Monday, March 31, 2014

Wives and Lovers: A Little Bit of {Wisdom}

I don't usually make it a practice to get marriage advice from pop music but there is no denying that this incredible standard "Wives and Lovers" (written in 1963) contains some pretty wise counsel to every wife who cares about her marriage.  The first time I ever heard this song it almost blew my mind! I couldn't believe how much music had changed over the years.  If someone tried to publish and record this song today, they would probably be labeled as a antifeminist bigot and banned from the radio. Seriously!!  But in reality, this song shows how important a wife's role is in keeping romance alive in a marriage.  It portrays wives as being valued, loved, and desired.  It challenges a wife very straightforwardly to care about her appearance and put effort into being attractive for her husband. What woman wouldn't want to be all this and more for her hunk of a man?!

Below is my favorite version of this song being sung by Frank Sinatra.  You really can't argue with these lyrics, ladies!

"Wives And Lovers"
(originally by Jack Jones)

Hey, little girl
Comb your hair, fix your make-up
Soon he will open the door
Don't think because
There's a ring on your finger
You needn't try any more

For wives should always be lovers, too
Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you
I'm warning you

Day after day
There are girls at the office
And men will always be men
Don't send him off
With your hair still in curlers
You may not see him again

For wives should always be lovers, too
Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you
He's almost here

Hey, little girl
Better wear something pretty
Something you'd wear to go to the city
And dim all the lights
Pour the wine, start the music
Time to get ready for love

Oh, time to get ready,
Time to get ready
Time to get ready
For love.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Low-Maintenance {Terrariums}

Last summer I planted terrariums not really knowing what to expect but ended up really loving the results. They were beautiful. But they began to become difficult to maintain.  They actually grew amazingly well.  Too well. I couldn't keep them trimmed without them looking like I had just taken an axe to them. Also, the style of the jars made it difficult to keep them looking clean. As sad as I was to see my living succulents replaced by faux plants, I made the switch.

I took a trip to Hobby Lobby and found some extremely realistic looking faux succulents. They were a little pricey, but I only needed a few.  I already had a large supply of moss at home so I was good there.  Lastly, I purchased some smooth river stones to add some more texture to the jars.  Now I have the "look" without the maintenance. Close enough for me.  I absolutely love the way they bring a bit of nature into my dining room. Gorgeous colors!

Linking to:
Skip To My Lou
Sew Can Do
Mad in Crafts
Keeping It Simple Crafts
Say Not Sweet Anne
Creating My Way to Success
Uncommon Designs
Tip Junkie
Ginger Snap Crafts
Someday Crafts
Polkadots on Parade
Lady Behind the Curtain

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Snack of the Month: Trader Joe's Contemplate Inner {Peas}

Any HEALTHY snack that tricks my tastebuds into thinking they are one of my favorite UNHEALTHY snacks instantly goes on my best friends list.  Trader Joe's, being the awesome brand that they are, really outdid themselves in my book with their Contemplates Inner Peas.  Made from whole green peas, this snack tastes very much like a certain other crunchy, cheesy snack.  You guessed it - Cheetos! Seriously!! With just a hint of salt, Inner Peas are the perfect "healthier choice," although their yummy goodness makes it pretty much impossible to not gobble up the whole bag.  (I think my husband is still bitter about coming home and finding ours "all et up.") So wanna know what's inside?

Ingredients: whole green peas, canola oil, rice, salt, calcium carbonate, ascorbyl palmitate (vitamin C)

Serving Size: 1 oz 
Per serving: calories 130 ~ total fat 4.5g ~ sat fat 0.5g ~ trans fat 0g ~ sodium 50mg ~ carbs 17g ~ fiber 4g ~ sugars less than 1g ~ protein 5g

And with the price tag of only $1.49 for a 3.3oz bag, I'm not sure how the deal could get any sweeter. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Reading the {Anne} Series

After recently lending my Anne series to a friend, I was drawn in once again by L.M. Montgomery's red-headed heroine's powerful charm.  I just had to pick up these books and read them through again. I've just begun Anne's House of Dreams and my own memories as a newlywed come flooding back.  There is just something about Anne that I think every girl can relate to in no matter what stage of life she finds herself.  Maybe it's Anne's knack for always finding trouble or her endless daydreaming and optimism.   I think what I love most about Anne is that she allows herself, after many difficult lessons learned, to let go of her "ideals" as she looks around her and realizes what is truly important in her life.  Her dreams evolve over the years and she steps out of her fairytale and into reality seeing that this was what she truly longed for all along.  Wow, can I ever relate to that! The Lord has a very interesting and wonderful way of showing me that my plans are NOT always (actually, rarely) the best for me.  If I would only learn to surrender the FIRST time, I would make things so much easier for myself and my husband. 

I didn't intend for this to become a sermon, but there really is so much that I've learned from Dear Anne.  

I own a lovely Anne series that my mom passed down to me. Thanks, Mom! I love owning these books and being able to pick them up whenever I choose.  There are a host of beautifully illustrated Anne books out there that I never realized were available. Wouldn't exchange mine for any other these, but I still think these are "divinely beautiful!"

I kind of cheated with this one.  It's an ebook cover, but I couldn't pass it up.

