How to Roast Garlic

Roasting is so simple and delicious, I don’t know why anyone would not make it. Sometimes, I even spread it on my toast. Yes, it’s that good!

Roasting is a simple, easy way to capture a ton of flavor and it adds a nice sweetness to the garlic.

What You Need:

  • Bulb of Garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Tin Foil

What You Need to Do:

  • Preheat oven to 400.
  • While oven is heating up, cut the top of the head of the garlic off (not by the root or it will just fall apart) and peel as much loose skin of as possible. Not all of it (because it will burn easily), just a bit.2014-08-28 21.28.46
  • Place the garlic on tin foil and top with a splash of olive oil and salt and pepper.
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  • Make a funnel shape with the tin foil so it creates a point.

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  • Put it on the over for 45 minutes

TADA! Roasted Garlic!

If you’re a garlic lover like me (I put it in everything), your gonna uber love this J

Watching Birds Eat Reminds Me I Shouldn’t Worry

I used to be a worry wart. I worried, stress and was anxious about many and mostly all things. The only reason I’m not a worry wart today is because of God.

It wasn’t an instant thing. It’s not like the instant that I decided to give my life to God, I immediately stopped worrying about things. No. But rather, He gave me a peace about things that I would normally worry about.

Jesus paints beautiful pictures in the Bible by speaking in parables and using imagery when He speaks. One of these verses is Matthew 26:6

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

That paints a beautiful picture for me and that image has been burned in my mind. Now, each time I see birds eating, I am reminded of how I really don’t need to worry about things. God takes care of all the birds by giving them what they need in life so who am I to not have confidence in God that He will do the same for me?

God takes care of me. He always provides for me when I am in need and I am never without anything.

With Jesus in my heart, I have this unexplainable peace. Only those who have Him in their heart would be able to understand. If you have not asked Jesus into your heart, all you have to do is simply believing in Him. John 3:16 says, “Whoever believes in me shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” In other words, if you genuinely believe in Jesus and that He died on the cross for you, then when you die, you get to spend eternity in heaven with Him. It’s so simple.

By doing so, you will experience the peace I am talking about. I wouldn’t want life any other way.

Confidence is Better than Hoping

The other day God answered one of my prayers. It caught me off guard. Not because He answered but rather I realized that my confidence in God is lacking.

My husband and I work about a 25 minute drive from where we live and usually we only have to travel there 2 – 3 times per week because we only work part time. This week, however is an extremely busy week as we are heading up Daily Vacation Bible School, we have Youth Group and we have meetings. So in total, we have to travel to work 8 times. Four times the usual.

Well, I was a bit concerned about gas and how we were going to put gas in our tank and stay within our budget. So I prayed that God would somehow help us put gas in our tank this week. I had no idea where the money was going to come from but I still prayed that God would help somehow.

Surprisingly, our credit card has been a blessing. Every time we spend $1 we get points and after so many points, you are able to redeem the points for money, gift cards or merchandise. We had enough points to get $50 gas gift card…however, the shipping time was 4 – 6 weeks L not so helpful in out time of need.

A few days later, Evan came upstairs from our mailbox with a grey envelope with my name on it. It was the $50 gift card! The shipping took an unusual few days when it was suppose to take 4 – 6 weeks! Coincidence? I think not!

I didn’t just “happen” to pray that God would help us with gas money this week. We didn’t just “happen” to have enough points on our credit card to redeem it for a $50 gas gift card. The gas card didn’t just “happen” to arrive within a few days of ordering when it should have taken 4 – 6 weeks. The gas card didn’t just “happen” to arrive the week before we needed help with gas.

What I am trying to get at is this: when I see answers to pray in my life, there are to many factors for me to justify the answer to prayer with coincidence. This recent answer to prayer in my life is too specifically answered to justify it with coincidence. I can only justify that specific answer to prayer by turning to God.

When we pray and we ask God to help us with something, we often do not have confidence in God. In other words, we “hope” that He will answer our prayers rather than having confidence that He will answer our prayers.

Having said this, answers to prayer most of the time do not always look like how we want them to be answered. For example, a loved one may be sick and we may ask God to heal that person and then they die. I don’t consider this an unanswered prayer but rather God healed that loved one in a different way. If they went to heaven after dying, they would be healed as they would be free of pain and sickness. Sometimes God says no too. We just have to have an open mind when we pray.

We need to trust God. We need to pray and be open to whatever way He may answer our prayers. It is His will, not our own.

Sloppy Joes Made Better!

On cold rainy days, sometimes you just need some comfort food. Well guess what. It was rainy and cold the other day and so I made sloppy joes! These are delicious. I promise you I will never ever, ever, ever, ever eat sloppy joes from a can EVER again! This is way too good. It also is quite cheap to make and saves you from buying double the meat as the lentils make up for it 🙂

Source: Budget Bytes

What You Need:

  • ¾ cup dry lentils
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium green bell pepper $0.78
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 lb. extra lean ground beef
  • 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 3 oz. tomato paste
  • 3 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • ½ Tbsp mustard
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • Buns or Toast (whatever you prefer to eat your Sloppy Joe’s on; I prefer toast 🙂 )

What You Need to Do:

  1. Begin cooking the lentils first first. Sort through ¾ cup of dry brown lentils to remove any stones or debris. Give them a rinse under cool water. Bring 1.5 cups of water up to a boil and then add the lentils. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes. Test the lentils to make sure they are tender and then drain in a colander. Set the cooked lentils aside until you are ready to add them to the sloppy joe’s. These can be simmering while you make the rest of the sloppy joe’s.
  2. Chop the onion into small pieces and add it to a large skillet along with the olive oil and minced garlic. Cook over medium heat.
  3. While the onion and garlic are cooking, cut the bell pepper into small pieces and add it to the skillet as well. Cook until all of the vegetables are soft and transparent.
  4. Add the ground beef and continue to cook until no red remains.
  5. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, cider vinegar, honey, mustard, chili powder, and salt. Stir well and heat through.

