Monday, October 28, 2013

strength for today

"And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were rancomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable thirngs such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot." 
1 Peter 1:17-19

sometimes, you just wake up in a mood
yesterday was one of those days for me
i woke up in a bit of a funk and spent most the day fighting it off
then, as i flipped through my instagram feed before going to bed, 
i ran into not one, but two encouraging posts
(talk about providence!)

the first one (from @whitneydarling) said, 
"Rise and shine sweet things! Many distractions may attempt to steal your joy, so I encourage you to guard it with both your heart and mind. Be alert, today's joy is for you! And it's yours to keep."

it reminded me that the joy of the Lord is my strength
and if i'm not intentional about it, Satan will certainly creep in there and take it
whether by distraction or mood or worry or fear or whatever it is that gets to you
because if you stop and think about it, 
no matter what the problem is, shifting focus to what really matters
to the Lord and what He has done in us and for us
makes everything else that once seemed so enticing or threatening suddenly seem...insignificant

the second post (from @jess_cudzilo's feed) built off of the same concept,
but also gave me a reminder that these kind of days happen to everyone
plus a living example of the best way to deal with them:
"Woke up this morning bummed out... sadness and disappointment and confusion. Clinging to the truth that God is sovereign not just on occasion and not just when things go my way, but in every detail of every minute. Leaning in, asking for Him to draw near and for fresh perspective. It's a new day."

 and just like that, my heart was encouraged
and the Lord reminded me that His mercies are new every morning
and they're there for us to enjoy!

friends, there is reason to rejoice 
in every situation
in every mood
in every new day

if you find yourself struggling to find joy, 
preach the Gospel to yourself
remind yourself of the good news - the great news
spend time in the Word, reminding your heart of the truth
and look around - there is evidence of grace everwhere:
new mornings,
redemption... were ransomed and that changes everything.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

almost sunday blogging

it's super late on saturday night
and i should be sleeping
but instead here i am, 
whipping together the quickest blog post ever 
because it's already a week overdue (almost a week plus a day!)

anyway, let's keep this short and sweet:
today, Daniel is twenty nine years + one week old
what an old fart, eh?
but he's my old fart, and i wanted to wish him a public happy (albeit belated) birthday

i love you, Daniel
hope this next year's the best one yet!

p.s. guess what else was short and sweet? this birthday cookie's life...oops.
p.p.s. it's already past midnight...but i'm still counting this as a saturday post -it's the thought that counts, right?  ;)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

my week + a thanksgiving leftovers makeover

happy thursday, guys!
so much has happened this week that i've been wanting to share
we've had my sister and nephew staying with us 
which has been fun, but super crazy
three toddlers under one roof, ahhhhh!
plus the girlies have been up to all kinds of shenanigans
but that's a full blog post all on it's own
i've been so distracted, that i even made myself a green tea latte one morning
...only to realize i'd already poured myself a cup of coffee! 
we also celebrated canadian thanksgiving not once, but twice!
on sunday, my mom made her famous turkey plus all the fixings
for friends who don't have immediate family around to celebrate

then on monday, we celebrated with our family:
my brother-in-law and his wife came over
(and brought some super yummy dishes to round out our meal!)
my sister made a killer butternut squash soup
my dad's cousin brought fancy wine complete with a pretty label 
(i'm often see interesting wine labels and wish i could justify buying a bottle of something i can't drink...
does that make me weird? am i the only one?)
and daniel was in charge of cooking a huge ham
that turned out so well 
(i'm convinced it's because we splurged on the most unprocessed of a ham we could get our hands on)
as if all that wasn't enough, i made a garlic rosemary cheese bread, roasted balsamic veggies 
and a chocolate + coffee self saucing cake for dessert

needless to say, there was no shortage of food
and now we've got leftovers coming out of our ears
which isn't entirely a bad thing - i love leftovers
but sometimes, we get a bit sick of the same meal over and over and over again
so i threw a bunch of our leftovers together
and made a turkey pot pie
i usually skip the bread-y topping and replace it with herbed scones or drop biscuits 
but the recipe i used for that part was a total flop this time around
(...we jokingly called them soap scones, for reals)

but the rest of the pot pie turned out pretty good, 
so i thought i'd share the recipe with you
(sans soap scone topping - let me know if you try it with a different topping and find a keeper!)

turkey pot pie {filling}
(aka thanksgiving leftovers reincarnated)

 3-4 tablespoons butter (i used grassfed)
2 1/4 cup yellow onion, diced small
2 cups carrots, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup flour (i used white whole wheat)
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (preferably homemade!)
2 cups frozen peas
sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
4 cups shredded leftover turkey** 
1/3 cup dried oregano (TJ's has a great organic one!)
- preheat oven to 350*
- in a large saucepan melt butter over medium high then add onions and carrots and cook until onions are translucent (i used leftover steamed carrots, so i added them in after the onions softened)
- add garlic and cook for about a minute or so (you'll start to smell all that garlicly goodness)
- add flour and stir so that your veggies are evenly coated
- start adding your broth gradually, stirring the entire time in order to avoid clumps
- bring your mixture to a boil then turn your heat down and simmer until it's thickened up a bit, usually 5-10 minutes
 - add the peas, s + p, chicken and oregano (in that order)
- pour mixture into a 3 quart baking dish (mine was 9.5 x 13.5 and 2 inches deep)
- pop in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes.  if i'm going to make a biscuit or scone topping, i'll pull it out at some point in those 45 minutes and plop the dough right on top of the filling (since scones/drop biscuits generally take less than 45 minutes to bake...if you are having a hard time envisioning what this part should look like, just do an image search for "drop biscuit pot pie") otherwise, just enjoy without topping - which is what we did, and it was delicious...or you could serve it over some rice! 

**i've also made this recipe with leftover chicken in the past, with great results...on that note, i've also used veggies like broccoli, celery, mushrooms etc to replace / top up the carrots and peas - use whatever you've got on had, this is a great recipe for that!


Monday, October 7, 2013


hey y'all - i'm back!
lots has happened since i last wrote a blog post
if you follow me on instagram, you'll have an idea of what we've been up to
if not, allow me to fill you in:
- we went on a fabulous three week family vacation

- i drank a lot of tea (green tea, sweet tea, oolong tea - you name it, i've probably had it!)

- we spent a week and a half on the beach and adjusted pretty well to island life:
sipping morning coffee / reading on the porch, watching for dolphins, sun kissed skin, searching for pretty shells and hermit crabs, family photos, fresh seafood, gorgeous sunrises, laughing babies, roadside snow cones, big family meals, window shopping around town, etc

- after the beach, we flew to North Carolina for a week with our family there, including time on the lake with Daniel's parents plus a road trip to spend some time on the farm with our extended family there (who graciously took the time to host / attend a bigdelicious family dinner while we were there)

- came home and were absolutely shocked at how cold it had gotten while we were gone...then promptly caught a cold to make it feel that much more winter-y  ;)

- ate lots of wholesome foods and veggies to try and beat said cold (and maybe shed some of those pounds we tend to put on while on vacation!)

- hosted a gender reveal party for my sister's baby (it's a girl!!!)

- spent as much time as we could outdoors, enjoying the beautiful colors of fall


we're still not unpacked,
but i think we're almost done with this cold
which makes me a very happy camper
anyway, now that you're all caught up on what we've been up to,
what have you been up to?  feel free to share in the comments!  :)

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