cheesy baked penne

Last night we had Bret’s grandparents over for dinner. What a night! It’s so fun to have them over. Here are a few fun facts about Bret’s grandparents:First, we call them Granny and Grampy (so cute, huh?!). Second, they love Jesus and each other dearly. Third, without fail, if you specifically tell Granny not bring anything…she still will. It’s just in her nature and it is incredibly generous of her. I have to fill you in on what came out of the 4 or 5 paper bags she brought over. Granny arrived with an ENTIRE ham, a giant loaf of ciabatta, a whole lemon tart, an almond pastry twist, and a large jar filled with gummy cokes for Bret. And, well, there is more…but I’ll stop there. Oh our sweet Granny, we love you so much!!! You spoiled us rotten and we can’t say thank you enough.

The last fun fact about Bret’s grandparents is their refined culinary pallet. They love meat, potatoes and lots of SUGAR. That being said, Granny always makes some pretty delicious feasts. It took me a couple of days to mull over what I could make them. I love raw kale salads for goodness sake. But, ultimately, I landed on a traditional pasta dish. Who doesn’t love Italian?! WHO doesn’t love cheese?! I essentially made this up off the top of my head, and it ended up being SO yummy! I hope you make it for your family and enjoy it as much as we did.
CBP
Ingredients:
  • 1 large rectangular glass baking dish
  • 1 16 oz. package of penne pasta
  • 1 – 1.5 pounds of lean ground beef
  • 1 jar of tomato basil sauce
  • 12 oz. of shredded cheese (I used a Parmesan/asiago mix)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil water in a medium saucepan. Add penne and cook for 7-8 minutes or until just Al-dente. Strain completely and then transfer the penne to the glass baking dish.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Chop the onion. Sauté until the onion becomes translucent and soft.
  3. Press garlic cloves and add to the onions. Sauté for one more minute.
  4. Add the beef. Break it up and then add the basil, marjoram, salt and pepper.
  5. Once the meat is completely cooked through, add the jar if tomato sauce to the pan. Stir well and let it simmer for couple minutes.
  6. Pour the meat sauce over your penne into the glass baking dish. Stir it in well so that the sauce is evenly distributed.
  7. Stir half the cheese into the noodles so it is evenly distributed.
  8. Sprinkle the other half of the cheese over the top.
  9. Place the baking dish in the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the top is browned and bubbly.
  10. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

I paired this dish with KILLER garlic bread by Shutterbean, a garden salad, and mini apple crumbles for dessert (topped with whipped cream, of course). It was such a joy having Bret’s grandparents over for dinner. I enjoyed cooking for them and spending quality time together laughing, sharing, and playing domino’s. We are excited to do it again soon!

Let me know if have any questions about the dish. What are some fun facts about YOUR grandparents?

xo sarah

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gospel monday

Gospel Monday

Fact: “…Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17

My intention in writing “Gospel Monday” is that all would hear the good news of the Gospel and believe in the salvation we have in Jesus Christ! This last weekend I was challenged by a chunk of Scripture in Matthew and I wanted to share what I learned.

Matthew 16: 24-26 {Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus}

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?

This passage tells me that as we follow Jesus, it will cost us everything. Our selfish desires, our expectations, our reputation. At face value, that doesn’t sound so great…however, because we see the amazing grace that was shown to us on the cross, we no longer count our life as the most important thing in the world to us! We only count Jesus as the most important thing to us: His will, His love, His grace, His character, HE IS KING!

Then I was challenged with a very intense question: “Is there anything you would say no to God about?”

Wow…I would like to say, “NOW WAY, NO HOW!” But because I know that my affections can be pulled every which way at times, this question haunts me. I can only pray that God would give me the absolute trust in Him that He requires. That I would count my life as nothing and Christ as everything! And because God loves me, I know He will answer this prayer.