Stir in the cooked lentils and heat through if needed (5 minutes). Serve warm on a bun or toast!

So if it is cold and rainy (or just cold) where ever you may be, and you are craving some childhood comfort food, make this. It’s comfort food made healthy. How could you not eat this!?

Classical Music Stimulates the Entire Brain

I’m the type of person that gets distracted quite easily. Especially when I’m doing homework, not always, but especially if I’m not really interested in the topic at hand.

When I’m doing homework and I need to concentrate, I listen to classical/instrumental music. I first heard about doing this from my cousin who said that he NEVER does homework without listening to classical music. So, I thought I would experiment with it and see what happens.

It’s a strange phenomenon that happens…while listening to classical music, I can suddenly concentrate better on the task at hand. I’m not saying this works for everyone who has trouble concentrating while doing homework, but it is definitely worth giving it a shot. It works for me!

A music teacher at St. Thomas University (where I did my undergrad) taught his students the connection between the brain and listening to music. When human ears hear music, the entire brain is stimulated and working. Usually, when humans do a certain task or activity, only a portion of the brain is working. BUT when listening to music, the entire brain is stimulated. Now, I have no idea if there is any connection between better concentration when doing homework, but I have a hunch. What do you think?

Connecting Mind, Body and Spirit

Okay folks, I’m really putting myself out there in this post so I hope it is some help and a blessing to whomever may read it!

I used to have a very poor relationship with my body. I’ve never been overweight but I definitely had a poor body image…as do many other girls who are pressured by society to look a certain way. I was constantly looking in the mirror and never satisfied with what I saw. I obviously had a distorted body image because others saw me as a very petite person; it’s just the way God made me. But I wasn’t okay with the body gave me and I wanted to change it. So I deprived myself of food (I did not starve myself but I was obsessed with limiting my food intake to only lean foods and exercising an insane amount each day). Looking back, I was on the verge of an eating disorder, specifically, orthoexia nervosa, I newly termed eating disorder which begins by innocently eating more healthy which develops into an unhealthy obsession with eating healthy.

I have come to learn how ridiculous it is that society pushes on girls constantly about how they body “should” look; whatever that means. I have come to embrace a healthy lifestyle. I will admit, I have a sweet tooth and I indulge in sweet things (particularly anything with chocolate, peanut butter or cinnamon) from time to time but I make sure those sweet things are not processed and filled with nasty preservatives.

I have found the closer I get to God, the more confidence I gain in my body imagine.

I was listening to a sermon on the radio the other day and the man that was speaking said, “it’s funny how the closer we get to God, the more loud our sin is.” That is funny isn’t it? The closer I get to God, the more aware I become of the sin in my life. My obsession with the way I looked was a sin in my life…I was putting my body image before God. Once I realized this a few years back, I started to change. Just like any other obsession, it wasn’t a quick process but rather quite slow.

I have done four things over the past couple of years to help remove the obsession with my body image from my life:

  1. Stop looking in the mirror and picking myself apart. (Note – I have to be mindful of this most of the time).
  2. Find an exercise routine I enjoy. It took some experimenting but I have finally found an exercise routine that I look forward to. In other words, exercising no longer feels like a chore. Over the past year, Pilates has been my go-to workout routine, using the workout calendar from Blogilates. I needed something that was constantly different because if I’m constantly doing the same thing, or just going to the gym everyday, I get bored. Especially being a student and having a hectic schedule, being able to workout in the comfort of my own home on my own schedule fits my life perfectly. Finding an exercise routine that fits you is key. It takes some experimenting but once you’ve found it, you’ll know, and exercising will be so much more enjoyable.
  3. Change healthy eating and eating and using natural products as a change in lifestyle. I am very conscious of what enters my body and try my very best to eat natural real foods. As it states in the name of my blog, this is my body and His home so I am going to take the best care I possibly can through exercise and eating well. God has given me the gift of life and He has given me this gift in this body so the least I can do is do my very best to take care of it.
  4. Coming to realize that God made me in His image. He created my body and it is just the way He wanted it to be. God wants me to enjoy life, and to the fullest and I can enjoy life fully by nourishing my mind, body and spirit. I’ve been experimenting while exercising lately by involving prayer and meditation into my exercise time. While I exercise, I make a point to really feel my muscles moving as I exercise and it somehow connects my spirit to my body. I have also been praying as I exercise (specifically using Pope Francis’ Five Finger Prayer). As I pray and concentrate on feeling my muscles as they move, it feels as though my mind, body and spirit are working together.

Now, I’m not saying I have this all down to an art. I admit, it is a process but God is walking beside me every step of the way. And if you are struggling with a poor body image, know that God is walking beside you every step of the way. He also wants you to enjoy life but how can we enjoy life is we are so obsessed with how we look? I hope this post will be a blessing to someone out there.