Thursday, July 31, 2014

Foodie Penpal - A food exchange


July's foodie pen pal was amazing! 

If you haven't heard of foodie pen pals let me give you a quick intro. A clever blogger named Lindsay from The Lean Green Bean had an idea that it would be fun to create pen pals that sent each other food - hence the Foodie Penpal program began.

I really love this program because there is no long term obligation. You sign up month by month. You are then paired with someone and send them a food box of food with around $15. You also e-mail and find out what your foodie pen pal can and can't eat. It's a great way to try new foods and to meet someone new. 

I signed up this month because you know, my birthday. It was super awesome because my foodie pen pal actually had a birthday in July too! She lives in WI and sent me some local treats aka awesomeness! 

What was in the box?

-Collective Coffee
-Carrot Cake Jam
-Crackheads (chocolate covered coffee beans ... they are all gone)
-Gail Ambrosius hand made chocolate
-Mustard 
-Sweet Potato Hot Sauce
-Superfood Peanut Butter
-2 food magazines from WI
-Birthday balloons 
-A handwritten card that was so sweet and thouthgtful

The hot sauce is made by her neighbors! She said the baby on the bottle is now 4 years old! How fun is that? 


If you want to read my other posts on my foodie pen pal experience you can read about it here & here

Wanting to sign up for this program? Awesome! You can find all the information right here. Be sure to read all the information and you must sign up by the 4th of the month to allow ample time to match everyone.  

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Perfect Cold Brew Coffee


With Summer in full swing so is creating fun summer drinks. I've created brazilian limeades, blueberry lemonade, strawberry lemonade but today I'm sharing one of my favorite summer drinks ever - cold brew coffee

As you all know I'm a huge coffee fan and summer never stops me from drinking my hot morning latte. A couple of years ago my sister introduced me to cold brew. However, I forgot all about iced coffee until Alicia posted a picture and it gave me a huge craving! Alicia made a fun no-mess recipe and if you want to check out her batch you can do so here

I had a lot of fun taking pictures of this which means I'm sharing a lot of pictures. I got up early yesterday morning to take pictures and I just snapped away. Then I couldn't decide how I wanted to post this recipe: simple, step by step with pictures or just pictures and then instructions at the bottom? So ... I'm giving you all three. You're welcome. You're welcome ;)

One important thing to note is that the ratio is 1/2 c. of coffee for every 2 c. of water. 




Step by Step with Pictures

Add 4 cups of water, 1 c. of medium ground coffee and 1 tsp. of vanilla to a pitcher, pan, container (whatever you got on hand) and cover. Let it sit at room temperature for 8-10 hours. Then give it a good stir and re-cover it. 

Some people place their brew in the refrigerator but I don't feel like that releases enough of the coffee flavor. Either way will work though. I just like my coffee nice and strong so I leave it at room temp. 


After your coffee has set for 24 hours you will want to strain your coffee. I use a Chemex but you can use whatever method you have on hand, even a cheesecloth will work.

Also, you should know there is no magic number to the 24 hour thing. Sometimes I make this in the early evening and let it sit out until the next morning and it usually turns out just fine.


After the coffee has strained and after you have taken upteen zillion pictures fill a glass with ice.


 Pour the cold brew coffee right over that ice.


Then it's time to make some magic -  grab your heavy whipping cream. Also note, you don't have to use heavy whipping cream - you can use sweetened condensed milk (I'm talking to you Aunt JB) or 1/2 & 1/2 or whatever you prefer.

Then slowly and carefully pour a splash of cream into your glass. I was busy taking pictures and missed the glass. ha ha! You can't tell too much, right?


Then you watch the magic happen. This is probably my favorite part...


Stir and Enjoy!


Ingredients:
2c. water
1/2 c. coffee - medium grind
1 tsp. vanilla (optional)
Splash of 1/2 & 1/2 or sweetened condensed milk (optional)

Directions:
Place the water, coffee and vanilla in a pitcher, cover and leave at room temperature. Some people place their mixture in the refrigerator but I think that the cool temperatures don't allow the coffee to release all of it's flavor resulting in a weak brew.

Approximately 8-10 hours in stir the coffee mixture and recover.

After the coffee has set for 24 hours strain the coffee. You can do this using a cheese cloth, a pour over method, a french press or a chemex. I use a chemex. If you use a french press after you press the grounds out I'd transfer the coffee to another pitcher to prevent the coffee from getting bitter.

Add ice to a glass, pour in coffee and add a splash of 1/2 & 1/2

Now go do a happy dance and enjoy that coffee!

