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Come little children I"ll take thee away..

  • I laughed at Ben when he came home with two bags of candy...I almost made the poor guy go out and get more...We would go through that in 20 minutes where I'm from...
  • The trick-or-treaters were so scarce that at one point I actually yelled down the street: WE HAVE CANDY DOWN HERE!! 
  • Tori was the highlight of our night.  She was a little princess who was scared of all the other houses but ran right up to the Cleopatra standing on her porch holding her cat trying to lure in little children.  Then she told me my dress was beautiful. I could have hung out with that princess all night.
  • 2 teens and a kid walked up (1 of the teens may have been the mom) dressed in their regular Happy Halloween! What are you suppose to be? young girl: ME Then the girl tried to reach into my bowl and take a handful of candy.  Ha.  
  • Ben: Let's just go inside and turn off the lights so we can eat all the candy.
  • We finally decided to just go trick-or-treating ourselves and hit up our neighbors.
  • We ended the night with a belly ache and watching Hocus that's what Halloween is supposed to be like.


Clean up in aisle 7.

The first time I needed to buy green onions for a recipe last year, I couldn't find them.  Anywhere.  I found green peppers, red onions, white onions, even yellow onions...but not green onions.  Did I have any idea what I was looking for? No.
When I moved here last year after our wedding, I was a housewife mess.  I dreaded going to the grocery store and facing the insecurities that place can bring out, but somehow found myself there as many as 4 times a day.  I would try to own those grocery aisles, confidently striding down them like I was on a runway (my real life friends have seen me do this on multiple occasions), pretending that I knew where everything was, but almost always had to put my pride aside and ask where the &^%% beef bullion was. I swear the store clerk has a magic wand and can make things appear exactly where I had just looked.  The cashier quickly learned my name and would always look at me with those 'aren't you just sad' eyes when I would check out with 1 item, for the 4th time that day.  The butcher even called me out once!! He said, "Now honey, I know you ain't from the south if you don't know what a ham hock is, so are you sure you really want to try and make these collard greens??"  He then gave me step-by-step instructions and I furiously copied down every word.
Did I give up? No.  Sure, there may have been more than a few times when Ben cautiously had to ask whether or not we were having dinner, and sometimes the answer included a meltdown (me first, then Ben) with him running out the door to get take-out.  I vividly remember having this conversation:
Me: I don't know if we can ever have kids.
Ben: Why?
Me: Because I can barely handle taking care of you and the house and the cooking...and I don't even have a job! How will I ever be able to do all of those things plus care for another human being?!
Ben: You'll be fine.
Me: NO I WON'T. 
I think Ben then realized the emotional state that I was in and took me seriously.
But if you are in that 'new housewife' stage and you have no idea what you are doing, let me reassure you, it gets better!  You'll have those grocery store aisles mastered in no time!  And then you can laugh at help the other newbies who frantically go down the same aisle 6 times with nothing in their cart.  You'll figure out how amazing it is to plan your meals and buy your groceries in one day instead of panicking every day about what to make.  But then your true colors will find a way to shine through and you'll ruin the canister of your food processor (thankfully the mini one) when you try to turn whole cloves into ground cloves.  Darn. Just bought that thing, too.  Husband says we can't replace it just because it's cloudy and etched and will never look the same.

Back to the green onions.  So who knew there was another name for scallions? I sure didn't! And who knew that you are supposed to use as much of the white part as possible and not throw that part away (thanks Rebekah!)?!  Duh! 

Anyways, this soup is delicious.  I would add cilantro to it if I would have thought of it in advance. 

Rice Noodle Ginger Soup

  • 1 tablespoons grapeseed oil/extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces shitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup edamame beans
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 7 ounces rice noodles
Cooking Directions
  1. Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, mushrooms, edamame beans, carrots, onion, ginger, and garlic. Saute for 7-10 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften.
  2. Pour in broth, bring to a simmer, and add in rice noodles. Gently simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the noodles have softened.



This past weekend flew by.  
There are these beautiful church ruins near Beaufort that always make the list of places to bring visitors.  Sam (family/friend/both) visited for about a week and we were sure to check out the ruins.  The grounds are so beautiful and magical--the type of place where you can just imagine what it looked like in the 18th century, what the people wore, and how they talked.

