Thursday, June 29, 2017

Blackberry Cobbler

2 1/2
cups fresh or frozen (thawed and drained) blackberries (do not use blueberries)
cup sugar
cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
teaspoons baking powder
teaspoon salt
cup milk
cup butter, melted
Cream, whipped or ice cream

1 In medium bowl, stir together blackberries and sugar. Let stand about 20 minutes or until fruit syrup forms. Heat oven to 375°F.

2 In large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt and milk. Stir in melted butter until blended. Spread in ungreased 8-inch square pan. Spoon blackberry mixture over batter.

3 Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until dough rises and is golden. Serve warm with cream.

Last night I had time out of the house to read and write.  Having a two-ish hour window of wide open space can be overwhelming.  Where to go, what to do.  The red bus ended up at the new Starbucks in town.  It is perfection.  The warm wooden walls and lighting make it feel cozy and perfect.

The second I walked in, I immediately spotted where I would set up camp.  Comfy chair in the corner.  But I am telling you, I could not get focused in.  I tried writing, reading my book on Kindle, reading my real book.  I kept running into brick walls.  My head was pounding because for some stupid reason I'm trying to lay off so much sugar.  I promise you the only thing I could think about in this entire world was going home to make a cobbler.

So I did the only logical thing I could.

I drove to the store for fresh blackberries and came home to whip up a cobbler.  While it baked I washed my face and got in my nightgown.  I turned on my bedroom lamps and made myself a cozy place to rest.  When the cobbler came out of the oven, I lit candles and served up bowls to the family. Then I took a sleeping pill and went to bed early.  Three cheers for summer nights!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Feasting & Fasting

I am an eater.

You will not find me skimping on the good stuff.

I eat more like a man than a woman. I like hearty food. What I'm trying to say is, I'm no flower. I'm a food-eating foodie.

Something I read in Shauna Niequest's book, Bread & Wine, made all the sense in the world to me. She talked about feasting and fasting. Some times in our life are for feasting, and we balance that by having times of "fasting." The term fasting is held loosely, but in this context, I am talking about holding back on indulgences for a season to reset.

I can turn anything into a reason to feast.  Heck, it's Tuesday, let's plan a party! OK, let me just get on with it already.  My big summer plans have come to an end.  I'm about to be in five months of not much hoorah on the ol' calendar.  That is why I've decided to start THM today.  Not a nazi THM-er, but "A Mostly THM-er."  I figure some meals are going to be straight up fun, and I'm allowing it. This just means I am laying off on so many carbs, changing them out for healthier carbs (homemade bread, Josephs Pita Wraps, sprouted bread from freezer section), going for less sugar, cooking a bit more intentional.

This has been the summer of feeling better.  So far I have been focusing on getting good rest.  I've been adding some steps to my day.  Nothing crazy, just trying to hit my Fit Bit Goals.  Even if it's only 6,000 steps.

When I decide to be healthy for a season, I usually completely derail on my menu planning.  It usually happens on an unsuspecting Saturday morning.  I grab my cookbooks, go to the table, get over-ambitious with my new healthy menu for the week, spend a gazillion bucks at the grocery store, cook all manner of weird new food for the week, and it last's approximately three days.  This time I am changing my approach.


That is the plan.  Start where you are with what you have and make one simple change!

Today when I menu planned I started with Dinner.  I usually start with healthy desserts.  But I think I read something about man not being able to live on dessert alone, so whatever, I started with dinner. Here is the menu for the week.  Food in all caps can be found in this Trim Healthy Mama cookbook.

Dinner Menu:
SALISBURY STEAK, green beans, THM BREAD & butter
POTSTICKER PATTIES, lettuce shreds and ranch, FOTATO SOUP
Taco Salads

SOUTHWESTERN PAN BREAD, turkey, lettuce, tomato
canned soups

bacon & eggs
smoothies with protein powder
Triple Zero Vanilla Greek yogurt, walnuts, frozen berries

Nut Thins, pepperoni, mozzarella
string cheese
apples and peanut butter

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Establishing A Daily Time With The Lord

Have you seen the movie, The Wedding Planner?

