The Q&A Tag

Phoebe from The Storybook Journal did this tag back in October and I’m just now getting to it! These are honestly SO MUCH FUN so even though she didn’t tag me specifically I’m doing it. 

When you’re worried and can’t sleep, what do you do? I douse myself in calming essential oils like lavender or frankincense or Stress Away, and then I like to read my Bible. Usually in the Gospels or Psalms. They just give me such peace, and reading helps me relax. 

What’s your favorite spice associated with Autumn? Well, besides cinnamon, I really like cardamom and nutmeg. Yum. 

Do you know any great Thanksgiving songs? I do not. Actually, until reading this question, I never even thought that such a thing existed. 

What was the last book you read and liked? A Tale of Two Cities, hands down. It was a gorgeous book. Hard to get through at first, but it had me crying at the end. Sydney!!!! *sniff sniff* 

Have you ever given yourself a theme song? Share one. Like Phoebe said, what an interesting question! Be Thou My Vision is a song that is very dear to my soul. I often find myself not focusing on what truly matters in my life, and this song helps bring me back to where I need to be. UPDATE: so days after I wrote this, Be Thou My Vision was one of the worship songs we sang at my church on Sunday. Wow. God knew I needed that. I cried. 

If you could be costumed appropriately as anyone you wanted, who would you be? This is a tough one so I’m going to allow myself three answers. 1.) Audrey Hepburn.  She’s my style inspiration and she was absolutely fabulous. 2.) Goldberry (from The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien) Can I just say breathtaking? Yes? Thank you. 3.) Elizabeth Bennet (1995). Either her green or coral gown. Absolutely stunning. 

What is a hobby that you excel at? Drawing I suppose. Art can look like rubbish to some and people will still call it art so it’s MUCH easier to be good at than, say, writing. People have complimented me on my writing to but I feel like I still have a lot to work on in that. 

What is your favorite holiday decoration that is a staple at your house? A plush Nativity Scene that my parents bought at a bazzar when we lived in Germany. It was hand sewn by women in Poland (I’m 1/8th Polish) and is so precious to me. Plus I loved going to the Bazzar every year! It took up a good part of the flightline on base! 

Do you sing outloud, or hum? Both. It depends on who’s around. Sometimes I just dance and mouth the words like a crazy hyper rock star. 😂 

Do you have a favorite word? What is it? I have a lot. Lovely, joy, ethereal, saorsa, peace, radiant. But my favorite is Savior. 

Here are my ten questions! 

  1. What place (besides your home and your church) are you happiest?
  2. If you could only eat three meals for the rest of your life, what would you pick? (Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner. Mix it up!) 
  3. What animal do you think is the best representation of your personality? 
  4. What is your favorite movie that came out the year you were born?
  5. Have you ever danced with a partner? If so, describe your experience. 
  6. If you have ever used essential oils, which is your favorite? 
  7. What is the oldest thing you own? 
  8. Which of the Fruits of the Spirit has God been teaching you the most this year? 
  9. What is your favorite outfit that you posses? 
  10. What do you dream your life will be like in ten years?

If you have a blog feel free to do this tag! After you’ve published it be sure to comment back here and let me know! I’d love to read your answers! 


    5 Friendship Tips for the Christian Girl – A Guest Post 

    Hi friends! This is a guest post by Crown of Beauty Magazine. Soon I’ll be writing a guest post for them, so stay tuned for that! 

    From the very beginning, God knew that “it is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). To this day, much of our self-worth is pinned on how many people we can name as best friends, how long our guest lists are for our birthday parties, and how few nights we spend at home refreshing Pinterest for more snack ideas. Everything is about the friend group: how to find one and how to keep it together when things inevitably go south. There’s that old adage: you are who you hang out with. Someone once said, “Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.” And as much as we’d like to think that we are in charge of our own actions and decisions, the people we spend our time with have a huge influence over what we choose to say and do and what we choose to not say and not do.   

