October 31, 2013

Marriage Nerf Wars + Happy Halloween

That's some title, huh?
Well, the Evans fam has been pretty goofy lately, let me tell you!

Just a few things...


1) We're keeping marriage fun, people...

(PS - I totally kicked some booty!)


2) I have quite the arsenal of costumes with all the Halloween work celebrations! 
Gotta keep our cancer patients cheery and smiling, right? :)

I also forgot I had my witch outfit on when I walked into the grocery store yesterday... imagine the looks. If I had a penny for every person who informed me that Halloween was the next day, I'd be a rich lady!

Feeling a bit crabby today... ;)


3) This. Cutest dino in the land, don't you think?


4) Looking forward to a fun Halloween night! 
We're heading over to Adam's parents house to pass out candy to all the cute kiddos. Their neighborhood is really spread out between houses, so they drive the kids around via hay rack ride! Isn't that cute? So I love opening the door to 35 princesses, monsters, batmans, and Mike Wazowskis!


// What are you crazy cats up to this Halloween? //


Wishing you a SPOOKtacular day!


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PS - Don't forget to link-up and gain new readers ALL WEEK at my Mingle Monday Link-Up!




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October 29, 2013

Sweet Potato Hash and Eggs

Over the past few weeks, I am really trying to shape up my meals so that they provide extra energy to make it through long days.

A few of the nutritional plans that I am really liking are Whole 30 and Paleo, which both focus on healthy fresh foods and minimize additives and chemicals in your food. The "eat clean" plan if you will.

I came across the idea of using sweet potatoes in a hash for breakfast and totally wanted to try it out - I love sweet potatoes. I took the general idea, ran with it, and wanted to make it my own... and it was DELICIOUS. I was full for hours, happily satisfied and full of energy.

Try it out... I dare ya! 


Ingredients:

- medium sweet potato
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp dehydrated onion flakes
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. dried basil
- sprinkle of cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp. paprika (I love even more!)
- dash of salt and pepper to taste
- 2 eggs


Directions:

1) Begin heating a skillet to medium high and add olive oil to pan. 

2) Grate sweet potato with a standing grater so that it comes out in short strands.

3) Season sweet potato in a bowl with salt, pepper, onion flakes, garlic powder, basil, cumin, and lots of paprika (a must!).

4) Add seasoned sweet potato strands to skillet and begin tossing with tongs for 5-7 minutes or until it reaches a desired texture (I preferred slightly crispy like hashbrowns). I added a little more paprika at the end and placed the yummy finished product on a plate. 

5) Cook eggs in an additional skillet (can be done at the same time) any way you prefer (I love eggs over medium!) and then place on top of the hash. 

6) Chow down and bask in the glory of eating healthy but tasty food!


Bon Appetit!

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PS - Don't forget to link-up and gain new readers ALL WEEK at my Mingle Monday Link-Up!




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October 28, 2013

DIY Chevron Burlap Wreath

I took the day off to recoop after a week of taking care of family members and a very successful breast cancer walk on Saturday. I'm FINALLY able to share more about the cute little DIY chevron wreath people have been asking about, so I hope you're excited

It's about time, right?
So anyway, I wanted to jazz up the front porch at casa de Evans by creating a fun wreath that I could have up all fall. And it's Oklahoma State colors, so I'm reppin' my alma mater well!

Didn't it turn out so great?
I was moderately shocked.




Supplies //

- chevron printed burlap (15 yards)
- orange solid burlap (10 yards)
- wire wreath frame
- floral wire


Directions //

1) Secure the end of the chevron burlap ribbon to the frame and begin weaving the ribbon in little loops in and out of the frame. Secure the ribbon the the frame with wire occasionally.

2) Once the chevron ribbon has been looped around the inside and outside tiers of the frame, secure your solid color ribbon to the middle tier and begin doing the same thing.

3) Once all the burlap is secured, feel free to jazz it up however you like! I thought a big floppy bow would be cute, so I used extra solid burlap and wired it to the top of the frame.

4) Hang and enjoy!


If you are a visual person, I thought this YouTube video was helpful to watch! Instead of weaving one color through all 3 tiers, I just did printed burlap on the outside and inside, but use this video as a guide to help you with the technique.




I love how easy this would be to recreate with any printed burlap (they have every color and print at Hobby Lobby - polka dots, zebra, sparkly), so I hope you'll give it a try!

Now, go make your front porch the cutest one on the block!


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PS - Don't forget to link-up and gain new readers ALL WEEK at my Mingle Monday Link-Up!




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Mingle Monday Link-Up

So glad you're here!!
It's time to get linked-up, get some blog exposure, and get your name out there. And in the meantime, you can find new awesome blogs to follow in the process - what a win-win!

A quick thanks to all of you who have reached out to me over the last week while my mom and brother were in the hospital. You can read about their updates here and here. Thankfully, they are finally home and recovering!

A few fun things coming up this week...
 (a few of which I planned to post last week! So it's about time!)

+ DIY chevron burlap wreath (finally)
+ spooky Halloween recipes
+ a splash of confidence & inspiration
+ delicious sweet potato hash recipe

 
    

HOW TO MINGLE

 ** Only 3 easy rules - that's all I ask! **

1) Link-up your blog below.

2) You must share a link to Mingle Monday on your post or the Mingle Monday photo.
 
3) Answer the weekly question in the comments section below and have FUN!
 
** What are you going to be or do for Halloween? **





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** ALSO **

Personal blog RTs for your blog on Twitter all day for everyone who tweets about Mingle Monday! I'm always happy to send extra traffic your way for being so kind!! :)

Go kick butt and take names, girl!


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October 25, 2013

More Prayers + Update

As many of you know, it has been a crazy week for my family and I feel like I know live in a hospital! :)

Before my mom's scary hospital stint this week, my brother already had his back surgery scheduled for today. My mom was going to be the one to drive him to surgery and bring him home, but now that she is recovering, our family and friends have all stepped up to lend a hand. 

So thankful for the meals. 
The rides.
The texts.
The support.
And of course, your prayers.



We have been very optimistic about Kelly's surgery and supportive of his decision - we just want his quality of life to go back up. My brother originally injured his back while playing Division 1 soccer in South Carolina causing chronic pain and the end of his collegiate athletic career.

He's managed the pain until re-injuring his back about 6 months ago, this time his herniated disk had ruptured causing fragments to break off and press on a large nerve in his lower back.

Since then, he is unable to feel things in his left leg (hip to ankle), it fall asleep quickly, and he's in constant pain. Not to mention the back pain to add on to it.

UPDATE // Very happy to report that he made it out of surgery okay and is now in recovery at KU. The surgeon said they successfully removed all disc fragments and he should instantly regain feeling and have lessened pain in his legs. We'll keep you posted - he will soon be moved to the neuro care unit. He's in a lot of pain, so please pray for that specifically.

Kelly will have a 6+ week recovery for his back, but he will be in good hands! Thanks all for your continued support/prayers this week with all that's been going on with my mom and brother - we appreciate each one of you!

Meanwhile, I think I should've earned my RN by now, don't you think? Haha!
Just happy to be healthy enough to take care of my wonderful family - love them.


As of 10/26/13 - Both of them are home and recovering!!


Wishing you all a wonderful and healthy weekend!



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October 23, 2013

Prayers Please!!

It's been kind of a crazy scary day beginning super early this morning.
My dad called at 6 this morning to let me know he had rushed my mom (who I refer to as "Juju") to the ER because she was dizzy, disoriented, and couldn't walk or stand well.

She was then transported by ambulance to an area hospital where I hurried to meet up with them as she was being admitted. I stayed at the hospital to help her while they ran tests. The main hope we had was to rule out the scary possibility that she might have suffered an acute stroke in her 50's.



Thankfully, after a really long day of sitting on ultra firm hospital chairs (now that's dedication), they have finally ruled out a stroke and have diagnosed/begun treating mastoiditis and severe vertigo. She has begun a treatment plan and depending on how fast the infection and inflammation in her neck/skull/ear are controlled, she will move on to possibly outpatient rehab if needed.

We're taking good care of her until she is released from the hospital (fingers crossed for late tomorrow), but continued prayers for recovery would be appreciated! Until then, I have my office set-up in her hospital room and have enjoyed the not-so-subtle volume of her medicine-induced snoring.

She may kill me when she reads that last part. :)

Also, my little brother is having a pretty intense back surgery and will be hospitalized in the neuro unit tomorrow (great timing, huh?), so I will be taking him to surgery tomorrow morning. Please say a special prayer for him!

Once he's released, I will be setting up my own version of an ICU unit to care for both of them at home. I think I missed my life's calling... I should've been a nurse - haha!

Bottom line...
God is so good.
Thanks for the love and prayers!

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October 21, 2013

Press Play

Lately, I just can't get enough of this gorgeous, crisp fall weather!

Our colorful tree-lined streets look so inviting when I get home from work, so I am definitely not lacking the motivation to get some good activity in.

But to enhance the beautiful view while walking Beast or going on a run, I first need an awesome play list. Just in case you need to update your workout tunes, I'm loving these ones lately...




Am I missing any awesome tunes?
Help me add some good ones to my fall mix!


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PS - Don't forget to link-up and gain new readers ALL WEEK at my Mingle Monday Link-Up!

Mingle Monday Link-Up!

Ello lovelies!
Thanks for taking time out of your Monday to stop by and link-up!

I'm finally back on track with blogging motivation/inspiration and I greatly appreciate all of your encouragement, emails, and feedback. You guys are hands down... the greatest!

A few fun things coming up this week...

+ my fall workout playlist
+ DIY chevron wreath
+ a splash of confidence & inspiration
+ delicious sweet potato hash recipe


 
    

HOW TO MINGLE

 
1) Must be a Life of Meg follower to participate.
 
2) Click on the link below to enter your blog.
 
3) Go visit other blogs saying hello from Mingle Monday!
 
4) Answer the weekly question in the comments section below...
 
 
** What's on the top of your wishlist right now? **





____________________________________________________________________________________________


** ALSO **

Personal blog RTs for your blog on Twitter all day for everyone who tweets about Mingle Monday! I'm always happy to send extra traffic your way for being so kind!! :)



Hugs and smooches!


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October 18, 2013

Splash of Honesty + Weekend Wishes

Goodness, lately I have been exhausted after work and not up for catching up on blogging.
Here's to a renewed blogging energy soon.

Question... Ever feel like you need a little hiatus?
Do you sometimes feel guilty when you do?

sigh.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to the weekend! It's quite chilly here in Kansas City today, so this weekend will be full of snuggly, warm activities....



Friday //
My sweet cousin Tracy is flying in and I finally get to meet her precious newborn, Norah, after work. eeek! I'm sure Adam wants me to get my baby fix, so I keep all crazy ideas away - haha :)

After baby snuggles, I am heading home for PJs, catching up on the DVR, and a toasty beverage.


Saturday //
This girl needs sleep! We stayed up super late last night after we caught the latest Wicked tour to blow through KC. Spectacular, as always, and I'm pretty sure I could watch it 75,000,000 more times!

In the evening we're headed to an outdoor wedding (brrr!!) and I hope the weather turns around. We also can't wait for some fun times with the fam - excited Meredith and Kyle (bro/sis-in-law) to be in town!


Sunday //
I'll be hanging with my sassy, sweet 4th grade girls group at Sunday school, followed by a sweet 4-year-old's bday party!

Later in the evening, we're headed to Adam's parents house to hang with the fam, while everyone is in town, and I hope that includes some much needed hot tub time!


So there you have it! What are you up to this weekend?



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October 14, 2013

Mingle Monday Link-Up!

Happy Monday, friends!
Thanks for taking the time to stop by for some blog networking. Good for you for putting yourself out there! May you find a whole bunch of great new blogs to follow, and I know you will pick up some new readers along the way

Stay tuned this week for lots of fun...

+ workout fashion faves and fall playlist
+ DIY chevron burlap wreath tutorial
+ new healthy recipe
...and more!

Well anyway, I am so glad that you are here! I am excited to catch up on blog reading, so thanks for linking up!!


 
    

HOW TO MINGLE

 
1) Must be a Life of Meg follower to participate.
 
2) Click on the link below to enter your blog.
 
3) Go visit other blogs saying hello from Mingle Monday!
 
4) Answer the weekly question in the comments section below...
 
 
** What gets YOU motivated to workout? **





____________________________________________________________________________________________


** ALSO **

Personal blog RTs for your blog on Twitter all day for everyone who tweets about Mingle Monday! I'm always happy to send extra traffic your way for being so kind!! :)



Have a great Monday!


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October 11, 2013

Have a Sassy Weekend!

Today simply makes me happy.

I have the day off.
I slept past 9 o'clock.
And I'm still in my PJs watching the Katy Perry documentary.

The weekend has begun, my friends.




I can't wait for my sweet hardworking hubby to get home tonight. We have minimal plans this weekend, and I am so ready to just spend time with him and our friends while we relax.

A few fun fall things on my radar that I would LOVE to do...

+ visit Louisburg Cider Mill for cider and donuts
+ go to the orchard for apple picking
+ pick a new trail to adventure on with the pup


What are you up to this weekend? 
I hope you soak in the fabulous fall weather with your favorite people!


In case you missed it this week...




Hugs and smooches, you sassy peeps!


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October 9, 2013

Advice Needed - DSLR Camera Shopping

So, my birth month is rapidly approaching (yes, I said month!), and the hubs has been asking for my birthday/Christmas wish list. Of course there are a few trinkets and such on there, but I've really had my eye on a DSLR camera!

Or a puppy.
(but that got vetoed.)

Ever since I've started this humble little blog, I've been dying to learn how to capture beautiful photos of my own and share them. If I got a DSLR, I would have a blast learning the ins and outs of a big girl camera.

But first I have to know which one to go for.
This is where you come in...



1 //  What DSLR camera do you recommend and why?
2 //  Do I need to add specific lenses to my wish list too?
3 //  What about editing software? Any faves?
4 //  How did you learn to use it? Tips/tricks?


I would love to have a camera that could beautifully photograph food as well as everyday photos.
Any help, advice, or recommendation are gladly welcomed!

{eeek!}


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World's BEST Pumpkin Bread

I have a lovely memory way back when I was in elementary school.

My brother and I would walk home from school and race down the street to see who could touch the front door first. The best days, were the ones when we were greeted by the smell of spicy pumpkin bread that had just come out of the oven.

I've tried every single pumpkin bread recipe I could get my hands on, but none of them live up to the recipe my mom has sworn by for decades.

Lucky for you, I have asked her to dust off her Women of Great Eats Junior League cookbook and share with you the best of the best. If you try any pumpkin bread recipe this fall, make it this one.
Your family will beg for you to make this deliciously moist, flavorful fall bread again and again... and that's a promise.


World's BEST Pumpkin Bread Recipe



Ingredients:

- 3.5 cups flour
- 1.5 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 can (16 oz) pumpkin
- 1 cup vegetable oil (sub unsweetened applesauce for lower fat)
- 2/3 cup water
- 4 eggs

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease mini loaf pans (5 x 3 x 2 inch).

2) Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl until combined.

3) Add remaining ingredients and mix until well blended.

4) Place batter in prepared pans (approximately half full) and bake for 1 hour. 

- I recommend checking loaves around 45 minutes with a toothpick. When toothpick comes out clean, the loves are ready to be moved to a cooking rack


Bon Appetit!


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PS - Don't forget to link-up and gain new readers ALL WEEK at my Mingle Monday Blog Hop link-up!



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October 8, 2013

Today's Letters

I've been blissfully caught up in fall shenanigans this weekend.

Life is good, and I am basking in the glow of my blessings, so I have a few love notes to write...



Dear Autumn // 
Why are you so much fun? If only there were 100 hours a day to do all my favorite fall things, like test every pumpkin bread recipe in the world. Good thing I have the world's BEST recipe to share tomorrow.


Dear Beastie Baby //
I love that you are wild and free, and love bows like your mama. I only wish they would stay on past the 21 minutes you've been home after the groomer, you little diva you.



Dear Work //
Thanks for providing me with the world's best co-worker friends. Breast cancer awareness month is always a busy one for us, but I'm so glad we're so much closer to finding cures and saving lives.



Dear Juju (aka: Mom) // 
You are one crazy cotton candy making tornado-of-a-lady, and I love you. Thanks for being so selfless and giving up your Saturday to make cancer patients (and me) smile.



Dear Sibs //
Wouldn't trade you for the world. Our uncanny ability to all show up in plaid unplanned is totally due to our weird sib telepathy. Rock on, you crazy kids.



Dear Grandpa //
You are officially the world's sassiest, most lovable old man. I had a wonderful time celebrating your 88th birthday this weekend and wish I could throw my arms around you every day. Cheers to memories, and wrinkles, and smiles.



Dear Hubster //
You, sir, make life fun. Thanks for spontaneously driving us the long way home from Lawrence just so we could soak in the sunset and the Kansas scenery. I'm glad you love ordering a pizza at 8pm and watching Breaking Bad in our new big kid bed. Love your whiskery face.



Humbly thankful.
Ridiculously blessed.


Linking up with Miss Sami today - thanks girl!


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PS - Don't forget to link-up and gain new readers ALL WEEK at my Mingle Monday Blog Hop link-up



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October 7, 2013

Mingle Monday Link-Up!

Another Monday has rolled around, which means another day off blogging from my bed!
I have been so completely overwhelmed with work craziness lately (hello breast cancer awareness month!), that I have neglected my little blog.

BUT, I am back this week and have tons of posts up my sleeve...

+ weekend in photos
+ the world's BEST pumpkin bread recipe
+ advice needed on buying a DSLR camera
...and more!

Well anyway, I am so glad that you are here! I am excited to catch up on blog reading, so thanks for linking up!!


 
    

HOW TO MINGLE

 
1) Must be a Life of Meg follower to participate.
 
2) Click on the link below to enter your blog.
 
3) Go visit other blogs saying hello from Mingle Monday!
 
4) Answer the weekly question in the comments section below...
 
 
** Fall movies - what upcoming movie are you most excited for? **




____________________________________________________________________________________________


** ALSO **

Personal blog RTs for your blog on Twitter all day for everyone who tweets about Mingle Monday! I'm always happy to send extra traffic your way for being so kind!! :)



Have a great Monday!


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