Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Salmon Patties with Parsley Mayo & Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli

I made this for dinner last night for the first time, and we loved it! It looks a lot fancier than it really is, so if you want to impress someone in the kitchen, make this! ;) 
 
 
Salmon Patties with Parsley Mayo
{Better Homes and Gardens}
 
3 (5 oz.) pouches skinless, boneless pink salmon
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped red sweet pepper
1/4 cop finely chopped green onions
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup mayo
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar (I used lemon juice)
1 teaspoon bottled hot pepper sauce
 
In a medium bowl, combine salmon, bread crumbs, sweet pepper, green onion, egg, 2 tablespoons of the mayo, and mustard. Shape into eight (2 1/2 inch) patties.
 
Coat a very large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over medium heat. Add patties; cook 4 to 5 minutes or until browned. Coat patty tops with a nonstick cooking spray; flip. Cook 4 to 5 minutes more or until browned and cooked through.
 
For parsley mayo, in a small bowl stir together the remaining mayo, parsley, lemon juice, and hot sauce. Serve with patties.
 
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Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli
{Ina Garten}
 
We loved this broccoli as a side. It kept things light, and the flavors just went well together. Confession: I find a lot of my recipes by Googling "best (insert food)." That's how I found this broccoli...I Googled "best broccoli." And this recipe came up every time, so I figured it was worth a shot...it was divine and will be on veggie rotation frequently at our casa!
 
4 to 5 pounds broccoli
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
Good olive oil (or the Kroger brand if you want to be a rebel like me)
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves (about 12 leaves)
 
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
 
Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks. Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart. You should have about 8 cups of florets.
 
Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with 5 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.
 
Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, Parmesan, and basil. Serve hot. (I omitted the pine nuts and basil...pine nuts are expensive! And our basil plant is dead...)
 
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I'm not the biggest fan of mashed potatoes (I think it's a texture thing), but I wanted to add a starch and wanted something easy. I picked these up from Kroger, and they were good...definitely an easy, additional side!
 
 
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Oh, and thank you for the sweet comments yesterday...made it a little easier to bare my soul! :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Learning to Eat Again

So, I've gone back and forth on whether or not to share this piece of my life...and I've felt a constant tugging to put it all out there, so here goes...

 
My junior year of college, I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. Here's my story:

 Like most girls in college their freshman year, I put on a few pounds. I'd always been naturally tall and thin, but add late-night pizza and beer to the mix, and anyone would put on some weight.

 My journey into the dark hole of having an eating disorder started out innocently enough. My sophomore year of college, in an effort to lose the freshman 15, I cut out desserts and most carbs and started exercising a few times a week. The weight came off quickly, and the compliments flooded in. I was an insecure 19-year-old, and I look back on that time in my life and realize how truly unhappy I was. I was deeply depressed, and I was looking for any way to have some control over my life...I missed my family; I missed home; I missed my high school friends. The compliments made me feel better about myself, and I remember thinking, "If people tell me I look good at this size and weight, I wonder how many more compliments I might get if I were even thinner?" "I wonder how much happier I might be if I weigh less than I do now?" "I wonder how many more friends I might have?" "I wonder how many more dates I might go on?" It was an ugly, scary path I was traveling down.

 My sophomore year ended, and I went home for the summer. I worked at a law firm, and when I wasn't working, I was exercising. We lived in a hilly neighborhood, and after work each day I'd come home (in the Mississippi summer, needless to say) and walk 4 miles. People started noticing that I hadn't simply gotten healthy and lost some weight; people realized that there was something wrong. Co-workers commented on how thin I was; my parents told me they were concerned about my weight. I ignored everyone's concerns and told them I was fine. I was always thin ("Look at my Dad," I'd say!) and was just focused on eating well and exercising.

 Summer ended, and I returned to school my junior year a mere 110 pounds. I'm 5'10" so this was scary skinny. Friends I hadn't seen since the previous semester were shocked to see me. I knew people were talking about me behind my back, but I didn't care. I was desperate to stay thin.

