Jan 31, 2011

{over the weekend}

we had one of the nicest times in a long while this past weekend.
daniel is getting every other friday off at work now with his new schedule, & this was our first one.
 so we had an extra day to be together which i LOVED.
 plus a weekend full of brainstorming, family time, birthday hosting, thrifting, bookstore browsing, starbucks trips & enjoying a fluke weekend of heavenly warm weather.
{think 50's & low low 60's for you arizona folks. i can't believe i've succumbed to this…}
it felt like we were dating again. with all of the time we had.

& also, i commented below, but i was seriously blown away by all of the sweet & encouraging comments & emails i've received from you all. like, i really don't even know what to say on here, i am so flabbergasted. thank you doesn't seem like enough - but thank you! its super humbling to hear such kind things from so many of you. it was just another thing that made my weekend so sweet :)

i am totally itching to post my tutorial for the soap pump that was in this post, by the way. so for those of you that have asked for it - its in the works :)
i'm going to try to wait until tomorrow, but i don't know if i can wait that long :)

Jan 28, 2011

{the way i see it…}

okay. so i know i'm posting a lot of recipes & home-made everythings on here a lot.

& especially if you haven't grown up or aren't familiar with a lot of it - i'm probably doing a first rate job of convincing you all that i'm a total nut ;)

people may actually tell daniel or i that we're weird for doing this. or they may just tell other people.
but thats okay.

no really - i'm okay with that.

i blog about it because i think that just maybe some other people want to know about this stuff like i did this time last year when i was googling everywhere trying to find a beginners guide to eating & living just a little bit healthier. 

{speaking of which, i haven't really posted about those sort of things in awhile. would that be helpful or interesting for anyone?}

i understand that eating healthy is just seen as something thats really trendy right now.
& i understand that genuinely eating healthy is actually seen as kind of radical. 
although, shouldn't it be the other way around?

the way i see it, what daniel & i are doing is simplifying life - just a little bit.
it may not seem like it at first, because there is a lot to learn in the beginning for us, but i really think we are.
& becoming more self-sustaining as a {small} family, too.
thats a lot of why i love it.

i love that i can have coconut oil, castile soap, white vinegar, baking soda, olive oil & a few miscellaneous essential oils & i can make almost anything i really need for cleaning my kitchen, making hand soap, cleaning our bathroom, washing my face etc etc etc…
 i love that i don't have as many cleaners taking up space. & i do love that i actually know what i'm cleaning our house with. especially for when we start having kids that we will inevitably catch drinking toilet water or eating mouthfuls of toothpaste.

for us, its really not about being 'green'. at all.
what i do believe as a christian, is that i can be faithful in small things to take care of the people & the things god has given me. the people, for now just being my husband & me. & our home & what we use & how much we consume as being just some of the things.

so as long as i have time to experiment, i will. & this blog is just kind of an outlet for some of that experimenting :)

Jan 27, 2011

{another item off my list}

no. 14 "paint & orgainize lucy's closet"

lucy is the name we have picked out for our someday-daughter, by the way. so this wont necessarily be 'her' room. but we have every room in our house named. it helps keep us on the same page when we're talking about projects & things.

the funny thing about these pictures is that you may think {other than the color} that this closet really didn't look at all bad before i painted it.
but that is just not so. painting a closet wouldn't typically be at the top of my list either, but you would have just had to see it in person.
the part that you can't see in the pictures on the left are the cobwebs & layers of dirt. but most of what bothered me was the smell! maybe my nose was just super sensitive, but i smelled lead every time i went in there & therefore didn't want to put anything in it.
but now its fresh & clean & i just need to find some nice wicker storage bins, but otherwise - complete :)

so thats three items down. just 9 months & 20 more to go!

Jan 25, 2011

{make your own: hand soap}

so, have you bought your castile soap yet? because you'll be needing it.
& maybe i'll post a million & two things you can do with all 32 ounces of it someday.

you will need:
a foaming soap pump
castile soap

add 1 tablespoon of castle soap per cup of water & you have hand washing soap that makes you smell like peppermint for hours!

i hope you like peppermint.

i first decided to make our own hand soap after reading an article similar to this one.
but if you aren't going to read that here are two points to keep in mind:

1.) soap contains this stuff called triclosan. its classified as a pesticide & while it does clean your hands really well, it actually kills both bad & good bacteria. now i am all for being nice & clean, but zero exposure to bacteria actually isn't a good thing, because your immune system isn't able to build up fortifications against really bad bacteria.
2.) it contributes to bacteria resistance. this bad bacteria can then survive & reproduce more bad bacteria etc etc... 

either way, the main component of washing your hands is really just scrubbing. did your friends ever tell you about the 20 second rule growing up? that you had to was your hands for 20 seconds or you won't get rid of any of the  germs on your hands? anyone? maybe it was just public school…but its kind of true. with just a non-anti-bacterical soap & a little scrubbing, you will be totally fine.
{if you don't want to make your own soap, stores still totally sell soap that isn't anti-bacterial, by the way. if its not on the front label, it probably isn't}

dont let it freak you out too much. it just kind of nice to be aware of. & seriously. its so cheap & easy to make anyways, why would you not?

{sweet potato & black bean soup}

if i don't think of all the things i love about winter, i find myself pouting for springtime again.
& while i STILL can hardly wait. one thing i will always love about winter time is soups :)
& this is probably my absolute favorite soup of the winter so far.

p.s. someday i'm going to get better at taking pictures of food. really. guess what these are? 
yes. leftovers. again. SORRY!

{this delicious soup brought in part (with minor alterations) by: readymade}

you will need:
1 tbs of coconut oil
2 sweet potatoes, peeled + chopped into 1 inch cubes
1 onion, diced
1 red pepper, chopped into 1/2 or so inch pieces
1 jalapeno, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tsp of chili powder
1 tsp of cumin
1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
3 cups of vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups of black beans
1 can of fire roasted tomatoes or 2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 cup of corn
1/4 cup of lemon or lime juice
1/4 cup of fresh cilantro
shredded cheese to serve

no. 1
add coconut oil to a large stock pot & heat. add sweet potatoes, onion, red pepper, jalapeno & garlic. saute for about 5 minutes.

no. 2
add spices (i reduced them just a liiittle & they still have a good kick. so if you aren't into that, reduce them just a little more. you can always add it later) & cover pot for about 5 more minutes to steam sweet potatoes.

no. 3
add broth, black beans & tomato & bring to a boil. reduce heat to a simmer & add corn & lime juice. now just let your flavors melt together. for at least 15 minutes. but more time never hurt anything when it comes to soups. stir in fresh cilantro just a few minutes before serving. top with cheese.

Jan 24, 2011

{monday talk}

i'm posting a little bit later in my day than usual. i wasn't really inspired this morning to write anything. i'm still not totally. but if i just do it, i'll get back into the swing again, right?

so here is my news for the day: i've finished an item on my 23 before 23 list.

"no. 7 - buy a rug for our living room"
my dad goes to auctions every so often & found us this massive braided wool rug for 5 bucks! we love it :)
it looks like my grandmas house.

applications today & getting my bearings again after the weekend. 
AND we are participating in a chili cook off tomorrow evening.
we have a fun little team of us collaborating together. & don't tell, but i think we're going to make my vegetarian chili. shhhhhhh.

Jan 21, 2011

{in the kitchen}

of course, i always find cute kitchen things i 'need'

but actually, we do not have a tea kettle. so i do need a tea kettle. & we are almost out of olive oil. sooo…i kinda need that too. the soup cup i do not need. but ahh its just so pretty! especially for all of the soups we've been eating lately.

no. 4 doesn't have a link simply because its a mint plant! seriously. every kitchen in the summertime needs mint. its basically apart of southern hospitality!

& does anyone know what no. 5 is? anyone? anyone?
they're called gamma lids. & they're for bulk storage of foods & things that need to be kept pretty air tight. my mom has one to store all of her wheat grain in & i love them. you just pop them on a 5 gallon bucket & they screw on & off. so much easier…& since i'm finding i use a lot of the same ingredients in massive proportions, i think this would be nice :)

no.1     no.2     no.3     no.4     no.5

hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Jan 20, 2011

{focaccia bread}

i am beyond thrilled that two of my bread-making attempts have not fallen flat. literally. i always end up with rock hard bread. they just never rise for me. but i think i figured out a few things i was doing wrong:

1.) when they say 'warm' water. thats actually a really important thing. but warm. not hot. if your water is too hot it kills the yeast. & if its not warm enough your yeast wont activate. whoops. everyone else already knew that, huh? if you have a thermometer, about 110 degrees or warm to touch is good.

