simple friday faves…

simple friday faves…


`1.)  Basketball.  Can’t beat it.  It’s in full swing for all four kids.  Thankfully half of our kids play on the same team and it will be that way for 3 years.  How sweet is that?

And finally we took advantage of last year’s Christmas gift and got Landon some personalized basketball shoes.  They are supposed to arrive December 22nd.  What I wouldn’t give for him to forget about them so I could wrap them up and put them underneath the tree for him this Christmas.  Think that will work?


20141120-232622-84382287.jpg2.)  The tribe surrounding my girls continues to bless them weekly.  Last week, it was supporting all three of them at the musical The Music Man.  Speaking of musicals, I loved it.  If I could watch a musical every weekend for the rest of my life, I would be ok with that.

20141120-232621-84381422.jpg3.)  My house is ready.  Bring it on.  Love the comfort, sights, smells, and sounds of Christmas.


20141120-232624-84384027.jpg4.)  Nothing quite as satisfying as having your dinner cooking away first thing in the morning.  And this crock pot?  I am in love with this appliance.  I polish it.  I’m not kidding.  It is a workhorse in my kitchen and will continue to be through these winter months.

s20141120-232623-84383173.jpg5.)  So these Mary & Martha square cups have been a favorite ever since they were first introduced this fall.  But I had never baked in them.  Until this week.  They are PERFECT for cornbread muffins.  And I have the PERFECT cornbread recipe.  It’s one of those recipes that I have in my head and my “go to” for cornbread.  It’s about 30% cornbread and 70% pure dessert.  And all you need is a yellow cake mix, jiffy cornbread mixes, eggs, oil, water and the Mary & Martha square baking cups.  I am linking this recipe to the Weekend Potluck because it’s just a great basic recipe.

Cornbread Muffins

Yellow Cake Mix

2 Jiffy Cornbread Mixes

4 eggs

1 cup water

2/3 cup milk

4 TBSP vegetable oil

Mix all together until just combined.  Fill your Mary & Martha square baking cups 2/3 full.  Place cups directly on baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for 22-25 minutes or until middle of muffin cup is set.

Serve with butter, honey, or white corn syrup.  But honestly, they are good and perfectly sweet just on their own!

20141120-232626-84386051.jpg6.)  Mary & Martha has been a favorite this month for me and my hostesses.  The lanterns have been so much fun to decorate for fall and now Christmas.  And I can’t even tell you how much I LOVE to see this come across my facebook page…


You can’t beat that testimony.

FridayFavorites***Linking up with Andrea and friends!!

it’s all about the light.

it’s all about the light.

Yesterday, I gave in and devoted the whole day to getting my home ready for Christmas.  The more I got into it, the more I realized–it’s all about the light for me.  The warmth it brings.  The comfort it provides in your home.  I realized it wasn’t the Christmas stockings or my wreaths or my pillows—although I love all of those things too.  But more often than not, I tried to figure out how to incorporate more light. 


Psalms 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.

Matthew 4:16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.

Matthew 5:14 You are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

John 1:5 And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

John 8:12 Then spoke Jesus again to them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

John 12:35 Then Jesus said to them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness come on you: for he that walks in darkness knows not where he goes.

Ephesians 5:14 Why he said, Awake you that sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no ficklenss, neither shadow of turning.

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleans us from all sin.

Revelation 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

20141120-055255-21175103.jpgPerhaps the reason I am looking to add more light whenever I can is the simple fact that Jesus is Light.  Perhaps the simple reason I keep looking for more ways to light up this home, is that very same desire to bring Jesus into it.  The way light warms my heart and home is the way Jesus wants to warm our heart and home.

It’s all about the LIGHT.


celebrate good times, come on!

celebrate good times, come on!

Isn’t it great when a super deal comes along? We are excited for our FLASH SALE that begins TODAY at 10:00 am CST. 20141118-061411-22451614.jpg
What are the things YOU are celebrating in your life right now? Besides Christmas cards and pictures soon to be coming your way, what are other ways you can use this Celebrate Cardholder?


Check out this darling idea displayed at a baby shower…

And my all time favorite way is to use as a blessing for teachers as a class gift—each student writing a note of appreciation. How cute is that?! Sunday school teachers, coaches, a coworker’s promotion, the possibilities are endless!!

Our FLAsH SALE is just that. It’s here and gone in a flash—quantities are limited!! My first order is going in at the earliest possible time. And we cross our fingers from there!! Let us help you finish up your Christmas shopping with a meaningful gift for only $20!! (Local customers—I’m saving you shipping!)


