Archive for ‘Random Rambles’

June 23, 2011

Random thoughts for your Thursday

I’m really, really sad that I’ve been such a terrible blogger as of late.  I’ve got a lot of blogs in the draft stage, but I’ve come to a halt on most of them and need some fresh inspiration.  Prayers appreciated! :)

In the meantime, here are some random thoughts for your Thursday:

  • I’m quite certain I could live off a steady diet of hummus and guacamole.
  • I’m late to the show, but Greek yogurt is crazy-good.
  • I got stuck on 95 North approaching the George Washington Bridge for over 4 hours Saturday night/Sunday morning.  A trip that should’ve taken Leah and I 35 mins took over 5 hours.  How is that real life?
  • Before getting stuck in traffic, I enjoyed seeing DISPATCH perform live at the Red Bull Arena in New Jersey.  I have to be honest, I only knew a song or two prior to the show, but those are some talented guys!
  • I’ve been thinking a lot this morning about how quick we are to apologize for God’s character, and how often we’d rather change Him than to change ourselves… but He’s perfect!  May we seek, by His grace, to be more like HIM instead of trying to make Him more like us.
  • My sweet friend Kathryn will be here in 8 days.  I can’t wait to see her!
  • This weekend I’ll be in Vermont with my boyfriend, Adam.  He’ll be meeting lots of family members, including mom and dad, for the first time.  I’m not worried about it at all… they’re going to love him!
  • I’m seeing Owl City tonight.  I have a feeling I’ll be standing in a sea of 16-year-olds.
  • Adam and I are probably going to Ethiopia at the end of this year.  Please keep us in prayer!

Lastly, remember my friend Kat who is spending the summer in Ethiopia? Well, she’s there!  Keep up-to-date by visiting her blog:  Visit the “Kitty in the City” section to read about her time in Ethiopia.  I love hearing about her adventures and feel like a part of me is there with her.  Keep her in your prayers, friends!

May 17, 2011

A Quick Hello

To the few of you who faithfully read my blog (Hi mom!), I wanted to let you know that I am, indeed, alive.  My blog game has been pretty weak lately.  I’m still trying to figure out my niche, or if I even have one.  I haven’t done a post relating to cooking or baking in way too long.  Probably because I tend to bake the same things over and over again.  Perhaps it’s time to add some variety.  After all, variety is the spice of life, right?

In the meantime, check out this 5 minute documentary entitled “The City of Addis”.  It captures the city and its people so well, in my opinion.  The four ministries showcased are not ones I was previously familiar with, but I love what they’re doing and I hope to be able to connect with them on future trips.

The City of Addis – A short documentary from Session 7 Media on Vimeo.

February 2, 2011

Those faces…

I can’t even look at a photo of an Ethiopian child without my heart nearly bursting out of my chest and my eyes welling up with tears.

Is this normal?

In other news, my new books arrived in the mail today!  Where do I begin?

September 16, 2010

A confession.

I have a confession to make.

I’m a planner.  I’ve never been good at spontaneous, although sometimes it’s a lot of fun.  But it’s just not “me”.

I think I get it from my mom.  She’s one of the most together, organized and on-top-of-things people I know, and I’m thankful for the qualities she’s instilled in me.  I think planning ahead is good, but flexibility is equally as important.  I’m learning that it’s important to know where to draw the line with planning ahead.  For instance, I can’t map my life out as the pretty little picture I think is best.  First off, it’s not going to go the way I planned it.  And second, even if I could have it my way, there’s a better way… There’s God’s way.

I have great expectations, and while that can be good, my expectations should simply be the faith and belief that God will do great things in my life for His glory.  My expectations should not be my own plans and how I want them to play out.  I’ve tried that time and again and it always ends with disappointment.  My expectations have boundaries, but with God, there are no boundaries.  My focus has been on all the peripheral things and trying to fit them neatly into my life.  If my focus is on Jesus, those peripheral things frustrate me less, they worry me less, and I end up enjoying them more because they don’t make or break me.

I mean, after all, Jesus said, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).  Does this mean seek Him so that you can get the things that you want? Absolutely not.  We are to seek Him for… HIM!  Jesus is the treasure and the reward.  If we have Him and nothing else, we should not only be content, but full of joy.

