Monday, September 29, 2014

Happy Michaelmas! {+blackberry cobbler recipe}

First of all, thank you so much for all the love you poured out on Friday's extra special post. We are very excited, and so appreciate your prayers. More on the baby soon - promise!

But today is a special day: the Feast of Michaelmas!
Honestly, I didn't know about Michaelmas until last year, but it's a feast I have quickly come to love: the feast of the Archangels, Michael, Gabriel & Raphael. It's extra special at our house, since it is my husband Michael's feast day! Haley of Carrots for Michaelmas has a great post on the feast and its traditions. Maybe you saw Bonnie's recent Knot Bad video interviewing Haley. Or perhaps you've seen Kendra's post on how her family celebrates each year. Molly has some fun ideas, too.

Here's how we celebrated the feast today:

Praying the St. Michael prayer (a prayer I say almost daily...and often multiple times a day!):

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and may thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Hosts,
by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.

Our wooden plaque with St. Michael's picture joined us at the dinner table, along with some fresh autumn flowers I bought at the farmer's market this morning. 

For dinner I tried this recipe for {Apple Roasted Chicken}. (I used drumsticks instead of a whole chicken and added potatoes.)

We had {Blackberry Cobbler} for dessert.
Here's the super easy, super delicious recipe I always use (and always love!):

1 stick butter
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. milk (at room temperature)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 c. whole blackberries

{how to}
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place butter in ~9" square baking dish and put in oven to melt butter.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in milk and vanilla until combined.

Remove hot baking dish from oven and immediately pour batter into it. Spoon blackberries evenly over the batter. Return the dish to the oven and bake 40-45 minutes.

Allow dish to cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. It's particularly delicious warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, which is how we'll eat it tonight.
Hope you had a blessed Michaelmas!

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Friday, September 26, 2014

a very, very special 7 quick takes {no. 27}

Happy Friday! And you know what Fridays call for - seven quick takes. {Thank you for hosting, Jen!}

Last Friday I told you I was going to the Audrey Assad concert here in NYC. Friends, it was so, so very beautiful. I cannot begin to tell you how beautiful. The Holy Spirit was working in a mighty way that night, and I am very grateful to have had the chance to be there.

If you live in or near Texas, Missouri, North Dakota, Indiana, Colorado, Alabama, Florida, Arizona or California, you should click here to see her tour schedule. It is an evening not to be missed. Truly.

I told you I was super excited to be attending the concert last weekend, but what I didn't say at the time is that I was also a little nervous. Her Fortunate Fall album is what I listened to many times while lying in bed recovering from our miscarriage earlier this year. When I hear these songs (which I love), it often brings up emotions from that challenging season of my life.

However, my prayers were answered. That evening of prayer and praise, with Audrey as our leader, was a night of healing for me. The music became fresh and new again as I lifted my voice to the Lord in song:

"You are my shepherd - there's nothing I shall want.
Beside still waters You lead my spirit on,
Your hand beside me no matter where I walk,
Through darkest valley, Your love is not far off."
{from Audrey Assad's "Lead Me On," with lyrics inspired by Psalm 23}
"I put all my hope in the truth of Your promise,
and I steady my heart on the ground of Your goodness.
When I'm bowed down with sorrow, I will lift up Your name,
and the foxes in the vineyard will not steal my joy.
Because you are good to me..."
{from Audrey Assad's "Good to Me"}

So grateful for these truths, and for God's endless love.

And now, to what makes these quick takes very, very special:

We are overjoyed to (finally!) share with you...

It feels so great to finally let you in on our little secret!! It's been a bit quiet around here since the summer, but I have an inkling I'll have a lot more to say now that you're in the know. :)

St. Michael, St. Elizabeth, St. Anne, St. John Paul II, St. Gerard, St. Gianna, St. Thomas Aquinas,
St. Thomas Gianna...all you holy men and women, pray for us.

And, of course, thank YOU for your prayers!

Wishing you a beautiful autumn weekend...

