

A few months ago my sweet friend Linnae came and visited me. She shared this band with me and I have been hooked ever since. This duo is great for driving, cooking, sitting by the fire, or a cool crisp run. Enjoy this free download of some Christmas songs that they have just released. The song Poison & Wine was the song that just made me really enjoy them. So here they are. I present to you… The Civil Wars.
Joy Williams  John Paul White (The Civil Wars) - photo taken on Dec 12th, 2009 in Cincy, OH by Jon Willis - http// - Photo of Joy Williams, John Paul White

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

what am i thankful for?

I just wanted to take a moment to thank each of you for partnering with me in prayer and/or financially. You have played a very important role in my ministry with Young Life. Our banquet last week went amazing! We kept asking ourselves, “Why is everything going so smooth?!”, then we kind of laughed and realized the Lord was just orchestrating the whole event. I know some of you live far away, and couldn’t be here for the banquet, but I wanted you to get a chance to see what you have been a part of. Doug spent many hours working on this video for area.

I sit here thankful for the 100’s of different students that our area is reaching out to, the dedicated leaders, our selfless committee, and the people like you that pray and give. Thank you again, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

new music wednesday

Typically I do not like to think about Christmas till after Thanksgiving. However this is a free download album that I really think you’ll enjoy…and the whole thing isn’t Christmas! I’m not sure how many of you know about Sara Groves, but she has an amazing voice. This album was recorded at show she did for women in a prison in Illinois. (Pretty cool to listen to them worshiping in the back ground.) Click here to download this powerful album of 9 songs.

Monday, November 15, 2010

oh buttons

As most people know I am a hair accessory nut! I went to a great shopping open house and of course all of the booths were great! I was able to stock up on several Christmas and Birthday presents. And, I might have bought myself 2 hair clips. I just wanted to share them with you, because they were such a great deal and so cute! Jewels By Julia. She makes jewelry, hair accessories, and hats for little girls. You have to check her out. Maybe buy a Christmas present or 2? Or Maybe just for you!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

pumpkin ice cream pie

Earlier this week I made Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie. It was so delish! In the south I guess this works, because  fall is never too chilly. I wanted to share, it's super easy, and something great to have for guest. Let me know what you think!

Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie

1 qt. vanilla ice cream                             ¼ tsp. nutmeg
1 c. canned pumpkin                              ¼ tsp. salt
½ c. brown sugar                                   Pecan halves for garnish (optional)
1 tsp. cinnamon

Stir ice cream until softened; Add pumpkin and remaining ingredients and mix until smooth.  Pour into graham cracker crust.  Trim with swirls of pecans.  Freeze 4 to 5 hours.

Graham Cracker Crust:
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs           ¼ tsp. cinnamon
¼ c. sugar                                             ¼ tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. salt                                           ½ c. butter, melted

Combine crumbs with all ingredients.  When blended, press into a buttered 9-inch pie pan.  Chill until firm.

Monday, November 1, 2010

2 new additions

This is so way over due! I had the fun privilege of throwing a shower for my two cousins, Whitney & Hannah, with Patti. We had such a great time with family and friends at the shower. Here is just a fun sneak peak of the fun weekend we had celebrating !
I see two people expecting two little boys!
We painted some onesies 
Patti said this was my Sandra Lee picture.

Friday, October 15, 2010

pumpkin in chili?

This is positively a weird yet delicious recipe. I have a pretty good Chili recipe, but I was feeling creative or maybe daring last night. Before you say, “sick”, just know that Aaron had 2 serving and I really enjoyed it, Pumpkin Chili Mexicana. I really want to share this with you so you can try it too. Try it and let me know what you think.

Pumpkin Chili Mexicana

• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

• 1/2 cup onion, chopped

• 1 cup red bell pepper, chopped

• 1 garlic clove, finely chopped

• 1 lb ground turkey

• 2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained

• 1 (15 ounce) can canned pumpkin

• 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce

• 1 (15 1/4 ounce) can kidney beans, drained

• 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies

• 1/2 cup frozen whole kernel corn, loose-pack

• 1 tablespoon chili powder

• 2 teaspoon ground cumin

• 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1 teaspoon of worcestershire sauce


1. Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stirring frequently, add onion, bell pepper, and garlic cooking for approximately 7 minutes or until tender. Add turkey and cook until browned. Drain.

2. To turkey mixture add tomatoes with juice, pumpkin, tomato sauce, beans, chilies, corn, chili powder, cumin, and pepper. Bring this to a boil then reduce heat to low. Cover saucepan and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Monday, October 11, 2010


We had an awesome weekend celebrating Aaron's "30th" Birthday. (He turned 30 on 10-10-10... basically a platinum b'day!) It was so special for Aaron to have friends from home, school, and Shreveport in Memphis celebrating. It was filled with lots of amazing food, a little sight seeing, and great time with friends. Here is a little snap shot of the weekend!
 Pumpkin Run
 Thank You to the Rogers! 
 I made Martha pretend she was on the Titanic
They were new best friends. Biscotti LOVED Gibson!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

you're invited

I'm not usually one to blog about endorsing something, but heres to that! A couple of times I've ordered invitations from Tiny Prints, and have always been really pleased. One great thing is that when it's your first time ordering you can get $10 off (use code: AFFNEW) or you can get _% off (depending on how much you spend). I'm really excited about the invites I just ordered for my cousins' baby shower. You might want to consider them for your next get together!

Monday, October 4, 2010

soup season begins!

Today I felt like it was finally soup time! I probably really felt that way due to my the sore throat (the one down fall to the seasons changing)! This soup is super easy and healthy. I have to tell it is not as good without the avocado relish topping. That topping makes the soup, promise!

Chili-Spiced Chicken Soup with Stoplight Peppers

2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
2 cups chopped sweet onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh corn kernels
1 (32-ounce) carton fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (28-ounce) can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes, undrained
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
3 ounces queso fresco, crumbled
1 diced peeled avocado
Cilantro sprigs (optional)

1. To prepare spice blend, combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl.
2. To prepare soup, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chicken; sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons spice blend over chicken. Sauté 8 minutes or until done; cool. Chop chicken; set aside.
3. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in pan over medium-high heat; add onion, bell peppers, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle vegetable mixture with remaining spice blend; sauté 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in chicken, corn, broth, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes. Add lime juice.
4. To prepare relish, combine chopped cilantro and next 4 ingredients (through avocado).
5. Ladle 1 1/4 cups soup into bowls; top with 1/4 cup relish. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

oh my

Oh my. I'm so behind! Fall is an amazing and a busy time of year. Football has started, eating meals outside, wearing jeans, throw on a scarf, leaves are changing, and sip on something hot... it's fall! We have been keeping busy working on the house while doing the day to day life things.
Last week was a little hard and great all wrapped in one. Biscotti had a malignant tumor removed, which of course made us a little sad. It may or may not come back, we are of course praying that it does not return! It made us realize just how big of a part of our family that she really is. I told Aaron that I was going to get her a Livestrong bracelet!
On an uplifting note. Work has been just amazing. The Lord is doing some crazy things, and of course just answering prayers that have been heavy on our hearts. I'm so thankful to be apart of this ministry, and just be a witness to Him doing so many great things.
Tonight, I'll be looking forward to a Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie with vanilla ice cream on top!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

new music

I got an e-mail about this group, Autumn Film from Boulder, CO. I think they are pretty good. The trio is giving away some great free downloads from their website. You should for sure check them out here to download some of their free stuff. Happy Listening!

Monday, September 13, 2010

dr. seuss lives here... really

It has been almost 2 weeks since my last post. There are many holes to fill with new things I'm learning spiritually- or just having my world rocked in a good way, Ansel Adams gallery, some new recipes, new travels, and new things to look forward to.
I feel like I have been everywhere over these 2 weeks. I've been out of town for work, and then Aaron and I finally took a vacation! Woohoo! It was about time. We went just north of San Diego to a beach called La Jolla. It was pretty much a-maz-ing! I have never been to a place like it. We had a great cottage, ate great food, biked, ran, kayaked, beached it, swam in the 60 degree water, did some local things, & relaxed--I know...surprise...I did it! I just wanted to share a few of our pics hope you can picture yourself there!
500 feet from our cottage
Bike Rides!
I was thinking about how I could totally do this everyday!
Yes, we saw sharks
Seals & Sea Lions were everywhere. They were pretty awesome!
Harbor... ate fresh fish off the dock... it was delish!
There was no excuse to not have fresh flowers.
Only in CA does your Poodle hang out through your Lexus' roof.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

some like it stuffed

One of Aaron's co-workers has a huge garden, and generously gave us 4 watermelons & a bag of eggplants!  I have to tell you I sometimes get stumped with eggplant. I don't want to always have eggplant parm! Tonight I found this recipe for stuffed eggplant and it was delicious. I thought I would share it with you guys. I served it with a side of rigatoni tomato basil pasta. It was pretty good. Get you some eggplant while it's in season!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

oh...sweet salmon

I created this new tasty Salmon dish.  I thought would share it with you. We had a great shipment of wild caught Salmon from Alaska come into our grocery store. This was one of those experiments that went right... and of course I measured with my eye... so hopefully yours will turn out well too.

Oh... Sweet Salmon

4 Filets of Salmon
Lemon Pepper
Black Pepper

1 Garlic Clove (minced)
1/4c OJ
4 TBS Soy Sauce
1 TBS Honey
1 tsp. Liquid Smoke

-Sprinkle Salmon with Lemon Pepper, ground Black Pepper, & Basil
-In a small bowl mix Soy Sauce, OJ, Garlic, Sesame Oil, Liquid Smoke, & Honey.
-Pour marinade over Salmon, refrigerate for an hour. If marinade runs to the sides of the salmon, continually spoon mixture over the salmon. 
-Grill Salmon. It would be even better grilled on a cedar plank!