Category Archives: Health & Nutrition

New Favorite, High-Protein Snack: Peanut Butter and Honey Parfait!

My friend Mike Campbell introduced me to this new favorite treat! It’s so simple. It’s healthy. And it’s delicious! (And, yes, I told him it was going on my blog.)

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  • 3/4 to 1 cup Plain Whole Milk Yogurt (you can use the low fat if you really want to, but I personally think we need a little fat in our diets to help absorb certain nutrients, and it makes it creamier)
  • 2 Tbsp. All Natural Peanut Butter (or organic, if you can find it)
  • 1-2 tsp. Local Honey (or organic, if you can find it)

Just stir or whip the three ingredients together, and it creates a rich, creamy, high-protein treat that tastes as good as a parfait or dessert mousse. If you want, you can substitute a spoonful of your favorite jam instead of the honey and call it “PB&J Parfait”–great way to get kids (of all ages) to eat yogurt! Bon Appetit!

 

Fresh, February Feast: Cooking in Season

Tonight’s dinner was primarily made from fresh produce that is currently in season! And Bryan brought home some fresh rye and caraway bread from class today to round it all out. Throw in a little citrus and local honey, and we’re golden!

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Counter-clockwise from the top right, we have Sautéed Asparagus and Mushrooms with Fried Eggs, Creamy Cucumber and Avocado Soup, Fresh Bread with Butter, and Broiled Grapefruit with Sliced Bananas and Honey.

Here’s a closer look at the individual dishes:

Creamy Cucumber and Avocado Soup (adapted from EatingWell.com) - my friend Ashley shared this recipe and told me to double the avocado and add tarragon. It was quite tasty! (Click on image for recipe.)

Creamy Cucumber and Avocado Soup (adapted from EatingWell.com) – my friend Ashley shared this recipe and told me to double the avocado and add tarragon. It was quite tasty! (Click on image for recipe.)

Sauteed Asparagus with Baby Bella Mushrooms, Red Peppers, Garlic, Mint, Dill, Cilantro, and Parsley, and a squeeze of lemon juice; and some fried eggs for some extra protein

Sauteed Asparagus with Baby Bella Mushrooms, Red Peppers, Garlic, Mint, Dill, Cilantro, and Parsley, and a squeeze of lemon juice; and a side of Fried Eggs

And last but not least...Broiled Grapefruit with Bananas, Honey, and Ginger from She Wears Many Hats (click on picture for recipe)

And last but not least…Broiled Grapefruit with Bananas, Honey, and Ginger from SheWearsManyHats.com (click on picture for recipe)

It was a feast indeed!

 

Tuttorosso’s Cooking Spoon Sweepstakes Ends Today

Tuttorosso just sent me a beautiful wooden spoon with their new slogan: “The most important ingredient is you.” Enter to win a new wooden spoon–or the grand prize of a Le Creuset cookware set!

How to enter? Visit Tuttorusso’s Facebook page and click on the “Cooking Spoon Sweepstakes” tab. (Note: commenting on this post will not increase your odds of winning nor enter you into the sweepstakes.)

Tuttorosso is Italian for “all red.” They’ve been creating 100% all natural tomato products since 1929, with the goal “to produce the freshest, best tasting tomato products in the world.” See their full product line and several recipes at http://www.redgold.com/tuttorosso.

 

Recipe: Corn Salad by Melissa McKinnon

photo-21Ingredients:

  • 1/3 c. mayonnaise
  • 1/3 c. sour cream
  • handful of fresh basil and cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 ears of sweet corn, husked, scrubbed, and kerneled
  • 1/2 small Vidalia onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 3 radishes, finely chopped
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cubed

Instructions:

  • Chop herbs and whisk together with mayonnaise, sour cream, salt and pepper. (If vegan, dairy-free, or you just don’t like mayo: substitute mayo with vegannaise and corn milk for the sour cream–after cutting off kernels, run flat edge of knife down ears of corn to release the sweet milk.)
  • Clean vegetables.* Cut kernels off of corn (discarding the cores), and chop other vegetables to desired sizes (I like the radishes and onion to be fairly tiny and the cucumber and avocado to be a little bigger, personally).
  • Toss vegetables into dressing and mix. Serve with sprigs of herbs as garnish, if desired.

