Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday

It is a beautiful day where I'm at... which I am oh so grateful for... but 2013 years ago, at this very time, Jesus was nailed to the cross. For me. For you. For all of us.

It is heartbreaking and depressing that our best friend had to do this. But He knew it was necessary if we would ever be able to spend eternity with Him.

So while this day is not the most joyous, festive-filled day (that is coming in just a day and a half!) it is an amazing day that should not go unnoticed.

Here is a little prayer if you'd like a little remembrance about what today is really all about...

O Jesus, Who by reason of Thy burning love for us 
hast willed to be crucified 
and to shed Thy Most Precious Blood 
for the redemption and salvation of our souls, 
look down upon us here gathered together 
in remembrance of Thy most sorrowful Passion and Death, 
fully trusting in Thy mercy; 
cleanse us from sin by Thy grace, 
sanctify our toil, 
give unto us and unto all those who are dear to us our 
daily bread, 
sweeten our sufferings, 
bless our families, 
and to the nations so sorely afflicted, 
grant Thy peace, 
which is the only true peace, 
so that by obeying Thy commandments 
we may come at last to the glory of heaven.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Whistle While You Work

That's good enough... 
But is it?

Giving your time is great, but is it the best you can do?

Doing a good deed is.. well... good, but is it really good enough?

Are you doing it in love? With joy? Accompanied by a smile?

These are the things that truly matter. This is what make the difference. Any human being with a heartbeat and hands can serve a homeless man a bowl of soup.

It is not the hot meal that comforts the soul, it is the smile and warm conversation. The smile is the lamp through which the light of Jesus can shine onto others. It is the glow in emitted from a true believer in their Savior that lights the darkness in your little corner of the world.
It's like one great Disney Princess said - 
Just whistle while you work! 

Help me today to joyfully shine Your light into the darkness I see each day.

BBQ Beef Lo Mein

This dish was originally meant to have a Chinese-esque flair to it... but this Midwest girl didn't exactly have all the unique ingredients that go into an Asian dish... shocker right? ;)
So it turned into a dish that is having a real identity problem...
"Am I Asian? Or from the country? Do I consider myself BBQ or Teriyaki?"
Let's just go with DELICIOUS!

...So, like any girl would do - I threw stuff in here, little bit there, substituted 'til the cows came home, and thankfully it turned out pretty darn tasty!

This dish has more of a smoky/BBQ flavor... if it was going to be any sort of Asian dish it would definitely be the closest relative of teriyaki if anything...

But no matter what family tree, or country of origin this recipe may or may not fit into - one thing is for certain... IT'S DELICIOUS!
And easy, very very easy to throw together in no time at all!

What you're gonna need~

4oz pasta
6 oz steak (cooked and sliced)
2 cups frozen veggies (California Blend is delish)
1 tbsp each:
-Soy sauce
-BBQ sauce
-Chicken stock
-Brown sugar
pinch of salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper (if you like spice!)
1 tsp. oil of choice (for sautéing garlic and onions)
Garlic (depending on how much you enjoy, my family doesn't really enjoy garlic too much so I used about 1 tsp. minced)
Onions chopped (again, to your liking)
Sesame seeds (opt.)

The drill~
1. Bring a pot of water to boil - add pasta and cook until nearly done, while that is going-mix up your "sauce" aka-the soy, BBQ, chicken stock, brown sugar, salt and pepper (and red pepper if using)
~After pasta is nearly done, drain almost all the pasta water

2. Saute your garlic and onions in a small sauce pan
3. Add sliced steak as well as veggies and cook for a minute or two
4. Add veggies after thawing in microwave if need be
5. Stir fry those all up for another minute or so
6. Add the sauce, pasta and remaining pasta water (I found it easier to add meat/veggies to pasta instead just because I was worried about it all fitting in my baby sized sauce pan!)
7. Let cook a few minutes (about 4 or 5)
8. When everything is hot and mixed together well, and the sauce has thickened and soaked into noodles you're all set!
9. Serve piping hot, and sprinkle with sesame seeds (if you're feeling all sorts of fancy!)

Monday, March 25, 2013


Where do you draw the line between being selfish and selfless?
I always thought it was best to be completely selfless and then I saw this...
Which makes a lot of sense....

So I'm back to the drawing board - where do you draw the line between helping others and taking care of yourself? Making others happy, but also enjoying the life God has placed before you and making yourself happy? 

It is something I know there is not a clear cut answer to, and I'm praying for divine guidance... 

Any thoughts out there?

Well while you're thinking... check out this story of a very selfless police officer! ...we need to hear more stories about the good in the world, and less about the depressing issues... 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

God's House

God is building a house. A house for His love. A house of hope, faith, charity, trust, compassion, and forgiveness will live forever.

While this house may seem impossible, we must remember nothing is impossible for Him.
...After all - Jesus was a carpenter wasn't He? ;)

This house may seem to be at a standstill... not enough builders, enough wood, no nails. But it isn't. Everyday, in some way-shape-or form, it is coming together.

