Status: No Margin

No Margin :: EverydaySmallThings.comOver the last few weeks, I have been processing this concept of “margin” in my life. Actually its more than just processing, God has been hammering me with it!

You see, anxiety and a lack of margin go hand-in-hand. When I begin to notice the margin in my life narrowing, I also notice it has a direct influence on the number and severity of anxiety attacks.  

Margin: the amount available beyond what is necessary.
 
Margin in motherhood. When I allow my margin to narrow my little people suffer. I am less likely to engage in play with them or read them a book. My temper is much quicker which is not enjoyable for anyone. When I have margin in my life, I find that I enjoy motherhood much more. I’m excited for the day ahead, instead of dragging along.
 

Recently I found myself in the grocery store, staring at the long shelves of food. Darn it, my family needed to eat…again. Wasn’t I just here last night? Yep. Yep I was. Same spot. 24 hours earlier. Staring. Trying to mentally run through all of those fabulous pins I have of meals that we love or I’d like to try. And yet, the only meal that comes to mind is chili…again. With a small sigh, my shoulders sagged and I felt stuck. This is another result of having low margin in my life. Margin allows me to thoughtfully plan out meals for our family. Margin allows me to wisely stick to our food budget.

Margin: the amount available beyond what is necessary.
 
Margin in my marriage. My marriage could survive in low margin, but I want it to thrive. I want to be an active partner with my husband in life and ministry, but right now its taking a lot of work to be more than passing ships in the night. I’m a better mom if I’m a better wife to my husband first. If I’m being honest, in the last four months, I find myself being Daycare Owner first, Mom second, Wife third. The kids’ needs are screaming at me (literally screaming sometimes). Matt doesn’t need me to feed, bathe, change or hold him.
 
Margin: the amount available beyond what is necessary.
 
Margin in my faith and ministry. Sadly, what little time I was finding in the last few months with God, has become nothing. I’ll be honest, yesterday was the first time in eight weeks that I even opened my Bible. I’m empty. And you can’t (or shouldn’t) serve out of your emptiness. Romans 15:13 (The Message) says, “May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!” I can’t be filled with “the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit” without spending quality time with my Savior.
 
Margin: the amount available beyond what is necessary.
 
Margin for me. Personal care is an important part of life, but especially for those who struggle with depression and anxiety. Self care is one of the best tools we have. Often, moms put off taking care of themselves because they feel like they need to put their family first. But taking care of yourself is taking care of your family!
 
Margin: the amount available beyond what is necessary.
 
So, how does one start getting more margin? I don’t know the answer for everyone, but for me, it’s learning to say “No” and choosing to prioritize. Recognizing the places I can let go and others I need to engage. For instance, I haven’t blogged in a few weeks. I tend to blog in the evening and I found I needed that time to focus on my family.
 
So where are you at with margin in your own life? What are ways you protect your margin? Do you need to find more “white space” in your life?

To The Mom Whose Family Doesn’t Look Like What She Imagined

To The Mom Whose Family Doesn't Look Like She Imagined | EverydaySmallThings.com


To The Mom Whose Family Doesn't Look Like She Imagined | EverydaySmallThings.comEver since I was a young girl, I knew I wanted to be a mom.  
I also knew I wanted a lot of kids. Like. A loooot. Mothering instincts have always come naturally to me. Younger children were drawn to me and I enjoyed babysitting. In fact, I took babysitting so seriously that I created a “Babysitting Kit” full of fun activities!

I am the oldest of 5 children. Hustle and bustle was the name of the game in my house growing up. Dinner was loud, but fun. There was never a lack of playmates. I love looking at family photos and seeing how large my family is.

In college, I remember telling a friend that I wanted 15 kids. I was only half-joking. When Matt and I started dating, children were an important part of the conversation. I wanted a large family and Matt understood my dream.

Four years into marriage I had a baby.

Holy moly was my world turned upside down.

When she was 4 months old, I returned to work and that is when I began recognizing that I am a medium-low capacity momma. Capacity is the physical and emotional energy you have. It also may indicate how many balls you can juggle before it’s too much. By the end of the work day, there was hardly anything left for my little family.

When Rilyn was an active 23 month old, I gave birth to Landon. From the beginning, he had issues nursing and it didn’t help that Rilyn knew she could get away with anything when mommy was trying to nurse. At 4 months old he fell below his birth weight and was labeled “failure to thrive”. Between this and the toll pregnancy had on my hormones, I found myself deep into the baby blues.  So much so, that it took me nearly two years and trying different medications before my emotional and mental health was normal again.

