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Showing posts from October, 2013

Fluffy Cherry Cheesecake Dip

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There are only so many adjectives that you can use to describe food. But the only word to describe this dip is "WOW."

It's only got three ingredients plus whatever you want to dip in it. So not only is it incredibly wonderful, it's also super easy. What a "WOW" combination.

Ingredients:
1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
1 7oz jar of marshmallow fluff
2 8oz tubs of Cool Whip
2 21oz cans of cherry pie filling
Dippers like graham crackers, animal crackers or any kind of cookie

1. Beat the cream cheese and fluff together until it's all smooth. This will take a couple of minutes and some good upper-body strength.

2. Stir in the Cool Whip.

3. Transfer into your serving dish - you might need two because this makes quite a bit (One to keep and one to give away. Sounds like a plan to me!)

4. Top with a layer of pie filling. If you don't use it all, keep it out to add as you eat away the first layer.

5. Refrigerate, then serve when ready with your dipp…

Words for Wednesday

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Pill Organizer Gift Box

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Why should a birthday only be celebrated on that one day? Where's the fun in that?

How about making the entire week before a birthday special? You can brighten someone's birthday week by giving them a little something the seven days leading up to that big day.

Using a pill box organizer as your gift wrap, gather a few tiny gifts and tuck them into each compartment. Then the birthday boy or girl can open one each day for a week.

There are larger pill boxes out there, but there are plenty of small things you can pack into the smaller ones, too.

How about:
- candy
- a heart-shaped rock
- a pin
- charms
- punched shapes
- hand-written notes
- a miniature of their favorite animal

Then tie it up with ribbon, explain the idea and let that special someone have a wonderful, surprise-filled week of their birthday.

Behave Yourself Wisely

It's amazing how works things together to prick your heart. This weekend I heard a preacher on the radio talk about character. He said character is who you are when no one is watching.

Then I came home and was reading in Psalms.

I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. Psalm 101:2

Having wisdom means knowing how to apply God's Word to the way you live your life. And perfect doesn't mean without fault - it means being mature in the Lord and following His Word. So the two go hand in hand.

If you've determined in your heart to allow God to lead, guide and direct you, it will have an impact on how you live your life. He replaces selfishness with selflessness. He exchanges bitterness with joy. He even takes away the fear in your heart and gives you faith.

That perfect heart, a wise heart that longs for the things of God, motivates you to do things you wouldn't normally do. That's ho…

Sunday Sketch

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 'Tis the season to make cards!

Here's a sketch I made to make a very special Christmas card. The more layers you add, the better!

The circle makes the perfect background for any image, setting it apart from the patterned background behind it.

And making mats for the patterned paper also makes it look a little more finished. Plus, in the case especially, you can use up some of those scraps you have from other cards.

The small square at the bottom can either be a verse, a smaller image or just another piece of patterned paper.

For my finished product, I had-colored the nativity and uses glitter ink to fill in the star.

The circle and the mat for the plaid paper are the same color, bringing the whole card together.

I plan to go back and do a fall card with this sketch, using leaves and dark colors to make it autumn-y.

Happy crafting!

A Weekend of Bruise Recovery

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This is my bruise. I vaguely remember hitting my leg on a chair at work, but it certainly wasn't anything monumental. But there it was the next day - all dark and tender and ugly.

Do you ever feel like that at the end of the day? Like you've been hammered on and poked at and bruised? I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels damaged by the things life throws at me.

Bruises stick around for a while because of the thoroughness of the healing process. But the pain goes away and the color goes away in time. The same goes for your heart.

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

There is hope. We don't have to stay crushed and beaten down by life. We have recovery and rejuvenation by turning to the Lord.

Make this a weekend of recovering from your bruises. Do whatever you have to do to heal. Closet yourself away for a while. Sit still for more t…

Instead of Throwing In the Towel...

At the beginning of a remarkably long day, I was already ready to cancel it for lack of interest. I was exhausted, frustrated and at the end of my rope. It was just too much to even think about answering the phone, checking email or doing anything else that required talking to people.

You know exactly what I'm talking about. You've been there, too.

But the Lord knows exactly what you need and when you need it. He took a day when I was ready to throw in the towel and turned it into something wonderful.

Late in the day, I had the opportunity to speak to a breast cancer survivor. She is just two years out from her diagnosis, which was a complete and total surprise. She had no history in her family, was very healthy and had no reason to suspect that she had cancer.

But she feels the Lord intervened and brought her attention to a lump that was already the size of a quarter. If not for His making her aware of what was happening inside her body, we might not ever have had this conver…

Explosion Box Tutorial

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 Can you believe that we're already thinking about Christmas? Danny and I are getting new holiday items ready for the Etsy shop, so we're really getting in the spirit.

One of my favorite new pieces is this Christmas explosion box. On the outside it's just a pretty box ...

... but inside there is a surprise! It's a triple explosion of pages perfect for journaling, photos or other memories.
It's not as difficult as it may seem - read on to find out how easily you can put your own explosion box together.

