Five on Friday // 2-26-16

Friday, we welcome you with open arms once again. I try to enjoy every single day and not just anticipate the more exciting things coming up, but this week at work has been especially crazy, and I’ve been looking forward to today since Tuesday. Anyway, here are a few favorite things from this week:

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetONE // Packages with pretty things. I got so much fun mail this week!

TWO // Loren has a phone again!! It’s been several weeks since he’s had a fully functioning one, and he is finally all set again. Bring on all the crazy-face snapchats and emojis, because isn’t that what marriage is all about?

IMG_2301THREE // The espresso machine at work. Once in a while, I treat myself to a speciality drink. (Hmm will every Friday post have something about coffee? Probably.)

FOUR // Brazilian Cheese Puffs (Pão de Queijo) that I am making for dinner tonight (I modify this recipe a tad). My mom has a Brazilian friend who would make these for us. SO GOOD and I can’t wait for dinner!!!!

IMG_2308FIVE // This adorable picture of my nephew looking out at the falling snow.

Happy Weekending!

*Linking up for the first time with September Farm 

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21 Questions

It’s always fascinating learning random things about people. I’ve seen different versions of these 21 questions floating around, and thought I would join in the fun and answer them.
1. Are you named after anyone? I don’t think so. But I was named “Heidi” because we were moving to Germany.
2. When was the last time you cried? Wow..sometime last year? I don’t cry much.
3. Do you have kids?  Not yet!
4. If you were another person would you be a friend of yourself? Maybe?
5. Do you use sarcasm a lot?  I used to speak fluent sarcasm. I’ve toned it down over the past couple years.
6. Will you ever bungee-jump? Yes. After I sky dive.
7. What’s your favorite cereal? Berry Colossal Crunch. Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I could eat cereal all day!
8. What’s the first thing you notice about people? Their eyes and smile.
9. What is your eye color? Blue.
10. Scary movie or happy ending? Happy ending.
11. Favorite smells? Spicy cinnamon scented candles, Loren’s cologne, grilling chicken, freshly cut grass.
12. Computer or television?  Computer.
 13. What’s the furthest you’ve ever been from home? While living in Germany – coast of Spain, while living in the US – Arizona.
14. Do you have any special talents? I dream little 5 second dreams as I fall asleep and tell my husband about them as they are happening.
15. Where were you born? South Carolina.
16. What are your hobbies? Cooking, baking, reading.
17. Summer or winter? Summer all the way. Even though snow is pretty on the first day.
18. Do you have any pets? Not yet!
19. Favorite TV show? The OfficeAll day every day.
20. Do you have any siblings? 5 sisters and 1 brother.
21. What do you want to be when you grow up? A mom and professional blogger.
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What are some random facts about you?
Share in the comments below!
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Sunny Visits

What an amazing spring-like weekend this one was. Did you get outside and enjoy the wonderful sun and temperatures?  We did, along with the rest of Indianapolis. It was fantastic.
Friday {date} night, we ate a quick dinner at home, went to see Mockingjay Part 2 (finally!!), then came back home and ate popcorn while playing some games before bed.

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I was just a little excited.

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Saturday morning, we made our usual big brunch, then read together (I’m loving this new tradition!). By then, we were itching to get outside, so we took a little walk to check the mail. Once we came back, we started cleaning up and getting ready for the weekend’s big event: Loren’s parents coming for an overnight visit! When they arrived that afternoon, we took them downtown Indy to see some sights and walk the canal. It was the most beautiful, sunny afternoon, so perfect for strolling around. When we got tired from walking, we came home for dinner and a quiet evening of talking, games and a movie.

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Huge murals painted under several bridges along the canal.
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NCAA headquarters

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Some of the Indiana State Museum art representing different countries.

