Monday, October 31

A Weekend Walk

Walks don't get much better than this...

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How was your weekend?

Friday, October 28

Pumpkin Goodness

The other day I learned how to make fresh pumpkin puree! So easy, just wash your baby pumpkin (the smaller the better or so I've been told), cut off the stem as if you were going to carve a jack-o-lantern. Slice it in half. Scoop out the seeds and set them aside to roast and snack on later. Slice the halves into threes and bake on a cookie sheet for 45 minutes at 350 degrees F.

After you remove your sliced pumpkin from the oven, allow it to cool a bit. Then peel off the skins and blend the pumpkin flesh in a blender, mash with a potato masher, or mush together with a pastry blender until the consistency is smooth. And you're done! You can freeze it in freezer bags or put it right into your favorite fall recipe.

And if you're like me and realize you don't have an egg to put into your recipe, you can ask a friendly neighbor to lend you one from their fridge. And then as a thank-you, you can gift some of your goodies to them with a note and the recipe. I promise you they'll love it, even if they don't like the cookies, the gesture I'm sure will be appreciated. 

This was a delightful way for us to meet another neighbor.

Linking up with...

p.s. Click on the blue button below to learn of other ways we can give love to those around us. Thank you Ashley!

Thursday, October 27

Where Am I?

Today I'm guest posting for the first time over at Miki's Scrapbook. I hope you'll come visit me there and meet the author of that adorable blog...



Wednesday, October 26

What I'm Wearing Wednesday

I allowed myself to sleep late this morning in order to de-stress and recover from weeks of pushing myself to the limit. When I did get up I spent the noon hours cleaning and putting my house in order. By two o'clock I realized I was still in my pajamas. This was about the time I read this post on The Pleated Poppy and decided I'd like to put forth the effort of getting dressed and ready for an evening with my man.

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What I'm Wearing
Earrings: Target (I think)
Scarf: H & M
Dress: Target
Sweater: Target
Tights: Express
Boots: Shi by Journeys

Hope you can sneak on over to What I Wore Wednesday and check out all the inspiring outfits. Happy middle-of-the-week day! I'm off to practice piano...

Tuesday, October 25

Old Mother Hubbard, My Little Cupboard

I am no old mother hubbard, but since I'm going to be talking about my cupboard I could hardly resist the rhyme. My cupboards are indeed not bare, but quite filled with dishes each with a story to share.

My bowl with a design on the top shelf. I own two of them, but of course you only see one as the other is awaiting a washing. These bowls remind me of a spontaneous shopping trip with my husband. We spent an afternoon in town and I found them on sale at T.J. Max. The design is done in green stencil. My favorite color, how could I resist?

The glasses. A gift from my husband's brother for Christmas last year.

My measuring cups. These were a wedding gift from two dear friends who were personal attendants at my wedding.  

My green glass serving dish. I do believe this was a present from my sister, but I can't remember for certain. Hopefully she'll read this and set me straight. I just can't remember if it was a present or just one of those items that used to be hers and mysteriously found its way into my collection. 

Ah yes, the bowl again. You also can catch a glimpse of a decorative serving plate above. This belongs to a set of three plates and one serving bowl. It was a thrift store find from a few years back that I couldn't bring myself to get rid of when we got married.

My white dinner plates. These (please don't laugh) are from Cub Foods. Yes, classy, I know. I like them because they're sturdy, simple, and delightfully inexpensive.

My mustard colored cooking pan. This was a birthday gift from my brother and his beautiful wife. I'm in love with the color and adorable design; its the perfect size for serving two.

Any stories sitting in your cupboards waiting to be told?

Monday, October 24


Last week I went shopping for recital shoes. I had originally planned on getting ballet flats and found these slippers at the Gap on sale. When I wear them I feel like dancing everywhere I go, though I promise I'll leave that wonderful art form to the professionals. 

As much as I love them, I ended up finding some elegant heels to wear with my dress. After my recital I will take pictures of the dress and heels, but until then the outfit must remain a secret.

Sunday, October 23


This week I would like nothing better than to escape to a place where the buildings look like this...

The streets look like this...

And the nourishment looks like this...

But instead I will be here practicing piano, writing papers, and taking care of my house and husband. And when the time comes to get away, I will appreciate it all the more. 

Thank you Lord for work.

Thursday, October 20

Bits and Pieces

I have two piano performances scheduled this weekend, one on Friday afternoon (playing Bach and Mendelssohn) and the other on Saturday afternoon. Saturday's performance is a dress rehearsal where I'll be tested by my instructor to see if I know my pieces well enough to perform my solo recital in two weeks. And after writing that sentence I am flooded with a huge wave of anxiety. Lord, calm my nerves. So inevitably I will be daydreaming of last weekend's indulgences of beautiful weather, family time and a soccer game.

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On another topic entirely, here is a quick update on some goals I've been working towards:

1. I am on week two of my three-week workout schedule. I've been doing full body lifting three times each week. I'm feeling stronger, and have more energy than I've had in months. It's amazing what consistent exercise can do for a person.

2. Also, I can now successfully quote verses one through eight of James chapter one. My new goal is to extend that memorization through verse sixteen. The new portion goes like this:

The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. 10 But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business. 12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. 13 When tempted, no one should say, God is tempting me. For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. 16 Don't be deceived, my dear brothers.

James 1: 9-16 (NIV)

Happy Thursday everyone,

Monday, October 17

October Sponsor Spotlight

I cannot believe how quickly October is leaving us. Before it gets away I want to share with you four of my wonderful October sponsors. They're fun, creative, motivated and extremely inspiring and I am so grateful for our new and growing friendships. I hope you'll visit their blogs, say hello, and get to know them too. I am convinced they will gladly welcome you. 

