Monday, September 14, 2015

Taming The To-Do List {P31OBS Week 1}

"Ever just wish the world would stop for a day so you could catch up?"

When I read this in the email from the Proverbs 31 Ministries advertising their Fall online Bible study, I was immediately intrigued. I would LOVE an off day to catch up on my never ending to-do list. I feel like no matter what I get done in a's never enough. I can't celebrate the achievements I do cross off the list, because I'm too focused on the items that got left behind. I'm so overwhelmed with my busy work that I tend to forget my best work. The items I tend to focus on throughout the day definitely do not align with my what does that mean? I signed up for the study within minutes of receiving the email...and then I did the unthinkable. I emailed a bunch of ladies that I work with at LSU and invited them to do the study with me. To my delight, several jumped on board...and away we went with 'Taming the To-Do List" by Glynnis Whitwer.

I've never done an online study before but this has been a breeze! Each day I receive an email with either a video or blog post to supplement the readings. Each Monday I receive an outline of a proposed study schedule and each Wednesday I receive an action item that coordinates with the readings. I've been doing my readings during my lunch break and since the weather has been so amazing, outside...and it has been beyond refreshing! The best part has been the fabulous conversations at the office coffee pot with the other ladies doing the study. While I shouldn't be rejoicing that other women have the same challenges and insecurities that I do...I kind of am! It's just so nice to know you aren't alone!

Now, the first three chapters, I could have written myself! I've been making notes in my book and I've actually written "YES! PREACH! I'm SO guilty of this! HA!" I've been underlining and staring so many's definitely been hitting home...hard.

So far, we have focused on procrastination...which I never realized is something I'm quite successful at doing...and the various reasons why we procrastinate. I literally murder to-do lists each week. I'm knocking items off left and right. But, after really evaluating those items, I'm realizing those are the easiest items on the list while the large and sometimes much more important items get pushed to the next week...week after week after week. Talk about ground breaking! I've been focusing on quantity over quality. 

If anyone were to ask what my priorities are, I would immediately respond with faith, family, self, community. But, my list of "to-dones" don't necessarily line up with my why? Over-commitment issues, people-pleasing issues, resistance to anything uncomfortable, dependency on emails/texts/social media and the crazy need to respond immediately which causes me to shift my focus...the list goes on! 

I'm so looking forward to diving into more of the book to learn about what I can do to better match my to do list to my priorities! I wanted to start sharing my journey with this study to, selfishly, help me absorb the lessons more deeply but also in the hopes that I can encourage anyone currently in the same boat. Being Type-A is just exhausting and, at times, completely debilitating. I was desperate for a change and, after much prayer, discovered this study that has already been so refreshing! If you aren't really interested, please be patient with will be 8 weeks of sharing! ;)

"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." James 1:5

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Weekend Wrap Up {September 13}

The Henrys had a truly wonderful weekend! All week long we counted the sleeps until GranZee and Pops were to visit. The excitement was REAL! 

The kiddos' school {University Methodist} celebrated Grandparent's Day on Friday with a little party at the school. GranZee arrived just in time and was greeted with one of the biggest hugs ever! Lily was so ready to show off her GranZee! Harrison was excited too...which he displayed in various grunts and laughs!

Clearly taking a picture together wasn't we split it up for some silly faces!

We had to call it an early night because Saturday morning was going to be HUGE! It was Lily's first soccer practice at Healing Place Church Athletics. We really like doing the athletics through the church because it's such a positive environment that is more about the smaller kids developing an appreciation for the game and just having fun! Plus, it was only $85 for the season which included the uniform! We did have to supply the cleats and course...we went as Frozen as we could...

Lily was PUMPED! She does Happy Feet at school so she was ready! She had no issue kicking the ball into the net and she loved running around...but in terms of running WITH the ball...hilarity ensued! She really wanted to add a little flare to her run and kept doing this stanky leg dance thing...but she never missed and eventually got exactly where she wanted to go! I'm REALLY looking forward to the first game!

Of course, Little Man wanted in on the fun!

After some much needed errands and a trip to LUSH in the mall...which will eventually have it's own blog post because what I picked up was amazing...we head home to prep for the big LSU game. Carrying over the fun from last weekend, we heated up the oil and had a little fried fest! We...ok Chris...fried up some more amazing hush puppies, catfish, fries, and pickles! 

It was wonderful...and after an Oreo for dessert...we were DONE!

