Sunday Inspiration 5.1.16

Let me tell you how happy God has made me! For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and draped about me the robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels.    Isaiah 61.10

Bridal Bush in my front yard.

While it’s fun to dress my body in outfits that make me smile for a day, the spiritual clothing that God has given me covers me in joy and peace that lasts forever! God’s closet is HUGE and He has plenty of His designer pieces for everyone. Have you accepted your free garment of salvation and robe of righteousness?

Cooking Adventures:  Sweet Potato and Kale Frittata with Goat Cheese

Cooking Adventures: Sweet Potato and Kale Frittata with Goat Cheese

One of my goals this year is to try new recipes, both vegetarian for myself and meaty for Some Postman. I did one of each this past week, and they both turned out pretty good! Of course, I didn’t actually sample the Chicken Parmigiana I made for SP, but he said it was tasty and he won’t mind if I make it again.

The vegetarian recipe I made last week was Sweet Potato and Kale Frittata with Goat Cheese, which was printed in the December 2015 issue of Vegetarian Times magazine. My friend and neighbor, T, gave me a year’s subscription to Veg Times as a gift and I have a LONG list of recipes among those pages that I plan to try!

Rather than type out the recipe here, I’m including a link to the Vegetarian Times website:

Sweet Potato and Kale Frittata with Goat Cheese

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My frittata turned out delicious! I did make a couple of changes from the original recipe, but they are minor. First of all, I could not figure out why the Dijon mustard should be divided (and apparently other people noticed the goof, too – no one knows why it says “divided”!), and I didn’t have Dijon, so I substituted brown mustard. I didn’t measure it, either, but that’s nothing new. Ha ha!

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Kale is not appealing to me. When I was a waitress at the local steak house way back when, kale was used to decorate the salad bar; people didn’t eat it! I’ve tried to like the stuff, since it’s now considered a “super food”, but I simply can’t get past the fact it’s tough and tastes like leaves. Thick, fibrous leaves. Bleh! Even in soup, it’s tough and stringy. So I considered subbing the kale in this recipe for spinach. But you know how spinach gets all limp and slimy when it’s cooked? Yeah, that didn’t seem appealing. Instead, I decided to try baby kale. Which turned out to be a great idea! Baby kale is tender without being slimy after being cooked. Adult kale is just yucky.

Another change I made is to use a regular skillet. I despise non-stick pans, so I just sprayed my RevereWare skillet with plenty of olive oil and the frittata came out of it just fine, thankfully. I did have to leave mine in the oven longer than 10 minutes, but I do prefer my eggs cooked more firmly than most folks.

Not only was the frittata delicious when I first made it, but the leftovers have been just as delightful! This one is a keeper!

Sunday Style: Vintage Fur

Sunday Style: Vintage Fur

My generous sister-in-law gave me a beautiful vintage fur capelet (or mini cape) for Christmas. I’d seen it in the photos her daughter posted on Facebook advertising their garage sale earlier in the month. My SIL had acquired the fur from a resident at the retirement home she worked at about 10 years ago. Bless her heart – instead of selling the capelet, she mailed it to me! And I do LOVE it!

I’d planned to wear the capelet with my green sweater dress to my family’s Christmas get-together, but it was entirely too windy and cold that day. So I saved it to wear to church this past Sunday. We had cold sunshine and not much wind, which was bearable, although I’ll admit I was glad to reach the car when we left the building.

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Outfit details:  vintage fur capelet ~ gift from SIL;

dress ~ eBay; boots ~ eBay;

bracelet ~ vintage shop.

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At church, several ladies admired my fur – as did several men! We have many avid hunters in our congregation, and some of them trap as well. The men were mostly interested in identifying the animal fur. Muskrat, mink, and chinchilla were suggested. I have no idea, of course!

When the fur came to me, it had a few places where the seams had come undone, so I repaired those before wearing it. The design is wonderful! You can see in the above photo how there is a split on each side for my arms to go through and into the little hand-warmer pockets.

Curious about the fur’s origins, I looked up “Furs by Francis” and discovered that the furrier opened its doors in Winona, Minnesota in 1949, and closed sometime in 2010. The mink jackets for Miss Minnesota winners were made there, and the second owner even raised his own foxes for a time. The exact age of my capelet isn’t known, but from what my SIL told me, my best guess is that it was made in the 1950s.

Since I have very few occasions to wear fancy dress, I’ve been poking around on Pinterest to find ways to wear the capelet casually. It does appear to be possible! As long as the Kansas weather cooperates, I plan to feature the fur at least once more on the blog before spring.

Farewell, 2015; Hello, 2016!

It is December 31st as I begin to write this post. The last day of the year 2015. I spent the day taking down most of the Christmas decor (I will leave up the wreaths and snowmen for a while) and cleaning up fake pine needles. As I put away my Christmas card record book (it’s vintage 1970s, given to me by my mother-in-law, and I used the last column in the final pages this year…so sad!), I read all the ‘year in review’ letters I’ve written – and thankfully saved – since 2003. I don’t write a newsletter each year, but every 2-3 years I make the effort. It’s only half a page and sums up the major life events in our family over the past year. A lot has happened and changed over the years, for sure. In 2003, my kids were in 5th and 6th grades; in 2015, we have two grandchildren. What changes are in store over the next 10-15 years?

I considered making a ‘favorite outfits of the past year’ post…but I will spare you. The reason I started blogging my outfits was so that I’d put more effort into my appearance and figure out my personal style. Looking back on the blog, from the beginning to now, I can see that my style is becoming more defined. There really isn’t much need to document my outfits anymore, but I do find it fun, so I’ll keep it up. OK, just for fun, here’s my favorite outfit of 2015:

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Outfit details: cotton top & skirt ~ JC Penney’s belt ~ thrifted sandals ~ Trade Home Shoes sunglasses ~ ???

There were a couple of very significant events that occurred in 2015. The best one, of course, was the birth of my granddaughter on October 1st! She is SO precious and we love her to pieces. She completes our family in the nicest way! The other significant thing was personal growth in a very specific area of my life. Early in the year, I finally made peace with my size and shape; I’ve never been skinny and I never will be. That’s perfectly fine. I’m happy and healthy, and I no longer care what size my clothes are. While I’m at peace with my size/shape, I was not at peace with my relationship with food, so I got involved in a Thin Within online support group in late August. It’s a work still in progress, of course, but improvements have been made. It is getting easier NOT to use food (even healthy food) to stuff my feelings. My goal with this isn’t to lose weight; my goal is to be at peace with both my body and with food. Nonetheless, I won’t fuss about the 7.5 lbs that have vacated my personal space as a result!

That brings me to goals for 2016. No, I do NOT make resolutions; I despise resolutions. I will set GOALS – targets for which I will aim, and not beat myself up if I miss. According to the site StatisticBrain.com, the top ten resolutions for 2015 were:

  1. Lose weight
  2. Get organized
  3. Spend less, save more
  4. Enjoy life to the fullest
  5. Stay fit and healthy
  6. Learn something exciting
  7. Quit smoking
  8. Help others in their dreams
  9. Fall in love
  10. Spend more time with family

The percentage of people who actually succeed in achieving their resolutions? A measly 8%! A resolution is a “firm decision to do or not to do something”; a goal is the “object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim, or desired result”. Not keeping a resolution makes a person feel like a failure; the same can happen if you don’t reach a goal, of course, but it just seems like the path to goals is less rigid and more about the journey. And sometimes, when you reach the goal, you discover that it isn’t always exactly what you expected; sometimes it’s much better!

Anyway….here are the goals I’ve been mulling over for the year ahead:

Scale back on eBay sales.

As much as I enjoy hunting for bargains at yard sales and thrift stores, then turning them over for a profit on eBay, it has become more time consuming and less fun. It will take some exercise in self control to hold back my ‘flip gene’, but I’m determined to have more time for my other goals.

Be creative!

This includes writing more posts on the blog in the non-clothing categories, as well as spending time in the little room next door to the office. (It needs a better name! I’ve called it my craft room or sewing room, but it’s more than both of those…it’s my creative space. Hey! I think I’ll call it my Studio. That makes me sound like an artist! I’m not, but by calling myself an artist, perhaps I’ll become one.) I want to get more creative in the kitchen, also. It’s become clear that I prepare dishes for Some Postman and myself that are too large, especially since we usually each have our own. (I’m vegetarian and he’s a carnivore.) I need to learn how to cook small. Should be fun!

Find balance.

‘Balance’ is the word that first came to mind when I began thinking of a word for 2016. Words of the year in the past have been TRUST, SEEK, and EAT/FOOD. These words are ones that I would focus on in life and study in the Bible over the year. No word chose me for 2015, so I wasn’t sure if one would make itself known for 2016, either. The more I consider it, the more I think this year will be two words…BALANCE and PEACE. They are kind of related, after all. I’d like to achieve more balance in my everyday life and in my yoga practice. Peace is something the entire world needs, and the best way for it to spread is to start in one person who shares it with others. Jesus offers “peace that exceeds all understanding” (Phil. 4:7). And so I will seek balance and peace in 2016.

As I wrap up writing and editing this post, it is January 1st, 2016…the first blank slate in a 366 page book (this is a leap year!). I like what I’ve written so far….

 

His Smile Was Worth It!

So…you know how I said in yesterday’s post that I wasn’t going to make Peanut Butter Snowballs? Well, yesterday when my weary Some Postman got home from work, he saw I’d been making candy while he delivered a bazillion letters and packages. Poor guy was sadly disappointed when the candy turned out to be Mocha Truffles instead of the beloved Peanut Butter Snowballs. My Postman doesn’t like coffee or coffee-flavored anything.

I really don’t like to disappoint that man.

Yeah…. I made a small batch of Peanut Butter Snowballs today.

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PB Snowballs for him, Mocha Truffles for me

The smile on my Postman’s face when I showed him the PB Snowballs was definitely worth the effort!

Christmas Time is Here!

Christmas Time is Here!

It’s Christmas Week! Thanks to many lists and my trusty Holiday Planning Notebook, I’m right on schedule with everything I wanted to accomplish. Gifts purchased and wrapped, decorations up, cards mailed. This week, I am making candies and cookies. Although after today, I will admit that I’m about sweeted out. Didn’t think that would ever be possible, considering how much of a sugar junkie I am! Ha ha!

Those sugar cookies were just the beginning of the treats filling my kitchen! In addition, I’ve made Snickerdoodles, Peanut Butter Blossoms, Peanut Brittle, and Mocha Truffles. Peanut Butter Cups were on my list for tomorrow, but I’ve crossed it off; there are plenty of goodies without them. Also, for the first time in many years, I’m not making Peanut Butter Snowballs. My kids used to think it couldn’t be Christmas without PB Snowballs, but last year, they barely touched the candies and I had tons left over. Shh…don’t say anything, and let’s see if they notice the absence this year.

In addition to special treats, I enjoy wearing special outfits this time of year. Not all of them have been or will be photographed, because there simply isn’t enough time for it, but we did get pics of a church outfit a couple of weeks ago.

 

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Outfit details:  Cardigan ~ eBay; t-shirt ~ Target;

skirt ~ thrifted; leggings ~ JC Penney’s;

boots ~ JC Penney’s; earrings ~ Target; brooch ~ vintage shop.

I love, love, LOVE how soft and cozy this cashmere cardigan is! Sadly, it is too big for me, and obviously so, no matter how much I attempt to disguise the fact. One day last week, it seemed like a good time to felt a couple of wool sweaters I’d thrifted over the fall (perhaps I’ll actually get to some of those felted wool projects this winter!), so I figured it couldn’t hurt to add the cardigan to see if it would shrink. I haven’t had good luck with cashmere shrinking in the past, but I am happy to report that it WORKED this time! Yay! Now the cardigan fits me perfectly! (Sorry, no pics of how it currently fits, but one of these days, I’m sure you’ll see it.)

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Now, tell me, who can resist an adorable penguin pin? Not me! He’s not decked out for Christmas, so he can make appearances all winter long.

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Even though they are barely visible between the hem of my skirt and the top of my boots, these pretty floral leggings give my outfit some fun pattern-mixing with the striped shirt. While I do enjoy mixing patterns, I like it best done subtly. My personality lacks the flamboyance necessary for bold pattern mixing.

Since I won’t be making Peanut Butter Cups tomorrow, I plan to use the time to choose outfits for the Christmas events we will be attending over the weekend. Hopefully we’ll get some photos so I can share them with you, because one item I really want to include is the vintage fur capelet my sister-in-law gave me. It is SO soft and luxurious!

Merry Christmas!