Junior Service League of Beaufort had their annual Halloween bash Friday evening and lucky King Caesar was able to have two Cleopatra's as his date!

toughest/most handsomest King to ever rule!!
On Saturday, the youth group leaders and teens (girls) all took a trip to the local pumpkin patch. I wasn't expecting much, really I wasn't....but seriously--4 rotted pumpkins, a mini-pony (?!), a chicken coop and a couple of donkeys?! I know we're not in Chicaaago anymore, but honestly I would think that the country would have events like this figured out.  Even more so than city people.  
Even though there weren't any haunted houses, corn mazes, hay rides, pumpkin fields, funny cardboard figure things were you stick your head through the cut out and take pictures where you look like a weirdo ...we still had a blast! 
Turns out all we needed was a pile of hay and some chocolate pie. 
Thanks Ilene for the pictures!
love these crazy girls
the pumpkin patch
one of the best chocolate pies I've ever had


Fashion Fridays...ummm what?!

shirt/skinny jeans: The Limited /boots: Macy's

having fun playing with the different editing options over at picmonkey!
 You may be asking, what in the world is she doing?!  Is she going to fight me in that last picture or did she just smell something really bad?! And if you are, that's okay.  'Cuz I am trying to figure it out, too. I have this amazingly fantastic friend who takes pictures of her outfits and came over and took pictures of me in my outfit.  It was really fun and kind of uncomfortable...but mostly fun! 
So I may/may not be starting a *fashion friday* themed post.  Don't hold me to it!!  It might be every Friday, some Fridays, or 1 Friday a year.  
But in the end, who doesn't love posing weirdly and pretending their famous while the camera is snapping like crazy?!
Oops--I almost forgot to mention that I am taking part in my very first give-away over at that friend's awesome blog!  And trust me, you don't want to miss it!!


Looking inward

Our pastor's wife teaches "Woman's Life" at our church twice a month, and I personally feel so lucky to be under her teaching.  It's such a great time of learning, reflecting, snacking, and socializing--perfect, right?!  
Something that she said last time that has just stuck with me, and it seems so simple, and I'm sure a lot of us have heard it before, but it is to look inward.   

Luke 6:42 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? 

It's incredibly easy to see the error in other people's ways, and it almost makes us feel better about ourselves and the things we are insecure about. It's far too easy to point out what they're doing wrong, than it is to accept ways that I'm just not measuring up...areas of my life where I am just not walking in a manner that is worthy of the God who called me.  
A question that she had us ask ourselves was "Would I want to be married to me?" or "Would I want to be friends with me" can apply it to any relationship in your life.  But it's a little scary to look at it that way--which is why the women in the room kind of nervously laughed when she asked that question.  We are so quick to want perfection from others, but very forgiving of ourselves.  I want Ben to load the dishwasher my way instead of his (I know I know, just be happy he's helping--I tell myself that all the time).  I cringe when he follows a car too closely.  I would rather him not walk all over the house in his work boots.  But when I have my shoes on and realize I forgot my water bottle--it's fine, I just run into the kitchen with my shoes on without thinking twice!!
So this month, and hopefully every month after, I am going to try to be especially aware about looking inward. And I challenge all of my readers (so what if that only refers to 5ish people?!) to do the same.
And most often sometimes it can be very difficult--I get it, sometimes we are all in difficult situations where we just have to let that person know about what they're doing wrong...but my challenge to myself and you, then, is to find the good and focus on that.

Philippians 4:8

 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.


Parmesan polenta, pretty please!

Yuuuummmmmmm.  This was the first time that I've made polenta--and honestly, I thought that I was making a type of bread.  Guess not! It was also my first time making green bean ragout, and let me tell you, it is not going to be the last.  Such a delicious hearty way to eat your greens.
Recipe adapted from the Fresh20.

Parmesan polenta with green bean ragout

  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
Cooking Directions
  1. Bring milk, water, and broth to a simmer in a medium sauce pot.
  2. Reduce heat to medium low and slowly pour in cornmeal while whisking. Stir often for about 20 minutes until thickened.
  3. Stir in cheese and pepper.

Green bean ragout

  • 1 pound trimmed green beans, cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
Cooking Directions
  1. Add green beans into a pot of boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and return to oiled pot.
  2. Add onion and garlic. Stir over medium heat for 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add in tomatoes, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Serve warm over a bowl of parmesan polenta.

Makes 3-4 servings.


Spinach mushroom enchiladas with a kick!

My mouth is watering as I type this.  I can't wait to reheat some of these yummy, gooey, spicy, cheesy enchiladas for lunch today! I really love it when Ben comes home from work and the whole house is filled with whatever it is that's in the oven--too bad that didn't happen yesterday.  Oops! Well at least the house was filling with the smell of these fantastic enchiladas while he was finishing up homework after he got home from work! Even if he did help slice the mushrooms and dice the red peppers before starting his studies.  Love that man.  :)
My only regret: I wish I had some cilantro on hand to add into the sauce and sprinkle over the top at the end.  There's always next time!!  
This recipe is adapted from The Fresh 20.

Cheesy spinach mushroom enchiladas with black beans

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 12 ounce bag spinach/power greens
  • 6 ounces baby portabella mushrooms sliced thinly
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1/4 cup (1 small can) tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (if desired for spice)
  • 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth (warmed)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 10-12 corn, wheat, or spelt tortillas
  • 1-14.5 ounce can black beans with liquid
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
Cooking Directions

For enchilada filling:

  1. Heat a large, saute pan over medium heat.  Add in oil and spinach.  Cook spinach until wilted, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add in mushrooms and bell pepper and saute for an additional 3-4 minutes.
  3. Remove from the pan and set aside on a plate lined with a kitchen towel to absorb the remaining moisture.


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, mix tomato paste, oregano, garlic, and cumin.  Set aside.
  3. Heat a large sauce pan over medium heat; add in oil, flour, and chili powder.  Add in tomato paste mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Slowly add in warm broth while stirring to dissolve the flour mixture.
  5. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat.
  6. In a medium bowl, combine spinach/mushroom mixture, 1 cup of shredded cheese, and 1 cup of the sauce mixture.
  7. Warm tortillas in microwave for 1-2 minutes.
  8. Spoon 1 cup of enchilada sauce onto the bottom of an oiled 9x13 baking dish.
  9. Pour about 1/4 cup of filling into each tortilla; roll up tightly and place seam side down in baking dish.
  10. Pour remaining sauce over the top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese.
  11. Cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
For black beans:

  1. Heat beans and 1/4 teaspoon cumin in a small sauce-pot until warm.





Easy yummy granola

This recipe is a staple in our house.  I usually make a batch of granola on Sunday and we eat it all week for breakfast.  Everyone that has tried it looooves it--I even gifted some to my neighbors as a 'thank-you' and have received empty mason jars asking for more! 

I originally found a version of the recipe on, and she adapted the recipe from Anson Mills.
Just a few notes:

  • Any combination of nuts can be used--as long as they total about 3 cups.
  • Make sure to use unsweetened shredded coconut, I tried using sweetened once and it was not good!
  • You can eat this with yogurt and fruit or pour some milk over it and have a delicious cereal.


  • 3 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Also need: parchment paper or silpat baking mat
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Mix the oats, almonds, pecans, pine nuts, coconut, and spices together in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Melt the butter and honey together in a small saucepan over low heat. Once combined, stir in the vanilla.
  4. Pour the butter/honey/vanilla combination over the oats/nuts/spices mixture and stir together until evenly coated.
  5. Spread mixture onto rectangular baking sheet (either covered with parchment paper or a silpat baking mat) in one even layer. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes.
  6. Allow the granola to cool completely. Once cooled, break into chunks and pour into storage container (we've used large ziploc bags, tupperware, glass jars..). Store in air tight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.


Girls' weekend--plus Ben

Two weekends ago, Ben and I drove to Atlanta for a fun weekend with family...ok, ok, it was a girls' weekend--but we insisted that Ben come so he could see everyone that lives so far!  
We had such a fun time picking apples, going on a picnic, playing with our nephew at the fall festival, and just visiting with each other.
Here are some pictures from our fun trip.
so much fun with Aunt Bek

love this pic

David's favorite attraction at the festival was the giant black truck

still amazed that my awesome friend is now my sister

nanna is definitely his favorite apple picking buddy--sorry Ben!!

The trip totally put me in the Fall spirit--and it's finally in the mid 70's here! So bring on the Pinterest projects, it's time to get serious.  Some friends of mine and I decided to choose a fall wreath that we can make together, over video chat.  :)
So what do you guys think? These are some of my fave...which one should we make?!  Wreath #1, #2, or #3 ?

wreath #1
Source: via Nicole on Pinterest
wreath #2
wreath #3
Source: via Nicole on Pinterest


Can't believe I finished all of this...

pan seared salmon with a side of vegetable lentils
Let me start by saying that I am not a huge fish person.  I usually stick with tilapia and have to drown it in butter and lemon juice so that I do not taste a *hint* of anything fishy.  I grew up in Chicago...what can I say?!  I have tried salmon before, numerous times, hoping that my taste buds would change and that I would all of a sudden enjoy the fish flavor.
While I can't say that I will confidently order salmon off the menu the next time we go out, I can say that this salmon was yummmmmy (I did squeeze lemon all over it) and I loved the lentils! Woohoo! 

Delicious Alaskan Salmon

  • 2 wild-caught Alaskan salmon fillets
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Season both fillets with salt and pepper.
  3. Saute salmon in a hot pan for 4-5 minutes.
  4. Place salmon into the preheated oven and bake for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over before serving.
Makes 2 servings

Vegetable Lentils

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 2 cups lentils, rinsed
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp Herbes de Provence
Cooking Directions
  1. Saute onions, carrots, and celery in a hot medium pot for 3-5 minutes, until onions are translucent.
  2. Stir in lentils. Pour in broth and add garlic and Herbes de Provence.
  3. Cover with a lid and simmer for 30 minutes, until lentils are soft.
Makes 4-5 servings

season salmon with salt and pepper

pan sear for 4-5 minutes

transfer to baking dish
dice veggies for lentils

diced celery, onion, and carrots

saute veggies

add seasoning