Monday, January 30

Stripes and Healthy Goals

Here are just a few things I've been loving lately...Photobucket Stripes. Now don't get me wrong, I don't love all things striped. I'm still quite particular about the colors involved and the widths and the overall fit of the striped garment. However, if used correctly, stripes can be incredibly flattering.Photobucket 
Stripes on feathered earrings? Yes please...this particular pair was a Christmas gift from my sister. They effortlessly add a playful pop to any date night outfit.PhotobucketLastly, I'm loving my new workout shoes. The bottoms are wonderfully flexible, awesome for running, walking, and all around exercising. This reminds me...I need to give an update on my weekly health goals I've been implementing since January first...

You may remember: 

Week 3 - I unfortunately didn't have a new healthy focus this week...
Week 4 - Exercise six days. I never blogged about this goal, but I did achieve it last week and I'm pressing on... 

Wednesday I'll write more about my healthy habit goal for week five. I can hardly believe February is nearly here.

I hope you've had a lovely January.

Lots of love,

Monday, January 23

My Sorta Snickerdoodles Recipe...

Last night we searched our cupboards and found not one thing sweet to eat. So, I searched online for a recipe I could make without having to run to the store. I came across Food Network's  Snickerdoodles recipe, and happily saw that I had ALMOST all the ingredients. No biggie,... with a few minor changes I figured I could make it work. Unfortunately we were out of cinnamon (Seriously, who doesn't have cinnamon?... apparently us.), and we didn't have quite enough butter so I supplemented the shortage with a bit of coconut oil. It was a success. Here's my revised version. You gotta try it...

3 tablespoons sugar 
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

3 1/2 cups flour 
1 tablespoon baking powder 
2 teaspoons baking soda 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 
1/2 cup butter 
2 tablespoons coconut oil 
2 cups sugar 
2 eggs 
1 tablespoon maple syrup 
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and nutmeg and set aside. To make the cookie dough, stir together the dry ingredients (wait on the sugar). 

In another bowl, mix the butter & coconut oil (gradually building the speed). Note: If your butter and coconut oil are fresh from the fridge you may need to use a pastry blender to break them down a bit before mixing. Add the sugar and continue to mix, then add the eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla, and mix thoroughly. Add the dry ingredients and mix until blended.  

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Roll dough into balls about one inch in diameter. Then roll them in the nutmeg/sugar topping to coat. Place on an un-greased sheet pan (approx. 2 inches apart). Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until puffed up and the surface is slightly cracked. Let cool on the sheet pan a few minutes before removing to a wire rack or parchment paper to cool.Photobucket
These are delicious with pretty much any kind of tea. Photobucket
But today I made a chai green tea with whole milk and agave nectar... Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
Needless to say, it was delicious... 

Happy Tuesday everyone.

Saturday, January 21

Inspiring Faith

My sister just told me about Ann Voskamp yesterday. And the lady has already thoroughly inspired me in my walk with God. This post she wrote on prayer is wonderful.

Ann's book called One Thousand Gifts is one I've now written on my "to-read" list for the year. She even hosts video discussions of each chapter here.

Have you heard of Ann before?

I love when I learn of people like this who are serving God outright and drawing others to Him. It blesses my heart...

Thursday, January 19

A Cozy Day

A new scarf... Photobucket Photobucket Makes for a cozy day.

I used a new loose stitch to create a more squishy flexible texture. This cowl scarf wraps around twice and lays just right. This cozy item is definitely on my "make-some-more" list for my "someday" shop...

Friday, January 13

A Finishing Touch

I was commissioned by my mother to make twelve dvd cases this week... One for her and one for each of her eleven siblings.Photobucket These provide a delightful finishing touch to a burned cd or dvd... Photobucket 
I am only halfway done...six down and six to go. Yes, above only five of the completed six are visible (in case you were concerned with my counting abilities)... Photobucket 
My scrap fabric is proving to be quite handy indeed. And I'm thankful for the extra bit of sewing practice. Photobucket 
I confess I had to make a few trial cases before I got the measurements just right. Photobucket 
Once I had it figured out, I fashioned a pattern out of a thick piece of paper. If I follow the pattern exactly, I end up with uniform dimensions for each case (a happy fact for any perfectionist...).
If you'd like to try making some of your own just let me know and I'll send you the measurements I'm using. Photobucket 
I love how this one turned out... Photobucket The selvage edge is showing a bit and I love the character it adds. This post feels so wonderfully crafty. My goal is to finish the remaining six cases today. I'm getting faster...

Wednesday, January 11

A Polished Look

Is anyone else in love with polished nails but not always up for doing a self manicure? I find myself committing the crime of layering it up, adding a fresh coat without removing the chipped one I'm wearing... Photobucket Today was one of those days... Photobucket 
If you look from a distance, you can't tell that anything is amiss... Photobucket 
But if you get real close, you'll see ridges under the surface (ridges I'm hiding)... Photobucket This is such a girly analogy for our lives and how at times we hide our troubles and shortcomings... Photobucket The truth is the Lord knows our "ridges." He sees past our polished (or unpolished) outward appearance to our pain, hurts, suffering, and all the other messes we strive to cover up. And He loves us still. I've found one of the most freeing things is to talk to Him about all of it. He already knows of course, but it allows me to feel peace and experience His love. 