    So, what type of people are you allowing to influence you daily? Do your friends point you to Christ and His love? Are they encouraging you to stay grounded in the Word of God and seek after His truth in a world of relativism and feel-good morality? Are their hearts and minds set on things above? These are the characteristics of godly friends, people who will grow alongside you, who will sharpen you as iron sharpens iron. Friends who live like Christ are the most important people of all! The problem is finding these friends, isn’t it? How can we develop friendships that stick more closely than family?

    1) Be that Friend

    The #1 rule about forming Godly friendships, is to first be the friend that you desire to have! Are you looking for an accountability partner to walk with you through a tough time, or make sure that you stay focused on your daily Bible reading? Call up a friend and ask them if they’re interested. Do you want to find a girls’ Bible study on living like Christ? Text some girls and invite them over. As Matthew West so succinctly put it in his song ‘Do Something’, “If not us, then who? If not me and you? Right now, it’s time for us to do something.” If you’re looking for a group of godly friends to encourage you? Be that godly friend and encourage the people around you. 

    2) Love Unconditionally 

    We are all broken, sinful people. Even the best friends in the world will disappoint you, and there will be nights where you cry out to God for help to just understand what’s going on in your world. Sometimes you might think giving up would be easier than putting up with the drama you’re going through. But I encourage you to persevere through the dark times and love people as best you can. Jesus says in John 5, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”
    If you kick your friend to the curb every time something goes wrong, that is not exemplifying the character of Christ. The world says, “You’re the center of everything, so do what makes you feel good!” But that lie couldn’t be further from the truth. As God’s Chosen Daughters we are called to love, forgive, and forgive some more. Give your friends every opportunity to grow and be who they are truly meant to be, as you extend grace, upon grace, upon grace.  

    3) Pray for Your Friends

    Prayer is powerful! Oftentimes we desire for people to pray for us, and we ache for that support and encouragement. But just as we stated earlier, you must first be the person that you want your friends to be. Love them in the way that you want them to love you! So be the prayer warrior that God has created you to be. Ask your friends what you can be praying for them about. And then, most importantly, actually take the time to do it. Don’t casually shoot off the Christian cliche, “I’ll be praying for you!” if you have no intention of setting aside a few moments in your busy day, to settle your heart and petition Heaven on her behalf. Sometimes, it can be challenging to know what exactly to pray over our friends. We love praying scripture verses. It’s power packed, anointed, and easy to do! Just take your favorite verse, such as Jeremiah 29:11 and pray for your friend concerning things that revolve around that verse or particular passage.  

    4) Sisters Before Misters

    We’ve all been there. That terrible moment where you discover that you and one of your friends like the same guy! Gasp! It’s moments like this where it is so important to step back and get God’s perspective on the situation. Oftentimes when we have butterflies dancing around in our stomachs, and excited emotions toward a particular guy, we can feel tempted to believe that he is more important than our sisterhood friendships. But you have to remember that this is merely a phase in life, and things are most likely going to change. Either she, or you will grow out of that crush and move on. Don’t allow drama with guys to tear apart your precious friendships. Make the decision that sisters come before misters! 

    5) Say “No” To Gossip 

    Gossip, jealousy, and lose lips are one of the fastest ways to destroy strong friendships. If you have a misunderstanding with one of your friends (which is bound to happen, because we’re all human!) or are worried about something that happened, talk to her about it right away. Not to another friends. If you have problems with a friend, discuss them openly with that friend, and that friend only. Everyone doesn’t need to know what Susie said about you and Sarah, or how deeply she hurt your feelings. Talk to Susie about it and clear things up as quickly as possible, without involving your entire tribe! If you need another ear to hear what’s going on, and lend some Godly advice, talk to your Mom, big sister, or an older woman you trust: not your peer group. Gossip is like a wildfire that damages everything in it’s past. Even if your intentions are pure, by the time they reach someone else’s ears, the entire story might have changed. Be known as a Godly girl with high integrity. Say “no” to gossip. Let your friends know that you don’t want to hear rumors, or talk about people behind their back. Set the standard, and make your space a “no gossip zone.” Because if you have friends who gossip with you about other people, who do you think they’re talking about when you’re not around?

