Friday, January 18, 2019

Five Loves on Friday // Date Night, Snow, Sweet Surprises, & More!

Happy Friday, friends!  I hope you've enjoyed a lovely week.  If not, take heart, the weekend is so close you can almost taste it!   But first, I'm looking forward to recapping some the simple and sweet joys since we last chatted here.  It's Five Loves time!... 

One  //  Date Night = Great Night!

Friday night included many of my favorite "m"s  - my man, a Mexican meal, and a mango margarita!  YUMmm! 

I'm such a seasonally inspired person.  In the summer I long to spend as much time outdoors on walks, bike rides, lounging in the sunshine on our deck - if it's outside (and we're not under a heat advisory) count me in!  Yet, in the winter months I long to be snuggled up with my favorite blanket and favorite people, comfy, cozy, and enjoying the beauty of the season looking out at it from inside my warm home.  However, when our youngest daughter had an event quite a drive from home requiring us to stay out and about for a few hours we had the perfect prompting for a date night out.  I must say, it couldn't have been better and had me questioning myself for always thinking "staying in is the new going out" all winter long.  Ha!  Good food and great company made for an amazing evening!

Nacho Fajitas for me, please and thank you!

I've loved this man for over half of my lifetime now.  It just keeps getting better and better!

Two  //  Canvas Cuteness

While we were out "Mmm"ing it up, Little One was enjoying a fun canvas painting class with her youth group.  The result was this oh so cheery and colorful painting that I couldn't adore more! 

The waterway reflecting the bright, beautiful leaves paired with the glow of the lamplights along each side is so darling.  I wish it were a chalk drawing that like Mary Poppins I could hop inside!

Three  //  Snowy Saturday

It seems the older I get the more I long for those aforementioned cozy winter days gazing out at the glorious goodness of snow laden trees.  My wintry wish came true last Saturday and my heart was delighted that it did!  We woke to about three inches of snow and more danced on down to us throughout the afternoon hours.  

I split the splendidly snowy Saturday between lounging in my new favorite reading chair and gazing out the window at the beautiful snowfall.  I only left the comfort of my cozy home twice, once to shovel with my hubby (I used headphones as earmuffs so Michael BublĂ© kept me company too) and for a trip to pick up our favorite, Thai takeout.  The drive was stunning and the meal that came from it, amazing!  

When we arrived home I had a surprise waiting for me, which leads me to the next lovely love...

Four  //  My Favorite Kind of Surprise - Happy Mail!

I can't think of a sweeter surprise than opening up my mailbox to find an unexpected package thoughtfully prepared and sent with care.  I received such marvelous mail and what a day maker it was! 

My sweet friend, Carrie of Curly Crafty Mom, handcrafted this beautiful beaded tassel garland for me!  She also included a lovely note and some sweet treats which were throughly enjoyed!  Thanks again, Carrie!  Your thoughtfulness added such joy to my week!

Five  //  Bible Wrapped in Beauty

This week I decided to swap my 20+ year old bible cover for a new beauty.  Covered in pretty pink roses along with golden accents, it's so pretty!  Far better yet are the contents it carries and protects, everything that God Himself has graciously revealed to us about who He is, who we are, our greatest need, His plan for our redemption, how and why He's given us life - all in this precious book, the Bible!  There is nothing of greater value than that!  

I'm currently following the plan to read through the Bible in a year as laid out in my favorite study Bible with New Testament reading in the morning and Old Testament in the evening.  It's such a joy to see the promises and prophesies of the Old Testament fulfilled in the New Testament.  I treasure the wealth of insight found in the study notes John MacArthur has provided in this Bible, keeping each verse in context and diving deeper into what God has revealed to us through the gift of His Word!  If you are looking for an excellent study bible, I highly recommend the MacArthur Study Bible!  You can find them in a variety of translations and cover types at and they always offer free shipping too.

Thanks so much for visiting today!  It's always a joy to have you here!  Wishing you a beautiful weekend ahead!

for High Five for Friday
AndreaErika, and Narci 
for Friday Favorites

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Friday, January 11, 2019

Five Loves on Friday // Family Fun, New Recipes, and Fab Frugal Finds!

Happy Friday, friends!  It's been a wonderful week and I can't wait to recap some of the family fun, food, and bargains here today!  Let's jump right in!

One  //  A Jolly Holiday Do-Over

You may remember me mentioning in my Five Loves on Friday Christmas Week Edition post that my family enjoys the tradition of seeing our most anticipated holiday release film on New Year's Eve.  We had purchased our tickets to Mary Poppins Returns and were looking forward to a fun family outing.  Sadly, things don't always go as planned.  When New Year's Eve arrived Little One and I had some pretty nasty colds and weren't feeling up to doing much of anything.  We decided it'd be best to cancel our NYE tickets and go when we were all fully well to fully enjoy this fun flick and we did just that this week!

