Life Lately

I stole this "Life Lately" list from the ridiculously gorgeous Kaelene at Unlocking Kiki. I just started reading Unlocking Kiki the past few weeks and I am hooked. It's now one of the blogs I check daily for new posts.  Kaelene is hilarious, has great travel posts and lives in Iceland with her Icelandic BF, which is awesome. I love reading all the cultural stories she has. I highly recommend reading her blog! It's legit guys.  
Wearing: Work out clothes. Always work out clothes. The last month or so as soon as I got home from work I changed into my work out clothes. Usually,  I did this to work out, but also to just be comfortable. It's getting extra hot and muggy in Qingdao now and work out clothes are just the most comfortable things to wear. Now that school's out, I hop out of bed and put on my work out gear first thing. It's motivation to eat healthy and make sure I get a work out in all day. 

Loving: Zachary. I just love him so much and find myself loving him so much more lately. It's cheesy but it's true. I really feel like our love is constantly growing and it's such a blessing. It's good that work is almost over for both of us so that we can just enjoy each other more.

Rest. This past year was a doozy for us & we're needing some R&R.  I'm so thankful our holiday is almost here. 

Eating: Just got home from Chinese hot pot with our Chinese family, Justin, Jenny and David. Also, we walked home and I got a soda flavored Popsicle, and it was heck-a good. It was like a mix of cotton candy, soda and coconut flavor, yum. 

Watching: It's the same. Always. The Office. We went to two movies this past week though. Transformers 4, which was okay but soooo long and Maleficent, which was amazing.

Feeling: A lot of anxiety lately. Not the greatest answer, but honest. Also, thankful. Thankful for such great friends, family and church. We're just feeling so blessed.

Drinking: Water! I love water and these hot days are beckoning me to the water jug over and over. Also, decaf iced coffees and decaf sugar free non fat caramel macchiotos!

Writing: Blog posts, budgets and journal pages to Jesus. 

Training: I'm pseudo training for a half marathon. I haven't quite started the actually training plan but I've been running consistently good distances and will start the training plan real soon.

To go home and see our family! We can't wait until Spring Festival to hug all their necks.

Family & best friends. 

Wondering: What our little babies will look like one day.

Looking: At all the beautiful hydrangeas filling out apartment complex. Every since our wedding I'm just obsessed with them. They're so darn beautiful.

About giving away tons of clothes. Still thinking about it... not in the action plan yet. Just thinking. Soon though, very soon, I will have no more time to think about it and will be required to purge my closet and all of our possessions in preparation for the future.

Reading: A 60 year old print of The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner. It smells wonderful like all old books smell. It has some nice coffee stains, a few loose pages, and Oak Park, Illinois public library stamps all over it. It's fabulous. I feel like I'm doing something really special while reading it.

Laughing: At how cute our girl dog is moving all the pillows on the couch to find her perfect spot, after we've just cleaned up and set the pillows out nicely. She could care less! She's the queen of the couch.

Our family could come to Qingdao for the summer. It's such a wonderful time in Qingdao. You can just feel the city buzzing with excitement that it's the summer!

Dreaming: of the day I can fit back into all of my clothes. Slow and steady, it will happen with the Lord's strength.

Our trip to the Philippines next week! I'm so excited to explore our future home and get some much needed rest & relaxation.

What's going on in your life lately? 

