Simple Sunday Snack: Tarragon Tea

My mom bought a Tarragon plant after being inspired by the fresh Tarragon tea that we had at Mother’s Garden (Baguio) last December. This tea fascinated our family because it was a healthy, warm treat and it tasted like rootbeer! So cool!

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Every now and then, when I hang around in our kitchen’s veranda, I snip a few leaves from the Tarragon plant, rinse them, and infuse them in a cup of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes.  I just love how easy it is to prepare this natural drink.

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I brought a tall cup of Tarragon tea to work recently and had a conversation with my officemates about it. One of them mentioned that drinking tea in the morning is very beneficial for us. She even said that after our bodies have fasted overnight, the first thing that our stomachs must have is tea. It has relaxing properties that help calm our bodies and its nutrients aid in refreshing us, giving us a nice start to the day.

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I still have to do more research about drinking tea in the morning. But, what my officemate shared to me made me think about the first few minutes of each day. What do I usually do when I wake up everyday? What do I allow myself to take in first?

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If I could spend 10 to 15 minutes preparing tea in the kitchen to refresh and calm my body, I know that I could also spend at least one percent of the day (15 minutes) with God and His Word first thing in the morning. By doing so and by His grace, I believe that He will certainly give me a refreshing start each day as I spend time studying and reminding myself of who He is, His promises for me, and the joy that I have in Him.

Hopefully, I can continue disciplining myself in this aspect. :)

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“Life is about competing priorities. What you give time to shows what you think is important.” – Peter Tan-Chi

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“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” –Psalm 143:8

RECIPE

1 tbsp. of fresh Tarragon leaves (4-6 leaves)

1 cup of hot water

a few stevia leaves or 1 tsp. of honey (optional)

Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)

Refreshing Lemonade

Nothing beats a cold glass of fresh mint lemonade on a hot summer day. :)

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Since the start of summer this year, I’ve imagined myself stocking up on fresh lemons because of my desire to conveniently prepare lemonade at home. I’ve always loved this citrus drink. It’s very easy to prepare, it’s an excellent source of vitamin C, and its sour and sweet flavors blend well.

Hopefully, I’d have the privilege of growing my own lemon trees in the future, so stocking up on those gorgeous, plump, yellow beauties wouldn’t be a problem! Haha. But for now, I shall save for and enjoy the lemons sold at the supermarket.

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It was really refreshing to make this mint lemonade yesterday while the sun was still out. Despite the intense hot weather, I remember enjoying the moment because I knew that that drink would quench my thirst and satisfy my craving for something cool and fresh.

True enough, I was very much pleased with the citrus drink! If I have extra budget for lemons, I’ll definitely make more lemonade this summer!

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One of the things that I appreciate most about the experience is being reminded of how my heart can also be constantly refreshed and satisfied this summer! Only God can satisfy the cravings of our hearts. And by His grace, I know that He can refresh and speak to our hearts when we open up to Him in prayer and as we learn from Him and about Him when we study His Word. :)

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It says in Psalm 1:2-3

“But whose delight is in the law of the Lord,

and who meditates on his law day and night.

That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,

which yields its fruit in season

and whose leaf does not wither—

whatever they do prospers.”

Mint Lemonade

RECIPE:

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (2 lemons)

1 tbsp. of grated lemon zest

1/2 cup (or 8 tbsp.) of white sugar

4 cups of drinking water

a few fresh mint leaves

Ice cubes

 

Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)

Simple Sunday Snack: Wicked Fruit Shakes

Last Friday night, my siblings and I watched Wicked at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. It was AMAZING!!! It reminded me so much of my highschool days because when we were in our third year, my musically-inclined classmates introduced Wicked to me and I instantly fell in love with the songs. I remember listening to my Wicked playlist everyday and sometimes, I would even sing their songs with my friends during lunch breaks in school. Hahaha. It really was a memorable experience for me because the musical encouraged me to sing in front of and with others freely.

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By God’s grace, He provided for our tickets and He made us all available for the show! Thank You so much, Lord! :)

With Jemma Rix (Elphaba) and Suzie Mathers (Glinda)
With Jemma Rix (Elphaba) and Suzie Mathers (Glinda)

One of the things that I enjoyed about the untold story of the witches of Oz is how the main characters initiated in restoring and building their friendship with each other in spite of their differences. One of their songs “What is This Feeling” talked about how much they loathed each other when they first met. But as the story progresses, their hearts change and they naturally show humility, forgiveness and sacrificial love towards each other. In some scenes, they were even willing to die for the freedom of the other.

