Wednesday, January 28, 2015

If You're NOT a Football Fan

If you don't know that Superbowl weekend starts in a few days then I don't know what to tell you.  Maybe you've been living under a rock???  This Sunday, all around the US, people will be hosting parties, eating junk food, and rooting for their team.  Since I live in the PNW, I obviously am excited that the Seahawks are playing for another year and I hope they are victorious once again.

Unfortunately, Nate and I have to be out of town this weekend so we probably won't be watching the Superbowl this year.  He's bummed about it but, to be honest, I don't mind.  Since I'm not a huge football fan I don't mind one way or the other if I watch the game.

Do you feel the same way about football?  If so, here are a few ideas for things to do during the game.

25 Things to Do on Superbowl SundayPhoto Credit

1.  Bake Oatmeal Cookies
2.  Paint Your Nails a Fun, Bright Color
3.  Enjoy the Best Commercials of the Year
4.  Crochet a Throw Blanket
5.  Catch up on Blog Post Reading
6.  Exercise
7.  Ask Those Watching Questions about the Rules
8.  Learn a New Language
9.  Go Somewhere that's Usually Busy
10.  Clean Your Room
11.  Take a Bath
12.  File Your Taxes
13. Mend Ripped Clothes
14.  Rearrange Your Living Room
15.  Write a Letter
16.  Go Shopping
17.  Plan a Girl's Day Out
18.  Paint Pottery
19.  Jump on a Trampoline
20.  Host a Hotdog Eating Contest
21.  Learn Online Coding
22.  Go for a Hike
23.  Cuddle a Baby
24.  Meal Plan for the Month
25.  Write Blog Posts

Are you watching the Superbowl?
If not, what are you doing instead?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

8 Baby Products I Love

0-2 Month Favorite Products

1.  Boppy Pillow - This is a must have for any mom - especially one who is breastfeeding.  I love that the boppy holds my little man much closer to the breast, allowing for more comfortable feedings for both him and me.  The boppy also is extremely versatile - it can be used as a cushion for a new mom to sit on while she's healing from the delivery or it can be used by the baby during tummy time.  I also use the boppy to prop Caleb up in a semi sitting position since he loves to look around.

2.  Summer Infant Swaddle Blankets - These blankets are lifesavers!  Babies love to be swaddled, especially while they're sleeping, but swaddling them in normal blankets is hard!  The nurses showed Nate and me how to swaddle Caleb quite a few times while we were in the hospital but we just could never get the blankets tight enough and Caleb would always escape.  Once we got home and started using these velcro blankets life got so much easier!

3.  Bouncer Seat - Caleb adores his bouncer seat.  He happily sits in his seat throughout the day (as long as he's not hungry or grumpy) while Nate and I get other things done.  It's wonderful that he has a safe place to sit while I do dishes, shower, or blog.  The bouncing also helps him stay asleep during nap time.  (Of course, we definitely take him out of the seat to cuddle him, do tummy time, play on his mat, etc)

4.  Butt Paste Diaper Rash Ointment - Although Caleb doesn't get diaper rash too often, when he does this diaper rash ointment has been so wonderful!  It only takes one or two applications during a diaper change and the rash is gone!

5.  Diaper Genie - Originally I was just planning on getting a normal garbage can for the nursery but Nate talked me into spending a little more money and getting a diaper genie.  I'm thankful he did!  The diaper genie is the perfect was to dispose of dirty diapers, it keeps the scent sealed in wonderfully, and it's so easy to change the lining out.

6.  Yoga Ball - I know, this seems like a silly item to have on a list of baby favorites but it truly is one of our most used baby items.  Pretty much every night, during the "witching hour," Caleb starts crying uncontrollably.  He's not hungry and his diaper is changed.  One night, Nate discovered that if he sat on the yoga ball holding Caleb and bounced fairly vigorously Caleb would calm down and gradually fall asleep.  We don't go overnight anywhere without our ball.

7.  Moby Wrap - I love wearing Caleb!  I certainly don't do it all the time but, when I do, the moby wrap is perfect.  Caleb loves being snuggled up in the wrap against my chest and I love being able to kiss the top of his head and feel him snuggling up against me.  Now that Caleb is a bit older, he loves looking around and experiencing the places we visit while safely cuddled up against me.

8.  Skip Hop Duo Diaper Bag - This diaper bag is perfect!  I wanted a bag that wasn't too big (so I couldn't pack more than I needed), wasn't too feminine (so Nate would be ok with carrying it), and had lots of pockets for organization (because I'm slightly OCD).  This bag completely fit the bill!  I love carrying my diaper bag around and don't feel like it's little kiddy at all.

What are your favorite baby products?
Do you have thoughts on any of the products I love?

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Monday, January 26, 2015

A Contemporary Girl with a Liturgical Heart

When I started Bible College I thought I knew it all.  I thought I had all my stuff together and was doing Christianity and Church right.  People who didn't worship the way I did or read their Bibles the way I did were obviously wrong.  People who didn't have a certain number of Bible verses memorized or didn't know certain Bible stories were obviously not as intelligent as I was.  I was prideful and didn't even realize it.  Getting a "C" in my Gospels class my Freshman year definitely was the kick in the pants I needed to realize that I had so much I could learn.  My knowledge was extremely limited, I didn't dig deep in Scripture, and the way I worshiped wasn't necessarily the only way to go about it.

