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7 Quick Takes Christi Domestic Church Ink Slingers Recipes

Seven Quick n Easy Meals

calendarGood day dear readers; this week we are going to face the ugly truth glaring at us down the barrel of time. In a very short number of weeks, even perhaps days for those in the south, we are looking at the return of the school day, the end of summer and all that that entails. For many this means the resurgence of  late afternoon practices – be they choir at school, band practice or one’s favorite sport. For some it means getting up at the crack of dawn to pack school lunches and catching busses or meeting the carpool. For others it means getting back into the practice of having school started by a decent hour each morning along with co-op meetings and so on. In a nut shell, the lazy, hazy days of summer are drawing to a close. Even for those not with school age children – it typically involves a change of pace.

Many of us have been enjoying being able to throw together those quick summer meals intended to keep the kitchen cool and the family fed with as little fuss and muss as possible. As the weather cools down (for most of us) we will begin to hanker once more for hot meals instead of salads with burgers thrown on the grill (barbecue for those in the north!) – I can hear the collective groans at the thought of the hours spent in the kitchen creating those yummy, hot; stews, roasts and chowders while also contemplating how busy life speeds up come fall. But all is not lost.

My hope is to help us all settle back into our fall routines with a host of easy but delicious and warm meals at your finger tips. I polled a number of readers and some of our very own ink slingers as to what was their answer to quick last minute meals (You know for when you have forgotten to take the meat out of the freezer or you woke up only to remember TODAY is the day ALL the kids are getting their teeth cleaned and there is no way you can possibly make what you had planned.) And I also asked them for some of their favorite crock pot days for when they are actually on top of their game but know there will be no time/energy to cook after their busy day.

Here are their favorite sanity time savers and some great crock pot ideas:

 

pulled pork

 

Quick take 1) This first quick and easy idea is similar to one of our favorite crock pot recipes only we use our own special blend of chimichurri spices. Here is what one busy reader offered as a quick and easy crock pot idea: ‘Put a pork shoulder roast in crock pot, dump 1/2 jar of (your favorite) BBQ sauce over it and cook on low all day. Shred & pull apart about 20 minutes before you want to eat, dump rest of BBQ sauce over it. Serve on buns (Or not.)’ Throw together you favorite salad and stand back to receive the accolades this is sure to bring. (We often serve our chimichurri variation of this with rice made in our handy dandy rice cooker!)

Quick take 2) Breakfast for dinner! What kid doesn’t love upside down day and what mum doesn’t love an easy meal. This reader’s favorite breakfast for dinner choice is “scrambled eggs, omelet with whatever filling we happen to have, waffles, pancakes, sausage if there’s any in the freezer…”  This reader also shared that she tries to buy some precooked sausages when they are on sale for those really hectic – don’t. have. a. minute. to. spare. – before CCD/practice/meeting days!)

Quick take 3)  One of our family favorites (okay, not really the family’s but mine) is to whip up a few cans of tomato soup with grilled cheese on the side. Now I do have to say that my kids really enjoy grilled cheese when we have homemade bread to make them with. This idea is almost identical with one reader who shared that one of her go quick meals is; Tuna melts (which usually means grilled cheese for the kids since my kids are not fans of tuna!), canned soup (I usually stock up with good sales/coupons) and I typically add some fruit or raw veggies (with salad dressing for “dip”) when we have this for dinner.

 

buffalo-chicken-quesadilla-2

Quick take 4) One busy mum shared that in her home quesadillas are a good ‘ready in 5 minutes’ dinner. She says: ‘I use whatever we have: shredded cheese, chopped tomatoes, meat if we have some (leftover ground beef or chicken or Perdue short cuts chicken in tiny pieces), peppers, etc.’ She serves hers with salsa. 

Another one of this reader’s favorites that she shared with us was a burger version of this or Burritos, as she called them.  She fries some ground beef and suggests adding your favorite seasoning to the burger as it cooks. She then heats up a can of refried beans, and sets the meat and beans on the table along with cheese, lettuce, tortillas, salsa, and sour cream. “Takes 10 minutes at my house.” she told me.

I don’t know about you but I’ll take a ten minute meal from start to table any day! (Hint: throw a few pkgs of soft taco wraps in the freezer as a back up for busy days.)

Quick take 5) Here is another burger menu pleaser:  Prepare 2 pounds hamburger meat with your favorite seasonings. (This reader uses salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder, paprika, or a bit of smoked paprika) Then shape into patties, put in a pan and sear. While these are cooking, prepare brown gravy to pour over patties and simmer for about 20 min until patties are cooked through. She serve hers over rice or egg noodles. For those not familiar with Kitchen Bouquet which is an ingredient listed in the brown gravy recipe you can check it out here.

When I asked this reader why she used patties she replied ‘Patties cook faster than huge meatballs…. mine are a cross between a meatball and a pattie…. but I don’t use egg or breadcrumbs… if your meat is too dry, and patties won’t stay formed… use an egg… if they are too wet, throw some breadcrumbs or crackers in the mix… ‘  You can throw a veggie on to cook while this is being prepared and voila you have a quick, easy and a tasty meal for those busy ‘back to fall routine’ evenings. 

loaded spuds

Quick take 6) This menu idea is a neat version of baked potatoes in the oven. This reader offered this idea: Poke and wrap in aluminum foil baking potatoes. Place in crockpot and cook on low. Serve with all sorts of toppings, like canned chili (don’t judge-desperate times come desperate measures LOL), cheese, bacon crumbles, broccoli, whatever you have on hand.  And againif you have salad ingredients you can easily round this out to a complete and easy meal. 

Quick take 7) Korean Beef, a few readers shared their personal version of this recipe so check it out and spice it up (or down)  to your own liking. I would think you could substitute shredded chicken breast for this recipe and enjoy that too!

If you are partial to shredded chicken and the Korean flavor doesn’t appeal to you then you can try one of our new favorites. I put a bag of chicken tenderloins (or breasts) in my crock pot, turn it to high if it’s mid day – low if I remember first thing in the morning. I pour a jar of (mild in my house) salsa over the chicken and sprinkle a touch of cumin over the salsa to give it a slightly Indian flavor. Before serving with rice (made in my handy dandy rice cooker) I shred the chicken in the pot and then sprinkle shredded cheese over it. I usually have sour cream on the side for people to add to their own plates. My favorite vegetables to steam with this is broccoli or green beans. Depending on the amount of meat left over we might serve it in taco shells for lunch the next day. 

Well – there you go – some pretty easy and delicious sounding last minute meals as well as some great crock pot inspirations. But I never seem content with stopping at seven (just read some of my past 7QT and you will notice I typically mange to sneak a few extra items in) so why should this month be any different.

While begging recipes from these wonderful ladies – one of them pointed me in the direction of Pinterest where apparently our very own Catholic Sistas has a CROCK POT BOARD. And here it is! So, if none of these ideas piqued your interest – hop on over to our crock pot board and start drooling, errr, I mean, planning some great meals for this fall.

Of course – don’t forget to head over to This Ain’t the Lyceum and see what everyone else has had to share this wonderful first Friday in August.

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7 Quick Takes Christi Getting to Know the Ink Slingers Ink Slingers

Seven Catholic Sistas Ink Slingers favorite posts and why!

For this First Friday’s 7QT we will learn what are some of our ink slingers favorite articles and why they chose those particular posts. I asked them the impossible question: which is your favorite post that you have written and why?  Here are the results in the order I received them. 

7 fav posts

Quick take 1:  Rita Suva  who will begin writing on a more regular basis starting next month has to date been responsible for a lot of the behind the scenes  activities such as editing and organizing many of our photo challenges and when asked responded “Can I say that one of my favorite things is/are the Instagram photo journeys/challenges?” My answer: Absolutely!! So check ‘em out here if you have not followed any of these challenges. This one was co-lead by Rita. 

