Friday, February 28, 2014

7 Quick Takes {no. 11}

It's that time of the week again! Linking up my 7 Quick Takes with Jen & many more over at Conversion Diary

Starting out with a bang this brother-in-law got engaged last Friday! This is just wonderful news, and I couldn't be more excited for the two of them. Hooray for gaining a new sister-in-law! And prayers for them in their engagement as they prepare for marriage.

I'm still trying to figure out why I was so quick to jump on board for Jen's 7 posts in 7 days. All I can say is what. a. CHALLENGE! And thank the Lord for link-ups. :)

Speaking of links, I think I'll share some link love on this fine Friday evening because this gal is running low on creative energy...

Bonnie at A Knotted Life had a great post yesterday with her "Knot Bad" video on preparing for Lent. It's a short five minute video with some great ideas, so if you haven't seen it yet, I encourage you to click on over

I may not be a mom yet, but I've been enjoying this baby name link-up over at Team Whitaker. It's so fun to read about how people chose to name their children. Click over to read some great posts (and to see some cute baby pictures!).

So very, very happy that today is the last day of February. So long, farewell, February! I am SO ready for March! And spring! And warmer weather!

Well, I'm off to make some chicken for dinner (since I won't be making that on a Friday night again for a little while!). I hope everyone has a blessed weekend. See you tomorrow & Sunday for my last two posts in this 7x7 marathon!
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Thursday, February 27, 2014

the big purse dump

Joining in the fun & linking up with Kendra & more for the big purse dump she is hosting this week!

Where to begin?! Here in NYC I am constantly switching from purse to bag to backpack to purse and back again. When I am out ALL day, I have to bring a lot of stuff with me, hence the backpack or the black work bag. Sometimes, however, if I'm just going out for a quick errand I can bring one of the two smaller purses (and I'm so happy because I don't ever like carrying a ton of stuff all over town). Since it's a purse dump and not a bag dump, I'll stick to my two purses for this post. :)

First up, my little green clutch from Banana Republic. It was a birthday gift from my parents, and I just love how light this purse is. It's small to the point where I can't possibly make it heavy to carry around town. Perfect!

A used napkin, an umbrella, hand sanitizer (a must for city living and public transportation!),
a lip gloss, a chapstick, a lip treatment, a pen & a pencil. Not too bad!

Now for purse number two, my old standby from Target...pronounced like zee French: tar-jay. Which actually reminds me of a story! When I was going to get my name changed shortly after getting married, I was waiting for my turn at a government office. No one else was around at this small place, and Ms. Security Guard told me how much she liked my purse.

Oh, I just LOOOOOOVE your purse! Where did you get that? she asked. 

Oh, Target (pronounced the normal way), I replied. 

Oooooh, HONEY! she said with sass. Don't say Tar-GET! Say Tar-JAY! It sounds so much betta'! 

She started laughing hysterically, and I giggled. Then she and her security guard friend started talking about shopping. Ain't that the truth! they exclaimed. Too funny.

Okay, back on track. My gray Target purse. Here's what I found inside:
Advil, my coupon organizer, some Honey Lemon cough drops, a notepad, pens & a pencil, a crocheted coffee sleeve, deodorant, kleenex (2), an old gum wrapper, some lip gloss, hand sanitizer, Laura Mercier lotion, hair clips/ties/bobby pins, my business cards, a rosary, and my sunglasses case. Whew!

I can't say I was too surprised with what I found in my purses because I am always switching items around from bag to bag, but I would like to have less in my purse. But then I always think to myself, "Well, what if I need that?" and then I rarely use them. Do you do that too? Just me?

Then I came in my living room and I noticed this pile of stuff that was between bags at the time:
A computer mouse, another deodorant, feminine items, more kleenex, two hand mirrors, tylenol, sunglasses, my wallet and the current book I'm reading which usually comes with me for reading on the subway or bus.

A couple of my favorite items are:
• the crocheted coffee cup sleeve - It was a gift from my mom. I just think it's so cute and I love using it when I go out.
• the Laura Mercier hand lotion - Not only does it moisturize well, but it just smells SO good. Shout out to my friend Mary who gave me such a treat.
• my rosary - which was a gift from my dear friend Julie. She got it for me in Fatima. 

So that's my purse dump! What's in yours? :)

Linking up with Jen - this is four out of seven posts in seven days this week.
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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

5 favorites {no. 6}

It's Wednesday! Joining Hallie & friends for this week's edition of 5 Favorites.


Twinings English Breakfast Tea// with milk & honey, please! a delightful morning treat.


Cuisinart Blender// to make smoothies - yum! (Though my blender is not as fancy as pictured.)
My current favorite is Strawberry Banana >>>
Blend 1 banana, 3/4 c. frozen strawberries, 1/2 c. greek yogurt, 1 c. milk, 1 1/2 T. flaxseed meal.

Quinoa Black Bean Burgers // this recipe is delicious & easy! Perfect for a meat-free meal.
(Can't believe Lent starts next week!) I typically serve them on a bed of lettuce instead of on a bun,
as pictured. Even my meat-loving husband likes these. :)


Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Counter Top Spray {Lemon Verbena}// I just started using this cleaning supply, and so far I love it. I used it in the kitchen, the bathroom & the living room - very versatile. Not only does it get things clean, but it smells good, too!

Tulips // Sometimes a girl just needs flowers to brighten up the day, you know?! Love love love.
Linking up with Jen & many more - this is no. 3 of my seven posts in seven days this week.
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Tuesday, February 25, 2014


When I was in college I took a creative writing class. It was one of my favorite classes outside of my music curriculum. We wrote short stories and poems, but the poetry section was my favorite. Though I honestly don't read poetry too much, I so enjoy it. And I had such a wonderful time writing poems. I'd like to challenge myself to get back into writing poetry. I'm not sure I've written any poems since the class. (The challenge of writing seven posts in seven days is what got me thinking about that!)

I looked through some of the poems I wrote in college just a few (coughSIX?!cough) years ago. I wrote this one in February, so I though it would be appropriate to share today. I hope you enjoy it.


warm moonglow shining on
the frozen february earth
tucked in nature’s quilt of snow

each flake falls from
the starry night sky
pure innocent untouched until

snow crowned boots crunch
sparkling crystal sidewalks
never again the same

frost-glazed windows hide
those inside who are
not prepared to see the

bright red cardinal
perched on the picket fence
which reminds me of you

oh my heart

Do you ever write or read poetry? Who are your favorite poets? 

Linking up with Jen & many more - this is the second of my seven posts in seven days this week.
Thanks for stopping by my blog!
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Monday, February 24, 2014

egg salad, arugula & avocado sandwich {yum}

Do you ever get stuck in a lunch rut where you have the same few things all the time? Well, I sure do. But today I made something new! If you're looking for an easy, quick & delicious lunch idea, I highly recommend it. Inspired by this pin on my {yum} pinterest board, I made an egg salad, arugula & avocado sandwich. Yum!

      makes one sandwich
2 hard-boiled eggs, diced
1 T. greek yogurt
1 t. mayonnaise
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup arugula
1/2 avocado, sliced
1/2 tomato, sliced
bread of choice 

To make the egg salad, mix the diced hard-boiled eggs with the greek yogurt, mayonnaise, and salt & pepper. On the bread of your choice layer the arugula followed by the egg salad, avocado, and tomato. For a healthy option you could also omit the bread, and just enjoy the egg salad & avocado on a bed of arugula. It's super quick & easy, and most importantly, delicious! 

What are your favorite lunch ideas? Please share! I'd love to hear from you.

This is the first of my seven posts in seven days this week. Thanks for stopping by my blog!
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Friday, February 21, 2014

7 Quick Takes {no. 10}

It's been a while y'all. And I miss you! Glad to be back for this week's 7 quick takes.

I've had a small case of blogger's block. But! I am hoping to join Jen for her 7 posts in 7 days challenge that starts Monday. Last time she presented this challenge I hadn't started writing my blog, but I *loved* the week because I had so many blog posts to read! Looking forward to joining in the fun next week. Wish me luck!

Lately I've been dreaming of days like this...
{give me a warm sunny day by the water!}
or this...
{palm trees, beautiful flowers & a margarita...yes, please!}
Unfortunately, NYC does not look like either of those images at the moment. It's a foggy/rainy day right now, though I'm not complaining that the temperature is supposed to get up to 55 degrees.
{screenshot from a live Times Square camera this morning - dreary!}
It is a bit depressing to see more snow and highs in the 20s in the ten-day forecast.
Is there a patron saint of springtime? Pray for us!

I have been enjoying the Olympics quite a bit these past couple weeks. Watching the figure skating is always my favorite. My mom & I always watched it together growing up. Now we both watch and we text our thoughts to each other throughout the night. It's been so much fun. Wishing Gracie Gold could have medaled last night. And I loved seeing Meryl Davis & Charlie White take the gold medal in ice dancing! Go blue!

It should be a pretty low-key weekend here for me. Maybe I'll get a head start on blogging for next week? I'm also looking forward to attending my friend's baby shower this Sunday. What a blessing!
Hope you all have wonderful weekends, and I'll see you Monday. :)

Linking up at Conversion Diary with Jen and many more lovely bloggers.

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

my first valentine

If you've been following my blog for a while, you may remember reading about the time I thought someone was breaking into my apartment, when in reality Michael was duct-taping a valentine to my door. I promised to share pictures of that famous valentine, and in honor of the approaching celebration of love, here they are:
{the glitter glue & the rhinestones...oh, my heart}
"I really hope this Valentine,
as it journies on its way,
brightens yours as it did mine,
the spirits of this day!"
And since we're celebrating love this week, I want to share this reflection with you.
You may have read it before, but I always enjoy coming back to it.

Fall in Love
Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.
{Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ}

{update} Linking up this post with Cari & friends for Theme Thursday: Hearts at Clan Donaldson!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

5 favorites {no. 5} valentine's day edition

Just in time for February 14 - a Valentine's Day edition of 5 favorites.
I know some people don't care for this holiday. But! I think regardless of whether you are single, in a relationship, or married, St. Valentine's Day is a celebration of love. Did you know St. Valentine is the patron saint not only of happy marriages and engaged couples, but of love and young people?
Love is something we can all celebrate.

In honor of the upcoming feast day, I thought I'd share 5 of my favorite scripture verses on love.
If you have the time, praying with each verse could be a fruitful way to celebrate on February 14.

"Love is strong as death,
passion fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
a raging flame.
Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it."
{Song of Songs 8:6b-7a}

"Put on love,
that is, the bond of perfection."
{Colossians 3:14}

"Jesus said to his disciples:
'As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father's commandments
and remain in his love.'"
{John 15:9-10}

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul, and with all your might."
{Deuteronomy 6:5}

"We love because he first loved us."
{1 John 4:19}

The first three verses I chose were all a part of our wedding ceremony. The fourth verse is the great commandment - I will always remember memorizing this verse for Sr. Lucy's scripture class in high school. :) And the last verse is one I just adore. We are only able to love because God - the source of true love, God who is love - loved us first. What a blessing. I can't even begin to comprehend it!
Hover over the graphic above & click the {pin me} button
to share with friends on Pinterest, or for future reference & reflection.
Linking up this 5 favorites post with Hallie and friends at Moxie Wife.
Do you have any favorite scriptures about love?
Wishing you a lovely week...
For more Valentine's Day inspiration, visit my Valentine's Day board on Pinterest.

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Monday, February 10, 2014

i love you cake

I started the tradition of making an "I love you cake" every Valentine's Day a few years ago. There's really nothing too fancy about the tradition - I simply bake a cake to show my love to Michael (Baking special treats is definitely one of my husband's love languages!) and to celebrate
St. Valentine's Day.

Here are a few pictures of my cakes over the years:

Do you have any Valentine's Day traditions? I'd love to hear!

Friday, February 7, 2014

7 Quick Takes {no. 9} catching up

I can't believe it's been a week since I've posted here! It was one of those weeks where I was too busy living to be blogging, so let's catch up on what happened this week:

As I mentioned last week, my family came to visit! My parents, my grandpa, and his friend arrived last weekend and left yesterday. We had such a wonderful visit. Time together is precious, especially since we live so far away from them in this season of my life.

My family loves the arts, and when they visit NYC we usually attend a few performances.
This trip we were lucky enough to see two Broadway shows:
Matilda the Musical
The Bridges of Madison County.
They were two very different musicals, but I really enjoyed both performances.

We also got to see Rusalka at The Metropolitan Opera, starring Renée Fleming.
{Did you hear Ms. Fleming sing the National Anthem last Saturday?}
The opera was beautiful! In essence it is the operatic version of The Little Mermaid.
Did you know that The Met broadcasts live performances you can see in movie theaters across the country? The opera I saw, Rusalka, is going to be broadcasted tomorrow (Saturday 2/8)!
Click here to find out if it's playing near you!

In addition to filling up on music & the arts, we also filled up on food. Really good food.
We are never left wanting for more when my family comes to visit!
Isn't this pretty? We went to Blue Bottle Coffee in the meatpacking district of NYC.
{momma & me enjoying our lattes}
We spent one afternoon toodling around at some shops in the city.
We went to Chelsea Market for part of the day - full post on that coming soon!

My parents experienced a variety of temperatures & weather during their visit. Their first full day here it was over 50 degrees - so nice! The very next day it snowed 6-8 inches - not so nice.
{view from the Time Warner Center - looking onto Columbus Circle}
Good thing my family members are troopers because it was a slippery, slushy mess out there!
A second round of snow caused them to delay their return by a day for safer travels. It was nice for us to have an extra day to spend with them!

What a great trip! I was sad to see them go yesterday.
I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful family.

Looking forward to a relaxing and rejuvenating weekend...and catching up on all the blog posts I missed this week. Any you particularly enjoyed? Let me know!

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