Thursday, January 29, 2015

recipe | healthier banana muffins

These muffins are healthier than normal because there is no butter/oil in the recipe and the sugar
is reduced, adding applesauce (no sugar added), which adds natural sweetness and moisture.
They turned out so good... great flavor and texture. And I figured out the calories using and each muffin comes in at 81 calories, which makes them even better! 
I will definitely be making this recipe often when I have ripe bananas in the kitchen.

Recipe: Healthier Banana Muffins

2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg 
1/4 cup applesauce (no sugar added)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
In a large mixing bowl, combine mashed bananas, sugar, applesauce, egg and vanilla until it is well mixed. In a small bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and mix into the banana mixture until all is evenly combined, do not over mix. Pour the batter into greased muffin tins, approximately 2/3 full. Sprinkle the tops of each muffin with a little bit of brown sugar and oats, if you’d like. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

... a perfect breakfast, with a cup of tea!!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

recipe | pumpkin cobbler cake

I meant to share this post around Thanksgiving/Christmas time, because it is an excellent and
easy dessert for the holidays. Unfortunately I got a bit behind on my blog... BUT it's never too
late to share a great pumpkin recipe. And I am sure I will make it again this winter, because
I love pumpkin desserts and this is a really good one!

Recipe: Pumpkin Cobbler Cake

1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
1 can (10 oz.) evaporated milk
¾ cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 box yellow cake mix
2 sticks butter, melted
1 cup chopped pecans
½ cup toffee bits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 inch cake pan.
In a large bowl combine the pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, sugar, eggs and spices.
Whisk until combined.
Pour the pumpkin mixture into your buttered pan.
Evenly spread the yellow cake mix over the top of the pumpkin.
Sprinkle the chopped pecans & toffee bits over the cake mix.
Drizzle the melted butter evenly over the top.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the center is set. 
Chill before serving and top with whipped cream… so yummy! 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

inspiration | magnolia homes

Chip and Joanna Gaines' HGTV show, Fixer Upper, is currently my favorite. They are amazing!
I loved seeing the houses they renovated for the first season and I am so excited for the second
 season to begin tonight!! They completely transform houses that are old, outdated or falling apart
to become fresh and beautiful again. That is so inspiring to me. Also, Joanna's design style is my
 favorite. She uses fresh colors (often white) and a lot of unique and rustic details.

Some of these photos are of their own restored farmhouse and some are from houses that were
 featured in the first season of Fixer Upper.

Visit their WEBSITE to see more from the first season of Fixer Upper and much more...
They even have a SHOP where they sell some of the items seen in their houses.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

word for 2015 | s h i n e

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I am always so excited for a new year, that feeling of a fresh start.

Of course, there are plenty of little goals swirling around in my head right now and I am sure even more will come to mind over then next several days, but instead of sharing those scatter-brained thoughts, I am just going to share the "theme" I've chosen to focus on for this new year. I always love to choose a broad theme that can be a central focus as I make goals & plans throughout the year. As I choose, I always try to think about what the LORD has been teaching me, mostly through His Word. That way, I am choosing something meaningful for me yet basic enough to focus on through all of lives unknowns... So, each new year I choose a word and Bible verse to focus on!

My word for 2015 is  S H I N E

I am a lover of light. I love the way the sun during golden hour makes all things shine. As a photographer, particularly of things in nature, light is everything. It is the most important element in all of my photography and it always inspires me. I guess that would have been reason enough to choose "shine" as my word for 2015. But it goes even deeper than taking a pretty photo... I really decided to choose this word because of several Bible verses that were coming to mind over the past several days and months even. It kind of started back when I designed this print. Anyway, there are so many great verses with the words "shine" or "light" that it was hard to choose which verse I was going to chose to be my focus verse. So really I am going to be meditating on and memorizing several of them over this year.

My verse for 2015 is  J O H N  8:12
{Jesus said} “I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.”

My main goal this year is to believe Him on a deeper level... To deeply believe that He is a great and mighty God and that He is able to do far more than I can imagine. Naturally I am an introvert, which I don’t think is all bad, but I think I have often allowed it to make me more fearful and timid than He wants me to be. BUT Jesus came to this earth and conquered death, so I can have great hope in Him.

I have His light in me, so I am called to SHINE for Him.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

the Light of the world...

J E S U S ...
He came to us, for us, even in our sin. He came to this lowly place to live as we live, yet without sin, to take our sin upon Himself. He came to save us and give us hope. He is the Giver and the Gift. And the gift of His Love never fades, even when the Christmas lights do. He is the Light of the world always...

(Listened to this song a lot this Christmas season!)

I  hope  you  all  had  a  very
M E R R Y   C H R I S T M A S !

(And here are some photos from last week, when I woke up to a glorious combination of snow, fog and sun...)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

a little bit of my Christmas...

Here are a few photos from this Christmas season, that I meant to post earlier... But here I am, sharing them late on Christmas Eve instead... this season always goes by too fast!! 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

thoughts | walking in gratitude

|  The verse above is I Thessalonians 5:18  |

I can't believe Thanksgiving is next week! Of course I love Thanksgiving for the great food and family time, but the days leading up to it are my favorite because they remind me to focus on giving thanks everyday, in all things! I love being reminded of the Lord's constant goodness, no matter what other things are consuming my mind... That always brings gratitude and joy!!

I am currently trying to catch-up on the She Reads Truth plan, "In Everything Give Thanks"...
I am a few days late getting into it, but better late than never.
From Day One... I loved this quote, "His will is not as much a path as it is a way of walking." 
It's a beautiful quote and it goes great with the theme of giving thanks in all things, because it is about being thankful along the journey. By choosing to walk in gratitude daily, we find joy! If we walk in His ways daily, we will constantly find things to be thankful for in all of life's circumstances. And  even on the worst days we can know that He is still on our side, fighting for us. That is the one thing that we can ALWAYS count on and be thankful for. He is good, in everything, all the time. I always want to walk though life being thankful and giving Him the glory in all things.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

photography | fall in the mountains, part two

Back in early October, my mom, sister and I went to the mountains to see some of the fall leaves. This is probably one of my favorite autumn traditions, because I don't know if there is anything prettier on this earth than fall in the mountains. After hiking by an old barn and some grazing horses (see part one of this trip here), we decided to make our way to a little lake that we have been to many times before.
I was glad we did, because it
 looked especially pretty in the fall setting. As we walked around the lake, we decided to go off the trail a bit, so we could be standing right in the middle of a group of bright yellow aspen trees. The feeling of standing in middle of those trees was magical, I really didn't want to leave. I guess these pictures will always remind me of that feeling!