Tuesday, May 31, 2011

MUST reads.

I am going to recommend this again (and a few others).  These are three of my current faves...all can be ordered on Amazon!

I have blogged about it before.  I can't tell you emphatically enough, that you must read this.

And this one, too.  Another true story. Another guaranteed tears book.

Almost finished with this one. I have a copy from 1925 and I am LOVING it.  Such a wholesome story!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


So here are two recipes I made in the past week that are a must!  I have a slight affinity for cream cheese hence both of them are somewhat centered on it :)

Zucchini Nut Cookies with Cream Cheese Filling

*Recipe from: Martha Stewart Living, May 2011


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup finely grated zucchini
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted


  1. Sift flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt into a bowl. Beat 1 stick butter and the sugars until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  2. Beat flour mixture into butter mixture. Mix in zucchini, oats, and walnuts. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Then heat oven to 350.
  3. Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop (about 2 tablespoons), drop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake until edges are golden, about 17 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
  4. Beat together remaining 1/2 stick butter, the cream cheese, and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spread 1 heaping tablespoon filling onto the flat side of 1 cookie, and sandwich with another cookie. Repeat with
    remaining filling and cookies.


    *I modified the recipe slightly to make them more lemony and more chewy.
    (from foodiefriends.blogspot.com)

    3/4 cup butter, softened
    1- 3 oz pkg cream cheese
    1 cup sugar
    2 T grated lemon rind
    1 egg
    2 T lemon juice
    3 cups flour
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking powder

    Heat oven to 375. Blend ingredients. Shape into small balls (approx. 1 in) and place on baking sheet. Flatten with glass dipped in flour (I did sugar). Bake 8-10 mins. Do not overbake. Frost while warm with glaze (I used extra cream cheese frosting I had made).
    *PS: I also used embossing stamps to make floral imprints on top of each one...just an idea!

    Glaze: 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp lemon juice, 3-4 tsp milk until smooth. (You can use less milk and more lemon juice).

    Here is a great idea of gift packaging the zucchini cookies!*


    Now I am going for a run (in the rain...amazing!), going to pick up these little cuties at New Seasons,

    then off to hang out with the most amazing Little ever!

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Week-end. And beginning.

Monday-laundry and cleaning day. Somehow I am actually really excited to do this. 

We discussed last night how we wanted to raise children (Lord willing) regarding "work" and establishing that ethic.  We decided it meant doing the things that needed to be done around the house.  Thus, we are committed to always doing our own yard work, housework, repairs (this helps since Matt is a contractor) as long as physically able.  Mainly, we want our children to see us work-and see us ENJOY it. We are supposed to do ALL things to the glory of God and we want them to love hard work...and love the REST that follows the work (day seven, earth/heavens done, God rested...so beautiful).  And we want to raise goofballs.  Hence photo below:

Have I mentioned how much I like my husband. Because I do. A ton. And then more.

The amazing Moon Reception full of beautiful people*
*see below

Homemade cupcakes-with gold!!!

The Stellar Stillars-enough said.

Lots of lovelies.

That was fast!  Summer "adopting" baby Riley..

Beautiful Mom-to-be, Sam and gorgeous mommy,  Kori! 

The parentals of  Riley.

PDX Normans.

Chris and Robin-perfectly coordinated.

Matt taking paparazzi shots (his new fave)

And the sweet Robin feeding her babies. Of course this has to go up.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

So sew!

Week number tres has had me delve (actually more like lightly tip-toe) info the crafty land...I am signed up for four sewing classes but until then these are "light" projects: AKA-straight lines, no frills.  

1: New Euro pillow covers to match the duvet (Anthro-clearance, of course). Fabric: Fabric Depot

2. Mac case: Matt actually gave me the idea to make my own case and it was so much fun and quite easy!  Fabric: Fabric Depot (felt, 6" lace ribbon, vintage button).

3. Magnet Recipe Board:  this was so easy! I found a vintage frame on craigslist, bought interior fabric and two pieces of tin, and poof!  A retro recipe board!

Note my many references to Fabric Depot: I was the youngest in there by about 30 years :) Seriously.  Ladies-it makes Joanns PALE in comparison.  I will be more than happy to escort any of you there and make sure you are signed up for their mailing list so you get coupons!

