Hey everyone! I feel like it’s been a while since i’ve done a daily dish! So, where do I begin!?! I wanted to share a few of my latest happenings behind the scenes of Dashing Dish, but also some of my current favorites!
When it comes to HAPPENINGS, I have pretty busy since the release of my new books in the new year! Busy in a good way though! From interviews, to speaking, and book signings (where I have met some amazing people), it has been a whirlwind and so much fun! The best part about my book release the past few months to has been seeing my cookbook and devotional book in stores…and hearing stories, seeing pictures, and hearing how you guys enjoy them! Nothing blesses my heart more!!!
If you follow me on Instagram you know that I have been doing something called Fan Fave Friday, where I share a picture from one of you guys when you tag photos from recipes you create! It’s been surprisingly hard to pick just one! You guys take awesome pics of the food! So fun!
In February I had the opportunity to be on The Harvest Show to discuss my new devotional! It was a blessing, and I had the opportunity to meet such a wonderful team of people!
Also in the month of February, my older sister threw a Valentines Day theme book signing party with some friends!
In March I flew out to San Antonio, where I did a cooking segment on The Difference Show with Matt and Kendal Hagee. So fun!
We also celebrated my dad’s birthday! People always say I get my ‘young face’ from my dad…how great does he look!?! He just returned from a missions trip to Ethiopia- he’s one of my greatest hero’s! :)
The weather was a bit on the warm side for March here in Michigan (yeah), which calls for frozen yogurt for sure!
I welcomed spring around our home by adding some spring flare to our decor!
I also started to take regular walks again, which is always one of the GREATEST treats when the weather finally warms up! It is a time I look forward to most, because I feel like I have nothing else to think about/do but listen to worship music and just think about the Lord! He downloads so much into me when I walk, and I think it’s because I don’t have any other distractions! I treasure this time with Him!
In March I also had a book signing in my home town, Ann Arbor Michigan. It was so much fun meeting so many of you and hearing your stories! I love how the internet can connect us, but meeting you guys face to face is the absolute best!
At the end of March I went to visit my beautiful childhood best friend, who lives in Virginia to celebrate her first baby! She is having a little girl, and I couldn’t be more excited for her… I just wish we lived closer!
How beautiful is this momma-to-be!?! I just love her!
The beginning of April marks an especially cheering version of myself every year, because I know spring is officially here (or at least on it’s way here in Michigan!) Spring has always been my favorite season. Seriously, something about it has always been so amazing to me, and so representative of how the Lord brings things that seem lifeless back to life!
Spring always brings with it the celebration of Jesus’s resurrection on Easter! How fitting is it that it that Easter falls in the beginning of spring. Jesus represents new birth and new life..and a fresh start which pairs so perfectly with the new season!
We celebrated Easter with family. We went to visit my sisters church (she lives about an hour away), then went back to her house and spent the day with my family!
April 8th marked an amazing day for my sisters and I when we had the opportunity to minister at the Brave Women’s Conference together! God’s poured out His love and presence in a mighty way in each and every woman there, including the three of us! It was a night I will never forget!
I shared my testimony and about finding your identity and value in Christ to the young adult women’s group at Freedom Center. What an amazing night this was! God did some amazing things in the area of restoration and healing women’s hearts.
I have also had the opportunity to speak at a few different MOPS groups this month, which has truly brought on a huge passion that I didn’t even know was there until recently! I have always known that I had a desire to help busy mom’s with cooking and eating healthy here at Dashing Dish, which is why most of my recipes are kid friendly, and made with a few simple ingredients that are easy to find and inexpensive. However, meeting so many precious women that are caring for little ones really opened my eyes to see what a huge impact mom’s can have on their children’s self worth and identity, especially when they are young! I also feel like God has been putting a desire on my heart to help mom’s meal plan and get their kids involved with cooking and learning nutrition. What a powerful impact that could make on the next generation coming up!
