Welcome to Tami’s Table!

I am finally up and running…The reason I have taken all
week to write my first post…is because I was trying to find
the PERFECT theme design. But today I thought, “am I going to find
the perfect or am I going to change it up all the time?”. So I
thought I better just start and deal with the details and
appearance details later. What I also realized was that this is the
very same reason it takes me sooo very long to start a paper for
school. I think about the details and I get stuck not starting!
That has to end, mainly due to the fact that I won’t always have
time to delay because of this. When I am asked to write I need to
be able to just write. So the same goes for this blog, when I need
to make my weekly quota (which is what I’m placing on this blog (1
blog a week)), but there could be more…but at least one a week:)
So in having said all of that, I want to welcome you to Tami’s
Table, a place where you will find yours truly’s thoughts on
cooking, baking, candy-making, cleaning, organizing, knitting,
crafting, creating, school, God, family (my nephews and soon to be
niece (I hope)), Elizabeth Anne Designs, and anything else that
fits into any of these categories! I am going to organize this blog
so that it will be easy for you to find just what your looking for.
I am going to also link it up with Facebook so that when I post
something you all can be the first to know:) Are you wondering why
I am naming this “Tami’s Table”???? I must give you some family
history first. I am the oldest of 3 children in Hugh and Sue
McAfee’s family. When I was around 11 years of age my parents would
leave me in charge of my younger siblings when school was out….I
began a restaurant at our house. Guess what I called it? Yes, you
are right….Tami’s Table!! In the menu was
food items I was able to cook. The picture here is what I think my
menu might have looked like:) So now 24 years later I am naming a
blog after my childhood restaurant, why you ask, well because I do
so many different things at my table and this blog is going to be
where I keep record of those tasks! Thank you for taking the time
to read my first blog!!

Tamistable Heart Garland Swap

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I enjoy hosting swaps!! It’s so fun for me to connect women from all across the US through giving & receiving.

This swap is for ONE Valentine themed garland (aka banner). The garland (hearts, words, the persons name…..etc….) can be handmade OR purchased, please include at least THREE other small items. The small items can be candy, coffee, tea, favorite coffee shop gift card, or something you know your partner would like….ALSO don’t forget to include a sweet VALENTINE!!! xoxo There is no price minimum but please send something you would like to receive:-) When you ship your package on or before 2/7/14, make sure you get a tracking number! (USPS now adds tracking numbers for free with any package 1st class or above!! Just remember to hang on to your receipt!) You will be glad you did:)

Please take note of these important dates:
SIGN-UPS OPEN: JAN. 8-20TH
ASSIGNMENTS EMAILED: JAN. 22ND
DEADLINE FOR MAILING BOX: FEB.
7TH OR BEFORE

Click HERE to sign up for the swap!!!!

HAPPY SWAPPING XOXO- Tami

Fall swap

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To join my fall swap, please email me at tamimcafee@me.com and I will email you all the information on October 21,2013. This should be fun. The last swap I did was an awesome turnout!! Xo T

Currently.

Reading: I have been reading: Love in the Driest Season by Neely Tucker. This is an autobiography about an American couple in 1997 who venture to a Zimbabwe orphanage where they start volunteering. The story tells of this couples experience in seeing the consequences of AIDS and economic disaster on a country’s children and the journey they take to adopting a critically ill infant, abandoned in a field on the day she was born.   The Washington Post says it best,  “An extraordinary book of immense feeling and significant social relevance.  Love in the Driest Season challenges anyone–even those numbed by the world’s abundant cruelty–not to care.” I completely agree, this book is not only challenging me but it is changing me….. as a social worker I feel sometimes jaded, you just hear of and see so many horrible things happening to people its hard to see good in the world– and so many problems we see/hear day in and day out that we as a people tend to just overlook or walk on by. It’s sad but I would be a liar if I didn’t say I fall into that category as well.  I can’t take in and worry about all that I hear and see, it feels like to much.  Granted I do have a few special areas of interest (like abortion, adoption, fatherhood rights, and homelessness) that I pay much attention to helping make a change, and I do believe that we each have different passions and areas of interest.    I am an advocate for peace; I want to see children with families not in orphanages, I want to see medicine brought to ALL people in need, I want to see AIDS/HIV only in history books, I want to see people happy and living abundant lives, wherever they are:-)  And MOST of all I want to see children; happy, playing, learning, eating, and being LOVED!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would like to finish this book today:-) its only 266 pages and I’m half way done…it’s been hard to put it down, but currently I’m a little busy to lay down and read.  Maybe today?? Maybe tomorrow?? well maybe next week.

