Sunday, November 16, 2014

Two Things.

Happy Sunday!


Two things, real quick:

I'm currently reading through the "Open Your Bible" plan. Incredible!
Check it out, girlfriends, you will walk away encouraged and refreshed.

2. "Alive"
I know that you're alive
You call me one of your own
in my heart you've made your home
I know that you're alive
I'm coming alive..


*Pairs quite nicely with the reading plan. Or just with life in general. ;)

Take joy, take heart, be filled with hope!!

xoxo
L
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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Slow Cooker Minestrone with Basil Oil.


Hey everyone!

It's Tuesday, which means tonight is small group night! A group of my girlfriends and I will be getting together at my house for a meal and Bible study. I like to provide a meal, and normally cook something simple, easy...but that also tastes good!

I found a minestrone recipe in an older Southern Living magazine, and tweaked it a little bit with what I had on hand. I also cooked it in the slow cooker all day instead of boiling and then simmering for an hour. We all really loved this and it made a LOT! Andrew and I had leftovers the next day, and he gave it a thumbs up, despite it being a vegetarian dish. ;) So, I wanted to share it with you! This makes (at least) 8 servings.

Ingredients

4 cups of water
1 regular sized jar of spaghetti sauce of your choice
1 medium onion, diced
1 pound of carrots, peeled and diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced (I use the squeezy kind, it's easier)
8oz (half box) of macaroni or short pasta of your choice, cooked per instructions (I used wheat)
2 cans of sliced white potatoes (or chunks), drained
2 cup of fresh kale (or spinach), chopped
1 tbsp cooking oil of your choice
Basil Garlic Oil** (optional)

Directions

In a skillet, heat your oil on medium-high, then add diced onion and carrots
Stir onions and carrots for about 5 minutes, then add minced garlic, stirring for a minute or so
(I do this first step to prevent too-crunchy carrots/onions. You could leave out if you want)
Add all ingredients except for your kale in the slow cooker
At this point, you MAY have to add a little more water, your choice
Let the soup cook on low all day, 6-8 hours
Before serving, add the chopped kale (or spinach) to the soup and let cook for another 30 minutes
Ladle the soup in to bowls and drizzle with basil oil
Serve with crusty bread

**For the Basil Oil
Add a handful of fresh basil, 2 tbsp of olive oil, and 2 garlic cloves in your food processor
Blend until ingredients have combined and add on top of soup bowls
This is optional, but really makes the soup flavors "pop"!

I hope you enjoy this meal, friends! We sure did. 

Click here if you would like a printable recipe. As always, feel free to "pin it" as well!

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Glimpses.

Happy Thursday, sweet things.

The other day I was reading a post on a good friend's blog, and I love how she just wrote whatever she wanted to write in no order whatsoever. I'm thinking I will give it a try.

So, a hard lesson learned last year, the leaves do not really change color here in the Fall.
Hellooooo, why didn't someone prepare this white girl in advance that the leaves just fall off and die? ;)  Even still, my neighborhood walks are always beautiful.


The walks are especially lovely during the crisp, morning hours.
And then I go to work and make a pumpkin coffee and pretend there are orange leaves outside my window and all is well with the world.


We have been given some fall weather though, and A was just itchin' to have a fireside date.
I so love his wild and fun spirit. A fire on a Wednesday night? Why not?


 Speaking of wild and fun, I attempted to look the part for a Halloween-themed  Bunco night.
I spent $1 at Dirt Cheap on an oversized tank and neon raybans to be a "modern sorority girl" (this is the scene nowadays).

I really wish the extra-large look was popular during my sorority days. Well, maybe not extra-large, but the freedom to at least divert to a size other than small would have been nice.. ;) laugh.

I also must confess that I attempted my first mirror selfie as part of the whole character. Confirmed: they are hard. Props to you young gals that blow up my news feed with these. Work those quads.

