Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Night Asian



Happy Friday!

I'm presently curled up on my corner of the couch making plans.

Some of which include...

*cleaning house
*making valentines
*watching old Downton Abbey episodes
*contemplating the meaning of life

The Muffin and Josiah are off on a "Dad's Day Out." Which means I have some time to myself!

We will see what I get done today.

Also on my list for the day is preparing a fun Friday night menu.

Friday nights are generally a swim team practice night for Josiah Bevan, but he's been having some asthma issues lately so we might keep him home tonight. This also happens to be The Muffin's day off and I want to pamper him just a bit.

Which is why I'm fixing MY favorite kind of food.

Asian.

Do you know how much I LOVE Asian food? I WUV it soooo much I could it eat several times a week.

For my meal tonight, I am fixing this Chicken Satay recipe on my grill pan AND a mess of Egg Foo Yung. You can find my recipe and tutorial here.  I have a few veggies screaming for attention in my crisper. And I know they are just screaming to be used in some yummy Egg Foo Yung.

So, my friends. Do you have any fun Friday night plans?


Friday, January 15, 2016

What is Beautiful? 17 Weeks of Learning to Live A Beautiful Life





It's here! Week 17 of my 17 Weeks of Learning to Live a Beautiful Life.

I hope that I have inspired you just a little bit.

Or at least given you some mindless reading material.

For my last week I want to talk to you about being comfortable in your own skin. This can be difficult for many women in particular.

I am 40something and still struggle with many aspects about "me".

As I write this I am multi-tasking. And when I say multi-tasking I mean the TV is on and I've got half an eye on what's on. There is a segment on about the new fashion trends for the new year.

One of those trends is wearing see-through netting. This, of course, reveals certain undergarments on the wearer.

I hope this doesn't become a "thing".

I have enough trouble seeing folks at Wal-mart in their jammies.

But there will be those among us who jump on the "netting wear".  Just like there were those of us in the 7th grade who begged their parents for a pair of parachute pants. Preferably in purple.

More so than making questionable fashion choices, the challenge for many of us is being comfortable with who we are. Instead of embracing the beautiful creature God made us to be, we wind up at war with ourselves and spend most of our time trying to be somebody else.

If I could give any advice to my younger self it would be to focus on those qualities of inner beauty. And to recognize that there will come a time that all those trials and travails will bring about perseverance, kindness, loyalty...and more. They will add a depth of character that can't be mimicked by just knowing, doing or saying the "right thing" or the "popular thing".

Of course, there are always things we can work on as we grow. None of us will ever "arrive"...at least until we meet Jesus. But I think the recognition of that in itself is beauty. We are all flawed.

So my friends. On this last post of this series, I encourage you to see yourself the way God sees you.

I encourage you not to follow the trends and common practices of everyone around you. I encourage you to be really honest with yourself. Are you your biggest stumbling block to living a beautiful life? How can you improve the life your living? Are you enjoying the moment? Are you filling your life with lovely things?

As a Christian it is my ultimate goal to portray Christ. I also need to search my heart. Am I trying to please man? Galatians 1:10 tells us that we must seek the favor of God.

There also needs to be some defining about what is Beautiful in your own life. What are your values? Your hopes and dreams?  What do you inspire to be?

This is Beauty to me.

For me it is having new adventures. Even if that adventure is to wander through a book.

It is to treat others with kindness and compassion. To consider others more than I think of myself.

It is to surround myself with things I think are pretty and inspiring.

Beauty is enjoying the moment...even if the moment is filled with sticky messes.

It is spending time with people you love.

And radiating the love of Christ. Especially when I don't feel like it.

It needs to be taking small pleasures in those little treats I give myself. A long hot bath or a cup of tea.

Beauty is taking time to appreciate breathing in and out. And walking. Walking is a good one.

Beauty is creating special touches with my hands. Whether it be a crooked crochet chain or a dish of tomato soup.

Beauty is my son's contagious smile and quirky sense of humor. It is my husband's fierce devotion and loyalty.

And Beauty is looking in the mirror and not turning away in disappointment. It is understanding that between those extra layers, lines and wrinkles that one who loves and is loved in return resides there.










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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Celebrate! 17 Weeks of Learning to Live a Beautiful Life





It's almost over! This is Week 16 in my 17 Weeks of Learning to Live a Beautiful Life series.

I'm a bit late. I meant to be done with the series before the end of 2015, but it didn't happen. In fact, I have been trying to get this particular post up for a week!

Don't you love it when "life" interrupts your "life?"

For the past few months life has been happening around our clunker cars. Just a few weekends ago, we went through water on the road (we in Missouri experienced The FLOOD) and a car part blew off. The car (The Studly Muffin's Ford) got us down the road for a bit and then stopped.

In the freeing rain. And hail. 50 miles from home.

This weekend (our our way to church) we experienced electrical problems in the same car.

We didn't make it church.

Just this past month, my car (fondly known has Bessie the Buick) has had to have 2 new tires and a new windshield.

I don't have to tell you that we didn't have the money for any of it, but God provided and we are confident that He is going to keep on taking care of us.

Most of us have those day-to-day struggles that, if we are not careful, will suck the "life" right out of our "life."


We all know people who seem to float through life with just a little extra sparkle.

I'm frankly a bit phlegmatic (and a little snarky) for too much sparkle..but I sure appreciate those who seem to dazzle.

I have come to feel that we all need a little celebration in our day-to-day lives.

When I think of the word Celebrate I think about commemorating a special day or occasion.

If there is birthday cake involved...I'll be there.

The point is that I don't want to wait for those special days or occasions to celebrate my life.

I want to make every day a little special. I want to approach my life as "the occasion."

Of course, this translates itself in my life in ways that might be different from someone else's, but this week I want us all to think of little ways we can add a little "celebration" to our life.

This week I tried to do something everyday that was just a little special and sparkly.

Watched a ballet on youtube

Played a board game with Josiah

Soaked in peppermint oil and epsom salts

Made my family an extra scrumptious (but healthy) dessert and served it on china plates

Made 2 homemade cards

And tried to smile more than scowl...

Sounds simple enough. Right? I'm sure if you think about it you are already doing so many wonderful things to live a beautiful life. Just take the time to breathe them in and enjoy them!


My friends. I challenge all of us to Celebrate a little more!










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