    Nurturing, protecting, and cherishing Godly friendships takes prayer, energy, sacrifice, and a whole lot of love! Relationships can be challenging and at times heartbreaking. But they are always worth it. Be encouraged to know that the Lord has other young women out there with hearts similar to yours, and you’re not the only one on this planet walking a set-apart life! At times, this journey can feel lonely, but that’s when we need to reach out and connect with others.
    If you feel like there’s no one who understands your faith, relationship with Christ, and truly values your friendship and encourages you in your walk with the Lord, please feel free to reach out to us! We have a buzzing community of Christian girls who all love and care for one another, at Crown of Beauty Magazine. So come on over, and feel free to join the community! Get connected with your Princess Sisters! 

    What do you guys think? Would you be interested in me having more people do guest posts on my blog? Are you interested in me writing guest posts for your blog? Leave a comment!


    Dating and Marrige: the Good, the Bad, and the Touchy (Part 2)

    Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

    Continuing from Part 1 (previous post).

    Now that I’ve explained my thoughts on dating and courtship it’s time for me to answer the rest of the assigned questions. Here we go!

    What are the character traits you consider important in a spouse?

    Loving, kind, humble, pure, honest, bold in his faith, hard-working, intelligent, trustworthy, supportive, good sense of humor (to be able to deal with my weird sense of humor), reliable, responsible, compassionate, patient (Lord help him, he’ll need a lot of patience with me), cheerful, optimistic, loves children, helpful, easygoing, reasonable, thoughtful.

    That’s my list, at least what I can come up with right now. Wishful thinking? Maybe. Maybe that is unattainable in a person who is not Jesus. But maybe there’s a young man out there that fits the golden criteria. I have been praying for a while now that God would mold and prepare me now to fit my future husbands “golden criteria” for a wife.

    How will you “find” a spouse?

    This question strikes me as a little odd, because I have no idea how I’m going to “find” a spouse. When I was younger I kind of just expected to have really close family friends who we knew for ages and I would marry into it. But since I’m almost 17 and we still have no such friends with young men my age, I don’t think its going to happen that way anymore. I could be wrong though, I won’t know till it happens. I like this quote (I’m not sure who said it, and I tweaked it a lil):

    “Run as fast as you can towards God, and if you find someone beside you, introduce yourself.”

    I don’t think this means you can’t already know this person. I think it’s saying that, if you are following God’s will for your life He’ll bring the right person alongside you. Maybe doing the same mission work, fighting for the same cause, or writing on the same topic. Those are only 3 of numerous possibilities!

    How will you know he/she is the one for you?

    When his faith in and love for Christ is evident, he fits my “golden criteria,” and none of the people I love and trust oppose me having a relationship with him, I think those are good signs that he’s “the one.” I think from what I have read in the Bible I’ve learned that we can have high (but not hypocritical or unattainable) standards, but also that couples in the Bible didn’t have a lot of time to contemplate if he/she was “the one.” In the case of Rebekah and Isaac, God gave Abraham’s servant a sign, but Rebekah and Isaac didn’t ask for one. They were married the day they met and just trusted God that He wanted them to be together. Abigail married David after only speaking with and seeing him once, but she knew that David was a man of God and so she trusted God in her marriage. Maybe they didn’t feel a lightning bolt from God that this person was the person for them, I don’t know, but I’m not going to expect a lightning bolt revelation. I will be attentive to the Holy Spirit’s prodding, either to or away from prospective spouses. But I don’t think it’s ALWAYS so stark and clear.

    What role will your parents have in this?

    My parents will be the ones that 1. let me go out on dates (at least in the beginning) and 2. give me their own opinion on the guys I’m interested in and/or are interested in me. Also they will influence my convictions about restrictions in a dating relationship if necessary. They will be the ones guiding, preparing, and praying for me. They have a very important role in such a situation. Their thoughts and opinions can overrule mine, and I trust them with that, being the Godly people they are and also because of the 4th commandment to honor my father and mother.

    This question was not asked but I think it’s an important one as well, which is:

    What are your personal dating restrictions?

