September 9, 2015

What Are You Going To Do With All Of Your Free Time?

What are you going to do with yourself now?

Oh! You mean besides twiddle my thumbs, pick my butt & eat bon bons all day?

That seems to be the question I receive now that my kids have all started school. (Glory!!!!) While I strive to be gracious in my response, I find myself thinking "Honestly, Good grief! What is "free time" to any mom, let alone one with 5 kids!"

Let me tell you well-meaning sweet souls what I am going to do with myself now...

I'm going to poop without someone walking in on me. 

I'm going to change and put a bra on without having to lock my bedroom door.

I'm going to shower without the house falling to shambles. 

I'm going to play whatever music I want.

I will paint my furniture (you know that job I do from home for money!?)

I will volunteer at school to do my motherly part and support the teachers who now get the job of spending 5 days a week with my kiddos.

Since I have a house and that house has needs, I will tend to those needs and quite possibly get ahead of myself.

I will do my morning dishes and smile because I have a clean sink for longer than 5 minutes.

I will wash the floors and revel in no one spilling on them 2 seconds later.

I plan to write more because I enjoy it and I can. 

I have mouths to feed, dinner to prepare, bodies to clothe, errands never-ending that I can do with a little less ADD tendencies.(Wait, what's this, what's that, Oh this is cute, SO and so could use one of these, what did I need again, oh shoot I went to the store and got 20 things I didn't need but forgot the one thing I went for) Just kidding, I"m still ADD.

And finally, For the 6 hours of "free time" that some tell me I have, I plan to take a freakin BREATH for a moment before the chaos enters my home again and my ears start to bleed (because all of my kids talk non-stop and want to share their day with me at the same time) and I have to play taxi driver, homework checker, reading buddy, chef, money giver, & maid to the little people in my home. 

In the middle of all that I may even make plans with other 'free' adults for adult conversation so we can twiddle our thumbs together over bon bons.

That's what I plan to do with myself  & all of my free time now. :)

February 18, 2015

Jesus, I Would Rather Have Fifty Shades of Grey

Many people in America have been quite busy the past few weeks, busy giving their two cents on a movie they've not even seen. Focusing on books that have already been there & done that. A modern day Beauty & the Beast really. Whether or not it looks like a lame, cheesy lifetime movie, that's neither here nor there. There's greater mountains to climb and larger hills to die on. How can I not be outraged about Fifty Shades when I am so passionate about ending human trafficking? Why am I not speaking up about this when I have daughters?  It's not pornography. The actors are not forced into this. No one is forcing them to partake in disgusting acts and then keeping their money. It's not a movie or book I would recommend, however it's one of those issues that's between you & God. I respect your distaste wholeheartedly. I do wonder if you're as opposed to crude comedies or violent movies. And truthfully, if we haven't read the books, do we really have the right to bash it and talk as an expert about it?

We're spending so much timing whining and moaning over Fifty Shades of Grey, meanwhile in Egypt Christians are being brutally beheaded!! Where are we when true injustice is happening? Where's our Warning About Isis Killings to the Social Media world?

There's way too many disgusting, sick, atrocious crimes and injustices in this world.

Where are our disgusted opinions when THIS could very well be one of our own children?

Where are we when millions are being slaughtered?

Where are we when God's children desperately need us? Where are our willing and able hands & feet when God is calling on us?

People are being BURNED ALIVE! We have REAL wars going on right now! And we are sitting comfy-cozy in our homes, sipping our starbucks lattes, preaching and moaning over FIFTY SHADES OF FREAKING GREY! 

I will tell you what...where THIS is happening, they don't care about our Fifty Shades! 

Oh Dear Jesus, I would take Fifty Shades of Grey over the injustices of our world any day! I'd rather fight over that than these issues our brothers and sisters all over the world are facing right now! The enemy is real & he sucks. But God is still God. And I pray He causes us to rise up and fight these disgusting injustices and pick our real battles. Let Him Use us to be HIS hands & feet here on earth! 