And last but not least, I wanted to share about one of the most impactful dreams I have had to date. Normally, I would never share a dream on social media/Dashing Dish, but this dream was one that I knew was not just for me, but rather to minister to others. You can read more about the dream here if you’d like! It brings tears to my eyes just to think about it! Surely it will be something I will remember forever!
As far as FAVORITES go, here are a few things that I am currently enjoying!
Another favorite has been these amazing books/resources written by my friend Jen from Unveiled Wife. Her and her husband are doing amazing things in the Kingdom for promoting healthy marriages Gods way!
My journal from my sweet friend Dayna has been an every day favorite of mine. I use it for journaling. Ilove it because it has scripture at the top of each page, and the cover alone has reminded me of the truth so many times!
As far as music goes, I have been loving this remix of Brit Nicole’s album! I have been listening to it when I’m working out, and I love every song! It has a great beat for getting you motivated!
My sister Sarah surprised me with some of her favorite all natural cleaning and food products…The best part!?! It was just because!!! What a fun package this was to open!!! I have been loving the Branch Basics cleaning supplies!
As far as meals go, well I am always in the mood for one of my protein shakes for breakfast. For lunch lately, I have been loving my Clean Eating Creamy Egg Salad. It is quick, easy to make, and super filling and delicious!
For dinner I have been making a variety of things, but one of my favorites has been my 15 Minute Peanut Chicken & Broccoli recipe!
For snacks I have been enjoying my No Bake Peanut Butter Protein Bars. They are the perfect pick-me-up mid-day, and they cure that sweet/salty craving that often strikes around 3 pm! ;)
And for dessert, lately I have been making my Clean Eating Chocolate cake from my cookbook!
Other FAVES are my sweet husband who supports me, prays for me, and is by my side through everything (he even comes to MOPS groups with me! ;) Now how is that for support!?!) He has also been pulling double shifts working on his client graphic design work, along with working long hours on the new Dashing Dish site and iPhone App! I couldn’t be more thankful for this creative genius God placed in my life! And this brings me to another fave- the new site!!! It is coming together, and I am beyond excited!!!
And of course my little sweet pea Zoey- the most faithful giver of joy daily! :)
If you know me, you know meal planning is one of the greatest strategies that I support for living a healthy lifestyle! The benefits to planning your meals every week are countless, but just to name a few- it will save you time, money, stress and unwanted calories! If the thought of meal planning seems overwhelming to you, here are a few tips to help simplify the process…but if you don’t know where to start, I suggest trying out some of my ready made meal plans to get you in the swing of things!
Step 1: Plan and Shop:
Write out meals and snacks you want for the week. You could use a calendar or just make a list.Make a grocery list for the ingredients you need, and get to shopping!
Step 2: Prepare the Food:
Take everything out of the bags, and organize groceries according to your recipes.
Step 3: Put Everything Together to Make the Recipe
Breakfast Ideas: Many of the Dashing Dish breakfast recipes are quick and easy to make. For this reason, you don’t necessarily need to prepare your breakfasts ahead of time, but it never hurts to plan ahead! When planning ahead, you can make something such as protein muffins for the week and pack them in a ziplock bag for busy mornings, or make overnight oatmeal the night before.
Lunch Ideas: Lunches can be easily be made ahead of time and can be put together in an assembly line fashion. If you’re making salads or sandwiches, you can prepare for the entire week by making them all at once in a Tupperware container or by wrapping them individually in foil. You can also plan ahead by making a big batch of soup or chili and divide it into portions for the week.
Dinner Ideas: You could either make a few different main dishes and a couple of side dishes. Or you could just cook your meat and chopping your vegetables ahead of time. This is helpful if your recipes calls for cooked chicken, for example, it will be ready to put right into your recipes for the week!
Here is a Look Inside a Week’s Worth of Meal Planning at My House!
For breakfast I almost always have one of my Dashing Dish Protein Shakes. The reason for this is that I generally work out right when I wake up most days of the week, and a cold thick protein packed shake always seems to hit the spot after a sweaty workout! Not to mention they are easy to make, and ready in a matter of minutes!
