Finding My Way To God

Overcome:

To succeed in dealing with a situation.

To face it and conquer it. 

My last post was an example of me searching for peace during a time where I was struggling in a situation that I was in. 

I had a friend who needed a place to stay. Bless his heart, he came at a time where I was nose deep into my emotional and spiritual battles. A time where I was tired of fighting with my thoughts, and I was ready for more joyful and peaceful thoughts in my everyday life. A time where I made a decision to surrender to God, and grow with Him.

My friend was never a mean house guest. He respected me and my home. But I struggled with him living with me, due to his dominate energy that didn’t sit well with my sensitive energy. The whole situation became hard for me to handle.  It was hard for me to give up my space, my comfort zone. I felt invaded and attacked in my own home. I was fighting off depression, I was having bad panic attacks, nightmares, uncontrollably crying moments. I struggled to keep myself together during that time. Trying to keep my emotions under wraps because I didn’t want it to effect my family.

Through it all, I cried out to God everyday for strength. I reached out to grab God by the hand for protection. I held on to his hand so tight, like a kid holding her daddy’s hand crossing a street. I went to God more than I had ever done before in my life, I prayed harder than I had ever prayed before in my life, I got deeper into His word more than I had ever gotten into before in my life, and just focused on intentionally growing with God.

I truly believe that having my friend stay with me pushed me to go to God and rely on Him as my comforter, my safe haven, and my strong tower. Being in that place mentally, I was struggling to fight off the enemy, but I was also determined to not let him stop me from growing and walking this journey that God placed me on.

I stayed the course, and pressed toward what God had planned for me which was to:

  • Put Him first in all that I do.
  • Have faith in him, trust in him, obey him, and most of all love him. 
  • Finally love myself for who He created me to be. His daughter, His masterpiece, His creation
  • Honor him by being the being the best mother that He entrusted me to be, and the best wife that He called me to be. Homemaking is my number one ministry, and I am forever grateful for the opportunity He has given me.  
  • Glorify him by letting the Holy Spirit use my God-given gifts and talents that only HE could give me, to share God’s love to others and to serve others.
  • Obey his will, and go out into what my Pastor calls, the mission field, and bring people to Jesus. Go out and share the word, and make disciples that will be apart of the body of Christ, and work together to build up the Kingdom.

I thank God for giving me the strength to overcome a HUGE obstacle that I faced. I thank God for putting me in a situation to where I was pushed to trust in Him more. I Thank God for my friend, whom, without evening knowing it, had a hand in pushing me to a greater relationship with God. 

Through those tough months I learned that:  

  • I am stronger than I thought I was. An Overcomer! The enemy told me I couldn’t handle it.  Every time I told myself I couldn’t take it anymore, I went to God, and he told me I could. Because remember, All things through Christ gives us strength. (Philippians 4:1)
  • That through my trial I gained perseverance and a better understanding of my connection with God, and grow in my personal relationship with Him.

God is amazing! He never leaves our side, He’s always there to give you the strength, the courage, and the wisdom to get through those though days. Days when you feel like you just can’t take it no more, He comes in like the wind and swoop up your worries, leaving you with the peace that only He can give provide.

  • He is a mighty God  
  • A powerful God
  • A ‘ won’t leave you in your puddle of tears’ kind of God  
  • A God that can set your free. A’ break the chains’ kind of God.
  • A God that will dress you in compassion, kindness, and gentleness.
  • A God that will set fire to your soul from within.
  • A merciful God that gives you a new day every morning.
  • A God that deserves your honor, your glory, and all the love that you can give Him. Why, do you ask? Because he loves us, and only wants the best for us.

When things get heavy, just know that you can always count on God to help see you through it. That God gave you the power to overcome any obstacle that dares to comes your way.  

1 john 3 4

 

Peace Be Onto You!

I’m going to be totally transparent with you when I say that I have been struggling with having peace in my heart for a few months now. I have been so wrapped up in being unsettling in my circumstances, that I have failed to focus on the greatness of God in my life. 
 
When things feel like they are falling apart, we are to go to God, and let His supernatural peace settle our hearts.
 

