Dafney Harper

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter 2014

Happy {very belated} Easter!  I hope you all were able to spend the gorgeous day with the ones you ♥LOVE♥!  We had such a nice, low-key day!  

However, lets back-track a minute...last weekend started the Easter festivities!  We went to a neighborhood Easter egg hunt.  Dafney had a blast "hunting" for eggs and she was beyond excited to see the candy inside each egg!


We even spotted the Easter Bunny!  And, because we're those parents, we forced tried to get her to sit with the Easter Bunny.  Clearly it went well :)


She wanted absolutely nothing to do with the bunny...even while sitting on my lap.  Oh well, we tried.  Maybe next year?


She did flash a quick wave goodbye to the bunny...all while sobbing hysterically :)


During the week, we were able to find some time for Dafney to color some Easter eggs.  She was so excited to do it "by herself"!  


She really had a good time coloring the eggs this year and was able to do it with little to no help from us.  


And her eggs even turned out really nice!  She's pretty much a professional :)


We spent Easter with my parents, sister & brother-in-law on Saturday.  We enjoyed delicious food, wonderful conversation and of course, we all enjoyed watching Dafney be her goofy self!


Dafney thought it was so great that the Easter Bunny visited Grandma & Papa's house to leave her eggs to find and all sorts of presents!


And of course, the Easter Bunny stopped by casa de MacKenzie, too!  I had SO much fun playing "Easter bunny"...


...even more, though, I LOVED watching her get all excited about finding her Easter eggs!  Since she's only 2, we didn't hide them in ridiculously hard spots, but she still had fun trying to find them!


I spy with my little eye...


She was one happy little girl!


And, the weather was AMAZING on Sunday, so we were able to get outside and take a couple family photos!


...and some of the sweetest little girl around town :)


After brunch and a family photo shoot, we went to the Zoo.  It was an absolutely wonderful day to spend outside and we totally took advantage!  The one animal Dafney really wanted to see was the Giraffe {don't ask me why}.  But, of course, the second we got in to see them, she got really scared and had to be held.  She did think it was neat that they had such LONG necks!


She was also very fascinated with the Zebra until it made a "loud noise".  Then she was done with them.  However, she reminded us how loud the Zebra was the rest of the day!


Dafney even spent some time pondering life :)


It was a fabulous day and I felt so blessed that I was able to spend it with the ones I love!  I hope you all had a fun Easter/weekend, too!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Latte with Leah #2


Happy Thursday, Friends!  It's time for another edition of Latte with Leah.  Grab a chair, your favorite drink and let's get started :)

~ The weather is finally starting to get {dare I say it} nice around here.  We actually hit 70+ degrees yesterday.  The first 70 since October 11, 2013!  Oh warm weather, how I've missed you!  I am so happy that I don't have to put on 3 jackets, mittens, 2 scarves, a hat & boots {and I'd STILL be cold}.  I'm ready to pull out the dresses, flip flops, lawn chairs and bon-fire pit...let's get this SUMMER started!



~ Can we talk shoes for a minute?  I'm not big into shoes and I think it stems from the fact that I have the world's smallest grown up feet.  Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but seriously, my feet are small and I have a hard time finding shoes that fit.  Recently, I found a pair of Sperry shoes that I absolutely LOVE!  They fit perfectly and are so comfortable.  I think I need more ;)

                        Funny Somewhat Topical Ecard: A pair shoes can change your life... Just ask Cinderella.

~ I've been trying to be really organized about our meal planning.  I try to plan our meals out for an entire week at a time.  I try to mix it up: pasta, chicken, beef, burgers, pizza, etc. so that we're not eating the same thing over and over.  I find myself struggling with finding quick, easy and affordable recipes.  In most cases, I peruse blogs & food websites {i.e. Food Network or Pinterest} to find my weekly meals.  Do you plan out weekly meals?  If so, how?  I'm always looking for great recipes, tips & tricks for meal planning!

~ Right now, I currently work as an Accountant.  It's far, far, far from being my dream job, but it pays the bills.  My passion is and always has been writing & editing.  I love to write and know that this is a career I would love to pursue.  Problem - I don't have a degree in communications/journalism nor do I have any "real" experience.  I recently joined a Communications Forum at work in hopes that it will allow me to network and make some contacts within this field.  I'm hopeful that something good will come out of this group and I will be able to find an "in" to start a new career path.  Fingers {toes, legs, arms} crossed!

~ Did I tell you that my Husband is the BEST?  No?  Well - he is!  Normally the hubby & I get up at 5:50am on weekdays.  I used to say that I wanted to get up earlier so I'd have time to curl my hair and he'd always say "I'm not getting up any earlier, we get up early enough".  So, I dropped the whole idea.  Then a month & a half ago we decided to get up at 5:30am so we could workout in the mornings.  He agreed to get up that early if we worked out.  Okay, fine.  Well, the other day, he wanted to workout, but he had to be to work by 7am, so he said he wanted to get up earlier than the normal 5:30am...and I begrudgingly agreed - after stating that this was a total double standard.  So, to make up for it, he brought me home some tasty chocolate-y treats!  Chocolate makes up for everything, right?  


~ Big weekend plans?  Nothing too crazy for us.  We're hoping the weather cooperates so we can hit up a neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt and a neighborhood "local-vendor" event.  Otherwise, nothing overly exciting for us.  

Hope you all have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spicy Guacamole Chicken Wraps

Good Morning, Friends!  And a good morning indeed...it's going to be 70+ degrees today - say what?!  After the long, cold, snowy winter we've endured, I'm ready for dresses, flip flops, grilling & bonfires.  I just might have to suddenly get "sick" this afternoon :)

A certain little girl spent some time watching the many people, dogs & children walking by last night!  Seriously, this weather brings people out of their winter cocoons and out in to the world!




I have a super easy "recipe" for you this morning!  It was fast, easy & super tasty!!  {note: I use the term "recipe" loosely here}

Spicy Guacamole Chicken Wraps



Key Players
~ 3-4 chicken breasts
~ 1 package Frontera Spicy Guacamole Mix
~ 8-10 Strawberries
~ 1 avocado: half sliced and half mashed
~ 3-4 Sun-dried tomato basil wraps




Key Instructions
~ In a large Ziploc bag, marinade your chicken breasts with the package of Frontera Spicy Guacamole Mix {marinade at least an hour}
~ Bake the chicken at 350 for 20-25 minutes
~ Slice up strawberries & 1/2 avocado
~ Take the other 1/2 of the avocado and smash it in a small bowl
~ Once the chicken is cooked, slice into long strips
~ Bake the wraps for 3-4 minutes or until heated through
~ Smear some of the smashed avocado on 
~ Add your chicken, strawberries & sliced avocados
~ Roll it up and enjoy!



Seriously, this was SO easy and truly super tasty!  It was a perfect "throw something together" meal.  I was able to consume some produce before it went bad and was able to make the family an easy yet healthy meal!



And, because this meal was so easy, I was able to spend some time with this cutie :)  She LOVES to take selfies!



Happy Wednesday!  If you're anything like me, you'll definitely be outside enjoying this Spring weather {finally}!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

#tbt

Happy #tbt Friends!

This picture was taken back on March 24th, 2012!  Dafney was almost 3.5 months old and my was she a CHUNK!  Those cheeks are kissable & completely squeezable :)  


Happy {throwback} Thursday!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Latte with Leah



I’d like to start a new weekly post: Latte with Leah {really creative, I know} – which is for me to capture all those random thoughts that are running a million miles an hour through my head.  You know, the ones that I don’t want to write a whole post about.  So grab a chair and your grande, non-fat, extra-hot, half-calf, no foam Caramel Macchiato {& you thought I wasn't high maintenance} or your favorite morning beverage and lets get started!

I can’t believe how fast my daughter is growing up.  It makes me sad and almost brought me to tears this morning.  It seems like just overnight she became this 2 year old going on 14.  The mornings have become more of a battle with her.  I know that 6am is early and that she’s tired, but she just screams to go back to bed.  And, picking out her clothes in the morning is a thing of the past.  She will kick & scream until she picks out the pants & shirt that SHE wants to wear.  Of course, most of the time it doesn’t match.  Orange shirt & red pants, polka dots & stripes, a nice top with sweatpants…um, they’re all acceptable to wear when you’re 2.  Right? 


 This weather we’re having up here in MN is starting to get a bit ridiculous.  Not only are the temps 15-20 degrees below the norm, they are predicting a considerable amount of SNOW tomorrow afternoon.  NO!  Absolutely not!  UNACCEPTABLE.  I think that Mother Nature really needs to get the memo and realize that it’s officially Spring. 


 The Hubby & I have been getting up early and working out.  Currently we’re really into Jillian Michael’s: Ripped in 30.  I’ve been doing this for almost 30 days and I’m certainly not ripped, but I’m definitely starting to feel more in shape.  Sometimes it’s hard to wake up so early, but I feel better knowing my workout for the day is done and I even find that I have more energy. 


Now that I’m starting to morph this blog & incorporating foodie type posts, what’s your advice on ramping up my # of readers?  I personally follow AND read a bunch of foodie {& other} blogs, but I’m not sure how to ramp up my blog.  Thoughts?  


I think wraps up this edition of Latte with Leah. Hope you come back for another chat soon!

Happy Wednesday!! 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Chicken & Veggie Spring Rolls

I've been thinking a lot lately about this blog and how I want to incorporate more of a "foodie" feel to it.  And, though I'd love to start fresh with a new blog dedicated to all things food, I just don't have tons of time right now.  So, in the essence of time, I'd like to start incorporating more food posts into the mix of things {and NO, this is not some sort of funny April Fools Day joke :)}.  Yes, I still plan to write about other important/fun things in my life, but I hope to start posting a couple food recipes each week.  From there, we'll see where things take me & this blog!

Chicken & Veggie Spring Rolls




The other night I was really craving something healthy and something "fresh".  With the dreary weather we've been having, I really wanted to think Spring and warm weather, which is why Spring Rolls came to mind!  

Since I didn't actually measure out my ingredients {hmm...great way to start off my first food post, huh}, I'll just let you know what I threw in these bad boys and some very approximate measurements!

Key Players
~ 1-1.5 cups diced chicken {I used some leftover chicken breasts that I'd had from the night before}
~ 1-2 carrots, peeled and cut julienne style
~ 1-2 cucumbers, peeled and cut julienne style
~ 1-2 avocados, sliced
~ 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts
~ a handful of rice noodles
~ a couple teaspoons of peanut butter {I used creamy}
~ a couple teaspoons of low sodium soy sauce
~ a teaspoon of rice wine vinegar
~ about a half teaspoon of sesame oil
~ 6 sheets of rice paper

Key Instructions
~ Cook rice noodles according to the package instructions

~ Mix the other ingredients in a large bowl {minus the rice paper & avocado}

~ Prepare the rice paper according to the instructions

~ Place the prepared rice paper on your work space and fill with a spoonful of your cooked noodles & a couple spoonfuls of the filling & top with your avocado slices

~ Roll them up like a burrito!  I folded in the sides and rolled it up tightly.

They were really tasty and totally "spring-like"!  More importantly, they were hubby AND child approved :)



Enjoy!

Monday, March 31, 2014

March Bakin' Friends!



I think I just might start each & every blog post with “I can’t believe it’s already…” so why should this post be any different!?  I can’t believe it’s already the last freakin’ day of MARCH.  I literally feel like I blinked and March was gone.  Seriously. 

With the last day of the month comes Bakin Friends reveal!  This month the secret ingredient was mint!  I chose mint mainly because it’s green which totally reminds me of St. Patty’s Day which happens in MARCH…er, something like that! 




This month, I received some fabulous dark chocolate mint brownies!  Ugh – to die for!  One of my very favorite desserts are brownies, so I was beyond pleasantly surprised when I opened the package to find dark, chocolate-y, minty delicious brownies!!  Catherine over at Kitty's Baking Time sent me these delicious treats…and check out the adorable {green!!} basket she sent the treats in…LOVE!  


Thank-you to Catherine for the amazingly delicious treats!  


~~~~~

Does this sound like something YOU would like to join?  Then email me at leahmarie.mackenzie@gmail.com for all the tasty details by APRIL 4th.  

Happy Monday!