Friday, July 31, 2009

E Street Cafe

Nothing like chai tea lattes and big comfy couches at my favorite Cafe on the beach, The E Street Cafe.
Elise just fit right in. This was by far my favorite picture of the day. She's just so lovely!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

San Diego Adventures Part 1

The road trip to San Diego was amazing!! Despite the long car ride, numb butts, and my antsy dog, Elise and I had a wonderful time chatting, listening to music, and laughing the whole way from Arizona to Southern California. The blue skies and fresh California air soothe my soul and reinvigorate my spirit. Here are just a few pictures of our road trip and first evening in San Diego....
Tirzah on Elise's lap... isn't she just precious??
Here is Elise and I excited as we crossed the border into California!
YAY!!! San Diego here we come!!
Look at the beautiful weather... 75 degrees and sunny. *SIGH* wonderful!

After dinner Elise and I got dressed and ventured down to the beach to watch the sun set.

The beach at sunset is incredible!

Such cute feet we have!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

San Diego Here I Come!!

San Diego here I come!!
Today, in exactly four hours, my good friend Elise and I are taking a road trip to the beautiful southern california. As much as I love it here in the Valley of the Sun, I can't wait to get back to cooler weather, beautiful beaches, and green grass.... ahh sounds so heavenly! I'll be sure to post lots of pictures and perhaps, if your lucky, I'll post a video or two as well.
Au Revoir!
(what can I say, I'm feeling french today... perhaps its because I'm listening to her)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Confessing Shame

I'm here to purge some shame today.
Its time to put away the embarrassment, embrace flaws, and seek to acknowledge imperfection. So here are a few qualities I'm always ashamed to admit, and always trying to change.
  1. I'm far too high maintenance. Needing 2 hours to get ready in the morning is ridiculous.
  2. I put more worth and value on the things I have and wear, rather than who I am on the inside.
  3. I let other people's opinions of me affect my mood.
  4. I have zero patients
  5. I try too hard sometimes.
  6. I'm a wee bit opinionated and tend to also be a wee bit close minded (understatement)
  7. I'm always concerned about my weight... do I weigh too much, too little?.... ahhh! I need balance
  8. I can be quite materialistic sometimes
  9. I judge others based on superficial things, instead viewing them as Christ sees them
  10. I'm a very jealous person

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Chocolate Addiction

Shoes and chocolate. My two greatest addictions in one scrumptious package.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Tofu Twigs and the Talk of the Town....

Tonight Elise and I embarked on a new cooking adventured as we attempted to cook dinner with only the ingredients in our fridges. It was no easy task, but we of course made it look effortless.
Good friends, lots of laughter, yummy food, and great conversation.... no better combination exists.

Yummy tofu sticks appetizers. Mouth watering goodness.

Elise cutting the amazingly delicious veggies to top our whole grain penne pasta.

Bright fresh veggies simply make my mouth water...
I bet your totally drooling right now aren't you??

Our veggie, mozzarella cheese, and penne pasta dish.

As Elise and I began to make our Warm Goat Cheese Salad (pictured below), we were at a loss as to what dressing to use. As I began to name off the dressings available in my fridge, Elise suddenly squealed with delight when she realized I had the EXACT dressing the original recipe called for. It was fate!

What a beautiful presentation, right??

Dinner is of course incomplete without dessert. And what was on the menu you ask??
A scrumptious blend of fresh baked fruit with a cinnamon and brown sugar topping.
(It tasted like heaven in my mouth!)

Here's Elise hard at work making the dessert a delectable treat.

Elise's strawberry glaze in progress.

What a lovely mess we made.

Gerard Butler

Just a little piece of yumminess to get you through your day!
Hmmm, I wonder if he loves Jesus??

Saturday, July 25, 2009

When Good Dates Go Bad

So remember when I decided to put myself out there and blog about the recent adventures in my dating life? What the heck was I thinking?!?! I must have been hallucinating or something. Well, as it turns out, Date #2 with boy from Date #1, failed to meet my expectations. In theory he was perfect, in reality... not so much. To make a long story short, it simply didn't work out. But it did inspire me to write this blog (gotta love blog inspiration). I'm assuming most of my blog reading audience is female, but for the occasional man who happens to run across this entry... here is some advice from a woman whose seen and dated it all. A little note to men who ever plan on dating anyone in the female population.... EVER.

