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A Recipe to Make Today

Crispy Carnitas

Make this recipe and make your life deliciously simple.

These crispy carnitas will not only become your favorite meal but they will also make your life easier! You can make a double batch and they will help meal  planning for the week easy peasy. You’re  welcome!

Ingredients

Rub:

  • 1 table spoon of dried oregano
  • 2 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground chipotle (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 table spoon of Olive Oil, Avocado oil, or ghee

Crockpot or Dutch oven of pork shoulder:

  • about 3 lbs of pork shoulder, butt, or tenderloin
  • 3-4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • about 5 peppercorns
  • Juice of one orange
  • juice of one lime

For Serving

1 table spoon of Olive Oil, Avocado oil, or ghee

  • cilantro 
  • lime wedges
  • salsa
  • avocados
  • tortillas*  
  • rice*
  • Cotija Cheese*
  • cauliflower rice
  • pickled red onion
  • a greens blend 

Instructions

  1. Begin by gathering all the ingredients to your work space and prepping the vegetables. Prepare the meat by cutting it into about 4 in cubes and pat dry with a paper towel and place in crock pot or dutch oven. 
  2. Combine rub ingredients  and rub all over the meat.

For Crockpot

  • Prepare the Vegetables.
  • With your hands add rub to the meat covering the cubes on all sides. Then top with the prepared vegetables and remaining ingredients . Make sure to include the juiced orange and lime rinds . Cover, cook on high for four-6 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. When done you will find the meat separates very easily with two forks and will be very tender.
  • Once Cooked remove the meat from the crock pot place it a bow allow the meat to rest about 10 minutes.  Remove bay leaves and rinds. Use two forks to pull the meat apart. Do not discard juices.

For Dutch Oven

  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and place the oven rack in lower middle position. 
  • Prepare the vegetables. 
  • Once you’ve added rub to the meat  top with prepared vegetables the remaining ingredients. Make sure to include the the juiced orange and lime rinds.  Cover and cook.
  • At 1 hour check the meat to ensure you have enough juices rendering if you find that its gotten dry you can add a 1/2 cup of broth. 
  • Cook for another hour to 2 hours until meat is tender and falls apart easily or internal temperature is at least 150 degrees.
  • Remove from oven and allow the meat to rest about 10 minutes in Dutch Oven, remove bay leaves and rinds. Use two forks to pull the meat apart. Do not discard juices.

To Serve

  • Heat a drizzle of olive oil ( or preferred oil) in a medium skillet. Without overcrowding the meat cover the surface of the skillet and add a little of the carnitas’ juice. Brown just until the juice has almost evaporated and then flip them and cook a bit more. Make sure to not let them get too dry.
  • You can store the remaining meat in an air tight container and repeat these browning instructions when ready to use the left overs.
  • Use any of the sides or toppings listed above to serve. Enjoy!

Notas

  • Whole 30 approved casava tortillas 
  • Omit rice and cheese if whole 30 

Enjoy,

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Sunrise

Five Minute Friday


So many goals swirling in my brain. So many dreams wanting to take root. I see them. They give me hope that new things are wanting to break through. This new year I want to take time to hone the craft of writing. Five Minute Friday is a great place for me practice and be encouraged by other writers as I write. I will set the timer for five minutes and then write. Here we go! I am excited to invite you in, welcome.


Sunrise

Brilliant with radiance
Ushering in newness
Ushering in Hope
Through hardship and storms

Unstoppable
You are a constant in life
Your constancy of grace a testament
In times of sweet abundance

New morning mercies
Rise as you rise
Deliberate in your rising
Never faltering in your light

So is your Maker sun and soul
The one who set your boundaries
And timed your clock perfectly
He also is first to rise

To rise in love
To rise in strength
To gracefully give
New morning mercies

He gives them freely
made just for you this day
Turn your heart to Him
He dawns new and daily
ready for you he waits.

