Suzie Lou

Living Life One Cup of Coffee To The Next


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I’m Moving

Greetings Suzie Lous!

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Today I made the brave and nuts move to self-hosting! So I am moving but not far. Please visit me at my new home The Suzie Lou Blog

See you there!

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Coffee Giveaway With KatherineHere

Greetings everyone! Today I am so tickled to introduce you to Katherine from KatherineHere! This java lovin’ gal is taking over today with some of her caffeinated goodies! So without further adieu, take it away Katherine!


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If you know anything about me you should know that I absolutely love coffee. Don’t know why, I just do. It’s a warm hug in a cup that fuels my heart. So what better of a giveaway to do than some of my favorite coffee prints and postcards!? I love to design products around my own heart and would love to be able to share these beauties with you! This will be my first giveaway and I can’t wait to connect with all of you wonderful peeps! Connect with me on social media and don’t hold back – I want to be your friend : )

Etsy Shop: KatherineHere
Twitter
Pinterest
Facebook
Instagram
Blog: KatherineHere

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Click the photo above to join in on all the java fun and have a chance to win those AMAZING caffinated goodies!!  Thanks Katherine for sharing your talent and creativity with us!

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Coffee Break | Remembering Guatemala

Buenas Dias Suzie Lous!

I have had many a coffee break here on the blog.  This past week I sampled some of the world’s coffee in Guatemala!  So I thought why not do a Guatemala recap via my coffee break prompts.  So grab your cup o liquid gold and reminisce with me.


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I am currently..

Writing– Was a meditative and necessary means of capturing the day to day journey as well as making sure to give an accurate account of the struggle of the people.
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Listening– to the boys learn to play the spoons and seeing the joy that learning brought to their faces makes my heart jump for joy.
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 Thinking– Of these beautiful people and keeping them in my thoughts and prayers.  As I hope you will do as well.

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 Dreaming– While I was in Guatemala I dreamed in Spanish.  But I do dream of a successful future for our sister church, El Redentor.

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 Hoping– That people will educate themselves on the source of the problem before jumping to a quick plan of action.

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 Wearing– Carrying my bag that I purchased from El Corozon de Mujer organization.  Made by this beautiful and sweet lady.

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 Loving– Just how welcomed we were in the first 5 minutes of arriving at our sister church.  Over 60 hugs in 5 minutes.

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 Wanting– To return to see these beautiful country in all its glory.  The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

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Needing– To find a way to convey the need and the truth to those who don’t seem to understand nor want to understand the conditions in which the Guatemalan people are sending their children to the states.
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Feeling– Blessed to have been found worthy to go on this trip and do God’s work.  That he helped me come out of my comfort zone and use the talents that he blessed me with to do his work in Guatemala.  Want to learn how to step outside of your box.  Please read Monday’s post which can be found HERE.

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Clicking– On several articles relating to the issues being faced recently and I hope you will click on these links to find out more information about Guatemala before making up your mind on the current immigration issue.

Key Documents on Guatemala: Via Silence of the Mountain Website

Guatemalans Aren’t Just Fleeing Gangs: Via New Republic.com

CEDEPCAThe Organization we worked through while in Guatemala.  They are doing extraordinary work in the lives of the Guatemalan people.


Thank you for taking a trip down memory lane with me.  I ask that you join me in praying for the Guatemalan people.

Remember Phil. 4:13

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Stepping Outside The Box: Living Boldly For God

Greetings everyone!  I am so happy to be back here in my little java kingdom.  I want to again thank all the lovely ladies who spent the week here with their guest posts.  Guatemala was absolutely, life changing.  Over this next week I will do my best to share my experience there and hopefully shed some light on this beautiful country with a dark past, present, but hopefully a bright future.  Today I want to share my devotion that I gave one night on my trip.  I hope that it will touch you as it did our group.  It came to me on the airplane going to Guatemala.


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Each of us has a gift.  Whether it be teaching, music, or simply the ability to love another person unconditionally.  God has blessed us abundantly with gifts.  During the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives we sometimes forget to make the best of our gifts.  Mission trips have always been God’s way of saying, “Hello I hope you aren’t squandering your gifts.”  It’s time for a wake up call.  A reboot if you will.  But that is part of our faith journey. Constantly learning and growing in our relationship with God.  It is part of that process to stumble and fall and most importantly step out of our comfort zone. 

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In Guatemala we have heard from so many people who stand firm in their beliefs and risk life and limb to make the dreams of the Guatemalan people a reality.  These people are great examples of what it means to step outside of one’s comfort zone to do God’s work.  These extraordinary individuals live their lives daily with open hearts, eyes, ears, hands, and minds.

