the better part

For my birthday Mike got me a prayer book that I’d been wanting called The Better Part:  A Christ Centered Resource for Personal Prayer by John Bartunek.


I ended up liking it so much I thought I’d do a post on what it’s all about.  It’s written by a Catholic priest, but any Christian could use it as a daily meditation tool.

Format – The first section is a detailed guide to Christian mediation.  Basically a how-to.  And it breaks Christain meditation into 4 categories:  concentrate, consider, converse, and commit.  The second (and main) section is divided up into small units including a passage from the Gospels and a four-part commentary based on the same four themes throughout the book:  Christ the Lord, Christ the Teacher, Christ the Friend, and Christ in My Life.  It’s easy to commit to reading and meditating on one of these units a day.

Additional Guidance – After each small unit there are also questions if you were to use it in a group setting.  There are also suggested Catechism readings after each unit for further examination.  Two indexes are included.  One list the units in the order in which the Gospel passages appear throughout the liturgical year.  The second lists them in relation to virtues of the spiritual life.

This book has a lot to offer.  The first section of the book I found to be very beneficial.  It’s a great reminder of things to remember while praying to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your prayer time.  Think of it as a miniature ‘how to pray better’ boot camp.  Having that part to refer back to while reading through the small units will be handy.

So if you’re in the market for a personal prayer resourse, check this one out.  🙂


meal planning 7.14

What’s on the menu for this week…

Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheese Soup – Cooking Classy

broccoli cheddar

Rainbow Roasted Veggies with Quinoa – The Garden Grazer

veggie quinoa

The Best Breakfast Bagel Sandwich – No Biggie *we’re just putting ours on bread*

bagel sandwich

Baked Mexican Eggrolls with Enchilada Guacamole – Taste and Tell

mexican eggroll

I also made some chocolate peanut butter chip cookies using the recipe on the bag of Reese’s peanut butter chips.  They were delish.

hey y’all

A couple days ago I was on a mission to mix up our built-in shelves in the kitchen, pictured here:


Although I like the framed Arkansas I thought it’d be cool to switch that up and have something more simple.  I’m loving this print from Etsy, so I decided to do a DIY version.

First I did my best to sketch out the letters with pencil onto a piece of white cardstock.  I had some shiny gold paint that I began to paint with inside the letters, pictured here:


But I realized quickly that it was going to be tricky and I wasn’t sure if I’d get the result I wanted.  So I used pen to outline the letters and painted over the entire page.


The pen allowed me to see through the paint, so that once the paint dried I was able to cut out the letters.  Once that was complete I put them on a fresh piece of white cardstock.


And then I used a glue stick to adhere them to the piece of paper.


I also repainted the original frame white.  So it went from this:


To this:


It helped to simplify that area some and I thought it turned out pretty cute for a DIY!




Easy peasy.  🙂

happy birthday anners

Anne was put on this earth for many, many reasons (obviously), but one of them was to complete my life.  I vividly remember hoping and wishing for a baby sister for years.  Any assignment at school that asked “if you could wish for one thing, what would it be?” – little sister was the answer.  I had to wait 10 years, but then I got one!


You can only imagine how extremely excited I was and Anne did not disappoint, in fact, she exceeded expectations.  She was (and still is) super adorable, out-going, funny, and so very sweet.  She was much more out-going and confidant than me as a child, and I loved watching to see what she was going to do next.


When she was a baby I loved to spend every waking minute with her.  I loved to get her from her crib, change her clothes, change her diapers, read to her, etc.  When she was a toddler I loved to spend lots of time with her too.  I’d take her to the park, paint her nails, bake cookies with her, play games, etc. etc.  Mike loves the story I tell about how if I heard the ice cream truck I’d get into my piggy bank, pick Anne up, and run after the ice cream truck (holding Anne) to get her a popsicle.  Anne did not go without when she was with me.


I wasn’t always the perfect sister though.  I remember getting frustrated with her and yelling at her.  Then I’d quickly feel so guilty – because look at how adorable she is? – and I’d start to cry; no joke, it was pathetic.  I remember Anne coming up to me and asking me what was wrong, and I told her I felt bad because I was mean to her.  She then gave me a big hug and told me that it was okay.  That Anne has a heart of gold.  🙂

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Picture from the Jog-a-thon at Anne’s school.  You’d think by the picture that she ran a bunch, but you’d be wrong.  She walked and managed to go by every water spray bottle station she passed.  Classic Anne.

One of my favorite memories of having Anne as a little sister growing up was how she’d sneak into my bed at night – almost 7 nights a week at one point.  It was pretty funny because her head was barely taller than the bed, but she’d grab and pull her way up.  And she’d take multiple trips to bring in all her stuffed animals.  On weekends she’d sit on top of me in the mornings and pry my eyelids open.  I’d awaken to a smiling face and about a million stuffed animals around me.


I have so many memories with little Anne and now I’m making many memories with big Anne.  I guess she can’t be little anymore now that she is turning 16!  That is beyond weird.  She is such an amazing person.  There aren’t many people I’d do just about anything for, but she is one of them.

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Happy birthday Anners, I love you very much.

painting the bookcase

Painting the back of our built-in bookcase has been on my to-do list for a while, so I decided to knock it out yesterday.  The color I selected was Benjamin Moore, cobblestone path.  This color is a gray with a hint of blue.  I was planning on going even darker, like a navy, but I decided I didn’t want it to contrast too much with the white shelves.

Lucky for me Mike was able to help.  We did two coats and it took us 2 hours from start to finish.  If you paint periodically it probably wouldn’t take as long.  Mike used the roller while I cut-in.  I didn’t use tape instead I just watched this video and went for it.

Here is a shot of the shelf before any work:


Here is a picture after the two coats, but with nothing on the shelf:


And here is our final product:


Turned out pretty good.  A little paint can definitely make a big difference.  For tips on bookcase styling click here.

things i’m lovin’ this thursday

I wasn’t inspired to blog today until I looked at my Pinterest.  Here are some things that I’ve recently pinned and l-o-v-e-d.

This quote on Summer Snowflake Tumblr


Frozen yogurt blueberries from Family Fresh Meals

yogurt blueberries

Primrose necklace from Moorea Seal


Candy kabob from A Dose of Serendipity

candy kabob

Essie Go Ginza color pictured by Beauty Scene

go ginza

This art on Blue Dreams Revisited Tumblr


Succulent arrangement on Best Friends for Frosting


Sandals from American Eagle


Guess I could have done a blog post about America since the 4th is tomorrow.  Did you know that 87.5% of imported U.S. flags are from China?  And on a more patriotic note, the average age of the signers of the Declaration of Independence was 45.  So there you have it.  Some things I like from Pinterest and a couple fun facts about America.  Enjoy the holiday weekend!

meal planning 7.2

What’s on the menu for this week…

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken – Just a Taste


Pineapple Fried Rice – Damn Delicious

pineapple fried rice

Black Bean and Quinoa Bowl with Peach Salsa – A Couple Cooks

black bean quinoa


Chicken and Spaghetti

Egg Scramble


Raspberry Crumble – Reluctant Entertainer

rasp crumble

So there you have it.  Not sure if we’ll be cooking anything in particular on the 4th, maybe some all American hot dogs, fancy right?