Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Put your love on the map!

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A friend of mine posted this on Facebook this morning and it practically jumped out of the screen at me. It’s funny that I think practically all of my Valentine’s Days my whole life have been spent single, and yet I think I love Valentine’s Day more than most people who actually have a significant other to spend it with. Maybe it’s because my birthday is on the 17th and for me it’s like Valentine’s Day is really just part of the month long week long celebration for as long as I can remember. I’m always amazed by how grouchy people can get about Valentine’s Day! I have heard at least 4 people today alone grumbling about how it’s just a Hallmark holiday and they won’t give in to a made up day. I don’t care, haha. I LOVE love, and not just romantic love, but every kind of love. I get giddy when I walk around and see stores decorated in hearts and flowers, all the heart shaped candies and accessories and knick knacks. It’s just so cheerful and happy! How can you resist?! How can you not want to hug everyone?! (Is that just me? Maybe? Ha) And the origin of Valentine’s Day wasn’t even about romantic love but Godly love. A sacrificial love.

So this Valentine’s Day weekend, if you’re finding yourself grumpy for whatever reason, I challenge you to focus on the LOVE mentioned in the words above “the giving of ourselves to God and to those he has placed around us.” Go out into the world on this long holiday weekend and be on the lookout for people who need some extra love! Don’t worry about who is going to show you love this weekend, think about who you’re going to BE love to. Put your love on the map, my friends.

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After all, the greatest commandments we received were to Love God, and love people.

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Here are some ideas!

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Jamaica weekend!

Just wanted to do a quick photo recap of my trip to Jamaica a few weeks ago to attend the wedding of a dear friend! Talk about a great weekend away from the chilly winter in DC! The weather there was absolutely amazing, and one day of reading and napping poolside with great girlfriends blended right into the next. Perfection!

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Then the day we got back it was to this majestic winter weather 🙂 but with a day off from work to relax post-trip I made the best of the cold by taking my first ever Solidcore class! Talk about sweating! Oh man. It was so challenging and I loved it. Definitely go try them out if you haven’t yet!

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So thankful!!

My goodness, here we are at the end of November and the Christmas season is already in full swing! Did you shop on Thanksgiving? I am still holding strong to keeping that day off limits to shopping! My Thanksgiving involved a morning Turkey Trot with my mom and older brother, then home to watch the parade on TV while eating breakfast with my family, then afternoon naps on the couch while watching the Dog Show, and then our tasty and simple Thanksgiving dinner and and evening of Christmas movies. It was the perfect day of relaxing and soaking in lots of family togetherness. I didn’t even take a picture of my food! Haha.

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A little coffee tasting at Whole Foods was the perfect treat during Thanksgiving grocery shopping!

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A pre-Thanksgiving sleepover with my sister-in-law and dog-phew Liam!

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I love this race — no entry fee, just bringing a new toy for a child! We filled 3 tables with toys!

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I lied — my one food picture from Thanksgiving. Our donuts from the Amish bakery in town were the same size as my sweet little Bianca 🙂

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It’s official — the Allen girls love leopard shoes! My niece (Ava) and my sister-in-law and I have the same taste in shoes 🙂

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Ava loves selfies! Cheeeeeeese!!!!!

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Leaving home is always sad but the trip to the airport sure is beautiful, especially at sunrise time!

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So exciting to find this in my mailbox when I got home from my vacation — a gift from Stella & Dot to celebrate my big promotion last month! I love a company that rewards in cash and free jewelry 🙂 can’t wait to keep growing my team in 2015!

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Do you follow an Advent devotional? I’m excited to use this free one each day!

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Got myself a peppermint mocha from Peets today after a lovely yoga class – perfect way to venture into the Christmas season now that we’re past Thanksgiving!

Hope everyone gets a good night’s sleep before the email assault of Cyber Monday! (I’ve already been getting loads of emails)

Some of my favorite things from July

On this last day of July I want to share some of my favorite things from this past month!!

The DC fireworks for the 4th are always amazing. But the DC area offers something 1 week later every year, and I think most people would agree that it’s even more enjoyable — the Alexandria Birthday Celebration! It always happens the weekend after the 4th, and with easier parking, a comfy lawn, manageable crowds, free cupcakes, and an up close and personal view while listening to the live music by the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra…well you almost just can’t even compare the 2. So I got to spend the evening in the company of some great friends. And made Key Lime White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cake Mix bars (what a title!).

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Cherries. Seriously. So good. Picked these up at a farmer’s market and ate them all in a couple days.

