Friday, January 27, 2012

Painting the leaves <3


    by Thomas Campion

There is a garden in her face
   Where roses and white lilies blow;
A heavenly paradise is that place,
   Wherein all pleasant fruits do flow:
      There cherries grow which none may buy
      Till “Cherry-ripe” themselves do cry.

Those cherries fairly do enclose
   Of orient pearl a double row,
Which when her lovely laughter shows,
   They look like rose-buds filled with snow;
      Yet them no peer nor prince can buy
      Till “Cherry-ripe” themselves do cry.

Her eyes like angels watch them still;
   Her brows like bended bows do stand,
Threat'ning with piercing frowns to kill
   All that attempt with eye or hand
      Those sacred cherries to come nigh,
      Till “Cherry-ripe” themselves do cry.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Iz too tired

My sweet Essie fell asleep by the phone today and I just had to get a picture :) Laughter is the best medicine <3

Best Ginger Beer

My family has always loved ginger beer... ever since we lived in Pennsylvania where it was popular and easily accessible. However, whenever we tried making it ourselves, it was always either too sweet, or too bitter, or else just took forever to make. When I ran across this recipe on Jamie Oliver's website, I just had to try it and it ended up being perfect! Sweet and tangy with a bit of a bite at the end ;) Enjoy!

Best Ginger Beer

4 oz Ginger Root (about 1 medium root)
4 TBS Brown Sugar or other sweetener
2 Lemons
1 25oz bottle Perrier or Pellegrino

Shred ginger with a course cheese grater (you can leave the skins on if you like). Place the ginger and it's juice into a bowl and add the sugar. Peel the lemons lightly and add the zest to the mix. Pound for about 30 seconds with a pestle or heavy object like a rolling pin to mix the flavors. Add the sparkling water and let sit for 10 minutes or so. Strain the liquid into a pitcher and refrigerate till cold or serve with ice. If it's too bitter, just add a touch more sugar till it's the way you want it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Portobello Chili = Yummm-O!!! It's healthy and vegetarian too!
Happy Eating!

Have Faith for Your Healing!

"Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying 'Lord my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.' And Jesus said to him, 'I will come and heal him.'  The centurion answered and said, 'Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come,' and he comes; and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it.' When Jesus heard it, he marveled, and said to those who followed, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!" -Matt. 8:5-8 NKJV

How amazing is that? Can you imagine God saying that you have more faith than anybody else, including His own followers? That's a huuuuuge compliment! So why did this guy have more faith than anybody else? He was humble. He had faith that Jesus was who He said He was and that He had the power to speak a word and change the world.
So have faith! Never doubt God. He can do anything and He is VERY interested in your problems, no matter how small or how big they may be. Like it says in the chapter before,
'Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.' (Matt. 7:7-8 NKJV)
It's as simple as that. Pray and ask God to help you through your problems. Have faith that He will take care of you and He will! Sure things may not change for a while, but it may be immediate too. Remember, we are on God's clock, not the other way around. So have faith, believe, and victory over your difficulties will not be withheld from you!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Daniel Fast do's and don'ts

These are essentially the foods that you can and can't eat on this fast.

YES: Fruits, vegetables, legumes (peas, beans, etc.), whole grains, all seeds and nuts, teas, juices, and spices.
SOMETIMES: Stevia (a natural sweetener from the leaves of the stevia herb), honey, and eggs (just like for baking or when we need protein, not your usual scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, etc.)
NOPE: All preservatives, dyes, processed foods (e.g. instant mashed potatoes, white flour), yeast, fried foods, meat, dairy, and sugar

Even if you aren't doing a fast, this is a good diet to get on and you might as well pray while you're at it!
I'll post some recipe ideas throughout the month as we make different meals.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Concerning the Daniel Fast

In January, my family sets aside 21 days for fasting and prayer to start the new year off right. Traditionally, we do what is called the Daniel fast. So exactly is it?

Do you remember the story in Daniel when he asked not to have to eat the King's delicacies but asked rather to eat only fruit, vegetables, and grains? (Daniel 1:11-16) That is the fast! It is simply going without sugar, dairy, meat, processed foods, and other 'delicacies' for 21 days. Over the years, our family has gotten pretty fancy with our recipes (I'll be sharing some of those throughout the month) but the simpler the better. It's a time to put aside the things that our body craves (mostly sugar) and focus our time on God instead of what's going in our mouths.
We replace traditional milk with rice and almond milk (the unsweetened kind). Our diet has a lot of lentils for iron and beans for protein as well as nut butters like peanut and almond (also unsweetened). We try to stay away from preservatives and anything fried is out of the question! Potatoes are good for starch, but not instant potatoes which hardly have any of the original spud left in it. Soups and all fruit smoothies are always good! And though it's expensive, coconut milk is good as well as good for you. Soy is fine for the fast, but after all the horrible health issues it can cause, we have cut it out of our diet completely in the past couple of years. It helps to look up vegan recipes which pack a lot of protein and nutrients without including meat and usually without dairy either.
However, going without the vitamins and minerals that meat and dairy provide can be hard on the body. If, at any time, one of us gets to feeling poorly or we are limited in our physical or mental abilities, we'll add something such as an egg or fish to a meal to keep us healthy. This isn't something to risk your health on!

