NatureAmy

caring for creation while caring for family

Tag: Scones

My One Year Blogiversary: What I’ve learned from my first year…

Today is the 1 year anniversary of starting my NatureAmy blog and what a year it has been!

I started writing to have an outlet that was just mine.  For the first time since becoming a mom almost 8 years before, I was switching from working part-time to being a full-time stay at home mom.  And although I was happy about that, I wanted an outlet that was just mine.

amy_addamay2016As much as I love motherhood, it can become all consuming – so much so that I find myself needing an outlet that is all my own.  When I taught college classes part time, that was a great outlet. However, after 3 kids and full time homeschooling two of them, working outside the home, even for only 10 hours a week, was too much.  So I became a full-time SAHM and started a lifestyle/mommy blog.

And I’ve loved it!  It’s been a hard year for me emotionally, but being able to write about it has been very healing.  I’ve also found that writing is so much like teaching.  I’m a teacher and encourager at heart and I’ll never get away from that.

I’ve evolved from writing two or three posts per week, to taking two months off from writing in the summer, and eventually settling in at posting about once per week.

family2016I wish I could write more consistently – I love reading bloggers who post several days every week – but I realized that that is not realistic in my current season.  I’m homeschooling 1st and 3rd grade, keeping up with a very independent toddler, and about to add a 4th baby to the mix.  My husband works 80 hour weeks during the school year and we try to keep everything running smoothly at our house (emphasis on TRY – it is far from smooth most weeks!).


So… just for fun, let’s look at some of my stats and most popular posts this year.  I have been blown away by the visitation and love that this site has received the last 12 months!

Total site visitation: just under 50,000 – I can hardly fathom that number!  I know for many more popular blogs that is a monthly or weekly stat, but I am humbled that my blog has been visited so many times!

  1. My most popular post is my Weeks Worth of Trim Healthy Mama Camping Meal Ideas Camping with THM: A week's worth of on-plan menu ideas - perfect for a family camping trip - NatureAmy.com
  2.  But coming in just slightly under it is my Healthy Blueberry Scones Fuel Pull recipe – Downton Abbey inspired.  All my scone recipes are popular (and yummy) but this one tops them all.Downton-night-1
  3. My third most popular post is my personal Trim Healthy Mama Testimony.beforeand-after-thm

Enough stats – personally, my favorite three posts (even though they don’t rank so high in post views) are the following.

  1. My very first blog story (after my introduction post) – Glitter in the Snow.  I love this touching story about how our kids are the light and hope in this dark world.Does the darkness of the world seem to be too much? Here is some hope - some glitter - in the dark. - Natureamy.com
  2. My testimony about not having a testimony – When you feel like you don’t have a testimony…  The Facebook shares of this one really humbled me.When it seems that everyone else has an amazing story to tell of how God saved them from disaster, but you've been a Christian forever... But you DO have a beautiful testimony of God's faithfulness. -- NatureAmy.com
  3. And finally, our family tips on hiking with little kids – or how to NOT carry them the entire way…Tips for hiking with little kids, without carrying them the entire way. Written by long-distance backpacker parents who love to hike! NatureAmy.com

Some things I’ve learned that have pleasantly surprised me:

There is a wonderful and supportive world of bloggers out there that I never knew existed!  I’ve made friendships all over the United States, and even some beyond, with women who also blog.  I’ve never been one to have digital relationships before – everyone I was friends with on Facebook I actually knew in person – but I’ve found a kinship with these women and it has really blessed me!

Instagram is a very surprising place.  I never had an Instagram account before I opened my @amylovesnature page.  I’ve found it to be a great tool in the blogging world and have formed most my friendships with other bloggers through it.  It is also a much more pleasant social media outlet during political season!

E-courses can be a valuable connection tool.  I purchased an e-course from Natalie of At Home With Natalie about blogging.  It has been a very valuable tool.  However, the thing I found most useful is the connections it has brought to other like minded bloggers.  I use her Blogging E-course for Moms.  And she often has discounts!


So, overall, I’ve learned a lot this year.  But I’ve also learned to find my groove, be completely and unapologetically myself, and not focus on page views and site stats.  I’ve made a little bit of money (enough to pay for a replacement part to fix my nice camera), gotten overwhelmed by statistics and numbers (my post on why I don’t want a successful blog speaks about that one) , and eventually stepped back from it all to find a place that works for me.  Rethinking what it means to be successful in the blogging world when you want to encourage simpler living and consuming less.

