Friday Favorites: Snail Mail Surprises

I have a couple of friends that love snail mail as much as I do, giving and receiving. Occasionally we send each other a little something something. When I am out and about it is my favorite thing finding a treasure that makes me think of a family member or friend. It is not the easiest thing for me to get it to the post office, but it will get there *smile* my friend, Melissa, sent me these note cards from Tiny Prints with artist Stina Persson. The print is of a woman that has amazing earrings. Melissa and have a “thing” for Nickel and Suede earrings. It’s a connection we have, in addition to many others! Thanks to this wonderful gesture, I have found a new artist to love!

Love Wins

We are in a time where we need constant reminders that Love Wins. This seems like it should be common sense, but why is it not? I believe that there are still more good people in the world than bad, but why is it that our kids have to learn ALICE training? Why is it that we have to worry about our kids’ safety at school of all places? It broke my heart to hear about the school shooting in TX. I was fortunate to spend the day with my daughter’s class on a field trip last week. Such innocence ran around the farmstead we visited. They are well aware of what to do if a bad person comes into their school. They know they are to throw any object at the bad guy and they know to take direction from the teachers that hopefully can protect them. To write this forces me to vision my kids in these situations and it causes instant anxiety, broken breathing and tears to form. This world has become a very scary place. We need to come together and end the violence. We need kids to have boundaries. The small troubled fish need to be stopped in their actions before they become big fish that are out of control. Innocent kids are being killed and being threatened in this great world we live in.

The shooting, in my opinion, was a bit overshadowed by the Royal Wedding. Don’t get me wrong, who doesn’t love a prince getting married, especially one as good looking and kind as Prince Harry? The sermon that was given at the wedding by Rev. Michael Curry was incredible. It spoke to me on so many levels. I pray that we continue to love. Again, Love Wins!

Words that won me over:

“We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love” … “And when we discover that, we will be able to make of this old world a new world”

“Imagine our governments and countries when love is the way”… “Imagine business and commerce when this love is the way … No child would go to bed hungry in such a world as that. Poverty would become history in such a world as that.”

Maybe Rev. Michael Curry didn’t intend to discuss love in the way he did at the Royal Wedding, but he had a large audience listening to him. Harry and Meghan seem to be very dedicated to making the world right again through love. It was a fitting sermon for them to hear along with those that tuned in. MAY LOVE CONQUER ALL.

Shirt: Old Navy

Magnolia Table Book Review

I have owned the Joanna Gaines cookbook, Magnolia Table, since it came out a few weeks ago. I have ooohhhed and aaaahhhed over it almost daily. I finally tested out one of her breakfast recipes for my in laws this weekend. Emery and Stella said it was a keeper. Easy to make and much more tasty than the Pillsbury kind. The orange frosting was a bit too much for our taste. I sat it aside and drizzled it over some brownies we made later in the day.

Ingredients

Rolls

1.5 sticks of butter, room temp

3/4 c brown sugar

4 t grated orange zest

1 t ground cinnamon

2- 8 oz cans crescent rolls

1 c chopped walnuts

Glaze

2 c powder sugar, sifted

Orange zest from 2 oranges

2 t vanilla

1/2 c fresh orange juice

Directions

Heat oven to 375

Mix butter, brown sugar, orange zest and cinnamon into a paste.

Roll out dough and pinch the perforations to make 2 single sheets.

Spread butter mixture onto both sheets.

Sprinkle walnuts on butter mixture.

Roll up each sheet, long way.

Cut into 12 rolls total.

Spray bottom of 8 in round cake pan.

Place 12 rolls in cake pan.

Bake 25-30 minutes.

Whisk glaze ingredients until well mixed.

When rolls come out, flip onto plate and let stand 5 minutes.

Drizzle glaze over rolls and serve warm.

The brownies looked a bit funky after my kids cut them apart, but we’re sure tasty. I have learned to make my own with this recipe, but this was an Annie’s Brownie Mix.

Friday Favorites: You are my sunshine

We had summer show up briefly, but I am wishing for more. Here are a few of my favorite things that bring me summer all year along.

Maui Jim sunglasses are my favorite and I don’t think I can go without them.

Yankee Candle has this this candle that my mom and I equally love. It’s like a day at the beach.

Sun Bum is exactly what sunscreen should be. It keeps my skin safe and smells like sunscreen should- coconut and the ocean. Sometimes I will put it on just to smell like summer.

Monday Meals: Bisquick Cheeseburger Pot Pie & Cannellini Bean and Pistachio Hummus

Last weekend I decided to organize our pantry and see what food we needed to use up. For some reason we ended up with a rather large box of Bisquick, something we don’t typically buy. I googled the Bisquick website and found the Cheeseburger Pot Pie recipe. It was a keeper, even T said we will needed to make it again. After the kids went to bed I used the rest of the box to make pancake after pancake. We froze three large freezer bags full of pancakes. This makes breakfast time in the morning quicker a little more fun for girls.

Bisquick Cheeseburger Pot Pie

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef

1 1/2 cup chopped onion

1 t seasoning salt

12 oz frozen mixed veggies

1 cup Bisquick

2 cups milk

4 eggs, beaten

2 cups shredded cheese

Directions:

Heat oven to 400 degrees

Spray 13 x 9 pan with oil

Cook beef and onion over medium-high heat and, drain off the grease, sprinkle the season salt and mix.

In a bowl whisk Bisquick, milk and eggs.

Pour beef and veggie mixture in pan.

Pour the Bisquick mixture on top.

Bake 30 minutes.

Remove Pot Pie and sprinkle the cheese on top.

Bake another 10-20 minutes.

Another item we had an abundance of was cans of Cannellini Beans. Thankfully, I had just flipped through Kristin Cavallari’s True Roots cookbook and saw her Cannellini Bean and Pistachio Hummus. I love many forms of Hummus and this one has quite a great flavor. I added an extra 2 cloves of garlic for an added zing. I will eat this with cut up fresh veggies for lunch. It would be great on a wrap with sprouts and veggies for a more filling meal.

Cannellini Bean and Pistachio Hummus

Ingredients:

2 cans of Cannellini Beans

1-3 cloves of garlic

1/2 cup shelled dry roasted pistachios

2 T champagne vinegar

2 t parsley

1 T tahini

2 t lemon juice

1 t lemon zest

1 t cumin

1 1/2 t sea salt

1/2 cup olive oil

Directions:

Add all items to Vitamix or high powered blender. Keep refrigerated.

Holy & Well Worn

There is something about a well worn piece of clothing. Something that makes my heart smile and encourages me to write about. My mind associates memories with music and clothes. Why does it do that? I don’t know. I get the music part of it, but I don’t understand the clothing piece of it so much. I guess they both tap into senses that speak to me.

These jeans I bought at Banana Republic during the weekend that a friend and I were in Minneapolis taking our NCIDQ exam, 7-8 years ago. We had stopped by the Albertville outlet mall. They have lasted through two pregnancies and have often been my “test” pants. If they feel snug, well then, it is time to amp up my workouts and lay off of the sweets. I guess they will no longer be part of my Friday Jean Day Work Attire, but they will be my weekend fun jeans.

Friday Favorites: All Things Girls’ Weekend

Last weekend was an amazing weekend. Friday morning started off with a hair cut by Mikaela at M Salon. Always a complete joy to visit and relax with her. I have trusted her through all of my hair loss (ok, more like an abundance of thinning) due to pregnancies. I chopped it off into a pixie after each kid was born and have tried to grow it out. I am determined to not chop it again.

I got to work and a dear friend’s husband delivered a special treat from her as he was traveling through Bemidji. Nichole’s Pastry Shop in Fargo is a phenomenal place to eat treats, tea and coffee, of course. The desserts tasted amazing, but the words in the card she selected and wrote spoke to my heart and made me smile more. She always says the right words to encourage me to trust in my faith.

The girls and I went to Minneapolis to visit two of my best friends from jr. high and some of their kids. We relaxed, we went to the Crayola Experience at the Mall of America, ate out and got caught up on each other’s lives. We try to do girls’ weekends with kids at least once a year so our kids know each other too. It’s so important to me that the girls know some of their “other aunties”. It’s always semi-chaotic trying to have conversations with four kids interrupting every few minutes. Somehow, though, we make it through and move onto the next topic.

