Category Archives: Uncategorized

Good read: Parables

I have to admit, it took me awhile to get through this book – life has been crazy. But one of the things I’ve loved about reading Parables is that it is really enjoyable in small segments. I’m not usually one to read a book over a long stretch of time and take breaks to read other things, but this is definitely perfect if that’s you’re reading style. I’d compare it best to being like a devotional. And seriously, how great is this cover?! It makes for great reference material whether you are a scholar of the Bible, or just wanting to start a deeper dive into Jesus’ teachings. There is something for everyone in this book. The way MacArthur explains the intentions behind Jesus’ use of parables was so eye-opening. He doesn’t shy away from addressing the controversy about why and how Jesus taught through parables. As MacArthur says, “A parable is an ingeniously simple word picture illuminating a profound spiritual lesson.” A parable always makes a comparison between something commonplace and some truth in the spiritual realm. Jesus did not invent the form, though certainly he mastered it like no one else before or since.

If you find time to read this book, I hope you find it as informative and illuminating as I did!

 

Great reads: Anything by Jennie Allen

I have been a follower of the IF:Gathering revolution that Jennie founded — it has been gaining lots of attention this past year, so when I saw this book pop up in my suggested reads, I couldn’t get my hands on it fast enough! Jennie’s story about how her prayer of “anything” changed her and her family’s lives was honest, humorous, tender, unfiltered, and inspiring. You will feel like you are having a deep and powerful conversation with a best friend while you read this. As Jennie prays in the book “I don’t want to make decisions based on my adequacy and capacity. I don’t want to miss what God has for us because I’m afraid.” It God keeps drawing your heart to find more, to dig deeper, to stop living life safe and comfortable, then I strongly suggest you grab this book and let it be like a comforting and encouraging voice of a friend alongside you as you let go of what binds you here and free yourself up for the glory from above.

IMG_2832.JPG

IMG_2841.JPG

IMG_2842.JPG

IMG_2839.JPG

IMG_2843.JPG

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

October in pictures

I do not know where October went! So much fabulous stuff happened so I’ll just have to share the month in photos 🙂

October started off with a trip home to Sarasota for the wedding weekend of one of my best friends! The same friend who we went to Nashville for the bachelorette weekend in September!

IMG_9316.JPG

A lovely day at the beach on the day before the wedding.

IMG_9320.JPG

Beautiful rehearsal dinner at The Old Salty Dog. Seriously, this view.

IMG_9324.JPG

Quick pic with the bride!

IMG_9325.JPG

Enjoying what would be a beautiful sunset!

IMG_9349.JPG

The PARTY BAG on wedding day! 🙂

IMG_9338.JPG IMG_9385.JPG

Getting ready for the wedding! And more and more champagne 🙂

IMG_9397.JPG

Bridal Party pics!

IMG_9361.JPG

With the bride!! Such a beautiful wedding and lovely evening!

IMG_9360.JPG

The view from the Sarasota Yacht Club cannot be beat!

IMG_9376.JPG

Built in a couple extra days to the weekend so that I could grab up some family time. Here is a styling pic of me and my niece!

 

 

IMG_9368.JPG

Ava loves Stella & Dot! What a cutie!

IMG_9474.JPG

I love this girl so much!

IMG_9407.JPG

After arriving back in DC I was treated to the honor or celebrating war veterans who were coming in for a trip to visit DC and the war memorials through Honor Flight. I love this program and the great work they do.

IMG_9435.JPG

Back in DC the temps were working their way towards really feeling like fall! I was loving this new elephant print shirt!

 

IMG_9485.JPG

And another great elephant day! This time with a new Wishing Bracelet from Stella & Dot

IMG_9503.JPG

Then the weekend after the wedding — the Army 10 Miler!! My 8th year running it, and one of the most beautiful (though chilly) days I can remember on race day!

IMG_9502.JPG

IMG_9521.JPG

October = officially time for Pumpkin Lasagna!!! And I finally got a decent looking picture of it!!

IMG_9511.JPG

The great Pumpkin Food Journey also included this tasty find at Target!

 

IMG_9536.JPG

Loving these new Inspiration Bangles from Stella & Dot too! Love, Always, or Blessed — each one is inscribed in 5 languages.

IMG_9537.JPG

Apple Cider at Trader Joes!!!! Always perfect for a little apple cider sangria!

