Friday, January 13, 2012

My Two Cents

So I have failed again. Another month without a blog post. Oh well, I am coming to terms that it's just going to be like this from now on.

I just had the urge to give my take on Tim Tebow. I know many people are getting sick of hearing about him, so if you are one of them you can stop reading now.

I will be the first to admit I have jumped on the Bronco's bandwagon. And for good reason. I think Tim Tebow is just awesome. And I don't know why everyone else doesn't think the same thing. We finally have someone setting a positive example in America, and the media is bashing him because he "isn't the quintessential quarterback." Who cares?! Now I know I'm not exempt from talking about completely meaningless topics like The Bachelor or the Kardashians, but the media can talk about the most ridiculous things for months, and people are already sick of hearing about a good thing such as Tebow. They bash him because he outwardly speaks of his love for Jesus Christ, but they have no problem talking about all the affairs going on with presidential candidates and celebrities. They make fun of him because he prays and gives God all the glory for his accomplishments, yet those who rap about having sex with girls and getting wasted are glorified for mentioning God's name on the podium at an award's ceremony.

It's sad to think our society has come to a point that when there is someone being an actual role model for young men in America, they are focused on how he isn't that great of a quarterback or that he talks about Jesus too much. I overheard a conversation the other day when someone said Tebow really needed to tone down the "God thing" so that he doesn't offend anyone. And I wanted to say how ridiculous I thought that was. I say, if your offended by it, don't watch it. But there is no reason why he should quiet himself. He has an amazing opportunity to be a light on a platform such as the NFL and he is using it as much as he can. There is not one game he walks off the field without giving God the Glory. And I think that is part of why the media doesn't like him. They don't like that he actual does well, and makes it clear it is God working through him, not himself alone.

And it really makes me sad to hear people degrade the values he has. "There is no way he is a virgin. You think a guy like that hasn't hooked up with tons of girls?" Yes, actually I believe he hasn't. It makes me so sad to hear comments like that, and to be reminded that our society is at the point of devaluing saving yourself for marriage. I already pray for our future children and the challenges they will face in the years to come.

I know the game against the Patriots will be a long shot, but regardless of how the rest of Tebow's season goes, I think he has done an amazing job at using his gifts from God's glory. Especially college athletes need to look at Tim Tebow as a real life example of what being an athlete really is. Needless to say, I hope they keep talking about Tim Tebow for a long time.

And that's my 2 cents about that.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Cake

This has become my most recent obsession and I think I am declaring it my signature cake. I think you have to completely create something from scratch to call it your "Signature" dish, but I'm going with it anyways. I found this recipe on Pinterest and have been in love ever since. It's pretty easy to make and it is delicious! But I've decided whenever I'm asked to bring something to a party or just feel like baking, this will most likely be it.

There are 3 Steps.

First, start with the cake batter.
In a mixing bowl, combine the following ingredients.
- 3 cups of flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla

After everything is mixed, slowly stir in 1/2 cup of melted butter. Then pour batter into a 9x13 greased pan.

Then mix the topping.
- 1 cup of softened butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 1 tbsp cinnamon

The first time I accidentally put white sugar in and it gave it a little crunch. I liked that so I have continued to do that.

Drop the topping evenly over the batter and swirl in with a knife. Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes, depending on your oven. It is a pretty thick batter so mine usually takes the full time.

While it is baking, mix up the glaze.
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 5 tbsp. milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla.
- 1 tbsp cinnamon (original recipe doesn't call for this, but I think it adds to it.)

While the cake is still warm drizzle the glaze over the cake. It is best if served warm. And trust me, you won't be disappointed. I will definitely be making this for my family when we're home for Christmas!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Thankful Thanksgiving

HOLY CRAP!! I have a blog? WHAT?!

Yes, it has been quite a while. I don't know if I completely forgot about the fact that I started this blog, or if I have just been ignorant and hoping it would keep up to date on my life on it's own, but I'm back. I know I have said it before..but I am going to try harder at staying on top of this.

