Sunday, March 30, 2014


This morning, I pulled into our church parking lot about 1 minute before the service was to start. Couldn't find a place to park, Declan was screaming his head off, and I was flustered. All I could think about was getting my kids dropped off in the nursery before my favorite part of church (music, duh) started.  I was scattered and it was windy and COLD and as we made our way into the building, I realized I couldn't find my phone.

I half paid attention as we got the kids signed in and dropped off in their respective classes. I was mentally retracing my steps to figure out where I might have left the phone. I knew I'd had it minutes before pulling into the parking lot because I'd texted my husband (at a stoplight!) that I was almost there.

We made it into the service about 2 minutes late, couldn't find anywhere to sit, still mentally retracing all of my steps as the ushers got out extra chairs for us.

During worship, I sent my 13 year old back out to the parking lot to look for the phone. I figured it must have fallen out of the car when I was in such a rush and was sure to be lying, smashed in a million pieces, on the pavement. He came back a little bit later with no phone.

The phone wasn't in my purse, and it wasn't in the diaper bag. It wasn't in any of my pockets. It wasn't lying smashed in a million pieces on the parking lot. It wasn't in the car, under a seat, behind a toy or in a cupholder.  The phone had somehow managed to disappear in the 5 minute timespan from texting my husband to getting out of my car.

Todd is out of town from Monday to Friday this week and I was - truly - panicked at the idea of having no phone while he was traveling and away. But, after thoroughly searching everywhere it could be after church let out, I resigned myself to no phone. Almost in tears at what I'd lost from a financial standpoint - and let's face it, I feel like my whole life is on my phone these days - I pulled out of the church parking lot.

A few miles down the road I heard an odd little thump coming from what sounded like the roof of my car. Logan and I looked at each other and as I was saying aloud, "what in the world was that?" I suddenly had a flashback of jumping out of my car and setting my travel mug and phone on the roof of the car while I pulled Declan screaming from his carseat.

Realizing that the thumping sound was very likely the sound of my precious and expensive phone careening off the roof of my car and shattering onto the road behind me, I turned around as quickly as possible and retraced our steps (er, drive). I even turned on my hazards and got out of the car to search the road and the grass for the phone.

As I was about to give up and get back in the car, I glanced at the roof in a last ditch attempt to see if perhaps the phone hadn't actually fallen off and was still somehow on top of the car.

And do you know what?

It was. That stupid iPhone was {somewhat} safely nestled between two of the racks on top of my car. Relief flooded over me as I saw the phone was no worse for the wear. My lifeline was back!

Warning - cheesy analogy ahead.

I wish I could say that whenever I realize I've set God aside in the chaos of life that I was that frantic to find Him again. I wish I could tell you that I spend that much energy and emotion tracking Him down when I remember it's been awhile since I've last touched base.

This isn't a 'your iPhone is of the devil' kind of blog post. Really, I do love my phone.

But it is a simple reminder not to trade God's miracle for the world's magical. (Thank you, Pastor Rusty!)
  A reminder that when you wonder where He's gone since you last touched base, He's not that far at all.

I am, perhaps, slightly embarrassed at how distraught I got over a missing iPhone, especially when I discovered it on the roof of my car. But today it reminded me that God is not far from me, ever, and for that I am grateful.

Monday, March 24, 2014


Here are ten things I'm loving lately...

From left to right:

1. Organic Fiji Virgin Coconut Oil with Pineapple lotion This stuff smells like tropical paradise. Because it's a coconut oil, you'll probably need to run the bottle under hot water for a few minutes to get it to liquify but it's worth every precious second.

2. Glass Cafe Mug - It's just pretty.

3. Stainless Steel Straws - These are my new favorite smoothie straws. They come with a cleaning brush (totally necessary for smoothie drinking) AND they won't warp or melt in the dishwasher. Winning!

4. Boots No 7 Vanilla Body Scrub - I grabbed this because Target had them on clearance for $3. Smells so good!

5. Frozen  - I mean, it's Disney. Enough said.

6. Noonday Collection Very Versatile Bracelet - honestly, I have loved all my Noonday stuff, but this is hands down my favorite piece. It's kind of on the pricey side, but I got a great discount for hosting a party. If you want to host a party, let me know and I will hook you up with Amanda!

7. Swanson's Pea Protein Powder - my doctor has me adding protein powder to my morning smoothies and this is my favorite. It has a lot of protein and doesn't taste chalky or weird. It's also PURE pea protein - no added ingredients or things you can't pronounce and it's non GMO. Also winning.

8. J.R. Watkins Lemon hand cream - This smells like a lemon cupcake. It's a delicious scent.

9. Dang Toasted Coconut Chips - Eat some of these and you will definitely say, "Dang! These are good!"

10. Hunter Rain Boots - I have been eyeing Hunter rain boots since I was a fetus. Ok, not really. But for years. I am CHEAP when it comes to shoes (Target anyone?) but I finally splurged on these (AFTER selling something!) - and I've worn them half a dozen times already. Thanks for the rain, Charlotte!

What have you been loving lately?

Also, you may have heard me talk about Vitacost recently - if you want to check it out follow THIS LINK for $10 off your order!
Saturday, March 15, 2014

Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt KIND Bars Recipe

Did you guys know there are people on YouTube that are kind of like bloggers, only they talk on video instead of write?

Ok, yes I know I'm way behind the times. But I just recently discovered some great YouTube vloggers (??) and I am kind of excited about it.

One of them shared a recipe for homemade KIND bars that kind of made me jump up and down. We LOVE all manner of granola, nut, or fruit bars in this house and I almost always have a stash of Lara or Kind bars in the pantry.  The problem is, even buying them in bulk gets pricey. My husband travels a lot for work, and he likes to have some to take with him.

When I saw this recipe on YouTube I knew I needed to try it! I found it a little annoying to cook from a video recipe, so I wrote it down and I'm going to share it with you!  The recipe below is the original - I actually used cashews, pecans and almonds instead of walnuts, peanuts and almonds.

One thing - you WILL need a candy thermometer for this, unless you are a seasoned candy expert and know when your syrup will hit the soft ball stage.  If you have no idea what I just said, definitely use a candy thermometer.

Dark Chocolate, Nuts & Sea Salt KIND Bars
Printable Recipe

- 3/4 c. walnuts
- 3/4 c. peanuts
- 2 c. almonds
- 1 c. dark chocolate chips for melting
- 1 tbslp flax meal
- 1/2 c. millet
- 1/2 c. honey
- 1/3 c. Brown Rice Syrup
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla


Roast your walnuts, peanuts and almonds for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Spray a mixing bowl and a 9x13 inch cookie sheet with a non-stick spray (I used olive oil)  Add your nuts, the millet and flax meal.  Set aside.

On medium high heat, cook honey, brown rice syrup, vanilla and salt. Stir frequently. Heat until 260 degrees, using a candy thermometer.

Once your syrup reaches 260 degrees, you'll want to work quickly. Pour the syrup into the nut mixture and stir to evenly coat.  Then pour into a greased cookie sheet. You can flatten the nut mixture with the bottom of a greased glass or with wax paper. Once you've flattened the nuts out, let cool for 30 minutes.

After cooled, flip your cookie sheet over to release the mixture - it should come out in a big rectangle. Cut into bars.

Melt your dark chocolate chips with a double broiler or in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring until smooth.  Dip the underside/bottom of each bar into the chocolate and put on wax paper to cool. After the bottoms of all the bars are dipped in chocolate, use the leftover to drizzle on top of each bar with a spoon.

You can refrigerate or freeze until the chocolate is hard and then wrap each bar individually in wax paper.  


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Cherry + Beet Smoothie

I posted a pic the other day on Facebook of my new favorite (ok, second favorite) smoothie recipe and a ton of you have asked for it - because I hadn't really measured things out, I typed out what I *thought* it would be a few times and then I decided I would pay attention to what I was putting in the blender so I could share the correct amounts with you!

I've been seeing a naturopathic doctor to help me rebalance myself after having a bunch o'babies and to effectively take off (and KEEP off) baby weight - she mentioned how much she loved beets in her smoothies and then rattled off a few other ingredients she puts in there as well. We didn't talk about measurements, so this probably varies from what she does but I've been really enjoying it as an alternative to my ALL TIME favorite smoothie (the Glowing Green Smoothie).

A few things to note - beets have a very earthy flavor and while I don't find it overpowering or unpleasant, it is noticeable.  Because I use raw beet, it is a little fibrous but again, I don't mind it. And if you don't have a high powered blender like a Vitamix, you'll probably want to roast your beets first to make it easier.

And as with any smoothie recipe, you may need to tweak it to make it your own.

Anyway, here it is! Enjoy!

Beet Cherry Smoothie

- 1 c. almond milk
- 1/2 c. filtered water
- 1 beet, peeled and chopped (you can start with half if you aren't sure how you'll like the flavor)
- beet greens/stems from one beet (or, you can throw in a handful of other greens)
- 1 c. frozen cherries, whole
- 3/4 c. blueberries
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 tsp powdered turmeric
- splash of Organic Pure Pineapple Juice (optional)
- 1 Tblsp Garden of Life Organic Chia Seed (optional)
- 1 scoop unflavored Pure Pea Protein Powder (optional)

Blend until smooth!

Monday, March 3, 2014


"Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways." ~Proverbs 4:25-26

Have you ever watched a toddler navigate through something he's really excited about?  We have a loop in our house that Beckett loves to run over and over and over again. He's usually giggling and laughing and - looking behind him as he runs. Most of the time, he's hoping someone is chasing after him.

Yesterday, on the way home from our neighborhood playground we stopped by our friend's house to chat, enjoy the sunshine and let the kids play for a few minutes.  This particular friend of Beckett's has a very cool kid-sized kid-driveable Mustang. Beckett was so excited to have a chance to drive the car, and I couldn't help but notice that as he drove, he kept his eyes fixed backwards, watching the tires as they turned.

In our house, or on the road - one thing is bound to happen when Beckett looks behind him while charging full speed ahead. He's going to hit a wall (or a tree, or a mailbox, or a person) He can't safely navigate where he's going without his gaze fixed securely in front of him.

Sometimes it can be hard to keep your eyes forward - to keep your gaze fixed upon the One who wants so desperately to lead us deeper than we can imagine.  

I love this excerpt from Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Melton

'It’s easy to spend time in the shallow end of faith. It’s not a real commitment. You can just hop in, stand around in tight circles, and people-watch. You can examine your nails, read, reread, and catch up on all the gossip. You can talk and talk and talk and come to a great many conclusions and decisions and still maintain your hairstyle and even avoid smudging your makeup.

I think the reason we don’t hear from people in the deep end as often is because they’re actually swimming. In the deep end, you have to keep moving. It’s hard to look cool. It’s tiring and scary even, since it’s just you and your head and your heart in the silence of the depths. There’s not much chatting or safety in numbers in the deep end. You have to spend most of your time there alone. And it’s impossible to get any solid footing. You just have to trust that the water will hold you, and you have no other choice but to flail about and gasp for air and get soaking wet, head to toe.'

That. That is what I want. 

I want that kind of faith. The kind of faith where my eyes are fixed forward, where I am too busy kicking and flailing in the deep end to stand on the sidelines admiring my manicure, playing games, staring at the spinning tires or looking behind me to see if anyone is chasing me. 

In church recently, the pastor said, "Make God North on your compass. Pursue Him first." I want to know that no matter what is going on in my rearview mirror, I've got the sunroof open and the music blaring and I am going north.  Heading into the deep end.

Yes. That.