31 January, 2012

Family Christmases

Better late than never right?  I have one more Christmas post after today's and so I'm hoping you're not sick of Christmas yet. Only 11 months til Christmas 2012 :)

We started our Christmas Eve Celebration with Mike's immediate family.  His mom prepared a delicious lunch for us and we spent some time enjoying everyone's company before celebrating with gifts.  We were really blessed with some items we've really been wanting this year!

After a fun afternoon with Mike's family we packed up the car and headed out to Allendale.  First we went to church. Our church has a tradition of doing a "family Christmas" for our Christmas Eve service.  Whoever wants to can participate, whether sharing a song, poem, story, or Bible Verse.  Our church was decorated beautifully for Christmas!
After the church service we headed over to my parent's house for our family celebration.  This year was extra special because my Grandma (from Canada) was with us!

My parents have finally collected enough snowmen and Santas to line their stairs!  I love how it looks. 

I also love this table full of food.  Oh my!  Looking at all the deliciousness is making me hungry again!  We enjoyed spinach artichoke dip, homemade bread, bacon & mozzarella bread, a cheese/meat/cracker tray, cheeseburger pizza wedges, and some sweet treats.  I love our appetizer tradition!
Mom sent Mike and I on a treasure hunt for one of our gifts--a storage cube/foot rest.  We've wanted one for a while.  Mike thought it made a good pillow :)
My Dad's mom made the cross-stitched pillowcase he's holding.  She passed away a few years ago so memories of her are very precious!  My mom surprised my dad by framing the pillowcase for him.  Isn't it beautiful?

30 January, 2012

Friend Makin' Monday: Makeup Favorites

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: Makeup Favorites

1.Do you wear makeup everyday? Sunday through Thursday, yes!  Friday and Saturday it depends on if I'm doing anything or just staying home all day.
2.Does your routine change if you’re going out with friends/on a date/to a party? If so, how? A little bit.  I typically put on eyeliner and maybe a little blush in addition to what I usually wear.
3.Are you loyal to one brand, or do you use different brands for different things? 95% of the makeup in my drawer is Avon.
4.Do you wear primer/concealer? If so, what’s your favorite kind? I don't wear primer very often, but when I do it's Magix.  I wear concealer almost everyday and I use Healthy Makeup Concealer.
5.What’s your favorite brand of foundation? I love the Smooth Minerals powder foundation from Avon.
6.Do you use blush and/or bronzer? If so, what’s your favorite kind? I rarely use blush because I don't need it and I'm not good at applying bronzer so I don't use that.  When I use blush I use the Smooth Minerals blush.
7.Do you wear eye shadow/eye liner? If so, what’s your favorite kind? (Are you liking the theme here? ) I wear eye shadow almost every day, and eye liner just for special occasions.  I can't find my favorite eye shadow anymore so I'm really dreading when it runs out.  (It's a roll on shimmery silver).  I love the new Glimmersticks eyeliner.
8.What’s your favorite kind of mascara? Once again, an Avon product (are you surprised?)  My favorite mascara is Supershock in Navy.

9.Lipstick? Lip gloss? Both? Favorite? Neither!  I use only lip balm :)
10.Do you wear nail polish regularly? If so, share a few of your favorite brands/colors. My toes are almost always painted, but my fingernails rarely are.  My go-to brand is Avon's Nailwear Pro and my favorite colors for my toes are Tropical Punch and Fuchsia.
11.How do you remove your makeup at the end of the day? Water and my regular face scrub.
12.Do you feel prettier when you’re wearing makeup? Yes, definitely.
13.Do you have any beauty tips that you could pass along? I really believe less is more.  I love the natural just woke up look and prefer it over cakey bright makeup.

24 January, 2012

Just my luck...

I still have 2 more posts about Christmas to share, but I thought I'd take a quick break to share more current news! 

You might remember that I don't have very good luck with cars, from breakdowns to accidents (those are just 2 examples), I've had more than my fair share of car issues.  Last Spring Mike and I decided it was time to get rid of my Stratus (we were putting way too much money into it!) and buy a more reliable vehicle.  We decided to buy a Saturn Vue, thinking it would last a few years and when our family grows, the Vue would provide ample room.

Unfortunately, my bad luck continued and in December we found out the Vue needed a new transmission.  Because of the kind of transmission, it was going to cost over $5,500 to get it fixed!  We spent a lot of time in prayer and talking about our options and decided that we would get rid of the Vue and buy a truck.  We planned on buying a truck in the future, but not for a couple more years.  We were able to trade in the Vue and 2 weeks ago, Mike got his dream truck--a 2008 Dodge Ram.  We both love it and are thrilled with  our purchase.

