Saturday, April 27, 2013

Blooms & "Lemon Cake"

Happy Saturday!

This week I feel like I have been seeing so many beautiful flowers!  All blooming in their glory and so bright.  We have seen them while out or going on walks and I took a few photos of some in particular I thought I would post, just to share some loveliness... some roses and pink oleander. 
I always love getting to take photos of flowers and am hoping to get to go take some of wildflowers soon!



 
Considering we haven't had too much sun lately (this is what it looked like yesterday morning- so foggy) I am a little surprised that we have all these flowers blooming around us- I'm just glad they are.

Aside from that, this weekend so far has been spent with the scents of one heavenly candle in the air.  It's a Country Kitchen candle in "Lemon Cake"!  Such a happy scent. It was especially enjoyable to have that scent flooding the kitchen last night while I tried out a new recipe.
I loved it from the moment I picked it up and opened the lid in the store yesterday to now while it is burning.  It is the strongest and most wonderful lemon candle I have ever smelled.


Hoping you have a very blessed weekend!!

 :)


Friday, April 26, 2013

Faithful Friday {Nature}


As I have gotten a little older, I look at nature as more than just animals and trees and things like that.  I value it so much and would rather spend any day out laying under the trees or walking through the woods or sitting by a river. 
To me, this relates back to faith... when your life is getting too overwhelming or tiring or you just feel weighted down, being out in nature amongst all the beauty God created for us to enjoy is so calming and rejuvinating!
When I get the privilege of doing this, whether around where I live or on a vacation like when we sometimes fly to Colorado, I am so thankful!  Being out there strengthens my faith and reminds me of how there is still so much good and beauty in our world.  When you go to nature, we are healing ourselves in more ways than we can imagine... and it is through the rivers and lakes and snow-capped mountains and trees that we can connect with God, being reminded of his goodness and power and seeing glimpses of Him in all his creations♥


Blessings!  I hope you have a lovely weekend :)

 

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Rewarding Experience

Happy Monday :)
I hope y'all are having a blessed and wonderful day today.  It may have been a Monday, but today was a different type of Monday to me.  I'm praying to be positive everyday, so I have been thinking of Mondays as just one step closer to Friday!

Today I had the blessing of doing something I have been looking forward to for a little while.  I thought I would share about it because it was great and memorable and just a privilege...

This afternoon I got to go and read my favorite children's book at an elementary school!
This was a great experience.  I am actually in a program right now where I was able to do this with a group.  First, we actually made three-dimensional scenes of the stories for the kids to see, and then read them aloud.

I actually have aspirations of working with children in an elementary school "when I grow up", hehe, so it was wonderful to get the chance to spend some time in one today.
I think the most rewarding and exhilarating part of being around kids is their energy and love... as I walked through the halls, I passed so many little kids who just smiled up at me.  You can look at them and see their sweet little innocent hearts.  Their kindness shines out and makes you happy just to see them.
photo
The story I read is called "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse" by Kevin Henkes.  It is a story about a little mouse named Lilly and one I have loved since I first checked it out at the library in I think kindergarten or first grade.
I guess the part of the experience that was amazing was getting to work with children that I didn't know I would be working with until yesterday.  We were originally supposed to go and read to several kindergarten classes.  This weekend, though, I found out that the schedule had changed and we would instead be working with life skills students.  I wasn't exactly sure what that meant but then I found out that they would be students who had learning challenges or had autism.
I don't have much experience at all being around kids with learning disabilities, but showing up and getting to share a book with them was a wonderful feeling!  It didn't matter whether or not they were that focused or not, or whether they understood everything... it just mattered that they got the experience.  You never know what will reach their hearts.
It was important to me because I felt God made it happen that way.  I feel that the way it happened with things changing at the last minute and the way it turned out made the experience more meaningful than I ever imagined.

There was a little boy there who was very sweet and the other girl I was grouped with and I read two stories to him.  He played with the scenes we made and we would point to things in our books and we just enjoyed it.  And I trust that he did too.

My experience being a guest at the elementary school today was a blessing and a joy and I hope to visit or volunteer in the future as well!


