Monthly archives of “September 2011

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let’s do it together

so i was sitting here researching food fermentation–as you do…ha! it’s one of the many actions from my new, huge, but expertly planned to do list–and simultaneously thinking i really wanted to blog but didn’t have time.

and decided, i do, if i write about food fermentation. oh the joys!

so yea, i’m learning its really good for you. you can check out websites like cultures for health, food renegade and riddle love (my personal favourite!) for more concise and scientific back up if you are as interested as i am!

basically, i have decided to start small on this new adventure by replacing our everyday bread with sourdough. i freaking love sourdough bread so this is not much of a push or sacrifice for me. swapping kombucha for coffee will be a massive sacrifice and one that, i assure you, will probably never happen. but sourdough, i’m good with that.

however! it’s not like i can just whip it up and have it for tomorrow. no no. i need to make a sourdough baby first. i am oddly and overly excited about this! so much so that i think you should all join me and tell me about your culturing adventures too!

here is the sourdough bread and baby creating recipe i am working from.

go, ferment, be merry… and get back to me!


p.s. can you make spelt sourdough bread i wonder?! this will be a task for future sourdough-rocking-sarah to undertake i think…

UPDATE: didn’t have to wait actually. sourdough-novice sarah was up to the task. here are the recipe and helpful videos for sourdough spelt bread.

(image source)

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i miss my freaking blog

i am wife to incredible richard. mom to charming sam and gorgeous rae. worship leader. breastfeeding peer supporter. small group leader. coach. interior design and coffee shop consultant. writer. friend.

that’s a lot of freaking hats to wear. i love them all. but don’t have the time i long for to do them all the way i want to do them. today, amidst my sweet kids and daily house stuff, i am having a strategy day. as i type, rae is on my back in the ergo playing with my hair… ha! gone are the days of single-minded focus. anyway i digress!

today, i am making lists, planning time, blocking out evenings, all for the things i love.

a night for blogging will DEFINITELY be in there. like i said a few weeks ago, there is a growing list of drafts just waiting to be tweaked for your viewing pleasure. hopefully one day you will be able to read them.

until then, browse through some old stuff and wish me luck on all my planning and prioritising!

lots of love,

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my mocha cupcakes


so, this might be the best cake ever. it’s true. i’m not being arrogant. i am just stating a fact. bake them. you will see.

now for the disclaimer, i can say this because i did not make up this recipe. i found it here. but, as i have talked about before, one of the ways i exercise my creativity is by taking the good and making it awesome: rocking the rework.

so yes, tonight, the way i rocked this rework was by 1) turning the cake, into cupcakes (cuter!) and 2) swapping the mascarpone frosting for a coffee buttercream frosting. everything my friends–EVERYTHING–is better with coffee.

the result was unreal: mocha cupcakes that shocked me in their deliciousness. they are going to be my new staple gift cake i think. huzzah!

i also got the chance to try a new icing technique which was super fun. as i usually make round layer cakes, i have always been a little unsure of how to decorate cupcakes. i usually just end up putting it on with a small icing knife, but it ends up looking less than awesome. this great, silent, film short is a quick and easy tutorial for the technique i used. i watched it twice and feel like i was able to replicate it quite well on the first try, which is always encouraging.

wish you could come over and share them with me… cause i really shouldn’t eat them all… but i just might not be able to hold myself back!

sarah xo

p.s. the coffee buttercream frosting is a sarah oliver original: 250g unsalted butter, 3 cups icing sugar, 3Tbsp instant coffee (with a tiny dash of cold water to make into a paste–tiny dash). mix and pipe onto cupcakes!

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a pretty sticky situation

so, i was asked to write a mini devotional this week for my parent’s church in oklahoma. i got assigned a passage and, to be honest, got a bit nervous when i read it. it was 2 samuel 17. go on, read it. if you haven’t read the rest of the book of samuel before, you will get why i was nervous. out of context, there is pretty much nothing inspirational you can pick out of it, other than the hebrews had some pretty knarly names.

i was feeling a little out of my depth, but a skim of the rest of the book and a little bit of history later, verse 14 stuck out to me:

absalom and all the men of israel said, ‘the advice of hushai the arkite is better than that of ahithophel.’ for the Lord had determined to frustrate the good advice of ahithophel in order to bring disaster on absalom.

i know, i know, it’s not one of those verses you want to write on a post-it and put on your bathroom mirror or anything, but i really started to get some good revelation from it!