Friday night we went as Walker Texas Ranger and a cat burglar to another party. Another $2 well spent at the ole DC. I am still laughing/impressed with A's eyeshadow beard. Wild and fun, that one. I also feel the need to mention everyone left the party by 10pm. Friday nights are hard.


There have been even more flannel appearances around here since my last post.
I have to admit, I  the girls in our house really like it.


We got to enjoy another fire with friends the other night. 
With more flannel. And venison chilly. And scarves.
 I loved our time together.

Last night before small group, I dropped by my friend's soccer game.
Can I just say that little humans in those uniforms and little cleats is one of the cutest things on the planet? I'm pretty upset with myself for not being a witness to such a thing until now.


And lastly, I used to laugh at my parents for going in to the living room at night to watch TV only to fall asleep on the couch about eight minutes later. Ahem.


Life is so sweet, dreary-time-change-sans-orange-leaves and all, and I'm so grateful. These are the little glimpses I will want to look back on and cherish. In this place, with these people, in this season.

We are headed to not one, but TWO weddings this weekend, and I'm looking forward to hitting the road and reuniting with family and friends. Despite the dozens of weddings that have been packed in to the recent years, I still get giddy before each and every one. We're honored to stand beside our friends as they marry their loves...and the fun receptions with friends from hours away make the deal even better. ;)

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Joy in the Harvest.

Recently, I have a lot of people to say to me:

"It sure is an exciting time to live in Mississippi!"

These comments are based upon the fact that the two big state schools happen to be in the top 3 in the college football rankings. As y'all know, State is currently #1 in the country.

We tailgated in Starkville a few weekends ago as we wanted to support the local team, but I literally had NO maroon to wear.

I had to explain to those questioning my apparel, that well, I wake up on Saturdays and..I put on orange. Plus, anything in the red family is just not in my color wheel and most likely never will be. Sorry bout it.

This guy pulls it off well though...untucked and all. Ahem.

Honestly though, football or not, it is an exciting time to be in Mississippi.

I think a lot of times I overlook the sweetness of our life that is now. Always one to look forward to Friday, or our next road trip, or when I get to that place in work, or home, or life in general...it's important to take the time to live in the NOW. In the everyday. Right here at home...in this beautiful season.

In the random get-togethers on Saturday mornings with some best friends and their babies. 
Babies with the most kissable little lips and double chins.

On my everyday walks where look...there's a LITTLE glimpse of Fall!


During the chilly, early morning quiet time snuggles.

In the Tuesday morning (one pump of pumpkin) office surprises.

At the small group turned Bible study with soup by the bonfire.

Under the Friday night lights...where we survived a good ole 'sippi storm.

At the farewell party where we cancelled our dinner reservations and ordered pizza in so that our time together wouldn't be interrupted.

...and the guys could show off their fall-time flannel. ;)

It's a beautiful time of year and a great time to be thankful for all we have.
Yep, there sure is joy in the harvest!

"The people who had been living in darkness
have seen a great light
The light of life has shined on those who dwelt
in the shadowy darkness of death
And you, God, will make it happen
you bolstered the nation, making it great again
you have saturated it with joy
everyone is in full delight in your presence,
like the joy they experience at the harvest"
Isaiah 9:1-3 (The Voice)
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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Cold Tangerines.


To my surprise and delight, I was given my own copy of Cold Tangerines recently (thank you, sweet Amanda!). I devoured most of it during a pedicure the other week, and finished the rest on my lunch breaks.

As y'all know, I loved me some Bread & Wine, and am always referring to it for quotes and delicious recipes. I loved this book so much as well, and left it highlighted and bookmarked. You should definitely check it out for a funny, enlightening read on faith and living life to its fullest.

I'll leave you with some quotes I loved:

"I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad He gave life to someone who loves the gift, who will use it up and wring it out and drag it around like a favorite sweater."

"When we do the hard, intimate work of friendship,
we bring a little more divine into daily life."

