Friday, October 26, 2012

EmWrites about Hospitality

Hey Friends!
I was invited to guest post over at my good friend Emily Miller's blog today!
Emily is a close friend I made while living in the great city of Chicago, and has taught me many things including a reverance for Patron Saints.
She is a newlywed that blogs over at EmMillerWrites, writes for Start Marriage Right and The Chicago Sun-times! 
Over on her blog she has been doing a FANTASTIC series on Hospitality called You're Welcome.
This series has a lot of awesome stuff about being hospitable and why being hospitable is important so go check it out!
Also-Emily is in general really fun and witty....so take some time to check out her blog in full.
Don't worry-she gave me permission to let you blog stalk her!

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

That one time

So remember that one time when I told you that my husband was in a band, and that band was going to have a concert?


Well-that totally happened!


Like, two months ago..... :)


But I have PROOF!



It was the best ever having a concert in our backyard. 
We had over 80 friends and family come by and we even got to meet some new neighbors! 
Soon there will be a song clip up of the show.....but Mr. Gill is in charge of making that happen-as it will be showcasing his band. 

One last thing:



I LOVE Fall and all the joys that come with it, like watching my nephews play in the leaves!


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Truffles!




Truffles.

Cookie Dough Truffles.

Seriously, these are SO SO good.

AND Bonus-if you can make chocolate chip cookies-you can totally make these!

















I first found this recipe on the blog Love and Olive Oil a couple of years ago when I was looking for a sweet treat to bring to a function but I didn't want to bake.

















The only modification I've made to the recipe is to add a little bit of espresso powder, because all chocolate chip cookie things are better with coffee!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

Yield: 3-4 dozen
Prep Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 1/2 hours

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup milk
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
14 oz dark chocolate candy coating

Directions:

Beat butter and sugars and in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add milk and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt and mix on low speed (or by hand) until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips.
Cover and chill dough for 1 hour.
When dough is firm enough to handle (it may help to lightly flour your hands), form dough into 1" balls and arrange on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Place sheets in freezer and let chill for 30 minutes.
Melt chocolate candy coating in a double boiler or in microwave according to package directions. Using forks or a dipping tool, dip cookie balls into candy coating to cover. Tap fork on side of pan to remove any excess coating, and return to waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Chill until set.

These are great to just have in your freezer to pull out when guests are over.....if you can resist the tempation of having them in your house!

*Jenny G

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I'll poke your eyes out





















You know how sometimes you want something SO MUCH you rip right into it and then something unexpected happens?




Yea, I don't think that's what happened here. 

I'm pretty sure the Boz wanted to tear out this toy's eyes.

My terror of a puppy. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Getting Crafty

When Mr. Gill and I moved into our new home last winter, we were not very discriminate on which room would be our bedroom.
In all honesty we just choose the room that 'seemed' to be the biggest.
So we set up our bedroom in the room that has a window that faces the entry-way of our neighbors house. There are some privacy shrubbery so they can't just peer into our windows during their comings and goings.....BUT they have a huge flood light.
A flood light they like to turn on as soon as it goes dark and it STAYS ON ALL NIGHT!
Because of this we now have the *UGLY* beige black out curtains in our room.
Very not my style but....I think I have found a solution to this issue.

No-Sew Roman Shades

























This is a photo of my kitchen window (notice the pots hanging) not my bedroom.
I found this tutorial on pinterest, and knew I wanted to try it in my kitchen, mostly because I already had the tools.
This fabric is adorable and the bright cherries really work in this space.

























How this works is you take a cheap-o plastic blind-ours came w/the house, remove all the slats (blinds?) from the ropes except for just a few.
The slats you keep on will be where the shade folds up when you pull the string.


























Then you measure out your fabric to cover the blinds, glue your seams, glue the fabric to the slats...being careful to not glue the rope down so it can move freely.

The tutorial has step by step instructions.

I was able to complete this project for FREE! I already had the blinds, fabric and glue so all I needed was a little time and patience....


But... I'm not going to lie to you, friends.
This project is EASY but I was probably not as diligent with the measuring/cutting as I should have been....just because it's no-sew does not = lazy face.
So, next time I would be more careful how I glue down my seams to make sure they match exactly. This one has a little over hang you can see on the photo above.....and I'm not going to show you a picture of this but the bottom is not exactly even (:o) but, it works.