Do you remember one of the very first scenes in the movie where it shows Jlo coming home from work?  She lays things out for dinner, just so.  You can tell by her movements that she is careful to tend to every tiny detail in her world.  She cleans and tidies the house before bed.  Her world is a picture of perfect order.

That is me.

Well, that is the me buried under all the mismatched socks and Legos.  I have a constant tension of my natural bent and my reality.  And let me tell ya, things have derailed around here.

One look at the pictures tells the story of life run a muck.  Whatever it is that derails you, getting back up and getting back on track can be difficult.  It's like, when you pass a certain point, you kind of give up because you are not sure what to tackle first.

For us it has been a string of sickness.  As in off and on for twelve weeks.  I have personally taken a couple of the hits and the result of my absence in the home is explosions of stuff everywhere I turn.

Everywhere I turn I see messes.  Floors overrun.  Dressers spilling over, so full they will not even shut.

Everything feels like it holds a layer of sticky and I cannot get myself caught up.  I am barely keeping my head above the water.  Two weeks ago I raised my white flag.  Sent out an SOS in an exasperated prayer to the throne.  I was in such need of a place to retreat to on a daily basis. I needed to create a space to go that was one tiny corner of order in my world.  Some kind of constant something that even sickness could not touch.  The rest of the house could be falling down, but I needed to create a corner of this world that I could call my own.  Where I could create the beauty that would fill me up.

I put pen to paper and made my battle plan.  It was time to fight for change.  Here is the list of things I went through to bring myself to a better place:

  • I realized that I HAD to figure out how to come to the throne room of grace every single day
  • This meant I needed to create a space where I could mentally sit and be with Jesus
  • I outlined a very simple plan of attack.  (wake, shower, prepare my room, show up)

This is my tent of meeting where I have been coming for eleven days straight to be with Jesus.  As you can tell from the pictures, we are still living in a pretty solid state of survival mode around here, but this space...this space right here, I have prepared the space and I have been coming and He has been meeting me right here in the middle of all my mess called life.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Make Room

When Jesus came the first time, there was no room for him.  I have been an unorganized mess lately.

Nothing is consistent.

Yesterday I raised my white flag.  Something had to change.

Order needed to be restored from my chaos.

I want to make room inside for the coming of Jesus this Christmas.  It isn't even Christmas shopping that has diverted my attention, I have bought nothing yet.  And that is not some super spiritual move on my part, it is just fallout from the mess of my days.

When I need to restore order, the first place I begin is with me.  I need a peaceful place to come and sit.  That is my bedroom, my haven I have created for myself.

Here's how yesterday went down (pre-white flag raising).  Got up late.  Every room was already scattered with bits of clutter here and there.  Felt behind.  Needed order.  Needed a calm place to sit and be with Jesus (hi, remember me Lord?).  So I timed myself.  Like, literally, timed myself. Getting ready feels like it takes 3 hours.  So I timed myself.  Turns out I can be ready in 45 minutes max.  It took 3 minutes to get the baby dressed for the day and her hair fixed.

I spent 10 minutes fluffing my bedroom.  I made my bed, turned on my lamps, picked up last night's clothes, ran a quick vacuum because lines complete me, lit my new Twisted Peppermint candle, turned on my Instrumental Christmas Pandora radio, got my Peppermint Mocha Creamer with a splash of coffee, and I locked myself in my bedroom.

The day started out behind and I took an hour to restore the order on the outside so that I could restore the order on the inside.  We have to know the truth about ourselves.  My truth is that I need order to rest. Chaos is so distracting for me.  And here is what I decided.  The rest of the house might be a dump, but my room is my space to keep just so, just how I like it.  It is my tiny space in this big world that is mine to retreat to.  It is my personal retreat space.  In a home shared with a lot of other people, I have made a space to go.  I have filled this room with beauty and it is one place I can create order to take the rest I need, both at night and throughout the day.

After I sat and admired the order of the room, I flipped open my Bible to this page.  Get up and prepare.  Dress yourself for work.

