All through high school I used a wide margin Bible  – those wide margins are full of stories, thoughts, prayers…life. It is probably the only thing from high school that I own that I consider valuable. One of these days I might have a high schooler that will find it fun to read my thoughts from that season of life. Who knows, but that would be fun to share together.

Anyway…it has been a long time since I’ve had extra room in my Bible for anything other than underlining. Recently an email led to a reminder of how much I loved filling my Bible with more than just lines under words. After a few google searches, it turns out Bible journaling is a thing now….and I found myself the perfect new Bible for a new season of life.

1.15journal-011.15journal-021.15journal-031.15journal-041.15journal-06I’m playing with colored pencils and watercolors again. I’m way out of practice, but I have visions of a Bible filled with color and words – something to pass down to my kids one day. For now, I am taking the time to read slow and really contemplate and color outside the lines. And it has been so good.

Now I want to practice my hand lettering skills. It will be fun to bring out the text along with sketches in the margins….so I was wondering if any of you had any hand lettering recommendations? Any books, workshops or classes you would recommend?

For more inspiration on Bible journaling, just do a quick Pinterest search – so many!

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  • Jenn - oh how I love this. I am not overly artsy (my sister got that) but I love love love all of the journaling Bible pictures that I have been seeing out there. it makes me happy to see all of the pretty things and words that people sketch in the margins. love yours too. maybe one day I will get a journaling Bible and then hopefully I will know what I want to put in the margins.

  • Amy @thelittlefarmdiary - I had no idea! Thanks so much for sharing. That’s just the coolest thing I’ve seen in a long while!

  • Jaime - Here’s a great online lettering workshop. She really breaks it down to make it easy. Also you can do it whenever you have time since its online line.

  • Kim knight - A few months ago, I was introduced to Bible journaling. I’m so thankful for finding this! I love spending time journaling & meditating on passages & feel that it has brought me so much closer to God. Thanks for sharing with everyone! Have fun journaling! On IG, I like to look at #illustratedfaith…such beautiful inspiration there! :)

  • Kelley - Oh I can’t wait to see some of your finished pages! I do hope you’ll share some of them!! Also I think it’s really funny that you’re asking for hand lettering help when your sister is Leslie :)

  • Erica Baker - Those Bibles have recently started getting popular at my church – so cool! My pastor filled up enough Bibles over the years to pass down one to his kids and now he is working on enough to pass down to each grand child :) Such a cool idea. I love that you are doing that. Have you tried Skillshare? I think I have seen a few hand lettering classes there.

  • Beth Hess - this is the second blog post I have read about this and I want to try it so I will definitely be pinteresting! What pencils do you have?i want something that won’t bleed through the pages.

  • Madaline Meatte - I have been SOOOO into the bible journaling thing! There is tons of inspiration on instagram!

    Jones Design Company is working on a hand lettering class! Or so she says!

  • Ashley - Too funny… just found my highschool Bible this weekend in a trunk. So many great memories scribbled in it! And I had no clue they made Bible’s with this wide of margins! Ordering one this morning!!!

  • Caylin - I absolutely love this idea. I recently purchased the same bible and can’t wait to start. But, I’m a little nervous…. I would love it if you would share some of the tips that people send you on lettering. And I can’t wait to see your pages. <3

  • Megan - Hi Ashley, My question is off topic for this post, but I wanted to ask you about photo books. I know you make awesome books each year for your family. I am using BLURB to turn my blog into books and I can’t decide if I should use the premium paper (thus having to split each year into 2 books) or keep the standard paper and have ONE book for each year. I thought I really wanted the premium paper, but not sure if there is a big difference. Have you used both? Any recommendations?? Thank you so much!!!

  • AshleyAnn - Kelly – I’ll be tapping Lesley’s knowledge for sure!

  • Molly Quigley - Ashley-

    I had not caught up on your blog since Christmas. Let me just tell you – it is one of my FAV reads. I had no idea about this Bible journaling, the new ping pong table and the rock videos with the girls. Keep it real, and thanks for all the inspirations!!!!!!!

