Saturday, March 31, 2012

| Recipe Card | Ginger Glazed Carrots

I love finding new recipes for basic everyday veggies.....not only are basic veggies budget friendly, but they are kid friendly too.

I will often grab the GIANT bag of organic baby carrots from Costco and some weeks its a marathon to get through them.

Here is a simple and delicious way to jazz up everyday carrots.  It only takes a few minutes to prepare and it is a nice spin on plain ol' carrots.  

I will often serve these carrots if I am doing and indian flavoured dish (butter chicken) or something with a strong curry flavour.

Ginger Glazed Carrots

1 pound of carrots - cut into sticks (or use the baby carrots)
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 Cup brown sugar
1/2 Tsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp OJ

Cook carrots in boiling water for two minutes, meanwhile, cream butter, sugar and ginger - cook until melted and bubbly. Add carrots and stir well to coat.  Saute for two minutes, add soy sauce and OJ and cook for 1-2 minutes over high heat until mixture is almost gone.



Wednesday, March 21, 2012

| Recipe Card | Sunshine Muffins

We're home from our whirlwind trip to Toronto to celebrate Matt's sister's wedding (more on that SOON!)...sadly, we returned to a house full of sickies....poor Emma had been suffering with a tummy bug since Thursday night and Madelyne just started complaining of tummy pains the morning we returned.

Since we were home bound and taking it easy, I did a bit of baking yesterday afternoon while most of the house napped.

Here is a super easy muffin recipe I use often....I take no credit for the's those ladies at "Best of Bridge" who came up with this winner:

Sunshine Muffins

Cut up one large orange into eight pieces (the rind & all)...I love this because you're getting all the good vitamins this way!

 Toss the orange pieces in your blender, then add one egg, 1/4 cup oil and 1/2 cup orange juice.


Mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt. The recipe says you can combined dry ingredients and add to blender, maybe if you have a super-sonic blender this will work but my blender doesn't particularly like this idea - so, I just dump the wet into the dry (*and all the true bakers out there GASP!*) 

And stir to combine...the recipe calls for raisins and/or nuts - our family preference is dried cranberries.  They add a nice tang and some colour too.

So, toss in whatever you fancy...nuts, raisins, dried cranberries, etc....about 1/2 cup each.

Spoon into muffin cups and bake at 375* for 15-20 minutes.

And in just a few minutes fresh baked muffins that are sure the disappear in a jiffy! 
Ours are almost gone already.

Hope you enjoy!


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I Can't Believe I Said THAT!

I have to admit, I shocked myself not to long ago with a phrase of words that came out of my mouth, maybe you can relate, maybe not, nonetheless, here it goes:

I was talking with my amazing MIL in the phone one night and sharing with her some of the struggles we're currently facing with one of our kids.  She is an awesome mom and grandma, filled with faith and probably has the same level of patience that Jesus had for his *oh so human* disciples....honestly...she is amazing and so wise.

It was during the conversation that I said a phrase I NEVER thought I'd say:

"I'd take the sleepless nights over THIS right now!"  

GAHHH, me, the girl who could sleep 12 hours a night, ready and willing to give it up in trade for a reprieve from some of the parenting woes you face as your kids grow up and start spending more time in a day at school with their teacher, and with their friends, than with you.  

It's not easy - duhhh - got that memo a while ago.....but there are sure days it wears you out.  Guess that's why when you have a baby you really have no clue what your in for! God's got a great sense of humour, hey!?

Today in my Women by Design class we talked about keep on going, to persevere, to sustain, to have patience.....all of which are MUST have attributes in life and in parenting. 

So be encouraged today, have to patience and perseverance to finish well.  Cling to HIM for all you need in that situation that is pushing you to your limits.  I know I am.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Catching Up

Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to let you know I am playing catch up on a few posts from the last couple weeks.  

I have been MIA in blogland the last while, but for very good reason; I look forward to sharing some great projects I'm working on with you soon!

I the mean time I have posted, and backdated, two posts for my Women By Design class, just to keep them in order.  

Here's the link to my review of Chapter 3 & 4 in "Can I Have and Do it All, Please?"

Here's the link to my review of Chapter 5 in "Can I Have and Do it All, Please?"

There are some great truths in these chapters, I know my recap is no where near reading the book first hand, but it will give you an idea and hopefully some food for thought.

