Dec 16, 2010

One Year

The year is coming close to an end, which means that my one year anniversary is also almost here.
I can't believe I've been married for a year already!  Adam and I were married New Year's Eve, 2009; and it was magical, partyin', hip-hoppin', vintage inspired, and beautiful.

If you know any part of our ushy-gushy love story (barf, right?), you know that it is pretty amazing that we are together at all, let alone married to one another.  Let's just say, us meeting and falling in love was definitely a God thing.  We were completely and utterly brought together in the strangest and least expected of times... as usually happens when God is in control of a situation :)  Marrying Adam was the best decision I have ever made; and I look forward to our future together, our growth in faith, and all the experiences that we will share over the years.

In honor of our upcoming anniversary, below are some photos of our wedding.  In the next few posts, I will be sharing pictures of our first year together, and chronicling some of the fun things that we have done along the way.

We are way too cute for our own good... so maybe get your disgusted faces out?  That way, you'll be prepared.












I hope that everyone has a VERY happy Christmas.  We are leaving for the CARIBBEAN today, so I won't be posting for a little while :)  I'll get a tan on behalf of you all... well... that is, only if the sun can get through the SPF 50 that I will be applying every 2 hours.

Dec 13, 2010

The Death of the Gingerbread House

Today I did it.  I murdered my beautiful gingerbread house.


My husband has wanted me to do this for weeks (mostly because he bashed his house to bits directly after making it... I think it might be a guy thing) but I just couldn't bring myself to do it.  Adam kept bringing up the fact that at some point, I would have to say goodbye to my little creation; and tonight, he won me over.  He convinced me that since we will be going out of town soon, (it's going to be a Caribbean Christmas!) we should throw the house away because it will be pretty far past its prime by the time we get home.  It helped his case that garbage day is tomorrow.  So... I destroyed it.


It was so fun to make...

     






But when I got down to it... it was even more fun to unmake!


video



Merry Christmas everyone!


Dec 11, 2010

Lullaby

Hello all,
As you can see, I have been inspired by videos lately.  I'm a little sick, and I have found secret medicine... It's called "YouTube."  Looking up pretty videos always helps me forget that my nose is pouring nastiness, and my head feels like it's stuffed with cotton balls.
I've been thinking lately about how wonderful it will be to sing my children to sleep someday.  I remember the special feeling that I would get when my dad sang me to sleep with the lullaby that he wrote for my sister and I.  I can't remember all the words to that lullaby right at this moment, but sometimes (especially when I am really focused on a task... like cooking, or filing) all the words will come back to me, and I'll start singing it.  It makes me feel like a little girl again, all safe and tucked in "burrito" style.  I want my children to be able to feel that same warmth and love... and I think this is the perfect lullaby song.  

Dec 7, 2010

Foreign Inspiration

Hello everyone,
I hope you are as inspired by this video as I am.  It shows me that no dream (that we have hidden deep inside our hearts) is too big to achieve.  It also makes me want to dance!

Now excuse me while I go and dig up my goals and aspirations that I have written off as being "too impossible."  No more excuses.

Aug 27, 2010

Goals...

Hello again, blogging world!
The other day, my husband (Adam) commented that I hadn't posted a blog since April, and I didn't believe him.  But sure enough, he was right.  As he is much of the time.  Typical.
I didn't want to post anything on my blog until I had finished an interview (if you have no idea what I am talking about, read my previous blog.  The one from April).  Well... interviewing seems to be a more time consuming project than I thought it would be, and therefore I have only completed one.  But!  I am almost finished typing it up and will be posting it shortly. 
Anyway... all that to say that I figured I should give my "readers" a little something to "chew" on before I begin posting my "interviews."

My friend, Seablanket, has been encouraging her readers for sometime to make goals for themselves; and I have decided to do just that.  Here are 3 goals that I would like to accomplish before the end of 2010:


Finish Things I Start:
I honestly feel that sometimes its difficult for me to finish things that I start (or maybe it's just that it is difficult for me to get momentum).  But I want that to change.  And how, you might ask, am I going to change?  I am going to make a goal for myself to finish things I start.  First, I am going to finish typing up that interview.  Then, I am going to create a shower curtain.  Yes, a shower curtain.  And, when it is done, I am going to put that shower curtain on a rod and drape it over my new bathtub in my new house.  My first house with my wonderful husband.  And then every time I look at that shower curtain, I will remember that "I made that!  I took the bull by the horns!  I finished that!"  DIY here I come!

