Saturday, September 23, 2017

Watermelon, feta, and butter lettuce salad with walnuts and white balsamic. 

I love my CSA box. 

And not the flippant, I-love-that-new-haircut kind of love, but the deep, abiding love I usually reserve for certain family members, a good book, and duck confit. As I pulled veggies out of my box this week (it's always so exciting, like a personal culinary grab bag), I thought "hooray, okra," followed immediately by "wait, who am I?" I never, never in a million years thought I would like okra. Like, I'm more likely to start crowd surfing at noisy concerts (NOPE) than work my way through a delicious pile of okra, but this CSA has made me a convert for life (toss in oil and roast at 425 until nicely browned). 

On any given week, I can expect tomatoes, peppers, potatoes or sweet potatoes, beans, okra, salad greens, a melon, and usually an extra surprise veggie or two thrown in (kohlrabi, where have you been all my life?). All local, seasonal, sustainability and traditionally farmed by Mennonites. Shut the front door. 

Roasted okra, cucumbers, and colorful peppers from our box.

We've only a few weeks left to the growing season, and I'm already mourning the loss - dreading limp grocery store lettuce, overpriced potatoes, and the boring, uniform peppers. My grocery bill goes down substantially over the spring and summer months, we eat healthier, and since it's changing all the time, it never gets boring. 

It's worth noting that not all CSA programs are created equal. We get ours through Heritage Harvest Farms, and it's always been excellent, but if you get a CSA from a smaller farm, it can mean an entire box of okra and corn for weeks, nothing but squash the next - whatever is in season! When you have a group of farms working together like at HHF, you get a much wider variety of crops. 

Does anyone else have experience with a CSA box that you loved (or hated)? What are some of your favorite fall and winter vegetables and recipes? 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

July Whirlwind: Monsoons and Drawing on Walls

Holy July, Batman!

I'm not sure what happened but July was a whirlwind! Work, fun, travel, sickness, more work - here's a brief tour of all the excitement!

Penguins. Baby penguins. 

Lots of Arbonne meetings and parties with some amazing gals! I have the best team ever! :)

Florida trip with daily monsoons! 

Shopping with the bestie. 


Re-vamped and even-more-my-favorite Star Wars ride at Disney! (This was not the ride, just a prop. But an actual speeder ride would be super cool - take note, people!)

Disney monsoon! The trash cans were blowing down the street and the castle got struck by lightening! We were waiting out the worst in a gift shop.

Rainy Disney afternoon after the lightening subsided - fun!

It's even magical in the rain!

One hour of sun at the beach on the morning I flew home!

Drawing a Paris scene on a friend's wall for her little girl's new Paris-themed room!

La Tour Effiel! 

I finally watched Despicable Me 1 & 2 and now I'm obsessed with these guys. 

I mean, how can you not be? SoDangCute.

Lots MORE Arbonne means packaging more orders - if you're in the Arbonne world watch for this gal's story in your orders - she's my Arbonne kindred spirit and dear friend!

Add to all that doctors visits with my Grandma (we appreciate your prayers - lots of surgeries ahead), helping a friend go through a rough spot, and dog sitting for friends for a week, it's been a crazy July for sure! 

I've also been reading through John Wooden's Leadership Gameplan for Success again - it's such a great book! Here's something encouraging for you to think on today:

"Little things make big things happen. Success is built from the ground up. I showed players how to put on their sweat socks correctly. Small things - laughable to some - are connected to big things such as a national championship. The particulars may differ you and your team, but success is built from the bottom up." - John Wooden

Don't neglect the little things in life - when you focus on doing them correctly, the big things often take care of themselves!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

30 Day Photo Challenge: Day 13

"A good habit"

I'm going to do a little switching around in my theme for today, because I have fresh blueberries! From my yard! When we moved here, there were two dinky blueberry bushes in my back yard, but they didn't yield more than a couple stray berries for the first couple of years. Then, last year they exploded with fruit! I picked this years' first crop earlier this morning. 

