Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wrestle Mania

You have to take 1 minute to watch this video...

Ernie and his "cousin" Athena are quite the duo. Athena is 5 which is post puppy hood for labs, but she still loves romping with her ornery cousin Ernie. Ernie's head is basically in her mouth the whole time haha

(and yes Dexter is playing in the background...my family is obsessed!)

Not only do they wrestle like mad, but they play tug of war with anything they can find and run up and down the beach (well Ernie tries to keep up to Theenie). Ernie isn't quite as brave as Athena who will jump off the dock and swim pretty deep but he sure looks up to his cousin. I laugh thinking about how this could be our lives in a few years, only with human babies. My sister with her calm, well behaved daughter and me with my toot and a half of a wild child. I can't wait to see Ernie interact with his human baby cousin (due in October). He is a nut around babies and gives them a full Monty carwash with his big 'ol tongue. 



Ernie Hart- Party of 1.

How do your pets interact with your babies or babies/kids in general??






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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Speed dating

Sorry folks, I am a married woman so unfortunately this post won't be worth your time if you are single and ready to mingle.

So here are some get to know you tidbits about the author of The Chronicles of Ruthie Hart...


I am a Christian and wild about Jesus.


I am a Libra not only by birth but personality. I am indecisive (& impatient) but also very extroverted and positive. The "body part" for Libra is lower back which is weird because I broke mine...
Yes I broke my back. Partner stunting (with my BIL) when I was 14. It will always be broken and gives me pain often, more on that later.


My favorite book is Redeeming Love. I've read it a handful of times yet it still moves me.

I hate the sound of a toilet flushing and if you've ever lived with me, you know I sometimes leave #1 in the potty so I don't have to hear the flush. Gross I know. But it scares me. I close my ears in public and run for the hills after flushing.

I married an amazing man on February 5th, 2011. He's a stud and quite a catch. We want a big family someday soon and are praying for the right time to start.


Right now we are totally in love with our fur baby Ernie, the French Bulldog. He's a nut and has shown me how much I can love someone so quickly and compassionately (and patiently!)

Jon is from Cleveland, I am from the Chicago suburbs and we call Austin our home. He came to Texas to go to Baylor & I came with my family for my dad's job.  

I never got to meet Jon's dad. He passed away the morning of what was supposed to be our first date in 2009. I love hearing stories of my father in law, I think we would have gotten along really well. I've only met Jon's mom 1 time so I really don't have in-laws but we are so lucky to have our family here in Texas.
I didn't start cooking until we got married and now I cook most nights of the week and love it! My hubby is also a great cook and help in the kitchen. Thanks to Pinterest I am quite domestic. Being in the kitchen is therapeutic for me (and so is pulling weeds...weird huh?)


I sleep talk almost every night. In case you've missed some of Jon's "sleepy Ruthie quotes" here is a sample

I got my first gluegun before the age of 10 and have been attached to it since. I love crafting and although my talents have evolved over the years, my favorite memories were cutting up old Christmas cards and making ornaments and cards during the holidays (and anything with popsicle sticks duh)

Jon is 5 1/2 years older than me. We met when I was 20, he was 26...I was the intern where he worked.

I am a Zumba instructor and love helping people feel confident and beautiful. 


We painted a chevron wall in our new house...swoon.

My current breakfast obsession is Cinnamon Toast Crunch with Grape Nuts.

Jon and I read the bible together almost every night. We are using Reader's Guide to the Bible by Lifeway. We pray on our knees or hugging each night. 

I am not a movie theater person. I get antsy and uncomfortable and would much rather wait for it to come out on Netflix. When we do go, we go to the Alamo Drafthouse where you can eat while you watch :-)


We bought our first home this year and shot an episode of House Hunters...it should air later this summer!

That's a whole lotta random for ya!


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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lake & stuff

Today is my first day back in the office for 11 days......talk about overwhelming. I got home from Vegas, slept 1 night in my own bed, then headed to my parents lakehouse for 3 nights. It was just what we needed to relax and getaway but I look forward to getting back into the swing of things (before I leave for another tradeshow in 12 days!). 

Friday morning we watched our little brother James get multiple awards at his 7th grade ceremony...he got quite the cheers from the crowd (& ladies). Yep he is 10 years younger than me...

Hill country driving

Lots of cornhole was played

Mr. Ernie did lots of swimming & hunting

My dad tore his ACL on Tuesday but was still a trooper the whole weekend

Gun show

Saturday night we did a shrimp boil, it was delicious!

