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Showing posts from 2021

Words For Wednesday

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Dessert Nachos With Pretzels

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Chocolate.  Peanut butter. Marshmallows. Pretzels. Are there any of those words that aren’t wonderful? Think nachos with a sweet, salty twist. A lovely twist. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a baking dish with nonstick spray.  Then pour a large bag of pretzels into the bottom of the dish. Spread them around so they cover the bottom evenly. That was the hard part. This is the fun part. Spread about 2/3 of a bag of mini marshmallows on top of the pretzels. Generously cover the marshmallows with mini chocolate chips. Drop dollops of creamy peanut butter over the top of everything. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until everything is melted and browned and beautifully gooey. Allow it to cool for a few minutes so you don’t burn your mouth (says the voice of experience) and then pull apart chunks to snack on. Think of all the combinations and creativity you can put into these dessert nachos - different types of pretzels, flavored marshmallows, a variety of chocolate chip

What Does God Want In 2021?

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God has every moment of 2021 planned out. He has been there before us, setting our year in order exactly the way He wants it to work. How amazing to think that our days, weeks, months and years have been His for the making since the beginning of time. So what on earth could God possibly want in the coming year? He already has everything He needs, right? What our Lord wants is you. It’s all He’s ever wanted.  This year He wants... Your heart: for you to give Him yourself, your complete heart. Your thoughts: to wake up with Him on your mind, to be mindful of Him all day and to fall asleep thinking about Him. Your attention: no distractions or idols to turn you away from Him. Your prayers: constant communication so you can stay in perfect fellowship with Him. Your trust: relying on Him to be there for you no matter what. Your attitude: whether it’s gratitude, a decision to be joyful in hard times or just interacting with people in a loving way. Your faithfulness: it delights Him to see yo

Getting My Planner Ready For A Busy, Productive Week

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Setting up my planner for the week gets my brain in gear for the week to come. If I don’t put it together in advance, I probably won’t have (or take) time every day. And there’s nothing more frustrating than trying to make plans on blank pages. I use a combination of planner tools and supplies on my daily calendar pages. Right now I’m combining stickers from Hobby Lobby’s Agenda 52 faith books with the pages I designed myself. I’m also putting a piece of notepaper in the middle of each day’s two-page spread so the notes from all my calls and emails stay with the day they were taken. Lots of white space, sort of a minimalist look, is making me incredibly happy right now. There’s so much going on in my work life, home life, church life and personal life that I desperately need a big, basic place to keep everything organized. Some bright colors and my favorite faith verses are keeping me going! What does your planner look like so far this year? Are you able to keep it filled out, or have

Treat Your Dog To Layers Of Flavors In Their KONG Toys

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There is nothing our puppies like better than a well-stuffed KONG. Oh, they won’t turn down other treats, but KONG toys keep their brains occupied longer than anything else. Plus, they’re yummy for them and fun for me to put together. To make an interesting treat that doesn’t just fall out in a matter of minutes, create layers of flavor. Think crunchy, creamy, flavorful, tiny and sticky-out - plus something they don’t normally have. This is the face of a dog who knows what’s coming, but wishes you’d hurry it up. Peanut butter is a great sealer for the ends of the chewy and in between the layers. Make sure all the bits are super tiny so they don’t get wedged in and the puppy gets frustrated. Layers of crunchy and creamy make licking down through it like finding buried treasure. The best part for me, though, is watching them devour their layers of flavor. I would never, ever leave the four of them alone to chew on their chewies - like to keep them occupied while we’re gone - because ther

Nail Art Like You Dipped Your Fingers In Snow

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FYI - I love snow. I love the way it looks, the way it sticks to tree branches, the way it crunches underfoot. I love seeing animal tracks in the snow, watching it glisten in the sunshine. I love it “snow” much (insert eye roll here), that I even created my own snow-tipped look for my nails. If you want to try this look for yourself, because you love snow as much as I do, all you need are a bottle of dark blue polish and a bottle of silver metallic polish. Make sure it’s not big chunks of glitter or this technique won’t look much like snow. Start with the dark blue polish on three nails and silver on the other two. Let the first coat dry and repeat. After those two layers of polish are completely dry, go back with the silver and use short strokes to add your “snow.” They don’t have to be even or straight across because you want it to look like you dipped your finger tips in a snow bank. A couple of little wiggles with the brush on each one will make little snow drifts or icicles, howev

Custom Orders Are Our Bread And Butter At Stuff From Trees!

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Custom orders have been the bread and butter at Stuff From Trees since we opened in 2009. We adore talking with customers about what they need, getting to put our own creative spin on things and create a handmade, one-of-a-kind piece for someone special. It was a blessing to get a custom order request from a local woman this week who needed a variety of cards for the new year. And it came with one of my favorite phrases: “I don’t have any certain styles of colors and no certain phrases or scriptures - I’ll let you decide that.” Be still, my heart! We don’t take it lightly when someone gives us free rein with their orders. It’s so special when they trust us enough to take the designs and ideas floating around in our heads and turn them into something unique, functional and just plain fun. So, in just a few days, I was able to drop off 20 birthday, thinking of you, thank you and get well cards, in addition to the cards she had already ordered on the website. We always offer free delivery

Words For Wednesday

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Baked Panko Chicken Tenders

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Why do we tend to shy away from recipes that have too many ingredients, too many steps or it looks like too much work? Laziness may keep us from enjoying some great recipes that we can share with our friends and family. Even the phrase “create a breading station” may seem over the top, but with all three steps done in order, you’ll get crispy, yummy chicken in about half an hour. And isn’t yummy what we’re going after? I triple-dog-dare you to make this panko chicken. It may just become a staple recipe in your kitchen. Ingredients:  2 lbs chicken breasts, cut into cubes 1/2 cup flour Salt and pepper to taste 3 eggs 2 cups panko breadcrumbs 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese 1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray or cover with parchment paper. 2. Create a breading station with flour, salt and pepper in one bowl, beaten eggs in a second bowl and panko breadcrumbs and shredded Parmesan in a third bowl. 3. Dip each piece of chicken in order - flour, eggs and

Our Teens’ Bible Reading Plan Works For Adults, Too!

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With the start of the new year, we are challenging our youth group to something huge - we’re going to read through the Bible in a year! This may sound simple for those of us who have been studying the Bible for years, but to teenagers, this is pretty monumental. And we couldn’t be more proud of them for their attitude about it. Many in our group use the the Bible programs on their phones so they have them handy all the time, but we gave them a printed-out Bible for the month of January. The pages have extra-wide margins so they can take notes as they read, write down any questions they have and decorate them to their heart’s content. I showed them my first two pages, which I have all highlighted and written all over, and that encouraged them to get creative. The very last thing in the world we want is for them to feel like reading and studying the Bible is a lot like school work. They also have a reading calendar for the month of January, which gives them three or four chapters a day t

New Year, New Planner!

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It’s time, it’s time, it’s time! January 1 and the New Year mean it’s time to break out my new planner! I’m so excited about this planner because I designed it myself - mostly because I couldn’t find one I really liked anywhere else. Let me walk you through it so you’ll know what the inside of my mind looks like. I gave a tutorial on these monthly dividers here . The monthly spread is where I keep track of my blog posts and plan them out a few days at a time. I did a search for monthly layouts over two pages to find one I could adjust to fit my pages, plugged into a word document and printed out on card stock. Since the 1st was on a Friday, that gave me an entire left hand page to use for notes. I’m going to use my weekly pages for a food tracker and meal planner. My notes pages are part of Hobby Lobby’s Agenda 52 planner collection, embellished with some of my favorite planner stickers. It’s also one of my priorities this year to practice piano more so I can make that part of my perso

Walking In A Winter Wonderland

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Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? In the lane snow is glistening. A beautiful sight, We’re happy tonight, Walking in a winter wonderland. Hope your New Year is as beautiful as ours is this weekend!

Celebrating Our 15th Anniversary With God’s Word

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Fifteen years ago today, Danny and I said our vows and the adventure began. Some days it’s hard to believe that it’s been that long since our wedding. Some days I can’t believe everything we’ve been through, survived and found joy in. We’re praising the Lord today for His endless grace and mercy and for showing us what love is all about! This is my beloved, and this is my friend... Song of Solomon 5:16 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:12 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. 1 Corinthians 13:13 My beloved is mine, and I am his... Song of Solomon 2:16 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Psalm 1:3 Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Philippians 2:2 Where