Monthly Archives: June 2012


When I was younger, my mom’s handwriting was an enigma to me. Actually, it still is. She has the ability to effortlessly make it look perfect every time. My handwriting is somewhat less uniform, so forging her signature on my absence notes was never an option for me ๐Ÿ™‚ just kidding!

I remember her doing calligraphy sometimes and she was fantastic. Since her handwriting is naturally uniform, that seems to make her calligraphy skills come naturally. I wish I had some of her writing to show! But anyways, I remembered this and decided to see if my skills had gotten any better from when she tried to teach me.

My first alphabet!










I don’t have a book to follow right now, so I’m just making pretty letters. This is by no means ‘real’ calligraphy. ๐Ÿ™‚ Just me doinking around with a cool marker.








Also, I can’t do this at all without graphing paper. If I don’t have lines to follow, it looks like kindergarten letters. I’m going to see if my mom still has her old calligraphy books and maybe I can borrow/steal them. ๐Ÿ™‚

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I’m a winter person. In general, I do not like summer- I prefer being cold to the oppressive heat of the Central Valley. However, I must admit that once summer gets here, it’s never as bad as I make it out to be. Curtis and I have been walking at night once it’s cooled down, which I must say we never do in the winter. It is nice too, to have some time away from TV, internet, laundry, and cleaning to chitchat about our day and relax. It was lovely.

Before our walk I made dinner. This morning before work I had halfway planned ahead by letting some ground beef thaw for spaghetti and assumed I’d have the rest of the necessary items the recipe requires. I get to the point where the ground beef is browned and ready only to realize that not only do I not have spaghetti sauce, but I also do not have spaghetti noodles.ย Awesome.

Then Curtis saves the day and gives up his boxed Velveeta Mac n’ Cheese noodles. My hero! The sauce problem I solved by finding deep in the back corner of my pantry a can of seasoned diced tomatoes. So I threw that in with the meat, along with some garlic, onions, dried basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and a teensy bit of whine I mean WINE….and voila! It smelled like pizza. Tasted pretty good too!

It really did smell like pizza…

So after this somewhat heavy meal Curtis reminded me that I had wanted to go for a walk (bless him, I know he was tired) and he pulled me out the door. ๐Ÿ™‚ Cuz I was all ready for a bowl of ice cream (is it still National Dairy Month?) and some Restaurant Impossible. Hehe, I am so easily distracted, I’m telling you. And distracted may not be the correct word…more along the lines of ‘ready to just relax.’



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Weekend Faves

I had a lovely weekend. Not a rare thing, but I am really appreciating it today ๐Ÿ™‚

1. My brother and his girlfriend stayed the night on Friday- He lives in New York, so thisย wasย a rare treat.

2. We finalized paint colors for our white walls! So excited. I’m sick of seeing this all over the walls.

They look much prettier in person. I promise.











3. This song is amazing. Changed my day.

4. If you have a Teazer’s Tea House near you, get an Iced Birdย of Paradise. It’s wonderful, and it has pineapple juice in it, which I love.

Bird of Paradise! So refreshing!











5. Curtis and I went for a walk last night- beautiful weather! Best way to end the weekend, I must say.

This guy makes me smile so much ๐Ÿ˜‰











Hope everyone else had a great weekend too ๐Ÿ™‚


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Happy 23rd Birthday M!

Twenty three years ago today I was blessed with my first baby sister! I loved her immediately and we have been inseparable from the beginning.

Look at her face! (the one on the left) She’s so stinkin’ cute.

Monica is such an amazing person. She opens her home to anyone who walks in and is a friend to everyone. She is so outgoing! She has more energy than a lot of people I know, and she is always on the go. She loves Jesus with her whole heart and is always working on understanding her faith more and sharing it with people. Second to loving Jesus, she loves her family fiercely. That is the best word to describe it- she is protective of every parent and sibling in her circle. Don’t cross her,trust me. ๐Ÿ™‚ ย I cannot wait to have lunch with her when she gets back from Israel and read her notes and look at all her amazing photos!

Since I can’t have lunch with her today, I decided to use her/mom’s recipe to bake a cake.

It’s Devil’s Food chocolate with buttercream frosting…..yum.

For now, we will have to enjoy it in Cali, and when she gets back we’ll make it up to her.

I am so blessed to have such an wonderful sister. I love you, Mon!

โค K

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Quick update from Israel





Above is the port from where Jonah sailed to flee God’s command to go to Ninevah.





Above is me sitting in the women’s worship section in the synagogue. Jesus preached here!


View from the Mount of Beatitudes- you can see where Jesus probably gave the sermon on the mount.


After Seeing the location of the feeding of the 5,000, guess what was for lunch?



