Who is YOUR mommy guru?

A friend of mine recently shared an article with me called Every Mother Needs A Mom Guru.  Who's Yours?  I absolutely loved it.  "Finally!" I thought after reading it.  "Someone who gets it!"  (I've attached the article below so you could enjoy it as well.)

When it comes to pregnancy, birth and raising our children, I feel as though our culture will many times position moms to be automatic failures right from the beginning of becoming a mom.  We have an overwhelming amount of medical interventions that tell us "your body isn't going to carry and birth your baby on its own...its incapable...you have to have me to do it."  And after our baby is born we have every psychologist telling us "if you follow that model for raising your family your going to ruin your child....do it this way".  Then there are others who act as if we are supposed to have this-as she describes it in the article-"magical" ability to be able to reach inside ourselves for the constant encouragement that is needed to be a mom.  With so many people telling us how to do our job (all in different ways mind you) how are we to ever feel like we can succeed?

Spinach & Quiona

Not many recipes surprise me.  But this recipe that I found on Simple Daily Recipes did.  I was expecting a particular flavor and ended up with something better. All I have to say is Yummo!!

I was drawn to this recipe originally because of my new found interest in Quiona.  I could sit here and list all the wonderful things about Quiona.  Like that it has the highest 'non meat' protein  you could consume...but I'm not.  Like that it is LOADED with all kids of vitamins...but I'm not.  I could tell you that I've used it with grilled veggies, as a sweet breakfast cereal or blended in smoothies...but I'm not.  You'll just have to google and find out all the wonderful things about Quiona on your own.  :o)  Mr. google can refer you to more accredited places to find this information than here.  Go ahead...get to it.  Get your google on.

Serves 4-6


'Good For You' Vegetable Dip - Mayonnaise FREE & Dairy FREE

This recipe came from one of my new favorite blogs... Whole New Mom.

I was browsing through her recipes and found a Homemade Vegetable Dip recipe that contained...

No Mayonnaise, No Soy, No Egg and No Dairy

Wooo Hooo!!  EXACTLY what I had been looking for.

If you've ever taken time to read the label on store bought dips, I can guarantee you can't read half of what is listed.  That is...if you can even bring yourself to read past the hydrogenated oil listing.  Blaaaa.

The base for this dip is healthy nuts of your choice.  I became a believer in the value of this healthy dip alternative when I saw my two year old princess swipe up a piece of cauliflower and chow down.

This dip isn't just good on vegetables.  Spunk up your sandwiches. Instead of using mayo reach for this spread.  It will be our go to condiment of choice for now on!  Out with the mayo and in with the new....or something like that.

Did I mention that I was really excited about this dip? hehehehe  


Soaking and Dehydrating Seeds & Nuts

I recently ran across a blog that I have thoroughly been enjoying. Whole New Mom   I find her writings down to earth, easy to understand and health conscious. Being a mom herself, she understands the struggle to find quick and easy ways to get healthy foods in our kids.

One that caught my eye was an article she wrote on Soaking and Dehydrating seeds and nuts.  "Interesting...how does it make them more nutritious?" I wondered.

Here is how she explains it...

Crockpot Black Eye Peas

I'm convinced that this recipe can convert anyone who isn't a black eye pea eater into the bean's biggest fan.

I've personally had to start doubling the recipe.  Black eye peas went from being a side dish to a main course at my dinner table.  Not that I mind...it doesn't get any easier than throwing all the ingredients into a crockpot. And it doesn't get any CHEAPER than dry beans.  Its a win-win.


Favorite Things - Newborn

"...when the dog bites.  When the bee stings.  When I'm feeling sad.  I simply remember my FAVORITE THINGS and then I don't feel sooooooo bad."  Sorry...I'm a Julie Andrews fan and got caught up in the moment.

