Embracing Everything Emma

Enjoying Life One Baby Step at a Time…

Embracing Everything at (Almost) a Year! May 23, 2013

Emma at 9 Months, May 2012 Photo By Kelly Harris Photography

Emma at 9 Months, May 2012
Photo By Kelly Harris Photography

Emma at 21 Months, May 2013 Photo by Daddy :-)

Emma at 21 Months, May 2013
Photo by Daddy 🙂

I don’t know about you all, but I am super excited about our upcoming one year anniversary for Embracing Everything Emma. Who would have thought a year ago today that we’d still be going and how much we’ve changed in a year? Not me, not me at all. I guess I HOPED I would, I just wasn’t certain I would. And almost a year later, here we are!

As my faithful readers, whether you’ve been here a day or the full year, I am so thankful to have you and wanted to share with you a little bit about what will be happening in the upcoming future at Embracing Everything Emma!

  • We’re changing our name. Well, not a drastic change. We have decided that in order to continue our blog and have more children in the future, we are shortening the name to Embracing Everything. The blog will still have just as much to do with Emma, if not more, but will allow us to focus on more children when that time arrives. And please note here that I AM NOT PREGNANT. Furthermore, I am not lying about being pregnant to trick you. I repeat, I AM NOT PREGNANT. It will take time, but eventually the blog, facebook, twitter and pinterest will all match it name.
  • We’re trying our hand at giveaways! I’m planning to have a giveaways on a weekly basis, if possible. A lot of this will have to come from you as the readers! I have a few lined up so far but the rest of them are completely by faith. The product will be announced and reviewed every Tuesday with a giveaway winner that Friday. The first one will start during the first week of June. If you are interested in donating items to be reviewed and put in a giveaway or know someone who might be, please email me at embracingeverything AT gmail DOT com.
  • We want continued advice from you! To continue growing our blog and reaching out to the reader (YOU), we need to know what you like and what you don’t like. Feel free to comment below or email me at embracingeverything AT gmail DOT com. I want to hear from you- the good, bad, and the ugly. The only way to grow is if I hear from YOU from YOU want.
  • We’re not stopping! Some days I don’t have ideas and other days I’m running behind. Part of that is the life of a full-time working mom and wife. I want to thank you for your willingness to stand beside me, even when things aren’t always organized right or follow the same schedule. I plan on working harder this year to stay on task as best I can.

So thank you for joining us on this crazy ride and I look forward to sharing this next year along side you!


Movie Madness May 22, 2013

Photo from Eventbrite

Photo from Eventbrite

We love a good movie here at the Linkous house. I’m not too fond of going out and spending $20+ at the theater but I am all for spending $1 at Redbox for one every once in awhile. Here lately, we’ve been on a movie kick. It’s one of the main styles of date night that we do and fits into our budget. Today I wanted to share with you some recent released movies that I would recommend for you and your family.

The Impossible- This movie was amazing. I watched the interview with the mother being portrayed in this story and knew I wanted to see it as soon as it was available to rent. It definitely is emotional and has a few scary scenes it in (they’re in the middle of a tsunami) so I wouldn’t show it to children under 10. I also love that it’s based on a true story. Those kind of movies are almost always my favorite.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey- This movie is the prequel to the Lord of the Rings series. I have only seen 1 ½ of the movies following this one so I thought I would be pretty lost but I wasn’t. It really told a good story and as always, has a lot of good meaning throughout it as far as being a team, supporting others despite the cost, and more. I would recommend this one for no younger than 13. It’s a deep film that would difficult for a younger child to understand and there are scary parts in it as well.

Wreck it Ralph- This movie was adorable. I loved how it shows the redemptive quality in people and that we can change and become better. It’s light hearted and funny but also has some great meaning in it that your family can take away, even the parents. I would recommend this for ages 5 and above due to a few scenes that may scare preschoolers.

Les Miserables- You had to know this one would make the cut. It is beyond my favorite movie, possibly of all time. I’m a huge fan of the story in this movie and as you can tell by my other movie choices, I love the redemption stories that take place in them- especially this one. There is a lot of music in this one but I didn’t find it distracting. The actors definitely pull you into the story and it doesn’t seem like an almost 3 hour movie at all. I would recommend this for teenagers and above. The storyline would probably be too much for a younger child and without the typical fun and action in most kid movies, I have a feeling they would get bored.

Rise of the Guardians- I loved this movie. We took Emma to see this one at the theater and although she preferred climbing stairs, we really liked it. It told a great story about the typical make-belief characters we grow up believing in as children (Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, and more). I would say it’s probably not appropriate for under 5 due to a few scary scenes.

