Thursday, January 29, 2015

Top 10 Inexpensive Valentine Ideas

About this time every year the Mr. and I start tossing around ideas for Valentines Day.
Getaway?
Gift?
Price-range?
Experience?
Dressy or Casual?

We've taken time to celebrate every year, but it's varied in the details.  Some years we've had zero money (Anyone remember the Ugly Valentines Mug?) but it's still been important to stop and do something to acknowledge our love and celebrate what God has given us.  For anyone who thinks you have to spend a lot of money to make this day special, I'm ready to challenge you today!  Some of our favorites dates on Valentines Day or any day has been absolutely free.  Today are my top 10 cheap ways to show your love this year…

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The answer is g. Grace.

"All the humans you encounter throughout the course of the day are “on purpose” people. God plopped them into your life for a reason.
These souls—whether they are of the easy-to-love variety or the scratchy sandpaper kind—can be used by God to mold, reshape, and sometimes stretch our souls as he perpetually crafts us into creations who are becoming more and more like his Son.
Our people are watching, sizing up how we behave. What will they see? Stirred-up strife—or lovingly covered offenses? Words that incite spats and squabbles? Or speech that soothes and heals?

You choose.
Pssst.… The correct answer is “g.” 
Grace."
-Karen Ehman

Linking up with:  The Homemaking Party

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tasty Tuesday Baked Red Velvet Donuts & Recipe Link Up

Hi friends and welcome to another Tasty Tuesday!  I'm so glad you're here!

Spoiling my man is one of my favorite things ever for 3 reasons:
1.)  I'm still crazy about him.
2.) When he gets happy or excited about something, the world knows it-he's intense.  So fun.
3.)  He is the easiest to please-it does not take much.

So simple things like surprising him with a special sweet treat when he wakes up is just the best.  These red velvet donuts are perfect for a special but easy Valentines Day treat for your loved one-or yourself!!  


Here's what you'll need:

1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon red food coloring
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda



Simply mix all the ingredients together.  I find it easiest to stir together the dry then add in everything else, but it's not a must.  It will be smooth and beautifully bright red!


Next take your donut pan and spray the heck out of it with cooking spray.  Then take a Ziploc bag and cut a tiny hole in one of the bottom corners and pour in your batter.  Use this to fill the donut pan about 1/2 way to 3/4 full.  It will look neon and fluorescent against the donut pan.  Don't worry you won't start glowing when you eat these.

Pop these into a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.  If you are using a mini donut pan then bake for about 5-7 minutes.

When they come out of the oven begin devouring them hot just like they are.  You could also sprinkle some powdered sugar on top, make a cream cheese frosting, or make a simple powdered sugar glaze and then devour them...

If you're feeling really fancy drizzle some delicious thick chocolate on top.  
Yes please!

Printable Recipe here!


Now on to the party!  This week's features were…





If you were featured feel free to grab a featured button here:


Or the regular party button here:










Monday, January 26, 2015

Fake Grapes & Kindness

Did anyone else grow up with those fake decorative grapes laying around?  



Bless my mother's heart she must have found them on clearance with a minimum purchase of 20 sets because those things were everywhere when I was little.  
My 4 year old mind was confused to say the least.  Especially when she handed me real grapes to snack on.
Huh?  Are these the same ones that have been on the table for years mom?

The other day I was helping my mom do some cleaning out and organizing and we came across those darn grapes.  We died laughing over the insane amount of them and what she was thinking?  

There's one difference between a fake grape and a real grape.  What's inside of it.

A real grape is full of juicy sweetness, a fake grape is full of…well I'm not sure?  Plastic?  Whatever it is it isn't what grapes are supposed to be full of, I know that much.  

And unfortunately the only ways to find out which is real or not is to squeeze it, bite it, put the pressure on.  You'll know quickly if it's real or not.  A bad experience with someone popping a handful of fake grapes in their mouth only to have a mouth full of plastic can turn someone off from the fruit all together.  Best not to risk it again.

