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Try Something New…Foodie Friday

One goal I have each week is to try a new recipe and yes, I use my family as guinea pigs. Sometimes they mind, but thankfully most of the time they don’t, especially when it is dessert. The way I discover new recipes is through blogs I follow, Pinterest, or an attempt to recreate something I recently had in a restaurant. This week I tried two new breakfast items. One not so amazing and the other, my husband commented at least three times how much he enjoyed them. (Hint: Please, make these again.)

The first was a Frittata using butternut squash, spinach and bacon. I love butternut squash and its natural sweetness and therefore, thought this dish would be a winner. However, it was not all that I thought it would be. The inconsistency of the texture of the squash was a bummer and no cheese should have been a red flag from the get go. LOL. I did add seasonings, which were not listed in the recipe, but still not the best frittata I’ve tasted.

  • Would I make this again? Maybe
  • Flavor on a scale from one to ten (ten being exceptional!) 5
  • What would I do different? I would cook down the spinach first, roast the squash and then add goat cheese. I think cooking the veggies first, would add a depth of flavor.

 Frittata

The second breakfast item was paleo Honey Vanilla Scones. These were extremely simple and minimal items needed to create. I did add a little more vanilla to the recipe to ensure this flavor was the star. The smell of them baking was divine! They were a crumbly scone-like texture. We drizzled some honey over them and ate them with eggs and bison sausage. These would be great for a brunch, shower, or tea party. And FYI – You can also make this dish without the eggs if you prefer.

  • Would I make this again? Definitely
  • Flavor on a scale from one to ten (ten being exceptional!) 9
  • Would I do different? Make more. I halved the batch, which I usually do when trying something new as I don’t want to waste food. However, the next time, I will make the entire batch.

Scones

I hope you adventure out during the week and try new things. See something interesting at the grocery store or farmers market…buy it and incorporate it into your meals that week. See a new recipe staring at you in a magazine, try it out. Food is a big part of my adventure. Let me know what food adventure you had this week or something you plan to try. Have fun with it!

Curbly is an amazingly simple DIY Design Community website that is filled with DIY projects galore, everything from cleaning supplies to gardening to organization. It is also complete with tips for things such as how to maximize space to how to store toys and keepsakes. You have the option to follow them on Pinterest or sign up for their weekly newsletter sent directly to your email. I highly recommend either of these options…I do both.

Last week’s newsletter highlighted some out-of-the-box uses for household items such as olive oil, vinegar, dryer sheets, coffee grounds, and baking soda. As I was reading, I saw how olive oil can be used for stopping the squeaking that occurs as you close your doors. Have you ever tried to wake up early and have some time alone and your door squeaks during the entire door opening process? Or have your kids finally fallen asleep and you go to close their doors when the squeaking begins and their tiny eyes are awakened? This has definitely happened to me on more than one occasion. Therefore, trying this olive oil on the door hinges was put into action quickly. And to my great surprise, it worked!! Even my husband commented on its success more than once. Below is a link to these great ideas for items you already have in your home.

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Enjoy your Tuesday and exploring all these amazing tips.

Right before Liam turned four, he became a  little mouse. He would sneak in our room and sleep on our floor. It had come to a point that every night we left a blanket and pillow on the ground as we knew he would arrive sooner or later. When we moved to Dallas, his desire to stay in our room increased. Jason and I knew that this behavior had to end, but we had just transitioned from all he knew (Baton Rouge) and didn’t want to force him to sleep alone in a new room. (I know; we should not have given in, but sometimes giving in happens.) However, about two months ago, we both agreed the behavior needed to end; not just for our sake, but for his as well. We tried all we knew to keep him from coming into our room. We even tried returning him to his room if we found him on our floor. Nothing was working, until one day, while on Pinterest I saw a “Stay In My Bed” card. Pretty clever idea…a simple card that Liam could punch a hole into if he stayed in his bed all night. He could choose the reward for completing an entire card and voila. Well the next day, we put this simple card to the test. And it was miraculous! Something as simple as a card, I printed out at home, changed over a year of coming into our room. He still wakes up so excited that he slept through the night in his own room. He even has gotten to the point where he stays in his room until we come out of ours. Thank you Pinterest for this simple idea that revolutionized our home.

Stay In Bed Card

Out of this, I have realized that working through something with your child, does not have to be so complex. Sometimes your child needs just a little something to “punch”.

Do you have a reward system you have used that is simple, but works? If so, please share as we parents need all the help we can get. Cheers to this parenting adventure.


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Foodie Friday – Pumpkin Pancakes!

Some people think of pumpkin only in the fall and winter, but pumpkin is in my life year around. It is an ingredient that can be added to so many recipes from chili to cupcakes, plus pumpkin has great nutritional value. One of my favorite pumpkin recipes is pumpkin pancakes. They are simple to make and everyone in the family loves them.

Pumpkin Pancakes. Simply Yummy.

Pumpkin Pancakes. Simply Yummy.

Ingredients (Adapted from Multiply Delicious)
½ cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup almond flour
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup pecans, chopped and light toasted (optional)

Instructions
1. Heat griddle or non-stick skillet over medium heat.
2. In a large bowl stir together pumpkin, eggs, coconut oil, honey, almond milk, and vanilla until blended.
3. Add almond flour, coconut flour, cinnamon, salt and baking powder to other ingredients and mix again until everything is incorporated.
4. Once pan or griddle is hot, pour batter into small to medium size pancakes. (If necessary, use additional coconut oil in a skillet to prevent from sticking)
5. Do not flip to quickly or they will break apart. Carefully, using a spatula, flip the pancake over to cook on other side.
6. Serve hot with some honey.

I hope you and your family enjoy these as much as we do. Let me know if you love them too.

It’s Tip Tuesday!!! Cleaning Time…

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So excited for Tip Tuesday and Foodie Friday. Two definite post you can read about each week.

Today, I want to share a few of my top cleaning tips. I’m a believer that you can clean your house in under an hour if you have a cleaning strategy. Part of my strategy includes these top cleaning tips.
1. Place all cleaning items in one caddy.  (Items – all purpose cleaner (I recommend Meyers), dust cleaner, windex, magic eraser, dust wipe, small towel and a few paper towels)

You can find a caddy like this at Target, Walmart and probably your local dollar store.

You can find a caddy like this at Target, Walmart or probably your local dollar store.

2. Set a timer. This helps you stay focused. Start with a realistic goal like an hour and continue to decrease the time until you have achieved your ideal cleaning time.

3. Don’t let your kids or phone be a distraction. Put your phone away and hand the kids a towel. Nixon is 19 months and he loves to put all the clothes into the washer and dryer. And both Liam and Nixon love to wipe down the windows. Never underestimate your child; he/she can be one of your greatest helpers.

4. Spray it all down. I start with bathrooms and spray it all. Then come back and wipe it all. Then onto dusting the other rooms in the house and windex necessary areas. Finally, vacuum your home.

5. Candles and flowers. Even if your house is not perfect, flowers and candles can make a mess into a delightful place.

Candles and Flowers always make a room feel fresh and inviting.

Candles and Flowers always make a room feel fresh and inviting.

Has your timer gone off? Did you finish it before you thought? It is amazing what a few simple strategic tips can do. What are some your cleaning tips? Do you have any cleaning “musts”? Please, do share.

 


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Parenting Strength

motherhood

Words you hear from others as you parent…Are they in the terrible twos? Just wait until they turn three? You think it is hard now; they haven’t even hit the teenage years? This is all so encouraging as your child gets older. So comforting to know that every year it gets harder as your child develops and grows in independence. LOL. I say this sarcastically, but I know there is some truth in those statements and the statements themselves wear me out. For the past few weeks, I have felt pretty weary as a parent. I read about parenting almost everyday, try new discipline techniques, and sit with kids and talk about the real issue, their heart. I go to God asking Him for wisdom as a parent. I exasperated all efforts. I came to a place the other day where I exclaimed, “I have tried everything. There is nothing else I can do, read or pray. It is all up to God now.” As I spoke these words out loud, a light bulb went off. It was an “ah-ha” moment. “Only God can do it. That’s it!” I was so weary because “I” was parenting. Strength is not something I can muster up. God is strength. I cannot ever parent from a restful state until God parents through me. This has to come before any book read or parenting plan implemented.

 “Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.” 2 Corinthians 3:4-5 (NIV)

Jennifer Laird is not competent as a mother. But because of Christ and through Him, He has called me competent. I am not capable to parent. But because of Christ, He will make me capable. I recently read, “When we rely on God in everything we do, including raising our children, we can be confident He will equip us for this calling of motherhood.” Therefore, I approach the adventure of motherhood with full confidence in the God who called me to it, remembering that He does not call the equipped, but equips the called. Parenting strength is none I have, but all God is and supplies.

I pray that you can find rest in His strength as you parent. Rest in knowing that God does not just supply strength, He is strength. He is your parenting strength.