Best Sippy Cup

When my son was 6 months old, I started him on the Miracle 360 Spoutless Trainer cup. Highly recommended! It is easy to grip with the handles and the spoutless design doesn’t affect the teeth. It is not 100% spill-proof (aka if it gets thrown on the ground, water will spill).. but hey, that’s real life. 🙂 Overall rating: one thumbs up 👍

Next up, we tried the Miracle 360 Deco cup. Since our first try with the Miracle 360 trainer was a success, I decided to stick with the same brand. This time I chose one without the handles to emulate a real cup and opted for a cute design for fun. However, this cup does not receive the same rave reviews as it’s baby brother trainer cup. On an outing, I had given this cup to my son to drink water in his car seat. When I went to pick him up, the entire cup of water was empty. It leaked everywhere and my son was entirely soaked. Due to this, I give this cup one thumbs down 👎.

Finally, the next cup we tried was the Nuk Magic 360. The package stated that it was ” leak proof, spill proof guaranteed.” I was skeptical, but decided to give it a try. So far, my son has dropped it on the ground over and over, and has also placed the cup upside down on his lap in the car seat for extended travel times, and to my surprise, the packaging is correct.. not a single leak, drop or spill! Coupled with the fact that it also has the spoutless rim which is safe for teeth and is super easy to clean (only 3 parts) makes this the winner in my book so far. Overall rating: two thumbs up 👍👍

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Seeds, Sales and… Poof Balls?

I recently went on a shopping trip to Goodwill, a local secondhand thrift shop. I usually buy clothes from thrift or consignment stores. For me, it’s fun and incites a sense of victory when I stumble upon a “good deal.” On the rare moments I do buy brand new, it is most often an item on sale. Not because I’m cheap. It’s because I’m practical. Buying a brand name shirt or purse for hundreds of dollars just isn’t a priority or something I seek.

As I approached the check out line to pay for the items in my Goodwill shopping cart, I approached a wall full of seeds. There were all kinds of various flowers and vegetables to choose from. I thought, “hey, wouldn’t it be fun to plant some flowers?” Spring is upon us, so why not. So I chose two $.59 cent packets and threw them into my cart. After I checked out, I unloaded the Goodwill bags into my van and noticed that the seed packets were sitting in the cart. I thought to myself, “did I pay for those seeds?” I did not remember the cashier ringing up the seeds. At that moment, I hurriedly threw the seed packets into a bag, closed the van, and walked next door to our local pharmacy, with my 10 month old son still sitting in the shopping cart. When we began strolling down the pharmacy, my son started to appear bored and restless, so I grabbed a poof ball sponge [see picture below] from a nearby shelf and let him play with it. After I grabbed everything I needed, I once again made my way to the check out line and waited patiently for my turn.

I finally got everything checked out, and off I went to unload the pharmacy bag in our van, and drive home. When I placed the bag in the trunk, I noticed that the doggie poof ball was sitting in the cart, hidden from view. I did not pay for this doggie poof ball. I merely used it as a distraction for my son, and had every intention of leaving it at the store, yet there it was in plain sight outside of the store, in my hands, unpaid for. So, what did I do? I hurriedly threw it in a bag, closed the van door, got inside and drove away.

[FAIL]

[EPIC FAIL]

As I was driving home, I couldn’t believe that I had in essence stolen two $.59 cent seed packets and a $2.99 doggie poof ball. Is this the woman I had become? What happened? I began to reason with myself that it wasn’t a big deal, and that it was too much of an “inconvenience” for me to carry a heavy baby back in to two stores, wait in line, and pay for or return the items. They were less than $5 anyway, so who cares? I began to reason that I was hungry, sleep-deprived, and that God would understand that I didn’t “mean to.” It was all an accident, my “intentions were good,” and I was sorry. So no worries, right?

[WRONG]

I felt horrible. I knew that I had made the wrong choice. And the worst part is that I did it not only once.. but TWICE! I was basically given the same test two times, back-to-back, within the same hour, and both times I chose to steal, because in my mind, I was justified because it was “too hard” for me to walk back inside the store with my two working legs and feet. UNBELIEVABLE.

