Thursday, June 27, 2013

June Cara Box Exchange & Day 3 Paleo Up-Date!

I had my first experience with the Cara Box exchange this past month and it was great! The exchange is sponsored by Kaitlyn @ Wifessionals and is a wonderful month long event where bloggers and non bloggers can be joined up with a couple ladies to get to know and exchange $15 packages with. I had the pleasure of being matched up with Brooks @ Cotton & Boots and Desiree @ Macke Monologues.
These two ladies are energetic, busy women that found time to really get to know me through emails and my blog! The whole Cara Box experience was awesome and I'm just sad I missed the deadline to sign up for the July one!
Desiree is a wife and mom to a little boy named Marcus (also the name of my hometown..weird huh?!) and she was actually in Omaha and the surrounding area while we were communicating! You can check out her blog to see what I gave her :)
Brooks is a southern sweetie that is engaged and pup mom to two adorable dogs! She was spot on with her carnival package and we even sent a lot of similar items! I would laugh every time I would read her new blog posts and was blessed to be matched up with her for my first Cara Box experience.
Off to the Carnival we go....

 Kobe was excited to see what we got too and he even helped me open it!
Sweet card from Brooks that had a little story explaining each item in the package!

1 // Glow Sticks & Sparklers - Just in time for the 4th of July
2 // Pinwheels - I will use them for some crafty projects :)
3 // Sunblock (non-oily stuff that I can't bring myself to spending money on, so I was really excited about this item!)
4 // Animal Crackers - Classic and were devoured within 5 minutes of opening my Cara Box
5 // Firecracker Red nail polish - Love the color and will be painting my nails TODAY!
6 // Glade Lemonade Scented Candle - This sweet fragrance filled up the whole box and the candle is already in my kitchen to bring the smells of summer indoors! Brooks said she bought one to so we will have matching smelling houses ;)
What a great idea and wonderful experience. Connecting women through blogland and gifts!


Paleo Update!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am trying the Whole30/Paleo eating lifestyle. I have worked 12 hour shifts for the first days of going Paleo and I have learned that preparation is key so that I don't succumb to carbs and junkfood on those long nights at the hospital. Sunday I prepared hard boiled eggs and frozen fruit salads.
Strawberries, Bananas, Pineapple and a bit of OJ
Now if you are critiquing my Paleo ways you may notice OJ is not allowed. Well to really give these fruit salads a kick I had to add a little ;) The hard boiled eggs were a great end of the shift snack and the fruit helped quiet my sweet tooth! My main meals have consisted of salads with chicken sausage or chicken breast and cashews are yummy when you are still a little hungry. Plus I'm half tempted to just snag a foley catheter from the stock room because I have been gulping down water which leaves me heading to the bathroom about 4 or 5 times a shift.
So after 3 days I feel pretty good and have a decent amount of energy, but I will always miss chocolate!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Paleo Here we Go! & Tuesday Topics {Link Up}


Here I am at 3 am finally getting my second wind at work! The lovely Theresa made some fresh Folgers coffee so I'm ready for the remaining 4 hours of work!
Some of you may remember that I was doing a low carb diet. I heard about it from a co-worker and thought I would give it a shot. It did teach me some self control but I found myself tired a lot of the time and honestly really missed fruit! I have always been interested in "clean eating" and have heard a lot about the Paleo or Caveman diet. It honestly makes a lot of sense and I always wondered about the fat content when I was doing the low-carb diet and eating endless amounts of cheese.
2013 must be the year to try all different diet fads because I gave up chocolate during Lent, tried the low carb for about 6 weeks and no am on to the Paleo diet for 30 days (and if I like it and see some results then I will try to stick with it) But I guess this just means 2013 will be the year I find out what works for me :)

So here's the deal...I've done my research. And after stupidly questioning what "legumes" were (they are beans if you didn't know) I feel like I'm educated enough on this eating lifestyle and have prepped plenty of boiled eggs and frozen fruit but I think I will end up going back to the store in the morning for some almond flour, ground flax seed and almond butter. The biggest goal of this challenge is to do the Whole30 thing, which is 30 days with unprocessed foods. The first 5-7 days are the hardest but once you get over that hill and your body no longer "craves" junkfood then it gets much easier. Here is the website I am following. I love this paragraph on the site....

