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.

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!

Sunday Funday

I have always wanted to title a post that. Sundays can be tough with trying to gear up for the next week. The fact that it was Daylight Savings could have made it a bit more crazy. We were up and at it with no problem today. Hey, one positive is that my youngest “let me sleep in until 6:00” rather than waking up at 5:00…oh yeah, not really a change, huh? *sigh* Someday, maybe she will let me sleep in.

After attending church we went home and got to dig out our white canvases and paint. That was on the agenda for yesterday, but let’s be honest for a moment. The girls were not the most well behaved kiddos yesterday, so their punishment was not not paint. If they were graded on sassy-ness, they would have received an A+!!

Today has been much better. They helped “Greet” at church by opening the door for members of our parish and sat well through mass. The painting theme for them was “spring” so that we could display their art for a few months. The February theme of pink and red hearts wore off too quickly. While they painted I made crepes for lunch. The recipe was out of the Shopkins cookbook. If you are looking for a good birthday, Easter, or just because gift, this cookbook rocks, even from a mom’s standpoint. It is a bit heavy on the sugar, but the photos and recipes are great. We, yes, even me, can’t wait try more of the recipes out!

May the rest of your Fun-day be awesome!

Target’s Love

I told my husband, boyfriend at the time, that we could not move to a town that did not have a Target. No joke! I have loved Target for as long as I can remember. I know that I am not the only one. I am more than willing to share Target’s Love with anyone. When our Target brought in Starbucks, it was one of the happiest days for me in my early Bemidji days (its the little things when you move to a new town and don’t feel quite at home).

Target and Valentine’s Day go hand in hand. Well, actually the day after Valentine’s Day is the day I love most about Target. I love to grab a Starbuck’s latte and comb through the clearance sections. The days after Christmas are probably favored by most, but having two daughters, Valentine’s sales are more my cup of tea. Flowers, hearts and everything pink, how can you go wrong? As the bags say that I found this week, Sequins + Glitter = True Love. They only had two left, they will be perfect for the girls’ Easter Bags.

This is the first Ode To Target posts; I am most certain there will be more. This mom loves her Target time. May it be it a quick lunch trip, a stop on my morning commute (I must say, the fact that they open at 7 AM was another great move), the weekly Saturday trip with my girlies or the rare mommy time trip, they are all thoroughly enjoyed.