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out of my control.

i’ve been told before that i’m what you would call a “control freak”. i like to know what’s going on, and i also really like to know what’s coming next. blame it on my oldest child syndrome, blame it on being type-a, but whatever you call it, at the end of the day i have issues giving up control.

tree on fire

there is a family video we watch every so often with my family of the day my twin sisters were born. my brother and i were staying with my grandparents, and getting ready to visit the babies and my mom at the hospital. at the tender age of not-quite-four, i was dressed and breakfasted and ready to go early (as was my doll jessica). my brother was running up and down the hallway with his toothbrush in his mouth like a crazy person. i looked at my grandpa, who was filming the whole scene, and said, “patrick’s being uncooperative!” right before turning around and screeching at him that he had to get ready so we could be on time to see our sisters. every time we watch it, everyone cracks up and says, “nothing has changed!”

and it hasn’t. because i’ve had the good fortune of living a life that has gone pretty much as planned. i chose where i went to college; i planned out my study abroad trips so they would work with my credits and where i wanted to travel; i got the perfect mix of internships that led me to the job i have today. nothing in my life has really forced me to let go of the control i think i so badly need. even when i was single and dating, i didn’t feel out of control or like i would never meet anyone, because i knew exactly  what i wanted and was waiting for, and so i felt in control of my choice.

these past few months have been a lesson in giving up control and handing the reins to the One who knows exactly what the right next step is. it goes against every fiber of my being to not plan the next step or make it happen exactly when i want it. i feel actual, physical discomfort when i think about how helpless i actually am in this life. and so i’ve had to say yes to being completely out of control, and following Him to wherever the next step is. there are just too many unknowns for me to ever be able to control it all, so i’m trying to accept that with at least some grace and humility.

it seems like such a small thing, to say, “this is out of my control. this is out of my hands. i’m giving all of it to You. do with it what You will.” but right now it feels like the biggest thing i’ve ever done. and i’m still doing it. every day, most moments, when i have the time to let my mind wander, i have to stop myself from making plans and backup plans to get things the way i want them to be. i remind myself that i need to say yes to giving up the control, and that eventually i won’t feel so uncomfortable. eventually i’ll feel taken care of, and it will be a good thing.

not my will but Yours be done. |luke 22:42|

this post is part of the #sayyesproject.

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these days.

happy saturday! i’m on day 6 of my sugar detox, and i have to tell you i’m really looking forward to it being over. i don’t think i got enough calories yesterday due to how busy i was at work, and so i got pretty cranky last night. i may have broken down and eaten popcorn (sorry kali), but am back on the wagon this morning.

overall the week has gone fine, and even though i haven’t noticed any huge improvements from how i was feeling prior to the detox, i know that my insides are doing better. i’m pretty sure the reason i felt like i had a hangover this morning was from the popcorn i ate, so obviously it’s doing something behind the scenes to improve me.

this weekend we will be working on the yard, celebrating my dear lo’s birthday, and enjoying a bonfire with friends. it’s starting to get really cold here in the tundra, so we need to enjoy the outdoors while we can! i can worry about getting the inside of the house set up when there is a foot of snow outside…

(p.s. in honor of the cold weather arriving, for the rest of october i’m offering my monster squawker ad spots for 50% off with the code “sweaterweather”. with this spot you get social media love, an intro in one of my daily posts, and even a guest post opportunity if you’d like! go here to get your spot, they fill up fast!)

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these days i’m…

eating no sugar. (but dreaming of these cornish game hens that my dad made last week for family dinner…yum!)

planning my garden for next year (i’m planting bulbs people! and talking about full shade vs. full sun and what plants do better where!). but right now it entails cutting down all the old plants so they can grow back nicely next year, and oh my gosh it takes forever! i don’t know what i’d do with a bigger yard, i’m having enough trouble keeping up with my tiny one.

listening to britney’s new single. you can hate it if you want to (Mister Man certainly does), but i will never be embarrassed to listen to her stuff, lipsynched as it may be. it is so addicting!

wearing tights tights tights and also some tights. i’m getting really into patterned ones this year, they are so fun and make me feel a little rebellious, which is weird, because they’re tights.

patterned tights

praying for some big love from the man upstairs. i’m wanting a lot out of life right now, and i’m working to have the grace to accept His timing. see this post here for some more eloquent thoughts on this.

watching hocus pocus all month. actually i need to buy a copy first because neither amazon prime nor netflix lets you stream it. whoever finally realized the wide-reaching appeal of that movie and is now cashing in on the royalties, hats off to you for controlling its availability. target, here i come!

here are a couple fun articles for you if you’re as obsessed as i am:

drinking no alcohol. see sugar detox above. i can’t talk about it right now.

loving the fall colors. i know. heeeey cliche white girl, heeeeey. but to me that includes the light at this time of year. when the sun actually decides to show its face, everything is just gorgeous.

fall out my window

not loving that someone broke into my dear cousin’s apartment on monday. seriously?? that is not cool (although now we have one more excuse to have sleepovers at my place!)

