What’s Saving My Life Right Now

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I love Modern Mrs. Darcy‘s yearly posts on what’s saving her life right now. It’s fun to see the bright spots in cold, dreary winter for others. Last year I joined in, and some of my things are the same, but I’m in a very different phase than I was last year. So here’s what I have.

Tea breaks. I tried to make New Year’s Resolutions that would be easy on me; I know myself, and resolving to exercise every day or lose 50 pounds would just end in feeling bad about not following through. So I resolved to drink tea and read poetry every day. I’ve always enjoyed hot tea, and I had all kinds, but I have always defaulted to coffee. I have so loved these little tea times, and developed a special affinity for Harney and Sons’ Hot Cinnamon Spice tea. It’s the only tea I’ve ever found I can drink unsweetened. It’s spicy and orangey, and my husband and I decided it’s kind of a mix between a spiced cider and tea. We have an electric tea kettle that we confiscated from a dorm boy’s room at one point, and I’ve been loving it!

Having an infant. How long can you call a baby an infant? I don’t know. Our fourth child, Hannah, is three-and-a-half months old now. Having your last baby and wanting to lean in to that fleeting baby time will make you slow down, even in winter. Right now, I’m still doing a lot of rocking, cuddling, nursing, and staying at home so she can have a decent nap. I don’t want to speed through the cold months because I know her infancy will be so fast. (P.S. If you follow me on Instagram, I mostly post pictures of Her Royal Cuteness.)

And baby smiles and giggles. Because they are simply THE BEST.

These are pink champagne cupcakes I made for New Year’s Eve, and they were incredibly good. 

Baking. I’m a little bit of a stress-baker. As Addie Zierman described in her wonderful post today, I also think I battle through some of my depression issues with the physicality of cooking. After the cookie extravaganza that is December, I have turned to cakes in January. Just that I can think of, in this new year I’ve made Cinnamon Roll Cake, Root Beer Bundt Cake from Baked, Banana Bundt Cake, Snickerdoodle Cake, and White Almond Sour Cream Cake. Not to mention Strawberry Cream Cheese Bread, Apricot Oatmeal Bars, corn dog muffins, and probably half a dozen other things I can’t remember.

It’s good I have a dorm full of high-school boys to feed. My stress-baking is very compatible with their love of food. Baking makes me happy; feeding people makes me happy.

As always, hot baths and good books. The perfect combination. I’m about to go there right now, to finish The Year of Living Danishly.

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I am loving reading about those things that help save others’ lives in the link-up at Modern Mrs. Darcy! How about you? What gets you through the winter? 

Top 10 Posts of 2015

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It’s that time of year when it’s fun to reflect back on the year. I realize this hasn’t been my best year for blogging. I may write about that soon, and it’s both a conscious choice and the aftermath of life, but I am OK with it.

I am so thankful to anyone who still reads what I write here. I appreciate you and your support.

For fun, here are the top 10 posts according to traffic from this past year.

10 – Bread Machine Monkey Bread

bread machine monkey bread

9 – BLT Bites: They’ll Beg You for the Recipe

bltbites

8 – Fluffy 100% Whole Wheat Bread

Fluffy Whole Wheat Bread, Sliced

7 – Jessie’s Magic Sleep Potion

mama's magic sleeping potion

6 – Celebrating Holy Week with Toddlers and Preschoolers: Day 1, Palm Sunday

palmsundayfortoddlers

5 – Mexican Corn Dip AKA Magically Delicious Dip

magically delicious corn dip

4 – French Lemon Yogurt Cake

Lemon Cake and Crumbs

3 – The Dr. Seuss Birthday Party

Dr Seuss Party Food

2 – What Convinced Me Young Living Isn’t a Scam

Young Living Stress Away Oil

1 – 25 Jesus-Centered Books to Celebrate Advent

Jesus-centered Christmas books

What was your top post of 2015, if you’re a blogger? And if not, what was a favorite blog post from the year?

Parenting Parables

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Parenting Parables

Y’all, how long have I been talking about “my devotional” on this blog? If you’ve hung around awhile … the answer would be since about February 2012. A LONG TIME.

I wrote about it here and here and here.

And now, my friends, I can finally share it with you. Thirty heartfelt devotions from me to you, with questions for reflection and journaling at the end of each day. Some comes from the blog archives, but much of it is new material written just for this project.

I priced it at $2.99 because that’s what I want to pay for e-books. It’s not quite ready for Kindle yet, but I’ll let you know when it gets there.

Read more about Parenting Parables on the My Devotional page. Buy it there or by clicking below.

Add to Cart

 

{I AM SO EXCITED!!!!}

Stuff People Want to Know

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I really like Pinterest. Mostly, I just use it for me. What did I do before Pinning to keep track of recipes I want to make? I had them collected in bookmarks, e-mails, clipping around my house. I guess I starred posts on Google Reader, when it was around, but in its demise I lost all that, too.

I can’t lie and say I don’t like how my traffic has doubled since the advent of Pinning as well. Recipe and crafty bloggers definitely got the win there. Of course I would rather have readers who actually, well, read what I write and not just scan my recipes. But that’s my writer-brain. I’m not very professional about this whole shindig sometimes.

Anyway, I love seeing what people have repinned of mine. And there are some pins – even old ones – that get pinned over and over and OVER again. I guess maybe they are just searchable gems or something. I want to share those pins here. Because if a ton of people are searching for them on Pinterest, maybe they will help you, too!

