Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New Chick in the Country

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Six new chicks. Four happy children. ‘Nuff said.

New baby chicks

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Enjoying Beautiful Orchids

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This past weekend we spent time with friends we haven’t seen for some time. We visited a botanical garden near their home and enjoyed walking through the orchid house and strolling the grounds.

I had much fun capturing some of the beautiful orchids and finding some pictures that we’ll be framing to hang above our mantel.

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Orchids-3

Orchids-1

Loving how these will not only be a constant reminder of the beauty that God created, but also of the relationships that He has blessed us with.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thai Peanut Chicken Soup

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I have a love for a certain Thai restaurant nearby. And one certain dish. When I came across a recipe that had a few of the key ingredients included in the soup, I had fun altering it a bit. It’s one that I’ve made several times now and absolutely love it!

 Thai peanut chicken soup

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Thai Peanut Chicken Soup

{adapted from Eats Well with Others}

1 Tbsp Coconut Oil

1 Tbsp Thai red curry paste

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced

2 chicken breasts, thawed and cut into small pieces

1 cup coconut milk

3 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup peanut butter {I used Costco’s all-natural}

1/2 cup boiling water

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil

juice from 1 lime

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

salt and pepper, to taste

 

1. Peel and dice the sweet potatoes. Bring to a boil in a large saucepan with the coconut milk and 1 cup of the chicken broth. Reduce heat and simmer until sweet potatoes have softened.

2. While sweet potatoes are cooking, heat the coconut oil in a large soup pot. Add in curry paste and cinnamon and stir til mixed. Add in diced chicken and cook thoroughly. When chicken has finished cooking, add in onion, garlic, bell pepper and jalapeño to the mix. Cook til veggies are softened.

3. Mix peanut butter with the 1/2 cup of hot water and pour into pot with chicken mixture. Add the additional 3 cups of chicken broth.

4. When sweet potatoes have softened, use a fork to puree them into the broth/coconut milk mixture. You can also use a blender to puree them together. Add to chicken mix.

5. Add red pepper and basil. Bring soup to a boil.

6. Lower heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in lime juice and brown sugar.

Note: This dish can also be served over white rice. I added a teaspoon of salt to the dish to season it a bit.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thirty One Gifts ~ $25 Gift Certificate Giveaway!

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Last year one of my friends gave me the cutest little cooler bag from Thirty-One Gifts. It was the first that I’d heard of the company and I immediately starting browsing their many bags for organizing and fell in love with the different fabrics and styles available. Not only can you get organized, you can do it with some fun and coordinating fabrics. The Thirty-One product line features purses to totes and everything in between.

Two of my favorite Thirty-One bags have been the Large Utility Tote {we have 2 of these} and the Organizing Utility Tote. Our Large Utility Tote {Aqua Circle Spirals pattern} is working wonderfully as our pool tote. All six of our large beach towels are rolled up inside. The bag measures 11.75” H x 21.5” W x 10” D and has 14” handles. It also collapses practically flat when not in use.

Our swim goggles, swim caps, and sunscreen are stored in a Cinch Sack {Circle Spirals pattern} and that drops into the bag nicely. Having the goggles in a separate bag is handy, especially when they are wet!  The Cinch Sack can be used as a backpack and also has a zipper on the front of the bag for easy access into the bag.

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The Organizing Utility Tote has been a FABULOUS bag and is currently my teaching tote. It holds so much more than I expected and the little side pockets on it are endless. :) One of the front pockets holds an entire 12-pack of the large dry erase markers. The other pocket hold various pencils, scissors, sharpies, a stapler…and so much more! I dropped in a file folder holder to divide out the inside a little bit, but love this bag.

 31 Bags-1  31 Bags-2

What I LOVE about Thirty-One Bags

  • Easy to clean ~ Not that I ever spill anything {my kids are the only ones that make messes ~ ahem}, but the fabric is a breeze to clean up!
  • Many of the bags collapse for compact storage ~ when I’m not using them I can fold them down and slide it under a car seat, etc…
  • Large variety of colors and prints ~ the catalog has a wide variety of fabrics to choose from and different ones coordinate with each other.
  • They are sturdy! The handles and fabric are not flimsy, making them easy to carry around and hold lots of stuff. We’ve used our large utility tote to carry around everyone’s roller blades with no problem. The handles are also nice and long, making the bags comfortable to carry.
  • Bags can be personalized ~ if you are giving the bag as a gift or maybe want to label bags with your child’s name, you can choose from a variety of fonts/colors to make it your own.
  • Great sales ~ each month Thirty-One runs a special. The special for March 2012 is the Mini Utility Bin ~ for every $31 you spend, you can order a Mini Utility Bin for $8 {a $14 savings on each bag}.

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Mary Beth, a Thirty-One consultant, offered to give one of my readers a $25 gift certificate to shop in the Thirty One catalog with her! You can order Thirty-One Gifts online and items will be shipped directly to your home. If you see something you like or have a question, feel free to contact Mary Beth directly.

I know that you won’t have a problem finding something to use in your home, so just follow the directions in the widget below {feed readers will have to click over to the blog to enter}. There are several ways to earn additional entries, so pay attention to those too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Disclosure: I was provided a product credit in exchange for my honest review and opinion. I have purchased Thirty-One bags in the past and will continue to purchase them in the future as well. My honest opinion is they are wonderful.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

My Favorite Footwear

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Every now and then you can get me dressed up {somewhat}, but on a typical day in our house {or really anywhere}, this is what you will find me wearing. With jeans and most likely a tshirt.

my Adidas

I {heart} my Adidas Sambas.  What makes your feet happy?

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Who Can it Be Banging on My Door?

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Rick and I were sitting on the couch together at 9pm the other night, watching a news program, when someone started shaking the front door handle rather frantically. My heart immediately began pounding. The door handle continued to rattle until I thought the person would try to break the door in.

As Rick got up to see what was going on, the doorbell started ringing quickly as well.  I was meanwhile curled up on the couch and considering my options of escape and defense. Who in the world would be on our doorstep late at night and so crazy-like?

Rick started saying something {I wasn’t focusing well on what he was saying} and then he opened to find our poor 10 year old daughter standing outside on the front porch. In the pitch black.

Trying to figure out why we had locked her OUT.

It’s here that I will publicly admit that I forgot one of our children was not at home with us {something that I hope never to be repeated} . While our children have spent the night at friend’s houses and gone on trips with others, typically I remember that they are gone…and will be returning. 

This time I didn’t remember.

The girl is only ten years old. I have a long road ahead of me in remembering who is where and due home. Lord, help me if this is how I start it all off!

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Taking a Trip to Tanzania

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In my sidebar you may notice a new button that says I’m following Compassion Bloggers to Tanzania. The reality of it is, I will actually be one of the bloggers traveling to Tanzania in May of 2012.

Compassion Bloggers: Tanzania 2012

I’ll be sharing more details about the trip soon with you all, but in the meantime can I ask for your prayers as the entire team prepares for the time overseas? Most of my personal trip will be blogged about at Homeschool Creations, but I will be including snippets of it here with links to the full posts.

You can follow along and ‘meet’ the other Compassion Bloggers on the Tanzinia trip and if you are on Twitter, also follow along with our Twitter stream. Thanks so much for all of your prayers!

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