easy donuts...

The other night, Landon and I had a hankering for some homemade donuts.  We both found some similar recipes and sort of made up our own.  They were delicious and so easy to make!  It literally took no more than 10 minutes from start to finish!

Here's our recipe:


Vegetable Oil
1 tube refrigerator biscuits (we used Grands, but next time we'll use the cheap small ones)

Mix together sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl.
Place some paper towels on a plate or tray.
Fill up a small skillet halfway with oil and heat over medium-high until hot.
Meanwhile, take the biscuits and form into donut shapes by making a hole in the middle.

When the oil is hot, carefully place two donuts in and fry for 10-20 seconds. Flip and repeat.
Remove the donuts quickly and place in the sugar bowl to cover them with the mixture before they cool.  Place on the plate or tray that's ready.
Repeat with the rest of the donuts.
Enjoy immediately!

*Use small cheap biscuits because our Grands brand was too thick and they didn't get quite done in the middle
*Use chopsticks to flip the donuts. (we didn't have any so we used two wooden spoons instead)
*Watch out, because these are so good that you'll probably eat the whole batch in one sitting like we did. :)


a rehearsal dinner...

A few weeks ago, Landon's older brother got married to his sweetheart.  We enjoyed an extended celebration weekend with lots of family and friends.  The rehearsal dinner was held at Ben and Landon's parents' house...the same one where Landon and I got married.  It was a warm summer night, but that didn't stop us from taking a moment to relax and enjoy some great food and cool drinks.  It was such a wonderful time to visit with family we hadn't seen in awhile, and celebrate Ben and Casey as they prepared for their wedding.




A few weeks ago during our small group time, a comment was made that really struck me.  It was something like "do you want to invest in things, or in people?"  It is such a simple question, but so strong.  I have been thinking of that question ever since, and it has really resonated with me.

A speaker at our church on sunday was mentioning a familiar passage where it talks about "removing a log from your own eye before you remove the spec from someone else's eye."  He was saying that so many times, we see a negative area in someone we know.  It may be a very small thing, in fact, compared to that person as a whole human being, it is a tiny thing...a spec.  Yet, after awhile, that tiny spec is all we start seeing.  It becomes so big in our eye because that's all we are focusing on, kind of like when you put your thumb in front of your eye to cover the moon.  This is when the spec becomes a log in our own eye.  I have never heard this passage spoken about this way, but it made so much sense to me.

Isn't it exhausting to always focus on people's negative areas, even my own negative areas?  It is draining, it takes effort, and it becomes consuming and obsessive.  It is hard to love others when they have hurt you or continually rub you the wrong way...trust me, I have been there and have proved unloving.  But I wonder what would happen if I really tried to see that rude person who always talks about themselves, or that guy who has got such a selfish attitude.  What if that rude person has lost someone they love and they are in deep pain?  What if that guy never received a loving comment from his father and he puts up a wall to keep from getting hurt again?  And what if those people are really just being rude or selfish?  Well, they deserve to be loved just like everyone else.

It is hard to engage with others, especially in our culture.  But if you break down everything, people are just people, no matter where they come from or what they are like.  They just want to be loved and affirmed.  And people are worth it.  Relationships can be such a blessing.
Things are just things.


greek style pitas...

One of our favorite meals to eat lately is greek style pitas.  The recipe varies every time, but it's more or less the same.  Here's what I made last night...the recipe is completely flexible.  I learned how to cook like my dad, throwing in ingredients that we have in the house and measuring with my eyes, so it's really easy to adapt.

I hadn't had tzatziki sauce before until we were at my aunt and uncle's a few weeks ago.  She made a delicious bowl of it, so we thought we'd try it out!

Greek Style Pitas
1 bag whole wheat pita bread
chopped kale
2 T. lemon juice
2 lbs. or so of beef (I like to get the beef tips or stew meat since it's already cut up)

greek seasoning
italian dressing
soy sauce
apple cider vinegar
(make enough for about 1 cup of liquid)

Tzatziki Sauce
1 cucumber peeled, seeded, and diced
8 oz. plain greek yogurt
2 garlic cloves
salt and pepper to taste
2 T. lemon juice
2T. olive oil

Combine marinade ingredients and put into gallon size bag with beef.  Try to do this at least 4 hours before you make your meal.  Place in fridge and shake the bag every so often.

