Cupcakes and Sunshine: May 2018

Monday, May 28, 2018

13 Things I'm Thankful For This Week

I took some intentional rest time the past couple of weeks, and goodness I needed it. You know when you take a few days off and then all the tiredness hardcore hits you? My days have looked a little bit like that- restful and more still than usual. But also  full of friends, community, leaning in, and learning. Here are 13 things I'm thankful for lately:

1. This rustic Red, White, and Blue berry galette

If you are looking for a Memorial Day treat, this is it!

2. Encouraging friends. 

When I first moved to Texas, Community was my word of the year because simply put, I had very few friends.  I had previously come from a college town rich with community and many of my friends (who were more like family and walked with me through some tough tough times) now lived in different states. I was starting all over.

A new city, new job, new everything. But I prayed hard for community, and I'm still seeing the fruit of those prayers today. Another new everything season is approaching, but I'm thankful for these friends who are going to be nearby. Life is tough- you need your people.

3. These roommates.
 These are our last few weeks living together, so we've been soaking them in.

I can't imagine these past couple years without these encouraging ladies!

4. 4 and 5-way chats:

Our girl Meg is in Africa, and our community group has looked a little different. Even across the country and world, these girls pray for me, hold me accountable, encourage me, and love me so well. We laugh and we cry and we laugh until we cry. I've said it once and I'll say it again: life is tough- you need your people. These ladies point me to truth and Jesus. Thankful.

5. Love that Lasts
I thought this book was going to be a bit on the cheesy side based on its cover, but no, this book is a must read. I think anyone and everyone should skip right over the Amazon "add it to your cart" button and just press "buy now."

You know when the Lord sends you the exact right message that you need to hear at the exact right time? I needed this book. I'd let you borrow my copy, but I've written in all of the margins. It's an easy read, and I really think it could change your life. Up next on my list is Fervent.

6. Signature Sins

I've been walking through this book, and I finally finished it after a couple weeks. It is definitely more scholastic in writing style, and not what you'd consider an easy read due to content, but wow is it eye opening. It is required for a few seminary classes, but was not assigned to my class. A few friends suggested it, so I borrowed a copy and I've loved it. It's not your surface level book, it digs deep into "taming your wayward heart" and overcoming signature sins. I definitely suggest it.

7. I'm thankful for the best gluten-free cupcake I've ever had at Sprinkles.

Not only is it the best, but it has a "G" on it for gluten-free that looks very similar to a Georgia G. Go dawgs.

8. Emily Freeman The Next Right Thing Podcasts

The description line for these podcasts is, "If you're in a season of transition, waiting, general fogginess or if you've ever searched "how to make a decision" on the internet, listen in as best-selling author and host Emily P. Freeman helps create a little space for your soul to breathe so you can discern your next right thing in love." 

^Um, yes. These podcasts are encouraging and bring a lot of new perspective. 

9. Baby snuggles- lots of them.

Love this boy! 

10. Hand written notes: 
My sweet roommate Abby has written me encouraging notes all year long, and this one made me laugh....

 Chicken sausage, fab beat drops, and beauty trends. That just about sums things up- ha! (also #biotin is really great!)

11. On the "fab beat drops" note, here are some songs that I can't stop playing this summer: 

Say Hi by Codeko 

I Like Me Better by Lauv

In Too Deep by Loren North

Legend by The Score (is it too early to jump ahead to fall and football?)

Burn the House Down by AJR

Starting Fires by Disco Fries

Sticks and Stones by Cass

Feel Like by Andrey Azizov

Claustrophobia by 3Oh!3

Where the Love Goes by Anjulie

Would You Ever by Skrillex

Love you Like That by Dagny

Can't Get Enough by Cass

If you're wondering what else I'm listening to this summer, it's my Life Lately 2018 playlist. (& Sam Hunt's acoustic album)

12. and on the "beauty trends" note, Castor Oil is my new favorite thing. 

It has so many uses and is a great price. I have a lot of friends who spend hundreds on eyelash growth serums- castor oil is ~$10 and is the same thing. Rub a little on your eyelashes before going to sleep or rub it on your cuticles for soft skin and nails.

And well, as far as the chicken sausage goes- I suggest Trader Joe's and Applegate- ha!

13. Intentional Fringe Time: 
A few days ago at a work retreat, I was talking to my friend Emily about how years ago when I was a gymnast, our coach would tell us to make use of all of our "fringe" time- the little moments throughout the day that were just full of empty space.

In those fringe moments, our coach told us to do toe-raises, squats, push-ups, situps, etc. Those little moments where we'd replace our empty space with intentional small workouts would add up and make us stronger.

I've recently gotten rid of a lot of social media because I've realized I've been filling my empty space with Snapchat, Instagram, and other unintentional time consumers. I've been more intentional in filling my time with quiet time, encouraging podcasts, and creative outlets, and it's changed my heart in a lot of ways.

Happy Memorial Day, friends. Enjoy time with your people, rest, and soak it in! hug big, pray bigger.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Rustic Red, White, and Blue Berry Galette

I had written out a "life lately" post and was going to make this Rustic Red, White, and Blue Berry Galette a small part of it, but then realized this recipe needed an entire post of its own. Also, I've been feeling a little anxious lately, and usually some quiet time with the Lord and some baking do a lot of help.

Nothing says summer like sweet berries! Some of my very favorite memories are of picking wild blackberries in Florida, fresh strawberries in Georgia, and ripe blueberries in South Carolina.


So I thought I'd mix them all together, and kick off summer with a rustic galette right here in Dallas, Texas for Memorial Day weekend.

Rustic: constructed or made in a plain and simple fashion, in particular.

Rustic: how I've been trying to live life lately- slow mornings, lots of coffee, real phone calls instead of texts, an actual alarm clock instead of a phone, lots of books, deleted snapchat, watch-free weekends, long walks, limited social media. Life is a lot better rustic.


Also, nothing has me reminiscing on the past more than summer holidays. A little reminiscing helps ease some anxiousness too.

Firstly, you will want to make your dough ahead of time. It will need to be refrigerated 2+ hours before baking. This will make your dough easier to roll out and will cut down on any shrinking that happens during the baking process. 

Be sure if you are using frozen berries, to pour off excess juice-- soggy galettes aren't as great. 

Mixing your berries with a little bit of cornstarch will allow your galette to better hold its shape once baked. If you have extra berries, sugar, and cornstarch, you can reserve and save for pancakes.  :) 

Some galette recipes do not call for it, but corn meal is very important and makes for an even more rustic pastry. 

And old fashioned vanilla bean ice-cream is a must! Must have vanilla specks. 

Thankful for those who have served and are serving our country. Happy Memorial weekend, friends! 

Rustic Red, White, and Blue Berry Galette
Dough Ingredients: 
1 cup of flour
1/4 cup of corn meal 
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tsp. salt 
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup ice cold water
7 Tbs. butter

Berry Filling: 
2 cups berries (I used both fresh and frozen) 
1 Tbs. cornstarch
1 Tbs. sugar

1. Mix first 4 dry ingredients. Add cold, cubed butter and mix with a fork until dough is crumbly. 
2. Add yogurt and water slowly. Press together until dough forms. 
3. Roll into a ball and refrigerate 2+ hours. 
4. While dough is chilling, mix berries, cornstarch, and sugar. Allow to sit at least 15 minutes to allow cornstarch to rest with the berries. 
5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
6. Roll out chilled dough onto a large baking pan. Fill with berries and wrap edges around the berry filling. (this doesn't have to be perfect- the more rustic, the better!) 
7. You can brush edges of dough with egg wash if you desire, and place in oven for 35-40 minutes until dough is golden brown. 

Top with old fashioned vanilla bean ice-cream, and enjoy. 

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6


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