Monday, November 28, 2011

Choose to Abide

Throughout the day, it is so easy to forget my Creator and Savior. Why? He is in everything. He supports each breath I take. Shouldn't it be impossible to forget Him?
But my little everyday things get in the way. I focus on myself more than anything else. It's human nature, sure, but that doesn't excuse it.
Today I resorted back to the necessity of tattooing my hand. I used to do this all the time in college (only with temporary pen ink, of course) and it helped me to stay focused on Christ. Today it has had the same results. When selfishness was creeping out, I saw my hand and remembered that I have a choice. I can choose to pretend I am the center of the world, or I can choose to let Christ use me in the world to show others his love.

"But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." 
Joshua 24:15 

"Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."
John 15:4-5

I will choose to abide in Christ.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Our Thanksgiving

We were going to do the whole shebang this year with the Thanksgiving meal, but in the end decided we didn't want left overs for two weeks. So we made turkey legs, sweet potato casserole, and stuffing. I think they were all great for our first attempt. Of course, the sweet potato casserole was the best (as always) and I was pleased to have a bit of that for left overs. We wished we were with our families, but we had tons to be thankful for and we had a wonderful day together.

We also had a salad just to be healthy, but who's really counting on Thanksgiving? Our stuffing wasn't as good as Mamaw's, but we're learning!

Yesterday, we made chicken fettuccine alfredo and it was SO good! Probably because we used fresh Parmesan cheese. We had frozen chicken which Matt had lost faith in after it turned out tough and dry in our previous dishes. I looked up how to cook tender chicken breasts. This is what I found and I HAVE to share it with you. It worked!! It was the perfect chicken. Amen.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!

These are our two sole Christmas decorations: our little one foot Christmas tree that Mom gave me when I started college and a Christmas candy bowl that was a wedding gift from the Bender family. I filled the dish with chocolate almond kisses, forgetting that Matt doesn't like almonds. Whoopsies! Guess I'll have to eat them myself and then fill the dish with Junior Mints.
We're so excited to get back to the South for Christmas!!

Happy Worship Day!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ear Warmers :)

I just made cute ear warmers!!
What do you think? It'd be cuter, but I made it with scrap fabric.

Also, what do you think of the new blog design? I think it looks more like me. Isn't Paint wonderful?

Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow!!! I'm so grateful for all of you!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

(Legit) Pumpkin Spiced Latte

Apparently, pumpkin spiced creamer is not a true pumpkin spiced latte. So I made the whole shebang this morning--sauce pan and all. I used this recipe: It was good, but next time I would add more pumpkin, more coffee, and less milk. The cream on top is in the shape of a ball because it was frozen. I made homemade whipping cream and put it in the freezer. This was not a good idea. Now I can have whipping cream on my coffee every morning!!!!!!!
I don't have it every morning. Promise...
Isn't my little poinsettia cute? I think I know what I want to make with it. 

One of my favorite shows on the cooking channel is Kelsey's Essentials. Matt watched an episode with me once in which she made mac n' cheese. We decided we needed to make it. We're generally healthy people (except for our incorrigible sweet tooths), so we figured it would be okay to branch from healthiness for one night. The recipe calls for Gruyere cheese (this is pronounced groo-yayr, contrary to what you might be thinking). We Southerners had never even heard of it, but finally found it at our little grocery store. We thought it was going to be around five dollars for an 8 ounce block of this cheese. This amount seemed a bit on the steep side considering we had 3 more cheeses to buy, but you only make homemade macaroni and cheese once, right? So we plopped it in the cart and after more shopping, headed to the register. One of my favorite things to do after a trip to the grocery store is to look at the receipt and guess which items were the most expensive and which were the cheapest. So back in the car, looking over the receipt, we realized we spent 11 bucks on a chunk of cheese!! What?? We would've taken it back, but we were in a hurry, so we decided to just bite the bullet and go for it.

Wish y'all were here to taste it! Especially since we obviously made too much. We enjoyed every last bit of it, but if we made it again, I'd add less Parmesan. It overpowered the taste of the fancy Gruyere.

So I made some changes on the blog! Can you tell the pictures are bigger? I also added links to some of my favorite blogs at the bottom of the page. And you can click on the "Follow me on Pinterest" link off to the right and see all the things that I think are worth saving on the world wide web. Pinterest is a new web site that is like a virtual pin board where you can save links of things you want to remember. Perfect for craft ideas! If you want an invite, let me know!

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, 'The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.' The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord."

His mercies are new every morning. The past doesn't matter! We have the wonderful opportunity to start each day thanking Christ for his sacrifice and choosing to give our lives back to Him! It's the only thing that truly matters.

As our bosom fried Anne Shirley tells us, "Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it."

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pittsburgh...and Tom.