  1. Don't text message her every five seconds.

  2. Don't act jealous after only one date.

  3. Don't over use the smiley face :-) if you plan on texting at all.

  4. Don't reference the "future" on your second date

  5. Don't assume she's on another date when she says she's with a friend

  6. Don't let her pay for dinner

  7. Don't order a girly drink (such as a martini or wine spritzer) - be a man, get a beer.

  8. Don't let her carry the conversation. If you can't talk, don't date

  9. Don't talk about yourself all night.... that does not qualify as conversation

  10. Don't check out another girl in the restaurant

  11. Don't try to be funny if you know your not. Be yourself. Be genuine.

  12. Don't stare at her without blinking for long periods of time. Its creepy.

  13. Don't stare at her boobs. A woman can tell when your look at her eyes or when your looking 5 inches south of there

  14. Don't answer your phone or text message on a date

  15. Don't leave the first five buttons on your shirt unbuttoned. Its 2009, button up.

  16. Don't suggest going swimming/hot tubing together after the first date. The kind of woman you can take home to mom will NOT strip down to her bikini after knowing you for 2 hrs.

  17. Don't try to kiss her until the third or forth date. Date one -too soon. Date five -too late

  18. Hmmm.... Thats all for now. I'm sure there's more but I'm tired. Off to bed I go.

Saturday Night Nerd

Its a Saturday evening, I'm 21 years old, and what am I doing??? I'm sitting on the couch in my sweat pants and house socks with a baby sleeping in the next room, while I eat my homemade Garlic Gomasio Edamame, blog, and watch my Tivo'ed' episode of Whale Wars. Big Night! I may not be out on the town partying it up, but I truly love my life. I'm actually content staying in and doing nothing. I no longer feel the pressure to always be out and be seen. Been there, done that. Nope, instead I embrace my inner homebody nerd. Its who God made me to be... and its awesome. Besides, my adorable shoe wardrobe and mad cooking skills totally makes up for my extreme nerdiness.
So today was pretty much exhausting. Being "mom" for a weekend is no walk in the park. From sun up to sun rise I was making meals, playing with toys, watching Dora the Explorer (which doesn't rhythm people!!), wiping tears, playing in the pool, scrubbing dirty faces, constantly saying "no", driving from one place to another, lifting children into and out of car seats, and wiping bottoms. I bet you wish you were me. Being a nanny is excellent birth control sometimes. So I think I deserve my night of vegging out on the couch.

MMMMM... Garlic Gomasio Edamame!!


  1. Boil one bag of shelled edamame
  2. Add 1-2 Tbs of Sesame Oil
  3. Add as much "Garlic Gomasio" seasoning as desired.
    ("Garlic Gomasio" - a mixture of sesame seeds, sea salt, and garlic which can be found at any health food store such as Whole Foods.)
  4. Mix ingredients together in a bowl, chill in fridge, and enjoy!

See? I told you I was in sweats and house socks watching Whale Wars.

Bella and Atyana

I awoke this morning to the daunting thought of a long day ahead. Let me set the record straight that indeed Atyana is a well behaved angel of a little girl, but regardless of the child, a 3 year old is a 3 year old. However, being the brilliant nanny I am, I knew Bella and Atyana (who are virtually the same age) would be fast friends. And so today consisted of breakfast at Dunkin Donuts with the Anderson clan, play time at "Imagination Kids" with Bella and Atyana, Lunch, and of course quality pool time. What an afternoon!! To my delight, Bella and Atyana became fast friends, and wore each other out playing for hours on end. Here a few snap shots of their day together....
See what I mean?? Fast friends!!

Snack break!!

Atyana learned a new trick
BELLA: ..."Thats amazing Atyana!"

Chatty girls at lunch

Best buddies!

Friday, July 24, 2009

My Dad just sent me a beautiful picture from his phone while out to dinner with my mom and their friends. It was so breathtaking I had to share it.

*SIGH* I miss the beach!

Frazzled and Exhausted

Its 7:00pm and I'm exhausted. In preparation for watching Atyana for the weekend, I've spend my day cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking, running errands, picking Atyana up from pre-school, entertaining a three year old, scrubbing crayon off the wall, and wiping tears. Not to mention the fact that I haven't bathed, I smell, my hair looks like some sort of rats nest, my legs aren't shaved, and my un-matching sweats haven't been washed is lord knows how long. On the bright side of things, my fridge is finally clean and stocked with fresh food, my apartment smells of rich hazelnut (thanks to my new favorite candle), my carpet is vacuumed, Tirzah's nails have finally been clipped, and I have a glass of red wine in hand. I honestly dont want to think of what lies ahead for tomorrow.... overwhelming thoughts make me cry. So for now, as Atyana sleeps peacefully in the next room, I'm enjoying my dark candle lit apartment in complete peace and quite. No TV, no music, no outside disturbances.... just me, Tirzah, a blanket, and my book all curled up on the couch together.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

This Morning

Morning play time, can't get much better than that!

