March 29, 2014

god's not dead movie review (PG, 2014)

“God is dead,” wrote Friedrich Nietzsche, infamously.  And philosophy Professor Jeremy Radisson (Kevin Sorbo) of Hadleigh University.  And all of his near-eighty philosophy students… except for Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper), a Freshman, and a Christian.  They had been asked to write those three words on a blank sheet of paper and hand them in for an A grade, but because of his religious beliefs, Josh refused as politely as he could, defying the most notoriously atheistic professor on campus. This is the initial challenge that gets the action moving in the film God's Not Dead (2013, PG), a dramatic apologia for belief in God in an age of philosophical skepticism.

March 25, 2014

hollander's book binding & art supplies {review}

If y’all know anything about me, you know that I am an unashamed stationary junkie… fascinated by unique paper products and nifty things like that.  My mother and I were going to block print our own Christmas cards last year (but unfortunately never got around to it, because, well, LIFE), and ran in to Hollander’s in Ann Arbor for some particular supplies, which ended up with me making a mental list of everything in the store I’d buy.  Which was pretty much all of the things.  What a beautiful place.  I ended up returning to browse during some down time a few days later.

The first entry into the store might be a bit overwhelming because of the sheer amount of decorative and design genius, but I was very pleased with the response of the employees, willing to explain the layout of the building, and, of course, assist in the search for particular items.  On my second visit, I was wandering through the displays, and I overheard the manager (whom I later discovered to be Mr. Hollander himself) giving his team a wee pep talk, reminding them to be open and happy, and unafraid to approach their customers with assistance and conversation.  I don’t know if this is just a sentimental me thing, but I found that to be very reassuring of the service I received, and I think it adds a new level to the professional relationship between employee and boss – a good one.

Many of the rooms at Hollander's are lined wall to wall with stunning handcrafted decorative papers - every style, texture, color imaginable, and I couldn't keep myself from touching the masterful creations of so many different imaginative minds, each piece a genuine work of art by itself.  SO MUCH PAPER.  For every single occasion.

March 24, 2014

i've been liebstered

Every time I hear the word "liebster," I immediately think of lobster.  Lovely, now I'm craving.  Sweet Rose M. of The Golden Road blog nominated me for said Liebster last week, and I'm honored to accept it!

Liebster Award Rules:
Acknowledge the blog that nominated you (done, The Golden Road).
Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger created.
List 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers that deserve some recognition.
Write 11 questions for them to answer.
Notify them they've been nominated.

Les questions de Rose pour moi:

March 22, 2014

how personal is too personal?

How personal should a person be on a blog is a query that’s been bouncing around in my mind for quite a while now… I have certain readers who have told me I share too much, and others who’ve said I’m dishonest because I don’t share all the nitty gritty (and sometimes even ugly) details of my life.

Some people might not be comfortable divulging much information, and that is completely understandable.  After all, once a blog goes public, anyone with access to the webs can read it.  What I’ve found in my few short years of blogging, however, is that the most important thing one can put into a blog is heart, which was something I tried to separate from my writing (both blogging and stories) for quite a while until I finally gave up, and partly because it was just easier. 

March 20, 2014

the edge of the water {st. michael's on chesapeake bay}

I was remembering, recently...

When Aemelia and I drove halfway across the country and found ourselves on the inner part of Chesapeake Bay. (And when I had hair that looked as if it had dropped right out of the 70s.)

March 18, 2014

broiled alaskan salmon (birthday dinner 2014 pt. 3)

Behold, I bring to you the third and final installment of the "birthday dinner 2014" series here at Country Girl's Daybook, another simple recipe that has been used in my house for as long as I can remember, and has been one of my favorites since about then, too.  It's one of the recipes we most often turn to on Meatless Fridays, and honestly, I don't foresee myself ever tiring of the smooth, creamy flavor, melting in my mouth like hot butter with the mild zing of the spices we add to it...


Cast of Characters:

March 15, 2014

σπανακόπιτα || authentic spañakopita (birthday dinner pt. 1)

First of all, thank you for all the kind birthday wishes on Friday.  We were blessed with *gasp* warmish weather, and a lovely warmish breeze that I like to think just might be the beginning of spring.  Erin and Aemelia braved our treacherous Pothole Kingdom of a road, and came over in the evening to eat and chat and eat more and watch Julie & Julia.  :)

And while we're talking friends, please keep one of them in your thoughts and prayers - she wasn't able to make it, because she is recovering from knee surgery.  (Thank you!!)

And now, for the birthday dinner, part uno.

Mi padre's work puts him in contact with a multitude of people, and one of those people is an older Greek lady, whom we'll call Basia, a terrific cook, who lived with her son.  Basia's son hired my father to remodel one of the rooms in their house, and, of course, being a mother, she fed them often.  One day on the job, she made the menfolk spanakopita, a recipe she brought with her when she immigrated to America.  My dad, in turn, came home raving about how wonderful it was, and how we needed to visit Basia so she could teach us how to make it.

We willingly obliged, and spent an entire afternoon at Basia’s house, going through the recipe, and learning how to make her spanakopita perfectly.

March 11, 2014

olympus has fallen (2013, R) review

 I’ve always enjoyed a good bad-guys-try-n-smite-America kind of movie, and recently I threw a little Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart and Gerard Butler (the latter two actors I’m not entirely fond of) into the mix, and watched Olympus Has Fallen.

Butler stars as Mike Banning, an ex-Special Ops agent and former member of the president’s bodyguard who is removed from active duty (but given a desk job in the White House) after a tragic accident causing the death of the First Lady, Margaret (Ashley Judd).  Not long afterward, a group of Korean terrorists takes control of the White House and holds the president hostage while the entire nation watches in fear… and while Banning, trapped in the White House as it is taken under siege, is left to fight the unwelcome invaders.  Most definitely an action flick.

What I Liked

March 8, 2014

beef barley soup

Salutations!  This beef barley soup is one of my mother's famous recipes, and one of our house favorites...  I love me a good, wholesome soup, especially during a ridiculous deep freeze.  Thank you, Michigan.

March 6, 2014

these things i love (vol. 4)

- When cars are so clean and shiny you can see the reflections of the clouds in them

- Payday

- Goofy looking topiaries

- Imagination

- Sweater weather

March 4, 2014

another forty days || perfect imperfections no make-up lenten challenge

So begins another forty days of fasting and prayer before our celebration of our Lord's Passion, Death, and Resurrection.  It's the period of time from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday, when Christians of many denominations forego extra comforts and detachment from things that draw us further away from the Heart of God.  It's also a time to form new, better habits, and spend extra attention on our relationship with Him.

March 3, 2014

cauliflower pizza crust

Pizza is a staple in every sane person's diet, but sometimes it's not exactly healthy, and mostly because the carbs start to add up...

Cauliflower, however is an excellent substitute for quite a few less-than-healthy, high-in-carbs foods, like popcorn, potatoes, rice, and bread.  So, today, I bring to you...

March 1, 2014

~ plans ~

Travel the world.  Travel some more.  

Write a book.  Write another one.  

Fall in love.  Get married.  Stay in love.  Travel with my love.  Write a book of us.  

Sing.  Learn a new language.