DFD

Gracefully,

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Learn Together

5 Easy ways to learn together during National Black History Month
You can checkout the Bravery Magazine Collection here.

February is one of my favorite months! Not only because it’s my birthday month, although that plays a big part in it being my favorite, of course but also because I feel hopeful in this month. There’s a hope found in February that I don’t see in any other month, its almost like it marks a crossroads for the rest of the year. It is as if the hope of Spring and the Winter unseen growth seem to collide full force into February creating a catalyst for love to win over apathy.

This year, we don’t want to pass up the opportunity to grasp all the hope available in February when it comes to Black History Month. We want to gather cozy and use our family time to also include learning together. I’m excited to share with you five cozy ways to do this as a family while using your senses to enjoy it all. Will you join us in celebrating Black History Month in a new way?


Watch


Netflix is offering these beautiful read aloud read by influential black people who continue to use their voice with courage and give us opportunity to listen to black voices that lead us well. Here‘s the trailer. Your kiddos will enjoy it alongside you and one will not be enough! I especially love this series because it highlights the talent and skill of Black writers reminding us that we don’t only have to learn about their history through books about civil rights but we can also see into their souls as they write about the experiences they have had in their own skin. This is not the only thing you can watch, there are so many good movies and documentaries to prick from as well.

Another good one for your kiddos to watch alongside you is found on Prime Video. Or just to watch on your own and put yourself in the shoes of a Black child in the time around the Civil Rights Movement and gain more insight for how Black children today are asked to take on life so differently then most of us have to. An American Girl Story-Melody 1963: Love Has to Win. They do a beautiful job of depicting

Listen

Music is an easy way to enjoy the amazing talent of Black musicians. Through their words, rhythm, and powerful compositions we can learn more about how they have been shaped by their own history and see how important it is for us to know that history in general has been shaped by them as well. Here are a few of our favorite play lists from different places on the inter webs. Check out this playlist on Prime. Here’s our new favorite one on Apple Music.

https://music.apple.com/us/album/remember-me-to-harlem-ep/1549821910

A free play list on on You Tube.
An Afro-latino play list by Spanish Mama

Read

This is one of my favorite ways to learn and also enjoy the Black culture so close to us and so available to us we just need to make time to immerse ourselves in it. The kids and I are reading Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. This is a beautiful book, a memoir written in poetry form.

A reading

We are also reading through our Bravery Magazines, we are reading about Maya Angelo and working through the activities in the magazine. We are learning about poetry, caring for each other, and how two creatively connect with others realizing we all have more in common than we think. The kids then sent their friends electronically their about me questionnaire and asked their friends to fill out a blank one and send it back to them to see how much they have in common.

Taste

Of course we needed to include food, because well I love food. Celebrating Black History Month requires food indeed. I want to share with you a recipe that I want to try and one we already love and how food connects us through even when we live across the world from each other.

Picture by Chocolate for Basil

I can not wait to try this Peanut Stew. My friend from Central African Republic makes a delicious meat dish with peanut butter, this recipe reminds me his dish.

As I wrote this article I learned about the “after-chop” dessert course of Western Africa high lighting the fruit salad. Giselle loves making fruit salads and I am so excited to try a African fruit salad with her. One of the most interesting things about this fruit salad is that they add avocado to it. I found this list of ingredients, on kidactivities.net “A fruit salad can be made from just three or four of the ingredients listed below.
.Any of the following (fresh or canned): avocado, banana, grapefruit, guava, mango, melon, orange, papaya, peach, pear, pineapple, tangerine, juice of one lemon, crushed mint leaves, grated coconut, or chopped roasted peanuts, sugar or honey.”

Support

I have been meditating on this verse recently, especially when it comes to how and where I spend my money.

‘For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:21

So, as a family we want to make a more conscious effort to support local businesses especially those owned by people of color. I especially want to take great care to not always lean to convenience but to choose a small business over next day shipping. One of the places I want to support more this year are the small black owned book stores. I love books and this year I want to support small book stores over the convenience of Amazon.

What about you? In what ways are you celebrating Black History Month? What ides from the five listed above will you implement?

