Friday, July 3, 2015

Friday Five: July 4th Recipes to Try

Hello from Atlanta!  We left yesterday to celebrate the holiday with friends, some Atlanta Braves baseball, and the Peachtree Road Race.

Whatever your plans are for this Independence Day weekend, I hope you're going to have a great one!  A lot of people's plans involve a July 4th-themed party or barbeque.  If you're looking for something to bring to those parties, this post is just for you!

Here are five recipes with a patriotic twist that will surely be a hit at any party!

1. Red, White, and Blueberry Parfaits
Image Source
This recipe from Kim is super simple and looks delicious!  It also looks like a great way to get the kids involved in food prep just like Kim!

2. 4th of July Strawberries
Image Source
I found this recipe on Pinterest before the 2012 Summer Olympics and made them for the opening ceremonies party we had!  My attempt didn't quite turn out as pretty, but they tasted great!
These are the perfect little treat to take to any July 4th party!!

(Side Note: After making these, I was so upset that they didn't look very pretty that I almost didn't bring them to the party.  Joe told me they looked great and said that he would say he made them so that I wouldn't feel bad about how they looked.  What a sweetie!!)

3. American Flag Cake
Joe and I were on our honeymoon in Mexico for July 4th, but the resort celebrated American Independence Day with an American flag cake! (as well as people dressed up as Captain America, the Statue of Liberty, a turkey, and Abraham Lincoln! haha!)
I've always wanted to recreate a cake like that, which seems pretty easy to do!
Image Source
Here's two recipes for American flag cakes:
Jello Easy Patriotic Flag Dessert (pictured above)
Red, White, and Blue Layered Flag Cake (this would be so cool but seems complicated)

4. Lemonade Iced Tea
Image Source
You have to have something to drink during a July 4th party, right?  Well, to me, nothing says "America" like lemonade and sweet tea!  This recipe looks really tasty, and I like how they offer a suggestion for making it an alcoholic beverage.

5. Savory Bacon and Balsamic Watermelon Salad
Image Source
Last, but not least, this recipe looks like the perfect side dish to take to a July 4th party!  Who doesn't love bacon and watermelon?  Those two tastes sound like they'd be really, really good together.

I'm linking up with Courtney, Cynthia, and Mar today for Friday Five!  Check out everyone else's 4th of July themed posts!
Happy Independence Day, all my American friends!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

2015 Goals: Mid-Year Check-In

We're officially halfway done with 2015, so it's time to take a look at how I'm doing with my goals for the year!
1. Memorize 24 verses of Scripture through the Siesta Scripture Memory team.
Well, considering I haven't even picked a Scripture to memorize since March, I'll have to give myself an F on this.  I don't know what caused me to lose my excitement about this at the beginning of March, but I just have not been motivated to this one.  After posting this, I'm going to find a verse to work on and will hopefully renew my commitment to this from here on out!

2. Be the mother God would have me be.
Well, I'm definitely a mother now, and I pray that I am bringing glory to God and pleasing Him while doing so.  I do feel like I'm getting the hang of being a mom, and I sure am enjoying al the time I get with Baby Fish.  Going back to work at the end of the month is going to be hard!

3. Run the Richmond Marathon in November.

I have been running since being cleared to do so, but I have yet to sign up for the Richmond Marathon. I'm hoping to make a final decision on that in the next two weeks.  I'm going to start following an online marathon training plan, and if I can stick with it for two weeks, then I'll sign up for the marathon!

4. Take care of daily chores first.
I'm doing a great job with this goal, mainly because my only jobs right now is being a mom and cleaning the house!  We'll see how I do with this once the new school year gets going :)

5. Meal plan to ensure healthy eating and save money.

Doing the 21 Day Fix in June helped me get back on track with this goal.  I am not fully planning out the week's meals before going to the store, but I am making a plan for perishable items at the store before purchasing them.  That's easy to do now, since I can spend all the time in the world at the store if I want.  So, again, we'll see how I do with this once work starts!

Overall, I'm not doing too bad with my goals (except for the first one)!  I have some things I need to work on, and hopefully in the next month I'll decide on the marathon.  

Other goal check-ins for the year:

Question for you: How are you doing with your goals for the year?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

WIAW #55: 3rd Anniversary!

