Family, Gospel Topics, Lifestyle

If I Had Planned My Life Out

If I had planned my life out,

The twists and turns would all be straight

The jagged edges and the rough corners, would be smooth

Only love and never hate.

If I had planned my life out,

There would be endurance involved I’m sure,

But not to the degree that I have experienced it.

There would be more smiles and less weeping.

If I had planned my life out, the blossoms would always be blooming.

The sun would shine indefinitely, and the dark would not destroy the light.

BUT

I did not plan my life out, as you know this to be true.

God had a hand in everything, and knew the right thing to do.

He knew I would enjoy the happy, the easier and the calm.

But he knew my strength would not build from these foundations,

So that’s when he sent the storms.

The storms I have felt have been tough, sometimes beaten me to the core.

As I stay close to God in those storms I pray for strength,

At times I wonder if God remembers how much I’ve endured?

When the load feels too heavy, the faith gets me through.

Faith in God always comes through.

Faith in His plan, remembering it was always about His plan and not mine.

No matter the trial or the hardship … there is light in the end, when we move forward with Faith in God and remember his hand is in all things.

If I had planned my life out….

I quickly see, it is not the life that was meant for me.

My joys have been amazing and my happiness has been beyond anything I imagined..

The reason being?

Because I’ve felt the storm, and it made the light and the calmness more amazing in every way.

We build some of our greatest strength, our greatest faith … through the tough times.

Those tough times make the beautiful times magnificent.

And for this I know…

I’m glad I didn’t plan my life out.

Gods plan is best despite the jagged edges and rough corners.

For God will push us and shape us, into the people we were meant to be.

God knows the bigger picture.

And because of this… I’m glad I did not plan my life out.

It’s best this way, for you and for me.

Cleaning/organizing, Family, Lifestyle

My Top Favorite Laundry Cleaning Items!

Part of being a mom is learning to do laundry so that no one can tell that there was a red popsicle stain all over that new shirt right ?!

Here are my favorite laundry cleaning items!

Let me know what you would add to my list.

Laundry:

It’s always so frustrating when you or someone in the family has a nice new shirt and within hours of wearing it…BAM! The new shirt has a NEW stain!

What I use for stains:

Fels Naptha--It truly gets out most things. It’s basically a bar of soap, you scrub it all over the stain and then I have it soak in water for a bit. After it soaks, toss the stained shirt in the wash and 90% of the time you come out with a clean shirt! Fels Naptha works particualry well for baby blow-outs, blood, and ketchup.

 Norwex- I was first introduced to Norwex products a few years ago and I can tell you that I didn’t think I would like the products…but I truly do love the products. Their spot remover works great. I pour the remover over the stain and scrub it out as much as I can, and then throw it into the wash. Most of the time, this spot remover works great!

 Oxyclean Detergent

I love washing my whites with this but you can wash all colors with it as well. The clothes come out looking less dingy and more vibrant which is a huge plus.

Lemon Juice (who knew?)

Another trick for whiter whites is to add about a tablespoon of lemon juice to your load. It’s crazy, but the lemon juice helps your whites look even whiter!

Spray n Wash

My trick with spray n wash… often times I use fels naphtha first and to be honest.. it usually gets the stain out. BUT– if there’s still a trace of the stain, I always spray the area with spray n wash, let it sit a minute, and then toss it onto the washer.

 

I hope you enjoy some of these laundry products! And even more .. I hope you don’t have too much laundry to fold this week!

Xoxo,

Christy Lee

 

Baby, Family, kids, Lifestyle, Relationships

What I do know about Parenting

Let’s be honest, there is A LOT that I don’t know about parenting.

Even when three young kids, somedays I roam the parenting life oblivious to what I should be doing.

However, I always remind myself that the things I DO KNOW about parenting, help me get through all that I don’t know.

My sweet little family. ❤️

So let’s start with what I don’t know about parenting.

What I don’t know about parenting is how to get all of my kids to sleep through the night, in their beds, period. We have tried the books and the help and we still end up with one…sometimes two kids in our bed.

Our kids are young…5 years, 3 years, and 1 year old.

We had a big earthquake here back in March and I can honestly say my three year old daughter has never slept the same since then.

So I admit, I don’t know how to get my kids to sleep well through the night.

I also don’t know how to deal with the different emotions and personalities that each child has.

All three of my kids are very different from each other, and they respond to discipline, love, and all things differently.

