Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Hi Everyone!

I have a two book reviews that I need to post so I'll be continuing on a limited basis.  Who knows?  Maybe I'll muster up the energy to re-post some more!  Thanks for your kind words of encouragement either through comments, e-mail, or in person!  I was sent a book from Revell and one will be arriving from Nelson, so bear with me, and maybe I'll end up continuing this blog after all.  Hope everyone's enjoying their summer!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Time to Close Up Shop - My Last Blog Post

I've been faithfully writing Cozy Seaside Homestead for four years now.  It has brought me much enjoyment and I've been introduced to so many wonderful people because of it.  When I first started blogging I had a five year old, a three year old, and an infant.  As many of you know and can relate, I worked tirelessly cooking, organizing, growing vegetables, canning, freezing, gardening, homeschooling, reading, baking, creating, painting, budgeting, thrifting, sewing, and raising my three wonderful children.  As a creative mother of three I found blogging and sharing my creations to be encouraging.  I also tried as best as I could to make my home a haven and a place of self-sustaining production.  Spending quality time with my kids now revolves around things I can't really photograph and post to a blog.   I want to thank you readers for taking the time to look in at my little slice of life.  This will be my last post.  I am leaving the blog in tact so you can review anything you want in the future.

Susan Branch Post About Stillmeadow!

You can read Susan Branch's blog post here.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Teddy Bear Breads!

To make teddy bear breads, you just shape your bread dough like this:

Let them rise, bake, and cool on a wire rack:

When they're still warm, press chocolate chips into the soft bread to make eyes, nose, buttons, etc.

You can also paint clothes on them by mixing up some powdered sugar and milk and a little food coloring.  Apply the frosting when the bread has cooled.

This is an easy way to make a snack, use up some leftover dough, and have some fun on a rainy day!

To find the recipe I use for my teddy bears click here but you can use just about any recipe you like.

Book Review: Smart Money Smart Kids

It has taken me a while to post this book review, not because it was a difficult book to read, but only because I've been so busy lately. Now that my kids are home for summer vacation, I've been thinking more about implementing different "summer systems" to help keep things running smoothly.  They've also been using some of their own money to buy a few things to entertain them and have asked for some opportunities to make some money at home.  With that in mind I picked up Dave Ramsey's and his daughter Rachel Cruze's book Smart Money Smart Kids.  

If you've read Dave Ramsey's other books or are familiar with his methods, this book will seem familiar to you.  His daughter is quite a bit younger than me and I was wondering how she could discuss contemporary money matters about kids.  But this is more about the methods that Dave taught to his daughter and how it's worked out.  So, think of the book from that perspective.  This isn't a frugal living type of book, rather, it's a big picture look at values and how you can pass them along to your kids.  

Personally, Dave Ramsay's envelope method works really well for me because I don't have time to calculate every little expense that comes up.  Using cash in envelopes keeps you on budget because when there's $20.00 left you know that you've been spending.  I like to use cash as much as possible for my everyday expenses and I find that cash is easier to have on hand with kids because it seems that they always need money for something.  For example, $10.00 for teacher gifts, $5.00 for a pizza party, etc.  

Really this book is about teaching by example.  Let your kids see you pay for things.  Let them see you give generously, and let them see you be disciplined with your own money.

If parents are organized and grateful and generous with their money, the kids will be too.

4 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Here's my weekly menu:
I've tried to include the cost:
Wednesday:  Chicken pot pie, spinach salad - $10.00
Thursday:  mini meatballs, marinara sauce, low-carb pasta, spinach salad - $6.99
Friday:  leftovers
Saturday:  pizza
Sunday:  Chicken, rice pilaf, spinach salad - $8.50
Monday:  3 bean chili, almond flour cornbread broccoli - $4.00
Tuesday:  Chicken, cauliflower, rice pilaf - $9.50

Breakfast:  oatmeal, strawberries, milk, oj, yogurt, omlettes - $5.00-$10.00
Lunches:  bagels with cream cheese, yogurt, peaches, leftovers - $20.00

Total menu cost: about $75.00 for the week

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Book Review: Seven Secrets to Power Praying

I received a copy of Seven Secrets to Power Praying by Jane Glencher to read and review a while ago.  It took me some time to review this book because I would pick it up and then put it down again.  It's a fairly small book, and well written in an anecdotal style, so it's not a difficult read.  Rather, you can skip around to different sections of the book depending on your mood.  This book is published by Chosen, a division of Bethany House Publishers.  Chosen Books are more charismatic in style - it's not that they are "New Age" because they are deeply rooted in Christianity.  It's just that the type of person that this kind of book speaks to is someone who appreciates different methods to getting in touch with God.  For example, listening to His voice, looking for signs, seeing answers in unexpected places, and knowing that your prayer has been answered.  

Cover Art

The author is a physician and she reminds us that we don't have to pray for just the big things in our lives. We set up rules for ourselves that determine the worthiness of our prayers.  She says it doesn't matter.  Pray for a good trip to the supermarket, pray for a message, pray for some small comfort, it's okay to do it.  There's no limit to what you can pray for.  The title of the book talks about power praying.  To the author this really is meditation and intention.  Sit quietly for a few moments, be thankful, grateful, but allow the messages to come to you and then ask and pray for a solution.  Now, you may be thinking that this sounds like "The Secret" and there are parts of that that are true but the difference is that praying to God surrenders your way and allows God's way to overpower it.  

The author gives an example of power praying by telling us a story about her kids when they were younger and she was struggling to keep it all together.  She realized that she could pray that they would stop fighting, or that she could make a good decision, and ultimately, she listened to the voice that told her that it was time to leave medicine in favor of raising her children.  

So here's the real question: how do you know what's God's voice and not your ego or something more sinister?  Reading this book will help you with that.

An interesting, accessible read.  4 out of 5 stars.