Friday, January 24, 2014

Fasting Smoothie ~ Apple, Strawberry, Banana, and Chocolate Smoothie

What you'll need:

half of an apple, two strawberries, one strawberry yogurt, half of a banana, 1/2 cup of chocolate milk

What you'll do:

dice your apple, strawberries, and banana and mix them together with your yogurt and chocolate milk


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Crystal's Dill Pickles Recipe


* 8 pounds 3 to 4 inch long pickling cucumbers
* 4 cups white vinegar
* 12 cups water
* 2/3 cup pickling salt
* 16 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
* 8 sprigs fresh dill weed
* 8 heads fresh dill weed


1. Wash cucumbers, and place in the sink (I use the bathtub!) with cold water and lots of ice cubes. Soak in ice water for at least 2 hours but no more than 8 hours. Refresh ice as required. Sterilize 8 (1 quart) canning jars and lids in boiling water for at least 10 minutes.
2. In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine the vinegar, water, and pickling salt. Bring the brine to a rapid boil.
3. In each jar, place 2 half-cloves of garlic, one head of dill, then enough cucumbers to fill the jar (about 1 pound). Then add 2 more garlic halves, and 1 sprig of dill. Fill jars with hot brine. Seal jars, making sure you have cleaned the jar's rims of any residue.
4. Process sealed jars in a boiling water bath. Process quart jars for 15 minutes.
5. Store pickles for a minimum of 8 weeks before eating. Refrigerate after opening. Pickles will keep for up to 2 years if stored in a cool dry place.

Transformation Begins With Confession

"Where you are right now is God's place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there." 1 Corinthians 7:17

I was talking to a friend this evening and we were discussing inner peace and the long journey we have taken to be covered with the peace we have now. One of the things we both agreed on is how confession nourishes our relationship with God. Not only does it nourish it but it enhances our peace in Him. One of the biggest things I had to come to terms with when I handed over my whole life to God was the sin from my previous years. I look back now and it is safe to say, I was a TOTALLY different person back then. I can't even believe some of the choices I made or how I treated others. I dwelled on those choices for so was when I finally confessed to God all my sin that I felt complete peace. Sure, I knew that He already knew but me ignoring my sin was putting a wall in between us. My sin that I was trying to look past and just "move on" from was hindering my relationship with Him. Why? Because I was ashamed and I knew that He knew all the ugly in me, so how could such a pure God love such a mess like me? 

The day I finally laid it all out for Him was the day I felt complete freedom and that was the day I was able to really turn my life around. It was the day I said goodbye to those old characteristics and say hello to the true gifts of God and my TRUE character. I was able to accept the gifts that were being overshadowed by my sin. The gifts I KNEW were inside myself. Once I confessed and released it all to Him and received His mercy, I was able to share His love and give to others with a pure heart.

"Open your hearts to the love God instills....God loves you tenderly. What He gives you is not to be kept under lock and key, but to be shared." ~ Mother Teresa

The most amazing gift we can give to others is a heart of service. Once we receive His mercy and love, we open our hearts to so many possibilities.  My heart wants to set the world on fire for Him and I was unable to share the love of Christ when I, myself, was unable to fully receive it.  I know He is still preparing me to carry out His ultimate plan for my life and that's ok.  He has been molding my heart for a while now.  My relationship with Him has grown so strong, so much that I cannot even believe who I am now as opposed to who I used to be. He is changing my heart and how I view things so much that it amazes me the power He has if we just ask. I asked for a humble heart and a selfless spirit and He is transforming me into the woman I have always wanted to be and the woman I knew He put me on earth to be. 

Confession, forgiveness, prayer, and mercy are so would be amazed at what He can do with our hearts if we just seek and ask for the transformation!!!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Saturday Six - Girlfriends, Photography, and Trips

Saturday Six Number One:

Started off the weekend seeing my sweet loves......

I'm so blessed and thank God for my Godly Girlfriends!  Love these two!

Saturday Six Number Two:


Saturday Six Number Three:

Full day of shoots and the weather was AMAZING for it!!!!!!!!  Now it's a night of editing.  Yes, please!!!!  Love my job!

Saturday Six Number Four:

I'll be watching my favorite Fred Astaire movie while I edit.....

Saturday Six Number Five:

So excited for my trip to Arkansas!!!!! I miss my amazing friends so much!!!  My heart is truly in two different places!

Saturday Six Number Six:

Excited for my trip to Washington and New York!  I have a feeling the trip is going to be a life changer! ;)

Friday, January 3, 2014

High Five For Friday - New Years and The Holiday Bowl

High Five Number One - It's a new year!!!! WOOHOO!!!!!!!

High Five Number Two - Holidays are over and it's time to get back to life..... I LOVE the holidays but it's kinda nice to get back to the normal routine that we seem to lose track of between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.  

