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?

Snow Day Links and Ideas

Ideas and Links for a Snow Day - Here's some great ideas for you and your children on the next snow day!

Yay for the surprise delight of snow days! I absolutely love them. When we have a snow day, I do most of the things on this list. Hot chocolate is a snow day necessity and cherry limeade slushes made from snow are a delicious snow day treat!

All Free Kids Crafts created a (free) printable snow day bingo with both outdoor and indoor activities for kids to do. With ideas like build a snowman, read a book and draw a picture, I love this creative way to give children fun choices on a snow day!

Growing a Jeweled Rose had several creative snow day ideas. I especially liked her recipe for Kool-aid snow paint….if you don’t mind your beautiful white snow getting colored! Her twist on making a snow volcano is simple and a nice mini-science lesson that kids will enjoy.

Sugar Aunts shared an idea for little ones that is so easy it’s brilliant! They brought out some of their shapes from a sorter toy and created patterns in the snow! Patterns are such an important early childhood concept so I really love this idea.

I’m sure you’ve seen recipes for snow ice cream floating around, but have you made it? This snow ice cream recipe from Bitz and Giggles is this recipe I use. I keep sweetened condensed milk in my pantry just for this reason!

One of these snow falls, I’m going to make maple snow candy just like Laura Ingalls did in Little house in the Big Woods. I was always so intrigued by that. Creekside Learning shows how easy it is with directions for maple sugar snow candy found here.

I’m adding some of these to my snow day list! What do you like to do on snow days (provided you are fortunate enough to receive them)?

20 Free Valentine Printables

20 Free Valentine's Day Printables - Looking for quick and festive decor Print and frame some of these cute printables for Valentine's Day!

Valentine’s Day is approaching quickly. I appreciate the diversion this one day brings during the middle of a cold winter. My snowmen decorations are still up but every year, I think how I’d like to add some Valentine’s decorations in February. I haven’t done much yet but I have printed and framed some Valentine’s Day prints!

There are so many cute – and free – Valentine’s prints available online. I am thankful to all the amazing designers who generously share them with us! I love printables because it is a quick and easy way to add some festive decor to our home – even at the last moment. As I was thinking about which ones I wanted to print for Valentine’s Day, I decided to compile a list to share some of my favorite Valentine’s Day finds with you. All of these are available for free in either a 5×7 or 8×10 format. Some are in pdf and some are in jpg, but I noted them below. Take a look at the pictures and follow the numbered link below to download your favorites!

I framed the “I Heart U” (number 7) last year and the “Love is Spoken Here” (number 14) the year before. This year, I think I want to print the “So in Love” (number 12) or the “Heart of Aarows” (number 4). Maybe I’ll print both! Which ones are your favorites?

20 Free Valentine's Day Printables for Quick & Easy Valentine's Decor

1. Pizzazzerie – 5 Mix and Match Prints (pdf)

2. How to Nest for Less – You are My One and Only (jpg)

3. Cupcake Diaries – All You Need is Love Chalkboard Print (jpg)

4. Lemon Jitters – Heart of Arrows in 4 Colors (jpg)

5. Decorate My Life – We Love Because He First Loved Us (pdf)

6. The 36th Avenue – You Are My Sunshine (jpg)

7. Oopsey Daisy – I Heart You in Many Colors (jpg)

8. I Heart Naptime – Be Mine Sweetheart (jpg)

9. Sprik Space – Be Mine Hearts (jpg)

10. Sprik Space – Love Diagonal (jpg)

11. Sprik Space – Love More (jpg)

12. Sprik Space – So in Love (jpg)

13. Sprik Space – You’ve Got My Heart on a String (jpg)

14. Sprik Space – Love is Spoken Here (jpg)

15. Sprik Space – All You Need is Love (jpg)

16. Love from the Oven – Gold Love Heart (pdf)

17. Bonjour Blog – Valentine’s Day Subway Print (jpg)

18. Eighteen 25 – A True Love Story Never Ends (jpg)

19. At the Picket Fence – You + Me (pdf)

20. Landee See, Landee Do – I Heart You (jpg)

Valentine Links I Love

Valentine's Day Links

Today is already the last day of January and the start of February tomorrow means I’m thinking of Valentine’s Day! Maybe it’s the teacher in me, but there is much about the one day that I enjoy. We don’t do much in our house but I still enjoy the day. Some of my favorite ideas?

