Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

David and I are in Santa Rosa for Christmas visiting my sister and her husband, Seth. I can't even express how incredible it is to have family so nearby and to have been given 3 days off in a row so we could make the drive!

So far, it's been epic. David surprised me with a shopping spree to H&M, then dinner out at a darling place in Healdsburg called Willi's Seafood and Raw Bar. The next morning, we joined the Seth's family for breakfast out which included eggnog waffles. Mmm.

Tonight, we introduced Hope and Seth to our Christmas Eve tradition of making special drinks. Drink of choice: hot-buttered rum!

The night was topped off with a heart-warming viewing of "White Christmas." Sigh!

So far, one of the best Christmases yet.

Sweater: Roxy, Navy Pleather Pants: TJ Maxx, Boots: Target, Scarf: H&M, Gold watch: JC Penney, Lip: Mac "Stay in Touch"

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Breakfast: Part 3


Behold, the creme-de-la-creme of breakfasts: Granola!

Granola holds a special place in my heart (right alongside Broadway musicals and nerdy dancing). Here's the thing: I grew up with this jewel of breakfasts, thus my amorous delight. My Mom would make a fresh batch probably every week for her swarm of children. Armed with yogurt every morning for breakfast, the option was... granola. Before bedtime if we were hungry, the option was... granola. And when late afternoon snack cravings kicked in, my neighbor friends and I would eat... yup! Granola.

At the time, I was slightly embarrassed by this strange fixture in my household. No other families I knew ate it. And to my profound relief, ALL the neighbor kids ADORED it. I think my Mom had an uncanny understanding of health which I readily took for granted, but my friends craved.

Now years later, my sister, sister-in-law, and I proudly carry on the tradition by regularly mixing up batches for our little families!

My pioneering Mom has handed down her passion for eating well. Someday, my children may also look at me strangely. But I know that they, too, will thank me later.

Thanks, Mama!


If you want to crisp the granola, preheat oven to 325 degrees. It's really wonderful either way, but I prefer raw. It's a bit chewier and much healthier for you.

9 c. rolled oats
2 c. oat bran
1 c. wheat bran or Psyllium
1 c. dry milk
1 1/2 c. whey powder
1 c. unsweetened coconut
1 1/2 T. cinnamon
(In an effort to stay away from dairy, I replace the dry milk with milled flax seeds for additional fiber)

Mix. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients. Then, pour honey,oil, and molasses into dry ingredients.

1 1/2 c. olive oil or coconut oil
1 1/2 c. honey
1/4 c. molasses (blackstrap)
(I've also been adding 1-2 t. vanilla to mine. You can never go wrong with vanilla!)


dried fruit

For those crisping, bake for 7 minutes, then stir. Bake 5 more minutes. Remove, let coolfor 7 min.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Breakfast: Part 2

As I promised, here is my continuation on healthy breakfast options!

As many of you know, David and I are in school, thus the need for grab-n-go breakfasts. However, I'm not willing to sacrifice health in the name of expediency. We've really been attempting to create healthy eating habits (rather than dieting), such as cooking with coconut oil instead of olive oil, using maple syrup to sweeten coffee, etc.

I found this recipe for Muffin Quiches on Now, I love muffins. But usually, muffins don't love me back. I find that too much refined starch in my life (ie. pasta, breads, etc) creates much regret. However, with this version, they included almond flour as a substitute for regular flour (almonds are a fabulous source of healthy fats) as well as cottage cheese and a lot eggs (which provide a great source of protein). Thus, these muffins provide a lovely balance of protein, healthy carbs (I usually add spinach), and fats (not all fat is bad for you). From their recipe, I quickly realized it could provide a brilliant base with numerous options of additions! I'll include my basic recipe modifications and then what I added for today's version.

1 c. cottage cheese
1 1/4 c. almond flour
1 t. baking powder
1/4 c. water
4 eggs
1 t. salt

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Mix all ingredients together.
3. Spoon into lined muffin tin (I find the muffin liners still need cooking spray)
4. Bake for 25 mins or until golden brown on top.

Today, I added sauteed onions, 2 T. basil pesto, fresh basil, 1/2 t. garlic powder, spinach, and about 1/4 c. shredded cheese.

The beautiful thing about this recipe is that you can truly make it as healthy as you want. For example, if I was particularly strict, I certainly wouldn't have included cheese or the pesto (lots of oil). However, I feel that little leniencies can certainly benefit a healthy lifestyle (so you don't feel completely deprived, then binge later).

Another option I'm experimenting with: substituting the water and half the cottage cheese with applesauce, substituting 1/2 the almond flour with oat bran, adding cinnamon and nutmeg, and chunks of apples. Mmmm.

Bon Appetit!


