#5Faves: Simple Ways to Live Laudato Si’

 

With how much the Catholic Church has been in the news lately, you’d think we weren’t one of the oldest institutions on earth. But, you know.

In the wake of Pope Francis’ encyclical titled Laudato Si’, Catholics (and all humans, really) have been reminded of where the Church stands on environmental issues and what role we play in that.

So, here are my five favorite simple ways to care for our earth.

Make everyday Earth Day by incorporating into your daily life these 5 simple ways to care for the planet. The laundry tip is my favorite because it helps the earth AND saves me time in the laundry room. | environment | environmental education

© Africa Studio / Dollar Photo Club

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Stop Junk Mail: I read somewhere that the average adult receives 41lbs of junk mail each year. Stop the insanity by signing up with Opt Out Prescreen and Catalog Choice.

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Eat Until You’re Full: It’s no secret that many people eat way more than they should while their neighbors worry about the next meal. Vow to eat until you’re full, and keep a close eye on expiration dates. Pope Francis preaches, “Throwing away food is like stealing from the table of those who are poor and hungry.”

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Think Before You Buy: Ask yourself can I borrow or rent this? Do I have something I could use instead or repurpose? Can I buy this used? Can I make do without it?

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Buy a Bag: I know, I just told you to stop buying stuff. But, try keeping a small reusable bag in your purse or car so you can say no to paper or plastic at every store – not just grocery shopping. If you don’t have something you can use or can’t find a used one, shop small.

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Rewear Your Clothes: Want to know a secret? I don’t wash my clothes each time I wear them – underwear and socks excluded. Not only do I hate doing extra laundry, but if something doesn’t smell or look dirty, I don’t want to waste the water, soap, electricity and time it costs to wash it.

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What are your best tips for saving the planet, captain? Tell me in the comments or link up your #5Faves (about anything!) below.  .

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When You Find Yourself Paralyzed by Big Emotions

Friday’s announcement came with a lot of emotion, did it not? The nation was divided between shouts of joy and outrage. There were tears of relief and tears of mourning.

Being the Catholic of the non-cafeteria variety, you can imagine where I stand on this issue, BUT that is not the point of this post – believe it or not. (If that’s something you want to tactfully talk about, email me, friend.)

Instead, I want to talk about big emotion.

Do you ever find yourself so overwhelmed and indignant over something that you can’t stand and fight? You know that point where you are just so emotionally distraught that you feel so small and insignificant that you can’t make an impact on an issue that you hold close to your heart? It’s like you are paralyzed with grief, and at the same time, you feel guilty for not doing more, being more, saying more.

What if at that moment you aren’t being called to be a voice? What if, instead, you are being called to be still? What if in your despair, God is asking you to reflect on Him so He can give you the strength to do His work?

So next time I find myself in this situation, I’m not going to beat myself up for finding myself speechless. Instead I am going to be still and know He is God. In that stillness and silence, He will tell me what needs to be done, and He will qualify me when I am called.

Join the Summer of Psalms movement by downloading your free printables for home full of love quotes, music, and beautiful art and graphic design. A new print every week! | love sayings | inspirational quotes | quotes about love

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Thank you to Kristen from Vine of Plenty for illustrating one of my favorite Psalms. Check in with her every Monday this Summer for her Summer of Psalms project. Each beautiful illustration is yours to download and print for free. So generous of her! Thanks for using your gifts to glorify, Kristen. Follow her on Instagram for the latest xo

 

 

7QT: Come at me, bro.

chatter

I’m such a complete neurotic, so when Mike told me he had to go out of town for TWO WEEKS this month, I was 1. a big baby about having to watch the threesome by my lonesome and 2. scared to tell anyone lest a creeper find out I was home alone and steal my children in the night.

Well, jokes on you, creepers. Mike is back home now and he owns a LARGE pocket knife. Come at me, bro.

Also, we made it. We freaking survived.

Tell me doc and military wives, how do you do it? SERIOUSLY.

