Wednesday, November 21, 2018

God Is Everywhere - Even in the Cinnamon Chips...

Happy Almost Thanksgiving ALL!

I just want to give you a little perspective.

Here in Italy, things are difficult. Some folks I talk to say "it's just how it is here.", and some folks I talk to say, "they won't be after a while, once you get used to it!" I could list a litany of things that are awkward or odd... instead I will say this:

As you know, as Christians, we are called to trust God, in good and bad - praise HIM! If you know me, you know I struggle with being perfect and being very hard on myself... and I'm quite impatient to boot.

So when little things go wrong - I may or may not throw what could only be described as a temper tantrum. Usually I am alone, but God sees. And it's embarrassing to me. But I am human and He loves me. Thank you Father.


YES - I'm getting to the cinnamon chips. Patience dear ones.

My husband and I love people and love entertaining. And for Thanksgiving and Christmas - it's usually my job to bring the baked goods, whilst he cooks the meat. Well, this year, we are hosting Thanksgiving.  If you are in the Naples area... come on over! All are welcome.
10 am - Breakfast - Sausage, bacon, eggs, pancakes, grits...  Coffee, juice, mimosas/bloody Mary's. It will All be there. 
6pm - Dinner - turkey and every trimming we can think of. Plus people are bringing things. And of course, I am baking. My zucchini bread with cinnamon chips (thank you @PreparedPantry) is a staple. People LOVE this bread.
On top of that - we made a ham, a couple sides, and baked goods for our Parish Pot luck.

Well, I nearly flipped my lid when I figured out I forgot to order cinnamon chips. Just so you know, my pantry was fully stocked in the US, but we are not allowed to ship any food items. Anyway... dejected... I went to the commissary to buy mini chocolate chips as a substitute. It was not going to be the same, but I was trying to be positive about it.

Here is what I posted: 

  • mrsedavis99

    God is everywhere. Yes, even in the Cinnamon Chips. So yesterday I was upset because I forgot to order my cinnamon chips for zucchini bread. I had to run get water and drinks for Thanksgiving... and I thought, “no one else makes them, but I will go down the baking aisle for mini chocolate chips.” And I am happy to say... someone else does make them AND there was exactly one bag.
    When you live in a strange land, where lots of little things go wrong. Even if you know they are #firstworldproblems you are so happy when you WIN even with something this small. I have been praying for a more appreciative attitude and the ability to rub off on others.
    #Godisinthecinnamonchipsyall #blessed#davislife #ladyemlivesinitaly#thanksgivingprep #praiseGodinallthings




I know, it sounds silly, maybe... but it's so true. I mean, I just knew there was NO WAY I'd find them because I've only ever ordered them in bulk from a specialty store.  And I'm telling you, the only bag on the shelf - cinnamon chips. If that wasn't God reaching out to me, I don't know what is!

Various breads for Thanksgiving. Top of pic is the Zucchini bread.
Moral of the story - look for God in everything. He promised to be there for you and He is. FIND HIM! PRAISE GOD IN ALL THINGS! He will reward you... maybe with cinnamon chips. Just saying.

One of today's Readings is 1 Samuel 15:22:
Does the Lord so delight in holocausts and sacrifices as in obedience to the command of the Lord? Obedience is better than scarce, and submission than the fat of rams
OBEDIENCE is hard for this stubborn girl. But I will keep seeking and perfecting and redirecting.

I took that WIN and thanked the Lord for it. That day, I found Him in the baking aisle in the commissary, and it was right where I needed to find Him. Where did you find God today? Don't stop looking for Him. You will find Him!

Keep telling me to PRAISE HIM and I will tell you too.
Here are a couple verses that may help. Please share others in comments!
Jeremiah 29: 11 For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. 
Habakkuk 3: 17 - 19 Though the fig tree does not blossom,    and no fruit is on the vines; though the produce of the olive fails, and the fields yield no food; though the flock is cut off from the fold, and there is no herd in the stalls,  yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the God of my salvation.  God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, and makes me tread upon the heights.
I am lonely here, and missing my family/friends terribly. We have made new friends and we have good food and wine.  We will Thank God for it.  We will praise Him with all we have. Because THAT is what He requires of us. We will be obedient. And I am thankful for His guidance and that of our Church.

May you all be blessed and share love this Thanksgiving.
Hugs, Love & Prayers,

Em

Friday, November 9, 2018

ANOTHER GIVEAWAY

Hi all,
I'm hopping on the blog real quick to let you know, Inspire Catholic Bible, on FaceBook was so impressed with your comments on my giveaway post that they are giving one more Bible away.

Please go to the post and leave a comment by the 16th. HERE is their post on their FB Page!

HERE is the post to leave the comment on.
I'm so excited y'all.

Good luck and God bless you.
YOU WILL LOVE IT!

Em

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Inspire Catholic Journaling Bible GIVEAWAY!

Hi all,

How are you?  I've missed you.
I know I know... my blog is so neglected. I really do have a lot to say. I've gone through so much in the past few years.... and I decided that if I didn't have nice things to say, or at least productive things,  I should be quiet. As you can see... the latter is ruling the day.

HOWEVER - I am excited to be here today to tell you about the Inspire Catholic Journal Bible.  You can visit their FaceBook page for a chance to win a Bible. You can join the Catholic Women's Bible Journal FaceBook Page for two chances to win an Inspire Catholic Journal Bible AND....

WINNERS ARE:

Comment #5 - Lindy and Comment #17 - Alicia @ Sweeping up Joy. I will get in touch with you and give you the info.  Congratulations. Now, I will respond to all the comments. Thank you all for commenting.

Many Blessings!

You can follow the instructions below for two chances to win an Inspire Catholic Journal Bible. Sigh - that's a lot of winning y'all!

But first... a little background.

So, Martha Phillips (aka, my friend, the lady who is beating MS through Miracles and Miracles of Science) and I started a Catholic Women's Bible Journaling Group in late 2015 - early 2016. Neither of us really get to play as much as we'd like.  But anyway...  For a long time now, several years at least, our Protestant sisters in Christ have had Journal Bibles. Well over a year ago in our group we started contacting Catholic Publishers to see if they would be willing to create a Catholic Bible for Journaling. We did have a group we were hopeful would take it on, but they didn't.  One day, I started contacting the publishing houses that were putting out the Protestant versions of the Journaling Bibles, asking if they would be willing to create one for Catholics. Many members followed suit.

Then one day, lady named Kimberly joined the Bible Journal Group. She messaged me and asked if I thought folks would like to review the Bible and I gave her a few names. She was from Tyndale. So many of the members were using the Inspire Bible anyway, and they were THRILLED!  She also let the group choose the cover color and asked for input on Verses and Artwork.  And now, we are all so excited to have had a part in the creation of it AND to be users of this Bible.  How exciting is that?

Most of you don't know that in the middle of all this, I moved to Italy with the hubs for his job. We are literally still unpacking. Can you imagine? But my office is set up (well almost), the Internet does not work so I am using a hotspot... ha But y'all this review is going up and the contest info will be after. Ready...

This is such a beautiful and feminine Bible on the inside and out. The leather is soft and sturdy and the ladies in the group are RAVING about it. Look how pretty the edging of the pages is? I mean - gorgeous.


This second picture is the page I chose to color today. Yes today. The reading in the Magnificat this morning was Hebrews 4:12-13. I used Derwent Inktense Pencils which are the best watercolor pencils, in my humble opinion. As you can see below, there is VERY little color on the page. With Inktense Pencils you really have to lay down very little.


Can you see the tip of the watercolor brush pen I used? It's TINY. Check out the set HERE (not affiliate link). I take it apart and dip it into the barrel of the pen because I have more control of the water and coloring that way.


These are the Derwent Inktense Pencils.
This is the page after coloring.  To me the beauty of these pre-printed pictures is that you can, when you are pressed for time, you know... like when you are trying to settle into a new country... you can doodle and enjoy the Bible Journaling but you don't have to conceptualize, find the stamps, stickers, etc... you can just color it. And it is awesome. I highlighted the verses with a green Gel Highlighter. Perfect for Bible Journaling.


In short, I love the book. I wish the artwork were more Catholic in Nature. We have a lot of symbols and artwork that I would LOVE to see used in a Journaling Bible. HOWEVER, I have absolutely no complaint. I love it.  There are MANY reviews out there. One of note is by Jenny at the Littlest Way. You can check it out HERE! I feel like hers is an honest review because she is not affiliated (to my knowledge) with either publishing company.

And now, how can you win an Inspire Catholic Journal Bible?  Just follow these instructions:

Leave a comment here about what it would mean to you. NOTE:  if you win, you have to have a U.S. Address. FPO/APO are good, but you have to have a U.S. Address. This is a rule from the Publisher.

You have until Thursday, November 1st to Enter. Feel free to share with friends.  I hope you read and liked the review.

