One Skein Crochet Scarf Pattern

Because what the world needs now is Love, Sweet, Love and Another Crochet Scarf Pattern!

Come on, be honest, I know you need another pattern.

I, for one, need some LOVE, so why not head over to Love Crochet and download the pattern for this beautiful and quick make crochet scarf and in the process make my ever-loving day, well, more lovely!

 

 

Cowl

– Mona

Breakfast Bread

 

Bread Photo 2

This is a super delicious and easy to make slightly sweet breakfast bread.  Perfect to make ahead to have during the week to grab as you run out the door with coffee in hand.

Breakfast Bread

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tbsp of chia seeds
5 small packets of Stevia
1/4 cup of raw honey
1 tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
3 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 eggs

Cooking spray
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons chia seeds

 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour with the next six ingredients listed after flour in a large bowl.  Make a little well in center of the dry mixture or you can mix your wet ingredients in a separate smaller bowl, but I’m always looking for a way to NOT dirty another dish or bowl.  So, I add the  honey and the next 5 ingredients into the little well and give them a little stir to combine and then a big gigantic stir to incorporate the wet with the dry ingredients.  Don’t overmix.

Spoon batter into a Bundt Cake pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Combine powdered sugar and juice, stirring until smooth. Drizzle glaze over bread, and sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons chia seeds.

– MonaBread Photo 2

Little Letters: April 10, 2017

In my previous blog persona, ‘Love2Bloom’, I was a happy, positive, chipper, maybe and entirely true at the time, “goody-two-shoes”.  I honestly think that my always looking on the brighter side of things annoyed most people, because most I think, thought it fake. Yet, at the time I was writing ‘Love2Bloom’, I was for the most part a truly happy, positive, chipper, goody-two-shoes.

But people change.

Things happen to them that makes them change, whether that be something sad, like failure, loss, hurt, theft, gossip or something very good, like the realization that one’s self-worth is tied, not to the opinion of others, but to being who you truly are meant to be and loved and valued for being:  the “I Am” reflection of the person as they reflect their Lord, warts and all.

For me that meant cursing the way I cursed in private and letting my anger, disappointment, and generally frayed and harried edges show.  Somewhere along the road, I had picked up the idea that letting loose an F-bomb, scowling at others once in a while, crying out in the town square that, ‘The Emperor and Empress are indeed standing on their pedestals, naked’,  and sometimes having a bad mood, a bad day, a bad life and not being ever cheery about every damn day and every damn moment would make me less worthy, less put together, less included, less able in the eyes of others.  Still more important than what others thought of me, was the notion that if I let the surly, cursing, stay at home wife and mother who appeared to have it all, out,  I would be somehow less lovable by Christ and less worthy of redemption.

Yes, I know that Christ loves the sinner and all that, but somewhere along the pit stops of my particular journey which included, but certainly were not limited to: the church pews, the community parish meetings, the PTA meetings, the bake-sales, the carnivals, the fish fry dinners, the bible study groups, 8 am mass, and the stations of the cross, I thought I would be unlovable by Christ if I didn’t act in the same way that all the smiling, ever gracious, ever noble, ever giving Christian women, at church, in the school waiting line, at the market, or at the neighborhood Starbucks and especially on social media, where it seemed to me, so many women were bible journaling their hearts happy , quoting bible verses easily, and decorating their home mantels with perfect family portraits, sculptures of angels, and big block lit up letters that spelled, ‘Peace’ and ‘Joy’,

It wasn’t that my faith in God was false.  I see that now.  God as the center of my life was never the problem. What was false was my way of showing my faith, because it wasn’t faith in God that was on display, it was fear.

Fear of not fitting in.  Fear of not being one worthy of fitting into one of the church groups or being one of the church ladies. Fear of doing something wrong that would irrevocably send me and my soul hurling down to hell, damnation and a fiery, crispy end.

