Tuesday, March 30, 2010


In the spirit of my last post I thought that I would give you a glimpse into this world of mine, dirt and everything.

L and I just discovered that we've been hiding things from each other.

I saw a spot on our carpet this morning and asked him about it... A snippet of our conversation:

Me: Hey, what is this?

L: Oh, Sophie puked a couple of days ago and I keep forgetting to clean it up.

Me: Gross... Define a few days ago

L: Well, it's Tuesday... I think I first saw it maybe Sunday morning? I didn't have time or feel like getting it right away because we were on our way out the door to church then every other time I've seen it I'm in the middle of something else.

He only needed to read the look on my face to know that then was the time to clean it up.

However, I can't stand in judgement for too long because he discovered my little secret. We were driving in my car last night and he found some dirty glasses. Not just any glasses. I have a smoothie for breakfast every morning and most days drink it in the car on the way to work. These glasses rarely make it back inside... have you ever seen a cup with dried up blueberries and yogurt that's 4 days old on it? Sick. Whoops.

We are filthy, people. Dirty. Throw-up, crusty cups that we drive around with in our car, and kitchens that have a mind of their own.

The situation has not improved.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Kitchen Philosophy

Isn't it interesting how much your home is a reflection of your life? Your heart, schedule, emotions, mood... everything? If you were to take one glance in your home today, what would it say?

Mine would probably say Chaotic. Jumbled. Imperfect. Maybe even a little unruly.

My kitchen as of late:

I wonder if this doesn't look that bad to you. But let me assure you, it was.

To prove my point, we'll play a game:
I spy a dog leash
I spy weights
I spy the newspaper
I spy glass cleaner
I spy Christmas lights
I spy grey (beautiful) shoes

It got bad. And really, I just let it happen. I let myself go, if you will. See, the problem lies in the fact that I have an All-or-Nothing personality. I can't half-way do anything. I either do it all out or I don't do it at all. If I commit to doing something, I am going to do it 110% of my very best ability. On the flip side, if I know I'm not going to be able to do something perfect basically, I don't even try. It's bad.

I am the most disciplined eater you will ever meet- it's all whole grains, veggies, fruits, and protein for me, Missy, and I can turn down a dessert when temptation is staring me right in the face like there's no tomorrow. But if I let myself have just that one innocent Oreo, count me out for the next two months because I will be gorging myself at all-you-can-eat bars with all of the senior citizens in town. It's a disease.

The All-Or-Nothing-Syndrome then overflows into my kitchen because I like neat & tidy. A place for everything and Everything in it's place.

But with this AONS, as I like to call it, the second that 3 ring binder was on my counter for longer than one hour, I knew I was done for. Pretty soon it got crazy in there and I was leaving dog leashes, back porch lights, passports, jackets, EVERYTHING on the counter.

WHAT in the world are my cute pink weights doing next to my stove? Camp flyers that should be in a folder? Glass cleaner that goes in my car? What? I count 3 bags, 2 jackets, and one signed contract. And SHOES where I eat; don't even get me started on the shoes.

You see, I love organization. I love neat and tidy. I love structure and matchiness and coordination.

Take me to The Container Store, let me pick out a polka-dot basket and an in-closet shoe organizer and I'm yours forever. Better yet, I'm currently dreaming of the ways in which a color-coded drawer filing system for our office would change my life.

Still my beating heart.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Favorite Things Friday

I think I might be trying to do something here. I have been feeling very disorganized in my life lately and this might be an attempt to bring order from the chaos. So. I'm going to try to keep track of some favorite things I discover each week, whether it be an article, another blog post, a recipe, a craft, something that got me thinking, what-have-you, and then post them on Fridays.

We'll see how long this lasts, but I have high hopes for myself.

This week there were three things that were my very FAVORITE.

