chicken and dumplings

img_6420i had my sister (my bestfriend) over to spend the weekend, while another other sister’s boyfriend was occupying her. (her room doubles as a guest room)

ever since i made the cozy kitchen’s chicken and dumpling recipe from her book a year of cozy (given to me by a dear friend…and it’s a book i treasure above all my home themed books) i’ve wanted her to taste it and when the opportunity for her to not just taste but make it couldn’t be passed.

cooking this recipe with her will be a memory that i will always treasure…

her asking questions, me explaining.

just stepping back and encouraging her to bravely mix the dumplings alone.

watching her drop the dumplings in the sizzling stock.

witnessing her joy and surprise on seeing the fluffy warm dumplings, after they cooked.

and

her eyes when she tasted this truly “comforting” winter soup.

it was a lovely night…

xoxo

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october’s over (insert sad emoji)

the last morning of october is now history. it was a lovely one. october should (seriously) get the first-place award for containing the perfect sunsets and dawns.

but it ended with it’s best display…a crispy atmosphere, pink colored sky line and a slice of a golden moon…i found myself holding my breath while gazing at this wonderful sight.

 

october is my favorite month…it holds the anticipations of the holiday season (I enjoy the expectation of the holidays more than the actual days themselves). its chilly. inviting all the sweaters and boots to appear. but not too cold to include gloves and frozen noses. soup and other warm food begins to grace the tables. it’s positively wonderful!img_2876i took advantage of the bright, full moon, dawns to ride my horses…around the newly harvested fields. forgetting for a moment that i was an adult and would have to be in the office within the hour. instead i marveled at our shadows, created by just the moon. the first birds songs. the smells and all the other little joys that comes with being with nature while it wakes. img_2884img_2886i love those moments (they don’t happen as often anymore) where you can be yourself, or that little kid inside yourself. to just smile and think crazy thoughts or dream impossible dreams.

but now it’s november…

xoxo

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first time entertaining recap + 5 things i learned

 

so i invited my two younger brothers over for dinner + movie last saturday evening. to say i was a bit nervous and anxious leading up to the appointed time, would be an understatement.

gosh! terrified would be a better word to describe how i felt. 

just so you know where i’m coming from

it’s just me…

i have no one else to hold a conversation or entertain while i’m cooking, preparing etc. at my house, so that’s why i’ve had no one over (officially) yet. and (yes) i’ve lived here a year. so yeah, it was about time…img_2473img_2461but i think the evening went delightfully well!!! they loved what i prepared for dinner=) check out the recipe here (i could go on and on about this site also, i’ve learned so much about cooking/baking, since i discovered it) veggies and warm buttered toast…complete high carb 100% guy meal. for dessert i made a pumpkin pie…yes the one pictured. they finished the entire pie off before they left. saving the last half til after the movie.

the conversation was light, i worked my magic and kept it from going on to anything deep or “others” related. which was a huge component in evening being marked as a success.img_25015 tips to entertaining: (that i learned really worked well…well as least for this girl, they did) 

  1. greet them (the guest) when they arrive. Like go out the front door, while they’re getting out of their vehicle. even family members…it’s just so much better! it officially makes the night seem more special than just being like any other night.
  2. the dishes can wait till after the guest have left. even if that means the following morning. I had to keep telling myself…nothing will happen to me or my sink just because the dishes are sitting in there unwashed for a few hours instead of seconds, after being used.
  3. let the guest help themselves some, after the first helpings have been served. let them get seconds. just encourage them to eat as much as they want and take time to actually talk and enjoy a plate full yourself. I don’t have to be a mini martha.
  4. having something else scheduled to do once the meal is finished. this one is a must! it kept the evening from getting boring. it’s also a great time to serve, after dinner coffee, while the movie is just beginning. it keeps the evening going…also acting as a cure for any awkward silence before the movie takes over entertaining. (thanks!!!)
  5. don’t apologize. just don’t, not for anything.

hope these helped…any tips for future entertaining, for me? img_2505happy wednesday loves!

xoxo

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smile (noun)

they say a picture is worth a thousand words…well that is true and all but I seem to think that there is another something that worth far more than a thousand words. a smile.img_2249i’m a “get it done” type of girl and I think sometimes this spills over into the rude category. i have to ask myself every once in a while: at the checkout line am I in too big of a hurry to be kind or considerate to the casher or the person in front of or behind me? what about while I’m driving am I in too big a hurry to smile and wave at that person riding a bike or the little amish children in their yard, playing? a smile cost me nothing. and takes no time or effort to give away.img_2257img_2258my perfectly mapped out agenda and well-manicured calendar are both not good enough excuses to not notice, or be kind, to the humans I come in contact with on a daily basis. Those times that seem to be very inconvenient, most often, have proven to be the times that i remember with the most fondness…because when we give, truly give; no matter the gift. we always get way more back.img_2254img_2251winston churchill once said “we make a living by what we get. we make a life by what we give.” so true! so today i purpose to give away more smiles and more quiet kindness. wither it’s listening to someone else; when i’d rather check that last item off my “to-do” list. or simply waving to my neighbor, accompanying by a smile. something so small and so simple can change a person’s day.img_2256

Happy First Day of Fall!!!!!!

xoxo

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marshmallows

img_2137i’ve always wanted to make them. and finally i bought the “forbidden” corn syrup to satisfy my little heart with this accomplishment. a little side note here, isn’t it funny how we aren’t suppose to use this liquid sweetener in cooking but well eat it in all the other candies and dare i say marshmallows. but to make all you health nuts feel better, i’m currently on a quest to create some using honey instead. they won’t taste as wonderful, but everyone will feel healthy and that’s all that matters?!?!? img_2156they tasted great!!! but they don’t toast up well, so they are a fail if you want to use them for s’mores over a fire. but as for hot chocolate, i don’t know if i’ll ever want to use the ones from the store ever again!! img_2152i’m one of the few weird humans that will admit to having a love for marshmallows…seriously i really do!!! remember everything in moderation…so i don’t eat more than three at a time=) hehe 

so now that i can make them myself i won’t have to purchase them any more. and soon i’ll be trying to make homemade gram cracker. img_2148i used the recipe from the year of cozy  btw; i love this book and her blog so much it’s seriously one of my top five=) her directions are written in such a down to earth and easy way. i just can’t praise her work enough.

since autumn’s a moment away (i mean this thursday is the official, calendar date) and the nights are just beginning to feel a slight bit chilly (or i’m imagining they are) i’ve been enjoying a cup of this hot wonderfulness quite a bit. well if you had a ton of “homemade” marshmallow wouldn’t you?!?!?

 

country girl?

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i’m not the girl who you’ll see in jeans and boots. more like am in a chic outfit, completely unrelated to the outdoors or animals. if i told any passer-by that i lived on my own mini farm, they wouldn’t believe me.

but i’m a true farm girl.

i’m the girl who’s feeding her horses in workout shorts and a tank top, complete with boots. hay sticks to my sweaty arms. i’m tired. it’s been a long day, i have normally just completed a short workout. i gather eggs, most of the time i don’t have a bucket so i carry them in my shirt and i drop one more often than i would like to admit.

this is real life.

my boots, sitting faithfully next to my front door, are more wore than that girl i pass in rural king…but you’ll never see me in them in public. i wear those at home…every single day.  side note: i’m the girl who’s actually never been thrown. i can ride better than most. but this fact you’ll never know.

i love my horse so much. after a tough real life situation he’s the one who hears about my trials and sometimes if i cry he sees. he’s my baby.

i’m a country girl. i’m real.

 

my dream becomes reality

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have you ever, as a kid, laid in the grass and dream of “one day i will…?” the ideas and plans are endless and this attitude is so addicting that if you don’t watch yourself you could have spent hours exhausting this subject.

well i did. many times. also i would dream out loud to my (sister) best friend on our daily walks. i wanted a career and i wanted my own home.

i ended up with a wonderful job….

and…

the second half of my little dream became reality as well. i bought a house while i was still 21. it’s a fixer-upper. and the place i call home.