When an Egg Met a Cupcake Tin… (via Epicurean Bliss)

My mouth watered instantly when I looked at this recipe. Can I say “YUM!?”  I’m making this over the weekend for sure…no “ifs,” “ands,” or “buts!”  Instead of the sauteed onions and red peppers I am going to some of my husbands delicious salsa mix.  Can’t WAIT to try this!

When an Egg Met a Cupcake Tin... Snow days are great for many reasons, one of which is the opportunity for a weekday breakfast at home. Usually my Monday to Friday breakfasts consist of whole rolled oats, cinnamon, sliced banana, and some raw almonds. It  might sound boring, but somehow I never get sick of oatmeal, and it always keeps me full until lunch – a no brainer! But this past Thursday, mother nature decided to slam us with yet another winter storm, and the resulting inch … Read More

via Epicurean Bliss

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my real resolution

I have a lot of motivation lately to sell some of my own work, whether it be artwork, writing, or things I’ve sewn.  I’ve never really made new year’s resolutions only because I have never kept them, never planned on keeping them, and I just thought they were cheesy.  BUT now I have some resolutions I really do want to keep and that includes setting up an Etsy account and to begin selling my artwork and other fun creations I decide to make.  I have had a lot of compliments on my work and my husband is continually praising my abilities (so sweet) and I am finally deciding to cast my insecurities to the wind and to give it a go.  Why not?  What’s to loose anymore??  So here we go…start to look for me on Etsy!

a moment of weakness

It isn’t often that I give the girls baths.  I mean not often like maybe once or twice a week because usually it is such a task to plug up our little space shuttle shower to plop them both in and hurry to get them dressed afterward.  Well, today was a bath day. Anxiously Grace and Anya waited in the bathroom as I used plastic wrap to cover the drain and fill the small basin with water.  They were both so excited.  As the basin was full I pulled the shower handle to the side to stop the steady flow of water.  Bending down I dipped my hand in to test the temperature of the water and shot back in surprise. The water was cold!!  At that moment I just snapped.  I am constantly frustrated by our lack of hot water and just when I was expecting to give the girls a relaxing bath and calmly smear them in cocoa butter afterward, you know, have a relaxing evening, I got a rude awakening instead.  I had to warm up water the old fashion way in a tea kettle and slowly add it to the water only to have the water cool down as I hopelessly and frantically tried to bring another pot to a boil…meanwhile the girls were getting crankier and crankier as their hopes of bubble bath time fun dissipated.  What did I do instead?  Quickly bathe them in the lukewarm water that was there and then race to dry them off and get them dressed.  I just felt so frustrated, dissapointed…and so ready to move to a house with hot water and a bath tub!!!!

…worth a thousand words…

Who would of thought playing with draperies would be so fun and so cute?

“Daddy could you put my hat on please?”

Playing with spices helps keep her entertained while she waits for dinner!

Grace tickling Anya.  Makes me smile.

Posing for the camera at Grandma Blackwell’s apartment.  Notice the teething drool spot on her shirt…her molars are coming in!

And a few more…

I french braided Grace’s hair for the first time…not bad!

Love her.

Daddy’s little star.

my heart is filled with you

Last Friday my sweet man brought me flowers.  How sweet it was to see him walk up our stairs with a big smile on his face and flowers in his rough man hands.  Marriage has been one magnificent blessing.  This is home.  It is such a beautiful thing that two people, one man and one woman, are committed to one another in a Holy covenant for life.  Thank you for the flowers sweet man of mine…all mine!

Another season in boxes

So I love my girls.  That’s pretty hard to hide.  Anya and Grace are my delight and it truly is heaven being able to stay home to care for these two precious angels.  Anya is feisty and determined where Grace is sweet and compliant, most of the time.  Yesterday I took the time to go through their dressers to clean out any clothes they might have outgrown, and believe me I had been putting it off and putting it off until it was getting to be difficult to shut their drawers.  But the mood struck and I had the motivation so to work I got.

I began with the simplest and most easy way for me to organize.  Grab all the clothes in Anya’s drawer and throw all the clothes on the floor.  Quick and easy, dirty but effective.  I like it.  Of course the mess gets multiplied because as I’m throwing all the cute, girly clothes on the floor Grace grabs a few to dress up Auggie Doggie, her favorite stuffed toy, and Anya pulls stuff out and carries it around the house until she grows tired and then plops it on some random place on the floor.  A small mess becomes quite a big mess in our house pretty quickly.  Anyways, as I was sorting out the cute little pants, dresses, shirts, and tights that my little baby girl has outgrown I started to reminisce.  It wasn’t that long ago that she was wearing these darling little clothes and now here I am putting them away…for good!  Wait, hold on!  She can’t grow up yet! She now happily toddles around our little apartment babbling to herself contentedly.  She also is beginning to repeat a lot of words.  Here are some of her precious angelic (to me they are just so sweet) little phrases:

“Meo meo!”  oatmeal

“gorjus”  “gorgeous.”

