Fall Salad

It’s so weird- I rarely craved salads during the summer, but now that it’s fall I’ve been making them right and left! This particular salad is modeled after my favorite “Incredibull” from Happy + Hale that I have written about here and here. The original has beets and quinoa as well, but I just don’t have it in me to whip those up after wrestling a 3 pound butternut squash into submission. The roasted squash, by the way, is totally worth it. You could also buy pre-chopped if you’re short on time/patience. πŸ˜‰ Hope you enjoy!

Fall Salad (serves 3-4)

-1 biiiig bunch kale
-4 tablespoons olive oil
-3 tablespoons tahini
-juice of 1 lemon
-fresh dill, to taste (I use a lot!)
-salt, to taste
-1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
-1 large butternut squash or 4 sweet potatoes, cubed and roasted*
-1/2 cup pepitas
-2 large or 4 small avocados, sliced

1. De-stem the kale, if it isn’t already. Place in large bowl; add dill and salt.

2. Massage kale with olive oil, tahini, and lemon juice.

3. Divide kale mixture onto plates and top with beans, squash, nuts, and avocado. (This would also be great with shredded chicken if you have it!)

4. FEAST.

*To roast cubed squash, I coat it in olive oil and salt and bake at 415 degrees for 30ish minutes.

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Pumpkin Picking

The title of this post is a little misleading because we didn’t actually pick any pumpkins, but we did visit a pumpkin patch on Saturday with our nieces and nephew and it was so much fun! Whenever I spend time with kids I am always so refreshed by their fun-loving, carefree spirits. It was a great Saturday filled with lots of family time, goofiness, and grilling/eating.

At the pumpkin patch we played in a silo filled with corn (sounds weird but was actually great), rode a cow train, and got lost in a corn maze. Solid day with the fam. πŸ™‚

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Next fall activity on the docket = NC State Fair next weekend!

Rejoice always

This week really wore me down for some reason. Anyone else? I’ve had this verse on repeat in my mind:

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice. Pray. Give thanks. This is God’s will for us always! Not just when circumstances are favorable, but all. the. time. I think it’s important to note that God doesn’t necessarily call us to give thanks for all circumstances, but in them. I am such a work in progress when it comes to practicing that continually.

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Whether this weekend finds you working or resting or maybe a little bit of both, I hope you can find the time to practice rejoicing, praying, and giving thanks.Β I’m excited because we have friends coming for dinner tonight, and then tomorrow we’ll spend the day with family who are in town. Sunday I work again, so I am going to make the most of my rest day. See you back here next week!

 

Weekend Gratitude

I loved reading this reminder last week to be thankful for the “mundane” things in life. In that same spirit, I wanted to make a list of things I was thankful for this past weekend!

-Sweet potato fries + vino… and my husband, of course πŸ˜‰

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-Playing Bananagrams

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-Grocery store coupons (because I didn’t choose the Dave Ramsey life, the Dave Ramsey life chose me)

-Attending a continuing ed course at Duke (the subject was pediatric traumatic brain injury- super interesting! Made me miss the grad school days)

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-Rollerblading with Josh

-Snuggling babies in the church nursery

-Watching Moana (might be my new favorite Disney movie!)

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-Eggs and avocado toast

-Reading 1 John

-The smell of laundry

-Trying a new snack recipe

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-Morning cups of tea

-Hosting small group at our apartment

-Crockpot chili

Have a great week, friends! When the days start to feel busy and overwhelming, let’s pause and come back to these simple moments of gratitude. πŸ™‚

Dear “Needing-A-Break” Soul

Every morning I get a lovely, inspiring little email from Brave Girls Club. I received one last week that spoke straight to my heart, and knew I had to share it on here. I hope it resonates with you as much as it did me, and helps you give yourself permission to enjoy the gift of rest!

“Dear Needing-a-Break Soul,

We would never expect a car to run without fuel. We would never expect an appliance to work without being plugged in. We would never expect a flashlight to work without batteries.

Why do expect ourselves to operate at full capacity without refueling, recharging, recalibrating?

We need white space.

We need eye rest. We need peace and quiet.

We need to stop thinking so hard, stop moving so fast, stop worrying so much.

Sometimes we forget that one of the most important parts of our daily work, our weekly work, our life’s work — is the chill time.

You need rest. You need time to chill and be. You need to be nourished. You are a living, breathing, feeling being.

Take some time. Schedule it in. It is part of your important life work. No one is going to take care of this part of things, so you must. You are too important to wear out.

You are so very very very loved.”

chill

How She Does It

Somehow it’s October now?! That is insane. I think Octobers in North Carolina are amazing though, so I am one happy girl.

I wanted to let everyone know that one of my very best friends, Alex Davis, started a gorgeous blog called How She Does It and you have to go check it out! She even let me guest post on it, and I wrote (here) about hustling versus resting in grace. Something I am constantly learning, as any reader of this blog knows. πŸ˜‰

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Alex and I at Wine & Design for her bachelorette πŸ™‚

Here is a little bit about How She Does It:

How She Does ItΒ is a lifestyle and career blog that celebrates the many different ways that women work. Our mission is to empower and inspire women to work as they live: joyfully, and on purpose. We publish relatable articles that touch on all facets of our careers, from navigating workplace conflicts, to crafting stellar resumes, to championing the many ways real women have overcome professional challenges and seized opportunities.”

Love love love it. So go check out Alex’s blog STAT and enjoy the beginning of this most beautiful month!

 

Daily Bread

I am realizing something absolutely ridiculous: I can stress myself out trying to de-stress. Can anyone relate?! (Please say yes please say yes…) Particularly when I know I have a busy week coming up, I try to hoard rest time as if it will last me throughout the coming days.

I do this spiritually, too. I can get myself all in a tizzy trying to store up peace and joy and love for the week ahead, like the Israelites hoarding manna when God told them only to gather enough for that day.

If you are familiar with the story, you know that the people who stockpiled manna found that it didn’t last them forever. In fact, it lasted only a day and then rotted. Similarly, I don’t think God intends for me to “stockpile” these fruits of the Spirit like I’m going to the grocery store to load up for the week. He wants me to rely on Him each day, in each moment, and He promises to faithfully provide what I need when I need it.

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Jesus tells us not to worry about tomorrow because each day has enough trouble of its own. Instead of wasting energy worrying about what tomorrow might bring, we are told to “keep in step with the Spirit,” and to trust that in each moment, His grace will be sufficient.

I wonder if, on some level, I’m trying to hoard these feelings of peace and joy when I can because I don’t trust that God will provide them for me each day. Do I really believe what Lamentations says, that His mercies are new every morning? That He longs to show us compassion, and delights in giving grace? I wonder.

Living a life in step with the Spirit is a dynamic, daily adventure. It isn’t like going to the ATM, where we can just withdraw a bunch of money and then not have to be inconvenienced again for awhile. It makes sense, because Jesus is clear in that He wants to draw us into a relationship with Himself, not a business deal or a long-distance pen pal thing. This relationship involves daily trust and communication.

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I’m realizing how silly it is for me to treat the weekends as if they are my only time of rest and peace. It’s funny because my weeks often bring me so much joy- I love my job, I love where I live, I love doing daily life with Josh. Although the weekday grind can feel stressful at times, there is no reason to believe that Jesus won’t come through for me in those moments and offer His abundant grace.

So here’s to enjoying the weekend, resting in the fact that we never have to hoard the good stuff that God delights in giving us each day.

Pittsburgh Wedding

So… my mom got remarried this weekend! Josh, my sister and I all piled into my car on Friday morning to drive up for the festivities. My brother flew in and met us there (lucky duck). It was a super short trip but we squeezed in a lot- it kind of felt like a family reunion! The ceremony and reception were both at the Edgeworth Country Club, which was beautiful. Here’s a quick photo recap of the weekend:

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Cute little street where we stayed in Sewickley (our AirBnB was the top floor of that brick house)
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Rehearsal dinner at Andora
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My mom, sister & me (my brother evades all photos)
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Getting ready with my sweet grams- who always has a cup of coffee at the ready πŸ˜‰
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Right before my gorgeous mama walked down the aisle!
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Because why not πŸ™‚
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Fact: I will always order the salmon at weddings
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The newlyweds!
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Watching my grandparents dance is just the best
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And finally… it wouldn’t be a roadtrip without a flat tire! (Yes- that is a bike pump. We were desperate.)

After a wonderful weekend and some brief tire trouble, we made our way back to Raleigh on Sunday. I always feel a little sad when a happy weekend ends, but we have lots to look forward to in the coming weeks so I’m going to choose to focus on that instead. Hope everyone has a great week and enjoys the first lovely signs of FALL!

Bulletproof Coffee

Fall is slowly making her debut here in Raleigh, and I am starting to get excited about warm drinks and coziness. The mornings have been much cooler, and it has me pulling out my blender to whip up some magical “bulletproof coffee.”

If you are hesitant to add fat and calories to your beverages, then back away slowly. But if you love creamy delicious drinks and having lots of energy and happy feels, then keep reading and make this stuff stat!

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Bulletproof Coffee (serves 1)
-8 ounces hot coffee
-1 tablespoon butter
-1 tablespoon coconut oil
-1/4 cup coconut milk (I use the canned full-fat kind, usually Goya or Trader Joe’s brand)
-honey to taste

Buzz this up in the blender for a few seconds, pour into your favorite mug (this step is crucial), and enjoy.

Happy (almost) fall!