If you're interested in reading the book let me know, I'm sure I can get a hold of a copy to lend you.

I'm off to finish getting organized for a special 2nd birthday party for my favourite boy.

Have a great Friday!


Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Fabulous | Chicken Enchiladas

Here's a great recipe for chicken enchiladas...its a family favourite in our house and is loved by both kids and adults.

This recipe works well as a make ahead freezer meal; great if you ever do a "big cook" or "once a month cooking."  I have also made a double batch of this recipe and given half away to friends.

I had photos of the step by step assembly but for some reason my photos will not load.  Gah! Technology is making me crazy this week!

| Chicken Enchiladas |

3/4 C. cream cheese
3/4 C. sour cream
3/4 C. salsa
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. chili powder

Then Add:
1 1/2 C. shredded cheese
1/3 C. green onion
1/3 C. parsley
5 chicken breasts cooked and cubed

Extra Notes:
To add extra spice, add one more tsp chili powder and one tsp red pepper flakes.
I usually use three large chicken breasts and find its more than enough chicken.
I will also layer in fresh spinach to up the vegetable and vitamin quota.

* Spray bottom of 9"x13" pan with PAM
* Layer spinach and filling in tortillas and roll
* Place in pan close together
* Top with salsa and grated cheese
* Bake at 350* for about 20 minutes - or until hot and bubbly

Makes 8-10 enchiladas

Serve with a fresh green salad.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

| Can I Have & Do It All, Please? | Chapter 5

In the true theme of this week's chapter, simplicity, this recap is going to be short, sweet and simple.

Do you have those days, or weeks, that blur into one another? I know I do! Do you put more pressure on yourself that anyone else does? (yep, hello!)  Do you feel so busy but don't feel like you're getting anywhere?  Well, maybe this chapter is just for you!

"Our lives are full of activity but with little forward motion or progress.  Inevitably, our friends, families, colleagues and often God, bear the brunt of our over committed lifestyles."
Christine Caine - pg 86

Ultimately, Jesus modelled the perfect example of simplicity when he summed up the Mosaic Laws into two simple commandments:
* Love GOD
* Love your neighbour

Simplifying isn't always easy, nor is it fun.  It means looking at your life through different eyes and being critical of what you do, why you do it and what type of reward it brings.

Don't get me wrong, its not really the quantity of things we're doing, but instead, its more the types of things we're doing.  Maybe you can ask yourself the following questions when you look at your commitments:

* what is the purpose behind this?
* how much time is it monopolizing?
* is it creating an eternal reward? 
* does it align with God's commandments?

Now we don't need to over spiritualize things, from a physical perspective maybe there are things you just need to let go of.  Do you colour coordinate you sock drawer or vacuum three times a day...well, maybe there's a bit of room there to simplify and free up some time for greater things.

Here are a few things Christine Caine suggests as a way to simplify and stay spiritually fit:

* Breathe
* Learn to Say NO
* Be Yourself
* Trust God 
* Let Go of the Past

Take courage, start simplifying and start enjoying life more!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

| Change by Choice Isn't Any Easier |

Hello Lovelies! 

I hope this week has been kind to you...three days in and I'm feeling a little beat up...and a little tired.

Ya know, those weeks where the memory stick with all your back-up files dies and there's no hope of reviving it.  That was the kick off to my Monday. Ouch!

Anyways, the rest of the pain I'm whining about is mostly my own fault and by choice...but no one said change was easy, right?

This week in my class we are talking about "simplicity" and focusing on the things that matter.  Last week we talked about "value" and "purpose" - so, on the heels of those topics - and God really speaking to me - I'm making some big changes to what I do, why I do it and how I do things.

Geesh, the labor pains are the hardest part...the final results are the big reward.

Here's to the big reward!

Friday, February 3, 2012

| Friday Fabulous |

I'm keeping this Friday Fabulous short and sweet today! Why?!?!? Because the sun is shining and you need to get outside and enjoy.

Today's Friday Fabulous is one of my most favourite and fabulous treats.  It's a super easy way to jazz up any dessert, it looks lovely and tastes even better.

| Trader Joe's Lemon Curd |

To be honest, I am a sucker for any lemon dessert...even our wedding cake was this isn't a huge depart for me. But, I really love the way this has the ability to transform even the most simple dessert idea into something a bit more special.

I keep a jar in the cupboard to have on hand if we have last minute guests and I need to throw together dessert and coffee.  Make a spice cake and drizzle it on top, add on top of vanilla ice cream and top with a few berries, or even better, stir into slightly softened vanilla ice cream to make a smooth and creamy lemon ice cream.

Everyone has their ultimate favourites at Trader Joe's....I'd love to know what yours are...maybe I'll add them to my list for my next visit!

Have a Fabulous *sun filled* Friday.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

| Thursday: Around the House |

Good Morning & Happy Thursday!

Today is an around the house day for me....I know, such a glamorous life I lead! Its a home day to get the house cleaned up, all those random things floating around back in their designated spots, get the bathrooms sparking and fold a few piles of clothes.

We've also been working on getting some window quotes for our home, so I have quotes to review and energy rebate paperwork to fill out....all this while keeping Little Boy Baker from prying off any more trim work with his screwdriver and before school ends and the girls are home.

Now, I know we all have our own way to keeping on top of our homes and all the things that go along with that...but, it never hurts to learn from others.  So, taking a tip from my class discussion yesterday I want to open up a "How You Keep Your Home" discussion so we can learn and get tips from those around us who do things well.

Instead of doing what us women are known to do: "compare" - lets learn from each other and find out what works best for keeping up with our homes.

I'd like to hear what yo do to keep up with your home? Do you have the same routine each week? Do you do things randomly as they come up? And do you have any FAVOURITE products that help you get the job done.

Share ladies....and let's learn from each other.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

| Can I Have & Do it All, Please | Chapter 3 & 4

My third class was a jammed packed one! Due to one less teaching week this session we had to squish two chapters into one week...a HUGE task....considering each chapter is full of great nuggets of information....combine that with a room full of ladies and you have a monumental challenge!

I have to say...we did pretty good at plowing's a quick recap of what we chatted about:

Chapter Three
focused on the idea of purpose and ultimately challenged us to truly assess what our purpose is? What is our potential? What are your gifts, talents and passions?

On page 50, Christine Caine writes:

"we must ensure our "all" is actually the purpose God had in mind when He created us.  If you try to pursue any other "all" you will never be satisfied."

Good stuff I tell ya!  

We were challenged, again, not to settle for anything LESS than God's best - HIS ultimate purpose & plan for our lives.  Christine Caine coined the phrase "life print" in this chapter and it sums things up so perfectly. 

Just as God created each one of us with a unique fingerprint, so did He create each one of us with a unique life print - divinely created and perfect only for us. 

As we embrace the life print God has for us we begin to recognize the places in our lives where we have fallen into the trap of comparison and carbon copies.  Instead of competing with one another, we can cheer one another on, instead of trying to be like everyone around us we can be fully confident in the skills, abilities and passions the creator has placed inside of us.

If you're not sure what your "life print" looks like, or maybe even feel like you've lost yourself and have no clue what your passions and skills are then try to answer a few of these questions from the end of the chapter:

* What is it that I've been good at since an early age?
* What do others look at me doing that would be hard for them, but seem effortless to me?
* What am I most passionate about?
* What subjects could I talk about for hours and days without loss of momentum?
* What would I do if money were not an issue?
* What part of the globe or cultures do I have a passion for?

Chapter Four
focused on the idea of identity.  Building off chapter three and understanding we are pursuing our own unique life print and purpose we jumped into the idea of WHO WE ARE.

On page 67, Christine Caine writes: 
"you see, if I allow all the different roles to define me instead of who I truly am in Christ defining them, I'm going to get all messed up."

So who ARE you? Do you let those roles define you? Do you get your self worth from the roles you play or the things you do?  

Well, maybe it's time to take a step back, shift your focus back to Jesus and let him refill you with the identity, purpose and passions he created you for.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

| She'll Be His & He'll Be Hers...and We'll Party! |

I am excited to see February just around the corner...because that means March is THAT MUCH CLOSER.

In March, she'll be his and he'll be hers....and we'll party! 

Matt's sister, Naomi, is getting married to Ivo.  I was honored not only to be asked to be in the bridal party but also to design their wedding invitation and wedding program for the ceremony.

