Check out the recipe page! There are some great new recipes, and all gluten-free options are now highlighted.
Check out the recipe page! There are some great new recipes, and all gluten-free options are now highlighted.
Since getting back from my trip back home I've been a wee bit under the weather. When that happens, the only thing I want to make is soup.... but that doesn't mean I don't want a little treat at the end of my day. Frozen yogurt is always a great choice, but it's nice to have another option for the times when your husband glares at you when you pathetically ask if he can pick you up some.... But who does that?!?! Not me.... never... ever.
On a whim, I picked up the 365 brand Ginger Snap cookies at Whole Foods, and WOWZA! They are just what the doctor ordered.
While I typically like my ginger snaps with zero snap and plenty of ginger, these cookies are the typical crunchy cookie with plenty of snap. But what makes me love them though is they are beyond the most gingery tasting ginger snap I've ever had. It's heaven. I love me some ginger.
So during this season of sniffly noses, get yourself a little treat that only involves opening a bag. Amen and Amen.
I told myself I wouldn't get sucked in.... but I did. I've caught the pinterest bug, and I've got it bad. I love getting the chance to view the gorgeous home decor, killer outfits, and mouth-watering recipes. But that's not what I'm going to show you, at least not today.
Today, I want us to laugh. Enjoy.
Get it?!? Get it?!?!
Kelly, I hope you know this is for you. :)
Oh my goodness....
The Title: I did NOT see that one coming
I have this friend who think "Kittens Inspired by Kittens" the youtube video is the funniest thing. So when I see "kittens," I think of her. PLUS, I've never seen cats do that.
This poor cat.
Well, I hope you enjoy these like I do!
Also, come and check out my Pinterest page if you like!
Today is Monday..... but you're smart so you already knew that. Monday typical isn't the favorite day of the week, but what I gave you reason to love Mondays?
A few months ago I met an energetic spark of guy named Joey. Joey is a Duke grad who was living the life in NYC when after a significant lose in his life realized that there was a bigger calling for him. He moved back to NC and started Miracle Mondays.
Miracle Mondays is a non-profit "who infuses children's hospitals with color/music/art/poetry/games/fun."
The action plan is simple. Donate $1. Every Monday. This simple gesture will impact the lives of the patients and their families. It will make you feel good. It will make you love Mondays.
Take a minute to visit the Miracle Mondays website. It explains further why color/music/art/poetry/games/fun are so important to these kids and how you can get involved. Please, feel free to spread the word about this great charity!
Happy Monday Everybody!
You see... I really enjoy sharing yummy recipes with you. It's fun for me. Moving houses makes this difficult for many reasons:
That's most of it, but you know what I can share with you?
Just kidding... I mean I really love you, but what I can share with you is home decor ideas because frankly it's on my mind.
Now after moving in there are certain things I really want to add to my house. Some are necessary... most are not. Such is life, right?
A Rug - for the bedroom
Having hardwood floors throughout the house is so wonderful, but I think it would be cozy to add a rug for our feet to step on when we get out of bed. I think this rug is swell... thoughts, suggestions?
Artwork - for the bedroom
I am crazy in love with Dutch still life paintings. There is something romantic and enchanting about them. Don't you think?
Chairs - for the kitchen/dining table... maybe
I keep going back and forth on if I want to get new chairs or to paint the ones I already have. Here are the chairs I have now....
Here are the chairs I'm swooning over.
Which do you like better?
And something I actually need... I need a cabinet or dresser of some sort for the bathroom. The bathroom is unbelievably amazing, but there is not one shelf, drawer or cabinet to put any toiletries. Currently they are set on the floor waiting for a home. If you have seen any fun ones or have any ideas, I'd love suggestions on this one!
Well, this was fun... I hope you enjoyed... so maybe I'm not in so much of a pickle, but it got your attention didn't it?
Moving day was a success! Josh, the pups, and I are getting settled into our new wonderful home. That is my yippee. My blah is that with our doors being open for most of yesterday, Mosquitos decided that they really enjoy our home as well. I think I have no less than 25 bites. The house is worth it though so I shall preserver!
