Guest Post | Elaine from Love + Honey | A Tribe is a Tribe no Matter How Small

 Today my friend Elaine graciously agreed to share a post here on my space. Even though I asked her to do this in the middle of cold season when she and her husband were moving out of their apartment, with their toddler. Soooo she’s pretty much Superwoman.

You know how you marry into certain other things when you marry your spouse? You know, the in-laws, sports teams, his friends, etc.. I married into Craig’s group of friends who have all been together since kindergarten. They’re now all grown up and being in each others’ weddings and being godparents of each others’ children, it’s pretty sweet. Elaine also grew up with the gang, and ended up dating and marrying one of them as well. Like in-laws, I inherited them, and through them Elaine, and I’m so glad I did!

I love what she shares about the importance of our tribe…no matter what it looks like!

 


I have to admit, I did not immediately love the whole “Mom Tribe” thing that has cropped up on every mommy blog recently. It felt forced and stereotypical. Moms can’t just have friends?

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I started to think about my own tribe . . . or even if I had one. Does my life look like any of those stock photos that Mom Tribe articles use? A circle of five or more terribly cool looking moms laughing as their kids play quietly in adorably coordinated outfits—no. It is rare that I get to have more than a couple of my super-close mom friends together at once, and we are usually doing much more mom-ish things: chasing kids, filling snack cups, yelling “don’t put your mouth on that!”

I have mom friends, but would I say I am close enough to them to call us a “tribe”? Maybe only a handful. And even then, some of them aren’t close to each other, so does that really count? I don’t know. No one has written the rulebook on Moms Tribes yet.

What I know is this: Do I have someone I can call in the middle of the night about a completely ridiculous question who will give me an honest and supportive answer? Do I have a friend who understands just how important it is to get out without the kids and (more importantly) will not judge me for wanting to leave the light of my life at home for a couple hours so I can wear earrings and heels and feel like Elaine instead of Mom? Do I have women in my life who get me and get my struggles, even if they are vastly different than their own (and maybe even self-imposed)? Yes. Yes all around. And, to me, that is what makes a difference.

Call it what you want, BFFs, tribe, group, but as long as you have those strong women there when you need them, that is what matters. Regardless if there are two or twenty women in your life you can call on, appreciate them and reciprocate. We are all in this together, and it is much more fun to go through this crazy, magical journey together than to try and hike it solo.


elaine

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Blog-tember Day 24 | His & Hers

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Today we’re re-creating a project from another blogger.

I came across this one from Jacqueline over at Jacqueline Reape which she included in her favorite post round-up from day 19 of this year’s Blog-tember challenge. She credits Elsie and Emma at A Beautiful Mess with the idea when the two sisters compared their favorite things.

It was such a fun idea I thought we could try it and put The Cunningham Two spin on it.

So here is what Craig and I are currently…..

…sipping

(Dunkin Donuts original with milk and sugar – Same, but with pumpkin spice creamer)

…reading

(Throne of Glass – Outlander)

…wearing

(Miami Marlins – Moby Wrap #wearallthebabies)

…listening

(Walk of the Earth, Rule the World – Jack Johnson, Better Together)

…drinking

(Coca-Cola addict – All the water [Go Pack Go! 😉 ] )

…carrying

(Man purse…it’s a thing here! – Lily Jade Diaper Bag)

…doing

(Destiny – Lettering)

…loving

Charlotte 🙂


I’m joining Baily Jean in the 2016 Blog-tember challenge, you can too!

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Blog-tember Day 23 | A Family Recipe | Mama’s Chocolate Cake (& printable!)

One of the sweetest gifts I’ve ever received is a cookbook. Not just any old cookbook to help me develop my skills in the kitchen. This cookbook was filled with handwritten family recipes from my mom (who wrote recipes from my grandmother as well), dad, and all of my aunts.

All of our holiday favorites and family traditions were there in their handwriting.

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I’ve since added my own favorites to it, and it’s such a handy little manual. It’s so much easier than searching through Pinterest boards, or e-mails where I’ve asked my mom how she made such and such, and it’s not dependent on internet access.

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Today I’ll share with you my grandmothers chocolate sheet cake. I’m sure there’s nothing special about this particular sheet cake except that it’s the one she always made.

It’s so simple, and feeds SO many. Also you pour the frosting on top while the cake is hot, so there’s no waiting for it cool and no messy frosting jobs!

(Full Recipe Below)

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Place sugar, flour and salt in a mixing bowl and mix together.

In a small saucepan place the butter, water, vanilla, and cocoa. Bring to a boil and then pour over the flour mixture and mix well.

In a small bowl mix eggs, then add baking soda, and buttermilk.

(Expat baking tip: Don’t have buttermilk? Just add a splash of lemon juice or vinegar to regular milk!)

Combine the egg mixture with the rest of the batter and mix well. Pour into a greased and floured cookie sheet. Bake.

(Note: I made a half batch and made it in a 11 x 7 casserole dish. You can make a full batch and bake in in a 9×13 pan for a thicker cake or in a larger cookie sheet or jelly roll pan for a larger cake.)

Now, while the cake is in the oven, do yourself a favor and clean up the kitchen, it won’t take long, and you’ll be able to enjoy the cake more if your dishes are all done! 🙂

When the cake comes out of the oven, combine all of the icing ingredients in a small saucepan and heat them over low heat, then pour the icing over the cake about 10 minutes after it comes out.

Let the icing cool for about 30 minutes, and then you’re good to go! incredibly moist, ridiculously easy, sure to please, chocolate cake!

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Let me know what you think if you try it! I dare you to just eat one piece 🙂


I’m joining Baily Jean in the 2016 Blog-tember challenge, you can too!

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Blog-tember Day 22 | Fall Must-Haves

Hi. My name is Stephanie. And I am your #basicwhitegirl.

I love most things fall and pumpkin spice.

Now, I will say…I think America is going overboard trying to exploit the pumpkin spice-loving market, and don’t tell anyone, but I’m getting a little sick of pumpkin spice things. Agh! I can’t believe I said that out loud.  But, I will also try almost anything once if it’s labeled pumpkin spice…so I still feed into the shenanigans.

Sadly, thankfully, I don’t live in the land of pumpkin everything anymore, and we kind of have to make it seem like commercialized Fall all on our own here.

Here’s a couple of things I’ve been gifted from America though that are my top treasures this season.

1. This Heritage Pumpkin candle from Target

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I mean it’s pumpkin, a candle, soy, and from Target…is there anything more white girl Fall than that?? I just made the mistake of grabbing the link for you guys and looking at all the seasonal ones they have and I now want!

2. This Coffee Creamer

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Ok, maybe slightly more Fall white girl than the candle is pumpkin spice lattes. I can’t get those, but I can have shelf stable creamer brought to me by visitors!

3. This Apple Cider Recipe

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We have a friend who makes this every Fall and I think the Caramel Cream makes it the best Apple Cider ever.

4. These Nail Wraps

My sister is a Jamberry Nail Consultant and keeps me supplied with nice wraps. To me it doesn’t feel like Fall until I have painted my nails black. Ever since getting the dogs I cannot paint my nails without them getting into trouble and me having to mess up my polish…so I have really been loving the wraps because they can’t get messed up and they stay on for weeks (even when I work on woodworking projects and wash the dishes every day!)

So, the obvious candles and coffee aside…what do I need to add to my Fall list?


I’m joining Baily Jean in the 2016 Blog-tember challenge, you can too!

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Blog-tember Day 20 | I wish everyone knew…

Day 20: Something I wish more people  knew or believed.

I wish that people believed….

singleness is not a bad thing, it’s a high calling.

childlessness (even if by choice) is OK, and you should stop asking people why they don’t have kids or when they’re going to start having them. #RUDE

sex within marriage is meant to be enjoyed, and you shouldn’t talk about it like it’s a chore. If you think it’s a chore then you’re missing out.

the world doesn’t operate in black and white or good and bad. Just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t make them wrong. We’re all doing the best we can with the information and the convictions given to us. What’s right for me may not be right for you. AND THAT’S OK!

overseas life isn’t one big,sparkling, fun, adventure. It’s a calling. It’s hard. It’s full of missed moments and great sacrifice. So when you talk to me like I’m happy to run away from my family, live frivolously by traveling to nearby countries using my vacation days, or to choose not to be there for birthdays, weddings, newborns, and the likes…that’s offensive and cheapens the sacrifice we make and the work that we do.

my identity is not as a mom. I am first and foremost a Child of God…and after that so many other things. When we address people who happen to have children as “mama” before we address each other by name, we’re simplifying each other down to way less than the diverse people we actually are.

you don’t have to do a Whole 30 to be healthy. Just start making healthier choices every day. Don’t exclude yourself from community (and pizza!…and cake!!!) for the sake of lording your discipline in eating over other people. “Break bread in your homes and eat it together with glad and sincere hearts”

Jesus would not have been a republican. I’ll just leave that there.

LGBTQ people are not going to hurt you or your children. Talking to them and about them like they are is not going to give you any influence in their lives, and will lead you to miss out on great friendships with wonderful people.

goldendoodles are awesome. Having dogs IS like having children in that you have your own parenting style, which yields differently behaved dogs. And while I think my style is the best…I realize that it might not be the best for you. (But seriously it could be… 😉 )

7-11 has the best coffee…especially when you mix half vanilla bean coffee with half vanilla cappuccino…oh yummmm

and finally, last but not least, for now on this list…

cream cheese icing is the best icing. Making red velvet cake, carrot cake, and pumpkin cake the best cakes because they are perfect vehicles for cream cheese frosting. 🙂


I’m joining Baily Jean in the 2016 Blog-tember challenge, you can too!

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Blog-tember Day 19 | Favorite Posts

Part of the reason why I’m on this space so sporadically (blog-tember aside) is that I truly feel like I write best when prompted by the Spirit.

Oh I could come up with something to share every day, or three times a week, but those posts would just be my random ramblings…and aint nobody wanna hear that. So I usually only post when I feel really lead to get something out in words.

It was fun for me to look back over my small little space and bring to light the posts I’m most passionate about. I feel like this gives you a real glimpse into things I care about (although not all of the things I feel strongly about are out as posts yet, because I care about so many things! haha)

I hope it’s fun for you too to take a look at a few of my favorites.

singlenessThoughts on being single or married without children and how that’s OK!

taglineHow to survive in this social media/small business world, and resting in who we are being good enough.

movingIronically we’ve moved again since I wrote this post

img_2050When we ask God to move in our lives, we don’t expect Him to wound us.

soldiersHow should we (or shouldn’t we) respond to all of the issues going on in the world today.


I’m joining Baily Jean in the 2016 Blog-tember challenge, you can too! 

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Blog-tember Day 18 | Simplifying Life

This might not be revelational to anyone, but aside from my iPhone (which I live on!) the thing I use most daily and that helps me simplify life is my Erin Condren planner.

I’ve always been detailed and organized and had a paper calendar in my room for as long as I can remember. (I’m serious, I remember being 8 and having an American Girl one, then an Anne Geddes one [whoa, blast from the past!]…even a beanie baby one!)

As I got older it turned into school planners, and making my own weekly spreadsheets…I loved having a place to physically write things down, it helps me remember things.

Fast forward years later and I’ve tried many planners and layouts and the one I keep coming back to is the Erin Condren Life Planner.

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I write a lot more about it here in this post on How to Make and Keep a Weekly Schedule. So I won’t go into a lot of details, but it’s my favorite layout by far! I love the fun colors and how customizeable they are. You can get names, and pictures printed on the front if you’d like.

Word on the street is they have awesome teacher and wedding planners as well!

If you’re interested in one, you can use this referral code, which just gets me a percentage off of my next purchase. 🙂

I will say, they’re more expensive than a planner you can pick up at Target. But twice now I have given up my Erin Condren and said I’ll just use a Walmart planner to save money, and twice I have regretted it!  This is something I buy as my Christmas present every year and it keeps on giving throughout the entire next year!


I’m joining Bailey Jean in the 2016 Blog-tember challenge, you can too!

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