“wa doww”  want down!  of course she says this whether or not she wants up or down! LOL.

“Hi daddy!”

“wa wa”  water

“ca ca”  peacock

“Pritty”  Pretty

“momma”

“Gacie”  Gracie.  Often this will be the first thing she says when she wakes up.  The little pill tries to wake up her sister!

It was such a sweet thing to remember everything about her baby hood as I packed away clothes but it was also bittersweet because it reminded me that she too is growing  and will continue to do so!  I love her so much.  I love my children and want lots of them…in God’s good time of course.

Grace is also sprouting into a beautiful little girl.  Her hair rests just above her shoulders now in darling little ringlet curls.  I can’t believe she is preschool age now.  Potty training is still going well, most of the time.  She struggles with the number 2 aspect and I struggle to find ways to help her understand.  We just take it a day at a time!   She can now successfully count to ten and not leave out the number 4.  She even brings me her little alphabooks and actually reads them to me now all by herself.  She’s a smarty and I am so proud of her.

I thank God for my darlings and I continually find myself praying, Lord protect them and guide them even when I can not.  Call them out by name sweet Savior and may they glorify your  name and further your kingdom.  Bless them and keep them.  May your face shine upon them and be gracious unto them.  I pray all these things because I love them.  In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Since this is the day of rest I find myself rejoicing in all the many ways God has blessed me.  Thank you sweet Father!!  You are the great Provider and it is in you that I can trust.  I Praise You this day!  I am thankful for the ability to pack things away only to save them for another girl further down the road or someone in need.  It reminds me that God always has something for us that is new and fresh.  We pack away the old clothes because He gives us new ones to put on.  Although who we were is very much apart of who we are today, God provides countless opportunities to grow so that we may put on the new clothes of his salvation and live freely justified as new people.  Each phase God brings me through is even more glorious than the previous one because it means that with every change there is another open door to be ushered in to.  Nothing is stagnant. Everything is promising when I put my faith in the One True God.  A God who rejoices in my growth as I rejoice in the growth of my darlings.  Having two very young children before my oldest was even two years old was very difficult.  I was tired a lot, worn out, weary, and didn’t know how I could keep up with them.  But I did and as Anya begins her second year of life and is more able to communicate with me and play on her own I am reminded that if I were to be pregnant, it will never again be as hard as it was because Grace and Anya will be old enough to help me, talk with me, and play with their new sibling.  These are my thoughts.  I just LOVE the place where God has me right now.  Finally, I am content and at peace with life and I could honestly care less if we live in a small apartment with one bedroom.  All that doesn’t matter when I look in to the heart of my God and I find rest for my weary soul.  I pray that my fellow readers will also find that rest that only God can give.

And I can not tell you how God brought me to this place.  I can only tell you that somehow through surrendering my desires, my fears, my complaints, and my hopes to Him, God truly worked.  One of my favorite Christian authors, Hannah Whitall Smith, puts it very nicely:  “The maturity of the Christian experience cannot be reached in a moment, but is the result of the work of God’s Holy Spirit, who, by His energizing and transforming power,causes us to grow up into Christ in all things.  And we cannot hope to reach this maturity in any other way than by yielding ourselves up utterly and willingly to His mighty working (The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life, 7).

Grace and peace to all and may you know where it truly comes from!  May you too grow up into Christ in all things.

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”

Philippians 4:12

Priorities

What takes priority in your life these days?  Is it money?  Clothing?  Makeup?  Hair appointments? Housing?  Always being on time?  How about getting good grades in school or impressing the professor?  For me lately it seems that my priorities have been absolutely and completely mixed up.  I worry about my future and what God has for it and I am forgetting that He has set my path and there is no need for me to worry.  So why do I struggle so much with worry?  To be quite honest I don’t even know.   Or maybe I do know but I don’t want to admit why.  August and I took a step in to our future last weekend and went house hunting on Saturday morning.  What a thrill that was!  It’s definitely a difficult process for sure.  If you’ve ever invested your money or bought a new car you know how patient you have to be to wait for the right opportunity to strike.  Well, multiply that stress times oh say a million and that’s sort of what you feel like when looking at buying a house.  I’m not saying it was stressful in a bad way.

We pulled up to the brick bungalow house with darling dormered windows around ten in the morning.  Petite, square, boxwoods decorated the exterior and sweeping pines seemed to usher us forward.  We liked what we saw.  It was built in 1926.  The pea gravel complimented the crafty style of the house and it made me feel a bit like I was stepping into Williamsburg.

