Thursday, November 17, 2011

A little of what I do...

I thought I'd share a little project I created this morning at work. 
Jealous that I get paid to do something this fun?!

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Lord has dealt bountifully with me

That's right. We are parents of a precious little baby, due in May 2012. 

It's been nearly impossible to contain mr g's excitement about our new addition and because of that I've realized how blessed I really am. Nearly one year after our vows and I've found myself falling even deeper in love with my husband just because of this baby that is barely the size of a fig. 

If I didn't already know of mr g's love for me, it's become even more apparent in the last 3 months. He's been so completely selfless, attentive and just keeps sacrificing himself time and time again. 

His words the other day touched me: "If you will allow me to take care of the house, cook and take care of you during these 9 months, I am sure you will more than make up for it by taking care of me after that."

 I am blessed that I have a husband who considers it a woman's highest calling in life is to be a wife, mother and homemaker.

 I am blessed that he is willing to sacrifice his wants and needs for me and baby g.

I am blessed he wants to protect and provide.

I am blessed when he stops several times a day to place his hand on my tummy
and prays for the tiny life inside.


Gracious is the Lord, and
Yes, our God is merciful.
Return to your rest, O my
For the Lord has dealt 
bountifully with you. 

Psalm 116: 5,7

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lagoon Trip 2011
I really love this photo. Yes, I  do realize that I look 14 and my bangs are doin' their own thang

It's the feelings expressed that I love. 

my mr. g is:








my everything.

Update: Life is busy, wonderful, an amazing blessing.... which is why I am not getting the chance to blog a whole lot. And that's ok... my mr g, he forces reminds me to enjoy life as it's happening, in the moment.

"One day at a time, this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be trouble about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering." - Unknown

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Summer Lovin' 2011: Downtown Seattle and Creation North West

Here is a brief re-cap of our summer vacation to Washington!

We drove to Enumclaw, Washington on Tuesday morning, then set up camp for our stay at Creation North West. That evening we drove 45 minutes in search of a BJ's and feasted on the their famous pazookie (see photos below).

Wednesday morning and afternoon we spent in downtown Seattle. We had an amazing time, visiting our favorite good eats that we found on our honeymoon: the bakery Le Panier and Pike's Place Chowder.

Late Wednesday afternoon we arrived back in Enumclaw for our main destination: Creation Northwest (4 days of Christian concerts). I was in for a little shock when we walked up to the Main Stage and I heard the blaring music and felt the thumping bass in my chest. I will admit I panicked more than slightly, not believing that I had paid money for 4 days of  headache! But I grew accustomed to the noise and we really did enjoy the next few days of worshiping our Creator, despite the extreme exhaustion from lack of sleep, endless walking, standing and ummm... moshing. :)

Tyler and I left Saturday afternoon for some time on our own, drove halfway back home, spent the night in a nice hotel and enjoyed our drive back to our lovely home this afternoon.

::: Enjoy the snapshots from downtown Seattle :::

Our favorite bakery and coffee shop in Seattle

I didn't take a picture on our honeymoon (I guess my mind was
 elsewhere),but this is the hotel we stayed back in November.

We drove 45 minutes for this: The Pazookie at BJ's

On left: Summer 2011 === On right: 8 months earlier on our honeymoon!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Six on Sunday: Time, Energy, & $$$ Saving Meal Tips

