Friday, September 30, 2011

Why Shop Local?

We've all heard about shopping local. We've been told it's important to buy from local vendors. But why is it so important to buy local products? Does it really make a difference?

Eating locally may mean spending a little more. It's no big secret that local, organic foods are more expensive than what you find at Walmart. It's also not as pretty. Commercial edamame (soy beans) are smooth, but edamame from your local farmers market are fuzzy. Local apples have spots and home-grown eggplant has nicks. But despite it's higher price and less-than-perfect produce, shopping local is a much better choice.

Let me introduce you to a friend of mine who is a strong believer in supporting local businesses and growth. This is my friend and co-worker, Mary.

Mary owns and works her farm, Menagerie Farm, where she raises chickens, geese, ducks, turkeys, goats and horses. Here's a photo of Mary on her tractor, which she affectionately calls Mary Jane.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I Get To

Last night we were at a wild game dinner and the speaker challenged us to say "I get to" instead of "I have to." This is a foreign concept to Americans since we generally think it terms of "have to."
But just think how much changes when we change the way we say things. Take for example these "have to's"
  • I have to be married to the same person for the rest of my life
  • I have to feed the cats every morning
  • I have to go to work every day
  • I have to load the dishwasher
  • I have to vacuum the floor.
  • I have to go to practice early every Sunday morning
  • I have to go work with youth tonight even though I'm tired.
Now lets look at these as "I get to's"
  • I get to be married to my best friend for the rest of my life
  • I get to make my cats happy by feeding them every morning
  • I have a job so I get to go to work every day.
  • I have great dishes and a dishwasher that I get to load and it washes my dishes for me
  • I have a Dyson that the Lord gave me and I get to use it. It does a great job of vacuuming so I don't have to use that old nasty sucking machine.
  • I get to lead worship in two services every week.
  • I get to hang out with the coolest group of teens I know who love me even though I'm totally lame.
We are blessed beyond measure, but we don't usually realize it. Try today to say "I get to" instead of "I have to" all day and see how it changes your perspective and your attitude. Let me know how it changed your day.

"Today I have a great job that I get to go to and I got to see the beautiful sun rise this morning."

Monday, September 26, 2011

Personality type compatability

I LOVED this article. Anyone who knows Reeve and I know this is us - dead-on. Reeve is the ENTJ and I am the INFJ

I copied and pasted this from here.

INFJ + ENTJ compatibility, relationships

Even though it’s not an absolutely ideal matchup, the ENTJ – INFJ mix has a lot of potential. INFJ personality types are usually a bit more rational and logical than other feeling types (especially SF types) and that is a quality ENTJs are sure to admire. However, INFJs are also quite sensitive to criticism and conflict, which the ENTJ sees as a normal part of life, so obviously some adjustments will have to be made in order for this relationship to work.

As friends...

ENTJ – INFJ friendships usually function well. INFJs generally admire the ENTJs straightforwardness, intelligence and responsibility. In the relationship the INFJ takes on a role of an advisor for the ENTJ, providing thoughtful counsel when it’s needed. One possible stumbling block though is that ENTJs will not always be open to being influenced by the INFJ because they generally try to minimize the effect of emotions on their decision making process. Nonetheless, if the ENTJ learns to bite the tongue and avoid unnecessary arguments and conflict, this commitment can develop into a lifelong friendship that can expose both these types to a truly different perspective on life.

Friday, September 23, 2011

7 in 11

Today I heard on the radio that you should make a list of seven things you'd like to do this year. Generally I ignore advice I hear on the radio as I find it to be unsound and sometimes downright ridiculous.

So I sat down and wrote out a list of seven things I would like to do this year. I found it to be much more difficult than I thought it would. I tried to mix up simple, inexpensive activities and more expensive, more time-consuming activities.

Without furthur ado, my list of seven things to do in (what remains of) 2011 (each item will be crossed off as I complete them):

1. Visit Ross O'Conner in Washington D.C.
2. Fly a kite
3. Go on a hayride
4. Pick Gala apples in an orchard
5. Go to a farmers market and buy edamame
6. Build a snowman
7. Buy my mother-in-law the Christmas present I've been thinking about getting her all year.