Listening to:  I find myself listening to a variety right now.  80′s music is really soothing and fun for me…it just NEVER gets old to me.  And plus I have been driving my mom to radiation appointments and its deff music we both can agree on!  Also, Thanks to my sister-in-law and niece I have taken a RE-liking to COUNTRY music…OK I said it!!  It really makes me feel warm and fuzzy and reminds me of great times with my brother’s family.  Doesn’t everyone LOVE an Idaho COWGIRL?????lol  <– I have a hot pink shirt that says that!! LOL hehe Also, I find great comfort in many of my favorite Christian artists and just pick shuffle on my iPod so I can hear it ALL!!~

Thinking about:  Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m a thinker!  My overactive brain is sometimes too much; thankfully when I lay down to sleep at night I have learned how to stop all the noise and sleep very peaceful.  I barely remember a dream; and when I do- I always OVERTHINK it!!  ha!!  But lately I have been thinking about my DREAM job….I took my licensing exam last month & PASSED– so now I am a Licensed Social Worker and I can say that without breaking any code of ethics :-) HAPPY DAyS!!!  I have been at my parents house in Northern Idaho helping my parents as my mom goes through cancer treatment. I have thought MUCH about cancer, melanoma, the different stages, whats next, the filter to use so you don’t think every pain or bump is CANCER!, my nephews upcoming 5th birthday, my sisters current pregnancy and the arrival of my new niece, where I want to live/work/settle, friends/family/loved ones, will I ever be a mom, will I ever be a wife, will I be okay if I’m not either of those things???,should I adopt/IVF, could I be a single mom?, do I want to be a single mom?, could I be satisfied just loving all the children I have in my life?,  how can I avoid getting melanoma or some other unwanted cancer, do I have cancer and don’t know it?,  world poverty, the slaughter of innocent babies, world homelessness and hunger, President Obama, and how I want to change some laws, the de- criminalization of marijuana, how can we stop crime?, when will my brakes go out on my car?, CANCER, and more CANCER….. and also I think a lot about the people I have lost or am loosing….

Watching:  Two words- FOOD NETWORK!  My mom has had trouble eating lately and she loves to watch food shows; in hopes to get hungry or find something that sounds good! I watch these with her and we talk about what she may like to try to eat.  I love to cook and bake so I am so down with Food Network marathons:-)  When I’m left to myself I like to watch Glades on Netflix:  I love the main characters and I don’t want the seasons to end…but I know they will and I will have to find another show to watch.

Bummed out on: The hard cold reality that CANCER is taking so many people, young and old.  That my mom has to go through all this and how it has effected my entire family.  The great thing is that I have become educated through this journey and I feel like I would be able to share with others so that they would have information and not be so afraid.  My mom has been so tough and strong and barely complains about anything and it just bums me out breaks my heart to watch.  I’m bummed out that the next season of my life I may not be able to be as close to my nephews and nieces as I would like to be…. (so far I have been able to be with them often and I think in the future I won’t be as available to them!) Rats!

Loving:  The opportunity to have this time with my mom and being able to help her and I hope that we will NEVER have to go through this again; but if we do; we may be better prepared for such devastating news.  I’m loving my new-found understanding of myself, God, and life:-) & letting go of unnecessary shame and guilt & PEOPLE Pleasing!  I am loving ALL my new adventures and experiences I have been having lately…I am stepping out in faith into some new areas and its EXCITING to say the least!!  I’m loving watch my brother and sister be AWESOME parents and being a part of seeing that unfold!! I love being an Auntie and am so thankful for my family!!!!  I am loving so much it would be hard to talk about it all– sorta like the THINKING section…I could go on and on:-) I’m a lover not a hater!!!!

This Currently prompt was inspired by Heidi Toevs at Antlers and Roses.

xo Tami

April 2013 Foodie Pen Pals Reveal

FPP-post In April I participated in Foodie Pen Pals for the first time; it was great! I found out about this program just by searching the internet looking for some ideas for more creativity for my current pen pals across the country…..I felt like getting postcards and letters might be getting a little boring. I joined for the month of April and received a box of goodies from Alex Dorris in Washington DC; go here to see her blog. Below is a picture of what she sent me:)

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It was so fun to get this box!!!  The anticipation of someone else buying goodies with my preferences in mind:) What a DELIGHT!!!  Another really cool thing that I liked about foodie pen pals was that Lindsay over at FPP’s  had easy guidelines and strait forward instructions, I signed up and within 72 hours I was responded to.  All participants are expected to send out boxes by a certain deadline and are reminded by a friendly email:)  Alex was assigned to send a box to me and I was assigned to Lindsay in New Jersey, her blog is here. She featured my box in her blog on April 30th (when I was supposed to as well) and she did a great job and she has a really great blog on nutrition, I want to snag some of her healthy recipes!!!