I am REALLY excited to try this idea in our light filled nightmare of a bedroom. I'm thinking I can use the ugly blackout curtains as the base for these roman shades w/a super cute fabric adhered on top?
I will try this as soon as the air conditioner unit finds a new home not in my window.....but that might take a while as Boise has been in a heat wave for the last couple of months.

I can't wait to make our bedroom reflect more of our style, and what a great way to do that w/out spending loads of cash.

So if you are looking for an easy and cheap way to update your windows here you go!

*Jenny G


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Library and a Burger Bun Recipe






















On my 30 before 30 list I wrote that I wanted to get "good" at baking.

Well....I don't necessarily think this qualifies as being "good" at baking but seriously two of the best bread concoctions come out of my oven in the last few days.

Firstly, I made a recipe out of Peter Reinhart's artisan breads every day.
















Yea, I'm the girl that checks cookbooks out of the library....so what?

Anyway this recipe for ciabatta bread is the BOMB! And pretty easy....the hardest part is thinking about it the night before you want the bread since it must chill in the fridge overnight.
















If you are interested in making something other than sandwich loaf, check this book out....seriously....from your library :)

The OTHER thing I made were homemade hamburger buns!

























RIGHT? Who does that?
A girl looking for an excuse to bake that's who.....but these were for real the best ever.
They really taste similar to the onion buns you get at the grocery only WAY better.

























See all those yummy topping? Garlic salt, dried onions and flax seed!

I found the recipe at www.Chezus.com a neat blog I like to follow for fun cocktail ideas and stumbled across these!
I pinned it for later (of course) and the other day I had no idea what to have for dinner but we had some burgers. Homemade buns make burgers special-that's the truth.

I followed the recipe almost exactly, only altering the flour (I substituted 1 cup whole wheat) and my toppings.

Chez Us homemade buns



  • 1 packet active-dry yeast (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup warm whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • egg wash – 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon of each:  toasted sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried garlic, dried onion (or any seeds/toppings you like)
  • 1 teaspoon maldon salt
In the mixing bowl of your mixer, add the yeast into the warm water.  Stir.  Let it sit until dissolved.  In a separate bowl, stir the warm milk, with the egg, sugar, and salt.  Mix well.  Add the melted butter.  Stir again to mix well.  Add mixture to the yeast.
Put the dough hook onto your mixer and stir the mixture well.  Add the flour, one cup at a time and mix well after each addition.  About 3 minutes.  Continue kneading at low speed for 8 minutes.  The dough will be smooth and spring back when touched.  Remove the dough from the mixer bowl, and lightly oil it.  Return the dough to the mixing bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and a couple dish towels.  Put into a warm place and let rise until doubled in bulk;  about 60 minutes.
While the dough is rising combine the seeds with the onion and garlic as well as the salt.  Set aside.
Lightly flour your work surface and turn the dough out onto the flour.  Lightly knead for a couple minutes with your hands.  Divide the dough into 8 pieces, they will be about 3 ounces each.  Shape each into a tight ball.  Transfer the balls to a baking sheet covered with a silpat or parchment paper.  Let them rise in a warm place (I like to slide into an over that was gently heated for a couple minutes.  Turn the heat off) and let the dough rise until they are puffy and about the size of a burger patty.  About 40 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.  Lightly brush the tops with the egg wash.  Gently sprinkle with the seed/onion mixture.  Bake the buns for 17 minutes or until golden.  Let the buns cool to room temperature before serving.  Serve.  Eat.
*Jenny G

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Krill

So we've been busy as bees around here!

I've been crafting again and I'll have something fun to show you that I copied off of Pinterest (aren't all the best things copied off Pinterest?) probably next week because-let's just be real people.
I don't post every third day.

Anywho, another fun thing we've been working hard on are the plans we have for our Labor Day Weekend!

PS-did you know Labor Day Weekend 2012 is in less than a month!

We are hosting a backyard concert!!


Oh yes we are!

Mr. Gill has formed a band called Michael Gill & The Krill and they are going to play in our backyard.

