Hope you guys are doing well on this beautiful Sunday afternoon in the Midwest. Be blessed! Here is a recipe for Chocolate Chunk Cookies:
2 cups of oatmeal
2 cups of almond flour
1/2 cup of chocolate chip chunks
3/4 cup of sugar
1/3 cup of coconut flakes
2 tablespoons of flax seed meal
1/3 cup of sunflower seeds
1/3 cup of sliced almonds
1/3 cup of walnuts
3/4 cup of almond milk
Grab a large bowl, mixing all of the above ingredients.
Place parchment paper onto two cookie sheets.
Scoop the mixture with a small ice-cream scooper, making sure that you press the sides of the scooper against the bowl in order to drain off excess liquid before placing the scoop on the parchment paper.
De-cluttering and organizing our homes leads to de-cluttering and organizing our minds. Clearing the clutter leads to clearing the mind. It gives us mental space to think. One thing that I noticed at my own house is that if I am looking at too many things in different spaces, then I am unable to focus on what the task is at hand.
All of a sudden, I am thinking, “Why is that sitting there?” Wow, I have a sink full of dishes. There is so much trash on the floor. I seem to notice every little thing. Since my workspace is in the kitchen, I like to clean this area first. My mind is ready for clarity, and free to allow the words to come.
In October of 2018, my cousin decided to enlist my help in beginning her de-cluttering process so that she could feel free to work in her home office.
We were able to get the hallway closet and one of her two bedroom closets done. The way that I decided to tackle the hallway closet was to take everything out and create three piles: a donation pile, a garbage pile, and a keep pile. After emptying the whole closet, and creating all three piles, then I put everything in the keep pile back into the closet.
She had already gone through her belongings in the bedroom closet, so we didn’t need to take everything out. I just needed to organize everything in this closet. We were working and listening to preaching and gospel music, which made the time go by pretty fast. If you feel led, send me a message below on how you tackled the art of decluttering. God bless!
I have been reading a variety of books lately. Along with this fact, I’ve also been listening to a lot of sermons. Sometimes, I have listened to so many sermons, and read so many books at one time, that I start to second guess myself as to which book or preacher said what. At this point, I usually have to go back and double check that I am giving the right author credit.
In this season of my life, I have been hearing God’s small voice repeatedly encouraging me along the way. I can picture myself taking off at the starting point with my number on, and God on the sidelines with his flag shouting, “Keep running! You can do it! ”
Earlier today, I was reading more of the book on leadership by Brene Brown. The chapter that I am now focusing on is dealing with empathy. Later this evening, I listened to a sermon by Joyce Meyer. As God would have it, she was also preaching on empathy. The key points that were stated from both is the following:
Empathy means being able to connect through the emotion that someone else is feeling.
Empathy doesn’t mean giving advice.
Having empathy shouldn’t lead to a comparison game of who has had the worst suffering.
A few nights ago, I decided to make what I call Simple Chicken Burgers. They turned out super moist and required very few ingredients.
Here is the recipe:
Activity: Making Simple Chicken Burgers
Total Prepping and Cooking Time: 25 minutes
1/3 cup of oatmeal
cumin (1 tb)
onion powder (1 tb)
garlic powder (1 tb)
1 16 oz. pack of ground chicken
2 tablespoons of flax seed meal
3 tablespoons of water
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet.
Dump all of the above ingredients into a bowl.
Make burger patty shapes with your hands.
Place the six patties into a skillet, or as many as you can at once. (use 2 skillets if necessary)
Take the burgers out when they are brown on both sides.
Top with hummus and garnish with basil or spinach if you like.
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Background Story on Wire Baskets
A little while ago, I talked about the different uses for crates for organization. You can find that post here. Today, our organizational focus will be on the usage of wire baskets. I love baskets of all shapes, sizes, and textures. And so, of course, wire baskets would be included in this group. I like organizing things period. What I have realized within the last few years, is that when we are organized, we are able to turn the five hour paper search to a 15 minute paper search. Our lives run smoother, and we’re able to spend more time doing the things that matter: spending time with our family and friends, serving others, and being able to get those hobbies in. This is what happened when I didn’t have my scrap-booking supplies organized.
Not having things organized discourages doing anything because our efforts are multiplied. We start to think to ourselves, ” Why even bother? If I want to paint, it’s going to take 2 hours to find all the supplies!”
Baskets take the look of organization to a whole new level. Here are five reasons to contemplate using wire baskets:
Simplicity and Practicality
Wire baskets are easy to clean. All you need is a damp cloth to wipe them down and keep going. It doesn’t get any easier than that. Dust naturally collects on anything, and that where the damp cloth comes in. Also, every now and then, something may leak out, that is when a small squirt of dish detergent gets added to the cloth. Wipe and you’re done!
Wire baskets help you to get the clutter off the counters and off the floor. Because they can be purchased as a three or four in one, or individual units, they are easy to mount on the wall using 2-inch nails.
I home-schooled for 12 years. Unfortunately, I didn’t think about using wire baskets at the time. They are perfect for organizing individual folders and subjects for each kid without losing your mind. If you have more than one basket on the wall, then you can use one of the wire baskets to store all incoming bills and important papers that need attention as well.
Other homeschool and business ideas for wire baskets can be found here, where they have wire baskets specifically for mail and magazines, and as part of a wall organization unit for home and business.
There isn’t one room that I can think of in the house that wire baskets can’t be used in. For the bathroom, you can use them for facial and toiletry products. They can even be used for towels and shampoo.
For the kitchen, wire baskets are good for storing mason jars filled with items such as nutritional yeast, corn meal, and sugar. Spices and seasonings stored in wire baskets help you to get them off of the counter tops, along with still being able to see what you are needing to use. Lastly, for you bakers, wire baskets are perfect solutions for storing your rolling pins.
Other kitchen uses for wire baskets are the following: fruit and produce, napkins. place mats, and apron storage. I love the Madam Stoltz ones pictured here at Reforma Stockholm as a fruit and produce idea.
Last, but not least, wire baskets just look good. I am all about the aesthetics being in line for number three after simplicity and functionality.
Happy wire basket adventuring and have a blessed evening!
As you all know, I like mixing all different ingredients together to see what kind of concoction that I can come up with. The other night, I decided to make gemelli pasta with sauteed zucchini. It was quick and tasty. When the kids and I lived in our last place, I got the idea of using the potato peeler to peel my zucchini in strips, and then saute them. On one particular night, I made zucchini strips, tried out a couple of strips, and then went upstairs to do something. By the time I got back, all of the strips were gone. My daughter said, “Oh, those were good”. She had just told me that she didn’t want any.
One thing about pasta is that it is inexpensive, and you have the option to do a lot of different things with it:
eat it hot or cold
use salad dressing, butter, pesto, or pasta sauce as a topping
dump meat or vegan alternative to add protein
add vegetables to make it more colorful and exciting
season with pepper and olive oil to add more flavor
Here is the recipe:
Activity: Making Gemelli Pasta with Zucchini
Total Prepping and Cooking Time: 45 minutes
two teaspoons of onion powder
two teaspoons of italian seasoning
two teaspoons of garlic powder
two teaspoons of cumin
1/2 cup of olive oil
1 box gemelli pasta
1 jar of pasta sauce
Add pasta to boiling water.
Add olive oil to water so that the pasta won’t stick.
While the pasta is boiling, cut the zucchini into strips using a potato peeler.
Saute the zucchini, and rinse the pasta off using a colander.
Dump the zucchini, and all the rest of the ingredients into the pot and serve.
Makes 10 to 12 servings.
Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. John 15:4
Valley of Grace blog’s New Merchandise Store is up and running! Time to get those products. Whether you are at work or play, you can be reminded of what it means to live simple, functional, grace-filled lives!
I have one more simple, functional kitchen gadget that I’d like to share with you this week. I was blessed with this item about three years ago, and I use it more now than ever before. It’s called the Griddler by Cusinart. It is also one of those low maintenance gadgets.
I like the fact that you can push the buttons on the sides to clean the plates. There is also a pull out tray on the bottom of the griddler, which holds the excess oil. This tray, along with the snap out griddler plates, take about five minutes total to clean. There are additional plates that you can purchase to insert so that you can make your own homemade waffles. With this push out system, it doesn’t get any easier than that. What I usually do is to turn the griddler on to get hot for about six minutes, and then it usually takes another six minutes to cook whatever I need to fix. I have yet to make pancakes, sausages, or eggs on it. I like it because it is a grill and a panini press at the same time. This makes for fun, fast, creative sandwiches. I will share two recipes that I have made with the Griddler by Cuisinart. The first recipe is a Cheese Quesidalla, and the second one is a Bagel Mushroom Breakfast Sandwich.
Activity: Making a Bagel Mushroom Breakfast Sandwich
Spread the butter on the top and bottom tortillas.
Press down for about five minutes.
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.