Sunday morning, we took dad & mom to our church, then had a delicious lunch at Yia Yia’s, a Greek and anything-else-you-could-want-for breakfast/lunch restaurant before they headed back home. We were so glad they were able to come for a visit and immensely enjoyed our time with them. The rest of the afternoon, Loren and I worked on various projects and got ready for a new week.

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I hope you had a wonderful weekend and got out in the sun!

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Five on Friday // 2-19-16

Happy Friday! This week was a little rough, as I was fighting a bad cold, but I am so glad to finally be feeling better just in time for the weekend! And now for some favorites from this week:

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ONE // Winning a $75 gift card giveaway (for the first time ever!!) to Pink Blush (thanks to Naptime Chai).

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TWO // Fresh squeezed lemons in my lemon herb tea. In this adorable Anthropologie mug.

THREE // My dear sweet husband letting me sleep a little longer in the mornings to help get rid of this cold.

FOUR // This AHMAZING Italian Chicken Bake I made for dinner last night. It’s made with basil pesto, roma tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. Do yourself a favor and go make it for dinner.

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FIVE // This meme my sister sent me last night that I could not stop laughing at because it’s SO TRUE. I was also very tired.

Happy Weekending!

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Stuffed Peppers

We love stuffed peppers. And they are pretty quick & easy to make! That seems to be my theme around here when it comes to cooking.
As much as I love green peppers, when it comes to making stuffed peppers, I like to use red, orange or yellow bell peppers, as they are sweeter and soften a little easier than green.

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Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients:
1 lb ground turkey
2 tsp taco seasoning
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 orange pepper
salt & pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups cooked rice (I usually use leftover rice
from the previous night’s dinner)
2 tbsp salsa
1/4 c sour cream
3 tbsp green onions, chopped
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°. Brown the turkey. Drain, add taco seasoning and set aside. Slice the peppers in half, remove seeds and membranes and place in greased 9×9 dish. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until slightly soft. In a medium bowl, mix together rice, browned turkey, salsa, sour cream, green onions and parmesan cheese. Stuff the mixture in softened peppers and top with shredded cheese. Place any remaining rice mixture in the bottom of the pan and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese in melted. Serves 2-3.
Enjoy!

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Coffee, Hearts and Snow

This weekend was quietish and full. Loren commented last night that last weekend (hanging out with friends every night) was very much his (extrovert) kind of weekend and this weekend (mostly just us at home) was one of my (introvert) kind of weekends. How true that was! We kicked the weekend off on Friday with dinner & a movie at home. Much needed after a crazy long week.

 Saturday morning Loren made french toast, we read together, then did chores and ran errands before trying out a new (to me) coffee shop downtown. Calvin Fletcher’s was an eccentric little shop, with plenty of seating and delicious coffee. By the time we got home we were starving, so we made pizza.

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Thinking about all his projects.

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And now for the mushy part: Sunday was Valentine’s Day (in case you didn’t notice all the other posts and advertising)! We don’t really get each other gifts for Valentine’s Day, so this year, we each made a meal for the other. I made homemade heart-shaped poptarts for breakfast, and that evening Loren made a delicious cheese fondue for our fancy at-home dinner date. It snowed all afternoon, which only added to the romantic coziness of the evening.

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All ready for breakfast in bed.
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Click to see the snow falling!

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So glad he’s my valentine 🙂

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And that was our wonderful quiet weekend! I hope you had a great one yourself and didn’t get snowed in too much.

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Five on Friday // 2-12-16

Friday is finally here!! And I thought it was about time to start up my Friday Favorite posts again. So here is the first one for 2016!

IMG_2064 (1)ONE // Free DD, thanks to the #Pacerswin. And Starbucks heart cups.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetTWO // My adorable nephew, born last week.

THREE // Meeting new blogger friends through Helene’s awesome webinar.

IMG_2059FOUR // These amazing and easy No-Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars I made this week.

FIVE // Free $50 Amazon giftcards, thanks to Swagbucks. Check it out, guys. So worth it.

Happy Friday, everyone! Have a fabulous weekend!