I know, it seems kind of silly but we are super excited about it for lots of reasons but I'll just list a couple here for you.
1. Mr. Gill has to practice his own songs, making him more comfortable with his stuff.
2. He's invited some of his friends (and family) to be in the band with him, making it exponentially MORE awesome.
3. Its a great reason to have a party and this girl likes parties! Especially parties that bring people together that won't often get together. Mr. Gill's parents are moving to Idaho in like a day and this is the perfect situation for them to get acquainted with our friends and neighbors.
4. Our good friends have also formed a band named Chase, The Fox and they will be opening up the show! How great is that?




This is the *poster* I made for the event. When I say poster really I mean a photo that I added text to....because I have a VERY limited understanding of Photoshop. 


What are YOUR plans for Labor Day Weekend?

*Jenny G

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Breakfast




















So Mr. Gill and I usually try to take some time to have a nice breakfast on Sundays for a couple of reasons.
1. Usually Saturdays are busy and having a slow morning doesn't work out well
2. Church is in the evenings for us so we are able to chill out in the am.

This morning we had whole wheat biscuits and eggs w/Mr. Gill's fancy sauce.





















The biscuits came together SUPER quick and made a bunch so we have plenty for the quick mornings during the week.

The recipe comes from The Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook my mom gave me when I moved out, which I have referenced many times in the years I've been cooking for myself!

Biscuits Supreme

2 c flour (we used whole wheat but it calls for all-purpose)
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar (we omitted)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c shortening
2/3 c milk

Pre-heat oven to 450* and stir together all dry ingredients. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and add in milk. Stir until dough just comes together and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently for 10-12 strokes. Roll to a 1/2 inch thickness and cut w/biscuit cutter (or the top of a drinking glass).

Bake on un-greased baking sheet for 10-12 minutes.

Makes 10-12 biscuits.

Top w/homemade jam or a creamy bechamel sauce and fried egg.
Pour yourself some coffee and enjoy w/your favorite person!

*Jenny G

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A whole stick of butter

You may or may not have noticed but I am a terribly inconsistent person. 

There are a few things I do regularly. 

Sleep. I've got that one down.

Eat. I really enjoy that one. 

But blogging.....apparently not. 

Sorry :/

But...you're HERE.....

Reading anyway even if I don't post daily.....or weekly....sometimes I even go a month. 

:/ 

There have been a few fun things that have happened in since our last chat. 

1. My little sister Laura came to visit! 





















We had a stupid awesome time floating the Boise River, having her lead me through Nike Trainer and not being able to walk the rest of the day, and marathon out of nowhere shopping spree. 
Sidenote: Laura is probably my favoritest person to go shopping with because she's honest and has a HIGH sense of fashion and most of all she can talk me into trying things on I love but would have NEVER picked out for myself.


2. The day after my sister left to go home to Michigan, my sister in law went into labor and had her first child! I was there for the birth and it was awesome.....and slightly terrifying....but mostly incredible. 
I've never seen a human come out of a human before.....and I thought I knew what to expect, but I was literally in awe of what I saw.....absolutely incredible. 
Last thing I have to say about this is-Men are wimps. I can't imagine a dude doing anything like that.

3. The Boz and I have been spending quite a bit of time together!





















Believe me, he's still a puppy-but he's been mellowing out quite a bit. 
We've been exercising him more, and I think the high heat here in Boise is making him in general more tired.





















He's a pretty happy dog, and even though he ate a WHOLE STICK OF BUTTER that I set out to make cookies with today-I still love him.

Hopefully next time we sit down to talk I'll have a recipe up for you!

Have a good weekend!

*Jenny G


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Easy as Pie

Baking a pie.


Sounds easy right?

Well. 

Maybe. 

ok-here's the story. I was given a bunch of rhubarb recently and I though-GOODNESS! I'll make a couple of strawberry rhubarb pies, one for Mr. Gill (his favorite) and one for our neighbor....since we're still new to the neighborhood and have yet to bribe people to like us. 




















But things got complicated for several reasons.

1. I froze the rhubarb.

apparently rhubarb doesn't really like to be frozen, as a stalk that is-it was kinda mushy and gross....which made it hard to cut through.......so-don't freeze rhubarb.
Maybe it would survive better if you pre-chopped then freeze? I dunno. 

2. I tried a new pie crust recipe that boasted making enough for several pies.....when attempting to give away a pie just DON'T try something new. 
The crust was um.....kinda not good.....i'm not going to even tell you what recipe I tried because-well-it was edible but we've all had not so great crust so why share sometime less than awesome right? 

