I'm moving ...

I'm moving.

The blog.

From a free web host to a self-hosted one. I'm currently in the process of building it and content transfer. Once all is completed, I will link back from here.

Until then, feel free to continue following us on Instagram @Simple_summit_bibi. :)

Happy to collab, inquiries to simplesummit11 {at} gmail {dot}com or DM at @simple_summit_bibi

Live loved.


Simple Kids: Making time for our family and Popcorn Recipe

Last week I had one too many distracted days - instead of going through our normal morning routine of preparing a couple of cups of warm milk, pouring one of coffee for myself and lots of wake-up time on the couch, I found my mind being preoccupied with tasks to be finished, floors to be mopped and laundry to be done, while absent-mindedly refilling two sippy cups. It was a sort of disconnected week, I fear. 

At the end of the week, I felt we were in serious need of an afternoon with lots of laughter, snuggles, and kisses. An afternoon of Pre-Mother's Day quality time for our family. 

We had beautiful weather on Sunday, so we decided to collect all the blankets we could find, laid them on the grass watching JC built a fire for roasting S'mores. 

You see, even though I'm at home with them, striving to include them in daily homemaking activities, while also emphasising on the role of imagination in learning, encouraging their intellectual, practical and artistic development especially during their early childhood years, I do occasionally cease to hum songs and get caught in a rut. Hands-on activities decline and I clearly notice the change in rhythm in their creative play.

So this past Sunday, we made the day all about family. After church that morning, I chopped up some of our favorite fruits and popped some corn (recipe below), while the kids helped collect branches for the fire. 

Watching them run around in anticipation was heart warming. They played tag together, covered and uncovered their blankets, and snug some chocolate while I wasn't watching. Our batteries were recharging more and more with each Marshmallow.

As the sun set slowly and the air turned cool rapidly, we moved our family day indoors. After a quick bath, we settled in our favorite comfy spot, grabbed the popcorn and I turned on a good wholesome cartoon for them. That night I chose Theo for us, a cartoon off of PureFlix,. We don't have TV service at our home and we exclusively rely on streaming. PureFlix offers a wide variety of faith and family friendly movies that I don't hesitate for my children to watch. And on a side note, they currently offer a free month trial if any of you are interested. 

After they were in bed, JC and I snuggled up together and continued our quality time with another movie, while finishing off the last of the popcorn. All in all, it was a wonderful day with the kids and if I may encourage you, Mother's Day is just around the corner, if you are not the gift giving type or if you are, but would like to add that extra little something, go and spend some time with your loved ones. It doesn't have to be all elaborate with a fire and S'mores, but maybe curling up in your favorite spot, with your favorite snack, and a family friendly movie might just do the trick.

Popcorn Recipe:

3 TBSP Oil 
1/3 c popcorn kernels
3 TBSP butter
salt to taste

1. Add the oil to a medium pot that has a lid. Place 3 kernels of corn in the oil, close the lid and let sit on medium-high heat until you hear the three kernels pop.

2. Remove the pot from the heat, add the 1/3 cup of kernels, close the lid - and now this is important - count to 30. Out loud. 

3. After you counted (you did, right?) return the pot to the heat, lift the lid ajar and proceed by shaking the pot softly all through the popping. Once the pops cease, take the pot off the heat and empty the popcorn into a bowl.

4. Add the butter to the hot pot, once it is melted, pour it over the popcorn and gently mix to coat.

Enjoy and live loved!

Also sharing here.
This post was not sponsored but partnered with Pure Flix, all opinions are my own. 


Simple Moments: April

A few snapshots of moments that made our April.

Baby snuggles as long as he wants them.

With the first warm rays of sun, they wanted to play in the water. 

A pear tart I made for Easter Sunday. The recipe will follow soon. 

They enjoyed many a fun hour on the swing.

My roses are blooming - saw this two toned one amongst all of them. 

The good ol' trusted bucket. E got sick (twice!) with a stomach bug this month. 


Simple Kids: An honest feeding story

I can't believe it has taken me over four years to write this post. Every time I would sit down to type it, I would hesitate as self-doubt entered my mind as I'm not the first mother out there, feeding a newborn baby or two.

We have all heard the "Breast is the best" mantra, seen the shaking of heads behind the backs of bottle feeding mothers, and then watched the scolding looks of others when a new mom would nurse in public. Without a doubt, my thoughts continued, do we really need another post on this? Then I realized, no matter which road we as moms take, there will always be an opinion about it. And even though I sought all the advice possible, reading as much about this topic as I could before my daughter arrived, I found that each experience is unique and we may always benefit from having one more to read about.  And I'm not posting this to persuade you that what you are doing is anything but fine, rather, I'm sharing this because I hope that you will find some encouragement here. So here I am, typing away.

