Easy Apple Puff Pancake

easy Apple Puff Pancake

MMM… there’s nothing better than warm buttery apple pancakes in the morning!

For those mornings you need something savory but not heavy, apple puff pancakes are perfect!

This is my new favorite go to for a warm breakfast. It’s not as heavy or sweet as traditional pancakes or other pastries. But fills the belly and satisfies the taste buds!

As important as breakfast is, it’s easy to reach for the already made stuff. Muffins, cereal, bagels, all delicious, but not so good for you when store bought and time consuming to make at home. If you’re going for a real food breakfast, quick and easy makes all the difference.

Scrambled eggs and sauteed kale are quick and easy, but sometimes the savory flavor is what you need. An apple puff pancake is a crowd pleaser and semi-entertaining with its fresh out of the oven puffiness. The apple-y goodness is delicious!Apple Puff Pancake

I adapted this recipe from The Prairie Homestead. There are a few differences, but I didn’t create this all on my own. I’m not that creative in the kitchen! Pinterest is my best friend for finding new meals.

Easy Apple Puff Pancake


  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 2-3 apples, cored, peeled, and sliced thin
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp rapadura (or unrefined sugar), divided
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean extract


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Melt your butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once the butter is bubbling, add in your sliced apples, cinnamon, and 1 Tbsp of rapadura. Stir occasionally until apples are starting to soften.
  2. Meanwhile, combine remaining rapadura, flour, and salt in a large bowl. Mix in milk, eggs, and vanilla. Mix well until combined. You may have some small lumps, but this won’t affect the final outcome.
  3. Flatten your apples in your skillet and pour in the batter. Place the skillet in your oven and cook for 15-20 minutes until cooked through. The edges may start to brown slightly and the center will be nice and puffy!
  4. Let rest a few minutes and then slice and enjoy. It pairs well with bacon and coffee. Mmmm.

Apple Puff Pancake on a plate

For an easy weekday breakfast, or a leisurely weekend, an apple puff pancake is a great choice! It’s quick to whip up and bakes while you make your coffee. (Or chase toddlers around.)

What are you making for breakfast this week?

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DIY Lip Balm

3 DIY lip balm recipes

Are you a lip balm connoisseur? Picky about what goes on your skin and lips? Outraged at the high price of natural products from big stores and little vendors?

It’s time to start making your own!

Lip balm is very simple to make. I can make a batch in about ten minutes and it gives me about 10 tubes of amazingly silky soft lip stuff.

And it’s cheap. It costs about $2.00 for a whole batch of DIY lip balm. Yeah. Totally worth it!

Its an amazing gift for friends and family. Give them a tube of lip balm that you made and you’ll be admired for years to come. It’s like science.

So are you ready for three amazing DIY lip balm recipes?? Check out my guest post on Smithspirations! I share all the fun details on my secrets to amazing lip care. —> DIY Lip Balm Recipes!!

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What I Learned About Coming Unglued

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Unglued Review 1

I have a confession to make.

I often come Unglued. I have raging inner emotions that explode at the worst times. I yell at my toddler. I snap out at my dog. And I stuff things away to later retaliate and throw at my husband.

It’s extremely hard for me to admit this. I have an intense amount of pride in regards to my emotions. I don’t like to admit that I have emotions, good or bad. I don’t like to cry. (I’m an ugly cryer when it happens.) I don’t get overly excited. It’s sometimes joked about with my family that I have no emotions.

Then I got married. EMOTIONS. Then I had a baby. MEGA EMOTIONS. I suppose part of it is that I’ve allowed myself to soften a little when it does come to emotional events. One of the reasons I was sure about my husband being the one for me, was the fact that he made me feel. I actually teared up at our wedding. Partly because he did too.

Five years later our Little Man arrives and I’m just all over the place. Most of it I account to being hormonal. Again, I don’t like to admit to my emotions. But honestly, I should be feeling all the feels when it comes to my baby. (Part of me is turning up my nose at that last sentence.)

Ok. So, it’s out now. I have emotions. Most of those emotions are positive. I am SO in love with my husband (yes, he drives me crazy, but it wouldn’t be as interesting if he didn’t). And I am head over heels with my little boy. I try not to spoil him but it’s hard to resist because he is SO cute and SO sweet. Most of the time.

That’s where I have problems. On those occasions when sweet-little-toddler isn’t being so sweet, my raw emotions will appear. And not the good ones. I alluded to my struggles and what I was overcoming after the first year of motherhood. But I have continued to struggle frequently with my buttons being pushed, an explosion, guilt,  regret, and tears. And sometimes a complete breakdown with a phone call to my husband telling him I. Just. Can’t. Anymore.

Then I found Unglued. It’s a popular Christian Living book by Lysa TerKeurst. One that I would not have picked up (because of my pride), if it were not for my small Bible Study with a couple of good friends. We went through this book together and learned a lot about dealing with raw emotions and how to make wise decisions in the midst of them.


