Saturday, August 31, 2013

Small Business Saturday Link-Up

     Do you have a monetized blog, etsy shop, ebook, company, service or other endeavor which would be of interest to the Reviving Homemaking readers? If so, then add your site or product link to the list below!

     Beginning each Saturday, Reviving Homemaking will be hosting a link party specifically for small businesses. I personally believe in the small business and entrepreneur spirit, and want to support that effort on the Reviving Homemaking blog page as well. The link-up is great way to get the word out about your business or product, and well as find fantastic places and people for whatever you're shopping for!

     Take a moment to link-up, browse and shop from the many fantastic small businesses available to you! 

     A separate link-up for blog posts will be available mid-week. Please submit the appropriate link to each link-up. If you link up your site or product, please share the Small Business Saturday link-up in some form. Thank you!*Note: I reserve the right to accept or reject submissions. I maintain a priority of protecting the interest of the blog and readers by displaying only information or products that I can truthfully endorse and recommend onward. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Pregnancy Update: Week 12

This baby deep inside of me, ever so small, is a child of God. A child that God gave to me to take care of whether for a day or for years. That care began at conception. Whether he or she lives or dies each day I am with him or her is a gift and has a purpose with eternal consequences. My baby is now a part of my life, my testimony. -Brenda Rodgers, "New Rules for Announcing a Pregnancy"

How far along: 12 weeks!

"Most of his systems are in place, though there's still plenty of maturing to do. For one thing, his fetal digestive system is beginning to practice contraction movements necessary for eating, and his bone marrow is busy making white blood cells."-What to Expect When You're Expecting, 4th Edition

Baby size:  "baby weighs a full half-ounce and is about the size of a large plum" -What to Expect When You're Expecting, 4th Edition

Gender: We'll find out when he/she arrives in March!

Weight gain: None yet, but that could be because I lost some weight during the tummy troubles time. I'm sure this new found appetite will make up for it soon though. haha.
Belly: I've got an itty bitty belly! The change is exciting to watch!

Sleep: Sleep is ... well, it is what it is. I'm so thankful for the ability to rest or nap during the day when needed!

Clothes: Knits are amazing! I've only had to retire a couple of denim skirts thus far. I've been keeping an eye out for pieces that work and are reasonably priced, and then adding a few new ones here and there. 

Movement: Okay, so my  Pregnancy Fitness dvd is still sitting, as it my rear. I've been so exhausted lately that exercise has not be high on my list. Oh well. We have at least gone for walks around the neighborhood a few times. I'd rather get my exercise by walking together outside anyways!

Food aversions: Anything unfamiliar or with a strong smell while cooking. Poor hubby man has cooked a few meals for us that normally would've been fine, but currently the kitchen smells have been too much for me to enjoy them. I can enjoy them as leftovers though. I feel so bad that he's done so much to make us something, and then we take a trip out to eat somewhere. I guess we're still learning certain food dos and don'ts. haha. 

Food cravings: I seem to have taken a turn towards the ability to eat and eat and eat. I'm pretty much loving anything I'm familiar with and can eat in large quantities. haha.

What I'm excited about: Another appointment and ultrasound this week. Hubby is going to try to work it out with his work day to be able to come with me. I'm so excited for him to hear the little heartbeat! It's such an incredible moment to see this little one grow and hear that heartbeat. The excitement of him sharing that moment with me is certainly helping to ease nervousness. It's also fun to see hubby so at ease and enthused about this little one. It really warms my heart to know this little one will have such an amazing Pop. He certainly is an incredible husband to me! :)     

Comparison posts/pictures:
10 Weeks Post

Friday, August 23, 2013

Super Easy Homemade Breadcrumbs

        Breadcrumbs are one several items that are so unnecessary to purchase at the grocery. It's so easy to make! Plus, by making my own breadcrumbs I take advantage of using up the last bits of homemade breads, and can avoid all the additives found in store products. The main idea in making breadcrumbs is to remove the moisture. Simply chop the bread into crumbs, toast and store! Super easy!