Before my oldest was born, I already decided I was going to nurse. To me, the decision was a natural one, brought on by tradition and watching my own mother nurse my younger siblings. In the first days of breastfeeding, the physical and emotional transformation was mind-blowing. My breasts were so engorged and burning hot - nothing could have prepared me for this. My nipples were sore, my throat ever so thirsty. E wouldn't latch on right, and only suckled lightly. She was less than a day old, and already the afternoon nurse suggested supplementing. Here I was, a first-time mother, who somehow imagined that nursing was so ingrained in a mother-child bond that we would magically find our way to it the minute my daughter was born. I was in tears.

I sought advice from experienced friends. I called the lactation consultant, a very straight forward Eastern European lady, who walked up briskly to my bedside, reaching for my burning breast with her ice-cold hands, Just to find out, she still wouldn't latch on right. Finally, though, with the help of a plastic shield, I was able to feed my daughter as best as I could.

During the next few weeks at home, we continued our shield nursing regiment. There were days when I still tried to wrap my head around the fact that my ever so small boobs could produce enough liquid gold to feed and nourish a tiny human being. And every time the milk would flow while nursing her and later my son, a wave of calm washed over me. Those were the days I thought of nursing as my secret weapon, my own personal drug.

I cherished the moments when both my babies would reach up and play with my hair while nursing, feeling my face as if ingraining my features with their hands. My son was also very particular about where he wanted my free hand to be placed. These are the moments I love and will always be carefully stored in my imaginary Mommy files.

And then there were days when I felt that breastfeeding was more of a burden. My impending return back to work hung over my head like a dark cloud. I had to begin pumping and build my freezer supply. Those were the days I cried, strapped to this humanless machine, feeling more like a cow being milked than a mother to a human baby. I cried when I barely filled a bottle. I feared I was failing my daughter before giving us a chance. I cried because leaving her with a sitter required planning, more pumping and returning home to her with aching breasts leaking milk. But I continued to take my prenatal vitamins (like these), drank my liquids and faithfully pumped as much as my body would produce for the next months.

Eventually, I introduced formula to her. In a combination of weaning and drying up, we stopped nursing altogether at ten months. And you know what? As much as a blessing it was to nurse her, it turned out just fine once we transitioned to formula. If I could give my first-time-mom-self any advice, I would tell her to relax and know that it is going to be okay. Whichever way works out, my child and yours will receive the nourishment they need to grow and flourish.

With my son, I was very blessed to nourish him full time until six months, and then continue until we weaned just last month at 17 months. His experience seemed like an all around easier one, but maybe, just maybe I had already learned the little tidbit of information that if for whatever reason I couldn't nurse, I knew I had a good formula, like the Honest company's Organic Premium Infant Formula to fall back on, providing premium organic nutrition while also being gentle on the tummy. If you want to learn more or read some touching stories, go to the Honest Facebook page.

Also sharing this post here
This post was encouraged but not sponsored by the Honest Company. 


Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

It is no secret that I like to do things the simple and natural way. A couple from church keeps chickens that produce eggs in the most beautiful natural shades and shapes, and every so often they bring us a dozen or two as a thank you when JC helps out with their cars (thanks, y'all). 

To celebrate the season of eggs, I decided to dye some today, naturally. So, in case you're on the hunt for a last minute and easy easter egg activity, here is an idea that is about as easy as chopping up some vegetables. 

Begin with the fruits, vegetables or spices of your choice - mine were blueberries, red onion skins, yellow onion skins, turmeric, and paprika. But I've also used red cabbage before with beautiful results. About one cup of fruits and vegetables per one cup of water, 2 TBSP of spices per one cup of water.

Mash the blueberries and skin the onions, place each in a pot and simmer roughly 15 minutes. If using cabbage, chop the cabbage. For the spices, boil the water and pour over the spices. 

While the dye is simmering, go ahead and hard boil your eggs. I used a dozen plus two for our project today.

Strain the fruits and vegetables, and let cool to room temperature. Once cooled down, add 3 TBSP of vinegar to the dye (2 for the spices) to help set the color. 

Submerge the eggs and let them sit in the dye until the desired color is reached. Roughly 10 minutes, but some might take up to 3 hours or longer. I highly recommend using white eggs. Brown eggs work, but your colors will turn out different. 

The beautiful thing about this project is it's almost completely waste-free. Just keep your vegetable peels from dinner, hunt down the spices in your cabinet and you're all set to go. 

Live loved!


Simple Foods: Sweet Potato, Red Lentil and Coconut Soup Recipe

After spending most of this winter snuggled up inside in front of the fireplace, book in one hand, hot chocolate in the other, we are two weeks into Spring now and ready to face the warmer season of the year.

And what a season it will be.

Some of you already know, but I've kept it pretty quiet overall - we are adding on to our family, god-willing,  this summer.

And where long and cold days beg for warming winter soups, they are also a fine way to help cope with those early miserable days and weeks of baby growing. So we ate them, lots of them. Taco soup, chicken noodle soup, roasted red pepper soup, butternut squash and carrot soup, you name it we had it.

So if you're a soup person like me, here's an easy recipe for you adapted from here:

Red Lentil, Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup

2-3 medium sized sweet potatoes
2 red onions
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground coriander
olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1 fresh red chili
1/2 bunch fresh coriander (optional - our family is not a big Coriander fan)
125g red lentils
1 L vegetable stock, heated
1 can light coconut milk (400ml)
1 lemon

How to:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2.Peel and dice sweet potato in 1 inch thick chunks, peel and cut onions into 1 inch thick wedges. (I had baked sweet potato left over from a previous dinner and used them instead of roasting fresh ones)
3. Place vegetables on a roasting tray in one layer, sprinkle with cumin seeds, coriander, salt and fresh pepper. Roast for 40 to 45 minutes - since I had already cooked sweet potatoes, I just peeled them and roasted the onion in a pan.
4. Peel and finely slice garlic, followed by finely slicing the chili. If using, pick coriander leaves and set aside, finely slice the stalks.
5. In a large saucepan, on medium-low, heat about a tablespoon or two of oil. Saute the garlic, chili, and coriander stalks until lightly golden.
6. Add the red lentils to the pan, stir to coat well. Stir in the heated vegetable stock and coconut milk.
7. Increase the heat and gently boil, reduce to a simmer and cook lentils for about 20 minutes.
8. Once the vegetables are ready, carefully add to the saucepan, together with most of the coriander leaves.

If you have a submersion blender, blend the soup to desired thickness. I recently minimized ours, thus I transferred most of the soup to the blender and (carefully!) blended until smooth. A few pieces were left un-blended for some chewiness.
Another option is to just mash your vegetables with a wood spoon as desired. It's your soup, prepare it the way you like it :)

9. Lastly, squeeze in some fresh lemon juice and season to taste.


This soup is also on my list for nursing friendly soups. More on that topic very soon y'all!

Live Loved!

Also sharing with some of these


Simple Moments

Little Man's first time at the beach.

Good Morning.

I have more shots of my kids running away than I can count!

This was probably the only time in my life I wished we had dogs - these two were beauties!

We took some time to smell the flowers...

... and rest our heads' on Papa's shoulder.

We gave each of our kids a special necklace to remember their beach trip by.

(Putting a necklace on a 17 months old is harder than it looks ha!)

Also sharing here


Book Review - Now:Purposeful Steps Toward a More Abundant Life

I have received a free copy of Now: Purposeful Steps Toward a More Abundant Life in exchange for my honest review.

It's been a while since I've updated on here. We've been in hibernation most of this winter, snuggling on the couch in front of the fireplace, reading books, watching movies, and simply enjoying each others company undistracted. What a wonderful feeling this has been. But now spring is in the air and thus, we are stirring again.

During those cozy winter months, I have had the pleasure of reading "Now: Purposeful Steps Toward a More Abundant Life" by Sarah Coller. Sarah is a beautiful mother of nine and writer over at Classicalhomemaking.com, where she shares about homemaking, literature, and her wonderful family. Please head over to her site, you will find so much hope there.

And for anyone looking for encouragement to a fulfilling life, author Sarah shares her practical guidance on living a satisfying life through the focus on God. Stepping into the first chapter, Sarah opens with a spiritual experience she encountered a couple of years ago. At once honest and realistic, Now: Purposeful Steps to a More Abundant Life had me nod in awe to the wisdom she is sharing with her readers. Living purposefully by centering on our Lord God, is the core focus to our own happiness and well-being. The steps she approaches in her book, together with the "Pray and Respond" section at the end of each chapter help the reader to focus on their own reflection and growth.

Filled with personal experiences and encouragements that had me relate to Sarah on so many levels, as a mom, as a writer, as a sister in Christ, Now: Purposeful Steps to a More Abundant Life, is a book written as a devotional and quick to read. You can choose to read it from cover to cover in one sitting, a chapter each day or - as I did -  a couple of chapters at a time to help internalize her wisdom and support. I pray that you will find as much encouragement in her book as I have, you will not be disappointed.

You can find Sarah on her website at www.classicalhomemaking.com, where she also hosts a weekly Classical Homemaking Party, and on social media, among others on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.


