How To Cook The Perfect Over-Medium Egg For This Trendy Breakfast Toast

I realize this exact breakfast is on every foodie Instagram’s page and you’ve probably seen it everywhere because it’s so ~trendy~ but I’m focusing largely on the fact that I literally just learned how to cook the perfect over medium egg – so, cooking newbies: YOU ARE WELCOME HERE. This breakfast is really simple and really tasty, and after reading this you’ll know how to cook an over-medium egg which can be added to a lot of dishes – cheeseburgers, steak, BLT, etc.

Things you need for this meal:

1 Egg

1 Avocado

1 Slice of Bread

Butter (optional)

Fruit of your choice (optional)

1 Glass bowl

Frying pan

 

Now, on to the foods and the things. One of the most important things I’ve learned in cooking anything is timing – you have to prepare everything at the right time and pace to keep the cooking process on track. The first thing I did for this meal is start the toast. For some reason my parents don’t own a toaster (one of the many confusions I have with them) so I popped two pieces of 2-grain bread onto a cooking tray with some butter and heated the oven to 350 degrees. While the oven was pre-heating, I went ahead and cut the avocado in half, and cracked an egg into a glass bowl. I don’t know why you have to crack the egg into a glass bowl but it seemed important to the recipe I read, and it worked so we’ll trust it.

While the oven was still preheating, I took that time to pour myself another cup of coffee and turn on some Jesus tunes, because, Monday. I also began preparing the frying pan for the egg. I sprayed it with some non-stick spray and turned the stovetop on at a medium heat level. The oven was ready almost immediately after I prepped the frying pan, so I put the tray on the top shelf and moved onto the egg.

Now, this is the important part. The first step is transferring the egg from the glass bowl into the frying pan, without breaking the yolk. Once it is in the pan, let it sit for about two minutes or so, until the underneath turns white. I let it sit for about 3 minutes. Then, once the underneath is mostly white, pour roughly 1/4 cup of water around all the edges of the egg. Then, cover the pan immediately. All you have to do next is wait for the center to cook to your liking. I like for my center to be soft but solid, (like the photo below) so I let it sit for about 3 or 4 minutes. You can gently touch the center to test softness, but keep it covered.

IMG_3793-1.jpeg

Back to the toast, I let it cook for about 5 – 6 minutes before taking it out, not long at all. Once the egg is cooked the way you like it, turn the stovetop off. This is when I spooned out the avocado, only one half, and mashed it in a bowl with salt and pepper. Once I had a spreadable avocado mixture, I spread it over the toast. Then I sprinkled some salt and pepper over the egg, and placed it on top of the toast. I cut slices of banana and added them to my plate at the end. Do y’all have a favorite breakfast dish? I want to know what it is!

How I Knew I’d Found My Person (As told by 6 of my best friends)

I’m not sure how or when it all happened, but most of my friends are either engaged or talking about getting engaged. Now, as a person who has been extremely single for months on months on months, I understand if you rolled your eyes at this title and didn’t read any further. But if you are single and have read this far, I’m assuming you’re just as curious as I am about people and their love stories. I love to read about love stories, talk about love stories and write about love stories. I love love, and I have ever since I was able to understand the concept. The concept being: two people meet as strangers and then somehow down the road, arrive at the decision that they want to do life together for the rest of their lives. Amazing. I have always been curious about how people know they’ve found “the one”, and in an attempt to get rid of the age old response of you just know, I decided to ask my friends for better answers.

Let me introduce my friends and their relationships:

(I’m changing names to protect my galpals)

Sarah + John: Sarah and John have been dating for about three years, and recently got engaged. They met in college and have seemed pretty smitten from the very beginning. When asked how she knew she wanted to marry John, Sarah said, “I was with him and his family and I saw how he was around kids and that honestly seemed the deal. We can talk for hours and have so much fun together all the time and we never fight. We may have disagreements but we are able to talk through them without really arguing.”