Lysa describes in this book the process of imperfect progress. I can try as much as I can to not explode when crisis hits, but I truly need God’s help to be in control of how I react.  I must be regularly filled with his Spirit and keep his Word in my mind. I won’t always react with grace and gentleness at first, but a step forward and a half step back is still progress.

She helped me discover that God created our emotions as indicators, not dictators. When negative emotions come boiling up I don’t have to let them control who I am. I can use them to identify an insecurity, weakness, or area of pain in my life. Realizing why I’m having raw emotions in a situation gives me the ability to grow and progress toward a more Christ-like attitude.

The one thing that stood out the most through reading Unglued, is the importance of taking a Sabbath. God knew we needed time off from the cares of our daily life. Time to clear our minds and put specific focus on Him.

Taking time to set aside the to-do list, forget about the laundry, and solely allow yourself time to focus on God, is life changing. We need to be filled with his Spirit and we need to allow God’s strength to revive our souls. Letting go of the demands of our busy lives for a day, an afternoon, or an extended quiet time is so important.

I’m not talking about just a daily moment with God in prayer or reading the Bible. That is important and sometimes difficult for a mom with young children. But a set aside time during the week or weekend to really rest in God’s comfort. This may mean escaping the house for an hour while your spouse takes care of the children. And not to shop or run errands, but to just sit in God’s presence.

Or maybe you have the ability to spend an entire afternoon or day with God. It will look different for everyone depending on your season of life. The thing to remember is to take a Sabbath. Allow yourself the time and freedom to just rest.

Currently for me, I can take a Sabbath on the weekend during my little one’s nap. I set aside my list of things to do and rest. Sometimes it’s reading Scripture, and sometimes its coloring and reflecting on life and praying. (Coloring is amazingly relaxing.) I make it happen and it does wonders.

Lysa TerKeurst quote

Giving myself time to take a break from the demands of life, daily reading Scripture (even a verse or two), and opening myself to God’s wisdom has changed the frequency of my unglued moments. I’m realizing why I’m feeling the way I am and am learning to put a stop to the outbursts before the happen.

I don’t need to label myself as a “yeller” or “terrible mom”. I am a child of God and I can be like him, full of grace and gentleness.

Another thing I learned through reading Unglued, is that I am not alone in this. Everybody has emotions! I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t. God gave them to us. He uses them to teach us why we need his grace and how we can extend that to others.

If this is something you realize you are dealing with, you are not alone. Pick up Lysa’s book and read about how you can make wise choices when your emotions are out of control. I recommend it for anyone that has emotions. Which is everybody, including me, apparently. (And yes, I did cry when my little sister was trying on wedding dresses. Don’t tell anyone.)

What happens when you come unglued?

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DIY Beard Oil

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DIY Beard Oil

Does the man in your life have a beard?

Beards are amazing…as long as they are maintained properly! A scraggly and unkempt beard puts a man in the not so desirable category. But with a nice trim and a little beard oil, he can be back into the confident, manly-man group in no time.

A freshly grown or scruffy beard can be very scratchy. When my husband recently started growing his beard back in he was complaining about the itchiness. He needed something to soothe his skin as well as keep the prickly hair from scratching his face. Instead of ordering an expensive beard balm, I looked around my DIY supplies and found the perfect ingredients for beard oil.

Beard oil softens the hair and soothes the skin. It will help tame the wild hairs and keep a beard from getting frizzy. The oils are nourishing to the skin and hair and also promote strong, healthy growth.

With my husband’s input, we found these ingredients to work great for beard oil:

Avocado Oil – this is my favorite oil for maintaining a clear complexion. It’s light and non-greasy feel will keep a beard and face clean and clear.

Argan Oil – this non-greasy oil is a natural conditioner and keeps the hair from frizzing or drying out. Also acting as a toner and great for reducing acne, argan oil is perfect for the skin.

Jojoba Oil – this oil is long known for benefiting the skin and hair. Used in many beauty products this vitamin rich oil is similar to the natural sebum that excretes from skin. Jojoba oil will naturally nourish the skin without drying or causing the skin to over produce sebum.

Essential Oils – there are various essential oils that are amazing for skin and hair. Rosemary, peppermint and frankincense are excellent choices. They stimulate hair growth and keep the skin and hair clean. Choosing other essential oils to create the perfect scent will give a variety of aromatic benefits.

To make beard oil, mix your base oils of avocado, jojoba, and argan in a 1 oz dropper bottle until it’s ¾ of the way full. (Reusing an old essential oil bottle works great too.) Add in 20-30 drops of essential oils. Top off with a little more base oil leaving enough room for the dropper. Shake gently to mix.

