Reads & Recipes {January 2013}

For 2013, I’ve decided to start a new monthly feature where I’ll share with you some books and posts I’ve been reading and recipes I’ve been trying over the course of the month! I’ll also give you a peek “behind” the computer to see what else has been happening at my house.

January 2013 Books

I looove to read, but I think I must have had adult-onset ADD. I tend to read a little bit of this book and a little bit of that book and take forever to finish each one. I chewed on bits and pieces of the following this past month:

Desperate: Hope for the Weary Mom Who Needs to Breathe by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson

I reviewed this book here, and it’s a breath of fresh air–although I am a desperate mom, so I’m still working on finishing it! It’s available at or your local Christian bookstore.

Boundaries: When to Say YES, When to Say NO, To Take Control of Your Life, by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

I heard about this book years ago–but I could never bring myself to read it. From what I had heard, I thought the book sounded almost unbiblical. As a believer in Jesus Christ, should I ever tell those in need “no”? Through struggling with people pleasing and burnout and putting others above my own family, I’ve come to realize that–shock of all shockers–maybe sometimes God is calling us to say “no” to others who pull for our attention! This has been a very real struggle in my life over the past few months as both my family and this website has grown. The thought that keeps running through my mind is that Jesus preached to many but poured His earthly life into a select few. I’m still mulling over and chewing on all that as I’ve just begun this book.

I’ve borrowed it from a friend, but it’s also available on

Reading Desperate one morning–in a pretty “desperate” morning with the girls…

Hula Hoop Girl by September McCarthy

I cannot even remember what blog I ran across this eBook on, but the Lord knew I needed it! The author, September McCarthy, is a homeschooling mom of 10! She used to struggle with taking on too much and burning out. (I can so relate!) Her book landed across my computer screen at just.the.right.time. It’s one of the few eBooks I’ve paid full price for because I just felt like I needed it. Read more about it here.

100-lb. Loser by Jessica Heights

I found out about this book right before we started our Fitting in Fitness challenge! I was inspired when I saw that the blogger who wrote it lost a whopping 100 pounds after having 4 kids in a row! I would like to lose 30ish pounds, and that alone seems like such a HUGE feat to me right now. I cannot even fathom losing 100! I saw Jessica in person at a blogging conference back in the fall, and I would have never, ever guessed she was once overweight. She looks GREAT, and her eBook is a great, encouraging read. Read more about it here.

Workshift by Anne Bogel

I purchased this book along with 4 others in the work-at-home mom Bundle of the Week*. The book was a quick read about how there is a shift in many families where both parents are working from home in order to raise the kids together. Dad works while mom keeps the home and mom works while dad helps keep the home. It’s revolutionary but really catching on. I would love for my hubby to work from home and us all be together as a family more often, but I think our biggest obstacle would be health insurance. I always wonder how families who make this work handle insurance. Read more about the book here.

*If you haven’t checked out Bundle of the Week yet, you can sign up for weekly emails here! You will get an email each Monday listing a new bundle–5 eBooks for only $7.40!

And I actually finished this one from cover to cover:

Platform by Michael Hyatt

I literally devoured this one–but part of that was because I read it on a 12-hour drive back from our Christmas trip to Mississippi. Hyatt works for Tyndale House Publishing, one of the biggest Christian publishing companies in the world, and he’s chock full of wisdom for bloggers who want to build authentic community and take their sites to the next level. I loved it! This book would probably only interest you if you are a blogger, but if you are, I highly recommend it! It is available at {you can search right here in my sidebar—>!). I bought the Kindle version because it was a couple dollars cheaper.

January 2013 Favorite Links

I’ve found that my blog reading has decreased the longer I’ve blogged. I’ve learned to skim quickly. There are such great gems out there, but the following posts resonated with me the most:

{Motherhood and Family Life}

Mothers, Don’t Give Up on Your Difficult Child @ A Wise Woman Builds Her House: I so needed this post.

How to Create Margin in Your Family’s Schedule @ Family.Your Way: Practicable yet attainable. My favorite part? “Adults don’t owe explanations to anyone.” As the queen of “excuses” for saying “no,” I needed to hear that!

25 Reasons We’re Taking Our Kids Around the World @ EntreFamily Travels: My “mentor” blogger and friend Stephanie of Keeper of the Home is going on a worldwide adventure with her family–and here she tells you why.

Be With Me. Just For Today. @ Love, Light, Laughter and Chocolate-One Mom’s Journey: A must-skim for every mom. I could not finish this admonishing from a mama who lost her baby 8 years ago when she got crushed by a dresser. But every mom needs to skim it and be aware–just be prepared with a box of tissues.

