So, at the beginning of February I had my very first giveaway! You can read all about it here if you want!
Anyway, I announced the winner today-you can go check out the post to see who it was (spoiler alert - if you didn't get an e-mail from me about it, you didn't win) : ( Sorry!
I am so grateful for everyone who entered though! I'm so happy to be able to share these awesome lip balms with other people! In other exciting news regarding Bushel & a Peck (not me, but the other Bushel & a Peck that I'm giving away the lip balms from!), Aimee just released her body balm!!! Go check it out!
Moving on, I want to share some funny memes and comics because I can't help it! For me, laughing makes me feel so much better, and when I feel better I feel motivated! We've had a bug going through our house (a sickness bug, not an insect! Well, we have insects too, but, never mind...), so I thought I'd share some memes and comics about being sick!
On my health & Fitness page I'm sharing my "Spell Your Name" Workout, so check that out too!
I didn't get sick at all though, so I thought I'd share this meme!
Have a great Monday!
Lemon Crinkle Cookies
I don't know about you or where you live, but here in Tweed, it's been feeling more like spring this week. It's actually raining right now....which is just yucky and miserable, but the spring makes me want something bright, light, and palate cleansing as a treat. Am I the only one? We spend the cold winter months eating comfort foods, then when it feels like the warmer weather is approaching we feel the need to switch it up? Maybe it's just me? I know I would, and have, eaten these cookies any time of the year, but they feel particularly "springy" to me because of the refreshing lemony-ness of them.
This recipe is one I've been using for a while now, but I made some changes, basically because I needed it to reflect what I usually have on hand. The original recipe is from a blog I frequent, Lauren's Latest. She's shares about home, travel, family, and she's got some wonderful, delicious and simple recipes (one of my favourites is her copy-cat Cinnabon cinnamon rolls! They are sooooooooo good!!!).
Anyway, I'm keeping this short and sweet....and sour? Get it? Lemons? Sour? Hardy har-har, I know, I'm funny. : )
Lemon Crinkle Cookies
Adapted from Lauren's Latest Lemon Crinkle Cookies
So lovely looking, right? They are just delightful, soft on the inside, lightly crisp on the outside, and so refreshing! Well, as "refreshing" as a cookie can be, I guess! Haha!
Have a great weekend friends!
Well, I thought spring was here...but it's not (apparently!) Ok, well, the sun has been out most days lately, but the temperature is still in the below zero mark! I'm talking -10 with a nasty wind! You step out thinking, "oh, what a sun-shiny terrific day!", and then the snappy wind sweeps up and bites you in the face! Waaaaa! Yes, that was crying. Like a baby. I've started just rubbing coconut oil (organic, virgin) on my face because it was getting so dry and scratchy from the wind! Waaaa! More crying. Well, this morning we woke up to snow! Whomp whomp (waaaa waaaa).
Ok, crying over, back to the coconut oil, I actually like it on my face! It smells loverly, and has made my skin reeeeeal soft!
Alright. Food time. In April of last year I wrote something called "The Great Potato Debate" and talked about potatoes, and how they are the evil enemy to weight loss and a long and happy life!!! (a slightly overdramatic voice needs to be used when reading that. Possibly even putting a hand to the forehead like a damsel in distress?).
Well, there are many pros and cons regarding potatoes, but sometimes, they are choice # 1 in my house. Why? Because they are really freakin' affordable, that's why! They are filling, they really do have many nutritious benefits, and they are a humble, blank slate to so many meal ideas! And THEN they are inexpensive on top of all that? Well, hot-dog, sign me up! All you need to do is load ‘em up with toppings (see the above link for a delicious recipe that I included at the end of the post!) after they come out of the oven, add a side of veggies, and your meal is complete!
When we do baked potatoes as a meal, I’ll switch up what we top them with. If the budget is particularly tight, we’ll just add butter, salt, and a sprinkle of cheese. Other times we’ve made curry, chilli, pulled pork, to top them with (separately, of course!) and then there's the ever “classic” baked potato toppings of sour cream, bacon bits, green onion and cheese.
Now, to take a humble baked potato to a new level, someone (who loved mashed potatoes!) at some point thought, “I wish the inside of my baked potato was filled with mashed potatoes! (this account is almost certainly 100% historically accurate!).
