Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

With Valentine's Day In Mind

A quote -

"Only with time do we come to know who the other person is, and come to love him, or herself and not just for the feelings and experiences they give us."  

                                         Tim Keller

I like this quote.  

I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Trim Healthy Mama Products

Kris asked if I would do a post about Trim Healthy Mama products.  I don't use a lot of their products, but I'll tell you what I do use, or have tried.

The sisters, Serene and Pearl, who began THM, began offering these products because many people who were following their eating plan couldn't find these kinds of products where they live.  I still use some of the products they recommended and used before they started offering their own.

Baking Blend

I haven't tried any of the 'make your own' baking blends, but I love and use this one.  Its ingredients are - Oat Fiber, Organic Coconut Flour, Golden Flax Meal, Blanched Almond Flour, Collagen Peptides, Glucomannan (organic konjac extract powder).  

I have had good success baking with this.  If you are gluten free you could easily use this.  I also bake with almond flour, and some coconut flour, but I buy them locally.  In fact I get my almond flour from Costco.  Very good price and it is ground very fine.

Gentle Sweet

This is a great sweetener.  Before I tried this I was using Pyure (which you can get at Wal-mart) and that was pretty good, but I really love the Gentle Sweet.  No funny aftertaste, though my people here say they can tell its not made with sugar.

I also use xylitol which my family and I find to be just like sugar. (xylitol is toxic to animals so don't use it if you have animals that may eat your baked goods!)  I buy xylitol at my local health food store.

Baobab Boost Powder

Tim grew up in West Africa and these trees grow there.  The fruit is what makes this powder.  From their website - "this amazing fruit grown on the majestic Baobab tree boosts your nutrition in every area. Its citrus and sherbet tasting dried flesh has five times the fiber of oats, and higher antioxidant levels than any food on the planet (8 times that of the super berry Acai, and more than both blueberries and pomegranates combined!) It has more than twice the calcium of milk, double the magnesium and iron of spinach and is loaded with six times the potassium of bananas."

I'm trying to add baobab powder into my daily diet.

Cuffin Mix

I'm a girl who likes things to be quick and easy, but I wasn't impressed with the taste of the muffins I made with this mix.  I also tried the cinnamon mix and felt that some of the other recipes I use have a better taste result and so I won't likely buy these again.  They were super quick and easy, though.

De-Fatted Peanut Flour

This is a good product, and I like to use it in a chocolate peanut butter shake!  I don't always buy this because I can find Jif brand peanut flour locally.  There are many peanut flours around in stores, but they all have sugar in them.  This bag would last for a long time.

Glucomannan - 

Gluccie, is used for adding fiber, but also it is used for thickening smoothies or gravies.  I don't use this product from THM, I buy Now Brand that I get at my local natural foods store.  I began this eating plan using that brand, long before THM products were available.
An important thing to know about gluccie for thickening, is that you only use a tiny bit and you sprinkle it on and stir quickly to incorporate it.  If you use to much you get a gelatinous texture to your gravy.  Ewww.

Integral Collagen

All of the THM products are high quality with no fillers.  I still use Great Lakes Brand, which is a personal preference for me.  I have used the THM collagen and found that it had a 'taste' to it and that I couldn't get it to disolve in cold drinks, so I went back to Great Lakes Brand.  Tim uses collagen in his coffee every morning, and I am trying to add it into my daily routine as well.  Great for your joints, nails, hair, etc.

Oat Fiber

I do use this on occasion and I did buy it from THM because I couldn't find oat fiber locally.

Kris, I hope this helps you and that it may help others who want to eat more healthily and/or are gluten free or sugar free.

The grandgirlies are here and I need to get off the computer now.

Have a great day!

Trim Healthy Mama website

Monday, January 29, 2018

Two New Events Coming To Creekside Cottage

First, my daughter in law, Kayleigh, has gone back to work and for this week anyway, I will have the girls here 4 days from 7-3:00pm.

I'll be doing school with Kamryn, and we'll all be keeping our eyes on Klaire, who at 16 months is a big explorer.  It'll take a few days for her to learn her boundaries here at our house.

This is all added in to our regular routine here of school, and physical therapy for our friend, and work, etc.  It will be an adjustment for all of us, but we'll find our groove soon enough.

And second, 

 Isla is getting a baby brother!  

We are very excited for a new baby in the family!  This will be our first grandson, so that is very special.

I started a baby blanket for him last week, when I found the perfect yarn in Emma's favorite colors.

Our family is growing, God is at work in our lives, and everyday we have the opportunity to walk in His grace toward one another.

I hope you all had a restful weekend.  Ours was full of good things, and time to knit, watch a movie, eat good food, play games.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Strawberry Smoothie Recipe

I created a smoothie recipe this past week.  I made it based on a Trim Healthy Mama recipe but I modified it.  I was wanting something protein filled for our friend who is recuperating from surgery.  The pain meds have made him have less of an appetite, but we always need good nutrition, especially when our bodies are healing.

I use a cup or a bit more of almond milk (unsweetened, vanilla flavored), about 3/4 full fat greek yogurt, a heaping cup of frozen strawberries, a scoop of Great Lakes Collagen, a nice scoop of Baobab powder (highest form of vitamin C), a dash of vanilla, and a few pinches of mineral sea salt.

Its delicious, in fact I'm drinking some as I write this!

I've really enjoyed your comments on the last two posts and I hope to keep the conversations going!

Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Reality of Social Media

There's been some conversation on social media about how people are stressed out trying to make their lives 'perfect' like the people they follow.

I know that it is easy to fall into the trap of comparison.  For me its not comparing my life to theirs, but comparing my business opportunities to theirs.  However, the more longer I've been at blogging (almost 11 years) the clearer my thinking has become.

I have three goals in my social media usage.

ONE - Hospitality.  In our real life we practice hospitality a lot.  Some of it stems from having teenagers in the house (who've grown up with hospitable parents).  Last week there were several movie nights here, and last night there was a huge game night. There were nearly 20 young people here.  That's a lot of loud!  But they had fun, and the girls cleaned up afterward!  Win!

Hospitality is messy and I don't always show you photos of that.  

Two - Friendship.  I want to be a friend to the people who frequent my blog and Instagram.  This world can be a lonely place, I want Creekside Cottage to be a warm and welcoming spot.

I keep it real, but in all honesty, I'm not going to talk about when my husband and I have a disagreement or when my kid has a bad attitude.  Those are private issues, and people don't need to know that.  I do however, talk about hormonal teens, in general, or the fact that we all have areas of challenges in life.  Sometimes I talk about it more openly than other times, it depends on the issue.  And I want to be real because life is hard, and we need each other to walk through it.

Three - Encouragement.  This is a biggie for me.  My love language is words of affirmation.  I need to hear encouraging things regularly and I love offering that to you!

I want to encourage you in your parenting, your married life, your grandparenting, your struggles, making your home a welcoming place.

But just because I don't show you that some of my clothes are folded up on top of my dry sink in the basement - 

Its because this is temporary while we are sleeping in the basement, and because I don't want you to think we are somehow 'amazing' people because we are doing this.

I don't want to ever give the idea that when I share my life, I'm bragging or trying to make my life seem better than yours.

I struggle with selfishness and I am learning new lessons all the time about dying to self.  I'm in the middle of learning this in a new way, right now.

Social media can be wonderful.  I use it for fun and keeping in touch with friends, and blogging besties.  But I leave the rest behind.  I don't need more drama in my life, do you? 

People act like social media can't be controlled.  Of course it can, and you're the one to do it.  You choose who you follow, and why, you choose to step away from the computer and your phone.  

I think most of you know this and use social media wisely.  You work, you have your homes to care for and your family.  You have kids and grandkids to be involved with.  Real life.

I also want to share the process I use, and why, when I show a photo.  I'll use these photos of myself.

I took several photos of myself while I was waiting in the car the other day. (Our friend has PT three times a week and I have lots of waiting time)

 I liked the second one better - the angle I think and so I shared it on Instagram, but not before I used a filter to fix the color.

Here's the photo that showed on Instagram.

I'm vain enough to want to look my best, but not vain enough that I airbrush out freckles on my lips or my laugh lines.

When it comes to sharing photos of my house, I sometimes do show the mess that comes after hosting people, or the dishes in the sink, but only if it is part of the story I'm telling in the blog post.  Otherwise I assume you have enough dishes in your own sink and don't really want to see mine!

Just know that I will continue to show you my cottage garden flowers, but I'll also show you the weeds and talk about how I'm not a fan of the weeding that needs to happen in order to have a pretty garden.

