At the movies...

You. Must. See. This.

I loved it so so much!
The acting was terrific and the whole thing really hit close to home.
I may or may not have shed a few tears.
Seriously though...
It was good. 


Beautiful Bora!

If you've ever wondered what it would be like 
to serve your mission on the island of Bora Bora, 
wonder no more...


 Jealous much?
 And for the record, these are not just pictures found on Pinterest...
They're the real thing, taken by the husband's bro. 
So cool!
Also, on the topic of missionaries, my cousin (who is basically my brother)
came home from his mission this last week.

It was GREAT!
And one more thing. 
For all you missionary lovers out there like me,
here's a sweet little video to bring a tear to your eye...


Some leafy greens

Since I've been a little under the weather lately,
 I really haven't had much of a desire to cook.
Sad, I know.
But today, my "frozen dinners only" strike came to a pause 
and I decided to whip up a feast.
As I perused the grocery isles, trying to decide which green veggie to pair with my homemade mac 'n cheese, nothing seemed to sound quite right...
Peas? Too predictable.
Broccoli? Too boring.
Celery? Wrong dish!
Then it hit me... SWISS CHARD!
I've never actually cooked with swiss chard before, so I figured I'd grab a bunch, along with some spinach 
and find something to do with it once I got home.
To find a recipe, I googled "swiss chard", and this little gem appeared. 
The post was entitled "Exciting Swiss Chard."
Immediately I was hooked!
What could be exciting about a leafy green vegetable?
Oh. So many things!
Let me show you... grab your cookin' utensils and come along.

First gather your ingredients:

A bunch of chard
A bunch of spinach
(This is probably common knowledge, but by "bunch" I don't mean "a whole lot." These veggies are actually purchased "by the bunch")
1/2 Onion
A handful of raisins
Pine nuts
(or walnuts, or slivered almonds...the possibilities are endless, really...)
Salt and pepper
Balsamic vinegar

Okay. Now, start off by putting some EVOO
(about a Tablespoon...you can always add more later)
in a large skillet, on med low
Chop up your onion
(I only used a half an onion and thought it was plenty,
 but add the amount to your liking)
and throw that in the pan.

Cook until semi-translucent, stirring occasionally.

While the onion is cooking, wash and prepare your greens.
Fold the chard in half and cut along the stem to remove it, 
but don't discard it...
when cooked until tender, the stem is the best part!

Roughly chop the stems as well as the leafy part of the veggie.

Also, cut off (and discard) the stems on the spinach leaves.

Once the onion is semi-translucent, add some raisins.

And try not to be skeptical about this step.
The raisins add a subtle sweetness to the dish
and they taste simply delicious at the end!
(Even the husband agrees!)

Now, add in your chard stems,

sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook about 7-10 min.
At this point, you'll want to start toasting your nut of choice.

Put a small skillet on med low and let the nuts toast until you're ready to add them to the dish. Make sure to stir them occasionally to avoid browning too much on one side.

Once your stems are tender, add in your greens.

It is obviously going to be very full at first, but don't you worry...
those leaves will wilt and cook down a whole lot!

Once the greens are wilty, add the toasted nuts and a splash
(or two...mmm...)
of balsamic vinegar.

And voila!

You just made a 5 star dish to please all of your friends.

Now pair with your homemade mac 'n cheese

and you've got yourself a meal.



It's just a food baby...

Lately, people have been asking me (relentlessly) if I'm pregnant...
I'm beginning to think I look (and act--sorry hubby) the part.
So. In hopes to shed a few, and maybe get some people off my back, I've made a new years resolution that has turned into this....

A weight loss jar.
Originally seen here. (obviously.)

This girl added a pebble for every pound she lost, but seeing as I don't have 365 pounds to lose (or however many pebbles are in that little $1 basket...), I decided to make up my own pebble scale:

Each night I add a pebble for all of the things I did during the day that relate to my weight loss goal...
i.e: Go to the gym (1 pebble), pass on seconds at dinner (1 pebble), skip treats for the day (1 pebble), eat a fruit or veggie (a pebble for each serving), etc.
For each thing I don't follow through on,
I take a pebble away from the jar.
It seems to be working for me so far, because it makes me more accountable for the things I do throughout the day.
(I still haven't decided what the prize is for filling the jar...A shopping spree? A double decker oreo ice cream pop? A puppy?? 
I think I'll stick with the natural consequence: a smokin' hott bod.
kind of.)