Well, hey there!  How's it going, everyone?  I didn't mean to disappear, but such is life with a newborn!
She's so much fun.  And now that we're in July and I go back to work at the end of the month (WHAT!?!?), I'm soaking in all the time I can with her.  It's going to be hard leaving this cute face every morning.
I also meant to post yesterday, as June 30th is a special day in my life!
It's the day that Joe and I got married, three years ago!  We had a great day celebrating our marriage, so let's use today's What I Ate Wednesday post to tell you all about it.
Thanks to Jenn for the link-up this week!  Head on over to her blog, Peas and Crayons,  for more of the WIAW fun!
Side Note: I finished the 21 days of the 21 Day Fix, but I am still trying to use the meal plan to help myself continue the healthy choices!
I stayed up after feeding Baby Fish to socialize with Joe while he got ready for work.  I ate a bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats and a purple container of watermelon for breakfast while doing so!  I also gave Joe one of his two presents--an Atlanta Braves lunch cooler!  He was so excited and packed it up to use that day.
Morning Snack
I forgot to take a picture, but I filled a green container of baby carrots to snack on while playing with Baby Fish on the play mat.  I love how excited she always is while looking at everything and grabbing things!
Lunch was a salad of mixed greens, cucumber, onion, green and red peppers, and tomato.  I ate a fruit cup of pineapple and an orange container of raw almonds.  Light, but yummy!  While I ate, Baby Fish napped, as did the rest of the crew around here.  It was storming outside, so what better way to enjoy a rainy day?

Afternoon Snack 1
I ate this Chocolate Peppermint Stick Luna bar while feeding Baby Fish after her nap.  These things are so yummy!
Afternoon Snack #2
While Baby Fish and I played on the play mat again, I drank my Shakeology, blended with coffee and ice.  I love to drink it this way, since it pretty much tasty like a mocha Frappuccino!

Joe got home from work and went for a run with Tequila before we went to dinner.  I got his second gift ready and gave it to him before going to dinner--a framed picture of our daughter for his desk at work. 

Fun fact: he asked for both of his anniversary gifts for Father's Day, but I already had other ideas for his gifts.  I could tell he was disappointed on Father's Day, but it was great to see his excitement on our anniversary!
We headed on to a local restaurant called Friends Grille and Bar that buys from as many local vendors as possible.  The food was really good, and you could tell how fresh it was!  I ordered the blackened gulf shrimp with the roasted baby carrots.  I really enjoyed it and ate every last piece!
Baby Fish slept for most of the meal, and we had a good time reflecting on our third year of marriage and talking about the year to come!
When we got home, Joe gave me his present to me--a pair of white heeled sandals to replace my old ones.  It was the perfect gift, since I'd been talking about getting new ones!

And there you have it!  I hope to be back with a mid-year goals reflection, but we'll just see how things go!

Question for you: What do you do to celebrate anniversaries?

Friday, June 26, 2015

Friday Five: Five Things I Was Doing Ten Years Ago

Hey everyone!  Sorry for the lack of posts.  I think y'all understand, though.  I'm trying to soak in all the time I can with this little girl before I go back to work before long!

When I saw today's Friday Five topic, I just HAD to participate!
We're taking a walk down memory lane by sharing "Five Things I was Doing 10 Years Ago!"  This time of year 10 years ago was a pretty awesome one in my life.  Let's take a look at why:

(Thanks Courtney, Cynthia, and Mar for the link-up!)

1. Acting in the school musical.
My senior year of high school, I was in the musical Big River.  It's basically the story of Huckleberry Finn, which explains our old-timey costumes.  I loved my drama classes in high school, as well as being in all the plays.

2. Meeting Fall Out Boy
Ahhhh yes, 10 years ago my obsession with Fall Out Boy was just beginning.  They played at the local rock station's birthday bash, and I was able to meet them just before they became really popular.  Right after I took this picture of them, I turned the corner and sobbed my eyes out because I was just so excited.  #embarrassing

3. Graduating from High School
I can't believe that it's been 10 years since I graduated high school!  It does NOT seem like it's been that long.  This picture is from the graduate reception at church.  I grew up with just about all of these people from infancy and still keep in touch with many of them today!

4. Working as a camp counselor

From 2002-2007, I spent every summer as a camp counselor at Westview on the James.  That place holds such a special place in my heart!  This is me and one of my best camp friend, Daphne, leaving the Friday night program when the campers left.

5. Getting ready for college!
I started college in August 2005.  Here's the way my side of the dorm room was set up.  Ohhhhh, the memories!  Just looking at this picture takes me back to the days of working on homework at that desk,  climbing up to that bed (which was pretty comfy), and the fire alarms that constantly went off.

I was pretty busy 10 years ago!  That was so fun to go through all my old pictures.  I can't wait to see what all the other bloggers were doing 10 years ago, too :)

Question for you: What were you doing 10 years ago?