simple blog

A simple blog about seeking the Lord, savoring life and joyfully serving.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Clean Eating Coconut Macaroons (GF)

 Sweetened only with banana and a small amount of honey, you can feel good about feeding these to your children and nibbling several without compromising your health goals. We are limiting sugar in effort to put our family back on the fast track to health after an outbreak of strep throat in our home. We whipped up these guilt-free sweet beauties to satisfy a very sweet tooth craving.

GF Clean Eating Coconut Macaroons
1/4 Cup Coconut Flour
3/4 Cup Unsweetened finely chopped coconut flakes
1 Ripe Banana, mashed
2 Eggs
1 Tsp. Vanilla
2 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
2 Tbsp. Honey (add 1 more Tbsp. if you desire a sweeter macaroon)

Place banana in a bowl and mash with a potato masher. Add the rest of the ingredients and mash together until smooth.

Grease a cookie sheet with 1 Tbsp. coconut oil. With an ice cream scooper, scoop out approximately 12 macaroons. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. They will be brown and toasty on top.

I used the speed bake setting on my oven and baked our macaroons for about 20 minutes. Next time you are in the market for an oven, I HIGHLY recommend you purchase one with a Speed Bake option which decreases cooking time by about 30 percent. Because who wants to wait 30 percent longer for dessert?

We hope you enjoy our "sweet tooth craving" creation!

Grace and peace,
Adoring Family

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Grace For This Season

Hello everyone! We hope you are well. I have mentioned our family's endeavor which has kept us well occupied for the past several weeks. As a result I have not had time to devote to our family blog. I will disclose our family project next week but for now I know you understand that I will need all of my extra time to focus on my precious little ones. 

The purpose of this blog has been to chronicle our family's journey and leave my children with a piece of their mother. I have enjoyed the friendships with other mommy bloggers but I also have noticed a trend. Just like motherhood, blogging seems to evoke a sense of guilt. If we cannot get a post published I see mommas apologizing profusely. Explanations are nice but apologies are not nessecary when you have a family to raise. We all understand sick kiddos happen, laundry piles up, homework needs to be addressed and family projects take precedence. I hope you will receive grace during this blessed yet busy season.

I will continue to update this blog but my presence will be less prevelant as I focus my efforts and strength on my family and our undertaking. 
Joyful blessings to all of you.
Grace and peace,
Adoring Family 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Jalapeno Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Jalapeno Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Hi guys. I mentioned in this post how much our family loves squash blossoms and gave a link to Chef John's recipe. Check it out if you would like a more traditional version of squash blossoms. Today I wanted to include a Tex Mex version of my own invention. I hope you enjoy!

Jalapeno Stuffed Squash blossoms

3/4 cup soft cream cheese at room
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 Tsp. Black Pepper
1/2 Tsp. Garlic Powder
1/2 Tsp. Paprika
1 Tsp. Salt
12 pickled jalapenos

1 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 Tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp. Black Pepper
1/2 Tsp. Paprika
1 Tsp. Salt
1/4 cup cold water
12 fresh squash blossoms
Olive oil for frying
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1.Mix all of the filling ingredients except jalapenos together in a bowl; stir until smooth. Spoon filling into a resealable plastic bag, squeeze out the air, and seal the bag. Cut a small corner off the bag.

2.Gently insert the cut corner of the bag all the way to the bottom of the open end of a blossom and pipe about 1 tablespoon of filling inside. Stuff a jalapeno in the center and cover with the petals covering filling completely.

3.Combine dry batter ingredients in a mixing bowl; slowly whisk in cold water until batter is smooth and resembles pancake batter.

4. Pour olive oil into a skillet and place over medium heat. A quick way to tell if the oil is ready for frying is by dipping the end of a wooden spoon in the oil. If bubbles form around it then the oil is ready.

5.Dust filled squash blossoms lightly with all-purpose flour on all sides. Dip blossoms in batter and let excess batter drip off.

6. Fry until golden brown and drain on a paper towel. Lightly dust with season salt while still warm. Cool and enjoy!

We hope you find this recipe tasy and thank you to my sweet friend Brooke who showed us how wonderful squash blossoms can be!

Grace and  peace,
Adoring Family

Friday, May 8, 2015

Five Friday Favorites

We hope you have had a wonderful week. Ours started off not so great with our little boy being sick but he is doing better now so we are all good!

1. One favorite this week is our garden! We have some beautiful fruits and veggies. Our zucchinis are already ready to eat :) Have I mentioned I love his time of year?

2. This is one of our favorite hens. Helen. She has been a mama so many times we have lost count. She is so sweet and always takes great care of her chicks. Press play to see her feeding her chicks.

3. Squash Blossoms
Here is a delicious recipe from Food Wishes. Chef John is an excellent presenter! Many of his recipes have graced our family table. We thoroughly enjoyed this one last night!

4. Fresh Mint Tea
I love grabbing a fistful of mint from our garden and brewing a refreshing kettle of mint tea. So refreshing and chock full of antioxidants and vitamins!
This boy's smile. So happy it is back. Thanking the Lord for His kindness in restoring his health this week!

Blessings to all of you this weekend!
Grace and peace,
Adoring Family


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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Adoring Simplicity

Hello everyone. Today I would like to share a video with you that has greatly inspired me. Our family has been on a journey of simplicity for a little over a year now. We are purging items in our life that do not promote joy or peace. It is an ongoing process and it has been interesting to see what this journey has morphed into. I cannot wait to share some of the further details as plans progress but for now, please enjoy this video.

Grace and peace, Adoring Family

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Oil Cleansing: a Vibrant Facial Experience

I read about oil cleansing as a natural alternative to chemically laden facial cleansers several years ago. I couldn't imagine how slathering oil on your face could possibly result in clean, bright, clear skin but, after much research on anti aging products, I decided to delve into the world of oil cleansing.

The idea behind oil cleansing is actually a science, chemistry to be more specific. "Like dissolves like" is a phrase used by chemists to describe solubility.Oil will not dissolve in water because it is a non polar molecule while water is a polar molecule. The Oil Cleansing method is effective because the cleansing oil dissolves the "like" impurities, sebum-oil in the skin. Have you ever wrestled with a sticky substance only to rub a bit of oil on it and have it easily removed? Oil cleansing works the same way. Did I lose you? I hope not. I find if I understand the functionality of a method I will be more prone to adhere to it :)

I'm a nerd. And sometimes a little goofy. We all know this ;)

Now to find the perfect combination of oil. I prefer almond and castor oil. Almond oil is said to remove dark circles under the eyes (never have those, nope, not me). Avacodo oil is a favored option however, I read that it can worsen the appearance of dark circles. Coconut oil is commonly used but I found it to clog my pores although some tout claims that unrefined coconut oil is noncomedogenic. Just like anything, each woman's skin will be different and require different cleansing concoctions.

My favorite oil mixture is 1/2 castor oil and 1/2 almond oil. Castor oil is thicker, stickier and has excellent oil dissolving qualities while almond oil is lighter yet moisturizing.

The Ricinoleic acid in castor oil combats acne while the fatty acids present in castor oil deeply penetrate the skin for an intense moisturizing experience. The fatty acids also reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks and encourage new skin cell production. 

Almond oil is rich in vitamins A, B and E. As I mentioned before, almond oil is known to reduce dark eye circles and diminish wrinkles. It is also a reduces redness and is anti inflammatory. Almond oil is a natural anti aging product as it contains high levels of vitamin A and E. 

When cleansing your skin, gently rub the oil mixture into your palm and massage the oil into your skin. Don't rush this process, gently take your time and do take care to press the oil into your skin in order to reap the moisturizing, cleansing and anti aging benefits. You want to massage the oil into your skin thoroughly and give it time to deeply penetrate. Put on some beautiful, peaceful music, brush your teeth, wash your hair, whatever you can do to let the oil seep into your skin for a few minutes. Then take a rag moistened with the hot water place it over your face for 15-30 seconds. Gently rinse the oil off using the wet cloth. Pay dry and enjoy a fresh night's sleep with your dewy skin. 

Three times a week I like to make a paste of olive oil and baking soda in my palm and gently rub this into my skin after I have applied the almond/castor oil moisture. This gently exfoliates and removes the oil. I simply rinse with warm water and enjoy the smooth, soft feeling of freshly exfoliated skin.

I enjoy this relaxing part of my evening routing and the luxurious feeling of the oils as they are massaged into my skin. I have noticed my skin is clearer, more even toned and more supple since I began the oil cleansing method. I am a believer!
Are you new to oil cleansing? Don't let it scare you :) Make it a part of your evening routine for a week or two and let me know how you like it!
Grace and Peace,
Adoring Family

Friday, May 1, 2015

5 Friday Favorites

Happy Friday to you!
These are five favorites from our family to yours...

Disney Cruise Memories (full post coming soon).
Our Wedding Arch
My Father-In-Law designed and constructed this arch for our wedding day. We said our vows under this arch and my husband brings it with us wherever we go!
Homemade Spinach Dip

 Super easy and healthy.
Simply sautƩ a handful each of chopped carrots, celery and onion in olive oil and throw 2 cups of spinach on top until wilted. Mix in 1/2 a cup of Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup of mayo, 1 Tbsp. of garlic powder, 1 Tsp. paprika, salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy chilled after about an hour.
My Rebounder.
Life has been insanely busy as I mentioned in my last post. Exercise is a priority in order to create a healthy balance of endorphins and stay fit but finding the time has been increasingly difficult. I have been leaving my mini-trampoline in the middle of our great room so I can periodically stop for 60 second bursts of sprinting as a short break at least eight times a day. These mini rebounding sessions help clear out toxins, increase stamina in other areas of life and strengthen the heart.  Check out this post to read more about the benefits of rebounding and how rebounding aids your body in removing toxins.
Pura's Stainless Steel baby bottle.

We are very conscious about the products we use and I am not a fan of plastic. Glass bottles were my choice with my last baby but I did break a few. Our children use stainless steel tumblers to drink from on a daily basis so I thought, why not have my baby do the same? A quick search on Amazon brought up several great options. I like Pura because they are all stainless steel, even the collar which holds the silicone nipple. Here is a link . I ordered the monogram from Etsy.

Our memory verse for the week is Psalm 90:12
So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

We hope you have enjoyed this week's 5 Friday Favorites. Have a lovely weekend.
Grace and peace,
Adoring Family

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Am I Busy Doing The Right Things?

We are in an insanely busy season right now (isn't everyone?). There is so much in this life to distract us. There are trips to take, home projects, schooling endeavors, church plays, gardens to tend, baby chicks that need attention, playdates, field trips, grandparents who need to hold our babies and graduations. 
When our schedules are so full we must ask ourselves, "Am I Busy Doing The Right Things?"

Evaluate the items in your day and determine their lasting value. What are the most important items that need attention in life? I ask myself if there is any eternal significance in what I am doing? Am I tending to relationships and cultivating friendships? Am I solidifying my children's self worth and deepening their knowledge of the Savior? As much as I love doing dishes, laundry, decluttering and cleaning the house (ha!), can I stop for a game of chess with my daughter or to put together a Lego man for my son? Am I doing the things that I will be be thankful I did when I look back at my life twenty years from now? Life is but a vapor and it is too short to live with a long list of regrets.

One of my personal prayers is that I will always remain teachable. I find the Lord uses unique teachable moments in my life.  I was not prepared for the sobering moment that struck me during Mr. Banks and Bert's song the first time I saw Mary Poppins as a parent.  It saddened me to think that it could ever being too late to give that spoonful of sugar to my little ones. Of course I will always be available for my children in whatever capacity I am able. I just don't want insignificant pursuits to interfere with what is most important in my life and that is my family.
A man does have dreams, as Mr. Banks so eloquently articulates (and mommas do as well) but at what cost? Perhaps we can build these dreams together. It may take a smidge longer but what is that in light of eternity? What do you want to be remembered for? How can you make each moment count?

Life will always be busy. Are we busy doing the right things?

 "So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom."
Psalm 90:12

Grace and peace,

Adoring Family

Friday, April 24, 2015

5 Friday Favorites

Time for another Friday Favorites! Are you sure it is Friday? Where did this week go? We have a lot of little and not so little plans brewing at our home. Soon you will hear of them but for now, my five favorites...
This is one of my top three go-to breakfasts. It is quick, easy and unique. German Pancakes have a delightfully fluffy texture and melt-in-your mouth vanilla flavor.
Recipe found here.

Our fruit trees are producing! We have 2 peaches, 2 plums, 2 pomegranates, 2 figs, 1 lemon and 7 loquat trees. That ought to make for an interesting fruit salad :D

My dear, sweet SIL gave me this make up bag. She gets me. And my affinity for Kate Spade. I keep my make up in this bag so I am always prepared for my simplified make up routine that I talk about here. More details to come.

Orange Leaf Dates!

Kitten friends! Our close friends have 7 baby kitties looking for a home.
Know anyone that needs a new furry friend?
That is all for now everyone. Thank you so much for reading :)
Have a lovely weekend!
Grace and peace,
Adoring Family 

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Chia Seed Green Protein Shake

Chia Seed Green Protein Shake

Our current obsession is a peanut butter chia seed green smoothie. I like to call it a protein shake because of the different sources of plant protein that total 17 grams of protein. This is my son's all time favorite smoothie. Try it and you will be be a believer,  promise :) simple, healthy, delicious. My favorite combination!

1 cup almond milk
1 peeled banana
2 tbsp. peanut butter
1 tbsp. chia seeds
1 tbsp. raw honey
2 cups raw spinach
Blend until smooth
Enjoy. Seriously. You will :D

Why add chia seeds?
Chia seeds are an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid, Omega 3s, antioxidants and fiber. Chia seeds are rich vitamin B, D & E, calcium and iron. They are a complete protein. The gel formed when chia seeds absorb water slows down the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar. This creates more endurance which makes chia seeds a perfect before workout snack. This gel also helps transport toxins out of your colon. Chia seeds absorb more than ten times their weight in water which aids your body's hydration.
We have recently fallen in love with chia seeds and have many fun recipes coming your way! For now we hope you give this one a try.
Have a wonderful week!
Grace and Peace,
Adoring Family


Friday, April 17, 2015

5 Friday Favorites

 Hi guys, I missed linking up last week because we were out of town. It is good to be back :) 

My five Friday faves this week are...

1. Baby Sonicare
We love our sonicare toothbrushes and now that my sweet little 5 month old is teething we thought we would try the baby version to massage her gums. She absolutely loves the soothing virbrataions on her her gums! I highly recommend this toothbrush to moms of teething babies. Another suggestion is a mesh baby feeder like one of these... 
Fill with frozen banana, frozen mangos or frozen peaches (not an affiliated link). Sometimes I will use plain ice. This makes baby very happy!

2. I have a deep love for this combo for my girls hair.

The Mason Pearson brush and Miracle 10 hair serum. It is a magic formula for no more tears. My girls used to cry and get tangles like you wouldn't believe. A  darling family friend spent the night with us and she had a Mason Pearson. It brushed through her hair like no other brush I had ever used. We purchased one and my girls ask for "the soft brush" every morning.
The Mason Pearson is worth every penny.
It's a 10 Miracle Leave In Product is wonderful as well. It is best used on wet hair. It detangles and gives a beautiful shine. 
3. Peanut Butter Chia Seed Green Smoothie.

My son and I are obsessed with these :D
Recipe coming soon! 

4. My favorite place! Here are some pics from our trip last week. We hung out with my dad for the weekend at my favorite place in the world. I love spending time with my family miles away from civilization! For more pix go here and here :)

5. Our memory verse in Latin.

 Our memory verse for the week is John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.

We hope you have had a wonderful week and wish you many blessing this weekend!
Grace and peace,
Adoring Family 

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