3. I didn't have a pie plate!
I've lent it out and forgot about it until I'm all strawberry rhubarbed up and have (not-so-awesome) pie crust coming out of my ears.
So I being my inventive self used a cake pan from the dollar store that I don't actually bake cakes in because-well......bakeware from the dollar store just doesn't really cut it does it?


















so I made only one, and Mr. Gill ate it. 
and our neighbors still think we're slightly shady since we haven't yet had a pie.


The inside of the pie was pretty awesome. I used this recipe from Deb over at Smitten Kitchen!
I'm sure if you have a pie plate AND use her recipe for crust or any other tried and tested crust recipe it would be a wonderful pie to share for the 4th of July! What is more American than Strawberry Rhubarb Pie? 

Well...

Apple Pie 

but those aren't quite in season yet-but berries are so head over to Deb's blog and try this recipe out.

*Jenny G

Friday, June 29, 2012

byTavi





















So we've been super busy this week, doing lots of fun things-one of which includes selling some purses!

I have been selling bags for my friends down in Cambodia! Katy and Alan moved there almost a year ago and have been working with Center for Global Impact. (check out their blog on life in Cambodia)
CGI has a program called byTavi that sells purses and scarves. They work with women who are at risk to work for a living wage.
These bags are totally legit and these amazing ladies get 100% of the proceeds.
You can get involved by either having a party, or purchasing a bag yourself. If you are interested totally get ahold of me and we can work something out.

I have been selling for a couple of months, but they also have a website!
Check out http://www.bytavi.com/ to purchase straight from the website or to learn more about what CGI is up to!

*Jenny G

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Butta Butta Butta





















Last night I made cookies.

And then, I took Trader Joe's Cookie Butter and made a sandwich.



And it was EPIC!


So Cookie Butter has been talked about ALL OVER the blog world, not to mention that Joy and Tracy keep talking about their love for it I knew I had to try some for myself.

But, there aren't any Trader Joe's in Boise, or Idaho......or within a 100 miles of Boise. So when Mr. Gill and I started planning our trip to California I made a stipulation that we had to stop by a TJ while out and about.....

and we did.....

twice.

Once for our camping goodies and a second time for yummy stuff for home. On that second trip I picked up the Cookie Butter, Coconut Oil and Dark Chocolate Covered Ginger (OHMIGOD Sooo Good!).

Back to the cookies......the filling is so buttery and spicy like creamy gingersnap awesomeness that I decided to just make some shortbread cookies to create my sandwiches.

This shortcake recipes uses butter, powdered sugar, flour and cornstarch. The orginal recipe didn't call of vanilla extract but I wanted to give the cookies a little more flavor so I threw a little in the to mix.
It was really easy to put together and kind of fun to roll into balls and flatten out w/my palm....because the dough reminded me a little bit of play-dough.....must be the cornstarch.





















These are nice and buttery, and the recipe makes 24 sandwiches so plan on sharing!

Melt in your mouth Shortbread Cookie Cookie Butter Sandwiches-adapted from allrecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • splash of vanilla extract
yield of 2 dozen sandwiches.
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Whip butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Stir in the confectioners' sugar, cornstarch, and flour. Beat on low for one minute, then on high for 3 to 4 minutes. Drop cookies by spoonfuls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet, or roll into balls and flatten w/your palm.
  3. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Watch that the edges don't brown too much. Cool on wire racks.
  4. After the cookies have cooled spread generous amount of Cookie Butter (or peanut butter) on one cookie and make a sandwich w/another.
  5. Eat and share with a friend over coffee or afternoon tea!

*Jenny G

Sunday, June 17, 2012

30 before 30

So about a month ago I turned 29.

29.....as in 1 year away from 30.


And, I did not freak out....but in true Jenny fashion I made a list.




















a 30 things to do before I turn 30 list.


Some of them are pretty awesome, some are pretty normal....some are easy to cross off and some are kinda hard to quantify....but I want to share them w/you and let you know as I cross them off!

