Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Blissful Blogger

My beautiful little sister recently decided to tag my blog for the Blissful Blogger award. What a sweet sissy I have to give me an award when I'm not even good about posting regularly ;-).

The rules of this award are to share 7 facts about yourself and then tag 7 other bloggers. However, since I'm kind of a -- what's the word-- lame blogger, I don't have 7 people to tag, so I will simply tag the fabulous blogs that I am familiar with.

7 Facts about Bailey:

1. I am absolutely, head-over-heals in love with my husband, Ryan. We have been married for a little over two years, and I feel so blessed to have him in my life. He is the perfect combination of fun and serious. He is tall (very, very tall) and handsome. He is sweet but he also knows when to tell me how it is. He's pretty much the greatest :-).

In Seattle at Pike Place Market

2. I am a big family girl. Sometimes I still feel like a little kid because of how much I love and miss my parents. I still talk to my mom every day, and I sit on my dad's lap when I'm in Colorado visiting.

I'm also super blessed to have an incredible relationship with my younger sister, Jordan. She is my best friend and always will be, no matter the distance between us.

Jord and me, Summer 2011

The whole family, January 2011

3. I have discovered that I am a Colorado person through and through. I used to think that I was a warm-weather, beach-loving girl, but now that I live in Florida, I have discovered all of the things that I took for granted about Colorado. You did good on the ocean, God, but I think the mountains win!

4. I'm a major foodie. Like my sister, I savor one meal while simultaneously planning my next one. And since I have somewhat low blood sugar, I get very shaky and grumpy when I don't have enough food in my body. So I pretty much always have snacks :-).

5. I love, love, love coffee! The bummer part: My body responds very badly to caffeine. Oh well. Tall decaf nonfat lattes all the way!

6. I am in the process of creating my own company. I studied Professional and Technical Writing at the University of South Florida, and I would like to launch my own freelance writing business. If all goes well with the paperwork, I'll announce the name of my company soon!

7. I haven't really shared this one with anybody but Ryan lately, so you're a lucky group ;-). While I am thrilled about the fact that a couple of my friends are starting to have babies, and I can't wait for my sisters-in-law to have little ones, I am fairly terrified about having my own kids still. I'm hoping that this changes in the next couple of years, because I know that I want kids eventually. I just still get massive butterflies any time I think about bringing a child into this crazy world. Can anyone relate?

That's just a few fun facts about me. I could share plenty more with all of the amazing blessings that God has put in my life, but that'll do for now. So here are the wonderful blogs that I'm tagging to receive this award:

Have a great rest of the week!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Getting Motivated

Before I say anything else in this post, I just have to brag a little bit about my amazing husband. Last Friday was his birthday, and the poor guy didn't get to celebrate the way he deserved. He had to work late, so a special birthday dinner wasn't an option. Then most of the weekend was spent doing projects around our house. But he never acted disappointed about any of it. I love that about him. He is so easy-going and selfless. If things don't go the way he originally hoped, he makes the best of the situation and helps me to do the same. How did I get so lucky?!

Now for the "getting motivated" part of my post. With the extremely hot, extremely muggy weather that's been plaguing Florida, I have felt so lethargic and lazy. To make things worse, I have been craving nothing but pure junk food. Not wanting to work out and dreaming of fatty foods don't create the best combination for trying to stay healthy and fit.

While part of me wants to make excuses and say that I'll get back into a healthier routine once the climate cools, I know that I need to just get motivated NOW.

Part of my desire to stay healthy is coming from a pretty big goal that I have for the semi-near future. As some of you may know, my sister and my mom ran the Sarasota First Watch Half Marathon last spring. Well... my sister has recruited me to join her in the race for this year. I've never run more than 6 or maybe 7 miles before, so it will definitely be a challenge. But as long as I get motivated, I'll be ready to face it.

My sister and mom after the race. They did awesome!

It will be a while before I officially start training for the race, but in the meantime, I'll post some of my other goals. Having them in writing might make me stick to them more :-).

1. Exercise 5 days out of each week
2. Drink more water!
3. Practice better self-control with junk food, but allow myself a treat every once in a while
4. Vary my workouts to avoid boredom
5. Eat healthy snacks throughout the day to avoid binging on chips when I get home :-)
6. Keep a good perspective - treat my body as a temple and a gift from God, not as an obsession

If anyone has tips on getting motivated and staying healthy, please share! I'll be back soon with my own progress report :-).