The girls and I ended the weekend with “real Auntie” Ash. Hairs were cut and my grays were colored. We left feeling refreshed and loved up. Time was short but there is nothing like love and hugs from a sister/auntie.

A well spent weekend always gone too quick. We have about four more weekends of crazy schedules but seeing family and friends make it all worth it.

Friday Favorites: camp fires & s’mores

I am so happy it’s Friday, but where the heck is spring at?!?! Northern Minnesota is in another winter storm warning. It’s been a hectic week preparing for a 4 day work week and our Easter plans hence the reason for a selfie post today *wink*

I have a few Friday Favorites posts in the works but none fully prepared. No work today equals casual wear for the day.

A couple of years ago I bought his cardigan from Target in every color. Just this year did I finally have to throw one away because of a hole. I recently bought this The Parks and Apparel shirt from Bemidji’s Yellow Umbrella (my favorite local shop). I had been following Parks and Apparel on Instagram for awhile and recently this shirt went on sale, score for me! What would a day be without my Nickel and Suede earrings? Today is matte gold in size medium. It has just enough shimmer to it when the light catches it just right. My glasses are Bobbi Brown, The Isabella, from the Safilo Group. They were made with the Eyezen lens and Crizal Avance anti-reflective. The Eyezen lens has just enough add power at the bottom that helps with eye fatigue when using our digital devices. I highly recommend this lens!

Enjoy your Friday and if you are traveling for Easter, I wish you safe travels.

Rachel Hollis, Can you be in my tribe?

At book club the other night the word “tribe” came up. I have a tribe of wonderful women around me, some from home, some from my “new” home in Bemidji, some that have been with me since birth. Rachel Hollis, author of Girl, Wash Your Face, could easily be a part of my tribe. I felt like when I was reading her book she was one of my closest friends. I could trust her with my most inner concerns and thoughts. And with any close friend, you talk to them about advise and how to be a better person. Advise is what she gave in her book based on her life experiences. I appreciate her openness and the rawness she brought to each chapter. A few chapters I wish she would have written whole books on. The following 10 were the biggest takeaways I will try to incorporate into my life. Although, there were about 20 others I would like to try. Small goals though, right?

1. Talk to people/ go to therapy

2. Focus on quality of what you are doing, not quantity

3. Set goals but not time limits

4. Create vision boards and keep them in plain sight

5. Take the plunge

6. Don’t compare yourself to others

7. Embrace your body

8. Learn about your habits

9. Surround yourself with positive people

10. “A willingness to offend” aka you will not make everyone happy

Now those are not in any particular order, some of these I am already trying to be mindful of, others I need a lot of work *smile*

I strongly recommend her book, go pick it up!

Friday Favorites: Frida Kahlo

I have loved this artist since I learned of her in college. I think what started my fascination with her was the 2002 movie with Salma Hayek titled Frida. I owned the movie and soundtrack first. She was quite a different person; probably considered extreme in her day and age. She was unique, strong willed, a fighter, full of emotion and darn stubborn! I appreciate her qualities; she lived through a lot of pain, both physical and emotional, yet emerged an icon.

In college we had to select an artist and design a kitchen for them. Of course, I picked Frida. I wish I could re-do the project now that I know more about design and more about her. Perhaps that is my next design project after I finish my She-Shed. The colors I would add. Ohhh, I can see it already! I digress.

I have since purchased a portrait by Jennifer Vallez that sits on my desk, a coffee table book Frida Kahlo at Home, and two pieces from Wee Rascals– the “Fierce like Frida” tank and a print that is in the girls’ room that says “feet, why do I need you, when I have wings to fly?” Recently a Barbie was released, I don’t know what I would do with her, except have her borrowed by my girls. *smile*

The girls are in love with her too as she has a “cameo” in Coco. I think this is my favorite part of the movie, my giddiness may have influenced their love quite quickly. Since seeing the movie Emery found a kids’ book with her in it at the library. The girls won’t put it down and now want to buy it as well.