Monthly Favorites {October 2014} Beauty, Healthy, DIY

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It feels so wonderful to be making videos again over on my YouTube channel.  With the car accident and changes in my workload, I had to put a few passion projects on hold, but am excited to report that I was able to carve out a little block of time one afternoon this week to create a new video.  At my sweet sister’s suggestion, this is my first “Monthly Favorites” format.  I’m loving this approach, since the category leaves plenty of room for an eclectic mix of products/projects/recommendations.

Click here to watch over on YouTube or via the preview below.  I’m passing along links to the items mentioned as well.

Thank you for watching, and for all of your love!

The Beauty is Often Found in the Details (What I’m Loving Lately)

This is my favorite time of year, when opening the windows brings in a cool, fresh breeze and inspiration to make savory soups and sweet treats abounds.  The changing of the seasons also ushers in an ideal opportunity to refresh home décor and infuse lovely layers and textures into outfits.  There is a comfort and joy in bringing out favorite items and making something fresh and new. Here are a few fresh details that have brightened my recent days…

  1. Whimsical packaging (polka dots are always in season).  It’s just about time to think about holiday gifts, and most of us will agree the thought that goes into the presentation of gifts is such a sweet cherry on top! Here’s a photo of a recent gift my mother gave me. I had to pause and take a photo, because it was so beautiful! Bonus points for those who dread making bows…this ribbon is too sweet and isn’t tied! IMG_20141004_121201 This talk of pretty packaging led me to a search for DIY bows and finishings. I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am about these darling printable bows from Printable Weddings.  I may or may not have printed every bow she had available, and saved them as PDFs for later.  Ha! Here’s the first one printed, cut and assembled.  All you need is paper, a glue stick and scissors.  Assembly takes less than a minute.DIY free printable bows
  2. Uplifting interiors. Exploring the idea of buying or building a house meant there were in plenty of model homes recently. I got into the habit of capturing the setup/decor as we toured new spaces. Of course, this fed into a rekindled relationship with Pinterest. We’ve all been there. As my cousin says, “Pin all the things!” Here are a few favorite looks:dresser
    via Better Homes & Gardens

    via Better Homes & Gardens

    And this cottage featured on The Old Painted Cottage…

  3. Seasonal flavors.  Spicy pumpkin pizza at EVO in North Charleston…making a batch of my favorite vegan corn chowder for new friends who’ve just had a baby…embracing the pumpkin craze by making pumpkin blondies with maple frosting.
  4. Giving my workspace a cheerful and calming look. You know by now there would be birds incorporated into the design!
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  5. Playing with makeup + jewelry. Discovering a favorite new cruelty-free eyeshadow palette and having too much fun playing with it! Embracing my love of bling through a variety of statement necklaces and earrings, thanks to a few sweet birthday gifts! And bringing out my old favorite costume pearls that were a DIY project last year.
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    My favorite new earrings from the exquisite Sarah Swingle. She tells me they're from Vestique Charleston.

    My favorite new earrings from the exquisite Sarah Swingle. She tells me they’re from Vestique Charleston.

  6. Neat + chic. Organization can be Bringing personality into staying organized, thanks to a few gorgeous gifts from Diane.
    katespadenotebook

Thanks for reading along as I share my fall favorites! What have you been enjoying most about this time of year? Leave me a comment on this blog post, over on my Facebook page, or via Twitter/Instagram.

Re-emerging | An Accident, Divine Encounter, and Fresh Perspective

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It’s been a wild and crazy couple of months! There were some twists and turns, but we’ve come out stronger than before.  There have also been some miraculous moments during this whole process that I’d like to share with you in today’s post.

