10.30.2014's what's for dinner.


   If you remember from last week's pear post, I received a basket of pears from a friend and have been trying to use them all up before a single one spoils.

  Randy has been having to work late a lot lately, which every mother of small children knows is just a complete party.  And by "complete party" I mean the girls have discovered entire new LEVELS of naughtiness and this mama is usually ready to clock out by 3:00 pm.

But that's not what we're talking about today.

   When Randy IS working late and not going to be joining us for dinner, sometimes as a matter of survival, we cheer ourselves up by having a particularly girly supper, followed by popcorn and a chick flick.  Usually does the trick.

   So the other night we had breakfast for supper, which is certainly one of my FAVORITE meals to do, but not necessarily my husband's.  In an effort to use up more pears, I found this baked pear pancake on Pinterest via Bojon Gourmet, and had to give it a try.

Baked Pancake with Pear and Cardamom

Adapted from Local Flavors

Makes 4 servings

3 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 - 3 medium, buttery pears, ripe but firm, cut off the core and sliced 1/4 - 1/2" thick
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons sugar
powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
maple syrup for drizzling

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400ยบ. Place the butter in a 10" cast iron (or other oven proof) skillet and put in the oven to melt.

Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl, make a well, and add the eggs. Whisk to combine, adding the milk little by little until the batter is smooth. Whisk in the vanilla and about two-thirds of the melted butter. Set aside.

Heat the skillet with the remaining butter over a medium flame, and brush some of the butter around the rim of the skillet. Toss in the pears, cardamom, lemon juice and sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pears are tender and the sugars are beginning to caramelize, about 10 minutes.

Pour the batter into the hot pan over the pears and place in the oven. Bake until golden and dramatically puffed, as though trying to escape from the pan, about 25 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar and cut into wedges. Drizzle with maple syrup and serve immediately.

Leftovers, should there be any, reheat beautifully in a toaster oven in 5 or 10 minutes.

   I was quite surprised how simple and quick this recipe ended up being, and I even skipped the cardamom, because I didn't have it.  Pretty bold for it being part of the title and all, I know.  I just substituted cinnamon and nutmeg and I thought it turned out quite yummy.  But that's coming from me, and that's how I cook all the time.  Not too particular, nothing too fussy, just throw it all together and see how it turns out.

Pastry chefs everywhere are shedding a tear.

Hope you enjoy it!


The end of an era.

My children, at ages 2 and 3, have decided they are finished taking naps.
   I love blogging about topics like these because I feel like a plethora of napping wisdom and advice will coming flowing into the comment section after doing so (she says hopefully).

  I well remember a short time ago when both of my girls were consistently taking 2-3 hours naps DAILY and I would hear the woes and complaints of other mothers of nap-striking children and I just didn't get it.  Just MAKE them take a nap!  It can't be that hard!

Oh but was I in for a surprise.

  Turns out, you can't make children nap.  Nope.  You can do everything you need to do, (stories, milk, dim lighting, whatever) and they can still lay there wide awake babbling and talking to themselves for hours.  Hours!

   And believe me, I've tried the whole "quiet time" thing too.  But it seems it's never long enough, or even remotely restful enough for me to be hardly worth the trouble it takes to supervise.

   And so as you could imagine, right on cue with their recent nap aversion, enters my blog aversion.  I never really realized how DIRECTLY correlated my computer time was with nap time.  It's kind of like, during nap time or never.  And so no naps = no computer time.  Which = keeping up with online things MUCH less.  Which = to be feeling like I'm always falling behind and disappointing someone, or myself.  Which is a pretty crummy feeling.

   And no time to myself (or just blessed SILENCE) during the day = lack of desire to even talk on the phone, or do anything, really.  I feel like I never return any phone calls, or go many places, and I even put off grocery shopping until we're practically destitute before forcing myself out there.

  Basically, nap time was the key to my existence.  And now that I don't have it, I feel like I'm stumbling around all over again like the first few weeks with a brand new baby trying to figure out how to "re-enter" the world and dwell in this hemisphere of life in a somewhat normal way.