I got Mike's old car and we though we'd be all set for a while.  Little did we know...

On Thursday, I got up with Mike and headed to the gym when he left for work.  Same thing that happens every day.  Driving though our subdivision, I thought about how slick it was and the wind and snow were really blowing hard.  It was difficult to see, but I know that it's often worse in our subdivision than on the main roads.  I figured I would get onto the main road and if it was too bad, I'd turn around and go home.  It's about a 15 minute drive to the gym and I didn't want to drive that far in bad weather. 

I pulled out of the subdivision and got about 2 houses down when I saw a SUV swerving down the road.  He was heading right for me and I immediately knew that he was going to hit me.  I thought maybe I could avoid a head on collision by going off the road and into someone's front yard.  Too late though, I heard a sickening crunch and the airbags blew up in my face.  The other driver pulled his car off to the side of the road (still driveable--of course!) and I got out to see what happened. 

And this is what I saw:


I called Mike right away, and he had just gotten to work.  He turned around immediately and came to the scene.  He arrived just before the police officer.  The other driver got a ticket for going faster than conditions allow.  A tow truck came and had to wench my car out of the ditch. 

We found out on Monday that the damage would cost nearly $10,000 to fix and so the car is totalled.  Unfortunately we took full coverage insurance off my car when we bought the truck.  We'll file for the $500 mini tort claim from the guy who hit me and probably scrap this car.  We're really sad as we both loved the Grand Am.  Now we're in the market for another car.  We're hoping to just find something real cheap right now as it's all we can afford. 
I was still pretty shaken up and getting sore, so I didn't go in to work on Thursday.  I spent the majority of the day on the couch.  I did have pretty good company though! 

23 January, 2012

Friend Makin' Monday: Short Answers

It's Monday!  I will share details about my (not-so) exciting weekend later this week, but for now, it's Friend Makin' Monday time!  Please join in on the fun :)

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: Short Answers

Mac or PC? PC
Do you paint your own nails? Yes, but only my toes.  I can't stand the weight of the polish on my fingernails.
Beach or mountains? Beach!

What’s the title of the book you’re currently reading? The Help--just started it!
Do you dance? Not in public.
CNN or Fox News? I really don't care either way!
Do you ride a bicycle? Yes, when the weather is nice.

Do you get a yearly flu shot? Yes
Best movie you’ve seen in 2012? Mission Impossible
Do you prefer to workout at home or at the gym? The gym.  I feel like I get a better workout there.

Last airport you were in? Grand Rapids, on the way home from our honeymoon.
Married or single? Happily married

iPhone or Android? Android
Do you prefer to be in pictures or taking pictures? Taking pictures.
Favorite brand of sneakers? Mizuno.
Do you like snow? Sometimes, but I get sick of it pretty quick!
Do you have/want to have kids? Definitely want.

Summer or Winter? Summer!
Do you know how to swim? Yes.
Do you prefer to shop in store or online? Online--you don't have to deal with other customers!

17 January, 2012

Christmas in Canada

I'm still playing catch up with sharing about our Christmas!  January isn't over yet, so I hope it's not too late to continue sharing about our holidays.  I've had trouble uploading pictures lately, it will appear like the pictures are uploading but once they're all done, they disappear!  I tried uploading about 10 pictures for my next post and poof!  all gone :(

Anyway, as I shared earlier, we got to go to Canada for our family Christmas party this year.  We spent Friday in Toronto, and then Saturday the whole family came to my Grandma's house for the party.  After enjoying some snacks, we started in on the gifts. 

Grandma's mailbox has been in need of serious repair for years.  My Uncle and his family made this beautiful new mailbox for her.  She was so thrilled!
These gifts were for the adult gift exchange we do.  We draw numbers to choose a gift and then someone can steal that gift from you.  We always have a lot of fun playing it and it's interesting to see which gifts get stolen a lot!

After gifts we all headed downstairs for dinner.  Everyone brought something and we had lots of food!  We ended the evening by singing Christmas Carols around the table (our family tradition).

We had a great time and I'm so glad we were able to go see everyone!

11 January, 2012

My Heart

Will beat 110,972 times, pump 1,628 gallons of blood, and push that blood nearly 10,311 miles throughout my body!
Created by
Created by
I calculated this by entering my personal info (height, weight, and exercise) into a calculator.  Give it a try!

