Thursday, November 29, 2012

Soft peanut butter puppy treats


We have chosen to keep Ernie on an all natural, holistic, mostly grain free diet. I could go on and on about how terrible most pet foods are for your pets but I will save my rant for another day (email me if you have questions though!). We feed him Pinnacle, bought at an organic pet food store in Austin and we home make his treats. I normally make these treats for Ernie but was excited to come across another yummy looking recipe to try out. Ernie loved these new treats and my only drawback was they don't stay good for more than a week. I froze half and pop them in the fridge every few days when we are running low.

Ingredients
1 egg
1/3 cup chunky peanut butter, preferably organic or natural
1 overly ripe banana, mashed
2 tbsp honey
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup flour


1. Mix together egg, peanut butter, banana and honey
2. Stir in the oats and flour and mix well
3. Scoop 1 inch balls onto a greased baking sheet (I used a cookie scoop)
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown
5. Immediately smash the cookie flat with a fork or spoon to make it easier for your pup to eat
6. Let fully cool before giving to your dog
7. Store in an airtight container or bag
8. Enjoy up to a week after you make them











Photobucket

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Anthro Inspired




I don't own anything from Anthropologie and to be honest, I would never shell out $300 for a top I could easily get at 10 different stores for $20. Yes their stuff is gorgeous, unique, trendy, adorable, but honestly my entire wardrobe cumulatively costs less than 3 of their dresses. Can I get an amen? I am sure you can understand my excitement when VeryJane wanted to send me this lovely Anthro inspired necklace...1 for me and 2 for you!



If you're not familar with VeryJane, listen up! The website offers new boutique and handmade deals every day. I have to admit when statement necklaces first came out, I went on a shopping spree at VeryJane because I could not pass up such great deals! I have seen everything from jewelry, housewares, serveware, kids clothing, baby items, and more! I will have to show y'all the new cupcake tower I got from VeryJane last week, it is the same color as this necklace and I am in love!




This necklace is absolutely stunning. It is well made, a vibrant color and definitely a statement. Jon loved it too! It is the perfect wow piece for a night out or something to dress up your normal work wardrobe. 



Monday, November 26, 2012

Catching you up

Anyone else agree that we should get the Monday after Thanksgiving off? Just to catch up on things and decorate our homes for Christmas? Okay maybe that's what I've been doing the past 2 days but now that a terrible cold has bogged me down, I just want to curl up in my bed and attempt sleep. Thanksgiving was awesome for us. Luckily most of our family is in Austin so we rarely have to go out of town for holidays and this year we had my sisters, my brother in law, and my niece, Embry stay with us. My mom's family from Missouri stayed at my parents house.

We took family Christmas card pictures that I will share with you once they go out, but for the most part I only took Instagrams (and lots of pics of Embry with my nice camera). 



The life of a work from home sales dude 
(this is Jon on days where he doesn't travel...)


Mimi had a "sip and see" party for her friends to meet Embry...lots of chubby cheek cuddles

Welcome to suburbia folks!! We made homemade bread and delivered them to our neighbors on Wednesday

We ran the 5 mile Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning and I immediately regretted it. I am NOT a runner so I would switch off between running and walking every 5 minutes but around mile 2 my right knee was on fire. I continued jogging/walking and wow did it hurt for the next 2 days. I would love to walk the race next year but this girl will NOT be running ever again!

Our one "family picture" on Thanksgiving. And a few people asked where Ernie was...truth be told he was having the time of his life with his yellow lab cousin, Athena. Mimi and Papa's house is just too much fun for him at times!


The "Fanning" girls 
(mom, lil sis Tomi, Embry, me, big sis Cori)

Our sweet God daughter

Raise your hand if you like my jeggings?!
(I swear this girl is the most fashionable 8 week old I know!)


We spent the rest of the weekend decorating our massive 9.5 foot tree, we love it! Jon is going to conquer outdoor lights this week and I can't wait to show you. 

