Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween at Our House

Ladies_ Home Journal 1933-11

Hi ladies!  Its been so long since Ive written a proper post… Ive started a few but never found the time to finish them!  I thought Id share a few snapshots from our busy and fun day yesterday as we celebrated Halloween.

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I know many Christians frown on Halloween, and I certainly understand their concerns with the rather dark and scary tone that the holiday can take on.  In our home we really look at it as a fun fall festival, and we keep things very positive and harvest-oriented, with pumpkins and yummy food and dressing up in fun, cute outfits and nothing that celebrates the evil, darker aspects that some enjoy during the holiday. 

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I like to make homemade goodies to hand out to trick or treaters, and host a party in our home for our friends with kids who, like us, enjoy letting them dress up and have fun, but would rather not take them out to participate in some of the scarier, creepier activities that go on on Oct 31st.  As my kids get older I really have a heart to turn Halloween into an outreach to our neighbors, with a carnival-like atmosphere outside our place, as it is one of he few times in the year when people go door to door and interact with one another. 

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This year I made maple caramel popcorn (I used this recipe and just replaced the corn syrup with maple syrup) and homemade sugar cookies that we cut out in pumpkin shapes. I also bought some little raisin boxes to supplement.  The kids (and parents) were all excited at the homemade treats, and I put these pretty lables that my husband made for me with my name and address, hoping that might calm and fears about letting the kiddos eat homemade goodies.

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We carved a pumpkin and put out some candles to let the trick or treaters know we were open for business!

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We also had a party for our friends and their kiddos and I made a spread with lots of healthy treats like raisins and date bars and veggies and hummus and apple cider.  Halloween doesn’t have to be a total teeth-rotting event; there are ways to make it more healthy!  Everyone ate and drank until we were all quite merry (and the kids quite tired) and all the kids got to take home a balloon.  A fun time was had by all, I dare say.

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Our sweet little Bird borrowed a costume from a friend and went as a ladybug.  She was adorable but moved around so much it was hard to get a good shot, especially with the lower lights.  But Im sure you get the idea of how cute she was.

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What did you all do for the day if you celebrated it in any way?  Does your famly have any special traditions?  Hope you had a happy one and hope your fall is going beautifully.  And of course, if you are reading this and live in the North East please know everyone in Sandy’s path is in our family’s prayers.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A note about my image usage

Hi friends.  Hope you’re all doing well out there.  Im sorry I’ve been so absent from the blog lately and even from the facebook page but truth is I’ve just been so busy this summer that I havent figured out a way to work in that sit down to the computer time.  Im sure some of you fellow bloggers find yourself in the same position when the weather is good and the growing season is on. Smile 

I wanted to take a moment to let you all know that I am taking down my most popular post here on the blog, the one dealing with how I find the vintage images that I use to adorn my blog, as well as the subsequent post I wrote addressing the copyright issue.

Let me just say once again for anyone who is curious, that I use images from my vintage women’s magazine collection here as a means to share my collection.  As such, I watermark my images so that no one will take and reuse them, and I do not sell them or use them in any way that would make me a profit.  I do not make any money from this blog or sell any products using these images.  I am simply sharing my collection of vintage images with you the reader for your visual enjoyment.  I hope you enjoy them, and I hope you understand that I cannot share them with you to use in ways other than viewing them here.

I’m also not giving anyone any concrete advice on whether or not I am violating copyright by doing so.  I’ll be completely forward with you and tell you that I am not worried about it.  My conscience is ENTIRELY clear about use advertising images from the 1940s here for decorative purposes only and as I have said more than once, if anyone contacts me letting me know I am infringing upon their intellectual rights, I will certainly cease and desist using any images that offend.  And if any reader here feels like tracking down illustrators from the first half of the 20th century and ratting me out, by all means, use your time in such a fashion.  But Im not going to worry about it.  I have 135 readers here on blogger and there are many blogs MUCH more popular than mine, who DO make a profit and who DO sell their images, and I don’t see them worrying about copyright or being harassed about the issue, so Im not going to lose any sleep over it.