Enter the twice baked potato!
Granted, these take a little more work, but you can do the first baking, as well as mash and fill the potatoes ahead of time and then put the lovely stuffed gems into the oven when you need them! You can even fully prepare these up until the final baking, and store them in the freezer! After we had our third child, a woman from church brought us the most amazing meal, all made ahead and frozen! One of the super tasty items was twice baked potatoes, and they were so delicious! This past weekend I devoured some mini twice baked potatoes that a friend had made for a St. Paddy's day party. She made them all earlier in the week, then froze them until party time!
The twice baked potatoes today are a bacon & spinach version, and they are
deeeee-lightful! The process of baking, scooping, mixing, re-filling and baking again isn't that bad when you consider how yummy these are!
Bacon & Spinach Twice Baked Potatoes
*With paleo and non-paleo options. This recipe can easily be doubled
Though the paleo, cheese-free version of these may not seem as yummy, trust me, they are. The tops won't have that crispy cheese appeal, but the tops so get a nice golden brown, and the potato crisps up, and they are good.
Have a lovely weekend world wide webbers! : )
Dangerously Quick & Simple Buns!
Ok, well, the title warned you! You now enter this post at your own risk! : )
My husband's Belgian family celebrates and mourns with ham buns. A wedding, baby shower, anniversary, birthday, funeral - all involve "ham buns". This food item is EXACTLY what is sounds like. A bun. With ham.
The bun is simply buttered, filled with a piece of ham, and that's it! It seems basic, but somehow it tastes like a dream! I dunno.
Last year, my husband's Uncle passed away, and at the funeral luncheon we had, of course, ham buns. Adam's uncle specifically requested double ham on his ham buns though (extra delicious!), and my girls really enjoyed them. I was surprised by this because my girls have not eaten a sandwich in at least 5 years! I think the fact that the options were were limited, they gave the buns a try. Well, after the luncheon there were leftovers, and the wonderful women running the meal packed up lots of food for us to take home.
We had at least 2 dozen ham buns that Adam took to work and the girls took to school over the next week! When they ran out, the girls asked if I could make them the buns. We are mostly a gluten-free family because I eat mainly paleo, and Caleb is fully gluten-free, so it’s easier for us all to eat similar. Plus, I told the girls, making the delicious buns that the ham was nestled in takes too much time to make. So, that was that.
Well then, didn’t a neighbour come over one day not too long after with some rolls she'd made with her aunt that day. They were so good......so, so, so good! Belgian funeral good.
I commented on how I don't usually make bread or buns because I hate waiting for it to rise. Yes, I'm occasionally impatient! Anywho, she told me that these particular rolls only took about an hour to make, and I thought - what? For Real? I thought she was pulling my leg, and was trying to make them sound easier than they were. Well, the next day she came over with the recipe for me to see, and promised that they only took an hour. So, I said, “well, let’s make them right now!”.
And we did. And it was scary easy, and scary fast how we produced big, soft and fluffy rolls in an hour.
If you’re not organized (or your kitchen isn’t), I could see this taking an hour and 15 minutes. Or if you got distracted while making these, perhaps it would take an hour and 30 minutes. But getting distracted while making these will be impossible because you’ll be so focused on the warm, delicious goodness you’ll have in an hour, you’ll just hone in and get ‘er done!
So, here it is! My neighbours' aunt's recipe for "bread buns" as she called them, or "dangerously quick and simple buns" as I call them! Oh…my neighbour and I also call these “dump pan buns” because we made a double batch in a beautiful baking pan I found while digging around at our local dump. I know, yuk. But this pan was in perfect condition!
Dangerously Quick & Simple Buns
It's honestly a really simple process to go from some humble ingredients to amazing, fluffy buns!
This is my Keziah who especially loves these delicious buns! She can hardly wait for them to cool a bit so she can devour one!
Can I just highlight some recipes for buns from the past.....specifically, from my book by Dr. Chase from 1884?
