Friday, 28 June 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday #29

--- 1 ---
I am a gardener!!!! I who has previously been unable to keep a plant alive is responsible for a living, flowering, budding squash plant. Responsible in more of a jack and the beanstalk with mother nature's help kind of a way responsible. I just threw the seeds and they grew, my sister is not very happy because I threw them into her garden and squash is a running plant. I didn't even really notice it until last week.
--- 2 ---

After my unintentional prowess at gardening I decided to be intentional about it so I bought some seeds and plant those. I planted on Saturday and Thursday evening after work I saw shoots, I don't know which is which because I didn't mark them (i never said I was a good gardener). I planted another type of squash (I love squash) and some kind of cucumber hybrid that I had never seen before but it looked interesting.

--- 3 ---
Now some pictures of my baby's buds (the one that started it all) and a few of my sister's plants.

--- 4 ---
I had to deal with the cable company this week. Last week Tuesday someone called and said that someone would be out on Monday. On Friday the technician called to say that he was in the area and if it was a good time, I was at work so I said no because I was told Monday. He finally agreed to Monday after he realised that the time I would be available on Friday evening was inconvenient to him.

--- 5 ---
In more greenery and growing things news I am attending a tree planting tomorrow, although I think more than one tree will be planted. It's an event for the one year anniversary of my friends' non-profit, of which I am the unofficial accountant, so far all I offer is advice and direction.

--- 6 ---
On Monday I have to start training a new employee, I am not looking forward to that. The system is not hard but it is difficult and complicated and annoying, you either get it or you don't and many people don't. In addition to training I also have a big project to complete at month end which I want to accomplish without putting in overtime so this person has to get it the first time. I will need all the prayers I can get.
--- 7 ---
A song to end the week.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Not Alone Series: What I love About Being Single

I am loving this series so it is a pleasure to come back yet another week. This week "What I love about being single", yes I have a huge desire to be married but there are some things I am loving about this time of my life.

I don't have to shave my legs when I don't feel like it. It's not pretty and I know I will like to look pretty for my husband so if I wake up and slathering on the nair seems like just too much I wear pants.

I always get to make my potato salad how I like it. This big for me, my sister and I do not like it the same way, in fact after having to make some for a BBQ I discovered most of my friends do not like it the same as I do. While I'm single I only have to make it to my taste unless I'm making it for a BBQ again. This goes for pizza too.

The right way to do the laundry is my way. The same for cooking rice, making meatballs, bread and cleaning. It would be great to share these responsibilities but I am liking that I am not biting my tongue because the husband or the kids are not doing it right aka the way I do it.

I get to hog the bed. I have shared a bed with sisters, cousins and friends, I'm not the biggest fan of it. I like my space and I like my covers all to myself.

I can lose myself in a book for hours without guilt, I probably shouldn't do that now anyhow but I at least I don't have to choose between finding out "What Katy Did" and spending time with my husband or making dinner or playing with the kids.

My prayer time is mine. I know that a shared prayer life is something that is important to me for when I enter married life but I am loving this time when it is just me and the Lord (and the communion of Saints).

Moving from a house with boys to a house of just women, the toilet seat is always down.

I am growing into me. I have moved from shy and introverted to simply introverted.

Two years ago I won a Caribbean Cruise (yes that stuff actually does happen), I was on vacation when I got the phone call and the trip was in 6 weeks. There were no schedules to co-ordinate but mine.

While planning for that trip that I was going to take with my sister (it was a trip for two) and seeing all the amazing things we could do we realized more than half the things I wanted to do she didn't. I get to plan for myself without missing out on anything I want to do, while I have no problem ditching my sister (plus it was my trip so guilt works) for a few I don't think I'll feel comfortable doing the same thing to a hubby.

My friends can call me up to meet them in 20 minutes for the movies or just to get ice cream.

I get to experience my friends in our own special, crazy way. I have had quite a few friends get married recently and while we are still friends the relationship changes a little bit.

So there is actually quite a bit I love about being single. Jen is hosting the link up this wee so check her and everybody else out.