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this week

I care enough to make sure you don’t miss out on anything I posted earlier this week. Obviously you have a good excuse for why you didn’t read. I forgive you. And I update you:

How to Plan a Mother-Daughter Sleepover

#5Faves: Easy Weeknight Recipes

 

 

in photos

unedited for my pleasure.

tappin' on their "puters"

tappin’ on their “puters”

natural

natural

tentative

hesitant

one of them gets it

one of them gets it

cuatro meses

cuatro meses

trying on my First Communion dress

trying on my First Communion dress

family reunion

family reunion

how kids should look end of day in summer

how kids should look end of day in summer

pinoftheweek

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Then email me a pin from your site so I can feature it. Click pin to read more.

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I’m not the only bard in this neck of the Internet. Check out some gems that I didn’t Mark as Read before even getting to. In fact, I saved them to savor later. So, are they good? I don’t know. Let’s find out together:

3 Books Every Woman Should Read

Summer of Psalms

What My Kids Think About Their Daddy 

currently

with Joyful Life

Reading: lots of tutorials on how to format a book…help!

Eating: I had the most amazing seafood salad this weekend. Will update with recipe once I hunt it down.

Listening: thunderstorms – big ones <3

Wearing: chambray shorts

Praying: for my grandma who broke her femur this weekend

 

 .

Squaking With Kelly
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#5Faves: Easy Weeknight Recipes

True Story: When Mike and I first got married, we were dual income with no kids. Every night before sleep, we would pour all of our money onto our bed and just roll around in it while we laughed about our riches.

Ahem. What I mean is we would plan out elaborate meals that involved nightly trips to Whole Paycheck. We would come back and cook a late dinner that involved many steps and lots of fancy cheeses.

You might even say we enjoyed cooking.

Now with kids, I’m like, nope. nope nope nope. Now, I’m always on the hunt for the fastest, easiest, cheapest meals that I can slap together and pass off as nutritious. And here are five of my faves:

When you don’t have the time or the money to spend in the kitchen, these 5 weeknight meals are a savior to savor. All kinds of food including chicken recipes and vegetarian recipes. Make an easy dinner tonight or have your kids do it - I’m sure they could handle #5.

© zoeytoja / Dollar Photo Club

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Tin Foil Chicken

Place raw chicken and sliced veggies on a large piece of tin foil. Drizzle with oil and season to taste. Make a packet for each person. Bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes.

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Sausage and Peppers

In one big skillet, sauté onions and peppers in oil. Add in pre-cooked sausage. Heat through. Serve with buns if you wanna.

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Baked Italian Subs

I’ll link to this recipe, but the gist is that you assemble Italian subs, add a special pepper mix you can buy in the store, make sure butter is involved and bake.

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Tuna Pomodoro

Boil egg noodles. Drain. Add 3 cans of drained tuna, 3 cans of undrained diced tomatoes, heavy drizzle of evoo, salt and pepper to taste. Top with fresh basil and parmesan.

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Bean Burritos

We eat meatless on Fridays, so these bean burritos are perfect. They come together in about 10 minutes and just need to bake until heated through. My kids could practically make them if I ever decided to let them make that big of a mess.

 

What is your go-to weeknight recipe that takes less than 20 minutes to make?

 

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How to Plan a Mother-Daughter Sleepover

Disclosure: I have received free Netflix streaming and a streaming device as part of my membership on the Netflix Stream Team.  All opinions expressed within this post are my own.

My daughter is the only girl amongst boys, so we have a special relationship. Lately, when we want to spend a little quality time together, we plan a sleepover. Here is your guide to organizing a simple sleepover that will help you connect to your baby girl. This is parenting done right. | kids rooms | i love you | parenting tips

© aliasching / Dollar Photo Club

The Plan

Choose one night to put down the devices and forget the to-do list and just connect with your daughter by inviting her to a good, old-fashioned sleepover.

The Invitation

You don’t need to anything fancy here. The idea isn’t to impress your daughter with details. She just wants to spend time with you. So, sit her down and pick a date on the calendar. That’s it!

