Grateful

Sunday, December 27, 2015



SimplyClarke.com
Grateful -
1. warmly or deeply appreciate of kindness or benefits received; thankful
2. expressing or actuated by gratitude
3. pleasing to the mind or senses; agreeable or welcome; refreshing

This is a great reminder to start each day with.  . . . . .
. . . a deep appreciation of Jesus' kindness
. . . a thankfulness for Jesus
. . . expressing gratitude towards Jesus for what he did for us
. . . a fresh and positive outlook

Saturday Night Live Christmas Skits

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Funny Friday came early this week - this list could go on and on, but here are my top three 
favorite Saturday Night Live Christmas skits!

Wrappinville


NPR's Delicious Dish Schweddy Balls


Holiday Treat For All


Fitness Mantras

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


Shape Magazine (one of my favorites) did this awesome post on, "10 Motivational Fitness Mantras to Help You Crush Your Goals." Everyone has their own way of getting pumped and motivated to better themselves -

- looking at "before" pictures or old pictures
- listening to music
- talking with a workout partner
- listing goals
- and of course a pre-workout drink

I like to look at my workout plan for the day and prepare myself for what I'm about to get myself into. Haha

Bonus - Just in time for Star Wars - here's another post Shape Magazine did on the, "14 Motivational Quotes from Star Wars to Help you Crush Your Fitness Goals." It's really funny - you should definitely take a look!

Remembering the Reason for the Season

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


I HAVE to start this post with a funny family story about the saying, "Remember the reason for the season."

About ten years ago my dad was at the grocery store checking out. The cashier said to my dad as he was leaving, "Remember the reason for the season." My dad replied, "You too!" Hahaha my family still cracks up laughing at this! My dad just assumed the cashier was going to offer up the normal, "Merry Christmas" in which the reply "You too!" is totally acceptable. Hehe nice one Dad!

That cashier was simply telling customers that day to remember why we celebrate Christmas and it's true meaning is.

Christmas is a time of God showing us just how much He loves us by sending his one and only son, Jesus. Jesus was born so that one day the price could be paid for tour sins. Without Jesus, we would all die in our sins and have no way to God.

For more ideas on how to keep Christ in Christmas, check out The Dating Divas blog and this fabulous post with LOTS of fun ideas.

Photo Cred: Homegrown Hospitality | Stephanie Ackerman Designs

Our Christmas Dinner Menu

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas dinner is the second best dinner of the year, right behind Thanksgiving! 

Here's our menu for this Christmas - 

Beef Tenderloin
My dad started doing a beef tenderloin for Christmas dinner a couple of years ago and we've been addicted ever since. Here are some great step-by-step recipes to help make this delicious showstopper for your family this year.

Roasted Beef Tenderloin - The Pioneer Woman
My Go-To Easy Beef Tenderloin Recipe - OMG Lifestyle Blog

The Pioneer Woman
Twice-Baked Potato Casserole
Mmmmmmm my favorite part of Christmas dinner! This is hands-down not the healthiest thing at the table; after all they have cream cheese, cheddar cheese, butter, bacon and sour cream. BAM!

Twice Baked Potato Casserole - six sisters' stuff

six sisters' stuff
Green Beans with Almonds
To even out the amount of calories we'll be taking in with the twice-baked potato casserole, we're also making this yummy green bean recipe. I love this recipe because it's nice to have something fresh at dinner.

Green Beans with Almonds and Thyme - Simply Recipes
Oven Roasted Green Beans with Almonds - Coffee & Crayons

Simply Recipes

Marshmallow Rolls
So my husband's family makes these for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's kinda hard to wrap my head around them, because it feels like I'm having dessert at dinner - but they're really good for either one.

Disappearing Marshmallow Puffs Recipe - Taste of Home

Taste of Home


BSF Lesson 12: God is Within Her She Will Not Fall

Sunday, December 20, 2015


Scripture Memory Verse - 2 Peter 3:13 (NIV)
"But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells."

Day Six
What have you learned about Jesus in this week's study?
One the the questions asked us to read Psalm 46 and think about how God gives us substantial help during difficult times. MANY things stood out to me in Psalm 46 that I can use daily to be reminded of how much God helps me -

1. 46:1 "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble."

2. 46:2 "Therefore we will not fear"

3. 46:5 "God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day."

4. 46:7 "The Lord Almighty is with us"

5. 46:10 "He says, 'Be still and know that I am God.' "

6. 46:11 "The Lord Almighty is with us"

These verses are so comforting to know and be reminded that God is always with us, giving us substantial help during easy and difficult times.

