Seriously Easy Instant Pot Greek Yogurt!

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I am so excited about Instant Pot YOGURT!!!

 

Let me just pause right here and say, I never really expected to get into this kind of “everything” home-made kind of home making… and this project intimidated me a lot! but now that I’ve made it once, and wrote down some notes for next time, I am so beyond excited!

It is pretty fun to provide home-made goodies for my family, and it’s especially nice when you can find recipes and methods that have already been ironed out!

 

I wouldn’t have even attempted to make yogurt if it wasn’t for my amazing Instant Pot! Man, I love this thing! Best Christmas present ever! (Thanks Babe!) From applesauce, to a freezer full of dinners, making my lunches a breeze and now even making yogurt… The Instant Pot has been (dare I say it?) life-changing!  If you aren’t familiar with this miracle appliance 😂 You can read my previous posts about it here.

I was nervous to take on yogurt. So, I’ve been looking into it for a while now and preparing myself for the task.

I started with buying just a few things

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Sugar Free Snacks-Pineapple Whip & Granola Bars

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but helps keep my blog going! Thank you!


One thing I’m pretty serious about along this nutrition journey is that I don’t want my kids to feel like they “miss out” because they can’t have the sugar and junk. So I am determined to find fun, exciting snacks and treats that are still healthy!

Note: technically these shouldn’t be considered “sugar-free” snacks since they have honey in them.. maybe more like refined sugar free? ?

 

Pinterest is an amazing tool! So many creative people to follow!

We found this blog post on Pineapple dole whip ( like the kind you can get at Disney land!)

It was quick and easy to make and the whole family LOVED it! Oh and we didn’t have coconut milk so I just used Almond Milk and it was still wonderful!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Need a Ninja to whip this up?

 

We love the Ninja!

Next up, I wanted to replace the granola bars that my guys eat everyday! They have 8 grams of sugar in a tiny little bar and I’m not quite sure how the nutrition value really stacks up….. so…. back to pinterest I go…

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A Journey Through Nutrition!

 

 

We are beginning a somewhat new journey in the nutrition we provide for our kids.
Before I start listing some of the things we are changing let me tell you the why.

Recently it has become very clear that we need to make some major changes in our kids diets.

 

Here’s a little intro video (Don’t be scared, it’s the real me, no makeup or filters at all) 😂

Basically: For a while now we have known that especially our oldest son is very sensitive to sugar and the artificial dyes that are in a lot of foods. But this past couple of weeks has totally proven that these ingredients among other fake stuff really messes with our kid’s brains, bodies and the ability to focus, listen, and even just control themselves.

 

So we began by throwing out all the candy!! And I started searching Pinterest and all over the internet for recipes and blogs on the subject.

Our plan is to really focus on sugar and dyes.

Follow my board here for yummy sugar free recipes to try! I’ll try to update each pin as we try them, with what we think of them!  https://www.pinterest.com/loveandscrib

 

My Mom found this great blog with some ideas to help us detox from all the junk.. not just in the food we were eating but also in just the atmosphere around us.

Foodrenegade — How to detox kids daily in 5 easy steps!

Little by little we hope to make a difference with all of this! Summer is a great time to focus on nutrition since we have soooo many great ways to include fresh fruit and veggies in our meals and snacks every day! I have to admit that I get into a rut when it comes to what vegetable sides I serve with dinners… but THIS summer I plan on making sure we mix it up.. a lot! Already I’ve added roasted brussels sprouts, fresh green beans, and Grilled eggplant.

It’s tough to convince the boys at first look or bite but I am not giving up!! We do our best to have them take at least one bite of everything..  and given enough tries, in many cases they eventually decide that they enjoy the foods they were so sure they hated!

 

So here we go!

If you want to tag along for the ride you are always welcome or if you’ve already made steps to replace many of the foods your family enjoys please share what has worked for you!

 

Just a girl, mommying the best she can (and praying through it all)

Deanna Grace

 

 

shared on: create with joy link up  and The life of faith link up and Sunday’s Best linkup and Modest Monday’s

 

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Built For This!

Built BoyMom Tough!

 

We have now welcomed our third baby boy into our home. He’s perfect!  We are working on the usual.. finding a schedule, balancing the new normal routines with everyone, housework, school work, this blog, church, etc.

