Monday, December 31, 2012

Marian Monday

I am beyond excited for the new "Marian Monday" link-up hosted over at Anima Kinsi and so excited to be joining up for the first one. From her blog,

"What is Marian Mondays? It's a weekly opportunity for us to talk about our most Blessed Mother, Mary. Simple enough, right? Simple in concept, but rich in result. We hope that Marian Mondays catechizes you in the genuine and beautiful teachings of the Catholic church, via blogging buddies! Today, we approach the Feast of Mary, Mother of God (Jan 1st! Holy Day of Obligation!). We think that now is as good a time as ever to resolve to learn, to love, and to live in imitation of that holy woman, following Jesus' every step."

For this first link up I am not going to pretend like I can say anything more profound than the saints that have already gone before us.

My household, Regina Angelorum, has a simple and profound quote at the beginning of our covenant and the back of our sweatshirts and t-shirts. (I PROMISE you I will try to soon do a post about households because I know any of you who aren't Franciscan students or grads or scratching their head but understand that they are super hard to explain if you don't live in the culture of them at Franciscan.)

“With your help, as long as there is strength within us, we will fight to the last breath, so help us O Queen, O Lady, O best and dearest Mother.” –St. Maximilian Kolbe

Most people only know St. Maximilian as the priest in the Nazi concentration camp who gave up his life so that a man who had children could live but he is a saint that has strongly enriched Marian theology, including his Preparation for Total Consecration and forming of the Knights of the Immaculate.

The thing that always strikes me about this quote is the line,

" long as there is strength within us, we will fight to the last breath.."

How long do we have strength in us? Until the last breath. As long as we are alive on this earth, through His grace, we will have strength to fight the good fight of faith. What a hefty task we have set before us.

Live joy.

Year in Review 2012

Covered in Grace

I am so excited to be joining Brooke and the other co-hosts for a Year in Review link up.

The idea is to present to the bloggy world your favorite post each month from the past year. Now I have only been blogging since July so this will only be 6 months worth of my favorite posts.

Without further ado, I present to you---Year in Review


This month I first began to get serious about blogging and only had three posts, you have to walk before you can run right? I had two get to know me posts. I wrote why I wanted to start blogging...

"I am defiantly I blog reader. For some reason I love reading about the lives of people even though I don't know them. Although I love this, it is really hard to find blogs about young, single, passionately Catholic people. So then I thought "well I fit into that category, I should start blogging again" (by again I mean really start because two posts don't really constitute as a blogger). Well then of course I wondered what the heck would I write about. Again another idea "I love reading about people's everyday normal lives not always about their out of ordinary stuff" And thus it came full circle. I plan on writing blogs hopefully with lots of pictures of just the ordinary stuff I do each day. Things about my life as nursing student, as a student at Franciscan University of Steuvenville, as a young lady striving to follow Christ in full abandonment, a Catholic, a daughter, an amateur crafter, and a half way decent cook. So here I start this journey, hopefully it will grow into something beautiful. Please comment and let me know who you are, how you stumbled upon my blog, what you want to hear about, really anything."

I also wrote a post about why I go to Franciscan. I figure both of these gave a good idea about who I am and from what perspective I am writing. (I am hoping you forgot how to count or are letting me off he hook because I only have 6 months of posts to choose from)


In August the summer winded down and I headed back to my fourth year of college. I would have to say my favorite post would involve my Roasted Vegetable Pasta Sauce. This is partially because I am still enjoying this sauce from the freezer and because I love taking pictures of food.


In September I was really starting to get in the swing of the semester. In September I wore alot of cute outfits apparently, if I do say so myself.

But my favorite post would have to be one that I link back to often about Radical Conversion and Passionate Faith. This is still such a huge conviction for me. We need to pray for radical conversion and live passionate faith, our society, our country, and our Church needs us.


All the "Daybooks" from October are my favorite but in particular this one, mainly because I love the pictures.

"I am creating....memories. YOLO."


In November I had 23 posts!! That is nearly a post a day!! I have no idea how I had time for that. I started doing "What I Wore" link ups including "What I Wore Sunday" which I have enjoyed doing so much. I also apparently spent alot of time with my household sisters. This is my favorite post of the month because it contained in it so much love. I am so luck to have my life filled with so many beautiful people and amazing blessings.


In December I posted some of my favorite recipes, including Crockpot Chicken Chili, yum yum! But my favorite post would have to be this simple one about what Christmas boils down to.

Thank you for joining me for a little look down blogging memory lane. Please subscribe and join me for another year of blogging, I am looking forward to it.

Live joy.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

What I Wore Sunday (Vol.9)

Happy Feast of the Holy Family.

It is snowing here to say the least

My mother was less than enthused, especially compared to my normal photographer, hence the blury picture of what I actually wore to Mass once I undressed from the tundra. But the shoes are really all you want to see and I got a good picture of those.

Coat: from Kohl's, purchased on the cheap with Kohl's cash on top of coupons with the normal sale, read super cheap
Scarf: whatever was hanging on the hooks, I made this for my mom I few years back I think
Dress: High School
Cardigan:Old Navy, love the color and the style, hate that the sleeves aren't long enough
Tights: Heaven only knows
Boots: White Mountain from Macy's, originally $80 after sale, coupons, and associate discount only $20

As always, I look forward to looking at everyone else's outfits for the day. I have some great blog posts including a 2012 review link-up tomorrow so be sure to subscribe and come back for more. I also plan on doing a "what's in your make-up bag" link up this week so you don't want to miss that.

Live joy.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Gifts

I would be lying if I didn't say me and my family are so blessed with material blessing during the Christmas season. My mom finds so much joy picking out and preparing gifts from Christmas. While I feel way too spoiled I know that receiving gifts is a way to give a gift for my mom. In the name of showing you typically life I wanted to show you the gifts I got for Christmas and some of the pictures of the day.

I wasn't kidding, we are very blessed.

The dogs get in on the action too.

My mom gets me and my brother an ornament every year representing something we did that year. I have ice skaters, soccer players, a beer mug, Big Bird, sea shells, a diploma, all together a total of 22. This year I got a Regina Angelorum ornament to celebrate joining Regina Angelorum household. I love it so much I don't want to pack it away with the Christmas ornaments.

I asked for candles. Santa did not skimp. I am so excited to lite these on "chilly outside, cozied up inside, studying nights."

And the new jewelry.

It was time for a new duffle bag. The one I have has traveled to many retreats and weekends away, my mom carried it to Austria, and I used it for every basketball game in high school. I have slowly fallen in love with the Vera Bradley ones and my mom indulged me.

This awesome print that my brother got me. Now I just have to get it framed.

I picked out this sweater from H&M. It has a cowl neck and is super big and cozy.

And the big girl wallet I picked out.

The most beautiful thing of it all-none of this matters. Of course I like getting things. I love having nice items in my life that I can indulge in and enjoy but when it all boils down, none of it matters.

I wish I could link up to my friend's blog but she keeps it private. It is funny because she was referencing my post about "Love came down" but said something that hit me square in the forehead and nearly brought me to tears. She says,
"Christmas is all about three simple words “Love Came Down.” Short. Simple. Profound."

I love my gifts. I will enjoy them all and be thankful for all the material blessings He gives me. But in the end, all that matters is the God of the universe, love itself, decided to show me what love is. He showed it to me in a manger, while wrapped in swaddling clothes as he we meditate on during the Christmas season. And in a few months time, we are reminded of God 's love shown with arms spread and nail pierced hands on the cross.

See the lights, enjoy the gifts and taste the cookies but remember, do all these things to glorify Love itself.

Live joy.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Love Came Down.


Three words that changed the course of human history.

Three words that give us hope.

Three words that change the way we live our life.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas filled with the awe, joy and peace that only comes when we lay eyes on the infant Jesus nestled in the manger.

Live joy.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

What I Wore Sunday (Vol. 8)

Joining the ladies once again.

Normally I like to keep my Mass clothes on all day Sunday. Partially because I normally like the outfit and partially because I feel like it helps me remember it is Sunday. But due to the fact that I am spending the day baking and cleaning I am already in sweatpants.

Snow pictures. It looks like it is going to be a white Christmas!!

Dress:A recent purchase from Old Navy
Cardigan: Classic Target
Scarf: Another "somewhere in Europe"
Tights: My favorite grey sweater tights
Boots: I think Peebles.

I promise you I will stop wearing basically the same color scheme every week and maybe cut off my love affair with the brown-grey combo.....maybe.

And did you see I had grown up matching jewelry on. Grown-up because they were matching not grown up because they are worn cheap target jewelry.

You should check out my Christmas tree post that I had mentioned last week.

By the way I love reading your comments on all of my posts so please keep them coming!!

Live joy.

Christmas Tree 2012

Remember that time I promised I would show you our Christmas tree, well I now deliver on my promise.

Every year since I went away to college I beg my parents to get a Christmas tree before I come home because I love the idea of coming home and seeing the home all festive. They have never delivered on this wish and in the spirit of celebrating a little closer to the liturgical seasons rather than the secular consumerism Christmas I decided I kind of like the idea of getting the Christmas tree on or near Gaudete Sunday.

We always go to the same tree farm and even though we normally dress so that we can go to the field we always end up buying one in the barn. This year we just came straight from Mass, and being Murphey's law, the pickings were slim in the barn. There was nothing tall or wide enough for our likings. We were debating on going out to the field carefully or just settling on a skinny tree. The guy who owns the tree starting joking and showing us one little tree on top of another tree that had its topped off. He was kidding but we thought it could be really funny. Because we took two trees into our home that otherwise wouldn't have a home we got both of them for only $25.

