Whitney Hsu

Whitney is a wife, mama of three, worship leader, extrovert, and writer. She also loves reading, running, music, community, mountains, and Jesus. Oh, and list-making.

8 Guilt-Free After-School Snacks For Your Littles

If your kids are like mine, they come home from school hungry! I’ve been working a lot on packing healthy lunches for them, and consequently on providing healthy after-school snacks for when they get home. If you’re out of after-school snack ideas, here are a few oldies (but goodies!) and a few new ideas for you to try with your kids! Variations of “ants on a log.” I bet we can all remember having a celery stalk with peanut butter and raisins, but you can also halve a thick carrot and add the toppings the same way! Try a different kind of nut butter (or sun butter) for a new flavor, add honey if your sweetie likes sweets, and if your kids […]

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How to Go Gluten-Free (Without Hating It)

How to Go Gluten Free (Without Hating It)

I’ve gone gluten-free for several periods of time over the past few years, and even now, I’m a little gluten-less-than-usual. And guess what? It’s not as hard (or as miserable) as you might think. Yes, you make concessions. Yes, there are foods that you will probably miss. But depending on the reason you’re going gluten-free (allergens, weight loss, or to support a family member who has to make that choice), you might be surprised at how successful and even happy you can be while you’re off gluten. Here are a few suggestions to help you along in the process: 1. Don’t feel like you can’t eat bread. Or pasta. Or whatever your glutenous pleasure is. There are plenty of gluten-free options for bread,

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Why It’s No Good to Keep Score in Your Marriage

Why It’s No Good to Keep Score in Your Marriage

My husband has one big rule for our marriage. Babe, if you’re reading this, I know you’d say it’s not a rule—perhaps more of a guideline. But for me, it’s a rule. If I don’t follow it, I go down an extremely unhealthy path, and I know it. So here’s the best “rule” or “guideline” I’ve ever heard for a husband-wife relationship: don’t keep score. No healthy relationship is seen as a game. The only reason you’d keep score is if it’s a game of some sort, and if you’re serious about it, you’d better not call it a game. Right? You might follow up with the fact that keeping a record of rights or wrongs is just not a good idea.

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10 Chores Your Young Kids Can (and Should) Do

10 Chores Your Young Kids Can (and Should) Do

One of the things I’ve tried to establish early on in my parenting is my desire to raise responsible children who contribute to their community (be it their family, classroom, society, etc.). In our culture, this can be difficult. They’re busy, they want to watch TV, or they’re used to being told: “You’re too young to do that.” But I’ve found a few things that my kids can and should be doing to contribute to the housework load. Here are 10 chores most children can do around the home: 1. Help unload the dishwasher. My kids do their plastic dishes, their cups/bottles/all those parts, and all the silverware (not including sharp knives). I just ask whichever of them is around when I need

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5 Books We’re Reading Right Now and Think You’ll Love

It’s hard to find time to read, but it’s something I enjoy and try to prioritize. I’m assuming I’m not the only one in this boat, so here are five books I’ve loved recently to get you headed in the right direction! 1. The Book of Lost and Found by Lucy Foley What a beautiful, beautiful story this was! I grabbed it off the employee’s picks table at Barnes & Noble, and I read it in less than two days. It’s the story of a woman whose mother was adopted, searching for her family history, not knowing what (and how much) she’d find. I loved the artistic influences imbedded within the story as well. 2. Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

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5 Faith-Based Podcasts for Women That Will Refresh You

I have a confession to make. I’m a podcast junkie. Or as much as I can be as the mom of three young kids. I don’t have much alone time, ya know? But when I’m cooking, folding laundry, running, or driving without the kids, it’s what I’m doing: catching up on my podcasts. Here are my 5 favorite faith-based podcasts: 1. That Sounds Fun with Annie F. Downs This is my absolute favorite podcast. As Annie says, she likes to have her friends become friends with her friends, so she has awesome people on each show as her guest. I laugh out loud, and sometimes I cry, too. But I always enjoy that hour of my day! (This one isn’t just for women—guys would

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What Do You Think of When You Hear “Worship”?

