Food Links I Love

Links I Love Button

We all have to eat, don’t we? That’s how I’ll explain the fact that I share links about food so often! :-) Here are a couple of the new recipes / food articles that I recently found interesting.

Edie wrote about her well-stocked pantry. I try to keep mine stopped but I hoard chocolate chips more than chicken stock. Read the article and you’ll see what I mean. I also like Edie’s big glass jars for flours and sugars.

I want to try Ruth’s recipe for easy tomato parmesan chicken. I love parmesan chicken so like the idea of making a recipe with these delicious flavors in the slow cooker. Plus, I have lots of homemade tomato sauce in my freezer right now!

The Brown Eyed Baker shared her diy recipe for homemade ranch seasoning. I like the idea that I could mix up the seasoning ahead of time before making my dressing.

I want to make Ree’s browned butter M&M cookies. Or maybe I’ll make her chocolate chunk cookies first. Both have the interesting step of browning butter. I’ve never made a cookie like that. Have you?

Wise Bread had two interesting articles that made me think. Read 10 foods with the most bang for your buck and 18 pantry foods that keep longer than you think. Do you have some of these items in your kitchen?

Finally, I want to make Frugal Girl Kristen’s Grandma’s cinnamon rolls mainly because of how they twist. Don’t they look delicious?

Recyclebank: 25

Quickly earn 25 more points to add to your Recyclebank by clicking on the image above. You can redeem your Recyclebank points for magazine subscriptions, coupons and even gift cards! I highly encourage you to start collecting Recyclebank points now because you’ll be amazed how quickly those can add up.

Free DVD from Izzit

Pups of Liberty

If you are a teacher (or home schooler), you can request a free dvd from Izzit. It is completely free – no strings attached. Plus, you can request a new free dvd each school year! Last year, I requested In the Classroom with David Robinson. I just requested Pups of Liberty as my choice for this year. It tells the story of the Boston Tea Party with cats and dogs. Teachers, sign up for Izzit and request your free dvd today.

Thoughtful Parenting Links

Links I Love Button

As a new Mom, I am learning to freely listen to advice – and do what works best for us. I’ve already had to stop reading some of the books and the facebook pages of well-intentioned Moms because what works for some, doesn’t work for others. Each baby (and Mom…and family) is unique, just as God created them. Still, I have been encouraged by some of the following links. Hopefully these links will encourage you – whatever stage of parenting (and life) you may find yourself living.

Mandi wrote so honestly about pumping and bottles, formula and shame. Nathan took formula in the NICU and in the beginning as we transitioned him to breastfeeding. While I pump and Nathan does take bottles while I teach, he is now a solidly breastfed baby – who can take formula in a pinch. My feelings on this topic have changed greatly since having a baby of my own because I never thought I’d use formula but it doesn’t faze me now. Through it all I’ve learned how important it is to give grace to fellow Moms. Mandi reminded me of this again.

Tim Elmore shared a positive shift among parents today. Every generation parents differently because of how they were raised and how they believe best. I was pleased to hear about this study saying that current Moms are ditching the helicopter style of previous parents and having larger families. What do you think? Is it true?

Young House Love told about blankets, bears and baby feet. They had a new baby a couple months ago and shared how they took Teddy’s adorable baby pictures.

I loved, loved, loved this post from Lisa-Jo that the parenting books were wrong (and other good news for Moms). There is no mathematics of motherhood. All Moms need to read this. Actually, I think Lisa-Jo should be required reading for all Moms! Check out her book Surprised by Motherhood. It’s incredible!

A short but important note from Crystal on ponytails, sweatshirts and a mother’s love. May we all remember this!

Ruth wrote about Mommy’s little helper and reminded me not to let perfect get in the way of better. Thinking back, I’m sure there were many times my Mom wanted to redo what we have done, but she didn’t. I need to remember this as Nathan grows older.

Finally, take a look at this article that questions can you grow your family on a shrinking income? We are proof that you can do this, but it’s nice to be encouraged by others who share that they are doing it, too!

