Viewing Beauty In Others

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As the sun rises and I know that after eating breakfast with Mi Amor I’ve got the day to myself, I try to do at least ONE crafty or kitcheny thing to keep my juices flowing.
Today, after making a cork board out of wine corks and calling my mom, I was off and out of the house for the rest of the afternoon until four.
This indian summer is just making my life SO good, perfectly sunny and cool enough to not have you sweating up a storm.
I biked north west today.

To start off I went to the overlook at Coit park and then on to a few other look out points down on the city by the water. Along the roads where I was biking, I stopped at any little shoppe’s I was interested in. {and for this specific reason, I left all money at home} I found some good spots and revisited old ones; Metal Art Studio {beautiful and gorgeous, just like the owner} Minty Keen {a vintage collection} 6.25 Paper Studio, Wolverine Shoes, Blue Boutique, and a few other stores that are in this little complex together.

Amidst my walking and biking, I did stop to lay in the sun and read my book, eat a granola bar and rehydrated. It was a good pause but I honestly felt like I could fall asleep, I was so cozy!

I did some people watching all the while, just taking in people’s personalities as they present it in their clothing. The varieties, I wish I would’ve taken pictures! We are such interesting creatures in so many ways.
From men in long trench coats with chains, business suits, or skinny jeans and cardigan to the woman who wears high heels while walking her dog, the one who showcases Gucci and New York & Company, and she who sits watching them in her leather bracelets, sweater and scarf.

Our presentation of ourselves is so important to who we are TO ourselves as well as to others.
Personally, I see such great hair, beautiful bodies, perfect accessories and perfect balance of our color spectrum, it just depresses me sometimes knowing that I’m not like that. Why do we talk down about ourselves? Why do we compare? Is this just a woman thing, because I feel like we complain the most about our appearances…
This spiral of what beauty is and if we can be described as that, it really taunts women every day. Is it long silky hair? Tan, smooth skin? Curly eyelashes? Plump lips? Long, slim legs? A stomach that doesn’t flow into a muffin top? Curly or Straight? Blonde or Brunette? Dark, mysterious eyes, or bright reflective ones? White teeth? Precision make-up? Talent of apparel matching?
It can go into that too, talent, I mean. Is it the ability to sing/play music/paint/write/bake/taste/craft/plant/capture/decorate/sort/etc…?
Why can’t we see our own worth? Why do we see it in other’s?

Its sorta like my bike ride today…
A city is just like any other, until you take the time to explore the personality and little life in the nooks and crannies. When you have a place that is your favorite to eat, or relax, or meet up with friends…that becomes familiar. Sometimes, I think we become too familiar with ourselves…too used to us…we don’t see what makes us shine anymore. Voice your opinions of the ones you admire, what is it that makes them ‘beautiful’…reflecting goodness and light. Remind them that they shine.
When you first move to a city, you feel like you would miss out if you never went anywhere apart from home to work and the grocery store. When we explore and see the availability and potential of spaces and nature and scenery, we get this calm; peace inside us that invites us to just stop and stare awhile. That need to appreciate should happen with the people around us too.
Stop trying to always be in another place. Leave your phone at home, seriously. Write a note or tell a person where you are and leave. Take a book to write in or a camera to capture some cool stuff you see.
After you write down some beauty or findings, go back and review them.
Take this exercise and apply it to encouraging a friend; look closely at the life they’ve allowed you to see. Do you see something that you admire? What is redeeming or inspiring or motivating about them? Let them know by a sweet note or in an unexpected way.

{Mi Amor}: I admire your humility and the way you view the world. You are the most amazing mind I’ve met, the way you perceive the composition of color and art always intrigues me. I will never stop asking for your opinion because I know it’ll always enlighten me and give me a better perspective on the issue.  The humility you have draws me to reflect the same.

{Mom}: You’re always giving: time, resources, words, and gifts. I love these acts because it shows your service and thoughtfulness and unselfish motivation.

