Thursday, August 26, 2010

End of Summer Fun ~ Books & Recipes!

It’s that time again, Summer is quickly coming to a close. A new school season is just beginning and our thoughts are turning more to Fall and the very happy thought of cooler weather (I love Fall!). So I thought I’d share a couple books with you guys that kept me company during these long Summer days. As well as a couple recipes that made them a little extra yummy!!

Also, don’t forget to leave me a little note below and tell me what beach reads and recipes made your Summer a little brighter. :)

"What a Girl Wants" (the Ashley Stockingdale series) by Kristin Billerbeck ~


All I want is a cute Christian guy who doesn't live with his mother - and maybe a Prada bag."

"What a Girl Wants" is about the complicated and often hilarious love life of Ashley Stockingdale. Ashley is a successful patent attorney living in Silicon Valley, but at 31 is still stuck in her churches singles group, which she jokingly calls "The Reasons". Wanting to break out of this rut, she decides to get a new attitude. But when Ashley soon garners the attention of three guys - a fellow "Reason" who is obsessed with The Matrix and clueless about relationships, a possible Christian Dr. who has an odd fascination with her IQ, and a weird obligation date with the brother of a high school friend -  ... things really get complicated. Author Kristin Billerbeck truly does chick-lit at its very best. The character she created with Ashley feels like your quirky best friend. These books are full of witty, funny banter, but also touches of wisdom sprinkled through out. One of my favorite lines in this book is when Ashley says "What a girl wants is God's will for her life. Nothing else even compares."

This is the first book in the series; don't forget to also pick up "She's Out Of Control", and "With This Ring I'm Confused". I've read this series countless times but everytime I read it I find myself loving it even more. Maybe the best way to describe it is as the perfect summer treat, something akin to a frappuccino with a huge dollop of whipped cream - Mmmm. With its quirky, laugh-out loud humor, it is the perfect read for a day of laying out on the beach.

To purchase "What a Girl Wants" Click Here


“Gift from the Sea” by Anne Morrow Lindbergh ~


My sister bought this book back in December when she was feeling sick of all the cold, wet weather, and was longing for the warmth of the Summer season. I’ve been reading through this beautiful book little by little, and though I haven’t finished it yet, I already love the inspirational and poetic way she relates the beach to life. My favorite quote so far is, “The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach-waiting for a gift from from the sea.” 

To purchase “Gift from the Sea” Click Here

Frosty Caramel Cappuccino ~

(Taste of Home)

Frosty Caramel Cappuccino

Forget Starbucks, you can whip up this yummy Frosty Caramel Cappuccino in just minutes at home! And it's the perfect summer treat! This cappuccino is such a cinch to make and has a great caramel flavor. I used heavy cream instead of half-and-half and it worked just fine, and made it very smooth and creamy. I also used 4 teaspoons of coffee granules to give it a stronger coffee sister however still thought it needed more. :) Also, instead of whipped cream in a can, I used a generous dollop of Cool Whip. I think it's safe to say I'll be making this quite a bit. If you're looking for an afternoon pick me up or a delish dessert to make for family and friends look no further than this Frosty Caramel Cappuccino!


1 cup half-and-half cream
1 cup 2% milk
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons caramel ice cream topping, divided
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
8 to 10 ice cubes
4 tablespoons whipped cream in a can


In a blender or food processor, combine the half-and-half, milk, 3 tablespoons caramel topping, coffee and ice cubes; cover and process until smooth. Pour into two chilled glasses. Top with whipped cream and drizzle with remaining caramel topping. Serve immediately.


Strawberry Lemonade ~

(Recipe found @

Strawberry Lemonade

Mmm, what could be better than a nice cold Strawberry Lemonade on a hot summers day? This lemonade is so easy to make and takes no time at all. The sweet strawberry flavor makes it even more refreshing. A big pitcher of this Strawberry Lemonade would be the perfect drink to take on a picnic or just out on your porch
to read a good book on a lazy summer afternoon.

juice of 10 lemons (plus some of pulp, if you can)
2 small bags of frozen strawberries (or fresh)
6 cups of water
3/4 cup sugar
lots of ice to serve it over