Lastly, I wanted to share an encouraging hymn. This hymn encourages my heart and brings me to a place of worship before God. It helps me to remember the amazing truth of God’s power and the life I desire to live.

“You would Reign” – Starfield

You thought of us before the world began to breathe 
You knew our names before we came to be 
You saw the very day we fall away from you 
And how desperately we need to be redeemed 

Lord Jesus 
Come lead us 
We’re desperate for your touch 

Oh great and mighty One 
With one desire we come 
That you would reign that you would reign in us 
We’re offering up our lives 
A living sacrifice 
That you would reign that you would reign in us 

Spirit of the living God fall fresh again 
Come search our hearts and puify our lives 
We need your perfect love we need your discipline 
We’re lost unless you guide us with your light 

Lord Jesus 
Come lead us 
We’re desperate for your touch 

Oh great and mighty One 
With one desire we come 
That you would reign that you would reign in us 
We’re offering up our lives 
A living sacrifice 
That you would reign that you would reign in us 

Hope you were encouraged by the Word of Christ today!

xo sarah

our full life: week four

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Not a ton to share this week. I came down with the common cold…AGAIN. Getting sick is a bummmmmer. But without fail, there is still a TON to be grateful for.

I ate my colors for breakfast. Mango and red bell pepper for extra vitamin C.

breakfast

Bret and I were invited over to a friend’s house for dinner. Bret had fun being silly with their kiddos. Their daughter put a Star Wars sticker on his shirt. He will never object to Star Wars!

silly bret

I LOVE all things spicy. My mouth can withstand very hot temperatures and flavors. I was hoping that if I poured hot salsa in my caldo de pollo it would help congestion.

salsa

Put together a new outfit combination I love! Brown boots and brown tights with a floral dress and long purple cardigan. What do you think Rena?

new outfit

I was finishing up a present for my girlfriends this week. LOTS of stamping and custom hand-lettering. LOTS of cantaloupe for vitamin C. Blog post next week with the finished product and DIY tutorial!

craft chaos

I made szechuan chicken for the first time. I added some dried red chilis to the recipe and it was like having Chinese take-out at home! Now if I could only master egg rolls.

szechuan

I baked Joy the Baker’s orange poppyseed tea biscuits. They were killer.

tea biscuits

And lastly…the best part of my whole week was spending time with some of the most amazing girls I know. We have been getting together  for an annual Christmas Tea (postponed this year) for 11 years now and I love each year more then the last. We drink tea, eat tons of delicious food and treats and exchange gifts. Most of all we love on each other and laugh! I love you girls…thank you for always being there! #bfffive

girls tea

tea food

tea cup

making tea

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That’s all friends! Blessings to you and your family in the week to come.

xo sarah

this abundant list

Hello friends!

Do you ever wish you had a more time to cook, bake, create, craft, etc.? I know that’s me. Can I get paid to bake cookies someday, please? Well, right now I am working on a big project that I have put off until the last minute (of course) and it needs to get done by tomorrow evening. I’m kind of nervous about it and I hope it gets done in time/turns out the way I am anticipating. But I will try to stay positive and just have fun doing it! Here is a list of random, inspirational, and noteworthy things to pump me (and you) up for the many hours of crafting to come.

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  1. This is an UHH-mazing one minute message about forgiveness. Preach it Piper.
  2. I hope I can mimic some of these awesome hand-lettering techniques.
  3. Inspiration from a mom who wants to cherish every moment. Even when folding laundry.
  4. Love is in the air…and so is the common cold. I caught it for the third time this season, but I think elderberry syrup has been helping a lot this time!
  5. Listening to music and loving Bird Song.
  6. Excited for the latest Joy the Baker Podcast.
  7. I hope my package comes from David’s so I can brew some delicious blueberry jam organic tea.
  8. I’ll need some motivation throughout the day. Romans 1 it is.
  9. In need of a good laugh…this video kills me. This kid is for reals not joking and it makes me so happy. I can’t say I’d do any better though!
  10. I might need a baking break. I think I’ll try these orange poppyseed tea biscuits.