I received my box from the postman on Friday and I was so excited!!  I quickly opened the box and started looking at all my tasty items!  I got:

1.  Annie’s chocolate chip granola bars, which I have had before and LOVE!  I am a BIG granola bar fan, I run around a lot and need a quick snack here and there:)  They are low in calories, hit the spot, have some protein, easy to grab and no bad sweeteners. 81VQ1NP-TpL._SL1500_

2.  Rhythm Superfoods Kale Chips in Zesty Nacho, which I had never tried before. They were good, not like a potato chip or anything but good.  They cured my salty craving I sometimes get, I swore that nutritional yeast would be listed in the ingredients label, but it wasn’t.  They are gluten free, vegan and rich in vitamins K & A!!

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3.  Flavrz,  All Natural Liquid Drink Mix, which I had never tried before.  I received 2 flavors; fruit punch energy and citrus hibiscus immunity drink.  These were 1 ounce packets that you mix with a bottle of water and they have some natural sugar and then vitamins derived from whole foods.  I liked these and thought they were both equally flavorful.  :)

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4.  Kind, Cinnamon Oat Clusters with Flax Seeds, I have never had this before but I always love granola:)  This was delicious, I mainly ate it like a bowl of cereal or with my yogurt.  Super good!

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5.  ODWALLA, Chewy nut bar- sweet and salty almond.  I had never had this bar before and it was very good:)

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6.  Betty Loue‘s Blueberry Fruit Bars- I have had these before.  They are gluten and dairy free and they are tasty:)  

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7. Ghirardelli Sea Salted Caramel Bar- The BEST ever! How did my foodie penpal know I love this combo:)  So awesome!!

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Anyways, I loved participating in this and would gladly do it again:)  Please feel free to try it out for yourself:) Thank you to all who participated and made this possible for others:)   xo Tam

Influenster Sugar ‘N Spice VoxBox 2013

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This week I received my Sugar N’ Spice VoxBox from Influenster.  You may be wondering what I’m even talking about:) First of all, I am a member of an exclusive online community of invited trendsetters, social media mavens, and educated consumers who love to give their opinions of products and experiences. You can go here to check it out for yourself; if you would like to join, please let me know by leaving me a comment.  It is free to join and the more you participate in reviews and tasks, the more you will be included in testing products….FULL SIZE PRODUCTS- for FREE!!!!  I joined in January and I qualified for my first VoxBox in March, I think it’s pretty cool.  I love signing up for freebies and trying new products, also I feel like I am in the know about more products because of my interaction with Influenster.  Now I’m going to show you what came in the box, give you a brief description from the makers of each product, price, and places to purchase!  

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(photo taken from here.) 

Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer Total Moisture- $7.99 for 6.5 oz. can; found at Target, Walmart, and Walgreens. 

New Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer Total Moisture claims to be a continuous spray lotion that moisturizes and absorbs in seconds, and leaves skin feeling instantly soft–not sticky or greasy. Now you wont have to wait for your lotion to absorb before pulling on those skinny jeans!  

*I am really impressed with this product and was most excited about trying this.  I already use a spray sunblock everyday so I like the spray concept!  I was hoping that I would like the smell and texture of this lotion;

I do. One of the selling points is that it absorbs quickly and isn’t greasy; so you can put your skinny jeans on quick.  Hahaha…that made me laugh when I read it:) I have never worried about my lotion seeping through my clothes and I do put lotion from head to toe everyday; I live in Idaho and the climate is very dry so I always feel thirsty and like to apply lots of lotion and chapstick throughout the day.  

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(photo taken from here.) 

Nectresse- $6.99 for 5.9 oz container, or $3.99; found at Fred Meyer, Albertson’s, and Walmart.  

Lo and behold, I was snooping around their website and I found FREE SAMPLES!!!  If you would like to try Nectresse for yourself, go here.  

Nectresse claims that their sweetener tastes like sugar but has zero calories per serving!  Being, 100% all natural, Nectresse is made primarily from monk fruit combined with other natural sweeteners.  