Gather your bread pieces (leftover bread works great!). I'm using an end piece of a loaf of Challah as well as a roll made from the same dough in the picture above. 

Break up bread into pieces and place in food processor. I don't have a food processor, but find that the chopper grinder attachment to my immersion blender works quite well. 

Run food processor or immersion blender until bread pieces resemble fine crumbs.

Place crumbs into a skillet and toast to remove the moisture. Stir frequently so that everything gets toasted and not burnt.
Keep stirring, and toast until brown. 

Allow to cool, and then scoop into the container. I use a glass jar, which looks nice as part of our bookshelf pantry

      It's as simple as that! You now have one less item to buy at the grocery!

Friday, August 16, 2013

When Guests Don't Show

       In opening our home in hospitality, we also open ourselves to the potential of guests who do not show up.  Over the last few years, we have seen a fair share of guests who do not respond to invites, cancel at the last minute, or simply do not show up. After the effort extended in offering an invite, cleaning our home and preparing a meal to serve many the lack of response on the part of our guest(s) stirs all sorts of ugly emotions. While this response may be understandable, it is not acceptable! I cannot control the negative situation that may become of my hospitality effort, but I can direct my response. Choosing a proper attitude or perspective, an appropriate meal and a cleanliness standard are simple approaches that maintain hospitality as a positive aspect of life, home, and family.
      Perhaps one reason I have taken personal offense when guests don’t show is that I’ve focused so much on me, my home, and my food. While I’m delighted to gather with others, the truth of my effort is to show off. When my efforts are unrewarded, I become upset. I contend that the invitees are inconsiderate, rude, and undeserving of my efforts. Even if I accept gathering together on a future occasion, I may demand an rsvp or a more prompt cancellation notice. The attitude is entirely selfish!  While no-show guests are disappointing, it remains an opportunity for me to work on having a better attitude and response.
     The greatest attitude adjustor is grace. When I want to react negativity to a hospitality “fail,” my husband reminds me to be understanding and grace-giving towards others. He does this by simply modeling this response. What good is hospitality if it destroys my character in the meanwhile? To learn to be more understanding and grace-giving towards others is perhaps one of the greatest outcomes of hospitality. God can use it to a work in us, even when it’s unsuspected and hard. Defeating selfishness is a worthy learning process to work on continuously in life.
     Another perspective that changes a negative hospitality experience is to consider the heart of hospitality. Hospitality is about blessing, not impressing. The state of you, your home, and your food really does not matter. Skip the house tour. Keep the meal simple. Be intentional about building a meaningful relationship with each guest. That’s what it’s all about! In his book, Selfishness: From Loving Yourself to Loving Your Neighbor  Lou Priolo asserts that love is the antidote of selfishness. He contends, “The more you love God and your neighbor, the less selfish (sinful) you will be.” We glorify God in how well we truly love others. A rotten attitude defeats the goal of glorifying God through hospitality.
      I’ve learned a few practical ways to prepare for the potential of no-show guests. On some hospitality occasions we’ve had ten individuals arrive, and other times we’ve had none. Consequently, I’ve gained a few strategies that allow us to be prepared for any number of guests. First, I try to keep from overly fussing over myself or my home being perfectly presentable. I don’t fret over a few things here and there being out of place. Honestly, I want people to see the real me and our real home, not a phony presentation.
     One effort I do fuss over is the meal we’ll serve. Yet, I keep it as simple as can be. I like to imagine someone simply joining us for dinner one evening instead of attending an event. A few of the criteria we try to stick to in selecting a meal to serve include affordability and ease at which we can rework the leftovers or store them. I think one of the frustrations of no-show hospitality is having made a large amount of food and then being stuck with it. Most of the meals we make are also ones we can adjust the portion at the time needed or we can freeze. A few we’ve served recently:
  • lasagna
  • spaghetti & meatballs (Determined amount of pasta needed when all guests arrived &     then froze leftover sauce and meatballs)
  • mini meatloaves (cooked meatloaf in muffin pan for individuals servings. Leftovers    could be frozen)
  • vegetable soup (Leftovers frozen)
  • mini chicken pot pies (cooked in a muffin pan for individual servings. Leftovers could be  frozen)
  • tacos (Ground meat can be frozen)
      Hospitality is an ongoing effort to incorporate in our home and life more and more.  It’s not always easy to continue the intention when guests no-show. However, a few disappointments are no reason for giving up on a worthy endeavor. Furthermore, hospitality in which guests no-show certainly is not reason to permit a poor development and showing of Christ-like character. I must choose to prepare with flexibility, push aside selfishness and other negative responses, and look to the positives (like a tidy home & meals in the freezer!). It’s a work, and one I’m still in the midst of. Strangely enough, each time a guest doesn’t show is an opportunity for God to do that work within me. God can use guests showing or no showing to hospitality invites. I simply must allow Him to do so.  