Puree the strawberries and combine with the lemon juice, sugar, and water. Serve over generous amounts of ice and garnish with lemon or lime slices.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Interview with singer/songwriter, Joy Williams


I’m so excited about this interview with one of my very favorite artists, Joy Williams! I’ve followed Joy’s music for years now. I started listening to her when she released her first Christian/pop cd back in 2001. Now a successful indie artist with her beautiful solo music as well as in her duo, The Civil Wars. This interview was originally posted on the E-zine I co-run with my friends called, The Waking. Not sure if I’ve ever talked about The Waking on here before. But we do interviews with creative people, reviews of cds/books/movies, write blogs on God & life, and post recipes. I’m actually planning to start posting some of the artist interviews we’ve done on The Waking here on Ink & Frosting! We’ve had some good ones so I was thinking of posting one each month. So be on the look out for that, I think you guys will enjoy them! And please check out our E-zine sometime!

But for now I hope you enjoy this interview with Joy Williams, and don’t forget to check out her music!

TW: In April you released your 4th solo Ep, "We Mapped The World", which we loved by the way! Could you tell us what the writing and recording process was like for this Ep?

Joy: Glad you like it. I really enjoyed the process of making the EP. Writing wise, those songs came in a season where my husband, Nate, and I traveled Europe together for over a month. We wanted to travel light, so our suitcase was just one standard school-sized backpack that we shared. We wanted to see, to explore, to be unfettered! We visited 6 different countries, and the unique feel of each place we experienced seemed to linger with me even after returning home. When I managed to finish all the songs, I worked with an amazingly talented artist/producer named Daniel James. We set out to create a different sound on the EP than others I’d made before. I wanted this one to match that batch of songs, which seemed to be a bit moodier, a little mysterious, slightly more raw sounding. So, we limited ourselves in studio to inspire a unique kind of creating. We set to stomping our own feet to create drum tracks, used other unexpected ambient noises in lieu of some more obvious sounds/tones, etc. I was really pleased with the way it all turned out, and really felt like Daniel helped capture what I’d been hearing in my head all along. 

TW: "Lover, Find Your Cover" is one of our favorite songs. The lyrics are so poetic and beautiful. Can you tell us a little about the meaning behind this song and what inspired you to write it?

Joy: Believe it or not, “Lover, Find Your Cover” is one of the very first songs I’ve written completely on my own. I’d spent years co-writing, collaborating, etc, but as I made a point to create alone...this song rose to the surface for me. After our European adventures, I found myself home alone on a rainy night, contemplative, red wine in hand, at the piano. And these lyrics started pouring out- about savoring the quiet, the comfort that night can bring, being present to recognize the beauty in small things, the power in being vulnerable, of loving and being loved in those moments. That description might sound broad and meandering, but in all honesty? I never tried to wrangle the inspiration that night. I didn’t want to force it to fit into anything too “scene-specific”. I just followed the Muse, and that is where she led me. 

TW: "Woman of a City" is such a unique and interesting song. We love the sound of the pounding drums! What's the story behind it?

Joy: “Woman of a City” was inspired by Prague, actually. When Nate and I stepped off the train there, I could almost feel the history in the air. Political and economic strife within that region has been plentiful over the years, but the art, architecture and the music seemed to only become that much more breathtaking because of it. To me, there was a kind of moodiness that soaked Prague- unflinching, intriguing, lovely. I wrote a blog about the city a few days later, describing Prague as if it was a woman worn wise with time, with stories and beauty...all born out of struggle.

TW: So many of your songs have been used in tv shows such as; "Drop Dead Diva", "Grey's Anatomy", and "90210".  How did those opportunities come about? And what is it like to have your music exposed to such a wide audience; how has the response been?

Joy: It’s been a fun surprise to see several songs get picked up for TV and film. I work with a great company out in LA who pitches songs, but a few of those placements came from personal relationships I and Nate had organically with people in the business. Responses over some of the songs has blown me away. Placements can be like lifeblood to an independent artist, bringing exposure and income to make it all the more feasible to do what it is that I love to do: keep making music. :)

TW: Apart from your solo music you are also in a incredible duo called, "The Civil Wars", along with musician, John Paul White. Can you tell us how you two met and how this collaboration came about?

Joy: We met at a random co-write that our (then) publishers arranged. The moment we started singing together, it was like we’d been singing for years. It was beyond strange, but magical for both of us. Months later, we decided to stop shuffling around and both agreed to start a band together.

TW: I recently heard you guys are recording a full length album. What is it like to record with John Paul? And what can we expect to hear on it?

Joy: We are making the final touches on the full length this week, actually. It will be releasing soon! I’m thrilled with how it turned out. The only thing is that it’s really awful recording with John Paul. We don’t work well together, enjoy each other’s company, or crack jokes all the time at all. (pause) See, if John Paul were here right now, he would inevitably have something witty and impishly sarcastic to throw back at me. It’s just plain weird talking about John Paul and The Civil Wars without him. :) Honestly, he is like family, and I’m looking forward to many years of writing and touring together.

TW: The song "Poison & Wine" cemented our love of The Civil Wars. What was the inspiration behind that song?

Joy: Truly, that song took on a life of it’s own even as we were writing it. We wanted to create something that could reflect not just how each of us battles within romantic relationships, but also reflect how someone might battle dealing with addiction, a job, their faith, their past, etc.

TW: Who or what inspires creativity in you? And what do you do when writers block sets in and the songs don't seem to flow as easily?

Joy: Truth and beauty inspires me. The art of story inspires me. When writer’s block sets in, I worry just like every other songwriter might. Then I go for a walk outside, or I re-read books like The War of Art (by Steven Pressfield) and Bird By Bird (by Anne Lamott). I am reminded that it is not as scary as it may feel. And then, a little later, I sit myself back down at the piano and try again...and again...and again...

TW: What are some things you love to do in your spare time, when you're not touring and recording?

Joy: I love hanging with friends and family, I love being creative in the kitchen, I love being outdoors, love reading, love watching movies, etc...

TW: What plans are up ahead for you and for The Civil Wars?

Joy: Well, with our full length set to release in the near future, The Civil Wars has just hit the road this week for a 20+ city tour. (Come hang out with us, if you like! For show listings, see We are out on the road with a good friend and great artist, Madi Diaz. Solo-wise, I am writing consistently for tv/film, and am also trying to give myself a little headspace to concoct the next batch of songs for a hopeful solo full length in the not too distant future.

You can purchase Joy's Ep, "We Mapped The World", as well as others at iTunes or Amazon.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Beauty Only God Can Give

I desire beauty.

Something this world can’t offer me.

I don’t want what they have.

I don’t want it like they got it.

I want something different.

I want something more.

I’m holding out for something deeper than I’ve ever seen or known before.

I want a light in me shining so brightly that it’s contagious to all those around me.

I want to radiate His love – want it to burn in my eyes and in my smile.

I want to pursue the purpose and calling He has for me.

Let Him fulfill all my hearts desires and dreams.

I want to really live …

Live the beauty only God can give.

© Krystal Celeste

Friday, August 13, 2010

*4 Simple Goals*


One of my very favorite bloggers is the wonderfully creative Elsie Flannigan of the lovely blog, A Beautiful Mess.  Elsie has challenged everyone to join her in making a list of 4 Small Goals to complete before the end of the year that will enrich your everyday life. So I felt inspired and decided to make a list of my own!

1. Write at least one page in my journal each day. Since I started blogging I feel like my journal probably has abandonment issues. I used to journal incessantly, and have collected tons of journals over the years. But now even when I write my lyrics or poems, I usually do it on my computer. I miss putting pen to page.

2. Try to cut some of the junk out of my diet…which is hard for me since I’m a serial baker. So that means I need to find new, healthier recipes to try my hand at. Cook/bake at least one new recipe a week.

3. Start taking an evening walk at the bay in my town. My town is really tiny and we don’t have much, but we do have a really pretty bay that has a long side walk. My mom, sister, & I were faithfully going for walks every evening but just got out of the habit. It’s a perfect way to get some exercise, de-stress by the lovely scenery, and talk to two of my favorite people. 

4. Start practicing guitar & piano again. Try to re-learn the things I’ve forgotten. I miss spending the afternoon just playing the piano, coming up with melodies all my own. I miss strumming my pink guitar. I used to practice all the time but have been remiss lately. I really want to set aside some time each day just to practice and get lost in the joy of playing music all over again. 

