The Life of Jennifer Dawn: August 2015

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Back to School Outfit from FabKids

It's Back to School time! For us this time has meant getting back into a routine, new school supplies, and new clothes. The teacher in me actually loves shopping for supplies--glue sticks, construction paper, and brand new crayons. What's not to love about freshly sharpened pencils and composition notebooks just waiting for imaginative stories to be scrawled inside?  Even though we homeschool, we still jump into the Back to School shopping frenzy. And shopping for fall clothes is made easy and fun with Fabkids. Here is Lydia Grace's newest outfit from this fun clothing subscription company...
FabKids Top, Skirt & Galoshes! (Aren't those shoes adorable?)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Apple Pie Popsicles

This post is brought to you by DairyPure Milk. All opinions are my own.

Apple season is underway and fall is just around the corner. Before apple pies and apple crisps start hitting the table, enjoy a delicious Apple Pie Popsicle! It's a fun twist on favorite dessert! These frozen treats are the perfect way to savor the taste of apple pie while cooling off during these last hot days of summer.
When preparing food for my family, using fresh ingredients is a priority. For this recipe, I used ripe, red apples and DairyPure milk.
With just a few simple ingredients, you can quickly and easily whip up these scrumptious Apple Pie Popsicles. Let me tell you! They smell and taste amazing--just like apple pie! They are a much healthier treat though. Follow the recipe below to enjoy them for yourself!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Creative Ideas for Kids that Adults Will Love Too & Weekly Link Party

Welcome to...
The Life of Jennifer Dawn

It is wonderful to have you here!
Let's get the party started with this week's features!
Claire from The Simple Sweet Life posted her recipe for Lemon Macarons. Aren't these impressive?!
Melanie of Find It, Make It, Love It shared a tutorial for these fun Geometric Bead Necklaces!
Jennie from Little Girl Designs posted on how to make Leaves from Book Pages! I could see these being so cute sewn into a garland.
Paris of My Big Fat Happy Life shared her Pink Lemonade Playdough Recipe!

Amazing projects, ladies! Now...

Monday, August 3, 2015

How I Made Pasta Sauce from Garden Fresh Tomatoes

The tomato plants in our garden have been bursting with deliciously ripe tomatoes. We've been giving some away and still have more that we know what to do with. This seemed like the perfect time to take to the kitchen and try some new tomato recipes.

Since pasta is such a popular meal in our household, I decided to use some of our Roma tomatoes and fresh herbs to make a tasty tomato sauce. This recipe requires only a few ingredients and is so rich and healthy. Even if you don't have tomatoes to pick straight from the vine, fresh tomatoes from your local farmer's market or grocery store are great too.

My youngest son has a severe milk allergy, so one of the perks of this sauces is that it does not contain milk. I know you're probably thinking...

What? Milk in tomato sauce?

Yes, most pasta sauces bought at a store contain milk, and not just the ones with cheese in them. Grab that can or jar from your pantry and check. You might be surprised to see all that's in there. The ingredients in this sauce are fresh, few, and wholesome.

Are you ready to make this delicious sauce for your next meal? Grab some tomatoes and let's start cooking!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Printable: Daily Planner Page for Moms

Being a mom is the best job I could have, but it is also one of the hardest. In the midst of diaper changes, sippy cups, kissed ouchies, snuggles, and pleas for this and that, it's easy to lose sight of someone else who needs care--me! Wow, I feel guilty even typing the words out and putting that kind emphasis on myself. Therein lies the problem though...

I love being a mom! It is a tremendous blessing, and I cherish every moment. But in this 24/7 job, a few little breaks are necessary. Right? I feel like I'm still trying to convince myself of that. Confession: I am guilty of not taking that time for myself. The idea of having someone else (even the hubby) watch my kids, so I can step away for even just a bit makes me feel guilty. I know! I know! I shouldn't feel that way because taking those little mommy breaks can actually help me be a better mom to my kids. (My friend Pam even wrote about the importance of taking some "me time" on her blog.)

I know how important it is to enjoy a little time to myself, but it is something I struggle with. In fact, the blog conference I attended a few weeks ago that I'll tell you more about later was the first time I had gone anywhere overnight without my kids since... Let's see... When was Lydia Grace born? Yes, that's right! It was the first time in over six years I had gone somewhere without kids.

On the first night of my trip, I went out to eat with a group of ladies who were also attending the conference--new bloggy friends! During the meal, it occurred to me that this was the first time in a very long time where I wasn't going to have to wipe off sticky fingers with a baby wipe, cut up someone else's food, or have to worry about whether my kids were disturbing other diners. Don't get me wrong! I'm a nurturer, so I thrive on caring for my family. It was just that it was disorienting to not have to focus on those things. The clothes I purchased to take with me to the conference were the first ones I had purchased for myself in over two years. Y'all, I actually put make-up on again on a day other than Sunday morning! Doing those things for myself felt strange. It also felt very needed, and not just because many of my old clothes were starting to get holes in them.

There's not enough time in the day.
The chores will pile up.
I'll be fine without a break.

Oh, I could come up with several excuses why not to take a little mommy break, but there are some extremely BIG reasons why I should... Three of those reasons are Lydia Grace, Eli, and Caleb. They need a mommy who is happy, refreshed, and ready to tackle the day's adventures whether that be keeping up with them during a game of tag, pulling wriggling worms out of little pockets (BOYS!), or just being there for them. I adore motherhood, but it is important to take those breaks every now and then. Another important reason is that we are designed to take breaks--to rest and take refuge in our heavenly father.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
For these reasons, I'm making up my mind to be more intentional about enjoying some "me time." I'm also going to set aside more time to spend in prayer and devotion. Rising a little earlier to savor some quiet moments to read my bible and taking more time for myself is just what my soul needs. I'm putting these goals down in writing and scheduling them into my day.

Perhaps you, too, have been caught up in the busyness of life and struggling to find time for yourself. If so, I'd love to share this little printable with you that I made to better plan my days. Save it, print it, fill it out, and enjoy the benefits that come with stealing quiet moments away for yourself.

Daily Planner Page
(Right click the image to save it to your computer. Open up the saved image and print it off.)

Happy planning!

Image Map