working on a little project that i need to put some more thought into, but if it gets legs, it could be really exciting around here very soon. *vague mic drop*

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MAKE SURE TO CLICK THAT FOLLOW BUTTON OR THAT BLOGLOVIN BUTTON TO YOUR RIGHT OR ADD ME TO YOUR READER IF YOU WANT TO TREAT YOURSELF TO ALL MY BRILLIANT LIFE MUSINGS. I TEND TO KEEP THINGS FUN AROUND HERE. PLUS, YOU KNOW YOU LOVE WHAT’S HAPPENING AROUND HERE THESE DAYS.

how to: crown braid tutorial.

yes, a tutorial. oh my little darlings. if you knew how out of character it was for me to do what i’m about to do, you would giggle. but because i love and care for you all, i’m going to do it anyway. crown braid

minnehaha falls

minnehaha falls

sometimes my cousin hanna and i like to take field trips. last weekend we decided to head over to minnehaha falls to take some photos of the gorgeous waterfall and the fall colors (and eat at sea salt eatery of course!). we had an amazing time hiking around and spending time together, and got some fabulous shots out of the afternoon. also, my mahi-mahi tacos were to.die.for. holy wow.

minnehaha falls hanna

minnehaha falls

minnehaha falls

it was a little windy, so i wanted my hair to be out of my face because i have TONS of it and i don’t particularly like eating it. but throwing it up in a ponytail was out of the question, because there were going to be cameras there. and because VANITY.

enter: the crown braid. i have no idea if that’s the proper name for it, but that’s what i call it, so that’s what it shall be known as. i never do my hair because it’s just too much work most of the time, but this particular style is one of those magic ones that is easy and adorable all at the same time. it’s casual and pulled together and i think everyone looks good in it.

minnehaha falls

and because of all that, and because i had quite a few requests for one, i decided a tutorial was in order and i made this video for you. be kind.

i hope you like the tutorial and that you try out the crown braid! send me a photo on twitter or instagram if you try one.

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MAKE SURE TO CLICK THAT FOLLOW BUTTON OR THAT BLOGLOVIN BUTTON TO YOUR RIGHT OR ADD ME TO YOUR READER IF YOU WANT TO TREAT YOURSELF TO ALL MY BRILLIANT LIFE MUSINGS. I TEND TO KEEP THINGS FUN AROUND HERE. PLUS, YOU KNOW YOU LOVE WHEN I PUT MYSELF ON CAMERA (I HOPE).

recipe: grandpa’s pumpkin soup.

oh grandpa. you’ve done it again.

SONY DSC

pumpkin soup

if you’ve never had pumpkin soup before, please do me a favor and make this one the first one that you try. it’s one of those things that you taste, close your eyes and savor, and then want to put a straw in the pot and drink the rest of it up in one sitting. it’s that good. and it’s perfect for the fall.

pumpkin soup6 (me in my natural state, getting ready to dip my personal loaf of bread into my soup.)

pumpkin soup3

hanna came over to help me out with this one, and we also whipped up some brussels sprouts with toasted, slivered almonds and dried cranberries. for dessert we had stracciatello gelato topped with some raspberry compote she made herself. (yea, the cooking thing runs in the family.) it was the most wonderful monday night i can remember in a long time.

pumpkin soup2

i think grandpa would love that his recipes are not only feeding his family now that he’s not here, but that they’re also bringing his family together as we cook them and remember him while we do it. that’s why he gave us the cookbook. so we’d remember him, and we’d do it together.

there are lots of ways you can make this soup your own; you can use different types of broth for a different flavor, you can leave the cream out or lighten it up with skim milk, you could even use some different herbs or add a spice if the spirit moved you. just make it. i promise that all your fall meal dreams will come true when you do.

pumpkin soup5

pumpkin soup makes a large pot of soup, enough to serve 4-6 and freeze half

  • 2 T. butter
  • 2 C. onion, chopped
  • 2 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
  • 4 C. chicken broth (note: we used 1 part chicken broth, 3 parts beef broth, and it was awesome! use whatever you want, it’ll work great)
  • 2 tsp. thyme
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2-4 small bay leaves
  • 2 C. light cream (can substitute whole milk or more broth)
  • 1/2 C. dry sherry (optional…we did not use)
  • chopped chives or parsley for garnish
  • crusty bread for serving.

melt butter in large saucepan. add onion and saute for 5 minutes on medium-high heat. stir in pumpkin, broth, thyme, salt and bay leaves. bring to a boil. reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. remove from heat remove bay leaves. cover and refrigerate if not using immediately.

when ready to finish the soup recipe: bring the pumpkin mixture to a simmer. add cream (or broth) and sherry (optional). cook, stirring often until hot. ladle into serving bowls, garnish with parsley or chives and serve with hot crusty bread.

prep time: 10 min. total time: 40 min.

[note: the le creuset pot that you see in the photos for this recipe was given to me by my late grandmother as a wedding gift. i decided that a good time to break it in would be in cooking a recipe that belonged to grandpa. it brought a little magic to my cooking today, i’m sure of it]

pumpkin soup4

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don’t forget to enter the giveaway that’s still going on! i think we could all use a cute new mug, don’t you?