(photo acquired on weheartit.com)


Write:
I love to write.  Specifically, I love writing poetry and music.  One of the reasons I started blogging was so that I would be made to write more often (little good that did me... but I digress).  But writing takes time, and time is not something I usually have a lot of.  Well, my friends, lack of time is no excuse for not doing something you love... I will make time!  I am going to commit to clear enough space in my schedule to finish five songs this year.  Here's to creating!

(photo acquired on weheartit.com)



Friends:
In the his book The Four Loves C.S. Lewis says that "Friendships are the least natural of all the loves; the least instinctive, biological, gregarious and necessary" in the eyes of society, and are therefore the most ignored of the loves.   Many times we simply ignore the opportunities to spend time with friends after more "instinctive" loves come along.  
After I got married eight months ago, I began finding it more and more difficult to spend time with anyone other than my husband.  You know the drill... love, then marriage, then attached at the brain.  I love my husband very, very much - but I also think that it is imperative to the health of a person's soul that he or she cultivates friendships.  
So, as my third goal, I want to to spend at least one night a week with a close friend.

(photo acquired on weheartit.com)



I'm going to try very hard to stick to these goals that I have set for myself, and I encourage all (eight) of you to create some short term goals for yourself.  Lets start growing together!

Apr 19, 2010

Inspiring Spring

Lately, I have been inspired by the movie Marie Antoinette. I think it must be that the joy of spring is starting to rise - but the colors and tone of this movie create a longing inside me. A longing for beauty, walks in open fields and, most of all, those nummy petit fours.




Apr 14, 2010

On Surprising Myself

I am finding that I surprise myself.
Last night, as I was printing out inspiration for dinner, I realized that out of all the things that I enjoy, I am beginning to experiment with cooking the most.
That thought literally made me stop. Made me plant my feet on the way to the printer. To understand this response, you must know that while growing up, I was by-far NOT the cook of the family. Not at all. I was the baby. The chopper of ingredients. The salad-maker. The stirrer. The pot-watcher. Definitely not the master chef.
To illustrate, I will share with you a very vivid memory. I was in middle school, home alone with my extremely sick sister. Like any sick person, she wanted soup. Not home-made soup, but just regular old soup from the can. I panicked (if there is one reaction that has been consistent in all of my culinary battles... it’s panic). I cried with the overwhelming idea that I had to learn - on my own, no less - how to make something more than a sandwich.
I got through the “soup ordeal,” reading the instructions very carefully... not missing a word. But as you can see, the thought that I may actually be inspired by cooking more than I am by clothes (okay... maybe a long ways off) or hair or makeup or painting is near ridiculous.
And with that realization came the flood of other realizations. Realizations like... it is so funny how our lives turn out so much different... so much better... than we’d hoped. When I was 19, I barely knew how to boil an egg. Now, I am creating my own recipes. And, pardon me, but they are good! Who knew that this little cook was hiding underneath all that fear, waiting to burst out.
Now, I’m not saying by any means that I’m a master. No, no, no, no, no. I am just saying... I’m learning. I’m creating. I’m having fun. I’m not afraid of the rice cooker or the (gluten-free) bread maker. Not afraid of the wok or the millions of kinds of flours! I’m saying... I love cooking!

(Last-night’s recipe coming soon...)

Apr 12, 2010

Meat Pancakes and a Wonderful Weekend



This weekend has quite possibly been the best my husband and I have had since we got married. It was full of joy, rest and moments where you stop and get to say "Wow... this is my life." Those are my favorite moments.

First off, on Friday night I made meat pancakes... not to be confused with meat made INTO a pancake shape, which would be considered a hamburger. No, no, I truly made meat-filled pancakes (or Blinis, to be exact).
These crepe-like, pseudo-pancakes are the russian equivalent to Indian Naan (at least in my mind) in that they are a traditional food and are eaten with many different toppings - from caviar and creme to fruit preserves.
I chose to use the traditional meat filling for my blinis, but you can pretty much top them or fill them with anything your heart desires. Also, since I am gluten intolerant, I made my tasty "pancakes" with buckwheat flour instead of the usual wheat flour. I found that the buckwheat didn't quite stick together as I had planned (which turned into a bit of a frustration leading to what some may call a pancake throwing tantrum), so next time I would try adding some Xanthum gum to the mixture.
The recipe that I used will be at the bottom of the post.

