Friday, March 21, 2014

Windowsill Seeds

I'm anxious for spring. I miss green grass and flowers. I am definitely going to appreciate spring once it actually gets here. In the meantime, I planted some seeds in my little apartment.

I bought cilantro, lavender, rosemary, and zinnia seeds at the store for less than $2.00 a pack and a bag of organic seed starting soil. Then I went to the other side of the store and got my eggs to start my seeds in.

To get the tops of the eggs off, tap a circle at the top of the egg with a knife and pour out the egg yolk. I dumped mine into a bowl to save to cook with, but be careful not to get tiny shell pieces in there! Carefully rinse out the egg shells. Spoon some soil into each of the shells, place some seeds in, then cover with a little more soil. Then water and give some sunlight (if there is any). Be sure to keep your seeds moist!

Hopefully it won't be too long before I have a progress update!

windowsill seeds


Saturday, February 8, 2014

12 Freezer to Crock Pot Meals

It was when I realized I had only eaten a total of around 5 pieces of meat all last semester that I knew something needed to change (not good for a busy and stressed girl that already has low iron). I devised a plan to put together freezer meals that I could stick in the crock pot to have dinner that night and heat up the other half the next night.

One day before the start of my semester I took my list of ingredients and went on a shopping trip. I spent a total somewhere around $55 dollars which includes most ingredients listed below (however I had to buy some gluten free products which equals more $$$ and chicken breast did NOT happen to be on sale). I admit I could have done better. I came home with my ingredients and it only took me about 2 hours of chopping and dicing to put everything together.

1. I split all these recipes between 2 bags.
2. Seal, mix, lay flat, freeze.
3. Do NOT forget Ziploc Freezer bags and Sharpie!
4. Most of these I serve with rice or quinoa.

Here are the meals I made:

Cilantro Lime Chicken with Corn and Black Beans

4 chicken breasts
Juice from 2 limes
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 (16 oz) bag frozen corn
2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper to taste

Write on Bag:
Thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Cook on LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for 4 hours.

1. Place all ingredients in a resealable gallon-sized freezer bag.
2. Mix together and zip bag closed.

Honey Sesame Chicken

4 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 6 Tablespoons water
1 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup ketchup without high fructose
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Sesame seeds for garnish

Write on Bag:
Cook on low 4-6 hours.
Remove chicken last hour and shred or cut into bite size pieces.
Garnish with sesame seeds and/or additional red pepper flakes if desired.

1. Dissolve cornstarch and water in a gallon size freezer bag.
2. Add the remaining ingredients, except chicken and sesame seeds.
3. Seal and combine thoroughly by gently kneading ingredients.
4. Add chicken, seal and freeze until crocking day.

Hawaiian Chicken

4 Chicken Breasts
1 can of pineapple chunks
1 red onion
2 Teaspoons of garlic
12-24 baby carrots or a couple handfuls of sliced carrots

Write on Bag:
Add 1/4 cup of Teriyaki sauce BEFORE cooking or preparing this freezer meal.
Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8 hours.

1. Chop up your red onion and place in bag with FROZEN chicken breasts.
2. Add carrots, garlic and the entire can of pineapple chunks (juice and all).

Teriyaki Chicken

Medium – Large bag of carrots
Red onion into large chunks
2 large cans pineapple (undrained)
4 garlic cloves
4 chicken breasts
1 cup teriyaki sauce

Write on Bag:
Add additional ¼ cup sauce to crook pot.
Cook low 6-7 hours.

Beef and Broccoli

1 lb boneless beef chuck roast, sliced into thin strips
1 c beef broth
1/2 c soy sauce
1/3 c brown sugar
1 tbsp sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp sauce from the crock pot after being cooked
Fresh broccoli florets

Write on Bag:
Thaw slightly.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
In a cup, stir cornstarch and some sauce from the crock pot until smooth. Add to crock pot. Stir well to combine.
Cover and cook an additional 30 minutes on high (the sauce has to boil for it to thicken).