Supplies Needed

  • pillows
  • jammies
  • nail polish
  • favorite snacks
  • favorite drinks
  • Netflix
  • a few good books

The Schedule

When Ellen (3yo) and I had our sleepover, it looked a little something like this:

After dinner (it was a simple weeknight), Mike did the clean up and took care of the boys while Ellen and I got ready for bed. We went up nice and early so we would have time to get in all of our fun.

We climbed into my bed and synced up our show on Netflix. While we watched a couple of cartoons, I painted Ellen’s nails and we chatted about the show she picked. We also ate the snacks Ellen chose: popcorn and chocolate milk. Yes, we ate it right in my bed because it was a special sleepover, and you get to do special things during special sleepovers.

When it got near bedtime, we read a couple of books Ellen had chosen, we said our prayers, and we turned out the lights. The rule in our house is that everyone must sleep in their own beds, but for the sleepover, Ellen got to spend the night in mom and dad’s room. She was pretty thrilled about the special privilege.

Tips

  • don’t stress about making this a fancy event
  • plan out some of the details (like snacks) the day before
  • get your spouse on board so you have someone to manage the rest of the house while you’re partying
  • leave your phone downstairs; don’t get distracted during this special time
  • bring your own book too; if your kids go to bed early like ours, you might find yourself bored once your daughter is sleeping
  • our favorite (calm) shows on Netflix: The Hive, Curious George, Magic School Bus, Little Einsteins, Clifford

My daughter is the only girl amongst boys, so we have a special relationship. Lately, when we want to spend a little quality time together, we plan a sleepover. Here is your guide to organizing a simple sleepover that will help you connect to your baby girl. This is parenting done right. | kids rooms | i love you | parenting tips

 

What are some of your favorite ways to spend quality time with your kids?

7QT: a lot of hassle trying to scrounge up mason jars

chatter

I got to go to one of those super adorable Pinterest weddings this past weekend. My beautiful cuz married the nicest dude, and they had the most charming rustic wedding.

Pinterest wasn’t around when Mike and I got married, so that probably saved me a lot of hassle trying to scrounge up mason jars, but part of me wishes that I could have curated a bunch of awesome boards filled with darling ideas.

And, obviously, the most important part of the day was that Mike and I got married and received a beautiful Sacrament, but who wouldn’t love a wedding day do-over? With everything you know now, wouldn’t that be just…fun?

I’m thinking about writing a Wedding Do-Over post soon just so I can plan all of the fun little party details.

instalife

my gram

 

 

 

this week

I care enough to make sure you don’t miss out on anything I posted earlier this week. Obviously you have a good excuse for why you didn’t read. I forgive you. And I update you:

Put Baskets in These Three Places

#5 Faves: {Catholic} Blogger Books II

 

 

in photos

unedited for my pleasure.

IMG_2938

This girl needs human contact 24/7.

IMG_2943

Experimenting with mini weaving necklaces. If you want one, check out @wildflower_weavings on Instagram.                 They are under $15! xo

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“Uh chef. Uh hat!”

IMG_2964

wedding snaps

"Let's sit here until someone takes a picture of how cute we are." -Mike

“Let’s sit here until someone takes a picture of how cute we are.” -Mike

 

pinoftheweek

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Then email me a pin from your site so I can feature it. Click pin to read more.

hard-lemonade-copy

 

 

 

inmybloglovin

I’m not the only bard in this neck of the Internet. Check out some gems that I didn’t Mark as Read before even getting to. In fact, I saved them to savor later. So, are they good? I don’t know. Let’s find out together:

Tandem Nursing: Your Questions Answered

The One Thing Every Parent Needs to Stop Doing

Summer of Psalms

The 2015 Summer Reading Guide

Why I Am Giving $10 for Children in Iraq

currently

with Joyful Life

Reading: just bought The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (on sale)

Eating: I really want to make sno-cones at home.

