Wednesday, March 26, 2014

5 favorites {no. 7}

I am always looking for some new meatless recipes during the season of Lent, so I thought I'd share five of my favorites on the blog today.

{1} quinoa black bean burgers // Easy to make, filling & delicious! I usually serve these on a bed of lettuce with a side of veggies and/or fruit.
{2} baked ziti // I haven't tried this specific recipe, but made without the meat it looks delicious! What I love about is that when over 4,000 people like a recipe, it's probably going to be a good meal. :)
{3} breakfast for dinner // This is actually a staple of ours whether it's Lent or not, but last night I was inspired by Kendra to make waffles for dinner. This recipe was a hit! Served with eggs & fruit.
{4} egg salad, avocado & arugula sandwich // I've shared this recipe on the blog before, but it's a yummy meatless option for dinners, too!
{5} salmon patties // I'm not really a big seafood gal (I wish I was!) but when you add enough other stuff to the fish, I sometimes like it. I am planning to try my grandmother's recipe, which is similar to this one, sometime soon!

What are your favorite meatless meals?
Linking up with Miss Hallie and friends! Click over for more favorites...

Hope you have a blessed day,

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Celebrating the Feast of St. Joseph

This year I have been trying to celebrate the Liturgical Year a little more in our home. As the husband of Mary and as Jesus's earthly dad, St. Joseph is a wonderful role model for us in his faith and trust in God and His plans.

Joseph is also my dear husband Michael's middle name, so it's an extra special feast for us. We will celebrate this year with some St. Joseph's sfinge (cream puffs). We have never had these before, so I am looking forward to trying them. :)

After daily Mass this morning, Michael & I stopped by a local Italian bakery where they make sfinge.
I just love how they tie the box with the red and white baker's twine. That makes me smile.
They sure look good to me! A welcome treat in the middle of this Lenten season!

St. Joseph, pray for us.
Wishing you and yours a blessed St. Joseph's Day!

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Friday, March 14, 2014

30 by 30

I've been wanting to make a 30 by 30 list (a list of 30 things I'd like to do before turning 30)
for some time. On my 27th birthday I wasn't blogging, and I don't want to wait until my next birthday, so I figured my half birthday today is a good day for this. Plus, that gives me 30 months to get going! Without further ado, in no particular order...
{1} Read 30 books
{2} Travel to 3 states I haven't yet visited
{3} Travel abroad with Michael
{4} Go on a retreat
{5} Have a child
{6} Try new foods & recipes
{7} Dine at a rooftop restaurant in NYC
{8} Read the entire Bible
{9} Watch a sunrise
{10} Get to know the Catechism of the Catholic Church better
{11} Make new friends and keep the old
{12} Send more handwritten letters
{13} Volunteer my time
{14} Take more pictures - improve my photography skills
{15} Visit my sister in San Francisco
{16} Take a calligraphy class
{17} Maintain a healthy lifestyle - stay active & fit
{18} Write 30 poems
{19} Start a small group with other young couples
{20} Grow my private voice studio
{21} Make continued learning a priority
{22} Dip my toes into the Atlantic & Pacific Oceans again
{23} Visit some of the Great Lakes
{24} Read an Encyclical
{25} Find a blogging routine
{26} Go swing dancing with Michael
{27} Keep up with my One Line A Day 5 year Memory Book
{28} Go through all my stuff still at my parents' house (no small task)
{29} Strive daily to be a saint
{30} Focus more on the eternal

God's will be done, as always. :)
I hope to update this post as time goes on, keeping track of what I have accomplished here.
What's on your bucket list? I'd love to know!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

six years ago today

Six years ago today I lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It was an absolutely gorgeous spring day, with temperatures nearing 70 degrees (a far cry from the freezing weather here in NYC today!). Michael bought us lemonades from the Espresso Royale on State Street and went for a walk around the University of Michigan campus. We walked around the Law Quad, by the Union, and over to the Cube - a U of M landmark. We sat down on a bench where, after a couple weeks of prayerful discernment, Michael & I decided to start dating on Thursday, March 14, 2008.
{our first picture - March 2008}
What a blessed and beautiful journey God has gifted us with these last six years. I am so happy to be sharing my life with such an awesome man of God. He truly is the perfect man for me.
{our wedding day - 6.16.12 // photo by A Thousand Words Photography, Michigan} 
Praising God for His goodness and love...

To read our love story, click on the {set me as a seal on your heart} button in the right sidebar.

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Friday, March 7, 2014

7 quick takes {no. 12}

Linking up with Jen & friends at Conversion Diary for another round of 7 quick takes!

Did you treat yourself on Tuesday? I sure did! My treat for the day was a delicious chocolate chip walnut cookie from Levain Bakery. I gobbled my cookie up before thinking to take a picture, but here are a couple from the bakery's website:
{photo via}

{just look at that melty chocolate goodness inside...YUM! photo via}
It wouldn't surprise me if their cookies weighed a pound each! The pictures don't quite do them justice - they are HUGE. And so delicious. What a treat!

I hope you had a blessed start to your Lent on Ash Wednesday. I am just so thankful for this Lenten season we have entered. It is a true gift.
{my #ashtag picture}


This song by music artist Matt Maher (featuring Audrey Assad here) has been a good one for me to listen to as Lent begins. It's one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy.

I recently went with a friend to a tea shop in the Upper West Side called Alice's Tea Cup (that's Alice of Alice in Wonderland fame). It was such an adorable place for a quiet afternoon of good conversation. Just look how cute the tea cup is! And yes, that's a little bird on my tea pot, holding a tiny sponge under the tea spout to soak up any drips. A cute and cozy spot if you're ever in the neighborhood and would like a refreshing spot of tea!
{decaf herbal chai with milk & honey. delicious.}
It's been a challenging two weeks for me. My husband Michael has been in Bangladesh for his graduate research, and let me tell you - I have missed him! Since we are one in the sacrament of marriage, it's just so hard to be separated. But! Today he is coming HOME!! I am so happy and excited I can hardly stand myself. Life with him is just the best. I'm blessed & grateful.

In the meantime, I think I may make these cranberry orange scones for his return. (Did I mention food is one way to my husband's heart?) My mom started making these scones a few years ago, and now I love to make them, too. We make mini scones, so the recipe makes more (bake the small scones for ~8 minutes or until golden brown on top). They're a flavorful treat - great for breakfast or with a cup of tea or coffee. And, they freeze really well - just wrap individually in cling wrap & place in a freezer bag. De to the lish.

Well, I'm off to do some baking and tidying. Trying to keep busy as I count down the minutes to Michael's return!

Wishing you & yours a blessed weekend!

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Monday, March 3, 2014

monday musings

Happy Monday! Just sharing some of my thoughts in this new week Monday musings.

Well, I may not have completed the 7 posts in 7 days challenge, but I did post 5 posts in 5 days, and that is a record for me! Thanks for the challenge, Jen - maybe next time I'll make the full 7 in 7. :)

We were originally supposed to get four to eight inches of snow overnight, but that fizzled into less than one inch. No complaints from this gal!
{no more snow, please...only flowers}
I have been thinking a lot about the Gospel reading at Mass this weekend. Especially this part:
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?{Matthew 6:25-27}
That last line there hits me hard every single time I hear it. Whether I am worrying about something big or small, it is all wasted time! Jesus tells us that we should not worry. About anything. That is so hard for me! Lord, increase my faith! I have a feeling this is something I will be working on for a long time to come, but I always appreciate hearing this reminder in scripture. God's Word is powerful and good. I am so thankful for it!

I've been spending some time in prayer (though I should probably spend some more) regarding what I should take up/give up in this quickly approaching Lenten season. Of course, I want to do something that will bring me closer in relationship with Christ. I am looking forward to this time of renewal. This season in the Church year is a true gift. I don't think I saw it that way growing up, but now I can see what a blessing it is to have this time to grow in our spiritual life. And the joy of Easter is so much fuller after a fruitful and prayerful Lent.
{Michael & me - Easter 2013}
Have you read Pope Francis's Lenten Message? I know it challenged me, and provided me with some food for thought as I discern what to do this Lent. 

Also, if you're looking for some last-minute fresh ideas, Kendra has a great post with 66 ideas for Lent (with beginner, intermediate & advanced options) - click on over for some more inspiration.

Hope you enjoy the rest of your Monday!

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