I (heart) Fall tag!

Hey everyone!  So I hardly ever do tags--I think I maybe did one a long, long time ago--but I saw this one on youtube and thought it looked like fun so I just turned it into a blog post.  Hope you enjoy it! 

1. Favorite fall lip product?
- Well, I don't wear any type of makeup...but I put chapstick on about once a day.  I love Softlips chapstick, especially the peach mango, although the vanilla is pretty good too.

2. Favorite fall activity?
- I've never had a fall activity that I was really partial to until I went apple picking with my family, and we had such a great time that I hope we can do it every fall!  That'd be awesome. :) I also really like going with my family up the mountain to see the trees turning, although we didn't get a chance to do that this fall.

3. Favorite Starbucks fall drink?
- I love the cinnamon dolce latte, but I really love that all year round too!  Another great fall drink, though, is the McDonalds caramel hot chocolate.  The first time they had it was last fall when I was working there, and I love it!  I've been waiting all year for fall so I could have one, and I got one yesterday; it was delicious!

4. Favorite fall candle?
- I honestly don't use candles.  I don't really have anywhere in my room where it would be safe to burn one, and I really hate how most candles smell.  Ellie's the candle burner. :)

5. Favorite fall scarf or accessory?
- I've been wearing this scarf a ton lately, so I guess I'd have to put it down as a favorite.

6. Haunted house, haunted hay ride, or haunted corn maze?
- I've never been to any of these, but I scare like there's no tomorrow, so I'd really prefer to not choose any of them.  I guess if I had to, I'd choose a haunted hay ride; that sounds like the safest option.

7. Favorite Halloween movie?
- I haven't really seen many, but I liked the first Scream movie.  After that they all just kind of rinse and repeat, but the first one was good.

8. Favorite candy to eat on Halloween?
- Basically anything chocolate, but my favorites are probably Reeses and the mini milk chocolate Hershey bars.

9. What are you dressing up as for Halloween?
- Um...nothing?  My professor said I'd get extra credit for coming to class dressed up, but I really can't think of anything very good.  I might just say I'm dressed up as a college student. :)

10. What is your favorite thing about fall?
- That's a tough one...I really just love everything about this season--the cooler temperatures, the changing leaves, pumpkin and cinnamony scented things, it's almost Christmas!!!  I just love fall. :)

hope and prayer

Hi everyone!  I wanted to kind of deviate from my regular posts and just bring up some things that I think we can all be praying for.

  • Obviously, the priority on everyone's mind right now is Hurricane Sandy and those affected by it.  Specifically, let's pray for the families of the people who have died, and also for the continued safety of everyone in harm's way because of limited electricity, flooding, high winds, etc.
  • I also wanted to bring up the deaths of two preschool children who were killed when their school bus crashed yesterday.  I can't imagine the grief that their families are feeling right now!  Also continue to pray for four other children who are in the hospital, as well as the driver of the bus, who must be dealing with some incredible guilt and grief right now.

I also wanted to post this video, which is Barlowgirl's last song ever as they have chosen to go in a different direction apart from the music industry.  I've loved listening to their music over the years, but I was so glad they put out one last song.


God is so good in how He always sovereignly works in our lives so perfectly.  I feel like He's really been teaching me to hope.  On the last day of 2010, I posted about how my "word" for 2011 was going to be "hope".  You can go there to read about why exactly I chose that, but I've continued to feel that God is teaching me to hope in Him, and not be afraid to have hopes and dreams for the future, because He'll do whatever's best.  Even if it sometimes doesn't feel like the best at the time, it will be the best.  Over this past week, the Lord has been bringing this thought to my mind again, and I just loved how perfectly this song fit in with what He's been teaching me.  His timing is amazing!

Anyway, I hope that this song encourages you and that you'll pray for those things which I've brought up in this post.  I'll be posting another 20 random posts "post" soon; talk to you then!


20 random posts : : 3 favorite recipes

(or recipes you'd like to try).  That would be my case.  I'm not afraid to say it: I hate cooking.  I just find it so frustrating--all the ingredients and the mess and the measurements.  It's kind of ironic that I worked at Glorieta all summer as a cook. :)

(as a side note and speaking of Glorieta, they're hiring for next summer!  So if you're a young college student or a 20-something who has next summer free, go apply here!)