High Five Number Three - Texas Tech won the Holiday Bowl!!!!!!!  It was an awesome game!!!!!!  

High Five Number Four - Resting for the weekend..... that's what I plan on doing this weekend! Yeah Buddy!!!!!!

High Five Number Five - With that being said..... a nappy noodle is in order...... see ya later friends!!!!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Favorite Memories of 2013

2013 was filled with good times and bad times....mostly good times.  Here is a break down of some of my favorite memories of 2013

I spent Valentine's Day with my sweet Daisy..... she always makes the best Valentine.

In February I also started my job at Covenant and met some wonderful friends.

My family celebrated two birthdays and I enjoyed every moment of them.... Kylee and Uncle Chon.

My Mommy, Daisy, and I hopped in the car and took a girl's trip and spent St. Patrick's weekend with my sissy and met some of her sweet friends who sang praise and worship music, which Daisy adored so much as you can tell in the picture below.  On the way home we stopped by to visit my amazing Great Aunt.

Regina and I celebrated my birthday by moving into our new apartment.

In April, I met up with some of my old high school pals while Michael was in town.  We had so much fun reminiscing and it was great spending time with some of my favs.

Easter fun with the fam......

Sister came in to celebrate Mom's birthday.

April 6th marked the first year anniversary from when my cousin Raul passed away and we had his memorial in Brownfield.  My Aunt Ofelia and Uncle Raymond came in, along with my sissy and brother in love and we celebrated his life!

I was also asked to be a part of Miles For Missions hosted by Church On The Rock.  This organization is amazing as it's focus is sending God's servants out into the mission field!  I was able to link up with my sweet friend Annie.

Silly way to celebrate my niece MacKenzie's birthday but we had a lot of fun.... LOL

We took a family trip to Colorado for my cousin Alec's graduation and we had SO MUCH FUN!!!!! Colorado is BEAUTIFUL and family trips are a blast!!!!!!

Unfortunately my family has lost a handful of family members to cancer and we also have some survivors.  So every year my family gets together to support Relay For Life.  This was the first year that I was in town to participate and it was an honor to be among so many survivors and their family members, including my own family!!

Summer was fun.... I watched my little cousin Kinley play an awesome game of ball....she rocks!!!!

We had fun in the sun!

and sweet visits from literal angels on earth....

And I helped celebrate one of my best friend's birthdays..... Natasha!  I met Natasha this year through unusual circumstance and we immediately became besties.  I love her so much and she has already proven to be an amazing life long friend.  She has helped me through some trying times this year and her faith in God is amazing!!!  I prayed for amazing Christian girlfriends and God is providing!!!!

This year I walked the Koman Breast Cancer walk with the gals from work.  We walked in honor of one of the sweet nurses that works with us, Dixie and I also walked in honor of my Aunt Barbara who is also a survivor.

Every year, I celebrate Teal Toes for Ovarian Cancer and this year, it was hosted by my friend Margo.  I also had several friends from all over paint their toes and send me pics.  It was amazing seeing my friends participate in this cause.

Fall is my favorite season and my cousins and I had so much fun having our Pumpkin Patch and Carving night..... We picked some big ol' pumpkins and had a blast carving them!

Halloween was in full effect at the office.

and we can't have fall without TEXAS TECH FOOTBALL!!!!! DUH!!!!!

One of my cousins is having her first child and it was an honor to celebrate at her baby shower with her.  She is one of the sweetest and kindest people that I know! It's awesome to watch all of her dreams coming true!

We kicked Christmas season off with Cousins Painting Night where we painted Christmas paintings.  We had so much fun and I reflected a lot on how special my relationships are with each of my cousins.  I have made it a point to honor my relationships with my cousins since my cousin Rachel passed away twelve years ago.  Cousins are like siblings that you don'tt have sibling rivalry with haha..... they are our best friends and the ones we grow up with and I'm so blessed to have amazing cousins in my life!!!!!  My cousins and my sister are truly my greatest and bestest friends in my life!!!!

Ending my year of favorite memories is of course Christmas Eve with the family!!!!  We had so much fun and it always makes me thankful for the family I have.  Sure we have our differences and we can be "dysfunctional" from time to time haha but they are my blood and my biggest supporters!  I love you guys!

In looking back at my memories, I spent the majority of the year with my awesome family and I wouldn't change a thing.  I moved back to Texas specifically for my family, so it's awesome to reflect and look back and see that the majority of my year and favorite moments are with my family!  I'm so excited for 2014.  I know it's going to be an amazing year for myself and for all of my loved ones.  2013 was a year of seed planting and 2014 is the year for the harvest!!!!  Happy New Year GUYS!!!!!!!!!!