Archive for November, 2014

Grandma’s cranberry relish with a twist

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014


Growing up I wasn’t to fond of cranberry jelly. I am not sure if it was the wiggly texture or the way it slipped out its can maintaining a perfectly cylindrical shape?

My family would smear this maroon colored gel on everything; turkey, stuffing, rolls… The possibilities were endless. I constantly expressed my frustration to my grandmother, “How can they cover and smother all our deliciously homemade foods with that STUFF!!?”

My Gram and I worked for years perfecting a cranberry sauce that we both could appreciate. Cranberry relish was our was our success story and really it couldn’t be easier.

Now, cranberry relish is the star if our Thanksgiving feast and I can not think of a better “BFF” for my made from scratch turkey dinner!

My husband dreams of cranberry relish weeks before Thanksgiving. Actually, he even requests it for his birthday in March. He loves having a complete Thanksgiving feast for his birthday dinner… I better grab another turkey while they are on sale!

This year we decided to try a His & Her cranberry relish. Mine traditional with a hint of Rosemary and I’ll give you one guess of how Michael decided to spice his up… Jalepenos of course!



1 navel orange
1, 12 oz. bag of fresh cranberries
1 cup of sugar (yes, a cup!)

Cut the orange into chunks. Using a food processor, grind together cranberries and oranges (including the peel) until combined to “relish” consistency. Scrape out the cranberry/orange mixture into a mixing bowl and add 1 cup of sugar, mix. I usually make this relish a day or two in advance, it just gets better as it sits!


Add 1-2 whole jalepenos



Add 1 tsp. fresh rosemary & 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar.


Enjoy this relish traditional, spice or a little fancy!

Allume: A Biblical Heart for Hospitality

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014


I recently had the opportunity to attend a blogger and writer’s conference. Allume is a conference focused on ministering to the woman, the blogger, the story teller. A friend led me to the Allume website, as she had purchased a ticket to the sold out event. As I read about the conference and speakers list which included so many of my favorite Christian writers, I began searching for a way to attend. In the end, I simply put a message out on twitter and God did the rest. Soon I had a ticket of my own to attend the Allume Conference in Greenville, SC and I couldn’t have imagined all that God had in store for me there.

This year’s theme for the conference was HOSPITALITY. Each session and key note speaker focused on developing a heart for biblical hospitality. There couldn’t have been a better theme to minister to my heart. Through the weekend I had the opportunity to dream big and pray about writing, as well as further develop a vision for my blog.

I wish I could share with you every detail of my experience, but well, nothing says it like the men and women who poured out their hearts and stories. So, I thought I would just give you a little recap of my favorite moments. I also brought back with me a little giveaway!

Logan Wolfram, @lifefordessert

Allume Executive Director, Host and Hospitality Artist

We are people who often only share glimpses of ourselves, little peeks into our lives. We only allow people to look into our lives through windows, on their tippy toes, only allowing them to see the clean, shiny versions of ourselves and family. True hospitality is opening the door, welcoming someone in to walk the halls and see around the corners, to the deeper places of both your home and of YOU. We are called to be a people of doors, not people of windows. Logan challenged us to do just this… Open the door.

The hardest truth I took from Logan’s message is that entertaining does not equal hospitality. I want to be unafraid of letting the world see my mess. I love entertaining, setting beautiful tables and perfecting recipes to share with friends. But what is the point? Am I entertaining so others feel good about me and what I can produce? I want people to leave my home feeling better about themselves, not better about me.

Several times during the weekend the story of Paul’s shipwrecked on Malta was illustrated. Upon arriving on the island Paul and his companions, a bunch of prisoners, were shown unusual kindness.

The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold.
Acts 28:2

Before the people of Malta even knew who the strangers were, they welcomed them in. The men were cold, hungry and without a place to rest their heads. The chief of the entire island, Publius, invited them to stay. Scripture says that he entertained them hospitably for 3 days. It was kindess and love that led Publius to give the invitation.

Let us be a people of invitations!

Shauna Niequest
Author of Bread & Wine, Bittersweet, and Cold Tangerines.


Currently I am hosting a book study in my Home on Shauna Niequest’s book, Bread and Wine. Through her writing we are learning to build community around the table and to try out all the recipes in her book, Of course. I could think of no better person to share from a heart of hospitality.

Shauna shared how, currently, her life has become so efficient and overly structured. She saw that she no longer looked at her children with a soft heart, rather she administered their lives. She explained how she had lost her soft heart for people and I was encouraged how, through her message of regaining a heart for hospitality she pointed out, “I did this, now I need to undo this!” I see the danger in striving for perfection, in trying to have it all together. Sometimes life is messy and that is ok! I am learning to reevaluate my vision of hospitality.
Here are Shauna’s thoughts on hospitality:

What is Hospitality?

  • Giving people a place to be when they will otherwise be alone
  • True hospitality is creating a sacred place where we can connect deeply with others.
  • True hospitality is when people leave your home feeling better about themselves, not better about YOU.
  • Sometimes it is messy and out of control.


