Thursday, February 27, 2014

Gluten free Oat Muffins

Good Morning babes!

Since I've been on my gluten free adventure, making baked goods has proven to be a bit of a challenge for me. Too gritty, too slimy, I've thrown out more cakes than I can count. Well, fear not because this recipe is fast, easy, and delicious! Did I mention that this recipe could easily be made vegan? It's a win/win.

What You'll need:
5 cups rolled oats
1 tsp. salt
2 3/4 cups water
1/4 cup milk, use almond or coconut milk if you're dairy free/vegan
1/2 cup oil (I used coconut and olive oil)
1 over ripe banana
1 egg
1/2 cup dried cranberries (or chocolate chips, nuts, etc.)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

What you do:
In separate bowls, mix the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients. Mash the banana and add into the wet ingredients.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mix well
Add the batter to a cupcake or muffin tin (with liners)
Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until done

I hope that you enjoy these as much as I have, my hubby even approves! Eat them for breakfast with peanut butter or take them on the go as a snack!




Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Few Things I Love About My Husband

Good day cuties!

How's the weather treating everyone? It's 54 degrees today in Ole' Virginny so I'm not complaining, here's hoping that the black snow melts. Seriously, that stuff is gross.

A few days ago, the sweet Karissa from Karissa and Company posted a precious blog post about 10 things that she loved about her husband and it inspired me to do one as well!
In relationships and especially marriage, it's important to speak positive words about your spouse, it breaks my heart to see spouses talk about one another behind the other's back.

Sometimes I joke about the silly things that my husband does that drive me crazy, but at the end of the day I get a good laugh about how wacky I am. If he thought about my annoying habits for even 5 seconds, my husband would have an incredibly long list. Seriously guys, have you read my post about how weird I am? If not, you can find it here.

The funny thing about marriage is that sometimes you see your sin more clearly through the other person. One day as I was tidying up the house and getting irritated about all the little things that got left behind my husband or myself, it hit me that there are plenty of things that I do that must annoy him as well. Perhaps my huge pile of clothes that need to be put back in my closet, or how about my crafting supplies that are often scattered around our living room. Sometimes when by putting the magnifying glass on your spouse, it comes right back and you see your own flaws more clearly.

With that being said, here are just a few things that I love about my husband!

1. He is patient.
Seriously guys, my husband is a saint. He is so unbelievably patient with me, all of my projects, dreams, fears, he just sits by me and lets me get everything out. I can be a little wound up at times, yet he doesn't show his frustration and for that I'm thankful.

2. He understands my humor.
Have I told you about how weird I am? My humor is different than most, and often dry and inappropriate, yet he gets that about me and laughs at my jokes.

3. He's my bestie.
Will my husband ever replace my best girl friends? No. But he's my very best friend. When I had no friends, my husband gladly went to Target with me to look at nail polish and makeup, he goes shopping with me, and he listens to my "girl talk" with no complaint. 

4. He's my biggest fan.
Yet another cliche thing people say about their significant others, but I mean it. He's always rooting for me and he's always excited for me. When I got my part-time job at a small boutique, he took me out to celebrate. Case and point.

5. His expectations are realistic.
I LOVE that my husband is practical and realistic. He doesn't expect me to greet him every day with my hair and makeup done, all the laundry folded and put away, and every surface in our home scrubbed and sparkling. Whether I'm fresh-faced or still in my gym clothes, he always seems excited to see me.

What are some things that you love about your significant other/spouse? I'd love to hear what you have to say : )



Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Hearts, Sparkles, and Cupcakes {Featuring Tiny Prints}

Good Morning beauties!!!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful weekend and Valentine's day!

When I first received an email from Tiny Prints, I was super excited and very inspired to come up with something girly, fun, and functional. I mean, who doesn't love darling stationery?
For those of you who aren't familiar with the brand, Tiny Prints is a partnership brand of Shutterfly, which is also a "sister" to Wedding Paper Divas. If you haven't used Shutterfly or any of the other brands, you're missing out! I used Wedding Paper Divas for a our save the dates and invites for our wedding, the quality of product and customer service is fantastic! I've also ordered from Shutterfly, my favorite item being a custom calendar that I put together as a gift a few years ago. Everything with this company is so easy and stress free!

With Valentine's day approaching it was the perfect time to put a little something together with a few of my best friends. Though I'm married, I don't celebrate V-day with my hubs, we both don't have much interest in the 'holiday' so I prefer to spend the day celebrating with my closest friends; this year I was able to do just that. Since I had a pink and glittery Valentine's tea party approaching, I selected the perfect gift tags that were festive and captured my personal style very well. Being the personalization lover that I am, I opted for custom gift tags, which I felt would be easy to style and would add a little special sparkle to the event. Unfortunately, due to the weather, the regular plans were changed but I was still able to celebrate with cupcakes and lots of hearts! My best friend Katie, from Katherine Couture helped me put this beautiful display together, she has such an eye for fashion and photography so she was a huge help!

There are so many things that can be done with the gift tags! Aside from placing them on gifts or party favors, they can be used to "sign" a handwritten letter, seal an envelope, stick on "soda shop" straws to add detail, or spruce up cupcakes as well! Take a look below at how I styled these beauties.

Be sure to give Tiny Prints a look, they have beautiful stationery, business cards, you name it! I know that I have my eye on a few pieces, here are some of my picks! 

For all you glitter girls:
Glitter thank you!

For the feminine beauty:
Tea Rose thank you

How about these moving announcements? What a great idea! My husband and I are moving soon, so this would be a great way to tell everyone that we have a new address!

Homespun announcement

Tell me what you think? Is custom stationery something that you love as much as I do?



Thursday, February 13, 2014

Reasons why I desperately need a dog.

HAPPY SNOW DAY!! I hope that everyone is tucked safely away with their loved ones!

This is the first snow day that my hubs and I have ever been able to spend together, so needless to say I'm excited and happy : )

Since before we were even married, I've been talking about getting a could say I'm obsessed. At least once a week I look up the hashtags for goldendoodles on Instagram (it just snowed, so this week's are going to be gold) and I bring up the topic roughly twice a day. I. have. a. problem.

Our current apartment doesn't allow dogs, but we are moving the first week of March so my obsession is going straight to "Threat Level Midnight" once we are settled in the new place. Batten down the hatches hubby, things are about to get crazy.

If you've ever heard me talk about my dogs at home, then you know I'm out of control.
Case and point.

Both of these pups (mainly my little moo-moo, whose real name is Muffin) have nursed me back to health and brought many smiles to my without them and their snugglefluff I'm just deprived.

So here are some of the reasons why I need a dog.

1. I'll have someone to listen to me all day. I talk a lot

2. I'll be less scared when I'm alone

3. Snuggling. Enough said.

4. I'll have to take it for walks, so then I'll get more fresh air and as a result I'll be healthier.

5. It's a need, not a want.

Are any of you puppy crazy? I can't wait to have a little fur baby of my own! Trust me, as soon as it happens, you'll be notified!



Monday, February 10, 2014

Get Fit: Get Running

G'day darlings!

I'm really happy to be linking up again for the Get Fit, Feel Confident, Be Healthy linkup with Brittany and Sam, especially since I missed last week, whoops!

I'm overjoyed to report that last week I ran my first mile in ages! It's a huge deal for me considering the fact that I'm NOT a runner, and I have some health issues that I always thought would prevent me from running ever again. With the help and motivation of my friends, I've started running again, and just a few days ago I ran 1.25 miles! I'm hoping to do a 5k soon and then build up from there.

Some of you may be in a similar boat that I was in just a few weeks ago, well let me tell you friends, getting into that running groove is easier that you might think! I'll share with you how I got to be a little running addict!

1. Begin with intervals. I was in no shape to go out and run a solid 20 minutes, goodness, even 2 minutes was a lot for me when I first started! Get on the treadmill (or go outside) and start with a good 5-10 minute warm up, walking at a brisk pace. From there, try jogging/running at a medium effort (not sprinting but not jogging super slowly) for 60 seconds, then walk for 2 minutes, and repeat. I would do this type of interval for 12-15 minutes, then end with a 5 minute cool down. Try doing this for a week or so, then increase your running time by 30 seconds each week, and your total workout time should increase also. If you're feeling good, try upping the time even more, and if you can, decrease your recovery time (walking) in between intervals.

2. Crank up the tunes! At the gym, especially when I'm running, I listen to very upbeat and fun music, stuff that I normally don't listen to but it gets me in the zone : )

3. Cross train. I can't say this enough, every once in a while you need to get off the treadmill, or the streets (lol) and do something different. Two switch things up, I'll bike, use the elliptical (which is my least favorite), or I'll do a HIIT workout. Cross training will help you build your endurance, and it'll give some muscles a rest. In addition, I also lift weights, no, it will not make you bulky.

4. Stretch. After every single workout, I make sure that I cool my body down properly and stretch. It might be boring and tough at first, but things become more fun once your flexibility improves, plus your body will thank you!