For snacks I prepare a batch of my muffins, no bake protein snacks, and/or protein bars. I generally have one of these with something else (such as fruit, Greek yogurt, almonds, etc.), or I enjoy two muffins/bars for a snack in between breakfast and lunch, and again between lunch and dinner. I have found that eating protein and fiber packed snacks prevents me from being too hungry at meal time, which can lead to cravings and overeating at meal time. Also, it has been proven that your metabolism increases when you fuel your body every 2-3 hours!
For this week’s snacks I prepared a batch of my Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Muffins, and my Grain Free Peanut Butter Muffins. If I don’t end up eating them all in one week, I simply pop them in my freezer, and pull them out as I need them!
While my muffins/bars are baking, I start to prepare my veggies and fruit for the weeks meals. I start by washing them in a large colander, (I use the same one, which means less dishes to clean!)
Then I dry and cut the veggies/fruit, and put them into individual tupperwear or ziplock bags. This way I have the veggies ready to go for recipes, or for a snack, or to throw in a salad!
Next I prepare my meats for the recipes I’m making for the week. This is certainly optional, but I personally find that if I cook up my ground meats, and chicken ahead of time, I am much more eager to whip a recipe together on a busy week night because half of the battle is already won! ;)
This week I prepared my Honey Mustard Chicken, and some lean ground turkey and lean ground beef (my husbands request- and just and note- you can swap this out for ground turkey in any of my recipes if your family prefers beef!)
I used the chicken and veggies that I prepared this week in my salads, which was one of the lunches my husband and i ate for the week.
I also prepared a batch of my Chicken Pot Pie Muffins for another option for lunches,. There was really no prep work required for these, except for the fact that I made them on meal prep day so they would be ready in the fridge when we were hungry. We enjoyed with some Garlic Parmesan Roasted Broccoli, which I chopped during meal prep, and washed and baked just before eating, since it tastes best freshly made!
Throughout the week I used the lean ground turkey to make my Italian Stuffed Peppers…
And my lean ground beef to make my Crockpot Layered Mexican Pizza for another dinner we enjoyed!
On the weekend I had family over, so I threw together a batch of my Crockpot Sweet Potato Turkey Chili before church, and it was ready when we got home! Crockpot recipes are my favorite for weekends!
My husband and I don’t always eat dessert, but when we want a healthy option, we generally make one of my Single Serve Desserts (which doesn’t require meal prep-because they only take a few minutes to make!) or I will prepare a batch of my Healthy Cookies, or a Dashing Dish dessert if we are having family or guests over for the weekend!
For more ideas on Meal Planning, be sure to check out these posts:
Also, be sure to check out my new cookbook: 100 Recipes for Clean Eating for some of these recipes and some of my personal faves for meal planning!
It’s hard to believe the holidays (and 2014 for that matter) have already come and gone! It was a wonderful year, and a wonderful holiday season, but I am ready for a fresh new beginning that always comes with the start of a new year! Before we say ‘goodbye’ to 2014, I thought I would share a few highlights from the previous year, and the Christmas/New Year season of 2014!
This year, we held our annual Gingerbread House Competition, which is always so much fun! We always do a different theme every year, this year the theme was animated movies! We had to make a house, character, or scene from an animated movie….So going along with the movie theme, I did a popcorn bar! There were healthier options, and some ‘fun’ ingredients… Everything in moderation! ;)
I made cupcakes with mini marshmallows, (toasted under my ovens broiler for a few seconds) to resemble popcorn!
I placed a popcorn bag at everyones seat, so they could fill it with their own personal popcorn selection!
We had quite the turnout- which always makes for quite the competition! :) It generally takes anywhere from 2-4 hours for everyone to finish! I guess you could say we take this pretty seriously! ;)
And here is the big reveal! Here is my husband Sean and my house, we did the house from the movie Tangled.
My sister Emily and her hubby Brett did the house from Despicable Me!
My other sister Sarah and her husband Phil did the houses from the Three Little Pigs from the movie Shrek!
Brianna and her friend Jana did the truck from the movie Cars!