One of my professors loved liturgy.  He adored corporate prayer.  He believed that worship was as group act.  I didn't understand it.  Every class period this professor would lead our class in a prayer from that day's Daily Office.   I couldn't wrap my mind around it and would not join in because I believed praying a group prayer was completely fake.  I felt as though prayer was supposed to be a personal act - a conversation between God and me - and a group prayer wasn't a part of that conversation.

One Sunday, as I was singing along with the worship band, communing with the Lord alongside other worshipers, I realized that's exactly what common prayers were.  They weren't fake prayers - they were prayers that were just like worship music.  A person could take the words of the prayer and make them their own in the same was I was taking the words of the worship songs and making them my own.

This revelation changed the way I viewed common prayer, liturgy, and other "high church" acts.  I will probably never join a liturgical church but my heart connects so well with the beauty of liturgy.

Five Reasons I Love LiturgyPhoto Credit

1.  It is Corporate - Liturgy brings the congregation together in a special way.  When each individual knows what to expect from the service and can join together in prayers and readings or standing and kneeling then they are free to enter into worship in a special way.  When an individual knows the schedule of a liturgical service there's no ambiguity or confusion as to what's going on.  The congregation is joined together focusing on the Lord as one body.

2.  It is Beautiful - The prayers, readings, and songs of a liturgical service are beautiful.  Each aspect of the service is well thought out and intentional.  The individuals who put together the services cared about how they came together and desired to encourage the congregation to enter into the beauty of the Lord.  Prayers are eloquent, readings are intentional, and songs are beautiful.

3.  It Teaches - Liturgy teaches the congregation about all aspects of the Lord.  The liturgical calendar cycles through themes like creation, salvation, grace, the resurrection, the Holy Spirit...  Each year the congregation goes through the different themes and is reminded about all the important theology of the Lord.

4.  It is Deep - When the congregation is invited into prayers, the deep words involved in the prayers allow the individuals to look deep into their own lives and make the prayers applicable to themselves.  The scripture readings apply to the prayers and the songs bring everything together.  When individuals allow the service to reach into their lives it affects them in a deep, heartfelt way.

5.  It is Not that Different - The services I attend are not a whole lot different than liturgical services at their heart level.  People are invited in to worship the Lord by singing songs together, entering into prayer alongside the pastor, and listening to the Word of God proclaimed.  If the Gospel and Grace are being proclaimed I don't think the way it's proclaimed matters all that much.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Faith and Fellowship Blog Hop

 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1-3

Faith and Fellowship Guidelines

1.  Link up a post (not just the link to your blog) from the week that shares what the Lord's been doing in your life or speaking to you.
2.  Put the button on your blog post or blog so that others can hear about this wonderful group of Godly women.
3.  Visit as many blogs as you're able and get to know your sisters in Christ!
4.  Share this blog hop on social media using #faithandfellowship or pin the button on pinterest.

Faith and Fellowship Blog Hop

Your Host:

Susannah1Susannah from Simple Moments Stick


Last Week's Most Viewed Posts:

Kaylene Yoder
Grace and Truth Linkup


Susannah's Blog Post Pick:


Anchors Aweigh
Remembering Taylor Grace

If you'd like to cohost in the future, please email Susannah at susannah.kellogg (at) gmail.com


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tips for Organizing Your Linen Closet

I'm in purge mode right now.  I'll never be able to be a minimalist but I certainly feel as though Nate and I just have too much stuff.  Eventually we'll be moving - either into a house here in Portland or to another town - and I don't want to take things with us that we don't need and use.  Instead of waiting until we start packing, I'm beginning the process now.  Room by room, closet by closet, I'm getting things organized.

Tips for Organizing Your Linen Closet

1.  Take Everything Out:  The best way to start is by removing EVERYTHING from the closet!  Start a huge pile on the bed, on the floor, in another closet...  Anywhere that allows the closet you're trying to organize to be completely empty.  The only things that go back into the closet are things you're going to keep.

2.  Throw Out Everything Expired: We all have products with expiration dates sitting in our cupboards and I'm sure that for the majority of us some of those products are expired.  Before putting products away check the dates on sunscreen, medication, and other products with expiration dates.  Throw out anything that is expired.  Be sure to look up the proper ways to dispose of medications.

3.  Be Realistic About What You Use:  Do you have 13 towels for two people?  Do you have 12 blankets and only one bed?  Do you have 7 extra pillows?  Figure out how many of each you actually use and take the rest to Goodwill.  As ladies we're constantly being given lotions and body sprays.  Go through all the products you have and get rid of some of them.  Pick out your favorite smells and donate the ones you're not going to use.  Only put things you'll actually use back in the linen closet.

4.  Invest in Baskets and Drawers:  Keep like with like.  I enjoy labeling things so all the drawers in my linen closet are labeled.  I have drawers with lotions, tooth products (extra toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss), razors, chapstick...  I have one basket with cleaning supplies, one basket with hair things, one basket with first aid supplies...  Having baskets and drawers keeps things corralled and in their places.

5:  Remove Wrapping:  Do you buy products in bulk?  Do you get Costco sized toilet paper, paper towels, diapers...?  If so, remove the wrappers.  It's so much easier to access and store products that have 4 layers of plastic over them.  Throw out any outside bags, boxes, or packaging of any product you know you'll use.

If you keep these tips in mind you'll be that much closer to an organized linen closet.

Affiliate links may be used in this post. Ordering a product through this link may result in a commission, which helps pay for the cost of running this site and keeps the content free. Read my full disclosure policy for more details.

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