Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A Dream Come True: Pilgrimage to Clear Creek Abbey!

Once upon a time, when I lived in Kansas, I was told about Our Lady of Clear Creek Abbey, a community of monks tucked away in rural Oklahoma. Some of my friends went there on a discernment trip. Other friends occasionally traveled there for weekend-long trips. The brother of one of my friends, months after graduating from high school, became a monk there. 

I wanted to visit Clear Creek for years, but in the midst of life, never made the trip. A few weeks ago, while looking over the calendar, I declared that we needed to make a pilgrimage to this place. If my husband and I could drive 2 1/2 hours to visit family in Kansas, if my husband could drive several hours to a Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament in Texas, and if we could plan a cross-country trip to visit my husband's family on the West Coast, then we could certainly drive three hours to visit Clear Creek Abbey! We just had to schedule it and make it happen. And about a week ago or so, my husband suggested that we visit on October 22, the Feast of St. John Paul II (quite appropriate, since JPII loved hiking outside, and we would spend time hiking at Clear Creek). So, it was that on Saturday morning at 5:10 a.m., I sprung out of bed, excited to see what the day would bring. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

On the Bookshelf: All About Food!

Hello, everyone! As you hopefully know by now, I love books. And, I really love food-eating food, reading about food, making get the idea. The vast majority of books I've gotten from the library are all about food, and I enjoyed them a lot! I found some fascinating memoirs, and I also read some fantastic cookbooks. So let's talk about food!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Bonito Flakes

We bought bonito flakes.

I recently was randomly inspired to expand my Japanese cooking vocabulary, so I checked cookbooks out from the library and eagerly perused the recipes. As I read recipes with udon, dashi, and rice, I realized that we would need bonito flakes.

I discovered that bonito flakes are expensive, so-being a fairly frugal person-I hesitated at first. Why are they so expensive? Are they really worth it? 

Friday, October 14, 2016

7 Quick Takes on Mormons, Entertainment, & a Zoo Trip

I don't have time to pull together a coherent, well-developed blog post, but it's Friday! So I'm joining Kelly & Co. to share some random snippets of life from this week.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

It is Time to Let Go of Fear

The leaves are changing color, Pumpkin Spice Lattes abound in coffee shops, and fear is in the air.

I do not talk about politics often, but I've occasionally found myself reading articles or chatting about the election with other pro-life individuals. And, in the vast majority of these occasions, the articles or conversations are steeped in fear. People will express disgust at Donald Trump and talk about how they do not want to vote for him, but will then begin listing off many of the policies and actions of Hillary Clinton which are not in line with the pro-life message. As this list grows, fear builds and builds, until it crescendos in a statement: I cannot let Hillary win. I must stop her. It kills me to vote for Trump, but I can't let Clinton I'll vote for Trump.

If a person broaches the topic of third party voting-because his conscience does not sit well with voting for Trump-he will be often struck down. Voting for a third party candidate is giving Hillary your vote! We can't let her win! I have seen and heard much anxiety, stress, and terror weighing on the minds and hearts of different people, and I can no longer be silent about this.  

Why we are letting fear control us? 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Non-Fluffy Ways to Celebrate St. Francis of Assisi!

St. Francis of Assisi is commonly thought of as an animal-loving, tree-hugging hippie of sorts. Many churches offer a "Blessing of Animals" on or around the feast of St. Francis, and quite often, "suggested activities" for the feast revolve around animals or nature.
St. Francis of Assisi birdbath, anyone?
While doing these types of activities is great, and I'm all about dancing barefoot in fields of flowers amid singing birds, these aren't the only ways to celebrate St. Francis' awesome feast day. In fact, there are plenty of other fantastic things we can do to commemorate St. Francis-that don't revolve around fluffy animals. Since I am a mega-huge fan of St. Francis, and today is his epic feast day, I'd like to share a couple ideas about how we can celebrate!

Friday, September 30, 2016

7 Quick Takes about Food, Clothes, & Saints!

Happy Friday and feast of St. Jerome, everyone! As I mentioned on my previous post, life has been a bit of a whirlwind around here, but my baby just fell asleep so-instead of working on things that I desperately need to get done-I'm stopping in here to tell y'all about life. Because that's what bloggers do, right? ;) Hop on over to Kelly's happy place for more quick takes from the blogging world! 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Simple Moments

I don't know about the rest of you, but life has been a whirlwind over here. Often, if I think of something I need to do, I'll put it on the backburner of my mind-for when I have time to do it later-and the next thing I know, a week has flown by. It's a joyful whirlwind, a peaceful whirlwind, and quite a bit of fun. But, it seems that every couple days, there will be a frantic burst where I have an article due for one site, an event to help out with, dishes to be done, food to cook, and tons of blog posts half-formulated in my brain. 

So it's really good, in those times, to take a step back and enjoy the simple moments that come with each exciting burst of activity. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Chatting About Self Care with The Zelie Group!

Happy Hobbit Day, everyone! 
[For those of you who don't know Lord of the Rings, today is the birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins.]

I have to get working on our celebratory food, but first I'd like to join The Zelie Group for their weekly link-up! After all, this week's topic is self-care, and I am all about self-care. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

On the Bookshelf: Memoirs & Some Delightful Novels

Hello, everyone! I've been reading up a storm in the past several weeks, so I think it's time to discuss some literature. First, though, I want to give a shout-out to Michelle, because her book recommendations are one of the first places I look when I want to read some new and exciting stories. Some of the books I'm discussing today I first discovered on her awesome blog. Anyways, let's link up with Tuesday Talk to discuss books!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Does Simple Food Have to be Boring?

Food has been on my mind lately. I guess that shouldn't be much of a surprise, since I-like most people-eat at least a few meals a day! But I guess I've been thinking more intentionally about what I'm eating, and how I'm eating it.

A few weeks ago, I watched the movie The Hundred Foot Journey, which is an amazing story of community and food. Really, really good food. Watching that movie led me to looking up food websites (which then led me to the discovery of coffee jelly!). Then, I picked up My Life in France, by Julia Child. As I read it, I thought, Wow, I want to start cooking fancier food. Not just for entertaining purposes, but even for myself throughout the day. The thought of "fancy food" seemed a little daunting, because I'm not a professional chef and don't have loads of time to dedicate to cooking. But still, wouldn't "fancy food" be nice? 

As I continued to let this percolate in my thoughts like a good cup of coffee (and yes, I'm on my second cup today, so that lovely beverage is also on my mind!), I realized that I often equate "fancy food" with "complicated food." I commonly want to make something quite easily, because I don't have time to make fancy food, right? I'm a one-bowl-per-recipe kind of cook (guess who ignores cooking instructions when they insist on separate bowls?). Yet, lately I've been thinking about how sometimes, the simplest of foods are quite enjoyable-and can be presented in exciting, fancy ways.