Again, this completely awesome list is from Unlocking Kiki! Read her list here.  
post signature


Cooking with The Mosbys: Thai Spring Rolls

Spring rolls make the perfect appetizer or even a great party food, don't they?! Guess what?! They are super easy to make, too! This recipe is one we learned in Thailand for the basic Thai spring rolls, but once you've mastered these, I say try switching things up and adding ingredients you love! Like, I think these would be great with added chopped shrimp! Also, I'm dying to make these with a southwest twist, leaving out the below ingredients and instead filling them with avocado, black beans, corn, and all the goodies the Tex Mex goods I can stuff in that little wrapper. But for now, I hope you try these babies!
 photo ingredients_zpsc0c44657.jpg
100 g glass noodles (soak for 2 to 3 minutes)
50 g minced tofu
20 g chives, carrot and bean sprouts
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 beaten egg
2-3 tbs water
6-7 spring roll wrappers**
sweet chili sauce for dipping
 photo prep_zps53929e41.jpg
Prepare ingredients as above. Set aside in 3 piles or bowls. 1. the soaked noodles, 2. the garlic and tofu, 3. the carrots, chives and beansprouts. I also would suggest having the water, soy sauce, fish sauce and oyster sauce, measured out and placed in a separate bowl, as well.

In a wok, fry the garlic and tofu until brown. Add the bean sprout, carrot, chives combo. Add 2 to 3 tbs of water, soy sauce, fish sauce and oyster sauce. Mix well.

Add glass noodles. Stir until everything is mixed & heated well. Set aside & let cool for 5 minutes.

Once the filling is cooled, lay out one spring roll wrapper, rough side up, and place 1 to 2 tbs of filling in the bottom center.  I recommend making smaller spring rolls at first. Once you've mastered frying them while they stay together,  you can try making them a little bigger.

**Make sure the spring roll wrappers are not too dried out. If they are too dry they will crack, making it very difficult to keep your spring roll in one piece while assembling and frying. 
Fold the bottom corner over the filling. Next fold in the ends, then roll up tightly. Seal the wrapping closed with the beaten egg.
Next fry your spring roll babies up over medium heat! Use plenty of oil to almost cover them. Make sure to turn them until they are fried golden. 
If you're afraid of the hot, popping oil, let your husband, man friend or brother have a go. ;)
Serve with sweet chili sauce and enjoy!
post signature


Our Creed on Culture

We, The Mosby's love God & His Son, our Savior, Jesus.

 We also love people. People that He created in His image, out of love.

We believe...

 ...that the differences in culture, people, language and customs are good & we celebrate them.

...that culture & differences among us are to draw us closer to Jesus & to glorify God.

...that in every culture there are pieces that are reflections of Jesus. We love discovering new cultures.

...that every person, created in the image of God, reflects aspects of who He is and His character.

...we live in a fallen, sinful world so sometimes, those pieces are really hard to find in a culture and a person. Sometimes they are buried deep. Sometimes they're buried deep by sin, government systems, pain, loss, grief, greed, selfishness, pride, beliefs, customs, and the list goes on and on.

...Sometimes those pieces of God, are more obvious and easier to see;  like; in the Chinese & how they take care of their family & in the province of Yunan, in the passion of the Koreans & in the beauty of Sorakson, in the huge smiles and hospitality of the Thais, & in their Northern Mountains & in their beautiful beaches,  in the free spirits of the Costa Ricans & in their lush coffee farms, in the determination of the Americans & the Tex Mex of the Texans ;),  in the simplicity of the Haitains & in the strength amidst the rubble of Port Au Prince.

We are determined to see God's fingerprints upon all the cultures He allows us to, even if sometimes we have to dig deep.

...that God loves every person and that Jesus died for every man & woman.

...that He is God over all. Over every culture & every heart, regardless of a country or culture's belief.

...in loving the world & it's people as Jesus loved us. Humbly, selflessly, courageously & fully.

...God wants every nation, every tongue & every man/woman to know His love for them by Jesus sacrifice on the cross.

What are some of your beliefs about culture?

post signature


A Chiang Mai Bucket List

 photo cmbucketlist_zpsafe67c68.jpg
Wow, Thailand. If you haven't been there, let me tell you, all the rumors are true. Thailand is heck-a beautiful and has a gajillion and one things for you to see and do. History, beaches, beauty, mountains, animals, food and shopping, Thailand has got it all! It's also true what you've heard about the food-you never want to stop eating it because it's so, so very delicious! And cheap! The dollar can go a long way in Thailand, which is also a reason why so many people love it. Oh! And did I even mention the coconut ice cream? Oh man. We should probably all go ahead and jump on a plane tonight to soak up some sun and eat some coconut ice cream tomorrow. 

