Monthly Archives: June 2012

Frugal Summer FUN!

Frugal Summer FUN!

I saw an idea similar to this on Pintrest and thought I would give it a try…I knew my boys would love it!

I filled a big bowl with water,and added various toys.  Some that sank, and some that floated.  Then I added some blue food coloring…because that’s what the lady on Pintrest did, and it looked like fun.  Let’s just say…my kids look like smurfs.  Seriously.  Next time, no food coloring.

I froze the bowl for about 18 hours, until all appeared to be solid.

We tipped the bowl over…(see…WAY too much blue!)


I had the boys put on OLD swimsuits and T-shirts…gave them some of daddy’s small chisels and other tools I don’t really know the names of and let them at it!

The baby girl even joined in…

They chiseled and banged and scraped away until all of their toys were free! 

Now I have two very blue, but very happy little boys! *Maybe* they’ll nap today!?

Other posts you might like…

DIY Magnet Letters


Cloth Diapering





Thursday’s Fruity Thoughts

Thursday’s Fruity Thoughts

Lately I’ve been struggling.  I know there’s a lot of areas in my life that need work.  And it seems like I  gain ground in one area at the cost of falling short in the other areas I want to improve in.  So then I switch to one of the other areas and gain ground there…and digress in the previous area and more.  It’s so overwhelming!!!!

What am I trying to work on? Oh just a few things like…

  • healthier cooking/eating
  • more exercise
  • more organized and tidy home
  • keeping up with dishes
  • keeping up with laundry
  • controling my temper
  •  being patient & gentle…especially with kiddos
  • being consistent in training/disciplining kiddos
  • managing my time better
  • keeping to our budget
  • etc., etc., etc.

Can you see how this is a little overwhelming?!?! AND I really need to floss more too. 

 I know some people do great with a detailed plan, not me.  I can make a plan…I just lose steam after starting and forget the plan.  But now I have a new plan!

I’m going back to the basics. If I boil all those things above down to the principle a lot of them are the fruits of the Spirit (love, self-control, gentleness, kindness, etc.) You name a fruit of the Spirit and I know I could use more of it in me!  But we don’t get more fruit by focusing on the fruit (or lack there of)!  Fruit is a natural outcome of being rooted in Christ, nurtured in truth, filled with His love and grace.  If I keep Christ my priority I think the other things will come much easier.  See, I’ve been using Him more as an afterthought or last resort.  That doesn’t work so well for me!

So  now I’m focusing on making sure I take time everyday to soak in the Holy Spirit, reading the Bible (focusing on Proverbs now), and not over thinking things (like my above list) too much.  I’ve been getting up just 30 minutes earlier than the kids and trying to focus on God as I begin the day.  I don’t do dishes, or start folding clothes, I just sit on the couch and spend some time in prayer and reading the Bible…sometimes only one verse. I’m  rooting myself in Him, the True Vine.

Wow! Let me tell ya, it’s only been a few days, but these days have gone much smoother! I still fall short, but I’ve also been able to get more accomplished in every area above.  I’ve still got a ways to go, but I don’t feel so overwhelmed by it.  I still mess up, but I’m much more at peace knowing I’m headed in the right direction. It’s nice! You should try it! 😉 We could all use a little more fruit!

Grilled Glazed Pineapple

Grilled Glazed Pineapple

Last week a local store had whole fresh pineapples on sale for a dollar each!  I was super excited because, well, I LOVE fresh pineapple.  We bought a whole bunch and have been enjoying them all week-long.

We had tried a grilled glazed pineapple at a restraunt we love (Tucano’s anyone?) and decided to try on our own!  This was mostly my husbands idea and concoction, and he’s the family grill master, so I left it up to him.  It was fantastic!!!

What you’ll need:

  • A whole fresh pineapple
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 T. lemon juice

Cut your pineapple like this…

Cut the top off…

Slice the skin off lengthwise, from the top down.

Mix together the brown sugar, (melted)butter and lemon juice…rub the glaze onto the pineapple.

Set it on the grill, with low heat, for 5-10 minutes, rotating it to grill all sides.

Slice pieces from the top down and ENJOY!  An amazing and healthy summer treat!


4th of July Ideas!

4th of July Ideas!

With my husband just getting back from Alaska yesterday in the early morning hours we’ve been a little preoccupied! Not to mention the camera was with him, so for your Tuesday Tutorial today on A Lighter Journey I’ve linked up some cute 4th of July ideas from Pinterest.  Break out the red, white, and blue!


Pinned ImagePinned Image

Look at this yummy dessert (above)! Link here!

4th of July party ideas including these yummy red, white, and blue strawberries you see below!

Pinned Image


Here’s a cute patriotic wreath tutorial!

Pinned Image

Why I {heart} Line Drying!

Why I {heart} Line Drying!

10 Reasons I Love to Hang Our Laundry Out to Dry

  1. It makes my whites whiter…the sun is a natural bleach for my clothes!
  2. I love the crisp air in the early morning, when I hang our first load out to dry…
  3. No ironing…wet clothes and a hot sun are like an iron and starch for clothes…perfect for all the little girl dresses I wash!
  4. It’s a must for cloth diapering!
  5. I love the compact clothes-line my hubby built me…
  6. The dryer isn’t heating my house up on already unbearably hot days!
  7. Our summer power bill (already inflated for AC) is a little lower
  8. The sun is also a natural sanitizer.
  9. I’m “going green,”(you’re welcome Al Gore)
  10. It makes me happy to see clothes on the line when I am at my kitchen sink…like I have gone back in time.

Super Easy and Fast Salsa Verde Enchilda Sauce

Super Easy and Fast Salsa Verde Enchilda Sauce

I wanted to make enchiladas last week.  I had the shredded chicken ready and all my tortilla shells and then I realized that I forgot to buy salsa verde enchilada sauce!  I dug through my cupboards and found a can! Oh joy!  But my joy was short-lived.   It’s been a really long time since I made enchiladas and I’ve made some changes to our diet since then.  So as I read the ingredients listed on the can of green salsa verde that had been in my cupboard since this fall,  I decided I wasn’t gonna use it. The biggest offender in the can was MSG.  That and there were a few other ingredients I’m not familiar with.  So I decided to make my own!

And, yes,  I am using a canned item, but I have yet to find a substitute for canned green chilis.  I’ve tried using fresh ones, and it’s not the same flavor.   At least there’s no MSG!


  • 2 small (or 1 large) can of green chilis
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2-3 T cornstarch

Yup.  That’s it!  If my enchiladas weren’t half-assembled and I had the extra time I might’ve sautéed onions and added tomatillios {if I had them}…but I was in a hurry, this is what I had on hand,  and this worked!

1.  Mix cornstarch into cold or room temperature chicken broth.  Add chilis and heat to boil. Olé!

You can tweak the amount of cornstarch depending on how thick you want the sauce.  And if you’re in the market for canned salsa verde that doesn’t include MSG, I like the Herdez brand Mexican sauces and salsas.  They don’t use preservatives and weird stuff I can’t pronounce! And if you want to get the most out of your chicken, save the bones and scraps and make your own broth!  Instructions are at the end of this post.  You can even do it in your sleep!  😉

Other posts you might like:

Guacamole Recipe

Mexican Rice Tutorial

Refried Beans Tutorial

Cloth Diapering: Part Two…Homemade Baby Wipes

Cloth Diapering: Part Two…Homemade Baby Wipes

As I mentioned in my first cloth diapering post, we love cloth dipaering!  I didn’t cloth diaper my first two, but wish I would have!  One thing I did do with my boys, was make homemade baby wipes.  They are SO easy!

Home-Made Baby Wipes

  • 2 big squirts of baby shampoo
  • 2 big squirts of baby oil
  • 1 TB. rubbing alcohol
  • 4 cups of water
  • Paper-towels, cut in half, baby wash rags or pieces of thin flannel cut to size

When I made wipes with my boys, I used paper  towels…but now I use thin flannel blankets cut into small pieces…and throw them in with my dipaers to wash.  Pour your liquid concoction over your wipes…that’s it!  I also love that they smell like baby shampoo…as far as I am concerned, baby shampoo is one of the best smells ever! 

 I keep mine in an air-tight container on the changing table.  I *used to* lay them all out flat before I put them in…then I realized there were better things to do with that time…so now I throw them in, and they work just as well! 

Next time I will give you my tips and tricks for successful cloth diapering!

Other posts you might like…

DIY Laundry Soap and Softner

DIY Face Wash

Choosing to Live on One Income








Monday Menu

Monday Menu

This week marks the first official week of summer! Yay for the longest day of the year!  For us it’s also the week of swimming lessons for two kiddos, and my husband is off adventuring in Alaska.  While I’m solo-parenting we’re keeping meals easy!


  • Oatmeal
  • Eggs, Cantelope x 2
  • Kashi Cereal x 2
  • Whole Wheat Waffles


  • Fruit Salad and Whole Wheat Crepes
  • Tomato Basil Soup & Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
  • PB& J’s x 2
  • Bananas and PB
  • Ants on a Log
  • Smoothies & Mac “n” Cheese

    Creamy Tomato Basil Soup





I’m in love with…

I’m in love with…

So, in my quest to learn to do and make things on my own…I found a new trick!  Well, in reality, it’s probably an old trick, but it’s new to me!

Hydrogen Peroxide!

I know…it’s really not that exciting…but it does have a ton of uses that I had no idea about!  AND it’s incredibly cheap!

  1. It brightens your laundry…similarly to OxiClean!  A great addition to our homemade laundry detergent and softener!
  2. It whitens your teeth and is an oral debridment agent!  Hey…Whitening Strips are REALLY pricey!
  3. Sanitizes toothbrushes
  4. Cleans contact lenses
  5. Great for cleaning scrapes and cuts, and with lots of littles, there are lots of those!
  6. Add a little to the swimming pool to keep it fresh.
  7. Treats acne.
  8. Gardening…yep, really!



Thursday Thoughts: I am blessed

Thursday Thoughts: I am blessed

Before you read much more of this post I should warn you:  it may get a little mushy-gushy today!  😉

See, it was 9 years ago today on a quiet beach looking out at the Pacific Ocean that Jesse asked me if I would do him the honor of being his wife. 

We met exactly six months earlier.   A lot can change in half a year! I went from meeting this strong gentle incredible (and really cute) guy in the entryway of our church to planning to spend the rest of our lives together! 

Sometimes when you know, you know.  Sometimes life changes in the blink of an eye.  Some of those changes are tragic: the death of a loved one, the sudden loss of a job, discovering a health issue.  Some changes are life-altering good: the birth of a beloved baby, meeting someone who becomes a life-long friend, the joining of two lives in a marriage ceremony, God opening a door you thought was hopelessly closed.

  “Not my will, but YOURS be done!” 

 His will is perfect.  His will is good.  You’ll never go wrong with that prayer!  It’s always worth it to leave our dreams and plans and goals in His hands.  I look back at what God has done over the course of my short life, these last nine years since Jesse and I decided to marry, and I know I can trust Him with our future too. 

I have so much I’m thankful for today.  And since this blog is {partly} mine and I can,  I will share just a fraction of those things that I love about my husband, Jesse! (Here’s the mushy-gushy part.  Read at your own discretion!)  😉

  1. His gentle strength
  2. His thoroughness and attention to details
  3. His laugh
  4. His fierce loyalty
  5. His protectiveness
  6. His strong arms
  7. The way he gets on the floor to play with the kids
  8. His willingness to serve
  9. The way he dances, just cuz he knows I love it!
  10. His hugs
  11. His blue eyes
  12. His humble heart
  13. He’s not afraid to get dirty
  14. His carpentry and mechanical skills and all-round handiness
  15. His smile
  16. His uncompromising integrity
  17. His courage in facing obstacles
  18. His sacrificing love

What can I say?!? I’m a blessed woman! 

As are you. (Or maybe you’re a blessed man. I guess I shouldn’t assume!  ;))  What blessings are you thankful for today?


Other Posts You May Like:


Chocolate Cake for Breakfast: How my kids teach me humility