Vegetarian.... To be or Not to be??

( WARNING: This blog is so long it may make your head spin!!)

After much research, contemplation, prayer, and long conversations, I've finally come to somewhat of a conclusion to my Vegetarianism question I posted last week. So here are my thoughts.....
As most of you may know, early chapters of Genesis clearly lay out that the killing and consumption of animals is wrong. Which of course makes sense. You see, before the fall, man lived in complete peace and harmony. No one killed anything or anyone, and instead every creature was thoroughly satisfied with a purely plant based diet."..God said unto them....have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.'"(Genesis 1: 28,29)But with the fall of man, came the Lord's permission for man to eat meat."Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything." (Genesis 9:3)
Why the Lord gave his permission for man to become carnivores is unknown. Perhaps, and this is just my own speculation, the Lord knew that because man was now filled with sin, our desire to kill was inevitable. Regardless, it is clear that the Lord no longer considers the consumption of meat a sin. Although some may choose to believe that the killing of animals is murder, the Lord never says this is so.
Now fast forward to 2009. In a world where fast food restaurants and grocery stores are a way of life, its no wonder we pay little attention to our diet. Its hard to resist certain foods when they sit on a shelf perfectly packaged and ready to consume. Little thought goes into where it came from or how it was made. Instead we've made a habit out of blindly consuming products we know nothing about. That delicious steak you ate for dinner last night.... where did it come from? Who killed it? How was it killed? How was the cow treated before becoming top of the line medium rare sirloin? Do we ask ourselves these questions? Of course not. But why? I believe we fail to ask because we fear the answer. We don't want to know or watch how the animal was killed. Out of sight, out of mind. But think about this, if it makes you visibly uncomfortable to watch it, you should be visibly uncomfortable eating it.
Let me make one thing clear, in no way do I think eating meat is wrong. As a matter of fact, I happen to love meat. But I do think its wrong to mistreat animals and slaughter them in inhumane ways. We must keep in mind that cows, and pigs, and lambs, and chickens are all creatures of God. The Lord gave us specific instruction to rule over and care for creation...."Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." (Genesis 1:26)
Is eating meat inherently wrong? No. But then again neither is drinking alcohol. Here's a little something to chew on (no pun intended).....You see, in Biblical times, many Jews were vegetarians. These vegetarian jews believed meat corrupted your soul. Eating meat was permitted by God, but so was drinking alcohol. In fact, just like alcohol, they believed meat could make you "stumble", or corrupt your heart. For example, drinking alcohol to excess can cause poor judgment, sinful behavior, and slowly alters your views about what is acceptable and what is not. In the same way, eating meat could have the potential to harden one’s heart and change one’s views on what is permissible in the treatment and consumption of animals. Its possible that the simple action of eating meat is not in and of itself wrong, but with the continual over consumption, it has the power to change who we are, and can compromise our behavior. It even says in Romans 14:21, "It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause any man to stumble"
I also find it interesting that there's great speculation regarding the fact that we will all be herbivores in Heaven. Why? Oh I'm so glad you asked! The prophesy found in Isaiah 11:6-9 states, "The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, and their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea."
Maybe vegetarianism is a way some Christians have chosen to prepare themselves for the Kingdom of Heaven. After all, our life here on earth is our training ground for what is to come next.

Ok so if your still reading this, your probably seeing stars by now. I've essentially written a novel, but I swear I'm almost finished.... stick with me if you can.

I know your probably itching for my answer. Will I continue to eat meat or have I decided to go vegetarian? My answer is simple.....In every aspect of my life I seek balance. In relationships, in work, in finances, and of course in food. With my past history of bizarre relationships with food, I've found that balance is the key. I'm a strong believer that no food group should be eliminated. Unfortunately, Satan tends to use my weakness for food and twist it into something evil and painful. So to prevent Satan's stronghold, I eat everything in moderation. Nothing is "off limits". But I will say, the research I have done has changed my heart. Will I eat as much meat as I have in the past? Probably not. Will I seek to buy and consume meat labeled "free range"/"cage free"/"organic"? Absolutely. Will I impose my beliefs and preference on those around me and expect them to agree with me? Certainly not.