4. Graphic for RR (restroom): This was one of our vows so I downloaded some great free fonts, found some clearance metallic paper at Tar-get, and made an accountability piece :)
*Note "Scrabble" font

PS: The sun is out.  Yes, really, it is. In Oregon. In May.  Matt took a photo this morning because believe it or not, we haven't seen this at 6am on our wall in a long time.  

And my favorite place today (after Sister's with Morgan and Jenni)-

Sun. Thank you to the Son...for the sun.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Wife: Part 2

We took the "wife" to another level this weekend when Handsome asked if I would cut his hair. Seriously, he did.  His hairdresser moved to Haiti and he will truly not go to anyone else thus Saturday afternoon was full of youtube videos, a trip to Ulta for the best scissors and comb, lots of hair, and I might have accidentally knicked him once...again, wife to the next level-complete with an ouch.

Of course, we made pizza.  We used the America's Test Kitchen recipe (amazing!)  and did pesto for the sauce this time. We are deeply in love with pizza.  And yes, we did go buy a pizza stone and wooden pizza peel...

And this sorbet made in THE vitamix. Really, folks, this is a much kitchen item.  Ice, an orange, blueberries and a tablespoon of sugar. Presto. And of course orange zest and mint. A must.

And then this was amazing-Irish Soda bread! Thanks to the amazing Hollie Hallwyler!  So easy and such a great quick bread (no yeast involved for those who fear yeast).

And then Matt pretending he was the paparazzi with me. PS: Did you know the word paparazzi means "mosquito?"

xoxo, the 3 week retired gal

"What was your favorite thing?"

From our January trip to Disneyland.  Oh how I love that place (and the handsome hubby).

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Great Movie.

Must see. For all. I went with my Little and her sis and all of us cried quite a few times.  And of course, nothing gets me like a true story.

PS:  Remember you all need to read "Same Kind of Different As Me." Seriously, purchase ahora.

And if you want to know where you can find me quite often...

Tangent:  I would also like to add the amount of freedom that came with my IPhone 4 going away with my job. I can't tell you how refreshing it is to "reclaim" communication and have nothing on my phone other than texting (which is super difficult because it is a teeny-bopper phone and I think made for the fingers of a ten year old) and the old-fashioned ability to place a phone call.

I would like to start revolution. Trust me, it is coming. Watch a school bus go past you and look at how many kids are staring at their phones-it literally will have to stop because otherwise the next generation will not have a clue how to hold a conversation and believe it or not, that simply will not sustain the world's most powerful country.

End of Soap Box.

Off to Sisters. To meet with Sisters.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Weekend(s) in review.

We have had two amazing weekends and my goal is now to get more pictures of everything. I even borrowed the father's camera to see if I can attempt to learn a "technical" camera...verdict is very far out.

Synopsis from being retired:

*It rocks*

1) Somehow I have been busier being retired than I was working. Shocking.

2) I have discovered this is exactly where I am supposed to be.  Exactly.

3) I love unlimited coffee dates with girlfriends and hearing about what God is doing in their lives (eg: a coffee date that went from 1 to dinner with the husbands at 7!). Sisters Coffee Company is amazing!

4) I have rediscovered my love in being creative. I got to do the flowers for one my friend's weddings and had so much fun! Hallelujah for Courtney who was my wingman and went to the farmer's market with me...

5) My husband.  I am so honored to get to stay home and be his wife. All the time.  Poor husband though-he actually ran out of clothes in my first week of retirement!!!  Like I said, I was busy!  He is giving me a month to settle into the full time housewife mode :) 

6) My husband making me laugh. All the time.  Even as soon as I wake up.

7) The beautiful Moon Wedding!

8) The beautiful Lessler Wedding!

 8) Amazing mothers. Truly-so blessed. And Miss Kate was even in town!

I will add more photos later.  Off to go enjoy the sunshine and my handsome hubby.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

I apologize, but you will cry.

This is such a crazy story and one that speaks of how magnanimous one can be with knowing who Jesus is.  This is in a nutshell, what I believe.

Again, you will cry, just warning you.

Let me preface, I changed the names but the story is true, very true.  We know this family. The man that the story is about is going to visit the man who was convicted for murdering his daughter a few years ago.  