*To be completely honest, I haven’t tried this yet, it is the one product I am hesitant to try.  I have conjured two of my room-mates into doing a yogurt taste test between Nectresse and Stevia.  I told them I would label the bottoms of the containers with what sweetener is used, but that I would have them tell me how they liked it or not and which one they thought was the best tasting.  I am looking forward to doing that and have already bought the yogurt.  I ask myself “why am I resistant to trying nectresse?”, I really think it is just because I don’t really sweeten any of my food outright with sugar or an artificial sweetener either, so I don’t really have the opportunity to try it for one thing.  The other thing is that I am skeptic about it being 100% natural, really natural….because it has a few other added sweeteners listed in the ingredients label.  First is Erythritol (naturally found in melons and pears, body absorbs but can’t break down so it is no calories-sugar alcohol), sugar (we all know what that is), monk fruit (member of the melon family, grown in Asia), and molasses.  Now I can see that it’s not all chemical or anything, but actually natural substances so I’m happy about that.  While composing this post I decided to go ahead and try my plain Tillamook yogurt with the Nectresse and apricot jam (from my last summer batch-yum!).  It was really good, I tasted it first just with the Nectresse on it before I added the jam.  It seemed to blend into the yogurt well, making it sweet quickly upon a few stirs.  It has a nice grainy texture similar to sugar.  I think the Nectresse melted/blended better than regular sugar would alone.  I added the jam and it was amazingly tasty!!!  I want more now, which isn’t entirely a bad thing because I haven’t had the best appetite since I had surgery over a month ago.  I’m pretty much letting myself eat anything that sounds good.  Which has mostly been greek yogurt and diet ginger ale!! With a few occasional bagels and apples:)  Anyhow, I will continue to use this and do a formal review.  I should add that Influenster also sent me a little booklet with information and recipes for using Nectresse- wasn’t that nice??  :) 

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(Photo taken from here.) 

Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel Oil Controlling Toweletttes- $5.99 for a 20-count box; sold at: Albertsons, Drug Emporium, and Walmart.

Introducing Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel Oil Controlling Towelettes- With the claim to have a soothing blend of Witch Hazel and aloe on facial wipes.  They are said to rejuvenate your skin by gently lifting dirt, oil and impurities from your pores while nourishing even the most sensitive skin.  The result is said to be a clean, refreshed and blemish-free complexion even when you’re out and about.  

*I like the idea of this product, easy and convenient, but I already use a toner of apple cider vinegar and I’m happy with that.  I will continue to try these and I would agree they are refreshing!  I have given a few pouches to my girlfriends to try and tell me what they think.  Influenster also gave me five coupons for $2 off of this product at most local drug stores!  I’m assuming those are to give away or use.  I am not convinced at this time if I will be buying this product in the future.  

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 (photo take from here.) 

Colgate Optic White Regimen- Toothpaste $2.99 4oz tube, Mouthwash $2.99 for 8oz bottle, and Toothbrush $2.99 per brush; sold at, Walmart and Albertson.  

This voxbox didn’t just come with one, but three colgate optic white products!  The claim in this high impact formula is that when using these products together, that in five days you should see whiter appearance to your teeth (vs. brushing with an ordinary toothbrush alone).  

*I lOVE this toothbrush!! I was holding out on buying a new one because I knew that the Colgate Optic White regimen was going to be coming in my voxbox soon.  I liked that it has soft brissils and a large head.  I like to get as much brushed as I can, and I like knowing that I’m getting every inch of my mouth covered.  The toothpaste is good for a paste and my teeth fell super clean after brushing.  The mouthwash is even BETTER…it has peroxide in it and it bubbles up and gets bacteria from all the corners of my mouth.  My mouth deff feels clean and fresh!!!  I am going to use it for a few more days to see if I notice a difference in color.  :)  

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(photo taken from here.) 


belVita Breakfast Biscuits- $3.69 for a box of 5 packets of 4 biscuits; found at Albertsons and Walmart.  

belVita Breakfast Biscuits say that they are made with delicious ingredients and carefully baked to release steady energy that lasts all morning.  They are said to be a good source of Fiber and B-vitamins, contain no high fructose corn syrup, have 18-20 grams of whole grain per 50 gram serving and taste great- perfect for on-the-go! 

*I tried the breakfast biscuits all ready, they were good.  I’m not use to eating a snack with such high carbohydrates, but it tasted really good.  I would probably only buy them if I had a coupon:) 

EACH OF THESE ITEMS WERE SENT TO ME COMPLIMENTARY AND WERE FOR TESTING PURPOSES ONLY!!  

