Facts + Favorites

Facts + Favorites are always a lot of fun for me to write. I enjoy sharing my quirks or little random things about myself that you just don't get to know about me through my blog unless I tell you. So here it goes...

Fact # 1. I am notorious for not hanging up my clothes. I am a stickler about being tidy and neat everywhere else in the house... it is just who I am, but on any given day you will find three or four pairs of shoes, and a couple outfits laying in a pile beside my dresser. I hate hanging up clothes...maybe because my closet is in the living room, but always...there is a pile.

Fact # 2. I cry about 4 times a week. Not because I am depressed or anything...I just am an emotional person, to the highest level. I cry watching a sweet commercial, listening to a meaningful song, or reading a well-written article or book. I cry when I talk about how much I love my husband, or when I work really hard to make something in the kitchen and it turns out to be a total failure. I am a crier...in a big way. 

Fact # 3. I do not know how to style my hair other than curling it, and pinning back my bangs. Call it crazy, but at 23 years old I still know nothing more about fixing my hair than I did when I was 8. I am trying slowly to learn...it is a slow process. 

Fact # 4. Apparently I smack my mouth in my sleep. And I hog the bed. Ben always tells me he knows when I am totally out for the night when he hears my little smacking noise and somehow I am attempting to take over the entire bed and knock him out forcefully. Oops...can't help what I do in a state of sleep right?

Fact # 5. I love reading cookbooks. I find they relax me, inspire me, and get my wheels turning. Sometimes, I will even bring a couple cookbooks to bed and snuggle up in the covers while Ben is watching TV or doing something on his computer and lose myself in a cookbook. I love seeing the different combinations of ingredients listed to make different entrees or desserts. I have found recently that food, and cooking truly awaken a passion inside me that I did not know even existed in me. (more on this below)

So now on to my favorites right now...Well they almost all have to do with food, the kitchen, cooking, our home...sensing a theme? I just finished reading "Bread & Wine" By Shauna Niequist last week, and wow, it blew my socks off. As I read through this passionate book full of love for food, family, and Jesus I walked away after every chapter more and more inspired. Outside the Bible (cliche I know) I am not sure any other book has affected me in the same way. I was moved to tears in most chapters by the raw nature that Shauna uses to write. She is so real, raw, and honest. I desire to be that way. Shauna has a passion for food. Not just a passion to be a great chef, or impress people with her culinary abilities. Rather she is passionate about the table...feeding those she loves, and being fed by rich community and safe fellowship. I have a super awesome project I am working on pertaining to this book that I cannot wait to share with you guys soon!

I have begun to cook my way through her book, and would love for some of you to join me, I will be sharing next week about a fun way you can do this (hence the project I am working on)! I am going to begin to seize the time we have here in Starkville to open our doors more, to create a safe place for people to be themselves around our small four person table. I want to create a home that radiates love, honesty, and abundant living that we are free to have in Jesus Christ. 

So needless to say, one of my favorites right now is this book, "Bread & Wine" and teaser alert, this book may or may not be included in one awesome giveaway coming your way soon! Also, after reading Shauna's book I have added these two other cookbooks to my "wishlist" on Amazon, and Pinterest. I am crossing my fingers that someone in my family sees these and that I can add these to my collection soon. 
Purchase any of the books here: Bread & WineThe Smitten Kitchen, Bountiful

As a result of my new found passion for the table, the kitchen and all things like that, I find myself in love with creating things myself. From beginning to end, not cheating along the way...does this mean I will never again use a canned ingredient? Absolutely not...that would be silly. But I am finding that it is a joy to invest love into a dish and spend time elevating flavors and creating depth to a dish and then to present that dish to someone I love. Again, this is not to make me into a star entertainer or anything, but I am seeing this is a passion or gift I have that can be used to love others in a way deeper than words sometimes. 

I cannot wait to try out this fig and ricotta crostini...with some fresh basil from our front porch...oh it is going to make such a delicious appetizer on a hot summery evening. Crusty bread in any form makes my heart race.

In a similar fashion to the kitchen being an inspiration for my soul, I often find myself inspired and refreshed from reading a good book. All these three have been added to my wishlist as well as my 2014 reading list. I have heard great things about them all, even though The Nesting Place has not even been released quite yet for the public. I find that reading is a sweet outlet for me, when I am overwhelmed or in need of space. I can retreat to a book, and renew my mind.

What inspires you the most? What gets you feeling passionate and teary eyed?

PSA: Did you know that tickets for Hope Spoken go on sale May 1st for the 2015 conference? I have never been but it is on my 101 in 1001 list to attend this conference. I am super excited about going...are you going to Hope Spoken?