 

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Let us look at the following verses to further discuss this topic:

 

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With Guatemala catapulting onto the national news scene we are in a position to be a voice for the Guatemalan people.  So as the scripture says, let us strive to go the rest of our trip and our lives with open hearts, eyes, ears, hands, and minds.  Remembering that God called us to travel to this country and gave us the gifts to begin making a difference in the lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

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Prayer:

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Heavenly father you have formed this unique and precious team based on the gifts of each individual.  Help us Lord to walk on our daily journey here with open eyes, ears, hearts, minds, and hands so that we may see and feel your presence with us, through us, and in us.  And by the grace and freedom that you provide us we shall know how to use our gifts as you see fit.  You have called Lord and we responded, “Here I am Lord send me.”

 


 

 

May you remember your gifts and use them to help others.

Remember Phil. 4:13

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Guatemala Currently

Hola Suzie Lou’s I am heading back to the states as you are reading this! So first I want to thank all the ladies who have graced this caffeinated pages this week! Secondly this is what I have been up to this week!

Saturday, July 5 –
arriving in Guatemala

Sunday, July 6
Guatemala City, worship, museum

Monday, July 7
CEDEPCA programs

Tuesday, July 8
Migrant house, Women’s theater group

Wednesday, July 9
travel to El Redentor

Thursday, July 10
with host families in El Redentor

Friday, July 11
travel to Antigua

Saturday, July 12
traveling back to US

See ya with pictures tomorrow!

Remember Phil. 4:13

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Guest Post | Ashley from The Grits Blog

Hola Suzie Lous! Today I want to introduce you to today’s guest blogger, Ashley from The Grits Blog! Without further ado, take it away Ash!
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I totes magotes heart spicy food. Lately, as in the past year, I just can’t get enough of it. Every time I can order something spicy – I do so. It’s become this crazy, obsessive food thing that I have to have. Which, in all honesty, works well for my husband – especially considering he likes spicy food so much him and his brother grew their own pepper patch this year and with those peppers made their own hot sauce.

All that being said, Buffalo Chicken Dip is my go to dip whenever I have to make something for a luncheon or if we are having a pot-luck. It’s also my husband’s favorite – so I make it for him too when we have a family thing to go to.

My all time favorite Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe is Frank Red Hot’s Recipe. It’s the best and had never ever failed me. This is how you make it:

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Guest Post | Emily from Louisiana Bride

Hola Amigos! Today I am very excited to introduce you to today’s guest blogger! Everyone say hello to Emily from Louisiana Bride .Alright Emily, take it away!

Hi, I’m Emily of Louisiana Bride! I started as a wedding blogger, but have over the years morphed into a food & lifestyle writer. I really enjoy food and strive to eat nutritious foods 90% of the time; a girl has to have a brownie once in a while. I’m mom to a crazy dachshunds’ pups and a wife to Jeremy, & I also teach elementary school. 

We recently just moved into this phase of life, but a few short months ago we were graduate students. Five years of a graduate school budget means you either eat garbage, or divise a way to eat healthy on a budget. Which is how I got into meal planning. 

We are all so insanely busy these days on so many different levels. Everyone always has something they have to do, and something they should be doing instead of what they are doing right now. I for one am so guilty of this, when I am in one activity I am thinking about the next one, and so on. Life is just hectic for our generation. To simplify things on the food side of life, I started meal planning. I’ve done it since college just to get the most bang for my buck, but it wasn’t until I was married and started teaching that the time crunch got to me. On days were I am only home long enough to let the dog out before moving onto the next activity I can’t afford not to have some sort of meal plan in place. Our meals range from crockpot recipes and casseroles to things I can grill quickly. I like to look at my schedule ahead of time and see what we have going on for the week, after that I get to meal planning. On nights I am home for good after work, I cook. If I know the next day will be hectic I make sure I have leftovers. If I won’t be able to cook at all it is a crockpot recipe heavy week. The list goes on, constantly changing and evolving based on our weekly schedule.

Meal planning can be as simple or hard as you make it. Simply put, it is just a grocery list with meals for the week attached. It saves time and money in the long haul, and really encourages you and your family to not have to go back to the store several times throughout the week. There are benefits, trust me. Here are a few:

 1. It checks one thing off of your daily list for good.
By meal planning I don’t have to worry about what I am cooking that night, I decided it days in advance already. I know that some Wednesdays I will have a faculty meeting that will run into church activities later in the day, so cooking isn’t an option. In that instance, I plan ahead and make sure I either have leftovers or a crockpot meal. By planning ahead I don’t have to think about it that day, when I get home everything is already done or I already have the items I need to make the meal. No time is wasted going back to the store, yet again. Or even worse, having that “What on earth are we eating tonight?” panic! It is all alleviated by planning ahead.

