April 8, 2014

Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens

Every Wednesday Hallie host a 5 favorites link up on her blog and I love it. Is there a better way to share the latest and greatest?  Nope . . . Hallie is the bomb and you all should check her out. AND, heck I am linking up with What Were Reading Wednesday too. Why not. :)

Here are my latest favorites . . .

 1 . Amazon you prove yourself to be wonderful AGAIN, you never fail. When you sign up with amazon smile  they donate .5% of what you buy to a charity of your choice. I chose St. Gianna's Maternity home in Bakersfield, CA - i'm sure there are many wonderful organizations on there.

2. Librivox. Free audiobooks in the public domain! I can't believe it's taken me this long to find out about Librivox. It's wonderful and I have been in book nerd heaven since. Some of the readers are professionals, and do a wonderful job. My two favorite narrators are Karen Savage and Elizabeth Klett. If YOU know any others please let me know. :) I have downloaded THIS app on my phone so in the evening I can listen to them with headphones while cleaning the house. I haven't done so much cleaning since, well, never. Thank you Librivox. :)

4. Speaking of being a book nerd, I started using Paperbackswap and it's been really fun. I sent off a few of our unwanted books and received a few in exchange. Is there something cooler than that? Here's what we added to our shelf: E.B. White's Treasury for the kids and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn for me. I can't wait to delve in. I have Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Professor by Charlotte Bronte coming in the mail for a book club I belong to. SO, if YOU sign up and tell them it was me that sent you then I will get credit for another book. Go sign up. :)

 3. I'm tired of Pandora's ads (mostly naked ladies anyone?) so we have been listening to Spotify. It's wonderful! You can listen to any album (at least any I have looked for so far!) and then a streaming station just like Pandora. There are FAR fewer advertisements.

We are going to see the Wailin Jenny's on Thursday and I can't wait. We have been enjoying all their music on spotify.

4. Speaking of Spotify, I discovered some new music through their streaming station and I couldn't wait to share it with someone. You will have to be it. :) Joy Kills Sorrow, fresh out of Boston. I love their name.

No finer words . . .

Thanks for sticking around, I probably should be getting on with my laundry or something, maybe a shower would be nice. :) See ya later!

- Sarah

April 7, 2014

The food I shove in and the virtues I lack . . .

I never thought the two really went together, but OH MY GOODNESS I'm learning that they absolutely DO, at least for this blood-sugar sensitive, frazzled momma.

On any given week we eliminate gluten, sugar and most dairy from our diet. Gluten because it makes me exhausted with headaches - not my favorite combination. Sugar because it makes us all crazy and dairy because the baby can't handle it without his nose being a snot faucet.

We make plenty of exceptions and this week has been one. The in-laws are in town and we are accommodating our diet to theirs. It's the right thing to do as they are our honored guest and we want to please them and make them most comfortable. The kids have been in a bread, cheese, restaurant and sugar heaven - I have been on a coffee high since they've been here.

Sometimes I get down about how difficult it is to feed my family real food, especially since our family is growing. I'm often tempted to think that it's not worth it, or even the best thing for us because of the strain on time and finances.

This week has changed my mind.

My blood sugar problems have come back with a vengeance (it's been about a year since I've experienced any issues) and I AM A GRUMPY MOMMA. Watch out. This week I have learned again that  I am utterly lacking in so many virtues. Dear Lord, please help me and help my kids! When I was pregnant with my first (and eating whatever I pleased, thank you) I could barely peel myself out of bed in the morning. Well, that was pretty much my whole life. I didn't know any different because I was practically born tired. These days I have three children with needs in the morning and I don't have a choice but to get out of bed and greet my duties for the day. With a smile? No. I have not been smiling.

It's going to be hard getting back on track with eating better but I realize it's a must for me. If I love my children and my husband I will absolutely take care of myself so that I can care for them. I need to be aware and disciplined about my food choices, it's not just about me anymore, it's about those I love. If I want to be more present, loving, patient and virtuous - I need to eat well.

I think it's easy to not realize when we are doing better unless we start feeling awful again, that was this week. I'm having memories of college, waking up with a very swollen face and a NEED to eat asap, and not being able to stay awake all day. Why did it take me so long to realize that I had food issues? haha, I have no idea.

My nonchalant attitude towards food and health changed when my daughter was 8 months old and I never want to look back. I admire those who feel great and seem unaffected by their food choices - good for them! (with a slight tinge of jealousy!)

Of course the choices I make surrounding food don't in any way excuse my impatient and grumpy behavior to my children, that I need to bring to God in the confessional and beg Him for help. But I know what makes it easier to practice virtues of patience and love - and I need all the help I can!

I am re-reading The Story of a Soul by St. Therese of the Child Jesus, because I know that the little way is all I can strive for these days. There is no other path for me but offering and loving these very small trials of my day. These little things are as simple as the toddler's fourth potty accident or lifting and holding a two year old who's crying. So extremely small and seemingly unimportant, but this is my sanctity. I cannot strive for anything more than loving and embracing God's will for me this morning. No, actually what He's given me this moment.

