Mainly Marta :: A Motherhood + Lifestyle Blog

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Welcome

What started as a digital diary to document a newfound journey as a stay at home mom / wife has quickly evolved into my own little corner on the internet where I share all that life brings my way -- the good, the bad, and those "aha!" moments. All with a hint of sarcasm, a dash of truth and bold European wit. Thanks for following along!

4.04.2021

resurrection sunday; the message.



it has all led to this moment.

He tore the veil on Friday.
He conquered death on Saturday.
And today, the tomb is empty.

HALLELUJAH.
we. are. free.
y’all, death could not hold Him.
and that means we are accounted for — always.

the word of God is eternal.
the rock of ages fulfilled the prophecies.
and mercy came cloaked in glory.

from here on out, the precious blood of Jesus hovers over you. you are washed white as snow. you are alive in Him.

goosebumps.

what makes this act even more amazing is that you have the choice to walk towards the alter or walk away from it.

the law no longer forbids it.
the veil is no longer there.
death is no longer taunting you.
you get to decide how you react to His mercy.

to know that my Savior died for the world knowing full well that there would be people who would reject Him still — there is no other love like the love He holds for us.

so today, I implore you to draw near to the one who set you free. He is standing at the door of your heart, knocking — answer that call.

once you do, there will be a shift.
because there is power knowing that He is walking alongside you.

I’m not going to tell you that once you start walking with Jesus, things will fall into place and life gets easier because it won’t.

the world is a dark place filled with trials / tribulations. Hardships will still come, but I can promise you that no matter what evil / dark season you may encounter, from here on out, He will shine light on your path.

when you are weak, you can lean on the One who paid it all.

when you want to give up, He will carry you through.

when there seems to be no way, God will make a way.

and when death creeps at your door, you don’t have to be afraid because He conquer it all.

so choose love today, friends.
let that cloak of mercy wrap around your shoulders.
may you be finally be free.




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4.03.2021

the world in waiting on Saturday; a reminder.




as we're waiting for resurrection Sunday, one thought comes to mind. 
it seems to be a repeated theme in the Bible that God will make a way when there seems like there is no other way.

𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 π˜‹π˜’π˜·π˜ͺπ˜₯ 𝘧𝘒𝘀𝘦π˜₯ 𝘒 𝘨π˜ͺ𝘒𝘯𝘡.
𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 π˜‹π˜’π˜―π˜ͺ𝘦𝘭 𝘸𝘒𝘴 𝘡𝘩𝘳𝘢𝘴𝘡 π˜ͺ𝘯𝘡𝘰 𝘒 π˜₯𝘦𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘭π˜ͺ𝘰𝘯𝘴.
𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 π˜‘π˜°π˜―π˜’π˜© 𝘸𝘒𝘴 𝘴𝘸𝘒𝘭𝘭𝘰𝘸𝘦π˜₯ 𝘣𝘺 𝘡𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘒𝘭𝘦.
𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 π˜‘π˜°π˜£ 𝘭𝘰𝘴𝘡 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺𝘡𝘩π˜ͺ𝘯𝘨.
𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 π˜”π˜°π˜΄π˜¦π˜΄ 𝘩π˜ͺ𝘡 𝘡𝘩𝘦 π˜™π˜¦π˜₯ 𝘴𝘦𝘒.
𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 π˜‘π˜°π˜΄π˜¦π˜±π˜© 𝘸𝘒𝘴 𝘴𝘰𝘭π˜₯ 𝘣𝘺 𝘩π˜ͺ𝘴 𝘣𝘳𝘰𝘡𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘴.
𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 π˜™π˜Άπ˜΅π˜©’𝘴 𝘩𝘢𝘴𝘣𝘒𝘯π˜₯ π˜₯π˜ͺ𝘦π˜₯ 𝘒𝘯π˜₯ 𝘴𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘒𝘴 𝘭𝘦𝘧𝘡 𝘸π˜ͺ𝘡𝘩 𝘯𝘰𝘡𝘩π˜ͺ𝘯𝘨.
𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘚𝘩𝘒π˜₯𝘳𝘒𝘀𝘩, π˜”π˜¦π˜΄π˜©π˜’π˜€π˜© 𝘒𝘯π˜₯ 𝘈𝘣𝘦π˜₯𝘯𝘦𝘨𝘰 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘡𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘸𝘯 π˜ͺ𝘯𝘡𝘰 𝘒 𝘧π˜ͺ𝘦𝘳𝘺 𝘧𝘢𝘳𝘯𝘒𝘀𝘦.
𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘡𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭π˜₯ 𝘬π˜ͺ𝘭𝘭𝘦π˜₯ 𝘒 𝘚𝘒𝘷𝘰π˜ͺ𝘳.

all of those moments signaled the end.

I find it interesting that in the moments leading up to these crucial climactic points in their stories, God seemed to be silent.

we see in moments of hardships that no one understood why or what was happening.

evil looked like it had won.

and then,
the glorious, miraculous, splendor of His plan starts to unravel in a way that no one saw coming.

throwing the evil one off its course.
showing darkness that Light will always triumph.

Saturday in the Easter story is such a great reminder of this. I’m sure the disciples felt like their world was crumbling on Saturday, like their very purpose was dissolving before their eyes as they remember what they saw the day before.

and though Jesus assured them that this was God’s plan, the human flesh just could not understand why death played a part.

the earth was silent on Saturday,
but the gates of hell were broken on this day.
death no longer held a sting.

& tomorrow, the Savior would once again appear, having overcome the world, that we may have a personal relationship with Him. He paid the price so we may approach the Father and feel the goodness of God.

so in earthly seasons of despair, may we hold fast to His promises and trust His plan. Sunday is coming friends, are you ready?



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4.02.2021

good friday; a reflection.

it's good friday.
and I keep thinking -- how many people in positions of “power” do we know of that would give up their lives to save the world? how many kings would leave all the splendor of their kingdom knowing full well that they would be mocked, beaten, and killed?

I don’t know about you, but I only know of one.

His name is Jesus.

the story of Jesus is full of miracles and wonderful things, but one of the things that consistently leaves me in tears is thinking about this moment.

imagine.

it’s dark outside.
on a cross next to two criminals.

one of which is taunting you.
the people who are watching below mock you.
the government officials are laughing at you.

your earthly mother watching alongside your brothers with tears in her eyes.
your closest friends are standing there in disbelief.
your Heavenly Father, though you know He is there, has fallen silent.


“Father, forgive them, they know not what they do”

chills.
tears.
overwhelmed.

I cannot imagine how He must have felt. the whole world on His shoulders. how much love must have been pouring out of His heart to pray for those who were persecuting Him at that moment? 

His heart must have been shattered into a million pieces as He watched those He came to love and save scoff at His suffering.

a lion-like love pouring out of the Lamb of God to a world so undeserving. 

that love was meant for you and me friend.
I hope you choose to come to the altar of God and feel His love today, tomorrow, and forevermore because He loves you so very much.



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3.15.2021

Homeschool Diaries :: Spider Unit (+ Free Printable)

hey y'all, happy monday -- today I thought I'd share a more in-depth look at the spider unit we did the other week. I like to pull resources from all over the place and curate a mini-unit to help guide the lesson. I'm not the kind of person to stick to one set curriculum because my boys are still super little and their attention spans aren't fit for page by page curriculum. So, I try my best to cater to everyone's learning style especially when two of my students are under the age of three. 


One of the first things I do as an introduction to the weekly lesson / nature unit is to create a habitat sensory bin / tray for the boys to explore. It really gets them pumped up for the whole unit and allows for them to start formulating questions and areas they want to learn about in the coming days. 


Next, we grabbed our Big Book of Bugs and took a look at some spider facts. I love giving them their little magnifying glasses and let them take a closer look at the pictures of spiders as I read the text. I prompt them to find the spider picture that a specific fact is referring to. It's one of their favorite parts of the lesson. 


Other Books We Read In This Unit 

▣ The Brilliant Book of Bugs

▣ The Encyclopedia of Animals

▣ Nature Anatomy 

▣ Slow Down: 50 Mindful Moments in Nature


Then my goal was to focus on the different type of spiders and their life cycle. I got a spider nature study off of Etsy from Stephanie Hathway's shop because her art is absolutely gorgeous. In addition to the study, I purchased several spiders from Safari Ltd because my boys are hands-on learners. 


Extra Tools 

▣ Black Widow 

▣ Tarantula 

▣ Life Cycle Tray :: the one I own is no longer being sold by the small shop I bought it from, but another one of my all-time favorite shops (Jack and Link) came out with their very own version of the life cycle board and I love it. That's the board I linked because I would purchase -- it's double-sided!

▣ Life Cycle Figureines



Next, I took the flashcards from the spider nature study and cut them out. Then, I created a spider web printable that showcased all kinds of webs. I had the boys pick their favorite spiders and we glued them to the web while talking about spider body parts, the kinds of webs they spin, and where you can find them. 

I'd love to share that printable with y'all

If you'd like to use it, you can find it at the end of this blog post -- scroll down to right-click, save and print! 


I also had the boys create their own spidey friend. We decorated the spiders with markers, glitter, and sequins and used colorful pipe cleaners as legs and googly eyes to bring them to life. They were so proud of their little spidey friends and couldn't wait to hang it up on our school work board! 

I love wrapping up the week with a fun craft because we can admire it all weekend. Our school workboard is placed in the kitchen, so we always see + walk by it. I often refer to the work on the board and ask the boys to tell me what they remember about what we learned the past week. It's also a great conversation piece when guests and family members come to visit. 

But, yah! that's a wrap to our spider unit. I like to keep things fairly simple and easy as I have three little pairs of hands that always want to get to the next part of the lesson. 


About That Free Printable 

so here is that web printable that I was telling you about / you saw pictured above. 
if you'd like to save this and use it in your own spider units -- right-click, save to desktop, and print. please note that this print is for my readers and is not meant to be sold / redistributed; personal use only, please.

if you do end up using this print, don't forget to snap a picture and tag me on @mainlymarta / @europeanhomestead on Instagram.


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3.08.2021

Recipe | Gogosi (Romanian Doughnuts)

hey ya'll, today we're talking about one of my very favorites -- gogosi! they're homemade romanian styled doughnuts and they're delicious. I asked my mom to show me how to make it awhile back, so I could tell you guys all about it, but she refused. She's an eyeball(er) when it comes to recipes, so she couldn't tell me the quantities. The problem was officially solved because I brought my digital scale and we were able to measure it for you guys. 

Before I share the recipe, I want to say that even though this recipe looks super lengthy, it's not that complicated. I've done my best to show you all the steps through the photos and videos, but at the end of the day, it's waiting for the dough to rise that's the most tedious. 


What You'll Need

Flour
Canada Bleached All-Purpose | 60 ounces

Red Start Quick Rising Yeast
2 packets

Lukewarm Water 
1/2 cup

Sugar

Eggs
5

Salt 
1 tablespoon 

Greek Yogurt 
1 cup

Orange Zest

Milk 

Butter 
2 sticks at room temperature 

Cinnamon 

Canola Oil

How To Make

step 1.
sift all your flour.



step 2.
in the cup of lukewarm water, mix in two regular sized spoons of sugar and the two packets of yeast. let this mixture sit until the water starts to bubble (aka: rise) yay! you’ve just proofed your yeast. if the water doesn't bubble or rise, that means that either the water was too hot or the yeast is old and not good for use, so you'll need to go ahead and restart this step. 


step 3.
mix 1 cup of greek yogurt and 4 cups of milk in a glass container and then warm the mixture to a temp that you can place your hand in it. careful with this step because you don’t want it to be very hot because the yeast won't rise the dough. 

note: we like to mix greek yogurt into the milk, but the yogurt can be skipped if not on hand.

step 4.
place the yeast mixture in the sifted flour, in the middle, and mix. then, add five whole eggs.
slowly add the four cups of milk to the mixture -- don't add it all at once. mix in and start slowly kneading as you're mixing.


if you've added all the milk to the mix and you see a lot of flour left, heat up and add more milk until the mixture is just right. you’re going to have to eyeball this step — you want the dough to be just right which means that it's not very soft, but not very stiff. it has to be somewhere in the middle.

we ended up using five 5 cups of milk total in the entire process.
this is a complicated step as some types of flour absorb liquid differently, so pay attention to how the dough is feeling and how the flour is mixing into your dough mixture. 

✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸ this would be the time and place to mix in your orange (or lemon) zest ✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸

note: this time, I didn't add zest because we used the same dough to make Langos -- Romanian style stuffed fried bread. but if you're only wanting to make gogosi, then the zest would be mixed in at this point in time.

pro tip: a few days before you make gogosi, zest several oranges and place the shavings in a small glass jar with several spoons of fine sugar. mix together and then seal the jar, placing it in the fridge. when making the gogosi, use a few spoonfuls of this in your dough to give it an even sweeter taste. left over zest? no problem -- this sugary zest can stay in the fridge for up to a year if sealed correctly. it's ready to be used in other cakes and muffins! 

step 5.
then take your two sticks of butter and start incorporating it into the dough. buuuut, wait, don’t place all it at once. you want to take it in sections and knead it in. like you did with the milk. 

step 6.
then after you’ve incorporated the butter, take half a handful of oil, and rub it on top of the dough and the sides. you do this because we’re gonna put some plastic wrap on top as we wait for it to rise and we don't wang the dough to stick to the plastic.

step 7.
place plastic wrap all around the bowl and then take a warm blanket, fold it in half place it on the table. place the bowl of dough in the middle and then cover up the bowl with the other side of the blanket, making sure that the entire bowl is covered.

step 8.
let sit to rise.
this takes a few hours -- ours took about 3 hours to rise! 
this is the perfect opportunity to wash dishes, tidy up and run errands even. 


step 9.
after your dough has risen, go get your frying pan and fill it up with oil about half way.
you want your doughnuts to float, so the amount of oil depends on the size of your pan.

step 10.
turn on the stove to heat medium heat.
then, wait about 7 mins -- it's time to test the oil. 
to do this, drop a little bit of dough in the pan.
if it starts to bubble and rise quickly, your oil is ready.

if it doesn’t, go ahead and wait a few more minutes and try again. 
repeat this process until the little piece rises to the surface right away.

step 11.
now, grab a large plastic board placing it on the counter. 
and then take a little bit of oil and spread it all over the board and your hands. 
this helps move the dough and not get it stuck to your hands.

step 12.
now, let’s make the doughnuts!
grab a bit of dough, place it on the board and flatten it with your hands. 
now get a regular-sized cup and start cutting your circles.
if you want them to look like American doughnuts, 
then go ahead and get a milk gallon cap to cut out the doughnut hole.

step 13.

place doughnut in oil and wait until you see the edge get golden brown. then flip over with a spoon.
step 14.
when the entire doughnut is golden brown, place a paper towel on a plate and then let your doughnuts cool on top of the paper towel — this soaks the excess oil from the surface.


step 15.
next, in another plate mix fine sugar and cinnamon together. 
after the gogosi have cooled a bit, roll it in the sugary mix and place on serving platter.

step 16. 
serve and enjoy!

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3.01.2021

After the Historic Winter Storm | Update

hey hey hey y'all! I'm baaaaaaack. I've had such a turbulent couple of weeks and it's shown because I've been MIA on the blog. I feel like I haven't talked to you guys in ages! 

Soooo... my laptop broke the day right after Valentine's day and then a day after that, we lost power due to a huge winter storm. We didn't get power back for 8 days y'all. It got so bad that we had to go stay with my parents for the week because it was that cold in our house. At one point, it was colder inside than it was outside. 

When we finally got power back, we came home and spent the remainder of the week cleaning out our freezer and fridge, trying to restock it, tidying up the house, doing laundry, and unpacking before my husband had to start working again. 

It's been a wild ride, but things are finally back to normal, so I thought I'd share some pictures of our snowy weekend. Going forward, I'm hoping to go back to one post per week if not more. Oh, and happy March first y'all! Is spring here yet? Because after all that snow, we are so ready for consistent bouts of sunshine!




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