 

Rebecca + Oliver: Rebecca and Oliver started dating during their senior year of high school, and both went to the same college. Their relationship made it through four years of undergrad and is still going strong. They have been together for 5+ years. When I asked Rebecca how she knew Oliver was her person, she said, “I’d say that I knew he was someone I could see myself marrying because we have the same sense of humor. He always makes me laugh. It was further confirmed when we met each other’s families and I could see him fitting in with mine and see myself fitting in with his family a lot. Through the years we’ve set similar goals and expectations of how we want to live our lives and it seems to match up pretty well.”

 

Luke + Sophie: Luke and Sophie met in college, and first connected on a dating app. They have been together for about a year and a half. Their relationship has withstood months of long distance, and even a language barrier. They recently moved in together. When I asked Sophie how she knew he was the one, she said, “When he saw strength and life in me when I was weak and powerless. When he gave me hope and a future in a time when I thought I would not have either of those. When he stayed through the worst of me, while still loving me like I was the best of myself.” 

Jennifer + Brandon: Jennifer and Brandon started dating in High School, and ended up going to the same college. They spent 4 years of undergrad together, and recently got engaged. Overall, they have been together for 4+ years. Jennifer was very adamant about her answer that she “just knew” but I finally got her to expand on that and here’s what she said, “It’s a difficult question to answer and it’s not just one thing. It’s a compilation of our journey, our story. Us in general. I knew early on that we would end up together but how that would happen was unknown. I love him for so many different reasons and there wasn’t just one day when I knew. It’s a feeling. Something you can’t describe. You just know.”

 

Rachel + Joseph: Rachel and Joseph went on one date and then didn’t speak again until they ran into each other at a bar, two years later. The rest is history. Rachel says, “Everything with him is just different. Way better. I couldn’t imagine ever wanting to love anyone else.”

 

Sam + Kate: Sam and Kate met through mutual friends and their almost two year relationship has been long distance. Kate says, “The cliché but honest answer is that I just knew. My relationship with him was different than any relationship I have had before. Whenever I dated someone in the past I would always have my eye out for something that could be better and when we started getting serious I didn’t want to keep looking because I realized there wasn’t anyone better for me than him. He also checked all the boxes: easy to talk to, attractive, funny, outgoing, etc. God also gave me some signs that have led me to believe that it is His will that we are supposed to get married. I think that last part is what makes doing long distance bearable.”

 

So there you have it. Six people who have chosen their person, and their explanation of what made them do it. A couple recurring things I notice in my friends’ answers: one being the realization that the relationship they have with this person feels different than any previous relationship in a very significant way, and another being compatibility between families. As someone who loves words and details and wants to explain and talk about everything, it can be hard for me to accept an answer like “When you know, you just know”. But maybe it really is that simple. Maybe thats the point. What do you think? Do you really just know? Are some concrete factors non-negotiable when it comes to marriage? I’d love to hear your opinions and stories!

God Gave You The Sunrise This Morning, Now Paint The Rest: Thoughts On Finding Your Purpose

I was talking with a friend recently who told me he has known he wanted to be a coach since he was a kid. He graduated college and quickly jumped into a career coaching youth soccer, and he has impacted so many lives over the last several years. He felt that coaching was what he was called to do, and he chased after that at full speed.

He shared with me that he was given the opportunity to change career paths to something outside of coaching that would give him a more stable schedule and lifestyle, and he was debating whether or not he should take it. He seemed excited about the idea of a new challenge, and a more stable schedule was clearly something that he desired. Even so, I could tell that he was hesitating to make the decision. He was afraid of making a mistake that would take him off of the path  he was “supposed” to be on in his life. He was afraid of taking a wrong turn that wouldn’t lead him home.

I think people believe that they have more power over their life than they actually do. We can get so caught up in worry and stress about finding our life’s purpose or ruining our life’s purpose or not finding our life’s purpose – when maybe, our purpose isn’t anything we do but it’s in who we are. My friend has a passion for coaching, a passion for helping, and a heart of pure gold, and those are things that will carry over into anything that he does. Those are things that will show up in his purpose. No decision he makes is going to change that.