2. Meal planning saves money.
By writing out exactly what you need, and buying only what you wrote, you will save money every week. Yes, some weeks we get things that aren’t on the list, but overall I try not to. I don’t buy a ton of extra food just for the sake of buying it; I only purchase just what we need. With it just being the two of us it is easy for food to go bad before we get a chance to eat it. Not purchasing extra items allows us cuts back on waste. Nothing hurts my teacher/college graduate student income feelings quite as much as spoiled food. If you are a super shopper, clipping coupons can take meal planning to the next step. I’m not the best at it, but when I can use them I definitely take advantage of coupons.

3. It gives everyone a chance to say what they want for dinner.
I ask Jeremy what he wants me to cook every week, some weeks he has an opinion others he could care less. By asking family members what they want to eat it will cut down on impulse eating out. For instance, if you know the kids want pizza Friday night, make a pizza, don’t wait until the last minute and order out. Cooking at home saves money and is much healthier for your family. This leads me to my second point…

4. Cooking at home is much healthier.
I already said that didn’t I? Ha! By meal planning you can take time to think about healthier ways to cook the meals you love. When I run in the store on impulse without a list I never get the right ingredients and can hardly think about how I can replace certain foods. When planning ahead I can easily scour the web to find substitutions for foods I don’t want in our diet. Even “unhealthy” foods cooked at home are better for you than restaurant food. You don’t know how much sodium and fat is being added to restaurant meals, at home you can completely control that. Don’t want heavy cream in your pasta, substitute with Greek yogurt. Have a dairy allergy? Use lactose free foods. At a restaurant you won’t get the same substitutions, sometimes they will tell you they are and they aren’t. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked for whole wheat pasta and received white. At home I can control what goes into my food.

5.  Meal planning allows you to only go to the store once.
I make my meal plan over the weekend and we go to the store either Saturday afternoon or Sunday night. Luckily I’ve turned my husband into a stickler for this too, and we do our best not to go back during the week. Not only are you cutting down on impulse buying by doing this, you are also not wasting gas by driving across town for that bag of chips you suddenly decided you want. It will cost you more in gas to get that one miniscule item, than to actually purchase it. On rare occasion, the store we go to doesn’t carry what I need and I will have to go to another grocery store to get it; or like this week I completely missed a main lunch ingredient and had to go back. That probably only happens once a month tops. By making one big grocery haul a week you can save money at the gas pump & you aren’t wasting hours of your life at Wal-Mart.

After al l this talk about why you should be meal planning you are probably wonder how exactly I do it? What resources do I use? This is the fun part people…Pinterest is your best friend when meal planning. I used cookbooks for years, but have slowly migrated my meal planning to good ole Pinterest. Pinterest is your best meal planning friend!

Say it with me, “Pinterest is awesome for meal planning!”

Pinterest is great not only because you can pin recipes, but you can also categorize them. My mother has two categories for food, “Food I want to make,” and “Food I’ve made.” You can come up with more fun names than that, but the premise of the idea allows her to move recipes as she tries them keeping their weekly meals far from boring.

Aside from Pinterest, I also meal plan using my favorite blogs, recipes I’ve saved on Bloglovin, cookbooks, and by blogging my own recipes just so I can go back and use them myself later. I personally am terrible at remembering what I put in a dish I came up with myself. If I think of something I really want to eat throughout the week I make note of it and buy it for the next week. 

Now, where do I create my lists? Well I made one for myself a while ago and just recently shared it on my blog. If you’d like to use it, it is available for downloadbelow. On my list I have a place for meals on one side and my shopping list on the other. The shopping list is categorized by frozen, meat, dairy, dry, miscellaneous, fresh foods, and so on. If you are looking for deals and like to use online and smartphone list check out Ziplist.com. On this website you can create lists online, and even log into your account on your smartphone app (available for iPhone and Android). From there you can edit as well as find coupons for what you need to buy as well as what you buy most often. The best part for me is that it actually has coupons for the grocery stores in my area, like Rouses. No one has heard of Rouses, except maybe southeast Louisiana natives.

 

I really hope my little list of ideas and why I meal plan will are helpful! If you have any questions or want to know more about where I get my recipes from feel free to email me at labrideblog {at} gmail {dot} com. I also post my weekly meal plans every Monday on a little post I call Meal Pinning Monday, I’d love for you to check it out for meal planning ideas. 

Emily Babb , Louisiana Bride

labrideblog@gmail.com | http://www.louisianabrideblog.com
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