#5Faves: Summer Beverages

 

You COULD waste your time at the store and behind the blender making something that your kids are going to beg for sips of. OR, you could just stick to the classics. My classics. My favorite classics, in fact.

This summer, forget the multi-ingredient, involved recipes. Take it easy with these simple drink recipes. I don’t even feel right saying recipes. You can buy a lot of these at the store… | drinks alcohol | drink recipes

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LaCroix: We are all obsessed with this now, yes? I know Brigid feels me. And, how did I never think of this (let me count the ways): you can make the best cocktails with these fizzy beasts.

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Juice Spritzers: You know how you water down juice for the kids so they don’t drive you insane because it’s healthier for them? Do that for you2. My tongue is classy, so I prefer to dilute with San Pellegrino. I think their bubbles are actually smaller and poppier than others.

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Mojitos: There are so many complicated drink recipes out there, and I’m all, “pour some tequila into my tonic water, please. That’ll do.” So, I would like to harken back to the days of olde, before Pinterest muddled up our alcohol – get it? Make yourself one of these simple dudes.

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Capri Sun: Mike bought these for the kids the other day when they were sick. I told him to make sure he bought Pacific Cooler…for the kids. Also, did you know that there is less spillage if you drink a little off the top before giving it to your toddler. It’s just basic, smart parenting.

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Champagne: Because every morning you make it through is worth celebrating.

What are your favorite mamma dranks? Tell me in the comments or link up your #5Faves (about anything!) below.  .

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#5Faves: Articles About NFP

It’s NFP awareness week, my people. So, I’m here to, uh, make you aware. All of the honesty without any of the details! And, since I am doing a craft show this weekend, I will keep this as brief as my Phase 3…ha. Kidding. Sometimes.

| nfp chart | nfp humor | nfp catholic | birth control methods | birth control pills

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5 Ways We Bring Life to Our Marriage

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NFP: Why We Practice

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How to Ruin Your Marriage With NFP

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The Thing I Wish People Would Stop Telling Me

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Why I Don’t Do NFP

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#5Faves: Hidden Gems of Mackinac Island

You already know about the parks, fudge, horse rides, bikes, shopping (my fave store), butterfly house, water activities, churches and fort, but here are five little hidden island gems that you probably have never seen. Some of these things I’ve done – some are on my bucket list. And, you can laugh at me all you want, but Mackinac Island is my happy place. Check out their events cal, and make it yours too. xo

This summer, add Mackinac Island to your list of travel destinations. You’ll find the most common travel tips on any site, but here is my list of hidden gems that many tourists don’t get to experience on the island. | mackinac island things to do | michigan travel |

© dantien / Dollar Photo Club

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Duckpin Bowling at The Woods: Owned by The Grand Hotel, The Woods is tucked back into the interior of the island. You can get there by hike, bike or carriage ride. Mike and I enjoyed going there for a boxed lunch, and then we tried our hand at duckpin bowling. They have the oldest working lane in the country. Super quaint.

 

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Help the School: Yep – the island has a school for the children of the 600 year-round residents. And, they (genius-ly) came up with a way to make a little cash for their facilities. Buy a copy of this book at one of the island’s bookstores to learn all about what life is like on the island from those who have lived there all of their lives.

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Enjoy the Grand Hotel: You don’t actually have to be a guest to enjoy some of the Grand Hotel’s accommodations. This site will let you know all of the activities and rates for non-hotel guest fun. My personal favorite (which I have yet to do) is afternoon tea. How freaking fancy is that?? Ahem.

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Music in the Park: Night life is big on Mackinac Island. No cars around lends itself to lots of bar crawls and the like. But, if you want something a bit more laid back, try a little music in the park. The Arts Council also has tons of other activities for tourists and residents; check their site for more information.

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Legends and Lore Trek:  An island resident, Dr. Mary Patay, will take you and yours on a three-mile hike through the national park where you will visit sites like Skull Rock, Sugar Loaf, Arch Rock and a cemetery.

What are your Mackinac Island must-sees? Tell me in the comments or link up your #5Faves (about anything!) below.  .

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#5Faves: Unusual, Easy Breakfast Ideas

99% of the time we wake up and I’m like, “Do you want this cereal or that cereal for breakfast? Oh, you want something special? How about I put extra milk in that for you?”

But when I think about it, I actually do have some fun, easy breakfasts up my sleeve. Easy as cold cereal – I swear it-ish.

Here are my five favorite unusual and easy breakfast ideas:

Breakfast ideas for when you’re brain feels french toast but your body feels cold cereal. These five recipes require little effort in the kitchen, but your kids will love them to crumbs. | recipes | soup | easy

© phokrates / Dollar Photo Club

Breakfast Cones: Chop up some berries and coat them with the yogurt of your choice. Spoon the mixture into waffle cones and serve.