My other blah is my digestive system... You see I need to eat healthy at least 85% of the time or my system will revolt against me. I have eaten more junk in the last 3 days to put me through for the next 3 months. That's what happens when you move; you eat junk. Once again, this house is worth it... Just wait until I show you!
Now, being sick I would normally curl up in the couch with a chick-flick-feel-good-movie, but I can't.... No TV yet. Maybe I could surf the Internet for fun, but alas, no Internet either.
Looks like I'll being enjoying some decorating books and magazines.
I hope all of you have a super swell day. I'll be at my new lovely home itchy and blah, but happy.
One year ago, I was dreading my move to North Carolina. I mean dreading. Now, that wasn't always the case. Before we actually visited Durham, I was very excited for new adventures and a fresh start. Let's just say the visit didn't go very well. I'll spare you the details. But it was not ideal.
But the most memorable thing that happened on this visit though was neither good nor bad. It was simply thought provoking. Josh and I decided to attend church at the Duke Chapel, which is one gorgeous place but much more "high church" than what I was used to. I wasn't sure I was going to like it.
The Dean of the Chapel, Sam Wells, was giving the sermon that day. I've been to many services since that first one, and Sam Wells delivers that most eloquent and stirring sermons. They all have made a huge impact on me. Fatefully, that sermon, that one Sunday we were visiting Durham just happened to be exactly what I needed to hear: change is hard; sometimes it tears you down; God is asking us to take one more step; just go a little bit further.
I took notice. God was saying something to me.
But I promptly ignored this request as soon as I got home. It was still there lurking in the back of my mind, but I am extremely well practiced in my stubborness. I continued to ignore and push back for months.
Once moved, friends and family would ask how I liked North Carolina. My typical response was to glare at them and say "it's there." I've already recounted to you my struggles with the job market, here and here, so I won't go into that again. But this did play a huge part in my unwillingness to accept the change around me.
After some heated-on-my-end and gentle-on-Josh's-end conversation, I made a plan. A plan to live life verses swimming in either the past or the future. To be exactly where I was at every minute of that day.
This was beginning of my "one more step," my "little bit further."
Since that decision has been made I've been to the beach, I've visited D.C., I've swam in a rock quarry, I've been pursuing my love of photography, I've gone to a flea market, I've decorated cakes, I've written my husband love letter... I have been living.
And in this living I've come to a realization: I love where I am.
Here you go Josh, so the whole world can see... not that the whole world is reading this blog, but by goly they could if they wanted to!
I love the food, the neighborhoods, the Whole Foods right down the street, the beer, the farmer's market, the CSA, definitely love Scratch Bakery, the fact that I can bike on the street without fear of losing my life, the activities, the concerts, the conversations and most importantly the people.
I may still not have a permanent job, but I do have a ton. I've taken that one more step, and I have changed. My eyes and heart have opened to all the blessings around me.
Thank you, Sam Wells, for saying those words. Thank you, Josh, for gently pushing me. Thank you, God, for always being there.
recipe inspired from Love, Julie
I've been a bit of a funk lately, guys. You see there have been a lot of changes and evaluations that have been going on in my life. Activating my creative spirit has been very refreshing for me. Photography, baking, and this blog has been that outlet the past few months. Even getting dressed in the morning is fun and inspired.
But I am at a crossroads. I need to find a path. I am so jealous of people, like my husband, who have specific goals for their life. I have so many passions and interests without any clear direction for what I'm reaching for.
Enough of the deep stuff. There are two things that at least clear my mind and make me want to do something with myself. Singing and dancing.... or watch either one done really well.
Side note: I may or may not have super freaked out because I realized that So You Think You Can Dance starts next Thursday... just saying.
So with that said, here are some of my favorite dances from the past few seasons. All the dances I love have the embedding feature disabled on YouTube, but please, please click to these links. You won't be disappointed.
Season 7 Ashley & Ade - Cosmic Love my go to dance video, love it
Season 5 Brandon & Janette - Ruby Blue Absolutely incredible dance!
Season 5 Kayla & Kupono - Gravity about addiction, very powerful
Season 5 Jeanine & Jason - If it Kills Me you can tell why Jeanine was the winner
Well, there you have it; part of it anyway. I have plenty more favorites where that came from; this is just the tip of the iceberg if you will.
