Love Challenge Revisited

A few weeks ago, I posted a Love Challenge for February.

So how did I do?

Week 1 // Feb 1-7

Since I decided to do this challenge on the 4th of February, there wasn’t a whole lot of time left in the week. I ended up making these, minus the sandwich bun toppings (really, they are just an incredibly soft roll) with plans to give a basket of them + apple butter to our soon-to-be new neighbors. They’re working like crazy to get into their house sometime in February. Well, this was a fail. We ended up eating them ourselves, as they never made it over to the neighbors. Ooops. Sometimes the good intentions never get carried out.

Week 2 // Feb 8-14

My in-laws were on vacation for almost 2 weeks, and they came home this week. Before they arrived, we stuck a few things in their house to welcome them home. A plate of sweets + fresh creamer in the fridge so they could have their coffee right away. :)

Week 3 // Feb 15-21

This week was BUSY with lots of Valentine’s Day party prep and other things going on. Saturday we had a looong snowstorm that lasted from 11 am ’til well after dark — I think it was still snowing at 10:30-11 pm. Just for fun, I mixed up a batch of doughnuts. After they were all finished and dripping in glaze, we packaged some up, bundled ourselves up, and traipsed through the soft snow to visit some neighbors and deliver our treats. I think we enjoyed it almost as much as they did!IMG_0225

Week 4 // Feb 22-28

I had a hard time being intentional this week, for some reason. I thought of different things to do, but lacked the energy and motivation to carry through with them. (Letter writing + sending gluten-free cookies to a friend at Bible School) A few misc things I ended up doing were making a little snack of cookies + coffee for the Bible Study hosted here on Wednesday night (just because I could) and also texting a friend to ask how they could specifically use prayer right now.

Somehow, it looks like there is a common theme almost every week… Food. *sheepish grin* What can I say, it’s fun to give people goodies. ;) This challenge was good for me, because it kept me accountable and reminded me to consciously look for ways to bless and love other people around me. It’s easy to get caught up in myself, especially in the month of February when there are events like birthdays + Valentine’s Day. :) I’ve also been rather occupied with preparing for our little one + taking care of the sick husband — and of course those are the top priorities of who I love and take care of first. It’s good for me to learn how to love others at the same time. :)

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How about you? Did anyone else join me? If so, I’d love to hear from you about the specific ways you found to love others around you.

Things I’m Lovin’ On This Tuesday

Oranges. I must have a citrus deficiency this winter because I cannot. get. enough. oranges. Enter favorite new grocery store (which I just discovered is conveniently only one mile away from husband’s vball league games AND they’re open ’til 8 pm most evenings), an almost guaranteed supply of luscious organic juicy oranges… ahhh. HAPPY.IMG_0236Wee little clothes, all washed and ready to be filled.IMG_0283Kombucha. New batch. :)IMG_0246My birthday gift! Handmade by my favorite person. :) [The white pallet]IMG_0296

Links:

 Scripture reminders.IMG_0270

What little things are you lovin’ today?

The Plant Project

At the beginning of January, I put out a request on facebook that went something like this:

Hey green thumb friends! As a little project for our house, I’d like to collect some more houseplants (as of right now, I have a grand total of one). Would anyone be interested in contributing to my collection, by starting a baby plant off of a favorite one you already have? I love the idea of having little reminders of friends throughout my house! I don’t have much to offer back in the way of swapping plants, but you will get a hug, a quick prayer when I see your plant and a big thank you! :)

I am beyond delighted with the plants I have been receiving so far. (With promises of more to come)

This is the one and only plant I was talking about in the facebook post. Jonathan’s mom gave it to me last summer. She has an old faithful 15-year-old plant that has started lots and lots of baby plants. I love how shiny + green it is! I’m think it’s a philodendron? Correct me if I’m wrong. :) My mother-in-law is a dear lady, and I admire her alot for her strong faith + resilience through tough times.

jan7This palm plant is  brightening up my laundry room! Courtesy of Sharon, a dear friend from my Ohio church. Her mother passed away unexpectedly in December, and it reminds me to pray for her + the family in this journey of grieving. (*hugs* Sharon)

feb2 This little African violet resides on my dining room table and makes me smile. :) My mama started it for me, and she got her original plant from my Grandma Mabel. It makes me think of the generations of women that have gone before and brings to mind nostalgic memories of Grandma’s house. It’s not blooming in this picture, but the flowers are a gorgeous velvety purple.feb15I currently am attempting to start a couple more, in my living room. Grow, babies, grow!IMG_9865My friend from church just gave me this beautiful peace lily last night. [I want to split the plant and repot it sometime soon.] When it ‘s blooming, it has the most gorgeous white flowers. It’s the perfect fit for my green, gray + white nursery. I’m sure it will remind me to pray for Brenda + her babies as I spend hours in the rocker with my own. :)

feb16 feb17

I still have a couple spots in my house that need some green, so if you are local to Pennsylvania or Ohio (or have some brilliant plan to get it to me), I would love to add YOURS to my collection. I’m especially looking for a baby’s tears plant + succulents.

