Monday, June 24, 2013

Brownie Goodness ~ Quick Fix

Last week while grocery shopping I came across a box of "mini brownie mix" .  It made 12 mini servings and came with small cup cake cups . As I debated it's cost, usefulness , etc. I wondered , "why have I never thought of this before?". So, I purchased a normal brownie mix , some cup cake cups and put it on my "to-try" list . Today I finally got some time to give it a try and once again I asked myself, "WHY HAVE I NEVER THOUGHT OF THIS BEFORE ??!!!". One of the many bonuses to this was the fact that my cup cake tin was just as clean after as it was before .

May I recommend this highly !!! I mean, it is so practical . You don't have to worry with soaking a pan , cutting the brownies and they're all easy single serve . You can serve them with Ice Cream and Syrup to make sundaes at a party or for a fun , easy and controllable dessert at home with the kids . They will also fit in my new found repurposed cup cake to-go box .
Happy Day 4 of Summer !! What fun treats are you baking up ? 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Cup Cakes ! Reduce ~ Reuse ~ Repurpose

No body panic . I'm not suggesting some sort of repurpose for cup cakes . I mean, their main purpose of being awesome and yummy are pretty spot on . While I love a sweet treat when I grocery shop I do my best to keep it on the perimeter of the store . It was once suggested that the more healthy and good for you foods are going to be along the rim of the store . Example: fruits, vegetables , organically grown foods, chicken , fish , eggs , milk , etc. All of that is found out side of an isle . The isles tend to contain the more processed and not so good for us, but yet oh so yummy cookies, soda , chips, etc . Now this is my no means all inclusive. Of course you can find good on the isle and bad on the outskirt for example , ice cream is also not found in a isle and canned tuna can be found in a isle . So, there is always an exception . Anyway , this attempt at shopping the rims has brought some new containers into my home . As you know I like to bring my own bags when I shop in a attempt to reduce my use of "disposable" bags .  So, of course with these new containers I immediately began thinking of what else they could be used for .
Try to pretend like I hadn't already eaten
a tomato when this pic was taken.
I love baking and sending the baked goods off for others to enjoy . I even like to make special baked goods such as PupCakes for my four legged friends . As I looked at this container I put the two together and saw a perfect reuse . CUPCAKES!!!!! They fit perfectly into the spaces already created in the container .
CUPCAKES!!!!! Notice none are missing.
With a little bit of ribbon they will make for a sweet treat !!

I am super excited to have found such a perfect container for this delivery . Traveling with cupcakes can be tricky. They tip over , they get smooshed, etc. but this will be a wonderful "to-go" box !! This week my tomatoes came in a mesh/net bag. I plan to simply cut the label and reuse the bag as a produce bag for my next grocery trip .
What have you repurposed lately ?
Reduce ~ Reuse ~ Repurpose

Lessons Learned from Jack Davis Paw~t One

I say Part One because I feel like as time goes on there will be more . He is a smart pup ya know ?! I know , I know , I talk about my dog toooo much . I post too many pictures . I dress him like he is human and that's just wrong . Blah blah blah blah and so on . I can't even help it and I don't even care . I love little Jack Davis and That lil' Pup loves me . Dogs truly are man's best friend and a most loyal of companions. As I found out yesterday when I left Jack at home alone . This is nothing new, but since I've been home more these days he has gotten use to my constant presence making little times away a bit more stressful for him . When I got home I found that Jack had taken his clothes out of his toy basket and one by one made a trail from the bedroom to the kitchen . Shirts, scarves , collars, and bandanna's lined my hall way . I can only assume he was trying to run away, one out fit at a time . This morning as I was straightening up the house a bit I got the giggles wondering what was going on in that little guys mind while I was away yesterday . Chances are he was planning to find out where I had went . But like his mother....he needed to pack the appropriate clothing . Today after checking the mail and letting Jack wander the yard I sat down to enjoy the beautiful day . Jack decided to do the same . He loves to just sit in the grass and let the wind blow his snout and ears . Notice how he has his back turned to me .

As we sat out side enjoying the weather and quiet Jack decided to come a little closer to where I was sitting . He laid down as content as could be and began looking around at the flowers , bumble bee's and birds moving around him . It is unnatural for Jack to allow a bird to be near him and not chase it , but this afternoon he just wanted to be near me . Even as I write he is laying beside my chair with one of his toys . While we sat out side I was thinking about what I might do today , when I would do my Bible reading/devo's,  what needed to be done in the house , what kind of energy did I have , etc. Then I went back to thinking about Jack and how he is so content to simply be near me . Doesn't have to be right up in my lap , being petted, fed or otherwise . He just enjoys and finds peace being near me . Yes, I'm going to make a spiritual correlation and I don't care who judges me . As the idea of Jacks peace and contentment settled in my mind my heart jumped out of my chest with the realization that this is exactly how God wants me to feel about being near Him . It is not a demand , it is not just for spoiling , feeding , or praising me....or Him . It is simply about being together and finding peace and contentment in that .  
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
See to Jack I am the only one in his little puppy brain who knows exactly how to feed him , walk him , praise him , bathe him , play , and even discipline him . If someone else goes to smack his little bottom for doing something wrong he growls at them and snaps back . However when his momma does it he hangs his sweet head low and knows that he has done something wrong .  I react the same way !!! If someone else tries to tell me I'm in the wrong more times than not I will probably growl and snap, but when my Heavenly Father does it.....wooo weee do I hang my sweet little head low and know that I have done wrong . I'm sure people with children have made this God the Father relational correlation long ago, but for this single girl with only a four legged child this is a first .
Busted trying to sneak into
Mommy's bed .
Jack & Papaw
(perhaps his second fave person in the world)
Luke 12:7 Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.
With Jack our relationship is that I am not only his owner or master , but in his pup mind because he has been with me since he was old enough to leave his mom and siblings , I am his mom . I am his alpha . He listens to me . Knows my words, tones, my schedule , our home and car . He knows where his bed is and he knows the difference in his bed and mommy's bed . He knows where his bowls of kibble and water are, his toy box , he even knows where I keep the treats hidden . He also trusts me to feed him , keep water in his bowl , etc.  He even knows the difference of when I am sick or well and behaves differently in those times . One time I was very ill and in bed . My Papaw brought over some food while I slept. I never knew he had been in the house , but later Papaw told me that he had come over to deliver food and that Jack didn't greet him at the door or bark . So, Papaw out of curiosity came further into the house to see where Jack might be , knowing that I was in my bedroom asleep he was sure to not alarm Jack when he found him. Well, where he found him was on the end of my bed just at my feet. He said Jack raised his head and wagged his tail. Letting Papaw know that he saw him , but he couldn't leave his mom . AHAHAHA!!! Papaw got a real kick out of it. The fact Jack didn't bark or leave me made a impression on Papaw  . This is Jacks home as much as it is mine . While he is in my care he is going to be sure to obey me , love me , protect me (as much as a 12lb ball of fur can) and stick near to me wherever I go . And when he finds himself far from me he is going to do what he can to get back to me .
Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 6:31-32 Therefore do not be anxious, saying , "What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things , and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
I think through my time in the word, prayer and relational living in the presence of the Holy Spirit I can say God feels the same . As long as we are His we will obey , love and stick near to Him even when we are ill or far from Him . He will protect us and stick near to us never leaving our side . I want to be a reflection of loyalty to our God . If only I could be as faithful as my sweet pup is . Jack never wonders if I will be back, he just wonders when . He never doubts that I will feed him , keep him warm, or if I will provide the other things he needs to be a happy puppy . He just trusts me to do those things . Ever seen a uncared for animal ? Desperation is in their eyes , sometimes anger , or the scares of abuse . They say if you rescue a animal you'll never find a more grateful being . They know what they have been saved from . Are we the same as humans ? Do we know what we have been saved from ? Can others find a more grateful being after rescue ? I can't say that every day I express my gratefulness like I should, but with today's eye opening I hope to do better .
Psalm 13:5
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.
Today my take away is that God is good even when I am not . He is loyal and provides for my every need . In such a time of loneliness He even provided my faithful companion Jack Davis . I often say , "Jack Davis what would I do with out you?" . It is good to be responsible for something other than myself . I enjoy caring for him . Even if others find me a bit ridiculous that is fine with me . Instead of the crazy cat lady I'll be the crazy dog lady .
What has God used that is out of the ordinary to
reveal Himself and His love to you ?
Happy Saturday !


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Wounded Lamb

I briefly mentioned in my BFF post how in the last few weeks it seemed a lot had happened .Just to mention a bit of the happenings Sweet Tricia received her second double lung transplant and has been set free from living in the hospital , Jenny also known as J-Hi had twin girls just a little bit early , but all are doing well , two of my besties surprised me with a overwhelmingly kind gift that I'll write more about in several weeks .There has been much to be thankful for and so many GOD provisions that these happenings along with the rest of life up and downs make feel just a little car sick .

"When God begins a work in our hearts, it is never just about us." -Hazel Pattison

I've been reading a book for several weeks now in addition to my Bible reading in devotions . It's called , "Live Life Big or Stay in Bed" by Heather Puffett & Hazel Pattison . I randomly came across it one day on a McKays visit . I had sold several items and had a bit of store credit burning a hole in my pocket . The book was only 3 bucks and the title itself at the time screamed out to me . So, I thought why not ? If I ended up not digging it I can always sell it back . I let it sit on my end table for months before I actually picked it up and gave it a glance . For some reason I knew that this book would end up challenging me , speaking some truth and perhaps making life even more difficult than it currently felt . So. Of course I let it sit for months.

"Sometimes it is very difficult to see the things in your own life that are holding you back."
- Heather & Hazel

Once I finally began reading the book I was immediately overwhelmed . It was as if someone had been reading my diary . Sentence after sentence , paragraph after paragraph I was more and more shocked at the similarities I had with these words, feelings & thoughts . There are many magnificent illustrations in the book , but one that recently has me on my knees is that of the Shepard and the Sheep . In the chapter along with personal stories and Bible references they gave a detailed description that for some reason I had either never heard before, never understood or simply ignored . It was the definition and action of actual shepherding . See , my Uncle raises sheep and I have many times watched as he and the farm dogs heard them around . It is quiet the show . I have also watched as the guard dog keeps a ever protective eye on the sheep . He even sleeps with them at night . No matter the weather conditions . So, as I read the paragraphs concerning the Shepherd and the Sheep I had very vivid images in my head of how sheep seem to be . I had forgotten due to their cuteness how easily fooled they can be sometimes . As I read the paragraph below my heart was heavy with the idea of Jesus our Sheppard and we as the sheep . Then I became even more aware of my possible role as the wandering sheep .
My BFF Sarah and her son Griffin petting some
of my uncles sheep last summer . 
" Finally , shepherding means that we bring back the strays and search for the lost . In nature, sheep are prone to wonder off , which must be a nightmare for the shepherd who is trying to keep track of where all his sheep are. In Bible times, when a lamb consistently wandered off, the shepherd would look for the lost lamb and draw it back to himself using his staff . If the same lamb continued to wander, the shepherd would do something a bit more drastic . You see, the shepherd knows about the dangers that are constantly lurking and that the sheep's lives are at risk . He also knows that a wandering sheep will lead the others astray too . In order to save the life of the wandering lamb, he would break its leg, bind up the wounded leg and then keep the lamb close to himself until the leg had completely healed. Only then would he release the lamb back to the rest of the flock."
- Heather Puffett
Isaiah 40:11
 He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms and
carries them close to his heart;
 he gently leads those that have young.

My strongest thought as I read that chapter and specifically that paragraph was , "Am I a wandering sheep ? Has my leg been broken by my Shepherd for my own safety and possibly the safety of others ? " . I am very attached to animals and the idea of having to break the leg of one for it's own good is nearly impossible for me to grasp . I can't even think of hurting Jack Davis on purpose . When he misbehaves and has to be punished it is probably as hard on me as it is him . So, the idea that our Shepherd has to at times for our own safety break us is heart breaking in itself . As you know I have been searching , praying , trying and retrying for varied employment and ministry opportunities for a long time now . I have had a few odd jobs and opportunities, but nothing permanent . I have to keep myself reminded that God has a plan . That this time is not for nothing . That I indeed have a purpose . This is nearly impossible to keep in my mind and heart every day as I struggle to not be weighed down by this worlds expectations of a human , woman & Christian . It is with this paragraph that I somewhat am beginning to understand Gods movement and sometimes lack of movement in my current situation . I can safely say that for quiet a while I have been no good to anyone , myself and God included . I have been flat out "Mad About It" all as I shared two blogs ago . With the revelations that God has brought me through this book I am beginning to see more of why .
"He must be our source, the place we draw from to satisfy
the hunger in our hearts and the thirst in our spirits."
 - Hazel Pattison
I am grateful that God uses varied vehicles to get our attention , speak to us , and help us further understand Him and His desires for our lives . While I still feel far from my destination I am so very thankful to have my wound bound and to be kept close to my Shepherd while I heal . The more honest I am with myself and my God I can see there is quiet a bit of healing to be done before this wandering lamb can be released back to the flock . I look forward to possibly sharing more challenges, revelations and love as the journey continues . Do not be brought down by your wounds and time of healing . Be grateful that your Shepherd cares enough for your safety and desires it so that He longs to keep you close in your weak times .
Psalm 23:1-6   
 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. ...

Friday, June 7, 2013


(Not all besties are pictured in this blog. Some I need more tech advanced photo's of since our last photo op, others I can't find the pic on this computer and some we've simply avoided the camera.)


Since tomorrow is National BFF Day I thought it only appropriate to take a moment to brag, love and reminisce on the beauty that is my besties . I'm in the process of reading a book that is rocking my world . In one of the chapters one of the writers mentioned their daughter struggling over the idea of a "Best Friend" . That she genuinely just loved all of her friends, each one for different and special reason . The writer believes that instead of making a sweeping declaration of who her BFF is that she instead whispers into each of their ears that they are her favorite . As I read this little story I giggled because I understood exactly what this little girl was feeling and why . With every bridesmaid invitation my mother tells me "you don't have to be in every one's wedding!!" and I seem to always respond with, "but they're so special to me". I have been blessed with some of the most amazing friends a girl could ever ask for . I have written here , here , and here about some of the special people my life has been blessed with . I have always felt that since I wasn't blessed with siblings I was instead blessed with some wonderful friends that might as well be brothers and sisters .

There have been many life events shared such as weddings , births , first homes , new jobs, relocation's and so much more . Just today a friend sent me a text with the exciting news that "she got the job !!" ,  a few weeks ago one of my BFF's gave birth to twins , one graduated with her SECOND masters degree, one had her wisdom teeth removed this week and two others are riding their bikes across a state for Cancer!! These are good people . I do not doubt that I am blessed .

This summer I will even have the chance to reunite with two of my besties . I look forward to experiencing new travels, laughs, and memories with them . As I look through pictures it is amazing to me how many memories we have . One of the most powerful realizations I've had in the recent  weeks has been what a gift it is to have friends that not only love you, but love God . In my down times I tend to forget who I really am . It is in these moments I need people who really know me , my heart, and my God to help snap me back into place . Just a few weeks ago I had two friends do just that for me by speaking truth , wisdom and love as directly and specifically as possible . I'm so grateful God uses those around us to remind us of how much HE cares .

One of my favorite things to do with my favorites is introduce them to each other . Nothing pleases me more than my friends becoming friends !! You know the phrase "it takes a village" ? Well, I like my village and it surely has taken each one of them to make into the person I am today . It will probably continue taking them to help become the person I am suppose to be tomorrow . As I get to be "Aunt Stacie" to their babies I get emotional realizing how these friendships will reflect love to these little ones . The way we keep up , support , pray for , speak truth too, and love each other will be the example for the next generation of what friendship is .

I hope that as you go about your Saturday you take a moment to drop a text , email, FB message or even call one of your BFF's . These are the siblings we choose !!!! I look forward to what is next for all of my friends, their families , jobs, ministries and every other step they take .

It so wonderful to experience life together , even when we are far apart .
Happy Best Friends Day !!!!
Celebrate by braiding a friendship bracelet or two.