Hugs & Blessings ALL! And Good luck!

Emily

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Silence IS NOT Always Golden...

Dear Ones,

When I was growing up, there was a saying I heard often, which was "silence is Golden". As a mom, we wish for silence from time to time, in fact, we search it out.  As teachers, we want our students to be quiet and focus on what we are teaching them. Having lived in the hotel in Italy for almost three weeks, I am craving the peace and quiet of a craft room, in a villa, by the beach, AND a Catholic Church family to call my own... so far away from home.

When things get bad, I get quiet. It's who I am. I have to think it out, process it. I have a fear of sounding like a lunatic whiner.... and I don't like pity, because pity fades, and we want to be strong and show love and be loved... you know?

And then I read, Psalms 83:

Psalm 83

Prayer for Judgment on Israel’s Foes

A Song. A Psalm of Asaph.

O God, do not keep silence;
    do not hold your peace or be still, O God!
Even now your enemies are in tumult;
    those who hate you have raised their heads.
They lay crafty plans against your people;
    they consult together against those you protect.
They say, “Come, let us wipe them out as a nation;
    let the name of Israel be remembered no more.”
They conspire with one accord;
    against you they make a covenant—

You can find the rest of Psalms 83 by clicking on the link above.  I believe the Devil is after MY CHURCH and that crafty fallen angel has infiltrated it in an evil way. And we must call one one another and Our Lord, Our God to slay this enemy and rid our church of it.

TODAY, I can no longer be quiet.... I have been silenced long enough.

When I was in my early 20's, sitting across from an older relative, I listened to this person say to my father, what a great job he'd done with us kids (he had custody because our mother was an abusive alcoholic).  In their conversation, I also heard this person say that they knew she was abusing us and that terrible things had gone on in our home, but they "didn't know what to do about it". Um, may I remind you these were adults - well into their 40's or so when I was born.

What in the absolute hell do you mean that you KNEW and did nothing about it? is what I said, as I stood up. I said, "dad, we are leaving!" He was stunned. The whole room was quiet. I was shaking. I had to go. The enormity that someone could have helped us or "saved us" and didn't... was too much for me while I was still in college. It's really too much for me now, if I'm being honest.

So you will understand without my having to describe it... I will only say this once... my mother used me as bait for her boyfriends, mostly older married men, as young as the age of 8/9, that I can remember. I thankfully have gotten a lot of counseling, and have a strong faith. She was sick. Truly mentally ill. I forgave her, but I never went around her because in her mind, she blamed me. SICK!  It turns out, for the record, that no one knew things were THAT bad. They just knew she was abusive. But to me, it never excused their silence.

And then there are times when we are called to raise our voices.  Fast forward to recent headlines in the Catholic Church, and my heart breaks as I cringe in solidarity - a messed up solidarity - with these victims. I never persecuted my mother and her boyfriends, though I did know all their names. Back then, it would not have been appropriate and I didn't want to hurt my grandmother and people who didn't know... especially my siblings.

This current abuse is NOT about me. I know this. But my questions are the same...

  • How could anyone who purports to love God and children take advantage of and abuse them mentally, physically, sexually? WHY?!!! I will never, ever understand it.
  • How could ANYONE who knew these people were hurting children and others, and NOT DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT?

To me, both are equally wrong. But let's say the person doing these bad things is mentally ill, because honestly, not me - it's a disgusting illness that no right-minded person would partake in.  The other people,  the ones who cover it up - they are almost WORSE!

These accused Priests were shepherds of a flock. They are supposed to guide us and look for the lost 1 of 99... and show us the ways of God and be our example. May God have mercy on their souls.

I want to go to these victims in our church and hug them, cry with them, tell them they did nothing wrong, that I understand why they didn't speak up until now... and that I love them all. They should not be embarrassed. They should not be shamed to silence. They should be applauded for standing up for themselves.  If you are a victim and you are reading this - I stand with you. I am praying for you. I am so sorry....and I understand... maybe not fully, my abuser was my mother, not my Priest.  I think no less of you. I love you. I really do. Reach out. Please... reach out.

Having said all that - I would love for you to join Catholic Bloggers and many Priests, and laypeople all over our country and world, who are praying and fasting for the victims, and for our Church, and yes, even for the perpetrators, for they are our brothers... we don't have to like what they did to know God calls us to pray for them.

Protect one-another. Pray for each other. Show love and kindness. And please, don't leave our Faith. As imperfect as leadership may be. Let's take our responsibility and no longer be complacent, but reticent and watchful.

