Saturday, December 15, 2012

Salted Carmel Torani Syrup Review

I have to admit, I was super excited to be chosen to do a review on Torani Syrups again this year! As a member of the She Speaks Blogger Community this has been on of my favorite opportunities! This year I was thrilled to try out Salted Carmel and Peppermint! The Salted Carmel has now become a favorite in my household since we make our mock version of the hot chocolate from Starbucks.

These are also great to cook with! This next week I am using the peppermint in cookies to make the Candy Cane cookies for our family cooking party. I think we are going to borrow the recipe from a pinterest post I found here.

There are so much fun and while they smell great, the taste is out of this world! Make sure you check out some of the awesome recipes that that have at there Torani's website. When you are ready to step out and try some new flavor or you want to stick to faithful vanilla, you can get your own $1 coupon here.

I received two 750ml bottles of Torani Syrups plus a recipe booklet, 5 coupons for $1 off your next Torani purchase as part of a Blogger Community and all opinions are my own!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Different But The Same

We are almost settled since our move back to my hometown. Somethings feel so different, a lot has to do with the fact that a massive tornado destroyed a large part of a city that I will always claim as my hometown. People are different, too. Some see me at the mall and still see a middle school kid with last years coat and messy hair. (Honestly, though I have last years coat and my hair might not look like it has been combed this week...) We never had much money growing up. We weren't the kids who didn't know we were poor, we knew it but it didn't seem to bother us. I only remember one time thinking I wish we had more money up until high school.
So much is the same. We still don't have money. We moved here to be closer to my family and I felt God calling us to something different. I am still not sure what it is, but I know a lot of it has to do with humbling myself before Him and surrendering my will to His. Some may think it is weird, or even wrong but I prayed that God remove my greed by making us poor again.  So far, things are going slow. We have only been here less than a month and money is tight. But the Lord is faithful and provides everything that we need. We haven't gone without food and our account isn't in the negative but by allowing us to by free of excess money, it allow us to make more thought out choices with the money we do have. Is it worth it to go out to eat every week or would our money be better spent on groceries were we can invite families into our home? Are the cute jeans at the mall necessary? Of course not, the ones I have on now fit just fine.
Poor or wealthy makes no difference as long as the Lord is leading your life and serving His people is the calling of your heart.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Flaming Christian

Never have I been known to be politically correct, not because I would ever want to hurt someones feelings but just because things change so much. Someone is almost always offend by someone or thing. So I guess I'll just throw this out there: some people are flaming! Generally when someone says that we automatically think of the homosexual community but that is not who I am speaking of here. I am talking about a Flaming Christian. You know the people they don't have to say that Jesus Christ is Lord of their life but you know right away because how they carry his or herself. They walk into a room and people almost seem to gravitate towards them. They have a love for other people that just spills out of them. I want to be that person! I want to love others so much that people know that there is no room for judgement in my heart. John 13:34-35 ESV A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. (35) By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” How great would that be? When we are friends with God love just flows out of us!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Nothing to be Proud Of

Sometimes I get caught up in my pride. Hopefully you have never struggled with it. It's kind of weird how pride works. My pride usually hits me on things that if I was honest with myself, I don't really have a reason to be proud of. My struggles here lately have been how smart my daughter is, how adorable my son is, how cute my car is. I have even been prideful about weird things, like I gave up my iPhone and some cable channels to save money. How strange is it to be proud of giving things up? I haven't worked hard and lost 50 lbs, I haven't given the money I saved to the poor, I haven't been reading my Bible and studying like I want to. Pride can be blinding and make you over look the important things in life that truly matter. In the book of James it says, "God opposed the proud but shows favor to the humble." (James 4:6) Opposed by God doesn't sound so great in my book. So in truth, I'll look for ways to see God's hand in my life more and stop thinking of myself as I seek to serve Him with a humble heart.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

"Little" Sins That Can Cost You BIG!

Yesterday, being the 4th and all brought back some memories. I don't have any that reflect on freedom but some that made me reminisce. Yesterday was my husband and my anniversary of our first date. It's special to us to just remember how much fun it was eating pizza and watching the fireworks as we felt butterflies in our stomachs. I honestly don't think he said more than 10 words the whole time during dinner!
  Yesterday, was also the 10 year anniversary of me being pulled over for the last time. I started reflecting on how much money I had saved by being a safe driver because if you know me personally you know I am very frugal! After checking out the web I see here I saved at least $161 for not even going 9 miles over! Even for not wearing your seat belt is $20. I can think of a lot of ways to spend that money or even better, save it!
 There are other "little" sins that creep into our lives that can cost us. While scripture doesn't come right out and say it, I believe gambling is a sin and feel like Hebrews 13:5 backs that up saying, " Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” As does Proverbs 28:22  "Greedy people try to get rich quick but don’t realize they’re headed for poverty." People who buy lotto tickets spend an average of $150 each year!
I wonder what other little sins are costing us big in life? Even being discontent in life adds up when we try and keep up with the Jones'...
I can't think of a better verse to leave you with than this: 1 Timothy 6:6 "Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth!"

Monday, July 2, 2012

No Excuses

Honestly, I don't have a reason for being gone from here so much. Life keeps happening and for that I haven't been blogging lately. My laptop died, my KindleFire doesn't type well for blogging, we went on vacation, I've been potty training Little, preping for homeschooling, started selling Paparazzi Jewelry. There are so many things going on lately that I have felt overwhelmed and the idea of blogging was too much. I am hoping to get back into it soon. Hopefully someone has read posts and made them think. Made them want to be closer to Jesus. I know that is what I am striving for everyday.
Here's to making changes in life that only benefit. And no more excuses!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Mia Bella's Gourmet Giveaway

mia bella candlesMia Bella's Gourmet Products have an amazing scent and quality that is hard to find elsewhere. You can smell these candles even before you open the box!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Karma and Luck- Not to the Rescue

Most people would say that I am lucky. I have won lots of games and prizes! I won a $200 food processor that I love and use a lot. I won a $250 gas card last summer, a $900 golf club for Matt, $200 gift card to a awesome kids boutique that I bought Christmas gifts with last year and then lots of little things also. Candy bars are easy wins and so are $5- $20 gift cards to Starbucks and Subway. Sounds pretty lucky to you, huh? But I am not lucky nor is karma on my side. Luck has nothing to do with my winnings. Statical odds and the fact that I enter lots of contest are the two main factors. Matthew 5:45 says, "He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." Scripture tells us right there that good, even great things happen to very bad people as well as a lot of us know, very terrible things happen to the best people. Karma is not real and honestly if you are waiting on it you have some bitterness in your heart that is going to trap you from growing in the Lord. People all around the world wish people luck and even I say it out of habit but know in your heart, that the only reason things work out is for the glory of the One who made us all. He has a plan and the bad things you might be going through right now will allow you to persevere and allow your true character to be reviled to you. Hope and trust in the Lord and don't allow luck or lottery to become your idol. Let me end with a quote from a man who I know puts his trust in Jesus:
 You’re more likely to be hit by lightning five times and survive than you are to win the lottery. Five times! How many people do you know who have been hit once by lightning and survived, much less five times? -Dave Ramsey

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Tropical Traditions Giveaway WINNER

First I want to say a huge THANKS to Tropical Traditions for hosting this giveaway. I now know that giveaways are not something that I will be focusing on my blog since most subscribers do not seem interested in entering. I enjoy product review and would love to do them but the giveaway entries are not what I feel like the company that I do review for would prefer and I personally would like to give them as much support as possible! That said, Congrats Jodi B. our winner! She has been notified by email. Please be sure to check out their specials listed here!
I have lots of blog ideas I am working on now so be watching for my next post to hopefully encourage, challenge and motive you as it does me with my daily walk with Christ!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tropical Traditions Giveaway!!!

First, I apologise, tomorrow became almost a week. Life got busy and I go lazy! That said, YEA! for a giveaway!!! Tropical Traditions has generously offered to let me try their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil. This is what you are going to want to know about if you are starting to embark on a healthier lifestyle for you and your family! I have a few pictures, some recipes and even a video you can watch to find out more about coconut oil. Click here to find out a wide variety of ways to use coconut oil in the kitchen like I'll show you here. I use my for baking/cooking mostly and here a two of my favorite ways:
I took a basic organic chicken I got at a local Amish farm and covered it is coconut oil and my favorite seasoning salt. (Obviously I need to per-fect my photography skills!) I turned on my crock pot for 8 hours on low and had an amazing dinner of protein from my chicken and added fiber from the coconut oil without it feeling greasy! Dinner is great, but dessert is always my favorite so make sure your check out all the amazing recipes they have videos of here and this video here! My newest favorite is Healthier Peanut Butter Balls. You simply must click on this link to find out how to make a mouth watering treat that isn't going to make you feel guilty all week long. Be sure to check out video on Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil. 
So now for the fun part for you! You can win your very own quart of  Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

New Beginnings

Things have started to change in my heart and in my life. Right now I am looking for direction on where the Lord is leading our life but I know He has BIG plans for my life right now. I am at a time of listening and trying to glean spiritual guidance from His Word. I am not sure where all He is leading and what He is calling our family to do or where go, but I know I am ready. Turning my life over to the Lord is always new, exciting and scary. This adventure so far has lead me to decide to home school Big next year. I am looking at learning aids everyday trying to make sure I make the right choices. My darling husband has been humbled and has committed to stepping up and being the spiritual leader Christ has called him to be. I couldn't be more happy about the few changes already happening. The Lord has really given me some big inspirations about what to write about on here and I pray that as He leads me, it encourages us both!
Tomorrow, I will be writing a fun post with a giveaway that I love so be looking out for the post!!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

No Matter What, They'll Find You

I guess it is more of an it. Your past will find you. No matter if you run and hide, move across the country or just like me, the next state over. I made monumental mistakes while I lived my life in Joplin so after 25 years, lots of broke hearts and hoping for a fresh start on life I moved to Oklahoma. Well, within the first few months I ran into my past. People who I had hurt were still popping in my life. Believe it or not, we moved again and after telling the Lord, "No! I didn't want to go to the Christian church in town!" We decided to go. Sure enough, I ran into three people from college and my ex-husband's family. I think as I sat down I started to cry and laugh to myself. Shocked is an understatement of my feelings at the exact moment in my life. All I had wanted to move on and act as if my old life and the people who's hearts I crushed didn't exist anymore. God always has another plan for us when we run. I'm sure if you have heard of Jonah you know what I am talking. I don't think God really minded that I moved to Oklahoma, but I know He knew I needed to deal with my heart issues. Guilt and shame, forgiving myself and seeking forgiveness from others. Which brings me to this coming Friday, I start my first counseling session. Most people keep the fact that they might need help sorting issues from their past in the dark and never are able to heal. That is not what the Lord wants in our life. He wants us to live life to the fullest and know that we are completely forgiven. Pray with me as I take this next step in facing my past and no longer running from the demons who have haunted me for so long.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Birds on the Brain

I totally broke my promise to myself, I downloaded Angry Birds! I swore that I would not waste any braincells on a video game. I know of hundreds of other things that I could spend my time on! I could do the laundry, dishes, sort clothes the kids have grown out of, enter contests online and win something but I did not want to find myself thinking about how to knock the darn monkey off its post. I have only had it for a few weeks but it is really cutting into my sleep time since the first thing my brain goes to when I can't sleep is Angry Birds Rio (I don't care for regular Angry Birds). Hmmm, the first thing my brain goes? A video game? I am usually not a great steward with my time and if you checked my bedroom you might suggest me for Hoarders but I know there are things that deserve my time way more than a game. In The New Living Translation Paul  says, "We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ."2 (Corinthians 10:5) Don't get my wrong, we all need down time, but if your first thought is putting the kids to bed so you can play a game, maybe it is time to start taking our thoughts captive again. I know I will be in making sure I am in charge of my thoughts. "Finally, brothers and sisters, keep your thoughts on whatever is right or deserves praise: things that are true, honorable, fair, pure, acceptable, or commendable." Philippians 4:8 God's Word Translation.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Free Coupon Giveaway- 2 Winners!

I <3,LOVE, <3 giveaways! I love winning but even more I love giving away! These are two different giveaways and they are very easy with the option of extra entries if you so choose. First I am giving away a Slim*fast coupon good for 4 pack of shakes ($7.49). My husband has been drinking these and really likes them so I thought you might like to try them too! This coupon expires 2/29 so if you want this I will make sure to mail it out quickly and you have to respond quickly too! The other coupon you have a chance to win is any one Nestle Coffee-Mate liquid or powder creamer ($3.99). It expires 3/31 so you have a bit longer. I don't care for coffee but I love to add the creamer to my hot chocolate or flavored waters to make Italian Cream Sodas!
All you have to do to enter is tell me which one you want I will pick one winner for each making two coupon winners! For extra entries you may share this on facebook, tweet or for 3 extra entries you can sign up for Clover here , No More Rack here, or Vitacost here! These are all free and you get free money for each one you sign up did just like I have! Just comment three times for each new sign up you do. Contest ends Monday, January 30th at noon.  Thanks so much and good luck!
Don't you just love my fuzzy, green blanket! (Sorry it's sideways.)

These giveaways are not sponsored by anyone but myself!

Loosing It All

Luke 6:20 is the Blessedness (you know, the Beatitudes) "God blesses you who are poor,
for the Kingdom of God is yours." Happy are the poor is what the Young Literals Translation says. Really, God's Word tells me to be happy that I am broke? Honestly, yes! He is telling us that as of right now, the second you take up your cross and follow Him, give up your life plans and turn your gifts over to Him. Scary, right; not exactly. We are not Christ-followers (Thanks, Randy for coining that term) because we think Jesus is going to bless us with a life of extravagance, no we are followers to surrender our all and tell His children they have been given the chance to meet the one true God who is the only One big enough to fill the void that we keep filling with stuff. The stuff- money, TVs, computers, sex, love/lust. These things will fade away and will rust but the Son of God who gives us the words of Life is wanting you give it all up to see His kingdom reign. Does He want you go through your house and sell your flat screen, ditch the Mac and give up the Hummer, maybe but He'll let you know.  Luke 18:22 When Jesus heard that, he said, "Then there's only one thing left to do: Sell everything you own and give it away to the poor. You will have riches in heaven. Then come, follow me."  He is your chance to surrender it all and not look back. Luke 9:62 Jesus said, "No procrastination. No backward looks. You can't put God's kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day." (MSG)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Clover App

Have you heard of Clover? It is a new app that allows you pay or request money from people for just about anything! This is great for people like me who loves to go out to eat with friends and family and you know the waiter gives you a look like, "Do you really want me to split the check up six ways?!" This way you just pull out your smart phone and send or request the money and it is transferred instantly! Once you link it up to your debit or credit card through your iPhone or Android you get $5 and can even buy gift cards like I did (I am already up to $16 in Amazon since last week!). Once your friends sign up to you can earn even more money. Right now I have 14 invites left and you can sign up here! Don't miss out on this chance to earn FREE money and make life a little easier! Comment if you sign up so I can update this so no one misses the chance today!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Holding Hands with the Devil

I know the title is kind odd, but that is just kinda me. I have really been doing some soul searching these past few weeks and it has kind of lead me to this point. If I am not fully committed to serving the Lord everyday and laying my whole life down for Him then I am holding hands with the devil. Not because I want to but the moment that I let go of Christ hand leading my life, the devil swoops in and slowly pulls me away. He whispers to me that the truth I know in my heart might not be what makes me happy. Have you heard that whisper too? That living in the world would be more fulfilling. I want to stop right here and tell you it's NOT! The world is out to steal, kill and destroy. The moment you step away from the light that Christ brings to your life, Satan's smile becomes more cunning and any hold he can find in your life he will take. The longer he holds your hand the harder it is to pry his murderous hands from yours. Take a moment to evaluate where you are and who is holding your hand and helping your lead your life.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year!

Well, after a great Christmas break I am ready to start posting again! First off, let me tell you we had a great time connecting with family and got to eat a lot of great food. I started my new years resolutions and I am excited that this is the first year I have really done any. I picked 12 for some strange reason like other than the fact that it is 2012! What do you think? Is this your year? I honestly didn't know I wanted it to be mine but I think it has to be! Be lookin' out for some giveaways, blogs deals and hopefully insight in the the Book of Life to make this our best year yet!
This is our family Christmas picutre taken at our loving church.