{Health and Wellness}

The Flu Vaccine and Pregnant Women: I don’t touch on vaccines much here, but suffice it to say that I felt like this was a read worth sharing.

Misleading Products @ 100 Days of Real Food: Is it natural or are you paying money for something that’s laden with chemicals? It’s important to know.

The Gluten Made Her Do It: How Going Gluten Free Saved My Daughter’s Health: I get crazy looks sometimes when I tell people gluten changes my daughter’s personality. This lady

{Working at Home}

5 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Starting a Business @ Money Saving Mom: Over the past few months, this hobby/side job has turned into an at-home business, but it has taken two years of hard, hard work. If you’re interested in starting a blog–or any at-home business–here are some good things to ponder before you take the plunge.


Rice Christians and Fake Conversions @ A Life Overseas: The Missions Conversation: Before I blogged, before I became a mom, before I got married, I spent just about every summer on short-term mission trips…and my husband and I met while serving in Costa Rica after college. This is a must-read for any short–or long–term missionary.

January 2013 Recipes

Here are the new recipes I tried last month:

Gluten Free Bread @ Whole Intentions: I tweaked some of the main ingredients in this one–simply because I didn’t have all of Paula’s ingredients on hand. My girls devoured it, so it will be a staple in our house from now on. I’m planning on making the exact version this month. But I posted my version at The Grain Mill Wagon.

Dairy Kefir @ Stacy Makes Cents: Stacy herself made this one super easy for me. She sent me the kefir grains in the mail! This was actually my first probiotic food to make in a year-long challenge to myself to make one probiotic-rich food per month.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes @ Cupcake Project: I modified this one quite a bit to “healthify” it–and make it both dairy and egg free. But I don’t know it was the freshly-ground garbanzo bean flour or what, but these have got to be the best gluten-free cupcakes ever! I posted my version here.

Gluten Free Millet Oat Pancakes @ Hint of Saffron: This recipe looked easy enough, but I decided to spice it up a bit and take the basic idea and turn it into pumpkin spice pancakes. They were the most delicious gluten-free pancakes I’ve made to date. Another grain mill success!

Gluten-Free Oven-Baked Chicken Cacciatore @ Not Missing a Thing: This recipe is incredibly easy and simple–and that’s why I love it. It will make an appearance on our dinner table at least once a month from here on out.

Almond Meal Brownies @ Becoming Kindred: I ended up making these with maple syrup and switching out the eggs with flax. I think I could have eaten the whole pan myself!

I also cleaned out my pantry and used up some old gluten-free mixes from before we go the grain mill. The consensus? Freshly-ground flour makes baked goods taste so.much.better!!

What else did I do in January?

I spent two Saturdays at the coffee shop–working on my home management binder and working on my eBook. 😉 I’ve been holding down the fort at Keeper of the Home while Stephanie’s taken a vacation. I attended MOPS and a home organization class from The Spin Within (oh how I needed it!). I burned some food in my crock pot, and I’ve been testing out a wool diaper cover. And I started Burn Bootcamp–as part of our Fitting in Fitness Challenge!

And I cuddled my babies–lots and lots of cuddles (every morning!).

Giveaway & Discount Code Reminders

As part of our Fitting in Fitness Challenge, we’re holding giveaways each week! We also have some baby-related giveaways going on right now as well:

The Bulk Herb Store’s Resolution Collection–ends Tuesday

Sophie the Giraffe from The Glass Baby Bottle–ends Friday

Mighty Nest: Use code HOMEMAKER10 for 10% off!

Sweet Little Blessings: Use code SNOW for 10% off!

Kisses from Above: Use code VALENTINES for 20% off!, 5 eBooks for $7.40!

Bundle of the Week: This week’s bundle will be all about marriage! 

How did you spend your January?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Plan to Eat: Meal Planning Made Simple.

Mighty Nest: Better Living Made Easy {Every product FREE of harmful chemicals!}

The Glass Baby Bottle: Eco-friendly, Toxin Free Essentials for Babies & Toddlers & Kids

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat


  1. says

    I work from home and my husband is self-employed (not exactly from home…he works about a mile away). We are members of Samaritan Ministries as a health insurance alternative. It is so much more affordable than private insurance (and since my husband has asthma, I’m not sure we could even get private insurance). Since we joined we have had two more babies and couldn’t be more pleased with how Samaritan’s system works!

    I blogged about it here:
    Mary Jo @ Covenant Homemaking recently posted..Goals for 2013, February UpdateMy Profile


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge