National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month

While October gets a lot of attention for breast cancer awareness month, it's not as well known that October is also National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month. 1 in 4 women have experienced the death of their child through miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death like I did with my son Noah. Yet this is something that isn't widely talked about. We need to break the silence and help spread awareness so moms like myself can get the support they need and have their child remembered & included like our living children. 

October 15th is the day set aside for Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day where many support groups around the country hold remembrance walks, balloon releases as well as lighting a candle at 7pm in your timezone to create a world-wide wave of light. I'll post a reminder that day but please feel free to join us wherever you are by writing a gone-too-soons baby's name of someone you know (and be sure to share it with them) or write my son Noah's name and share the picture on our Facebook page. You could also light a candle in remembrance of all babies gone too soon and share the photo on Facebook.

For those wanting to participate in a healing project that lasts all month, check out Carly Marie's Capture Your Grief project she is hosting. I've been participating in this the last few years and it's a wonderful way to connect with other bereaved moms. I love that I feel like I am not only "allowed" but invited to share about my son and our journey during a month dedicated to our sweet babies.

Do you do something special this month to remember a baby gone too soon from your life, whether your own child or someone else's?

Mexican Cabbage Rolls

Cabbage is in season right and super cheap at the farm stands! I pay about $.50 a head (and we are talking HUGE ones) so I like to find different things to make with it. We love coleslaw, egg rolls and I even make my own sauerkraut to enjoy over winter time. I've been busy making meals for the freezer so I wanted to come up with a meal using the cabbage.

We love Mexican food and because some of those in my house are gluten free, I wanted to come up with something that everyone could eat. So what do you get when you marry enchiladas plus cabbage rolls? Mexican Cabbage Rolls!

Mexican Cabbage Rolls

There are a few steps involved in making these but it is SO worth it! The flavor is superb and knowing that this is a healthy meal makes this mama happy! It's also gluten free and low carb.

I started off bringing a pot of water to a boil and carefully removed the leaves of cabbage from the head. I submerged the leaves for about 45 seconds. This is done to softened the cabbage so you can later fold the leaf around the filling. I also removed the stem of each leaf (the hard part). After boiling the leaves, I left them on a dish towel and started the next step. 

In a large skillet, I browned ground beef then added in the peppers, onion, garlic and jalapenos.

In a saucepan, I heated up the olive oil and sauteed some garlic, added the cornstarch & whisked for a minute. I slowly whisked the milk in and brought it to a boil. I then added the tomato sauce, chili powder and cumin.

Once the filling is cooked, the next step is to fill the cabbage leaves. Depending on your size leaves will determine how much filling to use. I folded the cabbage like I would a burrito ensuring all ends were closed in.

From here, I laid all my filled cabbage leaves on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper to flash freeze them as I was freezing them for grab & go lunches. Once they were frozen, I laid each filled cabbage on a piece of foil and divided up the sauce then popped it back in the freezer. After the sauce was frozen, I simply wrapped the foil around each one then popped them into a freezer bag. When I want to eat one, I'll pull it out of the freezer, thaw & bake! 

If you don't want to freeze them, simply put a little sauce in the bottom of a baking dish, lay the cabbage rolls on the sauce then spread the rest of the sauce on top.

Seeing as this was a new recipe, the kids and I were really wanting to know just how it tasted so I kept one out to bake right away.

I topped it with some shredded cheese and baked it at 375 uncovered for about 25 minutes.


Mexican Cabbage Rolls
10-12 cabbage leaves
1 lb of ground beef
1 small onion diced
1/2 red pepper diced
1/2 green pepper diced
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
3 tsp cumin
2 jalapenos diced (leave seeds in if you like a little heat)
2 Tbsp water
2 tsp cornstarch

Enchilada Sauce
2 garlic cloves minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp of cornstarch
1 cup of milk
1 3/4 cup of tomato or spaghetti sauce
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin

shredded cheese

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil then boil cabbage leaves for about 45 seconds (will probably only be able to fit a few in at a time.) Set aside to let cool.

