Monthly Archives: December 2014

12/29/14

A Look Back

This time of year begs for it.

The reminiscing.

The recaps.

The emotional look back.

And, I am no different.

So, I decided to list through my favorite posts from this past year. These are those posts I loved working on, loved writing, loved reading, editing, making, and sharing. And I want to share them all over again with you!

27 Lessons in 27 Years was a post from my heart during the months leading up to my 27th birthday.

It was a special, and deeply personal, post to write. It’s one of those posts I would want my daughter to read one day.

Obedience was a theme for me in 2014. Perhaps that was the Lord’s way of gently prodding.

Here was a series of posts I did on godly obedience— it’s not optional, it’s required.

Obedient Pt 1 & Obedience Pt 2.

“When God speaks to you. He is asking you to make a commitment. Not just to be willing to obey, but to actually follow through. Actually obeying His voice lays the groundwork for Him to continue making His will known to you- not because He relishes playing the role of controlling father-figure, coldly demanding your compliance- but because He desires to bless you with His most special gifts, including deeper intimacy with Him. He knows what is best for you, and He only requires that you obey in order to experience it.” — Priscilla Shirer 

I had the privilege of meeting one of my heroes this year- Priscilla Shirer at a work event, and I was blown away by her God-given ability to both encourage, challenge, and inspire God’s faithful as she speaks.

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She spoke about God’s Ability. He is Able! And I wrote a post immediately after returning home because I wanted to put all those learnings & take-aways in writing ASAP. Here is my feeble, but heartfelt and sincerest attempt at summarizing her talk– God is Able.

My favorite featured “guest” posts came from Tammy Strait at Grace Uncommon blog. She did a piece on “How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others” that touched every single part of me.

comparing to other women

Loved it so much, I just had to share it again!

And finally, a journey of living in a constant state of gratitude. I took the dare in 2014!

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Each day, I wrote, and by the end of this next spring, I will reach 1000 Gifts! Wow! What a great milestone in my prayer/journaling life in my quiet times with the Lord.

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“It’s habits that can imprison you, and it’s habits that can free you!” 

Choosing to be grateful, to see the small, and to be thankful has changed my perspective.

I give thanks!

I experience great joy!

I live in His joy!

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Read more of my Gratitude journey here.

And it wouldn’t be a complete countdown without a few recipes thrown in for good measure…

My Easy Crockpot Pulled Pork Mole is great for feeding a crowd!

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My aunt shared this recipe with me last year, and I am certainly glad she did! It is sure to be a family favorite in your house too!

And my Mom’s Sausage Cheese Pie is one of those recipes we make over & over & over.

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Literally.

So good.

Make it. Make it now!

Upside Down Cranberry Apple Cake– hands down one of the very best desserts I have ever made. My family devoured it!

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Fresh tart cranberries & slivers of apples tossed in a cinnamony-orange sugar and topped with a tender sour cream cake batter.

Delightful!

And who could forget Individual Mini Desserts, including my Mom’s No-bake Chocolate Eclair Cake!

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So delicious!

And last, but certainly not least, my Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast Bake. It is by far and away the most requested breakfast dish in my house.

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It is so stinking good & my other version with raspberries is absolutely perfect as well. Can’t go wrong with either of them.

And that’s it, a year in Review! 

Can’t wait to continue to share with you in 2015…. see you then!

Happiest of Happy New Years from A Still Magnolia Blog!

xoxo

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12/26/14

Best Books of 2014

Books, Books, Books.

I simply cannot collect enough of them.

I have multiples on my book shelves that I haven’t read yet, but I cannot stop the gravitational pull I experience each time I am within 5 miles of a Barnes & Noble Book store. It’s like genetic.

Mom does it too.

So, in an effort to inspire your reading life, here are my top books from 2014. A little something for everyone.

Fiction 

Fiction is where I have spent the majority of my time this year, so I cannot limit this to just one entry, but 4!!!

Wrapped in Rain by Charles Martin

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

Divergent Series by Veronica Roth

Where’d You go Bernadette? by Maria Semple

Non-Fiction 

Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis

Devotional/Spiritual 

Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer

Christian Fiction 

Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers

Unraveled by Heidi McCahan

Business/Leadership 

The Heart of Leadership by Mark Miller, forward by Patrick Lencioni

Cookbooks 

Make it Ahead by Ina Garten, a Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

Happy reading!

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