Monday, April 27, 2015

Weekend Snapshots

Happy Monday, friends! I can't thank you enough for joining in my excitement over the new blog design! Sharing my makeover on Friday certainly kicked the weekend off on a happy note over here, that's for sure.

I mentioned Friday I was looking forward to a romantic date night at home with my hubby, so I spent the day working on some blog stuff, running errands and getting a workout in at the gym. 

I couldn't resist taking a quick break before starting dinner. I caught a glance at that hammock out back again and next thing you know, I found myself swaying away soaking in the beautiful afternoon sunshine. 

I picked up these happy blooms while I was out and about and then I made myself a vodka tonic and when my drink smiled at me, I had one of those moments I know will make most of you roll your eyes and I felt like I was living a dream as I started to prep dinner and dessert for my hunk of a husband.

I didn't get any blog-worthy photos of our meal, but I made chicken cordon bleu and roasted asparagus topped with bacon and feta cheese. For dessert, I threw together some chocolate covered strawberries and we sat out back and ate and drank and talked for hours and only quit when we realized we'd gone through a bottle of wine and wanted to move over to the hammock. Dessert and champagne and a few episodes of Friends followed and if you ask my idea of a perfect date night, that would be it in a nutshell.

Jonathan had to work the rest of the weekend, so I used it as an opportunity to go hang with my parents for the night. I had big dreams of getting up super early and going to the gym before hitting the road, but you won't be shocked to hear I had a bit of a hangover after all the wine and whatnot from the night before. The best I could do was knock out a quick workout at home but hey, I wouldn't have even done that much a few months ago so yay for progress!

I hadn't had one-on-one time with my parents in quite a while. We spent Saturday evening enjoying drinks and food and lots of chatting. Sadly, I took zero photos until the next day before our group workout at the gym. Do I love this photo of me? No. Do I love that I got my dad to stop speed walking into the gym long enough to put up with my need for a group selfie? YES. 

That's a wrap! I'm already anxiously awaiting Friday - we're heading to the beach with friends for a few days. Living as close to the beach as we do, you'd be surprised how rarely we go so I am pretty psyched. 

How was your weekend?

Friday, April 24, 2015

New Blog Design (Yay!) and a Few Other Things on Friday

Oh hey there. It’s been quiet around here this week, I know. I’ve been a little distracted and I have been working on a few posts for next week -- but in the meantime, Sarah has been working on this amazing new blog design for me and I’m so excited about it!

If you visit here often, you know what this space looked like before and oh my goodness is this a huge improvement or what?!?

Guys, really. I’ve been blogging for almost 5 years and I finally decided it was time to ask someone who knows what they’re doing to design my space here. I’ve been using what little design skills I have and just making the best of it but I’m so glad I finally asked a professional for help.

For the record, Sarah is great. I think we all know that by now but it had to be said. I had very little idea of what I wanted this space to look like when I first contacted her and somehow she turned the very little bit of guidance I gave her into something so perfectly me. Isn't it so pretty and happy and just absolutely wonderful?

We are still finalizing a few minor details, but I can't say enough about how excited I am to share the new design with all of you!

A few other things:

- Life has been hectic lately and I find myself craving a date night at home like woah. We’ve got this brand new hammock on the back patio, wine on hand and the fixings for a delightful dinner at home tonight. Our Friday night is shaping up to be just what we need.

- I read The Girl on the Train this week and finished it in oh, two days. Most of the books I've read this year I've heard about through this awesome blogging community and I just love that. This book definitely lived up to the hype if you ask me!

- I really really want to order the May Kindness Box. I became aware of this box a while back and I follow the Instagram account. If you haven't heard of it, the goal of these boxes is to send a little happiness. Each box comes with 4-5 items to uplift and inspire you. Every month when the new box becomes available I forget about it but this month, I really want to order it. Early birthday treat for myself maybe?