My long distance hug is particularly popular around this time of year. I made it with my preschoolers and their parents and grandparents enjoyed the simple gift.

If you’re looking for food inspiration, look no further than my red and pink themed food list. It’s a fun way to make the meals of Valentine’s Day special for your children.

Two Peas & Their Pod shared a simple but festive recipe for chocolate shortbread dipped in chocolate with pink and red sprinkles. Delicious and cute!

I think Brenda did it again at the Farmgirl Dabbles. She shared her recipe for cream wafer sandwiches with strawberry buttercream frosting. It’s a surprisingly simple recipe that I’d like to try.

For an even simpler recipe that all kids are sure to love, Lauren shared the idea for homemade slice and bake cookies – with hearts in the middle. What a great idea! I will definitely be making these cookies when Nathan’s a bit older to appreciate them.

I liked the idea to wrap pillar candles in burlap and hearts that At Home in the Northwest shared. I could do this! I love ideas like that.

Another simple idea that I like is this easy glitter heart bunting that Alison of Pint-Sized Treasures made. This would look so cute on a mantel or back and forth across a door.

What special things do you do in your family for Valentine’s Day?

Links I Love: Another Food Edition

Links I Love - Joyfully Thriving - Another Food Edition

With cold weather upon us, I’m thinking of comfort foods. Soup is at the top of my list! My husband likes a good chili but I like almost any kind of soup. Here are two new ones that I want to try – along with a couple other recipes that look tasty.

Edie of Life in Grace shared her recipe for loaded potato soup. This looks absolutely amazing. I love a baked potato with all the toppings so why not turn it into soup form? I even have bacon in the fridge so I can top my soup.

Speaking of soups, Adriane from Little House on the Dairy shared her recipe for Iowa corn chowder. It has some of the same ingredients as baked potato soup but adds creamed corn into the mixture. This looks like another winner for winter time!

Jen from Beauty and Bedlam shared her recipe for stuffed breakfast biscuits. I love a good biscuit. Always have. It’s one of my weaknesses, as I slather them with honey. Therefore, the concept of a stuffed biscuit is intriguing to me and warrants a try. Agreed?

I know it’s no longer Fall but I can (and do!) eat pumpkin year round. The Pioneer Woman’s recipe for pumpkin sheet cake looks delicious. I love her recipes. There are so many good ones to try!

Finally, Ashley at Domestic Fashionista created an ideal combination with peanut butter s’mores brownie. I like that this starts with a boxed brownie mix. Adding peanut butter and toasted marshmallows? Brilliant!

There you have it. Those are the latest recipes added to my constantly growing “to make” list.

Links I Love: January 17, 2015

Links I Love

It was a busy week in the Whirrett household! Andy was in charge of a basketball tournament this weekend, so he spent some late nights at school getting ready. I started four new piano students this week in addition to my current eight. Nathan had his 9 month check-up (a couple weeks behind schedule). He’s 20 pounds, 8 ounces, and in the 67th percentile for weight…and 30th percentile for height. The temperature finally made it above freezing so Nathan and I bundled up for a walk in the snow. I’ve been baking lots of bread and pinning the following.

I love Shelly’s idea to make these easy freezer friendly mini strombolis. This makes a meal easy to prepare when you can pull out as many as you need. I love good freezer ideas like these!

Ruth shared a recipe for cheesy bloomin’ olive bread. It looks similar to a recipe from the Pioneer Woman. I love olives so this looks like a delicious appetizer to me.

Andrea honestly shared 2 simple healthier habits that she is working on this year. I love this because anyone can take two baby steps towards good health. My two habits? I’m baking my own bread (to avoid preservatives) and reading labels more carefully to start high fructose corn syrup from our diets.

Edie gave 5 ways to bring the magic back to your kitchen. It’s a great list! I already start early and stock up, but thanks to Edie, I’m going to try wearing an apron more!

Alison listed 6 popular phrases that are not allowed in their home. I wasn’t allowed to speak these phrases (or similar ones) growing up and my children won’t be allowed to either. Language has great power. As parents, it is our task to make sure our children understand this.

Jon Acuff has a great list of 4 ways to read more books in 2015. I’m determined to read more this year as well. These points are good ones!

Lisa-Jo has a powerful list of resolutions (of a sort) for the upcoming year. She always writes so well! We’re not “just” moms and we do need to encourage one another to end these Mommy wars.

Finally, Hearther shared why I want our kids to see me struggle. I agree. Good parenting advice!

How was your week? What did you read and pin this week?

Links I Love: Appetizer Edition

Links I Love Appetizer Edition of Joyfully Thriving

I’m ready to start doing some baking again. I realized that several of the recipes on my list fall into the appetizer genre. I could make a whole meal of appetizers. When we get together with friends, we often do an appetizer style meal. Here are some of the new appetizers that I want to try.

Joy the Baker gave a very simple combination of salty and sweet with chocolate dipped potato chips. It gives you a bit of something sweet with your appetizers. It’s also fun twist on putting out a dish of plain potato chips!

Tara of Unsophisticook shared her recipe for easy pepperoni rolls – using string cheese, pepperoni and crescent rolls. They do look simple and tasty! She also shared 4 ingredient mini chicken pot pies. This one starts with biscuits and like a tasty appetizer and / or meal.

Kirsten Oliphant shared a recipe for cheesy potato empanadas. I haven’t had empanadas in much too long. They are a yummy Tex-Mex tradition that I miss. That moves this recipe to the top of my list.

Don’t Waste the Crumbs created a recipe for healthy hot pockets. It’s really a mini calzone type recipe that can be made and frozen ahead of time. This would be another recipe that could be a meal option.

Yay for appetizers! I can’t wait to give some of these recipes a try. What are your favorite appetizers?

Top 10 Links Collection

Links I Love Button

I shared the most popular posts from Joyfully Thriving the other day in the form of a Top 10 post. Many of my other favorite blogs have done the same. It’s where I got the idea to do so last year – and this. In case you don’t read all of them, here’s a collection of the top 10 posts at some of the blogs I read. It’s a good way to discover some new content, too! There are some other lists post thrown in for good measure.

Kristen of the Frugal Girl shared her Top 10 Frugal Posts. My favorite was her article on “Because $90,000 Clearly Isn’t Enough.” Go read it. It’s a good one.

The Latina Homemaker was a new discovery of mine and I love reading what Jesenia has to share. You can view her Top 10 Most Read Posts here. 

Cleverly Simple shared her Top 10 list here. Lynette’s made some major changes with her site this year to make it a better fit for her and her family. I’m enjoying seeing her process even as I reflect on changes I am contemplating here.

Shelly at Frugal Family Home shared her Top 10 Recipes of 2014. I’ve added a couple of these to my to-make list! She also shared her 10 Most Popular Money Saving articles. Both lists are worth a read!

Along a different line, Edie from Life in Grace shared her 7 Favorite Life Lessons from the Year. It’s a powerful list. Read it carefully.

Mandi of Life Your Way shared her Top 10 Reads of 2014. I stopped counting at 40 when Nathan was born (oops!) but will do better this next year. I’ve added several books to my list, thanks to Mandi.

Crystal of Money Saving Mom also shared her Top 10 Best Books she read this year. I find reading lists so interesting – and personal. Once again, I added books to my list after reading Crystal’s summaries.

There’s plenty to read here so enjoy!

Pumpkin Recipe Links I Love

Links I Love Button

I love all things pumpkin. I bake pumpkin bread and muffins year round, but lately I’ve seen an influx of pumpkin recipes. Honestly? I want to try most of them! Here are some of the ones on my “pumpkin to make” list.

Coupon Cutting Mom shared her recipe for Pumpkin Butter Cake. I made two new pumpkin recipes last year and only liked one. I’m pretty sure this was the one I liked. I guess I should make it again to see if it is the one I’m remembering.