As soon as my husband came home from work, I immediately confessed what I had done. He told me that I needed to go back to the store to either return the items or purchase them, and that it was imperative for me to NOT PLANT THE STOLEN SEEDS. I agreed! So the next day, I drove back to Goodwill, and returned the seeds. The cashier was surprised and thanked me. Next, I walked back into the pharmacy, and this time, I purchased the doggie poof ball. Once again, the cashier was surprised and thanked me. However, I’m not the one who should be thanked. I chose the wrong thing, and attempted to come up with a myriad of reasons why it was okay. So it is thanks be to God that He gave me the Holy Spirit to convict me.

This entire situation leads me to Proverbs 12 and Mark 4.

Proverbs 12:22 (NIV) states, “The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.”

Even though I did not physically tell a lie, by not going back inside the store and telling the truth that I mistakenly took an unpaid item is a lie.  Then to afterwards justify my choice and actions, is also a lie!

In Mark 4:1-8 (NIV),  “Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge.He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said:“Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed.As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain.Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”

I knew that if I planted stolen seeds, that it would not turn out good for me.  I was already heading down the path of self-justification, theft and deceitfulness.  Perhaps the seeds would have sprung up, however, the roots of the seeds were not grounded in purity and honesty.  What kind of fruit would that bear?

Is there any time in your life, that you made a faulty choice and then immediately began to justify it?

poofball

Hello 2018!

Hello blog-o-sphere,

I haven’t written an article, recipe or post since 2015!  Honestly, I thought that this site had been deleted, but I am actually happy to know that it is still alive.  A lot has happened since 2015.  The cliff-note version is…

  • Still a Christian, loving Jesus everyday.
  • Married to a wonderful man.
  • Mom to a son. He’s currently 8 months and growing.
  • Stepmom to two daughters. They are currently tweens and growing.
  • Dog mom to a rescue mix from Taiwan. She is currently 2 years and growing.
  • Currently working in the early learning child care field. No longer working in the restaurant industry.
  • Took a break from graduate school. I ran out of tuition money and they were pushing too liberal of an agenda (more on that later).
  • Volunteered and worked in several ministries, including preschool teaching, VBA (vacation Bible adventure) summer camps, and a children’s co-lead for teen MOPS.

I have many ideas that I am excited to share. My plan is to continue posting recipes, including homemade baby food recipes. My art expression has currently shifted towards crafting and my music expression has shifted towards worship.

Looking forward to journeying through a new blog-o-landscape.  Thank you for stopping by! 🙂

Mini Apple Pear Pies

MiniPies2

I love eating pies, however, once a nice big pie is fresh out of the oven, the wholeness of it becomes destroyed by the slice of a knife. Therefore, sometimes I opt instead to make mini pies. They are super easy to make and you can experiment with various flavors, fillings and top crust designs all in one baking batch!

For this recipe, you will need a food processor, cupcake pan, rolling pin, knife (or pizza cutter), large saucepan, measuring cups and measuring spoons.

Pie crust:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup almond meal
1 cup unsalted butter (chilled and cubed)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup ice water
1 tsp. lemon juice (mixed into water)
toasted almonds (optional)

Filling:
One apple (finely diced)
One pear (finely diced)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tbsp. butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla bourbon
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 egg

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a food processor, pulse dry ingredients (flour, almond meal and salt). Manually pulse about 3-5 times until dry ingredients are blended together.
  • Slowly add in ice water, while pulsing an additional 5-7 times. The mixture will look crumbly, however, should stick together when formed into a ball.
  • Remove dough from food processor and form into a large ball on a clean surface.
  • Use a rolling pin to flatten out the dough.
  • Let dough set, while preparing the filling.
  • In a large saucepan, heat approximately 2 tablespoons of butter on medium heat.
  • Add diced apples and pears, stirring constantly, ensuring that the the fruit is being coated in butter.
  • Add brown sugar and white sugar.  Continue stirring.  Add more butter, if necessary in order to keep the fruit moist.
  • In a large bowl combine butter-coated fruit from saucepan.  Add cinnamon and vanilla bourbon.
  • Add cornstarch to create a thickened consistency.

