Tag Archives: family

happy day

9 Dec

Happy Birthday to the best sister in the world…

taken 3 years ago in Thailand: my sister and I on her birthday with two of our favorite Thai friends, P’Dew and P’Nong

Love you!

Also, happy 2 year vegetarian birthday to me!

Getting better all the time:)

(go here if you’re interested in hearing more about why I eat the way I do)

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yesterday, i drank tea

6 Dec

Hi!

How was your weekend? Mine was pretty great – it’s really hard to not have a good weekend during this time of year methinks.  I know it’s not the happiest time of year for everyone out there, which makes me so sad.  This year I’m really trying to be thankful in every moment. One of the best moments was Saturday night, when the husband and I cruised around OKC looking at Christmas lights.  There’s an area of town where the houses are huge and breathtaking, and every year it seems they have a competition to see who can put up the most extravagant lights!

The husband and I spent much of Saturday out and about, finishing up our Christmas shopping for the McCoy side of our family.  We do a small Christmas with this side a couple of weeks early, and it’s this weekend.  I can’t believe it’s almost already here!  I’m so excited – and I’m even more excited now that we got our shopping done…nothing like waiting ’till the last minute.  We actually still have to pick up one more thing this week, but otherwise the next few days will be about wrapping, baking and packing.  I’m looking very forward to two of these.

While we were shopping, we got distracted for a little bit in the Teavana store.  Have you been to one?  I’m loving tea more and more everyday lately, and I’ve been eying several different loose leaf teapots for awhile now.  I finally splurged and got one!  I’m feeling a tinge bad about spending money on myself right before Christmas, but I’m happy that I’ll have my favorite loose leaf tea to drink throughout the holidays!  In my defense I probably wouldn’t have bought it for myself had the husband not insisted…but that’s neither here nor there I suppose.  I do have a pretty sweet husband though:) just sayin.

So yesterday, I drank tea.  And a lot of it.

Here’s she is!  Well, most of her anyway.  This is what she looks like all ready to be filled with water and popped in the microwave.

After removing her from the microwave – she now has the tea sieve (not sure if that’s what you call it?) back in


prepare one teaspoon of tea

and dump it in

now we wait

and wait

and wait

and now the best part – we pour!

I’m obsessed with this little teapot, so expect to see a lot of it!  The coolest part is that you can steep the same tea leaves up to 3 times within a 24 hour period – when you consider that, the price isn’t bad at all!

Aside from drinking tea, upon my dear husband’s initiation, we also cleaned out our long overdue fridge.  The kind of clean out where you remove every last thing, take out the shelves and scrub.  It wasn’t pretty.  I think it’s one of the worst jobs, but also one of the most rewarding.  Afterwards, I finally went to the store and stocked up on food for this week – I got lots of stuff for juicing (organic carrots, tomatoes, beets, kale, apples, cucumbers, bell pepper) as well as ingredients for Vegetarian chili and homemade vegan cornbread. But not just for us.

Tonight we’ll be stopping by our friends’ house to take them chili and cornbread.  They just had a baby last week, and I can’t wait to get my hands on that baby girl (Carissa, if you read this, don’t be freaked out:).  I debated for about 5 seconds over whether to take them a vegetarian meal, since they are not vegetarian.  But one thought about having to handle beef, and the decision was made.  I decided on chili because I think it’s a vegetarian meal that many meat eaters will love.  You can bulk it up with lots of beans, veggies, and spices, and they won’t miss a thing!

I’ll be back tonight with recipes for chili and cornbread – and hopefully some irresistible baby pics!

Are you more of a tea drinker or a coffee drinker?

How would you feel if someone brought you a meal that was vegetarian (if you’re not)?  Would that bother you?

food, family and lots of fun

30 Nov

Hello!

This week has been so crazy!  Since we’ve been back home from visiting family for Thanksgiving, we’ve been so busy.  I haven’t even had a chance to recap our Thanksgiving weekend…better late than never, though.  Right?

I ended up making three different dishes to take to my family’s dinner.  I’m blessed to have grandparents who are healthy eaters, so there were several great options on the table.  I was really excited about cooking up some new recipes I’d been wanting to try, so I decided to take a few things anyway!

First up, I made this Maple Spiced Quinoa dish that Angela had posted awhile back.

