Tuesday, April 29, 2014

annaisgrateful- week seventeen

On Friday morning, I dropped Abby off for a few days with my Mom. I'm grateful for the opportunity to miss her every now and then. I had a lot going on and she had more fun with Nana!

I love my Pro Beach Wave Curler! It gives me messy wavy hair and takes only a few minutes. I wish I could do it everyday, but fear my hair would be unhealthy. So, I do it 2-3 times per week. It is fun to have and change things up. I am so grateful to a Mom who mentioned how much she loved it!

I spent part of Friday and Saturday at a ladies retreat amongst these giant trees. Susie Davis was our speaker and she talked about God leaving us love notes throughout life and we just have to look for them. She also said to get outside more and look for God there. Like these jumbled up trees, he can make something beautiful of our jumbled up lives.

Speaking of nature, I am grateful we didn't kill our flowers this winter.

I am planning a fun little party later this summer for Abby and a few friends and these balloon topiaries were handed down to me from another friend. I am grateful she thought to share them and I can save a little money!

Finally, this morning I picked up my favorite little side kick. Our life is pretty boring without her so I am very grateful she is in our family.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Toasted Coconut Pound Cake

I made this last week for Good Friday brunch and it is delicious! The buttermilk gives it a true pound cake texture and all the toasted coconut inside and out make it a rich coconut flavor. It is a wonderful spring and summer cake to make and share!

Get the recipe from Little Bits of here

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

annaisgrateful- week sixteen

Easter Sunday was a wonderful service reminding us that Jesus did indeed rise and he now wears the crown of glory at the right hand of God. I am so grateful for His sacrifice and perfect love that He would die for me and my sins.

Good Friday was lots of fun as we hosted our annual egg hunt in the backyard. I am grateful for a little extra family time that morning before our 60 little friends arrived.

Saturday afternoon we had no plans and went to nearby Round Rock for snow cones. We have not been in at least a year. They were still yummy (and still messy)!

I tried this at Target while walking around and it is really good! It is a nice alternative to tea for me in the morning. It is a mix of water, sugar, orange juice and blood orange juice. Nothing fake in it- even the coloring comes from vegetables and natural spices. 

My child LOVES rolly pollies and we are grateful Spring is here and these little guys are back in our neighborhood.

Last Wednesday we registered Abby for kindergarten and on the same day had her end of year preschool assessment. She is great academically and still needs to mature a little socially. You know things like sharing, listening, doing what the teacher says when you don't want to. Real life stuff! I am grateful for a good report and her ability to learn. 

I love clean sheets! I once read that Oprah sleeps on clean sheets every every day. If I were super wealthy, I would totally have clean sheets that often. Last night I was grateful to get into bed with fresh clean sheets!

Have a grateful week!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Quick and Easy Caprese

My husband is a big salad guy, but Abby and I are not. I love a restaurant house salad, but at home they never taste as good. So, Marcus ends up eating a boring bag salad with dinner most nights. The other night I switched things up and made him a quick and easy caprese salad and I think it might be his new favorite.

Quick and Easy Caprese

2 handfuls of cherry/grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 cube frozen basil
2 string cheese sticks, cut into bite sized pieces.

Place cube of basil in bowl and microwave about 15 seconds. Mash up the basil with the back of your spoon. Add in the tomatoes and cheese and stir. Done! Quick and Easy!

We have also experimented and added a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. It all works well!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Grateful- Week Fifteen

Monday was a winter day in the middle of April. It was cold and rainy so I was so glad my only agenda item was the grocery store. I love being home on a rainy day!

Friday was just the opposite- sunny and filled full of errands in my 5 hours Abby was at school. She is an awesome little shopper and quick and enjoyable, but that day, I was grateful for school so I could pack it all in!

We spent Saturday morning at our friend Michael's tee ball game! It was so much fun to watch him and to see Abby cheer for him. We work really hard with her on how to be a friend and she did a great job. Michael and Abby have been friends since birth and I'm grateful they still see each other!

Sunday's message at church focused on the crown of thorns Jesus elected to wear and die for the sins of me and you. It was a wonderful reminder of the sacrifices he made. I am so grateful He died for me.

Thursday was Abby's program at our bible study. I can't say enough wonderful things about CBS and all she has learned. These little preschoolers got on stage and sang songs, called our Bible verses and sang the books of the Bible in order. It was impressive!

The other night while dinner was cooking, Marcus and Abby played with princesses on the back patio and I snapped a picture. I hope Abby knows how lucky she is to have a Daddy that knows her toys by name and plays along with her so well.

Finally, we had a big day on Tuesday. Abby mastered a gymnastics move called "skin the cat". It has been her little nemesis! She finally did it and came running out to tell me all about it. Big progress for my little scaredy cat!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Chia Seed Pudding

I saw Giada's chia seed pudding online and was intrigued. So, on my last trip to Trader Joe's, I picked up a bag to see what chia seeds were all about. They have lots of protein, fiber and omega-3 which is all great! And in this recipe, you honestly don't even taste them. They just thicken up the pudding and give it a little texture. 

