2021 Goals · Emily (Me) · Fridge or Pantry · Good Cheap Eats · Homemaking · Pantry Challenge · Recipes · Repurposed Food (Leftovers)

Join Me For Pantry Challenge 2021

One of the ways I’m kicking off 2021 is to participate in the Pantry Challenge with Jessica at Good Cheap Eats. The dates are January 1-31! I’ve been doing this for at least a decade. I love her blog because I get her logic. She helps me see what I am doing right, wrong, and what I can do better. The Pantry Challenge is a fantastic season that my family looks forward to twice a year.

I would love to invite you to go to her blog, read about it, and subscribe. When you subscribe, Jessica will send you the tools you need to participate. It’s been different for us here in Italy. My pantry and fridges/freezers are full because of extra holiday purchases, and we have set some attainable goals for this Pantry Challenge!

  1. We will stick to our meal plan.
  2. We will only grocery shop every 2 weeks…
    • When we do, will will only buy dairy, produce, paper/personal items.
  3. If we don’t have it, we will make it! That happened today!
  4. We will repurpose food and use up our frozen foods.
  5. With the exception of Marque’s birthday, we will not eat out…

All of the things on my list will either save us time or money. In the states, there are coupons, and sales fliers, etc. here in Italy, not so much. We did find a store called AdHoc, which is similar to Costco. That has helped with meat costs, etc.

Here’s a pic of my pantry:

Beside my fridge (to the left of this pantry), I have a dry erase calendar where I place my meal plan, and a dry erase empty square where I write my grocery list. During the Pantry Challenge, we take stock of the meats and dry items we have… and we use our imaginations to make it all last at least a month, sometimes longer.

January 1st we had our traditional New Years Meal. Pork roast (because a proper ham is not common here), black eyed peas, greens/cabbage. Leftovers today, the 2nd, and tomorrow (the 3rd) we will have shrimp tacos.

Earlier, I said we needed something we didn’t have, so we made it. So here’s the story. We love the Pioneer Woman’s Shrimp Tacos, and they call for Mexican Tomato Sauce. Usually we use El Pato, but we ran out and they don’t sell it here. So we made it from this recipe – Mexican Tomato Sauce.

One of the things I have learned from Jessica @GoodCheapEats is that you can make just about everything from scratch… and it’s such a benefit. I’ll let you know how the shrimp tacos turn out.

We’re excited! Come play along… get organized, use what you have…and save money! AND let us know how you do!

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about the Bible In a Year with Father Mike Schmitz. Pray for me. I’d really love to read the Bible in a year!

Love, hugs & Blessings,
LadyEm

Catholic Faith · COVID · Davis Family · Emily (Me) · Family · Italy · LadyEm

Happy New Year 2021

Dear Ones,

I am writing this at about 5pm Italy time. It’s morning in the states.

As we face New Year’s Eve here in Italy, we are in a Red Day. It means we are “forbidden” from going anywhere. Curfew is at 10pm for take out/delivery of food, etc. But we did manage to go buy a dog crate today for our little girl (three months old) as she gets out of the play yard and into the boy’s bed. HA

Facing 2021 has be going between these two memes.
First this…

Basically just be cool and get things done – quietly… but don’t try to get too excited.

Then this…

Yes! Every day we start again. Just like every Saint and wanna be Saint before us and beside us. Never give up. Sigh…

But I knew I wanted to share with you a way more uplifting message than that… And I never really have to look further than my Magnificat. Y’all. Seriously – I could just regurgitate it all day look. Read John 1: 1-18 and then read the below!

2020 was a hard year in MANY ways… However; in our home, many great things happened during 2020:

  • my husband beat cancer he didn’t know he had.
  • we had time to clean and toss.
  • we learned we were tougher than we thought.
  • we made a list of things we need to do – as individuals and as a family.
    • I lost 10 of the nearly 20 lbs I gained.
    • I found my voice again and made myself a priority.
  • Our children are healthy.
  • Our grandchildren are healthy.
  • Most of our friends have beaten cancer and Covid and other things they have faced.
    • Please continue to pray for all who have not beat these things.

Today is New Year’s Eve. It’s the end and the beginning in one 24-hour period. Let us all work together to keep our minds sharp and positive. How blessed are we that God loves us so much he comforts us and guides us? He never leaves us. We can be certain of this! And whatever test we are walking through – HE is with us. Reach for his hand…

Let me quickly tell you how I intend to do stay positive, get more organized, AND concentrate:

  1. I am using several videos to stretch/strengthen and tone. I need to move more – PERIOD. Moving helps your energy level and your mind. It really does.
  2. I am on a 100 day fast from purchasing things I want vs. really a NEED. Sigh. that will be hard – but good.
    • I have my meal plan in place.
    • I’m going to try to figure out sales here and buy on the economy more because frankly the base is so expensive.
    • I’m looking for a job.
  3. I am formulating a plan to be purposefully Liturgical. You say, WHAT? Y’all when I homeschooled, I was on it – Feast Days, etc. Between Italy and how we feel about being here, and the COVID Shut Downs… it has drained my brain and hope… Base Church is weak at best… and my disdain for it all has helped me understand we need to live more purposefully as Catholics.
    • More family time.
    • More positive mindset.
  4. Increase my prayer life. I’m trying. I have books and things (I will talk about them later). But mainly it’s about concentrating.
    • I’m serious – is there a prayer for concentration or a Patron Saint for concentration.
  5. I will find a job.
  6. There will be more goals. That’s a good beginning.

Listen – I’m praying for you in 2021. We are all going to do our best to have a great year. It’s all we can do. Pray for me too.

HAPPY, BLESSED AND WONDERFUL NEW YEAR!

We’ll chat soon.

Love & Hugs,
LadyEm

Catholic Book Reviews · Catholic Faith · Catholic Mom · Emily (Me) · Equipping Catholic Families · Prayer Journal · Uncategorized

Book Review Wednesday – Prompt Me to Pray

It is NO exaggeration to say that life is BUSY. Even in the midst of a COVID shut down here in Italy, I am still mom, wife, dog walker, animal feeder, PTSA President, friend, writer, paper crafter, family taxi, counselor, secretary, janitor, schedule coordinator, menu planner/shopper… you get what I mean – right?

I have told myself for years that God understands the busy-ness of motherhood and wifedom. God wants more from me (from you too) – and that is what this book will help each reader accomplish. Wherever you are in your prayer life, this book presents ideas and prompts to help you focus and grow your daily prayer into a better relationship with God. 

I purpose to read the Magnificat and pray Novenas, and Rosaries, etc. Many days, these things happen, but I will admit to you dear readers, that sometimes I get busy and forget….

Enter… Prompt Me to Pray

I have read many books about praying, but really, the tagline in that picture above, where it says “A Practical Plan for More Consistent Prayer from the Heart” – NAILED IT! Just saying.

This book encouraged me to start a prayer journal — not just writing out prayer requests for other people, but actually stopping to think about what I am asking, praying for and waiting on guidance. In essence, this prayer journal I am creating is like recording my conversation with God and the action plan He sets forth.

For some readers, this book presents a plan to find prompts and notice what prompts you (the reader) to pray throughout the day. I love that part, but I am already there. So when I told Monica I’d review this book, I thought – this is going to be my “dig deeper” resource. And it is. 

I am a prayer warrior. I constantly pray for other people. It’s a gift. But what I forget to do is purpose to pray for my needs, my family’s needs, our world, and every little thing.

I write down prayers for others, but I don’t take the time to write out my prayers for ME. And that, dear readers, is what is missing in my Prayer/Conversation with God. Yes, I pray for things I need. I’m human.  But I don’t converse the way Monica writes about in this book. And that has to change.

If you ask me who should read this book, I’d say anyone over the age of 11. I think it will appeal to teens learning to implement prayer journaling and purposeful praying into their everyday lives. Certainly would be a great book for Confirmandi to use.

Because of how the base chapel is run, I need to become the DRE (Director of Religious Ed) here at home. When I homeschooled, I was so good about it. Life has really overtaken us, and I am going to purpose to pray and use this lockdown the take back our Catholicity. I know that God will lead me. Pray for me, dear Readers.

I almost forgot. 

I am super excited about the Catholic Mom Bundle for Advent 2020. It can be overwhelming to even broach the thought of an organized and Liturgical Advent when you have littles. BUT – I promise you there is something in this bundle for everyone. For me, it’s the Prompt Me to Pray Advent eBook. It’s NOT available online yet, but is free with the purchase of this bundle, using Monica’s Affiliate Link.

This picture below is from Monica’s Website – Arma Dei – Equipping Catholic Families. The Affiliate Link mentioned is here – Catholic Mom Bundle Advent 2020

And don’t forget to check back on her website where I am sure the Prompt Me to Pray This Advent will eventually be sold as a standalone purchase, along with Prompt Me to Pray with the Saints !

Dear Ones, thank you for reading my post as always. May you find the path to God through Prayer – like the Saints did. Who is your favorite praying Saint? I mean – they all prayed, but we all have personal favorites. Let me know.

Love, Hugs & Blessings,
Lady Em

#catholicmom.com · Catholic Faith · Catholic Mom · Emily (Me) · Italy · Small Success Thursday

Small (BIG) Success Thursday

Happy Thursday All.
Happy First day of Google School for our DODEA Kids.
Happy About to be locked down again in Italy.
Happy – Happy – Happy… Small Success Thursday!

While I am concentrating on my list of things to do… I want to be sure to praise God. I was writing my last Gospel Reflection for 2021 last week, and I have to say, as God does, he knew I was going to need to hold onto it. In this Gospel, Jesus was questioned by the Chief Priests and Elders. And they always asked him questions meant to usurp his authority. What I loved about it, was Jesus calmly asked them a question, to throw them off their game.

He was not mean spirited in any way, but you see… He knows, in our humanity, we often answer questions safely – even when we know the right answer. And our Catechism/Faith as we grow in Christ, challenges us to Answer the question LIVE the right way… Not the SAFE POPULAR way, but how our Lord has taught us. He cared deeply for their souls and wanted them to think.

In our world, living the right way… doing what we are supposed to, as long as we aren’t combative and aggressive and we lead with love, is intimidating, and yet freeing. And I believe when we speak up the right way about the awful things happening in our world, we are showing truth and love. We are doing it RIGHT!

So now, I shall tell you my Small *BIG* Successes. I’ve decided that they are all big.

My successes are as follows…

  1. Making a broader effort to get back to the Cathlicity that is missing in our home.
  2. Answering/Living the right way, in spite of judgment.
  3. Maintaining Sanity in the midst of what we know is coming.
  4. Ok – I can do four – I did this post. THIS is a miracle. But an advantage of being in Italy is it’s early in the states. ❤

I would encourage you all to tighten your inner circle. Remember Jesus had a small group of close companions. We must get smaller and stronger and in these times, pray harder.

I hope your Thursday’s are great.

Love, Hugs, & Encouragement!
LadyEm



#LadyEmCrafts · Book Review · Catholic Bible Journaling · Catholic Book Reviews · COVID · Italy · Quarantine2020

Book Review Wednesday – Ignatius Press Bible Journal

Dear Ones,

I hope this post finds you well. It’s been two weeks since I posted, but y’all, I have had a busy two weeks.
I’m the PTSA President and I was at school nearly every day. Between Teacher/Staff Appreciation, our spirit gear coming in and needing distribution, “spirit week” – which I will show you later this week, and school pictures… it was a lot of fun! I’m so thankful we could bring fun into the school.

I meant to get this up early this morning but today’s been a rather long one. You see, we are about to be told we are closing till January and going to a Google Classroom setting. UGH. I’m heartbroken, and also relieved at the same time. Now, we know and we don’t have to deal with “is it happening” thoughts. Ya know? Here is the latest Italian Decree. It’s not great. But guides the command on how the Italians expect the rest of us to act. It’s their country, after all. If you open it in Google Chrome, you can see the fun… You’re welcome. HAHA

But you didn’t come here for that. You came to see the new Bible Journal I was sent to review. I love it in so many ways… there is just ONE thing I wish was different, but it won’t stop me from using it. I’ll explain. First and foremost, I have literally been praying that Ignatius Press would create a journaling Bible. And when my friend Monica told me about it, I knew I wanted to review it. So thrilled to have been sent this Bible. Because I’ve already given the last one I reviewed away – even though I said I wouldn’t. I’ve loved the Ignatius Bibles since I homeschooled through Seton. And I agree with Mr. Scott Hahn, who said that the NRSV Second Catholic Edition is the most beautiful translation of the Bible. Hands down – agree!

  • WHAT I LOVE:
    • This Ignatius Note-Taking and Journaling Bible a sturdy Bible- in fact, the leather is beautiful.
    • The pages are thicker than a regular Bible and easy to work on.
    • My artwork didn’t bleed through too much, but that doesn’t bother me anyway.
    • I love the off white color of the pages.
    • The maps are great too.
    • I love the size of the Bible – its 6.25×7.25 and maybe 2 inches or so thick. I have super small hands and it’s easy to hold.
  • ONE THING I WISH WAS DIFFERENT:
    • Font Size. 7 pt font is too small for this 57 year old.
    • It’s not their fault I wear trifocals like Mr. Magoo… But that is truly my only issue.
    • Luckily I have access to a bigger version so I am clear on the verses I am working with.

This is my new favorite. In the pictures below, you will see the cover, the comparison of size/font to the last Review from Catholic Bible Press, a blank page, and a page with artwork.

When I journal, I try to plan it out beforehand, and I always try to write a note.

On this page, I used:

  • Sharpie bright yellow highlighter
  • Various gel crayons, water, and paintbrushes.
  • Tim Holtz Sunrise Stencil.
  • Various Stamps from Sweet & Sassy Stamps. One item each from three sets.
  • Gina K Amalgam Ink
  • Distress Ink

The verses I journaled are Psalm 43:3-4 –

As always, I washi-taped a plastic mat under the page I worked on, so that the Bible wouldn’t get wet. I air dried this one, and then I stamped on it, and wrote out: Let Me bring light to the world through God, who’s light and love I share with others! Meet me on the Holy Hill! Walk with me, I am NOT alone!

Dear Ones, I have to hop off to go watch the explanation of the latest decree by our Command Staff. Pray for us over here.

Love, Hugs & Blessings,
LadyEm