One of the things I strive for as a wife is to make delicious meals for Mr G. I'll admit we've resorted to Ramen Noodles many times for the sake of budget or time (and sometimes Mr G requests them!), but overall I like to cook as much from scratch as possible. It is a little difficult to accomplish this every day with our work schedules but, here are some time and energy saving tips I've learned that at least help make meal prep easier.
  1. Have a plan: At the beginning of each week, take a few minutes and jot down menus, assigned to a specific day, based on your whatever your  upcoming schedule may look like. Then make your grocery list. This will save both time and money, since you won't wonder and wander at the grocery store. The easiest way to spend too much money is not having a focused list for very specific items.  
  2. Prepare multiple meals: When cooking casseroles, meats (chicken & turkey work the best) soups, sauces or just about anything else that will freeze well, make two more meals at a time. My favorite is to make lasagna for dinner for tonight, then make another to put in the freezer for later. 
  3. Freeze homemade baked goods: I make a huge batches of fully baked cookies, rolls, bread sticks and cinnamon rolls(these stay in dough form) every time I get the chance. It's just not worth it to take the time to make homemade yeast breads for 2 people, so the extras go in the freezer to later pull out to thaw in the microwave or oven when needed.
  4. Pre-Chop your vegetables & fruit: This works well if you have your menu planned for the week since you will already know their uses. When you get home from the store, just chop what you can and put them in baggies for the weeks use. Just be careful with vegetables or fruits that brown easily. Those should always be chopped at the last minute.
  5. Don't be afraid to buy in bulk: Even with only the two of us, it's still worth it to buy in bulk. Just utilize your freezer! It will save you time from the grocery store and can save you money if you buy things at the right price. If you are like me, I'd rather NOT spend my time in the grocery store.
  6. Left overs are OK!: Yes, it's okay to pick one night per week that you eat up the remnants from your meals. You can either create something new with those leftovers, or just have samplings of each thing. The key to staying in budget is not to be wasteful!
Here is what our last week's menu looked like, so you get an idea how I used these tips.

Monday: Turkey Fettuccine Alfredo with Veggies, Homemade Bread Sticks :
I used fully cooked and chopped turkey from the freezer, and chopped broccoli and cauliflower from the fridge. I also made the bread sticks from scratch this time, but put 1 dozen extras in the freezer for later.

Tuesday: Taco Salad in Homemade Tortilla Cups : 
I used ground beef purchased in bulk 3 months ago!

Wednesday: Dinner at Family's

Thursday: Leftovers :
From Monday's meal and the previous weekend

Friday: BLTs on Homemade Rolls, Green Salad & Fresh Pineapple :
Used frozen dinner rolls from the freezer, and bacon that I had stocked up on 2 months ago.

What you'll currently find in my freezer:
Chili Verde Green Sauce
Enchilada Red Sauce
Alfredo Sauce
1 dozen Italian Breadsticks
1 pan of frozen Cinnamon Rolls (still in dough form)
1 dozen Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls
Stocked Ground Beef
Stocked Chicken Thighs
Frozen Egg Whites

Please comment and share your meal tips, I'd love to hear them!

Friday, June 3, 2011

To the Weekend

My Dearest Weekend,

For once I actually find myself excited to meet you today at 5pm, since your plans do not include anything that may seem unappealing. All 30 of your hours will be spent with my besty Mr G and I anticipate much sunshine, giggling, sun dresses, delicious ethnic food at the world fair, and of course a latte' or two.

Signed, the ecstatic and won over
mrs g.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Don't worry, I haven't completely disappeared... at least not yet.

It's been quite the month since my last post, and well, God is still working in my heart, despite the changes that have come into our life. God's faithfulness is why I hope to keep blogging, even though my free time will now be at a minimum.

And, just because I like lists, that's the way I'll update today, maybe with more details later.

  • Mr G has embarked on a new career, and we couldn't be more excited. No more lonely weekends, or quiet evenings, since he won't have to work!
  • Mr. & Mrs. G went on their first road trip together. So far, it's my favorite memory of married life.
  • I purchased our first Bountiful Basket last week and we are absolutely loving it! It's really delicious produce for a great price, and it's inspiring me to cook better.
  • Speaking of things for a great price, I've started "couponing." My results have been small, but victory none the least in defeating our monstrous grocery bill. Mr. G has been helping me with it too, but that's a secret... so don't tell!
  • I've convinced Mr. G to try running with me. We're off to a good start, if you consider a good start the fact that his "jog" is my "sprint"?!
  • Mr. G has discovered that his new favorite dessert is my White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake. Olive Garden's will do too.
  • What I'm most excited about: our new season of life will make it possible for us to do everything (aside from work) together: visit with friends, hang out with family, serve at church, find steals of deals couponing, RUN! play Mr. G's new Wii, you know, those things best friends do together!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Sorry State

My poor true and tried recipes 
are in a very sorry state ever since I got married.
 Nothing more than scraps of paper with a few very sloppy chicken scratches. 

