Life is like sifting for gold…you spend day after day doing a lot of monotonous stuff, when suddenly a little gem shows up, making the whole day (or even month!) bright and worth it all. When I took my blogging break, I realized the two things I missed most were telling stories and sharing with you the little discoveries that made my day. So, here’s a collection of my finds from May. I hope at least one of them makes your day brighter!
1. A unit study on volcanoes is a perfect excuse to make a Chocolate Peanut Butter Molten Lava Cake. I love homeschooling. When it involves chocolate, it’s even better.
2. I can make Chocolate Peanut Butter Molten Lava Cake in my crockpot. Now I don’t have to turn my oven on when it’s stinkin’ hot and I want cake! Stacey taught me this.
3. I can live without facebook. I know, incredible, right? Two whole weeks, and the internet didn’t break without me, and I did not break out in a rash. (There was that funny twitch in my left knee cap, but I’m choosing to believe that was unrelated.)
4. Books by the particular publishing company David C. Cook have this cool thing after the book called an “AfterWords” which is a little delectable interview with the author. They say,
“When a delightful concert comes to an end, the orchestra might offer an encore. When a fine meal comes to an end, it’s always nice to savor a bit of dessert. When a great story comes to an end, we think you may want to linger. And so, we offer…AterWords—just a little something more after you have finished a David C Cook novel.”
My favorite book on my Kindle (app) this month was Composing Amelia and it was so good, I was sad when it ended. The AfterWords made the hurt all better. I’m such a fan. (and you remember I get nearly all my Kindle books for free thanks to this site, right?)
5. We’re supposed to reject idols in our life. I had been trying to ‘manage’ some idols in my life. Nope. Wrong approach. Gotta get rid of them people. Two of mine are ‘sleep past a certain time of morning’, and ‘social media outside of set times’.
6. Chocolate Avocado Pudding should not be considered a health food. This undersells this amazingly delectable treat. I know it’s great for those who are sensitive to dairy or trying to avoid sugar, but seriously. This stuff is purely craveable. I promise you do NOT taste the avocado. And there’s not lingering aftertaste of guilt, either. Whoever was brave enough to invent this stuff has my highest respect. (Here’s a recipe I’m going to try) My friend Sarah first made this for me–you can find all kinds of goodness on her amazing Pinterest Recipe boards of GAPS-friendly food. (She and her whole family have been doing GAPS for 4 months now and they are seeing amazing results!)
7. Whole chicken really is the cheapest way to buy your chicken. I already knew this, but I confirmed it to myself on a recent visit to the grocery store. Instead of buying parts for all the grilling we like to do when warm weather arrives, I’m sticking with my whole roaster bird, and cutting it up when I get it home.
8. Pineapple contains a protein-digesting enzyme called bromelain, meaning eating it with protein helps you digest said protein better. So it’s one of the fruits you should eat with other foods. Unlike watermelon. Oh, please. Melons: Eat them Alone or Leave them Alone. (you know what happens, right? Are you really gonna make me say it out loud on the blog? It can make you throw up. It almost always has this effect on my kids if they eat it with anything else. There. Only for you.)
9. Peanut Butter and Jelly stirred into plain yogurt makes a great, high protein snack. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.
10. I found an recipe for “Annoyance Free Outdoors Spray” and it works! We tested it on Jeremy, who gets the most annoyed when outdoors. He swears by it. Well, Jeremy doesn’t swear, but you get what I mean. Here’s what we used…
- 15 drops lavender essential oil (here’s the brand I recommend!)
- 3-4 T. vanilla extract (I teach you how to make your own vanilla in this post!)
- 1/4 C. lemon juice
Combine in a 16 oz. spray bottle and fill the rest of the way with water. Shake and spray on to enjoy the outdoors without anything enjoying you 😉
Hmmm. Looking over this list I realized 6 out of 10 of the month’s bright spots had to do with food, and 4 involved chocolate. (Do I need to add another item to my idols list?) You can definitely tell I’m preggo!
Tell me what’s brightened your life since the last time we met here!
Naomi Brignola says
Oh the Chocolate Peanut Butter Molten Lava Cake sounds sooooo good! Just the name makes me feel obliged to make it.
And the repellent recipe is awesome! If you ever find a simple and healthy recipe for sunscreen, do share it!
One question- did you use fresh lemon juice? Or can it be from concentrate?
I must say, I enjoy anything chocolate right now as well….but I usually like anything chocolate! I’m interested in the PBJ and yogurt and I’m taking notes to make the bug spray!! Thanks!
Rachel @ reprezent98201 says
My idols are the same as yours. Thanks for voicing them and helping me feel like I’m not alone!
Traci Porter says
Wait… Melon makes you sick? Seriously? We eat melon with almost every summer meal. Cantaloupe with yogurt. Burgers and watermelon, melon and goat cheese salads, melon on kabobs… I’m making myself hungry. But seriously, I’m so grateful that it doesn’t seem to affect us like that.
Ps: great to see you blogging again!
Natasha Metzler says
while living in Haiti the mosquitoes were terrible– and I saw somewhere that vanilla worked as a repellent. My husband was convinced that I was crazy… “vanilla smells too sweet and good!” he insisted.
Turns out that vanilla works better than any other bug repellent we’ve ever tried.
I keep it in a small spray bottle, about 1/4 vanilla and 3/4 water. Simple and pretty smelling and it works! 🙂
I can vouch for the fact that avocado chocolate pudding is pure heaven. (My recipe doesn’t have yogurt in it though–just chocolate, honey and pureed avocado.) In fact now that you’ve reminded me of it, I am going to go make some from the ripe avocado that I have in the fridge. 🙂
Claire @ Lemon Jelly Cake says
I’m so glad you’re back! 🙂 I honestly can’t believe it’s already June though. Getting away with my family for a week brightened my life! It also gave me a better perspective on, oh, just about e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.
Living without facebook can be really, really wonderful. 🙂 I’ve deactivated my account twice in the past, both times for at least two months.
mmm, love me some good perspective! It is refreshing. I’m still waiting for some things to become clear after my break…but resting is still possible as I wait for perspective, right? 😉
Lisa Mather says
I never considered sleeping past a certain time an idol! While I don’t necessarily sleep past a certain time, I don’t usually drag myself out until after a certain time. You’ve made me reconsider what I consider idols, thank you!
Lisa, I’m right there with you…my idols went disguised and undetected for so long, because they are so close to a good thing….you know I’m totally an advocate of getting the sleep you need…but for me, for the season I’m in, my get out of bed time needed to be sooner rather than later or I was making sleep too much of a priority! lol
Lisa Mather says
I realize that with my almost 4 month old that I’ll have nights where sleep is precious and yet, I also realize that I’m not there in the morning for the other six! They all get fed and start their day without me and then I get upset if things aren’t put away or picked up from their breakfast endeavors when I should have been there helping in the first place! I think that this means I need to put on my big girl panties and not stay up too late and insure that, even with interrupted sleep, that I’m ready for the morning! I mean, coffee was invented for days like that!
Again, thank you!