The first is this video. It's titled 'The Future of Publishing.' If any of you now want to run because that sounds super boring I don't blame you, but DON'T GIVE IN! I saw this video posted on about 2000 other blogs (not really, it was about 4) before I finally decided to go ahead and watch it and it CHANGED MY LIFE. If you're into books, writing, reading, etc. you are probably (hopefully) going to love this. If you're not, I hope you appreciate it for the sheer creativity that there is to its design.

Seriously, it's one of the most unique, creative things I've ever seen. It's like I just watched an amazing movie and there is a huge twist at the end that you don't see coming and when you realize it's there it's BRILLIANT. I'll stop talking this up in case you hate it. But it's neat.

Now onto FAVORITE #2

My sweet friend Holly who is brilliant and always has great thoughts on books to read recommended 'The Year of Living Biblically.' Has anyone else read it? I LOVED it. He has a really interesting perspective on the Bible, and it was fascinating following him on his journey through the bible and hearing his thoughts on the laws, the purpose of them, and his view on God. I finished the book this week and really enjoyed it. If anyone is looking for a next good book, check it out!

And lastly, FAVORITE #3

These yummy amazing delicious HEALTHY Pumpkin-Oat Muffins. The best part? They're super easy.

Drumroll, please.

1 Cup whole wheat flour
1/3 Cup all-purpose flour
1/2 Cup Rolled Oats
1/4 Cup Splenda
1/4 Cup Sugar
2 Tbs Honey
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
2 eggs
1 Cup canned pumpkin

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees

2. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, oats, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg

3. Add applesauce, eggs, and pumpkin- mix until just combined.

4. Pour into greased muffin tin and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

I served these with another equally yummy and delicious Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Soup that I'll probably post the recipe to next week.

Hope y'all like these muffins... they are Epic.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

You're weird, Colorado

Let me take you on a little tour of our past few days.

Thursday: Return from our trip to BEAUTIFUL mid-60's greet-me-with-a-warm-smile-Springtime weather.

Friday: Realize that it was all just a tease. Colorado, quit playing games with my heart. BLIZZARD dumps 6 inches of snow.

Saturday, Sunday, Monday: Bright blue sky commences to warm my heart again with sunshine and perfect temperatures. Colorado and I are on talking terms once more as the snow is melted away. I have hope that Spring is here... hope enough to make me take the bold steps of reorganizing my closet- as in folded, boxed up, stored underneath my bed without any goodbye tears - and put away my winter sweaters. My closet now sings of color, Springtime, dresses, and my beautiful strappy sandals. I dance through the house.

Tuesday: Wake up early for work to a beautiful sunrise and think: Oh good! I'll go for a run when I get home from subbing; it'll be perfect weather. Place on my mental to-do list for the weekend: Spring Cleaning! Re-organize the garage and clean the house. Clean windows, scrub out cabinets, and tidy up the place to the tune of Giselle's 'Happy Little Working Song'.

Tuesday afternoon: On my drive home I notice the clouds forming. It starts to rain, then snain, then snow. By the time 5 pm hits it's a full-on blizzard. No running for me. 12 inches of snow later, a snow day for Wednesday called, our power out from the weight of the snow, and I must say goodbye to my long-lost friend Spring once again.

Wednesday morning: Beautiful. Not in the Spring-steal-my-heart kind of way, but in the beauty of fresh snow kind of way. I will not let my heart get teased in such a way again. Have resigned myself to the fact that this is Springtime in Colorado. March snow... April snow... May snow... sometimes even June snow.

Monday, March 22, 2010

DIY of the Day

I crafted today. Days that I don't sub are pretty much up to me as to how I fill them: I try to get some writing done every day, do my bible study, work out, run errands, play with Sophie, clean the house and cook up some yumminess for any/all of the meals, spend time with L, talk to every member of my family at some point... but what I do and when I do it varies from day to day.

One thing that I LOVE doing that has dropped off of my radar really since Christmas is crafting. Anything and everything crafty is what I adore.