"Today is your big  moment. Moments, really. The life you've been waiting for is happening all around you. The scene unfolding right outside your window is worth more than the most beautiful painting, and the crackers and peanut butter that you've been having for lunch on the coffee table are as profound, in their own way, as the Last Supper. This is it. This is life in all its glory, swirling and unfolding around us...pull off the mask and you will find your life, waiting to be made, chosen, woven, crafted."

"You are more than dust and bones. You are spirit and power and image of God. And you have been given today."

------

So, so grateful for this sweet life we have been given! There is so much to stop and take in, to enjoy, and to share with others. I hope you get a chance to read this and enjoy!
LC

"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." 
John 10:10

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

In the Kitchen.

Hey peeps! 

The weather is finally cooling off, and I've been trying some new recipes that provide comfort without the..um, bloat. ;)


In my seeking, I've stumbled upon some great finds that I'd love to share if you're in need of some inspiration. As always, please judge the food based off the recipe, not my less than mediocre food photography. 


Stacked Enchilada Casserole
Makes a lot and makes for some GREAT leftovers. Also, this is gluten free.

Zucchini Pizza "Boats"
Will make this over and over! Such a fun alternative!

Jalapeno Cheddar Turkey Burgers (with Alexia sweet potato fries and kale salad)
I did these in the skillet. Andrew STILL talks about them.


Tomato and Spinach Pasta Bake
This was almost too easy. And delicious. I doubled the amount of pasta (whole box of wheat penne) and doubled the amount of cream cheese (1/2 a block). I mixed it all up and put it in a 9x13 baking dish, topped with some italian blend cheese, and baked for 20 minutes. My small group DEVOURED this.

PW's Kale and Orange salad with creamy orange dressing
I'm always looking for new salad recipes, as we have one pretty much every night. This was DELIGHTFUL and I cannot wait to re-make the dressing over and over!

PW's Potato Soup
A classic.


Healthy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole (does not "taste healthy" ;)) *Recommendation though, follow the rice cooking instructions from the box, not this recipe..CRUNCH. The dijon sauce was deliciouuuusss and I might make for other dishes as well.

Spicy Pulled Pork tacos in the Slow Cooker
Another one the small group loved and makes a lot. I froze the leftovers and made burritos with it later.

Have you been making anything good lately?

Cheers!
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Monday, October 13, 2014

Chattanooga Fun.












The other weekend we met my parents in Chattanooga, Tennessee for a long weekend/mini vacation.

We had the best time seeing the sights, eating, and just spending time together!

If you're thinking about visiting Chattanooga, here are my recommendations (as pictured above. with links below). Most are food-based, because well, ya know me:

Hennen's restaurant- great service, cool atmosphere, wonderful food, and fun martinis!

Big River Grille & Brewing works- that salad (the chicken waldorf) was oh-so delicious. Oh, and the guys enjoyed the beer sampler!

Hair of the Dog Pub- another fun atmosphere with lots of craft brews on tap...and good food ;) be sure to sit outside on the porch to enjoy the great weather

Duck Boat Tours- fun ride with lots of cool facts about the history of Chattanooga and the Tennessee River

The Walnut Street Bridge- beautiful views of the river and city! we walked through the art district to the bridge, then took the bridge over Coolidge Park to the North Shore area

Stone Cup Cafe- a GREAT little find in North Shore. perfect iced coffee, friendly baristas, and in a neat part of town away from the hustle...

Lookout Mountain and Ruby Falls- beautiful scenery and a fun adventure!

We had a blast exploring a new place and hope to go back again soon!


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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Oh Bethel, Ya do it again.



Hi, friends!

I hope that this week has met you with joy, or that you are choosing joy over what may be trying to take it away. Some weeks are just like that, huh?

It has been a busy one for us (aren't they always after vacation?), but has been so, so good, too.

I am trying to catch up on some blogs- some pics from our trip, some fun recipes I've made, and just some other tidbits...but for now I wanted to share this beautiful song. I just need to share it.

