Friday, December 14, 2012

7 Quick Takes, Volume 10

{story of a soul, condensed}

Pieces of life...visit Conversion Diary for Quick Takes from other bloggers!

{1} My Christmas prep efforts continue...this week, we baked sugar cookies, these amazing chocolate chip ones, and these flourless chocolate ones.  I'm slowly stumbling my way towards a balance between wanting to do dozens of Christmassy things at once, and not letting myself be overwhelmed by them, to the point where they feel more like chores than something fun.  I'd love to know your tried and true holiday baking recipes!  Share them below!

{2} On the subject of flourless cookies, I've been reading more and more about the benefits of eliminating grains from your diet, and have been contemplating trying it out just for a month, in January.  Heaven knows it'd be a pretty unrealistic endeavor during this season of sugary, floury treats, but lately, as I've been eating larger amounts of rice, oatmeal, and yes, cookies, than normal, I've noticed fairly dramatic effects on my mood, my energy, and my skin.  With that in mind, I think I'm ready for a little change!  I eat plenty of produce and protein already, and nothing from packages, so I figure that rather than completely overhauling or replacing my diet, I'm just adapting it a little by removing a part of it.  For you fellow crunchy ladies (All the crunchy ladies!  Sorry.) out there, do you ever get a little defensive of dietary choices like these?  For me, it comes in the form of making it clear to people that I don't eat the way I do in order to be skinnier, but just to feel well overall--if my body is functioning optimally, I've found that I have an easier time working to flourish spiritually and fulfill my day-to-day responsibilities.  Chime in!  Have any of you gone grain-free?


{3} Are you still crossing off friends and relatives from your Christmas list?  I've recently discovered Furbish, an adorable, mostly affordable source for home decor, jewelry, and stationary.  It's love.  Am I crazy for loving this weird, whimsical antler art?!

{4} We celebrated the Feast of the Immaculate Conception with such a wonderful date last weekend!  We went to Mass at a cathedral we love (oddly, another diocese's cathedral is closer to where we live than the one for our own diocese) and out for a delicious Thai lunch.  On the way, we got to walk through the most adorable, beautifully decorated neighborhood!  This feast means so much to me.  Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception was the patroness of our college, where my devotion to her began, complete with bells that play "Immaculate Mary" at 4 minutes to the hour, and we pray the Miraculous Medal prayer (the one that begins, O Mary, conceived without sin...) during each decade of the rosary.  Two years ago on that day, I experienced an attack of such anxiety and despair, and when I recall it now, I'm flooded with thanks for all of the graces in my life and for Our Lady constantly holding me close to her mantle.

{5} Could you say some prayers for me this week?  For reasons I can't really figure out, I have felt...heavy lately.  Just the weight of feeling inadequate in my responsibilities around the house and as a helpful wife, and in my self-worth in general.  I've been blessed never to struggle much before with knowing my worth, and it's a somewhat scary new experience.  Even with a husband so loving, forgiving, and affirming who embodies the Father's love for me, it's been a hard few weeks.  I know, know, that these feelings aren't from the Lord, and have been praying He dispels all of them and teaches me more and more to trust in His love and His mercy.  Thank you so, so much!



{6} Have you been enjoying Fine Linen and Purple's What I Wore Sunday fashion linkup each week as much as I have? Keep your eye out for a the debut of a new style feature on Captive the Heart so soon!

{7} And lastly, for your weekend, a perfectly gorgeous, aching, somehow wintry song.

Tell me what you're up to this weekend!  Anything exciting?

17 comments:

  1. I have quite a few (though fairly minor) issues that I think might be related to grains. Or maybe dairy. But I love them both so much I have a hard time thinking about giving them up. I have been toying with the idea of giving up grains for Lent this year. I'm way more likely to stick with it than if I just try on my own randomly. I'm kind of hoping you do it in January so I can read all about it ;).

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    1. Yeah, I noticed dairy causing some issues with my skin, so in the past year or so, with the exception of ice cream now and then (oops...), I've mostly given it up. I think grains are going to be so much more of a battle, though! I love bread way too much! I'll definitely write about it, and if you join in, we can totally pray for each other!

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  2. I am not grain-free but I have been gluten-free for over 5 years. It has made a big difference for me. Too many benefits to name! I find it very easy and don't find that I miss the baked goods. However, that flourless cookie recipe....sounds yummy! God bless, Cindy

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    1. Nice! My sweet tooth doesn't really go for baked goods, just ice cream (see the above comment!), but I'm so going to miss bread and pasta! And yes, I heartily recommend the cookie recipe =) Hope you're enjoying preparing for Christmas, Cindy!

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  3. These are not grain free, but they are my family's absolute favorite Christmas cookies! - http://catholiccookiejar.blogspot.com/2012/12/great-grandmas-peanut-butter-cookies.html

    #4 - Just beautiful!

    I will be praying for you Stephanie! I know too well that those are just awful feelings to have.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. I saw these on your blog last week and have been meaning to make them; I LOVE peanut butter cookies! Thank you so, so much for your prayers, Caitlin; they mean so much to me!

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  4. My husband and I have tried the grain-free thing, starting off as Primal and then slowly moving towards Perfect Health Diet, and now Weston A. Price. It's been harder now that I'm pregnant, because I crave carbs, but overall we've felt (physically) good and it's easy to get used to once you get past the first few weeks. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

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    1. Thanks for the info, Ashley! I've heard of Weston A. Price, but not of the other two diets you mention; I'll have to do some research. I'm sure I'll definitely be in touch with you at some point!

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  5. I will be sure to say a prayer for you. I know how difficult feeling inadequate can be.. As far as the grain-free thing goes, I am stuck in limbo with you. I really want to jump on board because I have read so much about the benefits from it, but I can't seem to do it. For now I have tried to lessen the grains in my diet. When I do eat them I try to stick to more whole grains like oats and whole wheat stuff. It is such a challenge though, but I always try to do everything in moderation! Good luck with your grain-free January, if you decide to take the plunge. Have a great weekend :)

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    1. I am so grateful for your prayers. Thank you! Like you, I mostly eat only the healthier grains, too, but I'm still curious about temporarily eliminating them. Good reminder on the moderation =)

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  6. I am a completel carboholic so I cannot imagine going grain free, but am tempted to really start cutting back from all I hear about the benefits!
    Sending prayers your way. Remember Our Lady of Guadalupe's words, "Am I not here who am your mother?" :)

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    1. Mm, such beautiful words from Our Lady. Thank you!

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  8. #5 - You have my prayers! I've struggled with this as well, and perhaps the worst part for me is knowing that I am so so blessed, but still not being able to shake my emotions!

    We have always worked through it and emerged with a stronger love!

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    1. Elayne, "the worst part" you talk about captures my feelings perfectly! I know exactly what you mean about feeling like with all of the blessings in your life, what should you have to complain about? I'm with you that a strong love can heal so many of these worries. Thank you so, so much for your prayers!!

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  9. Thanks for the link to my cookies. I'm glad that you like them so much. We have switched to gluten free for almost all of our baking this year and I've made several grain free treats as well. We've gone paleo for weeks at a time over the past year and are planning to go back to it in January. My body definitely is happier with fewer grains.

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    1. Of course! They were so, so delish, and maybe I'll try the gluten-free version one of these days. Thanks for stopping by, Mary =)

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