*Note: All vegetables are raw in this dish–no cooking required. So, it’s a fast dish with fantastic colors and flavors. Since everything is raw, make sure you use the freshest produce possible and clean everything well. This salad is a great alternative to potato salad or coleslaw at a picnic or as a “salsa” on top of curried chicken and rice. Serves 6 to 8.

Interesting Articles and Tips for College-Age Students

It’s back to school and the blogosphere is flooded with tons of helpful tips, advice, and info about heading back to college…or jumping in for the first time.

First, I read two articles specifically addressing “20-somethings.” The first was “The 20 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me at 20” by Dr. Karin L. Smithson on HuffingtonPost.com. It has some good reminders worth reading as so many head back to school…about picking friends, staying healthy, the importance of family and faith, etc.

The second was “20 Things 20 Year Olds Don’t Get” by Jason Nazar on Forbes.com. For all my friends heading back to college…or just out of college…or just trying to build traction in your careers, this article contains some fairly sound advice. It’s not necessarily that young people “don’t get it” but rather some good career tips that they “should get,” or maybe “don’t get yet,” or “what to strive for.” From productivity to professionalism, online etiquette to face to face communication, reputation and fiscal responsibility, this article hits the key topics that are crucial for young people to grasp early on if they desire to be successful.

Also, I’m noticing lots of college-age or recent post-college grads struggling with “discerning God’s will for their lives.” One book I recently read that I wish I had read when I started college is Kevin DeYoung’s Just Do Something. See my recent book review here. Also, remember that you don’t have to read every spiritual self-help book known to man; if you have a Bible and read it regularly, seek godly counsel, and prayer, those three things are more valuable than any “how to” book or article out there.

In regards to what to major in, I read “The Decline and Fall of the English Major” by Verlyn Klinkenborg on NYTimes.com. It is sad to hear that the number of students majoring in English is declining. I could have majored in a great number of things, but I am continually thankful that I majored in English. It has been invaluable in every aspect of my life–personally, professionally, socially, even spiritually. The most beneficial classes I took were probably Critical Writing with Dr. Horton and Philosophy of Education with Dr. Salter (both should be required by every major, in my humble opinion). To think clearly and logically and to be able to write concisely and coherently are two of the most precious yet neglected treasures in this culture. Klinkenborg writes: “Writing well used to be a fundamental principle of the humanities, as essential as the knowledge of mathematics and statistics in the sciences. But writing well isn’t merely a utilitarian skill. It is about developing a rational grace and energy in your conversation with the world around you.” and “No one has found a way to put a dollar sign on this kind of literacy, and I doubt anyone ever will. But everyone who possesses it — no matter how or when it was acquired — knows that it is a rare and precious inheritance.” Well said, Verlyn.

Finally, it’s important in your college years to stay healthy in this fast-paced, stress-filled season of life. Here’s a fun “Cheat Sheet for Healthy School Lunches” from The Honest Co.:

Recipe: Mel’s Stuffed Peppers with Avocado Sauce

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Stuffed Pepper Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 pound ground chicken (or turkey)
  • 1 tsp. sriracha sauce
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground sage
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1/2 c. chopped red and green bell pepper
  • 2 c. stemmed and chopped kale leaves
  • 1 c. vegetable broth
  • 1/2 c. uncooked red quinoa
  • 6 whole bell peppers
  • parmesan rind and freshly grated cheese (optional)
  • fresh cilantro leaves (optional topping)

Stuffed Peppers Instructions:

Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Sauté onions and peppers with salt and pepper until almost translucent. Add garlic and cook for one more minute. Add ground chicken and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Don’t worry about getting it fully cooked yet–it will keep cooking through to the end. Stir in sriracha, Worcestershire, and spices.

Add water, quinoa, and kale, and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover, and cook for 10-15 minutes (see quinoa package cooking instructions for time length; if you have parmesan rinds available, add them during this step).