So here are my top Pins of all time.

25 Make-Ahead Breakfasts for Back-to-School is a post I actually compiled for ParentLife. It’s had 1202 repins from one of my group boards, which does help its popularity! Here is the pin. I’m always excited to have written something that is helpful to others, and I think this one really is.

Another round-up I did for ParentLife (why don’t I ever post these winners on my own blog?), these are five of my very favorite Christmas cookie recipes. Yum! Pin status: 1077 repins. (And the only thing I wrote in the description was, “Christmas cookies.” Pinterest is weird. I have no idea why certain things work there.)

The Car Trip Busy Box from Play Dr. Mom is also on a popular group board about traveling. Isn’t this something EVERY parent needs? Here’s the pin, which has 824 repins.

And in more of Things I Wrote for ParentLife I Wish I Had Published Here (just kidding, guys, they do PAY me for writing there), we have 25 Slow Cooker Weeknight Dinners. Pinners love their crockpots, don’t they? Repins: 816.

summerslowcooking

I actually wrote this before any of the ParentLife stuff. Mine: 1 Facebook like. Mine on ParentLife: 71,000 Facebook likes. Just sayin’. Summer Is for Slow Cooking has all of the slow cooker recipes from my site as of 6/2013. You can find them all now on this recipe index page as well. The Pin has 778 repins, so I can’t complain too much.

I LOVED this post and idea from my friend Tiffany at Stuff Parents Need. So glad it’s received some attention!  My Pin of it has 590 repins.

 

Skipping down a couple of places, we have this Octopus Pattern Craft from Still Playing School, which actually links to a collection of beach-themed learning activities. It always makes me laugh that this is repinned so often. I mean, I pin lots of crafts. Why this octopus? What is so special about it? It’s pretty darn cute, but it’s just a construction-paper-and-cereal thing. Anyway, it has 456 repins. You go girl, Miss Octopus.

____

What do you think makes a pin popular? Some of these are on group boards, some are not. All have text on their photos, whether the photo was taken by a professional or not. Some are collages, some are not. Some are big. Some are not. I find the whole thing pretty baffling … and will stick to just pinning things I like and might want to reference again.

But if you were wondering where you could find some slow cooker meals or a way to make traveling with kids more bearable, here you go.

 

 

This Is How We Do It

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As you may know from my self-confessed blog crush, Modern Mrs. Darcy is pretty much my favorite blog. I comment there so much that I sometimes worry Anne will think I am stalking her. (But really, do you know any bloggers who LOATHE comments? Hint: NO.)

I am so honored today to be guest-posting at MMD about “how I do it” – as a work-at-home mom to three little ones, writing for magazines and managing my own blog as well as a brand’s, and just generally attempting to stay sane.

And if you’re visiting from Anne’s blog, welcome. You might enjoy some of these posts that characterize what I do here at JessieWeaver.net – parenting, faith, recipes, books, and confessing my awful housekeeping skills.

  • 25 Jesus-Centered Christmas Books to Celebrate Advent is by far my most-pinned post, and one I think is really helpful! I know we don’t want to start thinking about Christmas yet, but …
  • I’m slowly working on telling The Big Story, about God working in our lives and marriage through foreclosure and completely unexpected circumstances.
  • My son Joshua may have been a surprise, but he was no accident!
  • Nine Minutes is pretty typical of my inability to get a grip on keeping a clean home.

And to my regular readers, I hope you’ll hop over and read what I had to say.

_______

Also, I think I got the most Facebook comments I’ve ever received when I confessed I haven’t cried yet about Libbie starting kindergarten. I wrote a little more about it on ParentLife this weekend, if you are interested. Here’s “More Ways to Feel Guilty: Not Crying about Kindergarten.” Plus you can see Libbie’s adorable first-day-of-school picture.

Blog Crush

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I have to admit that I don’t actually read that many blogs regularly anymore. After a phase this winter of reading almost none, letting my reader get backed up to more than 200 posts, I decided to trim down my must-read list to under 20 blogs. I read a lot of links from Twitter and Facebook, but this small set works well for the time I set aside to read.

By doing this, I would say I’ve become a devoted commenter and lover of this set. And lately, a huge fangirl of these two women: Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy and Kayla Aimee.

Anne shares my passion for reading, and she writes about it. She’s encouraged me to write more here about books. She also writes about being a modern-day accomplished woman and what that means. I’m most of the way through her e-book, How She Does It, and it’s been such a refreshing read for me in that, “Oh hey, IT’S NOT JUST ME!” kind of way. I love everything she writes. Seriously. It’s well thought-out, provoking, and grammatically correct.

You might remember that I met Kayla Aimee when we traveled together to the Allume conference. Since then, we’ve gotten to be friends. But I don’t love her blog just because I love her – I love it because it is fun, funny, and inspirational. Kayla has a micropreemie daughter named Scarlette, who is a hoot. Kayla shares Scarlette stories – both serious and hilarious – as well as writing about decor, books, faith, and just everyday life. Her slightly self-deprecating humor and willingness to expose her weaknesses make Kayla an endearing, wonderful blogger.

I think the other thing about these two sites is that they have devoted readers who comment. Reading the comments on their posts is almost as fun as reading the post itself.

I long to have that kind of community here. But these two women have put in the work and it’s well-deserved on their parts.

Favorites from Modern Mrs. Darcy

Favorites from Kayla Aimee

Do you have any recent blog crushes?