January 31, 2013

kale chips

It was a quarter past 8 this morning as I stood in front of the self-check-out register at Fred Meyers, quickly scanning and weighing my items in order to get to work by 8:30.

The self-checkout master at Freddy’s came around the corner (we’re friends now since I go there all-the-time) and I asked him if he knew the code for the bunch of Kale I just pulled from my basket.
Of course he did - he knows all the specials codes!
From the next register over, another self checker also on her way to work from my assessment, shoots over in my direction “Do you made kale chips with your kale?’’
Did she seriously just read my mind?
Of course I was making kale chips with my kale, what better way is there? Really?
I love popcorn, and so does my friend Bethany. But recently, Bethany decided to go Paleo. She’s healthy. Me… ehh… I try. But, unfortunately for Bethany, popcorn on the Paleo diet is a big no no, so tonight she is coming over to my house and I’m going to make her Kale chips, because to me it’s kinda like popcorn, only green, and better!
Okay, off to make my kale chips. You should too; all that crunchy, salty, hit of oil in your mouth goodness!
You will feel like you’re doing something wrong, but of course, you’re not.

Kale Chips
One bunch of Kale – wash and torn into bite sized pieces
Drizzle of olive oil
Dash of seasoned salt

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Place kale pieces on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with seasoned salt. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the chips start to turn brown. Watch that they don’t burn. Serve warm.

January 14, 2013

mirror monday: do i really believe

I just finished reading The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. What an inspiring story! The Ten Boom family lived in Holland during World War II, and became part of the underground movement hiding Jews from the Nazi and orchestrating the safe passage of so many Jews into hiding all over the country.

Eventually Corrie and her sister Betsie were discovered for their work in the underground movement and arrested. They were thrown in prison and eventually transferred to two different concentration camps. Throughout it all their faith in God remained unwavering.

Upon arriving at one of the concentration camps each women was ordered to strip naked and leave all their clothes and possessions behind. In addition to a sweater, and a small bottle of vitamin drops, Corrie and Betsie had a small precious Bible they had been carrying with them.

Each woman was given a thin prison dress to wear, nothing else. Although they were told to leave everything behind, Corrie and her sister refused to let go of the precious Word of God that they clung to so dearly. Although she risked being beaten or shot, Corrie smuggled the Bible, along with the sweater and vitamins underneath her prison dress. When inspection time came each women was thoroughly patted down one by one in a long line of women. Corrie who held the Word of God under her dress was miraculously skipped each time. No other explanation but a miracle of God can be given for how this happened.

I can tell you that when I look in the mirror, I do not see a person with the faith that Corrie and Bestie had. In a way, I'm jealous. Their faith in God was all they had. The truth is, the same God that saved Corrie and Betsie from being brutally beaten or killed by the guards is the same powerful God that wants to work in my life. Do I really believe that? I don't act like I believe that. I have 1000 different things distracting me at any given moment from iphone Apps to Nordstrom catalogues to the comforts of my own home, my favorite TV shows and my daily routine that I'm flat out missing out on experiencing the power of God in my life.


How pathetic.

How cunning of the evil one.

My goal: to be less consumed with stuff and more consumed with what God is doing and how He wants me to join with Him in the miraculous things He is doing!

top: garage sale | vest: Nike | leggings: Favuer | necklace: Favuer 

January 11, 2013

food: chopped winter salad with butternut squash, apple, and feta

I made this last amazing butternut squash salad for dinner last night. I'm so excited that it was a hit and look forward to it becoming a regular guest in our household!

Butternut squash is, as I'm sure I've said before and will undoubtedly say again, one of my favorite things ever. So, when I say this recipe for a quick and easy salad in last months issue of Real Simple, I knew it wouldn't be long before I tried it out!

There is so much going on in this dish you just have to try it for yourself! First of all there is the feta / kalamata olive combo which in and of itself is one of my personal favs. All that salty goodness adds so much flavor to this dish. Then there is the tart apple to balance out the feta cheese and chickpeas. Radicchio, which I personally never had before, was great and added a ton of fun color to the dish. And then, the star of the show, in my opinion, the roasted butternut squash! Oh, and I can't forget the dill dressing which was the easiest thing I have ever made! The dill was a perfect herb for this dish!

Chopped Winter Salad with Butternut Squash, Apple and Feta (from Real Simple)

  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into pieces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1 small head radicchio leaves town
  • 1 15.5 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 4 ounces Feta cheese
  • 1 tart apple (I used Granny Smith)
  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
  1. Heat oven to 450° F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash with 1 tablespoon of the oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Roast, tossing once, until tender, 25 to 30 minutes; let cool slightly.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, dill, the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add the squash, radicchio, chickpeas, Feta, apple, and olives and toss to combine.

January 7, 2013

mirror monday: what do you see when you look in the mirror

Let's face it, we don't always like what we see when we look in the mirror. What meets our eyes as we glance at the mirror on the wall may only be the things that we dislike about ourselves. Sometimes we tend to focus on the things that we don't like, at least I do. The problem is, by focusing on the things we don't like we we miss seeing the whole picture and therefore have an inaccurate view of ourselves.