I love looking through this old book when I'm thinking up a recipe because why re-invent the wheel, right? Well, sometimes the wheel needs some rounding out! This recipe below for "Buns, Better Than bakers" is a multi-day event! You'd start the water, sugar and yeast the night before you planned to make these rolls ("hooray for rapid rise yeast" shouts all the modern women!) : )
Anyway, it's a gem of a recipe, anyway!
Ok, I had to share one more recipe from Dr. Chase's book because......yuk. I mean, I might still try making it because it sounds so strange, but, yuk! It's called "Pork Cake", so, I think we can just right away agree (based on the name) that this is a recipe that maybe won't suit many peoples tastes...? I think it could be a breakfast style cake? Read the whole recipe, especially the last part about what you use to check for doneness. It's brilly-bobs (as my sister would say. Translation: brilliant)
It is amazing, isn't it?!
Anyway, this post seems too long? Sorry about that.
I'll just get outta here then! have a great weekend! It's a long weekend here in Ontario because Family Day is on Monday (also in Alberta and Saskatchewan!), and we have family visiting (how fitting!), and I'm excited!
Motivational Monday: Being Honest
Hey there! Thanks for taking the time to stop by!
Can I just be honest for a minute?
Blogging has been hard for the last few months, but, truth be told, so has life.
I know Christmas was almost 2 months ago, but this past Christmas left me drained. I don’t need to get into any of the reasons, but when we finally got back from weeks away visiting family and friends back home, I had hopes that my feelings of anxiety and depression would get better. I fully anticipated getting home, and life getting back to “normal”, and that I’d feel like myself again.
Instead I spent the nights tossing and turning, not getting decent sleep. I’d burst into tears for no reason during the day, and felt so anxious and sad I could hardly cope.
I lacked the motivation to get out of bed in the morning, or even to do things I generally enjoy like painting, baking, cooking, or singing. It took me about 2 weeks after getting home to even start working out regularly again.
I was not doing great.
Sometimes life is really hard for clear and obvious reasons, and sometimes life is hard for what could appear to be “no reason” at all.
This “no reason” hard life is often because of one thing: mental health.
Mental health is a topic often discussed in my home, and among my close friends. Why? Because it matters! Why does it matter? Because, for some of us (myself included), mental health steers the ship of life. It can sometimes seem like a “no reason” reason for life to be hard because mental health is (largely) invisible, and that adds to the difficulty in dealing with it.
It’s like if you have heart disease, your whole life becomes focused on getting better. You eat, sleep and breath staying alive and living a healthier life.
Well, the people of the world battling mental health issues feel this way all the time! Going back to my analogy of heart disease, if you don’t have heart disease, you generally get on in life without worrying about sickness because you’re not sick. Right? Perhaps you’re consciously eating well and getting some exercise, but you’re not constantly thinking “am I helping my sick heart become better?”
That’s how a lot of people who aren’t fighting mental health do life. They wake up with anticipation for their day, look forward to the events and tasks, or people they will see. They enjoy a relatively steady emotional state, becoming happy and sad, but never to extremes, and always get back to “normal” quickly.
Waking up with a brain that tells you that you have nothing worthwhile to offer the day, or sucks every ounce of energy out of your body, leaving you aching and miserable gets (obviously) exhausting.
Where’s the motivation for today? I know so far I’ve just been Debbie Downer, but here’s the thing: I always feel better talking to, and listening to others who are struggling. Not because I think “well, I’m not THAT bad”, but because there is strength in not feeling alone in a struggle.
I take my meds, I do the things I know should help me feel better like eating right and exercising, but sometimes, I just need to feel connected with someone else who wakes up in the morning feeling like life maybe isn’t worthwhile. We know on some level life is worth it, but it can be hard to really believe it sometimes, so sharing with someone who also faces more than an “off day”, has the effect of building up.
So, today, if you’re struggling, especially with mental health issues, stop and think, “who will let me talk about what I’m feeling without judgement?”. Then, reach out to that person. Asses yourself and see where you’re at emotionally, then separate what will make things worse, and what will make things better. For some, a face-to-face sharing is better, for others it’s chatting on the phone, and for some, it’s just writing something out in a text or e-mail, and sending it off.
If you have no one you feel you can talk to, feel free to comment here or by privately e-mailing me! Just reach out, I promise I won’t judge you. I am there with you!
Can I offer another tip? It may seem a little random, but it’s not, I promise!
