What I’m Loving…

What I am loving right now…

Well, I started this post a few weeks ago and I didn’t quite get it posted in January…but I’m still loving each of these.

Please comment below and tell me what YOU are loving right now!

Smoothies

Smoothies are by far the easiest way for me to get in several servings of FRUITS and VEGGIES. I can always tell I have more energy when I’m having a daily smoothie! I have had my Ninja — this blender for years now and *love it.*

Here’s what I toss into the blender for my smoothies, and without measuring, which would feed a few of us:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 big handfuls spinach
  • small handful frozen strawberries
  • small handful frozen blueberries or any frozen fruit
  • greek yogurt
  • orange juice (half my household likes MILK in their smoothies, I prefer the citrus taste)

Water

I am drinking a GALLON of water everyday! I’m feeling GOOD! I squeeze about half a lemon into my big water bottles and also 1 drop of grapefruit or tangerine essential oil. I love citrus flavored water!

I have big cups that I love and I alternate them each day. I have a stainless Bubba cup that I got from Walmart and then this Rtic cup from Amazon. I also purchased a stainless steel set of straws that I love.

 

My Journaling Bible

I have a renewed love for my Bible at the beginning of this year. I think it must be reading the book Women of the Word and realizing just what a treasure we have in those pages! And the journaling Bible just provides so much room in the margins for note taking and prayers and such…

I also happen to adore the journaling Bible monthly devotional KITS from Dayspring. Craft supplies with a focus on JESUS. Yes, please! If you want to see more pictures of my Bible and all the monthly devotional kits, click here! 

Bullet Journal

Super uber simple, I followed Edie’s methods in her free video found here.  So. I was NOT going to jump on the bullet journal band wagon. I wasn’t going to do it! Til I was at a goal setting workshop with the amazing Dr. Edie of LifeinGrace blog and she pretty much convinced me. {grin} She has a free video you can sign up to receive in your email and it goes over exactly how she does it. Her ideas are so simple that we can all benefit from it!

Essential oils

I also have a growing and somewhat renewed love for my oils. I have been using Young Living oils for a little over a year now. I can tell such a difference in these oils and the ones I used to use. My mood and overall emotional well being is more STABLE, I’m using their fruit juice supplement and have more ENERGY, our house is generally very WELL. I taught my first class on DITCHING THE TOXINS via video on facebook. I am just loving it all!

I wrote about the oils I use every single day as well as 5 simple resources to DITCH THE TOXINS from your home recently!

Exercising regularly

Ouch. Yep. It’s the beginning of a new year, of course I am exercising. LOL! But I feel so.much.better. I told my husband that weight lifting and walking/jogging 3-4 times a week leaves me feeling empowered. Like I really CAN do hard things. Maybe I’m not a wimp after all. And, handling stress is something I actually can do when I’m exercising. My body needs it.

I am blessed to have several friends meeting me at our church facility several times a week to walk and exercise together. I have a personal trainer friend who put together a work out plan for me and I am VERY surprised by how much I am loving it!

Here is what I wrote recently on Instagram about exercising and how I’m feeling!

3 days in a row!! 👊This is my 4th week of exercising 3-4 times per week with an hour or more each time. I think my body was in shock at first, and now I think I’m just on a high. I don’t even seem to care (yet) about the numbers on the scale but I love feeling so good. When you’ve felt lousy, when you’ve suffered from depression, when you’ve come out of a stressful semester, when you’ve been parenting and homeschooling for years, when you’ve got several teens in your home…I guess your body kind of forgets what it’s like to feel good and stays in stressed-out mode. Thank You, Lord!! I know it’s combined with eating better, not so much sugar, my super juice supplement and THE GRACE OF GOD. Help me to keep it up, dear Lord!!!! 🙏 I also continue to be thankful every time I walk in the facility at #manleybaptist because I can come and do this without huge monthly fees. Huge blessing!

Live videos for inspiration

Are any of you enjoying  live videos from your favorite bloggers and online authors as much as I am?? Some of my favorites:

Edie Wadsworth of LifeinGrace blog, she also leads the essential oil group I’m in, she does videos and classes online and also does AMAZING videos and talks in our business building group. She has done a goal setting workshop, a talk on living out of LOVE and not fear, how to grow your business and more. If you want to join our Young Living team, please send me a message. Here are her public videos from her blog page! 

Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom – I’ve done a few of her courses which are video based but I also have loved her periscopes and facebook live videos through 2016 as she talked about her year of rest. Here are Crystal’s public videos from her Money Saving Mom page. 

Are there any bloggers or others that you like to follow with their live videos? I would love to hear who you love listening to! 

Coconut Oil Lotion {+ Printable Recipe Card}

Homemade Lotion with Coconut Oil and Essential Oils

A few years ago I shared a SIMPLE {4 ingredient, 5 minutes to make!} lotion recipe with you here on my blog and now I want to update this same recipe with new tips and ideas for you! I also have a free recipe card for you to print and use as a reference!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup emulsifying wax (this bag will make quite a few batches)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 12-15 drops your favorite essential oils (I used 7 drops lavender, 7 drops tangerine and LOVE the scent! I do not like the scent to be very strong, so this was still a very light scent)
  • 1/8 teaspoon of potassium sorbate (if you wish to add a preservative)

More Items Needed

Instructions

1. In a 2-cup pyrex measuring glass, I melted the emulsifying wax WITH the coconut oil. (I have seen this recipe using olive oil as well, if you’d like to try that!) The coconut will be a little more white like the 2nd picture as opposed to the 3rd picture – the coconut oil lotion ends up being perfectly white, the olive oil is more of an off-white/creamy color. I put mine in the microwave for about 1 minute and then stirred. (The coconut oil will take a little bit longer to melt, just fyi.)

2. Fill a coffee mug or about 1 and 1/4 cup of water, heat in microwave, again, I heated for about 1 minute. (If you wish to add preservative – listed above under ingredients – you would add 1/8 a teaspoon to your water at this point!)

3. While water is heating, add your drops of essential oil. I only added about 14-15 drops, the original recipe calls for more than that. It really depends on how smelly you like your lotion! you don’t have to add a scent at all!!

4. Pour the hot water into the oil mixture and stir.

5. I then poured my lotion into the small 4oz jars. I left them open because you want to keep stirring the lotion so that it doesn’t separate. I basically left it on the counter and everytime I walked through the kitchen, I stirred it a few times.

After a few hours you have wonderful, homemade lavendar lotion!!

Printable Recipe

Coconut Oil Lotion Recipe PDF

Coconut Oil Lotion Recipe

Essential Oils

If you’d like to find out more information about essential oils, please click over here where I’m collecting all my information I’m learning!

More Pictures of the Process

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Favorite Resources for Quick Dinners

Favorite Resources for Quick Dinners

If you’ve read my blog for long, you know that I don’t exactly love being in the kitchen for hours on end. Believe me, I wish I did! I even wrote a post called 20 Meals for Moms that Hate Cooking. ha! I also teach piano lessons two evenings a week, so my crockpot is often my best friend in the kitchen.

Over the years I have collected and tried MANY different cookbooks, recipes from Pinterest, crockpot recipes and freezer batch cooking. I, personally, don’t just stick to ONE of those methods. I do a little bit of everything. I LOVE having meals in my freezer ready to go, I usually have 1-2 crockpot meals on my menu each week, and I love recipes with just a few ingredients that I can throw together at the last minute.

So, I thought I would share with you my FAVORITE resources for getting dinner on the table fast! I also want to share a few of my tried and true meals/recipes that we’ve used over the years.

Favorite Resources for Quick Dinners

1. Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook  – this book came highly recommended to me by several friends! I am slowly trying to get to the point where I make several meals at once instead of just one, then I have something ready to go in the freezer.

2. Chicken Dump Recipes from Sharla of The Chaos and the Clutter. These ebooks are VERY simple to use, they give you grocery lists and everything!

3. Beef Dump Recipes This is another resource from The Chaos and the Clutter. These ebooks have 20 or so recipes, divided into plans so that you can grocery shop according to plan. There are instructions, with pictures, that help you to get these meals into your freezers!

4. Pinterest – Ok this isn’t a cookbook or anything, but seriously, I have tried so many great recipes over the years from Pinterest! I have a whole board of Crockpot & Freezer meal recipes. I have a board of Main Dish recipes that are, for the most part, pretty simple. If it’s got a huge list of ingredients, I don’t even pin it.

5. Find your local Pampered Chef lady! There are new “freezer meal workshops” that Pampered Chef does and they are great! I have a friend locally that does these and you walk away with anywhere from 7-10 freezer meals when you are done! You do have to purchase the Pampered Chef spices to go with the recipes, but we’ve had so many of these meals that are wonderful!