Listening: Mike had us on a classical kick this weekend

Wearing: on the hunt for some flowy/tunic type tops

Praying: for safe travels for members of my family

 

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Squaking With Kelly
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#5 Faves: {Catholic} Blogger Books II

Due to popular demand (sidenote: look up definition of popular…and demand…), I’m back with five more Catholic blogger books you need to be checking out.

5 best ebooks for Catholic moms and women looking for some inspiration. Perfect gifts for moms and women with faith in God. Or, treat yourself to a mini retreat with these books worth reading. All books are authored by bloggers who are women just like me and you. I personally like the 28-day marriage challenge! | mom gifts | inspirational quotes | mindfulness quotes | faithful quotes |

Handbook for Adaptive Catechesis

“This handbook reflects on the needs of individuals with a wide range of disabilities and calls on catechists and religious education programs to consider special needs students for their mainstream and specialized programs.”

A Little Book About Confession for Children

A Little Book about Confession for Children explains the hows and whys of going to Confession. It includes step-by-step instructions for preparing and receiving this beautiful sacrament of healing, which draws us into the infinite mercy of God. The book even provides an examination of conscience just for kids.”

Feast!

“Feast! is a guide to observing the seasons of the Christian Year and honoring the saints through real food recipes and thoughtful reflections. It’s the perfect introduction for those who want to learn how to celebrate the liturgical year and special saints days with simple recipes and traditions.”

Joy in the Ordinary

“Joyce “Joy” Barrett thought she had her life all figured out, until one day her hopes and dreams for something extraordinary came crashing to the ground. Feeling lost without a purpose, she follows her family’s urging and takes a job hundreds of miles from home at an Irish restaurant and pub in small-town Indiana. Here, amongst new friends and new interests, she must come to terms with her wrecked dreams and choose whether to hold onto the past or learn to find joy … in the ordinary.”

Spice Up Your Marriage: A 28-Day Adventure

“Every assignment was created with the goal of deepening the sexual-love aspect of your relationship so you won’t find suggestions that demean or objectify. Contrary to what popular culture may assert, the spiciest relationships are the ones that cultivate trust, selflessness, and respect.”

Have you written a book? Or do you just have a fave blogger book? Let me know about it!

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Put Baskets in These 3 Places

I try to keep my house pretty clutter free, and honestly, I’m pretty good at it. Excuse me while I get that dirt off my shoulder. Ahem. In order to Minimize the Mess, I employ my little lovers: baskets.

If you want to be neurotic like me, put baskets in these three places to keep your house clutter free for good. Swearsies.

My best organization secret? Baskets. And, by putting them in these three places, you can keep your home clutter free. Seriously. Add this to your list of awesome life hacks and organization tips for the home. | clutter solutions | clutter organization | clutter control |

© Alena Ozerova / Dollar Photo Club

Stairs

Anything that belongs upstairs or downstairs gets thrown into one of these baskets. And then as we go up and down the stairs, we take items with us. I try to make a habit out of never walking into another room or level without bringing something with me. Trust me, it’s not hard to find things.

Living Room

Or really whichever room your family spends the most time in. My kids, like any kids, schlep toys all around the house, and they never stay in designated toy areas (like their rooms or basement). So, instead of fighting it, I just keep a large basket in our living room. When the kids are dropping toys, I just toss them in this basket until we can get around to putting them in their place later.

Front Door

I love a three tiered basket or rack for this place. The top shelf holds keys, phones and other pocket items. The middle shelf is for mail. And the bottom shelf is for items that need to be returned to their owners: tupperware, library books, clothing, etc.

 

Talk to me about where you keep catchalls in your house.

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7QT: Don’t. You. Worry.

chatter

Sam made another trip to the ER this weekend. This time it wasn’t anything injury related – just a nasty fever. But don’t worry. He made up for that fact by flipping over his bed rail and splitting his lip the next day. Don’t. You. Worry.

instalife

my gram

 

 

 

this week

I care enough to make sure you don’t miss out on anything I posted earlier this week. Obviously you have a good excuse for why you didn’t read. I forgive you. And I update you:

Ellen Chatter

#5Faves: Blogger Books

 

 

in photos

unedited for my pleasure.
IMG_2791 IMG_2792 IMG_2804 IMG_2809 IMG_2883

pinoftheweek

follow me, mmkay?
Then email me a pin from your site so I can feature it. Click pin to read more.

click the pic for the link

click the pic for the link

 

 

inmybloglovin

I’m not the only bard in this neck of the Internet. Check out some gems that I didn’t Mark as Read before even getting to. In fact, I saved them to savor later. So, are they good? I don’t know. Let’s find out together:

10 Things to Buy Make or Borrow for Your Disney Vacation

6 Tips for Buying New Clothes

Best of the Web

12 Free Father’s Day Printables

How to Ripen Bananas Quickly for Baking

currently

with Joyful Life

Reading: Small Steps for Catholic Moms

Eating: Anna made PW Sloppy Joes for us and I could have just died from the tasty.

Listening: right this minute? eavesdropping on my mom’s work phone call…

Wearing: a few ThredUp gems

Praying: for more conviction of faith

 

 .

Squaking With Kelly
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#5Faves: Blogger Books

Just about anyone can publish a book these days, but it doesn’t always mean that they should. Ahem. Luckily, I run in a pretty rad crowd of bloggers and authors. So, check out these mindful and faith-based ebooks for mothers guaranteed to make you the best mom in your town – or at least your house.

5 best ebooks for moms looking for some inspiration. Perfect gifts for moms with faith in God. Or, treat yourself to a mini retreat with these books worth reading. All books are authored by bloggers who are moms just like me and you. I am most excited to read the work from home ideas book! | mom gifts | inspirational quotes | mindfulness quotes | faithful quotes |

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A Catholic Mom’s Guide to Working From Home: 101 Tips to Help You Make Money Without a Commute

“Society tells women that we can’t have it both ways. But I am telling you that you can. You can stay at home with your children and also make money, and I will give you 101 tips to make it happen. This guide will give you, in a Catholic context, ideas on: how to decide the job that is right for you, how to make time for an at-home job, work time vs. family life, Catholic spiritual advice and practical tips on everything from taxes to web design. If you want to start making money at home, this is the booklet for you.”

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Everyday Sacrament: The Messy Grace of Parenting

“In Everyday Sacrament: The Messy Grace of Parenting Laura Kelly Fanucci sees the Catholic sacraments through the smudged and sticky lens of life with little ones. From dinnertime chaos to bath-time giggles to never-ending loads of laundry, Laura stumbles into the surprising truth of what the seven sacraments really mean: that God is present always, even in the messes of motherhood. A spiritual memoir of parenting’s early years and a sacramental theology rooted in family life, Everyday Sacrament offers an honest, humorous, and hopeful look at ordinary moments as full of grace.”

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Rosaries Aren’t Just for Teething

“In this beautiful collection of reflections, written by Catholic mothers, you’ll come to better know the heart of Mary.” And, just a little FYI, I may or may not have written a reflection for this one. Ok, I can’t keep you in the dark. I did. I wrote part of this book!

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Minimize the Mess

“The reality is that Minimalism means allowing only the things that serve a purpose in your home. It’s OK to have toys and kitchen gadgets, as long as they are being used and aren’t taking over the house.  It’s when those things aren’t being used and that you find yourself stressing over the messes that keep popping up everywhere. This book will walk you through the process of going through each room of your home and identifying which items are causing the clutter. You’ll find practical suggestions for dealing with toys, books and sentimental items as well as tips and tricks to help you sell the items you no longer need.”

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Faith Beginnings: Family Nurturing from Birth Through Preschool

“Faith Beginnings helps parents form and nurture their infant, toddler, and preschool children’s development with concrete activities and suggestions.” I love this one because when I was a new mom, I always struggled with what I should do with my baby all day. Everyone told me to just relax and enjoy her, and that’s true, you should! But, I am a doer. I don’t like to just sit. I enjoy my children more when I am doing with them. This book will help you in that area.

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What are your fave books by bloggers? Tell me in the comments or link up your #5Faves (about anything!) below.  .

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