Thankyou for reading.
Have a wonderful day♥




Sunday, April 21, 2013

Quiet Sunday

What a beautiful Sunday this is!

No matter what, I don't think it could have gone wrong considering how it started... with pancakes :)
My Momma usually makes them, but today I wanted to and had fun.  I tried making a heart pancake.

Our first few going on the skillet.  I even made Lucie (my dog) a pancake.
Whenever we make them, we always make her a tiny one as a treat.  She loves them!
 

There is nothing better on a Sunday, either early in the morning or in the afternoon after church or lunch, than to slide the screen door over and just feel the sun and the breeze and see the grass and bright flowers outside.  I think I've said how much I love that before, but I really do.  One of those simple things that can make a day so wonderful.  And we had a cool front this week so the air is a little bit more cool and wonderful.

It has been a wonderful day so far- quiet and nice, watching some baseball this afternoon and just good food and family time.  I took a nap today, too.  You know that feeling where you fight it and just don't want to go to sleep because you know you have a lot to do... but I gave in, and it always pays off because you feel better after!

Also, today was kind of exciting because one of the wild cats that has lived by our house for awhile, Mama Kitty as we call her, haha, came up on our porch today.  She has been pregnant for awhile, but today when she came up we thought that she looked less "fluffy".  So we are wondering if she had her kittens somewhere!?  I guess we will see soon when she brings them around, but I'm excited because every year they are so sweet and precious to see!  God's beautiful little creations.


I you are having a blessed Sunday!!

Feeling so thankful for this weekend and this Sunday♥


Friday, April 19, 2013

Faithful Friday!

{pinterest}
Growing up, I have always heard people- family and others- talking about how something turned out to be a "blessing in disguise".  It has been something that I have come to think of often.
To believe in your heart that God will be faithful to use your struggles to bless you in some way is, I think, one of the best ways to get through them. 
 
 
Wishing you a blessed weekend!!
 
 


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Beautiful Art

This week we drove to the city and went to a museum.  I had been before when we lived closer to it and we would go explore different museums on class fieldtrips (that was always so fun!), but it was so much fun to go with my family too.

Even though we went a couple of days ago now, it was such a neat experience and because of that and the fact that I had not been anywhere like that in a while, I have been thinking about it ever since.
Sometimes I forget how amazing the artworks of those before us really were...
I am amazed by the things they did that looked like photographs with oil paints and how they captured expressions of people so beautifully.  They used their God-given talents to see the world and portray it in a way that only they could.

Out of all the art I have seen in my life, I think I enjoyed seeing the collection we saw earlier this week the most!  It was all so beautiful!  And seeing the pieces up close- especially all of those lovely old masterpieces- was so neat, just to see all of the detail and rich colors was just so breathtaking.

~There were hundreds of pieces on display, but these are a few of the pieces that I remember and enjoyed looking at.

 
This painting was incredible because of the detail and the impressive size.
Somehow, I think larger paintings are always more grand in their own way.
 
 
 
Monet's 'Water Lilies'


 
 
There were a lot of religious themed paintings... I always love the beauty of them, especially the ones that show biblical scenes of an event.  It is interesting to see how the artist portrayed it and how they saw it in their mind.
  
 
 
My favorite painting of all.
 The beauty and detail of this was indescribable.
  You just stood there and looked at it and wondered how they created it...
the fabrics stood out to me most; they were so wonderfully painted and seemed to pop out
at you as if you could feel them.
 
 
 
 We really enjoyed our time walking from room to room and taking in all of these paintings, some of which dated back to the 13 & 1400's.
 
Do you enjoy seeing art and going to museums?
 
 
Have a wonderful evening!
Blessings♥
 


{photos: Google Images, Pinterest, Museum Collection site}

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston

Although I heard about the tragedy at the marathon yesterday, it wasn't until today that I got to see more of what happened in photos and stories.
I heard about a little boy who was killed, and whose mother and sister were also wounded, and I heard about how seriously injured so many others were.  I cannot imagine what that Father and those families must be feeling.
 
The victims and families of victims are in my heart and my prayers.
 