2016 Lent Photo Journey

Quick take 2Kerri has authored a number of posts as an ink slinger for Catholic Sistas. One of her favorites is Celebrating Womanhood – Catholic Church Style. When I asked why she responded: “I think I like it because it was more than just the original post itself. There are a lot of comments on this post as well which greatly added to the conversation and added a lot more depth to what I had outlined in the post.” 

A full sixty-four comments dear readers  – now THAT’S a conversation! Make sure you scroll the whole way down the post’s page if you wish to follow that discussion.

Kerris quote

Take 3: Mary S shared “ I haven’t written very many, but probably my favorite was Loving My Cross (Even When I Hate It.) It’s my favorite because although it was difficult to write, and made me think about some painful parts of my life, it was also a way of healing somewhat. It also helped me write it because it helped me see my depression in a slightly different light (as the reason I cling so tightly to Christ and the Cross), which has continued to help me handle periods of deeper depression since I wrote it. I just pray that the Holy Spirit can use my experiences to help others.”  To read this post head over here.

Marys quote

Quick Take 4: Janalin Hood shared that her current favorite was about to publish and she loved it “because it is full of images from our readers own homes!

(here’s an example of the gorgeous photos she shares with us)

Laura M - Easter

Quick Take 5: Alison H replied when I asked why she chose Thank God Judith is in the Bible: “After we decided to ‘come home to Rome’ I read all the OT books stolen from our protestant bibles and loved Judith so much. At the time I had five boys and one girl (the tough one) and what I read there had a deep impact on how I saw my daughter (so different from me) and her personality.” Now if that doesn’t pique you interest I don’t know what will!

Allisons quote

Quick take 6: Charla  chose this post for me to read When Life Gets Old. Based on a conversation we had about this favorite that she also shared another favorite post which was A time For Every Event Under Heaven.

Charlas quote

Quick take 7: A round up of a few extras. As my fellow ink slingers and I chatted back and forth about our favorites, a few extras were thrown into the foray and they are: 

Here Comes the Judge

Catholic Women and Faith in the Work Place

An Interview with Ken Howell, Former Assemblies of God Pastor

Now this last one I’m going to finish with was not directly named but referred to by Alison when she commented: ‘I think people are shocked at what the “divine health and wealth gospel” does to people when  a healing does not come. That’s why I like to share my conversion story. The Catholic Church’s teaching on redemptive suffering saved my life and marriage.’ This resonated strongly with me as a convert myself and also because of a story with me by one of my children’s’ God mother who had a friend who was not Catholic. I have never forgotten my friend’s sorrow over the blame this woman felt over her own battle with cancer because ‘obviously if she was not healing it could only be due to lack of faith on her part.’  Because this spoke so strongly to me I looked up Alison’s conversion story and I’m finishing with it here. 

STOP! HOLD THE PRESSES!  I have received a late submission and it’s so good I cannot resist adding it even though I’ve completed all of  my Seven Quick Takes! Michelle Fritz shared Three Things I used To Know About Myself as her most favorite post. 

Michelles quote

So hopefully with this round up of favorites I have provided some fun and, hopefully, inspiring reading to fill those quiet summer nights that are still ahead of us. Until next time – happy reading and don’t forgot to mosey on over to this Ain’t the Lyceum and see what everyone else is up to this week.

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7 Quick Takes Christi Domestic Church Ink Slingers

Stress Free Vacation at Home, or As It’s More Commonly Known, a Staycation!

This month with summer full on for most readers, many of us are wondering about what to do for a vacation. Planning is the key here. As is a budget. (That nasty four six letter word BUDGET! Shiver!) Realizing that some readers are budgeting on a string, and a worn out one at that, the goal of this seven quick takes will be how to plan a very economical staycation. (With a few parenting tips thrown in for FREE! Who can beat free!)

NC sky at night 7qt

Quick take one: defining a staycation.

Simply put: it’s staying at home and having a vacation enjoying activities that are free or very cheap. Let’s face it, while gas has dropped in price the past year – traveling long distances to enjoy paying for a hotel room is still expensive. Thus many families are opting to stay home and enjoy their local sights, sounds, and activities. A staycation can be designed anyway you want to do it – it can be as long as you like or chopped up and spread out over summer weekends.

Budget-red-word-with-dollar-signsQuick take two: that nasty word I eluded to earlier – the budget.

What is your budget? For some I realize it’s zero, absolutely zero dollars, for a vacation. So for those readers I’m going to suggest that for next few weeks you conscientiously hoard all the pennies and dimes you can find and plan on staycationing later in the summer to give you time to save for the one big staycation splurge; be it delectable ice cream sundaes at home or a night at the movies. For those with a larger budget think carefully of what you want to do and what you can afford to pay for – maybe meals out or a family movie. If you can swing it – a family membership to a local zoo or children’s museum might be an option as then you can continue to enjoy this for the whole year after and it would open the doors to other companion zoos, museums etc for free or half price.

 

less is best croppedQuick take three: creating a hotel atmosphere in the home

Have a power cleaning day (or couple of days) before the vacation. The week before you leave on a vacation is always spent packing, writing lists, laundry, writing more lists and a frantic tidy up before you lock that door behind you. So take that last week before your vacation starts and think minimalist and if at all possible, put away a lot of stuff that is cluttering up your ‘hotel’. Extra toys – bag ‘em and hide them in a closet or garage.  You get the idea. On the last day of your staycation do a quick tidy up like you would in the hotel room or house you were renting. After all, it’s never fun to come home from vacation to a messy house. To motivate the kids to clean that day hold out on one the best activities as a reward for helping.  

 

frog-farewell-travel-luggageQuick take four: Pack

Pack as if you are going away. Yes, you heard me correctly. Choose your wardrobe (obviously I’m referring to a several days long staycation) and pack it in suitcases, back packs, whatever. Have the kids help you – this will increase their anticipation of a staycation and cut way down on laundry for you. (Tell the teens that the laundry room is off duty the entire week so if they don’t want to pack they had best make sure they have lots of clean unmentionables for that week) If necessary though – midweek you can open the laundry room and go to the ‘Laundromat’ for an hour or two just as you might need to do on a week-long vacation. BUT keep it to a minimum!

 

man-vacation-people-summerQuick take five: Meals

This is almost a subcategory of budgeting but I decided to treat it on its own as after all – it’s FOOD we are talking about here. Again for those on very tight budgets try to put away a special treat each week – a bag of chips you don’t usually buy, that package of chocolate bars you never buy. Keep your eyes peeled for sales that might allow you to stock up on a favorite treat that you can hide until the staycation begins. However – the real concern is the meals. It’s a little hard to be on vacation and have to cook every last drop of fuel that goes into your family’s mouths. One suggestion is to prepare freezer meals, along with planning a picnic style menu. Stock up in the weeks or months ahead with disposable plates, cups, etc so that clean up is at a minimal. Don’t forget the carrots – and I don’t mean the edible kind. Hold off on that rented movie until everyone has helped toss the Styrofoam, washed the table and have put away the pot used to heat that frozen chili. (I promised free parenting tips – remember?)

 

rulesQuick take six: Planning the staycation rules

Uh huh – rules! Or perhaps we can call it boundaries if that’s more comfortable. What will we allow/not allow on the vacation? Will the cell phones be put away? Will we include best buddies on any of the out of house activities? Online games – yay or nay? This is something I strongly suggest you figure out a few weeks before you start the staycation. You know your kids best so decide accordingly which will work better – parents deciding the boundaries and presenting them as part of the staycation plans – or having a family meeting and pounding out the details together. (Another free parental tip – I give you full permission to limit input from kids and to warn them in advance that inability to discuss these details nicely will result in adjournment of meeting and parental authorities deciding all boundaries/rules. Second chances are your prerogative.)

 

freeQuick take seven: Activity ideas

Ok – so I’ve convinced you that this idea is worth a shot but you are drawing a blank as to what to do? Once you have a good idea how many dollars you have to throw at your staycation – I suggest you start brainstorming about what kind of things your family enjoys? Jot down things you love to do; movies, hiking, bowling, picnicking, listening to music…

Movies – tight budget? See if your local library is showing free movies. Sometimes the local movie theater shows 2 dollar matinees throughout summer. These are good possibilities. If you can afford an evening movie with treats though, go for it! 

Hiking – If you love outdoor activities like hiking, exploring parks etc – consider dressing up a hike with some geocaching. Here is where you can find out if there is one near you. Be sure to pack a picnic so you can make it an all day thing with a heavenly crockpot meal simmering away to great you at the end of the day.

Bowling – check and see if your town offers a cheap night or afternoon of bowling. Same with roller skating, ice skating etc.

Music – pay attention for possible music festivals in your area or a free concert in a local park.

How about a date night for mum and dad perhaps in the middle of the staycation? If so, rent a kids movie and you two nip out for a romantic dinner or if your kids aren’t old enough to be left alone and a babysitter is just not in the budget – try a driveway date or two!

Hopefully, I have gotten your creative juices running and your imagination is boiling over with ideas now. No vacation time available this summer? Simple – break up your staycation over the weekends. You and the kids power clean and cook all day Friday and hit the deck running Saturday morning having planned your staycation around the free activities in your area. Make sure to take advantage of any long weekends on the calendar.

Be sure to come back after and share in our comments what you did and help inspire others to step out and enjoy their own staycation! So bookmark this quick take seven so you can easily find it. Oh, and don’t forget to mosey on over to our hostess This Aint the Lyseum and see what everyone else is saying today.

 

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7 Quick Takes Christi Domestic Church Ink Slingers Motherhood Resources

Seven Reasons to Subscribe to Mothering Sunshine

 

Seven Reasons to Subscribe to Mothering Sunshine

There is a new blog that has sprung onto the smorgasbord of resources for Catholic moms.  It’s called Mothering Sunshine and this first Friday’s 7QT is going to be all about why you should join the growing readership of Mothering Sunshine! 

[Full Disclosure: And in the process you will get to meet my daughter and her five cutie pies!]

Quick Take one – It’s resourceful: This site is incredibly resourceful for mums – both young and experienced mums will find some cool resources on this site. Not only is the site jam packed with useful resources, it’s also chock full of motivational thoughts such as: “All work is service to others. Work is our opportunity to co-create with God. Work is our greatest opportunity to serve others, to love others, and that, of course, is the greatest commandment. We receive the love of God and return it through our work! If all work is service to others, and if the work of mothers is to help others do their own work well, then the highest work is the work of the home. Behind every great person is someone preparing food to be eaten, washing clothes to be worn, and cleaning a house to be lived in so that they in turn can do their own great work.”  Jenny G Ryan, founder and owner of Mothering Sunshine.

If you liked that then you should  sign up for the bi-monthly newsletter.  In doing so you will receive a newsletter filled with: a note from Jenny, a touch of scripture, tips on recipes and other household needs, positive thoughts as well as great inspirational quotes. In between newsletters you can pick and choose helpful posts from among the many useful sections available on this resource site. 

One of the tools that Mothering Sunshine offers through the newsletter is a virtual book club where a book is chosen every month or so for fellow subscribers to read along at more or less the same time. From the newsletter: “One of the best remedies for worry is to get outside your own head and into a book. This is why we have the the Mothering Sunshine Book Club! We pick a book for the month and read it all together. I encourage you to invite a few other moms you know to read it with you—and one night a month you can actually get together to discuss it!! Even if you don’t have friend nearby to read it with you, you will be reading it with all of us here in the Mothering Sunshine community. We are reading it with you and thinking about it while we work!!” If  you are wondering why in the world you should even take a stab at adding ‘reading’ to  your  to- do list hear what one guest writer had to say about the need for intellectual stimulation for mums: “After watching lots of TV or spending a lot of time on the computer, I always end up regretting my actions and the time wasted, I feel empty and depressed. However, I never regret the time spent reading good books.  It never makes me feel empty or depressed, but rather, it brings me great joy and it gives me something to think about as I fold the towels. If you were never a reader before, you might be surprised just how much you enjoy a book these days!” Still not convinced – then read the whole article here

Seven Reasons to Subscribe to Mothering Sunshine

Quick Take Two – Feeling lonely? Sometimes being a mum is just… lonely. Even if we are surrounded by little people – chit chattering, yammering, singing, crying and at times – arguing; we mums sometimes find ourselves incredibly lonely in the midst of this not always  joyful chaos and at times overwhelming  noise that surrounds us. However, we can come here and find encouragement because in Jenny’s own words this site was born out of her desire for “other mothers to know that they are not alone in their little black hole. I want them to know that life can get better, and does get better, and that there are things you can do that will change your life. I don’t just want to inspire, I want to give mothers the tools to succeed and to realize that the poop smeared on the wall at nap time is not the meaning of life.”

Seven Reasons to Subscribe to Mothering Sunshine

Quick take Three – Faith: Mothering Sunshine also offers much in the area of faith and growing in it. One of her most inspirational posts about growing in faith is her post on Spiritual Reading. And here is another, and another. I could go on listing her posts on faith for a while but instead I’ll just push you to go dig around. Go on – go check it out…  Oh WAIT! Go AFTER you finish reading the rest of my reasons why you should subscribe to Mothering Sunshine. 

Seven Reasons to Subscribe to Mothering Sunshine

 

Quick Take Four – Order:  I don’t know about you but order in our family life has had its peaks and valleys. Those valleys might be result of a lack of order in our family or our personal prayer life. Sometimes we find ourselves in total chaos with little to no of order throughout our family household which is reflected through late meals, unending dirty laundry, tardiness to every single event… . Ultimately we. hopefully, come to the realization that to have order in our family household – we must first have order in our prayer life. Mothering Sunshine shares very openingly with us that broken moment when she realized the true need for order and to have that she needed an orderly prayer life: 

After the twins were born I was in the height of my chaos ridden, messy house, and broken bank era. One night out of frustration and desperation I started something I called 100 Days of Order. I needed to get out of the black hole I was living in. I sat down and wrote rules that I would make myself follow for at least 100 days. This exercise was life changing.” To learn more about Mothering Sunshine’s 100 day challenge click here and be prepared to be inspired to seek order in your life.

Seven Reasons to Subscribe to Mothering Sunshine

 

Quick Take Five: Finding  Hope and our Identity:  Mothering Sunshine is a blog filled with hope and… joy! I mean LOOK at these faces: How can one not feel joy seeing these adorable faces peppered throughout the site? But more than that, Jenny is constantly reminding us to have hope and to remember that while we often feel that our vocation is a mindless one that could be done by just about any robot capable of changing a diaper and stirring water in a pot; in truth we are doing a great thing, every day, every hour, every minute as we strive “to be everything to someone“.

Seven Reasons to Subscribe to Mothering Sunshine

Quick Take Six – Let go of the guilt: Is there a mother alive, especially a Catholic mother, that doesn’t struggle with guilt? Mothering Sunshine will remind you again and again to just let.go.of.the.guilt! This is not her only post about letting go of guilt. Erika, a frequent guest writer, has some great advice to offer the followers of Mothering Sunshine for that “after the baby guilt” that dogs our tired footsteps for the next couple of years months after the newest arrival.  