There has definitely been a switch in my thinking and perspective this time around.

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Walmart Grocery – What I Think After A Month

Walmart Grocery Pickup

 

We started using the new service at Walmart a little over a month ago. And not to sound dramatic BUT it has changed everything about grocery shopping for our family!

 

How Our Family Uses This Service

I place an order through Walmart Grocery Pick up once a week! I still do a monthly stop by Winco Foods bulk section for the staples like flour, sugar, etc. And Monthly Sam’s club trip for our big things. But as for our weekly needs like produce, bread, snacks, breakfast, and other meal items. It’s all been coming from Walmart and I haven’t had to step inside a Walmart store in a long time! (insert happy dance here)

 

We have discovered (at least for our area) same-day order/pick up doesn’t work. Because they are just so busy, in fact one of the workers told Ryan they have had up to 70 orders in a day!!

So, I place my order the night before I want to reserve a pick up time and I’ve never had a hard time getting the time I want.

Because I can fill my cart anytime on the app I usually have a few items in there all the time. When I’m standing in the kitchen and we use up the last piece of foil, or Ryan is digging in the fridge and says, we are out of lunch meat.. Instead of writing it on a list somewhere, I just put it in the cart on the app and it’s there, ready for when I complete my order.

We have been reserving to pick up between 5-6pm and it’s works out so great for us. Ryan gets off at 5 and then heads over to pick up the order. We usually choose to have our own bags in the trunk and the workers just put all the groceries in them right there at the car.

What happens when Walmart is out of an item you have ordered?

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Once A Month Meals!

Have you ever prepared freezer meals for your family? It’s the process of preparing and cooking up a bunch of meals all at once and then freezing for a later time. It is really nice to have meals already prepared and ready to go when you are in a rush or the day has been crazy!

I’ve done freezer meal prep in the past for a few recipes. Usually, I just pick a few meals for either the crock pot or the oven and buy all the supplies to make them. Then I would spend the day making them all and sticking them in your freezer.  The mess and work all happens at one time and then done.

It does take some planning and it is work! But I think it can be really worth it. And you can add fun to it by inviting a friend to do it with you! I especially start thinking about this kind of prep right before a new baby arrives… since dinner time can be very unpredictable.

 

Recently I discovered a website called Once a Month Meals. They take this freezer prep/cooking idea to the max. I was instantly impressed by the organization and customization they provide.  I have signed up for meal planning help in the past and the only bummer I found in the ones I’ve tried is that you are kind of stuck with recipes your family doesn’t like.. no fun there!  With Once A Month Meals you can pick from their 6000+ recipes and substitute them into your plan And nothing else I have seen has been anywhere close to this! Read More

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What is this Instant Pot craze?

____________________________________________________________________

A quick personal note: I have not been around on this blog much recently. It has made me sad to take a break but it was needed. Pregnancy + Holidays + sickness kind of got the best of me. But here we are on the other side and I’m excited to continue this blog journey in 2017. Also, we have all taken a little much-needed break from the Kitchen Remodel, but it is nearly finished. When it is, you’ll be sure to see the whole beautiful thing! I’m hoping to post a video so you can see it in all of its glory! for now if you want to catch up on what we have done you can head over here!

I hope you’ll stick with me and even share with friends! And I pray your 2017 has started with health and excitement for the future!

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Well, you’ve probably heard about the amazing Instant Pot! It seems to be all over the internet world. And for Christmas Ryan surprised me with one, so now I’ve joined the craziness and I have to admit, it is pretty fantastically amazing!

If you are like me, you’ve been hearing a lot about this kitchen appliance and kind of thinking everyone was a little obsessed and crazy about it. Like Come on, I’m sure it’s nice, but really?

 

Well, let me tell you…. Read More

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walmart grocery pick up and FREE $10.00!

Have you heard? Walmart now has a pick up program!

 

I just used it for the first time today! It is simple to add items to your cart. Select your nearest store and choose your pick up time slot.

The instructions at the end of the order say

” At your designated time, go to your grocery pickup location. Tip: For fast service, check in using our Walmart Grocery app (Iphone) or Grocery Check-in App (Android). No smartphone? Call us 15 minutes prior to arrival, and again when you arrive.

Enter the Parking lot and drive to the front of the store.

Facing the entrance, proceed to the right side of the building, then head to the back. Look for the grocery pick up signs.

Park in a designated spot, your order will be out shortly.”

  • We also discovered that the phone number is a different one than the main number (which is impossible to get through to anyone) the pick up order number is a direct line to them and was a much better way to contact them about my order! (At Trinity store in Stockton the number is 209.371.7046)
  • We were told today that if they ever have to substitute an item for you, they always go bigger and better. The example the manager gave to me was, let’s say I order a 12 oz jar of Jiffy Peanut Butter. But they don’t have the 12 0z in stock.. they will bump it up to the 20 oz and yet still charge for the one I wanted!!
  • They give you a little sample bag of goodies at your first pick up, that’s fun!

This service is FREE!!! You really do get to order and purchase your walmart goods online and then drive up and they bring it out to your car and email you a receipt!! It’s CRAZY!!  I am super excited about this! I think we just figured out how to make grocery shopping manageable even with kids, and preggo and all the other things that make Grocery shopping a difficult task. And seriously? walmart deals and prices without having to go inside walmart??!! You couldn’t sign me up fast enough!!

 

Walmart also has a great referral program. And if you use this code you can get $10 OFF your first order and I’ll get $10 OFF too! In turn, you also can get a referral code and refer your friends and family and you each get $10. up to ten times a year!

 

Here’s the code:

http://r.wmt.co/eCDLQ

 

 

Happy shopping!

 

Let me know how you like new service!

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I stopped reading books when I became a Mom…

books I love reading!! I think I always have. In my younger years there usually wasn’t a time when I wasn’t in the middle of a book, or three! I really liked to balance things out, so if I was reading a great fiction I would also pick up a Christian Living book or a Biography or something.

I’m thankful I had family that cared about installing a love for reading in us as children.

We have an Aunt and Uncle who sent us fabulous stories every Christmas!! And our Grandma lived with us when we were small and I remember hours upon hours of sitting in her chair with her reading!! Trips to the library in our home school years were always fascinating.

When William came along it was still great for my reading habits for a little while. When he was just a babe I would read while feeding and rocking him. ( I had to adjust to electronic books so I could read in the wee hours but I was still getting to read!) I even enjoyed reading them aloud to him just for fun! But, then he grew.. and the Lord didn’t put a whole lot of
sitting still qualities in that little guy. 🙂 And of course with a growing household, chores and other things take over…. So, I found myself not picking up a book or journal for months at a time, or I would start one only to forget about it and find it 6 months later.

I also, longed to create a love of reading in William and James and found creative ways to stick reading into our day… like reading one of their books aloud while they played in the back yard (it’s amazing what these boys pick up even while they are busily exploring their world.) These days I’ve added reading to them during lunch time which works really well for us IF Mommy has had a chance to eat first 🙂

But still I found that I wasn’t picking up many books I cared about.. especially ones I hadn’t already read. What a bummer for this book lover… I found my wish lists of books I’d like to pick up growing and growing but no chance in sight to actually attempt any of them.

But, recently I realized I just needed to prioritize a bit and if it was really important to me I could make it work in this busy Mom life I’m adventuring in. One thing I do know is that “important people”, World-changers are often big readers. 🙂 In an effort to always expand your knowledge and more importantly wisdom – books are a great tool!
Some books I have lying around right now are:
Dr. Dobson’s Parenting collection
Missional Motherhood by Gloria Furman ** haven’t read this yet, I can’t wait!!
Mom’s raising boys to be men
Twelve Ordinary Men by John MacArthur

In my wish list still:   ( I have an Amazon wish list called “Books We Want” it’s public so you can check it out if you are interested in more titles… most of them have been recommended by friends, or on the radio or during another book I was reading)

Wild Things: The Art of Nuturing Boys by Stephen James and David Thomas

Strong Mothers, Strong Sons by Meg Meeker M.D.

For The Love by Jen Hatmaker

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

I was one of those readers that really didn’t like electronic books at first.. I will say I still feel like there is something missing when you can’t cuddle up with a book and actually turn pages ( I’m a huge highlighter too.. so i miss my pens. haha) But, I am learning to love the times we live in, and the resources that are so readily available for us. Purchasing actual bound books isn’t always possible and I find it’s harder for me to sit down with a book to read… But if it’s on my phone, well then, at the Dr’s office, or while I’m waiting for laundry to be done, right before bed (even if the lights are already out) I have a book!!!

