Lists and Links I Love

Links I Love

How has your week been? Are you ready for the start of a new, fresh month? We have a busy weekend with confirmation at St. Paul’s and my kids singing at Ascension. Then, Andy leaves for Washington DC on Sunday afternoon with his 8th graders. Life just continues moving right, busy as ever.

Ruth at Living Well, Spending Less shared a great list of 10 simple habits that might change your life. I thought it was a great list that we all can adopt. We all know keeping things tidy can help and I appreciated the reminder to keep family first.

Along similar lines, Kalyn gave 11 easy ways to sleep better tonight. It can be hard for me to turn my mind off at night, too. Anyone else?

There was another 10 list that I enjoyed. Melanie shared 10 qualities of a best friend. I think friendships can be more challenging as we grow older especially when we are Moms at home with little ones. We all need a best friend – other than our husband. Do you have a best friend?

Andrea listed 6 things she does every day to simplify her home. I make our bed daily and it really does make a difference. I’ve been working harder at clearing my counters daily, too. Do you have daily routines like these?

I’ve been listening to more audiobooks this year. For this reason, I appreciated Mandi’s list of 7 times to listen to audiobooks. Cars and chores are my favorite time to listen. How about you?

This post by Lydia made me pause and think. How to live when you just can’t. We’ve all been there and sometimes we need the comfort that only our friends can give us.

This was a little big of what I’ve been reading and pondering lately. Do you have anything of interest to share?

Food Links I Love

Food Links I Love

I was going through my Feedly and realized there were quite a few recipes I had bookmarked and forgotten about. I’ve pinned them to Pinterest and am going to give some of them a try soon. Pinterest is my favorite source of recipe inspiration when I need it. Here are a couple recipes that I want to try.

Ree (the Pioneer Woman) shared her recipe for queso fundido. I’ve never tried making a queso from scratch but this recipe looks amazing! Although, as I’ve said before, I love almost all her recipes I’ve tried!

Ashley has a recipe for easy tortellini soup. It really does look simple – and delicious. I have some tortellini in the freezer that make this recipe worth a try.

A Farmgirl Dabbles shared her Mom’s take on peanut butter cereal bars with chocolate frosting. I have a similar recipe but want to try her recipe using cornflakes.

I’ve very intrigued by Shaina’s recipe for molten orange chocolate lava cakes in jars. Chocolate and orange is a great combination and what a fun idea to serve dessert in ball jars! Cute and delicious.

Jan made a vanilla chai cupcake with cinnamon buttercream icing that looks incredible. I’m amazed at how she frosts her cupcakes so beautifully.

Do you have any favorite recipes I should try? I do enjoy trying new recipes.

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Motherhood Links I Love

Links I Love

Being a Mom is hard work. Thankfully, I went into the task with my eyes wide open. After so many years of waiting to be a Mom, it does make the hard times a bit easier…some days. Other days, it’s still hard work. Here are a variety of links that pertain to the task of motherhood. All encouraged me as I hope they do you!

Stephanie at Six Figures Under posed an interesting question by asking should you pay off debt before you have children? Like her, I believe there is never an ideal time and you will never be fully prepared financially. Still, it is a question each couple needs to consider.

Alison shared about 19 types of Moms and asked which one you are. We are many of them – and through our day, the Mom we are often changes. There are some good resources here with this list!

Lisa-Jo gave encourage for the times you worry your life is too small to qualify for big ministry. I’m sure every Mom can relate to these feelings of inadequacy at times.

Kalyn shared a guest post by Kim on how to afford being a stay-at-home mom – focusing particularly on the transition from working woman to staying home. 

I really liked this letter to the Momma at Chick-fil-a. Scissortail Silk has beautiful encouragement of all sorts. I also liked this reminder to wives – before you were Mommy.

Finally, my absolute favorite bit of encouragement came from Jaime. She thoughtful posed the question, should I be doing more? I love, love, love this…especially since I’ve been thinking about this myself recently. Okay, like Jaime, I often think about this. Do you?

