Liebster Love!

*Please Note: This was a pre-scheduled post, as my hubby and I are enjoying some much needed rest and relaxation for a couple of weeks. Please do stop by and comment…just know that I won’t be able to reply for a while. I appreciate you all!*


I feel showered with encouragement and affirmation! Thanks to Malar @ Malar’s Kitchen, Karen @ My Skinny Sweet Tooth, Linda @ La Petite Paniere, Sarah @ Sarah’s Kitchen, Jess @ Sprinkles and Sugarplums, and Wu @ Miss Wu Kitchen for nominating me for the Liebster Award! So sweet of you all to think of me and pass this my way!

The Rules:

  1. Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you and display the award.
  2. Answer eleven questions the blogger gives you.
  3. Give eleven random facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate eleven blogs you think are worthy of the award…it is meant to encourage newer bloggers
  5. Let the bloggers know you nominated them.
  6. Give them eleven questions to answer.

Eleven facts about me

  1. When I was younger my favorite color was black 🙂
  2. I used to LOVE scary movies, but no longer like them
  3. I have been known to read a whole book in one day
  4. I just started decoupaging
  5. I absolutely LOVE Corgies (type of dog)!
  6. I love the sound of frogs….could listen to them all day long!
  7. Laying in a hammock on a sunny day…one of my favorite things!
  8. My new favorite flower: Rhododendrons
  9. I would love to learn how to build and design webpages.
  10. I love the beach
  11. I love the mountains

Because I had so many nominations and don’t think I could answer over 60 questions :-), I am being flex on the rules and answering two questions from each of you 🙂 …..

  • (from Malar) Who is your favorite Actor/Actress ? I have several, but I will say Reese Witherspoon. 
  • (From Malar) Weekends what do you do? Sometimes go to the movies, hang out with friends, housework on Saturday, read, and go to church on Sundays. 
  • (From Karen) What magazine subscriptions do you currently have? Better Homes and Gardens. 
  • (From Karen)  What is your biggest pet peeve? When People talk all the time and never listen to others. 
  • (From Linda)Name the three herbs/spices you can’t live without? Garlic, Cilantro, Basil 
  • (From Linda) Cinnamon or vanilla: which flavor rocks? Cinnamon 
  • (From Sarah) What is your profession or study? I am currently a homemaker
  • (From Sarah) Favourite movie? I love a lot of movies, but I will say Leap Year….so funny! 
  • (From Jess) Who has influenced you the most and why? My hubby….for so many reasons! He has shown me so much unconditional love and grace, reflecting Christ’s heart for me! His love for God, his compassion and love for me….has impacted my life and changed it forever! 
  • (From Jess) Do you collect anything? If yes, what? Socks, scarves, toads 
  • (From Wu) Which dish did you like most as a kid? Tabouli
  • (From Wu) Which cuisine do you prefer the most ? Mexican

I have nominated many of you, my dear followers, before….so I am going to try to nominate some newer blogs (at least newer in the sense that I more recently came across them.) Congrats to each one of you! I am enjoying following your blogs and seeing your creations!

Questions for you to answer (If you have several nominations at once, feel free to do like I did and not answer all my questions):

  1. What is your favorite thing to do (Besides cooking)?
  2. What did you want to be when you grew up?
  3. What has been your favorite age so far, and why?
  4. Would you rather watch a movie or read a book?
  5. Would you rather be inside or outside?
  6. If you could use one word to describe your home, what would it be?
  7. What is your favorite type of music?
  8. What is your favorite song?
  9. Where is the farthest you have ever traveled?
  10. Why do you like cooking?
  11. Sunrise or sunset?

*Please note that because this was pre-scheduled I won’t be able to go to your blogs and let you know about your nomination until I am back by a computer. Hopefully some of you will see this before then! 🙂 *


Liebster Award & Some Wonderful Fellow Bloggers to Check Out!

liebster awardI love the Liebster Award, because it is the very first award on here that I ever received…that was back when I didn’t even know there were awards. Awards in bloggy land?! Though I didn’t know what to think about them at first, these awards have been such an encouragement to me as I continue to grow in creating beauty in the kitchen! And they have been a neat way that I get to bless others as well, as I pass them on. That is always my favorite part!!