-  Joining the women’s bible study at church is probably the best decision I’ve made this year. We finished Beth Moore’s Breaking Free study in March and this month, started Lisa Harper’s Hebrews study. I genuinely look forward to Tuesday nights – the fellowship, the conversation, the time dedicated to growing closer to Jesus. It’s been such a blessing!

- I just watched last night's episode of Grey's Anatomy. Yes, I still watch this show. I'm not going to admit to sitting in bed sobbing throughout the entire episode, but I'm also not going to deny it.

On that note, I should really get moving and do something productive with myself. Cheers to new blog designs and weekend fun! 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Easter 2015 Snapshots

Hello there and happy Monday!

I've basically been out of commission the last few days thanks to a nasty cold but the upside is that I had a chance to upload the photos from Easter brunch which I normally may not have gotten to until next month.

This was our second year in a row hosting Easter brunch and like I said last week, it was perfect!

There are times I think I've completely lost my mind when I'm prepping for a celebration at our house. I tend to overcommit to things in general and this year, we planned to set up an Easter egg hunt for oh, nearly 10 children. On top of that, I wanted to make each of our nieces/nephews a little Easter basket. Add to that all the baking and cleaning and crafting in the days and weeks leading up to hosting 40 people on Easter and you can imagine I got a little stressed out.

With that being said, I wouldn't have it any other way. The kids loved their baskets, watching them run around the back yard searching for eggs was awesome and seeing all of our favorite people laugh and celebrate together is so perfectly special to us. So yes, could we make things easier on ourselves in the future? Absolutely. Will we? Probably not. Because it just brings me too much joy to see everything come together.

Here are some snapshots from that amazing day.

I quite like how hosting Easter brunch has become our thing. Quality time with family, delicious brunch food & drinks -- all in the name of celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. What more could we ask for in a celebration?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Homemade Acai Bowl

Hi friends! Happy Thursday.

I've felt completely exhausted all week and I'm just starting to feel like myself again today. All the Easter planning and prep took a lot out of me for some reason and I've spent most of my free time this week getting our house back to normal and sleeping as much as possible.

I cannot wait to fill you in on Easter and share some photos from our day, but for now, all I can say is that it was absolutely perfect. We ended up with about 40 family and friends in our home and I can't begin to tell you how much joy and love I felt having so many of our loved ones in one place. I tend to go overboard with crafting and planning this brunch but when it comes, I am in awe when I see it all come together and it is so worth it. Remind me to come back and read this next year when I'm up  baking at 1 a.m. the night before Easter. 

I will share all the fun once I have a chance to upload our photos and whatnot, but for now, I'm just glad to be making an appearance here this week. My sister and the kids are still visiting but they've been at my parents for a few days. They'll be staying with us tonight and tomorrow and I'm meeting up with them a little later this morning at Downtown Disney.

For now, I'm enjoying a quiet Thursday morning at home and it sure feels good. I'm also treating myself to another acai bowl, so I figured now would be a good time to tell you how I make this bowl of cool, crunchy goodness.

Before I get to it, I should tell you that when I was looking to make this for the first time, I found lots of different suggestions on how much of everything to put in here. This happens to be how I like to make it, but you can mess with the amounts until you get it to your liking.

As far as the main ingredients go, it's easy peasy!


  • 1 Acai Superfruit Pack (I found these in the frozen food section of Publix but I've heard they can be found at Trader Joe's and similar stores as well)
  • 1/4 cup of almond milk (I think you can skip this or replace with protein powder or whatever mix-in you prefer!)
  • 3/4 cup frozen fruit (can be anything - bananas, peaches, strawberries, mango, blueberries)
  • 1/2 cup granola
  • fresh fruit for topping
  • flax seeds, chia seeds, almonds, pecans for topping (completely optional but I used flax seeds on mine)


1. Put acai pack, almond milk and frozen fruit in blender and blend. You want the acai base to be blended but thick enough that you have to scoop it out. (Too thin: add more frozen fruit, too thick: add more milk)

2. When you get to your desired consistency, put the mixture into a bowl and top with granola, fresh fruit and other toppings.

3. Enjoy!

See, I told you this was super easy to make. The best part is you can really make this however you want. You can skip the milk or if you're like me and love yourself some granola, you can add more granola or switch up the toppings depending on what you have at home. It's a wonderful thing.

Seriously, I'm thinking I may need to treat myself to one of these at least once a week because I can't help but feel like one of these adds a little something special into my day. On that note, I better get on with this day. I hope you all have a happy Thursday!

Have you experienced the deliciousness of acai bowls yet? What are your tips for making them at home?

Thursday, April 2, 2015

A Few Things on Friday

Hello friends and happy April!

I've been a busy little bees this week prepping for Easter brunch and it feels good to take a break and pop in for a few things this Good Friday. I hope you had a wonderful week!

This is our second year hosting and we’re expecting about 30 guests – it’s going to be amazing. This means any free time this week is being spent baking, cleaning, putting together baskets for all the kids, shopping for food/fixings for the bloody mary & mimosa bar and prepping plastic eggs for the Easter egg hunt. It’s all coming together quite perfectly and will be so worth it when we’re basking in all the love and joy in our home on Sunday.

The thing I love about Friday posts is that I can just list out some random things I feel like sharing which is good because I'm pretty sure that is all I'm capable of at this point in the week.

(one) I completed Erin's #1800MinuteChallenge on Tuesday and it felt pretty awesome. I actually finished at 1,811 minutes and it's cool to think how throughout the challenge I kept forgetting about the possibility of winning a cash prize if I completed the challenge. I was more focused on keeping myself accountable to get my 30/day of exercise in and while winning some cash to top it off would be great, I'm just really excited and proud of myself for finally getting into and sticking with a fitness routine. Yay!

(two) Jonathan has been slammed with work the last few weeks so I've been trying to get as much of the Easter prep done as I can myself without adding to his list of things to do. The other night though, he took a break and sat down to fill 100+ plastic eggs with candy for the Easter egg hunt we're setting up for all the kids on Sunday. This is great because I was starting to wonder when I'd have a chance to do it and he was so sweet chatting with me about where we'd hide the eggs and all. It was nice to watch him relax and step away from work for a bit.

(three) After seeing a handful of blogs raving about acai bowls, I decided I had to see what all the fuss was about so this morning, I traded in my usual egg white omelet and tried to put one of these together. I'd say it was a success and absolutely delicious. I probably could have added more frozen fruit to the blender because I think my mixture could have been a little thicker. Let me tell you though, this was a delightful way to start my day. It's cold, crunchy, fruity and left me feeling full and energized through lunch. The best part? I don't think you can really go wrong here with ingredients. Obviously you need the acai smoothie pack, granola and frozen fruit but the possibilities are endless for toppings and other add-ins. I'll share how much and what ingredients I used for my bowl next week but if you haven't gotten in on this goodness yet, you should probably give it a try.

(four) After blogging on and off for years, I am in the process of getting a custom blog design for the first time ever. I've always tried my best to design my blog to the best of my abilities but this year I realized that just wasn't good enough anymore. I want a space here I am proud of so Sarah is working on something for me and I can't wait to see it!

(five) In just a few hours, my sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephews will show up on our doorstep and I can't wait to hug them! They're driving down from Buffalo and last night when I got in bed, I got this text from my sister.

Alyssa is my eight-year-old niece and a few years ago when I was up for a visit, my sister and I took her to Build-a-Bear for a girls day. She named her bear Alena and every time I spoke to Alyssa after that, she would give me updates on Alena and whatnot. It's been a while since we've even talked about her teddy bear but I thought it was the cutest thing that she worried I would be upset if she didn't bring it down with her. I love that little girl!

And that concludes all the thoughts I can form into words today. I have a bit more baking to do before the fun starts later. I hope you all have a happy Easter and enjoy time with family and friends!