Here is the video I did of my voxbox first impression:

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I have a dream…

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I can remember the first time I learned of King, I was amazed by his reaction to evil. I was just a teenager, but as I started learning more about other equal rights activists in our history I began to see a commonality. Peace and Love! I hope that as I continue to help to fight this war in our country that I would follow these fine examples:-)

I have a dream…a dream that all children everywhere will live to breathe their first breathe, that men and women would stop using violence and rage as the answer….that LOVE and PEACE would prevail:-) the end. xo~Tam
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happy birthday tami’s table!!!

2nd-birthdayo, i can’t believe it has been 2 years since i took the plunge and started this blog. to be exact it was on january 9, 2011, um yes i’m late for my own party! so HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO SWEET LITTLE TAMI’S TABLE!!!! hehe- i do generally run on the tardy side and am constantly working on that:) please forgive!

but even before i sat down and claimed my own personal wordpress address, i did what wordpress suggested i do….i mapped out my ideas, reasons and goals for it. it was fun and really did help me get moving in the right direction. i still have my rough drafts, he he he, i keep EVERYTHING! if i have kids of my own, i am pretty sure i will be a scrapbookin momma AND my walls will be covered in children’s art projects. if you ask my sister what my house would look like if i had children she would probably say that i would have tables covered in ongoing arts and craft projects. and i would be happy! yes sir re bob, it would be a clean house, but always ongoing projects. (scrapbooking would be something i would have permission to not have finished!) I i will most likely be working on finishing what i’ve started, ALL my life!:) at my age i have been realizing there are just somethings that may not ever change about me. it’s a sad reality i must face.

you may have noticed that i am not capitalizing words, good eye!

let me explain: in my masters program i have to write A LOT. besides reading and going to class i have to write, there is barely any quizzes or tests…no worksheets or homework questions, just essays, papers and literature reviews galore. some students are required to take a 1 credit writing workshop if the program director thinks you may need extra help with writing. I. Do. not. know. how. i. skated. through. that. one. (well yes i do) if i had not had some peers edit my 11 page personal statement paper that helped me get me into the program, the program would have defiantly required me to take this class. my grammar and spelling is far from good. it has major issues, but i have learned how to perform for my professors. (even with bad grammar and spelling, i am a person who when given clear and concise directions can follow them well.) as long as i focus and don’t get distracted (ha!). however they did not require me to, so upon finishing my first semester in the program i suggested i needed some help writing at a professional level, i don’t want to go through my entire professional life begging and bribing my co-workers and friends to edit my work- nor will i have the time. i will need to be able to write on the spot. write clear and concise documents that can only be read from one perspective MINE! i have to get a handle on writing in such a way that there is no way my words can me misconstrued. so this semester i chose to take it as an elective. all that to say…..in my 2nd day of class we talked about the many ways a person writes and the different audiences. it got me thinking about how i let myself make some grammatical errors on here and although i am aware of them as i do it, i just allow myself the permission. so, i decided that i would let myself break the capitalization rule and see how that felt. so far so good, at first it was challenging to start sentences and to not capitalize my name, well that was hard. but i’m going to see how i like it and how it looks. it’s not going to be a hard rule that i can’t break, i’m just going to be creative and bend the rules a bit. cause i can. and honestly i think it will be good for me. i have to wear so many different hats on a daily basis that letting myself break grammar rules on my blog may serve to be therapeutic ?? cause after all, the main reason i started this blog was to document the different ways that i am creative and creating things acts as a respite for some folks. for me especially i know this to be true. even as i sit here writing i am at rest, i am enjoying myself! ok so onward to some highlights of the last year and goals for the following:)

i would have to say that in 2012 i was not an avid blogger, from october 2011-2012 i did not blog one post- i know this is so very sad. but what can a girl do when she is trying to finish her undergrad work and make her family and friends proud by finally graduating from college??? in May 2012 i graduated with my bachelors in social work and had been accepted into the masters program to start the very next semester. i was exhausted to say the least. burnt out on any kind of work that had to do with reading and writing! I had also just finished 2 internships back to back equaling 740 hours!! i think i may have lost my mind towards the end. but i found it, or at least parts of it, hehe. what i had not lost was my desire to help people in need. my passion was still strong and i was ready to get back in and continue the good fight. quitting college was never an option for me in my undergrad and now in my grad program i would have to say that i’m still subscribing to this. it would be so easy to throw the towel in, because it is so hard, but i know i can’t. i couldn’t live with myself if i did. its my dream, and no one can take it away from me:) all along this journey, in my conversations with God, i have said i will do this if i am single still, i will do that if i don’t have any children, i will do that other thing if i’m still single…..and He has held me to it. I can’t let Him down. and i am so excited for what is in store for me when i do get my masters degree and am looking forward to opening that next door to my future.

what i didn’t know is that He would use me to start a baking club, it has been fun and i am learning so much. it is such a practicle way to be in women’s lives and do something meaningful at the same time. in the last few months i have been faithful to blog after each of the sessions. i’m happy with that and will continue to make that a goal!

something else i have done is facilitate a mug swap that i first saw on instagram. it is fun to participate, but i would say that making it possible for others to join in is also delightful. i really like making things happen. i don’t mind the work involved, i’m fairly good at planning and working on being better at delegating. in fact i need to email all my swappers and make sure everyone sent their mugs out and see if anyone needs help. i have made some great new friends, that i wouldn’t have met otherwise!! i will probably do another one in 2013, just depends on a few things in my life.

i would like to do more crafts and post how to’s, but that is really time-consuming. when i did my egg drop soup post in november, it was lengthy. i had to remember to take many more pictures too! egg drop soup isn’t a craft of course but i didn’t post any crafts in 2012:( mostly baking and that one cooking post. so i would like to make it a goal to post my next craft project…and the funny thing is, that will have to do with this birthday post!!! details coming very sooon:)

when i started this blog i really wanted some place besides facebook to go to keep track of the different things i was interested in or involved with. many of my friends would want a recipe of something i made and i really like the idea of the foodie blogs and i followed a few already, but i knew mine would have to be more than just food and more than just artsy….i have so many different things i do. and one of those things is journaling, no, i didn’t want this to be a place where everyone could read my most intimate thoughts. however, i wanted to be able to talk about some topics and gain feedback, because really i am quite puzzled by so many things in this world, i have so many questions, ideas and theories… i love taking photos with my iphone + instagram, but this does not make me a photographer!!! i love all colors, beauty, nature, stillness, children, people, animals, words, food and more………. taking pics helps me remember how i felt and what i was thinking at that exact moment. so how do i combine these two to be a part of tami’s table? do i have to have any rules on this blog? i don’t really think so. i guess because of how i’m wired i like to know my perimeters is all it is. i want this to be a place where people are inspired to think more, to do more…. to love more. i want to bring God glory through it all.

The end of the 2012 was especially hard for me as I watched one of my dearest friends lose her only brother. Cory was like a brother to me, I knew him since I was 11 years old. i knew i had to go back to Paradise and pay my respects. this is not something i’m very good at. i haven’t had to face many deaths in my life and i really don’t know what to say to people and i don’t really know how to be supportive when people are going through a loss of a loved one. and i still don’t know any better having gone through it. and i don’t know what to do with my own grief. i found out about his death on the day i was supposed to have surgery on my rotator cuff, i hadn’t planned anything for my christmas break because i was going to have surgery. i had to cancel it and postpone it till i had insurance in place. this now seems like it was a divine plan; insurance denied me, county aid hadn’t gone through, my letter of urgency was mistyped….. God knew Cory was going to leave us and if i would have had surgery i wouldn’t have been able to be there for my friend. i’m not sure if i was the best support, but we all work with what we have. i came down with a cold while leaving Las Vegas and arriving in California…it turned into Pneumonia. i stayed longer than anticipated and came home the day before my next semester started. Sometime on my trip I read this quote “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional”….. I keep thinking about this. I can’t wrap my head around it. We will all have pain, we can’t avoid it really. Does it say we have control over suffering? we have control over enduring the pain? Is it more like, how we deal with the pain? For example, as bad as it hurt me to miss my friend, to think i will never hear his voice or see him again, as bad as that hurt, this quote tells me i can control how i choose to deal with the pain i’m enduring. I can either grow from it or let it set me back. What do you think it means? (subconsciously i started capitalizing i’m not going to fix those sentences). The bible says to rejoice in your sufferings (eph 4:13). So when I think about joy being an option while enduring pain, I kinda think that, that would take your mind off of your pain because you would be focusing on all the other great things in your life…..I think this may be something that is difficult to grasp for most of humanity. When you are in pain, whether it be physical or heart, you can’t see past your own pain when you’re in the middle of it, it just hurts to bad. I know my friend is going to hurt for a very long time as the days go by…..i myself want to learn how to be a joyful person even among trials and tribulations so that maybe i will be able to be a comfort to those around me in the future.