The first thing you'll want to do is make a template. You'll be making a few measurements and cuts, so I find it quicker and easier to make a template first and cut the time to make another one in half.
You'll need five pieces of 12x12 inch card stock to make your template. Measure it into nine 4-inch squares.

Then cut out the four corners on the lines you just made. Don't fold it. Just set it aside.

Do the same thing with a 10.5-inch square of pa…

Words for Wednesday

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Cake Mix Cookies

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Are you ready for the softest, moistest, gooiest cookies ever? Then you have to try making cookies out of a cake mix.

I used a double fudge cake mix, which already would have been fantastic. But extra chocolate chips and a couple other ingredients and you'll have a new favorite recipe.

I also encourage you to play around with different flavors of cake mix and chips. The combinations are endless!

Ingredients:
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 box of cake mix
1 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix eggs and oil, then add cake mix. Beat until completely combined. Add chocolate chips.

3. Drop by rounded spoonful onto nonstick baking sheet.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. (The larger the cookie, the longer they'll take.)

5. Remove when done and let cool on the tray for a few minutes before moving them. They're very smooshy, so they'll break if you remove them too soon. Place on cooling rack to finish cooling, or go ahead and indul…

The Way To Grow Your Marriage

There's no such thing as a perfect marriage. That may be the goal in some people's minds, but as long as two imperfect people are involved, the marriage will have its quirks, too.

However, there are many, many places in Scripture that teach us how to improve our marriage. God is very specific about our roles as individuals and our relationship as a couple. He has filled the Bible with stories of husbands and wives who succeeded and other who failed. They're there to be examples for those of us striving to be more.

The very best possible way to grow your marriage is to be closer to God - by yourself and with your husband. The relationships we have here on earth are reflective of the relationship with have with the Lord. By growing and learning and changing ourselves, we affect everyone around us, especially our spouse.

Right now, Danny and I are studying the Bible together using "A Couple After God's Own Heart" by Jim and Elizabeth George. The front half of th…

Sunday Sketch

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I adore using layers when I'm paper crafting. You can create such depth and variety just by combining textures and colors, one on top of another.

This sketch was an idea I had to use layering to its fullest. There are three layers on the background, two colors with a pattern on top. The top pattern needs to be fairly subtle, though, so it doesn't overpower the other patterns around it.

The two strips, the top pattern and the block with the sentiment, are also layered. This helps set them off from the colors around and behind them.

Then the large image in the middle should contrast the colors and patterns around it so it doesn't get lost.

So here's my final product. I'm keeping with the fall theme, combining those great autumn colors. The top pattern of the background is metallic, making a beautiful contrast.

The letters are stickers in the shape of old typewriter keys. The apple and leaf contrast with the reds and browns around it them and are 3D to stand out a lit…

A Weekend of Rest

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With the combination of fighting bronchitis and stormy weather, I've been very sedentary for the last two days. My body finally shut down from the stress of everyday life and the illness attacking it.

The result is a few days of bedrest and doing absolutely nothing. It's not my favorite thing in the world to do, but it's the solution to complete exhaustion and the need to recuperate.

And I will come upon him while he is weary and weak handed, and will make him afraid... 2 Samuel 17:2

Instead of getting to the point where you have no choice but to collapse, make this a weekend of rest. Even if it's just for a few minutes, completely relax and rejuvenate. If we get too worn down, we'll have a harder time fighting when it's necessary.

So grab a cup of cider, find a good book, put in a movie or just close your eyes. Take a few minutes, a couple of hours of the better part of a day and recharge your batteries. Your body and mind will thank you.

Why Being Virtuous Is Worth It

Often, when people hear the word "virtuous," they think of some puritan person who's stuck up, stuffy and never has any fun. Being virtuous means you think you're better than them or trying to be something that you're not. It's a very sad viewpoint that often turns into ridicule and hate.

But I pray you know better than that. I hope you know God's desire for your life is to live devoted to Him and obedient to His commandments. That's virtuous living.

I'm doing my best to memorize the Proverbs 31 Woman again. I don't have the greatest memory in the world, so this is very difficult and very important to me. Knowing what God expects of his daughters gives us insight into His very heart.

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. Proverbs 31:10

Who can find a woman with virtues? You can search for a long time in this world and not find anyone with Godly virtues. Unfortunately, our society has become complacent in what is acce…

Words for Wednesday

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When You're Overwhelmed By Life

For the past few months, I've been overwhelmed.

It's not been some traumatic accident or huge change in anything - it's just life.

You know exactly what I mean, don't you.

There are days when you meet yourself going out the door as you're trying desperately to get back in.

You're convinced you just did laundry this morning, but the basket is full and the closet is empty.

Where once you sat and relaxed with pure abandon, you now pass by with wistful glances.

When the time comes to shut your mind off, it's already figuring out the work schedule for tomorrow, the dinner menu for the rest of the week and how to fit in one more Etsy order before you keel over.

It's time like this that I realize outside forces are wreaking havoc on my insides. And I will not stand for this any longer.

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:13

And isn't that what we're …