Deal?  Good!  I think being authentic and sharing your life with others is important.  How much to share can be a challenge, and we need to be wise about giving out TMI (too much information), but it honesty and authenticity is important in friendship.  I'm so happy you're hear every day, and I hope you find Creekside Cottage a place of encouragement!  

What are your thoughts on social media.  Let's talk in the comments!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

House Plants

For the last several years, I've been trying to bring more live plants into my home.

I first bought a wee Mother Fern and then a Pathos.  

I am very good at growing Pathos.  They're easy.

Lindsay has take some cuttings from mine and given me two cuttings from hers.  They were tiny when she gave them to me and they are growing full and tall.  Its time for them to be transplanted.

She also gave me a ficus.  I love ficus and this one is really growing too.  It likes the light in my house.  I need to transplant it, but I'm afraid to shock it and kill it. 

As for my fern...It was growing beautifully and two summers ago I had it out on my deck.  It was full and lovely, until a sweet little girl pulled off almost all of the fern fronds! It hasn't been the same since.

At times it does really well, growing and getting full and then other times, its sparse.  I'm not sure why.

Obviously, I need some more plants.  I don't have the space for a lot in one area, like Lindsay has in her dining room.  But I want to continue to have oxygen producing, stale air filtering plants in the house.  They're pretty and useful, too.

Do you have houseplants?  What kind is your favorite?  Any helpful hints on my fern?

Let's chat in the comments!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Being Lazy With My Eating Plan (THM)

Has lead to stalled weight loss, a bit of gained weight.  

It all has to do with mental laziness.  Sometimes eating according to how my body loses weight seems to hard. (its not at all) Or I have to think through my day, and prepare snacks or a take along lunch, so I can stay on plan.  It comes down to just not doing the things that will bring me success.

I've had success with this eating plan (Trim Healthy Mama), I know it works for me and for hundreds of thousands of other people.  When I started and saw that it worked for me, I just couldn't understand how anyone would go off plan!  Then I got so confident in how the plan was working for me, that I made a lot of weekly compromises and ate too, many off plan things, at least enough that wouldn't allow my body to get into fat burning mode.

I'm healthy.  The doctor is very pleased with all my 'numbers' etc. But I am not satisfied with my weight loss stall.  So starting today, I am fully back on plan!

I'm making delicious chocolate waffles this morning, from the Trim Healthy Mama cookbook.

For lunch I'll be having leftovers (on plan) and for dinner, I'll be making beef and rice.  I don't eat the rice, I eat my beef and gravy over veggies; riced cauliflower or green beans or zucchini.  I always eat it this way now and I am never unsatisfied.

I've also begun to do some T-Tapp.  This is a link to a youtube video that shows the basic idea of T-Tapp.  I need something that is going to work for me without a lot of jumping around.  This I believe will help me tone, tighten, and strengthen my whole body.  Its a good workout.

I'm writing this update because I want to be open about my weight loss journey here.  If it encourages anyone, I'll be happy for it!

Before starting THM

Recent photo

Friday, January 19, 2018

Winter Sky

We had a mild year, weather wise, last year.  This winter is cold, and snowy, but we're not buried in it like a few years ago.  I'm thankful.  We're going to have a warm up this coming week, and we'll all enjoy that, but there could be flooding along the major rivers, due to snow and ice melt.  I'm praying that it will not flood.

I'm headed out today to take our friend to physical therapy, then home, then out again for groceries and errands.  Kyle went to work with Tim today, he needed an extra pair of hands.  He took some reading along too, and they'll get lunch out and time together.  He's growing fast - he'll be 13 this summer.  

Time moves on, more swiftly as we get older.  We're so thankful to have these delightful young adults and near teen in our home.  They keep us young, and tired!  (grin)

I hope you have a lovely day. 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Throwback Thursday

Photos from the youth rodeo event at our local ag fair that is held every September.  Lindsay did a few adult events this year, but none of the younger ones participate these days. 





I'm guessing their ages at 16, 9, 6, and 3.

Fun memories!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Elisabeth Elliot Quote

How I thank God for this woman.  She walked in grace through many hardships and trials, and came to find the truth of this quote.

I'm grateful that she is still mentoring women through her writings and the recordings of her radio program, Gateway to Joy, even though she is with the Lord now.

One day, I'll be able to hug her and thank her for trusting God and how it influenced my life.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

What Winter Looks Like Outside The Cottage

We had a bit of snow last night.  Just enough to dust everything and keep the roads clear.  It is been very cold here.  It is still cold but it is going to be 35 today and that's a warm up!  However, the forecast is for more snow today.  I don't mind but I have people who must go out to work.  We pray and trust them to the Lord.

This tablecloth was so pretty during the Christmas holiday.  When I got home from Florida, I saw that it had become torn and wanted to throw it away.  There's a problem though.  Its frozen to the table and when I tried to pull it off it was stuck but tearing even more.  So its going to remain until I can take it off in one piece.  I may even try later today.

Let's not focus on the torn tablecloth though, okay?  Let's look at how lovely the snow is on those fir branches.  Yes, much nicer!

Onto prettier things now.  The woods along the edge of our property are so beautiful in the autumn but their barrenness in the winter is lovely, too.

Here is a view from the front steps of the cottage.

And a closer view to look at my hydrangea, and the spirea covered in snow.

The boxwood needs a big trim.  In fact, this whole front cottage style garden needs some work.  I just need to be bold and do what needs to be done in this space.

 I try to embrace the seasons as they come.  I don't want to always be looking to the next one while in the middle of the one I'm in.  That's true for life, too.  I try to embrace each phase of life I'm in.  Too many times, we are so busy looking backwards - longing for our kids childhoods,  or looking forwards - I can't wait until my kids are grown, that we miss what God has for us today.  

Winter will pass, spring will come as it does every year, to be followed by summer and then autumn.  Then we'll find ourselves saying "I can't wait for Christmas!"

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Home Keeping: Polishing Silver

I accomplished all my home keeping goals for Saturday.  In the photo below you can see that I even removed my garland and lights from the top of the bookcase.  I'm working on a new arrangement for that shelf and not quite finished with it yet.

One of my goals was to polish some of my silver (plate) so I could use it in my January decor.  I really like Cape Cod Polishing Cloths.

I've got more to do, but getting this pretty set done made me happy.  I'm using it on the coffee table in the living room.  My youngest granddaughter, Klaire, likes to play with the creamer and sugar bowl.  Did you know that a creamer makes a handy bowl for popcorn?  Klaire thought so.

Nate and Kay and the girls stayed the night at our house last night due to their heating unit not working.  Their property management is hoping to get that fixed or replaced today.  Its bitterly cold here so they could not sleep at their place.  We're happy that we have plenty of room to add them in.  They slept in Rachel's room, and we put a mattress on the floor for her in Sarah's room.  Klaire slept in the Pack 'n Play we bought 29 years ago when we were expecting Nate.  Kind of amazing.

I'm headed out in 30 minutes to take Denny to his first PT appointment.  He's doing really well.

Then I'm treating Lindsay to lunch in celebration of her birthday, which was January 1st.

What did you do this weekend?

Friday, January 12, 2018

A Bit Of Beauty

was just what I needed today.

After a busy week, I was needing a bit of a pick me up and I was inspired by Sherry's post today. {here}

After breakfast out with Tim this morning, I headed out in the balmy rain to get groceries and run errands.

I always get groceries at Aldi (tonight we had their jars of Tikka Masala and chicken and rice for dinner - Yum!) and I know they sell flower bunches, too.

I picked up a bunch of roses and a bunch of other pretties.

I have a home keeping planned for this weekend.  The rest of the garlands will be packed away, I realized I have a "home for the holidays" sign still up in the kitchen, too.  I think the plaid plates  will be packed away for now and I am going to do some candles and other lights in the living room.

I also found a nice small lamp at Christmas Tree Shops today.  They have a new line of household items including furniture, and this lamp is just right for my kitchen counter.  I'll get some photos and show you next week.

What are you doing this weekend?

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

I’m Tired Tonight

Our friend Denny came through his surgery very well!  Thank you for your prayers.  Kyle was my hospital buddy today and I was grateful for his company.  We got to the hospital around noon then the  surgery started around 2:30pm.  He was done buy 4:00pmbut they didt have a room for him until we’ll aftre 7:00pm!  We finally got to visit him for a bit then headed home around 8:00pm!

I am tired from doing nothing but waiting all day!

We had good news all around today - our friend passed her driving test and Tim’s mom is doing better, as well.  

I can’t wait to climb into bed tonight!


  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We spent Saturday, doing things around the house, and then we swam. Kyle and Sarah left after that...