Embracing Everything Emma

Enjoying Life One Baby Step at a Time…

We’ve Moved! June 12, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — erinnlinkous @ 11:28 am

Linkous Family- Spring 2013

Hello All! I just wanted to make sure if you’re still checking our WordPress site that you know that we’ve moved! My wonderful husband has developed our new site and that’s where all our new posts are located.

You can check us out at http://www.embracingeverything.com and I hope to have a new post here soon to show you how to sign up for email notifications there. Until then, feel free to sign up for our RSS feed on the right hand side.

See you there!

 

Overnight Oats- Manic Monday Series May 20, 2013

I have struggled with eating breakfast for as long as I can remember. The main reason is I hate to wake up. Seriously, I could sleep for days on end if no one woke me. I’m not sure what that says about me but it’s true. Since I don’t like to wake up, I also don’t like to get up any earlier to fix anything. The only time we have a big breakfast is on mornings when we either have company or we sleep in and do brunch. After seeing several recipes for overnight oats on pinterest, I decided to give them a try. And now I eat breakfast! Let me tell you how it works!

The ingredients (my maple syrup is draining on it's side in a cup)

The ingredients (my maple syrup is draining on it’s side in a cup)

There are at least a billion overnight oat recipes on pinterest. I found one that fit my tastes to try- chocolate cake batter. My mouth was drooling when I first read it so that night, I mixed together the ingredients and at first sight, I was concerned. It looked pretty gross and didn’t mix like I was expecting but I figured why not, it was worth a try. The next morning I got up, stirred it a little, tasted, and fell in love. Best thing ever! And it’s easy to do. There aren’t a hundred steps. All you do in mix together your rolled oats, almond milk, vanilla extract, unsweetened cocoa powder (or carob), chia seeds, cinnamon, and sweetner of choice. It also called for a banana but I felt what was in it was already sweet enough. It doesn’t blend perfectly but I just let it go and mixed it again the next morning and it was perfect. Love at first bite!

Nighttime Mix

Nighttime Mix

I will now be doing overnights oats and fruit regularly for breakfast. If I can make it the night before and grab it to go the next morning, it’s a win. If it’s tastes amazing (and this does!) then it’s a double win. I highly suggest this for anyone, even those people who like mornings. Yuck.

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Chocolate Cake Batter Ovenight Oats revised from Rabbit Food for My Bunny Teeth

¼ cup whole rolled oats

¼ cup almond milk (or milk of choice)

½ ripe banana (I nixed this one)

½ tbsp chia seeds (these are crucial as they help your oats to get fluffy)

½ tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (or carob, too!)

½ tbsp maple syrup (you can also use honey or stevia)

¼ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp organic vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate overnight. Voila! I prefer using a mason jar or one of small glasslock carriers- they rock!

 

Homemade Applesauce- Manic Monday Series May 13, 2013

photo-126

Today I want to share an awesome secret with you. Are you ready? You don’t have to buy premade applesauce. Is that crazy? Let me just tell you, I was stoked when I found this recipe. I had made applesauce before but not like this. I was honestly tired of trying to find organic applesauce around here and the closest I could find was Trader Joes. Don’t get me wrong- it tastes GREAT but I live two hours away from one. I’m shedding a tear in case you can’t tell. Insert this recipe. I found one that rocks our socks off and is super easy to make. Come make homemade applesauce with me today!

photo-125

Start by peeling and coring your apples. I use the peeler every time and have cut the core out with a corer and buy hand. I can’t decide which is easier. Either way, once they’re cut into apple slices, just put them in a large mixing bowl with lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and raw honey. I mixed them by hand because honestly- it was less of a mess and easier. Once mixed, I greased the bottom of my glass pan, poured in the apple mixture, covered with foil, and stuck in the oven for 1 1/2 hours on 350. It smells like stinkin’ Cracker Barrel in my house. When they’re done, be sure to have a stick to beat your husband off. Take them out of the oven and let cool shortly. Pour into your blender, lightly puree, and then pour into a storage container and place in the fridge unless sealing. Here is where Trader Joe’s comes in handy again. Their jars are just the right size and perfect for my homemade applesauce. I love glass jars. How about you?

Emma's Almost Empty Jar!

Emma’s Almost Empty Jar!

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Applesauce– Recipe revised from Perfectly Paleo by Kelly Smith

4 lbs apples, cored-peeled-sliced (we used organic)

2 tablespoons lemon juice (or substitute juice from REAL lemons)

½ cups raw honey

2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. After you fix your apples, mix them with the lemon juice, honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Smell that wonderful goodness! Place in a glass/ceramic baking dish. Cover and cook for 1 ½ hours. Once lightly cooled, blend with a whisk, food processor, or blender until smooth. Serve then or refrigerate for later.

 

Fashion Friday Postponed! February 1, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — erinnlinkous @ 12:02 pm

I was given the opportunity to spend a fun filled day with my family today. Woohoo! For that reason, we are postponing Fashion Friday and any updates on Facebook. See you all tomorrow! 🙂

 

Babymoon January 3, 2013

babymoon

The joys of having children are so overwhelming sometimes that you forget a lot that has to happen for the baby even arrives. One of the big ones that I think every parent ought to do is have a babymoon. What is a babymoon you may ask? It’s a get away for you and your spouse right before your baby arrives. A lot of couples do this prior to the arrival of their first child but oftentimes leave it behind once child number two is on the way. I would disagree and say it’s even MORE important the second time. Before your first child arrives, it’s just you and your spouse, minus a pet or two. You have more time together than you’ll ever have again and even with that, you go on a babymoon. Do you see where I’m headed? If you have time together before and you need to spend extra time together, how do you think it works when you have more than one? Exactly. Go. On. A. Babymoon!

Today I want to share some ideas on where to go and what to do on your “last getaway” and some tips on how to get the most enjoyment out of it. Let’s start planning!

*First, determine your budget. Decide if you can spend $25, $100, $300, or more. Based on how much you have to spend will determine where you will go but don’t let that determine how much fun you can and will have! If you have a tight budget, look into places that are cheap or even pool your resources and find someone you know with a condo, house, or cabin you can stay at for next to nothing or even free! If you can find a place to stay with a kitchen, even better. It’s a lot cheaper to cook in than to eat out all your meals. Have fun and fix things you’re craving and things that are overall fun to make together. Anytime we go out of town, one of our favorite things to make is breakfast meals like pancakes or cinnamon rolls. Yum!

pregnantraveler

*Second, decide where you want to go. If you’re pregnant, you are usually sensitive to hot or cold weather. I was cold all the time so we decided to go to the beach. If you’re like the pregnant version of myself, the beach is always a good option or a warm area like Savannah, Georgia (one of my favorites!). If you are like regular me, you may want to go up to the mountains or even somewhere with a ton of snow, based on the season. While you’re deciding where you want to go, decide what you want to do while you’re there. If you’re super pregnant, you may want to stay in the majority of the time so sight seeing may not be the top priority. If you’re not quite as far along or if you’re goal is to have the baby on your babymoon, try to go somewhere you can sight see (indoor and/or outdoor spots). I wanted to relax but if I had wanted to sight see (which is how I normally am), I would have chosen one of the following, mainly because I absolutely LOVE history:

Williamsburg/Jamestown, Virginia: spend time touring historical Williamsburg and Jamestown as well as enjoying several of the local museums, amusement parks, beaches, and more.

Washington D.C.: spent time touring our Nation’s Capital where almost everything is free! Your tax dollars will finally come back a little bit as you tour some of the local museums and monuments.

Charleston, South Carolina: get in touch with your southern belle and take in all that you can find in Charleston. I would TOTALLY wear a big hat if we had went here.

Savannah, Georgia: one of my all time favorite vacation spots. We always stay on Wilmington Island which is exactly smack dab in the middle of Tybee Island and Savannah (downtown). Perfect location that’s out of the way but close to anything we want or need.

New Orleans, Louisiana: deep south with a little French twist found here! We went several years ago but I’ve always wanted to go back and JR has always wanted to go. I’d like to think this may be the spot we pick next time we need a babymoon (NOT anytime soon!)

*Third, make it happen. If you have kids, find a sitter. If you can’t find a sitter, find a friend, couple, or family member(s) to go with you. Offer to help pay their way or let them share your place (that you hopefully found for cheap or free) if they’ll agree to watch your child once or twice while you’re out. Make your reservations in advance, plan out your time there, and check with your doctor to make sure you can travel and find out what things you shouldn’t do, if anything. I would recommend packing and/or buying A LOT of water. I started having contractions on our babymoon due to dehydration. Seriously? Yep. I am a big water drinker but apparently the heat and a lot of walking was more than I was drinking.

The most important thing is to have fun! Whether it’s a weekend alone at home or a cruise to the Bahamas, spend time with just the two of you. If you have more kids, make sure to find a day or weekend to focus on them, too, because it will never be like it was before your new bundle of joy arrives. That new bundle is totally worth it and you want to be the best you can be for them.

babymoon#2

Have you done a babymoon before? Where did you go and what do you recommend?

