Tag Archives: domestic

A Monotonous Life

When I was a single-college student, no day was the same. True, class, work, and homework were first priority, but other than that, it was freedom. I could roam the small town of Provo myself, or go on adventures with my friends. Dating also made life interesting. 

When Justin and I were first married, again, no day was the same. True, I went to teach every day and Justin had to work and do homework every day, but there were so many news. Each day of teaching was a brand new experience for me, Justin and I would try different restaurants, and go on different dating adventures.

But, as soon as we had Rhys, life started to slow a little. It was the same thing every day. The only thing that made each day interesting was Rhys–just watching him grow made every day interesting. 

It still does. I love watching my boy grow and develop and discover. But, one of the hardest things about becoming a stay-at-home-mom without a car (Justin takes our only car to work with him), I kept getting cabin fever. Last summer, I shared Rhys and my daily schedule. It was the same every day. And, when it started getting cold, we couldn’t even go outside anymore. I started to get real bored and crave going out, anywhere. My life was monotonous and it was a contributing factor for my anxiety and depression.

Little by little, I was able to make the most of each day. It took a while, and sometimes, I still feel bored with my life. But, there are ways to try to overcome a monotonous life.

Do you lead a boring life, or monotuous? You can still have interesting things happen.

Change up your path

Rhys and I try to go outside as often as we can. In the warm weather, we typically just went to the park. But, then, I decided to get a bike trailer. Now, when it’s not freezing cold, we bike around the city and visit different shops, or explore new neighborhoods. If you run outside, don’t take the same path. Mix it up. Find different parks for your kids to play at.

Go on family outings

Since we only have one car, the places where I can get to are limited. At least three times a week, when Justin gets home, we all hop in the car and go out. Sometimes we go to game shops and look at the pre-owned games. Sometimes we run errands. Sometimes we just walk around malls. Sometimes, we go out to eat. It’s always nice to just get out of the house whether or not you actually have a point to do so.

Rely on Pinterest

Find some sort of DIY project to work on or some new activity for you and your kids or a new recipe to make. Not only will it be an adventure because it’s new, but it takes up time and is a great way to keep yourself and your kids from watching TV. Also, if you are a blogger, it’s great material for a post!

Focus on the little things

There is a little plaque on my fireplace mantle that says, “Enjoy the little things in life for one day, you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.” I try to take that to heart. Ann Voskamp has also really changed my view on the little things–she is even thankful to God for a bubble! Find something good about each day. Whether it be something you achieved, something cute your child did, or something you saw outside. I really tend to focus on Rhys, now, and I am awed daily by his growth and development.

Do you lead a boring life, or one that is monotuous? You can still have interesting things happen.
How do you overcome a boring, monotonous life?

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Chicken Corn Chowder Casserole (C4)

**Ok, here’s a secret…I’ve had this recipe for casserole in my draft box for months now! And, I keep scheduling it, but then I keep forgetting to actually make C4 and take pictures to add to the post. Then, the next morning, I realize that it has published! So, I keep taking it back down. But, it finally is 100% completely finished!

I grew up in a casserole eating family. We’d have it at least once every two weeks, with plenty for leftovers. When I first made casserole in college, I didn’t really even use a recipe…that’s how common it was at home. And, that’s the thing I love about casserole…it really is super easy to make, and there are so many different options to use. Well, one day, I wanted to make casserole, but we didn’t have anymore cream of chicken soup left, so Justin suggested using his favorite soup: chicken corn chowder. I agreed, and we loved it!

But, since Chicken Corn Chowder Casserole is a mouthful to say, we just call it “C4” for short!

Chicken Corn Chowder Casserole is a very homey, filling, warm, easy-to-make dinner for the whole family.

Use a 9×13 pan. Serves 4-6

Ingredients
3-4 chicken tenders (or 2 small breasts)
1 can of chicken corn chowder
1 cup mixed veggies
1 cup cheese
2 cups of rice
bread crumbs
rosemary
thyme
sage
garlic powder
salt
pepper

Directions
1) Preheat the oven to 350* and cook the rice.
2) Cut up the chicken and cook it in a pan. Sprinkle garlic powder, thyme, sage, rosemary on it.

Chicken Corn Chowder Casserole is a very homey, filling, warm, easy-to-make dinner for the whole family.

3) Pour the rice, chicken, mixed veggies, chowder, and a half cup of shredded cheese in the 9×13 casserole dish. Mix it all together with salt and pepper.

Chicken Corn Chowder Casserole is a very homey, filling, warm, easy-to-make dinner for the whole family.

4) Pour the rest of the cheese on top and cover in breadcrumbs.
5) Cook for 35-40 minutes.

Chicken Corn Chowder Casserole is a very homey, filling, warm, easy-to-make dinner for the whole family.

Chicken Corn Chowder Casserole is a very homey, filling, warm, easy-to-make dinner for the whole family.

