January 2014 Photo-a-Day Challenge

To kick off the New Year 2014, I’ve decided to attempt participation in a photo challenge. Challenging myself to take a photo on each day of the month of January based on the following themes:  http://www.theidearoom.net/2013/12/january-photo-day-challenge-2014.html      I will post my progress here on the blog.

For the first week:


Goal – one of my new year goals is to photograph more food


Organize – the realization has set in that my whole house, especially the craft room needs to be organized….  that’s a lot of work…


Relax – it is very relaxing to knit in front of the fireplace, to get all warm and cozy and accidentally fall asleep….  it is very relaxing to nap in front of the fireplace!


Fresh – we got a fresh dusting of snow in Wichita, so fine & light and pretty & glittery


On the counter….  is a mess of glass bottles and jars (all of which I use to cook with though, so…. that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!)

Happy to welcome a New Year 2014!  Happy to take a photo a day!!!

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Christmas Trees, Oh Christmas Trees….!

Last night, the kids and I drove downtown for the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.  It was a lovely, brisk evening (not terribly cold, but cold enough for coats and scarves).  We got there early in order to get a primo parking spot, and then ate our dinner in the car before walking over to Century II.

The kids and I enjoyed:

DSC_8481Live music

DSC_8489Street-side snowflakes

DSC_8533Christmas carolers

DSC_8560A Christmas Tree lighting

DSC_8553 DSC_8551-2Mrs. Claus reading “Twas the Night Before Christmas”

DSC_8573DSC_8584Santa’s impressive arrival by fire truck

DSC_8601 DSC_8644DSC_8729DSC_8896 DSC_8859 DSC_8808And a spectacular, most awesome fireworks display!!!  The highlight of my evening!

DSC_8547The kids really enjoyed this event, which makes me giggle because they weren’t 100% enthused about leaving the house.  They always think that I’m going to drag them somewhere where they won’t want to go, to do something that they won’t want to do….  WHEN will they learn?!?

The only thing that would’ve made the night even more perfect???  If Gregg was home and could’ve gone with us, so that we could enjoy as a family…  The kids and I were already making plans, by the Mayor’s Tree, to bring him with us next year!

DSC_8590 DSC_8916 DSC_8911We took a few more pictures and then hurriedly, excitedly ran over to the Cake Face food truck to get desserts!  The kids ordered cinnamon rolls while I ordered the most delicious brownie with peanut butter, milk chocolate, and sea salt caramel.  Oh the yumminess!

DSC_8769-2One last photo from the fireworks display because the ethereal light effect happening in this photo was a surprise and kinda cool.  I’m sure it has something to do with the insanely bright light exuding from the center of the firework.  I like it!

If you’re interested in watching the tail end of the AMAZING firework display from the ceremony this evening, I’ve uploaded the last 3 minutes that I caught on my phone:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITxn0vRC5zs

And since we’re on the topic of Christmas Trees with the Mayor’s Tree Lighting Ceremony, I thought I’d go ahead and share the Bolinger Family Christmas Trees with you (minus the Believe Tree because it is still under construction by the kids, PLUS their basement/kid-zone is such a mess that it is unphotographable at the moment…)

1457539_10152025327306170_1396590124_nThis tree is my natural/nature inspired tree with wood, felt, yarn textures, including the unique jute-esque, patterned ribbon wound throughout the thick Douglas Fir branches.  I wanted a tree with non-traditional colors that reflected my LOVE of nature, so we have burnt orange, olive green, lime green, aqua blue ornaments, along with light and dark browns to round everything out.  I consider this little 4.5 ft. cutie to be all mine!

1404956_10152038766416170_1227696381_oThis is our family tree called the “Let it Snow” tree.  I think the theme is obvious?  The red, lime green, and white explosion that takes place in our living room each year is beyond FUN!  I took decorating lessons from my BFF for two Christmases in a row so that I’d be able to independently weave ribbons and garland expertly through the tree’s branches.  I lovingly tuck in snowflakes and strategically place ornament bulbs everywhere!!!  It is a glitter-filled labor of love!