I'm up for doing this with anyone who wants to join in on the fun!
The husband wasn't too keen on the idea...
I guess it's a girl thing...? ha.

And for the record, it was a cheap little DIY craft!

Dumpy Basket: $1 D.I.
Blue Mason Jar: $5 D.I.
Assorted Pebbles: Free with leftover gift cards from our wedding
Losing weight: Priceless
(ha! Sorry, I couldn't resist...)

Seriously though, any takers on joining in with me?
I'm open for suggestions on pebble adding ideas, too!

Also, I wanted to say thanks to all of my readers out there.
 (Even if it is only my mom and auntie...)
You are great.
True story.


an incident.

Okay, I've been debating about whether or not to share this, because I didn't want to make it a big deal. However, I think the experience holds irony and intrigue, which always makes for a good story. So here goes:

The other day started off not so much like any other day...but still...I didn't expect things to turn out like this.

Let me explain...
For the past week and a half, I've been feeling off. I've had the weirdest lightheaded/dizzy feeling coupled with a headache and slight nausea at times. Some days are worse than others, but for the most part I'm usually okay...It's just majorly annoying. (And "majorly" is an understatement...ha.)

Well Tuesday morning, my sweet husband and I headed off to the hospital to visit his momma who had just had surgery. On the way there, I started to get the lightheaded feeling, but it was worse than it's ever been. This time I was extremely nauseous and I knew that things were worse than before. We made it into the hospital waiting room, but I knew I was close to passing out, so I had to take a seat. Jake was going to look for his Dad, so I told him I'd be fine and that I'd just wait there.
Bad idea.
I knew that familiar feeling of passing out and wanted to avoid it at all costs, so I walked over to the receptionist and faintly asked:
"Umm...can you help me? I'm about to pass out..."
ha ha. I guess that's not really something you should drop on an innocent human being... the poor woman was totally unprepared. She was answering the phone right then, so with a frightened look on her face, she dropped the phone and ran back to find a nurse. Oops.

A nurse walked out, calm as could be 
and told me to sit down and call my husband.
It sure was convenient to be sitting in a hospital room filled with a million nurses and wheelchairs nearby, but I really wish we'd been at Disneyland, because wearing mouse ears and being pushed around in a wheelchair to cut in front of all the lines sure would have been cooler than looking like a dork being pushed around crying my eyes out and feeling like crap!

We made our way up to the food court to meet the rest of Jake's family and to figure out what we were going to do. I was getting an awful headache at this point and kept feeling like I couldn't breathe. 
Suffocating to death would be the worst way to die, 
I've decided that is an absolute fact!!

I kept feeling like I was either going to pass out or throw up, so they laid me down on a bench next to a table.
Luckily I neither barfed nor lost consciousness, but I still felt awful. 
Especially because I felt like I had a hundred pairs of eyes on me!
The random strangers staring my way turned out to be really nice, however, because they directed us toward the nearest instacare and Jake's aunts and cousin were all so sweet to help us make our way there.
(Thanks a lot. For reals.)
When we got to the instacare and were sitting there waiting, Jake thought it would be a brilliant idea to take a picture.
Jake: "Hey, where's your camera?"
Me: "Are you kidding me? We're not taking a picture of this!"
Jake: "It's a photo op. For your blog..."
Me: serious consideration, despite the fact that my head was hurting...and after much deliberation 
"fine. here." (hands over the camera)

Not exactly my shining hour, but here's the proof. Doggy bag and all!

 I finally made it back to the doctor and got all the tests done to figure out what was going on, one of which was a pregnancy test.
And to clear up any questions that may be lingering 
(because I know within the family there were many)
I am not pregnant. 
Much to your dismay. 
And kind of mine too, 
because then at least I'd have a reason for all of this madness!!
Every test they did came back normal (or negative).
And at this point, that's not exactly what I wanted to hear!
I have an appointment with the doc on Tuesday, so hopefully with more testing, we'll be able to figure out what's going on...
In the meantime, I guess I'll have to learn a new skill...

 And for the record, my mother-in-law is doing well. 
Thank you for all your prayers!