Category Archives: Some Picks

Some Picks of the Week

One day early this week because tomorrow is a special day……

Something to Decorate with: Through a blog I follow I came across these adorable art prints — perfect for a kitchen wall. They are sold in just the print, or a framed print, or as a stretched canvas. I love the Cacio e Pepe as pasta is a favorite thing of mine. These prints would also make a great gift for a “foodie” in your life.

Something to Bake: Magic Bars. One of the most wonderful combinations of sweet goodness ever. They are the bars you bring to a friend’s house or a gathering and when people spot them they say, “ohhhhh. Those are those bars, right!?” And they are gone within 20 minutes. They are a favorite late-night treat for Jas and I. Really….they are magic.

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Something to Meditate on: The devotional I was reading this morning was talking about the hope that Christ brought us, through His death, when we were “dead in our trespasses and sins.” One of my favorite verses in Scripture that is such a clear picture of what we are without Christ, God’s love and mercy toward us, and what we are then with Christ, is Ephesians 2:1-10:

“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience – among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of words, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:1-10 (ESV)

My two favorite words in that passage are the ones I’ve highlighted – “BUT GOD.” Without those two words we would be lost and hopeless. But we aren’t without those words. Our God is merciful and “because of the great love with which he loved us,” we are no longer lost or hopeless. We are found, saved, and have the hope of eternity spent with Him. May we never stop mediating on that truth.

Something to Cherish: This beautiful little darling…..

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She is growing up so much. She changes every day. Jas and I talk about how we now understand what our parents always meant when they would say, “It goes by so fast. I just can’t believe it.” We now say that all the time. And it’s true. I am constantly reminded as I watch this little treasure that God has entrusted to us grow, learn, and discover every day. Her vocabulary has absolutely exploded and the other day she stopped herself and changed her “baby” word for feet, which was “kees” (there’s a story behind that), to actually say “feet.” And my heart broke a little bit, I’m not going to lie. It was such a clear evidence of her getting bigger. I really do love it all though. And since I was pregnant with her one of my prayers has been that I will never wish away a stage or overly mourn the passing of a stage. I don’t want to get so caught up in what is past or what is ahead. I want to cherish the days, each one with whatever they bring and whatever I am learning. Soaking up every stage of being mommy to my precious daughter and being faithful in that moment, in that day. I am grateful to see how fast time does go because it helps me slow down, stop, and savor the moments. And there are so many of them.

Enjoy a wonderful day, friends!

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Some Picks of the Week

Something to Cook: This past weekend when I was down with the flu my sweet hubby made one of the best meals. Irish Beef Stew — a Pinterest recipe. It was the perfect meal for a cold day when you’re laid up sick on the couch. My man is amazing for a thousand different reasons and one of the thousand is his cooking skills and his love of good food. This meal was fantastic. He used 1.5 lbs. of meat rather than 3 lbs, used potatoes instead of parsnips and rutabagas, upped the amount of veggies a little bit and it was perfect. The quintessential comfort food.

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Something to Read: For a while now I’ve been telling Jas that I wished there were more solid, biblical books about beauty. Books that flesh out the truths of Scripture that speak to beauty and give help and encouragement in a wise, thoughtful way. So, I was so excited to come across this blogpost from GirlTalk the other day and find out that come March there will be a new book on beauty out on the shelves! And written by some of my favorite writers who love Jesus and faithfully speak His truth in their writing. It’s all I can do not to preorder boxes of books for myself and all the women in my life. I cannot wait to read it!

Something to Make: In a little over a week we are heading to CO to see our Coobs side of the family. We can’t wait! As we look towards different trips this year, I was trying to think of a fun way to countdown the days leading up to those trips that makes it more fun and understandable for Little. Something simple that she could take part in making and be a visual reminder of our upcoming trip. So we made a little paper chain. She was so exciting making it and gets excited each day when we cut off another one of the little rings. Just a small thing that helps her understand the countdown a bit better and increases the happy anticipation with each day! I think this has become our new tradition.

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Have a wonderful weekend, all! Stay warm! 

Some Picks of the Week

Something to Read:

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If you are a lover of American History as I am, you must read this book. A few months ago I wrote about the books I was reading at the time, one of them being Killing Lincoln. Because I was reading so many things at once it took me a little while to make good head-way through this one. The week of Christmas Jas and I spent every afternoon while our Little was napping with coffee and books. It’s basically our favorite pastime. I had finished a couple of the other books I was reading so I focused my attention on Killing Lincoln. The first section on the book is full of dates, battles, and events surrounding the end of the Civil War. The rest of the book begins to focus more on the timeline in both Lincoln’s and John Wilkes Booth’s lives of the days leading up to the assassination and it was gripping. Particularly during the last section of the book that describes the events after the assassination and the hunt for Booth I couldn’t put it down. It was all so fascinating, saddening, and shocking to learn all the details behind Booth’s plot and to gain a broader and deeper understanding of the politics of that time, what Lincoln was facing and the toll it was taking on him, and to see how deeply Lincoln was both beloved and hated. What a brave, hopeful man he was, with a deep love for his country and a passion to see it united once again. Bill O’Reilly did an excellent job with this book and I’m anxious to read Killing Kennedy sometime very soon!

