Saturday, March 31, 2012


i've been thinking a lot about skin lately. 

this is largely due to the trayvon martin case.
 i don't want to stir up a political rant, however, this tragedy hits close to home. 

so many of my close friends, and since marrying jeremy, family, have sons, nephews and grandchildren who look an awful lot like trayvon. who have experienced stares, clutching of purses or unfair accusations based on their skin color. 

i think of all the intelligent, caring, talented, young african american men i know, who have a destiny far beyond the few short years that trayvon lived on this earth. i can't imagine their lives being halted at such a young age.

i write this acknowledging that many youth lose their lives everyday due to unnecessary violence.
trayvon is certainly not the only one.

and, just saying i have friends or family members who have these experiences does not mean i fully understand how they feel. i am not questioned or given a second glance due to the shade of my skin.
i have been privileged my whole life. 

but i think it is vital to listen to stories from those who do deal with racism at varying levels throughout their lives.

i was deeply moved by this video of interviews with NBC employees sharing their sentiments and experiences dealing with issues of race. 

take a few minutes to watch this short clip. you won't be disappointed.

i don't know all the details of this case.

but i do know there is power in sharing one's story.


Friday, March 30, 2012

high five for friday.

this friday i thought i would put a little spin on my usual top five post and share five of my favorite bands/artists i listen to while blogging. i have tons of favorite musical groups but these help the creative juices flow and provide great background 'ambiance' as i am typing away...

five // patty griffin.

she is my girl. seriously. i saw her live and cried through half of it.
if you haven't had the pleasure of listening to her heart felt melodies, do yourself a favor and check her music out. a few of my favorite tracks off the top of my head are: you are not alone, rain, when it don't come easy, and long ride home.  

four // jason morant. 
jason's music is unique: soothing, passionate and inspiring. he is a christian artist who transcends the traditional 'christian' genre. listening to his music puts me in the 'zone.' i love all aspects of his music: instrumental, vocal and the lyrics.  

three // kings of convenience. 
i kinda laughed when i found this album cover. i'm sure you are wondering what their music sounds like. 'quiet is the new loud' (the title of the album) totally summarizes their sound. they have some of the most relaxing and chill music i have ever found. they are my go to 'veg out' band. listen to their song 'gold in the air of summer.'
 i just bet you'll fall in love with them too!  

two // iron and wine.
talk about some wonderfully smooth music. do not listen to iron and wine if you are trying to get energized. but if you need to focus and get some serious blogging done, they are a great pick. some of their songs are 'whisper singing' i like to call it. incredible music to unwind to. 

one //sigur rós. 
they look like nice fellows, don't they?
this Icelandic band has created some moving musical masterpieces. if you are writing an 'epic' blog post, i suggest you pop in some sigur rós. their instrumentation is unreal. they have a very unique sound that is hard to describe without just having a listen. 

what's your favorite group/artist to listen to while cranking out your blog posts? i'd love to add more to my list.

wishing you a fun filled weekend!


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

oh how pinteresting.

this wonderful wednesday i decided to share some of the pins that i have 'liked.' 
anyone else, 'like' a lot of items but then forget about them? 
here are some of my recent favorites:

love her boho style. the headscarf adds that 'pop' to the outfit.

pinned here.

isn't this beautiful? 
art love.
pinned here.

how fun is this?
Adorable. i would do this.
pinned here.

wedges. mmm...
wedge. these are amazing
pinned here.

decorating with wine bottles. this is so simple and classy.
decorate with wine bottles
pinned here.

these would go with so many outfits.
pinned here.

how could you not have fun wearing this necklace?
pinned here.

staying inspired...


Monday, March 26, 2012

cha cha cha changes.

so this summer my husband and i are moving from...


to connecticut, for his job.

i am extremely sad to leave those that we love but excited for the new adventure that it will bring.
here is a list of things i am looking forward to :

trader joes. oh YES. 

h and m (yes, it may seem shallow, but i love this store :) haha...)

being close to the ocean!
Atlantic Ocean Sunrise

nyc (just under 2 hours away!)
New York City Skyline

gateway is the church that j will be working for!
we have met such sweet people there already... 
Gateway Christian Fellowship Weekly Podcast
our sweet friends, grant and amy and their two adorable sons live in connecticut.
we are excited to be close to them and watch their boys grow up!

we must be willing to let go

i'm not normally a huge fan of 'change'
but i am going to embrace the new journey that we will embark on...together.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

links to love.

thought i would put together a list of some of my favorite DIY projects/recipes 
out in blogland that i've stumbled upon lately...


To Be Brave, 14 x 11 paper print -  inspirational or graduation gift with blues, pinks, quotation and typography

how creative and fun is this diy bracelet?

i have loved trying out DIY homemade facial products. here are some fun masks to try. 

in love with bleach painting a tshirt. so fun.

get glowing skin with this diy tumeric mask.

really like this simple idea to keep your jewelry organized.  

almond coconut butter with 3 ingredients. yes, please.

this taco dip sounds de-licious.

the smell of coffee is one of my favorites. can't wait to try this body scrub made with coffee grounds. 

i can smell this homemade popcorn already...

do you have any fun links to share?


