Spicy Broccoli Orzo with Chicken

Hi Lovelies! Hope you add a wonderful weekend.
Ever since I came across orzo pasta, I've loved using it as a substitute for rice. Tonight, Orzo has gained new heights in my house with this recipe. I came across this recipe on Skinnytaste but without the chicken. It seemed like an easy dinner and with most of the ingredient on hand, I adapted it to my need and here's this final product.
1 1/2 cups orzo pasta
2 heads broccoli florets
3 medium chicken breast, cut into thin strips
3 scallions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely diced
4 tbsp olive olive oil
1/2tsp cajun seasoning
1 1/2 tsp pepper
Zest of 1 lemon
1. Trim stems off broccoli, cut into small pieces and season with salt. Steam covered with a little water until cooked (about 7-10 mins), careful not to overcook. When broccoli is cooked, remove from pan and chop into smaller pieces.
2. Prepare orzo pasta in salted water according to package directions to desired tenderness. Reserve about 1/2 cup liquid before draining then drain orzo in a colander.
3. Meanwhile, season chicken strips with 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp cajun seasoning and mix well to coat. Heat 1tbsp olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; add half of the chicken. Saute 4 to 5 minutes or until done, set aside on a plate; add 1tbsp oil, repeat with the remaining chicken.
4. Heat the remaining 2tbsp olive oil in a pot, Saute garlic and scallions a few minutes, add broccoli and chicken, season with remaining 1tsp pepper and salt to taste, mix well.
5. Add cooked orzo and stir to combine all. Add a little reserved liquid as needed so pasta isn't dry.
6. Turn off heat, add zest of 1 lemon and mix well. Serve and enjoy!

Thankful Thursday

This Thursday, I'm thankful for ....

1. Life as I know it. If I were to describe my life to someone else, they'll probably say I'm living the dream life. Shelter over my head, food on the table, clothes on my back, good health, physically capable, mentally sound, a wonderful and caring husband, a loving and supportive family, great friends...and so on. Even when I think I'm going through hard times, it's nothing compared to what someone else might be going through because I still have all these things, people and much more. so, I'm thankful for the life that I know and I have by His grace.

2. For great friends. Friends are truly a priceless treasure. "Be slow in choosing a friend, slower in changing because a true friend is your best possession". I truly believe in this quote and I'm glad that I have people in my life that I can call my true friends even if there's only a head full of them and they are all so far far away. I know they are only a phone call away, or maybe a flight away. They are always there to cheer me up, listen to my yapping and offer their support.

3. For my followers, non-followers(those of you that read on a regular basis in the background) and every person that has clicked, read or commented on this blog. Thankful that you find this blog and what I have to say worthy of your time and I truly appreciate your support. Seeing that I wasn't sure how this blog thing was going to unfold when I started, I'm elated to see where it's at now and where it's going. Even though I do this as a passion and hobby, I take it very seriously. I don't believe in starting or doing anything if there isn't a purpose to it. If I start to talk about what I see potentially happening through this blog and the things that have already happened, you would thing am crazy. Even if they are minor, it's still a result of this blog. Honesty, I'm amazed by the number of traffic on here and seeing that it's coming from all over the world. (Yes, I check my stats...Lol!). You really make my day every time you click, so keep clicking! And for all my background readers, come out of the shadow, I promise not to bite. :)

Till next time...

What are you thankful for this Thursday?

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Outfit Post: Lace Crochet Shirt

Happy Tuesday beautiful people. Hope your week is going well. This post is my quick break from work, at home. Yes, I brought work home and it's only Tuesday. I was going to stay late at work but after a certain time and home on my mind, I can't really be that productive anymore, so I decided to leave and finish at home. That's the kind of week I'm having.
 I actually wore this outfit to work today. Well, I guess the photo session was a break also...hehe. When I saw this shirt, I knew I had to have in my closet, not that there's anything majorly special about it, but just because I don't have anything like it. You hardly find a white sheer basic shirt with that much details on it and I think this shirt has some vintage feeling to it, from the lace crochet to the rustic buttons. It's a great option to add some details to a casual look. Looking forward to wearing it again in a casual way.
Shirt: F21, Skirt: H&M, Shoes: VS, Bag: Steve Madden, Jewelries: F21 & Macy's (Necklace worn as bracelet)

