Hello, World,

As pretty much anyone who would likely stumble onto my site will know, Hurricane Harvey came and left devastation as it went. Southeast Texas, Houston, East Texas, and Louisiana have all felt its power and its wrath.

Let me start by saying that we’re fine. We blessedly were spared. All of my closest friends are fine, my family is fine, and my husband’s family was mostly untouched. We all had a few scary nights, though.

I never thought I’d see something like this, let alone in my own back yard. To see roads I’ve traveled completely submerged in unbelievably deep water; To see buildings I’ve visited and businesses I support flood; To see the homes of people I love destroyed; to see churches and schools and entire small towns all but wiped away has been an experience I will not soon forget.

More than the devastation, however, I have seen the love. I am so, so proud to be a Texan. Even more proud to be a Houstonian. I am so proud of how our city has responded, how our people have come together. I have seen the face of God in so many other humans. I have seen the hands and feet of Jesus move in beautiful ways I have never before witnessed.

Our church is one of over 100 churches in the area who have come together to move as one church for the city. Methodists, Baptists, and Catholics alike, all pouring out the love of Christ. It had me crying on Sunday and I still get teary just thinking of it. There’s something about this community that just thrums with a heart I can’t describe. The rest of this country has seen this heart out in the open. They’ve seen why we Texans are so dang proud.

I have been so touched by the love and support that has literally poured in from all over the state, the country, the world. My emotions are still raw, I’m still not sleeping well, but I am happy to be able to sit with my Hubbit and our pup, in our sweet little house, and write to you all.

Please let me know if anyone has any volunteer activities or knows of anyone we can help. I’ve served in a few churches, doing a few different things, but I know that the road to recovery is long. We will rebuild. Come Hell or high water.

Hello. It’s me. I was wondering if after all these years, you’d like to meet?

I don’t want to talk about my absence. I don’t want to talk about my disappearance. I don’t want to promise or imply anything about my return. Instead, I’ll leave this here, buried in my semi-dead corner of the internet, and I’ll think fondly about you all.

A few months ago, I turned 28. And I set 28 goals for myself, which I thought I’d record. So here they are. Time passes too quickly, friends. I am tired of life happening to me. 2017 is my year.

Kaitlin’s 28 Goals for Her 28th Year

1) Finish my book

2) Get an agent

3) Sell/publish book

4) Publish a romance novel

5) Take pills every day

6) Only drink soda on the weekends

7) Lose weight

8) Cook 5-6x/week

9) Keep house clean

10) Walk Toula 3x/week

11) Yoga 3x/week

12) Drink a gallon of water a day

13) Read 50 books this year

14) Start writing book reviews on my author site

15) Vlog

16) Save some money

17) Invest for retirement

18) Pay off all debt

19) Go to church

20) Quiet time daily

21) Grow The Blusherie

22) Youtube Beauty Vids

23) Brush up on my French

24) Reread Harry Potter

25) Blog

26) Make non-writing art at least once a month

27) See family more

28) Choose joy

I don’t know why, but I always want to greet you guys as “Party People” these days. I don’t know where it came from. I don’t know why it’s happening, but it is.

So, good morning, party people!

We are on the cusp of a three day weekend and it feels phenomenal. We don’t have many plans, but the plans we do have are spectacular. Gonna relax a lot. Gonna do some organizing and some chores. Gonna talk to Roxanne and not feel like a fool.

I also have a drink champagne and wedding plan date with my bess fran, and we have a double date with her and her fiance. I’m so excited. I just can’t hide it. Coincidentally, I’m so, terribly sorry for this writing.

I vow to read at least one book, while I finish the non-fiction book I’m reading.

And that’s all I’m going to commit to this weekend. Three whole days. Can you believe it? We’ve waited so long. #Blessed.

And that’s seriously all that’s on my mind right now. We have a winner for the giveaway. We have a meal plan. We have a delicious recipe. We had a full week. I can’t decide if I’m talking to you guys or if I’m suddenly Smeagol.

