Tuesday, April 26, 2016

3 TV Shows To Cure the Rainy Day Blues

Friends, it's spring. Which means that you should be outside frolicking in the flowers and taking in deep breaths of fresh air, right?! BUT, imagine with me, for just one second, that you live in a dark and gloomy place where spring plays tricks on you and comes and goes. Imagine for a second that you live in Minnesota. Then you might need some other form of spring entertainment than the flowers and butterflies and bunnies. Because in Minnesota, it can be 80 degrees and sunny one week, and 40s and rainy the other (let's just say it's been the latter lately). So, without further ado, I wanted to give you a few suggestions of ways to cure those "is it really springtime??" blues. Cue, the Netflix binge. :)

Parks & Recreation
Hands down the best comedy that's out there (in my humble opinion). You can stream all the seasons on Netflix (weekend plans, anyone??), but I will give you fair warning that you have to get through the first two seasons to really get to the Parks & Rec gold. But anyone who's done it will tell you that it is so worth it. The characters are loveable, the scenarios hilarious, and the setting charming.

White Collar
White Collar may very well be my favorite non-comedy, but also not action/intense/scary TV show. It tells the story of a white collar Criminal who is contracted with the FBI to help them solve art and other white collar crimes. Watching the character growth, as well as different relationships develop throughout the series is one of the best parts. Plus the cool heists and spy-esque aspects of the show are definitely a bonus! White Collar is also available on Netflix.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Andy Sandberg is a comedy genius, and the rest of the Nine-Nine crew are right up there with him. There's a quirky character for everyone in this NYC cop comedy, and the hijinks they get into are ridiculous and wonderful. This lighthearted show will definitely get you laughing, even if it's over how awkward a situation is. Unfortunately, this one's not on Netflix, but if you've got Hulu, then you're in the clear!

So there you have it! Three TV shows that will cure you of those rainy day blues. What are some of your favorites?

Monday, April 18, 2016

On Dreams & Fear


Dreaming is scary. (The awake kind of dreaming about the future and your hopes and goals... although sleeping dreaming can also be scary! But I'm here to talk about the awake kind.) I guess the actual dreaming itself isn't too bad. In fact, that part is kind of fun! It's the acting on those dreams that involves risk, putting yourself out there, and the possibility of failure. Taking steps to make your dreams a reality is the real scary part. It's the part that induces fear and worry and anxiety. Because what if your dream doesn't work? What if people think it's silly? What if you fall flat on your face?

But, as my husband so gently reminded me last night, if you don't try, you'll never know. If you don't take those scary steps, don't risk a little, you'll never know if that dream could be a reality. And that's almost more scary than the fear of failure.

I don't want to look back on my life with a bunch of "what ifs." I don't want to have to wonder if things could have been different if only I had tried, if only I had risked. I want to put the work into acting on my dreams, and if I fall flat on my face, so be it. And yeah, there may not be a complete lack of fear, but who ever said there was anything wrong with just doing it afraid?

And after all, fear is just a lie.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Weekend Wrap-Up

It's the weekend! It's looking like it's going to be in the SEVENTIES all weekend up here in the north, so I am kind of freaking out. Tonight the hubs and I are laying low due to a busy Saturday and Sunday filled with conferences, coffees, desserts, football games, thrifting, and a double date. So lots of good things, but all in all, a lot of things. What are ya'll up to this weekend? Please just make sure and get outside, whatever you do!


I've been obsessed with cheese boards lately, and this one looks divine. They just seem so fancy, but still relaxed and chill and not uppity, ya know? Definitely on my list to try my hand at making one in the coming weeks!

I love this post on how to be a better friend, even when you're busy. (Seems like it could apply to us, especially this weekend!) Who doesn't need a little bit of help being a better friend?

This article on your passion not being your full-time thing is probably right up every millennial's alley. ;) But actually, I found it really encouraging for this season of life.

Last week I attended a training on empathy and boundaries put on by an anti-trafficking ministry in Minneapolis and they showed this short 3 minute video on empathy by Brene Brown. It does a good job of showing what exactly empathy is and how it differs from sympathy.

As you know from my post on hospitality & dining tables, I've really been digging the idea of a supper club lately. This post on how to start a weekly supper club has some great tips and ideas!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Instagram Lately & What's on Repeat

I just wanted to pop in real quick to say HI!!! and to do a shout-out to my Instagram! If you want to get more behind-the-scenes awesome-ness, that's the place to find me. Sometimes I just don't have the time (or content! Let's be honest, creativity can hit a wall sometimes!) for a whole blog post, so that's when I take a few minutes and share some life on Instagram.

Here's a little sneak peak into the kind of stuff I post. So if you're into home styling, Jesus, motivational stuff, ramblings about my life, or just pretty photos, hit that little "follow" button next to my name if you're on Instagram, and if you're not, no worries, you can still view my photos.

Also, since this post is pretty random already anyway, I want to leave you with this little beauty. It was sung at our church a couple weeks ago and I've pretty much had it on repeat since then. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

5 of Our Go-To Recipes

Happy Thursday! The weekend is drawing near, which means more time for cooking delicious meals and hosting friends and family. Since I recently wrote about dining tables and hospitality, I thought I would share with you some of our go-to recipes, both for entertaining, and for a quiet night in just the two of us.

