Dafney Harper

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bakin Friends Reveal!



Can you guys believe today is the last day of July already?  This summer is flying by way to fast.  

Well, with the last day of the month comes the Bakin Friends reveal!  This month's secret ingredient was a little different, but my friend, Dawn, did an amazing job!  This month we were to use BASIL.  A little weird, right?  

Dawn sent me some super tasty Lemon-Basil scones!  One of my favorite things to eat are scones and these did not disappoint!  They were super Lemon-y {which is one of my fave flavors lately} with a hint of basil.  I had them for breakfast and they went perfectly with my coffee {and as Dawn suggested, they'd be perfect with TEA}!  Thank you, Dawn, for the amazing treats!



Interested in joining, email me at leahmarie.mackenzie@gmail.com!

Happy eating!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Latte with Leah #6


Hi Friends!  It’s time to grab your favorite coffee& listening ears {ha, if you have a kid, you totally use this saying 100 times a day…admit it.  Please.}…let’s begin, shall we?!

~ Exciting news…I recently joined my friend Christie in her new beach body challenge!  Seriously, I am PUMPED!  It’s sort of pricey, but I am hoping it will be the motivation that I need right now to work-out and get back into shape!  If you know Christie, you know she’ll be the PERFECT beach body coach: healthy, motivating and FULL of energy and positive vibes!  I hope to update often on my challenge successes {ßsee positive attitude} so check back! 

~ I’ve recently given up getting Starbucks in the morning’s.  Ugh, it breaks my heart, but I know going everyday was not a fiscally responsible decision…$4 a day will surely add to the savings account!  If you see me and I seem out of it, you’ll know why.  I apologize in advance.

~ Seriously, this is not only brilliant, it completely blows my mind!  I’d probably end up losing a finger.

This is on my list of things to stuff in my face!

~ We finally have grass!  And some plants.  The house really feels like a HOME now and we absolutely LOVE it!  Building has truly been one of the best decisions ever!




~ I just finished up 2nd book in the Maze Runner series, The Scorch Trials.  Loved it.  Easy read and it totally sucks you in.  I’m on the waiting list for the 3rd book…I can’t wait to read it!  What are some of your favorite reads lately?


~ One of my new favorite songs!

~ I love, love, LOVE Farmer's Markets!  Nothing better than fresh and healthy fruits & veggies!  Oh, and gorgeous flowers!


So, if we were actually having coffee together, what would YOU tell me?

Monday, July 28, 2014

3 strikes you're out?!

Have you ever had one of those days where you just wanted to get in the car and drive.  Far away.  By yourself.  That’s the day I’m having.  

Sadly, it’s the kind of day I’ve been having for a while now.  Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE my time with my daughter & Husband – it’s the other 75% of my time where I’m miserable.  I dread Monday mornings…like to the point where I even cry on my way into work.  My stomach forms ridiculous “knots” and I’ve been having some crazy headaches.  And, why?  Because I’ve just about had it with my job.  I just feel so “stuck”.  I’ve been in the Accounting field the whole life of my career.  I’m not even sure why – I mean, I hate math and numbers just don’t make sense to me, but it sort of  “fell into my lap” after I graduated from college.  I was young and it was a real job.  So I took it.  I should have known it was a big mistake.  I was unhappy from day 1.  But, I kept at it.  I worked hard and figured I’d just “get used” to my career choice.  Since, I’ve simply shuffled from one crappy Accounting job to another. 

Lately, though, it’s unbearable.  I need to get out of this funk and career.  ASAP.  I’m constantly irritated when I’m at work {& even when I’m not…I tend to carry this with me at home} and I can tell my health just isn’t where it should be.  Too much {un-needed} stress.  Things have to change.  So, why not just make that change, you ask?  If only it were truly that easy.  My ultimate goal is to make my way into the Communications field or my dream job of being an Editor.  However, I don’t have a communications/journalism/marketing degree – strike 1.  And, though every job as well as  in our daily lives, require constant communicating, I have no formal experience – strike2.  The only thing I might qualify for are entry level jobs and those are usually earmarked for new Graduates – strike 3. 

Hmm…3 strikes.  You’re out?  I hope not.

I even reached out to a friend of a friend {don’t you love those} and asked about getting into communication type roles and she basically said the best thing is experience and taking some college courses to gain the communication skill/background.  Oh and then she said “there is no easy way to get into communications, especially if you have any interest in making a salary over roughly $30K, as most entry level communications positions are really just grunt work”.  Outstanding. 

So, where does one go from here?  I guess it’s all about networking, knowing the right people and keeping track of any & all aspects of my job that would highlight my communication skills.  I’m not ruling out taking a pay-cut, but it has to be for the right job.  Something that interests me and makes ME happy. 


Have you ever wanted to or made a career change?  How did you go about it?  Tips?  Words of advice/wisdom?  I’ll take anything at this point!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Funny!

I've hit a bit of writer's block {and laziness},but hope to be back next week with some regular posts! For now, this will just have to do :)  Enjoy and have a fabulous Friday!!


Monday, June 16, 2014

2.5 years...now & then!

It’s so hard for me to believe that my little baby is already 2 ½ years old.  What?  How does it happen so fast?  In the last 2 ½ years, Dafney has learned, grown {both physically AND mentally}, changed and become a {mostly} sweet little girl.  I look back at pictures of her from when she was just an itty bitty baby and I cry I can’t believe that she was that small.  Whoa.  Seriously.


Dafney has learned so much since moving to the Discovery Toddler room at daycare.  She moved to that room over a year ago and learns something new on a daily basis.  It’s truly amazing.  By the age of 2, she knew her ABC’s, could count to 10 in both English AND Spanish, knew all sorts of kiddo songs and was speaking in 2-3 word sentences {phrases}. 


 Now, she sings her ABC’s perfectly, can basically count to 20 {sometimes she forgets one of the upper teen numbers}, counts fluently to 10 in Spanish {or Española as she corrects me when I say “Spanish”}, can speak in 4-6 word sentences, knows a few non-kiddo songs {i.e. One Directions “Story of My Life”} and SO much more.  I just love watching her grow and learn.  She’s curious and asks A LOT of questions and has a crazy good memory.  Seriously, she remembers EVERYTHING and will remember for days/weeks.  She’s learning the Minnesota Gopher Rouser; we’re working on spelling out MINNESOTA – she’s getting there!


 Dafney LOVES playing with all her babies, which all have names {Maya, Laylo, Maggie, Eda, Robin, Puppy, Marcus...she’ll be VERY upset if you forget one of their names}.  She changes their diapers, puts on their sunscreen, takes them for walks, reads to them, feeds them and puts them to sleep.  It’s pretty adorable…and it allows me to get some things done around the house – BONUS!


When she’s not playing with her many babies, she’s probably outside riding her bike or begging us to take her to the park.  We try to fit in a couple park visits each week to keep her happy! 


All in all, it’s been an amazing 2 ½ years and I know the next years will be equally amazing, and probably fly by even faster than these first 2 did.


 Other Dafney Stats:

Height – not sure, but probably around 34-35 inches
Weight – around 22.5lbs…she’s a teeny little thing
Pants/Shorts – this is a bit tricky…12 month pants/shorts fit her best in the waist, where 18-24 month pants/shorts fit her better in length.  I’ve even been known to throw on some 9 month pants and call ‘em Capris….don’t judge.
Shirts – 24 months/2T is what she mostly wears
Dresses – 2T
Shoes –size 5, I’m afraid she’s going to have annoyingly small feet like her Mother!


I asked Dafney what a few of her favorites were and here were her answers:

Favorite Toys: bike(s), babies, strollers/wagons and her kitchen set
Favorite Color: "I like Pink" {however, this changes from day to dya}
Favorite Food: Pizza, although she can eat her way through a plate of chicken like no other!
Favorite Stuffed Animal: this usually changes on a day to day basis.  Some days it’s her Hello Kitty, Dora or “baby”...today it was her Frog
Favorite Song: Story of My Life...ha, she's 2 going on 13 :)
Favorite School Friend: tie between her buddies Oscar and Oliver – seriously, they are the cutest together!
Favorite Sport: running...although she does like to watch Basketball {her Dad has trained her well}
Favorite Book:  Back and Forth...otherwise known as I'll Love you Forever.  She also likes "the Monster Book", which is a cute book we got at the library months ago and she STILL talks about it!  And, her newest favorite


Newest Trick – riding her bike…fun to see her be able to pedal around the driveway and sidewalk!


Sleep – usually it’s pretty good!  She tends to go to bed around 8:30pm and we wake her at 6:30am M-F {YIKES…she’s NOT a morning person} and she tends to get up around 8:30-9am on the weekends {a parent’s DREAM}!