Dayna and her hubby Matt did the house from Wreck it Ralph! (Funny story- it really did fall apart right before the picture! ;))
And…December came and went in a flash, and Christmas Eve was here before we knew it! We started the day at our house, where we had my husbands family (my in-laws) over for a little Christmas Eve brunch, and opened gifts together! Sean, Zoey and I were feeling very festive in our matching flannel! ;)
Good morning everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful week so far! I don’t know about you guys, but I can’t believe we are almost half way through September. But hey- I say bring it on if it means comfy sweatshirts, apple picking, and pumpkin season! :)
I wanted to share a few pictures with you guys that are sort of a ‘behind the scenes’ look at my two recent TV interviews. I felt so blessed and honored at the opportunity to be able to share my testimony on Life Today and do a healthy cooking demo on Fox 2 News over the past two weeks. It just blesses my heart to see how God is taking the ‘healthy eating/lifestyle’ side of Dashing Dish and using it to help people physically, and the ‘spiritual’ side to help people grown in their faith and walk with Him!
That is truly what my reason and my heart behind Dashing Dish has been from the beginning- to help others get spiritually and physically fit in a balanced way! It just blows my mind how God has continued to provide the tools and resources to do this- and I know it is simply because He loves His kids so much! I know the Lord desires that each one of us would take care of our bodies so that we will live a healthy life on this earth so we can walk out the plan He has for us with strength and endurance!
That being said, here are some of the behind the scenes photos! :)
My first interview was with Lisa Bevere on the set of Life Today with James and Betty Robison! I had the honor of sharing how the Lord healed and restored my life after eating disorders, and how Lisa Bevere’s teachings and ministry were a powerful resource that The Lord led me to in the midst of my darkest hour. I am forever thankful for Lisa, and her heart, which is to teach and equip women to know who they are in Christ, and to set the captives free! On a more personal note- she is also hilarious and extremely down to earth and genuine in person! A true beauty, radiating Jesus from the inside out! If you haven’t read any of her books, you need to pick up You Are Not What You Weigh and Girls with Swords. Both of which are life changing!
This program is set to air on October 9th, and will air on a few different stations, which you can read more about here. I will keep everyone posted with reminders on the exact date/time!
It was also such an honor to be able to meet James and Betty! I grew up watching them every morning when my mom would play their program! They have one of the most powerful ministries that is focused on saving the lost, and feeding the hungry! They are truly a blessing!
I also got to meet another amazing woman, Eileen Wilder, who also shared her testimony on how the Lord restored and set her free from years of bondage and addiction! This woman has a beautiful heart for Jesus! She is now a Creative Pastor and worship leader at Capital City Church!
After the show, I was able to meet & greet the members of the live studio audience, a few of which were Dashing Dish fans! This was such an incredible blessing, because it allowed me to put my arms around some of the amazing women that I get to ‘talk’ to every day over a screen! I honestly wish I could hug each one of you and see you face to face- so this was such a blessing to me! Here I am with Kat Clark, an amazing woman that is a true beauty inside and out. It was a blessing to get to talk to her and give her a big hug!
I also want to thank each and every amazing woman who came out to meet me (I wish I had pictures to share!) You are all wonderful, and it made me well up with tears after meeting each and every one of you!
About a week after the Life Today interview, I had the privilege of being on Fox 2 News, where I did a Healthy Tailgating cooking Demo! It was a blast to do, and it is always so much fun to be able to demonstrate how easy, tasty, and fun healthy eating can be!
Here I was in preparation to go in and film the segment- I was a little nervous being on live TV for the first time, but I kept telling myself to just share my passion and have fun! :) Since it was a tailgating special, I had to represent my home team of course- the Detroit Lions!
Then I headed on back to the Fox Kitchen to get set up!
The set looks a bit different in person than on TV, as I’m sure is always the case, but it always surprises me how different it appears on screen. The crew was also very friendly and a joy to be around, especially considering that they have to be to work at 3 am every day!