How about you? What favorite house plants would you recommend?

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Stay warm! Here it’s currently 2* with a wind chill of -21*. A little hard to believe spring is only 4 weeks away… Happy Friday!

Weekend Happys

So many fun and happy things went on this weekend!

Namely:

…Beautiful Valentine’s roses :)
…First batch of Kombucha turned out DEE-licious. I am delighted! (And addicted)feb12
…The long-awaited package of fabric finally came in the mail. Soft minky charcoal gray… ahhh, happiness.

feb14
…A fun sleep-in-and-have-brunch-together Valentine’s morning with my sweetheart. Our first married Valentine’s Day spent together! (Last year we were across the ocean from each other)feb11
These Butterfinger Bars. Ohhhhhhh my.
…And this Copy Cat Chipotle Guacamole…. enough to make your taste buds do a happy dance.
…Crafting vintage mantle decor for this week’s Valentine party. Just a tiny peek for now. :)feb13…A super fun triple date planned by the guys as a Valentine’s surprise for us girl. Coffee to-go in our favorite small town, falling snow & walking around looking at the ice sculptures, then a cozy fire in our basement and games & snacks. So much fun!
…Cherry pie for my birthday :)
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What was your favorite part of the weekend?

Lifestyle Snapshots// Sewing

The last few days, I dug out my borrowed sewing machine (thanks Cynthia!) and attempted to revive my rather neglected sewing skills. So fun!

Those little stacks of flannels and terrycloth and minky were just begging to be combined with the patterns of chevron and soft aqua and grays. Burp cloths, pillows, and a baby blanket coming right up. :)IMG_0091What? You mean you don’t sew with a cup of coffee, bag of chocolate chips & Odyssey episode by your side?#oneofthoseIneedchocolatedays

Or with pillows stacked underneath and behind you?#pregnancybackproblems

feb6 feb7feb8IMG_0113Yesterday’s project was a glider cushion makeover. It’s not quite finished, but is well on its way. I’d like to add covered fabric buttons yet, to add a little more visual appeal. I was happy to be able to use some leftover fabric from a dress I had for a wedding back in December. There was nothing wrong with the gold cushions — they just clashed with the rest of the grays going on in the room.feb9 feb10

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And that was just a little peek into some everyday happenings around my house. Have a lovely Valentine’s weekend!

 

Recipe// Coconut Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m not on any special diet, like sugar-free or gluten-free, but I like to dabble around in alternatives sometimes. Several people close to me are watching their sugar and gluten, so I like to experiment so I have things to serve them when they come to my house. You could easily substitute something like agave nectar for the maple syrup and find a sugar-free chocolate chip, if you wanted to be 100% purely sugar-free. Husband & I like them, just because they are tasty and mostly guilt-free. (Not to mention it’s a great use for all that coconut flour I found on sale)

The recipe originally comes from my sister-in-law, who got it from her boss. I tweaked the instructions a bit.

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feb4

Coconut Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies (Grain-free)

1/3 c. coconut flour
1/4 c. coconut oil, melted
1/4 c. pure maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
2 whole eggs
1/3 c. dark chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, and eggs, until a uniform batter is created. The batter will start out a bit runny, but will thicken as the coconut flour starts to absorb the moisture. Add in the chocolate chips, and stir to distribute evenly. Drop batter into small balls on cookie sheet, and flatten. Bake for approximately 10 minutes. Cool slightly, and then try not to eat half the batch in one sitting. ;)

Makes 12 cookies.

Life In Numbers

I got this post idea from Nicole over at Today Is My Favorite. I thought it would be fun to create my own list.

Life in numbers.

35// The number of days left until this little one’s estimated enter-the-world date. (Actually arrival date, unknown)

3// The number of Valentine parties we are invited to/ involved with this year. The biggest one being the one we’re co-hosting next week in our newly renovated basement. It’s fun to help plan + brainstorm ideas!

24// The approximate number of seed packets on my to-order list. Cheers to home-grown vegetables this summer!

1// The number of gallons of peach Kombucha that is currently brewing in my kitchen. Here’s hoping it turns out!

5// The number of house plants I’m currently watering. The Plant Project post feature — coming soon!

jan7

26// The number I’m turning on Sunday. Eeeks! Closer to 30 than 20.

11// The number of degrees that are predicted as Sunday’s HIGH temperature. Brrrr!

21// The number of meals I’ll make this week. New + brilliant ideas, anyone?

Countless// The times I smile and pat my growing belly. :) So blessed!

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And a very blessed Monday to you!