The things that come out of her mouth:
{pointing to a larger} "oh my, he's SO big" {I literally wanted to crawl under the table} ~ {pointing to lady in wheelchair} "look, she's on her bike} ~ "Hannah is my brother", or "I want a brother"


Even though she sometimes acts like and wants us to treat her like a "baby", she's really growing up to be such a sweet, smart, funny, kind-hearted little girl.  She melts my heart on a daily basis and is constantly reminding me the meaning of "unconditional love".  Her sweet kisses, hugs and "I love you's" are the best things in the world!  Even though she continues to grow, she will always be my "baby'!


I love you, sweet Dafney!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Latte with Leah #5


Hello Monday!  Hard to believe it’s already JUNE.  Seriously, half the year is almost over…how is that even possible?  It seems like yesterday was just New Year’s Day. 

Alright, you know the drill – grab your favorite drink and let’s get this party started!

-   ~ Summer is officially 20 days away!  And though I've been working out for on a pretty routine basis the past few months, I’m not anywhere near beach ready.  After some thought, I figured that my eating habits might not be quite on par for achieving that dream beach figure.  So, this month, I've decided that I’d like to exchange one meal a day for a nice, healthy, veg-i-fied salad!  I know that it won’t be possible every day, but I’m shooting for 5 days out of the week.  Last night I made a nice, healthy grilled chicken Asian salad and it was so tasty!  
   
   
  

I    I didn't miss the heavy meal and actually felt quite full afterwards.  It was chalk full of grilled chicken and veggies and a really tasty    Asian Vinaigrette.  Perfect for a hot summer day!  I've also had my eye on all of these salads, too.

-   ~ Speaking of summer figure…I’m also participating in this ab challenge.  It started June 1st and runs the whole month of June.  It starts off pretty easy {especially since I've been working out on a regular basis for a few months}, but it definitely builds up and will certainly be a fun challenge!  Abs of steel…here I come!

-   ~ Over the weekend, we visited another park on #ourparktour2014!  Actually, it’s technically not a “new” park as it’s part of the Nokomis Lake Parks, but it’s one we’d never visited.  It’s fairly small, but it’s nice and shaded!  There were only a couple of other people there so we practically had the playgrounds to ourselves.  There are 2 separate playgrounds, but they’re almost identical.  Of course, the main attraction for Dafney were the swings!  She loves them!
  
  


     She did enjoy climbing and sliding, too, but she mainly hung out on  the swings.  
       
                             

     


     Afterwards, we biked to Carbone’s for some lunch.  Though I've  had their pizza before, I never remember it being as good as it was  Saturday!  Dafney and I shared a pepperoni/green pepper pizza,  while the Hubby ate a sausage/mushroom pizza!  We even were  able to hit up a multi-family yard sale on our way home, too!  My  kind of Saturday J


-   ~ This video is about as cute as it gets!  Adorable!!

     On that note, have a great week!!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Bakin Friends - MAY


Happy Friday, friends!  It's Bakin Friends reveal day...yeah!  This month's secret ingredient was STRAWBERRIES!  I used to never touch strawberries, but after I got pregnant a couple years ago, I craved them like crazy!  I would eat cartons, yes plural, in a day!  I certainly don't love them like I did when I was pregnant, but they have become a part of my regular diet :)

There is something about their sweet, yet somewhat tart flavor that reminds me of a SUMMER!  

This month's treats were brought to me from Dawn over at Butter and Sprinkles.  She is super sweet and REALLY talented.  She sent me some loaves of Strawberry bread and let me tell you, the second I opened up the package, I could smell the delicious Strawberry!  I literally scarfed down half of one of the loaves right there on the spot.  Don't judge!  The bread was totally moist and oh-so tasty!  

I put the other loaf in the freezer so it wouldn't spoil and will probably bust it out this weekend!  I'm actually surprised it's lasted in the freezer this long...out of sight out of mind, maybe?!  

I apologize for not taking pictures of the packaging {it was totally adorable} or of the 1st loaf in inhaled.  I WILL take pictures of the other loaf and post them along with the recipe, which, of course, I left at home today.  Clearly, I can't function without caffeine in the mornings.  

Thanks again to Dawn for the amazing treats!!

If you'd like to join for JUNE, please send me an email at: leahmarie.mackenzie@gmail.com for details &/or to sign up!  

**Please note the deadline to sign up for JUNE is June 5th; matches will go out on June 6th!**