life in the basement has come and gone. we loved living underground, but are excited to practice maintaining a home. join me as i journal chapter two of our life, as we save up, look forward, and plan for a home in the city. as we seek after our great God to glorify Him daily, join in as we figure out what it means to radically pursue Him in "everyday life"

31 August 2011

shower invites: simply to impress

So I have to tell you about this new vendor of invitations I have found! After hearing about them and scoring a coupon on living social, I was way pumped with not only the end product but also the whole process. I highly recommend simply to impress... Just take a look yourself!

26 August 2011

its the most wonderful time of the year....

so has anyone else heard the extremely annoying comcast commercial on the radio lately? you know, the one with the raspy deep men singing "its the most wonderful time of the year" due to the arrival of football season? well, even though it drives me crazy, i must agree- it IS the most wonderful time of year! and not just because of football- because of PUMPKIN! i am quite a fan of pumpkin, and this is the first of MANY pumpkiny recipes i intend to share this autumn season. if you want a peek, check out my pumkpin pinboard here. i love pumpkin anything- bread, candles, lattes, pies, cookies, cakes, soup, the color, the smell, the flavor, the warmth, the seeds, the carving, the small ones, the big ones- anything pumpkin!! i've often said if i had to live on one food for the rest of my life, it would be pumpkin pie. i mean it too!

so nevertheless, with much anticipation and eager excitement for the arrival of cooler weather, freshly sharpened pencils, and all things pumpkin, i went to my kitchen, ipad with recipe in hand, and got out a can of pumpkin.

then, i got to work. i used this recipe here. to start, i combined the sugar, eggs, and water with my handy dandy pink kitchenaid whisk in my le creuset batter bowl (love)

to that, i added my pumpkin and some oil

next, i combined the dry ingredients- i should note here that i doubled the recipe because i wanted 24 muffins instead of 12. i used 1 cup of whole wheat flour, 2 cups unbleached all purpose white flour, then i added everything else it called for- baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, salt, and then to that, i also added in about 1/4 cup flax seed and oatmeal. i think i could have added even more of those, but was worried about the texture.

i used my new large 4-qt pyrex bowl which was perfect! this was a lot of stuff! next, i tossed in the chocolate chips so they would get coated and not sink in the muffin mix.  i used mini chocolate chips, mostly because thats all i had, but i think they were a good choice- more distrubition of the chocolately goodness.

then, i dumped the liquidy pumpkiny stuff right on in. i stirred just until everything was mixed. it looked great!

then, i scooped it out in my muffin tins and it was ready to go in the oven

i should add here, i have learned my lesson about cheap muffin papers. see what happens? they bunch up. and they burn. and they stick. yuck. no good. so, i plan on investing in good muffin papers soon.

while these looked super yum, i decided they needed a little something else. maybe a dip in cinnamon sugar when they come out? some sort of glaze? no- i got it, streusel! so i quickly looked up a streusel recipe and got to work. i chopped up 1 stick of butter like so and tossed it in the food processor, then added 1/2 cup flour, a big dash of cinnamon, and 1/4 cup sugar. i processed until crumbly, then poured on top of my muffins.

20 minutes at 400 and these babies were perfect!

i made a few without streusel, and they were pretty too

so there you go! pumpkin streusel muffins. they were delish- and quite hearty & healthy, with the addition of flax and oatmeal. here's to autumn- and lots more pumpkiny perfection!!!

24 August 2011

no HFCS chocolate syrup!

check out what i found at whole foods for nathan! he likes to add it in his protein shake every morning- now i can feel good about that, because it has no HFCS! :)

23 August 2011

unreached: the ahar of india

today, i want to ask you to join me in prayer for the ahar people of india. among the 50 most persecuted people groups on the planet, the ahar are believed to have not a single christian living among them. can you imagine?  the ahar are of a higher caste in india, making it harder to communicate to them their need for christ. i still can't believe that there potentially are NO believers among them. talk about unreached.  there are approximately 1,481,000 living in india, all of whom practice hinduism. there has not been missionary activity among these people in over 2 years. while there is a bible & some biblical material in hindi, their official language, they also speak 6 others languages among the group. 

