this abundant list

HAPPY Saturday!!! ALSO, thanks to everyone who read my Gospel Wednesday post from a couple days ago and gave such sweet encouragement! If you didn’t get the chance, take a minute to read about the struggle I have been facing with false body image.

Now, here we go with some weekend links!

TAL july 14.jpg


  1. Making this recipe for a family of 8 next week and I hope it satisfies!
  2. Finally had the chance to read this wonderful post – from infertile to fertile: a letter from an adoptive mom who got pregnant.
  3. All the time.
  4. Kitchen upgrades for the weekend.
  5. A quick trip to Michael’s may be in order after seeing this simple beaded necklace.
  6. How cool (no pun intended) is this DIY modern cooler?
  7. I wish I could wake up every morning to my dream breakfast!
  8. Aaaaand another genius breakfast idea.
  9. Florence has to happen someday…WOW.
  10. Gotta love the side braid. Enjoy this short DIY.

Enjoy the weekend! We are heading to Coronado…my favorite place in the world! ❤ What are you up to?

xo sarah


this abundant list


  1. A young artists photo project about fashion from the 1920s until today.
  2. How is your New Year diet resolution going?
  3. I think our little place would benefit from a key throw table.
  4. I’m loving these cookies for so many reasons. They capture my love of honey.
  5. A fantastic craft for all those random party napkins.
  6. The SD Wildfires have been discouraging to say the least. This article reminded me how we must continue to love in the face of great evil.
  7. When I am all out of the cleaners I’m currently using, I’d love to try these homemade and all-natural cleaning alternatives.
  8. I’m a sucker for a good bran muffin and creamy cuppa joe.
  9. The Calvinist. SO GOOD.
  10. This on some whole grain seedy toast. YES please.
  11. OBSESSED with this lamp. It would be a perfect in our bedroom.
  12. Spice up your life!

Enjoy the weekend friends! Spend time with loved ones. Make a margarita. Read a good book. Get some Vitamin D. Thank God for every breath.

xo sarah

resolution day recipes

Happy New Year Friends!!!


Something I would love to do more of on this blog is share more of my recipes and adventures in the kitchen. Probably about 10% of what I make in my kitchen actually makes it into a post with a recipe. It’s mostly because taking pictures becomes hard for me when the lighting is wrong, my props are limited, and my hands are a mess. I know: excuses, excuses. I will make it a goal this year to do more recipe posting.

I hope sharing a review of some of my recipes can help you in the year to come.

  1. My most popular post to date: Perfect Roast Chicken.
  2. My most personally used recipe: Granola Bar Glory
  3. Best for busy weeks & tight budgets: Perfect Turkey Chili
  4. Best for healthy refreshing treat: Blueberry Green Tea Slushies
  5. Great salad for crowds: Theis Family Salad
  6. Great salad for everyday: Sweet Kale Salad
  7. When you’re in the mood for Mexican: Tacos
  8. When you’re in the mood for Italian: Cheesy Baked Penne
  9. Indulgence for your morning coffee: Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake
  10. Indulgence for your afternoon tea: Mini Lemon Tea Cakes

I hope you can make some of these recipes and enjoy them as much as our family has. Let’s start the year off on the right foot: with love and joy and delicious food!

xo sarah

pumpkin spice coffee cake

Fall in Southern California isn’t exactly what you would expect. Today is November 14th and it’s supposed to be 80 degrees outside! If I could have any season last all year long, it would definitely be summer, so don’t get me wrong…I’m more than pleased. BUT at the same exact time, all I want to do is wear a beanie and my black jeans with a cozy scarf.


I also want to eat all things squash, pumpkin, and apple. This week I made a few recipes to satisfy my cravings, but today I am sharing the easiest and best for hospitality.

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake with Streusel Topping. YUM.PSCC 2

Honestly YUM really inspired me, so I made their recipe and tweaked it just a bit. I also brought it to my Church Community Group the other night and everyone really loved it. It’s not overly sweet so it works for breakfast or dessert! It goes so well with a cup of coffee (shocker) or black tea. I also really liked that it got me into the fall season, even if the weather is not matching up quite yet.


