21 December 2011

holiday times.

Wow.  It's been a while since I've visited this good ol' blog of mine.  The semester flew by (I hope to recap a bit on that later) and now it is nearly Christmas.  The semester wound down with a wonderful Greek dinner and fun times with friends.  Being busy, busy seniors, most of our time together is spent with our heads in our textbooks and our fingers typing away on our laptops. It was nice to spend our last days together before break playing games, making food and watching movies.  Today, my first full day of break was spent painting, baking and celebrating the winter solstice.   It's been wonderful and I look forward to spending time with family over this holiday break.

p.s. more to come on handmade holiday things soon.

28 October 2011

pumpkin nutella swirl bread

A couple weeks ago, Josh and I baked some delicious pumpkin nutella bread and muffins.  
I found this recipe on pinterest:

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour  (We used 1 cup white flour and 3/4 cup of wheat flour to make it a bit healthier.)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 cup water
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 tablespoons Nutella (2 tablespoons per mini loaf) ***see note below

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 4 mini loaf pans with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, water, pumpkin, eggs, and extracts. Whisk until smooth and combined.
4. Slowly stir in the flour mixture. Mix until ingredients are combined.
5. Pour the batter into the mini loaf pans, making sure batter is evenly divided. Drop 2 heaping tablespoons of Nutella onto each loaf pan. Swirl the Nutella into the pumpkin batter with a knife. Place the loaf pans onto a baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
6. Place the loaf pans on a wire rack. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan and then carefully remove the loaves. Cool completely before slicing.

*Note-You can make regular size loaves. This recipe should make 2 8×4 loaves. Adjust baking time to about 60 minutes.  You can also make muffins, but I am not sure how many you will get from a full recipe since I did some mini loaves and some muffins.  For muffins cook between 15-20 minutes.  I also recommend doing additional nutella in the middle of you muffins or loaves.  Just fill the pan half way and swirl in some nutella just like the recipe calls for on top.

Happy Fall!

18 October 2011

an evening with hauerwas.

Last night I drove to St. Louis with a group of friends to hear Stanley Hauerwas speak.  This awesome, cute old man gave a challenging and though-provoking lecture called "Disability: An Attempt to Think With."  Possibly the coolest part was afterward when Stanley reached through a crowd of people to shake my hand and thank me for coming.  It was awesome.  (Disclaimer: the crowd of people was about eight of my friends and he shook everyone's hand.  Nevertheless, it was incredible to hear this preeminent theologian speak in person and to shake his hand.)

12 October 2011

my life is much too fast paced.

I must  s  l  o  w  down

and remember the words of St. Teresa of Avila:

Let nothing upset you;
Let nothing frighten you.
Everything is changing;
God alone is changeless.
Patience attains the goal.
Who has God lacks nothing;
God alone fills every need.

and  s    l    o    w   down even more.

23 September 2011

simple pleasures

I am a huge fan of positivity.  Often my natural spirit is positive, but not always; sometimes negative thoughts flood my head.  When I'm feeling down I like to think of simple things that bring me joy and help me to remember that life is mostly quite good.  I like to call them simple pleasures.  So right now, in the midst of researching for a paper all about semicolons, I would like to note some small things that bring me so much happiness.

1. chocolate peppermint stick luna bars  2. watercolors  3.  doing homework with a candle burning in this candle holder from my friend Wesley    4. the compline choir podcast from itunes (everytime I'm in Seattle, Josh and I go to this compline service at St. Mark's Cathedral)   5. wool socks

15 September 2011

a much needed craft night.

Almost always my Sunday evenings look like this:
Reading, writing or studying.  But this past Sunday I was so completely overwhelmed by all the school work that I needed a break.  My roommate, Niqui, and I put down the books for a while to have some much needed craft time.  We spent a few hours scrapbooking our summers, watching Mansfield Park, snacking and talking.  And let me tell you, it was WAY better than doing homework!
   I received one of elisejoy’s summer minibooks for my birthday, but have not actually used it much.  (My birthday is at the end of July, so most of the summer had already happened by the time I started making this scrapbook.) Slowly, but surely I am filling up this book with photos of my summer, thoughts and memories.  I seriously love this minibook.  It is full of cool papers with fun little details and adding my own pictures and words only makes it better. This summer Elise blogged about creating her own summer book as the summer progressed, but since I am late to start this book I am mostly documenting the big things I've done this summer.  Going to Seattle, Josh's visit to Greenville, family vacation in Colorado,  trip to Italy with my soccer team are the major parts of the book, but I add little details when I can.  Hopefully I can finish this before fall is over!
I love the little details:

07 September 2011

best life.

I just spent five days in Texas.  Technically, my main purpose there was to play soccer.  (I drove down with my team for a tournament in San Antonio.)  But, actually what was more important to me was a visit from my dear friend Allison.  We met last semester in Costa Rica and since she goes to school just a few hours from San Antonio she came to watch my game and hang out.

It was seriously so wonderful.

We picked up right where we left off and talked and talked and talked.  Just like in Costa Rica.  Being with Allison brought a load of memories from Latin American flooding back and it was fun/helpful/hilarious to reminisce.  I don't know if I will ever be done processing and reflecting on what I experienced in Latin America.  I realized that Allison is one of the few people in this world who really understands what I experienced last semester and who knew my thoughts while I was having them.  Does that make sense?  Anyways, my visit with Allison was a Godsend and I am continually blessed by her friendship.

So. I spent an awesome day and a half with Allison and did not take a single picture with her using my camera.  (She took some with her own, of course, because she is a great photographer.)  All I have are these super cute pictures of Joshua and me that Allison took.  I really must get better at actually using my camera. 


Notice my tippy toes and the Alamo in the background.

And Alyssa, we wished you were there!

26 August 2011


Every few years my coaches take the women's soccer team on a European soccer tour of sorts.  The goal is that each player will get to go on this trip once during their four years at Greenville.  This summer was my turn!  Through XL Travel, we planned a ten day trip to Italy that included two soccer games against European teams, two practices with Italian coaches and a whole lot of sight seeing.  Our whirlwind trip included visits to seven different Italian cities (Milan, Como, Florence, Rome, Venice, Padua and Verona) and four different countries (Italy, Switzerland, Vatican City and San Marino).

1.  Soccer with the Italian girls club team- During our second full day in Italy we led a training session for a group of girls on a club team in Milan.  There was definitely a language barrier, but it was fun to figure out how to communicate and connect through playing soccer.  The Italian girls and the American girls all had a blast.
2.  Rome-I did not expect to like this city so much because I expected it to be super touristy, which I guess it was.  The Colosseum blew my mind.  It was incredible to be in a place with so much history.  The Trevi Fountain was also beautiful and we had tons of time to roam and explore this ancient city.
3.  San Marino- This place is the smallest republic in the world.  We went to the capital, which is also called San Marino.  It is so quaint with an amazing view!  The history of San Marino is fascinating and we even got to climb one of the castle towers.
4.  Bonding with my teammates- I was with the same people for ten days straight, so naturally we had a lot of time to get to know each other better.  I am lucky though, because I have some incredible teammates and was blessed by getting to hang out with only them for so long.  This has also made the soccer season more enjoyable for me so far.  In the past, sometimes soccer has been a struggle because I have felt weird, different and on the outside, but in part because of this trip to Italy I have developed some wonderful friendships with my teammates.
5.  The food- We ate a three course meal at our hotel every night with pasta, a meat course and gelato for dessert.  Oh man, I miss that pasta.  And for the record, cookies was my favorite flavor of gelato.

So that is my trip in a nutshell.  It has been a while since I arrived safely back in the States and I'm missing everything about beautiful Italia.