One of my favorite things is to talk to moms (or soon-to-be moms) about pregnancy, laboring for delivery and newborn care.  Its so much fun to hear about all the different ways other moms care for their babies.  I've learned several things over the last 15 years of being a parent and talking to others.  Now that I'm once again caring for a newborn, I thought it would be fun to share a few of these favorite baby items.

Family Dinner Questions - aka Table Topics

Visit the DIY Tutorials section of our site to learn
how to transform your old sauce and pickle jars
into this table decor

I came across this idea on another blog and had high hopes for the change that it would bring to our lack luster conversations we had over dinner with our kids. Our typical conversation starters had been something like "how is school."  In which they would respond "good".  "Did you do anything fun today."  Again with single word response they would reply "no".  Okay then...where do you go from there?  I had high hopes that these spontaneous topics would bring laughter and fun back to the connection we were attempting to make with our kids.  (And I knew the moment I saw it that I'd have the perfect place to house my table topics when I completed my pickle jar up-cycling decor project.  Bonus for me!! yaaa)

We used our table topics for the first time yesterday.  I couldn't believe how much my boys (who are almost 13 and 15) enjoyed them.  It was like opening up pandora's box.  Table discussions were fun, fluent and easy.  They enjoyed it so much, they drew several different topics before our meal was done.

To print off your own set of table topics visit How Does She at the following links.

How Does She - Family Dinner Questions Set 1
How Does She - Family Dinner Questions Set 2
How Does She - Family Dinner Questions Set 3
How Does She - Family Dinner Questions Set 4
How Does She - Family Dinner Questions Set 5

And if your looking for a fun gift, visit Table Topics online at www.tabletopics.com   They offer a variety of topics such as girls night out, dinner party, teen, sleep over, grandparents, campfire, bachelorette, tailgating and many more.

Mongolian Beef

  My BFF is always a great source of inspiration for me when it comes to cooking.  As a mommy of four, she doesn't always find it economical to eat out.  But being the amazing provider that she is, she splurges on her family by bringing those flavors home.  Case in point...this Mongolian Beef recipe.  One of their favorite restaurants happens to be a Asian style habachi grill.  After researching different recipes online, she was able to come up with one that matched their taste bud's desires with perfection.

I made this recipe for my family yesterday.  Its very simple and exceptionally tasty.  It passed the taste test challenge for all six of us.  (Yes, even my two year old devoured the broccoli.  And the baby...well...she gave it a thumbs up because it didn't give her a belly ache from nursing after I ate it.)


Strawberry Pie Made Easy and 'Delish'

I have so many posts to get online.  This particular one was created back around Easter.  I guess better late than never huh?

 If you have strawberries that you want to enjoy and you know I'll be coming around....you'd better hide them fast! I have always LOVED eating strawberries (especially when I'm pregnant).  Most people eat them by the handful...I eat them by the quart-ful.

My grandmother makes the most amazing strawberry pies.  They taste so spectacular that I always assumed they were hard to make.  This summer I decided it was time to finally make them for myself and I realized that her recipe couldn't be easier.  This was a bitter sweet discovery.  On one hand, I could easily make pies for my family to enjoy.  On the other hand, I could easily make pies that I could enjoy...and enjoy...and enjoy...and enjoy.  You get the picture.  Once a strawberry hoard...always a strawberry hoard.


frozen pie shell (one that is already formed in aluminum pie dish)
2 quarts strawberries
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 Tbs cornstarch
3 Tbs strawberry jello (less than 1/2 a package)

Up-cycling Old Jars, Crystal Glasses and Candle Stick Holders

If your an avid blog reader, you've seen this before.  But if you haven't...you'll want to stick around.  This is another cheap and quick way to create decor for your home.


old glassware
old food jars
primer spray paint
white spray paint
gorilla glue (or something comparable)

I love up-cycling old items and finding new ways to
use them.  While I was out at the thrift stores, I collected a variety of old glassware.  A couple glass candle sticks, a big wooden candle stick, a vase, an ice cream sunday glass and a crystal martini glass.