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425ºF and prep whole bell peppers by carefully cutting off (and reserving) pepper tops. Remove seeds and pith. You may need to remove a small portion of the bottom of the pepper so it stands upright, being careful not to cut through into the shell of the pepper.

Stir stuffing till mixed evenly. Oil a medium size casserole dish and line with about 1-2 cups of the stuffing. Stuff peppers and place in stuffing bed in the casserole dish.  Place pepper tops back in casserole dish as well. If there’s any remaining stuffing, add it to the casserole dish around the peppers to help them stand up. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake uncovered 15-20 minutes, until golden brown on top. Meanwhile, prepare Avocado Sauce (below).

For serving, remove parmesan rinds, drizzle with Avocado Sauce, and top with freshly chopped cilantro leaves and freshly grated parmesan, if desired.

Avocado Sauce Ingredients:

  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/4 c. water (or more to desired consistency)

Avocado Sauce Instructions:

Add all ingredients except olive oil and water into food processor (or high power blender) and blend till smooth. Slowly drizzle olive oil in till emulsified, then slowly pour water in until sauce reaches desired viscocity.

Note: This dish is great to make the night before and reheats very well. On the second day (if there is any leftover stuffing), use as taco filling and top with chopped fresh tomatoes, sour cream, avocado sauce and fresh chopped cilantro.

Recipe: Kale Salad with Bacon, Cranberries, and Goat Cheese by Melissa McKinnon

Ingredients:

  • 3 slices thick-sliced bacon, crumbled
  • 3 Tbsp. bacon grease, reserved from frying
  • 3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. dry mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 c. chopped fresh kale leaves (discard stems)
  • 1/4 c. dried cranberries
  • 1/4 c. slivered almonds
  • 1/4 c. crumbled (honeyed or plain) goat cheese (about 2 oz.)
Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce and Fresh Basil; Kale Salad with Crackers

Kale Salad with Crackers, served as a side with

Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce and Fresh Basil

Instructions:

1. Cook thick-sliced bacon over medium high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and pat dry with paper towels. Crumble bacon. Let bacon grease cool slightly (pour 3 Tbsp. grease into a glass bowl to help it cool faster, if desired–just don’t let it burn).

2. Prepare kale. I buy the pre-washed, pre-chopped bag of kale, but if you buy fresh, whole kale from your grocery store or farmers’ market, wash thoroughly (I recommend triple washing to remove all the grit), pat (or spin) dry, remove stems and chop as finely as desired. Set aside.

3. Whisk together vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper. Carefully pour warm grease into vinegar mixture; whisk to combine. (I do this step in the serving bowl to cut down on clean-up.)

4. Toss kale in dressing. Make sure leaves are evenly coated with dressing (use your hands–just don’t burn yourself). Then add crumbled bacon, goat cheese, cranberries and almonds and toss.

5. Serve as an appetizer, a side salad, or as dip with crackers. The combination of crunchy and creamy, tangy and sweet is fantastic! This is definitely a new family favorite! Bon Appetit!

Note: You could also add 2 Tbsp. of finely chopped red onions or scallions for a nice touch.

As an alternative, I made some this week and switched out the cranberries for some finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, added juice from half a lemon to the dressing, and used plain goat cheese, along with the almonds and crumbled bacon, and it was a big hit! So whether you go savory or sweet, bon appetit!

Journey Journal: Days 169-181

Day 169-171: Tuesday-Thursday, June 18-20, 2013

For the most part, we still stuck to our GF DF diet. We hosted Shepherding Group on Wednesday night, and I did a fruit, nut, and cheese tray (while avoiding the cheese…mostly) and bought a box of Publix’s oatmeal raisin cookies.

Day 172-174: Friday-Sunday, June 21-23, 2013

Friday was our semi-annual board meeting at the office, followed by a cookout. Bryan grilled the burgers and hot dogs for us and we brought some corn chips, buns, and drinks; someone brought condiments, onions, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, etc.;  someone else brought baked beans; and the host made potato salad, deviled eggs, and banana pudding. It was a lot of work, and I think everyone was ready for the weekend by the end of that week.