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Do you like cold brew coffee? 
Have you ever made cold brew coffee? 
Also, if you enjoyed this recipe, would you be so kind to pin it or share it? Thanks! 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Life Lately #20

Hello! It's Monday and my birthday week is over but my birthday month isn't. I have 4 days left =) I have some fun things (and 1 serious thing) to share with you today so let's get started. 

Plantains - Have you ever had them? They are good and super cheap! Lately I've cooked them in coconut oil, sprinkled some cinnamon on them and dipped them in vanilla yogurt. Of course I added a bunch of blueberries to the mix too. Next time you are grocery shopping I highly recommend grabbing a plantain or two - so good! 
                         

Good to Go - That's the name of a new coffee shop in town. and guess what?! I am now working there! I'm beyond excited. One of my dreams was to work (and maybe someday own) a coffee shop so this is just a big blessing from God. It also is allowing me to meet a lot of people in my community, which is wonderful. Making lattes and interacting with people - I'm doing a happy dance! God is so good. 


local honey - I've been wondering about local honey but never thought I'd find it in Woodward. I was wrong! The farmers market had local honey and I snatched up a big jar. I'm hoping and praying it will hep with my allergies.


my birthday - you guys! I had so much fun and was so blessed! I could go on and on but I'm going to give you a short recap through these pictures.
-A DQ ice cream cake with 29 candles on it! Yes!
-Dave made me this awesome b-day sign as well as hid birthday sticky notes all over our apartment.
-Cook out with Dave along with a zillion large flies that were annoying
-S'mores - because it's a must with a cookout


Jamberry! Have you heard of Jamberry Nails? They are wraps that you put on your fingers. They are toxic free, stay on your nails for two weeks and cause no damage to your nails. I love them and am actually hosting a Facebook Jamberry Party! If you want info on it just leave me a comment. This is a picture of the wraps I have on my nails now.


Israel - I don't post much about politics but last week when I was visiting my home town their was a large group of people protesting Israel. I was angry you guys and rolled my window down and started screaming "ISRAEL! ISRAEL!' because you know, that's helpful? My husband quickly drove away after I did that. ha!

In all honesty, it scared me. Those are things we see on TV that happen in the Middle East and here it was in my hometown. However, later in the week I was reading in John 4 about Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. Just in that story you can tell the division there was back then between Israel and the surrounding areas but it dawned on me that Jesus is the one to fix that gap. He did it for the Samaritan woman and that's what He desires to do today. That's why he came and died - to seek and to save the lost. 

I proudly stand with Israel because Jesus does and He promised a blessing for those who stand with them (Genesis 12:3-4). Psalm 122:6 says "pray for the peace of Jerusalem" and so I encourage you to do that. Pray for peace from war, but more importantly pray that Jesus, peace himself, will reach and save the hearts of many - no matter what country they are from. 


I want to hear how your life is lately? 
Have you tried any new fun foods? 
Does anyone else eat local honey? 

Have a wonderful week, friends! 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Blueberry Lemonade


It's time for another round of Cooks in the Kitchen! I just love this little linkup hosted by Elah Tree & Sweet Lavender Bake Shoppe. They give an ingredient and you have a whole month to cook with it then you get to share your recipe! I even created a pinterest just for this linkup so I could gather ideas. 

This month's ingredient - blueberries! 

Oh Blueberries! They are so good. A lot of you know this, but earlier in the month, as part of my birthday festivities, I went blueberry picking! Blueberries are one of my favorite fruits and I was so happy about getting 6lb. of them.

I had no idea how I was going to narrow my blueberry post to one item this month! I have made Dutch Pancakes with blueberry topping, blueberry muffins, blueberry smoothies, blueberry scones and more!

Someone mentioned to me that I share lots of drinks on this blog and so I thought I'd keep with that theme and share an easy peasy recipe - blueberry lemonade!

The original recipe can be found here!



What kind of lemonade do you like?

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Also for my orange blueberry muffin recipe just click on the picture below!


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Happy Birthday Giveaway

Hi Friends! Today is MY BIRTHDAY! And if you haven't heard I love my birthday! I've gathered some of my favorite things and am giving them away to one awesome reader. 

The Birthday Giveaway will include: a burlap chevron bag painted by me, a multi-colored scarf, Starbucks refreshers, some cute wooden spoons decorated with washi tape, a mug & (not pictured) some homemade cards as well!  

Also, today and tomorrow, as a birthday treat, I'll be offering 50% all my ad spots! I'm only selling 10 spots at 1/2 off. If you are interested in that I'd love to work with you! You can read more about my ads here & upon check out enter the code 'happybirthday' for the discount.

Also a big thanks to Beth & Stephanie for co-hosting this giveaway with me! 