Additional Reading:

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Pregnancy Update: Week 10

This baby deep inside of me, ever so small, is a child of God. A child that God gave to me to take care of whether for a day or for years. That care began at conception. Whether he or she lives or dies each day I am with him or her is a gift and has a purpose with eternal consequences. My baby is now a part of my life, my testimony. -Brenda Rodgers, "New Rules for Announcing a Pregnancy"

How far along: 10 weeks!

"bones and cartilage are forming -- and small indentations on the legs are developing into knees and ankles. ...the  elbows on baby's arms are already working. Tiny buds of baby teeth are forming under the gums. Further down, the stomach is producing digestive juices, the kidneys are producing larger quantities of urine, and, if your baby's a boy {he is} producing testosterone."-What to Expect When You're Expecting, 4th Edition

Baby size:  "nearly 1 1/2 inches long (about the size of a prune)" -What to Expect When You're Expecting, 4th Edition

Gender: We'll find out when he/she arrives in March!

Weight gain: None yet, but that could be because I lost some weight during the tummy troubles time. I'm sure this new found appetite will make up for it soon though. haha. 

Belly: I've got an itty bitty belly! The change is exciting to watch!

Sleep: Sleep is better known as nighttime napping between bathroom trips. haha 

Clothes: Knits are amazing! I've only had to retire a couple of denim skirts thus far. 

Movement: I'm trying to get back to be a little more active. I had been trying to abide by a "take it easy" activity level. I'm itching to get moving again tough! I purchased a Pregnancy Fitness
dvd set that is structured according to trimester. I'm excited to give it a go soon! It will at least give me a good exercise option for days that going outside for a walk are less than ideal. I'm hoping to be active throughout this pregnancy as much as I'm able to be. 

Food aversions: Thank goodness the tummy troubles and food aversions seem to be passing! The only food that I'm still not caring a tremendous amount about has been sweets. I used to have an uncontrollable sweet tooth, but now I seem to not mind having or passing up on such as that. 

Food cravings: I still love salty foods! Pickles & hardboiled eggs are still a favorite!

What I miss: Now that proper digestion has seemed to kick back in, I'm feeling much more like myself. So, there's not a whole lot to "miss" at this point. 

What I'm excited about: 10 weeks! It still seems incredible. I'm just excited to be at this place and experience this moment. I'm so grateful for each day we get with this little one. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Charting Fertility for Prevention and/or Conception

{Note: This post may want to be skipped in being read by our close family members, especially males.)
     “The Pill” and other means of birth control are of high use in society. In fact, it has even become standard practice for women, regardless of the presence of an underlying medical or behavioral concern. While this practice may be beneficial in some regards, it is dismaying that it is often the only method presented to women, or even young girls. Ultimately, the individual must decide the most appropriate method for her life. My intention is to simply bring to light a method that is likely not being presented as part of that decision (and I personally wish it had).
     Let’s begin by clarifying a few myths. First, many methods are available but are not taught and supported equally based on assumptions of probable success. Note that the “failure” rate pertains to the user’s compliance not necessarily the method. A natural prevention method does require far more attentiveness than simply remembering to take a pill. However, making the choice for an alternative method is not done half-heartedly. Second, a non-chemical or physical barrier method will not mean you will have twenty children. A natural method is very effective in prevention. Furthermore, the window for conception is actually very small each month and avoidable if desired.