    Hugs,
    Molly from Houston

  • Hanna - Shanna Noel has classes just on illustrated Faith – http://shannanoel.blogspot.com/

  • Christina - Check out Besotted Blog. She usually has some great resources on starting hand lettering.

  • Abby - I just got the same bible! I have yet to do anything in it yet–nervous to put those first marks in it. So excited about the possibilities!

  • Heidi - Beautiful! I have the same bible and LOVE looking back through the years. Thanks for inspiring me to share those memories with my littles. :)

  • Melanie - Love this! Wondering where to find a journaling Bible that isn’t ruled? All the Bibles I found online seem to have a lined margin for writing. Thanks for sharing.

  • Michelle - The best site I have found for lettering- Elviestudioblogspot, and she has online classes. Check out Stephanie Ackerman- Homegrown Hospitality for bible journaling, she is great!

  • Erica - Such a cool idea! This is the first I’ve heard of it and it is so inspiring!

  • Lisa K - A friend just told me about Sillshare.com. Lots of letting tutorials.

  • Sarah - I love that! I want to do that for my daughter now. : )

  • Ashley B - Ive been looking for a new Bible. Something TANGIBLE again. YouVersion is amazing but there are no margins and tear stains. My bibles from years before are worn and also filled with words and doodles and you said it best… life. I have tear filled pages and pages that remind me of face planted nights on the ground and seasons where I was very angry with God and angry with myself. It tells not only the greatest story in the world. It tells mine. It tells my journey and the sorrow that lasted only for the night. It tells the story of joy. It tells the story of far away places. It has traveled sharing the very words inside across countries and oceans. It sadly has seen its last days and now has to sit on a shelf because opening the pages is a careful task. I have been looking for a new Bible a Bible that I love that can be filled with new adventures sorrows joys tears and love. I need something new. I actually prayed about that this morning. I read your blog every day and here it is in my face the perfect Bible I knew nothing about! SOOO Thank you for sharing! Im so UBER excited to order my new Journal Bible! :) It is just what I needed, it is perfection!

  • marie - I was reading your blog post today, and then opened up the following post on Alisa Burke’s blog. Thought you might be interested.

    http://alisaburke.blogspot.com/2015/01/introduction-to-lettering.html

    P.S. I very rarely comment…but I truly love to visit you!

  • Heather - I started with The Hand Lettering Ledger by Mary Kate McDeavitt. She also has a few classes on skillshare that I’m looking into. How did the watercolors do on the bible paper? I love watercolors but never thought of doing them in a bible.

  • Erica - Do you have a link for your journaling Bible you could post? I cannot seem to find one without ruled lines.
    Thanks!!

  • AshleyAnn - Heather – it is thin Bible paper, so I knew it would wrinkle the paper a bit, which I don’t mind. I’ve actually ironed Bible pages before. If you don’t want wrinkles, don’t use water colors!

  • AshleyAnn - Melanie – I looked for one that didn’t have lines too, but couldn’t find one. I was pleasantly surprised that the lines in my Bible are very faint, so it is working for me.

  • Dawn Ritchie - Shanna Noel is so good when it comes to this: http://shannanoel.blogspot.com/

  • Jenny B. - So pretty! Another blogger I follow has been using the Journaling Bible as well. Here’s an example of hers: http://www.mercyisnew.com/2014/12/08/start-journaling-bible-resources/. Also, if you’re looking for a book on hand lettering, there’s this really cool girl named Lesley who’s giving one away on her blog. ;) Hee hee. :)

  • Diana - I love going through my Bible from high school (really, my Bible now) because of all the notes and underlining and comments. It’s awesome and faith-inspiring.

  • Katie S - I have recently seen these too. Great inspiration on Instagram as well #illustratedfaith and #biblejournaling
    Can’t wait to get one myself!

  • Mendi - I have recently been researching and wanting to do the same thing. While I am not very “artsy” I would love to think outside the traditional lines.

  • Lorraine - I had no idea that that was a thing, but I’m not surprised!! What a beautiful gift to yourself, God and whomever gets their hands on it!! Can’t wait to search pinterest!

  • Bevy @ treasured up and pondered - Ooh… so pretty!

    I had to smile – as I would say my Bible is pretty much in the same ballpark as yours. Hardly any room left to write in its margins…but only room to underline and that is even full or getting there.
    It’s an Old Friend. And, I can’t imagine having to “part” with it in order to upgrade (because it is also falling apart pretty badly)… it makes me upset in thinking I should have to replace it one day. But… now this!!! Almost makes we want to reconsider. :)

    I’m new here and have been enjoying your blog!! thanks much.

Well, my ‘studio’ is now the ‘game room’.  I knew this day was coming, but I held out hope maybe my crafty room would stay crafty. We’ve contemplated getting a ping pong table for a while. We tried the ping pong attachment that can fit on any table; it only confirmed we would really use a full size table. So, I compromised. They got their table and I get to paint it to make it not so navy and not so ESPN. The first day we have spray-painting weather, this table is getting an Ashley facelift. I am sure that makes no sense to so many, but it makes complete sense around here.

Honestly, as much as I make jokes about the new table – I think we all win with it. I’m fairly certain there will be years of the best memories made around this new table.

1.15pingpong-011.15pingpong-021.15pingpong-031.15pingpong-04I was playing with my six year old, who is far better than I am, and it made me think of an old photo. In 2009, I watched him so desperately want to be big enough to play with his brothers and dad. He held a paddle up to the table, unable to actually see the top of the table. It is one of my all-time favorite photographs. Looking across the table at him today, I remembered….1.15pingpong-051.15pingpong-06So, I guess I already have great memories around a ping pong table. Time to make more…but I am totally painting it.

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  • Suzanne - My parents have a ping pong table in their basement and my kids LOVE it. We wake up in the morning to that sound, the kids have tournaments throughout our stay and at least once a day, you hear someone say “Hey, how about a little pingin’ and a pongin’ . Pop, you up for it? (My dad) Come on Lady (my mom), let’s have a quick round.” I am sure my parents did not realize the joy this table would bring…..or maybe they did….but we all love it.

  • Amy @thelittlefarmdiary - So the ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos totally made this post! Adorable shots of your little one! And, yes, I am rooting for a warm spray painting kind of a day just to see what you’ll do with that table! I’m sure it will be all kinds of awesome!

  • AmyK - OH, that picture! The days are long, but the years are short.

  • Lisa K - I can’t wait to see the ping pong table “Ashley-fied”. :)

  • Amanda - so fun!!! And I can’t wait to see its makeover!!!

  • jodi @ back40life - the making of memories…such a beautiful thing! God is so good – love seeing Him work through your family!

  • Jill - We had a ping pong table when I was growing up, it was great fun. It was also nice and big so that when I wanted to cut out a dress or other sewing project, I had plenty of room to spread out. It could be a great addition to your craft room!

  • Bek Ryder - ohhhhh my gosh that is the cutest photo ever! so cute. <3

  • Natalie - oh my goodness- i’ve been following you so long I REMEMBER that picture! precious!

  • Jillian - This is the sweetest picture!

  • Meg - My grandparents had a ping pong table and to this day whenever all my cousins and I get together we talk about the fun we had around that ping pong table. It was the source of entertainment at my grandparents house and it was the kids table during big family meals.

  • Diana - That old picture is precious!! What fun you’ll have!

  • Itzi - I am sure you will make the best memories around that table. Best of luck!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Oh my goodness! I was sure that you’d never loose it to the boys – oh well :) I know it will be a blast! I’ll always think of it as your craft studio! LOL.

  • Dawn - Those old photos!!! He is so tiny and sweet!! Love how memories come back like that and amazing that you have it captured then and now! And I am also glad I am not the only one waiting for the first day of spray painting weather ;)

  • kimberly oyler - you are a good mom. can’t wait to come visit again so the boys can totally cream me.

  • Jolene - Love the picture of your son when he was small! Truly, time goes so fast!

  • Haley - That picture of him when he is younger is so adorable! I can’t wait to see the ashley makeover. Fabric wrapped?

My dad should open a restaurant, so should my sister.

Come to think of it – they should do that together. In all their spare time.

Truly though, my dad and sister are creative chefs. Don’t worry my mom is not offended by this post – cooking isn’t her favorite, her talents span a million other things. I’m not a talented or creative chef, but I can follow a recipe.

I enjoy cooking – more now than when my kids were younger. I definitely enjoy it more now that our daily pace is a slower (homeschooling) and the kids can easily help out.

1.15cooking-011.15cooking-02We eat 3 meals at home basically 7 days a week. Restaurants are a bit expensive for a family of 7 – 3 of which are growing boys that eat more than adult men! I do a lot of cooking and really don’t like to use anything processed. I am constantly looking to learn new tricks, favorite recipes and such of other moms that are doing a lot of home cooking. So, I thought I’d share something we’ve been doing for about a year now.

I know a lot of families like to meal plan far in advance, but that just doesn’t fit for us. I like to plan weekly and I really like trying new recipes. I also want my kids to learn to really cook before they move out one day. As a result, we have a long list of family favorites, but I also enlist one kid a week to pick a new meal and help cook it. I have a bunch of cookbooks that they can choose from – Pioneer Woman’s cookbook doesn’t quite fit with the rest, but…I like butter. And she’s a fellow Okie.

1.15cooking-03This week my 6 year old picked out Shaved Asparagus Pizza from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook. The picture made it look delicious – YAY for great photography!1.15cooking-041.15cooking-051.15cooking-07He helped make everything. We sat down at the dinner table. Before he even took a bite he said, “This is so good!”1.15cooking-08I probably wouldn’t have picked asparagus pizza on my own.

I’m going to get details wrong here, but just go with it. About 8+ years ago I saw an episode of Oprah that featured a mom and her chef sons. All the boys were phenomenal cooks. The mom told Oprah about how she taught them to cook at an early age. Each week a different son was in charge of a meal. Eventually the boys started doing the meal planning and shopping – always learning more and trying new things in an effort to out-do each other. Basically, they competed to create the best meals and the mom got to eat all those delicious meals.

She was a genius.

I’m working towards that….one asparagus pizza at a time.

***What are your favorite tips, tricks and recipes regarding home cooking with and for kids?

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  • Jen L. - Our new favorite family recipe is this one from Against All Grain. We’ve made it several times and it has always come out delicious for our family. It’s one of those recipes where you don’t have to alter a thing. We purchase our pork tenderloins at Trader Joe’s. They are so economical there for that cut of meat. We also double the recipe for our family of three and have just a touch leftover.

    http://againstallgrain.com/2014/05/09/paleo-glazed-pork-tenderloin/

    I also am a big fan of starting kids of with a crinkle cutter (instead of a knife) until they get the hang of it. Then, transitioning into a real knife and teaching how to properly hold it, curl the fingers of your other hand under, etc.

    Fun post, Ashley.

    Jen

  • Jacqueline - Mexican pizza – a tortilla with guacamole, then chicken (stretches the meat a long way), beans, cheese, corn, tomatoes, whatever. A drizzle of sour cream to top it off. use different size tortillas for smaller/bigger kids.

  • danielle - Thanks for the encouragment. I do good for a short time and then fall off the wagon. I really want my boys to help cook but it can be hard sometimes. Especially since I ruin recipes if I have any distractions. It is a lot easier for me to just have them go at it and ask me questions instead but that really limits what they can make. I am going to give it another go though!

  • Meredith N. - I love this idea of having the kids choose a recipe to be in charge of. Kids should definitely be in the kitchen from a young age. I also know too many men my age who don’t know how to cook. I think it’s great that your boys especially are learning!

  • Diana - SK’s asparagus pizza is sooo good! Love the idea of cultivating youn cooks. It surely helps them to be more adventurous eaters as well.

  • Debbie - Yes! Teach them to cook while they are young and they will treasure the memories and have a great skill!

  • Maureen - Hi Ashley! I have to put a “plug” in for a college friend of mine. Her website has tons of healthy recipes and her cookbook has been on the best seller list. Great tips for eating non-processed foods. She is Lisa Leake athttp://www.100daysofrealfood.com/

  • Lakmali - Cool idea!!!!!!!!

  • Tiffany - I’m a vague planner, ie. M:soup, T:tacos, W: hot sandwiches, etc. This way we can mix it up, but it’s also routinish. It worked really great in the Summer/Fall but I haven’t been able to perfect it this Winter, but I haven’t given up. This went over suprisingly well this week. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/grandmas-corn-chowder/detail.aspx

  • molly - this is great! we have had our girls in the kitchen baking and cooking as much as they have wanted to be in there. we have always thought it was important to let them help and get comfortable in the kitchen. i love your idea of letting them pick and plan a meal. my big girls (10 & 7) would be all about this. i am going to have to do that. thanks for sharing!

  • Jody - I think u rock. Thanks for this idea. LOVE it. Starting it this weekend w my four boys!!

  • Kari - Your story about the chef sons reminded me of Mad Hungry: Feeding Men & Boys by Lucinda Scala Quinn, which is easily the prettiest cookbook I own. She said something similar about her boys–makes me wonder if they’re the same mom.

  • Big D & Me - I have the kids cook during the summer when our pace is a lot slower. Each week each child (3 kids total) chooses a meal for the family to cook – main w/sides – and they are in charge of making sure everything is on the grocery list for that week. Then when it’s their turn to cook dinner with me they help with everything. They don’t choose difficult items yet but they have made their own meatballs, mac n cheese, and calzones

    - http://www.bigdandme.com/2013/07/what-my-boys-are-cooking/

    Have a great weekend – Jennifer

  • Christin - Love this post! Love the schedule of how to get the kids in the kitchen. I’ll be starting that this week! I live in Tulsa and have 3 boys. I was just wondering where you shop or how you keep the grocery bill down? Thank you!

  • Melissa - I too only plan a week at a time and love trying new things. We have themed nights at our house to help with the planning…http://www.uniquelyhis-blog.com/?p=375

  • alix - I can’t keep my now 3 year old out of the kitchen. It has been his passion for about a year now. Let me tell you cooking every meal with a two year old is not easy. Especially when he thinks he is in charge. But we have done it. He is pretty good little sous chef now and I enjoy his help in the kitchen. For chirstmas we got a bunch of recipe cards with picture instructions on them. He brings me a card and then pretty much does all the work. Those were a fun find.
    Cooking with my 6 year old has also help my picky eater. When he decides then he wants to eat it.

  • Erica - This is a great post! I love getting the kids in the kitchen early. My kiddo is just about to turn one but I already like to keep him on my hip in the kitchen (as I safely can). He is super curious! Another inspiring blogger for getting the kids in the kitchen is Aimee from simplebites.net.

  • Diana - I LOVE that getting your kids to love and take enough pride in their cooking that they compete to make the best meals! That is awesome. Our son isn’t even 2 so we are a ways off from getting him to cook for us but something to remember!

  • Erin - After struggling with meals – not a huge fan of cooking – I finally found an inexpensive meal plan that works so well for us. Every week, I’m emailed a list of 5 dinner recipes (main meal with sides) and the coordinating grocery list. I tend to make some minor adjustments, but having the meals chosen for me and organized for shopping is amazing! All I have to worry about is following the recipes and making the meals each night. We are eating things I never would have tried on my own. I’ve been doing it for 6 months now and have only had 1 or 2 meals we didn’t like. The website for the plan we use is nomoretogo.com, but I purchased it through amazon local. I cannot say enough wonderful things about it!

  • Michelle Naomi - We don’t have kids but we try to cook and eat at home 6 nights a week with breakfast and lunch almost always at home. That asparagus pizza is one of my favorite recipes from Smitten Kitchen. I do remember my mom always encouraging us to help out in the kitchen from a young age and I think that’s part of the reason I love to cook oh so much.

  • Katrina - I couldn’t agree more with starting the kids out in the kitchen! When my big boys were in middle school they would each make dinner once a week. At first I would be there helping and giving instructions. After a couple months they were able to take over and I was just on hand to answer a question or keep them moving things along on time. I am really glad we did this with them then, because since they have started high school, they just don’t have the extra time to do this nowadays.
    My littler guys love to mix batter for pancakes or muffins too. Wonderful life skill to teach the kiddos! Good job Mama!

  • Jen - You are simply amazing : )

    nuff said!

    Hugs…

  • Cris - You are doing a great job. I’ve been a homeschooling mom for 25 years. :) Just an idea……… for the next step have your older ones figure out how much the total cost of the meal is and cost per serving. If anyone goes to the grocery with you have them do some head math as you go. I love real life education!

  • Candy - So wonderful! My husband has allowed our daughter much more creativity in the kitchen, as I have always been more on the cautious side. They once did a mock “Bobby Flay Throw Down” with Grilled Cheese- starting at the grocery store to pick their own ingredients- so fun. Our go-to is usually some type of pita pizza… they make the sauce and have a variety of toppings, but the main ingredient, they will say, is Love. :)

  • Eva - I think it’s great your kids are already helping with dinner. Mine are still mostly sideline observers for dinner. I guess that’s because making sandwiches for lunch and quick breads for baking eliminate the need for using the cooktop or oven. Looks like I just need to set aside any irrational fears there, like when my son suggested using the oven mitt to give the pasta a stir because of the steam being too hot. Now, why didn’t I think of that? lol Anyway, thanks for the motivation to get them on the dinner prep rotation now. ;)

  • jesse - I am fairly new to this beautiful blog so maybe I have missed a post. But do all your children eat what you cook? I find there is always half that complain and are displeased…is there a trick to deal with that? I love the idea of having them pick a recipe though. That is good. Thank you.

  • kelly - Love this! We menu plan a week at a time and get our three young boys (3, 5 & 7) involved in the choosing of meals and the cooking! We started a recipe blog about 5 years ago to document our meals and serve as inspiration. Our kids most favorite dinner by far is potato kale soup! http://wholesomedinnertonight.blogspot.com/2012/09/potato-kale-soup-gluten-free.html Taco night is a simple one that gets everyone involved. My 7 year old browns the meat and cooks the tortillas, my 5 year old makes fresh guacamole and my 3 year old chops lettuce with his kid-friendly Little Chef knife. My husband and his three brothers are amazing cooks and it’s our goal to instill a love of quality food and cooking in our boys. Thanks for sharing!!

  • amber - Oh man, that mom was a genius…or really, really lucky!! Also. I love PW. Her stuff is usually really easy & so yummy. I should look into your healthier options up there…I love butter too much these days. Lol!! Thanks for giving me the hope of enjoying cooking one day…right now, I’d rather just feed everyone frozen pizza everyday to skip out on the craziness that surrounds cooking! Ha!

  • Emily - We have SO MANY COOKBOOKS – I let the boys flip through and pick things that look good and then they help measure and stir, etc. (my oldest is a bit younger than Firecracker).

    If you’re wanting to encourage some creativity – pick up a copy of the Flavor Bible. It’s purely reference – a fairly comprehensive pairings of what flavors match up. I’m not describing it well, but it’s one of the first cookbooks I always make a point of checking when I’ve got an ingredient I’m not sure what to do with.

    Also – while I’m recommending books – Hungry Monkey by Matthew Amster-Burton is hilarious. And his recipe for bibimbap is divine.

    Happy Cooking!

  • lindsey - We eat this recipe about twice a week lately: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2014/05/chicken-tomato-sauce-chickpeas-kale.html

    It’s great! and really easy to substitute different meat options or different types of canned tomatoes (crushed, whole, diced, we’ve used them all and they are all good). We have also used pork chops, chicken thighs, sausage or a combo and great northern beans instead of chick peas. And I generally only use onions instead of the shallots because we never have them. I don’t care for the bread crumbs so we skip that part all together.

    AND I like the kale cooked more so I let it simmer for a bit.

    I think it would be a good kind recipe, lots of opening and dumping cans. And you could cut the kale with scissors or have them tear it to bits.

  • christina larsen - I love to cook and we hardly ever go out to eat. I have tons of recipe books that I love to read like novels. I always tweak the recipes in some way or another. I also have a huge 4″ binder that holds recipes that we use more frequently or are print outs of recipes from online that I want to try. I usually ask the kids weekly what they want on the menu. I have tried to have the kids plan and prepare, but at the time I tried…they were busy, and it was inconsistent. Maybe I need to reinstate that plan.

  • MC - We love the books by Jennifer Low. She doesn’t use the stove top or sharp knives, so they are really good to use with young kids. (And the photographs in the books are very pretty).

  • Ashley - LOVE LOVE LOVE this post Ashley!!! My goal too is to have all of my kids cooking by the time they leave my house. My mom raised all five of us this way and I love that my two very masculine brothers know how to make a delicious meal complete with dessert:) I’m like you, we meal plan once a week. I haven’t tried a few of the cookbooks that you recommended…adding them to my list. LOVE gwyneth’s!!!
    I know in the past you haven’t written anything about your homeschool curriculum of choice. But would LOVE to pick your brain on what y’all are using. We ventured out to public school this year and it has been good. But the schedule and how much time is wasted is killing me! So back to homeschooling we go next year…for the long haul:) Hope y’all have had a great weekend!

  • Gail - When I was growing up, my mom would have my sisters and my favourite recipes write out our favourite tried and true recipes on recipe cards or in a recipe book. I still use some of these classics and it reminds me of making the recipe initially 40 yrs ago!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Oh my goodness – this is brilliant. I so need to start this asap!! :)

  • Jennifer - Love this idea and am planning to be more diligent in get my kids involved with the planning and prepping/cooking of our meals. But I have to ask, how was the pizza? It seems like such a unique combination, something I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to try, but my husband loves asparagus so I’m curious was it something you’d make again?

  • Julie B - My favorite tip is first teach them to stir. My kids can stir like nobody’s business! They all learned what not to touch and how to hold the handle and such. Teaching them to follow the directions in the recipe and making sure we have all of the ingredients first is such a great life lesson! My daughters and I watch Martha Bakes, we ooohhh and aahhhh together. My oldest girl is just getting started on her very own food blog because she loves it so much. I think never being afraid to try something new and involving them all the time is really the key!

  • Michelle H. - ~. TIP ~ whenever a recipe calls for shredded chicken, your KitchenAid mixer with the paddle atrachment is perfect! After cooking the chicken breasts & letting them rest, I put them in the mixing bowl and start out on low ~ or 1 ~ i then increase the speed & shred until the chicken is shredded to my liking. ;-) No sharp utensils involved. ;-)

  • AshleyAnn - Jennifer – we all really liked it and will definitely be making it again!

  • Meredith - Ashley,
    I save your site for when I have a good chunk of time, or when I’m feeling a bit blue and need a pick me up. Your energy, passion, kindness and authenticity always makes me feel lighter — and you always remind me of what is important in our everyday lives (family, health, love….).

    So, thank you.

    But also, I wanted to comment on your picture of cookbooks because I am friends with Melissa Joulwan, the author or WELL FED. I thought you’d like to know that she is an amazing woman — creative and all around awesome. I’m going to let her know you have her cookbook on hand!

    I wish you all the best. We are in the midst of a snowstorm here in NYC. My 7 year old boy is so excited because school has been cancelled tomorrow!

    Warmly,
    Meredith

  • Tracy R. - Hi Ashley! I loved that you visited cooking in the home. We too, rarely eat out and we prepare all our meals. I feel like I spend 80% of my life in the kitchen. So any fresh ideas are welcome. I loved seeing your library of cookbooks! I am excited to explore them. And, we love asparagus! I am def going to try the pizza. One tip I found that is helpful is if I am in the kitchen dedicated to cooking, I usually try to multi task. For instance, cook something on the stovetop, put something quick and easy thing into the crockpot and MAYBE bake something simple or put something in the dehydrator. It is nice if I am in the kitchen to use more than one appliance and keep going! Then maybe I will be able to catch a break from the kitchen! My girls really like to make homemade spice mixes and homemade salad dressings and it really gets them comfortable with measurement. For example, we make our own seasoned salt. taco seasoning and ranch powder. They think the homemade spice mixes and dressing taste better than store bought/premade versions so they are quick to help!

  • Melissa Joulwan - Your blog post was forwarded to me by a friend who’s a fan of yours… I’m delighted to see my cookbook Well Fed in that stack, and with such good company, too! I hope you enjoy the recipes in Well Fed. They’re what I feed our little family (just my husband and me) every day. Happy cooking to you and your wee ones!