   So last week, to help pass along the never-ending day, we decided to go to the library and swing by the thrift store in town, both of which were CLOSED.  Epic fail.  So we swung by the coffee shop and used our stamp card to score a free chai latte and headed to the park so as to not count the trip a complete failure.

  And so once again, I'm sorry for the quiet around here lately, but sometimes this little place online sort of gets whatever is leftover, ya know?

And sometimes that's just not very much at all.


Move over banana bread, there's a new kid in town.

   Sometimes people disappoint me.  Sometimes they frustrate me, sometimes they bewilder me, and sometimes they completely misunderstand me.  But sometimes, people completely and totally AMAZE me.

  Take the time for instance when my friend, who has FIVE small children of her own, took the time to hand-weave me a beautiful basket and fill it full of farm fresh pears.   That's when a thank-you card just doesn't seem to cut it.

   So obviously I didn't want to let a single pear go to waste, but I also wasn't sure I wanted to can one. Single. More. Jar.  And so........baking with pears!  Seasonal, delicious, it warms up your house, makes everything smell like Heaven, and is just an all-around great idea.  So after a bit of Pinterest-browsing, I found a pear bread recipe that didn't seem too daunting or too unhealthy and I gave it a try.

  And boy I'm glad I did because this stuff will not last long around here!  Not only is it the perfect companion to a cup of coffee, but every once in a while I start to get a little burnt out on banana bread, and so this is a delightful (while every bit as sweet!) alternative.  Try it, you won't be disappointed.

RECIPE found via Chew Out Loud.
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup honey
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 TB vanilla extract
1 1/4 tsp table salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground allspice
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 TB ground flax meal (dry)
5 cups of very firm pears, peeled and diced
   Preheat oven to 350F, and grease one large loaf pan and line a muffin pan (or grease two loaf pans for two smaller loaves.)
   In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, olive oil, applesauce, and honey.  Stir together.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Stir to incorporate.
   In another large bowl, combine salt, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, allspice, all-purpose and wheat flours, and flax meal.  Mix dry ingredients well.  Gently fold honey mixture into dry ingredients, just until completely moistened.  Gently fold in pears, distributing evenly.  Pour batter into prepared loaf pan(s) and/or muffin tin.
   For single large loaf, filled almost to the top, bake 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out almost clean, with few moist crumbs attached.
   If splitting batter between two loaf pans, bake 45-50 minutes or until toothpick comes out with few moist crumbs attached.
   For muffins filled almost to the top, bake 20-23 minutes or until toothpick comes out with few moist crumbs attached.
(Makes one large 9×5 loaf + ten muffins, OR 2 smaller loaves)
   I made two loaves with this recipe and they were a good size.  Also, I didn't have allspice or flax meal on hand, and so I omitted those and it still turned out great.  But it would be nice to have the flax next time for that extra fiber.  Enjoy! 


Just say no to lipstick.

I'm here today to give you my top 5 reasons of why a mom shouldn't wear lipstick.

5. Just stop pretending your life is fancy already.  We all know you're just going to Costco.

4.  You know that is going to be all worn off by sloppy toddler kisses by the time your husband comes home from work, right?

3.  It only accentuates the bags under your eyes.

2.  So many color choices, so little time.  O.k. NO time. You're lucky if you get a shower.

   And my #1 TOP REASON WHY A MOM SHOULD NOT WEAR LIPSTICK......well, do I really even have to say?  After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.  

And I've got three of them.

Happy Tuesday, everyone.


Thoughts on Authenticity, part 2.

   O.k. so just so you know, nothing gets me more excited as a blogger than when people GET IT.  Nothing.

   When they get my point, get my sense of humor, get my crazy ramblings, get the drift, get the heart of it all.....just get it.  And when that happens, I do a little happy dance and want to blog forever.  Just so you know.

   So thanks and a giant, squeezy hug to all of you who left me love on that Authenticity post.  Kinda makes me want to revisit some of those life-giving words, so let's, shall we?  Here are some comments that prompted me to post about authenticity again today: (read the first post here)

What a beautiful quote! Thanks for this post! I was wondering if you could clarify the difference between authenticity, transparency, and intimacy. I would like to put this into practice, but I don't know what that looks like.

oh girl you nailed it! i wish i could have figured some of this out years ago!

WOW, I haven't finished reading this and it's the best post you've ever written (gush gush...) Please do write more on this. I'm copying that Beth Moore quote. I've heard about 'boundaries' so much--and knew I needed some!--but I was always afraid it would mean I couldn't be 'real.' Love dis!

Also, a pet peeve of mine is when bloggers (bizarrely it's a trait mainly just found in online bloggers) end up being ALL about 'authenticity' and 'realness' and 'honesty'... and leave it at that and don't have actual content! Like, "this is my dirty kitchen sink: just keepin' it real!" x 100.  This does NOT describe 'Frame of Mind', just to clarify! I wonder if other people have noticed this?

   O.k. so that last one made me laugh.  SOOOO true.  I cannot count the times I've read blogs or followed Instagrammers that make me wonder if a Superhero Stepford wife/robot (instead of actual human) is at the helm of all of that dizzying perfection, and then they do the whole "Here's me doing laundry, just keeping it real!" post and I'm all over here like......."THAT'S being real?!   Well now I'm for sure not showing anybody my 'real' because then you'll commit me to an institution."  

Just kidding.  Sort of. 

   And that second-to-last comment?  It was anonymous and I SO wish I could know who wrote that so I could give them a big fat thank-you for all the amazing things they said but mostly, for not being anonymous and MEAN!  This is a newsworthy moment here at Frame of Mind, folks!!  It's usually the no-namers that have the sharpest digs to jab.  Funny how that works.

   So anyway, I just want you to know (I've said this before) that I am like, the WORST in the world at replying to comments, but I read every single one!  And they mean a lot to me.  A lot.  And so every once in a while, I like to feature them in a post in my small little attempt at showing you all how much they really mean to me.  Because every time you leave a loving comment, you breathe life into me.  I feel like what I'm doing actually has a POINT.  And if you're a blogger, you understand how pointless all of it feels a huge percent of the time.  So thank you thank you thank you thank you.  


   Getting onto the real point here, and discussing in further detail, authenticity and transparency and intimacy.  The first comment I listed was the one that spurred me on to writing more about it. It really got me thinking, and I realized I REALLY don't have all the answers.  So much of it is just a "learn-as-you-go" thing, but that can feel painfully slow.  So of course, I turned to the dictionary for a little help.

   1. Not false or copied; genuine, real.

   1. Open; frank; candid.
   2. Easily seen through, recognized, or detected.
   3. Having the property of transmitting rays of light through its substance so that bodies situated beyond or behind can be distinctly seen.

   1. Characterized by or involving warm friendship or a personally close or familiar association or feeling.
   2. Very private; closely personal.

  It's amazing to me how something as simple as reading the definitions of words can shed light on their meaning.  It makes sense, I guess that it would, but it just seems so elementary that it's easy to overlook.  

   And so without doing any further research than literally looking these words up in the dictionary, these are my humble conclusions:

   Being authentic is just what it sounds like.  You're not copying someone else, you're not putting up a false front to try and win people's approval, you're not being fake.  Period.  You are just genuine.  Real.  YOU.  So what if you don't know how to be authentic?  It's probably a result of not yet knowing who you are.  So I would suggest figuring that out first, and then authenticity will follow.  And please, please PLEASE do not embark on some Eat, Pray, Love journey to find yourself.  Go to God.  Get in the Word, and get on your knees, and you will find the answers you seek.

   Transparency always scared me a little, because I always think of it as the first two definitions I listed.  Open, frank, candid.  Always speaking her mind and spouting her mouth with little thought of what might come out before it does.  Easily seen through.  Wears her heart on her sleeve and THEN some.  Everyone she meets within a short period of time knows everything about her.  Open book.  All of that seems a little scary and intimidating, and so when you have a personality that tends toward transparency, what's a girl to do??!  

  But that's the beauty of that third definition.....I stopped and stared when I read it.  And I know it's not talking about a quality trait ok?  It's probably referring to a shower curtain.  But I think it's applicable, and so whether it is or not, that's where I'm going with this, so bear with me.:)  

   To me, it sounds like transparency in a healthy, balanced way, is letting the light of truth and Christ shine RIGHT THROUGH US so that when people look at us, they see Jesus.  No brick walls, no fenced in areas, no facades, and barricades, and blockages.   Just letting the light of Christ shine through.  And suddenly, transparency turns from a very scary thought into the most beautiful idea ever.

   And lastly, intimacy.  I was amazed that when I looked up the word, there were 6 definitions listed before it even mentioned amorous acts and sex.  What that says to me, is that there is a multitude of ways to be intimate without ever even entering the physical realm.  And that should be taken very, very seriously.  Why?  Because intimacy is PRIVATE.  CLOSELY PERSONAL.  And if you have a myriad of people in your intimate circle?  That doesn't sound private or close or personal anymore to me.  Or safe.

   And so once again, as a person with a  personality who tends towards intimacy almost immediately, that just means that sometimes I have to say no.  I have to say no to being warm and close and cozy with the secrets I share, the trusts I build, and the relationships I grow.  It doesn't mean I can't make friends.  It just means I don't have to be closely personal with everyone.

   And so if you're looking at this, wondering "How in the world am I ever going to find the balance I crave?"  I really really implore you to go to the Word.  Honestly, it will give you the wisdom you need.  If you're ever in a situation where you're unsure, pray right then and there for wisdom.  I know that I personally have a few situations I would pay good money to be able to go back to and NOT BE TRANSPARENT.  Not be open.  Not be frank or candid and keep my mouth tightly shut!!!  

   There are times I desperately with I wouldn't have been intimate.  Opening up my deepest feelings and emotions and heart and soul to people, only be trampled on and hurt.  

   There are times I even wish I wouldn't have to be authentic.  Because it would be easier to put up a false exterior or just copy someone else I admire more than I admire myself.  

But that's not an option.  

   That's where our handy dandy little saying comes in.....(Thanks Beth Moore!)

   We need to be authentic with everyone.  We owe that to people.  People do not want (or need) more copy-cats, imitators, or fakes.  We need authenticity.   So just say yes to being AUTHENTIC!

   With transparency, it isn't all it appears to be.  We don't have to be easily seen through, or read like a book.  Our emotions don't have to be on our sleeve all of the time, but neither does that mean we get to build the Great Wall of China around ourselves.  Aint no one got time for that.  We need to be beautifully transparent, letting the light of Christ shine through us.

   Intimacy.  Special.  Private.  CLOSE.  An honor and a privilege reserved for only our nearest and dearest of friendships.  Not to be handled lightly because it holds heavy, weighty value.  It hold great power to heal or to harm, to build up or to tear down, to encourage or to cause despair.  

   Whew, I hope this post in some, small way helped shed light on this issue!  All I know is that right now my brain is running in a million different directions in ways I could take this thing, but the clock is winding down on nap time and I need to wrap it up. 

   If you have any more questions I'd love (LOVE) to hear them! Please leave a comment, shoot me an email, whatever.  And by all means, I obviously don't have this all figured out.  I've stumbled all over the page on this one.  Trust me.  But I like to think that I'm growing and learning and I just want to share some of that with you.

Happy Monday.


Yet another pumpkin post.

   Obviously, it's October, and so it is also time for the totally predictable, overdone, annual pumpkin patch post.  I really struggle writing posts like this because part of it (ok a lot of it) feels so nauseatingly repetitive. You can only see so many photos of kids with pumpkins all over Instagram and Facebook before throwing up in your mouth a little bit.  

   But, the truth remains, this isn't just a "blog" for me.  It is a journal documenting the events, activities and milestones of my family, and there are just some things I don't want to miss.  And so, as much as it pains me to subject you all to yet another pumpkin patch we are.

   The girls were terrified of the goats, but warmed up to the idea (sort of) after a little while.  Do any of you have naturally anxious/shy/nervous kids?  Any tips?  I'm pretty much tip-less because I would've never dreamed in a million years that I would have a shy child.  Certainly don't favor their mother in that regard.

  We've had a lot of rain lately and I was afraid we'd totally missed our window for nice weather at the patch.  But Randy not having to work one afternoon (unheard of) and a simply beautiful day lined up for us gloriously in one, miraculous combo, and so we jumped on that bandwagon and RAN.