so how can we pray for them? obviously, we need to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send laborers to work this field! how can there be no one with the truth of the gospel among them?! pray that God would move and raise up believers, maybe even from within the group, that can lead the way to the light of the Gospel. pray also that the ahar would be broken and recognize their need for God. 1, 418,000 people are in this group and have never heard.. one million four hundred eighteen thousand people. all of whom cling to their caste & their hinduism for hope. we must pray for these souls.

father, how my heart hurts even now for these people. God, how, when we have churches & christian schools everywhere, christian radio stations and companies, fishes on the back of every car- how can we have all of these, and yet these people have no one? please Lord, send someone to the ahar people group. awaken them and breath life into their dead souls. God,  reveal yourself, and strengthen any missionary who will bravely follow you to this, an "end of the earth."

so i've been slacking...

but i have much in the works including:

- a review of another cupcakery
- still working on that post on my identity in christ
- an exciting find at whole foods
- some insight on some exciting news from ash & i

i also want to start blogging on a topic from my readers- once a week or so. so, please comment and send me your suggestions! anything!

22 August 2011

cake POPs! :)

as promised, here's our much awaited cake pops post!!

so this weekend, ash & i teamed up to get to work on some cake pops for a fellow teacher who was going to pay us to make them for her child's birthday party. our first payin' gig! big deal to us, as it is a joke dream of ours to run a bakery or something like that someday. for now, cake-pops on demand will do!

so friday night, ash & i got out the mixer and all our tools, and got to work. to start, we baked a box cake in a 9x13 pan and let it cool

can you see the baby bump?! yay!! ok its not much, but its enough to leave a best friend exctied!! baby's first cake pop baking adventure....we're starting this kid out right! well, i suppose technically this would be their 2nd.... were they in the womb yet? tmi?  anywho, we had a lot of convos about the baby whlie we were doing these. fun times!

we used this kitchenaid piece i gave ash for christmas- its a bottom scrapper, so it scrapes while it mixes. pretty cool huh?

once the cake was cooled, we cut it out of the pan, and started crumbling.

here was our inspiration - from the cake pop book

once the cake was cooled & crumbled, we added in about 3/4 can of premade icing. bakerella suggests using boxed cake mix & canned icing because of its consistency.  we agree.

then, we started molding. for these cake pops, we needed 35 rectangles and then the rest just balls. we molded these with our hands, and its a squishy yucky mess. kind of fun though. the cake mix feels- well, kind of like, you know when you were a kid at the beach and you would pour water on the sand and mold it into stuff or let it drip and build up like spires on your sand castle? kinda like that.

attractive pic, huh? this was after running 5 miles and before showering. sorry guys. hands were clean though!

once everything was molded, we put them in the fridge to set, and made sure we had everything we would need for the next day. then, we went to bed- eager to rise and shine bright and early the next day.

our supplies

these pens did NOT work. terrible. 

saturday morning, we were up with the sun ready to dip, doodle, & decorate. after melting our candy melts and getting together a game plan, we were good to go!

styrofoam block to sit the resting cake pops to cool

candy melts


made me wish for snow!

bare pops with nothing but their popcorn on top

charlie helped us (while nathan was still sleeping) cut the marshmallows to look like popcorn. it was crazy how much it looked just like popcorn! i ended up having to eat some real popcorn saturday night after starring at this stuff all morning

i mean, for reals, looks like popcorn, huh? or of the two.

we found the scissors worked better & faster than a knife

then we dipped the "popcorn" in candy, and stuck it on top


once all the popcorn was stuck on, we took a quick breakfast break, allowing the candy to fully harden, then we got back to work. while i was working on painting the pop and stripes, ash dipped the rest of the balls in green candy melts & multicolored sprinkles. she made this display to put them in- how cute and festive!

so we had originally planned on using the wilton candy markers on these, but they were an EPIC fail. we rushed to michaels to see what else we might could use, and we came across these "matte candy writers" by duff, the ace of cakes, guy. these ended up being pretty good- they were fine for the stripes, but it was hard to write with, so i ended up squirting it in a bowl and hand painting it on. not quite what i was hoping for in terms of finished product, but they were still pretty good. i'm a little bit of a perfectionist (as is ash) so i was a little let down, but i've learned for next time!

we bagged them in treat bags & tied them up, and they were ready to go!

notice, of course, the pink glittery nails :)
so there you have it. ash & i are in the process of starting a cake pops business, so be looking for more info on that soon!!! let me know your thoughts- and want cake pops at your party? get in touch, and we'll give you a quote!!