Simple Joy Saturday #12

Simple Joy Saturday #12

Every Saturday I share three simple things that brought me happiness during the week.  These posts may grow or evolve as time passes.  Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section!

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November 28-24

1. My parents celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary last weekend.  I am very thankful that these self-described “partners in excellence” are my Mom and Dad.

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This photo was taken two years ago in Connecticut.

2. We repainted Brother’s old room.

Brother moved to Connecticut two years ago, but we hadn’t done much to his childhood bedroom since then.  Yesterday, Mom and I spent hours moving the furniture, cleaning, and painting.  We feel accomplished, and the room looks great.

3. Coffee flavored Greek yogurt.

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I am obsessed with this stuff.  It is a seasonal flavor at Aldi, so I basically buy as many containers as will fit in my fridge at one time.  You seriously need to get to Aldi ASAP. Why are you still reading?  GO!!

Now I want to know…what seasonal foods do you stockpile?

WIAW: Stress Free Saturday

WIAW: Stress Free Saturday

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Today for What I Eat Wednesday, I am showing pictures of my meals on Saturday.  I wrote the text Saturday morning, and I felt that it gave appropriate “spiritual food for thought” to pair with my comestible activity for the rest of the day.

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Breakfast: The best way to finish off a jar of peanut butter is to make oatmeal in a jar!  I added grapes to make it more like pb&j.

 

Be anxious for nothing -Philippians 4:6

I seem to quote that verse on a second by second basis, and yet I am so bad at obeying it.  I tend to do the opposite and worry about everything.

Mid-morning snack: vanilla yogurt with strawberries and mandarin oranges

Right now, it is 4:30 Saturday morning, and this is what I am thinking:

  • What if I got a failing grade on the speech I gave yesterday?
  • Will I have enough time to get this assignment done?
  • What will the cafeteria serve for lunch?
  • If I swim today, will it give my mind a rest or be too taxing on my muscles?
  • I told M and K that I would take date-iversary pictures of them this afternoon, but I don’t really know what they want or what their style is.
  • Did I drink enough water yesterday?
  • Should I make my WIAW post for Saturday or Monday?
  • Should I go to the elementary school on Monday to do some prep work for student teaching?
  • I wonder if I can pick up some extra hours at work this week.
  • Should I have bought a different type of cake mix to bake for the hall meeting on Tuesday?  
  • Will I pass my licensure tests next month? 
  • Am I prepared to student teach in January?
  • What am I going to do after graduation?
  • Am I worrying too much?

I am sure the list could go on for quite a while.

Lunch in the cafeteria: banana & peanut butter sandwich (toasted in the waffle iron because the panini press was gone), mixed vegetables, and cottage cheese with cranberries

Be anxious for nothing,

But in everything with prayer and supplication 

Let your requests be made known unto God. 

– Philippians 4:13

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Snack while writing lesson plans: (an American classic) a hotdog and chips (I usually don’t have hotdogs in my room, but earlier this week, I really wanted a good hotdog.  Since I am picky about what counts as a “good hotdog,” I went to the store and bought a pack.)

I think my problem is that I never really make it past that first line of that verse.  I get so worried about not being anxious that I fail to realize that God does not leave me to find my own peace.

Supper in the cafeteria: penne pasta with chicken, vegetables, and alfredo sauce, and a bowl of cottage cheese

God wants me to bring my worries to Him in prayer with  thanksgiving.  He doesn’t expect me to mitigate my own fears.

Pre-Bible-Study-Snack: Peanut butter crackers…protecting the world from a hangry Kat.

…My peace do I leave with you. I do not give it as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled or afraid. 

– John 14:27

Snack at Bible Study: 3 Pumpkin Cheesecake bars made by our hostess (don’t you love our patriotic plates in the middle of Autumn? 🙂 )

So right now, I am bowing my head in prayer and dedicating myself to a stress-free Saturday.  I am going to fervently surrender to God’s grace.  Then I will crawl back into bed and rest in God’s peace, eager to embrace His mercies that are new every morning.

After-Bible-Study-Snack: Greek yogurt with peanut butter (I added about 4 oz. of peanut butter to this after taking the picture…I usually eat about 4 oz. of peanut butter a night).

Did I spend Saturday completely stress- and worry-free?  No.  Nonetheless, typing that post did help me put my anxiety into perspective.  I must daily hold my life up to the light of eternity and surrender my struggles to God.

