inexpensive etsy 11

I can't even tell you how excited I am to share this with you! I love all things green, organic, eco-friendly and just overall pure for the body and earth. Which brings me to my point...Etsy Earth. Yes, from the makers of Etsy comes this new and improved version selling everything from clothes to baby stuff to decor and garden supplies.

As if Etsy could get any better...

Well here are a few things from the personal care section that I think are fabulous!

This Bugs Away Skin Spray from greenBubble is calling my name. It is getting ready to be warm weather, which means more outside time (yay!) which means more bug bites (boo!). I hate that most bug sprays contain all kinds of things that yield the warning "not safe for..." Those are the only three words I need to hear, it doesn't matter what comes next.

Ok if you know me you know I am slightly obsessed with ChapStick. (I got 7 for Christmas...) However I have recently learned that any commercially made lip balm containing paraffin wax is about 99% guaranteed to contain gasoline by-product. Ew. Well this one from SimpleOrganicBeauty definitely does not! Plus she will donate a portion of her profit to Haiti Relief. Saving the earth in two ways...for $3.50.

ode to my mom

Today was my mom's 54th birthday. We celebrated with smoked brisket, potato salad, baked beans, and homemade yeast rolls. Of course, there was chocolate cake (she is a cake eater!) for dessert. Here is a list of things that I love about my mom and how she made my childhood special. No, you aren't going to understand them all, but I will!

- she is super goofy
- she makes amazing barnyard noises (they make great wake-up calls)
- saturday brunch in the living room
- she taught me how to cook
- she taught me how to clean
- she taught me how to be responsible so I wasn't afraid to leave home
- she taught me financial reasoning
- she bakes the most A-M-A-Z-I-N-G cinnamon rolls
- mom surprise!
- she loved me through my "pain in the rear" years
- she did her best as a single parent for a while
- I never knew we lacked, ever.
- she gave me three awesome younger siblings
- she always treated me like the oldest (I appreciate this now, not then)
- she had high expectations
- she never judged me
- she listened
- banana poppers, salami and cheese roll ups, Boy George
- painting rocks
- she is still there when I need her

I could go on, but I'll save some for next year!
Love you Mom!

be my everything

Matt sings this song at youth on Wednesdays. It is so simple and so true.

great grub 21

My stepdad is not really a cake eater. Weird, right? Neither is my brother actually. So birthdays at our house were always a little different. Ice cream cakes, fudge brownies, chocolate name it we did it if it was a dessert other than cake. There was always one thing we could count on though, if it was my stepdad's birthday we would be having strawberry pie. Let me tell you, I did not miss cake on those days. It is delicious!

Strawberry Glace Pie

-1 baked one-crust 9-inch pie shell
-1½ quarts strawberries
-1 cup sugar
-3 tablespoons cornstarch
-½ cup water
-1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
-1 cup heavy whipping cream
-3 Tbsp powdered sugar
-1 tsp vanilla

Mash enough strawberries to measure 1 cup. Mix sugar and cornstarch in 2-quart saucepan. Gradually stir in water and mashed strawberries. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir one minute. Cool.

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Spread in pie shell. Fill shell with whole strawberries. Pour cooked strawberries mixture over top. Refrigerate three hours or until set.

Beat the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla with a mixer until you have stiff peaks. Be careful not to over whip or you will get butter! Spread over the top of the pie. Cut, serve and...


how we walk

"For we walk by faith, not by sight."
2 Corinthians 5:7


Trusting My Saviour

When it's easy
- in times of joy
- when feeling financially secure
- when daily devotions are in place
- when praying without ceasing
- when things go the way I want/expect/prayed for
- when friends are there
- when family gets along
- when I'm caught up on housework
- most days

When it's not
- in times of pain/sadness
- when I don't understand
- when daily devotions slip away
- when prayer becomes about me, me, me
- when things don't go the way I want/expect/prayed for
- when friends are busy
- when family fails
- when the laundry piles up
- today.