Above is the Jordan River, place of Jesus’ baptism by John the baptist. Many members of our group were baptized in the river, along with two Ukranian women who had been listening to Pastor Dave and wanted to accept Jesus too!


At the Tel (hill) of Dan- and this is the river. It is a tributary of the Jordan (JorDAN) River and it is so clear you can drink right from it, which we did!


The picture above is us at the city wall that protects Jeroboam’s city at Dan. Huge.




These three pictures were taken at Mt. Hermon- you can see the huge cave there in the side of the mountain- pagans believed that this was the gate to Hades, and there are carved places where they placed their idols in the wall. This is where Peter answered Jesus’ question of ‘Who am I?’ by saying He was the true living God. Upon that rock- that Jesus is the living God- He built the Church! Check out Matthew 16, it’s an incredible story and now you can picture where it took place.



And this is our tour guide, Tony- I would come again to Israel just to visit him! His knowledge of his land and his love for God and testimony is inspiring.

We are on day 3 of our trip right now, and already my notebooks and Bible are overflowing with notes and knowledge on this land and the history of the Bible. It has been life-altering to put pictures, smells, and tastes with the stories that we were taught all our lives… And to hear from a Jewish man how the land is truly blessed by God. I can’t wait to share more but you’ll have to wait!



P.S. it’s my birthday! Today I hiked up Bet She’an with Joey and some other group members- and also have had the birthday song sung to me on the bus 14 times so far. 9 more times to go in order to reach 23… Oh boy! I wonder what cake Katie is baking me- no birthday cake here…


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Homemade Liquid Soap

I love almond scented soap. It reminds me of my Grandma Cole…and it is such a beautiful clean smell! I found a few bars at TJ Maxx, but I have yet to find it in liquid form (which is what I prefer), and then I found a recipe on pinterest! So I decided to try it. It makes an entire gallon for less than 8 bucks, depending on how expensive the bar soap you choose is.

Why I chose to do something that requires me to turn the stove on in the summer is beyond me. But when I get a craft idea it’s hard to deter me from it. Like burning wood….and making soap.

You need a gallon of distilled water, 2 Tablespoons of liquid glycerin (less than $2 at Rite Aid), a cheese grater, and a bar of soap (8 to 12 oz).

Like my yellow kitchen wall? It’ll be LaMarina blue soon ๐Ÿ™‚











Finely grate the soap.

Looks like cheese!









Then add the whole gallon of water, the soap, and the 2 tablespoons of glycerin to a pot and heat to medium/high heat.








You don’t need it to boil. Just heat and stir until the soap shavings dissolve.








It will be very watery with some bubbles on top just like this. Once the soap is dissolved completely, take it off the stove and set it somewhere cool. I set mine on my kitchen table. Now it just needs to set for twelve hours! I let it set overnight and when I came back in the morning it had set into the consistency of lotion! I was beyond excited. It was a little thicker than what my recipe called for, because I used 12 ounces of soap instead of 8 but all you have to do is whisk in a little more water to thin it out. You can see how much it thickens here!

Smells amazing!









Once I thinned it out, the texture is not quite as smooth as store bought stuff and it doesn’t get super bubbly when you wash your hands, but it moisturizes and cleans just as well!

All in all, this takes about 20 minutes of actual labor (most of which is spent grating soap) and is fantastically cheap! Plus, if you have a bar soap that you love but can’t find in liquid form you now have a solution ๐Ÿ™‚


P.S. Here’s a photo of M and Joey in Israel!! They’re having an awesome time!

So beautiful!!

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Taco Salad

It is waaay too hot to cook in my house right now. Our AC is not working and I am someone who keeps her house at 67 degrees (summer or winter). Ask any houseguests ๐Ÿ™‚

So, in order to feed Curtis and myself last night I had to find a light meal that required minimal stove/oven time.ย Weย had taco salad! Mom made this all the time when I still lived at home, and I love it.

I used canned chicken (drained) because it’s already cooked and all you have to do is heat it up really quickly.

I accidentally got whole ones…oh well. They dice easily.

I mixed it up with diced green chiles and taco seasoning on the stove and left it alone.

While that heated up I diced tomatoes and onions, cut some cilantro, and got some lettuce ready on the plates.

By then the meat was heated and I put it all together and mixed it up with the lettuce and some salsa, cheese, and sour cream.

Instead of forks, we used multigrain tortilla chip scoops and had it more as a dip. I served it all up with ice cold beer in front of a humongous fan.

Perfect Summer Dinner!

I should move to Alaska….or Antarctica….or just get the AC fixed asap. Monday at 2 can’t come soon enough!


P.s. Even though it was super hot last night I did manage to finish my little wood burning project!

Next time I think I’ll make the words bigger….

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