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Have a wonderful day, friends! Thanks for making my birthday great by being so supportive of me and my blog! 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Summer Time Renewal & My Favorite Summer Treat



Each month I have a post for my sponsors. I try to make my sponsor post thoughtful and beneficial to you, the reader. As I was brainstorming a topic for this month and with summer in full swing the idea of 'renewal' came to mind. 

Summer is full of vacations, chill time by the pool, outside meals and time to just refresh and renew yourself. I started thinking about Jesus. He had times of renewal too. He often would go alone and pray and He would take his disciples into the mountains to rest. 

Even during busy seasons, we need to have mini renewal sessions; time spent with Jesus to keep our eyes on Him. Dave and I travel frequently and to be honest, those are my 'busy' times. I'm not as faithful to read my Bible and pray while traveling. What I do love though are mornings in Woodward. I love making a latte with a ridiculous amount of whipped cream on top, getting my Bible and spending some quality time with Jesus. Those are my 'renewal' moments. 

I don't know where you are in life but I just want to encourage you to take some moments to renew! Time with Jesus is never time wasted. 

Summer is also a time of fun treats! I'm not a soda drinker but when summer is here you better believe, I'm drinking me some root beer! It's so good! 

Here are my sponsors for July and I sure do hope you will read what they shared about renewal plus they shared their favorite summer treat with you too!



Blog  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  


Blog  |  Twitter  |  Instagram

_________________________________________________

What do you do to renew and refresh?
I want to know your favorite summer treat?! 

_________________________________________________

ATTENTION!
Tomorrow is my BIRTHDAY which means you need to come back tomorrow to enter a super fun giveaway!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Runners Tell All – Bacon, Eggs, Sausage & Potatoes


Hello and welcome to July's edition of Runners Tell All. Runners Tell All is a monthly linkup hosted by Sunshine to the Square Inch and The Lady Okie that occurs on the 21st of every month. Our goal is to build a community where we can encourage and inspire each other on our running journeys. Each month we offer two co-host options. This allows for us to connect with you, advertise your blog and it also helps fund the monthly giveaways. If you are interested in sponsoring the RTA you can do that over on my advertising page. July's prompt is running and nutrition. What fuels you to run best? Next month's theme is either your favorite person to train / run with or your favorite training plan. We know not everyone is a social runner so we had two options for you!  

Sponsorship Update: I put the ad spot for Runners Tell All on my advertising page. I have the $15 option listed but if you want the $10 option just let me know and I'll give you a coupon code for that.


My Go To Running Nutrition 

Bananas & Peanut Butter - Let's just get something straight. I don't like either of those things and if I had to snarf them down at 5am for a race let's just say that wouldn't be pretty. 

My running food is just really different than most runners but it works for me! What do I eat? Bacon, sausage, eggs, and potatoes! I know. I'm a rare one out there. 

Let me do some explaining. For some reasons, carbs don't sit well with me. I've done the banana, bagel, peanut butter thing and it really does make me want to up chuck. For some odd reason protein sits really well with me. It doesn't bother my stomach and I feel like the fuel lasts a lot longer. After every big race I have a HUGE post breakfast (see picture above). 

Now, I'm about to share some super weird food stories so come and read along. Oh, and if you are a vegetarian you probably won't love my love for meat. 

  • Post marathon in Seattle - I went to a Brazilian steakhouse. If you haven't been to one they have a MASSIVE salad bar and then come by your table with skewers of meat and cut some off for you right there. They have around 10 options of meat. Well apparently marathons make me hungry because I had 4 plates of meat. *kind of embarassing* but I was hungry!

  • Pre-running McDonalds - BAD IDEA GUYS! Just don't do it. I had a 10k race and I didn't prep any food. I thought "What harm could a sausage muffin do?" oh my friends, it does harm! The heat was unusually hot that day and McDonalds + heat don't mix well. Don't worry though. After the race I still had my 'meat me breakfast'. Ain't no McD's stopping me from that! 

  • OKC Marathon Relay - I had never done a relay before and I got to my spot super early. I knew by the time my running partner arrived I'd be famished. I turned and 'WALAAAAA!' There was a Whole Foods right there! Well, I just walked my little self right over and ate me a bowl of eggs and potatoes. I had enough time to digest my food and enough fuel to last me for a 10k. 

  • This picture below - I felt cheated that I asked for meat and only got this much. It was still really good though =)

  • Below is my post race food picture after the Rock'n'Roll Chicago 1/2 marathon. I was a happy girl.


Other Running Fuel Tips

  • For the longest time I had bad stomach issues. Think "Where is the next porter potty emergency?" kind of stomach issues. I finally read somewhere that many runners take their GU & drink gatorades on the stops. They said to either only eat GU & drink water  or  to drink gatorade & water. Drinking both Gatorade & eating GU is too much sugar intake for your spleen and you will get the big runners dreaded "D"!

