Hi, I'm Andrea! Our little family of four lives in South Florida and leads worship. We are here to share the love of Christ and live life together. We're learning a lot here and enjoy looking for opportunities to grow. Thanks for listening and coming alongside us!

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Previous Entries

Monday, September 29, 2014

Stay at Home Mom Q & A

I visited a fellow blogger's page and a great Q & A that I thought I would share with you! Pig and Dac's original post HERE! Thanks for the inspiration! I am also linking up with Mamas Tell All!
Are you a Stay at home mom or a Working Mom?

I am currently a stay at home mom, although I have worked part-time here and there since becoming a momma!

What made you come to that decision?

I have always wanted to be the primary caregiver and trainer for my children, and my husband was fully supportive and felt the same way. 

Was your mom a stay at home mom or working mom?

My mom stayed home with us (three girls) until my youngest sister was in middle school. At that time she started working, but was always off when we were home.

How old are your children?

I have a 2 year old and a little one growing inside, now at 16 weeks gestation. 

Are you part of any mom groups/play groups?

Most of the moms I know here in South Florida work during the day, but I have enjoyed getting together with them when they are able to, for play dates and strolls. I
've gone to some toddler library programs, but currently nap time is interfering with the schedule.  I would love to be more involved with a mom's group -- especially during the weekdays. 

Did you always know you wanted to be a SAHM?

Yes, I didn't know that I wouldn't be in a full-time career for several years first, but I knew when I had kids I wanted to be home with them!

How long do you plan to stay at home?

That IS the question! I have been toggling around on this idea for quite some time -- namely, what schooling will we choose for our kids. I have been researching some different avenues, I was public schooled k-12 myself, but I've recently been wondering if that may not be the best fit for our family. Homeschooling is intimidating to me, but also sounds really cool-- but then I think of the amazing things I loved about my public school life, and it gets me back in the questioning mode. Time to interview Christian parents of quality South Floridian kids!

Did you go to school before becoming a stay at home mom?

Yes! I have a Bachelors degree in Worship Ministries from John Brown University.  

If you worked before having children, do you miss it?

I don't think I miss "working" per se -- I enjoy what I do with my family and am learning to embrace this season. What I do miss sometimes is having coworkers to chat with and new people to meet and converse with every day. I miss having the tangible job-well-done accomplishments of completing a task for someone else to evaluate. One day I'll probably go back to work and miss these days, so I won't take them for granted! 

What was your job/career before you became a mom?

I worked at Gymboree Play & Music part-time and part-time as an in-home tutor through Club Z! I used my degree on a volunteer basis and did a children's ministry intership at our church, Grace Hills! After my son was born, we moved and I did work part-time at our church as a Children's Ministry Volunteer Coordinator, Community Christian Fellowship

Do you have a daily routine or just go with the flow day by day?

We have a little bit of routine -- Marsh usually wakes up around the same time each day and naps generally around 11 am. He eats throughout the entire day. Bedtime is generally around 7:30 pm. I would say for the rest of the day, we go with the flow -- because we can! 

Do you keep up with the housework or is it shared with your husband/partner?

We share some responsibilities, but I'm responsible for laundry and aiming to tidy and keep up during the day. My husband, Josh has been taking out the trash -- since that's hard to do with a little one in tow and being pregnant. I appreciate that he does that! We both like to cook and shop for groceries together. I like unloading the dishwasher, and he would much rather load it! I work with the bills and find money saving opportunities (rebates, coupons, sales, etc.) while Josh works hard for the family!  We're a team :)

Do you do anything on the side to earn extra money? If so what?

Any of those banners or affiliate links could make a few dollars, but I haven't made much though the blog yet. It is more of a hobby, but I would love it if it were to grow! I am looking for more opportunities for a bit of working from home, especially in light of baby #2 coming in March!

What is one thing you love about being a SAHM mom?

I love getting to know my son and witness his growth and train him to do what is right at a young age. With a lot more of his *ahem* "opinions" be shared very strongly at this point, I am glad that I am able to be the one to reprimand and train him rather than another caregiver. I also love being more available to my husband if he needs me to run an errand or take care of something for him. I love that I don't have a super strict "normal" schedule at a job, because my husband's ministry responsibilities can have rather "odd" hours at times. We are able to have some mornings together when he works for the afternoon and evening, and we have Mondays together as a family! 

What is one thing you hate about being a SAHM mom?

It can be really hard to not hang out with friends/coworkers or meet people during the day --as an extrovert -- this is the hardest part. 

I will pose the same question to you! Leave me some comments below:: 

What "kind" of mom are you [or do you "plan" to be in the future] (SAHM, Working Mom, WAHM) and how do you feel about it? What do you hate and love about it?
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Our Toddler Food Tips

Many darling parents bend over backwards to get that toddler to eat nutritious food! Since we've recently had some successes in this department -- I thought I'd share a few things that we did!
1. Don't assume or label - Keep offering new foods

We thought our son was just "a kid that didn't like meat". Every time we offered poultry, red meat, fish, whatever -- he would either refuse entirely or pick it out of his mouth and remove! Thankfully, we continued to offer, and in the last couple of months he has ENJOYED chicken AND turkey bacon -- asking for more! I'm glad we didn't assume-he-would-never and instead continued offering and eating meat during meals and were pleasantly surprised with his breakthrough!

2. Mix with the familiar - Chop it small and hide!

If your child is spotting their least favorite foods in their dish, they may refuse outright. Depending on the age, there may be little you can do to get them to change their mind. We've mixed all sorts of healthy chopped or even pureed in with cheese scrambled eggs or Plain Greek Yogurt! He'll eat just about anything when combined with those two favorites. 

3. Spin off of favorites - Broaden your shopping list

So maybe your child isn't liking any vegetables or much past peanut butter, for that matter. Here are a few spin offs that our son enjoys based off his favorite staples. 

What he liked                             . . .             Which led us to add       

  • Peanuts/Peanut Butter       . . .         Cashews, Walnuts, Almonds   (and corresponding butters)
  • Peas                                     . . .            Edamame
  • Parmesan Cheese               . . .           Nutritional Yeast 
  • Cuties                                  . . .          Tomatoes, Oranges, Grapefruit
  • Cookies                                . . .          Healthy Granola/Protein Bars
  • Raisins                                . . .             Prunes, dried Apricots
  • Guacamole                         . . .             Hummus, Bean Dip 

*I would recommend checking out Vitacost for a lot of these healthy products -- I ordered from them for the first time last month and was SO pleased with the selection and fast delivery! Here is a code for $10 off your first order: They have such great prices! Thank you in advance for using my referral!

4. Don't let allergies or diets limit negatively

Here's our story that I put together for a guest post -  Raising a Gluten-Free Toddler on a Playground of Animal Crackers and Cheerios 

I hope these tips and tricks help you and your family! 

Comment below:: What are some of your family's ways of adding health into your diet?
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Linking up today:: That Southern Mama

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bars

I started feeling autumn this weekend and wanted to whip out a pumpkin recipe! And of course, where did I head? None other than my good ol' Pinterest board -- Pumpkin Love! I scrolled down, mouth watering ... and found a picture that described a Pumpkin Pie Sheet Cake -- with the crust made from a yellow cake mix! Clicking through to the site -- I was thrilled to be met with the actual recipe posted back in 2011 and found that I had most all of the ingredients! I married two recipes to make my own, based on my own pantry items and the need for pumpkin-craving satisfaction! The combination of the original recipe from Jamie Cooks it Up and a classic pumpkin pie recipe from All Recipes.

I preheated the oven to 425 degrees F and got started!
FYI! cook time: 
  • 15 minutes at 425 degrees
  • 45 minutes at 350 degrees
I formed the crust using a
  • buttered Pyrex
  •  baking dish (tip: use the butter wrapper!)
  • Gluten-Free Yellow Cake mix
  • A stick of butter (1/2 cup) melted (I used unsalted)
  • 1 egg
I used this Gluten Free brand from Aldi
Mixed well and pressed into the Pyrex

For the filling, I whisked up
  • 1 can of pumpkin (15 oz)
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice (or 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg)
  • a pinch of salt (about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • a handful of sugar (about 1/4 cup *optional)
Lovely filling poured carefully on top of the crust
I popped the lovely pumpkin creation into our oven (425 degrees) and set the timer for 15 min for the first portion. I couldn't help but flip the oven light on to check on the progress of the bars! I turned the oven down to 350 and set the timer again for a (loooong!) 45 minutes. 

Meanwhile while pumpkin smells filled our home

Fiiiinally, the timer beeped!! We tested the "done-ness" of the cake/bars by slipping a knife in the center -- YAY! We'd done it! My husband encouraged me to wait until it cooled, and I could barely hold in my anticipation!

While the bars were cooling, I pulled out our NutriBullet
 (ironic...cough cough) and used the remainder of our Heavy Whipping Cream carton (and sugar "to taste") to make some yummy whipped topping! It worked GREAT! I was thrilled, it was my first time to try this method. --it was lovely, and fluffy -- perfect for topping this pumpkin treat!

Pin on Pinterest if you get the chance!
What is your favorite autumn treat?
**This post contains a couple of links to my amazon affiliate, should you decide to click through to purchase, I will receive a small compensation -- thank you for your support!
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Linking up with Sandi of Fearless Dining for Gluten-Free & DIY Tuesday as well as Pin it Thursday!

Also linking up today on the Fall Family Bucket List from Wife Mommy Me! Check out some more autumn treasures HERE!
Sweet Bella Roos

Monday, September 22, 2014

Spread Kindness!

I am celebrating the launch of Project Lead Kindly, a nonprofit organization founded by Pamela (from Macdonald’s Playland) and her husband. 
Project Lead Kindly assists mothers and children affected by homelessness and domestic violence by providing charitable service and grants to assist them in getting closer to safer, stable housing as well as educational or professional dreams. This is such a need and it's so wonderful to be a part of spreading the word and helping with the launch! They are also on a mission to spread the message that ALL can do good and spread kindness, no matter their circumstances. 

Here's a sign I made to help you to know that you can still spread kindness, even when things are hard.

The message I chose to share was, "Spread kindness, even when THEY don't!" Sharing kindness automatically draws me to a verse I memorized as a kid -- Ephesians 4:32

Be kind one to another
tenderhearted, forgiving one another
even as God in Christ has forgiven you.

I've been encountering a lot of people that don't extend the same kindness as I am offering to them. For one, I live in an area that is made up largely of people who don't know Jesus Christ! 97.4% of my neighbors in South Florida do not even step foot in church apart from funerals, weddings and maybe Christmas. They have not heard the life saving and redeeming message of the gospel. Last night Josh and I visited our church's ownership class called DNA (our second time to attend) -- our version of "church membership". We were reminded and inspired to share the gospel NOW! After all, there are 2 things we can't do in heaven: 
1. sin  2. evangelize
 --which do you think God wants us to be doing more of while we're here on earth? 

I am asking my readers and fellow bloggers to participate in spreading kindness and the launch of this great organization by:
1) Creating your own "Spread Kindness, even when...(fill in the blank)" sign and take a photo of it! 
2) Sharing your photo THIS WEEK on instagram or facebook. Be sure to tag @ProjectLeadKindly and/or hashtag it #projectleadkindly so they can share your photo which will inspire others going through difficult challenges!
3) Tag at least 3 friends and ask them to create a "spread kindness, even when..." sign too and ask them to join in and post the photo on their favorite social media.

Join us in inspiring someone out there to know they are not alone and can find hope to do what is good and right --  no matter what life throws at them. Let's remind people of their light and assist mothers & children in need!
Visit to find more ways to lead kindly and to assist mothers & kids affected by homelessness and domestic violence.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Marriage After Baby

In light of our 3rd Wedding Anniversary today, I would love to share with you some of the things that have brought Josh and I closer and kept our relationship alive! Our marriage is young, only 3 years old, but we have gone through a lot together! In the past 3 years, we have had a baby, changed jobs, changed churches, gone through the losses of both of my grandmothers, Josh also returned to college to finish his bachelor's degree this year, and graduated, we moved several times (the last move from NW Arkansas to S Florida!), and now are pregnant with baby #2! Plenty of stresses, but many more joys! 
Today, I'd like to focus on "Marriage After Baby" --since our son became a part of our life after only 3 months of marriage and was born the month before our first anniversary! Our culture can tend to emphasize the strain that kids can have on your marriage -- you know what I mean, and you could spout off an entire list, I'm sure! 

Instead, let's focus turning challenges into a way to draw you together and deepen your marriage while raising children. After all, as Psalm 127:3 clearly shares, "Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him". 

Here are some things that top my list this morning -- 
Ways to Grow in Your Marriage when Baby Enters Your Family

1. Get on the same page with your spouse

You don't have to be carbon copies of each other, in fact - you shouldn't be! The important thing is to be consistent with your child and unified with your partner in what matters most in your family. This is especially valuable as your child grows older, and needs to be guided and corrected. Don't sweat the small stuff -- you will have your differences. Instead, talk about the small stuff in a gentle way, don't let little issues add up to something. It is a neat dynamic to process things with your spouse that you may have never even thought about before, or talked about with anyone else! You get to see that person you love in a new light and figuring out a new role!

2. Make sacrifices and serve!

Step outside of what you are required to do just to get by, and consider how you can make a little extra sacrifice to bless your spouse. This can mean the most. Maybe the house isn't perfect, but you made your spouse a special dessert treat, or wrote a note to let them know you love them, you notice them, and you are thankful for them. These gestures mean so much -- give them, and also receive them!

3. Don't be entitled

This can be one of the hardest things to do. As a pregnant woman, you may be used to being pampered! People open the door for you, help carry your bags, offer you beverages or extra servings of food. Everyone is interested in how you are feeling. There is an abrupt change when you enter Mommy-hood with baby on the outside! You've just gotta do it. You must get out of bed, you must care for that baby's many needs. Don't forget to care for yourself, but the selfish entitlement must end. The demands on you increase substantially - with loving support and help, you can handle it -- but it can be hard to swallow that pill of self-entitlement. Your spouse can help you process this change and be the relief and reality that you need -- remember you're not alone! Connect by helping each other through this newness of...well...adulthood, really. 
4. Date Each Other and have FUN!

Just the two of you time -- what a treat and a treasure! Our first date after baby was our first anniversary, our son was just over a month old -- and oh we had so much fun! What would it take to make arrangements to get out together? Rekindle and connect by getting away, even if you don't spend any money other than for a babysitter or spoil each other because you want to see them smile, the possibilities are vast! Hold hands and be uninterrupted :) or be goofy with a round of mini-golf!  Can't get away? Try putting baby down earlier in the evening. Our toddler goes to bed before 8 pm -- that way we can have time together, just the two of us -- a mini-date without even leaving home! Don't let your kids be the center of your universe. Remember, one day your kids will grow up and no longer live in your home. Will you be equipped and prepared to interact daily, just the two of you -- and LOVE it?

5. Show Affection

Be complimentary of your spouse, give a heartfelt kiss to each other around your kids and in public. Let your love for each other spill over so that your kids can grow up with the assurance that their parents, no matter what, love each other. I love holding hands with my husband as we drive in the car. We feel connected, even if we're stuck in traffic. Sure, there's a kid in the car-seat behind us, but it sure feels like just-the-two-of-us for that moment!

6. See Life as an Adventure

Parenthood is new for you both of you! See it as an adventure! You may get lost, because the map didn't quite have all of the details. Adapt, make necessary changes, forgive and move along. You may wake up in the middle of the night to unfamiliar sounds. You may have to eat differently than you did before, or smell strange earthy odors... but you're on an adventure, and you'll have stories to tell about this one! 

Above all, love one another deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. - 1 Peter 4:8

What would you add to my list? How do you view kiddos entering into your marriage dynamic?

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