We all wonder if we are where we’re supposed to be. In life, in our careers, in our relationships. We all want to feel like God has painted a canvas with our names on it and that it looks like the life we’re living. We’re afraid that we’ll pick up the paintbrush and ruin the picture.

But I like to think that God paints the background and then hands us the brush. I like to think He’d say, Here, I gave you the sunrise this morning and a place to be – now it’s your turn. Use what I’ve given you.

 I believe that God wants us to fulfill the desires of our hearts. I believe that when there is a stirring within your heart to change, or to act, that’s God supporting you with a fist bump and a raised sign that reads YOU GOT THIS. I don’t think it matters so much what we do as long as we are using our God-given gifts to do it.

If we give all the power to a position, or a job title, to be our ultimate life’s purpose, then we are not taking ownership for what we have to offer. I think your life’s purpose lies within you, like a secret weapon you can use practically anywhere you go. It’s the intangible things about you that make you who you are. It’s in the way you choose to show up, and how you love people. At funerals, nobody sits around talking about how great of a businessman or nurse people were – they may say that – but what that really means is that they loved people well. They found a way to do their job in the best way, while honoring people and showing up.

If you are unhappy with any part of your life, please, please change it. Cut off that negative person, quit your job, move. When I realized that I can’t screw up or find my purpose in things here because it was already given to me by the One who created me, not my job title, situation or the city I live in, my life began to make a lot more sense. Maybe we just need to know who we are, and show up tomorrow. Have courage, and don’t be afraid to pick up the paintbrush.

Xx

-Kayla

How I Found Self-Love In Stretchy Pants and Vinyasa (Whatever The Heck That Is?!)

I used to think that yoga was something that only really cool, hipster girls did surrounded by plants. I imagined that this kind of girl was totally chill in every sense of the word, and she probably had a long single braid down her back. She drank her coffee, black, at the same time every morning with her record player going in the background. She definitely meditated, even though at the time I only half believed that meditation was something that someone could actually do. Needless to say, I just did not believe that I was “one of those kinds of people”. Yoga wasn’t something I thought I would get anything out of. It wasn’t my “lifestyle”.

14 months ago I went through a break up that flipped my entire world upside down. Blindsided and 110% more emotional than I even knew I was capable of being, I went through some of the loneliest and most confusing days of my entire life. Eventually I was tired of being sad and in an attempt to move forward, I just started doing things. I bought a guitar. I started hanging out with new people. I took my little cousins skating. I fostered a dog. I prayed. I prayed a lot. And one day, I found myself at a yoga studio with a new friend.

It was an hour long class, and it was an easier session with a focus on meditation and stilling the mind. I remember feeling silly and embarrassed as I looked around at everyone else and changed my pose 15 seconds late because I didn’t know what a “vinyasa” was. My body protested against every movement, and I rediscovered my extreme lack of balance that night. Toward the end of the session, we laid on our backs and the instructor talked us through a meditation. Still the mind. Whatever you brought with you tonight, whatever you’ve been carrying, release it now. I let out a deep breath. In that moment I felt like I could loosen my grip on what I had been carrying. Deep Inhale; Deep Exhale. In the stillness of my mind, I felt God show up there. In the quiet between my scattered thoughts, it was as if he said to me, “Here I am, where you always leave me. Come back sometime.”

I started going every week after that. I would go to the studio, to my friend Sarah’s apartment and then to sessions at the local breweries. Yoga wasn’t, and still isn’t, easy for me. I wasn’t flexible, I couldn’t do any crazy poses, and I didn’t know all the yoga words. In those first few months I was existing in a haze of numbness and dull heartbreak. I would show up with my mat and my cheap yoga pants and a deep need to focus on something else. When I got on the mat, when I had to fight against my body and pay attention to my breathing and still my mind – I was doing something that I hadn’t done in so long – I was finally focusing on me. Every single part of me. I was finally giving myself the attention that I deserved from myself. You see, yoga isn’t some hard or complicated exercise – it is simply your body, your breath, and your mind. It is you. Everyone can show up with their body and a pair of stretchy pants and a willingness to learn. A willingness to get to know yourself. That’s all you need.

