Wednesday, March 25, 2009

4 weeks with no dessert and going strong!

So, today is Wednesday and I am still dessert-free! Can you believe it? I have not been craving sweets lately and have been kicking those temptations to the curb! Meanwhile, I have still been baking because I love it so. I made Callie some treats to celebrate her new job (YAY!). AND I made Melissa and Lindsay some treats to say thank you for being such good friends. Below are the pictures.

Homemade snicker bars! Look at that caramel--yum

Callie loves chocolate, cream cheese, and raspberry--so created these specially for her! They are a brownie base with a cream cheese swirl and raspberries baked in. I am calling them Cowabunga Brownies!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Saturday--Still Dessert-free!

Here are some pictures of my latest baking adventures:

Matt's Birthday Cake:

Some MoMo's Goodies packaging:

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I love to bake!

Hello hello---3 weeks and 1 day and I am still dessert-free! However, I did have a very weak moment last night and AFTER my dinner, I decided it would quench my sweet tooth if I had three pancakes with maple syrup. Let's just say, I was full to the brim and had quite the stomach ache.

There were temptations galore today for me to cheat and eat dessert, but I stayed strong. Matt's birthday was today and I am having him, Kiel, Lindsay, and Andrew over tomorrow night for a mexican fiesta and birthday party. I made him a Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake--chocolate cake, white chocolate mousse, and chocolate frosting. He loves chocolate--so this cake should be yummy to him. I plan on cutting the slices for everyone tomorrow and staying strong--ya'll have my word on it! ;)

In addition to baking him that cake, which was so relaxing and a lot of fun for me, I made some homemade salsa. I usually just chop tomatoes and onions and cilantro for my salsa, but today I wanted to be more challenged. I made it in the blender and added garlic and cumin and green chillis. It is divine! It is supposed to mellow overnight, letting the flavors marry, and I cannot wait to see what it tastes like tomorrow. Next time I will probably add more spice, as I like my salsa a little spicy.

I also requested to join this group called "Barefoot Bloggers." It is a bi-weekly event that bloggers participate in. Ina Garten (or called the Barefoot Contessa on Food Network) has multiple, beautiful cookbooks out there. Someone from the group chooses a recipe every other week and each member of the Barefoot Bloggers makes it and takes pictures of it for their blog. Should be fun! We shall see!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Going strong and 28 more days to go!

Heyhey--It has been 2 and a half weeks and I am still dessert-free! I think my sister is the most shocked that I have lasted this long because she witnesses on a daily basis how much dessert I usually make. Even though I have not been able to eat sweets, I am still reading my cookbooks everyday and looking at recipes online. For a few years now, when I have spare time, I look up recipes online and in my cookbook collection. I love learning the difference butter vs. margarine makes in cookies, or baking powder vs. baking soda, the amounts of certain ingredients. I take this knowledge and experiment in the kitchen with my own recipes. It is one of my very favorite things to do! For example, a few weeks ago I make the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever made by combining a few different recipes. My perfect cookie is crispy on the edges and soft/almost gooey on the insides. I figured out out to make that happen and it was glorious! Anyway, the reason I am telling you all of this is that I have realized even though I cannot eat sweets, I still absolutely love baking. I am itching to bake right now and will definitely be in the kitchen this week!

P.S. I want to thank Ashlin last night for being the best sister/best friend ever in the universe for putting a smile on my face. I love you Ashmash!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Luke 11: 36

If then your whole body is full of light, having no part of dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.

Who are you shining for today?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I <3 Sundays!

Dessert free= ME! I even made Melissa some delicious chocolate-packed blondies with chocolate buttercream and ate NONE of it. I was definitely tempted and thought about licking the spoon or knife many times, but I remained strong. I kept thinking "Blessed are those who endure temptation..."

