our full life: week seventeen

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I think these boys are trying to kill me. Too cute…I can’t even handle it!photo (14)

Martha Meal with my beautiful friend Brittan was UH-mazing!!! Stay tuned for next month’s meal!photo (11)

Lunch break: enjoying the afternoon sun, eating a yummy salad, and re-reading The Great Gatsby for the first time since I was 16.lunchbreak

Work was a bit crazy this week. Preparing and sending out this mailer was the easy part…mailer

I can always count on coffee and tea at our team meetings though. Thankful for that.aprilmeetings

Right outside of Peet’s.springtime

Date night at La Especial Norte for the BEST chicken soup. Great chips & salsa too!la especial

I really enjoyed Anthropologie’s window display while I was out shopping for ministry supplies. The reflections were kinda rad too.anthro

We took Bret’s Granny out for her birthday! Love this picture.grannybday

After the exhausting week that I had…I really loved getting a haircut. The head massage never felt so good. I love how stylish the salon is, and how they brew you organic loose leaf tea to drink while you wait! How great is that?!twig

A couple of our Jr.High girls celebrated their birthday together with a beach party. How adorable are they!?!? They each got their own GIANT cake. So awesome.katherineandemma

I hope your week was blessed and filled with peace and rest in God.

xo sarah

martha meal

This week was the first of many collaborations between myself and the lovely and talented Brittan of What She Would Have Worn. She’s a woman of impeccable style and a true friend. We spent the day shopping, cooking, and snapping photos together. Most importantly, there was lots of laughing, real talk, and inspiration going on.

Here is the situation: Brittan and I both love blogging. Like…really love blogging.

Here is what we thought: “Collaboration? Yes, please! Let’s be like Martha Stewart (and some of our favorite bloggers)!”

Here is the plan: Every month that Martha Stewart Living magazine puts out a new issue, we will throw a few of her recipes together for a menu, make them, eat them,  and call it…wait for it…”Martha Meal!”

So here it is: our very first post of Martha Meal is here. Insert applause.photo (11)

We decided to start simple. Our Martha Meal consisted of Roasted Chicken Thighs with Tomatoes, Olives, and Feta & Artichoke Fennel and Arugula Salad with Strawberries and Pecorino Seeded Croutons.

First, we had to shop for the ingredients. Thankfully, Sprouts is our local market. In case you didn’t already know, I thoroughly enjoy grocery shopping; making the lists, seeing all the fresh produce, deciding on the right cut of meat, and always trying to find a good deal. So much fun to do something I (oddly) love with someone I (not-so-oddly) love!

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Next, we got back to my place and did the following: we set up our stations, preheated the oven, and got to work! The whole placed smelled…amazing.

Now to share these yummy recipes with all of you! I will be sharing the scrumptious salad with you (see below), but you’ll have to head over to Brittan’s blog for the low-down on those amazing Roasted Chicken Thighs. Cheers!

Artichoke Fennel and Arugula Salad with Strawberries and Pecorino Seeded Croutons

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Pecorino Seeded Crouton Ingredients

  • 1 small loaf of fresh baked seeded bread
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup pecorino cheese, finely shredded
  • Fresh cracked pepper

Pecorino Seeded Crouton Directions:

  1. Slice seeded bread into 3/4-inch-cubes until you have 4 cups.
  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the bread cubes and a pinch of salt. Continue to stir.
  3. Cook until crisp. About 5-10 minutes. Once golden and crisp, remove from heat.
  4. Immediately sprinkle your croutons with the pecorino and cracked pepper.

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Salad Ingredients:

  • 3-5oz. Arugula
  • 1 small fennel bulb, chopped (top removed)
  • 6 strawberries, sliced
  • 1 6 oz. jar artichoke hearts, divided
  • 1/4 cup feta
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Pecorino Seeded Croutons (see recipe above)

Salad Directions:

  1. In a large salad bowl toss in the arugula, chopped fennel, a few of the artichoke hearts, and sliced strawberries.
  2. Make the dressing: combine the rest of the artichoke hearts and their liquid, the feta, the juice of 1 lemon, and Olive Oil into a small food processer.
  3. Toss your salad with the dressing and croutons. Serve and enjoy!

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Brittan and I both hope that you enjoy the Martha Meal as much as we did. And DANG it tasted GOOD! I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us next month!

