Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 Book List: update

I still have two or three books to read yet before I complete the entire list I compiled at the beginning of the year, but I did get through most of them and was definitely challenged, uplifted -- and hopefully changed as well. I'm finding I have less time to read these days, yet there were still a few more books that made their way onto the list as the year went along:

Who Calls Me Beautiful?: Finding Our True Image in the Mirror of God

  I Will Carry You: The Sacred Dance of Grief and Joy
This book made me cry!

The Perfectly Imperfect Home: How to Decorate and Live Well
With moving this summer and setting up home in a new house -- this book contained some creative ideas and tidbits.

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess
Warning: don't read this unless you want to think differently about all the stuff in your house and activities in your life. [smile]

My favorite book of 2012? That is a tough question, but I think it was Rachel Jankovic's
Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches

If you are a mom -- read this book.
If you are a big sister -- read this book, then read it again after you have babies of your own.
I think I'm going to put this on my 'to read list' every year. Down to earth, easy to read, and humorous at times, each chapter contains little gems to make you smile and words that will encourage and give strength.

Now to begin compiling a book list for 2013...
Any suggestions?

What are you hoping to read?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

First Christmas

{eight month cutie-pie}

"Please tell me one of these is for me?!"

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry be your Christmas,
peaceful be your home,
joyful be your family,
blessed be each one!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

three years and counting

Happy anniversary, Dan!

My fondest memories have been made with you
and I'm looking forward to making many, many more.

You're pretty much my favorite 

of all time in the history of ever!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Asparagus 'N Spaghetti Squash

Here is another recent creation that came out of my kitchen earlier this month. I'm sure the original recipe is good, but it called for lots of ingredients that I didn't have, but I did have other ingredients in my fridge that I knew would cater to our personal preferences. 

And it turned out delicious! So here is my recipe. If you've never tried spaghetti squash -- I highly recommend introducing yourself to it with this delectable dish!

1 spaghetti squash
1 onion, chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
2 T olive oil
2-3 slices bacon, cooked and diced
3 T crumbled feta cheese
1 T fresh chives, chopped
1 C asparagus (I used frozen)
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, then place spaghetti squash cut sides down on a baking sheet. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until sharp knife can be inserted with only a little resistance. Remove squash from oven and set aside till cool enough to be easily handled. (You can also microwave the squash if you want it done in a more timely manner).

In a skillet over medium heat, saute the oil, onion, and garlic till tender. Using a large spoon, scoop the pulp from the squash and add to skillet along with remaining ingredients. Cook another 5-10 minutes (or just until asparagus is tender).

Serve with baked or grilled chicken (or anything, really!) It would make a great side to most any meal.

Hm-mm-m. So fabulous!

(And obviously, you can add more bacon/herbs/cheese to cater to your personal preference!)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Simple Christmas


Friday, December 07, 2012

seven month sweetie

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

any-way-you-want muffins

These are seriously my all time favorite muffins. 

Not only is the actual muffin delicious, but I've done a lot of experimenting with them and they always turn out fabulous. Since the latest experiment was with cranberries, that is the recipe I'm sharing. 

1 1/2 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
dash of salt
1/2 C sugar (or honey or sorghum or whatever natural sweetener you prefer)
1 egg
1/3 C oil
1/3ish C milk (not an exact amount, I know -- but you'll see why later)
1 tsp vanilla
1 C cranberries, roughly chopped
1/4 C white chips or almond slivers (or both!)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Measure dry ingredients into mixing bowl.

Into a measuring cup, pour in the 1/3 C oil. Add the egg, then fill with milk to the 1 cup line. Beat mixture, then add vanilla and sweetener (if using honey) and pour in with the dry ingredients. Stir just until moistened. DON'T OVER MIX.

Add 3/4 C of the cranberries and chips or nuts. Mix, then pour into greased or lined muffins tins. Sprinkle the remaining cranberry pieces on top. Bake in oven for 8-12 minutes or until deliciously golden and the house smells amazing.

Oh -- and the muffin-liner will come off easier if you let them slightly cool before eating. [smile]

And like I mentioned previously, these adapt super well to whatever you have on hand or is in season. I've listed below the things that I've tried and had great success with:

  • 1 C blueberries
  • 3/4 C peaches & dash of cinnamon/nutmeg
  • 3/4 C chopped strawberries & handful of butterscotch chips (Not to downplay how amazing these muffins are with cranberries, but seriously -- go buy strawberries and butterscotch chips and try this combination. I'm not sure what gave me the idea to try them together to begin with, but they are a raving success and oh, so delicious!)
  • 1 large or two small smashed bananas & handful of chocolate chips/nuts
Let me know if you do any experimenting of your own with this recipe. Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, December 04, 2012


sound asleep