Pittsburgh was awesome!! My favorite thing about our trip was the bed and breakfast where we stayed. Beautiful! It was an old (over 150 years old) log cabin that the owners restored and decorated to resemble that era. I wanted to don a floor-length calico dress and sit and read a book by the fire the whole time. We didn't take pictures, but you can go to their website to see it: We would definitely stay there again!
Onto Pittsburgh...
We went to the market district first where there were tons of different ethnic stores. We went into an Italian store and wished we lived in Pittsburgh so we could go there every week. They had the most beautiful selection of cheeses and pastas and sausages and everything Italian. We purchased Gorgonzola-filled mezzaluna pasta with their signature pasta sauce (we're becoming connoisseurs of marinara). Yum. We also walked downtown across a couple bridges and saw the oldest standing building in Pittsburgh, the Fort Pitt blockhouse (a.d 1764). Cool.
We saw an old church building that had been turned into a bar. They called it the "Altar Bar." Would you say that is sacrilegious or not? >>>>

So while we were walking on the sidewalk in the market district, we passed through tons of lights and camera equipment. Matt figured they were shooting a commercial or something. We were trying to find a coffee shop and one of the men from the camera crew helped us. When we got there, we asked the barista what they were filming. She said it was a Tom Cruise movie called One Shot! So after some excellent coffee, we moseyed back to De Luca's, the restaurant where they were filming, and mingled with other onlookers. Here's me in front of the restaurant with all the lights and equipment.
Yes. We were those people.

We waited with a camera to get a shot of Tom Cruise. We waited with a passel of cigarette-smoking Steelers fans. We wasted time. We saw Tom.

Hello, Tom!

Saturday, November 5, 2011


When I saw this recipe from The Pioneer Woman, I knew I wanted to try it. I love making sweet potato fries, so I figured I would probably like this too. Then at a party Matt and I recently went to, our friend made similar veggies using this recipe: Then I knew I had to make it. It was so good and healthy and gourmet. :) So I picked what I liked from both recipes and made my own. I used a sweet potato, rutabaga, carrots, garlic, and butter. When I was checking out at the grocery store, the cashier saw my rutabaga and said it was the "nastiest vegetable" she'd ever eaten. I'd never had rutabaga (or even seen one for that matter), so her opinion made me a little nervous. What if it tasted horrible and ruined my beautiful sweet potato? But, you always need to try something at least once, so I took it home with me anyway. If you've never had a rutabaga, I will describe to you what it smelled like while I was chopping it up: dirt and milk weed. I didn't have high hopes for it, but I was still very curious about what it would taste like. 
So, how was the rutabaga?
I'm not sure. I liked it, but it tasted mainly like carrots. Maybe it's like tofu and takes on the flavor of what it's with. Maybe not. All I know is that if the lady at the store tasted my roasted rutabaga, she might not harbor such negative feelings toward them. Let go of that root of bitterness!!
Haha...oh wordplay.
Through this whole fall season, I've struggled with cutting gourds and root vegetables. Has anyone invented a gourd knife yet? There is a major need. My little biceps are not cutting it. This is something of what I'm imagining:
 The most important features are the large, rounded knife and the hand cushion on top. Clever?
Haha...I think I just wasted ten minutes of my life drawing that. But when I sell my idea for a million bucks, it won't be so wasted, huh? Ha...yeah right.
I'm listening to Christmas music now. It's wonderful. Never too early to start celebrating, right?
Matt comes home in 3 days!!! No more rigs for two whole weeks. Woohoo! 
This is what I learned from Mom this morning: 

"Earth's crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes--The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries."
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How often do we simply pick blackberries instead of seeing our Creator who made the bush delicious and healthy for us? He made this planet for us to enjoy and take care of. We should not take it for granted! When He shows us His majesty and love for us through the beautiful things He created, we should recognize it! Make a conscientious effort today to see Him in your surroundings. He is beautiful!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Today I made zucchini bread.
Without zucchini.
I got home from the store and realized I had gotten a cucumber instead. I decided to go ahead and bake it and see what would happen. As it turns out, cucumber bread is not all that different from zucchini. Thank goodness. Now I get to have yummy bread with my pumpkin spice latte in the morning!! I'm really hooked on the pumpkin spice creamer (if you can't tell). Coffeemate is really making my mornings beautiful. Why does it have to be unhealthy?!? Life would be so much more wonderful if sugar were good for me!!
Before I left the quilt shop in Norman, I picked out my favorite fabrics and bought 2 yards of each. Since then, I've been looking for a pattern for them. I like quilts with repeat shapes instead of pictures. I'm really liking this hexagon quilt pattern. What do you think?
These are my beautiful fabrics. Cutting them makes me nervous.

 I have recently gotten my mink blanket out for the winter. It's amazing how toasty it makes me. Way better than an electric blanket! Especially if the electricity goes out...
I finished reading Jane Eyre last night. Oh. my. goodness. It is now in my top five list of favorite books. I'm actually wanting to read it again right now. Charlotte Bronte is such a good writer! And the end of the book is marvelous--just how I wanted it to end. I didn't think I'd like it because the story is darker than Jane Austen's novels, but I was totally wrong. I would definitely suggest reading it. It's a classic for a reason!!

"Well! That caps the globe, however!"