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11/24/14

Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am always on the hunt for the perfect recipe for everything.

The perfect loaf of bread.
The perfect pancakes and waffles.
The perfect white cake.
The perfect chocolate chip cookie.

So at the risk of sounding ridiculously haughty, I present the mecca of chocolate chip cookies.  I discovered the original recipe on the back of a margarine box -- gross -- when I was still living at home.  Over the years, I have continued to modify it and this is my favorite version so far.

Without further ado, I present you a Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookie.
Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies
// makes 2 dozen //

3/4 c. butter
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
1 t. baking soda
1 c. quick oats
1 1/2 c. flour
1 c. chocolate chunks
1 c. white chocolate chips
course sea salt
 ^^ this cookie dough is toddler approved! ^^
Soften butter in microwave until almost melted.  Mix in brown sugar until creamy and smooth.  Add egg, vanilla and baking soda.  Stir in oats and flour until just combined.  Lastly combine with chocolate chips.  // A nice variation is any chocolate candy: M&M's, Reese Peanut Butter Pieces, etc // Drop tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets.  Sprinkle lightly with course sea salt.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  Do not over bake!!  Cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes -- if you can wait that long.

11/23/14

And Then There Were Four

It's hard to believe that Gideon just arrived two weeks ago because I feel like I have loved him forever.

God has been so gracious to us by giving us two boys with the sweetest, most laid back personalities I have ever seen.  Somedays I have to pinch myself because it feels too good to be true. It has also been really incredible to see God answer my prayers for Emmett's transition into the role of big brother.  He seamlessly switches from complete oblivion to total adoration of little Gideon.  Minus that little toy hammer to the forehead action that went down a couple days ago.  Hashtaglittlebrotherproblems. haha

Also having the chance to watch your best friend with these precious souls you have made together is pretty mind blowing.  Every night when we say prayers before dinner, Adam always is thanking God for his little buddies.   My heart melts every time I hear that.  I beg God that we can always treasure these boys as gifts on loan to us.  I desperately want to carefully love and guide them through life and I pray pray pray that we never crush their spirits.  Oh to be able to show them grace like Jesus shows me everyday.

Thank you thank you thank you for all your kind words, the gifts sent in the mail, the meals that keep showing up on at our door, the phone calls, the texts.  It is such a gift to have a community of people around you that rejoice when you rejoice.  We truly love you guys.
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Photo credits to my sweet sister, Grace, who actually happens to be on an awesome mission trip in Cameroon right now.  We love you, auntie Grace!  Hurry home safe! xo

11/21/14

#beeskneegrams and an update

Here are some of my favorite moments lately via my Instagram feed.  
You can see more all day, erry-day right here.
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Guys!! It's been so much fun being back in a blogging routine this week! Thanks for all your kind words and encouragement.  I have truly missed this community and creative outlet.

Quick story on that.  After all my computer problems at the beginning of the year, one of my sweetest readers along with her friends, pooled their money to help get a computer so I could get back to blogging.  Isn't that amazing?! I have never met this girl and she blessed me so so much with her generous spirit of love.  Unbeknownst to her, my sweet in-laws had just gifted me a brand new laptop which totally blew me away.  Two months later, while I was visiting at a friend's house, their kids accidentally spilled a glass of chocolate milk all over said new computer.  Our friends were more than gracious in paying for the repairs but it took months longer than expected.

Blogging has always been a bit of an idol for me, if I'm completely honest.  As much as I love it for all the right reasons, I struggle to not let it's growth and vision become an obsession in my heart and life.  God used this year to teach me so much about letting go and I feel in such a healthier place when it comes to priorities and the posture of my heart.

Two other great thing about my forced sabbatical.  First was working with this incredibly talented, sweet girl from Croatia (!!) to revamp my blog's layout.  Guys, if you ever need design work done, I can't recommend her enough.  Her prices are so fair and she is very thorough and quick.  Second, I started listening to these insightful podcasts by Elise Joy about blogging and living as a creative.  They really helped renew and inspire a clearer vision and direction for this blog.  I would  be happy to share more on this if you are interested, just let me know in the comments below.

Okay!! All this to say, I am truly so happy to be back to sharing and connecting with all of you.  You have no idea what this community means to me and I look forward to growing and getting to know you better.

I also wanted to just share a couple ways to stay connected for new readers or for you old faithfuls on the off chance you forgot.  Be sure to hop over to my Instagram account -- shout out to my favorite social media outlet of all times!!  I love sharing bits of our day throughout the day and would be so excited to see you over there.  Also you can get post updates via my Facebook page or Twitter.  I also love curating creative ideas and spaces on my Pinterest page so be sure to check that out as well.  

Thanks as always for sticking around and for being a part of our family's life.  Happy weekend, friends!!

11/20/14

A Letter To My Postpartum Self

Dear Postpartum Self,

I know you are feeling pretty down on yourself right now. . . what with your once smooth stomach completely riddled with stretch marks, your emotions that can give a mood ring a run for it's money and that mid-section that still thinks it's three months pregnant.  As much as you tried to prepare yourself, this is a whole lot harder than you ever imagined.

Not only did you just squeezed a watermelon through a hole the size of your nostril, but now there is the pain of milk coming in and that feeling like shards of glass tearing through you when the feeding hour comes around.   You never bargained for the night sweats, the fat mattress pads you straddle for the greater part of a month or the feeling of panic as you wake just to make sure that fragile little angel is still breathing.  And to top it off, there's the motherload of all periods that seems to never end, the cringing every time you see yourself in pictures and the sinking feeling when you realize your body will never quite be the same again.

So before you lock all your doors, stay inside and swear to never do this again, I hope you'll remember to be kind to this strange, postpartum version of yourself.  Be kind to yourself when your toddler has watched half a season of Curious George in one day.  Be kind to yourself when you smell like leaking, day-old milk.  Be kind to yourself when you can't quite suck that stomach in far enough to hide what's left over from 9 months of turning food into a tiny human.  Be kind to yourself when you feel unstoppable, hot tears fighting their way down your cheeks because your husband only cleaned up the spilled salad dressing with paper towels instead of soap and water.

But most of all, be kind to yourself because somehow God saw fit to use you as the secret place for crafting a miracle.  The place where a tiny seed of a soul can grow into a great legacy for the Gospel and you forever will carry the marks on your body to prove it.

Love Your Miracle-Making Self
^^ post-too-much-sucking-in ^^