I plan on getting 99% of my Christmas shopping done today online, boy do I love Cyber Monday free shipping deals. Less than a month til Christmas folks! (and I have to add that the high in Austin today is 82 haha)


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Our 4th Thurs-giving

Last Thursday, Jon and I celebrated our 4th Thursgiving. Thursgiving is a tradition we started the first Thanksgiving season we met and we are hoping to continue to celebrate it for many years to come. The Thursday before Thanksgiving we make our own mini Thanksgiving meal and reflect on the previous years blessings. We spend every holiday with my family and things can get crazy with that so we wanted to carve out time to talk about what we are thankful for and why, and what we are looking forward to the next year. We laugh because people go psycho and fuss over cooking a Thanksgiving meal but honestly, we do ours in less than an hour every year. Rotisserie turkey, boxed stuffing, instant rolls, etc. People it's not that hard! This allows us to focus on the meaning behind the celebration rather than stressing over what time to put the pumpkin pie in the oven. I posted about last year's Thursgiving here

So this year was extra special. We had company in town up until last Wednesday and are expecting company this evening so my mind was a little fried. I knew Thursgiving was right around the corner but didn't have the time to go to the store and prep everything. Jon sent me this text on his way home from Dallas on Thursday...



A fun treat to make up for a traveling husband is that he always brings home food when he returns. He's gotten good at surprising me with take out from different restaurants so I was trying to think where he was going. The week before he had brought home dinner from one of our first date places (Geno's in Round Rock...GO!) so I didn't have many guesses as to what this romantic like meal could be. And this is what he brought home...



I think I started tearing up when I saw it. Y'all...Jon hates going to the store...hates it with a passion...and this meant SO much to me that he took the time to think of all the sides, go to the store after being on the road al day, and he even cooked the whole thing! What a stud. 




The menu included turkey, gravy, cauliflower whippers, stuffing, green bean casserole, and crescent rolls. 





During dinner I was telling Jon I wished I had the ingredients for pumpkin pie and he slipped into the pantry to grab these mini pies! I am absolutely obsessed with homemade pumpkin pie and these were better than anything I've ever made (or tasted). I think the cream cheese frosting is what did it for me. 



November 1st we started our "Thankful Jar". Each day we wrote on frenchie shaped notecards (so Ernie could be somewhat included) something we are thankful for. We decided to go through them on Thursgiving, knowing that things would be crazy at our real Thanksgiving of 14 people. 



It was an awesome way to relax and catch up with my husband in between house guests and holidays...I am so glad (and lucky) he went all out! We talked about one day doing this with our children, our own little Hart family Thanksgiving.

Do you have any traditions beyond the normal Thanksgiving ones?


and yesterday I posted a few random things I am thankful for *here*

Monday, November 19, 2012

2

Today is a special day...our little Ernie is no longer a baby but a big bad 2 year old. If you think about dogs in human years, Ernie is now in the years of 14-21...so no longer a toddler/teeny bopper (let's see if he grows out of his stubborn-ness hehe). Ernie wasn't a fan of his birthday bandana from his Mimi but will definitely enjoy a nice piece of cheese this evening. Happy birthday chunky! 



I was planning on posting a giveaway today but after an awesome weekend of football (and remembering that today was Ernie's birthday haha), I am going to postpone that to next week. I know I may have confused you all if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram but I did not go to Baylor. I went to A&M but am actually a huge Baylor fan because Jon went there. We went to the Baylor/K State game on Saturday and expected a blowout but man we were wrong!! Y'all, it was the most fun game I've ever been to!!!!!!!!! Not only did Baylor beat the #1 team in the US (and make history), they kicked their booties! It was absolutely freezing and such a blast. I'm not really a huge football fan on my own (meaning I wouldn't watch without Jon) but to see Jon be so happy and go crazy wild...priceless!!



Before the game, we went to the Cameron Park Zoo in Waco which is surprisingly REALLY good. We try to go to a zoo or aquarium in every city we visit and back in August, I had an experience at the Salt Lake City Zoo that I didn't think I could top. But I did. The male lion came right up to the glass and started roaring literally inches from my face...it was amazing y'all. Literally once in a lifetime and will never happen again. If you are ever passing through Waco, go to the zoo...it's cheap and wonderful. 


(the hand sign in pictures is Sic Em Bears for the Baylor Bears, and yes, Baylor has a ping pong team and Jon played in college)

We drove straight to Dallas that night and fell into bed at my sister's after 1am. Jon stayed in Dallas to go to the Browns/Cowboys game while my sister, Embry and I headed back to Austin. I posted these pictures on Instagram and the comments were hilarious. Lot's of people (including Jon), thought the one on the right could be on Awkward Family Photos.com. Embry wasn't so sure about Jon's mask. And if you're wondering, Jon was born and grew up in Cleveland until he moved to Texas to go to Baylor in 2001. 

Ernie got to meet Embry for the first time yesterday at my parent's house. I was a little nervous for the first meeting because he has never really been around babies but he was funny. I would be holding her or she was laying on the floor and he'd come over, sniff and lick her, then walk away...looking for a ball. He moves too fast so I couldn't get a good picture but this is what I got. He looks so weird, almost mean because his eyes are partially closed. I think Ernie will love it when Embry starts walking because he loves little ones that are almost his size!



In other news (and photos)...

50 days until I meet John and Sherry from YHL! My sister met them this weekend in Dallas and I was giddy for her. Theirs was the first blog I ever read and is still my favorite!

My new wreath! And yes I made it :-)

We've been enjoying nighttime cold walks and doing hoodrat stuff in our suburbia neighborhood

Our mini Thanksgiving (thanks to Jon!). This was our 4th time to celebrate on our own, more on that Wednesday!

I woke up EXCITED today which is odd for a Monday haha. Tonight my mom is hosting a "Sip and See" for her friends to meet Embry and we have family coming in very soon! Short weeks make me so happy!

Am I the only one who doesn't mind it's Monday morning??



Saturday, November 17, 2012

Gnocchi Mac & Cheese

If you don't like mac and cheese, I don't think you're a true American. But with the calories and fat mac and cheese brings, it is something we eat on occasion. I've seen so many "this is the best mac and cheese recipe ever" all over Pinterest but this one stuck out to me. Gnocchi, if you haven't heard of it, is a potato based pasta, kind of like a mini dumpling. And it is delicious!! This pseudo mac and cheese is one of the most delicious things I've eaten, and I can't wait for you to try it!

Ingredients- makes 4 servings
1 lb gnocchi
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp  flour
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
Salt and white pepper to taste
*Optional: Parmesan cheese or basil to top

1. Prepare gnocchi according to package directions. 
2. Drain and place gnocchi in a single-layer in a greased 1-1/2 quart shallow baking dish
3. Melt butter in a medium pan and stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
4. Whisk in flour until it thickens and bubbles, then whisk in milk. Continue to whisk mixture and cook until slightly thickened, about 3-5 minutes.
5. Add cheese and stir until melted
6. Season with salt and pepper
7. Pour the cheese mixture over the gnocchi
8. Sprinkle with basil or Parmesan cheese
9. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes





Friday, November 16, 2012

Sharing







As a Christian woman, one of my biggest downfalls is sharing. Get me in a group of other believers and I will talk your ear off and sing at the top of my lungs but in a group of people who don't believe, or worse, people that I have no idea what they believe, and I tense up. 

