Stitch Fix #4

Spring is finally peaking around the corner so I decided it was time for another Stitch Fix! I can’t wait to hear what you think. It’s so fun to do this with you all!

First up is a light coral polka blouse with some skinny cropped jeans. 

 

Then we have navy blue polka dot dress with a long blue cardigan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally there is a purple flower print blouse that I could wear with or without the cardigan.

 

What is your favorite? Is there anything you would send back?

I’m loving the polka dots and another pretty cardigan. (My hubby says they are going to send one in every color by the time I am done but I just love that look 🙂 )

And if you would like to support my website and want to try Stitch Fix for yourself. Please click the affiliate link below. Thanks!

MamaKay

 

Stitch Fix is an online store that sets you up with a stylist to find clothes for you. You answer questions and they work to match things with your size and style. Each time (you decide how often you get the boxes) you get a box with 5 items in it. You try them on and then have 3 days to decide if you want to keep them. If you don’t like any of them you pay $20 for the stylist fee. You send back the items you don’t want (in a pre-labeled bag they send in the box for free) and pay for the items you keep. If you buy all 5 items you get a reduced price. If you decide you want to try it for yourself please click on my link and I will get a referral credit.

Observing Lent


Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
    remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes;
cease to do evil,
    learn to do good;
seek justice,
    correct oppression;
bring justice to the fatherless,
    plead the widow’s cause.



 “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
    they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
    they shall become like wool.


Isaiah 1:16-18


I did not grow up in a church that observed Lent or really any holidays.  We did celebrate Christmas and Easter as a family but without any connections to any religious significance.  As my husband and I began building our family we recognized the helpfulness of establishing traditions that draw our family to the Lord. My husband has proclaimed that we are Protestant Catholic Jews! Above all we seek to draw near to God and enjoy using as many ways as we can to do so.

Some friends invited us to a Passover Seder dinner and the depth of meaning it held for us was so significant that we immediately added it to our family’s traditions. I was then introduced to the idea of Advent was our first entrance into a liturgical practice. It blessed us in so many ways as we took our focus off of gifts and turned our hearts towards embracing Christ’s coming.

A few years ago we began observing Lent. For us it is a time to really focus on our need for our Savior. We attempt (and fail miserably) to fast from certain things turning the 40 days leading up to Easter and we try to add something that will draw us closer to God and/or bless other people. (We were very confused as to why Lent was supposed to be 40 days and yet turns out to be 46 days, evidently Sundays don’t count as fasting days!) I believe that God wants to teach us so many things and that opening ourselves intentionally during this season allows that to happen on a consistent basis.

We don’t force anyone in our family to sacrifice anything but discuss it and share ideas. It is not about legalism. However, it certainly points out our sin and inability to be good on our own and how we all need grace so desperately. In past years we have given up sugar, coffee, Facebook, candy, and complaining just to name a few. This year, I am giving up hitting the snooze button so that I can have time with God first thing in the morning with hopefully fewer interruptions.

I was so excited preparing for Lent this year that I bought two different helps. One is Put On Love Prayer Journal by Elizabeth Foss and the other is You Are Mine: A Study of Isaiah by She Reads Truth. They are both wonderful resources and I would highly recommend either (or both) of them!

I pray that you will draw near to Christ during this season and that we will all see our need for Him everyday and rejoice that has He has already paid the price for our sin and God sees us as white as snow!

MamaKay


What’s Saving My Life Right Now?

This winter has been one for the books. It has had record breaking low temperatures (the coldest since 1978) and days with snow on the ground (54 days and counting). We have been stuck in the snow, had pipes freeze and had teenagers drive off the road and it is only the half way point of winter. And as I write it is snowing once again. So when Modern Mrs. Darcy posted a challenge to list the things that are “Saving my life right now” I knew I needed to participate!

  1. God’s Word – I have been using the She Reads Truth app for my daily Bible reading and it is so encouraging!

  2. Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling devotional book

  3. The little bits of sunshine that shine so brightly on the white landscape of snow

  4. How the full moon lights up the night also reflecting from the white snow

  5. Warm Fires in the Wood Stove

  6. Reading Aloud with my kids (Right now we are reading The Family Under the Bridge)

  7. Reading for Myself. I am doing Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Reading Challenge this year in addition to a few other books. I am trying to read 3 books a month and I accomplished that in January! (I read Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon,The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell and A Place on Earth by Wendell Berry)

  8. Lemon Honey “Tea” – It has been so soothing on my sore throat and warming in the morning too!

  9. Wednesdays are for Baking! I committed to baking bread every week this year and I have done it so far!

  10. Planning a weekend trip with my sisters for my baby sister’s 40th birthday! We have never had a “girls only weekend” and I am so excited!

  11. My bullet journal – I started using one last year and I am hooked even though I had to make some modifications this year.

  12. My Happy Planner – the perfect addition to my bullet journal and I just love using stickers! Who knew?

 

Reflections on Mere Motherhood

This summer I read a wonderful book by homeschooling veteran Cindy Rollins. It is called Mere Motherhood: Morning Times, Nursery Rhymes and My Journey Towards Sanctification. She is the mother of 9 kids. Eight of which were boys. It is a memoir filled with funny stories and peppered with amazing tips and advice for not only homeschooling but mothering through all of the stages of life.

In her book, Cindy Rollins says, ”I am a mother at heart. I build a home, which seems like a place to stay, but really, it is a place to leave. That is the way of it. Children are meant to grow up.” I am a homebody! I could stay home for weeks (and have from time to time) without going stir crazy. I have worked for years to build a home and a connected family. And now I am approaching a new season of life when it is time to let my people go. My oldest is a senior and has already taking steps towards independence. My second daughter has chosen to go to public school and participate in lots of activities. My third daughter is already talking about the next stage of her life even though she is only 13.

Of course, I always knew that my children would grow up. In fact, we have worked hard to help them have the life skills they need to fully function as adults. And yet as the time is approaching I just want a little longer. I want them to want to stay. I want them to value what I value. But they are their own people and they have to find their own ways in the world.

Somehow I thought we could protect them from the world but the truth is that bad things are going to happen. It isn’t even my job to prevent bad things from happening. And it isn’t my fault that bad things will happen. They have their own ideas and their own plans. I just have to keep praying and trusting God that he continue His good work in them. I can’t create children with perfect character and all of the skills they will ever need. But I can love them and create a safe place for them to come home to.

So during these “Driving Years” I am looking for new ways to connect. To use the time I have and to foster our relationships beyond what schoolwork needs done or what chores aren’t complete. As Cindy Rollins talks about,  I want to create a lifeline for our children to our family and to the past so that as they move on into the future so they are not just adrift in the universe. And I am trying to let go of my own expectations of a perfect family and instead put my trust in a perfect God.

 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.  Philippians 1:6


MamaKay

*Mere Motherhood is available from Circe Institute. Here is a link: https://www.circeinstitute.org/store/books/mere-motherhood

Stitch Fix #3

Hi All!

It’s so much fun getting your feedback on my stitch fix boxes! So here we go again. Let me know what you think!

#1 Navy Blue dressIMG_0679


I like the color of the dress but I’m not sure about the shape of it.

 

 

 

 

 

Pieces #2, 3 & 4

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The fabric on the pink & light blue blouse is so soft! The purse is cute but doesn’t really fit any of my stuff. I’m loving the pants though! I had asked for some Capri pants for the summer but they were out so she sent me these “cropped skinny cargo jeans.” The front pockets actually fit my Galaxy Phone!!

 

 

 

Piece #5

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The last piece is a studded navy blue and white blouse. The opinions on this one vary in our household. I think the fit is good on me but I’m not sure about the design. Can you see the studs in this picture? They are around the arms and the bib.

 

 

I love hearing your opinions! So what do you think should I keep or let go?


Thanks for your help!

MamaKay

Stitch Fix is an online store that sets you up with a stylist to find clothes for you. You answer questions and they work to match things with your size and style. Each time (you decide how often you get the boxes) you get a box with 5 items in it. You try them on and then have 3 days to decide if you want to keep them. If you don’t like any of them you pay $20 for the stylist fee. You send back the items you don’t want (in a pre-labeled bag they send in the box for free) and pay for the items you keep. If you buy all 5 items you get a reduced price. If you decide you want to try it for yourself please click on my link and I will get a referral credit.