Music can heal your soul….so, when you’re feeling awful, resist the urge to listen to music that is depressing.
Instead, turn on an album or playlist that you feel creates energy in you. Honestly, this can be very different things for each person, but you know what does it for you!
My favourite thing to do is to go onto YouTube to find a playlist that’ll fill me up. I find that having music playing in the background of my day helps enormously. If you picture a movie or t.v. show, you know that the music drives the mood of a scene. So, pick happy music for your “scene” today!
Thanks for letting me share. Sometimes this blog is just my online diary, and that’s what it is today! I appreciate so much that I can do this, that I can share my heart, and know I am not alone in my struggles.
I thought I'd also share some mental health memes, if that's ok. I don't take mental health issues lightly, but sometimes I can take it too seriously, if that makes sense? So, I thought I'd share some memes that were on the funnier side (as memes were intended to be!), because after some good music and sharing, laughing (out loud) is really good for mental health! And these made me laugh out loud!
So much love,
....Ok, one more.....I can't help it. This IS ME!!!
Oh, also, I did post over on Health & Fitness today too! Check that out if you want!
Five Minute Friday
It's a week of firsts for me here on Bushel & A Peck!
On Monday I opened up my first ever giveaway (go there quickly and enter if you haven't already!), and today I'm trying out something I've been meaning to do for OVER A YEAR!!!! Seriously, this is how long it's taken me to actually do this thing called "Five Minute Friday" that is hosted by a woman named Kate Motaung from Heading Home.
It started with another woman, Lisa-Jo Baker, who passed the torch to Kate in 2014. Both Lisa-Jo and Kate are honest, real women. Get digging around their blogs to see what I mean!
Anyway, "Five Minute Friday" is a weekly event that encourages anyone to write for 5 minutes (no cheating!) about whatever the prompt is.
I've enjoyed reading many, many of the writings from bloggers around the world (and people who write their 5 minutes worth into the comments), and I kept wanting to try it....but then I kept forgetting.
Even though the link-up is open for the whole week (Friday to Thursday), I've always wanted to do it on a Friday! No real reason (except perhaps being slightly OCD.....?), but that really held me back because I would usually remember on any day but Friday! Haha, I know, I'm reading back now and seeing how crazy it is that I was so insistent on it being done on a Friday, but there you have it!
So, again, this is a 5 minute writing challenge, for no real reason except to push yourself to write what comes to mind, unfiltered, un-edited, and share with others! It's a welcome challenge when writing feels stale and forced.
I went to Kate's website this morning to see the prompt, opened a Word document, set my iPhone timer, and let it go (let it go! Don't hold back anymore! Crap, "Frozen" has ruined everything!) :)
So, here it is! My 5 minutes worth of writing!
Five Minute Friday: Safe
Living in an area that is considered “rural” (aka-the sticks!), I think about our safety a lot.
We often have the power go out, we are a one vehicle family and if I need to pick up a child from school, I can’t because I am home all day without a vehicle! We have slippery stairs and woolen socks, we have a youngest daughter named Keziah who was properly nick-named “kez-aster” by one of her cousins! We have an outdoor wood stove that gets to 190 degrees and can be treacherous to fill, the list could go on and on!
I could be gripped with fear everyday about what could happen. But instead, I turn to what I find safety in. My family. My husband, my 3 children, our 2 babies in heaven, and my God & faith.
I am safe and loved. Within the walls of our beautiful century farmhouse is laughter, good meals, lots of sweets, hugs and kisses, prayers and crying, honesty and trust.
Those things change in the quality and quantity on a day to day basis, but I know that there will always be some of it. Something there to call home, to feel safe. To belong.
I want to create an atmosphere in our home of safety. Knowing that no matter what kind of day was had at school, work, or whatever, that we can meet up here, safe and loved and valued for who we are as individuals. Separate, but together. Created fearfully and wonderfully. Knit together in the womb, and brought together as a family.
My home (where my heart is), my family, feels safe.
Well, that's it!
I was going to share a recipe today too....except it's not ready, and if I don't post this right now, it just won't happen!
