Friday, August 31, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday

7 quick takes sm1 Your 7 Quick Takes Toolkit!
Number 1
Just got back from a wonderful trip to Hawaii with my family.
View from our room

View from the zip-line tour

All geared up to go snorkeling

View from train ride

Number 2
This is my first time to do Conversion Diary's Friday Quick Takes! I'm actually quite new at blogging too. Welcome to everyone who is visiting for the first time. You might want to take a look at the little I have done in my blog's short life:

Number 3
When I told my daughter we were going to go on a big airplane to Hawaii, she jumped up and down and shouted, "We are going to the moon!" I had to let her down easy....

Number 4
I got a little crazy last week, and CUT MY OWN HAIR! I actually like how it turned out, I took about 4 inches off. Oh, and I saved $35. Whoohoo moment! However... don't think I will be doing it again.

Number 5
I start back up at school this week. My final semester of classes. I could not be more excited for this aspect of my life to move forward.

Number 6
We went back to school shopping for my daughter's first day of preschool, and I caved and bought Dora light up shoes, and a Cinderella backpack. She officially will be one of those kids, with the light up shoes... but I couldn't say no, because they were cheaper then the other option. Ha! Oh well I guess.

Number 7
Thanks for joining me!

Now I'll send you back to Conversion Diary to check out her blog and more 7 Quick Takes Fridays!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It's Yours, Not Mine

Sometimes I lay awake at night worrying about what happened that day, and what will happen the next day, and the next.

I will hope that my husband will feel fulfilled in his work. I will hope that my daughter will start to listen a little better. I will think about how I could and should be doing more to care for my house, my family and my school work. I will think about the 2 loads of laundry that I didn't get to... Then, if I am lucky, my mind can be directed towards Blessed John XXIII's prayer:

"It's your church, Lord, I'm going to bed"

It's a simple prayer that puts everything into perspective. I alter the prayer to say:

"It's your family, Lord, I'm going to bed"

My daughter, is really God's daughter. My husband, is also God's child. Everything I do, everything I have, is not really mine to take ownership of. It is all God's. So since it is God's, He will take care of it. So, I need not worry.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Favorite Toddler Books

I love reading to my daughter, and I love it even more when she enjoys pointing and saying the words with me. Here is a list of books that I put together that seem to be easy to follow and have inviting pictures and messages.

No No Yes Yes by Leslie Patricelli

This book is a great one! It sets the building blocks for rules in the house. The "No No, Yes, Yes" words are easy for even a young baby to understand. The pictures are pretty cute too, and have my daughter laughing!

Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers

This might be my favorite book of all time. I have notice that toddlers tend to be so interested in babies and all the things that they do, and this book tells them everything they want to know! I think it would be really great to show to a toddler if a new baby is arriving soon. It would give them a better understanding of what to expect. We have read the book so many times that now my daughter finishes the words on each page for me!

The Color Kittens by Margaret Wise Brown

This book is a classic, and a good introduction to colors and art. It goes through each color and how the colors can be created using other colors.

Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton

This is another one that introduces colors to little ones. It is also a great launching point for teaching toddlers about articles of clothing and body parts. It's also a really silly book that makes everyone laugh.

The Bible for Little Ones- Maite Roche

What a great first Bible! The pictures are beautiful and eye catching. They use a lot of animals and bright colors, which help to keep my daughter engaged. The words are very simple and easy for her to understand. She is always asking questions, and knows most of the stories now.

Where's Dave by Emma Surry

This is a cute story for slightly older ones. It talks about safety and good habits. The book also keeps younger ones engaged because they are on a scavenger hunt to find Dave on every page. My only complaint about this book is the portal of the mom dinosaur is not a very good one (or accurate!). Otherwise its wonderful!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Dinner Menu Week 2

Day 1: Lemon Chicken and Salad

Day 2: Caribbean Jerk Chicken, Bread and Cheesy Broccoli

Day 3: Turkey and Veggies

Day 4: Quiche

Day 5: Quesadillas (combine left over Turkey and Veggies with cheddar cheese and grill between tortillas)

Day 6: Breakfast for dinner
Day 7: Leftovers/eat out

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sirach and Duties Towards God

Recently I have began reading the book of The Wisdom of Sirach. I think it is a book in the Bible that often is glossed over by many Christians, perhaps because it is not accepted by Protestant faiths. Now in the Catholic Church it has been given the title Ecclesiasticus because the book itself has been used extensively to teach moral codes and faith to catechumens and the faithful.

The entire 2nd chapter is dedicated to teaching people how to be faithful to God. It spells out exactly what are duties are, and what will happen if we do or don't fulfill those duties. I think it is a great starting point for anyone who is just beginning their faith journey.

We are told to:

"Accept whatever befalls you, in crushing misfortune be patient; For in fire gold is tested, and worth men in the crucible of humiliation." Sirach 2: 4-5

I think this is perhaps one of the most difficult lessons to learn. There are times when people of faith turn away from God. I think the thought is often, if God existed, then He wouldn't let this happen to me... So he must not exist. Or to a lesser extent: "God, why are you letting this happen!!" But we are told to be patient. We need to trust in what God has in store for us. Then we are told:

"For in fire gold is tested" 

Gold one of the most precious metals, is tested in fire... which is something that can destroy. But fire doesn't destroy gold, it makes it stronger.

We are told that it works the same way for us. Our "crushing misfortune" really makes us stronger. We can use it to develop patience, tolerance, empathy, and a stronger faith. If we trust God in times of misfortune, we will be rewarded. We are told to:

"Cling to him, forsake him not; thus will your future be great". Sirach 2: 3

I think, looking back on the past few years I have seen this to be true in my own life. Getting married, having a child, moving away to a place where I know no one, starting grad school... they all have had their trials. There have been times where I have found myself frustrated with God. But I find that I have become a much more patient, accepting and empathetic person through all of this.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Lemon Chicken

  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 small onion grated
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 6 boneless chicken breast (thinly sliced)
  • Place 1st 8 ingredients in a blender until smooth
  • Place chicken and mixture into ziploc back, and marinade in fridge for 2 hours at least
  • Remove chicken, place in pan and broil for 11-12 minutes on medium heat, turn chicken over half way through
  • Enjoy!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Wedding Rehearsal Ribbon Bouquet

My best friend got married last January.  As part of my duty as the “Matron of Honor” I decided to create a mock flower bouquet for her to practice with during the rehearsal out of all the ribbons used as wrapping from her bridal showers. I searched and searched to figure out how to do this, but I didn’t find any tutorials (print or internet) that actually worked for me. I kind of played with the ribbons for a VERY LONG while and made a bouquet I am quite happy with, despite the colored ribbon I was working with due to the large number of gifts purchased from Bed Bath and Beyond. Here’s what I did.
Need for 1 flower:
  • 22 inch ribbon
  • Floral tape
  • Fabric glue
  • Floral wire

  • Get a ribbon about 22 inches long.
  • Tie a single knot at one end leaving a little extra hanging off

  • Twist the longer end away from the knot, adding a dab of glue, and wrap around the knot

  • repeat prior stem until there is just a little bit of ribbon left
  • Take floral wiring and push it into the knot, where the stem looks like it should come from

  • Wrap excess ribbon around wire and secure with floral tape

  • Create as many flowers as you would like and wrap all the stems together with floral tape
  • Then wrap ribbon over floral tape and secure with fabric glue
  • Then you have yourself a wedding rehearsal flower bouquet! 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Dinner Menu Week 1

Day 1: Meat Loaf with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and Raw Veggies

Day 2: Spaghetti (canned sauce)

Day 3: Red Beans and Rice (except I usually use store bought sausage)

Day 4: Oven Fried Chicken with Green beans and onions

Day 5: Tamale Pie

Day 6: Not so Common Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and fruit

Day 7: Leftovers/ eat out

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Oven Chicken

*This recipe was adapted from Oven-fried chicken in The Taste of Home Cookbook


  • 2 lbs bone-in chicken, skin removed
  • 1/4 cup wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 envelope italian salad dressing mix
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • Combine all ingredients, except chicken and milk, into a bowl
  • Pour milk into a separate bowl
  • Dip each piece of chicken into milk, then into flour mixture (be sure to cover completely) 
  • Place dipped chicken into greased pan
  • Drizzle 2 tbsp butter over covered chicken
  • Bake chicken at 350 degrees F, for 35-50 minutes

Not So Common Grilled Cheese

Recipe makes 1 sandwich


  • 2 slices of bread
  • 2 large slices of cheddar cheese
  • 4 slices of roma tomato 
  • 1 slice of deli chicken or turkey
  • softened butter
  • Butter one side of sliced toast, put it face down
  • Add 1 slice of cheese
  • Add 4 tomato slices
  • Add deli meat
  • Add other slice of cheese
  • Finish with other slice of bread
  • Butter slice side up
  • Grill it and enjoy! 

Caribbean Jerk Chicken

This recipe is from The Taste of Home Cookbook- the All New Edition.


  • 1.5 lbs of bone-in chicken legs and thighs, skin removed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 envelope italian salad dressing mix
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Mix all ingredients, except chicken. 
  • Pour chicken and mixture into a plastic bag, shake to coat.
  • Refrigerate for 2-4 hours (I sometimes leave it over night)
  • Grill chicken over medium, turning occasionally for 35-45 minutes.
  • ENJOY!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

I came up with this recipe, because all the recipes for hummus I have tried, haven't been creamy enough for me. I think the yogurt really adds to this!

*Before starting this recipe, cut 1/2 red pepper off stem into large slices. Lightly baste the pieces with olive oil and roast them in the oven for 15 minute (until tender) at 350 degrees F.


  • Can of chickpeas, drained
  • 2 tbsp tahini 
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 roasted red pepper chopped into tiny pieces 
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Combine all ingredients, except for roasted red pepper, in food processor
  • Blend until smooth and creamy
  • Stir in chopped red pepper
  • Refrigerate before serving, and if there is any extra
  • Serve with veggies, pita chips, crackers, tortillas, etc

* Tahini (sesame oil) can be found in the international section of the grocery store. It is on the expensive side, but the cost is well worth it for all the hummus you can make with a large jar!

Thin Moments and Places

book I am reading, started talking about something that interested me, called a thin place. A “thin place” is traditionally a belief held by Celtic Christians. In short, a it is a place somewhere in the world where a person is closer to God then he or she ordinarily is. It is a special place where a person can truly feel God’s presence. This group of Celtic Christians believe that at any given time a person is usually 3 feet away from God, but when in a thin place a person is even closer!
The idea is intriguing to me, and to some extent I have found it to be true (although I may not believe the 3 ft rule). There are places that I have been, that I have found myself feeling closer to God than usual. Mostly my experience has been somewhere in nature like on a hike (only been on like 2 in my whole life) or at the beach.
My thought is that, more than “thin places” I have had “thin moments”. I will say I am not sure if there is any specific Celtic Christian teaching on thin moments though, but maybe there is! I think a thin moment is a time in your life when you can feel God there and you may not know why.  Here are some of my “thin moments:"

  • When my daughter was born
  • When I got married
  • When I am at the beach
  • When I am in Adoration
I realized I have been taught about thin moments my whole life. Back in kindergarden my teacher once told me a secret. I'll let you in on the secret too:
"When you get goosebumps and you are not cold, and you look around and cannot see, hear or feel anything, then it's the Holy Spirit next to you giving you a hug".
Guess what? I have believed it ever since. Whenever I notice I get goosebumps for no reason at all, it always makes me smile and feel like God is watching over me.

Turkey and Veggies

Here is a recipe that my sister-in-law gave me. However, I am not sure where she originally got it from.  So if you happen to know, I will gladly credit that person.


  • 2 lbs of ground turkey
  • 2-6 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 cups of salsa
  • 2 cups julienned red pepper 
  • Minced cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 4 cups julienned zucchini
  • 2 cups frozen corn 
  • 2 cans green chilies 
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Brown rice to serve over
  • Cook turkey, onions and garlic in stock-pot over med heat, until meat is no longer pink. 
  • Drain fat out. Add zucchini, salsa, corn, red pepper & chilies. 
  • Reduce heat. Cover and simmer until veggies are tender. 
  • Stir in seasonings and serve over brown rice.