Friday, March 7, 2014

7 Quick Takes (vol. 19)

Another week come and gone, and Lent is here to stay for a while. Here's some randomness from my week.

~~ 1 ~~
So I started Reading this book
And it's great. Even though I'm not married yet it's has some great exercises to do with your significant other and I love that it's based on years and years and years of research. It's fascinating!

~~ 2 ~~
Did anyone else read hardcore depressing books in middle school and Jr. High? I was all about Lurlene McDaniel. This article is spot on and cracked me up.

~~ 3 ~~
Super exciting news! So Venerable Fulton Sheen is one step closer to becoming a Blessed and then a Saint (God willing)! 
James' alleged "miracle" is one step closer to being recognized as a miracle by the church!
Head over to Bonnie's Blog for the full story and press release from the Archbishop Sheen Foundation.

~~ 4 ~~
So it feels like Spring! I don't want to jinx it but I am all for it and can't wait for this again
fresh flowers sound amazing!

~~ 5 ~~
Speaking of spring...I love the idea of growing a garden with a them. For example: a pizza garden or salsa garden. I'm great with herbs so maybe I should add tomatoes this year. The promise of Spring is exciting :)

~~ 6 ~~
One of the things I'm doing for Lent this year is being more present in my prayers. I found myself "multitasking" while saying some of my prayers throughout the day, so this Lent I'm sitting still, often closing my eyes and actually focusing on the words I'm saying. I should probably apply this to other aspects of my life as well. Being present is important and whomever I am talking to, whether it's God, a friend or my fiance, they deserve my attention. They are worth it.

~~ 7 ~~
My brother is throwing a Mad Hatter party tonight. So I'm off to that.

hope you all have a fabulous weekend!
For more Quick Takes, head on over to Conversion Diary.

Friday, February 28, 2014

7 Quick Takes (vol. 18)

Alright, so it's Friday (finally) and I'm super excited for a weekend...with no plans! Yep, I'm off to spend it with my fiance but other than that it's a clean slate. I'm excited. Here's my random list for the moment...

~~ 1 ~~
So I made these last night

Yep, Blueberry Donuts. They're pretty great. I left off the glaze (I can't handle too much sugar in the morning) and the recipe made 1 pan (6 donuts) of the full size donuts and 1 pan (12 donuts) of the mini donuts (the minis I baked at 350 for 8 minutes). If you haven't made homemade donuts, you should. They're easy and oh so yummy.

~~ 2 ~~
 I finished "Dear Mr. Knightley" last night and loved it! This is the 2nd book in a row (the first being "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society") that I have finished which are the only books the author has written.  I want more, more from these characters I've come to love. Anyone else ever feel like that? 

~~ 3 ~~
There is a lot of cute wedding stuff and there is also a lot of ugly wedding stuff out there. Since I'm getting married at the end of the year I've been browsing everything from cake stands to floral arrangements. There's something to be said for simplicity.

~~ 4 ~~

Lent is next week. That's crazy, and also kind of awesome. I was talking with a couple of friends last night about how great the season of Lent is. I'm not sure exactly when I switched from dreading Lent and the idea of giving up something I loved to loving the idea of sacrificing so that I can grow stronger in my faith and closer to God. Whenever it happened, I'm glad it did.

~~ 5 ~~
So I'm on the search for lunches that I can take along to work in the morning (salads and wraps are great for only so long). Any favorites? This living 35 minutes from work put a stop to my going home to eat on my lunch break. 

 ~~ 6 ~~
 I'm ready for a road trip, a change in scenery. Thankfully I'm finalizing plans for a trip the end of March. Bring on the grown-up spring break (more sleep, great conversation, awesome new adventures).

 ~~ 7 ~~
Have an awesome weekend! It's Friday Night! Does anyone else ever miss TGIF on ABC?  I'm sure the shows wouldn't be as good if I watched them again, but still, best night ever!

For more Quick Takes, head on over to Conversion Diary.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What I've Been Up To (The Sunny February Edition)

What I've been reading.

What I've been baking
This was my Valentine's Day dessert. The icing is amazing! A word to the wise, if you're going to make chocolate covered strawberries eat them right away. I tried to freeze them, big mistake, although I heard you can refrigerate them.

