The Work at Home Super Bundle

The Work at Home Super Bundle

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

 

 

Are you like me and want to stay home and be with your family as much as you can, but you want to earn a bit of extra money on the side? Or perhaps you want to start a whole business right from home?

 

Today I just saw that my long loved Ultimate Bundles has the Work at Home Super Bundle on sale! This year I purchased a Genius Blogger Bundle from them, which was amazing.

 

I love bundles! It’s like going to a restaurant and getting a whole bunch of appetizers. Oh so many flavours, and satisfying! Ok… maybe that’s a weird comparison..

 

There is all sorts of stuff in this bundle from starting your Etsy business, to how to develop and grow your own business, to work and life balance, to legal and accounting.

 

 

 

 

 

Work At Home  |  Money Making Ideas

 

Here are just a few examples of the money making ideas:

 

 

 

  • Becoming a Virtual Assistant
  • Freelancing with writing
  • Design Freelancer
  • Cake Baking
  • and more.

 

 

 

 

 

If you had $1000 extra a month

what would you do with it?

I think I probably would invest it somehow. But I’m still learning about that, so I’m not sure what I’d exactly invest it in.

Any tips for me? Comment below!

 

 

 

 

 

Why God Loves Food

Why God Loves Food

Kingdom around the Table Part 1Why God Loves Food    I love food.   Everyone who comes to my house and sits at my table often gets a pretty darn good meal (not my own words). After their satisfaction, they tend to ask me if I like cooking.   My response is always the...

How to Spend Money without Guilt

How to Spend Money without Guilt

Have you ever arrived at the end of the month wondering where all of your money has gone? Surely, you didn't mean to overspend, but the money has literally vanished from your bank account. Where did it all go? Is it even possible to spend money without guilt?   Our...

Frl.Blanka | Being Creative for God | Hand Lettering

Frl.Blanka | Being Creative for God | Hand Lettering

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Frl.Blanka (or Isa) and I met a couple months ago in beautiful Heidelberg. She is credited to introducing...

An Awkward Photoshoot and Revealing God’s Heart

An Awkward Photoshoot and Revealing God’s Heart

Have you ever stood in front of the camera and tried to smile naturally? Yeah, it doesn't work. At least not for me. The pictures my hubby takes of me always seem like I have plastered a smile to my face. He always tells me to stop it, and smile properly. My body and...

The Work at Home Super Bundle

The Work at Home Super Bundle

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.     Are you like me and want to stay home and be with your family as much as you can, but you want to...

Stewardship of Time, Talents and Food

Stewardship of Time, Talents and Food

Welcome to the first of my Spotlight Series. Where we get to meet Jesus loving, inspiring, and creative people.   I'm really happy to introduce you to my first guest of the series, Amanda from Maple Alps. She's a fellow Canadian, and also married to a German speaker...

Reusable Eco-Friendly Swim Diapers

Reusable Eco-Friendly Swim Diapers

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The Quick Relax List

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13 Things You Can to Do Instead of Netflix

13 Things You Can to Do Instead of Netflix

 

Have you ever made a New Year’s Resolution, fully intending on keeping it, doing exactly what you didn’t want to be doing a few weeks or months later?

Yesterday, I had a great visit with some friends and we talked about all sorts of things. One thing we touch on was what was one of my posts on Giving up Netflix. and wondering what we could do instead of Netflix

We discussed how they sometimes meant to only watch one episode, and then a few hours later were still stuck watching.
Obviously, not what they wanted. But I totally get it, our default mode is easily appeased and entertained. Then we really get stuck in the rut of consumption. I tried to think of what would help me to do something else instead of Netflix: my answer, a comprehensive list!

13 Things You Can do Instead of Netflix

Today I put together this list of things of 13 Things You Can do Instead of Netflix. Often we really mean to do better, get better or be better, but lack a plan. I know that when I don’t have an idea of what to do instead, I resort to my old ways.

 

1. Go outside

Take a walk. I was going to suggest running, but sometimes we just need to slow down and purposefully enjoy the nature around us. Check out what’s growing in your fields, or sidewalk.
How many tree types do you know of in your area? Maybe you can look into what they are actually called if you don’t know. When do the leaves come? When do they fall?
What types of weeds grow around you?
Listen to all the bird calls. Imagine what they are saying to one another.

2.Read a book

If you’re not sure what to start with maybe my last post on 10 Classic Reads to Feed Your Brain will help you.
Go for something that brings you pleasure.
Looking for free books? Go to www.gutenberg.org

3. Play a board game (not a bored game)

My husband will be so happy I’m writing this. He LOVES board games. I am OK with them, if I feel I have the capacity to think and strategize.

Here are a few of our favourites:

4. Learn something new

This is my favourite one right now. I LOVE LEARNING. With the amount of online learning available, it almost causes me to explode with delight, and frustration at the same moment due to the lack of time.
Here are some of my favourites:

To learn new skills here are some great websites:
www.skillshare.com

www.udemy.com

and for free University level courses:

www.edx.org

www.coursera.com

Free Christian theological and apologetics training:

https://www.covenantseminary.edu/resources/

l’Abri Learning Library

5. Start gardening

Even if you don’t have yard space to start one. Start with your window sill. Grow a plant from seed. It is most delightfully satisfying!
Check out your area and see if there is a community garden around.

6. Learn a new language

My hubby is making great progress in his Russian learning with Duolingo

7. Write a story

Is your imagination struggling after over consumption of media?
Go to http://storybird.com/ for inspiration! It’s awesome!

8. Listen to an audiobook

There is of course www.audible.com .
But free options include:  www.Youtube.com
www.librivox.org

and for kids:
www.storynory.com

 

9. Start a new hobby

Music, art, handicrafts, magic and card tricks, blacksmithing, pretty calligraphy, bread baking, beer brewing, video creation… The options are endless.
Youtube is a great companion and inspiration.

 

10. Write a letter

Who DOESN’T like to receive thoughtful snail mail?

11. Start a business

You can also check out www.Udemy.com to learn about setting up the business of your dreams.
Maybe you want to start farming as a business? I just read an awesome book from the great Joel Salatin from Polyface Farms

I’m inspired.

12. Journal

In ages past, daily journaling was the norm. I find it helps me to reflect, process and plan.

13. Go to sleep

Sometimes if you feel tired… you’re ACTUALLY TIRED. Just take a nap, or go to sleep. It works wonders

I hope these suggestions help you on your journey to kick the consuming habit of Netflix and hop into the fulfilling habit of creating!

 

 

10 Best Classic Books to Feed Your Brain

10 Best Classic Books to Feed Your Brain

 

“A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.”

Mark Twain



One of my first memories of an “old” book was when I was a child at my great grandparents’. As I dug around their “old people stuff” and opened drawers, I came across a beautiful book. It was a Mennonite Hymnal, old and worn, but with gold lettering on the front. Somehow I instantly connected with it. I’ve always been very musical, probably inherited from my grandfather’s side of the family. They were farmers and musicians (I’m still working on the farming part). They were known for their beautiful voices, and I could imagine my great grandfather picking up this hymnal time and time again, and singing with his family.  When my great grandparents passed away, I inherited this hymnal, and have even brought it over with me to my new home in Germany.   Mennonite Hymnal

As I grew, so did my love for books. When I was a teenager I loved beautiful books. I found myself wandering around our local rotary club’s annual book flea market. Instantly, I was attracted to those old, antique colours. The covers that had worn edges and were rustic looking delighted me. I did actually read some of these books, but the covers intrigued me more. Plus, reading takes up so much time. This problem never solved itself. I wanted to be “well read”, but never took the time to do it. Admittedly, I  read Canterbury’s Tales when I was in grade 8, but my reading never developed much after that… Strangely enough, my curiosity and gumption to read never took off on it’s own.

Fast forward 15 years later.