Here Comes the Boom- I really enjoyed this movie. I thought it offered entertainment for almost any age and would probably be appropriate for all ages, too. It tells the story of a team of teachers and students who rally together to save their music arts program. It also comes with several well-known actors.

So there’s my list. What movies do you recommend?


I’m a Reading Mommy May 21, 2013

I love to read. I’ve always been a reader and it was never a chore for me to read for school or anything else really. It’s been a hobby for awhile, however, I’ve learned over the past two years that reading is few and far between. Between my day job, cleaning, taking care of my family, and more, reading has hit the back burner. I wondered if I would ever read again and then I found something wonderful. Well, my husband found something wonderful. He bought me a refurbished kindle, case, and gift card for Christmas this past year for less than $50. I was certain that I would NEVER read on a kindle because I love hard-back books. I love books I can write in and underline. Today, I want to share with you some reasons why you should get a kindle, too!

Photo by Engadget

Photo by Engadget

**Please note that I am not an affiliate with Amazon/kindle or any other company to promote this product. I am simply writing a review for a product that I believe in 100%**

Reasons why you should get a kindle:

#1- You will never lose your book(s). I love this feature. All of your books are stored on your Amazon account and are available for any other kindle device you may have as well as storing your books in case something ever (God forbid!) happens to yours. It puts my mind at ease to know my books are now safe.

#2- You can carry around thirty books at once. Seriously. I throw my kindle in my purse and keep it with me at all times. I have about thirty different books on mine from topics including child birth to breastfeeding to cooking to blogging and more. I haven’t yet loaded my homemaking bundle yet but when I do, can imagine that amount of books I’ll have in my purse? It’s not even possible to comprehend. It definitely makes packing books for vacation a breeze. Kindle? Check.

#3- You can read your book multiply ways. I have access to my books on my kindle, my iPad, and my iPhone. If I’m ever away from my kindle, I have other ways to read. Keep in mind if you get PDF versions then you can also read them on your computer or print them out. That’s a good option for those who like hard back books.

#4- You save money. I know it’s a price up front but it pays off considering that the books are almost always cheaper and there are always free ones. I haven’t paid for one ebook cookbook that I’ve got on amazon for my kindle. They’ve all been free and they’re all whole foods based. I really like that I’ve been able to learn more about healthy eating for free. That’s a deal.

#5- Easy to use. It really is. I haven’t had JR teach me hardly anything on my kindle as I’ve learned the majority of it myself. The battery life is outstanding which makes it easy to use, too. I can charge it and carry it around for at least a month without a worry. Another feature I really like is the ability to search the table of contents, go to the most recent page, write notes, and more. It really is like having a hard copy right there with you but more than one at once.

So, what about you? Do you have a kindle or do you prefer to go old school?


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.



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!


Summer Fashion- Fashion Friday Series May 17, 2013

Filed under: Embracing Everything Fashion — erinnlinkous @ 12:00 pm
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I’m going to be honest with you all here. Summer is my least favorite season. I know, I know- that’s crazy. I don’t HATE summer, I just don’t prefer extremely hot weather. On the other hand, I LOVE summer attire. Outside of boots, it’s one of my favorite styles of clothing. Today I want to share with you some of my favorite things to wear during the summer.

Photo by College Magazine

Photo by College Magazine

Sandals. I love sandals! I live in them from the moment Easter comes until Labor Day (or later). I prefer sandals that have some support to them versus cheap plastic ones. I had foot problems one year so I try to stick to ones that offer me support. My absolute favorites are my Rainbows and Tevas. I’ve heard of several good brands, these are just the ones I have and my personal favorites.

Shorts. I love to wear shorts. I cannot stand for my legs to be sticky from the heat and they often get that way with jeans. I’ve got almost all my shorts at consignment stores and GOOD brands. Early this spring I went to one in Gray and found two pairs of Chico shorts for $6. I was beyond excited. They are a longer style short (Bermuda I suppose) soc completely appropriate for work.

Photo by Dresses Style

Photo by Dresses Style

Dresses. I love dresses. They are definitely a comfortable solution to hot summer days. My favorite ones are the strapless dresses . They always have really cute and appropriate ones at Forever 21– for cheap! These are at the top of my list. I wear them with different covers so they remain appropriate for almost all situations. At the beach and other locations, no cover at all. It’s too stinkin’ hot!

These are my three favorite summer attire items that I get to wear this time of year. Going up to the attic is definitely a joyous occasion and I admit, I usually get a little sad having to back them up come fall.

What are your favorite items to wear during summer?