I used Nutella as the filling
Great with crackers. My recipe was out of a Jamaican cookbook, but looks very similar to this one.

What I'm listening to (Music).

 I am loving John Mayer's album Paradise Valley.

What I'm listening to (books).
  Now that I have a longer commute to work I've been flying through audio books. Some were great some, well not as great. I'm just going to include the ones I liked.
This story was so interesting. It's about the true story of one of the main contributors to the Oxford English Dictionary.
by Edward Irving Wortis

I loved this story. It's a great adventure story, something I wanted to keep listening to until the end.
This book was wonderful! It is definitely one of my favorite books, and the audio book was so well done.
I listened to this on my long drive to Nebraska. It was great. I don't have kids and I still loved it.
What I've been doing to enjoy these past few snowy months

Well I got engaged a few months back :)
So it's been a lot of trying to decide what our wedding will look like. Lots to plan.

Also, I moved the end of January, so I've been settling in and still doing a bit of rearranging.
That's been my life recently, oh and watching the Olympics, which I didn't have nearly enough free time to watch. Hope you are all well and enjoying life!

Any suggestions for books to read or listen to? I'd love to hear what you're loving!

Friday, September 13, 2013

7 Quick Takes (vol. 17) Awesome Recipe Edition

I have been loving all the fabulous end of summer/beginning of fall produce and (finally!) the awesome fall weather! Here are a few of the recipes I've made lately and loved (7 Quick Takes Style ;)
 ~~ 1 ~~ 

 So I canned peaches with a friend and this recipe was the perfect use for some of them.
These are great for a little handheld snack for football parties or other fall get togethers. Simple to make too.

~~ 2 ~~

Oh my goodness I absolutely loved this recipe!! The flavor was amazing and because the only chocolate is the little bit of Nutella on top it wasn't over powering. A must try if you're looking for a good use of your zucchini.

~~ 3 ~~

I made a smaller version of this for supper the other night, added some zucchini and black olives to the finished pasta and it was pretty amazing. (I used this awesome Italian pasta that I got at Pike's Market when I was in Washington, which just made the recipe even better.)
~~ 4 ~~
Fruit Crumble

So I am absolutely loving Daphne Oz's cookbook "Relish", that's where you can find this recipe. I am really into coconut oil at the moment (I found a bottle at Marshalls, who knew?!). This is a simple crisp recipe that you bake in single serving ramekins. Top with vanilla ice cream and they are awesome! I made it the first time with strawberries and rhubarb and the second with peaches and strawberries. Both were great.

~~ 5 ~~
These were a great pick-me-up snack that I didn't feel quite as guilty eating. They kept great in the fridge for a week or two. I left out the pumpkin seeds and flax seed and they were still yummy.

~~ 6 ~~
My Mom's Potato Salad
There are a ridiculous amount of varieties of potato salad. I grew up on this one and so I'm a bit biased, but I like it because it's simple, you can actually taste the potatoes and it's an easy base recipe if you want to add anything (plus it uses celery salt instead of celery, which is fabulous for those of us that aren't too fond of celery).
~~ 7 ~~
I don't have another new recipe that I've made lately (that I liked enough to share), so I suppose you get 6 instead of 7.

I'm off to Nebraska this weekend for some awesome family time. I get to see my awesome sister sister at her convent :)

I hope you all enjoy the weekend!
For more Quick Takes, head on over to Conversion Diary.

Friday, August 16, 2013

7 Quick Takes (vol. 16) or What I Learned Traveling Cross Country with my Boyfriend...

So August 5-13 my boyfriend and I road tripped from Wisconsin to Seattle, Washington. It was awesome, I loved it. Here are a few things I learned along the way.
 ~~ 1 ~~
Long trips are more fun if your travel-mate is willing to pose for random pictures
pictures taken at the Frontier Village in Jamestown, ND

 At Salem Sue, New Salem, ND
and take them!
~~ 2 ~~
At the Crab Pot in Bellevue, WA

"When in Rome do as the Romans do" or in our case, when on the coast eat lots of seafood. Oh and don't be afraid to try something new.

~~ 3 ~~
If something sounds cool, stop.
Jeremiah saw a sign for the Theodore Roosevelt National Park so we stopped.
The view was gorgeous!