MAKE SURE TO CLICK THAT FOLLOW BUTTON OR THAT BLOGLOVIN BUTTON TO YOUR RIGHT OR ADD ME TO YOUR READER IF YOU WANT TO TREAT YOURSELF TO ALL MY BRILLIANT LIFE MUSINGS. I TEND TO KEEP THINGS FUN AROUND HERE. PLUS, YOU KNOW YOU LOVE MY GRANDPA’S RECIPES.

these days.

this week was simultaneously the fastest and the slowest week i’ve had in a LONG time. i’m pretty sure i woke up thinking it was friday at least three mornings out of the last five. so now that it’s here, i couldn’t be happier! we’ve got a fun weekend planned, with a wedding and a workshop and my baby sister is in town from school. so if the next 8 hours could go really fast, that’d be great. please and thank you!

this week, i want to introduce you to another one of my sponsors.

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stacie from happiness in bloom is just a darling person. she is so genuine and friendly and sweet, that you can’t help but want to read about her life with her sweet little dog and her guy down in florida. i personally am jealous of the fact that she lives in such a gorgeous place where it’s warm ALL THE TIME, but i don’t hold that against her at all. i’ve also been fangirling all over her little home with the front porch of my dreams…her blog’s got a little bit of everything, and i bet you’ll find something to fangirl over too.

Hey y’all! My name is Stacie and I blog over at Happiness In Bloom! In a nutshell my blog revolves around finding happiness and beauty in every day life. If you love laughing, a little sarcasm, and a positive perspective, come on over and hang out with me! I love meeting new people and can’t wait to meet you!

happinessinbloomyou can find stacie at her blog, happiness in bloom, and also on twitterbloglovin’, and instagram. head over to get a little dose of positivity and sunshine (and tell her that erin sent you).

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these days i’m…

eating oatmeal, oatmeal and more oatmeal. prepared for me by my husband every morning this week, because i haven’t been getting my butt out of bed early enough to make my own damn breakfast. and i’ve decided that oatmeal tastes better when someone else makes it for you.

making my first project from darby smart. this company is brilliant. you can order boxes full of everything you need for some incredible craft projects. you can order one project just for yourself if you’re feeling like you need some creative jumpstarting, or (and this is my favorite thing) you can order “girls night” boxes that have enough for you and some friends as a fun thing to do while drinking your wine at girls night. i’m participating in the “polish challenge” they’re throwing this month and just got my box…now i’m trying to get my creative juices flowing to see how i can create something cute and crafty with the supplies and julep nail polish they sent!

darby smart

wearing tights and booties! because it’s sweater season, yes, but tights are the sweaters of our legs, and so it’s tight leg sweater season too! i’ve been put on a boot-buying hiatus (an unwilling one!) by my husband, because of our lack of closet space, but i might need ONE MORE pair of booties in taupe. because look at them! (i’m thinking something similar to the ones chelsea is wearing here…)

tights and booties

(dress: CAbi, booties: target via hanna)

drinking wine with some bloggers. if you missed the blitz on social media about #happyhourhangout the last two days, 1) you’re following the wrong people, and 2) read here for more info.

planning how i’m going to survive my sugar detox that starts next week. i’m going to the moon river wellness “replenish, relax and renew: 7-day mind, body and spirit detox” kickoff tomorrow morning, and then starting my detox on monday. not going to lie, i’m pretty nervous. i’ve already kicked caffeine, and i eat pretty healthy anyway, but there is something about the idea of giving up sugar entirely that gives me shivers. updates will be given if i survive.

listening to Mister Man’s wise words during a “this is our life” conversation yesterday. you know how sometimes us ladies just want the guys to shake their heads yes, and tell us they understand how we’re feeling, but not give us any advice? yea, i’m like that too a lot of the time. (“just support me!”) but there are times when he knows (and He knows) just when i need to be given some actual words of wisdom to make me feel better. so i’m listening.

working on the house, surprise surprise. take a look at my hot demolition man. he cleaned out the 85 year old garage and now you could eat off the floor (if you were into that sort of thing). i made him take the necessary safety precautions, and now i have this amazing photo. pretty happy that i have him to do the (literal) dirty work for me!

demo man

loving that i get to have a little lunch date with mama hools today! i haven’t had a chance to sit down and talk to just her in weeks, and i’m so excited to get away from my desk for a little break as well.

not loving: not applicable this week. i feel super content and i like that.

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MAKE SURE TO CLICK THAT FOLLOW BUTTON OR THAT BLOGLOVIN BUTTON TO YOUR RIGHT OR ADD ME TO YOUR READER IF YOU WANT TO TREAT YOURSELF TO ALL MY BRILLIANT LIFE MUSINGS. I TEND TO KEEP THINGS FUN AROUND HERE. PLUS, YOU KNOW YOU LOVE WHAT’S HAPPENING AROUND HERE THESE DAYS.