Thanks for being my bloggy friend, Brittan! And working with me on these yummy drinks too!

xo sarah

gospel monday

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Today is Earth Day…but in my mind it is something incredibly more magnificent.

I believe that the Earth was created by God. By His great power and love, He created all that we know and see. Such beauty and awesome wonder that should not be denied.

Genesis 1:1-5 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.”

Genesis chapters 1 & 2 continue to tell us the truth of how God created this amazing world with perfect wisdom, care and meaning. God does things that are good. He does things that are very good.

When you see a beautiful sunset, a full moon, or sky full of sparkling stars…think of HIM. When you see the massive oceans, the mighty rivers, or the rain pouring down…think of HIM. When you see a tree towering hundreds of feet above you, flowers blooming in full color, or green hills rolling on for miles…think of HIM.

His creation doesn’t stop with the plants and animals. God made every human that walks this earth (Psalm 139:13). He made and formed YOU and He desires that you would worship Him for He is Worthy! Believe in Him and all of your sins are forgiven…that perfect peace is found only in HIM (Romans 8: 1-11).

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pelicans

creation - peony

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aunt m's tree

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beach 2

How great Thou art, Lord! Our Creator is worthy of ALL honor and praise. Let us be stil and worship HIM.

xo sarah

our full life: week sixteen

OFL 16Week sixteen was a whirlwind. It’s always like that after getting back from vacation. Our little home was a place of big messes and throw together meals…but life must go on.

The day we got back into the swing of things, we had our Community Group. I took over the childcare for the night and after 30 minutes of LOUD playing…I put on Toy Story. They did ask for it, however, so I don’t feel AS bad.movie time

We had about 4 loads of laundry to do after emptying our suitcases. This was just the stuff that goes on hangers. Note to self…buy more laundry detergent.laundry day

I was so happy on Wednesday night because Bret was interested in the idea of having a salad for dinner! I guess after a long week of yummy, carb-loaded/sugar-loaded, “Why not? I’m on vacation,” food…you just want to eat a salad. But I think what really won him over was the bacon. It’s always the bacon. bacon salad

And the veggie kick continued with some fresh asparagus and garlic herbed butter. I love this time of year when all my favorite produce is in season!asparagus

And last, but not least, we got to celebrate my best friend this weekend for her 25th birthday! Jocelyn…you are the bestest friend a girl could ask for, an amazing wife and mommy to your family of FIVE, you are SO beautiful inside and out, and you are a true example of the Gospel in my life. I love you!

The restaurant brought her a special ice cream cake and her handsome son, Uriah, helped her blow out the candle. joceys 25th

That’s all, friends! I hope your week is blessed with fun, friends, and spending time outside in God’s wonderful creation!

xo sarah

this abundant list

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  1. Drooooooling…..
  2. Two guys act out how different animals eat their food. Yup, it’s hilarious!
  3. How cute is this DIY clock!?
  4. I started following a new blog (to me) this week. Love stories & dinner? I’m in! They are a couple in love, cooking up a storm. They even do a list of their own: 100 Rules of Dinner. SO funny and super helpful.
  5. Bret bought me some of these beauties this week. I am SO excited!
  6. Been wearing lots of dresses the last couple of weeks. Some with straps, some with sleeves, and all with style. Check this one out.
  7. This is the most EPIC ice cream cake I’ve ever seen! Bret would be in awe.
  8. Speaking of ice cream…this strawberry angel food ice cream is next on my list!
  9. Finally updated the blog with my instagram feed. So glad this is available now!
  10. What are you doing for Cinco De Mayo? Simply Scratch has so many ideas and recipes right now!
  11. Interesting article about kale. I guess I’m trendy.
  12. I still think about this video all the time. Scared is afraid of scared! So sweet.

xo sarah

morning treats

A few weeks ago I made some delightful morning treats. I had taken a long walk by the beach with a friend and really worked up an appetite. It wasn’t lunch time yet, but i really wanted something satisfyingly yummy. I had some milk and bananas I needed to use up pretty quickly…so, what did I make? Spice-Infused Milk and Sweet & Salty Banana Chips. Best morning treats ever!

