The Best Dinner Rolls

My Momma has made these little dinner rolls my entire life, and they’ve always been my favorite thing served with any good, old fashioned, home cooked meal. They’re so easy and made with only three ingredients, which are things most kitchens are stocked with on a regular basis.

A few weeks ago, we had some friends over for dinner and I made them with our meal, not giving it much thought, but our friends loved them! That got me to thinking, maybe I should share the recipe here on Coffee Date With Kate, just in case you’re needing a little something buttery and delicious to accompany tonight’s dinner!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup self rising flour
  • 1/2-3/4 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise

Instructions:

  • Mix all ingredients together
  • Grease pan
  • Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees

Note: If you’re feeling adventurous, add a bit of garlic powder and cheese for a more zesty flavor. This recipe makes 6 rolls, but if you use a cupcake pan, you could just double it to make 12.

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Table runner & cloth napkins: Home Goods // Platter: Nora Fleming // Dishes: Fiesta

My sweet friend Emily snapped this picture when they came for dinner. I love people like her, who see beauty in the ordinary. The fact that she stopped to even admire my little dinner rolls on this platter made my heart so happy!

 

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PinkBlush Gift Card Giveaway!

IMG_8553PinkBlush is an online boutique out of Aliso Viejo, CA and I can honestly say I’ve never been so impressed with a company’s excellent customer service, quality products, and timeless style. You can find beautiful dresses, tops, and accessories (as well as gorgeous maternity clothes, too)!

I’ve mentioned over and over again here on the blog how much I love PinkBlush‘s maternity selection. So far, this dress, this dress, and this dress are some of my favorites that I’ve ordered over the last several months for showers and other special occasions. It’s hard to find pretty maternity clothes these days, and oftentimes I’ve found the pieces I like are way out of my budget, so I was really thankful to stumble upon a company early in my pregnancy that offers not only beautiful, unique pieces, but also has great prices… not to mention they almost always have some kind of sale going on!

I also love that PinkBlush offers free shipping and I always receive my orders so quickly! It’s the best kind of happy mail, no doubt.

Speaking of happy… I am so happy to have the opportunity to give away a $75 PinkBlush gift card to one of my readers! This is Coffee Date With Kate’s first giveaway, and I think I squealed so loudly when they asked if I’d be interested in doing it that they heard me all the way in California!

To enter, all you need to do is go to my post on Instagram and tag a friend who may also like the chance to win a $75 gift card to PinkBlush! The gift card is valid for both shoppinkblush.com and pinkblushmaternity.com. The winner will be randomly selected on Friday, April 29th at 10am.

Disclosure: One entry per person. If the winner (who will be selected at random) has already won a PinkBlush giveaway within the last 3 months, she will not be eligible to win (winners must wait 3 months before they are eligible to enter to win again). Once the winner is confirmed, the gift card will be emailed to them within 24 hours.

 

 

Static

I remember riding up to the mountains with my Momma as a little girl with the windows open and the radio playing. At a certain point, as we rounded the curves up the mountain, the radio signal would fail and static took over. I hated it. I used to always scan through the channels searching for a station that would come through or pop in a cassette tape (showing my age? haha).

Two decades later, I experience static in a totally different way, and I still hate it just as much.

What is it about the busyness of life that seems to take over and drown out what we want (or need) to hear? If we aren’t careful, petty arguments, frustrations of time management, hard days at work, misunderstandings, broken promises, disappointments, and unmet expectations can fill our minds with the worst kind of static… and before we know it, we are unable to focus on our blessings or our Savior.

Sometimes it takes all the energy and effort I can muster to refocus my heart and mind on what’s important. Crying out to my Father, begging Him to take away the clutter and refocus my heart on Him and what’s truly important is something I’ve found myself doing over and over this year.