DSC_8056Last but not least, we have a new addition to the Bolinger’s Christmas Tree Family:  dah dah dah DAH – I present the “Tabletop Tree!”  I wanted to make something totally unique for my Hubbs to decorate his office.  This tree is completely and utterly customized for Gregg!

DSC_8063-2  It has homemade scrabble tile ornaments with words like:  Geek, Nerd Alert, Board Games, Bolinger, Cards, Dice, Rules, etc.


I made ornaments and buttons online that have various board game cover images on them, for instance:  Adventurers, Zombicide, Smash Up, Takenoko, King of Tokyo, etc., etc.


Oh, and do you see the Cthulhu with the Santa hat at the top of the tree?!?  Can’t forget about that crazy little guy from Lovecraft’s Arkham Horror series of books and games.  That goes right along with the Elder Sign star at the very top of the tree!

DSC_8091 DSC_8085-2Gregg’s reaction to this surprise tree was absolutely priceless to me!  He had a huge grin on his face as he tried to take it all in!  There are even mini keychain board games hanging from some of the branches (UNO, Monopoly, and Clue)!  The Hubbs immediately scooped up his tree and found a prominent place for it in his office amidst the family’s board game collection!

Yes, we have numerous trees in our home….  Yes, we might be crazy…..  Yes, we thoroughly enjoy Christmas and yes, we go ALL out in the decorating department….  It’s a wonderful, expressive time of year!  I would be remiss if I didn’t flat out exclaim that our family believes that JESUS is the absolute reason for this season!  Thank you, Lord for sending your Son to be born in a manger, to walk this earth for a limited time, to preach and to teach His disciples, and to die on a cross to save us all for our sins.  We may have different ways of expressing our excitement for this monumental event, and for the Christmas season, mine is through spending quality time with my family, attending fun, Christmas-inspired community events, and decorating CHRISTMAS TREES!

Happy Birthday to my Savior!  Happy to be a saved child of God!

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November Madness

A quick update in the life of the Bolinger’s….  It seems like quick updates are all we have time for these days.  Who else has been busy wrapping up end of the year activities?


That’s what I thought!

DSC_7292-2November Madness included the grand finale to Alex’s Girls on the Run 5K training program with, none other than, a 5K!!!  It was a gorgeous, sunny day (with a bit too much wind for our taste) but perfect temps in which to run anyhow.  Alex wore her handmade tutu, got a green mustache spray painted onto the back of her head for fun, and warmed up with some Zumba routines before the race.

DSC_7289Alex picked her dad to be her running buddy – they both did GREAT!!!DSC_7267Showing our support!  Alex Rocks And So Does Her Dad!!!!!  Go Bananas, Bolinger’s!

DSC_7323-2Then, Alex bridged from Brownies to Juniors in Girl Scouts.  The themes were red roses (troop crest) and rainbows.  I made a LONG rainbow photo poster chronicling the girls’ adventures over the past two years.   And made a couple of rainbow bunting to use as decorations.DSC_7443Each girl walked onto the bridge, stopped in the middle, shared their favorite Brownie Moment, and then crossed over to get their new Junior’s vests.

DSC_7446 Alex was pinned by her most excellent troop leader, Ms. Melissa, and now we’re ready for the next set of adventures!  LOVE this group of strong, creative, curious, happy girls and their parents!DSC_7578-2 We made a quick rainbow backdrop out of plastic tablecloths for family photos…DSC_7574 One of the moms decorated these super cute rainbow treat bags….DSC_7543And, these cupcakes were uber ADORABLE!!!  Chocolate frosting on one side for Brownies, green frosting on the other for Juniors, and a rainbow candy bridge from one to the other!

DSC_7688Immediately following, we participated in Operation Christmas Child at our Shoebox Stuffing Party at church.  Christian is deep in thought as he chooses items to lovingly place in his shoebox for a little boy somewhere else in the world.

