The Secret to Homemade Lemonade

Is actually no secret at all!

It is simply 3 ingredients, a bit of work, and a few judgement calls!

The process overall is quite simple, though it may take a few trial runs to get the measurements how you like them since most of them are quite subjective! :)

Homemade lemonade has been one of Justin and I’s favorite things to make since last summer and it is always a refreshing treat, day or night!

You will need:

a pitcher

a large spoon

excitement

a knife

a measuring cup

lemon juicer

courage

fresh lemons

white sugar

cold water

spontaneity

.

Step 1

IMG_20140618_224158 2

Get yourself some lemons! Large or small!

Because our pitcher is relatively small we simply used 6 large lemons and that resulted in even a bit more lemon juice then we probably needed!

Step 2

IMG_20140618_224603 2

You will want to slice the lemons in half and use your lemon juicer on all of the lemons! We got our manual lemon juicer from ALDI, if you have one similar prepare yourself for a bit of an arm workout, the lemons look small, but the task requires some strength! :) You can either strain the juice using a little strainer or just simply pick the seeds out of the lemon juicer, the lemony pulp is a lot different then orange juice pulp and can’t actually be tasted in the final result!

IMG_20140618_225116 2

Step 3

IMG_20140618_230131 2

After getting as much juice from the lemons as possible, pour the fresh juice into your pitcher.

Our pitcher was about a foot tall and we had nearly two inches of lemon juice, which was more then enough!

Step 4

IMG_20140618_230325 2

Fill the rest of the pitcher up with cold water until the shade of the liquid is a nice cool yellow color.

Step 5

IMG_20140618_230550 2

Add some sugar! This step is more particular then others.

For instance, I like my lemonade more tangy and Justin likes his sweeter, and though the choice is up to you, I would advice adding less sugar then more to start off with,

remember, you can always add more at anytime!

Step 6

IMG_20140618_230825 2

Stir up all the ingredients in the pitcher, pour, and enjoy!! :D

.

To take a good picture…

4ad0828e4f63baf0f45d0b52ea4331a2

…just add a baby.

[no, we're not pregnant :) ]

i have just really been enjoying the natural light newborn photography that I’ve come across lately

and realized again and again how much more brilliant a photo always becomes once you add a tiny babe.

For example…

Picture2

 

all photos from my pinterest board ‘the created moment

 

A Love Story Continues | Engagement

IMG_4533 copy

One of my absolute favorite things to do is to take pictures of special events and memories for family, I am so grateful that they give me the opportunity to capture their beautiful moments in a way that is so important to me,

photography. 

A few weeks ago Justin’s sister, Brittany, got engaged and I recently had the amazing opportunity to shoot some engagement portraits of her and her fiancé, Joseph!

I must admit, it had been awhile since shooting engagement photos and I was a bit rusty on my technique and ideas, but they were so wonderful and sweet together that they made the shoot brilliant, despite my lack of recent practice!

I so enjoyed seeing how much they care for each other throughout their shoot, it’s a splendid thing to catch an honest glimpse of how good two people are together.

So much of it is in the ease of the interaction; the intentional way Joseph would always give a hand to help Brittney, the genuineness of an embrace, their sincere laughter together, the mutual understanding of being completely comfortable while sitting or standing close to one another, it is a unique bond between two people who care very much about one another and one that I was privileged to witness throughout the shoot!

Justin and I are so thrilled for the two of them and so excited for the upcoming wedding and marriage that lies in their future! We love them both and look forward to making so many more memories and taking so many more pictures with them throughout the coming years!! :)

IMG_4722 copyIMG_4666 copyIMG_4665 copyIMG_4656 copyIMG_4713 copyIMG_4753 copy

still

IMG_0058 copy

Still waiting, wondering, and working to stay afloat in this season of life. 

I have never been more uncertain, more insecure, or more confused in my entire life.

Jobless and Toothless

IMG_3583

as of today I am still full-time jobless,

hopeful applications are still in the works and moving forward,

but I am deeply blessed and grateful for a past boss who is allowing me some temporary work to help us make it through the summer.

last night Justin ate one too many bowls of popcorn and cracked off a part of one of his wisdom teeth,

he didn’t notice until this afternoon,

but we are deeply blessed and grateful to have dentist friends who give professional advice and reassurance on the spot.

that is our reality right now, it is certainly an unusual mix of circumstances,

but we’re trudging through with a surprising amount of provision and good times,

God is working in ways that I certainly don’t fully understand, but can’t help but feel excited to see what else He has in store for us!

I won’t lie, it’s been stressful, more stressful then I’d like and I’ve succumbed to worry and even doubt more often then I’d like,

but God is a good provider and I can say with certainty that we have been cared for during each uncertain moment.

so (partly) toothless and jobless we look to the future with high hopes and grateful hearts! :)

E4

 

Taking Stock

img_4394-copy

Making: homemade lemonade, more on this soon ;)
Cooking
: as little as possible, being in a hot kitchen is just terrible during the summer
Drinking: sparkling pomegranate-blueberry lemonade from ALDI
Reading
: Kate: The Future Queen by Katie Nicholl
Wanting: a tattoo…this.
Looking: for a job
Wasting: time being too preoccupied with unimportant things
Wishing: it was time to make some babies
Enjoying: being best friends with my husband
Waiting: for things to normalize
Liking: that I’ve now matched my blog URL with the blog title
Wondering: how God is going to work all things out for good
Loving: the mix of natural and dyed color atop my head these days, it’s getting very ombre-esque I believe!
Watching: Top Gear with my husband
Needing: to work out a better cleaning schedule
Smelling: timothy hay and woodchips
Wearing: an odd mix of clothes thanks to broiling hot outdoor temperatures and chilly air conditioned indoor temperatures.
Following: THIS blog. THIS blog. and THIS blog.
Noticing: that I indulge in a few habits that don’t do me any favors (i.e. pessimistic self talk)
Knowing: there is still time for many things
Thinking: on this description of a strong marriage, “The terrain of marriage rises and falls like those golden Californian hills. Yet somewhere on that misty, unknown horizon, oak trees grow. Their misshapen and varied limbs raise to the sky, rooted and strong.”
Bookmarking: someday ideas on Pinterest
Writing: a summer bucket list including, kayaking, museum visits, and fireworks!
Laughing: while we watch the guinea pigs eat, the two chubbers never look happier then when they are munching on fresh carrots, spinach and apples :D
Feeling: grateful and focused 

we’ve got our love to pay the bills | all must be well

Picture1

[old pictures, same faces ;) ]

So, these days finances are pretty tight in this little Henry family,

we are blessed to still afford all of the necessities,

it’s just all of the other little spending that we’ve had to put to the wayside for a bit.

Yesterday we drove past Goodwill and Justin asked me if I wanted to go in to look around,

without thinking I responded that we probably shouldn’t because we can’t afford it right now,

as soon as I said it I had to laugh as I thought about how you know you are poor when you can’t afford to go to Goodwill :D

To be honest, we are just in a transition time, jobs are being searched for, replies are being waited on, plans are being formed, but nothing is quite finalized yet,

so we are biding our time (and our funds) until we have come through this transition phase!

The first few lines of lyrics from the song You and I by Ingrid Michaelson capture well the sentiment of these days,

Don’t you worry there, my honey
We might not have any money
But we’ve got our love to pay the bills

and the lyrics of Through the Love of God our Savior speak well of the trust required in these days,

Through the love of God our Savior,
All will be well,
Free and changeless is His favor;
All is well.
Precious is the blood that healed us,
Perfect is the grace that sealed us,
Strong the hand stretched forth to shield us,
All must be well.

Though we pass through tribulation.
All will be well,
Ours is such a full salvation;
All is well.
Happy, still in God confiding,
Fruitful, if in Christ abiding,
Holy, through the Spirit’s guiding,
All must be well.

We expect a bright to-morrow;
All will be well,
Faith can sing through days of sorrow,
All is well.
On our Father’s love relying,
Christ our every need supplying,
Whether living now, or dying,
All must be well.

.

These days bring a lot of new and a lot of uncertainty,

they can be overwhelming at times and confusing at times,

but we are taking it one day at a time,

holding on to our young love, while growing up in an adult world. 

learning what it means to listen to God, while hearing so many other voices around us. 

being wise with our resources, while not sacrificing the opportunities we are being blessed with.

It is a somewhat nerve wracking balance, but I am grateful for a gracious God, good family, and a husband who would lose every worldly possession with me and still stand beside me.

I guess we will see what the future holds :)

If You Could Only Have One | Color

GREEEEEEEN

I haven’t done one of these in quite some time and I think it is a good day to bring it back! :)

So, the question is, if you could only have ONE color for the rest of your life, to see, to wear, to work with, etc… what would that color be?!?

For me, it would be green. I simply adore the color green, but it is only in the past year or so that I have actually realized it.

I used to say my favorite color was black, because it was the color I loved to wear the most, simple, chic and timeless,

but when I had to decide on my wedding colors all I knew is that I wanted green, I didn’t even have to think about, it came to mind like it had been my favorite color all along.

Naturally. 

Green to me is so very soothing, so lovely and natural, now, mind you, I have no tolerance for certain shades of green like neon green or odd yellow-green colors,

no, the color greens I’m talking about are refreshing sea foam green or soft baby green or strong pine green.

Shade is everything. 

If I could I would paint my front door pine green, buy a pine green comforter for our bedroom, replace all my dishes with the green jade plates like in the photo above, buy small green plants to scatter about everywhere in the house, along with so many other touches of green in the home.

I can’t imagine myself ever getting tired of the color green, how could I, it’s so unobtrusive, such a friendly and honest color.

It is most certainly my top choice if I could only have one color for the rest of my life,

now what about you?

New York City

It feels like it has been so long since we went to NYC that I nearly forgot to even write any post about it!

But, without further adieu, I give you some NYC highlights and a rather lengthy video :D !

ONETHREETWOFOURFIVE

IMG_3926IMG_4045IMG_3941IMG_4100IMG_4112IMG_4212IMG_4216IMG_4217IMG_4220IMG_4223

We had an amazing time in NYC! It was certainly an investment of a trip, but we made every minute count!!

Some nights I would lay in bed at our hotel and think about how simple it would have been to have stayed at home and done something less expensive, but then I couldn’t help but think about the things we had/were experiencing together and I knew that the whole trip was so worth every penny!

A few things we were blessed to experience:

- The Park Lane Hotel 

- American Museum of Natural History

- Museum of Modern Art

- The MET

- Visiting with great friends from upstate NY 

- Upright Citizens Brigade comedy show

- Times Square, early morning and late evening! 

- Top of the Rock

- Empire State Building

- Shake Shack 

- Statue of Liberty 

- Central Park Zoo

- FAO Schwarz 

- Tiffanys and Bloomingdales

- the Cupcake ATM

- New York Pizza Supreme in Chelsea 

- Central Park 

- Car, plane, train, bus, taxi in and around the city 

and so much more!

I keep trying to figure out a way to explain our trip in a concise way, but there was just so many things that we experienced I don’t think it can be done!

In case anyone may be wondering, we were able to make the trip happen through Hotwire.com and CityPass!! I would encourage anyone to look into using those resources if/when planning any kind of trip, they were infinitely useful and reassuring!

This time around Justin and I intentionally wanted to hit as many tourist spots as possible (the empire state building, times square, and the statue of liberty were the most crowded!) because we knew that it was best to go when it is still just the two of us and we are still young and spry :D There were certainly times when I just wanted to get out of a line or not go to a museum or store, especially nearing the end of the trip after having booked a solid many miles of walking already, but we stuck it out and did nearly everything we had planned to do and I am glad of it!

The next time we go we would like to take the time to travel around Manhattan more, we weren’t able to go to Brooklyn or Soho and I look forward to our next trip being more of a discovery of the none tourist traps and the more quintessential elements that make NYC what it is!

Having the opportunity to go live, even if just for 5 days, in one of my favorite cities in the whole world was certainly a dream come true. By the end of our time there Justin and I certainly felt like we were capable of navigating the city and had grown comfortable with the crowds, traffic, and atmosphere. Seeing how well we could acclimate to the city was important to us, because we also went with the intention of seeing if NYC could ever be a home for us. After our trip came to a close we agreed that though we felt that we were capable of adjusting to city life well, we would love to raise a family in a place with less. Less crowds, less costs, etc. If we did not hope our future to include children and possible overseas missions and were planning to live as two, then NYC could very well have served as a most brilliant home, but due to dreams that will not be shaken we have decided to love NYC just as it is, the wonderful place where dreams are realized, but perhaps not our dreams.

Though a future in the city may not be a part of our story, my love for NYC only grew stronger with our time there. There is just something about it that is so incredibly thrilling and beautiful. From the dirt and traffic on the street to the green and spacious expanse of central park, from the vast historical depth of the MET to the current and constant people watching opportunities, from the diamond filled and regally presented Tiffanys in Manhattan to the brick wall covered and red booth filled pizza place in Chelsea, the amount of things that make up the city is truly astonishing. So many elements brought together to compliment each other in such a close space, it truly is worth experiencing.

And so, with days of memories our one year anniversary trip has gone by, I look back at all the photos with the fondest regard and am truly humbled and grateful to have been given the opportunity to go to NYC and to be able to do so alongside Justin, my best friend, my one and only, my husband.

Below is the video, in rather low quality, like I said above there were so many photos taken and things done in the city that coming back and figuring out a way to present it all was a little daunting, so the video is lower quality then normal and the photos are all smooshed together in collages, :D but though the presentation is a little haphazard, I hope you might enjoy seeing a bit of the city through our eyes, cheers!!

And here are a few photos that did not make the instagram cut, but were worth sharing anyway :)

123

pink is right

IMG_4253IMG_4250IMG_4238IMG_4276

So, in less then 24 hours of posting my last post I became one of the many to try pink dye.

It’s just a bit of pink, no total coverage and no neon.

To be honest, it is the first thing I’ve done with my hair in the past 3 years that feels completely right.

No second guessing, no tears, no loss of identity.

who knew that the most abnormal would be what feels the most normal. 

:)

Picture1

I used Manic Panic’s Cotton Candy Pink dye, it’s a vegan non-permanent dye that uses no developer and fades back to your normal hair color within just a few weeks of washes.

I watched a solid bit of tutorials before I attempted the process, but it’s so simple I shouldn’t have been nearly as nervous as I was before I started.

Mix a bit of the dye with conditioner, apply, leave on for 40 minutes to 3 hours (since it’s a vegan dye there are no harsh chemicals to damage hair!) wash out with cool water and wear proudly!

I had to use such a small amount of the pink dye that I have probably years worth of dye left to be able to use,

anyone up for it?! ;)

IMG_4295IMG_4288