Clothes Swap

Last night I experienced my first Clothes Swap.  The idea was new to me, but I quickly became a huge fan.  We girls are always looking through each others’ closets, admiring each others’ clothes, and wishing we could obtain a few more articles for our own closets.  A Clothes Swap allows you to bring home some new and cute items without having to buy them.

Here’s how it works.  You invite a bunch of people to bring over clothes, shoes, accessories, jewelry, etc. that they don’t want or wear anymore, and you lay everyone’s stuff out around the house.  Then everyone gets to look through, try on, and take home anything they like (a nice method for this potentially chaotic process is for everyone to go through, picking items they’re interested in and putting them in a separate pile.  Then, when people are done looking they try the stuff in their pile on, putting back things they don’t want.  So, there are a couple waves of picking through).  The stuff that no one wants at the end of the night can be donated to a women’s shelter or Goodwill.  There weren’t any fights last night, but that is definitely a possibility.

Here are a few of my favorite Clothes Swap nabs.

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New Blogger

I won a blog convert!  My friend Elizabeth started a blog today!  She’s blogging about anything she wants, so check it out!

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Attention All Walmart Shoppers

There is a delicious salsa you could be purchasing and consuming at an alarming rate.

The name “Sweet Heat Salsa” sounds a bit unappealing, but this salsa makes up in flavor what it lacks in marketing genius.  Made by Walmart, it’s part of the “World Table” line that apparently seeks to provide delicious, sort of authentic, and “higher end” food products at an affordable price.  I’m delighted Walmart has decided it’s profitable put out their own variety of specialty salsas, because I absolutely love the Sweet Heat and am more than willing to show those exec’s that it is indeed worth their production costs.

In case you can’t read the description on the jar, it’s “zesty salsa with bits of sweet raspberry and pineapple,” which means that scooped on Tositos, it’s the perfect blend of sweet and salty.  I can’t think of a better way to celebrate that gradual shift from spring to summer than a little Sweet Heat.  How ’bout you?

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Made Perfect Through Suffering

“In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.”  Hebrews 2:10

I’ve really been enjoying reading the book of Hebrews lately!  This verse stuck out to me today as I thought about how Jesus was willing (even considered it a joy) to sacrifice himself in order to be able to welcome us into God’s family.  He generously shares his inheritance with humans, inviting us into the incredible riches and blessings of God the father and bringing us to glory.

What’s more, this verse states that Jesus, the author of our salvation, was made perfect through suffering.  It occurred to me that I believe I can be made perfect (or at least made more wise, loving, faithful, etc.) by just reading the Bible, praying, and reminding myself of the Gospel throughout the day.  Those things are good and valuable and do affect our lives, growing us in knowledge and working in our hearts to convince us of the truth and show us how live it out, but this verse says Jesus was made perfect through suffering.  Why should my path to perfection not also be suffering?  And so I want to rejoice in suffering that I face, considering the trials I face pure joy (James 1:2).  I want “the fellowship of sharing in his [Christ’s] sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:10-11).  Sharing in Christ’s resurrection means sharing in his life, his joy, and his victory, not to mention his perfection!

Lest you think I’ve gone crazy, I realize that this is a life-long journey.  I do not expect to be made perfect in my lifetime, partly because the apostle Paul didn’t either.  That’s why the verses directly following Philippians 3:10-11, state, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ took hold of me… But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize [perfection] for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14).

And this perfection is not for my own glory, but for that of Christ, who is the author of my salvation and the perfecter of my faith (Hebrews 12:2).  Hebrews 3 describes how the builder of the house is worthy of greater honor than the house, and we who are faithful (and the Church, the Body of Christ, as a whole) are the house in this analogy.  Our perfection brings honor to our builder, our author, our perfecter.

So, bring on the sufferings.

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Simple Praise

So, this picture doesn’t directly connect to the words of this post, but I wanted to show you the mums we bought the other day to cheer up our porch!  Spring really is a great season.

On to the post.

I read Psalm 117 the other day and was refreshed by its simplicity:

“Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him all you peoples.  For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.  Praise the Lord.”

That’s the entire psalm.  Sometimes all I need is to be called to praise the Lord because of his great love and enduring faithfulness.  God’s character is unchanging, constant, and praiseworthy, no matter what I am currently experiencing.  I pray that this kind of praise would characterize my life, as well as yours.

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Crockpot Chicken

I’ve been wanting to try out some crock pot recipes ever since we moved into our apartment back in November, and this week I finally dragged the crock pot out of its box in our laundry room where the washer/dryer would sit if we had one.  Perhaps it was overkill, but I made two recipes this week.  I know, and it’s only Wednesday.

Monday I made momswhothink.com’s Cranberry Chicken, based on a friend’s recommendation.  The recipe calls for a bed of sliced apples and onions underneath chicken breasts coated and covered in a mixture of cranberry sauce, lemonade concentrate (but I used lemon juice and a little bit of splenda), honey, tapioca, and salt.  It’s a nice mix of tangy and sweet, served over wild long grain rice.  We also enjoyed it left over for lunch on Tuesday.  And here’s a horrible picture I took of it…

I have a new appreciation for food photographers.  It turns out it takes talent after all.

And today I made a recipe my mom printed off for me from food.com that is unfortunately titled “Crock Pot Chicken W/ Black Beans and Cream Cheese….yum!” Do you guys have any ideas for a better name?

This recipe is insanely easy: 4 frozen chicken breasts, canned black beans, canned corn, a jar of salsa, and a block of cream cheese.  This time I ganked a picture from food.com:

These recipes aren’t gourmet or particularly impressive, but I was excited about trying them out this week.  I chose them partly because of their short lists of ingredients, which now that I think of it, might be part of the definition of “un-gourmet.”  Another part is probably leaving it unattended for hours in a slow-cooking electrical appliance.

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Hello, How May I Help You?

Yep, I finally started my new job!  I’m working part time as a receptionist, which fits my love for meeting and greeting like a glove.  Though I’m not fully acclimated, I do feel pretty competent after my little bit of training when it comes to the easier, more frequent things to be done.  Also, the people I work with have been really nice so far, which is a huge help.

In light of my new job, I’d like to share a little clip from another receptionist.

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