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Friday, April 26, 2019

"Excuse Me, Everyone! Her Crown Slipped A Little..."

My church recently started a monthly mommy meeting.  Last month the mom who was leading the discussion talked about Mary and Martha.  As I was reading the passage in Luke, I suddenly realized a new aspect of the story I'd never noticed before.

Now, in case you are unfamiliar with the story; Mary and Martha are two sisters.  Jesus and his disciples were coming through town, and stopped in at Martha's house.  Martha was hustling and bustling in the house, preparing meals for everyone, cleaning up afterwards... while Mary sat at the feet of Jesus and listened to him teach.
Exasperated (I'm assuming), Martha looks at Jesus and says, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"
To which Jesus replies, "Martha, Martha. You are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed - or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

This passage is often used to discuss the fact that love of service can overshadow a desire to be near Jesus, to be discipled.

Those are great points, and worthy of being studied, however those are not what I saw this time around:

Martha called Mary out in. front. of. everyone.

Not only that, but she asked Jesus to scold her.

The thing that stood out to me the most during this time of reading through the story, is that Martha wanted to embarrass Mary.  Had she really only needed some extra help, she would've pulled her aside, and asked her privately.
But that wasn't her intent.  Her intent was to shame her - publicly, and in front of the men. Mary was in a place usually reserved for men - learning from the "Lord", rabbi/teacher - and instead of supporting her sister and applauding that glass ceiling she was shattering, she chose judgement and scorn.  

It reminded me of a meme I had recently seen "Be the woman who fixes another woman's crown without telling the world that it was crooked." (Hence the title.)

I think this story illustrates very well how women often treat one another. If the other woman doesn't do things the way that WE think they should be done, we have a hard time supporting them, or encouraging them.  Too often women see each other as competition rather than teammates. Apparently, it's a problem as old as time.  But we can be the ones to change that.

Women who support women are the best kinds of women.

Be the kind of woman who can say, "I'm happy for you!" and really mean it.  

Be the woman who can be a sounding board - and also a confidant. 

Be the kind of woman who looks for ways to help and lift up, not tear down.

Be the kind of woman who when you see a mom struggling with a toddler, instead of judging her for what you might think is a lack of discipline, offers an encouraging smile, or asks if she could use some help.

Be the kind of woman who when you hear that a mom is excited to go back to work after having a baby - doesn't judge her for "not wanting to be with her baby", but understands that everyone is different. (Naturally, the same goes for the reverse.)

Be the kind of woman who encourages the other women around them to be their own person.

Be the kind of woman who understands that not all women "minister" in the same way - some have giftings in hospitality, others in preaching, while others in teaching.

Be the kind of woman who encourages other women to better themselves - in education, starting a business, learning a new skill or having new ideas.

Be the kind of woman who speaks about other women with respect.

Be the kind of woman, that if you really have an issue with someone - you take it to them privately, and discuss it with them in love - and not in front of others, especially not for the sake of embarrassment. 

Be the kind of woman, who apologizes when they've caused an offense.

Be the kind of woman who is there for other women. Supports them, encourages them, listens to them and guides them.

Jesus was an encourager of women.  He was constantly transcending the social norms of the time, and including women.  Talking to them, teaching them and involving them.  

I have known many fierce, strong and encouraging women in my life.  Some have been in my life from the beginning, some for too short of a time - but they have taught me an invaluable lesson; we really are better together.  When we stand together and support each other, we're unstoppable.  Be that woman.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Easter Egg Sugar Cookie With Lemon Curd Filling

I recently conquered my fear of double boilers, and have made lemon curd twice now.  It's delicious, and I want to bathe in the stuff.  I was making meringues (which were a disaster), and had used the egg yolks that were left over to make some lemon curd.  I wasn't quite sure what to do with it, but I was more than happy to eat it with a spoon out of the jar, should the opportunity to use it NOT present itself.
However, I was on a walk with my neighbor (who is a baker by trade - I'm literally the luckiest girl around), and she mentioned that she had made cookies like linzers, with a hole in the middle - with apricot jam, and in the shape of eggs.  
That was it!!! I knew it!!! I now had to make egg shaped linzer-like cookies, but use the lemon curd in between them for the "yolk" effect.  They turned out delicious, and almost too cute to eat.  The tanginess of the lemon curd with the sweetness of the cookie was perfection.

What you'll need:
- (non-corrodible) pot and slightly wider-than-the-rim metal mixing bowl
- whisk
- baking sheets
- baking paper
- egg shaped cookie cutter
- circle cookie cutter that is smaller than the egg
- sifter (or find the really cool Weiner Zucker powdered sugar sifter that another friend got me at Christmastime
- rolling pin

Lemon Curd

(You'll need to make this a day ahead.  Alternatively you could use store-bought.)