Breakfast ideas for when you’re brain feels french toast but your body feels cold cereal. These five recipes require little effort in the kitchen, but your kids will love them to crumbs. | recipes | soup | easy

Breakfast Pizza: Ok, pay attention. First you take the graham, you stick the cream cheese on the graham. Then you cut the fruit. When the ‘mallows flaming (kidding) you stick the fruit on the cream cheese. Then you scarf. Kind of messy, but good! Try some!

Breakfast ideas for when you’re brain feels french toast but your body feels cold cereal. These five recipes require little effort in the kitchen, but your kids will love them to crumbs. | recipes | soup | easy

Breakfast Soup: Seriously just make a smoothie and pour it into a bowl with a spoon. I garnished mine with yogurt and small grahams. Here are my favorite smoothie recipes.

Breakfast ideas for when you’re brain feels french toast but your body feels cold cereal. These five recipes require little effort in the kitchen, but your kids will love them to crumbs. | recipes | soup | easy

Breakfast Triangle Pies: Mix up a regular pancake batter and pour into sandwich press. You can add whatever fillings you want. We like blueberries or chocolate chips.

Breakfast ideas for when you’re brain feels french toast but your body feels cold cereal. These five recipes require little effort in the kitchen, but your kids will love them to crumbs. | recipes | soup | easy

Breakfast Meatballs: Essentially you’re mixing pancakes and sausage together and baking. Just mush it, roll it, bake it. Here’s the recipe.

**no pic bc we ate them all, obvs**

What are your favorite easy and unusual breakfast ideas? Leave a comment below or link up your #5faves about anything at all!

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#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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#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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#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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#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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#5Faves: Products for Looking Fresh Without a Shower

A big round of applause and thank you to Rachel for taking over this gig while I reworked some scheduling around these parts. If you’re not a regular over there by now, get it.

Shall we?

There are a lot of mornings that my bright eyes and bushy tail are a bit more racoon-ish. You know the excuses: baby teething, baby eating, toddler teething, someone needed snuggles, someone peed the bed, someone’s toe hurts, someone’s sock fell off her hand, someone wants popcorn tomorrow, someone is worried she will not have a nose in heaven, and so on. (All reasons I have woken up. Really.)

And honestly, I should really stop saying I am lazy in the mornings. Look, I have kids. We have kids. There are legit reasons we are dead to the world when the sun comes up. I don’t know about you, but I like to get myself prettied up anyway. It makes me feel like I am ready to take on the day. I feel productive. I feel refreshed. I feel like a grown up! I feel like I can at least fake all of this.

You know what else I can fake? Lookin’ fresh. And you can too! So raise your face to the sun, you beautiful sunflower, you! And, here are my 5 Fave products to help:

Super cheap products I can’t live without for those times when waking up in the morning is the hardest thing you’ll do all day. These are my 5 Favorite tried and trues on days I can’t afford a shower but still want to look on point. Includes tips for hair, hairstyles, eye makeup remover, and skin care.

© Imagery / Dollar Photo Club

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Almay Smart Shade Makeup: I love this “foundation” because it is super light and moisturizing. It gives me a bit of coverage to even out my skin tone, but it isn’t cakey or heavy. Great for low-makeup days. Honestly though, I use it everyday.

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Fashion Glasses: A pair of thick frames will hide tired eyes and make you look like you put some effort and thought into your look which you totally did not and that is the way I roll, baby. If you wear real glasses, you’re so lucky! (Do you hate it when people say that?) I have the 20/20 or so I think. Mike begs to differ.

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Suave Dry Shampoo: I have blonde hair so this brand works really well for my color and budget. I’m not sure how it will work on all y’all brunettes. Anyone care to share? Anyway, just spray this miracle stuff into your hair, give it a fluff and be off with you.

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MagSoul Knot Twisted Headband: Sometimes you just have a crush on an accessory, and you wear it everyday and buy a ton of them. This would be my thing. It’s the only headband I’ve ever had the truly stays in place and is so comfy. It also covers greasy hair so perfectly.

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Kirkland Makeup Removing Wipes: I’m fully aware that there are tons of wonderful makeup removing recipes on Pinterest, but you know what is easier? These.

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What are your go-to products for looking fresh on the fly, fly girl? Leave them in the comments or link up your #5Faves (about anything!) below. 

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#5Faves: Taking a Break

I am in desperate need of a little blogging vacay. Maybe it’s the weather finally breaking – wait, it snowed last week – maybe it’s dreaming of the weather breaking? Either way, Rachel will be taking care of you through May while I sit back and relax.

Isn’t she a gem? So, head over there for your #5Faves Fix. xo

5faves