Monday, March 26, 2012

Happy Birthday, Daddy

Dear Daddy-

Oh joyous day, it's your Birthday! Words cannot begin to describe how thankful I am for you. You've been instrumental in every single area of my life. From my love of fishing, to my understanding of hard math problems, even to my grey hairs, I think of some of my strengths and can't help but realize that a lot of them came straight from you. You've shown me a perfect picture of a loving father who didn't spoil me or give me false confidences, but graciously showed me that things were never outside of my reach. You taught me to work hard and that I wasn't only working hard because it was the right thing to do, but that I should work hard at everything I do in order to honor our God. You and I both know that I was the rotten child, but you showed me grace and mercy over and over again. Thank you so much for demonstrating the love that our Father has for his children in a practical way. You make it seem easy. I thank Jesus for your life each and every day. 

Love you.

P.S. We need to take more pictures together. :)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Beauty Pick: My Top Five Favorite Perfumes

As I was getting ready this morning, I spritzed on some perfume and thought.. "ahhh, I love this smell". Which eventually led to what I'm doing now, sharing my favorite Perfumes. Enjoy! (In no particular order, except #1!)

1. Jivago 24k by Ilano Jivago

  • Not in the most beautiful bottle, but hands down I get more compliments when I wear this. It's wonderful and worth the money. Good for anytime of the year. 

2. Bright Crystal by Versace

  • perfect flowery scent for the summer!
3. The Beat by Burberry
  • a slightly muskier smell for the fall. This one was a gift from my sister-in-law and I love it! Perfect for wear during the day!

4. Alien by Thierry Mugler
  • Wasn't a huge fan of the way this one smells when I first bought it, but it definitely grew on me and I love it! Again, another one I get a ton of compliments on!

5. Laugh by Brighton
  • This is the only one listed that I don't own anymore. I wore this one back in high school and throughout college. I love when anyone else around me wears it because I can smell it immediately! Another plus on this one... in perfume terms, it's relatively cheap!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lowfat Oatmeal-Banana-Apple Muffins

Tried these little babies out last weekend and they were a win. Not only were they delicious, but guilt-free and healthy! Not to mention, with the apple and banana in the muffin, they stay super moist! Everyone who has tried them commented on how delicious they were.

Why I'm a fan: Healthy, Delicious, Not overly sweet like a ton of muffins can be, Filling.

Makes about one dozen.

Mix together and set aside:

1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 cup flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Beat together until fluffy:

2 eggs
4 tbsp vegetable oil
6 tbsp sugar

Blend in:

2/3 cup milk

Fold in the dry ingredients and when the flour is almost incorporated fold in:

1 cup mashed ripe banana
1 cup grated apple (approximately one large apple)

Do not over mix. Fold in only until the fruit is mixed through the batter.
Spoon into greased or paper lined muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 -25 minutes (**Mine only took 20 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Rainy Days

The recent rainy days have taken me back to my trip with Gregory to Seattle last April.

 I conveniently had a Canon 5D on loan from my photography class that I took on a whim. Miss it. But more importantly, I fell in love with this beautiful city. Really trying to figure out how we can get back there in the very near future. Enjoy.

Another Beauty Trick that Really Works

So if there is one beautification thing that I hate doing, its bleaching my teeth. Okay, that's a lie. I also hate blow-drying my hair, waiting for painted nails to dry, etc. Anyways, I want the look of beautiful pearly whites but can't fit my retainers on my teeth anymore (sorry Mom) to be able to even begin to bleach them. But, without fail, the world of Pinterest opened my eyes to an extremely cheap and efficient trick. 

Directions: Dip q-tip in hydrogen peroxide (the key ingredient in white strips) and apply to surface of teeth for 30 seconds before brushing teeth once a day for a few days. 

I was VERY skeptical of putting hydrogen peroxide straight onto my teeth but for the very little effort required I thought, "Why not?" I get a q-tip squeeze the hydrogen peroxide just enough to soak the end of the q-tip and not make a mess. Then I literally rub the peroxide soaked end of the q-tip on the fronts of my teeth making sure to get the edges (where my teeth tend to stain the worst). I technically don't time it for exactly 30 seconds but just leave it on while I grab my toothbrush and apply some toothpaste. Then viola!

Q-tips and hydrogen peroxide cost under $5. I've been doing this for a while now and have had no issues with sensitivity, etc., which is wonderful!! No more wasting hundreds of dollars on expensive teeth bleaching! 

If anyone ends up trying this, I wanna hear about it!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

No Lie, This Little Trick Really Works

A couple of months ago, I was in a situation that many ladies find themselves in when its time to purchase a new  form of makeup. For some, the know what they love and its the same thing every time. That's pretty typical for me, except with Mascara. Ugh. I loathe the days that I have to stand in the beauty supply section of a store and literally stare at all the millions of different types of mascara and decipher which is the one for me.

Luckily, at the same time that I knew this awful dreaded experience was just around the corner, Courtney posted about her favorite beauty products. CHA-CHING! As Court's eyes always look perfect, I thought I'd give her favorite mascara a try. It was the one time that I went to the mascara section on a mission, knowing EXACTLY what I was going to buy! 

Bought it, used it, loved it. Then came that period of time when it starts to dry out and leave little black flakes on the skin. ANNOYING. Especially when it starts to do that on a week where the last thing you want to do is run to the store just to buy a tube of mascara? But alas, I had hope! I saw a pin on Pinterest that swore that you could "MAKE YOUR MASCARA LAST 3 TIMES LONGER!!!". Naturally, I thought I'd give it a try. 

The instructions: "A typical mascara dries out before half of it is used. When your favorite mascara starts getting dry, add 4-5 drops of saline solution or eye drops to the bottle. Insert your wand and stir and TA-DA!! Fresh mascara! This can be repeated 2 or 3 times until all your mascara is gone."

Since neither the hubs nor I wear contacts, we didn't have any saline solution so instead I used some clear eyes that I had on hand. It worked! It "re-hydrated" my mascara and I was able to use it about 2 weeks longer with just one dose of the solution! 

This is definitely one trick that I will be using for the rest of my life!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Restaurant Review: Torchy's Tacos

5921 Forest Lane  Dallas, TX 75230

All I can say about this one is YUM! I was recently introduced to this casual restaurant by a good friend of mine and I frequently crave it!

Food that I've tried and a HUGE fan of:

  • Green Chile Queso
    • Not your typical queso! Okay, it is like queso but its spicy with a dollop of guacamole in the middle drizzled with some sort of pepper sauce. To die for. Definitely worth extra calories!
  • Fried Avacado Tacos
    • Again, delicious. I love avocados, so the fact that they made a taco out of them is even better. Good news, it vegetarian friendly.
  • Chicken Fajita Taco
    • Seasoning on this and the beef fajita taco are impeccable.
  • Beef Fajita Taco
  • The Republican
    • Greg ordered this one last time we were there. Disclaimer: its not ground up sausage but more a sausage link. Greg referred to it as a Mexican Hot Dog. haha! He liked it, but it wasn't exactly what he had in mind when he ordered it!
I don't know much about the history of this restaurant, but when using Google to find the image above, I found that they have sold tacos out of a trailer! Not to mention, you can find one of these in Dallas, Houston, and Austin! If you like gourmet tacos, I don't think you'll be disappointed. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sunday Brunches

Today was our first day to ever experience a Sunday Brunch in Uptown! Let me just say, it was delicious and as expensive as one of our regular date nights. Oops.

I know some of you might be thinking, how did they get to do Sunday Brunch in Uptown? Isn't Greg working at a church in Keller (over an hour a way from Uptown)? Well, my friends, its time that I update you on some of the changes that The Foster house has been experiencing.

To make a reaaalllly long story short, Greg was recently given the opportunity to come on board with a missions foundation that raises money to send missionaries and churches out all over the world. It was/is an incredible opportunity to spend some time using his gifts towards something that he is extremely passionate about, while continuing to serve The Exchange DFW. After investing some time doing both jobs, the pastors at The Exchange, as well as Greg, decided that it would be best if he chose to do only one job and fully invest all his time and energy into the job that he chooses. So, that meant that a decision had to be made. Which one do we choose while remaining faithful to what God has called Greg to do as a minister and as a husband and leader of our household?

We spent much time in prayer separately and together and can honestly say that this has been one of the most precious times for us a couple since we have been married. Not only are we still having to figure out this whole being married, sharing a budget, house, food thing, but we truly had to rely on faith and acknowledge that God's Will is what is best for our lives. We had to take a leap of faith. And we had to do it as one.

When we got married, we set Colossians 3 as a precedence over our marriage. There are several reasons why we were drawn to this passage in particular, but v. 17 spoke to our situation:
"And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him"       -Colossains 3:17 

Even though Greg is an extremely talented worship leader, this verse shed light on the fact that Greg is called to glorify God in every situation, regardless of weather he was leading a church or not.

After much prayer, hard conversations, and tears, we truly felt discernment that God was calling Greg to be apart of the mission foundation in Plano. Greg is called to be a minister to the Gospel and has been blessed with a numerous amount of gifts. This new opportunity is not denying his God-breathed talent to lead worship at a church, but is for the first time in 10 years giving Greg a way to use some of the other gifts and talents that he has been given.

Does this job change mean Greg is done leading worship? Absolutely not. We did not desire to leave the people at The Exchange (as this is why the before-mentioned tears were shed) as we truly did form some great relationships with people at that church that we desire to stay friends with throughout the rest of our lives.  At this point in our marriage and our lives, we want to get re-group, and spend some more time focusing on us growing together. I do not feel this is something that we did well in the first 7 months of our marriage so we're taking this opportunity to explore new churches and grow alongside one another.

With that being said, today was the first Sunday since I've known Greg that we either weren't on vacation or he didn't have to work. That means that its been over 4 years since we have had a "normal" Sunday together! We literally don't know what to do. hah! Needless to say, we were able to go to an early service, join our friends in Uptown at Breadwinners (yep, our first time for that too), run some errands, nap, enjoy dinner, do some chores, and literally just have an extremely relaxing day. It was wonderful.

I know it will only be a matter of time before Gregory is called to serve at a church, so in the meantime, I'm cherishing our upcoming Sundays together.


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