This dish was delicious!  Unfortunately the picture doesn’t do it justice.  All I had to put it in was my mom’s Tupperware bowl, but i promise it tasted worlds better than it looks.  The only negative was that I kind of wished I had made a savory quinoa dish for dinner, rather than sweet.  This almost could have been eaten as a dessert!

I also made Angela’s healthy Sweet Potato Casserole. Let’s just go ahead and get something out on the table – I totally had an Angela inspired Thanksgiving dinner!  Why not, right?  Her recipes almost always amaze me, and I didn’t really have time to come up with something on my own.  Plus, I had been drooling over these recipes since she posted them several weeks ago.  What better time to try them out than on Thanksgiving?!

I totally scored big with this casserole…especially when it came to my baby cousin, Caroline.  She was a big fan:)

This casserole was competing big time too because my aunt brought a delicious sweet potato casserole.  I think it competed well, though it may not have won out in the end:(  Except with Caroline that is.

For dessert I made Pumpkin Brownie cupcakes.  Now these were a hit!

Every bit as delicious as they look and sound.  How can you beat the combination of brownie + pumpkin + cupcake?!  Seriously?  I was so happy that everyone enjoyed these, and the recipe has already been sent out to the family.  I could actually really use one of these about right now…

To top it all off, I made up a quick batch of Super Charge Me Cookies from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan.  They were awesome, as always.

My plate: vegetarian, mostly vegan and 100% delicious!

After lunch, we spent the rest of the day playing games and just hanging out.  I love holidays at my grandparent’s house – it’s so nice to just spend time together.  It doesn’t happen nearly enough.

And don’t forget family picture time!

And all the grandkids…starting at 1 year and going all the way up to 30!

My sweet grandma on her birthday.  Her actual birthday is today, but we celebrated it with her on Thursday evening after all the Thanksgiving festivities.  Happy Birthday Grandma!

The rest of the weekend was spent shopping, hanging out with my mom, step-dad and sister, decorating our Christmas tree and then celebrating yet another birthday.

We had a surprise party for my sister’s 30th, and I was in charge of lying to her all morning, getting her out of the house and then getting her back to the house in time for the party.  I don’t think she likes to be surprised very much, and she didn’t make it easy on me. I think she ended up being about 1/3 surprised.  Fun was still had by all though:)

We came back home on Saturday just in time to get ready for the Bedlam game.  The husband and I had to work in the suites taking pictures.  It was definitely the most fun game all year – even though we ended up losing in the end.

On Sunday we spent the day catching up on work and the house, and then we decorated for Christmas! One of my favorite activities of the season!  Pictures will be soon to come:)

That’s all for now!  I’m so glad to finally be caught up on everything…now it’s time to get caught up on all of your lovely blogs:)  Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and are having a great start to the week.  How crazy that it’s already almost December!

I’ll be back tomorrow to talk about getting back and staying on track during this chaotic season – it’s not easy, but it’s so worth it!

thankful

23 Nov

Only one day left until Thanksgiving – I can hardly believe it! I am so looking forward to spending time with family over the next few days.  We’ll be leaving tomorrow afternoon, heading to my hometown for all kinds of fun.  I’m so thankful that I have a home and family to spend time with.  In fact, I have two!

Something I’m really feeling so thankful for this year is that I have my grandparents to go home to.  My grandma and grandpa will cook Thanksgiving dinner at their house on Thursday, just like they have every single year since before I can remember.  And I feel so blessed to be able to spend time with them.

This morning when I got up, I really was not feeling a workout at all.  I just felt like I had zero energy…but I decided that if I just made myself go, I’d get more energized once I got there.  Works every time.

Until today.

I felt completely drained the entire time, and it was all I could do to keep myself going from machine to machine.  I ended up putting in about 40 minutes on the treadmill – a combination of walking, speed walking, jogging, running and pretty much everything in between.  It wasn’t super intense, but I was moving!!

Unlike most days, I ate some breakfast before I went because I was starving from the second I woke up.  I knew that oatmeal was in the cards, and in the end I decided to keep it simple.  I love putting tons of different toppings on my oats, but sometimes it’s nice to just get back to the basics.