IMG_9539.JPG

One of the best parts of fall! Tiny pumpkins! (or whatever they are) — they are one of my favorite things!

IMG_9538.JPG

Seriously, Trader Joes. I love you.

IMG_9626.JPG

IMG_9623.JPG

Another adorable Wishing Bracelet from Stella & Dot! These beauties are only $19!

IMG_9655.JPG

Showing off my elephant Jamberry custom!

IMG_9603.JPG

I’m in love with this beautiful metallic scarf from Stella & Dot !!

IMG_9674.JPG

Skinny Pumpkin Butterscotch Blondies for our annual Fall Dessert Party!

 

IMG_9569.JPG

Found some apple cider donuts at a farmers market!

IMG_9779-0.JPG

Love me some Halloween candy!!

IMG_9792.JPG

Loved this quote to sum up my October!

IMG_9695.JPG

Cozy fall nights call for chili and pumpkin cornbread!

IMG_9824-0.JPG

Beautiful view of fall right outside my front door!

Bachelorette Nashville weekend

October?! Already?! When did that happen?! Oh my goodness, the year if flying by way too quickly! The only thing that makes it ok is that this is pretty much my favorite time of the year.

September was jam-packed with lots of great things. I am sitting in the airport right now waiting to board a plane to Florida for the wedding weekend of one of my best and longest friends! We have been friends since 1st grade! That is 24 years, people! I can’t wait to celebrate her more this weekend. But here are some highlights from our girls weekend in Nashville a couple weeks ago 🙂

20141002-061414.jpg

20141002-061435.jpg
We ate awesome food all weekend. We rented a house in the 12th South neighborhood which was super close walking distance to

20141002-061521.jpg

20141002-061544.jpg

20141002-061601.jpg

20141002-061629.jpg

20141002-061655.jpg

20141002-061727.jpg

20141002-061745.jpg

20141002-061805.jpg

20141002-061816.jpg

20141002-061829.jpg

20141002-061839.jpg

20141002-061854.jpg

20141002-061908.jpg

20141002-061946.jpg

20141002-061959.jpg

20141002-062037.jpg

20141002-062100.jpg

20141002-062117.jpg

20141002-062200.jpg

20141002-062215.jpg

20141002-062233.jpg

20141002-062242.jpg

20141002-062318.jpg

1st Birthday Smash Cake!

I had the special pleasure of getting to make a smash cake for my dear friend Lisa’s sweet sweet baby girl Evelyn who turned 1 last week! I love this little girl so much — she is so angelic and always has the best smiles to share. Here are some awesome pictures that Lisa’s photographer Jamie Brys Photography took of the big smash moment!!

 

Image

Image

Image

 

 

Christmas treats and cookies!

I have been busy baking for a cookie exchange at work and putting together some little treats for my coworkers. Last year I made these which were a huge hit so I tried to think of something that would be equally fun, and I can came up with a holiday s’more goodie bag using Christmas Peeps. So excited to start handing these out today!Here is the file I created for the ziploc bag tags — hope it works! Feel free to edit and use 🙂 Doc3

 

Eggnog Thumbprints with Rum Cream Frosting

20131218-084405.jpg

(adapted from Taste of Home)

Cookies

2/3 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs, separated

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 cup of finely chopped walnuts

Frosting

6 tbsp butter, softened

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/4 tsp rum extract

2-4 tsp milk

2 drops yellow food coloring, optional

Directions

1. Cream together butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Then beat in egg yolks and vanilla (set egg whites aside for later). In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, and nutmeg. Gradually add the flour mixture into the butter and sugar mixture, and mix until combined thoroughly. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy. Form the dough into small 1″ balls (about 1 tsp). Dip into egg whites then roll in walnut pieces making sure the walnut pieces are secure to dough. Place the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat. Using your finger, make an indentation in the center of each ball of dough. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the center is set. Place on wire racks to cool.

3. To make the filling, combine the butter, confectioners’ sugar, extract, and the milk (slowy at the milk to get a piping consistency). Add food coloring if desired. Pipe or spread into the center of each cookie.

Yields about 48 cookies.

And the Oreo White Chocolate Peppermint Pudding Cookies came from this great blog: http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/oreo-white-chocolate-pudding-peppermint-cookies/

 

20131218-084417.jpg

20131218-084435.jpg

20131218-084524.jpg

20131225-130647.jpg