At my house I had saved a couple small candle holders, a pick jar, a pimento jar, a coconut oil jar, an octagon Harry and Davids jar and a small octagon fruit preserves jar.


I'm sure many of you have wondered if I was ever going to come back.  I'm still here and have been thinking of everyone often.  Thank you for being patient as I prepared for out new family addition.  She has now arrived and we are doing wonderful.  As soon as my "babymoon" (honeymoon minus the honey...he he) is over, I'll be adding more posts to the blog again. 

A quick update on a change happening. 
I'm temporarily switching over to a different email update provider.  This will only affect those of you who have signed up to be notified via email when updates happen.  I'm hoping the switch will be automatic but it may require you to re-authorize your subscription.  Be watching for an email from Feathers From My Nest or Feedburner. 

Until next time....

Crock Pot Chicken Marsala

With the new addition coming to our family in a few months, I decided I needed to try some new recipes that would be quick, easy and yummy.

Quick, Easy & Yummy...is that too much to ask???

I think not!

I pulled out my trusty crock pot (aka slow cooker) and got to cookin'.  After a few failed attempts at some other recipes, I was sooooo excited with  how delectable this one turned out. And EASY.....whewwww....did I mention how super easy it was to make?

Here is what you need...

Napkin I.D. Rings

To save money we switched from paper napkins to cloth napkins a few years ago.  I found that we needed a way to I.D. our barely used dinner napkins so they could be re-used again during snack times.  Unfortunately, I never was able to come up with a good way to do this.  That is until I  came across these adorable (and clearanced) beads.  I'm soooo excited to have our ID napkin rings.  Not only are they functional...they are CUTE.  And to top it off, hey save me from having to wash extra napkins!  Does it get any better?

This project took about an hour to make almost a dozen I.D. rings.

Here is what you need...

Boiled Egg Blues

Alas, my first 'Not Martha' feather. It comes to you out of pure frustration!  (And hopes that someone can comment with a few tried and true tips to help me.) 

As you can see, no matter what technique I try, I never seem to get my hard boiled eggs to peel without tearing off large portions of the whites along with the shell. 

DIY - Sewing Cloth Napkins

Today's Feather: 
Make Your Own Cloth Napkins - DIY Tutorial

This project is great for anyone needing everyday napkins or wanting to whip up something cute to give as a HOSTESS GIFT.

CAUTION:  Look away all you seamstresses.  This tutorial will drive you crazy!  As I mentioned before...I am a  'slam bam thank you mam' sewer.  I'm not a skilled sewer and I don't know proper techniques.  But....I do get the job done which makes me smile.  :o)

Here is what you'll need...  

Why I Chose Cloth Napkins - Thrifty Living = Nest Egg & Natural Living

Before we get into today's post, a quick intro to future posts.  Stay tuned for these DIY Tutorials appearing this week and next:
       Sewing cloth napkins        Napkin ID Rings aka Bling               From Pickle Jars to Table Decor                       Yarn Gone Wild

Today's Post:  
Why I Chose Cloth Napkins  - Thrifty Living = Nest Egg & Natural Living

Today's post is a 'double threat' and will touch on two categories;  Thrifty Living = Nest Egg & Natural Living.  As time goes on you will find that these topics go hand in hand and will almost always cross over each other. 

Switching from paper to cloth was one of the first changes I made towards living economically leaner.  Although saving trees was a consideration, it was only a minor part of my decision.  As selfish as it sounds, the truth is that I mostly wanted to save my pocketbook.  My household typically used two to three rolls of

Resurrection Rolls

These hollow dinner rolls-that represent Jesus' empty tomb-are not only an Easter tradition in my home, they are the highlight of our Easter celebration meal.  They are expected so much that when my kids saw me making these for this tutorial they were confused and kept asking if today was Easter.  You can imagine the bliss on their faces as I explained I was making them to share with you and they realized they would get to enjoy them twice this season.  