2.) whole wheat just sometimes needs longer to rise. like longer than the whole 'one hour or until doubled'. sometimes it takes two. or more.

3.) kneading your dough for the written amount of time is actually important. it helps the gluten develop, which helps your bread bind together & creates little air pockets in your dough which results in fluffier, tastier bread.

aaand all of this could easily be avoided if you actually followed directions. unlike me.
all of that said. this is actually a really easy bread to make {hallelujah}
i also decided to use all fluffy white flour this time. in honor of following directions.

you will need:
4-4 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of warm water {105-115 degees}
1 teaspoon of active dry yeast
& then
1 cup of warm water
2 teaspoons of kosher salt
1 tablespoon of olive oil
more coarse salt for sprinkling

the process starts the night before when you mix together 1/2 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of warm water & yeast. mix until smooth & cover overnight. its going to make a sponge like this below.

easy peasy so far. right?

if you have a kitchen aid. mix your sponge in that so that you can then easily add your 1 more cup of warm water & salt. mix. then gradually add flour. you want just enough so that your dough begins to pull away from the sides of your mixing bowl. knead 8-10 minutes.

place your dough onto a lightly oiled bowl. turn over once so your whole ball of dough is covered.
let rise 'about an hour' or until doubled. which for me actually was about an hour.
miracle of miracles.

now the kind of weird part. 
take a baking sheet. flour it & turn your dough directly onto it. 
now…take a large bowl & turn it upside down so it covers the dough & let rest for 30 minutes.

if you have a baking stone. use it at this point & preheat in your oven.
i do not. so after about 15 minutes i preheat our {empty} oven to 475.

remove bowl after 30 mintues and very gently roll your dough out until it has a diameter of about 11". don't overwork it, here. you don't want all of that rising you did to deflate now, do you?

so now look back up at the picture. see the pretty dots all over the bread?
now you're going to do that. so poke at your bread. just for fun. 
making about 1/2 inch dents every 2 or so inches.
then brush lightly with olive oil, top with sea salt & bake for 15-20 minutes. 
you'll know when your bread is done when you tap on it & it makes a nice hollow sound :)

ahhhh its so delicious!!!!

we make excuses to eat it with EVERYTHING now. soups. anything remotely italian. mexican? anything.

actually don't pair this with mexican food. but you get what i mean.

let me know if you try this & how it turns out for you, please!

Jan 19, 2011

{laws of attraction}

in case anyone was wondering how i first fell for my husband.

now you know. except his hair was much longer & less frequently washed ;)
in case you haven't heard of campbell the band before. they make some of the most beautiful music i've EVER heard. you can listen to a few of their songs here.

Jan 18, 2011

{blog lovin}

google reader has been my faithful, constant companion all this last year.
i love how quickly i've been able to hop on & catch ideas from blogs i love,
but recently i've found something else i love {possibly} even better.

{i'm sorry google reader!!!}

its called blog lovin. 

i have a little icon for them on the right-hand side of my blog now.

you sign up, can add your blog & follow other blogs you love.
what i especially like, as opposed to google reader is how much more streamlined & clean everything is. also, i can scroll through blogs i love even more quickly, as you can see below.

some posts, especially from photography blogs have LOTS of pictures that i love to look at, but often times they take awhile to load & you have to scroll & scroll to reach the bottom. this just shows the first paragraph or so from each post + a picture & i just click on it. & that takes you to the actual blog page. which i ALSO love. its so much prettier to look at blogs on their actual pages, i think.

so just some food for thought!

if you read blogs at all, i would totally suggest this or google reader as a helpful filtering tool :)

{shredded beef tacos}

i've been trying to {finally} start putting my crockpot to good use this last month or two.
 i guess deep down i thought you could only do the potato & carrot style roasts in them, but oh my goooosh! they are amazing

one other thing i am NOT good at {regretfully} is making food for more than two people. i'm going to be getting a lot of experience later on this week as we are having two couples over on both friday & saturday. but i'm always in such agony over what to make! this is a good more-than-two-people recipe :)

& yes. this is another picture of my leftovers. so its not as decked out or anything. but still yum.

you will need:
1 2-4 lb. roast

1/2 cup of beer {or wine. or coke actually}
1 1/2 tbs of worcestershire sauce
1 large onion, chopped
1 jalepeno pepper, chopped
1/2 cup of water

4 cloves of garlic
1 tbs of paprika
1 tbs of dried parsley
1/2 tbs of pepper
1/2 tbs of chili powder
1/2 tbs of cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp of sea salt
1/2 tsp of mustard powder

okay. ready for this? its a cinch.

no. 1
take a knife {careful please!} & poke 4 1 inch deep holes & insert garlic

no. 2
combine all spices. mix & rub over meat.

no. 3
put remaining ingredients in your crockpot. mix & add roast. the longer you cook this, the better. it really needs to cook first think in the morning until dinner time. i wouldn't cheat on that too much. & i was home that day. so every 2 hours or so i flipped the roast over so it was equally saturated in all the yummy juices :)

now just shred & add whatever toppings you'd like! serve with mexican rice & chips & salsa.

Jan 17, 2011

{i'm liking this monday}

over the weekend, daniel & i had some talks in between all of our running around.
fun talks. but life talks.
about this blog. about photograph. 
about the idea of me getting a {part time} job again. for the mornings while hes away.
which i didn't love at first. & he didn't really either. but we both decided we should think about it.

so i scrubbed pots fiercely for about 30 minutes while i thought.
wait. let me clarify a little.
when i say i scrubbed fiercely, it wasn't because i was upset. it just helps me think. cleaning helps me think. lucky for daniel :)

& after all of my scrubbing & thinking, we agreed that today would be a good day for me to get away & think & plan & pray & read.

so this morning, right after daniel left i found myself driving off to panera & have been here ever since.
sipping a latte & munching on bagels & planning. i rather like the quietness of it all.
this will be a good thing for me.

& its a wonderful way to start a beautiful, overcast monday :)
ill let you know if any huge decisions are made.

Jan 15, 2011

{thank you husband}

for dedicating your wardrobe to my cozy saturday morning of meal planning & tea drinking.
i don't know about you, but i hate posting iphoto pictures. 
i mean…sitting in front of my computer. when i'm home alone. 
especially if i'm planning on posting those pictures anywhere. 
how lame. 
of me. i really dont mind people doing it. its just more awkward if i am.
but i do feel better that this was not on purpose.

now, onward to ikea we go!

hope you're all enjoying your weekend :)

{what i read: december}

so are there any other readers out there? i can't be the only one.
i love love love to read. i think i've mentioned this before. & i've also mentioned that my very favorites to read are novels. really long, wonderful, epic novels. all of those adjectives are subjective, by the way. they are all wonderful to me but could possibly be horrific to you.
but i have been trying to expand my scope of reading beyond just novels, though. {& i often do, anyways, but i want to get just a little better} i've started off the year reading a few of a different sort & i actually quite like them. 
if i can just keep honey bunny from climbing on our couch & eating them all. {true story, guys}

but here is what i would like to do:
every month i'll share with you all what i've been reading - & i would love it if you all shared some of your favorites, too! i am always up for new ideas :)

so, i will start with december. it was a slow reading month. but i did finally once & for all finish 'a series of unfortunate events!'

this was a really fun, easy series to read. the first few books were really frustrating for me because i didn't heed the authors warning and thought surely SOMETHING good would happen to the Baudelaires! i loved the unique & really odd writing style of these. i even got a few snickers out of daniel as he read over my shoulder every so often. the audio books were fun, too, if you're going on a trip or just not into reading a long series like this! just don't listen to them at night maybe. we tried and after a week or so realized that were had both been having nightmares. & possibly because the last thing we heard before falling asleep was count olaf's creepy voice. don't do that.

Jan 14, 2011

{you could help a family grow}

here is what i know:

carissa & i have met before. several times. & i like her very much. she lived in san diego & i lived in phoenix. we would see each other every so often at conferences & things.

we have since both married men on the east coast & live about the same distance apart. only across the country now. & have kind of become blog friends & keep up that way.

her & her husband have a heart for uganda. & want to adopt a girl there named rinah.

& even though i haven't met andrew, & haven't seen carissa in a few years now, i love this couple. & they may not say so, but i think its a beautiful & brave thing to undergo any kind of adoption. & its especially exciting to me to see a couple that is my age doing this. they are so inspiring to daniel & i. & we are so excited for this little family-to-be!

they have made a video telling a little about their story. watch it. pray for the gallos. & give if you feel led! 

Jan 13, 2011

{our kitchen}

okay. i held off with the kitchen a little while back when i was showing house pictures. partially because its constantly being changed & made nicer. its also the room we've spent the most time working in so far.

here are a few befores:

& after {deep breath}
-wall resurfacing
-tearing up floors
-putting down floors
- sanding cabinets
-priming cabinets
-painting cabinets
-tearing out countertops
-pulling wood out of attic for new countertops
-sanding wood
-building countertops
-coating wood in LOTS of polyurethane
-repainting walls
-scraping windows
-appliance swapping
-rebuilding left cabinets to fit new appliances
umm…etc etc etc.

the nice bones are back at least. & the floor is clean. & the walls, too. now we just need to add pretty things.
& maybe a kitchen island :)

{our date with winter}

this winter - especially being our first in our new {very old} home has been a chilly, but very nice one so far. i wish i had some kind of tips for keeping warm to share…
you could drag your space heater around with you ALL the time. while drinking teas ALL day long. or just pretend your gas bill won't skyrocket if you crank your heat back up to 70. just for a little bit. umm...i don't do that, by the way.

but we are on our fourth snow day. & its so nice seeing winter outside of our window.
i've been trying to enjoy it & be glad its here. & i am, but i sure will be glad to see springtime!

Jan 12, 2011

{black bean burgers}

someday i am going to post something again that is not a recipe.

but i just found this draft in my list of posts. from a year ago.
the picture is a year old too.
i thought of it because we're making them tonite {now last nite} for dinner.
daniel actually loves them. & if you can get a man to eat a meatless burger. more power to you both!

you will need:
2 cups of blackbeans {cooked}
1/2 cup of red onion. chopped.
2 garlic cloves. minced.
1/4 cup of fresh parsley {or substitute 2 tablespoons of dried}
1 jalapeno pepper
1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
1 large egg
1/2 tsp of chili powder
1/2 tsp of cumin
sea salt to taste

no. 1
in a skillet, cook peppers, red onion & garlic until they begin to brown

no. 2
add mixed veggies to a food processor with parsley & pulse several time. add beans & pulse a few times more, but don't overdue it! you still want your beans a little chunky.

no. 3
transfer bean mix to a bowl & mix in remaining ingredients. 

no. 4
butter your aformentioned skillet & turn to medium heat.
cook patties until browned on each side {about 6 minutes total}

we actually did these different this time. we normally just eat them kind of like above. on hamburger buns with mayo, tomato & whatever else.
but its winter. & everyone knows that tomatoes are disgusting in the wintertime. so we opted for sun dried tomatoes, roasted bell peppers. & mayo. oh. & cheese. & it was grand :)

this recipe makes about 5 patties. you can double, cook & freeze them super easily too. & just thaw & heat up again on the stove. lots of possibilities...

Jan 7, 2011

{friday flickr faves}

several friends of mine are sharing flickr pictures they love on fridays. hence the post title.
i thought i would join in this week :)

October 13, 2010


Jan 6, 2011

{my secret project}

yesterday mid-afternoon, after a sleepy spell, i was hit with this unbelievable burst of energy.
i think it was the chia seeds. i had kind of forgotten about them with the move & all & they were just rediscovered yesterday morning. i put about a tablespoon of them in my yogurt.

 so anyways, i went up into the attic to put a few last christmas things away & decided on a project. so i did prep work yesterday, like scraping the crackled walls, vacuuming & taping edges. it was a surprise, too. i kept it a secret from daniel for a whole 24 hours. he will be so surprised. i can't wait :)
 & this morning i began the painting.

i am kicking myself for not putting this on my 23 before 23 list. it would have been nice to cross something else off!

so here are pictures. they turned out kind of fun, i think. i just got a new camera, & my lens is being different now because of the full frame, i'm pretty sure. but i like it :)

so here is our attic entry. 
creepy! the picture on the right looks like its straight out of an old alfred hitchcock movie. you can't deny it.

