Thursday, February 28, 2013

What I am Reading Now

Hello Bloggy!

I am going to share a quick update of what I am reading these days! Reading 'real' books is harder for me these days. Baby Girl keeps my hands full! It is much easier to download a book and easily access it with one hand on my phone or Ipad! But reading real books again is my goal!

For my 'real' book, I am reading Prayer by Richard J. Foster. I am doing it with the (in)courage book club Bloom. I, sadly, can't keep up very well. They read 2 chapters for Monday and then 2 chapters for Wednesday........I am still trying to finish the first chapter that they discussed Monday! Luckily, I can always go back and read over their notes and watch the video whenever I do finish the chapters.

picture from Amazon.

It is a book that I think I could easily recommend to anyone. The book is broken into 3 different sections: Moving Inward-Seeking the Transformation We Need, Moving Upward-Seeking the Intimacy We Need, and Moving Outward-Seeking the Ministry We Need. Each chapter is then focused on a certain type of prayer, Unceasing Prayer for example.

Foster writes very well fully explaining each prayer and using examples from his own life or from the life of saints. He also gives several applicable points in each chapter.

The only downside for me is that I can tell Foster is very likely a Catholic. He is always writing about saints and talking about books, hymns, and words like 'liturgical' like we all know what they mean. I grew up in a non-liturgical (I can use that word now that I know what it is! :D) church and find a lot of this stuff very strange. However, I think there are very few books I can say that have stuck with me and changed my way of thinking, but I think this is going to be one of those books!

On my Kindle/phone/Ipad, I am reading Hope for the Weary Mom. It was co-written by bloggers Stacey Thacker and Brooke McGlothlin. This is a much shorter book with easy to read chapters.

I am also loosely following along at as they cover one chapter each week with uplifting and encouraging blog posts. Chapter topics include "When You Don't Measure Up" and "When You Come to the End of Yourself". 

I was hesitant to start this book because my baby was only 3 months at the time and I figured it was more for mom's with toddlers or older kids. But boy howdy not only has Baby Girl proven me wrong, but so has the book! The words speak to my heart and make me feel normal. It is okay to be weary and tired, even if I am just starting out on this journey and only have one kid. 

It is a quick, easy read that I would recommend to ANY mother who needs their soul warmed and comforted. 

So that is what I am currently reading! What are you reading these days??

- See more at:

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Howdy Bloggy,

Today I am linking up with my (in)motherhood group! Our topic is Motherhood in the Trenches.

I am new to motherhood. Most times however I feel like I have been a mother forever, ages and ages, and yet somehow Baby Girl just stays the same age: 4 months. I can look back on the 'golden age' of babyhood, those 3 short months where baby girl slept 8-9 hours a night and our only problem was mild reflux. Then we turned a corner into 4 months and it was like a light switch flipped.

Refusing naps. Refusing to eat well. Waking up at night. Crying for no reason. Screaming for hours. Can colic start now???

And I realize I am at the end of myself. My patience is thin and I find myself too often tossing baby off to her  Daddy to deal with. I am just clueless as to how to comfort her. I rack my brain for possible explanations and I find nothing. I never felt more in a war zone trench than I do now. Bomb after bomb raining down on me and all I want to do is take cover, head down, and wait for it to pass.

I never knew I had such a lack of patience. I never knew it would be so important! But I know now that if I don't find patience and weave it into my core, I will never make it through motherhood alive and happy on the other side. But then...then I stumble across this verse::

"So that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light."
-Colossians 1:10-12 NIV

I WANT to live a life worthy of the LORD! I want to please the LORD! But how??? Three ways are given: 1. bearing fruit in every good work 2. growing in the knowledge of God and 3. being strengthened in His power.

Wow. I could unpack a LOT from just that! But the gist is---> I CANNOT please the Lord myself! I am only able to bear fruit because God blesses me with it. I can only grow in the knowledge of God through reading GOD's Word and connecting with Him daily. I can only gain God's power and strength through HIS glorious might!

I can do no good thing on my own, but only through the blessing and love of Jesus Christ. 

And only then will I gain endurance and patience. I will have run the race I was given to run. I will have grown and matured in Christ until it is impossible for me to not be patient and kind.

I need to connect to the Lord daily through His Word and through prayer. So here, before you all, I am committing to run my race. I will learn to lean on God, considering it all joy when I face my trials of motherhood. I pray the that Jesus will come out of my mouth as an overflow from my heart.

So, as the bombs of motherhood rain down, as Baby Girl kicks, resists, screams, and flails, I will turn my eyes upon Jesus and give joyful thanks for qualifying me for this blessing. I will pray the same for all of my (in)motherhood friends!

Friday, February 22, 2013

My First FMF!

Welcome to my place Bloggers!

Well, this is it, I am jumping in eyes closed and nose plugged, naturally. I am joining the hubbub around Five Minute Fridays! Every Friday, Lisa-Jo Baker at The Gypsy Mama gives a word, and you just write about it for five minutes. No editing or forethought. Today actually happens to be more a of a topic: What My Mama Did. 


My mama. Wow. I sadly never appreciated her as much as I should have growing up. She was always a more 'behind the scenes' kind of woman. But I never would have gotten through life without her. She selflessly cleaned and cooked and baked and drove us everywhere and let us have too many guinea pigs. 

And then she got cancer. Twice. And I realized if she left, I would be completely lost. I got to admire her and see her true strength as she went through some crazy strong treatments. She handled it like a pro! I would have been crying and raging and hiding and running and general giving up. And she grew her faith. The strongest faith I have ever seen. 

"What good is faith??"

"It can only move mountains!"

How can a person be given such crazy blows and deal with such intimate cancers and still cling to Jesus stronger than ever? It is admirable, beyond admirable. Amazing. 

I hate cancer, but I love how it made me see my mom. Beautiful, strong, believing, wonderful. 

I am 25 and still rely on her way too much. She is MY mother. And I am so thankful for her. 


Five Minute Friday

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Stitch Fix!

Hello Beautiful Bloggy World!

I am not even sure the first time I heard of monthly subscription boxes, all I know is that I was instantly intrigued. What could possibly be more awesome than receiving gifts in the mail once a month?? I love the feeling of knowing there is a package on its way to my house. I let out a holler whenever I get some 'real' mail. It is sad how far and few that 'real' mail comes. Thus, I believe monthly subscription boxes were MADE for me!

notice those cute baby feet!!

I jumped on board with Stitch Fix. Stitch Fix is a personal styling service sending you boxes full of clothing tailored to your tastes! This subscription was great for me. I have not always been 'with it' when it comes to fashion. I just don't care what the latest trend is! Most of the time I think the latest trend is ridiculous and looks horrible on me anyways. Plus now that I am a mother, I don't have the time I once did to go out shopping for new clothes. My body has completely changed from what it once was. I am not sure what fits me well anymore and my wardrobe has drastically shrunk! Having a personal stylist is such a blessing to me.

Once you are accepted you fill out a style profile, it is quite in-depth asking you questions about not only your size, but lifestyle and budget. Then you schedule your 'fix' and wait while your personal stylist chooses clothes they believe you will fall in love with. After receiving your box, you have three days to try everything on and decide what to keep and mail the rest back. You only have to pay for what you keep, but if you keep the whole box you receive 25% off.

Each time you get a box you can fill out a survey about how each item fit and whether you liked it or not. Thus, the next time you schedule a fix, they can further tailor the clothing choices to your size and style! Here is my first Stitch Fix items:
Small cross necklace, jeans, purple blouse, striped dolman shirt, and black cardigan

Attached to each item is a card with a description and pictures helping you visualize how best to wear it. 

This is the card that came attached to my black cardigan. I LOVE CARDIGANS! You can bet your bottom dollar I kept this item! I love these cards and plan on keeping them as a fun reference when I am stuck on what to wear. 

The only downside, for me, to Stitch Fix is the cost of the clothing. The jeans they sent me were $128! I hardly buy jeans costing more than $20. Hubby wouldn't even let me try them on. I probably would have kept all three shirts, but chose only two (the cardigan and striped dolman) because of the price. Obviously because of the higher cost, however, the clothing is better quality than I would ever by for myself at the local Kohl's. 

Also, although dubbed a monthly subscription box, you get to schedule when you receive a box! It can be once a month, every two months, etc. That is going to be awesome! Because I am super excited about it, and I need to beef up my wardrobe a little, I scheduled another fix for next month already, but after that I might go every two months to fit it in the budget better. 

Conclusion: check it out if you want to add some beautiful piece to your wardrobe without ever leaving your home.

Want to check out Stitch Fix yourself?? Click my link below and I will receive a $25 dollar credit! Thanks friend!!

Friday, February 15, 2013

DIY Easy Made Baby Books!

Hello Bloggy World!

As well predicted, Baby Girl kept me quite occupied yesterday. Only two itty bitty naps in which I decided showering and taking out the garbage (which entailed shoveling part of the driveway!) more important, ever so sorry.

But here it is none-the-less! I saw this idea once on Pinterest, but can't seem to find where it is now! This is the easiest way to make your own baby crinkle book and it uses supplies you already have laying around the house!

Scissors, a black marker, a red or blue marker for older babies (3+ months), four sandwich baggies, and a piece of paper. 

Fold the paper in half and then fold in half again so that you end up with four defined squares. Cut along the folds to create four separate pieces of paper. Now the fun part! Draw easy, geometric patterns on the four squares using your black or red marker.

Simple clear designs are best for babies to focus on. I couldn't resist adding the hearts as it was the day before Valentine's Day, but probably should have colored them in all the way. 

Next, simply slip each one of the beautiful pieces of artwork into one bag each. I used a piece of tape on the back of each picture to hold it in place better. Then, line up the opening of the baggys facing the left and lay them on top of each other. Use scotch or packing tape and tape it up! 

I also went through each 'page' and taped them together.

See? Easy peasy!! Took me about five minutes. I am thinking about going back and creating four more pictures to place on the backside of the originals. I don't like how my black bled through and looks so 'blah'. 

This project is super easy and can easily be transformed into hundreds of different ways. You could add pictures of family inside, or create a numbers and letters book! 

My baby girl took to it right away. She likes holding it, crinkling it and can stare transformed for minutes! Feast your eyes on my beautiful baby playing away and have yourself a great Friday!!

"Why are you taking so many pictures of me mom??"

"Wait! What is this?!"

"Awesome flailingness!"

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Totally Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hello Bloggy!

Ready for a rocking recipe?? This one was DELISH!! The Totally Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies uses a whole pound of chocolate chips! So it may be a good recipe to leave until the chocolate chips are on sale at the grocery store.

I don't think I needed to make any changes or suggestions at all to this awesome recipe! Let the pictures speak for themselves! So let's just jump in!

2 2/3 cups (16oz) semisweet chocolate chips {WOW! I wonder what this would taste like with some dark chocolate chips thrown in! hmmmm..}
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder. (You can see what I used in the picture above)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, slightly softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large cold egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or spray liberally with cooking spray.

Melt 2/3 cup of the chocolate chips. You can do this in the microwave (stir every 20 seconds until fully melted), or use a double broiler. (Or use an available hubby!) Set aside.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until smoothly blended. On low speed, mix in the melted chocolate chips until blended. Add the egg and vanilla, mixing until just blended. Add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Mix in the remaining 2 cups chocolate chips.

Use an ice cream scoop or 1/4 cup (that is what I did!), scoop mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 3 inches apart. 

Bake one sheet at a time until they crack on the top, about 18 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack. 

See how mine are cracked on the top?? Perfecto! Eat them right away or store in an air tight container. I left some on my kitchen counter under the window and they got hard, but a quick stint in the microwave warm them right up to soft and gooey again! 


Tomorrow (Baby willing :D) I will post a quick and easy craft to make for Baby!! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Blog Again, Blog Again, Jiggety Jog

Hello Blogging Community,

Me Again. It is strange how much I love blogs. A person can literally find a blog on anything: travel, cars, motherhood, religion, cooking, baking, fashion.....

What? I need advice on my marriage?? I don't Google, I blog.

Looking for advice on how to make baby food? Blog.

Not fashion forward but want some simple tips? You bet there is a blog for that!

I follow blogs on my Google reader, Twitter, Facebook, and email. Yet, somehow, I just can't seem to write a blog myself! What could I possibly bring to the table? I don't have beautiful words like the lovely Ann Voskamp and I am definitely not the powerhouse of Tsh Oxenreider. All I know is I think I need to try harder...well really try at all.

So bear with me Bloggy World as I attempt to blog again...and probably fall flat on my face. But if you promise to help me up when you are done laughing, I think I will be okay.

Stay tuned, I will be posting about some DELICIOUS chocolate cookies. But you really, really need to like chocolate. And you can't mind eating unhealthy every now and then :) Linked Up At:

Join (in)motherhood!

Hello Bloggy World!

A quick drop in to announce how excited I am that the (in)courage groups session 2 starts today!! I am in the New Mothers group over on Facebook! Go to the (in)courage website to find a group for you!!

I also want to announce that I finally joined the bandwagon and got a Twitter! Follow me @am_zech 

Have a GREAT Tuesday!!