- 6 egg yolks plus one whole egg
- 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 4 1/2 fluid ounces (133 ml) of lemon juice
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 tbs lemon zest
- 1/2 cup (115 gr) unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch cubes


1. Fill pot with about 1 inch of water.  Bring to a simmer, then bring back down to a low heat.  

2. In a metal mixing bowl, combine (well) eggs and sugar.  Add lemon juice and salt.

3. Place the mixing bowl on the pot - ensuring that the water does not actually touch the bottom of the bowl.  Continuously whisk ingredients together for 20-22 minutes, until mixture is thickened, and coats the back of a wooden spoon.  DO NOT ALLOW MIXTURE TO BOIL.

4. Once your mixture is thickened, remove from heat, and set on heat-safe surface. Add the lemon zest, and whisk it in - releasing the oils from it.

5. Add squares of butter one-at-a-time, whisking them in until fully dissolved.

6. Strain mixture into a new bowl (getting rid of any zest, bits of cooked egg or residue).

7. Allow to cool (it will continue to thicken), then transfer into container.  Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Lemon curd keeps in the refrigerator for one week, and for 2 months in the freezer.

Sugar Cookie
(This is my go-to sugar cookie recipe.  I halved my original recipe, and used some for these, some just to decorate, some for Earth Day...)

- 3/4 cup (170 gr) butter at room temp.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs at room temp.
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt

- powdered sugar
- lemon curd


1. In a mixing bowl of a standing mixer (or by hand) cream together butter and sugar.  

2. Beat in eggs and vanilla.

3. Mix in flour (gradually), baking powder and salt.

4. Mix together until forms one mass.  You don't want to over-work it.

5. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, and chill for at least one hour, but you can also do it overnight.  If chilling overnight, remove dough 1-2 hours before use.

6. On a flat, floured surface, roll dough into 1/4 inch thickness.

7. Preheat oven to 400 F / 204 C (or 375 F / 190 C for convection oven). Line your baking sheets.

8. Using the cookie cutter, cut out egg shapes, making sure you have an even number of them.

8. Using the circle cookie cutter, cut out a hole for the "yolk" on half of them.

9. Place them on your baking sheet.

10. Bake for approx. 5 minutes, but this may vary a little, depending on how thick they are, and your oven setting.  Bake them until they are just barely getting golden brown.

11. Take out of oven, and allow to cool.

12. When the cookies with the hole are just barely warm, dust them generously with powdered sugar. (This way it'll stick, but not become "globby".) Doing this step now will ensure you don't cover up that gorgeous yellow of the lemon curd.

13. Spread lemon curd on the "whole" cookies, flat side (the side that was directly on the baking sheet) up.  Make sure you have a little extra curd where the hole will be, so it'll fill it in nicely.

14. Carefully place the powdered sugar cookie on the cookie with the curd, creating a sandwich.

15. Store in an airtight container in the fridge (because of the curd) for up to two days.  They're really best enjoyed right away, though. :)

And that's it! These cookies are so so cute!

I hope you enjoyed the recipe! If you try it, please post pictures, or let me know how they turned out!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

DIY Felt Bowtie and Hairband

I'm gonna be that mom that makes my kids match sometimes.  

I feel like it's even more fun with a girl and a boy, because you have to get creative. Easter is the perfect time to flex my crafting muscles, and this week I was working on matching bowties and hairbands - so here we go!

What you'll need:
- Two colors of felt
- Hot glue gun
- Tape measure
- Scissors
- Needle 
- Thread 
- Button


1. Cut a 2.5 cm segment of panty hose, and pull slightly to make a hairband.

2. Cut pieces of felt to the sizes given in the photo.

3. Fold the widest piece of felt, fold it in half, to find the middle seam.

4. Using a glue gun, glue the two cut edges to the middle "seam".

5. On the longer piece, create two pointed, "ribbon" endings.

6. Using a glue gun, glue the two pieces together as shown in the picture.

7. Using a glue gun, glue the two of them in the middle, and a little bit in the two other places there is a fold when creating an accordion.

8. Glue what you have of the bow so far onto the hairband.

9. Take the thinner, contrasting piece, and gluing as you go, secure the ribbon to the hairband once around, cutting off the excess.


1. Cut the pieces of felt according to the picture.

2. Follow the same method to create the initial bow part as above.

3. Glue the bow in the middle, once again creating and accordion.

4. Starting at the middle of the bow, glue the two long pieces of felt to the side you deem as the "back".

5. Take the shorter thin felt piece, and starting from the back, wrap it around the center, gluing as you go.  Cut off excess.

6. (The measurements of this part will vary according to the size of your child, but I will give what I used for mu 5-year-old.)
When measured from the middle of the bow, at the 17 cm mark of the strap, sew on a button.  On the other side, cut a slight slit as a button hole.  (If you'd like to avoid it loosening with wear, you can sew around the edges of the slit.)  Cut off excess.

And there you have it!

Honestly, trying to get a picture of my kids wearing them took longer than making them! Here are the best attempts...