My Mom Knows Best – Exercise, fresh air, and 30 minutes of space

How is it that moms just seem to know what is best? My mom has about a 98% accuracy rate when it comes to this. She was in town to make Christmas cookies, among other holiday festivities. It has been a trying week with my three-old. She is showing a strong-willed, defiant side.

Given her history, I believe this is just a phase. She is just testing her limits and checking out who is the boss of this house. Impatience and frustration are not daily parenting struggles for me. (Worry? That is another story.) This week, impatience and frustration are the name of the game. I am spending much of the day reminding myself that she is watching my every reaction. She is taking notes and I will see it all again. If I flip out and yell…she will add that to her set of tools when deciding how to react to life. I want her to handle her life with grace and patience, so I must do the same. I must model how I want her to act during frustrating situations.

So hard right now. Grace and patience is NOT coming easy.

My mom gave me exactly what I needed today.

Encouragement and…

Mom Knows Best

she watched the girls so I could go on a run. Exercise, fresh air, and 30 minutes of space.

I feel so refreshed right now.

Procrastination Baking – Meringue Cookies

Meringue Cookies

Procrastination Baking: Baking to avoid other more necessary household duties or responsibilities, typically occurs during children’s naptime. After a rough morning.

Any free time I have during the afternoon has drastically been cut short due to lack of napping for my three-year old. Any time I get during the afternoon must start with a quick decision of what I am going to try and get done. I have no time to waste; I must decide. Cleaning, laundry, quick workout, or other household duties. Or…sit down with a book, magazine, or computer. Be productive? Or relax and recharge for the late afternoon and evening? Or bake.

It can be my way to avoid any responsible household duties I may have. And honestly? I want to eat a little cookie dough or brownie batter. It’s the perfect medicine after a rough morning. I have no shame in that.

Meringue Cookies

At times I wish that my procrastination baking was procrastination cooking. Making dinner instead of dessert, would make dinnertime so much easier. But I just don’t find it as fun to cut up raw chicken and disinfect the kitchen many times over, when I could be licking the cookie dough from the bowl instead.

After an unusually unpleasant morning, I have decided that some Procrastination Baking is needed this afternoon. I make a tasty meringue, but typically not a pretty one. So I’m shooting for a little eye-candy in my meringue today. I’m also hoping to finish before I’m greeted by: “I’m all done sleeping, mom”.

So…get out the egg whites and sugar. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Beat egg whites, salt and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. My mixer was working on this for about 10 minutes.

Meringue Cookie Baking

Gradually beat in sugar. Add vanilla.

Baking Meringue Cookies

Fold in chocolate chips. I like to use mini-chocolate chips, as they go further. Less can be added in and there will still be chocolate with every bite. It’s MUCH healthier as you can add less! At Christmastime, I use Andes peppermint baking chips.

Dollop on cookie sheet, covered in parchment paper.

Meringue Cookies

Bake for 30 minutes. They should be just lightly browned.

Baked Meringues. Holiday Baking.

 
Next step: Consume. It’s a lot of sugar, but so tasty. :)

Procrastination Baking - Meringue Cookies.

 

Meringue Cookies
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 egg whites
  2. ¼ teaspoon salt
  3. ¼ teaspoon cream of tarter
  4. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  5. 1 ¼ cup sugar
  6. ¾ – 1 cup mini chocolate chips.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Beat egg whites, salt and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Approximately 10 minutes.
  3. Gradually beat in sugar.
  4. Add vanilla.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips.
  6. Dollop on cookie sheet, covered in parchment paper.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes. They should be just lightly browned.
Notes
  1. Other variations I have tried: butterscotch chips, Andes peppermint chips.
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Distracted By Devices…Finding a Balance

I have been forced to reevaluate this morning. I read two articles regarding the distractions of technology and how this impacts our relationships. These are not the first articles I have read regarding this topic and I have made changes in the past, but they have been small changes. I read two articles this morning that have now motivated even more change in how I use my smartphone.

When Parents Are The Ones Too Distracted By Devices

For The Children’s Sake, Put Down That Smartphone

I was reading these articles as my daughter ate breakfast. She was facing my back as I was busy reading. She was eating her breakfast by herself, chatting to herself. I was too busy reading to join her. What am I telling her by making her look at my back while she is eating breakfast? She is not worth my time…yikes. Not my intention at all!

And so I shut my computer off.

Distracted By Devices...Finding a Balance. Shutting off the computer.

I would love to just walk away from it, but I know that it will be so much more tempting if it’s still open. All the tabs…showing me the articles I have saved to read.

I sat with my sweet daughter while she finished her banana and cheerios. Eye contact. We had the greatest conversation. When I sit and chat with her I’m amazed at how her little 3 year-old brain works. When I sit and have a conversation with her most of what she says makes me smile or laugh. When I’m “busy” on my phone or computer, her comments are rarely as dear. Eye-opening. There is so much more to cherish in her sweet face and conversation than whatever article is asking for my attention.

Now, this does not mean that I intend for my computer and phone to go away for every second my daughters are awake. I feel strongly that self-directed and independent play is very important. They do not need me constantly hovering around them. I will send an e-mail or read an article while my daughters are awake and playing. BUT…this should be a very small part of my day. My goal is to be very aware. Find a balance. I want to stay away from mindless phone-checking.

Where do I go from here? Here is my starting point:

– Use hours (or at time, minutes) that no one needs me for e-mail, reading news and other articles, blogging, and social media. Goal: Early morning hours would be a wonderful time for this? Currently working on…

– I’m going to find periods during my day when my computer is shut and my phone is off in another room. I have kiddos and household duties to attend to. My device can wait. Goal: Shut down and disconnect to connect.

 

Free Christmas Carol Printable

I can be such a paper geek. There is just something about pretty paper, printed text, beautiful design. While you cannot tell a book by it’s cover, it sure will make me pick up a book and feel the need to hold it and flip through it. For this reason, I only read books I can hold in my hand. No Kindle for me…not yet anyways.

It’s no surprise that using and creating printables appeals to me. I have created a Christmas carol printable for you.

Free Christmas Carol Printable
Christmas Carol Printable

Please print by selecting the link for the teal and coral version: Christmas Carols_Teal and Coral

Please print by selecting the link for the black and white version: Christmas Carols_Black and White

Join me…coffee mug in hand

I love any picture like this.

coffee and computer on desk

A workspace, completed with a cup of coffee. I think the mug of coffee is the main appeal. And that picture is why I blog. Whenever I see a picture of that mug of coffee sitting on the desk I think, that can be me. I can get up at the crack of dawn on a beautiful morning, enjoy the peace and quiet, gaze out the window, coffee in hand, and blog away. I may even snap my own coffee cup picture. The wrong motivation to blog, you say? Yes, but the picture still gets me every time. And so here I am, starting my own blog.

If you happen upon my page every morning, you will not see this daily picture. I won’t bore you with my workspace (as of now, it’s not pretty).

My name is Emily and I live with my husband and two darling daughters. I am striving to find balance in being a wife, mother, daughter, granddaughter, sister, aunt, cousin, friend, neighbor, child of God. And also keeper of the home, money manager, grocery shopper, deal-finder, runner, fitness-lover, sweets-maker, reader, declutterer, somewhat quasi-striving minimalist.

Please follow me as I seek to be intentional with how I’m spending my time and money. I would love to have you join me. Feel free to give advice, seek advice, join in my challenges, start a conversation, join in the conversation, or just read along.

Striving to bring Him glory…

 

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