Pearled Couscous Tabbouleh Recipe

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One of the my favorite side dishes we made for J’s birthday bash was this delicious cold couscous salad. It was fresh and tasty, complimented the kabobs so well, and looked so pretty on the food table! It was really easy to make and I added things as I went, I didn’t follow any exact recipe. I’ll cut the portions down to size, since I originally made enough to feed 50 guests!

What you’ll need:

2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Box of Israeli (pearled) Couscous (Trader Joe’s has my favorite)

1 3/4 C Chicken stock

1/2 C Flat leaf parsley, chopped

1/2 C Mint, chopped

1 pint Grape tomatoes, halved

1 Seedless cucumber, peeled and chopped

1/2 C Toasted pine nuts

1 TBSP Garlic, minced

2 Lemons, just the juice

2TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

Cook the couscous in chicken stock until it is a nice al dente texture. (you can substitute the chicken stock with water) Let cool for a bit, then toss in the rest of the ingredients! Chill and serve! (If it chills for a while, you can always add a little more lemon juice and toss to liven it up a bit! Super easy, fresh and delicious!

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Enjoy!

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. – Psalm 34:8

– Photography by Snap Lovely Photography

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The Days Of Dawn

When I first began blogging, I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to write about. I knew I wanted to share my heart and my life with friends and family, and I knew it would mostly be about my sweet little J that came into our lives and rocked our world. What I didn’t realize was that there are actually more layers to me than being a mom and a wife! While those are by far the most important roles I play in life, I have found some hidden passions and new adventures within myself that I never expected to find! I find so much joy in things like delicious foods and fun little projects, that I decided that the name of my blog didn’t exactly fit anymore. Not only have I found things to talk about besides my sweet baby boy, I’ve also realized that, although bittersweet, my sweet baby boy might not be such a “baby” anymore. He is growing more and more every day as a person, and I guess what I’m realizing is, is that so am I!

My new name is The Days of Dawn. I’m so excited for new things that are coming my way, thank you for following me through this fun little adventure in finding myself and all the beautiful things life has to offer!

xoxo,

Kimberly Dawn Dekker

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Let the Wild Rumpus Start!

wildrumpusbirthday_For little J’s first birthday, I wanted to have a big party with all of our friends and family. Months ago, I decided on a “Where the Wild Things Are” theme, since that was my husband’s favorite book as a child. I scoured the web and Pinterest for planning and decor, since I’ve never thrown a party like this before. I began doing as much handmade decor as possible, to save a little money and to make it even more special for J. With the abundant help of my amazing family and a couple of my best girlfriends, the party went off without a hitch! Here are a few photos of the details of the party. I think it was an absolute hit!wildrumpusbirthday_i'lleatyouupwildrumpusbirthday_burlaptablerunnerwildrumpusbirthday_paperlanternsHandmade felt bunting and paper lanterns hung from tree to tree! The tables were covered in white linens with a burlap runner. I kept the table decor simple, elegant and earthy with baby’s breath and billy balls in mason jars painted gold. Pine cones and moss balls adorned the length of the table, leaving plenty of room for the guests to eat and socialize. wildrumpusbirthday_billyballswildrumpusbirthday_photobannerI created a photo banner of baby J’s first 12 months with baby clothespins and twine to hang from a small tree.wildrumpusbirthday_capreseskewerswildrumpusbirthday_foodThe main food table was home to lots of tasty and healthy food items including chicken, steak and shrimp skewers, a fresh mediterranean salad with kalamata olives, avocado and feta, mini caprese skewers with a balsamic reduction drizzle, hummus and cucumber cupcakes, pita chips and roasted red bell pepper hummus, fresh fruit skewers, and a delicious couscous tabbouleh.wildrumpusbirthday_paperstrawflagswildrumpusbirthday_paperstrawsRefreshing lemonade was the perfect beverage to accompany the adorable grey, yellow and white-striped paper straws. We also offered ice water and fruit juice boxes for the little ones.wildrumpusbirthday_cupcakewildrumpusbirthday_crowncaketopperI purchased die-cut crown confetti from this Etsy Shop, and decided to create my own cute little mini-cupcake toppers with them to top these delicious and adorable mini cupcakes! There were lemon, chocolate and carrot cake cupcakes to accommodate every taste bud.wildrumpusbirthday_cookiesThese “Wild Thing Paw Print” cookies were so adorable and delicious and were quite the hit! wildrumpusbirthday_birthdaycakewildrumpusbirthday_woodcakestandwildrumpusbirthday_buntingwildrumpusbirthday_birthdayboy2I made the birthday boy his own special cake. It was an organic apple spice cake I found here with a cream cheese frosting. He was able to enjoy it after the party, since he was quite obviously not a fan of the frosting all over his hands!wildrumpusbirthday_crownFamily and friends were given these adorable handmade crowns to wear. My Mom even made extras in all sizes so that the “Wild Thing” could come out in anyone and party!wildrumpusbirthday_birthdayboywildrumpusbirthday_photobooth2wildrumpusbirthday_photobooth3wildrumpusbirthday_photoboothWe had a fun little “photo booth” to capture some of the fun guests of the party. wildrumpusbirthday_guestbookInstead of the traditional guest sign-in book, we purchased a copy of the book “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak as a keepsake for baby J to have that he can actually appreciate.wildrumpusbirthday_favorsFor the party favors, we sent the little ones home with a crown, a little snack box filled with organic treats, and some bubbles as “A Magic Trick to Tame the Wild Things”.wildrumpusbirthday_s'moresThe older guests took home a s’mores kit to make a yummy treat at home!