A big huge thank you to CRAFTEA HEART for passing this on to me! First of all, don’t you just love the creative name she gave her blog?! I love it! These are the words she uses to explain this wonderful name- ” Lover of craft, tea, and people’s heart (and the physical shape).  The heart shape became a passion because no matter what I was doing—cooking, hiking, photographing, working as a nurse—the heart shapes continued to land in my path.  I think Jesus was dropping me hints to learn to love myself.” She is a passionate woman who has a touching story! Please go visit her site, say hello, and get to know her!

Okay, so a little about the Liebster Award…it is a virtual award to welcome new bloggers to the community who has less than 1000 followers (Or 500 or 250….I have seen it so many different ways. 😀 ). LIEBSTER in german means sweetheart, beloved, darling.

Here are the rules for acceptance…

  1. LINK back to the person who nominated you
  2. SHARE 11 facts about yourself
  3. ANSWER 11 questions set by your nominator
  4. NOMINATE 11 people who you think deserves the Liebster Award
  5. ASK your nominees 11 questions to answer

AFTER YOU PUBLISH your Liebster post, go to your nominees blog and let them know you nominated them.

11 Facts about Myself….can I come up with 11 new facts?! Ummmm…Surely I can, right?! 🙂

  1. I have been spelunking one time in my life and had to crawl through this tight space for a long time (like an hour) called “The Birth Canal.” I remember pulling myself through cold, muddy water, little rocks tearing into me, not being able to move my head up because it would hit the top of the cave wall, my arms feeling so weak. It was quite an experience. I am pretty sure I wouldn’t have made it through without God’s grace and the kind person behind me, rubbing my ankles, comforting me, and singing songs to me.
  2. I have always loved playing football….my brothers taught me how to throw a spiral and catch the ball from a very young age.
  3. Apples to Apples is one of my favorite board games…especially played fast and competitively. 🙂
  4. I greatly disliked dark chocolate until I started cooking four months ago…now it is my chocolate of choice! Yum!
  5. I once licked up a plate full of Tabasco sauce to impress a guy….I don’t know if it really did impress him, but I might add, we are married! 😀 ❤
  6. I have been rock climbing (real for live-not in an indoor place) one time. The hardest part? Seeing spiders on the rocks and being so scared I was going to put my hand on one! Ugh!
  7. I greatly and I mean greatly dislike grape jelly….so does my brother. Yes, there is a story behind this. 😉
  8. I am not really a phone person (more an email, text, or in-person person)….there are only a few people I like to talk on the phone to. I am not totally sure why this is…
  9. I can read and write in Greek and Hebrew….maybe not as well as I used to though 🙂
  10. I love hip hop dance…no, I can’t do it.
  11. I love Downton Abbey!! Love, Love, Love!

The 11 Questions that CraftTeaHeart gave for me to answer

  1. Where would you travel to if you can pick up and go right now? I would travel to Canada to go see my best friend! 🙂 I haven’t seen her in over three years! Here we are in this pic below. This is when I still had braces, shorter hair, and was a little heavier. 🙂 Though I may not like what I look like in this picture :-), I love this picture because it does a great job of showing the special closeness we share. I can tell this woman anything, she listens deeply to me, she encourages me, she challenges me, and she is always here for me even in special little ways. For instance, she knew I was the speaker for a women’s luncheon at our church this weekend, and she called me right beforehand to check on me and see how I was doing. She does things like this all the time! Love you Kristin! Image
  2. Who is your role model and why? My husband. He was my role model 13 years ago when we were just friends, and almost 12 years into marriage he is still my role model. He has taught me so much about God’s love and grace! I love this man!! ❤ Here is one of my recent favorite photos of him, holding our friend’s child. The reason I love it so much is because the way you see him smiling and loving this child, is the way he loves others. He has such a big heart, he serves others well, and is the best listener I know! 🙂  Image
  3. What is your favorite recipe? Well, because I could eat it daily, I am still going to have to say My Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough! 
  4. What recipe or craft would you want to see on my blog? I would be happy to see any type of dessert…hehehe. Decoupage maybe. Do you do that? I have tried it once and it didn’t go well, but I really want to have a go at it again! 
  5. What is a must read/watch book/movie on your list? Pride and Prejudice (the original version with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle) 
  6. Name two things on your bucket list. I honestly don’t have a bucket list. 
  7. What is your favorite font and why? I use fonts a lot in my graphic arts and love them! One of my most favorites is the 2Peas series…                              Image                                                      I think I love them so much because they are so me. They are fun and spunky! 🙂 
  8. List what you have learned so far via blogging. I have definitely learned more about different types of foods…you all have introduced me to so many things I have never heard of before! Some of these things I have already gotten to try and I have just loved them! I have also learned more about cooking and food photography, as I have continued to get in the kitchen and experiment. 
  9. Which category has the most visits on your blog today? Looks like my “Home Page” “Archives” 
  10. Do you collect anything?  If yes, what? One of the things I collect are socks… I particularly like warm, cozy, furry, fun socks! My mom knows this well and many of these have come from her! 🙂 
  11. What is your favorite type of outfit? Tights, boots, tunic top, and a fun pair of earrings….that’s really what I wear most days. 🙂 

Here is who I would like to give this award to:

May this award bring each of you much encouragement!

 The 11 questions for my nominees:

  1. What is your favorite part of the day and why?
  2. How has your blog turned out different than you expected?
  3. Tell us something unique about yourself.
  4. Do you have a favorite t.v. show? What is it?
  5. Use three words to describe yourself.
  6. Who has influenced you the most and why?
  7. What is your favorite thing to do when you want to relax?
  8. What is your least favorite household chore?
  9. What inspires you?
  10. How do you want to be remembered?
  11. Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?


Liebster- Take 2


Jhuls from The Not So Creative Cook was so kind to think of my blog and send this my way! She writes this about herself, “I am just an ordinary person who has an extra-ordinary passion for cooking, baking, eating and now blogging!” I love that! Please go check out her blog…she just recently posted her 100th recipe…wow!

I didn’t realize you could get the Liebster Award more than once! A part of me feels really weird about accepting this twice, but on the other hand, it gives me the wonderful opportunity of letting you know about other great bloggers out there, who you may not be familiar with yet. That excites me, and that’s the part I love!

Here are the questions that Jhuls gave to me to answer:

  1. What is your favorite dessert and why? At this point, I would say a muffin or cupcake made with almond flour that involves chocolate and orange or chocolate and almond flavors. Those two flavor combinations are my absolute favorite!
  2. What is one weird fact about you? I love toads. 🙂
  3. What are your top three favorite books? I LOVE reading, so this will be tough to narrow. These are the three I think of off the top of my head because they have been very impactfull in my life: The Praying Life by Paul Miller, Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller, and A Grace Disguised by Gerald Sittser.
  4. If you had the ability to invent a new kitchen tool that would suit your needs, what would it be? Well, since I make such a mess in the kitchen all the time, it would have to be some sort of thing that could clean up after me, or help me avoid the mess in the first place. 🙂
  5. What is your favorite music artist and genre? I enjoy all sorts of music…I feel myself drawn to the fun beat of a lot of pop songs. My favorite though is Christian music…two artists who I have recently been introduced to have become new favorites…Dustin Kensrue, along with Keith and Kristyn Getty. Their words are rich and meaningful and I love the sound of their music.
  6. Why did you start your blog?  To share my experiences of learning to cook, and growing to love to cook.
  7. What’s the last movie that made you cry? I think it was Hunger Games 2: Catching Fire
  8. Chocolate Chip Cookies or Brownies? This question is unfair…do I really have to choose?! 😉 Forced to answer I would say chocolate chip cookies.
  9. Do you collect anything? Several things: Books, scarves, fun socks, and toads. 🙂
  10. What is your favorite color? Red or Turquoise

Okay, now to the part I am so excited about…nominating these blogs below! Congrats to each one of you! I didn’t just randomly pick your blog, I did so for purposeful reasons, like the fact I enjoy your blog and want others to know about it! 🙂