At the end of the day, is what I am doing illegal?  I honestly cant tell you because I have received conflicting information.  If you have any concerns, don’t do as I do.  But I ask that from here on out, people refrain from leaving me comments about my supposed violation of copyright(unless of course they are the owner of the images I use and find my display of them offensive).  Im a dinky little blogger in the giant blogosphere and I just assume that surely you folks have better things to do with your time.

God bless you all, hope your summer is going swell!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Walnut Basil Pesto Pasta with Sautéed Summer Veg

 

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Wow, ladies, this housewife has been BUSY this past week and a half.  I have about a bajillion blog posts I’d like to do, but alas- time is a precious and limited resource and sit-down computer time is hard to come by right now.  I think even more than do my own blog posts I miss reading all of YOURS, and taking part in your fun blog carnivals, when I cant get to the computer.  But… everything in the Lord’s timing, right? 

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It’s basil season and loads of fragrant fresh basil mean pesto in this house.  A couple of weeks ago I bought an obscene amount of basil at the market and came home and spent the entire afternoon making this fantastic Walnut Pesto in my food processor and freezing most of it for future use.  I plan to repeat that again soon so I can have my pesto addiction attended to over the winter months.

Good Housekeeping 1936-08

What could be a more fresh, seasonal pairing with fresh basil pesto than some sautéed (or better yet grilled if you have a barbQ!) summer veggies and spaghetti?  For dinner one night last week I couldn’t think of an answer to that question so this is what I came up with:

Walnut Basil Pesto Pasta with Sauteed Summer Veg

serves 3

1/2 cup Walnut Pesto (this recipe is fantastic, all I did was add a bit more EVOO than the original chef)

3 Servings spaghetti or other pasta

1 small vegetable marrow

1/2 red bell pepper

5 medium yellow cherry tomatoes

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1. In a large pot, get your water going for your spaghetti.  Be sure to salt your water well (this not only speeds up the boiling process but also makes the pasta taste so much better).  If you salt and cover the pot your pasta should be ready just in time to add to the sautéed veg.

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2. In the  meantime, cut your veg into nice big chunks (and of course it goes without saying that you could use zucchini, other bell peppers, red cherry tomatoes, other summer veg, etc).  Sautee the veg in olive oil over medium heat, stirring often, until tender but not overcooked.  No need to add any seasoning as the pesto will be added at the end and that is plenty of flavor!

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3.  Just before you add the pasta to the pan, remove it from the heat and stir in the pesto.  Add the spaghetti and toss with tongues or a large spoon until pasta and veg are completely coated with the walnut-basily- goodness. 

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4. If you’ve timed it right, the pasta should be done al dente right as the veg is nice and ender. Instead of dumping it all in a strainer, use a slotted pasta spoon and scoop directly into the pan with the veg. This will all allow just a tiny bit of the pasta water to be transferred over and will allow the pesto to marry nicely with the food.

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5.  When serving a dish like this, I genuinely try to pull out the spaghetti first, and then situate some of he veg on top for a nicer presentation.  But in the end, the main point is to get it into your mouth, so whatever way works for you, enjoy!

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As you can see, this dish was kid- approved. Smile

Bon Appetite!

 

Proud to be linking up today with Foodie Friday with Diane Belch, and Saturday Link and Greet at Country Mamma Cooks, Saturday Show and Tell at Cheerios and Lattes, Just Another Meatless Monday at Hey Mom Whats for Dinner, Meatless Mondays at Veggie Mamma, Makin’ You Crave Monday at Mrs. Happy Homemaker, The Gathering Spot at Mamal Diane, Melt in Your Mouth Mondays at Make Ahead Meals, Scratch Cookin’ Tuesdays and Mrs Dull’s, Show Me What Ya Got at Not Just a Housewife, Tempt my Tummy Tuesdays at Blessed With Grace, Traditional Tuesdays at Delicious Obsessions,Homemaking Link-Up at Raising Homemakers, Healthy 2day Wednesdays at Day2Day Joys, Whats Cooking Wednesdays at Kings Court IV, Whole Food Wednesdays at This Chick Cooks, Works For Me Wednesdays at We Are That Family, Full Plate Thursdays at Miz Helen’s, Share Your Cup Thursdays at Jann Olson’s.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Gone Camping!