Yellow Skinny Jeans + Weekend Recap

Hello beautiful people! Hope you had a great weekend. This weekend Mr. D.  myself and  one of our friend's went to Baltimore for a friend's baby shower. It started raining when we got to Baltimore and we were all joking that this baby is one lucky baby because it was the baby shower and was literally showering. Anyway, the shower was fun, enjoyed playing the games, even won one. The host was very nice and the atmosphere was very inviting and free. I think I need to mention that this event was half baby shower and half boys reunion. Once majority of the people that came for the shower left, it turned into a boys party. The plan was to go back to home the same day, but I guess we should have specified a time because in between all the talking, yelling, singing and screaming we didn't end up leaving until almost midnight. Made it home safely and everyone was worn out. Slept for about four hours and then it was time to get ready for church, do I need to mention I was still a little drowsy. No worries though, made up for the lost sleep time after church.
Sunday, Mr.D's friend and his brother came over. The whole time they were around, I didn't stop launching for a second; that I realized when they were leaving. I feed them pounded yam and could tell from their faces they could pass out any second. Another of hubby's friend invited us to a barbeque, but I didn't go with them. When they all got back, they looked like they've been beaten down with food. In between the pounded yam and the other barbeque food they could barely stand upright. This weekend felt very short for some reason. Felt like I didn't have time to do anything, all the things on my to-do list is still on there. Looking forward to next weekend already, not that I have anything fun planned, just going to be a long and very busy work week. Have a blessed and fulfilling week ahead.

Jeans and shirt: H&M, shoes:VS , Bracelets: cara couture, Necklace: Limited

A Prayer for Aurora Colorado

I saw it Facebook, I read bit and pieces of information, but I didn't understand the magnitude of what has just happened until I got home. As I try to eat dinner while watching the CNN coverage I totally lost my appetite. We will never fully understand what was going on in his head or the kind of spirit that came upon him. Even if the official did their interrogation and test and pin it down to something, the truth of the matter is no one is entitled to take a life you didn't give, no mother, father, sister, brother or friends should have to go through what happened today, should have to worry about their children getting shot, should have to think for a second that their loved one is gone.

All I can do is say a prayer, for the victims and their families and also for us that were speared the heartache and would never know what it feels like to be in that situation.

Heavenly Father, 
Today your children mourn the lost of their loved one
All because someone decided to take lives he didn't create
Lord, I pray that you touch their heart
Help them through this trying times
Comfort them in this time of need
Strengthen them from within
Give them hope for tomorrow and beyond
Heal their pain and hearts in time
Let their lost not be in vain
I pray for all your children
That we would not be at the wrong at the wrong time
That you order our steps and guide our moves
That wherever our destiny is not tied to
we would not end up there
That you continue to watch over us
All this I pray In Jesus name. (Amen)

Please remember to say a prayer for the people of Aurora, Colorado tonight and the victims of this terrible happening. A movie theater is somewhere you go without thinking twice about it, but after today it will probably be the last time for some people will step foot in a theater while others will think twice about it.   
Please remember to pray for yourselves as well, pray for the nation and for this time we live in.


Thankful Thursday:

This Thursday, I'm thankful for...

1. The rain. I can't remember the last time it rained or the last time I got rained on. There's nothing like sitting at home office with the rain pouring down on the roof and singing music to your ears. I can't remember the last time I got wet from the rain because your girl right here always checks the weather and grabs an umbrella before walking out the door even if is a 20% chance. But today,even though I knew there was a high chance it was going to rain, it just didn't faze me to take my portable umbrella (the one that fits in my bag). I always keep one in the car also, so that's two umbrellas for rainy days. Today, I didn't take my portable one and I didn't take the one in the car with me either when I got out of my car to head into work. Surely enough when it was time to go home, it was pitch black pouring rain outside. Usually I would have whined about getting wet, but today just wasn't that day as I dived into the rain and made my way to my car. Sometimes all you need is to let the rain pour on you :) Thankful for my attitude and the calm spirit towards the rain today.

2. For a trip to Indy. Thanks to "wanna get away" pricing on southwest airlines, we'll be heading to Indy for the weekend soon. We've been thinking about when our next visit, no make that first visit back to Indy will be after officially moving away and it's always been up in the air. Apart from the scheduling conflicts, the tickets are not great to look at either. One-way tickets was averaging $350 per person, multiply that by 4 and that's it will cost to travel to Indy for two days.  The ticket price finally came down to around $350 for a round trip this week and I didn't even give it much thought before buying it. Even though it's still some few weeks away, I'm already counting down and excited to see all my little and big lovers.

