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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Celebrate {Happy Birthday}

Do you remember when you were 13?  Well, the youngest in the house has reached the threshold of being an official teenager.  She's growing up! 

Happy Birthday Chloe!

I am so thankful I get to call you sister!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

When I grow up...

It’s going to be a school year where I’ll ask myself ‘what do I want to be when I grow up?’  And I’m going to ask it a lot.  {I just have this feeling…}

It will probably come up on here as a topic of conversation.  If I’m being truthful it will be me, writing, sifting through thoughts.  Not a conversation, but a monologue.  It’s going to look like blurting out the mess of ideas that go through my head.   It’s going to be hard.  And I think that putting it into writing is going to be a challenge.  I think it will be a challenge to share my ideas in a way that makes sense to others.  I think it will be a challenge to realize the amount of limitations that I put on myself. And it will be a challenge to not feel like I’m failing…all the time.
This year will be the last year of college for me.  At least for while.  I need a break from school.  I love learning, but I’m not keen on the testing idea.  I’m excited to be done with the institution of learning {at least for now} and take some lessons from life. { Life, you are a rough teacher and having you on top of assigned papers and reading has been brutal at times.}   I’m excited to learn in a more unconventional way.
I didn’t pick a major that led into a defined profession.  I wanted options to choose and discover more about myself.  I’m glad I did.  Now those options are still there.  Yes, a few have been thrown out, {but more came to the surface, which a whole different story} but still there are many options that remain.  This leaving options open method has led me to outside questions.

I don’t like not knowing the answer to the questions, ‘So what’s next for you?’
‘What do you plan to do when you graduate?’
‘What do you want to do?’
‘And what are you planning to do with that degree?’
Because I don’t know. I want to know, and if I did know, I would probably tell you.  But, I don’t know.  And no matter how many times I say it, it doesn’t morph into an answer.  Not an answer that is satisfactory to me. 
Here’s what I do know.
When I grow up…
 I want to be kind and love well.  I want to help others and live passionately.  I want to be a friend that listens and helps picks up the pieces of this messy life.  I want to give grace and lots of hugs.  I want to be an encourager and a hospitable hostess to everyone.  I want to be a safe place and a person who breaks down limitations by being bold and courageous.  And as much as the humanness in me strives for perfection, I don’t want to be perfect. I want to be the best me that God has created.
What do you want to be when you grow up? 
{I’m exploring options, and I need some more ideas!}

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sweet On You {Stuck in My Head}

I have had this song stuck in my head all day. 
I like it.  I hope you do too.
Sweet On You
Beth Whitney

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Smiling is Free

I like quotes.  I think they are fun and can be inspiring.  Sometimes they make me laugh.  And sometimes they put a whole new spin on life.  The power that words have on us is a beautiful thing.  I try to keep my favorite quotes in my very own quote book.  Each is carefully handwritten in the journal.  That takes time and work, thus why my book needs to be updated after a year and a half of no new quotes.  I have a pile ready to be written in.

There is a company that thrives on feel good quotes.  I am guilty of eating dove chocolates.  The chocolates {dark is my favorite} are the perfect afternoon treat when I’ve been staring at a computer screen.  And I’ve been able to limit myself by making each individual chocolate become 4 bites {mind tricks}.  To be honest I'm bored of their inspirational messages.  It could be for a number of reasons, but when it all comes down to it I eat them for the chocolate taste in my mouth, not the words on the wrapper.  Does that make sense?  Does it seem reasonable?

After all that I wanted to share what was on my chocolate wrapper the other day...

Smiling is free

How true is that?  I have had the phrase "can you smile for me?" said to me many a time.  it can take effort for my stubborn little attitude to not give in.  It’s so easy to crack a smile.  There are even games about not smiling, which shows me that we were made to smile.  We were made to find joy.  it can take effort to smile when the world is crashing down.  One thing I missed in Italy was that people don't smile at each other unless there is a relationship established.  People smile in the US.  {ok, most of the time}   People smile in greeting to each other.  Even if they are complete strangers.  Even if it’s been a bad day.  Even if they are in a hurry.

Yes, there are many types of smiles that send all kinds of messages.  but when someone genuinely smiles, what does it cost them?

It may cost them a second, or be a distraction.  It may bring an unwanted conversation that eats at their time.  it might cost intentional distance.

Sometimes it brings opportunity to share life hope faith and love. 

A smile doesn't cost money, but can be the perfect gift

"Smiling is my favorite" -Buddy the elf

"You're never fully dressed without a smile" -Orphan Annie

What is your favorite quote?  Do you have a favorite that includes smiling?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Peaches and Cream Pie {Recipe}

This was so yummy that I had to share the recipe.  My family finished it in 2 nights flat!  It is delicious warm or cooled.  I think it would be fun to try a mix of fruit as well.

Unbaked pie shell
3 cups peaches chopped (make sure to skin)
Arrange the peaches in the bottom of the pie shell.

1 cup sugar (or less)
1/3 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 eggs beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
Combine these ingredients and spoon or pour over peaches

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
Cut the butter into the flour and sugar.  Sprinkle over the top of the pie.  Bake for 55 minutes at 350 until golden brown.  Enjoy!

Hope you are having a lovely Monday!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Letters

Oh Friday...I'm glad you're here

Dear week, you have gone so quickly.  Where did you run off to?

Dear biblestudy, you were wonderful last night.  Just what I needed.

Dear summer projects, you are no where near done, but I feel like summer is ending.

Dear kitchen, I've been inspired to create deliciousness in you again.  Be expecting me to stop by more often!

Dear school, I like learning, but do you have to start again?

Dear coffee, we have to figure out a balance.  I like you, but I don't want to be needy. 

I'm linking up with Ashley.  Go say "hi"!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Celebrating with Peaches

Yesterday was Julia Child's birthday.  I love the idea of that lady.  I say the idea of her, because I didn’t understand Julia until a few years ago.  I had started loving the kitchen and being in the kitchen and understanding the power of food.  Food has a wonderful power. It brings people together.  It can mend relationships and create memories.  Julia Child understood that food was important.  She started a food revolution.

From what I’ve read about her in her semi autobiography, I’m not sure if we would be good friends. I do think she would be good at inspiring me. This woman in many ways was incredible.  She learned French while living in France {and she wasn't 'young' in age}, she didn't take no for an answer, and created wonderful, lasting, relationships along the way.
In honor of her 100th birthday I decided to spend some time in the kitchen. And here is what I made...

Peaches and Cream Pie

On Sunday I went and picked the last of the peaches for this season.  They are the perfect size and ooze juice. yum! I have a soft spot for peaches {pun intended} since my dad used to say I had peach fuzz hair. {That’s what happens when you are little and practically bald.}

It was also the first day of school for my sisters. I’ve decided that they should not have to go back to school yet.  Unfortunately, it doesn't matter what I think.

This lovely pie is in honor of not only a wonderful woman living her passion, but to my sisters’ start of their first day of school.   What are you passionate about?

{I still have peaches, so pass along your favorite peach recipes!}

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Large and in charge

It’s big.
It’s an endangered animal.
It’s a mammal.
It lives in the water and on the Central Coast.
It’s an elephant seal.

When I saw them last week on the Central Coast it was just males that were around.  Come spring time all the babies are out and about.  Talk about big babies!  You can only see elephant seals on the California Central Coast.  I suggest you come for a visit!

Ok, If you look at the pictures not the most beautiful animal.  But they are incredible.  Huge and heavy and yet they swim and dive. Amazing.

 We also went to Heart’s Castle that day.  I loved being able to see the architecture again.  Having been in Interior design class in Italy, I studied many of the art forms that we saw.  Hearst had a unique taste.  Although I don’t really like his style I did enjoy being able to pick out the time and country of the pieces display.  His house is truly a museum on display.  There are so many wonderful things that I could say about that place, but to understand one must experience it.
Hearst had his own private ZOO.  He had a polar bear at one point.  And there are still zebras who roam with the cattle. This the first time that I’ve seen them in the area.  And we saw zebras 3 days in a row! 
Lucky us!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Monterey {Coastal Adventure}

The first day of vacation we {the family} traveled down the coast,

As in the California coast,
 Otherwise called Highway 1,

For you non Californians, be warned this road is windy.  Like a snake.  And I don’t always do well with roads like snakes.  This time it was ok.
My parents repeated the phrase “everyone should take this drive once in their lifetime” before and during the drive.  I agree, but you have to…
a)      Not be in a hurry
b)      Enjoy taking your time
c)       Be willing to stop to take it all in along the way
Before we got to the road like a snake, we stopped off of Highway 1 in Monterey.  I have loved coming to Monterey.  It used to be the place of sea otters and touching sea cucumbers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium when I was little. {I highly recommend aquariums for all ages.}  These days I find it more enjoyable to eat clam chowder on the deck and switch off watching people and the ocean.  It’s always fun to spot a creature out in the kelp.
My favorite clam chowder cart

All gone!

Stay tuned for more coastal adventures!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Check back soon!

It’s been a wonderful week.  I spent time with my family and rested.  Over the last couple of years I’ve learned what rest is and that I don’t take enough of it.
That being said, it’s going to take me a little while to get back in the groove. I loved being by the coast and not having an agenda.  We also didn't have internet access.  Thus, no additional updates.
We had many cameras with our family and everyone capture different events.  Look for updates, but know that I’m rounding up pictures!
Hope you have a wonderful day and check back soon!

Friday, August 3, 2012

At the Coast

I’m off with my family this week, spending time at the coast.  It is potentially our last family vacation for awhile, as just the 6 of us. 
We are going too far and will be cruising the central coast of California.  We are spending time on the beach, visiting Hearst Castle, and going for some hikes.  I’ll be {hopefully} reading a book or two, journaling, and resting.  And the bad news…the house we are renting has no internet access.

I may be popping in to say hello, but we shall see!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday

Linking up with Lindsey again for her What I Wore Wednesday .  She has some great ideas for layering and wearing things again in a new way. It is also always fun to "meet" new bloggers that link up with her. 

Top: h&m Skirt: costco {gasp} Heels: target

Sorry for the horrible photo quality

Cami: old Dress: Forever 21 {old} Flats: American Eagle {old}
Thanks for stopping by!

pleated poppy