01Sep

Delicious Blackberry Cobbler

Delicious Blackberry Cobbler

Last month, we took a family outing to a place where my husband knew of that we could safely and legally forage some blackberries. It was so fun! I remember picking lots of blackberries as a girl, and ending up with scratches all over from those briers. It’s funny how even the not-so-great parts of things can bring back fond memories.

Anyway, it was a hot day, but we ended up with lots of berries for the freezer, and some in our tummies, too. Here are my guys picking berries.

Blackberries

My oldest is such a steady, diligent worker. He just picked and picked without a complaint. My youngest on the other hand, well, that happy, eager smile wore off quickly for him, and he took some gentle encouragement to keep up the “hard” work of berry picking.

Sure, he enjoys the berries in his cereal and oatmeal, but I decided it was my obligation to show him just how wonderful blackberries could be.

So, after supper that night, we had this for dessert.

Blackberry Cobbler

As you can see from the photo, this is not one of those crunchy, crumbly topped cobblers. No, no. It is warm, soft and cakey, caramelized-on-top goodness.

Rich Blackberry Cobbler

Ingredients

  • 1 cup White Whole Wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 stick Butter, melted
  • 2 cups Blackberries, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup sugar (for sprinkling on top)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in sugar and milk. Lastly, whisk in melted butter.
  3. Pour batter into buttered 8×8 baking dish. Sprinkle blackberries over the top of the batter, evenly distributing them. Sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar over the berries.
  4. Bake at 350 for 1 hour, or until the top is golden.

Serve while warm…with ice cream if desired. Delicious!

31Aug

Bird Cage Press {Review & Giveaway}

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Bird Cage Press. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Bird Cage Press

You all know that I LOVE learning games, so I was very excited to run across these great educational card games from Bird Cage Press.

About Bird Cage Press Card Games

This company was created by a mom who wanted to make learning fun for her children. She created games with them, and then was inspired to turn it into a product that could be shared with others.

Learn about your favorite subjects while playing childhood favorite card games like Memory, Go Fish, and Old Maid. They offer more than 20 different packs of these cards in themes like Air & Space, Art, Nature & Wildlife, and History.

Each card game includes:

  • Card Game
  • Fact Book

The games are intended to be both fun and educational and have received many awards. These type cards are available at the Bird Cage Press website for $10.95 each. However, some are available in sets for $19.95.

Our Thoughts

Birdcage Press Collage

We were sent the following sets

As a mom, I was so impressed with these games! They are such a great resource to add to any unit study, or just to have on hand for educational play for any time.

The cards themselves are full color and visually stimulating with high quality photos/illustrations, and most contain information as well, so that students can quickly and easily learn while playing. They are made from glossy, sturdy cardstock that will withstand play.

The fact books included are so handy because they provide even more information about the subject matter, and it is presented in a fun and child-friendly way. Fact books contain interesting trivia and facts, beautiful images, and are illustrated in full color. They provide a very thorough overview of the subject at hand, and include enough interesting and fun facts to keep the attention of even a disinterested child.

Win Your Own Card Game!

I am very excited to be giving away one of these card games to a lucky reader!

All you need to do to be entered to win is leave a comment letting me know which card game you’d most like to receive (the winner’s prize, however, is at the sole discretion of Bird Cage Press and is not guaranteed to be the game listed.) You can see all the choices they offer.

Bonus Entry: Share about this giveaway, as posted here on facebook.

Giveaway rules: Open only to US residents. Not affiliated or endorsed by facebook. Prize delivery is the responsibility of birdcage press. Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST 9/8/14.

28Aug

August Reading–Book Reviews

I have some more great books to share with you this month, trying to get back on track with sharing them with you monthly. So, here’s what I have been reading in August. Note: I received review copies of some of these books. I received no other compensation. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Suddenly Homeschooling by Marie-Claire Moreau

Book Review--Suddenly Homeschooling

My thoughts:

Suddenly homeschooling is a book intended for those who would like to start homeschooling and don’t have a lot of time for the planning. However, it can also serve as a great primer for anyone interested in homeschooling and isn’t sure where to start. This book has all the basics you’ll need, and provides an excellent place to begin.

This book is great for those who have no previous knowledge of homeschooling, as it gives quick information and lets you know the basics and how to search for other information that you need. There were times when I found myself wishing that the book would give a bit more detailed information, however, the book does a good job of giving you a place to start, and letting you know the things you need to learn or look up.

