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Have you ever seen someone walk into a party that looked scared to death, unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screaming, “I wish I was anywhere but here!” Entering a room full of people that you do not know can be intimidating. I get that. Yet, your entrance is important in displaying overall confidence and portraying a strong image.

When attending a party, there are certain expectations we have of our hostess. We will enjoy and appreciate everything she has done, but we do assume there will be food and drinks. We would also like a clean bathroom and a home that does not smell like the local pet store. What some people forget is there are also expectations of the guest.

Giving a party, of any type, requires a great deal of work. If you have been fortunate enough to be included in a festive soiree, it is nice to arrive with a gift for the hostess. The typical present will cost between $15-$30, but there are less expensive things you can find at the local discount store.

Attire: Shabby Chic; Razzle Dazzle; Cowboy Couture


WHAT????

Word to hostesses: when listing the attire on the invitation for your party, make it clear. Do not let your creative thoughts have you writing a description that requires an interpreter.  We do not want to force our guests to solve a riddle to understand what is expected of them. There is a phrase I like to quote, “To be unclear is to be unkind.”

There is something special we feel when we receive an invitation. It is the anticipation of a celebration, the excitement of choosing what to wear, but more importantly, it is the affirmation that tells us, “I was chosen!” We know a hostess has responsibilities to ensure her party is a success, but did you know there are expectations of the guests? And your first job begins when you receive an invitation that says RSVP.

Do you believe there is a creator behind this painting, or did it create itself? I believe if I polled 1,000 people, 100% would say, “Of course, there is a creator. That’s common sense.” Do you believe there is a Creator behind this picture? If I polled 1,000 people with the same question, stats show I would not receive 100% agreement that there was a Creator behind this picture.

People are returning to work, which means many of us will be navigating changes that would otherwise seem mundane. Elevator etiquette? Did you know there was such a thing? Below are 9 basic reminders when riding the lift. I have thrown in a few exceptions while we live in a COVID world. 

Throughout history we have seen God place people in power that made us say, “What is He thinking?” Yet God clearly reminds us in Isaiah that the way He thinks is far beyond what we can sometimes understand. In a child’s eyes, a parent giving her yucky medicine when she already feels poorly can seem cruel. “Why would Mommy make me take this?” The child lives in her “here and now” moment of life, yet the parent sees the big picture. The mother knows what is best for the child, even when the child does not understand. 

Our 4-part series on living as Christians in a political world was written in response to questions I have been receiving on knowing how to separate truth from lies, when to engage in our political system, and the most effective way to stay informed. In Part 1 we learned the biblical formula for seeking truth. In Part 2 we discussed the importance of knowing your foundation. In this post, Part 3, I will provide you with 7 practical tips I use to find truth in our news driven world. 

We are living in a time where many do not know who or what to believe. It seems our national 24-hour news media seeks ratings more than they seek truth (regardless of which way their bias leans). Many journalists receive bonuses based on how many clicks their story receives, and companies earn more advertising revenue if they can show a high click-through rate on articles. It has become too common to read endless bait-and-switch headlines.

“How do I know what is real? How do I know truth when I see it? I want to stay informed, but where do I turn when I feel every news source is somehow deceiving me?”


Giving you tips on hosting a Halloween party during COVID is sure easier than tackling subjects on news, politics, and finding truth. Yet these are the questions filling my inbox. 

Does this blog seem early? Did you know we only have 10 weeks before we move into December? It is time to start planning!
1. Decide how much you can spend. If you have a $500 budget and 10 people you need to give gifts, then you can only spend $50 a person.

Halloween in 2020 will be different than past years, but there are still ways to enjoy this festive start to the holiday season. This blog may seem early, but October 31st is only 7 weeks away! It is time to start planning. Below are my top 10 ideas for a jovial and happy start to your fall celebrations.

  • Alina Gersib

Bananas Foster Pancakes with Cinnamon Butter Taste Test



Happy Foodie Friday! This recipe comes courtesy of Penny and Eleazar Martinez.

www.thefrankincensetree.com

info@thefrankincensetree.com

Each of our Taste Test Reviews comes with the original recipe and the tester's notes/changes listed with the ingredient list in blue. We hope you enjoy!


If you are looking for an absolutely decadent dish, this is it! I am not exaggerating when I say that this bananas foster topping is one of the most delicious treats I have ever tasted. The combination of maple syrup and bananas creates an almost caramelly flavor, if you are a lover of caramel, this topping will be one of your new favorites. Not only is it delicious with the pancakes but it could also go well with a bowl of plain greek yogurt for an indulgent tasting dessert that would be on the healthier end! The tanginess of the yogurt would pair delightfully with the sweetness of the topping.


Growing up each year for our birthdays my mom would cook me and my siblings a special breakfast of our choice. My go-to was waffles with whipped cream and peaches, but if I knew this existed back then, I think my choice would have been different. If you have kiddos at home, this would be a great special birthday breakfast dish!


Bananas Foster Pancakes with Cinnamon Bu
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Download • 1.88MB

Makes 12 mini pancakes

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes



Ingredients for the Pancakes:

*1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

*3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

*1 teaspoon salt

*1 tablespoon granulated sugar

*1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

*11/4 cups milk

*1 egg, room temperature

*3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

*1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preparation for the Pancakes:

*Sift flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and ground cinnamon twice into a large mixing bowl.

*Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.

*In a separate bowl add vanilla, egg and (slightly) cooled melted butter. Beat lightly until blended.

*Lightly beat in milk.

*Add the wet ingredients to the well of the dry ingredients. Mix until smooth.

*Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium to medium high heat.

*Pour batter onto griddle in approximately 1/4 cup increments.

*Lightly brown on both sides and serve warm.



Ingredients for the Bananas Foster Topping:

*1/4 cup butter

*2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed

*1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

*1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

*1/4 cup maple syrup

*1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

*2 firm, ripe medium bananas, cut into 1/2 inch slices

*1/4 cup pecan halves


Preparation for the Bananas Foster Topping:

*In 10 inch nonstick skillet, toast pecans over medium low heat until fragrant.

*Transfer pecans from skillet to a cutting board.

*Coarsely chop pecan pieces. Set aside.

*Using the same skillet, combine butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup and vanilla extract over medium-high heat.

*Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly with wooden spoon, until sugar dissolves and mixture is thick.

*Lower heat to medium.

*Add banana slices, gently spooning sauce over each slice. (I recommend tilting the pan to the side in order to pool the sauce, this makes it easier to spoon over the bananas)

*Cook about 3 minutes, or until bananas are glossy and coated with sauce.

*To serve, place 2 pancakes on each individual plate.

*Spoon banana slices and sauce over pancakes.

*Garnish with chopped pecans and whipped cream, if desired.

*Serve immediately.



Recipe and Taste Tester - Alina Gersib

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