As you all know, I am a huge fan of Jesus Culture and Bethel Music. I mean LOVE. Like get on your nerves talking about them love. Which you kind of have to love them to be committed to their always-six-minutes-and-then-some-long jams. Which for me always turn in to a good fifteen-ish minutes because I am all goosebumpy and crying and needing to listen just a little while longer pleeeease.  

I loved listening to this before work this morning and feeling peace and assurance from HIM. Not to sound like super dork Christian, but do you ever just like to close your eyes and let the sounds and the lyrics wash over you, literally washing out the sounds of your thoughts, your worries, your to-do list? *raises hands like the little wannabe charismatic that I am*

Man, I can't wait to sound like Kim Walker and now, maybe Kristene DiMarco in Heaven! Laugh.


Enjoy.

Y'all are the best and I love ya-
Lizanne
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Happy Fall!

Happy Fall! I'm so thankful for the upcoming season!








loving what all this week has brought us so far...

-A celebratory homemade sign using some wood I found on my neighbor's curb (sanded, stained, painted)
-65 degrees on my morning walks
-White chicken chili and cornbread for my small group last night (Tuesday nights are my favorite!)
-Wearing booties and jeans to church on Sunday (and watching the finest bass player on the planet ;).)
-A tennis game at the MUW for date night
-Beautiful flowers from the one and only K-roger..and a new Aspen Bay candle
-Warm, soft blankets and snuggles
-The opening of C-Town's Starbucks (I still can't believe it) and iced coffees with one pump of pumpkin (it is still a nice 85 degrees midday. gotta love the south)
-Back porch sitting while reading my newest book, Jesus Feminist

and...

a lower electricity bill! can I get an amen?!

We are headed to Chattanooga after work today for a fun, fall vacation with my parents. Sooooo excited to explore a fun new town and take in the start of Autumn!

Love ya, mean it-
LC
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Friday, September 19, 2014

Happies.

Happy Friday, Friends.

We've had so many "happies" that I've been meaning to share on here for awhile now.

I am still unsure to where August and the beginning of September decided to run. The beginning of our summer seemed to move at a nice slow pace, and the fall (despite it still being 94 degrees here) is moving like a freight train- not that that surprises me in the least. I am sure this train is only going to continue to gain speed, so I hope to relish every fun memory we are making, taking advantage of all the opportunities we have been given.

Towards the end of last month, I was able to fly to the Carolinas for a quick trip to visit my parents and gather with long-time friends at a beautifully southern engagement party.

We love these two and are so excited to be a part of their wedding next summer!

While I was gone, Andrew enjoyed a weekend of outdoor fun. Scout girl had a great time too, as she loves swimming and roaming free (while still staying close to her peeps, thankfully).

But obviously she missed me due to the amount of smiles and snuggles that erupted upon my return to the homestead. At least I like to believe that. Love this stinker so much.


Over labor day weekend we ventured to Nashville with some Air Force friends. We explored the famous Broadway area and then celebrated at the wedding of some new, precious friends. The crazy rain didn't keep away the fun we had! The sweet couple are now both in Columbus and living downtown (where ALL the cool kids live. cough cough) in an adorable loft apartment. We had a great time hosting them for dinner last night and I'm looking forward to some fun times with them in the future. 



 The first weekend of this month we traveled (together this time :)) back to the best state in the union. This time to stay with one of our favorite couples in Greenville and to go to the first Clemson home game. We were able to reunite with lots of friends, and even score (amazing) free tickets. So grateful!
It was hot that day, but I had forgotten how wonderful blue ridge mountain breezes feel...bliss.  

There's not many romances better than a Clemson one, amiright? ;)


 Last weekend AC was out of town on a cross-country flight. I had a date with my favorite little guy over popcorn and the movie, Turbo. I can't tell you how fun it was to hang out with a polite and funny four-year-old after dealing with grumpy adults at work all week. :)

On Saturday, I helped with some last-minute details for a wedding here in town. It was beautiful!


 So many sweet moments to capture! So many reasons to be grateful.

What fun memories have y'all be making?
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