A Great, Great Grandma

My Grandparents were there from the beginning.  Literally, because they drove to the airport when I flew in as a baby from South Korea and they were the first people my little baby eyes saw right next to my sister and parents.  From that moment forward, they were always a comforting and constant part of our lives.  We would see them throughout the week, as well as most Sundays.


Growing up, we took most of our big family vacations with them.


And in the summers, we would travel “Up North” to go camping with my grandparents on their property at the lake.  My memories included Grandma making the best over easy eggs with perfectly runny yokes that were right in the center every time.


My Grandparents were there for my graduation as well as my wedding day.


(I probably should clarify, that these were my Mom’s parents)


And in a way, I probably took for granted that they were just always there for me, my sisters and our family.  We loved my grandparents so very much.


When I grew up and moved away, we’d always do our best to go back to Michigan to visit my family and every time we did, my Grandparents would be there.  It was always pretty special that our kids got to know their Great Grandparents and I know they loved them so very much.


My Grandpa passed away about five years ago.  And I remember being so very sad for my Grandma, because in many ways, they were a pair.  My Grandma had been married to her first husband for 35 years before he passed from a heart attack and then she was married to my Grandpa for 35 years as well.


Though it was a sad time, my Grandma continued to be a beautiful blessing to our family.  She loved her children and her grand children and her great (and great-great) grandchildren as well.


I love that she loved my Jeremy so much too.  She was always so proud of him being a pastor and would tell people how she heard his very first sermon.


Last summer, when we were in Michigan we had a nice visit with my Grandma.  She had turned 100 in May and we were so thankful for the time we got to spend with her.


My Dad called this morning to tell me that my Grandma passed away last night.  And to be honest, my first thought was of happiness, knowing that she was in heaven with Jesus (and my Grandpa and her first husband too).  My Grandma had a great love for the Lord and she passed that down to her children, who passed it down to their children, who also passed it down to their children and their children as well.  Being a Great, Great Grandma is something that not a lot of people get to do, but mine got to be one and she was the best.  Our family is very sad knowing that our time with her here is over, but we know with certainty that we will see her again.


Tonight, my heart and my prayers go out for my family, but especially for my Mom as she grieves the loss of her mom.  If you think of it and could be praying for her, it would be much appreciated.  Thank you friends.

Random Thoughts

Did you know that a cup of Dannon Yogurt has MORE sugar per serving than Rainbow Nerds?  So does Vitamin Water (for the record, Vitamin Water has a scary amount of sugar for something that is marketed as water).  And I can thank the mandatory-ness of our school’s Science Fair for this knowledge.


Sigh.  It’s Saturday night, and I’ve just got a lot of random thoughts running through my head, so I thought I’d take a minute and blog them.  To be honest, it’s a little wanting to write and a little wanting to procrastinate the printing part that I have to do for the aforementioned Science Fair.  But either way, Happy Saturday Friends, and here goes.

  1.  I don’t hate many things, but I do hate the Science Fair.  Mostly because, without fail, it makes someone in my house cry every single year and sometimes multiple people (i.e. myself and whatever kid has to do it).  I’d like to continue to rant, but our Pastor’s wife Amber told me that whenever she is doing something she doesn’t want to be doing, she comes up with a list of things that she is thankful for in relation to that thing.  So my list would be, I’m thankful that I got to spend $40 on Science Fair stuff this year…wait… let me try again.  I’m thankful for science.  I’m thankful that I got to spend time with our amazing daughter.  I’m thankful for good schools.  I’m thankful that I now know the hidden sugars in many so-called healthy foods.  And, done.  Next topic.
  2. Do you ever wonder what in the world is going on in the world around us?  I don’t even want to mention the word and for sure will not be sharing any scary pictures here, but that whole thing was kind of horrible this week, right?  Ellee came home sharing about what she had heard,  it filled my Facebook feed and I even got an email from the school about it.  And stuff like that can be SO DISCOURAGING.  But friends, there is hope.  Whenever things like this come up, it’s an opportunity to share.  To teach.  To encourage.  Sure, the world seems hopeless at times, but there is HOPE.  We don’t have to live in FEAR and our kids don’t either. Philippians 4 is always my go to, reminding me not to worry about ANYTHING but to pray about EVERYTHING.
  3. I’m currently wondering if anyone is actually reading these words.  Being a photographer, it’s my go-to to add lots of nice pictures for people to see to make all the words more appealing.  But maybe you’ll read all of this and maybe not and really, either is fine.
  4. My sister is supposed to have her 10th baby sometime soon and I’m so excited for her.  But seriously, isn’t that crazy… and amazing?  I can’t even fathom having that many kids, but I can say that she is pretty incredible and she loves her family so much.
  5. I’ve been watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix lately and it’s kind of amazing.  I have no idea how she does it, but I’ve been inspired to get rid of a lot of things and have a newfound joy in folding our laundry.  It doesn’t even make sense, but I’m personally glad it’s helping me declutter.
  6. Parenting teens is hard but lately, it’s been kind of awesome as well.  I’m very thankful for our kids and can see the ways they are growing and maturing these days.  I’m really proud of them both and while it’s easy to focus on the hard times, it’s also so good to acknowledge the good times.
  7. Speaking of that… Jeremy is taking classes this Spring to get his Master’s of Divinity so I wanted to help him and offered to teach at Youth Group this month.  Christian heard that I was teaching and why, so he offered to teach at Hangtime this month for me.  So, that was pretty great.  Being in ministry brings it’s own unique set of challenges, but also blessings as well.
  8. And lastly, my heart has been incredibly burdened for a coach named Matt Distefano.  He’s one of the directors of the Boy’s Volleyball for Academy as well as the 16s Coach.  He was recently diagnosed with cancer and it’s just really hard.  If you think of it, would you pray for him and his family.  He is an incredible man and has been very influential in the volleyball world and our hearts are so sad for what he is going through.

And that would sum up tonight’s thoughts.  That was kind of therapeutic in it’s own way.  I mostly use my blog to write about photography, or church stuff and always have life things in between.  So it was nice to acknowledge a few things that have been going on, and I thank you for taking time to stop in and read :).


So, like many of us, I’ve spent some time both looking back over the past year and forward in anticipation of the year to come.  And when I look back, while there were a tremendous amount of things to be grateful for, there were definitely parts of 2018 that were pretty challenging and hard.

One of the biggest things for me was that we spent half of the year without another pastor at our church.  And for some reason, I took this really hard.  Because I knew the impact it would have on my marriage, our family and on our ministry having gone through such transitions before (we’ve now had five Senior pastors since we started here).  There were many days that I felt so down about everything and it really did take a bit of a toll.  Maybe it was also a bit of burnout after serving 15 years in ministry with Jeremy.  Or maybe there are just seasons of life that are harder than others.  Whatever it was, I know that I spent some good chunks of last year just trying to make it through my struggles and emotions.

But, on a happier note, I did survive.  And thanks to Facebook, I learned that people are doing this thing, where they pick a word to be their theme for the year.  And after a few days of reflection, I decided that my word for 2019 is THRIVE.  Looking up a dictionary definition of the word, I found that thrive means to grow or develop well or vigorously.  It also means to prosper or flourish.  And that is what I want to do in this coming year.


Even though things were challenging at times last year, I absolutely love our church and the ministries that we get to be a part of.  My heart, of course, belongs to Hangtime, which is our church’s K-6th after school program.  I’m excited because I know that God has laid it on my heart this year to continue to grow and develop well this program.


I will also continue to serve along side of Jeremy in youth ministry.  This year we are looking forward to many youth group activities, including Breakaway, NTS Camp and an in-development Missions oriented trip this summer.  I absolutely love my husband and though it is exhausting at times, we continue to feel God calling us to minister to teens and I want to look for ways to THRIVE as we serve this coming year.


Last Saturday, Christian threw me a surprise as part of my Christmas present this year.  The surprise was him getting together this amazing group of girls, each one being a dear, dear friend that I’ve been able to invest in at different times over the years.  It made me cry to have them all together and so thankful for the ways they’ve blessed my life.  I’ll continue to love and support them and cheer them on to doing great things for Jesus in this coming year.  Because I truly think that a big part of thriving is doing what you can to grow those around you.


This year, I also want to continue to THRIVE in connecting with our extended family.  It’s a bit hard since between Jeremy’s family and mine, we are all literally spread out across the United States.  But they are a blessing and any time we get in this coming year will be a great blessing as well.