DSC_7692This remains one of the Bolinger’s favorite holiday activities!  Look forward to it every year!  I love the idea that a child, who may not receive a gift otherwise, WILL get a Christmas gift, and even more importantly, will receive the Good News of the Gospel too!

DSC_7774-2Next, November Madness brought Alex and Christian’s birthday parties…  Happy 10th birthday to my sweet, considerate, helpful, sporty daughter, Alex Rose!  She wanted a volleyball themed birthday party with a volleyball net set up in the backyard and a brand new teal volleyball to go with it.  Net was purchased.  Teal ball was purchased.  COLD, FRIGID weather set it, just in time for the day of the party….

DSC_7766So, I planned for an indoor volleyball game instead!!!  Truth-or-Dare volleyball plays as follows:  each volleyball balloon had a folded up piece of paper inside with either a truth (question) or a dare.  The girls served and volleyed the balloon back and forth over the couch in the basement.  Each time a ballon hit the ground, one girl had to pop the balloon and read the truth or dare.  Then, each girl had to answer the question and/or participate in the dare.  It was so much FUN!

DSC_7811-2There were volleyball cupcakes


with candles that Alex had a tough time blowing out on her own…

DSC_7867-2It required a group effort…!

DSC_7827-2Alex opened presents!  Then, she and her friends jumped over to the photo booth. Sometimes, I really wish that I could post whichever photos I’d like to on my blog, BUT most of the time, I don’t have permission to display photos of others publicly, and I would rather not make people sign a release form when they enter my house, so I pick and choose which photos of my own family to share.  I say this because the photo booth pics turned out really cute, but I’m not at liberty to post them…

I am free, however, to post these…


Tee Hee!!!!!

DSC_7745Same day, different time, Happy 9th Birthday to my hyper, creative, playful, super imaginative son, Christian!  Christian wanted a Lord of the Rings themed birthday party, so that’s exactly what he got!  The participants were given a mission:  To enter Shelob’s Lair (Shelob is a scary spider from Lord of the Rings).

DSC_7801-2DSC_7956The participants couldn’t trip over or tear any of the webs or they’d wake the sleeping spider and have to start all over….

DSC_7654The kids had to navigate through the web maze collecting 1 lollipop spider and 5 gold rings.

DSC_7783Then, they had to maneuver over to the corner of the room to collect 1 foam sword before making it to the burrow (Christian’s closet) to wait and hide until ALL of the adventurers made it through the lair.DSC_7796All of the adventurers safely carried out their mission and escaped from Shelob’s Lair in time for cake!

DSC_7945Christian had no trouble blowing out the candles on his Lord of the Rings cake!

DSC_7947Everybody ate cake, watched Christian open his presents, and then they all jumped over to the photo booth as well.  And, again, the photos were quite cute…  You’ll just have to trust me.

DSC_7019We went out to Old Town to take family photos for our Christmas cards.  It was tricky trying to schedule this photo shoot around all of the November Madness, including Gregg’s work/traveling schedule.  We picked a date, we got dressed, we drove out to the location.  Then, we realized that is was incredibly WINDY, yet again….  My hair and Alex’s hair was NOT to be tamed.  AND, lo’ and behold, I, Candace Bolinger, forgot my tripod at home.  GRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!  So upsetting….  I did end up loving this pic (above) of the kids though.

DSC_8024-2We tried another photo shoot on a different day, and it ended up being really cold.  So, we got right down to business.  The idea for our “Christmas Card Photo” this year was for all of us to wear the handmade hats and scarves that I knitted.  So, we set it up at the entrance to our neighborhood, didn’t worry about driving out to Old Town, didn’t worry about getting dressed up in our nicely coordinated blues/blacks/and grays, and we get what we get and we don’t throw a fit!  Christmas cards have been designed and ordered!  Done!

