Monday, April 29, 2013

Pinterest Review: One Bowl Cupcakes for Two [or one...]

A few weeks ago, I came home from a long day at work and had a taste for something sweet. But alas, in an attempt to be healthy, I didn't allow myself to buy anything sugary for these munchie-craving times. Ugh.

But then! I remembered a recipe I'd pinned for One Bowl Cupcakes for Two! Perfect! Nevermind that it is now 11pm, I'm making some cupcakes, dang it!

Now, I must have done something wrong because I came out with 3 cupcakes, not that I minded....

And every cupcake needs frosting, amiright? I'll be honest, when it came to the frosting, I didn't measure...but I threw together some softened cream cheese (full disclosure: neufchatel cheese), butter, splash of vanilla, and powdered sugar.

And oh my wow. Delicious. This may have been the best thing from Pinterest that I've tried so far.

Obviously. oh so perfect.

I think what I liked best about this was that it made the perfect number of mini's always the worst temptation for me to have an entire pan of brownies sitting around....I end up having dessert after ever. single. meal. No joke.

This way, there weren't too many cupcakes....and what did I do with the other two cakes? I'll never tell....

xo, morgan

Friday, April 26, 2013

7 Quick Takes (24)

Linking up yet again with Jen (who's fiiiinally back!) for another week of takes!

[1] This week has been emotionally exhausting. I can't get into too much detail without breaking confidences, but I've had to have a couple of really tough conversations that have taken a lot out of me. TGIF, eh?

[2] Confession time: I have a Twitter, but I'm really bad at using it....probably because I've gotten out of that bad FB habit of updating your status every five minutes. So I only go onto the Twittersphere maybe once a week, but last night I spend probably two hours tweeting with some of my favorite blogging friends and finding new peeps to follow. So. much. fun.

[3] Sooooo tomorrow is my birthday, and yesterday I got this card from my Grandma...

I get my party side from her. I'm turning the big 2-3 and have a big day full of outlet mall shopping (hunting for the perfect baby boy gifts and work-approp. dresses), wine-drinking, and hopefully sunbathing.

[4] Jordan is here! Haven't seen her in So excited to celebrate my #birthdayweekend with her :)

[5] Have you discovered Arleen Spenceley and her [Q&A] series? Go. NOW. She's awesome.

[6] Amanda nominated me for a Leibster Award this week! I am BEYOND flattered and now all I have to do is figure out how to accept it.... :)

[7] My boss took me out for lunch today to celebrate my birth and we had Margs. At noon. Word of the wise: don't drink in the early afternoon unless if you're going to keep drinking.
You just might be unable to work for the rest of the day and end up with a slight headache/hangover before 5PM. And what's the best cure for a hangover? See the above picture.

Check out what Jen and the other takers have to say this week! Have a beauteous weekend!

xo, Morgan

Thursday, April 25, 2013

that awkward moment...

....when they talk about you at Sunday mass....

umm yeah.
Allow me to explain.

As I mentioned on Friday, I am a brand new parishioner! I went in on Thursday of last week to officially register...after living in town for about 10 months, I finally buckled down and picked a parish. I don't know why I was so hesitant to become a parishioner, but I think it just felt like such a big commitment!

That sounds kind of ridiculous when I type it out loud.
But do you know what I mean?

For my whole life, I've either been a member of my home parish, or in attendance at a Newman Center. The concept of becoming a parishioner seemed like such a giant leap into adulthood! But it's funny how after all this time, and feeling restless and like I didn't really belong anywhere, once I realized that I wanted to register, I was overcome with a sense of peace.

home sweet home!

So what does this have to do with me being talked about during mass?

I think I've mentioned before that finding community in a brand new town has proved to be difficult, and after almost a year of desiring but not really doing anything proactive about seeking a community, I thought that while I was at the parish office, I might as well ask if they have a young adult group of sorts.

Turns out that they don't........and so I asked if I could start one.
Why not?
There's definitely a need for ministry to people in my stage of life: fresh out of college and in danger of falling away from the faith should our parishes neglect to help us stay connected.

Well, the people I talked to were all really great and excited about my desire and ambition to spearhead a new group like this, so I set up an appointment to talk to the Director of Religious Education and went on my merry way.

Fast forward to a couple days later during Sunday mass.
This weekend was the Annual Diocesan Appeal; they showed a video (I know SO MANY people in it!!!), and then someone got up to give a little schpeel.
Aaaaand the person speaking was one of the ladies I had spoken to a few days prior!

She begins to talk about how we all need to be giving our time, talent, and treasure, yadda yadda....then she starts giving examples of people giving of their time, and begins to rave about this young woman who just came into the office on Thursday asking if she could start up a young adult group because she sees a need for it in the parish, isn't that awesome that she would give of herself in that way?!


I won't lie, it was kind of cool.
And also really embarrassing.
But awesome.

I'm really excited to get started and begin to minister to other young people like myself and make some new friends! Being involved in church ministry is a void that I've been feeling lately and I'm really happy to have a way to give back to my new parish. And in a way, I think that little shout out in mass was the Lord confirming that I belong here, like a "welcome home" sign.

And dang, home feels good.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Five Favorites

[1] This coffee. oh em gee.

[2] This song.

[3] This video. My coworkers and I made it while in Oregon and I watch it at least 5 times every day. I crack up every time.

[4] Budding and blooming flowers! It seems that spring is finally here to stay! Now if only the rain would go away.....
poet and I didn't even know it.

[5] It's almost May. Which means it's almost summer break. Which means my office's building is almost super quiet (no more college students). YAY.

click over to see what Hallie and others are loving on this week!

xo, morgan

Monday, April 22, 2013

how [not] to compost

A few months ago, with a little bit of advice from Dweej, I ventured into the composting world.
I was so excited.
I told anyone who would listen.
Well, I think I did something wrong.

Let me walk you through this.....
Since moving into this house in August, I've had an inclination to do more homey things.
In January, I went and got myself a Rubbermaid bin, threw some leaves in the bottom (we were in a short period of no snow), put the bin on my back porch, aaaand....that was it.

So there it sat. On my back porch. For 3 months.
I added tons and tons and tons of veggie and other kitchen scraps (no meat or dairy). Stirred occasionally.
And all seemed to be fine.
I mean, it was cold for much of that time, what with the snow and ice and all....

And then it started getting warmer...

*disclaimer: sick nasty photos ahead*

I was getting ready to leave for Portland the first week of March and I realized before I left that I should empty the overflowing bucket we kept in the pantry for the compost pile. While I'm pretty sure all of my roommates knew where the bin was, I was the only one who ever emptied the kitchen bucket.
No big deal, it was my project anyway.

So I went out onto our porch and when I opened the bin, oh. my. gosh. The most disgusting smell EVER.
I quickly dumped the kitchen bucket into the bin and there was so much food in the bucket, it was packed solid...and moldy. Sick. nasty.

seemingly harmless-looking bin, right?

Needless to say, I didn't return the bucket to the kitchen because I didn't want anyone to continue this horrible cycle while I was gone for 5 weeks. I also moved the bin off the porch and let it sit in the back yard while I was gone in case someone had the inclination to drop scraps straight into the bin.

When I finally returned from my trip, I borrowed a shovel from a friend and dug a hole where our landlords used to have a compost pile and proceeded to distribute my "compost" into the hole.

the hole

sick. nasty.

after the deed had been done.

sludge. cue gagging.
So my question is this: did I compost wrong? I know online there are a million and one products you can buy to start your compost bin (one of my coworkers apparently has bought a bin and "organic soil" for his bin...what the hey?!) but there was no way I was going to do that. Part of me wonders if maybe I did it right, and compost is supposed to smell like the worst thing you've ever smelled in your life (even worse than the most horrific baby diarrhea). But maybe all I did wrong was add too much moisture, or not let it ventilate enough, or not add enough yard waste.

At the end of the day, I'll be living in an apartment starting in August so I [obviously] won't be having a compost bin. Gross. But maybe there's something that I missed during this process? At least in the future I'd like to try again!

Please. Advice. Anyone?

xo, Morgan

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Pinterest Review: DIY Lemon Juice and Baking Soda mask

I've posted before about seeking natural remedies for keeping my skin feeling refreshed and clear, so when I came across this recipe for a mask made with orange juice and baking soda that promised to not only refresh your skin but also help take care of blackheads, I knew I had to try it.

Unfortunately, I don't usually drink orange juice, so I didn't have any and had to improvise. Fortunately, I ALWAYS have lemon juice in my fridge and I've seen other DIY masks with lemon juice as an ingredient, so I used that as a substitute.

Basically, just mix lemon juice and baking soda until you have a paste-like substance. If it gets too thick, add more juice...if it's too soupy...well, I think you get it...

Then slather it all over your face, wait about 15-20 mins or until you're feeling crusty, then massage the crust back into your face with some warm water and rinse.

I'll say this: my face felt refreshed. As far as blackheads, meh. I'm not sure that I saw a difference, but I liked that this was super easy (and cheap) and my skin felt like it was actually clean for hours following. Overall, I'll do this one again, but I wouldn't say that this is the mask of all masks. I'm still on the hunt.

Do you have any DIY masks/washes that you use? Please share! :)

xo, mo

Friday, April 19, 2013

7 Quick Takes (23)

Linking up with one of my very favorite bloggers eva, Grace, who is hosting 7QT again because Jen and fam got to bring baby boy home yesterday! Oh happy day!

