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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wow!! Target is rocking already!

Wow! The deals are already starting! Do you do any online shopping for Christmas? Do you happen to shop at Target? RIGHT now for a limited time they are offering ** FREE SHIPPING  **on your entire order! FREE! That is how I like to do my shopping! Often I have found that there are more deals, better selections, and online only offers that come from ordering online. The last couple of years I have done the majority of my Christmas shopping this way ~ because it comes in discreet boxes and no one knows what's inside them, which means I can order and not worry about the surprise being ruined by poorly hidden gifts. When I saw this deal come through my email ... I KNEW you would want to take advantage of it!

** CLICK that "FREE SHIPPING" link to get your deal!!**

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The links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link. (Target)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tempt my Tummy Tuesday: Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cheesecake Bars

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cheesecake Bars

Believe it or not, lately I have not made near the desserts I usually do. Over the summer I played with a few parfaits, but baking wasn't really what I desired to do. But it's Autumn now, and I LOVE baking in the Autumn season!

Sunday, I played a bit in the kitchen and though I have made a few variances of this kind of bar, I wanted to experiment a bit! So, if you like Oatmeal Cookies, chocolate chips, and cheesecake... you are in for a REAL treat!


Cookie Base Ingredients
3 cups oats
1 3/4 cup All purpose Flour
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
2 sticks butter softened
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 bag of chocolate chip chunks

Cheesecake Ingredients
2 packages of Cream Cheese (8oz each) softened
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 bag of chocolate chip chunks


Directions
Mix cookie dough together by hand (leave the chocolate chunks to be folded at end so they do not get broken into tiny pieces.). (I did not do the dry/wet separate but instead incorporated the whole mess into one lump of dough!) Bar cookies have a tendency to be a bit less picky. In a separate bowl, mix in cheesecake ingredients leaving out the chocolate chunks. Once cheesecake mixture is smooth fold in chocolate chunks. In a 13x9 pan spread 1/2 of cookie dough into bottom smooshing with your hands to get it flat and smooth along the bottom. Bake in a 350* oven for 10 minutes and remove. Top with cheese cake batter and spread over dough almost to the edges. Bit by bit sprinkle on the remaining cookie dough on top until cheesecake is mostly covered. Bake in a 350* oven for 35 minutes or until really golden brown on top! Allow to cool at least 4 hours, but it is best to chill overnight!

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Jalapeno Popper Deviled Eggs

Jalapeno Popper Deviled Eggs

That's right! I have seen the little clip from Facebook and Pinterest for the original post from Real Housemoms but I had to just take the idea and make it mine. I love having an inspired recipe but giving it a twist of my own that I know my family will enjoy!

Because these were just for our family, I did not make a large batch of them. You can definitely double these or even triple as you see the need to for larger get togethers but these were just a side dish to a meal yesterday.


Ingredients
8 boiled eggs
8 slices of bacon cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup of chopped picked jalapenos
2 diced fresh seeded chopped jalapenos
2 oz softened cream cheese
2 tsp brown mustard
1 tsp pickle relish
4 TBS Miracle Whip
dash of chipolte chili powder
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Split eggs in half placing yolks in bowl. Add remaining ingredients to yolk and mix up well, using fork to mash up the yolks while mixing. This will give you quite a bit of filling so don't feel limited in the amount you add back to the eggs.

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Motivation for your Monday: What's your motive?



I love pure, holy, conviction and I have been through the refiner's fire for a bit of time. Off and on, the heat would get cranked up, and at times I was able to take a step to the side to get out of the heat for a bit.... yet it was still there. Last night before bed, I was reading in one of my favorite devotionals. Exodus Devotional part 2, and was led to read about "The Lost Sheep" as well as the parable of the lost coin and the prodigal son. It was indeed very timely for me because I can honestly say that I was indeed feeling like all the above. Lost.

I lost my way for a little while. I found pride. I found self focus. I found boasting. I found the praise of man (woman). But in that I lost the peace that only comes from a life whose focus is on God alone. I lost the JOY that comes from simply being a child of God. I lost the simplicity that we are called to live in under His care.

This morning I feel a bit of relief that I don't have to work to be something that I am not. I feel peace because if I don't make time to "write" this evening it's okay. If HE wants me to be a writer, it will happen. Well, in some sense I am a writer.... always have been and always will be, but if He wants to give me that desire guess what!?! It will happen! He will open doors! HE will lead me in that path. But I can tell you this. I am exhausted trying to make it happen on my own. I humbly come to you and say I am tired of pushing it and finding myself in the same spot.


I have talked a lot about chasing dreams, having a vision, planning, and the like. Today I plead with you.... put God first and foremost before any of that. Allow HIM to give you the dream. Allow HIM to give you a vision. Allow HIM to do the planning. and above that.... just focus on LOVING God with all of your heart! That should ALWAYS be our motive!


Does this mean I stop writing? No. But it does mean that instead of "speaking" things into existence... I will allow God to bring it into existence in His time, for His glory not mine! I will be a willing vessel!

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sweet Word Sunday: Feast


At least one breakfast each weekend is usually a feast of some sort. Even though I am not a big breakfast eater, my family is. Especially on weekends. So, I try to accommodate that. During the week we are usually busy and for the most part they are all out of the door by 6:30. If I am hungry in the morning it comes later and I don't usually like anything heavy.

Chicken fried steak has always been a staple in our home for dinner at least once a month if not more. My husband is a deer hunter so our "steak" is usually venison unless I buy rib eyes to throw on the grill. Just this past month I began adding chicken fried steak for breakfast at least once a month as well. The trick is ... the leftover steak makes a GREAT lunch on those busy weekends so I don't mind making more than we might need for one meal.


