Monday, January 31, 2011

Book Review: Fame Series 4 & 5

I have completed the last two books of the Firstborn Series, Family and Forever.  Both books held my attention and wrapped up the saga of Dayne Baxter and Katy Hart.  The end of the last book opened up for the next set of books in the series - The Sunrise Series.

So here's where we are on the count:

1. Radical by David Platt
2. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
3 - 9: The Narnia Series
10 - 14:  The Firstborn Series
15 - 17: The Hunger Game Trilogy

I have added some new books to the list:
18: Incendiary by Chris Cleave
19: Class by Jane Beaton
20-23: The Sunrise Series by Karen Kingsbury
24: Jane Eyre

In January, I completed 5 books.  I think I will be on my way to meeting my goal of 24 books this year.

How is your reading coming along?  I love to hear what's been grabbing your attention lately...
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Sunday, January 30, 2011

You've been accepted...

...now what?
Before Christmas, Benjamin took his National Board Exam, one of the many tests to take so that he can become a licensed dentist.  I am proud to report that he passed with flying colors!  Benjamin started his final semester at Baylor Dental.  This semester includes completing all of the cases he has been working on while wrapping up requirements to graduate, fulfilling duties on the Dean search committee and student government while preparing to take the WREB exam.

What is WREB?  This is the final step in the licensing procedure.  It is a 3 day hand skills test that he must pass in order to graduate.  Anyone taking WREB has to find patients and an assistant.  God has been faithful to provide one solid patient by the way of my co-worker Andrew.  (Hi Andrew!)  We are still praying for the second patient.  This exam is the weekend of April 15th.  After his exam, Benjamin more than likely be done with all patient work and will be able to help me with house stuff until his big day on May 20th!

I turned in my notice to The Web and my last day is scheduled to be April 1st.  An opportunity has come up at The Web and currently, Benjamin and I are praying about God's direction.  Once I become a stay at home wifie, my main duties will be to get the house ready to sell and to start cleaning out/boxing up our belongings as well as keeping Lulu company!

What about housing and moving to Houston?  We have decided to live down around the school for two years to experience a different side of Houston.  We are hoping to rent a house since our time there will be shorter.  We have a few leads on some really outstanding opportunities and look forward to seeing how God is going to work it all out.  We will start looking for a place in March and are shooting to list our house in April.

Orthodontic residency starts June 27th!

While we know that we have a lot to do between now and then, Benjamin and I are making the most of every moment we have here in Dallas.

Here are some things that we will be praying for and would love for you to join with us:

  • That Benjamin is able to find the last patient for the WREB exam and that he would feel prepared and not overwhelmed.  
  • That we have wisdom in how to approach the opportunity at The Web.
  • That we would find the best housing arrangement for us where we can be used to build relationships with those around us.
  • That our house would be sold in perfect timing.
We are still rejoicing in the fact that we are indeed attending Ortho school!

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Project 52: Week 4

Week four already?!
Clockwise: My sweet husband.  Croc A. Dilly - our new work friend.  Sweet save the date from Noah and Salem.  Hubby in his work shop.  Lulu enjoying the fabulous weather!

Until next week...
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

You read it here first, folks!

Today, Valerie, the sweet wife of my friend Andrew, sent a link to Matchbook Magazine for me to check out with instructions to look at page 64.  When I did, this is what I saw:

WHAT?!  How crazy!  Not even a month ago I wrote about Warby Parker and how awesometown they are!  You saw it here first, folks!

Thank you to everyone who voted on which glasses you thought I should purchase.  Tonight I placed my order!  I decided to go with my option 1 and option two for the time being.  Since the glasses are so well priced, I may purchase another pair in a month or two!

I hope that you have checked out Warby Parker and will consider trying some on!  In the mean time, check out Matchbook Mag and all the coolness they offer.
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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Quick Chicken Dinner

I made this for the first time last Monday.  Benjamin and I both agree that it will become a regular in the line up!

Ingredients
chicken breasts
2 eggs beaten
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
pinch of salt
pepper, dried basil & oregano
4 Tbs of butter
1/2 cup of white wine

Directions
Trim chicken and dry chicken with paper towel.  Dip the chicken into flour, then the egg.  I have oregano and basil in the same shaker, so I seasoned the chicken and then dipped into the parmesan cheese.
Put chicken into a skillet and fry until both sides of the chicken is brown.  While this is happening, preheat your oven to 350.  Once the chicken is browned, put into a pan and cook for 25-30 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, create a sauce with the wine and butter.  Add flour to the sauce to thicken. I cut the chicken in half after the 30 minutes to make sure that it had been cooked all the way through.
Serve on rice and enjoy!
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Monday, January 24, 2011

Book Review: The Fame Series 1-3

For Easter last year my mom gave me the first few books in a series written by Karen Kingsbury.  The series was call the Redemption Series.  It's a series of five books that documents the adventures and spiritual journey of the Baxter family.  These books are addicting in the sense that you want to know the outcome of the saga.  I wrapped up the books and was ready for the next series - the Firstborn Series which continues the story of the Baxter family.

For Christmas I received the first two books, Fame and Forgiven.  Last week I started the first book and was captured by the story of Dayne Matthews and his journey to discovering himself and allowing Jesus to work in his life.
These stories capture my imagination and I just can't get enough - so within the past week I completed both books!  Upon m finishing the second book, my sweet husband popped onto Amazon and ordered the next three books in the series.  They arrived Friday while I was away.  When I got home Saturday, Benjamin was still at Baylor so I grabbed book three, Found, plopped down on the couch with my sweet Lu and electric blanket... next thing I know I'm three quarters the way through the book!  Sunday after lunch I was able to finish the book in time to give my complete attention to the Steelers v. Jet game!

So far the count is up to four books completed in January...I think I'll meet my 24 in 2011!  How is your reading coming along?
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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Shop Around: Crayons

Anyone who knows me would say that I do not fear color.  The walls in my house are brightly painted.  My desk at work is a happy mish-mash of colors and my wardrobe is the opposite of drab.

I love colors!  And who makes more colors than Crayola Crayons?  In my browsing I came across the items below and just had to share:

How cute are these crayon rings?  They are actual crayons molded into the shape of rings!  There are eight colors to choose from and they are found here at fredflare.com for only $12 a piece.
For all of the Lego lovers in your life, you can purchase Lego Brick crayons.  For $7.95, you get a set of 9 in fun colors!
With Valentine's Day just around the corner, both of these provide a fun way to tell your special sweetie how much they color your life!
photos from Fred Flare and LilDoodlers Shop
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Here They Come!!

That's right folks!!  The Steelers are going to the SUPERBOWL!!
If anyone wants to give us tickets, we would be glad to take them off of your hands!
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Project 52: Week 3

As I was putting together this week's photos, I realized I did not take a single photo of my visit with Salem!  I think I was a little off my game for this week...  but here we are:
Clockwise: Julia Baker Hazelnut Chocolate from Cambria Cove - Yes, it was delicious!  Little Lulu snuggled up in her happy place!  Conner and Andrew sporting their awesome blanket/ponchos from Intel.  Stylin'.

Until next week...
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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Project 52: Week 2

Week two was a week dominated by snow for us here in North Dallas!  I turn into a kid every time I am around snow.  I cannot help myself.  I just get giddy with excitement and start chunking snowballs!  Some of these may look familiar, but they are my favorites out of the over 120 that were taken!

Clockwise: Lulu and I enjoying the warmth of our new electric blanket!  It's her new favorite place to be in the evenings.  Homemade donuts.  Bailey Bear eating snow. Sweet Lulu.  The Beazleys.  My oil + water project.  Hubs and I in front of a snow covered Allen house.

Until next week...
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Book Review: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Net

Friday night I stayed up late in order to finish the last book in the Millennium trilogy.  Boy, am I glad that's over.  I enjoyed the first book the most, then second book was okay and then this book was just too long.  At least I have closure on the characters and the series.  Have any of you read the series?  What are your thoughts?

One book down, only 23 more to go!

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Oil + Water + Color

About a week ago, Pioneer Woman had an article in her photography section where one of her contributors had a photo shoot in her bathroom sink with water, baby oil and food coloring.  Her photos were colorful and fun so I thought I would give it a try!