{Rizo}: The fact that you are so excited to hang out with me just gives me joy. I love the way that your mind never ceases to amaze me. You are always full of thoughts and I never get bored with hearing them. Your friendship means the world to me.

{Lizzie}: Even though states separate us, the connectedness we share through our sisterhood is strong. I admire your mercy for others, you’ve taught me a lot about caring for those who are easy to overlook.

{Dad}: Your endless endurance and perseverance in everything you do inspires me. You are so determined to finish the race, and you’re picking up people and helping them all the while. You’ve always been my motivator.

{Josh}: The simple fact that you are always drawn to the outcast is something I wish I payed more attention to when we were growing up. You set an awesome example of looking out for the least of these.

My list can go on and on, and frankly, I sorta want to…this is gonna be my new challenge to myself!

Give people a reason to see the importance of their life and the beauty that they give.

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Thoughtful Walk

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My outing after work.

Explore the world around you through a lens–capture still life in your area.
You don’t have to be good at photography, because I definitely am not–I just love taking pictures with the mindset of capturing moments. No editing, just life.

Leap Frog Sickness

Saturday, my wonderful husband took family and friends out for a five mile loop, viewing the last weekend of ArtPrize. I, of course had already planned to have a delicious brunch waiting for their arrival in the morning, but throughout Friday night, I was sick…

SO, I stayed in bed to sleep the afternoon away and stay horizontal. Every time I got up, my stomach was just qweezy and I felt nauseous, so it was nice to have the pressure off me as my husband took the reigns on the day.

This is true love when you’re sick:
My husband got up and biked his beautiful self to the store to buy me Vernors…and oh dear heavens how that changed my day. 
That act alone was so meaningful to me. 

That night I was able to hang out and socialize without being a TOTAL drag.

 
Sunday morning I felt healed except for easing my tummy back into food. 
The entire day was incredible, it was one day that was seriously just Mi Amor and I. 

Anyways, the next day {today} he came home from work early, feeling ill….ohhh dear…

I am sitting here in bed with him, wondering how it is possible for me to love him as much as I should…

Time is really important as his love language, so I think me just being here is a great act of love for him…but I wish there was something I could whip up to make him feel good, or at least lighten him. 

I think that’s a really neat thing about marriage; I am compelled to witness his life and notice his needs. I am compelled to run to him for safety and encouragement. I am challenged daily to choose him and not me. 
A beautiful struggle.

 
 

I, Sarah, take you, Cameron, to be my husband, my constant friend, and my love from this day forward.

 

 

I promise to walk with you in the good times and the bad, through the sunshine and the storm.

 

 

I choose to give of myself despite what I receive in return, to put your needs above my own.

 

 

 

I devote myself to faithfully stand by your side.

 

 

 

I commit to loving you to the end of my days, for as long as I live.

 

Autumn Amigos

I’m currently pondering the events of last year in this autumn time. I am constantly touched by the lives I have met through Rizo, and the times that they have shown me such kindness.

The night before our wedding, they all poured love and kindness on me;
preparing parfaits, dipping strawberries in chocolate, buying wax for a hand moisturizer {which was HUGE for me, because I was hurt so emotionally from my atopic dermatitis} giving foot rubs and back massages and painting my toes and the list goes on and on.
Seriously, I’m just blown away by them.

Rizo is so incredible, she came to our aid in our time of need and is lending us her bike. Monday, I ran over to Poppins so I could bike back and two of the pretty ladies saw me outside and greeted me! Offering me water and just chatting it up I saw one by one come home and it was filling me up inside.
I love them to pieces and I miss them terribly.

God is so good to us, giving us amazing friends and people who care and are there for us.

We pray every day that God blesses those who have blessed us. What a great God we serve.