If you're interested in signing up for BSF, go here to find a class near you!

{Please note that what I got from this lesson is not necessarily the same as what others did. People can get very different takeaways from the scripture and questions based on prior knowledge, life situations, faith, etc.}

Photo Cred: Charm Bracelet Diva 

Christmas Mantles Inspiration & Tips

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

My favorite piece to decorate at Christmas time is definitely our mantle. Last year was our first Christmas in this house so I started from scratch. Luckily with Houzz, Pinterest and some $, I was able to put this amazing mantle together. Next year, I'm thinking it needs some votives, greenery, or maybe both.

As I've mentioned before, Byron really likes simple, so I stuck with a white and silver tree theme for our mantle. (Plus I had to add my two stags to bookend the tree!)


I love elements of light, so anytime there's candlesticks AND lanterns, I'm in love. Check out Our Southern Home for more inspiration. (Sidetone - this year I'm REALLY into plaid. I've bought so much - our house is starting to look like a house of lumberjacks.)


I'm in LOVE with this rustic mantle from TomKat Studio. Believe it or not, but a lot of this mantle is DIY! Byron would love this - I think it's simple enough for him (but fancy enough for me!)


From Thrifty Decor Chick - this mantle is made up of old candleholders from Goodwill that were wrapped in wrapping paper. Add some votives, greenery and pine cones and this mantle looks amazing - one of my favorites!

Tip - Don't forget the hearth! Here's a great idea from Chic on a Shoestring Decorating.


Tip - From Maison de Pax, use a curtain rod to hang your stockings.


Happy Decorating!

Christmas Crack

Monday, December 7, 2015


It's Christmas time....which means I get to make and eat all of the Christmas Crack Cocaine I want!!! I joke big time, but it's really called "Muddy Buddy" or "Chex Mix." I call it Christmas Crack Cocaine, because it's sooooooo addicting and I just can't get enough.

I make this for my family, get togethers and fun additions to Christmas presents. This batch is for my BSF Fellowship tonight before small group and lecture, but I will also make it to pass out to all of my teacher friends before Christmas break. I hope everyone likes it! Who am I kidding - this stuff is amazing!

I followed the directions on the back of the Chex cereal box - it's so easy. Almost too easy!

Let's start with les ingrédients -

Bottle, I mean glass of Rosé optional.
Note - I forgot to add butter/ margarine to this pic. Paula Deen would be so mad at me!
First add nine cups of Chex cereal to a big bowl - aka the whole box.

Then, in a 1-quart microwaveable bowl, microwave the chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter uncovered on High for 1 minute; stir.

That's a lotta butter- see my second confession below. 
Microwave for 30-40 seconds more or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla.

Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated.

Pour into resealable plastic bags. (I divide the mix into two bags so that the sugar really gets on it.) Add double the powdered sugar the recipe calls for. (I like mine coated, not just dusted!) Seal bag and shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool or just lay flat in the fridge in the bag. Store in airtight container in the fridge.


I let mine sit over night because they're really hard to package if they're not cool. To package this delicious delicacy up, I use anything from an old trail mix tub to cute tins and treat bags from Hobby Lobby. These ones below I'm using for our all class fellowship before BSF tonight.


Confession - My kitchen was a hot mess when I finished making this Christmas Crack Cocaine - it always is. Have lots of hand towels ready to wipe off you hands (and mouth, because you'll be snacking while you make it.)

Another confession - while writing the printed recipe, I realized I might have put too much butter in mine. I put 3/4 cup and it only calls for 1/4 cup. Oops! See, now Paula Deen is happy with me again and all is right with the world!

Printable recipe here.

Enjoy!

BSF Lesson 11: Singing Your Praises

Sunday, December 6, 2015


Scripture Memory Verse - Revelation 5:9 (NIV)
"And they sang a new song, saying: 'You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.' "

Day One
What was meaningful to you in the lecture?
One of the principles from the lecture was, "Jesus is one with God and is worthy of all our devotion." Devotion - attachment, loyalty, fidelity, dedication, commitment.

We were then asked to rate ourselves in these areas of devotion. How attached am I to Jesus? How loyal am I? How dedicated am I? How committed? Definitely things to think about and work on!

What help did you receive from the notes?
Wow! These notes were just amazing and hands down my favorite I've read so far in this study of Revelation. When I read the notes I always have a highlighter and pen to mark anything new, interesting, extra special, etc. And these notes have highlighter and marks all over them!