3. For Mark 11:23-24. I don't think it's a coincidence that I experienced this passage two different times between Monday and today. First in our devotional reading on Monday, talking about speaking positives words to the problems we face in our lives, then at bible study on Tuesday exact same thing in association with faith. As I ponder on the passage couple of things occurred to me:
  1. You need to know the word before you can speak it forth in your life.
  2.  The word is your biggest weapon to overcoming problems and negative situation.
  3. Speaking powerful words into your life everyday is necessary.
  4. When you speak positive words into your problems and you don't see it manifest right away, that doesn't mean you should stop speaking the word.
  5. Do all these things with an unwavering faith that what you speak has already come to pass.
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Happy Thursday! Have a great one!

But You're So Young...

A friend of mine shared this with me today, and I couldn't agree more with everything. The article is very well articulated and hits every single nail on the head.

Click on the link or read below.

In Defense Of Marrying Young | Thought Catalog

In Defense Of Marrying Young

Jul. 17, 2012
For every person who gets married at 23, there are three people who complain about people who get married at 23. I’ll tell you upfront: when I got married I was 22. My husband was 28.

One of the first arguments a young engaged couple will get is that you, being a young pup in your early twenties, aren’t even a “you” yet, silly! You aren’t even fully formed! You don’t even know who you are! Although most young marries find this statement to be condescending, I respect and understand what they are trying to say. I hope, though, that I am never done changing, never done growing. I would not wait until I reach a point of stagnation to commit to another person – if I did I would be single forever. Instead, I look forward to growing and changing with my husband. That is the beauty of a wedding vow — that you promise to love the other person through all of life’s changes – even the ones that occur within you.

The most irritating argument I’ve come across is, “You haven’t even lived yet! Go out there and kiss a few frogs! Your twenties are for dating around and partying!” What’s most striking is the assumption that we all want what you want.

At a young age I met one of the good ones. Not a creeper, not a liar, not a player, not a loser. We dated for three years. According to your rules of how my twenties should be spent, I should… what exactly? Break up with a person who treats me well, makes me laugh, has intelligence and ambition, who has the same values as I do — I should do this so I can date around? So I can struggle to find guys worthy of spending time with? So I can wade through the dating scene? As much as I sometimes romanticize that phase of life and how passionate and exciting it is, I also know that it’s full of frustration, anger, jealousy and insecurity. According to you I should break up with a good man so I could go search for a man just like him?

Not all of us want to sleep around and have casual sex. I was a little too neurotic and insecure for that game. Many of us date because we are searching for someone to be our partner in life. To create a family with. We enjoy the security of a relationship that has permanence. A lot of people shudder at those things — permanence, commitment, family. I don’t. I want those things, and when I got it, I kept it.
My parents married young and have been together 37 years. My husband’s family married young and have been together 42. I’ll be the first to admit that I view marriage through rosy goggles secured with unicorn hair, but as biased as I may be, equally so are the critics of marriage in general and young marriage in particular.

We have all seen couples who anticipate their wedding more than they do their marriage. We have seen couples fail to grow and change together, so they change and grow apart. We have seen divorces after a few years, months or days. But these occur at all stages of life, with all ages of people. Even if you feel that it’s a mistake to get married so young, it is not your mistake to make. The increasingly pervasive ideology of “if I don’t agree with it then it’s wrong” has got to stop.
I do not claim that marriage is for everyone or that family is for everyone. So please don’t claim that young marriage should be for no one. 

Outfit Post: Nude + Neon Yellow

 Happy Monday people! Hope you had a great start to the week. If your Monday was anything like mine, it started off very slow and then got busy and interesting in the afternoon. I think I'm still recovering from sugar high after the huge portion of ice cream cake I was served at work today. Even though I knew it was huge and I probably shouldn't finish it, I just couldn't stop myself, it was so good. That ice cream cake definitely made my Monday, thanks to my colleague for celebrating his 5 years today.
 Dress and Necklace: Zara, Shoes: VS, Bag: Aldo, Earring: F21

Weekend Recap: The Lake House

Hi loves! Hope you all had a great, fun and relaxing weekend; If not all three combinations, at least one. I guess my weekend was all three. Saturday morning I went for the Women's Breakfast Meeting at my church which was great. Spent some time eating, advising each other, debating topics and learning from the word of God. It was a great start to my Saturday.
Mr. D. went to play soccer as usual and came back home with two friends and of course, I had to feed the three hungry men in my living room. Made them some quick breakfast or more like brunch, then we all headed out.
My boss and co-worker invited me to their annual summer fete. I wasn't sure if I wanted to go at first, but then I had no reason not to go except for being antisocial. Mr. D. came along so that was good. I thought it was going to be a small gathering with just mainly work people but when we arrived, it was more than small. It was pretty much the whole street.
The house is a lake house (the brown house), so the neighbors joined in, the guys family and friends, lots of kids and then some work people. I have to say it was nice interacting with my boss and coworkers outside of work. The event was nice with lots of food, drinks, the lake and a pirate ship. Yes, you read that right, a pirate ship.
Apparently people travel from both far and near to see and ride the ship, so I guess it was an honor to be on there and Mr. D. even became a captain on board.
We got to enjoy the sunset while sitting on the ship in the middle of the lake, that was definitely a moment. That sums up the highlights of my weekend, the rest of the time I was either cooking, cleaning, laying around or grocery shopping. How was your weekend?

