Foodie Friday: Making Meal Planning Simple

From my good friend, Jennifer, over at All Things Messy. This is very practical and super helpful! I’m totally doing this, especially the “secret” Pinterest board. Some great ideas here! It’s Foodie Friday, y’all! 😉 Enjoy!

all things messy...

Before we start I wanted to announce the winner of the “Interrupted” book giveaway this week…(drum roll)

Congratulations to TenderTenbrink!  Your book will be coming to you very soon!  

177351366The more I talk to people about my passion, cooking, the more the topic eventually gets around to meal planning (or their lack thereof).  I grew up with a Mom who made a list before going to the store, for one week at a time if I’m remembering correctly.  In turn, this has been something that we (let’s not play games here, it’s really my job) have done as well.  We found out early on in our marriage that if we went to the grocery store without a list, more money would be spent and halfway through the week we wouldn’t have all of the ingredients that we needed for each meal.  Therefore, list making = time well…

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My First Giveaway…And a Book Review!

Anybody want to win a free copy of Jen Hatmaker’s book Interrupted? Check out my awesome friend Jennifer’s blog this week to find out how you can!

all things messy...

water-color-2So there’s this “other” Jennifer, she’s pretty great…she’s actually kind of my favorite (and my best friend, but don’t tell her, she doesn’t know that yet).  She’s real, she’s hilarious (see how we’re so similar already) and God has used her to change and challenge me over the last few years.  She’s a self proclaimed mess (again, like myself), but her heart for God is something fierce and determined – and I want to be more like her and follow her as she follows Jesus more every day!  

Her name is Jen Hatmaker, and she has just re-released an updated copy of her best selling (and most dear to her heart) book, Interrupted.  Here’s an except of what the book is about:

Interrupted follows the author’s messy journey through life and church and into living on mission. Snatching Jen from the grip of her consumer life, God began asking…

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Conquering fear…and other brave things

Love this from another fabulous friend, Jennifer. Lots of good stuff here! Also makes me think of one of my favorite Jared Leto quotes, “Be brave, fight for what you believe in, and make your dreams your reality.” Enjoy! 🙂

all things messy...

489430555If you know me or have been following me on this blog very long, you know that this has been my year for getting out of my comfort zone and trying things that scare me (good things, nothing like jumping into a vat of spiders or something).  This might sound dumb to some of you, but yesterday I conquered another fear..I went down a water slide.  

Like I said, this is nothing big to most of you, but I grew up with a Mom who can’t swim well, so water parks were not places that we frequented – in fact last year was my first water park experience!  With my Mom’s fear of water and my fear of just – putting myself in harms way at all – water slides have always been something that I have avoided at all costs.

When I started up the FIRST flight of…

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10 Things You Should NEVER Say to a Writer

All I can say to this is “yes and amen!” So much truth. Great post from my friend Tina today! 🙂

Tina Bausinger

It's always safe to say, "Would you like some coffee?" That's a good one. It’s always safe to say, “Would you like some coffee?” That’s a good one.

When I posted this question on my Facebook, I was blown away by the number of responses. I didn’t even know that many people read my Facebook posts! Anyway, writers are passionate about this topic, as I received over 40 replies. Here are the top ten pet peeves writers noted.
10. “Are you still writing romance?” Here, the implication is clearly that writing romance is clearly seen as a way to break into the publishing world, with the understanding that you need to be willing to REALLY write something worthwhile now. Come on.
9. “Where do you get your ideas” or the equally compelling “What is there left to write about?” It’s unintentionally (or perhaps intentionally) condescending.
8. “I didn’t finish reading it.” When referring to your personal work, it’s just awkward when somebody…

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Comic Con 2014 — Video Roundup

Superheroes…vampires…demon hunters…zombie apocalypse survivors…hobbits, dwarves, elves & dragons. All of these things together in one place can only mean one thing: COMIC CON!!!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen…I am a geek. Geek and proud! And this time of year gets me excited like no other! Last weekend fans from around the world made the pilgrimage to San Diego to connect with their fandoms and catch a glimpse of the actors that bring to life the stories and characters we love. Making it to Comic Con one day is THE DREAM (camping out all night with hundreds of passionate fans all waiting to get in to Hall H? YES PLEASE!!), but until then I will feverishly check my Twitter feed for 3 days and live vicariously through the lucky fans who make it.