With multiple kids, toddlers and a baby, my brain needed some proper intellectual nourishment. I also craved fun, stories and adventure – and not just on the playground (too much sand, too many runny noses).   I reminisced over my past intentions of becoming “well read”. So after reading some Susan Wise Bauer – The Well-Educated Mind I was convinced I could do this. With her encouragement, and 15 years of added maturity and determination, I decided to drop the Netflix (read about that here) and pick up some books.   The result: over the last two years I’ve read a BUNCH of books – and some so thick that at first glance I would have already given up.

One tip for nursing moms or moms with babies and little ones:

Get a Kindle. I love that I can read in the dark while nursing, or while waiting for the baby to fall asleep. I’ve spent SO MANY HOURS nursing and waiting. Though reading on the Kindle is not my first choice, it has certainly helped me read in dark rooms.

Don’t be daunted to read those elusive classics we hear about. They’re pretty awesome, and fun to read.

Here are 10 suggestions to get you started with:

I could read them, and so can you!

The Easy:

1. Around the World in Eighty Days This one was fun and fairly quick to read. Here is a brief summary: Phileas Fogg is a rich British gentleman living in solitude. Despite his wealth, Fogg lives a modest life with habits carried out with mathematical precision. He ends up taking on a bet from his local men’s club where he travels the world in 80 days with his French valet and his sterile manner. They get into all sorts of trouble. It was a very enjoyable, light read. 

2. Robinson Crusoe
This one surprised me with all the deep moral and spiritual reflections woven through it. Perhaps, I had some sort of Hollywood version in my head where it was filled with action and adventure. It is indeed filled with adventure, but Crusoe’s thoughts and conclusions caused me to ponder my own life. 3. Tom Sawyer I just finished this one last week. It was full of adventure and took me into the mind of a young boy, which reminded me a lot of my own boys. Though I’m still unsure of whether or not I’ll let them read it and get all sorts of “clever” ideas from the mischievous Tom Sawyer.

4. Sherlock Holmes  – The Complete Collection
 I love to read this one over and over again. It’s the perfect mix of adventure, mystery, humour, and suspense. When I first read it through, I kept thinking to myself, “how lucky I am to be reading these stories for the first time!”
One of the best feelings ever is reading an awesome book you’ve never read before – you just can’t get enough.

5. Little Women
Another easy read, but full of so much love, warmth and moral goodness. I closed this book dreaming about this simple family, and wondering how our family could love like they do.

 The Tasty but Chewy:


These books are fatter, but tastier! Once you get a bite, these books will change your life.

6. The Idiot – Dostoyevsky
This was the first in line of my Russian phase. Every time I read Dostoyevsky, I am utterly amazed at his talent as an author and story teller. It is incredible how he can argue from each character’s philosophical values, reveal their deep thoughts, and take us on a journey as the character develops. I constantly compare my own thoughts and writing to his, and am flabbergasted – what a great word by the way!

Here is a summary of the story:  The gentle and naïve epileptic Prince Myshkin – the titular ‘idiot’ – pays a visit to his distant relative General Yepanchin and proceeds to charm the General, his wife, and his three daughters. But his life is thrown into turmoil when he chances on a photograph of the beautiful Nastasya Filippovna. Utterly infatuated with her, he soon finds himself caught up in a love triangle and drawn into a web of blackmail, betrayal, and finally, murder. Inspired by an image of Christ’s suffering Dostoyevsky sought to portray in Prince Myshkin the purity of a ‘truly beautiful soul’ and explore the perils that innocence and goodness face in a corrupt world.

If you’re still in the Russian mood I’d suggest either

7. The Brothers Karamazov
Another classic from the great Dostoyevsky. This time about three very different brothers, an awful father, a woman, and intrigue. I was really pleased to learn so much about the Russian Orthodox tradition and spirituality.

or

8. The big and beautiful War and Peace
Daunting as it may be, this book was fantastic! It is regarded as a central work of world literature.

Truth be told, I watched the BBC series first. Actually, I’m really happy I did. It helped me get a good grasp on the characters and their families. Russian literature is often so complex, and there are handfuls upon handfuls of characters with names I can’t pronounce. When I began to read it, I felt quite secure in knowing who was who, and that helped me navigate and enjoy the book a lot more. I’ll admit there were a few bouts of philosophical monologues that I sped through (near the end). My brain can only handle so much, and felt lost in my lack of knowledge regarding political and historical events.
I learned so much about the French invasion of Russia in the 19th century, and about Napoleon. Topics I don’t tend to naturally gravitate towards, but I’m very thankful I did. It also gave me a better understanding of Europe, the culture and how people interacted with one another.
9. Anna Karenina
Suggested by an acquaintance of mine, I read this next one by Tolstoy after I read War and Peace. It was lighter in some ways, but really caused me more emotional turmoil. Read it and find out what I mean. 

10. Les Misérables
Is considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century.
I loved loved loved that I finally picked up this alarmingly fat book to read.
Yes, I watched the 90s version with Liam Neeson. No, I have not seen the musical (hears gasps). But if you haven’t read this, and you loved the movies or the musical, READ it! It’s so good. The characters are individually introduced, their paths cross and their lives are mingled together but it’s not done justice by a movie or musical. There is so much beauty in this book, and I still get excited thinking about it now. 
One thing that stands out to me is his description of the 19th century Paris sewer system. Who knew one could be so remarkable at describing sewage?



I hope this list gives you a great starting point if you’re not sure where to begin. All of these books were so enjoyable to read, and I’m a little sad I won’t have the opportunity to read them again for the first time. Then again, I forget things (like if I’ve watched a certain movie or not – my husband with the photographic memory snickers). What books are on your wish list right now?


Follow Me

Welcome

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I’m Dani.

Canadian born, living in Germany, with my very German husband and four rambunctious kiddos.

When I’m not chasing after my 1 1/2 year old so he doesn’t run onto the road,
I’m running a loud homeschool, doing mundane but glorious household tasks, drinking coffee, reading, learning on Udemy and sleeping.

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Power Posing Away the Fear

Power Posing Away the Fear

 

The joke has been said and the punch line delivered , and everyone is laughing except you.

Have you ever felt out of place?

I sure have.

When I moved to Germany, I of course felt like an outsider. The Canadian who couldn’t speak the language, understand the jokes, or comprehend the culture. Often I remained silent in a group of friends because the conversation was just happening too fast. As I started understanding more of how life worked here, I felt even more out of place.
One of he most common questions everyone had (and still has) for me is, “and what did you study?”, or “what is your vocational training?”

I would awkwardly look at  the ground and try to explain once again that I actually have done “nothing”. I’ve only traveled to different areas of the world, served people, learned a second language. Eventually I added onto that having one child, then two, then three, and now four.

It’s not normal here to not have some sort of degree, or certificate in something. I guess I’m weird, but I’m actually okay with that now. There is this sort of rebellious streak in me that wants to”stick it to the man”… whoever that may be?

Until last March, I never knew how power posing was or even how it could help me in all of this awkwardness.

No One Wants to Listen to You Anyway

I’m constantly coming up with thoughts I’d like to communicate to someone, or a new idea that I’d like to try out.
Though, just as quick as these things are imagined, comes a multitude of voices, taking aim and fire the possibilities away.

  • Self-doubt arises and says, “It’s polite to be quiet, keep those thoughts to yourself – it’s of no help”.
  • Lies say, “No one wants to listen to you, you’re just a mom (or a Canadian, or a woman or _____). You talk too much anyway”.
  • Cowardice pokes it’s head up and says, “It’ll never work.”

Too often, I’ve listened to these voices and have automatically given up.

Hello Confidence, Goodbye Fear

I was getting really sick of this about my self and I decided that I would be confident, and get rid of fear.
You’re probably wondering, is it that easy?
In my case, yes. It was a decision I made. I saw something in my character that I didn’t want hanging around anymore. To conquer it, I looked for opportunities to look at fear in the face.