Birthing E

Because last month my first born turned four years old, I feel I should finally share her birth story. I have written and rewritten her day so many times, never fully satisfied that it captures all my feelings and emotions adequately. As it is with every birth story, there is a bit of a rawness to it. And a touch of oversharing perhaps. I tried and failed miserably at keeping this short, so with a smile, I'll say 'consider yourself warned'.

My husband's cousin and I were pregnant a week apart and throughout our pregnancies the whole family was joking we'd have our babies in the same place at the same time. The morning she was induced, I waddled across the hospital parking lot slower than usual. It was a Friday morning, just past 9 o'clock - and I stopped by on my way to work for a visit with her. Despite all the excitement going on about a soon to be here baby cousin, I felt an ache deep down in my belly that was distinct and noticeable,
In the course of the morning at work, the low ache decidedly made its way up my spine, centering on my back. Now there was a distinguished hot tingling beginning from my back and wrapping itself around my belly. I decided it might be good to head home early, after all, it was a Friday afternoon and I still had an hour long drive ahead of me. Just long enough to time the ache with the digital clock on my car radio {An hour long drive, so first-time mom-ish.  Ha!}.

Somewhere on my way home, I had turned a specific kind of restless and upon pulling in the driveway I decided it was time to clean the house - laundry, bathrooms, floors and all. Nesting kicked in worse than it had ever before. I completed my list of chores and because my back was still hurting, I drew myself a hot bath in hopes of it soothing the pain as it had always done before. 

Feeling finished with the bath about as promptly as I had sat down in the tub, I dried myself off and laid down on our bed, stopwatch in one hand, paper and pen in the other. A few minutes into timing I grew restless. And as our home slowly lost all its light to the night falling in, the pain kept me from laying still for too long.

JC had been keeping up with his cousin, and so far no news of a baby had reached us as of yet. We decided to head to the hospital to join her and the family for the waiting. And we took our own bags, just.in.case. 

And since I'm boring myself, I will spare you the long details of hours in the waiting room for Baby Cousin, during which I waited for a break in my own contractions long enough to run {litterally} to the bathroom to throw up. My Aunt-in-law graciously joined me, holding back my hair and drying my tears while I sobbed wishing my own mother would live closer to support me during this time. I knew I wasn't too far from giving birth now, but I still tried to convince myself that labor was not underway yet. I was only concerned about this being Sam's day and not about the fact that the low back ache I felt this morning had continuously manifested itself to real, now uncomfortable, contractions.

I was outnumbered all to one and we finally signed in, during which our Baby Cousin was born.

The moments in the monitoring room are a blur, my water broke {just about midnight then} immediately followed by an intense contraction {I cried} and a - in my eyes - not very encouraging  PA {2 cm and a "you've got hours to go, Honey"} and skip right on into the delivery room, which happened to be next door to where Sam was in recovery. Our own private joke of we'll be having our babies in adjoining rooms was actually happening. 
There are more details to laboring {it really hurts} and a nurse's "let me check you" {please hurry} and an "I have to push" {don't push yet, let me get the doctor} followed by lights coming down, an encouraging husband {what a blessing} and an aunt turned birthing coach {like mother like daughter}. 

It was intense but it felt so focused and good. And then a final roar coupled with the most intense toe curling push, she was here. A mere hour and a half after the modest gush of when my water had broken on the cot in the monitoring room. Everyone said ten pushes and she was out. I didn't count. We had done it. I had done it. A baby girl created so beautifully and perfect in God's own image, she was here nestled on my chest while the doctor stitched up some tears. 

The next morning we moved to the mother and child floor. Sam and her family were already up there. We spent the remainder of our stay visiting each other and being visited by family and friends. The doctors and nurses already knew if we weren't in our room, we'd be in the other. It was quite funny actually. What was even funnier, was finding out hospital door securities do work, as we were pushing e back to our room in her sterile clear hospital bassinet.

And then it was time to return home. The first few weeks at home with her were incredibly wonderful and painful at the same time. I was obsessed with her tiny feet and oftentimes found myself just staring at her sleeping little self {which I still do to this day}. But it was also painful because I hadn't considered my own recovery with the tears that had needed stitching and the swelling. Don't get me wrong the focus naturally and rightfully is all about the tiny human being and all the joy they bring. But as much preparation, as I had done prior to her birth, I had naively never fully thought about my own recovery. That said, recovering from j was much more pleasant.

I will leave with that and I hope we'll one day be able to add a couple more members to our crew. If you've made it this far, thank you so much for reading. I'm very glad you did.

You may also be interested in: Birthing J