Friday, April 25, 2014

One of Epic Proportions

So, here I sit with an empty wine glass feeling completely renewed and rejuvenated and not just from the chardonnay! I crashed a party tonight {or as you read this Last Night} and not just any party but one of epic proportions - A Happy Hour Hangout.



Happy Hour Hangout was created by Amber and Ashten many many moons ago as a way for bloggers to interact in a live video chat about, well, blogging {and dung beetles, pretzels, sugar daddies…} and real important things. I was fortunate enough to be in the inaugural group of Happy Hour Hangout peeps {yep I really just said peeps and I'm not talking about nasty sugar mallows} and just love when I can join the ladies in a chat. 



You see, this blogging community is so much more than people commenting on my blog or following me on twitter. I've made friends; real, live, breathing, conscious people who I'm comfortable sharing things with. We text each other, we video chat, we snapchat, we engage each other. These "blogging friends" are just as real to me as the people I see every day and I'm grateful for these lasting friendships ... Now I wish we didn't live all over the USA, but I guess that just means I have tons of places to crash when I travel!!


Amber - Ashten - Casey - Elizabeth - Katie - Lena - Sara

Happy Hour was filled with insight from so many amazing women, some I'd met and some I'd never heard of. I found new blogs I want to read, new topics to explore, new resources, new drink recipes ... it was such a productive night I didn't want our chat to end but you know as the saying goes 'all good things must come to an end' and that it did. 

So with miles and miles between us and computer screens in front of us: we drank, we laughed, we got goosebumps, we smiled, we applauded, we agreed, we learned, we made new friends & we said me too!

It was Epic and one for the books {or blogs} indeed. Thanks ladies for the fun night, reminding me why I love blogging and letting me crash your party!!


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Monday, April 21, 2014

A Pinterest Easter Birthday

I need a detox! The amounts of bad {but oh so good} food I have been consuming lately is not favoring me - my scale even went up by 3 numbers so we have to change that. But first let's see if you get full just from my weekend recap!!

First Up: Pinterest Party! 
My sister-in-law mentioned the other day how fun it would be to have a craft day with my sister so we decided to have a Pinterest day. We all came with different craft ideas we had found on Pinterest, my sister brought her cricut and I supplied the wine and goodies! Here was the winning recipe … It was a blast - we painted, cut and glued our little hearts out!! 


P I N

P I N

Next Up: Easter -- Birthday
It was forecasted to be a beautiful day and for once those weather people didn't disappoint - The Sun was Shining for Our Risen Lord indeed!!
After church we played cards outside and I think all got a little sunburnt. Then as if I didn't graze and eat enough on Saturday my mom made an amazing Easter meal! 
My Sister also turned 24 on Sunday so after dinner we took a long walk to make room for her Birthday Pie!
We had so much fun all hanging out enjoying the beautiful weather - I think Spring is here!! 





food
::Detox/Clean Eating Tips Welcome::

Hope you all had a blessed Easter Weekend!!


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Friday, April 18, 2014

Avocado Chicken Stuffed Shells

Last night I finally got my beautiful Rachel Ray stoneware from zulily and had to think of something to make in it right away - thus this recipe was born. 



Avocado Chicken Stuffed Shells


What you Need:
//1 avocado - mashed
//2 tsp lime juice
//1 tbsp pasta seasoning {I use Penzeys - mix of basil, oregano, garlic and thyme}
//1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
//4-6 oz tomato paste
//1 12.5oz can of chicken
//1 10oz can of Ro*tel Mexican - Diced Tomatoes with Lime Juice & Cilantro
//8oz fresh shredded mozzarella 
//1/2 cup pasta sauce {I use Ragu Traditional}
//1 box Jumbo Pasta Shells

What to Do:
//Preheat oven to 350
//Cook pasta according to directions
//Once pasta is done drain the shells, do not rinse but let cool for five or more minutes before you handle them
//While pasta is cooking Mix first seven ingredients together in a bowl along with 4oz of mozzarella
//With a spoon fill the shells with about 2 tbsp worth of filling
//Place filled shells in a greased baking dish {My new stoneware dimensions are 15.75"x 11.75"x 7.5" and I fit 24 shells in it}
//Top filled shells with the pasta sauce and remaining mozzarella
//Bake for 30 min




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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Life Lately

Happy Wednesday.

I thought I'd do a quick post to update you on my life lately. 

*Warning this is a totally Random post*

//Well, I have been putting my public speaking skills to great use the past few days and it made me remember how much I love communication and miss my Comm college days. Last Friday I talked to a group of about 70 farmers about technology. The company I work for went paperless a few years back and we have a new feature that will allow the farmers to securely view their docs online - now we just need them to sign up for it!! 


