Category Archives: General

today is fat tuesday

My lovely friend Caroline, who constantly points me to Jesus, wonderfully describes my attitude about Lent. She’s taking on prayer, I’m taking on reading (& giving up a few dumb things).

I do wish protestants treated Easter as ‘special’ as we treat Christmas. Without Easter, there is no Christmas.

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Sometimes I don’t think about Lent until the day before but fortunately this year I was not taken off guard.  I have been reminded of Lent through friends and articles and even my own body really wanting warmer weather and the good change of spring making everything green and alive.

Lent is not Roman Catholic.  Lent is Christian.  It’s not our role to criticize what a tradition has become but rather to exemplify what it ought to be.  Lent is important.  We are reminded of Christmas coming for weeks on end so when it finally arrives and you get to that candlelight service, your heart is ready to contemplate the divinity becoming a small baby.  Messiah performances focus us on the great tradition of inviting Jesus to join the winter festival.  Easter gets forgotten.  I see Peeps marshmallows in the store but as much as I love Peeps, they…

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Liebster Award!

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I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award by Caleb from Intrepid Muses. His blog is super cool & I am touched that he thinks mine is, too!

The Liebster Award is an award for bloggers. It helps to discover new blogs and to build a sense of community in the blogging world! I love this concept, because due to Caleb’s nomination I clicked on the other 10 bloggers he nominated & found some cool blogs I probably wouldn’t have otherwise.

I was trying to look up the origins of the Liebster award & came across this post from Wording Well. Looks like the rules have changed along the way; it’s like that childhood game Telephone! I’m going to stick to the rules my nominator used.

Here are the rules that were given to me:

• Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you
• Answer the 11 questions the blogger gives you
• Nominate 11 bloggers that you think are deserving of the award
• Let the bloggers know you nominated them
• Give them 11 questions of your own

Caleb’s nomination included the option to skip the “award post” if that isn’t your style – I love that suggestion! I do agree with him, though, that answering the questions, getting to know each other, & having fun is the point here!

I nominate the following 11 awesome blogs I follow:

  1. 365 Days Of Marriage
  2. Purposeful Parenting
  3. Life In Between
  4. Ordinary Epiphanies
  5. A Cupcake For Love
  6. The Newish Wife
  7. Wood Kitchen
  8. Coastal Kelder
  9. The Love Bungalow
  10. Fabulous Fare Sisters
  11. My Name Is Not Katie

My questions to you guys are below the ones I answered 🙂

1. What is your favorite book and why? Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland. I love the nonsensical fun nature of it!
2. If you could write a book what it would be about? I would like to write a book about how all 15 children from my mom’s family made it to the US from Cuba.
3. Who is your favorite contemporary author? Stephen King, though I haven’t picked up one of his books in a looong time.
4. If you could meet someone in history who it would be? Paul the apostle.
5. What is your favorite movie/tv show? GILMORE GIRLS!!! I am SO excited for the revival coming to Netflix!
6. What is the worst movie ever made? Wikipedia actually has a nice list about this!
7. What are your hobbies? Besides blogging! I suppose my hobbies are the things I blog about – crafts, baking, & cooking! I also play a little music (handbells in church & trombone just for fun!)
8. What is your favorite place in the world and why? *sappy alert* Anywhere with my husband. I enjoy life the most when he’s around.
9. What place have you not visited but would you like to visit the most? And why? I have always wanted to go to Australia to go diving in the Great Barrier Reef. First I have to learn how to dive…
10. What is your favorite literary quote? Oh man, I could totally lie & pick on right now but I really don’t have one!
11. Tell us a random fact about you… I’m a Jeep girl! I have always loved them (probably because Lorelai drives a Wrangler) OlllllllO

For my nominees:

1. Why did you start blogging?
2. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
3. What is the furthest you’ve ever been from your home town?
4. What was your favorite subject in high school?
5. Do you love your current job? If not, what is your dream job?
6. In an ideal scenario, how many children would you like to have?
7. What’s your favorite dish that your parents made for you?
8. Cilantro: love it or hate it?
9. What’s your favorite type of cuisine?
10. What is your favorite fictional character – movie, book, or tv show!
11. If you started another blog, what would it be about?

I am looking forward to seeing your answers! Thanks again, Caleb, for the nomination! This has been fun 🙂

 

Photos For Life

The crowd was smaller this year, but the heart was bigger.

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Before the March & the snow.

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Two of my favorite people in the world, who both inspire me to always be better.

The Students for Life conference got canceled because of the blizzard. Lots of students & groups got stuck in the snow on their way home. It was definitely not a storm to take lightly.

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I am so glad that we made the trip & went to the March.

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We were able to safely make it to Caroline’s house before the blizzard started.

The blizzard couldn’t stop the pro-life generation!

March For Life 2016

This Floridian is travelling to DC tomorrow night.

Yep, even as Major Winter Storm Jonas approaches, seemingly promising to hit hard on Friday – the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade -the day of the march. Even if the forecast was worse, as long as I could physically get my ass to DC I would still go. Hundreds of thousands of people agree with me.

The cause is so worth it.

March For Life 2015

March For Life 2015, Photo by Matt Barrick from the March For Life Facebook page

5 years ago I attended a pro-life group meeting in college. My friend Caroline was very involved with the group & asked me to come. I did it just because she was my friend, not because I felt strongly about the subject, though I’ve always considered myself pro-life.

During that meeting, someone decided to read the first chapter of Abby Johnson’s book unPLANNED. I strongly suggest you click that link & read the first chapter for yourself. I have not yet read the rest of the book, but that first chapter changed my whole life.  I believe God put me in that meeting & laid this cause on my heart.

It was relatively easy to be a pro-life college student. Sure, most people around me were pretty liberal, but I had a great group of friends around me & plenty of outreach opportunities – sidewalk counseling, tabling demonstrations around campus, bringing in guest speakers, articles in the campus newspaper, etc. I was president of our on-campus club my senior year & attended my first March For Life that year & went to the Students For Life Of America conference & everything. At times these activities were emotionally draining, but I always had a pro-life friend near by for support.

March For Life 2012

March For Life 2012

It is much harder to be a pro-life adult. Sometimes I’m more vocal than others, but these conversations are much more difficult without the catalyst of a campus event. This is one of the reasons that going to the March For Life is so important. It is a sacrifice of time & money. It requires taking time off from work & life & traveling to DC in the winter. Am I going to have fun on this trip? Of course I am, but that doesn’t mean I lose sight of the reason I make such a journey almost every year. I get to spend time in our nation’s capital & reconnect with old friends who live in the area. I get to hear amazing pro-life speakers – from senators to Silent No More. But I think what I enjoy the most is that I get to be a part of something much bigger than myself. And then I get to share about my experience.

March For Life 2013

March For Life 2013

Last year I did not write about the march. I had just recently started blogging & I didn’t want to make this “too political”. Well, this isn’t a political issue, or a religious issue. This is literally a life & death situation. Yes, I believe that God is the author & creator of all life & that He has given me this mission. However, I’ve become increasingly more involved with Secular Pro-Life because ALL life is precious & ALL people should come to that conclusion regardless of their beliefs (or lack thereof). Yes, I lean to the right, but I follow groups like Democrats For Life because it’s really not about politics. Do politics play a role? Absolutely. It is up to our leaders to pass laws to defend life while also providing funding to programs like welfare, medicaid, & DCF. The scenarios that drive women to choose abortions are never easy or black & white, & it is important for the government to be able to help its people.

March For Life 2015_1

March For Life 2015

This year is a little different. This year most of my coworkers know I am going to DC to march for life. This year I am writing about it & will share some photos from the event when I return. This year will be my 4th time at the march; my husband’s 2nd. I am incredibly lucky to have such a supportive partner in life, for the rest of my life, fighting for life with me.