Combine all the tzatziki sauce ingredients into a blender or food processor.  (I used a garlic press for the cloves of garlic.) Blend until well mixed.  Place in a bowl and chill the fridge for at least one hour before serving.

Put some olive oil into a skillet and heat until the oil is hot.  Drain the marinade from the meat and put meat into the skillet.  Cook your meat how you like it, rare, medium, well done. Cover and keep warm.

Place about 3 cups of chopped kale (or spinach) into a skillet with 2T. lemon juice and cook over medium heat until wilted down a bit.

Warm pita bread, then stuff with the kale, meat, and sauce....enjoy!

This recipe is so simple and so good...and good for you!


free starbucks!

Well I love me a good deal, especially a free one!  You might already know but I didn't, and my sister let me know about Starbucks launching their new Refreshers drinks, and the fact that you can get a free tall one on Friday!  The flavors look so delicious, you can bet we'll be there!

Here's the link.


summer grilling...

We have finished all of our summer travels for a bit and are just enjoying quiet evenings at home.  Last night, we grilled out for the first time this year.  I love so much the days when we have nothing going on and we can spend some good time together as a family outside.


being a mama...


learning to be a mama is hard, wonderful, amazing, tiring, and one of  the best things that's ever happened to me.

there are days that it is so rough, i question the desire to ever have another baby.  then there are days and moments that are so beautiful and warming to my heart, that i realize how very fortunate i am, and what a privilege it is to be a mama.

i have come to love the moments when finn is needing me, and how it gently forces me to take life at a slower pace.  when in a crowded party, i excuse myself away to nurse finn in a quiet corner.  while traveling on a long trip, instead of driving straight through, we stop for a little one who just can't take quite as much as us adults can.  we stop at a roadside peach stand and enjoy some ice cream in the shade of a tree.  when working so hard on a project, i stop to wake up my sleepy boy and smile at him as he rubs his eyes and reaches for me.

there is nothing i've ever gone through before that compares with this time in my life.  i am learning (oh so many times) patience, tenderness, compassion, understanding, and love.  love that i never ever could have thought of before.  i just told my mom yesterday that i never thought i could love a little baby as much as love finn.  the rewards far outweigh the trials in this mama job i have.  i am so thankful for this.


hiking trip...

Landon and I (and hopefully some other family members) are planning a hiking/camping trip to the Grand Canyon in the near-ish future.  It's something he has wanted to do for awhile, and I am getting excited about it as well.  He grew up camping a lot, we both grew up spending a lot of time outdoors, but neither of us has done a trip like this.  He is planning out our route, figuring out the permits, and we are starting to shop for some gear.  Yesterday, we went to the new REI store in Indy, and had such fun looking at all the fancy equipment and trying packs on.  We drooled over the child carrier pack that Landon tried on with Finn, who absolutely loved being up so high.

I made a comment in the store that I now want to sell all of our stuff and buy camping/outdoor/hiking gear. :)

Here is some fun hiking inspiration I've found....





bagel face bakery

We just got back from a great vacation down at the Gulf Shores in Alabama this past week.  I was able to see a dear friend get married in northern Alabama, then head down with my boys to meet up with my sister and her husband at a condo on the beach.  We did a lot of relaxing, swimming, eating, and playing in the water.  Pictures to come soon, but first, some images of a fun brunch we had with my brother Jonah, who just moved to East Nashville.  It was right on our way down south, so we stopped to meet him at a neat bagel place called Bagel Face Bakery.  Spending time with my siblings is so wonderful...just talking about pretty much everything and relaxing and laughing together.  We were only missing my brother, Ezrah, who lives in Denver.
I also practiced using my newish camera to make a mini video and figuring out how to add little touches, which is always fun.

These are two things I love a lot...food and family. :)

Bagel Face Bakery from Leah Rife on Vimeo.


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