Thanks Jenn (Peas and Crayons), Laura (sprint2thetable), Arman (thebigmansworld) and Meghan (cleaneatsfastfeets).

WIAW – Snackin’ Sunday

WIAW – Snackin’ Sunday

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Once again, I am sharing my spiritual and physical food by linking up with Jenn (peasandcrayons), Laura (sprint2thetable), Arman (thebigmansworld) and Meghan (cleaneatsfastfeets) for What I Ate Wednesday.

This week, I am showing a full Sunday of eats.

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Spiritual Food:

This week, my church elected a new pastor (which means that neither the old pastor nor the new pastor preached).  Instead, the president of my college spoke in my church’s Sunday morning service, and he shared a message that he had recently given in a school chapel service.  Although I had heard the sermon before, there were some applicable truths.  Using Acts 9, he urged the church to be a congregation of “Barnabas”s–Sons of Encouragement. After Saul’s conversion, Christians were still afraid of him.  Yet, Barnabas rescued him.  Barnabas saw the life change he had experienced and encouraged the disciples in Jerusalem to accept Saul.  Later, in chapter 13, Barnabas accompanies Saul on his missionary journeys.  This story does more than show us the importance of being an encouragement to others.  Each of us need to find a “Barnabas” to hold us accountable and keep us spiritually on track.  Even Paul, who is considered a spiritual giant, learned from the humble friendship of Barnabas (compare Acts 15:36-41 and 2 Timothy 4:11).

God does not expect us to live in solidarity;  He created companionship and community.  Whether it be a family member, friend, teacher, co-worker or fellow-blogger, have someone to regularly encourage you and check your spiritual health.

Physical Food:

My Sundays are pretty simple, and this one was no different.  I wake up like a normal school day so that I can take my time getting ready.

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This week, The Oatmeal Artist’s weekly theme is red.  I tried to make a beautiful apple peel rose on my cinnamon peanut butter oatmeal, but I was not too pleased with how it came out.

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I snacked my way through the morning: a pumpkin square after my run, another pumpkin square as “dessert” after breakfast, and a graham muffin right before I left for church (with hopes that I would make it through the whole service without getting hungry…it didn’t work 🙂 ).

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I ate lunch (stew with rice, grilled vegetables, yogurt with granola, and a super-ripe banana) in the college cafeteria. This isn’t a typical Sunday lunch for me, but I don’t know what a typical Sunday lunch actually is.

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Before choir practice, I ate a plate of my mom’s meatloaf, blue potatoes, and butter beans with corn that she sent back to school with me after a quick trip home on Saturday afternoon.  Originally, there were red potatoes too, but I got hungry while working on schoolwork, and I ate all of the red potatoes around 2 o’clock.

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Dessert was a cereal bar topped with peanut butter because I am classy 🙂  (Side note: I go through about 2 jars of peanut butter a week, so I taste-test a lot of brands. This was my first sampling of Peter Pan Simply Ground.  It was good, but it will never compare to The Best Nut Butter I Have Ever Tasted).

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For as long as I can remember, I have eaten a bowl of ice cream every Sunday night.  Our church had a prayer service tonight instead of our typical worship service, and it went a little late, so I knew that just ice cream was not going to satisfy my hunger.  I topped the bowl with peanut butter and protein granola…and then I ate some a lot more peanut butter and granola (imagine about 4 oz. of peanut butter and 1.5 cups of granola) because I was still hungry. (Side note: don’t try to save money by buying Aldi-brand strawberry yogurt and protein granola [their regular granola is fine, though].  It is worth the extra $2 for Breyer’s and Nature Valley.   Trust me.  I learned the hard way).

Before bed, I ate an undisclosed number of pumpkin bars. Hint: Pictures don’t always tell the whole story 😊

 

Questions for you:

  1. What did your pastor preach about on Sunday?
  2. What is your favorite nut butter?
  3. What foods do you always buy name-brand?
  4. Bonus question:  I ate oatmeal at every meal today.  Can you find the oatmeal in the supper that I ate before choir practice?

 

Creamy Mango Smoothie

Creamy Mango Smoothie

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It was hot.  There was no air conditioning.  The dust re-entered the church quicker than we could sweep it out.

 

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On one of our first days in Trinidad, my senior class was tasked with the duty of cleaning a church.  While the girls painted, swept, mopped, and washed the inside of the building, the boys mixed and poured concrete out front.  Within minutes, the twelve of us were parched and starving.