[[ It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Quitting heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You won’t get any coddling, and you won’t get any sympathy for your “struggles”. YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE not to complete the program as written. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth – the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime. ]]

And that is the mentality that I will have for these 30 days. I will think of my dear loves in Africa that do not have the luxury of "choosing" a diet plan that is right for them. I will think of the terminal cancer patients that I take care of that can't bear to keep down any type of food because the chemo is just so strong. If they can do it, I surely CAN!! So follow me as a drink my weight in water, eat more lettuce than Peter Cottontail and oh yeah..add yet another pinterest board entitled Paleo // Whole 30.
- Disclaimer - My Cheats -
1. Dash of milk in my coffee 2. Gum (the program states that gum confuses your brain and also has processed stuff) 3. Salad Dressing (I use the slightest bit on my salad and if I'm going to be consuming a ton of lettuce I'm going to need to spice it up a little) 4. Saltine crackers occasionally while I am at work...sometimes I feel like passing out if I can't sit down to eat and instead only have time for a 2 pack of crackers while I'm passing meds.

Life. Love.Lauren
1 // I believe in a Thing called Love by The Darkness - One of my favorite songs to workout to and always reminds me of high school when I was obsessed with this song and would always request it at school dances. The middle of the song has a killer guitar solo which I would rock the air guitar during!
2 // Mambo #5 by Lou Bega - Senior dance finale song for my last recital! The costumes were great, I had a small solo part in it and the dance was tons of Latin fun! I still remember bits and pieces of the dance sequences
3 // Thriller by Michael Jackson - Halloween Halftime show in college where our dance team dressed up as zombies and perfected the exact choreography from the Thriller music video! The audience loved it and we always text each other whenever we hear the song because it brings backs so many great memories.
4 // Streets Have No Name by U2 - Senior year of college Jazz routine where we got 2nd place at state and performed the routine at Nationals in Minneapolis. The choreography was amazing and intense. We cleaned this routine over and over and our hard work showed off!
5 // Give Me Your Eyes by Brandon Heath - This song always reminds me of my trip to Tanzania. The lyrics describe my trip and how I was able to see through God's eyes and witness a group of people that were hurting. I often think of this song and remember how God uses us for specific works we are set out to do.
Give me Your love for humanity
Give me Your arms for the broken-hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me Your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me Your eyes so I can see

Monday, June 24, 2013

5k - Plank - Junk

What a great weekend! A high school friend, Anna, was in Omaha visiting a friend and I was lucky enough to get to meet up with her for dinner! We went to the new restaurant Plank down in the Old Market. It is a seafood restaurant but luckily they also had "landfood" for this girl! Anna, Casey, her friend Claire and I had a wonderful time at the restaurant that was completely nautical theme. From the tall glass vases filled with flowers to the salmon colored booths, the atmosphere was wonderful and the food delicious! 

Skeleton of a boat on the ceiling of the restaurant! And the "caged" alcohol

Afterwards I went home and got about 15 minutes into watching tv and was passed out on the couch! It was only 9:00! I don't think it was from the Seaweed Sangria I had at dinner probably had something to do with leaving Omaha at 5:30 am to run in a 5K in Anthon. 

With a 90 minute drive fueled by coffee and an energy bar I was ready to run! I met my aunt Lynn, Grandma Carolyn, Great aunt Cathy and uncle Clayton at the start of the race where we waited for my mom to get there. My mom was going to run in the 5k but she "mysteriously" hurt her foot and decided to do just the 1 mile walk with my aunts and grandma. The rain held off for about 5 minutes into the race which was still nice because it was pretty hot even for that early in the morning. I got my second best time that I remember for a 5K so I was really proud of myself especially since my 2nd mile was faster than my 1st which is always a goal I like to have :) 

Grandma made it through the rain!
Aren't they cute with their umbrellas?

Our before and after pics!

Sunday Alex and I slept waaayyy in and headed out to JunkStock in the afternoon. I heard about this through facebook and knew of some friends that were also planning on going this weekend. The motto for the event is "Peace-Love-Junk" and features refurbished items by various vendors. There was music and yummy food vendors at the farm where the event took place. Alex and I browsed around the area and soon I was off wandering through tents by myself when Alex comes back with his parents!! They were just saying how much I would like this event and that they should have invited me. Well luckily I was one step ahead of them ;) It was a really neat event and awesome that it was right here in Omaha! There is another one in October and a friend and I are going to set up a display so that I can feature my Etsy Shop items!

love the "50 Shades of Grey" reference

Huge Peace Sign Display with real flowers inside the tires!

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”  2 Peter 3:18

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Night at the Theater

Hey everyone! Hope you are having a splendid weekend. Wanted to share about my adventures last night! Alex, Jack, Fidel and I went to World War Z at Aksarben Theater and then went to Ponzu for some sushi. Alex and Fidel have been missing out on their quality time together because school is out so it was great to finally reunite them after a month of not seeing each other! Fidel's mom dropped him off at the theater after we stopped and got some snacks at the gas station to smuggle into the theater (everyone does that right??) I had only seen a brief preview of the movie and was excited to see what all the talk was about (oh and Brad Pitt isn't bad on the big screen either) Since we sat in the handicap area at the front of the theater we were right in the action and I jumped several times! The movie had a lot of great stuff that is interesting like epidemics, zombies and oh yeah Brad Pitt ;)

 I thought the movie was pretty smart and also had some great scenery because part of the movie took place in Jerusalem. I would love to go there some day just to see all the history and be right in the setting of the Bible! I won't give away to much of the movie because I recommend you go check it out for yourself but it was one of those movies where the entire audience clapped at the end! Plus Jack said while we were walking around Aksarben that he felt like people were going to come up and bite him..Haha! 
After the movie we strolled around the area and even were at the front gates of the Gay Pride Celebration that was happening there. The music sounded like a lot of fun and we kept teasing Alex that he should go in there to see if he would get hit on ;) It didn't help matters that he was wearing a colorful tank to show of his muscles! Fidel thought our jokes were hilarious and missed poking fun at Alex like he would everyday in school. We were hungry and the only place open at 10:30 pm was a sushi place so we had some edamame and lobster ragoons to start off with. Fidel had never had edamame before so Alex showed him how to eat it which was pretty cute because Fidel didn't quite understand how to get the bean out of the pod.

Alex and Fidel shared a steak and french fries and Jack ordered the nasty seaweed stuff which turned out to be not that bad ;) I tried a couple of the tuna sushi rolls and Fidel tried sushi for the first time and enjoyed the ones with avocado! 
Best Buds!!
If you remember this post  I shared about Fidel and his back surgery. Fidel recently had a follow-up appointment and the doctors said he was doing great. His mom even shared this photo of the before and after x-rays and it is pretty remarkable to see! Medicine is truly amazing and I'm so glad to hear Fidel say "I feel great" when he talks about life after his surgery. Him and his mom want to go and talk to other kids with muscular dystrophy that are trying to decide whether or not to have surgery so they can tell their story about his great outcome! He is such a thoughtful kid and an inspiration to so many!!

