Saturday, December 28, 2013

Winner For "A Few Of My Favorite Things" Giveaway

Hey there my friends! I had to post the announcement early today because I remembered I wasn't going to be able to post at 1 o'clock since I wasn't going to be home. So, let's get to it!

The winner is.....(drum roll, please)

Congratulations Veronica! Please contact me within the next 48 hours so I can get all your shipping information and get your package sent out to you. Thank you to everyone who entered and thank you to all my loyal bloggy friends for reading my blog. I wish you all a very blessed and prosperous New Year!!! Until next time my friends, be blessed!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Have you entered "A Few Of My Favorite Things" Giveaway?

Hey there my friends! I hope you've had a chance to get entered in the giveaway I'm having! If not, why not? It's really easy to enter! Be sure to enter before next Friday, the 27th. Don't forget, you must be signed up to follow my blog to be able to enter, and then just leave me a comment telling me what some of your favorite things are.

There are three ways you can follow my blog. You can sign up to follow me through Blogger, NetworkedBlogs, or through email. All of these are found on the right hand side under my picture. Scroll down below this post to see all the details about the "A Few Of My Favorite Things" Giveaway! Good luck!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

"A Few of My Favorite Things" Giveaway!

 Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays my bloggy friends! Is everyone busy with shopping and planning for the big day? Me and my girls went out Monday to do a little shopping. The stores were pretty busy, which is to be expected this time of year, but I don't do well around big crowds of people, so I was more than ready to head home after being in all the hustle and bustle for about eight hours.

Am I the only one who feels like this year has come and gone in the blink of an eye? Good grief! Where's the pause button???

Okay, now on to the good stuff! I gave you guys a little hint at the end of yesterdays post about the giveaway. Since it's Christmastime, and because I love giving gifts, I wanted to do something special  and have a giveaway! Yay! The theme for my giveaway is "A Few of My Favorite Things", which is what's in the giveaway package. I've included pictures so you can see all the goodies you'll be getting.(Decorations not included).

The retail value of the items in the "A Few of My Favorite Things Giveaway" package is over $50.00 and includes:
*A 14 oz. container of Caramel Sea Salt hot cocoa from Private Selection
*Your choice of DVD (This Ain't Prettyville- by Chonda Pierce, or Breaking Dawn Part 2- from the Twilight Series)
*A CD by For King & Country called Crave
*A coffee/tea cup
*A 4 oz. package of peppermint cocoa stirrers
*A $10.00 Starbucks gift card
*A small container of homemade mint body scrub that my daughter, Taylor will make fresh before shipping. (Check out her Youtube channel, if you haven't already. If you are into natural beauty and skin care products, then you will love her channel. ( )

(Here's some closer shots of what's in the giveaway package.)

*Your choice of DVD- (Chonda Pierce-This Ain't Prettyville or Breaking Dawn Part Two)
*Cute coffee/tea cup with LOVE on it
*Peppermint Cocoa Stirrers
*CD-From King & Country- Crave

*$10.00 Starbucks Gift Card

*Taylor's Homemade Natural Mint Sugar Scrub

*A 14 oz. container of Caramel Sea Salt hot cocoa from Private Selection

So there you have it! Oh, I almost forgot to tell you the Rules For the Giveaway: Only one entry per person. Only residents of the U.S. are eligible; sorry to all my friends "Down Under."And no family members are allowed to enter. Sorry guys! The entry deadline ends on December 27, 2013 at 12 a.m.(eastern time) and a random winner will be picked on December 28, 2013 at 12 p.m. (eastern time) by The winner will be announced here on my blog, and also on my facebook page, on December 28, 2013 at 1 p.m. (eastern time), so please be sure to check back on the 28th to see if you've won. The winner will have 48 hours to respond by sending me your email address so that I can get your mailing address to send your package. If the winner does not respond within the posted time, a second winner will be selected and notified.

Here's How to enter: If you're already following my blog then all you need to do to enter is just leave me a comment letting me know what some of your favorite things are. If you're not already following my blog, go over and click the link under Networked Blogs on the right hand side to follow and then leave me a comment telling me what some of your favorite things are. You can also follow me by email if you prefer. Just type in your email address over on the right hand side and click the submit button. *You must be following my blog to enter.* (This is a family-oriented blog and I would like to keep it that way, so please be aware that any rude or obnoxious comments will be deleted and will not count as an entry in the giveaway.) That about covers it. If you have any questions please leave a comment and I will do my best to answer them. Good luck my friends! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Does God Give You More Than You Can Bear?

"God will not give you more than you can bear." Have you ever heard that phrase? I bet you've heard it at least once or twice in your lifetime. I've heard it quite a few times, as well as using it myself to encourage others going through difficult times. Well, I've made a discovery that I would like to share with you.....God will/does give you more than you can handle. What??? Yep, keep reading and I will explain.

The above quote, taken from 1 Cor. 10:13, is only part of that passage of Scripture, and has been taken out of context many times. I decided to dig a little deeper and do some research on exactly where that phrase came from in the Bible. Here is the entire passage of Scripture from 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)- "The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure."

If we look at the entire passage of Scripture we will see that Paul was not talking about suffering, he was talking about temptation. There isn't always a way out of the things we suffer in this life. I don't know about you, but when I found out that this passage of Scripture was talking about temptation instead of suffering, it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

I found this definition, referring to this particular passage of Scripture, in a book I have, Sparkling Gems from the Greek by Rick Renner- "The word "temptation" in the Greek is peirasmos, which refers to any outside source that appeals to a weakness in your flesh. That appeal pulls you like a magnet; it lures you mentally, emotionally, and sensually; it fascinates the imagination; it entices the flesh to take a closer peek. If you don't stop this process, it will set its hooks in your soul and haul you right smack dab into the middle of some kind of sin. There are many different types of temptations we might struggle with; from being lazy or easily offended; to thinking too lowly or too highly of yourself; to having a problem with anger or sexual temptation. Whatever your flesh responds to is what this word peirasmos refers to."

Please hear me out, I'm not saying, by any means, that it's easy to stand up against temptations. Believe me, I have failed more times than I can tell you when it comes to resisting different temptations. What I am saying is that while we do have a choice in how we will respond to whatever temptation we are faced with, we don't always have a choice in the difficulties that come into our lives. The things we go through in this life, the things that leave us broken into a million pieces, we don't always have a choice in whether we want to go through them or not.

Here are just a few examples of some of the heartbreaking things in this life we don't choose: We did not choose for our loved one to die suddenly, we did not choose for our spouse to have an affair and leave us, we did not choose the heartache of infertility, we did not choose to be let go from our job of twenty years because they are downsizing, we did not choose for our child to develop a chronic illness, we did not choose to lose everything we own in a house fire, we did not choose for our parent to suffer with cancer and be taken away from us while we were a child, we did not choose for that drunk driver to run the red light and crash into a car our teenage son was driving.

We can't always choose the things we will go through, but we can choose how we will allow those things to affect us. Have I always made the best choices, as far as how I've allowed different situations to affect me. No, I haven't. I have, however, done what I felt was right at the time.

There are many, many difficulties we have to walk through in this life, and speaking for myself, it never made me feel any better about what I was going through to hear, "God will never give you more than you can bear." God never said He would not give us more than we could handle. If we were able to handle everything we go through on our own, then we wouldn't need Him. He is the One who gives us the strength and the ability to walk through those times when we feel like we just can't face another day of pain. He is the One who gives us the peace to continue putting one foot in front of the other when we feel like we don't know how we are even breathing anymore. Jesus said in John 16:33, "In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.”

I know, without a doubt, if God were not helping me and giving me the strength to endure some of the painful things I've walked through over the last few years, I would not have been able to make it through. I don't, by any means, want you to think I understand why God allows certain things to happen or that I've got it all figured out, because I certainly don't. I just want you to know that He is there with you through the storms of life. You may not feel Him there beside you, and you may not see Him there, but He promised He would be there in times of trouble. It's been hard for me to trust Him, especially after some of the difficulties I've been through, but I am taking one day at a time and trying to work through all the junk I'm feeling. I also hope that through it all, I will one day be able to help someone else who may be struggling with some of the same things. Isn't that what we're called to do after all?  Help one another by coming alongside each other in the hard times.

Stay tuned tomorrow for an important announcement! I'm going to be holding a Christmas giveaway right here! I've got some awesome goodies in my Christmas giveaway package! Be sure to come back to enter.

Until next time my friends, be blessed!

