Reading, Watching, Waiting…

Last week I received a job at one of my favorite stores, Anthropologie.    It’s bitter sweet really.  While I am excited about meeting people and working at a store where an abundance of beautiful clothing falls nothing short of everything, there is a small prick of disappointment.  Though I am extremely thankful for a job, I can only think that I am falling short of my own potential.

There’s definitely a misconception that once you graduate college you get a great job that you love and make enough money to not have a worry in the world.  Contrary  to a majority of my beliefs, life has taken a different turn.  In this season of life, patience and contentment have been hard to find on the career front, but something that I truly desire to posses.

Marriage is absolutely amazing.  I am so happy.  Preston is away this weekend for the first time since we got married. I must say,  although we have spent a fair amount of time away from each other, it gets hard once you see each other everyday.  And I have only worked once since  he has been gone.  Luckily I was able to work at a friend’s garage sale a majority of the day yesterday, which helped pass the time significantly.  I’m hoping I get called into work today! :o)

We should be getting our wedding pictures back soon.  I am more than overly excited! Janae (Hardy Photography) has been amazing and we are so glad that we picked her to be our photographer.  Here is a picture she sent over yesterday.

From our day after shoot.

I  have been doing a lot of reading and watching tv to pass the time the last couple of weeks. I have been reading books (and blogs) about the ethics of food.  I am currently reading Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating by Mark Bittman.  Amazing so far.  I suggest it for anyone interested in where your food comes from, the effects of consumerism, and large corporations’ influence on what we eat.  I have been flirting with the idea of going vegetarian for a while now and this book is truly pushing me in that direction.

I started and finished reading Food Rules by Michael Pollan.  Short and Sweet.  Great bits of information. Michael Pollan is also the author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which I would imagine is an extended, more in depth version of this book.

A few great blogs that I have fallen in love with that happen to support this type of vegetarian, whole foods lifestyle include:

101 Cookbooks –Has great photography, which always makes recipes that more appealing.  She is vegetarian and though I am not totally there yet, she has some really interesting recipes.   Sometimes they have some scary, foreign ingredients but she does a good job of explaining things.

A Couple Cooks–This blog was actually the reason I decided to read the two books above.  They talk about their gradual transition to eat more vegetarian meals while not completely eliminating meat all together.  Great, simple recipes.

This post is getting long.  That’s all for now.

The Best Pumpkin Bread You’ll Ever Taste

That’s right.  I went there.

A couple of weeks ago, I began having cravings for anything and everything pumpkin.  I love fall.  Coincidentally, living in Texas, fall’s arrival is a bit delayed and it is still in the lovely 80’s here.  It has it’s perks though.  For example, we can still sit out on the patio at a restaurant and enjoy a nice cold beverage.  Other than that…I am more than ready for a little chilly weather.

So, I made some pumpkin bread but not just any pumpkin bread. I found a recipe for Pumpkin-Honey Beer Quick Bread and I was officially sold on making it.   It is so moist and yummy.  I froze  half of it after baking as to not eat it all at once, because let’s be honest, I love it that much.  I just took one of the mini loaves out of my freezer, and even after a week of being in the freezer it still tastes so fresh!

When I was making this bread I realized that I didn’t have “honey beer”.  So, I just added the same amount of beer (I used a wheat beer) the recipe called for and then added about a tablespoon or so of honey.  Bam!  Here’s the lovely recipe. Enjoy.

 

Yield: 2 loaves, 14 servings per loaf (serving size: 1 slice)

Ingredients

  • 14.6  ounces  all-purpose flour (about 3 1/4 cups)
  • 2  teaspoons  salt
  • 2  teaspoons  baking soda
  • 1  teaspoon  baking powder
  • 1  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1  teaspoon  pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2  cup  water
  • 1/3  cup  ground flaxseed
  • 2 1/2  cups  sugar
  • 2/3  cup  canola oil
  • 2/3  cup  honey beer (at room temperature)
  • 1/2  cup  egg substitute
  • 2  large eggs
  • 1  (15-ounce) can pumpkin
  • Cooking spray

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, salt, and next 4 ingredients (through pumpkin pie spice) in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk.

3. Combine 1/2 cup water and flaxseed.

4. Place sugar and next 4 ingredients (through eggs) in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium-high speed until well blended. Add flaxseed mixture and pumpkin; beat at low speed just until blended. Add flour mixture; beat just until combined. Divide batter between 2 (9 x 5–inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.

 

 

Here we are

I can’t believe it has been nearly three weeks since Preston and I said, ” I do.” I can remember thinking that it would never get here.  However, in all honestly, the time really did fly and I can’t believe so much happened from the time we got engaged until now.  I’m married to my best friend and I am unbelievably happy.  Let me just reminisce of this past year…

Engaged December 30th.  I was totally expecting this to happen later in the coming year when I graduated. However, Preston knew that I someday wanted to get married in September because it seemed like “just the right time to have a wedding.”  He’s sweet and surprising.

The actual proposal.

Jan-March- I was in full blown wedding planning mode.  I had been looking at wedding blogs for so long that I had filled my head with so many ideas that I mostly just thought I was going to explode. In the midst of that, I was training for my first half marathon.  This was a goal/dream that I had long set for myself and did not want to back out of just  I had a lot going on. I was determined.

April-My very good friend, Laurie, and I ran our first half! It was an amazing feeling finishing something that we had trained so long and hard for…I’m still amazed that I did it.  Often times I have to remind myself of this huge accomplishment whenever I feel I cannot do something.  I ran a freakin’ marathon, people!  And may I just say, that I really miss my friend Laurie (I just took a Skype break from this post to talk with her).

At the end of our race! Wooo!!

May-I can’t even tell you how emotional this month was.  I was getting ready to graduate and I was stressed to the max about my classes; I actually thought I wasn’t going to pass a class.  However, by God’s grace and his wonderful plans, I did.  I was about to explode due to the uncertainty of my future. We (preston and I) were in limbo because of a job he was waiting on with Women of Faith. Nonetheless I graduated! SO HAPPY!   I then received an unexpected job at an events and wedding venue in Springfield (where we got married) to which I was at for approximately three months and then Preston got an amazing opportunity with Women of Faith. It’s so much easier for me to talk about these happenings now…because, well they have happened and I am still alive and happy. I also had the wonderful priviledge and honor of being in one of my best friends’ weddings at the end of May in Seattle.  It was glorious.

Graduation!

The beautiful bride and groom!

I also have to remember what amazing blessings my family and friends were during this time in my life.  They still are quite amazing people…they really have never ceased being that in my life ever.  I am so grateful for all their wonderful support, encouragement, love, laughter and help that they always so willingly give. My friends are hilarious.  This pictures is one of my favorites from the photo booth at our wedding and will be framed.

This picture exudes friendship. NO doubt about it.

 

Crazy bridesmaids

From May on life continued to get crazy as we moved to Texas, I looked for jobs and continued to plan our wedding.  All in all, a crazy few months in my life.  I would never take them back.

Now life is just wonderful.  In the past three weeks of marriage I have already learned so much.  My husband is so…well, I don’t even have the words for it but if I did they would be something like amazing and supportive.  Oh, and funny.  I’m so thankful for what the Lord has done in our lives thus far.  And these prior months of stress, tears, happiness, worry, joy and all the other emotions that come a long with  tremendous amounts of change have finally begun to come full circle.  I am overwhelmed with thankfulness.  The Lord is always faithful and always good.

In our jammed packed car getting ready to move to Texas...