“Security during turmoil equals God’s peace.” -Pastor Kerri, CWC

 
Godisour
 
We are to fall to our knees, and pray when things get out of hand, because the world can become too much at times. But our God says that he got us, and only He can bring us internal peace as long as we have faith in who he is and all that he CAN do.
 
judges624
 
With Christ’s peace in our hearts, we have no need to fear the present nor our future because the Holy Spirit is deeply rooted within us. Only God can bring us long-lasting, internal peace that the world can’t provide.
 
John1633
 
We should expect trials and tribulations while we live in this world because this world is troubled. But, when we focus of God, we can expect our relationship with Christ to grow and produce peace and comfort over our lives because we are growing our faith in Him, and not of this world. We are to become christ-like, and in doing so we are gifted the fruit of peace. 
 
Psalm 62:8
 
Through the good and the bad we are to praise God. These days may be tough but our God is tougher. We are to focus on him, his promises, and believe that things will work out for the good of him. We have to believe that whatever we’re going through it won’t last forever. That it too shall pass. We are to cast our cares and anxieties on God because he cares for us, and will never forsaken us.
 
Matthew 1926 
My Flesh tells me that everything is impossible but my God says all things are possible. I can choose to drown in my sorrow, my worries, and my anxiety and let it consume my life or I can put on my armor of God and step out, and face my troubles with confidence knowing that God is in control. I can have peace knowing that this life can get crazy, but if I stay the course, and keep my faith in God, I can receive that inner peace in my heart that will allow me to stand firm, in him and his promises when everything seems to be falling apart. 
 
James 12
 
Paul didn’t say if we face trials and tribulations but WHEN we face them we should have a positive outlook on the situation. That we should try to see the light in the dark, or better yet, be the light in the darkness of your troubles. Instead of dwelling on how bad things are in your life, choose to focus on the good that’s around you. Choose to remind yourself that this tough season won’t last, because, in actuality, it won’t. Your trails and tribulations won’t last forever. God’s love, grace, mercy, and peace will carry us on until the ends of time. 
 
Romans1417

 How do you handle your circumstances when times get tough? Are you allowing God to bring peace in your heart, in the midst of your troubles? 

What I Love Most About Marrying Young.

 

usweddingblackwhite (1)Today, we are celebrating 16 awesome years of marriage, and 21 wonderful years of being together. We’ve been together so long that we joke about how we can’t even remember what life was like before we started dating. It’s crazy! But I wouldn’t have it any other way. In honor of our anniversary I wanting to share a few things I love most about marrying my life partner at such a young age. 

We get to spend more years together.  

We love being in each others’ presence. We talk all the time about how much we enjoy simply being together, and miss each other dearly when we are apart. The younger you get together, the longer you have to be together. We are partners for a lifetime, and I look forward to growing old with him, and telling our grandkids stories about us from when we were teenagers. 

We didn’t have to deal with the craziness of the dating scene. 

Dating looks like it would be exhausting. I’ve watched others struggle as they try to maneuver through the dating world. I’ve watched my friends deal with the dramas of dating. I’ve seen people build up unrealistic expectations of how they think things should be in a relationship or the type of person they feel they should be dating. Sometimes, even bring in baggage from the past which ends up effecting how one conducts themselves in their current relationships. We started dating so young that when we came together we had no expectations of each other, and no past relationship dramas. 

We Support Each Other.

When my husband decided to follow new job, I supported him 150%. When I decided I wanted to go to college, he was my number one supporter. We are each other’s encouragers. It’s nice to always have someone by your side, cheering you on, and pushing you to reach your goals. 

When you struggle to together, you learn to become finally stable together.

We started out with nothing. We’ve gone from living with family members, to getting our own place, to being homeless, to moving across the states together. We’ve seen our fair share of tough days. However, over the years, we progressed, slowly but surely, to where we are now. We aren’t rich, but we never asked to be. We simply wanted to live a stable life. We learned to love each other during our toughest times, and in the end, we appreciate how far we have come now. We look back with amazement sometimes at just how far we have become. We feel blessed, and we take nothing for granted. 