In a skillet, brown the ground beef and add to it the peppers, onion, garlic & jalapenos. Once veggies are softened, add the chili powder, cumin, water & cornstarch. Simmer for about 5 minutes. (I let this then slightly cool as it  made it easier to handle the cabbage for stuffing so I didn't burn myself).

In a sauce pan, heat up the olive oil then saute the garlic. Whisk in cornstarch and cook for a minute. Slowly whisk in milk and bring to a boil. Then add in the tomato sauce, chili powder and cumin. Let simmer about 10 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Carefully fill each cabbage leaf, folding the ends in and tucking them in as you roll it (like a burrito). Place some of the sauce in the bottom of a baking pan and place the cabbage roll seam side down. Pour rest of the sauce on top of the cabbage and shredded cheese on top of the sauce and bake at 375 uncovered for about 25 min.

My Student Logbook

This school year I have set out to be a bit more organized in our homeschooling. Part of this includes putting some of the responsibility on them for making sure they complete all their assignments. I was excited to recently have the chance to review My Student Logbook as this seemed to be just what I was looking for, especially for my son this year. My Student Logbook was created by a fellow homeschooling family so they knew the exactly what a homeschooler needs for student organization.

What is it?

My Student Logbook is a simple and easy to use log that puts the responsibility of completing schoolwork and tasks in the hands of the student. A parent takes a few minutes to write down general assignments or chores on a reusable checklist, then from there the student checks off boxes as they complete each item. You can choose to purchase a dated logbook for a school year (August to July), a calendar year logbook (January to December) or you could choose an undated logbook. There are also a variety of covers you can choose from as well as having the option to purchase a PDF download.

How does it work?

When you first receive your logbook, there is a quick cut and tape process involved to get started which is easily explained on My Student Logbooks website. After you have the reusable flap in place, then it's the parents job to write down assignments, chores or other responsibilities you want your child to complete. There is also a space where you can record how much time they should spend on an activity or what time of the day they are to complete that item. Once the assignments are written down, you give your child the book to be used daily. It's a simple way for the student to know exactly what is required of them each day without you having to constantly remind them. If you need to redo their assignments, you simply attach a new flap and write down the new assignments.

Also included with the logbook are pages to record extras such as:

  • all about me 
  • prayers and goals
  • Bible verses memorized 
  • books read 
  • activities pages to record field trips, projects, etc
  • test records
  • favorite memories from the year

My Student Logbook

How did we use it?
I chose the undated logbook and my son chose the fighter jets cover. Once I received the logbook and got the flap in place, I wrote down things I wanted to make sure Erik completed each day. This included writing down the subjects he needed to complete as well as his chores. I also wrote down reminders such as making sure his bed was made, clothes put in the hamper, etc.

The idea behind this logbook isn't to write down specific assignments (I use a lesson planner to record those), rather this is a general way for a student to see what needs to be done in a days time and checkmark it as it gets completed. I have found this has saved me a lot of repetition with my son. He used to complete one subject and ask me what else has to do and I found myself repeating what he needs to do more times than I care to admit. He also knows by looking at his logbook that if something isn't checked off yet, he can't go have free time where as before, I would find him wandering off as he would forget what else he needed to be working on.

My Student Logbook is so simple to use but it really has saved us a lot of sanity! I can tell at a glance where my son is at in his school day by seeing what all is or isn't checked off. It also helps keep him accountable and gives him the responsibility to follow his daily list.

My Student Logbook is intended to be used by students reading on their own (approximately 2nd grade and older). You can also use this daily student planner to create a high school transcript. My Student Logbook can be purchased for $15. It can also be purchased in a PDF download (a single use license for $10 or a family license for $20).

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The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner

Have you ever gotten to the end of your day and looked back wondering what all you accomplished? Do you have so many daily things you need to complete each day but don't know where to start or how to prioritize? Then you might want to check out The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner from The 7 Minute Life. I recently had the chance to review this planner.

What is it?