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Hi Friends!  Just wanted to let you know we are going camping for the next few days; its our first time taking Bird camping and we’re so excited!  Hope you all have a fabulous rest of the week and see you soon!

Happy Homemaking!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Peanut Butter and Honey Oatmeal Cookies (cane sugar-free)

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Is there anything better, food-wise, than a moist, chewy cookie?  Cookies are definitely one my biggest weaknesses when it comes to eating food in  moderation, so I don’t make them all that often. 

 

OFHW baking

Im currently abstaining from foods with cane sugar, mostly as a spiritual discipline, but I was craving something sweet today and I have been working at perfecting a recipe for Peanut Butter Oatmeal cookies that are sweetened only with honey.  The first two batches were edible but nothing to write a blog post about.  But today’s batch was different; I perfected the ingredient list and these babies are awfully tasty and worth passing on.

Peanut Butter and Honey Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1/2 cup all-natural, smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup raw, all-natural honey
  • 1/3 cup butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 extra large organic egg
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1/3 plus 1/6 cup whole wheat flour (I know its specific but that was the perfect amount!)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

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1.  Preheat your oven to 350.  In a large bowl, cream peanut butter, honey, and butter with your beater on medium until nice and creamy.  Try you best not to simply stick your spoon in this concoction and eat it all up.

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2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat again until combined well.

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3. In a small bowl, combine flour, oats, salt and baking soda, and stir together with a fork.

4.  Add the oats and the flour to the liquid mixture all at once, and stir until well-blended.  Be advised that the dough might seem a bit soft or runny to you compared to, say, a typical chocolate chip cookie dough.  But this is OK because the oatmeal is going to expand and absorb that liquid, and the cookies will turn out perfectly.

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5.  On an ungreased cookie sheet, drop cookie dough by heaping tablespoons, or just a little more depending on preferred cookie size, onto the baking sheet about two inches apart from one another.

6. Bake at 350 for 13 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly browned.  Remove from oven and remove to a cooling rack or clean, cook baking sheet.

These were so good it is taking all of my will power not to go down and help myself to a few more this evening.  Even my husband, who has a rather particular sweet tooth, enjoyed them.

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Happy Baking, ladies!

 

Proud to be linking up today with Tiny Tip Tuesdays at Nature’s Nurture, Scratch Cookin’ Tuesdays and Mrs Dull’s, Show Me What Ya Got at Not Just a Housewife, Tempt my Tummy Tuesdays at Blessed With Grace, Traditional Tuesdays at Delicious Obsessions, Homemaking Link-Up at Raising Homemakers, Healthy 2day Wednesdays at Day2Day Joys, Whats Cooking Wednesdays at Kings Court IV, Whole Food Wednesdays at This Chick Cooks, Works For Me Wednesdays at We Are That Family, Full Plate Thursdays at Miz Helen’s, Share Your Cup Thursdays at Jann Olson’s, Foodie Friday with Diane Belch, and Saturday Link and Greet at Country Mamma Cooks, Saturday Show and Tell at Cheerios and Lattes.

Monday, July 9, 2012

How To Grow Your Faith While Scrubbing the Toilet

OFHW brain

Ladies, do you ever get to the end of the day and feel like you’ve been so caught up in the very physical tasks that comprise homemaking and mothering (especially of pre-school aged children) that your mind has been left unchallenged?  Often I have the best intentions to sit down at the end of the day with a good book and learn something, but more often than not once the kiddo is in bed, the last load of laundry is folded and put away and the dishwasher is emptied, Im too pooped to process the written word.  This is part of the reason that my Get Up and At ‘Em 40 Day Challenge has been so great for me- because I am spending time in God’s word first thing in the morning when my mind is more fresh (or at least most mornings, anyway Smile ). 