It’s a learning curve, maybe one day I will figure it out, but not right now.

Reading time with dad❤️

What I don’t know about parenting is how to get my kids to eat every meal without a fight, or without having to fix a separate side meal for some of my kids.

I have picky eaters, and I don’t know how to make them like certain foods.

Is it possible to make kids like certain foods?

I don’t know that.

What I don’t know about parenting is how to make sure I am meeting all of my children’s emotional needs.

There is no sign or signal that let’s us know if we are helping our children emotionally to the capacity that they each need. Is it possible to know that?

What I don’t know about parenting is how to be a kind, patient mom when trying to get kids packed into the van to get to school on time.

I am sure some parents have this figured out, but I don’t. I can bribe kids…that way I am not raising my voice as much, but I’m not sure that quite counts?

What I don’t know about parenting is …a continual thing.

However ….

What I DO KNOW about parenting is that the love a parent has for a child is indescribable.

And if we as parents can transfer that LOVE into every interaction we have with our kids….

Then we have EVERY part of parenting figured out.

Our cute kids playing together with smiles ❤️

We won’t have all the answers … raising children takes me to my knees a lot, asking Heavenly Father what I can do to be a better parent.

And what I feel from Heavenly Father is LOVE— and that is always the answer.

Love your kids through everything.

Love them through the tantrums and the heartache.

Love your kids through successes and honors…

If we love our kids through every decision and every move they make … they will FEEL that love in their hearts.

I felt it from mine.

That love will carry your children through all the pain and all the happiness.

So when it’s hard to know just how to discipline or work through a disagreement with your child.. stop and think of how your actions show love?

Love will change the world, one child at a time.

It starts with how we parent. When we parent with LOVE as the goal everyday… our children will benefit through indescribable ways.

That’s the only thing I know about parenting …that loving our kids through thick and thin is the key.

And guess what?

As long as that’s all we know… To love our children unconditionally … it all works out in the end.

Good luck parents!

You got this:)

xoxo,

Christy Lee

Family, Food, Gluten-Free, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

The Best Gluten-Free Cookies and Hot Cocoa Mix!

With the holidays around the corner ..this is a fun time to enjoy family and friends company while enjoying some tasty treats.

When you love a gluten-free lifestyle, often times the common treat isn’t usually something that passes as gluten-free.

Well— don’t worry!

Below are two recipe links to our delicious gluten-free oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, as well as our favorite homemade hot cocoa.

Here is our Gluten-fee cookie recipe. Keep in mind, when you take the cookies out of the oven they may not look quite right, but as you let them sit for a minute on the cookie sheet you will see they make great cookies with a delicious texture and flavor!

And for the hot cocoa recipe, you can find that here.

I have always enjoyed homemade hot cocoa better than store bought .. the flavor is more rich and vibrant!

However – if I do get a store bought hot cocoa, my top choice is Stephens mint hot chocolate.

We hope you enjoy these tasty treats… and even more, we hope you’re holidays are fun and memorable!

Xoxo-

Christy Lee

Family, Lifestyle, Relationships, Uncategorized

5 Helpful Ways to Deal with Change …

In today’s world, with a major pandemic … there has been a lot of change.

Change is not always comfortable.

And yet, it’s inevitable in life that things will change.

As I have pondered different ways I have dealt with change, I decided to make a list.

Hopefully this list can help you with whatever change you are dealing with.

Just remember “comfort retards growth.”——G. Henry

Therefore— change can be a good thing. Just learning and adjusting to change is key.

1- Find your support system.

Any kind of chance is hard, reach out to others that you are kind and loving towards you. Lean on them to express the struggles you’re dealing with. Also let them know if all the good that is happening omg because of the change.

2. Keep a daily gratitude journal specific to why you’re grateful for the “change” you experienced.

There is always something small that you can be grateful for. Even amidst the current pandemic I know I have personally been grateful for the extra family time we’ve had together.

3. Don’t set unlikely expectations.

Meaning, don’t think that because you moved somewhere new. all your previous issues will melt away. Take things a day at a time.

4. Embrace the idea that there will hard days. Yes— embrace it.

Somehow this change, this uncomfortable hard thing that you’re experiencing … will shape you into the person you will be.

5. Remember that “tomorrow is a new day.” Or the age-old saying of “things get easier in time.”

So give yourself TIME to accept the change. And truly — GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK!

What helps you deal with change ?

Would love to hear in the comments below!

xoxo,

Christy Lee

Family, Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships

A Favorite Quote About Children ….

Me and my sweet girl

I think there are no truer words when it comes to parenting.

I felt this love and continue to feel this deep-rooted love from my parents.

As a parent myself now, I hope my sweet children can sense this love from my husband and me.

Such a beautiful quote, and a wonderful reminder to shower our children with love.

Xoxo,

Christy Lee

white wooden cupboards
Cleaning/organizing, Family, Lifestyle

Top 10 Cleaning Tips from the Cleanest People Out There..

Does anyone want the secret code to keeping a clean and tidy house?

I went on a quest to find the answer to keeping a clean and tidy home.

I reached out to five of the cleanest people I know and they handed me all the answers.

What was interesting?

In the end, most of their tips were similar if not identical.

Proving, that if you follow these tips…you can keep that clean house.

white wooden table with chairs in a room
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

In a way, these cleaning tips are a “lifestyle” change. It’s basically guaranteed if you follow these tips, your house will be spotless.

Here are the the top 10 cleaning tips from the cleanest people out there:

  1. Every Item in the home needs a place:

Clutter and mess can be narrowed down to this–every, single item in the home has a “home.”

Even more, put those items in their designated spots. And if there are NO designated spots for items–make one.

For example, mail can pile up and add clutter. Make a designated spot and system for mail. Recycle the junk mail, have a place for bills, magazines etc. If items are properly put in their place, then naturally–the clutter is very minimal.

A huge organization tip that was mentioned time and time again, was that all items that seem to be adding clutter need to be put in their proper places.

2. Clean up after EACH meal:

Yes you heard right. After every meal clean up right away. This means plates are washed or put in the dishwasher, the counter is wiped down, the floors are swept. The entire eating area is clean and ready for the next meal to come.

The logic behind this, is that you will have MUCH less to clean at the end of the day if you clean up after each meal.

3. Make your bed as soon as you wake up:

Basically, everyone that contributed to this post mentioned the importance of making the bed everyday.

Waking up and getting the bed made provides a fresh start and makes the room look clean and tidy.

apartment bed bedroom chair
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

4. Prepare for the next day:

Meaning, get your kitchen and living space clean and tidy before bed so that when you wake up you have a clean and organized space.

If you can quickly clean the main living spaces before bed, your next day will be easier and you won’t be playing catch up with cleaning items.

You wake up in the morning with a clean slate, it sets a “clean tone” for the day.

Items suggested: Don’t leave dishes in the sink, run the dishwasher every night, wipe down kitchen counters, return items to their proper areas so there isn’t clutter throughout the house.

5. Make time to clean something everyday:

It was mentioned that the following cleaning tasks were completed on a weekly basis:

-Vacuuming

-Cleaning hardwood or tile floors

-Dusting

-Laundry

-Clean bathrooms

It was not mentioned that there were certain days to complete each task, but each and everyday, some type of cleaning task was completed to make the home feel more clean and organized.

6. Get the entire household involved in cleaning:

Whether you have a lot of kids or if it’s just you and your husband/roommate at home, get everyone involved in cleaning up.

I was always taught the phrase “many hands make light work,” and this holds true with cleaning the house.

And often times, kids enjoy cleaning more than most people think they do!

cheerful father talking with son while vacuuming
Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

7. Don’t start another task or activity before cleaning up the most recent task or activity:

This holds true for kids and adults. Basically, if you folded laundry, DO NOT move onto doing the dishes or running errands etc. UNTIL all the laundry is put away.

Finish cleaning tasks and you won’t constantly be playing “catch up” on cleaning the house all day.

8. Add refreshing and rejuvenating fragrances to the home:

Many of the clean people I talked to mention that they love to have a candle warmer or a diffuser with clean and refreshing scents to add to the essence of the room.

Just that little extra detail can go along way to making the house not just feel clean, but smell clean.

aroma basket beautiful flowers blooming
Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Pexels.com

9. Toss and De-clutter Items that Aren’t Being Used:

Simple and to the point, if there are items in your home that are rarely or never being used …get rid of those items!

Items that add clutter and disarray are unnecessary.

Try to de-clutter and discard items once a month so that your house stays clean and organized.

10. Don’t keep small appliances on counter tops:

Do you notice that when you go to someone’s house and their kitchen is clean and “spotless” that more often than not, there are NO small appliances stored on counter tops.

Instead, they store their small appliances such as a toaster in cupboards and shelves and pull them out as needed.

Less clutter on the counter, makes such a clean and tidy area.

white wooden cupboards
Photo by Mark McCammon on Pexels.com

I hope these ten items can be helpful and useful to you as you strive for a clean home.

What tips would you add to the list?

I would love to hear in the comments below.

xoxo,

Christy Lee

Food, Gluten-Free, Lifestyle, Recipes

Delicious Gluten-Free Fried Rice

This Delicious Gluten-Free Fried Rice is sure to quickly become a family favorite!

The best part? It is VERY easy to make.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, let me know if you end up making this delicious dish in the comments below!

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons olive oil

-1 cup chopped carrots

-1/3 cup sweet onion

-1/2 cup frozen corn

-1/4 teaspoon minced garlic

-1-2 stems green onion

-3/4 cup spam (or chicken, tofu, any meat of your choice)

-2 eggs

-1 cup cooked rice

-1 tablespoon sesame oil

-3 Tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce

-1/2 teaspoon white pepper

fixed blank paper put on mat among cut garlic
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Directions:

  1. Heat large pan to medium heat and pour olive oil in the pan.
  2. Saute the following: onion, garlic, carrots, corn. Cook and stir well for about 3-5 minutes.
  3. And rice and stir to combine with other ingredients.
  4. Add spam and stir to combine. (whatever meat you combine make sure it was previously cooked).
  5. Clear half the area of the pan to cook both your eggs. Cook the eggs well and scramble them.
  6. Once eggs are cooked combine them with the other ingredients by stirring well.
  7. Add sesame oil, gluten-free soy sauce, and white pepper. Mix together well.
  8. Optional- Top with chopped green onion and Sriracha sauce.
  9. Enjoy!
Gluten-free Fried Rice

Hopefully this can be a fun, new recipe to add to your dinner menu.

Let’s making eating gluten-free tasty and enjoyable!

xoxo,

Christy Lee

Family, Lifestyle

A Veterans Day Tribute!

What a wonderful celebration … to celebrate our Veterans.

And we can’t forget, it’s also a day to celebrate the fallen soldiers and their families.

When I had my first child, my son, my entire perspective changed when it comes to veterans.

For years I had taught history, and I felt that I had the deep rooted respect for all veterans that had served our country.

I was wrong.

When I held my little boy close to me I remember the thought coming to mind, “I would be forever broken if something ever happened to this precious child.”

And then it struck me.

These veterans all had mothers.

And how tragic was it that some of those sweet mothers, never had their “baby’s” return into their arms.

Yet, somehow, they had to keep in living.

Perhaps knowing that you and I benefit from the freedom their child fought for… helped these broken mothers endure.

My Grandpa in his military outfit, trained soldiers preparing for WW II.

We are so deeply blessed to love in this beautiful country .. the U.S. A.

And I hope we remember everyday, not just Veterans Day,the sacrifices made for each one of us.

Thank you to all that have served our country and that continue to serve our country.

Thank you to our veterans families as they sacrifice so much as well!

Happy Veterans Day!

Xoxo,

Christy Lee

Family, kids, Lifestyle

Motherhood Unfiltered Part 1.

This is a series of post that I will continue to add to because, well, it’s a HUGE part of who I am and there are so many thoughts that can go into this topic.

Motherhood unfiltered.

We live in a society of filters.

We live where something that looks amazing and beautiful … isn’t valid because it’s been manipulated in a way —in which it looses its raw identity.

Motherhood has been filtered and I want to talk about the unfiltered.

Motherhood is hard and beautiful all rolled into one.

There are moments of beauty and peace, and moments of anxiety and turmoil.

Motherhood is not easy, it is hands down the HARDEST thing I myself have ever done, and yet it is the best thing I’ve ever done as well.

Found moms blue eyeshadow.

Within a thirty minute time period, my emotions travel from happy, to sad, to excited, and mad, to laughing, to crying and on and on.

The mental exhaustion is the test of motherhood. And yet, with that comes some of the most precious moments that will ever occur in life.

Those precious moments of “I love you,” or “mommy you’re my favorite,” watching your children light up when you come home from a night out..those are the precious moments that are truly priceless.

So yes motherhood is amazing and hard —and don’t be fooled by the pictures on social media that everyone has it “figured out” better than you.

Just remember motherhood is an incredible journey …it will always have ups and downs but in end .. it will be worth the wonderful ride.

xoxo,

Christy Lee