Saturday involved running by Starbucks on the way to getting my haircut–of course, I picked up my stylist’s favorite espresso drink as well! And I love my new haircut! Then we ran errands, and I hung out with my sister and her boys while Bryan helped shoot a wedding. After the wedding shoot, we went to a baseball game and stopped by some friends’ house to hang out for about an hour before crashing at home.

Sunday involved a wonderful morning service, followed by 2nd grade Journey Group–about Loving God. Then we went to Olive Garden with our young adult group (gotta love all-you-can-eat salad and soup for $6.95), followed by having them come over for the afternoon and evening. It was a really good time of fellowship.

Day 175-179: Monday-Friday, June 24-28, 2013

A long week with some late nights, but it was a very productive week. We still ate less gluten and dairy, but not totally GF DF. As we added the gluten back in slowly, I did not notice any issues; as for the dairy, definitely going to try to avoid it as much as possible going forward. On Friday, we had dinner with Bryan’s dad and he helped us with our materials list for our back room project. I  picked up Pizza Hut and stopped by the grocery store for this week’s groceries.

Day 180-181: Saturday-Sunday, June 29-30, 2013

Saturday involved cleaning, lots of laundry, mowing the lawn, and going to Lowe’s to pick out our windows and doors for the back room project! (We’re waiting till their sale starts on Wednesday to actually order though.) We hung out with our friend Carissa for a bit; I brought kale salad with crumbled bacon, dried cranberries, sliced almonds, and goat cheese with a bacon vinaigrette dressing…so yummy! We ate it with some thin cracker crisps! Delicious! Then Bryan went to play soccer while I finished the laundry and cleaning.

Sunday is morning worship followed by elder community groups–no Sunday School or evening service, just dedicated fellowship time and some good rest! Hoping to get back to the gym this coming week–I’ve been too busy for too long, and this heat is ridiculous, so I definitely want to be indoors, but I do need to get active again for sure.

Journey Journal: Days 162-168

This was one of the all-time busiest weeks of the summer between prepping for two conferences for work, working through the database upgrade project, and arranging flowers for a wedding this weekend. But it was a good week!

Days 162-164: Tuesday to Thursday, June 11-13, 2013

Breakfast was mostly GF Chex cereal and almond milk or soy milk. Lunches consisted of either soup or salad or leftover pork and rice mostly. We still stuck to the GF DF diet. Tuesday, we prepped the notebooks, nametags, and materials for the Pastors’ Conference coming up on Friday and got that all boxed up. Wednesday night, I made stopped by Hobby Lobby and made sure I had all the supplies I needed for this weekend’s wedding flowers. Thursday we prepped the FX-VB conference materials for Saturday’s conference; that afternoon, I picked up the flowers from Carlstedt’s wholesale florist–I even got some discounted calla lilies and purple stock that will be excellent additions to this colorful wedding! And I grabbed a bunch of seeded eucalyptus for good measure.

Bryan’s been experimenting with pork tenderloin and chicken using apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, fresh garlic, sage, salt and pepper as a marinade. He made it with some sautéed Brussels sprouts and served it over rice one night–fantastic!

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Day 165: Friday, June 14, 2013

Today was the Pastors’ Conference in Virginia Beach and it was a success from everything we heard–about 30 attendees! After a full day of work, I headed home for a quick dinner of spicy shrimp and grits and then started on the flower arranging! (Pictures to come in a separate post…stay tuned…). I used white and green hydrangeas, pink and green hypericum berries, green pom-pom mums, Bells of Ireland, pink and peach Snapdragons, coral and yellow and white mini roses, purple stock and irises, green lisianthus, seeded eucalyptus, orange-yellow calla lilies, bright pink peonies, orange ranunculus, and lotus pods! Quite the combo! My house smelled like a florist shop! (and felt like a cooler! Brrr…)

Started the flowers while Bryan cooked doing the reception flowers first (simple white hydrangea stems in blue mason jars). Then started on the bouquets after dinner… My sister stopped by for a couple of hours to help with the bouquets–it was really nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of and she was especially helpful with the mother-of-the-groom’s nosegay. Bryan made us a snack of teriyaki chicken strips (protein to keep us going through the night). Love that guy! He checked in on me about every hour until around midnight, when he went to bed so he would be able to drive me to the wedding….gonna be a late night!