Smaller, thicker appetizer-style Blini with creme and caviar topping

On Saturday, my husband Adam and I went to the local parade to celebrate the beginning of the pear season. There were little "shops" in the park next to the parade selling a variety of local products - a few of which were questionable (i.e. 1200 thread count sheets for $25, and medieval leather dress with matching corset). But all in all, we had a good time walking around and watching those Shriners whizzing by on their tiny cars.

Next, we went to visit my DARLING nephew, Lucca, in the NICU. I was really sick with a nasty virus (and a neck sprain... yuck!) when he was born at 34 weeks on April Fools' Day. Since he was born so early I couldn't see him until all of my symptoms were gone. He is one of the cutest babies I have ever seen, if not the cutest. Really, he is beautiful. I'm not just saying that. I brought my sister some home-made soup, and while she rested a bit, I got to hold him while he slept peacefully in my arms.

Lucca and Elisa in the hospital


Uncle Adam and Lucca's tiny hand

On Sunday, we finally got to go to church after (what is for us) a long hiatus. It was so great to be able to spend time with our friends and worship together. As part of the ministry team, Adam and I were particularly blessed to be able to pray and minister to people.
After church we went home, ate yummy left-over chicken soup and grilled sandwiches and then headed to the laundr-o-mat. After finishing the laundry (and playing an AMAZING iphone game called "Angry Birds." I highly suggest it) we headed to Target, where I got my first bikini ever. Ever. And 2 new pairs of shoes. Plus, my husband surprised me and bought my favorite movie, "Once". So, we went home, made spaghetti and watched our new movie (Adam's first viewing), cuddled and rested. Dreading the end of the wonderful weekend, we got ready for bed. "At least we have spaghetti for lunch tomorrow," I thought. Mmmm... Spaghetti.


Blini with Traditional Meat Filling:

Blini:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cup Buckwheat flour (or wheat flour)
  • 3 cups hemp, almond or cow's milk (DO NOT use rice milk. It is not creamy enough to hold together the ingredients)
  • 1 tablespoon Coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon margarine

Filling:
1 Medium onion
1 lb. beef
1/2 cup parsley
1 Tablespoon dill
Salt and pepper to taste
Garlic (to taste)

Separate the egg yolks from the whites and place into separate bowls, using a large mixing bowl for the yolks. Beat the egg yolks with the butter, salt and sugar until creamy. Add the milk. Gradually add the sifted flour, stirring continuously to make a smooth batter. If lumps exist, put the mixture through a sieve. The mixture needs to be thin and should slide off a spoon. If it doesn't, add more milk until it does.
Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold carefully into the batter.
Heat a small nonstick frying pan with a little coconut oil or butter. Using a ladle, add enough batter to thinly cover the bottom of the pan (try to make as thin as possible [like a crepe], or you can make them smaller and thicker if you are making these for an appetizer).
Cook the blini on one side only (if necessary, you may flip to cook the other side). When cooked stack them onto a plate under a pot or casserole lid to keep them warm and moist as you continuing cooking.

Chop the onions and garlic and saute them in coconut oil in a frying pan. Add the minced beef, dill, and at the end, the herbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Spread a thin layer of meat filling over the cooked side of the blini. You may serve the Blinis open-faced or folded (like a burrito).

Enjoy.

Traditional Style, Crepe-like Blini



Recipe based on "Blinchiki" recipe found on http://www.russianrecipes.co.nz/recipes/meat-beef-pancakes.html




Apr 6, 2010

Scrumptious Somethings

Life… sometimes it feels like we don't do anything. We move, we work, we eat, we sleep. We love - fail - try again or don't. There's never enough time. We crave time. Time for those hidden loves - for expressions that are waiting for us to slip through the boredom and walk toward fresh air. But we push through to find something to push through to find something to push through.
Then suddenly, over the in-between, there comes that moment when we realize we mean something - of only to those few or that one. That moment when it happens. Where all our nothings add up and burst open to reveal the truth: they were very carefully planned.
That is what this blog is about… the in-betweens and the scrumptious somethings that we live for.