I’ll have a post up next week with the results of my craft! Yay!

xo sarah

chocolate covered banana craving

It wasn’t always this way for me, but I seriously love bananas. Bananas are one of my favorite fruits and they’re even better in baked goods or desserts. Sometimes I’ll just eat a banana dipped in almond butter and call it a day!

A few lazy Saturdays ago, I got a hankering for a frozen chocolate covered banana and I thought I’d to give it a try for myself! I decided to slice up a banana, freeze the slices on a baking sheet, and dip each piece into melted chocolate. To be honest, I wasn’t entirely successful: chocolate was spilled, bananas were dropped, and I only really saved a few pieces, but it was fun trying! Paired with some hot coffee…perfect Saturday snack!

chocolate dipped banana 2

What is your favorite banana dish? What have you been adventurous with in the kitchen lately!? I would love to know!

xo sarah

gospel monday

Gospel Monday

Last Friday I had the great pleasure of seeing the motion picture Les Miserables.

I had no idea what to expect from it. I knew it was a musical and I knew it was long. However, I read the book in high school nearly ten years ago and my familiarity with the themes and symbolism were pretty much gone. Ultimately, though, I do remember loving the book and feeling like I could relate to some of the characters in one way or another, flaws and fortunes alike. After seeing the movie, it all came rushing back to me. Les Miserables is a literary masterpiece and, whether Victor Hugo meant to or not, a wonderful representation of Gospel themes.

Les Miserables is French for “the miserable ones” or “the poor ones”. How fitting.
If we can relate to the characters in this story for any reason, it is this one. We are all miserable and poor and dead in our sin apart from the forgiveness and grace of our Savior. This is something the story portrays in great detail and brilliance.

The characters are real, vulnerable, and majorly flawed. The main character Jean Valjean sees this in himself. He sees his proclivity to sin and then run and hide in dark places, away from the God who loves him. The character Javert is so obsessed with the law and keeping moral order that he misses the point of compassion, grace, and second chances all together. The character Fantine sees this in herself as well. She tries to find her identity in a man and, when that falls apart, she has no where to turn but to her own sin. Not until her last breath does she recognize her deep need for God to show grace to her and save her.

Ultimately, these characters are fictional and while their stories can encourage us and bring out some of our deepest emotions, they can only go so far. The world that we live in today is not fictional and nor is the God who created it. He is eternal. Jesus loves His children and does not desire that any one should perish or continue in a life of miserable sin.

Exodus 34: 6-7 tells us about God’s never changing character and love: “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…”

Romans 1:21 tells us about our natural state: “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

Romans 5: 8-9 provides us the clear direction of our faith and salvation: “…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.”

Isn’t Jesus amazing!? While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Even as I have sinned today, Christ has forgiven me and speaks His righteousness over me. Jesus, You are beyond words and I am in awe.

Ultimately, Les Miserables is a movie and it majorly falls short in comparison to the Gospel and Glory of God. But, it was pretty exciting to see such magnificent themes of grace and that God was being glorified in Hollywood. I was blown away and truly brought to tears in remembering the Gospel during this movie.

xo sarah

our full life: week three

This week consisted of all our favorite kiddos and a handful of meals shared with the people we love. Week three…you were good.

OFL 3

First, I don’t have a picture for it, but we found out this week that Bret got accepted to Talbot School of Theology for his masters degree program! Insert a mental image of huge smiles, lots of thumbs up, and congratulatory hugs and kisses. Huge deal, babe!

In much less exciting news, breakfast this week was yogurt with blueberries and cinnamon. Delish.

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Cooking with millet for the first time was pretty fun. I made some honey banana oatmeal muffins. Super healthy snack!

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I got to celebrate my friend Stephanie’s birthday with a delicious lunch together. Her adorable kiddos came too!