I make necklaces. Have I told you that yet? I'm thinking about putting them up on Etsy soon (they really are pretty stinkin cute), but then there's the whole not loving rejection thing and I fear no one would buy them! It's nerdy. But anyway, I love popping in a movie and crafting away creating my necklaces. We'll see what happens with them, but it's a fun side hobby.

I've repurposed furniture and discovered trash into treasure with the best of them. Hobby Lobby, garage sales, and thrift stores speak to my heart more than Banana Republic or Anthropologie.

That's a lie. Besides my husband and Jesus, I'm not sure anything speaks to my heart as much as Anthropologie. That is a fact.

All of this to say, I got back to crafting today. Genevieve Turner was on HGTV in the background inspiring me to make beautiful things so I made a Burlap Wreath. One thing to know about me is that there is not an original bone in my body. I could never be a real interior designer- I just can't look at an empty room and imagine the possibilities.

However, I am pretty darn good at copying (re-creating, borrowing, etc. etc.). And that is what I did with this new wreath. I was sick of the wreath that was on my front door so I exchanged it out with that, but my new friend just put it on top of a mirror in her room and it looks super cute there.

:::Burlap Wreath:::

The participants:
I used 1 yard of burlap (1/2 off at Hobby Lobby)
Some cute ribbon I had around the house
A wire hanger

Take the wire hanger and shape it into a circle. Mine definitely put up a bit of a fight, so good luck with this.

See my perfect circle? I paid attention in Kindergarten.

I cut the burlap into about 4-5" wide strips that were the full yard (3 feet for folks who struggle like me). I started with only these 5, but ended up cutting another 5 and used the entire yard.

Once you get them cut, just begin poking the hanger through the burlap and
scrunch your little heart away.
Quick tip: I initially made the loops too big, so had to take it all apart and made smaller loops which looked/worked much better.

Once you have your burlap strips the whole way around the circle, tie it up with your pretty ribbon and hang it somewhere in your house that will
make you smile~!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Some of my favorite things

Life has returned to normal. Laundry has been done, bags unpacked, hours of sleep caught up on and newspapers read. Bed still has yet to be made, but I'm working on it.

Today, my friends, I am going to be sharing with you a few of my favorite things that highlighted my Saturday.

Round One: The Grocery Game... do any of you know about it? It is brilliant. Sometimes I have a love/hate relationship with it honestly, but then I look at my grocery bill and see how much I saved and that reminds me that it's worth it.

You go online and see what's on sale for the week and print out your list.
Then you go through Sunday papers past & present and cut out the coupons.
It is a bit of a time commitment cutting and clipping, clipping and cutting.
But at King Sooper's I saved 52% of my grocery bill! 46 buckaroos!

Round Two: Sweet, sweet Starbucks.

After the shopping of the groceries I generously let L stay home to work on taxes and I headed over to the Bucks. In full disclosure I prefer local coffee shops and will go there whenever possible but also in full disclosure I am unabashed about my true love for Starbucks, global chain that it is. However, my husband had given me a gift card for Starbucks along with some other sweet presents as a Thank You for everything I've done these last 6 months to support him in his new job. He's just cute like that. So me and my Cafe Misto hung out for a few hours on an oversized comfy chair full of sweet solitude and writing. Brilliant.

Well done, Starbucks. Well done.

Round Three: The creation of a new yummy appetizer recipe that I just discovered. We went over to a friends house for dinner and I had signed up to bring the munchies, and this recipe met the need with flying colors. Delish!

:::Sausage Wontons:::

The Major Players
3/4 Italian Sausage (I used about 1.5 lbs)
1/2 cup Salsa (I just dumped it in until it looked like enough)
2 oz diced green chilis (I used a 4 oz can)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I poured in whatever was left in the bag)
1/2 cup Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack cheese ( I used a lot more than 4 oz)
Wontons (These things are just cool)
Some green onions (Thinly sliced; I used 3 stalks)
Sour Cream (Maybe a cup or so? It's for garnish)

Step One: Cook the Italian Sausage. This part I would change next time and try to buy it like hamburger meat. I have no patience and it took awhile to cook them like this and get them into bite-sized pieces.

2: Once the sausage is cooked and broken up, first drain the grease and then add the green chilis and salsa. Let them simmer together until the liquid has evaporated and the mixture has thickened a little. Let that cool and then add the cheeses and stir it up.

3: Place the wontons in a mini-muffin pan (press them down in the center, making them into cute little cups). Add the sausage mixture to each cup.

4: Bake in a 350 degree oven for ten minutes or until the wontons start to get golden brown. Then, take the sausage cups and put them on a baking sheet and bake for another 10 minutes to crisp up the bottom of the wontons.

5: Slice up your green onions and mix it into the sour cream as a garnish.

6: Put them in cute little rows and commence ADORING these things. Love love LOVE them.

L sometimes (every night) accuses me of not being careful enough when I cook and make things unnecessarily messy.

I, for one, can't figure out what in the world he's talking about!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Utah 5X

So we're doing P90X to get in shape this Spring and thought that Utah5X would be a funny play on words for this trip. Maybe that's just us. But it was Extreme!

I survived! And loved it. What an incredible trip in Escalante, Utah! I really do love backpacking. It's neat being able to go to places that you can't take a car to. There is something sacred, beautiful, and almost primal feeling in being able to carry everything you need to survive on your back for a week. And it was just good for L and I; it was bonding in a way that we haven't experienced before. Experiencing challenging situations together, continuing to walk for 3 more miles when you don't think you can go any further, seeing such cool sights together, laughing, pushing your physical boundaries and conquering fears together... it was good.

Days we were on the trail: 5

Miles we hiked: 30

Pounds I carried on my back: 40

Times I cried: 2

What we saw: AWESOME

We were hiking through canyons the whole time and they just got progressively bigger and bigger the deeper in we got. Seriously, these walls are 500 feet high... so pretty. This was my favorite little waterfall. I imagined little fairies using it as their waterslide... maybe that's just me.

This is me right after the TRAUMA of the trip and what caused the tears to erupt. My fear of heights + having to cross a nearly VERTICAL slope with no hint of footholds over a 50 foot drop to boulders and your DEATH = not a good situation for anyone involved. The beauty of the place can be deceiving, folks.

Isn't he so cute?
Me on the other hand- all I have to say is that this is on Day 4 of
No Showers and Dirt.
Have grace with me, please.

This is his go-to pose when I tell him I'll talk a picture of him...Hmmmm.
He's right in front of Jug Handle Arch; can you see it? They call it that because it looks like, well, a Jug Handle.

This place was seriously ridiculous. That feature is called a Rincon- when the moving water of a river erodes the rock around, and these tall structures are left. It was awesome! And huge.

So there's a glimpse into the last week of my life. During the many, MANY hours we spent on the trail together, L and I were talking about how many parallels to life there are in a backpacking trip. I'll share just one with you now. When you backpack, hike, camp, etc., you get dirty. There are bugs. Your feet hurt and get blisters sometimes even. Your legs ache, you have to drink sandy and iodiney water, and get pretty sick of eating oatmeal and PB&J tortillas. However. Being out in creation is incredible. It is stretching, growing, refining, and challenging. There is definitely risk involved... but it is SO WORTH IT. I got to see things that I never would have seen had I not taken the risk. I would have missed out if I had chosen to just keep things comfortable. If you get out of your comfort zone, whatever that looks like, you will be rewarded. You will learn how much more capable and strong you are than you ever would have known. So get out there- it's worth it!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Chaos, Colds, and Camping

I'm alive. But barely... this week knocked me over multiple times. I feel like I've been a little MIA but the MIAness of me is going to just have to continue for a little bit longer because the boy and I are about to leave for that glorious backpacking trip in Utah that I was telling you about.

This has been a non-stop, barely-catch-your-breath kind of week. It's all been fun stuff (teaching, an overnight in the mountains with L's coworkers/friends, high school soccer games, a couple meetings, etc...) but I have had this cloud of a cold that's been hovering over me for the last week and I haven't quite been able to kick it to the curb. Or curve? I never know if I'm quoting the right phrase sometimes. Curb seems to make the most sense to me.

I digress.

I feel like I'm getting better though, and it might have something to do with the 9 hours (sheesh!) of sleep I allowed myself to get last night. I DO NOT want to still be sick when I begin hiking through the canyons of Utah while keeping my eyes peeled for snakes and bears and coyotes and flash floods and rodents of unusual size. I need to be on full alert!

Now, my friends, in case any of you have the misperception that I might be a super-cool, rough, hardcore kind of a gal for going backpacking with L let me assure you... this is not the case.

Yes, I love the outdoors. And yes, this will be a fun trip.

This isn't me, but imagine this as me in 3 days. This is what we'll be hiking through though... beautiful, huh?

However. I love showers. I love make-up and all things girly. I like cute shoes and have a slight addiction to purses. Shopping for no reason at all sings to my soul.

Because of the fact that L and I are going on this manly tough backpacking trip over Spring Break we agreed to go on a completly opposite trip for our 5 year (!) anniversary trip this May... COSTA RICA BABY! We have the flights booked and are planning where we're staying as we speak (write/read?) and I am BEYOND excited. Let me assure you there will be no hard-coreness in that trip whatsoever. That trip will include massages, delicious beverages, shopping, laying by the pool, and reading. And also massages. Relaxation and pampering at its finest. In Costa Rica. Amen, and Amen.

Until that beautiful trip of which packing will consist of the 4 S's as I like to call them... swimsuits, sunscreen, sundresses, and sandals...

Packing for Utah includes this:

Yes, those are Cadbury Caramel Eggs... they are a must. I'm packing them in secret; L would never allow them. If you learn nothing else from me, learn this: They only come out one time a year; eat them like there's no tomorrow.
And yes, that is a shovel... use your imagination as to what that's, Ahem, used for.

and this:

and this:

My addiction to bags includes the purchase of this backpack. She is glorious, folks. Can't wait to take her out for our inaugural spin.
Also, please disregard the sponge-painted blue walls. This is a rental house; if it was my own that would have been changed before I could fall asleep.

Can't wait to show y'all pictures of the canyons of Utah of my own! Have a great week!

See you when we get back!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A dream is a wish your heart makes

The weekend. Oh, the weekend.

It was glorious.

I went home (2ish hour drive away) because L was off Playing Army this weekend and it happened to fall on the day of my niece’s 4th birthday party. 15 knights and princesses running around the house is quite the sight to behold on a Saturday morning. Then I went to a friend’s house and got to meet her new sweet baby boy. Then I met up with my mom.

And. We. Shopped. The shoes that were bought are breathtaking. Simply breathtaking. I have a slight obsession with shoes, my friends, and these satisfy me to the depths of my soul. I dreamt about them last night. Not kidding.

Back to things that matter, like my family. Last year I talked with my sisters and ran an idea I had by them on how to handle the birthdays of their kiddos. There are 5 (soon to be 6) nieces/nephews on my side and 3 (soon to be 4) on L’s side of the family. Needless to say, that’s a lot of birthdays to buy presents for. And, let’s be honest... they have TONS of toys and probably don’t need another $15.00 something from Auntie Sarah. So, my brilliant idea was that instead of buying material possessions for my sister's sweet little ones, I would take them out for a Special Day. Quality time is my present to them. Me and them. Them and me. Making memories. Chatting. Laughing. I love these days SO much. I look forward to the years to come and how this tradition is building that special bond between us.

So, my sweet little niece is sitting in the back seat as we drive to our birthday celebration destination (Chuck-E-Cheese- hello fun!) and we are talking about whatever her heart’s desire is. I was asking her all about her birthday party when she responded with:

“I don’t want to talk about my birthday party... I want to talk about DISNEYLAND!”

Clearly, I had no idea what I was talking about. I should have known the power of Disneyland on the psyche of a 4 year old.

So we talked about fun rides and which princess is her favorite (the Jasmine doll that she got to bring home won for toys, but actual Cinderella princess won for real princesses). I also got to throw in a teaching lesson on shoes: I was wearing my beautiful new pumps, but had ballet flats in my purse to change into when we got to Chuck-E-Cheese. She asked why... the fashion teaching begins...). It was a fun weekend.

Now, L and I are back home ready to tackle a pretty hectic week. I have to get up early in the morning tomorrow because I'm subbing (yay!) and have yet to choose what outfit I'm going to wear... those high school girls can be very judgmental. It'll be fun.

And now, for your viewing pleasure... here is the glory:

The bonus is that BOTH are unbelievably comfy. Who'dve thought? Beauty. Love.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Things I Love

On this Friday the 5th day of March I'm thinking back to some of my favorite things of the week:

* Wednesday morning when L and I woke up at 6 to work out before the day started, made it to the living room and read for 15 minutes before falling asleep until 8. We then had to get ready for the day thus missing our workout. It was fun.

* The fact that I now live close enough to my family that I can go home this weekend to celebrate my niece's princess-themed 4th birthday party. Do I love Jasmine more? Cinderella? Maybe Giselle.... the Birthday Girl will let me know who is best.

* The entire week was a BEAUT. Bright blue sky, crisp spring air, mid-50s. Spring is coming, my friends. Spring is coming.

* My servant-hearted husband who just walked up to me with a grin on his face bringing me a cup of coffee that he had just made and doctored up for me just right.

* My discovery of this project. I haven't crafted much since our move to Colorado, but was re-inspired after seeing this amazing room. She uses it as a nursery (which is amazingly adorable) but until the need of a nursery enters my life, I just imagine it as a cute & cozy reading nook in our house. Maybe a spring break project? I'm on the hunt for supplies.

* Friday Follow! I am just LOVING these Fridays.

Friday Follow

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hurry up and wait

In the beginning:

There were... nerves. Check.

There was... excitement. Check.

Sarah ventured into the unknown... Check.

There were fireworks, parties, and hoopla in general... Nope. UN-check that one for sure.

So I did it. I finally began contacting literary agents about my book. Or manuscript. Document. Giant THING on my computer. If you are a new friend on here and haven't heard about my story, you can check it out here. Basically, I wrote a book about my Army man going over to war several times and what that did to my heart, my faith, and our marriage.

As you might remember, I was FREAKING OUT about starting this process. I let go of thinking that each letter I sent out to these agents had to be perfect though. I just tried to get one the best I possibly could without worrying about all 50 being perfect. Slowly but surely I'll contact all of these agents on my list.

All of the pressure I put on sending out my query letters PLUS my excitement of the possibilities I was opening up equaled much anxiety and hopeful anticipation.

So I got my initial 4 query letters as good as they were going to be, obsessively read them 200 times in a row, pressed send, and....


No Big Band came marching through my house in jubilee. No phone rang of congratulations. Not even a little butterfly fluttered in my stomach. It just felt very... normal. It was weird.

Hurry Up and Wait was a phrase used lots in L's Army experience. They would have to rush to get somewhere only to wait in line or stand in a formation for hours on end. They would exit a bus being yelled at to grab their gear and get in formation only to find out that their orders didn't begin for another hour so they Hurried Up... only to Wait.

That is me right now. I rushed, hurried up, and freaked out over sending out these letters... if any agent is interested it will be AT LEAST 6-8 weeks before I get contacted. There's going to be a lot of waiting in the future.

In less dramatic and MUCH more exciting news, I was nominated for a blog award! How fun is that?! More to come on THAT soon!

Happy Tuesday everyone!