Being twenty and engaged may seem unusual in this generation. Why? I’ve only graduated high school three years ago, am “inexperienced” with life and am supposed to be finishing up college and receiving my bachelor’s degree. This is half true, partially because everyone has a different way of doing things, including me. I think I’ve been through different trials these past two years that forced me to grow up and maybe I’ll go to college when I feel physically and mentally ready. As for getting married at my young age, I feel ready than I’ve ever been for anything in my life! The man I am marrying on November 2nd of this year has been the answer to all my prayers. He’s my best friend, a lover of Jesus, my better half and the supporter of all my passions and dreams. I feel rather relieved that I didn’t have to date around the world and back to realize that Michael was who the Lord wanted me to be with. In fact he’s the only man I’ve ever dated. I used to always wonder “How do you know if you’re supposed to be with this person forever?” but I believe that the answer really lies in prayer, scripture and from the wisdom of the people who love and know you best.
Speaking of being engaged, I see a few things from a different perspective now. I sometimes like to pretend I’m already married and try to pick up after myself as much as possible. I’m still cooking and baking but now I try to cook a variety of different tastes and colors; I even tried cooking free-range lamb, which I didn’t eat myself but knew my dad and Michael would enjoy it… And they did! I am also more conscious of how I carry myself and am no longer finding myself lusting [okay maybe not lusting] but daydreaming about the cute sandals from Urban Outfitters *sigh*. I guess a good thing that my priorities are now transforming into things that the both of us will benefit from. Such as going to premarital counseling, studying marriage books, saving money for our wedding and so on. We are going to be united this upcoming fall and twenty years old (by then I’ll be 21) or not, I am ready for that. That’s all I am going to say about this subject right now… More unsolicited insight to come!
- I used to love insects when I was little and I kind still do. (Mosquitos and cockroaches not so much!) I find caterpillars to be the most fascinating creatures and the way they grow up to be beautiful butterflies’ will always blow my mind.
- I don’t favor eating alone. I’m getting better it at considering I’m alone throughout the day (girls gotta eat!), but I used to have such a difficult time eating by myself. I find food best to be shared through fellowship and laughter. To be perfectly honest, a lot of my fondest memories with my fiancé, friends and family were created during a meal.
- This kind of embarrassing but the one movie I can watch over and over again is 13 going on 30. I watch it EVERY time it comes on TBS with my mom. It’s a real classic for us!
- My goal is to make my own stocks (I made an excellent shrimp stock last week!), breads and goat milk yogurts. Eventually.
- “Chia” is what my fiancé likes to call me… I guess its cause I eat chia seeds every single day; I just cannot live without their absorbent powers and a powerhouse of nutrients! I personally love putting it in my oatmeal; it adds so much volume and gives it a fun texture too.
- I have this recurring desire to do this cleanse that requires giving up coffee for three weeks… That desire is often stomped on the minute I wake up and smell the robust smell of Café Bustelo coming from the kitchen. The wonderful smell, strong taste and unfathomable warmth are what make it so difficult to give up!
- After therapy, I start my internship and after my internship I plan on looking for little freelance project/jobs. My goal is to eventually establish my own line of goodies made with natural ingredients, try to focus on food styling/photography and educate myself on different exercises for my new hips.
Now on to the food:
Possibly the most quickest, healthiest and tastiest lunch I’ve come across… All it is mashed avocado (seasoned with salt + pepper, a dash of raw apple cider vinegar and a squeeze of sriracha) topped with sliced scallions, and on the other side is sardines in olive oil on perfectly toasted wheat bread. Perfection!
I made these gluten-free brownies but substituted the eggs for two “flax eggs” and used coconut oil as opposed to butter. The brownies were…um..flat. I should’ve known that eggs were the primary leavening agent. So instead of cutting them into traditional brownie squares, I cut half of them into heart shapes and the other half I rolled them into truffles with some shredded coconut. They were absolutely decadent!
A simple frittata for the special man in my life… I made this one with sweet potatoes and onions, spiced it with cumin and smoked paprika and topped the eggs with goat cheese and collard greens. My dad and Michael approved of its deliciousness immediately!
Last but not least, a German apple cake that was adapted from this vegan baking book. I added slight modifications by using goat butter and added ground cardamom to the spiced apples. This cake was perfect with coffee, I know I say that line a lot.. but this time I am being very serious! It was like apple pie and coffee cake had a baby. If that doesn’t excite you, than I don’t know what will!
That’s all, I have for you all today! Enjoy the rest of your weeks 🙂
Right now I’m feeling a little tired… I woke up earlier than usual so I could make breakfast, eat it, read my bible and then go get blood work done. But unfortunately that didn’t happen because when I went to leave the last person who used my car pushed the emergency break up really far up. I blame having such poor grip in the morning because it was utterly impossible for me to push it down! So the blood work didn’t happen. I did eat breakfast though and I got to read my bible, so that was good! I also read a very old book my mom let me borrow on having a happy Christian marriage. I am finding it refreshing because of its ageless advice! There’s nothing dated about treating your partner with the respect he deserves or being proactive about having proper communication. The author also said that you shouldn’t complain about your partner’s shortcomings and weaknesses with your mom, sister or best friend. But instead share those concerns with Jesus and of course your partner!
Quite honestly I don’t know where Michael and I would be if we didn’t discuss our concerns with one another. I always feel a sense of freedom and relief when we tell each other the truth about how we feel. The next chapter is about spiritual adjustments which should be really good! In other news today Michael and I are going to check out one of the catering places we had our eyes on. We are hoping to make a menu we both love and that goes with our style without compromising our budget. All in all things in wedding land are coming along quite marvelously! I ordered my dress a couple weeks ago, we settled on a venue and I think I’m starting to develop a clearer vision of how I want everything to look. But first I just need to share those visions with my fiancé! 😉
Until next time!