1450227_10152028731296170_323006518_nThe Bolinger’s hosted Thanksgiving for my extended Wichita family (mom & dad, sister and her husband and kids).  We had a magnificent feast funded by my gracious mother!  It was YUMMO!!!!  I brined a turkey, made stuffins, and garlic green beans.  The Hubbs made his melt-in-your-mouth mashed potatoes.  Mom brought over a ham, broccoli casserole, veggie tray, and basically, her entire pantry!  Alicia brought a smorgasbord of pies!   We ate yummy food and watched traditional holiday movies.  It was nice and relaxed.

1404956_10152038766416170_1227696381_oIt was Thanksgiving night that I threw my back out…  After lifting and rearranging totes of Halloween, Fall/Thanksgiving, and Christmas decorations in the basement, after stepping up and down, up and down, up and down from a chair whilst decorating the big tree in the front room, after who knows what else made my back cranky that day???  I was bed ridden for two whole days….

And, since nothing exciting happened on those two days, I will take this time to let you know that I have plans to write a separate blog post on my decorated Christmas trees soon.  I designed and decorated a tree especially made for my Hubbs this year (for his office) and he LOVED it!  Can’t wait to tell you all about it!

1450815_10152038545861170_833177652_nBack to the craziness of November Madness, though….  Ben and I have been practicing our piano and cello parts for “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” for the Christmas Recital with Vance Music.  Our group of seven music students rehearsed independently and attended extra rehearsals together in preparation for the big performance!  That performance took place today, and we did it!  It was quite exhilarating to see it all come together!

If you’re still with me, I’m thankful that it’s December 1st!  I’m remaining hopeful that the month of December will be slightly less mad because we have successfully wrapped up a lot of fun activities thus far.  And now, it’s time to start wrapping up Christmas presents instead….

HAPPY to have barely survived the madness of the month of November….!   😀





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Pillowcase Project: Dresses for Jordan, Costa Rica, & Tanzania

It is with much excitement that I blog about Craft Hope’s 23rd project:  Pillowcase Dresses!!!  These dresses will be for girls at a school in Jordan, an orphanage in Costa Rica, and in Tanzania.  Craft Hope’s founder, Jade Sims, says that it all started 4 years ago with 29 handmade pillowcase dresses headed to an orphanage in Mexico.  Her idea of crafting for a cause, crafting for hope quickly caught on!  And since then, Craft Hope has connected crafters worldwide to hand-make items from baby bibs to sock monkeys, birthing kits to blankets, bracelets to flip flops and so much more.  These items are hand crafted with love and then donated to communities in need.  Handmade items collected to date:  149,645!!!!

This month gave us a chance to revisit the project that started it all – the Pillowcase Dress!

This project was short and sweet with a hurried deadline, so I was unable to get a blog post written in time to rally the local crafting troops…  However, we did form a small, mighty, spur-of-the-moment crafting group at church and finished 26 dresses!!!


We made:

DSC_5816Dresses out of actual pillowcases, so that most of the sewing was already complete; simply had to make a couple of cuts and sew a few seams.

DSC_6096We made some dresses from scratch with two coordinating fabrics.  In essence, we were making a pillowcase first and then turning it into a dress.

DSC_5788The “ribbon sleeves” which tie together and hold the dress on the shoulders were made with a single tie….

DSC_6105and some with double ties.

DSC_5829We even made a couple of the ties out of fabric!  I love this look!

And just once, I got fancy with a ruffle along the bottom, for as you know, I adore ruffles….  ahem….  hence my crafty persona, Ruffled Rose…!  But the pillowcase fabric (polyester) was fraying and messy, so that was a one time venture for this project…  but “Long Live the Ruffles” anyway!

DSC_6113This project was fun, simple, and so darn cute!  I wish I had more time to crank out even more dresses.  I just want to give a HUGE THANK YOU to all of the ladies who participated in this project!!!!

Unfortunately, there were other ladies who wanted to participate, but didn’t get a chance to this time around.  Rest assured, there will be more crafting projects, and I try to announce them here on my blog, as well as on Facebook, on my Ruffled Rose Homemade Accessories page, which is linked to on the right side of this blog page.  To keep track of my blog, please subscribe with your email address and receive emails each time a post is published.  To keep track of my Facebook page, please go to Ruffled Rose Homemade Accessories page and click “Like” to receive notifications on your own wall.

Happy to make dresses out of pillowcases for the girls in developing countries!   Happy to craft with the lovely ladies at Tyler Road!  Happy to be so blessed by an Awesome God – May these projects go to glorify Him!

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Sketch Crawl 2013

Have you ever heard of a Sketch Crawl?  I hadn’t either, but I was invited to one last weekend.  Once I heard that it was a gathering for fun, artistic souls to socialize, sketch, write poetry, wear sweaters, and even photograph, I was like, “Sign me up!!!”

Each year, the crawl is scheduled for a specific date, and people all over the world meet with their peers/friends to sketch together on that date, uploading photos of their work, and sharing online with the rest of the community.  I’ve done something exactly like this when Wichita participated in Scott Kelby’s Photo Walk (people all over the world going out on the exact same date to photograph different locations and then uploading & sharing their photographs online later that day).

The meeting place for the Sketch Crawl this year was at Sedgwick County Park.  Once the group scouted out a location, we set up camp:  lawn chairs, coolers and snacks, tripods, and art supplies.  While some of the group members immediately got to sketching, I did a perimeter check with my camera.

This is what I found:


DSC_5871 DSC_5875 DSC_5877 DSC_5887 DSC_5903

DSC_5911Disclaimer:  I went to a Sketch Crawl knowing full well that I don’t sketch….  I do consider myself an artsy soul however, and I was wearing a sweater….  and I bought the (above) sketchbook specifically for the event.  So I rolled up my sweater sleeves, opened the book to its crisp first page, and I started to draw…

DSC_5931But every so often, I’d look up and see something else that desperately required my photographic attention!!!  It’s totally NOT my fault!!!!  DSC_5943

I mean, this goose sauntering by was practically begging for a photo shoot.

DSC_6000And look at this tiny dancer; her ballet performance was not to be missed.

DSC_5988 DSC_5987While the squirrels were a bit more difficult to catch on camera, they found time to relax and munch on some strawberries from the cooler.  This epic cuteness was worth the amount of time I spent chasing them from place to place, tripping over tree roots and stumbling upon other photo-worthy subjects!

DSC_5968 DSC_5964Broken, hollowed out tree trunks hold so much detail and mystery.  The crime would be walking right past without snapping a photo…

DSC_5998 DSC_5991This man came to feed his friends (like he does every day) and our sketching area became even more infested with hungry geese than it already was.  It was quite a sight!

DSC_6008 DSC_6012By the end of the afternoon, I had a couple of drawings to share with the group.  I was more enthused to go home and get pics off my camera to share those!  BUT, I did participate in the Sketch Crawl with actual sketches!  My top sketch was voted on to be the “Cover Page” for our group’s crawl when sharing our work with the rest of the world. In my opinion, it is very child-like, but it does very blatantly advertise what we saw that day!

And so you have it, a glorious afternoon with slightly chilly weather, sun shining, nature preparing for the seasonal changes, wildlife scurrying about observing the humans and vice versa.  It was beautiful and humbling to just sit and ponder the intricacies of God’s amazing creations!  And, I’m not gonna lie, an afternoon with no distractions from home (chores, crafts, kids, etc) was just a little delightful!

Happy to have been invited to Sketch Crawl 2013 by fellow artsy soul, Glenn G.  I would be ever so happy to participate again next year!





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Based on Actual Events…

Another blog post that was started and needed to be finished; the story you are about to read is based on actual events:

It was a hot, stagnant Wednesday afternoon when it happened.  It was unexpected.  It was unfortunate.  But it happened.  The woman and her daughter were in the car heading to track practice.  The daughter was sitting in the back seat, dressed purposefully in her favorite pair of running shorts and a “Girls Got Sole” t-shirt that she’d found at a thrift store (Get it?  Got sole?  Like the sole of a shoe?).  The woman was concentrating on driving as she listened to her daughter share fascinating stories from her busy day at school and the adventures from her bus ride home.

Suddenly, the car began to vibrate and shudder….  The woman strengthened her grip on the steering wheel, all the while, the daughter chattered on.  “What in the world…?” the woman said aloud.  She silently wondered if there was something wrong with the road; there had been lots of road construction and refinishing being done in the vicinity, though she couldn’t remember this particular road being serviced in the recent past.

The car began to tremble more adamantly….  The woman quickly turned down the volume on the radio and eased her foot off of the car’s accelerator.  She scanned the equipment board looking for clues.  What she immediately noticed was the gas light; it was illuminated and glaring at her angrily.  The daughter was jolted from her own thoughts and asked, “What’s happening?”  The woman tried to answer calmly, “I’m not sure, but I think that the car may be running out of gas.”  She pushed her foot back down on the accelerator with an image of the nearest gas station in her mind  Will we be able to make it before the engine dies, the mother thought to herself.  She didn’t want to be stranded at the side of the road.  She didn’t want for her boys to be stranded at home alone.  She didn’t want for her daughter to be late to practice.  And she most definitely didn’t want her daughter to be afraid….  so she just kept on driving.

But up ahead loomed an incline, and not just any incline; in a city of extremely level, flat lands, it seemed to the woman that this incline might as well have been a colossal mountain to climb.  The car sputtered and shook and clamored as it struggled to make it up and over the challenging hill.  The car survived and noisily pushed on.  The woman, thankful for that victory, was praying non-stop that the car would make it just a little bit farther.  Please Lord, let us make it safely off of this main street and into the parking lot on the corner!  The gas station was no longer a realistic goal.  And since the car was still trudging along, it was now apparent to the woman that the car wasn’t running out of gas just yet.  Something else was wrong.

As she pulled the car very slowly into the parking lot on the corner, she was shouting praises of joy that they’d made it safely off of the main road!!!  “Thank you, Lord!”  The woman turned off the car and took the keys from the ignition.  “What do we do now?” the daughter asked.  “We check the tires…” the woman answered definitively.  All she had to do was step outside the car and look straight down at the front driver’s side tire to see that it had indeed sprung a leak.  It was a flatter-than-flat tire.  She was surprised that the exterior hadn’t been shredded.  The woman and her daughter looked at each other, looked at the tire, and then resigned themselves to sitting back in the impaired vehicle while the woman immediately started texting and making phone calls for a rescue.

This is a true, albeit wordy account of my recent flat tire experience.  The Hubbs was out of town, a spare tire wasn’t available, it has been probably a decade since I’ve had to change a flat tire anyway.  Thankfully, a friend of mine lived right down the street and quickly came to pick us up and take us home!  

HAPPY for great friends, quick rescues, and a brand new tire!  Happy that another blog post is finally finished!  WOOT!

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A Lettuce Wrapped Victory

Oh, my poor, unattended, lonely blog….  I can’t believe how much I’ve neglected and mistreated it….  I logged in today, with a couple of ideas in my head that haven’t yet made it to typewritten status, only to find a couple of posts already started, but nothing finished.  Please bear with me as I attempt to get my chaos in order!  And rest assured that my blog will be avenged!!!

I think I just declared war on myself…   hmmmm….

My list of excuses as to why regular blogging has not been realized as of late:  the kids started school in August, and so then, all of their extracurricular activities started up again too.  Christian started football, Alex started running for Girls on the Run (training for a 5K), and Ben & I started our music lessons back up.  Wednesday nights at church are back in session (some exciting news there – Gregg and I are helping to teach the kiddos about international music as part of a study on world missions)!!!!

