Friday Links

 

Did you read or write something you’d like our readers to see? Leave a link in the comments, on our Facebook page, or send us a Tweet!

Added to Saturday Linky Love at JessieWeaver.net.

Friday Links

Did you read or write something you’d like our readers to see? Leave a link in the comments, on our Facebook page, or send us a Tweet!

Added to Saturday Linky Love at JessieWeaver.net.

Summer Beach Reads for Moms and Dads

My husband and I are very much looking forward to spending some time this summer ALONE for our 10th anniversary. We’re hitting up a nice island with a beach and without our kids for a few days. I am excited about spending a lot of time reading.

Are you headed to the beach, too? Or at least a chair by the pool or in your backyard? If you’re looking for a nice, clean book for a summer read, here are some ideas.

 

What would you recommend for a good beach read?

Friday Links

Did you read or write something you’d like our readers to see? Leave a link in the comments, on our Facebook page, or send us a Tweet!

Added to Saturday Linky Love at JessieWeaver.net.

Weelicious Lunches & Healthy Apple Muffins

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I’m always looking for a way to sneak some more nutrition into my kiddos. I’ve been a fan of Catherine McCord’s site Weelicious for quite some time for this reason! Recently I bought her cookbook Weelicious Lunches, hoping to find some lunchbox-packing inspiration.

At first glance, I was pretty sure it was a bust. No way were my kids going to eat things like Roasted Carrot Hummus or Avocado Honey Dip. And yes, those are some of the recipes. But as I looked farther into the book and started making recipes, I found that I love this cookbook more and more! Even standard recipes, like berry muffins and pizza, are adapted into healthier versions – using whole grains, less sweeteners, more vegetables.

Here are my reviews of some of the recipes I’ve made.

  • Apple, Honey, and Cheese Quesadillas – Everyone thought these were delicious, except my Extremely Picky Eater, who picked the apples out. She has a hard time trying new things, even if the new thing consists of ingredients she likes separately.
  • I think we’ve made everything from the pizza chapter. The White Wheat Pizza Dough is great, and I LOVE how healthy the Veggie-Heavy Pizza Sauce is. It’s easy to freeze, too.
  • Chicken Satay Bites – I think the garlic flavor might have been a tiny bit strong for Extremely Picky Eater, but she tried these. Baby Man enjoyed them greatly.
  • Roasted Carrot Coins – I thought these were a nice change from raw carrots.
  • Roasted Honey Cinnamon Chickpeas – Mine burned to a crisp. Just like every other time I’ve tried to make toasted chickpeas. What’s up with that?
  • Whole Grain Fruit-Filled Bars – My kids all love bars. But Extremely Picky Eater didn’t like how these were kind of crumbly. My other two kids chomped down, and I thought they were divine!
  • Polenta Berry Muffins – I made these for Extremely Picky Eater’s preschool class and they ate them all happily.
  • Whole Wheat Lemon Blueberry Muffins – yum!

And then we have the Apple Cinnamon Muffins. The first time I made these, I sent them to my husband’s student group at school. He said the boys demolished them in minutes. I’ve made a few adaptations, so I’m sharing my slightly different version of the recipe here.

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Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Makes 12-16 small muffins

  • 1 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup milk soured with a squeeze of lemon juice (or buttermilk)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 apples, peeled and chopped (something tart is best, like Granny Smith, Gala, or Golden Delicious)
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon-sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 400F and spray muffin cups with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In a larger bowl, whisk honey, buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and oil.
  3. Add dry ingredients to wet and stir together. Fold in apples.
  4. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Sprinkle each with a pinch of cinnamon-sugar.
  5. Bake 15-20 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Cool.

Do you have a great go-to cookbook? Share the title with us in the comments!

{This is a completely unsponsored review. I bought this with my own money and was not asked to review it.}

Weekend Links

Did you read anything great this week? Let us know in the comments!

Friday Links

 

Did you read or write something you’d like our readers to see? Leave a link in the comments, on our Facebook page, or send us a Tweet!

Added to Saturday Linky Love at JessieWeaver.net.

An Artist, A Friend

This past Friday I went with some of the other moms from my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group to a painting class. You’ve probably seen pictures on Facebook of these classes; everyone paints a version of the same picture. The teacher has a starting image, then paints alongside you, guiding you but also letting you get creative with the base image.

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That’s me on the far left. And I LOVE my tree.

But what I loved more was being with friends for a couple of hours. We talked about sewing and crocheting, cruise trips and beach vacations, potty training and sleep schedules, and a couple things that are too darn weird and/or gross to disclose here. (I blame Stephanie.) We joked with the artist, maybe drove her crazy with our different attitudes toward our paintings.

It always does my heart good to be in the company of other women, especially without my kiddos. I adore my kids. But I am with them almost 24/7 some weeks. I need some kid-free time occasionally to remember how to be ME. Just like we’re advised to still date our spouses once we have kids come along so we can remember how we function as couples, having time with friends reminds us that we are all women. Not just moms.

I wasn’t sure I’d really enjoy the painting part of the evening. I didn’t especially like the painting we were going to paint. When we decided to switch at the last minute, I knew I would at least like the finished product. But I was sure my artistic skills weren’t up to par.

I found something in me releasing, though, as I started with the beautiful sunset sky. I wanted the lightest of colors, the biggest swirls, and whimsy. I wanted my tree to dip and dive, I wanted a rolling hill, I wanted to feel my picture. I was brought back to memories of oil pastels and watercolors, painting at our kitchen table in Richmond, Virginia, as a child and teen.

I draw badly. But my painting, it’s not too bad! I loved glimpsing the creative side of myself. Usually my creativity is expressed in writing, and it’s nice to delve into a different branch every once in awhile!

So I remembered Friday night not only that I am a woman and a friend but also that I am an artist. Someone who loves to create. We are multi-faceted people. God created us that way! So take some time, as we end the week and get into the weekend, to remember you are more than a parent. Parenting is of utmost importance … but you are other things, too. And that is wonderful.

Friday Links

Did you read or write something you’d like our readers to see? Leave a link in the comments, on our Facebook page, or send us a Tweet!

Added to Saturday Linky Love at JessieWeaver.net.

What to Do with Leftover Plastic Eggs?

Using Leftover Plastic Eggs

Have your kids already emptied all their eggs, scarfing down jelly beans and sweet tarts left and right? We try to dole out candy gradually, but with a potty-training three-year-old I’ve been going through it quicker than usual.

I keep finding empty plastic eggs laying on the floor. While I hate not to just save them for next year, we don’t actually fill our own baskets – all the eggs we have came from church and preschool hunts. But tossing them – even in recycling – seems wasteful.

So I scoured the web and found all kinds of fantastic ideas for using up those empty egg shells! Here you go!

It seems like there are a ZILLION ideas out there! Now I’m excited to go play with our empty eggs.

Have you ever done anything fun with your leftover plastic eggs?