Sunday, February 24, 2013


I haven't posted anything in a while so I just thought I'd give an update. I've been very sick since last Thursday and I'm still not better, so trying to get through this is the only project I've been working on. Please keep me in your prayers and I hope to be better and posting some great ideas soon!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sts. Cyril and Methodius Day Cards

Everyone knows that tomorrow is St. Valentine's Day, but not many people know that the official feast day for February 14th is Sts. Cyril and Methodius!

Now, I have absolutely nothing against Valentine's Day. I love wearing red and pink, passing out valentines, spending some extra time with my husband, and having some yummy treats! There are also plenty of Christ centered ways to celebrate the day with your family and friends. I've seen many fun and creative ideas out there that I would love to try! I guess I just feel a little sorry for the saintly brothers who get forgotten in all the festivities. So I thought it would be fun to give them a little love too!

Cyril and Methodius were brothers who were missionaries in Moravia (modern day Czech Rebublic,) in the late 800s. Cyril invented an alphabet, known as the Cyrillic alphabet, and together he and his brother translated the Gospels, the psalter, Paul’s letters and the liturgical books into Slavonic, and composed a Slavonic liturgy. Having these things written in the vernacular of the people was very rare at this time. Learn more about Sts. Cyril and Methodius here.

So my little homemade card has a Bible and the beginning of the alphabet to represent them. In the past I have received from friends those little store bought valentines that simply had Valentine crossed out and Sts. Cyril and Methodius written in its place! Another idea for those that may not have anyone to celebrate with romantically is to have a Sts. Cyril and Methodius Day party with your single friends to celebrate the "brotherly" love you share. This could be especially fun with older children in middle school and high school.

So have a wonderful St. Valentine's Day, and a wonderful Sts. Cyril and Methodius Day as well!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Our Lady of Lourdes: Craft and Muffins

Today is the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. She appeared to St. Bernadette the first time on this date in 1858. Learn more about Our Lady of Lourdes here.  
Mondays are pretty busy for us, so I did all the work the day before. For a fun and simple craft I drew a picture of Our Lady of Lourdes without her blue ribbon, golden roses, and rosary.  I drew these on some colored paper and cut them out so that my son can glue them on later. You can print and download the template for this project here.
I also made some blueberry muffins, as suggested by Catholic Cuisine. We often use colors to celebrate special occasions, like green and red for Christmas, and red and pink for Valentine's Day. The colors of Our Lady of Lourdes are blue and white, so blueberry muffins fit very well! I used a blueberry muffin recipe from my family cookbook.

Blueberry Muffins
1 1/2 cups sifted flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 cup blueberries
Sift dry ingredients together (first four). Mix wet ingredients and add to dry ingredients. Stir in the blueberries. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bars

-2 1/2 cups puffed grains - I usually use a brown rice version of Rice Krispies. Regular Rice Krispies would work great too. This time I used Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs and it turned out really well!
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup flax meal or flax seeds
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract

First mix together the puffs, oatmeal, flax, and chocolate chips. Set aside.

Next in a small saucepan combine the brown sugar and honey and put over medium heat. Once the brown sugar has completely melted and is incorporated into the honey, stir in the vanilla and peanut butter until smooth.

Next pour the peanut butter mixture over the puffs mixture. The heat will melt the chocolate. Mix well until the puffs and oatmeal are completely coated. *Note: For dots of chocolate chips rather than melted chocolate throughout, add the chocolate after the peanut butter mixture and stir as few times as possible, while still getting everything mixed.

Next press the mixture into a greased dish. Use a sheet of waxed paper over the top and smush it down with your hands.

Let cool and then cut into squares or bars.

They are delicious as granola bars, but one of my favorite things to do is break them up into a bowl, pour milk over it, and eat as a cereal! So yummy! 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Getting Ready For Lent

Just a reminder that Lent is only a week away! As with other things in life, it is important to plan ahead in order to be successful, so try to sit down with your family before Ash Wednesday and discuss what you're going to do this year. I'm a big procrastinator so it can be challenging for me not to wait until the last minute! My husband and I are working on coming up with ways to make the season meaningful for our three year old, and of course to go deeper and make it more meaningful for ourselves.