Southwest Chicken

1 can of corn, drained
1 can of black beans, drained
1 16oz jar of salsa
4 chicken breasts

Write on the bag:
Add 1 (8oz) brick of cream cheese.
Cook on high for 6-7 hours and low for 7-8 hours.
Remove and shred the chicken 30 minutes before serving.
Cut up the cream cheese into chunks and add to the crock pot with the chicken.

Add the corn, black beans, salsa, and chicken to the ziploc bag.

A well stocked freezer!


Thursday, January 30, 2014

all is grace

It’s just about February and I’m pretty sure I still keep writing 2013 on everything. Can I still give January and the New Year some credit? January has been crazy for me, but it's given me the much needed opportunity to think a lot. I didn’t specifically have any New Year’s resolutions but while home to Michigan at the beginning of the month, Dani and I made a deal to read a book per month this year… look at us two getting crazy. Haha. But seriously, it was a pact I was more than willing and even needing to make considering I hadn’t actually finished an entire book in who knows how long. It was starting to bother me.

Our first pick: One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. This book is literally changing me—and changing my view of everything, because everything, all is grace.

Ann’s book is the inspiration behind my most recent living room Pinterest project, a very visible reminder for me and all those who come in and out of my house to fully live by always thanking God so that we may be able to see grace in all and experience joy that can only come through knowing Jesus:

Charis. Grace.
Eucharisteo. Thanksgiving.
Chara. Joy.

Grace, thanksgiving, joy. Eucharisteo.

“He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God” (Psalm 50:23 NIV).

Our salvation and joy comes through thanking Jesus for what he has done on the cross. I’m not going to get into a ton of detail here but I will leave you with some of Dani’s and my favorite portions of One Thousand Gifts. Just read the book… or start making a list of 1,000 things, even the simple little things, that you are thankful for.

"Our fall was, has always been, and always will be, that we aren’t satisfied in God and what He gives. We hunger for something more, something other."

"How Jesus took the bread and gave thanks… and then the miracle of Jesus enduring the cross for the joy set before him. How Jesus stood outside Lazarus’s tomb, the tears streaming down his face, and He looked up and prayed, 'Father, I thank you that you have heard me...' (John 11:41 NIV). And then the miracle of a dead man rising! Thanksgiving raises the dead. The empty, stiff cadaver surging, the veins full of blood, the alveoli of the lungs filling with oxygen, the coronary arteries full of the whoosh of thrumming life."

"Joy and pain, they are but two arteries of the one heart that pumps through all those who don’t numb themselves to really living."

"Every step I take forward in my life is a loss of something in my life and I live in the waiting: How and of what will I be emptied today?"

"It is suffering that has the realest possibility to bear down and deliver grace."

"I keep on counting blessings to keep on remembering to keep on walking out into the unknown."

"Grace is alive, living waters. If I dam up the grace, hold the blessings tight, joy within dies… waters that have no life."

"Like a cycle of water in continuous movement, grace is meant to fall, a rain… again, ,again, again"

“O my soul, thou art capable of enjoying God, woe to thee if thou art contented with anything less than God.” --Francis de Sales


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Comfy & Cozy Style


I have been loving something about that cozy sweater-like pendant for a long time now. It inspired me to put together a little design board as a break from schoolwork. I am thinking about starting a design blog with things like this. We'll see!


Friday, November 29, 2013

Christmas Crafts

Last weekend I must have been feeling in the Christmas spirit. Okay, really I was just putting off working on my final projects for school. Here are some crafts I did to make my apartment a bit more Christmasy. Sorry for the quickly taken photos!

I was inspired by a wreath that my sisters' friend made so I looked up a felt flower how to (I used this one here) and ended up with this for our door!
photo 2

I also painted this canvas with snowflake templates that my mom made and wrote on it with a gold metallic paint marker.
photo 4

I am excited for school to be over so I can work on some more crafts without feeling guilty!

P.S. I just have to share an amazing gluten free banana bread recipe here that is actually easy and doesn't require a bunch of strange ingredients. Check it out.