Another challenge that was quite great this past year for me, was accepting the fact that our kids are no longer little ones with little problems.  And there were parts of the year that I spent trying to survive the fact that we’re now parenting teenagers (well, one officially, and one close behind).  Friends, parenting teens is NOT easy, or pleasant at times, or frankly all that enjoyable when the going gets tough.


But there are many, many ways to THRIVE in doing so, and this is what I want to find in the coming year.  I have a daughter that is moody, but absolutely delightful and this year, I’m pursuing the good while enduring the bad and the ugly.


And last year, while there were times when I thought this kid and I wouldn’t actually make it… this year, I am trusting God as I get to watch our son pursue so many great things.  In addition to family things and church things and school and his club volleyball, he also picked up a job busing tables at Trumpets on the weekends and we are so very proud of his hard work.  Raising a teen to love Jesus and to do the right things seems impossible at times.  But this year, I want to find ways to trust God and to THRIVE in it.


Last year, this incredible man rode over 8,000 miles on his bike.  And it wasn’t my favorite because it’s terrifying to think of all the possibilities of what could happen while he’s on the road.  But thankfully, through lots of prayer, I’m realizing that loving him and supporting one of his passions is a beautiful way that we can THRIVE in our marriage.  We’re also taking a trip in April, so that will help too ;).  In all reality though, I do adore this man and am so very glad to get to do life with him.


Yes, when looking forward to 2019, I truly want to find many ways to THRIVE.  And part of thriving will include a bit of self-maintenance.  So for that, I’ll look to Hot Yoga and my goal to read through the entire Bible in this coming year.  And being transparent, I learned last year that it also helps for me to connect and talk with a great counselor that I started seeing.  She’s incredible and every time I left a session, I felt lighter and more at peace.  It was something that helped me tremendously and something that I want to continue to utilize this year.


So friends, hold me to to it.  My word for 2019 is THRIVE.  I’ve shared a plethora of ways that I’m going to try to accomplish this, knowing of course that some days will go better than others.  But I’m good with that, and ready for all that God has to show me in this coming year and I strive to THRIVE and serve Him.


My Juice Plus+ Journey

So last year I learned about something new called Juice Plus+.  I had been following a fellow Pastor’s wife who was selling it and could relate to her journey.  It took a bit of convincing for Jeremy (because unlike me, he is cautious about things like this) but we finally decided to try it for our family.


A few things to note.  First off, the Wikipedia definition of  Juice Plus+ is that it’s  a branded line of dietary supplements containing concentrated fruit and vegetable juice extracts fortified with added vitamins and nutrients.  The simplified version is that it helps you get your daily intake of organic fruits and vegetables.  I wanted to try it because at the time, I was having some regularity issues, if you know what I mean.  It was frustrating and annoying but I had read that taking Juice Plus could really help.

And for the record, and to my delight, it did!


The second reason I wanted to get it was for our kids.  We have a pretty busy lifestyle and to be honest, there are many days where I know they are not getting the daily fruits and veggies that they need.  When I signed up for Juice Plus+ I also signed up for their Child Health Study, which basically meant I was able to get their order for FREE :).


They’ve been taking it for over a year and a half now.  Neither of them give me too much grief about it and it makes me feel good knowing they are getting a great source of healthy fruits and veggies.  While they are relatively healthy kids in general, thinking back over the past year, they’ve actually done really well.  Ellee used to get a lot of strep throat and high fever sicknesses but hasn’t had either in quite awhile now that I think of it.  Juice Plus+ is also supposed to be good for teeth as well and happily both of our kids have been cavity free.


Let’s be honest.  The internet is full of information when it comes to Juice Plus+ (both good and bad, like most things).  It’s a company that has been around since 1993 and there have been a lot of studies done which is always nice to know.  But what I can personally vouch for though, is our experience with it and I have to admit I’m a fan and have been for the past year and half that we’ve been on it.


So, in conclusion, a few days ago, I finally signed on to officially be a distributor for Juice Plus+.  What that means, is that I have a nice website that you can check out here.  It also means that if you want, you can contact me anytime and I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.  If you decide you want to try Juice Plus+ then that helps me and our family and you’ll definitely have our gratitude for that.

