Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Kale Chips!

I made kale chips last night and they were delish! I’ve never been a big fan of vegetables, but when I made the decision to stop eating meat two years ago, I’ve since tried to be more open to different veggies. I had never eaten kale before last night, so I was a little apprehensive, but the picture from the recipe I found on Pinterest piqued my interest! I grabbed a bag of kale from Trader Joe’s on my way home from work and while I was cooking dinner, I rinsed the kale, put a few handfuls into the salad spinner to remove the water and tore off the thick stems. I laid it all on parchment paper on a cookie sheet, drizzled on some EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) & sea salt {less is more, for this part}. Then, I popped it all in the oven on 400 degrees for 7 minutes and they turned out great, although next time, I will use less EVOO! My hubby says they tasted like potato chips, which is a much healthier alternative to actual potato chips.

Kale is the healthiest veggie around and is a great source of beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, and calcium. It also blocks the growth of cancer cells – yay!

The pup LOVED the kale. I gave it to him raw, since dogs can’t have salt, and probably not EVOO, either. He also got some brown rice – so spoiled. He loves his fruits and veggies, so whenever I eat them at home, I fill up his bowl with goodies.

gracefully yours,

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Trendy Tuesday: Beyond the Closet Door

Another spotlighted Anthropologie pick! I fell in love with this sweater when I saw the back of it… Who wouldn’t? It’s so unique. A camisole can be worn under it for work, but I especially love it tucked into a skirt or high-waist pants, or worn with a backless dress. It comes in both yellow & orange.

Rearward Cardigan

Sunday, February 19, 2012

23 Fun Facts You Didn't Already Know About Me!

1) I told you I grew up in a small town - Clarkesville, GA actually - and it’s in Habersham County. I lived in Cornelia and Turnerville. I still need to take my hubby up there to show him around! My family moved to Gwinnett County and I finished the rest of my schooling there, before I went off to college. All in all, I attended 5 different schools by the time I graduated from high school. 

2) I absolutely cannot stand the feel of newspaper. Or thin paper in general - or the edges of it. I do not read the newspaper and I also avoid touching it. At restaurants with paper tablecloths, I have to fold the edge up under itself on the table so it doesn’t touch me and give me a paper cut. *shivers* I would totally laminate every piece of paper I come into contact with if I could.

3) I do not own a mini laminating machine, so that gift is always an option. *wink*

4) My parents divorced when I was 2 years old, and I’ve always called my stepmom “mom”.

5) Along with pollen, antihistamines and my pine nut/tree nut allergies, I’m also allergic to down feathers. And don’t forget cats, horses, rabbits, dogs, etc.

6) Some raw fruits and vegetables give me oral allergy syndrome.

7) I cry at anything and everything that is remotely sad, sappy or life-changing.

8) I talk to my puppy in a baby voice. If you ask, I will probably not do the voice for you.

9) When I eat grapes, I eat one at a time and I only let it touch my back teeth - I make sure of that. And I usually chew them on the left side.

10) I scream when I’m really excited. Just ask my friends.

11) I’m not a fan of food textures. I always get creamy yogurt, but if I’m eating a peach Yoplait cup and accidentally get a chunk of peach in my mouth, it freaks me out.

12) My alcoholic beverage of choice is a frozen strawberry daiquiri.

13) I used to wear braces. Guess how long I got to wear them? 8 years. Got them on in 4th grade and had them taken off as a senior in high school. Why, you may ask? My daddy owns a dental laboratory [Vividx] and wanted mine to be as close to perfect as possible. 

14) I'm a Daddy's girl and I'm extremely proud of my dad. He basically came from nothing and worked hard  his whole life to get to where he is today. He is now a successful business owner, mentor and family man. My stubbornness and strong work ethic definitely come from him. 

15) I was teased as a child about my ears and I’m still self-conscious about them.

16) When I was 6 years old, I was involved in a bicycle accident that sent me hurling down a steep, terrifying hill at full-speed – before I knew how to actually ride a “big girl” bike. I was pretending I could ride my cousin’s bike, although it was too tall for me. It ended with me face down in the street with a bloody left ring finger. I tried to grab onto a tree to slow me down on the way, but that was not successful. I can still see the scar on my finger and feel the nerve damage.

17) My cousin was extremely distraught over this accident… not about my finger, but because I got blood all over the Little Mermaid streamers on her bicycle.

18) I have a fierce passion for children and adults with special needs, and I hate it when others are disrespectful towards/about them. I also feel passionately towards children of divorced parents. I can relate to their pain and anguish.

19) I am very particular about keeping things neat at my desk at home and at work, but my kitchen and my car is usually a wreck.

20) I like the idea of cooking more than actually cooking.

21) I feel very strongly that I'm being called into the field of counseling. I hope to someday work with children and adults who are dealing with divorce, trauma, and emotional/physical abuse and I'm drawn to this kind of work. 

22) According to the Myers-Briggs Personality Test, my personality type is: INFJ. I strongly suggest everyone takes this assessment; it will help you discover and confirm character traits that are unique to you and help you to understand why you act the way you do in certain situations. 

Here is the description the website gives for my personality type
"Seeks meaning and connection in ideas, relationships, and material possessions. Wants to understand what motivates people and are insightful about others. Conscientious and committed to their firm values. Develops a clear vision about how best to serve the common good. Organized and decisive in implementing their vision."

23) I've been incessantly researching raw diets lately & I am drawn to the fact that humans can get all the nutrients they need from a plant-based diet – foods that come from the earth. A friend overcame cancer through this type of lifestyle and I’ve been reading about others who have been in similar situations.  “Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth & every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.” –Genesis 1:29.

What is something that no one else knows about YOU?

gracefully yours,

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wedding Nostalgia

In three months, my 2 year wedding anniversary will be here and I can’t help but feel nostalgic for that day. I loved everything about it. The flowers, my dress, our cake, our family & friends that came to support us and all the time I poured into planning for that one day of bliss. It was the day I committed my life to my better half. The day I promised to forsake all others, cherish him forever and center our marriage on God. Don’t get me wrong, these first two years have definitely not been a cake walk, but I can sincerely say that I don’t regret the choice I made on 05.15.2010 and I'm trusting God with the trials we may face.

My jewelry (pearls were "Something Old" and "Something Borrowed" from mom) and my garter 

The dress!! ("Something New")

My "Something Blue"

My sweet mom helping me get ready.

Michael & I saw each other before the ceremony. We wanted to have a private moment together before everyone else saw me in my dress and we exchanged our personal vows at that time. 

Daddy walkin' me down the aisle to "On the Lake" by Aaron Zigman, as heard in The Notebook

Seconds after saying "I Do!"

Our First Dance


Dancing with my little flower girl!

Our wedding cake! Two tiers of vanilla cake and one tier of red velvet, covered in butter cream icing!

Of course, our wedding wouldn't be complete without a train!

All photography courtesy of Stephen Hunton

gracefully yours,

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Trendy Tuesday: Beyond the Closet Door

First things first!...

I absolutely adore Anthropologie, especially if it’s on SALE. That’s why I went crazy over this fun little top! 

Scrawled Rain Blouse

It’s perfect for a night out or can be more conservative for work with a cardigan. And at 50% off ,who can complain?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Happy Birthday Mikey!!!!

Today I’m wishing my best friend and sweet husband a VERY Happy Birthday!!!