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Some people eat a lot of burgers off the grill in the summer, or maybe BBQ chicken…me? I’m eating loads of prosciutto. 🙂 this grilled cheese was such a winner. Yum yum yum. Egg, prosciutto and a little Gouda.

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(And more prosciutto)

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The new fall 2014 collection from Stella & Dot — more on that to come!

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Seeing corporate office spaces I’ve designed be almost near completion! Love putting things on paper and seeing them come to life.

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Mango sparkling wine!!

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Conscious Boxes!! Seriously, this is like the best of all worlds for delivery boxes. There are some snacks, some beauty care, some nutrition, recipes, the best chocolate bars ever, and it’s all great for your body. I’m so glad I tried it out on a Living Social deal. I have 1 box left in my subscription and will be sad to see it be over!

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Getting a trip home to FL to spend time with my family! More on that soon too 🙂

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That’s just a little snippet of some fun things from July!

4th of July 2014

Such a great long weekend! I feel like it was over way too fast and I meant to catch up on more recipes and activities but now it’s almost bedtime and then back to work tomorrow, so I’ll try to fit a few in!

Almond Butter Crispy Squares!

I made these for my gym’s monthly happy hour last week to go at my Stella & Dot table and they were a big hit! Yay! A totally random and last minute decision.

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Super simple too!

Ingredients
6 cups crispy rice cereal
3/4 cup almond butter
3/4 cup honey
Cooking spray
Optional add ins:
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup seeds/crushed nuts (I used pepitas/pumpkin seeds)
1/2 cup dried fruit pieces (I used cranberries)
Or anything else you want!

Directions
1. Put almond butter and honey in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 20 second intervals until melted and easily combined. Stir well.
2. Add crispy rice cereal and stir until thoroughly combined. Add mix-ins and stir to incorporate.
3. Spray a 13×9 pan with cooking spray, put mixture into pan and press firmly and evenly into the pan so that it’s tightly packed. Chill in refrigerator for at least 45 minutes. Cut and serve!

And now here are some pics from my 4th of July weekend for your enjoyment!

4th of July style!

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If these haven’t happened in your life yet, you’re missing out!!

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And an awesome night was had at the PBS Capitol 4th Concert! Up close for Phillip Phillips and so much more!

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Up, up, and away: a baby shower!

A sweet friend of mine gave me the honor of making the cupcakes and cookie favors for her sister-in-law’s baby shower! I loved her idea of a hot air balloon theme! So cute! Congrats on the new little baby-boy-to-be in their family!

Here are some pics of the finished treats!

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Favorite things on a late spring Saturday!

Nothing like a beautiful weekend day in the late spring to enjoy some lovely weather, getting a base tan in preparation of the pool opening next weekend for Memorial Day, and finishing a good book! I got a sweet new chair from Target for $16 yesterday so I could lay on my balcony and tan both comfortably and evenly! $16! So good! I actually ordered it online during lunchtime yesterday for in-store pickup on my way home. So easy. Let’s be twins – get yourself one too! here it is in a few color options too

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I am also so excited to have wrapped up this great read: A Modern Girl’s Guide to Bible Study. I have been feeling extra convicted as of late to really make routine solo-Bible-study part of my daily life and with that I intend to journal regularly which has never been something I’ve done with any consistency. I would definitely encourage you to read this book whether you’re faithful with your study time or trying to find where to start. There is great perspective, insight, and encouragement for everyone! Plus you’ll never find another author as funny and sincere as Jen Hatmaker. I got to meet her at a women’s conference back in the winter and I just can’t get enough of her. I basically want to be her 🙂 I also highly recommend that you like her on Facebook and check out her blog.

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Also a fave thing that I just learned is nearly out of stock for good is this awesome clutch from Stella & Dot! You can search “raffia clutch” and find it right away. Not to mention it’s only $49!

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Oh yeah, and post workout today I stopped into Best Buns and grabbed and iced Americano and one of my fave treats – a banana chocolate chip muffin. Agh, seriously, there is no more fave combo in my life than banana and chocolate. It’s my favorite in a milkshake. My favorite cake (as is evidenced that this is my birthday cake flavor EVERY YEAR). Yum!

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Yesterday I went to Perfect Pita with some coworkers for lunch and had my favorite salad. Seriously y’all, it’s stupid how much I love this salad. It’s all about the dressing! There is nothing at all revolutionary about this salad at all. I acknowledge that it’s just lettuce, peppers, onions, cucumbers, and feta. Great but not special. It’s the dressing. Magic dressing. Also a peek at my fun summer scarf with elephants on it. Adorable! (Also Stella & Dot)

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Now to relax and soak up some more weekend sun! Hope you have a great weekend!