We Get To Share Big Milestones and Achievements Together

From his promotion at work, to the kids’ graduations, to buying our first home. We’ve got to enjoy a lot of milestones, and share our biggest moments in life together.

We started our family young.

I’m just going to be honest, I can not even fathom the thought of having a baby in my 30s. Being a parent in my late teens and early 20s was perfect for me. I had the energy to be up all night for feedings, and run after toddlers all day. Everyone around us is settling down, and starting their own families now. Our kids are old enough to take care of themselves, and we are able to focus on nurturing our relationship a bit more. 

Safe Sex.

What can I say, sex is fun. Even more so when done with the person you love in a committed marriage. We can have fun without the worries of STDs. There are no expectations of how I should look naked in front of another person. Being without someone who loves every inch of your body is a confidence booster. With no worries of judgment we can openly communicate with each other our wants and needs. Our marriage is a safe zone for physical and emotional intimacy.  

We work to overcome the odds stacked against us. 

While we had a decent amount of support, we also had some family and friends that doubted our relationship. We knew statistically young marriages tend to fail. We understood that a young age coupled with immaturity would make things complicated, but it didn’t mean that we were doomed to fail, (as one friend stated to me). There are people who wait to get married, and still have problems that lead to a divorce. Divorce has no age limit. What works for us our love and mostly importantly, our commitment to each other. Never saying the word “Divorce”, and agreeing that divorce is NOT an option. 

Like any other marriage, we have had our ups, downs, and turnarounds. However, even at a young age, we knew that marriage was going to take our commitment to each other to making things work. We decided at the very beginning to go through the tough times together, and keep our focus on the things that we love about each other and our relationship.
Marriage is not for everyone, no matter how old or young you are. However, the chances of you having a long-lasting marriage are greater when you love each other wholeheartedly, you commit yourself to each other, and you stay loyal to one another. When you value your commitment to each other, your marriage can thrive, and grow into something amazing.us2016blue 

10 Simple Ways To Spice Up Your Marriage

spice up your marriage

Everyone needs a little spice in their marriage. Whether you’ve been married for one month or for 50 years, It’s highly important that you invest in keeping the spark alive between you and your spouse. 

I know all too well how life can get a bit hazy. Between working, paying bills, taking care of kids, and keeping the household running, it can all take it’s tool on a couple’s marriage. You feel exhausted, overwhelmed, and just not in the mood to do anything but sleep.  All too often we allow the craziness of life to take over, and we forget that we need to stop, come to our spouse, and make our marriage a high priority.

With it being the month of all things love, I thought it would be the perfect time to come up with a list, and share with you a few simple ways to add a little spice into your own marriage. 

10 Simple Ways To Spice Up Your Marriage:

  1. Take A Shower Together. Showering together is a great way to spice things up, and get intimate. You can soap each other up, caressing each other bodies, and just be close. 
  2. Buy Some Lingerie. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Maybe some new sexy underwear, or buy some fishnet stockings. If money is tight, put something together with what you have. You can put it under your clothes, and give him peeks here and there when the kids aren’t looking. The point is to surprise him, and have fun with it. 
  3. Take Sexy Dance Classes. Lap dancing or pole dancing classes are available everywhere nowadays.  You can go in, get a few tips, and give your man a little show. Youtube has lots of videos that you, and get some inspiration from.
  4. Date Your Partner. Take each other out from time to time. Hold hands, and give each other kisses. It so important that you make the time to just be together.  
  5. Take Care Of Yourself. Yes! Taking care of yourself will help to spice things up a bit. Maybe, instead of wearing sweats or yoga pants, put on a nice dress. Do your make up, if that’s what your husband is into. Exercise, drink water, eat right, and just all around love yourself. 
  6. Make Your Bedroom A Sacred Place. Keep your room clean. Make your bed everyday. Say no to kids and their toys. I love my kids, but I don’t allow them into my room. They know that Mom and Dad’s room is off limits. Only because it’s “our” place to unwind after the kids go to bed. It’s our sanctuary. It’s harder to have a moment with your partner if you allow the kids to run a muck in your room. No work is aloud in the bed either. My husband’s job has him working from home from time to time. We agreed that he was to keep his work in his office. It’s where it belongs. Not in my bed of love. 🙂 
  7. Give A Massage In Your Birthday Suit. Rubbing his skin down while you are in you are naked. It’s sexy, it’s sensual, and your partner will love you for it. 
  8. Go To Bed In Your Birthday Suit. I’m not kidding! Get naked, and get in that bed! There is nothing like skin on skin contact. It’s sexy. It’s a great way to connect and cuddle. It may turn him on. The more you do it, the morning comfortable you become in your own skin, which is a plus within itself.
  9. Love Notes.  Stick them in his car, briefcase, or even his pants pocket. A few words of love, pray, and even affirmation can go a long way.
  10. Laugh Together! My husband has a great sense of humor, and I consider myself a nutcase lol. We are always laughing and making jokes together. It’s a great was to bond. They say, laughter makes your heart grow fonder, and I believe it to be true. 

