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Month: July 2015

Banana Split Smoothie

Banana Split Smoothie

When is the last time you had dessert for breakfast? Be honest. 4 years? 4 months? 4 weeks? Should I even ask….4 days? I think it’s been about 4 weeks for me. That Chocolate Italian Love Cake was just too much to resist on an empty stomach 🙂

How about dessert that’s good for you that you can feel good about eating first thing in the morning? Post workout, maybe? Like I have said before, I have smoothies for breakfast at least 4 days a week. I try to switch up the recipe so I don’t get bored. I add whatever is in the frig or freezer that day and I usually end up with something pretty delicious. The only down side is that the blender is so loud all the children hear it and come running (or crawling for the balance impaired). Everyone wants a taste and sometimes I am left with a half a smoothie for me 🙂 It’s so good it’s gone fast! Here’s my latest go-to smoothie recipe!

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1 Cup frozen cherries

1/2 banana

1 TBSP cocoa powder

1 TBSP soy butter (or peanut butter or whichever nut butter you like)

1 cup milk (3/4 if you like a thicker smoothie)

Blend it all up and you are good to go! If you have some spinach on hand, throw it in there. You won’t even notice it! You could even blend up some oatmeal first and add it to your smoothie (just add a little more milk if you do). Enjoy! Let me know if you make it and what variations you like.

Week 1 of Finding our Homes!

Week 1 of Finding our Homes!

Good morning! I am so excited about this post! This past week I have been so busy preparing for the Arctic Market. My friend and I shared a table to sell our homemade baked goods and crafts. We spent a lot of time in the kitchen and as I was digging around to find the pie dishes I had to go through so many dishes that I don’t even use! Because of that, I decided that Week 1 will start me in the kitchen. Here is the plan for Week 1 of Finding our Homes!

Week 1

Day 1- Get rid of unused dishes/pots/pans

Day 2- Throw away outdated food (cupboards and frig!)

Day 3- Throw away expired medicine

Day 4- Get rid of unused soaps/lotions/hair products

Day 5- Get rid of unused cleaners

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As I go through each area I will also be making an “Inventory” sheet. We will be travelling to the States in a couple months and I want to know exactly what I already have and what I need to buy. I will be following the guidelines I mentioned here last week. Let me know if you are joining me! This will be fun 🙂

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When your home starts shrinking…

When your home starts shrinking…

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As our family grows it almost seems like our home shrinks. We’ve been in 4 different homes since we were married, each one a little bigger than the one before. Yet, we still seem to be running out of space. So, I go get a bookshelf to help things out. But that takes up space. Now my home has shrunk again. I am convinced that the way to more space is not a better organizer or bookshelf and not even a bigger home. The way to more space is less stuff.

This time of year is deadly. There are yard sales around every corner and it’s amazing how many things I learn that I NEED each Saturday. Things keep coming in, nothing is going out. Guess what? The house is shrinking again!

I am so tired of my house shrinking! I have decided that in the next 4 weeks I am going to follow a set out plan to declutter my home. Each week I will post here what I will be going through that week and you can either do it with me or cheer me on as I find my house! But before we begin, I’d like to share some guidelines.

  • Take a picture of each area before you begin. It is so much easier to see a mess in a photo than in person!
  • Have 3 categories for things you are getting rid of: Trash, Donate, and Sell.
  • If you haven’t used it in the past 6 months get rid of it (this, of course, excludes books and holiday decorations)
  • If you don’t like it, get rid of it. Don’t get sentimental about who gave it to you or when you got it.
  • Set a timer! Don’t work on any area for more than 15 minutes. If you decide to rip everything apart you will feel overwhelmed and are not likely to move on to the next area.

So, what do you say? Are you going to join me? Do you have any decluttering tips you’d like to share with the class before we begin?