In all reality, I am pretty busy with the rest of life and probably won’t do much pushing when it comes to selling this product.  Once I had a woman convince me to sell Mary Kay even though I didn’t and still to this day don’t wear makeup.    What I learned from that experience, is that I’m not the greatest salesperson.  Also, I’ll be honest and say that, doing Juice Plus is a financial commitment, but it is also one that has benefited our health and wellbeing, so for me, it’s been worth it.


As I mentioned before, feel free to reach out if you want to know more.  We are entering into a new year and Juice Plus+ is a great product to consider if you’re looking for ways to help yourself and your family.  Thanks for checking this out!

Only Do So Much

Hello Friends.  October has been busy, to say the least.  And often times, when real life is busy, it’s hard to find the time to sit and write and share so my poor blog gets a bit neglected.  That being said, I’ve realized that in life, I really can only do so much and that’s okay.  So I’ve mostly spent time doing the things that matter most and now, even though it’s late at night (as I’m writing this), I’ve finally found time to share a few things that are going on these days so here goes…

  1.  JV Volleyball.  It’s pretty much taken up our Tuesdays and Thursdays over the past month or so.  There have been some home games, but there have also been a lot of away games and for some reason our school only plays other schools that are (seemingly) forever away.  Okay, so most are about 45 minutes, but it just keeps me wondering why we can’t play all the schools that are actually close by.


All that being said, we’ve enjoyed watching Christian throughout this season.  He’s a setter, so plays quite a lot and has grown in many ways, and not just physically (though officially, he has grown just a bit taller than his Dad, so just past 6 feet at the end of this 13th year).  He’s learned many things that playing sports tends to teach and will end this season bigger, faster and stronger because of it.


In addition to setting, he’s gotten to play right side as a hitter during a few games.  He’s really enjoyed learning another position and has also done a pretty good job at it.  We have a few more weeks left in his JV season and then a few weeks off before his Club season starts.   He tried out this past year for Acad and made their national team for 15s.  Volleyball has been a great sport for our son and we are so thankful for the opportunities he has to play.


2.   Hangtime has officially started!  And my heart could not be more full of love for the amazing kids that are coming to our program.


This year, in our first few weeks, we’ve averaged about 63 kids, and most are from our two local schools.  In addition to my adult leaders, I have a team of close to 20 teens who are helping out in our program as well.  They have done an incredible job and I’m so very proud of them.


I’ll admit, it’s been a challenge to get a lot of pictures at Hangtime, because we are in our first weeks and working to settle in.


But thankfully, we have a lot of hands helping out and we are thrilled to get to run this program for another year.


On that note, if you know a K-6th grader who wants to come to our awesome after school program, we meet every Wednesday from 3:30pm-5:30pm and we would love to have them join us!  We go all throughout the school year and you can always check out: www.eastportbiblechurch.com for more information (just click on the Hangtime link).


3. Youth Group has also started!  So on our first official night of EBCYG (our youth group) Christian also had a game in Smithtown, so as soon as he finished I raced back to the church (eating a sad meal of Tic Tacs that I found in our car) so that I could catch the end of our Thursday night with these amazing teens.


Sometimes it’s hard to imagine we’ve been doing youth group for over 15 years now, but when I see these amazing faces, really I can’t imagine not continuing to do this more.


In our first few weeks we’ve worked on getting ready for another amazing year and helping our teens get to know each other.  Youth Group is for 7th-12th Graders and again, we’d love to have any teens you know come and join us!  We work hard to created a fun and safe environment for them where they can grow and learn more about Jesus.  Being the mom to teens (well one, and one who is well on her way) I know the importance of finding good and healthy things for them to do.


And Youth Group totally falls under this category in addition to fitting quite a few other positive ones as well.  I’m so thankful for my amazing husband and the passion he continues to have for working with teens.  It makes for some busy weeks for our family, but this is the stage we are in and we are happy to serve here as God calls.


And that about sums up where we are in the first few weeks of October.  I’ll do my best to be better about sharing, because life is meant to be shared.  I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t have it all together, but I really don’t think that you always have to.  Anyone can take time to share life and encourage others and that is my goal and what I hope to continue to do through this blog and my writing.  Thank you so much for taking time to check in!

Dear Jules

Dear Jules,

Today was your Graduation Party.  And while I gave you your gift, I didn’t give you a card.  I knew I’d want to write a hundred things in it, but ran out of time and knew it would be hard to find the space to share everything I wanted to say.  So bear with me friend, because I’m going to share it here.

