Saturday, July 31, 2010

House Party 1.2

I got my party pack from House Party Thursday for our "Beat BBQ Boredom" party on Saturday, August 14th. Who's excited? I know I am! Look at all my goodies!

I got recipe cards, tip cards, coupons for Boboli pizza crusts, game ideas, and a food tent!

And what's a good party without party favors? I'm guessing I'm not the only person who likes free stuff! So we have recipe cards, tip cards, coupons, magnets, and reusable shopping bags for everyone! I'll probably be throwing in a few other little goodies, but I'm not going to tell you about those just yet! You know you want to come try some pizza and have some fun.

Right now my pizza list includes Honey Mustard Chicken, Lime Steak & Cilantro, Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese, Rosemary Chicken & Potato, Pepperoni, and Veggie. I'm going to use as much produce from our garden as I can and make some things from scratch that I normally might not. I'm going to try to avoid going overboard, but I'm excited about doing some things I don't normally get to do!

Have you ever hosted a house party? No? Would you like to? You'll get all kinds of cool stuff to try and share with your lovely friends and family members. There are lots of applications for parties like "My Thai Kitchen" and "Kraft Homestyle Comfort Food" (both schedules for September 25th). And if those aren't your style, keep your eyes on the "Tombstone Pizza Haunted House Party" scheduled for October 19th or the "Sabra 'Share the World' House Party" scheduled for November 13th. Neither of these are currently taking applications, but will probably begin soon, so if you're interested keep your eyes out!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Five - Love the One You're With

Today's Friday Five challenges us to think of five things that we like about where it is we live now. This is an exercise I hope to repeat, and perhaps expand upon, every five or so years to allow me to reflect upon where I'm living and serving at a given moment and as I live into what it means to be an itinerant minister!

1 - I love my neighbors. Everyone is friendly.There is a wide variety of ages, interests, and backgrounds represented. Homes and yards are generally well maintained. People seem to genuinely care about one another. It's nothing to ask the folks across the street to feed the dogs for us while we're gone, or ask the guy a couple of houses down to pull our garbage can in on his way home. They're happy to do it and we're happy to return the favor!

2 - I love the convenience. With the exception of work, I can get to everything I truly NEED in less than 10 minutes. Publix is a 4 minute drive, which is wonderful. I don't think I would want to be any closer to all this if I could be. It's fantastic. It's not a big deal to run to the store or pick something up on the way home. If there is a problem with anything, it can be easily fixed. And if we absolutely had to, we could even walk down to the gas station!

3 - I love having a yard. I especially love that there is fence around this yard in the back and it is filled with a nice oak tree, a deck, a pool, and a garden. The only thing missing is a swing set, and that can come with time! I like having a place for the dogs to run and getting to really experience the glory of growing something. I like being able to go out and have a place to watch the stars and feel the breeze and enjoy life without having to worry about being in anyone else's way or anyone else being in mine!

4 - I love being in the 'burbs. Don't get me wrong. I loved being in the heart of Nashville while I was there. It was great to go back and visit and I do miss it. But it's definitely not where I want to spend the rest of my life. I like that things are quiet. I like that there's generally no traffic after 8 pm. I like that I see kids riding their bikes down the street and hearing dogs bark and having a little bit of space between me and the neighbors. I like having a little distance between me and the bars and the parties and the excitement. I like my nice, quiet existence.

5 - I love my kitchen. I always dreamed of having a yellow kitchen with a round table and a big island and I have it now! It's really wonderful! I feel very at home in my kitchen and knowing that it is really mine. It's the one room of the house that I feel is best representative of the person that I am and the things that I value (and in keeping with that theme it is, and probably always will be, a work in progress!)

Now, the "bonus" is to come up with something you don't like about where you live now. The biggest thing I dislike about where I live now is the distance from the church. Not just from the practical standpoint of taking almost 45 minutes to drive one way from the house to the church (and ultimately often spending more time driving than I do actually working at the church). But I also dislike being disconnected from my people. I wish I was more aware of what was going on closer to them and knew more about the business and areas that are often discussed.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My Favorite Things - p.29

These are a few of my favorite places in Nashville, my home away from home.
Loveless Cafe - A Nashville area staple for just about forever, it's got such a fun, funky atmosphere and lots of old-fashioned comfort food (and all the biscuits you can eat plus about a dozen more!) I am sad to admit that I did not discover this little wonder until my graduation weekend. I missed out on three years of carbohydrate overloading that I will never get back!

