{SQT} Snow, Crazy Lent Plans And Nose Clips

Back for another random edition of what I did when I wasn’t here… no wait, that would just be seven takes of me carrying the boys around, cooking food no one will eat and trying to hide upstairs in my bedroom while everyone screams downstairs.

seven quick takes friday 2

1. Last Friday night and all through Saturday we were deluged with snow like the rest of the East Coast. The snow fell all day Saturday with howling winds. By Sunday we were buried under at least 20 inches and a plow had nary touched our road. We used the weekend to bake, eat fondue, make snow cream, mix hot toddys, read, and clog the mud-room with snow pants, boots and 395 mismatched socks and gloves.


A photo posted by Kelly Mantoan (@kellymantoan) on

A photo posted by Kelly Mantoan (@kellymantoan) on

2. Between Christmas, our recent weekend food extravaganza (and a recently developed love of mug cakes), I’m actually looking forward to Lent. There’s something about this season of penance that makes it easier to give up junk food. While I’m not doing another Whole30, I am creating a very complex Lenten fast based on the writings of St. Hildegard of Bingen. I received this cookbook for Christmas and I’m completely taken with the idea of trying to eat like a 12th century Germanic nun for 40 days. My husband is also game, so this year we’ll eat a balanced diet (as in the four humors) free of all modern food, or kill each other trying. I’m still in the research process, but don’t worry, this medieval history buff won’t spare you any fascinating details! For example, did you know a paste of unicorn liver will cure leprosy?? You can only imagine how much crazier things are going to get around here!

3. What are you doing February 20th? How about you hygge with 21 great Catholic speakers? Don’t worry, you don’t need to get out of your PJs and fix a cheese plate; they’re coming to you through the web thanks to the Catholic Conference 4 Moms. Or, if you want an excuse to get out and mingle (hola extroverts!), see if there’s a conference organized at a parish near you on the interactive map!  For the price of a paperback you receive access to the live event, plus all the talks (available as HD videos) and podcast downloads to enjoy throughout Lent. Don’t forget the virtual swag bag containing coupons, downloads, ebooks, and more.  Your spouse will never let you travel to as many conferences as it would take to hear this amount of speakers otherwise! Take advantage of a one stop shop you can refer to time and time again throughout Lent. And because I love you, and want what’s best for you, use coupon code ‘Lyceum’ for a discount.

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4. I know winter can bring on a nasty case of writers block or a creative slump. It’s not uncommon for me to start March with a blogging drought so dry I need to slather coconut oil on my keyboard just to reply to a comment.

But just as hard for me to tackle is a huge flood of ideas. Free time is a luxury around here, especially since we enrolled the older kids in some new activities. Now I’m driving around a couple more afternoons and evenings that I used to have free. Between schooling, chauffeuring, tending to the boys and generally keeping the house from filling with filth, I’m lucky to post twice a week. Having a back log of ideas frustrates me to no end. I want to write and do them all NOW! Not all this other stuff related to my vocation! grump, grump, grump Now someone remind me of this in March when I’m posting all whiney, “I suck at writing” posts.

5. Combining my lack of time with ideas AND desire to speak more, I’ve decided to offer and promote virtual workshops. I saw the idea over at The Wired Homeschooler. John offers talks to small groups via Skype or a Google Hangout. It’s perfect for organizations who can’t afford a $500 speaker plus expenses, and it’s easier for me because, while I love traveling, it can be hard to do frequently given the needs of my family. A virtual workshop allows me to give a talk and then answer questions with a small group. If you have a mom’s group or homeschooling organization or other assorted gaggle of people, I’d love to chat with you! I’ve got the rest of the details on my Speaking page.

6. I’ve also updated my Menu bar with a new ‘Start Here’ page and the promised and eagerly anticipated (ha!) ‘Resources’ page. Now it’s easier for new readers to find my most popular posts and for all my readers to find more information about the books, businesses and websites I highly recommend.

7. Just when I thought I wouldn’t have a seventh take to share, Groupon popped up in my inbox with this gem. You’re welcome.


I don’t know what’s more surprising; that they originally retailed for $49.99 or that more than 170 have been purchased. I commend Dr. Rogo on managing to convince so many people to buy this glorified chip clip.

What good stuff filled your inbox this week? Write it down, then link it up! Be sure to include a link back to this post so your readers can find the rest of the Quick Takes. I look forward to reading your posts!


  1. So this conference….I want to make sure I understand this correctly….can we watch the talks any time we want? Not just live? Because, even at home, my ability to sit and watch and actually *hear* with the kids around will be limited to ten minutes….if I throw them out back and lock the door, bwahaha!

    1. You get access to all the talks through out Lent. Not sure after that.
      And believe me, I feel your pain! Even with weeks of access I can be pressed to enjoy it all, but when I figure how many speakers I can hear in one day at a conference plus the cost, it’s still a good deal for me even if I miss a few.

  2. As a fan of all things medieval, I hope you post a meal-by-meal account of your Hildegard of Bingen diet. I did daily prenatal yoga to her music this past year – it was one of the main things that kept me sane during a crazy time.

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