Dicedapples

  • Focus your attention now back to the dough.
  • In a cupcake pan, grease each individual pan with butter. Evenly disperse and place mini balls of dough into each individual pan. Leave 1/4 of the dough behind for the non-lattice top crust.
  • Using your thumb and fingers, flatten each mini ball into the shape of a pie crust.

Minidough

  • Add pie filling to each mini pie.
  • With leftover dough, create lattice (or in my case, non-lattice) top crusts.  Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut out strips of dough. I accidentally ran out of dough, so I also used toasted almonds as a top crust alternative to a few of the pies.
  • Sprinkle some sugar on top of each pie then use an egg wash (aka a whisked egg) to seal each top crust.
  • Bake in the oven for approximately 20-30 minutes, or until the edges of each pie looks golden brown.

Nonlattice

  • Remove from heat and serve immediately with whip cream!  Or save and reheat for a later time.  🙂

MiniPies

Stay in School / Summer Campaign

school4kristin752jpg
I’ve just finished my first year of graduate school at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. I’m on the road towards becoming a counseling psychologist and my dream is to help make the world a better place by sitting, serving and walking alongside others.

I’m currently waitressing my way through school and am working my butt off every day/night, however, some unforeseen external circumstances have gotten me off track financially.

I am reaching out for some tuition assistance so I can stay on track and continue school in the fall. I’ve never done a campaign like this before and feel kind of weird about it, but figure there is nothing to lose by trying. If you’re unable to make a contribution, please instead keep me in your thoughts, prayers and psychic energy channels.

Thanks so much. Have a great summer and hope to cross paths soon.

Sincerely,
Kristin 🙂

p.s. I’m not on Facebook or Twitter. For those that are, feel free to share this link with others if you feel inclined to do so.

Spring Chicken Vegetable Soup (immune strengthening)

It’s one of the worst things to feel “under the weather” on a nice sunny, spring day. However, it’s important to listen to your body when the sniffles start to rise, which usually indicates that an adjustment is needed. Instead of dousing your system with over-the-counter medications that just mask symptoms and push them deeper inside, it’s important to take a look at what’s been happening in your life externally and internally (i.e. stress, non-healthy diet, over-worked, surrounded by others who are contagious, hygiene practices, etc.) that may indicate that restoration is needed. Here’s a simple cleansing recipe that will soothe, strengthen and warm your soul.

chxsoup

Ingredients:
boneless chicken thighs (chopped)
organic vegetable broth (low sodium)
carrots (diced)
celery (chopped)
red potatoes (diced)
shallots (minced)
garlic (minced)
olive oil
oregano
thyme
rosemary
cilantro
salt & pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot on medium heat.
  2. Saute minced garlic and shallots for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally (do not burn).
  3. Add chopped chicken breasts. Stir and coat in oil.
  4. Add oregano, thyme, rosemary and black pepper. Stir occasionally. Cover and let simmer on medium-low heat for approximately 7-10 minutes or until the chicken is browned (but not all the way cooked).
  5. Add diced potatoes and carrots. Increase heat to medium and stir for approximately 5 minutes.
  6. Finally, add chopped celery. Simmer for approximately 3-5 minutes.
  7. Add 1 quart of vegetable broth (I used the low sodium Pacific Organic brand).  I know this is not the authentic way to make chicken soup, but sometimes time is of the essence!
  8. Increase heat to medium-high/high to allow the soup to boil. Once the soup reaches boiling, reduce heat back down to simmer (medium/medium-low).
  9. Add salt to taste.
  10. Garnish with cilantro.
  11. Serve hot and let your system be cleansed and nourished!

Click here for another immune strengthening soup recipe.