Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Perfect Book for Fall

Girl Meets Change: Truths to Carry You through Life's Lessons, by Kristen Strong, is the ideal book to grab and curl up with this autumn since the fall season ushers in new beginnings, transitions, and changes aplenty. Think of Girl Meets Change as your go-to guide if, like the author and women everywhere, you resist change. Through Strong's encouraging words and stories, you'll see how God can transform you into a better version of yourself as you embrace the changes He brings into your life. I love what the author says about overcoming limitations that come alongside change, "Here's the exciting thing: we can actually thrive through change because of the limitations themselves, not just in spite of them . . . Life's limitations are God's invitation to change our expectations. Limitations unfold his intentions to travel a narrower path of possibilities." To help connect you closer to God while opening your heart to the possibilities and plans He has for your life, each chapter concludes with a meaningful prayer that reinforces its concept. Are you ready to thrive, rather than just survive, through the changes ahead? Then Girl Meets Change will cheer lead you through.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Make Time to Do the Things that Bring You Happiness!!!

Last week, I bought this nifty decoration for my desk as a reminder that happiness is not dependent upon other people. Yes, it's up to YOU to create a happy life! Let's do a happiness check right now . . . What are you doing to take charge of your own happiness? How can you do more of the things that bring you happiness? 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Pumpkin Pie Sugar Scrub {straight from the pantry!}

Savor the fragrances of fall with a scrumptious sugar scrub you can make using items in your pantry. In less than 15 minutes, you'll have a spa mini-treat and some to share with a friend. Be sweet to yourself and soften up your hands, lips, or feet with this yummy time-out!


  • 1 cup coconut oil 
  • 2 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

  1. Step 1: In a large microwaveable bowl, heat the coconut oil for 30 - 45 seconds or until soft. 
  2. Step 2: Mix remaining ingredients into the oil and stir thoroughly until combined. 
  3. Step 3: Scoop into glass jars and seal. 

*Makes 3 small jelly jars and does not need to be refrigerated.  

Monday, September 21, 2015

Celebrate Fall with Homemade Pumpkin Butter

Can we give a big hoot and holler that the PSL is back? Yes, it's the pumpkin spice latte time of year again, and I can hardly contain my excitement that fall is here and pumpkin spice everything has returned!!! This week, Sprouts is having 25% off of their pumpkin goodies, and I discovered a Sprouts recipe for pumpkin butter that looked easy. (Trust me, it has to be simple for me to try a new recipe considering how busy I am these days working full time and teaching my Saturday class). Four ingredients and two steps later, we had a whole mason jar full of homemade pumpkin butter for about $3.50--and I have seen these going for a whopping $8 or more at Farmer's Markets. Even if you're a busy working mom like me, you can make homemade pumpkin butter in about a half hour to enjoy with your family or give as a sweet autumn gift to a friend. Who knew it was this easy?

PUMPKIN BUTTER recipe from Sprouts Farmers Market


  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tsp. of spice (pumpkin pie and cinnamon work well)  

  1. Simmer ingredients together for 30 minutes. Stir often. 
  2. Enjoy a new topping to spread on bread or with apple slices. 
Just four simple ingredients . . . 

Stir often while simmering for 30 minutes and you have the first taste of the season. 
Linking to: Moonlight and Mason Jars Link PartyThursday Favorite Things Blog Hop

Thursday, September 10, 2015

_Living, Learning, Loving_ . . . The BEST Book for Single Moms!!!

 Living, Learning, Loving is the most encouraging book I’ve read so far on my nine-year single mom journey, and I consider this book an essential guide for single moms everywhere. Although the book is not exclusively directed at single mothers, every detail Gail shares about her own single mom life boosted my spirits and I know it will do the same for others, whether single or not. What I cherish so much about Living, Learning, Loving is Gail’s honesty, openness, and vulnerability in sharing her own single mom struggles and challenges. As I savored each page, I was gratefully surprised to find my own single mom life mirrored in each chapter of the book. “You, too?” is what I kept thinking as turned page after page. Every word brought the relief of knowing I am not alone because I felt like Gail spoke personally to me through her uplifting words.

While reading Chapter 2, “Living with Boundaries,” I made some new discoveries as learned several new strategies that have already made my life easier. Although I am still God’s major work in progress, I enjoy focusing on self-improvement, so I loved learning about the four personality types. Based upon the description chart in the book, I am a choleric and my daughter is a phlegmatic, which explains A LOT about the root of our conflicts. Simply put, this means I am constantly trying to do and be more, and because of that, I tend to push my daughter too much when her personality requires more peace at home. Discovering this helps both of us to have much more harmony at home. Thank you for that insight and many others, Gail!

The other concepts Gail takes time to clarify in each chapter, like courage, morality, and priorities, serve as challenges for mothers to incorporate in their own lives as they become their best selves. Acronyms like P.E.A.C.E. (Personal Effortless Acceptance of Circumstances Every day) also help busy moms to recall strategies from the book that will assist them with their spiritual growth. Finally, journal questions at the end of each chapter reinforce the book’s concepts so readers can begin integrating positive changes into their lives and move along paths of self-discovery.  

Currently, as a pseudo taxi driver for my teenage daughter and homeowner with many responsibilities, I do not have the time to be involved in a single parent group like I used to, so reading Gail’s book provided that support I so desperately need. Moreover, her blog posts from her SMORE for Women Website (Single Moms:: Overjoyed, Rejuvinated, & Empowered) also give me the consistent encouragement I need on this challenging journey. Through Living, Learning, Loving, Gail calls single mothers to maturity—and gives us the tools to get there! Let us not forget how important our influence is in our children’s lives, as Gail establishes with these words: “As a single mother, you may be the single biggest influence in your children’s lives. I’ve heard it said that our children will do as we do, not what we tell them to do.”

Please see Gail’s website by clicking on the book title here to purchase your own copy of Living, Learning, Loving. Be sure to also check out Gail's Smore for Women Blog blog for quick tidbits of encouragement that serve as positive reminders throughout the day.  

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

An Elegant Summer-to-Fall Centerpiece

Transition from summer to fall with ease by making an elegant centerpiece for the coffee table that costs little to nothing. Use forgotten items around the house and some fresh picked flowers or an inexpensive bunch from the store. You'll have a gorgeous reminder to savor the last gifts of summer.

Step 1: Grab a mason jar and large clear dish (I found dish at Ikea for less than $5). 

Step 2: Fill dish with colorful rocks or stones purchased from craft store. 

Step 3: Fill mason jar with small bunch of freshly picked (or bought flowers) and use as centerpiece. 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Vintage Chick's CHERRY Finds & Birthday Goodies

Yes, I have a pink oven . . .

A cherry towel and soap gift
from an old high school friend
Awwww, look what Mom
got me for my b-day!
Where are we going next?!

In case you hadn't noticed already, I love collecting cherry items. While I usually purchase only frugal finds, I admit I've been splurging a little on one-of-a-kind cherry items and red & white gingham miscellaneous. For my birthday, I also received a few cherry gifts (oh, joy!). Just couldn't wait to share my growing collection with y'all . . .

My prize cherry skirt from a
favorite vintage shop,
DeeLux, in Claremont
This brand new cherry sweater was
a $15 deal at DeeLux. 
This purse is a really frugal find for $1 at Goodwill. Yippeee!
A matching gingham sundress to go with the purse,
thank you very much, for $3.99 at the same Goodwill. 
And, last but not least, a girl
needs her very own ruby red slippers.
Don't leave Kansas without them.  
Linking to: Katherine's Corner


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