Thursday, June 27, 2013

On My Bookshelf

My little bookshelf has been filled with some great books lately. I find myself doing less craft projects in my spare time and reading more. I think God is working on my heart in a few areas and that is just spilling over into my desire to want to know more and do less.

I was reading recently and my 4 year old asked what my book was about. I told her about being a good Mommy and she sweetly and sincerely replied, "you are a good Mommy". One of the best compliments you can receive! Let's hope she feels that way in 10 years, 20 years and so on.

 If you are in that season, I wanted to share a few of my current reads with you.

I am pretty excited to read this new book by Vicki Courtney called Ever After. It is next on my list. I happen to attend church with Vicki and her wonderful husband Keith leads our Sunday School class. She always offers great wisdom to us young Moms and we are all anticipating this book with great excitement. It talks about how society, movies and even Pinterest can give us unrealistic expectations of marriage, ourselves, and our children and how to debunk those myths and focus on Jesus.

A few of the girls in our class participated in the DVD Bible study for this book (coming out this fall). Click here to see more on that.  

I am in the middle of Unglued by Lysa Terkeurst. My MOPS groups is reading it this summer and it is enlightening. Lysa talks about imperfect progress with yourself- how often do we avoid starting something because we know we will not be perfect at it? Overall, the book is about keeping control of your emotions when situations are out of control. This has been so helpful in not yelling or losing my temper with my husband and child.

After attending a parenting conference in February, I read Raising Girls by Sissy Goff, one of the speakers. What a great read for Moms of girls. Sissy and her co-author are counselors and take you through each of the developmental stages of girls so that you know what is normal, what needs attention and how to relate to your child at the stage they are in. It has been immediately applicable to my 4 year old and my 11 year old niece. There is a boy Mom version- Wild Things if you are interested.

I started reading Graceful  by Emily Freeman this Spring and found it coming up in conversations with so many girlfriends of mine. It is all about being a good girl and the hidden problems associated with that. For example, if being a good girl is based upon your actions then you are constantly worried of making a bad choice and that your image will falter if that happens. It puts the focus on others, not yourself or God and leaves little room for you to step out in faith for Him. Make sense? She goes through all the different versions of good girls and where they place priority? It is life changing. I haven't started her other book, Grace for the Good Girl, but am excited to read it soon.

The others on my shelf are upcoming reads! What about you- any parenting or Christian books you can recommend? I'd love to keep up my reading into the fall.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Cilantro Chicken

I am on a Pinterest high right now- I have discovered some of the best meals of my life in my own home, cooked by me and found on Pinterest this past month. This chicken is so amazing- it has so much flavor and the sweet chili sauce really balances our the garlic. I loved it a lot! My daughter kept saying she wouldn't eat the green chicken and then I looked back and she had eaten her portion. 

Make it tonight- you won't regret it!

The full recipe can be found here, courtesy of Cooking Hawaiian Style.

PS- We made this again before I posted the original and it is just as good as full chicken breasts!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Two New Summer Favorites

We had dinner at a friend's house recently and I was responsible for sides and dessert to accompany burgers and brats. I went to Pinterest and checked my recent pins and decided to bring my favorite summertime Jalapeno Creamed Corn, fruit salad and an ice box pie.

This fruit salad is all over pinterest- such pretty colors and a really simple dressing. Just add 1/4 cup honey and 2-3 tablespoons of lime and toss it with the fruit. Given just a little time, it really sweetens all the fruit, but you don't realize it. The honey and lime blend right in and you still just taste the fruit. It made the strawberries so bright red and juicy!

For a more decadent dessert, I brought a Salted Caramel Ice Box Pie. I love anything slated caramel right now and this was no exception. It is creamy and light, cold and refreshing, and just a little salty! Two year old Cate at dinner kept saying, "yummy yummy cake". It was yummy yummy Cate!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Chipotle Pot Roast Tacos

I made these for dinner and was so impressed by how simple they are, yet so tender and flavorful. My husband called dibs on the leftovers AT THE TABLE! Delish!

Chipotle Pot Roast Tacos
courtesy of HEB grocery store and their Cocinaware line

2-3 pounds boneless shoulder cut chuck roast
salt and pepper
2 T canola oil
16 oz. jar chipotle salsa
tortillas- white corn or flour
toppings- tomatoes, red onions, cilantro, avocado, etc.

Place oven rack on bottom 1/3. Heat oven to 325.

Season roast with salt and pepper. Heat dutch oven over high heat for 3 minutes. Pour in canola oil and add roast. Cook for 3 minutes on each side. Add 1 cup water and jar of salsa.

Place inside heated oven and cook for about 2 hours. Meat should fall apart easily. Shred meat with knife and fork. Place inside tortillas with your favorite toppings.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday's Foot Fetish: Most Comfy Flats I Know

I ran into the Tory Burch outlet recently and tried on the Eddie (pronounced Eadie) flats recently. I have tried Reva flats before- I love the look of them, but they killed my feet. My friend Shelley recommended the Eddie instead. It isn't a super flashy Tory Burch flat and it is much more comfortable.

I love them! I bought a camel patent pair on clearance for $69, down from $175. I highly recommend keeping an eye out for them on sale or at an outlet near you.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Summer Chevron Burlap Wreath

I made a new wreath for my front door today just in time for summer! It was quick and easy, so I wanted to share the simple steps with you.

Here are my supplies- burlap, chevron and denim ribbon, a flower, a cheap straw wreath and floral pins. Floral pins may be my new best friend!

I started by wrapping the entire wreath in burlap. I just pinned the back side, wrapped it tight and pinned the end. Afterward, I went back and added a few extra pins along the way to keep it extra secure. No need to even take the plastic off the straw wreath.

See much better already! At this point, you have a blank canvas to add whatever you want! Fabric or felt flowers would be cute.... your monogram or wooden letter of your last name.... a giant bow.... some festive seasonal flowers. There are so many options and you've spent less than $10!

I wanted a summery look that also worked for 4th of July. So, I decided to add in reds, denim and a good ol' country sunflower! I wrapped the wreath more sparingly in red and burlap chevron. It gave me the trendy chevron look I like and brought in some color. Just use the floral pins as you did on the basic burlap base.

I then made a big poofy bow from the denim looking ribbon. I learned how to make these multi loop bows back in college while working at a craft store. I am sure there are plenty of You Tube tutorials if you need help. You essentially make loops alternating between the left and right side of the middle loop and tighten it with a pipe cleaner. I secured the bow with floral pins.

At the base of the bow, I pinned in two green leaves and my big sunflower made from burlap. This flower was $3.50 at Hobby Lobby when flowers were on sale. They had roses and white burlap options, too.

My final touch was a denim ribbon loop to hang my wreath with. 

I love the colors mixed with the burlap on my new front door just in time for summer!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Blackberry Pie Bars

I had a family reunion this weekend and along with bringing quinoa black bean salad, I made these blackberry pie bars! People, they are good. If pie scares you, do these instead. They were like a pie and a cobbler and an easy to grab and eat bar all rolled into one. And, they were especially good the next day with homemade ice cream!

Find the recipe here, courtesy of Key Ingredient.