I’m pretty sure banana bread is one of those things everyone and their mother have baked. It’s so easy to throw together and is somewhat healthy making it perfect for any occasion and season. I personally believe banana bread is one of those things that taste better as the days go by, almost like chili. Almost. Somehow the flavors seem to be richer and the texture is much moister. I love it! I tried to bake a new recipe that I found here, but of course stuck to some of my old recipes roots and just added Jessica’s coconut streusel to the top of each muffin which came out amazing.
1 2/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
¾ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons molasses
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
¼ cup unsweetened organic applesauce
4 bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cups brown sugar
1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
2 teaspoons unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (I used goat’s milk butter, though it can easily be substituted with vegan butter)
*Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pan with papers or spray with nonstick spray. In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas really well. Add the maple syrup, applesauce, coconut oil, and molasses, and whisk briskly to incorporate. Sift in the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Use a wooden spoon to mix until the wet and dry ingredients are just combined.
Transfer the batter to the prepared muffin pan. To make the Streusel: Combine all the streusel ingredients in a bowl and mix with your hands until butter is easily dispersed. You want the entire mixture to be moistened. Evenly sprinkle on top of each banana muffin and bake for 25-30 minutes. (This can easily be baked into a loaf pan and will take about 45-50 minutes)The top should be lightly browned and a toothpick inserted through the center of a muffin should come out clean. Remove from the oven, let cool before transferring onto cooling rack.
….Because sometimes you just need a little pick me up!
Cappuccino Chocolate Chip Bread (Adapted from these)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour + 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup raw sugar (I used coconut!)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup goat milk (vegans can use full-fat coconut milk!)
- 2 tablespoons organic coffee extract or espresso powder
- 1/4 cup vegan butter, melted
- 1 “flax egg” (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chip
Preheat oven to 375 F
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, combine milk and coffee extract, add the butter, flax egg and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Grease or line loaf pan with parchment paper. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for at least five minutes before removing from pan. Enjoy!
Without you I become a neurotic mess. I feel more of an urgency to take on my daily routines, my head is clouded and I tend to forget what I am doing. I become crabby and believe that the whole world is supposed to be considerate of the fact that I haven’t gotten enough sleep. I realize how imperfect I am. I see that I don’t handle stressful situations on low-energy. Let’s face it I need you sleep in order to stay positive in my environment.
An Exhausted Jessica
And lately I haven’t been getting very much of sleep. I’m really thinking it has a lot to do with my incisions and all the stress my body has been through during surgery which I had a little over four weeks ago. (Time flies!) I also think it’s all this wedding talk. It’s not stressing me out at all, but I am always thinking about it and somehow repetitive thoughts tend to haunt my sleep. Like last night for example, I woke up at 4AM because I couldn’t stop thinking about caterers… Then my other thoughts have been based on Michael and his job. He’s been very distracted by it lately and it’s definitely been on my mind too. It’s been such a long journey for both of us so we were praying for good news nearly every day. He heard some bittersweet news yesterday but I’m not fully sure what all the details are. I trust that God will provide clarity for the both of us and I’m also praying that we’ll be close together once again. It’s been really hard and it sucks to see him so frustrated. I just want all of this confusion to end and to end in clarity.
And those are my thoughts.
Today I just finished my last day of in-patient physical therapy, and I must say I’m very amazed with how quickly my range of motion is coming back and I’m feeling truly optimistic with what I’ll be able to do after outpatient therapy! I’m dreaming of deep squats for sure! I don’t know how many times I’m going to say this but I feel extremely blessed to have had this operation, and am excited for the future because every day I get one step closer to full recovery. In your face, avascular necrosis! Okay so I’ll admit my physical well-being isn’t the only reason I’m so excited to be alive right now. Something occurred this past Saturday afternoon. Something big. Something beautiful. Something incredible, special, remarkable and spectacular!
….And that something is that I, Jessica Adriana Malave, got engaged! And not just to any old fellow either, but to my best friend, motivator, encourager, blessing and the love of my life Michael. We couldn’t be any happier either! Our journey together has been nothing less of a blessing and though we’ve been through many trials this year, we’ve only grown to love each other more and more. God has taken care of us both immensely. He continually uses Michael to encourage me and motivate me to be the best version of myself. Michael supports my dreams and I support his dreams. Ah, I’m just so happy because we’re finally engaged after talking about it for months! Oh my word, Michael is my fiancé. Alright, I know what you’re thinking the million dollar question… How did he do it?
As you all probably know, I haven’t been out of the house much. I’ve been feeling pretty sick from the all the horrible Coumadin pills I’ve been taking, (which I stop taking on Monday, wee!) and being out of the house for longer than twenty minutes can be very uncomfortable. Last weekend we also got a lot of snow too. So, I was a little surprised and kind of suspicious when Michael told me he wanted to take me to the park where we had our first date just to “talk.” To make a long story short, we walked by the lake and we took a few pictures. He then went on to say very sweet words to me which I honestly couldn’t concentrate on because I was just waiting for it to happen. I knew it was coming as soon as he unbuttoned his coat and reached for something in his pocket. Yep. It was a black box and as he opened it he recited the question, “Will you marry me?” I couldn’t help but attack him at that moment and kiss him. After that he placed the most beautiful ring I’ve ever seen in my life on my ring finger and carried me to my car. And the whole ride home we kept saying, “Ahhh, we’re engaged” and “you’re my… fiancé/fiancée!” (said in a much exaggerated French accent of course.) All and all it was a beautiful experience and I wouldn’t have asked for anything better. I just felt the need to express my happiness to the world! By the way, I hope you don’t mind seeing wedding stuff on here for a little while. Muahaha 😉