Monday, February 28, 2011


Fearless was the theme of the retreat I was at this past weekend.

I had a great weekend filled with learning more about the Lord, hanging out with friends, and being challenged in my faith.  I absolutely loved getting time with the older ladies in my small group -- it was so fun to get time with them, learn from them, laugh hard with them, and drink wine with them past midnight.

The thing that stuck with me the most was this:  when we are fearless (when we are walking in obedience in with the Lord and doing what He's called us to do -- regardless of how crazy it may seem), we are fearless for a purpose.  The Lord really uses His children.  Pretty exciting.

What do you fear the most?  
What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

Isaiah 41:10
fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sweet Sabbath

I spent the weekend here at my church's women's retreat.  I got home this afternoon to a beautiful Charleston Spring day and laid out in the sun for a few hours.  I went on a long walk.  I sent some emails and wrote some cards.

A perfect day to rest and enjoy who the Lord is.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Apple Crisp

I had some apples that needed to be used up.  Obviously, I decided to make dessert out of them.  Thus, an apple crisp was baked last night.  It was de-licious!  Courtney and I used to use this recipe all the time:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup rolled oats (I was out of these so I used some granola; worked well)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3 cups apples - peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C.) Lightly grease an 8 inch square pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, oats, flour and butter. Mix until crumbly. Place half of crumb mixture in pan. Spread the apples evenly over crumb mixture. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and top with remaining crumb mixture.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

I meant to take a picture, but forgot to...but mine did look just like this one...only in a green casserole dish.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Give Loud

After months of working on the project, my friends Adam and Dana Martin recently launched GiveLoud.  It is a not-for-profit company that makes giving money easier.  Want to raise money for a mission trip, run to support a local cause, donate to a ministry?  All you do is start a page on the website and tell people about it.  That's it.  So simple...and FREE.  It is much easier than mailing out letters, dealing with checks, etc.

Check it out.  Start something.  Change everything.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Grassroots movement

Now that is a political movement I could get behind.  Krissie sent this to me.  I LOVE it.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Perfect Saturday day in FEBRUARY:

Wake up and eat breakfast.  Put on sunscreen and a bathing suit.  LAY OUT in your front yard from 10 AM to 1 PM.  Yes, it is a bit redneck.  No, I didn't care.  And it is a major plus of living on James Island -- I'm pretty sure the neighbors won't be talking about it (unlike in Mt. Plastic/Mt. Perfect/Mt. Pleasant).

Meet Mary Ready and head to Folly Beach.  Go on a 2 hour walk and catch up, people watch, and bask in the beauty of the day.

SO thankful for this warm, gorgeous weather!

Friday, February 18, 2011


I'm taking a theology class at my church on Tuesday nights.  Perhaps another post for another time.  This past Tuesday, I walked around the Old Village in Mt. Pleasant before class.  First off, I LOVE that it has been warm this week!  Second, I'm glad I live in such a pretty part of the world.  Third, by no means am I a photographer, but I took these on my cell phone and they make me smile.  The sun was starting to set and I couldn't help but be taken in by the beauty of God's creation.

This is the "old bridge" in the Old Village.  Back in the day it was the bridge from Mt. Pleasant to Sullivan's Island.  Love the lines of Palmettos.

One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.  (Psalm 27:4 ESV)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tum da tum tum tum

I now eat these when my tummy flares up:

Yes, I feel like an old man.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Brownie Pudding

Yes, it tastes as good as it sounds.  If you like chocolate, you should give this a whirl.  Not surprisingly, it is another great recipe from Ina Garten.  I LOVE it!  It is perfect when you are PMS'ing need a chocolate indulgence.

  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus extra for buttering the dish
  • 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup good cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 tablespoon framboise liqueur, optional
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly butter a 2-quart (9 by 12 by 2-inch) oval baking dish. Melt the 1/2 pound of butter and set aside to cool.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed for 5 to 10 minutes, until very thick and light yellow. Meanwhile, sift the cocoa powder and flour together and set aside.
When the egg and sugar mixture is ready, reduce the speed to low and add the vanilla seeds, framboise, if using, and the cocoa powder and flour mixture. Mix only until combined. With mixer still on low, slowly pour in the cooled butter and mix again just until combined.
Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared dish and place it in a larger baking pan. Add enough of the hottest tap water to the pan to come halfway up the side of the dish and bake for exactly 1 hour. A cake tester inserted 2 inches from the side will come out 3/4 clean. The center will appear very under-baked; this dessert is between a brownie and a pudding.
Allow to cool and serve with vanilla ice cream.*

I switched it up a tiny bit by: not using the framboise (simply because I didn't have any), using vanilla extract instead of a vanilla bean (because its what I had/I am lazy), and I don't serve it with ice cream - just because I think it is plenty perfect the way it is.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I'm not getting any younger...