I pray they are given strength and comfort in midst of this tragedy.
 
 
 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Today...


I have loved...

~waking up and picking out a bright, Spring-y outfit

~eating a piece of butter cake

~coming home to a barrage of kisses and excitement from my dog

~the feeling of the breeze to cool me off throughout the day

~working on an art project

~re-reading my favorite book from childhood

~seeing some absolutely beautiful nature photographs

~getting in some time to read a few bible chapters

~going to my art class

~getting good news

~finding a letter from my Grandma in the mail

~the smell of spaghetti sauce coming from the kitchen


I am thankful for the gift of looking back on any given day and thinking of all the things that happened that were good or made me happy :)

I hope you had a wonderful day!!


Blessings to you♥



Friday, April 12, 2013

Faithful Friday!


A thought of faith for this Friday...
Sometimes it is easy to get frustrated when you don't have a peace about something, but remembering this makes those times a little easier to get through so we can get past what is not meant to be and move on to what is being saved for our future.
 
 
 
Wishing you a lovely day and a blessed weekend!
 
 


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Lilly

You may have heard the name Lilly Pulitzer this week... or you may already have heard of her before and known who she was.  She was in the news this week, though, because she sadly passed away a few days ago.

If you didn't know, Lilly Pulitzer was a creative and inspiring woman who started out designing dresses in 1959 and whose line of everything from now dresses to bed-spreads and stationary has become renowned.
Lilly Pulitzer items are extremely popular in the South!  She used monograms and such lovely, bright florals and fun patterns that we see in her designs.  It seems like I can't go out without seeing someone wearing one of her pieces.

Her clothing is known for how amazing and unique it is.
She came up with fun, quirky, cheery, crazy colorful and beautiful designs that were on a different level from anything that had ever been seen or made when she started out, unique in patterns and prints.  They encouraged being colorful and standing out and having fun with your style... as well as being ladylike, as shown by the classy women she designed for such as Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy.
Just looking at the many styles of hers that I have seen, I think they are some of the prettiest and most feminine clothes you will ever see.

She leaves an incredible legacy from all her years of creativity and work and I am so glad she decided to share her beautiful creations with the world.








In her first boutique.




Thankyou for sharing a little bit of beauty and brightness with the world, Lilly Pulitzer.
Rest in Peace♥


.          .          .

Thankyou for reading.
Have a day as bright and happy as a Lilly Pulitzer dress! ;)



(all photos shared from: Pinterest)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

River Scenes

 Happy Saturday!!
I hope you are having a great day!

This morning was such an enjoyable start to a weekend... our family drove out a ways to this beautiful river and walked, then drove around and enjoyed the sights. 
More than any place I have ever lived or traveled to, this place is to me the definition of Southern life in the summer.  A river with a canopy of trees above, a rope swing, and a place to have a picnic then go for swim.

We sat by the water and just enjoyed the time, took some family photos, and walked around some.
I am so grateful for this beautiful day!

I enjoyed the beauty so much and thought I would share a few pictures I took...
Admiring God's creativity in landscapes is something I love.  I remember watching a Bob Ross episode where he talked about that, which I thought about as we walked around... admiring it through the huge, old, beautiful trees, the softly flowing river, and the blue skies above.













Now I just can't wait to come back and actually float down the river!


Have a beautiful day :)



Friday, April 5, 2013

Faithful Friday!


Simple words that have so much meaning.
Knowing that you can talk to God anytime and share your heart, however heavy, with Him is such a comfort...
Often as I lay awake in bed, I will thank God for my day and pray about different things before I fall asleep.  I find I sleep better when I do this.
I am so grateful for this privilege we all have... A while ago I heard a something simple that made the reality of God's always being there, day or night, so real to me.  It talked about how there are not many people we can truly say would welcome a call from us in the middle of the night, but we are actually welcomed when we wake up at 3 am with a worry or fear or any thought on our hearts and talk to Him about it.  And this is so true.
This privilege is both a gift to us for our faith and a key to strengthening it.


Hoping you have a happy, wonderful Friday :)



Thursday, April 4, 2013

April Showers


I hope everyone is having a blessed week!

I can't believe tomorrow is Friday, but this week has been a wonderful one...
We have had our first April showers this week.  They ended last night, but I sure did enjoy them and am looking forward to more to come.  But we have a nice balance because today the sun came out.
I can never have enough rain... rain gives me a pep and excitement for some reason that most people get from sunshine- maybe because it usually brings cooler air with it :)
Just love those drizzly or rainy, overcast days.  They make me want to jump in puddles or take a walk down the road in the rain and then come inside and drink hot cocoa, settle into in a window seat, staring out at the raindrops as they fall.

Yesterday was one of those days.
I loved being out and about and hearing the light thunder crackling every once in awhile.
I loved walking around in my red rain-boots.
I loved when, after I left my art class, we made a trip to the craft store.
And I especially loved walking through the store and hearing sounds of the rain pouring on the roof. 

We spent awhile having a good time looking around.  Since I've started crocheting, I have loved going down the yarn aisles... I found this section with the softest, silkiest yarns I have ever seen.  They are called "Yarn Bee Soft Secret" yarn and I really hope to pick some up when I have a good project in mind for them.


 For now, though, I picked out some cotton yarn to experiment with.  I love how clean and crisp it is and I decided on this one with 3 colors altogether.  The sort of robin-egg blue, lavender, and minty green all felt so Spring-y to me!

If you love rain and a good, light storm comin' in, it's amazing how fun or just a little bit extra cozy and exciting it can make your day :)


Blessings! 

Have a wonderful Thursday.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Our Cake this Sunday: New White Cake Recipe ♥

I hope that your weekend was a wonderful one!
I enjoyed it very much and actually tried a brand new recipe that I wanted to share!

My family cooked a big meal on Sunday.  It was a wonderful meal... we had a roast with carrots and potatoes (my Daddy makes the best roasts), mashed-potatoes, corn and green beans, and deviled eggs!  A combination of Southern favorites.
So I wanted to contribute and bake some dessert for Sunday too :)  I had planned on making a cake recipe that we had made before and a good one, but I came across this recipe for white cake and decided to try it instead because it was a little simpler... perfect for those times when you want to bake something amazing but don't have too much time.  And I am SO glad I chose to try it out!

It was an incredible cake and so simple to put together... it seems rare that a homemade, made from scratch cake turns out that amazing unless the recipe involves whipping and folding cake whites or melting ingredients in a saucepan or other things that take time.  I don't mind a recipe that takes awhile to make because I do love baking, but having a cake come out wonderfully without doing those extra things is not bad either.
I highly recommend this cake, not just for it's simplicity, but because in all honesty we thought it was better than a store-bought cake!
Rich, light, soft, and fluffy.

I am excited to have found this because it will be a perfect go-to recipe for gatherings and showers!


I first creamed together the sugar and butter first with a mixer, then put in the eggs.

Added in the vanilla.

After adding the milk and all the rest of the ingredients, I had a mixture that
looked like this with a great thickness to it but just right.

I used two pans so we would have a double-layer cake :)

After the cake cooled, I frosted it plain white and then used a very fancy- not, haha-
plastic baggy for a piping bag to decorate with a fitting Spring pastel-like pink!
...and some fun dots along the sides.

The finished cake♥ 

Although I linked the recipe above from where I found it, I am also putting it on my 'Recipes' page.
I will also mention that I made some simple changes.  Someone wrote a review I saw that said the cake was best when she added vanilla and milk, so I did that also:  I used 1 full tablespoon of vanilla (you can never have too much!), and I added an additional 1/8-1/4 cup of milk on top of the milk amount already called for.  Lastly, I used cake flour instead because I didn't have enough flour (1 cup + 2 tbsp. cake flour for every cup of all purpose flour).  I don't know if this had anything to do with how it turned out, but if you have cake flour I recommend using it.
I also used two round pans to made a double layer cake instead of one long cake, so I baked my cake on the same temperature but for only 25 minutes.


Thankyou for reading!


Wishing you a beautiful day and first week of April!!



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