Is there anything you could add to the list?

If you like this post, then check out:

Finding Love At 16

 20 Ways I Show My Husband Love

Strawberry Brunt Almond Cupcakes

me at 2am

True Story! 

I woke up at 2 am this morning for no reason at all. Just up with my eyes wide open like I didn’t have things to do today. I laid around in bed for awhile thinking about all of the food I had made this past weekend for a gathering I threw at my house. I had some friends over, we sipped on some drinks, and I cooked a lot of food that was slammin’, per usual.  

One of the things that disappeared from my countertop quickly were my Strawberry Brunt Almond Cupcakes. I swear, I brought them out, sat them on the counter, and within seconds, they were gone. I didn’t even get a chance to grab one for myself or my hubby, because they went so fast.

almond cupcakes side view

So, while everyone else was sleep this morning, I was up bake some cupcakes when I know, for a fact, that I should have be sleep my dang self. I told myself sleep will just have to wait, because my stomach told me these cupcakes could not. 

Strawberry Brunt Almond Cupcakes

Strawberry Brunt Almond Cupcakes

Ingredients

    Cake
  • Your favorite White Cake Recipe (Or a box of white cake mix)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Almond Extract
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Strawberry jam
  • Frosting:
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese, soften
  • 1 Stick Butter, soften
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Almond Extract
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • Roasted Brown Sugar Butter Almonds:
  • 2 Cups Sliver Almonds
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter, melted

Instructions

    Cake
  1. Mix your cake recipe or box cake mix.
  2. Add almond extract
  3. Add vanilla extract
  4. Bake 25-30 minutes. Sticking at toothpick in, and see if it come out clean.
  5. Let it cool completely.
  6. Once cooled, use a teaspoon to scope out the middle of the cupcake.
  7. Fill the hole with strawberry jam
  8. Frosting
  9. Cream together the cream cheese and the butter using your mixer.
  10. Add the almond and vanilla extract.
  11. Add the powder sugar, one cup at a time, until it's smooth like frosting.
  12. Frost your cupcakes. Be careful not to let the jam come out as you smooth your frosting over.
  13. Roasted Brown Sugar, Butter Almonds
  14. Turn your broiler on.
  15. Dump your almonds into a baking dish.
  16. Mix in the brown sugar.
  17. Add the butter, mix well.
  18. Roast for about 5 minutes.
  19. **Keep an eye on it or you will burn your almonds.**
  20. When the almonds are done, let them cool for a couple of minutes.
  21. Grab you cupcake and lay them face down into the roasted almond.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://www.homelifewithmrsb.com/strawberry-brunt-almond-cupcakes/

While I won’t say how many I managed to stuff in my mouth before I went back to bed for a couple of hours, let’s just say, I ate more than I should have, because sometimes, I have no self-control when it comes to food, lol.
How about you? Have you ever woke up in the middle of the night and starting cooking? Crafting? Painting? What are some of your remedies for sleeping at night?

Almond Chocolate Chip Oatmeal

Chocolate Chip oatmeal 2

I was up late last night watching tv when I started craving something sweet. I promptly went downstairs to see what I could find to munch on. I came across some ice cream inside my garage refrigerator. With my spoon in hand, I grabbed the ice cream, and was ready to dig into some yummy neapolitan ice cream.