May we treasure Jesus today and may we continue to grow in our love for Him, confidently proclaiming that no matter where He leads and no matter what our circumstances, He is good, He is loving, and He is forever worthy of our praise and adoration.

But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.  More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.  Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Phillipians 3:7-14

note: I always start these posts thinking they’re heading one way and they end up elsewhere… hope you’re bearing with me ;)

May 14, 2010

What's cookin', good lookin'?

Forgive me for the cheesy title to this blog post.  It’s early, and these things are still funny to me.  Okay, fine, you caught me… I always think cheesy things are funny, 7:30am and any other time of day.

I believe it’s been a while since I made you all hungry by writing about my recent adventures in the kitchen.  I’m not sure how many photos I have to truly taunt you with (you’re welcome!), but I do have some… Including some glamor shots of the LEMON RICOTTA PANCAKES I made last Saturday.

I suppose I’ll start by telling you about those…

There’s this great brunch spot in the city called Sarabeth’s.  It came highly recommended and if you know me at all, you know I love a good pancake.  Breakfast/brunch foods in general bring me much joy.  I think this is the case for two reasons: 1. Breakfast foods are delicious (it’s that simple); and 2. As a kid, my parents used to make a big breakfast on the weekends. Sometimes it was Dad making french toast, other times Mom making monkey bread. Either way, I just remember the huge spread on the dining room table, complete with real Vermont maple syrup (for which there is NO SUBSTITUTE), and eating breakfast together as a family or with friends after a sleepover.  Brunch just brings me back to those happy memories and makes me feel like a kid again.  I often say I wish I could be five again.  A much simpler time, and I was also a little peanut (seriously, I was adorable… and I’ve got pictures to prove it.)


Anyway, back to Sarabeth’s… so not only was their restaurant on the Upper West Side quaint and the outdoor seating lovely, but I got these pancakes… these delicious, sweet, creamy (and did I mention DELICIOUS?) pancakes: Lemon Ricotta Pancakes.  Now, while I anticipated them to be good, I have to admit, I was still a bit unsure.  I mean, does liquid gold (real maple syrup) go well with lemon ricotta pancakes?  Because, as a Vermonter, I can’t NOT use maple syrup… it’s an egregious sin.  Well, here’s the verdict on these pancakes:

  1. Delicious (because I think I forgot to mention that before… Oh, I said it twice already?)
  2. They taste like lemon poppy seed muffins turned pancakes and sans poppy seeds
  3. The texture is really light and creamy and fantastic
  4. They taste amazing WITH maple syrup or without (but as I mentioned, the maple syrup is a must for me)
  5. If I was a guy and Sarabeth was a real girl and not a restaurant, I would propose

Alright, that last one was awkward… but I dare you to try these pancakes and disagree.

After trying these amazing pancakes, of course my first thought was: How can I recreate these at home? So, I went on a little search for a recipe.  I found one on my favorite community-based recipe site, Tasty Kitchen, and decided I would start there.  I’ve also bookmarked several other recipes that vary, be it using more ricotta, less flour, etc.  I’ll be trying a new one either tonight or tomorrow morning and will continue to search the whole wide world until I find the recipe that creates the most Sarabeth-like lemon ricotta pancake.

Here’s a look at the pancakes I made (click here for the recipe):

Told  you it was a glamor shot…

These pancakes were, taste-wise, on the mark.  Super yummy.  In terms of texture, though, they were a bit fluffier than the Sarabeth’s version.  I’d like to get that creamy texture and think that the recipes that call for less flour and a bit more ricotta will definitely achieve that.  I’ll certainly keep you posted.  However, if you like a fluffier pancake, the recipe linked above is worth trying.  My roommate Anna said they were the best pancakes she’s ever had, so you can’t argue with that!

Next on the list are cookies I’ve made a few times before, but I think are probably the best cookie recipe I’ve found to date. Nothing too crazy: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip.  I love cookies with oatmeal but raisins ruin everything.  It’s funny because I love a good Raisinet, I really do… but start throwing raisins in cakes and cookies and I start throwing a fit.  I’m sorry, I don’t know why, but it can’t be stopped.  Carrot cake? Love it. Carrot cake with raisins? Don’t you dare.

