Sunday, March 2, 2014

Words to Live By

The Right Perspective
"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways." James 1:2-8
Can I just start off by saying how freaked out I am with the fact that it's already March?! It is blowing my mind that we're already three months into the new year and have to wait nine more months until Christmas (sob). This past week or so has been somewhat eventful for me and also a test of my faith, which brings me to today's post.
I have been praying lately for God to give me opportunities to listen to His will in my life. I prayed that and two days later (I kid you not! TWO days later) I was informed of a new job position that might become available in the near future that is also full time. Why is that such a big deal, or how is that even a test of faith? You see, I work two jobs. I have been at one for going on 3 years now and the other for only seven months, so when I was told about this other position I started to freak out a little bit. How could I leave my newest job after only having worked there for such a short amount of time? What would my boss think? What would my coworkers say about me? How could I leave my other job after being there for so long? What if my coworkers get mad at me for leaving? The list of what I thought goes on and on. You see, I am the definition of a people-pleaser. I will do or not do something to avoid other people being "mad" at me or feeling "disappointed" in me. It's terrible! So after I heard the news of this other job possibility, I panicked. I prayed about it immediately and came upon the verse shown above and had one of those a-ha moments: with my track record of avoiding any sort of change so as not to rock the boat and "upset" other people, maybe this was the perfect opportunity for me to heed this God-given moment and take that leap of faith (even though I felt scared senseless.) 
And so, I put on my big girl pants and let both of my bosses know that if this job proposition does come to pass that I am going to take it. And guess what? The world didn't end! Neither of them told me that they hated me for me wanting to better my life! This was such a big deal for me and I felt so pumped with the fact that I made my final decision and felt like I was listening to what the Lord was wanting me to do. But wait, what about the part of these verses that talks about "faith producing patience"? Oh, we'll get to that. That is another one of my laundry list of flaws is that I am the complete opposite of patient. After I made the decision in my head that if this new job ever happens that I was going to take it, I sat there waiting. I made my choice, then a week went by and I hadn't heard of any progress of this new job coming into culmination and I got mad! I thought, "Ok God, I listened to what You told me to do and nothing's happening! Come on and let's get this show on the road!" I had completely forgotten about what's probably the most important part of these verses, and that is the part about patience coming from the testing of one's faith so that we "may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." Talk about feeling dumb when I expected God to just snap His fingers and make all of my wishes come true the moment I wanted them like He's some sort of genie. That's not how life works and that's certainly not how God works. Yes, it is so very crucial for us to listen to what God wants us to do, but it's just as important that after we make that decision to listen to His commands that we wait for His perfect timing IN PATIENCE. 
2014 is definitely turning out to be a year of excitement and of potential, untapped opportunity. Just always remember that after you listen to God's voice that you wait patiently for His wonderful timing because you never know what He may have in store for you.

With Love,

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Fresh Start

A Gift from the Heart
This past Valentine's Day is definitely one for the books. I got to enjoy a delicious meal with my wonderful boyfriend (one can never go wrong with Chipotle), drink some good coffee, and watch a hilariously entertaining movie that was meant to be a sappy love story but turned out just awful (I won't name any names here but trust me, it was pretty bad.)

But even with all of that, what made this love day so special to me was this perfect gift that my soon-to-be toiled over, and that is my breathtaking logo and banner that you now see! Isn't it the bees knees?!

I was so speechless when he presented this to me. I feel like it captures everything that I've hoped that my blog could turn out to be, plus he added all of the unique touches that convey my personality so well. I just wanted to write a special post putting all of his hard work in the spotlight, that way you can all see this new brand and see how truly amazing my Shmoopy is! And yes, we do call each other Shmoopy.

So please, revel in the glory that is my fun new logo, and be sure to check out my Bryan Stifle's work on his website:

Until next time.


P.S. Yes, one component of this blog is Jesus, and I have a post in the works to convey that. So stay tuned!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

My Sweet Valentine

Cute and Easy Valentines
Happy Thursday to you all! I've had the privilege of being able to stay home for the past two days due to an unwelcome illness...but I see it as a blessing because I was able to get so much done, including these adorable valentines for Valentine's Day! We are 8 days way until the day of love, and if you're looking for something cute and homemade for friends, family, coworkers, or anyone else then you've come to the right place.
These are some different supplies that I used:
  • pretty card stock paper
  • stamps/ink
  • shape scissors (or, at least that's what I call them)
  • assorted ribbons
  • cute lollipops
The dollar bin inside Target and Michael's has become my best most of the supplies shown here I got from those awesome stores.
First, you will want to use your shape scissors (again, I have no idea what the proper title for these are) and cut your paper into whatever shape you desire.
Next, using whatever you prefer: it could be stamps; a quill pen; felt-tip marker; crayon; anything!, write (or stamp) your loving sentiment on the front of your valentine. If you end up using stamps, allow the ink to fully dry before handling.
Now, get creative! Personalize your sentiments in any way you choose. I wanted to add my own touches by adding some other ink color and an adorable die cut heart.
I then made tiny bows with my ribbon (which I scored from Target's dollar bin) and hot glued them on each card.
Lastly you will want to attach the candy of your choice to the back of each valentine.
And it's that easy! Now you will have something inexpensive, cute, and individually customized that is sure to impress anyone this February 14th! Happy crafting!


Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Sunday Tribute

Savory Blueberry Scones

Happy Sunday to all! Do you know what I love about Sundays (aside from fellowship with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and getting to worship Jesus of course)? Is that it is Downton Abbey day! My mom and I absolutely love this show; the time period that it's set in, the fashion, the language, everything about it is so enthralling. Which brings me to today's post: a simple tribute to the show. I decided to bake these tasty scones in honor of tea time during the show because everybody knows that you can't be a proper British person with some tea and a lovely snack.

I found this recipe from the Food Network's website and it called for making a lemon glaze. I wanted to make regular, good-old-fashioned blueberry scones, but if you're feeling a little adventurous feel free to check out their website for the glaze recipe. This recipe yields 4 scones.

My mom is gluten and sugar sensitive, so I try to keep that in mind with most of my baking. So,

What you'll need:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (I used gluten-free purchased from Clark's)
  • 1/2 T baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 T sugar (I used chopped Medjool Dates)
  • 2 1/2 T unsalted butter (be sure to keep cold)
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

  • Be sure to keep your butter cold, because butter acts as a binding agent while baking, and the colder your butter is the better your scones will hold their shape.
  • If you only have salted butter, then I would recommend not adding any additional salt.
  • Be sure to use fresh blueberries because adding frozen ones would change the flavor of the scones.
  • I used chopped Medjool dates in my mix because of my mom's sugar sensitivity (I recommend using 3 if you go this route), but we discovered soon after that they actually make date sugar! So if you're looking to go sugar-free, then I would suggest using the date sugar rather than the actual dates.

First, you will want to add all of your dry ingredients in a bowl including the date sugar or regular sugar, depending on which you decide to go with.

Next, add your butter and be sure to chop it up first! I used real dates in my mix so I added them in this step as well. Then, using a fork, mix everything until evenly blended. The mixture will be clumpy so don't over mix.

Now, add your fresh blueberries. Be sure to wash and dry them first!

As you mix in the blueberries, be careful not to break them open because you want to try to leave them whole for aesthetic purposes. The mixture will be even clumpier now, as shown above.

Next, using your hands you will want to form your mixture into a ball-type mound so you can flatten it out. I did this on a piece of parchment paper and used my hands because a rolling pin would break all of the blueberries.
Then, using a pizza cutter for a straight line, cut away the rough edges of the dough and make four rectangles. You will then cut each rectangle in half diagonally, and place one of the triangles on top of the other to make that classic scone shape. Press the edges together lightly so they stay together.

Once you get your scones on a baking pan, brush a little bit of the heavy whipping cream on top for a nice glaze.

Finally, bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until the tops of the scones are a golden brown.

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your Sunday, and cheers! Here's to a lovely night in.


