Tuesday, April 19, 2022

5 Steps to a Better Burger



*waves wildly*

GUYS I'M SITTING DOWN TO WRITE A POST. (I see you giving me that look, Chowboy. Hush.)

Lots of life has been going on but blogging hasn't (obviously, duh) so I should probably do a life update at some point (if people even read those anymore...I like instagram, y'all, but it's just not the same as reading a blog post.)(not that I actually read any blog posts anymore #unfortunate)(but does anyone else get really nostalgic whenever they read an old blog post? Or like when you see an old blogger friend on some other kind of social media and go "awwww I remember when we both posted weekly and commented on each other's stuff and had insanely long email threads about our favorite books"??)

Wowwww I'm feeling sentimental just writing this.

Anyway. All that to say, if y'all think a life update is overdue, then I might try to get one up within the next 6 months...maybe.

SO. That was a bunny trail. *cough* Anyway. Burgers.

A lot of my life revolves around food. I do a lot of cooking. I don't love cooking (though I like it more than I used to) but I do love eating so I feel like it balances itself out well. And one of my favorite foods to eat (besides tacos) is burgers. And while I'm definitely not an expert (I still procrastinate so long that I end up charring my burgers to get them done on time sometimes) I have found a few tips to just making that burger m e l t in your mouth.

I didn't take the time to actually take pictures of all of these steps, so if you're here for the aesthetically-pleasing-food-blogger-photos, there's the door. No pictures, just text (so if my brothers actually made it this far, congratulations, but I'm sorry, it's going to remain boring). (but it's food so it can't really be boring, can it?)

Five Steps for Making the Perfect Burger:

1. Thicker is better

We used to make 1/4lb burgers, but when the boys got big and two of those didn't fill 'em up, we started going bigger, and by that I mean 1/3lb burgers. That's a big hunk of meat right there, y'all, so don't be stingy when you shape your patty. It'll look HUGE (and if you're someone who doesn't eat much, disregard this point completely) but meat cooks down, don't worry. (and if you're like my brother and you like paper-thin burgers that are practically skillet scrapings, then...you have no clue what you're missing)(he loves Freddy's, in case you were wondering)


This is, quite possibly, my biggest tip. The urge is to smash the patty with your spatula to get it nice and flat and get it cooking faster—and the flatter the burger, the easier to know when to flip (and to make sure the middle doesn't stay raw). Don't do it. I repeat: don't do it. Smashing the patty squeezes all the juices out and you're left with a dry burger. SAVE THAT JUICE! I used to smash my burgers. But then my dad taught me the trick to knowing when to flip a burger: the juice! When you don't squeeze the juice out, it'll tell you when it's time! When the juice starts running out the top of the burger, that basically means (I guess?? I'm just basically giving an educated guess at this point) that the bottom is sealed off and it's time to flip it! And then you'll pretty much know when the burger is done when the color on the bottom matches the top. (kinda. You just basically get a feel for it.)

3. Low & slow

Don't rush the burgers (remember when I said that I often end up searing my burgers to get them done on time? Don't be like me. It tastes better that way). I know that all stovetops are different, so I'll just say to figure out a good temperature that allows your burgers to cook slowly and stew in their juices. (I'll often take 30 minutes or more, depending on how many patties I've got on my griddle...but our stove is over 30 years old, soooo it's got *personality*)

4. Lawry's seasoned salt

This isn't sponsored (me? Sponsored? That's a funny one). I just love Lawry's seasoned salt. My grandma swears by it, and y'all know that if your grandma says a certain food brand is the best...it just is. Because grandmas are legends in the kitchen and they're just superior. Lawry's seasoned salt just...tastes better. I've used other salt, but it's just not the same. So. Grind some pepper on that patty and sprinkle on some Lawry's and you're good to go!

5. Paper towels

Trust me on this one. Once you have your burger assembled (burger, bun, cheese, ketchup, whatever you put on it), wrap that baby in a paper towel. No joke, I'm pretty sure my family's favorite thing about summer is that we start taking burgers to the field, because we wrap the burgers in paper towels. I don't know exactly what it is, but something about the way it locks in all the moisture and mixes all of the flavors together just...*chef's kiss* No joke. We literally get excited about it (because who wants to waste money on paper towels if you're just gonna eat in the house anyway??)

So there you have it! Five steps to a perfect burger. If you already implement these tips, I'M SO PROUD OF YOU. If you have other tips, PLEASE LET ME KNOW because I'm always happy to improve my skills.