Wherever you are, Mom, and whoever you are. Whatever your day (or night) brings, may you remember that God has chosen you to parent your children. Remember that. Cling to that amazing knowledge. And go love your kids – and the task of being Mom!

1st Birthday Links & Inspiration

1st Birthday Party Links & Inspiration

We’re hosting Nathan’s 1st birthday party today (3 days before he officially turns one). I’ll be sure to update you with pictures and the details behind his party soon. For now, since I’ll be busy in the kitchen today and with our company (my brother and sister – with her husband and son drove up from St. Louis), I’ll share with you some of my inspiration for the party. You can look at these ideas and compare them to my interpretation once I share! :-)

I want to start Nathan’s actual birthday with a crib picture like this and end it with a sleeping one like this. Both priceless!

There were so many adorable chalkboard prints like this so I decided to create my own version. We used it as the invitation and to display. It turned out great – and was much cheaper than ordering it on Etsy (as well designed as that one was)!

Nathan loves books (just like his Mommy) and Little Blue Truck is his favorite. The themed truck ideas were precious but we expanded it into a book party using more of Nathan’s favorite books and some of the ideas here.

Do you want to guess what foods we’ll make for each book? Some of the recipes I’m using are the Pioneer Woman’s macaroni and cheese, mini ham and cheese sliders, and rainbow fruit cups.

baked this layered cake for everyone but of course, I baked a separate little one for Nathan. Betty Crocker had some adorable ideas for smash cakes. Did you know they had an official name like that?

I really appreciated the advice shared about taking professional pictures of a smash cake at home. There was more good advice here and I love the sprinkle idea, too!

I’ve taken pictures of Nathan over the past 12 months so I’ll have those to display. I love displaying the pictures in a big frame but the garland idea was easier to do.

I’ve had fun putting on my creative hat for this party but now I’m simply looking forward to celebrating the day with my sweet baby boy!

Recent Links I Love

Links I Love

Here’s another list of links I loved. I hope you enjoy reading these as much as I enjoy sharing them! There is a lot of wisdom (and deliciousness) out there that I just can’t keep to myself.

Jon Acuff had a great point when he said everything is a classroom. We can and should be learning daily from all those around us!

The Nester had some great advice about when it’s time to paint your ugly floor. This is why I keep reading her blog because she reminds us it doesn’t have to be perfect to be lovely! Sometimes, you just have to jump in and get started – somewhere!

Edie wrote about finding your calling in chaos. We may not lose our homes the way she did, but we have our own unique challenges. God is with us each step of the way!

I loved Shelly’s honesty with her recent frugal failure in buying cheap bread. We’ve all had frugal failures of our own! I just had one and stayed tune because I’ll be sharing it on Shelly’s blog soon.

Ruth listed 9 conversations every couple needs to have. It’s a big yet important list. Read it carefully – and start talking!

Crystal had a great reminder that we need to choose love today.  Some moments this is easier said than done, but we can make the choice. Love is a choice.

Finally, let’s end on a tasty note. Adriane at Little House on the Dairy shared her memories of – and a recipe for – oatmeal marble chip squares. They look nice and gooey and delicious!

Do you have links to share with us?

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Pioneer Woman Recipe Links To Try

Pioneer Woman Recipe Links I Want to Try - Joyfully Thriving

I have always loved flipping through cookbooks. Perhaps that is why I enjoy browsing Pinterest for recipe inspiration so much! I read several cooking blogs but some are hit and miss. There is one cooking blog that always provides reliably good recipes. That is Ree Drummond of Pioneer Woman fame. I have tried many of her recipes already (love her cinnamon rolls!) and have many more that I want to try. Here are a couple of her recipes that I currently want to try.

I love pasta of all kinds. My husband really only likes fettuccine alfredo and only on occasion. I’ve never tried making it but Ree’s recipe for this creamy pasta means maybe I will – just for Andy.

Her recipe for corn and cheese chowder seems like something I would really enjoy. Especially if I were dedicated enough to make a bread bowl for it! This also seems like a perfect soup for winter.

