Weekend Links and Sponsor Spotlight

I’ve been reading Notes from a Blue Bike by Tsh Oxenreider of The Art of Simple.

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I honestly wasn’t sure what I would think about this book.  For reasons I haven’t yet figured out, the word “intention” turns me off.  I think it’s because it makes me feel tired and defeated before I even start.  Like I have to give even more thought, energy and effort to every single area of my life.  And that sounds exhausting.

Thankfully, that’s not how Tsh’s book makes me feel at all.  It’s full of stories, very easy to read and gentle.  It’s thought provoking, interesting and inspiring.  I’m really glad that I bought it.  I’m not quite finished with it, but I’m close enough to be able to give it a hearty recommendation.

I loved this post from The Nester.  Watch the video.  It’s worth it!  And then go dance in your kitchen with the people you love.

Have you seen these “slow cookers”?  Very interesting.

Spotlight on The Magic for Less Travel

Every once in a while it crosses my mind that we have a family trip to Disney World coming up in a few months.  Now that’s fun to think about!

If you’ve got a little Disney fever, click over to The Magic for Less Travel.  Here’s info on the latest offer!

Do you want to capture that look of magic on the face of your child when he sees his favorite Disney character?  Disney has released a “kid-sized” special offer that includes FREE digital photos (Memory Maker) in addition to a discount of up to 25% off room accommodation with a minimum 3-night package with 2-day Base Ticket for stays most nights 4/27 – 6/15/14 and 8/15 – 9/30/2014.  The friendly and knowledgeable agents with The Magic For Less Travel can help you with this and other resort reservations!  Don’t forget to request your no-obligation quote today!

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Help Wanted – Looking for Contributing Writers for Eat at Home

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A year and a half ago, I brought on several people to be part of the Eat at Home team.  It was one of the best blog decisions I’ve made!

I love creating and sharing recipes on the site and I have no plans to stop.  You’ll still be seeing mostly my stuff here.  But I also love the recipes that my contributing writers share.  And having the extra help to keep things going has been invaluable.

Rachael, Kate, Kim and Angie are all still with me and I’m looking for a couple of people to join us as contributing recipe writers.  These are compensated positions.

If sharing easy, family friendly recipes with the best readers in the world is something that you’re interested in check out the requirements below and then click the link to fill out the application.

Qualifications needed:

  • Love cooking
  • Have writing and photography skills
  • Love sharing via social media
  • Have an understanding of what Eat at Home is about and who the audience is
  • Willing to write original content, not published elsewhere
  • Willing to take direction from me for the editorial calendar, as well as bring your original ideas for recipes.

If you are interested in the possibility of joining the Eat at Home team, please submit an application here.

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Weekend Links

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I downloaded this 7 Minute Workout app the other day.  It is hard!  Apparently, I have the fitness level of a slug.  But this is a tough 7 minutes.  After the third day of doing it, the soreness has mostly left me.  At least, I’m not so sore that I dread going up stairs for something.

The app has you do short sets of push ups, crunches, wall sits, lunges etc.  I hate working out, but 7 minutes is doable even for me.

The Compassion bloggers have been in Uganda this week.  I’ve been following along with Nesting Place and Chatting at the Sky.  The stories are incredible.

I love this photo of a woman cooking.

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I was inspired to write to the kids that we sponsor.  All of them are celebrating birthdays this spring.

In the past, I’ve been a terrible letter writer.  But this time I logged in online and sent birthday gifts and wrote letters.  That’s the first time I’ve used the online letter writing.  It’s so easy!  I’ll be doing it this way from now on.

The stories from the bloggers on the Uganda trip this week remind me that child sponsorship makes a positive impact on so many more people than just that one child.  Families and communities are blessed by the work Compassion does.  If you haven’t read any of the posts this week, go read them now.  You’ll be glad you did.

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Sausage, Ham and Cheese Quiche

I have to admit, I used to think pie shells were only meant for dessert. I went for years refusing to eat Chicken Pot Pie, Quiche or any savory dish with a pie crust. Finally, when desperately trying to come up with something different for dinner one night (and use ingredients I had on hand) I made a quiche and realized what I had been missing! I also thought that quiche could only be a fluffy, non-filling dish and boy was I wrong. This recipe is loaded with meat, cheese, potatoes, and the best part, it’s so easy to make! Another huge bonus, my very picky 12 year old loved it.

