Weekly Roundup

Throughout the week, as I research new post topics, new recipes to recreate into allergy-friendly fare and find new ways to get through this crazy thing called life with my sanity intact (more or less), I encounter many beautiful blogs. There are so many intelligent, funny and compassionate bloggers out there in the world wide web that don’t get the recognition they deserve. Because we are all in this blog-eat-blog world together, I thought I’d share some of the blogs that have made an impact on my week.

Weekly Roundup

Amy Lynn Andrews  has been a valuable resource for maintaining my blog. She doesn’t know this, but she held my hand while I baby-stepped myself into building my own website. She has a weekly Useletter that you can sign up to receive by email. Thank you, Amy, from the bottom of my heart for making my life less nightmarish. Let me make you a grilled cheese sandwich!

Last week we hosted a big family get-together with family arriving from all directions. Our food allergies and issues with gluten make dining out difficult and often with unpleasant side effects. We cooked for a crowd and pulled it off! Woohoo!  I made a gluten-free angel food cake,  gluten-free and vegan coconut sugar cookies and had some surprising results on these Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes from The Naked Kitchen.  The cake component was delicious and had great texture.  I couldn’t quite get the frosting right, though.  I’m sure it was due to the skills of the baker and had a delicious flavor, so it all worked out!

Because of the large family gathering, I needed to reset my system with a detox day. The first day was a fail because we had more of this beautiful, patriotic cheesecake in the fridge. My son’s friend made it gluten-free and now she’s my new BFF. I’d be lying if I told you I had any self-control and didn’t lick the plate.

 

A photo posted by Sherry Lyle (@thesimplehive) on May 24, 2015 at 7:56pm PDT

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js  I’ve been making an attempt to be healthier and get more exercise.  So as not to undo my results from running or my yoga practice, I’ve been paying more attention to my posture and how I move.  Since I have some hypermobile joints, I have found myself in physical therapy too many times.  Retraining myself how to move to avoid injuries is important. HealthyMoving.com has some great video lessons for improving health by changing the way I move.  Now, sit up straight! A few weeks ago, I ran another 5k with my younger son and I’m itching to do another before the summer heat robs me of my will to live.  Since scheduling can sometimes be a problem, I have been looking into Virtual 5k’s.  This Peace & Love Bug Run benefiting the American Lung Association seems just about perfect!  I do love my Bug!  And my lungs! I saved the best for (almost) last!  As I was muti-tasking while writing this post, I received an email from FitApproach.  I’m a Sweat Pink Ambassador! If you know me in real life, you know I’m doing a happy dance/strut.  I’m show boating all over this place!    

A photo posted by Sherry Lyle (@thesimplehive) on Jun 4, 2015 at 2:00pm PDT

  Although summer is upon us, I’m thinking ahead to next fall where I will need to pack school lunches for a few children and myself.  Pepper Scraps has some cute bento lunches along with how-to videos.  For a little end-of-the-year push to feed little people, or big, I love this collection of gluten free lunch ideas.

Check out some more inspiration for cute bentos on my Healthy Kids Pinterest Board.

 

Follow Sherry Lyle of TheSimpleHive’s board Healthy Kids on Pinterest.//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js

Graduation Gifts for a Cool Guy

So, the teenage boy here at the hive is graduating from high school this month. On any given day I have mixed emotions about it, but mostly, I’m not okay.

My baaaabbbbyyy!

It’s probably a good thing I have the girls who still need me. Baby Honeybee will be the last to leave the hive at which point, I’ll be a complete mess. You won’t want to even know me then.

Because Teen Boy Bee is a cool dude who loves music, I’ve been trying to figure out what to get him for a graduation gift.  Since he will be pursuing a degree in Audio Technology, I’ve been thinking about a new bass guitar and amp. Shhh.  Don’t tell him.  I’ve been told that this is the best lightweight bass amp.

Sweet, eh?

I looks like a winner to me!

Do you have any great graduation gift idea for guys?  I love alliterations!  Also, if you have any tips for coping with an empty nest, or hive in this case, let me know.  I’ll need several years to practice.

