17 March 2015

Podcast Lovin'...What's Filling My Bucket

I am late to the game on the wonderful world of finding new podcasts to follow. I mean seriously, who knew have something interesting and thought provoking could make the dusting and vacuuming 10 times more enjoyable!?
Wellll I still don't like having to dust and vacuum but that's another story for another time...

Here's some of my favorites I am enjoying these days:

1. The Dave Ramsey Show
Oh Dave, how thankful I am that you have ruined life for Jim and I. I started listening a few months ago, when my gazelle-like-focus to kill debt was lowering a bit. Listening Dave share his practical advice is an extra dose of encouragement I need to stay focused and keep my in the debt-is-dumb-cash-is-king game. I LOVE listening to the families that come into his studio to do their debt-free scream live on the show. Talk about inspiration to stick with it!!! 
Whether or not, you ride the Dave Ramsey train or not, give a listen. You'll learn something new and definitely get a good laugh:)

2. The Influence Podcast
I have been hearing about The Influence Network for awhile now and really like the mission behind this group of women: to inspire and encourage women to make their online life mean something for the glory of God. Going to their annual conference in the fall is on the things on my list of stuff to save for. But for now, the podcast is a good free option. they interview all kinds of women with tons of different topics each like blogging, spiritual growth, how to balance life, and creativity.

3. Catholic Stuff You Should Know
Talk about the New Evangelization! This show is hosted by a couple young priests and deacons who talk about any and everything related to the Catholic faith and culture. My favorite episodes so far have been on the best(and worst!) of the incorruptibles, How the Media is Hijacking the Pope, and How the Vatican City Works. The only thing I'm not a huge fan of is how often sometimes the hosts make jokes about drinking and alcohol...not really the most prudent image to give folks of Catholic clergy. Other than that, still a good show! Thanks Bonnie for telling me about it too:)

4. MUD Stories
I happened to stumble on this one merely by accident. Jacque's mission through her podcast is to bring hope and encouragement to make it through the muddiest moments of life. She interviews all types of women with heartfelt, unique stories that share their own faith and hope on how they worked through the mud in their own life. If you're looking for something inspirational, give a listen!

5. The Art of Simple
I am new to this podcast after reading Tsh's books Organized Simplicity and Notes from a Blue Bike, which were great. What I love about Tsh is her mission to simplify life in the midst of chaos and making time for more of what matters. On her podcast, she talks to all kinds of guests on things like simple living, food, family traditions, good books, traveling, etc. This one has quickly become one of my new favorites, and always seems to hit the spot when I listen after a crazy, busy day.

Are you into podcasts? What are the favorite ones you follow? 
Share with me? :)

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11 March 2015

Homemade Natural Produce Wash

I have started getting really interested in more natural living and clean eating. I am counting down the days when I have saved enough cash to buy an oil diffuser, but until then, I'm having fun looking at simple ways to bring more natural living into our home.

recipe source

I first came across this natural produce wash from one of my new favorite blogs to read, Live Simply. I know many fruits and vegetables are sprayed with pesticides and chemicals, and honestly I have never been one to thoroughly wash/clean produce. I guess I always thought a quick rinse of warm water meant they were good to eat? As I learn more about natural living, I am learning where simple ingredients are effective and simple as those fancy shmancy chemical products from the grocery store. Who knew just plain, old vinegar and lemon juice where such a combo to kill germs and pesticides off our produce?? #themoreyouknow

2 cups of water
1/2 cup white vinegar
 1 lemon, juiced
1 bottle (I used a plastic spray bottle)

1// In large bowl, combine all ingredients. Pour ingredients into a bottle using a funnel (don't spill like I did ;). Store produce wash in the fridge until needed (to allow the fresh lemon juice not to spoil).
2// When Using: Spray produce with DIY wash and then wash the food under warm water. OR, pour 1/2 cup of wash in a sink of water or large bowl and soak the produce for 5 minutes. Then, rinse produce with clean water.

Now you can enjoy fresh produce free of nasty chemicals and pesticides! 
Any tips you in your home for simple, natural living?
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05 March 2015



I have never been one who is into the study of words and their meaning. Although I have to admit, I was very curious to see the etymology of this word. Sacrifice comes from the Latin "sacrificium" meaning the act of giving up one thing for another; something for the sake of another. It can also be in the sense of "offering up something."

Here's the kicker. Sacrifice in its root form means to surrender, give up, suffer to be lost. Sacrifice is all about surrender. Ahhh surrender. One of the most difficult and complex words in the English language to understand, let alone live out and put into practice. Sacrifice is scary and just down right difficult! It means something has to die, to be let go of for something else to happen. To be honest, I hate this concept. And more often than not I royally suck at it.