To use beard oil, drop a dime size amount on the hands and rub into a freshly washed beard. Brush with the fingers or a natural bristle brush to smooth the hair.

Beard Oil

The exact recipe we used is as follows:

DIY Beard Oil



  1. Mix base oils in 1 oz dropper bottle.
  2. Add essential oils.
  3. Top with a base oil leaving room for the dropper.
  4. Shake to mix.


For a soft, kissable, woodsman look, make your man some beard oil. He will thank you for it.

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5 Reasons to Eat Kale For Breakfast

5 Reasons to Eat Kale for Breakfast

Did you say kale for breakfast?

Well, yes I did!

It’s no secret that kale has been labeled a superfood. In recent years, it has gained popularity and become the crux of many jokes surrounding healthy eating. But with any joke, there is some truth to it!

Kale is full of vitamins, minerals, and even compares to beef with its high iron content. I know!  Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef. And more calcium than milk. Let that sink in for a minute.

Breakfast is often considered to be the most important meal of the day. Not only is it the first food you eat for the day and a chance to start your body off with nutrient dense foods, but it can help set the tone for the types of food you eat later on. When you eat a healthy breakfast, you are more inspired to make healthier choices through the day. I know that’s true for me.

So why should you consider kale for breakfast?

  1. Kale is high in fiber. It’s important to get your digestive system rolling in the morning. Fill your stomach with a fiber rich food and let the process begin. A strong start will help your body throughout the day. The high fiber content helps your body detox as well.
  2. Kale is high in minerals such as iron, calcium, folate, and magnesium. As I mentioned before, per calorie, this leafy green has more iron than beef and more calcium than milk. That blows my mind. It is low in calories too so you’re gaining more nutrients with less calories.
  3. Kale is high in vitamins. In just one cup of kale, you can get well over your suggested daily amounts of Vitamins K, A, and C. Vitamin K helps maintain bone strength and blood flow. Vitamin A is good for vision and skin. And Vitamin C boosts your immune system and metabolism.
  4. Kale is anti-inflammatory. High in omega-fatty acids, this leafy green is excellent in helping a variety of body functions affected by inflammation such as, arthritis, cardiovascular, and autoimmune disorders. Omega-fatty acids also help build cell membranes in the brain.
  5. Kale tastes amazing. This might be debatable. But I think it’s all in how you prepare it. I’m not necessarily suggesting you need to eat a huge kale salad for breakfast. I’m not too excited about that either. But a little side of sautéed kale is super simple and delicious.

This is only touching the surface on the benefits of kale. A little bit of kale goes a long way in regards to your health. I don’t think it can be argued that starting your day with a superfood isn’t a good idea. I can tell you, I always feel better when I’ve had my kale for breakfast.

If you’re worried about the time it would take to make a hot breakfast, kale cooks faster than scrambled eggs. And you know that’s a quick breakfast! Seriously, it doesn’t take a lot of time to make a good healthy breakfast.

A quick tip on streamlining breakfast if you are headed out the door or short on time, prepare things ahead. Cut your kale up ahead of time and store it in the fridge so you can easily cook it in the mornings. Or add it to an egg muffin (pinterest has zillions of recipes) that can be made ahead and even eaten cold.

My favorite method is to sauté kale in butter or ghee in a stainless steel pan. Then I cook up some eggs in that same pan. (No one needs extra dishes.) I add a side of roasted sweet potatoes to my kale and eggs for a complete meal! That could even be dinner some nights. Yum!

Kale for breakfast may seem strange. (I haven’t convinced my husband yet.) You may have to change your mindset as to what breakfast means. Is it time for sweet “breakfasty” foods? Or time to eat real food to fuel your day? Start your day off right with some hearty kale for breakfast.

Have you started eating kale for breakfast yet?



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Why You Should Embrace the Mud

why you should embrace the mud

Kids love mud.

I don’t think any mom can argue that fact. Yeah, there are probably a few kids out there that aren’t too keen on frolicking in puddles. But for the most part, kids are attracted to mud. Or maybe in some cases mud is attracted to kids. When and where they find mud sometimes is a mystery.

As a mom to an all-boy toddler, mud is a regular part of our lives. I’m learning to embrace it. And here’s why you should too.

When you and your child(ren) are faced with a mud puddle opportunity, you should ask these three questions:

What is the source of this mud? – Most mud encounters will be in the backyard or neighbors yard. Typically these places are A-ok for mud jumping. You may want to avoid run off from farmland (cattle or crops). Construction sites might have some stray debris with sharp object so you’ll want to avoid that too. Our best mud is on the dirt road leading to our house.

Are we going anywhere that requires clean clothes? – If you aren’t parked in a clean garage, your kids will find mud (or even dirt because they have some sort of honing beacon for these things) between the house and car. This could cause problems if you are headed somewhere nice, like church or a wedding. Even the grocery store merits clean clothes from time to time. A strict command to go straight to the car is in order for this situation. Or even a bribe.  If you’re home all day or have time to clean up, those clothes and shoes will wash just fine.