What gets you out of a funk? What helps you clear your mind, start anew, and find direction?
P.S. I'll get some recipes up here soon.
all pictures sound on http://www.fox.com/dance/photos
At this very moment I am no longer in North Carolina. No dear friends... I am in OooooooooK! lahoma where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain.... and I get to see my lovely sister-in-law graduate from OU..... 23rd in her class!
She's kind of big deal. Heck! she's a huge deal! She has many leather bond books and her apartment smells of rich mahogany...
Did you know I went to OU for a semester? Yeah, it wasn't my bag. I'm not as cool as Molly.... my apartment just smelled like fragranced lotions.
Despite my poor acclimation to Norman, I did find some delicious eateries there. So today in commemoration of Miss Molly and Norman, here are my favorite eateries in this Boomer Sooner town.
OOOoooo... this place has some incredibly burgers, probably some of the best I've ever had. But I can tell you this, they have the best onion rings HANDS DOWN.
Also, to add a little squishy moment in... this was the first place Josh and I ate at in Tulsa... almost 7 years ago. The Tulsa location is no more, but Norman still has one! So hit it up!
2. Rusty's Frozen Custard
There is a reason why I gained weight when I was in Norman.... it's because of this place. It was too easy to just bop myself over to this mecca of frozen desserts. Even after not having been there for 4 years I still remember my order. I got the Chocolate Volcano: vanilla custard with strawberries and chocolate savings.... yum stinking yum.
Also, they say it's so thick you can turn it upside down.
It's true.... I did it in Josh's car. He wasn't happy with me, but I guess it's a good thing that they don't lie!
Best Pizza Ever.... from all these eateries it really isn't at all shocking that I gained weight, is it? Well, I am hopefully that this weekend I will hit up Coach's. While Durham is wonderful and interesting, I haven't found a great pizza joint. This will definitely fill that void.
I'm also excited to try their beer because the last time I was there I was underage.
Well, all you lovely people. I'm off for my wonderful weekend full of Boomer Sooner magic.
Have a great weekend yourself!
A pie that doesn't resemble a pie... What does make a pie a pie? That's another quest for another time.
Last Saturday my quest was for the traditional Derby Pie, and in that search I stumbled upon this recipe. It didn't look like previous Derby pies I had made so of course my interest was peaked.
Monologue: "All this time was I making the wrong Derby Pie?! How could I?! Who led me astray?! Lord! Forgive me of my trespasses!"
Ok.... it didn't really go like that. I'm feeling dramatic.
But since I was going to a Kentucky Derby watch party with the host being for Louisville.... I wanted to bring the correct pie. So what did I do?
I made both versions. Pratical right?
I think this recipe was the winner though. Even though I love me some sweets, I don't enjoy biting into a sugar mound in the shape of a baked good. However, this "pie" was just the right amount of sweetness.... and Bourbonness.
But just between you and me... I guess this isn't the "traditional" version. But let's bust tradition and make this pie anyway! Go forth brave bakers!
Sweet Tart Dough (the crust) From Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home To Yours
Pulse the flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt in a food processor a couple of times to combine.
Scatter pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in–you should have some pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and some the size of peas.
Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses–about 10 seconds each–until the dough, whisk will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds.
Just before you reach this stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change–heads up.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface and , very lightly and sparingly, knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.
To press the dough into the pan: Butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
Don’t be too heavy-handed–press the crust in so that the edges of the pieces cling to one another, but not so hard that the crust loses its crumbly texture. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.
adapted from Doughmesstic
I'm quite partial to my own. She makes me feel loved. She tells me I'm wise and pretty.
When I lived in Kansas, we would go on long walks together and talk for hours.
She is an unbelievable hostess and cook... but she's very unhelpful in teaching me cook because she just flings something together with no recipe. That's talent.
I'm told I look just like her which I take as a huge compliment. She's gorgeous. She also dresses to the nines... I like to think my sister Kelly and I helped with this.
So what to do for a mother as wonderful as this? Here are some ideas I have for my mom, and I think they should be great for many mothers out there.
I just happened to run across whitney smith pottery shop a year ago on etsy, and I have been just waiting for a reason to buy one her gorgeous items. Some of her items are pricey but would be worth the investment. Pottery doesn't really ever go out of style.
