Angelic Reflections: Faith

Just this evening, I heard a whispering in my ear to pull out the good ol’ Angel Wisdom book. And whaddya know? Today’s topic just to magically happens to be one that has been faithfully reoccurring in my life as of late ;)



An Angel Reminder: “Faith is the state of being ultimately concerned… and the acceptance of the promise of ultimate fulfillment.”- Paul Tillich

Many of us don’t understand what faith is, confusing it with belief or with rigid adherence to religious doctrine. But faith goes far beyond concept or definition; it is an experience— a calling, in fact— that takes us out of the realm of intellect and into the realm of inner knowing. When theologian and philosopher Paul Tillich speaks of faith as “ultimate concern,” he is talking about the think that is of all-consuming value to a human being, the object of his or her spiritual passion, the thing that produces “the centered movement of the whole personality to something of ultimate meaning and significance.” Whatever we have faith in, we put our energy and commitment into. If you have faith that you will lose weight, you will direct your energy toward that goal, knowing that you will meet it. If the angels and living an angelic life are your ultimate concern, you will direct your energy towards that purpose, not fearing disillusionment but expecting fulfillment.

What are your ultimate concerns? In what area would you like your faith to be strong? Clarify your desires and what you want out of life. Then use your imagination to visualize the fulfillment of these desires, and practice the art of effortless knowing, asking the angels to help you cast out doubts and worries and keep you filled with clarity, positive energy, and commitment.

An Angelic Reflection: I have faith in divine love and wisdom, and I trust the angels to connect me to it.


Taken from Angel Wisdom, by Terry Lynn Taylor and Mary Beth Crain

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Greetings from Chicago!

chicago-art-printGreetings from Chicago!!!

I know you all have been dying to know what my new life is like.  After all, its a suspenseful story: hometown Cincinnati girl decides she wants to fly the coop and play with the big kids in Chicago; the city of rats, wind, and garganutuous parking ticket fines. None of you have any idea what I might have been through these past months—I could have been kidnapped by the mafia or fallen off a skyscraper!

But, alas, nothing of the sort has happened… minus the rats, wind, and parking ticket fines. I am living in a cozy and wonderful 2 bedroom apartment in the neighborhood of Hyde Park, on the very edge of University of Chicago campus. If any of you have ever seen the University of Chicago campus, then you know it is a real life kingdom of Hogwart’s magic. The buildings were built in the 1800s and stand majestically high with faceted window panes and ivy-covered walls. Within each quad, there are gardens and ancient trees that reach up to the sky. It is the most beautiful campus that I have ever seen and there are TONS of gardens and walking space that makes living in the city not so city-like :)

My apartment is only three blocks away from my building, and is an easy 10 minute walk to class. I am pretty lucky because not only was my apartment completely repainted and furnished with a new [er] kitchen (and appliances!) upon my move-in, but it also is a pet-friendly building with a fenced in backyard, and I have lots of friendly neighbors with friendly puppies with whom Killer loves to play! Its quite convenient being able to walk down from my second floor apartment to let Killer do his business, unleashed, at 11:30 at night. Sure helps put to rest that whole late-night mugging fantasy I keep having (where, in my fantasy, I see the mugger approaching and I decide to run away for dear life towards the Safety& Security Department).

The other coolest thing ever is that, through an act of divine destiny, I am babysitting a 6 year old boy who lives in my apartment complex. He’s extremely intelligent and loves teaching me about my phone and how to organize applications into folders. He’s also not so secretly in love with Killer and has recorded a multitude of commands on my phone for me to play for Killer when he is in need of commanding. I hang out with him 3 days a week, 6 hours a day, and its definitely keeping me grounded amongst the intellectual mumbo jumbo of Univeristy of Chicago graduate school. It is also keeping me VERY busy, which makes my life all work and little play, unfortunately…. :( frowny face!