Literally, I made it maybe 5 minutes into the game before I was sound asleep! I didn't know if we won or lost until I got online Sunday morning! Please don't judge was all the tasty fried food's fault! ;)

Surprisingly, we all made it to the 9am service at Healing Place Church this morning...shocking, I know! We enjoyed a funny little lunch at IHOP and headed back home to relax! GranZee made her way back to Leesville while Pops head on to Baton Rouge! So kiddos are good and spoiled with grandparent lovin'! They get to love on Pops all maybe add him to your prayer list this week! He'll be dealing with funny, busy kiddos and nothing but vegetarian meals! ;)

Vegetarian Taco Soup

To continue our new fun Fall tradition, we served up another tasty soup this evening. The weather was just amazing today so I felt that we could actually get away with eating a hearty soup for dinner. ;) We also had a meat-lover {Pops} join us for dinner, so I knew it needed to be something hefty so he didn't miss the meat. Plus, it didn't need to be anything crazy experimental to scare him off. He swears he'll try anything once...but even the most reasonable have limits. Basically, all signs were pointing to the always yummy and super easy Taco Soup! Enjoy!


1 medium yellow onion {chopped}
2 cloves of garlic {minced}
1 bell pepper {chopped}
2 cans of diced tomatoes with green chilies {10 ounce}
1 box of vegetable broth {32 ounce}
1 can of tomato sauce {8 ounce}
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of oregano 
2 tablespoons of ranch dressing mix
1 can of corn {14.5 ounce, drained}
1 can of black beans {14.5 ounce, drained and rinsed}
1 can of pinto beans {14.5 ounce, drained and rinsed}
Shredded Mexican cheese
Sour Cream
Green Onions {chopped}


First, heat a little olive oil in your pot and then toss in your onion to cook just a touch. Then, add in your garlic and bell pepper. Let this party simmer until the onions are translucent. 

Pour in your tomatoes with green chilies, vegetable broth, and tomato sauce and let simmer a few minutes.

Throw in your seasonings {chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, ranch dressing, with a touch of salt and pepper}. Please pay attention to which side of the seasoning you have open so you don't actually pour in a few tablespoons of I did. ;) Cover the pot and let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring  occasionally.

Oh, after 30 minutes...your house will smell amazing. I just LOVE the way this soup smells! Add your corn, black beans, and pinto beans. Stir and cook until heated through.

Serve warm with your desired toppings. I paired the soup with Mexican cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, and green onions. But you could go crazy with it...avocados, red onions...go wild!

Now...the true test awaited. Would Lily and Harrison eat it???? Eh.

It had a little kick to it that I don't think they appreciated. But...they picked out the beans, cheese, and chips! Better than nothing! ;)

Monday, September 7, 2015

Weekend Wrap Up {Labor Day}

Who doesn't love an extended weekend? Well, I'll tell ya...the Henrys love a three day weekend and we filled it with lazy, loving fun!

Every Friday...without fail...we have pizza for dinner. This could be pizza we pick up on the way home or pizza we make ourselves. With the craziness of traffic on campus beginning at 4:31pm on the dot, we picked it up on the way home. Both kiddos were visibly dirty at pick up. They played HARD at school so we enjoyed a lovely evening of pizza, bath time, and cuddles!

During football season, we typically do not leave the house on Saturday. I don't thrive in traffic...and neither do most of Baton Rouge drivers. So I like to keep it positive and my home! Even though we were stuck at home, the excitement of LSU football was in the air. We all wore our purple and gold as we tackled projects around the house. Not only were we excited about the inevitable football game, we were also stoked for our mini fish fry! Chris rocked out fried catfish po boys and hush puppies while I embraced baked onion rings.

Why yes, that is a "do rag" on Chris' head.

We got the kids down for bed and, with the rest of Tiger Country, we waited and waited and waited for the LSU game to kick back on...only to be disappointed by a persistent lightning storm. Sad day!

On Sunday, like little rebels, we slept in and skipped church. We started going to church at Healing Place in January and while we love it...some Sundays the urge to stay put is just too strong. It doesn't help that Harrison doesn't always sleep through the night so when we get the chance to sleep in...we typically don't think twice. We puttered the morning away and then dressed again in our purple and gold before heading to the LSU Soccer Complex. 

Outside of the fact that it felt like the game took place on the surface of the sun, we had a blast! It was our first LSU soccer game and I know that we will be back! First, it was free admission! Second, we got to see sweet friends! Third, there was an LSU jump house! Lily was pretty much sold when she saw that! Lily's soccer season starts next weekend so this was the perfect activity to get her excited!

