Friday, June 28, 2013

Foodie Friday-CSA

It’s CSA season!

We’re really excited to be back in a CSA (community supported agriculture) this year as we tend to consume more vegetables when we are. Eventually we hope to have a garden in our backyard but it will be a year or two before that happens. We just had a landscape plan put together (because we both have NO vision for that stuff) and will be implementing it little by little as time and money allow. So building container gardens would not be a good decision until the other pieces are in place. But enough of that talk.

CSA…this year we joined Fazenda Boa Terra on the great reviews of friends AND because they drop at our local farmer’s market just a couple of miles from our house. Best part about this is that we do not have to lug a box back and forth. Picking up at the market is so convenient as we just pick our organic produce and pop it in our bag. Easy peasy.

This week our bag was filled with:

Rainbow chard  /  kale  /  arugula  /  mixed greens  /  salad greens  /  broccoli rabe  /  leaf lettuce  /  Radishes  /  Parsley  /  Bok Choy

How did we use all these greens?

Like this:

Kale – morning smoothies  (Kale, berries, yogurt, splash of OJ, flax, banana)

Chard – Swiss Chard, Onion, and Cheese Frittata

Broccoli Rabe – Orechiette w/ Broccoli Rabe & Sausage via Ina Garten’s Foolproof

Arugula: White Pizzas via Ina Garten

Bok Choy: Braised Soy-ginger Chicken w/ Bok Choy

Salad green were used for salads and radishes for eating:)

I love how getting produce in our CSA forces us to go outside our comfort box, enjoy amazing, good for you, vegetables, and it definitely makes me get creative in the kitchen. All of the above were loved by all three of us, especially Elizabeth!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Inside the party

On Saturday we celebrated Elizabeth’s 1st birthday with family here at our house. Unlike so many families in the Twin Cities, we actually did not lose our power which we were incredibly thankful for. Though the weather was very muggy and hot, we were all able to enjoy the party. Especially the cake smash which seriously was probably the most fun of all;) I’d say overall the inspiration for the party was successfully implemented:)

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And this post would not be complete without a short video illustrating just how much Elizabeth LOVED her cake. Seriously I can’t watch without laughing!

Elizabeth’s First Birthday-The cake smash

Saturday, June 22, 2013


Happy birthday baby girl.


365 incredible days with you and we wouldn’t change any of them.

You were made for us and us for you. A perfect match, we think.

Snuzzles and all our love,

Momma and Daddy

Thursday, June 13, 2013

enjoying the sunshine

Today has found a multitude of thoughts running through my head as we seek to savor this gorgeous day. Summer in our city has been slow coming, rain clouds blocking out the sun, and yet today we were blessed with a perfect day.

Elizabeth and I started out our day with a run/walk combo through the neighborhood, where we both are quiet and take in the sights. It’s a grand route, weaving up and down streets, greeting strangers. I feel incredibly blessed to live where we do; in a house that isn’t perfect, in an established neighborhood where the residents have all been here for at least a decade, and with incredibly kind neighbors. We didn’t know what would await us when we moved in but now we can’t even imagine leaving.

This morning on our walk as we passed split levels and story and a half’s, my childhood flashed through my mind. Our house was just like one on a neighboring street that we pass by often. And the grey house with the elderly man waving in the window reminds me of my grandparents and their white and green house with the meticulous lawn. You can usually tell where the older neighbors live by their lawn… Houses where memories were made. A childhood with laughter and joy in those houses. Thankful we live with reminders of beautiful memories surrounding us.

And then after morning naps we spent the early afternoon outdoors, pulling weeds, playing in water and just enjoying the heat of the sunshine on our backs. And this afternoon, if we are all rested maybe we’ll head to the pool or go straight back out to our yard and resume our morning play. Sometimes it’s the simplest of activities that bring great joy. The quiet, monotonous tasks, like weeding a bed, with the sounds of the neighborhood keeping you company. And as I worked, she played. Investigating rocks, finding a cozy spot under the front tree playing with cups, and aimlessly walking through the grass. Taking it all in.

But the overwhelming feeling in my heart today was gratitude and thankfulness for blessing upon blessing. A house that fits our needs and is incredibly convenient for our life. Not only that but a house that we can hopefully pay off in the next 10 years, in a neighborhood with kind neighbors, and a street that isn’t busy. A baby toddling about in the yard, curious eyes and heart taking in the surroundings, fulfilling prayers upon prayers. A baby whose life has brought us increasing joy and grew our hearts like nothing else imaginable. Almost one year with her seems incredibly kind. And we have each other, sunshine, blue skies, delicious food to eat, and hope for the morrow. Even with heartaches, struggles, and pain all around somehow the sunshine and a walk through the neighborhood had a way of making everything clearer.

There’s just one simple explanation.

You don’t need much to have joy.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Stitch Fix #1

Have you heard of Stitch Fix?

Seriously, I’m not trying to make anyone buy anything. Maybe you’re wondering what’s with all the hype with me sharing products? Really, nothing. No hype. Just a satisfied customer sharing the goods. Definitely not paid, asked or anything like that. Honestly, I’m not sure anyone even reads this.
BUT…this is amazing.

Ever since I had Elizabeth I’ve rarely went shopping for myself. And let’s be honest, shopping online is like the best thing ever. Especially if the store offers free returns or you can return in to a local retailer. I always wondered why people did so much online shopping when they had kids and now I know. It’s not only a time saver, but getting packages just about makes my day.