I’ve gone a long way to tell you that this is why I love Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies… they’ve got everything good going for them.  The oatmeal, chocolate chips, and don’t forget the pinch of cinnamon that gives ’em that little something extra… And this recipe I’ve been using is nearly perfect in my opinion.  When I first made it I thought the amount of oatmeal was a little absurd, but really, I just love everything about these delightful cookies.  And you can verify all of this information one of two ways: 1. Make them yourself; or 2. Ask the friends I’ve made them for.

Hopefully I’ll have some more delicious recipes for you to try out in the near future.  I really need to find some taste-testers to keep on hand.  Is that what getting married and having kids is for?  Sign me up!

April 3, 2010

a beautiful day.

I started yesterday morning with pancakes from scratch, scrambled eggs, an apple and a yummy cup of coffee from the french press.  I can think of no better way to start a day off.

I headed into Central Park early in the afternoon and spent some time reading my Bible and listening to music at my favorite spot.  It’s right on the lake and I love the view.

Central Park

After some good alone time, I met up with my roommate Anna and friend Jessey for some coffee at Aroma, the spot that Tori introduced Amber and I to last week.  Seriously, the coffee is so yummy, and so was the sandwich I got- mozzarella, tomato and basil with balsamic vinegar on fresh baked whole wheat bread.  Are you kidding?! Delicious.

Aroma Coffee

At 7pm, Anna and I went to the Good Friday service at Redeemer on the Upper West Side.  I’d been to Redeemer once before for a Sunday service, and Anna’s really been wanting to go, so we went!

Good Friday is such a beautiful reminder of what Jesus did for us on the cross.  I was thinking yesterday about how grateful I am to know that it doesn’t end there.  I would encourage you to go pick up your Bible and read the accounts of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.  Let’s not forget what Good Friday and Easter are truly about- our crucified Savior and our risen King.

“…and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.” 1 Peter 2:23,24

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1-3

March 31, 2010

girls night!

I’ve been a part of Pastor Mike Doyle’s Tuesday night Bible study since July of last year.  I feel like I’ve grown a lot in my time there and have really met some amazing people.  Finally, after a lot of talking about it, us girls got together for dinner and fellowship on Saturday night.  We probably had too much fun.  I made lasagna, Tara brought salad, and Amber…. Amber brought the bread from Balthazar and the cupcakes from Crumbs.  This is just one of the many reasons we love Amber.  We ate, Tori played the guitar and we sang worship songs, and we talked. A lot. (Hey, we’re girls… it’s just what we DO, okay?)  We decided that it’s going to be a monthly thing and frankly, we can’t wait till next month! (Mark your calendars, ladies: APRIL 24!)

Sunday Tori accompanied me to church, Amber went to her church and the three of us met up afterwards for more quality time.  We got lunch at Chipotle in Union Square, headed back out to Queens to grab the guitar, headed to midtown east for Aroma Coffee (you’ve gotta try it) and finally, we ended the evening with Sunday night prayer & worship.  Our prayer meetings are always a really refreshing time and a great way to wrap up the weekend and head into a new week at work.

This week is already coming to a close, which is hard to believe.  Tomorrow is “fake Friday” for me at work, as we have Good Friday off.  I’m thinking I’ll spend some time in Central Park, as it’s supposed to be a beautiful day on Friday.  Then I’ll head to a church service, but I still haven’t decided on where… Hopefully I’ll have another post for you by the end of the weekend.

For now, though, let’s talk lasagna.  The recipe I made can be found HERE.  It’s delicious.  Seriously.  Some photos to prove it to ya:

Needless to say, there are no leftovers. :)  And those cupcakes I told you about? Well, we made sure everyone got to try as many flavors as they wanted:

And a few more photos from the evening:

(I understand that photo of Amber & I is a little awkward… okay, a lot awkward. But I love it.)

I leave you with this:  that lasagna recipe makes a decent amount of extra sauce.  Today, I came home, sliced & halved some zucchini, sauteed it in a bit of olive oil, added some leftover sauce, mixed with whole wheat penna rigate… and VOILA! Dinner:

March 25, 2010

don't forget haiti.

I follow a girl on Twitter that I don’t know, but she’s in Haiti right now.  I’ve been following her updates since just after the earthquake.  I’m not sure if she was there for the actual earthquake or not.  Anyway, the details aren’t important for this post.  She said something last night that really had me feeling convicted and sad.  It was such a small phrase but I feel like it carries a lot of weight:

“goodnight world don’t forget haiti.”

