Steph's Pick - My Goodreads

Aug 29, 2008

Summer is such a great time to bury your nose in a book. Especially in AZ where it's almost too hot to spend time outside. I often find myself reading through a book a week b/c I'm so captivated by the characters. This summer I've read some "goodreads" and thought I'd highlight my Top 5 Reads of the Summer. In no particular order...

1. Shopoholic Series by Sophie Kinsella - great light-hearted chic-flicks.
2. The Birth Order Book by Kevin Leman - super intrueing book! Very informative on how birth order affects you and those you love.
3. Something Borrowed, Something Blue and Baby Proof by Emily Giffin - again, great girlie books! (Note: certainly not Christian books, but still very good reads)
4. Stepping Up: A Journey through the Psalms of Ascent by Beth Moore - a new study by Beth Moore - very challenging - loved it!
5. Freakonomics by Steven Levitt - interesting read for something different

If you want to check out other books I've read, go to It's a great tool to document what you've read and how you would rate each book. I'm generally one who likes to read things people have recommended to me and with you can do just that. Anytime I need a new book, I go to my friends' goodreads pages to see which books they've rated highly.

Happy reading!


Alan's Two Cents - quick cash

Aug 26, 2008

Are you in need of some quick cash? What to know some of the options that are out there and the consequences? I recently ran across this page on CNN Money. It has some good ideas and gives you the pros and cons to each scenario. Take a look.


Steph's Pick - DIY Monogrammed Art

Aug 22, 2008

I have this weird fetish - I always want to change things up in our home. Although we are blessed to have an incredible condo, it just isn't all that big, so I don't have the option of making hugely noticeable changes (ex: moving furniture). However, I'm always able to move artwork, shelving, and decorative items.
Just a couple weeks ago I wanted a new art piece for one of our walls but didn't want to spend much money. I went to Michael's with my 40% off coupon and came out with everything I needed to make my own monogrammed art piece. Here's how I did it:

Items needed:
- An inexpensive canvas at an arts and crafts store.
- Wood Letters
- Fun fabric to cover canvas
- Black paint
- Hot glue gun
- Staple Gun

How to:
- Cut fabric to fit tightly across the canvas with some extra to staple to the back
- With staple gun, staple fabric to back wood frame of canvas (remember to pull tightly)
- Paint letters and let dry (only if needed obviously)
- Measure out placement for letters (just to make sure everything is even)
- Hot glue letters to front of canvas

That's it! It was super easy and didn't cost me any more than $15 for the entire thing. I think it looks pretty good too! :)
(Note: this also makes a great wedding or anniversary gift)


a birth announcement

Aug 20, 2008

Isn't she just way too precious!!! Here is the announcement I designed for our friends John & Denise.
For those of you who don't know - I've started a little side-business designing invitations and announcements. It's just something to do in my spare time :) If you or anyone you know might be interested, go to
iDesign and contact me. I'd love to help with any future projects you may have.



Aug 17, 2008

Growing up, both our summers consisted of spending a ton of time swimming at the pool/lake. In fact, some of my best memories involve time in the sun as a child. Upon moving to Phoenix we soon realized that summer is not the best time to spend outside. Although we still do it, it's just way too hot.
As we were putting together our social calendar for our small group, I stumbled across notification that our local waterpark hosts what they call "NightSplash" every Saturday night. They keep the park open from 7 pm - 11 pm every Saturday. So our group gathered our beach towels and headed out for the evening last night. And let me tell you - it was soooo much fun! I would highly recommend looking into this possibility with your local waterpark. The tickets were less money and you didn't have to lather up with the SPF of your choice :) Two thumbs up from us!


Steph's Pick - Food

Aug 15, 2008

Ever been asked to bring food for friends or family in need? Say your good friends just had a baby and you want to bring over food for this transition time. Or a family member is recovering from surgery and again, you'd like to provide a good home-cooked meal for the family. Better yet - you're actually organizing all of the people that want to provide food. My guess is that most reading can relate to at least one of these situations. I have great news - the world wide web has come through again and made this process so fast and easy for cases just as the one's I described. It's called Food Tidings.
Food Tidings website says it exists to simplify the process of organizing meals for friends or family members in a transitional time of life. For someone who has just had a baby, recovering from surgery or injury, grieving the passing of a loved one, confined to bed rest, and almost anything else, receiving dinners from loved ones can be very comforting and helpful.
I love this site for multiple reasons. First, you can sign-up online for what day you'd like to bring food. You can also make a notation of what you will be bringing so you don't bring a similar dish to the person that brought food just two days before. And if you find yourself organizing food for family or friends you can make special notes of what the couple/person likes and doesn't like. You can also include a map to their home. It's just so great!!! Try it for yourself - I think you'll really love it.


Announcing the arrival of Madison Rose

Aug 12, 2008

Announcing the arrival of Ms. Madison Rose on August 9th, 2008 at 1:08 pm. At 7 lbs, 8 ounces and 21 inches, Madison was born healthy to a very excited mom and dad.

John & Denise - we are so excited for you two as you join together in this great adventure called parenting. May God do a great work in and through little Madison and may she impact the world for God's great glory.


Steph's Pick - a call to prayer

Aug 8, 2008

This past year our dearest friends, Greg & Amy Brill have been serving in Ecuador as missionaries. What a great blessing it has been to follow their incredible journey of faith and love by joining them in praying for the salvation of those they encounter.

Specifically the majority of their time has been spent at a soup kitchen where they serve food to local children, while the rest of their time has been devoted to the partnership with US short-term teams that come for various time periods. These teams have accomplished various things throughout the year - some have been medical teams and have offered medical services to people in the community while others have brought with them containers and containers of new shoes and socks for Ecuadorian children - Happy Feet. These teams spend a majority of their time washing children's feet and providing them with a new pair of socks and shoes. There is almost too much to report as they have accomplished, through God's grace, an enormous amount for the sake of His kingdom. For more about their ministry please go to their blog.
The Ecuador Adventure

For both Alan and I, their devotion to the spreading of the gospel and the serving of God's people has been so empowering. Greg & Amy's ministry often reminds me of a quote that I have always loved and clung to in my own personal walk with the Lord

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot, martyr

Although this may not be the usual "Steph's Pick" - it is more dear to our hearts than any of the past picks will ever be. Please join us in praying for the Brill's. They'll be coming back to the states in early September and could use your prayers for these next few weeks in Ecuador and their transition back to life in the states. We love you Greg & Amy! We pray the following for you on this day (and forevermore)...

"Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God's Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears." - Philippians 1:3-6 (The Message)


Alan's Two Cents - Save on Home Improvements

Aug 6, 2008

Are you looking to do a minor/major renovation in your home? Perhaps update those old kitchen appliances? Get a new washer and dryer? Put in tile or hard wood floors? I was recently informed of 20% coupons from Home Depot on eBay. These coupons can be purchased on eBay for $10-$20, however they could save you hundreds of dollars. A friend of ours purchased a bundle of like 5 coupons and used them to update their home. So if you are going to spend some serious change at Home Depot, check out these coupons on eBay.


Steph's Pick - MahiMahi with Tropical Salsa

Aug 1, 2008

As I've mentioned in previous posts, we're trying to incorporate more fresh fish into our diets. Just last weekend I tried a new recipe out of my magazine Cooking Light (thanks Sara for the great bday gift). It turned out awesome. We substituted mango for the pineapple.
Bon Appetite!!

1 1/4 cups chopped pineapple
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons flaked sweetened coconut
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 jalapeƱo pepper, finely chopped
2 teaspoons pink peppercorns, crushed and divided
1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
3 tablespoons finely chopped macadamia nuts
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, divided
1/2 cup light coconut milk
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
4 (6-ounce) mahimahi or other firm white fish fillets
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Combine first 6 ingredients and 1 teaspoon peppercorns in a bowl; set aside.
3. Combine panko, nuts, remaining 1 teaspoon peppercorns, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a shallow dish. Combine milk and soy sauce in another shallow dish. Sprinkle fish with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Dip one side of fish in milk mixture; dredge dipped side in panko mixture.
4. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add fish, crust side down, to pan; cook 3 minutes. Turn fish over, and bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with salsa.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

  © Blogger templates Newspaper II by 2008

Back to TOP