Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The accidentally fabulous night

Leave work. Windows down, sunglasses on, jamming to the radio. 
Trader Joe's stop: sparkling pink lemonade, random produce, wine for sangria
Dinner of leftover quinoa with avocado and chicken.

Leave for new connection group.
Google map fail. I was going to try out a new connection group tonight. After driving around trying to find the "1st street/70th ave" exit for 30 minutes, I finally found the house where the Connection Group was supposed to meet. At that point -- I was going to be 30 minutes late. So, I drove away figuring that NEXT week I'll try it and be able to drive right to it. 

Got home. Decided to make homemade granola. See recipe below adapted from this recipe that my friend Hayden posted on my wall when I moved into my new place. During my aisle wandering at Trader Joe's, I started craving granola that doesn't cost $5 for a tiny box. BONUS: my apartment smells amazing!!

While the granola was baking, I made myself a margarita using my brand new margarita set that I decided that I couldn't live without from Pier 1.  Want to join me? Check out the recipes I used below.

GRANOLA - "best home smell ever" (thanks Hayden)
  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup flax seed
  • 1 cup shredded sweet coconut
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/8-1/4 cup honey (depends how sweet you want to make it!), I used about 1/8 cup. 
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup dried bing cherries (original recipe suggested raisins. use any dried fruit! get creative.)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, flax seed, coconut, and brown sugar.
In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, honey, oil, spices and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. After 45 min, increase temperature to 275 - continue baking for 30 minutes still stirring every 15 minutes. Turn off oven, prop open oven door. I left it like that for about 15-20 more minutes so it would get nice and crunchy.

Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add dried fruit and mix until evenly distributed.  

1 oz tequila

1 oz Gran Gala orange liqueur
1 oz sweet and sour mix (or just 1 oz fresh lime juice instead of this for a more tart version)
juice of 1/4 of a lime

Pour Tequila, orange liqueur, and sweet and sour over ice. Add lime juice. Optional: rim glass with lime juice and salt or sugar (I used sugar!). Can be made frozen --blend in blender w/ 3 cups of ice. ENJOY!


Monday, April 2, 2012

How is it April?

Oh wait. I KNOW how it's April.

February is a short month - so no explanation needed for no post in February.
Highlights of the month were landing the job I've been waiting and waiting for and my valentine's girl date with my friend Lauren.

March -- well. March just FLEW by. I started my job on February 27th. It has been a whirlwind so far. Like drinking water from a fire hydrant. There's SO much to learn, and everyone is SO BUSY. I'm trying to take as much in as I can. Another highlight of March was hearing that my brother and his wife FINALLY got their referrals for their babies. I will be an aunt! Praying for process to fly by so those babies can be home with their mom and dad.

Things I'm learning:
 - I am a huge perfectionist at work. I HATE not knowing how to do things and HATE having to ask for help or feel like a bother to my co-workers.
 - Community takes time. I had the chance to go to a wedding last weekend for some sweet friends that were in my Ames Connection Group. I hadn't realized that I was lonely living in West Des Moines until I spent time around the people that make me feel the most alive. Leaving felt empty. I'm ready to dig in and find community in WDM.
 -  I've missed traveling. A LOT. I got to go to Orlando for a week for work and LOVED every second of it. I came back exhausted physically, but excited. So ready to travel for FUN or extend a work trip. Exhilarated about the thought.

So. I'm trying really hard at work, but realizing that I can only do what I can do. I cannot set unrealistic expectations for myself to be able to do everything perfectly right away. I need to give myself grace. I need to do my BEST, but not expect to know everything. I'm trying out connection groups at the new church I've been going to. Trying to find the right fit. To find a place where I can do life with people and seek Jesus together.

For now. Seeking Jesus. Trusting in Him day by day. Reminded every time that I panic about work that He is in control. And every time that I start to freak out about the tasks at hand, I'm denying that God's got it under control. Fully and completely.