S.O.P.P (Sausage.Onions.Potatoes.Peppers) w/ Recipe

Looking for a one-pot potatoes dish? Then this is the recipe for you. I mentioned in a previous post that I don't like eating sliced peppers, tomatoes or onions in food, unless it's cooked a certain way. Well, I'm glad to say I can now add +1 to the list of food/ways I can stand to eat pepper and onions.

I tried this recipe which I adapted from allrecipe previously and it was just okay. It was my first time, so things were not quite perfect. I overcooked the potatoes and it was just a few minutes away from becoming mashed potatoes; the flavor wasn't quite right either so I ended up picking out some of the pepper and onions. This time around, I think I've got it where I want it to be, texture and flavor checked. I finished all my peppers and onions, even when I ran out of potatoes and sausage on my plate, I went ahead and ate the peppers by itself. Knowing me, that is a big accomplishment. Lol!

Here's a potatoes recipe I'll definitely urge you to try, it's easy and quick. Prep and cook time is approximately 40 minutes. Do I need to mention that Mr. D. loves this dish as well. While cooking it, he walked to kitchen and said " babe, whatever you're cooking is going to be delicious because it smells so good." I'm glad it didn't disappoint because it tasted just as good as it smells.
6-7 medium potatoes
1 medium red bell pepper
1 medium green pepper
1 medium onion
2 gloves garlic
13oz smoked beef sausage
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt

1. Peel, dice in small cubes* and wash potatoes; drain potatoes with a seize and set aside. Slice peppers, onions, sausage and mince garlic
2. On medium heat, heat oil in a large pan; add garlic then potatoes, cover and let simmer, turning occasionally until potatoes are almost tender and a little brown, approx 10 min.
3. Stir in sausage, onions, pepper, oregano, paprika, black pepper, garlic powder and salt; mix well
4. Cover and let simmer for another 5 min or until onions and pepper are tender. Serve and enjoy!

* The smaller the potatoes cubes, the faster and easier they cook, but not too small either.

Marriage Success Series

My church marriage ministry has a marriage counseling class called the Marriage Success Class for dating/engaged couples as well as marriage couples that wish to learn or improve their relationship or older married couples that would just like to impact knowledge unto young and upcoming couples. The series is 8 weeks longs and the last time they had they series, Mr. D and I made it to one class. That one class was very insightful and fun. we gained new knowledge and learnt from other people sharing their experiences. When the new series started we decided we'll try our best to make it to all 8 classes.

The new series started last week and even though it was the introductory lesson and it was geared mainly towards dating couples, it was still very good information that led to interesting conversations. I thought it would be a good idea to post each week's transcript as someone out there might just find it useful.

So without further due, here's the first lesson from the marriage series class.

Lesson 01: The Christian Courtship

Courtship is a period of wooing each other. It should also be a period where you can study your partner and determine if you are both compatible. For a believer, it is a golden opportunity to confirm or proof the choice you have made. In doing this, you must:

  1. Recognize that you cannot by your knowledge and understanding know everything about your spouse. You need to rely on God and be prayerful.
  2. Not take things for granted; respectfully discuss anything you are not comfortable with in your partner.
  3. Encourage honesty and sincerity, deception will hurt you in the long run
  4. Do all you can to improve your knowledge about marriage; read books, attend relationship conferences etc. Knowledge is power.

Three Major Questions to Ask

  1. Am I ready to give myself totally to this person?
  2. Am I ready to give my possessions to this person?
  3. Will I be proud to present this person anywhere?

Genuine Reasons for Breaking a Courtship

  1. Signs of deceit; the person constantly not telling the truth or trying to hide things from you.
  2. Signs of sinful tendencies from the partner.
  3. Signs of abuse; verbal, physical etc
  4. A very high degree of incompatibility. Ordinary incompatibility should not be a reason for breaking courtship. You cannot get someone perfectly compatible.

Breaking a courtship should not be done without godly counsel. Most problems can actually be solved through proper counseling and a willing partner. Courtship should only be broken after other means of resolving the problems have been pursued.

