Archives for the month of: September, 2013

Today (well every day if I’m honest) I was craving a muffin. I LOVE muffins!


Being gluten-free (GF), dairy-free (DF) and sugar-free (SF) can make this quite a challenge. But, thanks to a new blog, Detoxinista, recommended by my friend, I have a new resource from some fantastic GF, DF & SF treats!


I came upon this recipe today and had to post about it because the muffins have NO FLOUR whatsoever, are sweetened only with honey and bananas, are actually fluffy and light (unlike most GF baked goods which are typically as dense as bricks), and (here’s the best part) they are so easy and quick!


Here’s a link to the recipe on Detoxinista… enjoy!


“I know thy works and thy labor and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them that are evil; and how thou hast tried them that say they are apostles and are not, and hast found them liars; and hast borne, and hast patience, and for My name’s sake hast labored and hast not fainted. Nevertheless, I have something against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” Revelation 2: 2-4


It’s all too easy. Forsaking our first love. Working and laboring tirelessly in the name of love, but leaving behind the butterflies in exchange for a clean kitchen and empty trash bin.

Yesterday, as Ben and I were on our way to church- he driving and me in the back seat as is our new normal- I was faced with this truth. I sat next to Boden’s carseat cooing, singing, and talking to him and watching is entire face light up. I couldn’t resist his kissable face and held his hands so he would know he was not alone. I don’t remember exactly the words I used, but I said something to Bo and from the front seat, I heard Ben say to his son, “your mom used to say that to me.” He said it with a smile, and I smiled back, laughing it off, but I was shaken all the same. Was it true? Had I transferred my love from one to another that easily?

Bo loves music. Often I will play music from my computer as he and I go about our day at home together… and more often than not, I will sing along while smiling down at him, which he adores. Many of these are love songs- like “Gotta Have You” by the Weepies, “Free” by Zac Brown Band, and “Your Song” by Elton John- that I direct to his little blue eyes. Sometimes I can’t even get through a complete phrase without kissing his little wet lips just to watch him squeal in delight and turn his face to “kiss” me back.

Sometimes these moments remind me of the times when I was so infatuated with Ben that I could not resist kissing him! He always hated “PDA” (Public Displays of Affection), yet I would shower him with kisses as often as I could sneak them! I made him playlists and sang to him. Sometimes I could even convince him to dance with me in the kitchen when no one was looking. We haven’t done that in a while…

I also got to thinking about my true first love. My love for Christ. I can still remember those first years when I understood what it meant to be saved and to have a personal relationship with Jesus. I used to tear up during worship time at summer camps and write letters to God in my journal. The sad truth is that I was probably never infatuated the way I have been with these other men in my life. I have not found spending time with Christ irresistible or been tempted to display my affection for him publicly whenever I get a chance. What a shame.

This morning, I texted Ben at work, which is our typical morning greeting during the week when he leaves for work before I get up to feed Bo. He texted back saying that he had found an old love letter from me in his devotional book and that “it was nice.”

Today, I’m going to return to my first loves. I’m going to talk with Jesus and sing him a love song. Then, I’m going to write my husband a love letter. I’m going to remind him (and myself) how much I love him! I’m going to return to that thirsty love and give it some much needed water. I’m going to kiss him when he gets home from work…and maybe tonight we’ll dance in the kitchen.


I invented a salad today that is super easy, cheap, and delicious!



– 1 whole rotisserie chicken (I bought mine at D&W but you could roast your own if you’re really ambitious!)

– 1 cup sliced almonds

– 1 cup blueberries

– 1/2 cup chopped celery

– 1/2 cup chopped onion (white onion or scallions)


– 1/2 cup mayo (or veganaise)

– 1 Tablespoon lemon juice (about half a lemon)

– Salt & Pepper (roughly 1 tsp. each)

– Boston Bibb Lettuce  (for serving)

(makes about 4-6 servings)

Simply shred the chicken, add the almonds, blueberries, celery, and onions and mix. Then whisk together your mayo, lemon juice, salt & pepper and toss with salad. Serve over a bed of Bibb lettuce with a few shredded almonds as garnish. Enjoy!


I tried to come up with a really creative title for this post, but nothing else seemed to capture the same feeling that I get when I hear the phrase “Saturday morning breakfast”. Because Saturday morning breakfasts are the best. They are relaxed, they are leisurely, they are hearty, they are often shared with loved ones, they are a time for creativity and spice instead of the same-old-same-old as you rush out the door. So… in honor of this great tradition, this Saturday morning, I made a big, hearty breakfast for me and my hubby while our little one took his morning nap.