Friday, 21 June 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday #28

--- 1 ---
The topic for the "Not Alone Series" this week was prayer. I feel like the theme of prayer has permeated my life this week. Yesterday's Gospel reading, a few reflections that I listened to this week, even in the Psalms that I read this week.
--- 2 ---

My friends and I had an interesting messenger chat yesterday on snooping in relationships. I was shocked that some felt it was okay to snoop on a boyfriend (all the ladies involved are single). Personally I wouldn't snoop over trust issues (if I think you already bought my Christmas present yes I will cause I need to know). If we aren't married and we having problems with trust I see two options walk away or talk about it, if I can't do either then trust is not our problem.

--- 3 ---
A few of my friends did say they would not snoop, three of whom are in relationships. Basically their take is if the person you are in a relationship is untrustworthy then you are going to have trust problems, is he worth it. However if the person is trustworthy why do you need to snoop
--- 4 ---
My boss resigned. He actually broke the news last week but I needed these two weeks to wrap my mind around it. He'll still be at work for a while because he has to give two months notice although I don't really foresee his position being filled before he leaves and that is not good.

--- 5 ---
I had to lector at Wednesday Mass, it was a holiday and none of the usuals were there so I was volunteered. Father if there was anyone to read and one of the little old ladies pointed to me and I started looking around to make sure she wasn't pointing at me, then I pointed to myself and looked around again because I obviously missed the person behind me the first time around

--- 6 ---
I think I have run out of things to say, this has been a very blah week and I am missing a party tonight. I hope everyone has a great weekend.

--- 7 ---
A song to end the week.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Not Alone Series: Prayer

1 Thessalonians 5:17 encourages us to "Pray without ceasing." I would like to believe that I do that though I know I don't do it perfectly.

I cannot honestly say that I wake every morning thanking God for seeing me through to another day, I am thankful but I usually get up lamenting that morning came so soon (cause I know I only closed my eyes 5 minutes ago). I am a morning person, at least once I'm up. I get up at about 4:10 to 4:30 to get my day started and once I am over my waking grumpies and in the midst of my getting the day started I do say a quick prayer. However to get my day started I usually turn on Ave Maria Radio which has the Chaplet of Divine Mercy at 5 a.m, then a meditation followed by the Rosary at 5:30. I am out of the house by 6:15 with a prayer as I get behind the wheel of my car.

I have morning Mass at 6:30, the ultimate prayer. Daily Mass has been part of my life for a few years now and I can definitely say my day is better with it. Daily Mass was something I just fell into, the Holy Spirit was at work big time. For months I told myself I would try to make it to morning Mass but never did, then I said I would go Fridays only and for a long while I didn't then one day I just did. I didn't plan it, I just woke up that morning got ready as usual next thing I know I'm at Mass. I ended up running into a friend, she sat across the isle from me so after Mass we started talking and then I was telling her I was trying to transition into morning Mass. Now I live really close, she doesn't, while I leave home at 6:15 and can get there in less than 10 minutes and I drive, she had to leave home before 5 to catch a bus. Monday morning I was at Mass again and have been going ever since.

I have a scheduled time for evening prayer every single day, it is usually an hour but at times it can go a little longer especially during Advent and Lent. I have that time scheduled and blocked off otherwise I will always find something else to do and never have time to pray, so I guard my time with the Lord. Yes there have been times when I have had to make adjustments but I try my best to make it up. Now that I have it on mp3, I can prayer the Rosary as I drive home if I have plans for the evening that will disrupt my schedule.

Speaking of schedules, Jesus and I have a date every 1st Friday of the month for Adoration. I know that time belongs to Him so anytime my friends ask me I always say that I'm busy. It is not always easy but I love that time with Him and it has done so much for our relationship that I cannot abandon it now. I also love spending time in front the Blessed Sacrament every chance I get.

Novenas. I love novenas, I have prayed the 54 Day Rosary Novena with friends, they helped keep me accountable and to keep going. That's one of the reasons I love pray more novenas (not who I did the 54 Day with), they email you the novenas everyday along with daily reminders. I also pray novenas on my own, besides the 54 Day I also like St. Therese de Liseux, St. Martha (9 Tuesdays) and St Raphael.