Here is what you need...

Fabric Cabbage Roses

There are so many uses for these little beauties.

And I haven't even  began to list all the neat jewelry and ways you can accent your outfits.

So, is your mouth watering yet ????????

Lets not wait any longer.  Lets get started learning how to create these fabric roses.

Here is what you need:

fabric - something nylon, organza, polyester, satin or lining fabric
circle templates - FREE download link in the tutorial
needle & thread
optional - button to adorn the middle

Effective & Natural Bug Spray Recipe

 Rather than spraying my family with the chemicals found in commercial bug sprays, I use a  recipe consisting of three natural ingredients that was featured on the Dr.Oz show.

The Dr. Oz segment with this bug spray recipe demonstrated its effectiveness by setting up a tank filled with hundreds of mosquitoes.  The guest placed his arm in without any protection and the mosquitoes flocked to feast.  They then created and applied this mixture to the same arm and placed it back in the tank.  Not one mosquito feasted. After testing it out on my family, I have found our results to be the same.  Not only does this have a more pleasant smell, it is every bit as effective as a commercial spray that can be harmful and harsh on the skin (especially for toddlers and babies).

Mangos - Nutritional Value & How to Purchase/Cut/Store

Lets talk about Mangos.
  • nutritional value
  • how to buy a good mango
  • how to store mango
  • how to cut and serve fresh mango to your family

Being 'Held' Through Loss

Yesterday I was doing my usual browsing through some of my favorite blogs.  One particular blog I visit is called Joy's Hope.  I have always enjoyed getting to experience this mom's humorous heart through her blogging.

Somehow, in all my followings, I had never taken the time to read about the author.  Yesterday I clicked on the link 'Joy's Story'.  For the next few minutes I sat in suspense as Julie, the blog's author, explained who Joy was.  By the middle of the story I was in tears. (I'm sure partially due to the fact that I'm currently 23 weeks pregnant, hormonally unstable and could place myself in her shoes should I have had the same experience.)  By the end of the story, I had regained composure through my admiration of Julie's explanation of the Glory of the Lord and how little Joy had effected so many people. 

Experiencing her story has caused lingering thoughts about how many people endure similar circumstances.  I don't have all the answers but I think Natalie Grant says it best in her song 'Held'.  "The promise was that when everything fell, we would be held." 

Stringing Fingers

Today I went browsing at JoAnn's Fabric Store which can be a dangerous situation for me.  I never know what I'll will walk out of that place with. Luckily this trip provided a cheap project that didn't break the bank.

I found these yummy little wooden beads and my mind went wild trying to find a way to use them so I could justify the purchase.  I kept coming up with ideas for quirky-fun summer jewelry but Naomi, my 19 month old, had another plan for them.  After tearing them from her grasping little hands for the umpteenth time, I decided a compromise would benefit us both.  I came up with a little learning game to help her learn colors and fine tune motor skills.  She LOVES it!  When the newness of the game gets old and she moves on to the next adventure...I get my jewelry.  Its a win-win!

All oils are not equal. (Part I - Coconut Oil)

You’ll be amazed at how the right oil, when used properly in food preparation, can play a part in helping your body do things such as maintain proper digestion, support a healthy metabolism and thyroid function, relieve kidney problems, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, bone strength, increase immunity, and maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

My two favorite oils to stock in my cabinets are Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Coconut Oil. Both have unique food prep applications and a long list of health benefits. Oils that I try to avoid include animal lards and common vegetable oils such as corn, soy, safflower, sunflower and canola due to their content of polyunsaturated fats, saturated fats and chemical compositions.

For Part I of this series I want to share with you what has quickly become my favorite oil to use in the kitchen, Coconut Oil. I have found it to be non-greasy and to my surprise, it didn’t leave a strong flavor in my foods. It has been very light in taste and I love that my jar lasts a long time because so little is needed.

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