God in His infinite mercy has bestowed on me the trials of every day life because He loves.

He loves me more tenderly than the love that I have for my three children and that I can hardly fathom.

“Then, overcome by joy, I cried, 'Jesus, my love. At last I have found my vocation. My vocation is love. In the heart of the Church, my mother, I will be love, and then I will be all things.” - St. Therese of the Child Jesus

March 19, 2014

5 Favorite Books for a New Mama

Curling up with a good book in a comfy chair has got to be one of the most wonderful things in life. Give me a classic, a children's book, a cook book, or even a birthing guide - I love them all. I also love sharing my favorites and learning yours. If you would add to this list I would love to know! I am not an amazon affiliate (anymore), but if you buy books from amazon, support this homeschooling, book-loving momma! If you purchase books through clicking on her links then she will get a fraction of the cost, (merely penny's) but they add up!

Now for my favorite books to gift a new mom:

  1. Beautiful Babies: Nutrition For Fertility, Pregnancy, Breast-Feeding, and Baby's First Foods.  This is the book I wish I had before I got pregnant with my first. I do not own this book, but I have checked it out at the library and it's fantastic. Pregnant with my first I thought I could eat whatever I wanted and baby got what it needed. I think this book would have helped me to understand that nutrition and gut health do matter. Kristen does an amazing job of keeping it simple and easy to read, just what a new mama's would need. Another journal similar to this book is the Weston Price Healthy Baby issue that I did get a hold of and love it, most of the articles can be found on the Weston Price website, but it's so nice to have it in a journal.   


2 . Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers.  I had almost every nursing problem in the book with my first, and then more with my second and I feel like i've read plenty of books out there on nursing. I didn't find any of them helpful except for this ONE book.  Most of them were entirely overwhelming, especially being postpartum and trying to figure out why the heck it hurt till I cried every single time. With the help of a wonderful lactation consultant and the advice from this book I was able to successfully breastfeed all three of my kids, I am so blessed. I think every new momma needs this book. :)

3. Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. This is a great book for the Mama who wants to go all natural. :) Its a perfect overall guide that's very positive about birth. I personally have not read the whole thing, but many of my friends and my sister has and they love it. We read the Husband Coached Childbirth and it's great, too - but I would recommend Ina May's first.

4. When it comes to fertility books, I'm really impressed with Katie Singer's The Garden of Fertility: A Guide to Charting Your Fertility Signals to Prevent or Achieve Pregnancy--Naturally--and to Gauge Your Reproductive Health. What I appreciate most about this author is her nutrition standpoint. She understands that certain foods can help or hinder our fertility, and she's totally on board with Weston Price. (whom I love :). Its a secular book so she's not in line with the church's teachings, but completely worth the read. I have learned a lot from her.

5. Jane Eyre. Although I list this book last, I think this is the best one. The BEST ONE, folks. Im in love with this book. What more can I possibly say? Maybe, just maybe it's making it on the best book I have ever read category. It's only $2.99 on amazon for the paperback and free for your kindle. You can't beat it. :) I don't have a lot of sit-down-peaceful-reading time around here (and most new moms don't) so I downloaded this free app on my phone and listened to it for free on Librivox. I could listen to it while I went for a walk, did the dishes or while I laid the baby down at night.  Im really impressed with the narrator and I simply couldn't put it down. Im hooked on audiobooks now, such a great way to listen to classics!

So that's it! I'd love to hear which books helped or inspired you as a new mom - or even a seasoned mom. What would you buy someone for their baby shower?

Im linking up with the sweet Hallie today, click on over. Have a blessed day,

- Sarah

“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” -Philip Pullman (taken from here)

March 4, 2014

Oh my, Butternut

I hardly take the time to make blended soups, but OH this soup, people. You won't wanna stop. It takes some time to do the roasting and blending, but totally worth it, folks. And yes, it's not fall - but this soup makes me want  fall!

You have the option to make it with coconut milk, heavy cream or any other creamy substance, it's delicious either way. I adapted the recipe from here because I like me some more garlic, onions and butter, baby!

Nourishing Butternut Squash Soup 
Serves: 4


  • One medium Butternut Squash, cut in half
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut in fourths
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • salt and pepper (for roasting onions)
  • 1 Tbs. Olive or Coconut Oil
  • 2 cups of Broth
  • 3 Tbs. Butter
  • 1 tsp. Cumin
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk, heavy cream or any other dairy substitute. 
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cut the squash in half and remove the insides. Lay flat (cut part down) on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes. In the mean time, chop onion and peel garlic, coat with olive oil and salt and pepper. When the 15 minutes are over, throw the veggies on the other side of the cookie sheet and roast for another 25 minutes. When done, you should be able to easily poke a fork into the squash.
  3. When cooled, scrape the squash into a food processor or blender along with the roasted onions, garlic and broth. Blend until smooth.
  4. Then melt the butter in a pot and add blended squash, cumin, nutmeg, ginger, salt, pepper and milk. Heat, serve and enjoy!

              - Sarah

“If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.”

 "If you're afraid of butter, use cream."
- Julia Child

“If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.”
“If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.”
“If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.”
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