Naomi is not only gorgeous, she's a fiery woman of God; she's smart, savvy and an amazing business woman.  Asides the fact that her legs probably come up to my bust line (not jealous at all *grin*) she's had her own massage therapy clinic for years.  Recently, she invested herself into establishing and running a non-profit organization and now she has developed her own consulting business. She's the whole package...and it was going to take someone special to keep up with her.    

It was almost a year ago when I said to her, "when you're ready to let it all go, when there is room for someone to come in, then God will have a chance...." And somehow, as we all know, when we just lay our stuff down - even if that means we have nothing on our plates - God has a way of moving in and bringing us THE BEST gift....enter, Ivo.

It was shortly after than that Naomi met Ivo, and as they say, "it's was a done deal."

Ivo is the perfect complement to Naomi, and Naomi is the perfect complement to Ivo.  They strengthen each other and are better together than apart.  Ivo's life is a story full of God's faithfulness and goodness....making him the strong, courageous yet gentle man he is today.  Its so good, I have goose bumps!

As for keeping up with her?  Well, Ivo's a martial arts trainer and kite surfer....he can keep up with her no problem.  As a matter of fact, they got engaged after's that for keeping up?!?!

I'll be sure to share the finished version of the program after the stay tuned for that and pictures of the big day.

I'm off to get my run on...this bridesmaid is on the countdown to tone up before wedding day.

Have a great Tuesday.

Monday, January 30, 2012

| Recipe Card | Mini Meatloaf

I originally found this recipe in a Kraft Canada magazine and have now adapted and tweaked it depending on what I have in the pantry.

These little meatloaves are a great go to meal that will please anyone...serve with mashed potatoes or roasted sweet potatoes and a fresh salad and dinner is on the table in a flash.

| Mini Meatloaf |

1 pound ground beef - or ground turkey works great too!
1 box of Stovetop Stuffing mix
1 C. water
Garlic Powder

BBQ sauce

* You can switch up the spices, sauce and cheese to give different flavours
(use Italian spices, marinara sauce and mozza cheese for an Italian inspired meatloaf)
(use taco spice, salsa and tex-mex cheese for a Mexican fiesta)
* If I don't have stuffing mix on hand I just through in some bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, one egg and some dried parsley & salt and pepper - and leave out the cup of water!

* Combine ground meat, dry stuffing mix, water and garlic powder. 
* Scoop into muffin tins - make sure mixture is well packed
* Make a small hole in the middle of each muffin - fill with BBQ sauce

* Bake at 350* for 25 minutes, remove from oven and top with cheese
* Return to oven for 3-5 minutes until cheese is melted

These freeze well so you could certainly double the recipe and put half in the freezer for another dinner down the road, or even better, package them up and drop off dinner for a friend or neighbour.

Have a lovely Monday!

Friday, January 27, 2012

| Friday Fabulous |

Can you believe is Friday again already! Wow, I don't know about you, but this week flew by.  I hope you've had a few minutes to enjoy the precious and beautiful moments of sunshine we've had this week...ahhh, what a gift that sunshine is to getting motivated.

For today's Friday Fabulous post I wanted to feature an item in my closet I love that I use all the time and has lasted me well:

| Sweet Nothings Footless Tights |

I originally found these tights at the Wal-Mart in the USA and was a bit skeptical with the price tag being $15.  For a pair of tights???  I mean, I've had many o' times where I put my finger right through a pair of tights and into the garbage they go...what a waste.

But, I like the idea that these tights are shape wear as well...meaning, they have a hidden inside tummy control panel that keeps things (aka: your lumps and bumps!) held in nice and tight. :-)

So I gave them a whirl and I LOVE them. 

* They are nice and thick so they work perfectly with a tunic or a dress (and no one can see if you didn't shave your legs *wink*) 

* They are not 100% cotton so they don't fade after multiple washings

* They stay UP...because we've all had some sort of leg wear sagging our knees - NOT FUN!

* They come in black, grey and brown

You can click here for the link to the Wal-Mart web page to check 'em out.....if you really want the shape wear function then maybe go down a don't want them too loose or they won't be holding anything in.

I love wearing a dress...its an easy peasy outfit to throw on before the start of a busy day...there is no pinching, pulling or sagging of pants or waistbands, no pant hems to worry about getting soaked if its pouring rain, and with these tights under any dress or skirt you've got a great outfit for any day of the week.