Shhh, don't tell anyone!
The other day, my husband and I cut class for ten minutes and took a walk alongside Sacramento River.

For those of you who don't know, David and I are attending Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. It's a school that is equipping us with all sorts of fun things, such as how to know the Lord in a more intimate way, how to see people healed, and how to live an all around life filled with the love and power of God!

To describe what school is doing in our lives feels impossible. Let's just say, it has changed us forever. But more on that later.

That day, I was feeling extra trendy. I started with a pair of black leggings (Target: $4) Leggings are such a key piece for this fall season. They are a perfect way to extend your summer wardrobe, as you can see! Then, I simply did what any girl would do: I layered and layered! Starting with rust shorts (TJ Maxx: $12), a black tank top (Forever 21: $4) and cream loose blouse (For Elyse: $25), I finished with my black lace blazer (Rue 21: $20) and t-strap heels (Payless: $20). 

Again, I am living proof that you don't have to spend a fortune to feel fabulous. Of course, standing next to a California river in 80 degree weather during late October sure doesn't hurt either.

I've got a Plan.

The music turns dramatic. The protagonist, just a moment earlier had been hunched over, examining the task at hand, completely befuddled, while the secondary characters all look around, worry lines creasing their foreheads. All of a sudden, our hero looks up, an epiphany clearly having just struck their genius mind. "Don't worry, I've got a plan..."

Isn't that always the case? I have seen so many movies with that exact scenario played out. There's an overwhelming problem, just when everyone feels they've gotten past all their hurdles on the road to their destiny or whatever the end of the movie holds. We all, as the audience, try not to get pulled into their drama, we know it's all gonna work out. But still, it's so relatable. We quietly inch to the edge of our seats, thinking, "How are they going to get out of THIS one?"

"Don't worry. I've got a plan."

This statement, no matter how predictable in a movie, somehow calms. I don't know about you, but every time I hear it said, I seem to feel my insides relax. I can breathe again, knowing that my friend on-screen has it all sorted out and will find their happy ending.

I'm sure the reason this very scenario is so over-used in Hollywood is because we all can relate. I mean, we really can. Something goes wrong in our own lives (whether it be a loved one who is sick or just a bad day) and we all want someone to come to us and say, "Don't worry, I've got a plan."

This morning, sipping coffee and munching on granola, I was spending time with Jesus. He really is my favorite. And he was talking to me about life. About finances. About future. And he said to me, with a glint in his eyes: "I've got a plan." I just about giggled with the cheesiness of it, reminded of all those scenarios in Hollywood films. My God was coming to me as a dramatic hero! But at the same time, my heart felt assured. And I knew He did. He had a plan. Everything was good. I love how God meets me in my sense of humor.

Jesus often comes to me when I’m spending time with him and reminds me of what he’s got in store for me. Sweet surprises around every corner, financial provision ALWAYS... just GOOD stuff.

God once gave me a picture about a boardwalk that he was building. It was my path of life. He had gone WAY ahead of David & I and was standing there, critiquing the work that was being carried out to pave our way. Every board had been precision-cut to fit perfectly. Every nail was made of the sturdiest steel. And there were many turns and bends in the path, because he knows I like variety. And around certain bends, he had set up two little cherubic angels, waiting to surprise me. I asked him who the angels were. And he told me, “Goodness and Mercy.” Haha. I get to be waylaid with such fun along my way. 

And so now, if I ever get that knot in my stomach that says, “Oh, no. There’s no way out! We’ve overcome every obstacle, but this one is just insurmountable.” I can just look to my Jesus-hero and know he’s gonna say with a little dramatic flair: “Don’t worry, I’ve got a plan.”

Breakfast: Part 1

Early mornings can be tough.

But even worse are mornings when you barely have enough time to look presentable, let alone have a decent breakfast that doesn't involve processed sugars and grains (ie. cap'n crunch).

Enter, my attempt at creating a pseudo healthy breakfast.
So far, I have three "go-tos" that work wonders in our grab and go world! I will detail one and show the others at a different time.

First off, I present to you "Blueberry Oatmeal Bake." I found this while browsing Pinterest (imagine that!) and it turned out I be a lovely breakfast. However, I'll use less maple syrup next time because it still turned out a little sweet for my liking. I might also add a little almond flour for the base because it was a little too liquidy. This time, I used almond milk in place of regular milk.

You can find the recipe here:

Just delish! Enjoy!

Fashion Passion.

For weeks, now I can't shake the idea of implementing my passion for fashion. Like many girls, I simply love putting together a cute outfit. But I can't be happy with just buying from the mall. Oh, no. This is an art form. A masterful puzzle. Which pieces do I pull together? In what way?