10 Favorite Quick Dinners

 

Favorite Fast Meals (Crockpot or Freezer)

1. Chili in crockpot  (regular beef chili or White Chicken Chili. I always have browned meat or shredded chicken already cooked and in my freezer for meals such as this.)

2. Meatballs (just the simple 1 bottle BBQ sauce + 1 jar grape jelly)

3. Soups

4. BBQ Chicken or Beef, cook in crock pot all day and then place on buns to eat (just use frozen chicken breasts + 1 bottle BBQ sauce)

5. Chicken Hurry (from Chicken Dump Recipes)

6. Roast with potatoes, carrots

7. Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup

8. Lasagna (I do NOT boil noodles first. I make a HUGE batch of the “insides” of lasagna and then make 5 lasagnas at one time to go in freezer)

9. Tacos (I make big batches of taco hamburger meat or taco seasoned chicken and then freeze in freezer bags)

10. Breakfast for Dinner

 

I would LOVE to hear what YOUR favorite quick dinners are? Or what resources/cookbooks do you find yourself using time and time again? 

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Simple Oatmeal Bake

Simple Oatmeal Bake

Y’all know me by now. I don’t share recipes unless they are SUPER easy like this 4 ingredient crustless quiche! This is another such SIMPLE and relatively healthy breakfast recipe with few ingredients that you likely already have in your kitchen! I made this all the time years ago, and I recently came across this recipe again and wondered why I had gone so long without making it again!

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Oatmeal Bake

Ingredients

  • 4 cups oats
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 t baking powder
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 1.5 t cinnamon
  • 1 stick butter (melted)
  • 1 cup blueberries (or other fruit, optional)

Combine all ingredients together and mix well. Pour into a 9×13 or foil pan to bake. Bake at 350 degrees 30-40 minutes. Use a toothpick to ensure it has baked all the way through.

This recipe is very forgiving, you could add in nuts, fruits, chocolate chips even! This oatmeal bake is NOT like oatmeal bars that will cut into slices. When it is done cooking, use a spoon to put some into each bowl. Enjoy!

P.S. This recipe still turns out great if you mix it up the night before and bake first thing in the morning. Easy peasy! 

More Easy Recipes

As you all know, I don’t love spending a lot of time in the kitchen. {Believe me, I wish I did!!} So, when I find a SIMPLE and FAST meal I can throw together that is also somewhat healthy, I use it over and over again.

 

Low Calorie Comfort Foods

low calorie comfort food

Help me welcome my sweet friend Alyssa back to His Mercy is New! I’m excited to try some of these recipes! 

We all want to eat healthy and be healthy, right?  I always thought that eating healthy meant giving up all my favorite comfort foods.  Who wants to do that?!  In an effort to lose weight after going on depression medication and doing infertility treatments, I started to count calories.  Along the way, I came across some amazing low calorie desserts and meals that make me feel like I am not missing out on anything!  All of these recipes include SIMPLE ingredients and are easy to make!  Enjoy!

Tried and True Low Calorie Comfort Foods 2

7 Tried & True Low Cal Comfort Foods

  1. Secretly Healthy 87 Calorie Brownies  Gooey deliciousness.  I added 1 cup of mini chocolate chips, cut my 9X13 pan into 24 pieces, and VOILA!   123 calorie brownies!!
  2. Chocolate cake  I LOVE that this recipe uses only boxed cake mix, Greek yogurt, and water—SO EASY!
  3. Pumpkin Bread
  4. Graham Cracker “Ice Cream” Sandwiches  My 4 year old’s favorite
  5. Three Amigos Chili  A favorite meal of my husband’s.  When I am out of town, he will make a batch and eat it all week long!
  6. 3 Ingredient Banana Cookies  I was skeptical, but these really are good!  About 45 calories per cookie!
  7. Berry Parfait:  Simply layer Reddi Wip Whipped Cream, strawberries, blueberries, and mini Chocolate chips!!

Low Calorie Comfort Foods

More Low Cal Recipes I Want to Try

 

Alyssa Burnette profile pic

 

Alyssa lives in South Carolina with her husband and son.  She was raised in NY but has lived as a Yankee transplant for 20 years.  She and her husband have navigated the waters of infertility and adoption for 11 years.  Her loves are the piano, the outdoors, fashion, and reading. She has recently started a blog: Living Beyond the Dust