My life feels like one big sloppy bad habit.  There are so many sloppy areas to address it is hard to know where to start.  Life has piled up around me and buried me.  There are so many pieces to move so I can climb to freedom.  I look at the long road ahead, and I threaten to shut down and keep doing nothing. I threaten to keep living in this pile of defeat.

But I have to start SOMEWHERE.  So I choose to start here.  With this habit.  The habit of getting up, getting ready (even if it is just a shower and clothes with no pretty make-up and air dried hair). Getting up and dressed, making my bed, and taking the first moments of my day to sit with Jesus. It seems like order always starts in this place for me. With getting up and creating a space to meet with the Lord.

And sit I did.  I sat with Jesus and Exodus 33 and spent time thinking about how Joshua just wanted to linger in the presence of the Lord.  He did not want to go from His Presence.  And this is what I am asking from the Lord.  I am asking for big heaps of desire to linger in His Presence.  For an increase of the filling of the Holy Spirit in my life.  I want to wake up.

Make room.  Create a space.  Create your own Tent of Meeting to meet with Jesus and then come.

Make room.  Lord, make room in our hearts for more of you this Christmas season in Jesus name I pray.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Window Transformations

She lived in a normal American home.  Not too big, nothing fancy, just a run of the mill home in an average neighborhood.  

She greeted me at the front door and led me into the kitchen area where I was taken aback at the simple beauty of her kitchen windows.  No blinds hindered the light from shining in and the windows themselves, they sparkled.  

The setting sun shimmered through the evening leaves. Nothing hindered the display of dancing leaves as they lit up the grass with their shadowy beauty.

The clear brilliance of the glass lit up the room.

“How did you get your windows to sparkle so?” I asked.

“A roll of paper towels and plenty of Windex.  I just sprayed and wiped over and over until they shined.”

Her answer was uncomplicated.  It was reproducible.  I bet you are thinking I went home and grabbed my paper towels and Windex and went to town.  You’d be right.

One of my all time favorite quotes is by Eleanor Roosevelt.  She says to start where you are with what you have

No excuses.  No waiting for a better time.  No reason to have more resources.  You probably have a bottle of the blue stuff and a roll of paper towels.  And if you don’t, for a couple of bucks you could score some from the dollar store.

We are fortunate to live in the land of abundance.  Creating an inviting space is well within our grasp, even with the most meager means. 

When I was a little girl, I remember Oprah talking about creating a home and she said there was no excuse not to make a pretty space.  For her, even when she was poor, she always believed in making her home pretty.  That is how I was raised.  My mama worked hard.  She was a single parent.  We did not have a lot and lived in a brown duplex.  It was not fancy.  The houses around us were also run down and old looking.  But none of that mattered.  Every Saturday we took the time to make the place shine.  We took care of the little we had.  Taking care of our home caused us to respect it.  The work of our hands brought comfort at the end of the day.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Check It Out!

My friend Donna just started a new blog.  You can find her here, at I know you will love her as much as I do.  She is an encourager who loves the Lord. 

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Down Time

I made THIS happen this morning.

Last night we had to cancel plans.  We needed to stay home and rest because every time I sneeze I pee my pants we have colds.

So it feels wrong to create a space of beauty when I let folks down yesterday.  The temptation to feel guilt over making something pretty and then taking time to enjoy it.

Last night I fell asleep asking God for more of the Holy Spirit in my life.  I asked for deeper desire to know the Lord.  And then this morning, all this.  Plus, low humidity.  Plus, ULTA is open and I am a mere 10 minute drive to the Beauty Heaven.

It's safe to say I'm a little torn up.

In other news, I've moved to Instagram.

@salsachipgirl is my handle

I reactivated my FB because my friend Michelle had a Lularoe party on the FB and oh my gosh why do we not have Lularoe in our town?  This I grieve, but I do my best to move on, shopping clearance racks here and there to ease the pain.

The other thing I am praying about is, how shall I put this?  It's my words.  There are some words in me and a stirring on my innards (sorry, is the word innards gross?  yeah, that's what I thought too).  OK, there is a stirring inside of me (yes, that is much better), to share some things.  And how does one go about sharing the words in a world full of words?  Not sure yet, but I am surely praying over it.

OK love you bye.