Things to Look Out For During Courtship:
  1. Character: Study your partner’s character; you get better clues from how your partner treats other people. You cannot completely change people, pray for them and understand each other’s weakness.
  2. Background differences: Study and understand your partner’s culture, family status, class, religion background, etc. All these factors play into who they are and why the act the way they do.
  3. Taste and Preferences: Know your partner’s likes and dislikes e.g. colors, etc and seek for ways to reconcile them.
  4. Share your past experiences: Be open to each other, talk about your past failures and successes, share your abilities and talents, goals and aspirations, also talk about your health conditions.
  5. Attitude: Your partner’s attitude to life, money, people. est.

Ingredient of an Effective Courtship:

1.      Structure: Put structure into your relationship: when, where and why you meet.
2.      Vision: Set goals, cast vision about your future. The man is especially responsible for this.
3.      Spiritual Focus: Schedule time to pray and study the bible together.
4.      Relationship: Develop relationship with each other’s family, friends etc.
5.      Length: Keep the courtship to a reasonable time frame. We suggest about two years.
6.      Mentorship: Look for a married couple that you respect to be a mentor and guide.
7.      Continuous Learning: Make sure you learn together about relationship. Books, Messages etc.

Quick Post - Vegetable Stew

 Stew of the week, Efo Riro - Vegetable Stew: spinach, chicken, beef, gizzard, locust beans, and dried fish. Sorry no recipe, maybe next time. Just wanted to post this pictures to make your mouth water a bit...hehe :)

 See post with recipe update here.

Outfit Post: All Black

Hi Loves! Happy Sunday. I can't believe it's been a week since my last post. I guess things have been quite busy the last couple of days. Hope you all had a great weekend.
This weekend, Mr. D. and I enjoyed a spa date getting a signature manicure and pedicure. It's definitely more fun getting my nails done with hubby, than sitting there by myself. We also attended a surprise baby shower for one of ours friends.The shower was fun and I actually gained some new knowledge from the crossword puzzle and "complete the rhyme" games. I think the most fun part was watching the guys suck on bottles to see who will finish the content first and also watching them change diapers; too bad no pictures were allowed during those two session. I don't blame them, no one wants a picture of their man sucking on bottle or putting a diaper on a teddy floating around the web. I am actually one of those people who was against the taking pictures because hubby participated in one of those two games, but I'm not going to say which one it was. Lol! It was a good laughing session.
 I've been wanting to get braids for a while now. Mostly because it's so hot and my hair is to short to put up without using a gazillion bobby pins. So on Friday I had a moment and I decided I was going  to braid my own hair, mostly because I'm not planning on having it for too long. So Saturday morning I got started, did about 4 hours, then headed out with half done hair to the spa and baby shower; of course it was wrapped up. Spent another 5 hours in the evening and I have a full head of braids. I guess I still have my braiding game, a little rusty but still got it.

Have a great week ahead!

Jacket: Limited, Top: Venus, Jeans: F21, Bag: Steve Madden

Weekend Recap: Beach Time

 Hi lovelies! Hope you had a great weekend. This weekend, I finally did something I've been meaning to do for the past 4 months, clean out my closet. Ever so often, I like to clean out my closet and get ride of the stuff that I usually don't wear anymore. My rule of thumb is that everything that I haven't worn in a year or more has to go. I'm pretty good with distinguishing what those items are and I always end up with a reasonable pile. But what actually leaves the house to goodwill is a different story. By the time I'm done, I start going through the pile and believe it or not a lot of those items start making their way back into my closet. I start coming up with excuses why I haven't worn an item in over a year and find justification to hold on to it. All in all, I'll say it's always a failed mission, but this time I was brave and I stuck to guns. Nothing I sorted out made it way back into my closet. Will I miss these items YES, especially when the moments comes that I remember it and finally want to wear it, only to find it it's gone. But it's okay because it has a new home somewhere else. Ended up with 4 huge bags, and my closet is half empty :(
Now to the fun part of the weekend. If you read my last Thankful Thursday post, then you'll know where I was on Saturday. I was on the beach soaking up the sun while listening to the majestic waves of the ocean, which I find very peaceful and calming. To say it was hot will be an understatement, I got excited and took off my sandals as soon as we hit the sandy beach, but it didn't take too long before I put them back on. The sand was super hot, as least the area farthest away from the water, but once we were there for a little bit, we got use to it. We were there all afternoon and early evening, I even managed to take a little nap. I'll say it's a weekend well spent.
The water was super cold
Time to go home :(