1. Sausage Pasta
The perfect comfort food! Plus, it's basically a one-pot recipe. We love making this when we have one other couple over because not only is it the perfect amount of food for four, but it's also beautiful and tasty!

This chicken is amazing! All the flavors put together make a really unique and delicious combo and it's perfect for tacos (as the recipe suggests), but also works well over rice or with veggies.

This recipe is easy but makes tacos go from "meh" to "woah!" It's also an amazing chip dip. A couple things... I cook the onion and garlic in with the corn, and use feta cheese. So. Good. Major crowd pleaser!

This is our go-to quick meal! It legitimately takes 10 minutes and can be paired with veggies and any kind of carb (pasta, rice, potatoes, couscous, etc) for a healthy and fast meal.

This one's a favorite for the sheer quantity it makes, as well as how fancy it looks. The flavors are amazing and it works super well as leftovers. We'll often make a double batch of the filling and then freeze some of it to make with squash later.

And just for fun... here are a few cookbooks I've had my eye on. Has anyone used any of them? Any other good cookbook recommendations? 


Monday, April 4, 2016

On Hospitality & Dining Tables

I recently finished Jen Hatmaker's For the Love (slowly but surely chipping away at my 2016 reading list!) and it got me thinking a lot about hospitality. One of my favorite chapters was Supper Club (chapter 15). In it, Jen discusses community, friendship, good food, fellowship, and hospitality. And let me tell ya, I was more than just a teensy bit jealous as I read about the monthly supper club that the Hatmakers enjoy.

Here are Jen's rules for supper club (with her commentary, of course!):
  • One night a month, rotating houses.
  • No kids. (Since we have 16 children between us, SC starts at 8 p.m., and the host’s kids are already in bed or bribed with Cheetos and movies. The other parents get sitters, unless they are awesome like me and Melissa and have big kids to babysit, in which case, actual supervision is an incredibly loose concept.)
  • When you host, do everything: plan, shop, cook and clean. So three out of four months, just show up, drink wine, eat amazing food, laugh until you cry and leave your friend’s kitchen an absolute crime scene.
  • The food is serious. If you haven’t started planning your menu a week in advance, you are in the weeds. Don’t you dare put taco soup on the table.
  • All anyone can bring to SC is wine. And you’d better bring some or die trying.
  • SC is any night we make it work, which means we’ve seen 1 a.m. on a Tuesday and paid brutally. (After one such late night, we bemoaned our exhaustion in a group text the next day. [My husband,] Brandon, wrote, “We made the littles eat breakfast at school this morning. Hope the pancake on a stick with sugar syrup works out.”)
  • What happens at SC stays at SC. Failure to comply will result in flogging.
Anyways, I think supper club sounds like one of the best things ever. And so after reading the book I realized that even if we wanted to have supper club, we couldn't because we had a tall square table with 4 tall chairs... not super conducive to more than 4 people eating at it. 

Thus ensued the Great Table Search of 2016. And after looking high and low we found the perfect table that comfortably seats 8, would really easily seat 10, and you could even squeeze 12 around it. Much more conducive to supper clubs, large brunches, family meals, and dinner parties. 

Sometimes you just need to go ahead and get that thing that will help you reach that goal (like that one time when we got a new headboard so we could read in bed). No, getting a new dining table wasn't necessary for living. We had one that worked fine. But it didn't work fine for the goals and dreams we had of having big groups over for meals. It wasn't doing what we needed it to do. 

But now that we have this new spacious table, we get to have family over for Easter, and a few couples over for a Saturday brunch, and another group over for a Friday night dinner party. We get to host and open our home and practice hospitality and create warmth and safety (not that we couldn't before. Now we just get to do it to more people!). As Shauna Niequist puts it in her book, Bread and Wine, “The heart of hospitality is about creating space for someone to feel seen and heard and loved. It's about declaring your table a safe zone, a place of warmth and nourishment.”

I don't know about you, but I want our home to be a place where people are seen and heard. Where they feel safe and loved and nourished. And yeah, a dining table doesn't do that. But it might just make that possible.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Weekend Wrap-Up


Happy Friday, you guys! This week went by so quickly (which is a really good thing since Loverboy was out of town on business), and it really doesn't seem like the weekend is here. But alas, the calendar doesn't lie, and praise Jesus we've made it! We have a fun and relaxing weekend ahead of us, which is so needed. I'm excited to spend some time with friends, but also just to have some downtime around the house with each other. Here are this week's finds!

1. This Bathroom 5 Ways by Coco & Kelley makes me yearn for the day when we have a normal bathroom and I can actually decorate/accessorize! (Our house is a little quirky and neither of our bathrooms have sinks in them!)

2. This is a great article about 10 Things Men & Boys Can do to Stop Human Trafficking. Please read this if you are a male, are married to a male, have a male friend, or know a male.

3. I have been kind of obsessed with Lauren Daigle for the last few months. I got her CD for Christmas and haven't gotten sick of it yet, despite listening to it almost every day since then on the way to and from work! Take a listen!

4. I've seen this before and when I stumbled across it again I was like "yes!" How not to say the wrong thing to someone who's in crisis. Comfort in and dump out, people.

5. Last, but not least, this is a PSA that Fixer Upper Season 2 is coming to Netflix today!!! YOU'RE WELCOME. Now go get your stretchy pants on and binge away!

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