I don't know about you, but this Thanksgiving I was extra thankful. This year has been filled with so much and I had time to reflect on that during this Thanksgiving. I know Thanksgiving shouldn't be the only day of the year we are all thankful, but it does draw our attention to the blessings in our lives. Thinking back since last year's Thanksgiving I realize how blessed I really am.

This year, I am thankful for a new family to spend Thanksgiving with. It is not easy, at all, to be away from my family on holidays, but it is part of what comes with living on the other side of the country from home. With the blessing of marriage with Alex I have gained a new family to celebrate and feel at home with.

Of course, I could not have this new family without the blessings of my husband since June. Yes, he drives me crazy, but I could not imagine my life without him. I am thankful I not only call him my husband, but my best friend. And I am so excited for many Thanksgivings to come to celebrate as our own family.

I am thankful for my loving parents and my amazing sister. Our family always says we are blessed to not only have a family that loves each other, but we actually like each other. We really enjoy being around each other and spending time together and I cannot wait to have that time with them this Christmas.

I'm thankful for such amazing friends. It's hard graduating college, getting married, and realizing I can't share clothes with my roommate anymore. No, I don't just miss living with them for things I need, but I miss that constant companionship we had. Through this transition in my life I've noticed how great my friends really are. It would be easy for our relationships to change with the ebbs and flows in our lives, but the times I do get with them is no less greater then the last. And for that I am grateful.

I am thankful for Alex's and my job. Serving is not glamorous by any means, but I am thankful for it in this tough economy. And I am thankful for the home we have at Asbury. Not only for the amazing team Alex has, but for the wonderful coaches and their families that we are surrounded by.

I pray I continue to remind myself of all these blessings in my life even when it might not be easy to see all of them. Sometimes it is easy to let the little things in life get you down and overshadow these amazing gifts you do have. There are so many situations that can be going on around us, but it the midst of it all there is a true joy that only the Lord can give us. "Happiness is because of circumstances. Joy is in spite of circumstances."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Pinterest Obsession.

So clearly it's been a while. I think I forgot I even had a blog. But, I'm back. There just hasn't been a lot going on in the last month. Well, a lot has been going on, which has left less time to blog. And I think my obsession with Pinterest has taken away some of that time too!

I'm pretty sure almost everyone I know is on Pinterest, but if you're not you are seriously missing out. I never knew I could be so creative until I joined Pinterest! I thought I would share some of my favorite DIY tricks I have learned. I haven't tried them yet, because I haven't had the time, but I seriously intend to!

So I think this idea is adorable! Not only does it serve as a little decoration and a reflection of your home's style, but it can also keep you on schedule and organized. I am a HUGE list maker. If it isn't on a list, I probably won't get it done. So I think this idea would be very fitting for my home.

Now is it ironic I LOVE this idea? It can't be very hard and looks so sweet. You could really use any letter and any colors to put in your house, and I think I already know where I want to put mine!

So this isn't exactly a very easy job, but it seems rewarding and less expensive than buying a rug this cute. She started with a rug from IKEA and then found a stencil that she likes. Then she cut out the stencil and traced it on the carpet. The tedious task came when the painting started. But needless to say, I think it came out great. And I might actually try it one weekend.

Well, I need to go for now, but I will plan on being back more often :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Simple and Delicious

Alex has this amazing app on his iPad called Recipe Book that not only can I input recipes I like, but I can also go online and directly download recipes off sites like Martha Stewart and Epicurious. My favorite site is Martha Stewart. She has awesome recipes. My favorites are her "Lighter" recipes. And "Lighter Sesame Chicken" is at the top of that list! I have made it twice, and of course the second time around is a lot easier than the first. But it was still a pretty simple to make! And I highly suggest it!

You will need:
  • 3/4 cup rice
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped or crushed with a garlic press
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as safflower
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds broccoli, cut into large florets, stems peeled and thinly sliced

1. Cook rice in rice cooker or pot on the stove.

2. In a small bowl, combine honey, sesame seeds, soy sauce, and garlic. In large bowl, whisk together egg whites and cornstarch. Cut up chicken and coat with the egg white and cornstarch mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. In a large non-stick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken and cook til golden brown on both sides. Usually about 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate and then cook the rest of the chicken.