When we first met you, over two years ago, I remember thinking you were a sweet girl, but wondering if we’d really see you all that much.  I didn’t know at the time, the struggles that you had gone through or that God had truly led you to our Youth Group that night so that He could begin to do a beautiful work in your life.


You kept coming around, which was awesome.  And then you joined us that year for Breakaway, where you truly met up with Jesus and let Him begin to transform your life.


You changed in the most wonderful ways over the years.  One thing that stood out to me, was your love and kindness for others.


People always loved being around you because you learned to let your light shine in the most wonderful ways.


In addition to being very active in our Youth Group and later our church, you became a very dear family friend to us.  You willingly helped me with our kids’ birthday parties.


And entertained us all when you joined Christian on stage the next year at Breakaway, rapping away in your Christmas pajamas.  Oh, the memories.


What I’ve loved and connected with most over these years, is your heart for children and for teaching them all about how much God loves them.


Jules, you are so incredibly gifted in this area.  You have a boldness that comes out when you speak for God and people from the youngest to the oldest are attentive and they listen.  I loved seeing your heart when you shared at Hangtime last year and loved hearing your heart when you preached in our church a few months ago.  Both times, people were so affected by the words you shared and I realized that you truly had a gift for teaching and leading.


Jules, we are so very thankful for you and so proud of all that you’ve accomplished.


It was so sweet to get to come and celebrate you today, with your family and your friends.


You have this beautiful way of making others feel so amazing and we all loved being there to celebrate you today.


We are thrilled that since you are pursuing your Associates at Suffolk that you will be around next year to join our Youth Group leadership team, working with these fine individuals.


Jeremy and I are so very thankful for you and for all that you’ve meant to our family.  Thank you for loving our kids and being such a great friend to them.  I’m excited for the year to come and for the ways that God will continue to work in your amazing life.


Many people think that Graduation is an ending, but I’ve learned that it’s actually just the beginning.  May you always love and trust God as He leads you into this next phase of life.  I pray that you would always know how gifted you are in serving Jesus and that you would always pursue His plans for your life.  As you’ve learned so beautifully in these past years, you truly can do all things through Christ who gives you strength and I believe that with His help, nothing will stop you.


I know this “card” isn’t conventional, but hope that you read it and know how important and how loved you are!

Happy Graduation Jules!

These Moments

It all started with volleyball.  A last minute call for who could come and play.  And then when Facebook reminded us that it was our good friend Danny’s birthday, it turned into a mini celebration of him and his fourteen years as well.


Christian has basically grown up with Danny.  They shared many classes together in elementary school and in the more recent years have connected more through sports and youth group as well.  Of course he picked out the “Get ‘Whale’ Soon” balloon for Danny, because he’s funny and why be sensible with a mere Happy Birthday one?


I made a card with pictures that I had dating seven years back to First Grade.  I often joke that besides their parents, I probably have more pictures of our youth group kids than anyone, and especially of the ones that come around the most.  It’s the photographer in me as well as the desire to continually want to capture these moments because we all know how fleeting they are.


I made them take a few more pictures.


Thankfully, they haven’t refused to be in them quite yet.  There may come a day, and that will be okay too.


And then we played volleyball.  I can’t stress the importance of physical activity throughout these tumultuous teenage years.  Everyone’s a bit happier when they are being active, at least in my mind.


And one of the best parts of the night was seeing hundreds of fireflies all around as we played.  They lit up the grass, flashing their pretty patterned lights as though they were in on the celebrating birthdays and capturing moments as well.


When it finally got too dark to play, we came back for cake and a few rounds of Mafia.  It’s crazy to think that I’ve been playing that game with teens for over twenty years (from the time I was a teen and all throughout my years of working with teens).  Sigh.  Things like that make me feel old.  That being said, this group made it still quite fun.


There are so many of these moments that I want to remember as the days keep flying by. It’s why I write and why I capture pictures and sometimes I think that maybe in sharing it might even touch just one heart to consider the beauty of stopping and taking in the pure and simple joy that these amazing and wonderful moments will bring.


