Inspired by Life
posted on: Saturday, May 16, 2015
Another thing checked off on my bucket list this weekend! The DC Dragon Boat Festival has been something I have always wanted to attend but never got around to it. This year, Aaron was invited by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the US, to participate in the Dragon Boat Festival Race. He was thrilled to do something that was a tradition of DC, to be outdoors on the water, and to get some exercise all at the same time :) Of course, Gracie and I went to support him and cheer on the teams that assembled early in the morning. We missed the opening festivities because we had to feed Grace and get her ready, but we made it in time for Aaron to join the team he was assigned to, find a parking spot right at the Boat Center with an out of order parking meter (score!), and scope out a good spot for some pictures of the race.
posted on: Friday, May 15, 2015
|Photo credit - morganhowarth.com|
posted on: Wednesday, May 6, 2015
It is already reaching summertime temperature around here but I am thrilled that I can go outside the house and enjoy the sunshine, lovely greenery, and explore my surroundings. That is something I missed intensely as I sat, cooped up in the house all winter, trying not to go crazy! This month, I am determined to get out and explore as often as I can. Gracie loves every minute of it!
Today, we wanted to visit Clemyjontri Park. My local friends have all been to this place and highly recommended it, so I was dying to check it out. It definitely did not disappoint! Clemyjontri is a one-of-a-kind park. It is playground built to accommodate children of all abilities. In fact, they even have a swing that is specially designed to allow kids in wheelchairs have a go. Isn't that amazing?!
posted on: Saturday, May 2, 2015
In honor of Gracie's 1st birthday and a commitment to myself to explore again, I took Aaron and Gracie to Burnside Farms in Haymarket for the Holland in Haymarket Festival of Spring 2015. This was something I had been looking forward for several weeks now and had been tracking when the flowers were at their peak season. This weekend was it!
Burnside Farms hosts the Annual Holland in Haymarket Festival where they plant over five acres of spring flowers to provide the largest, and most spectacular pick-your-own-flower event in the world! Right here in our own backyard in Virginia!
posted on: Tuesday, April 28, 2015
First things first: I am not a fan of oatmeal. I will try my hardest to camouflage the oats by any means possible. Yep, a bit crazy, I know. But that's how I feel about eating oats. I still eat it because it is good for me but I don't have to eat it in porridge form always, do I? In fact, I rarely do, and when I do, it is also disguised by a generous portion of fruits and nuts. That's how I like it. When I came across this recipe in Cook, Click & Devour, I knew I had to try it. It was savory! Done!
posted on: Monday, April 20, 2015
Today is Day One of my attempt at clean eating. Now, I usually tend to eat healthy—lots of veggies, protein, fruits—however, I also load up on the carbs and I love salty things :) If I don't get my breakfast in, then I find myself craving some white rice and eat more than is needed to curb the hunger and the craving. Not so good, right? In fact, it is a vicious cycle and one that is hard to break: skip breakfast, blood sugar levels yo-yo, eat carbs, turns that into sugar, body stores fat, and you start all over again. Since my gym membership has been calling my name for the last three months and I have seen its doors maybe four times this year, I decided I needed to kickstart my dormant gym-rat status and start somewhere. Eating right. This recipe from Gimme Some Oven helps me do just that and it all comes together in less than 30 minutes! Check out Ali's blog (one of my favorites) where she creates this and other fantastic recipes.
posted on: Saturday, April 18, 2015
“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero
From the moment we walked through the doors of the Visitors' Center, I felt like I had been transported to a different time—a serene, beautiful, surreal one. Meadowlark Botanical Gardens is a hidden gem. Stunning expanse of the most beautiful little gardens all over the acres and acres of nature. It was the perfect day to explore. But then again, Aaron and I are ready to explore any day of the week ;) Grace loves the outdoors and will relinquish all desires for sleep just to soak in all the beauty around her. And, oh it was beautiful! I will warn you that this is a picture overload but I am sure you won't mind when you see God's gift to us - Nature at its best!
posted on: Sunday, April 12, 2015
What a lovely family photo, if I say so myself! No one could have guessed that Scotty was having a little meltdown and Gracie wanted to walk around the backyard and I was taking these pictures with my camera on a tripod and a timer/remote combo. Didn't they turn out just great? A wonderful way to preserve our memories of Adam, Tonna and Scotty. We loved having them over, showing them around, eating good food, and enjoying just being together! Please come again, Johnson Family!
Sunday mornings are treasured around here. Since church doesn't start till almost the middle of the day, our mornings usually consist of a fantastic breakfast by Aaron, and a stroll along our favorite trail. What makes this even more appealing, at least for me, is that the path is now paved :) Pushing a stroller just got a whole lot easier! Obviously, we were excited to show Adam and Tonna one of our favorite spots. So, we headed out for a stroll on a beautiful, cool, crisp morning where the sun was shining but the air still had a nip in it, and the blossoms were spreading out their petals and enjoying themselves. Perfect for a walk, right?
posted on: Saturday, April 11, 2015
In the five years that we have lived in these parts, Aaron and I have never made it to the Cherry Blossom Festival together. No, let me revise that statement. We have never made it to the Festival - for obvious reasons: crowds, traffic, lack of parking and walking space around the Tidal Basin. This year, we had family in town — Adam & Tonna Johnson—who drove in from South Carolina and were excited to see the blossoms. So, we joined them along with the throngs of people who traversed the beaten path around the Tidal Basin.
posted on: Friday, April 10, 2015
It is a rare occasion for us to have family pay us a visit! Adam & Tonna Johnson (Aaron's cousins on his mother's side) along with their handsome little boy, Scotty, drove all the way from South Carolina for a weekend of fun, food, and exploration. Aaron and I were thrilled!
Among the many reasons we enjoy our time with them was the fact that they are adventurous eaters like we are and they love to explore. I knew this would be a fun trip!
posted on: Wednesday, April 1, 2015
posted on: Thursday, March 26, 2015
Every so often, you come across someone with whom you make a connection so immediately that you know you will be friends for life. One such someone is Katie. A dear friend, an amazing midwife, and an incredible first-time mommy, herself! Yes, you read that right - midwife. My midwife. And my friend. She was my rock (besides Aaron) throughout my pregnancy and the day I went into labor. She stayed with me the whole time she was on her shift, and then stayed past her shift when Gracie was trying hard to come into this world but needed a bit of extra help, and we finally had to have a c-section to put an end to a long, 29-hour labor, and to welcome the most beautiful baby (yes, I am biased) into this world!
posted on: Monday, March 23, 2015
One of the sweetest friends I know decided she was going to spontaneously visit me and then proceeded to give me fair warning that she was going to visit me on Monday :) Cecily is one of those women who just glow. She is beautiful both inside and out, and it shines through like no other. I love spending time with her, listening to her comments in Relief Society (our women's group at church), and admiring her hairstyling skills! She thinks deep thoughts, expresses her emotions articulately, and is simply a beautiful person.