I have found some new ways to get good electronic books in my hands (most of them free!) And have committed to reading them more than facebook, emails, etc. And I’ve put these apps on the first page of my phone so I see them even before I see all the other distractions!

Amazon Kindle: You can use the Kindle app on any device even if you don’t have a kindle. Just start an account, download the app onto your Ipad, Phone, computer.. whatever. SOOOOO many books are offered for free especially if you are a Prime member.

C.S. Lewis: A Life inspired

The Four loves by C.S. Lewis

Have a New Kid by Friday by Kevin Leman

The Help by kathryn Stockett

God’s Astounding Opinion Of You by  Ralph Harris

Amazon also has a great collection of classic reads…  Little Women, Northanger Abbey , The Secret Garden etc..  And they are FREE!!!

Scribd: My newest subscription. This one is $9.99 a month. But you get a ton of books and many of them available in Audio. I’m discovering that I’m motivated to read more in Scribd since it’s costing me every month. I know that if a month goes by and I haven’t used it, I’ll need to cancel my membership. So, it’s working 🙂   Get a FREE 30 day trial here!

I’ve started playing audio books in the car or while I’m doing laundry or dishes (this works especially well when I can send the boys outside to play)

So far most of the books I have searched for in Scribd have been available.
Here’s some of my recent reads and ones I have waiting in my library.

Undaunted by Christine Caine * I loved this book!! Full of encouragement to follow God’s calling no matter what!!

Chopin    This was such a fun audio to listen to… Full of History and very interesting facts plus, lots of Chopin’s beautiful music! I enjoyed entering the classical world my husband loves for a little bit and  plan to listen to a few more about Mozart and others.

love Does by Bob Goff   This book was an incredible read!  He has a great perspective on things and lives a pretty cool life, so his stories are awesome! If you want this book in another format it’s available on Amazon too….

 

Loving our Kids on Purpose   Just added this one, can’t wait to start it.

The Mean Mom’s Guide to Raising Great Kids by Joanne Kraft  *again this one is waiting for me! but I heard it recommended on K-love.

You’ll notice I’m deeply interested in any parenting wisdom I can glean these days (seems like a desperate Mother’s cry?? you’ve got that right. We need all the help we can get to guide these little hearts to and for Jesus)

I hope this encourages some one out there to just pick up a book (or electronic read) Even if you can only get a couple of pages at a time. Honestly I have surprised myself how quickly I’ve read through some books now that I’m mindful of its importance to me!

Happy reading everyone,

Let me know which awesome reads you’ve read or heard about.. my wish list is always growing.

 


There are some affiliate links here for Amazon. Which just means if you click and buy from links in this post, Amazon will give me a little something as a thanks for recommending them to you! Pretty cool. Thanks for shopping!

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It’s Fall and Our First Year of Homeschool!

Here we are in September!!!

I love this month!  My birthday of course helps kick it off pretty well 🙂

And we’ve already enjoyed a few cooler days this week! I love the changing seasons and made my first pot of stew for dinner tonight! YUM!

 

We officially started Home School this week! We did a little bit of preschool learning last year but didn’t really stick to a plan or schedule and honestly Mommy got a little lazy with it… but it was a freebie year since William was still only 3/4. 🙂

 

But this year is different. We are ready for Kindergarten in this house!! William is so excited! And after getting over the first bout of intimidation I’ll admit I’ve become pretty excited too! He is still only 4 (will turn 5 first part of January) But we really don’t think it’s to early to start him.. He has already mastered so many of the basics that you would expect to have him learn before kindergarten that I couldn’t imagine repeating them all again! So we are moving forward!

I am blessed in the fact that William does really love to learn. He wants to know how things work and why and would take everything a part in the process if he was allowed.

 

For this school year our main focus will be basic Math skills and learning to read! Along with Bible memorization and just learning from things around us.. we will be keeping things pretty laid back as we reach these goals.

 

I certainly don’t want to come across as a “Homeschooler Blog” as in, you should come here for advice or anything.. but I do know that I’m not the only one just starting out, so maybe if I share some of the things I’m learning, it could help you too.. us newbies should stick together ( and read the real expert home school blogs too) 🙂

We start our day off with prayer and calendar time with this awesome calendar I made from pinterest!

calendar

 

Here is where I found this awesome idea and the FREE printable.  This blog is pretty awesome so make sure you sign up to follow her for more tips and tools!

Home Preschool Calendar Board

Also, I’m hoping to just fill our lives with great habits and more structure (something that I should have already been enforcing but we won’t dwell on that!) So, now we start our day off with teeth brushed, making beds, and actually getting dress which has been super hard for my boys to understand, they want to know where we are going! hahaha

 

For Math we went with Math-U-See curriculum. I really like how hands on it is with manipulative blocks and that it includes number recognition, writing numbers and geometry shapes all in one book! We are starting with the Primer

 

Now I do know that some people say this method is a little to close to “common Core” for their liking and that opinion is fine. But especially at this young age I don’t see us running into any issues. I find it to be a great method for solidifying our number recognitions and counting. Plus, I think the beauty of Home School is that you can find what works for you and your child.

For reading I decided to get Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons. Recommended by a friend. You really can’t beat the price and it’s a full reading/writing curriculum in one book. Even the teacher’s notes (which are nice and extensive) are in the one book! I really like how the lessons are planned and I’m excited to teach William how to read. I found a lot of fun printable to go along with these lessons. Including a number chart so William can put a sticker on each lesson as we complete it. Also there is an Ipad version so later we’ll be able to practice our sounds on the iPad!

 

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/ number 1-100 chart to mark off or place sticker after each lesson is complete.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/ practice cards

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/ practice sheets

For Bible we will be focusing on our Awana Club work! Our family has fallen in love with Awana!! I encourage you to find a group near you! Or even ask your church to start one!! Awana is so Christ-centered, gospel-focused. They concentrate on memorization of Scripture and Christ’s unspeakable love for every child!  William is in cubbies this year and James is in puggles. William will be working through his honeycomb book. He has a memory verse and a story to read each week. Also, most weeks he’ll have some extra stuff we can do during school as well.  Puggles offers some awesome parent cards to be able to reinforce what they are learning each week, here at home! They have awesome suggestions about bringing the gospel into everyday life and showing even little James how much He Is Loved!!

This Mamma loves that even at 2 years old James’ class is learning a lot!! They are going through Creation right now!! I love that they are taking the opportunities they have with even the youngest to share Jesus’ love for them. It isn’t just childcare while everyone else is in their classes!!

Side note: Ryan and I are volunteering too! We asked that we not be in our boys age group to give them and us a little space 🙂 so we get to work with the 8-10 year olds and we are having a blast!! Again it is so gospel-focused that these kids are memorizing verse after verse each week. And I love that I’m dwelling on them too as I help the kids! Anyways, all that to say we love Awana! 🙂

As for any other learning lessons.. I have a lot of products left over from our attempt last year and have been giving William little things to do because he loves them so much!  So,it might be a page about same and different, mazes, just practicing writing numbers or letters, etc. I have lots of flash cards about space and animals. And some learning games. So in a round about way I think we’ll learn a little science, a little history, a little health, a little of everything!

 

My Mom will be gathering ideas for Art! And I’m so glad it’s her and not me! hahaha The boys will love it!

Daddy will be teaching sign language once a week too!

 

Reading aloud has not been our strength in the past… Getting the boys to sit for a story hasn’t happened up until a couple of months ago!  So much so that I started reading aloud while they were playing and just hoped they were kind of listening. But things are getting better.

I read on a blog somewhere that suggested reading while the kids are eating their lunch and that has been fairly successful as long as I’ve had a chance to eat my lunch first! 🙂 Also, I’ve expanded our library some, to include books with a little more interest and a few more words than say your average Dr. Seuss… and the boys are really enjoying the stories a little more!

To keep myself accountable, organized and keep a record of what we’ve accomplished this year, I bought this planner from Amazon. I like how much space there is to write out each lesson! There is attendance and even report cards if you want to do that!

All in all I think we’ll enjoy this year. It has it’s challenges with James running around and Mommy feeling tired growing this baby. But, we are praying for a great year!

If you are also  homeschooling  I hope your year has begun smoothly! I’d love to know what blogs you like to follow or anything you’ve found to be helpful!

 

We can do this!! 🙂

Deanna Grace

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