   Currently nearing picture overload status, but I could you not??  After winding down our pumpkin festivities, we stuffed ourselves with burgers and fries and even squeezed in a quick trip to the Goodwill while Randy got a haircut, so we were pretty much all in Heaven a little bit that day.

  Jocelyn looks like she is literally trying to "wipe the smile off her face" and I look like I am...I have no idea, pushing her head closer to me?  Brushing a fly off of her?  We may never know.  But it was the most half-decent one we got, so there we have it.

   If you happened to post about the pumpkin patch too this year, leave a link in the comments!  I should do a link-up sometime, but we're just not feeling that fancy today.


Thoughts on authenticity.

What is it about a good-looking journal?  

  It makes you feel so inspired and motivated to write before even cracking open the cover.  It makes you want to record things.....happy things, sad things, things that you're concerned about, things that you're tickled about, to-do lists, event plans, and on and on the list goes.  

   Over my birthday a few months ago, I was privileged to receive two beautiful journals from two equally beautiful friends, and the one on the far right is from Tinyprints and you can even customize it to say what you want.  How cool is that?  For mine I chose something that's been a bit of a battle cry for me lately, and I continue to cling to the promise that greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world. 

  And then, thanks to our ladies'  Bible study at church, I stumbled upon this fabulous quote by Beth Moore which I am since claiming for my blog's mission statement:

   I've spent a whole lot of time in my life (too much wasted, wasted time) trying to be all three of those things to EVERYONE.  For as long as I can remember, I never just wanted to "be friends" with someone.

I wanted to be their kindred spirit.
To know all their secrets.
And tell them mine.
To be their shoulder to cry on.
And their closest confidant.
I wanted to be inseparable.
Anne Shirley and Diana Berry.
Cut from the same cloth.
Two peas in a pod.

   The problem was, I wanted to be this to....well, everyone.  Boys, girls, whoever and whenever, I just wanted everyone to like me.  And not just like me, but like, WE ARE BESTIES like me.

   And I can hardly believe that it took me 29 long years to realize just how ridiculous that is.  Even Jesus had an inner circle.  Everyone with half a brain knows that boundaries are healthy and NECESSARY for one to retain their sanity, but I just didn't think any of that applied to me.

   I've always felt the deepest, most driving force to be authentic.  I can remember as a child feeling like I needed to tell everyone everything and never hold anything back.  I needed to wear my emotions on my sleeve and put everything about myself on display because if I didn't, I wasn't be REAL. I wasn't being true.  I wasn't being me.

   And as burdensome as that personality trait is, I can honestly say that I'm thankful for it, because I truly feel that it has come from God and it is what makes me who I am today.  It has brought pain into my life, but it has also brought beauty and precious relationships and I never want to not be authentic.  It's who I am and it's what makes me me, and I never want to change that.

But I'm finally (FINALLY) discovering the truth and the beauty of that simple phrase:

Authenticity with all, Transparency with most, Intimacy with some. 

   You see, that had never occurred to me before.  In my wild and desperate aching to be REAL, I didn't realize that I also get to choose.

I get to select the secrets I share.
I get to carefully choose the shoulders I cry on.
I get to determine where and when and with whom I will let those innermost walls down.

   And just because I have a relationship or a friendship, does not automatically mean I have to also be continually transparent or intimate.  Authentic? Yes.  I want to be that to everyone.  Always.

   But my mistake for so many years was not stopping to even dream that there is a difference between authenticity and transparency and intimacy.  I thought they all blended together into one, powerful, force and so if I was feeling one, I needed to feel it all, all at once, right now, THIS MINUTE.

   And so my relationships would hurtle with meteor speed into intimacy because I just felt that raw hunger to be authentic.  Transparent.  Real.  And trust was gained and lost, friendships were built and crumbled, and hearts were broken.

   I hope that this new mantra can carry over into everything I do over here at Frame of Mind.  I am just sort of stumbling my way through this as I grow, trying to learn what it means to be authentic and real without filleting myself open on a cutting board for the world to dissect every time.   And I hope you can be gracious, dear reader, as you follow along with me while I learn.

Because at my best and at my worst, I just want to be REAL.

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