~~ 4 ~~
Take time to have fun.
 Jeremiah skipping rocks at Glacier National Park, evidently he's an excellent rock skippper.

~~ 5 ~~
It's ok to be touristy
 At Pike Place Market in Seattle, WA

At the Space Needle (their cheesy pictures they take of everyone then you choose the background)
~~ 6 ~~
Just do it, don't ask questions don't think about it just do it
Do the fun random things that the locals do, or the fun and random things that the tourists do, either way, just do it.
~~ 7 ~~
Eat good food (preferably local food)
 Evening snack of brie+local fudge+local wine = awesome!
 Eating Huckleberry Ice Cream.

That's the very condensed version of my trip. I hope you are all enjoying your August!
For more Quick Takes, head on over to Conversion Diary.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Month Catch-Up

Here's what I have been up to for the past month, lots of fun stuff. Hope your summer is super awesome and you are making time to do the fun stuff that makes you smile.

My lovely sister (who is a sister with the School Sisters of Christ the King) had her home visit the end of June, so it was lovely seeing her and having some good old fashioned family time.

Including a picnic by the Mississippi and a triathlon (badminton, horse shoes and croquet)

 I got to spend an awesome afternoon with my adorable Godson and his family.

Threw a summer party that was a blast. Lots of great food, drinks, awesome people, fun games and all around good times. (Minus, of course, the mosquitoes!)

Celebrated Jeremiah's niece's 1st Birthday.

Made these for our my dad's side's family get together.

My little brother moved to Wisconsin earlier this month. That makes three of us :) I'll take it!

I've been loving concerts on the square (there was this insanely good harmonica player the last time I went), if there is any free music concerts offered in the summer in your part of the country I highly recommend you attend. 

Alright, that's it for me for now. I'm off to enjoy some more summer fun :)

Friday, June 14, 2013

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 15)

It's summer! I am supper excited :) Excited for longer days, warm weather, plants on the patio, flowers blooming, fresh fruits and veggies. I love it! Alright on to a quick list of my recent crazy life.
 ~~ 1 ~~

We had a siblings day a couple weeks ago because my younger brother was up for a wedding so we had some awesome hangout time and went to the great Wollersheim Winery (which I love). We're quite the stair-steps in the above picture.

This is what happens when Kevin chooses the pose. I can say that I think we entertained the lovely lady that took our picture, we were quite the group ;)

~~ 2 ~~
Did you know that they call Rockford, IL the Home of the Sock Monkey? Yeah, me neither. But it's true, I was there.

~~ 3 ~~
Over Memorial Day Weekend (I'm telling you, this is a hardcore catch-up post) my parents were up and we spent Saturday hanging out with my Dad's family and visiting the graves of my grandparents, great-grandparents and even great-great grandparents. The rain held off and it was a beautiful day.

We said a rosary at each of the cemeteries. It was a nice day of reminiscing about the past.
~~ 4 ~~
Last weekend I spent in the Wisconsin Dells with my boyfriend. It was a wonderful mini-vacation. The above picture was taken on the Original Wisconsin Ducks. I had never been and loved it. Wisconsin is such a gorgeous state. The tour was of course filled with all kinds of corny jokes that you had to laugh at, it's a very family friendly little tour.
~~ 5 ~~
 These Kangaroos were in the "nursery" the grown ones were outside in a larger area.

While in the Dells we also went to The Timbavati Wildlife Park. It was neat to see the variety of animals they had, but I didn't like the lack of space the animals had. They are doing a lot of remodeling,  so it may be better in a year or two.

 Can you tell he's an animal person?

~~ 6 ~~
 I was given a bunch of rhubarb and have enjoyed finding awesome stuff to do with it. I found this recipe that where you cook down the rhubarb and add some sugar and water to make a concentrate for drinks (bottle on the right). Add it to some sparkling water and you have a rhubarb Italian soda. The jar on the left is the cooked chunks of rhubarb that you can eat over ice cream or whatever.

~~ 7 ~~
I am in love with this sandwich! I made 1 big sandwich (using a hamburger bun) and cut the sauce recipe in half and it was awesome. It's a super quick and easy meal.

I hope you all had a wonderful week month, enjoy the weekend! 
For more Quick Takes, head on over to Conversion Diary.