Banana Pecan Pancakes with Buttermilk Syrup

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We have pancakes nearly every Friday and we love to mix it up. This recipe is very versatile. I added bananas and chopped pecans this week but you could add blueberries, chocolate chips, strawberries, bacon crumbles or anything you like to make it your own. When I was a little girl my dad would make pancakes on Sunday morning and would add different ingredients and we had to guess what it was. I remember once he added red licorice! We were all surprised!

Pancakes


Makes 24 pancakes


3 cups flour (I like fresh ground soft wheat)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons sugar

3 eggs

3 cups milk (I prefer soured raw milk)

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 cup smashed banana (or berries or whatever add-in you like)

1/4 cup chopped nuts

  1. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

  2. Whisk the wet ingredients together

  3. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and let soak for at least 5 minutes if you are using whole grain flour

  4. Heat the griddle or skillet.

  5. Melt a little butter on the griddle and pour 1/3 cup of batter per pancake. Then sprinkle your special ingredients on each pancake. (With these pancakes I mixed the banana into all of the batter and then sprinkled the nuts on each pancake)

  6. When the pancake gets dry around the edges and the bubbles begin to pop, flip the pancake and finish cooking on the second side.

  7. Serve warm with butter and syrup.

 Buttermilk Syrup

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup butter

2 tablespoons corn syrup

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons vanilla

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the first 6 ingredients.

  2. Bring to a boil and boil for 7 minutes.

  3. Remove from heat.

  4. Stir in the vanilla.

  5. Stores well in the refrigerator.

Yield: 2 cups

*NOTES: This really bubbles up so make sure you use a big enough pan also it gets very hot! Make sure to use caution around small children so they don’t get burned wanting to taste the yummy syrup until it cools a bit.

Enjoy!

MamaKay


 

Stitch Fix Box #2

I’m so excited I got my second Stitch Fix Box today! Do you want to help me decide what to keep? I would love your input!

Piece #1 Graphic Print Wrap Dress

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My 12 year old thought it needed a hat. I never would have picked this out but I think it actually looks pretty good on me.

Piece #2  Purple Split Neck Blouse

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I’m not quite sure about the color or the style of this shirt. What do you think?

Pieces #3, 4 & 5 and my favorite outfit!

20160217_111004This outfit is comprised of some dark straight leg jeans (that actually fit me!!), a navy blue knit top and a grey asymmetrical zip cardigan that drapes when open.
IMG_0478 Here’s what the cardigan looks like zipped up. It’s kind of weird zipped up but I think I would always wear it open. The fabric is so soft and I love that it has pockets!!20160217_111038

Here you can see the navy striped knit top by itself with the jeans.

Stitch Fix is an online store that sets you up with a stylist to find clothes for you. You answer questions and they work to match things with your size and style. Each time (you decide how often you get the boxes) you get a box with 5 items in it. You try them on and then have 3 days to decide if you want to keep them. If you don’t like any of them you pay $20 for the stylist fee. You send back the items you don’t want (in a pre-labeled bag they send in the box for free) and pay for the items you keep. If you buy all 5 items you get a reduced price. If you decide you want to try it for yourself please click on my link and I will get a referral credit.

So what do you think? I will let you know what I decide!

Thanks for your help!

MamaKay

Breakfast Cookies!

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Do you need a breakfast recipe that is quick, portable and adaptable to what you have in the pantry? Then this recipe is perfect for you! It doesn’t even require any special equipment. Any of my kids over the age of 8 can even make it!

I like to mix it up with a variety of add-ins. The version in the picture has one quarter cup each of chocolate chips, coconut, slivered almonds and dried cherries. You can use whatever you like!

Breakfast Cookies


Makes 36 cookies


 

3 Cups Oatmeal


2 Cups whole grain flour


1 Cup Brown Sugar


4 eggs


1 cup butter, melted


1 cup mix-ins (chocolate chips, raisins, dried cherries, coconut, nuts – I add a variety)


 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Form in 1 inch balls.

Bake for 12 minutes.