Thanks to everyone who made it to J’s first birthday bash, especially to those that traveled long distance, it’s a not celebration without the people who love him most! Thank you to my husband for putting up me and with the months of planning and crafting.  Thanks to my best gal pals, Betsy of Snap Lovely Photography, for all the amazing photos, for handwriting the photo props, and for helping prep all the delicious food, to Kelli, Amy and Aly for last minute crafting and the delicious cupcakes and fruit skewers, and to Cassie who snapped a few of the  pictures above.

And of course, a special thanks to all of my amazing family who all traveled out from Arizona and helped SO much with all the party details and set up, and were here to celebrate the big one year! I love you all and couldn’t have done it without you!

“This is the Day which the Lord has made, Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” – Psalm 118:24

 

Happy First Birthday, My Darling.

There’s something beautiful about celebrating the birth of my precious son on the same day as celebrating the resurrection of the Son of God. What a joyous day Easter is, and even more so this year for our family! Today, we will celebrate the beautiful gift God gave us of His Son and of ours. Last year on this day, the first breath taken by our baby boy literally took ours away. It’s a day I will never forget and will cherish for the rest of my life.0 months

I can’t begin to tell you how incredibly fast the last year has gone for us. Everyone has always said how quickly their children grew up, but I honestly wasn’t prepared for how true that really is. He has grown up so quickly into such a little man! Not only physically, but mentally and emotionally, he has grown leaps and bounds and I thank God every day for that.

10 months

I have experienced more joy and love in the last three hundred and sixty-five days than I have in all the days of my life combined. When I say joy, I mean happiness so far beyond measure. When I say love, I can’t even pretend to have the words to describe how in love with him I am. He brings so much laughter and excitement to our lives and brightens every single day. It is seriously impossible to be in a grumpy mood around him, even on our worst days, he manages to make them better. When I think back to what life was like before we had him, I can’t imagine ever not having his sweet laughter and kisses to wake up to every day.

6 months

J is everything I could have hoped for and more. He is such a bright light in this world. I am literally in awe of him every, single day. I have been blessed beyond measure to spend the last year watching him grow from a sweet, tiny little angel baby to an adorable, funny, and smart little boy. He has so many layers, I am so impressed with how deep his emotions lie. I have no doubt that he will be a man of passion and compassion, of wit and of wisdom. I truly feel sometimes like he is the mini-me of Brendan, and I couldn’t be happier about it. I can only hope and pray that J will someday become the kind of man his Dad is.

8 months

I am so looking forward to spending the coming year wondering how I could have thought that it couldn’t get any better than the last. I’m excited for  J to take his first steps, speak his first sentence, and continue exploring the world around him. I anticipate the pride and the heart ache as he gets older and becomes more independent. I dread the times he will hurt, whether physically or emotionally. I’m eager to watch his imagination grow and run wild.

9 months

I pray that we’re making the right choices for him and how we’re raising him. I pray for his heart and for his mind, and that he will grow to be a man who loves Jesus and shares Him with others. I pray for his future wife and that God will keep her heart pure and good.

5 months

I pray, and I pray, and I pray…and I thank God that last year, on this day, He blessed me with the most amazing gift I could ever have imagined.

Happy first birthday, my darling. You are now, and will always be, the absolute light of my life

11 months

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. – 1 Peter 1:3