Jon wearing one of James' "manks" (man tanks)

Mr. Shoulders and yours truly- our 1 pic together this weekend

We celebrated James' birthday a few days early with dinner at the local Mr. Gatti's buffet 
(can you tell we weren't allowed to shower before we went)

I almost forgot to mention that I read Fifty Shades Darker in a 36 hour time span this weekend. I borrowed the first book from my mom and finished it last week and she is currently reading the 2nd but I managed to read it while she wasn't. I went to Wal Mart yesterday but they don't carry it! (yet they carry hundreds of saucy harlequin novels?!?!). Last night we caught up on a few house chores and snuggled on the couch for movie night.


Today I will be catching up on all things life and making my way to the DMV for a new license. I tried to order online but you need your current ID, urgh. I hope my SS card will do.

I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day. Thank you to all those who have served and are currently serving for our freedom. Big hugs to my grandpa and late father in law for serving our country.

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Skinny Turkey & Black Bean Enchiladas

We love Mexican food and could eat it twice a week if we wouldn't become 300lbs. Enchiladas are my entree of choice and I get so excited when I find "skinny" recipe. Okay so I didn't get the best pictures because they were gooey and cheesy but while eating Jon and I were staring at eat other pretty much saying "is this real life?". These enchies are UH-MAYZING! Make them now!

Ingredients
1 lb extra lean ground turkey
15.5 can black beans, drained
4.5 oz can chopped green chiles
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1-2 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp chili powder
Salt
10 tortillas (original recipe called for low carb but I couldn't find them)
1 cup reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese

Sauce Ingredients
2 minced garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp chipotle chilis in adobo sauce
1.5 cups tomato sauce
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
3/4 cup chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a medium pot, saute garlic in a little EVOO and add the chilies, chili powder, cumin, broth, tomato sauce, and salt/pepper to your liking
2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes (set aside until you're ready to use it)
3. Brown the turkey and add salt if necessary
4. Add the onion, garlic, black beans, cilantro, green chilies, diced tomatoes, cumin, and chili powder.
5. Mix well and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes
6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray a full sized baking dish with non stick cooking spray
7. Scoop the meat mixture evenly into the tortillas and roll them up and place in the dish
8. Top with enchilada sauce and cheese
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes 
10. Top with sour cream, cilantro, green onions, etc
11. Enjoy!





Friday, May 25, 2012

Vegas & life updates

Buenos dias friends. And happy Friday of course. The Friday before Memorial Day that is...3 day weekend that is much needed, especially after my week. I flew to Vegas at 6am on Monday morning for a tradeshow for work (EMC World for those of you curious). This is my 3rd show in 6 months and we go to NYC in 2 weeks for another. If you've ever worked a giant tradeshow, you'd know that I feel like I was run over by a bus (and add Vegas to that!). It was a fun week considering my last 2 shows were in Santa Clara but I am tired.


(anyone else obsessed with Sister Wives?)

Of course I had to leave Vegas with a bang and ended up losing my ID, realizing it 7 hours before my flight was scheduled to leave. We had a table at Lavo and they were ID'ing us when I realized mine was gone. I think this was definitely a God thing because I was lucky to realize it hours before my flight rather than in the security line. I was walked back to my hotel where it was nowhere to be found. I am pretty sure it fell out of my bag when I was excitedly taking a million pictures of Adam Levine...


(I was about to show TSA multiple credit cards and my Costco membership card because it had my picture on it! Thank the lord for Costco)
 

EMC hosted a Maroon 5 concert on the last night of the show, it was insane. I somehow talked us into the VIP section (the ratio of guys to girls at these things are about 1,000:1) and we were no lie, 10 feet away. 



It was an amazing show. I've seen them before and actually met the band in Austin. Does anyone else think Adam Levine is gay? I've had my suspicions and don't think I am alone on this one. 

The wonderful thing about going to Vegas for work is the fact that you don't have to pay for anything (making the experience quite different than any other time I've been there). I lost other people's money, drank $25 top shelf drinks, and dined in a private room of Bobby Flay's restaurant. This is the way to do Vegas. 

The show was at the Venetian but I stayed at The Mirage

Any freetime was spent by the pool reading Fifty Shades of Grey


The showfloor was open for 3 days which means my feet are about ready to be cut off. You can only smile, talk about your product, and give away free swag for so long before it becomes exhausting/annoying. 


I could get used to these for lunch

There was a Kardashian store in the Mirage. You could buy pictures of each Kardashian on sticks...it was so weird


Overall it was a fun trip. I am over Vegas though. 4 days is a lot...Vegas plus a tradeshow. It was a great experience to be there for work but it isn't as fun not traveling with your hubby. 