The help I received from the notes is to continue singing my heart out in praise. The past couple of weeks we've been learning abut God's throne room and now we're reading how Jesus is at the center being sung to by the elders, living creatures and thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand angels

God can deepen your love for Himself through music, especially music that exalts Christ. Music expresses the language of the heart. It has a unique ability to impress on our hearts truths about God even before our minds fully grasp them.

Singing is one of my favorite parts of church and this reminds me to keep singing (no matter how bad I am)!

Day Six
What have you learned about Jesus in this week's study?
I learned a lot in this week's study (like I said, one of my favorites!), but one particular part reminded about the Holy Spirit. After reading multiple passages about the Holy Spirit throughout history - we were asked how is it taking on roles in our lives?

After reading John 16:5-15 I know that the Holy Spirit will guide me to all truth and will help me to glorify Jesus. The Holy Spirit is always with me, helping me to build my relationship and faith and to learn God's word.

If you're interested in signing up for BSF, go here to find a class near you!

{Please note that what I got from this lesson is not necessarily the same as what others did. People can get very different takeaways from the scripture and questions based on prior knowledge, life situations, faith, etc.}

Funny Friday: Lifting's My Favorite

Friday, December 4, 2015


Two of my favorite things in one meme - lifting and Buddy the Elf.

TGIF!

Things I Love: Christmas Movie Night!

Thursday, December 3, 2015


It's the most wonderful time of the year (!) and I just love the movies that come with the holiday season. Call me crazy, but I only watch these movies in December and I watch them every year! Here's my top five favorite Christmas movies for a fun movie night with friends and family!

1 - Love Actually
This is my all time favorite Christmas movie. It's funny. It's happy. It's sad. It's romantic. It's great! Plus it has a pretty good soundtrack!

2- The Holiday
I just love these two couples. Another chick flick, but such a good one. I aspire to run in heels in the snow one day like Cameron Diaz does at the end of the movie to get back to Jude Law. (Swoon!)


3 - It's a Wonderful Life
You gotta love a classic! I love this movie because it reminds me of every Christmas growing up. After we unwrapped presents and had our big Christmas breakfast, this movie was always on tv. We had it on in the background so I'd watch it as everyone got ready for out second Christmas as my grandmother's house.

4 - Elf
"The best way to spread Christmas cheer is by singing loud for all to hear." I love this movie because it's funny and has so many good quotes.



5 - Home Alone
If I had a dollar for every time I've seen this movie, I'd be rich. It's got some serious staying power. I used to watch it when I was a kid and now my brothers who are 10 and 11 enjoy watching it too!


Bonus - Hallmark Christmas Movies
I'm a sucker for Hallmark Christmas movies. Don't judge me. You know you watch them too!



"Christmas isn't a season. It's a feeling."
-Edna Ferber

Christmas Gift Guide For Him

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


Need some fun, creative ideas for gift giving this year? 
Here are some of my favorite ideas for the gentleman in your life this holiday season!





1 - Drone {$1,600} Amazon

2 - Jawbone Big Jambox {$199} Jawbone | Check out my post on how much I love my Jambox!

3 - Toiletry Bag {$30} L.L. Bean

4 - NFL Grilling Set {$50} NFL Shop

5 - Socks {$30} Nordstrom

6 - Customized Tervis Tumbler {$12} Etsy | MadeByCRose

7 - Bose SoundSport Headphones {$117} Bose

8 - Personalized Cutting Board {$35} Etsy | EngraveByLaser

9 - Star Wars Ice Mold Set For Bourbon {$20} Amazon

10 - YETI Cooler {Starting at $199} YETI

Happy Shopping!

Christmas Gift Guide For Her

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


Need some fun, creative ideas for gift giving this year? 
Here are some of my favorite ideas for the lady in your life this holiday season!





1 - Home Is Where Your Mom Is {$23} The Lampstand

2 - Mary KayTimeWise Repair Volu-Firm Set {$205} Mary Kay or find a Beauty Consultant

3 - Anchor Wine Stopper {$10} Target

4 - Under Armour Women's Tights {$45} Under Armour 

5 - Lat & Lo Bar Necklace {$64} Lat & Lo | Check out my post about how much I love Lat & Lo!

6 - Monogrammed Glass Cutting/ Cheese Board {$30} Etsy | swankypress

7 - kate spade new york Thermal Mug {$18} Amazon

8 - Monogrammed Wooden iPad Stand {$32} Etsy | SewingOaks

9 - Wine Cork Initial {$90} Etsy | VinoScentCandles

10 - Return Address Stamp {$28} Etsy | MJsArtStamps

Happy Shopping!