Chicken Fried Steak
Ingredients
Cube Steak or tenderized venison
2 cups of flour
Garlic Salt
Pepper
Paprika
Black Pepper
4 eggs
oil
2 Gallon size Zip lock bags (or two bowls)

Directions
In one Ziploc bag place flour, sprinkle liberally (about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp) of each of the seasonings listed. I also like to use a dash of chipolte chili powder every now and then. It adds a smokey hint with just a tad bit of spice. Of course feel free to use any spices and seasonings that you and your family prefers. In the other Ziploc bag crack eggs, splash a bit of milk, and the same seasonings that you had in the flour, just reduce by about 1/3. Shake up wet mixture until the eggs are incorporated with the milk and seasonings and you are left with a beautiful golden slurry.  Sprinkle meat on both sides with seasonings lightly. We want to season the meat but not overly so since the crust will also be seasoned.

Going from dry to wet back to the dry, coat meat well. Place on cookie sheet and proceed until all meat is coated well. Heat up oil (I prefer Crisco) to about 325 to 350. I like to use my electric skillet for this. Cook meat for about two to three minutes (for venison) or four to six minutes (for beef) on each side until both sides are golden brown. Drain on paper towels.If you are cooking venison or a thin cut of beef, please be careful not to over cook it.

 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV


Our breakfast feasts once a week are just that. I do it for the glory of God ~ thankful to have a large family by today's standards to prepare meals for. Thankful and blessed that the children and husband are fond of my cooking. And above all... so very thankful for the food in on our table, and the abundance in our freezer/fridge/pantry. We are indeed blessed.

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Shake it up Saturday: SPEAK!

Speak! That's right, don't sit there in silence! I want to hear you.. your voice, your words, the passion behind them, and most of all... YOU!  But.... can I share something with you first?!


We are not called to be silent in our lives, especially on the things that matter most. This verse was brought to my attention from the hubster yesterday and God brought it to my heart as I sat down to write this post.

See the words of our mouth should be reflecting the mediation of our hearts.... and both should be pleasing in His sight! But often we want to say things that are guarded, because either our thoughts are not so pleasing, or ... neither is the motive behind them.

OUCH!

We are all guilty of saying things that really are not truly reflective of what we want them to be. I for one have hurt feelings of others because I either didn't think before I spoke OR... I was so wrapped up in myself that I spoke out of hurt, frustration, loneliness,


We can always tell ourselves that we can fix it, but really once words are spoken they are released ~ and have to go somewhere. Most likely they go into hearts, minds, and memories that will never be erased, even with an apology.

Words hurt. Words heal. Words can change the lives of those who hear or read them. Speak responsibly!

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Is your bed made?


Every morning I do a few things out of habit. They once weren't habits but over time doing the same things over and over they did indeed become a habit and now I don't' even think about it. Making my bed is one of them.


When I was a newlywed, and a young  married woman I did not make our bed. Growing up, making my bed wasn't something important to me. In fact, it wasn't until I had the twins and stayed home for a couple of years that it even caught my attention. Being a stay at home mom for the first time I wanted to do the best I could at it while I grew and matured as a wife. I realized how much of a difference a made bed was.

As I was making my bed yesterday morning, the thought occurred to me "I can talk about making a bed because I actually make a bed." If I simply talked about making a bed and really didn't do it then I have no right really to encourage you along the way to teach you how to make it now can I?

That is kind of like how life is. I don't follow those who say but don't do. I don't allow them to lead me in my way of thinking, and living. Yet, if you put someone in front of me who has shown that they do what they say ~ I am more apt to trust their leading.

I love this scripture from Matthew 23

Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, 2 saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; 3 therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them. 4 They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger. Matthew 23: 1-4 NASB

Amazing is it not?! So many in our lives will say "You need to do this" yet aren't willing to either do what they say for themselves, or to share from personal experience of what has happened in their lives as a result of the doing ` not saying.  I can say that is exactly why I am so transparent here on this blog. I share from my innermost being, from my life experiences, and from what I am learning as I am growing. 

I cannot say that I have held true to this ~ as far as watching whom I follow. There have been times I have read, watched, or been led by those who say but do not do. They have had a power of influence over me, yet all I learned is how to be judgmental because they did not lead by example ~ but by manipulation. 

When I say I make my bed most mornings I am being honest. There might be one or two mornings that it doesn't get done until mid day (especially on weekends) but for the most part I have been consistent about making my bed. I know what it takes to get the sheets smooth on the bottom, how to fluff the pillows, and how to make it displayed well. It took time. It took learning that it does indeed make a difference in the appearance of my bedroom, and of my effort. In fact, you can walk in my bedroom and actually SEE that I took time, energy, and effort into making my bed. I pray that it is the same with this blog. I take time, energy, and effort into making the posts that I write to be timely, useful, and encouraging to women all over the world. The motive in making my bed, is to serve my husband and him knowing that I care about the smallest details in our home and that I take time to not be careless and messy. The motive in writing blog posts for me, is to encourage you, share from my heart, and be used by God to touch lives for Him. 

I am being moved into a new area of life. I can feel it. I can see it. Now I just need to experience it! You know that feeling you got when you were a kid and December came rolling around? You had that anticipation that just made you giddy and energized!? Yep.. that's me! Today! This week! NOW! 

Thank you for allowing me into your day today! I love spending time with you and I do pray you are encouraged as you read ~ not to make your bed, but to be careful in whom you give the power of influence in your life. 

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