Carrot Cake on a Rainy day, Unfinished Puzzles and Rigors of Being a Student

As I sit here thinking of the list of assignments that I need to complete for the day I sip a cup of strong French roast coffee. As of now, I think West African coffee is perhaps my favorite.

I just love stepping out on my balcony in the brisk morning air with my coffee.

Right now, it’s very strange outside. The clouds are smoky and there’s fog everywhere, literally, blanketing the trees. Very humid too.

I just popped into the oven a carrot cake—because, Friday. Friday’s, I feel like, sometimes just require cake. Haha!

Before
After

Really, though, I think that cakes should set a day in the fridge after frosting for maximum flavor.

Wow, this cake bakes for an hour!

For me, baking, is a form of love. Baking is the perfect way to spread love to others.

I have a long laundry list of assignments I’m working on starting at 8:00, sharp. Unfortunately, knowing myself, that time will probably be not as sharp, as I would like, because sadly I don’t have wedding shoes yet. Honestly, I have tried on so many beautiful “no-go” shoes, so far. Sadly, none of which fit, so, I will persevere in the search. I’m thinking, though, that I will section out some time after lunch for that.

Aaah, psychology, it’s a hound for your time.

Though, I am so happy to be able to go to college and complete a degree. I think, often it is easy for me, to forget about how lucky I am to be able to pursue a degree or any further education at all. I think it is easy to forget how lucky we are to be able to pursue higher education as many people don’t have that option.

I enjoy getting wrapped up in studying the complexities of how the human mind works. How people think.

I am looking forward to putting all I have studied into practice. In my everyday life, I love listening to people.

My assignments for today consist of buckets of reading. I just developed a little office which makes for a good dedicated reading place.

And!! It’s going to rain today, hopefully. I just love watching the rain. And studying with the rain coming down outside my window really helps me.

I find it so mesmerizing.

Watching the Gales of MN: Coffee, Lemon Bars, and Chipmunks

I rotate my coffee mug as I look for a place that isn’t covered with lipstick to drink from. I’m sitting in my new place watching in amazement the huge trees and reefs outside billowing with every gale.

I was happy to find that people are starting to wear channels, hurrah, flannel season has begun!

My new woodland friends are grey squirrels and 🐿️ (chipmunks). Sooo cute!! I’m also trying to learn the bird calls.

I did, by mere coincidence, find out what a chipmunk call is….. Wait would it be call… I think there’s probably a better term for that, 😂

What a wonder God has given me to enjoy!

Last night, I made a gluten-free low-fodmap chicken parmesan.

Here’s the recipe:

Low-fodmap Chicken Parmesan

I was able to find FODY NO ONION NO GARLIC premium tomato basil pasta sauce at my grocery store.

Delicioso, basil and tomatoes. It’s so yummy!

So, a note on the recipe

I had a little doozy with not cooking the chicken long enough. After plating it and embarrassing, enough, my fiance trying to cut into the completely raw meat, my face turned six shades darker red, I’m sure.

We decided to just finish it off on the oven.

We also used COTIJA cheese which is part skim milk natural cheese.

After making dinner I wanted to surprise my fiance with a dessert that I knew was one of his favorites. Though I am chagined to say I’ve actually hadn’t made it for him until last night.

Lemon bars. And not your average lemon bar but made with a bit of buckwheat flour. Which I think gave it a nice nutty finish.

Here’s the recipe: https://www.rachelpaulsfood.com/best-low-fodmap-lemon-square-lemon-bar-recipe-gluten-free/

I added more lemon juice as I didn’t have lemon zest. I definitely think the lemon zest would have given it a more robust flavor. I also don’t generally buy cane sugar so I used brown sugar.

They were good!

Also, yesterday, I happened across one of my new favorite MN local brand of coffee. Caribou.

Last time I bought a bag my fiance and u tried the Smore’s blend. It was good coffee but we felt that the coffee taste kinda got swallowed up by the smore‘s flavor.

This time I picked the Caribou coffee French Roast. Key words “smoky” and “sophisticated”.

Life is Short. Stay awake for it.

Haha, I love there branding. Ie. Drink more coffee stay awake for life. I think thatt’s funny. It is delicious coffee.

I’m still finishing up my canister of Folher’s Black Silk, which ya know is pretty good and simple coffee flavor, I like it.

Oh Crumb… Let’s Unpack

Jackson darts behind the big oak tree as I rest my coffee mug in my lap, cupping it with my cold hands.

Gripping the tree he shoots up it like an watermelon shoots up in a pool of water.

This is one of my first friends in my new state.

Jackson, the chipmunk 🐿

I cradle my steaming cup of coffee in my lap and watch the rain pummel down on the outskirts of the balcony dripping off like wax from a candle.

The air is hot in the morning here. One of my new friends here, a older farmer, told me that the heat this year had been excruciating for his crops. And it’s no wonder, when I woke up I about thought I was in Florida.

Good gravy!

I have been discovering so many new and wonderful things while here. And I think one of my favorite things so far is my balcony. Oh it’s wonderful to sit out there with my coffee in hand or even sit out there typing looking up every once in a while to see Flopsy nibbling on the dewy grass.

Flopsy’s another new friend of mine a chubby rabbit that like to much on the weeds and now fallen leaves outside.

As I was unpacking yesterday I came across a box of china plates my dear mother had given me. The plates are the most beautiful china, I’ve seen. Oh my!

My mother received this beautiful china plates after she married my father all those years back and had saved them through all these years. I am so honored and grateful that she gave them to me.

In my space I have set up a little office prototype while the “packing room” gets cleared out.

I have my printer. I luckily found my ink for today. Which is going to be so helpful for my grant writing. My two pens, one black, one blue, and several three ring binders, in my attempt to be somewhat more organized this semester. Fingers crossed on that one. Heehee.

The rooster wind chime I bought in PA made the long journey with us too. Haha, it’s blowing in some fresh Minnesota breeze.

There was a pretty big storm last night that blew over my table outside. Maybe a microburst or something. Though I’m not familiar with MN weather.

My fiancé said that where he’s staying he could here the lighting coming down during the early AM hours. Eek!

About the water though. Oh, goodness, I’ve never seen so many ponds… oh I mean lakes. Gotta get my ponds and lakes straight. 😋

Wow, the water is so emerald it’s spellbinding and beautiful. The waters so still, with only the ripple of bugs and hungry fish coming to the surface, every now and then.

It’s a little nervous-wracking walking around in a new town, honestly. I know it’s just nerves and really probably no one is looking at me. It’s just I’m “the new kid on the block”so to say, and it’s a bit embarrassing.

Let me tell you, it’s hotter than Haydee’s out there today.

I’ve been musing over what dessert I should make. I think there’s definitely a celebration to be had with each of us getting jobs (mines volunteer, but still) and a new place. I think all of these are definite celebratory events.

Speaking of celebratory. My dear grandma gave me an instant pot that I’ve just been using the heck out a’. It is incredible folks.

I’ve been eyeing this recipe I found on a new food blog: Imagelicious.com. I’m waiting on tip toe to make this fabulously yummy recipe.

Instant Pot S’mores Latte

Thanks Jenny for having such an awesome cooking blog!

Anyhow, it’s instant pot s’mores latte. Oh my goodness friends. Wow, this sounds so yummy! ☺️

Signed. Sealed. Move-in-Ready

Munching away at my bagel billowing with creamy PB Fit and my favorite strawberry jam I muse over how hard we’ve both worked to make this move possible. My fiance has certainly really put in buckets of time studying and really making this opportunity possible. And to think he’s been hammering away at his thesis all summer and it remains to be finished.

Ayiyi! I applaud his integrity and dedication, truly!

We signed on our first apartment together– “going to be married” apartment in Minnesota!!!! I will be staying in that apartment and my fiance in another place which has yet to be found.

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

So, now, we’re much more relaxed from all the anxiety that’s been humming around us. OMGoodness!!!!

We have to tackle the basement, TODAY. Oh golly, we have been putting that off.

Not really looking forward to going down and working with all the spiders. They’re not very helpful workers 😉

1st Deposit; Summer Wardrobe Change

With all this moving and sweat tears and… ok, not blood but espresso. I’m going to be ready for a pedicure, LORDY-ME!

And maybe a wardrobe update too… No–definitely a wardrobe update. These Minnesota winters sound pretty bitter cold; or if you will, B.C.



Yes, definitely. I enjoy shopping online better than shopping in store. I think that is much easier than walking to a store. And most of the time I’m not a big skanner-shopper. It seems whenever I go to a store I come out with things I really didn’t need and I feel like I wasted a bunch of time on something I could’ve just done online. But I do so enjoy shopping with friends.

Speaking of which, recently I’ve had my eyes on some clothing from Mod Cloth.

Photo by Japheth Mast on Pexels.com

It is a sweater like this! This kitten is soo cute!!!

I bought the cutest pair of shorts with embroidered flowers around the pockets, that I bought last year and wear still.

Mod Cloth is having a summer sale too.

Check it out!

ModCloth: Back to School Styles for $15

We finally secured an apartment. Thank the Good Lord! Oh my!

Packing has been crazy today. I finally started on the basement and I’d say cleared out about 50%. The other half will be easier to load once the moving truck is here.

Through all this stress of locating a new rental—which are far and few between in MN– and packing, finding a new job and praying through it all, I have had a great epiphany, this struggle has seemed to ground me more and help me think good and hard about what really matters.

God seems to reveal to us during our hardest struggles his grace. I have found an abundance of grace in doing all this cleaning not only my closet but also cleaning my heart in preparation for a new life stage that God is guiding me through.

It’s a great consolation to me that God is present throughout this whole packing process. He will be present in our new apartment in November after we are happily married.

Blessing #9: Strife of Packing and Tasty Donuts

The soft murmur of our coffee percolator sounded across the kitchen as I watched contemplating life. It seems a good place to contemplate—in front of a bubbling coffee percolator. It helped me think through everything, at least.

It was a big day ahead of studying, applying for this and that in our new state, checking on my financial aid (foot tapping in expectation), and applying to nearly 5 more scholarships. I think by now I have about 15 that I’ve applied to this month.

It’s been quite a humbling day. The bright sun glinted through my window as I awoke and I have had quite a sunny happy day today.

I’ve been all “wired up“ as I think my fiancé put it because of all the packing that needs done. I find packing fun. So at least that makes the process a little less dreary.

This morning, we ran to our favorite coffee shop (well one of our top favorites at least). The car, which is packed to the gills, literally, is now “toothless” from her front bumper hanging lopsided.

Funny story for another post! 😜

On the way home we stopped at the local grocery store to pick up some bread for our tuna sandwiches we’ll be making tonight. My lovely fiancé added in a donut as a little “don’t stress” treat.

As, we walked out bags in hand, I saw across the street a shining garage sale sign. Heehee, one of my favorite things!

And wowzer, friends, this lady was selling things without prices. Offering whatever price you thought was best for the item. We got a great deal on a car neck pillow brand new and a couple of new phone covers!