A Few Of My Favorite Things – August 2015

Untitled copyAugust was a fun and eventful month. It was the first month that I actually felt great since my long pregnancy and recovery and I absolutely relished and appreciated every single day. I’ve got a few favorites to share that I think will become favorites for you too. 

1. Boon Grass Countertop Bottle Drying Rack 

f5a6a6d3-c6c5-4f5e-97bc-efc44cfaedb6._V307692513_ copyIf you have a baby who drinks from bottles, you can probably relate to the exasperating task of constantly washing the bottles, trying to put them somewhere to dry, they fall over, all the little parts get jumbled up….. I could go on and on. When we had our foster children, the whole bottle situation was such a pet peeve of mine. I received this bottle drying rack as a gift at our baby shower and I have deeply fallen in love with it from day 1. It keeps all the bottle parts in one place, nothing gets lost, everything is secure and doesn’t fall over. I think it looks pretty cute too, or as cute as baby clutter can look:). I highly recommend this to any mama and if you have a pregnant friend, this would make a great gift.

2. Parchment Paper Cooking Bags

51p3CLXrGkLI talked about these parchment cooking bags in my Fish and Vegetables En Papillote video. These cooking bags are really handy and I make all kinds of dinners in them all the time. The food stays really juicy and gets really flavorful from all the ingredients steaming together. Fish, vegetables, chicken, rice, shrimp, couscous, apples, peaches – the possibilities are endless. Another great perk of using cooking bags – less cleanup.

3. Kitchen Scissors

51Li7Z-QbyL._SL1000_ copyI’ve used kitchen scissors for years. They make so many tasks much easier. I can do dainty things – like cutting kitchen twine, mincing chives, snipping off excess pie dough around the pie plate. They may look like regular scissors, but don’t let them fool you. They can cut through chicken bones and fish like nobody’s business. They come apart for easy cleaning and feel really comfortable in your hands too. I use them so much I actually bought a second pair. There are so many expensive options out there, but these are really affordable and they are the best quality that I’ve ever used.

4. Silicone Pastry Mat With Measurements

12657516861812p copyOne of my least favorite tasks is cleaning the counters after I’ve been working with some type of dough on them, like kneading bread dough, rolling out pie crusts or cookie dough. The flour and dough get stuck to the counters and it’s such a pain to clean. Ever since I bought this pastry mat, I’ve been doing all my dough work on the mat and it’s awesome. It has a nonslip backing, so it stays firmly on the counter, there are convenient measurements so I can see how big to roll out the dough if I’m using a 9 inch pan, for example, and it also has ruler marking all around the edges. When I’m done with the dough, I just roll up the mat, brush all the excess flour off into the garbage and then wash the mat in the sink. The counter stays nice and clean. The mat is so easy to wash too.

5. Book: Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers

51vk6iV7SBL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_I think I’ve read everything that Francine Rivers has written; she is an amazing storyteller. I’ve reread her books numerous times, and every time I’m captivated by the story, challenged and inspired. I’ve owned this particular series since I was a teenager and it’s on my top 10 books of all time. This historical fiction series is based during the time of the first church, shortly after the resurrection of Christ. Not only do you get to experience the culture of that day, you’ll get to see what life was like for the first Christians and how dearly they had to pay to live out their faith. The story is so interesting, you’ll have a hard time putting it down. I feel like the characters are my own family members now:).

Non-Material Favorites

Trip to NY

IMG_7760At the beginning of this month we had a family reunion at my parents’ house in upstate NY. Not only was this trip a favorite of this month, it is a highlight of this whole year. I love spending time with my family and especially when we’re all back in our childhood home, with all of our spouses and children. You can read more about our trip here.

Parenting Seminar

Our church had a Confident Parenting seminar that Sergi and I went to and it was incredible. We want to do the very best that we can as parents and we are so thankful for all the resources available that equip parents to build strong families. Jim Burns was such an engaging, informative speaker, the time just flew by. I would highly recommend any of his books and their podcast.

Another Precious Nephew Born

August Favorites-1-2Welcome to the family, Edward Thorne! My sister, Karina and her husband Edward welcomed their son on August 27th. He is the last little one to be born into our family this year. We have been blessed by so many babies, FOUR and all boys, in less than a year. How awesome is that?

Bible Passage:

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
    whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
    that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
    for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
    for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7,8

This Scripture is inspiring and challenging for me. It’s such a beautiful picture of the importance of trusting in the Lord and being grounded. A majestic tree is so solid and powerful, but it can stay that way only if it has strong roots, that constantly get water from the stream. Not only does is grow and has such strength, but it can be productive and also give shade, comfort and security to others.

Favorite Song: Beyond Me (Toby Mac)

Sergi and I have been playing this song ever since it was released. First of all, I love Toby Mac’s music; his songs are my jam.

God gives us dreams that are way beyond us and he brings us to places that we could never have imagined on our own. I’ve seen it in my life over and over again.

What are some things you have been enjoying this month? I’d love to hear some of your favorite memories, books and songs too. My favorite part of writing these posts is that I get to look back on the month, reflect on everything that happened and it gives me another chance to count my blessings.

 Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post. This simply means sometimes I recommend a product or service and if you choose to purchase that product or service from my recommendation, I will get a small referral commission. Of course, this is at no extra cost to you but it does help to pay a tiny bit for the work I put in to creating recipes and sharing tips with you. I really appreciate your support. Thank you. The main intent of this post is to simply share my experience with you, so if you happen to find a great deal on a product I recommend at a garage sale, anywhere else online, or at a store, by all means, take advantage of it:). I won’t be mad, I promise. 


  • Olga T

    Olga I also love Francine Rivers’ books, and the Mark of the Lion series are my most favorite too 🙂
    I own pastry mat too, mostly for rolling out fondant. I do have a question about it. How do you roll out the dough and keep the mat from moving all over the place? I struggle with it every time I use it. I have tile on my counters (hope to get granite some day), so I can’t even tape it to the counter or anything like that 🙁 Any suggestions?
    Thanks 🙂

    • olgak7

      My mat doesn’t even budge when I’m rolling things out on it. As I mentioned in the post, it has a nonslip surface on the bottom of the mat, so it stays put. Maybe because you have tile counters and there are grooves on it the mat isn’t able to get a good grip on the counter?
      I’m not sure.

  • Tallya

    Thanks for recommending the books. I love to read and have a collection of good reads that I have yet to read, maybe someday soon I will find the time… and I think I’m adding your recommendation to the list.

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