So this is me today, encouraging us all to talk to Jesus...

With lots of love,

Monday, January 9

Gotta Have a Plan

My new planner came in the mail today. It has several delightful features but I have to say one of my favorites is the weekly Bible verses and the plan it gives for reading the Bible through in a year. 
I also love that it maps out each day by the hour. I'm thrilled at the idea of making optimal use of my time. This should be a helpful tool... Photobucket
The verse below is one of my favorites. I could ponder its truth for hours and still wonder at the depth of its implications. The word "nothing" pretty much excludes all possibilities... Isn't God amazing!
On quite another topic. I finally got around to updating my "About Me" page. It's been awhile. This time around I decided to share just a bit more of my story and my heart. Enjoy...

With lots of love,


Sunday, January 8

On To the Next Healthy Habit

Happy second week in January. Monday marks the beginning of week two of my healthy habit building. Last week's focus was to drink more water and to drink it all throughout my day. And let me just say that it has been a rewarding success. My energy and endurance have improved substantially.

This week however, I will be focusing on exercise. I want to add just a pinch of it each day. Hopefully allowing myself to tune into forgotten muscles and in the process boost my mood and overall health. After all...
Pilates seems to be a perfect vehicle for this. I have a little exercise dvd with a fifteen minute segment that I want to fit in each morning energizing my body to start the day right. So here we go...
If you join me in this, let me know. I would thoroughly enjoy the extra support and accountability...

p.s. I will of course still be drinking lots of water.

Friday, January 6

A New Unexpected Outfit

This was a little treat of an outfit. Something i found when I wasn't particularly looking. In most cases, I would never recommend buying something you didn't realize you needed until you saw it. But, since the pants and top fit so spectacularly and the price was excellent, I could hardly resist.Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Dress - Plato's Closet 
Black Skinny Jeans & Purse - T.J. Max 
Earrings & Shoes - Target 

p.s. I love the red seat cushion of the patio furniture. Such a great pop of color especially in that last photo. Makes me think I should accent the outfit with some red shoes next time...

Linking up with I Feel Pretty.

Thursday, January 5

A Winter Smoothie

Today God blessed us with some incredibly gorgeous weather. A little unexpected oasis of sorts right smack in the middle of what is supposed to be a treacherous Minnesota winter. We soaked up all of its 50 degree goodness. I even put my brand new blender to good use and made some delicious Strawberry Orange Banana Smoothies! Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket The recipe is simple and a bit different every time because I don't measure, I just toss things in.
Photobucket  Here is the list of my main ingredientst: 

1) One frozen banana per serving.
(These work great as long as you peel them BEFORE you put them in the freezer). 

2) Frozen strawberries or blueberries.
(Fresh would be amazing but I used a store-bought frozen bag). 

3) 100% orange juice.

4) Greek vanilla yogurt. 

5) A vanilla flavored whey protein powder. 
(Though I didn't use this today because we were all out).

We don't always have orange juice in the house, so every now and then I will substitute whole milk in its place. And when I don't have a frozen banana on hand, I'll put in two ice cubes per serving instead. Such an easy delicious treat... I'm thrilled to have a blender again.

What do you put in your smoothies?

p.s. Linking up with...

Wednesday, January 4

From My Tree Onto Me

You remember my hand-made Christmas tree garland from this post? Who would've thought such a thing could double as a human accessory? Brilliant I know. I delightedly wore it about our apartment as I took down our Christmas decor yesterday. Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
Anyone else have the cleaning bug in their system this month? I feel a sudden motivation to purge and organize afresh for the new year. We brought six grocery bags (and counting) full of stuff to Goodwill tonight! Photobucket And it has left my closet looking like this... Photobucket 
What a wonderful feeling to have clean spaces and to know all of what I own will be used regularly.

I'm off to shop for a 2012 planner. Anyone know of a good (and beautiful-looking) weekly planner that is sold online? I decided to go back to a written planner/calendar this year. It's been three years since I've had one, and I'm afraid I miss it. No more ical for me...

Love to all,

Tuesday, January 3

Beautiful Water

With each new year comes this wonderful motivation to improve, grow, and seek out positive lifestyle changes. However, I know I won't be able to sustain any of my desired improvements if I try to make them all at once. Instead, I thought it would be fun to choose and develop one new habit each week. This week I will be focusing on drinking plenty of water throughout each day...
Drinking more water is such an easy change and does wonders for your skin, your energy, and your overall health.  This photo makes it look so beautifully appetizing. It makes me want to add pretty flavors to my water like slices of cucumber or strawberries.

Do you like to add things to your drinking water?

Staying Fashionably Warm

Happy New Year dear readers! Before I write any posts about my endeavors for this brand new year, I want to share a little project I finished last month...a lovely ear-warming headband...Photobucket 
I'm loving how the star-flower applique turned out. 
I didn't take any photos of myself wearing this delightful little ear warmer, but hopefully (from the pictures I did take) you can imagine someone wearing this on their head...
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket 
I sewed on two buttons to create adjustable sizing for the perfect fit. 
If you're not a winter hat wearer, a headband like this might be a fantastic alternative for you. They're much kinder on the hair-do and keep one looking quite fashionably adorable.
I'm still truly enjoying mustard hues this winter... How 'bout you?