Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Favorites: Matching Shower Gel & Lotion

I'll admit it:  I'm a "matchy-matchy" kind of girl. I like to have outfits that have "matching" components (I'll make a great "sweet older lady" who loves to wear those Alfred Dunner outfits with the piping on the shirt that matches the pants). I like it when the napkins, plates and cups all match at a party or picnic. I think it's so adorable when little girls (twins or not) are dressed in matching outfits (awww!!!)

And one of my favorite things is to have matching shower gel and body lotion (the same fragrance). It's called "layering" you know. I don't use perfume that comes in a pretty bottle and is sprayed on anymore, but I like the subtle effect of bathing with some sweet-smelling shower gel and then slathering the same sweet-smelling lotion all over my body after I get out of the shower.

My all-time favorite fragrance, Mango Mandarin, from Bath and Body Works has been discontinued (so sad), but I got a few to stock up when they had them on clearance. I am looking for a replacement, but so far, nothing has measured up. I do like the Vanilla Bean Noel that comes out at Christmastime, but that I can take for only a few months and then I want something else.

Maybe you learned something new about me today. Hope you have a Happy Friday!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A New Obsession

I think it's safe to say that when it comes to trendy things in life, I am usually slightly, if not exceedingly, late to the party. I guess I like to see how the trends are going to go and then jump on board. Or maybe I just stick to what I know too much and then when I finally wake up and realize what others are talking about, it's been five years! Such is the case with my latest "obsession" with The Pioneer Woman.

Sure, I've seen links to her blog on my friends' blogs and I've heard people talk about recipes that they have tried that were in her cookbook. But it wasn't until a few months ago that I clicked on a link to her blog one day and then found myself checking often to see what new stuff she'd written. She writes in a way that makes you want to sit down with her at her kitchen table and eat one of the yummy desserts she's made (and photographed so nicely). And the photos . . . they're real pretty!

She recently wrote a book about her whirlwind romance with her husband, The Marlboro Man (just a reference to his rugged cowboy looks). I put my name on the list to get the book from the library and when it came in, I read it in about two days! It was written in her usual funny way and was a fun and easy read to start my summer off right. Now, if I could just find me a cowboy to sweep me off my feet (just kidding . . . I don't think this city girl would survive on the Oklahoma prairie!)

If there are any other trends I've been missing out on, please feel free to enlighten me. I'll be sure to get obsessed over them after another five years!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dessert-of-the-Month: May

Chocolate Eclair Dessert

For Russell's Christmas present in May (read here if you missed the back story), I decided that he would like an easy dessert! Really, when we were brainstorming ideas of desserts for each month, he had a little lapse in listing desserts, so Jeanette suggested this one, knowing that he'd like it (I've made it for family get-togethers). I think she also was putting in a plug for something she knew she'd like, too!

I got this recipe from someone I used to work with and it literally takes 10-15 minutes to prepare (not counting the chill time in the fridge). You use five ingredients and it is a crowd-pleaser wherever it goes. Russell liked it this time, and that's what's important for this story!

Here's the recipe:

Graham crackers (takes about a sleeve and a half of Kroger brand crackers)
Large pkg of Vanilla Instant Pudding (you can use regular or sugar-free)
Container of Cool Whip
Container of Chocolate icing

Mix pudding according to the directions on the box (using milk, the 5th ingredient). When pudding begins to thicken, mix in Cool Whip. Line a 9x13 pan with graham crackers. Pour half of the pudding mixture over the crackers. Place another layer of crackers on top of the pudding. Pour remaining pudding mixture on top of second layer of crackers. Finish with one more layer of crackers. Remove the foil from the can of frosting and heat it in the microwave for 45 seconds. Stir and pour over the last layer of crackers spreading if necessary. Refrigerate overnight (or all day if you make it in the morning).