Quiche w label EAHI have been all about “re-purposing” leftovers, and this dish is great for that. I used a leftover baked potato, and leftover chicken sausage. You could use whatever you have on hand as well. My children won’t eat peppers and onions, but they would be great additions too. This meal is hearty enough for dinner, but makes a great breakfast or brunch item.   [Read more...]

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Weekend Links

It was a bit of a crazy week on the blog.  Pinterest sent out an email the other day with links to various slow cooker boards in it.  And they linked to my slow cooker board!

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That explained why my site had suddenly gone down.  All the extra traffic crashed the site.  It took a good part of the day and several hundred dollars in extra hosting fees, but we got it back up again.

That post on How to Make 7+ Slow Cooker Freezer Meals in 1 Hour has been the most popular.  For good reason too.  Those freezer meals are life savers!

I’m planning to make a new batch of freezer meals (and another video) this weekend for our February Weekly Meal Plans.  We’ve got good stuff planned!

Weekend Links

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I’m loving these ideas for soup toppers from Pocket Change Gourmet.  Liz and Doug have recipes on their site for making pasta chips, baked parmesan discs and tortilla toppers.  Yum!

Have you ever made snow ice cream?  Kate, who is one of our writers here, has a recipe for Strawberry Snow Ice Cream on her blog that sounds good.  We’re supposed to get another round of snow on Saturday.

If you’d like a warm treat, try this Apple Cider Bread Pudding from Kim, another EaH writer.  I love bread pudding, but can you believe, I’ve never made it before!  This recipe looks like a winner though.

On January 29 at 9pm, I’ll be hanging out on Twitter with @PuritansPride for the Resolution Reboot Twitter party. We’re going to be chatting about keeping our resolutions and there will be prizes involved too!  Follow along with #PuritansPride.

Disclosure: I am working with Puritan’s Pride and have been compensated for my time.

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Weekend Links and Reads

Reads

This has been the week of my partially finished to-do list.  Actually, that would describe most weeks.  The first thing I need to do is set the date for the next book club.  I’m hosting this time.  I did pick the book – Labor Day by Joyce Maynard.

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Labor Day is coming out as a movie soon.  I thought the previews looked really good, so when I saw the book I decided to choose it for book club.  I finished it quickly and really enjoyed it.  The characters are wonderful and the story just sucked me in.  Food features prominently in this story.  There’s a scene where they make a peach pie that is written so beautifully, it’s just pitch-perfect.  I may have to make peach pie for our book club night.  I’m interested to see the movie now that I’ve read the book.

Disney

Another thing on my to-do list all week has been to make hotel reservations for our first night in Orlando.  We’re heading to Disney World this summer, 13 of us all together.  We always drive straight through and stay at an off-site hotel for our first night.  It’s nicer than trying to find a place to stay somewhere on I-75.

I’ve also been reading up on how they are taking all the old fast pass machines out of the parks.  Things are changing, but I can’t wait to go!

If you’re dreaming of a Disney trip, you’ll want to check out our site sponsor, The Magic for Less Travel.

Are you dreaming of a Spring or early Summer vacation after that last cold winter blast?  Walt Disney World just released a new discount for up to 30% off stays at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel for most nights February 24 – June 15, 2014.  PLUS, if you upgrade to a Magic Your Way package by adding a minimum of 4-day tickets to your resort stay, you’ll get one more ticket day for FREE!  Ask The Magic For Less Travel for your no-obligation vacation quote, today!

Focus

The few things I’ve gotten checked off of my to-do list have been because of the site Focus@Will.  The website (they have an app too) is free.  They play one hour of music that has been specially selected to help you focus.  And it works!  When I start playing that music, then I start writing or working down my inbox or any other task I need to complete.  The music keeps me focused and working.

I’ve even used it for Mia while she’s doing school work.  It works for her too!  Once I put the music on, she buckled down and completed her assignment, even though she had said she thought the Focus@Will music made her tired.  It obviously doesn’t, it helps her focus.

I first heard about this from Amy from Blogging with Amy in her weekly email Useletter.

Congratulations!

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Congratulations to my friend, Amy from Mom Advice!  Amy is celebrating 10 years of her site!  And she wanted to share the joy and giving, so she invited all of her readers to contribute to wells for Burkina Faso.  So far, 3 wells have been purchased! And that’s a great reason to celebrate too.  If you’d like to give, you can still do that.  Just click over to Mom Advice for more info.

Potato Bar

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Finally, I loved this idea for the Ultimate Baked Potato Bar from Jen at Beauty and Bedlam.  I love baked potatoes and they are easy to do for a crowd.  And all the topping possibilities make it a fun dinner for everyone.

