My Top 5 Favorite Recipes for Fall

FALL!!

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My absolute favorite season! In case you haven’t figured out in the past, I’m a little obsessed with fall! And above all the awesome weather, cute decorations, and fun trips to the pumpkin patch, my all time favorite thing is the fall recipes!! This is my ultimate cooking season. I go through this phase where I can only be found in the kitchen with a sweater on cooking something.

So throughout the last few years I have been finding some really great fall recipes to make my house smell like fall and have painstakingly narrowed it down to just 5 of my favorites.

1: Butternut Squash Soup. This was the first I made this fall. It is verybutternut creamy and is a nice mix of savory and sweet. The texture is much like tomato soup. It tastes best when you use homemade bonebroth!

2: Cinnamon Pie. I decided to start making this shortly after my favorite episode of Psych several years ago. It is as good as Shawn and Gus say it is!

3: Cornbread. No football season is complete without a chili night. And chili is only made better by adding cornbread! It’s better than the average sweet bread.

4: Pumpkin Pancakes. I’m one of those nuts that thinks I have to PUMPKIN ALL THE THINGS this time of year. My pancakes are no exception. These are gluten free for those with celiac.

e6dfa-wp_20131021_0185: Hot Chocolate. We love our hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows. This is a very rich recipe and I love it! (As much as I love homemade marshmallow root marshmallows, they just don’t do well in the fire pit. We use good ole store bought “marshmallows”)

These are my top 5 favorite things to make in the fall! Comment below with any fall favorites you may have!

P.S.: It wouldn’t be a proper fall post without a link to my favorite fall checklist. Print it out, put it on the fridge, and see how many you can accomplish before the end of fall!

I’m Not a Proverbs 31 Woman

If you attend a church in America, the chances are very strong that every Mother’s Day you have endured a sermon telling you the lie that you need to do better at being more like a Proverbs 31 woman. Be kinder. Be Stronger. Be wiser. Do better. Try harder. You find yourself leaving church exhausted on the one Sunday of the year you expect to find rest, which is what you should be finding every Sunday of the year to begin with!

The problem with Proverbs 31:10-31, is that it is misused. Using the bible to abuse Christians does not coincide with the message of Jesus Christ.

The Proverbs 31 woman is a mere model of what the perfect wife and mother should be. PERFECT. “You therefore must be perfect, as your Father in Heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:48

PERFECT

Perfect Faith (31:26): There are many days that I don’t have perfect faith- correction- EVERY DAY. That I don’t speak with confidence in God. That I don’t trust Him wholly and give others good advice in perfect faith.

Perfect Marriage (31:11-12): I come up short in this department way too often. And I don’t think I’m alone.

Perfect Mother (31:28): I fail my children daily. I don’t play with them enough. I don’t always use kind words. I yell a lot.

Perfect Homemaker (31:27): I’m a terrible housekeeper. Don’t catch me off guard if you want to see vacuumed floors. I don’t always have hot meals on the table. Sometimes I get overwhelmed and we get take out! Even when I do clean house and cook awesome food, it isn’t always with a happy heart.

Perfect Service (31:20): Speaking of happy heart, I don’t always enjoy helping others. And even when I do help others, I’m not excited about it. That’s not exactly “pleasing to the Lord” (I’ll save that lovely exhausting phrase for another day).

God didn’t demand that we do our best. He demanded perfection.

HOW ARE YOU DOING WITH THAT?

As you can see, I’m not doing so hot! The beautiful news that set me free from the performance-based mindset is that I don’t have to be perfect! Jesus died in place of my lack of perfection. Not my righteousness, but His righteousness. He was my perfect marriage, perfect mother, perfect homemaker, perfect service, my perfect Christian. “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”. Romans 5:1.

Mothers, please don’t fall into the trap that your identity is found in how well you can handle your life and family. Stop worrying that you must now perform for God since He so graciously saved you. It was gracious. Not a loan that you need to pay back.  There is nothing wrong with wanting to strive to be this wife and mother. The problem is making this the standard. Jesus is the standard. The Proverbs 31 woman isn’t perfect. Only one was perfect. She is an imperfect woman that loves her family and is ready and willing to find perfection in Jesus.

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Did You Know?: 10 Uncommon Uses for Coconut Oil

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My love affair with unrefined coconut oil started several years ago, but I had no idea until about a year ago just how many uses and benefits there are!

More than just a tasty/healthy cooking oil alternative to vegetable and olive oil, here are some uses for coconut oil you may not have known about!

10 Uncommon Uses for Coconut Oil

1: Oil Pulling. Read more about oil pulling here. There are several different oils that can be used for this, but coconut is by far my favorite. Cold pressed, unrefined coconut oil has a nice flavor so it’s easier to swish and it has a few more antibacterial benefits than other oils.

2: Moisturizer. It is a very intensive moisturizer that can be used all over the body. Most prefer this at bedtime.

3: Deodorant. This is a great base for homemade deodorant recipes.

4: Coffee “Creamer”. I blend a tablespoon of coconut oil and a splash of vanilla in my coffee. It gives it the taste of a creamer without all the artificial and unhealthy additives. It also helps me get my daily supplement and gives me energy throughout the day without the jitters.

5: Makeup Remover. I use this as my eye makeup remover and it works great!

6: Massage Oil. This oil is great for massage because it starts off solid but melts easily as it is rubbed on. And I can’t mention enough that it smells awesome on you! If you’re an essential oils lover like me, just add a drop of an oil that carries a benefit (calming, pain relief, etc) and make your massage more therapeutic.

7: Diaper Cream. Perfect for diaper rashes. It is also safe for cloth diapers.

8: Aftershave. This makes a nice aftershave lotion. It’s all natural and…once again…YOU SMELL LIKE COCONUT!

9: Tanning Oil. It’s great used by itself to help accelerate tanning.

10: Depression. Some evidence suggests that the types of fats in coconut oil help with depression.

[The opinions expressed on my blog are based on my own thoughts and experiences. Please keep in mind that I am NOT a health professional so please do your own research and consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet or health. You should always do what is right for you.]

When Breast isn’t Best

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Plenty of women try to breastfeed but for many different reasons they are unable to, whether it be work, low supply, NO supply, PPD, etc. AND THAT’S OKAY!

Here’s My Story

I loved being able to breastfeed my boys. It was convenient, cheap, we slept more, and I got time with them that no visitor could take away from me by asking to feed them. I got to breastfeed exclusively for 3 months and then started the bottle.10649762_10203655152013066_4176109349101739273_n

I was looking forward to the same privileges with June, but wasn’t so lucky.

I had surgery in 2013 to correct some serious back, neck, and shoulder problems I was developing. The removal was so extensive on one side, that those milk ducts couldn’t be saved.

I knew I would eventually have to supplement, but I wasn’t expecting it to be after day 5, when my baby still hadn’t had a dirty diaper.

I had accepted the fact that I was going to need to supplement, but I wasn’t expecting her to have nipple confusion.

I had to choose to bottle feed exclusively. As silly as it sounds, it is an overwhelming feeling for someone that has their heart set on breastfeeding.

Choosing a formula can be hard for a label reader. Companies claim their formula is closest to breast milk; I was unaware breast milk contained taurine and corn syrup solids (hint: it doesn’t).

I wanted a formula that was similar to breast milk and was gentle on baby’s stomach. I had tried a couple of commercial formulas but they hurt her tummy.

I Chose Goat Milk Formula

I was not interested in formulas with a list of ingredients I couldn’t pronounce and that kept my little girl in pain, so I did some research and became interested in goat milk formula. I also made the Pediatrician and my Midwife aware that I was interested to make sure they were comfortable with the idea. Although breast is best, goat’s milk is extremely close!

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Your infant shouldn’t drink straight goats milk, because the .5 gram difference in protein adds up over the course of the day for a small body. Therefore, you need a formula recipe from a trusted, reliable source to make sure your baby gets all the fats, probiotics, and vitamins he/she needs.

Here’s the Recipe

Thanks to my sweet midwife, I found a formula that works great for Ms. June. After she did some of her own research, she found a great recipe for me through the Mt. Capra blog (link in the picture above). I got all my ingredients from the beloved Vitacost where I get most of my health products for a cheaper price (click the link to get $10 off your first order).

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1 tbsp powdered goat milk

1 tsp organic coconut oil

1 tsp organic olive oil

2 1/2 tsp turbinado sugar

1/8 tsp unsulphured blackstrap molasses

1/8 tsp infant probiotics (only needs to be added to one bottle a day)

Suggested amount on package infant vitamin drops (also once a day)

Mix 5 ounces of very hot water with coconut oil in bottle. When oil melts, add olive oil, molasses, sugar, and vitamin drops. Shake well. Add milk powder and enough cold water to make 8 ounces. Shake VERY well. Add probiotics last and shake again.DSCN0922

If you like this recipe and want a guide to making larger portions (1 pint, 1 quart, 1 gallon), subscribe to Mt. Capra’s blog (link still in picture above) and they will email you a quick printable. It is very handy to be able to make formula in large amounts so that all you have to do it take a bottle out of the fridge and warm it up!

[The opinions expressed on my blog are based on my own thoughts and experiences. Please keep in mind that I am NOT a health professional so please do your own research and consult your doctor before making any changes to your baby’s diet or health. You should always do what is right for you and your baby.]

 

 

Welcome June Marie!

Baby amnesia. It’s a wonderful thing. One minute I’m in my bedroom hunched over my bed and mocc05c7a6ab5897afoing like a miserable cow (sorry neighbors), the next I’m talking to my husband about what our next baby’s name should be.

With that being said, say hello to the best part of having a baby-the baby!

Ms. June Marie Donald

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Happy Brothers!

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June with her new friend Brooks!

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