 

New Year’s Resolution Humor December 31, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — erinnlinkous @ 6:00 am
Tags: , ,
Calvin & Hobbes New Year's Resolution Comic

Calvin & Hobbes New Year’s Resolution Comic

For today, I thought it would be fun to read some funny New Year’s Resolutions as we prepare for the New Year tomorrow. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!

  • Spend more time watching TV / movies.
  • Chat more over phone / Internet.
  • Read less.
  • I want to gain weight. Put on at least 30 pounds.
  • Stop exercising. Waste of time.
  • Procrastinate more.
  • Start being superstitious.
  • Spend more less time at work.
  • Stop bringing lunch from home: I should eat out more.
  • I will no longer waste my time relieving the past, instead I will spend it worrying about the future.
  • I will not bore my boss by with the same excuse for taking leaves. I will think of some more excuses.
  • I will do less laundry and use more deodorant.
  • I will avoid taking a bath whenever possible and conserve more water.
  • I will read the manual… just as soon as I can find it.
  • I will think of a password other than “password.”
  • I will not tell the same story at every get together.
  • Start washing my hands after I use the restroom. 
  • Stop drinking orange juice after I just brushed my teeth.
  • Only eat white snow
  • Spend less than $1825 for coffee at Starbucks this year.
  • Claim all my pets as dependents on my taxes
Honest Jon New Year's Resolution Comic

Honest Jon New Year’s Resolution Comic

Hope these have made you laugh a little more today. Happy New Year!

 

Make Your Voice Heard November 6, 2012

I have a pet peeve. Well let’s be honest, I have SEVERAL pet peeves. Today, however, I am going to focus in on one of them and share with you why I think it’s a big enough deal to share with you.

Two weeks ago, I was blessed with the opportunity to serve God on a mission trip to Merville-Franceville, France. As many of you know, my heart is in France. It has been since I was (8) years old. I love the people, the culture, the life, EVERYTHING. I also love their sense of pride in their country and how much they fought to have the country they have today. Do I agree with EVERYTHING they believe and how they run their country? Not entirely, but I definitely think they stand for what they believe and support it. They have a lot at stake in their country’s leadership and much blood was shed to make it happen. As some of you may or may not know, France celebrates their day of independence, Bastille Day, on July 14th (1789) of every year. It’s a great celebration. I would LOVE to be there one year to join in with them.  What happened in the next three years is epic in the history of France. In less than 3 years, they were able to move the monarchy government back to Paris and move to a republic, no longer under the authority of a King with absolute power. They were able to make a huge change in their country, their government, and their people that still rings true today. I may not be a Frenchman, but anytime I heard their national anthem, La Marseillaise, I am moved to tears to think of the freedom those men and women fought for, the lives lost, and the freedom gained by their selfless behavior.

As I am sure many of you know, there is also a famous day in America that we honor. This day came after years and years of a monarchy style government the came from across the ocean. A day where we as Americans finally received our freedom from a government that repressed the American people and stood for everything we were fighting against. This day as we should all know and cherish is July 4th (1776). This is our Independence Day. This is the day we were given the right to choose our leaders for our country. This is the day we were given the right to choose what our country beliefs and stands for. This is the day that we became FREE. If you notice, we gained our freedom 13 years prior to France. Not only did it offer us freedom but sparked a desire in another country in need of the freedom we received. We are in such a battle over who will be our president, what we will stand for in our country, and so much more, that we often forget to celebrate the freedom we have to believe what we believe, to CHOOSE a leader who supports these believes, and not be held for acts of tyranny for supporting the candidate who did not become our next leader. We too often times forget the privilege we have in being FREE and the right that we have that so many people fought and died for so we could have this FREEDOM. My heart breaks to think of the men and women who died in vain when someone decides they don’t want to vote. My heart breaks for the countries ruled by a dictator that would love the opportunity to actually say what they think without fear of him or his family being killed. My heart breaks for how often we forget that this FREEDOM we have was not FREE, it was bought with a high price.

So this election season all I request is that you vote and make your voice heard. I am not here to push any political agenda other than VOTE. Take advantage of the freedom we’ve been given and all that went into making it possible for us to have our voices heard. I am so grateful for my country and the freedom I have. I am proud to be an American and have the right I have tomorrow. This is one of the biggest ways we can say “thank you” and show our gratitude to those that gave us this freedom. I know I am grateful and will be casting my vote. Join me!

O say can you see by the dawn’s early light,


What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,


Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,


O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?

And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,


Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;


O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,


O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?