Ree has a fun twist on macaroni with her recipe for shells and cheese (with bacon and peas). Macaroni is already good but bacon makes everything better! I’m still experimenting with macaroni and cheese recipes. So far, the Pioneer Woman’s recipe is my winner for homemade mac and cheese.

I have grown to love grilled veggies so this recipe for grilled veggie burritos looks amazing to me. I love that she put rice in there, just like Chipotle! I could (and should) make this at home, as soon as garden vegetables are in season again.

Finally, Ree recently shared this recipe for apple peanut butter delights. It’s so simple with english muffins, apples, peanut butter and cinnamon sugar but looks absolutely delicious!

There you have it. Those are a couple of the current Pioneer Woman recipes I want to cook. Have you tried any of her recipes? Which ones are your favorites?

The Blessings of Encouragement from (In)courage

Links I Love

How are you today, dear friends? I have a big dose of encouragement to share with you today, compliments of the many lovely ladies of (in)courage. These are words that I needed to hear in the past months and it is my prayer that at least one of these will speak to each one of you as well.

How are you, really? We get asked this question so many times and it’s easy to respond fine. Renee challenged me to think giving an honest answer. Along with that, there’s the thought ‘I don’t really know you, yet I want to.’ Let’s ask and listen and invite each other in.

Sarah wrote about how we need to make room at the table. I love the spontaneity and courage of her friend to invite her to dinner. I want to be like this.

Along similar lines, Anna wrote about practicing true hospitality. What a great definition of true hospitality!

The art of homemaking isn’t what you think, Melissa explained. It’s more than what you think. What a beautiful reminder of all I strive to do as a homemaker.

Angie shared how she wants to go back to the girl she used to be. She wrote this before Christmas but I think it holds true year round. In a world of constant comparison to other women, it can be a struggle. Let’s all go back.

I love this idea of choosing to be absent. The Nester is right. There are times when we need to make this choice.

Ah, Lisa-Jo! She did it again with this one. Go read when you need to remember that waiting isn’t a waste of your time or life. Again, it was written in Advent but applies to all the times we wait.

Lysa reminded us of what we miss when we rush. Take this to heart and slow down today.

If you only read one of these links, make it this one. Again, it’s by Lisa-Jo. Amazing how she speaks to the hearts of Moms. When you worry your life is too small for big ministry affirms what we are already doing as we live our lives.

Again, I hope you were encouraged by one (or many) of these links. Remember, you are known and you are loved. Most importantly, you are known and loved by our gracious and merciful Heavenly Father!

Thoughtful Links I Love

Links I Love

Some weeks, it is the recipes I discover online that excite me. Other weeks, I am challenged by the encouragement I find online. Here’s a collection of some of the most recent thoughtful links I found. I hope some of them speak to you, too!

Jesenia of the Latina Homemaker shared how being too busy can cost you money. I’ve been there and done this. It’s a great reminder to remember that our time can indeed cost us money.

I loved this guest post at Living Well, Spending Less about 3 ways to let go of Mom guilt. It’s an article that all Moms should read.

Lisa-Jo had another marvelous post as she reminded us there’s no such thing as perfect people or perfect hospitality. Let’s open the door just the way we are.

Along similar lines, Crystal encouraged us to stop photo shopping our lives. It’s important to live and be real. There’s a time and place to worry about the messes of life.

Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy talked about how sometimes we simply need to show up. It’s true. There are times when the casseroles and plans don’t matter and we just need to be there. Remember this.

Ruth told her story and how we can minister when there is a miscarriage. It’s honest and written with compassion.

Andrea shared her thoughts on intentional free time…and why she doesn’t sleep when the baby sleeps. Whether you have a baby or not, we can all be intentional with our time.

Tim shared 5 changes he’d make if he could parent again. As someone who is passionate about growing leaders, I appreciated his insights.

Obviously, I’ve been thinking a lot about letting down pretenses and parenting. Which one of these links made you think the most?