Banana Split Smoothie

When is the last time you had dessert for breakfast? Be honest. 4 years? 4 months? 4 weeks? Should I even ask….4 days? I think it’s been about 4 weeks for me. That Chocolate Italian Love Cake was just too much to resist on an empty stomach 🙂

How about dessert that’s good for you that you can feel good about eating first thing in the morning? Post workout, maybe? Like I have said before, I have smoothies for breakfast at least 4 days a week. I try to switch up the recipe so I don’t get bored. I add whatever is in the frig or freezer that day and I usually end up with something pretty delicious. The only down side is that the blender is so loud all the children hear it and come running (or crawling for the balance impaired). Everyone wants a taste and sometimes I am left with a half a smoothie for me 🙂 It’s so good it’s gone fast! Here’s my latest go-to smoothie recipe!

smoothie

1 Cup frozen cherries

1/2 banana

1 TBSP cocoa powder

1 TBSP soy butter (or peanut butter or whichever nut butter you like)

1 cup milk (3/4 if you like a thicker smoothie)

Blend it all up and you are good to go! If you have some spinach on hand, throw it in there. You won’t even notice it! You could even blend up some oatmeal first and add it to your smoothie (just add a little more milk if you do). Enjoy! Let me know if you make it and what variations you like.

Week 1 of Finding our Homes!

Good morning! I am so excited about this post! This past week I have been so busy preparing for the Arctic Market. My friend and I shared a table to sell our homemade baked goods and crafts. We spent a lot of time in the kitchen and as I was digging around to find the pie dishes I had to go through so many dishes that I don’t even use! Because of that, I decided that Week 1 will start me in the kitchen. Here is the plan for Week 1 of Finding our Homes!

Week 1

Day 1- Get rid of unused dishes/pots/pans

Day 2- Throw away outdated food (cupboards and frig!)

Day 3- Throw away expired medicine

Day 4- Get rid of unused soaps/lotions/hair products

Day 5- Get rid of unused cleaners

Mary-Poppins-quote

As I go through each area I will also be making an “Inventory” sheet. We will be travelling to the States in a couple months and I want to know exactly what I already have and what I need to buy. I will be following the guidelines I mentioned here last week. Let me know if you are joining me! This will be fun 🙂

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When your home starts shrinking…

shrinking home

As our family grows it almost seems like our home shrinks. We’ve been in 4 different homes since we were married, each one a little bigger than the one before. Yet, we still seem to be running out of space. So, I go get a bookshelf to help things out. But that takes up space. Now my home has shrunk again. I am convinced that the way to more space is not a better organizer or bookshelf and not even a bigger home. The way to more space is less stuff.

This time of year is deadly. There are yard sales around every corner and it’s amazing how many things I learn that I NEED each Saturday. Things keep coming in, nothing is going out. Guess what? The house is shrinking again!

I am so tired of my house shrinking! I have decided that in the next 4 weeks I am going to follow a set out plan to declutter my home. Each week I will post here what I will be going through that week and you can either do it with me or cheer me on as I find my house! But before we begin, I’d like to share some guidelines.

  • Take a picture of each area before you begin. It is so much easier to see a mess in a photo than in person!
  • Have 3 categories for things you are getting rid of: Trash, Donate, and Sell.
  • If you haven’t used it in the past 6 months get rid of it (this, of course, excludes books and holiday decorations)
  • If you don’t like it, get rid of it. Don’t get sentimental about who gave it to you or when you got it.
  • Set a timer! Don’t work on any area for more than 15 minutes. If you decide to rip everything apart you will feel overwhelmed and are not likely to move on to the next area.

So, what do you say? Are you going to join me? Do you have any decluttering tips you’d like to share with the class before we begin?

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My DIY Coffee Creamer

coffee creamer

I never used to be much of a coffee drinker. I’d drink a cup here and there but hardly often at all. Then we got a Keurig. I love that thing. Then we started grinding our own beans instead of using the K-cups. Now I love that thing even more. I was easily drinking two cups a day. And I am not a black coffee drinker. I like that thick, sugary International Delight. Super yum.

But all good things come to an end…even coffee creamer. I hate seeing the last drip of that creamer pouring out. I wish I could take back time and just use a little bit less each time so that I’d have enough for just one more cup of coffee. But don’t feel bad for me. I am resourceful 😉 I searched through the cupboards and found some powdered milk and got a fabulous idea. What if I made my own coffee creamer? A less sugary and less ingredient filled coffee creamer? Worth a try, right?

All I did was mix 2 1/2 cups powdered milk with 1/2 cup maple sugar. I am sure any sugar would work but I just love the smell of the maple sugar so I always use it in special things. And let’s face it, coffee can be pretty special. Why else would we use our favorite mugs every time we drink coffee?

I mixed those two ingredients up and split it into three mason jars. They look so pretty ❤ I put two tablespoons of my new creamer into my coffee. This is not a super sweet creamer. In fact, it’s hardly sweet at all. But that’s what I was going for. I am trying to eat a little less sugar each day. So, if you like a really sugary creamer just add more sugar.

I offered this creamer to my friend today and she enjoyed it in her coffee, so it is even guest approved 🙂

Let me know if you try it!

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Lessons from my Mop and Pail

mop and pail

I am sitting in my dining room enjoying the smell of a freshly cleaned floor. Lemony freshness. After weeks of needing a good scrub down I finally made time for it today and got it done. I am so glad I did. It wasn’t easy, though. I started around 9 AM in the kitchen and dining room. I moved everything out of there then swept, used the swiffer duster, then got on my hands and knees (reminds me of college!) and started scrubbing the floor with my hot, soapy rag. Kids came in and out to help. They’d stay for a little while then they’d get bored and go play again.

By 10:15 I was done the kitchen and dining room so we took a break and went to the park, came back for lunch then the kids were off to bed for their naps. I got right to it and repeated the same process in the living room. All the furniture was pulled out. I swept, swiffered, then mopped. As I mopped I noticed marks on the walls so I’d give them a quick wipe and continue on with the floor. Finally, at 2 PM I am done. That was hard work and it took all day. I used to do this every week. When I did it that way it only took an hour or so to do all the rooms. As I was doing this I started to think how this day can be applied to my life spiritually.

Our hearts, like my floor, need a good scrub down every now and then. “Create in me a clean heart, O God…” (Psalm 51:10)  This takes work. There is no quick fix. I am not speaking of our salvation, that is a gift from God and only requires us to accept the gift. I am speaking to the Christian who is not right with God. The Christian who has things in his/her life that do not honor the Lord. It takes time to clean up that heart. Don’t lose hope just because you aren’t seeing results as quickly as you’d like to see them.

There may be others who seem on fire for the Lord, like my little ones who were so excited to come in and help me mop. But they quickly lost interest and went on to do something more interesting. We can’t let those around us affect how we serve the Lord. Man will always fail us. We need to continue on even if no one wants to join us.

Sometimes while we are focusing on the area in our lives that the Lord wants us to change He will allow us to see another “spot on the wall” that needs some fixing. Work on it and continue on. Don’t get sidetracked from the ultimate goal of having a clean heart before God.

This needs to be done often. As sinners, we cannot expect our hearts to stay clean without continually going before the Lord and asking Him to search our hearts. My floor is so much easier to clean when I do it on a regular basis. When I go weeks without mopping it takes so much more work to get it clean again. Don’t let your heart go weeks without being cleaned and don’t ignore the Spirit when He is trying to tell you that your heart needs cleaned.

Finally, how do I go about cleaning up my heart? Psalm 139:23-24 says Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Ask God to show you where your heart needs some cleaning then make an effort to clean it up.  Maybe it means getting rid of some music that doesn’t honor God. Maybe it means getting rid of some movies. Maybe it means getting rid of some friends. Maybe it means stepping back from some hobbies to make sure God is first place in your life. God will show you what needs cleaned up in your life. Remember, you can’t do this on your own. You need to ask the Lord to help you in this.

P.S. This can also be applied to our lives physically. If you have set out to get fit or eat right remember it takes time, you can’t rely on others to do it for you, don’t get stuck on one area, and to evaluate your workouts/meal plan often. And as always, ask God to help you do it!

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