I could probably list more, but the year is almost over, so I'll focus on this list and save the rest for 2012.

What's your 7 in 11?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

DIY U: Iphone Backplate Replacement

Reeve and I are iPhone people It's true, once you go iPhone you can't go back. They are by far the best phones we've ever owned.  Reeve just got an iPhone 4 after owning his 3GS for two years. I've had my iPhone 4 for a year and I still love it. I won't lie and say it's as marvelous as the day I got it. It's buttons are a little less responsive than they were at first and the oleophobic coating has worn away so it picks up grease a little more, but all-in-all it's still in excellent condition.
The only major fault I can find with the iPhone 4 is the flat back. Seems innocent enough until you realize that the curved back of the old iPhones kept their camera lenses clean and scratch-free. I started noticing a few months ago that my phone's camera wasn't taking good pictures like it used it. They were less sharp and had fuzzy white edges. I soon realized that it wasn't the camera - it was the backplate. The plastic that covered the camera was scratched terribly, which was causing all the photos to be blurry. So my first thought was "Well, I'm out of luck. They won't replace it for a scratched camera." Then I started Googling.

Turns out that while the old iPhones opened by lifting the screen out of the housing, the iphone 4 opens by popping the back off and that replacing the backplate was a quick, easy and affordable fix. I ordered a new back cover from Amazon ($6.75 including shipping.) It even came with all the tools I needed!
When it came in I just popped the old one off and the new one on! Now it takes beautiful photos again! Here are my simple, step-by-step instructions on how to replace your backplate.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Terrific Tuesday: The Alternative Jewely Shop

There's a little place in Nicholasville, KY called The Alternative Jewelry Shop. It's owned by Danny and Libby Barnes and they make custom jewelry pieces. They set my diamond for me and we plan on using them to make custom rings for us as soon as we can afford to.

They use wax molds to create their custom jewelry. First they help you come up with a design that suits you, then they make a wax mold, and then they cast the metal, fill with your stones and give you the final product.

Let's take a look at the story of a ring from the wax mold to the finished product. I took some photos off their website of my favorite piece. This has to be the prettiest ring I've ever seen in my life!

This is a photo of a 1.6 carat antique cushion cut diamond in the wax mold. Isn't it gorgeous?

Monday, September 19, 2011

We love you Nick Pitera!!!


This week we started the Uprising with our teens at CenterPointe. The Uprising is the theme of the year for our teens. We are going to be learning about and battling against "The Lies the Church Believes" this semester and I'm really excited about what God will do in this youth group.

Last night we read the story of Shadrach Meshach and Abenago in Daniel 3 and we challenged them to stand up and be different; to face the lies and defeat them. We taught them that believing in God means we have to give up our pride, and sometimes our body, for a cause that is greater than us. When God gives us a chance to stand up for Him we don't want to be the one that gives in to peer pressure, because if we stand up for Him it gives Him a chance to show His power and glory to bring more hearts to Him.

Our middle school small group discussion was great. Here are some questions and answers that I thought were fantastic:

Question:Who are we fighting against?
Satan, People who take only the parts of the Bible they want, Ourselves.  - I never thought of the last one. It so simple and honest. Jeremiah 17:9 says "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Who can know it?"

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Kent and Stacey

I want to wish my wonderful friends Kent Ashley and Stacey Berry the most fantastic wedding day they could wish for. You deserve all the happiness this life can offer and more joy than your hearts can contain. You two have blessed me abundantly by your friendship and I'm so thankful to get to share this special day with you! I wish I could express the joy to it brings me to witness this union. I've never seen Kent so happy.
Happy Wedding Day Kent and Stacey!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Recipe: Cheater's Buffalo Wings

In honor of football season starting I think we should share some of our favorite "sports-season" recipes. I'm not really into football, but I'm looking forward to watching the University of Kentucky Wildcats play basketball soon. GO CATS!

