Saturday, May 21, 2016

celebrate more

I think when you turn 30 you don't really want to celebrate your age.
Or maybe it's 40.

As a kid, we looked forward to our birthdays: cake and ice cream, opening presents and having a party with friends. Maybe it was all the sugar, but it was always a fun day. It was our day to celebrate.

We need to celebrate more.
Celebrate life.
(But probably with less cake. I mean, we shouldn't have cake everyday. Wait, how about pie instead of cake? We're grown ups now. We can have pie.)

Everyday is a gift. We need to celebrate the life we've been blessed with.

Maybe you're at a point in life where you aren't able to get around like you used to.
Think about the memories you've made and the places you've been. Reflect on the good and celebrate that.

May is a busy birthday month. Three of our nephews were born in May.
We are celebrating 7 years, 6 years and 2 years of life.
Each year full of memories, achievements and adventures.

The next time you get a party invitation in the mail, I hope you take the opportunity to "Rejoice with those who rejoice." Romans 12:15. We have so much to be thankful for and we need celebrate that.


Saturday, May 14, 2016

cute impractical things

College seems so long ago. A time when all my friends and I lived within walking distance of each other. I didn't realize how good I had it. Now, I have friends in Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut...? As we get older our lives get more busy and hectic.

This year, I am going to try my best to see them and reconnect.

This weekend, I am so happy, no- I am so EXCITED to see some faraway friends. Even though we have been separated by hundreds of miles and our lives have led us down different paths, we can still pick up where we left off.

I have been looking forward to this weekend and in preparation, I have been making some gifts. The reason we are coming together is to celebrate new life- a baby girl.

As practical as I am, for some reason when it comes to baby showers, I seem to make impractical things... but they're cute impractical things.

My friend and the Mama-to-be, Rachel, has a nursery theme: gray with some pinks and Tortoro. Yes, I didn't know who that was either until I looked him up. He is a character from a Japanese movie called My Neighbor Tortoro. I saw that Rachel and her husband Kyle had registered for a Tortoro stuffed animal. "Pssh," I thought, "I am totally going to make her one." I found a pattern on and got going. Mine turned out a little bigger than the indicated 9" tall. It will be bigger than the baby! I think it turned out really cute. (I even made a little leaf for its head.)

I wanted to make something else, so I went on pinterest and found some Tortoro art. I took a design and used some watercolor pencils to draw it out. For the frame, I bought it at the thrift store, sanded it a little and then painted it gray.

I bought some fun books from the thrift store, too and made a bag for everything to go in. That has been my thing as of late- making the gift bag. It is something that (hopefully) won't get thrown away and can be reused or regifted. This pink fleur de lis fabric I bought a long time ago, as in seven years ago. When my sister, Alice, was pregnant I made her first born a baby quilt. It had a similar fabric, but in yellow. I bought this pink at the same time. C'mon, it was on red tag clearance at Joann's and I thought that Alice would probably have a girl and then I could make her a baby quilt. Well, she has had two girls since and no baby quilt from me. I sound like a slacker aunt, but I have made other cute things for my nieces to make up for it, I think. I have to say I wasn't going to use this fabric at first. I had picked out a bold plaid with orange, green and purple. It totally looked like Rachel, but then I thought about it. I want this to look more girl-y, so I went for the pink fleur de lis. I constructed it with French seams, so the bag can be reversible.

Rachel and Kyle, may God bless your little growing family.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

my morning & maple oat scones

I've probably mentioned it before, but the first Sunday of every month is "Breakfast Sunday" at church. It's always delicious and filling, but I that meant I would have to bring something to contribute.

Since I worked yesterday, came home to eat dinner (that my husband made, oh yes, he is very good to me), and then went to a friend's birthday party, I didn't have much time to making something. Well, I could've made something when we got back from the party, but I didn't feel like baking at 8:30 pm. I left it for this morning... along with a handful of other things that I needed to do because I, along with a degree in Art, have a minor in Procrastination. I went through my recipe box looking for something somewhat quick. I decided on Ina Garten's "Maple Oat Scones." While they baked, I rushed to get dressed, do my make-up and something with my hair. I was frustrated and hangry (hungry + angry). Waiting another hour until we would get to church to have breakfast was not going to be easy.

I vented to my husband, "Waiting until nine is so hard. I am so hungry!"
He replied, over his pre-Breakfast Sunday bowl of cereal, "No one would know if you ate a little something before going to church."
"No, I can wait."

I kept thinking, "Why do I have so much to do?" and then there was some more "Woe is me." I assembled my Bible and notebook along with the vacation Bible school materials I had to bring. I was all ready to go, but wanted to wear a necklace. I quickly went to the bedroom and picked out the necklace. After five or six attempts to clasp it around my neck and failing, I called for my husband to help me. Unbeknownst to me, he had already gone to the car and was waiting for me. Finally, I succeeded, but still frustrated, ran out to the running car. I didn't realize until, when everything did get done and worked out, how selfish I was. I then started to think about other people that are struggling, I mean really struggling. I had to make up a sign up sheet, make some copies, bake something, jeepers, I should be thankful for all the things that I am able to be involved in.  As I read more of 7 by Jen Hatmaker (which I got for my birthday and really like) it sunk in. I needed to repent. I was focused on me, not Jesus. "When the jars of clay remember they are jars of clay, the treasure within gets all the glory, which seems somehow more fitting."
If you've thought that I have it all together or seem to be good tempered all the time, this will prove all your assumptions wrong. I am not perfect and this morning put me in my place.

Now that you have endured with me and my morning, you will be rewarded with the scone recipe. Is that an OK exchange? (Or maybe you just scrolled down to the recipe. I got you here somehow.) This is a Barefoot Contessa recipe, so it uses a lot of butter, as in a pound. I couldn't get myself to use a pound of butter, so I halved this recipe. I split the dough in half, rolled each into a circle and cut eight wedges, leaving me with 16 small to medium sized scones.

Maple Oat Scones

3 1/2 c. flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. quick oats
2 T. baking powder
2 T. granulated sugar
2 t. salt
4 sticks of butter, cold
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. maple syrup
4 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together the dry ingredients. Cut in cold butter until butter is in pea size pieces or slightly smaller. Add buttermilk, syrup and eggs. When dough starts to come together, knead a few times by hand and put out on lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Roll out each half into a circle and cut into wedges. Place scones on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake for 18-20 minutes. Watch them carefully, so they don't get too brown.

Maple Glaze

1 1/4 c. confectioner's sugar
1/2 c. maple syrup
1 t. vanilla

Whisk together and drizzle over scones. Sprinkle quick oats on top. (I also halved this recipe, too when I halved the scone recipe.)

I hope everyone has a good week!
"I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
Be completely humble and gentle, bearing with one another in love.
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace."
Ephesians 4:1-3