However, to me devastation, I found out the ice cream was too soft. I guess the refrigerator’s freezer compartment was not cold enough to keep the ice cream solid. I personally, can not stand soft ice cream, and I couldn’t bring myself to eat it. So, I put the ice cream in our deep freezer in hopes to make the ice cream more solid, and continued my search. 

Bummed, and still craving something sweet, I did what I do best, and rummaged through my pantry to see what I could come up with. I knew that whatever it was, had to be quick. No baking, or anything that took too long. I was too lazy to wait around on cookies. So, I decided to make some oatmeal, and add a few other ingredients to satisfy my need for sweets. 

This ingredients that I grabbed were:

  • 1/2 Cup Oatmeal 
  • 1/2 Cup + 1 TB of Almond Milk  (You can use any milk)
  • 1/2 Tea Almond Extract
  • 1/2 TB Brown Sugar 
  • 1/8 Tea Cinnamon 
  • 1 TB Silvered Almonds
  • 1 Tb Chocolate Chips

Directions:

  1. Added all the ingredients to a small saucepan. 
  2. cook until oatmeal until done. About 2-3 minutes. Stir if needed.
  3. Put in a bowl, and pour 1 Tb almond  milk over the oatmeal.
  4. Top with the chocolate chips and almonds.
  5. Eat.
 

Chocolate Chip oatmeal

Almond Chocolate Chip Oatmeal

Almond Chocolate Chip Oatmeal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Oatmeal
  • 1/2 Cup + 1 TB of Almond Milk (You can use any milk)
  • 1/2 Tea Almond Extract
  • 1/2 TB Brown Sugar
  • 1/8 Tea Cinnamon
  • 1 TB Silvered Almonds
  • 1 Tb Chocolate Chips

Instructions

  1. Added all the ingredients to a small saucepan.
  2. cook until oatmeal until done. About 2-3 minutes. Stir if needed.
  3. Put in a bowl, and pour 1 Tb almond milk over the oatmeal.
  4. Top with the chocolate chips and almonds.
  5. Eat.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://www.homelifewithmrsb.com/almond-chocolate-chip-oatmeal/

This Almond, Chocolate Chip Oatmeal was not only delicious, it was easy to make. A better choice than a candy bar. I’m glad I picked something warm to snack on instead of eating something that would have made me cold anyway.

I’m a huge fan of oatmeal, and being that January is National Oatmeal Month,  I figured I would share with you some of my other oatmeal recipes below.

 Tell me, What are some of your favorite ways got eat oatmeal? 

10 Simple Tricks To Beating The Blues

beating the blues

Having A Tough Day Today?

You know, those days where you feel like nothing is going right? Maybe you are in a rut, and feel moments of feeling like you are a bad mom? Maybe your laundry is out of control, your sink is full of dishes, the baby is crying, all while you are trying to pay a bill on the phone. Maybe you feel overwhelmed with trying to balance your families’s needs, the household, and your 9-5 job. Are you working so hard to take care of everyone else that you forget to take care of yourself?

Can I just tell you, my fellow mom, that you are not alone.

Most days, I wake up in a positively energetic mood. Motivated to get things accomplished, and I’m highly focused, and get things done. Then, there are the other days. Days where I’m not as chipper as I would like to be. I’m an emotional wreak at times, becoming my own worst critic about everything that I’m doing.

I know that I’m not alone. I know that we, as mothers, are always trying to be superwomen for everyone else. So much so, that we tend to become dissatisfied when we feel like we are falling short of the high exceptions that we set on ourselves. We become disappointed, discouraged, and sometimes feel defeated. 

I know all to well about the crippling effects of sadness, and how it can affect the productivity of your day. So I listed below a few simple tricks that I have used myself over the years. 10 ways that I hope can help you during those days when you feel the blues are trying to creep in. 