1. Run another 1/2 marathon
2. convert blog into a *mostly* food blog
3. can tomatoes (hopefully from our own garden)
4. try my hand at painting
5. tailgate a BSU game
6. knit something in the round
7. make my own nut butter
8. 30 days of skirts/dresses
9. refashion something from a thrift store
10. try mountain biking
11. attend musical/ballet
12. go to the Shakespeare festival here in Boise
13. 1 whole month on budget (LOL)
14. infuse some liquor
15. make my own vanilla extract
16. sell something I make
17. eat entirely local for one week
18. attend a festival
19. host a backyard concert
20. get to know our neighbors
21. hike in sawtooth mountains
22. make my own marshmallows
23. paint the bedrooms in our house
24. drive through a redwood
25. attend a Powwow
26. take a day-long bike trip
27. be a good aunt/uncle
28. become awesome at making homemade bread
29. get myself a fancy-schmancy camera
30. dress 50s vintage for something special/important


So obviously I have crossed some of these off-















The above photo is a picture of me at the Renaissance fair that happened this weekend in Eagle!
We got to see some pretty interesting things, including the King and Queen. I was asked to "make way" for them...


This is a photo of Mr. Gill, Bosley and I preparing to drive-thru a Redwood tree when we went on our camping trip in Northern California (SO FUN!)





















Not all of these things will be easy to photograph either....but I'm super excited to work on all of these them!
It makes looking forward to turning the Big 30 a little easier to handle, and hopefully I'll be more awesome for completing these goals.
Are there any fun thing YOU want to accomplish this year?
Throw it up and we'll do them together!



Love

Jenny G

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Eating Ferns for Dinner

Long time no see people!

Sorry.

Its totally my fault.

We've been busy.....

With fun things like traveling and singing and cooking and working!

Today though I want to throw up a post I've been planning for a while.

I was at the Farmers Market a couple of weeks (or over a month) ago and came across Fiddlehead Ferns!





















How crazy right?

Fiddlehead ferns are usually a foraged item; "Fiddlehead greens are the furled fronds of a young fern,[1] harvested for use as a vegetable. Left on the plant, each fiddlehead would unroll into a new frond (circinate vernation). As fiddleheads are harvested early in the season before the frond has opened and reached its full height, they are cut fairly close to the ground. Fiddleheads have antioxidant activity, are a source of Omega 3 and Omega 6, and are high in iron and fibre." source


So I had to purchase them.

I did a quick google search to get an idea of recipes, and it looked like most of them were stir-fry-ish things so I made my own.

























To start things off I made a pot of brown rice. We all know how brown rice is better health-wise for you than white, but I just LOVE the chewiness of brown rice. Mmmm, yum!

Anyway, onto the feature of the dinner....We had some shrimp in the freezer, so I sauteed a little bit of onion, garlic and bacon until it was done, added the ferns, a couple of handfuls of fresh spinach and after a few minutes added the thawed shrimp.
After the shrimp was all nice and pink in a separate pan I melted some butter, added some flour and let that get brown.....also called making a roux.
Into the roux I juiced a nice big lemon and stirred the sauce into the stir-fry, and plated it up onto a big place of chewy brown rice.




















Some big shreds of Parmesan cheese on top a sprinkle of kosher salt and ta-da!
Pour yourself a big glass of red and use a fancy napkin and you've got a pretty darn good dinner for two!

Ok, real life... this was Sooo Sooo good!
The ferns really reminded me of asparagus/grass.....but in a good way.
And in all honesty, if you didn't take a bite of JUST the fern, you'd just taste the spinach/bacon/lemon wonderfulness.
Mr. Gill really liked this dish.
So-if you see fiddleheads at your local market-pick them up....just remember to at least cook them slightly, because they have a little bit of toxicity if they are eaten raw!





















And if you don't have a farmer's market but DO have a Trader Joe's, Mr. Gill and I saw some there when we were in California.
So check them out!

Jenny G

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A little tease

Mr. Gill, Lindsay and I made it back from Portland just fine.
I just want to show you a few un-edited pictures I took while I was trying to figure out (still trying) my new camera.
















These are of Bosley right before we left for PDX.
It was the first time I used the camera and it was a nice sunny day so Boz and I had a little photo shoot in our backyard :)

















This is of Mr. Gill and I posing in front of a shop on Hawthorne in Portland called Vintage Pink.
He has since cut off all his beautiful curls.

The camera I got is a Nikon CoolPix (yea, that's the name-for real) L120. I snagged it at Costco on the cheap....I am that girl....and I still haven't read the manual because it's a CD-ROM or...whatever you call it now-a-days. That's no fun. I want to take pics and look at the manual not sit at my computer....because Mr. Nikon CD-ROM guy-when I'm at the computer I'm either reading blogs and pinning things from them OR searching pinterest for blogs to pin things from.
Thank you.

Anyways.....
I'll post more pictures later.....for real....I took LOTS while in Oregon and I'll put them up, these are just teasers!

Love

Jenny G

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Work-cation

Hello Friends!
I hope you all had a wonderful Easter. My parents were in town, which was awesome, and our church joined with 4 other area churches to have a big party on easter morning...and that was just incredible, watching all these people work together to put on a huge celebration.

Now Mr. Gill and I are spending this week visiting Portland with our friend Lindsay! she and her mom have been super gracious hosts to us.
She grew up in the area and has been planning lots of fun things for us to do and see.
We've only been here two days and we've already spent 6 (!) hours at Ikea, seen Blue Like Jazz the movie IN Portland, and has drinks at a sassy little wine bar!

Mr. Gill is taking some fancy engineering class......something about modeling.....and probably computers? I don't know you'll have to ask him, but he LOVES it. He actually sent me a text yesterday telling me how awesome his class was while he was in the first session.
And so our trip, at least for Mr. Gill is not a vacation purely.....it's more of a work-cation. Not really fully working, but definitely not just a vacation either.
For me though, I'm trying to take in as much of the Portland experience as I can. Do you have any suggestions on things we should do/see?

So I'm going to sign off this post in the spirit of Lindsay Horst.

Two things
1. I got a new camera and once we're back from oregon I'll post some fun photos.
2. I miss Bosley!




*Jenny G

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Meet Bosley!

So Mr. Gill and I adopted a puppy a week ago today!
His name is Bosley and he's just about the cutest puppy we've ever seen.....and yes we're biased. 


He's a black lab mix....we think maybe with Pitbull? We probably will never really know.
He's cuddly and has soft fur and is a little bit of a princess even if he's a boy. 
He won't sit on the hard floor-he prefers rugs or blankets to sit upon.
It's interesting though because I'm not used to really having anything relying on me before....I mean in a...if you don't feed me I can't eat...type of way. 






















Bosley is a little firecracker though. This is his photo right after he was caught making a mess in the kitchen. 
It's my fault though....I'll explain.
So, we were outside and he found a stick like 2x his size and didn't want to put it down. I naturally let him bring it inside..
(!)
I couldn't tell him no and then he tore the whole thing apart in my kitchen. 

My puppy is teaching me how to say no to something cute. 

This is why Mr. Gill wanted us to get a dog instead of a baby. 
I mean, what if I let a baby chew on a stick? 
Something could really go wrong....
Mr. Gill is pretty wise.

*Jenny G

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Risky Business

So I had this conversation with a friend recently who is thinking about moving to a different state.
She said she feels like it would be a great community for her, she knows people there and she really feels like it would be a good move....but....
But what?
Why not just pick up and move?

It is complicated.....always, but fear is totally part ot it.


And I totally get it. I'm right there.
A good friend asked me a couple of weeks ago what I wanted to do if I could do anything.
I had no answer. I mean-there are things I like to do.....but I don't dream of becoming a senator or owning a bakery (you get up too early), or of being a missionary.
I am afraid to even try new things....to see explore what I like to do or not because of fear of failure.
Failure is a big deal to people who want to make sure everyone likes them.....to people who find their identity in making others happy.....

God revealed something new to me a couple days ago. You know that verse where is says that God works all things to good of those who love him? And then the one that says what Satan meant for evil God meant for good?
Those two hit me in a huge way last week. In my fear of failure in trying something new (plug in for your fear) I wasn't trusting God. I don't think that I need to hear an audible voice from God to say-Hey Jenny....I think it would be nice if you tried to paint. Pick up a brush.
Or, even a specific call to move somewhere new. If I trust that God can work even my 'messes', my 'failures' out for good......then, is it even a failure?
I should feel empowered to take risks. Because in taking a risk I'm opening up space for God to move! If I'm just standing still I have no momentum for God to push me in any direction right?

So I don't know if trying my hand at painting is going to reveal a new passion for me......but maybe it will. And even if it doesn't I'll know whether or not I like to paint right?
Because I don't have to be perfect to be loved, I don't have to save the world for God to use me as long as I'm moving.