I would now take the time to describe how ridiculously ridiculous academic life is at the University of Chicago, but I frankly do not have the energy nor the desire! School is hard and I am getting my ass kicked, but of course its one of those ass-kickings that I will surely one day appreciate, probably? In other words, it is not time to discuss and process, it is time to survive, read, write, and sleep!!!!

So until I actually get a chance to upload all the pictures of my new home and hood, I will leave you with nothing. Well, okay, thats not fair. I will leave you with suspense for my next blog post, which HOPEFULLY will be about my Etsy business FINALLY getting up and running!!! :) (which will not be in November as previously projected. Hopefully in December while I am on winter break!)

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Ice Cream Day Dreams

retro_neon_ice_cream_cone_sign_-_retro_kitchen_decor_-_ice_cream_shoppe_art_-_vintage_typography_-_8x10_fine_art_photograph_32f3acbdSince I purchased my beautiful new ice cream maker two months ago, I have made four ice creams and day dreamed about many MANY ice creams. In all of this mind-wandering, I have also developed some pretty great ice cream oriented goals, like living in Italy and running a gelato shop, or developing more non- ice cream related coping skills. Its tough, you know, being so in love with something so delicious…. But anyways, onto the ice cream!

4926931015674c2098db960142e8b0021) The first ice cream I made was a peach lavender ice cream made with no refined sugar, only honey. Since I have been trying to cut back on my refined sugar intake, honey has become one of my dietary staples, and something I never thought to use as a sugar replacement in ice cream! (As if I really needed my favorite treat to become more accessible….) Anyways, this recipe needed more honey, because it just didn’t have that sweetness that ice cream normally does. It was a little too bland, but would be a wonderful accompaniment to a cobbler or pie where a lighter flavor is preferred. The roasted peaches and lavender were a heavenly combo, and I will definitely file it away for the future.

f8d51b26a233b0d6f4696c6e44db673f2) The second ice cream was  a custard style blackberry ice cream with chocolate chunks and blackberry cheesecake swirl brownies. YUM! One night I rediscovered some leftover blackberry cheesecake swirl brownies in the freezer (that never tasted great fresh, but taste pretty awesome frozen) and I had an epiphany: use them in ice cream! So I then stumbled upon this blackberry chip ice cream recipe, and the rest was history. The texture of this ice cream is creamy and smooth and tastes full and robust. The chocolate and brownie chunks only make it absolutely irresistible! Wowza!

c7be72e3487125c4e9c231f9bf64d3833) The third is a ginger ice cream with a candied-ginger caramel swirl, only my caramel wasn’t a swirl, and instead was a rock-hard caramel crunch (I need to practice making caramel). In any case, it was AMAZING! It is also a custard base ice cream, which I have decided is my favorite kind.

4) The fourth was a cherry cheesecake ice cream, made the traditional ice cream way (no cook). The flavor was exceptional, only it was a strange texture because I had previously frozen the cream to preserve it, and when it thawed, it did not turn back into liquid… just a grainy, creamy sludge… but still yummy and completely full of fat, which, of course, makes it awesome :)

I wish you all happy life adventures filled with ice cream, always!

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Time to get moving!

dreams_come_true_by_lolaartland-d4nlatnIn case you didn’t know… I am moving to Chicago!! FINALLY! And in case you have ever been skeptical about dreams coming true, I can assure you that they DO.

I am living proof ;)

So the plan is that I will be moving to Chicago in early September and starting my second master’s degree at the University of Chicago’s Divinity School. My main area of interest is studying religious symbols and how people make meaning of life through symbols. So really, this new course of study perfectly blends my fine art and counseling background. My hope is to start my master’s degree and then after I impress everyone with my wit, wisdom, knowledge, and skills, I will apply and be accepted into the Ph.D. program. Which means I will hopefully be in school for the next five years and be able to eschew that whole working world thing. Who needs it? Woohoo!!!

Now the real planning begins. Since I applied and was accepted later than most other students, I have a lot of catching up to do, like getting immunizations, health insurance, government assistance, Killer-related documents/licenses, and getting my housing situation figured out. The University of Chicago owns pet-friendly apartment buildings, so I’ve applied for housing through them. I was also granted money for completing a federal work-study, so now I have the task of actually applying for work-studies available through the university. Not to mention getting my Etsy business started, packing up my belongings, and telling all of my clients goodbye! PHEW!

Wish me luck! <3





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Updates & Cupcakes



My blog has been silent since February! This only comes as a surprise to me because February was 3 months ago, and in my mind it only feels like April, so… you do the math….. Whatever space and whatever time, I am happy to be back to the blogging universe and reporting on the strange and unusual events called my life. These past months have included lots of work– both on the job and in developing my upcoming Etsy business, and lets not forget that I also prepared and submitted my application materials for graduate school (hooray!!!) Its both amazing  and exhausting to reflect on the fact that I spent the better part of two months writing a purpose statement of only 85o words.  Then again, they were definitely the most well thought out 850 words of my life, so it was time well spent I’d say. Glad to be past that fork in the road!!!


Getting on to more exciting things, I will tell you that I am finally in what one might call “summer mode.” No longer does my schedule revolve around the time tables of schools across Cincinnati…. Now I get to go and see my clients at their homes, making my job easier, more convenient, and way more fun. The only drawback is that kids tend to disappear in the summer months, and so dwindles the funds in my bank account. But I am starting to acclimate and use the extra time to, oh you know, enjoy myself. Like sleeping in till 10am, getting more exercise, and more glitter play times.  I’m also building my Etsy business and getting other affairs in order. Affairs which include cupcakes and ice cream…  the actual reason I am writing this blog post.

So lets get to the good stuff. I love sweet things and you probably do too, so its a perfect time to tell you that I just may start a side business of making sweet things for people. (Psst- Don’t tell my mom. I told her, “I should start a business making ice cream and things for people!” And then she got all serious and mom-like saying things of the likes of, “You should focus on one thing at a time… yadda yadda yadda.”) This means that I will have to start small and by word of mouth, so I am starting with you all- my seven subscribers and whoever else on Facebook decides to whimsically click on my blog links. I just bought an ice cream maker,  and it shall arrive tomorrow (according to UPS tracking notifications), and so I will be churning up some delicious treats and some awesome blog posts to chronicle the magic.


In the meantime, I will share these cupcakes with you. They are s’mores cupcakes that I found on Pinterest, and I made them to celebrate my final group therapy session with the kids tomorrow.  I decided to make these because s’mores are my favorite sweet concoction of all time, and since Dairy Queen just came out with their summer S’mores Blizzard and other s’mores themed ice cream treats, I have been on a s’mores-eating binge! I am hoping the kids will appreciate my obsession, but if they don’t, I am not going to feel bad about it at all. Because, honestly, out of all of the miserly things in life, s’mores cupcakes are not one of them.

Anyways, these cupcakes are completely decadent, if you couldn’t tell by the chocolatey cake, marshmallow cream cheese filling, butter cream cheese graham cracker frosting, and toppings of drizzled chocolate ganache and mini marshmallows. While this recipe isn’t perfect, it is good enough to satisfy and impress my teenage compatriots tomorrow. Next time I will tweak this recipe to my exact cupcake tastes, and that will be a true baking adventure!

See you soon to recount my first ice cream making experience. And by soon I mean possibly tomorrow… my first batch of ice creaminess is already chilling in the fridge, awaiting the arrival of my turquoise Cuisinart-ICE 21! Yay!



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671a0be4022c590565efebd6262eb02cFrom the title of this post, you would guess correctly that I am a little late in getting to my “new years” post on living life in 2013. In actuality, I never really planned on having a plan for 2013. I figured I would try and move away from my Aquarian tendency to “control” and lean into my Sagittarian tendency to “trust,” thus allowing this magical year to be whatever its going to be without my thoughtful and steady direction. But with my literal tumultuous ending to 2012, life events pretty much set the course for one thing that I need to start working on ASAP in 2013– self-care of my body.