1. Create A List Of Good Things.

Write down a list of your accomplishments. Things you have done that you are proud of. Write down things you are good at. Are you are good listener? Are you good with your hands? Are you a good cook? Write down things that make you happy like the sun rising, or the smell of coffee in the morning. Writing a list down can take just a few minutes for you to do. Tape it to your wall, and read it out loud whenever you start to feel like you may not be good enough.  

2. Dance Around The House.

I do this often simply because I love to dance. Find you some good music, turn it up loud, and go for it. And, if you feel like taking it up a notch, try dancing in your birthday suit. It may sound silly, but I promise you, it can be quite exhilarating. 

3. Do Something For Someone Else. 

Named the Helper’s High, performing a small, selfless, random acts of kindness can lead to lifting your own spirits. The act can be as simple as calling someone to say hello, or telling them how much you appreciate them. Buy some flowers for a friend, and leave it at their door step with a little note of love. Send someone words of encouragement thorough text, email, or even on someone’s fb wall. By doing so, you will not only set off the happy vibe within yourself, but you just may make someone else’s day as well. Sounds like a win, win to me. 

4. Exercise. 

Exercising is a great way to get the brain going. Moving around releases endorphins that trigger positives feelings within the body. I know most people don’t like to exercise. So I don’t recommend doing something that you dread. Instead, find an exercise that you would enjoy. Something like yoga, hull hooping, or suing a jumprope. I personally love to go roller skating around my neighborhood from time to time. It’s a fun, high calorie burning exercise. I’m also a huge fan of running. It helps to clear my mind, gives me energy, and gets me back on track for the day. 

5. Invest in a coloring book. 

I’ve always loved to color. It’s a relaxing activity. Adult Coloring books have become a trend in the last couple of years. There are some great adult coloring books out there like this one, this one, and this one. For those of you who are fond of foul words, check out this swear word coloring book that I found on Amazon. 

6. Journaling. 

I am a avid fan of writing in journals. I’m have been journal writing since I was kid. I would write stories about me and my imaginary friends. I would write about my emotions, my days in school, or even stories about my parents. I wrote about anything and everything that was going on in my mind. I do they same now as an adult. I write about my passions, and my goals. I write about my good days, as well as my bad ones. Jotting down my testimonies and my triggers. It’s a way for me to release stress, and getting things out on paper so they don’t fester in my brain. Writing in my journal helps me to stay in tuned with myself, helping me to be aware of my thoughts and emotions. 

7. Laugh.

They say laughter the best medicine. I believe it to be true. Even on my worse days, all it takes is for me to see or read something funny, and I instantly feel better. Find something funny to watch. Maybe a funny movie, or some stand up comedy. Something that can lift your spirits up, and makes you laugh those blues away.

8. Play Music. 

I love music. It speaks to my soul. I tend to be emotionally attached certain songs. Songs that are inspirational. When I’m having a tough day, I play uplifting dance music to get me going around my living room, or I play worship music that praises God to get me out of my funk. Try making a play list, and play it during those moments that you need a bit of encouragement. 

9. Praying

I Pray, and Pray some more. Seriously. When I feel like I’m going through it, sometimes I just have to stop, drop, and pray. I pray for clarity in my mind, joy in my heart, and peace in my soul. I am no expert at praying, but I can say that I am a woman who wholeheartedly believes in the power of prayer. When something is weighting heavy on your heart, close your eyes, have faith, and give it to God.

My top 3 verses about the power of prayer. 

  • Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24
  • Ask, and it will be given to you seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7
  • And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith. Matthew 21:22

10. Reach Out To Someone.

Whether it be a friend, a pastor, or even a therapist. Talking to someone about what you are going though.  Someone you can trust, someone that you know, and  someone that won’t judge you. Someone who will listening to you, and who will support you when you need it.   

Having tough days can be perceived as a weakness making it hard for people to share themselves with others. If you are having a day, know that it’s ok, know that you are not alone, and know that with the right tools you can move forward, and still have a happy and productive day.

4 Key Benefits Of Setting Your Goals.

goals 2016

“You need a plan to build a house. To build a life, it is even more important to have a plan or goal.”