OFHW theologians

But there are ways to engage your mind while doing housework that allow you to intellectually and spiritually multi-task, and I thought I would share some of my favorite ways with you.  Many of you are probably already doing these things, and I would LOVE to hear from you about how you “redeem” your time while doing the dishes, scrubbing the floor, or cleaning that toilet.  Here’s my favorite ways:

Online Sermons/Bible Teachings 

There is an absolute treasure trove of fabulous bible teaching available online today for free, and all you need is an internet connection to access it.  Of course you have to be careful and discerning about who you listen to, but I suggest you ask your friends whom you believe are mature in the faith and have your same theological leaning who they listen to, and I bet you’ll get a few great suggestions.  Here are my favorite places online to listen to God’s word being preached:

Mars Hill Church- Pastor Mark Driscoll is one of my favorite bible teachers.  He has an ability to bring fresh, relevant insights from God’s word and is unapologetically Christ-centered.  “It’s all about Jesus” as he so often says.  He has scores of sermon series available online (I can honesty say I have listened to all of them over the years…. I know, Im a sermon addict what can I tell you? ) and you can find them here. 

 

The Village Church- My other favorite Bible teacher of the moment, whom I have only discovered more recently, is Pastor Matt Chandler out of The Village Church in Dallas, Texas.  Another very vibrant, passionate teacher who makes God’s word understandable, approachable, and relevant, and I love his focus on God’s grace towards us in Christ.  You can find his sermon archive here.

Wednesdays with Beth on Life Today- Do you all know Beth Moore? Many Christian women have been blessed by Miss Beth’s teachings over the many years she has been serving, but did you know that she teaches a 20 minute lesson ever Wednesday on the tv show Life Today?  And did you also know that you can find the archive of the last four years’ content here?  Go check it out, I am sure you will be blessed.

Worship Music

This one might seem sort of obvious for any of you who have been Christians for a while and make listening to worship music a regular part of your faith journey.  But do you remember to crank it up when you’re doing the housework?  Why not redeem that time you spend scrubbing the bath tile by singing praises to the Lord and meditating on his goodness?  I find it to be so encouraging and if I listen to something good and up-tempo, it keeps me going!

My current favorites are:

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The Sing Team

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Leeland

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Robin Mark

Silence and Prayer

I admit I am newer to this one.  Usually I like noise when Im doing very physical tasks, something to keep my mind running while Im working.  But God has convicted me here recently on the importance of silence.  So many days now when Bird is taking a nap instead of cranking up Driscoll or Robin Mark, I will let the house remain completely quiet and instead focus solely on Jesus.  I am learning to love and desire more of the peace and serenity that comes into my heart and mind during these times of silence and prayer.

Good Housekeeping 1914-07

Remembering It is the Lord I am Serving 

A few weeks ago for one of my Scripture Sunday posts I shared one of my favorite verses, Colossians 3:23-24, which reminds us that whatever tasks we are called to do in our lives (and this does include folding laundry and mopping up crusted-on food from under your toddler’s dining room chair), we are to do as if we were serving the Lord.  I know it sounds simple but here recently, when I am in the midst of a task I find tiring, overwhelming, or just plain boring or unsatisfying but it is one that I know I need to do and which will serve my family, when I remember that I am ultimately serving Jesus, somehow it makes the load lighter.  Perhaps that is a fulfillment of Christ’s promise that his burden is not heavy, and that his yoke is light (Matthew 11:30).

OFHW cowgirl

So, those are my best suggestions, ladies.  Now what are yours?  How do you grow in your faith (or perhaps in other forms of knowledge… I know have also enjoyed history podcasts while cleaning) while cleaning, organizing, and cooking?  I would love to hear your tips and suggestions, and I hope you all have a blessed, productive week as homemakers.  Remember that our job is the best one in the world- we are so blessed!

Proud to be linking up today with Homemaking Link-Up at Raising Homemakers, Works For Me Wednesdays at We Are That Family, Share Your Cup Thursdays at Jann Olson’s, Saturday Show and Tell at Cheerios and Lattes.