I think people think that they have to be a certain amount of flexible or athletic or “mindful” to practice yoga. I know I thought that. But I would argue that the more “inexperienced” you are at yoga, the more you will get out of it. Because you will learn the most about your body during that time, and you’ll be forced to face the thoughts your mind generates in idle moments. I am still learning so much from my time on the mat. I am learning to be patient with myself. I am learning when to push and when to be gentle. I can now fully appreciate my body, and better control my mind. I use my time on the mat to talk to God, and to receive His love for me in moments of meditation. I can now proudly say that yoga is not just for hippie girls with plants, yoga is for anyone who wants to know and love themselves better. Thank you for letting me share my heart with you.

…Namaste; Xx,

K

“Birds of A Feather Flock Together” And Other Reasons People Miss Out in Relationship

At the time I met one of my oldest friends, we were in the 10th grade. She wore eyeliner, band T-shirts and vans. I had a country accent that stood out like a weed in a garden at my new school and two pairs of cowboy boots in my closet. She was nice to me, but it was apparent to me that we were very different. She talked a little differently than me, listened to music that I didn’t like, and wore clothes that I wouldn’t have picked out for myself. We met through mutual friends and soon after, my family moved into a house a mile down the street from her house.

One night after school a group of us were hanging out at her house, supposed to be doing homework. I was goofing off with our mutual friend who I was closer with, taking photos with filters on the ipad. She turned in her chair at the desk suddenly, to show us a photo on her computer. It was on a cute webpage that looked like a website, with a photo of her and a bio. “What is that on?” I asked. She told me it was a blogging site called Tumblr. “You can post and share photos, art, poetry, anything really. It’s like a blog,” she said. I scrolled through her page, secretly thinking this girl is so cool. “Can you help me make one??” I asked. Suddenly, I had something very close to my heart in common with her. “Yeah, totally!” She said. In that moment I felt like our hearts shook hands. Looking back, I realize that I almost missed out on one of my greatest friendships because until then, I had never bothered to look past our surface-level differences.

It’s easy to judge someone by their appearance, status, quirks or differences and think, we have nothing in common. On the surface, my friend and I didn’t seem to have anything in common. But when I got to see a part of her heart, a glimpse into who she is, I realized that it looked a lot more like mine than I thought.

I think we have more in common with people than we may think. When I was younger, I remember studying famous authors in history who were known for their poems and stories about being yourself and finding yourself and staying true to yourself – and I used to wonder about this: Why was there so much literature about something that seemed so basic? And the truth is, it isn’t easy to be ourselves. Society tells us to be ourselves until that means we look too different than everyone else. In the same way, we often choose our friends and share our hearts only with those who look like us. The problem with this is that it keeps us from ever seeing the best parts of people. I would have never known my friend and I had a similar passion for expression and creativity had she not showed me her blog that day, because I made assumptions about her heart based on the very little that I knew about her. How often do we judge someone based on their appearance or our own insecurities before we ever know what their heart looks like? Everyone is trying their best to do the right things and be happy and stay true to themselves along the way – Isn’t that enough to connect us all? We’re all trying. We all want the same things.

I am so glad that I became friends with someone who was different than me. Because as our friendship grew, something beautiful happened. Our differences, what I would have considered her “weird” quirks, began to open my mind to new experiences, opinions and tastes. I discovered new genres of music, I changed up my style to better fit who I am, and I gained a better understanding of who I wanted to be. I grew and became better as a person because I allowed someone who was different than me into my heart. Today, 7 years later, she is one of my best friends.

This is the kind of relationship and growth that God wants for everyone. We don’t have to be best friends with everyone who is different than us, but we have to stop creating barriers between us and other people before we ever get a chance see who they are.

The next time you encounter someone who is different than you, let them be different. Pay attention. Let them say the weird things and wear the weird clothes. And don’t be surprised if you discover that you are more similar than you would have thought. We’re all trying. We’re all a little weird.