I am so behind on personal stuff, emails, comments, blog reading, etc but this weekend I am unplugging. A weekend getaway to the lakehouse is on our agenda. I would like to thank you all for the comments on my You Only Live Once post. It was awesome to hear many of you in similar situations and following your heart. 


Happy Memorial Day weekend! Be safe!



Thursday, May 24, 2012

New Sponsor Program

Hi friends! I am excited to announce the rolling out of my new sponsorship program. This blog has grown incredibly larger than I could have ever imagined when I started it 15 months ago and I am taking the plunge. Below you will find my current stats/rates/details of sponsorship. I will be accepting sponsors to start June 1st, 2012. Current information will be posted on my sponsor page. I'd love to work with you and help grow your blog/shop! Email me!
**for June, I will put up your ad a week early if you email me!

5/23/12
(pageviews range between 1,500-2,500 daily depending on day/post)

585 Twitter followers (as of 5/23/12)
646 GFC followers (as of 5/23/12)
I am also on Blog Lovin/Instagram 















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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dream Big

I am so excited to be a part of Heather Boersma's Dream Big Book Tour. Today I am sharing my thoughts on her wonderful book.


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I had just finished leading a small group studying the book Soul Revolution that challenged us to spend time with the Lord every 60 minutes for 60 days, I was finding myself yearning for something more. I wasn’t being held accountable by a book or group but still wanted fulfillment and time with my Creator and I prayed. Heather answered my prayers. I was so honored when she asked if I would read and review her book, Dream Big. I said yes in a heartbeat!

Dream Big was exactly what I needed to quench my thirst for the Lord. My husband and I are in a total sanctification season of our lives and believe that God is preparing our hearts to do something big whether it be in our marriage, our future as parents, ministry, church, community outreach. We have been praying for him to guide us along the way to success in His kingdom. But why is it so hard to commit 100% of our lives to Him. “Many of the challenges we face in our friendship with God are directly related to the fact that we can't experience Him physically”- Dream Big. The fact is as humans we are skeptical of an invisible faith. We are scared to trust something we can’t physically grasp. “Our priority shouldn’t be to build our earthly kingdoms but to usher his eternal kingdom”. – Dream Big

Heather & her sweet baby Cohen

Reading this book and studying The Word with Heather’s guidance made me learn so much about myself and the plans God has for me and the world as a whole. The book is broken up into 3 parts. God’s Dream For the World. God’s Dream For You. Unlocking Your Dream.  


And here’s what I learned from each part


Part 1: God’s Dream For The World
  • The 10 Commandments: who hasn’t spent time trying to memorize and live by these? But did you ever take the time to dissect them and understand God put this in place to show you love? Heather taught me that the first 4 commandments are about closeness with God and the last 6 are about closeness with others.
  • “All of the elements of creation praise God by just being what He created them to be”- Dream Big. The sun, the moon, flowers. God speaks to us through His creation and I know he sent Ernie to me and my husband to show us unconditional, everlasting love (and patience!). After realizing how He can mold and encourage your thoughts and beliefs with something as simple as a sunrise, I found myself thanking Jesus for His simple and beautiful creations.
  • We cheat on God. But He has a never ending pursuit for us and always draws us back with his incredible love and commitment.
  • “God brings people into our lives for a reason, for a season, or for a lifetime.”- Dream Big This gave me time reflect on the relationships that have come and gone in my life realizing that the ones that have gone, were gifts from God.
Part 2: God’s Dream For You
  • “Are your current dreams in line with the world’s dreams? Or is there still room for God’s way in your heart?”– Dream Big. This got me thinking, ‘are my dreams and aspirations compliant with the way the Lord wants me to use my spiritual gifts and talents?’. I prayed that the Lord had motherhood in his plans for me because it is a part of my forever plan. And I will continue to pray that prayer and that I am living out His word in every facet of my life.
  • Proverbs 19:21- Many are the plans in a person’s heart but only the Lord’s plans prevails. His word is above all, no matter how perfectly I’ve built my intricate plans. And I pray that I can learn to accept that and trust His word over mine.
  • Jesus calls us to love the people who don’t even like us but he makes it possible and worth it. Even when Jesus was beaten, mocked, tortured, and ultimately murdered, he spoke words of love to his killers, "Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing" – Dream Big. Love your neighbors. Love your family. Love your enemies. Hard but necessary.
  • “Each of us carry a dream because each of us carry the image of God”- Dream Big
  • “Through Christ, your greatest weakness will become your greatest ministry”- Dream Big. How many times has someone said to you, “if it doesn’t kill you, it only makes you stronger” or “learn from your mistakes”. And it is such a true statement! The Lord wants us to take what we’ve learned from our pain, struggles, defeats, and heartaches and minister those who are going through similar events. This will not only help you see what God was doing by putting you through this but also turning pain into something so beautiful. 
  • Learning to say no. How many times do we do the right thing for the wrong reason? We put money in the offering basket so people will see we have extra cash, we get involved in a charity to make a name for yourself. The list goes on and I fall victim to it at times. Obedience is saying Yes to the Lord whereas sacrifice is saying Yes to what you think/others think is “right”. “Learning to say No is a skill God values”- Dream Big.
Part 3: Unlocking Your Dream
  • Be patient!!! Okay I am still working on this but Heather made a great point that really helped me understand why patience is a virtue. Jesus waited 30 years before He began His public ministry and it only lasted 3 years before He was crucified. “How you live toady shows God whether or not you are ready for what He has for you tomorrow”- Dream Big
  • “Anything the devil meant for evil, God can use for your good if you let Him.”- Dream Big. Heather made it clear that choosing to love and be joyful when life isn’t going your way is a choice. I love those prints on Pinterest that say “Choose Joy”. The devil cringes when we do life with God. Keep choosing joy!
  • We aren’t alone. I was so amazed to learn more of Heather’s story and how she got to where she is now. Opening up about family, past relationships, lust. It made me feel human. We are in this together! 
  • “It's not about making our name known, but to make Jesus' name known and give Him all the glory”- Dream Big