Batter'd and Fried - Jeff nicknamed it "Captain Greasy's" because, well, just about everything there is (as the name implies) battered and fried. But it is SO stinking good! Definitely not something to be a part of a regular diet, but about once a year is almost acceptable! I'm partial to the beef tips but they discontinued them. It still makes me sad...

Fido - I have had many an excellent conversation over a hot chocolate or apple cider here. Love it!

Centennial Park - It's a great place to get out, wander around, lay out, sit and read, see people, or spend time with your thoughts. Just be careful of the geese, they get mean! We didn't spend a ton of time there this time because it was so flipping hot, but it's still an awesome place!

Dave and Buster's - I really hate that this is still closed after the flooding and we didn't get to go this visit. It's fun to kick Jeff's rear at "his" games (and at my favorites too!)


So for all my Nashville-area friend (or friends who have even visited the Nashville area) what are some of your favorite places?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ordained By God

Yesterday I was blessed to be able to watch my friend Lillian be ordained in the United Church of Christ. It was a wonderful, inspiring service and we had a great trip to Nashville to get to see so many friends for such a special event.

But ordination services like this make me sad. And a little angry. And very jealous.

I started out by writing this big long post that involved shedding lots of tears and making myself almost physically ill discussing the problems I have with the actual ordination (and related) services in the North Alabama Conference. But that didn't resolve anything or make me feel any better about myself or the whole situation. It is what it is. I can't change it. But what I can do is celebrate the wonderful thing that is ordination and all of us who have been called and set apart to do holy work.

Lillian's was the first non-Methodist ordination I have ever attended. I have heard all about and seen pictures of lots of other ordinations and related festivities so I have a little more than a basic understanding of how many other traditions function. And I have decided to construct my own ideal ordination service with bits and pieces from other services and celebrations from my life and the lives of my friends.

Location - Camp Sumatanga, the chapel on top of the mountain or Vesper Point, either would be fine. Chairs would probably be necessary either place.

Date - Sometime in late fall or early spring, before it gets too hot or too cold. Where there's just enough of a chill in the mountain breeze to make you feel alive and to remind you of the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Time - probably about 3pm - late enough that I am not incredibly rushed, but early enough that it's still light out and we can have a nice service and still finish up in time for dinner.

Participants - I would love to have all the people who have played a part in my hearing, understanding, and responding to my call to be there. As far as the actual service participants, I know my Bishop and DS will have to play a pretty big, important part, but I would also really love if Bishop Pennel and/or Dr. Meeks could play an active part as well. I would love for the sermon to come from either of them or Diane Blum. And maybe have Ted Amey or Bob Murray offer a prayer or read a scripture. I have a few in mind as options.

Flowers - yes I want there to be flowers, if not on the altar, at least around. Something bright, representative of the liturgical season, and maybe with a little splash of pink or yellow to make it representative of me.

Stole - I think I would want my stole to be hand-made. I would really love it if it could be made by someone I know and with a story or meaning behind it. Color is not important to me, although I have always been partial to the white instead of the red for ordinations. Lillian's was nice because it had all the colors in it. I would be ok with something like that.

Music - Nothing recorded. Obvious this is pretty much impossible anyway given the location. Maybe a guitar or a violin. Definitely a couple of traditional hymns, and maybe something semi-contemporary (but again, I'm picky).

Me - I want to wear my robe over my suit (or at least the skirt and top). If I say or do anything (besides my vows, obviously) I would probably want to read the prayer of St. Francis and perhaps tweak it a bit to make it my own. I want to help serve communion, I'm not sure who I would want to help though! I would want to bake the bread myself. I definitely don't want to have to preach!

Laying on of Hands - I loved that EVERY person had the chance DURING the service to come up and lay their hands on Lillian and offer her a prayer, blessing, or word of encouragement. I want that!

After - After the actual service, follow it with a party. Particularly, a big meal. A nice, semi-fancy sit-down dinner of fabulous food. I'm thinking maybe something with an italian flair. Lots and lots of good bread. And wine! Ooh, and something fantastic for dessert. Maybe lots of somethings.

I would want people to write me little notes of prayers, wishes, challenges, whatever so that I could have something to look back at and continue to be reminded of where I've been and where I'm going. I'd love to have those things made into a beautiful piece of artwork that I can look at every single day. I really like the idea of doing them on squares of cloth that can then be put together into a quilt, although the jar of stones Lillian had was also nice (although nothing was written on hers)

There is a provision in the UM Book of Worship for a service honoring an individual's ordination that is pretty darn similar (except without the vows) but I have never known anyone to have/use that service. I would love it, but it kind of feels like throwing your own party which I'm not sure I'm comfortable doing, but I suppose I have several years to get myself comfortable with the idea before it becomes a serious concern anyway!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Five - Decisions

Today's Friday Five is about decisions. Nothing dramatic or even terribly deep, just picking which you prefer of pairs, and perhaps telling "why?" So here goes...

Cake or Pie - Cake because I'm just not a pie eater!

Train or Airplane - Airplane because there really aren't many trains around here and planes are quicker!

Mac or PC - Mac because to me, it is easier to use. I have had my Mac for almost 3 years and haven't ever had any problems out of it. It's wonderful!

Univocal or Equivocal - Equivocal because I like a little room for interpretation (and maybe even a little BS!)

Peter or Paul - Peter because right now I'm not loving Paul, but that will probably change again soon.

So what do you prefer? Any deep thoughts about decision making you want to share?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Peace

Six days changed my life. July 8-13, 2002. One simple week of summer camp transformed my very being. Not because anything special or miraculous happened on the outside, but because I was in a place where I was open to hearing God speak to me through the lives and voices of so many wonderful disciples. Now, eight years later I am reflecting on what has happened since that moment, and remembering the lessons I learned. These are a few of the things I heard.

Have you ever had the experience of God calling you and you say, "Me?" You know what God says? "No! Us!" In God there is no "me." In God there is "us."

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.

If you feel like God is calling you to anything or you are wondering if God is calling you to anything. If God keeps calling you and you keep telling God he has the wrong number, this might be the skill group for you.

God is real. God calls us. God empowers us.

You are a person of peace.

There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.

Come. There is room enough for all of us. Please come.

Do you think God stopped talking when the Bible went to print? Do you think God has shut up?

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.

Every time you feel a hunger within you for something more, every time you share bread with each other, remember me. Remember how much I love you. Remember what it felt like to believe you could change the world, to believe the world was already somehow changing. And when you're feeling alone and need strength, when you feel like you have lost your direction, come back to the table.

All of these were simple statements that spoke directly to my soul. I began to understand exactly what words like "peace" and "justice" that get so easily thrown around truly mean. I began to understand that one cannot exist without the other. I began to know what it truly means to live out a calling. I sang and I danced and spoke and laughed and cried with a passion that I had never known before. I lived in the presence of the holy spirit.

So much has changed in the past eight years. Some of it has been good and some of it has been not so good. Some of it has been wonderful and some of it has been painful. But I look back now and I am reminded of why I set out on this journey in the first place, and why I continue. I am hopeful. I am encouraged. And I continue to seek out those moments of peace everywhere.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My Favorite Things - p.28

These are a few of my favorite things that I am going to make a real effort towards returning to my life.
Hair ribbons - I used to always have a cute ribbon on my ponytail. The ponytail has stayed, the ribbons haven't. I need them back. They make life better.

Birkenstocks - I really do need something to bridge the space between flip-flops and dress shoes in my life.
Toenail Polish - Since I do insist on showing my toes to the world for most of my life, I should invest at least a little into making them semi-cute again.
Cooking Dinner - I really do miss cooking every day. I have gotten out of the habit since we don't have a daily routine anymore and we both just sort of eat what we want when we want. Not good. It needs to change.

Friendships - I am so very excited about having friends close by again. I know it'll take more effort on everyone's parts to see each other, but it's totally worth it!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

With Child(ren)

No, I'm not. But thank you for asking.

Something about being married and traveling seems to have made me hyper-aware of the way families travel together and the way people respond to their children in public.

Now I will say that, because I am not a parent, I am currently not an expert on any of this. I have cared for lots of kids (including while traveling) and I still vividly remember being a kid and traveling with my family and being out in public in general. I also feel that I represent a good portion of the population who are forced to interact with these children and families who may not have children of their own!

First of all, I love the idea of family vacation. I think it's the best way to enjoy time together and experience new things. You don't have to go to a distant land or spend a lot of money to have some great family time together. However, what is right for one person or family isn't right for every person or family. You know your kids. They may love museums and history and learning things. Or they may not. Either way is ok. Go with what works for you. And if you have a mix of all kinds in your family, try to work in something for everyone and be even-handed in your decision making.

Remember that kids are generally creatures of habit. Even if they seem really flexible, they generally thrive on the familiarity and the control that comes with surroundings and routine that they know! Even something fun like a trip to Disney World can throw kids for a loop. Heck, it can throw grown-ups for a loop too! And when that happens, nothing good usually comes of it. Try to be sensitive to when people are reaching their breaking points and make sure your schedule isn't so jam-packed that a little down time becomes impossible. Naps really are a good thing for everyone. And even if it is vacation, try not to stay up too late, especially if you plan to get up early in the morning.

Pack snacks. And not just for the to and from or the down time. Take them with you ALWAYS. Especially water! Most people don't think about the fact that, in addition to the regular three meals, most kids (and many adults) eat at least one or two snacks in an average day. And it isn't a big deal at home where stuff is available. But suddenly when you don't have your pantry and you're on the go, it becomes a very big deal. When most kids say they're hungry, they usually mean it. NOW. Please listen to them! I would venture that most melt-downs are at least loosely related to being tired and/or hungry.

As the adult, please be the bigger person. If your kids are obviously miserable in the museum of fine art, don't drag them through this cultural experience (and also ruin it for everyone else who may be there). Yes, this is a family vacation, and you are a member of the family too. You should get to have fun. But if somebody has to bend, make it you. And if this is the one thing your trip will be incomplete without and your kids aren't having it, split up and let your traveling companion take the kids for a nap at the hotel or to run in the park or get some ice cream while you see what you want to see!

Always have a back-up plan. Stuff happens. Rides break down. It rains. Attractions get closed. Restaurants get booked. Shows get sold out. Just expect at least one of these to happen at some point during your vacation. Plan for any or all of them! Come up with some sort of alternative if at all possible. Even if it means doing something you can do at home like hanging out at the hotel pool or going to a movie. Others are a lot less likely to get bummed if you don't!

Stick by your limits and rules. Vacations are a great time for testing boundaries. I think kids have an internal radar that lets them know that they can usually get away with more during vacation. No room to get sent to, no toys to get taken away, (usually) no vegetables to eat. Lots more stuff to whine, cry, and beg for. A new, bigger audience for tantrums and shows. It can spell disaster if you let it. But it doesn't have to. Time out can happen anywhere, even in the corner of a museum. Souvenir money can be lost, privileges can be revoked, bedtimes can be moved, and limits can be enforced no matter where you are. And here's a little tip. If they figure out early and often that they can't get away with stuff, eventually they'll stop trying. But if you give in, it'll haunt you!

Kids learn by watching you. Please set a good example. And it is possible to "practice" vacation manners. Exposing your kids to new experiences and new places in small doses makes it easier for them to process. Obviously, theme parks are going to be hard to re-create. But the practical things like standing in line and keeping your hands to yourself and not always getting what you want can be done in new environments at home. Try new environments like a different grocery store or changing up the routine a bit on occasion. Reinforce restaurant manners, even at a fast food place. And most of all, PLAY this stuff with your kids if you can. Let them be the mom or dad for a change and act some of these things out at home, especially with little ones. Read books and look at pictures online with the bigger ones and let them help you plan, pack, and prepare. It makes the whole thing much easier to process.

If your family isn't ready for the major vacations like theme parks and road trips, don't feel like you HAVE to do it just because everyone else is doing it. Wait. It'll still be there. Go someplace low key like the beach. Take a mini vacation to someplace close to home. If a week is too long to be gone, take a long weekend. It's your family and your vacation, do what is best for you!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

House Party #1

I first found out about House Parties because some of Jeff's friends hosted one last year. I checked out the website, got interested, and started applying for all kinds of parties. I REALLY wanted to do the Ball canning party, but sadly it didn't work out. The good news is I finally got approved for one!

I will be hosting my first House Party on Saturday, August 14th. This one is sponsored by Boboli pizza crust and is all about grilling pizza! I've heard about grilled pizzas and seen it done but have never tried it myself, so I'm really excited.

There will be plenty of pictures and recipes when it's all said and done, but for now you get to read all about my preparations! The timing on it is pretty great since it's the weekend of my birthday, so we can just have everyone over and have one big get together around the pool and eat and drink and have fun. If you're going to be in the Birmingham area and want to come party with us for real, let me know and I'll get you all the information.

Part of the party pack I will be getting as a host is coupons for like 8 pizza crusts, so I need to come up with a bunch of different kinds of pizzas.

The obvious ones are pepperoni and veggie

The three suggested by Boboli are lime chicken and cilantro, grilled pork and apple, and honey mustard chicken. I don't think I (or anyone in my family) would like the pork and apple one

My other thoughts are to do the lime chicken one with flank steak and caramelized onions, a taco pizza with ground beef, and some sort of chicken and green pepper (because this is Jeff's new favorite). I would really love to try to recreate my favorite CPK pizza (which as been discontinued for quite a while) which is rosemary chicken and potato. I may try something with a thai flair using spicy peanut sauce. I'd also like to do something with goat cheese, but I don't quite know what!

Of course I'm definitely open to suggestions, so if you have a personal favorite, let me know! Also, go check out my party page here.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Dill Pickles

This post is dedicated to Deanna, the most pickle-loving individual I have ever met! I thought of you every step of this journey and I have a special jar of these babies set aside just for you!

So we already covered the madness behind this and what I have done to prepare myself here. Now we're on to the main attraction - the pickles.

I decided to double my fun by making multiple forms of the same recipe- everything here is good, old-fashioned dill pickle based. However, due to uncooperative cucumbers, they have taken lots of forms, from relish to chips to spears. And really, it's an excellent illustration, because the basics are exactly the same. The shape has no affect on it!

I combined a couple of recipes and a little improvisation to get to my pickles. My mom's recipe wasn't so much a recipe as it was proportions - 1 qt. vinegar, 1 qt. water, and 1/2 cup salt. Well, while I was picking up all my jars and whatnot, I also got a copy of the Ball Canning Blue Book, and checked out their recipe for dill pickles. It started the same way - 1 qt water, 1 qt vinegar, and 1/2 cup salt. However, it also added sugar and pickling spice. I added the requested 3/4 cup sugar and then made up my little spice bundle with 3 Tbsp pickling spice and 1 tsp. dill seed.

There are a few ways you can do your spice bundle. The instructions say to use cheesecloth tied with kitchen twine. You could also get a little tea infuser ball (which I will probably do in the future). I didn't have either of these things easily accessible, so I improvised with a gauze pad from the first aid kit tied together with a rubber band. It worked! Then, let everything simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes before adding it to the jars.

First of all, your jars have to be clean and sterilized. It's not as scary as it sounds. I rinsed out my jars when I took them from the package, then I stuck them into my boiling water in the canner and let them do their thing until I was ready for them.

From there, it was easy. I cut my cukes and packed them into my jars with some dried dill, about 1 tsp per jar. I used a couple of different sized jars here for various reasons. I started with wide-mouthed quart size jars for the spears. The obvious reason is ease of packing pickle spears! I put some chips in a quart size and some in a pint. Plus, if you don't need to feed an army and don't want the pressure of eating all your pickles in a timely manner, the pint size is more practical. The relish went into a pint and a half-pint.

I used my handy-dandy canning funnel to pour the liquid into the jars, making sure to leave at least 1/4 inch of what's called "head space" at the top. Then I topped the jars with the little lids and rings. I screwed the rings on until they were tight, but not so tight I'd never get it off again! Then, back into the boiling water they went! They processed for about ten minutes and I pulled them out to let them finish sealing and to cool off.

I had only planned to do maybe 4 jars of pickles and a jar or two of relish just to try everything out. Well, Jeff started slicing cucumbers for me and the next thing I know we have 10 jars of pickles and 2 jars of relish! Whoops! I had planned to save some for sweet pickles this time around, but it was just easier to keep going with what I had. And there will be PLENTY more cucumbers before the summer is over so there will probably be lots of pickle recipes floating around! Despite the fact that I burned myself with some of the boiling water, I really did enjoy the whole process and I am looking forward to doing it again!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Five - Pets

Today's Friday Five asks some questions about our animals. Some people have them, some don't, but I happen to love my little fur-babies.

Did you grow up with pets?
- Yes. We had a dog from before I was born. I got a cat when I was 7 and she died last fall (although I think I developed an allergy to her later in life) we also occasionally had fish, hermit crabs, and a few guinea pigs.

Do you have any pets now? - Yes. Cocoa Bean, the chihuahua is six. I got her a few days after my mom died. Patches Rambo, the black lab-australian shepherd mix is now 2 1/2. Both are wonderful.

What is the funniest or worst thing any of your pets have ever done? - When we first bought the house, I suddenly went from being at home with the dogs all day to being gone all day. Patches apparently decided he missed me and wanted to get even, so he started eating my stuff. He ate a few books (including a bible), a purse, a contact case, pajama pants, socks, several pairs of shoes, a kindle case among other things.

Who is/was your favorite pet? - Cocoa is probably my favorite just because she is truly "mine".

How did you train your different pets? - Treats have gone a long way in encouraging good behavior. Cocoa really doesn't like to be wet, so if she makes a mess in the house Jeff will stick her in the shower for a minute or two. When Patches won't calm down, he gets a time out in the half bath downstairs.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Chocolate Pound Cake

This was always a family staple, especially for beach trips. I got to eat it every day for breakfast and it still holds a very special place in my heart. Since we were going to the beach with Jeff's family, I decided that it had been far too long since I had a chocolate pound cake and I should make one. While I was at it, I decided I should also make one for some wonderful folks at camp after I got back from Branson. (Theirs is the one in the picture!) I'm lazy, so I just got around to getting this all together, so here it is!

It's so stinking simple, hopefully you have all this stuff just hanging out in your fridge/pantry! If not, you probably should!

3 cups flour
3 cups sugar
2 sticks butter
1/2 cup shortening
5 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
4 Tbsp. cocoa powder

Mix it all together, then bake in a tube pan (angel food cake pan) at 325 degrees for 80 minutes. Make sure you let it cool before you flip it out! Then enjoy it with a big glass of milk!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Favorite Things - p.27

These are a few of my favorite things that seem to have disappeared from the world.

Butterfinger BBs - I really like butterfingers, but they always make a mess because of the perfectly crumbly inside. Butterfinger BBs were the perfect solution to this. I only ever got them during gas station snack stops, but they were a wonderful treat. I am very sad they don't make them anymore. They have what they call "minis" that come in the big movie-theater box, but it's still not the same.
Chocolate Soldier - My grandmother used to ALWAYS have chocolate soldier drinks in her fridge. Eventually she stopped being able to find them and went to yoo-hoos. They were still a special treat, but nothing will ever be as good as Chocolate Soldier!

Vanilla Coke - you just can't find it in stores anymore! I had some at the Coke museum in Atlanta which I think just made my longing for it worse!
Keds - Used to be you could find Keds anywhere. For kids or adults. I had a new pair of white keds every year as a kid. One year my mom and I got matching white Keds flip-flops (I think I was like 12). I think the last pair I had were knock-offs that I wore as a senior in high school as part of my costume in a play, where I was ironically playing the part of a six year old (keeps the smart comments about type-casting to yourself please!) I was so thrilled when I was able to get "real" tennis shoes but now I kind of miss them. Especially those flip-flops...

Yellow gold - I don't know why. Maybe it's my pasty skin color. Maybe it's what I grew up with. Maybe I'm just a sucker for matching. But I really do love yellow gold jewelry. White gold and silver are nice, but yellow has always been "more dressy" to me. Unfortunately, it is exceptionally hard to find in any sort of style that is appealing to this mid-twenties woman!