Gracefully,

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Enthusiasm

Discovery on my 40th birthday

Embracing enthusiasm on a quarantine birthday can be hard to imagine.
I never imagined I would turn 40 and not be able to have a big celebration. You see celebrating is one of my favorite things to do. I love the process of preparing for it, creating an atmosphere of joy, and taking care of the tiniest details as I host.

Well, of all the dreams and imaginings I had for beginning my fourth decade of life, it definitely didn’t include celebrating it in a pandemic. Yet, the enthusiasm that surprised me on this day although unexpected, was the balm that my soul needed.. I expected to feel happy, to smile, and find joy in receiving gifts . But as the morning dawned I found that exuberant enthusiasm greeted me surprising me I began to pay attention.

The day could be described as mundane and even normal. There was the bed to be made, books to be read, and kiddos to be fed. And if I hadn’t had the eyes of enthusiasm for new beginnings and new beauty. I would have missed the way the light streamed across the made med, the beauty of discovering new encouragement in the book today, and the way the little ones with light dancing in their eyes fed me.

So, the day became a searching for the glorious in the mundane, the way the snow covered the earth in an ethereal way, creating a diaphanous cathedral under my own two feet. The sun that had been hidden for weeks was now shinning brighter atop the white glittery snow. So, thank you enthusiasm, for coming in unexpectedly and helping me see the good gifts that awaited me in the most unexpected spaces on this highly awaited 40th birthday!

What about you, are feeling like the mundane is devoid of glorious? Maybe its time to let enthusiasm grab hold of an ordinary day and find that actually more is hidden there than meets the eye.

Gracefully,

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Disappoint

A poem from the depths of my soul for the depth of my soul


Disappoint.

The pain cuts deep
The way you feel after
The way your heart beats faster
The way your dreams attack as you sleep

You feel it
The way their eyes turn from you cold
Burning deep holes in to your soul
You withhold as your cheeks freeze with heat.

It’s all twisted and misunderstood
You know what they think
And their silence you must drink
But your heart is breaking splintering like wood.

The disappoint
The same place you’ve visited before
This time though you feel the remorse
To find yourself again at this end point

No, this time it will be different
You may have not been eloquent
But your heart is pure
You will continue to fight for justice

This time you will not disappoint yourself
This time you will not look for their approval
You will find sure footing in his call
To come to walk with Him

To seek justice, to love mercy
And walk humbly with your God.
At the end of life
This remains, what did you do with His call.?

DFD

Gracefully,

Design

Five Minute Friday


So many goals swirling in my brain. So many dreams wanting to take root. I see them. They give me hope that new things are wanting to break through. This new year I want to take time to hone the craft of writing. Five Minute Friday is a great place for me practice and be encouraged by other writers as I write. I will set the timer for five minutes and then write. Here we go! I am excited to invite you in, welcome.



Design.

I dream in color.
I design in my sleep.
I sleep walk awake.
To find I am alive.

The design of my heart
Convoluted at times
Points me straight to
The truth
That I am designed
To love

Love I will
Yet, self love I don’t want
I want instead the designer’s true Love
The one that for me He made
The one that in me he placed

So the gift I receive.
Designed to grow me
And mold me
Into the trueness
Of the Design he dreams for me as I sleep.

DFD

Gracefully,

Fix Your Face

Five Minute Friday


So many goals swirling in my brain. So many dreams wanting to take root. I see them. They give me hope that new things are wanting to break through. This new year I want to take time to hone the craft of writing. Five Minute Friday is a great place for me practice and be encouraged by other writers as I write. I will set the timer for five minutes and then write. Here we go! I am excited to invite you in, welcome.



Fix your face.

I started saying this to the kiddos when they were really little and found ourselves at a crossroads in obeying or rebelling.I was hoping to help them understand that they had a choice. They can choose how to react to the moment and circumstance they were facing.

I’ve encountered more and more that I need to say this to myself. I need to fix my face towards Jesus so that his love will pour out of me more easily. I have a choice. I can choose how to react in every moment I find myself at a crossroads. I want to remember to “spur each other in love and good works”(Heb. 10:24). I want to remember that I can always choose to go first even when it feel like I always go first. I can choose to show grace even when I feel at a loss of desire. I can choose to cling to hope because His Mercies are new every morning and therefore I am not alone in the choosing.