You see, I'm a firm believer that in order to look fashion-forward, you don't have to spend an arm and a leg. I don't know about you, but for many years, a new "season" would hit and I would wonder how I could possibly keep up. However, I have given up these strivings. Although my shopping budget has not necessarily increased, my mindset has. And now when new seasons come, I get giddy just thinking of all the creative little ways I will expand my wardrobe.

I'd like to share with you my findings and hopefully, along the way, you will develop your own glorious ways to access this wondrous world of beauty and fashion, without spending beyond your means.

Today, I wore a darling little outfit that was extremely fun to put together. I started with a black maxi dress that I had bought on the clearance rack at Target several years ago for $4. I added a Banana Republic blouse from Salvo's ($3), a little boy's belt I probably paid $1 for at Goodwill, and finished it off with a mother-of-pearl bracelet I had paid $4 for from and retro earrings acquired from my mother-in-law. All in all, a thrilling fashion experience for me.

Great Expectations.

Expectations are funny things, dangerously tricky, and often, can be quite misleading.

I can only say that because I've been full of them. Mostly for myself. But also, of hypothetical ones that I have expected others have of me.

When you hold yourself in such demand, expecting to always be everything to everyone, it sets oneself up for great stress. And, boy, have I felt it. I'm not sure where that monster called Great Expectation first reared its ugly head. But somehow, I've convinced myself that if I slip up, even a little, that I have failed miserably. And therein lies the rub.

However, today, I have to say, I think it clicked.

But let me back up just a bit.

I got my wisdom teeth removed 10 days ago. After all the horror stories I'd heard, I thought I was prepared, and at peace. And even after a couple days of sleeping all day, I thought, No biggie. I'll just wait it out.

Yeah, I know. You might be thinking, What do wisdom teeth have to do with any of this? Just hold tight. It'll make sense in a few.

Then, on day 4 and 5, when I thought I should really be feeling better, that's when the proverbial "defecation hit the oscillation," if you know what I mean. My jaw started locking up on its own and I soon barely had any width with which to open my mouth. By days 8 and 9, the effects of the pain medication began to take a toll on my body, which meant, certain processing organs weren't in working order, leading to the most excruciating and fearful state that I have ever experienced.

Needless to say, I felt very humbled.

Today I was able to go to church and interact with my friends again. But this time, I was at peace. It's funny how, when you're brought to such a vulnerable state, you suddenly have nothing to prove. I mean, who in their right mind would expect a girl who can barely open her mouth past 1/2 an inch, to be the life of the party? And, yes... I have had those expectations of myself. Today, I was just me. And I felt loved. Unconditionally. Every person that I saw did and said the same thing. Huge hugs, then, How's your mouth? and We missed you.

And it clicked. I'm the only one who has expectations of myself. I'm clearly loved in any condition. I don't have to put on a show. I don't have to be Miss Bubbly.

Just me. Only me.

And let me just say, I expect that's the best feeling anyone could have.

The Start. Ish.

So. Here goes.

I've never really been one to get caught up in flash fads. Yo-yos... Pogs... Beanie babies. It only seemed fit to ignore the blogging "fad." Except, it has stuck around. And I've realized that this is no crazy fad... I've fallen in love with it as a resource, a creative outlet for writers, and a fresh way of documenting life for future generations.

So, consider this my blogging debut. We shall see how it goes. I've toyed with the idea for some time. There are so many things that feel amazing in my life that I want to chronicle, but I've never had the patience for journaling. However, with pictures and fonts to keep it interesting, blogging seems the ideal answer.

Who knows what this page shall hold? Maybe random thoughts such as these. But mostly, what I hope to capture are significant moments... memories. The story of how my husband and I were brought together. Stories of our future experiences at the Bethel School in Northern California. Things that the Lord teaches me. Anything meaningful. Anything that my future children will cherish. Things that I will never want to forget.

Then again, a good recipe could be unforgettable. Or a quote. Or a post from my husband. Who knows? I've decided to let this thing evolve and not get too caught up in the details.

And so... I allow you a little peek into... our life.

And so it begins. Again.


Well, for those of you who have already seen my other posts under a different name, this new blog may feel like deja-vu.
Perhaps its because I've already posted every one of these blogs.

But, here's the thing. Blogs are meant to develop, to evolve, right?

And, the more I blogged (the whole thing really began as an experiment, not sure if it would take), the more I realized "Our Life" was a title that just didn't cut it. And as it was, the blog was turning into my own pet project, rather than updates on David and my life (which had been my original intent).

You see, I like to daydream, I like to create. But who knows what those daydreams will look like from day-to-day? I like to remain outside of the proverbial box.

Thus, the new name. I'm thrilled. I will continue in my efforts at blogging, but with the proper name in hand, I feel I can conquer the world.