Monthly Archives: September 2013

Healthy Version of Potato Soup! Sooooo Yummy!!

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While participating in the Daniel Fast this past January, I came across a wonderful and pretty healthy potato soup recipe. I made this again last night for dinner and decided I’d pass it along for you to enjoy!

Here is what you need:

1 TB of extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup of chopped onions

1 cup of chopped carrots

1 cup of chopped celery

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups of Vegetable Broth

3 Large Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 5 cups)

1 bay leaf

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp thyme

1/8 tsp pepper

1/2 cup almond, rice, or soy milk (I use almond..so yummy)

2 TB chopped fresh parsley or 1 tsp dried parsley

How to Make It:

Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium heat. Cook onions, carrots, and celery until vegetables are softened (I do about 5 min.). Stir in garlic, and cook for another minute, stirring constantly so garlic doesn’t burn.

Add broth, potatoes, salt, thyme, pepper, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Discard bay leaf. Add half of potato mixture to a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Return to saucepan. Stir in almond milk, and parsley. Cook until heated through, and serve.

Yields: 6 servings (serving size: about 1 cup)

Recipes like this are good to add to your staple list. It’s so easy and healthy. Great for the upcoming Fall weather. I serve this with some home-made bread on the side for dipping.

Happy Cooking!

Coming up on Friday: Fake Boobs and a Metal Leg

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Modest is Hottest

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Modesty, or actually the lack there of, has become a major cultural issue in our society. It’s hard to walk through any mall or grocery store without seeing someone”s booty hanging out of the backside of their jeans, or every inch of cleavage proudly on display for all to see. And what’s scary is that a lot of people who dress immodestly don’t have clue that their way of dressing is inappropriate. Kids aren’t being taught modesty from the home. They are taking their modest clues from T.V. and magazines. And God knows we don’t need thousands of Miley Cyrus’ running around!

Christians need to be the ones setting an example for modest dress. However, it’s very common on a Sunday morning or at our youth group to see just as much cleavage and legs as I do at the local mall. The only way we are going to break this cycle is by stepping up as a young adult generation and show that modest is hottest, and for all of us young parents or parents to be to make modesty an important issue in our homes.

First though, let’s begin with God’s word. Because it doesn’t matter what I think about modesty, or what the world says; ultimately it comes down to God’s truth which is found in the word.

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in          righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16)

Jami Balmet, blogger on Young Wife’s Guide, points out that, “scripture does not go into every detail. It doesn’t talk about hemline lengths or how tight is too tight. But it does give general principles on how to live a Godly life. From there we must go to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to convict our hearts and show us His way for modesty.”

“Women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.” (1 Tim. 2:9-10)

Jami also stated that, “while Paul does not speak to specific guidelines when it comes to dress, he does call women to be modest and to have self control. The New Testament church hearing this for the first time would not have been confused on what modest dress means. Many in the church that Paul wrote to were copying the fashion of the Roman ladies, which was provocative and extravagant. They dressed to seduce. In contrast, the woman of the church were expected to wear modest clothing that did not draw sexual attention to themselves.”

As Christians, we should not want to cause another brother to stumble. It’s hard enough for guys, and girls alike, to not visually lust after the opposite sex, so we don’t need to add to that temptation by dressing to appeal sexy.

C.J. Mahaney, author of God, My Heart, and Clothes, says that, “Modesty means propriety. It means avoiding clothes and adornment that are extravagant or sexually enticing. Modesty is humility expressed in dress. It’s a desire to serve others, particularly men, by not promoting or provoking sensuality.”

He also points out what immodesty looks like. “Immodesty, then, is much more than wearing a short skirt or low-cut top; it’s the act of drawing undue attention to yourself. It’s pride, on display by what you wear.”

I know how hard it is to fight the feeling that I need to look sexy all the time. It’s constantly put in our heads. But the truth is, the only person I should look sexy for is my husband. Single ladies, by dressing sexy in hopes of attracting a guy, you will more than likely attract the kind of guy you’re not going to want waiting for you at the end of the aisle on your wedding day. Dress modestly; allow the beauty of who you are and whose you are to be what attracts your future forever to you, because those are the things that last. External beauty fades.

If you’re not sure what in your wardrobe is considered modest or immodest, then do what I do whenever I buy something new: I do the bend check. Stand in front of a mirror and bend down. If my cleavage shows, the shirt is too low cut or too loose. If my backside shows, the pants are too low. For a skirt or dress, when I bend over it should still cover the back of my thighs and not ride up almost to the point of showing my booty. I try to wear dresses and skirts that come close to the knee. When dresses and skirts are higher than that it just causes guys to visually continue up your exposed thigh and think about what is at the end of that trail.

Yes, it’s not our job to keep another person holy, but it is our job to be humble, to have self-control, to dress modestly and to not cause our brother to stumble.

I encourage you today to not only dress modestly, but to influence those around you in the same manner.

God Bless!

Things I got at my baby shower but NEVER used

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I am the proud mother of two beautiful little girls. Eleanor Ruth is 4 1/2 and the most beautiful, kind, compassionate, curious little girl ever, and my Elizabeth Brielle, who is almost 10 months old, is sweet, yet head-strong, cuddly yet independent and absolutely adorable! I love them so very much; all the stuff that goes along with them, not so much.

I was very blessed at both of my baby showers to receive almost everything I asked for, so it’s all my fault that I have thing after thing for my baby girls that I never really needed. It’s not easy when you’re an up and coming mom to know what is important to have and what will just become a dust collector, so I’m going to share a short list of items I got but never used as a new mom.