Colossians 3:2 says to “fix your mind on things of Heaven, not on things of this world.” That proves that this problem of fighting through the static to make a conscious effort to focus on what is good is an age old struggle that we are not alone in. When I’m distracted by the little things that fight for my time and attention, I try and ask myself, will this even matter five years from now? When my emotions get all “out of whack,” I try and seek His face in the quiet and remember His promises.

I know I’m not the only one who struggles with this, and I want to encourage you, my friends… when you ask the Father to refocus your mind, He will. Time after time. He clears the static, he removes the clutter, and He wipes the slate clean.

 

Caswell Beach Retreat 2016

This weekend was so wonderful. Fort Caswell stole my heart three years ago, and every year that we return, I fall a little more in love with the quiet peacefulness that floods my heart each and every time I go back there. Each year, more and more women from our church jump on board and this year we had 48 ladies go! Just imagine 48 Baptist women sharing a big old plantation house and you can imagine the abundance of laughter, good food, and sweet conversation.

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Southport, which is one of the most charming little towns I’ve ever been to, is only about 15 minutes from Fort Caswell, and we all love browsing through the little boutiques and grabbing lunch at the local waterfront restaurants.

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These croissants are better than Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Yep, I said it. They’re game-changing. They’re buttery and delicious and I’m pretty sure they will be served on silver platters in Heaven. If you are in Southport, you have to stop by Burney’s Bakery and get a big box of these. Then, go back 10 minutes later to get more… because you will have already devoured them. YUM!

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On Friday, we had lunch at the Yacht Basin Eatery (one of the delicious little waterfront restaurants in Southport). Their fried pickles, shrimp tacos, and mahi mahi tacos topped with fresh mango salsa are amazing. Then, on Saturday, we had lunch at the Provision Co. and it was just as incredible. Crab cake sandwiches, grilled tuna sandwiches, and the best sweet tea complete with an ocean breeze and seagulls singing in the background. I could so get used to that kind of lunch every day. What could be better than lunch on the water in a tiny little town bursting with southern hospitality?

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No matter where I go, I’m always on a secret mission to find the best coffee shop (this is Coffee Date With Kate, after all). I was thrilled to find this little gem and would’ve sat here all day long if I could have. But, there were more shops to see, so off I went. Downtown Southport is just so precious!

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This year, our speaker for the retreat was a precious Spirit-filled lady named Andi Barkley from Lake Norman Baptist Church. She was such a blessing and her message touched every woman’s heart in a special way. The sound of all those women- all so dear to my heart- filling that big old house singing praises to our Father is a sound I want to remember forever. I always come home closer to these sisters of mine, rejuvenated, and more in love with my Father.

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It seems like every year, there’s a specific verse that just kind of jumps out at me. I love how Jesus does that… As His daughters, He never fails to meet us where we are, and pour Himself out so generously. The verse that captured my heart the most this year was from Isaiah 43:

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name, you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.”

 

 

Oreo Truffles

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Tomorrow morning, I am leaving for our annual beach retreat, one of my favorite things all year. The ladies of my church get away to Fort Caswell every year and it’s the most fun. Soaking in the beauty of the coast, growing closer to my sisters in Christ, and delving into His word never fails to leave me coming home refreshed, rejuvenated, and recharged.

Being the Baptists that we are, of course the food is one of our favorite parts of the trip. So, this year, I decided to take oreo truffles and the recipe is too fun and easy not to share. I make these pretty frequently and each and every time I think to myself I really need a food processor. I will probably never actually buy a food processor, and I’ll still be thinking that to myself when I’m making oreo truffles as a 90 year old with a sweet tooth (beating a bag of oreos with a rolling pin like a crazy lady). Oh well…

Ingredients:

  • regular oreos (not double stuffed)
  • a package of cream cheese, room temperature
  • meltable white chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate (or all three)
  • mini cupcake liners (optional)
  • a ziplock bag and rolling pin (or a food processor…)

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Instructions:

  • First, crush oreos.
  • Then, in a bowl, combine crushed oreos with room temperature cream cheese.
  • Roll into small balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

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  • Refrigerate (do not freeze) for 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Melt chocolate and completely cover each oreo ball. To do this, I used a toothpick and rolled the ball over once on the parchment paper to cover the puncture.
  • Optional: sprinkle crushed oreos on the top of truffles right after they’re dipped so that the topping will “stick.”
  • Also optional: once the coating has hardened, drizzle the opposite colored of melted chocolate on top to decorate. That’s messy and fun and looks like this-

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Grayson likes it when I make these because he gets to eat all the ugly ones! These little bite sized treats are so delicious and easy to make.

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Baby Shower #2: Tea Party Theme

One day in March, two of my dear friends at work surprised me by telling me that they were going to be hosting a baby shower in my honor by having the invitation and light pink tulips delivered to me on a silver platter! If only you could have been there to hear the squeals… I had a smile that wouldn’t leave my face for the rest of the day! Anyone who knows me knows that this has my name all over it. A tea party? I mean, does it get any cuter? Ahhhh….

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I became an intern at AAA Carolinas the summer after I graduated high school, and returned every summer throughout college. I was hired full-time as a Travel Sales Specialist upon graduation, and have been so blessed to work with wonderful people throughout my years at this great company.

AAA is special to me because it’s really and truly a “family affair.” My Momma worked at AAA for 16 years before I was born, and some of the same sweet people that attended her baby shower just a few weeks before I was born were also there for mine, 24 years later. How’s that for things coming full circle? Here’s a few pictures from her shower in 1992-

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There were so many pretty little details about this shower, from the huge chocolate dipped strawberries to the mason jar labels to the delicious little open faced tea sandwiches…. it was all just absolutely wonderful. So much time and energy went into making it perfect.

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This beautiful shower was made possible by my friends, Zhanna and Angelica-

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and I was so honored to have my Momma by my side for this sweet occasion-

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Blue maxi dress from Pink Blush!

Thank you so much to my AAA family for making it such a sweet, special day for me! I am blown away by your kindness and generosity!

Happy Birthday Momma!

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Today is a very special day because it’s the day that my favorite woman in the entire world was born! No one has a heart quite like hers and I am so grateful that the Lord chose her to be my Momma. She’s the kindest, most genuine, most incredible woman and I constantly find myself striving to be more like her.

She’s the source of so much laughter, the encouragement that’s picked up the broken pieces of my heart more times than I could count, the reassurance I’ve needed when I’ve doubted myself, the voice of reason that’s always helped me find direction, and the steady hand that’s gently led me to Jesus time after time after time.

Last night, we had our family over to celebrate her birthday and I was so glad the rain held off long enough to enjoy dinner outside. She’s one of my life’s greatest treasures.

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Baby Shower #1: Peter Rabbit Theme

Today has been the sweetest day. Our first baby shower, which was Peter Rabbit themed, was overwhelming, beautiful, and so full of love. There were more special touches than I could even begin to count, tons of precious ladies who gathered to celebrate the new little life I’m carrying, and so much excitement about the season of life we are preparing to enter into.

The food was delicious, the decorations were precious, and everything was so special. Thank you so much to Grayson’s Momma, sister, and three aunts for making today one that we will remember forever.

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Mint greet bell sleeve maternity dress from Pink Blush!

 

32 Weeks

When I got pregnant, I swore I was going to take cute little weekly pictures to show how my belly grew over time and write everything down and soak in every minute. Well… as it turns out, that’s a lot easier said than done, especially when life gets busy. I follow several bloggers who share “pregnancy questionnaires” like this one every week (and although I don’t know how they have time to do this every week, I love the idea behind it). I think these are such a fun way to share updates about pregnancy!

How far along?

32 weeks… we think. My due date changed from June 18th to June 13th, and then we were told it may be closer to June 1st. So… who knows haha (I guess that’s how it is when you get pregnant while on birth control).