X

-K

I gave up Social Media for Lent: A 20 Something’s Testimony

A part of the Christian faith is the practice of Lent, a season of giving up something that you really like for 40 days – starting on Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter Sunday. This is supposed to replicate Jesus’ time spent in the desert where he sacrificed and resisted temptations for 40 days. This year, I gave up social media for lent. As a 23 year old with a degree in Communication (and a blog), I’m sure it isn’t surprising that I like social media. In its many platforms, social media can encourage joy, knowledge, connection, and inspiration. It can also serve as a vehicle for comparison, distraction, and self-consciousness. This is why so many people find themselves saying “I need a social media cleanse” and “I had to unplug for the weekend”, because it is so easy to get caught up in all of the stuff. I have known and thought about this for a long time, and yet I have never given up social media (1. because I like it so much and (2. because I always considered myself someone who could manage my social media use. But what I hadn’t realized was how social media was influencing the way I interacted with the people around me, and ultimately, distracting my heart. I began to notice the way good conversation would get interrupted during dinner with friends because someone needed to SnapChat their tacos and margarita. I noticed that any idle moment became browsing time, even if that meant taco in hand. In the presence of my friends, some of my favorite people, I could feel the distraction. The most shocking thing for me to realize was that the only reason I noticed this at all was because I didn’t have the app to do so myself. I began wondering, how often do I neglect the hearts of the people I love most in this world for the sake of a SnapChat? How much have I been sacrificing to scroll through Instagram?

When I deleted my social media apps, I didn’t know what to expect from this season of Lent. I prayed that it would help me grow, and that God would reveal something to me during this time. I think that God often speaks to us in a subtle way that kind of resembles that feeling you got as a kid when you went to sneak another cookie after your mom told you not to. Or when you feel a stirring inside to make a big change in your life that maybe seems unfeasible or illogical – in both instances, God is trying to guide you. This is the way I have felt God speaking to me, helping me understand things about myself during this time.

My friend Kate and I were discussing social media over craft beer and sriracha-lime boiled peanuts recently. She also gave up the apps for Lent, so we were comparing our thoughts and struggles. She said she realized social media was a distraction to her heart when she caught herself going back to check the number of likes she had gotten on her last post. Admittedly, I have done the same thing. When did we become so obsessed with being liked? And what does this say about the condition of our hearts?

I believe that relationships are one of God’s greatest gifts to us. Social media provides fun and easy ways to interact with the people in your life and even strengthen relationships, which are God-pleasing things. But social media becomes a problem when we allow it to influence the way we feel about ourselves. Have you ever posted a photo and felt bad about yourself when you realized it didn’t get many likes? Have you ever scrolled through someone’s feed and thought, wow this person’s life seems so much more fun or successful or full than mine? Yeah, I have too.

The problem with this is that it takes away joy, and it distracts us from our blessings and our purpose. It also paints a picture in our head that we aren’t good enough. Why is it that we can show up on Easter Sunday, and eat a meal with our families and swell up with gratefulness and love but then forget what it all means on Tuesday? God created me in His image, and he loves me so much that he sent his only son to suffer the pain that I deserved so that I can experience eternal salvation. It amazes me how moved we are by this truth in our Sunday best, and how quickly we forget it when we leave the church. God loves us immeasurably more than any kind of gratification we could get from 200 likes or a large instagram following. We say we understand this truth but then why do we allow other people, circumstances and comparison to take it away from us and make us feel unworthy or less than? It is easy to blame our fast paced, media-driven culture, but I think if we dig a little deeper we would see that maybe it’s something else. Maybe we have a heart problem.

God doesn’t want us to have the best looking Instagram feed, or to go on more fun vacations or to have cuter clothes – he wants us right where we are, present, and grateful so that He can use us for His glory. Maybe social media isn’t the problem at all. Maybe the problem is more personal, maybe the problem lies within me. On Easter Sunday, I will re-download SnapChat, Facebook and Instagram. But the way that I use the apps and the way that I allow myself to think will be forever changed.

Xx

-K