Monday, December 23, 2019

Some Quick Weekend Whatevers

As I slowly get back into blogging, these "Weekend Whatever" posts are the best way to do it, brief and hopefully interesting little summaries of my weekend happenings and of the randomness that has been floating around in my head. Enjoy! Let me know which one of the points you like the most.




1. I had such a wonderful weekend extroverting with family and friends! Saturday my brother and cousins came over and we had a cookie party! I made these delicious oatmeal chocolate chip cookies among other kinds. And you can't have a Christmas cookie party without those Pillsbury Christmas Sugar Cookies with the holiday shapes printed on them! I have always loved them so much, but maybe that is only because I grew up on them. They used to come in a sealed air-tight can that you would have to twist and pop to get open. Does anyone else remember that besides me?

2. Lets talk phone apps. This week one of my old housemates introduced me to that fact that one of my favorite ministries, The Voice of the Martyrs, has a phone app in which they provide daily prayer requests featuring a different nation each day! Prayer warriors check this one out!

3.  Today was Day 50, the last day of the book of Jeremiah bible study, through Proverbs 31 Ministries' First Five App - a great app I highly recommend! I think I'm going to do a study of the book of Romans next!
4. All my single ladies, if you have 30 mins. on your hands, you're going to want to watch this entertaining message. It will get you. 😃 If you watch it, leave a comment down below to let us know what you thought of it! 
5. I am on the hunt for some cute pajamas. Any recommendations on where I could find some cute classy ones? It would be so fantastic If I could make my own like these! 😍

6. If your looking for some new edifying online material to read -the blog of a friend of mine. 

7. I attempted making this "Easy Lemon Herb Roasted Potato" recipe this weekend. Mine ended up mashed. 😩 Cooking is not my strength. They still tasted good so I wouldn't consider it a complete Pinterest fail... 😅

8. I am probably the last person on the world wide web to realize that you can now "organize" you pins on Pinterest, and I am just addicted to doing so! Whoever came up with that concept is brilliant. It is about time we've been given the capability to clean up our Pinterest boards... and I just LOVE organizing- anything!

9. My housemates and I had fun doing this Big Five Personality Trait Test.

10. Can't get enough of this soundtrack.


Thanks for stopping by!
Have yourself a great week!
Comment, follow, subscribe, and don't be shy!


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Monday, December 16, 2019

Easy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Would ya guess? Baking is not my favorite thing to do. I'm not great at it. I would rather cook, or better yet, be the taste tester. 😊 I feel like baking is so much more of a science than cooking, but this season, with SO many people in mind that I would like to gift-give to I've decided that giving homemade baked goods might be the best way to go this year! Today I'm going to share with you this delicious and easy oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe. My old Ballet Magnificat housemates would make these cookies all the time in the winter (dancers do eat cookies) and now I'm giving it a go. If you're like me, a novice baker, this is the perfect recipe for you! Oatmeal is delicious and super easy to work with. They also don't require a lot of time! I of all people know, time is a precious commodity. Prep-time is short and they only bake in the oven for about 8-10 mins. That's all! Not to mention, the cinnamon and nutmeg in these cookies give off a fragrant delicious aroma that will make your home smell divine! Who wouldn't love their home smelling like delicious fresh-baked oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, during the holiday season?




Easy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies


Ingredients

  • 2-1/2 sticks of butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1-1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  •  1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 3 cups of oats- The "Old Fashioned Quaker" kind works well!
  • 1 bag of chocolate chips- add to your liking



Directions:

  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients together.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper 
  4. Scoop out 1 inch round balls of your dough and place them out on your sheet with adequate space between them as they will expand and grow a bit.
  5. Bake anywhere between 8-12 mins, until the under-edges begin to brown slightly. 
  6. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cook a bit as they will continue to firm up even after being taken out of the oven.
  7. Enjoy!
 
Nom, nom, nom!

Buen Porvecho!

Give this delicious recipe a try, 
and then please let us know how yours turned out!
Thanks for stopping by! Happy Baking!
comment, follow, subscribe, and don't be shy! 

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Saturday, December 7, 2019

“Balance” is for the Birds...

Hello Friends! I'm back! Please excuse the dust and cobwebs that have accumulated here while I've been gone. I have truly dropped the ball with posting regularly for you all, and while I have really been desiring to just hop on here and post something, I have just been SO busy! I can't tell you how many times I've "written" this blog post in my brain, but simply wasn't able to find the time to sit down in front of a computer and get it published. And now, so much has happened since we last met together, I don't even know where to start with sharing it all. 

