Blissful and Domestic - Creating a Beautiful Life on Less

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


Morning lovelies! Yesterday we had a pretty neat thing happen here stateside. We had a solar eclipse. We weren't in the path of totality, but we did get to see a pretty sweet show between the sun and moon.

We made the whole day eclipse themed. We started off by Jason, Tallia, and I waking up Keagan and Libby. We let Tallia crawl into their rooms and wake them. Jason and I shouted " it's eclipse day!". It was fun! We totally geeked out over eclipse day.

Once Tallia was done attacking Keagan and Libby with sloppery kisses (those are the best kind right?), I made chocolate chip pancakes. I look for any excuse to make chocolate chip pancakes. :) Then Jason showed the kids how to make pinhole viewers. I'm thankful he had today off. He was able to join in all the fun! 

Afterwards we got dressed and went down to our local library. The local astronomy club had set up telescopes for everyone to see the eclipse. One of the telescopes showed sun spots. That was Keagan's favorite. We also spent a lot of time staring at the sun. We wore our special glasses of course.

Later we went home and did some lessons from our 2017 eclipse activity book, which I bought from Amazon a few weeks ago. It had word searches and crossword puzzles. It also had mad lib and writing prompts. We also watched some videos on Brain Pop.

It was a fun day with family. We're now counting down to 2024 when the next eclipse will happen. Libby will be 18 guys!! Ahh!!

How'd you celebrate eclipse day?

XO Danielle

Monday, August 21, 2017

DIY breadcrumbs AKA using up old bread...

Tallia went down super easy tonight friends. She nursed, snuggled, and then promptly fell asleep. It was a unicorn kind of night. Oh how I love unicorns :)

Since the baby went to bed so easily tonight, I had a few minutes to hop on here and share. I'm still working on my weekly goals for this week and I have a few other drafts in the works, but nothing was quite finished for publishing. That makes me sound like some fancy writer. Really it just means I need to add pictures and I'm too tired to edit any pictures today...oh and I really want to watch the newest episode of So You Think You Can I'm sharing an easy peasy tip with you tonight.

I used to be really good at doing this, but got out of practice. I'm ready to be more concious of how we use our leftovers. Sunday I saw we had two hoagie rolls and a few slices of bread left (mostly ends. My kids refuse to eat the ends). I didn't want them to go bad, so I decided to make bread crumbs out of them.

I placed the unwanted bread items in a bowl and let them sit out over night.  Next, once they were pretty hard, I ran them through my food processor. I labeled a freezer bag and popped them into my freezer. Super simple and now I have bread crumbs ready to go for meatloaf later this week.

I'm going to be better about doing this each week and adding to my bag of bread crumbs. It's a great way to stretch our groceries a wee bit further :)

Hope you're ha

XO Danielle

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Simple Crock-Pot Granola...

I meant to post this yesterday. Oop's :) 

Happy Saturday lovelies!! We've been spending our day cleaning and organizing. I've been trying to cross everything off my to-do list for the week and I think I'm going to make it. There's only a few things left to do. I also reached the bottom of the hamper today, which is always a momentous occasion. :)

Tallia is down for a nap, so I figured I'd hop on her and share the Crock-Pot granola recipe I made earlier in the week. The kids have been loving it, especially Libby. She eats it on yogurt, with milk, and all by itself. She said she likes it better than the granola I was buying from the store. That's a total mom win! It's super simple, since it's in the slow cooker. You can also add goodies to it, like dried fruit and nuts. I think next time I might add almonds. I also think it'd be good with chocolate chunks for a sweet treat. When I try that one I'll wait till it's completely cooled down before adding the chocolate.

I have it stored in two gallon size bags on the counter. It'd be much prettier in a large glass jar, but I used what I had on hand.

Let me know if you make it and how you make it your own. It's a yummy one!

Simple granola

5 cups rolled oats
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup butter, melted*
1/2 cup honey*
1 tsp cinnamon

*Can substitute with 1/2 cup coconut oil or margarine
*I used 1/2 cup blue agave syrup. I buy it from Amazon with my subscribe and save order.
*I also added a few handfuls of raisins and hemp hearts.