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This is Sawyer. Look how adorable that little guys is.

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I made dinner for by best friend. Homemade tomato soup and my Sweet Kale Salad. Our husbands had a guys night at Outback. So we took advantage of that time and spent the night in with her kids and ate like rabbits.

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I had to take a quick shot of the sunset from her front yard.

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This is Uriah and Zeke. They are wonderful. We had a blast screaming and singing about bananas.

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Relaxing in bed. Reading blogs, flipping through Real Simple, and thanking God for some much desired rest.

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Thursday was Family Night at Bret’s parents. I made a chocolate cobbler for dessert. No good pictures. It gotten eaten up too quickly!

The best part of the night was spending time with my niece Lucy. I am bias…but isn’t she THE cutest baby girl you’ve ever seen. Its a fact. Plain and simple.

lucy at Fam Night

It was so fun playing with her during that last spurt of energy before bedtime.

playing w lucy Collage

Bret took me out on the town for our monthly date night! Benihana and Les Miserables. It was just lovely.

photo-7

One of the best things to happen this week was a family BBQ at my dad’s house. I got to see my brother for the first time in a while. He lives out in Utah for his job. Unfortunately, he doesn’t like his picture taken, but here are some other fun pictures.

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yard

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That was our week for the most part. It was such a blessing to be able to cook, spend time with friends and family, and have some restful moments. Thanks for reading!

xo sarah

this abundant list {giveaway}

TAL

The list this week is a little selfish, but for a fun reason! In a little less than one month, I will be turning 25! A quarter of a century…whoa. That being said, I am making a list of all the possible ways I could celebrate the day!

I would love to hear your suggestions about how to celebrate, where to go, what to do, what to eat, anything! Basically, what should I experience as a 25 year old? I know Joy the Baker has an awesome list of what to do when you are Turning Twentyone and I’d love to compile a list of my own! But as far as celebrating, here’s my list of possibilities:

  1. Visit Coronado. Wear a pretty dress, ride bikes, eat at Island Pasta.
  2. Have a dinner party. Serve bratwurst and beer. Make soft pretzels and have lots of Sprinkles Cupcakes…red velvet, of course.
  3. Get a tattoo. Wait, who am I kidding? Or am I?
  4. Get a massage, a facial, sushi: the works.
  5. Have an old school sleepover with all my girlfriends. Head on over to The Pannikin for breakfast.
  6. Take a cooking class at Sur La Table!
  7. Beach walk at sunset and take-out Chinese food. Lots of eggrolls are a must.
  8. Be a little crazy with laughing and singing at San Diego’s dueling piano bar: The Shout House.
  9. Be a little hipster with some slices from Pizzeria Luigi and Mules at Starlite.
  10. Have a classic game night. Scattergories until we all fall asleep!
  11. Get classy with dinner at Bankers Hill. Then go for a little slice of Heaven and a cup of tea at Extraordinary Desserts.
  12. Go for an early morning hike at Torrey Pines then for breakfast at Claire’s.
  13. Spend the day watching girly movies and making ice cream.
  14. Craft & Sew. Because there never seems to be enough time for it other days.
  15. Throw together a soccer scrimmage and go out for pizza after!
  16. Go bankrupt shopping for tea.

So….in light of discussing birthdays, I think presents are in order:  I am hosting a sweet giveaway! Please post a comment below to be entered to win some of my favorite treats from Trader Joe’s. I would love to hear your perspective. In your comment, please answer one or more of the following: what did you do for your 25th Birthday? From the list above, what is your vote on how I should celebrate my birthday this year? Or, give me your own awesome idea!

NOTE: Giveaway will end on January 24th at 12:00pm. Winner will be selected at random. Winner will be notified via email and I will post their win in the comment thread. Let the commenting begin! Restrictions: Winner must live within the continental United States.

xo sarah

*Photo Credit: Jessica Hannon

crackling corn bread muffins

What is the perfect side dish to the perfect turkey chili? I know. Some delicious Crackling Corn Bread Muffins!

crackling corn bread

Fact: These corn bread muffins are legit…and I really do not use the word legit. They super buttery, crispy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside. I think the corn kernels are my favorite part. And they are best served hot and fresh out of the oven.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup stoneground cornmeal
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp. of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. of table salt
  • 1 cup of frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • 6 Tb. (3/4 stick) of unsalted butter, melted
  • corn grits & kosher salt for sprinkling on the top of each muffin

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a muffin tin with 12 paper liners.
  2. Mix dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Then whisk in the milk, honey, melted butter, corn kernels, and egg.
  3. Pour batter into each prepared muffin liner until all the batter is used.
  4. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with some corn grits and kosher salt.
  5. Set the muffin tin on the center rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
  6. The corn bread muffins are done when the edges are lightly browned, the tops are crackling, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Enjoy the southern-style goodness with more butter and honey if desired.

NOTE: Adding 1 cup of cooked, diced bacon would be amazing in these as well. If you decide to use bacon, change the amount of salt you add to 1/4 teaspoon.

xo sarah

the perfect turkey chili

Hi friends!

It is COLD outside! I am a Southern California girl and this 40 degree weather is way too intense for me. The upside: I can warm my little family with a hot bowl of chili. This recipe has taken a good amount of time to get just right, but I think it has finally happened: The Perfect Turkey Chili. It’s just the right amount of spice and hearty ingredients to make anyone feel warmed body and soul! Please excuse this picture and don’t let it fool you. It was taken at my desk during my lunch break because I ate my bowl from the night before too fast to take a good picture.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of ground turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1-2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1-2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 1 1/2 cups of dry pinto beans (soaked over night and drained)
  • 1 1/2 cups of dry black beans ( soaked over night and drained)
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 1 large can (1 lb.) of diced/crushed tomatoes.
  • 2 boxes (64 oz.) of good chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf

         SPICES:

  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar

Directions:

  1. Brown the ground turkey in non-stick skillet with all the spices.
  2. Put all the ingredients into a large soup pot or large crockpot.
  3. Add the list of spices for a second time and stir to combine.
  4. If you are doing your chili on the stove in a large soup pot, bring it to a rolling boil and then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 2 1/2 – 3 hours. If you are cooking your chili in a large crockpot, cook on high for 9 hours. NOTE: As long as the beans get cooked through you are good to go!
  5. Enjoy! Top with sour cream, cheese, and scallions. Serve with some crackling corn bread muffins!

NOTE: This will feed about 6-10 people…so, if you are a small family, chili makes great leftovers. That’s what we do!

I hope you try this recipe and I hope you love it! We sure do. Please let me know if you have any questions at all.

xo sarah

gospel monday

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Amazing words! If there is anything in life that we should be passionate about, it’s the Gospel. I feel like I could just sit and think about that for hours.

About a year and a half ago, my husband and I began attending a church called The Fields. My husband joined the staff to work with the Jr. High ministry and we were so excited for the new adventure. At the time, I had no idea how precious this church and the community could (and would) be to me. Through the awesome work of Jesus, The Fields has played a huge role in my growth and understanding of the Gospel.

For example, when we first arrived, it was the summer of 2011 and that meant there were special summer groups going on: Band of Brothers for the guys and Women’s Summer Discipleship for the gals. During that summer, everyone went through the book “What is the Gospel” by Greg Gilbert. First of all, this book is incredible, simple, and highly recommended by yours truly…this little book clearly communicates what the entire Bible teaches about the Gospel. Second, this book was, in a way, my first “introduction” to what The Fields was all about, passionately stood for, and deeply believed in: Jesus and His glorious Gospel.

That summer was a turning point for me in my faith. I will never forget that summer because I think it pin-points when I really began to understand what the Gospel really means, how the Gospel affects every moment of my life, and how precious God truly is. During that Women’s Summer Discipleship we were given a blank flashcard and were asked to write down, in our own words, what the Gospel is. This is what I wrote on that flashcard:

“What is the Gospel? We are sinners and deserve hell. Jesus loves us and even while we were still sinners, He died on a cross as a sacrifice for our sin. He took our place and felt God’s wrath against sin. Jesus also rose from the dead – defeating it. This gives us victory over sin and new life in Him. Now we can stand before our Father white as snow, justified, and pure.”

While there are some semantics I would change and some words I would like to add here and there, I think writing out the Gospel once in a while can be very helpful. It’s interesting for me to look back and see what was particularly hitting me at that time. Writing down the Gospel gives us the right perspective. It’s something we should preach to ourselves daily. Moment-to-moment, in fact!

What is so amazing is that Jesus’ work on the cross has given us the free gift of forgiveness, life, and a relationship with the God who loves us so much. I hope you take some time to write down the Gospel today and really remember and revel in the amazing grace that Jesus has spoken over His beloved children.

xo sarah

our full life: week two

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We watched Downton Abbey, drank Angry Orchard, and ate expensive chocolate. It was magical.

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I made primal breakfast cookies with fresh cranberries and blackberries.breakfast cookies

I was inspired by The Girl with The Smile and did a calming face mask.

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I had lunch with the birds and enjoyed the shadows.

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I sampled Peet’s Matcha Green Tea Latte. Muy bueno!

green tea latte

Happy Hour with my love. Dear Bistro West, thank you for the best Ahi Tartar I have ever had. Sincerely, satisfied.

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I made a salted caramel chai. Gifted to me by Bret. YUM!

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I made Cauliflower Soup with Toasted Garlic on top. Crazy good!

cauliflower soup

We had our Jr. High students over to our apartment for a Bible Study and ice cream party. And to answer your question, yes…it was out of control fun.

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I was gifted tulips by one of sweet Jr. High girls. Thank you Lloyd family!

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Saturday night pizza party with my bff’s. Homemade whole wheat pizza dough by, the one and only, Jocelyn Cooper.

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Sunday car nap…because it had to be done.

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I took a snap shot driving home today. I am blown away that this is what I get to look at coming down the hill to our little home.

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I went grocery shopping! I really like grocery shopping. I’m a happy girl today.

grocery shopping

And to end the week…I am making a meal that should be called, “Bret Theis, This is for You.” Thank you Julia Child…you are making me a better chef.

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Hope you had a great week too! What did you do/make/live this week?

xo sarah

this abundant list

TAL2

  1. The picture above was taken in San Francisco when we visited Bi-Rite Creamery and Hog & Rocks. Both Epic. Both worth checking out.
  2. Valentine’s Day will be here soon. Maybe I’ll have time to do this and eat my little blogger heart out.
  3. I know its smack dab in the middle of winter, but I really wanna try this refreshing treat from Subtle Revelry’s most popular recipes of 2012. Peppermint AND lemons….shut the front door.
  4. I’m compiling a list of all the “natural” products I need for the home. Definitely going to pick up some matcha green tea powder and Essential Oils.
  5. Apple Cider Vinegar, ACV, whatever you wanna call it….I’m going to try out Fire Cider and Sweet Cider for the home.
  6. Crochet Turbans and Winter Diorama delights! Thank you, Brittan.
  7. While I write this, I’m watching Jim Gaffigan’s Mr. Universe. So if I’m being a little silly and somewhat random, that’s why.
  8. Party Time! Who wants to throw a party with me and pair the right honey with the right cheese with the right wine? Or just make chocolate milk and mini corn dogs and pretty bunting?
  9. Are pinky rings really “in”? This is what I’ve heard and it’s not just for secret society people anymore. Weird.
  10. Oil Pulling. I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it twice….does that mean I should just finally try it out?
  11. So excited to read my new book!