Deana was the host that filmed the cooking segment with me, and she was a joy! I got her involved in making some of my recipes which made it fun!
If you missed this live interview, you can check it out HERE!
I hope you guys enjoyed the behind the scenes look and hearing a bit more about these amazing opportunities! I do have to say though, as amazing as it was to be on television, I truly do see everything as an opportunity to share about Jesus, which each one of us has the privilege to do on a daily basis no matter where we are, or what we do! After all…It’s ALL His stage!
Last week I had the honor of being part of a “Red Carpet Royalty” youth girls event at my dear friend Dayna’s house. Dayna is a youth leader at her church and she wanted to do something really special for the girls, where she made them feel like the royalty that they are, being God’s daughters! It was quite an amazing night, where we celebrated the unique beauty that God has place inside each one of us!
Here are some pictures from this incredible night! (A big thanks to Dayna for sharing the lovely photos from the evening as well!) I hope this post reminds you that every woman is truly beautiful and created special and unique by our creator!
The night started by the girls trying on and picking out a dress to wear. The dresses were lightly worn dresses that were donated. This allowed us to have a whole ‘wardrobe’ of dresses for the girls to pick from.
After the girls picked their dress, we did their hair and make up. The point of this was not to focus on the ‘external’ beauty, but we did want them to feel like it was a special night, and a little make up, dresses, and getting their hair done truly made them feel like it was a “red carpet night”
After we were all ready, we took pictures in Dayna’s studio. We each took a turn to write one word that describes our testimony!
To make the girls feel ‘extra’ special (and like the royalty they are) we even rented a limo for the evening, decked out with a red carpet! :)
We blasted Hillsong Young & Free and danced the whole way to the restaurant, (one of my favorite parts of the night!) :)
We ate at Mongolian BBQ, and had dessert at a frozen yogurt shop! Talk about fun!
The BEST part of entire night however was when we all came back to Dayna’s house and each of the ‘leaders’ (including myself) shared our testimonies as the girls gathered around and listened. It was pretty amazing because out of the six leaders, we each had an entirely different testimony that could potentially reach into each girls heart in a unique way.
I personally started my testimony off by saying “If I could talk to my 16 year old self, I would say…” Because, boy do I wish I could go back and tell my 16 year old self what is really important in this life! It was amazing to be able to share these bits of encouragement and wisdom with these girls, and to pray with them at the end of the night.
Overall, it was such a blessing to pour into each one of these young women, knowing that each one of them are precious daughters of the King of Kings! I hope this post blessed, encouraged, and even inspired you guys to reach out to young women in your own lives and pour into them in some way! Just think of what an amazing thing it is to share what God has taught you to the next generation! Now that my friends is the power of a testimony at work! :)
Happy Thursday Everyone! Last week (June 17th to be exact) was my 29th birthday.I can honestly say my 20′s were a time of great pruning, weeding, growing my roots down deep in Christ, and growing, growing, growing! I am looking forward to continuing my race, running each day with my eyes fixed on the author of my life~ Jesus! The more that I fall in love with Jesus, the more that I want to give my life as an offering to Him!
I wanted to share a few of the photos from my birthday bash. I don’t know about you guys, but in my family we have a few traditions for birthdays, one of which is my ice cream cake! I make everyone their own personalized cake based on their favorite flavors each year! We also do grilled kabobs of some sort for everyones special day! I love birthdays for that very reason…Spending time with family, carrying on traditions!
This year I got a special surprise that I wasn’t expecting at all, which was a fully decorated office by my sister Sarah! It was one of the greatest birthday gifts I have ever received to say the least! I came home from my parents house and my husband said, “Hey Kate, what’s that in your office!?!” I looked in and my jaw dropped! I said that I felt like I was on a home decorating show! :) Thank you Sarah!!! I’m so blessed by the beautiful atmosphere she created in this room that I spend so much time in!
She got me a recipe binder to keep some of my favorite recipes in, which is such a treasure!
