:: Facebook Friend’s Lists ::

Have you ever wanted to share a post with friends on Facebook but thought that perhaps it wasn’t appropriate for kids under a certain age (I have a list called “Under 18” for this very reason)? Ever wanted to plan a birthday party for a friend and get input from others but not let the friend you’re planning the party for see the post? Did you want to tell a funny story about your co-workers but not want your co-workers to be able to see it? (What? Who me? No, never have I done this… *wink*) Read on!

You have lists on Facebook that Facebook creates for you called smart lists (this includes people that you’ve added as family members, your work place, your schools, your neighborhood.) For example, other people who are on your friend’s list and claim to live in the same city as you will automatically be added to this smart list.

 You can also create your own lists and as many as you want!
You will find it under Friends (circled to the left below).
You can “create list” (circled top right).

You can add lists to be under your Favorites (I have close friends, family, etc.) by clicking on the pencil to the left of the list and selecting “add to favorites”. You can delete a list in this same way.

This is also a way to just check up on a certain group of friends and their updates. Want to see how your school friends are doing? Click on the high school/ college friend list and you’ll only see status updates from them.

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  1. In these lists, you can update your status right from here if you only want people on that friend’s list to see the status update. Mind you, it will not notify them that you have updated your Facebook status…it will just appear in their newsfeed like usual.
  2. In your close friends list, if you hover over the cog, it will tell you, “this was shared with: Joe, Sue, Lori, Hannah, and 15 other people.” So if folks hover over the cog, they will be able to tell that you shared it with a limited audience.
  3. You can type someone’s name right in to this box to add them to the list (more coming).
  4. It will also give you list suggestions of folks you may want to add to this list. Perhaps it is people that you communicate with a lot or who comment on your Facebook page a lot. Now, this isn’t tried and true, this is just a guess from the names that have popped up on my ‘list suggestions’.

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 At the top right of this screen, you can also click on notifications to decide what sort of updates that you want to get from this list. You can choose to get a notification for each update, you can get a notification and email, or you can have it turned off (it is turned off, by default, for all lists except close friends, which is a smart list.)

You can also manage list and add/delete users this way.
As well as choose update types (i.e. don’t want to receive game notices or life events, or you ONLY want to receive life events or photos, etc.)

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 You hover over the name in order to get the ‘x’ to remove them from the list. You can sort by ‘on this list’ and ‘friends’.

 It is in alphabetical order, so if you have users at the top out of order and with no profile picture. It is most likely because you once had this person on the smart list but they removed their Facebook profile.

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 When on the regular newsfeed section or on your Facebook page, you have the option of choosing right from here who your audience will be. I have mine defaulted to Friends BUT (and this is IMPORTANT): whatever you change it to here will be your default for the next time you update your status. I have gotten in the habit of sharing it with friends first and then IMMEDIATELY editing who it is shared with to be who I want it to be shared with. So I don’t accidentally change my default.

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 By selecting “custom” you can share WITH certain people.
Or you can choose to “Don’t share this with…”

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 At the bottom right hand corner of your cover page photo, you can click on the cog and select View As. This will allow you to view your profile as the public does, as well as view it as a specific person. If you want to make sure somebody isn’t seeing a status update (say, you’re planning a surprise birthday party for a friend!) you can type that person’s name in and see how they view your profile.

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 If you click on Activity Log, this is a simple way of reviewing ALL of your posts and seeing who the audience is on them. Even today, as I was creating this, I found a couple of posts that were hidden from some folks because it had defaulted to a certain list and I forgot to change it the next time I updated.

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If you hover over the icon on the right hand side, it will tell you who it was shared with.

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 Sometimes…you want to update your Facebook status and don’t want co-workers to see what you’re posting (or whoever).

 NOTE: If you update your status and choose to share it with friends but HIDE it from a list/person, it WILL NOT show this to your friends. If they hover over it, it will just show them that it was shared with America’s friends.

 However, if you choose to only share it with a list, like I mentioned before, it will show you that it was shared with Joe, Sue, Hannah, Lori plus 15 others. I don’t know that it will allow you to see who the other 15 are, and it will never tell them what the name of the list is called, but it will at least show them that you have limited the audience.

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Do you use lists?
What do you use them for?

:: Why I’m digging iOS 6 ::

So…I’m a big fan of the iPhone and a big fan of helping people figure things out. I thought I’d share some of the things that I’m excited about with the #iOS6 update🙂

Camera

First off is the panorama. Now, I have the iPhone 4, so did not get this in the update. However, a friend of mine has a 4s, so I was able to get some screen shots off of their phone.

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1. Select Options

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2. Select Panorama

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3. You keep the arrow tip straight with the blue line

This is just the quick panorama shot I took with my friend’s phone.

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There’s a new photo album feature and that’s Photo Stream.

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You will need to invite your friend and/or give them access. I don’t have screen shots for that but it’s fairly self-explanatory🙂

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To like or comment on your friend’s photos, you can just click on the little bubble with a plus sign.

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Twitter/Facebook:

In your notifications center, you can send a status update to Twitter or Facebook.

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Email:

You’ll notice a couple of different things about your email.
One thing I miss (out of habit) is the refresh arrow in the bottom left hand corner of the email.

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Now all you have to do is pull down to refresh your messages.

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You have two new folders: Flagged and VIP.
Flagged is self-explanatory. The messages you flag will be in this folder. If you have no flagged messages, this folder will not show.

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To make edits (add people to the VIP inbox) you just click on the blue arrow.

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The VIP inbox collects emails from your favorite contacts. You can also customize alerts for VIP messages.

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Whether you’re in the VIP mailbox or the message folder it’s in, you’ll notice it has a star next to the message.

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For a comparison, an unread normal message has a blue dot next to it. A VIP message has a blue star next to it.

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Another thing about your inbox is that you can now re-arrange the order.
Just click on Edit on the top right hand side.

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Click and drag as needed.

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I thought they’d taken the mark as read/unread feature away (from the individual message) but I see they just moved it.

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Apps:

You may have noticed that YouTube disappeared. There is a new one you can download from the app store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/youtube/id544007664?mt=8

Also, for my Seattle friends, I know a lot of people are bummed out about the metro routes going away from the maps. This app seems to offer a good alternative, even telling you when buses are running late/early. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/onebusaway/id329380089?mt=8

In the app store, you now don’t have to enter a password to update your apps. Only when you download a new one.
And, a new banner appears until you open it the first time.

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Do Not Disturb:

Probably one of my favorite things from the update is the do not disturb feature. I know some people say turning the phone to the off position works just fine. But, if you’re expecting a call or you want your phone to be available for family members/friends to be able to reach you, this is great.

Basically, what happens when do not disturb is enabled is that your phone is dark for the night. Your notifications still come in (you would see them if you hit the home button) but your display does not light up. It does not make noise.

However, if someone from your list of approved callers were to call, their call would come through. Also, if a caller were to call twice within three minutes, their call would come through as well.

And, if you are using the phone (i.e. it’s not locked) during do not disturb the notifications will sound.

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Turn it On/Off here.
Click on Notifications to personalize.

If you see the little moon up by the clock, you know that do not disturb is active.

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Click on Do Not Disturb

You can put it on a schedule or just enable/disable as you see fit.

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Here is where you can choose who can get through if they call while do not disturb is enabled.

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As I play around with the new iOS and get the iPhone 5, I’m sure I’ll discover more fun things to share (there were over 200 updates in this iOS!) Hope these are helpful to some🙂

And for my none iPhone user readers, hope you’re having a wonderful day!

What kind of phone do you have?
What’s your favorite thing about the iOS 6 update, if you’re an iPhone user?

:: Playing the tourist in my home city of Seattle ::

I recently had the honor and pleasure of playing tour guide to some new friends*.
(*By new friends, I mean that I’m in a band with one of them and have known them for 6+ months!)

We had decided that it would be fun to hang out and get to know each other better. And, they hadn’t explored Seattle too much since their recent move. I decided it would be a lot of fun to take them in to the city and go on an adventure around town.

Our first stop was Pioneer Square.

Amy in Pioneer Square

Amy in Pioneer Square

Yes, I got plenty of “I’m a tourist” pictures! It’s fun to do that in your own city on occasion. There are so many things to do and see in the city. I feel like, when you live somewhere, you miss out on seeing some of those cool touristy places.

We met a lone traveler from Europe who was seeing the sites as well. He took this artistic photo of us🙂

Jon, Nicole & Amy at Pioneer Square

Jon, Nicole & Amy at Pioneer Square

For those of you unfamiliar with the history of Pioneer Square…this is old town Seattle.
From http://www.seattle.gov/tour/pioneer.htm, I learned that, “Pioneer Square marks Seattle’s original downtown, dating back to 1852. The district is characterized by late nineteenth century brick and stone buildings, and one of the nation’s best surviving collections of Romanesque Revival style urban architecture.” I didn’t take a picture of it but the Smith Tower was once the fourth tallest building in the world and the tallest building west of the Mississippi! In fact, we learned that it has one of the last manually-operated elevators on the West coast.

We went on the Underground Tour. The last time I went was in 2002. I remembered it being cool to learn some history about Seattle but don’t remember visiting as many rooms as we saw this time around. And I remember a LOT more jokes about Tacoma (Seattle’s “rival” city, apparently, ha!)

The Underground Tour begins in a restored saloon where they give you a foundation of the three men who helped build Seattle: Denny, Yesler, and “Doc” Maynard. Next they take you down some stairs to a room which used to be at street level! It was very uneven. I just took this one photo and it doesn’t quite paint for you how broken this floor was. Imagine trying to set a couch or kitchen table here!

The Seattle Underground

The Seattle Underground

We also got to see one of the first toilets called the Crapper. Nice name, right?

A Seattle "Crapper"

A Seattle “Crapper”

The plumbing system was not so great. They used LUMBER to make their toilet pipes. The problem was that this area of Seattle could get covered by water and therefore the sewage would flow down to the Sound at one point of the day and then the water would rise and flow back causing the water to spout up through the toilets! Here is one of those original “pipes”.

Seattle's original plumbing, made from timber

Seattle’s original plumbing, made from timber

It was neat to go under the streets of Seattle. THIS is what holds our streets up!

The Seattle Underground

The Seattle Underground

The guy, in the midst of speaking, on the left was our tour guide. Straight across from me are Jon & Nicole! We’re standing under one of the sidewalks, in an old Seattle bank vault. The interesting thing about this picture is that the sun didn’t seem to be shining all that brightly through these skylights but looked that way in the photo.

Under a Seattle sidewalk

Under a Seattle sidewalk

Seattle Underground: Teller's Cage

Seattle Underground: Teller’s Cage

Yeah! We finished the tour🙂

Seattle Underground: Nicole & Jon

Seattle Underground: Nicole & Jon

Seattle Underground: Nicole & Amy

Seattle Underground: Nicole & Amy

We next headed to Pike Place Market, which was shutting down for the evening. But they got to see the infamous gum wall down in Post Alley! We even bumped in to some people from church!

Post Alley: The Gum Wall

Post Alley: The Gum Wall

We ate dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe but I didn’t get any photos of that🙂 I did, however, get a photo of a line of teenage girls (and some guys with teenager girls) waiting in a line, which stretched around a couple of blocks, to get in to the Showbox. We thought that perhaps Justin Bieber was in town but, apparently, it was just a band called The Maine or something.

Having dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe and gawking at the line stretched around a couple of blocks to see some boy band

Having dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe and gawking at the line stretched around a couple of blocks to see some boy band

Next stop: Kerry Park on Queen Anne! There were a lot of high school students there in fancy suits and prom dresses. A wee bit different than my own prom experience… and it would appear that white tuxes are in this year.

Amy at Kerry Park

Amy at Kerry Park

The Fremont Troll was next on the agenda. Alas, it was getting dark and so the photos didn’t turn out too great. The iPhone’s pretty great but I guess that flash isn’t so great long distance at dusk…

Jon & Nicole at the Fremont Troll

Jon & Nicole at the Fremont Troll

(The below photo here was taken with Nicole’s iPhone 4S… I see that the flash is a bit brighter on that phone!)

Oh no! The big bad Fremont Troll is gonna get me!

Oh no! The big bad Fremont Troll is gonna get me!

Don't worry -- we're pals now

Don’t worry — we’re pals now

Right as we were having our photo taken, someone shined their headlights on us… I guess we didn’t need that iPhone flash after all.

Amy, Jon & Nicole at the Fremont Troll

Amy, Jon & Nicole at the Fremont Troll

We ended our evening at one of my all time favorite coffee and dessert places in Seattle: B&O Espresso! If you live in the Seattle area and have never been, I highly HIGHLY recommend a visit. Especially since it keeps getting threatened to be shut down so some new condos can be built:/ It’s on the corner of Belmont & Olive on Capitol Hill (get it? B&O!)

Jon & Nicole at B&O Espresso

Jon & Nicole at B&O Espresso

I had such an amazing time exploring my home city with these friends! They are a fantastic couple and I look forward to many more adventures!🙂

What’s your favorite thing to do/see in your hometown?
What’s your favorite dessert/coffee place in your hometown?

:: Reflecting back on 30 years of birthdays ::

I am finding myself lacking in time and inspiration to blog. I used to do it a lot, years ago. I thought I would start a new blog and the words would come tumbling out again. Alas, I am out of practice, as they say.

Today’s blog post is inspired by the fact that I will be oh-oh-the-big-three-oh within the month. I don’t have any plans to celebrate it at this point, so I thought I would take a little trip down memory lane of how I have spent my last 29 birthdays. Come along with me?

2011: I got to wear my rave green Sounders jersey and go to [then] Qwest Field to catch the Sounders beat Chicago in a 2-1 victory! The sun was shining and I was with one of my best friends. Another good friend joined up with us at the Pacific Science Center where we went to the Star Wars Exhibit. Pretty cool. Next was dinner at the Space Needle. It was a great day!

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Also, for 2011, one of my oldest and dearest friends threw me a surprise birthday party (a few days before) which I almost did not attend. She invited me to dinner but I was gonna go play soccer. She ended up letting me know about the surprise (how lame am I?) and I skipped soccer. My closest and dearest friends met up with me for dinner at the Olive Garden and I enjoyed an evening of laughter and good fellowship🙂 I am a blessed girl indeed!

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Also, ALSO, said old and dear friend shares a birthday around the same time as me, so we celebrated her birthday at Azul’s, which was surrounded by people I love too!

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2010: I got to dine at The Cheesecake Factory with good friends. This is one of my favorite places to eat in Seattle. A few of us went to Seattle’s Underground TheatreSports for a late night evening of improv!

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2009: Went to the Cheesecake Factory (are you noticing a pattern here?) and was surrounded by about 20-25 amazing friends and family who came to celebrate with me! Afterward, we headed to the Century Ballroom on Capitol Hill to get our Salsa dance on! Alas, birthday girl had not fully digested her food, so all of the spinning made for one sick chica who had to go home early. Boo!

(Sorry, I don’t think I got any pictures this year!)

2008: I hosted a Mexican fiesta at my home! Who knew that you could fit so many bodies in a small 680 sq ft apartment! Taco salad and avocado drinks galore! This was followed by figure skating…er, sliding across the ice on our hineys!

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2007: I went…SKYDIVING!

2006: My memory is starting to get a little fuzzy. Looking at MySpace and Xanga (whoa, snap, y’all remember those social networking sites!?) it would appear that I spent my birthday weekend at my parent’s house and got to lay down some piano and vocal tracks for a demo CD with some friends of mine. Hmm, I should go see if I can find this and take a listen to said CD! My good friend brought my favorite Dairy Queen ice-cream cake over, and her sister came, as well as my good friend, Kevin (who has since passed away). Oooh, oooh, I think that my friends came over from Spokane and we went to a Mariner’s game on the Saturday and then went to breakfast on Sunday morning and hung out down at Alki Beach. Sadly, I don’t have a picture of all of us but I really like this photo my friend took!

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2005: I got to have breakfast with a longtime friend. Then went to a Seattle Mariner’s game with another friend. Finally, I got to end the evening with a few of my favorite peeps at one of my favorite restaurants. Yup, you guessed it: The Cheesecake Factory.

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2004: I got to climb the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, France, and eat ice-cream at a little shoppe with a good friend of mine. No joke! OK, so it wasn’t ON my birthday, it was a couple of days before. But I’ll claim that. Otherwise, I was in Aubergenville (about 45 minutes outside of Paris) and I had a special birthday card from my Mom, Dad, and sisters to open on the morning of! Later finding myself eating at a Chinese Buffet with YWAM friends. (I probably have photos but this was before digital cameras and I don’t have a scanner!)

2003: My co-workers, at the time, treated me to lunch, then I went shopping at Old Navy. My buddy took me to a bar (it was my 21st after all) and I ordered a beer. A root beer, that is. We watched the movie Phone Booth and then walked home🙂

2002: A good friend of mine and I got dressed up and went to the Space Needle for a virgin strawberry daiquiri and dessert. We finished the evening off by watching the movie Riding In Cars With Boys.

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2001: I was doing my DTS (Discipleship Training School) in Lausanne, Switzerland, and got to spend it with my YWAM friends!


2000:
Went to church with my family and then I headed north to Seattle and celebrated my childhood best friend’s birthday at Buca di Beppo! (Edited on 3/19/12) Oh, oh, oh, my mom just reminded me that my friends threw me a surprise birthday party! It was sooo funny because my friend Laura and I went shopping. It should’ve dawned on me when she got a phone call from my dad (asking her to buy more time). We got back to another friend’s house and walked in where everyone yelled “SURPRISE!” I didn’t even realize it was for me…ha! Sadly, I don’t think there are pictures from that day, though we do have a fun home video!

1999: I was sick and my mom was hanging out with me. We watched Message In A Bottle.

1998: I got my driver’s license on the day of! But that weekend celebrated at our home by having friends over. Mom and Dad bbq’d shish-ka-bobs! A few school friends, my dad, and I went bowling.

1997: I only remember that I got my driver’s permit.

1996: I had a slumber party!

1995: I had a slumber party! And I got my first boombox!

1994: My mom took me with her to an Amway seminar in Portland, OR. We got to spend the whole weekend together, just her and I🙂

1993: I don’t remember this birthday…

1992: I got a 10-speed bicycle and a few of my friends spent the night! (Edited 3/19/12: Here are a couple of photos. I had a ridiculous dislike for the outdoors as a child, hence the non-excited look.)

1991: I spent this birthday with my childhood best friend! (Here is a picture from January 1992 with her. She came and hung out with me during my sister’s birthday party. Since I don’t know if I have a photo from 1991.)

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1990: I don’t remember this birthday…

1989: (Washington) My Aunt and I had a joint birthday party at McDonald’s or Burger King. In case you’re wondering, my aunt is just 4 years older than I.🙂
(Here’s a photo of us from a joint birthday party in 2008!)

(Edited 3/19/12: hmm, maybe the McDonald’s thing was actually 1988, not 1989. But here is a photo from 1989.)

1988: We had just moved to Washington and I spent it with my family at my Grandpa and Grandma’s!

    

1987: I got my first Ken & Barbie dolls. And jellies (remember those shoes?)

And…I’ll stop there because as you can tell, my memory is getting pretty splotchy! I hope you enjoyed walking down memory lane with me!

(Edited 3/19/12: My mom sent me some photos from prior birthdays!)

1986: (Belgium or Nebraska) 4th birthday…

1985: (Belgium) 3rd birthday…

1984: (Belgium) 2nd birthday…

1983: (Belgium) It’s not a 1st birthday without cake smooshed in the face!

1982: (Texas) My Mom and Dad are so cute!

 

How do you celebrate birthdays?
Is there one birthday that stands out above the rest?