[1] Most people who know me know that I. love. my. coffee. So you can imagine my distress when I come home after a long trip to and from Chicago to realize that my roommates had taken the coffee maker with them on a retreat they were leading. oh em gee. Luckily, I worked at a Jamba Juice in college and we had to make coffee in a really hippie-esque way, therefore, I knew what to do:

Coffee filter in powdered sugar sifter in coffee mug.
Insert coffee ground and hot water. Wait forever.
So Sunday night when their team director, Travis, dropped off our coffee maker, I complained about the travesty I had to endure and Travis says, "oh, well, here...let me make it up to you..." and hands me a Starbucks gift card! Huzzah! He was all "I'll never use it anyway" and also didn't know how much was on it....
luckily, I have a Starbucks account (because heck yes I want a free drink on my birthday thank you very much!) and so I checked the balance on this bad boy...
But seriously, how nice was that?

[2] In other news, I'm officially a parishioner! Gahh that makes me feel like such a real adult! It's taken me more than 10 months, but I finally realized that the parish I felt most at home in happened to be the one that I had the worst attitude about. Go figure...God works in mysterious ways!
It's so funny how something as simple as deciding to belong to a particular parish makes me feel so much more settled. I like how that feels. I also had a lovely chat with some ladies in the parish office when I registered and have some hope for my involvement in ministry there....stay tuned :)

[3] Cindy and Jen have featured my post from this week in their 7 Quick Takes! Wow! Thank you ladies!
After all of the positive feedback, I'm in the process of figuring out some kind of single-ladies link-up or club...details to come soon...if that's something you or someone you know would be interested in, please let me know!

[4] I've always loved country music, but it seems lately that that's ALL I listen to. I went through a huge Mumford/Lumineers/Passion Pit stage a few months ago, but I'm back to my down-home country roots. And though I'm sick and tired of TaySwift, I can't get enough of this song, probably because she's just "featured"

[5] Have y'all been keeping up with the Gosnell trial? I'd love to hear what people think about how (until recently) little the media had been reporting on it. Absolutely everything about it completely sickens me. My kids are really upset about it, especially after reading this article. Since most of the perspectives I see are from a college student or those who work in the pro-life movement, I'd love to hear what people "on the outside" are thinking.

[6] Speaking of tragedy, please join me in praying for Boston and West Texas. I don't have any words to share that haven't already been said by others more eloquent than I.
Lord, have mercy.

[7] In the attempt of ending on a high note, I want to say a big CONGRATULATIONS to my mom who was offered her dream job today! I'm so happy and proud of you! Love love love you, Momma!

Have a splendid weekend! Head over to see Grace if you haven't already!

xo, Mo

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

you are just fine.

A girl who works in my building got engaged last week (in PARIS. holy wow.) I'm so incredibly excited for her and her fiance to venture into this new part of their lives together.

While chatting today about the upcoming plans and excitement around this engagement time, one of the ladies in the office said something that stuck with me all day. She started talking about how she can remember when she and her husband became engaged and how she felt this overwhelming feeling of relief and that she "finally felt settled...I was no longer looking, waiting, wondering, anticipating...I finally felt content."

Now, you might be able to imagine how awkward it was for me to stand there as the only non-married or engaged (or even dating) person and take all of this in. In some ways, I can identify with those feelings and I struggle with them daily....this feeling of restlessness that Jen has talked about. And it's a challenge for me to rise above it and live my day to the fullest, regardless of those feelings. However, how has it become the norm for us to believe that in order to be complete, in order to be settled and content, that we need to be with someone else?

Over the past couple of weeks, I've seen a lot of my close family friends and extended family, and one thing that really got under my skin was how many people teased me about still being single and saying things like "when are you going to get married?"

...well, as far as I've been told, you've gotta get a willing partner before jumping on that train....

All of these people are well meaning, and are simply curious about what's happening in my life. Yet, it makes it so. hard. to convince myself that I'm happy and content and settled when the consensus around me is that I shouldn't be because I haven't found the love of my life yet.


I'm 22.
Going on 23 (next week).
I. am. young.
I have A LOT of time.

And so yes, while I desire for that next part of my life to begin sometime in the near-ish future, I am just fine. And if there are any young, single girls reading this who also feel immensely called to marriage but it just hasn't happened yet, that's okay! You're fine just as you are, where you are right. now.

You are not broken. You are not lost. You are not left behind.

I told Jen that I think there needs to be some kind of support group for single women desiring marriage, and I still think that'd be cool. Or maybe a series of posts talking about various struggles within this stage of life? I don't know. Cindy at The Veil of Chastity does a beautiful job ministering to single women, and I hope to someday do the same as a married woman, however, while I'm where I'm at, why not try to do what I can?

Please let me know if this is anything you'd be interested in or know someone who might be...pass this along to them!

Know of my prayers for y'all!

xo, Morgan
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