Now off I go to cram in some last-minute paper writing. Tomorrow is a humungous due date for coursework so I'd best get to it!

I wish you all a wonderful Monday,
Hi! I’m Miki, an Argentine girl who moved to California for love. I’m a dreamer, an incurable wallflower, a crazy cat lady, an indie music lover. I’m in a constant search for animal-patterned clothes and colorful objects. I enjoy leaving positive messages in public places for strangers to find and volunteering at the library. Welcome to my little world! 

I am Chantilly, a singer-songwriter and indie fashion lover :) I post outfits and ponder life experiences in my blog, as well as chronicle the adventure of making my next set of recordings. I've studied music composition, toured the northeast, and released an album last year! (You can download some of those songs for free on my bandcamp page!) The new record is almost finished, and right now I'm gearing up for the release. I couldn't be prouder of what we've put to tape, and the experience has been dreamy, exciting, and rewarding. It'll be out in the next few months... so be on the lookout!

Howdy! My name is Ruthie and I am southern newlywed wife, mama to a cute chunky French bulldog and love of all things crafty. My blog chronicles my life, everything from my relationship with Jesus, the ridiculous costume parties my husband plans and trying to become Suzie Homemaker while balancing a full time job in software marketing. In my house, we love, we hug, we live out loud, we make mistakes and make fools of ourselves. Oh, and I blog all about it!

20 & Counting was started mainly for my friends and family back home in Arizona! Once i moved to Utah it turned into a lifestyle blog and poses as an occasional outlet for me :) I am an ex-photographer, current student, and broke college kid working two jobs. Gotta love it :)

Friday, October 14

Stress, What to Do

I am going to be honest. I'm feeling stress. And I know a lot of it can be attributed to the self-inflicted pressures of a piano performance coming up, the demands of school, teaching, wifery, blogging, designing, and on and on... I love to type up that list longer and longer and tell myself what a hard worker I am as I sit here and justify my stressful feelings. 

 But, Someone is telling me to stop. He is saying, "Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest." I am realizing my stress is unnecessary. My worry is not needed. I have a Father who is taking care of my needs, and my only job is to come to Him so He can give me rest and refresh me for His good purpose. 

 My prayer Lord is that You will overshadow my to-do list with Your own, that I would look up at You with wonder as a child, and that You will amaze me by Your overwhelming love.

Krista Joy Photography

This is my darling little niece as flower girl at our wedding. 

Photography Inspiration, Take Two

These photos make me want to dip into all the artistic genius the Lord has placed within me, and create something beautiful...
Source: via Courtney on Pinterest

Thursday, October 13

Inspired Photography, Take One

I love these photo shoot ideas from the beautiful blog of Mandy Lynne. Over the next few weeks I hope to do a series of ten posts collecting inspiration for my own photography. I'm so excited about what I'll find. And who knows, maybe your ideas will be featured! 

p.s. Any thoughts on this lil' blog's new look? I admit I got a little carried away tonight. What can I say but that it is Fall Break and I was craving some change!

Wednesday, October 12

Playing With Scraps

Scraps. I love scraps. This is some fabric I had leftover from a shirt I made almost a year ago. It was time to play with it.


I started with a sketch of this little tank dress. 

I did my ironing, my measuring, my cutting, my pinning, and started to sew...


The result? 

The Front really ended up being the back, and I only made one strap that I braided and then attached to create a halter style top. I also ended up hating the length because the fabric was too unforgiving. So I cut off about 6 inches and made it into a tank top and then put it on, tucked it in, and covered it with a jacket. 

 Every time I begin a project I always think "Oh this one for sure is going to turn out just like I plan." Nope, hasn't happened. Not once.

Saturday, October 8

Courage to Float

Like so many people this time of year, I don't seem to have nearly enough time. It's tough to get all the mandatory things done by the deadline much less go after the pursuit of a dream. 

It is no longer a secret that I have this wild dream of designing clothing and beautiful crochet pieces and selling them in my very own shop. To be honest, I had planned to already have that shop opened. And then school started and I realized how little time I actually had available. I have just two items completely ready to sell. This is far behind my goal of ten by the end of September.

So to keep me from discouragement, these are my two darling completions. I call them "The Mustard" and "The Grey." Creative I know. I want them here so I can look at them and know I am courageously swimming across the ocean to the reality of my dream on the other side even though for right now I'm really just alternating between the doggy paddle and a back float until I can press on full speed ahead.


And so it is that I will leave you with these very wise words. Never give up on what you love. Keep working toward it and when there isn't time, just do something little to keep your dream alive.


Friday, October 7

Loving Friday

I woke up this morning with a rare desire to go running. I've not been regularly exercising and have been praying about starting something that I would stick with consistently. Today, I just up and woke with the desire to get going. I started an exercise log and wrote down three clear goals right at the top of the first page.


1. Exercise three days a week. (full body lifting with cardio)
2. Tighten the abs and thighs. (it's time)
3. Increase my energy all day long. 

I figure I'll stick with these goals for 3 weeks, assess my progress, and go from there.


When James and I got married there were a few items of his I wasn't all that fond of. Definitely not the case with these bowflex weights. I LOVE them.

Other things I'm loving?
1. This yellow travel mug for my green tea.

2. This adorable skirt I found in my closet that I haven't worn in a whole year. Yikes!


3. My BSF study in the book of Acts.


4. My plan of memorizing Scripture. I've chosen my book. You might've guess it. It's the book of James though I promise I have always loved that passage in the Bible even before I married a man by the same name. 

My goal for next week is to have the first eight verses down. They go like this:

"James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings. Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man shall not think he shall receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does."


Hope you have a blessed weekend.