"If you're going through hell, keep going." ~Winston Churchill

"Strength does not come through winning. Your struggles develop your strength. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength." ~Arnold Schwarzenegger

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Update and Gluten Free Cinnamon Roll Recipe

Hey there my bloggy friends! It's been quite a while. I hope all of you have been well and that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

I have a yummy recipe to share with you today, but first I wanted to let you know why I haven't posted in a while. There have been so many things going on over the last couple of months, but the most stressful was when our house caught fire a month ago. I will be sharing the whole story with you in a later post, but let me just say, it's something I hope I never go through again. Thankfully, the damage wasn't too bad, but we are still waiting for construction to begin on our house to repair the roof, part of our kitchen, and the outside wall of our kitchen. As thankful as I am that things were not any worse, I am sad to say that this experience has caused me and my kids to feel very fearful now. My youngest daughter, who is eighteen, has struggled with fear a great deal throughout her life. Our house catching fire was one of her biggest fears when she was a little girl, and she was the one who woke up and came out to see our kitchen on fire that Wednesday morning last month. This has definitely been a tough thing to walk through, but again, I am so very thankful that all of my family is fine and that no one got hurt. The damage to the house can be repaired, but my family cannot be replaced. Please be sure to tell those special people in your life how much you love them because I can tell you from experience, life can change in a matter of seconds.

Okay, so let me get on to the yummilicious recipe I have for you. Ever since me and my daughter's went gluten free a little over a year ago, we have had to either do without certain yummy baked goods, or find a gluten free recipe that comes close to the original. Well, I found a great gluten free cinnamon roll recipe on the back of Bob's Red Mill Pizza Crust package. I fixed those yummy little treasures this morning and I have to tell you, they were absolutely amazing! They will definitely be a very satisfactory substitute for us. I found a recipe on Pinterest for the glaze to go on top of the cinnamon rolls when they were done baking. The only thing that would have made them better would have been a cup of coffee. Let me know if you try this recipe and how you liked it. Happy baking!

Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls:

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
yeast packet (enclosed in package)
1 cup warm water
3 1/4 cups GF Pizza Crust Mix
Rice flour for dusting

1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375*F.  Add 1 tbsp. of the sugar to the warm water. Sprinkle the yeast packet on top of the water  and let sit for 5 minutes. Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, making sure to blend in completely.

Add the yeast mixture to the butter/egg mixture and blend. Add in the pizza crust mix; blend two minutes. Heavily dust a two foot long sheet of wax paper with rice flour. Spread batter over the length of wax paper, about 19 inches. (Make sure to keep your hands wet with warm water when working with the dough because it will stick to your hands like crazy if you don't.)  With wet hands press the batter outward to fill the sheet. Once the batter evenly covers the wax paper, brush melted butter over the batter from edge to edge.

Combine the cinnamon and sugar and then sprinkle mixture over the batter from edge to edge. Pick up the short end of the wax paper and begin to carefully roll the batter over itself like you would a jelly roll. (Be sure to roll it pretty tight or else it will be too loose when you pick it up after rolling it.) Cut the roll into 1-inch pieces and gently place the disks into the 8 x 8 -inch greased pan. It is okay to crowd them.

Let the rolls rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven, cool until the butter stops bubbling, then flip out onto a plate. (I didn't flip mine out since I mixed up some glaze to put on top after they came out of the oven.) Makes 8 cinnamon rolls.

Glaze/Icing Recipe:
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Put the butter in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until butter starts to bubble. Then add your brown sugar and vanilla. Mix together. Add powdered sugar and mix. (It's okay if it looks thick it won't stay that way once you start adding milk.) Add milk a little at a time until it is the consistency you want and mix well. (Add only a tablespoon of milk at a time because if you add too much it will be too thin.) As soon as my cinnamon rolls came out of the oven, I put the icing on top and let it sit there for a few minutes before serving.

I'll be back soon my friends! Until then, be blessed!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Life Will Come From the Ashes

Sometimes when we feel like we're going backwards or like things are never going to change, what is really happening is God is actually positioning us to walk into a new season He has planned for us. It may not look like it, and it may not feel like, but He is. We can't go by what we see or feel, His plans are far above what we can understand with our finite minds. We would not have come to this place without going through the storms of life. We would not have been ready to walk into this new season unless we had walked through the fire. The old has been burned away. From the pain and the ashes, beauty and life will arise. Watch for it....wait for it.

