Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sunday Recipe Wrap Up Link Party

I found this new blog called Cookie Dough and Ovenmitt and they have a neat link up for Sunday Recipes. I really like to cook and try new recipes. In fact my blog has a ton of recipes and some of which are tried and true pinterest recipes. So here is my link up!

Sundays are perfect days for me to share recipes because I just had a whole week of meal making. I usually write out my grocery list on Wednesday or Thursday night, which usually includes checking out my recipes I pinned on Pinterest. I REALLY like Pinterest BUT seriously time management is key. So, I usually pick six to seven recipes and click on the link to get to the blog, and then narrow it down to a couple new recipes I want to try. Then I print out the recipe so I can get off of the computer or my phone before its two hours later and I'm pinning new stuff! I also like to print the recipes because I can always have the paper copy for reference and once again less screen time for my precious eyes!

This special Sunday I'm going to share this awesome recipes I found on Pinterest that is so EASY and CHEAP and did I say easy. I have been making this every week for while and I decided to give it a break so I didn't wear it out but its absolutely delish!



{Adapted from GIMME SOME OVEN, check out this blog for original recipe}



  • 1/3 cup soy sauce (if making gluten-free, be sure to use GF soy sauce)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth (or chicken/beef broth, or water)
  • 3 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. corn starch
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper


  • 1 lb. thinly sliced flank steak or sirloin, cut diagonally across the grain into thin strips
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 16 ounces baby portobello or button mushrooms, halved
  • 3 cups chopped kale
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced



Add all marinade ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine. Pour marinade into a large bowl or ziplock bag, then add in the steak and gently toss to combine. Cover/seal and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.


Once steak has marinated, heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Remove steak from marinade with a slotted spoon, reserving the marinade, and add to saute pan with garlic. Saute for about 2-3 minutes until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove steak with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add mushrooms, kale, and reserved marinade to saute pan, and stir to combine. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the kale is wilted, the sauce has thickened, and the mushrooms have cooked, stirring regularly so that sauce does not burn. Add in the steak, and toss to combine.
Serve immediately over rice or quinoa, garnished with chopped green onions.

This is a tried and true pinterest recipe from Gimme Some Oven. It turned out wonderfully and was as easy as she said. I would add this to your recipe list. I added a printable recipe link for easy printout.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Thoughts for Thursday

Is it Thursday already!? Good!! I'm happy for it to be here so quickly this lovely week, that means tomorrow my hubby has a day off and we are going on a mini vacation. Can't wait to drive away from our little abode and just take some time off. I never realized until recently how needed vacations or time away is. It refreshes you and you helps you to actually miss the routine of home. This may not be true for everyone but I think most stay at home moms can relate. When the weekend comes we want out of the house but since our husbands have been working and out all week, they just wanna be in. Serious dilemmas here, but hopefully we eventually find a common compromise.

My thoughts today are cleaning my house, packing up our bags, and getting outside for a good part of the day. I honestly love to clean my home. What I don't like is that it barely stays clean for 15 minutes.

This last week I've really been pushing myself to get exercise. I'm still having a hard time getting out of winter hibernation even though its summer. I was running in the fall and as it got cold I just used the elliptical but then I stopped and I haven't been consistent since. I also feel like I exercise all day by keeping up with three boys and at the end of the day I'm pooped. When we ride bikes as a family and get active when my husband is home on the weekends it so much more fun and easy. This week I have went running and I took the kids for a bike ride yesterday. They had a blast and it was great exercise since I was pulling the two younger ones.

Lastly for this thoughts for Thursday, I want to share my gratitude for my husband. He works so hard all week for our family and long hours. I couldn't imagine being away from home so much. Lately I've been trying to really walk in his shoes and think how he must feel after a long day of working. I expect him to be super husband and dad BUT the reality is he gets tired too. It doesn't mean I will lower my expectations, but it does mean that I will try make my expectations more realistic.