The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner isn't just a run-of-the-miller planner but a personal training tool to help you get focused and accomplish daily goals as well as long term goals. Author Allyson Lewis shared that research shows the average attention span of an adult is just 7 minutes. Her mission for the 7 Minute Life Daily Planner is to show us how to prioritize, organize and simplify by taking just 7 minutes to set goals. Throughout the book there are places to record daily & long term goals, daily contacts, meeting plans, calendar at a glance, etc.

How it works

In the beginning of the book, she walks the reader through various exercises:
  • prioritizing our top 10 values (what is most important to us)
  • helps us discover our purpose (& having us write it out)
  • establishing 90 day goals
  • writing out our highest value activities (where our time is best spent)
This 271 page planner is spiral bound and meant to be used for 90 days. Once you get through the beginning portion of the book that teaches you how to use it, you are then ready to put it to work. For each day, you have a 2 spread page where you can keep track of appointments, 5 tasks to complete before 11am, daily contacts, list unfinished tasks, voice mails and even a space to track how much water you drank as well as what you ate.

How I used it

Prior to reading the beginning of the planner, the author suggests watching this video to help you fully understand how this planner works which is what I did. I admit it was a little daunting when I first dove into the planner and I took several days reading over what she shared and completing the various activities. I don't make time for myself very often so it was tough to spend time doing some self reflection. I had to first highlight things that are a priority to me such as friendships, faith, compassion, honesty, travel, taking risk, making a difference were a few I chose.

From there, I had to write out my purpose in life, jot down mental clutter (for me, it's those things I am always remembering that I need to do or all the ideas I have swarming around in my head), set 90 day personal and financial goals as well as life goals. There are a lot of things to complete before actually using the daily planner section. After completing most of those pages, it does make sense why you have to do that. It helps you clearly define what your priorities are in life as well as where you want to end up so you can establish smaller, daily goals to reach your long term goals.

It finally came time to implement what I was learning by using the daily progress reports. I knew going into it I would use this planner for Monday-Friday taking weekends off. Each evening, I sat down and jotted down the 5 tasks I wanted to complete before 11am for the following day. I found I was more productive and would complete my goals if I knew upon waking up what exactly needed completed. Sometimes I listed small things like doing morning dishes or devotions, or I listed larger things like reorganize the nursery. This was my most favorite and useful part of this planner! I also wrote down any appointments I had for the following day.

This planner would be very useful for a working parent as it contains sections that include both home & work goals and tasks. Because of this, there were a few sections on the daily progress reports I repurposed. Under the voicemail section, I wrote down emails I needed to return. Under the thank you notes section, I jotted down prayer requests from others. In the daily contact section, I wrote down blog & social media goals and ideas.

While I typically keep track of my life electronically, there is something satisfying by seeing your tasks in writing. It was a good feeling being able to check mark it off and answering the question at the bottom of the page "did I do what I said I would do today?"

Overall, I truly appreciate what the author of The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner teaches her readers. I needed a way to try and regain focus of my life goals and this planner has been helping me make the most of my time. I love all the different checklists that are included as well! Check out this planner for yourself as I have only just scratched the surface in conveying all that is included! Also, if you are a homeschooler, check out this post she wrote on 7 steps to homeschool schedule sanity.

This planner is intended for adults and can be purchased for $24.95.

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Sufficient Grace Ministries Auction

It's that time of year again that Sufficient Grace Ministries holds their online auction to help raise money so they can offer support to bereaved families. They provide support and many items (such as their comfort bears, tiny baby gowns, etc) to families who have lost a baby but they are only able to do this through donations and fundraisers.

I have been blessed to have received support from them over the last few years since Noah died. I want to make sure other families are aware of their services as well as help drum up financial support for this wonderful, faith-based organization which is why I am sharing about their auction with all of you!

The auction just started today, September 3rd and goes till midnight September 5th. There are almost 400 items up for bid! It's not too early to think about Christmas shopping and what better way to not only get a gift for that special someone (or yourself!) while at the same time helping Sufficient Grace Ministries raise money so they can in turn help other moms out like myself!

Here are just a few photos of things that are up for bid, but go spend some time checking out the auction now!!!