This summer was GREAT, no doubt about that. It was filled with moments that I will remember throughout the year, the ones that will get me through the dead of winter.

I’ve been thinking lately about time… how fast it goes, how I don’t seem to have enough of it, how I take it for granted. I had a lot of time this summer. I spent my days freely, usually without a schedule or plan. It was such a nice change of pace. And then a few weeks ago, it all slipped out of my fingers again. That’s how life is though… change of course… change of responsibilities.  Now I’m back at it. It’s already move-in week for housing, which is the craziest best week of the year!

Before I move on and get into all the new stuff, I wanted to share some photos from this summer that I haven’t been able to share. These are a few of my favorite summer moments captured. 🙂

 

Like I said, life has quickly moved from laid-back and carefree to work and preparation for the year! I am living downtown this year… right next to the train and Pew campus. It’s wonderful. Part of me misses Allendale (I lived there for the past 3 years!). But this is a whole new adventure. Through all of this, I am learning how to stay positive even in challenging times and how to trust in God more and more. After all, His ways are better than mine.

So long summer. I’m ready for a good year.

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Another week has gone by! Sheesh oh peets. Here I am, with another Saturday sweet! This may be the last for a while… I am moving this coming week, starting RA training, and then classes begin! Oh wowwww, August. 😉

So I hope you enjoy this post!

I made strawberry cupcakes for one of my best gal’s bridal shower. Andrea is a lovely girl and dear friend to me. She deserves everything sweet and good… so it was only natural that I would bake some cupcakes for her shower!

[kevin cut up MANY a strawberries to help me out!]

[strawberry goodness]

[all finished!]

I got this recipe out of my martha stewart cupcake book. It was real easy. I chose to use a whipped cream alternative to frosting! They were so yummy.

I know, I know. I’ve missed a few Saturdays. It’s hard to keep up, trust me!!!

Well, this Saturday Sweets is brought to you BIRTHDAY CAKE STYLE.

I baked up a cake for my Grandma’s 83rd birthday. My Grandma is awesome. So the work that went into this cake was well worth it! I got the recipe from…http://annies-eats.net/2010/10/12/yellow-butter-cake-with-chocolate-frosting/. So chocolately. So rich. So heavenly!

 

Happy birthday Grandma!!!

Trees are wonderful. I love them so much! Really, I do. I love the way they change based on the season, and in Michigan, they really change. They can be full of vibrant colors, bare, leafy green, small, BIG! I love the way trees line neighborhood streets, like each one was placed so perfectly.

I went to Silver beach the other weekend, in the little town of St. Joe, and found some trees there… of all places!

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Sweet, sweet summertime.

Picnic time with my love!

Little field of daises!

My beautiful best friends, while exploring the great outdoors!

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I want to tell you a story. It’s about a dream. Finding something good and true. Love.

It’s our story.

When Kevin and I met on a mission trip more than two years ago, I never would have thought to find my future husband. I was young (still am!) and not into dating seriously. Little did I know, God had something different in mind for me.

[Kevin and I in Mescalero, NM]

Fast forward to now… God has blessed my life with a beautiful, loving relationship. He has answered my prayers, calmed my fears, and has provided me one of life’s greatest gifts. The gift of love and someone to share life with. A couple weeks ago, my world was turned upside down, a distant dream turning into a reality. Kevin proposed to me, much to my delight!!! Even as I share this, reliving the joy of being able to say “YES! I want to spend the rest of my life with you!!!,” I cannot believe that it actually happened!

But it did happen! I have these pictures to remind me, the gorgeous ring on my finger to remind me, and of course the man who I cannot wait to marry to remind me. 🙂

Kevin, thank you for sharing life with me, loving me, and being my one and only. You are more than I ever dreamed of.

 

 

Love is a force more formidable than any other. It is invisible- it cannot be seen or measured- yet it is powerful enough to transform you in a moment, and offer you more joy than any material possession ever could. –Barbara De Angelis

Hello, world! 🙂 I am writing this with a happy heart. I am the happiest I have ever been, I believe. I have exciting news to write about at some point (so check back for that soon!) but for now, I am sharing my photo challenge from this week.

This week’s theme was water! These shots are in manual mode, which I am pumped to be learning about from my wonderful photographer friend Jenn! (Thanks Jenn!)

I love water. Whether it’s water in my favorite cup, with maybe a slice of lemon, to the vastness of water that is on the shores of Lake Michigan, to the water that drips from my dog’s slobbery mouth. Water is so, so good.

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Today I have some homemade oreos to share. If you saw my last post, you know I’ve been wanting to make these. Oreos are a personal favorite.. and sure, it may be easier to just go buy some at the store but where’s the fun in that??

Kristina came over to help me out!

These cookies, especially the cream, are as sweet as can be. They really do taste like oreos too! I plan on taking a few of these on a picnic with Kevin tomorrow. He likes oreos and I promised to make something sweet for our day together. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Source: http://annies-eats.net/2011/06/20/diy-oreos-and-a-giveaway/

My summer starts today and boy, am I excited.

I am sitting at home, enjoying a cozy morning of pj’s, coffee and Josh Garrels playing in the background. My summer, up to this point, has been a continuation of classes and ongoing homework, tests, and stress associated with that. NOT FUN.

Moving on.

I’m excited today to think about all the wonderful things I plan to do with my time throughout the rest of summer! I have a mental list, but I’m thinking if I put it on here, I can look at it and actually achieve what I want to do! 😀

Here are some ideas:

Sewing/Craftiness. First on my list? Make a couple of these adorable dresses!

Bake. Cupcakes, Muffins, Cookies! Including these DIY Oreos. Delicious!!!

Go to fun places! Like Sleeping Bear Dunes.

Also on the list? Grand Haven, Rosy Mound, Chicago & Ann Arbor.

Read for fun.

My list:

Something Borrowed.

The Help.

The Cider House Rules.

Under the Overpass.

Through Painted Deserts.

Other plans…

Spend time with my lovely friends, visit my grandparents, volunteer, yoga, take pictures, talk to God, love my boyfriend, cherish time.

These lists could go on, but that’s all for now… Happy summer! 😀

Three of the best things, according to me? One: bananas. Two: chocolate chips. Three: muffins. Now, you may wonder why I don’t branch out and make more versatile, “exciting” things? Well, really… I just like muffins. I just made some a couple weeks ago and here I am, posting MUFFINS yet again. I think I like them so much because they are like cupcakes (my favorite, you know). Muffins are little and scrumptious and can look boring but are oh so exciting once you take that first bite! These muffins… and this recipe… you really don’t want to pass up. Enough talking, here’s some photos (and the recipe!) from this week’s baking!

Why hello there, chickadee.

Told you. Heavenly GOODNESS.

My brother, just loving on some muffin! 😉

Thanks for making them look appetizing, Jake!

Now. This recipe is super easy. Trust me. Try it!

Ingredients:

2c. flour

1.5 teasp. baking soda

1/2 teasp. salt

1c. granulated sugar

1/3c. canola oil

4 ripe bananas, mashed

1/4c. water

1 teasp. vanilla extract

1c. nondairy semisweet choco chips (you can also use regular, if you wish)

1c. walnuts (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease muffin tins.

In a med-sized bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt together.

In a large bowl, beat the sugar and oil together, then add mashed bananas. Stir in the water and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Add the flour mixture, along with the choco chips, and stir to mix.

Fill each muffin tin halfway with the batter. Bake for 20 t0 30 mins. until they are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Yield: 12 muffins or one 9-in cake. (For cake, bake for 40 to 45 mins).

Source: The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. –> http://www.joyofveganbaking.com/