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The spice-infused milk is very subtle on its own, but more robust when added to other ingredients and/or beverages. It was an excellent way for me to add something extra special to my morning coffee. Such incredible flavor. Later that week, we experimented with pouring a little bit into our homemade chocolate chip cookie milkshakes. Outstanding! Next time I would love to try it in black tea, over my oatmeal or in a hot chocolate!

SPICE-INFUSED MILKspiced milk

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of milk
  • Spices: I used 2 cinnamon sticks, 1 whole nutmeg (sliced in half), 4 star of anise, 1 vanilla bean (split open), 1 Tbsp whole cloves. You could also throw in a dried chili pepper, cardamom or fresh ginger slices.

spice milk

Directions:

  1. Add milk and spices to a small saucepan. Heat over medium and stir occasionally.
  2. Once the mixture begins steaming, cover the saucepan and move it off of the burner. Let the mixture steep for one hour.
  3. Strain over a large jar with a tight lid. Refrigerate up to 3 days. Reheat gently before using. Enjoy!

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SWEET & SALTY BANANA CHIPSbananas

Ingredients:

  • 2 bananas
  •  2 Tbsp. of brown sugar
  • Coarse grain sea salt & black pepper
  • Baking sheet & parchment paper or a Silpat

Directions:

  1. Slice your bananas thin. Lay them on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper or a Silpat.
  2. Sprinkle them with the brown sugar and the coarse grain sea salt and black pepper.
  3. Bake at 400°F for 16-20 minutes. “Every oven is a little different so be sure to keep an eye on these! You want the edges to begin to get crispy but the centers will still be a little soft and chewy. It would be very easy to burn or undercook them (mushy, no good!), so be sure to keep an eye on them.” – Emma
  4. Enjoy!

Before…..banana chips

After…..banana chips 2

YUMMY!!! I am definitely going to be making these again. And with a spiced coffee…too good to be true.

xo sarah

The Spiced Milk recipe is inspired by Martha Stewart Living (December 2012) and the Salty Sweet Banana Chips are from A Beautiful Mess.

our full life: week fifteen

WOW! Super late on this post…

Can you all forgive me? I was on a week-long vacation with my favorite boy ever and it was worth every preparation, second, and penny.

Better late than never, right? Right. I hope you enjoy a peek into our full life, vacation style! Get ready for a gazillion pictures…because what else is a girl supposed to do when on vacation in such beautiful places? Trust me…this is just a tiny fraction.

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Really neat display for The Gospel Coalition Conference we attended.TGC

We were blessed to hear some awesome teaching and preaching of the Word of God. Bret got to hear one of his favorite pastors speak, too: Tullian Tchividjian!TT

The best part of the conference was spending time with church family. I am so grateful for these wonderful, beautiful ladies. I am proud to call them my friends.staff family

Laying out in the sun wasn’t so bad either!florida sunningflorida skies

We spent our last night with some of The Fields staff playing pirate-themed miniature golf. I was hesitant…but it was super fun. I forgot how enjoyable mini-golf can be!mini golf

Guess what Orlando, Florida has? Dunkin’ Donuts!!!doughnuts

Guess what else Orlando, Florida has? WALT DISNEY WORLD!!!!disneyworld

We saw ALL 4 parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom & Hollywood Studios) in just 3 days…yes, we were exhausted. Making these memories together was so wonderful!

Here, Bret got a picture of me on Tom Sawyer’s Island. That was a fun exploration!tom sawyers island

It’s a small world after all…small world

The most amazing part of Magic Kingdom was getting to eat dinner in the newly added “Be Our Guest Restaurant” in Fantasyland. I don’t want to spoil the inside for anyone, but you get to eat in the Beast’s Ballroom and explore everything in his castle! If you do go, ask for “the grey stuff”: it’s delicious!BOG restaurant

And in honor of Chip and Mrs. Pots, I had to order some tea with my dinner.tea time

Not only did we visit The Beast’s Castle for unbelievable French cuisine, but we also visited Gaston’s Tavern, lots of little food carts all over EPCOT, and a yummy place in Downtown Disney for pizza (and some other stuff…we’re on vacation!).DisneyFoodCollage

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Thankfully, we walked around 10-15 miles per day so the calories were accounted for…kind-of. As we walked around the park, we enjoyed seeing the beautiful Florida skies, the reflections in the water from flash rainstorms, and all the things that make Disney so magical.florida skies 2

reflection

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peter pan

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I got an awesome picture of Bret in front of Spaceship Earth at EPCOT. I want to go back and tell him to stand up straight…but he’s so cute anyway. He has been to Walt Disney World over 20 times so he had such a good time showing me everything for the first time.epcot 2

And the trip ends with a flight home. Back to beautiful San Diego. Thank you my sweet Bret, for making my dreams come true!airport

xo sarah

gospel monday

This Monday will be a shorter post. Bret and I are in Florida for The Gospel Coalition Conference 2013!! Such a gift. God is really showing us a whole lot in the Gospel of Luke. The title of the conference is called, “His Mission: Jesus in the Gospel of Luke.”