Cool on the pan for 1 minute. Then enjoy!

MamaKay

Instant Pot

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Have you heard of the lastest craze in the appliance arena? Instant Pots! It is like having 6 appliances in one! It can Saute, Steam, Cook Rice, Slow Cook, Pressure Cook, Make Yogurt with just the touch of a couple buttons! It even has a delay setting and a keep warm setting. I purchased an Instant Pot nearly 2 years ago with my birthday money and I am ever so glad I did!

Many of my friends raved about pressure cookers but I have always been scared of them! When I was young, my grandma was using a pressure cooker to make jam and her cooker exploded knocking out a tooth and covering the ceiling with jam! I decided then and there I wasn’t going to risk using one myself!

But then I started reading more and more about how much time pressure cookers could save and how delicious the food turned out. And then one fateful day I read about the new instant pots. Not only could they do just about anything, they had built in safety features that prevented them from exploding! I was sold!

Now I have found that it has a learning curve (as do most worth while things) and I am still working towards perfecting my technique. But the more I use it the better I get at it. One of the biggest things I learned was that just because a recipe says it takes “20 minutes” to cook doesn’t mean that is a real “20 minutes.” It takes time for it to come up to pressure and then you have to wait for the pressure to release at the end. I generally plan for 30 minutes more than the cooking time to account for the getting it assembled and the extra time it needs for those steps.

I regularly make yogurt, cook roasts, whole chickens, beans, “baked” potatoes and broth in it. The 6 quart stainless steel insert makes it super easy to clean and impermeable to absorbing the smells of the different foods I cook in it. It has earned a permanent spot on my kitchen counter.

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I love how easy it is to make yogurt! You just pour in the milk and push the yogurt button until it reads boil. After it beeps you open the lid and let it cool down to 115 degrees, add the yogurt culture, put the lid back on and push the yogurt button again setting the timer for at least 8 hours (more if you like it tarter) and leave it until it beeps again! It maintains the temperature at the perfect temperature creating wonderful creamy yogurt for 1/3 the price at the store.

So if you are looking for a workhorse in your kitchen for just over $100 I would highly recommend an Instant Pot! I bought mine at Amazon and the link will take you there.

Let me know if you have any specific questions I can answer!

MamaKay


 

Chicken Pot Pie: Mission Accomplished!

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Years ago when we set out upon this journey of raising our children we set down some things that we wanted them to be able to do by the time they were adults. Our oldest turned 17 a couple months ago. It has really brought to our attention that our time with her is waning. Have we accomplished the things we set out to do? Yes, and No. There is still so much more that we want to be able to teach and share with her. And yet…chicken pot pie….

What does chicken pot pie have to do with anything? Well last week 1potato declared that she wanted to make chicken pot pie for dinner. Of course, I agreed! She looked up the recipe and went to the store and bought a couple of the ingredients we were missing (with money she earned from her job). She got a whole chicken from our freezer that we raised and she helped to butcher and cooked it in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker with just a bit of advisement from me. While she waited for the chicken to cook she made the pie crust from scratch then placed it in the refrigerator to chill. Then she diced up the vegetables from our Bountiful Baskets and sautéed them in the Dutch oven. She used homemade chicken stock from our pantry to make the sauce for the pot pie. She deboned the chicken (and saved the bones for us to make another batch of chicken stock) and added it to the pot. Finally, she assembled the pie and baked it.

It was delicious! The crust was so flakey and golden brown. The filling was creamy, cooked just right and seasoned perfectly. There wasn’t one bit left in the pan after dinner was done! Even the small children who had previously declared that they didn’t like chicken pot pie gobbled up every bite!

Afterwards, I realized that in making this one dish she demonstrated her ability to be a grown up! She can read and follow directions, she has money that she earned from her job, she shopped for her ingredients and demonstrated her ability in the kitchen. She used a pressure cooker and food processor safely. She had the knife skills she needed to prepare the vegetables. She sautéed, made a sauce and baked! She served a beautiful and nutritious meal for a family of ten!

There are so many more lessons to be learned but her foundation is solid! And now my list for skills before they leave home includes make a chicken pot pie.

MamaKay

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