About Katie Mae Stanley

Katie Mae Stanley is the writer at Nourishing Simplicity, where the focus is on nourishing foods, herbal remedies, simple living and faith. Ethnic and Mid-west foods are always a favorite in her kitchen and on her blog. She is also the author of the book Steeped: Simple Nourishing Teas and Treats. Katie Mae spent 10 years as a missionary dorm "mama" for a gaggle (almost 40) of amazing deaf girls at a school for the deaf in Baja California, Mexico. Now she finds herself state side ready to embrace God's next adventure. A cup of tea or coffee and a bit of dark chocolate make an appearance at some point in any given day. You can connect with the Nourishing Simplicity community on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

6 Simple Ways to Create an Intentional Advent


6 Simple Ways to Create an Intentional Advent-www.nourishingsimplicity.org

Thanksgiving has passed and the Advent season has begun. It is a season of waiting, preparing, and anticipation.

Advent is one of my favourite times of year a we celebrate the coming of our Savoir. We spend the short days of winter in the dark anticipating the coming light of Jesus. We are reminded of the darkness of our sin and the light that salvation brings.

Advent seems to be a lost tradition on many who grew up in non-liturgical churches. Though I did not grow up in a liturgical church it has been a tradition carried on from my maternal grandparents passed onto my mom, and now myself.

Intentional celebration does not mean adding all you can to your month. Often it means simplifying and cutting back. Over the years, I have found 6 simple ways to create an intentional Advent that I would like to share with you.

1. Light an Advent Wreath

Advent wreaths are simple, yet meaningful addition to our celebration. For many families it lighting the candles each Sunday. Others, myself included light the week’s candle each night. A popular theme is hope, love, joy and peace.

I attempted to color my own soy wax candles with crayons. You can see my “failure” on Instagram. Next year I may buy these bee’s wax candles, or even buy a DYI kit to roll my own.

2. Go Light on the Decorations

Have grace on yourself, your house does not be decorated from head to toe. Choose decorations that reflect the spirit you want to show. In all honesty for years I was not able to have a tree most years so my Advent wreath and nativity were the focus of my decorations.

3. Read an Advent Devotional

There are so many wonderful devotionals that focus on the why of celebrating.

For years, my girls in Mexico and I read through Ann Voskamp’s “Jesse Tree” devotional. She converted it into a beautiful full cover hardback called, “Unwraping the Greatest Gift“. Every day we added a new ornament to our tiny tree and read a devotion that wove the story of salvation from Creation to Jesus’ birth. You can make your own “Jesse Tree”  and ornaments like we did.

This year I am going through two. I have one on my Kindle, “Unwrapping the Names of Jesus” by Asheritah Ciuciu from One Thing Alone. (Right now she has an Advent Bundle Giveaway going on!) What better way to prepare our hearts for Christmas than focusing on who Jesus is and why each name is a part of who he is?

My second devotional is Ann Voskamp’s, “The Greatest Gift”. I’ve had to keep myself from diving into it too soon!

6 Simple Ways to Create an Intentional Advent-www.nourishingsimplicity.org

4. Carefully Choose What Events to Attend

As it gets closer to Christmas the invites and activities we can participate in pile up. Trying to go to every.single.one can get weary and take away from family time. Just because it’s a good thing does not mean we have to do it. Give yourself a break a pick just a few. It makes the season more relaxed and allows you to more fully enjoy the things you do participate in.

5. Create an Advent Play List

I love listening to Christmas music, I am definitely guilty of listening to some of it year round. (Jesus wasn’t born this time of year so why not listen to it in the spring?) As much as I enjoy Bing Crosby and bit of Jingle Bells I have come to crave the songs that focus on Jesus himself.

This year I have been working on an “Advent Playlist”. I am looking forward to celebrating Advent with songs of waiting and anticipation. Songs that remind us that we were once in darkness and now are in the light because of Jesus. (Maybe if I’m on top of my game I can put it up on Spotify in a few days for you.)

I am planning on saving more of the music focused on Christ’s birth for closer to Christmas, that way I can enjoy it through Epiphany as well. I enjoy celebrating all 12 day of Christmas and ending with a Rosca de Reys (Mexican 3 Kings Cake).

6. Keep an Advent Calander

Advent calendars are a fun way to count down the days till Christmas. Traditionally they go from December 1st through Christmas Day. The calendar I grew up with was a cloth one where a little bear moved from room to room in a house.

The calendar I created for my girls in Mexico was a long string with muslin bags attached. Each day had a different activity ranging from drinking hot cocoa to doing an act of kindness for someone.

 How do you create an intentional Advent?

The Best Deals to Nourish Your Family and Beautify Your Life


The Best Deals to Nourish Your Family and Beautify Your Life-www.nourishingsimplicity.org

I’ll be honest I’ve never been much of a Black Friday gal. I went in high school but went sought refuge with a best friend in a book store after a couple hours till our moms were done. These days I still head out for a few hours on Friday with the same friend and our moms but we but jeans, maybe a gift or two, and then go to lunch.

I’m not a fan of the crowds but I  am a fan of a good deal on something I know that will be of good use be of benifit to my family and I. That’s why I am excited to share what I think are the best deals to nourish your family and beautify your home!

Lilla Rose

Lilla Rose Black Friday

Flexi Clips are about the only thing I have used in my hair for five years. They are beautiful, sturdy, and a fun accessory. They are a game changer when it comes to hair for me. I use them to dress up my everyday look and even as a bride’s maid! Don’t forget the bobby pins, headbands, and badge clips!

Bulk Herb Store

Bulk Herb Store- www.nourishingsimplicity.org

Bulk Herb Store  has been my go to one stop shop for herbs since 2008! They are a wonderful company to write for and shop from.

United Environmental Solutions

UES Water

Untied Enviornmental Solutions has the top selection for water filters and emergency relief food. My Berkey is one of my most used “appliances”. My parents love their whole house filter!

Products to Look for: 

25% off Crown Berkeys
25% off Berkey Accessories with the purchase of a Crown Berkey
15% off Berkey Accessories
25% off all ProPur Products
25% off all Relief Food Products
Whole House Fillter $1750 (over $1,000 off!)

These deal are good from November 26th- December 4th.



I really like all my Lexie:Naturals products! Ever since I received my freebie from the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle in the early fall I have not been able to get enough of their products. These cute soaps would make perfect stocking stuffers or simply be fun to use for yourself!

Fall Soaps and Sunsticks are 20% off and Gift Sets are 33% off.

I 100% love the simple ingredient lists for these products, they are just how I would make them myself!

These prices are good through Sunday the 28th.

 Intoxicated on Life Books


I am a huge fan of Intoxicated on Life’s books. Don’t miss out on their free Christmas devotional!

Real Food Spiced Cranberry Sauce

Real Food Spiced Cranberry Sauce- www.nourishingsimplicity.org

Cranberry sauce, the perfect balance of sweet, spicy, and tart. What Thanksgiving meal is complete without a bowl this jewel-colored fruit sauce?

I’ll be honest I avoided cranberry sauce as a kid. Many people have a strong aversion to the underappreciated condiment. Sadly I think that is because, for many people, myself included our only experience with the sauce is the thick jelly like disk sliced from the can. (Now if you have sentimental ties to the can, no offence intended.)

In my late 20s I finally decided it was time to give cranberry sauce another try. What a surprise I was in for when I made my first batch at home. It was delightful! This real food spiced cranberry sauce has been my go-to recipe ever since.

Real Food Spiced Cranberry Sauce-www.nourishingsimplicity.org

People often get intimidated when they think of making their own cranberry sauce when really it is one if the easiest if not the easiest dish out of all the traditional Thanksgiving dishes to prepare!

This real food spiced cranberry sauce is full of fresh organic cranberries, unrefined sugar, orange juice, and a touch of cinnamon and ginger. It is a lot of sugar, but it balances out the tart cranberries without being cloyingly sweet. Plus it’s the holidays, it’s okay to have a few compromises.

Other Thanksgiving Recipes:

Real Food Spiced Cranberry Sauce

Makes 1-quart

6 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup orange juice
1 cup water
1 cup unrefined sugar
1 tsp orange zest
1 tsp powdered cinnamon
1/2 tsp powdered ginger

1. Add everything to a medium sized sauce pot. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

2.Reduce the heat and cover, cook for 15 minutes, stirring every couple minutes.

3. The sauce should last in the fridge for at least a month.

Spiced Real Food Cranberry Sauce
Serves: 1 quart
Cranberry sauce, the perfect balance of sweet, spicy, and tart. What Thanksgiving meal is complete without a bowl this jewel-colored fruit sauce? This real food spiced cranberry sauce is full of fresh and seasonal ingredients!
  • 6 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup unrefined sugar
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp powdered cinnamon
  • ½ tsp powdered ginger
  1. Add everything to a medium sized sauce pot. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
  2. Reduce the heat and cover, cook for 15 minutes, stirring every couple minutes.
  3. The sauce should last in the fridge for at least a month.

What is your favourite Thanksgiving food?

My Favourite Things

Anne of Green Gables Quote-www.nourishingsimplicity.org

It’s that a lovely outlook to start each day with? Every day we are given a fresh slate to start again. What a blessing it is! Naturally mistakes with come because we are only human but I am thankful that God lets us start each day fresh.

I have missed sharing my favourite things over the past few months, so I am glad to be here with you again this pleasant autumn Sunday.

Favourite Reads

20 Moms Share How They Managed Labor without an Epidural @ Richly Rooted

I am a sucker for birth stories. Natural births are even more dear to my heart which I am sure plays into why I want to become a doula.

3 Tips for Sharing Food with Others (Even When Life is Crazy) @ The Nourishing Gourmet

These tips really hit home. I have been on the giving and receiving side many times. I am grateful for these tips since I am signed up for taking meals to friends with new babies soon!

47 DIY Gifts for the Essential Oil Lover @ Simple Life Abundant Life

Some of these may end up being given to my friends and family this year!

Hosting Thanksgiving? Here’s What to do in the Next Week @ Hillary Bernstein 

Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? Hillary has the tips you need to keep things running smoothly. I’m not hosting, but I am going to tuck them away for when I do. Instead, I will be making cranberry sauce and my favourite stuffing.

 Favourite Moments

  My Favourite Things- www.nourishingsimplicity.org

Apple Hill is one of my favourite places to visit in the fall, I missed it all the years I lived in Mexico. I have gone twice this year! Last week I was able to go with my friend Michelle of LadyM’s Distractions and a couple other friends. If you live somewhat near Placerville, CA, it is worth the drive! I can’t wait to start making apple sauce, apple butter, and apple cider with all the apples I bought but really there is nothing like a fresh, crisp apple.

Favourite Finds

iSi Whip Cream Disperser 

I have this same model, it was my birthday gift to myself on my “Golden Birthday”. It’s not a must for the kitchen but it is fun, plus it keeps cream fresh longer.

Essential Oil Diffuser

I have this defuser going anytime I am at my desk or asleep at night. There are so many blends you can create or single oils you can use for respiratory issues, to soothe, or to add a bit of holiday smell to the house without using toxic fragances.

What are some of your favourite reads, finds, or moments from this past week?



Chai Hot Cocoa

Chai Hot Cocoa- www.nourishingsimplicity.org

Love hot cocoa and chai?

Now you can have the best of both worlds — when the two are married in a cup!

As the weather cools, I love to wrap my hands around a mug of a tea, coffee, or hot cocoa. Sometimes I enjoy all three in a day — no judging right?

This chai hot cocoa has been my hot drink of choice lately. You can learn to make it at Traditional Cooking School.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...