Spilled Out

This year has been a challenge for everyone for so many different reasons. Covid, quarantine, masks, virtual school, changed routines... the list goes on and on… but I am super proud of our daughters and how they have not just “survived” this school year- they have THRIVED! My oldest is a senior and my youngest is a sophomore in high school. All my “senior” wanted to do this year was to go to Orlando Florida to Universal Studios to celebrate her graduation.

When we looked into packages, we realized it was way cheaper for us to go in the spring instead of the heat of summer, so we spent the last week in Florida- and it was AMAZING!

Our family, along with one of the girls’ closest friends, spent a full 7 days together. The schedule was not for the faint of heart- my senior had a list of must-do things at Universal- one of which was riding a new Harry Potter themed roller coaster- “Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Ride”. I found out that on the opening day of this ride, people actually waited in line for 10 HOURS to ride it! Did I say 10 HOURS?!?!? When I found that out, I wasn’t sure if we would actually make it on this ride or not! But all things worked out, and after only a couple of hours waiting, we were able to ride it 2 times! (and it was TOTALLY worth the wait!!!)

We walked over 8 miles a day when we were at Universal… and basically stood in line for hours every day. But something amazing happened- we actually ENJOYED being together! We were tired, but we had the best time!

One of the gift shops had this quirky “Thing 1 and Thing 2” Dr Seuss coffee cup that we fell in love with. The girls said that it was definitely a “need” for me, since I love coffee so much. It was my last purchase while we were at the park.

This morning, I pulled out that new mug and watched the Keurig fill it up with coffee to the tippy top. The funny thing is that the top is actually tilted- it looks like two coffee cups stacked on top of one another, so it’s quirky for sure! And wouldn’t you know it- as soon as I picked it up, the coffee spilled out. I guess it’s hard to hold an uneven topped coffee cup straight ūüôā

I am so thankful for the amazing week with my family- and their special friend who is very much like a part of our family. There wasn’t a single moment that entire week that I wished I was home, or that I could be alone, or go off by myself to “recharge”. That week reminded me of how much I love my family, how much I enjoy their company, and how blessed I am. I didn’t know how badly I needed that week with them! Isn’t it funny how this gift to our “senior” turned out being a gift for all of us ūüôā Who would have known that to “recharge”, I needed to spend MORE time with my family?!

As my coffee spilled out this morning, I felt joy spilling out of me.

It’s good to be home…but I will never forget the amazing week we had together.

Lord, You alone are my portion and my cup- Psalm 16:5

The best coffee cup EVER
me and my bff
Hogwarts Castle
My hubby and his favorite ride- Spiderman!
The dragon in Dragon Alley
All in the family
my “senior”
The sunset on the ride home

Starbucks ain’t got nothin’ on me

photo

Ok, I admit that I have been rolling through that Starbucks drive-thru a little too frequently. ¬†They just so happen to offer something fabulous for those of us who follow the Trim Healthy Mama approach to food- bacon and gouda sous vide egg bites! ¬†They are so so good that I literally crave them. ¬†And you can’t go to SB without getting coffee, too…. so I had to act fast and do something to protect my financial well being! ¬†I decided to find a copy-cat recipe for these miraculous egg concoctions… and this¬†one is a WINNER!!!!

All you need to make these little bites of heaven are an

-instant pot (have I told you how much I love love love my instant pot!?!)

-a silicone insert that I bought on amazon pretty cheap

IMG_1829

*I did make a couple of changes to the above recipe- I didn’t have sun-dried tomatoes, so I left them out; and I also added shredded gouda cheese instead of cheddar cheese… and BACON!! ¬†I cooked a few¬†slices of bacon and crumbled up 1/4 a slice and put in the bottom of the silicone mold before I poured the egg mixture on top of it… it was perfection!

These egg bites are magical.  They are silky smooth, jiggly, and almost have a cheesecake- like texture.  And the most amazing part is that you can keep them in the fridge for several days, reheat them, and they are JUST AS GOOD as they are the moment you take them out of the instant pot!  These are so good that my whole family battles over who gets the last one!

IMG_1828

my very first batch… a SUCCESS!!¬†

And to finish my at-home Starbucks experience, my wonderful hubby got me a milk frother.  This thing has turned my morning cup of joe into HEAVEN!

IMG_1827

My favorite Starbucks drink is a breve flat-white. ¬†This is espresso topped with steamed half and half. ¬†It is so so good. ¬†I made a strong cup of coffee and then poured my half and half into a tall glass. ¬†I used the little hand frother and within seconds, the half and half began to thicken up. I poured it into my cup of coffee, added a little monk fruit, some cinnamon… and VOILA-

Starbucks ain’t got nothin’ on me!

Lord, You are my portion and my cup of blessing;

You hold my future-  Psalm 16:6

 

bulletproof

I have a confession…I am a coffee addict. Not a shocker for anyone who knows me. ¬†I am also a flavored coffee creamer addict, too. ¬†Until I heard of bulletproof coffee. ¬†I began drinking my coffee this way after the New Year- you simply brew a cup of hot coffee and blend it in a blender with 1 tablespoon each of coconut oil and grass-fed butter. ¬†I use the Kerrygold butter which they have at most local grocery stores. ¬†If you haven’t already done this- you have to try it! ¬†Why bulletproof coffee? ¬†Because it is loaded with good, healthy fat and it keeps me going all morning!

IMG_2067

Speaking of bulletproof– ¬†the Lord used a song recently to encourage me- “Titanium” by Sia. ¬†It’s a beautiful song, ¬†written about self-empowerment against criticism and negativity. ¬†But I heard it a little bit differently. You see, Ephesians tells us this-

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:12-13

The battle that we are in is NOT against people, but against the enemy. ¬†And the battle against good and evil is NOT one that I am equipped to fight in my own strength! ¬†But He empowers us through His Spirit to withstand any attack from the enemy. ¬†He equips and prepares us for anything satan throws our way- no matter what that may be- ¬†criticism…discouragement…negativity…

But we have to be intentional about putting on His armor- making sure we are listening and  being obedient to Him, reading the Word, praying, and seeking His will in all areas of our lives. The Holy Spirit give us the strength and power to withstand any bullets the enemy fires our our way!

 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,  and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit,which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:14-18

He is my armor, my shield, my truth, my salvation…

He is my “Titanium”.

I Need More Coffee!!! Thoughts and a song on Isaiah 55

 

Deutsch: Dunkin Donuts in Berlin

Is anyone thirsty?

¬†Come and drink‚ÄĒ
  even if you have no money!
Come, take your choice of wine or milk‚ÄĒ
¬†¬†it’s all free! ¬†

Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength?

 Why pay for food that does you no good?

Listen to me, and you will eat what is good.
  You will enjoy the finest food.

Isaiah 55

I rue the day that Dunkin Donuts came to my neighborhood! ¬†I literally pass it¬†multiple times a day– every time I enter or exit my neighborhood. ¬†It calls my name- “Julieeeeeeee- you need more coffee!!!!” ¬†And if there is any truth to the saying “You are what you eat” – then I surely expect to turn into a pumpkin from all the pumpkin coffee I drink!!!

It’s not the donuts that I am drawn to- it is the rich, decadent, hot (or sometimes iced) coffee that “calls” me. ¬†It is the irresistibly quick “pick-me-up” that allows me to be a little extra cheery for the girls when they come home from school- that quick burst of energy that enables me to do chores at super-human speed – that’s what I love most!

But then the inevitable happens- I crash… hard! I.can.not.hold.my.eyes.open. ¬†And I’m grumpy. ¬†Real grumpy.

So, one day I was sitting in the line at DD, patiently waiting for my afternoon cup of joe and it was taking a little longer than usual.  No worries.  I actually had my Bible sitting there in the seat beside me.  Not a bad driving companion, eh?  Well, I figured I might as well spend my time wisely.  I opened it up and out jumps Isaiah 55.

Is anyone thirsty, come and drink–¬†well, sure I am… ¬†I’m waiting for my coffee right now!!

Even if you have no money- it’s all free– ¬†well, you got me there. ¬†This is definitely not free and it adds up when I do it several times a week…

Why do you spend your money on the food that does not give you strength?- ok- you got me there too. ¬†I know that I don’t really need this coffee. And yes, the energy is good, but it is only temporary.

Listen to me and you will see what is goodР Alright, Lord.  I hear you loud and clear today. I need to turn to You and Your strength- and indulge a little less.

I got my coffee and prayed about His Living Word that spoke to me in the drive-thru. ¬†I made the long drive home (just kidding… it’s like a 30 second drive) and vowed to drink a little less joe and to feast a little more on His Word. ¬†I sat down at my piano and I put the scripture to song….