The same is true with us as Christians.  

We are called to a higher standard, a higher calling-
You will know them by their fruits. (Matthew 7:15)
Refresher on that fruit-
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Against such things there is no such law.  
(Galatians 5:22-23)

Just like the way to determine the fake grapes from the real grapes is to put the pressure on them is the way the world will find out how true we are in our beliefs, how real our Jesus is and whether or not He really makes a difference.  If we respond in the negative way of our unruly flesh that leaves people with a bad taste of plastic in their mouths they will have no desire to meet the God who saved our lives.  That's the harsh reality and the weighty responsibility we have.  

So if you stumble upon my purse and find a small fake grape in my purse, you'll know I just really need the reminder.  Let's do the hard thing.  Be Jesus with skin on to our part of the world we see everyday.  He is real.  He does make every difference in the world.  It's up to us to show them.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Scripture Sunday


Friday, January 23, 2015

Flashback Friday


Hi friends and welcome to another Flashback Friday!  I'm so glad you're here!  Be sure to link up as many old posts as you'd like and browse everyone else's as well!  
Happy Weekend!  





Wednesday, January 21, 2015

DIY How to Organize Sermon Notes


I have been so richly blessed to sit under the teachings of some incredible Godly preachers.  Personally I'm not one who can just soak up that wisdom, I have to take notes feverishly and then mull over them later.  So here's how the system usually goes…

The notes go into my Bible.  After while of this I can't turn the pages without notes falling out and I get so annoyed that I yank all of them out.
So after that I stuff them all into my bag that I keep all of my Bible study materials in.
Eventually I begin to leave a trail of papers wherever I go and I end up with clusters of random piles around our house.  Clutter, clutter, clutter.  

I cannot tell you how many times I have almost gotten so frustrated I've just thrown all of them away.

I started thinking there must be some kind of "system".  So I took to Pinterest like the next gal and searched my heart out.  Much to my surprise-I found nothing.  I even took to Google.  Even the 2nd and 3rd pages of Google (real research is anything past the 1st page, right?).  Still nothing.  So I knew I had to figure it out without the internet's help on this one.  I finally have a system that really works for us and I'm so excited to share it with you!  Make sure that you make it however works best for you and what makes the most sense for you and your family!  Here's what works of us...

Begin with 3 plastic shoebox size containers…
Then I labeled each container, breaking it down into 3 categories:
Old Testament
New Testament
Topics

Then I measured the inside width and height of the containers and cut a piece of cardboard to fit.  For the width I went exactly or even ever so slightly larger (for a snugger fit) and for the height I went about an inch higher so the tops showed above the container.  The first one was the hardest, after I had the perfect size I just traced and cut.  (Hello perfect remedy for all those leftover Amazon boxes from Christmas.)
Don't worry if it's ugly or has writing on it.  We're going to cover it.

Next I took a piece of card stock to fit the front of the cardboard piece.  Then I wrote the Book name on the top of the card and attached it to the cardboard.  I used double sided tape but feel free to use any kind of adhesive you have on hand.

Finally simply put the dividers in order.

I did the same thing with the "Topics" box.  A few of the topics I chose…

So now on to organizing the sermon notes.  I look to see what, if any there is a main scripture.  Then I simply fold the paper to fit the container, making sure to keep the title/date visible.

Sometimes I will come across a sermon note that I really want in both the scripture containers (Old Testament & New Testament) and the Topic container.  So here I've decided to simply  put them in the Bible reference and make a note  in the "topic" category with where it's found and the date to quickly look it up.  For example:  For the "note" above I would file it behind the Romans divider.  I would file the note below to coordinate it by putting it in the category-God's Attributes

I so hope this has helped you as much as it has helped us!  I love having this rich storage of wisdom that I can easily reference at any time.  If I'm struggling with an issue or diving in further with a scripture I can easily go to these boxes at any time to see if I've ever heard a sermon address it.  I keep these boxes on a shelf on our office bookshelf for easy access.  Happy organizing friend!