Corn Maze and Squash Shopping.

Nick and I often talk about how blessed we are with the community God has given us in Santa Barbara. In the last 3 years, since we got married and I moved up here, it has been a joy to share in the difficult and the wonderful things of live with our family of friends.
These friends are truly our family.

Pumpkin Hunting 2009-
{...still need to photoshop Chase in}
 Latest Family Photo-
{baby belongs to momma in the middle}
As always we had a lot of fun- racing through the corn maze (girls won!), taking photos on the big pumpkins, picking out our squash and flavored butters and then going back to our place with a loaf of bread and stick of butter (a tradition we have of getting "gluten poisoning"-- by eating unlawful amounts of toasted bread -- I do not partake).



a wise man once taught me.

"God uses men who are weak and feeble enough to lean on him"
-Hudson Taylor


GF Cookie Craze.

On Sunday night we went cookie crazy.
I had been gone all weekend at the Reality Women's Retreat and so all I wanted was to cuddle up with my love and eat cozy food. Nick made us tea and I looked for a recipe...
This is what I came up with... On pinterest thepinkandblueblog.com posted this.


1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 egg
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I used GF Bisquick)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup chocolate chunks


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt butter in an 8 inch cast iron skillet set over medium-low heat.
Stir in sugars and vanilla and remove from heat. Let rest until pan is warm, but no longer very hot, about 5 minutes.
Crack an egg onto the butter and sugar mixture, and use a fork to whisk it well into the mixture. Place flour, baking soda, and salt on top, and very carefully stir into the mixture until smooth and well-mixed. Stir in chocolate chunks.
 Place in the oven for 15 minutes, or until starting to turn golden on the top and around the edges, but soft in the center.
golden brown... YUM!
Serve with vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

Goleta Lemon Festival

A few weekends ago, Nick and I walked over the the Lemon Festival with some friends after church. It was really silly, haha, small and pretty barren-- we didn't see any lemons, but we did find amazing lemon ice cream!

Nick played this fishing game and he won me a frog!


Yes please.

This months real simple is ah-mazing!

First of all I totally want this> [page 84]

But what I loved most about the November issue is that it was all about the holidays!
Yes I know we haven't even had Halloween yet... but I want it to be Christmas already. Don't worry I'm not forgetting the other holidays, I'm having a Halloween party this weekend, and deeply engrossed in Pinterest trying to create the perfect Thanksgiving board with my sister because we are on decor duty. Its just that I love love love Christmas, and I love to enjoy it for more than just 25 days =)
So go ahead and judge me. I'm listening to Christmas music on Pandora right now and don't feel any guilt whatsoever!!

Have you checked out Minted.com ??
[we will be getting Christmas cards this year!]

Will you be sending out a Christmas card this year?


something to ponder.


 I refused my heart no pleasure.
My heart took delight in all my labor,
   and this was the reward for all my toil.
Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
   and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
   nothing was gained under the sun. 

 There is a time for everything,
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:
 a time to be born and a time to die,
   a time to plant and a time to uproot,
 a time to kill and a time to heal,
   a time to tear down and a time to build,
 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
   a time to mourn and a time to dance,
 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
 a time to search and a time to give up,
   a time to keep and a time to throw away,
 a time to tear and a time to mend,
   a time to be silent and a time to speak,
 a time to love and a time to hate,
   a time for war and a time for peace.

What do workers gain from their toil? 
I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 
I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 
That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 
I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.


Monday finds.

My five Pinterest finds:

Absolutely gorgeous for a wedding or fun backyard party.

this color scheme is amazing.

what a great lyric and prayer to have around you always.

great inspiration to create a cute place to have a dinner date.

farewell summer nights...

Running behind schedule.

I meant to post this recipe Friday night but didn't have photos for it so here you go a few days late...

Gluten Free Pancake Mix (with a pumpkin spice option for crisp Autumn mornings)

1 cup rice flour
3 tablespoons tapioca flour
1/3 cup potato starch
1 T. sugar (or 1 packet sugar substitute)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 t.  xanthan gum (3/4 t. guar gum)
2 eggs (or equal egg replacer)
3 tablespoon Canola oil
1 1/2 c. water
4 T. milk (any kind)

For pumpkin pancakes add this:

1 t. pumpkin spice
1/2 c. pumpkin
1/2 t. molasses
1 T.  brown sugar

Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
Then slowly add wet ingredients until there are few lumps.
Cook on a greased skillet and flip when bubbles rise.


mac favorites.

Although it doesn't get to happen very often...  I love shopping for makeup!

