Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Photos

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I sure did! Here are some photos from my celebrations.

Friday night, I went to church with my parents, and then my brother and his wife came over for supper and presents.

Ask a mom for journals and she gets you four. :) Maybe now I can keep my ideas more organized rather than having them float around on random pieces of paper. And a video camera! You know what that means- more demos for the blog! Yay!

On Christmas day, my mom's family got together at my aunt's house. (Most of these photos are from my cousin.)

Santa baby :)

 He does this thing where he looks at people sideways- baby Cayden, not my dad :)

Wishing you all a happy and safe new year! See you next year! Much love ♥

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Christmas Surprise

A couple weeks ago, Buster got a little surprise in the mail from our friend Michelle.

When I opened the package, not only was I ecstatic, but Buster was too! (What can I say, he loves presents!)

While he loves the bow tie, he's not a huge fan of modeling in front of the camera. He was a good sport, but near the end, he was getting a little tired.

Adorable, yes? Michelle also makes the cutest monogrammed baby onesies! You can check out the rest of her collection here. (Her shop is closed right now, but will reopen next week. Believe me- you will want to check back!)

Thanks again, Michelle!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


When I reflect on Christmas, and this entire last year, I can't help but feel so incredibly blessed. Sometimes I wonder why I have been blessed with so much when there are people on the other side of the world who are struggling just to survive, but I know that those of us who have been blessed, have a lot of responsibility in what we do with what we have been given.

God guarantees that we will be blessed when we give- I can tell you that from personal experience. And I believe that if you give until it "hurts," you will be blown away with the way God will work.

If you are looking for an organization to donate through, I would highly recommend Gospel for Asia. They give 100% of your donation to the mission field, taking nothing out for administrative expenses. They are concerned with the physical health and well-being of the poorest of the poor in our world, but so much more then that, they are passionate about their souls and giving them hope beyond this temporary world. There are many organizations that are helping people in need, but I think it is so important that we stay focused on eternity and sharing the hope of Christ, not just meeting a person's physical needs. Find out more about how you can impact the world by changing a person's life here. Even a small donation can help transform someone's life.

(all photos via GFA)
One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. (Proverbs 11:24)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Buster and I wish you much peace, love, & blessings on this special day!
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pear Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

This is my go-to salad for fall & winter. The key is to use ripe bosc pears! Buy them at least a few days before you need them. They should just be starting to wrinkle around the stem to be sweetest.

I don't have exact amounts of ingredients listed- just add however much looks good to you! I love to throw in leftover roasted chicken to offset the sweetness of the dressing, fruit, and nuts. The maple vinaigrette also works well with apples and strawberries.

-salad greens, chopped (I like to use baby greens and/or romaine lettuce- anything with a good green color)
-bosc pears, chopped
-dried cranberries
-happy nuts (recipe here)

-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
-1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
-1/4 cup pure maple syrup
-1 tsp. brown mustard

Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Nuts

These maple-cinnamon nuts are to-die-for! I named them "happy nuts" because they make me happy (except when my mom and I are fighting over the last ones). *wink* Tomorrow I'm going to share the recipe for Pear Salad with Maple Vinaigrette, which uses these nuts, so if that is up your alley, be sure to come back! It's a great salad for holiday gatherings!

-2 cups pecan halves
-2 TB. pure maple syrup
-1 TB. melted butter (or coconut oil)
-1/4 tsp. salt
-1/4 tsp. cinnamon
-1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Place the pecans in a mixing bowl, and toss with the maple syrup and butter. Sprinkle on the salt and spices and mix until evenly coated. Pour the nuts on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. (Be careful not to over bake! It's very easy to do, in fact, I over baked this last batch slightly.) As they cool, stir a couple times to prevent them from sticking together.

Enjoy! (And be sure to save some for tomorrow's salad!)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Christmas Song

I heard this song for the first time this past weekend and have been listening to it obsessively ever since. :) Sometimes I think we hear the same songs so often that we fail to really think about the lyrics, but when you change up the tune a little, I think you become more aware of the meaning. Enjoy! (and try not to be too stressed this week, but ENJOY the moments and remember the reason we are celebrating and how we need to live our lives not only in this Christmas season but ALL YEAR LONG!)

Go Tell It On The Mountain by Natalie Schlabach on Grooveshark

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Plans to Prosper

This year is coming to an end, and during my walk early this week, I was reflecting on this past year and thinking about the one to come. I love beginning a new year. It's like a fresh start, and I'm excited thinking about what my life might look like a year from now.

I have high hopes that great things will happen. After all, my life is in the hands of the God of the universe, and He has plans to prosper me. That is a promise.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

"God appears to thoroughly enjoy doing 'immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine' (Eph. 3:20) and probably has few bigger frustrations than when our prayerlessness denies Him the chance. You see, if we don't 'ask or imagine,' what does God have to out-do?" (Beth Moore)

As you think and prepare for 2012, I hope you will dream big.

I hope you will expect grand things.

(linking up with Casey)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Goodies from the Kiln

Last Wednesday, I shared a glimpse into my work process with you as I was getting ready to fire a new load of pottery in my kiln. Today, I thought it would be fun to share how things turned out! Come join me as I unload the kiln!

New extra-large rings coming to the shop soon! Born my accident (*wink*), but I couldn't be more excited about them!! :)
New rectangle necklaces!

It's recommended to put "pyrometric cones" in each firing to measure the heatwork in the kiln. Because this cone is bent like this, it shows that "cone 6" was reached, which is equivalent to around 2165° F.

I'm not showing you 1/2 a shelf because it has top-secret pottery on it *wink.* No really, there's something that is going to show up under a tree, so I cannot show you!

I get to work around these guys. Aren't I lucky?
The color of this glaze as it pools at the bottom of pots has to be seen to be appreciated! It is stunning.
If you want to see some new pieces up for grabs, hop on over to the shop. I'm planning on adding the extra-large rings to the shop tomorrow and I'm working on some new necklaces designs that will be coming in the future! Just a reminder that you can order through this Saturday (December 17) for guaranteed Christmas delivery in the United States.

Have a happy Wednesday!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sunday Reflections: Joy

Where are you looking for joy this season?

The world tries to tell us that joy is found in "stuff." If we buy the right things, we will be happy. The funny thing is that the more we get, the more we often want. We see that the last thing we got, didn't make us happy for very long, so we need something else to fill that need. But things never will.

I know it's so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of this season and forget that we are celebrating the greatest gift of all, the gift that truly brings joy and contentment, the gift that brings life. We have been blessed with so much. Let's be thankful for all that we have and give thanks for the gift of a Savior.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Around the House

I LOVE Christmas decorations! We don't do anything extensive at our house, but just a few nice touches help it feel more festive. Of course, a tree is a big part of that! My dad and I usually go to our local tree farm to pick one out and cut it down. (Well, I mostly do the picking out part and he does the cutting it down.) :) Nothing beats the scent of a fresh Christmas tree!

The last couple years, we've put the tree in our kitchen, but this year it went in the living room.

last year's tree in the kitchen with the table set on Christmas Eve for brunch with my family!
We also decorate the front porch a little.

See, nothing extreme, but it makes the house more cozy!!

I recently got a new packing/shipping room in the house(!!!), so when it's all organized and such, I will show you some pictures! I LOVE it! No more running upstairs, downstairs, all around to get everything I need- it is all in one place, and it makes packing orders SO much smoother! (And my dad now has his "man cave" to himself, so everyone wins!) ;)

How do you decorate for Christmas? Are you one of those fanatics that goes all out with lights and inflatable creatures :) or are you more low-key?

((linking up with Gussy Sews, the Nester, and Michaela Noelle Designs))