31 Day Simplify Series :: Purpose {day 22}

simplify series

What’s the purpose of your home?

If you had to describe the the purpose of your home in 3 adjectives, what words would you use? Here’s a non-exhaustive list:

welcoming
happy
homey
comfortable
elegant
beautiful
lively
creative
elaborate
feminine
masculine
quirky
immaculate
sophisticated
simple
artsy
organized
friendly
modern
minimalist
calm
carefree

There’s a plethora of other adjectives you could choose. Which would you pick?

Why does it matter?

Before you can simplify your home, you need to decide on your home’s purpose. When you figure out something’s purpose, you automatically have boundaries. And boundaries are a really good thing. Both in life and in homes.

So. Today I’m giving you an assignment. Your very first assignment in this entire series. Figure out your home’s purpose in 3 words. Then tomorrow we’ll talk.

This post is part of the 31 day Simplify Series.
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 Simplify Series // a 31 day journey via BrownSugarToast.com

31 Day Simplify Series :: My Fave Recipe Sources {day 21}

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This post is the most exciting to me. Because duh. Food.

Do you love good food? Like tasty, healthy, comforting, spicy, sweet, crunchy, creamy, colorful … I think food is just one of the ways God shows His creativity and love for us. A while ago, I was sick and couldn’t taste anything. I kept pouring cayenne pepper in my soup and thought maybe it had gone bad or something because I couldn’t taste a thing! And then I realized it was just my sinuses that were messed up. I realized over those days how much of a delight food really is. All the different tastes and textures! God could have just made all food taste the same. But He didn’t. And I like to think that’s just one way He lavishes His love on us!

So on to some of my favorite food sources! There are a bajillion places you can find recipes. I have several cookbooks. But I’ll be honest – I rarely use them anymore. When I want a recipe, the first place I look is always online. If I’m looking for a very specific recipe, the very first site I turn to is Allrecipes.com.

allrecipes

My favorite part of All Recipes is the reviews and rating section. That’s the first thing I look at – after the name of the recipe, of course. I also started using the ‘Recipe Box’ feature over the past year and have loved that for family favorite recipes.

When I’m looking for recipe inspiration, there are 2 foodie sites I especially love:

The Pioneer Woman Cooks

shrimp tacos PW

her humor + food photog + insanely awesome kitchen skillz draw me in every time. like the shrimp tacos above? I could inhale one right this second.

I also really like Lauren’s Latest.

wraps laurens latest

Her recipes always look and sound amazing. Southwest Sausage and Quinoa Lettuce Wraps? Sign me up. I’ve made her chocolate frosting for approximately the last 134 birthdays in our house. I mean, at least the last 4. Yum. Also, if you like getting yummy food inspiration in your facebook feed, definitely follow her on facebook. She’s constantly sharing delicious recipes she finds/creates and I love it!

And last, but definitely not least…who could forget our dearly beloved Pinterest?

Follow Christa {BrownSugarToast}’s board Food to Make on Pinterest.

I’m in the process of reorganizing my pinterest boards. I used to just have one big board called “Food to Make.” Now I’m working on creating boards based on whether the food is a breakfast, snack, entree, crockpot meal, etc. It’s a time consuming project, but I know it will make it even easier for me to use! Here are the food boards I have so far. If any of them interest you, please follow along!

Breads + Breakfast
Desserts
Tried & LOVED!
Crockpot Meals
Snackables
Freezer Cooking/Baking
Entrees

Clearly, I don’t mess around with food. It’s serious business, y’all.

Where do you go to for your fave recipes? Share in the comments {gasp! I opened comments!} and we can all gain from each other’s inspiration!

This post is part of the 31 day Simplify Series.
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31 Day Simplify Series :: dump & go {day 17}

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Dump and go. Sounds delicious, right?

No.
No, it doesn’t.

But today’s meal tip is all about keeping things simple for dinner. Introducing:

my friend, the humble slow cooker.

my frien

Little did I know how much my slow cooker would be used and loved when I opened it at my bridal shower 6 1/2 years ago. All the new meals I would make as a little wife. and then as a big pregnant wife. and then as a mom. and fast forward to my life now with 3 littles…
if only it could talk.

Do you use a slow cooker? If not, I would really, really encourage you to give it a try. Already used it and didn’t like the results? Give it another try with a different recipe!

Seriously, the times I make meals for dinner in my slow cooker are some of my favorite days ever. Because then I can cross dinner off my list even before we’ve eaten lunch! Hallelujah!

Perhaps you have never tried a slow cooker recipe that you liked? Let me introduce you to my Crockpot Meals board on Pinterest.
Follow Christa {BrownSugarToast}’s board Food: Crockpot Meals on Pinterest.
Browse, my friends. Browse and drool and cook and devour. Then repeat. I promise it’s so much simpler than slaving over the stove. Try it out!

This post is part of the 31 day Simplify Series.
To stay connected, sign up for email updates or find me on facebook!

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31 Day Simplify Series :: simple granola {day 15}

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Yesterday I mentioned that we keep our breakfast options limited to 2 things: oatmeal & granola.

Today, as promised, I’m going to share the granola recipe I use. A couple years ago, I shared this recipe with you for Chewy Granola. But then one day my husband broke the news to me:

“I like crunchy granola.”

Thankfully, we were able to keep our marriage together despite the shock of his confession. I did, however, begin to look for a different granola recipe. When I tried this one from Amy’s Finer Things, I knew we were on to something. I decided to change it up just slightly and leave out the brown sugar. Bingo. We love it. It’s still sweet because of the honey. But it’s not overly sweet. Below is the recipe for simple granola without any mix-ins. I always make ours with almonds – either sliced or whole, whatever we happen to have on hand. In the past, I’ve added coconut, raisins, dried cranberries, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and dates. But our favorite is just the simple granola with almonds.

simple granola // just 5 ingredients

If you choose to add a mix-in like nuts, add it before baking.
If you add dried fruit, mix it in after baking.

Check out some other ideas of mix-ins here!

simple granola

Rating: 51

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup honey
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 15 cups (42 oz) old fashioned oats

Instructions

  1. Mix oil & honey in a saucepan. Bring to a boil.
  2. Remove from heat. Stir in cinnamon and vanilla.
  3. Pour over oats in a large bowl & thoroughly mix.
  4. Spread oats in two greased 9×13 pans.
  5. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes.
  6. Turn oven off & stir granola.
  7. Return pans to oven.
  8. Remove pans when oven has cooled.
  9. Store granola in an airtight container.
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