Which leads me to the topic of changing my focus concentration in my masters program. I began with my track being Management and Community Planning and really was feeling no peace at all while taking those classes. It was so dry to me and I was not motivated by the assignments. I didn’t recognize it at the time but I wasn’t following my passion, i almost got myself off of God’s path i believe. everything was all wrong. thankfully the program director asked me if i was happy in the program, and i was able to be honest with her. she gave me a few options and i spent nearly 2 weeks praying (not the entire 2 weeks in a desilet village or anything) for some guidance from the Lord. I decided to change to geriatric/medical social work. i am in my 3rd week of classes and my oh my, what a difference this change has made. when i am in class i catch myself dreaming of what life will be like out of college and all the great places God is going to take me…. I GOT MY HOPE AND DREAMS BACK!!! Yea:) how simple that was!!!

In honor of celebration of Tami’s Table, I want to offer the FIRST 10 people who comment on this blog a BIRTHDAY GIFT from me!! This won’t be just any gift ya’ll…I’m going to make it with my own 2 hands:) and post the project on here. Happy Birthday Tami’s Table!!!!!!!! Thank you dear readers, without you i wouldn’t have a blog:) xo, Tami

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The London Olympic Stadium is 53 meters high. This blog had about 620 visitors in 2012. If every visitor were a meter, this blog would be 12 times taller than the Olympic Stadium – not too shabby.

Click here to see the complete report.

Fully-Baked Session #3

Today January 9, 2013

Hello all! I have to admit that I haven’t been the world’s best blog owner, as I have looked forward to writing a Happy Anniversary segment; I got all ready with my cup of hot earl grey tea in my comfy pj’s and FINALLY sit down and sweep aside everything else I HAVE OR WANT to do, I realize that in the happenings of Christmas and my sudden change of holiday plans I never posted our third baking club session and ALL the lovely photos…so first things first!!!:) lol

I will be honest, I started on December 12th writing and then I stop mid sentence and I am not sure what all I wanted to say (thankfully it went to draft & here I am now!) …so I’m going to give it my best try to conger up all from that lovely day (a lot has gone on in my life in less than a month and I will tell more about that in my next blog (promise! promise!)!!). I’m not going to change anything from this point but just add to it:

December 12, 2012

I try and try to get on here more and write more…I defiantly take a lot of pictures (so that’s a plus). But the reality is: when I feel like writing and when it pops in my mind and I have the extra time all happen at once, well that’s a real treat. Like now…I’m up a little early (4:30am), and I don’t really need to show my face till 7am… This as a general rule doesn’t happen THAT often:)

What’s on my mind is that last Saturday, I packed up my baking supplies (YES-even my beloved KitchenAid mixer!) and I put them in a tote in my car. It really felt like I was on the show “Cake Wars”….it was a great feeling. Actually packing up all my stuff was a great thing in two ways, 1st off, I got to see everything I have all together and get to realize I’m missing or low on some pretty important items. LIKE cinnamon…I’m ALL OUT!!! But luckily I was traveling across town to my lovely friends, Anthony and Dana Haskett’s!!! They are baker extraordinaires and they had everything and MORE:) 2nd….I got to clean my baking shelf (which is always a PLUS)!

On my way to the Haskett’s I was thinking how great it would be to just enjoy my friends and bake something simple…. well that’s a good thought and I realize I have such good intentions! But alas that is not how it went down…I had so many recipes on my mind, good old faithful holiday originals and some new ones I had been scoping out!! What was special about this day of baking is that I was joining together with some friends that are a part of The Friends House Ministry where I live. The very next evening we had planned to all have soup together (about 20-30 people) and then go caroling to a nearby nursing home and also to our surrounding neighbors. We call this gathering Soup & Sing and have it at The Friends House every month for fellowship and fun (and open to for anyone to attend). The Haskett’s were also making goodies for the teachers at the Elementary School where Anthony is doing an internship at as the Principle. So I had huge expectations on some major baking going down. I was excited to say the least!!

Baking Club Travels!

Baking Club Travels!

My most devoted member Melissa had invited her mom to come join us and I was so looking forward to that! I wanted her baking wisdom and to get to know her better. I think what better way to get to know people than the intimacy of creating together in a nice clean and warm kitchen!!! Also, I had not spent much time with Anthony and his wife Dana much either and that is whose house we were going too!! Joy joy joy!! And boy was it delightful, a beautiful home with a giant tree full of colors galore!!! They have an amazing kitchen and they are FOODIES for sure:)