This post was a link up with Thoughts for Thursdays from the Home of Malones and East Coast Chic. That's it for now! See ya!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Dear Healing Lady (Part 3)

*I'm not a therapist or psychologist, I hold no special title, but I do hold the understanding of one who has experienced abuse in many forms. I'm writing specifically to women because I'm a woman. I write mainly of emotional and mental abuse because its so subtle and hardly noticed. Just because you don't have a bruise doesn't mean its not abuse*

Dear Healing Lady,

I'm very glad to write this last letter to you. Although it might be painful to read I know it will be good for us both. I hope your doing well and that you are taking care of yourself. I'm doing pretty good myself today. Prayer has been my weapon this week and I'm holding on to my conversations with God. I have been enjoying the wonderful book of Ecclesiasticus. You wont find that in a conventional bible but I have the book. The wisdom in it amazes me every time I turn the page!

Anyway, I wanted to talk about our issues. The issues we have from being abused and because we all have flaws. Abuse can make a lot of nasty things surface in ourselves that we didn't even know were there. I have heard this about marriage too but I would say with abuse its a bit different. Yep, this letter is about us because healing is about us. We cannot change anybody but us and change begins with us. We know what happens when we think we can fix another person, it causes us more pain and disappointment. We cannot change an abuser. No matter how good we are, no matter how loving we are, no matter how submissive we are, and no matter how much we do everything that they say correctly. This is because their problem isn't us, its them. They have a problem with abusing not with you.

I'm going to try not to say anymore about them because their problem isn't ours and this letter is about what we can change and that is US! This statement was a profound gem to me, yet it should have been common sense. The freedom in that statement was also wonderful to me.

Okay, so back to our issues. When I began healing I started to wonder why I ended up in an abusive relationship. I started to wonder why I didn't "see the signs". Among numerous other self evaluating questions, I began to recap my life. I started to learn that I didn't have BOUNDARIES. Boundaries are huge!!! There are lots of great books on Boundaries. I didn't know how to say no, something in my brain had learned that "no" was mean or a sign that you weren't willing. I won't go into detail but if you look through my life as if it were pages in a book you'd see the messages I was sent from a young age. I'm not saying that I deserved to be abused. I'm trying to communicate that I had a part in it and that is enabling.

Their are many words that I never knew until I started my healing journey. Such words are: Enabler, co-dependency, boundaries. I hated reading these words at first because I thought these words were saying that my abuser was right about me. This thinking held me back from the truth. The truth was the abuser used my weaknesses to elevate himself not to help me overcome my weaknesses. My weaknesses were there and that was okay but it didn't make what the abuser did okay.

I would encourage you to look up these words and self evaluate. Sometimes it hurts but the pain only lasts for a time and your growth is worth it!

As we look back on our experiences with domestic violence lets find the blessings in what was meant to destroy us but didn't. Lets overcome the pain with the joy of the knowledge we now carry with us because without that knowledge we would still be in danger of other predators. Lets use our knowledge of abuse to walk along those hurting from abuse. I honestly can say that even when I have hard days and I'm angry about the abuse, in my mind I count it a joy to have been through it all. The reason I feel blessed to have experienced what I did is because my mind has been opened to a whole new world of deception. In my first letter I wrote that "A lot of people have no experience in dealing with the depth of deception involved with domestic violence, so they judge it wrongly". The blessing in this is we can see deception more clearly now. We have learned how to use our voice and to stand. But we have also learned how to deal with people who think they have your mind in their pocket. Lets use our gratitude of this trial to work through the forgiveness because holding onto the pain doesn't harm them at all, in fact it gives them power still and harms only us.

I have to give credit where credit is due. And I am thankful to Pastor Gino Jennings for speaking about abuse while many churches sit silent. I'm thankful he can pull out scriptures that talk about abuse, and people who want to destroy us. It shows me that God knows about this stuff and wants to teach us His ways, that we may know the workings of the enemy.