 

Presenting my First Pitch

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago, where I jumped into a completely new and overwhelming challenge. It was scary. And I really felt like I didn’t belong.

I decided to attend a Start-Up weekend done by an organization called, Creative Kingdom Solutions near where I live here in Germany. It’s all about dreaming about starting “Kingdom visioned” businesses. It’s for entrepreneurs and businesses that want to see more of Heaven on Earth.

Dreaming = check, I got that, I love to dream!

Business = hmm..

Honestly, I felt a little out of place with the business aspect. I went with my blogging ideas, and pretty much no background or understanding of business. I felt a bit like a fish out of water.
We were to present a “Pitch Deck” there.

For those of you who have no idea what that is, I didn’t either until a couple days before the event. In simple terms: it’s basically a presentation about your business idea for investors. You go through the Whats? Whys? Whos? and the numbers/costs of your business.

So there I am, with my blog ideas, a very rough idea of how blogging and “influencing” actually works. I had no numbers or figures, no business background, no clue.
I really felt like I didn’t belong.

But I didn’t listen to those voices. I quit doing that this year. I suppose you could say it was a bit of a resolution.

If you ever struggle with the feeling you are inadequate or nothing, I highly suggest watching this TED talk by Amy Cuddy – Your body language may shape who you are

Power Posing my Way into Pitching.

After I was inspired by Amy Cuddy, I told my sister who attended with me to do the same. When my turn came (after secretly power posing in the bathroom stall) I stood up, and presented my ideas for a few blogs and content I had in mind.

AND if it wasn’t challenging enough to share my “dreams” in front of strangers who obviously knew more than I, I upped the ante and did it in:

  • a foreign language
  • front of all sorts of people who know way more about business than I do
  • front of a (surprise) panel of investors

A Giant Success of a Failure

There was the opportunity to win some prizes, and there were some really awesome business ideas that I probably would have invested into if I could.

I didn’t win any prize.

But this post isn’t about me winning a prize.
If I only measured success in prizes, this experience would have been a major failure.

No, this is about overcoming fear – namely the fear of not belonging, of not having or knowing “anything worthwhile”. This experience was a HUGE WIN for me!

I’m so thankful for the team at Creative Kingdom Solutions for starting such an awesome Start – Up weekend. I could probably write a post about all of the precious lessons I took away from that compact time.

Your Challenges:

  1. Think and/or share a time where you ultimately failed, but in reality it was a giant success
  2. Where are there parts in your life where fear is holding you back? (ie. afraid of speaking up – “they” might be offended)
  3. Power pose(maybe in the bathroom) and look at someone bigger than yourself in the eye until they look away

Follow Me

Welcome

advertisement

I’m Dani.

Canadian born, living in Germany, with my very German husband and four rambunctious kiddos.

When I’m not chasing after my 1 1/2 year old so he doesn’t run onto the road,
I’m running a loud homeschool, doing mundane but glorious household tasks, drinking coffee, reading, learning on Udemy and sleeping.

Powered by Creative Market

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Bad-Ass Mennonite Paska

Bad-Ass Mennonite Paska

uscious cream cheese frosting topped with cheerful rainbow sprinkles, and soft, white, sweet bread.
This is the taste of Easter in my mind.
It’s PASKA season!

Forget all those chocolate eggs, this sweet bread has rocked my world, year after year, since my beginning.

Menno What?

If you have no idea what or who the Mennonites are, here is a brief overview. We are both an ethnic and religious group. The Mennonites are members of certain groups belonging to the church communities of Anabaptist denominations which sprung up after the Reformation. Originally from the northern German/Netherlands region, they eventually had to flee because of their firm conviction (or Bad-Ass-ness) regarding the mission and ministry of Jesus, and the believer’s baptism. They were relentlessly persecuted and had to leave to neighboring states.

You can probably guess by now that I come from a Mennonite background. I’ve spent many (many!) hours of my childhood, teenage years, and adult years listening to my Grandpa’s stories about our history. They often have revolved around fleeing from persecution and war, farming, and food. Check out how Mennonite Girls can cook for a bit more Menno-food.

