Monday, January 26, 2015

Happy Homemaker Monday- 1/26/15

Another weekend has come and gone. Why does time fly so fast? We had an awesome weekend. My husband and I actually went on a date. I know, I can't believe it either. We rarely get to do that anymore so it was a very special treat. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with my husband. 

The Weather Outside Is:::
It is actually about 50 degrees outside right now with a slight overcast. BUT, we are supposed to get a snow storm tonight. Haha. Virginia weather!

On The Breakfast Table This Morning:::
Actually, all I had was some coffee and a protein shake. It was okay but I won't do that often. 

As I Look Outside My Window:::
It looks nice. Sun keeps peeking in and out.

Right Now I Am:::
Writing on my blog...haha. I have a lot on my mind. I have been praying a lot and thinking about my children and the kind of mother I want to be to them. 

As I Look Around The House:::
It is a not mess! I have a lot to do but no energy at all. I haven't been sleeping well lately so things have gone undone. I will do a bunch of it later on...after a short rest. 

On Today's To Do List:::
Laundry- fold the baskets that are clean
Grocery Store- check
Dishes- will do later
Bake a chicken for dinner- getting ready to put it in the oven

Currently Reading:::
Keep It Shut by Karen Ehman....oh yeah, it is a good book about what to say and how to say it. 

On The TV Today:::
My husband is watching some 3 night history show on the history channel. I dozed off last night. I am super tired lately. I am hoping to catch some of it tonight though.

On The Menu This Week:::
Monday- Baked chicken, rice pilaf, steamed broccoli
Tuesday- chicken soup with leftover baked chicken
Wednesday- I am going on a date with my dad and the guys will have whatever daddy fixes
Thursday- breakfast for dinner (my fav)
Friday- Korean beef with rice and veggies

What I Am Creating At The Moment:::
I have decided to start a new quilt. I am excited and very determined. 

New Recipe:::
The Korean Beef I am making on Friday night is from the Six Sister's Stuff Cookbook (the one with 52 weeks of recipes). I am looking forward to trying it out. 

Favorite Photo From The Camera:::

This is from almost 3 years ago. My niece is turning 3 this week!!

Prayers, Inspirational Quotes, Or Devotions:::
I am praying for my BFF this week. She is starting a new job and I am so proud of her. It is so exciting and nerve racking. I am thinking of her a lot today!

For more Happy Homemaker Monday please visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Bread Revolution By Peter Reinhart {Review}

I absolutely LOVE bread. It is my all-time favorite food. But, recently bread has gotten a bad reputation. Grains in general have been hailed as one of the worst foods for people. More people have a gluten sensitivity and allergies to grains in recent years. Bread Revolution by Peter Reinhart has come to the rescue. Peter Reinhart has revolutionized baking and bread making. His techniques are far advanced most bakers skills. 

I started reading this book thinking I was going to get some really good recipes for bread. I recently went grain free for a 30-day detox. I wanted to have a great bread recipe ready for when I could reintroduce grains into my diet. But, what I got instead was a history about bread and grains. Peter Reinhart has done a ton of research about which grains are good for you and which grains are not. 

Here is some info about Bread Revolution:

"Renowned baking author and instructor Peter Reinhart has always been on the forefront of the bread movement—from his seminal work, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, to today. In Bread Revolution, he explores the cutting-edge developments in bread baking, with fifty recipes and formulas that use sprouted flours, whole and ancient grains, nut and seed flours, alternative flours (such as teff and grape skin), and allergy-friendly and gluten-free approaches.

A new generation of bakers and millers are developing innovative flours and baking techniques that are designed to extract the grain’s full flavor potential—what Reinhart calls “the baker’s mission.” In this lushly photographed primer, Reinhart draws inspiration from these groundbreaking methods to create master recipes and formulas any home baker can follow, including Sprouted Sandwich Rye Bread, Gluten-Free Many-Seed Toasting Bread, and Sprouted Wheat Croissants.

In many instances, such as with sprouted flours, preferments aren’t necessary because so much of the flavor development occurs during the sprouting phase. For grains that benefit from soakers, bigas, and sourdough starters, Reinhart provides the precise guidance that has made him such a trusted expert in the field.  

Advanced bakers will relish Reinhart’s inventive techniques and exacting scientific explanations, while beginning bakers will rejoice in his demystification of ingredients and methods—and all will come away thrilled by bread’s new frontier.

*Correction to the Sprouted Whole Wheat Bread recipe on page 63: The volume measure of water should be 1 ¾ cups plus 1 tablespoon, not 3 ¼ cups."

I loved that he spent time explaining each ingredient in detail and where it came from. He explains exactly what tools are needed for making great bread and shows you what to buy. In Bread Revolution, Peter Reinhart uses ingredients that are gluten-sensitive friendly as well as whole grains. My favorite chapter was A Sourdough Primer. I love sourdough bread. It is actually one of the most healthy breads you can eat because it is fermented. 

Here is a list of all of the chapters:

  1. Tutorial
  2. A Sourdough Primer
  3. Sprouted Pulp Breads
  4. Whole Grains and Whole Milling
  5. The Next New Bread Frontier
  6. Is The Road Less Traveled The Road Ahead?
Some of the recipes include: Sprouted Wheat Pancakes, Sprouted Wheat Focaccia, Sprouted Corn Bread, Sprouted Wheat Cinnamon Buns and Sweet Rolls, Sprouted Kamut Pulp Bagels, Gluten-Free Holiday Cookies, Syrah Grape Skin Flour Olive Bread. I can't wait to try the cinnamon rolls. I may just make those on my first day back to eating grains. 

Reading this book has given me so much knowledge about the different types of grains that are available and how to use them. The recipes are kid-friendly and easy. Some of the ingredients may be hard to find locally, but I suppose that is why we have the internet. 

Just reading about the history of bread and how far we have come in making it healthier is incredible. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is gluten-sensitive or gluten-free. Some of the recipes are not gluten-free but it is still an awesome book filled with wonderful bread recipes. 

I received this book from Blogging For Books for review purposes. All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Friday, January 16, 2015

My New Baby!!

I am so excited! My husband surprised me with a new computer. We have two older ones that both decided they didn't want to work anymore all in the same week. One of them won't turn on at all and the other one has a zillion viruses. It causes so many pop-ups and crazy stuff. So, since I blog regularly, do reviews for TOS Review Crew, and write for IMC, he got a new (to us) computer. Hooray! I can get back to blogging now.

I am going to take care of this computer like it is a baby. I am buying a new case for it that is very girlie and cute. Anywho, just thought I would introduce you to my new baby that will be bringing you all things blogging.

I pray you all have a blessed weekend!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Happy Homemaker Monday- 1/12/15

For more Happy Homemaker Monday please visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM!

Welcome back! Thanks for visiting my little corner of the Internet today. We had a wonderful weekend filled with family and fun. It seems to go by so quickly. I hope you are staying warm and cozy. 

The Weather Outside Is:::
It is about 40 degrees outside and it's raining cats and dogs. I am so glad I don't have to go anywhere today.

On The Breakfast Plate This Morning:::
Paleo smoothie. It was delicious and keeps me full until lunch. 

As I Look Outside My Window:::
It is dreary and looks really cold. The leaves have fallen completely now and the ground is covered with their beautiful colors. 

Right Now I Am:::
Drinking an afternoon cup of coffee and about to eat some grapes. I am also baking a whole chicken. 

As I Look Around The House:::
It is actually very tidy right now. We started the boys on a chore chart schedule. They love to check off things they have done so they did everything before noon. I wonder what they will think when I tell them they have to make sure to keep it up throughout the day. They are doing such a good job. The dishes are done, floors clear of toys, and laundry is being done now. 

On Today's To Do List:::
LAUNDRY- check
FIND JOY IN EVERY MOMENT- working on that

Currently Reading:::
In This Mountain- Jan Karon
Made To Crave- Lysa Tyrkeurst
Preacher's Daughter- can't remember the author...mommy brain!

On TV Today:::
For Christmas, my husband and I gave a family gift of Netflix. We have all been enjoying it. We LOVE to watch series. The first one we tried was Marco Polo...don't waste your time. It is nothing short of p*o*r*n. It was disgusting and we were both embarrassed by the se*ual content. Please do not watch it! Instead we found a mostly clean show called Black List. We are addicted. We both love murder mysteries. We will be watching more episodes of this show once the little ones are in bed. 

On The Menu This Week:::
Monday- baked chicken (a whole one), steamed veggies, salad
Tuesday- soup with the leftover chicken
Wednesday- Fend For Yourself night (whatever you throw together yourself...cereal for the kids)
Thursday- eggs and spinach omelets with cheese and bacon
Friday- can't remember what I put on the menu...mommy brain again
Saturday- burgers with lettuce buns and grilled veggies
Sunday- roast with potatoes, carrots, celery

What I Am Creating Today:::
I made a chore chart and a behavior chart for my children. I actually made them myself. Woo hoo!

New Recipe:::
Baked whole chicken. I made an herb butter with fresh rosemary, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and garlic. I covered the whole chicken with the herb butter as well as under the skin on the breast. I stuffed it with carrots, celery, lemon, and onion. I can't wait to eat it!

Favorite Photo From The Camera:::

He had a cupcake with green frosting. Can you tell?

Prayers, Inspirational Quotes, Devotionals:::

I hope you all have a very wonderful and blessed week!!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Supermarket Healthy By: Melissa D'Arabian {Review}

I have a confession to make. I LOVE Melissa D'Arabian. Ever since I saw her on The Next Food Network Star a few years ago. She was my favorite contestant. I also enjoy watching her show 10 Dollar Dinners on Food Network. She just seems so sweet to me and a person I could chat with without feeling like she was a star. She is so down-to-earth on her show and makes you feel at home while she is cooking. She is also very pretty....if I do say so myself. 

She has written a few cookbooks over the years. One of which, is guessed it, 10 Dollar Dinners. I think it is a wonderful book. But, she has written a new one called Supermarket Healthy recently and I got the chance to review it! Melissa D'Arabian knows what people want when it comes to food. Just in time for the New Year and everyone's resolutions and goals, she released this new cookbook about getting healthier options from the market and how to prepare them at home. 

Here is a little about Supermarket Healthy:

"Everyone wants to feel good about what they are eating, serving guests, and feeding their families, but most of us don't do our weekly shopping at pricey specialty stores-- we do it at the local supermarket and we don't want it to break the bank. In her second book, Melissa demystifies the task of preparing nutritious and delicious food by showing exactly how you can make your grocery store work for you. She offers helpful strategies for shopping, cooking, and entertaining, as well as meal blueprints and nutritional information throughout. This book will make you confident about the food you're buying, preparing, and eating. Delicious recipes like Almond Waffles with Raspberry-Basil SauceKale and White Bean Caesar Salad in a JarSlow-Roasted Tomato SpaghettiniFlatiron Steaks with Quick Cauliflower Kimchi, and Flourless Fudgy Dream Cookies have something for every type of eater at every meal of the day. No matter your favorite flavors or dietary needs, cooking on a budget is empowering-- and now you can learn how to make every bite count. If cooking at home is the key to healthy living, Supermarket Healthy is the only tool you'll need."

Starting on January 1st I started cutting out grains, sugar, and dairy for the most part. Now, I am not so strict with the dairy. But, the sugar and grains have been gone. I have lost about 4-1/2 lbs. When I received Supermarket Healthy I was so excited. Melissa D'Arabian did a wonderful job of making great dishes that make you feel good and they taste good too. 

I can't wait to try out some of the wonderful, healthy recipes in this treasure of a book. I mean, who doesn't want to try Cheesy Eggplant Parmesan? Or, Grilled Zucchini Pizza Bites? Maybe a dessert is your thing...Vanilla And Blueberry Cheesecake Pudding! I am getting hungry just thinking about these amazing dishes. 

At the beginning, she explains all of the needed items for a well-stocked, healthy pantry. There are lists you can view and take with you to do market. Here are the different sections of the book:

  1. Breakfast
  2. Snacks
  3. Soups and Stews
  4. Salads, Wraps, and Sandwiches
  5. Veggie Mains
  6. Pasta
  7. Fish and Seafood
  8. Chicken and Turkey
  9. Beef, Pork, and Lamb
  10. Sides
  11. Dessert
I highly recommend this cookbook to anyone who is looking for some great, healthy recipes that will taste good and make you feel good too. 

More info about Melissa D'Arabian:

"Channel's Drop 5 Lbs with Good Housekeeping. She also developed the seriesThe Picky Eaters Project, serves as lead judge on Guy's Grocery Games, and is the author of the New York Times bestselling cookbook Ten Dollar Dinners. Melissa has an MBA from Georgetown University, and lives with her husband and their four daughters in San Diego."

Please visit Melissa D'Arabian's website HERE for more info. 

*This book was given to me by Blogging For Books for review. All opinions expressed here are solely my own.*

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy Homemaker Monday- First One Of The New Year!

For More Happy Homemaker Monday, please visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM

Hi! Welcome back to Happy Homemaker Monday. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. Honestly, I am so glad to be back to the normal grind. I miss routine. Being such a huge planner, the holidays always give me a little anxiety. We had lots of fun visiting with family and friends though. I pray you all are well and staying clear of this terrible flu going around. I know so many people who have had it. We have been staying close to home so we can, hopefully, avoid getting sick. God willing we will stay well. 

The Weather Outside Is:::
Well, today is cold but not too cold. Yesterday we were outside all day long. It was 70 degrees and so beautiful. In a few days it is supposed to be 17 degrees. This crazy Virginia weather. 

On The Breakfast Plate This Morning:::
I started the paleo/primal diet on New Year's Day. So far I have lost 4 lbs. My breakfasts have been either egg whites with bacon or a smoothie. This morning was a "Frosty" smoothie. It is paleo and so delicious. There were bananas, unsweetened almond milk, unsweetened cocoa powder, ice, almond butter, and a tiny bit of honey. It was sooo good. 

 As I Look Outside My Window:::
The wind is blowing and the sun is shining. It is a little chilly though. The leaves are everywhere. Haha. 

Right Now I Am:::
Eating a Kind bar for my afternoon snack and working on some writing material. 

As I Look Around My House:::
I see a pile of socks that need to be matched and put away. There are also a few toys here and there. Very few dishes in the sink. Other than that, it's pretty clean. 

On Today's To Do List:::
Fold and put away laundry- check (except for those socks)
Homeschooling- check, just have to finish a phonics lesson with Bear
Dishes- will do this after dinner
Tidy up bedrooms- check
Look up paleo recipes for dinner

Currently Reading:::
I got a Kindle Paperwhite before Christmas (I won it on a blog giveaway) so I have been devouring books. Right now I am reading The Preacher's Daughter. I love Amish fiction. 

On The TV Today:::
I have no idea. We got Netflix as a family Christmas present so we have been watching different shows on it. Each night brings something new. 

On The Menu This Week:::
Monday- Eggroll in a bowl (a favorite of my Hubby's)
Tuesday-Saturday- honestly I have no idea. I am still researching recipes

What I Am Creating At The Moment:::

New Recipe I Tried Or Want To Try This Week:::
I am super excited to try new recipes. The smoothie recipe I shared above was amazing. Just blend everything up. Yum!

Favorite Photo From The Camera:::

Prayers, Inspirational Quotes, Devotionals:::
"He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm." -Proverbs 13:20

God bless you all!

Friday, January 2, 2015

From This Day Forward {Review}

I love a good book about Christian marriage. So, when From This Day Forward by Craig and Amy Groeschel became available for review, I immediately applied. Thank goodness I was chosen for this one. I had heard that this couple was writing a book about their marriage and what has worked for them. 

Here is some info about Craig and Amy Groeschel:

"New York Times bestselling author, Craig Groeschel, is the founding and senior pastor of, a pace-setting multicampus church and creators of the popular and free YouVersion Bible App. He is the author of several books including Soul Detox, Weird, The Christian Atheist and It. Craig, his wife, Amy Groeschel, and their six children live in Edmond, Oklahoma."

I just love this couple. They have the sweetest testimony. In their book, they go through "Five Commitments to Fail-Proof Your Marriage". These commitments include:

  • Seek God
  • Fight Fair
  • Have Fun
  • Stay Pure
  • Never Give Up
I think my favorite part was about staying pure even after marriage. Just because you stay "pure" until marriage doesn't mean you remain "pure" by God's standard. It is about keeping your mind, body, and soul pure as well. Shielding one another (you and your spouse) from those dangers of impure thoughts and actions. For instance, watching certain things on TV can put thoughts into your head. 

I also enjoyed the section about "Having Fun". After being married for more than 10 years, sometimes I forget to enjoy my husband and do fun things with him. The day-to-day things of life just become so routine. We need to enjoy our spouse and do things that they like to do too. 

Here is a summary of the book:

"New York Times bestselling author and pastor Craig Groeschel is joined by his wife Amy for this groundbreaking book on marriage. Hard-hitting and humorous, refreshingly transparent—this resource will make good marriages stronger and save the ones that are hanging on by a thread.
You know the stats, and they are horrifying. 50% of marriages don’t make it. With those kinds of odds, is it even possible to have a great marriage? Craig Groeschel believes so, but not if you treat it like everyone else does.
In this groundbreaking new book, New York Times bestselling author and pastor Craig Groeschel and his wife Amy show engaged and married couples how to conquer the odds in a culture where “I do” doesn’t necessarily mean forever and find the joy, passion, and strength of a marriage built by God. Craig and Amy present the 5 commitments all spouses need to make in order to absolutely fail-proof their marriage. Starting right now—from this day forward."
I truly hope you go out and purchase From This Day Forward for yourself. It can change the way you view marriage and can change your own marriage. Gaining wisdom from other Godly couples is the best advice. Craig and Amy are such a loving and devoted couple. They have blessed me through this book and I plan to implement the advice from this book. My marriage can always use Godly wisdom. 

*This book was given to my by Book Look Bloggers for review. All opinions expressed here are solely my own.*

Thursday, January 1, 2015

In 2015 I Will Be An Overcomer

I always hated "resolutions". They were empty lies that I never planned on sticking to. Most of the time, they were so far fetched and unattainable that it became unrealistic.

Thankfully, we get a New Year every year. Just like God's mercies are new each morning, we can start fresh each year. A clean slate. I have been so grateful for a clean slate this year.

Last year brought with it some trials and struggles. There was also a lot of joy. I made resolutions and didn't accomplish a single one. But, this year, I will accomplish all of my goals. With God, a supportive husband, and many resources available to help me along the way.

My bible verse for 2015 is: "Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies." (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

My word for 2015 is OVERCOMER. I am a huge Mandisa fan. Her song "Overcomer" came out last year. It spoke to my heart immediately. I have been dealing with health issues and stress. When I heard her song I felt my spirit being lifted. That is why I chose "Overcomer" as my word for this year. I want to overcome some obstacles and stumbling blocks in my life.

Here are my goals for 2015 that deal with "Overcoming":

1. I will overcome my addiction to food. Yes, I know how lame that sounds. But, I absolutely love to eat. I think about food all of the time. I think about when my next meal will be. It has become an "idol" of sorts in my life. I have researched the "Paleo" diet and have been implementing it in my eating habits. I want to be healthier for myself, my family, and God. See above bible verse for my reasoning. It is self-explanatory.

2. I will overcome the laundry pile. This is stating the obvious. This is always a goal for me but this year I have a plan. I have always wanted to do one load of laundry per day. With three little boys, a husband who has to dress up for work, and myself, there is way too much laundry. I WILL make it my goal to do one load of laundry per day. I will also fold it and put it away the same day. I am that person with lots of clean clothes sitting in laundry baskets, unfolded. Haha. Not anymore. I have started The Fly Lady's cleaning plan. I even joined a private Facebook group that gives you encouragement in the cleaning department.

3. I will overcome the dishes in the sink. Part of The Fly Lady's philosophy is to shine your kitchen sink each night before bed. That way, you wake up to a fresh kitchen with no mess. I know from personal experience that on the nights I make an effort to do the dishes right after dinner, I wake up more refreshed. Seeing those yucky dishes in the sink first thing in the morning is such a downer. This year, I will plan to do them right after dinner each evening.

4. I will overcome my poor health. Last year, I spent LOTS of money and time going back and forth to the doctor because of my health. After extensive (and I mean very extensive) testing they found NOTHING wrong with me. I was very frustrated at first by this news. How can I be so tired all the time, having migraines often, extremely moody, and lots more stuff and nothing is wrong? Well, God put it on my heart that I needed to eat better and exercise. Now, I don't have lots of time to exercise, but just taking a brisk 15 minute walk after dinner is well worth it. I believe that the things I have been eating have caused my poor health. See above bible verse once again for my reasoning.

5. I will overcome my need to be in control all the time. This one is a big one for me. I am a control freak. It is a known fact. I have gotten a lot better over the years with my obsessive planning and scheduling. I can let go of the reigns and just go with the flow....once in a while. Haha. But, this year I will let go and LET GOD. He is my Refuge and Strength. He is my God and if I am in can He be? I am praying about this in my life.

6. I will be Overcome with JOY. Yup, this should be #1. I want to be joyful. I have a desk calendar and the last page last year said "Learn how to feel joy in your life". Uh, yeah....I totally needed that. Instead of always looking at the negative things, I will try to look at the positive. I want to be an uplifting, happy, upbeat person. I want to spread joy to others, especially my children. I have many "not so joyful" days. I want them to remember the joyful and happy times. My goal is to smile more and spend more time just being in the moment with my babies. After all, they are only little for a little while.

So, these are my goals for this year. I made them reasonable and didn't put a limit on what God can do in these areas. I didn't say I would lose weight or exercise every day. That isn't realistic for me. I have small children who need me all the time. I also homeschool them. There is no "me" time to exercise. But, if I start small and control what goes into my body, I can achieve so much more.

Thanks for stopping by. Let me know what your word for 2015 is. I hope and pray that whatever you do this year and wherever the Lord leads you that you will be blessed.