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You guys please have an amazing three day weekend. What are your plans?

You. Guys. Spicy Roasted Broccoli with Avocado Crema. This little diddy was born out of necessity. I love cooking with southwestern and Mexican flavors, but it’s so hard to come up with accompanying side dishes. While rice and beans are muy delicioso, they are not quite the top of the nutrition chart. So enter one of my veggie boyfrans, broccoli.

Broccoli, roasted with some smoky heat, then drizzled with a generous ribbon of tangy avocado crema.

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It starts simply. Fresh broccoli florets tossed in oil, salt, pepper, cayenne, and chipotle, then spread on a baking sheet. I used coconut oil, but olive or any other mild-tasting oil would be fine.

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Then you throw that concoction in to roast. Meanwhile, whip up your crema. Avocado flesh, sour cream, lime juice, and a sprinkle of salt, onion powder, and garlic powder. Mix/blend it up.

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Take your freshly roasted broccoli and admire it.

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And then hit it with your crema.

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Perfection. Smoky, spicy, earthy broccoli cut by the tangy citrus of the crema. I’m a fan. I served mine with Five Spice Cream Cheese Chicken from Running to the Kitchen. It was a beautiful meal.

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Note: This recipe makes exactly what I would recommend as the proper amount of crema drizzle. Feel free to double and make more if you love sauces or if you want an avocado crema on hand. Maybe, say, to drizzle over a chorizo and cheddar omelette? Dang. I know what I’m making this Saturday.

Spicy Roasted Broccoli With Avocado Crema

Ingredients

  • 4 fresh broccoli crowns, cut into florets
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil (or olive or other mild oil)
  • 1 Tbsp chipotle
  • 1/2 Tbs cayenne (or more, to taste)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (or Greek yogurt if you'd rather)
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime (or about 1 1/2 Tbsp lime juice)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of onion powder
  • Pinch of garlic powder

Instructions

    For the broccoli:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Wash broccoli and cut into florets
  3. Lay flat in single layer on a large baking sheet
  4. Toss broccoli florets in oil, salt, pepper, chipotle, and cayenne
  5. Roast for 20-25 minutes.
  6. For the crema:
  7. Add avocado, sour cream, lime, and spices to food processor or blender.
  8. Mix until smoith
  9. Drizzle over broccoli and serve warm
http://www.wifebegins.com/spicy-roasted-broccoli-with-avocado-crema/

Well hello, there, dearest. How have you been?

I had a fantastic weekend. First thing’s first, I’m the realest I don’t want you to miss out on my first ever GIVEAWAY! So exciting! Go, now!

Assuming you’re back, I’ll just get right to the point and tell you how this weekend was full of food and movies and dates. Oh my!

Friday night, The Hubbit and I ate at this amazing Mediterranean buffet. It was not the classiest joint, but the food was out of this world amahhhhzing. I think I ate a pound each of baba ganoush and fried cauliflower. Then we went to see Pitch Perfect 2 which was seriously hilarious. Such a good time. It was even funnier than the first one, if that’s possible. Fat Amy is my spirit animal forever.

Saturday we headed to the Palladium to see Mad Max Fury Road and it was strange and terrifying and creepy but still good. We enjoyed it, even though I ate the worst chef salad I’ve ever had in my life there. It’s a super fun place and a very comfortable movie-going experience, but their food is disgusting. Leave that to Alamo Drafthouse.

Sunday we lazed about and I played a lot of The Sims 4. Then I got to cooking. And I came up with something delicious. And I can’t wait to share the recipe with you on Wednesday! Here’s a sneak peak:

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I mean… Come on.

I don’t have a super adventurous menu planned this week, mostly because I did the planning and the list on the way to and from seeing Mad Max. But here’s what we’ll be eating:

Meal 1: Five Spice Cream Cheese Chicken and my Spicy Roasted Broccoli with Avocado Crema. Recipe coming Wednesday.

Meal 2: Flank Steak with Pan Fried Mushrooms. I might share that recipe later on. It’s becoming a family favorite!

