the perfect red lip

Perhaps it’s because it was just Valentines Day, or perhaps it’s because I need something bright on these cold wintery days, but I am super into red lips right now….and I wanted to share my latest favorite.

I’m not usually a fan of drug store brand lipsticks, but this one is fantastic.

The above picture was from Instagram last week, the photo taken after wearing said lipstick all. day.

Yes, seriously.

I’d had lunch, drank coffee, kissed children, and it was {almost} as good as when I’d put it on as I rushed out the door in the morning.

red lips

See now why I had to share? Maybe you need it, too.

{I was wearing color 050, Couture}

pink arrow

And for all you tired mamas out there, just remember…

If you’re short on time in the morning, just smooth on some tinted moisturizer, a quick wand of mascara, and these red lips will instantly make you feel like you took longer than 30 seconds to get ready.

Welcome to my week, this is totally how I’m feeling.

{excuse me while I make another cup of coffee. xo}

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Ahhh…I finally have a moment to sit and blog. What an incredibly insane week. We were out of town, then the day we returned, Ben’s mom also flew in, and poor Imani’s been sick.

Whew! Craziness.

valentines table

Every holiday, birthday, or any special day really {i.e. first snow of the year!} I set up a special breakfast party for the family.

I love hearing their little feet on the stairs and then a gasp, “yaaaaaay! breakfast party!” Makes my heart happy.

valentines table

Thought I’d share today’s with you.

valentines table

I typically just hang streamers but found these fun polkadot and striped lanterns at Target the other day and thought they were a must.

I hung them with ribbon and tied ribbon scraps at the bottom for more interest {I hung them with a thumbtack}.

valentines table

In full disclosure, I was trying really hard to distract from our beautiful lighting here in the kitchen. Classy.

Still looking for just the right thing to put up there.

valentines table

Gathering things from around the house, I just layered it all on.

valentines table

valentines table

And yes, that’s our china on top of silver chargers. Get it out of your cupboards! Use it!

valentines table

Using washi tape from Target’s $1 area, I made little flags for each of these darling paper straws.

I thought they needed a little sparkle.

valentines table

I got the kids {and Ben} something little. A favorite snack, new crayons & small coloring book, little lego set, that sort of thing. Each kid got one item.

Nothing over the top, just enough to know Ben and I were thinking of them.

valentines table

On to the FOOD!

valentines table

Red Velvet pancakes, of course {it’s a mix from Target}.

valentines table

And who doesn’t love bacon shaped into a heart?!

They didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped, I’ll have to keep playing.

But if you want to try it, cut your bacon in half and shape it into a heart. Bake at 400 degrees {time depends on how crispy you like it} on a baking sheet that has sides {so the grease doesn’t make a mess of your oven}.

valentines table

valentines table

Milk tastes better when it’s in a pretty glass, don’t you think?

valentines table

Finally our Crazies woke up for their early morning feast!

valentines table

valentines table

valentines table

Wow, this girl gets some bed-head!!

valentines table

Happy Valentines Day! Hope yours is as full of love as ours is!!

gold glitter heart

valentines table

 

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Ok, this is a confession. For some reason, it makes me SUPER uncomfortable to say it. But…

I'm writing a book

Maybe I didn’t want to tell anyone because I don’t feel qualified. Or perhaps it’s because it makes me feel really vulnerable, but I’ve always promised to be real and raw. To be “an open book” to those around me.

And now, with the Lord’s guidance…I am.

proverbs 19_21

God has asked me to write this book for a long time now. And I’ve ignored Him. “Lord, I have six kids…I don’t have time for that!” I would tell Him. I mean quite honestly, it’s a ridiculous notion. I hardly have time to brush my teeth twice a day, let alone spend hundreds of hours writing on my computer.

I realize we have a unique story but truly, other than my husband and my sweet family, who would read it? Well, probably my best friend. That makes maybe 8 people.

As I continued to ignore and refuse God’s leading to put together the book that will hopefully be one day in your hands, the Lord began to give me visions. Well, slight…almost there visions. It’s like He’d hand me binoculars and tell me to look through them. Just as things were becoming clear, He’d snatch them away before really seeing what it was. Sigh.

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More days, weeks, and months began to pass and I had this relentless and uncompromising feeling like something was missing. In the past, that feeling has resulted in {another} adopted child. But since we’ve only recently brought home a baby daughter and teenage son from Ethiopia, I doubted that’s what it was this time.

So because I’m apparently a little dense {or perhaps just blonde}, I began to ask God what it is I was missing. What was He trying to tell me? “Lord, reveal it to me. Show me what it is You’re trying to tell me.”

Oh. The book. It’s the book, I realized.

I finally knelt before our Father and surrendered myself to Him once again, remembering that which I’ve prayed many times through the years: I want Him to use me and His plans for my life are indeed so much bigger and better than mine ever are or ever could be.