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Favorites: Worship Songs

Music just lifts my spirits and I have found that listening to worship songs on my iPod or on a CD in the car helps me to stay focused on the Lord as I am going through the normal routines of my day/week. Some of my recent favorite worship CDs are:

Until the Whole World Hears, by Casting Crowns

Awaken the Dawn, by Keith and Kristyn Getty

anything by Selah

and of course, the two Grace Community Church CDs, Lavished Grace and Waves of Grace.

If you want to listen to songs from my church, you can go here and click "play" and let it be the background music for your day. Hopefully, it will lift your spirits and will help you sing your own songs of worship and praise to our great God!

Monday, May 16, 2011

2011 Scripture Memory #10

Do you ever read a scripture passage or a verse one day and then in the next couple of days, you keep seeing it in other places? Kind of like layering. When that happens to me, I have finally come to realize that the verse must be something I need to pay attention to. This is why I am choosing these verses for my next scripture to put in my mind.

"Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." James 4:7, NIV

The other day, I came across this verse while reading my favorite devotional book, Jesus Calling. Then this morning when I was preparing the weekly prayer email for our church, this verse was part of the focal passage for the week.

I'm hoping that this verse will help me resist temptation when I am wanting to over-indulge in sweets or other foods that I need to be more self-controlled about. I also have been thinking of this verse, along with the verse surrounding it, as some good verses to pray for my son and share with him as he continues to grow up and gain more independence. It gives a good list of things to remember as we seek to honor and follow God in our lives.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday Favorites

I've decided to start a new little series called "Friday Favorites." You may have noticed that I have a list of some of my favorite things in the sidebar to the right, so I'm going to take one of those and also include other things that I haven't included on that list. Should be a fun, little thing to look forward to each week!

I actually got this idea as I was filling up my Tervis tumbler with water today at work. I realized that this tumbler is one of my all-time favorite cups and I hadn't put it on my favorites list! For shame (haha)! I've added it now and it's my first favorite thing to spotlight:

I also use mine with a lid and a big straw and that makes it even easier to drink lots of water during the day. Here are some reasons why Tervis tumbers are my favorite cup:

  1. Tervis tumblers do not sweat! 
  2. You can put iced or hot beverages in them and they stay the temperature that they are meant to be (within a reasonable time, of course).
  3. This cup fits nicely in the cup holder in my car, ensuring most days that I will not spill water in the floor of my car (or in the seat) like I sometimes did when I used a different insulated water mug.
  4. You can get fun designs or personalizations for your cup. I bought mine at a retail store, but I know that you can order them directly from the company with personalized sayings or names. You can also choose from all kinds of sports teams.
  5. Tervis tumblers make great gifts. I have given them to friends with their own initial on the cup, and was so excited a few weeks ago when I went to buy a wedding shower gift and the bride and groom had Tervis tumblers on their registry! I was happy to purchase a set of monogrammed tumblers for their new home (although their last name begins with "R" like mine, so I was very tempted to sneak the set out with me when I left the shower!).
So, there you have it. If you're looking for a new cup to drink lots of water during the day (a-hem, Dad), this might be a good one to try. Or if you just want to find out more about some of my favorite things, be sure and check back every Friday for a while (I'm sure my list will run out eventually).

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Daniel's new smile

After two years and nine months (not that he was counting), Daniel finally got his braces off today! Check out those pearly whites!

 When I asked Daniel what foods he would like to have when he got his braces off, at the top of the list was Milk Duds. Mom delivered.

In order to fully appreciate the "after" picture,
you need to see some "before" pictures

 This was the day he got the braces on, in August of 2008.


 And way before!

If you need a good orthodontist, I can't say enough good things about Dr. Joel Gluck. He and his staff were friendly, professional and fun. If you go see them, tell them Daniel Ryan sent you!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Frappuccino Friday

It's the little things that make me happy. Really!

Today starts a week or so of Frappuccino Happy Hours at Starbuck's. It's their sly little ploy to get everyone addicted to frapps just in time for the summer heat. And I play right into their hand on this one!

The best thing about it is that Starbuck's now lets you completely customize your frappuccino. You can order it decaf, non-fat, even sugar-free, I think. Heck, I had one that was totally sans coffee today! I call it a "grown up" vanilla milkshake. I also call it yummy!

I have a feeling that I'll be finding an excuse to drive by a Starbuck's every afternoon between 3 and 5 for the next few days. At least as long as I still have a balance on my gift card!

The thing about it that I don't like (besides the fact that it only runs through May 15th) is the brain freeze I get when I take in too much of the yummy frozenness at once. I think I can get past that though . . .

Thursday, May 5, 2011

National Day of Prayer

Every weekday morning, I wake up to the radio. This morning was no different:  the alarm went off at 5:15 and there was some radio ad playing and I hit the snooze. Ten minutes later, the alarm went off again and I heard the DJ talking about how today is the National Day of Prayer, and heard an interview with Ginny Owens, a Christian artist who is a spokesperson for NDP this year. She was talking about the theme verse for this year's prayer emphasis, Psalm 91:2, "I will say to the LORD, 'My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'" In light of the week's news events, with tornadoes and the capture of Osama Bin Laden, I think that is a very relevant verse to ponder (and the entire Psalm 91 as well).

Then they started playing a song, written (with her husband) and sung by Christy Nockels. I really wish that I could post a video for you, but the ones I found on You Tube were not professional and were too cheesy for me to share with a good conscience. They use the real song recording, though, so you can go listen to it. It's a powerful song, so I'll share the lyrics (we sang it at Grace a while back):

A Mighty Fortress

Our God is a consuming fire,
A burning holy flame
With glory and freedom.
Our God is the only righteous Judge
Ruling over us
With kindness and wisdom.

We will keep our eyes on You.
We will keep our eyes on You.

A mighty fortress is our God.
A sacred refuge is Your name.
Your kingdom is unshakeable.
With You forever we will reign.

Our God is jealous for His own.
None could comprehend
His love and His mercy.
Our God is exalted on His throne.
High above the heavens,
Forever He’s worthy.

We will keep our eyes on You.
We will keep our eyes on You.

A mighty fortress is our God.
A sacred refuge is Your name.
Your kingdom is unshakeable.
With You forever we will reign.

We will keep our eyes on You,
We will keep our eyes on You,
So we can set our hearts on You,
Lord, we will set our hearts on You.

A mighty fortress is our God.
A sacred refuge is Your name.
Your kingdom is unshakeable.
With You forever we will reign.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

2011 Scripture Memory #9

Happy May to all! I don't know why exactly, but I love the month of May. I think I associate it with Spring and there are so many happy and fun events that take place in May:  Mother's Day, graduations, school's out (usually), Memorial Day, and my Granddaddy's birthday was May 12.

With it being the first of the month, that means it's time for the next scripture verse to think on/memorize. When I read Beth Moore's blog today, the verse she chose was familiar to me, although not in that particular translation. She chose Psalm 27:14 from the New Living Translation, and I like the use of the word "rely" as it relates to waiting.

But, since this verse has come up several many times for me in different devotional readings in the past year or so, even last week, I decided that I'd like to put this one in my memory bank. I am choosing to use the New American Standard Bible because of the use of the word, "wait."

"Wait for the LORD;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the LORD."
Psalm 27:14, NASB

I like the word, "yes" in the last part. It's like the writer was saying, "It's OK, the Lord will show up and come through, just wait for Him (and rely on Him)." I also like how the directive to wait is repeated, to reinforce the message.

I've been thinking on the "waiting" theme for a while now and will probably do a blog post about it sometime. I think that waiting is an important part of the Christian life and for a while now, God has used this verse and others like it to give me comfort when I am anxious or just plain impatient. I love how God uses His word to bring comfort and gentle reminders of things that I (we) need to learn.

I hope that God brings lots of fun events to your life in the month of May, as I trust He will surely bring in mine. And I pray that this verse will bring you comfort when you are in a period of waiting, even if it's just for five minutes!