27 February 2012

bright & pretty

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mondays call for a good dose of something bright & pretty
a reminder that spring is just around the corner
i hope that your week is peaceful & rewarding

speaking of pretty
did you watch the oscars last night?
of course, the little girl in me loves the cinderella portion of the evening
but, it's exciting to see the entertainment world gather to applaud each other's performances
there were many fine films that we've enjoyed over the past year
creatively, they have persevered & pursued a dream
awards aside, they all deserve applause

if you're interested, i've archived photographs of these leading ladies who looked stunning, last night

another pretty thing
these printable floral tags are a wonderful reference if you're tying a bow to a special package

other news (yes, i'm bubbling over with anticipation!) :
in just over two weeks, sweet praises will be live
a labor of love that i've spent many days & nights dreaming about
the countdown is on, friends!

this will be the home for news, inspiration & musings
stay tuned!

.....

i'll leave you with a piece from a wise man who inspires me every morning, Chuck Swindoll:

"Riches certainly make themselves wings," writes Solomon, "they fly away as an eagle toward heaven" (Proverbs 23:5 KJV). 
And fame is as fickle as the last response from the crowd. 
Learn a dual lesson from this fine man who had wisdom far beyond most of us. 
When you're praised and applauded, don't pay any attention. 
And when you're rejected and abused, don't quit. 
It wasn't human opinion that called you into the work you're doing. 
So don't let human responses or criticisms get you sidetracked.
 Keep going.

26 February 2012

happy sunday from the park!

24 February 2012

sister & watermelon



sending love to my dear sister; happiest birthday wishes, to you!
may this next year be filled with joy!

..

lovely finds from this week:
wayfare - a brand new publication celebrating the art of the journey 
these delightful globes created by Wendy Gold from ImagineNations
&
this dreamscape mural designed by rebekah maysles
such talented women with brilliant ideas!

..

have a blessed weekend, friends!

23 February 2012

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glancing at my calendar, i realized, it's thursday!
how does that happen, my friends?

so, i leave you with this very brief encouraging Word
brought to you from where else, but, pinterest?
sometimes you read something that suits the moment, perfectly

i've challenged myself to slow down & simplify this Lenten season
(a challenging practice, oh my)

let's just say, i'm thankful for the redeeming grace of our Savior
for without Him, i would be utterly lost in all that i do

22 February 2012

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and so, today marks the first day of Lent
a time to prayerfully reflect
a season to grow deeper in our relationship with Christ


we attended a service at redeemer over the weekend
lovely!
i've decided to add this perfect little addition to my morning routine
join me?

21 February 2012

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"Only you and the Lord know the condition of your heart. Is it soft and pliable clay, ready to be molded and shaped by the Master sculptor? Or has it hardened into brittle and fragile pottery from years of faithless living? You know exactly what God is asking you to do. It may be well beyond the boundaries of logic and far outside your comfort zone. You may even have a few friends telling you what you believe He's asking you to do is wrong, completely wrong. 
Still, His leading is clear. 
Only one thing is needed: say yes, Lord, yes."
- Chuck Swindoll

20 February 2012

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happy happy presidents' day!

i hope this day is a special one, for you! 
a favorite from mr. washington, one our brilliant founders:

"It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible."

17 February 2012

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thankful for another sunny day in the east
it's hard to believe that it's winter with days like this

we're coasting into the weekend with tired minds
sometimes, that's what friday brings

we hope to do a little museum exploring again this weekend
such a source of inspiration

&
take a few long walks
a must after our indulgent pizza pie, last night
arturo's is such a treat!

highlights from this week, included:

browsing the pictures from fashion week
color, color!
if it interests you, i've archived a few of my favorite selections on pinterest
now, we just have to wait for fall to arrive!

this print
love!

a coffee date with a dear friend at dominique ansel .. bakeries make me so happy

&
our spontaneous thanksgiving dinner .. mid-week
there's no doubt that food is of central importance in our home

i hope that your weekend is filled with fun!

16 February 2012

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i always find a great deal of inspiration 
from the writings of a.w. tozer
simply brilliant

my favorite for today is this

--

rules for self discovery:

1. what we want most;

2. what we think about most;

3. how we use our money;

4. what we do with our leisure time;

5. the company we enjoy;

6. who and what we admire;

7. what we laugh at.

15 February 2012

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we're still recovering from a good dose of german chocolate
this recipe is divine
i must confess,
a spoonful (or two) of frosting has been a treat with my coffee for the last few mornings
oh my!