I hope you encouraged in your parenting journey! Let’s remember to extend grace to one another.

940 Saturdays…and a Review

940 Saturdays

Did you know there are 940 Saturdays between a child’s birth and the day he or she turns eighteen? On one hand, that sounds like a lot of time. On the other hand, I know those days (and years) will fly by. The past 5 months with Nathan have already flown by and I want to savor all the moments. For that reason, I was intrigued when I saw there was a new book called 940 Saturdays: Family Activities and a Keepsake Journal.

The book was written by Dr. Harley Rotbart, who is apparently a renowned parenting authority. I loved the concept of making the most of all the Saturdays so was excited to read this book. When I opened up 940 Saturdays, I was quite surprised. Let’s just say that it wasn’t what I expected.

940 Saturdays is a 2-inch thick book – and it’s blank pages for you to journal about the Saturdays. Each page has two Saturdays on it, counted by number with space for you to fill in the date and journal about what you did on that Saturday. The concept is good. I want to make the most of every day with my son. That said, the idea of journaling what we do every Saturday – mundane or extraordinary – is overwhelming.

940 Saturdays does come with a booklet insert with ideas for what you can do on these Saturdays. While it was divided by ages, I was disappointed. The booklet is simply a list of hundreds of ideas. It’s a bullet list of ideas like draw pictures, play outside, make a collage and visit the zoo. I could come up with these ideas on my own. There wasn’t anything particularly noteworthy in this list. Maybe that was the intention. Simple ideas or involved, these 940 Saturdays should be spent enjoying the time with our children.

So, would I buy this book? No. Even though I love journaling, I’d rather enjoy the Saturdays as they come without worrying about writing about them. I don’t want to be tied to a book like this because I (personally) would feel guilty missing a Saturday or two of recording. Plus, I feel overwhelmed looking at all the pages to be filled. I want to enjoy the days as they come. That said, I do appreciate that this book made me think long and hard about how I spend Saturdays – and every day – with my son.

Please note that I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Links I Love from Andrea

Links I Love Button

Andrea is one blogger I have been following since I began blogging. Her popularity has grown by leaps and bounds while mine grows by inches and small steps. That’s okay, though. I enjoy Andrea because her down-to-earth approach is so similar to mine. If we lived closer than Michigan and Indiana, I have a feeling we’d be good friends. :-) Especially since we have baby boys that are only a month apart! I’ve shared lots of her posts before but here are some more of her posts that I love.

7 steps to super simple menu planning is just that. Super simple and something that all of us can use. I’m working at automating more of our menu plan, too.

I continue to get name brand laundry detergent for under $2, but if I ever cease to find those bargains, I’m going to try making Andrea’s DIY laundry detergent. I need to make her DIY garbage disposal cleaning tabs soon. What a great idea!

Have you ever asked yourself what’s your one thing? I did after reading Andrea’s post. I’m still mulling over the answer but it made me think. Do you know what your one thing is?

Scarcity: a good frugal living principle really made me think too. I can relate to Andrea in so many ways! Can you?

Andrea also has lots of good, homemade recipes for every day families. No special ingredients and they are quick to prepare. Her blueberry buckle is similar to mine, but you can browse all her recipes in her recipe box.

That’s just a bit of what I love from Andrea. You can read more about Andrea on her blog Andrea Dekker.

Sally’s Baking Addiction Links

Links I Love Button

I have a theme to my links today because I’d like to introduce you to someone. Everyone, I’d like you to meet Sally of Sally’s Baking Addiction. Sally, meet everyone! I stumbled across Sally via one of her recipes on Pinterest and one recipe quickly lead to another and another and another. Since I have so many of her recipes on my to make list, I thought I’d share a couple that are on my current list.

Starting with breakfast, I want to try this chocolate peanut butter lover’s granola. It looks delicious for breakfast – or a snack! I also want to try making Sally’s raspberry swirl sweet rolls. What a fun twist on a cinnamon roll!

I’d eat this cinnamon-swirl chocolate chip bread for breakfast or at anytime. Yum! I’m also curious to try her sky high apple pie muffins. She has lots of delicious looking muffin recipes but this one is at the top of my list. Plus, these are made with greek yogurt and applesauce which really makes them a healthier muffin treat!

Now, onto delicious looking desserts. The gorgeous pictures Sally takes of her desserts will instantly entice you to make countless of these recipes. Here are some of the desserts I want to make.

Peanut butter stuffed brownies. Need I say anything more? S’mores brownie pie looks like a fun twist on a classic s’more.

Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are going on my fall baking list. I love pumpkin chocolate chip muffins so am excited to find a cookie recipe for the same flavors!

Fluffernutter cake intrigues me since it’s a combination of peanut butter and marshmallows. I’ll probably make cookie dough lovers ice cream pie first because cookie dough is another one of my favorites.

Although Sally  is known (at least to me) for her desserts, she does have other recipes – main dishes and healthy ones, too.

I want to try her honey bbq chicken fingers that are actually marinated in bbq sauce. Why have I never thought of that as a marinade before? I’m going to try her crustless 110 calorie quiche with some of our garden goodies. The quiche recipe is for me, but the cheesy garlic breadsticks for me and my husband!

You see why I needed an entire links devoted to Sally? I might have to do this with a couple of my other favorite blogs soon. For now, go check out Sally’s Baking Addiction. It’s great cooking inspiration!

Recyclebank: Ruby Tuesday Coupon

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Various Links I Love

Links I Love Button

It’s a free for all Saturday…at least, in regards to the links I’m sharing. No common theme this week. Just a variety of links that I enjoyed and wanted to share.

Mandi wrote about documenting our lives in pictures. It’s a nice, balanced perspective that she presents.

Tim Elmore shared a letter from a teacher about his  tough decision to leave the classroom. Teachers already struggle with this, so hopefully non-teachers will ponder it as well.

Ruth wrote about grandparents, babysitters and comforters. There is a common theme here – and it’s important.

My dear friend, Grace, wrote a beautiful post on all the single ladies. Single or married, please read it…and pray!

Edie shared her recipe for flourless monster cookies. Yum!

Anne gave 7 tips to help you read more (& love it). Great tips especially that grown-ups don’t have to finish books they dislike.

Speaking of, I’m going to spend some time reading a book today! Why don’t you join me?

Do the Next Thing

Do you have busy days? Why am I even asking that question? Of course you do. We all do! There are days when we are busy from the moment we wake up till the moment we go to sleep. And in my case, even before and after because my mind often refuses to shut off!

It seems I’ve had quite a few of those days lately. It’s August and even though I’m not teaching full time this year, I’ve still been plenty busy. I’ve had school music to plan, hymns to record for chapel, and faculty meetings to attend. I’ve had trips to make across the state and early childhood workshops for which to present. I’ve been helping my husband in his classroom and preparing for another year in mine. Then, there is the ever present household cleaning, cooking, dishes, laundry and grocery shopping. And most important of all, I have a baby for whom to care!

Some days, I don’t think I’ll get it all done. And you know what? I rarely do. Some days, I feel overwhelmed by the sheer length of my to-do list. Why? Because it seems for every item I check off, I add two more. Some days, I just don’t know where to begin. It is on those days that I have to remember the simple – but profound – advice of Elizabeth Elliot. It is she who said, “Do the next thing.”

Do the Next Thing.

The next thing is often as simple as washing the dishes or changing a diaper, but it is one more thing that’s getting done. It’s helpful for me to remember that I don’t have to tackle my entire to-do list in one day – or at one time. I simply have to do the next thing. When we focus on one task at a time, my life instantly becomes more manageable.

When we don’t know where to start, do the next thing.

When we feel overwhelmed by the busy-ness of day to day life, do the next thing.

When we want to give up and pull the covers over our heads, do the next thing.

When we are frustrated and discouraged, do the next thing.

Live your life one moment at a time and do the next thing.  

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