November 29, 2011

Chocolate Pudding.


Fact: Some days you just have to treat your to a little bit of chocolate pudding.  I've found that finals week tends to bring on the chocolate cravings... Which is why I was excited when I found this recipe for a healthy version of chocolate pudding using avocado, dates and cocoa.  Can't wait to try!


Ingredients
6 dates
1/2 avocado
4 tbsp high quality cocoa
1-2 tsp water (optional)

Directions
Place all ingredients in a food processor and purée until smooth. Add 1-2 tsp of water if mixture is not blending. 

November 27, 2011

Mooching off of Starbucks.


Is it okay to go to sit in a coffee shop for several hours to do work if you don't buy anything?  Not gonna lie, I've done it twice this weekend...  I even dared to bring my own cup of coffee one of the times.  What do you guys think?  Is it mooching if you use a store's amenities without buying anything from them?

Image source: pinterest

November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is quite possibly my favorite day of the year! Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas day, but Thanksgiving ushers in a whole season of celebration whereas, Christmas is at the very tail end of all the festivities.  It ends with packing up all the decorations, turning off the Christmas music, and hitting the gym to work off all those holiday treats.  Ya know what I'm sayin?!


So, eat lots of turkey today and rest assured knowing that there is a whole season of celebrating ahead of us (and that means lots of gingerbread lattes, baking, and time spent with friends and family)!  

November 22, 2011

DIY: Prayer Board.


I feel blessed to be able to able to live with three beautiful Christian roommates; but with our ridiculously busy schedules, it is nearly impossible to keep each other updated on the things that we want prayer for.  Our solution- a prayer bulletin board.  Whenever there is something that we want prayer for, we simply write it on a piece of paper and pin it to the board.  Then as others pass by and see a new note, they can remember to pray for that person.  Not only has "the prayer board" been a huge encouragement in my life, but it has also inspired a whole new color scheme for our living room!

Press in a boarder of push pins.
  
Hot glue old buttons and earring studs to push pins.
    
 Prayer- When life gets too hard to stand... kneel.
     
Tips for decorating a prayer bulletin board...
  • Use fabric to cover the cork board part and then use evenly spaced metal push pins around the border of the frame to hold fabric in place.
  • Hot glue buttons and vintage earrings to the heads of push pins to add variety and charm.
  •  Once a prayer has been answered ("yes" or "no"), take it down to make room for new prayers.
  • Don't just use prayer board for personal prayers but use it as a way to pray for friends and family.  We like to post updates from missionaries that we know as a reminder to pray for these people and the countries where they are serving.

November 21, 2011

Morning Greeting!

Happy Monday morning, to you! This week is busy busy busy!  Class project deadlines are becoming ever nearer and the dreaded finals week is also quickly approaching.  The good news is that at the end of all this insanity, there is Christmas Break (not winter break, CHRISTmas break)!  Oh and Thanksgiving is coming soon too! I challenge you and myself to take some time today to make a list of all the things that we are thankful for!

November 20, 2011

Trend Alert: Watches

There is something so timeless and sophisticated about a wrist watch. In the last few years, women's watches have made a huge comeback after what seemed to be a several year dry spell where cell phone clocks replaced their necessity.  I believe that the emerging popularity of the watch is in large part due to Michael Kors line of resin watches that came out a couple of years ago.  You know, the chunky white ones that all the Bravo Housewives had. While these were a fun accessory for summer, I am happy to report that more toned down and neutral versions are dominating the market this fall.  While I am in no rush to invest in a watch anytime soon, I will continue to peek in the jewelry counter at my favorite thrift stores for the perfect men's inspired wrist watch with a leather band- at a bargain price, of course! 


November 14, 2011

Weekend in Review.


Last week, a friend of mine raved about this recipe for Ina Garten's Lentil Sausage Soup.  So when I was home this past weekend and found out that we had a hearty supply of sausage on hand (homemade sausage, might I add.  who knew you could make sausage?!), I knew we would have to give it a try.  Let me just say, it was quite phenomenal!  Such flavors.  Oh and did I mention that we also added bacon to the mix?  Well, we did.  No shame.  What can I say?  My family and I like our breakfast meats.  Smirk.


While all the delicious food over the weekend was quite a nice treat, what I really love about going home is the special moments when my whole family is together in the room.  I doesn't matter what we are doing.  Watching a movie, having deep conversations about God, the future, etc., or reminiscing about past vacations...  We can be laughing our heads off or having a serious conversation but just being together is what really matters.  I am so thankful to have a family that I truly enjoy spending time with.  They are just great!

image credit:  Barefoot Contessa

November 10, 2011

Chili and Cornbread.


This week I made Chili and Cornbread and boy was it good!  The leftovers weren't bad either. wink wink.

I don't know about you, but I've been having major cravings for soups and other warm comfort foods with this cooler weather.  Can't wait to experiment with soup recipes this week!  In other news... I'm done with midterms!  Such a great feeling.  The brother and I are heading home for a homework-free weekend to spend time with family and eat lots of good food.  

Have a great weekend!

November 5, 2011

Distractions and how to kill them.



I just really like this video.  This weekend, as I study for midterms, I am having to fight off all the distractions that keep me from getting my work done.  It hasn't quite come to this- yet.

Do you think you could survive a day without technology?  How about a week?  I sometimes dislike how "plugged in" our culture is to the Internet and social networking.  It would be kind of neat if everyone agreed to just write letters to each other for a few weeks.  Instead of facebook, texting, emailing, etc.  What would life be like?  Its pretty interesting to think about!

November 4, 2011

Walking in the pouring rain.


I can't think of anything as freeing as being in the rain without an umbrella.  Today I wasn't expecting the reported storm to roll in so early and ended up having to walk home from the gym in the pouring rain.  I got completely drenched and it was fantastic!  On rainy days my strategy is usually to do everything humanly possible to avoid getting wet.  This includes rain boots (double socks for extra protection), an umbrella, and gore-tex jacket- and that's for Southern California storms...  I know, I know - I'm admittedly a huge cold weather wimp. I must say though, there is something terrifically liberating about not fighting the elements but simply existing in them!  So next time it rains, ditch the umbrella and go for a walk.  I think, you'll be glad you did!

Image Credit: MCTGarcia Photography via flickr.

November 2, 2011

Priorities.

Today I took a few minutes to jot down my priorities.  Nothing fancy just a small little list to remind me what really matters.  I think its really helpful to do this from time to time.  It really puts things in perspective- which is always a good thing!  Here is what I came up with.


1.  relationship with God- loving him with all my heart, mind, and soul and worshiping Him 
 "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" - Matthew 6:33
2.  loving people and Christian fellowship– family, friends, and strangers
3.  health- exercise, eating healthy, getting enough sleep, not stressing
4.  school- doing my best and letting God do the rest
5.  hobbies, clubs, creativity, etc.



What do you consider to be your top priorities?

November 1, 2011

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake.



Can I just say that Paula Deen is a culinary genius.  My mom and I made her "Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake" recipe several years ago and I have been dreaming about it ever since!  Yesterday, being Halloween and all, I thought it would be appropriate to make it again and boy was it tasty.  The perfect combo of sweetness in the filling and saltiness in the cake mix crust.  Throughout the night various groups of friends stopped by our apartment to say hello and watch spook movies.  This was a fun and festive treat to serve our guests and it was a huge hit- if I don't say so myself.  If there is one thing I have learned from Paula, its that you can never have too much butter (even if the recipe calls for 16 tablespoons of it)!