Walking through that tough season was incredibly hard on my marriage and my motherhood. I am so grateful to have had a husband who stood by my side through the ups and downs. He understood this was not normal for me and fought for me and our family when I couldn’t.

Because of all of this and after a lot of prayer, Matt and I made the decision that, at least for the foreseeable future, we will not be adding to our family via pregnancy.

Enter grief for the loss of a dream.

Experiencing the loss of your family dream can look a lot of different ways. Maybe it was the dream of one boy and one girl and three boys later, you’ve decided not to try a fourth time for that girl. Maybe like me, for unforeseen personal reasons, you have made the choice not to get pregnant again.  Or maybe you’ve experienced infertility or the unimaginable loss of a child.

It’s ok to grieve the family you always dreamt of.

While I know and trust that we have made the right decision for our family, I have still had to grieve the loss of what I always dreamed my family would look like. When we make a decision that is best for our family, it does not take away the loss of our dreams. So you and I have to allow ourselves to grieve but also not lose out on the moment of now. We can’t let what we don’t have cripple us or define us.

Just yesterday, I was going between anger with God and grief yet again as a friend with 6 children posted family photos. This is what I dreamed my family would look like. While it could be easy to look at another mom with more children and feel inadequate,  I can’t allow Satan to steal away the joy of my family and you can’t either.  Regardless of whether your tendency is to shut down emotionally or dwell in your emotions, you can’t fall into the trap of not being the woman your family needs while walking through the grief.  

Recently, the longing and grief were weighing heavily on me and I finally shared what was on my heart with a friend of mine. Wouldn’t you know, I heard the words, “Me too!” What a reminder that none of us are alone in this journey of motherhood. There are other moms who may have a different story, but understand the emotions.

Better Together | EverydaySmallThings.comIn our book, Better Together, my mom writes, “Sometimes just having someone to listen can make all the difference in the world. Most women long to be heard more than to have their problems fixed. When we can be a safe person for a friend to be real and raw without judgment, we give them an incredible gift.”

Caring for others allows us to more easily share with others because we know that we all go through hard times. Taking off our masks is an important part of taking friendship to a deeper level.

So here I am, mask removed. Letting you know, “Me too!”

A Creative Way to Talk About Emotional Purity

The Easiest Way to Talk About Emotional Purity :: EverydaySmallThings.comNote: This post, written several years ago, was a readers’ favorite on my previous blog. As we approach Valentine’s Day, I found it fitting to repost.

For the last four weeks, Matt has been doing a series called “Opposite Sex” with our high school students. He’s been talking about guy and girl relationships and how God calls us to a lifestyle that is “Opposite” of culture’s. Tonight, he preached from Genesis 29:1-30:24, the story of Jacob, Leah and Rachel. I had always seen Jacob’s pursuit and waiting of Rachel as romantic or sweet, but in actuality, Jacob wasted 14 years of his life pining over this woman. Really interesting perspective!

After Matt’s message, we split the kids up between guys and girls. I was really praying about how to drive home this message of purity — both emotional and physical. God reminded me of this great visual that I had read about on Emotional Purity Blog. So last minute (while Matt was preaching) I ran around to grab supplies and kind of made this analogy my own.

I gave each girl a heart and I asked them to write out what makes them special or unique. Some of the things girls wrote down were: family, God, spaghetti, a boyfriend, friends, concerts, singing, plays, individuality, and so on. They covered their heart with these words.
Heart Glue :: EverydaySmallThings.com

Then, I gave them a black piece of paper with the word boyfriend across the top. I gave them each a glue stick and asked them to glue their heart to boy #1, their “high school sweetheart”. I used Heather’s term of “heart glue” and how when we have a relationship with a guy, we stick to them — even if we are “just friends” but act like boyfriend and girlfriend without the title.

I said that statistically they will break up with their “high school sweetheart” and so we ripped the heart off after 5 minutes. Several girls left quite a bit of their hearts behind, while others seemed to get their full heart back. But what was interesting was all the black on the back of their hearts. We talked about how they may look good on the outside, but on the inside they still have a connection to that guy.

