Currently {Vol. 7}

Currently 7

Here’s what I’ve been up to currently

Thinking about: ALLUME. As you are reading this, I’m on my way to a Christian blogger conference called Allume in South Carolina. I am so excited to learn and grow as a blogger, as well as meet other bloggers and make friends. Since I’m writing this a couple days before I leave, I’m thinking about what to bring, what to wear, what to pack, how to get there, where I’ll park, who I’ll meet, what I’ll learn, … a ton of stuff. There are a few nerves, but for the most part I’m so excited that I get this opportunity and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me.

Shouldn’t we feel that about every day? Excited for the opportunity to live one more day for Him, looking forward to seeing what God has in store for us. Hmm sounds right to me.

Praying about: Travis’ eye to heal. He had surgery this week on one of his eyes, so I’m praying for healing and recovery and rest. And since I’ll be gone at my conference, praying that he can take care of himself while I’m gone. I’m also praying that God directs us to the right church for us to call home. We thought we had found it, but alas, it isn’t the one for us. I’m very disappointed and so ready to have a community we can fellowship with.

Listening to: My new favorite song right now is Florida Georgia Line’s song “Dirt.” My favorite lines are, “Makes you wanna build a 10 percent down, white picket fence house on this dirt. You know you came from it, and some day you’ll return to it.” Watch the music video here. It makes me think of my home (where I grew up) and how I hope to move back there someday to raise my family.

Reading: I’m reading “Let’s All be Brave” by Annie F. Downs right now, along with a group of awesome women who I’ve never even met. We are in a book study called The Intentional Filling. Ya’ll should check it out when the next book study starts up! I’m loving this book! Annie has such a great way of writing, like you are just sitting with her talking.

Watching: Chicago Fire is my favorite show ever. And now Chicago PD is right behind it!

Eating: I made Travis’ favorite treat this week to help him recover from his eye surgery. I can’t say I wasn’t happy to make it! Cookie dough pizza — get the recipe here and thank me later.

Working on: This week I went to the Seafood Festival in Richmond Hill. It’s a pretty big deal — like tens of thousands of people come to this event! I did a story about it for the newspaper. It was really cool because Travis and I got in for free, with free up-close parking. We got to go in the VIP tent and eat free food. And I got to interview a couple guys from the headliner band — Blues Traveler! I felt really important, which was nice because I was kind of hating my job that day. So this event made up for it and made me feel good again.

What have you been up to currently?

Check out other Currently posts over at Joyful Life. Or take a look at my past Currently posts here.

DIY Crate Nightstand

I’ve been waiting and waiting for us to finish our guest bedroom. Everything was done, except there was no nightstand. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money for such a small piece of furniture that wouldn’t be used all that often anyway.

Finally, I decided just to make my own! I think it turned out great!

DIY Crate Nightstand

 

Here’s what I used:

  • Two wooden crates (from Michael’s)
  • Wood stain
  • A paintbrush
  • Gorilla glue

Crate

First, I stained both crates with a dark brown to match the other wood furniture in the room. You can do it any stain tone you want, or even paint it a bright color!

Stain

Once both crates are stained and have thoroughly dried, stack them on top of each other so all the edges match up. I decided which should go on top based on which one had the best looking top. Some of stain streaked a little, so I used that side in a spot that wouldn’t be seen.

Stack

Once they are stacked the way you want, unstack them and lightly rub a damp paper towel over the top of the bottom box.

Dampen

Then add your wood glue or Gorilla glue. You don’t have to use too much because it will expand.

Glue

Then stack your crates again. You want to clamp them together for about an hour to make sure the glue dries. I just stacked a bunch of books inside.

Clamp

After an hour, your new nightstand is done! You can use it as a bookshelf, stage it with cute decorations, or add small boxes for storage. For now, we just put our lamp, alarm clock and a candle on top, and we put a few books on the bottom shelf.

Crate Nightstand

I love how it matches the crate we use to hold extra blankets!

Blanket Crate

Find out what else is in my guest bedroom coming soon!

 

Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies

Ready for a really, really easy recipe? Something to satisfy your chocolate craving? A recipe that’s perfect for fall?

How about these Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies made with only TWO ingredients.

Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Devil’s food cake mix
  • Can of pumpkin

Ingredients for Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies

Mix the two ingredients together in a bowl. Scoop the dough into balls on a baking sheet.

Mix and scoop

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-14 minutes. Let them set up and cool for a couple minutes before serving.

Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies 2

Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin
  • 1 box devil's food cake mix
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix together the pumpkin and cake mix
  3. Scoop into balls on baking sheet
  4. Bake for 10-14 minutes
  5. Allow cookies to cool and set up for a couple minutes

 

Chicken N’ Dumplings

I can’t believe how easy this recipe is, and yet it still turned out tasting delicious! This for all of us who don’t have time to make dumplings from scratch, but still want that home cooked taste!

Chicken N' Dumplings

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Chicken broth
  • Chicken
  • Canned biscuits (Tip: Don’t use the flaky layers biscuits because the dish will turn out mushy. If you use regular home style biscuits, it turns out just right!)
  • Cream of chicken soup
  • Pepper

Ingredients for Chicken and Dumplings

Bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add in the shredded baked chicken. Turn the heat to medium.

Cut the biscuit dough into quarters. Add these to the chicken broth.

Cut biscuits

Add in the cream of chicken, stirring everything together.

Add pepper. Stir occasionally while letting it simmer for  5-10 minutes on low-medium heat.

Simmer

Chicken N' Dumplings
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 32 oz box chicken broth
  • 4 chicken breasts, baked and shredded
  • 1 can biscuits
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Bake and shred your chicken
  2. Bring chicken broth to a boil
  3. Add shredded chicken, reduce heat to medium
  4. Cut biscuit dough into quarters, add to broth
  5. Add cream of chicken soup, stirring
  6. Add pepper to taste
  7. Stir occasionally while pot simmers on low-medium heat for 5-10 minutes

For more recipes, check out my Pinterest board!

Blackberry Gin Lemonade

It’s been a long time since I posted a recipe for a beverage. So how about we do something with a kick?

This blackberry gin lemonade is made with fresh blackberries!

Blackberry Gin lemonade

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Sugar
  • Blackberries
  • Water
  • Honey
  • Club soda
  • Gin
  • Lemon juice

Ingredients for Blackberry Gin Lemonade

Bring the sugar, blackberries, and water to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Turn the heat down and let it simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally to soften the blackberries.

Boil berries and sugar

Stir in the honey. Remove from heat.

If you have a fine mesh sieve, use it to push the blackberries mixture through so the beverage won’t be full of blackberry seeds. If you don’t have one, use the smallest strainer you can. We used a strainer first, then we pulled out the mesh filter on our juicer and used that! Got to get inventive sometimes!

Strain berriesStrain through mesh sieve

Put the liquid in a pitcher. Add in the club soda, gin, a cup of water, and the lemon juice.

Add water and club soda

Serve the drink with ice. You can use blackberries and lemon slices as garnish for the drink if you like.

Blackberry Gin Lemonade 2

Blackberry Gin Lemonade
Author: 
Recipe type: Beverage
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups blackberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water, divided
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2½ cups club soda
  • 1½ cups gin
  • ¾ cups lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Bring blackberries, sugar and 1 cup water to boil
  2. Stir to dissolve sugar
  3. Reduce heat
  4. Simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally
  5. Stir in honey
  6. Remove from heat
  7. Push through fine mesh sieve or strainer
  8. Transfer to pitcher
  9. Add in club soda, gin, 1 cup water, and lemon juice
  10. Serve with ice
  11. Garnish with blackberries and lemon slices (optional)

For more recipes I’ve tried and approved, check out my Pinterest board here.