Maybe someday I’ll be a “successful” blogger with really great site stats and viral posts who makes enough money to support my family… but for now, I’m happy where I’m at.  God has blessed me so much in this journey so far and I’m happy to be along for the ride!

signature

 

 

Please follow and like us:
0

The Final Downton Night: Healthy Lemon Poppyseed Scones ~ THM FP

If you have been a loyal watcher of Downton Abbey for the last six years, you are likely in a mix of emotions today.  Not only are you dying to find out what is going to happen to the Crawley family and the staff downstairs, if you are like me, you are devastated that it is coming to an end. (Of course, if you are reading this from the UK, you already said your goodbyes…) In our house tonight we will be celebrating with a British inspired dinner (Bangers and Mash, anyone? Cauliflower mash for me), and of course, tea and scones for dessert while watching the show.

Healthy Lemon Poppyseed Scones - THM FP, Sugar-free, Low Carb, Dairy-free, Gluten Free - NatureAmy.com

In honor of this momentous occasion, I have been working on one last scone recipe (check out my blueberry and cranberry scone recipes).  I love scones with my tea, but since giving up sugar because of my sugar addiction and becoming a Trim Healthy Mama (THM), my old standby recipes are no longer an option.  One of my favorite scones is Lemon Poppyseed – I love that combination – and after some tweaking, I’ve come up with a winner.  This recipe is a Trim Healthy Mama Fuel Pull (meaning it is both low in fat and carbs) when made with THM’s Baking Blend.  I also wrote a no special ingredients option that is a bit higher in fat and would fall into the satisfying “S” meal category.  These scones are a little drier than my other scone recipes because they are not made with fruit.  Scones are usually quite dry and adding butter or clotted cream (yummy!) solves this issue. However, if you want to keep this scone as a Fuel Pull, you may want to add some sugar-free berry jam like I did.  (I used the Slim Belly Jelly recipe from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook.)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup THM Baking Blend  (or substitute 2 tablespoons coconut flour, 1 tablespoon flax meal, and 1 tablespoon almond flour, this would be an S, because it is higher in fat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • dash of mineral salt
  • 1 heaping tablespoon THM Gentle Sweet (or 4-5 packets Truvia, or use sweetener of choice)
  • zest from half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon poppyseeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil (or butter)
  • 1 egg white (or 2 tablespoons carton egg whites)
  • 1/2 – 1 tablespoon of almond milk or juice from lemon if you like it very “lemony”

Healthy Lemon Poppyseed Scones - THM FP, Sugar-free, Low Carb, Dairy-free, Gluten Free - NatureAmy.com

  1.  Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Mix the baking blend (or flours), baking powder, salt, and sweetener together in a bowl. Zest the lemon and add the poppy seeds.
  3. Add the coconut oil and mix together so that it is crumbly and a biscuit-like consistency.
  4. Add the egg white and mix together.  If it seems too dry, add  almond milk or lemon juice until you get to a firm consistency that holds its shape well, but is not too dry.
  5. Place parchment paper on your baking sheet and dump the dough onto it.  Form the dough into a square and then cut it through the center to separate into two beautiful triangles.

    Healthy Lemon Poppyseed Scones - THM FP, Sugar-free, Low Carb, Dairy-free, Gluten Free - NatureAmy.com

    My baby girl ate half my dough before I could get it in the pan, so mine only made one scone. Your recipe should make 2.

  6. Bake in the oven about 15 minutes until just golden. Let cool a bit and enjoy!
The joys of creating recipes with kids - so much fun, but you have to share!

The joys of creating recipes with kids – so much fun, but you have to share!

You can choose to keep this a fuel-pull by eating this as is, or by adding some on-plan sugar-free berry jam.  To enjoy as a satisfying S-meal, go ahead and add some butter or Devonshire Clotted Cream.  And, of course, make sure to steep a cup of black tea (I will be having Tetley British Blend decaf – it is late at night!) with a splash of milk or cream and a bit of stevia.

Healthy Lemon Poppyseed Scones - THM FP, Sugar-free, Low Carb, Dairy-free, Gluten Free - NatureAmy.com

Spread with some sugar-free berry jam, it was oh so good! I managed to get a small piece away from my daughter!

Do you have your hanky ready? Now we are ready for the perfect evening (and last Downton Night – sob!)

Cheerstelephoneamy

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  Clicking on these links and ordering products or services will result in a small commission for me.  It does not cost you anything extra, but helps keep this website going and is much appreciated. Click HERE to use my Trim Healthy Mama Affiliate Link

Please follow and like us:
0

Another Downton Night – Another Scone Recipe ~ Orange Cranberry Walnut Scones THM S

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  Clicking on these links and ordering products or services will result in a small commission for me.  It does not cost you anything extra, but helps keep this website going and is much appreciated. [eafl id=253 name=”THM” text=”Click HERE to use my Trim Healthy Mama Affiliate Link”]

I am an Anglophile, through and through.  I spent a semester in England my sophomore year of college and went there on my honeymoon, but really my love affair with the British Isle started long before that.  In fact, my earliest memories of loving England came from pouring over the pictures of Princess Diana’s wedding in a magazine my mom had – it was several years old when my sister and I found it, but it soon became our favorite! The British are not famous for their cooking, and my time living there made me realize that they get their reputation for a reason, but there are some things they do very well and tea time is certainly one of them!  BBC historical dramas are something else they do especially well and my current favorite – along with half the world – is Downton Abbey.

My last Downton Abbey inspired recipe was a hit (check out the THM FP Blueberry Scones) and this one is even tastier, in my opinion.  I’ve got to get these recipes posted before the last season ends and we are stuck with watching the old seasons forever (which really isn’t the worst thing in the world!)  So, if you like a proper cup of tea (with a splash milk and a dash of stevia) with your favorite British dramas, you must try this scone recipe as well.  I’m sure if Mrs. Patmore (the Crawley’s cook) made Trim Healthy Mama recipes, she would love these!

Orange Cranberry Walnut Scones ~ Sugar-free, Gluten-free, dairy-free, THM S

ORANGE CRANBERRY WALNUT SCONES ~ THM S

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup THM Baking Blend (can substitute 2 tablespoons coconut flour, 1 tablespoon flax meal, and 1 tablespoon almond flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • dash of mineral salt
  • 2-3 teaspoons THM Gentle Sweet (or 2-4 packets Truvia) to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1-2 teaspoon coconut oil (or butter)
  • 1 egg white (or 2 tablespoons carton egg whites)
  • dash of almond milk
  • 1/4 cup cranberries (sliced in half, fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tablespoon chopped walnuts (optional, but oh so yummy)

Orange Cranberry Walnut Scones ~ Sugar-free, Gluten-free, dairy-free, THM S

This recipe is the perfect scone consistency with Trim Healthy Mama’s Baking Blend. I have made it a couple times using the easy substitutes of coconut flour, almond flour, and flax meal and it tastes wonderful.   These flours/meals and Truvia can be found at most grocery stores, so it will be easy to make without purchasing THM products. I do love THM Baking Blend – it is full of healthy ingredients, low calorie, low carb, and certified gluten free.  I also LOVE their Gentle Sweet all natural non-GMO sweetener – it is the most sugar-like of any sweetener I have tried. (You could substitute honey, coconut sugar, or maple syrup if you do not follow THM.) I will write more about this wonderful book and eating plan and the food freedom I have found – especially my freedom from sugar addiction – in a later post.  But if you are curious about their plan, check out their website and books.

  1.  Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Mix the baking blend, baking powder, salt, and sweetener together in a bowl. Add the orange zest ( I love using my microplane for this). Add the coconut oil and mix together so that it is crumbly and a biscuit-like consistency.
  3. Add the egg white and mix together.  If it seems too dry, add a dash of almond milk.
  4. Cut the cranberries in halves and mix them into the batter. Fresh cranberries are amazing, but frozen will work just fine.  Orange Cranberry Walnut Scones ~ Sugar-free, Gluten-free, dairy-free, THM S
  5. Place parchment paper on your baking sheet and dump the dough onto it.  Form the dough into a square and then cut it through the center to separate into two beautiful triangles.
  6. Bake in the oven about 15 minutes until just golden. Let cool a bit and enjoy!

Orange Cranberry Walnut Scones - THM S, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Dairy-free

 

Go ahead and cuddle up on the couch this cold winter night and enjoy your scone with your favorite BBC show.  It should be another perfect evening…

Cheerstelephoneamy

I would love it if you could head on over to my Facebook page and give it a like!  I am just building my website and will be posting recipes every week or two, all family friendly, Trim Healthy Mama friendly, sugar-free, and budget friendly.  Thanks so much for your support!

Please follow and like us:
0

© 2017 NatureAmy

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