4. While chicken is cooking, chop scallions.

5. Return the rest of the chicken to the skillet and add the reserved sauce and chopped scallions.

6. Meanwhile, steam broccoli for about 4 to 6 minutes.

Serve chicken with broccoli and rice. I hope you enjoy! It is lighter than the deep fried sesame chicken from the local chinese hot spot and just as good. If not better :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sweet Southern Charm

Ok, so I know it's been awhile. It's almost like I forgot I had a blog!

I have recently become obsessed with all thing southern. By all things southern I mean, design and architecture. I haven't adopted an accent, even though some say I have, or been saying ya'll. I know plenty of sweet people that do, but it will never roll off my tongue quite the same way.

Over our honeymoon I read The Help. I'm sure you've heard about it before, but it is amazing. READ IT! I also went and saw the movie this week and loved it. Like reading any book before seeing a movie, I was constantly comparing. But overall they did a really good job. There is just so much background in the book that couldn't be included for time. So I would suggest reading and watching!

With all that said, The Help sparked my interest in southern life and architecture. Nate Berkus helped a little bit as well. He did a special show on The Help because he was a producer on the film. Part of the show was called House Proud. They feature homes around the country that are original and have a special touch. The home they featured was amazing! It was an extremely old and dilapidated home, built in late 1790's, that this family had renovated. They renovated it to keep the look and style of the original home. So it looked gorgeous! The used a special paint to show the original paint on the walls, so it still had the same feel. However, I would not be able to live in it! Number 1, they said it was a little creepy because it was so old. Number 2, they have minimal electricity because they could only add so much wiring and everything to the structure. So they use a lot of candles. Which I'm sure is beautiful and romantic, but can get a little creepy to me. :) But anyways, it was amazing.

This is what the house originally looked like.

Part of the renovation on the inside

Isn't this gorgeous?

This is the link if you want to see a clip of the show of this House Proud!
And here is a link to a magazine that featured it's renovation:

I was talking with Alex about this house and we were talking about how cool it would be to fix up an old house. I just think that would be such a fun experience together. I doubt we would take on a task that big anytime soon. But the thought of it is cool, right?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I Want To Be Friends With...

Nate Berkus. So for real, has anyone watched his show? Since I am currently unemployed I have had the wonderful opportunity to watch morning shows. Great, right? Most of the time I go work out in the mornings, but sometimes I get to catch some of the shows that are on and Nate Berkus is by far my favorite right now. Im sure my parents will be happy to know that's how I'm spending my mornings, but it is what it is.

Anyways, he is awesome. First of all, he seems like the nicest person. In most of the segments of his show he is always doing things for other people. I know that sounds stupid, but if you watch the show you would understand what I'm getting at, maybe. But he just seems like a really nice person. Second, he has the BEST ideas. Anything he looks at can either be used in some setting of your home, wardrobe, or it is cheap! He is always bringing other creative people on the show to share their cheap, creative ideas as well. Almost anything you give to him, he could transform into the prettiest piece ever! People will bring random finds from yard sales and thrift stores to him to be transformed and they all end up looking so expensive and unique. I know he has a team of people helping him as well, but I'm just enthralled every time I watch the show.

It makes me so excited to eventually have our own home and be able to try some of his tricks. We're about at our max for anything to come into this little duplex of ours! Like I said in the last post, I am not super creative but want to start trying things because it can potentially save a lot of money in decorating and give your home a unique looks that really no one else has.

He is always offering budget-friendly ideas. This was a segment he did with a couple on a budget and how he re-did their bedroom. The headboard is literally plywood covered with fabric. And the side tables are off eBay that he repainted. How cute is that?

Ok, so enough of my rant and rave about Nate Berkus. I just wanted to share some of his awesome ideas!  I know that I'll definitely keep up on his ideas and hopefully be able to actually use some of them within the next few years! For now, I may just try little ones. :)