You can choose to be a part of it- A nail in the beams, cement in the foundation, window in the attic.

You can choose to be the storm, the driving winds and crashing rain that stall progress and frustrate the workers.

You can
a) be part of the progress
b) be an idle bystander watching from the house across the street
c) act as a backache in the chief carpenter

With, or without your help, this house will be built. It will be the most adorned, glorious mansion that ever was. It is your choice whether or not you want to be part of the crew that assists in the completion. While it may be difficult, strenuous labor - God can assure you, it is worth it. In the end, those that place their nail into the house will get to live there, forever, with the Master Carpenter Himself.

What do you say?
Will you pick up your hammer and join us?

1 Corinthians 4:12 ~ "We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; When we are persecuted, we endure it;"

hehe, I just LOVE this :)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

"Date" Newton

If you thought this title had something to do with a romantic relationship between me and 'Newton' you are on the wrong post.

....but if you clicked on this post hoping to find a recipe for a "Fig Newton" like cookie, but with a sweet date filling instead - you are in the right place!

These may seem a little difficult, and I won't lie - there are a bunch of steps.. BUT they are all pretty straight forward and difficult to screw up!
Believe me - I tried... 

I got this idea from -, but she used actual figs... and, well-I didn't have any, so what's a girl to do? 
SUBSTITUTE and pray it all works out!

First things first-get 2 tbsp. of ground flax seed soaking in 1/3 cup warm water (this is going to act as your egg in the recipe) 

Meanwhile... cream together brown sugar, butter and yogurt

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. yogurt
3 tbsp. butter

Then add your flax/water mixture

and 2 tbsp. of milk

Now add your tsp. of baking powder, and 1/2 tsp. each of cinnamon, baking soda, and salt

Add your flour- 1 1/2 cups each of whole wheat flour and all-purpose

Mix until a soft dough forms

Then you can get your filling going while the dough is resting in the frig

In a sauce pan combine 1 tbsp. honey, 1 cup water, 1 cup apple juice (or any fruit juice), and 1 1/2 cup dates
Heat on stove until boil, then allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes

Then puree in blender, place back into sauce pan, add 2 tsp. of cornstarch (already mixed with water) and heat again to thicken
Then remove from stove and allow to cool (about 30 minutes)

Take your dough out of the frig, and roll out to about 1/8 inch thickness
*Preheat oven to 350*
You will want a rectangle that is 12 inches tall (will probably be 20 inches or so wide)

Cut strips of dough that are 4 inches wide (and then of course 12 inches tall)

Place your cooled filling in the center and roll up both sides.
Pinch together to seal the dough and cut into cookie sized pieces

Bake in a 350* oven for 20-ish minutes (until they are golden)

Remove and enjoy with a BIG glass of milk

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp. ground flax
1/3 cup warm water
3 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. yogurt
1/2 cup + 2 T brown sugar
2 tbsp. milk
1 1/2 cups dates
1 tbsp. honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup water
1 cup apple juice
2 tsp. cornstarch

Monday, March 18, 2013

Taco Pasta

What do you get when an Olive Garden receives Taco Bell's shipment of ingredients?

There's a short little clip about the steps of taco pasta... as you can see it's pretty darn simple. It's also a great roll-over meal to have after you make tacos!

What you're going to need (for 3-4 servings)
-2 cups dry pasta (whole wheat works great)
-1/2 cup ground beef
-1/2 cup beans (can have more, this is just what I had after taco night)
-1/2 cup corn (again, give or take depending on what you have)
-2 tomatoes, chopped
-1/2 cup salsa

The steps to supper:
1. Boil pasta until nearly done, then drain all but aout 1/4 cup of the water
2. Heat the salsa, tomatoes, corn, beans and beef
3. When hot, add to the pasta and place on a burner
4. Reheat, stirring often. It may not seem like the sauce is thick enough, but it should thicken as you heat - if not you can always add a little sour cream or cream cheese to thicken
~Serve with chopped lettuce, shredded cheese, sour cream-anything you'd regularly add to a taco!

Perfect for a quick and easy (not to mention healthy) supper, and kids LOVE it!


Anyone else in absolute freakin' love with this song...

Ok good! Me too!!!

And it got me thinking... if we are all gold - which we are - don't believe me?
Isaiah 13:12 ~ "I will make a man more precious than fine gold"
Ok- so I lied, we are more precious than gold!

So, why do we tarnish ourselves?
You wouldn't dare ruin a fine piece of gold, so why de-value yourselves?

There are many different ways to tarnish, it's different for everyone...
the list could go on and on... but let's not dwell on how to tarnish...

Let's focus on how to make ourselves SHINE!

Matthew 5:16 ~ "In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven."
-So one way to shine ~ Doing good deeds. Shine your little light in the lives of others by making their day just a little bit better, I can guarantee you'll feel more like gold afterwards as well!