  1. It’s a Lonely Place – You may know Justine from her other blog, but did you also know that she had this blog that chronicles her journey with chronic pain? This is a topic I am very passionate about, having dealt with it myself and watched others I love dearly deal with it. I am super passionate about helping others learn how to interact with people who have chronic pain and illness, and by checking out her blog I think that would be a great place to get a feel for what its like to wrestle with daily, or to meet another person who can relate with what you are already going through.
  2. Miss Beretta Illustration  – If you haven’t already, meet Marielle! She is a very gifted artist who just recently did some designing for Prudy’s blog, Butter, Basil and Breadcrumbs! I have really enjoyed scrolling through her past posts and seeing her amazing work!
  3. Cook AZ I Do – Shari’s food blog quickly caught my attention when she mentioned that she loves Mexican food and dessert! “Yes! Me too!” 🙂 She has some wonderful recipes, and I love her desire to glorify God and to encourage others! Again, I can say, “Yes! Me too!” 🙂
  4. Strictly Delicious– I recently came across this fellow food blogger who, in trying to live as allergy free as possible, has had to become very creative in what she cooks. Hers is definitely a site to check out!
  5. My Life of Spice – I love Jessi’s tagline, “Because Healthy Doesn’t Have to Be Plain!” Yes, yes, yes!
  6. Cooking Cove – I really like how Chad thinks of cooking as art. From what I have seen so far, he is a very creative cook!
  7. A Colorful Palate –  I often find myself drawn to what people name their blogs, or the taglines they use. Jen’s blog is one of those for me. I love how she writes, “adding a little zest to everyday things.” Yes! I want to do that too! 🙂 She cooks gluten and dairy free…go check her site out!
  8. Cocina de Cella– Marcella is another fellow food blogger who is sharing her adventures of learning how to cook! Her recipes are gluten-free, and she loves Mexican food and dessert! Yum!
  9. Coconut Contentment -Emily is a church planters wife…I felt drawn to her since my hubby and I have done church planting in the past. She has been doing the Paleo diet due to health issues, and she enjoys creating delicious meals and sharing them on her blog.
  10. Your Neighbor’s Kitchen – Nicole’s recipes are delicious…both in the way they sound and the way they look! She is a new blogger who cooks gluten free, and definitely seems to be gifted!

Here are your questions to answer:

  1. Coffee of Tea?
  2. What are your favorite colors to decorate with?
  3. Do you have a favorite t.v. show? What is it?
  4. What is it about your best friend that makes him/her your best friend?
  5. If you could learn how to do one thing, what would it be and why?
  6. What is your favorite season of the year, and why?
  7. Use three words to describe yourself.
  8. Cats or Dogs?
  9. Who has influenced you the most, and why?
  10. What is your favorite thing to do when you want to relax?

The Rules for those of you who want to participate:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Answer the questions you were given.
  3. Nominate other blogs with less than 500 followers.
  4. Post questions for your selected nominees to answer.
  5. Tag and link the nominees and post a comment to let them know you have nominated and appreciate their hard work


The Liebster Award


Thank you so much Foodie Bitch for nominating me for this award! I wasn’t sure what this award was all about, but I found out that it is to recognize and promote blogs with less than 200 followers who are creating great content. I am honored to be nominated!

I had a blog for years and when I shut it down about a year ago I decided I would never have a blog again. Ever. Then, when I began cooking less than two months ago, two friends convinced me that I needed to create a food blog. So, here I am!

I thought this blog would just be for my family and friends, yet it has turned into so much more. This is not at all what I expected…I would never have expected to have any followers from the blog world, or people liking and creating my recipes, and I certainly wouldn’t have ever thought to get an award of any kind.

Thanks again Foodie Bitch, and thanks to all my current followers who have been a great encouragement to me as I continue to grow into a woman who loves “Creating Beauty in the Kitchen!” I have learned so much from all of you already, and you have been an inspiration!

Here are a few rules you must follow to take part in this award:

  1. Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you and display the award.
  2. Answer eleven questions the blogger gives you.
  3. Give eleven random facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate eleven blogs you think are worthy of the award (but they must have less than 200 followers.)
  5. Let the bloggers know you nominated them.
  6. Give them eleven questions to answer.

1.  What is your favorite food?


2.  What has been your biggest health challenge?

I have had more than I would like to admit, but the one I will share is my jaw issues. I have temporal tendinitis. I had a headache non-stop for about 2 1/2 years due to grinding and clenching so much that I knocked my meniscus out of place on both sides. So, it has been a long process of 4 years of moving my jaw and getting braces so my teeth were in the right place for my jaw to stay put. My tendinitis still acts up and I still get headaches from time to time, but I am so grateful for the great doctors I have had and  that the headaches come much less frequently!