I LOVE fruit! I keep my freezer stocked with frozen organic berries and mango year round, along with lots of fresh bananas and apples. Most of it I blend up in my daily protein shakes/smoothies, and I love it! It's a really easy way to sneak in a ton of nutrients and get several servings of your daily fruit and veg requirements in one go. If you need a good protein shake try this one - it's amazing! I like the vanilla because it goes with every mix in (I like to get creative - coffee, pumpkin, whatever I have on hand!), but the chocolate is stellar, too. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

30 Day Photo Challenge: Day 12


I really should be calling this "post 12" instead of "day 12" since I'm spreading this out over June and July now. You get the idea though. 

Yesterday we boated and played until sundown as we conducted some very important Arbonne "business" on our upline's boat - SO fun! It was a great day to be out on the water, and such a fun way to plan and strategize for the coming weeks! I'm thinking we might need to make those "meetings" a regular occurrence. Love it!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

30 Day Photo Challenge: Day 11

"Something Blue" 

As much as I love my Arbonne, I try not to brag about products too much on here. ;) That said, this is the perfect "something blue" summertime post! I used to think I was just doomed to an oily, shiny face all day during our sweltering southern summers. This little blue bottle has totally changed that! It's oil-absorbing lotion with SPF 20, so it keeps me from looking shiny all day while protecting my albino-like skin from sunburn. 

I'm sure we all have products we swear by over the summer - what are your favorites? Do you slather down with sunscreen in the summer or do you go au natural?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

30 Day Photo Challenge: Day 10

"Childhood memory"

Funny story. I went to America's Thrift the other day to look for a skirt, and left with a skirt, eight Barbies, and a Barbie car, for a grand total of $13. (I can't tell you how excited I got when I realized I could buy really nice Barbies dirt cheap there - have you seen how much they want for them these days?) I'm not exactly sure what came over me, but I'm building a small collection of toys for all my friends' kids to play with when they come over, and let's be honest - Barbies have always been my favorite toys. 

Since the dolls came in their birthday suits, I pulled out my box of childhood Barbie supplies so they could go shopping to scrounge up some clothing. 

It's amazing how it's been 20 years but I can still look at each doll even now and remember their name, who gave them to me, and the lives I had made up for them. I got rid of a bunch of Barbies when I decided I was old enough to pack them all away, but I kept several of my favorites. 

This was "Polly Darton" (yep). She has a button in her stomach and if you push it she says "nice outfit" "you look great" and "see you later" (these phrases are now deeply entrenched in my family's lexicon). You can still hear it faintly - impressive batteries! Polly owned a boutique in my Barbie neighborhood filled with tiny plastic shoes and purses. The outfit she's wearing was given to me by my cousin Jennie. She gave me my first Barbie house and accessories; I still remember playing Barbies with Jennie on a blanket under the tree in front of my grandmothers' apartment building. Her hand-me-down Barbie house was an amazingly large 70s model with orange and yellow molded plastic rooms, and I thought it was the Taj Mahal. 

What were your favorite childhood toys? Did you save any of them? 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

30 Day Photo Challenge: Day 9

"Someone you love"

It's a little ridiculous, but it's taken me over a week to get a picture of my husband (and I hate to say it, but you guys probably don't want to see another picture of my dog). He's a hard-working man (everyone go check out his cloth diaper service!), so he leaves before the sun is up and if I have a busy week of parties some nights I don't get home until he's fast asleep. That said, we've settled into a routine and the entrepreneurship lifestyle has become a lot easier! You learn to schedule time with each other in advance, and I wouldn't trade what we get to do for anything.

I also wouldn't trade him for anything! I love him even more than I did when we got married 5 years ago, and we are so very blessed! 

(And the funny faces are nothing new...this was us when we first started dating 6-ish years ago.)

Watermelon, feta, and butter lettuce salad with walnuts and white balsamic.  I love my CSA box.  And not the flippant, I-love-th...