Meal 3: Breakfast for Dinner. Bacon and eggs, y’all. Best day.

Meal 4: Andouille with Oven Fried Garlic Parmesan Green Beans. I ain’t mad about it.

Meal 5: Shakshuka with Cheesy Cauliflower Breadsticks. I’m literally drooling picturing cheesy breadsticks mopping up a spicy tomato and pepper sauce.

Meal 6: 4-Minute Spicy Garlic Shrimp and Pan Roasted Radishes. Easy, fast, delicious.

Y’all have a good one! And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

Hello and Happy Saturday to everyone!

I’m here this weekend with something extra special for you, and something near and dear to my heart. That’s right. A giveaway! A book give away. Get excited.

I have been a fan of Deeanne for many, many years. My best friend discovered her books, so kudos to you, bess fran, but soon we were all hooked. We were in high school, and Dee’s stories transported us to places and love stories we never could have imagined. Her books are Christian, historical fiction, and romance. Her books are just good. Her books are amazing. They actually address the concept and reality of lust, of desire, of healthy sexual appetite. But there are no sex scenes. The romantic scenes are tame, tame, TAME compared to almost anything else, ever, and yet you will feel the butterflies in your stomach and you can feel the tension dripping from every word. She is a master and because of her skill with these matters, as well as creating such amazing, encompassing story worlds that fling you back in time, she’s one of my very favorite authors.

I’ve had the opportunity to meet Deeanne a few times, as she’s in Houston like me, and she is the sweetest person ever in the history of the world. She (and Veronica Rossi) spoiled me for my future of meeting authors. Because of my true love for Deeanne and her work, I was over the moon to have the chance to be on her launch team for her newest publication, Tiffany Girl.

Tiffany Girl follows Flossie Jayne, a young artist enrolled at the New York School of Applied Design. When the glassworkers go on strike, leaving the fate of the Tiffany chapel’s debut the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago dangling, Mr. Louis Tiffany scouts women from Flossie’s art school to complete the chapel. You see, women can’t join unions. Flossie, hand-picked by Mr. Tiffany, flies off to become a “New Woman,” an artist, and a boardinghouse resident. It’s then that Deeanne’s masterful storytelling takes over, as lovely character after lovely character is introduced.

I really loved Tiffany Girl and since I was given such a lovely opportunity to read the book before its release, I thought I’d pass along some of my book good karma.

I am overjoyed to have a giveaway for all of you! I’m giving away Tiffany Girl as well as two of my other Deeanne Gist books, A Bride in the Bargain and Maid to Match.
Deeanne Gist Book Giveaway

Details to enter below!:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will run from 12am May 16th, 2015 until 12am May 20th, 2015 and is open to everyone.

No purchase necessary to win. There will be one winner, chosen at random. The winner will be announced within 24 hours of the close of the giveaway. I will contact the winner withing 24 of the conclusion of the Giveaway. If the original winner does not respond to the email within 24 hours of being sent, another winner will be selected at random.

The prize is provided and funded by Kaitlin Vincent of Wife Begins and the prize will be shipped within one week of the close of the contest.

Thank you, and good luck!

Okay, that line probably has nefarious meanings, but it’s stuck in my head. (Oooooh!)

Anyway, another Monday. I’m feeling pretty good. It could be because I feel like I FINALLY caught up on sleep. Girls, hit your hallelujah.

Or it could be the fact that I’m choosing and praying to stay positive. You see, yesterday was my half birthday. My 26th and a half birthday. I don’t care about it for celebratory purposes. I care about it for “where the $@(& did my life go?” purposes. Yesterday and the days leading up to it, I was pretty depressed. I have the same feelings I have every six months at a birthday or half birthday. I’m still not finished with the first draft of my book. I’m not where I want to be fitness and health-wise. I’m not where I want to be with the house. Those are some of the reasons why we had to chop you I spent most of yesterday escaping into playing The Sims. Natch.

But I decided to stop and think about what I actually had gone through in the last six months. Since November 3rd, I/we have:

  • Bought a house
  • Been thrown into a sudden and immediate promotion
  • Moved
  • Managed to unpack most of the house
  • Thanksgave
  • Christmassed
  • New Yeared
  • Closed 2014 at work  (just means a lot of work)
  • Bridal Showered
  • Bacheloretted
  • Bridesmaided and Makeup Artisted

It’s only been about a month for me to recover and rest and try to get my normal routines going again. Which, really are baby routines anyway since my job and my life have historically been such a cluster.

All this to say that things at work are the best they’ve ever been. Things at home are well on their way. Things with The Hubbit are great. All the other things are in development. Or maybe pre-production. And that’s okay. I will persevere. And choose to be proud of myself and to be excited for what I can and will do in the future. At least I’ll try.

Let’s talk about food. Here’s what’s on the menu for the week:

Portobella Pizza

Meal 1: Portobella Pizzas. Made these Saturday and rocked it. Pro tip: bigger mushrooms call for longer cooking times. Nom.

Meal 2: Scotch Eggs. Made these last night and crushed it. Seacrest, out.

Meal 3: Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls. Can’t wait to try.

Meal 4: Spicy Garlic Shrimp with Pan Roasted Radishes. Simple. Delicious.

Meal 5: Braised Cabbage and Sausages. Cannot wait. Nom nom nom. It’s been too long since we’ve had bratwurst. PSA: Johnsonville ‘wurst has MSG. Suck.

Meal 6: Quick Sriracha Beef Lettuce Wraps. Can’t beat them for a quick and easy meal.

And that’s about all I have to say today, folks. Have a great Monday! And remember to hit your hallelujah think positively.

Good Morning!

Not much to report over here, other than that I was almost attacked, blinded, and murdered yesterday. NBD.

Okay, okay, I might be speaking out of my irrational fear, but let me set the scene:

Off and on for at least a week, we’ve been hearing birds very loudly chirping. Like, incessantly chirping. Like, maybe they’re fighting or something? kind of chirping. But, whatever, eventually they fly away.

The Hubster said that one day he was sure they were in the house they were so loud, but they weren’t. Just so we’re clear.

Monday morning, I hear what he must have heard, and it sounded like it was coming from the front porch. I padded over in my slippers (pretty much like this:

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and I saw two tiny, teeny, hoppy little birds. Like the ones that are just cute and little. One was sitting on the window ledge above the front door, and the other was somehow perched on the brick that hangs down from the roof and creates the little porch area. I’m not describing it very well, but I’m probably mentally scarred forever.

I banged on the front door and the one sitting above the door flew away but circled back and landed again. I didn’t think much of it and didn’t want to keep banging on the door and risk waking up The Hubbit, because I’m a super and considerate wife. Anyway, I noticed they had somehow managed to attach sticks and leaves to the brick and it dawned on me that they’re building a nest. Which is just so stupid, and it defies the laws of physics, and whatever. Stupid birds.

They were gone by the time I left for work on Monday, and I forgot about them until I came home Monday evening. I walked to the front door and one of them flew out to the yard, coming very close to my head. I was kinda freaked out, but more like, “Oh, guess they’re hanging out here.”

Then.

Then.

THEN. Yesterday morning, I hear them chirp-fighting and look, and the nest is bigger but still looks just like someone stuck some little natures on the brick, and the birds are there, doing whatever they think they’re doing. I go about my business and get everything ready for work. I peek out and don’t see them anymore, so I open the front door to leave, and one of them dive bombs me, bird-screaming at my face. I slammed the door and I was kinda worried I hit the bird or crushed it or something, but I didn’t hear anything weird.

Now, if you know me, you know I’m terrified of birds. Monday, I drove past two vultures on the shoulder of the freeway (OMEN??!???) and I almost vomited and maybe cried a little. Pretty much anything other than cute, hoppy birds can get the heck away from me. It’s irrational and probably bordering on a phobia. I’ve gotten better as I’ve gotten older, but if I’m particularly tired or stressed, I react more strongly to birds.

Anywho, you can probably imagine how I felt. I gathered myself and went out the garage door, and all was fine.

Except I have murder birds guarding my front door. And they’re here now. I can hear them. I hate them.

I think we’ll eventually knock down the nest before they lay their eggs. Stupid birds. Put it on the back patio area, and no one would care. We never go outside and see the sun. Sheesh. But if they’re going to be hostile attack birds, then that means like no one can ever come to the door. If they’re this bad now, imagine after the eggs are laid?

Anyway, that’s my life. Hiding from a four-inch tall pair of birds. Using the garage door. Okay.

I hope your Wednesday’s less dramatic than I’m making mine.

This might be the most controversial thing I’ve ever put on my blog, but I am going to say it anyway.

I’m trying to view Monday as a gift.

Trying. Praying.

I woke up in a horrible mood. Tired, grumpy, so not ready for another week in the daily grind. My fuel tank feels empty and more than anything else, like the toddler I secretly am, I just don’t wanna.

However, my prayer this morning was and is to be reminded that today is amazing. Today is an opportunity to be alive. Truly alive. To live for my purpose in life. To work toward my goals and to do what I love.

Today is an opportunity to serve. I can serve my company and my bosses. I can serve my employees. I can serve humanity as a whole by just being kind and letting Christ shine through me. I’ll just take the back seat and let Jesus be Jesus. I am blessed with a wonderful husband whom I choose to serve as well. I can cook us good food, I can clean our kitchen (if he doesn’t beat me to it) and I can be his pal and his confidante. Shout-out if you recognize that. Soul sisters.

Today, we can also praise and worship. It’s raining, so I already know my commute will be awful. But I’m just going to crank up KSBJ and worship. Praise Him in this storm. (Haha, I know, so clever.) Praise Him because of and in spite of Monday.

Those are my goals, anyway. My hopes and prayers for myself and for any of you struggling with Monday. The struggle is real, y’all. But if we focus on Jesus, we’ll start to forget how awful Mondays can be.

And then we can focus on other important things, like food. And TV. Or literature, poetry, and art, if you’re one of those classy people.

Let’s talk menus. Again, in no particular order:

Meal 1: NY Strip with Creamy Garlic Mushrooms. I might make this tonight. Will definitely help Monday taste a little sweeter, seeing how these are two of our favorite things.

Meal 2: Poached Salmon with Hollandaise. Made this last night with some sauteed spinach and it was delicious. I’ve never poached anything before and I’ve never made hollandaise before, so I was in the frantic/weird zone I’m in when I’m trying a new cooking technique. But it was actually really easy and fast and I will definitely be repeating.

Meal 3: Chicken Paprika with Sour Cream Gravy and steamed broccoli. Family favorite.

Meal 4: Sriracha Beef Lettuce Wraps with Spicy Sriracha Roasted Broccoli. Sriracha ALL the things! The lettuce wraps are delicious and amazing. We haven’t tried the broccoli before, but I know it’ll be amazing.

Meal 5: “Best Damn” Short Ribs and something with parsnips. Whole foods didn’t have the radishes I wanted (what’s up with that?) so I just grabbed some parsnips. I’ve never used them before, so I’m on the hunt for how I want to prepare them.

Meal 6: Beer Braised Bison Meatballs. We have not tried these, but I’m sure they’re going to be super delicious. I will roast a cauliflower to go with.

And there you have it. Food, faith, and the tools to not only survive, but thrive on this Monday. Do I sound enough like a motivational speaker? Sheesh.

Y’all have a great day!

Yep. This about sums it up:

T.G.I.F.

I’m so, so excited for this weekend! I’m just going to piddle around and do housework, mostly, but I’m also going to…

 

Write!

Also, I had finished this little post with talking about wanting a chiffon skirt and loving Cinderella, and then WordPress deleted it. It was a magical treasure and we’ll all mourn it.

I’m just going to go. I hope you have an amazing weekend full of good food, lots of sleep, and accomplishing all your hopes and dreams. Amen.