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Starting here.

I've written this post a million times in my head.  I debated about doing a new years post at all, then thought about others things I want to write about, then came back to here.  New Year's posts can be super cliche, but then I kept thinking- rythmns and seasons and the hope of something NEW isn't bad at all.  I think it's a good thing, and I think we're created to feel this way.

After the beginning of December, which felt too full (and not in the filling way), it felt good to hit pause the last two weeks of December.  It felt nice to not worry about school schedules or gifts to bring in, projects to complete, or cookies to make.  That was nice, but what wasn't was feeling like I was so spent from the first two weeks that I didn't have the energy I wished I would have to make the cookies or the Christmas breakfast I wanted to make.

I don't feel bad about these things a ton.  My kids loved Christmas, and our breakfast was great- and planned out by my dad!  I think "we" (a collective 'we' of Mom's of young kids---or old kids) put too much pressure on ourselves about what things are to look like.  We all know what real life looks like, but I'm not really writing about looks here, I'm more trying to get to how we feel and if we're at peace and have the energy to do what we are made for.  Are things filling us up and helping us to grow, or are they down right draining?

I just bought 4 cans of cinnamon rolls from the store.  You know what our Saturday mornings will look like?  Cinnamon rolls from a can.

Simplify.  No surprise to anyone who follows me on Instagram that I'm a big fan of Emily Ley and absolutely love her book A Simplified Life.  I can't recommend it enough and based on how much so many other's have loved it (I think it was #3 on Amazon!) I think we're yearning to do just that.

Back to writing doesn't seem simple.  Back to feeding my soul gives me life.  So- being back in this space was a really simple answer for me to the longing I'd been feeling.  I've lost count of the number of notes I've written to blog.  I've felt fear and anxiety coming back to this place.  Before I opened up this tab I wanted to go look at some blogs who started when I did, but then I stopped myself.  When I hit pause on this site it was a season, and it was clear that's what I was supposed to do.  But now, I really miss this space and I want back.  Readers or not, I'm here.  It feeds my soul and not doing it feels in a way like telling that still small voice "shhh...not today...I'm not that good...maybe later."

So- here we are.  Day by day.  Chasing Simple. (that means canned cinnamon rolls on Saturdays- oh and frozen pizza on Fridays!)

p.s.  Card above done by Postable.  Simple because they mail the cards for me, and remind me when friend's birthdays are! All the praise hands for that one.


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Guest Post: New Mom (Anytime) Gift Guide

Today's Guest Post is from Michelle Perez of Simply Complicated.  I met Michelle in college and since then she has gotten hitched, had a baby, and lives in Guatemala where her family are doing some great work.  Read more on her blog and until then, check out her gift guide for new moms!  Thanks, Michelle!

I am a new mom to and am still very much in the ups and downs of learning how to how to take care of a very small human and myself. Even though I think all new moms would be happy with a nap, a long shower and a meal on their doorstep I have put together a gift guide that stretches a bit beyond the basic. You could say this is just in time for the holidays, but the truth is, this is an anytime of year gift guide. Enjoy.

1. Sugar & Spice Kitchen Towels We all know new moms like and appreciate home cooked meals. But I was surprised as a nursing mom, how hungry I was all. the. time. Friends of mine were so sweet, because they brought over a meal AND muffins or bread or baked goods …

quesadilla pie

This is a dinner I've been thinking about and trying to figure out when I'll make it next.  It'll probably happen sometime this weekend because it was simple and oh-so-satisfying.  It was a perfect new-mom meal. New-Mom as in I had time to make it, and I'd like to bring it to new mom's too.

I'm tempted to even make a few and stock my freezer with them for when we're hungry or when I need to bring someone a meal, a task I think I'm finally now up for seeing as I've been able to figure out our schedule more and get back in the kitchen.

Apart from pulling apart the chicken this dish comes together really quickly.  The original recipe calls for 1/3 cup chopped pickled jalapenos, an item I thought we had in our fridge but it turns out what I thought were pickled jalapenos were actually molding olives.  Not so great.  Next time I'll add in the jalapenos but they're definitely optional.

So this weekend, you should make this.  Dare I say my mouth i…

canned tomato sauce with basil and garlic

When I think about canning I want to make things that I'll use year round.  I want staples that I can go to that'll make pasta sauce, chili and stuffed peppers that much more delicious.  I want to make a recipe that tastes amazing in large part because the tomatoes used in it were fresh in the summer then preserved.
Although I did can some tomatoes last summer I ended up not using them as often as I thought I would.  I still found myself going to the store for diced tomatoes here and there when I should have been in the mindset to use my canned tomatoes and just crush them into the recipe.  Canning fail.

So, this year I decided to make some sauce.  It was an all day affair, let me tell you, but worth it in the end.  I looked to the Ball website for canning recipes and used their recipe for tomato sauce with basil and garlic.  You can see the original recipe here.  
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