I listen to mainly christian contemporary music so I can keep myself in a prayerful mode. Don't get me wrong I still listen to other types of music but it really is easier to just talk to the Lord when my mind is already on Him.

Writing, I have been keeping a journal for a few years and it has been very powerful tool for me. My handwriting changes with my feelings so without even writing how I am feeling when I wrote something I usually know when I read it back. Going back to read and reflect on what I have written I not only get to see what I thinking but I get a glimpse of how I was feeling and note how those have changed, I get visual proof of God working in my life.

Community is also a great tool for me. I have a great group of real life friends but my online friends are also great for getting me praying. I have an online Catholic crochet group where we post our prayer requests, they also encourage me in prayer and I hope I do the same for them. I have another online group that prays together. I have started offering my Monday Rosary for the bloggers in this series. Having someone(s) to pray for and with has been a blessing in my life.

I think this is getting long so go check out what everyone else has to say. Morgan has the link-up this week.

Friday, 14 June 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday #27

--- 1 ---
Sunday I visited a small country church. I mean really small, there were five of us made a visible difference to the size of the congregation. The kids stared at us practically the whole time. My church is small but we are usually packed every single Sunday.
--- 2 ---

My view on our drive from church on Sunday....

There were three cows outside of the church but I didn't get their picture.

--- 3 ---
On Sunday we went to visit a friend for brunch and Mass, because we missed the Mass at her church we ended up going to the country church. We meant to stay for Mass and brunch leaving about 1 pm we left closer to 9, we were having so much fun we ended up staying the whole day we watched movies, made milkshakes, played games, invited more people over. I was tired but I had a great time and I have developed a love/hate relationship with cranium.
--- 4 ---
This is the second week of the Not Alone Series and I am loving it. Everyone's post are so inspiring, each one is different yet there are so many similarities. Jen and Morgan started a really great series.

--- 5 ---
My sister bought a wardrobe for her bedroom but it couldn't fit so now it is temporarily sitting in our living room. Our grandmother said she would take it off her hands

--- 6 ---
We are having a Father's Day extravaganza at work today (my description), every year there is a Mother's Day brunch and some activities but not for father's so some of the men protested so this year they are going all out for the father's. I think they are only stopping short of setting them game hunting and firing up the grill. They are having a multi-faceted, full day of events to make up for all these years of neglect.

--- 7 ---
A song to end the week.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Not Alone Series: Discernment

When I was six I knew I wanted 12 kids and that was it. I had no example of marriage , healthy or otherwise, that put the idea of marriage in my mind or my plan. I just knew I wanted 12 kids and the dad had to be around because mine wasn't and I didn't like that.

When I was 12 I wanted 14 kids and I wanted a husband, except I was shy, a loner and a tomboy. At that point in my life kissing a boy did not seem appealing, they were okay to play with but they were sweaty and their mouths had spit which was gross.

When I was 19 I had a bad dating experience. I had never dated before and was a lost sheep with no idea of the rules plus I was still shy, awkward and a loner. I was painfully skinny, taller than a lot of the guys (I'm only 5' 9.5"), I did not have a lot of self confidence going on.

Around 20/21 I took a step back from dating, I needed the time to figure myself out, to know myself and to mature my wishy-washy relationship with God. I'm not sure I had much of a plan then just that I needed time to myself, I had no idea how long or any real rules. Although I didn't know it yet but this time was my 40 days in the wilderness, my time away from it all to grow closer to God (I also had my own test of will with satan). I went from looking for the slightest excuse not to get up to go to Sunday Mass to going to Daily Mass, I spend as much time as I can in front the Blessed Sacrament and I attend Adoration regularly

My hiatus lasted much longer than I thought it would, although I didn't have a time period I still thought that I would just wake up one morning ready. I also was thinking months instead of the years  but over that time where guys and getting married wasn't my focus the desire did grow in my heart and I did just wake up one morning ready.

Now I have questioned my desire over time because I have had quite a few priests and nuns who I like, respect and trust ask me if I have ever considered religious life because they see something in me. I have always brought it to pray but I have never felt that anything that tells me God wants me to be a nun.

My journey through discernment is definitely not over, as someone told me that discernment is lifelong. I think about the skills, characteristics, insights and qualities that I have gained over my lifetime and I know that wherever God is leading me I am prepared.

Want to read posts by others? Go to Jen’s blog!

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Tiramisu Brownies for a BBQ

Last Friday my friends and I had a night BBQ, I was asked to bring potato salad but I wanted to do a little extra so I decided to make brownies also since I had discovered a new brownie just a couple weeks before and have been looking for an excuse to make them.

Tiramisu brownies have a brownie bottom and a tiramisu top and is all round amazing. I made a few small changes in my recipe as opposed to the original for my own convenience. The brownie called for cake flour but I don't use a lot of cake flour and didn't want to have to go through the expense of buying a bag and having the rest waste. I measured out all purpose flour, sifted it a couple times and then measured it out again, I took 2 tablespoons out of the cup of AP flour and that is my substitution for cake flour.

The recipe also called for 8 oz mascarpone and 8 oz cream cheese. I have bought the 8 oz of mascarpone before but I couldn't find it that weekend only the 1 pound containers and bigger so I decided to go all mascarpone leaving out the cream cheese, tiramisu is mascarpone anyway. I would not suggest the opposite though, going all cream cheese although that could be cheesecake brownies, it anybody tries that I want to know about it.

I don't drink so I've had that flask of rum for a while so I wasn't sure it was good or not but it was. The rum is mixed with the coffee. The written recipe I used called for rum but the one I am sharing at the end doesn't, I just used couple tablespoons.

I melted my dark chocolate chips in the microwave at 10 seconds intervals, stirring in between I do not really have the patience for the double boiler technique for such a small amount.

My sister did not think the brownie was sweet enough although she loved it, so if you like super sweet feel free to add more sugar, or use your own brownie recipe that you love just add the filler.

 don't forget to leave some batter for the top

 I forgot to take a picture of plopping the brownie batter over the mascarpone batter and swirling it in.

 Do not leave in warm oven to avoid cracks.

The recipe is from Barista Prima coffee that I got from a friend and can be found on my baking addiction's blog.

Tiramisu Brownies

May 14th, 2013
YIELD: 24 servings
PREP TIME: 30 minutes


For the Brownie Batter

12 oz. chocolate chips
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
4 whole eggs
4 egg whites
1 cup cake flour

For the Mascarpone Topping

8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
4 egg whites
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 package soft ladyfingers
1 cup Barista Prima Coffeehouse Italian Roast coffee, brewed


1. In a large bowl, melt the chocolate. Stir until smooth and leave it to cool. Heat the oven to 350°F. Line a 13″ x 9″ baking pan with parchment paper. Add chocolate to a mixing bowl with the paddle attachment on. Beat in the butter followed by 1 cup of sugar and the 4 eggs and 4 egg whites. Add the flour and mix on low speed until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan minus 1 cup of the brownie batter. Lay the ladyfingers upside down on top of the batter, and push down slightly. Brew 1 Barista Prima Coffeehouse Italian Roast K-Cup pack. Using a pastry brush, carefully brush the Barista Prima Coffeehouse coffee over the ladyfingers until they are saturated.
2. In another bowl, combine the mascarpone cheese, cream cheese, and 1/4 cup of sugar, 4 egg whites and vanilla extract. Spread topping over ladyfingers over ladyfingers. Place spoonful of brownie batter on top of the creamy filling and swirl it lightly with a toothpick or knife.
3. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until center is almost set and brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in the pan before slicing it.

I'm linking up with Bobbi over at Revolution of Love for her Pinterest Party and Link-up, head on over and check it out.

Friday, 7 June 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday #26

--- 1 ---
Last Friday I went to a barbecue and my contribution was potato salad and some delicious tiramisu brownies. The brownies almost didn't make it to the majority of the guests. Our host, myself and a few people who were helping tend the grill spent most of our time in the kitchen and out back, while the others were in the living room. The kitchen crew decided the brownies need some quality testing (I had done the same thing with my sister at home), unfortunately after tasting it no one was willing to share their square.
--- 2 ---

By the time the brownies were brought out to the rest of the guests they were smaller, cut in two so there would be enough to share. I was worried it wouldn't go over well instead I should have been worried that I didn't make enough.

--- 3 ---
My weekend was exhausting besides the BBQ that I didn't get home from till around 2 Saturday morning, I had 1st Saturday Mass at 7 a.m and errands the rest of the day followed by a meeting at 3 pm. It was definitely a miracle that I got up to go to Mass that morning after not going to bed at around 2:30, then I had lots and lots of errands, I almost forgot to pay my cellphone bill my brain was so tired. The meeting went over long and then I had to drop a friend off at home, by the time I got home it was almost 8 and I was operating on less than 3 hours sleep for over 12 hrs. Another miracle I didn't crash until around 10, I have no idea exactly when because all I remember is waking up on the couch around 2 am but I remember closing my kindle and checking my phone. Guess what time I go to Mass for on Sunday?
--- 4 ---
The meeting in #3 was the final meeting and run through for our show on the local Catholic t.v station. It wasn't a rehearsal more of a "you can't say that" or like that session, it was meant to give us a few pointers and tips before Tuesday. Since it was a live show we couldn't be too rehearsed. Two of our members were out of the country on Saturday and one wasn't getting back until the morning of the show. I have been on a few of the planning committee for these things but have always managed not to be on air because I have stage fright, big time but I said yes this time around. I was seriously regretting my decision during the run through because I had a lovely freak out session and we hadn't even gotten to the real thing as yet.

--- 5 ---
Tuesday the day of the show we had to get to the studio at 6 (the show was at 8) so we could spend an hour in the Adoration chapel and then an hour get mic'ed and comfortable in our surroundings, etc. I love that there is an Adoration chapel right downstairs, I got an hour to just rest with Jesus and place my nerves in His hands. The first thing I noticed when we got up to the studio was that big ugly clock that would count down to keep us on schedule, then the three cameras. I was nervous straight up to our prayer before we went on air and only had one brain freeze moment though I kept talking until I remembered my point so there was no dead air. At Mass yesterday a lady grabbed me from behind to ask me if I had been on t.v that week.

--- 6 ---
There may be a  brunch on Sunday for us to watch the show when it re-airs but we haven't finalized details as yet. It's a good thing we are great at the last minute because this all started as we should have viewing party (we haven't seen it as yet) and somehow we are now at a brunch with a location or menu but we'll get there, maybe. Adoration tonight, so maybe I'll add it to my list.

--- 7 ---
A song to end the week.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Not Alone Series: Introduction

I'm a little late to the party but I am joining in with the Not Alone Series. It will be nice to blog along with other fellow singles, there are so many married and mommy bloggers (which I love) but it will be great to read blogs of other singles on their journey.

I am Nikki, my name is actually Nekeisha but nobody has ever called me that except for in Secondary School (High School), in fact a lady at church got confused after she pulled my name for our annual Christmas gift exchange last year. I totally knew who got my name because she came to me to ask who "that" person was.

I live in Trinidad and Tobago, the Trinidad half, which is in the Caribbean. I work in Accounting, I love to read, I crochet and bake. I am learning (teaching myself, same difference) to sew and quilt. My favourite colour is purple. I have one sister who at anytime can be my closest friend or worst enemy.

For the most part I am content being single, I really like hanging out with my friends (although are starting to get married in droves) and I can do many things at the drop of a hat, like winning and going on a cruise (yes that actually happened). I am also using this time to improve my relationship with God and myself. I am trying to learn patience and I am getting better at managing my home, I am not holding out at perfecting that before I get married, I may not hate cleaning anymore but we aren't besties either.

I am looking forward to getting to know the other bloggers and finding some new blogs to read.