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My DIY Coffee Creamer

My DIY Coffee Creamer

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I never used to be much of a coffee drinker. I’d drink a cup here and there but hardly often at all. Then we got a Keurig. I love that thing. Then we started grinding our own beans instead of using the K-cups. Now I love that thing even more. I was easily drinking two cups a day. And I am not a black coffee drinker. I like that thick, sugary International Delight. Super yum.

But all good things come to an end…even coffee creamer. I hate seeing the last drip of that creamer pouring out. I wish I could take back time and just use a little bit less each time so that I’d have enough for just one more cup of coffee. But don’t feel bad for me. I am resourceful 😉 I searched through the cupboards and found some powdered milk and got a fabulous idea. What if I made my own coffee creamer? A less sugary and less ingredient filled coffee creamer? Worth a try, right?

All I did was mix 2 1/2 cups powdered milk with 1/2 cup maple sugar. I am sure any sugar would work but I just love the smell of the maple sugar so I always use it in special things. And let’s face it, coffee can be pretty special. Why else would we use our favorite mugs every time we drink coffee?

I mixed those two ingredients up and split it into three mason jars. They look so pretty <3 I put two tablespoons of my new creamer into my coffee. This is not a super sweet creamer. In fact, it’s hardly sweet at all. But that’s what I was going for. I am trying to eat a little less sugar each day. So, if you like a really sugary creamer just add more sugar.

I offered this creamer to my friend today and she enjoyed it in her coffee, so it is even guest approved 🙂

Let me know if you try it!

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Lessons from my Mop and Pail

Lessons from my Mop and Pail

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I am sitting in my dining room enjoying the smell of a freshly cleaned floor. Lemony freshness. After weeks of needing a good scrub down I finally made time for it today and got it done. I am so glad I did. It wasn’t easy, though. I started around 9 AM in the kitchen and dining room. I moved everything out of there then swept, used the swiffer duster, then got on my hands and knees (reminds me of college!) and started scrubbing the floor with my hot, soapy rag. Kids came in and out to help. They’d stay for a little while then they’d get bored and go play again.

By 10:15 I was done the kitchen and dining room so we took a break and went to the park, came back for lunch then the kids were off to bed for their naps. I got right to it and repeated the same process in the living room. All the furniture was pulled out. I swept, swiffered, then mopped. As I mopped I noticed marks on the walls so I’d give them a quick wipe and continue on with the floor. Finally, at 2 PM I am done. That was hard work and it took all day. I used to do this every week. When I did it that way it only took an hour or so to do all the rooms. As I was doing this I started to think how this day can be applied to my life spiritually.

Our hearts, like my floor, need a good scrub down every now and then. “Create in me a clean heart, O God…” (Psalm 51:10)  This takes work. There is no quick fix. I am not speaking of our salvation, that is a gift from God and only requires us to accept the gift. I am speaking to the Christian who is not right with God. The Christian who has things in his/her life that do not honor the Lord. It takes time to clean up that heart. Don’t lose hope just because you aren’t seeing results as quickly as you’d like to see them.

There may be others who seem on fire for the Lord, like my little ones who were so excited to come in and help me mop. But they quickly lost interest and went on to do something more interesting. We can’t let those around us affect how we serve the Lord. Man will always fail us. We need to continue on even if no one wants to join us.

Sometimes while we are focusing on the area in our lives that the Lord wants us to change He will allow us to see another “spot on the wall” that needs some fixing. Work on it and continue on. Don’t get sidetracked from the ultimate goal of having a clean heart before God.

This needs to be done often. As sinners, we cannot expect our hearts to stay clean without continually going before the Lord and asking Him to search our hearts. My floor is so much easier to clean when I do it on a regular basis. When I go weeks without mopping it takes so much more work to get it clean again. Don’t let your heart go weeks without being cleaned and don’t ignore the Spirit when He is trying to tell you that your heart needs cleaned.

Finally, how do I go about cleaning up my heart? Psalm 139:23-24 says Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Ask God to show you where your heart needs some cleaning then make an effort to clean it up.  Maybe it means getting rid of some music that doesn’t honor God. Maybe it means getting rid of some movies. Maybe it means getting rid of some friends. Maybe it means stepping back from some hobbies to make sure God is first place in your life. God will show you what needs cleaned up in your life. Remember, you can’t do this on your own. You need to ask the Lord to help you in this.

P.S. This can also be applied to our lives physically. If you have set out to get fit or eat right remember it takes time, you can’t rely on others to do it for you, don’t get stuck on one area, and to evaluate your workouts/meal plan often. And as always, ask God to help you do it!

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20 Minute HIIT

20 Minute HIIT

HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. I really love this form of workout on the days that I really would rather go running but I am not able to get out of the house. What you do is alternate intense and less intense exercises. You can choose the duration of each exercise and the amount of repetitions you do. The awesome thing about this workout is that you can choose how long you do it. If the baby is crying and another child is sitting on the toilet yelling, “I’m done!” and the third has decided she is a big girl now so she’s going to pour the milk all by herself this may be the workout for you. You can get a quick 4 minutes in and feel sweaty, refreshed and energized. Or maybe you have a half hour and you want to spend it on yourself. Then this workout is for you.

I am going to give my workout that I have been using this past week. Note, you can change exercises in there if you want. Just make sure you keep an intense exercise for every other one. I like to use running in place, jumping jacks, jump rope (I don’t use a jump rope), or quick jacks as my intense ones. But any exercise that keeps your heart rate up would be fine. revised hiit

You will notice the warm up starts slow. Don’t skip the stretching. It is really important. You don’t need any equipment for this workout which means that anyone can do it. Then at the end there is a cool down. You can extend this if you’d like with more stretching or walking in place. Don’t skip this either.

Let me know if you try it, if you like it, or any changes you make to it to make it the perfect workout for you!

Do Him Good

Do Him Good

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I have always admired the Proverbs 31 woman. As a young woman then as a young wife I have studied her and aspired to be like her. I always wonder what it would be like to be that awesome of a woman. Strong, creative, wise, godly, giving, kind. She is the whole package. One verse that I claimed years ago is ” She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life” Proverbs 31:12. This is, of course, speaking how she will treat her husband. I decided years ago that I would do my best to never do Shane evil. I don’t talk negatively about him to others…no one. Up until just recently I really thought that by doing that (or not doing that, I guess) I was fulfilling this verse.

I am coming up on my 6th anniversary of being married to Shane. So by now I pretty much know everything there is to know about being married. What? You don’t believe me? Okay, you’re right. I know squat. Every time I think I am getting the hang of being a good, godly wife something else comes along to prove me wrong. But here is one thing that I have learned: not doing my husband evil is not enough. I MUST also do him good.

What is doing him good? Well, the opposite of doing him evil, right? This involves my attitude and thoughts toward him (because remember, even the thought of foolishness is sin.) This involves my (quick plug your ears-or eyes) submitting to him. Yes, I believe that God meant that command when He said it. And, no, I don’t find it offensive. I find it difficult at times…but so is child birth and for some reason I keep doing that.

But what if we went beyond our normal duties of being a “good wife?” What if I purposely tried to be a blessing to my husband? At the back of my notebook I have a list titled “Ways to Bless My Husband.” I wrote a growing list of little things I can do to be a blessing to my husband. I challenge you to make a list and watch it grow. Oh, and actually do the things on the list 😉 I challenge you today to not only do your husband no evil, but purposely do him good.

“What if my husband doesn’t treat me right?”

Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21

“I don’t think I can do him good all the time.”

“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13

“He doesn’t recognize or praise me when I do him good.”

” Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” I Corinthians 10:31

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This post has been linked up to Faith Filled Fridays

TV Workout: Gilmore Girls

TV Workout: Gilmore Girls

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I have been on a big Gilmore Girls kick lately. I HATED this show as a teen and was very reluctant to give it a second try. But when you don’t have cable or satellite and your friend offers her Gilmore Girls series on DVD, you accept. I am a little bit embarrassed to say that I really love this show now. It has become my entertainment while I crochet and while I workout. So I came up with this quick workout for while watching Gilmore Girls.

Gilmore girls work out

Each time you hear/see the thing on the list you do the exercise that goes along with it. It is basic and very adaptable. Just switch out an exercise or increase the reps of each exercise as you go.

ETA: Sorry! I spelled names wrong! And completely messed up Lane’s haha! Ok, so it’s Sooki not Suki and Lane not Lyn. Maybe one day I’ll be a Gilmore Girls expert 😊

Let me know if you try it out! Have a show you’d like a workout for? Let me know!

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Verses for When…

Verses for When…

I am going to start a new series of posts called “Verses for When…” Originally this was meant to be just one post. But as I go through my notes and my most visited verses I see there is much more than can be written in one post. Please note that I did not just google some topics and pick the verse on the top of the list. These are verses that the Lord has given me in my time of need. I am praying that these verses can be a blessing to someone else as well.

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” This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.”

Psalm 118:23

Sometimes we are praying for something and God answers differently than we would like. Things don’t go our way. It is so easy to feel that things are just going so wrong. But if it is the Lord’s doing it is marvelous and should be viewed that way. That’s a hard pill to swallow especially when it means that we don’t get what we wanted. We need to remember that “the Lord is on my side.” (Psalm 118:6) He wants us to be happy. He gives us what we need, not always what we want.

I don’t expect you to just read this verse and instantly be restored and happy with whatever you may be going through right now. But let it be a stepping stone to help you across the hard time and become closer to where God wants you to be.

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My Week in Links

My Week in Links

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This week all I have felt like doing is sewing, crocheting, baking, or doing some other crafting or organizing. If I were pregnant I would be sure I was in the nesting stage! I made a lot of neat things this week and have been posting some on instagram. Several people asked for the recipe or tutorial for things so I thought I would take a moment here to post my week in links.

1. The No Sew Baby Wrap

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 I seriously love this wrap. I saw this pin on Pinterest and it said I needed three large men’s t-shirts. Literally the next day Shane handed me three shirts and said he didn’t want them anymore and I could use them for whatever I needed them for (he knows I like re-purposing clothes). This project took about 5 minutes from start to finish. It is so much more comfortable than my old baby carrier. This project is basically free to do and takes no time at all. I can’t think of any reason not to make this.

2. Gluten Free Quinoa Pizza Crust

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This was one of the best homemade gluten free crusts I have ever made. It turned out a little salty, which I can’t figure out why. And I could have baked the crust a little longer but I was pressed for time. Other than that it was just really good. Even my “non gluten free” friends enjoyed it. Or at least they pretended to.

3. Crochet Baby Flip Flops

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(This picture got sort of cut off by Instagram, sorry!)

I have really been in the crochet mood but there aren’t many crocheted items the kids need in July. So I have been experimenting with crocheting baby flip flops. I also have been making some barefoot flip flops. They are great because Pepper can’t rip them off!

4. Baby Booties

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These were for a baby shower gift. The pattern is great…very easy to follow. Want to know a secret? I got the yarn for free at a yard sale! I love giving gifts that cost little or nothing but still look fabulous!

5. Lego Man Craft

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Yes, my daughter is wearing her brother’s pajamas. And yes, her hair is a mess. But that is also a smile on her face so let’s move on 😉

This craft was a ton of fun, especially for my Lego Movie loving children. Everything is awesome! Be warned, though, if you make this puppet you will not stop hearing that song being sung for at least an hour. And now, since I am talking about it, it will be in my head for another hour. *Long dramatic sigh*

So there are a couple of new things we have been doing here this past week. Share with me your new favorite projects and recipes!

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