Day 166: Saturday, June 15, 2013

Finished all the bouquets, nosegays, and the altar arrangement around 1:25AM! Just waiting to put ribbon on the bouquets till the last minute. I was really nervous about the altar arrangement, but I ended up really liking it!! Finished the 18 boutonnieres around 3AM and headed to bed for a few short hours.

Back up around 6AM and jumped straight into the 14 corsages. They went quickly and smoothly (much faster than the bouts for some reason). Finished that around 7:45AM and wrapped the bouquets with strips of burlap and lace ribbon, pinning with peachy pearl pins for a rustic touch of elegance. Finished around 8:30 and ran upstairs to get ready for the wedding. Packed up the car and drove almost an hour and a half to the wedding in Walhalla, South Carolina.

Stopped by Chik-fil-a for a breakfast of oatmeal and fruit with coffee (cheated and put half and half in my coffee for the first time this month–didn’t really help the coffee taste any better though, unfortunately; that’s probably the last time I’ll get CFA coffee–sorry. :/ ) I’m not sure if the oatmeal was 100% GF DF, but it has to be pretty close.

The wedding was at a beautiful chapel at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. Dropped off the flowers and got the ultimate compliment from the bride: “These are more beautiful than anything we ‘pinned’” (love the Pinterest reference).  YAY!

Dropped off the reception flowers and headed back to the church for the wedding. Stopped by a Chinese restaurant for some lunch in Seneca. It was pretty good, even though I think there was some wheat in the wontons–oops. Still, overall we did pretty well for being out of town and not having many options.

The wedding and reception were both beautiful and very sweet! So happy for our dear friend Sarah and our new friend Jordan! They are a wonderful, godly couple! After the wedding, we drove home and I pretty much crashed. It was a long but wonderful day!

Day 167: Sunday, June 16, 2013

Wow–tired! Started with a bowl of Chex and a banana…and coffee!!! Church was fantastic! And the kids were really responsive as we talked through Seeking God as a response to learning the ABC’s of who God is and what He’s like. Rested in the afternoon and had another wonderful sermon in the evening, followed by having about 5 young adults over for dinner after church. It was a special time of getting to know some brothers and sisters in Christ who are becoming new friends. I just love the body of Christ!

Day 168: Monday, June 17, 2013

Another kinda crazy day–complete with getting caught in a downpour as I ran a work errand. :) Chex and coconut milk for breakfast, banana and almonds for a snack, Thai rice noodle soup for lunch, and then home for an amazing dinner with new friends Dustin and Megan from church. Dustin is one of the deacons assigned to our elder community, so it was good to get to know them better! And they are GF DF too, so we had fun experimenting with them. Bryan made chicken thighs with his apple cider vinegar and lemon juice marinade, and at the very end, he drizzled the chicken with honey to help it brown up and caramelize! Really nice addition! He roasted some broccoli and cauliflower with garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and a dash of orange juice; and I made a mixed greens salad with strawberries, walnuts, and honey mustard (with some honey goat cheese on the side). For dessert, I did my peaches and cherries sauté with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla, and topped it with honey-toasted oats and almond slices! We drizzled some vanilla coconut milk and espresso balsamic vinegar over the top at the end too! Thankfully, they enjoyed our experiments…and we had a really nice time fellowshipping. Finished the day with a french press of coffee, an episode of The Chew, a little blogging, and a good book. And tonight, the word on my mind as I head towards bed is “thankful.”

Journey Journal: Days 159-161

Days 159: Saturday, June 8, 2013

This weekend was all about replacing the soffits and facia on the house. Here’s a picture of Bryan and his dad and brother Chad working:

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On top of that, I worked through the night Friday night with some visa issues (had to be up at the same time as the other side of the world)…so…to pass the time, I decided to try this GF DF Donut Recipe. I’m not sure I agree with the “pillowy soft, fluffy” part of the description, but overall they turned out okay.

