Saturday, November 30, 2013

30-Days of being thankful: Day 30

I can't believe this challenge is just about over. It truly was a reminder of God's goodness in my life.

Today, the last day of this challenge, I am VERY thankful for my loving family. The birth of a child can bring many challenges to a relationship. J and I have had quite a big learning curve but we have stuck together and worked through it. We love each other very much and it is evident when you see JOE because she radiates our love.

Thank you for letting me share this series/challenge with you.

Being thankful doesn't stop here. When you say a prayer, remember to give thanks for what you have before asking for more.

Have a blessed weekend!

Friday, November 29, 2013

30-Days of being thankful: Day 28 & 29

Day 28:
I am thankful for Thanksgiving! We had a great feast yesterday with J's parents. It was all very yummy and that sausage stuffing (dish on the far right) was AWESOME!!! I had 3 helpings!!!

Also, every year, our church requests that people make an extra dish to feed to the homeless on Thanksgiving day. I always make desserts because I feel folks could use something sweet on Thanksgiving day :-).

The lemon apple cake was a recipe from Pinterest. It was AWESOME!

The chocolate Confetti cake was made with chocolate and cake confetti mixed in. On top, I added chocolate chips and shaved white chocolate. Yum!!!

Day 29:
After all the eating I did yesterday, I am thankful for challenges! My co-workers and I have been doing the below challenge since the first week in November. I just completed day 18. Feel very accomplished. My jeans are definitely loser around the waist and my arms look more toned! Yay for fitness challenges!!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

2014 Family photo shoot!

I can't believe I forgot to blog our family photo session on November 16th! I kept meaning to last week and kept forgetting.

We (J & I) had a great time taking the pictures. JOE had just woken up from her nap so she was a bit cranky. That coupled with the somewhat chilly weather made for a sometimes uncooperative baby! :-).

The seasonal changes were just so apparent and beautiful and our photographer did an excellent job capturing our family.

I didn't want to do the all red sweaters for Christmas this year so I looked on Pinterest and got inspiration from some of the pictures I saw on there. I was able to get the sweaters at a great price from Old Navy for all of us so that worked out great.

Here are the pics I promised to blog last week :-).

This is the one we plan on using for our Christmas cards this year.

30-Days of being thankful: Day 22-27

Its been a busy few days and I haven't been able to keep up with this. But I promised myself I will have one for each day so which it isn't being blogged on the day of, I do have reasons to be thankful.

Here they go!

Day 22:
Today, I am thankful for peace of mind.

I often take it for granted until something happens to shake my mostly calm thoughts. I have had a lot going on around me but with each day, God has showed me how to deal with/tackle different situations and I am thankful for that.

Day 23:
Today was a busy day but we were able to accomplish a lot. I am thankful for our new home. In prior years, we haven't really done a lot of decorating because we lived in a condo. This year, we are going to do a little more and I am thankful we are blessed to be able to do that.

Day 24:
I am thankful for sleep! This is another one I take for granted until I don't get enough sleep and then start eating a lot of being very cranky!
We went to get my car appraised in preparation for trading it in. After we got back home, hubby took the baby and attempted to let me sleep. I didn't sleep much. Only got 30-minutes but it felt like 3 hours!

Day 25:
Today, I am thankful for the ability to telework from home. We have had a couple of vandalism incidents in recent weeks but we haven't been able to catch the culprit. Since I telework on Mondays, I just happened to look out the window when I noticed a kid moving our down spout trays. It wasn't a big deal but at least now we know. Hubby and I are both in agreement that if it continues, we will approach the young man's parents but for now, we are happy it isn't a hate crime (yes, my mind went there! :-)) or something like that.

Day 26:
This is a double blessing day! I am thankful for my new car (I will blog more on that later). J & I took the day off so we could go car shopping without JOE. We figured it would work in our favor if we go towards the end of the month and in the middle of the week. We were right. We got a lot of attention and were able to walk out with a good deal. God is good!
Also, I am thankful for my awesome mom. Today is her birthday and each day, I am VERY thankful that God made me her daughter. She is truly a gift and she has blessed me and the rest of our family with so much that words cannot fully explain how much we lot and appreciate her. She is truly the Matriarch of our family!

Day 27:
Today, I am thankful for helpful co-workers who say positive words to uplift me. I have gotten some pretty nasty comments in the past in reaction to my marrying J and also having JOE. So it is always nice and refreshing to get a positive compliment from another co-worker.

The month is almost over and we'll be celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow. What are you thankful for?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Foolery: Things that make me go hmmm...

Yay!!! Its Friday!!! The week before the official kick off to the holiday season. I LOVE this time of year. Can you tell how excited I am?

The holidays means time with family and of course, it also means time spent eating and drinking. So I was doing some window shopping online and check out what I found!  So I was asking myself a pretty serious question. Why would anyone need a travel wine mug? I thought drinking alcohol while driving was a no-no in every country? Perhaps not? Perhaps, I am just not worldly enough? I'll definitely be passing on this item.

At first when I read this article header, I was like "What the what???" And then I read on and realized she was actually trading the rings from her previous marriage to get tickets for her current husband's 40th birthday and the rings were being bought by a man who is planning on proposing to his current girlfriend. I say a win-win all around :-).

Bitter much? This guy actually bought a house next to his ex-wife's current home and in a show of completely immature gesture (in my opinion), he decided to put up a giant middle finger statue in open view of his ex's place. I mean, REALLY? Grow up!

Then there was this foolishness. Why would ANYONE pay this much for a swim suit? Its not even practical. Even if I had the body to wear it, I wouldn't. I would be afraid of losing a diamond when I wear it. In my mom's words, this is clearly "money miss road". My Nigerian readers will understand that statement :-).

Have a safe an awesome weekend!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

30-Days of being thankful: Day 21

Today, I am thankful for my hubby's weekly tasks. Every morning (Tuesdays through Fridays), he is tasked with getting JOE cleaned up and ready for the day. He goes into work later so I can get home earlier to get JOE.

Yes we have a nanny but I still want JOE in a nice outfit when the nanny gets there because I don't want her in PJs all day.

For the last few nights, JOE has been up rather early and has had some difficulty getting back to sleep until after I leave for work. This morning, J sent me this picture.

I love the transformation from sleeping beauty to happy toddler and that's thanks to J.

What are you thankful for today?

DIY: Peasant top

I will be making a dress for JOE and her cousin to wear this Christmas.
In the meantime, I wanted to make a peasant top for my niece to wear.
I saw this dress on Pinterest and decided to use some of the fabric I have at home to make it.
I love the way it turned out. This was also the first dress I made with a lining. I kinda just winged it and it actually worked! :-)

Finished product

Pairing it with a onsie and tights for the Fall/cold weather.

With just a onsie.

Expertise needed: Comfortable beginner. I only say this because the pocket and the lining can be a little tricky for someone who is sewing for the first time. 
Total Approximate time: 90-minutes. Not too bad. Its an easy top. 
Total spent on sewing materials: Nothing. I used leftover fabric from the reversible dress I made for JOE and I already had the pocket fabric at home.
Feedback: I love this top. It is easy and will become my go to pattern for a lot of dresses. I can make alterations to the arm to make it longer or add a bubble at the bottom if I want. I definitely plan on playing with the pattern more in the future.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

30-Days of being thankful: Day 20

Today, I am thankful for an action. I am thankful for the forgiveness of friends.

I have some pretty cool friends and sometimes, I take that for granted. Most of them are often there for me when I need it.

A week ago, I made an off-handed comment which ordinarily, women hear everyday but it bothered me a while after I said it. I said something to the effect of "you both look great. I hate you!" Now, I certainly DO NOT hate my friends and yes, they look awesome! But instead of just giving them a plain compliment, I gave a compliment with what can be construed as an insult.

It has been on my mind since then so I sent them an apology. Both of them were really sweet about it and neither of them were even holding a grudge. I love that I have friends who look beyond words and look more at the intent.

I think compliments should be given selflessly without expecting one in return. What do you think?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Another dress for JOE

I thought I blogged this a few weeks ago but I guess I didn't! I actually made this about a month ago for JOE. 

Remember this dress? JOE wore it a couple of times but then it got too small so I decided to make something bigger and I had some lessons learned so I put them into good use when I made this dress. 

The pattern and tutorial for this dress came from here

Here's the dress. 

The best part is that she can wear this one much longer. She wore it paired with a long sleeved onsie and leggings. 

Expertise needed: Comfortable beginner.
Total approximate time: This one took me about 2 hours. I knew what to do this time so I didn't have to keep going back to undo things afterwards. 
Total spent on sewing materials: I used leftover materials from the long jean skirt I made and the reversible dress so this one was "free" since I already accounted for the cost of the fabric in those posts.
Feedback: I love love love this dress and there is so much I can do with the pattern so I plan on making variations of it as JOE gets older. 

I just finished making a replica of this dress yesterday using a pattern I already have at home. I'll be sure to share that later.

Hope you're having an awesome week!

30-Days of being thankful: Day 18 & 19

I thought I did this yesterday but in the midst of all the random events that occurred throughout the day, I guess I forgot to so I'll be doing both yesterday and today's in one post :-).

Day 18:
This one is a joint reason for being thankful. We are thankful for both our cars. J sometimes complains about having to swap out his really nice sports car for "grandma's oldsmo-buick" and I sometimes complain about my almost 11-year old car.
But I am thankful that God has truly provided for us. There are a lot of households with just one car and they manage to make it work so having 2-cars is a blessing.

Likeness of J's old car.

Old but reliable 4-door oldsmo-buick :-).

My reliable baby...she runs very well! :-)

Day 19:
 Today, I am thankful for my job. I don't necessarily know if its my dream job but for now, it is a job that pays the bills and pays it well. It is easy to forget that there are a lot of people out there who are still looking for work many years after the recession. I am grateful to God that he has always kept me employed.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Say Cheese-y!!!

I hope you all had a nice weekend. We did our first outdoor photo shoot and I love the way the pictures turned out. I will be sure to share them later. For now, here is a delicious pull-apart cheesy biscuit I made yesterday. It was a hit! J loved it as did JOE. I got the recipe from Pinterest.

You'll need 4 things. Biscuits, Any hard cheese of your choice, 1-table spoon of butter and cooking spray for the pan. 

Melt in microwave.

I used the Wal-mart brand biscuit. I got the mini-ones so for this pan, I needed 2 rolls.

Spread each biscuit with your hand and wrap it around the cheese. Then arrange pre-sprayed pan. Use a brush and brush the melted butter over the biscuit rolls.

Bake in 400-degree oven for 16 minutes or until golden brown. Hubby likes his a little crusty.
Serve while still warm. Can be re-heated in the microwave.

This is perfect for the Fall/Winter season. It goes well with tomato or chicken noodle soup or even chilly.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

30-Days of being thankful: Day 17

I teach 6 & 7 years olds at Sunday school twice a month. It is a very rewarding experience. I do it because I have a lot of fond memories from attending Sunday school as a kid and I would like to pass that on to other kids. It can sometimes be challenging but it is all so worth it when a kid walks up to you and gives you a hug then says "I had a great time today. Thank you."

Today, I am thankful for all the teachers out there who give their time to enrich the lives of all the kids they teach. They really give so much of themselves and deserve a big thank you.

Hope you had a nice weekend.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

30-Days of being thankful: Day 16

Today was a good day. We took our family pictures and though JOE didn't fully cooperate, I think we got a few good pics.

Today, I am thankfully for the beautiful bond of father and daughter.

I think my dad is the coolest and I know JOE feels the same about her daddy.

Friday, November 15, 2013

30-Days of being thankful: Day 15

Yay!!! TGIF! 

Halfway through this challenge and I am loving it!

Today, I am thankful for the women in my life. They really are awesome and I know I have blogged about them before but each day, I am reminded of what it means to know someone has your back. Outside of my hubby, my sisters and my mom are the IT girls for me. Whenever I am struggling with something they can help talk me through it and make sense of things. They encourage and keep me grounded. In short, THEY ROCK!!!

Foolery: Things that make me go hmmm...

I just finished listening to one of her books on CD and am really motivated to make a lot of the changes she suggested. Just ask J :-).
This article made me a little iffy about her as a person. I mean, the least she could have done is to apologize. I don't advocate for supplements to aid in weight loss but to each their own. I do feel bad for the contestants though. They did have the option to just say no.

All I can say is wow...just wow! I mean, REALLY? I was BEYOND speechless to read this article. The most troubling piece being this statement "Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen sets high bar for what qualifies as racist," New York magazine's Dan Amira wrote. "It's not 'racist' to gag at the sight of an interracial family. It's just ... a sign of being troubled ... by ... the mixing of races."
I had to ask hubby about this one cause I couldn't understand. What is troubling? There is beauty in variety! Just look out your windows at the fall colors. 

This is different. I am sure it is safe but I will wait until there's been MANY MANY MANY more tests before I consider one. At a price of $535 USD, that's more than my bike currently costs! Check out the video. It is somewhat impressive. If you don't want to watch the entire thing, the actual demo starts at 2:30.

This is just wicked cool! I am going to have to try it out and see :-).

Have a safe and fabulous weekend! We are taking our holiday family pictures this weekend and we are very excited. It'll be out first outdoors photo session :-).

Thursday, November 14, 2013

30-Days of being thankful: Day 14

Once a week every week, hubby and I (and JOE upon her arrival) go out on date night.

Last night, we decided to head to our old stomping ground to get something to eat since we haven't really ventured out much in our area.

While driving, I saw this sign and it really touched my heart.

Made me very thankful for my awesome brother (a veteran) who has been deployed multiple times. Unless you are a member of the family, it is not easy to fully appreciate how things change when a family member is deployed. This sign was a reminder of that.

So today, I am thankful for the sacrifices made by the families of those who serve. They deserve credit and recognition for their hard work.


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