Archive | February, 2008

For the Love of Books: February Reviews

culture-shift.JPGCulture Shift: Engaging Current Issues with Timeless Truth by Albert Mohler – a thorough and clear short book on understanding the times and the culture around us, and how we as Christians can respond in a relevant and meaningful way. Mohler delves into the topics of Christianity & Politics, Public Schools, the Abortion debate, etc. As a believer, I think it is crucially important for us as Christians to be knowledgeable in issues of our day so we can stand for truth in every area.

green-kitchen.JPGThe Green Kitchen Handbook by Annie Berthold-Bond – a simple and clear book with a wealth of information and practical advice, references, and sources for turning your kitchen into a healthful, livable space. It contains simple tips for immediate use: information on buying local produce, what to look for on food labels, and how to reduce packaging. This is a basic how-to for many aspects of the kitchen, including highlighting the varieties of wheat, sweeteners, herbs, teas, etc. Helpful in pursuing good stewardship and nutrition in your life. A good resource for the beginning cook especially!

tightwad.JPGThe Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn- a fun and creative book with lots of frugal tips. A large portion is out of date (as it was originally written in the early 1990′s), but still very helpful in just getting your mind ticking in being more creative in not wasting anything. I have gleaned many ideas thus far, including tips on washing ziplocs, hints on health insurance, washing and hanging laundry, etc. I am not really into the title of this book, as it implies hoarding and keeping our resources for ourselves (at least to me – I don’t want to be known as a tightwad, but rather as one pursuing purposeful frugal living), but she explains simple frugal living as a mother of 6 children, so it is definitely worth taking a look!

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Creatively Stretching the Dollar

spring.JPG It is funny how inspired you can become when forced to be a little more creative in stretching the dollar. Well, at least that has been the case for me, during this financial transition. I am learning how to cut a little closer on a few more corners. ;)

Here are the things I have been exploring with over the last few weeks…of course I am talking to myself, as this may not work for everyone.

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Rejoicing in Simplicity

img_1811.JPG I love watching how Karis can find such simple pleasure in makeshift toys. Her favorites lately have included the pictured mixing spoon (mommy’s little helper already), a netted bag that formally carried oranges, and her wooden basket that stores her little gadgets.

It is such a sweet reminder of the beauty of contentment and finding satisfaction in the simple things, most importantly in God alone, without the clutter of worldly things.

Am I pursuing God-honoring contentment today?

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Resources for Beginning a Healthy Lifestyle

Getting started on a more nutritious lifestyle can be a little overwhelming! Trust me…I have been there. Here are a few resources that I recommend to send you successfully on your way. Remember…take one step at a time. Read and learn a little here and a little there. Read here for the little steps I took to pursuing a more nutritious lifestyle.

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Cultivating a Love for Reading


“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.”
–Atwood H. Townsend

Young and old should not be without the love of reading. “The love of books is the doorway through which we enter into the purest and perfect pleasure God has prepared for us. Love of books lasts when all other pleasures pass.” If we do not treasure the privilege of reading, we should cultivate it. We ought to make it a habit. If we are persistent in applying this habit, a love for reading will blossom forth, and this love will continue to multiply and increase as the years go by. (Quoted from a persuasive speech I wrote in high school)

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Kitchen Tip: Save those peelings!


Have you ever considered saving your carrot peels/tops, onion skins, leek tops, and celery leaves? I have found that these work splendidly in making stock lately! I simply have been saving these small items in a ziploc bag in the freezer until I am ready to make a batch of stock, and then I just throw them in, along with the chicken bones, water & vinegar (or whatever method you choose). I always hated throwing out the chopped carrots, onion, and celery in making stock (as most of the time recipes simply discard these), so why not save the peelings for a wonderful nutritious stock and not be wasting anything in the process. Save yourself time and money!

Other Resources:

Tips for Making Great Stock
Homemade Stock recipe and tips - by Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home
Broth is Beautiful – health benefits & helpful info by Weston Price Foundation

It’s Kitchen Tip Tuesday & Tipster Tuesday!
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Lessons Learned through a Loaf of Bread


1 Sam 16:7 “For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”

Sometimes the appearance of my loaf of bread just doesn’t turn out as expected (as witnessed this week). Thankfully, God values my inward character over my outward appearance or talents! There is no need for me to compare myself with others, but rather to examine myself daily to see if I am in the truth.

Secondly, no matter how many times I have made this bread recipe, it never seems to be as perfect as I would like. Lesson learned…we can never match up to God’s standard of righteousness on our own strength. All our efforts to please the Lord are as filthy rags in His sight. Through humble dependence upon the Lord for salvation and sanctification, we can accomplish much! Press on sisters to know the Lord, and don’t think too highly upon the outward appearance, but work on that inward character and virtue of your heart!

Psa 44:6 “For not in my bow do I trust, nor can my sword save me.”

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Enjoying the Beauty of God’s Creation


Our little family took an impromptu hike to Beacon Rock on Saturday, which is along the beautiful Columbia Gorge. It was so refreshing to enjoy time together as a family! I am so thankful for the beauty of God’s creation, especially here in the Northwest. I reflected upon the treasure that God has bestowed upon us to enjoy His magnificence! How can we not perceive that there is a Creator?


Rom 1:20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

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Monthly Menu & Recipes


I have finally updated my monthly menu plan to include most of the recipes I use! Check it out here. I have not been sticking strictly to it though, as each day has it’s own surprises! I do like to stick to the dinner themes, but may rotate what soup I make for the week, etc. It is just so nice to know that I have all the ingredients on hand for any of the meals listed for the month, and can rotate them to whatever fancy I or my husband may like! I did discover that my husband prefers homemade pizza over stir fry this week (duh…Lindsay)! I have also been striving to limit my grocery run to once a month, but have only been successful with every three weeks as of yet. ;) We are on week 2 this week!

I would encourage you to consider making a monthly menu plan. Here are some of the benefits:

1. One time menu planning – or when you decide to change it (I like winter and summer menus)!
2. One time grocery list -After making your monthly plan, you just have to chart a simple shopping list with all the ingredients you will need for the recipes, and it doesn’t change! You can make copies or store this sheet on your computer, so you eliminate the need to write out a new list each week.
3. Keeps life simple! And I am all for that!

For more pointers, check out the Simple Menu Planning on A Budget post.

For more menu plans, visit Organizing Junkie.
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Book Club: The True Woman

true-woman.JPGJoin us for the upcoming book study on The True Woman: The Beauty and Strength of a Godly Woman by Susan Hunt, hosted by Passionate Homemaking & Womanly Pursuits.

We will begin our study on March 15, and read one chapter each week. The 1st chapter highlight will be posted on March 24, and continue consecutively on every Monday following for 10 weeks.

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