Foodie Penpals # 2

Remember way back in March when I posted about foodie penpals? Well, I signed up for round 2 and I'm so glad I did. I got my second box in the mail and it was AMAZING! For those who don't know what a Foodie Penpal is, it basically is a penpal but instead of snail mail you send some of your favorite foods. Lindsay over at the the lean green bean is kind enough to coordinate this every month - for free! All you have to do is sign up and Lindsay will match you up with someone. After getting to know your foodie penpal a bit and finding what they like, if they have any dietary restrictions, etc. you put a fun goodie box together ($15 max) and send it off. You also have to include something handwritten, which is great because who doesn't love a handwritten card???

This month was my first time to swap in the US and I absolutely loved what I got. Opening packages in the mail is oh so fun and I can never tear packages open fast enough. Audrey who blogs over at Exposed: On My Way to a Better Me sent me an amazing package of goodies. I love that each item was individually wrapped to. It made it all the more fun!
Foodie Penpals
 Check out all these amazing foods in my box.
  • Starbucks strawberry lemonade refreshers. This is a fabulous drink. I never would have thought to buy some for myself (until now that is) so I'm glad Audrey sent me some. I'm looking forward to buying more and trying out the different flavors offered. 
  • Black & White trail mix - um, no words to describe how good this is. Dave is trying to help me eat healthier and the other day he told me I shouldn't eat a cookie. I said 'ok' and snuck my little self right over into the kitchen and secretly ate a handful of this trail mix. I know ... that kind of defeats the purpose of him helping me eat healthier but trail mix is healthier than a cookie right??? 
  • Giada Parmesan Garlic salad dressing - y.u.m.
  • Nutella to go - what's not to love about that??? 
  • Garland jack's sweet brown sugar bbq sauce! 
  • Justin's Chocolate hazelenut butter, honey peanut butter and maple almond butter - I'll be scouting out Woodward for this and if they don't have it I'll be scouting out Amazon. These peanut butters make you want to dance and sing. They really do. They are also all natural so if you have never tried 'em you should do so soon. Also, they must really be amazing cuz I don't care for peanut butter too much. 
  • A handwritten card
Thanks Audrey for my delicious food box.
It really is a great experience and I highly highly recommend it. To find out all the details just click below.

The Lean Green Bean


Friday Letters . 1

Dear Friday Letters  -  this is my first shot at writing you. It sounds like fun and I just might swap you out every other week for my 'lately' posts.

Dear Birthday -  I have to agree with what the munchkins from the Wizard of Oz told Dorothy: "you come and go so quickly". Birthdays should last a long time!

Dear Dave - Your kindness over my birthday blew me away. You showered me with love all day and I'm so grateful. Although I figured out my birthday gift a year ago, jumping out of an airplane from 15,000 feet is one of the best and most fun gifts I received!
Dear Work Spouse - I absolutely loved the mini (or didi as you call them) green espresso coffee cups you gave me as well as the homemade chocolate chip cookies. I swear the coffee tasted better drinking out of those cute cups and the cookies were amazing! Work spouse, you should know I'm registered to run a 1/2 marathon with you on October 13!
Dear Self - Drinking espresso with your husband at 11pm at night because of cute irresistible coffee cups is a bad bad idea.
Dear Korean neighbor - I'm glad I didn't offend you by immediately asking 'where are you from? just because you looked Asian and I'm extra glad I didn't scare you away by how excited I got when you told me you were Korean. I always hoped to meet a Korean and I was BEYOND excited when you told me you were from Korea. I also loved that the next day you brought me a bowl of freshly made sticky rice, tofu and some kimchi. Thanks for making my day.

Dear Siblings and world's cutest nephews - I think a sibling reunion should be a yearly event. I love you all more than I can say and spending time together with you over my birthday weekend is a cherished memory. I'm so glad Christmas is only 5 months away so we can be together again.
Dear Distance - I really dislike you. Heaven will be wonderful when distance no longer exists and I can't wait! 

Dear God - My consistency in devotions has slacked but I'm so grateful that when I sit back down, open my Bible and ask you to teach me truth you always show up. I praise you for your faithfulness!

Dear Readers - Thanks for reading along with me =)


Lately # 12

1. Dave and I after skydiving
2. First birthday as a married woman
3. The new waterproof Bible we received as a wedding gift
4. Washi tape from Japan to make cards and other fun crafts
5. caramal macchiatto from a coffee house in Idaho

Lately life has been full of blessings. A 'lately' post just won't sum up how wonderful the last week has been, but I'm grateful. I'm grateful for the time I got to spend with Dave, my siblings, my nephews, my parents, granny, family and friends. It's been absolutely wonderful. 

What have you been up to lately? I'd love to hear from you. 


My Birthday Through the Years

My birthday weekend is here, #28 to be exact. While I'm up in Idaho this weekend I thought a little trip down birthday memory lane would be fitting... 

Here is me and my Mom at my 'zero' birthday. They assumed I would be a boy, but I was a girl, and I had no name for several days and wore blue. hmmmmm....

My first memory at birthday #2 ... sticking my fingers in my candles to see what it would feel like. Bad idea.

#3! Pretty sure you can tell at age 3 my obsession with birthdays...

#4 - not sure what I was doing there...

right before I opened gifts ... I'm not sure what age I am here...5?

6 or 7? A birthday in Brazil. I got lots of elephants and don't be jealous of my birthday outfit!  

Not sure where all the 'pre-teen' birthday pictures are, but hey, those are the 'awkward' years anyways. Skipping to the 20's...

Birthday #24 - Family, friends and a trip to KC with Holly and my Mom.

#25 - flip flop cake made by Holly

#26 - Pensacola Beach with Steph and Ed

#26 - Yes, I celebrated twice, I had to make up for everyone who couldn't be in Florida. This one is in KS - dinner with friends and creme brûlée

#27 - Never thought I would say this ... but ... #27 was my favorite birthday so far. A favorite because of living abroad, being around awesome friends and yes ... my kids at school made my birthday great! 

Half marathon with my Korean Chingus

 Flowers from Dave

 This awesome slide I got to go on for free. The owners tried to get me to pay but I had no money on me. I really wanted to go on that adult size slip and slide so I sang happy birthday to myself in Korean hoping they would understand it was my birthday. I'm not sure they loved my singing but they let me go on the slide =)

Dinner with friends at a local Indian restaurant in Korea. 

 Melted my heart!

This year should be great too and here is why:
  1. It's my first birthday being married! 
  2. Dave and I are headed to Idaho for a sibling reunion. 
  3. My two little nephews will be there too! Yipee!!! 
  4. We are also going skydiving (aka Beka might pee her pants event...). 
  5. We will be back in Kansas for my birthday 'day' and I'm going to spend the day with Dave, family and friends.  


Lately #11

Thank you, Hobby Lobby! Bring on the DIY crafts and Christmas cards! 
This past Saturday, my Mom and I, went to the Farmers Market. I got zucchini, squash, garlic, kale and basil. 
My Crossfit shoes arrived just in time. They fit perfectly and are oh so comfy. 

This post is short and sweet because I've been packing. Tomorrow I am hopping on a jet plane to Idaho. A sibling reunion, sky diving, squeezing and hugging my two cute little nephews, and birthday celebrations are in order. It will be the best birthday ever.  

What have you been up to lately? 


Aguas Frescas - Watermelon and basil

Ever heard of Aguas Frescas? It's Spanish and literally means 'fresh waters'. It's made from fruit, herbs, flowers, water and sugar. I don't add sugar because fruit has plenty of sugar in and of itself. It's a great summer drink and a healthy way to stay hydrated.
Aguas Frescas - watermelon, basil and iced berries

I'm not 100% sure where this recipe came from. I think it came from experimenting and I'm so glad I somehow threw these ingredients together.


-fresh basil
-berry juice (cranberry, blueberry, triple berry...your choice)

-Take the berry juice and pour it into an ice cube tray and pop it in the freezer. I used my Breville juicer, made some fresh blueberry juice and froze it. 
-Cut the watermelon into large pieces.
-Put 1 C. water into a blender, add some watermelon pieces and blend. 
-Once it is blended strain the watermelon water. 
-Repeat the blending and straining process until your pitcher (or two) is full.
-Take a large bunch of the basil and place it into the pitcher of watermelon juice. Let this sit over night or at least 8 hours. 
-Get those ice cubes out and pour yourself a nice glass of watermelon water, squeeze in half of a lime and enjoy. So delicious!
I've heard mint aguas frescas is good too! I'm hoping to try that soon. I'd love to get some new recipes like this so if you have any send 'em my way.


Lately #10

I'm so thankful for Dave, so thankful that words can't express it completely. Last weekend we went for a sporadic shopping trip and had such a fun time.  I told Dave that I had looked in my closet and realized that many of my hangup clothes were ... 'nice t-shirts' and that I needed some dressier shirts. Being the nice husband he is, took me to stores and picked out pretty tops for me. 

I needed a Korean fix this weekend. There is a local Korean restaurant in the grand old city of Wichita, Kansas. I had bibimbap and kimchi.

This is Milo and his face of disgust as he looks upon Dave's sweet and friendly dog who only wants to cuddle. Anyone have any ideas on how to integrate these two? 

Check out this picture of my Mom and Dad from their wedding day. Isn't it precious? They have been married for 30+ years and I'm so thankful for their commitment to marriage. My Mom gave me family photos to go organize. I absolutely love it! It's a nice little trip down memory lane. I love seeing pictures of me and my siblings when we were little hooligans. Some of my pictures are oh. so. embarrassing!

What have you been up to lately? I'd love to hear from you. 
What have you been up to lately? 


Beach Wedding - Part 3, The Reception

I’m thankful for my friends in Pensacola who recommend Hemingway’s Island Grill for a reception. Hemmingway's did a fabulous job. They decorated the tables, let me tweak the set menu and had fabulous service. Another big perk they offered me was to allow me to bring in my own dessert, with no fees. I’ve worked in the service industry so I knew the deal was great. Most companies charge you to bring in any extra food of your but not Hemingways. 
Having a big cake and feeding each other never appealed to me. So, instead of cake I picked crème brulee and cookies. My brother-in-law and sister-in-laws like crème brûlée too so I asked them to make it for the reception. I got them all the ingredients and they made me some of the best crème brûlée I’ve ever tasted. 
Let’s not forget the cookies!!! I made two big batches earlier in the week, froze them and then Kirsten was nice enough to bake them up the day of. Not gonna lie, I worried that Kirsten and Shenel would devour a good portion of them before the wedding. Those girls can't be trusted with dessert. They did good though and left some for the reception.
 Also, my brother and I have this gross tradition that we started randomly at thanksgiving. You take one small bite of everything, chew it up and show it off to each other. The first person to show off their chewed up nasty food wins! So, without exception we did this with the cookies too. Just the cookies though, not all the other food this time. 
The reception and getting to visit with everyone was a favorite part of our wedding day.
Can you tell who was done with weddings by this time??? Poor Dave. He didn't stay like this for long and still had a great time. 
After we stuffed our faces and visited we went outside and lit sparklers. I especially love that my sister Holly looks as though she is on the verge of torching Dave’s head in the pictures. 
Well, that is it folks! The day went perfect, just as I imagined. I couldn’t have done it without all of the help from friends and family. I've said it once and I'll say it over and over THANKS for helping Dave and I have a beautiful wedding.