Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Recipe for Blueberry Streusel Cobbler


While I'm not much of a fan of fruit filled desserts (if it's not chocolate it's not worth it is my motto ;)) there's something about summertime that feels like you should bake with it. My mom found the recipe for this yummy cobbler last week and asked my sister and I to bake it for her. It was so quick and easy to whip up, and it turned out beautifully!

Juicy blueberries, lemon zest, sweetened condensed milk (my sister has an obsession with this stuff, she would put 4 cans if you let her...I don't let her :p) makes for a creamy filling, while butter, brown sugar, and nuts make for the perfect streusel topping. Oh and we can't forget the sauce... cooked blueberries infused with cinnamon & nutmeg...yum! Top this baby off with some vanilla ice cream and you have yourself a lovely picnic ready dessert!



Hope you guys & gals enjoy the rest of your summer! :)

1 pint fresh or frozen blueberries
1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
3/4 cup cold butter or margarine
2 cups biscuit baking mix, divided
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons cold butter or margarine
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Blueberry Sauce:
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup water
1 pint blueberries

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In bowl, combine blueberries, sweetened condensed milk and lemon peel. In large bowl, cut 3/4 cup butter into 1 1/2 cups biscuit mix until crumbly; stir in blueberry mixture. Spread in greased 9-inch square baking pan.

In small bowl, combine remaining 1/2 cup biscuit mix and brown sugar; cut in remaining 2 tablespoons butter until crumbly. Add nuts. Sprinkle over cobbler. Bake 65 to 70 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and Blueberry Sauce. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.

Blueberry Sauce: In saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Gradually add water. Cook and stir until thickened. Stir in blueberries; cook and stir until hot.

(recipe found @

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Music is my Escape Playlist + Pinterest!


I just thought I’d stop in and share a little playlist with you guys today! Everybody needs a little escape sometimes and music has always been mine (well that & chocolate of course :p). These are a few lovely tunes that have been putting a little smile on my face lately. Hope you guys & gals enjoy! :)

P.S I just joined the all too addictive site, Pinterest! I’ve been in love with all the pretty and inspiring photos on there and, while I so do not need yet another social networking site, I finally caved & signed up. If you would like to follow me on Pinterest you can find me Here! :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

An Encouraging Video from Joel of For King & Country

This is a video that did my heart so good to see and I wanted to share it with you guys! I’ve mentioned before how I’m a huge fan of Joel & Luke, or as they are now called, For King and Country (known them as J&L for too long & can’t get used to the new name). For those who don’t know, Joel & Luke are the brothers of CCM veteran, Rebecca St. James, who I listened to faithfully growing up. These guys also share Rebecca’s bold message of purity and often speak about it themselves from the stage.

This is a video of Joel speaking right after Rebecca sang her signature song about purity, “Wait For Me”. Joel takes a minute to speak, specifically to the men, on standing up for purity and treating women the way they should be treated. He also talks to the ladies about not settling for any man that doesn’t treat them with honor.

I was so touched by his words. It did my heart so good to hear this brother in Christ talk about this subject; standing for purity and living God’s way. It’s so rare now a days. Praise God that there are still Godly men out there that are striving to live God’s way and that are also encouraging other men to do the same. I also so appreciate his message to us women to never settle for someone who doesn’t treat us right. We need to hear this message from Godly men. We need them to stand up and speak into our lives this way.

This is the video of Joel speaking and then singing the song “Light It Up” with his big sis, Rebecca. The sound quality isn’t that great so I typed out Joel’s message below the video. Forgive me if I missed something as it was a little hard to hear. Hope you guys and gals are blessed by it as well. :)

"Men I want to encourage us, on the heels of Rebecca's last song, which is really talking about purity; and saying, wait for me, and let's stand up and step up. I mean this is what the heartbeat of that song is saying. And what I want to say to particularly us men here today is, guys, let's step up, stand up, be men of honor and integrity, and treat women the way they deserve to be treated. Cause guys, it starts with us, it starts with us. Like Rebecca mentioned, we got to see our little brother and his lovely new bride get married two weeks ago. And man, it wouldn't have mattered if the stage had fallen, as long as no one got hurt, but the heart and spirit of the wedding was so beautiful, because it was right, and because he stepped up, cause she's a wonderful girl.

And quickly too, I want to say to you ladies here today, don't settle for second best. Don't settle for any guy that's going to treat you without honor, and dignity, and respect; because under God you are princesses and you deserve to be treated like such."

Monday, August 8, 2011

Feature on Don’t Wake Aislin

don't wake aislin

  You may not be familiar with indie rockers, Don’t Wake Aislin, just yet but with the release of their self-titled Ep, which just released in July, I think that’s about to change. I discovered this band on Twitter last month and became an instant fan after hearing their pounding rock rhythms and bold lyrics. Listening to their music all I could think was, why have I never heard these guys before? Seriously, Don’t Wake Aislin is one of the best unsigned bands I’ve heard in Christian music. And they are from Dallas, Tx! Oh yeah, we Texans can rock! :)

  Don’t Wake Aislin, which is made up of Deena Jakoub, Brandon Brown, Kalen Orr, Jordan Landers, and Guerin Williams, is actually not a new band. They started back in 2004 and have released three Eps. They gained attention over the years by playing at SXSW and at Cornerstone Festival, where they were named favorite show of Cornerstone 2008. When I first saw their name I thought it was a reference to Chronicles of Narnia’s Aslan, but after reading an interview with guitarist, Brandon Brown, on, I found out the real (and very cool) meaning of the name, “The name is pronounced Aislin, like MAZE-lin. Aislin is a Gaelic name that means "dream," so the band's name means "don't wake the dream." Essentially, don't give up on the calling in your life, the thing that you're most passionate about.”

  The song that first caught my attention was “To Escape the Tempest and Storm”.  Just the name of the song alone intrigued me, but I was also surprised to find that it sounded more hardcore than I was expecting. It starts out with pounding drums and a hard rock guitar riff... instantly I found myself rocking along with them. The song feels dynamic and almost anthemic as lead singer, Deena Jakoub, belts out the poetic chorus, “Let’s crack open the sky and light up the world. No one will ever know why the unexpected whirlwind picked up our lives and sent the fire shooting through our hearts.”.  Let me just say I think it’s a rare thing to find a female lead singer who can hold her own in a harder band, but Deena totally nails it! Her vocal range is impressive,  ranging from soft vocals to powerful screams. And from watching videos of their live performances, you can tell that it really holds up in a live setting. The song ends with a poem/spoken word part that makes the song even more powerful.

  The song that really got to my heart though was “Through The Oppression of the Wicked”. I feel like this is a song that girls especially can relate to as it starts off with the line, “Here I am, a pretty weed in a garden of roses and they try to tell me which way to grow”. The beautiful and poetic lyrics speak of the struggle to be who you are in a world that tries to tell you who you should be, and fighting to live out your dreams. This tune has a catchy rock chorus that I couldn’t get out of my head. I feel like Deena’s vocals really captured the emotion of this song; especially the powerful lyrics in the bridge, “I will not meet defeat in the struggle to believe in nothing less than my wildest of dreams. And I will not be laid to rest in this desolate flower bed and the hopeless won’t be helpless here. We’re fighting to be free of fear”. 

  Both of these songs can be found on their 5 song self-titled Ep (which has awesome cover art might I add), which you can stream for free Here. You can also purchase the Ep on Amazon and iTunes.


  What I love about Don’t Wake Aislin is the boldness of their music and their message. I couldn’t help but be taken in with their in your face lyrics and powerful rock sound.. They are unafraid to sing about real issues and the light of Christ in such a bold way. Said in an interview on their mission as a band, “To spread the message that God's put on our hearts and to see lives changed through music.” It seems they are doing just that and I can’t wait to see where God takes their music next.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Late Night Inspiration…


It's 4:12 am right now and of course, being the crazy night owl/insomniac I am, I'm still awake. I was trying to write a feature on the band Don't Wake Aislin for The Waking but have just felt so distracted. When I feel this way I have a tendency to go to YouTube and listen to music, usually it's videos of The Civil Wars or Switchfoot; but tonight I stumbled upon some Ray Lamontagne songs. As I was listening to Ray sing in his signature soulful style that just captures you and leaves you in awe; I all of the sudden felt this incredible surge of inspiration and creativity. It may sound a bit silly to you but it made me feel almost giddy.

You see, I have felt so void of creativity, inspiration, & passion lately; I have felt like I just have nothing to give or offer. I have felt like there was just no beauty anywhere around me. Things in my head and heart have been somewhat of a mess and my thoughts have been too chaotic to get straight and onto paper. But all of the sudden... there it is again, a simple whisper that maybe things could still be beautiful.  A new hope for beauty seemed to flood my heart... haven't felt that way in a long time. That feeling of, who knows, maybe new life can grow in the barren soil.

Thank God for good music at just the right time. It tends to get to my heart and break down barriers I've built when nothing else can. For some reason I think God uses music to get to me....yes, even Ray Lamontagne lol.


I've realized that instead of wishing I was at a different place and time, instead of lamenting my circumstances, I need to really breathe into this space. I need to see these days as a special commodity, as time goes by at lightening speed, and I will not have them back again. I need to dive into this space and breathe; I need to fully live in this place. I'm not doing that and I need to be. I need to bloom where I have been planted and stop resenting and resisting it. I need to start doing the things I want and need to do. I need to start doing the things I love to do again. I want to live with passion, being creative, finding beauty and inspiration in simple things. And if I start being fully alive and fully in motion in this place then maybe I'll be ready for when God decides to move me into another place, a new & beautiful place.

I believe God holds out his hand and offers us beauty, but it’s our choice to see it and fully live in it. I want to start actively living the journey God wants me to be on. I want to be fully present in it.