What about you? Do you need to fix your face? What is holding you back from fiixing your face on Jesus? Is there a person to which you need to extend grace? Have you felt lonely, could it be that you need to go first and reach out?

May the Lord’s mercy dwell richly in your life today as you choose to fix your face towards Jesus alongside me.

Gracefully,

Time

Five Minute Friday

Happy New Year!


So many goals swirling in my brain. So many dreams wanting to take root. I see them. They give me hope that new things are wanting to break through. This new year I want to take time to hone the craft of writing. Five Minute Friday is a great place for me practice and be encouraged by other writers as I write. I will set the timer for five minutes and then write. Here we go! I am excited to invite you in, welcome.

‘Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. ‘

Psalms 90:12

Time is a gift and yet we live as if we can control it. There are many ways to measure time and we can not make a smidgen more. I have not wisely been numbering my days throughout life. Sometimes I even forget that my days will end and that I don’t get to extend them. Many decisions I’ve made and consequences I have to live with remind of that.
Recently, I have been counting down the years left with Sam. Last year, he turned 10 and he is fully embracing growing up. I, on the other hand, felt like I was punched in the gut when I realized he was now in the double digits and there was no turning back. I have 8 more years with him at home. I am praying that both he and I gain a heart of wisdom as we lean into the Lord’s teaching of numbering our days.

What is one way that you can see the Lord teaching you to number your days?

Do Not Fear: No Tengas Miedo

A Spanish Advent Devotional

Cinco meditaciones que te invitan a caminar con fe en medio de la incertidumbre. Estas personas como tú y como yo con problemas y afanes de esta vida tuvieron temor y circunstancias incontrolables. En este año hemos vivido con el temor tan cerca como si fuera vecino. No solamente por la pandemia que haraza por el mundo aunque en gran manera tiene mucho que ver. Pero, porque la vida no para porque hay una pandemia aún siguen los afanes de la vida y al no ver salida queremos temer. Pero, estos ejemplos encontrados en el acontecimiento de la Natividad nos invitan a dejar ir el temor y a fijar nuestros ojos en Jesus nuestra verdadera esperanza. Ven te invito a meditar en la fidelidad de Jesus hacia estas personas que vivieron y tomaron parte en su nacimiento. Pero su fidelidad no se extiende solamente a ellos también llega hasta ti ahora y seguirá hasta su segundo regreso. Amen, si ven pronto Senor Jesus! Continua leyéndooslos aqui. Find the rest here.

If you know a friend who speaks Spanish forward this to them and bless them this advent season. Friends, if you speak English I also created an English devotional, The HopeFull Anthology: A Collection of Advent Prayers. Find all the information here.

A HopeFull Advent Playlist

Plus a devotional to stay rooted in Hope.

Are you tired? worn down? Has this year attempted again and again to strip you of hope? Come close; lean in. Let your heart breathe in grace as you rest in the Hope of Glory. He is with you always, you are not alone.

–The HopeFull Anthology Daisy Dronen

Comfort my people, your Hope has come.

Advent is here and with it comes joy and grief. Well, really this whole year has been a compilation of the two. Joy deep in our bones that we know its supernatural and can not be moved yet grief like waves seem to swallow up that joy in pain. Yet somehow we can come up to the surface and breath in His grace and realize joy remains. Music is one of the most beautiful ways I get pushed back up to the surface.

I invite you to join me to listen to play list below exhale the tension and inhale in hope this advent season. Be blessed.



The HopeFull Anthology

A Collection of Advent Prayers

This beautiful Audio devotional was created with you in mind. It is a minimal yet rich and hopefull audio devotional that will help root you into the truth of Advent, this year. You can find more information here on how to get it delivered straight to your inbox. Listen to the heart behind The HopeFull Anthology below.

So, let’s open our hearts to the Hope of Glory,