My friend can move and experience that and even if it doesn't work out and she comes back to Boise-even if it 'fails', at least she was moving, at least she was OPEN to a new experience and I can promise that she will grow from challenging herself to be in a new place.
And WHO knows how God can use a risk like that?? Maybe she'll meet someone or have a life-altering conversation over there she wouldn't have had here.

God is like that. He wants us to live risky lives for HIM.
Trusting HIM. And by listening to HIM.

So go try something new.
Take that risk.
Have that conversation.

Our lives aren't measured in how safe we were..... we won't recount how fiscally responsible we were when we're on our death bed. We'll remember our lives greatest experiences....how we've loved and been loved.
Our lives are measured in our experiences and as long as we are moving and honestly seeking to glorify the Lord...He'll use them!
Good or seemingly bad.

I'm gonna go find that paintbrush....


Jenny G*

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A peek!

House Tour Continued!




















So first things first.
Well, second since I have already shown you the home decor of much of the house....lol-you can tell what I'm most excited about huh?
Anyway-this is the front of our house....you cannot see is the little landing and a paved path that goes almost out to the street but not quite.
I don't really get that part...why pave up until there is two feet and leave grass?
We have big plans for the front of this place. See that planter area? We're going to rip it out and put up a lovely front porch complete w/a porch swing.
When Mr. Gill and I were dating I lived in a great house w/a screened in porch w/a big wicker swing and a lot of our memories of falling in love happened on that swing....*sigh*.
Yea-we're planning on putting up another gable and making it a nice big porch....maybe even wrap it around to the side entrance....which is the one we use most often anyway.




















Here is the living room-see the front door and fireplace!













































This is probably one of my favorite paint colors EVER!!!
Oh its just so great. It's the mud room/laundry room....the laundry room was um....being used...by all my dirty laundry so I didn't take a picture.
Next time.

Anyway this is where the door off of the driveway leads-and this room also connects to the kitchen or the hallway.....




















This is our old-timey backyard patio-
I couldn't help but put an old filter on it and let me tell you why.
The awning (I had to look up how to spell that) is Soooo old store-front style. I kinda want to print out Life in the Fish Bowl in vinyl letters and stick 'em up there.
Also-notice the steps to the back door...they look like steps for the shallow end of the pool! It patio is totally great though, its nice and big and we'll be able to have lots of dinner parties out there w/out being cramped like we were at our last place. And that tree has the perfect bend of branch for a rope swing! :)




















This is the view from the patio-our big backyard. What you can't see is the trash heap of yard clippings the previous renters left for us. We're working on getting rid of it slowly.
I'm planning on having a garden this year-our yard gets lots of nice sun, and I hope to be able to grow something to eat. We'll see how it goes-I've enlisted the help of people who know what they are doing and I've spent some time reading up on it. I'm not quite ready to start composting yet....
Expect updates on that throughout the summer.

The house tour has not yet concluded, but will take some time as we're still finding boxes we shoved into the spare bedroom a couple of months ago :/

*Jenny G

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What Jenny Wore

So I have been blog stalking for a little bit and some of the blogs I like to read do a little segment they call 'What I Wore'.
Boise is a little more hipster than Indy-or maybe I have more hipster-inclined friends here than I did in Indiana-either way....I feel like my style has change uh-just a little bit.

I am NOT a fashionista, I do not dress up often....um-and I usually don't wear make-up.

Sorry.

But, I do have some outfits I really like and since they make me feel pretty I'm going to share some with you.


I really really like this outfit. The cardigan is from Target (bought on a whim), the t-shirt from Wal-mart (don't hate) and belt and skirt thrifted from Goodwill, the sweater tights are from Target as well and the boots are from the Free Store which I mentioned here.
I love this! I feel like its nice and fun but casual all at the same time. It doesn't feel like much more work than wearing jeans but I feel cooler for sure :)
The only problem is that the sweater tights and wool skirt make for MAJOR static and every time I walk the skirt keeps on creepin'.
I may need to invest in some static-guard.
Also-please notice how un-organized my bedroom is....like all the shoes on our floor and the rubbermaid containers that are Mr. Gill's dresser! :/

What are some of your favorite outfits?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Other Things

Hello Friends!
I don't have many tidbits for you today except to point out that I also occasionally blog over at our Church website www.northendcollective.org!
The whole website is full of fun information but I am pretty much only involved with the blog.
This week we're talking about Lent!



