We continued to do this with boy #2 (their college boyfriend) and boy #3. By this time, their hearts were paper thin, ripped or barely there. It was interesting to hear what the girls had “left behind” with the guys. One girl said, “Boy #2 has God!” While another said, “Individuality was left with boy #3.” The conversation was running rampant with this analogy! It was so awesome!
Heart Glue :: EverydaySmallThings.com

I gave them a white piece of paper with the word “husband” across the top. I asked them to glue their heart onto this piece of paper. One girl said, “My heart can’t take this anymore, I’m using extra glue so it doesn’t come off!” Another girl’s heart looked completely “normal” but she saw that you could see all the black on the back of the heart through the white paper. We talked about what was left for your future spouse — a broken and grimy heart. But we also made sure to talk about the restoration of God and how he can even use broken, gross hearts and create an awesome marriage! I wanted the girls to see that the decisions they make now may seem harmless or “fun” but they can have lasting consequences.

Praying For Future HusbandFinally, I encouraged them to start praying for their future husband. I told them that somewhere out there was a guy going on his own journey. This was the perfect time to start praying for him! I shared that I had started a prayer journal for my future husband in Jr High and actually gave it to Matt as a gift on our wedding day. Its really interesting to see the things God placed on my heart to be praying about and how Matt may have been facing a situation in his life at that moment that needed my specific prayer. Or how I only prayed for my husband’s sisters, never any brothers. Matt has two sisters, no brothers. Back to the activity, I gave each girl a print out that my youth pastor’s wife had given me of a prayer for your future husband. You can gain access to a printable version by inputing your email address below. 

All in all, it was an awesome night and it seemed to really drive home this whole month’s discussion on Opposite Sex. So, thank you Heather for sharing that craft idea so long ago! It definitely came in handy tonight!

Is emotional purity a concept you’ve talked about before?  

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“Paleo” Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Paleo Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip CookiesI will be the first to say that peanut butter is not considered paleo. But, there’s just nothing like good ol’ peanut butter…and yes, I’ve tried almond butter and sunflower butter.  Just not the same. 

One of my all-time favorite cookies is peanut butter cookies. So when my mom shared a different date based cookie, I decided to create my own healthier version of peanut butter cookies. And, they’ve passed the “non-paleo” friend test!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies :: EverydaySmallThings.comI prefer a really smooth texture for these cookies so I blend everything together really well in a food processor.  I’m not a fan of finding chunks of dates in my cookies.  Takes the fun of peanut butter cookies right out of it 😉

You can scoop out the dough just like any other cookies or our favorite method is to roll out the dough about 1/4 inch thick, cut into rectangles and place on a cookie sheet. Because these are made with a flax egg (don’t panic…all this means is 1 Tbsp flaxseed meal (ground raw flaxseed) and 2.5 Tbsp water) it makes a delicious raw cookie “dough” that is safe to enjoy.

Hope you enjoy these cookies!

"Paleo" Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Dairy-free, gluten-free yummy cookies
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup peanut butter (or any nut/seed butter)
  2. 1/2 cup chopped dates
  3. 1/4 cup almonds (roasted & salted) or any nut
  4. 1/4 cup maple syrup
  5. 1 flax egg (or regular egg)
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  7. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  8. dash salt
  9. 1/2 cup chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand)
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, blend together dates, peanut butter, almonds, maple syrup, vanilla, baking soda and salt until smooth
  2. Add in egg and mix until just incorporated
  3. Stir in chocolate chips
  4. Cook 350* for 10 minutes
Notes
  1. You can either scoop out portions just like regular cookies or our preferred method is to roll out the dough about 1/4 inch thick and then cut out rectangles.
  2. If you use flax egg, this makes awesome cookie "dough"!!
Everyday Small Things //everydaysmallthings.com/

DIY Suncatcher

DIY Sun Catcher | EverydaySmallThings.com

DIY Sun Catcher | EverydaySmallThings.comThese sun catchers we made turned out really cute and I wanted to share them with you! This craft provides kids an opportunity to get messy and have fun.

You’ll need:

Pull out your smocks (which are old adult tshirts in our case) and get ready for some gooey fun! Grab some dollar store frames or frames you have around the house. Remove the glass and set aside the frame.

DIY Sun Catcher | EverydaySmallThings.comThe first thing you will want to do is pour glue onto the glass. And I do mean pour.  We tried squeezing it out the regular way and that proved tedious. The kids eventually got enough on the glass but it took alot of effort. Next time, I’ll just remove the lid and pour it on.

Once you have a good thick layer of glue, squeeze out one drop of food coloring in each corner using 3-4 colors. The gooey fun begins! Now, mom, this is a great opportunity to let your kids be kids and enjoy the mess! We tried using craft sticks to mix all the paint up but it just didn’t have the same effect as their fingers. Let them explore the colors changing and the fun shapes they can make in the glue. Rilyn ended up putting hearts in her design while Landon just went to town getting messy.

This part got me a little worried because everything turned black. My heart sank a little thinking about these botched sun catchers. I thought maybe thinner glue and keeping the colors separated would help, so I tried doing one on my own, keeping the DIY Sun Catcher | EverydaySmallThings.comcolors separated. But mine did not look good at all.  It really needed that thick layer of glue and once they dry you can see all the awesome work your kids did blending all of the colors.

DIY Sun Catcher | EverydaySmallThings.comI loved how they turned out! They dried clear and the colors were vibrant and beautiful. Once dried, stick them back into the frame (without the backing) and hang them up  with suction hooks or Command window hooks (affiliate link), which is what we ended up using. 

These would make great gifts or just a unique window decoration for your home. We did this project with daycare kids and parents loved how they turned out! 

So, what do you think? Will you try this easy project with your kids? 

 

Color Coding Method: How I Organize My Home Daycare

How I Keep My Home Daycare Organized :: EverydaySmallThings.com

Affiliate Link DisclosureColor Coding :: EverydaySmallThings.comMost days, I have six children running around my house because of my home daycare. There is one trick that I have implemented that has helped immensely: color coding.

Each child is assigned a color and everything from their cups and plates to their hand towels are in their color. This has been most successful with their cups. In the beginning, I would just hand a kid any old cup, but 10 minutes later I would find a stranded cup and couldn’t remember who I had given it to last. My younger children would just pick up a cup and drink out of it; no matter whose it was. This was not working in the germ department.

Color Coding :: EverydaySmallThings.comSo I began searching for solid colored cups that were eco-friendly and BPA/phthalate free and found the Kid Basix Safe Sporter. After my baby gates, these are my next favorite thing around the house. We LOVE our water bottles. They are lightweight, durable and made of food-grade stainless steel which translates into “will stand up to daily use by a toddler”. In all of the spills and drops, only one of our water bottles has slightly dented. They are easy to clean, dishwasher safe, non-leaching and antimicrobial. Awesomeness all around!

Color Coding :: EverydaySmallThings.comAnother piece of having a home daycare is the towels used to dry hands. DCFS guidelines allow two options, paper towels or separate hand towels.  Paper towels negate my pursuit of reducing waste and being eco-aware, plus I can’t imagine the cost of keeping them in stock. Thus, I have opted for the separate hand towels.  Each child has a hand towel hanging in the bathroom, in their specific color. All I have to do is throw them in the wash with all of my other cleaning cloths and we are good to go!

Color Coding :: EverydaySmallThings.com

 

Do you have a system that you use to keep your day organized? I would love to hear about it!

Better Together Launch Team!

Better together Launch Team :: EverydaySmallThings.com

Better Together Launch Team :: EverydaySmallThings.comFriends! I am so stinkin’ excited about the launch of Better Together: Because You’re Not Meant to Mom Alone (comes out March 1!). Never in a million years did I think I would be co-authoring a book.  That’s my mom’s thing. While I love to blog, my posts are only an average of 800 words. There’s something daunting about filling a book with words.  Thankfully, I partnered with an expert in the field of publishing books…my mom.

This has been an eye opening experience for me, seeing just how much it takes to get a book through the publishing process. I have so enjoyed a “behind the scenes” view!

I’m even more excited that you, my friends, are able to be a part of the launch too! Moody Publishers has agreed to allow us to pull together a large launch team to get the word out. We’re looking for 400 moms who love Hearts at Home, love books, and love to share with their friends! 

This a book about friendship. No matter whether you feel like a friendship guru or a friendship flunky, Better Together is for you! As you read, you’ll learn all kinds of wisdom for moving your friendships from TBF to MBF to GGF to BFF (yes, you’ll learn what all those mean!) and you’ll exhale a deep breath and whisper, “Wow…I’m not alone.”

Isn’t this cover gorgeous!? I just love the vibrant colors!  Eek!

cb81a3b5-btcoverNow the book is in its final editing stage and we have an electronic version to share with our launch team so it’s time to put this in the hands of some moms who need it!

Let me give you the inside scoop on this launch team opportunity!