New Beginning

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

It was a week full of ends, which as the song above mentions are always connected to a beginning, hence the title of this post.  First, would be the official end of 8th Grade for Christian.  It’s still a little hard to believe, if I’m being honest.  Because how do two years of Jr. High go by so quickly?  That being said, Jeremy had the idea of creating a small but significant celebration for our son.  So he bought tiki torches and gathered together some of his closest friends.  With the ambiance of the night, it seemed like we should have learned some sort of awesome family Haka (if you don’t know what Haka is, google it.  It’s a traditional tribal war cry/dance and I think it’s so powerful and beautiful).


We didn’t do a Haka.  But we did have Christian’s friends read these bold and incredible things that were true about him and where he’s at in life these days.  For the record, and praise God, he is doing so well.  He’s found great friends and is making good choices.  He’s also grown into a hard-working and diligent young man and we could not be prouder.


So Jeremy created a ceremony to celebrate this and to welcome the next step for Christian, which will be high school in the fall.


He encouraged him to keep going, keep working hard, keep being surrounded by good friends and to most of all keep Jesus first as the focus in his life.  It was a great celebration of the end of Jr. High and the beginning of what’s to come for our son.


Then this sweet girl finished up her last day of school on Friday.  I’m pleased to share, that 5th grade overall was an awesome year.  Ellee also had good friends, made great choices and worked so incredibly hard.


During our traditional last day pictures, her Dad tried to make her laugh, but ended getting a look that I feel is going to be common in these coming years.  A little shock with a touch of mortification will be about right for us when it comes to our soon to be Sixth Grader.


Hopefully those moments will be short lived and we’ll get to stay close and connected with our sweet Ellee girl.


And finally, we celebrated our last end of the year Youth Group event with a nice Thunderball tournament on Friday night.  It was hard to tell how our turnout would be since it was Graduation night for many.


But everything worked out quite well and we had two solid competitive teams for our favorite made up game.





My caption for this would be “How many Jr. High boys does it take to cover the Youth Pastor?”




In the end, it came down to a championship game after both teams won one.


And this would be the team that came out victoriously.  And yes, I was a part of that team.  I played pretty diligently until the final game where I decided to capture the action instead of being a part of it.  They still let me be in the winning picture, which was nice.  If you didn’t know, I’m not really competitive at all and mostly just ran around for the exercise of it all.


And that mostly finished up our 2017-1018 Youth Group year.  We start Summer Youth group in a week or two with NTS Camp and then youth group at the Beach.  And as sad as it is to say goodbye to another year, I’m ready for the newness that this next season brings.  Happy Summer Friends!


Our Best Açai Bowls

A few days ago when I was with Ellee at Costco, we saw a sign for $5 Costco Açai bowls.  The backstory would be that I fell in love with açai bowls a couple of years ago.  Friends had been talking about them and when I finally tried one, I was a fan.  At the time tough, there were a few problems.  First, they weren’t easy to find (though they are much more common now).  Secondly, they were pricey.  I’d pay anywhere from $8-$15 for one (I can be more frugal, so that tells you how much I loved them).  So I’d eat them here or there and always enjoyed them wholeheartedly.

So back to Costco.  We couldn’t believe that they carried them, and so cheap!  We bought one along with a Chicken bake for lunch and were on our way.  Sadly, after a few bites, we realized that it wasn’t really great or even all that good.  Costco’s version was more like frozen yogurt that was supposed to be açai flavored, but it also had something else that made the aftertaste pretty much unbearable.  Ellee and I equated it to licking a car air freshener.  Though neither of us have ever done it, if you can imagine it that is how it tasted.

So, all of that would be why I’m writing today’s post.  We are huge fans of açai bowls and this past year, I finally figured out how to make them at home.  I should maybe be embarrassed to share that we literally eat them every other day or so because they are that good (and also making them at home is SO much cheaper).  I thought post-Costco açai that sharing my recipe might help others to enjoy something delicious at a much more budget friendly price.  So here goes.

For the record, even though it may sound like it, I’m not officially endorsing any of these products.  They’ve just been the ones that we’ve found to be the best for our bowls.  The açai juice and strawberries come from Costco.  The açai packets, coconut and honey are all from Trader Joes.  And the KIND granola can be found at Target or Rite Aid.

In addition to these ingredients, you’ll need a good blender.  We finally bought a Ninja years ago after burning through a variety of regular blender motors.  Our first Ninja lasted for years and years and we just actually replaced it with a new one when the motor finally died out.