With Steve Danielsen (Fiyero)
With Steve Danielsen (Fiyero)

It reminded me of John 15:12-14, where it says: “… love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

Watching the scenes that showed sacrificial love brought tears to my eyes because I knew what it felt like to receive this kind of love. Many years ago, Jesus died to pay for the penalty of our sins and he took our place on the cross so we could spend eternity with Him.

“Tell me what kind of God would choose to save
The bruised, the broken, the sinners, the runaways
How do you ever try to comprehend this love that knows no limit
I could try but I could not explain

His kind of love is reckless for us
His kind of love is will never give up
‘Til the whole world knows how far He went to show His kind of love.”

[Group 1 Crew’s “His Kind of Love”]

With Nessa
With Nessa
with Boq
with Boq

After learning about the story behind the songs I’ve memorized before, I fell in love with the musical even more. It really was encouraging to be reminded of integrity, forgiveness, humility, and sacrificial love. I hope that more composers and scriptwriters can create beautiful masterpieces like Wicked. :)

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From Google Images

In honor of Wicked, here are some of my favorite fruit shakes that somehow resemble their main characters, Elphaba and Glinda.

Elphaba and my Avocado Shake
Elphaba and my Avocado Shake

 

Glinda and my Strawberry Shake
Glinda and my Strawberry Shake

Feel free to try the recipes.  I usually just estimate the ingredients and taste every now and then until I like it’s consistency and flavor. :)

AVOCADO SHAKE
2 medium ripe Avocados (or 5-6 sweet, ripe strawberries)
3 tablespoons of sugar/honey (More or less :P)
4 tablespoons of milk
10 ice cubes (size: 2 x 1)

STRAWBERRY SHAKE
5-6 sweet, ripe strawberries
3 tablespoons of sugar/honey
2 tablespoons of milk
8 ice cubes (size: 2 x 1)

 

Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)

Jehovah Jireh, My Provider

Today, I celebrated my first year at work with a homemade Strawberry-Banana-Honey-Almond smoothie topped with sliced berries and whipped cream! Woohoo! Jesus, You are so good. Thank you for your provision. :)

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I remember blogging before about my job hunting days and lessons learned from work, and it’s really encouraging to look back and be reminded of God’s grace, sovereignty, and faithfulness. I’ll be sharing some snippets from my blogs last year and I hope that these would encourage you as well.

 “But as for me, I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more.” – Psalm 71:14

 

1. Hooray for “Two Days”! :) [Day 1]

http://encouragingtreats.com/hooray-today-part-1/

from my journal
from my journal

“And so, I went out of McDonald’s and walked towards the office, even if I didn’t know why God wanted me to leave the place so early. Guess what? The minute I stepped inside the office, heavy rain poured down… (Yes, the minute I got in!). If I did not obey, I would have been soaked by the heavy rain and would obviously not be prepared for my afternoon interview. A week after that day, by God’s grace, I got the job at that company! He used that McDonald’s moment to remind me of the importance of having a heart that is fully surrendered to Him; to have a heart that is willing to trust and obey Him in spite of the uncertainties in life.”

 

2. Celebrating with Strawberry Cake

http://encouragingtreats.com/celebrating-strawberry-cake/

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June 8, 2012

7:23am

Thanks for today! I have an interview later. I’m kind of nervous but, Lord, I will get out of my bed, I will step out in faith and do my best later because I believe if it’s your will for me, you would provide this job for me. You are in control. I read Psalm 49 this morning. Thank you for reminding me not to place my security on earthly things. You’re everything, Lord. You know I will praise You no matter what happens today. :)

4:30pm

WOW, LORD. I GOT THE JOB. WOW. WOOOOOOW. o_O Thank you!!! :”)

“…strawberries that have been harvested do not ripen. This means that it is important to wait for the strawberries to fully ripen before picking them. That simple trivia reminded me of how God let me go through the long wait before picking me and placing me in the workplace that I am in right now. I guess He wanted me to be “ripe” first. He wanted me to focus more on Him and have my character molded by Him before giving me the privilege of having work.”

 

3. THURSDAY TUNE #8: Center of It by Chris August

http://encouragingtreats.com/center/

day

““Today is not my day.” I’ve heard myself murmur this statement a lot of times a while ago because I made mistakes at work. But, I realized that there really was something wrong with that statement because it’s really not about ME. Right then and there, I thanked God and confessed about how I chose not to trust in Him in those simple moments. I thanked Him even for the mistakes that I’ve made because I know that He can still use those to help me grow as an employee and be excellent for Him.”

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”-Proverbs 3:5-6

Thank You, Lord, for the privilege of work. This is only by Your grace!

Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)