The next day, on my actual birthday, I woke up to yet another suprise from my other sister Emily! Talk about birthday blessings, and amazing sisters! :) She bought me some of my favorite little things!
For breakfast I had a protein shake of course! Since it was my birthday, I had to top it with some Redi Whip and chocolate rice cereal (my husbands) to make it extra special of course!
For lunch we went to Cheesecake Factory, which is one of my favorite restaurants! It just opened a few months ago here in Michigan, and it is so popular that the wait is 6+ hours at times! Luckily, since we went on a weekday for lunch we got right in!
For lunch my sister Emily and I had the Mexican Tortilla Salad! (This salad is on their Skinnylicious menu, which I love! It has tons of flavorful, yet lower calorie options.)
After shopping for a bit at the mall we had some time to kill before dinner, so of course we had to make a Frozen Yogurt stop! It was my birthday after all- this is a birthday must on a birthday in my opinion! ;)
Afterwards we went back to my parents house where I got to sit and relax while my sisters and mom prepared the dinner! I obviously LOVE to cook, but it was nice to just enjoy time with the family for once!
And I got to spend a little extra time cuddling this cutie-pa-tootie, (my parent’s dog Izzy)! ;)
For dinner we had the traditional grilled chicken and veggie kabobs, baked whole grain pita, and a great big salad! My faves in the summer!
After dinner I opened gifts…One of which was a Dessert Bullet from my parents! This gift is right up my alley! It is a frozen yogurt maker where you basically grind up frozen fruit and Greek yogurt to make your own ice cream blend! Talk about YUM!!! I can’t wait to experiment with this fun kitchen gadget and see what kind of recipes I whip up!
I also got a few more fun things for my new office, and some really cute Asics tennis shoes from my sisters!
My husband got me a really cute sweatshirt and dress, which was pretty darn good for a guy to pick out by himself I must say!
For dessert, I had to make the peanut butter ice cream cake of course! There is no other flavor that tops the combination of peanut butter and chocolate in my opinion! :) Luckily, most of my family also agrees!
It was a pretty darn good ending to a great day! :)
And just when I thought it was over… My husband had one last surprise for me! This past weekend he took me to Sur La Table for a cooking class! It has been a dream of mine for a long time to start teaching cooking classes out of my own home, but I really wanted to attend one first so that I could get some tips and ideas on how to structure a class.
My hubby signed us up for a class called, Baking with Seasonal Fruits. We ended up making a total of four dishes in a hour long class!
Our instructor, Erin was amazing! She was so cute and hilarious, which made it all the more fun!
We made a strawberry shortcake, a peach cobbler, blueberry muffins, and strawberry tart! None of it was actually healthy, but it certainly gave me lots of great ideas, and got me really excited to teach people how to cook and bake using simple healthy ingredients!
After the class we got to try some of the dishes we made. Everything tastes more delicious and satisfying when you make something from scratch yourself!
This was such an amazing experience, and I highly recommend everyone from the beginning home cook to the experienced chef. It was so much fun!
It was a wonderful way to celebrate the last year in my 20′s! Thank you for all the birthday wishes by the way! I felt beyond blessed, and my heart was full!!! xo Katie
Happy Spring Everyone!!! What a glorious time of year this is, when the dead things come back to life! Such a beautiful season, that can’t help but remind us of the redeeming goodness of our God! My husband always buys me tulips (one of my favorite flowers) at the beginning of spring- which always reminds me- sunshine and warmth are near! :) This makes my heart happy!
Another way that spring has made it’s way around our house is by changing up the decor! We finally took down all the winter themed decor (I couldn’t stand to see snowflakes any more- until next year anyway!) So, even when it was still snowing outside in April- yes- snow in April…I put bursts of spring around the home! I told my husband, hey- it’s spring somewhere! :) Here are a few pictures of some of the little spring accents I brought in around the home to brighten things up!
One of my favorite parts of spring is of course Easter Sunday! It is one of my favorite times- to celebrate the resurrection power of Jesus! Here are a few of my favorite pictures of the day, which was spent at my sisters house!
Easter Sunday this year was a double celebration, as it was also my oldest sisters birthday! We had Grilled Chicken and Veggie Kabobs, and instead of a traditional cake, my sister wanted fruit, so I created a fun way to serve it, to make it extra special for her birthday! :)
We also had some Greek style salad on the side! One of my favorite meals!
And of course- your never too old to color eggs! :) What a wonderful day it was to spend celebrating Jesus, my sister’s birthday, and spend time with family! Hope you all had a great Easter as well!
Other latest happenings this spring have been going to the Kari Jobe Majestic Concert- AMAZING!!! You have to download her new CD called Majestic if you haven’t already! I’ve been listening to it on repeat- it’s that good!
I have been enjoying wearing spring colors- even if it’s still a bit chilly here in Michigan! It’s the little things that make me so happy! :) Nothing like switching from black scarves to pink! It just does something to your heart- ya know!?
And…Last but not least, I have been enjoying my new spiral vegetable slicer! This thing is amazing! It was a gift…but I think you can get it for around $40 at Williams and Sonoma! :) I will have to use these zucchini noodles in a recipe soon!
Also, I have been enjoying making new Spring Inspired Recipes for you guys! It might be my favorite time of year for creating fresh new flavors! Be sure to check out the Top 30 Spring Recipes on Dashing Dish right now if you haven’t already done so!
Well that’s about it for now…Been hard at work preparing my Bridal Bootcamp (coming May 1st) for you new brides-to-be…and of course the upcoming new Dashing Dish website and books! Can’t wait to share them with you guys! Hope you are all having a great start to this beautiful season, where our Great God makes ALL things NEW! xo Katie
My family and I just got back from a wonderful week on the Norwegian Getaway, the cruise line’s newest ship! We all were counting down the days to leave freezing Michigan as this winter has been insanely cold with extreme amounts of snow. We flew to Miami where we boarded the ship.
It was such a neat ship! We were on the second sail after it was built. We first explored the ship!
But the very first thing we did was get ice cream, of course! They had a self-serve frozen yogurt machine! Frozen yogurt is me and my sister’s FAVORITE thing, so we made sure we got our share fix of it on the trip ;).
The next morning, me, my husband, sister, and her husband did a spinning class. It was so hard, but a lot of fun. We definitely took a lot of rest days from working out, but it felt good to move our bodies a few times a week for sure! We just made sure we did it in a fun enjoyable way! :)
Nighttime on the ship was something we all looked forward to. Every night a duo, Summer Breeze, would play contemporary music at the Atrium lounge. We enjoyed relaxing with coffee while playing cards. The last night at seat they had a fireworks show where we danced the night away.
Our first port was St. Maarten. We got off the ship around 10am and explored the local shops.
After we enjoyed some lunch back on the ship, we did an excursion of ATV riding.
That night we went to Teppanyaki, a Japanese Hibachi style restaurant. The food was DELICIOUS and by far my favorite meal on the ship. Our chef, Mel, was hilarious. He sang throughout the whole cooking process!
The following day we ported in St. Thomas. It was insanely beautiful! We did a day at the beach. The beach we went to, Magen’s Bay, has been noted to be one of the world’s most beautiful beaches! It sure was!
My sister and I made a sand snowman…thinking of the -20 degree days back in Michigan of course! ;)
Back on the ship that evening, we went to one of the comedy shows. The evening activities that the cruise had planned were tons of fun! Another night we went to dueling pianos… probably one of my favorite shows all week!
Another activity that was unforgettable was the Newlywed Game Show that my sister and brother-in-law got picked to be in. They got married 8 months ago, so they were the perfect contestants for the newly married couple!
My next favorite dinner was at Moderno’s, a brazilian steakhouse. This restaurant was so neat! It was all you could eat meat, which the guys of our family loved! The servers bring around several different types of meat on huge skewers. They had an enormous salad bar as well!
Sean and I also took a night away from the family to enjoy a date night at one of the restaurants. This is a really great part about going on a cruise with your family… You can all be on the same ship, but enjoying different things, or come together every day/night if you choose!
