Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Years' Resolutions

Do you want to be a better wife, mother, and/or woman?  Do you want to tackle the clutter in your home this year? Do you want to be wise in your spending in 2012? Do you want to find maximum joy in the daily tasks of mothering and housekeeping?  

I love the potential of a new year.  Even though many resolutions fall by the wayside, the optimist in me, savors the possibilities.   

My resolutions for 2012 revolve around being the Proverbs 31 woman that God has created me to be.  
Which is why I was so excited to get Courtney's ebook, from WomenLivingWell, on the Proverbs 31 woman!

You can get it too, by simply liking her Facebook page. 
 I've been reading it as my "Winter Break Bible study".
Click on the picture to get your FREE copy!
I highly recommend that you go get your copy and start 2012 off right!

Blessings to you,

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Are you having guests over for New Year's? We are and I'm so excited!   A fun thing we did as a family last year was this picture.  I plan on setting up a "photo booth" for my guests this year where they can can take a 2012 picture of their own.

I cut the largest numbers I could with my Cricut.  I think they were 12 inches.   We will take the pictures first thing in the evening and print them out before the night is over.  I'm getting frames from the dollar store to put them in.  What a great favor on the cheap!  Even if you're not having guests, this is a great way to make a memory with your family!

Happy New Year,

Monday, December 19, 2011

This year...

Christmas is days away.  And the craziness is being kicked up a notch as I type.  The crying, moaning, and complaining about how we wish things would slow down this year, is also in full swing right about now.  We hope to be able to enjoy Christmas this year. We just want to focus on the true meaning of Christmas this year, and let the other stuff take its rightful place- in the back seat.   We want our kids to understand that Christmas is not about the gifts, parties, and Santa.  This year, maybe they'll get it.  But how can we really accomplish this?  We give the same lip service each year.  And as each year passes, our children get older, and our opportunity to really instill why we celebrate -is passing us by.

Well, I have good news for you! This year is the year!  Christmas is on Sunday in 2011.  What better way to live what we've been longing for, than to be at church on Christmas morning worshipping the One we say we're celebrating.  Sure- we could be at church on the 22nd, 23rd, or 24th and check church off our list.
But then, what are we really teaching our children? What are we showing our lost neighbors about why we, Christians are really celebrating?  You know the old saying, "Actions speak louder than words".

What's that, you say? "But if we have to go to church on Sunday morning, Christmas morning, how can we fit in Christmas breakfast? We won't have time to open all of our gifts. How will I get Christmas dinner in the oven?"
Wait, why is it that we celebrate Christmas?  The food? The gifts?  The family time?  No, No, and No.  Not that any of these things are bad-in fact they're all good and special things.  But, we celebrate because Jesus left heaven and came to earth as a baby for us-to save a lost world.

This year, in a small way, we can live it, and make Jesus our priority.
I challenge you to inconvenience yourself.
*Plan breakfast ahead-make an overnight casserole.
*Get up earlier and open a few gifts and let the kids enjoy their stockings.  Save the rest for after church.  We complain anyway that we shop for weeks and the gifts are all opened in minutes and it's over.
*Work a little smarter on Christmas Eve and have the table set and all the side dishes made to lessen the burden on Christmas Day.

You CAN make it happen, if He's your priority.

Joshua 24:15 .... As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.

Christmas Blessings to you,

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Creative Gift Idea

I like giving gift cards, but I always feel like I skimped in the "thoughtfulness department" when I give them.  So, I love to add a cute, thoughtful touch when I can to the gift card.
I saw this adorable snowman idea on Pinterest (where else?).  When I came across a snowman gift card at Target I knew what I had to do!

I'm not going to kid you, "gluing" those mini chocolate chips on for the mouth and nose was tedious.  A snowman head was harmed in the making of this treat.  But if you're only making a couple for gifts, it's well worth it.  Of course, I'm a little crazy, and I'm going to make 24 of these guys for Holly's class Christmas breakfast on Wednesday. SMH.  The good news is that the gumball buttons, candy corn nose, and fruit roll-up scarf were super easy to put on.

Christmas Blessings to you,

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Quick and Easy Gift Idea

Looking for a great teacher, neighbor, Sunday School teacher, or friend gift idea?
Here's one anyone would love.  

Grab a Subway giftcard in a denomination that fits your budget.  Even a $5 card is enough from Subway. Make sure you get one of the Subway bags for cute packaging.  I put some yellow shredded paper grass inside. Write or type up the label that says "There's no 'sub'-stitute for you!".  Put the gift card in the bag and bless someone special to you!

Christmas Blessings to you,

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sisters' Cookie Swap

It's time for my annual Sisters' Cookie Swap.  I have to be honest, I love this cookie swap.  But it has nothing to do with the cookies!  I just the love the process of planning, shopping, preparing and entertaining!  This process is just one way that I am able to savor and enjoy the Christmas season.  So here's a peek into my Cookie Swap!

I love trying new appetizer recipes.  For about a month before the swap I start collecting ideas for appetizers.  The nice thing about a cookie swap is you don't have to prepare any desserts since your guests bring all the desserts!
Brie Bites (Super simple-crescent rolls in a mini muffin pan.  Add little chunks of brie, a 1/2 tsp. of brown sugar and a few dried cranberries.  Bake till golden brown. Yummy)

Bruschetta-I put the servings of the bruschetta in individual cups.  Love this!

I also divided a 7 layer dip in individual cups-I layered each cup with refried beans, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, cheese, tomatoes and black olives. (That's 7, right?)

These were delish! A Paula Deen recipe, of course!

The turkey cranberry pinwheels are Pillsbury recipe.  Love Pillsbury's holiday recipes!

Fun hot chocolate bar!
Toppings included peppermint marshmallows, mini marshmallows, chocolate sprinkles, crushed candy canes, and homemade whipped cream.

Some other random pics:

And the stars of the night-the Cookies!

I hope you can find what ever it is that helps you savor and cherish this Christmas season-whether it's entertaining, baking, or spending time with family or friends-and embrace it!  Christmas is a time to embrace the joy of the Lord!

 Psalm 126:3 The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.

Blessings to you,

I'm linking here:

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Easiest Christmas Cookies Ever

I went to a cookie exchange tonight-one of my favorite Christmas festivities!
I made cookies last night and THEY.WERE.AWFUL.
They looked pretty, so I toyed with the idea of bringing them and trying to pass them off as good.  But I couldn't do it.  When I got home from work, with one hour before the exchange, I decided to make the required FIVE DOZEN cookies.  Ca-razee.  But I pulled it off!  They were festive looking and yummy.  So, if you need a quick holiday cookie on the fly, here's your recipe!  Brace yourself-it's ridiculously simple.

Buy this packaged cookie mix:

Bake according to package directions.
Then as soon as they come out of the oven, put one of these Hershey kisses in the center of the cookie.

Let cool and dust with powdered sugar.

Wa-laa! Christmas cookies!

Christmas Blessings,


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