Every person has their favorite city and things to do in Thialand and ours was Chiang Mai. It's a laid back, beautiful city in the North, just perfect for a relaxing, mountainside holiday. What all should you do in this gem of a city in Northern Thialand? Well, well. I'm so glad you asked, because today, don't you worry, I have the perfect Chiang Mai bucket list, IMO. :) 
1. Snuggle up with some tigers!
No trip to Chiang Mai would be complete without visiting the famous snuggle bears at Tiger Kingdom. To be clear, they're tigers, not bears, but still, they're totally down with the whole, 'lay on me and take pictures' and 'don't forget to scratch my belly' kind of thing. Tiger Kingdom hosts 4 different sizes of tigers. We recommend the medium, small and smallest package for around 1200 baht per person!
2. Get up close and personal with some elephants!
There are so many elephant parks to choose from in Chiang Mai! We choose the Baan Chang Elephant Park and it did not disappoint. We paid to have our own elephant for the day and we were so happy we did. My elephant was this little cutey. He could give kisses, which I must say, sort of made me fall in love. Baan Chang is fantastic. They pick you up from your hotel, feed you, let you feed ride, bath and love on their elephants. So, ya, they're pretty cool. My favorite part of our elephant day was bathing the elephants.
3. Rent a car. No really, do it. I know they drive on the other side of the road and everything, but for real, just do it. You'll get used to it and your drive through Northern Thailand will not disappoint! Feel free on the open road!
4. Spend some time away in the quiet of the country side. We highly recommend Narittaya
to do this in. Their pool villas, with outdoor bathtubs, are fantastic and the food is just amazing. I'm still dreaming of having breakfasts on their patio overlooking their gardens.
5. While you're getting away from it all, go for a bike ride or run!
in the country side. It's so relaxing and you'll be sure to see beautiful scenery like the one below.
6. Volunteer at Care for Dogs. Care for Dogs, just down the street from Narittaya, is a wonderful non profit that is caring for the dogs of Chaing Mai. They vaccinate, care for, provide emergency care and shelter dogs. They also have an adoption program. They are doing awesome things there but need tons of help! With their 200+ dogs their volunteer programs are much needed! We spent a few days volunteering and walking some special dogs and loved it.
7. Have a watermelon vodka at The Corner Resturant. It's delish guys. Have it outside for a nice night of people watching. We don't necessarily recommend the food but the watermelon vodka is perfect. 
8. Try a Chiang Mai sausage. They are filled with all different things and quite delicious.
8. Eat a meal at Lemon Grass
and sign your name on the wall. (We didn't get a chance to sign ours!) Their food was some of the best Thai food we had.
9. Wander through the Chaing Mai markets. The night market every night or the Sunday Walking street are both great places to find delicious, cheap food, artisan crafts and all the other goodness (cheap clothes, shoes, scarves, bags, elephant decorations, jewelry) that Thailand markets have to offer. 
10. Take a cooking class. It's awesome to be able to learn, from a professional, how to cook all your favorite Thai foods! All the recipes were super easy and quick. Because of the cooking class we've made Thai several times since our trip. We recommend Siam Rice Cooking School with the full day.
11. Try the Reuben at The Duke's.
I'm not going to lie Zachary and I have discussed several times going back to Chiang Mai to just eat this huge sandwich.
12. Visit Doi Sutep. Visit because it's "the thing to do" in Chiang Mai and because Chaing Mai people take great pride in it because of it's great history. Read up on the history before you go. It will make for a more interesting time. Also, the views are awesome.
Other Great Things to Do in Chiang Mai:
go to massage school
visit hill tribes
go zip lining
karaoke at Loco Elvis
Enjoy live music
get massages
Have you been to Chiang Mai? What's on our bucket list? 
post signature