Anyway, I don't like to cook.  I'm so glad Ellie does.  And, if nothing else, I do enjoy looking at recipes of delicious food...it's just the making it that causes a hiccup.

I considered just choosing all desserts, or soups, but I decided to just make this post like a meal.  Or, rather, two entrees and a dessert.  Enjoy!

I had saved these recipes a long time ago; don't ask me where I found the first and third ones!  The source for the second one is under the pic.  They all sound delicious!

Chicken-and-Avocado Soup with Fried Tortillas

3 ½ Tp. cooking oil
4 in. corn tortillas, halved and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
1 clove garlic
1 jalapeño chile, seeds and ribs removed
2 ripe avocados, preferably Haas, skin and pit removed
1 Tp. lime juice
¼ tsp. Tabasco sauce, plus more to taste
3 ½ cups water
1 ½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. fresh-ground black pepper
1 onion, chopped
3 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3), cut into approximately 1 ½-by-1/4-by-1/4-inch strips

In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately high heat.  Add the tortillas and cook, stirring frequently, until brown and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes.  Remove the tortillas from the pot and drain on paper towels.  In a blender, combine the garlic, jalapeño, avocados, lime juice, Tabasco, 1 ½ cups of the water, ½ teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper.  Puree until smooth.  Heat the remaining 1 ½ tablespoons oil in the pot over moderate heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the broth and the remaining 2 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer. Stir the chicken into the pot; cook until just done, 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the avocado puree. Heat through, about 2 minutes.  Serve the soup topped with the crisp tortilla strips.

I love avocado and chicken, so this recipe sounds amazing!  Maybe I'll actually attempt it. :)

Salmon and Vegetable Foil-Pack Dinners

1 lb. fresh or frozen skinless salmon, cod, or flounder fillets, about ¾ thick
2 cups thinly sliced fresh carrots
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
¼ cup sliced green onions
1 Tp. snipped fresh oregano or 1 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tsp. finely shredded orange peel
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
4 tsp. olive oil
2 medium oranges, thinly sliced
4 sprigs fresh oregano (optional)

Thaw fish, if frozen.  Rinse fish; pat dry with paper towels.  Cut into four serving-size pieces, if necessary.  Set aside.  In a small saucepan cook carrots, covered, in a small amount of boiling water for 2 minutes.  Drain and set aside.  Tear off four 24-inch pieces of 18-inch-wide heavy foil.  Fold each half to make four 18x12-inch pieces.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl combine carrots, mushrooms, green onion, oregano, garlic, orange peel, half of the salt, and half of the pepper; toss gently.  Divide vegetables among the four pieces of foil, placing vegetables in center of each piece.  Place on piece of salmon on top of each portion of vegetables.  Drizzle 1 tsp. of the oil over each piece of salmon. Sprinkle each with remaining salt and pepper; top with orange slices and, if desired, a sprig of oregano.  Bring together two opposite edges of foil and seal with a double fold.  Fold remaining ends to completely enclose the food, allowing space for steam to build. Place the foil packets in a single layer on a baking pan.  Bake for 30 minutes or until carrots are tender and fish begins to flake when tested with a fork.  Open packets carefully to allow steam to escape.  Transfer the packets to individual plates.

I tried something like this once, except there was chicken instead of salmon.  I was on a camping trip with my youth group, and for dinner one night we all had this.  It was amazing!  Great for camping--you can just put the foil packs over the campfire to cook.

Pumpkin Bread

2/3 cup butter
2 2/3 cups sugar
1 (16 oz. can) pumpkin
2/3 cup water
3 1/3 cup flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves

Cream butter and sugar.  Stir in eggs, pumpkin, and water. Mix in flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon & cloves.  Stir in nuts & raisins.  Pour batter into two (9x5x3) loaf pans.  Bake at 350 for 55-70 minutes.

I love pretty much anything pumpkin, so this is a recipe for me!  I think I'd replace the nuts and raisins with chocolate chips, though; that sounds so much better!


20 random posts : : top 10 favorite photo memories and why

This is number 8 in my 20 random posts series: top 10 favorite photo memories!  I've been really looking forward to this post.  It was really hard to narrow the pictures down; I only chose pics from about the last 5 years.  They are in chronological order.  Hope you enjoy!

*credit for this pic goes to Corey

This pic is from July 2010.  My youth group and I were on our way back from a mission trip to Denver, and one of the vans broke down.  We stopped at a gas station about an hour away from home to get the problem fixed, and while our leaders took care of it we all sat on the sidewalk and sang a bunch of worship songs.  It was a blast!  I appreciated the way we were able to turn a difficult situation into one of worship.

This pic is from August 2010.  My family and I went on vacation to Red River, NM, and I rode on a ski lift for the first time.  I was with Chloe and my dad, while Rachel and Ellie rode separately.  It was kind of stressful because I was so worried about Chloe falling off, but this is honestly one of my favorite memories ever; I loved riding on the ski lift.  It was so beautiful, and I can't wait to do it again!

This is my huge graduating class of...five, including myself.  This pic was taken in May 2011.  All the seniors from my church got together and we had a sort of photo shoot in ABQ so we could have some group pictures for our graduation video.  We had a blast!  It was so much fun to spend that time together before we all went our separate ways!

This pic was taken in June 2011.  This is a couple from my church that is very dear to me.  They made the decision to renew their vows, and it was hands down one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever attended.  This couple's faith and love for God was such a huge part of their wedding, and it was just beautiful to see!

In July 2011, I went to Regeneration with my youth group.  It was my last trip with them before my graduation, and was definitely one of the best.  We all bonded so much during that week, and I learned so much through the preaching of John MacArthur, Rick Holland, Andrew Guitierrez, and Austin Duncan.  Here's some of my posts about that week.

In August 2011, my family and I went to visit the Explora Museum in ABQ.  We found these awesome mirrors that distort your reflection, and we had a blast with them!  It was awesome. :)

My cousin got married in September 2011, and all my family on my dad's side came to ABQ for his wedding.  It was so great to see all of them.  This is a pic of my aunt's wedding ring; it's one of my favorite pics that I've ever taken.

In January 2012 Chloe turned six, and my family and I went to Chuck E. Cheese for her birthday.  I can't remember that I'd ever been before, and the games were so much fun!  This particular one was a war game; I had lots of fun defending my post, even if I did feel a bit silly.  We just had a great family day.

In May 2012, my mom and sisters and I went to visit my grandparents at their cattle ranch before Rachel and I went to Glorieta for the summer.  Ellie and I had quite an adventure; it was so much fun!

Two weeks ago my family and I went apple picking with my grandparents when we went to visit them for the weekend.  It was such a peaceful, relaxing day.  It wasn't even that we were having really meaningful conversations or anything (though I did talk a lot with Ellie that day about some great stuff), but it was more that we were just being together; nowhere else to go, nothing else to do, at least for that time.  It was great. :)


weekdate #017

1. On Tuesday of last week, I went to do my classroom observation.  They had a fire demonstration--fire trucks, lights, the works--so that was a lot of fun.

2. Also on Tuesday, I found an incredible song that I just can't stop listening to.  We sang it at the BSU meeting that night, and I went home to look it up.  Here it is--worship!!!

3. On Wednesday we went to the balloon fiesta.

4. Also on Wednesday I found out that I got a 97 on my anthropology midterm!!!  Yay!!!!!

5. On Saturday my family and I left to go visit my other set of grandparents, as well as some of my aunts and uncles, for the weekend.  We had such a great time seeing everyone!  We got back this afternoon.

6. I found another really good song this week too--"Christ is Risen" by Matt Maher.  Enjoy. :)



balloon fiesta '12

Last Wednesday, my family and I went to the ABQ balloon fiesta!  We weren't able to go last year, so I was so excited to go this year!  Hope you enjoy the pics. :)

* credit for all the pictures goes to Rachel

 That's my college's balloon in the bottom right!

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