 The damage I was doing to my body started taking a physical toll. I had stopped having periods months prior; I had headaches on a daily basis; I was always freezing cold. I had no energy and was short with everyone around me. I lived with two friends in the sorority house at the time, and I remember going to bed each night super early because my body was so exhausted. I look back on that time and realize how much I was missing out on because of my deep quest to stay thin. Friends were going out and were staying up late just hanging out together...and I was in bed, dreaming of a world where I could eat what I wanted. I would wake up early each morning, starving, and would allow myself a 90 calorie Yoplait yogurt. I remember thinking 90 calories was a lot, but I had all day to burn them off. Before I'd go downstairs to eat, I'd sit on the side of my bed and feel my ribs. I wanted to feel them jutting out...if I didn't, then I had let myself down, and I'd beat myself up even more. I'd even go to the bathroom and lift up my shirt to view myself from the side. Was I thin enough, I wondered? How could I lose more weight and have people stop asking me if I were OK?

 This went on for months, and then a breakthrough came when I was home one weekend. I was running errands, driving around in my car, and I just started crying. I remember it so vividly...I started praying and told God I was so tired of suffering. I asked Him to give me the courage to admit I needed help. I told Him I couldn't do it anymore. I was exhausted. I was physically and mentally worn down.

 That night, my mom was helping me get more blankets for my bed because I was so cold...I broke down in front of her and told her I was tired and needed help. I know she was so relieved. I had an appointment a few days later with a psychologist who specialized in eating disorders. One of the first things she said to me was, "I should put you in the hospital, but I'm going to give you a week to either maintain your weight or gain a few pounds." I returned to school and had to keep a food journal. I drove from Oxford to Jackson and back each week for appointments with her. We always did a weigh-in first thing, and it was excruciating for me to see the numbers going up. While I knew in my head I had to gain weight to get better, it was still hard for me to accept.

 I had some good days, and a lot of bad days. My doctor was proud of me for gaining weight, but I shuddered reading aloud to her the amount of food I'd consumed the previous day. It was a rollercoaster. Some days I did better than others; many days I lapsed back into old habits, and some days I forged ahead, hardly looking back.

 I had to dig deep during that time to try to understand why I was doing what I was to my body...why I was literally starving myself. It's a much bigger issue than just food and body image…it was a quest for perfection, a quest for approval from everyone around me, a quest to be seen and noticed.

I reflect on that time and realize how much life I let pass me by. I'd do anything to have that time back...it was a blur, and I feel like I wasted a few years of my life. Even now, years later, I still struggle from time to time...I will never let myself go down that dark path of starving myself again, but I do still wrangle with body image.

As hard as that time was, I gained a lot of insight about myself and have grown tremendously. I learned that perfection is overrated; I learned that our flaws are what make us beautiful. I learned that life is too short to skip dessert. I learned that who I was/who I am is good enough. I learned that not everyone would always like me, and that was OK. I learned that my self-worth has nothing to do with my size or what I look like. I learned to give up control and to just be me...quirks, bumps, bruises, and all.

Through my struggle, I learned to eat again...and in doing so I learned how to truly live.

Thank you for reading my story.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Weekend Update & Chicken Pot Pie

So, as much as I love fall, I don't love the sickness that goes with it. I worked Saturday, and it was one of those days. In nursing there doesn't seem to be an in-between...it's either smooth, or it's not. Saturday was not! I got to work at 6:30 a.m. and didn't get home until 8:45 that night. Long day! And then I woke up Sunday morning with a terrible earache and cough. Thank goodness for modern medicine and medical clinics that are open on the weekends! I got a steroid shot and an antibiotic and am on the mend...it's just that time of year, you know? We skipped church and had a lazy Sunday...I even took a two hour nap...no clue the last time I did that!
 
 
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One positive to being sick...my mom made us a delicious chicken pot pie. I've been meaning to try the recipe myself, but here it is. I've honestly never had a chicken pot pie I've liked as much as this one.
 
 
Chicken & Biscuits
{Deep South Dish: Homestyle Southern Recipes}
 
**This is the original recipe, which calls for biscuits. My mom changed it up some to make it more like a pot pie...I noted the changes at the end of the recipe. I think it'd be good either way!**
 
18 biscuits, homemade, frozen, and thawed, or refrigerated
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/3 cup flour
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half
4 cups chopped, cooked chicken
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 teaspoon crushed dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
1/8 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

**Butter a baking dish and set aside. Allow biscuits to come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
 
**Melt butter in skillet over medium heat; saute onion, carrots, and celery until tender, about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add garlic, and cook 1 minute.
 
**Sprinkle in flour, cooking and stirring 3 minutes. Slowly add broth; brng to a boil; then simmer 5 minutes, until thickened.
 
**Stir in half-and-half, bring heat up, and cook until heated through. Add chicken, peas, and seasonings.
 
**Transfer hot mixture immediately to prepared baking dish, and quickly top with biscuits. Bake, uncovered, 20-30 minutes, or until bubbly, and biscuits are browned and cooked through.
 
**My mom adjusted the recipe to her liking by adding a jar of mushrooms (drained)...instead of biscuits, she used a box of the Pillsbury Pie Crusts (each box comes with two, 9-inch crusts). She lined the dish with one crust and topped the filling with part of the other crust. I had to adjust baking time to 45 minutes, uncovered.
 
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And then my sweet husband made a trip to the grocery store to get me my favorite ice cream. My throat has been on fire, so this helped! Nothing beats chocolate chip cookie dough...
 
 
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I came home Saturday night to a package waiting on me. I had some birthday money and was able to order a few things. This necklace was one of them, and I just adore it!
 
 
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My parents got me this book for my birthday, and I can't wait to dig in. Being a nurse has become an integral part of who I am.
 
http://www.amazon.com/Shift-Nurse-Twelve-Hours-Patients/dp/161620320X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1443402300&sr=8-1&keywords=the+shift
 
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Did anyone stay up for the super blood moon last night? I have been obsessed with the moon for as long as I can remember...it's just so cool to me that everyone in this world sees the same moon...I love how it connects us all. It was so cloudy here, and we really didn't get a view, but I saw some of the images online. Incredible. And for my friends who are nurses...I have been especially thinking of those who pulled a night shift last night!
 
 
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Lastly, Lily drew a picture of our family the other day...and yet we're a family of four! I think she's hinting that she'd like a few more siblings. Hmm...as one friend said, "I hope she's not psychic!"
 
 
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Hope everyone has a great Monday and a wonderful week ahead!


Friday, September 25, 2015

Loving Lately & Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

I had a little money left on an Amazon gift card and was able to treat myself to a few books! This kind of package at my doorstep truly makes my heart sing...now I just need to get busy reading!
 

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These are my new favorite shoes...I think they'll be so cute this fall with chunky sweaters and skinny jeans...plus, they're comfy and won't break the bank! A win-win.
 

 
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Lily is so excited for Halloween this year...she seriously started talking about it early in the summer. She's decided she wants to be Elsa this year, and since her grandparents gifted her with an Elsa dress last year (that still fits!), I thought it was the perfect choice. I ordered her an Elsa wig to complete the outfit, and it came in the mail the other day. I think it's safe to say my girls were meant to be brunettes! But I think she looks precious as Elsa...
 
 
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The weather here has been in the upper 80s the past few days, which we'll gladly take in Mississippi. While Lily is in school, Hadley and I spend a lot of time outdoors...I'm loving my special one-on-one time with her.
 
 
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Speaking of Hadley, she is a big fan of my spaghetti...the spicier, the better. She and Lily could not be any more different!
 
 
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My parents gave me this candle for my birthday, and I'm in love...I think it's my favorite candle ever. The scent is not overbearing, but it is noticeable. I think it's one of those scents that would work year-round.
 
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I'm in the mood to decorate and plant some containers for fall. I loved these images I found in some of my favorite magazines. {The first two are from Southern Living, and the third image is from Midwest Living.}
 
I wish I could recreate this container garden...the colors are the best, and I especially love the ornamental peppers. 

Our dining room currently serves as the girls' playroom, but when we move we plan to have a formal dining room again. I think this would be the prettiest fall centerpiece. I just adore succulents.
 
I think this would be pretty tucked away in a bookshelf or displayed on a fall mantel.
 
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Since Wednesday was the first day of fall, it was only fitting to pull out my recipe for Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread. I for the life of me can't remember where I found this recipe. It's scribbled on a piece of notebook paper, so I'm assuming I found it in a magazine in the waiting room of a doctor's office.
 
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
 
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
15 oz. can pumpkin
1 1/2 cups oil
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
12 oz. bag semisweet chocolate chips (more if desired)
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk eggs and add ingredients through salt. Mix well with stand mixer or handheld mixer. Fold in chocolate chips. Butter and flour two loaf pans. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (Cooks perfectly in 1 hour in our oven.)
 
The nice thing is, it makes two loaves, and it freezes very well. So eat one and save one...or give it away!
 
 
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There's been a lot of loss in our community lately, and it's been hard to swallow. At church this past Sunday, Dr. Ben Witherington III spoke on the book of Revelation. He said this: in Heaven, "faith will become sight, and hope will be realized." That brought me so much peace.
 
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I hope everyone has a great weekend! Stay safe, and I'll see you back here on Monday.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Birthday Recap

If my actual birthday were any indication, 35 is going to be a great year. I heard from so many friends and loved ones, and that always makes for a pretty perfect day. I know a lot of people have a hard time swallowing 35...I mean, it is technically mid-life...and I do sometimes wonder, "How did I get here? What happened to the other 34 years, and how did they go so fast?" But I think working in oncology (and just in the world we live in of social media where we read so many stories of others who are struggling), I've gained some perspective. I feel so fortunate and blessed and lucky to have reached mid-life! Anyway...here's a recap of my special day!
 
 
We took a selfie before school...Lily was so excited it was my birthday...she told all of her teachers and just made the day even more fun for me. And Hadley was along for the ride!
 
Lily goes to 4-year-old preschool, and Hadley goes to a MMO program twice a week...both are in school from 9-12. After I dropped them off I treated myself to a pedicure! That's something I rarely do anymore, and it was so nice. I, of course, chose purple for my toes, and I was able to sit and read two magazines during that time...pure luxury! After a quick Target run, I decided I needed some Sonic mozzarella sticks for my birthday. Yum.
 
Rob got home from work later in the day, and he'd thought out a nice birthday dinner. He is a really good cook, and there's nothing I love more than one of his steaks. He cooked filets with a blue cheese crust, grilled shrimp, and grilled vegetables. It was divine.
 
 
And then of course no birthday is complete without a cake...a homemade yellow cake with chocolate icing...and 35 candles no less! Yikes...fire hazard!
 
 

 
Lily loved blowing out the candles with me...and Hadley wanted to jump feet first into the cake...ha!



Lily was so proud of her card...she is a little artist, and I love it when she draws pictures of our family.
 
 
 
The girls gave me a candle...I'm definitely a candle hoarder. And below is a card from my big sister...she knows me too well!!


 
Thank y'all for helping me celebrate my birthday. It was the best day imaginable, and I'm fully ready for 35!


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

35 Things...

Today I am 35! Seriously...how did that happen so fast?  I thought I'd share 35 things about me...

 The day I was born...with my Dad and older sister, Chris!

 Me as a 6th grade cheerleader! Ha!

Learning to walk with my mom...I definitely had some thunder thighs!

Gotta love an Olan Mills portrait...

1) Tulips are my favorite flower.

2) I've always wanted a French bulldog.

3) Rob and I met at a Hal and Mal's Christmas party...you CAN meet your future spouse in a bar!

4) I think about past patients all the time. There is one in particular with whom I had such a special bond. I think about him often.

5) I've been taking medication for anxiety/depression for more than 12 years now. I know it's kind of a taboo topic, and I plan to write more about it soon. I'm an open book about that piece of me because it's made such a positive difference in my life...and I want that for others who need it too.

6) I am cold all the time. I honestly sleep in a jacket some nights. Yes, my thyroid is fine. No, I'm not anemic. I'm just cold!

7) My favorite thing to do as a little girl was to ride my bike. I'd spend hours each day riding my bike around my neighborhood. It was my happy place.

8) I tried out for The Real World when I was in college. Didn't make it past the first round.

9) I do not like surprises. I always like to know what's going on, and I'm one of those people who reads ahead in a book to find out what happens. I'm reading The Husband's Secret right now...I've only read the first two chapters, and I already know the husband's secret because I scoured the book for it.

10) My mother died of breast cancer when I was almost 10-years-old. I lost a lot of confidence after she died and gave up on a lot of things I was passionate about.

11) My Dad remarried, and I call her my mom too. That doesn't take away from the role of my first mom, nor does it mean I miss her any less. I miss her terribly, and I miss her every day. But I'm also thankful for my second mom and for all she's done for me and our family...most notably I'm thankful for her love and support.

12) I am a big believer that good can come out of even the darkest moments. That I attribute to the grace of God.

13) I hydroplaned more than 6 years ago coming home from work one night. It was on the interstate, in the rain, and it was the scariest moment of my life. I truly thought I was going to die as my car spun out of control. I was fine, though, and I still believe I have a guardian angel (or many) watching over me.

14) I love bar food...give me nachos, cheese sticks, and fried mushrooms, and I'll love you forever.

15) I had gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with Lily!

16) I'm strongly opposed to the death penalty.

17) Probably the biggest star sighting I've ever had was Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon in NYC...this was when they were a couple, and I passed them walking down the street (holding hands)...it's so hard to know what to do when you see a famous person...what I do on the inside is spazz out, but on the outside I would totally play it cool and act like they were just a regular Joe walking down the street.

18) If you told me when I was younger that I'd be a nurse one day, I wouldn't have believed you. I was the kid who had to be strapped down to get a shot...I was never interested in science, and I barely got out of Chem II alive. And now, I love everything about nursing.

19) I interned one summer in NYC for a group of media magazines...one of the editors always gave me her tickets to media events because she knew how much I loved pop culture...and I think she also saw me as this little hillbilly girl from Mississippi who had never experienced anything interesting in life. Anyway, because of her, I got to attend events for People magazine and Entertainment Weekly. That was a fun summer, needless to say!

20) There is nothing that feeds me more than feeling like I've made a difference in someone else's life...even in something small, like slightly improving their day. That's so important to me.

21) When I was a freshman in college, I really wanted a purple unicorn tattoo. Thankfully, I never pulled the trigger...what was I thinking?

22) I do still love the color purple.

23) I love Diet Coke with Lime...drink one every day!

24) I lived in Innsbruck, Austria, one summer...it was the summer and experience of a lifetime...I'm so grateful to my parents for gifting me with that opportunity.

25) I adore Ellen DeGeneres...what I would give to be in the audience at her show...

26) I had to go to speech therapy in 7th grade...what a terrible/awkward time to go to speech therapy! I had a lisp, and thankfully it was corrected pretty easily.

27) I am a strong supporter of gay marriage. I'm so happy the law has recently changed. Love wins.

28) I loved everything about majoring in English in college...everything except my Shakespeare class...do I appreciate Shakespeare? Yes. Do I like his stuff? Not particularly.

29) I have kept a list of potential baby names for as long as I can remember...thankfully I didn't have Lily in my late teens or her name would've been Rain Starflower or something similar...

30) I just can't get on board with a Kindle. I need to hold a real book in my hands and turn the pages.

31) I broke my kneecap when I was living in NYC. Walking to work one day, I tripped and fell on the sidewalk...I mean, who breaks a bone that way? I was in a tremendous amount of pain, but I didn't know what to do, so I got up and walked the rest of the way to work. I sat at my desk for a few hours (I worked at a magazine) and then the pain became unbearable, and I went to the ER. I ended up having knee surgery up there and was out of work for 6 weeks recovering and focusing on physical therapy! Ugh...glad that memory is behind me...

32) I am a morning person through and through. I wake up at 4:30 every morning to have some time to myself...that said, I go to bed by around 9 every night!

33) I think the prettiest sight in the whole world is to see the sun rise. That brings me so much peace.

34) I love reality TV...give me pretty much any show on Bravo, and I'm a happy girl.

35) Public speaking is one of my biggest nightmares. And bats...I am simply terrified of bats.

And one to grow on...

36) As a child, I loved having my birthday parties at Dairy Queen...it was hard to top a Dairy Queen ice cream cake!

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Thanks for reading, and I hope everyone has a great day! I'm going to treat myself to Starbucks this morning and look forward to spending the day with my family. Rob is cooking dinner for me tonight, and the girls will help me blow out my candles. Life is good, and I am thankful.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Life Lately

You know what's not as fun as it seems? Househunting. Trying to find a house that meets your family's needs is tough stuff. There are so many nice neighborhoods not far from where we live (and in the school district we like) that seem pretty perfect other than the fact that all the trees have been mowed down to develop the neighborhood. And I can't live without some mature trees around me. We put an offer in on a house that we both loved...it was everything we were looking for and then some...and then we were outbid. That stinks...big time. But then I have to remind myself that it's just a house...that we have each other and our health, and that that's all that really matters in life. I get that, deep down, but I do have to give myself a pep talk every now and again. I know in the end we'll find what we're looking for...I'd just rather the process hurry up a little bit!
 
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http://www.amazon.com/Love-Fighting-Grace-Impossible-Standards/dp/0718031822/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1442883700&sr=8-1&keywords=jen+hatmaker
 
We're reading this book in my Wednesday night group at church. Jen Hatmaker is hilarious. I love her books because they're a nice balance between funny and deep...she hits you with both, and I just adore that. In one chapter she talks about the need so many feel to identify their "calling" in life...trying to figure that out can be terribly overwhelming, and what if some of us aren't gifted with one specific thing or talent that's obvious to us or the world? Sure, some people are given at birth the ability to sing or dance or paint beautiful pictures. And still some have a harder time pinpointing what that gift may be. Hatmaker states, "You don't need to wait another day to figure out your calling. You're living it, dear one. Your gifts have a place right now, in the job you have, in your stage of life, with the people who surround you. Calling is virtually never big or famous work; that is rarely the way the kingdom comes. It shows up quietly, subversively, almost invisibly." Good stuff.
 
I'll write a review when I finish the whole thing, but I'm really enjoying it so far.
 
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I have been in dire need of a new wallet for some time now. I've been looking and looking and have seen plenty that I love, but I just haven't been able to justify the price tag! I ordered this one from Zappos on Saturday, and it came in the mail Monday night. Gotta love Zappos! Almost instant gratification...ha!
 
I thought it was so cute and functional...plus it's small enough to fit in a smaller purse if needed.

 
 
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And then there's this...this is what I like to call a good mail day. Two of my favorite magazines were waiting for me in my mailbox yesterday. Can't wait to dream about fall while simultaneously sweating out the Mississippi heat and humidity.
 
 
 
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One of my favorite meals ever is spaghetti...just simple homemade spaghetti. I've tried several recipes, but I always come back to this one. It is a little spicy, but that's partly why I like it so much! I found it in Bell's Best Cookbook.
 
 
Spaghetti Meat Sauce
 
1 1/2 pounds ground beef (I used 2 pounds)
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper
1 (12 oz.) can tomato juice (I used 22 oz. total)
12 oz. can tomato paste
 
Brown ground beef and drain. Add celery, bell pepper, onion, and spices. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add tomato juice (if you like it soupier, add more juice) and tomato paste; cook until very thick. Takes about 1 hour or more. (I added a drained 10 oz. jar of sliced mushrooms to my sauce.)
 