    • Avoid tempting situations such as kissing on the lips (“making out” in particular), being absolutely alone (not in a public place, without friends or family) for long periods of time, über lengthy hugs, etc., or whatever that may look like for us. This really depends on the couple so I’m not going to push this on anyone. God never commanded that we can’t kiss or hold hands before we’re married but I think He does give certain people different convictions on those sorts of things. Some people may feel comfortable giving sweet little on-the-lip kisses before they’re married, others might want to wait for their wedding day. I don’t want to get too deep into this though since there’s enough material for me to talk on this subject for several more blog posts.
    • No premarital sex. This is just a given. It’s commanded by God over and over again in both the Old and New Testaments, and if a guy EVER tries to convince me into sexual intimacy before we are married then I can take it as a sign first of all that his relationship with God is not right, and also that I am not worth it enough to him to wait for marriage for something that was made only for marriage.

    In order to go on a first date with me he must:

    • Be a strong believer and follower of Christ
    • Respect my parents decisions about my dating relationships
    • Value and fight for my purity
    • Respect and encourage my personal dating restrictions (above)
    • Not be a desperate flirt (Theres a difference between constant and inappropriate flirting and innocent playfulness.)


    So, what do my readers think? Are you going to go about it differently than I, or have your prayers, thoughts, research, and Bible-reading brought you to the same conclusions as mine have? Have any of you been in Godly dating relationships? Leave a comment!

    Face Toner 

    I ❤️ essential oils. I really do. My family uses them every day, and this is one of my favorite ways to use them! So I decided to make a tutorial video for you all. I didn’t have enough of two ingredients with me but OH WELL YOU GUYS GET THE PICTURE. 😂 


    • 10 drops Lemon essential oil 
    • 10 drops Lavender essential oil
    • 10 drops Frankincense essential oil
    • 1 tsp or so of Jojoba or Grapeseed oil 
    • Witch Hazel (enough to fill a small bottle) 

    A face toner is generally used to improve your skin and reduce oiliness. This recipe my mom and I came up with does just that using a blend of Lemon, Lavender, and Frankincense essential oils. 

    Lemon oil is cleansing to skin, has PH balancing and antibacterial properties, and it helps slough off dead skin cells (<<eww, that sounds NASTY). 

    Lavender helps ease irritated and dry skin, inhibits bacteria that causes acne, and rebalances secretion of sebum (skin oils) which the bacteria thrives on. Plus it helps heal scar tissue.

    Frankincense helps heal dry, itchy skin, scars, and acne. It helps get rid of wrinkles too! 

    I Guess I’m Just Weird


    I guess I’m just weird.

    A sore thumb.

    An odd one out.

    Not belonging in any sort of clique.

    I’m a nerd, but you wouldn’t know it unless you set me on the right conversation path.
    And even with the nerds, I don’t fit in a certain group.
    My favorite comic book hero is Superman.
    I love Star Wars and Star Trek.
    I’ve never read Harry Potter.

    I love to write, but I’ve never finished a project.
    Never written “The End”.
    Never said “Can you read my book?”
    Never known my own characters as well as I should,
    Even though they are the children of my own imagination.

    I’m homeschooled, and yet I’ve never known a homeschool family quite like mine.
    I am not completely cut off from the world.
    I enjoy the good parts of our culture, including Pop culture.
    I dress modestly, but I wear pants and shorts, and I try to keep up with the trends
    And yet we’re still conservative.

    I have my own fashion sense, I like to dress smartly and stylishly.
    But I don’t always have the means to buy the wardrobe I want.
    My outfits always feel somehow off to what my peers are wearing.
    I do wear makeup, not to change my face but to enhance what beauty God has given me.
    I’ve never met someone who dressed quite like me.

    I love all things domestic, although this isn’t forced upon me.
    I love the thought of being a housewife, a stay at home mom.
    The thought of educating my own children excites me,
    Much more that the thought of four extra years of educating myself in a university.
    And yet my generation pines after college as if its the only option, and young people like me are considered as a waste of potential by the World.

