Best of October

Last month I started a new “tradition” of sorts where I decided to post a best of list at the end of each month – we’ll see how many months it actually lasts since I’m terrible at sticking to schedules and plans like that. But, either way I’m at least doing it again this month. I hope it’s helpful for you, especially if you are new here it should give you a good feel for what bethstedman.com is all about.

Top 5 Most Popular Posts This Month:

  1. Beet Kvass (posted May 2010)
  2. Naked Church: Church in a Nude Art Exhibit (posted September 2008)
  3. Sphiphrah and Puah: Courageous Midwives (posted March 2009)
  4. Nurturing Creativity in Children (July 2010)
  5. Lots of Ways to Cook an Oat (June 2010)

This Octobers Top Referring Sites:

  1. Bryan Stedman (this is my husband’s site – I love him! And love that he sends me traffic!)
  2. A Nourishing Home
  3. Adventures in Babywearing
  4. Modern Alternative Mama

2 Personal Favorites Posted This October:

  1. Why We Moved to Prague: We are Existential Migrants
  2. Why We’ve Stayed in Prague for Almost 4 Years

2 Personal Favorites From October 2008:

  1. Lessons from Yoga: Focus
  2. Halloween

2 Personal Favorites From October 2009:

  1. My Birth Story
  2. My Son

BONUS:

A few Posts from other bloggers that I’ve really enjoyed this month:

  1. Tips for a Better, Healthier Halloween
    This post was filled with wonderful ideas for Halloween. I will definitely be putting some of these into practice with my family.
  2. Side-lying Nursing: A Breastfeeding Tutorial
    I found side-lying nursing to be really difficult and didn’t do it at all really until my son was about 6 months old. Now I can’t imagine how I survived those first 6 months without nursing laying down like this! I wish I’d read this tutorial right after I had my son and even now that I’d already figured out how to nurse on my side I still found this tutorial to be very helpful and informative.
  3. Why I Write Prayers
    This totally resonated with me! Christine has constantly been an inspiration for my own prayer writing and in this blog she put into words many of the reasons why I started writing prayers and liturgies a few years ago.
  4. Some Thoughts About Fear
    This post from the wonderful Debbie Jones is packed with really thought provoking questions I think we all should be asking and wrestling with.

BONUS BONUS:

Blogs I just discovered this month:

  1. Oddny’s Blog (I had the joy of meeting Oddny and her husband when they were in Prague a little while back – they were some of the most interesting and passionate people I’ve ever met)
  2. Hello Unknown
  3. Hey Now, Whoa Now! (both of the above blogs are written by the adorable Amy Hadley. Bryan and I recently had the pleasure of meeting her and her husband and look forward to getting to know them more in the future)

Rejoicing in the journey –
Beth Stedman

If you like this post please consider buying me a cup of tea (Suggested: $3 a cup)

If You Are Looking for Some Interesting Reads…

Today I thought I’d share a little link love with you all. So…

If you have ever questioned the pervasive emphasis on independence and the individual in Western society, if you have every doubted the “myth of the lone genius”, you might find “Two is the Magic Number: A New Science of Creativity” particularly interesting.

If you are constantly plugged in to your computer, whether by choice or because of work, if you are feeling a little addicted to technology, or if you have ever wondered about the concept of practicing a Sabbath and what that could look like in the modern era, you might find “Time For a Tech Sabbath?” particularly interesting.

If you have ever felt like the internet might be destroying your ability to focus, you might find “Is the Internet Destroying Your Brain? Try This Test” particularly interesting.

If you have ever been told that your cholesterol is too high, or if you have ever wondered about the role of cholesterol, fat and carbohydrates in health, you might find “25 Reasons the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Are Wrong About Cholesterol, Saturated Fat and Carbohydrates” particularly interesting.

If you are looking for a clear guide to how to spend your money on groceries and what the best buys for your buck are when it comes to healthy, real, traditional foods, you might find “Good, Better, Best: Traditional Foods for Every Budget” or “The List: What to Eat, What to Avoid, How to Compromise” particularly interesting.

If you wonder what a healthy breakfast looks like, or if you think there’s nothing wrong with cold box cereal as long as it doesn’t have too much sugar in it, you might find “What’s Really in The Cereal Bowl?” particularly interesting.

If you have ever wondered where to find CSAs, community gardens, small farms, or seed suppliers in your area, you might find the World Food Garden particularly interesting

If you are interested in sustainable ways to end hunger, you might find The Dinner Garden particularly interesting.

If you breastfeed in public or know someone who does, and if you want to have a good response when Christians, or men, or ANYONE tells you that you should cover up while nursing in public or not nurse in public at all, you might find “Breastfeeding in Public: A Christian Father Speaks Up” particularly interesting.

If you are interested in a new kind of revolution, the revolution of becoming the Life-Giving Force of a Women/Wife/Mama that you truly are, you might find “A Revolution of The Nourishing Kind: Will You Join Me?” particularly interesting.

Well, that’s it – lots of good reading for your Saturday morning. Enjoy!

Rejoicing in the journey –
Beth Stedman

If you like this post please consider buying me a cup of tea (Suggested: $3 a cup)

Versatile Blogger Award

versatile blog award!Guess what? Today I found out that Christy from the wonderful blog Frugality and Crunchiness with Christy gave me my very first blog award. Yay! Seriously, I was so excited. It was the first thing I told my husband when he walked into the room. Christy graciously nominated me for a Versatile Blogger Award! Thanks, Christy!! I feel very honored.

So, here’s how this fun award works:

  1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.
  2. Share seven things about yourself.
  3. Pass this award along to ten bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason!

I thought this sounded like a lot of fun. So, here are seven random things you may or may not know about me.

  1. My husband and I got married in Italy. It was in a little town about equal distances from Florence and Sienna. It was beautiful and we had tiramisu for desert instead of a traditional wedding cake.
  2. I do not like cats. Maybe it’s the fact that I have a mild allergy to them. Maybe it’s the fact that the cat my sister had when we were growing up was SERIOUSLY evil. I don’t know, but I just don’t like them. Sorry if this offends those of you who do love cats – you are all entitled to your own opinion. But, my opinion is that I would be very happy if I never saw another cat again.
  3. I have a degree in history from Seattle Pacific University. I’ve never used it. I am terrible with dates and names and quickly forget all those details that make a good historian, but I love stories and all of the big picture stories in history fascinated me. Plus I love to read and write so this writing intensive major was an easy choice for me.
  4. One of my favorite restaurants in the world is Sansei in Hawaii. My parents, husband and I went there just last week and I remembered once again why I love this place. I could happily eat there almost every night.
  5. I can’t drink wine. I’ve tried all different kinds, but they all either give me a headache or a stuffy nose or both. I know it’s terribly sad. But, I console myself with a good gin and tonic, or a great Czech beer.
  6. Nine months ago, I gave birth at my parent’s house to my beautiful little boy, Thaddeus. You can read my whole birth story here.
  7. I love being barefoot and wish I could go barefoot every day. Sadly, I live in a climate that doesn’t accommodate that love.

Here are 10 great blogs that I’m nominating for this award:

  • Eats Well With Others – I only discovered Joanne’s wonderful blog about a month ago and I love it. She continually makes me laugh with her random witty banter. Her pictures make me duel and her recipes are delicious. She deserves all kinds of awards – The Versatile Blogger award and many others as well.
  • A Cook’s Library – Karen’s site has become a fast favorite. She lives in London and writes about seasonal, local, sustainable food. Her posts are thoughtful intelligent and one of them has even made me cry. I love her take on food and she continually inspires me.
  • PhD in Parenting – I found this blog maybe a month or two ago and it’s another one I’m really enjoying. The author lives in Germany and writes about attachment parenting and other social and parental issues.
  • Sorta Crunchy – I’ve been reading this blog just a little longer then the two above. The blogs mission statement is “to be a place of discussion and dialogue at the intersection of faith and a life more natural.” Megan writes thoughtfully about faith and family life and I feel I have learned so much from her beautiful site.
  • Forging Fromage – This is a project of my blogger friend, Heather at girlichef. It’s a blog dedicated to home cheesemaking adventures and a must read for all cheese lovers out there. There is a beautiful variety of cheeses represented and there’s always fun new recipes and challenges to check out.
  • How to Cook Like Your Grandmother – I love the idea of this site – cooking more like our grandmothers (or great-grandmothers) would surely improve much of our food habits and overall health. This blog is filled with lots of helpful how-to posts as well as great recipes and info about real food.
  • Real Food in the City – I can’t help but like this blog because not only does this author share my love for real food she also shares me name! I only found this blog a few weeks ago and haven’t fully dived into it yet, but what I’ve seen so far I am really loving.
  • The Coconut Mama – This is another blog that I haven’t fully explored yet and only recently discovered, but am really enjoying. Tiffany writes about real food and her cooking exploits often inspire me.
  • Code Name: Mama – This site is awesome. I’ve found such great information about natural parenting here. I really enjoy the positive attitude of the articles and the encouraging stories that she shares. I also love that she hosts a carnival about a natural parenting topic almost every month of the year.
  • Inspired to Action – Kat’s blog has all kinds of practical advice for parents and I’ve found it so inspiring and encouraging. She is particularly interested in raising children who are capable of changing the world.

Ok, that’s my list of bloggers I have recently discovered and am currently enjoying. Check them out for some great reading!

Thanks again to Christy for this fun award!

Rejoicing in the journey –
Bethany Stedman

If you like this post please consider buying me a cup of tea (Suggested: $3 a cup)

Some Sunday Reading

My camera isn’t working, which makes me very sad and might make you sad too since you have probably noticed there haven’t been many pictures on the blog lately. So, instead of a Scene’s from my Life post today I just want to share some links that I found interesting lately:

The Dinner Garden – I thought this was a super cool organization. Their mission is to end hunger through gardening. Here’s what their website says about them: “The dinner Garden provides seeds, gardening supplies, and gardening advice free of charge to all people in the United States of America. We assist those in need in establishing food security for their families. Our goal is for people to plant home, neighborhood, and container gardens so they can use the vegetables they grow for food and income.”

Breastfeeding in Public: A Christian Father Speaks Up – This is a letter from a Christian father to another man concerning a debate over public breastfeeding. I found it interesting.

Operation Beautiful – this is fun. The mission of Operation Beautiful “is to post anonymous notes in public places for other women to find. The point is that WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL. You are enough… just the way you are!” What a great message to spread.

The List: What to Eat, What to Avoid and How to Compromise – Katie at Kitchen Stewardship recently posted this great list which breaks down what we should eat and what we shouldn’t and also gives some great compromise suggestions. I thought it was really clear and helpful. She plans on updating and adding to it as well. Check it out.

How to Quit Coffee – I thought this was fascinating and it made so much sense to me. I wonder if something similar would work for how to quit sugar…?

Lamb Chops with Pistachio Tapenade – ok, so lately I’ve been seriously meat starved and craving meat and fat like crazy. This recipe is the one I most want to try. Doesn’t this just look delicious?

From Trash to Treasure: Chocolate-Dipped Candied Orange Peel – This is what I want for desert after my lamb chops. I also love the idea of making something so wonderful out of something that would usually go in the trash – we are all about that around here. I do my best to not waste any food, but I have definitely thrown away far too many orange peels in my day. Well, that won’t be happening anymore!

Well, enjoy!

Rejoicing in the journey –
Beth Stedman

If you like this post please consider buying me a cup of tea (Suggested: $3 a cup)

Mother’s Day and Mommy Links

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there!

So, far this has been a great weekend. We took a little day trip with some friends yesterday and had a little picnic out at a nearby castle. It was so nice to get out of the city and have some time with great friends. Thaddeus loved the outing too and even took great naps yesterday! Yay!

Today is also off to a great start too. I was laughing to myself this morning as I thought about the things I wanted for Mother’s Day. It was all stuff that sounds sort of basic and trivial. And it was all stuff that I did pretty much every day before having kids and totally took for granted. Here’s my list of what I wanted for Mother’s Day (don’t laugh – or judge me… please).

  1. To take a shower and get dressed first thing in the morning.
    Honestly, I shower sporadically since having a baby, usually only a couple of times a week and almost never first thing in the morning. It’s just hard to find time – it’s hard to shower while Thad is napping because our bathroom is right next to where he sleeps and it will sometimes wake him up. Even if he doesn’t wake up his naps are often only 30 minutes which means that if I shower there’s no time to pick up, do the dishes, do the laundry, or anything else. So, often no shower. Thankfully, this is one mother’s day gift I’ve already gotten. Today I was showered and dressed before breakfast thanks to my sweet hubby taking the baby!
  2. To eat.
    Hehehe – I do normally eat, don’t worry. But, it’s hard to really sit down and have three full meals since having a baby. I usually can eat a distracted breakfast while watching Thad and I try to snack often throughout the day, but I usually don’t really eat a full meal until Thaddeus is in bed for the night. So, today I told Bryan I want to actually have a good breakfast, lunch and dinner… oh and desert too. So, the plan is Dutch Babies with Coconut syrup for breakfast, Pumpkin Curry Soup with Sourdough Crackers for lunch, a big salad with a variety of veggies and nuts and cheese and all kinds of goodness for dinner. And for dessert… homemade Cheesecake! Yummy!
  3. To get caught up on reading some books and blogs.
    I have so many great blogs in my google reader and so many interesting books I want to read and usually no undisturbed time to do either, or at least not very much of either. I’m looking forward to having a little bit of relaxed reading time today.
  4. To edit the pictures in my camera.
    I haven’t been taking as many pictures since having a child as I did before, but the few that I have taken have sat in my camera for weeks now without anything being done to them. I don’t have a lot of time without the baby when I can work on photography lately and I miss it so I’m also really looking forward to getting some of this done.

Well, that’s what I’m hoping for today. I’ll leave you with some Mommy Links to check out:

What do you want this Mother’s Day? What “Mommy Links” have you found interesting or helpful this week?

Rejoicing in the journey –
Bethany Stedman

If you like this post please consider buying me a cup of tea (Suggested: $3 a cup)