Mommy Eats: Lentil Soup

The other day I realized how often I went without food during the day, relying on my coffee(s) and Seth’s leftover oatmeal or PB&J to see me through to dinner. I was starting bad habits.

Inhaling Food: I’d scarf my dinner because I was so famished.

Late Night Eating: A hunger attack would strike at 10:00 pm, and I’d break out cheese and crackers, popcorn, or my favorite treat, peanut butter & honey and apple slices.

The following morning I would still feel ravenous; and my stomach, knotted and starved.

I decided I had enough of that. Moms need food. And, to make healthy choices, it helps to have something already prepared and easy to grab!

Mason jars meals are now my go-to! I make ahead a few different meals when I have time and store them in mason jars.

Smoothies: serve it up and drink it down!

Soups: open, reheat, and eat!

Salads: dress it, close it, and shake it!

My favorite so far has been lentil soup. It’s hearty, warm, delicious, and cost effective! I usually can make about five 16 oz. mason jars with ingredients I always have on hand.

Hearty Lentil Soup

  • Servings: 5-7
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
(2) tablespoons olive oil
(1) small onion, chopped
(3) large carrots, chopped
(2) cloves garlic, minced
(1) teaspoon of cumin (or to taste)
(1) teaspoon basil
(1) cup dried lentils
(1) can tomato sauce
(6) cups vegetable broth*

*I use 3 cups vegetable broth and 3 cups water

Directions:
1. Heat oil in a stock pot.
2. Add onion and cook until translucent.
3. Add garlic and carrots. Allow to cook for a few minutes.
4. Once vegetables are sautéed, add the tomatoes, broth, lentils and spices.
5. Simmer for a few hours

 

Another great thing about this soup is that Seth will eat it too! Yay!

 

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Seth loves lentils

Costco is Way More Fun this Way

It’s always fun for Seth to be with his cousins, and yesterday we had the privilege of grocery shopping with Aunt Sarah and baby Gideon. I pushed the cart with the boys and Sarah had the food cart.

Seth sat happily in front, looking all around, while Gideon smiled and cooed to the back of Seth’s head from his car seat.

I had my list on my phone (Trello) and added costs to the items I usually buy as we went along, which helped me keep an eye on my end total. 😳 Sarah and I even decided we would split certain groceries later too which was nice.

Both the boys eventually got ridiculously tired and crying ensued till they both crashed on the way home.

Even though outings can be faster with just Seth and me, I’m happy any time I get spend time with my sister.

Amazon Prints: Wall Prints, Photo Books, and More

I just recently subscribed to the Amazon Prints newsletter, hoping to eventually receive coupon and offers. Currently, they are offering 20% off to select customers now through the end of May. See details and qualifications, here.

I’ve used Amazon Prints for a few different print projects and the quality of their prints is incredible. I’ve purchased two canvases, two photo books, and received 50 complimentary 5×7 prints – – all of them, outstanding work.

Amazon’s online editing tool is easy to use and I love the choice of layouts, background, and embellishments. They also have your order delivered within 10 days and don’t charge shipping for Prime members or orders over $35.00.

Here are some screen shots of the editing tool…

Screen Shot of Baby Book 01

Screen Shot Baby Book 02

and here’s a peek at the pages from my wedding lay flat album.

I have to say the cherry on top is that Amazon allows you to photo wrap the front and back of your book. So our wedding album looks like this:

All in all, a huge smile and satisfactory sigh after dealing with Amazon – – once again. 😊

Fishing for Lake Trout

Last Saturday, Don took me fishing. He’s owned a two person raft for the last 4 years, and in that time, has turned it into quite a proficient, little watercraft.

We spent a relaxing 3 hours in the sun, eating our picnic lunch and enjoying the time together. I’m beginning to cast my line with more fluency, and hopefully, I don’t look as ridiculous. ☺️ I’m so glad Don is a patient teacher, otherwise I’d get even more frustrated at my casts, and end up with my line in tangles about me.

The Outcome: Four trout and two sun kissed faces

Two of the trout were mine. It was great fun and I hope to go again with him, soon.

Using Trello for Task Management: Organize, Accomplish, and Celebrate

Without organization, my mind is completely counterproductive in a day. It reels with all my mental to-do’s, as I compete to finish tasks before I forget them. All the while, I’m adding more things to the list.

Although I may think I’m performing at 100% and the “get it done now” is a wonderful attitude, I end up exhausted, fretting about the following day, and forget to notice what I did complete; and then my husband comes home to this…

So instead, I use Trello. Trello is a free app that uses Boards, Lists, and Cards to document and organize task management and workflows.

Clear the Mind:

I have the flexibility to quickly add items to cards in my To-Do list from my phone or computer, keeping my head clear and focused.

Organize the Day:

I organize the cards by how I want to accomplish them, top to bottom. Note: I put the tasks that may just require 5 minutes, but I’d tend to put off, near the top.