Worship. What does that word call to mind when you hear it? The songs that you sing at your church on Sundays? An organ and a choir, donned in jewel-colored robes? Your friend playing an instrument in the praise band? Perhaps you attach the word worship to the entire service on Sunday morning. Or maybe it’s something more. Worship can actually be something we do day in and day out. It can be a heart posture. It can be an offering of praise. There is corporate worship: what we do when we are gathered together, in God’s name, singing, praying, reading/hearing Scripture, listening to God’s Word taught by a preacher, and taking communion. There is also personal worship—and it’s much more vague, or all-inclusive, depending on

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10 Family Outings That Are Cheap and Fun

10 Family Outings That Are Cheap and Fun

Summer is here and you might be looking for some fun, inexpensive ways to keep your family entertained. There are probably some activities in your town, or nearby, that you haven’t thought to try before! Try out some of these ideas for some summer fun that won’t cost a fortune! 1. Go to a farmers market. We have several farmers markets within half an hour of our home, and we love visiting them! It’s a great reason to get out of the house, and you can decide how much money to spend. You can enjoy a nice walk around, checking out the goods, even if you don’t want to buy anything. But I’ve often found that I can get some of the groceries I

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what to expect from the 4th trimester

What to Expect in the 4th Trimester

When a pregnant woman asks for advice about what to do when the baby arrives, she’s usually greeted with hundreds of different responses from different women (and men!). However, somehow she still won’t have a fair idea of what’s to come. The first couple of months after a baby’s born are often referred to as the “fourth trimester,” because life outside the womb takes a while to get used to. Here are a few things to expect during your own fourth trimester: 1. You won’t sleep—much. There’s a lot of sleeping for the baby during the fourth trimester, but not a lot of sleep for Mom, or probably Dad either. Newborns often have their days and nights mixed up, or else no concept of them

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practical mom advice for breastfeeding and formula

Practical Mom Advice on Breastfeeding and Formula

Being a mother may seem like the most basic thing a woman can do. Because women’s bodies are designed to be able to carry a human life, it may seem like nourishing them would be easy and natural. The assumption is that breastfeeding is easy, and that it’s possible for everyone. Well, that’s just not true. Some women can’t get pregnant, or can’t carry a child. Some women have very difficult pregnancies. And the same is true for breastfeeding. It’s not always for every mother and child. Now, the generally understood medical opinion is that “breast is best” and hippie mamas everywhere will shout it from the mountaintops. However, there are many factors that I urge you to think through before you feel pushed—and dare I say it,

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making time for self care even as a mom

How I Find Time for Me (Even As a Mom)

Self-care is becoming a buzzword in our society. As we are able to work from home (or anywhere), connect with hundreds of people at the touch of a button, and multitask like true professionals … but we’re only getting busier. The call to slow down and take care of yourself is simultaneously getting louder and more difficult to heed. As a SAHM mother of three children under five, who also works part-time, finding time for myself is often not at the top of my to-do list. But I’ve also realized that I’m a better wife and mother if I have a little time to myself. It looks different each day, and I spend it differently each time. Here are a few things I

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5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Nutrition

5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Nutrition

If you want to eat healthier but you aren’t sure where to start, here are some suggestions for you! I’ve learned these on my own, from family members (especially my hubby), and from other healthy friends who have walked alongside me on my health journey. I hope these are helpful to you! 1. Get to the grocery store. This is where it all starts. Getting more groceries and ordering less take out is often the first step in getting and staying healthy. When you go to the grocery store, the best way to shop is for ingredients, not finished products. Processed foods (things that are pre-made, like freezer meals, boxed meals, etc.) have more preservatives and added ingredients that you don’t need, and aren’t

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10 Tips for Soon-to-Be Moms

10 Tips for Soon-to-Be Moms

I’ve had a few friends who are expecting their first baby ask for a little advice on how to prepare for the bundle of joy. So here are a few things that I figured out or know because a wise woman told me so. 1. Nursery Placement and Planning. When placing your nursery furniture, it’s important to make it look nice. It’s also important to make it convenient for you to use each of the pieces in the room. For instance, when you wake up to the cry of your newborn at 3:00am, walk in the nursery, and immediately smell something … terrible … you know that you’re gonna need to change a diaper, and probably clothes, blankets, and maybe sheets. You

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9 Things I Miss About Being Single

It seems I should start this off with a disclaimer: I’m a happily married woman. Now that I’ve told you that, I can tell you the rest. There are some things that I miss about my days being single. Most of those don’t have to do with guys or dating or anything, but just about who I was during that time and how I was able to live. Being in a healthy relationship certainly has many perks, but every once in a while, I pine for pure alone time, less responsibility, and a different lifestyle. Here are some of the things I miss about being single: 1. Only being responsible for myself. I mean that in the best way, but I’m serious. I

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