...but maybe I'll start looking younger?!  Over a year later, my Aveeno Positively Radiant ran out.  Instead of grabbing another bottle, I decided to switch things up a bit and go with this:
Aveeno Positively Ageless.  As watching the Grammy's the other night made it ever so clear, I'm not getting any younger.  So, why not?  It has an SPF of 30 instead of 15.  Thus far, I've been quite pleased.  

Does it go on smooth?  Yes.  (check)
Is it heavy?  No.  (check)
Is it quickly absorbed?  Yes.  (check)
Does it smell like sun screen?  No.  (check)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Favorite Grammy Performance

I can't get enough of this!


Happy Valentine's Day!

Though I do not have a Valentine, per se, this year, I'm wearing pink and am enjoying it.  I am thankful for the card I got from my mom and another one from my dad.  For having lots of Valentine's aka: friends.  For chocolate and the sun shining today.  

And for these words in Isaiah 54:

“Fear not, for you will not be ashamed;
be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced;
for you will forget the shame of your youth,
and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.
For your Maker is your husband,
the Lord of hosts is his name;
and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
the God of the whole earth he is called.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A yogi?!

Downward dog.  Upward dog.  Fish pose.  Lizard lips and warrior stances.  These are all things my body contorted into at yoga tonight.  Jane Harper and I made it without farting in class or causing too much of a scene.  I laughed a time or two out loud.  And once I fell forward.  The instructor kindly said, "if you're falling it just means you're going somewhere you've never been before."   Yes, that would be me!

I have to say, for my first time, yoga wasn't too bad!  It will be interesting to see how my body is feeling tomorrow.  Just imagine my body in these poses:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I'd heard about this book for years...namely from Krissie.  It seemed like she couldn't get enough.  I think she had the books, a journal, and the books on tape?  Something like that.  Ha.  A few months ago, a wise friend of mine suggested I read it.  And I finally did.  Y'all, I LOVE this book!  I don't re-read books, but definitely think it is a re-reader.  For what it's worth, I'd highly recommend it.

I think John and Stasi capture the essence of what being a woman is.  I know that sounds cheesy, but it is true -- in the best way.  They talk about beauty and friendships and work and strength...  In the words of LeVar Burton"But you don't have to take my word for it!"  

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Manic much?!

The weather; not me.  This past weekend it was lovely and felt like spring.  Saturday, I laid out in a beach chair in jeans and an oxford in the front lawn to read.  I loved it!  Sunday, I went with some friends to walk on the beach.  So fun!  Then it got cold again.  Blerg.  Yesterday it reached 72 and sunny in Charleston and was absolutely beautiful!  Today it is 50.  Cold, windy, and cloudy.  I blame the cold for my lack of desire to exercise and increased desire to nap and be at home.  I've said it before, and I'll probably say it again, but come on Spring/Summer, come!

All the while thankful I don't live in really cold areas.  ie: Chicago, like my brother.  It is seriously cold there...I'd be a fat hermit for sure.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Reality v. Illusion

I read something the other week that mentioned reality verses illusion.  Webster defines these words in the following way:
1: the quality or state of being real
2(1) : a real event, entity, or state of affairs reality> (2) : the totality of real things and events reality> b : something that is neither derivative nor dependent but exists necessarily

1a obsolete : the action of deceiving (1) : the state or fact of being intellectually deceived or misled : misapprehension (2) : an instance of such deception
2(1) : a misleading image presented to the vision (2) : something that deceives or misleads intellectually (1) : perception of something objectively existing in such a way as to cause misinterpretation of its actual nature (2) : hallucination 1 (3) : a pattern capable of reversible perspective
Seems simple enough, right?  I mean, I have a pretty good education, manage to pay my bills on time, and pretty much consider myself a competent person.  But when I read this, my heart stood still for a second (ok, maybe that wasn't reality).  At any rate, I was hit by a ton of bricks at the fact that often, too often, I like to live under the pretenses of illusion. 

Sometimes it is easier to live, or at least think, in terms of how I would like things to be...rather than how they actually are.   Too often, it is easy for me to believe the lies all around me (you should be this, do this, have this, etc.) rather than believe what God has said about who I am, who He is, and how the world truly is.  

Just something I've been thinking about in relation to money, dating (or lack of dating), beauty, relationships, and what not. 

PS.  Every time I hear "illusion" I think of GOB on Arrested Development saying,"it's an ILLUSION, Michael!  An illusion!"

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The other day I was on a bit of an organizing streak.  It started with my bathroom drawers.  It ended that night in the kitchen with this:
I wish I'd taken a before picture.  Just imagine pieces of plastic strewn about after a tornado.  Order feels SO nice.