  • Post Race Replenishment - After long runs you lose a lot of salt. For the longest time I couldn't figure out why I felt ill for hours on end. Finally, my friend told me to eat some salt! I had completely forgot about salt. So, what did I do? I went and had some street, carne asada, tacos! It did the trick and I felt great. 

What's your go to nutrition? Any one else out there thrive off of protein rather than carbs?

Giveaway

Today we are giving away the perfect gift that goes along with nutrition - a RunnerBox! The RunnerBox comes packed with food to fuel you for some serious running. The RunnerBox also has a gluten free option so if you win & are gluten free be sure to tell us.

This giveaway is open internationally BUT RunnerBox only ships in the United States. Therefore, if you win we will work to send you a gift card or the cash equivalent of the RunnerBox. As always -entries will be verified so please be sure to play by the rules.


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Sponsors

A big welcome to Titus 2 Minutes and Miss Nutralicious! We are so thankful to have you both as sponsors this month!


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Linkup Rules
1. You must leave a comment on the person's blog who linked up directly before you. This linkup is to build community by reading, commenting and encouraging one another. 
2. Only link up the posts related to the running prompt. Unrelated link or links directly to your homepage will be deleted. 
3. Please link back to either Beka and Amanda in your posts or use the button below. The more we have join in the merrier!

Sunshine to the Square Inch


Friday, July 18, 2014

Random Facts Round 2 + My 1st Style Post


So, according to stats you all really like reading random facts about me. I think posts like this give a fun insight into people's lives - so here is round 2. If you missed the first go around you can find it here.


1. I have a twin.

Ok, not by birth but you need to hear this. I met a girl once and after talking for a bit we figured out that we both had the same first, middle & last name (all spelled identically). To top all that off we had the exact same birthday! Oh and we both had orange cats which means we are both awesome!

It was fun to have a 'twin' but quiet a pain sometimes. Insurance got us confused, medical offices got us confused, prescriptions for me were filed under her name, etc. etc. Thankfully our social security numbers were different because that was our saving grace. We are both married now and have different last names so we are back to normal now.


2. I kind of like to squeeze pets and cute little kids.


It's true. I just get so excited that I can't help myself. Before I met my nephews I had to remind myself, over and over and over and over, not to squeeze them super hard because that would scare them and then I wouldn't be the favorite aunt. 

As you can tell from the pictures below I did not show that kind of restraint with Static. ha ha! 

And don't worry! If I ever meet you in person I won't squeeze you. That would just be weird. 


3. Presents - Appropriate to share about because it's my birthday month

Presents and I have a special bond. I love love love opening presents. There is just something about a box wrapped in pretty paper with a gift inside that makes me want to jump up and down and clap my hands. 

You know how some people delicately open a gift and save the paper? That is definitely not me! When I get a gift I shred it to pieces like a 2 year old and try to get to what is inside as fast as I can. 

The only time I will open a present delicately is if I am sneaking around and opening it up before Christmas or my birthday. *guilty* One year I had it down like a pro and I opened up a gift for 'Rebekah' but it was the wrong Rebekah. whoops! Also, my family started putting my gifts in bags with tissue paper because they didn't see the point in wrapping them if I was just going to sneak around like that. It cured me because I haven't done that since. 

One year at Christmas we drew names. Well, I was blessed because my Mom drew my name and she bought me every item (except for 1) on my ridiculously long list. I seriously got so excited when I was opening those gifts that I had to stop because I was making myself hyperventilate a little bit. 

Enough about gifts! 

3. I have never bought a tub / container of ice cream since being married.

I know! You are probably gasping for air. But come on you guys, I had to make a New Year's resolution to just quit eating cookies in mass quantities so you can you imagine what tubs of ice cream would do to me?


4. I love kites!

I do. I love them. I have a butterfly kite named Mary Poppins and I have taken her all over the continental US with me. My heart (and body) does a happy dance each time I can fly her. 

5. Clothing


I'm trying to invest in good quality clothes that are both modest and sturdy to get me through a year of mission work in Asia! I'm not kidding when I say this - please pray for me that I'll have wisdom in getting the right things, knowing when to say no to an item and knowing what to pack. =) 

My outfit in this post  is coming with me to Asia! I bought this skirt with Asia in mind. 
skirt / Gap Outlet (similar here)
shirt / S H E I S Clothing
scarf / Walls
sandals / Old navy (similar here)

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I really wish I could sit down with each one of you to learn some facts about you! It would be so fun. BUT since I can't do that with everyone you should write a post sharing some fun things or leave me a comment on my blog / FB

Have a wonderful day friends!

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PS - Runners Tell All is MONDAY! We are talking about eggs, sausage and bacon running nutrition. Hope to see you there!

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