Okay, I'm probably gonna just hit that post button without editing this post because honestly y'all, I'm tired of typing. Peace out, kids! *flashes the peace sign and exits the chat*

Friday, September 11, 2020

We Haven't Forgotten {A 9/11 Tribute}


Today, I'm joining ten other ladies in remembering an event that happened nineteen years ago today.

"It'll never happen to us," we say. "Nothing that tragic and horrifying could never happen to us."

On September 10, 2001, maybe that's what some of the first responders thought as they ate supper and prepared for bed, watched the news, said a prayer, not knowing that they would be killed the next day. They thought they'd be doing what they did best—saving lives.

Or maybe the thought never even entered their minds. Life was normal.

On September 11, 2001, I was too little to remember what I was doing when three thousand Americans were killed by an attack that no one expected. It's never expected.

We said we'd never forget.

On September 11, 2012, a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, was stormed by a militant Al-Qaeda group, where the main building was set on fire, killing four Americans:

Do you think they were expecting to die that day?

The fear and pandemonium incited by these two events made for the famous date that would never be forgotten. When we hear the phrase, '9/11,' a picture of horror enters our minds. Of terror.

We said we'd never forget.

Yet some of us have.

It's okay to not think of it 24/7. It's okay to not want the hurt that comes with this date.

Just don't forget. Don't let it happen again.

We're never promised tomorrow, y'all. Don't waste today.

Stand for the flag out of respect for those who have gone on before us and given their lives for our freedom. Don't let their efforts go to waste.

Learn from the past. Look to the future. And don't forget.

Other ladies joining the tribute:







Kaitlyn S.




Saturday, June 6, 2020

10 Tips for a Good Day, Part 2 {A Guest Post by Brooklyne}

Aaaaaaand we're back with part 2 of Brooklyne's 10 tips for a good day! (if you missed part one last week, you can find it here)
Number Six // Make a Manageable List

I like lists. I like making them. I like crossing them off. I’m the kind of person that when I’m in the grocery store and put sometime in the cart that was not on the list, will write it on the list just so I can have the satisfaction of crossing it off. XD

Call me weird, but lists rock! Although I will admit, to-do lists are kinda overwhelming at times. That’s why it’s best if we can keep our to-do lists manageable. Don't put something on the list if you know it’s unrealistic. Make your list, and if you feel it is too long for that day then only pick a few things on the list to do. If you try to do it all, you will be running around like a chicken with its head cut off. We’ve all been there, and it’s not a good feeling.

Number Seven // Conquer Procrastinating and be Intentional 

So you know that thing people call Social Media? Oh… Yeah… that. Sometimes we’d rather be procrastinating online or whatever than to be intentional about what we really need to have happen that day. We are all guilty in this area. We get sidetracked. Then, before you know it, we’re scrolling through Instagram or Facebook or pinning something to Pinterest, or catching up with blog posts or texting a friend. 

It’s hard. To be intentional and to stay focused. But it’s truly worth it. Finding moderation and balance is so important to having a good day.

Number Eight // Don’t Forget to Celebrate

Let’s not call it a bribe… let’s call it celebrating! When you’ve got a lot done on your list and you feel like you’ve been productive, give yourself some free time. Get outside for a walk (or a four wheeler ride!) Have a snack. Watch a short YouTube. Give yourself something to look forward too. Like a mini prize after you’ve worked hard.

Number Nine // Read That Book

Work hard, but never forget to take time to have fun and do something that brings you joy. Many times, when life gets busy, we can so easily edge these things farther and farther out of our days. So make sure to leave room in your day to read that book, watch that movie, create that diy project, take a bath, bake those cookies, etc. 

Give yourself a little bit more than just free time. Do something that gives you joy and fills you with contentment.

Number Ten // Journal and Pray

I love having a journal. I don’t write in it every day, but I love documenting parts of my day, events that are taking place, or just my thoughts. Journaling is something that is meaningful. 

Prayer is so important, and sadly it’s one of the things that I often forget to do. I’m talking about praying more than just before every meal. It’s important to talk to God throughout the day just like we would a friend. Just knowing God has a special plan for each of your days is reason enough to have a good day! So let’s take each day as it comes, and try our best to live in the moment so we can have days that are more than just “good.”
And there we go! Thank you so much for guest posting, Brooklyne!

(And y'all, if you don't already follow her blog, what are you doing?!)

Saturday, May 30, 2020

10 Tips for a Good Day, Part 1 {A Guest Post by Brooklyne}

Today I have a special treat for y'all! I asked Brooklyne from Showers of Blessings (her blog is fantastic and why aren't you following her??) to do a guest post, and she graciously agreed—so, without further interruptions (interruptions = me talking), let's get right to Brooklyne's post: 10 Tips for a Good Day. (I'm splitting this into two posts, so double the fabulousness!)

(One fun tidbit: I met Brooklyne in person last November, and it was amazing!!)
Hey everyone! My name is Brooklyne and I am honored to be guest posting here on Twin Thoughts! First, to tell you a little bit about myself… I am a homeschool graduate with a passion for writing the words God has placed on my heart. I live on a farm with some of the most amazing people who I am blessed to call my family. Some would call me a Jane Of All Trades because I have many hobbies and interests, a few of those would be the following: woodworking, soap making, painting, gardening, spending time with our animals, etc. I am currently a aspiring indie author and graphic designer. I’m learning all sorts of things while I build my brand as a small business owner selling handmade items. I blog over at Showers of Blessings, and I love “meeting” new blogger friends. My favorite color is blue, nature is my happy place, and frozen hot chocolate drinks are da bomb! 

But enough about me, lets get into this post shall we?

Ten Tips for a Good Day. First off, we all have different definitions of a “good” day. To me, a good day looks like being productive, working hard, having fun, and finding time for not only the things on our mile long to-do lists but also things that bring us joy. Yeah, that’s all great, but lets face it, not all days are as picture perfect as the one I just described up above. So how do we turn our mundane, normal days into good days? I’m happy to be sharing some tips that seem to help me have better days and I hope you can gain something from them too! 

Number One // Choosing an Attitude of Gratitude 

It might sound cheesy, but it’s true. Every good day starts with a good attitude and a positive mindset. So when we make that choice to have an attitude of gratitude (choosing joy, if you will) then we are already setting ourselves up for success and half the battle for a good day is already won.

Some ways to start off with the right attitude are the following: making a list of what your thankful for, take a walk, pray, write a favorite Bible verse on a 3x5 card and stick it in your pocket as a reminder, etc.

Number Two // Prioritizing What’s Most Important 

Decide what’s most important to you and make that your top priority. Whether it be family, your writing, your job, what you’re passionate about, a project you are working on, etc. Find what matters most and don't hesitate to make time for it, even if that means saying “no” to something or someone. Trust me, as a people pleaser myself, I know how hard it is to say that you’ll pass on something in order to keep time open for something more important. But in order to feel productive at the end of your day, you have to prioritize, because you can’t do everything all at once.

Number Three // Stop Tearing Yourself Down

How can we have a good day when we are constantly tearing ourselves down? Both physicality (by overworking ourselves) or mentally. Sometimes we are so hard on ourselves that it just ruins the rest of our day. 

The truth is, you're not perfect. You make mistakes. You sleep in. You have a cheat meal. You are late to the meeting. You mess up that painting. You have an awkward introduction. You forgot to do your morning devotion. Whatever the case may be… 
So stop tearing yourself (and others) down and start building yourself up. You make mistakes, but you’re not giving up. You slept in, but you still got up and around so you could tackle your day. You had a cheat meal, but are determined not to make it a cheat week. You were late to that meeting, but you learned for next time to plan ahead. You messed up that painting, but was able to fix it with some creative problem solving. You had an awkward introduction, but it was much more awkward in your head that in reality. You forgot your morning devotion, but decided tomorrow you would try harder. You get the picture!

Stop tearing yourself down, because once you show yourself some grace, your day is going to look a whole lot brighter. 

Number Four // When You Hit the Snooze, A Good Morning You’ll Loose 

I can’t stress enough that mornings are when I feel the most productive. It may just be me, but when I get up with my alarm (and not the annoying snooze that is really just a tease) then I can have a satisfying morning. Morning routines are gold. When you get up, you should know the plan and start your morning. If you don’t know the plan, you’re liable to stay in your pajamas all day… 

In the mornings, I like to workout. When I get a workout in, I feel—well, tired and sore— but also ready and productive. After my workout, I do animal chores and have breakfast. Then I get started on the agenda for the day.

When our mornings are filled with things that will give us energy for the rest of the day, then we will feel so much more productive by the time 3:00 o’clock rolls around and we are starting to slow down and feel less motivated.

Number Five // Block out your time

This one is similar to Number Two. But the cool thing is, you get to decide what you do in a day (well, for the most part.) So take advantage of that and block out your time so you know what needs to be done and when. 

