Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tasty Tuesday

This is such a great side dish and is packed with veggie-goodness!!!!

Vegetable Rice Skillet

1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 1/2 cups cauliflowerets
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup shredded cheese
1 tablespoon parsley
salt & pepper to taste

1) In a large non stick skillet over medium heat, cook onion in butter until tender. Add carrots; cook 5 minutes longer. Stir in the cauliflower, broccoli, rice and garlic. Add broth; bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat and cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, parsley and salt and pepper.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Long time no talk....

It's December already. And almost a month since I last posted. How does this happen?!?!?!? Nonetheless....hello again friends...

How are you? Getting into the holly jolly of it all? There is something about this time of year that still makes me feel like a little girl. The glow of a Christmas tree still does something to me. Honestly? I hope it always does.

I am trying to be very intentional this Christmas season. Intentional with my time, last year I remember 3 days before Christmas becoming panic stricken, and feeling so far behind that I wanted to curl up in the fetal position yelling make it stop!!! Really, it was pretty bad. This year I am starting early and trying my best to stay organized...hopefully this will end better for me this year.

More than that though, I am trying to be intentional with my mind...my heart. Trying so very hard not to get swept away with the crazy-ness of the constant party planning, party attending, gift buying, gift wrapping, cooking, Christmas card sending, Christmas program and plays and everything else that tends to go along with this season. Is it just me, or does it seem to be an attack from the enemy? No no, not originally. Originally we probably INTEND these things to be good, honoring the true reason of the season of our Savior's arrival. But in the end, when we get so consumed with all the "fluff" that goes on around it, can't we so easily forget? And wouldn't Satan love that? I'm not suggesting that every Christmas activity is bad...not in the slightest. I am however suggesting that we are still human beings, even in the midst of this season, don't forget this. We cannot do everything. We cannot be everwhere. And most importantly, we cannot lose sight of why this season is so beautiful.

So some practical ways that I am trying to keep my eyes on Jesus...especially during this season.

-Advent. While I was raised in a Christian home that was taught that Christmas was about Jesus from day 1, it wasn't until I was in my 20's that I even heard what advent was. It was while my husband and I were engaged that we declared that our family would pause for a moment each day to reflect on the holiness this Christmas season brings that we so often overlook. Some great resources I would suggest are easily found at

-Party Less. Okay this is a tough one...I was never and never will be what one typically considers a "party girl" as most would imagine. However...give me a party to plan any day and I will stay up all hours of the night planning menus, decorations, little gifts for the guests (home made if possible), activities, and making sure everyone I ever met is invited. Give me a party to attend and I will stay up all hours of the night to plan what to bring, a gift for the hostess, my outfit, my hair, my nails, my make up, along with back up plan A, B, and C. So as you can see, I don't do party's simple. If you can...please teach me. I for one obsess over every possible detail. So because I have this issue I have decided to party-less. I've determined that a lot of the time (read me...NOT all of the time) but a lot of the time, we plan parties around the Christmas season with friends because we don't take the time to see them throughout the year. So I've decided to spread the fun throughout the year. Why hold it all up for Christmas time? More specifically, in January when we're all bored and cold...why not party it up then?!? And you can have any theme you want! My favorite was my "Back-to Kids Night" that I had a couple of years ago. A group of young 20 somethings gathered together to be a kid again. Everything was in bright basic colors. I served cotton candy, pb&j sandwichess, ants on a log, Jello Jigglers in fun shapes, giant chocolate chip cookies and milk, and TONS of candy, and we played kid games, colored in coloring books, and watched old Disney classics all night. Funnest. Night. Ever. There were even treat bags with fake tattoos. Party less is just an idea, but I'm going with it. It's allowing me to still have all the fun planning parties I want, without taking the attention and focus I need this holiday season.

-List, list, list. I'm not even attempting to remember things. The "notes" section on my phone is full of random-ness. Even getting a piece of gum means finding small folded up notes in the gum package. Any time I think of any gift idea for anybody, I make a note. Any time I think of something I really want to do this Christmas season, I make a note. At the end of each day, I take 15 minutes and go through my notes for the day. Act on them then if i need to, or write it down on my calendar for the next day. Something else I'm sure everyone else probably does but is my first year to try (I really am trying to the organizational thing...), writing down EVERYTHING I purchase for EVERY person in my life. No matter how big or small, I write it down.

So with all this said...Happy December friends. I love this time of year, I love the hope this season brings me through the birth of my Savior.
I am humbly in awe of Him.