... I never imagined that this new season of life would be as busy as it is, but I guess that is my fault. My transition from Mississippi to Pennsylvania- from a life of touring and performing professionally as a ballet dancer with Ballet Magnificat, to now doing life as a ballet teacher, has been going rather smoothly. But where I was expecting for my workload to be lightened this season, I am now realizing it isn't going to happen, at least not until the school year that I'm locked into is over. Upon arriving in Lancaster PA this past August, I hit the ground running with my various teaching jobs, which luckily, were opportunities lined up for me prior to me even moving. Within only weeks of being back in Lancaster, I was able to land myself into this affordable and adorable little loft apartment of mine, which I still need to share pictures of with you!
I absolutely LOVE my jobs at Silver Spring Dance Conservatory and the Cavod Academy of the Arts. I teach five days a week in the evenings and alternate every other day at each school. I have fallen in love with ALL of my students and can only hope they feel the same way about me! On top of all the teaching I do in the evenings, I have acquired a morning job too, to help ends meet, a prayer request answered from a previous blog post. Thank you to all those of you that joined me in prayer over the matter! I am proud to share, in the mornings I am the front desk receptionist for the Inn at Kitchen Kettle Village and cross-train in housekeeping, a most ideal morning job offering the exact hours I was praying for and conveniently located not far from where I live! And working there is SO FUN! I am so pleased with things! Life is good, and God truly has supplied all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. (Phil.4:19)

If you are local or just passing through, Kitchen Kettle Village is a must-stop tourist attraction, self described as "showcasing all that Lancaster County has to offer — homemade baked goods, jams and relishes, good food with unexpected touches and charming one-of-a-kind overnight lodging in a picturesque countryside. Also famous for our unique shopping experience, featuring 40 distinct merchants offering everything from locally-made art, pottery and PA Dutch quilts to name-brand favorites like Brighton, PANDORA Jewelry, UGG and Minnetonka moccasins. Spend the day and/or night. With plenty of things to do in the Village and around PA Dutch County, Kitchen Kettle make it easy to plan a great trip to Lancaster, PA."




One prayer request that has not yet been met is my desire to find balance- balance in my working vs. resting, pouring out vs. making time for being filled... but as of late I've been starting to believe that this is a prayer request not meant to be met. After listening to this sermon by Church of the City New York, I've been convinced that the idea of balance in life is simply an unattainable social construct, and that seeking after balance in our day is NOT as crucial as just seeking the Lord and what his will is for our day, and then following through. BUT, maybe it would be helpful for you to know what I was defining balance as. To me, a perfectly balanced life would be perfectly predictable, consistent, manageable, controlled days where work is complimented perfectly by an equivalent amount of rest. I've come to realize that just isn't realistic. That is just not how life works. And when I think about it, it certainly would not be an accurate description of the life of Jesus, which is the life we all model our own after, isn't it? 
My problem is that I am a workaholic, and changing locations from one state to another is not going to change that. Balance is not the answer either. I can and should be more strategic with how I spend my time and more intentional with scheduling margins and periods of rest into my days and weeks (I could prepare a whole spiel on what I'm learning about why rest is so important but that is a topic for another day), but ultimately, I'm learning that, going about my day, I simply need to be more yielding to the Holy Spirit, and then whatever the state-of-being is that I am seeking, will come. 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
 ~ Matthew 11:28-30


Give the sermon a listen! I would love to know what you think about this? Feel free to let us know in the comment section down below because I know fellow readers and I would love to know your thoughts! Let's start discussion! 


With that being said, Anywho anyhow, 😏 I have no regrets making the move! I surprisingly don't miss dancing professionally much at all. Teaching ballet keeps me enough in the realm of physical activity, music, and creating, it helps with the transition. Not to mention, after more than an exhausting decade of striving to be good enough in dance (so worth it but...), I am ready to pass the baton. No longer a "missionary/starving artist", I have never been more financially independent and not rich but stable, in all my life, not that money is everything, but I am enjoying it- this blessing from the Lord. I have also been attending Crossway Church of Millersville which I am excited to become a member of. I enjoy their scripture based teaching, and hospitable welcoming atmosphere. 


Looking back on this past semester, I know I have lots to thank the Lord for. I have so much room for growth as a ballet teacher but I know that will come with time. I am really looking forward to the opportunities coming up next semester, such as choreographing and master class teaching which I know will only help with the growing process. Though this Occupied Optimist has kept rather busy these past couple of months with my other jobs, my sewing business has managed to stay afloat! Despite the busy schedule, I feel like I have a better handle on things now. I hope to give a bit more attention to Lilly's Creations again, and blogging! I have so many good recipes I've been wanting to share with you since I have more time to cook now as well as fun stories, and things God has been teaching me that I want to share with you so stay tuned! 
  

If you're new to my blog welcome!!!
And if you're not, well then welcome back!!!
Thank you for stopping by my blog today and sticking around to
 reach the end of this post! Let me know down below what you enjoyed about it
and what you would like to hear more about! Things are just getting 
restarted/revamped around here! Make sure to stick around.
The fun has just begun!

  
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