3.  If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Right where I currently live in the Pacific Northwest! I have lived many different places and I am pretty sure this is the best place on earth! I love it! 🙂

4.  Have you ever been to a farmers’ market?

Yes! Love them!

5.  Do you like honey?

Yes, I have always loved honey and now I cook with it regularly. Since I eat low-glycemic, this is an excellent alternative to processed sugars.

6.  What is your favorite movie?

This (and the book question below is really hard) because I love movies and books! Hmmm…If I have to choose, I am going to say Pride and Prejudice.

7. What is your all-time favorite book?

This question is impossible for me! Well, I will just have to pick one from the stack that have been life changing. The Praying Life by Paul Miller.

8. If you could be an animal what would you be?

A Kitty! I love cuddling and laying in a comfortable place with the sun shining on me. Yes, a kitty indeed!

9. If you could pick anyone in the world, past or present, to have dinner with, who would it be?

My best friend! She lives in another country, and it has been way too long (almost 3 years) since I have seen her face! Miss you and love you Kristin!

10. What do you think the greatest technological development in history is?

The internet! I know it is not perfect, but I love that we can now connect with people from the past, and even people we have never met before. I love that I can google something anytime I have a question. And I certainly love that I can email and Skype with friends and family!

11. How do you want to be remembered?

A woman in desperate need of grace, whom Jesus loved deeply, and who sought to follow God wholeheartedly and love others with the same love he lavished on me!

11 Random facts about me:

  1. I love toads (even the real ones)
  2. I’m super competitive at board games
  3. I collect fun socks: furry, shorties, knee highs, striped, polka dotted
  4. I could wear boots all year round…love them!
  5. I love doing graphic art: drawing on my graphic tablet, painting, and even animating (making eyes blink, things sparkle, animals jump, etc.)
  6. I’m a pastor’s wife
  7. I love to sing
  8. I want to learn to play the guitar
  9. I have always wanted to own a big trampoline
  10. My hubby is more than a foot taller than me
  11. I am very passionate about educating people on how to interact with others who have chronic pain and illness.

Here are my questions for those I nominated:

  1. Why did you start your blog?
  2. What inspires you?
  3. How would you describe yourself, using three adjectives?
  4. Extrovert or introvert?
  5. What is your least favorite household chore?
  6. Are there any foods that you hate? If so, what?
  7. What is your favorite board game?
  8. Morning person or night owl?
  9. Do you collect anything?
  10. What would an ideal day look like for you?
  11. What is your favorite type of music?

I want to nominate the following blogs, all of which I personally follow and enjoy. Please check out their sites!  

  1. Food Gurly (I enjoy this “Gurly!” 🙂 Joanna cooks gluten free and is such a kind, sweet person!)
  2. Patty Nguyen (Her cooking and photography are amazing! Plus, she is fun and real!)
  3. Simple Pairings (Lisa is great- she has wonderful recipes, one of which I have already tried!)
  4. Wholehearted Living (Jackie’s blog encourages me.  She is real and vulnerable and I feel like her posts challenge me.)
  5. LovinglyPressed (I love Emily’s blog…she is a woman who realizes she is broken and in need of grace, and she shares her heart out of that reality.)
  6. Miss Spicey Hat N’ Sugar Socks ( Ayesha is a young woman who loves cooking! She inspires me with her recipes at such a young age!)
  7. Dinner Daydreams (I just came across this blog, which I was drawn to by its fun name! She has lots of recipes, and I love her desire to continue to look for inspiration as she cooks!)
  8. Cloud Thyme (I just recently found Theresa’s blog…she is a fellow Pacific Northwesterner (Yay for the Pacific Northwest!) and focuses on fresh, healthy foods.)
  9. All’s Fare (Another foodie blog! I love her tagline: “Creating One Special Food Moment Each Day!” That inspires me!)
  10. Feasting with Friends ( I love the name of Nancy’s blog and her heart behind it! Check out her recipes!)
  11. The Seated Cook (A new food blogger I recently came across who cooks healthy, simple, vegetarian food. She has some great looking recipes!)