Funny thing was that I never did fit in.  Never was I fully embraced by my local church community,  but they sure did take my hours of service that I offered to them. Took it they did.  Yes, they could see a desperate soul and they were at the ready to take me for all I had. They used me. Let me say that again, they used me.

But, God did not.

I see now that all that nonsense about God, the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, not loving me or finding me not worthy that I felt if I didn’t meet some standard of someone’s made up definition of virtue and piety was false.  Actually, it was a ploy on my part to keep myself diminished, small, scared and in a dark place, that though confining, I found safe.

But spaces, real ones or the ones in our heads, are never sanctuaries.  They may provide us with comfort and safe haven for awhile but they are only temporary because we can not dwell among their four walls forever, shut out, faking our safety and wellness and agency.  Smiling all along, all along, all along.

I must be who I am and if that be a cursing, angry, fist raising individual driving back the ‘Romans’ in my head or on the streets (these days, it’s so hard to make the distinction) who still and above it all believes in the power of love, which it turns out is my higher power – God the Father, then that is who I must be.  And so I wrote,

FullSizeRender

One last thing, this was supposed to be a short post.  Believe it or not. I chose this particular poem thinking that my remembrances back to why I wrote it, would be short and not complex. Then I started writing and well, like all things thought small and innocuous, lies, the unhealed wound and the possibility for a cure.

– Mona

 

Oven-Roasted Brussel Sprouts

A quick, easy, delicious way for me to eat more veggies is to slice, season and roast them. 

My favorites are Brussel Sprouts. I love how some of the skins get crunchy and mix in perfectly with the nutty, smooth buttery taste of the sprouts. 

  

Oven-Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Ingredients

A bag or stalk of raw Brussel Sprouts

2 tbsp of olive oil

3 garlic cloves, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Recipe: 

Wash and dry Brussel Sprouts. 

Prep them by cutting off ends. 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 

Cut them in half and then in half again. 

Spread them on a cooking sheet. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle chopped garlic over the sprouts. Add salt and pepper. Mix well. 

Place pan with sprouts in oven at 400 degrees and roast for 20 minutes. (Check on them after 10 minutes and cook to your preference and oven’s strength.) 

I sometimes sprinkle them with a bit of parmesan cheese before I plate them for lunch or dinner, as a side or the main course served with a grain. I’ve even tossed them into an omelette for Breakfast. So versatile and yummy! 

-Mona

Little Letters : April 3, 2017

Ever feel like the world is too much. Just too damn much,always asking for your attention to this headline or that breaking news. Early morning routines,structured around social media check ins, as if our day will be predicted whether we saw that perfectly stylized picture of a succulent plant wall. How fast can our blood pressure rise knowing at 5 am that unkindness and loud mouthed brashness and brassiness is still the new law of the land? Could a revival of materialistic television shows like Dynasty, Dallas, or big loud porsches that talk to their entitled owners not be far behind, replacing Dragons that fly or Girls who dream? And then there are the fads and trends of whether to roll your jeans or not, rip them at the knees, trucker hat or not, diy or buy, boho or sleek, clutter or minimal, on and on and on, creating a community of unsatisfied but ever hip and with-it cool “misfits”. 

The above sentiment was the kind rolling in my head as I penned today’s selected poem sometime last year. 


Still the thoughts and questions that had me writing this poem invade my head space, today. Now, though my friend ‘why’ has gotten cozy with the ever bad influence of ‘fear’ and ‘complacency’ and her oft labeled slutty sister of ‘I don’t give a fuck anymore, think what you want, bastard.’  I sort of like the little sister way better than the other two. 

Yes, the sister and the sea, who with its unpredictable waves, love of the crash and burn, who beckons again and again to try, try, try, no matter the predictable outcome of its water spouts eventually crashing , with you sliding on the wet sand head first into a clump of flea infested seaweed, these two demand that you try again. Admidst those saying, ‘Don’t rock the boat’ , the sea and the sister says , ‘Try you! Try. You.’

Yes, ‘Try you’ she says to me. ‘Try. me.’ 

– Mona