But back to Stitch Fix. I’m pretty sure they came up with this for moms. Stitch Fix is an online styling site. That’s probably not the best way to sum it up but basically you log in, create an extensive style profile which you can link to a favorite board on Pinterest, and then professional stylists read over everything and hand pick 5 items to send to you. You pay a $20 styling fee up front and then it is CREDITED back to you when you choose an item to keep. For instance, I just got my box and ended up keeping a gorgeous top and I paid the cost of the top minus the $20 I already paid. Also if you decide to keep everything in the box you receive a 25% discount!

They also provide you with a prepaid envelope for sending back what didn’t work. You have 3 days to mull over the choices and try them on and then get them back in the mail. Seriously so easy.
This is not a monthly commitment, although it could be, and you pick the date you want your box to arrive. So if you had a wedding coming up and needed a dress you could ask them to send you 5 dresses to try. Seriously it’s life changing.

While I rarely spend a lot on my everyday clothing, ahem life with a 1 year old, I do love to have some special pieces that fit well, are made well, will last and are timeless for date nights, adult only nights out and special occasions. And as far as cost, I checked the box “the cheaper the better” and everything in my box was between $28-$68. So not terrible for really nice and unique pieces. And to be real, this is the kind of stuff I save my pennies for:)

SO here’s what I received.

pretty packaging
I received a skirt, 2 tops, necklace and a dress
This is the top I kept. Not necessarily something I would pick out but it was super cute on and that’s what makes this so fun! The fabric feels amazing and the cut and sizing was perfect.
And I was so sad this dress didn’t work. Of all the things in the box this was the one that seemed to be exactly my style. Somehow the fit wasn’t quite right and made me look like I was wearing a flour sack. So bummed.
But there you have it. Your own personal stylist that will do your shopping for you and you are able to enjoy the pure fun of receiving a gift in the mail. A total win if you ask me!
Try Stitch Fix for yourself:)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Entering in…

Just so you know, this life you see here is just a brief glimpse into our lives. I rarely have it together, our house is cluttered, most days showering happens in the afternoon, and to be honest too much real life is happening behind the scenes to make it on the page.

So much is going on around us, in our little sphere of close friendships, that sometimes it just feels nice to take a breather and talk about soft soap and pretty tea cups. It hit me the other day that we’re going to say good-bye to someone we really care about in just a short time. Not good-bye like they are going to come back in some amount of time, but good-bye as in, heaven awaits them.

And in thinking over the past 6 years and their presence in our lives as a family, my heart just couldn’t hold the emotions in. Because I remember. I remember what it’s like to get a phone call that lets you know you’re whole world is being shaken. Know how hard it is to take in the words conveying how many months are predicted for life. I can remember the stop of my heart as the words sunk in. I remember the days following, and months of visiting, and just trying to soak in every moment together. There is nothing easy about walking towards death.

And all the emotions have been hitting me full force as I not only remember the months before the Lord took my step-father, the only living parent to my step-siblings, the only early loss I’ve walked alongside, but all the emotions I’m feeling for these close friends. And although life has been long and lived for glory, there’s still an ache for the days to come.

This year seems to have been full of loss or heartache, in different ways, for those we know and live life with. And I fear that within me, because I don’t always know the way to react or the words to say, I want to just run away. Throw my hands into the task at hand and ignore the hurts around me. But I can’t. The Spirit’s rising up in me and whispering enter in.

Enter in to the heartache, hold hands, cry together, show your love.

I don’t feel like I can just send a card. I can’t say the right thing. I can’t work it right. But I can give of myself. Of our family. To care and to love.

So that’s what we’re doing. We’re entering in and grieving alongside.

Asking and praying for an alternative and at the same time for the gates of glory to come quickly. Hard to know really what to pray.

Enter in…

Saturday, June 1, 2013

1st birthday planning

Someone is having a birthday very soon!

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So of course, there’s a bit of birthday planning going on in our house. In just 21 short days Elizabeth will be turning one. We are not doing anything big, just a party with family, but I did want to have a theme and do some fun things.

Alex and I love birthdays and love making each other feel really special on our special day. Although we don’t really get into gifts, we do like to do and eat things that the birthday person enjoys on their day. We’re both excited to welcome Elizabeth into our birthday traditions this year.

Because Elizabeth’s birthday falls so closely to her cousin Jace, I’m sure this will be one of the few birthdays where we have people traveling here to MN to celebrate. We’re thinking in years to come, if we can swing it, that we will travel to WI and have a joint family party.

I love watching and seeing how others make birthdays special. Everyone has their own unique way of celebrating, traditions they keep, and some people go over the top and some keep it really simple at home. That’s the beauty of birthdays. So personalized to your family and the way you do things.

This year, I chose a strawberry theme, which seemed fitting seeing as I went into labor last year just a week after going strawberry picking. And alas, the theme is held really loosely. Here’s the mood board for the party and we’ll see how things turn out. I’ve already completed her birthday banner and can’t wait for it to be used for years to come.

This photo below started the daydreaming as I love this cake and color scheme:


And then I found a similar print fabric which became inspiration for the banner:


Which then became the color scheme for the party:

e birthday

      Striped Straws / Invitation / Berry Baskets / Polka Dot Runner / Cupcakes

We’re planning a very low key picnic party with strawberries in baskets, flowers in mason jars, polka dot encased tables, vanilla cupcakes with pink buttercream, lots of laughing, eating, and celebrating of our success in making it through the first year still smiling!

How did you celebrate one? And curious, gift ideas? Or no gifts?