Before my car accident and the loss of Lola in December of 2012, I would have said that I took good care of my body– yoga/meditation daily, healthy eating (for the most part), and walking the dogs every afternoon. It worked for me, and I had no real complaints, other than wanting to clean up my sugar addiction and maybe tone up the underarm and belly areas. You know, general self-improvement. And then of course I got into my car accident and Lola died, and my body, mind, and spirit had pretty much been put through the wringer. Its like before I was flat piece of fresh pasta dough just sitting there contentedly, having just been smoothly rolled out, and then someone comes along and decides, “Hey, lets make some pasta!”  And so they feed me through the pasta machine while I’m screaming, “No, no! I am fine the way I’ve been!!!” But of course I have no choice at this point (because pasta dough is created for the making of pasta) and  I come out a big tangled heap of stringy spaghetti on the other side. A new life in a new body.


I didn’t really see it this way at first. At first I just thought life was serving me some lemons because, hey, you gotta hit a sour patch every now and then if you’re hoping to hit a sweet one, right? I mean, I had never suffered any severe physical “overall out of whacked-ness” before, so I figured it was time to learn how to slow down, be gentle to my body, and be patient with my body’s natural healing processes (ding! ding! ding!) What I didn’t really figure, in the past two months of whining and whimpering, is that I would find myself going the extra mile to think of new ways I can heal my wounds and reclaim the health and vigor that I once felt so strongly characterized my body. For example, I have been going to the chiropractor weekly, I am starting to get bi-weekly massages, I am looking into getting monthly energy work and acupressure/acupuncture, and I just bought a new Memory Foam bed! Prior to my accident, most of these things were not a part of my life at all and I was sleeping on a broken down mattress that I’ve had since 6th grade. All of this proves that my body, health, and my perspective of each were not as wonderful as I had originally believed them to be! In essence, my car accident was a blessing in disguise.


So now my eyes have been opened to the potential of a stringy heap of spaghetti–sometimes things need new life breathed into them, and sometimes they have to transform to create that extra breathing space. Now that my body is starting to heal, I am starting to feel a new comfort, a new path, and a new way connecting to and caring for my physical body. I am excited for the journey that lies ahead, and even more excited to share with you the new ways in which I am challenging myself to care for myself– mind, body, and soul. In fact, I have already started creating a blog (separate from this one) that encircles the theme of self-care and how my journey has led me towards fine-tuning what self-care looks like for me. I am hopeful that my newfound self-care adventures of 2013 will only bring me more firmly into bringing this new blog into fruition :)

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Mother Goose


I was walking the dogs yesterday when I heard the strangest of sounds. It was the sound of birds, like of mourning doves or pigeons, and there were so many voices– I had never head anything like it. The strangest thing of all was that I couldn’t tell from where these bird calls were coming. I searched trees and yards and then, suddenly, I look overhead and realize that, hundreds of feet up in the air, 2 huge flocks of flying geese were calling out to one another! It was a magical sight to behold, watching each flock fly, one behind the other, and then suddenly joining together in one giant arrow. The most powerful sight was watching the leader– the tip of the arrow, bravely guiding the way, leading the quest. Can you imagine the responsibility?

I enjoyed my encounter with the geese and decided to do a little research. Turns out geese are symbols of the winter solstice, which we celebrated a few days ago, and also of the stories, beliefs, and legends that we most loved as children, (such as Mother Goose). Often these stories reflect the life quest we have come to take upon us in this lifetime, and going back to reread them can help uncover the continuous patterns of our life. To me, this is such an interesting idea that I had never thought of before! After reflecting on a couple of my favorite childhood stories, I see the connection, and am [always] surprised by the cyclical, mysterious, and string of interconnected events we call life. :)


I thought I might share this insight and encourage you to reflect on the stories of your life. What imprints from childhood still shape your life today?

Since my impending doctoral studies focus largely on how we develop and communicate life meaning through symbols and story telling, the message of the geese speaks very strongly right now, and I’m interested to see where it takes me! Enjoy your trip down memory lane! :)


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