Something to Cook: The other night I tried out a new dish from Pinterest. Now, sometimes you try a recipe you find there and after the first couple of bites you say, “okay. never again.” This is not one of those recipes. It is called Crispy Parmesan Chicken with Balsamic Roasted Tomatoes and it is so tasty. Alongside it we made Spinach Parmesan Orzo which was a new experience as neither one of us has ever had orzo before. Again, so tasty. This one of those “hubby has a second helping of everything” meals, so you know it’s a keeper.

Something to Wear: I love scarves. They are a favorite accessory of mine. It can completely change the look of an outfit and all you had to do was wrap something around your neck! Plus, in the freezing winter time, they give that added bonus of another layer. Fashion + Practicality = double win. Well, right now Target has quite a chunk of their scarves on clearance. I found this one for $7.48 the other day. I actually was able to snag it for $2 something because I had $5 something left on a gift card. Happy day!

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It’s a Gray Herringbone Print and I love it. (The tassels look better in reality than on this picture, by the way.) It is so soft and, while it says that it is $10.48 online, it is $7.48 in stores.  They still had several in stock when I went back to my Target today. I actually purchased one for a gift too! I saw about 10-12 other styles and prints that they had on clearance, some $7.48, some closer to $10. So if you’re in the market for something new for yourself or as a lovely, but reasonably priced, gift you might want to go take a peek.

Something to Cherish: Being packed in our tiny kitchen all together, Little sitting on the counter dumping ingredients into the mixer, making homemade chocolate chip cookies. The giggles, the excitement, the chatting, the eating of dough, the happy scream when the timer for the cookies dings, and the chocolate smeared across her face after eating one. These are sweet days.

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Something to Think On: This quote is one that my dad shared with my siblings and I a long time ago and it has been a favorite of mine since that time. I have it framed above my kitchen sink and, without fail, every time I read it I am challenged, encouraged, and comforted by the truths that are shared in it. 

“Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, gracious frame of spirit that freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.” – Jeremiah Burroughs

Have a beautiful weekend, friends!

Some Picks of the Week

Something to Eat: As anyone who has tried some of her recipes knows, the Pioneer Woman knows what she’s talking about with food. Her cookbooks don’t leave my countertop — they are well-loved and well-used. She didn’t disappoint when it came to this recipe for her French Silk Pie. I made it twice in a week. It is so rich, so smooth, and so. darn. good.  It is also simple to make which is always an added bonus. It’s the perfect dessert to have for company or bring to a gathering and it’s also a fabulous little treat with an afternoon cup of coffee.

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photo courtesy of The Pioneer Woman Blog

Something to Make: As we were pulling our Christmas decorations out in early December, I discovered that I didn’t have a great option for a table centerpiece. I wanted to keep it simple this year and also on the reasonably-priced side, as it is something that you only have up for a month-ish. As I was researching the ever-faithful Pinterest, I came across this pin I had pinned a while ago and thought I would make Christmas placemats for the table and just get a poinsettia for the center. Being a perfectionist, I got oober-particular about how the letters were coming out. I had completed the placemat with “joy” written on it and was pleased with how that one turned out so I decided, rather than doing 4 placemats, for now I would just use that one as a centerpiece and put the poinsettia and a couple of candles on top of it. A simple arrangement, but I loved it against the dark wood of our table.  I love the simplicity of the placemat and want to make a set with normal eating-type words in the future for everyday enjoyment.

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This picture was taken right after I did it, so the poinsettia and the other candle were not on-hand yet. I went with a white poinsettia and loved how it popped against the dark wood of the table.

Something to Read: Earlier this week, our pastor linked to this blog on the Gospel Coalition that gives various plans for reading the Bible through in a year. Justin Taylor wrote the blog and he gives helpful ideas for different types of readers, encouraging us all to be faithful to just be in the Word. This is one way I am seeking to grow in diligence. I need His truth to be filling my heart and mind every day and to do that, I must be IN His Word, studying, growing, and deepening my understanding of it.

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Something to Dwell On: “God is so vastly wonderful, so utterly and completely delightful, that He can, without anything other than Himself, meet and overflow the deepest demands of our total nature, mysterious and deep as that nature is.” — A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God

Some Picks of the Week

Something to Make: The other night, we made the best potato soup we’ve ever had. It was like comfort in a bowl. It was the meal where you barely talk because you are so focused on the food. I don’t know that we will ever make a different type of potato soup. The recipe is from a blog I follow, Annapolis and Company.  I love her blog. She has such a sweet heart, she shares in such a real way, and truly focuses on delighting in the everyday – whatever that day holds, whatever the Lord is working – soaking it up, sharing it, and learning from it. I’ve been so inspired and thoroughly encouraged by her blog and her writing. Go take some time to read it. She also shares incredible recipes and beautiful pictures of food on her blog which, being a lover of food, I enjoy. We’ve made several recipes of her’s and loved every one. The potato soup was no different. After one go-round it has become a fall/winter tradition for our home.