so, for all of you who don’t go to gcc b-ville. here it is. my join the journey devotional.

a bit of background. david, man after god’s own heart, has rocked his job as king. he united the kingdom, grew in favor, but also got a little too comfortable, stayed back from war, got bored, had an affair, got the girl pregnant and killed the girl’s husband in hopes of covering it all up. it didn’t work. everyone found out. and–as sin usually does–it affected his kingdom and family and, long story short, he ends up fleeing for his life from his son, absalom, who has seized his throne. david is not in the best situation and is reaping some huge consequences for his mishap with bathsheba.

and yet, god is still on david’s side. honoring the covenant he made with him and fighting for him.

that is what i love about this verse. it shows what an incredibly loving, safe and good father god is. when our own sin causes painful circumstances in our lives, he doesn’t kick us while we are down or leave us alone to fail in order to teach us a lesson. he doesn’t have to. jesus already took our punishment on the cross and the natural consequences for our sin teach enough of a lesson (don’t they just?!).

instead, god supports us and fight with us. allowing our mistakes to teach us wisdom, he offers us peace, works all for the good, creates beauty from ashes and causes our enemies to flee. all in a situation we created.

this revelation of god as a good father has changed everything for me. when i screw up, whether intentional or accidental–instead of feeling shame or fear–i can safely bring my mess to him and ask for help cleaning it up knowing i will be met with love, compassion and a very, present help.

if that’s not good news, i don’t know what is.

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a shout out


to my adorable, charming, funny, exuberant, expressive, articulate, excitable, observant, interesting, clever, and all together fabulous son, sam.

three years ago today i became a mom. a role that has defined and shaped my life more than i could have ever imagined.

sam, i love being your mom. i love watching you grow up. i love hearing what you have to say. you make me laugh. you drive me crazy. i love you just the way you are, always and no matter what.

happy birthday.

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the thing about jeans…

…a good pair is hard to find!

two kids and three returns later, i think i have found some that work. are you kidding me?! and just for fun and purely to save you all some valuable time. i will tell you what i have learned.

1. low-rise are only for pre-baby or no-butt post-baby bodies. your hips change in pregnancy creating an inverted triangle effect below the hips meaning that your low-rise jeans really are just a law of physics away from falling down. and if you’ve got back, and girl, you know i do. you will be showing it off all day cause they will not stay on!

2. if jeans fit you in the dressing room, they will not fit you at home. twice i took back jeans because i did not know this jean buying fact. they stretch. even good jeans (ok this is a guess, i haven’t ever tested this out on jeans above $50). and they stretch just enough to make them look slightly too big and make you feel un-flattered and flabby. i know it’s risky, ‘what if this, and only this time, they don’t stretch and i just bought jeans a size too small.’ just risk it. you won’t regret it. today i bought some jeans i really didn’t think i could pull off cause they were juuuuust a little too tight in the dressing room, and by the time i had the kids in bed 5 hours later they were perfectly form fitting and flattering. awesome.

3. you don’t have to be skinny to pull off skinny jeans. i don’t have some long explanation for this. just encouragement from personal experience. i love skinny jeans, think they are so cute. didn’t wear them for 2 years cause i thought i couldn’t pull them off. tried some on, i was wrong! they are super cute in a size 2 (UK6) and a size 10 (UK14) if you accessorise well!

ok, go. be awesome in your jeans. and come back in a few days for something more meaningful and inspiring. ha!

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proud to be an american

“for a while, on flights back across the atlantic from america to euroland, we are under the spell of america. instead of plonking ourselves down next to someone without a word we say, “hi.” maybe even indulge in a little conversation… for a week or so after landing, a form of what might be called ameristalgia makes us conscious of a rudeness in british life – a coarsening in the texture of daily life – that had hitherto seemed quite normal.

ten facts about americans:
1) the natives are friendly and hospitable.
2) they don’t all carry guns.
3) they are also incredibly polite.
4) they address bus drivers and bartenders as “sir”.
5) they aren’t constantly scared of being overheard.
6) they don’t start every sentence with an apology.
7) they have a can-do attitude.
8) they are also charming. and most charming of all, it rarely looks like charm.
9) they talk to strangers.
10) muddling on and making do isn’t a national pastime.” -geoff dyer (british dude)

i love this guy. this excerpt made me smile from ear to ear! my favourites: number 5 & 9. oh and i love england. but i really love being american.