Friday, March 23, 2012

high five for friday!

well, it's friday once again. 
(woo hoo)


anybody else remember TGIF growing up? boy meets world? oh yeeeah.

i am delighted to celebrate five wonderful aspects of my life with you all today!

a whole week of summer. 
record highs in michigan this week. 
can you say 85 in march!? 

new necklace from target.
on clearance.
oh yeaaah.

planning thrifting dates with two of my friends. 
can't wait to see what treasures we find! 

this quote certainly summarizes my life right now.
lots of "new" coming our way in the next few months. 

the changing seasons makes me excited to switch up the wardrobe.
anybody else get the winter blahs with their outfits?
here are four of my favorite fashion bloggers to follow for outfit inspiration:




have a woooonderful weekend, everyone!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

hair rut: come on out.

i've had this red section in my hair since the fall. 
and i love it. 

but i can't keep the same hair style/color for long. 

and it's time for a change.

i love the ombre trend. but a bit nervous about trying it out on short hair.
short ombre. subtle but pretty.  @Rachel Folkersma ;)
but i'm thinking i just might try it...

do you have any other brilliant [funky] hair color ideas? 
i'd love to hear...


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

how pinteresting: mmm edition.

today's pinteresting post contains recipes i have actually tried and loved from pinterest. enjoy!

pinned here

hibachi sauce to go with the chicken. SO good.
"Yum Yum" sauce from Hibachi restaurants.  Who would have thought it could be so simple to make?!
pinned here.

Cake Batter Truffles. these are DELICIOUS! thanks @Mikelle Badge
pinned here.

(just make sure you don't over bake...speaking from experience. :)
oreo cheescake cookies
pinned here

[potato soup2[5].jpg]
pinned here.

This was voted the #1 Casserole for the year at Taste Of Home - Cheesy enchilada casserole ... Gotta try that
pinned here.

White chicken enchiladas with sour cream sauce
pinned here.

the best broccoli of your life.
"The Best Broccoli of Your Life. LOVE this recipe. No one who has tried this has disliked it."   It's true!!!  Really amazing!
pinned here.

stay tuned for many more editions of my favorite recipes via pinterest! 
what are some of yours??


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

glasses on a budget.

have you heard about zenni optical?
prescription glasses for as low as $6.95. (for LENSES and FRAMES). 
it's insane.
i know what you're thinking. 
this is a hoax.
they are probably fake.
i'll just get ripped off.

but it's for real.

i have ordered many pairs and love all of them!

these were my latest order (all $9.95): 

(kinda nervous about pink and white, but i thought it would be fun for spring)

(i love these black frames--nerdy but not obnoxious)

(i got these as prescription sunglasses. they kinda look like grandma frames, 
but i think as shades they will be cool. :) i'm hoping so...)

check out all their sweet styles here



Monday, March 19, 2012

menu plan.

hey everyone. hope you all had an amazing weekend. we celebrated j's birthday in chicago. so much fun! 

today i thought i would share my meal plan for the week with some easy and delicious dinner ideas, in case you need some menu inspiration. 

artichoke crusted chicken (served with rice and veggies)

 artichoke crusted chicken...yummy!!
recipe found here.

2 chicken breasts, pounded thin
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (canned or frozen that have been thawed are both fine)
1/3 cup grated white cheddar cheese 
salt & pepper

Salt and pepper the chicken and then sauté each chicken breast in 1 tbsp olive oil on medium-high heat, for about 8-10 minutes, flipping once, or until the juices run clear when pierced with a fork.  Set aside. Mix together the mayonnaise, artichoke hearts and cheddar cheese until evenly distributed.  Spread the mixture over the sauteed chicken breasts, and then broil at 400 degrees for about 3 minutes.  Do not take your eyes off them — broiling can lead to burning faster than you can imagine.  When the cheese is melted and bubbling and the tops are golden, remove and serve.

jambalaya with turkey sausage and shrimp 

get ready, this meal is so easy.

2 boxes of zatarain's jambalaya mix with cheese
bell pepper/onion (any color pepper will do)
 1 package of turkey sausage (like the picture on the box, not ground sausage)
1 package of shrimp (i use frozen)
olive oil
salt & pepper
garlic powder

cut up the turkey sausage into slices and thaw the shrimp. chop the peppers and onions. sautee the peppers, onions and turkey sausage in a skillet with olive oil, salt, pepper and a dash of garlic powder. cook the 2 boxes of rice together in a pot as directed on the package and add in the turkey sausage and peppers/onions while it's cooking. finally, add the shrimp for the last five minutes of cooking time. (overcooked shrimp is yuck.) enjoy!

erica's twist on spaghetti (served with salad and garlic bread)

box of spaghetti noodles
1 pound ground turkey
1 package of pepperoni
1 onion, chopped
2 jars of your favorite spaghetti sauce (red)
parmesan cheese
sour cream
italian seasoning
garlic powder
salt & pepper

cook the noodles as directed. brown the ground turkey and chopped onion in seasonings. add the pepperoni. (believe me, it adds SO much more flavor). add both jars of sauce and simmer. sprinkle with sugar too taste (this cuts out some of the acidity of the tomato sauce). combine the sauce and the noodles and stir until they are fully coated. add approx. 2 heaping spoonfuls of sour cream and 2 handfuls of parmesan cheese and stir. (the sour cream adds a great consistency to the sauce!) enjoy! 

chicken pesto pizza (served with salad)

store bought pizza dough (i like to use the dough in the freezer section)
or make your own dough, directions found here
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into pieces
garlic powder
salt & pepper
olive oil
pesto (store bought or make your own, directions found here)
parmesan cheese
mozzarella cheese
pine nuts

toast the pine nuts. sautee the chicken breast in olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. cut into pieces. spread the pesto on the dough. top with the chicken, pine nuts, and parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. bake as directed on the package or approx 400 degrees for 8-12 minutes (until the cheese is lightly browned and bubbly).  

what's on your menu this week?