Vegan Triple Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

#glutenfree and #vegan recipe for healthy and delicious triple chocolate cookies.  Only 5 ingredients! - thesimplehive.com

As simple as this recipe is, I can’t believe it’s so delicious!  I had to eat two just to be sure I wasn’t mistaken.  Maybe I should eat another just to be completely sure of its deliciousness.  I do what I can to ensure honest evaluations.  I’m here for you!

This recipe happened because the girls and I needed a little chocolate to push through our day.  Homeschooling can be hard, folks!

This was a perfect way to integrate life skills into our day.  The recipe is so simple, even a five-year old can do it and she did!  I have found that my little picky eater is more likely to eat the foods she helps make.  Get the kids in the kitchen and make these healthy chocolate cookies.

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Moving Day!

follow me to The Simple Hive

If you have signed up to receive The Simple Hive in your email through my WordPress site, please hop over to my new self-hosted site powered by WordPress (because I love WordPress)!

The new site has a cleaner look and has all the content from the beginning days of the hive.

From my new home, you can sign up to follow me via email, Bloglovin‘, Pinterest, Twitter or Facebook. Or, Follow me on them all and never miss a post!

What’s in it for you?  Good question!

By signing up at the new site, whichever way you choose to follow, you will be first to know when a new post is up and running.  Also, you will be first to know about special giveaways that I will occasionally host as a thank you to all my bloggy friends.

Many thanks to all of you who have read and commented on my blog.  I hope to see you on the other side!

Crochet Cupcake and Flower Dishcloths

Cupcake crochet and flower dishcloths - the simple hive

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While perusing the yarn aisle at my local craft store, I happened upon a free crochet pattern for a cupcake dishcloth. The sign said “Take One”, so I did, because I always do what I’m told. Yep.

Then I got home and promptly put it away and completely forgot about it until a few weeks ago when I woke up with an excruciating pain in my foot. The first step out of bed and a severe pain in my foot told me I wasn’t going anywhere.

Because I have a difficult time not doing anything, I shuffled and crawled over to the yarn bag and came across this pattern by Twinkie Chan.  I grabbed my yarn and went to work

I think the name Twinkie Chan is partly why I decided to work up the pattern. With a name like that, surely it would be cute!

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Island Coconut Loose Tea Blend

 

Island Coconut Loose Tea Blend

Because it’s cold outside and hot tea is the only thing right now that keeps me from going into total hibernation, I’ve been tinkering in the kitchen with some new loose tea blends.  I stocked up with some organic herbs earlier in the year to help us live healthier and improve our overall well-being.  Herbal tea soothes the soul, folks!

Soul-soothing is what I need.  Always.

This post contains affiliate links.  By clicking on a link and making a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for helping the hive to thrive!

Because I’m cold-natured and long for a sunny, beach destination any time of the year, I made this tea blend.

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a simple plan

2014

This is the year we go back to basics.  We already live fairly simple lives as compared to many families of our size, but life gets out of control in a large spiral then gains momentum.  Before you realize, it’s string cheese for dinner as you fly out the door to youth group or 4H meetings.

This must not continue.

I’m sharing my plan for 2014 to accomplish my goals for health, homeschool, church, my home and my garden.  It was born from exasperation stemming from too many days of buzzing around in circles and accomplishing little.  I need results, people!  I thrive on them, in fact.

In sharing my thoughts, I hope to clarify the foggy areas and focus on my priorities.  Also, I feel if I don’t get some organization to my thoughts, they will make my head explode in dazzling display of glitter, rainbows and unicorns.  Oh sure, that sounds fun for you, but I wouldn’t be right after that.

So here I am.  I am hoping you will keep me focused and hold me accountable.

Health

  • Drink plenty of water daily.  This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s so hard to remember.  I begin the day with good habits but as the day progresses, I get busy and never have a free hand to perform the physical act of holding a glass and bringing it to my lips. I need a beer hat with the flexible tube straws to hold a couple of bottles of water.  You may think I’m just saying this be funny, but I kid you not.  Don’t be surprised if you ever meet me in person, is what I’m saying.
  • Incorporate more fruits and veggies into daily diet and move away from meat-based meals. Buy organic produce when possible and grow more in the garden.  We eat healthy meals overall, but we have room for improvement.  We deal with multiple food allergies in our family so meals can become complicated when trying to feed everyone.  Over the years, I have tweaked recipes to allow for delicious and healthy meals for all.  We have a good-sized garden so with a little more effort, we can achieve this goal.
  • Cardio and strength-training workouts.  We have an old one-and-a-half story bungalow.  Before we bought our house, the upstairs had been gutted and renovations began.  We spent a couple of long, dusty days up there recently to organize it more efficiently.  I now have a sewing and crafts area and we now have a workout area for the weight bench and elliptical.  Now I have no excuse for not exercising.  I have mixed emotions about this.
  • Schedule annual check-ups for everyone early in the year.  I’m guessing most of you don’t have an issue with this like I do.  I usually put off scheduling doctor appointments until closer to the month we need them.  My thinking is that I will be better able to schedule appointments around the other chaos and obligations.  This. Never. Works.
  • Start a routine of getting the kids out for a daily walk.  We homeschool and the day can get pretty hairy in the afternoon if the kids don’t get a break from schoolwork and chores.  A short hike through our property or to the mailbox (we live in the country) will hopefully prevent them from turning into angry bees.

Homeschool

  • Keep ongoing records on computer for easy management and to print year-end records to be stored with work.  This is pretty straight forward, but up until now, I have been keeping handwritten records.  I know!  What was I thinking?
  • Allow for more field trips and journaling to replace textbook curriculum.  After all, I’m teaching them not just to make a living, but to make a life. We learn naturally from experiences. This might be the best thing for my little ADHD bee. She’s an eager learner when it doesn’t feel like learning.  
  • Incorporate life skills into homeschool day. Teach cooking, fiscal responsibility and time management.  We all grow up and leave the hive someday. These skills aren’t optional.
  • Weekly trips to library for movies and books.  This is me being self-indulgent.  I love the library! I could live there! They won’t let me, though.  Need a business idea?  Library/B&B.  There you go.  You’re welcome.
  • Use Spanish immersion technique to reinforce what has already been learned by my older child and to begin teaching the girls.  I’m planning on driving my family crazy with this.  When they get frustrated with me and the shouting begins, I’ll shout  back “Espanol por favor!”.  This will be fun!

Church

  • Phase out responsibilities of youth group and Sunday school to prepare for busy school year.  I almost didn’t include this.  We currently are the youth leaders and Sunday school teachers for high school kids at our church.  These activities require planning and time in an already stretched schedule.  Many days I feel like we aren’t making a difference and anybody could take our place.  (Here is where I mentally scream and stomp and then sigh.)  God called us to do this. He led us here for a reason. So, phasing ourselves out of church responsibilities probably will not happen this year.  I think I’m ok with that.

Home & Garden

  • Improve soil in existing garden beds and maintain.  Easy peasy.  We have plenty of organic compost.  The hard part is digging it out from the bottom of our bin.
  • Create cleaning schedule and keep clutter under control. This should more accurately state Blow the dust off the cleaning schedule created last year and put it to use!
  • Regularly go through household items and donate unwanted items.  When we cleaned upstairs to make room for a workout/sewing/lounge area, we cleared out and donated several bags full of clothing and items we no longer need.  Well, we haven’t donated them yet.  They are sitting in my kitchen.  I like to think of them as frumpy fans cheering me on as I channel my inner rockstar while I cook.  I feel badly as I kick them aside to access the lower cabinets.  They understand.

Cancel newspaper subscription and Netflix.  Done and woohoo!  Man, those two innocent-looking subscriptions are a beast to control!  Unfortunately our day doesn’t allow for sipping coffee leisurely while catching up on local events.  I have to say, newspaper wrangling just isn’t for me.  As for Netflix, it became a burden to sit down and watch a movie and return it in a timely manner.  We plan to check out movies from the library.  Problem solved.

This next goal doesn’t fit in any one category above, yet it fits perfectly in all of them.

Find the funny in everything.  Humor keeps me sane by laughing hysterically and it is everywhere!  We have all heard that laughter is the best medicine, but did you know it’s also the best workout?  It’s true (in my head).  If you laugh hard enough, it’s an excellent ab workout so you don’t have to spend any time upstairs in your newly created workout room.  Two birds, one stone.

Join me in my journey of simple living. If you have any tricks up your sleeve that help keep your life simple, I would love to know.