But what takes the proverbial cake in my world of busy, is that Gregg has accepted a new contract in Kansas City, which requires quite a bit of travel back and forth; I’m talking weekly here, folks.  Which means that I’m the solo head of household for half the week. But funny enough, weekly challenges are bringing me even closer to God as I watch him provide through family, friends, the kids, etc.  Gregg taking the contract was a joint decision that needed to be made at this point in time. Chanting to myself, “It’s only temporary.  It’s only temporary.  It’s only temporary.”

Now, it’s time to play catch up on some of these blog entries…

Without further adieu, A Lettuce Wrapped Victory!

A victory!  A lettuce wrapped victory with yoga overtones….!  Let me explain.

I noticed on facebook that Pei Wei was hosting a photo contest for the month of August surrounding their new lettuce wraps.  The theme was different each week.  There were prizes awarded daily and weekly for the best photos.

The theme for week two was:  Wrap a lighter lunch – photograph things that a Pei Wei lettuce wrap fuels you to get done.

And, so, an intense craving for lunch at Pei Wei and a photographic challenge was born!  The Hubbs and I headed there for lunch.  I ordered the Korean Steak Lettuce Wraps, which were spicy and crunchy and flavorful and delightful!

DSC_3407The hardest part of the photo shoot was waiting to eat my food….  I had to set up my camera for interval timing, set the stage, adjust settings, and hurriedly get into pose (preferably without stepping all over my food in the process)!

DSC_3398Twisting Chair Pose – intense “stare down” at the food was unintentional but necessary as I attempted to hold pose without face planting into my lettuce wrap, and thus, forcing myself to reset the scene….  As it were, the photo shoot was successful and no lettuce wraps were harmed in the making!

DSC_3423Lotus Pose – when initially thinking of photographing lettuce wraps, the lotus pose was the first thought that came to mind, which set off this yoga themed shoot!  I would like to thank my Hubbs for supporting my efforts here and helping with my tripod needs!    

DSC_3417Cropped Lotus Pose    And the winner of week two was….  This One!!!!!

My photo won “Best Photo of the Week” for Week Two of the contest with a prize of a $500.00 Pei Wei gift card!!!  VERY EXCITED!!!!  And hungry again….

My gift card promptly arrived in the mail, and the Hubbs and I had an impromptu mini date at the restaurant that very night!  Before you ask, “Where were your children?”  Let me just say that they are not huge fans of the Asian cuisine and they asked to eat at Wendy’s that night, so Gregg and I took advantage of a dinner date by ourselves.

Anyhoo, I ordered my favorite Pad Thai with shrimp.  Gregg had his stand by Sweet & Sour chicken.  It was a lovely first free meal of MANY more to come.  I absolutely love the reaction of the employees after they see the balance on the gift card and give this look of surprise and puzzlement, and exclaim, “Holy Smokes!  Do you want to know your balance?!?  Looks like there’s plenty left!  Did you win the photo contest?”  Fun times!

You may think that the story ends there?


I was sitting at the dinning room table one delightful afternoon, eating some Pei Wei lettuce wraps, and scrolling through facebook on my phone, and noticed that it was now Week Four of the photo competition and the theme was:  Sharing your Pei Wei Lettuce Wraps with Family and Friends.  Well, the wheels started turning and I just could not help myself….

DSC_3968Lettuce Wrap Smiley Faces – I took the kids out onto the front porch and posed them for this photo!  Look at their darling little faces with wide, green smiles!  I laugh every time I see Christian staring up at Ben!  

These kids are such great participants when it comes to my photography, and they helped me win a second $500. Pei Wei gift card!!!!!  I would type out 500 exclamation marks because that’s how astounded I was upon receiving the second congratulatory email, but I won’t…  Just know that I was SUPER EXCITED!!!!

And, that is how the story ends.  I have been taking family and friends out to lunch now for the past several weeks.  Trying new things on the menu each time so that I don’t get tired of eating any one particular thing.  Praises to the Lord for this provision!

Happy to eat yummy food Pei Wei!  Namaste!


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