Friday, August 29, 2014

Projects Everywhere!

This is short and sweet - here are a few projects and recipes that I have been working on the last month or so!

So if you have ever been to Disney, you will probably know about Dole's Pineapple Whip that you can purchase. DELICIOUS. Well, this recipe did not fail me. We loved it! The consistency is kind of Rita's Ice-ish. Taste - excellent. Eat it quickly, it melts super fast!

We feasted on this for several days. Molly would ask to eat them as a snack or breakfast -- and I may have said yes to that request. :-) Hey, you pick your battles...
I will say, these needed to roast for MUCH longer (like 15+ minutes) than the recipe called for, but I'm sure that has to do with how thick the potato cubes are, your oven, etc. 
But for real - these are amazing.

Mouthwatering. This was easy to make and WELL worth it. SO YUMMY! I took out a burger for Molly before putting the buffalo sauce in for the final cooking stage so that she would eat it. She still didn't eat win some, you lose some. She doesn't like chicken unless it's "chick-a-lay".

And now, for a few around-the-house additions. Disclaimer: I got most of these ideas from Pinterest. The original artists are much more talented than I :)

The mirror/window frame was a yard sale find about a year ago, but it was dingy and a 'country' red. My kitchen colors (eventually) will be teal, mustard, and a bright red. So it needed a good cleaning and spray painting. :)
The top right is above the headboard in our bedroom.
Middle canvas is now hanging in Molly's room.
Bottom is a little decoration I made from leftovers of another project and it looks super cute hanging in my kitchen sink window!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

beautiful soul

There are some people who really just leave an imprint on your soul. You catch yourself thinking about something they said or did, years after the fact, with no real prompting to do so.

This person, for me, is Hailey-Marie Frantzen.

Hailey and I met online in high school. I was a freshman, she was a senior. Because I have always tended to be friends with those older than I, we became bosom buddies from the start. We met through a home school program called Generation Joshua, as I did so many of my friends back then!

I'm certain that we annoyed the heck out of people with our friendship. We were giggly, silly, and all-around obnoxious in expressing our friendship via the Internet. We knew each other's Xanga passwords. I mean, it doesn't get much closer than that in 2005!

Hailey and I only had the privilege of spending time together in person twice. We came from opposite sides of the country and just as I was entering the final years of high school, she was knee-deep in her college studies. This did not lend itself to as much daily conversation as we'd have liked, but we still sent silly messages and made the occasional late night dish-doing phone call.

Hailey passed away in 2011, just a week or so before I found out that I was expecting Molly. She would have loved that news. Hailey had a heart for children and we often laughed over how our someday-daughters would be smart and sassy little girls.

I left Hailey a voicemail just a few days prior to her passing. I don't know if she got it, because Hailey was a very private person about her illness and I didn't know how badly she was doing. She didn't want people to pity her. She wanted desperately to live life to the very fullest, and so she did. She did things that other people with her health problems would not have been able to do, but she was not willing to sit at home and let experiences pass her by. What a zeal for life and love she had!

Sometimes I catch myself in forgetting that she is no longer just a phone call or Skype away. I find myself wishing that I could access and re-read our old chat conversations, to glean a little extra encouragement or catch a joke I might have missed.

But this is not how it works. We can't live in the past. We have to heal from the pain of losing someone we love and rejoice in the knowledge that she whole and well and in Heaven! She is dancing and singing just as she did on Earth, but without the pain that accompanied it. She is probably challenging the decisions of some of our forefathers and trying out cheesy puns on the Apostles.

I leave you with one of my absolute favorite stories of Hailey.

We were visiting our friend Matt in Michigan, and had gone with him to one of his friend's houses for a bonfire. As we were leaving, a party-goer standing out by the cars offered Hailey a cigarette. Hailey politely declined, and as we walked away, her eyes got huge and she grabbed my arm and whispered (loudly- Hailey was NOT a quiet whisperer), "KENZY. I DID IT! I SAID NO TO DRUGS! MY MOM WOULD BE SO PROUD!!!"

Hailey did many things that made her parents proud, and I know she left a legacy for many people even though her time on this earth was short by our standards.

I have written and re-written this post for almost a year now. I struggle because I don't want to make people sad but I also have so much to say about who Hailey was. She was a beautiful writer and I know this doesn't do her justice in the way I would like for it to.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Summer Pinterest Recipe Round-Up!

I always forget to take pictures during cooking and let's be honest, I dig right in and eat my food as soon as possible, so "after" pictures are just not gonna happen!

Below is a list and commentary of just a few of the recipes that we've been making this summer.

This one is great...if you easily forget what REAL cookie dough tastes like. ;-) It was okay, and in a pinch, it'll do. I'm just not a huge fan of the super tangy aftertaste that even the vanilla version of greek yogurt leaves in your mouth. Aside from that, it was yummy!

So you know how sometimes a recipe will say 'Feeds 6' and then you make it and you're like, "Wait...6 what? Tiny humans with no appetite?' Yeah. me, don't double this one. We had pasta salad for days! It was pretty delicious. I made it with whole wheat pasta and added shredded chicken.

I gathered everything for this recipe and my beloved sister-in-law ultimately followed my instructions and put it together. She did a fabulous job! I was worried about Quinoa because I'm not a rice-eater, and I had heard it was rice textured. It was delicious!! We put Pesto Chicken with it and manohman....I'm gonna make it again soon. Delicious as leftovers as well!

Easy and yummy! A bit on the salty side, and not so great as leftovers as the croutons end up getting soggy.

This is probably one of my favorite dishes, ever. It was so tasty! I never knew that I liked Pesto so much before this summer, so now I keep finding recipes with Pesto in it and I'm like - YES!!

Well, it wasn't my healthiest round-up ever...a little heavy on the carbs, but hey - it was pretty delicious! Hope you enjoyed it..let me know how it goes if you make any of these yourself!