Isn’t it sad how quickly we move on?  If we’re being honest, how often have we been thinking about Haiti and praying for the people and those who are serving them?  I will admit that, for me, the answer is not often.  I hope that changes.

Join me in remembering Haiti after the news crews have left and the world has seemingly moved on.  Let’s pray for healing and hope and strength.  Let’s pray that the world doesn’t walk away, that WE don’t walk away.

Also, if you can, please consider giving to Compassion International’s Haiti Earthquake Response Fund.  The organization is trustworthy and they’re doing a lot of great work in Haiti and throughout the world.

Whatever you do, however you participate, let’s not forget Haiti.

“The rich and the poor have a common bond, the LORD is the maker of them all.” Proverbs 22:2

March 24, 2010

when you wish upon a star…

Since my last post I have traveled to Orlando, Florida and back on a brief vacation.  Eileen moved down there in September so I wanted to go visit her, as well as my friend Kori.  It was so good to spend time with Eileen and see the life that she has down south.

On Friday, Eileen’s parents and her aunt (who were staying in Cocoa Beach) came to pick us up and we all headed to Tampa for a Yankees spring training game.  Those of you who know me know that I love those pinstriped baseball players!  They beat the Tigers 6-2 and I was excited to see A-Rod’s first homer of spring training and to see Mariano Rivera pitch.

My boys!

Best friends

On Saturday we got up bright and early to meet Kori and head to the Disney parks!  We started out at Hollywood Studios at 9am, then to Animal Kingdom, followed by Epcot and finishing it off with Magic Kingdom… where we stayed until midnight!

Needless to say, it was a LONG, LONG day.  But we had SO much fun and I felt like a kid again! :)  The weather on Saturday was absolutely fantastic. Sunny and about 80!  Unfortunately, the rest of my time there was a bit cloudy and cool.  Nonetheless, it was good to be away from the city and to relax for a few days.  Eileen and I got to spend a lot of quality time together and I think that’s something we both really miss!  It’s just not the same over the phone or through emails and IM.

Now I’m happily back in New York.  Today was a beautiful day although I think there’s a lot of those spring showers in our future.  I’m so looking forward to warm and sunny days in Central Park, wandering aimlessly and finding new little spots to sit and read a book.

This coming Saturday I’m having girls night at my place and cooking lasagna for friends.  I’ll be sure to post the recipe and pictures for ya!  I’m so thankful for the kind and encouraging friends the Lord has blessed me with here in the city.  It’s nice to step away from our busy lives for a bit and spend quality time together.

Hope you’re all enjoying the spring-like weather!

March 14, 2010

I'm in love!

With New York City, of course, and the signs that spring is indeed on its way.

This past week at work was a bit less intense than the one before, and boy am I thankful for that.  The weekend seemed to come fairly quickly.  On Tuesday night we watched an amazing message from Jim Cymbala about prayer.  You can find the video here and I encourage you to watch it.  After watching it I felt like I’d been beaten up… but in the best way.  I came home and couldn’t wait to share with my roommates how great study had been and how excited I was about what God can and will do.

Of course that’s the moment my friend Gus-Gus (the mouse) decided to slink into my room and kill the mood.  Oh, Gus-Gus… where have you gone?  Hopefully you’re not living under my bed.

Wednesday I got to meet up with my dear, beautiful, wonderful friend Katy for coffee.  I hadn’t seen her since we graduated from Hofstra and it was so good to catch up.  I miss our talks and our time together.  Thankfully she brought her camera, so we got to take a pic together:

Yeah, I miss her a lot.

This coming Thursday I’m flying down to Orlando to stay with Eileen and see Kori!  I am so excited for some quality time with Eileen (who, whether we actually live together or not, will always be “Roomiehead” to me…)  I’m also not sad about the warm weather and sunshine.  And Disney World.  Is it weird that I’m excited to take pictures with Minnie, Mickey and the gang?

Oh, and by the way, that book I’m reading, BIG GOD?  Almost finished, and feeling so encouraged and excited.  Britt wrote in the front of the book, “Jesus is more wonderful than we ever imagined.”  This book is such a reminder of that.

“But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.” (Psalm 13: 5,6)