Love you guys!

xo sarah

DIY pallet planter

This post is a long time coming, but I am finally writing about our fabulous pallet planter! I was inspired by Kelly Moore via Pinterest, of course, and couldn’t be more happy with how it turned out.
pallet 1
Apartment life has its perks: a cozy place just big enough for two, right by the beach, no water bill and low maintenance. However, I really started wanting a garden to tend to, flowers to pick, and fresh herbs to cook with. However, the soil at our place is rock hard and not useful for the things I would like to plant. I believe I found the perfect solution!
This DIY pallet planter is simple yet elegant, relatively easy to care for, and so fun to work on year-around! I suggest that everyone make one of these for themselves and see why I’m so excited about it.This project is also relatively inexpensive, and, thankfully, I had some help from my husband with the power drill!  As always, feel free to make it your own: add some paint, glitter, interesting florals, bunting, or whatever…just have fun! Well, enough talk from me. Go DIY!
Supplies:
  • 1 pallet (We have a friend in construction so ours was free. Try to avoid buying them if at all possible and ask around.)
  • 8 small terra-cotta pots
  • 8 small plumbing hose clamps
  • 8 screws
  • 1 power drill
  • 1 small bag organic soil
  • 8 small plants/herbs/cacti/flowers
Directions:
  1. Lay pallet planter flat on the ground for steps 2-4.
  2. Decide where you would like your terra cotta pots to hang on the pallet. Lightly make a mark or dot on the pallet with a pen or pencil so you know where to drill in the screw for the hose clamp.
  3. Using a 1/8” (or slightly larger, to your liking) drill bit, drill one hole completely through each hose clamp. (You’ll want to do this on top of a thick piece of cardboard or wood, so you don’t cut through the hose and into your carpet/tile/etc.)
  4. Place a hose clamp on the pallet with the holes touching the wood. Then hold screw in place where you had previously made your mark.
  5. Now use your drill to firmly screw each hose clamp to the pallet!
  6. Continue step 4-5 until all 8 hose clamps are tightly secured to the pallet. PICTURE PROGRESS:PlanterCollage2
  7. Depending on what you chose, plant your seeds, cacti, florals, or herbs in the terra cotta pots according to the instructions given by the package, florist or info found online.
  8. Stand pallet upright and lean it against the wall you are going to keep your planter on.
  9. Place terra cotta pots one-by-one in the circle of a hose clamp. Arrange to your liking.
  10. You did it! Look at the beautiful work you’ve just done. You’re awesome. Enjoy!
palletCollage
I hope you make this planter for yourself. It’s been so enjoyable growing a little potted garden. Just remember to water the plants every day, give them enough sunlight, pruning and shoo away those pesky snails and other little critters! Let me know if you have any questions.
xo sarah

gospel monday

Gospel Monday

Through out the year 2012 our church has been going through the book of John and studying the love, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Part of our “homework” was to go back through and read the entire book again, on our own. I hope to finish that up by the end of the night, but I wanted to share a passage of scripture that really shows us the Gospel and what God’s character is really like.

It is the second most popular verse in the entire bible after, “In the beginning, God…”  I bet you all have heard of it or seen it on the bottom of your In N’ Out cup at some point. The verse I’m talking about is:

  • John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

This is magnificent! God loves His children so much that He would send Jesus to this world for US! And He did not come to live a normal life and die a normal death. He came and lived a perfect life and died the death that we deserved. And simple belief that Jesus was who he said he was: God, Savior, and our ransom…this is eternal life. Amen!

Some verses that help drill this truth even further are immediately following:

  • John 3:17-18 “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”

I am constantly blown away by the great love of our glorious God! He did not send Jesus to this world to condemn us! But, He came to die on a cross so we could be forgiven of our sins and experience His all-sufficient grace in every moment of our lives. I will forever praise Him for giving me faith to believe that He was who He said He was: my God, my Savior, and my ransom.

xo sarah