If you need to write but find yourself caught up in other things, block out time for writing. Set a goal that you will write for one hour at 5:00PM. Then when 5:00 o’clock comes around, go sit down and set your timer. 

Blocking time like this can be super helpful for some people, but for others, it doesn’t work as well. Some need more of a flexible schedule. But give it a try and see if it works for you!
Such great tips! Thank you so much, Brooklyne!! (also that bit about not hitting your snooze button—I'm COMPLETELY with you on that one! It makes such, such a difference!) (unless you're like me and sometimes to go back to sleep once you move from the bed to the chair...)

Come back next week for five more tips for a good day!

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Baby Goat Pictures? You're Kidding Me!

Yeah, yeah, cringe all you want. But I just had to put that pun in there. ;) #sorrynotsorry

Chowboy's goats just finished their kidding season! The babies are so cuuuuuuute *squishes them* and while I didn't get pictures of all of them, I did get lots of pictures of our two bottle goats, Minnie and Emily! 

(Minnie has a twin sister named Pearl. Get it? Minnie & Pearl??)

(Also Emily has a twin sister named Jillian)

Minnie is the black one, and Emily is the red. They didn't really stand still enough for me to take a really good picture, so the result is...well...quite something. ;)

"Did someone say...CHOCOLATE??"

"You're in my spot. Move."

"I'm so photogenic."
"Guys, being a model is too much work."

I'm...not even sure what she's doing here. I thought I had her at a perfect angle, and then...just as I snapped a picture, she stuck out her tongue!

She apparently didn't like me to hold her that way...
(ft. my fabulous double chin)

Emily was either trying to give me a hug...or chew my hair. Pretty sure it's the latter.


Were you able to handle the adorableness?? *grins*

Oh, and one last picture before you go as a farewell from Emily:


Saturday, March 28, 2020

Life As Of Now

HI Y'ALL. Long time no see! (If you didn't even notice I've been absent, tbh I'm not gonna be offended, haha)

So, I started off this post so many times but failed, so let's just skip the introduction and jump right into the life update, shall we?

2019 was a year of firsts.

First public school experience (to take my ACT. It made me glad I was homeschooled, m'kay?).

First time publishing a book.

First time going to a summer camp.

First time mowing the lawn.

First time going to a concert as a VIP (Michael W. Smith is da bomb).

First time meeting Brooklyne in person (which was AMAZING).

First time actually making legit money on my cover design business.

First time visiting the ARK Encounter + Creation Museum in Kentucky.

First time getting Instagram. (Bookstagram is a blast, y'all. *grins*) You can find me @katetheauthor if interested. ;)

There's probably a whole lot more that I'm forgetting but meh.
Ya know, I think every year is a year of firsts. Each year we step out and do new things. But for some reason, 2019 just stood out to me that way.

But anyway. Now that that's all talked about, what's my 2020 looking like so far?

A few random happenings . . .

-My dad & brothers built me bookshelves to surround my walls at the ceiling! *happy sigh* So beautiful.

-I made mozzarella sticks for the first time and they were DELISH.

-I've been taking sooooo many #bookstagram pics...

-Kordell's cows had their babies! And they're so cute!! (I really need to go see them again . . . )

-I bought so much yarn, haha! I've got projects, lots of projects.

So, then, there's the big question: how am I doing during COVID-19??
Honestly? Nothing has really changed for us, hehe! I work at home, we don't go very many places anyway, and since half of my family is made up of introverts, and we see each other all the time . . . we're doing pretty good. ;) The question is, how are you doing? My extrovert sister is about to die, not being able to go anywhere . . . and I know a lot of y'all are the same way. You can do this, y'all!

If you're going stir-crazy, try
-working out (it's actually kinda enjoyable when you do it with someone)
-having an impromptu dance party, even when you're by yourself (because music + dancing makes everything better, gives you exercise, and helps you not be so stir-crazy)
-writing a book (keeps your mind occupied)
-blogging (because, honestly, there's so many posts that you could write that could keep you busy for days)
-starting a journal (getting your thoughts on paper, about anything, definitely helps relieve stress/tension!)
-studying your Bible (if we spent as much time studying the Bible as we did sitting around complaining of boredom, our faith would be so much bigger)
-playing games (*gasp* PLAYING A GAME! What a novel idea! Honestly tho, this could take so many forms—from board games to your own private olympics)
-playing with your hair (might as well learn to look good for when you're out in public again)
-work (yeah, y'know those lil' chores around the house that have been staring you down? Do it today)

See? The possibilities are endless. ;)
Also, random note—anyone else here wear jeans around the house all the time bc they're comfortable?? I see on social media that people are saying "Who would wear jeans when you can wear leggings?! They're so uncomfortable!" Um, sorry, y'all. Not feeling it. xD

So, anyway.
How has your 2020 been so far??
Anything exciting happen for ya?
(Also considering doing monthly life updates again so I don't have to keep doing year-end recaps . . . )

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

2019 Goals Recap {+ 2020 Goals}

Anyone else feel like 2019 got impatient in October and finally said "OKAYYY LET'S SKIP TO THE NEW YEAR!"

*Sigh* So, yeah, now's the time of year that everyone's looking back over the past year and makes resolutions for the new year. Well, you might know that I like to set goals rather than resolutions. There's just something about them that makes it feel like a work-in-progress that I can fail at a few times before getting the hang of it, whereas resolutions give me the impression that if I mess up once,  I've completely blown it. And then I'll give up.


I did a post like this last year, and thought I might do it again this year. But first, let's see how I did with my 2019 goals! (I honestly forgot about most of these, oops xD)

1. (Tentatively) Publish Beloved.
Gooooaaaaallll!! I did publish! September 10, 2019, will be a date that I'll never forget. Faith Potts and I co-released our books on Suicide Prevention day! You can find Beloved on Amazon and Goodreads.

2. Exercise at least 4 days out of every week.
Heh. Heheh. Eh, no. I started out really well . . . but it went the way of all good things, as my father would say, and didn't last very long. I would say that I exercised more this year than I have previously, though, so that's a plus!

3. Read at least 60 books.
NAILED IT. I'm working on my 82nd book currently! If I were asked what my top five books of the year were, though, I'd have to say . . .

-Freedom by Faith Potts

-Monday Night Jihad by Steve Yohn & Jason Elam

-In 27 Days by Alison Gervais

-Fallen Angel by Jeff Strueker & Alton Gansky

-The Divided Nation by Angela Watts

4. Blog consistently.
*Cackles* Well, um, y'all could probably figure this one out. I tried?

5. Write at least 50,000 words.
Check! I wrote about 30,000 for Camp NaNo in April, over 10,000 in Camp NaNo July, about 26,000 in NaNoWriMo, and not to mention the sporadic writing I did in between.

6. Create a 2019 playlist.
Welllll yeah but no. I started it, but when I went months without adding to it . . . I deleted it. *cries* But hey, it only had a few songs on it, sooooo

7. Finish reading through the Bible.
Um . . . no. Honestly one of the goals I forgot about. xD I did get a good bit read, but between lack of perseverance and a ladies' Bible study I participated in at church, it didn't happen.

8. Memorize at least 20 Bible verses.
Again, one that I kinda forgot about. (Wow, I need to check back on these mid-year, don't I?) And I don't know, with all the memorizing I did, I might've? I didn't really keep track, but my guess is that it was somewhere shy of 20.

Okay. Now, 2020 goals . . . oh boy.
I'm gonna try not to set huge goals 'cause it looks like the new year is gonna be insane, but who am I kidding? I'm probably gonna look back on these goals and say "those were really dumb" xD

1. Become more serious in my prayer life.
Anyone else have this problem?

2. Exercise at least three days out of the week.
I know it's not much, buuuut I failed my four-days-a-week goal last year, so I'll lower the bar a liiiiitle bit. If I can work up to five or six days a week, that would be amazing. ;)

3. Read at least 60 books.
I know better than to set my goal at my total books read this year. Sadly. *cries*

4. Blog consistently.
Am I going to continually set this as a goal until I achieve it? Why yes, yes, I am.

5. Memorize at least 15 Bible verses.
If I could do more than that, that would be fabulous . . .

6. Write at least 40,000 words.
If I would actually finish another book, that would be amazing.

So, I've seen a lot of people do 'words of the year.'

I always thought it was kinda weird. I mean, they gave the coming year a single word and I guess saw how it actually played out? Weird. But it was also neat to see how, when they looked back after a year had passed, realized how well that word fit the year.

Or how it didn't.

So, this year, I'm going to try it. I'm going to give 2020 a word of the year.


I want to grow. Grow in my walk with Christ, grow in wisdom, grow in maturity, grow as an adult, grow in courage.

So, 2020, here's to you.

2019 was a bit rough. Maybe you'll be better, but maybe you'll be worse.

Either way, may God help me grow.