Ingredients for Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup of firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup of sour cream

Ingredients for Streusel:

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 inch bread pan and line with parchment paper.
  2. Start by making the cake. Sift the first 7 dry ingredients together in a bowl and mix well. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and brown sugar.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  4. Mix in the pumpkin puree and sour cream until well combined. Make sure the mixture is incorporating well and scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed.
  5. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture on the lowest speed until well combined.
  6. In a separate bowl, make the streusel. Mix the sugar, flour, spices, and salt in a bowl. Pour the melted butter over the sugar mixture. Combine the melted butter and sugar mixture with your hands.
  7.  When it is well combined, you will be able to pack it tightly into the bottom of the bowl. Then crumble it into pieces over the top of the cake batter.
  8. Bake your coffee cake for 50 minutes. Insert a toothpick and if it comes out clean, it’s done. ENJOY!


Bring this delicious coffee cake to your next fall party, girls night, to the office, or even Thanksgiving! You will get all kinds of compliments. How sweet is that!


I hope you have a splendid fall and enjoy this coffee cake time and time again. I know my family will.

xo sarah

our full life: week thirty-nine & forty

OFL 39 & 40

What have we been up to lately? Lots. Jr. High Ministry, community groups, hosting events, Seminary for Bret, birthdays, and keeping our marriage a priority.

It’s been almost 2 weeks since my last post. I miss writing. I most definitely miss documenting “Our Full Life,” and the events God involves us in. Please enjoy these photos. I hope they inspire you to live abundantly – in love, in community, and in His beautiful creation.

Coffee GrindingI have never used the coffee grinders at Costco before. I liked it!

Miguels Date NightDate Night at Miguel’s. Their white sauce is out of control. We each ask for our own.

waffle sandwichBOXED in Carlsbad makes breakfast waffle sandwiches out of their food truck. They are so good! This one has crunchy PB & strawberry jelly and Bret’s had scrambled eggs, bacon, and cheddar.

jr. high sleepoverWe had a Jr. High girls sleepover last week. We had a station for make-up, nail polish, hair, and face masks. They had such a wonderful time. They looked like they were heading to homecoming!

jr. high sleepover 2And some of the girls went for more of an edgy look. It was awesome.

cinnamon bunsBreakfast is served.

LOTUS THAILotus Thai for a happy reunion.

NCCC WorkSometimes I forget how beautiful it is where I work.

big breakfastEggs, toast, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and a cinnamon honey latte.

apple barrelsThis week’s menu will consist of crumbles, crisps, and PIES!

fallen applesFallen fruit.

half peckJulian apple picking was a success! Half-a-peck of antique delicious apples.

cider tastingJulian Hard Cider tasting: Apple, Cherry, and Black & Blue.

julian pie coSlices & coffee for two. His: Dutch Caramel. Hers: Boysenberry Apple.

sage leavesSage is just the prettiest.

herb bouquetHerb bouquet class taught by pop-up restaurant owners at Patchwork Edible.

completionSage infused olive oil = yum!

zekieThese two. My heart is gushing.

Until next week! Love you, friends.

xo sarah

our full life: week twenty-three

OFL 23Summer is officially here in Southern California. The sun is shining and the beach is calling. I am so excited to share this week with you!

I had a stomach bug on Tuesday…but I’m SO thankful it was only a 24-hour thing because we had lots to do! Check it out:

hair ties from susie qThank you to my friend Susan for making these with love. The colors are perfect!

window shopping la jollaWindow reflections in La Jolla.

the living room 2Breakfast with my momma! She was in town from Idaho this week and she blessed me so much! Bought me a chai latte and helped me with my chores that day. So sweet.

the living room 1No editing here. Just an iPhone and great lighting. And my favorite subject (food).

living room windowAmazing amazing windows in The Living Room Cafe.

la jolla seal beachNo editing on this one either. La Jolla is breathtaking.

la jolla seal beach 1Seals! Stinking (literally) CUTE!

rubys me and momLater that night, my mom treated us all to dinner at Ruby’s on the Pier. YUM!

rubys nannie My sweet Nannie with a beautiful view out the window.

rubys bretWhat a looker, right?! xxxxxxoooooo

late night dessrtWe had a friend over for dinner on Wednesday and I went all out! He’s originally from Texas and I thought I’d give him a little taste of home cooking: Fried chicken, buttermilk biscuits, a fresh salad and mini apple crisps for dessert. We ate everything else too fast so this is the only photo I got.

bible time juneMy hubby brought me an iced latte early Friday morning and I got to spend some quiet time with Jesus. So GOOD.

fridays are sweetI also made a breakfast fit for a king for us. Breakfast sandwiches…although mine was deconstructed. Usually breakfast is yogurt and fruit on-the-go so this was an extra special treat!

meal planning juneMeal planning for June. Vodka sauce pasta is happening.

sunday driveOur usual drive to church together. I am overjoyed to be at an incredible church that preaches the GOSPEL every. single. sunday!

bull tacoFirst time to Bull Taco. DELISH! Sunday lunch date success.

beach workout100 jumping jacks, 100 hiesmans, 300 knee-highs, 50 crunches, 30 push-ups, 10 sprints and a surf session. Yes I am out-of-control sore, but it felt so good!

beach relaxingI’m taking this beauty in. I’m also looking at my exercise foot trail in front of me and I feel so grateful to have a working body. I need to start using it more.

my babe the surferLastly, this is my husband. He is a California native, 27 years old, and he is finally learning to surf. I am so proud of him for trying something new and loving it! Also, for being such an encouraging teacher for me!

What did you do this week!? I hope you’re starting to take in this beautiful summer like we are. Worth it. So so worth it.

xo sarah

our full life: week twenty

OFL 20

Late to post…yet again. But work has been a little nuts lately. And all I had time to take pictures of was my food. If you didn’t know, I love food. So, here we go!


My job has taught me a lot about being a servant and helper. Thank you Jesus.


A Beautiful Mess came out with an iphone app! It’s so fun and I really love it!

blt cafe

Such a GOOD BLT with avocado from Encinitas Cafe.

lofty week 20

Best coffee in North County. Love the colors in this photo.

orange baking

Baking orange ginger pie and squeezing some orange cubes with all my orange loot.

sat coffee & fruit

Saturday morning fruit and cinnamon coffee with lots of sunshine.

Just some little snippets, but big blessings! Thanks for reading.

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!

afternoon snack

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!



  • 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


  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!

spice milk 2



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


  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 ten

OFL 10

Spent some time with friends discussing dating, marriage, and the bible. It was wonderful. Black apricot tea and a warm fire was such a treat!coffee and fire

Egg scramble for one: cherry tomatoes, green onion and cheddar. Seriously, yum.eggscramble

Pairing it with a dirty chai always helps. Can you see me??coffee

Selfie. It was fun making my hair wavy this week!selfie

I had to stop for a picture on my way home from work. It deeply reminded me of Romans 1:20beach

I love that my husband is so close with his sister. They can always share a good laugh  together!siblings

Double date with these two handsome people. Churchills serves the best Black and Blue Cider and Vanilla Ballast!friends

Irish Pub garlic chips. UHHH-Mazing!!!chips

Another beautiful sky. So blessed to be so close to the beach! beach 2

It was a rainy, sunny, and super fun week…I think spring has finally arrived! What do you have planned for spring this year?

xo sarah

our first camping trip {part 3: camp meal-planning made simple}

Cooking away from home can be tricky.
Cooking healthy away from home can be almost impossible!
However, I was very determined to make it happen, so I am writing today to share some of the things that worked for me when planning out the menu for our big trip!
Below, you will find a full menu with options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and (of course) dessert! These meals are simple, healthy, and delicious! What more could you ask for while camping?

I did my shopping at 3 different stores for these meals:

  • Sprouts for all produce
  • Trader Joes for meat, eggs, bread and fun snacks
  • Vons for the “just add water & shake” pancake mix and s’mores supplies.

Most of these meals are very self-explanatory and you can add your personal twist however you would like! But make sure to look for a couple helpful recipes down below too. Enjoy!


Day 1: Pancakes, Berries, Canadian Bacon

Day 2: Scrambled Eggs with Homemade Bacon Bits, Skillet Garlic Potatoes, Oranges

Day 3: Pancakes, Chicken Apple Sausage, Berries

Day 4: Oatmeal w/Walnuts and Cranberries, Oranges

* Each breakfast paired with a hot cup of french press coffee of course!

Breakfast made easy and delicious!


Day 1: Trader Joes Pre-Packaged Salad or Sandwich

Day 2: Canadian Bacon Sandies, Baby Carrots

Day 3: Leftovers of anything you need to get rid of

Day 4: Lunch out!


Day 1: Garlic Sausage & Veggie Foil Dinner

Day 2: Vegetable Soup (Made ahead of time), Rolls

Day 3: Pasta with Sautéed Mushrooms, Green Beans

Day 4: Hot Dogs, Potato Salad, Corn on the Cob


Day 1: S’mores

Day 2: Watermelon

Day 3: Banana Boats

Day 4: Watermelon or other fun snacks

RECIPE:  Garlic Sausage & Veggie Foil Dinner

Note: Before you leave for your trip you should par-boil your potatoes until a fork can just barley poke through the surface. This will help the cooking process along while your out camping!


  • 2-4 squares of 1-foot foil
  • 4 garlic chicken sausage
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 4 baby potatoes – I used purple potatoes!
  • (remember: parboil at home before you leave!)
  • 4 Tbsp cold butter
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • dash of red pepper flakes
  • season with salt & pepper


1. Make sure fire is hot and ready to cook with.

2. Chop all veggies and potatoes into bite-size chunks.

3. Slice sausage in 1/4 inch thick slices.

4. Mince or mash garlic cloves.

5. Cut butter into little cubes.

6. Lay foil squares flat on a table and place even amounts of sausage, veggies, and potatoes into each piece of foil.

7. Scatter butter, garlic, red pepper flakes, and S&P even throughout each foil square.

8. Bring opposite corners of foil square together and seal together tightly. Make sure nothing will leak or fall out and that the seal is secure.

9. Roast on campfire grill for 15 minutes. Turn every 5 minutes.

10. Enjoy a healthy and hearty campfire meal! And treat yourself a glass of bordeaux if you can!

RECIPE:  Skillet Garlic Potatoes 

Note: Before you leave for your trip you should oven-bake your potatoes. Wash each potato, rub with kosher salt, wrap in foil and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. This will help the cooking process along while you’re out camping!


  • Cast iron skillet
  • 3-5 russet potatoes (remember: oven-baked ahead of time!)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Season with salt and pepper


1. Make sure fire is hot and ready to cook with.

2. Mince garlic cloves.

3. Slice potatoes into 1/4 inch think slices.

4. Melt butter in cast iron skillet. Add garlic shortly after.

5. Add potatoes to skillet.  Season with S&P. Turn every couple minutes.

6. Your potatoes will be done in 5-10 minutes. They will turn golden brown and the garlic will get crispy!


RECIPE:  Vegetable Soup

Note: This soup is made entirely ahead of time at home. Bring the serving sizes you need in an airtight container to place in the cooler. The soup can be warmed in a pot over the fire and served with rolls.


  • 1 cup of dried beans (I used black eyed peas)
  • 1 cup of red or gold potatoes, cubed
  • 2 medium leeks, rinsed well and chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 3-4 red plum tomatoes, cubed
  • 1 zucchini, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp granulated garlic
  • season with salt and pepper


1. In a large pot, cover your beans with 6 cups of water. Cover and bring to a rolling boil.

2. Drain and rinse the beans. Return the beans to the pot and cover with 12 cups of water.

3. Add the thyme and bay leaf and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to simmer.

4. Add potatoes, leeks, carrots, tomatoes, and broth. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

5. Add the green beans and zucchini, and cook uncovered for 20 min.

6. Add the peas and cook uncovered for 5 minutes, or until soft.

7. Stir in granulated garlic and season with S&P.


RECIPE:  Banana Boats


  • 1 banana per person
  • 1 foil square per person, measured
  • chocolate chips/square from a hershey bar
  • marshmallows


1. Make sure fire is hot and ready to cook with.

2. Carefully cut open each banana without cutting through to the other side.

3. Stuff with chocolate and marshmallows to your liking!

4. Wrap each banana up in the foil so there is a tight seal.

5. Cook over the fire for 5 minutes. Eat with a spoon and enjoy!!

Thanks for reading, friends! I hope you enjoyed this 3 part series of our first camping trip! Please don’t hesitate to ask me about any of these menus or recipes!

xo sarah