Life presents us many opportunities to sacrifice for other people but also let go of things in our life we are desperately clinging to. Sure my sacrifice is not a slaughtered lamb like in the Old Testament (ewww gross!), it looks a lot different than that. 

I have to let go of the dreams/plans I made for my life and work to embrace God's plans...

Instead of clinging to perfection, I have to embrace leaning into the imperfections and difficulties of life...

I have to give up what I "thought" my life would be or look like and embrace what God has given me...

The of process of sacrifice/surrender/letting go or whatever the heck you want to call it is a life long journey...it never ends until the day you're put in the ground. Yes sometimes I hate it and would rather keep doing life my way. But no matter what deep down, I know the grace that comes when I can let go and surrender what I love or love to control most.

Each day is a new opportunity to sacrifice; to surrender whatever is holding you back from becoming the best version of yourself and living the life God has destined for you.

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04 March 2015

Skinny Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

If I could only eat one food category till the day I die, it would be Mexican food. Hands down.

One thing I have never been a fan of are the heavy sauces sometimes put on enchildadas which for me leave a funky salty aftertaste. So when I found this recipe, and saw it was a lighter sauce (and healthier!) I decided to take a crack at it. Good thing I did because we've already made this two more times at home.

Boneless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (about 3 cups)
8 oz reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup skim milk
1 can Campbell's Healthy Request Cream of Chicken Soup
1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
10 oz can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup reduced-fat Mexican shredded cheese
1//  Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9" X 13" baking dish with nonstick spray

2// Mix together sour cream, soup, milk, and cilantro in a saucepan. Set aside. (Be really careful to not over boil or you'll have a hot mess on your hands.)

3// Saute chicken, onions, and tomatoes (I forgot to add the tomatoes, so they went in when we stuffed the enchiladas.)
 4// Fill each tortilla with 2 tbsp of chicken mixture  

 5// Roll tortillas up and face seam down so they don't unroll in the dish

6// Pour sour cream sauce over enchiladas and top off with cheese

7// Bake for 25 minutes...and enjoy!!


Tasty and easy...hopefully you don't fight about who gets the leftovers like we did!

Happy eats!

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02 March 2015

When an Inconvenience Turns Into Prayer

I have the reputation of often locking my keys in my car. Like a lot. Since the new year, I am currently up to three times...and counting. At least I have gotten way better about not locking them in the car, while the car is running. #truestory

So on Friday, I ran to the bank to deposit cash to pay some bills. I was also deeply engrossed in a Dave Ramsey podcast (my newest obsession). As I was listening Dave rant about credit cards, I turned off the car and took the keys out and set them on the seat next to me. Can you see where this is going? I finished counting and organizing the money, gathered my purse and locked the door. Only to then proceed to make sure I had my keys. I then looked in the car to see the keys staring me down in the face. Oh.crap.

So I called AAA and they said someone would arrive to break me back into my car around 4:15. It was now 2:36pm. Feeling grumpy (and slightly pissy) I went into the bank and did my business. I proceeded to share dump my woes on the bank teller. Then I stood in the lobby and waited. I was not liking this. Sure I don't mind opening doors for old ladies while waiting to get rescued, but I had stuff to do! I don't have time to be inconvenienced!

After about 45 minutes of internal complaining and even breaking my weekend social fast, I got a reality check. Sometimes the things in life that look and feel like inconveniences actually can become great opportunities for prayer.

And that's what this waiting turned into...prayer.

So now here I am just walking around the lobby in the bank. I am just praying for the tough stuff in my life, persecuted Christians around the world, other people, those who have no one to pray for them. You name it I was praying. And of course being slightly in touch with my feelings I started crying. Not full blown hysterical crying but those soft, quiet tears you wipe away hoping no one saw. Thankfully I had the sunglasses on, so I felt a little more classy. But all of sudden my pissy attitude melted away because I used the experience to change me a little. 

Eventually I was rescued and a truck came to break in to my car at 4:10p. All was I good and I went merrily on my way to go home and scrub the kitchen floor.

The season of Lent is all about allowing God to change us. Sometimes we are blind as bats and miss those opportunities of grace. But last Friday, I didn't. I was present and allowed an inconvenience become a fruitful time of prayer.

Look for and be aware of the inconveniences in life. Whether its a train crossing or a long line at the grocery store, use the little moments of life that feel like an annoyance to transform your heart.
Because when you do, your life will be richer for it.
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