This past week my husband and I vacationed in Bend, Oregon. We love it there! While there we like to walk around downtown, do some window shopping and I always love to go into the little boutiques to do some clothing and home goods shopping as well.

One day we stepped into a particular boutique we visited in the summer. I grabbed a few items I thought I would try on and asked the sales women a few questions about the pieces I had picked out. The women, who I would say was about 20 years older then I and had a very motherly way about her, was very helpful and offered her assistance with any of the items once I had tried them on.

Behind the curtain of the dressing room I began to try the pieces on. By the time I got the second piece over my head, I was so frustrated. Nothing fit. Nothing looked good. It was all wrong. A million bad thoughts were running around in my head as I look at myself in the mirror - I felt defeated.

Somehow the sales women convinced me to let her help me with the items. I stepped hesitantly out from behind the curtain, into the store and over to a full length mirror. Mumbling words of disappointment about myself the sales women stopped me in an admonishing sort of way that I wasn't expecting. I'll never forget what happened next.

Standing in front of me she said, "Look at my eyes". I felt like I was in trouble and really just wanted to avoid her eyes. She said it again, "look at my eyes". I could tell I wasn't going to get away easy. I tried hard to look into her eyes, feeling uncomfortable and thinking to myself, "I just wanted to come in and try some clothes on!"

Standing in the middle of the boutique wearing nothing of my own, this total stranger, eyes locked on mine own said "Now I want to tell you something, this is important and you need to hear me. Your view of yourself affects how others respond to you". I didn't even know what to say. I hadn't asked for this, but somehow I knew this was something I needed to hear.

Nodding my head and trying hard not to sweat through the clothes on my body that weren't my own, I uttered the words, "I know". I knew, but rarely acted like I did. She repeated the words to me again and then as if that wasn't enough, she made me look into the mirror and said "now I want you to tell me what you like about yourself". I couldn't do it. Whether it was because I believed I would be conceited if I did, or I didn't like anything about myself, or both, I couldn't say anything.

This women wanted me to see the truth about myself as I looked in the mirror. I admit though, it was hard. I am a work in progress. Having a good self image is important and something that I need to work on. So, when I look in the mirror I am going to try to see the good things about myself, not the bad.

Sweater: Forever 21 | Skirt: Urban | Scarf: Gifted | Hat: Fabulous Finds | Clock Necklace: Faveur Boutique | Earrings, tights and boots : don't remember

January 6, 2013

vacation: the last few days

Our last day in Bend was amazing. We had a great time together and didn't want to leave when the time came on Saturday. 

We started out our day with NTC. Always a great workout!

Then we worked just for a couple hours.

That night we went downtown to the art walk and went in a lot of the little shops. Many of the shops had artists displaying their artwork but some shops just stayed open late and served complementary wine or champagne.  

We went to dinner downtown at Zydeco

At home we sat in front of the fire

and I cuddled with my puppy.

At last we finally had to say goodbye to our wonderful little home and make the drive home.

It was a wonderful time and we feel so blessed for our time off and our time in Bend. 
Tomorrow we go back to work and back to our normal routines. I am looking forward to work and getting back to our normal workout routines! 

vacation: day thirteen

Morning sun & snow in Bend

After Ryan made his amazing breakfast burritos I walked to get my nails done. Ryan let me do Shellac!
This is beauty!

my pretty nails

walking in the snow

Then Ryan and I walked downtown and did some window shopping, we had so much fun!

Then for lunch we walked to a new brewery we had never tried before, Crux.
It was really good!

We split the meatball sandwich and shared a sampler

Then back home to get ready for the Fiesta Bowl.

We made pizza

and my cousin Gina and her husband Frank came over for dinner!

We had a great time with them! 

January 3, 2013

vacation: day twelve

The night before ended just like this... 

reading in this sweet bunk bed with my pup.

So cozy.

Then after our morning coffee and oatmeal we did Nike Training Club (NTC). 
Did you know there's an App for NTC? 
So good. 
Get it.

no i'm not tripping, this is a one leg squat with a push away
then a cool down run in the snow, so fun!

Lunch at Deschutes Brewery

we split a chicken sandwich and soup

and it's apparently a tradition for us to buy socks at Fred Meyer in the winter when we go to Bend. 

Now if you can believe it, I purchased my first pair of wool sock. My feet were so cold all day even in my boots but with these socks they weren't cold at all! 
I seriously love them!

back to our bungalow to sit and relax because I really wasn't feeling better

made a tilapia, kale and potato dish for dinner

and then these amazing cookies afterwards... so so so good. 

January 1, 2013

vacation: day eleven

It's 10 degrees outside - there is snow on the ground- my pup is curled up in front of the fireplace and my stay-cation just turned into a vacation in the beautiful city of Bend, Oregon!

Over the pass we went with the sun shining so brightly!

This is my view as I write and sip my tea in this cozy little bungalow.

Looking forward to a few more days of relaxing and adventures in Central Oregon!