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Why I Have to Jump Off the Whole 30

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So I found out that this healthy diet may not be the healthiest for me.  I’m not usually one to share my personal medical history (aside from my battle with migraines), but since I invited all of you to join me on the Whole 30 and now I’m dropping out, I thought I’d tell you why.   [Read more...]

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Movies, Books, Whole 30 Update and more

disney soup mugs

 

First, I wanted to share this photo that Kara, one of my readers, sent to me.  She said that during all that snowy, cold weather she made my recipe for Mexican White Queso Soup.  She served it in this fun Disney mugs.  I love it!  Thanks for sending the photo, Kara!

Movies

We don’t go to the movies very often, but over the Christmas break we managed to see three!  They were all really good too.  I hate paying to see a movie in the theater and finding it only mediocre.  These three were winners though.   [Read more...]

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What I’m reading, 2014 goals and more

It’s January!  Do you feel like life is a fresh, clean slate?

Maybe if I cleaned off my desk that lovely, uncluttered feeling would happen for me.

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I do love that sunshine coming in though!

I took a nice break from things over the holidays.  I woke up later each day, even though I went to bed earlier each night. It was lovely!

Now I’m having a little trouble getting back into a routine.  Things are going to kick into high gear again next week and I’m not sure I’m ready.  Can you relate?

Goals

One of the things we did on break was to set goals for 2014.  Jim and I planned to do this together and our oldest daughter joined us.  It led to lots of good discussions and interesting ideas for our family to pursue.  We even got crazy and talked about some 5 year goals.

On my personal list of goals for the year, I only have two blog goals.  In the past, I’ve set quite a few goals for my blog, but this year I wanted to simplify that.

Most of my goals center around deepening friendships.  I want to put more effort into connecting this year.

I also have a goal to finish knitting a simple sweater I started.  Things looked like they were going pretty well with this and then something happened and I had to take it all out, because I couldn’t fix the mistake(s).  Time to start over!

And I set a fairly crazy travel goal, which spurred on the goal of learning to collect flyer miles.  And that led me to start reading this blog.

What I’m Reading

I’ve got several books going right now.  I’ve been savoring Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist, reading a chapter in the mornings while I have breakfast.  It’s a savoring, take-it-slow kind of book and I like that.  The Kindle edition of this book is on sale right now for $2.99.

I started Fannie Flagg’s new book,  The All-Girl Filling Stations Last Reunion, the other day.  So far, so good.  I’ll let you know more when I finish it.

And today I started Dr. Ben Carson’s book, Think Big.  The Kindle edition of this book is on sale right now for just 99 cents.  I’m really liking this book so far.  And if you haven’t seen the movie about his life yet, I highly recommend The Gifted Hands.  I think it is still on Netflix instant streaming.

How the Whole30 is going

Two days in and I had a headache all day.  Excedrin wouldn’t knock it, so I took the migraine meds.  I’m really hoping this doesn’t keep happening.  But if after several weeks, I’m still having these headaches I may give up on this experiment.

Free Amazon Prime Trial

Right now, you can get a 30 day trial of Amazon Prime for free.  We started using Prime last year and we love it.  The two day shipping is awesome!  And the streaming movies and TV are nice too.  We’ll be renewing our Prime account when the time comes.

I hope you have a great weekend!  I’m writing this post on Friday and I see that the weather people are calling for some very nasty weather headed our way on Sunday.  Stay warm and safe!

This post contains affiliate links.

 

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Meaningful Meals – 30 Day Mom Challenge

Meaningful Meals – #MeaningfulMeals #30DayMom #EatatHome

Do you ever get so busy taking care of the daily necessities that you forget to pay attention to the moment you’re in?

I do.

Often times, in the challenge to get dinner on the table, get the kitchen cleaned up, figure out who is going to be home to eat now and who is coming in to eat later…  In the midst of all of that, I forget that we’re doing something special.  Something sacred.

We’re sitting down together as family.  To share a meal.  To share our days.  To connect with each other.

During January, I’m going to be taking extra care to pay attention to these moments.  I want to notice the meaning in the meals.

I’ll be writing the occasional post here on the blog.  But most of the recording of my journey will take place on Instagram and Facebook.  I’d love for you to join me there and share your meaningful meal moments too.

I’ll be using the hashtags #MeaningfulMeals, #30DayMom and #EatAtHome.  Add those tags to your photos and posts too so I can find them.   [Read more...]

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