And if someone ever needed instructions, well... they aren't there. 
It's just abbreviated ingredient lists and the directions are in my head.
I brought all my cookbooks with me, but what got left behind at Mom's house were
all the handwritten recipes,
 (which include our favorites from friends and family
that have been collected over the years, plus Grammy's fabulous family tradition recipes).  
Not to mention my mom's worn Home and Garden Cook book that was
her wedding gift.
 It's fondly called the "The Orange Cookbook."
When I need a recipe, I call up my mom and scribble down ingredients and then it gets 
thrown in this generic white (and maybe slightly sticky) binder. 

Being a person that likes to call herself organized, this of course, drives me near insanity.
The solution and rescuing of these precious recipes to come soon...

Update at 7:50pm: Biscuit recipe is MIA. Tyler probably threw it away, and I wouldn't blame him... those scribbles could only mean something to me. Guess what I had to do? Call up my mom. Again. Not that calling her is a bad thing, I just hate calling for the same recipe twice.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Lighter Burden

If there's one thing that breaks my heart, it's seeing people, even Christians, struggling through life, trying to accomplish it all on their own. In their own power, in their own might, which if it's anything like my own power and might, I'd make to the coffee pot and have no will to continue on with my day.

My devotions in Numbers this morning brought me to an ocean of encouragement: Moses was saying to God...

 " I am not able to bear all these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me." (Numbers 11:14)

Now, Moses was about in the same place as a president or king. He was leading a nation of hundreds of thousands of people. And those hundreds of thousands of people were not a bunch of saints either. Every time Moses turned around they were complaining about something. They even wished at times to be back in bondage in Egypt. And that's where we find Moses... crying out to the Lord because these people were complaining that they didn't have some of the luxuries they enjoyed in Egypt, under bondage. God had performed wondrous miracles to first free them, and then provide for them in the wilderness. They were complaining again... and Moses was feeling in over his head.

Moses had 3 options:

1. Deal with it in his own power
2. Give it all up
3. Surrender it to God, and rest in His strength

He took option three, and God heard his cry and later in the Numbers 11, He dispersed some of the responsibilities to 70 other guys. Oh, sweet rest for Moses' wearied soul.

Jesus promises us in Matthew 11:18-30:  " Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

If you are feeling like Moses today, and your "burden is too heavy," give it to God and let Him empower you and overwhelm you in His rest. God will respond to a surrendered heart. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 

So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:25-34

A little peek into our living room in the home that God has so abundantly provided for us! Proof of His goodness towards us...


Monday, April 11, 2011

I Can't Keep Silent...

Ephesians 5:22-24, 33 -- Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything... and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

" 1. Obedience is doing what you know the other person wants you to do.
2. Submissions is your heart giving over to the other person's will.
3. Reverence is more that just doing what a man expects or demands. It is an act of the woman's will to treat him with a high degree of regard and awe.

Obedience, submission, and reverence are all acts of the will and are not based on feelings. Showing deference [respectful submission or yielding to the judgment, opinion, will, etc., of another] toward one's husband is an act of reverence toward the God who placed you in that role. "
- Created to Be His Help Meet, Debi Pearl

God hasn't assigned us an easy task. I'm always joking with Tyler, "why did God give women two seemingly impossible tasks, childbirth and the command to respect our husbands?!" As women, our sinful nature has made it so difficult to do what is commanded throughout the Bible.

Many women have been duped by our feministic society... you see it every day in the media, and even worse in marriages. Women have be led to believe that the more independent they are from their husband and home, the more happy they will be. Men are portrayed as "controlling" and stupid creatures... and therefore many have vacated their God given roles as leader, and given the role to the less than stable woman.

About that last statement: "less than stable woman" ... which of you women can honestly say that you aren't a proverbial basket case at least once a week? Women are ruled by emotion, feelings, and cravings. And yes, that bad hair, can amount to the ruination of the entire day. Our minds are like a giant mess of spaghetti; even the simplest problem can cause havoc in our minds and actions.

God has given Men the role of leader for a reason. They aren't ruled by how "fat they feel."

Women also try to give the excuses " That verse says men are called to love their wives, and he sure doesn't love me!" SINCE WHEN do we obey God's Word, only if others are doing what is right? If you believe God's Word to be the 100% authority in your life, then you WILL respect your husband, despite his actions. It is God's command ( need I repeat command) and thus, HIS WILL for your life to respect and reverence your husband. The Bible doesn't say, women submit to your husband, but only if he is showing perfect love to you.

Our standard as wives is the Word of God. Consider it your mission, your first calling to respect, obey, and submit to your husband, and consider that calling a privilege. God has given your husband only one woman. You are that woman, and you have an opportunity, every minute of every day to bless your husband. No one else has that place in his life.

If you are a bride-to-be, have been a bride for 40 years, or you are somewhere in between, consider reading this book. Every time I open it, the Biblical perspective convicts and encourages me to be a better wife.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The problem with homemade rice krispy treats is:

 They are just way, too darn, easy to make 

 They are delicious hot and gooey before you put them in the pan

 But they're even better stale, a few days later

They are so airy you can eat a whole mound of them .... not like I just did or anything ;)
 This isn't another confessions post

And even after eating that entire mound, you are sad they are gone and still want more.

... 'cause life's too short not to...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Part II : Of Grace & Mercy

Mercy - A complete pardon of an offense 
(not getting what we do deserve)

Grace- A free and unmerited favor or gift 
(getting what we don't deserve)

These are my two favorite words in the Bible. They describe God's love so fully to me. 

First, He forgives us from what we deserve as sinners. We deserve God's wrath & judgement here on earth, and ultimately death and eternal separation from him. But God is full of mercy, and sent his Son to take our place of wrath. We aren't going to get what we deserve. 

Then like a cherry on your sundae, or whipped cream on your mocha, God has grace for us. He sends us blessings in life, He lavishes His love on us. He comforts, heals, protects, and provides. And what have we done to deserve all these things? Nothing, absolutely nothing. In fact, without Jesus' blood and mercy, all we have to offer our Lord are filthy rags.

You can tell me you have had a rough life. That God doesn't love you. That it's not been anything like mine. But do any of us really deserve a dream life? I know I don't. I mess things up constantly. 

God is a gracious, merciful God. 

Hebrews 4:11
 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 
 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, 
that we may obtain 
mercy and find grace 
to help in time of need.

Read Part I: Of the Faithless and the Faithful One here. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Is it really more fun, to have fun?

"Well yeah, of course", you say.

Hypothetically, it's more enjoyable to be the one having the fun,
than the one with the disapproving glare.

You can say all you want, but I've got to try it out on my own...
it's time for an experiment!

I've already tried being the one with the disapproving glare and trust me,
I've mastered it.

It's time to try the opposite...

See ya on the flip side, because life's too short to glare. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Part 1: Of the Faithless & Faithful One

I like to think back in years. For example, I like to think, what was happening one year ago, today. 

Of course, sometimes thinking back to the past, dwelling on anniversaries and specific events can bring grief back to the forefront and suck the joy right out of our present circumstances.
 That's not my purpose of this post. 

I'm not going to review the past for the purpose of grief but for the purpose of joy and for the purpose of moving forward and beyond. For change.

A year ago today, I'm sure I was wallowing in self pity and most definitely doubting God's goodness and plan. That's pretty common for a girl named Grace. Worry seems to be her best friend. 

But why does it need to be so? 

Why must I be the polar opposite of what I should be? 
God has always proven more than faithful, more than good. 
He's been my opposite. When I was faithless, He's been faithful. 

Here's the proof:
Husband & Wife

Even amidst my doubting, fearful, even angry heart... God has provided every last blessing that I have NOT deserved. And that is a whole other conversation for another day. 

So the reason for looking back are two lessons for today. 
1] What am I worrying about?  Whatever it is, I need to give it to God and have faith in His goodness, because His plan is so perfect. 
2] God has blessed me far more than I deserve. Part 2 coming on that soon. 

Where is God proving opposite of you in your life today? 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Six on Sunday: List #1

1. I operate in lists. I have a list for any aspect of me: work lists, grocery lists, menu lists, chore lists. If there is something to do, it's probably on a list. That's why I heart Six on Sunday. It's easy and organized. 

2. Creative outlets overwhelm me. I get discouraged because I want to do it all, and do it all well. If I can't do it well, I end up nothing at all.

 If I didn't have anything else to do with my life besides creating, each day would have it's own creative assignment. My dream world would look a little like this:

Monday: Grace is photographer
Tuesday: Grace is graphic designer
Wednesday: Grace is baker and owner of Miss Gracie's Sweet Shoppe
Thursday: Grace is interior decorator 
Friday: Grace is barista at Miss Gracie's Sweet Shoppe
Saturday: Grace is Cleaning, budgeting, creating spreadsheets and overall being Type A
Sunday: Grace is TIRED

Well, I tried to make it through the week without letting the clean freak/nerd make it's way back into my life. But my sweet husband would remind me that Type A is WHO Grace is.

3. Lifehouse = best band ever. Right now I am listening to every last one of their songs on shuffle.

4. I am satisfied with a 1000 sq foot townhouse. Cleaning eats up my life as it is, why add to it?

5. My picture entry of one of our wedding photos made it as a finalist last Sunday. See it here: If you are looking for a wedding photographer, there is none other I would recommend than Jamie Hudson Photography.

6. I want a new dress for each day of the week. Nothing says spring to me like a fun flirty dress with flip flops.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Six on Sunday: Kitchen Gadgets I Wouldn't Cook Without

Chopping Mats
These are worth every penny of the whole $5.00 you will spend for 3-5 mats. Imagine chopping some onions,
picking up the mat, bending and letting the onions fall gracefully into your pot. No mess required. 

Bench Scraper

A bench scraper makes clean up pretty much as easy as it gets. Scrape up dough pieces that are stuck to the counter, excess flour and all, and dump into trash.

Kitchen-Aid Can Opener

You'd better believe I bought a brand name can opener. The $3 dollar cheapy I first bought at Wal Mart lasted about 3 weeks, and KILLED my hands & wrists every time I opened a measly aluminum can.

Rada Cook's Knife
Chopping with dull knifes?
Now you don't have to, because Rada Cutlery makes a really great product! I literally ordered a set of knifes
the day after we got home from our honeymoon. Good knifes make cooking so much better.

Oven Liner
BEEP BEEP BEEP. That's the sound of our smoke alarm going of because,
the pie I baked last weekend 
ooed and gooed all over the bottom of my oven.
I don't have time to scrub my oven after every baking escapade, but this makes it so all you
have to do is remove the liner from the oven and gently wipe all the burnt particles into the trash.
Again, clean up made easy. 

A Good Whisk
You call that inflexible 3 wired thing a whisk??? Really?
I don't have ALL day to froth up my eggs for the ooey goodness of pastry cream. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Bride Adorned

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth,
 for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. 
Also there was no more sea. Then, I, John, saw the holy city,
 New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,
 prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 

And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, 
"Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them
and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain for the former things have passed away".
Then He who sat on the throne said, " Behold,  I make all things new." 
 And He said to me, "Write, for these word are true and faithful.
And He said to me, It is done!
 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.
 I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.
 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and 
I will be his God and he shall be My son. 
Revelation 21:1-7

Sometimes life has a way of getting you down, even when things are going UP.

 Eternal perspective changes everything.
 When you read of God's love, 
His ultimate plan for our future,
 all of the sudden the plans of earth no longer matter. 

In heaven, we will be HIS bride, HE will wipe away the tears, HE will take away the pain,

Did you know God can do all that for you today? It's your choice. 

Are you lonely?
Run to His arms. 

Is life more than you can bear?
Run to His arms.

Are your crying?
Run to His arms.

He is waiting.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

But YOU are God...
Gracious and Merciful, 
Slow to anger,
Abundant in kindness,
And did NOT forsake them. 
Nehemiah 9:17b

This little guy is proof. God never leaves. Never stops loving. Never stops His overflowing of kindness. 

My new little nephew #8. Isn't he a sweetie?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Under Construction

Please excuse the mess. Although I like to pretend I'm a nerd, somehow the Blogger layout always seems to be my own worst enemy.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Six on Sunday: Blogging Rules

The first of the series begins with rules. MY blogging rules. If you ever suspect I've made an infraction on any or all, please notify the local authority... aka my softy husband.

1.  Personal devotion time must be completed.
If I'm not getting my Daily Bread, then how can I post the very convicting thoughts that God presses upon me?

2. In order to even sign onto blogger, our house must be clean. 
That's right, if you don't see me here often, it's 'cause our house is terribly messy. Or my OCD has kicked in again. You'll have to ask my husband which it really is. Poor guy was in for a little bit of shock after the honeymoon.