So bring on the snow, Jonas. A little bad weather cannot stop the truth about LIFE from spreading.


 

If you are interested in seeing what the march is all about from the comfort of your own home, please check out the March For Life website & click “Watch the March For Life Livestream” on Friday, Jan 22.

How Do You Name Recipes? + 50 Followers!

So today I was working on a blog post for the recipe I’m making for dinner tonight & when I was done writing the name I realized what a colossal mouthful it was!

Cheesy Bacon Veggie Crescent Roll Quiche.

The title is basically the recipe itself! I’m torn between wanting to be descriptive/informative (for easy searching) & wanting to be innovative/succinct (for aesthetics & reading pleasure).

How do you fellow bloggers do it when you come up with your own recipes? Is there a method to the madness? Are there any secret tips to share?

Here’s one way we could go about it, I suppose: Food Name Generator. Actually, that’s not quote what I had in mind, but it is kind of fun! Just don’t blame me if you actually try Stuffed Raspberry & Peanut Beef. Blech!

I will keep thinking of a name for my Cheesy Bacon Veggie Crescent Roll Quiche. In the meantime, I wanted to celebrate something special that happened today!

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Thanks, A Joy for A Joy of Baking for being #50! Looking forward to getting to know your blog as well. 🙂

Happy One Year Blog-Aversary!

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What a great year it’s been!

I’ve come a long from my first post last year. For one thing, this year it’s Stanford vs. Iowa at the Rose Bowl. My husband & I have been married for 377 days & are no longer newlyweds. I’m writing this blog from my very own house where I’ve hosted many a gathering – the biggest one being today, actually!

I would say that I accomplished the goal I set out for myself last year: to honor God & love my husband while making cookies & writing about it.

I am no longer new to wife-hood & new to blogging. I’m not a seasoned professional by any means, either. I still think I’m a rookie in a lot of ways, but life is a journey.

Happy Blog-Aversary to me & mrsdessertmonster.com!

(pictured above is my New Year’s Chocolate Mousse, recipe here!)

2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,200 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 53 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Not bad for my first year!

Happy New Year!

My Blogging Process

I have thoroughly been enjoying the past 11 months that this blog has been up & running!

I never considered blogging before my wedding last year, but after being inspired by so many different DIY blogs & wedding blogs throughout the planning process, I thought, “hey, I could do that! I have things to share! I have a voice!”

I jumped right into this whole blogging thing head-first. I even bought my own domain right away. It’s been a fantastic ride & I plan on recapping my first year of blogging once it’s actually been a year!

So, what’s my blogging genre? What’s my blogging style?

Mrs. Dessert Monster

This is more than a lifestyle blog; this is my lifestyle blog.

Currently, my lifestyle is that of a 27 year old woman with a full time job & a fantastic husband. I’m just doing life as it comes; and sharing it with y’all afterwards.

I don’t have a fancy camera & don’t get to set up photo shoots during the day using natural light. I don’t make things ahead of time for the holidays or special occasions so that I can share them before the day passes. I don’t have a blogging schedule.

Not that any of those things are bad! I’m an avid reader of many blogs that do follow those ‘rules’. I love looking at wonderful food photography & beautiful tablescapes. The passion behind the photographs comes through in so many of the blogs I follow.

I hope it comes out in mine, too. I hope that my poorly lit cellphone photos show how much I love cooking, or crafting, or whatever other activity I am sharing. I hope that my November 1st Halloween post shows how much fun I had.

There have been a few times when I am inspired to do or make something specifically for a post, but mostly these moments come about genuinely, & often at night after work (ergo the bad lighting!). I’m also taking my time in sharing things around me. My house is the perfect example for that. We moved back in June & all I’ve shared so far is the bathroom. But that means I have material for more posts!

Lately I have realized the importance of putting more of myself into what I’m writing. Hence this post, I suppose. The blogs that I enjoy reading the most are much more than just “here’s a few excellent photos of a cake I made. Recipe below.” I’m learning a lot from my peers.