– Zig Ziglar

It’s that time of the year where most people feel the shift of the new year, and starts setting their “New year, New me” resolutions for themselves. There is something about the new year that gets people motivated to turn over a new leaf, do things a bit different than the year before, or find ways to better themselves. 

Did you know that:

  • People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.
  • The act of writing things down is a powerful motivator. 

There have been countless studies done throughout the years on goal settings, but the most known research was done by a Doctor named, Gail Matthews, who is a psychology professor at Dominican University in California. She had done a study on goal-setting, and she found that people are 42% more likely to achieve their goals just by writing them down. 

Can you believe it? 42 percent!  

I myself, am addicted to making lists, and writing down my goals. I am a list fanatic, and have been since I was a kid. I used to write down everything from what I had in my room, to what shows I was watching on tv, to the names of my friends every time I had to move and start over. I write down my goals, my passions, my dreams, my plans, my to-do lists, goals for my family, and pretty much anything else that pops in my head. I call it brain dumping. It’s a way for me to get all the ideas and thoughts in my head out so that I don’t feel so overwhelmed, and I can have a bit of clarity before making decisions.

 Writing Down Your Goals Can:

  • Help Alleviate Anxiety And Give You Peace Of Mind. Writing down my goals help my mind to slow down. When I’m feeling anxious, I write. When I’m down, I write. When I’m up, I write. When I’m stressed, I write. When I have too much going on my in brain, I write. Writing things down gives me a sense of relief, and I feel better about tackling my day.
  • Help You To Stay Focused. Write down what’s important to you. That way, you can focus on what’s important, and you won’t have time to even think about what’s not. Making life a bit easier, and clearer. Writing your goals down will help you to visually see what you want to do, see all sides of perspective, prioritize your steps, and then be able to execute your plan accordingly.
  • Help You To Make Better Use Of Your Time. There always seems to be too much to do, and not enough time to get it all done. When I don’t write things down, I feel frazzled, and disorganized. I feel like I’m behind on everything, and that’s when things start to fall apart for me. 
  • Help Motivate You And Gives You A Sense Of Accomplishment. When you write your goals down, you become motivated to reach your goals. Motivation is what will fuel you passions, and push you to accomplish whatever it is your set yourself out to do. the feeling of accomplishment, and it’s motivating for me.

For some, lists and goal setting are not need. People like my husband who manages to remember everything in his head. I give kudos to those that have eidetic memory It’s a highly rare ability, and not everyone has the capacity to do so. My brain is constantly running, I’m forgetful, and tend to get distracted easily. Setting goals makes the invisible, visible. Writing things down gives me a sense of structure. Something I think we all need in our lives. 

How about you? Did you set any goals for the new year? Are you a list maker? A goal setter?

Kale, Smoked Sausage, & Cannellini Bean Soup

Step 16 Sausage Soup

I’m so excited to have hubby, and the kids home for Christmas vacation! I love having everyone at home with me. The kids get to take a break from school, which means I can take a break from our regularly scheduled program. My alarm will be off, and I will not be chauffeuring to and from schools until next year! Another great thing about the Christmas holiday is that hubby’s company closes for two weeks. I love, love, love having him at home. I’m even more thankful that he doesn’t have to make his 1.5 hour commute to work for a little while. The break from the road and the traffic is much needed for him.

It’s been a busy week with recitals, meetings, and preparing to have everyone at home by cleaning, and planning activities, and working on the family menu. All while trying to make Christmas gifts for family and friends. Knowing that I had such a crazy week planned out, last Sunday, I went ahead and cooked myself another weeks worth of soup. This time, my Kale, Smoked Sausage, and Cannellini Bean Soup. It’s savory, flavorful, and deliciously filling! 

 

Kale, Smoked Sausage, Cannellini Beans Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil 
  • 1 Lb Smoked Sausage, cut into small pieces 
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 Cup Baby Carrots, chopped
  • 1 Cup Celery, chopped
  • 2 14.5 oz cans Cannellini beans 
  • 1 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning 
  • 4 Cups of Vegetable Broth 
  • 3 Cups Kale 
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Creole Seasoning
  • Pepper to taste 

 

Step 1: Heat oil in a big pot over medium heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, stir occasionally. 

Step 2 Sausage Soup

Step 2: Once heated, add the onions, celery, and carrots. 

Step 3 Sausage Soup

Step 3: Add your seasoning to the sausage and vegetables. 

Step 4 Sausage Soup

Step 4: Next add the vegetable broth, and turn the heat up to medium-high. 

Step 5 Sausage Soup

Step 5: When you soup start to boil a bit add the cannelloni beans to the pot.

Step 6 Sausage Soup

Step 6: Next, add your kale to the soup. Put the lid on and let it simmer on low heat for about 5-10 minutes.

Step 7 Sausage Soup

Serve and Eat!

Step 13 Sausage Soup

I was able to make enough soup to last me a whole week for lunch at about 1 1/2 cups per serving.  

Step 15 Sausage Soup

This soup, paired with some yummy dinner rolls, would be great for the whole family on a cold, wintery night.

Kale, Smoked Sausage, & Cannellini Bean Soup

Kale, Smoked Sausage, & Cannellini Bean Soup

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Lb Smoked Sausage, cut into small pieces
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 Cup Baby Carrots, chopped
  • 1 Cup Celery, chopped
  • 2 14.5 oz cans Cannellini beans
  • 1 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 4 Cups of Vegetable Broth
  • 3 Cups Kale
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Creole Seasoning
  • Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a big pot over medium heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, stir occasionally.
  2. Once heated, add the onions, celery, and carrots.
  3. Add your seasoning to the sausage and vegetables.
  4. Next add the vegetable broth, and turn the heat up to medium-high.
  5. When you soup start to boil a bit add the cannelloni beans to the pot.
  6. Next, add your kale to the soup. Put the lid on and let it simmer on low heat for about 5-10 minutes.
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Blue, White & Sliver Christmas

Close Mantle

If you haven’t noticed by now, blue is my favorite color. I tend to incorporate the color into just about anything and everything that I can. From my wedding, to my clothes, to my the walls around my home, blue is definitely my signature color.

Over the past few years, I have been on a mission to collect blue decorations to add to my stash. The shades of blue that I look for are not always easy to find. Teal is a popular color during the season along with the reds and the greens. It may be a bit crazy to some, but I just love, love, love Cobalt, Royal, and Navy blues hues. So, much so that I started a tradition years ago, when my kids were young,  to decorate a beautiful blue, white, and sliver Christmas around our home.

My Centerpiece, Vase, and Sand Art. 

right side mantle

  • I made this centerpiece by putting some smaller decorations like pine cones and leaves that were sliver and blue inside big vase. I found the blue poinsettias at Michael’s Craft Store. Then, I wrapped it with the ribbon I had left from my tree stand.
  • My blue and white peppermint bottle is just blue and white sand I bought from the Dollar Tree Store. I found the bottle at Ross, and it actually has the letter B on it in gold, I just turned it around because it didn’t match the color scheme.

My Snow globe, Hurricane Vase, Snowman stand. 

Left side mantle

 

  • I found a huge, gallon-sized mason jar at a thrift store for just $2.00 buck! I decided to add some fake snow, a small tree, a little house, and a miniature Santa Claus inside to make a huge snow globe. All little props were found at the Dollar Tree Store. Then I topped it with a tree I made out of sliver garland and tree shaped foam. Both also from the Dollar Tree Store.
  • I made a cute little tulle ball to place on top of my beautiful sliver candle holder that I found at Ross Department store. 
  • I filled up a hurricane vase (Learn how to make one Here), with little ornaments and bells. Then I put a sliver pine cone on top.
  • I got the little snowmen from the Dollar Tree Store a few years back. I put a martini glass upside down onto the mantle, and placed a snowman on top. Around my mantle are decals found at Big Lots. I just stuck them on because I thought they added a nice, little touch to the fireplace area.  

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Mantle

I love this time of year! One of the best thing about the Christmas holiday season is the decorating! I truly enjoy it, and am in awe of other people’s amazing creativity and hard work.

How about you? Do you like to decorate big or small during the Christmas holidays? Do you have a theme? Share with me some of your favorite decorating ideas below in the comment section.