Friends, I don't want to stay silent! Please fight for what's right and cut the selfish crap here when THIS kind of stuff is happening there. May God bless us all with perspective. 

February 3, 2015

Essential Oils - Where Do I Start?

Essential Oils -Where Do I Start?

January 29, 2015

Homemade Body Butter

Homemade Body Butter
1 cup Shea Butter (organic/fair trade)

1 cup Coconut Oil 

Place into double boiler pan 

Turn on low to medium heat 
When Shea butter and coconut oil are melted, remove from heat and add 1/4-1/2 cup of avocado oil (Can use apricot, jojoba,olive or almond oil too)
Stir all ingredients and let cool in bowl of ice water. Place in Fridge for a couple of hours, until white and firm.

Begin whipping hardened mixture.
Add 10-15 drops of essential oil. I added lemongrass because that is the same scent as my deodorant. Lavender is another favorite oil of mine to use.
 I like to add my EO drops after I begin mixing. 
1 cup coconut oil
1 cup shea butter 
1/3 - 1/2 cup avocado oil
10-15 drops essential oil of your choice

Melt coconut oil & shea butter in a double boiler pan
When all melted remove from heat
Add Avocado oil
Chill in fridge until firm
Add essential oil drops
Finish whipping


January 7, 2015

This Year, Last Year & a Few Randoms

This past year has been fabulous. It's been such a year of amazing growth. The past few years I have given myself a little theme I felt I needed to live by. It started with my Embrace Simplicity theme. Then last year was Believe. Which last year I still hung to my Embracing Simplicity. My year ended with a true feeling of contentment. The last couple of months I have just really, finally in my life felt content. I have had true peace and joy. I had to lay a few things in God's hands and really trust Him. After our little foster kiddos left us back in May, I felt a peace in that storm, but I had a lot of underlying worry that would really seem to manifest in my dreams. I finally got to a point where I couldn't bear to hear our sweet 3 year old calling for me and asking for me in my dreams, which became nightmares; wondering why he couldn't come home with us. In these dreams I would see him in various places, sometimes I'd just want to hug him so tight, but mostly I just wanted to hide so that he wouldn't see me, but I needed to watch him from afar and just know that he was okay. So I would wake up and just yearn for those kids.  I'd pray for all of them, yet he, being the oldest and truly the least resilient of the 3, I prayed especially for him. That he would have peace, that he would be happy, that he wouldn't wonder why he had to go or feel rejected from us, but feel loved and happy and thrive back at home with their family and relatives, who I know, love them even more than I could (even though that is hard to imagine because I really really really love them as my own flesh & blood).

I finally got to a point that I just said "Okay God, I seriously cannot handle these nightmares. I just need peace, day and night, peace in this entire situation. If the kids aren't okay and there is a reason for these dreams or you are trying to tell me something I get it and I will deal with it and continue yearning and praying according to these dreams. BUT if they are okay...I need these dreams to end. I can't keep seeing them and hearing M calling out to me, asking why he can't come home. It's devastating and I just need to know that the kids are okay."

I tell you, I promise you, I haven't had a nightmare since. And I KNOW, that I know that I know, that the kids are okay. God has given me such a peace I cannot explain it. He answered that prayer and I truly feel in my heart of hearts the kids are doing well and everything is fine. The yearning is still there sometimes of course. Not a moment goes by that we don't think of them. But I have such a calming assurance that God's got this and those babies are good.

This summer has been a wonderful time of bonding with our girls. This is the first school year I am home with no little kids. I am loving this season of life we are in. Loving life, loving my furniture restoration, loving my little "office" in the basement where I get to work and paint ad be artsy and creative. I still do hair on the side. I am more hippy, weird, natural, organic, homemade, relaxed, etc. than ever. I have learned a lot about myself this past year and I am just content. No need to compare myself to others. I don't wish for this or that. My life is just good.

