Worthy Wednesdays Part 5: Blinding

A few weeks ago, Husband and I had a leisurely Saturday, and instead of playing video games or watching movies as usual, I suggested we did something new.

We found 70 random questions, answered them, and then guessed what the others’ answers were. We learned a few new things about each other.

One question that really stood out to me was, “Would you rather be blind or deaf?” I know that we have all at one point or another been asked this, and contemplated it on our own. We know it’s a hard question to answer, because most of us have never been either. My answer even surprised me.

I said I would rather be blind. Even with as much as I love art, and seeing the people I love, this was my theory:

If everyone in the world was blind, how much differently would we treat people? If you can’t see, you can’t judge someone based on their outward appearance. You would have to rely on knowing the person they are on the inside.

Would love be stronger, truer? Would people be more kind, not knowing what “fat”, “ugly”, “weird” even looks like?

These are things I ponder frequently, and so I decided to go at least 24 hours without looking at myself in the mirror. Sounds silly at first, but try it – it’s much harder than you think. Being free from the bindings of vanity, you will be forced to see what the real you has to offer – not what you look like but who you are. And then maybe we can see ourselves through different eyes.

Canvas & Cookies

About a month ago, I was asked to teach a painting class for church – they were doing a ladies ministry night and decided on a “Canvas & Cookies” extravaganza. I was so excited, but also very nervous – I had never taught anyone how to paint before. Painting is such a personal thing to me. I’ve only had a little bit of “professional” training in college, and quit after a year. Even now when I paint, I discover new techniques, new ways for me to create. The whole process is a discovery. I wasn’t sure how to teach when I was still learning.

But then I thought about this quote:

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.”

So when the day finally came, which was last Monday, I used my talents, and it was much easier than I thought. Here are some photos from the event that my lovely friend Ty of Tyler B Photography took:

Enjoy!

Poison Apples

On Saturday, we had a fun little Halloween gathering. I dressed up as Medusa {although my costume did not go as I had envisioned}, we had little Halloween party snacks, and enjoyed the Halloween radio station on Pandora.

My two favorite details of the evening were these sweet little black & white striped paper straws, and the adorable “Poison Apples” I made.

Click here for the recipe.

Snow White herself would have been fooled.

Enjoy!

Roasted Eggplant

The other evening, Husband and I had a delicious meal of rice, pork chops {recipe for those to follow – best marinade ever} and roasted eggplant. I just love eggplant – they are so adaptable and usually most dishes that consist of them are quite easy.

For these, all I did was slice the eggplant into 1/2 inch discs, placed them in one even layer on a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, cayenne, Italian seasoning, lemon pepper and a little Parmesan cheese powder. Bake them in a 400 degree reheated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the center is soft. Then, broil on high for 2 minutes – this gives the eggplant a nice little crunch.

This is perfect for a light snack, an addition to a meal, or just to add more vegetables to your diet.

Oh, please pardon my paper plate.

Enjoy!

Skipping Fall

Well, as usual, we have already received our first real snow. And it’s not going to stop until Saturday. Here in Colorado, we like to skip fall apparently.

Now, snow is gorgeous, don’t get me wrong {Snow also happens to be my middle name. For real}, but sometimes I wish it would just wait until all the leaves turn brown. Everyone loves a good, long fall; trees bright red & yellow, leaves crunching beneath your feet. We only get maybe a month of that.

But I will be thankful. After all, all of God’s masterpieces are radiant.

And although I don’t get to wear dresses as much, who doesn’t love a cozy sweater?

Enjoy!

Worthy Wednesdays Part 4: Outlets

I was talking to my friends sister-in-law on Monday night, whom is also an artist, and she was telling me how when her and her family were living in a family members basement for a short while, all of their things {including her art supplies} were in storage. She told me that not painting or using her creativity was a hard thing for her and that she literally went into a depression for a moment.