Don’t Forget to Celebrate:

I also have a list, titled “Done”, so I can see what I’ve accomplished in a day. My mind is rejuvenated each time I see what I did complete, and I feel unencumbered, knowing exactly what awaits me in the to-do list tomorrow.

Here’s a sample of mine this week:

It’s easy to create more lists as needed, such as “Dinners This Week” or “Blocked Tasks”. I feel that organization is really adaptable; how each person needs to visualize a list of tasks differs, so if needed, create more lists easily, such as “Dinners this Week”, “Blocked Tasks”, or “Reoccurring Tasks”.

Within the cards, additional tasks, steps, or checklist items can be created, as shown below.

But go ahead and try it for yourself. Maybe you’ll find it helpful or maybe you’re a strictly post-it’s and pen & paper type of person. In any case, it’s about whatever helps get the job done, with as little headache as possible.

We Love You, Mothers, Everywhere!

Happy Mothers Day!

This is my first Mother’s Day with the “official title”. Last year, I was counting down the weeks till our son arrived.

I don’t even have one year under my belt yet, but I see how motherhood is such a blessed and fulfilling calling! My heart is completely overwhelmed each morning, when I see Seth’s happy face peering at me as I open the door to his nursery, and hear his giggles as he reaches for me, and our day together begins. Seth is a constant reminder of the Lord’s goodness and mercy towards Don and me.

And each day, as I grow in motherhood, I am increasingly thankful for the example my mom gives me.

When my sisters got married within a few months of each other, I ended up being the only daughter at home for three years and enjoyed this special time, growing closer with my mom. My mom is so wonderful, fun, simple, and sweet, and that’s on top of being absolutely beautiful — my dad would agree! Over the years, I’ve noticed how fully she gives herself to her calling:

In the home:

the food she sets on the table, decorations that make a home cozy, rearranging of the furniture (I used to laugh but now I do the same thing), the ways she saves or makes a little money to help out

In the family:

the way she cares for my dad and make his evenings after work, restful for him, the activities with the grandchildren, the encouragement she has for us daughters, how she loves and honors her parents

In the community:

the gatherings and phone calls with her friends, and the emphasis on God’s Word at the center of every part of our lives, her kindness, extending to anyone around her, her willingness to be of service, even in the hidden things

I am so blessed to have her as my mother.

And I’m lucky to have two wonderful mothers!

I also have my mother-in-law who I am so thankful for! She is thoughtful, caring, kind, and sweet, and is also there for me in every way that my mom is. She encourages me in motherhood, being at home, taking care of Seth, and enjoying him. I enjoy any time we spend together and our talks.

Sometime I watch old footage of our families — Donnie and I as children — I’ll watch how both of our moms created an atmosphere in their homes, founded on Biblical stories and activities to raise godly, creative, energetic, and healthy children.

With their encouragement and the mercies of the Lord made new to us every morning, I will raise our children the same way.

So, thank you mothers, and we love you!

5 Reasons to Budget with Mint

Goodbye Excel spreadsheet! I felt triumphant as I transferred our budget spreadsheet to Intuit Mint. That was two years ago and since then, budgeting has been so easy for us. It’s our one-stop-shop to effortlessly visualize and manage our finances.

  1. It’s Free.

    That’s already a plus for me. I don’t know if I would have considered trying it out if there was a subscription fee to use the app. You could be wondering how they make their money. Along with the features the app has to offer, the blog  (I choose to hide the blog) gives you advice on financial services, and of course, they get a referral fee if you choose to use those services. I understand if the 3rd party, “data collecting”, cloud-based service is not for you and there is no need for you to read further.

  2. Easily Adjustable Budgets & Alerts

    Life has ups and downs, so everyone needs a little flexibility. It’s so easy to adjust your budgets when necessary. Mint also provides notifications and alerts, keeping you in full control of your spending.

  3. Tracking upcoming bills

    This feature shows you the various bills you’ll need to pay by the end of the month and gives you a complete total — no surprises. 🙂

  4. Linked debit / credit cards

    Linking the cards you use for purchases will help you get a more realistic visual of your finances. It helps to see all my card balances in one location with the transactions – even the ones still pending. I categorize and tag each transaction as it comes in and I’ve been able to easily pull up medical receipts, etc. for our taxes.

  5. Savings Goals

    Motivation helps! Select a goal — new car, new home, vacation, emergency fund — and Mint helps you decide the amount to save per month. Link an account to see the results of your savings.

 

For us, Mint is about saving time. And that means more time to enjoy our life together with friends & family!

Feel free to contact me if you have further questions.

 

Summer Pizza Nights

Summer is on it’s way — each week the temperatures rise, the sun shines a little more, and my excitement grows while awaiting my favorite season! One of our little traditions for Friday evenings in Summer is pizza nights on the porch. With some of our favorite garnishes: freshly grated parmesan and crushed red pepper, we sit in the golden and pink glow that Olympia sunsets offer, and peacefully enjoy our favorite Italian food.

I’m looking forward to sharing these times with Don again.

Follow the links to view the pizza dough and pizza sauce recipes.

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