Isaiah 55_8-9

So I have begun to write. Many naptimes have been spent at my laptop, praying that my little crazies actually sleep so I can get a few pages or simply a couple paragraphs written. Luckily for me, my husband Ben has been telling me to write a book as well {not so strangely, he began urging me about the same time God did}…so he sometimes tosses me the keys to my car and tells me to go to Starbucks for a few hours so I can work without the wonderful chaos that is now our life.

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And now I’m excited. I’ve gone from thinking I’d better do this before God gets my attention by sending a big whale to swallow me up…or something equally as dramatic {see Jonah}. To praying what He wants me to write, what stories to include, and more importantly, how to help you come away from this book feeling encouraged and empowered in your own life.

I don’t want this to be simply our family’s story…I want rather, for you to understand that even if adoption won’t likely be part of your personal story, there is so much to learn and grow in your relationship with Christ through these pages.

let Him interrupt you

Acts 4_13

I’m about 25,000 words in {a little over 50 pages} and have so much more to go.

Would you pray for me? Pray that I know where to take this? 

Do I attempt the traditional route and find a literary agent and try to get in with a publishing house? {ahem…know anyone? message me!}

…or do I publish it myself? I have no idea.

All I know is that the Lord has told me this is an issue of obedience, and because I know His plans are bigger than mine could ever be, obedient I will remain. 

AB Simpson

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I have a new obsession. Waterlogue is an app that turns your photos into watercolor paintings.

You can even print your favorites & frame them!

Imani 1

{Imani at the fireplace last Valentines Day}

I discovered it about a week ago when a friend posted a “painting” on Instagram.

I was instantly hooked.

Anton & Abreham

{The day after Anton & Abreham met while in Ethiopia}

Apparently I’m not the only one who can’t get enough of it. I just saw a few minutes ago that two of my favorite blogs also posted about it today! Guess they scooped me since they got theirs out before me.

Thistlewood Farms | Jones Design Company

Elsabet

{A few days after bringing Elsabet home}

It’s so fun to go through old photos and see them in a completely new way.

A&E

{New brothers…and buddies!}

Now…to choose which to frame?!

ethiopia

{Ethiopia – during our trip meeting Abreham & Elsabet}

Anton & Laith

{Reading on an early snowy morning}

wreath

{I love this one of our mantle}

Elsabet 1

{Elsabet’s first steps!}

Stella & Dot necklace

{Even a photo of my necklace turns into something worth framing}

What do you think? Will you be as obsessed as I am?!

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danish puff recipe

Many of us have them…a recipe we remember so fondly making as a child, standing side-by-side with our sweet mommas, them letting us “help” and us enjoying every second.

Well, this is one of those recipes for me…

danish puff recipe

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Place 1 cup flour in medium bowl, cut in 1/2 cup softened butter, using pastry blender {or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions…which is how I do it}, until particles are the size of coarse crumbs.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons water over mixture; toss with a fork.

danish puff recipe

Gather pastry into a ball; divide in half.

danish puff recipe

Pat each half into {approximately} 12×3 inch rectangles, about 3 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

{mom, are you reading this?? I laughed seeing this photo. I completely have your hands.}

danish puff recipe

danish puff recipe

In 2-quart saucepan, heat 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup water to rolling boil; remove from heat.
Quickly stir in almond extract and 1 cup flour.

danish puff recipe

Stir vigorously over low heat, about 1 minute or until mixture forms a ball; remove from heat.
Add eggs; beat until smooth.

danish puff recipe

Spread half of the topping over each rectangle.

danish puff recipe

Bake for about 1 hour or until topping is crisp and brown; remove from pan to cooling rack.

danish puff recipe

Cool completely before drizzling glaze.

my mom’s danish puff {recipe}

Prep Time: 20 hours

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Serving Size: 10 servings

my mom’s danish puff {recipe}

Ingredients

  • {pastry}
  • 1 cup all-purpose flower
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • {topping}
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flower
  • 3 eggs
  • {glaze}
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond {or vanilla}
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk {more for thinner glaze}
  • chopped nuts, if desired {almonds are fabulous...but I often leave them out}

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Place 1 cup flour in medium bowl, cut in 1/2 cup softened butter, using pastry blender {or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions...which is how I do it}, until particles are the size of coarse crumbs.
  3. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons water over mixture; toss with a fork.
  4. Gather pastry into a ball; divide in half. Pat each half into {approximately} 12x3 inch rectangles, about 3 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  5. In 2-quart saucepan, heat 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup water to rolling boil; remove from heat.
  6. Quickly stir in almond extract and 1 cup flour.
  7. Stir vigorously over low heat, about 1 minute or until mixture forms a ball; remove from heat.
  8. Add eggs; beat until smooth.
  9. Spread half of the topping over each rectangle.
  10. Bake for about 1 hour or until topping is crisp and brown; remove from pan to cooling rack.
  11. Cool completely before drizzling glaze.
  12. In medium bowl, mix all glaze ingredients and stir until smooth and spreadable.
  13. Sprinkle with nuts {if you so desire}.
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valentines day danish puff

So….maybe I added a little pre-Valentines Day fun to one of them.

Sometimes sprinkles are imperative. ; )

favorite

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