So what is a launch team? A launch team is a group of people who help spread the word about a new book. They read an electronic copy of the book, participate in a 6-week online discussion as they’re reading the book, and share along the way about the book in social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and/or Periscope, on their blog (if they have one), on retailer sites like Amazon and Christianbook.com, and in person with friends, at their moms group, or with the random stranger she’s standing next to in the line at the bathroom at McDonalds.

What would I need to do if I’m on the launch team?

  1. Read an electronic copy of the book before everyone else! This is a pdf you can read on your computer, your phone, or even on your e-book reader (most e-book readers allow you to download a pdf!)
  2. Tell your world about Better Together during the month of February! Share quotes, graphics, and things you are learning as you read the book. (Don’t worry, we’ll give you graphics and some fun things to share plus we know you’ll find some of your own as you read!) You’ll also want to let your girlfriends know all the wonderful freebies they can get if they pre-order the book before it’s March 1 release!
  3. Post an honest review online. It can be on Amazon, Christianbook.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Goodreads, or your favorite online retailer! This helps other moms find the book when they are needing the encouragement!

What do I get?

  1. You get to read the book first! Wahoo!
  2. You get inside scoop about the book and all kinds of goodies to share!
  3. You will have the possibility of earning all kinds of free stuff like a free signed copy of the Better Together book, free mp3’s of Hearts at Home conference workshops, free Hearts at Home conference tickets, and more!
  4. You’ll get to experience a Better Together six-week online moms group led by Anne and I where you’ll find out you’re in good company with both the joys and the challenges of being a mom and forging friendships!
  5. You’ll get the satisfaction that you were part of something bigger than yourself! You helped make a difference in the lives of thousands of moms!

How do I jump into the launch team pool?

You can apply HERE! We’re taking applications through January 15, or until all the spots are filled. There are 400 spots and we want YOU to have one of them! If you are selected you will receive an email from Hearts at Home by January 15 (check both your inbox and your spam box just in case it accidentally lands in there!)

If this isn’t for you but you think a friend would be perfect for the job, please share it with her!

We hope you’ll join the fun, because even when it comes to launching a book, we’re BETTER TOGETHER for sure!

A Mother’s New Year Resolutions

A Mother's New Year Resolutions | I can hardly believe that 2015 is nearly over. It’s cliche but time feels like it is truly flying.  New Years is often a time when we reflect on the old and look forward to the new. Scripture even talks about taking off our old ways and being made new in the attitude of our minds (Epheshians 4:22-23).

This got me thinking about a lot of the old ways I need to take off as a mom. And what better time than new years to make some resolutions.


This year I resolve to take off impatience and put on delight.

“Come on! Put your shoes on, we don’t have all day!” Between the dilly dallying and the incessant “But why?”, all too often irritation has been my go-to response. And if I truly analyze those moments, I recognize the selfishness it stems from…the perceived dip into my time. My desires. My projects.

A Mother's New Year Resolutions | EverydaySmallThings.comIt’s as if life is a road trip and I’ve been taking my kids along for the ride. I want to make more stops along the way and just enjoy the view with them. I want to pause and ponder together when the question, “Why is the sky blue?”, is raised. I want to say “Yes!” when rain puddles are calling our name. I want to imprint the joy of my children on my heart and I hope a year from now my children will remember the delight found in my eyes.

This year I resolve to take off worry and put on faith

“Worry is when we start to look at the mountain, instead of the One who can move mountains.” (quoting my mom again)

Finances. Medical needs. Work. World news. All of it has the potential to begin wearing us down with worry and anxiety. My oldest, Rilyn, is very perceptive and notices when something is weighing my soul down. What a gift we can give our children in demonstrating how to operate out of faith despite the chaos of this world.

Something as simple as "Lord, I need you," is a great place to start.I’ve noticed that when I spend more time in prayer and reading the Bible, the easier it is to live in faith. If prayer isn’t a natural part of your life but you’d like it to be, I encourage you to just do it. Something as simple as “Lord I need you,” is a great place to start. Consider the faith you’d like your children to have and start living that way yourself.

This year I resolve to take off busyness and put on rest

When we say “Yes” to something, we are saying “No” to something else.  Saying “Yes” to another sport, may say “No” to family night.  Saying “Yes” to another volunteer opportunity possibly says “No” to having the time when a friend calls with a crisis.

In a Hearts At Home workshop, 10 Stress Strategies, it was encouraged to have one major and one minor responsibility. My full-time job as a daycare provider is considered my major responsibility and co-leading the greeting team at church would be my minor.

This doesn’t even include the yeses we say on behalf of our children. In our attempt at giving our children a great childhood, we often try to fill their time with activities instead of recognizing childhood as an opportunity to instill life principles through modeling in our own life. Rest is something valuable we can teach our children starting at an early age. In our home, “rest time” is a daily occurence — an hour in our own rooms, reading or playing with our room toys. It’s amazing how attitudes can shift after an hour of down time.

A Mother's New Year Resolutions | EverydaySmallThings.comThis year I resolve to take off guilt and put on grace

This is a big one for me this year as my anxiety and depression have been recurrent. I look back and instantly feel shame about all of the times that I was short-tempered or allowed my children to watch more tv over reading them a book.

Mommy guilt is real! It has a way of eating at the soul because we often battle it silently. Allowing Satan to whisper his lies of ineptitude into our hearts as moms.

It is so easy to lose sight of the fact that God doesn’t see me through the lens of depression and anxiety. He sees me as His daughter created with a purpose and He hurts when I hurt. He sees you the same way!

So, how about you friend? What are your new years resolutions?

 

4 Ways We Paid For Christmas

4 Ways We Paid For Christmas From Our Couch | EverydaySmallThings.com

Affiliate Link Disclosure4 Ways We Paid For Christmas From Our Couch | EverydaySmallThings.comChristmas always has a way of sneaking up on us financially.  We try to budget using Financial Peace University principles which includes putting aside Christmas money each month. But in all honesty, it typically gets used for something else.  Usually, this leaves us scrambling come December trying to figure out how to afford Christmas gifts.

But not this year! Here are four ways we paid for Christmas from our couch.

Acorns.com
This is an app I discovered in June and is our biggest Christmas contributor. Acorns.com rounds up every purchase to the nearest dollar (or however much you decide) of any purchase you make using a linked bank account. So, let’s say I spent $13.65 at the store using my debit card. Acorns will set aside 35 cents into a savings account. This has been the easiest way to set aside money! The only downside is it’s not an instant transfer.  Transfers occur when you hit a minimum of $5.

If you sign up using my referral link, you and I will each get $5!

Swagbucks
If you haven’t signed up for Swagbucks, you are missing out on easy earnings! This is a search engine where you get swagbucks earnings just for browsing the internet and then you can trade in your swagbucks for cash or gift cards.  I use this as my main search engine and even type in websites that I know I’m going to, just to get a better chance of earning swagbucks which are awarded at random, not per search. Online purchases through websites like Priceline and Vision Direct will earn you swagbucks per dollar spent. Easy peasy!

They also offer surveys, videos and other ways of earning swagbucks. I rarely utilize these avenues but more power to you!

UserTesting
Did you know that you could be paid to test out websites? UserTesting.com pays testers an average of $10 per website tested. I’ve earned $85 on UserTesting since February 2015. Typically, I log on after the kids get into bed and see if I qualify for any website tests. If you have the time and a quiet space, then this is a great way to earn some Christmas cash.

Ebates
I haven’t used Ebates as often as Swagbucks, but this has still contributed to Christmas. If you shop online, this is the website for you! They actually pay you back a percentage of your purchase. Make sure you install their Ebates Button so you instantly know if the website you are purchasing through qualifies for cash back. What an easy way to earn some extra cash!

So there you have it.  Four ways to start earning extra money for things like Christmas!

Paleo Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp | EverydaySmallThings.com

Apple Crisp | EverydaySmallThings.com

On a cold winter day, nothing says warm yumminess like Apple Crisp. This has always been a favorite dessert, well before our Paleo days. I’ve made a lot of different versions in my quest for a paleo version and this one has morphed out of a few different recipes. It is absolutely delicious! Even our non-paleo friends and family enjoyed this and I hope you do too!

Paleo Apple Crisp
Serves 12
A delicious warm fruit dessert
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Cook Time
45 min
Cook Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 10 cups peeled and sliced Fuji or Honeycrisp Apples
  2. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  3. 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the topping
  1. 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  2. 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  3. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  4. 1 teaspoon himalayan pink salt (or what's on hand)
  5. 2 cup almond flour, lightly packed
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Toss the apples with the cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and place in a 9x13 inch pan
  3. Combine coconut oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt and almond flour and spread evenly across top of apples
  4. Bake for 45 minutes until a fork can easily pierce the apples
Notes
  1. If you have some apples showing, cover with aluminum foil. Remove for the last few minutes to brown the top.
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