I could relate to that, and I think a lot of people could. Everyone has their own outlet – whether that be running, painting, journaling, etc. It’s whatever you do where you emotions can literally leave your body. When I paint, you can tell how I feel {usually}. When I’m mad, my paintings are dark and eerie, or when I’m happy, they are bright and abstract. Art is a place where people can tell how I feel and I don’t have to say anything – and often times I don’t.

Every concern, sorrow, and excitement are feelings that are there for a reason, we are just responsible for providing a release. If we don’t, these feelings fester and can turn into something more dangerous, like self-loathe or hatred towards others. The more you practice “letting it out”, the more you can learn that you are counseling yourself without words.

This week, try new things. I can already think of a few people who are saying, “Well, I don’t know what I would do that I would be good at.” Being “good” at something doesn’t matter – try everything. Draw, journal, sculpt clay, exercise, even craft. If you don’t try new things, you’ll never know the possibilities of activities you’ll enjoy.  Use your outlet.

Apple Pie

When fall arrives, so do all sorts of seasonal tasties. I know that a lot of people think of Apple Pie as a summery 4th of July kind of dessert, but it truly reminds me of autumn. Plus, September is the beginning of apple picking season.

Everybody knows the yummiest and perhaps most classic treat that can be made from apples is the ever patriotic dessert of Apple Pie. Growing up, everybody had it alongside some ice cream in the summer, maybe a sliver paired with a small piece of pumpkin pie, or just as a dessert staple year round. Whatever the case, apple pie is as Americana as it gets {aside from waving your red, white & blue out in front of your farm}.

That being said, I don’t bake much. Like a lot of people who don’t do so well with this realm of the culinary world, I’m not so good at making sure measurements are precise. I’m more of “a little here, a little there” type of person {I’m an artist, what can I say – we all know we don’t color inside the lines}, so when my first attempt at crust failed {not to much surprise}, I called in the pros.

Remember the family I was telling you about that made this soup? Well my sisters and I grew up with Lynne being the cook and Chris being the baker when our family would have dinner at their house. And man, Chris sure makes a mighty fine crust. At first I wasn’t sure I should ask, in case it was some sort of secret family formula, passed down from generation to generation – but after Lynne saw that I asked for an easy crust recipe on Facebook, she said, “duh. Do you think we’re weirdos or something?” So, she texted me the recipe, and you know what? It’s just Crisco’s Classic Crust. Wow. I guess I’m the weirdo.

I followed the recipe to the T, except using whole wheat flour – you knew I would do something like that – and it turned out pretty good!

The filling, though, is my own creation.

I started with 4 medium sized apples – any green ones will do – cored, peeled & chopped. Then, I mixed in 2 TBS of lemon juice, the zest of one whole orange {most apple pies call for lemon zest, but I thought orange might be interesting}, 2 TBS of brown sugar, a TSP of cinnamon, and 1/2 TSP of allspice.

I literally let this sit in the fridge, covered, for 2 days. I think sometimes letting flavors meet & then get to know each other for a long time really makes things more flavorful {hence the love for slow cooking}. I poured the filling in the crust {I made a double}, topped it with the other crust, brushed the top with a little melted butter, and baked it in a preheated 400 degree oven for 35-40 minutes.

While not exactly the classic version we all know and love, it was still pretty delicious {and a little more healthy}. Plus, the orange zest added a nice little zing to the whole shebang. Happy fallings!

“L” for Lucero 🙂

Enjoy!

Worthy Wednesdays Part 3: You are You

A huge step for me in this whole process was realizing that I cannot count on people to make me feel good about myself. And why would I want to? People will judge people no matter what. After all, we are all human.

My husband helped me understand this one day when he got tired of me asking if I cleaned the house good enough, made a good enough meal, or if I was even a good wife at all. He said that he endlessly tells me “yes” to these things, but somehow it’s not enough for me. This is the reason why one should never put their worth into what another thinks of them – because no matter how much they praise you or reassure you, the problem is that you yourself are the one that is not happy with who you are.