And just a heads up, I've seen these tights on eBay too for a bit you could try there as well.

Here's to a Fabulous Friday.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

| Can I Have and Do it All, Please? | Chapter 2

This week at Women By Design we dove into chapter two of "Can I Have and Do It All, Please" which is entitled "All About Value."

This is my favourite quote of the entire chapter:

"If we don’t understand the value of something we will often mistreat, abuse and discard that thing.” – pg 36

Using this quote as our jumping off point we looked at how the world around us values women, how they are treated and what ideas and expectations are placed on women today:

* We talked about the horrible tortures of human trafficking

* We discussed how life experiences, trauma, words spoken over us and even poor examples of Godly women can affect how we see ourselves

* We recognized expectations society puts on us in terms of beauty and image

* We identified how we see ourselves and why?

(and here's the good stuff)

We wiped the slate clean and refilled it with all the things that God tells us to be true

* God created women on PURPOSE, by design

* Jesus valued women immensely, so much so that He included them in His ministry

* Jesus revealed Himself as the Christ - for the first time - to a Samaritan woman...someone that His culture and society would have dictated He never interact with

* We were created in the image and likeness of God - so who are we to mistreat and underestimate what God has made?!?

Genesis 2:18 says:
Now the Lord God said, It is not good (sufficient, satisfactory) that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper meet (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him. (AMP).

* We looked at the idea of being a helper, not a slave or servant, but instead one who works together.  The Hebrew word for helper is "e'zer" which means "helper like unto God" and is used more than 19 times.  This is a significant helper - that's for sure!
* And finally, we were encouraged and reminded to keep on going:

"Because sometimes all it takes is believing that you are worth it.” – pg 44

When we understand the significance, value and purpose God has created us - as women - to have, we will begin to do even greater things.  How exciting is THAT?!?

| Penny Pinching |

I'll be back later today with my weekly recap of yesterday's class: Can I Have and Do it All, Please?!?! But I wanted to be sure to share a real DEAL with you:

Do you often re-negotiate contracts you have with service providers, such as cell phone, home phone, cable or internet? If you don' SHOULD.  Why? Well because your business is worth it, and most often your service providers want to KEEP YOU!

As we have been working through our New Year budget, renegotiating some of these things was at the top of our list to save us a few bucks this year.
We currently have services with Shaw Cable and through some lengthy conversations with a Telus customer care representative we were able to bundle our services and switch to Telus and save ourselves $100 per MONTH. 

You see, our cell phones are with Telus (and have been for some time)...they want us back as a full service customer and are willing to make it worth our while. 

We opted not to take any of the "free" electronics that are often used to suck you in....why...well because they never end up being "free" you end up paying a bit more each month for them.

So, with a few simple phone calls we've saved ourselves $1200 bucks this year already!  How's that for a great way to start the year!

So, maybe this is something that can put a bit of cash back in your 2012 budget! You never know, its worth a phone call, or two.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

| My Wee Man | God's Living Promise to Me

It's hard to believe that in one month {actually, one month yesterday} my, not so wee, Zachary James will be two years old.

Zachary means: the Lord remembers.

And yes HE does. Zachary is a living promise of the Lord remembering my hearts desires and so graciously giving me those desires at just the right time.

Our Zach-man has been the perfect completion to our little family.  He is a sweet little man who always has a sparkle in his eye and a smile on his face.


At almost two Zach is speaking clearly, putting words together and even making jokes. 

He has just started going pee on the potty and likes the cookie he gets as a reward if successful.

To say he LOVES his daddy is a gross understatement.

{"daddy tools, daddy fix" is his most commonly spoken phrase}

He loves his sisters, Emma and Mi-Mi, and knows just how to push their buttons.

He is tall.  Like taller than some 3 1/2 year olds we know.
Big surprise right!?!?! Not sure where he got that from ;-)

He actually doesn't like the snow - at all.  The only reason he has a huge smile on his face in the last picture is because he had daddy's shovel. 
{"daddy shovel, daddy scoop"...over and over and over again!}

He loves music and often goes into a hypnotic trance watching the drummer at church.

He has an easygoing nature but is by no means a pushover {like his dad}.

He knows he wants banana loaf at Starbucks.

He's mine.  And I love him to bits!

Monday, January 23, 2012

| Recipe Card | Crock-Pot Beef Stew & Baking Soda Biscuits

This past weekend was a bit of a slower one around our place...the kids have all had their turns being sick; the past few days its been our turn. So much so that hubs was home early on Friday and in bed before the kids....this is NOT a normal thing for my hubs.

Yesterday was my turn, I felt beyond ill when we got home from church, so hubs and the girls played Wii and Little Boy Baker and I napped...I knew it was my only chance to rest before Monday greeted us again and the week was in full gear.

I've been on a "use up the stuff in the deep freeze" kind'a kick. Part of getting the home refreshed and reset at the beginning of the New Year.

I'm sure I'm not the only one...but it's amazing how much you can accumulate in the freezer and the pantry.  The deep freeze can become an abyss in no its great to be able to see the bottom ;-)

Crock pot beef stew has got to be one of the easiest and cheapest dinners to throw together, and, if you have stuff in your freezer and fridge that needs to be used up, its a great way to do just that!

I apologize for not having pics of the the assembly of the stew....hubs did it for me :-)

Crock-Pot Beef Stew

2 lbs stew meat (1" cubes) {this time we used up some flat steaks that had been in the freezer}

1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. beef broth
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic or chopped onion
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. paprika
4 sliced carrots {no need to peel, just give them a good wash}
3 diced potatoes
1 stalk celery - diced

1. Put meat in the crock-pot
2. Mix flour, salt, pepper and paprika and add to meat - stir to cover
3. Add remaining ingredients and stir
4. Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours or high for 4-6 hours
5. Stir well before serving

*you could easily experiment with adding different winter vegetables or adding tomatoes to make the stew more tomato based - possibilities are endless*

Serve with warm baking soda biscuits.

Baking Soda Biscuits

1 1/2 C. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 C. shortening (or butter)
2/3 C. milk
Bake at 450* for 8-10 minutes

Combine flour, baking power & salt.

Cut in shortening or butter. I used a pastry cutter but a fork works great.

Stir in milk until just combined. Don't over mix or you'll get tough biscuits!

Gently kneed on floured surface.

Roll out to 3/4" thick and cut into circles.

Bake at 450* for 8-10 minutes.


Serve with piping hot stew or soup.  YUM.

Wishing you a wonderful Monday!

Friday, January 20, 2012

| Friday Fabulous |

Well we made it! Its FRIDAY...whoot hoot! I don't know about you but its been a long week around these parts...and today I am extra grateful for hot lunch day at school!
In honour of Friday I'm starting a "Friday Fabulous" series....where I'll feature one of my favourite items of the moment or one of my household staples.  Things that if I had to, I would put in my own "mom's tool box!"
And as thanks for coming back to check out my fourth post in one week.....a record for me, I'm sure....I'll feature four things, from four avenues of my life:

| Home |
I recently became an iPad owner (more on how I got it later!) and I have to admit I LOVE it. It has become a staple in my kitchen (maybe a strange place, but whatever!) and my home in general. Everything from listening to music or pod casts while I cook or clean, menu planning, grocery list organizing, family calendar, devotional, as well as acting as my recipe book.

| Beauty |

I am not a huge hair product girl, I usually will find what I like and stick with it...not venturing out from the norm unless I find its not working for me.  But when I heard about this great volumizer and saw the results I gave it a shot...and I love it!

Aquage Uplifting Foam
I got mine when I was down in the lovely USA one weekend, it can be a bit hard to find as Aquage products are not carried in all salons, but the search is worth it.  Check out the company web page at to find a salon that carries it in your area.  And if all fails, order online ;-)

| Blogs |

I do enjoy reading a good blog....I have been following this one for some time and totally love it! - by Kate Bryan. 

Kate is a hairdresser by trade and posts the most FABULOUS hair video tutorials.  I used her tutorials a number of times through the holiday season to help spice up my holiday hair-dos.  If you're not great with hair styling, or, you find yourself in a hair rut but don't know how to get out, then check her out.  She is a huge fan of Aquage Uplifting foam and I first saw the product on her blog.  She also has a great sense of humor and designs lovely jewelery with her sister.

| Home |

This was on my Christmas list so I was so happy when I found it under the tree on Christmas morning.  My dutch oven by Kitchen Aid is a fabulous addition to my kitchen.
I love that this can be used on the stove-top or in the oven, it distributes the heat evenly and can make a killer pot roast.  Apparently you can bake bread in it, I haven't yet, but I'm going to for sure!  I love that if well taken care of it can last for generations.

So that's it for my first "Friday Fabulous".....I hope you enjoyed. 

I'm a bit under the weather today so I'm off to grab these:

out of my "mom's tool box" and enjoy a hot drink while Little Boy Baker is still fast asleep.

Have a fabulous weekend.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Can I Have It All and Do It All, Please?

Doesn't that title just grab you and pull you in? I know it did for me the first time I read it.

I was instantly interested in reading this book to discover if I really could, have it all....

Since first reading it I have had the privilege of teaching a ladies Wednesday morning bible study based on this book. Not so much me teaching anything life changing, more me facilitating discussion based off what Christine Caine (Hillsongs church) has written.

And His graciousness....speaks to my heart and challenges me, maybe more than anyone else in the classroom. Gotta love God's gracious and caring ways, hey?

This week I started my second class based on this book and I decided that some of the life truths were too good not to share. So, as a means of encouraging and inspiring YOU AND ME to push for "God's all" in our life I am going to post a weekly recap based on the class discussion.

This week we kicked into full gear discussing the infamous "All" we strive so hard for. What is this abstract idea of "all" and where do we get it from? What does it look like? How does it make its way into our personhood?

Its pretty clear that as a society we are bombarded with media imagery and ideas representing the flawless, well rounded, clean, organized, decorated, nice home kind'a life we should be living. The pressure is immense to "keep up with the Jones's" as some may say.

So we strive to make it all happen: loose weight, dress better, cook better, decorate great cakes, have well behaved kids, host birthday parties fit for the Queen, maintain the ideal marriage, be on the PAC, the prayer team and feed the homeless....all with excellence, grace and in your designer duds.

Truth be told, none of those things are wrong....(and if you have been waiting for the big IF, here it comes)...IF we are doing all of these things because they are the "ALL" that God has called us to and created us to be. If they aren't, we strive in our own strength and get no where.

In chapter one, Christine Caine writes:

"the “all” we should want to have and do is tied in to God Himself and His purposes for our lives.” – pg 23

Here is a great promise we need to claim and believe:

"For we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship), [a]recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the
good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]. (Ephesians 2:10 - AMP)

What a promise! God has predestined a plan for you and me. If we only lay down the "all" we want to have and instead embrace the "all" He has for us.

Here we'll find such great freedom.

Christine Caine encourages us to lay down a super woman mentality and replace it with a super-natural mentality. With a supernatural mentality we can, and will, have and do it all....all the things God has created us for.

I love it! And I don't know about you, but I'm going for it....a supernatural life full of God's ALL.

Be blessed and encouraged today.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

| Word for 2012 |

For the last number of years I have asked the Lord to give me a word as I approach the New Year. This has become almost a New Year's tradition of sorts for many wonderful girls I know...a tradition that pushes us to listen to God's voice speaking to us, taking the time to hear Him and silence ourselves.

It signifies moving fully into the New Year with direction and confidence in where God wants us to go....and I LOVE it!

Last year my word was "identity." And true to His word, God was ever present in changing, shaping and reforming my identity. I feel like 2011 was a year of growth and refinement... anyone that knows anything about refining something knows it often takes pressure, heat and sometimes pain to refine something...but the end is oh so worth it.

As for this year, I am really excited and encouraged with the word I feel God has given me:
The word "promises" is the plural form of the word promise...according to the dictionary the word promise is defined as:

1. a declaration that something will or will not be done, given, etc., by one.

2. an express assurance on which expectation is to be based: promises that an enemy will not win.

3. something that has the effect of an express assurance; indication of what may be expected.

4. indication of future excellence or achievement.

5. something that is promised

There are many things I believe God has promised, things shown that have not yet come to pass, and things not yet seen that He promises through His word. I am filled with faith and looking forward to 2012 being a year of fulfillment.

Within days of God giving me such a great word I heard this song for the first time. For some of you it may be old news....but for me it was confirmation that yes, I did hear HIM right!?!

If you haven't asked God for your word for 2012 why don't you?!?! I'd love to hear what He shares with you.