(Left to Right- Melissa, Karri, Anthony, Dana,and missing Tami) Fully-Baked Club

(Left to Right- Melissa, Karri, Anthony, Dana,and missing Tami) Fully-Baked Club

So much fun! A general rule in our club is to come with a few ideas and then sit down with a hot cup of COFFEE (or any other beverage) and make a decision. Decision making isn’t my strongest suit and you know I have come accustomed to this, it grows on you…I don’t give myself too many options to make it a tad bit easier on myself. And I will add that spontaneous is difficult for me in this process. I second guess myself and well then I feel I may have made the wrong choice. Anyways this day was no different from any other for me….I had some easy and some challenging recipes as did the others. So I did relax a bit and decided to just go with the flow. I had a recipe for a Jewish pastry called Rugelach and I had chosen this because I had tried one at Whole Foods recently, it was divine! It really just melted in my mouth…the combo of soft but flaky, walnutty, cinnamon sugar, and raisins bursting was the BEST!! My brother had recently gave me a HUGE gunny sack full of black walnuts in the shell and I had made it a goal to find recipes containing walnuts…and I also gave them away as much as I could. They actually made great gifts over the holiday season. Really who doesn’t like to get a bag of nuts??? So thanks Bubbie!! He’s my only brother and he is younger but bigger than me.. when he teases me he sometimes reminds me by saying “I’m your little brother, I’m suppose to tease you like no one else can!” And that is the absolute truth…some nicknames are ONLY reserved for him!!! I took some picture of the process and end result…

My prep for Rugelach!

My prep for Rugelach!

My brother’s lady Alexis calls them pinwheels because it’s easier to say!

Rugelach baking!

Rugelach baking!

This recipe is time-consuming and it does need to be refrigerated a few different times…but it is soooo worth it. To get the recipe I used, go here. I can’t recall what else I made, but I know I made something else:) Anthony made all sorts of cookies that were delicious, and some amazing lemon shortbread that I could have eaten everyone had they not been reserved for his teachers! Dana was our awesome house mom and fed ME (everyone else seemed to not be hungry but I not ate much beforehand) and made a tasty ham and bean soup that I begged her to bring to soup and sing the next night!! I am recalling that Anthony tried a recipe that we all thought would be great and then it didn’t turn out like he wanted…you know how that is when you can’t figure out what went wrong and why a recipe is bad that should have been good. He probably remembers the name of those cookies but I don’t.

Melissa made delicious pecan sandies and chocolate covered pretzels. We all learned not to dip the whole pretzel or it’s just a waste of melted chocolate and a MESS:) Thanks for that lesson although it caused you to only have the virtue to dip 12 or so pretzels. In my book you get an A+! Melissa is the type of girl who is okay with making mistakes and learning from them… she doesn’t get to upset. Me on the other hand, it just kills me to error in the kitchen! It could be because everyone in my family is super awesome in the kitchen and I want to have talent like them! I want to say that someone made sugar cookies and I made it home with them unfrosted and frosted them the next day before our caroling event….I think we served them to our caroling crew! We bagged up all our goodies to hand out to our neighbors, which I loved doing. I enjoy giving people things:) You can see some of the beginnings of our bags of goodies. I obsessed over making labels to go with them, and they turned out okay!

Here is the full extent of our combined baking!

Goodies galore!

Goodies galore!

And lucky for me I found some other pictures too, I recently got a new phone and didn’t have my photos backed up to iCloud so I’m thankful that I had loaded some up to WordPress when I was prepping this blog post!! So there you have it! It was a success and I have been thinking of when the 4th session will be and my goal is still to have the baking club once a month, especially while I’m in the masters program. While at the soup and song the following night I met two young ladies that were interested in joining us in our baking club and I got to talking about doing a crafting club and to my surprise that very next week I had three gals come over and we made Christmas cards before I left for my holiday travels. It was grand…so I’m considering that as well. These are all things that I consider a joy and delight to facilitate and be involved in, so it is a great stress relief and self-care for me, AS LONG AS I DON’T GET ALL STRESSED OUT OVER THE DETAILS:) than I consider this to be something AWESOME that I want to continue doing:) Please feel free to comment and share with me any ideas you have!!

chocolate dipped pretzels the conservative way

chocolate dipped pretzels the conservative way

sugar cookies

sugar cookies

CHOCOLATE covered pretzels (ok there is more than 12..)

CHOCOLATE covered pretzels (ok there is more than 12..)

Love, Tami xo

p.s.  Be on the look out for my upcoming Happy Anniversary/Birthday post.  I will post it before the end of the weekend:)  I will be celebrating by giving the first FIVE commenters of that post a surprise gift in the mail!!!  I’m so excited….why??? you ask…well I love giving to people and blessing them!  It’s one of my LOVE languages.  What’s yours??  If you don’t know or haven’t heard of this before, than go here to see what I’m talking about and take the quiz for yourself.  Ta Ta!!