I love taking my time at each counter at Nordstom, I could honestly spend hours browsing.

I don't know if this is typical or not but I am always drawn to the same things-- I have my favorite brands: Bobby Brown and Laura Mercier and my favorite types of products: I'm a total sucker for things that makes me glow... NOT SHIMMER OR GLITTER but glow.
I like highlighters, and bronzers, under eye brighteners and dewy tinted moisturizers...
I like nude lips, bold brows, and thick eyelashes but I never really bother with eyeshadow (takes the attention away from the glow maybe?)

One counter that I rarely approach however is the MAC counter... I think this is because in Jr. High it was really popular to wear MAC pressed powered and I was totally scared by it becuase it did exactly what I hated--it made me matte!! Ever since I've detested the stuff- I look back on picture of me at that age and feel so sad. Why was I so controlled by what other people where doing that I wore pressed powder even when I hated what it did to me? It didn't make me glow and look dewy and fresh it made we look dead and chalky...

Aw well.

Today I was brave.
I went up to the MAC counter and I looked at their products, I avoided the powders, and I even found a few things that I liked! Imagine that, HA.

Here they are:

[Ruby Woo Lipstick]

[Creme d' Nude Lipstick]

[Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle]

Pro-quality photos sorry... but you get the idea-- glowing-ish right?



Thats right! These sweet quotes and photos are down right pinable!

[tonight is date night for us-- I think we might get lost somewhere]

[I've made this every day since I pinned this last week!!! YUM!!]



[first turn off the music at the bottom of this page.]

What would you trap?


Saturday Night.

I should be reading 2001: A Space Odyssey right now but that movie was soooo boring I can't get up the courage to even look at the book... 

So instead I've been exploring and here are a few treasures I've found. Enjoy!

awesome diy felt bow tutorial found here.

fun 'subway art' found on this lovely blog
zig-zag accordian rainbow streamers from this blog

and from one of my all time favorite blogs Stylizimo--the butterfly tree--LOVE!
What are you doing on your Saturday night?


Gluten Free Friday.

Before we get to talking about food, I need some help from you...
I've been looking at red lipsticks for a while but just couldn't get up the nerve to make the plung and choose one... its a hard choice!
Red red?
or pink red?
maybe orange red?
Well I finally did it. After work today I picked up my newest addition to my Revlon collection-- Kiss Me Coral.

What do you think?? Good choice or no?

Ok, back to the gluten free post-
First off, I am not gluten intolerant, I am allergic to wheat. What's the difference you ask?
Mainly, that wheat is a grass and that gluten is a protein found within wheat. I am allergic to the wheat not just the protein.
"Wheat free" is not very common, people usually haven't heard of it, and it is just easier for me to say that I'm gluten free, as well as, there are very few products marketed as "wheat free" much more commonly are "gluten free" items.

All that to say I will be posting gluten free recipes here on Fridays.

So here's our first recipe-- Nicholas and i love this dinner!
I got it from my sweet friend Cassie (from the Koop Life) and just adapted it by making it with rice pasta.

Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Pasta
what you need:

olive oil (i use grape seed oil)
2 lbs butternut squash
2 c. chicken broth
8-10 oz. goat cheese
1 package rice pasta
1-2 c. grated parmesan (if you are not lactose-free; which we are)
salt and pepper (to taste)

1. Saute the first 4 ingredients in olive oil/grape seed oil for 2-4 minutes (don't let brown).
2. Add the b-nut squash and the chicken broth (it will be soupy) and let it boil until soft (about 20 minutes).
3. Just before the b-nut squash is done cook your pasta according to directions.
4. When the b-nut squash is cooked through at the cubed goat cheese (sauce will be creamy).
5. Combine pasta with b-nut squash mixture (add parmesan if using) and salt and pepper--ENJOY!

Here are a few pictures...

Unfortunately I can't find the one of the finished pasta but its beautiful! I love butternut squash!

If you try out this recipe tell me what you think of it... and let me know if you have any suggestions or requests for next Friday!

Photo Shoot with Geri.

A few weeks ago I entered a giveaway on The Daybook for Geri to do a photo shoot here in Santa Barbara for Nick and I... and I WON!!
Today we finally nailed down a date for the shoot and I'm so excited! 
In her email she said that she has a lot of idea... I can't wait to hear what they are!
Check out her website here (isn't she talented!?!)

Some of my favorite photos are the ones that were
taken by my sweet and ridiculously talented friend
Katee Grace on my birthday last February, more can been seen here.   

all photos on this page taken by Katee Grace

What are you favorite photos? Who took them? What makes them special?

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