Wednesday, November 23, 2016

It's been longer than I planned

when I decided to take a writing break, I didn't think it would be this long. It was a much needed break but I have missed this space. This morning I am sitting in a surgery center with Josh waiting to have his tubes removed and ear drums patched. It's just Josh and me. And as much as I wish John was here and he didn't have to work, I have incredible support. My co-workers have checked on us and they are in the office under us if I need anything. That is incredibly reassuring for me.
This summer has been rough. I lost my aunt who treated me like one of her own and who I love dearly. I really thought I would lose my uncle too. They were just so much a part of each other. But he has surprised us all. I am so grateful for the 4 days we spent at her bedside with all of my cousins and the rest of our family. It's been years since we were all together. Losing her feels like the first of many adult losses. It made me remember that our parents are getting older just like we are. It also made me realize that we are older and we are the age they were when we thought they were really old.
We spent a lot of time as a family these past few months too. John having a job where he is off every weekend has made it so much better. We have gone to the beach, started kayaking, gone to the mountains, and visited Auburn for football games. We have replaced flooring, painted, and started new hobbies. This writing break was busy and beneficial.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I think that's why I felt the need to write again. I have so much to be grateful for. And this blog is one of those things. It has been a space for me to share from but also a place that forgives when breaks turn into such long periods of time. So I think the break is over. I have no plans to return to writing everyday or even every week. But definitely once a month.

So Happy Thanksgiving. I am thankful for all of you.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Irish Cooking

This review was honestly due a couple of days ago. But a jam packed rough week leads to not writing it until now. I may or may not have mentioned before that I love to cook BUT I hate the clean up after. Which means I really don't cook often. BUT I received this amazing new cookbook from Ambassador International and I can't wait to try some of these recipes.

I don't have another Saturday off for a couple of weeks but the first one I have I am planning on cooking up a storm and doing something I have not done in a long while- cooking breakfast for my family. "Favorite Flavors of Ireland" is filled with great recipes for every season and every meal. One of my favorite so far is Blueberry- White Chocolate Muffins. This recipe combines two favorites at my house. And they are easy to make.

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
4 tbsp Kerrygold Irish butter (or regular butter)
4 oz white chocolate
1 tsp lemon zest
1 1/2 cups blueberries
12 tsp prepared lemon curd (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degree F. Grease a standard muffin pan and dust with flour, tap out excess
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Set aside
3. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter and white chocolate. Microwave on medium-high for 1 minute; stir. Microwave an additional 10-15 second intervals, stirring just until melted. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and buttermilk. Stir in the flour mixture and then stir in the melted chocolate, lemon zest, and blueberries.
5. Divide the batter into the prepared pan and place a tsp of the lemon curd on top of each one (if using). Bake for 23-25 mins, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 10-15 mins.
(Recipe found on page 59)

There are so many recipes in this book that I want to try! Nutty Brown Bread, Beef in Ale with Cheese Cobbler, and Bramley Apple Cake with Toffee Sauce are just a few. Also in the book are stories of Irish traditions and holidays. If you love all things Irish, I would buy this cookbook. If you are just wanting to cook for St. Patrick's Day (next year), I would buy this cookbook. Basically, I would just buy this cookbook as a staple for your kitchen.

**I received this cookbook from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.**

Monday, February 29, 2016

Wandering through the Wilderness and a Curious Faith

Walking in a wilderness is a pretty apt description of the last several months of my life. Decisions made, things revealed, and lots and lots of hurt to sift through. Then one of the women that truly inspires me wrote a book that just hit home."Curious Faith" by Logan Wolfram is releasing March 1st and I have been ready to share it with you since before I read it.  I will confess that I started and stopped this book several times because this book kept hitting a nerve that, honestly, I just didn't want to deal with yet. But I kept going back to the book. At one point, I realized that I was stopping to highlight more than I was reading each time I sat down with it. And when I reached the "wilderness" section of the book, I found myself soaking in every word.

Photo Credit: Christin Slade

I have felt forgotten more in the last 6 months than I have ever before. By friends and family but mostly by God. I have felt like I was lost in a wilderness that no one even cared to look in for me. And while I realize that no one actually forgot me and that God never abandoned me, there were times when it literally felt like I was completely alone. I am a true believer in the saying "God doesn't give you more than you can handle" but sometimes I find myself drowning in what he thinks I can.

Photo credit: Courtney Szollosy

Through every hard minute of the last several months, I have asked myself if any of it was worth it and really where was all of this leading. I am starting to see where that path was leading. And in a hallway of possibilities, I am starting to see open doors where all there were before were closed ones.

"Every decision in my life felt like it was stuck. I was trapped between hope for an indetermined future and the day to day of living in my present brokenness."  

These two sentences from Logan Wolfram perfectly summed up where I have been the last several months. Wandering in a wilderness trying to find my path and reclaim a faith that used to be strong and I thought unbreakable. I lost my curiousness about a major part of my life. This book was basically placed in my hands at just the right moment. And this woman, who I love to see in South Carolina, who has made me cry tears of joy and tears of brokenness, and who has inspired me more than she will ever know- has given me another gift that I will never be able to repay. 

And I really want you to buy this book so that you can see what I'm talking about. I know that I say buy this book it's a great book alot. But I don't want you to buy this book because it's a great book. I want you to buy this book because it is a blessing in disguise. I want you to buy this book because I know that when Logan sat down and wrote it she prayed for everyone who would read her words. And I think that matters. So click on the picture below and be prepared to be curious and to realize you are not forgotten. 


Saturday, February 6, 2016

"Thin Ice"- {a review}

This new novel by Irene Hannon was a great way to start my new year reading! 

Christy watches her sister's house burn with her sister inside shortly after her parents are killed in an accident. Or so she thought. When it seems Ginny may still be alive but held captive by someone, Chrissy turns to Speciel Agent Lance McGregor for help. Together they work through a bigger mystery than either of them bargained for. 

I love Irene Hannon and her writing style! This book kept me captivated throughout and surprised me several times. I highly recommend any book by Hannon but this has been my favorite to date. 

Definitely add this one to your 2016 reading list! 

Saturday, January 9, 2016

New Year's Resolutions

Every year I do this resolution thing and this one word thing. Well this year I'm not. I am setting a goal. One. Because every other year I feel like I set myself up for failure with all these big "resolutions" that are honestly just unrealistic for me. 
So I am setting one goal that basically covers every aspect of my life and doesn't bring a lot of stress and pressure with it. 
So my one goal for 2016 is to get healthy. 
I'm not going into how that covers so much or going into details but it's a goal. And it's obtainable. (It only took me 8 days to decide on it too.) 

So here's to 2016 and all the possibilities that come with it.