Thursday, September 30

New recipes

Last week, I tried out some new recipes! They are both Pioneer Woman recipes, and I would have to say they tasted pretty good. I love her recipes because I can see step by step pictures. They are really easy to follow and I can tell if I am on the right track.

The first was this tiramisu recipe. Let me tell you. This recipe just about killed me. So many things went wrong... First, I couldn't find the cooking wine or the ladyfingers at the store. Then, I over whipped the heavy whipping cream so it was chunky. Then, my sister over stirred the cheese, causing it to become liquid and chunks... lovely. Fortunately, it still tasted delicious!

The second was this bread recipe. Oh-my-gosh. This is the best bread ever. I followed the instructions and cut it into small slices, and it was perfect. I used Italian bread instead of French bread, and there was no way I could fit all of the butter on it. But I still made sure it was covered. And it was amazing.

Do you have any recipes you have tried out lately? Nick loves to cook so hopefully when we are married we will be trying out a ton of new recipes together!

Sunday, September 26

"Live. And Live Well.

BREATHE. Breathe in and Breathe deeply. Be PRESENT. Do not be past. Do not be future. Be now.

On a crystal clear, breezy 70 degree day, roll down the windows and FEEL the wind against your skin. Feel the warmth of the sun.

If you run, then allow those first few breaths on a cool Autumn day to FREEZE your lungs and do not just be alarmed, be ALIVE.

Get knee-deep in a novel and LOSE track of time.

If you bike, pedal HARD… and if you crash then crash well.

Feel the SATISFACTION of a job well done—a paper well-written, a project thoroughly completed, a play well-performed.

If you must wipe the snot from your 3-year old’s nose, don’t be disgusted if the Kleenex didn’t catch it all… because soon he’ll be wiping his own.

If you’ve recently experienced loss, then GRIEVE. And Grieve well.

At the table with friends and family, LAUGH. If you’re eating and laughing at the same time, then might as well laugh until you puke. And if you eat, then SMELL. The aromas are not impediments to your day. Steak on the grill, coffee beans freshly ground, cookies in the oven. And TASTE. Taste every ounce of flavor. Taste every ounce of friendship. Taste every ounce of Life. Because-it-is-most-definitely-a-Gift."

Kyle Lake

Thursday, September 16

Family Tree

I had to do a presentation in sign language on my "family tree" the other day. This is the slide I brought. We could only do 4 people, so I chose the siblings! The presentation went pretty well... It's fun getting better at sign language, because I am starting to be able to have small conversations... sweet!

Look at what I found!

Everyone loves Etsy... I love finding super cute stuff there... Here is the latest etsy shop I found.

Volume Twenty Five

They have the cutest art! Here are some of my favorites:

Wednesday, September 15

Waco Arts Initiative

One of my favorite programs in Waco:

Learn more about Waco Arts Initiative HERE and HERE.

Monday, September 13

(Photo by Bakerella)

I reaaaallly want to try out this recipe I found on Bakerella. They look DELISH.

My last 10 iTunes purchases

1. God of This City-- Chris Tomlin
2. Mystery-- Charlie Hall
3. Like a Lion-- David Crowder
4. Revelation Song-- Kari Jobe
5. Come Thou Fount, The Dress Looks Nice On You, Chicago, and Enchanting Ghost-- Sufjan Stevens
6. Eternal Flame-- The Bangles
7. Show Me, Restless, and For Love of You-- Audrey Assad
8. Anything for You and The Lucky Ones-- Brendan James
9. Try, Nonfiction Love Song, July & June, and Songbird-- Jillian Edwards
10. Our Kind of Love and American Honey-- Lady Antebellum

More about some of these artists to come at a different time.

Have a stellar week! And go check some of these out!

Sunday, September 12

3 Children's Books

I love children's books. I love reading them and collecting them. One of my life goals is to write a children's book. My favorite kind is one that is considered a book for a child, but is so well written that it appeals to adults, too. Not only does it appeal to adults, but it draws them in to the worlds that they haven't visited since "growing up."

There is no way that this is a top 3 list. I couldn't do it, I love too many too much. However, this is a list of 3 books that I can't wait to read to my children. I think everyone should read them, regardless of how old. They are brilliant, regardless of whether a person reads them to himself, or out loud to others. I think every library should contain these three books.

1. You Are Special by Max Lucado.

This has been a favorite of mine for quite a while. It is a great story that shows how great the Creator's love is for us, His creation. Every child needs to know that he or she is special. My favorite line is, "Remember, you are special because I made you. And I don't make mistakes." It's so simple, but so powerful. It is also a great book to read to groups of girls to discuss self-image issues. It can be used as a powerful tool to show the importance of seeing yourself how God sees you, instead of how others see you.
When I was a counselor at Pine Cove, I read this book to my girls every Sunday night before lights out. Sometimes I wouldn't have time to finish, and they would be so anxious to get into bed on Monday night so we could continue reading. They loved both the story and discussing the meaning afterward.

2. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

I could probably talk about this book for hours. Of course, most are familiar with the story. But that doesn't make it any less amazing. We read this book in my "Classics in Children's Literature" class my last semester at Baylor, and the discussions made me love it even more than I already did. The symbolism and literary style is so beautiful, and this is such a great book to read out loud. The themes of growing up and the imagination are portrayed in ways that most people never consider. If you haven't read this book in the past year, I really think you should go do that soon. And then lay it somewhere accessible and read it to anyone who will listen.

3. The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne

If you have never read this book, I need you to stop what you are doing right now and go read it. Milne was a genius on so many levels. First, this book is great to read out loud. Since he originally came up with these bedtime stories by telling them to his son, Christopher Robin, they are captivating and creative when heard. Second, these stories are written creatively, utilizing methods that a child would use if he or she were writing a story. Because they are so simple, they can be read by beginners. But they are also intelligent, which enables them to entertain more advanced readers at any age. Third, the pictures are so cute, and add to the stories so well. I want to just frame different pictures from this book and hang them on my walls.
When we read this for our Children's Lit class, my roommates and I spent two nights reading the stories out loud to each other. We each had different characters with different voices, and it got pretty hilarious. It is definitely one of my favorite memories from my senior year.

I hope that you have had the opportunity to read these books. If you haven't, then go find them from the library or Half Price Books and get started! And don't rely on the Disney movies to provide proper entertainment. They definitely do not suffice when compared to the books.

Have a great day!!

Saturday, September 11

Waco, Texas: Food Edition

I miss Waco a lot. If you had asked me three years ago if I would miss Waco when I left, I would have said absolutely not. I loved Baylor, and I loved parts of Waco, but I was never attached to the town. But as I spent 4 years there, it grew on me. Working at Talitha Koum sealed the deal: I love Waco. In case you are ever there, here is a list of places you need to go:

1. Common Grounds-- Great coffee, great atmosphere, need I say more? When you go, I would suggest getting Cowboy Coffee, a 254, or a Summer Sparkler. The Arnold Palmers and frozen flavored coffee drinks are amazing too.

2. Health Camp-- This was my first favorite place in Waco. My family would always go there during trips to Waco when I was younger. It's a super old burger place, and it is DELICIOUS. Get whatever you want, just make sure you try the tator tots... Best tots ever.

3. Bush's Chicken-- Bush's has the best chicken strips for the best price. It's better than Chicken Express, and I will stand by that statement. The tea is better, too, and a lot cheaper.

4. Mr. Snow-- Mr. Snow's sno cones are amazing, and so much cheaper than the ones from Bahama Bucks... Wedding cake with cream is my personal favorite.

5. George's Bar and Grill-- George's is another place we would go to as a family after games when I was little. It's famous for its chicken fried steak, and has been known to occasionally feed President George W. Bush. It was also immortalized in the country song, "College," by Pat Green, who, although did not go to Baylor, did grow up in Waco.

6. Kitok's Restaurant-- Who knew Asian food and hamburgers went so well together?! This place is so random and so hilarious. I would recommend getting a cheeseburger and oriental fries. You have to get the oriental fries, that is not even an option.

7. Katie's Custard-- Katie's is a great place used by Baylor students for many different occasions. I must admit that I like Andy's better, but this isn't a blog about Tyler... Katie's still has great custard with a ton of options.

While there are a ton of other great local places to eat in Waco, these are definitely some great choices. I hope you get to visit Waco soon and try out some of these places.

Friday, September 10

Prayer Requests

Hello friends!

I was wondering if you could join me in praying for a couple of things.

The first is for discipline. I am really struggling with remaining disciplined and having the urge to get things done. From Scripture reading to GRE studying to just keeping my room clean, I definitely need some work. Please pray that God teaches me to be disciplined in my tasks so that I can give all glory to God and do everything with excellence. It's hard to perform excellently when you just don't care.

The second is for a beautiful girl named Ellia. Ellia is the three-year-old daughter of Brett and Chris, the chaplains who lived in my dorm freshman year. She is absolutely hysterical and so cute, and her parents are pretty awesome too. Last year, a virus attacked her muscles, causing her to be in severe pain and remain in the hospital for special care. Today, she started experiencing similar symptoms again, and has been admitted into the ICU. Please pray for her and her family!

Thanks, guys! Yall are awesome!

Thursday, September 9

blogs of the day

As I sit in my 3 hour class and listen to my professor go off on completely random tangents in an effort to make himself sound awesome, I am going to write about three recent blogs I have enjoyed. The first is a singular blog post and the final two are blogs as a whole.

1. The Pioneer Woman-- Ten Important Things I've Learned About Blogging.
- I have been challenged by this blog, for sure! She gives different ways to help develop your blogging skills, and I can't wait to apply them to mine.

2. Young House Love
- I stumbled upon this blog yesterday, and I am IN LOVE. I have tagged so many ideas for our wedding and for art projects. Some of my favorite sections are Projects, House Tour, Art We Heart, and DIY Decor. I love it all, really... This couple is uber creative and uber cute.

3. Kevin East
- Kevin, better known as "Opee" to those Pine Covers, is a relatively new blogger. I encourage anyone who reads this blog to check his out. He has chosen some great things to write about. Some of my favorite posts are, "Tough Conversations: With Your Child," "What Every Child Should Hear From His Parents," "What Does Excellence Look Like?" and, "Fostering: When The Music Fades."

I hope you check out these blogs and maybe learn something in the process.

Thanks for reading!

To do for the weekend:
- Write a paper for Sign Language
- Go to Sign Language lab
- Go to the zoo (hope it doesn't storm)
- Go to Taste of Downtown Plano (hope it doesn't storm)
- Study for a Sign Language quiz
- Run