 I LOVE buffalo wings. I could eat them all the time but I don't have the calories to spare on restaurant wings.  Applebees Bonless wings with blue cheese comes out to a whopping 1,724 calories with 132 grams of fat. (That's 44 weight watchers points - more than twice my daily allowance.)

This is my recipe for Cheaters' Boneless Buffalo Wings.These come out to 291 calories a serving and are so stinkin' tasty! They are almost identical to the real thing. I'm giving the recipe for bonless ones, but I suspect you can make them with bone-in wings too.

Cheaters' Boneless Buffalo Wings:

2 Harvestland chicken breasts
2 Egg whites
1 packet Hidden Valley Spicy Ranch
1/2 C French Fried Onions
1/4 C Light blue cheese
2 Tablespoons hot sauce (optional)

Recipe: Baked French Fries

French fries sabbotage my weigh loss attempts every time. I can't help it. I love those warm golden brown strips of potato.

Here's a recipe we recently read in Esquire for oven fries - and  let me say, they are fabulous. They are only 230 calories / 5 weight watchers points and you get to eat a ton of them!

Oven Baked Fries
2 Large potatoes (whatever kind you prefer)
2 T Olive oil
1 Coriander seed, cracked
1 t dried thyme
Kosher salt
Non-stick spray

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mrs. H

Before I was married my initials were SAS, so there was never any question about whether to wear my first initial or my last initial on my jewelry. When friends bought me a piece of letter jewelry they would jokingly say "Well, I wasn't sure whether to get your first name letter or your last name letter, so I got both."

When I got married I kept my middle name and took on an H instead of an S. The way I see it I now have two letters to chose from. When my husband and I were on honeymoon he starting my collection of H items by buying me a travel mug. It's a cute black and white mug with a large pink H on it. Some people ask me why I have an H on my coffee cup instead of an S, and I have to carefully explain (to very puzzled looks) that H is the first letter of my last name and sometimes I use H instead of S. This never goes over well.

Today I was at Goodwill there was a selection of letter jewely hanging on the jewelry stand at the register. Most of them were rarly used letters like Z, N, H X, and the like. They were brand new, but apparently the store that donated them had been unable to sell them. I bought the H necklace you see above for $3 to wear to a wedding this weekend. I really prefer to wear my last initial instead of my first most of the time. I'm not really sure why, but it might have something to do with the fact that I've been wearing S's my whole life. Or maybe it's because I like being associated with my husband. Or maybe I just like H's.

No one thinks anything of it if you use your last initial on linens, towels, door mats, yard banners, etc. But for some reason wearing an initial other than your first is not okay. Why do you suppose that is?

What about you?
Single Women: Do you prefer to wear your first initial or your last?
Married Women: Do you prefer to wear your first initial or your last?


Somedays you just have the munchies. The fine line between boredom and hunger is not just crossed, it's charged past liked it's not even there.
You look at that stupid little line and you look at your weight watchers points, and then you look at your reserve points (and you know it's about to be self-sabbotage when you look at your reserve points.)

And then you cross that stupid imaginary line and think nothing of it. Well, almost nothing.

Then guilt kicks in because you realize you've eaten 80 goldfish (200 calories or 4 points) 18 Quakes (150 calories or 3.3 points) and a Skinny Cow candy bar (110 calories or 2.5 points) all in the span of three hours (That's a total of 460 calories or 9.8 points.) Then you realize that you only have 6.2 points left for the remaining five hours of the day. Crap.

Now what do you do? I'll tell you what. You spend the rest of the day googling "6 point weight watchers recipes" to see what you can eat for the rest of the day.

So much for the rice krispie treats you were going to make later.

Anyone else been there?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Recipe: Nonna Povera Pastina

I loved this recipe as a little girl. It's an old Italian recipe that we had a lot because it was so affordable. Now I make it for my husband. Someday I will make it for my children.

It is one of my favorite foods in the whole world. It's good alone or with steak and broccoli. It is the ultimate comfort food. My mother always called this recipe Pastina, which means "little pasta" in Italian. The technical name of the recipe is "Pastina with Egg." I affectionately call it "Nonna Povera Pastina" which literally means "Poor Grandmother Little Pasta" because it's such an afforable meal. If I ever write the cookbook I'm planning on writing this recipe will be one of the first recipes in it. It has only four ingredients and it's an excellent vegetarian meal all by itself. Enjoy!

Nonna Povera Pastina

1 C Acini de Pepe (Pronouced Ah-Chee-Nay Day Pep-ay. De Cecco makes it but it can be hard to find. I'd suggest trying Meijer or Kroger. If you can't find it just get the smallest pasta you can find)
4 Eggs
2 T butter
Salt to taste

Bring 4 cups of salted water to a boil. Boil acini de pepe until tender. Meanwhile, in a seperate bowl, beat 4 eggs. Drain pasta and return to pot. Reduce heat to low and stir in egg, butter and salt. Cook until just set, but not scrambled (You don't want it to be dry.) Serve immediately.

Traditionally parmesean cheese and/or pepper are added to this recipe. I never liked it that way, but several of my family members eat it that way. This recipe makes four one-cup servings.

Nutritional information per Cup (1/4 C dry): Calories 320, Fat 11 g, Carbs 42 g, Fiber 2 g, Protein 13 g.
Weight Watchers Points: 7


"Whenever you're trying to diet that's when a big cheesecake shows up in front of you" ~Joan B.

Last night our friend Will brought a cheesecake over. Try fitting that into weight watchers points.
Just like my co-worker said, as soon as you set yourself to doing right, temptation knocks on your door.
The same could be said for other parts of our lives too.
So the lesson here is...beware of the devil's cheesecake...?

Curly Girl Update

Many of you have asked me how to use the Curly Girl method on your own hair. At first I followed the "Curly Girl" rules to the letter. Now that I've been using the method for a while I have adapted it to fit my needs. I will happily share my method with anyone willing to listen.  You may have to adjust this advice to suit your own hair's needs.

I have to shampoo about twice a week - usually Sunday and Wednesday.  Any other day I just use conditioner. This is because my hair is more wavy than curly and it isn't curly to the root.
I don't dread wash days anymore. I actually like them.
When using shampoo just use it on the roots, not the ends. After rinsing use conditioner like you normally would. On non-shampoo days use conditioner like you would shampoo. Rub it into your scalp with your finger tips (not your nails) detangle your hair with your fingers and rinse well.

Immediately after turning off the shower bend at the waist so your hair hangs down. Scrunch the water out of your hair. Then rub a little gel between your hands and scrunch it into your hair. I use Garnier Fructis Brilliant Shine because that's what I happed to have, but they also have a curl shaping gel which works well.

Then scrunch with a t-shirt - DO NOT use a textured towel or you will break up your natural curl pattern. Then stand back up and let the water run from your scalp down your hair a while. After about five minutes, flip back over and scrunch again with a towel and scrunch mousse into your hair. I like TRESemme Flawless Curls.

 This sounds like a lot of product, and it does produce a bit of a stiff curl. If you prefer softer curls don’t use gel, just mousse. Here’s the hardest part: DON’T touch your hair till it’s completely dry. This will cause your hair to frizz. Frizz is curly hair’s biggest enemy.  

Only detangle in the shower while your hair is wet. Do not use a brush. Sometimes I still want straight hair so I use my brush when I plan to straighten my hair. 

If you are interested in trying out this method there are two ways to go about it.
1.      Cold turkey. This is how I did it. I stopped shampooing completely. I didn’t shampoo for three straight weeks. By the third week my hair was so greasy it needed a good shampooing.  Then I slowly introduced shampoo again until I found the frequency that worked for me – which is twice a week. You may never need it, but I do.

2.      Gradually. Slowly cut back on shampooing. If you shampoo twice a day, cut back to once. If you shampoo every day, go to ever other. If you are shampooing every other day cut it back to every third. You probably won’t like it at first, but put your hair up on your non-wash days and grin and bear it. Your hair will thank you for it.

I love this method. I don’t think I’ll ever go back… I mean, just check out these curls!

Monday, September 12, 2011

28 Baptisms

Most churches average around 4 baptisms a year. What a sad number! How I wish that could be 400 or 4000. This year CenterPointe has had 28 baptisms. That's 7 times what the average American church baptises. (Though I still wish that number was more like 280.) We have a baptism almost every single week.
We keep the baptistry filled and clothes back stage so that when the Spirit moves we will be ready.

Here is a photo of Aaron, our 27th baptism since we opened the doors on 10/10/10.

I'm so thankful for everything the Lord is doing at CenterPointe. We are so blessed. To God be all the glory.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

DIY University: Resumes

Your resume never gets a day off. It's one of the most important pieces of paper you own. Your resume can be the deciding factor for that job you want. It needs to say "Look at me. You know you want to hire me" without being too gaudy or intricate. But somehow resumes have become such a scary thing. And I admit, my first resume wasn't pretty. Thankfully, they've gotten better.If you don't have a resume already you can use my template which you can find here. Just substitute your information into the form for instant resume.

I do a lot of resume writing for myself, my friends, my spouse and my co-workers. I take pride in things that are well-designed and aesthetically pleasing. Recently I've been overhauling my resume to make it more appealing and professional. It's Here are my top five tips for instantly adding appeal to your resume.

1. Ditch Times New Roman.
 Ah Times, the only font we were allowed to use in college - I hate it. It's ugly and it's not doing you any favors. Use a more attractive font like Georgia, Trebuchet or Veranda. These fonts are easy on the eyes, but stand out from the ole Times New Roman. I use Georgia because I prefer serif fonts and I find it to be an attractive and professional font on and off screen. Also, don't use italics and don't indent. This makes your resume easier to read.

2. Add Borders
Sometimes your titles get lost in the shuffle. To keep "Professional Experience" from blending in with your last six jobs, separate the sections of your resume with borders. This was one of the best things I did for my resume.
In Windows: Highlight your section title. Click on the Format tab on the top of the page, select "Borders and Shading." Select "Custom" on the bottom left. Select a solid line at 1/2 pt and use the diagram on the right to add the borders to the top and bottom of the selected "paragraph." Click ok.
To see and example of how it should look check out my resume template.

3. Make it a PDF
Use an online PDF converter like this one to make a copy of your resume as a PDF. Making it into a PDF keeps it from getting accidentally changed. It also embeds all the type and can be a good way to send your resume to a potential employer. Keep a copy of a .Doc and a PDF on a flash drive at all times, you never know when you are going to need one.

4. Use Numbers
Don't say "Operate a cash drawer." Instead say "Operate and balance a cash drawer with a balance of $15,000." This shows an employer that you are responsible.
Don't say "Registered college students at a summer camp." Instead, say "Registered 1,000 college students for a six week summer camp." This shows your employer that you are experienced.

5. Spell Check, Spell Check, Spell Check
Never, ever, ever let that resume or cover letter leave your hand without checking it three times over. Run spell check, then print it out and read it OUT LOUD. This part is very important since it helps catch errors. Then hand it off to someone else to read. Don't ever give that resume out without covering those three steps first.

Hope these tips make your resume much less scary and much more likely to land you that job!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Terrific Tuesday: servicepartner!

It's Tuesday, and you know what that means - it's time for another Terrific Tuesday feature!

Today we are going to take a look at servicepartner. Her name is Danielle Bossert and she runs her adorable etsy shop out of Philadelphia. This is how Danielle describes her reason for crafting:

"After living and teaching in East Africa for several years I moved back home to PA. But sadly I moved back to no employment and not many job opportunities.

So..., or should I say "sew", I fired up the old sewing machine and got to work. I created my own job opportunity. Now I can work towards my goal of one day moving back to Africa and concentrating on my volunteer work."

Servicepartner makes books covers, kindle/ereader covers and magazine folders to keep your literature pretty, clean and protected. 