Our last stop before heading back to Miami was to the Bahamas. We walked through the Atlantis Hotel and went to one of their beaches. Beautiful water!
It truly was an enjoyable week. The best part of it all…. time with my family with no cell phones or internet. It was quite refreshing to “unplug” and spend time with those that I love!
I hope we brought some sunshine home to Michigan and to you guys! Hope you all have a beautiful day! xo Katie
My husband and I wasted no time at all to decorate for Christmas. I love the feeling of Christmas, and had so much fun decorating our new home for the holidays!
The first week of December, my sister Sarah, hosted a “My Favorite Things” party for a group of ladies. It was such a blast! We had a mix of our favorite foods, favorite desserts (trifle bar of course), and favorite snacks. Sarah did such a beautiful job decorating her house! Here’s how to play the game: All the girls brought three gifts of their favorite thing(s) with a dollar limit. Each girl wrote their name three times and put it in a bowl. We went around drawing three names out of the bowl and those were the three girls that received the gifts that we brought. So much fun!
Here is the basket of my favorite things… baking items, of course!
Another favorite event of December was our Annual Gingerbread House contest. My husband Sean and I did Noah’s Ark. It’s an event all of our friends look forward to as we host it at our house. This year we were so excited to have everyone over at our new house!
My sister Sarah invited my sister, mom, and I to an Annual Ladies Christmas Gala hosted by her church. We were so honored to be seated with the guest speaker of the night, Lisa Bevere, along with other amazing world changing women!
I had the privilege to speak with Lisa afterwards. I told her how her book You’re Not What You Weigh transformed my life and now I am able to share God’s healing power to other women.
My sweet friend, Dayna, hosted a Pinterest Party at her house. Dayna provided three crafts she found on Pinterest. She supplied all of the materials to make photo coasters, peppermint sugar scrub, and a picture ornament. She made the cutest gift bags and treats to send us home with.
Christmas Eve was hosted by my sister Sarah and her husband Phil at their new home. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to make a Pumpkin & Gingerbread Trifle or a Brownie Peppermint trifle, so I made both!
With over 35 people in one house, it sure was a happy Christmas with family!
Christmas Eve night we spent with the in-laws and then back to my parents house. All of us (my parents, my 2 sisters and their husbands, and five dogs) spent the night and woke up together on Christmas. My husband Sean helped me make Christmas breakfast!
My sister Sarah gifted me with the cutest recipe box by Sugar Paper out of Los Angeles. So excited!
New Years Eve was a great way to end the amazing year. Sarah hosted it at her home and went to town decorating with the cutest details. The night was full of great people, yummy catered Lebanese food, and tons of desserts to ring in the New Year.
The month of December was sure packed… but full of laughter and great memories. My family and I are excited for 2014 as we know God has GREAT things in store. I wish you and your family a blessed start to the New Year!
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I know I sure did, as it is one of my very favorite holidays! What could be better than time spent with family, giving thanks to the Lord for all the good things He has done, all while cooking and enjoying great food!?!
I thought I would share a quick recap on my Thanksgiving with all of you! We spent the day at my moms house cooking up a storm and enjoying time together! My Aunt Lorrie and I both love to cook, so we were preparing the food while everyone else spent time talking and watching the game.
Here is a glimpse at the final product! Most of it was Dashing Dish recipes of course! :) We had turkey, sweet potato casserole, roasted vegetables, stuffing, mashed cauliflower, cranberry sauce, baked mac & cheese, corn muffins, and gravy!
As great as the food always is though, the best part of the day was being with family!
For dessert I made my pumpkin gingerbread trifle, always a crowd pleaser, and one of my faves!
After the meal we all talked about what we were thankful for, which is always such a special time! Then we relaxed, played games, and enjoyed each others company! Now, time to prepare for Christmas! I can’t believe it is already less than 3 weeks away! I hope you are all enjoying this special time of year as we reflect on God’s great love for us, that He sent His only Son, so we could be called His children!