So this week, my challenge is to not ask someone what they think about you or anything you do or produce. For example, I finally did some drawings on Monday that I’ve been wanting to do for awhile now, and I looked at them and judged them for myself. I didn’t ask for anyone’s confirmation, but I liked them. And it felt so good to know that I approved of myself. What a change in my attitude!

Wear what you want to wear, do what you are good at and most importantly, be who God made you to be.

Don’t change for anyone‘s approval because you are a very rare breed – you are the ONLY you! How beautiful is that?

Motorcycle Ride

The boys were here this week! Seriously, if you have kids, go hug them and pray you never have to say goodbye.

We got them on Tuesday and had a very full 4 days, and then their grandparents so kindly took them back for us yesterday at 6 am. With lots of tears from the boys later, they arrived safely in Tuscon around 11:30 pm their time.

Reminiscing on this past week, I think about all the things we are able to do with them and how lucky they are, and how lucky we are…

On Wednesday, the boys took their very first motorcycle ride with Papa! Boy, oh boy – if they continue to love it like they did, we are in for some big trouble!

Here are a few photos from their ride:

On Thursday night, their best friend spent the night & then the entire next day with us. They had so much fun playing & watching The Nightmare Before Christmas & The Corpse Bride, followed by a pot luck at our place to celebrate the boys {I made a new chili recipe}.

Also, we finally saw the highly anticipated Frankenweenie {you guys, I have been waiting to see this movie since the Spring time} – it was the perfect, rainy & cozy day for a Tim Burton movie! Then again, when is it not a perfect day for a Tim Burton movie?

One new thing we did, which may end up being a new tradition, is reading Bunnicula. We read the entire book, and I showed them a tiny white pumpkin and they were convinced that Bunnicula had come to our house in the night and sucked the juice out of an orange pumpkin and turned it white. My teacher did this little trick when I was about Jacob’s age, and I remember telling my mom and being so certain that it was true.

Anyways, we had lots of fun, but it went by much too quickly.

Enjoy time with your children!

Craft Fair Chili

On Tuesday starting at 4:30 AM, we drove 7 hours to Belen, NM to put a halt to the highly anticipated wait of hugging our boys. Then, after some cuddles, lunch and lots & lots of chatting, we embarked on the 7 hour journey home. Upon our arrival, we surprised them with a new home, new rooms, and some Goosebumps {which Jacob has been asking for since last Spring time}. Then after a very busy day yesterday, driving them here & there to see lots of people, and then getting them their first very own library cards, I was pretty exhausted, so I apologize for not posting about that very important topic I usually post about on Wednesdays. I tried writing a post, then looked back at it, and thought, “I’m too tired to write about anything that any makes sense or do anybody any good right now.” So I didn’t. But today, I’m back, and I have a delicious treat for you.

On Saturday, my Mom, our friend Lynne and I went to the Annual Friends Craft Fair  at the Littleton History Museum {which has been going on for 46 years!} and despite the very cold 30 something degree weather, we had a great time, coffee in hand. This is my 3rd or 4th year going to the fair with them, and last year I bought the cutest little sign for Christmas with a red sleigh on it. This year, I was pretty excited about the food vendors that would be there.

I saved my money until I found something I deemed worthy of purchase {plus a little Tinker Bell bow for my friends’ daughter – I couldn’t help myself knowing she was going to be Tink for Halloween}. I bought a bag of pre-made Steamboat Springs Chili mix from Timber Peaks Gourmet – they have been making pre-made soups, snack mixes & dips for over 20 years, so they know what they’re doing.

You can put it in the crock pot or simmer it on the stove, which only takes 30 minutes! I added a jalapeno {because we like it hot}, a TSP of Cayenne and a little extra salt. Oh. My. Gosh. So good. A perfect dinner after you’ve been walking around in near freezing temps for 4 hours and can no longer feel your toes.

Enjoy!