With the start of every year I like to WriTe oUt My gOaLs. Some years the list can get quite intensive including goals in my relationships, personal life, and finances. And while that is all well and good, sometimes I just need to pick one and focus on that. Maybe you can relate. If so, consider naming 2013 your year of…
It can be AnYtHiNg yOu WiSh. Maybe it will be your year to learn a new skill, develop a character trait or build/mend a relationship. Maybe it will be your year of slowing down and smelling the roses or finally getting fit.
Whatever your goals are for 2013, we at Suede Sofa wish you a PrOsPeRouS and BleSsEd year!! May 2013 be your best year yet!
As humans none of us are perfect and we all make mistakes. Sometimes on accident, sometimes on purpose. And occasionally sometimes those mistakes call for an apology. Whether or not we give one is completely another story.
Knowing I need to say “I’m sorry.” to someone gives that sinking feeling in my stomach because a true apology requires complete humility. It requires that I put aside any justification on my part, any of those pathetic, “I’m sorry if I offended you.” pseudo apologies and just say, “I’m sorry, I was wrong.” But when I finally do, I feel like I’m walking on air. I guess that is because a clear conscience is as the MasterCard commercial says, “Priceless.”
Do you need to make a sincere apology? What are you waiting for? Free yourself from the pain of a guilty conscience and just do it – say “I’m sorry.”
Corn Bread. What a delicious treat for a cold Saturday afternoon. My husband, who loves to cook, whipped this up and let me tell ya, it was good. What I love about this recipe is its rustic and hearty quality. The recipe came from a cookbook called The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart. If you like corn bread give this recipe a try. You may also want to check out another favorite that I shared on a previous post by clicking here.
- 1 cup coarse cornmeal (also packaged as “polenta”)
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 8 ounces bacon (approximately 10 slices)
- 1-3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2-1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
- 2 tablespoons bacon fat or vegetable oil
1. The night before baking the corn bread, soak the cornmeal in the buttermilk. Cover and leave at room temperature overnight.
2. The next day, to prepare the bacon, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lay out the bacon on 2 sheet pans. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the bacon is crisp. Using tongs or a fork, remove the pieces to a pan lined with paper towels to cool. Drain off the fat into a can or stainless-steel bowl and save for greasing the corn bread pan. When the bacon has cooled, crumble it into coarse pieces.
3. Lower the oven setting to 350 degrees F. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a mixing bowl. Stir in the granulated sugar and brown sugar. In another bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Dissolve the honey in the melted butter and then stir the warm honey-butter mixture into the eggs. Add this to the soaked cornmeal mixture. Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a large spoon or whisk until all the ingredients are evenly distributed and the batter is blended and smooth. It should be the consistency of thick pancake batter. Stir in the corn kernels until they are evenly distributed.
4. Place 2 tablespoons of the rendered bacon fat into a 10-inch round cake pan (you can also use a 9 by 13-inch baking pan or a 12-inch square pan). Place the pan in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the fat gets very hot. With good pot holders or oven mitts, remove the pan, tilt it to grease all the corners and sides, and pour in the batter, spreading it from the center of the pan to the edges. Sprinkle the crumbled bacon pieces evenly over the top, gently pressing them into the batter.
5. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the corn bread is firm and springy (the baking time will depend on the size of the pan) and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The top will be a medium golden brown. The internal temperature at the center of the corn bread should register at least 185 degrees F.
6. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before slicing it into squares of wedges. Serve warm.
Why do I let inconsequential choices zap so much of my mental energy? For the last year I have been trying to come up with a filing system for my 1st grader and preschooler’s work they bring home from school. I’ve been walking past piles and piles of their work for the last year not knowing what to do with it. Do I keep all of it or only the best ones? If I only keep some of it, which ones?
I found these cute file folders at Walmart for 50 cents! They will be perfect for helping me organize my girls’ homework.
Have you ever been stuck in the realm of indecisiveness? You have so many choices that you can’t decide on that you don’t decide at all? I know I find myself in this predicament in other areas besides my girls’ homework. All I need to do to free myself from this decision hanging over my head is make a choice. Yes, sometimes there are many possible choices that would work, but after you have considered all the options sometimes you just have to decide so you can finally move beyond it and get to more important things!
Do you have something that needs to be completed? Are you experiencing paralysis by analysis? What are you waiting for? Just decide!
Have you ever tried to copy someone who was having great results but when you tried to duplicate their success you utterly failed? Although their methods worked for them it did not work for you? We all have probably been there at one point or another. It is easy to think that just because something works for someone else it will work for us.
But one lesson I’ve learned is this:
God does not give us grace for someone’s situation and circumstances. He gives us grace for our situation and circumstances.
This is the King Saul and David principle. In the well-known Bible story of David and Goliath, before David went to face the giant he was brought before King Saul. When King Saul saw that David was willing to fight Goliath, he was thrilled. For forty days this giant had been taunting King Saul and his army to come fight him. No one was willing to take Goliath up on the challenge except for David. Immediately King Saul gave David his armour for the battle and when David put it on, he could barely move in it. So David cast aside this fancy weaponry and used what he knew best – his sling and 5 small, smooth stones. Turns out that 5 in the Bible is a symbolic number for GrAcE. God’s grace (favor) in this situation was using David’s wit and skill to defeat a giant with only a sling and stones.
Where do you need grace in your life? Your marriage? Parenting? Your personal life? On the job? In relationships? Is it time to stop trying to do things like everyone and just ask God for His help? He has tailor-made grace for your very situation. All the grace you need.
Last year at this time The Suede Sofa began talking about the “Live-It List” – which is sort of like a bucket list, but with the emphasis on living rather than on dying. Well, 2012 is coming to a close and I’ve been working on my “Live-It List” all year long. In January, I started out with a lengthy list of things that I thought were important. Although it felt great to get those items checked off my list, the one thing that my “Live-It List” revealed to me was what is important and worth pursuing and what things are really, well, just a distraction. My list contained “good” things be sure, but good things can steal your focus from the best things. So in 2013 I am going to do things different from what I have ever done before and just pick one. The best one.
Are you focused and going after only the best, or are you like I was in 2012 – all over the place and although accomplishing a lot of things, not really accomplishing anything really significant? This may come as a relief to know that you can streamline your life and eliminate activities that don’t serve your best interests.
What is your purpose? What deserves your focus and attention? Could 2013 be your year to “Pick One”?
Farmyard Tales by Heather Amery
Looking for a good children’s book? This is currently one of my favorites. I first heard of it when Lara and her family stayed with my family during their move. (Click here to read about her moving her house!) Each night Lara would read it to her kids and mine. After their move, Lara gave us this book as a thank-you gift and now my kids love having me read it to them. So if you have children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews check it out!