Category Archives: texas

Cotton Candy Sunrise

When I received this gorgeous dress in the mail from Shabby Apple, so many different photo opportunities came to mind. I loved the simple beauty of it. The fit, the length, the details. Chad and I had been talking about waking up early to enjoy a Texas sunrise one morning, so I thought, why not take a few photos while we are at it?

Sometimes, on the weekends, Chad and I will hop in the car and cruise around with the windows down.  Sipping a cold drink, summer just blowing through our hair. And all of a sudden, i’ll get the urge to drive down this long, winding country road just around the corner from our house. I’ll call out “wait, wait! turn!” and our car slowly makes it’s way down the road that turns old rundown buildings into corn fields.

There is something about a country road that just soothes my soul.  I love the beauty of the wide open spaces.  I love watching the tall grass blow in the wind like waves in the ocean. Reaching out across the horizon, as if begging the sun to bend down and kiss the tops of each grain of wheat.  I close my eyes and breathe it in.  Fresh air.  There is nothing in this world that beats the smell of wildflowers and freshly cut grass.  A historic prairie home sits at the top of the hill. Overlooking miles of corn fields and crops.  We dream about living there some day. A farm of our own with chickens, a few toddlers running around barefoot and causing trouble. Maybe even a horse. It’s a completely different world three minutes down that road.
Leaving reality and diving headfirst into the untouched beauty of nature just gives my heart the jolt it needs.  There is something so peaceful about it. It makes me feel whole.

So that morning, we drove down that road, past the oceans of grass, past the prairie house as it was waking up to greet the day, and we found the perfect spot.  A field of wheat that had recently been harvested.  There was something so raw and natural about it as the sun came up over the trees.  The light was a soft pink and everything felt a little bit like cotton candy. A cotton candy sunrise.  A magical, quiet moment in a loud and busy world.

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Dress: c/o Shabby Apple
Necklace: c/o Chain Crochet
Shoes: Target
Bag: c/o Lulu*s

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Now, go enjoy a morning sunrise this weekend. You’ll thank me for it.

Mama’s Blackberry Cobbler

 I’ve decided that baking is my therapy.
Some people run. Some people eat lots of candy (okay, I’m guilty of that too) and some people shop until they drop. Me? I like to take all of my stress out on the kitchen.
Flour everywhere. Sugar in my hair. Egg yolk on the floor.
If the kitchen isn’t messy when you’re done, you’re not doing it right.

This past week was really stressful for me. I can’t really pinpoint one particular reason, honestly. I think it’s just a really big itch. An itch to do something new.
And I think because I can’t really scratch that itch (seeing as i’m not sure what that itch is) I took that stress and baked it into one large, scrumptious, mouthwatering blackberry cobbler.

And now I want to share that steamy, delicious love with you, too.
This is actually my mom’s recipe.  I have very fond memories of climbing up onto the barstool and watching my mom roll out pie crust. She was oh, so meticulous. Making sure everything was just right. (Now I find myself rolling out dough in just the same manner)  I would rest my hand on my face and just watch and watch as she rolled and perfected. Rolled and perfected. Throwing me and my brothers a piece of pie dough every now and then to keep us busy.
And at the end of the afternoon, the delicious smell of ooey gooey blackberries would waft up to my room (which was conveniently located just above the kitchen) and i knew it was almost time to gobble up the first bite.  I can almost smell it now.  Isn’t it funny how childhood memories are the most memorable ones we have? I love that.

Now, where to begin. Ah yes, the dough.
This is just a standard “from scratch” dough recipe.
Really simple.
Let’s get started.

The Dough:

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose-flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 16 T COLD unsalted butter (equivalent to 2 sticks)
  • 1/4 cup ice water

Step 1
In a mixer, combine flour, salt and sugar; mix on low to combine.

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Here’s the tricky part. Make sure your butter is REALLY cold. Don’t take it out of the fridge until you are ready to use it.  Cut the butter into pads and add it to the mixture.

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Now, I did this the old fashioned way.  You don’t want to completely mix the butter in, so I took two knives (using both hands) and cut the butter into the mixture.  Sounds difficult, but super easy.  Mix until it resembles corse meal, with pea sized pieces of butter remaining.

Step 2
Slowly add the ice water. Mix on LOW for a few seconds until dough is crumbly, but holds together when you pinch it.  Add water as needed.
This process will make your dough extra flaky when you bake it. Yum!

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Step 3
Split the dough in half.  Form each dough into a round ball.  Do not knead the dough, as you want delicious pockets of butter when baking. Transfer each half of the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap.  Secure tightly and refrigerate for one hour or until firm.  Now you will have two disks ready for the bottom and top of your crust!

Step 4
When dough is ready, remove both disks from the refrigerator. Start with one disk.

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Grab a deep pie dish.  On a floured surface, roll out one of the disks to cover the bottom of the dish. I like to leave a little dough hanging over the sides so I have extra to pinch at the end.
(Sidenote: Roll out and slice a few strips of extra dough to use for the pie filling! I’ll explain later!)

Blackberry Filling

Ingredients

  • 6 cups of blackberries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 T. lemon juice

Step 1
Now that you have the bottom of the pie crust prepared, lets start with the filling!

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First, wash those blackberries! I was lucky enough to find big, juicy ones at the local farmers market.  Next, toss together all of the ingredients.  It will seem as though there is quite a bit of the flour mixture and not enough liquid, but toss to cover all of the blackberries.

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Step 2
Use 1/3 of the blackberries mixture and pour on top of the uncooked pie crust in the prepared pie dish. Throw in a few of those strips of pie dough. These will be a little doughy surprise when you cut into the cobbler.  Don’t skip this step.  It’s a delicious, doughy secret.

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Repeat this step again, and then top with the last 1/3 of the blackberry mixture.
Ready for this? More butter. Before you add the top of the crust? Just slice a few pads of butter and place them on top of the finished blackberry mixture. Just a little extra yumminess.

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Step 3
At this point, you are done with the blackberry mixture, and ready to top the cobbler with the other pie crust.  Roll out the dough and either top it with normal pie crust (which is totally acceptable and just as delicious! If you do, before you place the crust on top, make a few slices in the middle with a knife. About half an inch apart. This will let the cobbler bubble through a little at the end of baking and you will know it’s ready!
I created a lattice crust.  It was super easy! (Find a tutorial for that here!)

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Pinch the outsides of the pie. I use my thumb to make an imprint and then pinch the sides together. You can do whatever pleases your little heart.

Step 4
This is an important step and a lovely trick my mama taught me.
Before you place the pie in the oven, brush a little milk onto the crust and sprinkle with sugar. This will make that crust a beautiful golden brown color.

Step 5
Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
**If you notice the edges of the crust burning, you can open the oven and wrap them in a little bit of tinfoil. This will allow the middle to continue baking and keep the outsides from burning. Another fun mama fact. Aren’t they the best?**

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ENJOY THAT LOVELY cobbler.  I like to have a little bowl when it’s still hot. There is something about warm cobbler that just tastes like a warm, summer day.
Chad likes to top his with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.
Blue Bell vanilla ice cream, to be exact.  This IS Texas, y’all.

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A Small Town Celebration

Chad and I woke up early and sat on the porch to enjoy a quiet little morning.  Chad drank his coffee and I read a little as we watched everyone park along our street, dressed in their red white and blue. Toting tiny patriotic tots, camping chairs and coolers full of snacks. We smiled at each other, for a few reasons. One, because it was just so darn cute. And two? Because we were secretly happy we didn’t have to find a parking spot.  We got dressed and walked down to the square just in time for the downtown Fourth of July parade.  It was by and large one of the cutest, most patriotic things I have ever seen. photo 1 (7) photo 5 (5) photo 5 (5) copy   photo 2 (9) photo 2 (9) copy

 

After the parade, a small part of the square was blocked off for games, watermelon slices, a kissing booth and lots of other 4th of July activities.  It was pretty much the cutest thing ever.

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The rest of the afternoon was spent shopping around at our favorite places on the square.
First up, cooling off at our favorite place, Patina Green.
It felt like the hottest Fourth of July, and we needed a little something to quench our thirst!
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We spent the rest of the afternoon in Fourth of July cuteness overload, and stopped in a few of our favorite places. Missing Q Press, Local Yocal and of course The Antique Company Mall. A few handfuls of kettle corn and a hotdog (or two) later, we walked back home hand in hand. We chatted about how cute it will be in a few years when we can take our kids down for the morning parade. There is something about a neighborhood Fourth of July celebration that really makes the heart swell, you know what I mean?

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We seriously live in one of the cutest  towns in all of Texas. Perhaps all of the South, even.  We ended the night with a giant firework celebration filled with new friends (who we love), food trucks, a giant bag of kettle corn and cheesy country music. Among thousands, we were the last ones to leave the field. We chatted and laughed until the lights went off, grabbed our quilt and camping chairs and walked back to the car in the dark.

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A Fourth of July for the books.
Now we are off to Costa Rica! I must get to packing (late as usual).
I’ll be absent from the blog for a week or so.
Chad and I are headed to San Jose on a mission/adventure trip.
Be sure to follow along on Instagram, as usual!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunflower Love

I am usually 100% against wearing jeans during the summer.  Mainly because we live in Texas, but also because the heat and humidity act  like a vacuum and as soon as I step outside, my nice fitting jeans immediately suction cup themselves to my legs in a fit of sweaty grossness.

It’s true.
It’s not a pretty sight.
That being said, I decided to suck it up for today and today only.
There is a slight breeze in the air, so they aren’t desperately clinging to my legs quite yet.
Our boss is letting us watch the soccer game at a pub across the street today, and if we win, we get to go home early. So everyone cross your fingers and toes for me!
I did my best to find a “USA” shirt, but all I found was this Arkansas one. And I mean, it’s a part of the United States, so it made sense to me in my moment of “clothes all over the floor, five minutes left until I need to get out the door” desperation.
Makes sense, right?

Fingers crossed! Toes crossed!
This girl wants an early day off!

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Jeans: Gap
Top: c/o Riffraff
Shoes: Forever 21
Sunglasses: Target

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