Use a 6-qt slow cooker. Add the oats to the insert, followed by the coconut, melted butter, honey, and cinnamon. Stir well to combine the ingredients. Try to get all the oats somewhat coated with honey and butter. Cover and cook for 3 hours on high, stirring every half hour or so. Leave the lid off the last hour (I forgot to do this, but it all worked out ok).

I double batched ours and it came out great :)


XO Danielle

Monday, August 14, 2017

Menu Plan + Weekly Goals...

Morning lovelies!! Today I thought I would hop on and share our menu plan plus a few goals I have for myself this week. I've been working on staying organized over the past few weeks and it's been really helping my mama sanity.

Friday afternoon, while the baby napped, I made our weekly meal plan. This week I planned for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. I didn't plan snacks, since I try to always have things like string cheese, fruit cups, yogurt, pretzels, etc available for snacking. We also snack on fruits and veggies as well.

This week I'm taking quite a few recipes from The 5 Ingredient Slow Cooker cookbook. I checked it out at the library. I'm really excited to try some new recipes. They all look super simple, which is all this mama has time for.

Once I had my menu plan, I made our grocery list. We're still building back up our food storage. We're finally staying put for a while, so I want to build us back up. It's a life saver in those leaner times.

Below is what our menu looks like for this upcoming week:

Waffles x2
Eggs in a nest
Smoothie x2

Breakfast peppers* (this will be an after church brunch)
Yogurt bowls
Sub sandwiches
Mac + cheese
Deli sandwiches

Shepard's Pie w/ rolls
Bbq meatballs + mashed potatoes and veggies
Creamy cabbage and sausage bake
Curried cauliflower soup*
Baked eggplant* with pasta + ceasar salad
Double bean soup w/ fried tortillas

Brownies x2
Chocolate cake x2
Ice cream x2
FHE treat - mint ice cream sandwiches

Note: I always like our Fridays to be leftover days, so we can clean out the fridge before my weekly shopping trip on Saturday. We no longer live by a Costco :( and I am not doing once a month shopping. I have found once a week works with my current season and our pay periods. I go once a week and then stay away from the store :)

*New recipe from the cookbook

Now for the weekly goals...

Things I'd like to make:
Crock-Pot granola*
A big batch of garbanzo beans for the freezer
Pizza dough for freezer x2
Waffles for the freezer

Things I'd like to organize:
Girls clothing/closet
Entry closet

Things to deep clean:
Master bathroom

Things to read:
Scriptures x7
Teaching From Rest by Sarah Mackenzie
Maze Runner book 2

Current read aloud:
More Than the Tattooed Mormon by Al Carraway
Geronimo by Kjlgaard  (free on Amazon right now)

The kids and I are loving both of these books by the way :)

Things to do:
Work out x5
Go for a walk with the kids x2
Take kids to the park
Get down a better daily schedule with school, naps, etc.

So there we have it. It feels good to have a plan for my week. What weekly goals do you guys have?

XO Danielle

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Resisting sleep...

I've never had a child who resist sleep as much as Miss Tallia. I swear it's like she's trying to see how far she can push me mentally, before I give up trying to get her down for a nap. Sometimes I win and some times she wins. It's been a daily battle....pretty much since she was a few months old.

Anyways I felt like we had gotten a good schedule down, and she was sleeping well at night and taking 1-2 naps a day.  I felt pretty good about that, but once we started back to school, our schedule got a bit wonky and Miss Tallia was not having it.

The other day I was attempting to get her down for an afternoon nap and something quite amazing happened. She was fighting sleep hard. She didn't want to nurse and didn't like me rocking her in a cradle hold. She was angry and I was exhausted. I gave her a kiss and laid her in her crib. I then slipped into the bathroom. I hate letting my babies cry. It seriously hurts my heart to the core. I'm not a fan of crying it out. Fuss it out I'm ok with, but for my family we don't let our babies cry themselves to sleep. No judgement if that works for just doesn't work for me.

Anywho I'm getting off track...

I slipped into the bathroom and started to cry. Here I had a tired baby and I couldn't figure out a way to comfort her, so she could settle down. I knelt to pray...or more I crumbled to the ground and prayed, as tears fell down my cheeks. I shared all my feelings with my Lord. I told Him how inadequate I felt, how I obviously couldn't handle my three if I couldn't even get the youngest down for a nap, how I felt like a huge mom failure, and ya know any other put down I could think of. After I was done, I heard a soft voice tell me that all those thoughts did not come from God, but from the adversary...that God gave me my three because they need me, just like I need them.