Emily Freeman and Myquillyn Smith (The Nester)

Authors, Bloggers


These are two incredible sisters! Myquillyn Smith and Emily Freeman have been such blessings to me through their words. Emily Freeman’s session was by far my favorite experience of the conference. Emily is an author and blogger at – As she spoke I immediately connected with her genuine heart for hospitality. She shared with us a story of how she made a place for those in her community by setting up a bench in the grassy area of her cul-de-sac. It was here at this bench that neighbors began to gather, to connect with one another.

“People want to talk about things. They want to relate and live in community and converse and be together. Sometimes they just need a bench. They need a place to get the conversation started, a platform that allows them to linger and find one another.”

It is a desire of mine to create a space of hospitality here on Flying Paper Airplanes. I want to create a bench of kindred spirits, a bench full of Christ followers and lovers of adventure.

Emily Freeman shared these simple techniques to build a bench of your own that people want to sit on: 

  • Listen: Learn to listen to what makes you cry, what makes you come alive. Tears tell us where our hearts beat strong. And listen to your crazy ideas!
  • Practice generosity: Be generous with your story. Relational art makes for a very hospitable way of being.
  • Embrace wonder: Relearn how to waste time. Waste a little time with your children. Waste a little time with your friends.

Judah and the lion


The worship experience was wonderful, lifting up the name of the Lord with so many beautiful men and women from around the world.

A concert by Judah and The Lion brought joy to my soul. Simply happy music! These young adult men were in quite a spot performing a high energy show to a group of almost only women, of all ages. Though much different from their usual venues the men engaged the audience in a soulful way. So many of their lyrics shared memories of life at HOME. Judah was so kind to sign a record and take this perfectly silly photo for my little Judah.


I left the event with an armful of books to read thanks to all the sponsors. I have already read through Breathing Room by Leeana Tankersley and Atlas Girl by Emily T. Wierenga. I will have some book reviews up soon.


After the conference was over, I jumped straight into a study on biblical hospitality on… I am telling you friends I can’t get enough!
Jesus is a beautiful example of hospitality. Through his life we see strangers drawn in, a place for them to cast of their strangeness, a home. There is no better example of hospitality than Jesus.

We welcome because He welcomed
We invite because He invited

We love because He loved

I brought home this beautiful print from She Reads Truth. Would you like it? To enter just comment below…


What inspires you most about the hospitality of Jesus?

Winner will be announced Sunday, November 30. Good Luck!

At home with the Pattersons

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Meet the Pattersons. My friends Judd and Christy are one of the most fun-loving couples I know. I feel so inspired when visiting their vintage-modern home. Christy is a great example of one who practices biblical hospitality. You never need an invitation to drop by the Patterson’s and that is what I love. The door is always open, their home so warm and inviting and you are never a stranger.

Join me on a tour of their beautiful home.
Our front room is the gathering place in our home. Not that it’s decorated the best but I find that’s where we have most of our family time. It’s a cozy and quaint space, where we always tend to end up as a family. We have made a lot of memories here. I’m reminded as I sit in this room how simply decorated it is.IMG_6740IMG_6751.JPGIMG_6822IMG_6747IMG_8679-0.JPG
The buffet in my kitchen is probably my favorite piece. It is an antique that wasn’t in the best condition, bought at a thrift store for $50. My mother-in-law helped me redo the piece. It was a lot of fun and I learned how to use different restoring techniques. I’m just so happy with how it turned out.
Our bedroom feels clean and  fresh, with lots white. IMG_6778.JPGIMG_6775.JPGIMG_6768.JPG
Our kids rooms are fun and whimsical. We have both a little boy Oliver (4), a little girl Eisley (2) and another little surprise on the way. Soon we will be combining Oliver and Eisley into one space to make room for our new little. IMG_6754.JPGIMG_0352IMG_6758.JPG
I love Oliver’s book wall. We created this wall out of functionality and little space. My husband made it, costing around $40 and I love how the books are accessible to my little ones, while the whole wall looks well decorated.
I had so much fun creating this beautiful pinwheel backdrop in my Eisley’s room. I wanted to make a lot of small pinwheels to create a large backdrop for the wall. I used all kinds of craft paper and scrap book paper. Colorful. I think it’s a cute, feminine accent to her wall.
Whenever decorating, think of whatever inspires you and go with it. There’s inspiration all around. I feel that when you walk in someone’s house it should scream their personality. I always start with a main piece or accent piece. I love to work off of something. Keep in mind lighting and always pick your wall colors last! You can always change your wall color. Create a space that you’ve always wanted, that you feel comfortable in. You don’t have to have a huge budget to create a space that feels like home.
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One of the biggest compliments I ever received about my house is that it feels so comfy and lived in. Even though most of the time everything is put in its place, there is still something to be said about the toothpaste smeared on my bathroom mirror, or the jelly smeared on my television, that our house is lived In. I think that’s the biggest feeling I want people to have when they are in my home, comfortable and at home. Mood lighting and great candles also help! IMG_6689.JPG
When hosting guests, I love cooking or just preparing a few snacks. I typically tell people the first time you’re a guest and after that, this is just as much your home as ours. Help yourself, kick up your feet & feel right at home.

That’s why we have a home, to share it with others.
The Pattersons

Flying Paper Airplanes