Sunday, April 29, 2012

Taste of Marietta 2012

This is the fourth year in a row that Caleb and I have been to Taste of Marietta.

2010 Taste of Marietta

It's an event Marietta, GA puts on each year, featuring restaurants from around the community with sample plates ranging from $1-$5.  Fun way to get out in the community and try new foods.   Caleb and I really enjoy it.

Sirloin Steak and Macaroni and Cheese

Avocado Egg Roll (I'll be trying to recreate this one!) and a Shrimp Taco

Ribs and Baked Beans

A guy with a beer

We got there early enough to beat the big crowd.  Thank goodness, because by the time we left it was getting hot and crowded.

Thankfully I had a ginormous fresh-squeezed lemonade to cool me off!

I love living in a city that has different things to do and experience.  

What did you do this weekend?

Saturday, April 28, 2012


I have hope
Inside is not a heart
But a kaleidoscope
- Sara Bareilles

Today was a great, low key day!  Started off with coffee in bed.  This is our new ritual (Caleb's idea) to reconnect after a long week and talk about our weekend and the upcoming week.  It's great, focused, quality time before any life distractions start. 

We got ready for the day, I planned next week's menu, and then we headed out to run some errands.  Our first stop was something fairly new to us, lunch at a food truck! 

It's a new attraction to Atlanta that opened this weekend, a food truck park.  We had lunch there, amazing philly cheese steak sandwich.  There were about 5 food trucks, but during dinner hours they have around 10.  Their plan is to have some permanent food trucks and also have some that rotate out.  It's only about a five minute drive from our place, so this could get dangerous.  We also grabbed King of Pops popsicles, Chocolate Sea Salt and Latte. Delicious!

From there we went to Whole Foods.  About 5 minutes into our shopping trip, Caleb says "I think there is someone famous behind us!"  So I turn around and its this guy
Scott Cohen

We recognized him because we watched the show Necessary Roughness last summer.  I guess actors have to eat too. So odd to see an actor pushing around a grocery cart, picking out lettuce.  We're all human I suppose.

Next we did other fun things like unloading groceries, trip to Wal-Mart, dropped our car off for the longest oil change known to  man (seriously) and went to Starbucks to wait for the longer oil change known to man to end.  Not going back there again, yikes.

I read a little bit of "Grace for the Good Girl" and really liked the above paragraph.  "You will not be left with nothing" Such beautiful truth.  So many times I feel as though if I let something go, release it, stop striving for it - that I will be left with nothing.  What frail thoughts, proven to be empty so many times in my life.  God's story is SO much better than any story I could ever imagine.  So thankful for this reality. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Are We There Yet?

1. I have a midterm on Wednesday that is worth 30% of my grade and it only has 4 questions.  The 4 questions are formula based and I have received absolutely no guidance from my professor on how to study. So there's that.

2. Caleb decided that since he graduated, he missed studying (ha). So, he's studying for his PMP (Project Management Professional) certificate and studying for another CISCO certification.  Guess what I'm going to do when I graduate?  Take a nap.

3. Two weeks ago I had an interview.  This was my first interview in almost 4 years. The job description seemed perfect for me, minus the fact that it was for a huge corporation and I'm more of a pave my own way girl.  I worked on getting myself psyched up for a regular 8-5 gig and the interview went really well.  That is until I walked out of the interview and saw hundreds of cubicles in every direction and then I started having a small anxiety attack.  Not really, but really.  Regardless, it doesn't matter because I didn't get the job.  So yeah.

4. I'm numbering this - because it's totally random and I feel as though numbers add some structure to my rabbit trails.  Play along.

5. I'm really not sure what I want to do for a "real job" now that I've graduated.  The quotation marks are for those of you that think my current employment involves me sitting in front of my computer playing computer games.  I like the job I have now, but I'd really like to find something where I can work out of the house at least part time doing something that I feel passionate about.  I just am waiting on God to tell me what this is. :)

6. Here is a recent picture of me and my hubby

7. I really should get better about taking more pictures.  We have a very full, fun life and I hardly ever document it.

8. I really need to find a new chiropractor and massage therapist because my neck is being mean to me again, but I hate finding new  chiropractors.  It takes them at least a month to believe me when I say "my neck is sensitive" so I have to endure several weeks of pain in order to get some relief.  Stinks.

9. I've been doing a mixture of 30 Day Shred and Yoga Meltdown - but I think I'm ready to start incorporating some gym time into my routine too.  Maybe some more hiking too.  Trying to get ready for summer!

10. Most of all - I'm thankful. Thankful for a husband that is a great provider and my best friend, thankful for a church family that is like family, thankful for new and old friends that push me to be a better person, and I am thankful for a family that loves me.  More than anything I am thankful for a God that has the whole world in His hands and that He knows every hair on my head.  Thankful that He holds the past, present and future and that He holds my heart in high regard.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Picking and Choosing

Are grocery prices rising like crazy or is it just me?  No matter what I do, I'm going over my grocery budget each week.  I finally just surrendered and raised my budget a bit and I'm still going over. Gosh!

We try to eat a pretty balanced diet, primarily consisting of vegetables, fruits and meats with some whole grains mixed in.  I try to choose organic (naturally grown, no pesticides, no added hormones, etc) products, but its important to realize what types of foods to prioritize buying organic.

For us, I prioritize buying our dairy products and meats organic.  I've done some reading on how these items are processed and the animals are treated and its just really important to me to make sure I buy these items organic.  The only thing I haven't fully switched to is buying organic butter. $5? It hurts to think about it.