The first step (proofing the yeast) smelled right, but as soon as I added the GF flour, it just smelled weird to me (maybe it’s because I used the Bob’s Mill brand?). It rose fine overnight, but I needed a good bit of extra “flour” to roll/cut out on Saturday morning. I couldn’t get the center donut hole cut out because they were a bit too sticky, so I made some larger and some smaller circles.

While waiting for the donuts to rise, I made cooked up some bacon and eggs and tossed together a mango, peach, and kiwi fruit salad…and pressed some good Columbian coffee! (I definitely needed it after going to bed at 1, getting up at 3, 5, and then 7.) Meanwhile, the donuts rose again just fine, but not as much as regular flour donuts.

Time to fry, but it took a lot of oil to fry. My canola oil didn’t smell right (I must have fried something in it before). So, I used olive oil. The larger “donuts” turned out mostly like fried biscuits. They seemed to soak up oil more than regular doughnuts, so they were kind of greasy and more like grainy funnel cake. I ran out of olive oil and tried a few in some Crisco I had hanging around (I do not recommend that). When that soaked up, I added the leftover bacon fat from breakfast and fried up the little donuts–those were actually the best ones.

This is a very time consuming recipe, and I will probably not take the time to make these again. My brother in law said, “GF DF donuts are pretty good! It’s like I said… you just need something to carry the grease and sugar.” :) For the record–my GF friends LOVED them…and I admit they were much better the next day! If you make these though, don’t just drizzle the icing…triple the icing recipe and actually glaze them. I think if I ever make them again, I’ll just spray a griddle with cooking spray and fry them up like pancakes…since that’s basically what they turned out like.

While I was working on the donuts, I also started lunch for the guys: Carnitas, Black Beans, and Yellow Rice. I doubled the recipe for the pork and used canned black beans and just added spices instead of making them from scratch. Served with corn tortillas and fresh lime wedges. Yum! Really hit the spot for the guys after working so hard all morning.

After lunch, I went outside and helped in the yard for a bit. We worked till about sundown. Thank goodness for the boom lift or we would not have gotten done in time. For dinner, we had more carnitas and rice with lime. So good! Then headed to bed very exhausted! We definitely burned a lot of calories!

They got the top of the house finished today–will have to finish the porches’ soffits and facia tomorrow. Here’s a sort of “before-and-after” picture (bottom is the old green; top is the new bright white).

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Day 160: Sunday, June 9, 2013

Up at 6. Breakfast by 7, then back in the yard. Stopped around 10 to get ready and head to church. One thing God reminded me of this weekend was that (like a house) it is best to work on the root problems instead of just covering them up (i.e., deal with sin directly, confess it, repent, and follow God instead of just masking our problems and “looking good” on the outside). Even home repairs can point us to God if we allow them to. Another lunch of carnitas on corn tortillas. This time we served them with baked sweet potatoes and stewed cabbage. After lunch, we were in and out of the house (between rain showers) to finish the job before having to return the lift. So thankful for Bryan, his dad, and his brother Chad for doing this major project! It was hard work but so much fun to see the guys working together again…and doing it ourselves allowed us to save over $1000 on this much needed repair. Here’s a picture of working in the rain:

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Stopped for a bit around 3:30 for coffee with my friend Shannah. So thankful for her testimony of God’s grace and growth. For dinner, Bryan made up some beef curry–our new comfort food.

Day 161: Monday, June 10, 2013

Very tired waking up this morning, but got up around 6:30 because we had to take the car to the shop for a recall–at least that was free. Bryan dropped me off at work. On the way, we swung by Publix for breakfast. I grabbed hummus, baby carrots, two bananas (and a yogurt for him, since he’s not doing the dairy-free part). Hit the ground running at the office…with a cup of coffee, fortunately. Got our database project finalized! (Praise the Lord I had/got to learn SQL last year with my previous job! It was literally the key to making this project work.) Making great progress on this week’s events: Pastors’ Conference on Friday and FX-VB on Saturday–hoping to assemble the packets tomorrow! Picked up the car and came home for a dinner of fried eggs and leftover rotisserie chicken and steamed spinach over some leftover grits. Watched parts of a couple episodes of “The Chew” (a cooking talk show). We discovered our favorite new snack is Gluten-Free Honey Nut Chex. So yummy!