Thank you to all my readers and I truly hope this letter can encourage you!

*God was my refuge and still is where I turn, He was and is my comforter. Without Him I couldn't have come out so victorious! So I give all the Glory for my daily healing and strength to Him.*

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Dear Wanting to Heal Woman {Part 2)

*I'm not a therapist or psychologist, I hold no special title, but I do hold the understanding of one who has experienced abuse in many forms. I'm writing specifically to women because I'm a woman. I write mainly of emotional and mental abuse because its so subtle and hardly noticed. Just because you don't have a bruise doesn't mean its not abuse*

Dear Wanting to Heal Woman, {Part Two},

Have you read Dear Abused Woman {Part One}? If not check it our here. My first letter was a basic overview of the cycle of domestic violence. The questioning of self, the breakdown of self esteem, the struggles within the mind, and finding safe people. In this letter I want to talk about healing. I know for me I thought that I was damaged, that my heart would turn cold, or that I would become numb. The effects of domestic violence are real and dig deep wounds but we can get better.

I remember one day just thinking to myself, I need to get healthy. I didn't know what that meant. I started to physically experience sickness in my body and had a full on attack in my mind. I knew if I continued down this path I would be destroyed mentally and suffer even worse physical aliments. I do not mean physical wounds from an abuser but abuse takes a toll on your health. You may be experiencing some of these symptoms now. They are fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, stomach upset, insomnia, anxiety. All of these symptoms if left unchecked, can begin to cause inflammation. And inflammation is the beginning of disease. And when your mind is so weak it can cause severe depression. My emotional and physical health become my motivation to break the cycle.

Healing for me began at a domestic violence shelter. Knowledge is power.The more you understand the abuse, the tactics, and the cycle you are able to build confidence. It will cause you to stand up for yourself and that triggers HEALING! My pastor said it best "You fight what you don't understand". Of course this statement pertains to numerous situations but for an abused woman, we fight because we don't understand whats happening. The problem with fighting without any knowledge is that it actually gives the abuser the upper hand. The abuser will use our "fighting" done in ignorance to point the finger back at us and say "see your stupid", "see you have anger issues", "see your the problem not me". This all causes self doubt and pushes us further into their control.

To recap my statement, HEALING from domestic violence, begins with gaining understanding of domestic violence, seeking support from safe people, and being consistent in those two areas. You do not want to seek support from anyone who guilt's you, blames you, or also communicates with the abuser. The reason for this is they can themselves be manipulated by the abuser and/or place you in a unsafe position. I would just like to add that there are special circumstances for everything but as a general guide stick with this. An abuse shelter or hotline is a great place for support because they are totally for you. They want to build you up emotional but they DO NOT make decisions for you. Abuse shelters understand that you need to learn to make decisions and they are a support for you to learn to trust yourself again. The advocates are also able to help you locate financial resources to support you and anyone else in your care. Some shelters also offer legal advice. I will add some links at the end of this letter.

As you begin to grow because of you new found support and growing self esteem your healing will continue to soar. You will still have hard days, you will be angry, and you will really need stable support for a long time. Emotions can come out more intensely after leaving the abusive situation. This happens because you had to suppress emotions to keep yourself safe from the abuse. When you have to stuff natural emotions you become numb. When you become awakened again or start healing, the numbness wears off, and you start to feel the emotions. I call them breakdowns because that's usually what they are. I also think of the verse "Be ye angry and sin not". Ephesians 4:26. I strive to live this out because its okay to be angry, but its not okay to act in our anger.

I hope this letter offered hope and a light at the end of the tunnel. A beginning and a fresh look at what is ahead and not behind.

I'll end with this, once you are in a state of HEALING it never stops. You will be HEALING for the rest of your life if you choose to be.

Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE(7233)
Find A Domestic Violence Shelter Near You

*God was my refuge and still is where I turn, He was and is my comforter. Without Him I couldn't have come out so victorious! So I give all the Glory for my daily healing and strength to Him.*

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Dear Abused Woman {Part 1}

*I'm not a therapist or psychologist, I hold no special title, but I do hold the understanding of one who has experienced abuse in many forms. I'm writing specifically to women because I'm a woman. I write mainly of emotional and mental abuse because its so subtle and hardly noticed. Just because you don't have a bruise doesn't mean its not abuse*

Dear Abused Woman {Part 1}

I'm sorry for the pain your enduring. If you already figured out your being abused your probably isolated, which means you haven't a friend. There are many reasons for this. Usually, its a slow process which the abuser is the real initiator. He tells you it was your fault you stopped talking to your mom or friend. You think "Well I was the one who told them I couldn't talk to them anymore" but It was hard to keep the relationship going, because every time you spent time with them or even chatted on the phone, your abuser went into a rage. The abuser blamed them on your so called "attitudes" and "disobedience". So,was it really your choice or were you bullied, manipulated into cutting the ties with your mom or friend. After awhile you can't tell anymore. Your becoming closed off to anybody who wants to come close. So you start to assume something is wrong with you. The abuser validates your isolation by saying, you did the right thing. But really, who was it the right thing for??

You jump between denial and reality. Some days the abuser is so nice, not a harsh word. You were even able to use the car with no repercussion. The abuser didn't complain once about dinner, and even asked if you wanted help cleaning up. You think "What did I do right today?" and "I must be exaggerating the bad days". It causes you to feel safe once more to connect with the abuser. To talk to them as if you were talking to your mom or friend you cut ties with. If this is a romantic relationship, you will feel safe to sleep with your abuser that day. Your glad that you were making it all up as you've been taught to think by the abuser.

The next day something feels different. The air you breathe even feels heavy. Your scared and your not sure why. Next thing you know everything that you shared from your heart to the abuser is blasted back at you in some way. Its all used against you. You feel dizzy, tongue tied, and wrong. You feel ashamed, stupid, dirty and wondering how you fell into this trap again. Reality sets in and the denial fades. You don't know want to do though, because all your friends are now sick of your back and forth with them. You don't even know who you are anymore or why you would act like that.  You spend all your time in the reality stage with non-stop thinking. Your brain feels like its going fifty miles and hour. Your constantly nervous and your body is starting to feel the weight of this. You think about leaving but then the fear sets in. What will he do to you? What will he tell people? If you have children or pets you feel even more concerned. Just having the thoughts of leaving cause continually anxiety, and you loathe to leave the state of reality. This is the cycle of Domestic violence.

 Its hard to let a world that shows little to no compassion know your battling this unfair fight. A lot of people have no experience in dealing with the depth of deception involved with domestic violence, so they judge it wrongly. If you have tried to get support to build your esteem back up which the abuser slowly tore apart, you were most likely laughed at, scoffed at, told to be a obedient wife no matter what, and the worst one of all, its probably your fault. Some people didn't believe you at all, which validated what the abuser said about you "Your Crazy". You sink deeper into confusion, your hands tremble and you lie down on the floor. The thoughts of suicide parade through your weakened mind, but you push them aside because you know that's how crazy people think. You wonder how can you ever get out this. Your strength is so small.

If anything or everything I said triggered you or gave you a tear, just know you haven't walked in those shoes alone. Many women including myself understand many of these situations described. I want to validate what your feeling. Know that you are not crazy. People who do not understand are not safe right now because they will deny the abuse. You need people who will build you up, validate what your experiencing, and not tear you down. They may have the best intentions, they may be a mentor, a psychologist, or they may say they are your friend, but if they don't validate you and/or deny what your saying they are not healthy for you to be around in the crucial period of healing.

You have the right to say no. Just because someone says your something, doesn't mean its true. Remember that you know what you have been through and learn again to trust your instincts. If it seems unsafe it probably is.

If you are still with your abuser, hold on. Don't give up. Reread this letter I write to you over and over. Whenever the abuser denies what your feeling or doesn't let you even speak. Read this letter. What we need most is to build back up our self esteem. To trust ourselves again. I would encourage you to find support at a local Domestic Violence shelter, you can go when you need the support and not go when you feel unsafe. When we are so broken down we need others to affirm us. To help us to learn how to trust ourselves again. To see things clearly. To create safety plans with us, to give us hope. Most importantly we need someone who we can be completely honest with.

If you have left already, read this when you get that text, the email, or that call where the abuser sets you back. When he attacks your new found strength. Continue to get support from safe places.

Healing is a process, it takes time. We can only control our own choices and decisions. We do have the ability to choose what how we will react. Healing is a time of recovery, a time of exploring the realities we try to run and hid from. Exploring our insecurities and vulnerabilities and strengthening ourselves to never allow the same abuse to happen again. Learning and growing.


Honest Motherhood

*This is a small look inside the realities of Domestic Violence. If you have a friend or know someone who is experiencing Domestic Violence, please share this letter with them. Also, educate yourself about the cycle of Domestic Violence and be patient.*

If you are in need of support I would encourage you to visit I also have a Facebook page Honest Motherhood, please feel free to message me.

*God was my refuge and still is where I turn, He was and is my comforter. Without Him I couldn't have come out so victorious! So I give all the Glory for my daily
healing and strength to Him.*

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Simple (Gluten Free) Chicken Nuggets~Try these even if your not GF, so easy!

My middle son, Weston, asked if I could make chicken nuggets. I'm not a fan of packaged food and rarely ever pay the high prices of packaged organic food, especially when I know I can make it at home. I looked up some gluten free nugget recipes and found a few but they weren't as easy as I wanted. I finally found a easy recipe that I could sway things around and make it my own.

In the recipe I found they were using corn flakes, and I didn't have those but I did happen to have a box of gluten free chex. Perfect! The chex was a great coating, better then I thought it would be. Evem if your not gluten free this is still an awesome recipe to make homemade chicken nuggets. Make a couple batches and freeze some, for a easy lunch. 

Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets
  • 3 chicken breasts or thighs, cut up in 1 inch pieces
  • 2 cups gluten free chex, I used the Rice kind
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
First you will want to turn the oven to 350 degrees. Next cut up your chicken breast or thighs into 1 inch chunks. Using a gallon plastic bag, pour in two cups of rice chex. Use your hands and any helping little hands to crunch up all the chex. Add the garlic and onion powder into the crunched up chex.

 Next, put your eggs into a bowl and mix them up.

I put about 6-7 pieces of chicken in the bowl with the eggs and let them soak about 1 minute. Then, I coated the chicken pieces with the crunched up chex. I placed them on a nonstick cookie sheet. You can also put down parchment paper to help with clean up time. I usually do this but I ran out of my parchment paper. 

Lastly, place in oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until chicken is completely cooked. The chex coating should be browned as well. 

I made a BBQ ranch dip for mine but the boys just wanted some good old fashioned ketchup. We ate along with some garlicky green beans. If I would have had more time I would have made homemade french fries. 

I can't wait to make these again! The boys thought they were awesome! My husband also kept saying how delicious these were. I smiled and said "Good thing you married a chef". We giggled and it was a successful dinner!

Today's Encouragement:

Monday, March 9, 2015

Sick Kids! What Can You Do? 4 Quick Tips!! Great for Adults Too!!

*This is my personal advice, I'm not a doctor just an experienced mom.*

I hear this question so much, especially from new moms when their kids are sick, "I feel so helpless". I used feel this as a mom and sometimes you still do. I was so thankful to learn that we can do our part to help our sick kiddos. Our bodies have an amazing ability to heal themselves. If we give our bodies the right tools it can help it function and heal quickly.

