Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Take Note

Needless to say, the best part of my job are the students.  Of course there are days they make me want to scream and pull my hair out, but I can overlook those days because most of the time they make me smile and laugh.  Cue the collective awwww.  Some of my favorite days are the ones after the students have been at the office the night before for an event, and I haven't been there.   They'll often hide little notes all over and in my desk, and they're usually pretty entertaining.  Last Friday I found a bunch of  notes left by Blake and Zach and figured I'd share them with you, there were some good ones in there!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Taco Soup

I like tacos and I love soup, so why in the world it took me this long to make taco soup is beyond me!  But I did recently and it was easy and delicious, so of course I had to share it with you!

Taco Soup 
1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 (16 oz.) can of chili beans, with liquid
1 (15 oz.) can of kidney beans, with liquid
1 (15 oz.) can of whole kernel corn, with liquid
1 (8 oz) can of tomato sauce
2 cups of water
2 (14.5 oz.) cans of peeled and diced tomatoes *
1 (4 oz.)  can diced green chile peppers
1 (1.25 oz.) packet of taco seasoning mix
Optional - Sour cream, shredded cheese, and tortilla or corn chips for toppings.

  1. In a medium skillet, cook the ground beef until browned over medium heat. Drain, and set aside.
  2. Place the ground beef, onion, chili beans, kidney beans, corn, tomato sauce, water, diced tomatoes, green chile peppers and taco seasoning mix in a slow cooker. 
  3. Mix to blend, and cook on Low setting for 8 hours.   
I wasn't sure if you were supposed to include the liquid of the tomatoes, but I did because I wanted this to be like soup, and not chili.   

Friday, February 22, 2013

Slavery Footprint

As promised, here are some pictures of the little wooden people all set up at the church.  And you might notice the table full of Christmas decorations and the pile of bricks.  Those are items commonly made by forced labor, and one of our goals Wednesday night was to make people aware that common, everyday items that they purchase are part of the reasons human trafficking exists.  To learn more about your own purchasing habits and human trafficking I highly encourage you to check out

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Polka dots, stripes, paisley, hearts...I guess it's safe to say that I like patterns!

Anything that excites me, for any reason, I will photograph.  
- Edward Weston 
Famous 20th century American photographer

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Painting On Little People

It's always a good day in my book when I leave the office covered in paint - so yesterday was a good day!  Tonight at The Well we'll be raising awareness about human trafficking and providing students with resources to learn more and get involved.  To bring some visual impact, we've created about a dozen wooden cutouts of people with statistics and powerful words painted on them.  Seth has been cutting them out for the past several days, and yesterday a few students and I got to painting them.  We used individual letter stencils for all of the words, and then went back and covered that up with a piece of paper which we spray painted around to give the effect of one, single spray painted stencil.  When I left the office last night it was still a work in progress, but I know it will look great and will be powerful tonight!

And this project is another great example of how odd things come to be said around the office.  Like when I printed off the list of things Seth had typed up for us to write on the cutouts I noticed he had titled it: Things to write on the little people.  And then there was this text between a student and I:

Monday, February 18, 2013

Small Group Sweaters

This semester in our small group Bible study we're doing a study on relationships by Chip Ingram called Love, Sex, and Lasting Relationships.  There are videos that we watch each week followed by a time of discussion.  The content of the study is Biblical and solid, but the teaching segments were filmed in the early 2000s, and the social references and examples Chip gives are a little outdated.  One thing that doesn't take long to pick up on is Chip's obsession with sweaters.  He can work "sweaters" into just about every point he makes.  "Man, he looks good in that sweater," "Did you see her?  She sure knows how to make a sweater look good," "Honey, that new sweater is beautiful on you," etc.  We've joked about the sweater references each week, so tonight we decided to embrace it, and most everyone wore a sweater to small group!

With some of my freshman girls!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Brownie Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

This was another Pinterest recipe for the band.  Honestly I didn't think they were that great, but the band loved them so I decided to put them on the blog.  The brownie cupcakes were fine, it was the peanut butter frosting that I had problems with.  Now don't get me wrong, I love peanut butter (a lot), but I thought this frosting was too much like straight-up peanut butter and not enough like frosting.  It was still quite dense, and in my opinion not fluffy enough to be frosting.  I don't know if it's just the recipe or if I didn't mix the ingredients correctly or what.  I guess you'll just have to take a chance and try it for yourself!

Brownie Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

  • cupcakes
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 8 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • frosting
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temp
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350. Line a standard 12 cup muffin tin with paper cups. Line an 8 inch square pyrex dish with parchment paper and grease.
  2. Mix canola oil and butter, add cocoa and stir until well blended.
  3. Beat eggs with a mixer. Add sugar and vanilla, beat well. Add flour and salt. * Stir in chocolate chips. 
  4. Fill the muffin tins about 3/4 of the way full, using about half of the brownie batter. Spoon the other half into the prepared pyrex dish.
  5. Bake the cupcakes for about 8-10 minutes and the pan brownies for about 18-23 minutes. Allow to cool completely before frosting. Using the parchment paper lift the brownies from the pan and allow to cool before cutting into shapes.
  6. Frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment (or an electric handheld mixer), add the peanut butter, confectioners sugar, butter, vanilla and salt. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy and smooth. Slowly add the cream and beat on very high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  7. To assemble the cupcakes take the cooled brownies and using a 1 inch heart shaped (or any other fun shape you may desire) cookie cutter and cut out 12 hearts. Frost or pipe as desired and top each cupcake with a heart.
  8. If you do not want to make brownie hearts, just use the remaining batter to make 12 more cupcakes and double the frosting recipe. 
  9.  * I realized in the directions that it never says when to add the baking powder, so I just added it with the flour and salt.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Thrifty Thursday

I haven't thrifted in a while, but I went last week and scored a sweater, two shirts, a necklace, and a pair of shoes for $20.17!

A big chunky sweater for $5. 27 and a plaid flannel and polka-dotted button down for $4.67 each.

Cute floral Keds for $4.50!

And this necklace that was only .97 cents, which I wore to my friend Brittany's bridal shower the next day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Color Coordinated Gift Wrapping

One of the things in my Christmas stocking this year was a pack of little spools of ribbon.  And I finally used some of it recently.  I had a bridal shower gift to wrap and found out that the colors of the shower were going to be navy blue, green, and yellow.  It just so happened that I had a wide piece of blue ribbon in my craft basket, and then I had the green and yellow from my stocking.  I tied the wide blue ribbon in a bow and then wrapped the other ribbons around the gift and secured them with a piece of tape.  Viola!  An easy, cute, personalized gift!

I should have added something for a size reference.  They're about the size of an Oreo, but a little bigger.

Monday, February 11, 2013


I got fussed at last week by one of my faithful blog readers because I haven't posted anything in a while.  There's no great reason, I just got a little lazy with it.  And because one of my goals for this new year was to get more sleep, and I have been.  Several nights it came down to blogging or sleeping, and I chose sleeping!  So I made a point Saturday night to take plenty of pictures that I could post.  I spent Saturday evening with some of the girls on our Missions Team, and it was your typical girls night - sweat pants, food, crafts, and movies.  Also, the girl that fussed at me was there, so when she realized I'd be posting and that she would be in the pictures, she was quite excited.  So here's my shout out to Kerri!

Heart-shaped Boberry biscuits!

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