Saturday, January 18, 2014

New Year, New Blog

Chicken Pot Pie for the New Blogger's Soul

Hello, everyone! I am excited/happy/anxious/clueless while creating my very first blog. So please bear with me as I learn the tricks of the trade.
Needless to say, with a new year comes new aspirations. I have always been a "gonna" type of person. What is that kind of person you may ask? Well, to me a "gonna" person is somebody (like myself) who always says or thinks things like, "I'm gonna try to exercise more" or "I'm gonna try to stick my New Year's resolutions for more than the first 2 weeks of January" or "I'm gonna try something new." The list goes on and on, but the point that I am trying to make here is that I am tired of being a "gonna" and am ready to be a "doer!" I AM going to stick to my New Year's resolutions; I AM going to try something new (I didn't tell myself to exercise more this year, so I'm off the hook for that one.) So with all of that being said, I have decided to do just that by sharing my passions and interests with the rest of the world.
After all is said and done, thank you for taking the time to read this, and here is my very first post!

Delicious Mini Pot Pies

What you'll need:

  • 2 whole chickens for roasting 
  • celery 
  • carrots
  • potatoes (red or brown; I prefer red myself)
  • onion
  • 3 packages of pre-made pie crust (6 rolls total)
  • all-purpose flour
  • milk
  • olive oil
  • garlic powder
  • sage
  • onion powder
  • salt
  • pepper
  • mini pie tins

This recipe makes 6 mini pies total, and I know that I haven't put exact measurements, but in my defense I am shadowing under my wonderful mother in the kitchen who doesn't measure out ingredients exactly. She believes that it is best to cook without all of the tiny details of one-fourth this, and two-thirds that...I will walk you through each step so no need to worry!

First, you will want to prep your chickens. Place them in any 9x13 baking dish and prep your seasonings by mixing together the olive oil and other seasonings in a small bowl. Then, using your hands (or a basting brush if you're too queasy) coat the inside and outside of both chickens.

Roast in the oven at 350 degrees for about 2 hours, or until the outside is a light brown and the internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees (according to
While your chicken is roasting, you can begin to cut up all of your vegetables and potatoes.

Combine all of the cut-up veggies in a large saucepan; add a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper; and cook over medium heat until the onions and celery are translucent and the other ingredients can easily be pierced with a fork.

Now to prep the crusts! It's pretty simple: for the mini pies it takes one of the pre-made dough rolls divided into three chunks to make a top and bottom crust with another crust for a different pot pie. Earlier I said to get three packages of the pre-made crust because during this I only bought two and had to work pretty hard to make the dough work for all six pies. So depending on how many pies you'll actually be making, the sizes, and how much you like crust, it's all up to you how many you buy!
After dividing the pieces, roll them up into a nice ball and flatten them out with a rolling pin.
Set your top crust pieces aside.

Take your bottom pieces and place them in the mini tins. I took out my pizza cutter to make the dough have a little bit of a cleaner cut, but in the end it doesn't really matter!
After you have the bottom dough in the tins, place them on a cookie sheet and bake for about 5 minutes at 350 degrees (your chicken should be out of the oven and shredded at this point.) Doing this prevents the dough on the bottom from being gooey and not fully cooked once you add the filling.

Now it's time to make the gravy to mix in with the veggies. Like I said before, we don't use exact measurements, so if you don't know how to make gravy, start off with 1 cup of all-purpose flour and proceed to add milk to the flour over medium heat in a saucepan, stirring frequently. Do so until your mixture becomes gelatinous, adding more flour or milk (whichever will bring it to the right consistency.)
The veggies should be mostly cooked through at the point, so go ahead and mix in the gravy if that is the case.

Time to put it all together! Place the shredded chicken on top of your now-baked bottom crust, and add the gravy with vegetable mixture on top.

The dough that was set aside earlier is the final step. Place one on top of each pie and press the edges of the dough to seal. For venting purposes be sure to cut slits on the tops of each pie.
Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes, or until the top crust is golden brown.

And that's all it takes!

As we continue flying through 2014, I will be posting about things I bake, things I make, and anything else that inspires me!

With Love,

P.S. I haven't yet decided if I will be able to post bimonthly or only once a month, so keep your eye out for the next post!