BIG Difference!!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Curing NOtivation

Sometimes after working 3 twelve hour night shifts in a row by my fourth day I just want to veg out on the couch with a frozen pizza and watch some reality tv but I know my waist line wont thank me for that later! Everyday and every meal I'm thinking about my health and even though I sometimes don't always make the right choices I still consider myself a healthy person and strive for that silhouette I have in mind for my body!
I think that my goal towards a in shape body comes from my many years in dance. Every since I was 4 years old I have been in a studio lined with mirror walls, leotards and tights that leave little to the imagination. My dance teacher always motivated us to be confident and proud of our "ballerina posture" and explained that it is completely normal for a dancer to glass at her reflection in a shop window every time she passes one by because we are always aware of our bodies.  I am so grateful that I have this dancer mentality and dedication to hard work is something that will never go unnoticed.
I ran track for a couple years in high school but always cursed running when I was younger. It wasn't until I wasn't told how far I had to run or how long I had to run that I really started enjoying running. Now I strive for that runner's high and am always looking for the next 5k to sign up for. This summer I'm excited to even do my first 10k and have set up weekly mile goals so that I can finish the race strong. There are a few things that I attribute to "Curing NOtivation"...
My Husband //  I mean we met at a gym so you know the guy is fit ;) He usually works out about 4 -5 times a week and eats relatively healthy. He is a great motivator to keep the junk food out of the house and go for a run instead of sit on the couch. I also used to despise running in hot weather. If it was warmer than 80 degrees there was no way I was running until the sun went down. But now after he has pushed me to run laps in 90+ degree weather I have come to enjoy the nice sweat I get out of it! And I love doing fun things like Mud Runs or Warrior Dashes with him. He is my own personal trainer and will give me encouragement when I am feeling to tired to go on.
Pictures // yes this may seem a little superficial but all women do it, they like to look nice in photos. Us girls pose in certain ways, make sure there is the right lighting or angle just so we don't look half bad in a picture. In photos I take I want to look back on them and remember that moment rather than focusing on how chubby my stomach looked.
My Career // I am a nurse so promoting health and wellness is my business card! I see my patients struggle with Diabetes, COPD and congestive heart failure....all of which get worse with added weight gain. Nursing is a stressful occupation but I don't want to use the excuse that I don't have time to workout or eat right because I have a difficult job.
Healthy Competition // Keeping up with my friends and my sister when they are working out is a big motivator. One of my sister and I's favorite things to do together is run or any type of workout that we find on Pinterest. When she is home on holiday breaks we try and at least one workout together and we are always sharing our daily exercises together so that we can motivate the other to keep hittin up the gym!
Chocolate // pretty self explanitory... I workout so I can eat what I want and not feel AS guilty about it. Yes I would probably see more results if I didn't endulge in the occational brownie here and there but what fun would that be!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Battling With Contentment while my Heart is in Africa

A word that has been coming to my mind lately is "content" I know there are many people that struggle with the concept of contentment due to relationship issues, career goals or even while battling addiction. Contentment does not mean everything is fine and it doesn't even have to mean everything is okay but it does mean making peace with where you are in your current situation. Thankfully I am blessed with a wonderful home, loving husband and steady career which leaves me very content however there is always a yearning for ONE more thing! And that is Tanzania!
 See I went on a journey in 2009 that forever changed my life, every future goal and pulled at my heartstrings. I fell in love with a country and the beautiful people of that country!
I feel in love with giving and honest compassion for others. I feel in love with the smell of Africa, the fresh air at the base of Kilimanjaro, and the sweet, contagious smile of the African children.
 I had the pleasure of going with a great group of people, one of which I now call Mamma Gayle! I went with an orthopedic surgeon, two nursing students from Northwest college, a pre-med student and grad student that was on her second trip to Tanzania. I was really lucky to have a great group of people to go with and to share this amazing experience with!
When I went to Africa there were 3 phases that I noticed myself going through
1 // Shock - You can't imagine what you are seeing and all the devastation from being in a 3rd world country. You want to help out around the clock and feel like your efforts will never be enough
2 // Absorb - You truly feel like you can't absorb enough of it. You want to remember every minute and every second! You don't want to ever forget the faces of the Tanzania people and you just can't seem to fathom loosing that feeling of being amongst the most special people on earth!
3 // Breaking Away - You don't want to leave. The trip to the airport on your last day brings tears to your eyes because you don't want to leave this beautiful land and you know that it is so unsure as to when you will return...But you MUST return! Your heart can't find that sort of set on fire, free, overwhelming love anywhere in America.
There were times after I returned that I would just cry. I would be frustrated that I wasn't back in Africa. Angry at how much it would cost to return again. And confused as to how my friends and family could never understand how I felt while I was in Tanzania. Every story I told just couldn't express how I felt and I couldn't "bottle" up the emotion enough to explain that it was truly where I felt God's love the most!
But then my sister went to Tanzania on the same Medical Mission trip that I went on! Finally someone to talk about the Tanzania people with! Finally someone that understood what I felt and what I saw! And we made a promise to each other that we would return again to Tanzania but this time we would go together!
So that is why my heart is yet to be content. Because there is a piece of my heart that is in Tanzania! I'm glad I have the warm memories and hundreds of photos to keep my heart steady while I wait for a return trip to that special land unlike no other.
I'll leave you with this. It is from the blog A Holy Experience
You have got to use your position inside the gate for those outside the gate – or you’re in the position of losing everything. There are a thousand ways to be the living dead.
If you have any food in your fridge, any clothes in your closet, any small roof, rented or owned, over your head, you are richer than 75% of the rest of the world. We are the Esthers living inside the palace.
If you have anything saved in the bank, any bills in your wallet, any spare change in a jar, you are one of the top 8% wealthiest people in the world. We are the Esther’s living inside the gate.
If you can read these words right now, you have a gift 3 billion people right now don’t, if your stomach isn’t twisted in hunger pangs, you have a gift that 1 billion people right now don’t, if you know Christ, you have a gift that untold millions right now don’t. We are the ones living inside the gate.