However, the beneficial thing about this book is that the task lists are very thorough. The author is a homeschooler and has thought of everything you’ll need to do. If you’re considering homeschool and have no idea what you need to do, and would like some direction with a to-do list already built and in place for you, this book is perfect!

The NIV Streams in the Desert Devotional Bible

 

Book Review--Streams in the Desert Devotional Bible

While the devotions in this Bible were originally written by L. B. Cowman—a pioneer missionary in Japan and China from 1901 to 1917—this devotional Bible has been edited by James Reimann. It maintains the beauty of the original Cowman writings while making the devotionals more accessible for the readers of today.

My Thoughts:

I love that the devotionals are mixed right in with the Bible text–you can very easily go straight to the source without juggling around with 2 separate books. Simply turn the page. This is a great way to insure that we don’t just read the devotional, but actually dig into the word each day as well.

And, the writings are very thought-provoking, challenge, and encouraging.

Snack Girl by Lisa Cain

 

Book Review--Snack Girl

My Thoughts

It’s like this book was written for me, and I am LOVING it!!!

The first section is filled with encouragement and guidance. Lisa shares her own story of how she came to give up diets and settle on a lifestyle plan that she could stick to. There is a section on emotional eating that I think is very compassionately done! She mentions getting flack on her blog when she mentions it, but I really appreciated her insight and felt that she was great at admitting she may not share that personal struggle, but can still shed some light on it and she does.

Furthermore, I really appreciate that she provides desert recipes that focus on portion control for decreasing calories rather than using alternative sweeteners. She uses mostly real ingredients, though she does allow for some shortcuts (processed food), and she is a minimalist when it comes to these recipes, which I can appreciate. I love to cook and love good food, but why would I want to make it more complicated than necessary?

Overall, I believe this is a great book if you are looking for both encouragement and recipes to help you get healthier as a lifestyle and not a diet plan.

Let’s All Be Brave by Annie Downs

Book Review--Lets All Be Brave

My Thoughts

I have seen Annie Downs a bit online since she is a fellow blogger, and I love her heart and her authenticity. She comes to her readers not as some expert who has figured life out, but as someone who is sharing her struggles and triumphs alike in hopes that she can inspire or encourage others. And she does.

I love the poignant, and sometimes funny personal stories that she shares, while encouraging readers that they CAN be brave. Courage lives in all of us, and Annie is on a mission to call it out. I love that she has a heart to encourage other Christian women to be who God created them to be.

52 Uncommon Dates by Randy E. Southern

Book Review--52 Uncommon Dates

My Thoughts

I am passionate about keeping marriages together, and I think making time together a priority is one of the ways that we can do this. This book offers some great out-of-the-box date ideas, along with some tips along the way. The book offers 52 unique date ideas–allowing you a date night a week for a year!

Each date idea includes the following sections to help you be even more intentional in your marriage and dating.

  • Words to grow on–related Bible verses
  • Set the Scene–a bit of an overview of the date
  • Make it Happen–5 practical tips, advice, or ideas about marriage and implementing the date
  • Finish Strong–reflection about the date
  • Mind Your Language–Ties in the 5 love languages and shares something you can do for this date
  • Take it to God–Prayer points for the date, your spouse, and your marriage
  • Dig Deep–More Bible Verse suggestions

This might look like a lot, but it’s not. This is a small book that packs a big punch. It will help you to be thoughtful and intentional in your marriage and that is something we all need.

27Aug

Thriving Thursday 8/28

Don’t miss my great list of nearly 40 free books for kindle that you can get right now…all from the best publishers and authors in Christian fiction, so definitely check that out.

I’ve been busy here at the blog this week!

The Reading Game Giveaway 

Our family loves this game, and I’m excited to give away a copy to one of you. Head on over and enter the giveaway!

The Reading Game review and giveaway. A great game to teach and reinforce reading skills.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

Nothing more to say here…just go get the recipe :)

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kiwi Crate Giveaway

I am giving away a single kiwi crate kit of the winner’s choice, over on my facebook page! Be sure to check it out and enter to win :)

Kiwi Crate Review

I’ve shared here before how much I LOVE Kiwi Crate and their Free Trial Offer. This week, I shared a bit more about why we love them so much.

Why we LOVE Kiwi Crate Subscription Crafts

 

 

What have you been up to this week?

There were so many FANTASTIC posts linked up last week and I can’t wait to see what you ladies have to share this week :)

Thriving Thursdays Link Up!!!

Thriving Thursdays is a link up for family-friendly bloggers, who are choosing to THRIVE in their lives. It’s a place for us to encourage and inspire one another to live life to the fullest–in Jesus Christ. Link up your posts about thriving–in marriage, faith, parenting, homemaking, relationships, in the kitchen, in frugality.

Everything we do can be a ministry and worship to our Lord. Link up as many posts as you want, and I hope that you’ll take the time to visit some other participants as well.

I am so blessed by the posts you all share! I really look forward to seeing all of the encouragement shared here each week. Keep it coming! Sometimes I highlight posts here, and I also pin my favorites to the Thriving Thursdays Pinterest Board.

26Aug

Top 5 Things I Love About Kiwi Crate

Disclosure: I received this Kiwi crate for review purposes. I was compensated for my time. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Why we LOVE Kiwi Crate Subscription Crafts

I’ve shared before that we love Kiwi Crate. I just can’t say enough good things about this company, their products, or their level of customer service.  But, as we enjoyed playing with a new kit last week, I decided to condense it down to my top 5 favorite things.

It makes my kids smile like this

Kiwi Crate Open

The above shot is my kids saying “Can we please open it, mommy? Please, please, please?” As soon as we brought it in the door. They know that box. They love that box. It’s like a present, and they can’t wait to open it up, dig in and see what’s inside.

Kiwi Crate Open Box

Just for fun, I made a video of them opening their box. This isn’t rehearsed folks! lol. In fact, I cracked up when I watched it again, at the things they were each most excited about. I wish I had a video of them getting the box, though, because that was the real excitement.

And the smiles come even more, of course, while they are working on the projects, and playing with them, but we’ll get to that part later.

Kiwi Crate Subscriptions are a Great Value

You all know that we are on a tight budget, so I really weigh things a lot before I consider that they are worth the price. Kiwi Crate is more than worth the price. In fact, I am newly amazed every time I get a box that they can sell these kits at such a great price. They are just $19.99 per kit, and with a subscription, the cost includes shipping!

Kiwi Crate Explore Magazine

Each kit contains every single thing you need to complete 2 projects, and the super neat Explore magazine you see above. Again…amazement. They think of everything–from adhesive squares to markers, and everything in the kit is very professional.

You will also find detailed picture instructions, along with a guide showing the level of parent involvement necessary. But, it is so nice to be able to just sit down, open the box, and do the craft. I love spending that time with my boys, because I get to skip the less fun prep work of planning the project, getting materials, etc.

If you have multiple children, you can also add-on a second set of project supplies for siblings for just $9.95

They are Educational

Kiwi crates aren’t just fun, they are educational. Some are more directly than others (such as the wind crate we posted about last time), but the lessons in this kit are there as well–we used our city kit to talk about community helpers, etc. as they were building their cities.

Kiwi Crate Craft Subscription Kit

You can browse the single kits to see which ones might be best for your homeschool.

They Inspire Creativity

Though there are instructions for the kit, many things are very open ended and inspire creativity. This particular kit was very fun for my building boys! Before even starting the official project, they spent about an hour doing this. They made sky scrapers, boxes, guns, and many more things.

Kiwi Crate Building

For the city project, they received the city buildings pictured, but also a various assortment of extras so they could really use their imaginations putting their cities together.

It’s So Much More than a Craft

Our kids do a lot of crafts. Children’s church, VBS, Sunday School, homeschool, etc. I have to be honest and say most of these things go in the trash soon. I’m sorry, but just keeping it real. There is no way we could possibly keep ALL of these crafts.

Kiwi Crate projects are more than just another craft.

Kiwi Crate projects create something useful for them. They are making their own toys that they can then play with for hours. They are making tools to use for exploring the world around them. In the case of this particular crate, our boys will get to make some cars to drive around their cities.

Kiwi Crate Finished

Kiwi Crate finished 2

Get a Discount on Your Kiwi Crate Subscription

So, there you have it…my 5 favorite things about Kiwi Crate.

Honestly, the market for kids and toys is highly saturated, but even so Kiwi Crate stands alone as being the only real subscription service of its kind. They are truly unique.

You can start your subscription now, and get 25% off your first crate using code BTS25, and new subscribers will also receive a bonus welcome kit. And, don’t forget that the subscription price includes free shipping.

Connect with Kiwi Crate on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube, and G+

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
%d bloggers like this: