#ThankfulThursday #StealJournal

Filed under: Thankful Thursday — Meredith @ 10:00 am March 31, 2016

Write A Fan Letter.

Dear Susannah Conway,

Your methods of unraveling life are brilliant. I have become accustomed to approaching each year in search of a word to guide me and to break down both the year gone and the year to come. Your beautiful soul shines like a beacon across the world wide web, and I think you should feel like a guiding light for all those who cross your path. Your photography and words inspire my creativity, and I’m so thankful that you share with all of us. Thank you for providing your innovative ideas to us. Thank you for being uniquely you. I don’t’ think I would live as rich of a life were it not for your words.

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#WordlessWednesday Dogwood Winter

Filed under: Wordless Wednesday — Meredith @ 10:00 am March 30, 2016

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#TalkTuesday #StealJournal

Filed under: Uncategorized — Meredith @ 10:00 am March 29, 2016

“Sit At Your Desk And Listen.” – Franz Kafka

I hear Brian playing Skyrim, the soft, vaguely celtic music providing ambience. Anna’s cleaning herself in the front windows, licking furiously and likely pulling out fur. Junior snorted contentedly as he sleeps in his puppy bed. The fridge motor is humming away as it cools the food. The dog on Skyrim barks randomly. Brian presses buttons on his controller, probably scrolling through a list. The sound of blacksmithing comes back.

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#MondayMotivation #StealJournal

Filed under: Motivation Monday — Meredith @ 10:00 am March 28, 2016

Negative Manifesto:

I will not live in fear of the future anymore.

I will not let other people’s dreams stand in the way of mine.

I will not get any fatter — I will not resign myself to obesity.

I will not ignore my body’s cue for attention.

I will not allow depression and anxiety to define my life.

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#WordlessWeekend Happy Easter

Filed under: Wordless Weekend — Meredith @ 10:00 am March 27, 2016

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#WordlessWeekend Colored Eggs

Filed under: Wordless Weekend — Meredith @ 10:00 am March 26, 2016

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#FoodieFriday Annaliesa’s Birthday Cake

Filed under: Foodie Friday — Meredith @ 10:00 am March 25, 2016

Over the past few years, my daughter’s been in love with strawberry cake and red velvet cake. Last year she requested a cake that matched the color scheme of an Easy Bake oven kit she had. I sandwiched layers of strawberry cake and red velvet cake with a cream cheese filling and iced them with a strawberry cream cheese frosting. The finished product? Divine. It’s a decadent cake fit for a princess.

Strawberry Cake Layer (Adapted from Annie’s Eats)
2 3/4 cups flour (I used a gluten free blend with xantham gum)
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted sweet cream butter, melted
1/2 cup canola oil
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
2/3 cups milk (I used 1%)
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 cups strawberries, pureed
1 tsp pink coloring, if desired

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cream together your sugar, butter, and oil. Blend in the eggs and milks. Whisk in the vanilla, then incorporate the strawberry puree. If you’re adding the pink coloring, do so now. Add your dry ingredients and blend until combine. Pour the batter into a greased 9×13″ pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, until a knife or toothpick in the center comes out clean. Side aside to cool.

Red Velvet Cake layer (adapted from Annie’s Eats)
2 1/4 cup flour (I used a gluten free blend with xantham gum)
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 tbsps cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups canola oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 oz red food coloring
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tbsp distilled white vinegar

Beat the eggs into the oil. Whisk in the buttermilk, sugar, and vanilla. Carefully add the cocoa powder and red food coloring — red food coloring will dye your skin for days if you’re not careful! Blend until combine. Add the flour and salt, blending until combine. Add the baking soda and vinegar together. Look at it bubble! Whisk it into the batter, then pour it into a greased 9×13″ baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes, then set aside to cool.

Cream Cheese Filling
2 80z blocks of cream cheese (full fat for a creamy, cheesecake-y delight)
1/2 cup butter, chopped
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
A dash of salt

Beat together the cream cheese and butter until fully combined. Carefully add the powdered sugar to avoid puffs of sugar all over the place. Add your vanilla and salt once the sugar has been incorporated. Beat until fluffy, the set aside.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting (adapted from Annie’s Eats)
2 8-oz blocks of cream cheese (again, full fat is best)
1/2 cup butter, chopped
1/2 cup strawberries, pureed
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
A dash of salt

Beat together the cream cheese and butter until fully combined. Add the strawberry puree, incorporating it into a beautiful pink mixture. Carefully add the powdered sugar, beating until combine. Add the vanilla and salt, beat until fluffy, and set aside.

Now the fun part — assembly! Take your strawberry layer out of the cake pan carefully, placing it on a serving platter or cake board. Carefully smooth out the cream cheese filling over the cake. Carefully remove the red velvet layer from the pan, and place it on top of the cream cheese filling. Frost the top of the cake with your strawberry cream cheese frosting. If you’re not into the “naked cake” craze, frost the sides, too. Decorate your cake as you wish. Be sure to have plenty of help eating this gorgeous, rich cake. The layers are so moist and decadent, your mouth will think it’s died and gone to heaven!

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#ThankfulThursday #StealJournal

Filed under: Thankful Thursday — Meredith @ 10:00 am March 24, 2016

My Top 10 Guilty Pleasures:

(Because guilty pleasures bring gratitude as well.)

  1. Chocolate
  2. Sugar
  3. Alcohol
  4. Coffee with cream and sugar
  5. Sleeping
  6. Pizza
  7. Burgers
  8. Tacos
  9. Chinese food
  10. Internet

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#WordlessWednesday Fresh New Leaves

Filed under: Wordless Weekend — Meredith @ 10:00 am March 23, 2016

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#TalkTuesday #StealJournal

Filed under: Talk Tuesday — Meredith @ 10:00 am March 22, 2016

Write your favorite quote here:

Minutes are worth more than money; spend them wisely.

Say It 5 Different Ways:

  1. Time can’t be returned once spent, unlike money.
  2. You can make more money, but you can’t make more time.
  3. Time is more valuable than money.
  4. Wasted money can be re-earned; wasted time cannot.
  5. Spend your time wisely.

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