Anyone else love taking pre-show family selfies?  I don't think we've attended a movie in years without one!

I try to avoid spoilers at all costs and would like to avoid sharing any here today too, so all I will say is that like my sweeties pictured above I give this sequel two great big thumbs up! 

Two  //  New Year, New Purse

I'm always a bit sad to pack away my Christmas Disney Dooney, but having a new one to carry sure does turn that frown upside down!  I picked up this sweet bag with some birthday money during our November trip and am so excited to be carrying it regularly now.  The sketch pattern is my favorite and I adore the pattern placement on this bag!  Here's a peek at the back and sides of this cutie too. ... 

Three  //  Sitting Pretty

Last weekend Jason and I put the Christmas money we received from his parents to excellent use buying this beauty.  It's a swivel glider recliner, and let me tell ya, it is incredibly comfy!  We scored a much better price on it in-store than what it goes for on Costco's website which was also a beautiful thing!  

Four  //  The Goal Continues

Although not pictured, I served this chicken chili topped with monterey jack cheese.

For the past few years I've had the goal of trying at least one new recipe each week.  This week I used two rotisserie chickens from Costco (such a time saver) to prepare three new-to-us meals, two of which I've linked above.  The third wasn't actually a recipe, but something new I put together with what we had on hand.  This simple dish of chicken, four cheese alfredo, and broccoli topped with shredded parmesan ended up being Jason's favorite of the three meals.  My favorite new dish of the week was probably the green chicken enchilada soup.  The flavor of the salsa verde paired with creamy, cheesy goodness really hit the spot on a cool winter day.

I can't resist adding a little bonus love within this love, one which I'm continually grateful to God for - tastebuds!  What a kind God He is to have created us in a way that allows us to enjoy the necessary everyday activity of eating.  I'm so thankful for the simple, yet wonderful pleasure that can be found in everything from a spoonful of comfort food to a nibble of a sweet treat!   

Five  //  Frugal Find on Fall Fabulousness

I admired these cute plates on Walmart's website months ago (when they were actually in season).  This week I noticed they were marked down to half price, making them only a dollar and a quarter each!  They arrived every bit as adorable as pictured online.  I'm already looking forward to the fall day when I'm able to pull them out and put them to use!  On a side note, I really enjoy the salad size plates for lunches, snacks, or light dinners.  Being smaller it gives my brain the illusion that I'm enjoying a bit more food than I actually am and with that pretty pattern I'll be just fine with that. ;)

Thanks so much for stopping by today!  It is such a treat to have you visit!  I hope you'll take a moment to say "hello" in the comments section below before you go.  Wishing you the loveliest weekend ahead!

Previously on Chatting Over Chocolate:

Direct Link to Blog Post:  

for High Five for Friday
AndreaErika, and Narci 
for Friday Favorites

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Friday, January 4, 2019

Cheers for Six Years of Chatting Over Chocolate!

Happy Friday, friends!  What a happy one it is for me, indeed!  Today marks six years since I began Chatting Over Chocolate.  If I could I'd bake you up a batch of brownies and deliver it to you personally with a handwritten note of gratitude for both your readership and friendship.  Since that's not possible I'll share this snail mail via blog post and include a couple brownie recipes I've shared here over the years. ;)

Now, for the aforementioned links to sweetness that'd be perfect on a day such as this!

The couldn't be simpler route to a delightful Disney dessert at home!

OR if you're in a minty mood, may I suggest...

Another recipe shared during my first few months of blogging, these brownies were created with my mint-adoring oldest daughter in mind.  What a treat it is to remember sharing the first batch of these with her.  Back then I aimed to share a new recipe or craft each week and enjoyed linking those posts to several blog link parties.  These brownies were featured at four parties that week, but even sweeter was when a then new blogging friend (who is now one of my dearest real life friends) baked them for co-workers and shared a blog post on what a hit they were!  Sweet memories all around! 

I'll wrap this post up with a link to last year's 5th Blogiversary post, Five Ways that Blogging has Changed my Life.  Each of these still ring true and play a huge part in why I still make the choice to continue on blogging as Chatting Over Chocolate enters its seventh year. 

Wishing you the happiest New Year, sweet friends!  Thank you for visiting today and adding to the joy of my own!

for High Five for Friday
AndreaErika, and Narci 
for Friday Favorites

Join me in the adventures to come!
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