Here is the final products of my afternoon of playing in the sink:

Hot pink bubbles of oil!
I added a little bit too much baby oil...  There's tons of swirly motions going on!  Benjamin said this one reminds him of skin.  Lovely.
This reminds me of water somewhere exotic and warm!
The Blue Thing is coming to take over!!

Hello Sunshine!  By this time I learned how to make the oil bubble predominant.
I love kermits: Kermit the Frog, kermit flowers and kermit green!
I could just stare at these photos for hours and get lost in imaging floating in the water!  How about you? Will you try this fun photo challenge?
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Black & Gold

Who ruled the field tonight at Heinz field?

AFC Playoffs, here we come!!
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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

My husband adores anything mint chocolate.  Andes mints, thin mint cookies, mint chocolate chip ice cream.  In fact, his groom's cake was mint chocolate.  It went with the theme of his cake.
The unfortunate side of that story is Benjamin didn't even get to eat any of it on our wedding day.  Perhaps a certain someone's graduation cake will be mint chocolate....?

When I came across this recipe I knew I would earn major awesome-wifie points.  And I did!

1 pouch Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix
1/2 cup of butter
1/2 teaspoon mint extract
6-8 drops of green food color
1 egg
1 cup of creme de menthe chips*
1 cup of chocolate chips*

*At holiday time Nestle put out a mixed bag of dark chocolate & mint chips.  These work as substitutes for these items.

Mix all dry ingredients together.  Then slowly add the chips to the batter.
Scoop teaspoon sized drops of dough onto a cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes.

Then enjoy the choco-minty sensation of eating the cookies!  My dad said that with these cookies you could enjoy dessert AND freshen your breath!
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Monday, January 10, 2011

Meal Planning Monday

Can you believe that the first full week of January is over?!  Time sure does fly...

Monday:  Quick Chicken, rice and veggies
Tuesday: Pizza Porkchops
Wednesday:  Which Wich with Vintage
Thursday:  Leftovers Night
Friday:  Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I heart snow

I had heard rumblings that snow was a-comin' to North Dallas.  On Saturday I checked my Weather Channel app at least 6 times getting updates and affirmation that such rumblings were true.  That night I charged my camera battery.

I awoke to sounds of precipitation falling on the house only to find that it was merely rain.  "That's okay," I thought, "it's not supposed to snow until 2p anyways."  After church, we walked outside of the sanctuary only to see massive, white flakes dancing around in flurries outside of the windows!  I had to retrain myself from skipping to the car.  I did however throw a snowball at Benjamin, who ducked, causing the ball to land on a neighboring car.

Once we arrived at home, we quickly bundled up.  Including Lulu.
Benjamin went out first so that he could capture Lulu and I bounding across the snow in our exuberance!
I love my little snow puppy!
And my snow hubby! Who is a lover, not a fighter.

Samantha, Ben and Bailey came over to frolic in the snow.  It was Bailey's first time in the snow!


And since this is the last year we are in Dallas, which equates to the last year of living somewhere it snows, one last snap of the Crazy Cozads in front of our Allen house with snow.
Remember how earlier I said that Benjamin was a lover and not a fighter...  I take it back.

Boy put me in the snow.  Picked me up and dumped me in the snow.

Good thing I love snow!
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Project 52: Week 1

I came across a lot of people who were part of the 365 project in 2010 and it intrigued me.  Anyone who knows me knows that I love taking photos.  Our lives are currently backed-up and organized in multiple hard drives.  My sweet husband told me that he would by 100 hard drives to store our memories as long as I feel like I want to take pictures of anything and everything.

And so I do.

What I am not great at is taking pictures every day.  And to be honest, I think if I started out doing the 365 project and then skipped a day, I would get sad and just stop.  So my husband, in all of his wisdom, said that I should call this my Project 52 - 52 weeks of pictures.  That I can do.

So in all of it's glory, here is the first week of the year in photos!

Clockwise:  Benjamin in my cookie monster hat being just that...a cookie monster.  Lulu observing Rock Band awesomeness.  Andrew ripped his shirt on Monday.  Fabulous cupcake for product training from Cambria Cove.  Lulu and her fancy collar and tags.  Noah, Salem, me and Benjamin at ICE!

Are you a more of a Project 365 or a Project 52 person?
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