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Food and Wine

Hello all! Since Ryan has been out of town, I decided that I should make a couple of recipes that wouldn't necessarily fit his taste buds. So tonight, I made a recipe out of the June edition of Cooking Light: Bombay Shrimp Curry with Coconut Rice. It was DELICIOUS! For those of you who like Indian or spicy food, I would highly recommend this recipe. It is easy and fairly quick to make, yet it makes you feel like you've whipped up something special. Here is how to make this spectacular curry dish. (Sidenote: I cut the recipe in half, and it produced the perfect amount for one person to have dinner plus some left over)

5 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups prechopped onion
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 1/3 cups hot water
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
1 cup light coconut milk
1 cup uncooked instant rice (I used brown rice)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (I didn't have cilantro, so I garnished it with chopped green onions, and it tasted great)

1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil; swirl to coat. Sprinkle shrimp with 1/8 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Add shrimp to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan.
2. Reduce heat to medium; add remaining 3 teaspoons oil; swirl to coat. Add onion; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, curry powder, and next 3 ingredients (through red pepper); cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add hot water and peas and carrots; bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 4 minutes. Return shrimp to pan; cook 1 minute.
3. While curry cooks, bring milt to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in remaining 1/8 teaspoon slat and rice. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
4. Place about 1/3 cup rice on each of 4 plates; top each serving with about 1 cup shrimp mixture. Sprinkle each serving with 3/4 teaspoon cilantro (or green onions).
Yield: 4 servings

Let me know what you think if you try this recipe. I'd be curious to know if other people like it as much as I did.

Now to the "wine" portion of my post. You may have noticed in my previous post that I included a link to a website for my dad's wine. Over the past year or so, my dad has worked to start a wine business with his close friend. Because their business is located in Loveland, CO, they have appropriately decided to call it Sweetheart City Wines. Though they are in the process of making their own wines, it will not be ready for some time. In the meantime they have selected a number of choice red wines from California's wine country, and they are also searching for white wines to feature next year. I've tried each of their current wines, and I love every one of them, though the Syrah is definitely my favorite.

Part of the reason I'm sharing this is obviously to help promote my dad's new business. But I'm also sharing it simply because I am proud of what my daddy is doing. He has always wanted to have his own business, and now he is making that dream a reality. He has been a constant support system to me throughout my life, so now I want to support him in what he's doing. I am so happy that he is getting to pursue something that he enjoys, and I wish him all the success he deserves.

So one more little marketing plug :-)... The next time you're looking for some delicious red wine, check out Sweetheart City Wines. They have great selections for the special occasions in your life, and I'm not just saying that because it's my dad's wine. You'll just have to take my word for it :-).

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Catching Up

After a busy month, I'm back from my blogging break and ready to share all that we've been up to. First and foremost, our trip to Colorado.

As usual, we enjoyed every minute in our beautiful home state with our amazing families. Though we were there for a whole two weeks, this trip went by faster than any of our visits to date. It may have been due to all of the wedding festivities during our first week in town.

My sister-in-law, Jenna, married the love of of her life, Brady, in a gorgeous ceremony on June 26. The wedding was beautiful, and it was amazing to be a part of it! I wish Jenna and Brady the absolute best in their life together, and I pray that God will bless their marriage immensely!

Other happenings in Colorado included....

Spending lots of time with the people we love the most.

My sweet sisters-in-law

My awesome father-in-law

Best family I could ask for!

Ry with his mom... I love her!

Enjoying the great outdoors.

Hiking in Estes Park

My sister, Jordan, and her boyfriend (also named Ryan)

And, of course, eating delicious food!

Homemade pizza with my Dad's wine

Some sweet treats

We were NOT ready to come back from such a wonderful trip. I definitely shed lots of tears our first few days back in Florida. I'm already counting the days 'til I can see my family again! I know I say this all the time, but I am so thankful to God that he has blessed me with such incredible loved ones. My own family members and my in-laws are the most loving, tender-hearted, and fun people I know. God is certainly good!

Shortly after we got back from Colorado, Ryan and I celebrated our two-year anniversary. Thanks to my generous aunt and uncle, we enjoyed a delicious anniversary dinner at Texas Cattle Company. Needless to say, my meat-and-potatoes husband was in heaven :-). But the highlight of my dinner was the Oreo cheesecake for dessert. Yum!

I cannot put into words how grateful I am for my husband. He is so good to me, and life would not be the same without him. He always makes me feel loved and beautiful with his sweet kisses, warm hugs, and encouraging words. I am the luckiest girl in the world to be married to such a charming, handsome, and genuinely kind man!

Speaking of my wonderful husband, I have been without him for the past week due to a Coast Guard deployment. Having him gone makes me even more aware of how much I love being with him. Even watching TV isn't the same when he's not here. Thankfully, he doesn't get deployed very often, and I have less than a week until I see his cute face again!

So that's pretty much what's been going on with us. I hope all of you have been enjoying the summer! I can't wait to catch up on some of your blogs too!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

On Fathers' Day

On Fathers' Day, I would like to share just how much I adore my daddy!

Since I was a little girl, I have constantly heard "You like just like your dad!" But as I grow older, I find myself hoping that my inner qualities resemble my father as well. I respect my daddy in so many ways, and I want to pick up on his many admirable traits.

My dad is sweet and kind-hearted, and he cares deeply for his family. He has always worked hard to provide for his girls and tells us he loves us on a consistent basis. He showers us with affection and I still savor his warm hugs whenever I see him.

My dad is a man of faith, and he has made his relationship with Jesus a central part of his life. He has made a lasting impact in the lives of young men by leading a Bible study, and he wants the best for his church and spiritual community.

My dad is wise and always offers good advice, whether it's giving insight into the thought process of my husband (who I sometimes think is a younger version of my dad :-)) or giving me guidance on how to handle things at work.

My dad is fun and isn't afraid to show his goofy side. He has one of the most contagious laughs I've ever heard. Once he starts laughing hard about something, I can't help but laugh with him until tears stream down my face. I love his silly sense of humor and the way he always found ways to entertain my mom, my sister, and me.

I love my daddy more than any of this can express. Thank you, God, for blessing me with such an amazing father! Happy Fathers' Day, Daddy!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Looking forward to...

Now that summer has arrived, there are so many things that I am looking forward to! I feel like I'm counting down the days to many fun events in the near future. It makes it a little bit hard to keep plugging away at work and everyday life when I'm so antsy for all of our upcoming plans :-).

First, I get to see these cute faces in just five days!

I can't wait to spend some time with my adorable cousins, Travis and Hayley when they come to Florida this Friday. Their parents are taking them to Disney World for summer vacation, so Ryan and I are making the drive to Orlando to spend a day with them at Cocoa Beach before their Disney adventure begins.

Next, we are leaving on June 21st for beautiful Colorado! During our two weeks there, we will get to celebrate in wedding festivities for Ryan's sister, Jenna, and her soon-to-be husband, Brady. I'm so honored to be a part of the wedding, and I can't wait to spend time with my wonderful in-laws during the pre-wedding fun. I am also quite excited it to wear my pretty, bright bridesmaid dress!!!

On top of Jenna and Brady's wedding, I am thrilled to have time with my own family as well! It will be so amazing to be home with my parents and sister. I love seeing all of their faces when I wake up in the morning, and I can't wait to do some fun things together. I'm hoping that we'll get a hike or lake day in while we're there to enjoy Colorado's great outdoors too :-).

I know that it will be hard to say goodbye to everyone as we return from Colorado- as it always is- but at least I have more to look forward to when we get back. In July, I'm helping to plan a baby shower for my friend, Nicole. Not only will it be fun to find cute baby decorations and gifts for the party; it will also be a way of showering her with support and love before she has her precious baby boy in August!

Though this may be a particularly abundant season of my life with many fun events in the upcoming future, I am blessed to know that God is good all the time. Because of Him, every day can be something to look forward to!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Mama

This post is a bit late, but in honor of Mothers' Day, I wanted to take a minute to tell everyone what an amazing mother I have.

Throughout my life...

My Mama has nurtured, comforted, and encouraged me. She is the person I can run to when I'm hurt or sad, who listens attentively or holds me when I cry.

My Mama has laughed with me until both of our ribs ached. She has made funny faces, danced silly dances, and made cheesy jokes with my sister and me. With her, we can be as goofy as we want and she loves us just the same.

My Mama has amazed me with her wisdom and immense amount of faith. She continues to live her life to the glory of God and has raised her children to do the same.

My Mama has held me close while also allowing me to fly. I will always be her little girl, but she rejoices in the new stages of my life and encourages me to be the best I can be.

My Mama has been everything to me, and I thank God for her presence in my life. Happy (late) Mothers' Day, Mama! Love you so much! xoxo