I bet you are probably wondering--Madison is not Catholic, why does she participate in Lent? Well, for a few years now I have always sacrificed something. These have included gossip my freshmen year, frozen yogurt my sophomore year, and cereal (started out as carbs but I failed) my junior year. After each of these times I have sacrificed, I learned to appreciate the item given up much more. AND giving up gossip (which was Melissa's idea) was the best thing for me at the time. My freshmen year I was very caught up in gossip and the girly part of doing that, and realized how judgemental and negative this is to other people. Gossiping is not Christ-like by any means. To this day I do gossip, but nearly as much as I used to.

So, I am hoping that giving up desserts will help my ultimate sweet tooth. However, more importantly, I hope giving up the sweets will make me memorize scripture in more ways. When I am tempted and think of a verse, I most likely do not give into that temptation.

I went to the short term mission trip meeting today and am so excited! I hope and pray I can go...there are many different trips that I am interested in. I am going to talk to the pastor in charge of all the trips soon to help my decide. Please keep me on your prayer list.

Thank you for your encouragement! It is much much much appreciated.

Friday, March 6, 2009

One week and 2 days!

Well, Lent started a week and two days ago and I am still going strong with no desserts. :) I am proud of myself and cannot wait to say I have accomplished not eating desserts for ALL of Lent.
I decided yesterday, after I put like 9 tablespoons on one peanut butter sandwich, that I need to consider peanut butter a dessert because I am using it as my crutch. So, I am either going to stop eating it so much or go real lightly on it.

Sarah and I went to the beach from Tuesday through Thursday and had a great time. We just did things girls like to do like: get french manicures, shop, eat good food, go see a movie, and just veg out. It was a lot of fun and we stayed laughing the whole time. Sarah and I met last summer because we were both studying abroad in London and Paris on the same program. We immediately clicked and I knew that I would take a great friend, a best friend, away from the trip. That is probably the best thing I took away from the trip. I say that is pretty good--spend a summer in Europe and come back with one of your best friends!

This weekend is hopefully going to be a "productive" weekend...lots of projects due soon, GRE in 2 we go!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Day 6: Not in Mississippi

Well--when life hands me lemons, I don't make lemonade--I make lemon poppy seed cake. With that said, Sarah and I were unable to go to Mississippi this morning because of canceled flights. The snow came and came--but driving in it today, I feel like we would have been fine. We cannot go to Mississippi tomorrow because it is Habitat's policy for volunteers to attend a mandatory orientation/info session tonight and we would be missing that. We are hoping we can go back this summer...

So, Sarah and I are re-packing our bags and going to Ocean Isle for a couple of days. We are going to have a girls pamper time and just be girls and have fun. I feel bad that we are not helping out in Mississippi, however, this will be good for us too.

Sarah's favorite thing ever (we had it ALOT in Europe this summer at Starbucks) is Lemon Poppy Seed Cake, so I am getting ready to make that for her. She can eat it at the beach! I am hoping and praying I do not give into temptations and eat it. I don't know how often I will update my blog at the beach, but I will be back later on this week!

Be good!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Day 5 and a temporary goodbye...

Today has been a fun day...and instead of looking forward to baking (which I definitely do miss a lot), I actually looked forward to making a healthy meal for dinner tonight. Yes, I am making my own bon-voyage dinner for Ashlin, Kiel, and myself...complete with a italian sausage pasta bake, salad, cheese sticks, and bread. No dessert in there!

Bon voyage, you say? Yes, I will be leaving tomorrow morning for Bilouxi, Mississippi (if the weather permits) and returning Saturday afternoon. Sarah and I are going there with Habitat for Humanity to help build houses for Hurricane Katrina victims. Can you believe we are still picking up the pieces from Hurricane Katrina?

I am excited and nervous at the same time because I have never done something like this. I get the feeling that Dad and Kiel will be expecting a phone call on the first day "on the job" of me crying and complaining...NO SIR! Even if I do cry, I will not call them and cry. haha. No, I think this trip will do me good and put some things in perspective for me.

I am happy that I am going with one of my best friends, Sarah, and also eager for more opportunities to meet people and share my story and the gospel with them. I cannot wait to tell ya'll more!

So, I will write you in one week--please pray for safe travels and for boldness on my end to talk to people about Christ.

I love you all very very very much!

Oh one more thing: please call Rocco, for he will be lonely while I am gone...he is waiting for your call! :)

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Day 4

Last night was quite a test of my Lent sacrifice of no desserts.

After Ashlin and I got a healthy dinner at Noodles&Co, I was craving dessert like crazy. I do not understand it, it is just like something sweet I need to have after dinner. So, I eyed those thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies at Noodles&Co...and that's all I did...was eye them. Instead, when I got home I had some strawberry yogurt and was satisfied.

Blessed are those who endure temptation. For they will be given the crown of life just as the Lord promised to those who love him.


Keep on keeping on, my friends.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Day 3

Do you know the difference between evangelism and missions? I learned the difference this past Sunday at Providence's Mission Festival.
-Evangelism is teaching those who don't believe in Jesus.
-Missions is teaching those who know know there is a Jesus to believe in.

I got up this morning and thought as I went through my usual morning routine of going to the gym and eating breakfast--"Who am I living for today?" Lately I have felt that my day to day activities have been too selfish and too much centered around me. That is what this time of Lent will hopefully help me with, as I try to get out of my comfort zone and do some "good deed" for someone each day.

I have been praying for about 2 months about what I will be doing this summer. As most of you know, I am going to graduate school in the Fall to concentrate in Fashion and Trend Forecasting. That leaves this summer open for thesis research and so much else. Therefore, I have been trying to think what is going to be right for me to do this summer.

The answer to my prayers came last weekend at Providence. Dr. George W. Murray spoke on missions, we saw people commissioned, saw all the beautiful flags on different countries. All of this has been tugging on my heart. I attempted to go to Africa a couple of summers ago, but the timing was not right. I cannot think of a more right time than right now, this summer, for me to go on a mission trip. This trip is the next step in my relationship with the Lord--it is not just about my faith now, but sharing my faith.

I am applying with Providence for two different trips--I would happily take either one of them. I hope and pray this is the right time and I will be able to go and raise the money and prayers. I will keep you updated on this. I am sending in my application today...

HAVEN'T had a dessert yet--YAY! Sticking to my Lent. I have been eating EVERYTHING other than dessert that isn't nailed down. haha

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Day 2

I did something Tuesday that was uplifting, scary, and exciting all at the same time. In addition to giving up desserts during Lent, I am trying to give compliments to someone each day, share the gospel, and/or invite them to church. This is a big deal for me, because I have always been pretty private about my faith.

I am taking a karate class as a p.e. at N.C. State and absolutely love it. It is challenging and a completely different experience than dance, but I like being challenged in this way. Our teacher is so great and full on knowledge...he is tough while being patient. I have always caught a hint of "faith" in his speeches about karate and became curious. Well, we found out last week that today is his last day teaching us because he will be undergoing a serious surgery and will be out the rest of the school year. I thought, "this is your chance!"

So, I went up to him Tuesday after class and nervously told him, "I do not know if you are a christian, but I just wanted to let you know that I will be praying for you." And he said, "I am a christian and I appreciate that so much." I was so happy to hear that and sincerely hope he has a strong relationship with Christ. Even that simple statement proclaiming my faith made me feel eager and ready to start doing more of that.

I am doing okay, so far today, with the whole no dessert thing...I am keeping on keeping on!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Welcome-Day 1!

Hello family, friends, and maybe fans. As most of you know, I had another blog later last year that I updated not-so-frequently. Well, now I am on a mission and excited to boldly state: I will update this blog everyday. :)

As most of you know, I am an avid baker, eater, and lover of sweets. Well, as most of you know, today is Ash Wednesday. I am giving up all desserts and sweets for Lent. I know this will be hard and that I will be tested and tempted, but I truly believe I can do this. This time I am not sacrificing desserts for diet purposes, but for the Lord. When I feel tempted or am about to reach for that cookie or lick the beaters, I will pray to the Lord and receive my strength from him.

SO, get ready...I will be updating you each day with my successes! I will also keep you up-to-date on everything else in my life.

Here is a picture of some delicious treats I recently made, I will not be eating this.