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Monday, September 22, 2014

baked pumpkin spice donuts {yum}

Last night I posted this picture on instagram. Several people asked for the recipe. Well, ask and you shall receive, my friends! And what better day than the first day of fall? Without further ado...
variation on this recipe I found on pinterest
for the DONUTS:
1 3/4 c. flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. allspice
1/8 t. ground cloves
1/3 c. applesauce
1/2 c. light brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 1/2 t. vanilla
3/4 c. canned pumpkin
1/2 c. milk

for the COATING:
melted butter (amount dependent upon number of donuts)
1/2 c. sugar
2 T. cinnamon

{how to}
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (F). Butter your donut pan(s). {note: The donut pan I used makes mini donuts.}

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Set aside.

In a large bowl (I used my electric mixer bowl), whisk oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin and milk until combined. Slowly add the dry mixture and stir until just combined (don't overmix!). The batter will be thick. Use a gallon sized ziploc bag and clip the corner (or a pastry bag if you're fancy) to squeeze the batter into each donut cup. The cups should be full; not overflowing, but full.

Bake 9-10 minutes until donuts spring back with a gentle touch. (For full-sized donuts increase the cooking time...maybe about 15 minutes?) Turn donuts out onto a wire rack to cool a few minutes.

While the donuts are cooling, melt the butter in a shallow dish. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl. The sugar and cinnamon amounts listed above are flexible - honestly, I just did some of each until it looked like a delicious blend to me. :) When the donuts are still hot (but not too hot to touch), quickly dip each one in butter and then coat in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Serve immediately.**
**This recipe made 48 mini donuts for us. It was just the two of us, and we were not going to immediately eat 48 mini donuts (delicious though they were - but hello, bellyache!). Whatever donuts you are not going to eat, do not coat in advance, but rather right before serving. I highly recommend melting your butter in a dish where the butter will be as shallow as possible, so as not to drench your donuts before coating in cinnamon sugar. Because nobody likes a soggy donut, am I right?!
Enjoy with your favorite warm beverage - maybe a cup of coffee, chai, or apple cider? Or a cold glass of milk if that's your thing.

Happy autumn! 
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Friday, September 19, 2014

7 Quick Takes {no. 26}
a birthday & a change of season

Well, it's been a while. What better way to jump back in than with a little seven quick takes action?!

Last weekend it was my birthday! I love birthdays. Do you?

My husband baked me a delicious birthday cake. Chocolate chip cake with chocolate frosting. Yum. If I may just be a proud wife for a second - you have to see this:
This beauty deserves two takes. A close-up:
Isn't it beautiful? I was so impressed. And it tasted even better than it looked, which is saying something!

When my birthday comes around, that usually means it's time for my favorite season: autumn.
God's artwork at this time of year never fails to amaze me. 

Have you subscribed to Blessed is She? The daily devotions started this month, and I am finding myself more challenged, encouraged and inspired by the word of God and these reflections. If you haven't joined us already, I'd love for you to be a part of the community!
{autumn inspired instagram I designed}

Another favorite about fall: football. If you would have told me I would ever say such a thing ten years ago I would have said you were crazy, but going to a Big Ten school can change your heart. We cheer for the Michigan Wolverines here in our house. Go blue!

For the game two weekends ago that I'd rather forget (vs. Notre Dame) I did make a pretty yummy treat that I definitely want to remember: homemade pretzels.
Here's the recipe. A little time consuming, but worth it for the delicious factor. Promise.

Tonight we are going to the Audrey Assad concert here in Brooklyn! Michael got us tickets for my birthday. I am so, so excited. If you've read this blog for very long you know I'm a big fan. Here's a little song I'm hoping she shares tonight:
Have a blessed weekend, friends!

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Friday, September 5, 2014

handwritten with love

When was the last time you received a handwritten note or card in the mail? Is there anything quite like opening up your mailbox to find a little love? There's something so much more personal about receiving that kind of correspondence as opposed to an email. Don't get me wrong - I am thankful for the convenience of technology, but sometimes it's good to take the time to write and mail a note. Am I sounding like an old lady here, or are you with me?
Perhaps my love of the handwritten is because I have a thing for handwriting (evidence: my etsy shop). Or perhaps it's my love of using a nice pen and writing on pretty paper. I just love it.

Speaking of pretty paper, have you ever shopped at Minted? They recently came out with a new line of foil-pressed personalized stationary which, I must say, is super gorgeous. Here are some of my favorite designs:
what I love about these minted foil-pressed designs:
{from top to bottom}
1 // majestic // classic and simple
2 // posey blush // feminine with a touch of whimsy
3 // provencale summer // naturally beautiful
4 // paris from stripes to chevrons // just so fun
5 // the grainfield // elegance with a hint of autumn

Which design is your favorite? Do you have a favorite place to buy stationary? Do tell!

Here's hoping you're feeling inspired to pull out your stationary {or order your own personalized set} and write a little note to someone you love. Brighten someone's day. Be a light.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend, friends!

{disclaimer} I will receive compensation for this post, but all opinions expressed are my honest ones.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

5 Favorites {no. 11}

It's been a while since I've done a Five Favorites post! Here are five of my current faves I'd love to share with you:
{1} fresh sugar face polish // This is definitely a splurge, but goodness do I love it. Two of the main ingredients are brown sugar and strawberry seeds, so it smells amazing. Most importantly, it makes your face soft, smooth, and exfoliates any dry skin you might have. So great.

{2} bath & body works wallflowers // Have you ever used these? I love the way the Bath & Body Works Wallflowers freshen up my home, and the seasonal scents are so much fun. Just plugged in my Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin Wallflower for a feeling of fall.

{3} the mrs. & the mr. mugs by lindsay letters // I love pretty much all of Lindsay Letters work, but these new mugs are so sweet. The back of the mugs read "good morning, gorgeous" and "hello, handsome" accordingly. What fun it would be to share a cup of coffee in these mugs with my love.

{4} homemade cinnamon ice cream // One word: YUM. Michael & I have tried this recipe several times and it never lets us down. So, so delicious. {pictured with blueberry crisp - also yum.}

{images via}
{5} puffin in bloom collection // I have a thing for beautiful books, and these are some of the most beautiful I have seen. So excited about the debut of this collection with artwork by Anna Rifle of Rifle Paper Co. Swoon. I've never read Anne of Green Gables, but I think the time has come!

Linking up with Heather for five favorites and Jessica for wwrw.

Happy Wednesday!

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Today's the day!

The day has finally come! I am so excited.

But before I get into that, a quick update on life since it's been a while since I've been here on the blog: After a wonderfully warm summer in Texas, Michael & I are back in NYC. Wow, does it ever feel amazing to be home. Our apartment here may be tiny, but it is cozy - and everything we need for the moment. We are especially grateful to be back to our bed after months on an air mattress (I didn't realize how poorly I was sleeping until I had a night of rest in a real bed! Thank the Lord!). So we are settling in here. Michael goes back to school for year four (!!) of grad school tomorrow, but first we are enjoying Labor Day together.

So! What is today, you ask? Well, dear friends, it is the start of something beautiful.

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you may remember me posting about this in July. Today the Blessed is She daily devotionals begin. I am humbled to join an amazing group of women as we share our hearts and how God's Word is at work in our lives.
You can read the first devotional by clicking here. You can also subscribe to receive the devotionals daily in your inbox on the Blessed is She homepage.

On a personal note, I am really looking forward to this daily time with God and His Word. What a gift scripture is to us. I confess I am guilty of not spending enough time with it. What better time than now to steep in the Word of our Lord, growing deeper in faith with one another as women of God? I so hope you'll join me and all of us in this network, blossoming by God's grace.
And! As a special kickoff celebration, we are hosting a twitter chat at 9 pm EST tonight.

Follow me {@inendlesssong} and Blessed is She {@blessedisshe__} to join in the fun. Hope to see you there.

And please, spread the word and invite your friends to join us, too!


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