And yes, you may note that our clock reads 9:22am…another thing I love about Saturday morning breakfast, it can be as late as you like!


I made eggs (essential to any hearty breakfast), spicy italian sausage (which we purchased at the Grand Rapids Urban Market… post on this fantastic new diamond in the rough to come!), and a vegetable hash of peppers, onions, corn, and spinach (inspired by a recent dinner at Terra, formerly “Trillium Haven” for those of you locals).


Just a few pointers for anyone hoping to duplicate this delicious morning concoction….


– Heat your pan and be sure to put plenty of butter in before adding your eggs.

– Add a little water to the egg pan just before they are done to your likeness and cover with a lid to get the tops perfectly cooked without overdoing the yolk.



– Boil corn on the cob in advance, then cut off and freeze for a much quicker breakfast (cooked corn is a great thing to have on hand!)

–  Chop and sauté your peppers and onions a bit before adding the corn and spinach as the latter take much less time.

– Add spices such as  black pepper, garlic, onion, paprika, and cayenne pepper… or do like I did and cheat by using Marie Catrib’s “kinda spicy” seasoning salt!



– if you live in Grand Rapids, visit the new Urban Market and purchase some wonderful sausage from the new meat market!

– Put a little butter in your pan before cooking the sausage to avoid the burning and smoke that I encountered!!

One last thing… don’t forget to set a nice table…and perhaps whip up a quick latte to accompany the meal. Nothing says “Saturday morning breakfast” like actually sitting down to eat with coffee in a real mug!


Nursing is a great time for thinking. Some moms have urged me to get hooked on a good TV series or read scripture or make phone calls, none of which are bad ideas, but I have found that simply being still and thinking is the best way to pass the time. I also use the time to trace each feature of my son and make a mental note of it because within a week, or even day, his features may have shifted.

Today I looked at his hands.


As with most newborns, Boden’s hands had been clenched tightly since birth. Each bath would produce bundles of old lint and dust that he had accumulated throughout the day.

With each week, his hands have become less rigid, discovering his world. Most recently he has been opening his hands to the world around him. He grabs at whatever brushes his fingers (which is often my hair!), he bats at toys that dangle before him, and he experiments with lifting different fingers and molding his hands into different shapes.





Today I looked into his open hands and found that the fuzz of his newborn days was slowly dwindling. No longer could I find the handfuls of lint and fibers that he used to carry with him throughout the day. Now all that he held was a few stray dust bits from whatever blanket he had most recently been wrapped in.


This made me think: don’t we all do this even as adults? Don’t we have a tendency to grip so tightly to some things that by the time we open our hands to embrace something new, we discover old bits clinging to us? Just as with newborns, we find comfort in the clenching. We feel safe with our hands tightly closed and hugged near our body. But what could we discover if we decided to open up and let our hands explore the world?

Perhaps we should clean out the finger jam and become more adventurous!

Today our little Boden is two months old.

Despite the sleepless nights, crying spells, and lack of personal hygiene since his birth, it has all flown by like the weekend you long for every Monday morning. This “little bundle of joy,” as he’s often referred to, has completely turned our world upside down…something no one seemed compelled to warn us about, though it would have made no difference really if they had. It was inevitable that I would fall intensely in love the moment I saw him and it was inevitable that I would give up all of my own comforts to make him happy.


Ben and I were married last summer in August on a perfect day. We had dated for just over two years after being acquaintances-turned-friends-turned-more than friends following high school before he surprised me at 8:00am on a Saturday and asked me to marry him while I was still lying in bed with stale morning breath. Since then, the two of us have been on a fast track to adulthood. We honeymooned in Italy (which I may have to post about later as I often like to reminisce about those days gone by!), moved into our first apartment together in the city, and shortly thereafter (by shortly, I’m talking weeks) found out I was pregnant! As with many couples I’m sure, it was a shock and a delight. We spent the next 9 months eagerly anticipating our son’s arrival and making the necessary changes in our lives to accommodate him, which included me postponing some post-graduate classes in favor of nannying, Ben transitioning to a new role in his work with a local Real Estate company, and both of us moving to a new home outside of the city.

Now here I sit in our crisp new townhouse kitchen while Boden naps in the nursery I had envisioned via Pinterest just an hour before his two month check-up. It’s all a bit surreal.

Another Pinterest vision of mine was to capture Bo’s growth each month with some form of synchronized photographs… I may have shot myself in the foot a bit with that idea as I’ve now realized every fourth Thursday I must position him “just so” in order to get the right shot to chart his progress. But alas, I’m sure I’ll look back and be glad I did.