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I cannot believe we’re into 2018 already. When people talk about 2007 (for example), I want to say that was last year. Or maybe two years ago. It was totally 11 years ago. How. HOW?! However it happened, it did, and we’re into a new year.
We’re rolling into this year with 4 kiddos! Can you believe that I haven’t posted since baby number four entered this world? Here’s a quick update on that.
We had baby number four 9 [freaking long] days late, on August 8. And it was another girl! Our little Gwynn. She’s a sunshine child, just like her big sister was. Super great baby. She spends her days hanging out, drooling, pushing herself around the floor, and napping.She’s 5 months old already. Again, how does time go so fast?
This is obviously not a food post. I haven’t had time to take pictures of food for awhile. I’m lucky if I remember to eat breakfast, let alone photograph it. Y’know? I thought we’d go for a goals/resolutions post. As well as a books-to-read-in-2018 post.
I am actually not a huge fan of resolutions. Mostly because I can’t decide what I’m supposed to resolve to do. And because when I finally do decide, I end up failing. Horribly. Goals sound better. They aren’t written in stone, but they’re something to kind of strive for. I feel like they’re more flexible, and I don’t beat myself up near as much about them.
My goals this year are very similar to the ones I had last year, though maybe a bit more specific.
- #WordbeforeWorld Doing some Bible reading before doing ANYTHING else, as often as I can.
- Less screen time, more actual reading. (Hence the book list at the end of the post. Scroll down to see what I’m going to try to read!)
- More exercise. I’m a huge fan of running. It’s stress-relief for me, and makes me feel like a million bucks. And I missed out last year because of pregnancy and recuperating from giving birth (it takes me awhile to get back in the swing of things) . I love outdoor running, so once spring rolls around – here I come! I’m super excited. Other than running, I’m hoping to do some at home Beachbody stuff with Hubby. We just need to start… The hardest part, eh?
- Saying yes to some things, and no to others. I’m figuring out that just because something is “good”, doesn’t mean I need to do it. But some things, I try to avoid doing, but probably shouldn’t.
- Work hard, play hard, rest more frequently. Is that even possible? Haha.
- I reaaallly want to make a quilt. And finish the sweater I started to knit for hubby. And knit mister Jude a new hat. So I’m putting those down into my goals.
On to the book list. I go through spurts with reading. But I really love to read. A lot. I just haven’t made enough time for it lately. It stretches my brain, reminds me of words that I know (guys, I actually know words that aren’t kid-words!!), plus it’s relaxing. I also read pretty much anything (though I’m a closet sci-fi/fantasy fanatic). This year though, the focus is really on parenting. There are some other subjects included, but it’s mostly mom-related. I have a list of 30 in front of me. I curated it over a couple evenings. Screenshots I had taken of books people of IG were reading, titles from other 2018 book lists, etc. There are 10 that I’d really like to read, and a few that I’ll read, if I’m able. Now, I know 10 isn’t a huge number. I’m one of those people that would read 10 in a month, if I had time. But 10 is more realistic for me right now. Here goes.
- Present Over Perfect, by Shauna Niequist
- The Lifegiving Table, by Sally Clarkson
- The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis
- Just Do Something, by Kevin Deyoung
- Charles Spurgeon, Preaching through Adversity, by John Piper
- In the Unlikely Event, by Judy Bloom
- Give them Grace, by Elyse Fitzpatrick
- Parenting, by Paul David Tripp
- The Weaver’s Lament, by Elizabeth Haydon
- Cultivate, by Lara Casey
As I’m thinking about it, I actually did get through some books last year, so hopefully we’ll do it again this year!
What are you reading? Any great books you’ve read recently that I should add to my list?
Another post! What!
Now that I’m finally getting back into the swing of things, I’m remembering how fast 2+ months are going to fly by, and then I’ll be completely and utterly OUT of the swing of things again. Please forgive me in advance. Maybe I’ll find juggling 3 kids and a newborn super easy? (I can dream, eh?) I’m pretty sure I’ll be pretty swamped in the first few… six… months or so.
All you moms out there – I’m so excited to get my body back to normal! I don’t mind feeling pregnant, but I’m glad it isn’t forever. Come back to me regular clothes. Pants with buttons and zippers. Shirts that my belly stick out of now.
This belly. It’s going to burst. It’s pretty amazing what our bodies are capable of. Talk about stretchy skin! Well, I don’t think mine has a whole lot of stretch left, but I’m glad it was stretchy at some point.
Anyhow, enough baby talk. We need food. I’m so happy food is a necessity to living. Yay, food!
Coffee is too, right?
We’ve somehow made it to yet another weekend. What could be better than that? Except maybe, if someone made these muffins for you, fresh for brunch one of those mornings?
I have had these as a brain-child for some time, but (as I’ve said before) I had lost my mojo for awhile there. They finally came to fruition! And I loved them. So did the kids. Think classic gingerbread giving birth to muffin babies with sweet dates studded throughout. I love gingerbread. Basically, anything spiced, especially when there’s molasses involved. Think Molasses Cookies. And dates! Wow. They are nature’s candy. So, so good. I have to hide the [huge] bag that I get at Costco from myself (<–out of sight, out of mind), because I eat them like candy. And yes, they’re fruit, but that sugar content is a bit high, I believe. If you ever are in need of a great date recipe, make these Oatmeal Date Cookies. They be so amazingly amazing.
So! To the muffins. Make them for breakfast. Eat them warm out of the oven. If there are some leftover for day 2, pop them in the microwave to make those dates oh-so-mushy before you slather them with butter. Believe me, I did it, and it’s highly recommendable.