I'm going to stop talking now and upload pics.
Please join us in prayer. Share the pics, use the hashtag #sackclothandashes

I will add the hashtag #silenceisnotalwaysgolden.










Please join in.
Hugs, Love and Many Blessings,
LadyEm




Tuesday, March 20, 2018

CWBN BlogHop - The Role of Women in the Catholic Church

Dear Ones,

We live in a world that would have us think our Church is backwards, sexist, and antiquated because women aren't Priests, because we don't marry same-sex couples, and a plethora of other reasons. But we must hold on to the truths in our Church and continue to honor the strong and faithful women who came before us, reaching as far back as the Old Testament, and live our lives on the path they forged for us.

Our Church began with a resounding YES from our Blessed Mother Mary.  That young girl, long ago, who gave her resounding yes to carry Our Lord in Her blessed womb. She helped start our Church, the first Church that all others have sprung from. She is our guide for what Women should be in our Church. She is our model in our Faith and how we live our lives.

We may not always get it right, like she did, but in our striving to do so, we change the path of our Parish Churches, by living our lives faithfully in our Domestic Churches.



In the CWBN BlogHop this month, on Allison's Blog, we are challenged to share our opinions on Strong and faithful women in the Catholic Church. I would encourage you to read articles like these:
When we think of Our Blessed Mother and all the Catholic Female Leaders who came before us, we think about things like their Faithful Example, Comforting in Motherhood and leadership, the way they forgave others, and their humility; but, mostly we admire them for their tenacity, integrity and their focused YES to Our God's direction and plan for their lives.


Probably my two favorite Catholic women role-models that formed my faith, besides Our Blessed Mother, have been Mother Angelica and Mother Teresa, now Saint Teresa of Calcutta.  I watched these women live their faithful lives (of course, from afar)... but I will never forget their examples. The way they reached out to the poor, the way they taught us to love the Lord, the way they admonished themselves and therefore our sinful nature and brought the reality of Christianity into our hearts, souls and our decisions in our Domestic Churches.

Christ ordained men to be Priests, so I will not discuss any chance of ANYONE in the True Catholic Church ordaining women Priests. I pray it never happens. And, if I am being honest I don't like to see women serving on the Altar at all, beyond the position of Cantor or Eucharistic Minister. HOWEVER, because of the shortage of men/boys to serve, I get that in some areas, for many reasons these things take place. And I will not speak out against it, except to say, it's not my preference.

There are MANY choices for women to influence our Church in leadership positions.  Women can become Nuns/Sisters. Women can serve on Financial Advisory Councils and other councils in our Church. In fact, there is a National Council of Catholic Women (and I'm assuming other groups as well). I am involved at the Parish/Diocesan Level in this group. There are many more ways we can serve as great role models, and I urge you to get a list and pray about what ways you can serve best.

Since 2011, I have taught 3rd Grade Religious Education, they call the position a Catechist.  Through this position, I have had the awesome task of teaching children about Our Lord and Our Faith.  I have volunteered through serving on the Altar Society, and in the Religious Formation Office as a Volunteer to help organize various church functions.  I have volunteered with Catholic Charities and the local food bank. We all have great roles we can play when we say YES to God and lead with love.

However, I think my most important function in our Church, as a woman... My biggest and most important role in the Catholic Church is the responsibility that God has given me is as WIFE and MOTHER.


As a mother, I am everything to my child. In this way, I can only hope to imitate our Blessed Mother in preparing my child for his life. You see, Faith Formation starts at home. What we do in our homes lays the very foundation for how our children approach their faith outside our homes. Before our children learn from others, they learn from us. So teach them well. Show them the unconditional love our Father asks us to live by. 

Do I get it right all the time? - NOPE. But I try. Is this about fancy meals and art and comparing myself to other mamas? - NOPE, not all the time. LOL It's about teaching my child about our faith in a way that weaves that faith into EVERY LITTLE THING WE DO.  And sometimes it's exhausting and more than I could manage if I was doing this by myself. BUT the Good Lord and many mamas I know - have been integral to a) my knowing what to do and b) my not losing my mind.

My free advice --

Find a small group of like-minded mamas and their like-minded families who understand what you are trying to accomplish by raising your children in your faith.  Give your children good examples of friends to play with, learn from, etc. AND give yourself the gift of women who understand and won't challenge everything you are trying to accomplish. This is a sanity saver. TRUST ME.

Those same women could be the women who build you and your marriage up when society doesn't understand what you are trying to accomplish in it.

What do I do? Amongst other things...
  • Love my husband, their father. Do right by him. Pray for him.
  • Love my children. Pray for them. Spend time with them. Listen. Talk. Pray more.
  • Over the years I have  -- 
    • Introduced Feast Days.
    • Read Catholic Children's Stories.
      • I read the Bible to my child every day, starting with Children's Bible stories for infants and toddlers - over and over again. As he got older, the stories got more detailed. Virtues and Commandments were introduced. 
    • Read Books on Virtues for children - and discussed them with my children (age appropriately).
    • Participated in Catholic Art projects. 
    • Homeschooled (though this is the last  year).
    • I am involved in our Parish, Diocese and Philanthropy. And therefore, so is he.
Most importantly - I lead by example and apologize when I get it wrong. LEAD THEM!  Just so you know, my husband has three children from previous marriage who I include as my children. We went through an annulment process, for those who may be concerned with the integrity of our marriage. I really owe no explanation, but I do intermittently use plurals when speaking of children. So there you have that.

I don't need to give you countless examples of how to raise your children and how to live out being a good wife and mother, because you've read blogs, books, etc.

Sisters, you have many options to lead and grow in the Catholic Church. Find what you love and do it. But while  you are having children - I implore you to concentrate on your husband and on them, and you will be doing exactly what God had lead you to do.

This includes those who work, run businesses, write books, etc. Bottom line - they put their family first. For sure. It's the way God intended it.

We must all learn to say YES to God. And to stand firm in our roles in the Catholic Church.


Lastly, I want to say that God does not ask me to deny I have more talents in addition to being wife and mother. I just want to put that out there, lest anyone not get where I am coming from.

I think I will go write a post about what I've learned since becoming a mom... about myself, the world, etc. I mean - the laughter that has ensued and the wisdom I've gleaned. HA! It's like Joan of Arc and Lucille Ball mixed with Saint Teresa of Calcutta and The Good Witch from the Wizard of Oz. Am I right? HAHA

Many blessings ALL!

Emily

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Leftover LaLapalooza - Or Do you Repurpose Food?


Happy Sunday Morning All,
Happy Second Sunday in Lent!

I'm hopping on really quickly with some frugal pantry advice.

Do you Repurpose Food? Some people call it leftovers, but my people don't like "leftovers"... so I call it repurposing food. HA! They even help invent meals. Aint' NOBODY got time (or money) to be snobby around here!!

Last evening, as I was purposing to use what I have for dinner I thought - "I have GOT to blog about this."

In our home, we have three people, so there are often leftovers. And when my husband travels, that number goes down to two. Y'all it would be so dang easy to blow the budget and order pizza or Chinese Food, but a) it's Lent and we are supposed to sacrifice, and b) we are holding ourselves more accountable for what we spend. SOOOO the long and short of it is, I had to find something to cook.

Additionally I am on my 3rd day of Antibiotics, recovering from Strep and Sinus Infection - you know, because one thing is not enough. I always have to overachieve... Anywhooooo...

Last night, I made a goulash of sorts. A perfect food for cold, rainy winter evenings. Filling, but not too fattening. Semi-Healthy (if you laden with veggies).

Do you know what Goulash is?


When I say, goulash of sorts, let me be clear... my definition is loosely based on the above, however, I am not a Hungarian, nor do I play one on TV.  (hahaha) AND there is no Paprika in this stew-ish meal.  But, it is teenager approved. So it works in our house.

Here is what's I did:

In the fridge, I found two oversized chicken breasts that my husband cooked. I cubed the chicken, then cut about 3/4 of one of the breasts into smaller cubes and set it aside (see repurpose #2 below).

For the Goulash I put about a tablespoon of olive oil into the bottom of a pan, chopped roughly half an onion up and used about a tablespoon of minced garlic and put those in the pan, let the onions cook a while and added the chicken, diced tomatoes, and cubed one yellow squash ad added it. Then I thought, Huh... what else can I add? I quite literally walked to the pantry, put some baked bbq beans in the mix, added cumin, garlic powder, and half a cup of water. I let it all simmer together, had the boy taste it, and he gave it the thumbs up (which frankly y'all is ALL that matters). He asked for it over bowtie pasta... And I served it layered, in bowls. Pasta, goulash and sprinkled some shredded cheese on it. You could add cilantro or whatever you want.

Here's a picture of it.

Emily Davis' Use What You Have Goulash
For the 2nd Repurpose of the chicken breasts, I made chicken salad for sandwiches (or crackers, or by it's-self). Here's what I did.

