Bringing Back the Wonder of Life Abroad

I remember when my husband and I drove fifteen hours from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to our new home in the north. I loved every minute of the heat, the god-forsaken hotel, and the lack of water when we arrived at our new home. I vividly remember thinking, “I am the luckiest person in the world that I get to have this life.” Fast-forward six months to a year later, and guess who was crying? ME. Read the rest of this post on the Taking Route Blog. 

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Fears of a New Expat Mom.

Maybe I’m the only mom that has ever been nervous about raising and caring for a child in the developing world. I try to calm my anxiety with reason—millions of moms have raised their babies in the developing world in worse conditions. I shouldn’t have a problem. Right after my daughter was born, the reality of living in Africa became real and I honestly don’t feel equipped for the challenge. Read more of this post on The Taking Route Blog.

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Top 10 Things This Pregnant Lady Misses.

In my current pregnant state it is easy to rattle off 10 things I miss about America. What is much harder right now is to remember why we came here and remind myself why I chose to stay in this place. I am not forced to be here. My husband did not drag me here. God did not twist my arm. This was my decision and my husband and I continue to make that decision with each passing month. Check out the Top 10 Things I Miss as well as the Top 10 Reasons We Keep Making This Place Home on the Velvet Ashes Blog.

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Looking For Cookbooks to Inspire Your Kitchen?

Sometimes we just need a little inspiration to get in the kitchen after a long day. Here are the cookbooks and guides inspiring me to find my way to the kitchen every day, multiple times a day, to create and spread my table with sweet and savory goodness. Check out these five cookbooks on the Upper Barn Blog.

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Why I Loved Wearing My Grandmother's Wedding Dress.

Since I was small, I sat in my Grandma Walt’s library and gazed at photos of my grandmother in an elegant wedding dress and dreamed that one day I would wear that same dress. But the dress was forgotten and many of my childhood dreams buried in reality. Read more about why I will never regret wearing her grandmother's wedding dress as well as her great-grandmother's veil on the Upper Barn Blog.

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The How & Why of Chicken Broth.

Did you ever wonder where the idea of serving chicken noodle soup when someone is sick came from? It’s not just because it is easy on stomach and warm. Chicken soup started as home remedy because of the nutritional value of chicken stock (broth) to repair and calm the lining of the small intestines, bringing healing to the body. Read more about the how and why of chicken broth on the Upper Barn Blog.

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The Best Kept Secret in East Africa.

I hesitate to write this article, because I am worried that I will unveil one of the best kept secrets in East Africa: the Ancient Rock-Hewn churches of Northern Ethiopia. To get to most of these churches you have to hike up into the mountains, where you will find hidden 1600 year-old churches that have been preserved by the monks and priests of modern and of old. Most of the churches were carved deep into the rock to protect them, as well as their history, from invaders. Read the rest of the blog on the We Are Travel Girls Blog.

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Looking For Ways to Live More Generously?

I was inspired by a friend's resolutions to give away 30 things for her 30th birthday. I am looking for ways to live more generously this year without necessarily giving away more money. Check out my 8 Ideas on the Upper Barn Blog.

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The Art of Thrift Store Decorating?

Looking for inspiration on how you can do more with less in your home? When I was young, I was embarrassed when my mother went to thrift stores and bought things second hand. Then I had a house of my own and I stood wide-eyed, mouth gaping at the price of new hand-towels, much less a set of plates. My mom’s shopping habits suddenly made more sense. My mom’s whole home is from thrifting, repurposing what she already has to make a space and create peace. Isn’t that the point of a home anyway? For more inspiration for thrift store decorating visit my mom’s Etsy page called the Refurbished FarmhouseOriginally posted on Upper Barn Blog.

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Really? I can roast my own coffee beans?

We all love coffee, but know what will take your brew to the next level? Roasting it by hand.  It doesn't take much time and is guaranteed to make your house smell amazing.  Join the Upper Barn Blog as I take you on a tour of Ethiopia and hand roasted coffee.

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This Micro Manufacturing Facility Is Set to Change the Developing World.

The Paradigm Project launched its first micro-manufacturing facility for the EzyStove on the continent of Africa in early 2016, and it’s anything but ordinary. Link here to the rest of this post on the Paradigm Project website.

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