This all happened in a matter on moments. I suddenly felt refreshed. I could do this and I was a good momma. I picked up my crying babe and said "Tallia you need to sleep and I'm at a lost in how to help you do that. Help me out friend".

Immediately after that, she laid her head on my chest. I gently bounced her as she cuddled and again I heard that whisper telling me "she just needs you". I rocked and cuddled my little one for a few minutes. I took in her sweetness and savored feeling her snuggle deeper into my neck. Cuddling babies is the best.

I then laid her down and she rolled right over and fell asleep, holding her blanket.

She slept for two hours that afternoon.

I've now continued holding her on my chest before bed and things have gotten so much better. I'm so thankful for a God who hears me and cares about me...even the little things, like getting your baby to nap. What a sweet Father in Heaven He is.

Never forget that the doubts, fears, and insecurities we have are not from God. They are from Satan. He constantly wants to knock us down and if he gets us to think we are less, than he wins. Know your are an amazing, beautiful daughter of God and he knows you can do astounding things. He knows because he created you. You are simply marvelous. :)

XO Danielle

Saturday, August 12, 2017

No cavities...

Today we ventured back to the dentist for cleanings for the older two. For some reason our dentist does exams and cleanings separate. Inconvenient, but I really like our dentist so I put in the extra effort.

Keagan and Libby did great, got their new tooth brushes, and treats from the treasure chest. Turns out being 12 and 10 doesn't make you too grown up for the treasure chest, but again who wouldn't love getting a little treat after a dentist appointment. Sometimes I wish us adults could pick from the treasure chest. I mean I'm good during my cleanings too ::wink::

Tallia did not enjoy the dentist visit at all. It was nap time, she was exhausted and she made sure everyone knew it. The only respite we had was when I found these glasses in my diaper bag. Libby picked them out of the treasure chest when they had their exams a week ago. They entertained Tallia for a few minutes....enough time for me to capture a few pics and a short video. She then resumed her vocalizations of "mama". Poor tired thing. She's now napping and I can go make brownies for dessert. It's all about the priorities during nap time :)

Oh and last week, when the kids had exams, they had no cavities. No cavities meant a trip to Culver's for ice cream. We celebrate no cavities in this house. :) Also it is seriously hard to get three kiddos to look at the camera and smile at the same time. This was the best one, out of the five I took :)

XO Danielle

Friday, August 11, 2017

Not ready to walk away...

So crazy how the Lord works sometimes. I had been thinking and praying about what to do with my little blog. I go through spurts of having time to write and not having time. It's in these moments, where things are just crazy, that I start to feel the pressure. I start convincing myself blogging is an all or nothing thing, which is so silly. This blog always has been and always will be a place for me to journal my family's journey through this life and our journey with the Lord. It's not about budgeting, fashion, groceries, homeschool, etc. I write about those things, but they're aren't the focus.

This blog is a way to share my testimony and my faith. It's my little ministry and I'm thankful for I may be sporadic in posting, but I'll always come back to it because I'm not ready to walk away. I've been blogging, since Libby was born. She's 10 now and I love being able to look back on our days, weeks, months, and years.

This blog has become a dear friend for memory keeping and one I'm so thankful for.

And thank you for your kind, encouraging comments and messages. You guys are such a blessing :)

Sidenote: Our family picture above is from when we did a walk through of the new LDS Tucson Temple. It was absolutely stunning!!

XO Danielle

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Made myself do it...

Some days the last thing I want to do is exercise. There's always a huge to do list going on in my head and always someone who needs something from me. One thing I've learned though is that a lot of times those things we procrastinate doing, are the things we usually need to do the most. For me it's exercise and scripture reading. I constantly put it at the bottom of my "to do's", but not today.

Today I pushed myself to reorganize that to do list. I put scripture reading as #1 because honestly time with my Heavenly Father should always be a priority and I'm sorry most days I let the "busy" come first. Then exercise is #2. The baby napped and the big kids worked on their reading projects. I got a huge sweat on and I'm so thankful I made myself do it.

What things do you procrastinate doing?

XO Danielle
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