This blog is about two friends, miles apart, striving to pattern our lives after the Proverbs 31 woman. Here you will find our daily journeys, whether serious, funny, practical, or inventive. Thanks for stopping by and we hope you'll stop by often!

~Lauren & Page

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tis the season... for BLACKBERRIES!

Proverbs 31:15 "She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens."

Summer is here--full, beautiful, and plenty hot! Now, I must state up front that I'm not the biggest fan of summer--I hate being hot... BUT I love summer cooking! There's plenty of fresh from the garden veggies and bright summery fruits.

One thing that screams summer to me is fresh, picked in the back yard, blackberries. Just look at these beauties! Thanks to my wonderful husband, who braved the insects, briars, and poison ivy, I have tons of blackberries and LOTS of big plans for them!

First on the list was something I had been craving since last summer--some Blackberry Quick Bread! It is so moist and yummy. It's made with cornmeal, which adds so much to the texture. I LOVE THIS STUFF! And so does my family... It's most definitely a southern delicacy (my most favorite kind!).

But, before I could jump into the bread--I had prep the berries. So I cleaned up the sink, filled it with cool water, and dipped the blackberries in. This chases out the bugs... Which my husband then chases out the door... Next is destemming and rinsing (and tasting a few just for good measure).

So here's the recipe:

1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour 2 large eggs
1 c. blackberries** 1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. yellow cornmeal 1/3 c. butter, melted
2 tsp. baking powder 3 Tbs. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. sugar

(**You can use any berry for this recipe! So versatile, so good!!)

1) Heat oven to 375*F. Coat bottom and sides of an 8.5" x 4.5" loaf pan with nonstick spray.

2) Place flour in a medium bowl. Remove 1 Tbs. flour and toss with blackberries in a separate bowl. (This keeps the berries from sinking to the bottom of the batter in the pan! Neat trick if ever I saw one!!)

3) To remaining flour, add cornmeal, baking powder, and salt--mix well.

4) In another medium bowl, whisk sugar with eggs, milk, melted butter, and lemon juice.

5) Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just blended; gently fold in blackberries.

6) Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 45 min or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

7) Cool quick bread in pan on wire rack 5 min, remove pan and cool completely.

And that's it!! This is bread is so delicious. But now, I must confess something to you... Ok, here goes...

I rarely follow steps 3-5. I mix the dry ingredients in a bowl, then mix them well. Then I dump in the wet ingredients straight into the same bowl, then mix that well. Then I throw in the berries. The batter is very thick. And just for fun, I'll sprinkle and press in a handful of berries on top of the bread... Sometimes, I'm just in a hurry (and don't wanna dirty 6 million bowls)!!

Well, I'm glad I got that off my chest. Sometimes, a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do! : )

And finally, the end result:

I really do love this stuff, and it's pretty to look at, too!! I hope you enjoy!!

The cliffhanger: I've got plenty more blackberry recipes to come! I can't wait to share! Come back soon!

~ Page

Homemade Rug Deodorizer

Proverbs 31:27 "She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness."

I am privileged to have mostly hardwood floors throughout my house, but I do have a couple of rugs throughout. I don't know about you, but over time, despite constant vacuuming -they just need a "pick me up" in the smell good department. That probably is in part due to my adorable "kids" -see pic below. ;-) While my babies are hypo-allergenic and "shed-free" (fact -there is no totally shed-free dog), they definitely give me reason to freshen my carpets!
I was talking to Page on the phone (gasp! -ha!) and mentioned how I hate the rug in my sun room, it was just not smelling good. She, being the ever wise friend that she is, told me about a natural, homemade carpet deodorizer.

Baking Soda + a few drops of Essential Oils = Homemade Carpet Deodorizer!

I chose to use orange oil, because I LOVE the smell of citrus and find it completely refreshing. Feel free to use whatever essential oil you prefer. The easiest way to find these oils is online, blog post about these little gems later.

Next, take and pour some Baking Soda into a dish and sprinkle in a few drops of the essential oils. Keep in mind that these oils are EXTREMELY concentrated and a few drops really go a long way. Now, you'll see from the picture that I used several more than you might need, just because I was dealing with an extra STINKY rug! ;-P

The picture below shows exactly what to do - sprinkle a few drops and mix well. It will end up looking just like a small bowl of good smelling baking soda!

Sprinkle this mixture on your carpet, just like you would with any store bought carpet deodorizer. The great thing about this homemade product is that it is chemical free (that's another post for another day) and VERY economical! For my thin, fibrous rug seen below, I just allowed the mixture it to rest on top and fall through the fibers. For any other carpet, gently brush it in to get a thorough reviving.
Once it's sprinkled over the rug/carpet, let it do its job for a little while. I left mine on for 30min or so, it all depends on the needs of your rug. Once you've let it do its wonders, simply vacuum and your rug will be smelling fresh and clean!! (an added bonus is that it enlivens your vacuum too, making it smell great!)

~To sum it all up -this is an affordable, economical, environment friendly, chemical-free, best-smelling-ever, way to freshen your carpets! Try it on all carpets that you can vacuum, including in your car! Be creative and start making the world a better place, one rug at a time! ;-D

I know this is an extremely practical post, but I hope it'll be of help to someone! I am now happy to say that my rug in the sun room, does not stink!! Thank you, Page!!

Until next time!


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Achieving Proverbs 31

When we initially thought about writing a blog together, we had a million ideas of what to write about, share, etc. However, upon further thought, the verses found in Proverbs 31 truly inspired us. We wanted to build a blog upon the truths found in the Bible about "The Virtuous Woman".

As Christians, our desire is to pattern our lives after the Proverbs 31 woman. The verses below expound upon how she was a creative, hardworking, ingenious, Godly, ambitious woman. The premise of our blog solely hinges on these verses. They are a wealth of knowledge and wisdom as to how to achieve the characteristics, crucial to becoming a woman whose "price is far above rubies". There is no higher calling than being exactly what the Lord would have you to be.

We're excited to introduce this collaboration of thoughts, recipes, ideas, tips, blessings, you name it! We hope and pray it will be an encouragement to whoever stops to take the time to read it.


Lauren & Page

Proverbs 31:10-31

10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.

14 She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.

15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.

17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.

18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.

19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.

23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.

25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.