"Though he slay me, yet I will hope in Him."
Job 13:15

march/april 200 challenge

Ok I am a day off from my normal 15th of the month shopping spree, but Mondays are impossible for me to do anything except tutor. Seriously, I am at work from 9-10am, then 2-8:30pm. Yup. I love my job, but no grocery shopping on Mondays!

Now for the good stuff. This month I am including the money I spent on my cousin (in-law) Amy's baby shower, which is this weekend! I also went to Big Lots for dishwasher detergent tabs and Eric's deoderant. I spent $10.05 there. Then it was on to Aldi! I got about half of the things I needed there, including some spices I was out of, for a whopping $66.08. Next stop was Wal-Mart for all those obscure "Aldi doesn't carry that" items. I spent $71.83. Last stop was dollar tree for shower decor, where I spent $11.77. Love a place where everything really is a dollar.

That bring my entire total (minus the trip in 2 weeks for more fresh veggies) to $159.71! Yes, that is $40.27 under budget, so far.

Ok my meals for the month!

-Cheesy chicken and rice with broccoli (x2)
-Shepherds pie
-Baked ziti with spinach
-Salmon, onion rings, asparagus
-Crock pot chicken and black eyed peas
-Frozen pizza
-Mexican lasagna
-Mexican lentil casserole
-Chicken pesto
-Spaghetti, meatballs, garlic toast
-Shrimp scampi
-Popcorn shrimp, faux tatoes
-Biscuits and gravy (x2)
-Butternut squash risotto
-Smoked gouda mac and cheese
-Greek crock pot chicken
-Whole wheat blueberry pancakes
-Scallops and pasta
-Hot dogs and beans
-Chili beans and biscuits
-Turkey burgers
-Fried eggs, sausage, grits

- Cinnamon rolls
- Fried eggs
- Honey Oatmeal muffins
- Whole wheat blueberry pancakes
- Yogurt with honey and granola
- Trail mix, mixed nuts
- Hot dogs
- Tuna with crackers
- Leftovers

thirty hours

This past weekend marked our second annual Thirty Hour Famine. You can learn more about it here. Eric and I have been helping to lead our church's youth group for over 2 years. We have grown to know and absolutely love and adore the kids we have. The best part for me has been watching them grow in the love and knowledge of Christ. This weekend just solidified how far they have come.

There were some marked differences from last years Famine to this year. Some on our part with planning, but mostly with the kids. They rarely complained, were quick to help, and had good attitudes throughout our thirty hours together. I can't even describe how proud I am of them.

Last year, I won't lie, I left the Famine thinking "never again." This year I left thinking, "how about next week?"

God has really placed these kids on my heart. I know it isn't our job to raise them in the ways of our Lord, but it is our job to uplift them and help guide them in spiritual walk. I am privileged to be a part of their lives.

he fights for us

"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." Exodus 14:14

under construction

Please bear with my while I try to update my blog layout in the next few weeks! I promise it will be worth it! Thanks.

great grub 20

So I know that frying is not the healthiest option, but it is ok to cheat sometimes. Plus, frying in olive oil is much better than any other oil. Last year in our garden we grew zucchini and it did really well. It is also one of our favorite veggies here at our house. I plan on growing it again this year (more on our garden later!). This is an easy recipe with simple ingredients you probably already have on hand.

Fried Zucchini Rounds

- 2 medium zucchini
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tsp. salt (or seasoned salt)
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. corn starch
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs (optional)
- 1 egg
- 1 cup water or milk
- Olive oil

Wash zucchini and chop into 1/4 inch rounds. Mix egg and milk (or water) together in a pie plate (or some other flat bottom dish with sides). Combine flour, garlic powder, salt, pepper, corn starch, and bread crumbs in another plate (to taste).

In a large skillet with high sides, pour enough olive oil to coat the bottom well, about a 1/8 inch. Heat oil on medium low to medium heat.

Dip zucchini in egg mixture and then toss in flour mixture, coating well. Then lay zucchini in the pan. If the oil is hot enough, the zucchini will sizzle. Fry until golden brown, then flip and fry the other side as well. Place zucchini on a paper towel lined plate to drain. Repeat the process until all the zucchini are fried. You may have to change the oil if it starts to burn. We like this meal with salmon and rice!