Is there really a reason not to jump in this mud? – Most often the answer to this question is “no”. Mud is FUN. The joy and entertainment a simple mud puddle can bring is quite amazing. I love the smiles my Little Man gives me when he’s running through mud.

Muddy shoes

Muddy kids can stress you out, or bring you joy. The choice is yours. I’m learning to find joy in the little things.

If it tends to stress you out, prepare the kids to play in mud by sending them out in older clothes and muck boots (because you know they will find it, especially after a stormy day). Have a plan in place for when they come back inside (strip at the door and straight to the bath).

And better yet, go out and play with them. It’s fun to splash in puddles and feel the slimy mud in your hands. Embrace the joy that mud brings.

It’s actually really good for kids to play in the mud and dirt. In our super sanitary society, kids need a little dirt on their hands and mud between their toes. I don’t have any science-y stuff to back this up, but I’m sure the minerals and clay in the dirt soak into the skin and provide a little extra goodness to growing kids.

Imaginations and simple play can help the development of kids much more than a TV show or tablet app. Even toys can overdo the “learning” aspect. Simplicity can grow a mind better than lots of bright flashing colors and sounds.

With Spring on its way and rain in the forecast, look for those mud puddles and embrace them! You’re kids will love it. Mud is good, clean fun!

When was the last time your kids played in the mud?

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Create a Cleaning Routine that Works

create a cleaning routine with printables

Writing things down will change your life.

I’m not kidding! It sounds a little dramatic to say it like that, but it’s true. Just check out any of those “what successful people do” articles or books and that’s always part of it. That, and having a routine.

Write a list and create a routine for your housecleaning and be amazed! List out your chores and stick to a routine. The list keeps you on track. And the routine streamlines your efforts which in turn frees up your time for more enjoyable things. Creating that chore list and routine may be easier said than done. So I have a few tips that I’ve learned in my short experience as primary housekeeper.

Free printable chore chart —-> Download

First, for your typical housecleaning tasks, determine if you are a do-one-thing-each-day kind of person or a bust-and-get-it-all-done-in-one-day person. I am the latter.

I’ve tried both methods, when Little Man was very little the first approached worked pretty well. In those first months of motherhood, I was too tired to do a whole day of cleaning, but doing a little something every day kept the house at a reasonably clean level. I see how this would also work very well for families where the parents both working out of the home. Freeing up your weekends for family time instead of housecleaning sounds appealing to me.

Now that Little Man is a little older I’ve switched back to my favorite method. I really love the feeling of a fully clean house once I get it all done. Working at home gives me the flexibility to spend a half or full day cleaning during the week. This allows freedom on the weekends for friends or family time as well.

Once you have your method determined, you need to write a list of tasks and plot out a rough routine. Bathrooms on Tuesdays? Floors on Wednesday? Whole house on Fridays? Personally I like to clean on Thursdays or Fridays. We often have friends over on the weekend so if the house is already clean, I don’t have to make a big to-do about having guests.

cleaning clothes

There are some cleaning tasks on your list that can be done monthly or seasonally. Rotate those in on a particular day or as part of your weekly cleaning day. As long as you do them regularly, it makes the cleaning process so much easier. I tend to add in organizational or decluttering tasks to this list as well. Clearing out my closet of unused items is always freeing.

Don’t forget to write down the daily tasks as well. Most likely you won’t forget to do the dishes since you’re going to need them for the next meal, but writing it down will help lock it in as part of your routine.  Instead of always playing catch up with your daily tasks, be proactive in getting them done.

I’m not going to claim perfection in that area, but I do strive to always clean up after myself before moving onto the next thing. One of the most helpful proactive tasks I’ve done is to do a quick pick-up before bed. I go through the living room and straighten blankets and pillows, pick up stray toys, and ensure shoes aren’t scattered about. It makes for a smooth morning.

After you have your chore lists written down and a rough idea of when you need to accomplish those tasks, it’s time to start implementing a routine. It may take a few tries to get into the swing of things or find the right fit.

I have my master cleaning list on a chore chart you can print here —> Download

If you are the primary housekeeper like me, it can help keep you on track and stick to your routine. Or if you share responsibilities with a spouse or older kids, this is a great list to post on the fridge so you can assign tasks or see what’s already been done.

Again, I’m more of a get it all done at once kind of cleaner so this chore chart is laid out in that manner, but it could be adapted to a daily cleaning list too. Pick a different room each day and do the chores, rotating monthly and seasonal tasks as well. Remember you have to find the routine that works for your family.

Now you have some tracks to run on to create your own housecleaning routine. Start writing that list and change your life!

Print your chart here —> Download

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