Friday, January 27, 2017

Bonding with Stray Cats, Getting Brave on the Phone, and Spilling Vinegar (7QT)

Happy Friday, everyone! It's been quite a while since I've compiled some random happenings in the form of 7 quick takes, so I figured that today would be a fabulous opportunity. Plus, it's my last day of being 23 years old, so I need to do something random and spontaneous on this blog-so why not join Kelly & the other awesome people of the blogging world?  

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Books, Ducks, & How I Don't Buy Organic Food

When I was a child, I often heard the adage, "Don't judge a book by it's cover." These words pointed to the fact that we shouldn't necessarily judge something (or someone) hastily. 

Later on in life, I heard another saying: "If it quacks like a duck, and waddles like a duck, then it's a duck." These words pointed to the fact that if something or someone looked or acted in certain ways, then we could pin down who or what it was. 

I've been trying to see if these two sayings can both ring true at the same time. It appears to me-just in the way that I process words-that the first saying basically states: "Just because something looks like a certain thing does not mean that it is that thing." But, it also appears to me that the second saying basically states: "If something looks or acts like a certain thing, then it is that thing." 

Am I misunderstanding what these proverbs are trying to say? Or, is the human person such a complex being that we can't sum up the whole experience of encountering another person in a few flimsy words? 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Let Yourself Be Moved (at Ignitum Today)

Hi, friends! As many of you are probably aware, abortion is a big topic right now. Between controversies about the Women's March, Sanctity for Life Masses, and the upcoming March for Life, abortion frequently comes up in our conversations or on social media.

I think it's important to remember that abortion, while being a monumental issue that we need to discuss, is not the only pro-life issue out there. So, I'm over at Ignitum Today with my article, "Let Yourself Be Moved," to talk about another huge human rights and pro-life issue.

Happy Feast of St. Francis de Sales!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Thoughts on Tea & American Patriots

A few weeks ago, I noticed that my tea supply needed to be restocked. I typically have grabbed boxes of tea when sales pop up, but since I received an infuser several months ago, I have been letting my tea bag supply decrease, so that I would have a good reason to purchase loose leaf tea. Well, I was finally at that point, so excitedly, I asked for recommendations of online stores and agonized over what kinds of tea to buy. I placed my order, and then waited for the tea to arrive. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

What Biscotti Can Teach Us About Marriage

Several weeks ago, I was hit with the sudden desire to make biscotti. I had never made biscotti before, and I had only eaten it a few times. But, thinking about how elegant and sophisticated it seems, I decided that I would make some during the Christmas season. I could give some away as a gift, and keep the rest for our household consumption. As I began mixing together ingredients for Double Chocolate Biscotti, I gleefully thought that the end result would be a tasty treat to munch on with my coffee and tea. Little did I realize that these cookies would teach me about marriage. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Will You Take the Challenge of Bringing Your Family Closer to God? A Review of the Be Not Afraid Family Hour

Pursuing holiness is challenging, isn’t it? All sorts of obstacles, trials, and temptations can lead us to fumble around, fall, and sin. Furthermore, not only are we called to follow God, but we need to help others in their journey to Heaven! Choosing to follow God and seeking to be holy is tough, but so very important. Parents have a particularly pivotal role in helping their children grow closer to God. Pope Benedict XVI notes that,
“The Second Vatican Council speaks of parents as the first messengers of God, called to rediscover their mission, taking responsibility in educating…They are called to open small minds to the love of God as a fundamental service to their lives, being the first catechists and teachers of the faith to their children…” ~General Audience on November 28, 2012
If this isn’t a daunting task, I don’t know what is.

Thankfully, there are many fabulous resources to help parents as they bring their families closer to God. One such resource is the Be Not Afraid Family Hour, by the Apostolate for Family Consecration. This series provides a structured, approachable, simple, and profound way for families to grow in the Faith together.

~ Many thanks to the Apostolate for Family Consecration, for providing a copy of the Be Not Afraid Family Hour in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. ~

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

How I Keep Baby Steps from becoming Stumbling Blocks

For most of my life, "take baby steps" has been a common mantra, a resolution for every problem.

Not as fit or active as I need to be? It's okay, I'll just take baby steps.
Not eating as healthy as I should? No worries, I'll try to eat healthier and take baby steps.
Is my spiritual life suffering? It's all right-I'm not perfect, so I'll just take baby steps and try to bring more prayer into my days.
Is my home/room messy to the point where I should declutter? I don't need to actually give away or toss things yet; I'll just take baby steps and work myself up to that point.

Giving myself the reassurance of "baby steps" has been a reminder to me that life is a process, a journey. Knowing that I can take "baby steps" keeps me from becoming discouraged if I don't automatically reach my desired state of being healthier, tidier, holier, and more fit. Taking "baby steps" can be important, and it's a practice that I encourage. Whether you want to eat healthier, become more fit, or grow in your relationship with the Blessed Mother, tiny steps can help you move slowly and steadily towards your goals. However, "baby steps" can easily become a stumbling block and, eventually, my downfall.

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Christmas Where I Failed at Making Chocolates

I love chocolate. I love eating chocolate, smelling chocolate, and looking at chocolate. And I really, really love making candies with chocolate. 

For most of my life, I've spent the holiday season making coconut  (and chocolate coconut!) filling, peanut butter filling, and peppermint filling, rolling these into different shapes, and dipping them into luscious melted chocolate. When I was a junior in high school, for our English class' business unit, we all had to do a mock interview for a job we'd like to have. I decided to interview for a position of "chocolatier," and brought a selection of candies to class with me. Let's just say I was one of the most popular girls in class that day ;) Last summer, just two days before giving birth, I hauled a tub of 300+ homemade chocolates into an art gallery, since a friend of mine had commissioned me to make them as refreshments for her art show. I really like working with chocolate. 

I was excited to spend Christmastime enveloped in all things chocolate, especially since I held myself back from chocolate-making during Advent. Well, I'm here to inform you all that I have been failing in my chocolate endeavors. Mishap after mishap has occurred, and the liturgical season of Christmas isn't even over yet!