I hope that these simple tips help you get started on the running bandwagon!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Marriage Makes You Holy: {Layers}

Good Morning Lovely Lasses!

When I first heard "marriage isn't supposed to make you happy, it is to make you Holy" I will admit that I was a little put off, to say the least. I remember wrestling with God about that, I wanted to be happy, I want to have a happy marriage. Well, let me tell you, don't be put off in knowing that marriage will make you holy, rejoice in it.

When we got married, it was quite a transition for me. Everyone deals with the early stages of marriage differently. The biggest adjustment for me was in the finance department. My entire life my parents have supported me, I'm very blessed in that way. Going for a Panera or Starbucks run was no big issue, and I took so much for granted. When Michael and I got married, I was unemployed, so finances were tight. I only work part-time, so we aren't "rolling in the dough" by any means, but I am grateful for the little money that I can contribute. Michael and I have had countless conversations where he has expressed feeling guilty or sad because he couldn't give me something that I wanted. At first, living without my wants was a struggle but God wrecked my heart and put it back together in a way that only He can. I felt guilty for making my husband feel like he wasn't enough, and I felt guilty for putting my Heavenly Father aside for what the world could offer.

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:19-21

Through my husband, God changed me. I used to put so much of my worth in the items that I owned, the new shoes I had, my new wallet, the latest Lilly dress. Not that I don't still enjoy these lovely gifts, but they don't identify me. When I really learned what things cost, I glanced around my closet and jewelry collection and wanted to cry. Is what I have extensive? No. But is what I have excessive? Absolutely. I felt so convicted for my possessions, especially when there are so many that are less fortunate than I. Regardless of others, I realized what I wretch I had been, what a materialistic and selfish person.

"A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold." 
Proverbs 22:1

I have a long way to go but I am happy with my progress, I am grateful for the bountiful blessings that I have, when I receive a gift, it is greatly cherished, and I value a Starbucks latte more than ever. It is a daily battle to die to my old selfish ways, but I am encouraged by knowing that I have a loving, supportive husband who will stand by me and pray for me as I overcome this!

If you follow me on Instagram (laurelrhyne) I'll be posting a few verses as well as a few thoughts as I go through a study of The Word on how we can find more of our identify in The Lord, and less in the world. Follow along!



Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Things I Struggle With: Friendship

Hello Sassy Ladies!

Today I'm going to talk about something we all should find important, friends. Everyone's story is different, but I'm opening my heart to share a little about mine!

In my history of friends, I have had quite a few. I've never really had a solid group of girlfriends and I'm used to friends coming and going. Now this isn't to say that I have absolutely zero friends, but I just don't have them the way others do. I guess it boils down to the fact that I'm pretty open, but it's really hard to truly get to know me. And I guess part of it is that I have had lots of bad luck with friends.

Over the years I have been stabbed, and I mean stabbed in the back more times than I can count, while my younger self would bawl and cry, these days I sort of blink my eyes and walk away, I've gotten good at burning bridges. I don't just think that I'm good at burning bridges though, I think there's much more than that. In the past few years I have developed a new faith and truly committed my life to growing closer to the Lord and to becoming more like His son, Jesus. In my journey as a Christian, I have been blessed with the ability to see things in a different light, and being a child of an almighty God will certainly do that to you.

I've lost more friends for becoming a Christian than I gained, but shedding the negative and hateful is a necessary thing sometimes.  I have poured my heart out to friends only to have them walk away, but were they true friends, were they who God intended for me to have in my life? Not necessarily. As I reflect on the friends I've loved and lost, and even let go, I can see that God was at the center of everything. I've had the Holy Spirit tug at my heart to befriend someone that I ordinarily wouldn't, but I've also felt the Holy Spirit urging me to let friends go. I have a peace about losing people because I know that I always have my faith, and I know that my God will never leave nor forsake me.

make you laugh and smile
Source: Pinterest
In the first few months of our marriage, I was pretty miserable. Not with our marriage itself, but I was pretty isolated. I didn't have a job, didn't have any hobbies that I could participate in, and I didn't have any friends. My husband's new job proved to be a blessing in more ways that one, he has a better position, and he happens to work with a lot of beautiful, Godly women who I am honored to call my friends. I've made wonderful friends through my job as well, and my best friend (who was also in our wedding) moved back to the area in the Fall, so I've been overjoyed to have her home! And as silly as it may sound, I'm so grateful for my blog friends as well, you ladies are amazing! The days of loneliness and lack of fellowship with other women are over! My social calendar is quite full, and so is my heart.

enjoy being silly and crazy
Source: Pinterest

Until next time!