Personally, this fast is something that I look forward to every year. It is rejuvenating and always a great time with the Lord. It's healthy for your spirit and your body!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Is It Strep?

Problem: I have a really sore throat and I'm afraid that it's strep, but I don't want to go to the doctor if its just a cold. So how do I tell the difference?
Solution: Look for the symptoms. If you have strep, it's normally accompanied by extreme fatigue, swollen lymph nodes (I'll talk about those later), an earache, and a fever of over 101 degrees. It tends to feel a lot like the flu except that your throat is so raw that you can hardly speak or even swallow. Your hearing will be all wacky and things probably won't taste the same. To see if you have swollen lymph nodes, gently rub your neck all the way from your shoulders to up under your chin. They will feel like little peas under your skin, and will probably be pretty sore. An earache is a sign of drainage in your throat and nasal passages, but it can also be a sign of a serious infection. Also look for white spots to appear in the back of your throat.. I'm not sure what they are exactly, but I know they're bad! 
If you have any of these signs, I would highly suggest seeing the doctor! Letting strep set in uninhibited can be very dangerous. The worst (or best) thing that can happen is that he will tell you it's just a cold. 
So what if it's just a cold... what now? I still feel miserable! 
I would encourage rest, a hot cup of tea, and some soup. Get some sleep and your body will fight off the sickness itself. The best things to soothe a sore throat are lemon and honey (I'll post the recipe for my world-famous hot lemonade soon;) ) Take care of yourself!

Don't Look Back

Remember what it was like to be a kid? As I progressed through high school, I found myself missing the innocence and simplicity of being a child more and more. However, I know it had its pros and cons. When I tell people I miss my childhood, they usually say that age is just a number and you can act any age you want, but do I really want to be as immature as I was then?
I once heard a quote that said you can't finish your book if you keep re-reading the previous chapter, and I find that to be very true. Instead of looking back to what you don't have any more, look forward. Besides, I'd rather people say that I'm mature for my age instead of immature. Everyday I try to be kind, be gentle, be loving, to listen when someone needs to talk, to make a hurting person laugh, to give a smile to the hardest of people. I don't really care if I know what  joke means anymore, and if I'm the only one in the room who hasn't seen some dirty movie, I'm okay with that too.
Age is just a number... it doesn't define your maturity, and it certainly never limits you from doing something great :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Let Your Light Shine

"You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand and it gives light to all who are in the house."
-Matthew 5:14

Here, Jesus is talking to a huge crowd on the top of a mountain. Most of these people were Jews, but whatever nationality they were, they were followers of Jesus, just like we are today (isn't it crazy how people can be connected over thousands of years?). The passage is pretty self-explanatory. When you witness, you are being a light to the world. When you are a light, people wake up and start listening. Sure there will be people who will try to 'put your light out', per say, but Jesus says in the verses right before that, "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My name sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Matt. 5:11)
And being a witness doesn't always mean that you are running around telling everyone about Jesus (though, it is important to tell people why Christ came and died. Who would want their best friends to spend eternity in hell?!). It means that you are keeping yourself pure and just, and reading your bible and praying which produce a joy that unbelievers don't have. It means that you are optimistic, that you set your standards high; that you take care of the temple that the Lord has given to you (aka your body). When you do that, other people will notice.
So go let your light shine!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Dry Scalp Quick Fix

The Problem: It's January and everything is dry, and there is nothing I dislike worse than dry skin. Thankfully, there's lotion for my hands and face, but what to do about the scalp? I get tired of wearing hats all the time, but often it's necessary when I start getting that disgusting dandruff junk >.< Moisturizing conditioners and shampoos don't seem to work for me, so what do I do?
Remedy: Olive Oil
Why: It's a natural oil and moisturizer and its oily consistency is perfect for getting down to the scalp!
How: Just grab some Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a tablespoon (and maybe a friend). Pull your hair away like you're going to part it and pour small amounts on as much of the scalp as you can (usually two full tablespoons cover it well). Any that leaks down to your face or neck just rub on your skin, it helps that too! Leave that on for an hour or so then get a warm (NOT hot) shower. If you don't have time to look like a hobo during the day, just soak your scalp right before bed and wrap your head in a towel over night (if you have a sensitive neck, just cover your pillow with a towel instead of putting it around your head). You'll see an immediate difference!
Depending on how dry your scalp is, you'll probably want to do this once a week. If you're not too worried about it, though, just wait till it starts itching then apply. Personally, I live in Denver (aka VERY dry) so I like to do it pretty often.
Be healthy... Spirit, Mind, and Body!