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Hope everyone has a great day. Thanks for reading!


Monday, September 21, 2015

Weekend Update & The Emmys!

So, I feel like I need to write a tiny introduction before jumping into my first post. I've blogged before and, as life goes, I got busy and put my efforts elsewhere. I feel like for some time now I've felt like something was lacking...I'm a creative person at heart, and that's something I haven't been able to use in a long time, it seems. I put all my energy into being a mom (and I'd have it no other way), but now that my girls have gotten a little older, I feel like I do have a little more time to devote to something/s that interest me! Thus, Lindsey Lately was born. I've been debating pulling the trigger for some time now, trying to make sure every little thing is perfect before I publish my thoughts for the world (yeah, right!) to see. But then I realized that I'm going to put it off forever if I don't just jump in, feet first. So, here goes. And, one last thing, I think you have to write as if you do have an audience...even when, like me, you don't. You have to start somewhere, and I'm using this space as a creative outlet and an online journal as much as anything. That said, I do hope you read! Check out the "About" tab at the top of the page to read a little more about moi.
 
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We had a great weekend here, although it's still summertime hot, and I'm so ready for fall. Friday night Rob and I ordered take-out sushi and watched old episodes of Shark Tank. Livin' La Vida Loca, I tell ya.
 
Saturday morning, before it reached a high of 97 that afternoon, the girls and I headed to the park. We're so lucky to have a park right around the corner from where we live. We spent a little over an hour there before heading home to escape the heat. Rob, bless his heart, mowed the yard and pulled up our garden (which didn't produce much this summer).
 
 
Our Mississippi State Bulldogs had a home game, and while the hubs normally attends most, he opted to watch it this time in the air-conditioning, with a friend. I dressed Lily up in her cheerleader uniform, and she had a ball. I have laughed so hard over this video...I think Lily inherited my dance moves! ;)
 
 
Sunday I kept the nursery at church (I do this once a month)...I signed up to keep Hadley's class because when Lily was her age, I kept her age group. It's a good way to get to know some of the other children and parents, and it's always fun to see your child interact with other children. This Sunday, Hadley and Rob stayed home while I kept her nursery class. Our sweet one is still having some separation anxiety issues (she'll be two in a few weeks), and my genius idea to keep her class backfired big time. I kept it for the first time last month, and Hadley did great with me in there. Then, when my rotation was over, and it was time for me to leave for church (and leave her in the nursery), Hadley had an epic meltdown. And we were paged because she'd gotten herself so worked up that she threw up all over herself. Does this happen to anyone else? So, needless to say, Rob and Hadley stayed home today while I kept nursery, and we all met up for church. It went a little more smoothly this time!
 
I couldn't pass these leggings up from Target...for the girls, not me! I thought they were fun, and for less than $5, it was hard to say no.
 
Circo Cat Leggings

This picture showed up as a memory on my Facebook
newsfeed...it was taken this time last year. I can't believe Hadley wasn't even 1-year-old yet. Gosh, time flies.
 

And then, last night...the Emmys...seriously, one of my favorite nights of the year! What did y'all think? Here are my favorite dresses from the night (all images are from E! Online):

 Amanda Peet in Michael Kors

 Amy Poehler in Michael Kors...I thought she looked effortlessly cool and chic. Love the hair too.

Aubrey Plaza in Alexandre Vauthier...just really cool and elegant. This was probably my favorite...
 
 Elisabeth Moss in Oscar de la Renta...traditional glamour, which I normally don't like, but I thought she looked so pretty.

 Ellie Kemper in Naeem Khan...I thought this was so different and unusual. Just loved it.

 Emma Roberts in Jenny Packham
 
 Kerry Washington in Marc Jacobs...girl can do no wrong! Simply stunning...

 Laverne Cox in Calvin Klein Collection

Do y'all agree with my picks? Any least favorites? I do love an award show!


So, there you have it...my first official blog post. Thanks for reading! Hope everyone has a great Monday and a good start to their week!