Online Etiquette May 16, 2013

Photo by Net Etiquette

Photo by Net Etiquette

As people become more and more accustomed to being online, there are so many things that we can do. We can connect with old friends, shop from the convenience of home, and do just about everything and more. Along with these good things, there are obviously bad things, too. One of my biggest concerns and deepest fears is the behavior I see happening online. A behavior of passive aggressiveness. A behavior of insult without concern of the consequence or even the hurt caused to others. Today I want to share with you some tips on how to behave when online and how to think before you act.

*Think before you speak. Period. It’s always good to give yourself at least a few seconds to consider what you say or do prior to saying or doing it. A few seconds can save you a lifetime of regrets in many situations.

*Consider the other person(s). Remember that the person (or persons) you’re talking to online are REAL people. They may stand behind a blog or Facebook page, but they’re real people. They are someone’s mother. Someone’s son. Someone’s parent. A PERSON. Despite what they’ve done or are doing, they still deserve to be treated like a real, living person. Because they are.

*Consider your own feelings. It’s easy to focus on how you feel and any hurt that you may be feeling. There is also the flip side to this- how would YOU feel if someone responded to YOU in the way you plan on responding. Would it offend you? Would it hurt you? In the same regard, keep in mind that we can base and excuse everything on feelings alone. If this was the case, many of us wouldn’t stay married past this first year because we don’t always “FEEL” in love.

*Ask if you’re helping or hurting. Is what you’re saying offering any advice or helping in any way at all? If what you’re saying is being sad to simply hurt someone, it’s not worth it. We should never say something just to hurt someone else, no matter how bad they make us feel. When we hurt someone else due to hurt they’ve caused us, it doesn’t make us any better. It just puts us on a level playing field, making what we’ve done no better than what they’ve done.

*Ask how you would treat this person in a face-to-face conversation. So much passive aggressiveness is based on the fact that you will never, ever see this person. Further more, they don’t seem “real” because you don’t know them. Well, my advice is this. Pretend like you’re going to see the person the next day at work or this Sunday at church. If you couldn’t bear the idea of running into them knowing you said or did something to them, then don’t do it. If you wouldn’t treat a “real” person like that, don’t treat an online person like that.

*Think about the model you’re setting. We ALL have someone that looks up to us, whether we know it or not. Would we want someone else to act the way we’re planning to be? I would imagine not in most cases and would advise you to change your mind on a decision you’re making before you set an example for others to follow.

Photo by The Office Professional

Photo by The Office Professional

These are my bits of advice for online behavior. Any suggestions?


Clean Living Bathroom May 15, 2013

Photo by Home Bunch

Photo by Home Bunch

Ok, I know it’s odd to talk about your bathroom anywhere. I understand this. Let me start off by saying that today I am not talking about mama cloth or any other cloth. I’m not opposed to it, but this is not the topic. Today I am sharing some of the products we regularly use in the bathroom/shower and how we’re changing our lifestyle! Come join me.

Dental care- we have made the switch to natural toothpastes. Emma uses Tom’s of Maine for kids and absolutely loves it. The best deal we get regularly is at Vitacost but I found them 2 for $5 at Target on Earth Day and had a $1 off coupon. That was a STEAL. JR and I are currently using Earthpaste. I don’t hate it but JR doesn’t love it. If anyone has recommendations of brands to try next, we’re open to it. As far as mouthwash, I can’t get JR off Listerine. Any suggestions would be gladly accepted here, too!

Face care- I have personally switched over to healthier brands of face products and have fallen in love with Say Yes to Carrotsf maine. I have also switched to natural products for astringent (like rubbing alcohol or witch hazel). I can tell a difference in my face and haven’t had a break out in months now. How crazy is that? It’s good for me AND keeps break outs away!

Bath items- JR and I have switched to all natural shampoos and are finishing up the last of our body wash before we move on to bar soap. We’ve used a few bar soaps to see what we think and so far, Dr. Bronner’s and Kiss My Face are my favorites. For Emma, she uses the Say Yes to Carrots shampoo and body wash combo. She also has California Baby bubble bath that we all love. We use it sparingly since it’s so pricey but it’s definitely worth our peace of mind.

Body care- As far as other forms of body care, we’re getting there. We have switched to Tom’s of Maine for our deodorant and I’m using Say Yes to Carrots for my body lotion. Our hair care line hasn’t changed much but in all honestly, I haven’t really found a good hair care line of natural products. Have you? I will gladly take your advice.

So these are some of the areas that we’re changing. The best place we’ve found to buy these items- BY FAR- is vitacost. Sign up here to get $10 off your first order of $30 or more! How about you?