I’m also slowly learning to take better pictures, though still using my cell phone or digital camera. Fellow bloggers have posted some great tips on backdrops & colors & angles. I’m listening.

Most of all, I’m growing, & not just as a blogger. I’m growing in my faith, though that doesn’t make it into my writing as much as I’d like. I’m growing in cooking & other skills. I’m growing as a wife.

So, what’s my blogging process?

My blogging process is much like my life; a little all over the place, but a lot of fun.

Kitty’s Got A New Home

I HAVE WAY TOO MUCH STUFF!

I’m sure everyone feels like that when they move. I had high hopes of being super organized & getting rid of a lot of stuff before moving. But between projects at the house we wanted to do before moving in, & this pesky thing we call a full time job, we didn’t accomplish nearly what we wanted to & just ended up shoving crap in the UHAUL on Saturday. Not even boxed or anything. I was so ill prepared for this move that I forgot I had loaned out my cat carrier…

Cat Move - Mrs. Dessert MonsterCat Move - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Stanley had the strangest car ride of his life. Luckily we moved less than 2 miles.

I would NOT recommend this method of transporting animals long distances. We were in the car seriously for only like 5 minutes. The pictures were too cute not to share!

Now that we have a garage, we decided we wanted to put his litter box out there. We just had to install a cat door.

Cat Door - Mrs. Dessert Monster

A hefty cat door. He is big boned!

We were nervous he wasn’t going to get the hang of it. We put him through it a couple times & showed him that his litter box was on one side & his food bowl was on the other side.

Cat Door - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Within that first day, he got it!

I think he likes our new home. 🙂

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The Worst Cookies I’ve Ever Made

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WARNING: This post contains recipes. Use it at your own risk. Look at the title, people.

My friend Beth is doing what I’d call a modified version of the Whole 30 food plan. Modified in the sense that she is sticking to the Whole 30 foods but not exactly the Whole 30 mind set. So I asked her if I made a Whole 30 ‘friendly’ dessert would she eat it, & she said yes. I have made Paleo/Vegan cookies before with my best friend Frank & they turned out great. So what could go wrong?

I went to the store and bought some coconut flour. Why coconut? Because it was cheaper than almond flour. Then I went home to look up coconut flour cookie recipes that didn’t ask for butter. I came across a couple of recipes that called for coconut flour, cocoa powder, olive oil, & honey. Wanting to take out the honey, I figured I’d use a fruity reduction for the sweetness. I made some cookies with the cocoa powder & some without.

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This picture LIES. These recipes are NOT to be used on friends.

Chocolate “Cookies”

1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp fruity reduction
3 large eggs
1/2 tbsp olive
1 tsp vanilla extract

The dough for this was so bitter, that I added about 4 tbsp of brown sugar to get it to taste like super dark chocolate. Sugar is not Whole 30 or Paleo friendly, but at this point I was trying to salvage the brown mush I had made. I should have known…

Non-Chocolate “Cookies”

1/3 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp fruity reduction
3 large eggs
1/2 tbsp olive
1 tsp vanilla extract

The dough for these tasted promising. Not sweet like a regular cookie, but maybe like a biscuit that would be good with some milk or tea…


Somewhere in the baking process everything went to hell.

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Trying to be polite by saying they’re not that bad.

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Smiling through the pain.

My poor husband could not hide his disgust.

My poor husband could not hide his disgust.

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My disappointed face after I tried them for myself.

Man were these things gross! They were both equally horrendous. It wasn’t just a sugar problem; they were a horrifying consistency. I have since read that coconut flour is super absorbent & not the easiest to work with. What am I supposed to do with the rest of the bag I bought???

I felt so bad for serving these to people I love! The only way I could ever see using this type of recipe gain would be on April Fool’s Day. Or to send a care package to someone I hate.

I promptly threw them out & made some REGULAR peanut butter cookies. Sorry, Beth, but after this atrocity we needed some butter, milk, & sugar!

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Not everything can be a win. These cookies were an epic FAIL.