Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What I'm Letting Go of for Lent...

It's been awhile since I've blogged, and this post is mainly to say that it will be awhile longer till I blog again :)
Ive been struggling for awhile now with how much time I spend on blogs/facebook/social media, and I've really been questioning whether or not blogging is something God wants me to continue doing.  This blog started out as a way for me to keep in touch with friends and family after Jonathan and I got married and moved away. At least thats what I told myself, but I'd be lying if I said my motivation for blogging was just to let my mom see pictures of  our latest weekend adventure.  Somewhere along the way the number of readers I collected and how many times my recipes were pinned began to matter, as if it had some bearing on me as a wife.  

For someone who's struggled with perfectionism most of my life the blogging world has a way of sucking me in and magnifying the lies I feed myself.  Its easy to present the perfect home-cooked meal, and look at these new DIY curtains I saw on Pinterest and constructed from dropcloths, duct tape, and gold-leaf foil...I'm so crafty and save us so much money! Have you seen my perfectly styled nightstand complete with fresh flowers and the unabridged version of Les Miserables...I just picked that up for a bit of light reading before bed :) While on the floor just out of shot lies the used tissues, mismatched earrings, week old glass of water, and whatever else I swiped off the top of my nightstand to take the "perfect, BH&G shot". And let me tell you about this fabulous local restaurant with all organic food that Jon and I went to on our wonderfully romantic date night, here's picture proof with our teeth photoshopped whiter, to make our smiles look brighter, to show that we're the perfect happy couple, never mind this was the 4th attempt at a picture and Jonathan was annoyed, the food tasted like cardboard, and after we got home we ate cereal straight out of the box in fistfuls while sitting on the couch in our sweats. Because that's real life. Not this fakely perfect version we try to sell ourselves and everyone else. 
Now don't get me wrong, I honestly enjoy crafting and cooking, I love fresh flowers and creating pretty spaces, but why do I feel the need to share this with all the world? So others see what a good wife/homemaker I am? If that is my goal then this blog is not to glorify God and the gifts he has blessed me with, its to glorify myself.  
So for Lent I'm giving up letting go of blogging, loosening my hands from the "ideal life" I cling to so tightly. 

 I'm going to cook & bake for friends/family because it brings me joy to serve God & others in this way.  I'm going to arrange 'manager special' flowers in a recycled bottle so I can see the beauty of God in the small things.  I'm going to close my computer and go on a walk with my husband, and we'll be weird and quirky together because its what we do, and I love him for it.

And at the end of 40 days, if I decide to come back to blogging I pray it will be with a very different goal in mind.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Snow Day Fun

Both Jonathan and I had off work yesterday due to the 17+ inches of snow we received.  It was a really nice treat to get an unexpected day off, and we loved the opportunity to just spend some uninterrupted time together without a million other distractions.  Being snowed in meant we couldn't go out and run errands, go to the gym(him not me!), meet up with friends, or go grocery shopping which is what we normally do on our days off.  It forced us to slow down and we didn't realize how much we needed the break!  I'm so thankful God gives us little unexpected pockets of rest :)

We built a fort in our living room, watched a movie, made snow cream, went on several long treks through the snow till our cheeks were rosy and our feet were frozen, came inside to munch on homemade cinnamon & sugar toast then headed out to do it all over again, attempted to go sledding, baked Jon's favorite cookies, spent several hours curled up on the couch reading (this book for me, and this one for him), and overall just enjoyed getting to spend the whole day together! I am so thankful I married my best friend and that we still have fun together, even after almost 7 years! Heres to another 70 :) 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snow Cream

Jonathan and I both had of work today because of all the snow and we have been loving every minute of it! Last night I stuck a clean bowl out on our deck to collect the snow so that we could make snow cream, and it was delicious! This would be a super fun and easy treat to make with kiddos when you're stuck at home for a snow day :)
Step 1....find the bowl you placed outside that is now buried under 18+ inches of snow...
 Snow Cream:
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt 
  • roughly 8 cups of fresh snow
1. A few minutes before you're ready to make the snow cream place a bowl in the freezer so it gets nice and cold, this will help keep your snow cream from melting  as quickly.
2. Once the bowl is chilled quickly whisk together the milk, sugar, vanilla, and a pinch of salt
3. Dump in the snow and stir until it reaches your desired consistency.  It should be a little mushy, but not runny.
4. Dish it up, top with sprinkles, maple syrup, or any other delicious topping and dive in before it melts!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Chinese New Year!

Today is the start of the Chinese New Year, and 2014 is the year of the horse. I never celebrated Chinese New Year, based on the lunar calendar until I started teaching at a mostly Korean school and thats when I learned all about it! I love learning about other cultures and think its fun to join in the celebration in whatever small ways we can. So tonight I'm making homemade Chinese food (eating long noodles is traditional and symbolizes long life) and we'll snack on these little guys for dessert....

My students would always bring them for snack and I quickly became addicted to them! You can often find them in the dollar section at Target or the international food aisle at Kroger. I made a run to Target to pick up some boxes this morning and there was only one left so I snatched it up...score!
And here's a throwback pic of me dressed in a traditional Korean hanbok at last year's celebration with some of my kiddos :)

Do any of you celebrate the Chinese New Year?? If so I'd love to hear about it!

Friday, January 24, 2014

DIY Travel Canvas

I have been wanting to make a map/travel themed canvas for awhile now, and finally got around to doing it on my snow day this past week.  I already had all the supplies lying around so the cost was free...holla!  
Jonathan and I love to travel so I've decided our guest bedroom is the perfect place to display pics and memorabilia from all our adventures.  This canvas is going to be part of a wall collage I'm currently in the process of working on :)

First things first I had to decide which travel quote I wanted to write on my canvas. I was waffling between "not all who wander are lost", "The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page", and "Oh darling, lets be adventurers," before finally deciding on the latter. Partly because I love it when Jonathan calls me "darlin" and partly because whenever we're getting ready to go somewhere I tend to yell "Im going on an adventureee!" a la Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit :)

Once that was decided I printed off the quote in fonts I intent was to trace it using the same method shown here, but that didn't really work so I had to free-hand it instead.
 Then I traced the shape of the canvas I was using onto a page from an old Atlas that had been sitting in the trunk of my car ever since the invention of the GPS :) I chose to use a map of South Carolina since Jon and I went to Charleston on our honeymoon .
 Then I simply cut it to the correct size, wrote my quote in permanent marker and applied a thin layer of mod podge to the canvas before adhering the map.  Since the paper is thin it did bubble up a little bit, but it wasn't as noticeable once it dried.  I opted not to cover the front of the print with mod podge as I was afraid it would make it bubble up even more.
 Then I painted the edges of the canvas my favorite aqua color (no surprise there), and let it dry.  Now its ready for hanging!

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