So there’s my little list of goals! I’m excited to get started! Head on over to Elsie’s blog for some goal making inspiration. <3

Friday, August 6, 2010

Only A Little Glimpse of What’s To Come

A secret place, a quiet space. A refuge away from all the cares and troubles of the day. Twilight scapes and moon-pools. Yet a never ending dawn. Mountains and valleys lush and ever green. A babbling brook of fresh, life giving water. Mercy, beautiful and new. Freedom hovering like birds above you. Towering trees and bright fragrant blossoms. Air sweet, swirling, and flowing. Paths of grace waiting to be discovered . . . .

What is this place called? …

Fiction? Fantasy? A delusional reality?

A dream? A far off scene on a movie screen?

Utopia? Purgatory? Paradise?  


This is joy unspeakable and full of glory. This is peace that passes all understanding.  This is abiding in Him and He abiding in me. This is bowing at His feet. This is sitting at a table where only by His grace I belong. This is communion with the Father of lights, the creator of my being. This is everlasting love. This is forgiveness and redemption so underserved. This is the Kingdom of the Heavens come down to earth…

And this is only a little glimpse of what’s to come.

© Krystal Celeste

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” - Psalm 91:1-2 NKJV

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Summer Music Playlist

Ah, summertime. Warm sunny days (or if you live in Tx like me–hot & humid days, ha!), sno-cones, vacations, sand beneath your feet, and lazy afternoons at the beach. And what would a memorable summer be without a rockin’ soundtrack to go with it? So I, along with my sister Cecily, thought we’d share some of our favorite summer songs with you guys! These are songs that feel summery to us, or just remind us of fun summer memories. Hope you guys take the chance to go for a drive by the beach with the windows down, turn up the volume, and relax! :)

What songs would grace your summer soundtrack?



Krystal’s Summer Music Playlist ~

“Here we are, windows down we see a shooting star. Stop the car. Waiting for nothing but our beating hearts, going far. Oh, the summertime…”

1. Summertime by Mae

2. More Than Fine by Switchfoot

3. Love, Love, Love by Tristan Prettyman

4. Hot Cookin’ by G Love

5. Blessed by Brett Dennen

6. Coconut Skins by Damien Rice

7. You Got The Style by Athlete

8. Beautiful by G Love & Tristan Prettyman

9. Ordinary Day by Vanessa Carlton

10. Resurrect Me by Jon Foreman

11. Amateur Lovers by Switchfoot

12. Shut It Down by MXPX

13. Holiday by Britt Nicole

14. Not Given Up by Omnisoul

15. Headlock by Imogen Heap

16. Come Clean by Eisley

17. The Mistress And Her Heart by Surprises

18. White T-shirt by Tara Leigh Cobble

19. Grey Clouds by Dakota Motor Co.

20. Soak Up The Sun by Sheryl Crow

21. Someday by Sugar Ray


Honorable Mentions~(or rather songs I couldn’t stand to leave off an already long list ;)

* Heads Will Roll by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs

* Spotlight by Mutemath

* Kiss Me by Sixpence None The Richer




Cecily’s Summer Music Playlist ~

Summertime and the living is easy…” 

1. Summertime (Pharcyde Remix) by Sublime

2. Banana Pancakes by Jack Johnson

3. No Woman, No Cry by Bob Marley

4. Ocean by The John Butler Trio

5. The Mistress And Her Heart (Acoustic) by Surprises

6. Cross The Line (Remix) by Superchick

7. Something Good This Way Comes by Jakob Dylan

8. Firefly by Jimmy Needham

9. Lay Me Down by The Dirty Heads

10. Magnolia Tree by Surprises

11. Silver Lining by Rilo Kiley

12. Don’t Even Try by Children 18:3

13. Coconut Skins by Damien Rice

14. Mercy by Duffy

15. The Step And The Walk by The Duke Spirit

16. Hot Cookin’ by G Love

17. Walking On Sunshine by Ally and Aj

18. Soak Up The Sun by Sheryl Crow

19. Don’t Tell Me by Madonna

20. Heaven by Salvador

21. Three Little Birds by Bob Marley