Lenten AdventureOne resource that really helped us during Advent was signing up for Advent Adventure at Its a free newsletter with videos and activities for the family. They usually offer discounts and deals on their products too. Luckily, they also have a Lenten Adventure! If you would like to sign up for Holy Heroes Lenten Adventure just follow this link:

If you're looking to do more than the usual giving up chocolate and coffee (not that those are bad things to do!), here is a link to some creative ideas from teens: 

He Is Risen Cross Stitch
Last year as part of Lent I worked on a cross stitch project that I intended to have done by Easter. The way things worked out that same cross stitch project will be part of this year's Lent too! I'm probably about 3/4 of the way there. For me I find that stitching a prayer or religious image one tiny cross at a time is a great way to pray and mediate on things. The pattern for the "He Is Risen" design I'm working on can be found here:

I think its good to remember that it doesn't just have to be about giving something up, but it can be about doing something. Lent is a great time to work on your prayer life and reach out to others in need. After all Lent does have three pillars: fasting (giving up), almsgiving (giving to others), and prayer. I really like the idea from about writing letters. There are some people in my life I always mean to write to and I never seem to get around to it. Maybe this Lent will be a good time for me to put aside some time for keeping in touch with loved ones. And of course its important to remember that whatever you choose to do, the ultimate goal is to bring yourself closer to God.

Monday, February 4, 2013

St. John Bosco Sticks Revisited

Click here for the original post about St. John Bosco Sticks.

Reheating the frozen breadsticks went very well. Its about the same as the original cooking instructions. 400 degrees for 10 - 15 minutes.

Also, Jessica from Catholic Cuisine scoured the Bosco Pizza Company's website and found out the origins of the name. Wonderful news, there is a connection to St. John Bosco himself!

Here is what it says on their page explaining "Who is Johnny Bosco?"

Our mascot, Johnny Bosco, looks like a kid who knows how to have fun, and he sure does! Sometimes, though, a kid and his parents don’t agree on what fun is. When Mark Artinian, founder of Bosco’s Pizza was young, a mischief maker’s parents would utter the empty threat, “I’m going to send you to the St. John Bosco Home for Boys!” At least, the mischief maker always assumed the threat was empty.

We don’t want to say that Mark was a mischievous child but, eventually, Mark’s friends began to call him by the name they heard his parents shouting after him as he ran out the door – Johnny Bosco. The name stuck.

It turns out that St. John Bosco is the patron saint of children, jugglers, and magicians. We think that’s fitting because, here at Bosco’s, we’re all about kids and fun.  Today, of course, Mark is all grown up and his family is very proud of him. But Johnny Bosco remains as a symbol of the fun-loving kid in all of us.

Friday, February 1, 2013

St. Brigid's "Lake of Beer" Stew

"I would like a great lake of beer For the King of Kings. I would like to be watching heaven’s family drinking it through all eternity." - St. Brigid of Kildare

 Saint Brigid of Kildare's comments about a lake of beer in heaven are probably her most quoted quotes! She is the patron of Ireland after all, (in addition to St. Patrick of course.) Learn more about St. Brigid of Kildare here.

The adults can celebrate today's feast day with the appropriate beverage, but this recipe is something that the whole family can enjoy. Its a hearty beef stew that would go great with some Irish soda bread. Its made in a slow cooker so you can start it the night before or in the morning!




1 lb beef stew meat
approx 5 carrots, or 1 small bag baby carrots
approx 3 parsnips
4-5 yukon gold potatoes
1 bottle vegetable juice (like V8)
1 bottle of your favorite beer
flour, salt, and pepper.

*Note - We have a pretty big crockpot, so adjust amount of ingredients accordingly. Feel free to add in or exchange any of your favorite vegetables. Some that would work well would be rutabagas, onions, mushrooms, and even winter squash or sweet potatoes.

1.  Toss the stew meat in flour that's been seasoned with the salt and pepper. Shake of the excess and brown the meat in a pan that's been lightly coated with oil. Don't cook the meat all the way through, just sear it on the outside. Set aside.

2. Cut the vegetables into appropriate sized chunks.

3. Put the meat and vegetables in your slow cooker and pour in the vegetable juice and beer. This is a good time to add in any seasonings you might like. For me, if I add anything else, its usually just a bay leaf.

4. Turn the slow cooker on low and let it cook for approximately 6-8 hours. 


 - For instructions on how to weave a St. Brigid Cross,  go to

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