One of the things I love about the way Comic Con has evolved over the years is that now there is a wider variety of TV shows and films making appearances. Not only do you have the expected Marvel & DC Comics panels, and shows with large teen followings like Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, and Arrow, but also shows like Game of Thrones, True Blood, and The Walking Dead. Even Breaking Bad did a panel for it’s final season last year! Comic Con has something for everyone these days, and it’s fantastic!

So today I put together a collection of some of my personal favorite panels from this year, as well as a few of the trailers released especially for Comic Con.

Marvel: Phases 1 & 2 — This is a montage of the Marvel films starting with Iron Man and leading up to the second Avengers film, The Age of Ultron, due out next year, and it is oh-my-Thor EPIC! The new footage from AOU is awesome! A great reminder why we love these characters so much and continue to root for them. If this doesn’t make you want to run and marathon ALL THE MARVEL, I don’t know what will. I know before next summer, I definitely will! Under that, I have included the Age of Ultron panel with our favorite heroes. Avengers Assemble!

Zach Snyder made a brief appearance again this year to plug the next Superman film, Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. And he brought a few surprises with him. It’s a short clip of the panel, but it’s fun and worth a look.

Next up, The Walking Dead panel, followed by the HOLYCRAPISITOCTOBERYET season 5 trailer. Badass leader Rick Grimes is BACK, baby! And none too soon! Ricktatorship FTW!! SO. EXCITED. for this season!

Vampires, werewolves, demon hunters, superheroes…just a few of my favorite things…and they all have shows on the CW that are some of my favorites right now: The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Supernatural & Arrow. These groups of actors are always so much fun to watch in interviews, and this year was no exception. I love them all so very much! Enjoy!

In case you’re still reeling from this season of Game of Thrones, the cast and author George R. R. Martin were at Comic Con this year to answer questions and tease new characters for the next season.

And finally, this year was Benedict Cumberbatch’s first year to attend Comic Con, and judging by the way he was beaming that gorgeous smile the ENTIRE TIME, I think it’s safe to say he enjoyed himself…though maybe not as much as we enjoyed seeing him there. Though sadly he was not allowed to talk about Sherlock (seriously Comic Con, we need THAT panel next year!!), he did join the panel for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and was lovely and charming, as always.

So there ya go! A few of the highlights from Comic Con 2014! MANY, MANY THANKS to everyone who videoed these panels so those of us who cannot attend can pretend we did. Lol! Lots of great stuff to look forward to! I hope you enjoyed, and I’d love to hear what movies and TV YOU’RE looking forward to! Leave me a comment below! Until next time, friends!

Sundays That Inspire!

*taps the mic* Is this thing on?

Hello my dear friends!

I know…it’s been a while since I have ventured into the blogosphere, and I’m so sorry for my extended absence! Life and lack of creativity and discipline have unfortunately kept me away. If you are still following and interested in my random musings, THANK YOU for being here! You are the best! As always, I hope to do better and post more frequently.

So I thought I would start back with “Sundays That Inspire” and share with you a few things that challenged, encouraged, inspired, and just made me smile this week. So here we go!

Apparently a little over a week ago, a Tumblr hashtag was going around called #WomenAgainstFeminism in which women were taking selfies and posting why they believe we don’t need feminism, or perhaps more specifically modern feminism. I’ll move past the obvious, that these women would indeed not have the platform to voice these concerns without feminism, and just say, I do understand there are reasonable concerns with the “how” of the feminist movement (how we communicate our views, how we achieve our goals, etc) and that a variety of perspectives are welcome and needed within it. However, it seems to me, trying to throw away the term instead of joining in the larger conversation does a disservice to the women who have fought so hard through the years for the freedoms we do have and are still fighting for. I read a couple very thoughtful and compelling responses to this hashtag that I loved.

The first is from one of my favorite authors/bloggers, Rachel Held Evans called “We Need Feminism”

Because legalistic gender roles, and the objectification and marginalization of women, harm both women and men. Feminism isn’t about hating men. Feminism is about restoring the dignity of women for the betterment of society.

Because feminism is the radical notion that women are human – equal in value and dignity to men – and that vision has yet to be fully realized.

The second one comes from the Sojourners site by Catherine Woodiwiss called “I Need Feminism Because”

In a perfect world, women can choose to be whomever they want. But there is not yet a country on earth in which that is actually true. That is why we need feminism.

That there’s disagreement over how we talk about women’s empowerment in the U.S. isn’t surprising — feminism is a collection of unique people with unique visions of a good life, trying to figure out how to preserve past and present good, correct past and present wrongs, and forge a new way ahead together.