I've been finding it hard to carve out the time to blog recently (hence the lack of posts around here!), and that's part of why I want to participate in Five Minute Friday. It won't get me any new readers, it won't really become a Pinterest sensation, but, it will get me writing again for FUN! Just quick, don't-overthink-it, kind of writing, which is refreshing!
So, don't forget me over here in my corner of the internet, I'm still here!
Ok, let me show you something that is happening right now though, it's part of the reason I feel like I have no time these days!
We've been converting our guest room into Caleb's new bedroom, so that his bedroom can become--well, I'll leave the reason why we're moving Caleb for another day.
But, his new room is small and funny shaped, and he is getting BIG (he's 5'6" now!), so he needed a bigger bed, and yadda yadda, planning planning, searching Pinterest, and finally we decided to build him a hanging loft bed! Then we decided to cover up the ugly pipe running up the corner of his room (we got a new furnace put it, and heat runs going upstairs, which means ugly pipes everywhere now!!!) and build a bench around it...then we ripped out the flooring to see what was underneath! Oh, and I painted everything first! Long story short (or short story long...?) it's been quite the project, but I see light at the end of the tunnel! I think we should be done really soon, then I'll share the finished product!
Ok, that's all!
We have a busy weekend ahead of us with friends coming over tonight for dinner, then tomorrow heading off to Kingston for a Valentines dance that I'll be singing at with The Lasalle Causeway Swing Band, then Sunday I'm teaching Sunday School while Adam plays piano for worship team, and then we're going to have lunch with some friends!!! Phew!
It'll be good!
Have a great weekend, whatever your plans!
My Very First Giveaway!!!
I'm giving something away!!!
I'm pretty excited!
Back in January I received a completely random, and at first confusing e-mail. It was an e-mail through the blog contact form, and the name and e-mail address made me go, "huuuuh?" It was from an Aimee Berg, with a bushel & a peck variation e-mail address.....
But I'M Amy! And I'M Bushel & A Peck! Right?
Turns out, great names think alike!
Aimee Burg is a beautiful woman who had a problem, and made a solution for herself! On her website, www.bushelandapeck.co, her About page tells the tale of woe and dry, cracked lips, and how she started to make her own lip balms to remedy the situation!
Well, this wonderful woman found me and generously offered to send me a bundle of her amazing lip balms as an encouragement in my own personal journey into health, art, and living a well lived life!
The gesture made my day! Someone randomly reaching out to bless someone else with their gifts? What an amazing thing!
So, when my lip balms arrived, and I opened my first one to use it, I thought, "Oh my gosh, I loooove this!" Then I thought, if Aimee is willing to share, I should be too! : )
And here we are! I will send 2 of my lovely new lip balms to a randomly selected winner, and all you need to do to enter is to tell me about a time someone shared their gift with you!
I'm not really a popular blog, so if you're reading this right now and enter, you have a pretty good chance of winning!!! It would be nice if you shared the contest with your friends and family though, because sharing is caring (as my kids often remind me!).
My beauty needs are pretty basic. I'm not into flashy, multi-levelled self care processes! I never have been (read: lazy!)! My motto is: simple is good! So, these lovely lip balms fit into my motto nicely! There aren't 10000 ingredients you can't pronounce, and they don't smell whacky (you know you've been talking to someone and thinking "what is that strange smell", only to see them putting on Cranberry LipSmacker and going, "oh....". I'm not the only one that's happened to, I'm sure of it!)!
And let's talk about the care Aimee took to send me my gift? See that picture below? She wrote my name beautifully on the envelope, included a sweet hand written card, and just made it so special!
So, to enter, just tell me about a time someone shared their gifts with you, then fill in the info in the ballot below, and that's it! You're entered!!!
And don't forget to check out Aimee's website at www.bushelandapeck.co, or her shop on Etsy at BushelandaPeckLLC
The contest closes on February 26th, and if you win you'll be contacted on the 27th!
Best of luck!!!
Hi, I'm Amy-Lyn!
I am the lady behind this here blog! I live in the sticks with my animals, my super handsome husband, and my
3 amazing kids!
Here you'll find things from recipes (gluten-free, paleo, and strait up junk food!), DIY ideas, thoughts on raising a son with autism, and whatever else pops into my brain! : )
Read more about me by clicking here!
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