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A couple of my favorite verses so far in Luke have been Luke 1:46-47 and Luke 2:12. Lastly, here is a photo from the conference booklet that I thought was SO awesome.

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Much more to come on what I learned and all the awesome training we received.

xo sarah

our full life: week fourteen

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This week was wonderful in so many ways…mostly because it was the week before vacation! I am literally writing this post in the airport waiting to board our flight to Florida! So…next weeks post will be even more exciting.

We started the week with a community group potluck. Man oh man it was delicious!potluck

Work this week was crazy getting ready to leave. These envelpes (200 of them) took me and the media team THREE HOURS to figure out how to print on! All in a days work.work day

Shopping for sunglasses is fun. Especially at Urban Outfitters where they’re all $14! Likey?sunglasses

Getting  new rainbows was also fun. Getting them worn in won’t be as much fun. No blisters…please? Thank you!rainbows

Walked by the beach with my junior high girls this week. AWESOME time. Starbucks with them was nice too.beach walk

Happy Birthday Uncle Steven! 50 will be a good year! Love you!birthday!

Our lazy saturday treat…popcorn and Hulu. Perfection.popcorn

Sunset. Can’t get enough. Love love love Carlsbad.sunset

SUCH a lovely couple. Got to see an awesome art show at the Craftlab with them. Can’t wait for their wedding in August.couple

Pass the pigs. AMAZING! Leaning jowler for the win.pass the pigs

That’s all friends! Gotta go board my flight!

xo sarah

our full life: week thirteen

This post is a couple days late. Sorry everybody…but I think Easter is as good an excuse as any! Right? Right.

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I got to hang out with this fine young lad. He’s super quiet in group settings, but get him alone watching Shark Tale and HE. WON’T. STOP. TALKING. So cute! mac

Made a quick coffee run and we were made 2 extra drinks by accident! Our office thanks you, Starbucks.coffee run

I took a risk and wore a jean jacket this week. The same Levi’s jean jacket I got for $50 my freshman year of high school. It was cool back then, and I think they’re making a comeback now.jean jacket

I made an apple pie again. It’s Bret’s favorite and he asked me to make it for his birthday dessert. My pleasure, sweets!pie

My husband really doesn’t enjoy celebrating his birthday. It just doesn’t appeal to him. However, when I offered an idea of pizza and game night with our 2 best friends…he was SO excited! These two beautiful people are more than we deserve and we had a blast celebrating together! Love you Coopers!besties

The highlight of my week was the Good Friday service at church. Celebrating the Cross of Christ and the radical free gift of grace that Jesus gives. AMAZING! We watched the movie The Passion of The Christ that night (I had never seen it before, but Bret had) and I have a new appreciation and visual sense of what Jesus endured to satisfy the penalty of our sin. GF service

We are smiling because we are forgiven! God is so so good.car rides

I made something this week…can you guess what I made? Recipe coming soon.scone aftermath

My amazingly talented husband and worship team led the Easter Sunrise Service for The Fields at The Flower Fields! It was a beautiful celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus. He is risen…He is risen indeed! sunrise

We celebrated Easter at Bret’s parents home as a whole family. We feasted, we relaxed, we laughed, and we loved on our Little Lucy all day. Here she is looking at her new bubble set with Mama and Papa.bubbles

And at the very end of the night, we sang Happy Birthday to the most wonderful man and best friend in the whole world. I love you, my Bret, and I am so glad you were brought into this world to worship Jesus and bring so much joy to everyone you meet. brets bdayPB cake

That’s all friends. I hope you had a Happy Easter and you are beginning to enjoy this beautiful spring God is giving us. How was your week? Was was your highlight? I’d love to hear all about it.

xo sarah