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This is when I met fresh mango for the first time.  I am sure that I had sampled the canned version on various buffet bars as a child, but I had never before peeled and sliced this juicy fruit for myself.  Using a friend’s pocket knife, I sliced into the tender skin.  I made a mess–a sticky, yellow, slimy mess–and decided that a banana was the easier way to go.

My second encounter with fresh mango was a few weeks ago.  For some reason, I refuse to buy a real kitchen knife for my dorm room. My mom even offered to give me one of her knives, but I turned her down.  Things tend to disappear from dorm rooms, and I don’t like the idea of having anything sharper than a pair of scissors available for pilfering.  Therefore, I attacked the red fruit with my trusty butter knife.

The fruit won.  By the end of the ordeal, I my entire counter had a yellow hue.

Nonetheless, the battle resulted in a delicious smoothie, and it was well worth the fight.  I have a great desire to call this a milkshake instead of a smoothie because the drink is extremely creamy.

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One of these days, I will learn to properly peel and slice a mango.  Until then, I will keep making messes and licking sticky nectar from my fingers.

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Creamy Mango Smoothie

Ingredients

makes 2 smoothies

  • 2 cups milk of choice
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla yogurt
  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 1 fresh mango, peeled and sliced

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth
  • Drink and enjoy

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Have a lovely weekend and happy Fiesta Friday!

 

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Shamrock Smoothie

Shamrock Smoothie

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Happy (early) St. Patrick’s Day!

When I was in middle school, my best friend and I decided to search for four leaf clovers at her grandma’s house.  No sooner had I knelt to examine the ground than she had found one.  Within seconds, both of us were plucking four leaf clovers from the ground.  As it turned out, the entire patch of ground was filled with four-, five-, and even six-leaf clovers.  I truly felt like I had floated to a magical land.

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Remember when jumping pictures were all the rage?

In the festive, green-day spirit, you can make traditional Irish food (such as soda bread, corned beef, or cabbage) or you can make a refreshing green smoothie.  The choice is yours!

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Shamrock Smoothie

(Banana-Kiwi Green Smoothie)

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 kiwi, peeled
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 2/3 cup vanilla yogurt

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth
  • Pour into glass, drink, and enjoy!

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Aldi Food Haul

Aldi Food Haul

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During a stressful week of classes, work, and volleyball, my college pantry took a serious beating.  I was hitting the bottom of the raisin container, rationing my last few peanuts, and completely out of peanut butter.  It was time for an Aldi run.

Man shall not live by bread alone; he also needs peanut butter.
Man shall not live by bread alone; he also needs peanut butter.

As you know, I live a cheap frugal life.  That is why I adore Aldi!  Below I have listed some healthy, yummy Aldi products that are great to keep in your dorm room.

  • Natural Peanut Butter   ($1.49 per 16 oz. container)
  • Cottage Cheese ($2.29 per 24 oz. container)
  • Yogurt ($.39 per 6 oz. container)
  • Multigrain Bread ($1.69 per 20 oz. loaf)
  • Roasted Turkey ($2.99 for 14 oz.)
  • Black Beans ($.59 per 15.5 oz. can)
  • Pineapple Lunch Snacks ($1.49 for four 4 oz. cups)

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Aldi also has a great selection of fresh produce.  I don’t keep much produce in my room, but when I am home, my family buys peppers, bananas, sweet potatoes, blueberries, strawberries, carrots, celery, mushrooms, and various other pieces of produce at Aldi.

Because I bummed a ride off my brother, I also received some much-needed venting time on this Aldi run.  Food, fellowship, and frugality.  What a great ending to a long week.

“A friend loves you all the time, and a brother helps in time of trouble.”  –Proverbs 17:17

 

Oats and Outfits: Tuesday {Madame Blueberry}

Oats and Outfits: Tuesday {Madame Blueberry}

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My need for structure created some interesting mental scenarios growing up. As a kid, I was sure that there were yogurt divisions in my household. I know that no one else felt this way, but it was my opinion that every family member should have their own flavor. That way, we wouldn’t have to worry about eating the yogurt that someone else wanted. My mom could have peach, my brother could have blueberry, and I would eat vanilla. Just to keep a level playing field, we would share the strawberry. Needless to say, I was the only one who followed these restrictions.

Consequently, I have never had blueberry yogurt—until today, that is. To match my blue Gap sundress, I made blueberry yogurt overnight oatmeal using this recipe.  I topped the masterpiece with banana slices and blackberries, and ate to my heart’s content.