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Lights and Games

What a wonderful and busy weekend this one was!
Friday {date} night, Loren decided to introduce me to Pad Thai since I had never had it before. We tried out a local restaurant Thai Spice and guys, WHY did it take me 24 years to try Thai food???!!! So good. After we were stuffed to the gills, we wandered around the mall a little bit before our next activity: driving around town finding all the businesses with signs that were only partially lit. Super random and probably a little weird, but totally fun. There were plenty of businesses to choose from, but for your sake, I did not add every single half-lit sign that we came upon.

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Best Thai food around.
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Not a business sign, but a cool courthouse in a little town near us.
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One side…
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…and the other side.

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Saturday morning we slept in a little, made waffles and coffee together, and while we were eating breakfast, Loren read a story that we both used to read often as kids. We did adult things like errands, cleaning and odd jobs for the rest of the day until Caleb and Chelsea came over for our monthly dinner. And I finally have pictures to prove it! We played several games, which kept getting crazier, creative and funnier as the evening went on. Thanks for another great night, guys!

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Sunday we had a blessed and refreshing morning at church, followed by lunch at Qdoba with some of the young people. In the evening we went over to the D’s to “watch” the Super Bowl, but mostly talked and played games.

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And here we are ready to tackle another week!
I hope you had a lovely weekend and didn’t eat too much food during the Super Bowl.

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The Day I Forgot to Be Polite to My Husband

I am about to get more personal and openly honest than I have ever been on this blog, which is not easy for me. But recently, Loren and I have learned a marriage lesson that was too vital to not share.

We had gotten too comfortable around each other. Little things started unnecessarily annoying us. It got to the point where I felt like we were treating each other as siblings. And then it hit me: we weren’t being polite to each other.

When you’re young and with your siblings (or friends), you display your immaturity by knowing what buttons cause friction and pushing them to get on each other’s nerves. As we grow older, we mature and learn to be polite and it becomes clear that the difference between child relationships and adult relationships (and in this case, husband and wife) lies in maturity and politeness.

Although Loren and I weren’t intentionally pushing each other’s buttons, we weren’t actively seeking to be considerate and sensitive, either. Just because we’re married and used to each other and know each other so well, doesn’t mean we can stop being polite to each other. Loren and I are complete opposite personality types (ENFP v. ISTJ). Our thought processes are on opposite ends of the spectrum. He is analytical, I am not. Some things annoy him that don’t annoy me, and vice versa. But I have to be considerate of him and think before I speak or act.

Two core foundations of marriage are love and respect, and being polite to each other is just one expression of love and respect. We’re in this life together, so let’s fight together instead of against each other.
Don’t forget to be adults about marriage. Don’t forget to be polite.

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Slow Cooker Black Beans & Rice

Growing up, we used to eat black beans over rice about once a week. We would pile on the salsa, sour cream, cheese and other toppings and shovel it in with tortilla chips. Cheap and delicious and the closest we came to burrito bowls over in Germany. The cheap factor (and I love all the flavor!) is one reason I serve this meal in my home now about once a week.
About once a month, I make a big 2 lbs. bag of black beans in the slow cooker and freeze meal-size portions in sandwich bags to use throughout the month. I like to also use the beans for chili, quesadillas, turkey & bean pitas, spaghetti sauce and a number of other things.

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Slow Cooker Black Beans w/Rice

Ingredients:
2 lbs black beans, rinsed & drained
12 cups water
1 onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp salt

Directions:
Rinse & drain the beans, sorting out any small stones, broken, wrinkled, or otherwise misshapen beans. Place all the ingredients except salt in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours (high for 3 hours). Add salt, stir well and let cook for 30 more minutes. Serve over rice and add toppings of choice.

Toppings:
cooked rice
shredded cheese
salsa
sour cream
fresh diced tomatoes
scallions
shredded lettuce
roasted peppers
tortilla chips

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Enjoy!

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