Looking for your own set of Anne book?  Check out

And finally, I would like to leave you with some words of wisdom from Anne Shirley herself:

“It's been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.” 
― L.M. MontgomeryAnne of Green Gables

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Beginnings of an {Herb} Garden

I absolutely can't wait for these little babies to mature so I can put my new herb garden together.  This year I'm going with an indoor garden for the sake of easy access.  I'm super excited to show you what I've come up with.  No spoilers! Sorry! So far I've planted dill, sweet basil, cilantro, and oregano. A friend gave me some chives and coriander that I also plan on growing.  Not sure how I will use the coriander yet (suggestions?).

So what is your favorite herb and why?  Any good recipes I should try these out on? 
Would love to hear any ideas you all may have. Happy almost spring!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Five Things I Reach for When I Get the {Munchies}

We've all experienced it.  You're watching your favorite television show when suddenly every actor on the screen is grabbing a back of potato chips and chowing down or tossing handfuls of M&Ms in their mouth.  The feeling that follows is almost unbearable. The gnawing, nagging sensation that tells your brain you MUST have a snack or you will perish!!  You aren't really hungry but the urge is very real and very present. Please, please don't reach for the bag of Oreos.  I try my best not to eat carbs after 7:00 PM and since most of my snackish cravings happen in the late evening, even foods like gluten-free, organic pita chips are out of the question.  Here are five healthy alternatives that help me cut through those intense cravings and leave me feeling like I've won a tiny little battle in the great big war of healthy eating.

  1. Baby Carrots:  When I get the munchies, I actually want to MUNCH DOWN on something. Carrots are the perfect juicy, crunchy snack full of vitamins and low in calories.  You may be saying, "When I get a craving, veggies are NOT something I reach for." Believe me, eventually you will if you just give these bite-sized babies a chance.  Try dipping them in hummus or almond butter to add a little flavor.  They are my number one go-to snack. Update 3/12/14: Some very supportive friends kindly reminded me of some of the concerns surrounding the production of baby carrots.  I have done some research myself in the past and am not concerned.  However, you may want to do your own research just for your own peace of mind.

  2. Raw Almonds: Almonds are an amazing source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber and really help me stay feeling full. I stick to raw or dry roasted instead of salted or oven roasted (they could be roasted in oils). They are low in calories and fat per serving compared to most other nuts. Just remember to eat these little bits of yumminess in moderation.

  3. Bananas: Bananas are another food that help me feel full quickly.  They also help kick that nasty empty taste out of my mouth.  When my sweet tooth gets out of control, bananas are the answer. You can also add a little almond butter to beef this snack up a bit. 

  4. String Cheese: Let's add one more food group to the mix.  Go ahead and admit it.  You love the fact that there is an adult snack out there that makes playing with your food socially acceptable. Just try to resist reaching back into the fridge for a second stick : )

  5. My Toothbrush: Um…well…not technically a food but it's almost better.  I will have to admit that my toothbrush is NOT the item I reach for the most often, thus its #5 standing.  But it literally works like a magic wand when it comes to cravings.  Can't explain why but a fresh, clean, minty mouth takes all food cravings away. It really does. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

It's {Spring} at the Leland Home

Winter has put up a good fight, but spring is making some headway.   

The spring has sprung, the grass is rizz. I wonder where them birdies is?
- Winnie the Pooh

Saturday, March 1, 2014

{Quinoa} Pasta with Spinach and Shrimp

I'm writing this post trying to ward off the feeling that a perpetual rain cloud is hovering over my head. Yesterday, I was experiencing the highest of highs as I laid a big welcome-home kiss on my husband outside international customs while we tried our best not to recreate a sappy scene from any number of epic chick flicks.  We failed. It was glorious and I won't lie and say that I didn't feel like we were on our honeymoon again after being apart for longer than any two people who are head over heels for each other should be. Then this morning I kissed him again, but this time to say goodbye as he flew off (in a plane. he left his cape at home.) for a week of training. And what do I say to that as I wipe away the proverbial crocodile tear?  Let's go shopping!! Hey, it's the first of the month and we need groceries.   Just so happens that a Target trip is overdue.  They sell groceries, right?  : )  Need I say more? So those are my plans for the day.  That and to pick up my little monster who is being doggysat by some amazing friends.  Thanks, Josh and Sarah! 

As I push away my rain cloud, let me tell you about Quinoa (pronounced ke-nwa).  This superfood is amazingly good for you and is quick and easy to prepare.  Read about some of its incredible health benefits here at MindBodyGreen.  My husband and I have been eating Quinoa for years now, but only about a year ago did I discover that it came in pasta form.  What?!!!  Seriously.  

Here is a little dish I put together a few nights ago that I will definitely be adding to my menu more often: Quinoa Past with Spinach and Shrimp.  You are getting double fiber in this recipe with the quinoa and spinach together.  Bonus!  Then double up the protein with the quinoa and shrimp. Bonus again!

This recipe is for one serving so multiply accordingly.

What you'll need:
  • 2 oz quinoa rotelle pasta
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 oz precooked shrimp
  • 1 handful of raw spinach
  • seasoned salt to taste (just a little)
  1. Cook pasta according to instruction.  
  2. While waiting for pasta to cook, boil shrimp in saucepan with 1 cup of water until the shrimp are somewhat clear.  Don't overcook or they will be tough.  Drain, pull of tails, and sprinkle with seasoning salt. 
  3. Add spinach to shrimp and cook until wilted.  Set aside.
  4. Drain pasta and toss with lemon juice.  
  5. Add spinach and shrimp to pasta and there you have it!!

Nutritional Info

Serving Size: 1 
Calories: 322
Fat: 3.1g
Carbs: 47.1g
Fiber: 5.7g
Protein: 26.9g

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