Monthly Archives: February 2012

Spring is in the Air

Just a few days ago I saw my first robin of the season.  To me this has always been a SpEcIaL sign that spring is on its way.  When I taught first grade I always loved watching the excitement on the faces of my students when we would spot the first robin on the field outside of our classroom.  I would let all of the kids get out of their seats and look out the windows to count how many robins they could see throughout the large playground and field behind our school.  Besides the robins, it has been staying light out later, the sun has been coming up earlier, and the temperature has been climbing.

With all of these changes I can’t help but get excited for the upcoming spring season and all it has to offer.  Playing in the yard with my kids, working on my outdoor craft projects, and barbecues just to name a few!  If the winter months have found you a little down, rest assured…BrIgHtEr days are just around the corner!

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Don’t Get Caught Up in the Catch Up

How long is that to-do list of yours?  2 pages?  20 items? How many times have you made pRoMises to your loved ones that as soon as your list is marked off then life will be better and you will be able to FINALLY give them your full attention?

Having lists can be a good thing.  I am a list person.  But, I’ve learned that how you HANDLE your list all comes down to how you LOOK at your list.  Do you really think that once you check off every item your “to do’s” will be obsolete?  We all know that as soon as the LIST is complete, the next page is already full of new tasks to work on.

Folding clothes, cleaning out the car or running errands will always be the norm, but does that mean I have to get them all accomplished today?  No!  Some things are more pressing than others, but if we truly eXamiNe our lists we will realize that most things can be pushed off until later.  Doesn’t your list contain mostly materialistic things anyway?  Is that really worth stressing over?  Last I knew you can’t take those things with you to eternity, so why fret?!

If you are getting overwhelmed by having a continuous to-do list, change yor way of thinking.  Treat your list as a GUIDE to keep you on track with things you want to accomplish.  Don’t allow it to be something that weighs you down because you haven’t marked it off yet.  More importantly, if you spend more time doing the things that matter most—time with family, quiet time, etc—there is no reason to feel bad about putting off your materialistic “to-dos”.  Shouldn’t those be the items as the top of your daily to-do list anyway?


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Peace With Food {Over Rating Self-Control}

Boy, I messed up this past weekend and lost “PeAcE WiTh FoOd”.  {Sigh}  Here’s the story, maybe you can relate.  I went to the grocery store to get some items for dinner.  My kids had been begging me to have hot-dogs.  So, hot-dogs and turkey burgers it was.  As I was getting the items I picked up some chips {they were baked, but still, they provide a temptation if I’m not careful}.  I knew as I was picking them up that this was not a good idea.  I was having one of those days.  You know what I’m talking about, right?   One of those days where you just want to turn your brain off and go on AuTo PiLoT?  I went home and as I was preparing the meal I opened up the chips to snack on.  {A recipe for disaster.  What was I doing?  I know better.}  Normally, when I want to munch on something during meal prep I like to have carrots or veggies, because even though I’m not crazy about raw veggies, if they are there I will eat them.  But this time, it was “forget the veggies, I’ll take the chips.”  Well, needless to say, things only went down hill from there.  But it was InEviTabLe as I disregarded a principle I have learned a long time ago:

“Use WiSdOm where wisdom is needed and self-control where self-control is needed.”

It is so easy to think that all we need is self-control, when in essence what we really need is wisdom.  Self-control is GrEaT, but many times we use it as our first line of defense, when really it should be the 2nd.  Had I used wisdom in the grocery store I would have decreased the likelihood that I even had to use self-control.  I wouldn’t have even put myself in a tempting situation.

This applies in all areas of life, not just eating and food.  Where do you struggle with self-control?  Exercise, spending, gambling, drinking, shopping, gossiping?  These are just a few of the things that people struggle with.  Have you taken the 1st step and AppLiEd wisdom?  If you are wanting to exercise early in the morning it is not wise to think that when the alarm goes off you will be ready to work out if you don’t have a plan in place and maybe even an accountability partner.  If shopping is your weakness, thinking you will be able to say “No”, once inside the store is setting yourself up for a fall.

Where are your temptations?  Take the first step and get yourself out of those situations ASAP.  Remove as many temptations as possible.  That’s wisdom.  And the amazing thing I have found is that many times once I have taken the 1st step of wisdom, self-control just kicks in automatically and I really don’t have to exert much effort.

Does this mean that self-control isn’t important?  Not at all, but it sure gives you the AdVanTaGe and puts the odds in your favor of winning the ViCtOrY.




Filed under Inspiration, Inspire, Life, Peace w/ Food, You

{Addicted To Thumbs Up}

Let’s face it.  We love people’s ApPrOvaL.  Not only do we love it, but if we are brutally honest, we may have to admit we’re addicted to it.  So much so that it can dictate our life.  But ultimately, there is really only one “ThUmB’s Up” that really matters.  It’s God’s.  And I have to ask myself, how am I faring in that category?  Am I doing what I know is right even when it is lonely, when there is no applause, no AcCoLaDeS, no thumb’s up?

And most importantly is God giving me a “thumbs up”?



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{Breakfast Hot Ham & Cheese}

My sister-in-law, Jaena, gave me this recipe and although I typically go for the sweet breakfast dishes, I loved this SaVoRy one.  If you love Hot Ham & Cheese Sandwiches, you have to try this breakfast version!

Breakfast Hot Ham & Cheese


  • 12 slices of bread
  • 1 /4 pound thinnly sliced ham {I like Walmart’s Party Time ham sliced as thin as they can so it is falling apart}
  • 1 pkg. shredded cheddar cheese {14 oz.}
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 pkg. cream cheese {at room temperature}
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. dried mustard

1.)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray.

2.)  Place six slices of bread on the bottom of the pan.

3.)  Layer bread with sliced ham.

4.)  Sprinkle with 1/2 of the cheddar cheese.

5.)   Cover with six more slices of of bread.

6.)  In a small bowl cream the softened cream cheese, add eggs that have been whisked, milk & dried mustard.  Pour over top layer of bread.

7.)  Sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese over the egg mixture.

8.)  Bake for 45 minutes.

Slice each sandwich diagonally two times, so each sandwich has 4 triangles.  Enjoy!!



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LIVING IT: Exterior Home Makeover

Check out a completed “Live-It List” item from one of our readers!

I wanted a new look for the exterior of our home.  Check out what I did!

I ordered the supplies from Dyebrick ( After looking at their color panels we decided we would try staining our brick Rustic Brown. Starting out we ordered a “Sample Pot” which is roughly $11.00 plus shipping. Once the sample pot arrived and we tried it out in an conspicuous area we were ready to order enough for the front of our house. We then ordered the Brick Tinting Kit which is around $55.00 plus shipping. With no dilution the Brick Tinting Kit is 20fl.oz which can cover 162.5 sq.ft.

We ordered 2 and had some stain leftover. It took us around 15 hours to do the front of the house. If you have someone helping you, the time could be cut almost in half. It does take some time since you must stain one brick at a time. The stain is permanent and is guaranteed to last a lifetime so it’s definitely worth your time. We are 100% satisfied!

Hidden Live-It List question:

What is the furthest distance you will have to travel to check off an item on your Live-It List? (feel free to use a screen name)

Click here for “Live-It List” details.


Filed under At Home, DIY, Live-It Ideas, Live-It List, RANDO•RAMA

{Table It!}

Isn’t it amazing what you can find in StOrAgE?!  I was looking for a little side table, so my mother-in-law took me to her storage unit.  This is what we found…

 PeRfEcT!  I’ll take it!!

CoTtAgE-y bLuE table is what I am thinking I would like.  To get a distressed look, I only covered it with a couple coats of paint.  This left dark streaks which is exactly the effect I was after.  Here’s how it turned out….

ExActLy what I was going for!




Filed under DIY, RANDO•RAMA

From Mommy with Love

What advice would you leave for your loved ones if you knew you may not live the life you envisioned?  This past month I was faced with one of the scariest unknowns of my life and by the GrAcE of GoD everything turned out fine and I am here to write about it and inspire.  It started out like any other Sunday in our house with the usual noise and chaos followed by dinner at my parents house, but throughout the day I kept noticing an annoying pain in my right breast.  I am a worrier so I called my gynecologist the next morning which was Monday and made an appointment for Tuesday morning to get it checked out.  I was hoping the Dr. would say that he didn’t feel anything and that there was nothing to worry about, but there it was, “Well, I feel a few lumps that we need to have checked out.”  I tried to remain calm and hold it together until I could get in my car and call to make an appointment for a mammogram and ultrasound.  Luckily there was a cancellation for the following day so I knew I would just have to make it through the next 24 hours of not knowing.  I knew that being 35 didn’t mean anything as far as breast cancer was concerned because I have friends who were diagnosed before they were 40.  I kept praying that the lumps would turn out to be cysts or something curable, but my mind couldn’t stop from drifting to the “What if?”

The next day I went for my mammogram and ultrasound and waited in the ultrasound room for the results as the radiologists read the tests.  It felt like an eternity as I lay on the table waiting to find out if there was any trace of cancer.  I started to think, “Am I going to get to see my son go to his prom in a tuxedo with his spiky hair?” and “I better start writing advice down for Abby like, If you are ever shopping and have to make a decision between two colors and pink is one of the options…always pick PINK!”  I felt numb, as my eyes filled with tears thinking about all I had to lose.  Turns out there was no sign of cancer or cysts or anything of the sort.  Apparently it is normal to have dense breast tissue at this age with lumps that come and go within your cycle.  HoWeVeR…do not take this as any sort of medical advice and follow-up on anything you may feel in the future!

So it has been about three weeks since my scare and it got me thinking about my advice for Abby.  Why should I wait for a tragedy to start writing down things that I think are important for my kids to know?  Whether it be silly shopping advice or a story about how my husband and I met, I think now is as good a time as any to get writing and start a memento that both of  my children will have for years down the road.

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)


Filed under Faith, Family, Getting Real, God, Life, Relationships

“Move ON…

and don’t look back.”  Hearing those words can be encouraging but difficult to live out!

-Are you trying to be a better YOU but you can’t stop dwelling on all of the bad things you’ve done recently?

-Are you trying to forgive someone but you keep allowing yourself to think of all the reasons you can’t?

-Is your weight loss or financial goals in a rut because you won’t LET GO of all the times you failed?

-Are you spending most of your days with the ‘Poor Me’ attitude?

When I allow my mind go off in a dark place of thought the result is always the same:  I FEEL EVEN WORSE!  We can usually tell when we are headed down the road of negativity or depression.  The gOoD nEwS is we have a choice on whether or not we are going to detour those thoughts!

As my mind slips in that direction I immediately say to myself “I am NOT going there!”  I have to repeat this numerous times throughout the day as my mind tries to fall back into bad habits, but most of the time it works.

Life is a constant pep-talk.  We have to push ourselves to think right, make good choices and act appropriately.  Those areas in life don’t always come easy.  If your mind begins wondering in the wrong direction, do yourself a favor and remind those negative thoughts that YOU are NOT going there!



Filed under Getting Real, Inspiration, Inspire, Life

{The Answer Is In The House}

With a tough EcoNoMy like the one we’re in, many people find themselves in a challenging financial position.  Many are looking to take on second jobs to make ends meet.  It reminds me of a talk I heard back in college.  My alma mater, Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Ok required us students to attend chapel twice a week.  These were a HiGhLiGhT for me as they were so uplifting.  From time to time special speakers would be invited to address the students.  One of the chapel services I remember the best was one in which ToMmY BaRnEtT, pastor of Phoenix First Church spoke about a widow who found herself in financial dire straits.  He told the story about this woman in the Bible who came to the prophet Elisha, desperate for help.  {II Kings 4} She was a widow, had debtors demanding payment, and on brink of starvation.  If she could not pay her debt, by law she would be required to give her sons to the debtors.  She had no money, no means to make money, and was at the end of her supply of food.  When Elisha heard her story, he asked her, “What’s in your HoUsE?”  Her answer was, “Just a little bit of oil.”  Elisha then instructed her to collect jars from all her neighbors and pour her oil into the jars.  As she poured, the oil continued to flow, until she had enough to pay off her debtors.

The point of this story is that the answer to her problem was in her house.  She just didn’t think that what she had was sufficient.  If you are finding yourself with great need, ask yourself  “what’s in my “house”?”  Maybe you have a gift/talent/skill that you could turn into PrOfiT.  Maybe there’s some things you could sell.  Maybe it’s time to downside.  Whatever you do, if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed with your situation ask yourself, “What’s In My House?”  You may be sitting on your answer and not even know it!



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Filed under Faith, Finances, God, Life