Today, I want to share with you a taste of my history.

And I will do my best not to talk your ear off (like Grandpa may or may not have)…

Once a Year

Easter happens once a year and so does this bread.

Paska is not just a Mennonite bread, it’s also found  in Eastern European/Russian Easter cuisine. Maybe the Mennonites picked it up in Prussia during the reign of Catherine the Great?

As I was saying, this is a once a year bread! That’s what makes it so Easter-y and special.

Year after year my grandma would bring our family a load of fresh baked loaves, complete with frosting and sprinkles. They are the juiciest, softest, and best tasting-  in my humble opinion.

A Time to Remember and Share

Today my kids and I baked our yearly Paska loaves, and it was actually a lot of fun. Normally I get totally stressed out baking with the kids. I know it’s good to bake together, so I typically make an effort and restrain my anxiety. This morning was different. We had talked about it the day before and everyone was ready and excited for Paska Day.

As we prepared the yeast we talked about how the yeast reacts with the sugar, how it comes alive. We discussed Jesus warning the disciples of the yeast of the Pharisees, and how yeast makes it’s way through the whole bread.

After the bread rose, my second oldest showed me the dough and exclaimed, “It is risen!” as an obvious comparison to Jesus’ rising on Easter.

When we were shaping the loaves we all sat around the table and chatted, and enjoyed one another. I taught them how to braid loaves, and they came up with their own variations. We also made loaves for our neighbors, so they were excited to give our creations away.

Once we placed our sweet loaves into the oven, we all watched in awe as the dough gently rose, browned and finished. It was time to feast! I whipped up some quick cream cheese frosting, and it was time to taste the fruits of our labour.

Moments like these express what is fundamental to Easter.

Every year we remember where we have come from, what God did, what He is doing, what He is going to do and share that with others.

Bringing back Home

 

Since I live in a foreign country, my Mennonite heritage resonates with me now in a different way. Though I didn’t have to flee,  I as well had to start life in a different culture, with a different language and new traditions.

 

Easter is for me a bitter-sweet celebration. A mixture of longing for home, and celebration.
But by baking this Paska I remember them, my ancestors, and pass the history and traditions on to my children.
In this way, we create a sense of “coming home” to my family back in Canada.

Are you away from your family? Do you have any recipes that bring you back home?

Bad-Ass Mennonite Paska

My Grandma Martha's Paska Recipe

Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Author Dani

Ingredients

  • 1.5 tbsp Yeast I used 2 fresh yeast cubes
  • 0.5 cup Potato water boil one potato in water, mash and strain and use the water
  • 1.5 cup Warm Milk
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • .25 cup Softened Butter
  • .25 cup Oil
  • 3 Eggs
  • .5 tsp Salt
  • Vanilla to flavour
  • 5-6 cup Flour

Instructions

  1. Put the flour in a large mixing bow, with salt and yeast. Whisk eggs, add strained potato water, warm milk, sugar, softened butter, oil and vanilla. Add all to flour mixture, and stir and knead until you can form it into a ball. If it's still a tad too sticky put some butter on your hands.
    Shape into a ball, cover with a damp tea towel and let sit to rise in a warm place until about double in size.

    Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F)

    Then, punch down, and separate into four balls. Place on prepared (parchment paper) baking sheet. Let rise again for about an hour. Then bake for about 20-25 minutes until browned and done.

    To test for doneness, tap the top of the Paska, it should be quite firm.

 

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Do You Love Snail Mail?

We all love getting meaningful mail, so that's why I created this set of beautiful Succulent Stationary.

Let's take a break from this busy life, and love on someone else by writing a letter.

You'll receive an this instant stationary in 3 different sizes.
Along with access to my monthly mails - inspiration, resources, and ideas all delivered directly to your inbox.

I agree

Almost there, please confirm your email. Then you'll receive a welcome message with download link from yours truly :)

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