& ta-da!

much much better :)
i think i will like going up to the attic a lot more now.

{mexican rice}

i've been realizing that it is nearly impossible for me to exactly follow a recipe.
so if you were to look for where i originally got this recipe for mexican rice, you probably wouldn't recognize it. maybe thats a cool thing, because it means i'm figuring out what foods i like & how i like to cook, but maybe it means that i am horrible at following directions. i am horrible at following directions, actually.

so here it is.

3 tablespoons of coconut oil
2 cups of basmati rice {you could substitute for brown or whatever else, really}
1 onion, chopped
3 cups of water
1/2 of a 15 oz. can of fire roasted tomatoes
1 tbsp of garlic, diced
1 tbsp of chili powder or mexican style seasoning if you have it
1 cup of frozen veggie {i used corn + peas}
1/4 cup of chicken broth powder {i was out & i haven't used this yet. so it would probably make it even more tasty if you want…if you are adding liquid, just substitute for water}

no. 1
okay. so theres two different ways to do the rice. i do both, depending on what kind of mood i'm in.
you can soak your rice. for about 6 hours. put your rice in a bowl, just cover with filtered water & add 2 tbsp of an acidic medium. i would suggest either apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. then drain & continue with recipe.

no. 2
if you skip this, just add dry rice to a pan with coconut oil & your onion. if you don't skip this, do the same. & continue to saute until the rice begins to just brown a bit.

no. 3
add water, tomatoes {& optional broth}. 

bring to a boil on medium heat & then simmer until the water cooks down to about rice level.

no. 5
reduce heat to low & cover until water is gone.

in case you are new, this goes with my enchilada recipe here.
& i normally have pictures. sorry!

Jan 5, 2011

{enchiladas + homemade sauce}

i have had some good luck with my recipe picking lately. & i think two little peoples jeans are starting to get a little tighter because of it, but oh has it been worth it.

also: eating yummy food means that i haven't been waiting around to take pictures of it. we just kind of pig out first, & if we have any leftovers, it gets a picture. maybe.

so here are more leftovers! enchiladas with red sauce + mexican rice. all jumbled together thanks to our toaster oven :)

for the enchilada sauce:
{please o please make this if you don't do anything else. i've never had anything so delicious & it takes just minutes to make. there is enough sauce to make about 3 meals worth for us, so i freeze what we dont use in freezer bags. about 2 cups per bag?}

1/4 cup of coconut oil {or olive oil}
2 tablespoons of flour
1/4-ish cup of chili powder
1 can of tomato paste 
{the recipe actually calls for 8 oz. of tomato sauce, but when do i ever read directions well? & it was excellent with tomato paste. so i'm sticking to it.}
1 1/2 cups of water
1/4 tsp of ground cumin
2 garlic cloves
1 tbs of agave nectar or honey
 {optional, but it gives it a wonderful, subtle sweet taste}
salt to taste

all you need to do is:
heat coconut oil in a pot over medium until it melts & stir in flour & chili powder. then add remaining ingredients. stir until smooth. 5-10 minutes.

for the enchiladas:

1 large onion
3 garlic cloves
about 3 cups of your enchilada sauce {give or take a little…}
2 cups of blackbeans
2 cups of meat (ground, shredded…whatever you want!}
1-2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese
12 corn or flour tortillas

no. 1
cook onion & garlic until tender in coconut or olive oil. remove from heat.

no. 2
put a thin layer of enchilada sauce in a 9x13 pan. now take a tortilla & fill with onion, black beans, meat & cheese. roll & place in pan. repeat & top with the rest of your enchilada sauce & cheese. cover pan with tin foil.

no. 3
pre-heat oven to 350 & cook for 30-35 minutes.

serve with mexican rice {will post tomorrow}, sour cream, guacamole, chips & salsa & whatever else & enjoy your mexican fiesta!