Myrubberstamp is another etsy shop I've found. There is something charming about address stamps. Maybe it's because I love getting mail, or that I haven't had a residence I've lived in for more than year since college. Here are some cute ideas.
Books are always charming. I love flipping through the pages of cookbooks and design books. It's like I can feel the inspiration and creativity being soaked up into my fingertips. Below is my favorite baking cookbook, gorgeous art book, and an inspirational decorating book.
Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
This book is full of genius classic and interesting recipes. I know my mom loves the blueberry pie recipe from here.
Artist Makoto Fujimura was commissioned to illuminate The Gospels. I saw this gorgeous book in person, and it would be an unbelievable treasured gift. Yes, it's pricier, but it is actual art.
I picked this book up from West Elm last fall. It's full of the most beautifully decorated houses. Very inspiring.
Hope this is helpful for you and your mommy.
I am so excited to tell you about a project I'll be taking on here in the next couple months with the talented and beautiful Krysta from Purple Pond. I have decided to revamp my chair for my kitchen/dining room table.
Here are my chairs....
Here are the paint colors that I've been looking at. I obviously want something colorful.
I have tons of blues, reds and greens in my house. I actually don't have any yellow... I just love it. It's happy... and who doesn't need happy in their house?
Honestly, I'm not exactly sure what I want for the fabric on the chair. Here are some that I found that are pretty...
Ok all you wonderful readers... please, please... I'm begging you... especially you Mom, Kelly, Molly, and Krysta... Tell me what you like!!! Especially in regards to paint color.
I need some help; I'm an incredibly indecisive person. I like so many things. I need a filter, and that filter is you! Don't you feel honored?!? I knew you would...
P.S. There has been a lot of destruction and sadness in our world lately. Let's support the people who are helping out all those in crisis. You can give a one time donation to American Red Cross, click here.
Here is how the story went: The Divinity school was hosting a pre-school pizza party for all the first year students and their significant others. I was awkward. I guess I don't consider myself the dainty, quiet preacher's wife type so I was afraid that I would stick out like a sore thumb. I tried to lay low to prevent myself from being found out. Josh and I found our seats, and low and behold this super cute, friendly girl sits next to me. Katie was immediately a breathe of fresh air, and I think something like this was exchanged between us: "Hi, I'm Jill.... I need girlfriends... now." Katie responds, " OH MY GOSH, me, too!" Bingo Bango... we're friends. It was awesome. Thank the Good Lord for Katie.
But this blog post is not about Katie and our friendship... it's about her and her sweet relationship with Brian, and the fun party Brian and I planned to surprise Katie.
About a month and a half ago, Brian contacted me to help him pick out an engagement ring. I'm always down for looking at and trying on jewelry so of course I agreed to help. Oh the ring! It's gorgeous; I'm obviously biased since I helped pick it out. From there he began to tell me his plan and asked if I would be able to throw this party after the proposal. Something for me to be super detail-oriented about, bake for and make my friend happy.... I'm in.
So here are some pictures from the party. I will have a post later this week about the decorations I used, how I made it or where I got it from.
Entrance to the party... the party was floral themed per Brian's brilliant request. He asked everyone to bring flowers since Katie loves flowers and the outdoors so much.
The dessert table...
There were Carrot Cake cupcakes and Lemon Strawberry cupcakes (recipes tomorrow).
Such a cute couple.
Side note: they were on their way out. They don't typically carry around cupcakes and wine all the time.
Love you Katie Bird. I'm so happy for you and Brian.
You know what's kind of funny? The fact that I'm writing this blog post to an audience, one that may or may not be there. Such an interesting feeling this is... (sometimes my husband calls me out for talking like Yoda. Sad thing is that I don't mean to; the sentence is actually formed like that in my head) I would really love to tell you a little about my story. Sometimes I forget that my life is a story. Maybe it's like when you're growing your hair out, and you don't really notice. Then you see someone you haven't seen for a really long time and they're like "whoa! you're hair is getting so long." I think these two points go together in some Jill-yoda way of thinking.