I also rarely buy processed organic food, unlike this lady. :) Primarily because its not a wise way to spend my money.  Organic processed foods are expensive and I can make them at home for much cheaper.

I try to make 1-2 vegetarian meals per week in order to save money on buying organic meat.  Caleb isn't the biggest fan of this technique, but he's adjusted.

Interesting definitions I found in an All You magazine.

USDA Organic: 

This is a great list of what types of produce to prioritize buying organic

What Produce to Buy Organically?

1.      Peaches
2.      Apples
3.      Sweet bell peppers
4.      Celery
5.      Nectarines
6.      Strawberries
7.      Cherries
8.      Kale
9.      Lettuce
10.  Grapes
11.  Carrots
12.  Pears

Okay to Buy Conventionally?

1.      Onions
2.      Avocados
3.      Sweet Corn (frozen)
4.      Pineapples
5.      Mangos
6.      Asparagus
7.      Sweet peas
8.      Kiwis
9.      Cabbage
10.  Eggplant
11.  Papayas
12.  Watermelons
13.  Broccoli
14.  Tomatoes
15.  Sweet Potatoes

Monday, April 9, 2012

Recipes I've Made Recently

I haven't posted any new recipes in ages, but I have been trying new recipes.  I thought I'd put together a quick list of some recipes I've recently tried that we really liked!  All the pictures are from the original website I found the recipe at!

Mostly Food and Crafts

This was really good!  The flavor was fantastic and leftovers can be used in tacos, on top of salads, etc. Yum!

How Sweet It Is

This recipe had me at "jalapeno" but seriously, this was really good. Not necessarily a healthy recipe, but delish!

Let's Dish

This was a pretty different recipe, I think primarily due to the addition of balsamic vinegar - it was really good.  Caleb loved it!

Homemade by Holeman

These are a great appetizer or snack - easy to make and packed with flavor!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Be Brave. Speak Truth. Be a Defender.

“I swore never to be silent whenever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” Elie Weisel

I have intimate experience with being the victim in a situation and close friends making the decision to not choose a side, but to just straddle the fence.  I have grappled with this over and over again, because I am such a black and white person. I have asked God to give me grace to realize that taking a stand and choosing a side is hard, but if I am being honest it has been painful and still is painful to feel as though our hearts are not worth people putting themselves on the line for.  

I believe it has taught me and Caleb how important it is to us that we are people that will stand in the gap for others. That we will call out injustice, declare truth and proclaim liberty.  Because I have felt vulnerable and defenseless, I want to rescue those that feel the same.  God is a righteous judge and He is our strong defender and I cling to that truth every day.  God also wants us to have people in our lives that surround us, lift us up and support us. 

Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the LORD has sent me to Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. 2 Kings 2:2

But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. Proverbs 17:17

Earlier this week Caleb and I were talking about a conversation I had with someone in regards to a topic I am really passionate about.  I told him what I had said and he said “You REALLY said that?” and I said, “Yes, the way I see it there are two options.  The first is to keep silent and allow intolerable things to go on. The second is to stop being afraid, make people a bit uncomfortable with the truth and stop injustice!” Because if we are honest with ourselves, fear stops us from standing up for victims.  Fear of offending someone, fear of being too passionate about something, fear of people thinking we’re too extreme, fear of putting ourselves out there and taking a stand that we’ll actually have to stand for too. 

I struggle with this fear every day, so I am not saying any of this to gush about how brave or not brave I am, but to express that through suffering, blurriness goes away and truth becomes clear.  It is important that we are confident enough in our God and in His truth that we stand up and call it like it is.  As Christians, we should not allow oppressors to have a comfortable existence.  Oppressors count on people being too scared or too complacent to question them.  We have to stop tolerating abuse, neglect, and scarring hypocrisy.
Be Brave. Speak Truth. Be a Defender.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Are You Ready?

There are many times that I look to the future and I ignore the present.  I wish for bigger things.  I want different opportunities.  I want to meaningfully minister.  I want to be a world changer. 

Sometimes I feel like I am going no where. That I am just circling in an endless holding pattern.  

Then God speaks and He says. . . 

are you ready for it? if I gave you everything you wanted right now, would you be wise enough to steward it well? would you be mature enough for the responsibility of people's hearts? do you feel the weight of what you are asking?

Every heartbreak I am experiencing now, every race I am running, every dream I am waiting on - they are all molding me, building character in me - to prepare me for my future.  I look at all of the amazing things I was able to experience in 2011 and I am grateful, so grateful for this adventure I am on.  I am striving to stop striving.  To appreciate the refining, knowing that it is strengthening me for what is ahead.

Caleb and I have been having a lot of talks about what the future holds and while it is exciting, there are so many unknowns.  I'm thankful that I am confident in the fact that God has a plan, He is faithful, and He isn't through with me yet.

Reminds of me a beautiful truth sung by Ginny Owens, "No I'm not who I was when I took my first step nd I'm clinging to the promise You're not through with me yet. So if all of these trials bring me closer to You, then I will go through the fire if You want me to"

Monday, April 2, 2012


On Saturday, Caleb and I headed north to go shopping at some outlets (along with the rest of humanity).  On our way, we stopped at the lake for a picnic. It was a bit overcast, but it was so peaceful.

It was great to have a weekend with no homework assignments!  I could get used to it. Caleb, on the other hand, is already planning his next big adventure - which involves lots of studying. :( I'm not going to complain though, so glad he is such a motivated husband and provider!