Sunday, June 30, 2013

Once Upon a Time (A Repost)

Pin It

I've been slowly trying to clean out some of my draft posts. I often start a post and then never get around to  finishing it or posting it. Surprise surprise, right? I found this post in my draft. I  wrote it for the Total Woman U blog on January 18th, 2011, right after I moved back to Mississippi. Apparently I wanted to repost it here on my personal blog and pasted into a draft who knows how long ago. I don't know why I never posted it but as I read it just now, over three years later, I feel like I wrote it to myself for this current season of life. Who knew when I wrote this three years ago that God would give me new dreams I didn't even know I'd dream for myself. As I'm staring the big scary God-sized dream of having a bakery in the face, a dream that continues to be affirmed and developed every passing week and day, I needed to be reminded of these words more than ever. 

I don’t know what kind of effect this phrase has on you, but for me, the moment I hear it I smile. It makes me sit up straight in my chair and await being told a happy ending story. It causes me to imagine that I’m wearing a big poofy princess dress. It makes me picture little girls playing dress up. It causes me to scroll through the knowledge of every fairytale story I have permanently (and maybe embarrassingly) stored in my mind. These four little words were read to us over and over as children and made us dream and write love stories for our barbies when we were little girls in those dress up clothes. 

I've been thinking about these words lately as I've found myself surrounded by women on every side! My cousin is getting married, and I have been bestowed the maid of honor title. She and I grew up pretending, sometimes believing, that we were those princesses in the stories we read and movies we watched. I was always Cinderella and she was always Ariel. When we went dress shopping, they told us of a new line the store had called The Fairy Tale Collection. We didn't give it much thought other than it being a cute idea. The bride suggested some of the things she liked, and the shop ladies brought poof sparkly dresses one after another. The bride to be wasn't even actually planning to buy a dress that day, but then... she tried on the dress. You know, THE dress. The minute she turned around her mother and I go teary eyed. It was beautiful. Miss bride to be didn't even want to take it off. The dress just so happened to be one of the aforementioned Fairy Tale Collection ones... Ariel. When we discovered that, of course we cried more. It was one of those moments

“Once Upon a Time” looks different for everyone. Maybe you weren't the girly girl playing make believe in pink sparkly dresses. Maybe you had read every Nancy Drew book before the rest of us even discovered Nancy Drew. Maybe your dream was academic, athletic, or inventive. As we grow up, we often put our once upon a time dreams in a dusty corner at the top of the bookshelf. We grow up, life happens, we write it off as a silly childhood dream. Or maybe you got your once upon a time and now what? Dreaming is over? Thinking about the once upon a time concept of myself as a little girl pretending I was Cinderella, my life does not look anything like I thought it would. Picking up my old dusty once upon a time dreams, it appears I’m missing out on somethings at the first glance. As I look beyond the surface, I realize it was never my job to write the end of my story. 

God is the author of our lives, of our fairy tales. Life isn't perfect and it doesn't always look like a fairy tale. Our hair isn't always pretty and we don’t always get to wear a sparkly poofy dress. Sometimes our princess attire looks more like a work uniform. We trade in our dress up clothes for that old t-shirt and those lounge pants we use to clean the house. But our moments aren't over just because we are grown ups. From the time we were old enough to talk and think, God gave us the ability to dream. I know you have those thoughts, maybe sometimes fleeting, where you get a big idea that you just push away or write off because there is no way you could do that. There is no way you can do that in your mind, but that doesn't make that feeling and thought true. 

He gives us dreams, big ideas and the ability to imagine for a reason. Dust off your once upon a time and let it inspire you. You ARE a princess with the ability to accomplish the tasks, dreams, and visions God gives you as long as He is with you. Just as the bride to be had a shining glowing moment when she put on that dress, we shine and glow and reflect the glory of God when we are used by Him. Don’t miss your moments because the once upon a time you dreamed of doesn't look like you thought it would or because it already happened. Psalm 37: 4 says, “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” If we delight in Him, He promised to give us the desires of our heart, the desires that He puts there and that line up with His. 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Weekend Mani: Ombre Blues

Pin It

If you know me or follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, you know I have a slight (or not so slight) obsession with nail polish and painting my nails. There are so many fancy nail bloggers out there that I never want to be a regular nail blogger or even semi regular. However, I do like to toss things up a little so that you get some variety mixed in with all the food posts! So I bring you the first ever Weekend Mani post.

I've seen many different version of ombre nails lately. In case you missed it, ombre is in. It's in for highlights, it's in for home decor, it's in for clothes, it's even in for baking! I'm not always "in" to in things, but I thought I'd try my own version of ombre nails since I have so many in this blue color family. I didn't hate it! I tend to like simple and classic manicures. I like to add an accent nail on occasion, but I mostly keep it solid. This obmre was so subtle that it kept me satisfied without feeling too flashy all through last weekend.

Colors I used from pinky to thumb:

  • Avon Nailwear Pro in Vintage Blue
  • Unforgettable Moments (Payless Shoes brand) in Aqua Island
  • Wet-n-Wild Megalast in I Need a Refresh-Mint
  • Finger Paints in Tiffany Imposter
  • Essie in Where's My Chauffeur?

Do you like the ombre trend? Clothes? Hair? Decor? Baking? I'm not sold, but I've seem some classy subtler versions of things I like. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

DIY Magnetic Chalk Board

Pin It


  • 97¢ cookie sheet from Wal-mart
  • gripper paint primer (Like this one, comes in 1 quart, I got mine at Home Depot. I used mine for 7 magnetic board, spilled half of it, and still have a ton left.) 
  • 1/4 cup acrylic paint, color of choice (the little 57¢ Apple Barrel brand ones from Wal-mart!)
  • 1/2 tablespoon non-sanded grout (I got mine from Home Depot, EVERYONE I know has used the package I bought for making chalkboard paint and it's still over half full!)
  • plastic cups and spoons for mixing paint
  • ribbon
  • doilies or fabric
  • scrap book paper scraps
  • chalk
  • magnets
  • assorted objects to glue to magnets (buttons, glittery things, etc)
  • paint brushes


Step 1: Paint the inside of a cookie sheet with gripper paint primer. I'm not an expert on paint and primer, but I was told by a painter that if you want paint to stay on a metal surface you can't skip this step. I've had my board now for over a year and the paint has yet to crack or scrap off! Let it dry completely. 

Step 2: Mix 1/4 cup of acrylic paint with 1/2 tablespoon of grout in a disposable plastic cup with a plastic spoon. If you are doing multiple boards or colors, you'll want to just mix one color at a time because it can dry out quickly. 

Step 3: Paint 1-2 coats of the paint over on the cookie sheet over the primer. If the one coat is streaky or not vibrant enough, do a second. Let dry completely. 

Step 4: Once the board is completely dry, take a white piece of chalk turned length wise and rub it all over the board to "set" the chalk board. Wipe with a dry paper towel. 

Step 5: At this point your magnetic chalk board is ready to be written on and ready for magnets! The decor is totally up to you, as little or as much as you want. I hot glued tiny doilies in the bottom corner and hot glued a folded a medium sized doily in the top corner to paint names on. I made tiny pennant banners out of twine and triangles cut from sparkly scrap book paper. I hot glued buttons and glittery dots that I purchased on sale in the scrapbook section to magnets. 

Step 6: Write cheesy messages until your heart is content! I also used the magnets to put a picture or two on mine. Give as gifts with chalk! 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Chickpea Tomato Basil Salad

Pin It
SUMMER IS UPON US! Notice how I almost seemed excited? I actually don't love summer, especially in the 'Sip (Mississippi for any non-southern readers I might have). It's hot and muggy and I can't wear my cardigans and pumpkin isn't in style. I just love fall, it's my favorite and I long for it 9 months of the year. But of all the fall off seasons, summer is my least favorite. Therefore, I do things to try to make summer more fun! I will admit that it is a fun cooking/baking/meal planning season. THE PRODUCE! Oh man, the produce. Farmer's Markets, my papaw's garden... ALMOST makes me love summer. Actually, I do love summer for that sole reason, produce from Farmer's markets and the garden! And grilling. I love it. LOVE! So all that to say, expect summer themed recipes rich with tomatoes, fresh herbs, and grilled things. Like this yummy, bright salad! 

This lovely salad would pair perfectly with any summer dish, like fish tacos! I was featured over at Mississippi Women Bloggers for Foodie Friday with a yummy Greek Fish Tacos recipe that you should definitely make with this salad. 

Recipe slightly adapted from Green Lite Bites.


  • 2 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 pint red grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 pint yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 12-15 fresh basil leaves, chopped 
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tsp minced garlic
  • salt and pepper


Combine garlic, vinegar, and honey in the bottom the bowl you intend to serve the salad in. Whisk. Add the tomatoes, basil, and chick peas to the same bowl and toss to coat everything. Let chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Meal Planning 101: Week 32

Pin It

Keeping it short and sweet so I can sneak this post in on Monday and not Tuesday! I will take up a little of your time to apologize that the posts haven't returned to regular frequency, but you just better brace yourself! Guess what I did this weekend and today?? I FINALLY took the time to switch from my old computer to my new computer. Okay and I watched an unhealthy amount of Dawson's Creek on Netflix. BUT all of my picture files are now on my computer, not on my phone, not on my old computer, on this very computer that I type on and labeled and organized. AND there is a plan for 3-5 posts for this very week. Keep your fingers crossed friends. Now to the meal plan for this week.


BLTA (Bacon Lettuce Tomato Avocado) Sandwiches with Chips and Homemade Salsa


Rice and Beef Stuffed Zucchini, Salt and Vinegar Roasted Potatoes, and Cucumber Salad


Church Potluck (making Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding)


Leftover Stuffed Zucchini


Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese (never got to this last week), Red Potato Salad, and Sweet Pickles




Lemon Poppy Seed Waffles, Scrambled Eggs and Bacon

Lunch Ideas:

Are you meal planning? Post your weekly meal plan in the comment section below! You can also link your meal plan up over at Organizing Junkie.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Meal Planning 101: Week WHAT?! (31)

Pin It

Back by popular demand... MEAL PLAN MONDAY! I know it's barely Monday still, but I'm just getting back in the routine. Thanks for your patience! There actually wasn't a "demand" per se, but I decided to check out my blog stats this weekend. Apparently my most viewed post are all meal plan posts! Who knew?! Meal planning comes natural to me, so I never realize it's valuable and helpful to other people. I enjoy it! I do it whether I post it or not, so if it's what the people want, I'm going to give it to them! And whether I post or not, I still collect a ridiculous amount of meal planning resources and notepads... I have a problem.

At least they were all only $1! They motivate and inspire my meal planning even more. Since I took the accidental extended break from blogging, I need things that motivate me. So I'm adding them left and right! And taking pictures too, of course, which also motivates me.

A new space. I just can't blog at home as well. I get distracted. Mostly by Dawson's Creek and the love life of Pacey and Joey. Darn you Netflix for putting the show I've always wanted to watch from beginning to end on streaming for the summer! Total distraction. As you might know, I usually go to Starbucks every morning to spend time with Jesus. I'm much more productive with the "busy place" feeling. If I have go in the mornings, I don't enjoy spending money at a coffee shop twice in one day! But I feel obligated to buy things if I'm using a coffee shop for their space. FINALLY a solution! I went to my public library this afternoon for the first time (yes, the first time in living here for over two years). I found the perfect spot! A little table with a lamp, a semi-comfy chair, and even bird decorations! I edited blog pictures all afternoon. Success! 

Remember the cute little red grill I used to have and the grilled recipe posts I used to make? The bottom fell out of my grill early last summer and I never replaced it. I wanted another red one! I never found one, so I finally gave in. Motivation #3... Grilling! Wanting to grill equals wanting to cook more equals taking pictures of food equals wanting to blog them. Done!

Motivation #4... FRESH! I got to visit my Papaw's garden this weekend and he let me take as much as I could carry. Ignore the spots on that one tomato, I cut that half off and it was YUM! Nothing makes me want to make new recipes and creations like fresh from the garden produce. Sharing with you also motivates me. Hence all the pictures in this post and my unnecessary sharing of my motivations. NOW to the meal plan. 


Garden Goodies - sliced and salted fresh cucumber, homemade salsa and chips, leftover friend green tomatoes and friend squash


Enchilada Skillet, Cucumber Tomato Salad and Homemade Salsa and Chips


Potluck (with Missional Community - bringing pies!)




Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese (grilled jalapenos + sour dough bread + cream cheese + bacon +monterrey jack cheese) , Avocado Tomato Salad and Salsa and Chips


Tortellini Pasta with Vodka Sauce, Fancy Salad and Garlic Bread




  • Homemade Salsa for snacking
  • Two Skillet Apple Pies for Missional Community
  • Two Strawberry Icebox Pies for Missional Community

Lunch Ideas: 

tuna egg salad sandwich + goldfish + orange slices + Mississippi cookie

edamame with soy sauce + two boiled eggs

managers special treat! cheese slice + almonds + carrots + apples slices with already purchased nutella & hummus

Speaking of lunch, can I tell you what item has consumed my breakfast world?? Chobani Flips. I'm OBSESSED! If you follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook you know this. 

Just for funsies, more picture sharing! 

I love going to Sam's to buy cheaper, yummy produce for healthy eating. However, almost every time I do my monthly or bi-monthly shopping there I end up indulging in a quite unhealthy Sam's lunch/dinner. Can you say no to a Sam's hotdog and/or icee? I find it extremely hard! 

Along with my other nifty notepads, I also got these $1 food labels! How cute are they! Ignore the chocolate butter cream mess that got on this one from the cupcakes I made yesterday for the Father's Day memorial meal.

German Chocolate Cupcakes! My dad's favorite dessert was German Chocolate Cake. I never made it from scratch before yesterday, just box mix and pre-made icing. I wish I could have made this delightful, way easier than I thought, homemade dessert for him before he wasn't with us anymore, but I'm glad I got to make it in memory of him!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Father's Day for the Fatherless

I began writing this as a Facebook status update after waking up again this week, the week leading up to Father's Day, with heaviness. It started to get long, and then it hit me in my pre-caffeinated state that I have a blog. Duh!

Father's Day. It's this week. It's in just a few days. I'm sure you knew. It's everywhere. Every advertising email reminds us to get a gift for Father's Day. Every commercial is full of ideas for Father's Day gifts. Even Food Network shows are offering meal ideas in abundance. Kroger even has manly food on sale. It's everywhere. 

I beg you all to not just pray for me or my brother this Father's Day, but for anyone who lost a father this year or any year. They (counselors, fellow grievers, grief books and blogs) say the first year of every holiday is the worst. Father's Day feels like a different kind of worse. It's sort of like waiting for a category five hurricane to hit or waiting for a tornado to pass while hiding in your bathroom when the sirens go off. It's heavy. It's scary. I read this from a blog by someone who lost their dad 10 years ago, 

"Ever since, I have felt the most raw and exposed on Father's Day and on the anniversary of the day he died, Feb. 15. It's like a wild hunger. No amount of time could ever fully heal the pain. Father's Day, in particular, will always make that hole inside me feel deeper because my loss becomes a lot more obvious. While everyone else is gathering to show their love for their dad, I am in mourning."  (from The Globe and Mail)

And he wrote that 10 years after losing his dad. So remember the fatherless in your life this Father's Day. Celebrate! Enjoy your dad. Love him. Buy him a gift no matter how silly or last minute it is. Make him his favorite cake, even if it's from a box. Tell him you love him. Take a picture with him, you probably don't have enough. Call him. Do anything and everything you can. And when you're done enjoying every possible moment with your dad you can, pray for us. The fatherless, the widows, the ones without their sons or brothers this Father's Day. 

And if my plea and words aren't convincing enough, I'm pretty sure the Heavenly Father is okay with you thinking and praying for us too. 

"For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing." Deuteronomy 10: 17-18

"When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow." Deuteronomy 24:19-21 

"But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless." Psalm 10:14 

"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling." Psalm 68:5

"Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed." Psalm 82:3

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27

If you're fatherless this Father's Day, grieve how you need to! If you need to skip church and the Father's Day service every church will inevitably have, you have permission. Take your Bible somewhere else and spend some time with Jesus. He knows you're hurting. Take at least a moment in the day to let the Heavenly Father love you. Cry, weep, mourn. And then if you're up for it, remember. Remember him. 

I'm not going to church Sunday either. Or to Starbucks, too many people that might see me cry. I'm going to a coffee shop that's a little quieter on Sundays, spending time with my Heavenly Father on my own. I'll cry. Well, I'll cry more. This whole week has been full of tears. But I'll cry. And then I'll remember with people who can handle it and understand that it's okay to be sad and happy at the same time. The mother of the son who wrote the blog post I quoted earlier puts a yearly memorial in their local paper that reads, "My happiness is filled with sadness without you to share it with." 

Grieve how you need to! If that means being alone, it's okay! But if you don't want to be alone, surround yourself with people who will remember with you. I am planning a remember meal for my brother, my friend who also lost her dad this year, our friend who loves us, and myself. The whole meal will be made up of the favorite foods of my dad and my friend's dad. There will be a lot, but my favorite plan is to make my dad's favorite cake, German Chocolate. I've made it for him before, but used a box cake and pre-made icing. It's always been a somewhat scary task, HOMEMADE German Chocolate cake, but I'm proudly taking on the challenge for him.