//I finished reading The Fault In Our Stars this past weekend. I liked it but didn't love it and didn't bawl through the whole book like I thought I would. I really just want to find a book that I love so any recommendations are welcome!!



//I had a great time hanging out with my husband this past weekend. Did you know that every morning he has 3 hours of chores (aka feeding cows)?! Yep so I rode around with him in the tractor on Sunday morning for 3 hours, I don't know how he does that every day!!


//Remembering today my husband's cousin who would have been 21 - So if you have a drink today, say a toast to Jeremy who no doubt is livin' it up Upstairs!! {Miss You}

//I am Falling in Love with photography again - can't wait to show you some things I've been working on

//I hope everyone is having a fantastic week and looking forward to Easter weekend. 

P H O T O


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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

THRIVE

I experienced something new and totally amazing last night: My First Christian Concert!


My Dad & I at the concert

Now, I can remember the exact moment I started listening to our local Christian radio station. It was September 2008, and I was channel surfing on my way to work - all of the sudden I heard Remember Me by Mark Schultz, it was a song I had memorized for high school graduation but that day in mid September the song took on an entire different meaning. It was because only a few weeks earlier my family experienced a devastating loss, my dad's brother committed suicide, five years later it is still crazy to type those words. Sitting in my car that day listening to Remember Me I felt like my uncle was sending a message - that he was with God and everything was okay even though we were all struggling with the ugly, unanswerable questions suicide brings. My radio dial has hardly left 97.9 since that day in 2008 and I am super grateful for artists spreading God's word through their beautiful songs!!

There you have it, the background on how I got my start listening to Christian music, but let's get back to my worship experience last night:


The THRIVE Tour was in Fargo, now for all of you non Christian music listening people this is a tour consisting of the Grammy winning group Casting Crowns; Momma to 1, pregnant with twins and still rocking a tour - Laura Story; and the Energetic Australian group For King & Country.



For King & Country started the show off and BLEW ME AWAY. I'm not kidding these guys had so many instruments they were playing, ran all over in the crowd and gave me chills {in a good way} totally blown away! Beyond their amazing musical talent they had an important message proclaiming that chivalry is not dead and women should never be treated like anything less than princesses!! Watching this group live was such a treat and I hope I can see them again sometime. 

Laura Story has been one of my favorites for a long time. Her song Blessings is one of my All Time favorite songs and I was SUPER excited to watch her perform live. She didn't disappoint and had such a touching message that God has a plan even if we don't see it clearly or have to go through hardships before we reach the happiness.


As I think I've mentioned before, the first Christian CD I ever bought was Casting Crowns. I can belt out almost all of their {popular} songs by heart and just love love love the messages in their songs, so I went into this concert knowing they would be amazing. What I didn't expect was just how amazing Mark {the lead singer} would be at speaking. Chills, tears to the eyes, take your breath away rawness as he spoke of The Word - you won't be disappointed in attending their concert instead you will be fulfilled. 


One thing all these artists had in common, besides their love for spreading God's Word was how down to earth they all were when they spoke. It wasn't about their fame or getting mentioned in the latest headline for a sell out show it was about Love and Faith - spreading God's Word and things that mattered!!


The Christian concert experience is unlike any other concert genre I have ever been to and I don't know how to explain it but I can easily say it won't be my last!!



Have you ever been to a Christian concert? 
Who are some of your favorite Christian artists?



Treasure Tromp

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I Understand

Last night I finished the newest Nicholas Sparks book. Initially on finishing it I wasn't in love with it; I mean it was okay but didn't leave me in tears like most of the others - why this is what I want from books, I don't know!!

Source

But today, I couldn't stop thinking about it … the characters, the moments that did make me cry and make me laugh, the giant end surprise/takeaway from the book. I realized I was more in love with the story than I'd initially thought, sad that after work I wasn't going to get to hang out with Sophia, Luke, Ruth & Ira. Even though it didn't leave me in tears it did make an impact on me. That Nicholas Sparks still knows what he's doing!! 


Shortly after finishing the book, surprisingly, I was already applying it to my life. I was slightly angry with my husband for breaking a kitchen appliance. Looking back, not a big deal at all and to top it off "It was a thing" - my husband didn't die and it was so far from that. I learned from this book that I need to have a much more 'who cares' attitude when it comes to my 'things', that the one 'thing' that really matters is Love! Love in the form of who you love : Love in the form of who loves you - That is All That Matters because if you strip away all of the 'things' what could you truly not live without?!

love, office desk


Now I Understand. Do You?

ps. I highly recommend this book!!


Treasure Tromp

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