"Thursday, 4/21:  Joe and his band of 5 worship-warriors drove 4 hours to the a Umatilla Prison, arriving just before 1pm.  Joe has never been in a prison before (go figure).  So this part alone was a new experience.  He eventually landed in a room specifically prepared for this visit.  He was seated beside the Visitor Processor, Karen.  Karen was skeptical and rather cynically asked Joe “what do you intend to say and what do you expect to get out of this?”  Joe expressed that he did not know, just that he prayed God would prepare his heart, and Kevin's, for this meeting.  Kevin was to sit across from Joe and a captain-ranked guard was assigned to be standing behind Kevin for the 1 hour that they were allotted together – 1:30-2:30pm.  There were windows looking out into the hallway & Joe saw Kevin approaching at 1:30.  Their eyes met and then Kevin turned and went the other way.  Joe prayed “Father…we’ve come this far…please”.  He then saw Kevin returning, he entered the room, Joe stood and shook his hand and thanked him for agreeing to meet.  After a few awkward moments, Joe simply engaged him in conversation as he would anyone he was attempting to get to know.  Kevin told of his life. 

Joe then asked if Kevin had any questions of him.  Kevin looked down and began crying and asked “How could you have been so kind to me that day of testifying in court?”  He was referring to 2 years ago at the sentencing phase of the trial, when Joe, through tears, faced Kevin and spoke directly to him...expressed that he had forgiven him, held no bitterness toward him, told him that he would have to, one day, stand before the Ultimate Judge and that he hopes someday Kevin will fall on his knees and ask God's forgiveness (remember, Kevin still denies he did this to this day).  That day, 2 years ago, he reminded Kevin that he will spend eternity on one side or the other.  Kevin's question yesterday opened up the gates of Heaven for Joe to share the redeeming love and forgiveness that Jesus has given Joe through his journey.  He was able to share his testimony in brief and through it all they were both weeping.  He made it very clear that it was Jesus – not himself – that was able to offer that kind of forgiveness.  He was able to tell Kevin that there were 5 men praying just outside the gates and that there were literally 100’s of people praying right now throughout Portland.  Joe then asked Kevin how he could pray for him.  He wanted prayer for his 15 year old daughter, Lucy.  So, Joe prayed for protection and deliverance for Lucy, as well as for Kevin.  Joe was able to share stories of how God has used this tragedy to comfort so many others.  At one point, through tears, Kevin leaned forward and actually said “I AM SO SORRY”.  He was respectful and exclaimed to Joe “You are the most courageous man I have ever met…I don’t know how you can do this”.  Once again, Kevin was told…”it’s not me, it’s Jesus”.  Kevin's last question to Joe was “what’s your favorite book of the Bible?”  How random, from a man with no religious background.  They then discussed the book of Nehemiah.

At 2:30 their meeting was over and Kevin was escorted out.  Karen turned to Joe and exclaimed “that was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen”.  The guard then returned to the room and also exclaimed “that was amazing…I’ve never seen anything like that in here”.  The guard said that, once out in the hall, Kevin completely broke down weeping and it took several minutes to recompose so that he could enter back into the common area.  It would not be good to enter vulnerably in tears.  The guard also shared with Joe about the loss of his own son in a shooting 3 years ago. 

Joe went in with no agenda, no expectations…just being obedient to God’s call to “go”.  God came crashing in and revealed his amazing love & forgiveness available to all mankind. 
How’s THAT for an Easter story!? "

Crazy, huh?

Monday, May 02, 2011

Retire. Day Uno.

So crazy, truly. I am sitting here on the morning of my first day of retirement, a morning already complete with reading with my amazing husband, and just in awe that I have "retired" to something new, to something "so truly lovely."  There is something so remarkable about just knowing that God has called you to something else and there is something about taking a step of faith and KNOWING it is good, very good.  You know it is a God thing when you walk away from a great salary, a free car/fuel card/insurance, discounts at Apple, and bonuses :)  But everything truly great should cost something that is just good.  

My friend Seng reminded me that when I used to work for Novartis I said my dreams were to marry my prince charming and retire early. Thank you, friend, for reminding me that dreams really do come true.

I will start blogging oodles more but in the mean time, here is a list of things for the first week that I am so excited to do.  

Study a world map. I am tired of not knowing where places are.

Organize the pantry/closets (including purging the superfluous clothes), craft stash, etc.

Hear people's stories. There have been so many people I haven't been able to just sit and talk to and I am so excited to hear where people's hearts are and what is moving them.

A craft/sister day.  Oh how I adore her.

And to just be a wife to the most beautiful man I have ever met, ever.  I prayed that I would marry a man that would provide, protect, lead and make me know more of the expanses of what love is.  I am beyond in love with you, babe.  God is so good.