**Hey Ya Ash Wed**

:)

Jenny G

Friday, February 17, 2012

Finally!

So I finally found my little camera!
This means two things.
#1 I'm not going to get a brand new camera with our tax return. I like my little one enough for now AND Mr. Gill is going to maybe get some new recording software so he can start producing higher quality tunes.
#2 You get to see pictures of our house!!! :)
I'll be doing them as a series-mostly because I don't want one post of a bajillion pictures AND this is my sneaky trick to keep you checking back....muwhahaha (my evil laugh).


This is our front door/entry into the living room. It's more for looks than actual use by us....because there is a door right off of the driveway BUT people who come to visit us use this door often so, I put up some little coat hooks.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE how this looks! I of COURSE love the teal w/the yellow-and surprisingly-this is the most teal-ish thing we have in the house, besides the couch pillows and my bedspread.
The other thing I love about this frame/hook idea is that I didn't steal it off of Pinterest-like I did almost everything else in our house :)






















Our mantle! It's taken @ a funny angle (sorry) but you can see everything on it-the Ampersand, a picture of Mr. Gill and I in Chicago, the camera my grandfather gave me, our photo book, the little carving my friend Kestelle gave us for our wedding-our salt covenant from our wedding, and a nice big tin star, along w/a photo of Chicago and a little plant in a Chicago mug.....a theme maybe?
I really value the years I got the opportunity to live in the Windy City-for real! I moved there very naive (maybe I still am a little bit), but I learned how to navigate that city on my own and took that time to figure out, at least in part, who I am and what I want to be about. I got to spend loads of time with my grandparents and be there with them through some difficult times. I made some beautiful friendships there and I still feel like a real city girl when I ride the El! But anyway-that's our mantle! :)




















So this is the wall directly opposite the front door.
I am realizing that I didn't actually take any pictures of the layout of the room-just the decorating tidbits that I'm super excited about.
Expect a layout photo in the next post :)

Anyway-this is a engagement photo, a pic of us taking communion @ our wedding, the lyrics to our first dance (partially) and our wedding feet!
For all but the feet photo I did a little bit of editing on PS and then had them printed @ Wal-mart. I know, I'm so a cheater but my photographer/best friend lives in Indiana AND I didn't decide which photos I wanted until like 5 days before our housewarming party.
So anyway I had them printed there and I picked up some canvases @ HobbyLobby on the cheap. Using a technique I've pinned on my favorite website Pinterest I ModPodged the photos onto the canvas, using acrylics to paint in the edges to give it a finished look and then ModPodged over it all after it was dry to give the brush-stroke look of a canvas photo print. Way cheaper and I feel good about doing it myself! I did the same thing for the lyrics except I just typed them up, printed it out on my home printer and did it. It was a little hard keeping air bubbles out of regular paper-I think next time I'd use the aersol spray adhesive and then ModPodge.

So this is the wall to the left of the wedding photo wall, and is directly across from the fireplace....does that make any sense? Don't worry-I'll take a picture to
show how this all goes together and isn't just random walls.
Anyway-these are super cheap floating shelves I've had from my Chicago days from Ikea (I miss Ikea). I spray painted them black and then we just have some fun stuff up there. Mostly photos of family or things I've taken, a little russian doll, our guest book, vases and gifts and in the branches I have prayer cards and cards of saints.
I really like the layered look-I totally stole the idea from Pottery Barn....although it was Mr. Gill's idea to off-set the shelves, and I really like that a lot. Especially when his guitar is up against the wall in the corner filling in that empty space.




















This is the incredibly awesome COUCH I found on Craigslist!! I stalked it for a couple of days....and it took me a while to convince Mr. Gill that we'd actually love it....but-we got it!!!
Isn't it so beautifully old lady?
Oh man. It really was the wood framing around the edges that stole my heart.
Anyway....I also thrifted some suitcases from a side table and I already had a book that was falling apart of I just tied some twine around it to be all vintagey and that photo is of the head of Mr. Gill's guitar....taken though back when it belonged to my baby sister.




















A photo is just of the transition between the living room (yellow) and the dining room (gray).
Nothing too wonderful here except that I LOVE this color combo.
And yes-I did pin lots of pictures of yellow and gray rooms before we painted so I would know what I wanted.

I just love Pinterest!

Stay tuned for a tour of the rest of our new little nest!

*Jenny G
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