I took the smaller cubed chicken, added two grated boiled eggs, three small Vlasic dill pickles, and some garlic salt, Italian spices, basil and grated black pepper (all to taste), and lastly about three tablespoons of mayonnaise. Mixed it together and it's ready to go for a day or so of lunches.

Here are a couple of pictures of it:


Those of you who have children of cooking age, you can really engage their imaginations by challenging them to come up with a meal.  It can't be too funky, or no one will eat it. I was nervous about the bbq beans (which I had picked up a year ago, by mistake, thinking they were baked beans).

Lent is a good time to use what you have. With the extra we have, we are searching weekly adds, and purposing to fill a box with a certain $$ amount of groceries weekly. And... the money has to come from somewhere. Ya know?

A few years ago, I wrote this post: Frugal Pantry Tip - Repurposing Food. It's a pretty decent post. We have always been the kind of people who, even if we had the money, we hated to toss out food. It's just so wasteful. We both grew up in practical and poor-at-times households. And we make a practice to use what we have.

Plus there's this. I mean - how true is this quote from Pope Francis.


I also found this. Y'all it is STUNNING to me how much food is wasted. We really need to do a better job of using what we have, not buying what we don't need, AND thinking of others and what we could do for them if we don't waste.

We need to teach our children about not wasting and about how blessed they are to have enough food to eat. Christopher started volunteering and being involved in our local Foodbank at the age of three. YES three. He has packed back-packs for children who don't have. And though, he has never been hungry, he's heard the stories.


It is not my intention to bring you down, but to educate you and remind you of what we can all do better. You aren't alone if you waste, clearly... But here and now, decide to waste less. That's all.


I hope you enjoyed this.
And while I have your attention, let me know how you repurpose food. AND let me know if you would be interested in linking up to a regular recipe post about how to repurpose leftovers? It might be fun to share our made up recipes. <3

I hope to hear from you!

Love, hugs & Blessings,
Em

Friday, February 16, 2018

Meatless Friday - Whatcha Cooking?

Happy First Friday of Lent... the Friday after Ash Wednesday!

Today's first reading in my Magnificat, struck me:
Sirach 34:26; 35:3 -- A man who fasts for his sins, but then goes and commits them again: Who will hear his prayer, and what has he gained by his mortification? To refrain from evil pleases the Lord, and to avoid injustice is an atonement.
Folks, God knows we are going to sin... and in many cases, we will repeat sins (I may have sworn more than once.... SIGH); however, we are to busy ourselves with what pleases the Lord.  For me, I'm busy with my family and getting my life back in order. You?

As you know, today is a day of Abstinence in the Catholic Church.  We give up meat on Fridays in Lent.  My family gives up meat year round (with the exception of if we are traveling or we forget.... and then, we do a Family Rosary or another penance - as is the rule).

But I didn't come here to lecture you on how to do your Lent. I came to ask you what you're serving for dinner. So what's it going to be?

Tonight on my menu is Garlic Shrimp with Roasted Vegetables. Although, my vegetables will look more like onions, asparagus, yellow squash, portobello mushrooms, tomatoes and I think that's about it. <3  You see, we are also using what we have in an effort to clean out our Fridge/Freezer and Pantry.



Have I ever told you about the Pantry Challenge? I found Jessica's Blog maybe like ten years ago. Back then, it wasn't as "salesy".... I have introduced a few friends to the blog this past couple years and they don't like it as much as I did back when. But I like her style, I have some of her cookbooks, and I dig her logic. I've been doing the Pantry Challenge along with her since probably 2008-ish. It's a great way to use what you have and make room for new...  AND to go through and toss expired or old foods.   If you go to this post - HERE - it is the first post of this year's challenge. Informative!

Here are a couple links from my blog with great ideas for Meatless Meals:

Listen, mamas with young children or MANY children.  You do what you can to meet the Lenten meal requirements, within budget and time constraints. Maybe you order cheese pizza or veggie pizza OR make them as a family! Serve the children Mac-n-Cheese with apples on the side. It does NOT have to be fancy. Our youngest is 14... I can do the above and it's not hard. You know? I just want to make sure you know that.

Anywhoooo....

Have a great rest of your Friday!

Love and hugs,
Em

God Is Everywhere - Even in the Cinnamon Chips...

Happy Almost Thanksgiving ALL! I just want to give you a little perspective. Here in Italy, things are difficult. Some folks I talk to s...