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

#1 Cause of Death in America & {Topic Tuesday Link Up}

I have to share something that has been on my heart a lot lately. Yesterday while at work at AAA Center for Pregnancy Counseling I picked up a book that I noticed on one of the desks there. It was called "Unplanned" and tells a story of a women who worked at Planned Parenthood for 8 years before realizing what was happening right before her eyes! Right away I started reading the book because I was curious as to what she had to say about this unique change of heart experience she had. I couldn't put it down and was almost brought to tears by just the first few pages.  I will continue to read it and do a book review in the months to come!
We had a difficult case while I was working yesterday too. A woman came in that was pretty determined that she knew the outcome of her pregnancy would be an abortion. But by the will of God her heart opened up and she was willing to consider being a parent! I see things like this all the time at the center and am so over-joyed to be part of this great organization.

Last night I went for a little jog and did a HIT workout that lasted about 20 minutes. After that Alex and I watched Identity Thief which we both found to be pretty hilarious! I loved all of Melissa McCarthy's little comments like "Stop being a Vagina!" 

Then right before heading to bed I stumbled upon this blog post and found that yet again God was placing these poor women and helpless babies on my heart. H.R.1797 is a House Bill that, if passed, would ban abortions after 20 weeks due to the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. At 20 weeks if a woman is going to have in-utero surgery, the doctor would administer pain medication to the baby, however if an abortion is performed at the same week gestation, the baby would receive NO pain medication! Astonishing isn't it? Thankfully, Congressman Jeff Fortenberry who is the representative of my district and Congressman Steve King who is the representative of my hometown district both co-sponsor this House Bill so I know their stance on the issue! I had to do some research and it was interesting to see that on this site  you can follow the bill as it goes through legislature. I pray that these lawmakers defend these women and babies!

On a MUCH lighter note.... I am linking up again for Topic Tuesday! This week is 6 Favorite Products.

1 // Caribou Coffee - Just the best! Unfortunately the closest Caribou coffee shop is in Sioux City but luckily I can still buy the grounds at Hy-Vee
2 // Advocare Nutrition Bar - best tasting energy bar I have tried and I really do think it fuels me for a workout! (sometimes you wonder if it is just all mental) This is the Double-Chocolate flavor I got from my Mom for my birthday. Each bar has 140 calories and 10 grams of Protein 
3 // Mod Podge - A must have for me with all my DIY projects!
4 // Kindle - Great summer accessory poolside or long roadtrips. Currently reading "Gone Girl" 
5 // Soysationals Inspirations Candle - This was a gift from Alex. One of his co-workers makes these and I have to remember to get more! These candles actually smell continuously whether they are lit or not! They have a strong warm fragrance that fills up my basement bathroom.
6 // Psalm 51:10 Mosaic Decor -  Shameless plug for my Etsy Shop :) This honestly is one of my favorite products in my shop and if you want your very own feel free to contact me or comment below!

Life. Love.Lauren

Have a great & blessed Tuesday everyone!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Happy Friday Everyone! {Link-Up}

I'm linking up today to share 5 random things with you!

[ONE] is the number of shifts I have before a 3 day weekend and I'm pretty excited! I was also excited last night when I got to work and was just starting to get report and found out that they had forgotten to mark someone down on patient assignments sheet and turns out I was free to go back home! Which makes for one very happy sleep deprived night nurse!

[TWO] The number of miles I ran today in this blazing sunny weather! Thank goodness there was a breeze! I rode my bike to the high school track that isn't too far from our house and then ran a couple miles before heading back home. I was tuckered out afterwards but it was a great workout! It doesn't help that my bike (free from my aunt) is just a tad small for me so it really gives my quads a workout.

[THREE] things I'm thankful for Prayer, My home and My job. I'm very thankful to be able to connect with God daily. We have a wonderful home that I am so glad Alex found while it was on the market. Something as simple as having a roof over your head makes you feel like a very blessed individual. And my occupation and job and the hospital and pregnancy center really are a big part of my character and I'm glad to have such a rewarding and stable career. 

[FOUR] It may be odd but I find myself saying little mantras in my head to get me through my workout.  Sometimes I say "just one more mile" or recite a bible verse like "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength" Other times I'm thinking of the individuals that can't run and making sure I get in a lap for them. But I recently found this on Pinterest and it is so true! 

[FIVE] Happy Early Father's Day!! I have the best dad in the world and even though I won't get to spend father's day with him I will probably me spending it with my new Father-in-Law and then next weekend seeing my dad! I got him an awesome gift so I'm excited to see his face when he opens it! My dad has been my strength during times of depression in my life and is always there when I call! During planning for my wedding I really appreciated all the effort he put into making things just right! He was like my fill in wedding planner ;) From the music to making steps for the wedding aisle (which he called an alley-way..haha) he just out does himself again and again! When I had my bachelorette party last August I was worried about the little details and he said to me "Don't worry about a thing, everything will be taken care of and you will have a great time!" He drove my bridesmaids and I on the boat and picked us up from the bar in the pouring rain! 

P.S. I will be thinking of my Dear Friend Kendra this Sunday as it is the first Father's Day without her Daddy. His life on this earth was far too short and I can't even begin to imagine the pain she is going through every day! If you are a praying person please say an extra prayer for her and her family! 

I know it's Not {Tuesday Topics}

Life. Love.Lauren

Hey everyone, I know that I'm a little behind but I found this a few days late so I'm going back in time for a {Tuesday Topics} post on a Thursday night. I found this topic list from a fellow nurse blogger named Lauren also and really liked all the ideas :)

Ten: Things that make you happy

Well I can think of a lot more than ten but I will save you the long list and just tell you a few! 
1 // Jesus! My heart sings for Him and I know the creator of the Heavens has my life in His hands. I really don't know how people go through life without faith and I'm not about to try and find out!! I rely on God for so many things and pray to Him often during times of fear, anxiety, and blessings! If you have any questions about The Man Upstairs..feel free to ask me :)
2 // My Family Another easy one, they make me over filled with Joy! They have shaped me into the woman I am today and have given me the best morals, childhood, and foundation that a girl could ask for! 

Love them to Pieces!

3 // My Husband I brag about my husband often because he does just make me so happy! He is a strong, caring man that does remarkable work with 2 kids that are handicapped and his second job also shows his amazing heart because he works at Omaha Home for Boys which is a place that helps troubled teen boys. He is a wonderful role-model for those kids and I'm so glad that God picked him to be my partner in life! I find the little things he says to me to be the sweetest even if it is just telling me to drive safe to work!

4 // Kobe Ok this lil fur ball just makes me giddy! He is so stinking cute and makes me laugh everyday. I love his split personality between cuddling with me while I sleep and trying to attack my wrist when he wants to play. He is a Siamese cat that has a lot of energy and climbs on the counters far too often but I have a hard time disciplining him when he looks at me with those precious blue eyes. 

5 // Coffee This is a must for a night shift nurse and I really do have an addiction to coffee. I crave it even when I am the slightest bit tired and give other nurses a funny look if they tell me they don't like coffee! My "usual" from Starbucks is a Grande Skinny Hazelnut Latte but if I'm in the area of 114th and Blondo I love to go to Foxhollow Coffee Shop by our old apartment building because I love the atmosphere there!
Of course I had to get a Latte on my Wedding day! Thanks to my Sister!!

6 // Sweating yes this one seems odd but there is nothing better than getting a great sweat going from an intense workout. Whether it be a zumba class or a job outside, I enjoy sweating and don't feel like I have really gotten a decent workout until a sweat through my sports bra. 
7 // Ice Cream me being the chocoholic that I am (my mom ate WAY too many sweets while I was in the womb!) I love a good blizzard from DQ or a big bowl of Blue Bunny Cookies & Cream Ice Cream. Did you know that I grew up 19 miles from the ice cream capital of the world?!? Living that close to the Wells Blue Bunny plant probably has something to do with my love of ice cream!
8 // Country Music Again this one reminds me of home! I love my pandora station of Country Hits and even though I would call myself a true hick (Alex would disagree) I still love a good country concert or listening to country radio whenever I'm traveling back to the farm. 
My Favs - Carrie Underwood, SheDaisy, Lady A.
9 // The King of Queens Probably one of my favorite shows (behind Friends and Boy Meets World) Kevin James is so hilarious and everything about this show makes me laugh out loud! It gets me through my nights of insomnia and is full of funny topics! Alex has a friend that reminds us of "Doug" and we always bring up episodes  to talk about whenever he is around! 
10 // Crafting Yeah I liked it so much I even opened an Etsy Shop because of it! I have enjoyed scrapbooking and creating gifts since as long as I can remember! It comes in handy when I want something with a special meaning to give to a friend or family member and after I finish a Pinterest project I get very very excited and can't wait to show everyone ;) 
10 + 1 // My Friends I have been blessed with some pretty amazing women in my life that have been through with ups and downs with me! They are always up for a good time, make me laugh, and are there for me when I just need a hug! My favorite ladies (you know who you are) will continue to be my lifelong friends even as we get wrinkles and can no longer find an excuse to wear our 80's costumes!


Thursday, June 13, 2013

This & That {Mid Week Thoughts}

Hi Everyone, after I posted a recipe and tutorial plus weekend events I thought I would just share some random thoughts. First one has to be a funny moment at work. I was helping a co-worker turn a patient and this lady was yelling out "Help me Jesus..Oh Lord!" because she was hurting pretty bad. I think to myself..Oh this women must be a believer and a nice Christian lady. Well I was a little wrong. The next statement out of her mouth was "You know you are going to burn in hell for all the stuff you are putting me through!" Wow Lady! that is a pretty strong statement for 3 in the morning. Of course statements like this aren't rare up on the 9th floor so my co-worker and I just laughed it off. I should report that this lady was pretty confused too! The lady then continued to say that she was going to smack us and my co-worker reminded her that assaulting a health care worker is a felony (One of my favorite laws!)
I'm really liking this song right now by Chris August. The song has really grown on me and as a newlywed I like how it tells a story. I get goosebumps every time I listen to it and it has a strong message that couples really do give up to easily on their marriage and need God in the center.
Part of the Lyrics say
He said with this ring I promise, and with I do she said forever
But right now if they're being honest they don't know if they'll stay together
Let's fast forward to the future after struggling on their own
They finally figured out they needed Jesus in the middle
Now I'm watching God rebuild their home
And I have a confession also. On this blog I talk a lot about the pregnancy center and some people may not believe with some of the stances I take on issues of abortion and pro-choice. But I can say that I have not always been fully one side or the other. My mother is liberal and just like many teenagers, you develop a lot of your beliefs based on what your parents think. My mom expressed the importance of pro-choice and how it is a women's right to choose what she wants to do with her pregnancy. And for a long time that made sense to me, but now I can strongly say that you don't have to be pro-choice to still be a feminist! Being a feminist can span as far as fighting for the right to live of that unborn baby GIRL!
The first time that I heard about the pregnancy center it was at King of Kings Church. The director at the time was giving a speech on what the pregnancy center does and right away I felt drawn to that place. I still had my reservations about the whole pro-life/pro-choice thing but once the director said a specific part of her speech I was forever convinced. She explained that those babies that are aborted could have been the next President or the person to find a cure cancer. Those lives that God had planned out were lost though and their opportunity to do good in the world was no more!

New Twist on an Old Favorite!

Hop on over to my updated #SRT page. The devotional this month is over 1st Peter and is really great!!
"When we submit to another out of reverence to Christ, we replicate (faint though it may be) the very submission of Christ on the cross—the very heart of the gospel.” -Nate Shurden

Learn how to make it!!

Also Check out the detailed tutorial for this DIY Cakestand

Last night Jack came over to watch the 2nd half of the finals game with Alex and I made a "remixed" version of my stuffed shells recipe. Since stuffing those jumbo shells is such a chore and takes way too long, I decided to just get the lasagna noodles and roll up the mixture which is MUCH faster. I also added zucchini to my half of the recipe because Alex is too picky of an eater and I didn't want to chance it by making his half healthy too! (Heaven forbid!) So here is a step by step recap of the recipe.
I used ground chicken breast (a discovery I just made about 6 months ago) because it is quicker and the chicken gets diced up pretty small. Then boiled the noodles for 8 minutes so they were still pretty sturdy. Combines the pound of chicken breast, 3/4 container of cottage cheese (this is what makes it so yummy), 1/2 package of shredded cheese and then 1/2 a zucchini. I was going to add spinach but decided against it.
Then I laid the noodles on wax paper and spread the mixture on the noodles (just takes a thin layer because other wise it will spill out) and roll the noodles. Place the noodles in a 9x13 pan that had a thin coat of marinara sauce on the bottom. Once you have all the noodles in place you can put more shredded cheese on and then the remaining sauce from the jar. Cover with tinfoil and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Enjoy!

Unfortunately I only alloted myself one stinkin' roll because of my low carb diet. Just one of those lasagna noodles has 20 grams of carbs!!! This is Alex's favorite dinner and I can always tell because the next day he takes the WHOLE container of leftovers to work and I never see them come back.

Last saturday I picked up my NEW glasses and was pretty excited to wear them that night for Kendra's party! I got some compliments on them and even got bored at work and took the opportunity to take some nerdy pics.
Strong lil buggers!!
Kendra's party was a lot of fun. Even though it was mostly family that was there I was still excited to see her family and Trent's family. We had brats and burger, taco dip (my favorite!), oreo fluff, corn/macaroni casserole (Kendra's mom's specialty) and cake! Trent's grandmother was hilarious because she even had a Budlight Lime-A-Rita and was convinced the 8% alcohol in the tiny 8 ounces was going to put her to sleep! It was pretty strong but really tasty mixed with ice and lemonade :)
After Kendra's I weathered the rain and went over to Eric and Lauren's block party. They had a firepit going and it was a relaxing time! Debbie and I talked about and started planning our family vacation hopefully in Okoboji in July which will be a nice 3 day vacation with the kids!
Oh how I miss the Lakes!! This is Arnold's park all lit up with the Oldest wooden roller coaster in Iowa.

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