Monday’s Mantra

#MM#31love from fred rogers

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Black Bean Burger ~ Recipe

Black Bean BurgerAs a mom who truly enjoys cooking for her family, I am always searching for new recipes and ways to mix things up a bit in the kitchen.  Especially in the summer, it seems too easy to get stuck in a pattern of grilling the same chicken, steak, dogs, and burgers week after week.  So, a couple weeks ago, I decided to look through the pantry for inspiration.

When I saw that I had a few cans of black beans and some bread crumbs, it turned into black bean burger night! :)  I chose to serve our burgers on a bed of romaine lettuce and tomato slices, but you could definitely keep this more traditional by eating it on a bun. We absolutely LOVED these, and when I say we, I mean my 8 year old daughter, too! This one is definitely kid tested, KID APPROVED!! :)

Directions
Heat your grill or pan to medium heat.  In a food processor or blender, pulse onion and garlic until finely chopped.  Add 1.5 cans of black beans, parsley, eggs, and red pepper flakes and pulse again to combine.  Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and add the remaining beans and the bread crumbs.  Season with salt and pepper and mix until well combined.

This recipe should make 8-10 burgers, so divide mixture and place patties in your hot oiled pan, or on the grill.  Cook approx. 7 minutes per side or until you reach your desired crispiness.

If you’re serving these on a bun, you can plate and eat immediately.  If you’re going to serve up on lettuce and tomato like I did, let them rest just a couple minutes to cool before plating them up and serving.  I also drizzled some balsamic vinegar over ours and it was delish!!!  Let me know what you think when you try this for yourself and ENJOY! :)

Ingredients 
3 (15 oz) cans black beans; rinsed, drained, and divided
2 small yellow onions; roughly chopped
2 tbs garlic powder
3 tsp parsley
2 eggs
1 tsp red pepper flakes
3/4 cup bread crumbs
black pepper to taste and a pinch of salt

 

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Monday’s Mantra

#MM#32 hope

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Vera Bradley ~ More Than Just a Pretty Print

VBFBCC 2014I have to be honest and say that when I first fell in love with Vera Bradley, whether or not they had a philanthropic side did not really cross my mind.  It was their vibrant colors and patterns that drew me in so many years ago, and it’s that same thing that has had me hooked ever since!  When I was invited a couple months ago to attend their Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Classic, I was excited to be able to learn more about the company’s extremely passionate and generous side!!

Vera Bradley co-founders Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and Patricia R. Miller began raising funds for breast cancer research in 1993 after the loss of their dear friend, Mary Sloan, and what has happened since then is nothing short of amazing!  Because of their genuine and heart-felt commitment to this very important cause, the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer has raised $20 million in funds thus far, with 87 cents from every dollar going directly to breast cancer research!!

The Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Classic is just one of the many ways that Vera Bradley raises both awareness and funds for breast cancer research.  This year’s event was so amazing and I feel so honored to have been in attendance!!  Sycamore Hills Golf Course picsMy tour of the award-winning Sycamore Hills Golf Club was nothing short of breathtaking.  To see the women(mostly in pink) golfing with their supportive male caddy’s following behind, was pretty special.  It was a great reminder that behind every woman fighting breast cancer, there is a man loving her and supporting her every step of the way!!  Vera Bradley Foundation Silent Auction 2014Vera Bradley Foundation Dinner 2014The end to a perfect day of golf was celebrated with an impressive silent auction and then a not-so-silent dinner party :)  Golfers and sponsors(and myself, of course) were served an incredible meal, and got to hear from some amazing people including survivors and doctors working towards a cure each and every day!  It really was a powerful event, and after all was said and done, a new record was set and a great time was had by all!!!

Being even a small part of this event really gave me a new way of looking at Vera Bradley as a whole.  It’s one thing to envision and create some of the most fashion-forward pieces in the industry.  It’s a whole other thing to do that while keeping a huge focus on the well-being of the people who support your brand.  Vera Bradley is so much more than a pretty print!!  They are a collection of caring individuals(from the CEOs all the way down the chain) who truly care for people and will not rest until there is a CURE for breast cancer!!!  Long live Vera Bradley and long live all of you breast cancer fighters out there!!!   <3

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Thankful Heart Thursday

Thankful Heart Thursday ShellOne of the most precious things to witness as a parent, I think, is the passion, wonder, and amazement of our children.  My daughter likes to create with Legos, play with dolls and horses, read, write, color, and play tennis.  Her passion, though, is for dance!

She has been dancing since before she could stand or walk.  She’d be sitting in my lap just boppin’ along to whatever music we were listening to, and in fact, the first time I felt her kick in the womb was at one of my brother’s concerts!!  She loves music and loves even more to dance to the music!

We started her in dance classes when she was about 2 1/2 and it was the cutest thing we’d ever seen.  Fast forward 6 years and add a few AMAZING dance instructors/mentors and she’s not only passionate, but extremely talented!!IMG_0130These ladies have not only helped her passion for dance to flourish, but have been there as loving and supportive influences that I know she will cherish her whole life through!!

So, for today, I am thankful for the privilege of being able to be present as my daughter goes through this life grabbing on to everything good and living out her hearts desire. I’m also thankful for the people that she has met who have had an impact on her head and her heart in a way that I could never thank them enough for!!  She is one blessed little lady and I’m so glad she’s mine!! <3

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Monday’s Mantra

#MM#33 well begun half done

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Monday’s Mantra

#MM#34 entertaining thoughts

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Little Ladybugs at KAR Nationals 2014 ~ Memories

10348875_10204210730536630_3957557280266997648_o 10498021_10204210719376351_6330255104161601640_oI’m going to be out with my little ladybug for a few days, so please think of her and any of your own small friends who practice their heart out all year long for an end of year competition!!  <3

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Sole Provisions ~ Review

I love it when I find a company that is new to me, but has been in the business for years! Sole Provisions has been around since 1997, providing consumers with quality footwear that mixes the perfect amount of style and comfort into every pair of shoes.  You’ll see me in the pair below quite often, because I don’t have to give up on great fashion to wear shoes that I can walk in all day!IMG_0014

These are the Told You So Red by Taos and are actually on sale right now if you’d like a pair for yourself ;)  Really, though, Sole Provisions chooses only the best brands and their customer service is top notch!!  They carry footwear for both men and women and also have a great selection of purses, bags, and wallets.

One trip to this website and you will understand why so much care is taken to provide you with quality products and a great shopping experience.  I read the backstory on how Sole Provisions came to be, and just loved it.  If you have time while you’re over there shopping, give it a read :)

Sole Provisions has become my go to place for stylish and comfortable footwear!  I already have my eye on a couple pairs of sandals for this summer and I’ll definitely be sharing those with you soon!!  In the mean time, though, click over and browse around for yourself.  I can tell you that your feet will THANK YOU!! :)

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Monday’s Mantra

#MM#25everything going against you

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