Contentment is something I have prayed for, for YEARS. And I am finally there. I don't know when it clicked, or how it clicked or what I did or God did. But it's there. And I'm riding the waves and enjoying where they take me. The ups and downs, the highs and lows. I just trust God. Point Blank. He's real, he's in control and He's got this. No matter what. God is still God and He's always gonna be. Why worry when I don't have to.

I have also learned I am a total introvert. That explains so much!!! Explains why sometimes I just want to be alone in the midst of a crowd at times. Which is why my little office and job in the basement is perfect for me. My own space to be with my thoughts, my music, and whatever I have internalized that week :)

This year I also wrote this very bold blog post that took a lot of courage and confidence I didn't have, but I wrote it anyways and am still glad because I received a lot of messages, emails, even phone calls from others who have struggled with the same or similar things.
I feel like I have a lot to say or that I want to say, but I will wrap it up for now. Thanks for reading :) I would love to know what kind of things you've learned about yourself this past year or anything God has shown you or revelations or anything! Please share. Ironically I would rather hear about others than talk about myself.

Oh, and this next year's theme : PRAYER

September 29, 2014

My FAVORITE cookies

This past summer a friend of mine shared a little taste of heaven with me. Mexican Hot Chocolate Shortbread Cookies. They are FANTASTIC!!! They have become my new favorite recipe.

These are from the Back In The Day Bakery Cookbook

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 
1/2 cup almond flour (I didn't have so I just used an extra 1/2 cup of regular flour)
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature 
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 cup packed light brown sugar 
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1/4 teaspoon espresso powder or finely ground coffee (I leave this out)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips (I use regular size and probably do about a cup)
About 1/4 cup granulated sugar for dusting (I roll the balls in the sugar before baking)

Line two cookie sheets with parchment.
Whisk the flours (dry ingredients) together in a medium bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer), cream the butter, vanilla, and almond extract until the mixture is pale in color, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn the speed down to low, add the brown sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, espresso (I never have this so I leave it out), salt, and cayenne pepper, and continue to mix until the mixture is smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the flour mixture in thirds until just combined. With the mixer running, sprinkle in the chocolate chips, mixing until just combined.

Transfer the dough to another bowl and finish mixing by hand to make sure no bits of flour or butter are hiding on the bottom of the bowl and the dough is thoroughly mixed.

Use a small scoop to form the cookies, about 1 rounded tablespoon each, and place on the prepared cookie sheets, leaving 1 inch between the cookies to allow for spreading.

Flatten each cookie with a cookie stamp dusted with granulated sugar, or gently flatten each cookie with the palm of your hand and then dust the tops with sugar. (I roll the balls in sugar and flatten with a mason jar) They will have little cracks in the top. Refrigerate the cookies for at least 1 hour, or up to 5 hours.  (I am too impatient to refrigerate so I bake right away and have no problem) Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for 8 to 10 minutes, Cool the cookies completely on wire racks. Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature.

With all recipes I never seem to be able to leave them alone. I like to adjust or add to or just try different variations for some reason. My kids like these even better than the shortbreads. I think because of the eggs it adds more of a chewiness than the shortbreads (which I think I prefer). Both are delicious though! The new recipe is below :) I have already eaten 4 of these today. Step AWAY. I so lack self control.

2 sticks of butter
1 1/2 cups of cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
4 eggs
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325
Heat butter & cocoa on low heat until all melted and blended together (remove from heat & cool)
Mix eggs, sugars, & extracts in mixer
Add butter/cocoa mixture
In separate bowl mix all other dry ingredients well
Add to wet ingredients
Fold in chocolate chips

Bake for 13 minutes (this was my magic number)

September 17, 2014

A few of my favorite things

This is my absolute favorite laundry detergent. And trust me, I have tried a ton! This is awesome!
Having sensitive skin I find deodorant a real tough one for me. This causes no issues for me. It's all natural and works too! I may try making my own.
I am a huge fan of this shampoo! 
This has the best lingering scent! And makes your drawer, cupboard or wherever you store the box smell fabulous too.