1. The cute, sweet crib bedding

I know, this is horrible, right? The thing I was the most excited about, spent the longest looking at, and was one of my more expensive gifts was never really used. Sure it was displayed from baby shower to birth in the perfectly neat and tidy nursery I had all done up, but once Eleanor born I soon realized that those big plush crib bumpers were also a major hazard to the little life I just birthed. Out they went along with the blanket that was only decorative anyway. I’d say about $200.00 worth of what could have been diapers sat so nicely crunched up inside of two plastic trash bags in the downstairs basement. I know it’s tempting to get, but in reality all you need are a few fitted sheets for the crib and some soft blankets to swaddle with.

2. Manuel Hand Pump

This was probably the most painful mistake of a purchase I’ve ever made! I like a good deal, and the high priced pumps that do all the work for you just didn’t fit into my saving money mind, so I bought the manual hand pump thinking I was so smart. Well let’s just say God blessed me with working girls up top, because they produced a ton of milk, and that manual pump was a joke! It was like milking a cow using tweezers. Needless to say, me and my hubby made a painful drive down to the baby store and bought the automatic, best in class breast pump. Don’t skimp on the pump. If you do, you will be in pain from the abundant production of milk that is trying to find it’s way out!

3. Sounds of the Womb Teddy

I was so excited to get this as a gift. The sweet sounds of the womb made me smile…until it was two o’clock in the morning, I hadn’t slept in three days and all I could hear was this seemingly loud noise screaming at me from the demon possessed teddy sitting in my daughter’s crib. You can probably guess that I had a wonderful time at ripping out the battery pack on that one. Now we have an expensive teddy bear that sits in a closet (somewhere).

4. Tub temperature Ducky

I understand the importance of the tub temperature ducky, the last thing I wanted to do as a new mom was think my baby enjoyed the same hot baths that I do, but seriously this duck showed that freezing cold water was too hot. I was a basket case for my first few bathing experiences with our new baby because I was scared to death to put this innocent child into the obviously too hot water according to Mr. Ducky!! Well, after a few outbursts and a much calmer husband, I handed over bath duty and somehow HIS motherly instinct happened to know by touching the water with his hand if it was the right temperature or not.

I could go on, but I won’t. Instead I will give you a short list of the things I loved and used (and still use)

What To Expect: The First Year by Heidi Murkoff

My wonderful play-yard that has served in multiple capacities. Spend the extra money to get the one with the built-in bassinet. That is where my kids slept for the first several months of their lives. 

Bottle washer for the washing machine. I use that thing daily.

Comfy pjs. I know the cute expensive outfits are much more appealing, but in reality, pjs or a onsie and soft pants are the best.

My awesome stroller! This thing can hold four cups and ten shopping bags! Love it!!

The thing that you can portion out formula into so you don’t have to bring the whole can with you everywhere.

Baby swing. This has allowed for many good night sleeps that would have been sacrificed to runny noses and congested chests. The swing keeps the baby upright, so they sleep better with a cold or when teething.

Baby monitor. I have both the video one, where you can see the baby. I use that one in my four year old’s room, and a sound monitor which I use when my ten month old is napping.

Soothies, car-seat mirror, good diaper bag with lots of pockets. An insulated bottle bag, a clip for the paci, a bag of big blocks (great for the baby and big girl), Baby Praise videos. There is more but my ten month old is trying to take over the laptop so I’m gonna go.

God Bless! Have a great week!

Coming up on Friday, Modest is Hottest!

Christian Atheist

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The book, Christian Atheist, by Craig Groeschel is an excellent and life-challenging read, and I wanted to take the opportunity to type up a review of the main points found in this book. At first glance of the title, I was perplexed at the idea of Christian Atheism; could there really be such a thing? And then I read the book and realized not only does it exist, but it is rampant among those who claim to follow Christ.

The main concept of the book is that a Christian Atheist is someone who believes in God, but lives as though He doesn’t exist. The book takes a look at how this can take root in twelve different areas of our life. Here are a few of those areas of Christian Atheism that Groeschel digested:

When you believe in God but don’t really know Him

When you believe in God but don’t think He’s fair

When you believe in God but aren’t sure He loves you

When you believe in God but trust more in money

When you believe in God but pursue happiness at any cost

When you believe in God but not in His church

Throughout the book, I was challenged to take a look at different areas of my Christian walk to make sure that I wasn’t only believing but also trusting and following my Savior. James 2:19 says, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.”

It takes more than believing to have a relationship with Christ. This book opened my eyes to that concept in such a new and important way. I do not want to merely say I believe, but have areas of my life that scream the opposite; I want to believe and for my life, in every way, to reflect the belief I have in Jesus Christ.

Christ desires for us to give Him all of who we are, not only parts of us. He wants us to surrender our money, our words, our weekends, our wardrobe, what we do and how we do it. He wants to be the center of it all. He doesn’t want to just be one aspect of who we are.

I know there have been times in my walk with Christ that I could have been classified as a Christian Atheist; what about you? Are you at a place in your relationship with Christ where you simply believe? Or are you daily dying to yourself and following Him in all you do and in all you are? We all have areas to grow in. I encourage you this week to be in prayer with God asking Him to reveal to you those areas of your life where you may not be fully following after Him.

If you have time to pick up this book, it’s an awesome read! Craig is a great writer, and is able to get across such deep revelations through humor and personal testimonies. I recently went through this book with the young adult small group I am over and they loved it.

If you have a chance to read it, or if you have already read it, let me know what you think.

God Bless! I hope you have enjoyed your Labor Day, I did that’s why this blog is being posted so late 😉