Seven Reasons to Subscribe to Mothering Sunshine

Quick Take Seven – It’s Catholic: Mothering Sunshine is solidly Catholic and in a world increasingly hostile to our Christian faith – finding a happy quiet spot in the world where one can learn about living our vocation in a manner that is true to our faith is a keeper! Here is an example of how Mothering Sunshine encourages us to live our faith throughout the day. 

I will end this quick take seven with one last quote from the founder of Mothering Sunshine (and a reminder to mosey on over to This Ain’t the Lyceum – host of the weekly Seven Quick Takes). 

Seven Reasons to Subscribe to Mothering Sunshine

Thanks to This Ain’t the Lyceum for Hosting the 7QT!

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Easter Season Favorites: Quick Takes Style

Easter Season Favorites

Happy Easter, friends! Yes, it has been five days since Easter Sunday, but it is still the Easter Season. We are in the Octave of Easter. We should still be celebrating. And why wouldn’t we! Jesus has Risen!! We spent 40 days in the desert, so why keep the celebrations to one day? I’m pretty sure the Apostles celebrated more than just that first day.

The thought of celebrating Easter throughout all fifty days made me wonder what people most like about this time. So I asked some friends and I got a pretty nice list of Easter Season favorites. What would you add to this list?

#1 Taking comfort in our sacrifices. When Lent starts we often aren’t too keen on giving something up for 40 days. But by the end of Lent, some of us have not just accepted our Lenten sacrifices but have embraced them. Our Lenten sacrifices should be something that provides us a spiritual benefit. When I discussed this with one friend we agreed that by the time we reach the Easter Season going back to our old habits may not always be the best course. What an amazing comfort it is to embrace the fruits of the desert so much that you want to continuing living in that way! I’ve been contemplating this in the days since my friend first mentioned it and it is giving me some deep food for thought for next year’s Lent.

#2 Spring cleaning!! No really. A good, deep cleaning can be rejuvenating and therapeutic.And really what better time to do a big clean than spring. Just as we hopefully cleaned up our souls during Lent, now is a good time to clean up, air out, and freshen up our living spaces to give us some further evidence of a fresh start.

#3 Chocolate and Jelly beans!! Do I need to say any more?

#4 Rebirth. The flowers are blooming, the grass is greener, rabbits and birds and squirrels are showing up in the yard, the beauty of Spring is all around us. All of it is a perfect reminder of the season of joy that have now entered.

#5 The Easter Candle. Okay, so this one had me thinking, “huh?” It is a pretty cool candle, but I wasn’t quite sure why someone would say it is one of their favorite things about the Easter Season. So I asked and her explanation is much better in her words than in mine: “I love the prayers said over it at the Easter Vigil (“Christ is the Alpha and the Omega”), the liturgy of light at the Easter Vigil, the fact that the candle is present at OUR “beginning” and end (Baptism and Funeral), the way its presence in the altar all season helps to tie in Christ’s rebirth with our own….”

#6 Chocolate bunnies … oh wait, did we say this already? Well, let’s just say all those things we gave up for Lent that we’re really missing. Whether it’s beer, bread, sugar, coffee, your favorite soda, or that chocolate, they are all so much sweeter now after 40 days of abstinence.

#7 Hope, even in death. Easter reminds us that Jesus has conquered death for us. It’s a season of hope. This year especially, we witnessed the death of Mother Angelica, foundress of EWTN, on Easter Sunday. How incredibly special that she went to her eternal reward on the day that we celebrate Jesus Resurrection from the dead. Even so, Mother would be the first to tell us, pray for her!! What an extraordinary life she had and an amazing legacy she leaves behind. Her life is truly a remarkable example of always listening to God’s will with complete trust in Him. This Easter Season it has been one of my favorite things to listen to EWTN and hear all the incredible stories of her life as those that knew her and worked with her recount their memories.

What are your Easter Season Favorites? Tell us in the comments. And then go visit Kelly over at This Ain’t the Lyceum for more Friday Quick Takes.seven-quick-takes-friday-2