This is Justin’s absolute favorite casserole, so enjoy!

What is your favorite kind of casserole?

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

DIY “A Savior Is Born” Ornament

For some reason, this scripture has popped out at me many times the past few months whenever I thought about Christmas:

Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given…and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

I love the different names of Christ. And, the fact that Child and Son is emphasized in the scriptures. Because of that, I decided I wanted to involve Rhys in the ornaments. I know this is his second Christmas, but since he is a toddler, it will hopefully mean something to him. So, for this year’s Morrell DIY ornament exchange, I created these “A Savior is Born” ornaments.

DIY "A Savior is Born" ornament based off Isaiah 9:6. A perfect ornament to make with a toddler.

Supplies

24 felt trees
1 can of puffy paint
1 paint sponge
24 sparkly star stickers
1 ball of thin twine
1 permanent marker
hole punch
at least one toddler =)
(I forgot to take a picture of the supplies!!)

Steps

1) Paint your toddler’s hand with the white puffy paint on the sponge brush.

2) Press your toddler’s hand onto the tree.

3) Let them dry.

(I forgot to take pictures of the rest of the steps…I’m awesome this year, huh?)
4) Punch a hole in the top corner.

5) Write the scripture from Isaiah 9:6 (or any Christmas scripture) in permanent marker, in your best handwriting.
6) Put the star sticker on the top of the tree.

7) Cut some twine and tie it in the hole.

 

What is your favorite Advent scripture?

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

December 2015 Goals

**I am so, so, so very excited to announce the launch of She Teaches Fearlessly! If you have ever heard of She Reads Truth, this is a brand new LDS devotional and scripture study website dedicated to incorporating the Gospel into every part of our lives! I invite you to explore She Teaches Fearlessly and be uplifted!**<
November was certainly full of ups and downs! We got terrible news about a job offer, my brother went on an LDS Mission, and many more things happened.

Last month’s goal was to Write my book during NaNoWriMo. Here is how I did:
Sub Goals:
– Read and finish a book two books.
I read three books this month!
– Complete NaNoWriMo
I was great with NaNoWriMo for the first week, but that’s all I did. I got behind in blogging, housekeeping, and other family things came up.


December–Enjoy My Holidays
I want to end the year on a good, enjoyable note, especially since we are moving out pretty soon. I want to stress as little as I can. Rhys will also be old enough to begin to comprehend the season and I want to teach him the joy and magic of Christmas.

Sub Goals:
– Buy and watch old Christmas movies with Rhys
– Do Elf on the Shelf with Rhys
– Decorate the house with the family
– Visit Temple Square and see the lights
– Make and post the Morrell family DIY ornament
– Do Christmas cooking with Rhys and make plates to give to neighbors
– Host a Christmas party

What are your goals for this month?


Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

10 Kid Friendly Videogames // October Solidarity Sister

There are many videogames that adults can play and feel safe about their kids watching!

I love getting to know more bloggers on a one-to-one basis. That is why I love the Solidarity Sisters. This month, I was paired with Christine from Christine Everyday. She is a lifestyle blogger with a 3 year old daughter. She blogs about blogging, healthy lifestyle, and just every day life. She is so positive!


blog // twitter // pinterest // instagram

Today, we decided to collaborate about a guilty pleasure for both us and our husbands: videogames. However, just like movies have ratings with parental guidance for children, so do some videogames. So, today, we are giving 5 Wii (and Wii-U) and 5 X-Box child-friendly video games to either play in front of or with your young children!

Wii/Wii-U (Tayler)

Now, I feel like I am cheating a little because X-box is mostly geared toward older people, whereas Nintendo, the dominant game maker for Wii, gears it’s games toward a younger, more family-oriented audience. And, Justin and I love those types of games. So, we decided to focus on series of games rather than individual games due to how similar games in the same series tend to be.

1) Mario Games (Wii and Wii-U)
These include the Mario platformers, 3-D worlds (like Mario Galaxy), Mario Karts, and Mario Parties, Mario is such a classic, and really, anyone from a young age can play them. You can play these games as individuals or as families. I remember all my siblings and I playing Mario Party on Gamecube together as kids. My youngest sister started playing with us when she was 5 and she could easily play along. True, there is a bad guy (Bowser), and true Justin was actually scared of Bowser when he was a little kid, but it’s very cartoonish. The good guy always conquers evil. The music is light-hearted, the lighting and environments are colorful and bright. I have no problem playing Mario Games in front of Rhys.

2) Wii Sports and Dance Games (Wii and Wii-U)
These include Wii Sports games, and Just Dance games. Some Just Dance versions are rated E 10+, but that is because of the song lyrics themselves. So, as parents, you already know what songs on the radio you want your kids listening to or not, so you can choose which songs you play with. But, these are active games–it’s all about the movement: bowling, dancing, archery, golf, etc. Your kids will see you be active and a lot of times, they’ll want to play with you–especially with Just Dance. Our nieces and nephews all love to dance to the songs on Just Dance, whether or not they have a Wiimote in their hands!