The BeAUTifUl flowers my husband surprised me with on V-Day.
 I told you he spoils me.
3. This is a journal, not a commitment.
Yeah, yeah, it's great to have 300 followers. And to write eloquently. Even post some pretty amazing photos. But in reality, this is just a place to record my thoughts and memories as a young wife. These days will never happen again and this is a place to look back and see the amazing work that God has done, and will continue to do in our lives. The day I start feeling a responsibility to blog, only because I haven't posted in a few weeks (or months) will be the day this blog shuts down. As God gives me time, I will talk of His unending mercies.

4.  Absolutely no complaining. 
 Philippians 2:14-15 Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.

5. Relationships come first. 
Time with the husband... sisters.... my new baby nephew(coming soon, to a sister near me!).... or family.... these all get first priority over the ramblings of this blog. 

6. Whatever is true, noble, right, & pure...
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Pizza Love

Not that you won't see us occasionally dining at the nearest Olive Garden, or find a large bouquet of roses on my kitchen table, but sometimes a quiet night at home is my kind of romance. (As a disclaimer, we DID go on a early Valentine's Date last week to the city... and my amazing husband did buy me a pair of boots. I absolutely don't want any ideas floating around that my man doesn't spoil me very frequently!)

If there is one thing we've missed lately it's PIZZA, and somehow it just doesn't fit into our food budget often! I decided to splurge and make a partially from scratch pizza, but with this recipe I made two pizzas and bread sticks that lasted us for two meals for around $6.00. 

Maybe pizza will find it's way back into our lives?!

Pizza Crust

1/2 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
1 envelope (about 2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
1 1/4 cups water, at room temperature
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups (22 ounces) bread flour, plus more for dusting work surface and hands
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Olive oil or nonstick cooking spray for oiling the bowl
1. Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand until the yeast dissolves and swells, about 5 minutes. Add the room-temperature water and oil and stir to combine.
2. Process the flour and salt in a large food processor (only use a food processor if your model is at least 11 cup capacity and heavy duty enough for bread kneading. No burnt up motors, please!), pulsing to combine. Continue pulsing while pouring the liquid ingredients (holding back a few tablespoons) through the feed tube. If the dough does not readily form into a ball, add the remaining liquid and continue to pulse until a ball forms. Process until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 30 seconds longer.
3. The dough will be a bit tacky, so use a rubber spatula to turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead by h and for a few strokes to form a smooth, round ball. Put the dough into a deep oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Press the dough to deflate it.
Pizza Dough Kneaded by Hand
Follow the recipe for Pizza Dough through step 1. Omit step 2 and instead combine the salt and half the flour in a deep bowl. Add the liquid ingredients and use a wooden spoon to combine. Add the remaining flour, stirring until a cohesive mass forms. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic 7 to 8 minutes, using as little dusting flour as possible while kneading. Form the dough into a ball, put it in a deep oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and proceed with the recipe.
Pizza Dough Kneaded in a Standing Mixer
Follow the recipe for Pizza Dough through step 1. Omit step 2 and instead place the flour and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle. Briefly combine the dry ingredients at low speed. Slowly add the liquid ingredients and continue to mix at low speed until a cohesive mass forms. Stop the mixer and replace the paddle with the dough hook. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, put it in a deep oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and proceed with the recipe.

This is where I took my own liberties with the recipe, mostly meaning I have NO exact directions to give you, but I'll give it a shot anyway.

Remaining Ingredients:
1 - 2 cups pizza sauce, either homemade or store bought
1 cup sharp cheddar, grated
1 cup mozzarella, grated
2/3 package of pepperoni slices
1 cup prepackaged italian cheese blend
1/4 cup margarine, melted

To finish the pizza:
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Divide dough into 3 parts. With two of the part pat and stretch the dough out with your hands to about 14 inches in diameter. Do not use a rolling pin to flatten the dough. Place dough onto a large baking sheet or stone. Spread pizza sauce(use your own judgement, but do not overload the pizza), cheddar, mozzarella and pepperoni slices over crust.

Before placing pizzas in oven, turn it down to 425 degrees, then place pizza on lowest rack of oven. Bake for about 15 minutes, sprinkle italian cheese mixture over the tops and bake for another 2-5 minutes until bubbly. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
 To finish the bread sticks:
Divide remaining third of dough into five pieces. Roll into an oblong shape and place in baking pan. Brush a good amount of the melted margarine over the top, then sprinkle with Italian cheese. Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes.