Simple Moments v. 1

simplemoments13You guys probably don’t know this about me, but I was a ridiculously devoted scrapbooker for many many years.  I started in 6th grade.  Growing up, I worked as a janitor and my first major purchase was a film camera.  It cost me $254, if I’m remembering correctly.  I spent a lot of what I earned on developing film and I don’t regret it for a second.  Eventually, I was indeed that crazy person who would spend an entire hour on 1 page.  Wow, if I could go back and tell myself to find a better use for my time!  Obviously, I had to learn the hard way.  Fast forward to marriage and a new baby.  By the time Faith was crawling, I realized that this hobby and I were breaking up.  I was frustrated that I seemed to have the only baby who cried all day.  Why couldn’t she just let me work on HER baby book?  Distraction was in full force as I tried to wrongfully twist my calling and season of that time.  So funny to see how God weaves his plans and lessons in our life. We all know the crazy motivated little girl she is today!

I COMPLETELY see why I had my little Faith before an easier child.  God was molding me and showing me the things that weren’t necessary in my life so I could eventually understand how to drink those moments in, not just journal, cut, paste, and embellish them to pieces.  For me, it had become a part of my life that didn’t belong in that season of difficulty. So, I switched fully to a website I had started in 2002, before she was born. This continued for many years, even when I had Jack and Dean.  Then I realized my (little!) spare time was getting zapped again.  3 kids that were 4 and under.  WEBSITE OVER.  I may not have been working on that website during the day, but I needed that rest of the mind and soul at night and I didn’t even know it.  The season was missed again.

Fast forward, I start this particular blog in 2010 as a way to connect with friends and family far away who wanted recipes and tutorials.  My husband traveled all the time so I had a lot of evenings at home while the kids were sleeping.  We had left the church I grew up in, following years of growing apart in our understanding of God’s grace and our view of His love towards more than those who have their names in a member book.  We were rejected by friends in the process and carried from that place a further conviction that God’s love looks a whole lot different than we had experienced, up until that point.  His arms are wide and open.  I felt alone but hopefully for what was over the next hilltop.  In this season, instead of sharing about my kids, I wanted to offer up the things I was learning and experiencing.  This space has been more about sharing skills, information, and travel…something I LOVE doing and it has been very healing.  After that stretch of time, my husband traveled less, I had made a new group of friends and I wanted to just be with him and these ladies, sharing laughter and tears as we went.  It has been a lovely season and I’m so thankful for the hurt that has finally been removed from my heart through truth spoken in these friendships.  I’m finally starting to understand this “season” thing!

This new season is upon me where those babies aren’t crawling around (oh, how I miss it!), nobody is potty training or needs their bottom wiped, and my kids have even learned to play with each other (something I never thought would ever happen).  Change within ourselves is good and I’ve learned that even though I wanted to start something and do it exactly the same for each child for 20 years, that didn’t happen.  It took some time, but I’m OK with how God worked it out.

There will still be recipes and loads of things that are inspiring me.  It’s been a joy to have met some of you lovely readers in person and hear what you’ve made and tried from my site.  In my soul, I just feel that you, like me, don’t have time.  We don’t have time to read tons of blogs and live our life in the way we should.  If you read my blog in any sort of regular sense, I am truly honored.  Only a few blogs appear on my screen for soaking in every week.  The rest of my online stops are quick ones for recipes or how-tos, as it should be.  Anything more would be a distraction from the fullness of life out there waiting for me to grasp and devotion to the people who need my full attention!  God needs my eyes in a certain direction and I don’t want to miss his nudges.

All of this to say, see the season you are in for what it is…a season.  Tomorrow you might find yourself in a new place.

For myself alone, I wanted to start keeping more of a journal of our memories, experiences, and recipes.  I take pictures with my camera ALL THE TIME, but don’t have time to blog the “how-to” for everything. ;) I don’t know how often or for long I’ll do this, but I’m OK with that!  I don’t want to miss the season again!  I hope you enjoy soaking in these moments during your week.

Some simple moments I want to remember this week:

// Jack asked me to take a picture of him because Grandma wants a close picture of him.  She told him my pictures are too far away and she can’t see his face.  Here, Grandma ;) //

// We harvested all of our Thompson seedless last week because japanese beetles were on the attack.  Turns out that our insect book says the main things they eat are grapes.  Good to know.  I also made a fizzy frozen grape and lime drink I posted on IG here. //

// The pool is in full swing and we had people her every day last week!  Fun to see our friends so often. //

// After several months of no garden because the chickens had eaten it, dirt had been gradually added back in and the garden is reborn.  Thanks to my husband for lending his muscles. //

// Roast 4 pounds of tomatoes, 1 thickly chopped red onion, a head of garlic, salt and pepper, and a drizzle of oil on 425 for an hour.  Blend and use as pizza sauce, squeezing the roasted garlic from it’s casing before you blend.  It’s the best pizza sauce I’ve ever had.  You can thank me later. //

// Obsession with this heirloom tomato, Humbolt Fog, and vinaigrette salad continues.  I posted the dressing recipe on IG here. //

// Faith made risotto (Recipe coming soon!) for the first…and second time last week.  Super proud of her growth and I’m thinking she will be a way better cook than me before she’s a teenager. Yikes. //

// We made quick pickles inspired by “Little Bunny Follows His Nose”.  You can find the recipe on Paging Supermom here. //

// My Dad gave me some figs from one of my parent’s neighbors.  I gladly accepted and made figs poached in honey syrup.  I think a jar will be marrying some super ripe blue cheese soon. //

// Last week, my husband was working in Vegas so I decided to turn the house upside-down and reorganize…everything.  He has come to expect changes after his long trips and OBVIOUSLY I didn’t want to let him down.  I went through lots and lots of stuff and got rid of things that I thought I had already gotten rid of. //

// Every time we have an outdoor movie, we wonder why we don’t do it more often.  This time we watched “National Velvet” because Faith had just finished the book.  Her love of horses has fired up again.  I caught her reading a book on horsemanship.  I expect mention of horseback riding any second. //

I realize that I post a lot of pictures of food.  I’m sorry.  Well, maybe I’m not.

simplemoments6simplemoments12simplemoments9simplemoments5simplemoments4Simplemomentssimplemoments8simplemoments2simplemoments3simplemoments11simplemoments10simplemoments7simplemoments1

 

Click below to follow us on:

F a c e b o o k  //  T w i t t e r  //  P i n t e r e s t  //  I n s t a g r a m  //  E m a i l

Books Alive & Quick Dill Pickles

quickpickleYou can find me over on Paging Supermom today!  I’m sharing my quick pickle recipe, inspired by my favorite children’s story!  Jump over there and let me know what you think!

Click below to follow us on:

F a c e b o o k  //  T w i t t e r  //  P i n t e r e s t  //  I n s t a g r a m  //  E m a i l

Aoife Rie: Celebrating New Life

agoldenafternoon-7On this special day, the joy was overwhelming for my friend Erin, as she awaited the blessing of a little one.  We had been praying a long time for little Aoife.  She is truly a gift.

I wanted Erin to feel special and loved.  She is one of my besties so of course she deserves THE best.

I chose a simple brunch menu, so I didn’t need to flutter about the kitchen as I usually do. I partnered with Minted for the decorations because I’ll use any excuse for hanging their products at a party!  The lovely banner with Aoife’s name, the table runner (very durable material), striped grey paper straws, floral stickers, and the cutest matching straw banners that say “Oh baby” were all from the Minted party decor.   They can be found here on their website under the name “Matthiola”.  To complement the decor, thick crepe rolls can be found from Paper Mart for only a few dollars a piece (pictured surrounding the banner).  Plus, you can reuse the rolls since they are more durable than their baby crepe paper brother you’ve used at parties before!

agoldenafternoon-4agoldenafternoon-5agoldenafternoon-3Simple Brunch Menu:

Smoked salmon platter (thinly sliced red onion, capers, cream cheese, wild smoked salmon, bagels)

Yogurt, local granola, blackberries, and homemade spiced apple butter

Vegetable crudites and hummus

Chocolate croissants

Maple walnut scones

Bruleed grapefruit (attempted)

Freshly squeezed orange juice from Stehly Farm‘s oranges

Freshly juiced beets, oranges, strawberries, and spinach

To make your party day prep smoother, prep as much the day or night before.  Put things in bowls if you can, prep and cut veggies, put any items you can ready to go on platters, squeeze your juices, and you can even put the serving utensils in your bowls if you are serving everything first thing in the morning.  Every little bit helps.  I try to make my baked items fresh that morning if possible.  In this case, Faith made the scones so they were nice and fresh!

agoldenafternoon-28agoldenafternoon-2agoldenafternoon-10agoldenafternoon-9agoldenafternoon-11agoldenafternoon-12agoldenafternoon-14agoldenafternoon-26agoldenafternoon-16

It’s always a joy to celebrate new life.  Such a great reminder of the new life that Jesus brings to us.

I partnered with Minted for the decor shown in this post.  I love this company and all opinions are completely my own.

Click below to follow us on:

F a c e b o o k  //  T w i t t e r  //  P i n t e r e s t  //  I n s t a g r a m  //  E m a i l

Iced Chai Tea from “Handmade Winter”

DSC_6497 copy I mentioned last week that I was so thrilled to have some of my recipes be a part of the “Handmade Winter” eBook put together by the incredible #creativemamas!  Have you bought yours yet? As soon as I had my hands on a copy of the eBook, I KNEW I wanted to try Joya’s masala chai.  It’s legit!  She describes, in the book, the sweet memories of drinking this tea in India with her family.  Memories and food are bonded together in such a glorious way, aren’t they? I love the coziness of winter so much.  Cuddling up with the kids and our current piece of literature for school makes my heart happy.  Well, it just so happens to have been 82 degrees today so warm chai was definitely NOT the best option and there were certainly no blankets happening!  Not wanting to lose the season altogether, and wanting to make this recipe as SOON as possible, we opted for the flavors of Winter served over fresh over ice.  So refreshing.  So wintery. Thanks, Joya for the amazing recipe!  Get your copy on the eBook here so you can make this recipe and many other projects from the “Handmade Winter” eBook.  You’ll love it. Follow along the book tour by checking out the “Handmade Winter eBook Tour “ magazine on Flipboard! DSC_6410 copyDSC_6466 copyDSC_6487 copyDSC_6473 copyDSC_6499 copy

Click below to follow us on:

F a c e b o o k  //  T w i t t e r  //  P i n t e r e s t  //  I n s t a g r a m  //  E m a i l

Cinnamon Whiskey Sour

DSC_5740

The whiskey sour is my favorite drink right now.  I love the way the egg whites bring a touch of stability to the always battling sweet and sour elements of a cocktail.  Whiskey sours are also very fun to play around with as you can try so many different flavors in the simple syrup.  For this drink I went with cinnamon.  I had this combo at Craft & Commerce (our best restaurant/bar for cocktails in San Diego) and I fell in love immediately.  It brings a little bit of holiday spirit but can totally be served any time of the year.  Plus, cinnamon is a wonderful health aid…so…bonus points!!!

For those who are wondering about the raw egg white, don’t worry.  If you get your eggs from a local farm who is taking care of their chickens the way they should, raw egg whites are totally fine.  If you are super nervous about this idea and still want to try the drink, then you can buy pasteurized egg whites at whole foods if you have no other options and NEED to have whiskey sours in your life.  I would still recommend that you look into fresh eggs anyway, for the sake of your overall health.  Did you know that America is one of the few countries who refrigerate their eggs?  That’s kind of a scary thought when you beg the question why.  Something to ponder…

Local Hint: San Diego, you can find amazing pasture-raised chicken eggs from farms like Spur Valley Ranch.  Doesn’t get much better than them unless you are raising chickens yourself! ;)  Check here for market availability.

Cinnamon Whiskey Sour:

2 ounces rye whiskey (preferably Bulleit or your favorite small batch)

3/4 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice

3/4 ounce cinnamon simple syrup (recipe below)

1 egg white

a few dashes of bitters

For the syrup: Combine 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, and 1 Tablespoon cinnamon bark in a small pan. Cook over medium heat until boiling and the sugar is dissolved.  The cinnamon bark from Ceylon cinnamon, as opposed to Cassia, is what you’re looking for.  Ceylon is known as the “true” cinnamon that was bartered and traded so long ago in the days of Marco Polo and beyond.  Obviously, you can make a syrup with a cinnamon stick but I threw that little bit in there in case you are the type of person who wants to know such things and make the best cinnamon syrup possible. ;)

For the drink: Fill your cocktail shaker with ice and add all of the ingredients besides the bitters.  Shake for at least a minute so that the egg white can get a nice foam in the shaker.  Pour into a glass without ice and throw a few dashes of bitters on top.  If you find the drink to be too sweet, try substituting all or half of the lemon juice for lime juice.  Enjoy!

DSC_5622

DSC_5641

Best way to separate the white from the yolk is with your hands!

DSC_5657

DSC_5717

DSC_5727

Click below to follow us on:

F a c e b o o k  //  T w i t t e r  //  P i n t e r e s t  //  I n s t a g r a m  //  E m a i l

Page 1 of 1812345...10...Last »