--

German Chocolate Cake with Coconut Frosting
courtesy of Trisha Yearwood, 
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(serves 12)

lovely ingredients:

4 ounces sweet dark chocolate
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1/4 cup warm milk
2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 medium egg whites
2 cups sugar
5 medium egg yolks, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk, well shaken

coconut frosting:

1 cup sugar
4 medium egg yolks
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 ounces fresh or frozen and thawed grated coconut
1 1/2 cups finely ground pecans, walnuts, or almonds

directions: 

preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

prepare the chocolate by melting it in the top of a double boiler, stirring until it is smooth. 
add 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of the butter and stir until it is melted/blended. 
add 1/4 cup of warm milk and stir until smooth. 
set the chocolate aside to cool.

line the bottoms only of 3 9-inch cake pans with circles of parchment paper,
or grease each pan bottom only with solid shortening and dust lightly with flour. 
sift together the sifted/measured flour, baking soda, and salt.

whip the egg whites until stiff using the wire beater of the mixer.
transfer the beaten whites to a separate bowl and set aside.

in the mixer bowl, cream the remaining 1 1/2 sticks of butter and sugar until fluffy. 
add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.
add the melted, cooled chocolate and the vanilla. 
mix well.

with the mixer on very low, stir in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk.
do this by adding about a third of the flour and slowly stirring it in completely. 
then add about half the buttermilk and stir it in. 
continue adding flour and buttermilk in this manner, ending with flour. 
with a long-handled spoon or spatula, fold and stir the beaten egg whites into the batter until the batter is smooth with no visible clumps or whites.

divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. 
bake on the middle rack of the oven, allowing at least 1/4 inch clearance between the pans and the oven walls. the cake will rise above the pan edges as it bakes but will not spill over and will settle as it continues to bake. the cake is done when it begins to pull away from the sides of the pans and springs back to a light touch. 
cool layers in the pans for about 8 minutes.

run a knife around the edges of the pan and turn the layers out onto wire racks that have been sprayed with cooking spray. 
let cool completely before frosting.

to make the frosting, combine the sugar, egg yolks, and evaporated milk in the top of a double boiler. stir with a wire whisk until the yolks are fully incorporated. 
add the butter.
place over simmering water and bring to a boil (see note).
simmer for 12 - 15 minutes longer, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens.
add the vanilla, coconut, and nuts. cool.

note: makes more than enough to frost 2 9-inch cake layers. leftover frosting can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, rewarmed, and used to frost brownies or cupcakes.

14 February 2012

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reflecting on,
Psalm 63

"because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you." 

love has different languages.
He meets us where we are & speaks every language of love ..
the highs, the lows, the second chances, the mistakes, the fun, the hugs. 

may your day be filled to the brim with love!



13 February 2012

grilled cheese, a cup of soup & a trip to the metropolitan museum of art

the building itself is peacefully perfect
yesterday, we spent the afternoon in the new american wing
 remarkable 
30,000-square-feet of patriotism at its finest
25 airy galleries
beautifully done

my personal favorite is pictured below
Washington Crossing the Delaware
a statement piece - strong, bold 
after a two-year restoration, this piece will leave you speechless!






Washington Crossing the Deleware, 1851





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we're looking forward to the start of the westminster this eve
we will be cheering for the wire fox, eira
(of course!)
she captured "best in show" at the national dog show over thanksgiving
if this prized pretty wins, 
she will become the third dog ever to win both championships in the same season 
i think austin's smitten!

10 February 2012

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take us away, weekend!

we've had a last minute change of plans 
which has left us with a 
weekend sans travel
(well, "travel" via plane)

so, i plan on surprising my other half with a little adventure
hooray!

some of my favorite finds, this week:

it's fashion week here, and this is the blog to note - stunning photographs
with all of this talk about love, i just might bake a cake
perhaps, this one?
or pen a letter to the people i love
mr. boddington's studio has the loveliest options
&
if you have a love for gardening, take a peek at 66 square feet
a couple in the city who embrace their small, quaint terrace year round

but,
this piece of wisdom i have found particularly encouraging this week
(if you're looking for a great daily devotional - Insight for Today, Chuck Swindoll - it's the best!)

What we need today is not smarter people or busier people. A far greater need is deeper people. Deep people will always have a ministry. Always. God deepens us through time spent waiting on Him. 

When God finally chooses to use us, it comes at a time least expected, when we feel least qualified. That makes us effective. The perfect set-up for a long-lasting, effective ministry begins with surprise. "Me? You sure you don't want that other person? She's got great qualifications and obvious gifts. You may want to talk to her." 

That's the idea. It's refreshing, in this highly efficient age, to find a few who are still amazed at the way God is using them.

amen.

06 February 2012

03 February 2012

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quiet weekend ahead!

i've arranged for a distraction free work space
a little catch up saturday is just what the doctor ordered!

a few finds that i've adored this week:

i look forward to turning the last page of this story about marriage, family, and forgiveness
so inspired by this
& this puppy bow tie from rover boutique is just darling
(this mommy is a little obsessed with bow ties for the pup)

happy happy friday to you!

02 February 2012

a little thursday inspiration






New York City from Tory's perspective in A Love Letter to New York
her collaboration with filmmaker Tabitha Denholm and producers Randall Post & Gelya Robb.

"New York is about surprises .. and newness .. and evolution."
- Tory Burch

01 February 2012

february 1

a pretty way to reflect on a new month
all things blush

 above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.
Colossians 3:14
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