How big is baby?

Over 3 pounds already (he was almost 3 pounds at my last ultrasound a few weeks ago). I have been measuring “a little big” at pretty much every appointment… and Grayson was a big baby. So, we’ll see how this goes.

Total weight gain:

I’m not really keeping up with it, but I know it’s a lot. Oh well… baby’s healthy, I’m happy. And if he wants steak tacos every day… he gets steak tacos every day (extra pico de gallo, por favor).

Maternity clothes?

I hear women all the time saying they didn’t even have to wear maternity clothes until they were 5 months along and I just don’t get it. I’ve been wearing maternity jeans and leggings since about 12 weeks, because it was just so uncomfortable to have anything tight across my growing belly.

  • My favorite brand of leggings are the Liz Lange for Target with the full panel. Seriously… so comfortable.
  • In recent months, since I am further along, my favorite brand for maternity clothes has become Pink Blush. It’s an online boutique out of California and the shipping is free and fast, the prices are good and there’s always a sale going on, and the customer service and exchange policy is exceptional. They have the cutest maternity clothes on the market, for sure.
  • I found a little local maternity consignment store called One Hott Mamma, where I’ve found a few good staples.
  • I also purchased a pair of white jeans for spring from Destination Maternity and they are Jessica Simpson brand. I found a nursing bra there on clearance for $10 too, so that was a steal (considering Destination Maternity is pretty pricey).
  • For tops, I’ve found (surprisingly enough) some cute things at Cato in the plus section. If I can find the smallest size in the bigger section, it usually accommodates my belly really well and people are always asking me where I found such “cute maternity shirts.” They never believe it when I tell them Cato (especially considering they don’t even carry maternity clothes).

Sleep:

Other than waking up several times a night to use the bathroom, I haven’t had too hard of a time with sleep (yet). I think me having to get up several times a night like this now is just Jesus’ way of preparing me for what’s to come (yikes!).

Best moment this week:

At this point in the 3rd trimester, I have doctor’s appointments every two weeks instead of once a month, and I have started rotating between the other 5 doctors in my practice so that I can meet them, just in case my doctor (who I adore) is not available to deliver when that time comes.

This week, I met one of the male doctors (there’s two men and four women doctors in my practice) and I was a little nervous about it. For some reason, I have mixed feelings about having a male obstetrician (which is why I chose a woman), even though it was a man who delivered me and almost every other baby in my family (and everyone loved him dearly). However, my appointment was actually one of the highlights of my week, because he was hilarious! He’s from New Orleans and he has a thick accent, and I think I laughed the whole time I was in the office. I guess I would be fine if he had to deliver my baby after all.

Movement:

I have an anterior placenta, so it took me a little longer than normal to be able to really feel him moving, but now (as of the last month or so) I can feel him moving all over the place all the time. The very first time I ever felt a distinguished kick that I knew without a shadow of a doubt was him (like, much more pronounced than a little flutter like you have in the beginning) was on New Years Eve. Nowadays, he’s a pretty strong little fella and I love wiggling or tapping on my belly and watching him respond to me with a kick. It’s so weird to see my whole belly move! He already has such a funny little personality. I can tell he’s going to be just like his daddy, because he’s most active right after I eat and anytime there’s music (especially at Wednesday night choir practice). I know I’m going to miss this part of pregnancy after he’s born.

Food cravings:

For a while, I craved grilled mushrooms – which is just flat out weird, because I have always hated mushrooms – and I probably ate a million. That craving was intense, but only lasted a few weeks. Since then, it’s been all about some steak tacos. There’s a little hole-in-the-wall authentic Latino restaurant beside my office and I’ve ordered so much that they know my order by heart. I guess the old wive’s tale that craving meat is a sign you’re having a boy is true.

Food Aversions:

I’ve heard some women say that they had a hard time stomaching meat, but I didn’t experience anything like that. The only weird thing with me has been that I have always loved pumpkin anything -pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin spice lattes… anything. However, ever since I got pregnant, just the thought of the pumpkin flavor has completely repulsed me. I don’t know why, but I just can’t…

Gender:

It’s a boy! We were so surprised… almost everyone (including my mother, who has never been wrong about anything my entire life) thought it would be a girl, but they were wrong. I didn’t really have a preference, but the closer it gets to June, the more excited I am getting to be bringing a little boy into this world.

Pregnancy Symptoms:

Swollen feet! They are ridiculous. Like, straight up cankle-status. It’s not being caused by my blood pressure and I’m doing all the things you can do to prevent it (drinking lots of water, elevating my feet when possible, soaking them in Epsom salts, and Grayson has been rubbing them at night) but nothing helps. But hey, I’ll take swollen feet over severe morning sickness any day (thank GOD I didn’t have to go through that).

Belly Button in or out?

Uh… is “completely flat” an option? I’m hoping it doesn’t get to the point that it pokes out haha

What I miss:

  • Being able to wear all my cute spring dresses, or just throw something simple on and go (I have to put a lot more thought into my outfits these days).
  • Being able to wear cute heels and wedges (these elephant feet of mine only fit in like, two pairs of shoes).
  • Being able to bend over and pick things up off the floor without it taking an act of congress. Seriously ya’ll, the struggle is real. Grayson and I have a joke that if I drop it on the ground, it’s “dead to me.”
  • My energy (I would go to bed at like, 7pm every single night if I could).
  • Being able to take real medicine when I need it. My allergies have been so bad this year, and there’s such limited options of what’s safe to take. Not to mention, Tylenol is like candy. I could take a whole bottle and still have a headache (don’t worry people, I’m not really taking whole bottles of Tylenol over here).

What I am looking forward to:

Holding my baby boy in my arms! I can’t wait to see what he looks like and smell him and cuddle him up and love on him! I’m already so in love with him and I know that’s not even close to what I’m going to feel when I meet him for the first time.

Upcoming appointments/events:

Our Landon is already SO loved, it blows my mind. We have five upcoming showers (ahhhh!) between both our families, our jobs, and our church; the first of which is this weekend (and we are so excited).

When the Extrovert is Tired

If you know anyone with an outgoing, extroverted personality, you’re probably used to their upbeat, energetic demeanor. They’re probably a morning person, and maybe even a night person too. They are probably overly excited about all the littlest things in life, talk way too fast when they’re excited (which is more often than not), and they might seem to have no “off switch.”

I know all about this, because I basically just described myself.

But, the question is what about when the extrovert is tired?

It’s important for everyone to have time alone, time to “recharge,” time to think and process their emotions, and to spend time with Jesus. I never understood this concept until I met a dear friend in college who is the complete opposite of me. She’s such an introvert, that she has to work herself up when she knows she’s going to be put in a situation where she’s going to be surrounded by people or where she’s going to have to be the center of attention. I’ve never felt this way… it’s always come naturally to me, because that’s just my personality, but the truth is, sometimes even the extrovert get tired.

Becoming friends with someone like Valerie was so good for me, because it taught me not only the importance of taking time to “recharge” even when I think I don’t need it, but also the value of surrounding myself with people who love and accept me both at my most energetic, upbeat times and also during the calmer, down time that’s truly inevitable and necessary.

So, if you have someone like this in your life, don’t be too quick to question their emotional state or happiness when they seem a little more tranquil or calm than normal. Just because they aren’t bouncing off the walls doesn’t mean something is “wrong,” it could just mean they are “recharging.”

Scripture actually encourages us to take time to do this. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Some of us just need a daily reminder to do this, so we aren’t trying to go 90 miles a minute every second of every day and get burnt out.

And how sweet of a blessing is it to be in the presence of someone who accepts and understands you, no matter what? That’s the kind of friend we should all strive to be!

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