I could use a little Marcel today…how about you?
I love Marcel.
I first came across him (him? her? I think him.) on the TBTL website last year.
I laughed and almost cried.
Almost daily the husband and I say to one another…”guess why I … because it’s worth it”
Or “treats and snoozin, snoozin and treats”.
He even got me the book for Christmas.
One of my favorite Christmas gifts for sure.
This picture has nothing to do with anything.
Except I actually did my hair yesterday.
Which means I used product, curled it, sprayed it , said kind things to it…and then it fell flat as I walked out the bathroom door.
But I also got dressed in something other than yoga pants.
Actually, not true…I did wear my yoga pants with this outfit.
But yoga pants/leggins are in right now so whatever.
What I want to say is…see that scarf?
I have been wanting a big chunky scarf like this one and this one.
And yesterday realized…I have one!
And it’s even special cause my mom made it for me ages ago.
Finding a new way to wear an old scarf and falling in love is priceless.
Also, what I want to say…or ask really.
Are you guys doing anything for lent?
I haven’t ever participated in the lent season.
I’ve really only come to understand what lent is all about in the last few years.
However, I think Im going to give it a go.
I’ve been encouraged by my husband who is participating as well.
And by this post…I appreciate the point that “Lent is not a behavior modification program”…so true…it’s an act of worship.
I think I will set my alarm 15 minutes earlier each morning and use that first 15 minutes of the day to read my bible.
Ground breaking right?
However, it is sacrificing something…in my case that extra 15 minutes of sleep.
And instead of that extra sleep I will use the time to focus on God…no matter how groggy I might be.
I didn’t come up with this idea until today (coincidently the idea came to me while I was reading and praying) so I will start tomorrow morning.
Lent day one…fail.
Although, as I said…I did read my bible…so that counts right?
On Sunday I went to Ikea to buy curtains.
And although I walked out one set of curtains short…
I left with these two lovelies and a stomach full of meatballs.
My sweet husband bought me some Elderflower syrup for Christmas.
The story goes that a co-worker was served a delicious sparkly beverage at a restaurant in San Francisco and was smart enough to ask the kitchen what the heck it was and how she could get her hands on it.
Come to find out it was club soda and elderflower syrup.
It has a sweet floral flavor.
I love it.
Even my Dad loves it.
And he’s pretty manly.
However, at about $30 a bottle (after shipping) it was a treat.
Not something we were going to have laying around the house at all times.
Ikea has changed this.
They sell it for under $5.
It might not be as high quality as other brands…but my tongue and memory can’t tell the difference.
So maybe it is.
Do yourself a favor…next time your in Ikea grab yourself a bottle or two.
You will thank me.
(and incase you’ve been turned off of Elderflower forever because of this stuff…let me assure you they do not taste the same)
We even poured a little over pound cake…I have a feeling the uses are endless.
I also snagged a heart ice cube tray.
Hearts aren’t only for Valentine’s Day.
So, on Saturday we got our adventure on and spend the day in San Francisco.
Well, half of the day.
We tend to be slow risers on the weekends.
One of the great things about living in the bay area?
Access to the trains.
We headed out on the Bart…with no worries about finding parking or traffic.
We went straight to the Ferry Building per this lovely ladies‘ instructions and had an absolute blast.
Will definitely be back.
Steamed caramel milk, meat cones, macaroons from Miette Patisserie, coffee from Blue Bottle Coffee Co, beautiful weather, and a sweet husband.
After all our shenanigans we were excited to grab some dinner at Tacolicious.
I follow of few fashion blogs written by ladies that live in the city and they all rave about it.
And I didn’t take a single picture…but it was hoppin and delish.
We even got our appetizers for free because the kitchen kept missing our order.
Not going to complain.
And guess what?
To get there we had to get back on the train…and instead of walking to the terminal…
we took a pedicab.
Pedicab Bill biked us to the train.
I’m not sure how people in the city feel about this mode of transportation.
Maybe they’re just a touristy thing…not sure.
But it was fun and kinda romantic in a funny way.
So that was the highlight of our weekend in a giant nutshell.
How about you?
Did you get a three day weekend?
Do anything fun?
Did you watch the season finale of Downton Abbey?
I cheated and watched it on the big screen of my husbands office last weekend.
I loved it.
Can hardly wait for season 3.
Speaking of entertainment…was reminded of the impending movie release in the train station!
Who wants to go see it with me?
No video today.
Was just listening to Pandora while doing dishes.
Your Pandora station really says a lot about your mood…sheesh.
So what am I thankful for today?
I’m thankful that people are stronger than I am.
I’m thankful there is hope even if we don’t see it.
It’s hard times around here.
Not just the little challenges that Eric and I are facing with the adoption.
The people around me are hurting.
People that I love…really, truly love are suffering.
Dealing with things you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.
I’m not sure why it’s all hitting at once.
I don’t even have the words to describe the emotions.
I’m listening to Out of the Darkness by Michele McLaughlin right now.
It’s a beautiful piano solo…describes my feelings pretty well right now.
This is suppose to be Thursday Latelies!
A day to reflect on the joy and things we are thankful for this week!
Get it together Leah!
I’m thankful for God.
I can’t imagine what it must be like for those who CHOOSE to face life without him.
Sin is painful and terrifying.
I want no part in a life without my savior Jesus to help me wade through.
He already suffered for my sin, died for it and rose again.
He is strong and I can lean on him.
But you know what else…as much as it sucks to be human some times…I’m thankful that he is God and I am not.
I’m not strong enough to see the sins of this world day in and day out.
See people suffering and hurting one another.
No thank you.
And yet…Thank You Jesus.
I promise I wont be all doom and gloom forever.
I hope you had a great one.
I noticed this year that a lot of people complain about Valentine’s Day.
They don’t like it.
I guess I can understand.
However, I think I figured out why I love the holidays.
Even the little ones like Valentine’s Day.
It’s my Dads fault.
One year he got us girls real baby chicks for Easter, another year we woke up to little hammocks suction cupped to our bedroom doors with fuzzy stuffed bunnies inside.
Roses and cards for Valentines day…and if we were really lucky a pajamagram.
This year a text.
A text might not seem that exciting…but really…a text from your parents saying happy Valentine’s Day is pretty sweet.
Now I’m sure my mom had plenty to do with making the holidays special for us…but there is something very healthy about a father giving some Valentine’s Day love to his daughters.
So how did the husband and I celebrate?
A little Valentine’s decor…which he laughed at.
Monday night he said…”lets go to Whole Foods,I need to get you some Valentines day flowers”.
You want me to go with you?
I’m pretty sure that breaks some sort of Valentine’s Day rule.
But I went.
And made fun of him for asking me to help pick out my own flowers.
And took a picture of him doing the aforementioned rule breaking.
How could I not love that man…that mischievous smile.
And then I came home and put my flowers in my old tea tin…just like Pinterest told me to.
A little advice…the water leaks out from the bottom…put a plate under just to be safe.
And then on Valentine’s Day I made his favorite meal.
Steak, roasted cauliflower (thanks for the link Tara! These are fabulous!) and sauteed brussel sprouts.
And a special dessert…again with the Pinterest.
That cake is excellent btw.
Very moist from a website called Skinny Taste…can’t get much better than that.
We had a chill weekend.
Our favorite type.
Little Lucca’s with a friend.
Got the car washed.
Took a nap.
Watched the new Twilight movie.
I don’t know why I watch those movies…they drive me nuts…I just can’t help myself.
Made a roast chicken for sunday dinner.
I’m convinced that successfully roasting a whole chicken makes a woman feel like she can conquer the world.
And I made brown rice to go with…even though I so badly wanted white rice.
Husb prefers brown.
Whatever with his healthy ways.
We also watched the Grammys.
I’m over Chris Brown…can’t look at him without thinking of his woman beating ways.
Adele was cute and sounded great.
My favorite performance?
The 60 seconds that The Civil Wars played.
As for today?
Menu planning, laundry and other household chores.
And perhaps a Valentines day craft to go along with this rainy northern california day.
I’m about to leave for a hike with a friend.
But thought I would stop by real quick to show you my current indulgence.
Choffy found here.
French press found here.
Both Valentines day presents from my husband.
He can in no way wait until the actual holiday to give a gift.
As long as he keeps giving them I have decided not to complain ;)
So my thoughts on Choffy?
A decent replacement if you’re like me and your body doesn’t play well with coffee.
It smells like heaven.
Like a big cup of brownie batter.
However, like unsweetended coffee it….
Okay, I’m back from my hike now.
So back to Choffy…it’s bitter.
Kinda like unsweetened coffee.
But with some coffee creamer (my least favorite way of sweetening it so far) honey or eagle brand it is delish.
Before the hike I was drinking a steamy warm cup and then stuck it in the fridge as we left.
I just put it in a cup of ice…ice choffy…good stuff.
Tastes more coffee like as a cold beverage I think.
So I think it’s worth a try.
Hope you all have a greet weekend!
We’re gonna go snag ourselves an amazing sub sandwich in south San Fran and then work on adoption paperwork.
Try not to be blown away by our exciting plans.
I’m not feeling up to the whole video part of Thursday Latelies today.
But I do need to focus on the many things I’m thankful for.
Lots of little joys have been coming my way over the last few weeks and unfortunately I’ve been preoccupied with the frustrations.
God has been reminding me to rejoice in hope.
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be contant in prayer” – Romans 12:12
So here I go.
Please allow me to share with you the things that I SHOULD BE rejoicing in.
It isn’t perfect.
How could it be…it’s made up of two imperfect.
It is great though.
He is an incredibly loving man and he takes great care of me.
And he makes me laugh.
And smells like old spice swagger.
Always a good thing.
I sent him to the store on Saturday night
for the second time and he came back with roses in his hand.
And shortly after posted this as his Facebook status…”I have an exceptionally thoughtful wife. She stayed home and cooked/cleaned all day while I played with friends”.
He knows I’ve been having a hard time…and he is learning that roses always help ;)
I finally got a new purse for my birthday!
After a year of searching for the perfect cross body that’s not to big but not to small.
And husb sneaked onto my pinterest account and surprised me with this beautiful thing!
The chocolate issue
These sweet pillow cases.
After getting our newly prettified bed into our room I felt like something just wasn’t right.
Then I remembered these beautiful pillow cases I snagged at Farm Chicks last year.
It’s as if they were made for my new bed.
All of a sudden everything just came together and all made sense.
And last…my Christmas cactus’ have finally decided to bloom.
Every time I look at them I think of my Mema.
She is surely something to rejoice over.
Well, that was going to be the last thing.
Then as I was wrapping this post up the mail man delivered some goodies to my door.
A birthday gift from friends.
See what I mean?
So many things to be thankful for.
My birthday was a week and a half ago.
I turned 30.
To be honest I don’t like the ring of that.
However, I dont feel anymore elderly than I did at 29.
That might have something to do with the fact that for my entire year of being 29, all I thought about was how I was about to be 30.
It kind of prepared me.
So what did I do for my 30th birthday?
My sweet husband arranged a dinner with our California friends at my favorite Ramen house!
It’s so dang good.
And then he DROVE ME to SEATTLE for the weekend!
Can you believe that?
He had told me a few weeks before that he had a surprise birthday weekend planned.
I was excited.
For two weeks I had ideas of what the surprise might be swirling in my head.
Perhaps he was planning another stay at the Ritz in Lake Tahoe, or maybe a weekend in Carmel, or somewhere down south?
Yes, I might have been surprised when I saw the big I-5 sign pointing us back home.
And I might have been fighting a cold and there might have been a little PMS going on.
Although, I will never admit it.
I hate that excuse.
So all of those things combined…I might not have had the exact reaction my poor husband was hoping for.
I feel bad for him too.
So, although I wasn’t super excited to make the trip back to Seattle so quickly and have a birthday dinner of 30+ of my loved ones to celebrate me…
I will say, it was great!
It was a great reminder of how blessed I am to have such amazing people in my life.
And they are amazing.
They love marriage, and babies, and orphans and Jesus and mexican food…and me.
I completely understand that this is not everyone’s experience.
Not everyone has people to build them up or speak the truth to them in a loving way.
I do not want to take it for granted.
I do not deserve it.
But I am thankful God gave them to me.
And you know what else I’m thankful for?
Chocolate Peanut Butter Bugles.
The perfect road trip snack.
And salted brown butter rice krispy treats.
While in Seattle, Esther told me about these.
She had made them for her small group the night before.
To our dismay there were none leftover.
So I made some when we got back home.
This is a good recipe my friends.
They don’t get hard like your normal rice krispy treat recipe…just the right amount of softness.
And that little hint of salt and nutty brown butter.
And last…one of my birthday requests was going to see One for the Money.
I’m sad to say it but, you can wait until this one comes out on DVD :(