I cooked 1/2 cup of oatmeal in 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk for about 2 minutes.  Actually, I cooked it for 1 minute and 50 seconds, and then the oatmeal overflowed out of the bowl and all over my microwave.  oops!  I seriously hate it when that happens!

Anyway, after getting everything cleaned up, I just stirred in about 1 tbsp of pumpkin butter and then put a little dollop on top.  It was so simple tasting…and delicious!

I spent the rest of today doing laundry and working on preparing the photos I took for a family last weekend.  Here is a little glimpse of two of the cutest little baby boys ever:)

Tomorrow is going to be a busy one, trying to get ready to go!  I think I know what I’m taking as far as food, but I still need to work out a few more details before I share.  Other than that I just have to pack, tutor and get some Outbox work done.  And then we’ll be off!  yay!

What are your plans for the holiday?  What special dishes are you making?

no place like home

16 Nov

I’m now back from a 3 day hiatus.

Over the weekend, the husband and I got to visit our family in his hometown.  We always love spending time there; I may be a little biased I suppose, but I’m certain that I have the best in-laws on the planet.  Here are a few photos of our little weekend getaway.

They are so thoughtful to always make sure that my favorite foods are in the house.  I always think it’s so sweet that they do that because these are not things they would normally have.

Breakfast Saturday morning – Ezekiel bread with almond butter and sliced banana

Playtime in the backyard:)  Olive is the only grandchild so far, so she gets a LOT of attention.  I worry about the day she’s no longer the only one…she will be a sad baby dog:(

ready….set….

GO!

One thing I love about visiting our family is that, like us, they love to hop in the car and just drive around, ending up wherever the days takes us.  On Saturday it took us to a cemetery in this tiny little country town. Don’t even ask:)

trying to see her Grandpa

And then dinner.  The family had spaghetti with meatballs, my MIL’s specialty.  I fixed up a giant pan of seasoned and roasted chickpeas, sweet potato, carrots and squash.  Easy and delicious.

And as usual, the day ended with a great round of game-playing

On Sunday we went to church to hear my FIL preach and then sadly, we had to rush to get back on the road toward home.  I never want to leave when we visit, but this week the sadness was softened just a little bit because I was so excited about what we were headed home to do!

More on that later:)

Hope you all had a great weekend!!

weekend recap and another trip!

18 Oct

Hello!  Happy Monday:)

This morning has been crazy – I got up early to clean our house and then had to stop mid-clean to run and get my hair cut.  I’m still technically not done cleaning, but I’m getting there.  After not posting for the last couple of days, I’ve been itching to check in.  Cleaning can wait!

But it can’t wait too long, unfortunately, because tomorrow morning we are leaving for another cross-country trip, except this time by plane!

We’re headed to Washington D.C.!  Jon has a work conference there this week, and he’s going to let me tag along.  I’ve never been to our nation’s capitol before, so I’m really excited!

We’re leaving early tomorrow morning and coming back on Friday night.  It just so happens that this weekend is homecoming here in Stillwater, and my brother-in-law and sister-in-law are coming to stay with us Friday night.  So, I’m trying to get our house ready for guests and everything plus getting us packed and ready to leave tomorrow – it’s going to be a busy day since I’ll be tutoring all afternoon.  My excitement is serving as great adrenaline so far, though.  Let’s hope it lasts well into the night:)

This past weekend, we were in my hometown celebrating my mom’s birthday.  I made her a cake, and we took her out to eat and whatnot.  I also led my mom through her first yoga class, which was really fun.  We’ll call it birthday yoga:)

Then we went to church on Sunday and met my grandparents afterward for lunch.  It was definitely a weekend well spent – I loved getting to just relax with family.  One of my favorite things:)

I’m so thankful to have my grandparents in my life:)

Saturday morning I rose early to get a head start on baking my mom’s cake!  Last week Jenna posted a recipe for a Bohemian Wedding Cake (full recipe here), and the minute I saw it I knew it was THE cake for my mom’s birthday.  I mean, it had pumpkin in it – how could it be wrong?

Before I got started baking, though, I needed some fuel.

This isn’t just any green smoothie.  I knew I’d need to be able to ward off my pumpkin cravings (and stay out of the cake batter), so I decided to have a green smoothie, fall style:)  I added 2 big handfuls of spinach, 1/2 cup pumpkin, 1 tbsp molasses, 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 1.2 cup almond milk and ice.