1 John 1:7 ~ "But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin"
-Sin no more. Whatever is tarnishing you of your gold - get rid of it! Do what it takes to own up to that vice and begin the road to gold!

John 12:36 ~ "While you have the light, believe in the light that you may become sons of the light"
-Another way to shine? Believe. Believe in Jesus, His promises, His love, and your future in Him. How can you not shine when you live in Him?!
After all... He is the light of the world!

So what are you waiting for?!


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Mrs. Barr's delicious treats!

You would be hard-pressed to find a more exciting thing in my life than this showing up when I go get my mail...


So what was in el' cardboard box o' fun?! (in the excitement of St. Patty's day I thought I'd try some Irish accents... working? Didn't think so...)

Anyways- it was Mrs. Barr's Natural Foods!
What is this you ask? 
Well - they are a company that sells granola (eek!), granola bars, and trail mix.
They try to buy local whenever possible, and support companies of this great country. They also are highly supportive of children and donate 10% of their profits to children's organizations! How awesome is that!?
So the real question.. does it taste good?!


Look! This granola was called 'Gone Nuts' and it had A TON of nuts in it-not even crushed up little pieces! Woot!

It also was nice and crunchy with big clusters! 
YAY for clusters!!!

I am a HUGE fan!

2 days... 2 bags of granola GONE

And now I'm about to dive into another... so I'm going to keep this short!
Mrs. Barr's Natural foods makes GREAT granola - I can't say about the health of it since the nutritional info was not on the package or online :/ 
But it was full of nuts, oats, and dried fruits - so I know it is at least in the right direction on the health-o-meter

*All opinions are my own, I was only given samples and no compensation. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013


The First...

Well - WE HAVE A POPE! #blessed&pumped!

But anywhose... let's talk about him k? K!

He has a lot of first's... Such as:
-first Jesuit
-first Francis (of Assisi)
-first Pope from the New World

And I'm hoping and praying these 'firsts' can be seen as a breath of fresh air - not that anything is wrong (I'm Catholic and PROUD!) ...I just think so much can be done to refresh the church and bring members back to the faith.
This is in all faith - not just the Catholic denomination. Wouldn't it be great, wouldn't it be exciting if we could start and new reform?! A country, or even world that loved, not fought. Believed in peace, not war? Smiling, not judging?

You can say I'm a dreamer, say it'll never happen - but I have hope. Hope that at least in my little corner of the world we can change for the better. Grow closer to our God and Savior. Live a little more like Him and a little less like our selfish nature. Hope.

So for today - the day our newest Pope is announced, can we first-all say a prayer he will do the great things God has planned for him? And second-dream, hope and be excited - because this world is ours to change for the better! Let's get to it.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Crafty Harlot

Proverbs 7 describes the Crafty Harlot 
This is a woman who helps men fall into temptation, pushes and encourages their sin, by "her enticing speech" and "flattering lips" She "cast down many wounded" even men who were not looking to sin! For "all who were slain by her were strong men"

See ladies? You have more power than you may think!

While, they may not even be looking to sin, men were created to fall for women - but by God's guidance, not our own seduction.

We need to be careful how we use this gift - yes gift - and responsibility God bestowed upon us. We have the power to start a revolution. We have the power to detract men away from sin and to their Heavenly Father.

Are you ready to start turning the world around?!

Monday, March 11, 2013


"I'm super girl, and I'm here to save the world, but I wanna know-who's gonna save me?"
Ever heard this song? Even if you haven't (and you now think I'm completely insane), I'm hoping you can still relate to this little post here...

So... who's gonna save me?
Jesus already did! :)

~Girl Power~
So I'm just a girl.. does that mean I'm suppose to be quiet? Softspoken? Reserved?
The Bible says we are to be submissive... but what does that really mean?
Is it a command to not make decisions, never take control, sit back and be walked on, never try to change anything?
According to the dictionary...
...humbly obedient. Not useless. Not unimportant. Ready to submit. Ready to do what GOD has made us to do. Ready to change the world for HIM!

We, as women, are not powerless. (We should not be consumed with power either though!)

God gave us soooo much to do for Him! To bring glory and praise to our God!
He has pretty much entrusted the future of His world to us (Yes-He is in complete control of course! But in regards to nature - we're bringing His babies here!) ...we as women have HUGE responsibilities!

It has been said that you can define a civilization by the status of it's womanhood. How women portray themselves, how they are treated, etc. ...hmmm-what does that say about our civilization at this point in time? :/

Defining an entire civilization though? Really? Yes.
Girls, let's face it - we have the key to furthering life on this planet (God willing). And how we chose to value ourselves, will be how we are asking others to value us as well. We can choose to abuse the rights and cause the downfall of humanity by helping taint morals and values of those around us...
Or - we can bring men (and other peers) up to our level. The level God calls all of us to be at, and be at a level closer to Him.
*Beginning a reform of culture!