Have a great Labor Day weekend, my friends! Be blessed!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wow Wednesday!

Happy Wednesday to you my friends! I've got some great deals for you today! Christmas will soon be here, so it's not too early to start a little shopping. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and make yourself at home. Have a fabulous day!

Ocean Coasters, Set of 6
I saw these really pretty coasters over at CBD and thought I would pass on the savings to you. They don't cost that much to start with, but they are $1.00 off now. I love the beach theme!

Sale price- $3.99
Regular price- $4.99

Fireproof, Special Collector's Edition DVD
This is an awesome movie! If you haven't seen Fireproof, here's a great deal! This is a Special Collector's Edition.

Sale price- $7.99
Regular price- $19.99

Here's another really cute set of coasters. These are glass with a wooden holder.

Sale price- $5.99
Regular price- $12.99

Jesus Today: Experience Hope Through His Presence
This is a great devotional book. I have really enjoyed reading through it. It's from the same author that wrote Jesus Calling.

Sale price- $8.99
Regular price- $15.99

Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His  Presence - Devotions for Every Day of the Year  -     
        By: Sarah Young
This is a great devotional book! I have this one too!

Sale price- $6.99
Regular price- $15.99

If you want to buy both books in a set, then here's a great deal for you!

Sale price- $14.99
Regular price- $31.98

The Heart of Christmas
If you're a fan of Matthew West, then here's a great deal on a Christmas album.

Sale price- $5.00
Regular price- $9.99

A great deal on a 3 book series from author, Wanda Brunstetter!

Sale price- $4.99
Regular price- $44.85

If you're into suspense thrillers, then here's a great 2 book series deal for you! 

Sale price- $3.99
Regular price- $27.98


This sounds like a great amish-mystery series!

Sale price- $3.99
Regular price- $25.98|917318|1052

When the Devil WhistlesThis looks really good, and it's a great price! I think I may have to order this one for myself!

Sale price- $0.99
Regular price- $14.99

Here's a boxed set of 3 books for a great price!

Sale price- $9.99
Regular price- $44.97

Fiction Surprise Box, 10 Volumes   -
Do you like surprises? Then this is a great deal for you! They will ship you the Mystery Box, which is filled with 10 surprise fiction books!

CBD price- $9.99
Retail price for 10 books- $147.91

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Few Things To Share & Sweet Potato Casserole

 If you allow yourself to be refined instead of defined, you will be motivated to make healthy choices.
Above picture was found on Pinterest from Lysa TerKeurst 

Hey my friends! Just wanted to share a yummy recipe with you that I came across today. I haven't tried it yet, but I am looking forward to doing so. I am getting in the mood for fall, which means lots of pumpkin recipes! Stay tuned for those! Most of the recipes I will be sharing with you guys will most likely be gluten free and paleo.

I also wanted to share some pictures I took yesterday when I stopped at my secret garden spot to see what was blooming. Enjoy my friends!

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you, I now have a facebook for my blog that you can follow me on. Stop by and check it out! Thanks everyone!

Okay, who doesn't love sweet potato casserole??? It's one of my favorite dishes, especially for Thanksgiving or Christmas. I found this paleo version over at Cupcakes OMG. It looks like she has some really good recipes on her web site. I will definitely be going back to try some of them out. I'll be sure to pass them along to you. Let me know if any of you try this recipe and how you like it.

Here's the link to the web site:

Sweet Potato Casserole

  • 4 large sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1-2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • juice of half an orange
Pecan topping
  • 3/4 cup chopped raw pecans
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp melted coconut oil
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. While water comes to a boil, peel and dice sweet potatoes into large chunks.
2. Add sweet potato chunks to water. Boil until fork tender--about 10 minutes.
3. Drain potatoes, then dump them back in the large pot with all the other ingredients. Using a hand mixer, blend until potatoes reach desired consistency and flavor. (You may like to add a little more coconut milk, spices, or syrup based on your taste.)
4. In a small bowl, combine all topping ingredients until pecans are well coated.
5. Dump sweet potatoes into an oven safe dish and top with pecans.
6. Bake in preheated oven until topping is browned--about 15 minutes. Serve warm.
The below pictures are from a place I call "My Secret Garden." I go there sometimes when I feel the need to be alone and just soak up the quiet atmosphere. I think I take pictures every time I go there. I hope you enjoy them my friends! 

