Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A birthday cake for my husband



It might not seem that difficult to provide a birthday cake for your husband on his birthday, but when your husband cannot have ingredients found in most recipes, it gets a little more tricky. Thankfully, I found both a cake and frosting recipe that was allergy-friendly for my hubby and he enjoyed being able to actually eat cake! His list of allergies is extensive, including more common allergies such as gluten, dairy, egg, soy and nuts, as well as more specific allergies such as xanthum gum, tapioca, and guar gum (this leaves out practically all of the cake mixes on the market).

So here's my humble Jesse-friendly cake and my humble husband! It's his birthday today and I'm so thankful for having the best husband in the world (it makes cooking for him a joy)! Love you, babe!

Rice Flour Cake Recipe (I did add 1/2 cup orange juice to the recipe and might add even more next time as it can be a little dry with the rice flour)

Coconut Cake Frosting (I did not use any water in this frosting as it wasn't that thick, and I added some powder sugar until desired consistency)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Teaching Little Ones to Budget

Anna with her $5 worth of new toys!
Budgeting is not an easy habit, even for veterans. It can be hard to stick faithfully to your budget, whether it be groceries, clothing, eating out, etc. Trust me, I know! So what better time to start teaching someone about how to budget and stick to it then when they are just starting to learn about money!

My four year old received an Easter card from her great grandmother with a five dollar bill today. I asked her what she wanted to do with the gift money. She said, "buy some new toys!" So while little brother was napping, we drove to the local Dollar General and browsed the toy aisles for several minutes. 

We looked at the prices, one item was $12 and I explained how that was more than $5 and she didn't have enough money. She quickly caught on and when she picked out a kite for $2 and a doll dress-up toy for $1, she said, "I still have $2 left!" This was also a great, real life math lesson! Finally, Anna decided on the above pictured items (I love her personality and what she ended up choosing). She proudly handed the five dollar bill to the clerk and even got 23 cents back. She's a happy girl.

My Morning Cup


Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

1 Peter 4:12-14

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Easter Resurrection Garden



A few weeks ago, Anna and I made a Resurrection Garden in anticipation for Easter. I found the supplies either in my back yard or at the local Dollar General. The large rock covers the "tomb" (a turned over flower pot), and we affixed a cross on top and planted grass seed that hopefully will grow in time for Easter's celebration of new life. For more on how to make an Easter Resurrection Garden, see the tutorial at Uncommon Designs.

Currently Listening to: "More than Conquerors" by Rend Collective


The fact that this band is from Northern Ireland makes them cool enough, but lately, I have been listening to a lot of Rend Collective and they have some really great songs. "More than Conquerors" is perfect during this Easter season, as we reflect on how Christ's death and resurrection has allowed us, as believers, victory over death and sin.

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." Romans 8:35-37

Monday, March 24, 2014

Free Easter Blessings Preschool Pack!


Our Little Monkey's has a wonderful Easter Blessings preschool pack available for free! You will have to create a free account to the site Teacher's Notebook to download.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Corned Beef and Cabbage - My 100% Irish Nana's Recipe


The time of year is about upon us... the time when corned beef and cabbage makes its humbly grand display on many people's dinner tables. In case you were looking for a delicious recipe, I wanted to share with you my 100% Irish Nana's recipe. The glaze makes this version so good:

Sweet Mustard Glazed Corned Beef:

1. Wash the corned beef in cold water. Place in large pot with water covering the beef by 3 inches on top. Add spice packet to water, cover and bring to boil for about 5 minutes.

2. Simmer beef for 4.5 hours (for 5lbs)

3. Remove from pot and let cool 15 minutes on platter.

Make glaze for beef (it is yummy) while beef is cooling:

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup brown mustard

In sauce pan, combine brown sugar and water, bring to simmer over medium heat. After 5 minutes, add mustard and simmer 2-3 more minutes. Coat meat with sauce and bake in a preheated oven (325 degrees) for 30 minutes (reglaze after the first 10 minutes).

For the traditional cabbage, carrots, and potatoes:

In a separate pot of water, boil the carrots and potatoes for about 40 minutes. Add the cabbage for the last 15 minutes.

Love you, Nana!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Free eBook: Enough: Finding More by Living with Less


Right now, you can get a free eBook on Amazon titled, "Enough: Finding More by Living with Less," by Will Davis, Jr. The description says,

"The American way of life pushes people to constantly strive for more--more money, more stuff, more clout. But how much is enough? And how do we know when we have too much of a good thing? In this provocative, paradigm-shifting book, Will Davis Jr. challenges readers to discover the peace that comes through contentment with what we have and compassion for those in need. Through surprising statistics, scriptural insight, and real-life stories, Davis gently leads readers to consider living with less in order to do more for the kingdom."

After reading "Radical" by David Platt a few weeks ago at the recommendation of a friend, I'm really excited to read this free book as well!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Reverse Lent Challenge: Write a Note to Someone Each Day for 40 Days


I saw this "Reverse Lent Challenge" on Karen Ehman's blog and thought it was a wonderful idea! Basically, instead of giving something up for 40 days of Lent, you add something to your life in order to give back. I loved this new spin on Lent and thought it would be a great lead up to Easter.

Here is the basic idea from Karen's blog:
 "...jot a quick note each day to one person in your life. To make it easy, purchase some simple note cards and stamps. Go ahead and place the stamps on the envelopes along with your return address. Place the pile of note cards on your nightstand or next to your favorite chair in the living room. Also dig up your address book and have it handy. Each morning upon arising or every night just before bed, write a special message to someone. Or if you are a television watcher, do it during the commercials. At the end of Lent you will have made 40 souls smile."

You could also change it up by e-mailing or calling people, too.