Friday, April 27, 2012

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 5) the Inspiration Edition

Happy Friday everyone! I figured we can always use a bit of inspiration so I thought I'd share some people that have inspired me and continue to motivate me to become a better person. Feel free to share any of your motivators with me, I'd love to add to the list of awesomeness! So here's my list (In no particular order...) and a bit about why I look up to them each individual.

~~ 1 ~~
Picture From Gloria TV
He was a very active young adult (died at age 24). Was athletic, involved in politics, humble, devout Catholic (even when ridiculed by his family), was extremely close to his family, came from money but gave to the poor at every opportunity. Read the book below written by his sister. It's great.

~~ 2 ~~
First of all, she's my confirmation saint :) St. Elizabeth is the first person born in the United States of America to become a saint. She was a wife and mother. She a convert to Catholicism. She was a teacher. She founded a religious order, Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph. She was a rock star.
~~ 3 ~~

So I'm a sucker for a good romance, and it must have a happy ending. I recently saw The V.ow and enjoyed the movie, but wanted to hear the true story behind it, so I'm currently reading "The Vo.w: The True Even.ts that Inspir.ed the Movie" and it is a truly amazing and inspirational story about the dedication of a husband and wife, even when tragedy occurs. It is beautiful and real.

~~ 4 ~~

I watched a special recently on South Africa's history and was so inspired by all those fighting for justice, against all odds, especially individuals such as Des.mond Tut.u and  Oliver T.ambo. After Mandela's release from prison and his presidency he led the country with a focus on peace. He was a wonderful example and needed leader of a torn and hurting country.

~~ 5 ~~

So we recently finished The Catholicism Series in our young adult group at my parish. I love the way that Fr. Baron explains the faith. How he uses everyday examples we can all relate to and how he explains things without making those listening feel unintelligent.

~~ 6 ~~

I love the energy that JPII brought to the Church. I am inspired by the generation he moved (the JP2 generation). His writings and teachings on love and marriage are so needed in today's world. He inspired people of all faiths and all nationalities.

~~ 7 ~~

Everyone striving for sainthood
(and no, that's not a cop-out answer)

Saint That is Just Me by Danielle Rose

I am constantly inspired by ordinary people that are living their faith. Are trying to be the "best version of themselves" (as Matthew Kelly would say). Constantly put others before themselves. Those who on a daily basis love their neighbor as themselves. I am inspired to strive for sainthood.

 Alright, that's all from me. Enjoy the weekend! 
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I feel like dancing.

I've got a wedding coming up in a few short weeks (I'm super-excited!) and although it won't be in lovely California (like my sister's wedding which is pictured above) it will be beautiful, it will be filled with fabulous people and there will be dancing. Happy Tuesday everyone!

Just dance. It will make your heart smile :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 4) the Recipe Edition

I love to bake and cook. I love trying new recipes and making family favorites. I am not so good at the whole making up recipes and I have recently only been keeping recipes that I absolutely love. I admire those that can try a recipe and see the potential in it and then have the patience to keep remaking it until it is perfect. That's not me. Here are some of my recent or not so recent tried and true recipes that (in my humble opinion) do not need much tweaking. In no particular order...

~~ 1 ~~

This is a fallback recipe for me. A great spring/summer morning bread. I love it

~~ 2 ~~

I've made this recipe a few times and it's always turned out great. The fabulous part is that it makes two loaves so you can throw one in the freezer for later (always a plus).

~~ 3 ~~

I love this recipe! It's easy and tastes so good. It's great fun chicken recipe with a little kick.

~~ 4 ~~

I'm big on my soups. There's nothing better on a chilly day then a bowl of homemade soup. This is my go to potato soup recipe at the moment. We even made a meatless version when my brother-in-law was visiting (substitute the chicken broth for veggie broth) and it turned out pretty well.

~~ 5 ~~

I love snacking on granola, never used to, but I do now. I love that you can throw in whatever you want, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, etc. This recipe makes some great snacking food!

~~ 6 ~~

I always have this in the fridge. It's easy to throw together, has a great kick (I even leave out the jalapenos) and you can easily use all the fresh produce, adding in whatever you have on hand.

~~ 7 ~~

I have made a few different versions of these. My favorite thus far is German chocolate cake mix with butterscotch chips. So good!


I have no plans for tomorrow. If the weather continues to be cloudy and not so pleasant, I see a lovely day of cooking ahead of me :) Maybe I can tackle some of the fabulous recipes I've printed out but haven't had a chance to try...The weekend is looking pretty darn good right now :)

 Alright, that's all from me. Enjoy the weekend! 
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thankful Thursday

So it has been a crazy busy few weeks, but it has been wonderful. I was able to visit with a lot of dear friends from college last week/weekend and marvel at how we have all grown and changed. It is beautiful to see the life that God has laid out and to see how everyone is living out the life they are meant to live. God is good.

Sister Hazel, Green (Welcome to the World)~Which has nothing to do with anything but it's a fun song :)

It is a dark rainy day here so I am in a bit of a mellow mood. I am looking forward to the sun. To farmers markets and canoeing. But for now, I will enjoy the few trees that are still blooming, the tulips and the chirping birds of spring.

At this moment I am thankful for...
(1) Friends. I am so thankful that as I move along with the changes of life and adapt to the changes in myself that I have so many dear friends I can journey with. Grow with. Rely on. I am blessed!

(2) Easter Candy. I am thankful for Reese's Eggs, for Peeps and Malted Milk Eggs. And I am thankful that they are only a once a year thing and will shortly be gone from my apartment.

(3) The reminder that we are in the most joyful season of the year. As a friend said, "we should be partying everyday" for 50 days! Christ rose from the dead! Alleluia!

(4) Autobiographies and Biographies. I love learning about peoples' lives and we are so blessed to have so many books and movies about great individuals to inspire us. The saints, the great inventors, writers, thinkers of all time. Go be inspired!

(5) The crazy crew above. I teach the preschool Sunday school class at my church. This is about half of the kids. I am thankful for their enthusiasm (they really were excited, despite some of the faces in the picture), for their childlike faith, for their trust. And I'm thankful I only have them for an hour :)

(6) The unexpected. I am thankful for the surprises in life that prove I am loved, that prove God exists, that lead to new experiences and new friends. (No, there is not a current story that led to this comment, I'm just being nostalgic and expectant.)

(7) Plans. I am thankful that I have upcoming plans with friends. Plans that will include great food, fun games and of course some fabulous conversations.

Happy Thursday everyone! Enjoy the day!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Joy

Happy Easter! I love Easter. It's the party of the year. A season of rejoicing. A time to realize how strong we are and how blessed we are. A time reminder the good really does win out over evil. Love conquers all. Enjoy this time. Enjoy the beautiful person that God has created you to be and the wonderful people He has placed in your life.

On a totally different note...Have you seen this video? If not, you will in a second :) I love love love watching people play the guitar, and 5 different people playing at once, well it's pretty amazing and sounds surprisingly awesome.

Someone I Used to Know performed by Walk off the Earth

Just thought I'd share a bit of music love this lovely Tuesday. Enjoy the day!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Happy Holy Thursday everyone! Just a quick Thankful Thursday to celebrate the end of Lent and the promise of Easter.

At this moment I am thankful for...
(1) The beauty of the liturgy during Holy Week. I love Holy Week and am blessed to live in a city that provides beautiful Masses and services including a Chrism Mass and Tenebrae and of course Holy Thursday Mass, Good Friday Service, Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday Masses.

(2) Green grass, flowering trees, birds chirping and bright flowers. Spring is everywhere and it's beautiful!

(3) Sacrifice. It's been a good Lent, hard but good. I've become more aware of my vices and what is  lacking in my spiritual life. I pray that I can continue to strive for holiness as the Easter Season begins.

(4) Family. I'm thankful for the randomness of my family and of course the love that we all share.
(5) New Babies :) There are so many new little ones, and even more due in the next few weeks. I am thankful for the beauty and innocence they bring to this world and I pray for each of them and their lovely parent.

(6) The ability to cook/bake. I often take it for granted that I was taught to cook and bake at a young age and therefore can easily follow a recipe that most of the time successfully results in something edible. I thankful for my mother who taught me (and always follows recipes to a T), my sister who wasn't afraid to try the complex scary recipes and make them her own and my dad who never really measured and kept adjusting until he made the "perfect" dish. I'm definitely a mix of the 3.

(7) Photos, new and old. I was going through and organizing/finally scrapbooking some of my old photos and I'm so thankful for the many happy memories they contain and the wonderful people that grace their fronts that I am so blessed to have in my life.

Happy Triduum everyone!