Saturday, November 26, 2016

Coffee & Crochet

So since I'm back to blogging for me, I'm going to talk about things I love.  Coffee and crochet! When I think about a nice evening in, I think about me in the coziest pajamas with a hot cup of coffee and a basket full of yarn with a crochet needle.  If I could make a living selling my creations, I would do it full time and love every second.  For now, it's a part-time gig and a full-time passion!

My husband has been incredibly supportive of my love for both crochet and coffee.  Instead of walking in the door with roses (which he does do from time to time), he's found that walking in the door with my favorite cup of coffee gets about the same result.  He also miraculously tolerates my "yarn worms" all over the house (ie. yarn clippings from my crochet projects).  He even spent several hours one evening untangling a basket of yarn for me.

For me, if I'm surrounded in yarn with a cup of coffee and a loving, supportive husband by my side, I'm doing alright.  It's just icing on the cake when someone falls in love and purchases one of my handmade beauties!

Alright...back to my coffee and crochet!  You can check out all my stuff on

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Back to Blog

It's been a little while since I've graced the pages of this blog.  I lost the passion, it seems.  Really, the passion got lost in all the desires to be read, followed and liked.  Suddenly I found myself writing a bunch of "How to" pieces...anything that would look good on Pinterest.  Now I'm getting back to myself and caring less about who reads this or if anything ever actually comes of it other than my own self-therapy.

A lot has happened since the last time I posted anything.  I started my own business and I'm sure I'll tell you more about that in the future.  I diversified my Etsy shop and started doing some local craft shows.  Donald Trump became the next President of the United States.  I put my Christmas Tree up a whole day before Thanksgiving.  (*GASP!*)  

Today, however, I spent the day with some wonderful people and eating wonderful food.  Hopefully, that's where you found yourself as well.  Right now I'm sitting here with my laptop perched where it belongs watching a sappy Christmas Hallmark movie before I retire to bed physically and emotionally full of good things.  I'm about to make myself a cup of tea and pray my voice (which seems to be slipping away) is still in full force in the morning.

If by chance you've stopped in and you connected with anything in the short paragraphs above, then I want to extend the warmest of welcomes!  If you came here hoping you'd see a new DIY project...sorry!

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!  

Saturday, March 5, 2016

When You Haven't Had a Baby Yet...

It seemed almost immediately after our wedding almost 2 years ago, people expected us to reproduce. At first, I found it amusing and half expected it.  Now I'm at a point when I'm just trying to understand the "why" behind the questions and jokes.

In all honesty, I'm very excited about the possibility of becoming a mother.  I dream about what our children will be like and how wonderful D will be as a father.  Those dreams will continue until the day I finally become a mom.  Until then...

I have so many other dreams!  I just got married 2 years ago to my best friend and I'm eager to see and experience the world with him.  I know that having a baby right now would put a serious halt to our ability to do those things.  So, while we don't have children, this will be the time I choose to make our dreams priority.  When we have kids, those dreams will take a lot longer to make happen.  We only have this one life and I want to milk as much out of it as humanly possible.  Before my main job in life is keeping other humans alive,  I want to live myself!

Yes, there are some days I think, "Let's just have a baby now!"  On the other hand, I feel extremely empowered by my self-control; by the fact that we're choosing what is best for our children before we ever have them.  We're choosing to have priceless experiences that we will one day get to share with them through memories and gifts (yes...we get our future children souvenirs from our adventures).

No, I don't know how long it will be before we finally decide to take the plunge into parenthood. Much like deciding to marry someone, I think we will both "just know."  We're aware of the "ticking clock" and that "it's never the right time to have kids."  I'm sure when we finally decide to that it won't be after every item on our list is crossed off.  It will be, however, when we feel like we've experienced enough (or when God feels like we've experienced enough).

So what do you do when you're curious about when a couple might have kids?  It's perfectly okay to be curious!  I've found one of the most wonderful ways to satisfy one's curiosity (and I think I'll use it myself in the future)! While recently out for dinner with my parents on our trip home to Missouri, my step-mother asked, "So do you guys think you'll have kids in the future?"  I LOVED that question! Why?  Because it wasn't, "So why haven't you guys had kids yet?  You know you aren't getting any younger!"  I felt like she just knew how to ask the question the right way and I also enjoyed answering it.

What I want people to know?  I want those that haven't had kids yet to know that it's okay!  Whether you're having reproductive issues, choosing to wait or choosing to not have children at all; it's your life and you know how God has led you to live it.  I'd challenge you to be open to the curiosity of others.  I venture to say most who ask don't mean any harm.  You can reveal as much or as little as you want.  That is your choice.  Take solace in that.

To those that are just really itching to know if a couple is going to have children, it's okay to be curious.  Just use wisdom in whom you ask and how you ask.  Understand there may be some people who are really sensitive about it, so knowing who you're asking and how to ask is key to satisfy your curiosity and understand the people in your life a little better.

Along those lines, I also had a really wonderful week back home cuddling babies that weren't my own.  Here is a moment caught by my mom of me holding my cousin's brand new baby boy.  She and her family are really special to me, so I was happy to get to snuggle one of her little blessings. Special thanks to Brit for letting me borrow her baby for a few moments!

What do you think?  What is the best way to ask others about when they'll have kids?  What has your experience been?

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

What to Watch Wednesday: Our Oregon Trail (Guest Post)

There once was a time in my life when I wanted to be a vagabond.  I wanted to see the world and experience everything there was to experience. Then, I'd think about finances.  How would I fund this adventure?  Then I'd think about safety.  How would I protect myself?  Then I'd think about family. How could I be so far from them?  All these thoughts (which were actually fears) held me back from really experiencing what I wanted.  

So today instead of introducing you to a show to watch, I want to introduce you to two people to watch: Alex and Shelby.  For starters, Alex is my energetic, hilarious younger brother and Shelby is his bright, talented fiance. They have set out to make their dreams of adventure and exploration reality and have moved across the country to start their lives together.  Alex and Shelby got engaged last year and they are set to be married this summer.  However, their adventure and life together has begun long before they say "I do."  I asked Shelby for a guest post today.  So please enjoy her thoughts on life, love and taking chances.

And before you leave this post, do yourself a favor and go follow them on Instagram as they document their journey.  You'll be encouraged by their adventurous spirits as well as enjoy their breathtaking images: Our Oregon Trail

Alex and I met each other at the perfect time in our lives. We were both unsure of who we were and what we wanted out of life. We had dreams that got pushed aside because they seemed next to impossible, or not worth the risk. I personally had mistakes from my past that were preventing me from growing and becoming the best version of myself. One year before meeting Alex I finally made the bold move of leaving the farm community I grew up in for the big city. Little did I know that was my first step to becoming the person I had always dreamed of being and meeting the person I never thought I’d find.
We met a Royals watch party right before the World Series in 2014. After a few dates we quickly learned that our goals and dreams lined up almost seamlessly. One year later, the Royals had made it to the World Series again and we had finally built up the courage to move to Oregon. A place we had visited a couple times since we had started dating and where Alex asked me to marry him during the summer of 2015. We loved being out there. The idea of being next to the ocean, next to rocks we could climb, mountains we could ski, and the most beautiful scenery we could ask for. We quit our jobs, fit everything we could into our van, and moved by the end of the year. Just like that. With no plans other than we wanted to be together and we wanted to experience living life in an area where we could follow our dreams.
Of course it was and is challenging, and things haven’t exactly worked in our favor. We question whether we did the right thing all the time. But one thing I know for certain, I am becoming the strong person I never thought I could be. I can feel myself growing and understanding how to face the challenges that come my way. I found this quote recently and it helps me anytime I question our decision to move out here and the chance we took to make a better future for ourselves.
“If you’re feeling frightened about what comes next, don’t be. Embrace the uncertainty. Allow it to lead you places. Be brave as it challenges you to exercise both your heart and your mind as you create your own path toward happiness; don’t waste time with regret. Spin wildly into your next action. Enjoy the present, each moment, as it comes, because you’ll never get another one quite like it. And if you should ever look up and find yourself lost, simply take a breath and start over. Retrace your steps and go back to the purest place in your heart…where your hope lives. You’ll find your way again.”
— Everwood 

S H E L B Y   H U G H E S

Friday, February 12, 2016

Easy Bean Enchiladas

Over the last year, eating a vegan diet has caused me to think outside of the box in terms of how to put together meals.  My husband (who has not gone vegan) would probably whittle away if all I fed him were salads.  Not to mention, I honestly desire much more than just salad every day.  Thus, I've had to find new things to love that fit within my diet parameters.  I've discovered a new love for legumes (which were not a very big part of my diet before going vegan).  Once you change your lifestyle in terms of diet, I've come to find it is so much easier to introduce or re-introduce new food items.  In many ways, your taste buds adjust and things I thought I would never like, I've come to really love.

So, with my new love for legumes, came a whole new world of possibility for me in terms of meal planning.  I'd found a recipe for a bean enchilada on Pinterest and decided I'd revamp it to fit my own personal taste.  Thus came this meal.  I can tell you it is definitely protein packed and my husband and I are both very satisfied with both the taste and the filling nature of this meal.  Sometimes I'll even add a little Spanish rice as a side as well.

8 large flour tortillas
1 can 12-15 oz can of enchilada sauce (I use Las Palmas brand)
1-15oz can of black beans
1-15oz can of garbanzo beans
1-15 oz can of whole kernel corn
3 diced roma tomatoes
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste

Step 1:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Then in a large skillet, put in 1 tbsp olive oil and then throw in the garbanzo beans, black beans, and corn (all drained and rinsed first).  Then add in the diced roma tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, and salt (to taste).  Mix the ingredients in the pan and let it cook on medium-high for about 10 minutes until beans and tomatoes seem tender.

Step 2:
Pour half the contents of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9x11" pan.  This will ensure that the sauce cooks up well into the enchiladas.  Then fill each tortilla with about 3 spoon fulls of the bean mixture.  Roll them and lay them in the pan.

Step 3:
Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.  Then remove them and pour the rest of the enchilada sauce on top and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

Step 4:
Cool for about 5 minutes, dish and serve.

I've made this dish for several friends and most do not even note that meat is not part of the meal. This would be a wonderful recipe to use for Meatless Mondays or just during the week if you want a quick, easy meal to make for the family.

Do you do Meatless Mondays in your house?  Do you think your family would love this dish?  What sorts of dishes do you typically fix during the week?