No matter where you are on your walk with the Lord, I encourage you to pick up a copy of Dream Big. Not only did the book have such an impact on my heart and my prayers but I am still blown away that I have a true friend that is such an amazing writer. Heather, you have a gift that you are using to not only encourage others but glorify God!

 via



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

YOLO

3 years ago today I met my hubby. You heard that right, we didn't start dating 3 years ago. We met. (and have now been happily married for almost 16 months)


It was a Friday and I had started interning at his company that previous Monday. He said I had walked by his office few times (unbeknownst to me) and knew he wanted to meet me. He came into my office towards the end of the day and asked a silly question about printing powerpoints. Here I am, over-achieving, honor student, pulled up powerpoint and tried to help solve his problem. I look back and think about how dumb it must have looked haha.


And the rest is history.


Jon and I became fast friends. We found ourselves opening up to each other in ways neither of us had ever done before. His childhood, relationship problems, our inner most fears and desires...I kept thinking "wow I am telling him things no one knows about me and he could be a total nut job."

YOLO= You Only Live Once

I was dating someone else when I first met Jon. Gasp. Remember I said when I met Jon. Our friendship was blossoming and I just needed to know. What I loved about Jon was his love for the Lord and little did we know, we each started praying for clarity about our friendship. I saw something in him. Something I never had in a friend or boyfriend. I can't put my finger on what it was but in all honesty, I thought about Jon being my husband after knowing him for a week. I feel so lucky that the Lord answered my prayers. He led me to Jon.

It  broke my heart to break someone else's but this is my life we are talking about. My forever! At one point I found myself asking God to take Jon away from me so I didn't have to hurt someone else. I thought I could be OK in this life. Maybe I could make myself stay happy? And I don't know where this strength came from but I left all I ever knew and took a chance with Jon. And he took a chance with me. 

Do you ever start thinking about your past and a decision you made and think 'wow I am so glad I followed my heart?' or 'what if I hadn't?'. I get a frog in my throat thinking about if I hadn't taken a leap of faith and trusted the Lord's signs, it makes me sick to my stomach. 

Jon and I are huge believers in things happening for a reason and that's because our marriage is based on our trust and devotion to the Lord's plan. It's funny because I really try to preach following your heart and asking for guidance to friends and family and when I first heard the song YOLO, I thought it was brilliant. Okay minus all the N words, curse words and the demeaning of women, you are left with the chorus- You Only Live Once. 


My life is so much greater and more fulfilling than I could have ever imagined it could be. Jon is more than I ever though I deserved in a husband. And my marriage is something I treasure and thank the Lord for everyday.


I love this picture of us. I feel like it symbolizes our relationship from day 1. Walking into a new life together. With grace shining down on us.



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Monday, May 21, 2012

Sin City


By the time you're reading this, I have probably been in Vegas 4 hours already. I took the 6am flight this morning and will be here for the week for a tradeshow. I have a couple great things scheduled (including a giveaway!) so don't forget about me! See y'all next week!





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