But it is tragically, perennially clear why speaking up against male-controlled narratives in church or school or novels or movies or business or government, against generations of excused behavior for men and oppression for women, against ongoing systemic injustice is still so crucially necessary.

From reading what these “anti-modern-feminists” have written, I don’t believe any of them would take umbrage with that. It’s a pity, then, they are rejecting the term feminism — their challenges would be great additions to the dialogue. More education and conversation about what feminism is, and how we do it, and where it can go, is clearly needed. Without it, I’m not at all sure how much farther forward we’ll be able to go.

Moving on to the topic of men who are AWESOME, I came across this video in a series Rookie (a magazine for teenage girls) has put together called “Ask A Grown Man” in which it is obvious Stephen Colbert should be raising ALL THE CHILDREN. In this short, 10 min video, Stephen answers questions about boys and relationships posed by young girls, and he does it BEAUTIFULLY. All the respect, sir. This vid is well worth a look.

Ask a Grown Man: Stephen Colbert from Rookie on Vimeo.

As I mentioned earlier, I am HUGE fan of Rachel Held Evans. There are pretty much zero times that her thoughts on faith, women’s issues, and just generally trying to figure out how to follow the way of Jesus don’t resonate with me. I highly recommend checking out her blog here. Recently, Rachel has started blogging from the Lectionary each week, and I found this quote from the reading a couple weeks ago particularly beautiful and hopeful.

This Kingdom knows no geographic boundaries, no political parties, no single language or culture. It advances not through power and might, but through acts of love and joy and peace, missions of mercy and kindness and humility. This Kingdom has arrived, not with a trumpet’s sound but with a baby’s cries, not with the vanquishing of enemies but with the forgiving of them, not on the back of a war horse but on the back of a donkey, not with triumph and a conquest but with a death and a resurrection.

And yet there is more to this Kingdom that is still to come, Jesus said, and so we await a day when every tear will be wiped from every eye, when swords will be beaten into plowshares and spears shaped into pruning hooks, when justice will cascade like a river down a mountain and righteousness like a never-ending stream, when people from every tribe and tongue and nation will live together in peace, when there will be no more death.

And finally, this video from the Huffington Post made me smile SO. BIG. Like perhaps some of you, I enjoy doing yoga, but inevitably, whenever I get into Downward Facing Dog or Child Pose, my sweet, curious little sheltie Dakota wants to come over and sniff or lick or just make himself comfortable on my mat. If you can relate, or just enjoy adorable pet videos, I give you “Pets Interrupting Yoga.”

As always, thoughts and comments are most welcome! And I would love to know what inspired you this week! Have a lovely Sunday, friends!

Everything Sad Is Coming Untrue

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Hello my dear friends! I wanted to take a moment to wish you all a very happy Easter!

I know that Easter means a lot of different things to different people. I think for all of us, regardless of our religious inclinations, there is a strong sense at this time of year of rebirth and renewal. The long, cold, dark winter has passed and the colors and fruits of spring are beginning to reveal thier beauty. The birds are singing and carefully building nests for their new young. Every ray of sunshine and cool breeze whispers hope and new life. And we are filled with gratitude that we have come out of the dark, for the family and friends that surround us, and for the bounty this good earth gives us. I am personally grateful for the utterly decadant coconut creme and Cadbury Eggs I get from my dad on Easter morning every year! What great reasons to celebrate!

This is the heart of resurrection. New life springing up in the midst of the old. Death and darkness not given the last word. All things being made new. To borrow a line from Tolkien, “everything sad is coming untrue.” Or as N.T. Wright says in Surprised By Hope, “Easter is about new creation, a huge and stunning fresh gift of transforming grace…”

So, however you celebrate today, and whatever it means to you, I hope that you are filled again with a sense of hope and wonder and gratitude. That you will take a moment to drink in the beauty of the earth all around us. That you will be blessed with the love and comfort of friends and family. That you will drink and eat and laugh and that your heart will be joyous and at peace.

I am also sharing a couple things that I have meant a lot to me on this Easter Sunday. First, Rob Bell’s video “Resurrection” is one that I watch every year and pretty much perfectly encapsulates what resurrection means to me. In my times of doubt or indifference, this video makes me believe again.

This second one is a song called “Everything Sad Is Coming Untrue” by an artist named Jason Gray. I have been listening to this song a lot the last couple days, and it also, I think, perfectly embodies the spirit of resurrection. Many thanks to my besties JB & Kimmy for introducing me to this song!

Have a wonderful Easter! Much love to you all!