The Accident
If we’re friends on Facebook, you may recall me sharing I was involved in a pretty scary car accident.  Immediately I felt a ball of fire travel down my back and later settle into my neck and shoulders.  Hopefully this explains my absence in this space. It feels so good to be able to sit down and write here again.  Thank you to those who sent cards and flowers, those who prayed for me, to my sweet brother and sister-in-law for the meals, to my amazing hubby for the love and support, and to my incredible chiropractor.  The day I walked into his office was truly a blessing that has been crucial in the journey towards healing. Charleston friends, I can’t sing the praises of Dr. Marcus Hostetler at Seacoast Chiropractic enough! I am grateful to my lovely sister for recommending I seek out a chiropractor who did more than adjustments…one that did stretching and sports therapy massage.  I definitely want to keep the bigger picture/bigger plan in focus. My life was spared, and I’m so very fortunate in so many ways.

A Kairos Moment
A beautiful, divine moment in the midst of the accident also reminded me of how very loved I am.  Minutes after the accident, a woman pulled over to help.  She said I wouldn’t believe her, but that she’d just come from her church around the corner, where they were each given a set of challenges for the morning.  The very first item on her list was to “find a woman in a silver car who needed help”.  She told me she felt that I was her divine appointment…that she was sent to pray with me.  She then showed me the typed piece of paper with the instructions.  I was in shock from the accident, but she prayed for me and it wasn’t until later that I realized how much of a kairos moment this was for me.

I’m also thankful for being prepared in many ways for the accident.  The yoga classes I’d been attending since the beginning of the year helped with my range of motion and upper body strength.  I’d also been given a very strong sense for 8 months that an accident was coming.  My husband knows about this, because the awareness at times leading up the accident was enough to keep me awake.  Often when I’d close my eyes, I’d see flashes of the accident months before it happened.  Because of this, I’d been praying against the accident for some time.  I prayed that I would be the only one in the car, and that I’d be able to regain my health if I was injured.  I’d been praying for the other driver and that no one would be seriously harmed.

Stretching and Growing
The accident has also stretched my sensitivity towards others who are going through challenging times.  I’m more aware of how much a card, phone call or meal can mean to someone after a tough day.  I’m now able to pass the love along to those around me, and hope that I can continue to do so, always aware of what an impact it can make.

There have been so many wonderful moments in the past few months to share as well.  I can hardly wait to resume a writing routine on the blog.  Until my next post, I’m sending you my very best.

xoxo

Homemade Plum Sorbet {Recipe to Share}

Plum Sorbet Recipe
Summer is coming to a close, but with temps in the 90s here in the Lowcountry, this delightful sorbet remains a welcome treat! Did I mention it’s just ONE ingredient? You won’t believe me until you try it for yourself.  This sorbet came about when I wanted to make good use of our abundance of plums.  At first, I wondered if I should run them through our high-speed juicer and use the juice in smoothies, since it didn’t seem we’d eat them in time.  But then, something else came to mind.

Plum Sorbet Recipe & Directions
Gather the following:

  • Extra ripe plums (I used 7-10 but use what you have)
  • Mini-muffin tins or popsicle molds
  • A strainer
  • A blender – That’s it!

1. Remove the skin and pits from your plums.  Do this over a bowl so you can save any juice that may result during this process.

2. Place the flesh of your plums (and any juice you collected as you removed the pits) in your blender and pulse, then blend well.

3. Pour your mixture through your strainer (with a mixing bowl below), using a spatula to stir and press it gently to get the juices out.

4. In your mini-muffin tins, divide the plum mixture evenly. Then place into your freezer and allow to firm completely (2-3 hours).

5. Flip your muffin tin over to run warm water for under a minute, just enough to allow the plum treats to loosen from the mold.  Remove your plum sorbet tarts and store in freezer-safe container. Zip loc bags also work well if needed.

Plum Sorbet Recipe

When ready to enjoy, remove a tart (or two!) from the freezer and allow to soften for just a minute or two.  You’ll have something that looks and tastes like Plum Italian Ice if you enjoy right away, or a texture closer to sorbet as you allow it to soften.

Note: To achieve the pinkish hue, leave the skin on 2-3 plums as you blend (you’ll strain it out later).  It makes the end result more appealing in color. 

This sorbet is free of processed sugar and is the perfect blend of sweet and tangy! In the mood for something else? I have a variety of smoothie recipes on my YouTube channel.  The watermelon-strawberry smoothie remains a favorite.