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation." -Mark 16:15

So the gospel commands us to preach it, and make disciples of all nations but why does it feel like the hardest thing to do? I lead a small group of women, Jon and I continuously have awesome dialogue, and I can write about my faith experiences here in my blog but at a place like work? Forget about it. I work in software with a bunch of men so it's not surprising that the mushy subject of faith or religion doesn't come up often. I feel like I try but get so nervous when I am shut down. For example, last week two guys were talking about Romney and Mormonism and their thoughts on it and I chimed in with someone about being a Christ follower and was sad that neither of them asked me further about it. If someone mentions a landmark in Austin that is right by my church, I mention that we go to church over there, with the hopes of someone asking. Now I don't want you to think for a second I want people to focus on ME and what I believe and MY faith...I just want to share God's word! I want to be able to chat with coworkers about scripture, talk about the bible with friends over drinks, pray with my extended family. It's for God's glory, not my own. 

Here I am professing that Jesus Christ is the center of my world but He's not. We strive to put Him at the center of our marriage and in certain relationships but I put up a wall with others. I think I am just plain scared of being rejected or scared to be judged. God how can I glorify you without coming off as overbearing or like one of those crazy bible beaters? Especially to non believers. 

I doubt I am in this along, right? Do you struggle with this too?
  
My current prayers include asking God to give me the confidence to be His daughter in every area of my life. I don't need to stand in the breakroom on a barstool reading out of the book of John at lunch, but I need to be serving Him everywhere and all the time. I need to stop being nervous to pray with Jon at dinner with friends. Stop being nervous to ask my family members what they believe and why. And stop getting so anxious about pleasing others and focus on pleasing the Lord. 

I am alive to make Him known. 



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Full

Life has been full lately which is why you may have noticed I've been a little quiet on social media. A 3 day weekend, lots of relaxation, cold weather, and family in town have attributed to fullness. And today is no different...my company is going to volunteer at Austin Pet's Alive so I get to spend the day with sweet little furballs instead of in front of a computer for 9 hours :-)

More on this later but our cousin from Indianapolis and her family stayed with us Sunday-Wednesday and it was so wonderful!! It was so much fun to have little ones in the house (4.5 and 2...well behaved ones at that!) and Ernie was in heaven. Ernie is relentless and A loved throwing his ball...


  
As social as Jon and I are, we love hermit weekends. We love weekends where we decline invitations out and spend them just the two of us, catching up on sleep, tv, movies, house stuff, cuddles, etc. I used to feel bad if there was a weekend where we didn't go out and see friends but I am just as introverted as I am extroverted. I thrive on having "me time" and don't do well if I don't feel caught up with my husband and in my home. Anyone else feel the same?

 I got a lot of funny comments on the picture on the left, mostly sexual funnies which I didn't even think of. I mean...we are married!! And men take off their shirts in public, he is allowed to take his off in his own home with his wife :-). I was just showcasing my back rubbing laziness, y'all! We watched Our Idiot Brother and Hangover II, we had seen both but they were on our movie channels. 

Ernie also loves weekends where we are at home...means more ball time, walks, and playing. His perma frown (except when he is panting and looks like the Joker) cracks me up! And have you ever seen anything so white next to something so black?



I also love making Ernie do human things....he hates it but is a good sport. I was actually trying to make him balance on the yoga ball, like those elephants in the circus. Again, he frowned. 


It's no secret Jon and I love praise music, not because it gives us a chance to worship our God in the car, etc. but the music is just really good. I think I've mentioned it before but Jon went to University Baptist Chuch in Waco, TX in college when David Crowder was the worship leader...how cool is that?! We saw DC over the summer and were excited to attend SpiritFest this past Sunday. 


I feel so blessed that Jon and I can love each other through our faults, weaknesses, joys, and strengths because our humble God loved us first.

In other news, we are so excited to host family over Thanksgiving, namely Embry is staying with us! I got anxious and got down our Christmas decorations but won't let myself put any up....gotta give Thanksgiving it's time to shine (although the Saturday after Thanksgiving it is winter wonderland time)



Can't remember if I posted this pic of not but my firstborn chunkpot hamming it up...


I want to thank each of my readers for following along in our random/crazy journey of life. I'm thankful that the Lord has given me the opportunity to blog and connect with all of you!
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