Jan 4, 2011

{i am boycotting new years resolutions}

how many people did even two of their new years resolutions last year?
can you even remember your resolutions last year?
{wait, yes. i blogged them & kind of did the working out one. until a few months ago. semi-fail.}

i think, for me at least, this just proves how undisciplined i can be. new years is a great time to think about new goals & things you want to accomplish or improve in, but if you only take the time to think about these things on new year's your likelihood to succeed is probably next to none.

wow. what a debbie downer today. sorry!

so basically. i don't want new years resolutions. i want a year full of re-evaluating what i want to change. what daniel & i together want to change. to acknowledge what we're doing well, or okay or not so great & not just at the beginning of the year.

& this year, my list is a little different, anyways. its not just a new resolve to work out or continue to eat better, which are both great things. but they're also very big things. they're lifestyle changes. & some of the things i want to do this year aren't quite that life-changing. there are some fun things on my list too.
at least they are fun to me :)

one thing that helps me is to physically have my list written down somewhere where i wont lose it over the course of the year.

i looooove making lists. so having one long one that will last me all year is kind of a dream come true in a really weird, type-a kind of way. so here is my list. i'm turning twenty-three at the end of the year, so i've made a list of twenty-three things i'd like to do. & its in a large, spiral binder that has everything in in. recipes, my little weekly schedule stuff, shopping list, monthly meal plans - so i am NOT loosing it.
i guess some of them could require a bit of explaining, but i'll just do that as i actually finish them :)

Jan 3, 2011

{2 cents project}

i never posted this from back in november. its just been sitting in my drafts box. & even though its so late, i wanted to share it all the same. it was such a wonderful day.

the weekend before thanksgiving, daniel & i helped with a project my friend briauna & her friend amanda started.
it was initially a school project i think. but they just totally made it into something amazing.
way beyond any project.

so let me be honest here.
i was nervous about this.
i wasn't chomping at the bit to reach out to homeless people. a part of me did. & a lot of me didn't just because its uncomfortable.
daniel has always had such a heart for them. & it scared me to do this sort of thing.
which is why i'm really really glad i did it.

but when the day of actually came around, the lord totally calmed my heart & replaced all of the worry & anxiety with compassion.
i don't think daniel & i will ever forget this day for as long as we live.
it was so amazing to be apart of something so outside of ourselves & our little world.
it was completely eye opening & made my heart so grateful for the overabundance of things we have.

i could type on forever & ever about what all happened & how faithful the lord was, but just a few things happened that were amazing i want to share:

-we had to change the location for this event less than 24 hours before it happened.
flyers had been handed out, it had been advertised for, but when we were told we couldn't do it where we had planned, in spite of all of that, when we went out to give people flyers that day, everyone already knew about it & where it would be! it was amazing. there really wasn't even a need for us to tell anyone.

-over 350 people showed up. WAY more than we had expected. & we were sure we didn't have enough food & coats for them all, but at the end of the day we ended up with 1 extra plate of food & 4 extra coats.

here is the lady of the day who put SO much hard work into this!
don't you just love her already? the woman beside her, cleo, spread the word & helped bring a lot of the people that were there! she also graced us with a tour of her 'home' at the end of the day that i still don't even have words for. she had a beautiful view of downtown & had made little gardens & a make-shift bbq. it was actually really magical.

this man completely melted my heart. daniel talked to him for a long time outside before we got him to join us indoors. he was out in the cold with only a tank top on & had recently been stabbed on the side of his head there. he just absolutely began weeping once he came inside & people were caring & praying for him.
its hard to keep it all together in times like that!

these two guys hung out with us for the entire day. at the event. at chipotle. they are vagabonds who were making their way across the country & just happened to be in charlotte.
or not so much. jack (right) became a christian the next day when a few of the volunteers picked him & his friend up for church.

here are just a few of the girls that volunteered.

& a few of the guys.

& that was our saturday before thanksgiving! we would love to continue doing things like this in the coming years. i think we will :)