Sea Salt Peanut Butter Fudge (Blind Spot Monthly Recipe Series)

Sea Salt Peanut Butter Fudge (Blind Spot Monthly Recipe Series)

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Congratulations.  You are about to see some photographic gems from one of my favorite family vacations.

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In the late spring of 2004, I visited Mackinac Island with my brother, parents, and grandparents.

We spent the entire morning riding our bikes through clouds of gnats.  Yes, clouds, so  thick that you couldn’t see, so dense that you felt the bugs smacking against your face.

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By lunchtime, we were so hot and sticky that we didn’t want food.  I believe that my lunch consisted of a soft drink and Payday candy bar.  (Side note: I must have really liked my bicycle helmet.  This is the only picture of me on the island where I am not wearing my purple helmet.)

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When afternoon came, we bought souvenirs. I selected a purple t-shirt and a key chain. But the real treat was the iconic Mackinac Island dessert.

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Fudge

Fudge’s rise in the U.S. can be traced to Mackinac Island in Lake Huron, between Michigan’s Upper and Lower peninsulas. This vacation spot has been linked to fudge for more than 85 years, so much so that northern Michiganders often refer to tourists—out-of-towners in search of fudge—as “fudgies.”

Lisa Wong Macabascoq

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Ingredients

  • 2 tbs Blind Spot Sea Salt Peanut Butter
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp honey

Directions

  • Heat all ingredients up in a small saucepan over medium heat until stir-able. Stir ingredients together.
  • Pour mixture into shallow dish or ice cube tray. Freeze for 2 hours.
  • Eat and enjoy!
  • Store leftovers in the fridge or freezer.

Original recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie.

I Already Broke My New Years Resolution

I Already Broke My New Years Resolution

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I thought that it was a good, attainable resolution.  The plan was to run a 10k on April 22, the day after I finish student teaching.  Ten kilometers is less than 6.5 miles, so it really isn’t that hard of a run, and I have nearly four months to prepare.  I printed off a mild training guide (3 days of running, 2 days of cross-training, and 2 days of rest every week), and I filled out the application for the race.

 

The first week went really well.  I did every single workout, getting decent times on my runs.  I hit a set-back at the beginning of week two when the world was covered in snow, but I was still determined to keep at it.

Then yesterday came, Friday of week two, and I did NOT want to go to the gym.  I did not want to run on a treadmill.  I wanted to skip my workout.

So I started to analyze why:

  • I was tired.  However, most people are tired, so I didn’t count that as a valid excuse.
  • I felt rushed.   Every day after student teaching, I had to rush to the gym, change quickly, and run as fast as I could so that I could make it to supper on time.
  • I didn’t enjoy the runs.  In fact, I would run on the treadmill overlooking the pool and think about how much I would rather be swimming.
  • I missed my old workouts.  I missed swimming, Pop Pilates, Zumba, and slow jogs through Old Salem.

I gave in.  I didn’t go to the gym.  I didn’t run.  Instead, I went to my dorm room and wrote lesson plans.

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I didn’t completely throw yesterday’s workout to the wolves.  Later last night, I did  PIIT while watching Chopped, and it was great.  It was relaxing, fun, and everything that a workout should be.  I even went to the gym this morning…to swim, and it was everything that I missed.

Yes, I broke my New Year’s Resolution, but I am glad that I did.

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…in an ironic turn of events, a blog hat I frequent just posted, “92% of people fail to maintain their fitness resolutions be the end of the year.”  At least I am in good company 🙂

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Thinking In Pictures

Thinking In Pictures

I think in pictures, not words.

You say “banana.” I think:

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You say “lighthouse.” I think:

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You say “week.” I think:

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You say “God.” I think…well, here is where it gets confusing.

Sometimes, I think:

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Other times, I think:

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But the other morning, I thought:

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To be honest, that morning God seemed so far away. I’m on earth with sin and struggles; He is in Heaven with perfection and worship. It seems like an endless sky separates me from Him.

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When I feel far from God, I tend to make regulations that I must follow–cages that I must climb in order to reach God.

But Colossians 1:20-23 says:

If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in  self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.

 

When I reflect on my self-imposed rules, I realize that this false asceticism is worthless. The rules may improve peoples’ opinions of me–she is so kind, so self-disciplined, so good–but no law of my own can move God closer to me.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;  not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. — Ephesians 2:8-9

God isn’t behind a fence that I need to climb or through a jungle that I must chop away. He is ever-present and ready to hear from his children.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. – Psalm 139:7-8

So when you say “God,” I cannot picture anything. He is not just a righteous Judge, or just a good Father, or just a gracious Savior. He cannot be defined by my finite imagination.  He is above all, before all, and beyond all that we can picture.

For  by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He  is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. – Colossians 1:16-17

Top Ten Tuesday: 2016 Photos

Top Ten Tuesday: 2016 Photos

Determining my favorite photos from 2016 was next to impossible because I took pictures of so many different things!  I took literally thousands of photos throughout the year for…

But, after agonizing decision-making, these are the ten photos I chose.

Doing Hard Things in 2017

Doing Hard Things in 2017

I looked at my mom, shrugged my shoulders, and said, “I know that it is going to be a challenge, but if I never do hard things…I, well, I will never do hard things.”

In that moment of redundancy, I realized the truth; if I continuously choose the easy way out, I will never grow.

Let me tell you about the hard things that are ahead of me in 2017.

  1. I will be a student teacher at a fifth-grade public school for the first sixteen weeks of the year. I will have 30 students, and I will be coordinating with three different teachers.  I will write unit plans, teach every subject, and grade papers.  That is going to be hard.
  2. From May to August, I am a promotional media intern at Pine Cove Camp. As such, I will conduct photo shoots, write articles, and create videos.  I will be on my own to find subjects for my stories, film interviews, and complete all the projects.  That is going to be hard.
  3. After I finish the internship, I will look for a full-time job. I will determine what I want to do with my life (ha ha…I may never figure that out), find job openings, fill out applications, submit resumes, and WAITThat is going to be hard.
  4. And when I find that full-time job, I will probably move away from my parents. I will leave the house where I have lived 21 years.  I will take down all of my paintings, pack up my Fiestaware, buy furniture, and decorate my own place.  That is going to be hard.

But despite all of the hard things that I have ahead of me, I am looking forward to 2017.  I know that through these hard tasks, God will show himself faithful.  I will lean on Him for strength, and I will watch as He orchestrates His perfect plan.

Thus, I will run into 2017 with reckless abandon.

I will push forward with faith.

I will do hard things.

Welcome to New York

Welcome to New York

Greenwich Village – Oatmeals and Washington Square Park

 

The Statue of Liberty

 

 

Downtown Manhattan – including the World Trade Center and Wall Street

 

 

Brooklyn – including the Brooklyn Bridge