Friday, August 30, 2013

Apple Pumpkin Muffins Recipe

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This last winter, I helped my parents prune there mini orchard that hadn't had a good pruning in a while. Apples and plums and pears, oh my! Did they need it too! And although many of the trees aren't producing that great this year (that's normal after a good pruning),  their Granny Smith Apple tree is doing great! So well that Mom called and said I just had to come out and pick some before they all end up on the ground for the deer. : )
All those apples sitting and waiting to be canned got me thinking about different recipes I could try out with the abundance. I remembered this recipe I found on Allrecipes a while ago. I have tweaked it and adjusted it a couple times since I first tried it and I am happy with this version. It brings the scents and tastes of the coming fall season to you and your home. I like to enjoy them with a good cup of spiced tea while wrapped up in a cozy blanket watching the leaves turn. Enjoy!

Apple Pumpkin Muffins
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup wheat flour
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs 
1 cup pumpkin puree (I used canned pumpkin)
1/4 vegetable oil
1/4 unsweetened apple sauce
1 1/2 cups finely chopped apples (about 3-4 apples)
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 24 muffin cups with non-stick spray. Combine first six ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. Chop apples and pecans, place in small bowl and set aside. In another bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin puree, vegetable oil and apple sauce. Mix well. Stir wet ingredients into large bowl with dry ingredients just until combined. Do not over mix. Fold in apple and nut mixture. Fill muffin cups 2/3 of the way full. Bake for about 18 minutes. Makes 24 muffins. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Random Photo: A Man and an Ice Cream Cone

Oh friends, life has been crazy, busy lately. Husband started a new job. Before he started that, we took five days and drove down to see his dad and step-mom in Nevada. Soccer started for my six-year-old and guess who is his coach. His dad. And, I have been blessed to be working 3-4 hours a day from my home for a couple friends' businesses. Our schedule has been changing almost daily the last couple of weeks, making it a wee bit hard for me to get into a good routine. (And I need a good routine!) With school starting back up in a week, the schedule around here will yet again need to be adjusted. I have to say, though, I am thankful to be able to ease into working again while being at home with the kids. I am not sure my sanity or my kids' behavior would have survived me going back to work out of the home. 

Anywho, you are probably wondering by now what ANY of that has to do with this picture. Absolutely nothing! : D That is why I picked it for today. With all that stuff going on the last couple of weeks, I have realized that one needs to stop and take an ice cream cone break. Or lay in the hammock. Or go for a walk. Or watch the sunset. I think you get the picture. There will always be work to do, chores piling up, kids to corral, bills to pay and media sources to steal our attention. When I saw this man while on vacation in France, I stopped in my tracks. I thought, "I love it! Check this guy out just chillin' with his ice cream. (No pun intended!) I have got to get a picture of this!" Who knows what he was thinking of the crazy tourist lady taking his picture but I had to have this shot if only to remind me that the real peace and joy in life comes when we can kick back, relax and enjoy the simple things. Like an ice cream cone.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Television Wisdom Wednesday: Honoring

As a refresher, here is why I do Television Wisdom Wednesday. : )
'There are some that say there is nothing good that comes from television. Some others think it is just a mind numbing escape from reality. Well, I want to provide tid-bits of wisdom picked up from all my no good, mind numbing t.v. watching just to prove there is a little wisdom to be learned from it all.'

From the show 
Duck Dynasty: 

Phil Robertson - "Don't touch her below the neck until you sign the dotted line."

In honor of their season premiere tonight, I thought it appropriate to have a quote from one of the Robertson's today. And speaking of honor, where has honoring others gone to? Especially when speaking about honoring your loved one. As a refresher (for myself and for y'all), here is the definition and synonyms of honor. 

Honor: high respect for; esteem. Puritychastity; - a term applied mostly to womenbut becoming uncommon in usage.
Synonyms: blamelessness, irreproachability, nobility, reputability, respectability, reverence, veneration, virtue.
Reverence is a feeling of deep respect and devotion.
Veneration is both the feeling and the reverential expression of respect, love, and awe.

So, how can we be a more honoring society? By honoring those God put in our lives as God desires us to honor them. And, I believe, that's what Phil is ultimately saying here when he was saying this to his granddaughter's boyfriend. Have a relationship before marriage that is honoring to each other and to God's design for relationships and marriage. Be pure with each other, blameless before man and God in your actions, have that deep reverence for your loved one that their virtue is irreproachable.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Visiting A Vintage Gathering 2013

At last! Another Vintage Gathering came and went. And, while waiting for it to come again this year, a lot changed with them and in my world. This last year, A Vintage Gathering opened a store front in downtown Battle Ground, WA. And, this year, they held their summer-time outdoor gathering in the gravel lot next to them. I think some may have preferred the sale to be in the field where it used to be held but I thought it was great where it was. Right in the heart of old town Battle Ground on Main street, it was perfectly placed for all the locals to see while out and about on their Saturday. 

Speaking of locals..... this last year, friends of mine moved from Portland to Battle Ground and are making their new little town their own. I didn't even get a chance to invite my friend, Bethany (pictured above), to the sale as she already knew about it and invited me! As I showed up to the gathering to meet up with her, she greets me with this interesting find. Can you guess what she is holding up?
Jenny (and her mom) had some lovely treasures at their booth, Simple Treasures. Local ladies, they travel around to different gatherings held on weekends during the summer and local bazaars in the fall/winter. 
I loved this cute little garden cart of theirs. 

This lovely space, Redoux, by Sue Simula had beautiful furniture pieces. Crisp whites, simply wonderful home accessories and the occasional fleur de lis definitely caught my eye. You can find more of her beautiful pieces at Rusty Glamour, also in downtown Battle Ground.

Cheryl of The Stitchin' Chicken had some drool-worthy pillows, I must say! And, oh, the table runners and towels.... just lovely! You can find some of her lovelies at A Vintage Gathering or, for more of a selection and custom sizing options, check out her etsy page >>

Inside A Vintage Gathering, even more treasures awaited the sun-soaked shoppers. One little shelf that I hope you consider stopping to look at is my friend Karyn's new business adventure of this last year. Karyn's new line of skin care and pure essential oils, Fit2B on Your Skin, offers a wide variety of products. From skin care and facial products to essential oil blends like, Shield-Daily Immune Defense, which has come to be a must-have in my home. 

So, there it is folks, another Vintage Gathering in the books! If you want a lovely summer-time adventure of your own, there will be another Vintage Gathering September 6th & 7th! So bring a friend (or two) and your pocket book and stop by our little town of Battle Ground, WA. I think you will have a grand ole' time checking out all the wonderful treasures and maybe get to stop a smell the weeds. Uh, I mean beautiful road side flowers picked by my little treasure, Lauren, just for me!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Television Wisdom Wednesday: Being Fit

From the Today show: 

Al Roker - "There's a saying that goes, 'Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.'"

Al said that this morning during a segment on people who had amazing weight loss stories. It made me think about a post I wrote up last year called, Why Being Thin does NOT equal Being Fit. I have never struggled, like Al and so many others, with my weight. But that does not mean I have always been fit. I would rephrase that quote to say, 
"Nothing tastes as good as being fit feels.
That I can get behind and I feel like it speaks to everyone in a more positive light. Because, like I said in my previous post, "Being fit is different than being thin. I want to be able to run after my child and not be completely winded. I want to go on hikes with my husband. I want to climb a small flight of stairs and not have sore, burning muscles afterwards." We all need to be more active. We all need to eat healthier. We all need to be telling ourselves that we are worth the effort!

Check out Fit2B Studio where they have wholesome works online for the whole family that you can do from the comfort of your home! And it is easy on the budget!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

(musings on) A Life Worth Giving - Part Two: Giving Generously, a Month Challenge!

So, Part Two: How do we take this God given grace and our joy-filled, thankful hearts and be more generous with our blessings?

Take a moment and think about YOU. Yes, think about you and the gifts God has given to you. What physical, relational, and/or spiritual gifts has God given you? What about the talents and passions you have? How can you take any and every thing God has given you and bless others with it? What has God given to you that makes your Life Worth Giving away? 

Psalms 139: 13-1413 

For you created my inmost being;

    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.

Me, well, I like to share knowledge that I have picked up along the way that might improve others lives in some way. I like to help, in what ever menial task I can. I like the detailed work others don't so much. I like to garden and cook. I like to throw parties. : ) I love bargain shopping. I don't like to see bad things happening to kids. 

Where do I go from here? How do I give back based on just that little bit about myself. Well, here are just some ideas but I am sure you can take these ideas and come up with so much more.......

  • Listen. Really listen to your kids' (or loved ones) stories
  • Coach          
  • Offer to watch a busy mom's kids
  • Do a family member's chore for them
  • Borrow a friends car and return it detailed and with a full tank of gas
  • Teach your favorite hobby to a child
  • Throw a birthday party for an underprivileged child (or adult) 
  • Donate games to a local senior citizen center 
  • Visit an elderly person
  • Donate blood
  • Weed a neighbor's yard
  • Buy a gift card and give it to someone you hardly know
  • Organize a block party
  • Bring a treat into your office for everyone to share
  • Give a big, genuine hug
  • Give a fresh flower bouquet to your favorite store clerk
  • Take a box of toys to a homeless shelter
  • Pay for a single mom to get a mani/pedi
  • Help a neighbor or friend build a garden box and teach them to grow their own veggies and fruits
  • Have a garage sale and donate all the money earned
  • Take dinner to a couple with a newborn
  • Buy lunch for a coworker
  • Volunteer at the hospital
  • Send an anonymous encouragement card to someone in the 'snail' mail
  • Turn off the t.v. and computer and phones and have a face to face conversation
  • Look up and smile to that person walking by. Maybe even say, "Hello!"
  • Say to all those you love, "I love you!"

Well, there you go! There is so much more you could do to live a generous life and give back with joy. And, you don't have to have a bunch of money to give generously. Many of the best gifts in life given and received cost nothing but your willingness to be open enough to give. So, here is my challenge to you. Take this list and whatever you have come up with to add to it and give once a week for the next month! Let's see how God works in us and through us. 

2 Corinthians 9: 6-7Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.