Dragon Boat Bracelets

I started noticing last month that all of my students, from different schools and different grades, were wearing these rubber band bracelets. It was crazy to me to see all these children with the same style bracelets! I can remember fads like this in the States when I was younger.
 Do you remember these chokers? Gosh, weren't they terrible?! And jelly bracelets? Scrunchies! Trucker hats?! You were super cool if you had a good trucker hat. Tube socks that scrunched.
Do you remember friendship bracelets? I remember being real into that in elementary.  I even had a craft organizer for all my different colors of string. It was legit and I'd bring it to recess. That's what all of us cool kids did at recess for 1 to 2 months before the fad ended and four square became the next big thing. My friendship bracelets always stayed in the braid zone. I could never do any of that crazy, crafty, fancy pants stuff some kids could do! 
 Anyways, so I thought these bracelets were one of those fad type things but I found out they're dragon boat bracelets. Kids make them, then after the first rain, after the dragon boat festival, they're supposed to cut them off for good luck. Interesting, huh? So, now you know.
 Ivy-girl sporting her bracelets! 

So, were you into the string bracelets, too? How about those amazingly beautiful tribal chokers?
post signature


Greek Yogurt & Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

This banana bread took me 10 minutes max to prep and was one of the most delicious banana breads I've ever had. It's easy, tastes amazing, is super moist and has all the extra protein and goodness that greek yogurt and coconut oil have to offer. So, it's healthy. Right? ;) Irregardless, it's hecka good! Do yourself and your taste buds a favor. The next time you have a few slightly brown spotted & mushy bananas on hand, make this bread! You won't regret it! photo ingredients_zpsc0c44657.jpg

2 cups bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
3/4 c greek yogurt
1 tbs honey
1/4 c coconut oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanila
2 dove dark chocolate bars (chopped)
3 soft bananas
 photo prep_zps53929e41.jpg
Mix all dry ingredients together except the chocolate. Place all wet ingredients, including the bananas, in a separate bowl. Mash the bananas with a fork to the consistency you prefer. (I like to leave some chunks in mine.) Take note that the coconut oil, once touched by anything cold, will become solid. Mash down any coconut oil chunks with the fork to break them up. Mix well. Pour into the dry mix and mix well, again. Add the chocolate. Mix it all up! Pour batter into a sprayed loaf pan.

Heat for 55 to 65 minutes on 350 F.
(Check after 50 minutes every 5 minutes since all ovens vary)

post signature


A Qingdao Bay Boat Party

The beautiful month of May was filled with birthdays! One of those birthdays was our friend, Sonny! You may remember us mentioning Sonny here. He's a great guy. He's incredibly generous, hilarious and humble. We love any time we get to spend with him! For his 40th birthday he decided to rent a boat and take his friends out for dinner and some Qingdao Bay views. 
The birthday boy and his brother and sister in law. 
Once every one was on the boat, we set off for the sea, and the waitors, chef and bartender Sonny brought from the hotel, started shaking, pouring and bbqing things up. There was also lots of fresh fruit and veggies.
The views were great but the boat was really rocking over each wave! It was hard to hold our plates, drinks and hold conversations. At some points we had to grip the table so as not to fly out of our chair.
People were even falling over! So they decided to turn the boat around and go back to the dock to enjoy our lunch and cake.
Zachary and Ash tried to catch a few fish while we were docked. One guy on the boat actually caught one and immediately stuck in on the barbi down stairs. He was super excited!
The Mosby Man and I
Some of the best birthday cheese cake I've ever tasted. After we ate we headed back out to the sea to enjoy the last hour with the boat.
Our view as we headed back in for the final time-tons of Chinese people taking pictures of us and the Olympic torch.
Happy Birthday Sonny! We had a great time! Thank you so much for having us!
post signature
Pin It button on image hover