Iced Matcha Latte

It is warm here in North Texas and as summer looms, I am cooling down with this lovely iced matcha. It has a hint of sweetness and it is perfect for that afternoon pick-me-up!

Iced Matcha Latte

Ingredients:

1/4 cup boiling water

1 tsp organic matcha powder

1/2 tsp vanilla powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

pinch of Himilyian salt (optional)

Raw local honey (use local to you for added allergy-fighting benefits)

Fresh homemade oat milk and coconut milk (or use whatever milk you prefer, but I like mixing oat and coconut)

Directions:

Boil 1/4 cup water. Add the 1 tsp of organic matcha powder to the boiling water and mix well. Into the matcha mixture, add the vanilla powder, cinnamon and pinch of salt (if desired). Mix it well and let it cool for a moment.

In a tall glass, fill it with desired amount of ice (I fill mine up halfway), add fresh oat milk and a large tablespoon of coconut milk and mix. Make sure to not fill it up all the way to the top as you need space to pour over your matcha mixture.

To the iced milk glass, pour over the matcha mixture and enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

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Homemade Oat Milk

I started making my own homemade oat milk after indulging in one too many matcha horchatas from True Food Kitchen. I realized that it was time to make my own oat milk for my iced matcha concoction, as well as for other recipes.

Making your own dairy-free milk is really very easy and quite cheap! All you need is a nut-milk bag and a good blender and you are set! I use these bags and my Vitamix that we invested in from Costco.

So without further ado – here is my homemade oat milk recipe!

Ingredients:

4 cups water

1 cup gluten-free oats

1 organic pitted date (optional but so good!)

Large pinch of Himalayan salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a high powder blender and blend for about 30 seconds (don’t over-blend as it makes the mixture slimy). Pour the blended oat mixture into a nut milk bag or a thin dish towel and squeeze out all the yummy “milk.” Pour the oat milk into a storage container with a lid and keep in the fridge for about 5 days.

*Note: Do not heat as it will thicken and become slimy.

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels.com

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Lifestyle with Lauren Podcast: Episode 7 with Maddie Bowen

My guest for Lifestyle with Lauren Podcast Episode #7 is Maddie Bowen, a mom to five children (some through adoption and foster care), wife to Matt Bowen (who created the music for the show and is the music minister at a local church) and just does a beautiful job showing grace daily to those around her.

Maddie is such a sweet soul, full of God’s love and my conversation with her is one not to miss! I think you are going to love my chat with Maddie about all the things. If adoption or foster care is on your radar, I highly encourage you to listen and gain some wonderful insight from Maddie.

CONNECT WITH LAUREN:

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Instagram | Facebook | Music

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© 2021 Lauren Greci

Music was provided for the show by Matt Bowen.

*As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


We Are Done with 1st Grade!

I say “we” because it was a group effort! 😉

I homeschooled our oldest son using Sonlight curriculum and thought I would share my honest review now that we have successfully completed it.

What I Loved:

Open-and-go

Christian curriculum

Great book selection

4-day or 5-day option

For my first full year of homeschool, I liked Sonlight because it was easy to use and it was a Christian curriculum. It was an open-and-go kind of curriculum that basically held my hand the entire way. There were a lot of books and I liked teaching out of “regular” books. I think Sonlight is great for new-to-homeschool parents as it really gave me a confidence boost that I could do it.

What I Didn’t Love:

Teacher-centered

Reading aloud constantly

History

Science was lack-luster

Although I was a reading teacher and really LOVE reading aloud, with Sonlight I was reading aloud constantly. My son would sit and listen well but it just felt like I was the Peanut’s teacher.

When I say a lot of reading, I mean a LOT – starting with a Christian book, Bible story, then the large history book plus chapter books and poetry book – that was all just for the ‘Intro to World History’ curriculum. Thankfully the Language Arts curriculum didn’t include a lot of reading aloud (it was all in the history and chapter books listed there). Language Arts was more of just writing and spelling. For science, it was a lot of really great Usborne books, which I liked, but again just didn’t ever feel like we really dug-in deep with the topics. Which leads to my next point…

Sonlight’s curriculum does not have a lot of built-in extensions and as a working homeschooling mom, I just don’t have the time to scour Pintrest looking for extensions for certain topics.

All of that said, I think Sonlight was a great curriculum for our first year and helped me to get a good handle on how to manage homeschooling for our home. The book selection was great, I loved the ‘Leading Little Ones to God’ book and the opportunities to read straight from the Bible.

Again, this is just my honest opinion and what I noticed with my child and what we needed.

Now for 2nd grade!

(and preschool!)

We are switching curriculums completely to the Good and the Beautiful and I am thrilled! I already sorted the science units and I think my son is going to LOVE it! I let him select the units that he was interested in and have already started planning some field trips that go along with what we are learning. Here is what we are going to do for second grade:

I already planned out the day and put it in the front of my planning binder so I know what we are doing and when.

Then on each page inside, I wrote out what unit/lesson we are doing that week.

Here are the units and items I will be using for preschool for my 4-year old and for 2nd grade for my oldest:

Bible:

We are going to work through these books for Bible this year. It is all the same reading on the same days, just on different levels for each age. I am also thinking of using our Write the Word Journals to start our day as well.

History:

For history, we are going to use the Good and the Beautiful History Year 2. We will be alternating days of history and science, so we will complete two lessons a week for history; two lessons a week for science.

Science:

Alternating days with history – for science we are going to do these units (which I have already hole-punched and put in binders), as well as Mammals and Botany (not pictured). If all goes as planned, we should be done with all of these lessons and units (starting July 5, 2021) on April 28, 2022 (which also includes review weeks, holidays, etc.)

English, Reading, Language Arts:

I haven’t purchased it yet, but we are going to do a little mix of the Good and the Beautiful Language Arts Year 2 and some other reading and writing stuff from another curriculum. I also scheduled independent reading time in the day because if I don’t, it won’t happen! 😉

Math:

For math, I will be using the Good and the Beautiful Math 2. What I LOVE about this is that there are fun games intertwined in the learning, which my son will love! Even though we didn’t have any issues with Math-U-See, he verbally has expressed to me that he “hates math because it is so boring.” So I think switching to TGTB math curriculum will really make a difference for him.

Preschool:

For my little one, I am going to use the Good and the Beautiful Level K Primer. I will also read aloud books, work on counting and doing a lot of other little games with him to make learning fun for him.

We are also moving all of the school stuff to the playroom and making that room the designated school room. TGTB curriculum provides a lot of little posters for word walls and I need a designated space to hang those up, vs our nook where we are currently doing school. I need a space where I can feel more at ease to hang things on the wall and be more of a “school room.” Stay tuned for those pictures!

Well, that’s it!

We finished our first year of homeschool and I am thrilled!

We made it!

He made it!

I made it! 😉

We all made it and I am thankful to have the opportunity to continue homeschooling him. The memories made and the time spent together is something I will never regret – even though some days are hard and challenging, I really love it! We are taking it year by year and reassessing after each year. So for now, we will continue homeschooling 🙂

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Lifestyle with Lauren Podcast: Episode 6 with Lindsay Preston

My guest for Lifestyle with Lauren Podcast Episode #6 is Lindsay Preston, a mom, wife, mindset expert and life coach.

Lindsay and I went to highscchool together and we chatted ALL the things! Highschool then versus now, her divorce from a narcissistic husband who had a secret double life, raising her two beautiful children, finding the love of her life, to her leading and guiding incredible women through her lifestyle coaching.

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*As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Even If

After facing much opposition for His teaching, Jesus was betrayed by Judas, deserted by His disciples, crucified and died. Three days later He rose from the grave and appeared to the disciples, which confirmed that He is indeed the King of Kings.

Let us back up a moment and look at what happened in His last days and how He treated those around Him. Let us remember that He KNEW full well that Judas was going to betray him, yet He washed Judas’ feet:

“Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.”

English Standard Version, 2016, John 13:1-5

Washing guests’ feet was a job for the household servant to carry out when guests arrived. Let’s put into context what it was like then as well … people’s feet were covered in dirt, feces and very unclean. Yet Jesus, the King of Kings, lowered himself and washed and dried each of His disciple’s feet … even Judas’ feet.

God in flesh completed a job the lowliest servant would do. Are you willing to follow Christ’s example of serving? Even if it is hard? Even if you know they are talking about you behind your back, disparaging your name? Even if you know you will be betrayed? 

I know I haven’t always done this and it is definitely not easy.

“When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.”

English Standard Version, 2016, John 12:12-16

Jesus’ display of servitude is one of humility, kindness and love. Let us be reminded this Easter season, not only of the Father’s extraordinary love for us by sending His Son to die on the cross for us sinners who don’t deserve it but let us be reminded to show servitude to others like Jesus did for Judas, who that very same evening betrayed Him. Even if it is hard. Even if you feel the other person “doesn’t deserve it.” Even if it is done in quiet and not seen by others.

Even if.

EVEN IF….

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My guest for Lifestyle with Lauren Podcast Episode #5 is Sarah Bowlin, otherwise known as Mom with a Map. Sarah is a mom, wife, blogger and sea captain as they sold their “dirt” home, bought a boat and are currently traveling The Great Loop!

Sarah and I have a lot in common and I had such a great conversation with her! I am looking toward to the next time we can chat because we had so much fun!

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Music was provided for the show by Matt Bowen.

*As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


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My guest for Lifestyle with Lauren Podcast Episode #4 is Janell Marsh. She and I go WAY back! We knew each other in high school and have stayed connected through good ol’ social media.

Janell recently posted about her journey with IVF and how God has worked in her life through the years. Her story is encouraging, life-giving and full of God’s provision and abundant love.

You are going to love her story about trusting God, leaning in to His hope and faithfulness. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Janell Marsh!

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© 2021 Lauren Greci

Music provided for the show by Matt Bowen. Show was edited, mixed and put together by Jennifer Miner.

*As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Lifestyle with Lauren Podcast: Episode 3 with Dusti Farmer

My guest for Lifestyle with Lauren Podcast Episode #3 is Dusti Farmer. Dusti is a mom, wife, warrior and fighter. She has had a lot of trials and tribulations in her life but her faith and relationship with God has just gotten stronger through the years.

I am so thankful Dusti took time out of her day to chat with me! We discussed all the things – motherhood, loss, healing, her battle with cancer, how she leans on God during difficult times and how He has carried her through the challenges. Our conversation covers heavy topics but I pray that you will leave feeling encouraged and inspired through Dusti’s story.

Dusti is a warrior and fighter and her love of God shines through. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Dusti Farmer!

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Music provided for the show by Matt Bowen. Show was edited, mixed and put together by Jennifer Miner.

*As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Lifestyle with Lauren Podcast: Episode 2 with Kortnee VanCleave

My guest for Lifestyle with Lauren Podcast Episode #2 is Kortnee VanCleave. Kortnee VanCleave is a mom, entrepreneur and hairstylist featured in Voyage Dallas, RAW Artistry Showcase and Shoots Model Magazine, with a passion to help others and build relationships with everyone who sits in her chair. I am so thankful Kortnee took time out of her busy day to chat with me! We discussed all the things – motherhood, the crazy ice storm that recently hit Texas in February, why hair dryers are really worth the investment, how to manage post-partum hair loss and so much more!

Kortnee is a wealth of knowledge and I am so grateful to know her as a friend! I hope you enjoy my conversation with Kortnee!

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© 2021 Lauren Greci

Music provided for the show by Matt Bowen. Show was edited, mixed and put together by Jennifer Miner.

*As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.