3) Disney Infinity and Skylanders (Wii-U)
Justin and I actually don’t have these, but we I really, really want Disney Infinity. I mean, I’m obsessed with Disney! It is a world-based game, like Sims or other on-line community games. You buy the figurines of different Disney characters, or Marvel and Star Wars characters (since Disney owns Marvel and Star Wars!!!!) and then you can play as those characters in the world. It’s basically the Disney version of Minecraft. And I love it because it focuses on imagination and story-telling. And, obviously I love Disney morals. We’ve already decided that we are going to get Rhys (and our future kids) into Disney Infinity once they’re old enough to actually understand how to play video games. And I can’t wait because that means I can play it with them! Disney Infinity is basically based off how Skylanders is set up–it was the pioneer of the game type. It is Spyro the Dragon based and a lot of times you can defeat the bad guys and turn them good. What a great story line and concept–bad guys can become good guys!

4) Lego Games (Wii and Wii-U)
This includes Lego Star Wars, Lego Batman, Lego Indiana Jones, really any Lego series. Legos, especially the smaller model-like ones, are a huge hit with young (and teenage, and adult–Justin–) boys. So, being able to play with them and see them move and use their abilities rather than just imagine it, is so fun! The worst “violence” is the Lego character breaking apart–and what little boy hasn’t knocked over a tower of blocks or Legos purposefully anyway?!?! The Lego games also tend to include a lot of jokes and silliness to their games. Justin can’t wait to start playing our Lego Star Wars games with Rhys.

5) Legend of Zelda: Windwaker (originally Game Cube, but redone for the Wii-U)
Now, we had to chose a specific game from the large list of Legend of Zelda games. We are absolutely in love with the series and have played almost every game, and will definitely be raising our children on the series, but there are only a few that are on the Wii and Wii-U platform (the rest are Nintendo 64 or GameCube) and most have a tiny bit of a darker fantasy side, so for young children (8 and under), it might not be as light-hearted. But, Windwaker is definitely geared toward a younger audience. It is a very cartoon-styled game, whereas the rest of the series is more serious in their graphics, and there is a lot more joviality to Windwaker. It is a great intro game for younger kids into the series.

Xbox One (Christine)

The Doctor and I used to be pretty hardcore gamers. Even while pregnant with our daughter, I went to the midnight release of one of the Call of Duty games (I can’t remember which one right now…three years is a long time). We still look forward to the release of new games, and play every chance we get…although those chances are severely limited these days. We love Call of Duty, Gears of War, Halo…pretty much anything in that line. We also have some games we enjoy that we can actually play in front of our daughter, though.

1) Child of Light
This game was actually available for free to Xbox Gold members a few months ago, and I downloaded it not knowing what to expect. The basic premise of the game is that you are a princess who got transferred to another world and you have to find the light in order to escape. But what’s really great about this game is how innocent yet fun it is. The beautiful colors and imagery of the game are perfectly complimented by some lovely music. My daughter loves to watch me play this one, and so I can have fun without worrying about her seeing things I don’t want her to see.

2) Halo
As you probably noticed, this is actually one of the games that my husband and I really enjoy. While there is some violence (shooting lasers at aliens), it is nowhere near the level of Call of Duty or Gears of War. And what’s better is that there is no cursing. It is the only FPS game that I have found that is safe to play around my daughter.

3) Too Many Me
This may be considered a kid’s game, but honestly, I find it hard to use the controls as instructed, so I don’t see that a kid would be able to, either. This was also a game that was offered to Xbox Gold members for free at some point, but it is actually super adorable. You are this little blob character who was copied multiple times in a freak accident, and as you play through the game you encounter different incarnations of yourself – all with different attitudes. It’s cute and enjoyable, with the bonus of being definitely innocent enough for kids to watch (and play, if they can figure out the controls).

4) Zoo Tycoon
Who doesn’t love a good simulation game? This one is really fun. You build and run your own zoo. That’s the long and short of it. There is nothing here to offend the sensibilities, and it’s a great game for kids to watch and play. They even have the added benefit of learning a little bit about caring for animals, running a business, and conservation. Win win!

5) Zumba (requires Kinect)
This one is a great game that is not only safe to play in front of your kids, but is awesome to get them involved in, as well! Get yourself a great workout with lots of fun music and easy-to-follow dance moves, and encourage your kids to get up and some exercise as well! It is easily played with two people, and you can have some friendly competition to see who can score higher. This is a great way to involve your kids in your workouts.

SolidaritySister

What video games do you feel comfortable playing in front your kids? What video games do you play with your kids?

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.