Let's look at a few of her fabulous products:

Here is her ereader cover. This is a hard-cover case that protects your kindle/nook. It is made with fabric and recycled batting (I'm a firm believer in recycling so I love this) and sprayed with Scotch Guard to protect it from stray food and liquids. She makes them to fit your specific ereader and with your choice of fabrics. It folds over so it can be held with one hand (A perk if you are Briana Bolton and you frequently hold your Bible-on-Nook in one hand and your microphone in the other.)

This is the magazine folder. It has four pockets and a pen holder on the inside and is large enough to hold a magazine or any other papers you wish to tote in it. I think this is my personal favorite product she makes. I am always toting budgets and crossword puzzles and magazines and resumes and The Weekender section of our local newspaper. It's also excellent for college students.  It also is sprayed with Scotch Guard to protect the folder and your files.

This one is perfect for college students. It is her Large Book Cover. (It also comes in a smaller size) When I was in college I was always buying book covers to protect my textbooks. I sold most of my books at the end of the year and a good book cover meant more money at the end of the year when I sold it. I also had a tendancy to just throw books in my bag - and ending up with wrinkled or folded covers. This book cover has a stiff fabric to help hold covers in place and keep them in good shape.

It's also great for mommies with little ones. Cover your kids books and toss them in a diaper bag so you can keep them for the next baby to read.  

If you haven't already, give her shop a look and check out her cute fabrics and quality book covers! I know you will be pleased as I was!

Sunday, September 04, 2011


This Saturday, September 10th, CenterPointe Christian Church Youth Ministry we will be hosting an outreach even for teens called Mi:1. Anyone in grades 6 - 12 is invited to attend.

This event will be on Saturday evening from 6:30 until 11 at CenterPointe Christian Church (865 Greendale Road, Lexington)

It is an epic survivor played in the dark on 10 acres of land. The Gospel will be shared at the end of the evening. Food will be provided and there will be a raffle for awesome prizes as well as prizes for everyone on the winning team.

We are still looking for churches in the Lexington area to join in and bring their youth groups to Mi:1. We want as many teens as possible and we are praying that God will touch lives through this event.

We are also still looking for prizes. If you own or work for a company and can donate a prize we would be so thankful! We want to give away anything from burgers to ipods to gaming systems. We have a support letter on church letterhead that we can give for your records.

For more information search Mi:1 to find the page on Facebook or click here for the event page on Facebook.

If you have questions or want to bring your youth group or can donate prizes please email

We are so excited about this event! Please be praying that God will work in these teens lives and that many will be saved. 

Friday, September 02, 2011

Recipe: Chicken Pot Pie

     Chicken Pot Pie has always been one of my favorite foods. Unfortunately none of my siblings ever liked it, so my mother never made it much when I was younger. We would sometimes get the frozen ones at the store, but those don't hold a candle to the real thing. I started making chicken pot pies when we got married, I don't really remember why, except that maybe I just wanted to try my hand at them. Now they are my favorite dish to make. It's not glamorous but it's so tasty. I can make a pot pie pretty quickly and it's always a hit. So without furthur ado: Chicken Pot Pie

(My chicken pot pie right before going into the oven)

You Will Need:
  • 2-3 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  •  1 can cream of chicken soup
  •  1 C milk
  • 1 box prepackaged pie crusts or 1 box pie crust mix (eiher the rolled ones from pillsbury or a box of Jiffy pie crust mix.)
  • 8 oz fresh or frozen mixed veggies
  • Salt, Pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, Mrs. Dash - to taste
  •  Pre-heat oven to 350 F
  • Cut chicken into one inch cubes. Spray a large skillet with no-stick spray. 
  • Cook chicken until no longer pink, with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and Mrs. Dash to taste.
  • Add soup, milk and vegetables.  Season to taste. Cook over medium-low heat until warm.
  • While ingredients are heating prepare or roll out pie crust. - If you're using the Jiffy mix and you want a top and bottom crust I suggest using two boxes. If you only want one crust spray a pie dish with no-stick spray.
  • Pour contents of skillet into pie dish.
  • Spread crust over filling. Cut slits into crust to vent.
  • Bake for 30 minutes until crust is golden brown and filling bubbles.
  • Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

I love this recipe and I hope you do too!