Dafney Harper

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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!

Friday, March 21, 2014

foodie blog: Yay or Nay?!

I love me a good food blog.  In fact, that tends to be the only kind of blog I like to read.  The gorgeous pictures, the drool worthy food and the sheer brilliance that some people have to come up with such creative, yet equally delicious foods are amazing!  Not only do I love to read about food, I love to spend my fair share of time in the kitchen.  I try to cook “homemade” meals for dinner and breakfast on the weekends, but it certainly isn’t always easy.  And though I don’t know a ton about food, cooking &/or baking, I know enough {or at least I like to think I do} to make somewhat healthy, Dafney/Hubby approved meals.  Food is something I’ve been passionate about for as long as I can remember.  I was the kid that pretended to have their own cooking show when in the kitchen and loved to make my very own “creations”.  My parents were Saints to eat some of those said “creations”! 

So, for a while now, I’ve pondered starting my very own food blog.  Obviously I could have started this blog at any time, but I really want it to have some meaning.  I want the foods I make/post to be well thought out, {mostly} healthy, quick AND easy, family friendly and most importantly tasty!  And, just when I thought I was ready to start this blog, I realized…I HAVE NO CLUE HOW OR WHERE TO EVEN BEGIN!  I mean, I need to come up with a blog name {I have a few names in mind}, I need to come up with a nice blog look and probably should have some recipes ready to go…


For those of you that have a food blog, how did you start?  Any advice?  Tips?  Or, should I just jump in mouth first and run with it?

On that note...Happy MARCH MADNESS!  OH and happy Friday, too :)