Yes, I know it sounds gross, and I must admit I was a bit nervous with that first sip.  But just like adding spinach to a banana smoothie, adding spinach to a pumpkin smoothie doesn’t alter the flavor at all!  It was absolutely delicious, and I still got my greens in.  Score!

I digress.

Back to the cake.

I started by mixing together all the dry ingredients – brown sugar, baking soda, whole wheat flour, white flour, pumpkin pie spice

Then mixed the wet ingredients – pumpkin, oil, vanilla, molasses, 2 eggs.  I almost made this vegan by simply switching to flax eggs, but no one in my family is vegan and I didn’t really have time for experimentation.  So, I stuck with 2 organic, free-range eggs.  I also added a quick store-bought cream cheese icing at the end.

Next, mixed them all together…

And poured ’em in.

Into the oven it went while I raced around doing Jillian’s 30-day shred DVD and packing!

After it finished baking and I allowed it to cool completely, I added the frosting.

Perfect.

Everybody at the party seemed to enjoy it.  Everybody except my sister that is, who insists that she just isn’t much of a sweets person.

I always doubt my baking, but when my mom had another piece on Sunday afternoon, I knew they weren’t just trying to make me feel good when they said they liked it:)

And for the record, I thought it was delicious!

All in all the weekend was a success!

Now it’s just time to play catch up…and get ready for our trip!

Any suggestions on places to visit or sights to see while we’re in DC??  I’ll be flying solo one day while Jon is in meetings – so any recommendations would be great!

a day of reunions

7 Sep

After such a fun and spontaneous day yesterday it was admittedly a bit hard to get back into a routine today.  As my husband can attest – I live for spontaneity.  I love waking up and not know what the day will hold and then making it into something wonderful.

We spent the first half of Labor Day getting some work done.  One of the harder aspects of owning your own business – you must work even on holidays!  I was so glad we got work out of the way, though, because then we had the rest of the day to relax and play.

On a whim, we decided to head to Tulsa.  There are several draws to visiting this second closest city to us:

1. my brother-in-law and sister-in-law live there.
2. Whole Foods lives there.
3. There’s a mall.

What can I say? I’m easily pleased.

Before heading out of town, we grabbed some lunch to take on the road.

For him – Chickfila.  He doesn’t get quite as excited as I do about taking pictures with his food.

For her – Panera.

Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich (minus the feta)

And an apple balancing on my knee:)

Our first stop in Tulsa as at the Apple Store at the mall to look at iPads.  The husband is considering purchasing one for the business, but got cold feet and decided to think on it some more.

We also stumbled upon this place while perusing the mall.

I had never tried Teavana tea before, and I was pleasantly surprised!  They had several different flavors out for sampling and they were all delicious.  I resisted bringing any home with me, but I would definitely like to try some of their teas in the future.  Tea has been on my mind more and more with colder weather fast approaching, so Teavana – maybe we will meet again:)

Upon leaving the mall, we headed straight for my BIL and SIL’s house.  We didn’t stay there long as they had dinner cooking and we needed to get back home, but considering we hadn’t seen them since Christmas (pathetic!) it was so nice to catch up in person for awhile.

Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture yesterday, but just for fun here’s one from when they (MIL and FIL came too!) came to visit us when we lived in Thailand.  Fun times.

Anyway, before heading back home, we grabbed some dinner at PeiWei

And then headed to Whole Foods, where the best thing ever happened.

I was reunited with my love.

no cameras allowed in Whole Foods so we had to sneak this shot with the iPhone

Almond Butter and I have been separated for a good few months due mostly to the much lower cost of peanut butter:(  But last night Whole Foods had their machine working where you can grind your own, and it was only $4.99/lb.  So much cheaper than buying it in a jar here!

I was a true foodie through and through last night as I giddily walked through the store with my prized possession tucked safely under my arm and a smile from ear to ear.  Only those of you who share my love for almond butter can understand how happy I was.  The rest of you can just think how weird I am.  I’m okay with that:)

It was a smooth ride all the way back home…just me and the husband.  And possibly some dark chocolate.

Hope you all had a great day and are all geared up for the short week!

Love, Candice

Do you live for spontaneity like myself?  Or do you prefer the structure of a routine and planning?