Because we theme everything, Sunday evening is Soup Sunday in the Fall. Yes, I realize it isn't technically fall and yes, I did JUST say that it was hot as blue blazes...but it was still Soup Sunday. So, broccoli cheese and potato soup it was! Chris and I were the only Henrys that ate it...thank goodness Sizzer stopped by to help!

Once the kids were asleep, Chris and I settled in for a movie night. Netflix is just about the greatest but we have seen most of the movies on there. So, we settled for a little indie film, Skeleton Twins. I mean, how weird could it be...look at that cast!?!

Well, it was pretty strange. Funny at times...but pretty consistently uncomfortable.  Just odd really. But it didn't matter because Monday was around the corner and it was a DAY OFF! Yay three day weekends!

We were still up at 6am with two kiddos ready to take on the day! "But Mommy, the sun is up!" Oh joy! Again, we simply puttered and tackled some additional must needed tasks. Mainly, I just picked up toys over and over and over and over again. Harrison loves to just throw things. As you will see in this video

We did start a project that I am VERY excited about and cannot wait to share once complete! Let me preface with this, one of our favorite things to do on the weekend is dumpster dive. This sounds weird...but...Monday morning is large item trash pick up in our area so everyone sets their random items on the street each Sunday evening. We have scored some amazing items! One man's trash is another man's treasure and we LOVE DIY projects! Several weeks ago, we picked up this very dirty, borderline disgusting item and it got some love this afternoon...can't wait to share!

Basically, it was a very lazy weekend but we had a blast! I recently joined not one but two different book clubs that start discussions tomorrow and I haven't opened either one...and this blog post is me basically procrastinating like I did in college. Ah, memories. ;)

Baked Onion Rings

I love, that doesn't express my adoration for onions quite enough...I LLLUUURRRVVVEEE onions. There we go, that should do it! ;) When I came across a recipe for a healthier version of onion rings, I didn't even think twice. It was happening.

Although I'm always a bit skeptical of typically fatty, greasy, fried, wonderful things tweaked to be made "healthier", I wanted to give them a whirl...mainly because Pinterest told me it would be worth it...and Pinterest has never lied before...cue eye roll. However, I wasn't that disappointed! Were they as good as the calorie fest that typical onion rings are? Well, no...but they were still pretty tasty. There were some steps I wish I would have paid a little more attention to, so I made the notes below. OH...and the dipping sauce! Oh Gina, the dipping sauce was amazing. I can't believe I almost forgot to mention the sauce! ;) Enjoy!


1 large sweet onion (peeled, sliced, and separated into rings)
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon of milk
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups of bread crumbs (I used Italian because that is what I had on hand)
1/2 cup of panko crumbs
1/3 cup of whole wheat flour
salt and pepper to taste
cooking spray

Dipping Sauce
1/3 cup of mayo
1/4 cup of ketchup
1 teaspoon of Sriracha


First, preheat your oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil. Heavily spray that lined sheet with cooking spray...just go nuts with it.

Next, whisk your egg whites and milk, then set aside.

Next, toss your bread crumbs and panko crumbs in a separate bowl, then set aside.

In a Ziploc bag, combine your flour, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Seal the bag and shake until well mixed. (Great task for a moving and shaking four year old during a dance party...just sayin'!)

Now set up a little assembly line because the fun has just started! First, shake a few of your onions in the bag to thoroughly coat with the seasonings. (I didn't do this enough!) Second, take one ring at a time and dunk in the egg white/milk wash to thoroughly coat. ( I also didn't do this enough!)

Third, dip the ring in the crumb mixture to thoroughly coat. (You guessed it, I didn't do this enough either!). 

Place your beautifully coated rings on the lined cooking sheet in a single layer, spray once more with your cooking spray for good measure, and then place in the preheated oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on how crispy you would like them.

While they are baking, mix all the ingredients of your sauce and place in the refrigerator to cool until serving. 

When you feel your onion rings are perfect, remove and let cool before serving. If football season, place on an adorable purple and gold serving dish...because Geaux Tigers!

As you can tell, mine just weren't coated enough and some partied in the oven just a tad too long. But, that didn't stop my gang from enjoying them! The amazing sauce probably had something to do with that. Seriously, she might look skeptical in the photo below...but she ate the whole thing! ;)