Feed The Man Healthy

My week started off with breakfast for my hubby; two slices of toasted homemade oregano bread topped with cream cheese, alongside a bowl of homemade muesli and yogurt. {PERFECTION!}

Then after he was off to work, I set to my task list. Have you ever had a list and you do other things not on the list, but you add them to the bottom of the list, just so you can cross something off?
..well……
I made cheese!
DSCN7786 The other thing besides these two important ingredients, is a rennet tablet. I only used one quarter of one tablet to one gallon of milk, and one and a half teaspoons of citric acid. DSCN7787 Lovely instructions–to keep me from straying the path too much.
I came up with a clever way to multi-task and blog while paying attention to the temperature of the milk.DSCN7788Once the milk and citric acid reached 90 degrees, I added the rennet tablet that was dissolved in water.
DSCN7789So the cheese started to form… the curds separated from the whey! I thought it was the coolest thing; I got all “OH YEAH BABY!” and “GOOD JOB, SARAH!”…haha it was an important moment in my kitchen experience. DSCN7790 There was also so much, that I strained it in the cheese cloth in little increments before I overloaded the bowl with the crazy amounts of whey. So, once I got it all strained–for the most part…I microwaved it for 30 seconds to get the temperature up to 130 degrees. Now, since it took me so long to strain all the whey, the cheese temp went down and I had to microwave it three times for 30 seconds each…which actually deplete the ability for it to be stretched and form a smooth ‘mozzarella-like’ ball. DSCN7791

Periodically in between microwaves, I would strain the whey that seeped out.DSCN7794

Then behold! Some herbs were folded in and now my cheese is in our fridge, waiting for guests and salads and oiled bread. The picture doesn’t show, but it truly is a mozzarella strength texture. Like, its a bit of a string cheese, pull-it-apart, fool-your-eyes, texture.

And since I had all that whey, I jarred it to put in the fridge for soups and BREAD–so of course I MADE time to do a whole wheat loaf….free form–which was fun.

DSCN7795

Prep time: 2 hours 30 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 2 hours 50 min
Yields: 1 round loaf (approximately 12 slices)–I doubled the recipe to make one LARGE loaf

What You’ll Need

  • 2 cups whey, warmed
  • 1 Tbsp. yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour

Make It

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve 1 tablespoon of sugar into the whey. Add the teaspoon of salt and the yeast. You do not need to wait until the yeast activates; just add the 3 cups of whole wheat flour to this mixture.
  2. Gently mix your ingredients with a wooden spoon until just combined. The flour will be wet and sticky. Do not knead the dough at this point. Simply cover the bowl with a dampened dish towel and let the dough rise for about 2 hours.
  3. When the dough has just about doubled, rearrange the racks in your oven so that one rack is at the very bottom of the oven, and the other is in the center. Then pre-heat the oven to 450. Place a pizza stone on the center rack (if you don’t have a pizza stone, you can use a baking pan or cookie sheet). Allow the stone to heat up while the oven is pre-heating; I like to give the stone an extra 15–20 minutes in the oven so that it can get nice and hot.
  4. Meanwhile, turn your dough onto a well-floured surface. Flour your hands and knead the dough into a ball by constantly turning the sides under. Don’t over-knead the dough and don’t worry about making a perfect dough ball. You only need to knead the dough lightly for a minute or two. Place it back in the bowl while your oven and stone are heating up.
  5. Once your oven is heated, fill a baking pan with 1 cup of water and carefully place it on the bottom rack of your oven. The water will turn into steam which helps your bread retain moisture as it cooks while giving it a crisp, crunchy crust.
  6. Then, with a sharp knife, make a cross in the center of the top of the dough ball and place the dough on the pizza stone. Bake for about 20 minutes***. Your bread is done when the outside is brown and crusty; if you knock on the top it should sound hollow.

EAT UP, BUTTERCUPS! I used some of my leftover herbal-vinegar salad dressing  to flavor it up when it was still warm!! DELISH!

{another good day before a second-shift of work…now if only Mi Amor could be in the studio doing art, then we’d both be sharing our space, being in our element…one day, it’ll happen}