"the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 14:17).

"One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The mans who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him." (Romans 14:2-3)

For those of you who have battled with this issue, I encourage you to spend time in prayer and do your own research. The Lord speaks to all our hearts differently. Some may feel led to live a vegetarian lifestyle, and some may not. But whatever you do, do it for the glory of God.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Phew finally a moment of peace and quiet alone in my apartment. Its been a long day to say the least. I was gone from 8am to 8pm, and I'm utterly exhausted! Nothing feels better right now than sitting here on my couch in my sweat pants, sports bra, and a T-shirt. Oh yeah, I'm one hot little number right now. In all honestly, I could live in my "comfy clothes". My poor future husband has no idea what he'll be getting himself into... pray for him.
Anyway, I have good news to announce.... *Drum roll please*..... I got a JOB!!!!!
After months of interviewing with various families for a nanny position, I finally found a family with whom I am totally in love with!! Its a match made in heaven, and I couldn't be more thrilled!! It was a long road to finding the perfect family, but I'm so thankful the Lord brought them to me. What an answer to prayer. A special thanks to those of you who kept me in your prayers these past few weeks.

In other news, I'm reading a new book that I'm absolutely crazy about. If you haven't read "The Reason for God: Belief In the Age of Skepticism", I highly encourage you to do so. Although the book can be a bit dry and somewhat wordy at points, it has challenged me and my faith in ways I haven't experienced before. Whether your a seasoned believer, a baby Christian, or a self professed atheist, this book is for you. Through reading it, I've learned that to doubt and wrestle with my beliefs, is not only common but necessary. It would be impossible for me to thoroughly explain the richness of the text in a way that does it justice, but here is a quote that opened for me a new door to my faith....

"Believers should acknowledge and wrestle with doubts - not only their own but their friends' and neighbors' as well. It is no longer sufficient to hold beliefs just because you inherited them. Only if you struggle long and hard with objections to your faith will you be able to provide grounds for your beliefs to skeptics, including yourself, that are plausible rather than ridiculous or offensive."

A Little Inspiration

Yoga Prayer
Lord, we're tired.
We're hungry and thirsty but we dont know what for.
Our bodies hurt
Our hearts ache
We want to enter a spacious place where we can
move freely,
breathe deeply,
be at ease in our own skin.
We want to come to you and lay our burdens down.
Teach us your unforced rhythms of grace.
Teach us how to live in a way that is easy and light.
Teach us your ways.
Restore us, O God, make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.
Refresh our tired bodies, restore our tired souls.
Set our feet in your spacious place.
Lead us to green pastures.
Lead us to the way everlasting.
Lead us into your presence.
Into your presence we come.

Scripture for the Day:

"I'll refresh tired bodies. I'll restore tired souls." Jeremiah 31:25 (The Message Bible)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Today's Random Tid-bits

Today's sunrise completely captivated me. What you can't see, are the bolts of lightening that struck every minuet or so. It was incredible. What an amazing God we have!

After last night's yoga session with a friend of mine who is an instructor, I was inspired to start my daily yoga practice back up again. And what better place than out on my balcony first thing in the morning. It was beautiful.

This delicious plate of veggie goodness is courteous of Whole Food's delectable salad bar.

This picture of Tirzah cracks me up! Maybe my camera's flash was a bit

Monday, July 20, 2009

Not Me Monday

  1. did NOT find myself checking Facebook about a million times this week. Nope, NOT me... I'm a Facebook hater remember??

  2. I did NOT make homemade oatmeal on the stove the other day, and then leave the leftovers there for over 24hrs. That would just be unsanitary and totally NOT me.

  3. I did NOT attempt to clear up a zit on my forehead by putting toothpaste on it over night only to discover that by morning my zit remained unchanged, yet smelled minty fresh.

  4. I did NOT rip a fake flower out of an arrangement in my apartment and bobby-pin it to the side of my head in an attempt to rock my new bohemian chic look. And I certainly did NOT leave the house looking like I had a run-in with a shrub.

  5. I did NOT totally ball my eyes out watching the season finale of MTV's "16 and Pregnant". And I am NOT counting down the days till the reunion special airs.