Today, my heart will pump around 1,628 gallons (6,154 liters) of blood

In my lifetime, my heart will pump 1.2 million barrels of blood
(that's the equivalent of 3 supertankers)

My body contains about 2 gallons (7 liters) of blood

This blood circulates through my body 3 times a minute

My blood travels around 10,311 miles a day (16,590 km)
(roughly halfway around the circumference of the earth)

If I make a fist with my hand, my heart is about this size
(A whale's heart is roughly 400 times this size)

My entire cardiovascular system, if laid from end to end, is over 38,667 miles (62,215 km) long!
(that's long enough to wrap around the world more than twice)

My heart beats approximately 110,972 times a day
(by the time I die, my heart will have beat more than 2.5 billion times)

09 January, 2012

Friend Makin' Mondays: Getting to Know You

Can you believe it's Monday already? This weekend seemed to just fly by!  And now it's back to the daily grind...and regular work weeks.  And of course it's Monday, so that means Friend Makin' Monday!  (I haven't participated for the past few weeks, but hopefully I'm back at it now!)

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: Getting To Know You

1) What is one of your favorite ways to spend a Saturday? I would love to have a Saturday that I could stay in my PJ's and do whatever sounded good all day.  Nothing to be done, just relaxing and spending time with Mike.  It's been a long time since we've done that!

2) List your top three favorite TV shows. NCIS, Criminal Minds, White Collar.

3) Would you rather be in pictures or take them? I love taking pictures!

4) Why do you blog? I blog as a journal.  I don't keep a normal journal, so anything interesting goes on my blog.  I'd like to get it printed out by the year, so I have a scrapbook of sorts to look back on!

5) Share five websites that you visit regularly…
~ Facebook
~ Twitter
~ Pinterest
~ Google Reader
~ Hotmail
6) If you could have lunch with one person from your Twitter list who would it be? Karen Kingsbury!
7) List a few of your favorite snacks. Right now I'm absolutely loving "ants on a log" (celery with peanut butter and raisins), but I also like graham crackers with peanut butter, apples, and clementines.

8 ) Do you have a pet? Yes!  My puppy Champ, he's a Labrador Retriever/Husky.

9) Which three material possessions would you struggle to live without? phone, computer, work-out, I depend way too much on technology!

10) What’s your favorite drink? Peach nectar

11) Do you enjoy cooking? I love cooking!  That's why I have a food blog :)

12) Do you have children? No, but someday!

13) What are your favorite hobbies? Cooking, baking, reading, painting
14) Would you consider yourself to be shy or outgoing? It really depends on who I'm with, but I'm probably more outgoing than shy.

15) If you could change one thing about yourself, what would you change?  My splotchy skin lol

16) Who is your favorite actor/actress? I like Reese Witherspoon and Jason Statham.

17) What’s the coolest thing you’ve done this week? Considering that it's Monday, I suppose working out was the highlight of my day!

18) Do you live near your family or far from them? Near my immediate family and Mike's (and his extended). Far from my extended family.
19) List three of your talents. Cooking, baking, leadership
20) What is your greatest attribute? If I say I'm going to accomplish something, I do it!  (With the exception of cleaning lol...ask Mike!)

Now it’s your turn to share your answers. Don’t forget to go link up in the comments! Happy Monday!

05 January, 2012


I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year's celebration. Mike and I were blessed to be able to spend time with both of our families, and our extended families.  Our Christmas celebration kicked off with a trip to Canada for the Christmas party on my mom's side.  We were able to go a day early and decided it would be fun to go downtown Toronto (Mike had never been!).  We convinced my Grandma to join us, so my parents, brother, Grandma, and Mike and I enjoyed a fabulous day downtown. 

We took the GO Train from Whitby to Toronto.  From there we decided to walk around a bit.  We went to the CN tower (below) as well as a stadium.
Walking around caused us to work up an appetite so we had to find a place to go for lunch.  We all voted to try something new, so we went to an Arab restaurant.  It was absolutely delicious!  We got a fabulous deal (sandwich and salad for like $5.99!)

I started with a tabouli salad.  I'd never had tabouli before and I was impressed. 
The star of the show was the Shawarma I ordered.  It was out of this world delicious!
Mike also had a salad...tomatoes with cabbage and tabouli.
After lunch, we continued our tour.  We ventured over to the city center and saw this beautiful Christmas tree.  We had to have our picture taken of course!
The next stop was the Eaton center.  I wanted to go to Lululemon and H&M since we don't have those stores close to us.  It was fun to be part of all the excitement in the mall.
Our last event of the day was a subway ride.  We had no destination, just wanted the experience.  Of course it just happened to be the busy part of the day, but that just added to the fun.

We had a ton of fun in Toronto.  I have pictures of our family party to share later--don't want to go into picture overload!
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