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- pinch cloves
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup oatmeal
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup dates, chopped (optional)
- sugar for topping
- Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare muffin tins (grease, or use muffin cups).
- Cream together butter and sugar. Add molasses and egg. Beat well.
- Mix in sour cream, and milk.
- Add dry ingredients. Mix well. Stir in the dates if you're using (I'd highly recommend!).
- Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until the middles are set.
- Enjoy warm, slathered with butter!
- They will keep fresh in an airtight container for 3-4 days. You can also pop them in the freezer to save for later days (like when you might be having a baby and will want a yummy, quick breakfast).
Linked up on Sugar, Spice, and Family Life
I was determined to have scones for breakfast on my birthday. So I let my kids watch a show pre-breakfast, and whipped up a batch of scones! Tropical birthday scones.
I really loved dried fruit in my scones. Take these Apple Ginger Scones, for example. They are preeettty dang amazing. I bought the kids bags of dried fruit for in their Easter baskets this year (an attempt to not have quite so much candy around). Anyhow, I really love dried papaya and pineapple. So, of course, those were two types that I bought.
And when I was contemplating birthday scones, I was also dreaming about warm places. Tropical places. Places that people have been going to [without me] for the last few months. These tropical scones were born of my contemplation and dreams.
They’re very similar to the Apple Ginger Scones, with only a few, slight changes.
I hope you get chance to make them, share them, and enjoy them. With a cup of coffee or tea. That would be the way to go.
While I’m here, I guess I should let y’all in on that surprise I said I had in my last post….
We’ll be welcoming baby number four into the family the end of July, Lord willing!
I must say (I reminisce nowadays when I get a year older – a sure sign of age!), I’m not sure I imagined I’d be where I am right now 10 years ago. But I’m so very thankful for where I am. I have three great kids, am in my third trimester of my fourth pregnancy, I have a wonderful hubby of almost SEVEN years (HOW on earth did that happen?!), we are blessed with a house and a car, have lots of loving family around us, and live in a wonderful part of the world.
Yes, there are days I wish things were a bit different. But I wouldn’t actually change how things have ended up.
Here’s the recipe!
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 + 2 Tbsp evaporated milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2/3 cup chopped, dried fruit (I used papaya and pineapple)
- 1 Tbsp butter, melted (for brushing)
- Sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 375F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix the first four dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, two knives, or your fingers, until the crumbs resemble small peas.
- Add in dried fruit.
- Pour in milks and vanilla, and stir lightly, until just combined. (Dough will be shaggy, but you can knead it together lightly in the next step.)
- Turn onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into a circle (about 9-10 inches diameter, 1 inch thick, or so). Cut into 8-10 pieces. Transfer to cookie sheet, leaving at least a 1/4 inch between scones. Brush tops with melted butter, and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned. Let cool on cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes, and then either EAT or transfer to a cooling rack.
- I totally only made 6 scones with my batch. (Have you heard me mention that I love scones?) Do want you want, I won't judge.
I told you I’d be back with something a wake-me-up, comfort-style recipe!
Muffins. Best breakfast ever. I know, I know. They’re basically glorified cupcakes. But they’re so much more than cupcakes. First of all, there’s generally some sort of fruit in them. (Fruit=healthy breaky, right?) Second, you get to warm them up and slather them with butter. It’s not looked up well if you do that to a cupcake. Though I’m sure it’d be pretty dang tasty. Butter helps all things. Except acne. Never put butter on your face. Please.
Anyhow. We’re going to go citrus because it’s February and all things are citrus.
I go with the flow. Sometimes.
Then we’re going to throw in a bunch of poppy seeds, because: crunch. They just make things better.
Top it all off with a tangy orange glaze, and you have yourselves the best kind of good morning muffin. Definitely enjoy with a warm cup of something. It is winter, after all. (And who doesn’t need a hot coffee in the morn?)
This recipe is adapted from Girl vs Dough (great blog, look around while you’re there). She made grapefruit muffins, and she made them a bit healthier than I made mine. (I’m guilty of hardly ever using whole wheat flour – it makes such a healthy tasting final product. Generally whole wheat baked good that I make taste like dirt. Nobody likes to eat dirt, amiright? I eat whole wheat bread. That’s it guys. White flour in all the other things.)
I also didn’t use fresh juice. I didn’t have any. I’m never prepared. I only had one egg, so thank goodness I only needed one. Instead of fresh juice, we use a scoops of frozen orange juice concentrate. I learned this trick from a dear friend to whose house I was taking these muffins. I knew she’d appreciate the tang and unpreparedness of my baking. It’s super easy, and adds such a nice zing. She makes AMAZING scones using the same method. Have I mentioned she’s brilliant?
To the muffins! You can seriously throw them together in about ten minutes, make the glaze while baking, and enjoy. Totally doable for a fresh breakfast, or store them, airtight for 3-4 days and heat up for an on-the-run breaky.
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cups vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup poppy seeds
- 2 heaping tsp frozen orange juice concentrate
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 egg
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cup milk
- 2 Tbsp butter, melted
- 1 1/4 cup icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2-3 Tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line or grease 14 muffin cups.
- Mix together sugar, vegetable oil, poppy seeds, and orange juice concentrate.
- Add vanilla and eggs. Stir well.
- Alternately add dry ingredients and milk.
- Fill muffin cups level to top.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the middle of the muffins has set.
- Whisk melted butter, icing sugar, vanilla and orange juice concentrate until smooth. Add more icing sugar if too runny, or more orange juice (or milk) if too thick.
- You can definitely use a mixer or a wooden spoon to make these! Whatever you prefer.