Link to purchase your own is in comments—-remember—begins at 10:00 am CST today!

it’s rough when you can drive…

it’s rough when you can drive…

Unless of course you are the mom and don’t have to get out in frigid temps!! But we are going to have to see a bit more promptness I’m afraid if this is ever to happen again for Landon.


Sometimes I get glimpses of her dad in her. And it makes me laugh…


Guessing there wasn’t a “goodbye, Landon–have a great day. I love you” for him this morning at the drop off.  What do you think?

Apple Cider Nog

Apple Cider Nog



Doesn’t this picture just say it all?  If it doesn’t say it to you, let me just tell you.  This Apple Cider Nog is the best drink to have ever touched my lips.  I am not kidding you.  It is so delicious.  And I will be the first to declare that you “don’t drink your calories”.  But with this drink?

I. didn’t. care.

20141114-054418-20658176.jpgApple Cider Nog

Apple Cider

Aspen Mulling Spices

Half and Half








20141114-054802-20882892.jpgWhen you get a copy of a recipe that looks like this,

you know it’s gotta be good.

20141114-054803-20883882.jpgI changed this recipe up just a very little bit by adding a couple of tablespoons of these mulling spices that are my absolute favorite for apple cider.  And, a bit of vanilla–because it sounded good.


If you don’t, you will get a curdled mess.  It happened to me and I figured it out on my third attempt.

But, it was so worth it.

This is a PERFECT holiday drink.  And if you want to add rum, you can do that as well.  Sharing today at the weekend potluck party!!


This is absolutely delicious.


Bacon Wrapped Onion Rings

Bacon Wrapped Onion Rings

I haven’t had recipes I have felt compelled to share at Tonya’s Weekend Potluck for awhile now.  But this week has changed that.  Oh my.

Bacon Wrapped Onion Rings

20141114-054212-20532031.jpgAll you need is:

Sweet Vidalia Onion

Thick Cut Bacon of your choice

Seasoning of your choice


Cut onion into half inch rings and season with seasoning of your choice.  Garlic powder, seasoning salt, cajun seasoning, pepper, anything goes!!

Next wrap bacon all the way around your onion.  You can use a toothpick to keep in place if needed.

Lay directly on your grill and grill until onions are soft and bacon is crispy.

Enjoy as a side to any meat you are grilling.  OR, take your burger to the next level as an addition to your burger toppings.

Seriously, these are awesome.


full of Friday faves…

full of Friday faves…

20141114-052320-19400991.jpgThis Friday fave edition is loooonnnggg.  In fact, I am not going to be putting my recipes in here, because of that very fact!  I could not round up this edition without raving about my Mary & Martha hostesses this week.  It’s Mary & Martha Marathon week over here.  I LOVE how these hostesses are using the beautiful Praise Tray and mugs.  One of our favorite products, this hostess knew what she was doing.  These guests were spoiled.  It was hospitality at it’s finest.  The apple bar pictured above was so much fun.  And the Apple Cider Nog I will be telling you about was to die for.


While the girls and I were away this past weekend, Steve and Landon had a bit of fun in the kitchen and kept sending us pics of what they were making on the new Green Mountain Grill.  These Bacon Wrapped Onion Rings were pretty amazing, I’ve got to admit.  Imagine this on your next burger?  Talk about taking it to the next level!!  Click HERE to read all about them!


20141114-052321-19401551.jpgBasketball has started for one little boy over here, with the girls soon to begin.  New uniforms this year with the theme Work Hard, Play Hard.  They are super cool.  And even cooler that they match is black eye.

And a little throwback to a couple of years ago when this team first started.  First games are tomorrow and we can not wait!

20141114-052626-19586920.jpgBurnin’ in my soul…

Our theme song at church as we begin our campus wide Ignite Initiative.  God is up to some big, big things at Journey  with a new building in progress for our campus specifically.  And it is exciting to be a part of!  The song Burnin’ In My Soul can be heard in our house multiple times a day.  Sometimes sung along with this version.  Sometimes in casual conversation.  Sometimes we can not get it out of our heads.  And I can’t wait for our all campus celebration on Sunday.  I have a feeling that song is going to totally rock.  Click HERE to listen and get it stuck in your head too!

And to stick with the burning thing I’ve got going on here, the sub-freezing temps means our fireplace is going!!  I’m not sure there’s anything more comforting than a warm fire?



20141114-053311-19991701.jpgA gathering at a hostesses home lit with Christmas lights and decor’.  A woman after my own heart!  I was a little bit nervous driving to these gal’s house never having met her before.  But as soon as I walked in, she welcomed me with open arms and the most vivacious spirit.  I got to introduce Mary & Martha to 15 women who had never heard of it before.  Totally awesome.  (as was the food!)

20141114-053312-19992141.jpgI have gone nutso for NuttZo.  Sorry, that is a horribly bad pun, I know.  But, it is true.  This nut and seed butter is delicious.  Click HERE to read all about the wholesome goodness of this nut butter.  Oh yummy, yummy, yummy!!

20141114-053516-20116309.jpgThis next picture is a little blurry AND a little sad.  But it’s a fave because my youngest girl, Kourtney, was getting ready for a day at school that she would be performing in the upcoming musical, Music Man.  She was to be in stage make-up and her hair in braids for her part.  Knowing she would not have time or help in school, I needed to get her ready in the morning.  Oh bless the tween hormones and self-conciousness.  She was so over the top worked up about being made fun of for her makeup and hair in braids.  But I still forced a smile out of her…

20141114-053551-20151548.jpgThis next fave is absolutely hands down the best drink I have ever put to my lips.  So good that it is getting its’ own post for the Weekend Potluck party.  You will have to click HERE to read all about and get the recipe for this delicious Apple Cider Nog.


20141114-054003-20403056.jpgOk, yes.  I admit it.  Both of my Christmas trees are up (undecorated!!) and my closet is cleaned out and crates are stacked ready to be put into action for this upcoming Christmas season.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Thanksgiving and celebrate with all of my heart—but I just like my home decorated in lights while I do.  Don’t judge.  ;)

I will blame a bit of it on Mary & Martha.  I mean, if we are selling Christmas items right now, that means I have to get in the Christmas spirit, right?!

I found these glimmer strings at Pier One the other day to add to my lanterns.  Oh my goodness.  I am in love with them!!  Mary & Martha consultants—–you NEED these!!  And they are 20% off right now!!


That’s a lot of faves.  I know.

linking up with Andrea and friends!FridayFavorites

an up close and personal beautiful nativity feature…

an up close and personal beautiful nativity feature…

Mary & Martha obviously has some beautiful and meaningful products.  I love to see which products speak to people.  We are all so different, aren’t we?  When giving training to my new consultants and they want to know which products they should show at a gathering, I hands down always say…talk about the products YOU love.


Our new nativity is not really new at all.  Did you know that?  It was new to me and probably new to all of you.  But for those who have been with Mary & Martha the longest, it is a very popular item that consultants and guests begged to bring back.  And after receiving this, I know why.


It is based on Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given.”
This is the God with Us Nativity … and each character features a word from the scripture that describes them – Mary’s word is Cherish, the manger’s scripture is John 3:16. The angel’s word is Proclaim, a shepherd’s seek and follow, and baby Jesus is Emmanuel ~ God with us.  10600590_641921042583301_5372634197527363885_n10387542_641921162583289_2580417354249963986_n

The wise men…worship, give, follow.


Mary–cherish and Joseph–love.

A powerful depiction of the greatest story ever told.

This 12 piece set retails for $190.

With an order of $100 or more, you can get this nativity for $95.

Or host an in home or catalog gathering and earn it for free or $40, whichever comes first!

I have TWO dates left to spoil a hostess with an in home gathering–

Monday, November 24 and Tuesday, November 25

Just in time to display this beautiful piece in your home for Christmas.

Facebook and catalog parties more your style? 

Let me gather up a basket for you to share with others.

Contact me directly to take advantage of the guest special spending $100 and get a half priced item, or to grab one of the in home gathering dates, OR to pick up a basket of goodies for a catalog party. 

But remember, all orders must be placed and parties closed by November 30th. 

email:, call or text 620.386.0203

the itch has arrived.

the itch has arrived.

I can’t say “no” any more.  I love you fall decor.  I love you pumpkins.  I love you Thanksgiving and I will celebrate you with a most thankful heart for so, so much.  BUT, I’m going to do it with a Christmas tree and gifts wrapped under my tree.  And if I have my way, with no more worry of Christmas shopping to do.


The itch is going to have to be scratched. The weather says it. Bath and Body Works candles say it. And these awesome Caroling Party costumes are yelling my name. Can I say I successfully humiliated my oldest daughter in Target yesterday?  Yes, yes I did.  ;)

I was given an unexpected gift in being called off from work last night—which I believe Steve thinks is extremely dangerous as I plot Christmas decorating and gift wrapping.

Bring on the red, green, and Vanilla Bean Noel.