  6. I did NOT procrastinate big time this weekend by continually putting off studying for the NET (nursing entrance exam). And I certainly did NOT spend my "study time" hanging with friends and drinking margaritas instead.

  7. I have NOT spent the past hour trying to dig a thorn out of my big toe with mini pliers from my jewelry making kit.

  8. And last but not least, I did NOT spend yesterday afternoon reading gossip magazines and watching recorded reality TV. I certainly do NOT condone those types of things.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Adventures of a Dating Christian

The Adventures of a Dating Christian.

Oh the stories I could tell. In the last two years I've been on probably more than 100 first dates, some of which led to second dates, and some that left me wondering how these crazy men always seem to find me in the first place. You name them, I've dated them. The fast talker, the mute, the nerd, the cheapo, the motor crosser, the good boy, the bad boy, the guy who thinks he's a comedian, the all too feminine guy, the needy guy, and of course the awkward pauser. Its been an adventure to say the least. But as I start my new life here in Arizona, I've found myself surrounded by a whole new gamut of single men. They say Arizona grows em' best, and I'm out to see if that's true.

Now dont get me wrong, I'm not a serial dater. I dont seek to juggle men and date as many as humanly possible at. Nope, I'm on a mission to find my Prince Charming. A ring is the hope, but Love is the goal. Never in the past have I blogged about my dating adventures.... until now. Dont ask me why. I just am. So here it goes. Come along with me as I seek out my prince.

Date #1: July 18th 8:30pm, local trendy bar. I'm dressed adorably as usual. Black short, a billowy back and white polka-dot shirt, high heals, and a red flower in my hair. Its dark outside but lightening crackles between the mountains in the distance. I walk into the swanky little bar and make a sweeping glance across the room. I dont see him yet. The tiny tea candles line the place giving the bar a romantic dewy glow and making my lip gloss look shiny. Suddenly I see him. He's wearing kaki shorts and a white button down shirt with flip flops. Nicely dressed? Check! Perfect. I love it. Blond hair, blues eyes... not my usual taste, but I can make an exception. We exchange hugs and sit down to order. I get my usual... the Blackberry Fix, a mixture of rum, sweet and sour, and blackberries. He orders a beer. Very manly. Another check! The conversation begins. My voice feels a bit shaky from nerves, but I manage to pull myself together. The first few minuets are average. No significant conversation. Nothing funny, just introductions. He's a little awkward, but there's potential. Its now 9:15. Conversation is well under way. Our drinks are half gone and the nerves have passed as we both sit comfortably enjoying the night. I like him. He's charming in a quiet laid back kind of way. His smile is adorable. I love that he's older than me. As he talks about his job I can see the passion in his eyes. He lives for what he does. I admire that. We talk for two hours straight while people come and go around us. Its now past 10. We look up and notice the bar is empty and the waiter is now sweeping the floor. He asks for the check. I offer to help pay. He turns me down. He tells me its his pleasure. Another check! He then walks me to my car despite the fact that his is in the opposite direction. What a gentleman. We hug goodbye and say "lets do it again sometime". As I drive home he text messages me. It makes me smile. I'm seeing him again on Tuesday :-) Wish me luck!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Dunkin' Donuts

Its Saturday, and you know what that means......
Dunkin' Donuts time!!!!
Since moving to Scottsdale its become a tradition to start every weekend with a trip to Dunkin' Donuts with my sister and the kids. There's nothing like fresh donuts and coffee on a bright and sunny Saturday morning. Besides coffee being my greatest addiction in life, little glazed jelly donuts are definitely a close second. Although its always fun pigging out on carbs, sugar, and caffeine, the best part of Saturday morning at Dunkin' Donuts is watching Bella and Tyler dig in to the little box as if its treasure they've never seen before. I couldn't help but photograph our morning donut tradition as the kids giggled and squealed with delight.

Dunkin' Donuts iced vanilla coffee makes me happy!!

Ty loves his donut bites!! Unfortunately, he doesn't take after his Aunt when it comes to chocolate. We always give Ty pieces of every donut to sample and he always leaves the chocolate on his plate. Crazy boy!!

I love Ty's expressive little face as he drinks his milk.

Pure joy!

My sweet little Bella loves her powdered donut holes!

I had to snap a picture of Bella's outfit, because apparently Bella insisted on picking out her own clothing this morning. And what did she choose??? Why her favorite vintage Daisy duck
T-shirt and relaxed fit jeans (which she cuffed herself to make them into capris) of course... what a little fashionista!