I’ve never had Starbucks scones but I know people rave about them – especially the pumpkin ones. Iowa Girl Eats shared her recipe for Copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Scones. I like scones and I like pumpkin, so what’s not to like about the two combined?

The Recipe Critic shared a recipe for Pumpkin Snickerdoodles stuffed with cream cheese. Doesn’t that sounds delicious?

Cooking Classy make Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls. Is that too much pumpkin? Should I even attempt to mess with a classic cinnamon roll or is this a fun fall twist? I can’t decide but I am intrigued.

I “met” Kirsten through the recent 31 day series and discovered her recipe for Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cake with Browned Butter Frosting. Chocolate and pumpkin is an ideal combination in my book so I know I want to try this cake.

My friend / cousin / former fellow teacher, Cathy, used to make Pumpkin Fluff with her students before Thanksgiving. It’s a simple recipe and can be quite healthy if you use low fat options. Here is a Pumpkin Fluff recipe as shared by Recipe Diaries.

Finally, Love Bakes Good Cakes shared a recipe for Pumpkin Cupcakes with Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Frosting. I don’t bake a lot of cupcakes because they tend to be more time-intensive. Still, this combination with a cream cheese frosting might just convince me to bake a pan of cupcakes!

I can’t decide which one to make first. What do you think? You can see more of the pumpkin goodies I’ve pinned on my Pinterest board about pumpkins. Follow me on Pinterest to see what else I’m pinning. 

Follow Kristen Whirrett (Joyfully Thriving)’s board Pretty & Delicious Pumpkins on Pinterest.

Thanksgiving Recipe Idea Links

Links I Love Button

I’m working on my menu for Thanksgiving week. As I’ve already mentioned a time or two (because I’m quite excited about it), my family is coming for Thanksgiving. Some will be arriving in time for dinner on Tuesday of that week, and everyone heads out after lunch on Saturday. I have some of the meals and desserts planned, but I’m still working on others.

I’ve already baked my pumpkin chocolate chip bread in mini muffin form and they are waiting in the freezer. My oldest nephew loves these muffins! I also plan to make my frosted pumpkin cookies for a dessert at one lunch. I’ve been known to eat these cookies for breakfast, too. They are really that good!

We’re doing one Thanksgiving with Andy’s family (and mine) on Thanksgiving Day and another the following day when my parents arrive. I am planning to make these refrigerator mashed potatoes for one of those meals because you can make them ahead of time and reheat them in the slow cooker. That’s a win on both accounts!  I’m also making these homemade crescent rolls because I can make them ahead of time and freeze them until the big day. They really are the best crescent rolls you’ll ever eat!

Here are a couple other recipe ideas I’m pondering for my menu plan.

Averie Cooks shared a recipe for chocolate brownies filled with a pumpkin cream cheese. The chocolate ganache on top looks wonderful, too. I’m also looking at her recipe for soft pumpkin chocolate chip bars. I’ve made them already and they are very good but not as fudge-like as I anticipated. Maybe I should try the pumpkin brownies this time.

For breakfast, I’m considering making this baked pumpkin cream cheese french toast one morning. Or perhaps I make a recipe that I’ve already tried and know is delicious like the Pioneer Woman’s french breakfast puffs.

I’ll probably make a big pot of chili for one lunch because it’s easy to sit and simmer. Here is the chili recipe I use.

One dinner will be poppy seed chicken because we all enjoy it, plus it is easy to prepare for a big crowd. I already have the chicken cooked, diced and in the freezer so I can mix it up in a matter of minutes.

I’m still pondering other kid-friendly and easy prep ideas that we can all enjoy. Finally, I do know that I will be making this double chocolate pumpkin cake with pumpkin spice buttercream. Maybe in a layered cake format?

You can view some of my other Thanksgiving ideas and plans on my Pinterest board. Pinterest is such a helpful organizational tool for me!

Follow Kristen Whirrett (Joyfully Thriving)’s board Thanksgiving Ideas, Plans & Recipes on Pinterest.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...