You know when you go the doctor in the middle of the night because your child hasn't slept a wink and neither have you, and the doctor says its a virus and there's nothing we can do but wait it out. Well, there is not much the doc can do, BUT there is a ton you CAN DO!! I can feel the excitement on a new moms face to hear these words!

Here are some suggestions next time your feeling helpless. You can try all, just a few or just one, every little bit helps:

1. Garlic Toast
  • Toast
  • REAL Salt
  • Fresh Garlic, OR Jarred
  • Butter or (Healthy Balance for Non-Dairy 

This is so simple, and can be easily overlooked but it truly has helped my kids tremendously!! I will let you know the exact things I use, but you can use whatever you have on hand. I used Ezekiel Bread, preferably grass-fed butter, fresh garlic or jarred garlic, and a dash of REAL salt. For a gluten free version try Ezekiel gluten free bread, or another brand. Personally I steer clear of gluten most of the time BUT Ezekiel Organic Bread is made from a sprouted grain that is a complete protein. Its fair different than regular bread on the shelf. In fact you will only find Ezekiel Bread in the freezer section. Always store in freezer or fridge. My kids like this bread toasted. For Babies pureed garlic can be added to food.

Garlic is naturally antiviral, toast is gentle on the stomach, REAL salt helps to absorb the good nutrients and butter is for taste but if grass fed has wonderful healthy fats.

2. Epsom Salt and Ginger Baths (AKA Dirty Bath)
I learned this from my chiropractor back in Appleton at Appleton Chiropractic, Dr. Kristy Otto. She is wonderful, a great listener and amazing at what she does!
  • Bathtub filled with safe level of water
  • 2-3 drops doTERRA ginger oil, OR 1/2 cup Fresh Ginger, OR 1 Tsp Ginger Powder
  • 1/2-1 Cup Epsom Salt
Fill up the bathtub, use doTERRA ginger oil, OR fresh ginger, OR ginger powder. Pour Epsom salt and let dissolve. Let kids soak for about 15-20 minutes and play :) **They will be sweaty after this bath and will need to drink fluids.**
Epsom salt helps to draw out toxins, relieves stress, helps muscle pain, and can relieve constipation! And much more. Here is a wonderful article for further reading Epsom Salt Uses and Benefits. Ginger contains anti-inflammatory properties, which is great for healing an ailing body. Here is more info on Ginger baths.

3. doTERRA Essential Oils (Use a little oil, often. One drop every hour or two for a couple days, even if symptoms seem better. Try oils like you would an antibiotic)

I thought this picture of Julian trying to get my oils was priceless, but I was to quick for him!
You can use:
  • On Guard protective blend, 1 drop diluted with fractionated coconut oil, rub on feet. Rub on throat if its sore. 
  • Lavender for calming/bedtime, 1 drop diluted with fractionated coconut oil, rub on feet, pillow
  • Lemon Oil, one drop in 8fl oz of water.
  • Breathe, one drop diluted with fractionated coconut oil, rub on back by lungs for help with breathing. 
This list could go on and on. There are SO many possibilities with oils and you just have to find what works well for your family. Consistency is key. If you have questions about essential oils please read Beginners Essential Oils and contact me for any questions, and possible samples.

4. Kids Cold Care Traditional Medicinal TEA

  • One cup warm water
  • one packet tea
  • 1-2 TBSP honey for sweetener & health
Its very important to remember to get kids tea for kids and review the label for correct usage. Kids tea has the proper amounts of herbs suggested for children's use. I always put honey in my kids tea because they like the taste but also because honey has many great health properties. Honey is a great throat soother, and is packed with nutrients to help your body. Tea has antioxidants and offers a calming effect. My kids always feel great after drinking tea.

Don't feel helpless moms, dads, and even grandparents! We can help.

Here is today's Encouragement:

Grab My Button

Honest Motherhood

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