The recipe is basic- almond milk, greek yogurt, vanilla, and maple syrup. With the fresh fruit and the nuts added in, it really was delicious. It didn't taste like ice cream, but it also didn't taste super healthy. I call that a win! 

Check out the recipe here and see for yourself!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Pesto Meatballs

When I have a gap in my meal planning, I just dig around on Mix and Match Mama's blog and it never fails, her recipes are always sound. Plus, I love that she sneaks veggies in. Like these meatballs with SPINACH in them! Smart Mama she is!

The recipe is here. I made them with ground turkey and they tasted great. They make a ton! We ate 6 of them and then froze the rest- my favorite kind of recipe! Easy dinner in a few weeks for us! 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Grateful- Week Fourteen

I am grateful for so many things- here is a glimpse of my week.

I am grateful to be past the baby stage of parenting, despite the super cute little shoes and clothes I always see. Abby is so independent and most days, I am really appreciative she is not a toddler anymore. 

I felt just awful last Thursday and was so grateful this text conversation led to my husband coming home within 20 minutes with lunch for Abby and working from home so I could sleep. I rarely have stomach issues and just don't handle them well at all. 

Friday I had lunch with a friend I've had since elementary school. We were college roommates and only live about 10 minutes from each other. But, kids and school schedules get in the way and I haven't seen her in months. This was my birthday card- so funny and so me. I'm grateful to have a friend of more than 20 years still in my life!

Saturday was Round Top- a semi-annual antiques show in a town about 2 hours away. I was so grateful to have some friends join me- it was their first time! Walking through junk in a field on a windy day isn't for everyone. I'm glad I have friends that like it too.

I love dinner parties because it gives me an excuse to bake! Dinner? Sure, I'll bring a cobbler!

I am grateful that for today I have a clean car! Hooray for that! Something about clean hub caps and shiny black tires makes a car look brand new again!

 Have a great week- be grateful!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Easter Decor 2014

I pulled out the bunnies and fake eggs and spruced up my home for Spring last week. It is always fun to change out my decorations and make everything feel new. I haven't bought ANY Easter decor this year, so this is all from my stash and I just try to use it differently each year.

My formal dining room table is rarely used so I love to really decorate it. We can see the pretties and not have to move them for dinner every night. 

I used a floral runner from my daughter's 3rd birthday, melamine plaid plates from Target along with buckets and lots and lots of empty plastic eggs!

On the buffet in the dining room, I placed a little collection of Peter Rabbit bunnies from Pottery Barn Kids a few years ago and other little finds.

I went a little crazy on my mantel this year and covered it with bunnies, birdies, carrots, eggs, mason jars and sweet spring flowers. These items are normally all around my house, but I put them all together for more impact. 

The small dresser in my living room was covered in an Easter runner also from PBK many years ago and a BLOOM runner I bought on EBay for a baby shower.

My kitchen bar has a collection of bright and funny bunnies and buckets. I also hung my felt bunny garland on here. I made it last year. The directions were blogged here

I was a Mary Engelbreit fanatic 10 or so years ago and these are from that collection. 

Also on the bar, I framed a printable I found online and added one last bucket and carrot.

We host a big hunt for my daughter and lots of her friends on good Friday each year and always have the most fun! I'm so glad my house is now ready for the party!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Grateful- Week Thirteen

I am going on vacation next month and look for good spritual books. I'm really excited to read this one sitting on the beach marveling at the God who made the oceans and made me!

We had what I bet is one last cold day last week which was exciting! I wore one of my favorite puffy vests and then said goodbye to sweaters and the such for a few months. This time of year is always hard- I have big arms and until they get some sunlight, I hate short sleeves! Soon enough I'll be complaining about the heat!

Abby had been growing out her hair for months and we finally can do low piggies! I'm so grateful to have more options with her hair. She has the best blond highlights (naturally of course) and her hair is a little thicker than mine and perfectly straight. I'm thinking she hit the hair jackpot!

I am grateful for God's word and my ability to start leaning on it. I have a friend that is finding great comfort in Psalm 147:3 right now and through her, I've learned a new verse and will have it in my heart forever. I feel certain I will be brokenhearted many times in my life and can lean on this verse.

Saturday was my birthday and I'm grateful I got to spend it with my family and my Dad and step Mom. We explored a fun part of South Austin and had ice cream at Lick, my very favorite shop! It was a fun day!

On Monday, I went to nearby Salado with two women from my church to the site of our retreat coming up in a few weeks. We were exploring the grounds and came upon this chapel in the woods. It was every bit as amazing as you would imagine. If I decide to renew my vows in a few years, it will happen right here in this chapel.

Finally, on Tuesday morning something really exciting happened.... WE FOUND SULTAN! Abby has lots of palace pets and we've wanted Sultan since December! Today he was just sitting there on the Toys R Us shelf. Hallelujah!

There is so much to be grateful for- you just have to look around!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Desktop

Have a great month! 

Made using Carrot Top from Sweet Shoppe Designs