    I guess I’m just weird.

    I don’t fit into a circle.

    And you know what?

    I think I’m okay with that.

    Dating and Marrige: the Good, the Bad, and the Touchy (Part 1)

    I use the My Fathers World curriculum for home school, and since I finished my Pride and Prejudice reading assignment my latest writing assignment is an essay explaining my personal beliefs on dating/courtship and marriage. Since this is a topic I’ve been interested in blogging about anyway, I thought I might as well just write it to you all!

    These are the questions I am supposed to answer in my essay:

    1. What are your personal beliefs about dating/courtship and marriage?
    2. What are the character traits you consider important in a spouse?
    3. How will you “find” a spouse?
    4. How will you know he is the one for you?
    5. What role will your parents have in this?

    Great questions aren’t they? I’ve wanted to fall in love, get married, and have a brood of children since, well, as long as I can remember. (I also wondered how people found anything besides the faces of others attractive till I was probably thirteen, so it was in no way, uh, inappropriate?) Consequently I’ve had a lot of thinking to do on the subject, and I’ve done my own research and “fact collecting” (like a good ISTJ 😂) about Bible-honoring romantic relationships and also about myself, and the kind of person who I want to marry some day.

    Let’s tackle the first question, and arguably the most controversy-inducing question of them all. I’ve looked into courtship and dating and looked at the pros and cons of each. When I was around 14 the Duggar girls were first shown entering romantic relationships through this process called courting which, at that time, I had probably only heard mentioned in Victorian books. It seemed perfect. And yet watching it made me cringe. Everything about the whole process was awkward with a good many sweet moments thrown in, but mostly awkward. Ben Seewald and Derick Dillard approached Mr and Mrs Duggar to ask to “enter an official courtship” *shudder* with their daughters and just as well could have been asking to marry Jessa and Jill by how grave and nerve-wracking it was. I’m not trying to disrespect the Duggar family in any way, this is just the best example I can give of a flawed Christian courtship (even though it ended well).

    Here’s my step by step breakdown of modern Christian courtship:

    Step 1. Boy and girl meet, maybe on several occasions, and there’s some attraction on at least one part.

    Step 2. Boy asks mother and father of girl if he has permission to enter a courtship with their daughter (aka: get to know her better with the end result being their marriage).

    Step 3. If mom and dad permit it, the girl is then asked if she would like to enter a courtship with boy. If she complies, they begin an official courtship which is basically a betrothal.

    Step 4. The rest of courtship is them getting to know each other before getting married, doing “real life” things together, not this floofy “fun” that less spiritual people speak of (sorry, I have to be a tad sarcastic).

    Do you see any problems with this description above? It took me awhile but I finally figured it out. THE COMMITMENT AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS TYPE OF RELATIONSHIP IS EQUIVALENT TO AN ENGAGEMENT. Do you see anything wrong with that? Let me explain myself: if you have just “come of age”, and never had any romantic relationships before, do you even know, truly, what you want in a spouse? I haven’t even had a full conversation with a peer of the opposite sex (besides cousins) since I was thirteen. What if you get several months into a courtship and find that, hey, he/she isn’t really what I want in a lifelong spouse? Breaking it off, from my research, has traumatized some similarly to the breaking off of an engagement, and left both participants in a state of discouragement and heartbreak. Another problem with this system is that Godly young men are left feeling worthless as fathers and mothers deny them the opportunity of getting to know their daughters better (because nobody is good enough for their princesses), and Godly young women start doubting themselves, wondering if they’re not good enough get any romantic inquiries.

    This is why (along with a few other reasons) my family has decided we are not going the traditional courtship route once we kids are old enough. Does this mean we must resort to the worldly, sometimes fornication-included dating? Absolutely NOT!

    Here are the three steps I’ve outlined, between “just friends” and “man and wife”, in a God-glorifying dating relationship:

    Step 1) Dating: a time to determine through several dates if there’s any future with, more than likely, a couple different guys/girls. Casual, no set in stone commitments. Can be discontinued without huge emotional trauma or violently hurt feelings. Friendship status.

    Step 2) “Going steady”: a time when you’ve dated one guy/girl consistently and have determined that you could have a future together. Not engaged, but marriage is definitely possible. Breaking it might be a bigger deal than just after the above friend type dates, although not devastating. Boyfriend and girlfriend status.

    Step 3) Engaged: a time to plan for your wedding and broaden your relationship. Full faithfulness required.

    Now, since this is so long already, I’m going to break it into at least two parts. Be sure to check back soon for the answers to the rest of the questions, and also dating restrictions and requirements I’ve written out for myself using Gods Word and what wisdom and discernment He has graciously granted me.

    What do my readers think about the Dating -vs- Courtship controversy? Leave a (nice and respectful if you please) comment! 

    Blog Birthday & Giveaway! (Update – now over) 

    The giveaway is over, thank you to all who entered! Let me know how you all liked it. I’d love to do another one sometime! 

    It’s been an entire year since I started my blog, and wow, has life changed since then! Last September my family was still living with my grandparents in Arizona. My mom had recently started her blog and I enjoyed writing little posts on hers, so I decided to begin my own. I spent that day in the back room, clicking and typing away at the computer, occasionally creeping out to ask my mom questions. Figuring out the quirks of WordPress. And facepalming in frustration because of the quirks of WordPress (which I still do sometimes). But it was a lot less complicated than I first thought. 

    I love blogging! I don’t post as much as I should, and it hasn’t exactly boomed. But it’s done what it was intended to do, which is share the love and encouragement of Jesus with others in the broadest way that I can. It’s also gotten me into the community of Christian bloggers, which I didn’t even consider at the beginning but now they’re some of my dearest friends! 

    So, in honor of one year and also all you readers, I’m going to do a giveaway! 

    The prize will be a package of goodies handpicked by me. 

    To get one entry you must follow my blog. That’s it! But for one additional entry each you can 

    1. Comment below and/or
    2. Give my blog a shoutout on social media.

    BUT for 3 additional entries, you can give Chronicles in Bloom a shoutout on your own blog. 

    The giveaway ends September 29th, which is a week from today. At which time I will draw names and announce the winner! Then I will contact the winner and get their mailing address. 

    I will post specifics about what the prize will be, but it will include a notebook that I picked myself. I know THAT for sure. 😂

    Thank you all so much for reading and following and leaving lovely comments on my blog! And a special thank you to all my blogger friends, because you guys really encourage me to keep writing. 

    I ❤️ you guys! 

    There and Back Again 

    I’m so, so sorry about my delay in writing a post guys. It’s been almost a month I think! That’s awful! 

    As some of you may know, I went on a week long trip to Arizona very recently. I thought I’d write a little about it and share some pictures with you all! Altogether we drove for about 16 hours, but it was blissful. Besides the dogs barking that is. I watched the epic classic Ten Commandments, read, blogged, and ate for the first 6 hour stretch (ABQ-Flagstaff).Driving into the campground at Flagstaff was magical – it was so cool and fresh and hidden in hills and pine trees. We set up camp and ate tortilla soup, and then we loaded back up and took a short trip to downtown Flagstaff. It was so much fun, and my only disappointment with the trip was that we didn’t get to visit again. We went to the cutest coffee shop and I enjoyed a delicious cappuccino. After all the older people were supplied with caffeine we went back to our trailer, where we snuggled around a campfire and had “delicious hot schmoes.” The next day we woke up early and headed to the Grand Canyon where I promptly got the worst sunburn of my life on my left shoulder. I WAS ONLY IN THE SUN FOR A COUPLE MINUTES PEOPLE! So, if you ever plan on visiting the Grand Canyon (or anywhere where the sun shines) put that sunscreen on. Anywhoo, the Canyon was amazing. The air was so fresh and so chilly and I was dazzled. We spent a good couple of hours there exploring before we drove back to the trailer where an amazing beef roast was waiting in the crockpot (#trailerlyfe). That night we played a game we made up called This or That. Like “Batman or Superman?” or “Spaghetti or Pizza?”. You have to answer and you mustn’t give an explanation. It was fun, especially in front of a nice sized campfire. The next morning we took our time packing up and leaving, which was nice. It took us about 4 hours to get to Tucson, during which I listened to music, watched Back to the Future III*, and stopped in Phoenix for IN-N-OUT. My California longings were temporarily appeased. We drove into Tucson in broad daylight which I don’t think has ever happened.I spent the next 4 1/2 days hanging with my Nana and Pawpaw, Tio, Aunt and Uncle, and all 6 of my cousins. It was a ton of fun.The drive home was quite uneventful besides a stop in Hatch for a snack (oh and I watched Back to the Future II* – yes it was out of order don’t judge 😂). So, that was our trip! Sorry if I bored you out of your mind with my ramblings. 

    *disclaimer: I edit movies so I’m able to watch things like Back to the Future 

    Have any of you been on fun trips this year? I’d love to hear about them! 

    August 13, 2016

    Today was lovely. My version of a near-perfect Saturday. I woke up early and less than two hours later we were headed to downtown for the farmers market, which is always buzzing with friendly chatting adults, giggling kids, and ecstatic canines. I’ve never been to a busier or lovelier farmers market in my life, and being there just makes my heart happy. On our short walk from the car to the market I noticed a magical looking used bookstore inside an old town house. I knew I’d have to go inside at some time, and thankfully my parents let all 9 of us cram into the darling little shop. And it was amazing. The place smelled like old books and history and the tiny lanes were lined to the ceiling with hundreds of books, some older C. S. Lewis. I found a Hamlet copy from 1939, full of little notes and underlines. It came from the University of Wisconsin. And only cost $3, which was awesome! After that we went to the base, which felt nostalgic and homey since I haven’t been in close to half a year. We came home, put away our bounty of produce and bread from the market, and then relaxed. Which looked like two siblings and I binge watching The Flash. (Barry is the cutest everyone, don’t even try to argue.) Evening included making salsa with all that fresh stuff we bought in the morning, eating chocolate chip ice cream, and enjoying a gorgeous sunset and a breeze which has an autumn twinge in it. I hope you all had an equally lovely Saturday, and I hope you all have an even lovelier Sunday. 


    This is a Chilean meal that my Nana makes, and it’s one of my favorite things to eat! The first time she made it for us we had just been swimming and I was starving, but this satisfied my ravenous appetite perfectly. It’s so filling and flavorful, which makes it the perfect comfort food on a cold day. Don’t be scared by the squash! It’s flavor is barely there and it makes this dish a beautiful orange color. 

    Nana wanted me to be sure to let you know she does not recommend peeling potatoes with a knife. 😂

    The end result. Ahh, making me hungry just looking at it. 

    This is the traditional butter + paprika sauce you put on top. 

    This recipe really depends on how many are eating it. Plus Nana and I don’t measure much, so if you’re not sure how much to do of something go with your gut. 

    You’ll need:

    • 1 butternut squash (size depends on how many are eating it) 
    • 1 med potato per person
    • 1—2 lbs ground beef 
    • 1—2 med onions 
    • 1—2 bell peppers 
    • Olive oil
    • Several Tbsp—entire stick of butter
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Garlic powder 
    • Cumin
    • Paprika 
    • Cayenne pepper 

    For the sauce:

    • Several Tbsp of butter 
    • Several tsp of paprika 
    1. Peel potatoes and squash and then cut into large chunks. Put into a pot and add enough water to cover them by one inch. Add salt and bring to a boil. Boil until soft, then drain. Leave a bit of water in the bottom to keep from dryness. 
    2. While potatoes and squash are cooking, chop onions and peppers. Add to a pan with a Tbsp or two of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and then cook on medium—high until onions are translucent. Add ground beef. Generously season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Cook until meat is browned.
    3. Mash potatoes and squash together with some butter and season with salt and garlic. Stir in beef mixture and then test for adequate seasoning. 

    For the sauce:
    In a small separate pan melt the butter. Add paprika and combine. Serve drizzled over charquican. Enjoy!