Here we go on the story as of lately. I am living in a new place. I feel like I'm not in Kansas any more...... But I was! Ha, I kind of gotcha there didn't I? You thought it was some standard Wizard of Oz quote that everybody uses, BUT it actually applies to my life. I grew up in Kansas, went to school in Kansas, married my hubby in Kansas, watched every single episode of Gilmore Girls in Kansas. It's kind of a cool place to me. Side note: when I was away at summer camp back in the day, girls in my cabin used to ask me if we have electricity and if we rode in covered wagons to get around. You know, there isn't a ton in Kansas, but come on people! The camp was in the Ozarks! We had it better than there, just watch Winter's Bone.
Now I'm in good ol' North Carolina (insert southern drawl here). This may be naiveté, but I did not realize North Carolina was considered part of the South. What a shock I was in for. The South is a whole other world. It's not a bad world, as much as I may poke fun at it sometimes. There are many charming attributes about the city I'm in now.... like AWESOME food... EVERYWHERE... except for good smoothies and donuts I have discovered.
You know what this lovely city doesn't have though? JOBS... yeah... that is NOT a lovely attribute. My story now includes having been unemployed for 6+ months. This also was quite the shock to me. I had an awesome job, surrounded by awesome people, being challenged daily. It was a gift; one that I can see in its fullness now. Sometimes when you're in the muck of life it is so hard to see what good could possibly come of your situation, and to be honest I'm not quite out of the muck. I'm searching for the good though, and I'm hoping that this blog will help me see more of that good everyday.
A very big thing about me is my personality. I am not so sure if it'll come across in my posts; I'm not so much of a writer so I may not portray that very well. Here is my deep sharing moment of this letter to you: being unemployed is horrible. It can bring you to your knees in pain and uncertainty, not only about your future but also about who you are. Confession: I have issues in life involving insecurities, but since adulthood I have never doubted who I was as a person. I always found confidence in my personality and found pride in being exactly who I am. That was very much shaken in the last half of a year, but I cling to it. HENCE.... the name of the blog. That was a long winded way of explaining my blog, huh? Here I will be Jill. Here I will be confident in who I am even in the embarrassing stuff, because who doesn't feel like an idiot sometimes, right? Here I will be sincere, always.
If you read this whole thing, I'm impressed and thankful! I'm thinking the rest of the posts will be more lighthearted, but a super cool rock star photographer (Jackie Cooper) said this explanation would be a good introduction to who I am. So stick around! I've got some yummy recipes up my sleeve for the next post!
This was my husband's idea of a good blog name.... ultimately, I decided that wasn't really the vibe I was going for. Welcome to Sincerely, Jill (more appropriate title in my humble opinion)! In this place I will share with you my life and what I love in life. Food, photography, friends, fashion, family, flowers.... fancy, frilly fans.... well, maybe not fancy, frilly fans..... I digress. This will be my haven. My safe place where I can be Jill. So welcome to my journey of life, I hope you enjoy it. More importantly, I hope I enjoy it.
Two very opposite things can happen at the exact same time. This is confusing, wouldn’t you say?
Don’t worry. I won’t be getting all deep on you today. Actually, I’ll be keeping it on the really shallow part of confusing.
Say hypothetically speaking, you spent a LARGE junk of your weekend watching the TV show Friday Night Lights on Netflix.
Friday Night Lights is TV show about high school FOOTBALL.
FOOTBALL is a sport you could NOT stand until you met someone who is obsessed with the Oklahoma Sooners, and you really had no choice but to quasi-stand it…. Hypothetically speaking of course.
YOU however, love this TV show. How can this be?
Not only that, but you equally LOVE and HATE some of the main characters of the show…. I’m talking to you Tim Riggins.
Drink this smoothie. It will confuse you.
It has fruits, spinach, and protein in it…. But it tastes like a peanut butter milkshake.
The very first time I made this smoothie, I may have possibly called several people to tell them how confusingly delicious it is.
I have never claimed to be normal, and in these situations I quite enjoy being confused.
Yields 1 large smoothie
1 ½ cups milk (I use soy or almond)
2 tablespoons PB2 or 1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 scoop wheatgrass powder (optional)
Large handful of spinach
1 cup frozen mango
Add all the ingredients to the blender canister and blend until very smooth. Enjoy!