:: Chocolate CHOCOLATE chip cookies ::

If you watched that episode of Friends (you know, The One With Phoebe’s Cookies) and were hoping to get clued in on that recipe, look no further. I make that Original Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe (and then throw in a bag of Nestlé Semi-Sweet Morsels to make them even MORE chocolatey. You’re welcome.)

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks butter, softened)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups (11.5-oz. pkg.) Nestlé Toll House Milk Chocolate Morsels
1 cup chopped nuts (optional – I don’t make it with the nuts)

To make chocolate chocolate chip cookies, add the following:
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) Nestlé Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels, melted

MELT the Semi-Sweet Morsels in a sauce pan over low heat. PREHEAT the oven to 375ºF.
COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl.

Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. (This is where I mix in the 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels, melted over a low heat.)

Gradually beat in flour mixture (if you are using a KitchenAid, follow the instructions from the booklet for their chocolate chip cookie recipe). Stir in morsels (and nuts, if you so desire).

Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown (so, you can’t tell these are golden brown… I did 9 minutes, perfect!) Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely (I put them on wax paper, keeps them softer, unless you like harder cookies!)

Enjoy!! This is the best chocolate chip cookie recipe I have made. They are so yummy. So chocolatey. And so chewy. : )

What is your favorite cookie?
Do you have a favorite cookie recipe to share?

:: chicken casserole recipe ::

I love to cook, bake, and try out new recipes.

The other night, I made one of my staple favorites and thought I’d share it with the blogosphere. It’s too good to keep all to myself. (Also, giving credit where credit is due, I didn’t make the recipe up, it comes from a good friend of mine!)

It doesn’t really have a name but it has chicken, rice, veggies, and cheese in it, so…

Chicken Cheese Mexican Casserole

First, put the Jasmine Rice on to boil (I use two cups of rice; follow directions on bag).
(In theory everything should be ready by the time the rice is done.)

Then, cut up two boneless skinless breasts of chicken in to bite size pieces.

Next, start the winter veggies (microwave or stovetop–your choice).

Put the cut up chicken pieces in to a frying pan on medium-high heat. I season the chicken with Black Pepper and Johnny’s Seasoning Salt.

The veggies should hopefully be done at this point, so put the Tostitos Salsa Con Queso (medium) in the microwave for 2 minutes. This should probably go without saying but common sense ain’t so common: The contents will be HOT, guys!

Once it’s done, you shake it like a polaroid picture. Wait… I mean, mix it together in a big ol’ bowl.

And last, but certainly not least, enjoy this yummy 20 or so minute creation (which also covers your basic food groups I would just like to point out.) Boom.

:: dark, yet lovely ::

My Twitter user name is @darkyetlovely.
It’s a handle I find myself using frequently. (Alas, it was already taken here on WordPress.)
It was even my Match.com profile name at one point. (Oh yes, I’ve done the online dating thing. Perhaps another blog post entry for that one.)

I often get asked what it means. “So,” I thought to myself, “what better way to start off my new blog than with an explanation.”

You guys may have heard of a little old writing called The Bible. There’s a “scandalous” book in there called the Song of Songs. It talks about this woman who we see grow from childhood to her teen years to engagement and marriage. It talks about love, it talks about sex, it talks about God’s plan for us in marriage. (btdubs, my church did a really good sermon series on this several years ago which I highly recommend giving a listen to here.)

This woman worked in the fields and had dark skin. This was not considered desirable in her time. (As a side note, this is still true in some countries of the world.) In Song of Solomon 1:5 the beloved speaks and says, “Dark am I, yet lovely…” indicating that though her skin is dark she is a beautiful woman. I have always resonated with this and taken it on as a sort of life motto.

If any of you know me, you know that I am not dark nor am I stating that I am a beautiful person but, rather, I see it like this: my sin, which separates me from God, makes me dark. But God, sending His only Son to die on the cross for yours and my sins and who washes those sins white as snow, makes me lovely.

And so, ladies and gentlemen, there you have it. “Dark am I, yet lovely.”

What is your life motto?
Where did your Twitter name or handle you use come from?