Archives for posts with tag: creativity
chef tre

Christina and me with Chef Tre Wilcox

Ok, so it wasn’t actually “Chopped” and I was simply one part of a winning team, but the Sprouts Food Challenge at Tre Wilcox’s Cooking Concepts kitchen made me feel pretty awesome. The whole experience fueled this curious, creative part of me that doesn’t get a lot of attention being a full-time parent.

I started learning this lesson after Cortland was born 3 years ago. I had 3-year-old Harper and a newborn. I was a full time stay at home mom. Admittedly, a little bit of a hermit hiding out indoors from, you know, germs and anything else that would threaten our infant’s life. I was seriously lacking some sort of creative expression. Around Christmas, I decided to make a set of Advent lesson cards and activities for our family to do together. Not only did the family thoroughly enjoy the daily activities, but I realized I had been seriously neglecting a part of me that needs to be alive and well. That said, I’ve been cognizant to make sure I keep some sort of creative outlet open. It makes for a happier life.

cooking concepts, chef tre wilcox, chopped

Our team with Chef Tre Wilcox of Cooking Concepts at the Sprouts Food Challenge.

That said, my night out at Cooking Concepts was sort of like the pinnacle of creative expression. Sprouts hosted the outing and supplied a wide array of fresh, colorful fruits and vegetables, as well all kinds of high-quality meats and seafood – not to mention a pantry full of odds and ends. We numbered off randomly into teams and were given the task of creating two different dishes, each using these four required ingredients: black beans, marinara, matzo crackers and balsamic vinegar. We were given 40 minutes to make a game plan and execute. It was a blast. If you live anywhere in the Dallas area, get your spouse or a group of friends together and check out Cooking Concepts.

After the competition, we were treated to a delicious meal made by Chef Wilcox and his team. While we dined on salmon, steak, and perfectly prepared comfort food side dishes, a dietitian from Sprouts enlightened us on summer cooking trends and ways to keep ourselves and our kids hydrated during the hot, Texas summer months. Isn’t Sprouts just the best? They’re a regular grocery stop for our family.

Listen, just because you’re a grown up or a parent or have a real job that pays the bills doesn’t mean that you have to stifle the creative spark you have. Find something that ignites it and then invest yourself. Music, art, cooking, dancing, writing – whatever it is. You’ll find yourself alive again in ways that you thought were only meant for childhood and simpler times.

Advent Day 7

Advent Day 7

Day 7: Jesus is Love

Read: John 15.9-17
Talk About: What is the command Jesus gave us?
                          What are ways that we can show love?
                          Why is it important to show love to others?
Activity: Write love notes of encouragement to give to three different people.

Harper answered, “What is the command Jesus gave us?” with an emphatic “Do your chores!”. She definitely confused me with Jesus right there. For the activity, she picked three people she wanted to send a love note to and then dictated to me her message. Followed by her own artwork creation covering the leftover blank space on the card. And scratching out what is now a recognizable H-A-R-P-E-R. Yay, preschool!

Smiling to herself

Smiling to herself

"Haha! Mama, I made my mouth yellow!"

“Haha! Mama, I made my mouth yellow!”

Examining her work.

Examining her work.

Writing notes of encouragement is something I love to do – and notes in the mail is something I love to receive. Isn’t it fun to find a “real” piece of mail in the middle of your pile of presorted standard ads, promotions, credit card offers and bills? It’s a lost art, I tell you! But not lost on this house…note-writing is a regularly scheduled program!

And I’m really green. I told Matt the other day that I planned to start blogging and his first question was, “What’s the name of your blog going to be?”. I thought he’d be impressed that I’d already done some legwork and secured “MattandLauraMoss” as my blog address. On the contrary: “Ha! What? You can’t have that as your blog address! It sounds boring. Think of all the blogs you follow; they all have creative names.” Turns out, there is a method.

Truth is, I don’t follow any blogs – not regularly, at least. If you’re my friend and you have a blog, please don’t take offense! Actually, tell me the name of your blog so I can follow it. I plan to start reading blogs regularly so I can keep up with all the unwritten rules (ie: You can’t just name your blog after yourself). After Matt’s advice, I went back to the drawing board and tried to come up with something catchy and creative. I racked my brain for what seemed like forever, then gave up and landed on a blog address that’s only slightly more crafty than using my first and last name.

Moss, Mossketeers, Mossimo, Better Together, Eight Days a Week
Blog address brainstorming

I don’t know all the things I’m going to write about, but I hope the things that are most important in my life will stand out: God and intentional living, my husband and daughter, my family and friends, and then other bits and pieces. I’m also hoping that I’ll be motivated to finish off some projects so I can blog about the end results!

One more thing, I’m a little disheartened to know that “MattandLauraMoss” = boring! Awesome. Thanks, Honey…