May 31, 2013


Have you ever looked back through your Instagram photos and been surprised? I just saw another blogger share her Month of May Instagram photos which inspired me to look back through mine. 
I had a full month. I can't believe it's already over!

I got to snuggle and enjoy getting to know my new doggy, catch fish in the creek that runs 
through my yard, bask in nature, meet my sister's farm animals, spend Mother's Day with my mom, 
enjoy a nest full of baby birds...


Discover new flowers, make gluten free cupcakes for the first time, take a trip to New York City,
eat at a Danish resturant, plant flowers....


Spend time with my sister-in-law and her husband in Asheville, swim in a lake, go for a boat ride at night, relax in a hammock, go on breathtaking hikes...
And most recently I've been in Georgia enjoying amazing southern food, authentic people, 
spectacular views and fun farm animals. Tomorrow we attend a wedding! 

Blogging while traveling has always been a challenge, a laptop would probably help. Following me on Instagram is a great way to stay connected. I can't believe I've had so many amazing experiences
this month! I'm looking forward to seeing what June brings.

“We may run, walk, stumble, drive, or fly, but let us never loose sight of the reason for the journey, or miss a chance to see a rainbow on the way.” ~ Gloria Gaither

May 23, 2013

Spring Finale

This is the Finale for the Spring Photography Challenge that I participated in.  It was a great challenge and really motivated me to get outside and enjoy what's around me. Even though the challenge is over I'm not ready to say goodbye to Spring yet. 

In the last week we had another Azalea bloom, this one was white.

We've got all sorts of flowers still popping up randomly.

Our giant Rhododendron is also starting to go! Our yard is starting to look like a jungle.

We are still savoring Spring around here and hope to for a little longer.

I'm linking up with:

Nurture Photography Challenge - Spring 2013 Edition

May 19, 2013

Crock-Pot BBQ

Today is a special day. It's my husband's birthday! One of his favorite meals is BBQ. So I make it for him because he deserves it. He's my best friend and I really don't know what I would do without him. We've moved around quite a bit since we've been married. It's always been to a place where we know absolutely no one but each other. I'm so thankful he's my best friend. It's been really tough to move and get used to a new culture and new surroundings.

We were so blessed when we were in Colorado with an amazing church family and people we have things in common with.  We've almost been in Pennsylvania a year now and we still don't feel rooted and connected. It's heartbreaking sometimes. We keep thinking we finally found it and we start to click then something happens. We went out for lunch with the only couple at our church that doesn't have children and really enjoyed it then the next week they moved to another state. Now the church we found, that we thought was the one, is starting to go through some leadership changes. Change is something that I just can't handle right now, I'm craving consistency. I know I can ALWAYS find consistency in my husband and for that I'm beyond grateful. I'm happy to celebrate with him today. 
Clicker Script Regular

This recipe for his favorite meal is just too good not to share. Trust me, he's a BBQ snob and if he thinks this is good then it's good. The best part is it cooks in the crock-pot for 10 hours, giving you plenty of time to do more important things. You only need a few ingredients for the BBQ and a really good sauce.

What's Magic Seasoning you might ask? Well it's magic...The magic is the liquid smoke if you can't find this same seasoning, try to find something with liquid smoke in it.


The hardest part about making this is pulling the BBQ apart. There's generally quite a bit of fat and it can be hard to find the cloves, don't stress out too much about that, a little clove won't kill you. Unless of course you're my mother she has a great distaste for cloves.  What really makes this dish is the BBQ sauce. I make my own. I honestly don't measure when I make the sauce. I just eyeball everything and add more of different ingredients to taste. For example if you don't like things spicy, add less pepper. The following ingredients make a great BBQ sauce:

Just mix it all together, adding as much of everything as you want. Below is a guideline for measurements:

I hope you'll make this BBQ.  It's the next best thing to BBQ cooked in a smoker. Have it as a platter or on a sandwich, slaw is a must.

Oh and in case you're wondering what we're having for dessert I'm making anther one of his favorites. Banana Pudding. I shared the recipe a while back, you can find it HERE. Since I'm trying to minimize gluten I made a separate batch for myself with GF cookies. Of course he was thrilled saying, "WOW I get my very own Banana pudding!"

May 14, 2013

Pink & Home

We have had the full spectrum of pink blooming all around our home. It's been an absolute delight to watch the buds and flowers emerge.

It seems like Spring has been longer here and every day something new comes to life. When we lived in the South everything came to life all at once, here it's a little at a time. Our Azalea bush is so vibrant. I think it's the brightest I've ever seen.

My favorite plant in our whole yard or maybe EVER is the Bleeding Heart. I was shocked to discover it growing underneath the shade of the Rhododendron. I'd actually never seen one before but a lady at work talks with me often about plants and was telling me that hers were in bloom. I knew that's what we had after remembering her description. 

They are magnificent plants full of hanging heart shaped pillows. Have you ever seen one before?

My second favorite plant around our home is going to be the Peonies. I CAN NOT believe I'm going to have Peonies!!!! I took the pictures of the blooming Peonies at Longwood Gardens, I wonder if ours will look like that?

All around our property we've had plants emerging like the ones below:

I had no clue what they were and even e-mailed a picture to the Penn State Garden Extension, they've been really helpful with identifying other plants. They didn't even know for sure what it was and said to wait and take another picture when it's leaves are open. Well I couldn't wait, they were popping up everywhere. I wondered if it could be a weed? Thankfully the lady at work was able to help. She said,  "you've got Peonies and a lot of them."  I was thrilled! We've been watching them change over the last few weeks and we're starting to see that they are definitely Peonies.

I felt so dumb when I said, "no they couldn't possibly be Peonies because Peonies are big, fluffy flowers." That's when my co-worker said, " it's a Peony plant right now, everything is a plant before it's a flower." 

Hey I'm new at this, I've never been around such a variety of plants before. So in case you're like me and didn't know what a Peony plant looks like, now you do. The buds on the plants are getting bigger every day and I can't wait till they bloom!
What's your favorite plant that grows around your home?

I'm linking up with the Spring Nurture Photography Challenge click the link to check out all the other posts for this weeks theme.

Nurture Photography Challenge - Spring 2013 Edition

May 8, 2013

Ivory & Dream

It's the time of year when dreams come alive. There's something about Spring that renews your spirit and fills you with vigor. Our days have been full trying to complete the endless list. Meals are eaten later, going to bed at a decent hour rarely happens. We wake up every morning to a chill in the air wafting through the open windows and the glorious song of birds in chorus. 
We long to spend the day fulfilling our dreams and soaking in the sun.

Do you ever feel like your dreams will never be fulfilled? That you have to many? That you just can't stop dreaming? For me the dreams just keep coming and I wonder everyday if I'm doing the right thing.  Am I wasting my time? Should I be doing something else?

I like to think our dreams evolve and change over time, just like a bud on a tree. Sometimes they are just little suckers that can suck the life right out of you if you let them. Sometimes they are big and strong; something that can not grow without water, sun, and nutrients. 
A dream that can not be attained on our own. 

Dreams come and go with every season of life. Sometimes they become something that is not ours alone, a shared dream, or a dream for someone else. 

Allow your dreams to be flexible. Don't get discouraged when time seems to pass you by and your dreams still remain unfulfilled. Maybe they're just dormant for a period of time, maybe it's just a season that you're in right now. Keep dreaming! Write your dreams down, allow them to evolve. Live in this moment, not the next and have hope. 

Nurture Photography Challenge - Spring 2013 Edition

May 3, 2013

A Healing Gift

What do you do when someone is hurting? How do you help them, show them you care? Sometimes I feel torn. I don't want to make things worse, nothing I can say will make things better. I don't want to be all up in their space when they are trying to heal. Often the best healer is time. 

Sometimes what I do is drop off a simple gesture to show them that they are being thought of and prayed for. I love to give an Aloe plant. It's the perfect symbol of healing. They are incredible plants and so easy to take care of. I always had one in the classroom when I was teaching. The plant was practically ignored as far as watering goes but certainly abused. Every day a student had an injury that would require the use of the Aloe's magical, healing juice.

Here's an idea for you next time you're at a loss for what to do when someone is hurting. 

It's pretty quick to put together:

In case you missed how to make your own decorative stones check out THIS post or this ONE.

Along with the plant sometimes I deliver a treat too. A bag of cookies always brings a smile especially to the children in the family. Did you know you can print right on a paper bag? 

This is such an inexpensive and fun way to deliver goodies. You can print whatever message you want on the bag. There are tutorials you could find online but it's not complicated. Just run it through your printer and make sure you change the paper size on whatever program you're using. This would be super cute for favor bags at parties too.

I hope y'all enjoy your weekend! Next time you encounter someone who is hurting take some time to think about how you can bless them.