     I personally refused “the pill” prior to marriage. My husband and I had agreed to wait for children until later in our marriage (though my biological clock deemed that agreement null and void not long into our marriage! Haha!). I respected (okay, I tried my best but that clock is hard to ignore!) his desires to wait, and went on “the pill.” Birth control use in the early years of marriage is common practice, and the only one of which I had been aware. Yet, it was not too long before I began to be conflicted of its use (and no, not for reasons of that biological clock). We began discussing the concerns of its use and he supported me in finding a more appropriate method for us. He certainly demonstrated a tremendous amount of love, respect and trust in me to follow a method that would be successful entirely on the honesty of compliance! I purchased books and read online of the Natural Family Planning and Fertility Awareness Method, two methods which are very similar in that they both center around preventing or conceiving based on knowledge of one’s fertility cycle.
     The fertility awareness method /natural family planning involve three measures: basal body temperature, cervical characteristics and fluid. Since I tend to be very predictable in my cycle, I also used certain PMS symptoms as fourth measure (though this is not emphasized in either method and I don't recommend it if you're not extremely predictable). The concept is to follow the cyclic changes the body undergoes each month to predict ovulation and the most fertile days. If the desired outcome is to prevent a pregnancy, then you can choose to either use a barrier method or avoid during this time. (Preventative practice is the key difference between Natural Family Planning (avoidance) and Fertility Awareness Method (barrier)). We practiced this natural method with the intention of prevention before switching to using it to try to conceive. For us, it has been very successful for both prevention and conception, and is the only method we’ll continue.

Benefits we have gained from NFP/FAM:
  • ·         The woman’s health is protected- NFP/FAM works with the woman’s natural body, not against it. Therefore, there are no risks to one’s health or fertility.
  • ·         Shared responsibility- Both individuals must be committed and share the responsibility of the method. If prevention is desired, then the man and woman must both be committed to the chosen prevention method (barrier/avoidance) during the fertile time.
  • ·         NFP follows closest to 1 Corinthians 7:5- This verse speaks of depriving each other by mutual consent and only for a time. This time would be the fertile time if choosing to prevent.
  • ·         Education & empowerment- It teaches you to really know how the body works and how to respond to it effectively.  I was amazed how much I learned, despite being twenty-four years old. I kept thinking, “I wish I had known this information sooner!” The birth control was supposedly to empower women, but I have personally found embracing rather than denying my natural womanhood far more empowering!
  • ·         Strengthened marriage relationship- A tremendous amount of love, respect and trust must be a part of the commitment to practice NFP/FAM. Effectiveness is founded more on the user than the method. Therefore, both individuals must be committed and honest regarding the practice. Second, (tmi warning) "it" is just better without barriers!
  • ·         Acceptance of children- Despite the intention of prevention, we understood that without a chemical/physical barrier there would be a potential for conception. We agreed that if this came to be the case, then we would gladly accept the gift of a child. We would not be flatly rejecting the gift as would be done through other methods of prevention.
  • ·         No waiting period once decided to try to conceive- Because NFP/FAM works with your body’s natural function, there is no time period of waiting for your body to re-regulate itself once the decision is made to no longer prevent a pregnancy.
  • ·         Problems with hormones and/or fertility can be determined- All lot of information can be gathered from the charts! While it’s best not to attempt to diagnose yourself directly from them, they can help point you in a good direction if there appears to be a problem. Issues such as anovulatory cycles or short luteal phases can be seen from the charts (and again, to be brought to the attention of your provider). It would be much more difficult (and invasive and expensive) to have to start at square one and take a shot in the dark at the problem without information about your particular cycles. 
 Recommended Resources:


Taking Charge of Your Fertility (multiple charts) 
The Bump (conception chart)


*Note: Some of the products listed above contain affiliate links to Reviving Homemaking is an affiliate of, and as such receives compensation for each purchase made through the links.  
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...