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Something to Use: I know there are many different tools for budgeting, but I just wanted to share quickly the one we use. We use Mint.com and it has been fabulous in helping us to stay on top of our budget. It is an online tool and you can also download the app for it, which is excellent for quick reference when you are out and about or, if you’re like me, use an iPad or other tablet more than than a desktop computer. I will go into further detail as to how it has helped us and specifics of how we use it in a later post, but for now, if you are looking for a budget tool I recommend this one!

Something to Cherish: Little and I had our first mommy/daughter nail-painting experience yesterday. I loved it, so much. She was a little weirded out when I asked her if she wanted me to paint her toenails, but when I showed her on her fingernail she got really excited so we went for that this first time. In “firsts” like this, I love to watch her facial expressions. She goes from intense focus to giggles to my favorite scrunchy nose smile. As she takes it all in, I just take her in. These are those moments that I want to soak up every little ounce of. These are those sweet moments that I will cherish forever.

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I hope you all have a beautiful weekend!

Some Picks of the Week

Something to Read: The girltalk blog. I’ve mentioned it before here. It’s filled with constant encouragement, practical wisdom, and life humor, all founded on gospel truth. They wrote a 2-Part blog on How to Handle Public Tantrums (Part 1. Part 2.) and it was excellent! My fellow mothers and I were all passing it around to one another this past week. It was especially timely as several of my friends and I have recently been talking to, praying for, and asking each other’s thoughts on how to best handle such situations in a biblical way. The blog refreshed my mommy heart and has given my husband and I encouragement and helpful ideas as we seek to love and parent our girl well in this way. I’m thankful for how the Lord is using it and for what He is teaching us as we think and pray through these things. I will share in a later blog some of what we have decided to implement and how we are growing and learning in our seeking to practice it.

Something to Meditate On: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:4-9

This verse is one I am committing to memory. It is a verse that we pray we live out faithfully daily in our home and our parenting.

Something to Make: We made these Stuffed Shells with Arrabbiata Sauce the other evening and they were amazing. J and I both couldn’t wait to eat the leftovers the next day! I halved the recipe and filled an 8-by-8 glass baking dish, and we basically got 3 meals out of it. It would be a great meal to serve to guests with a light salad and french bread. The stuffing for the shells is pure creamy goodness and the pancetta adds such a great flavor to the sauce. It’s a new family favorite.

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photo courtesy of Food Network

Something to Be Thankful For: Dear friends. How have I been blessed by my friends? Oh, let me count the ways! The Lord has been overwhelmingly kind in the many beautiful women He has gifted to me as friends. There are so many of them, both here in KY and throughout the rest of the country. I could fill volumes on how these women have encouraged me, challenged me, spurred me on, spoken truth to me, loved me, cried with me, made me laugh uncontrollably, learned with me, taught me, and been ever faithful testimonies of Jesus to me. These are women who love Jesus most and seek Him first and that is seen in their marriages, their mothering, their ministering, their homes, their careers, and their every day living. I am humbled and unspeakably thankful to have each one of them as my friends and sisters. How good our God is to grant us such people to walk through this life with. What a blessing to grow, learn, and be sanctified together. My friends, every.single.one. of you is a gift to me, in so many ways. I praise the Lord for each one of you and count it a true joy and privilege to walk through life with you. Thank you for walking with me and for spurring me on to love and reflect Jesus more. You are each precious to me and I love you dearly.

Some Picks of the Week

Something to Read: A Mother’s Heart by Jean Fleming. At the top of my list for mommy books. My sweet mom gave me this book on Mothers Day when I was pregnant with Little. I read bits and pieces then, but over the last few months I read through it to completion with a dear friend of mine. It is truly gospel-centered, filled with honest insights about mothering and practical wisdom and thoughts on how to carry out our role as mommy in a godly, loving, creative way. I finished the book deeply encouraged, challenged, and inspired in my role as a mother. Motherhood is a gift — a sanctifying, beautiful gift. I highly recommend this book!

Something to Make: Beignets with Quick Homemade Blackberry Jam.  J and I first had beignets on a weekend away in Chicago a few years ago. You had to order them when you ordered your dinner if that was your choice for dessert so they could make them hot and fresh. They were served with 3 different dipping sauces and they were, without a doubt, one of the best dishes we’ve ever eaten! We watched Bobby Flay make these beignets on Cooking Channel the other day and have been craving them since. We are having a special breakfast for dinner tonight and the dough is rising as I write. So far, so good…and easy! I am counting down the minutes until we get to experience the delectable result.

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photo courtesy of Cooking Channel


Something to Cherish: Moments like this…………

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We have an exciting weekend and next week ahead, filled with visits from family, a little roadtrip, and a wedding of dear friend. Thankful for these beautiful October days!

Have a Happy Friday!!