Please feel free to let me know what you would like to see on my blog. What are some things that would help you that you would like to see? I am open for suggestions.Until next time my friends, be blessed!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wednesdays Wow Deals!

 "Judge each day not by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant."~Robert Louis Stevenson

Happy Wednesday to you my bloggy friends! I am starting off this lovely morning by passing on some wonderful deals I just recently found. If you love to read and you love Christian fiction, then this post will be right up your alley. I just recently ordered some books from and got the best deal ever. If you've never heard of ( or never ordered anything from them, I highly recommend checking them out. I have used them to order lots of books over the years, including lots of my homeschooling curriculum. They have great prices and they are very quick to ship your items out. I just recently placed an order with them for eight Christian fiction books and one American History book for homeschooling, and I only paid $22.41, which includes shipping for all nine books. The regular price would have been over $100.00. That's right, nine books for less than $20.00, if you don't add the shipping charge of $3.99.

I checked to see if all the books I ordered were still available on CBD, but some of them were no longer listed. I will share the ones I did find and some other great deals. Happy shopping!

(Side note: There are way more books on sale over at CBD than I can list here, so be sure to check them out. You can really mop up on the deals over there. I do not get paid for endorsing CBD at all, I just know a good deal when I see one, and I want to share them with you my friends.)

Here are the links:

Amish Fiction:
(Wanda E. Brunstetter)

Lydia's Charm|1855274|1001

This is priced at $1.99 right now!
Regular price-$14.99

Daughters of Lancaster County - The Series 3 in 1 Edition

This is priced at $3.99 right now! (This is a 3 in 1 book)
Regular price-$19.99

Love Finds a Way: 3 Modern Romances Make Falling in Love Simple and Sweet

This is priced at $2.99 right now! (This is a 3 in 1 book)
Regular price-$12.99

These are priced at $4.99 right now, for both books!
Regular price-$29.98

(Beverly Lewis)

The Crossroad

This is priced at $1.99 right now!
Regular price-$14.99

The Courtship of Nellie Fisher, 3-in-1 Collection

This is priced at $3.99 right now! (This is a 3 in 1 book)
Regular price-$19.99

This is priced at $19.99 right now! (This is a 5 book set)
Regular price-$69.99
That's a savings of $50.00!

The Shunning, The Heritage of Lancaster County Series #1

This is priced at $1.99 right now!
Regular price-$12.99

(Karen Kingsbury)

Kingsbury 3 in 1: When Joy Came to Stay, On Every Side and Where Yesterday Lives

This is priced at $3.99 right now! (This is a 3-in-1 hardcover book)
Regular price-$21.00

Even Now Ever After: 2 Volumes in 1: A Tribute to Our  Military Heroes

This is priced at $4.99 right now! (This is a 2 in 1 book)
Regular price-$14.99

Leaving, Bailey Flanigan Series #1

This is priced at $3.99 right now! (Hardcover)
Regular price-$21.99

Every Now and Then, 911 Series #3

This is priced at $2.99 right now! 
Regular price-$14.99

(More fiction)

Always the Baker, Never the Bride, Emma Rae Creation Series #1

This is priced at $0.99 right now! That's right, .99 cents!
Regular price-$13.99

House of Secrets

This is priced at $1.99 right now!
Regular price-$14.99

Promises to Keep

This is priced at $1.99 right now!
Regular price-$15.00

A Vote of Confidence, Sisters of Bethlehem Springs Series #1

This is priced at $2.99 right now!
Regular price-$14.99

A Matter of Character, Sisters of Bethlehem Springs Series #3

This is priced $1.99 right now!
Regular price-$14.99

Wisconsin Brides

This priced at $0.99 right now!
Regular price-$12.95

A Great Catch, Lake Manawa Series #2

This is priced at $0.49 right now! That's right, .49 cents!
Regular price-$14.99

The Colonel's Lady

This is priced at $2.99 right now!
Regular price-$14.99

A Tailor-Made Bride|1855274|1001

This is priced at $1.99 right now!
Regular price-$14.99

Well, that will do it this time, my friends!  I hope today's post has helped you find some great bargains and some great books to read! Until next time, be blessed!