The gray haired woman came to the door with a big broad welcoming smile.  Her knit sweater and feminine scarf wrapped around her neck told me that she was as quaint as her old house.  “Welcome! Come in, come in and I’ll show you around!”  She sounded as if she might be as excited as we were.  Stepping in through the front door I wasn’t immediately impressed. Dark wood paneling lined all the walls and the light fixtures looked like the brass 1980’s fixtures that I definitely detest.  She pointed to a small window seat that looked out over the road.  “This lifts up for storage.  I raised my three children here and this was always a good place for toys.”  She said cheerfully.  “And this is the closet I always used to store board games.  There are two closets in this room.  We used the other for coats.”  OK…so nice storage areas.  I can definitely relate to wanting to hide children’s toys at the end of the day.  I was a little dissapointed as I looked toward my brown leather boots.  Carpeting.  Not just any carpeting-this was pretty ugly!  “Are there wood floors under these carpets?”  “Yes there are but the are in pretty bad shape.  They haven’t been worked on since the old man who owned this house before we did.”  She informed me.  My heart did a little dance as I imagined ripping out the carpeting and polishing up the original wood panels that the house was built upon.

As we walked in to the next room I was delighted to see a very quaint fire place.  Everything about the structure was very welcoming and structurally very cute.  It might need some cosmetic updates but overall I was beginning to look past the hideous brown carpets, wood paneling and other outdated features.  The kitchen was no more enchanting with it’s old cabinetry and very blue counter tops.  OI!  But still, this place has great potential!  I absolutely loved the landscaping that was outside.  And what’s even more wonderful is the house sits on 10 acres.  We could sit outside in the summer drinking our tea and watch the beautiful and quiet mountains behind our little house.  And that’s all it took for me to imagine our lives there in that little brick house.  I could see Grace and Anya running around the back yard.  I could see August and I retiring to the upstairs to sleep in our own room, one  of the three this house had.  It will certainly take a lot of patience on my part to wait for God’s timing now.  Whether we buy that little house or another some where in the future it was fun to get out and at least start the process with my sweet man, whom I cherish so much.

So back to  what my priorities were.  Where I’d want them to be about a house, coming home to our little apartment was the perfect reminder that nothing should take more priority than my sweet Father in Heaven.

Jesus said,  “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”  Matthew 7:24-25.

I want to build our house on that Rock which sustains and protects us from the torrents of wind from the world.  So this is my priority.  My home is not a physical dwelling.  It is an eternal dwelling.

Pumpkin Muffins

So I’ve got the baking urge yet again and why not make a mess since our house is already a mess? Just over the past few days August and I have been rearranging furniture and since he is currently working it remains a mess. I don’t organize his things because if I do, neither of us will ever see them again. So while I wait for him to put books on shelves and boxes back in closets I decided to bake something…perhaps to warm our bellies since it’s absolutely freezing outside and who wouldn’t enjoy a warm pumpkin muffin while organizing?

I found this recipe on pickycook.com.  First of all, since we are watching our budget, we do not stock our fridge with heavy cream and most recipes I found use this ingredient.  Pickycook.com uses everything I already have.  I’m not much a fan of random trips to the grocery store to indulge random cravings so this recipe is perfect.

Step number one is to bake my pumpkin.  I didn’t want to assume it was still o.k to eat since we’ve had them since Halloween, but I found that you can tell if it’s bad by poking it and it’s mushy.  Ours is not.  So, I will cut our very large, rotund orange ball of goodness in half and plop in on a cookie sheet with a little water and bake it in the oven for two hours; or until the pulp is soft.

Once the pumpkin is done you’ll need to puree the pulp. That’s your golden ticket and the most important ingredient in this recipe!

Here is the recipe:

-to create some super serious and delicious pumpkin muffins with honey and spelt:
 

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (we use spelt flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin (from a 15 ounce can)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
2 teaspoon cinnamon – divided
pinch nutmeg
1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar (or honey)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

“Whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 1/4 cups sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until smooth, then whisk in flour mixture until just combined.

Stir together 1 teaspoon cinnamon and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in another bowl.

Divide batter among muffin cups (each should be about three-fourths full), then sprinkle tops with cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Bake until puffed and golden brown and wooden pick or skewer inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

Cool in pan on a rack five minutes, then transfer muffins from pan to rack and cool to warm or room temperature.”

I also read that pumpkin goes very well with warm spices such as curry.  We are eating Chicken curry this evening and I figured it would be a great compliment on our ever so salivating tongues.  Good food is worth working for in my opinion!

Cheers and Enjoy!