The açai juice is about $8 a bottle and the packets are $4 for 4.  Add in the strawberries and each bowl comes out to about $2 for just the açai part.  The rest of the ingredients are probably another $1 or so depending on what you use, so basically it’s around $3 per bowl.  Which is so much cheaper than buying them anywhere else.


We stock up on the frozen açai from Trader Joes whenever we get out there so our freezer always has a good amount.


As for the recipe, you’ll need two cups of the juice.


Then you just add one frozen packet and a handful of frozen strawberries or two depending on how thick you want it to be.


Blend it all up till it’s nice and smooth.  This recipe makes two servings.


This one could have used a few more strawberries, but I shared it with our kids who like to just drink it as a smoothie so it worked out just fine.


Then you add the toppings.  We love the KIND granola and I use unsweetened coconut flakes.  Jeremy (who loves the bowls as well) prefers the sweetened coconut so it’s just up to your taste preferences.  We add honey on top.


And then you can add fresh fruit if you like or just eat it plain.


And that sums up our recipe for the best Homemade Açai bowls (in our opinion).  A fun weekend post for those who want to try something new.  I’ll be honest, blogging has been on a bit of a hold lately.  Life has been busy in many ways…  we all know how it goes.  That being said, thanks for stopping in and hope you’re all enjoying a beautiful weekend!




Consider the Birds…

So, earlier this week, I made plans to spend today with our dear friend Jules.  We picked this day to celebrate my birthday which was a few weeks ago.  So in honor of that, we got to do some of my absolute favorite things.  The first, was Hot Yoga with Angela.  If you’ve ever had a class with Angela, you know what an absolute joy this is because she is just an incredible instructor.

After yoga, we drove out to Rhumba, which is one of my all time favorite restaurants on Long Island.  We both enjoyed the smothered pulled rib taco and roasted sweet potatoes and they were so tasty.  Then we stopped at Levain Bakery, for their famous chocolate chip cookies (they are literally half the size of a baseball and both crispy and gooey delicious at the same time).

And after enjoying all of that good food, we drove out to Southampton for a Styled and Sold Estate sale.  For the record, this was my third Styled and Sold sale.  Allegra and her team do an absolute amazing job with their sales.  Everyone is friendly and helpful and we’ve always found fun treasures to enjoy.  Today’s included a pair of $128 flowy pants for Ellee (for $7) and this awesome wooden table.  When Jules and I saw it, we thought it was cute and then when we saw the price was only $30 (with an additional 30% off, since it was the second day of the sale) I knew I had to get it.


The reason I knew it would be useful was to replace this.

This, would be the stand that our newly inherited bird’s cage rests on.


And to that, yes, we inherited birds.  Okay well not really inherited, but kind of.  It all started when Christian was working for Grammy Joy and she mentioned how much work her birds were.  She had cared for them for the past 8 months or so since her friend was unable to care for them anymore.  They were a lot of work for her and her cat had too much fun terrorizing them, according to Christian.


Now, admittedly, we are not the best pet people.  We are busy and pets can be a lot of work and money and so we’ve kept it pretty low key over the years, with mostly just our pet gecko, who has been awesome by the way.


But Christian recently shared that he’s always wanted to have pet birds.  I did not know anything about pet birds and so basically just told him no because of the cost and lack of information.


Well all of that changed, when Grammy offered to give Christian her birds.  We realized it could be a good opportunity for Christian to learn responsibility in caring for his own pet and so one thing led to another, which led to us now owning birds.

For the record, the birds are delightful.  We’ve all enjoyed spending time with them and Christian has done an amazing job caring for them each day.


It’s been fun to go to Petco and browse the Bird aisle, looking for fun treats to give them.


And thanks to the estate sale, they now have a classy stand for their cage to rest on that also conveniently holds all of the things that they need.


So this post has had many purposes.  Part to remember an especially fun day with a dear friend.  Part to commemorate a fun find at the estate sale and also introduce our new pets.  But I’ll wrap it up with my all time favorite passage, which consequently is actually about birds.

In Matthew 6:26, right after Jesus says “do not worry” he continues with “Consider the birds of the air;  They do not sow or reap or store away in barns and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?”  For me, birds are a constant reminder that God cares for us.  We do not have to worry, and we do not have to fret.  God cares for the birds and God cares for you.  And I know that for me, this is something that I am so very thankful for.


Happy Weekend Friends!