You can see that the trees do have slightly different colors but once the lights and ornaments are on them you can't even tell! Yes, that is a doll rod to hold the two trees together. Yes, we do have spray painted brown cup connected to the rod to keep the top tree watered. Yes, that is my senior picture in the background, yes 18x20 is large, yes my head in the picture is bigger than my actual head, and yes it can be very awkward.

Live joy.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Day in the Life 12-20-12

I like to keep myself busy.

6:55 Woke up, took a shower and got ready for the day.

8:00 Mass. Gospel reading was from Luke 1, the Annunciation. Love it!!

9:00 Breakfast with the best friends. Quailty time with each other while eating French toast and loaded egg cassaroles made by Stacey. Planned our futures, discussed the upcoming wedding, dreamed, reminisced and vented about roommates and our families.

2:00 Is it 2:00 already? Time just got away from us. We were wondering why we were getting hungry again.

2:23. Errands for my mom.

3:48 Big grocery shopping trip. Got all the food for Christmas and 20% food perks.

6:18 Driving home and had to go an alternate way because there was a bad accident at the corner of my street. Called my mom to make sure it wasn't here. Now I just hope whoever was involved in it is ok.

6:23 Home and putting groceries away. Don't you just love my lock screen.

6:56 Groceries away, cold beer, checking out this talked about Amish Mafia and thinking about some cookie making. Saw the hilarious Jello pudding commercial about the end of the world occurring tomorrow. Clever jello, clever.

8:22 Made two batches of cookies with National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation in the background

11:08 Signing some of the family's Christmas cards, then off to bed. Hopefully some scripture and Jesus of Nazereth before I dooze off.

Thanks for joining me for a day in my life.

Live joy.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Crock Pot Chicken Chili

I get asked for this recipe often enough it was high time I post it.

This recipe originated from this recipe here.

This is probably one of the easiest recipes. It is my go-to I know everyone will like it recipe. And you probably already have most ingredients on hand.

Crock Pot Chicken Chili

1 onion, chopped
1 16-oz can black beans
1 16-oz can kidney beans
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1-2 cans of corn
2 cans of diced tomatoes (with or without chilies, sometimes I do one of each)
1 packet taco seasoning (or about a 1/4 cup of homemade taco seasoning)
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Now dump all these ingredients and put the chicken on top in the crock pot and turn it on low all day. I normally shred the chicken (by pushing it against the sides with a spoon) and let it sit for about another half hour.

It is so so easy to chop the onion and put the spices in the crock pot the night before and just open and dump all the cans in the morning.

The great thing about this recipe-nothing needs to be exact. Don't have a can of black beans but have two cans of kidney beans, fine. Frozen corn rather than canned, fine. Do I ever actually measure out the taco seasoning, cumin, or chili powder, nope.

In addition if you need to spread to a few more mouths on the cheap, just add another can of some of the canned stuff. Like another can of black beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and corn--voila you have just made more servings.

I enjoy this chili paired with Ritz crackers and chedder cheese but you could also do corn bread, saltines, plain yogurt, or sour cream.

P.S. I will add pictures next time I make it, I just wanted to get the recipe up here.

Live joy.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Terribly Terrific Toffee

So I wanted to make sure I shared this so that it had time to make it onto the Christmas cookie list.

You can find the original recipe here.

I made these when I desperately needed a study break and wanted some study snacks.

Without further ado..

This recipe is so easy. Really look these are the sum total of all the ingredients.

1 cup unsalted butter (no margarine allowed)
1 cup brown sugar, packed tightly
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
40 saltine crackers

Yes I do buy the Costco massive bag of chocolate chips. That way not only do I always have chocolate chips on hand for whenever I get the baking itch but also the Costco way is by far the cheapest route for chocolate chips.

Melt the butter and brown sugar together. Warning: Be careful not to get any hot sugar butter mixture on your hands. Not that I speak from experience or had a blister on my hand. That wouldn't be why I warn you.

While that is boiling you put the foil, cooking spray, and saltines on the cookie sheet.

Bake and let the mixture get ooie gooie yummy on the saltines.

Yeap it looks a little "wart-y" when it comes out of the oven but have no fear the finished product looks better.

Now dump the chocolate chips on crackers and toffee mixture so that it can melt and be spread.

Once the chocolate chips soften spread them around. In the name of omega 3s and brain food we put walnuts on half of it. You know, justification for eating more of it while studying.

And the finished product looks o so delicious. And it is!! That purple plate was just recently picked up at Ikea and I was so excited to use it.

But really add these to your Christmas cookies list, you won't regret it. Another great thing about this recipe is that it is easy to make quickly and you probably already have all the ingredients on hand. It is great for the "company is coming and I didn't realize how many of the cookies I have personally ate in the the past two days" moments.

Live joy.