Monthly Archives: February 2012

The Help

I need help.  We all need help.

On Thursday I talked about ways to hold yourself accountable when wanting to change an area of your life in my post Back to Reality. This applies to any area or time in our life.  We all have things we want to improve, but don’t know how to get there.  Where can you reach out for HELP?

One area of my life that I wanted to improve was my daily enthusiasm for deepening my faith.  I had been in a rut and didn’t know where to start. MY HELP this week has been listening to Christian music.  Let me tell ya, it is working!

I had originally tried diving into the bible, and to be honest, all I kept doing was staring at the words on the page.  At that point in time, IT WASN’T WORKING!  So if you can’t get momentum, keep trying until something clicks!  Maybe your new HELP will be a friend you aren’t thinking of, a new book, getting involved in a group/organization, researching the internet….explore ALL options! Don’t give up!

And in case you are where I am, below are some of my new FAVS!  Check them out, and SING and DANCE with me!!  (If you can’t see the video’s below, copy and paste the titles into youtube)

Counting on God–New Life Worship

Phil Wickham – At Your Name (Yahweh Yahweh) 

Audrey Assad – Sparrow

NewWorldSon-Learning To Be The Light

Happy Sunday!

Lara

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Filed under Faith, God, Pastor DJ

{Date Balls}

If you like dates, nuts, and coconut, this recipe is yummy-licious!!

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks butter
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 2 c. dates
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 c. Rice Krispies
  • 1 c. pecans
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 bag coconut

In a large pan heat butter, sugar, & dates.  Once mixture begins to bubble allow to cook for a few minutes.  Mixture will be a caramelized color.  Remove from heat.  In a small bowl whisk eggs.  Temper eggs  by adding 1 cup of hot mixture 1 tbsp at a time.  Add egg mixture to the butter, sugar, & date mixture.  Stir.  Add vanilla, Rice Krispies & nuts.  Stir.

Place coconut in a small bowl.  Drop 1 heaping tbsp of mixture into coconut.  Mixture will be gooey.  Roll into ball.  Place on cookie sheet.  Cool in the freezer or refrigerate.

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I…have Rheumatoid Arthritis

•For more “I Am…” stories, click here!

•Do you or someone you know have a story that could inspire other women?  We would LOVE to feature you!  Email us at suedesofa@yahoo.com

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Back to Reality

Last week I tagged along with Doug as he had a conference on the Big Island of Hawaii! We had a really great time! The hardest thing about coming back from a trip like that (or a spiritual weekend retreat) is that you immediately are faced with REALITY. It is so easy to have all of these wonderful plans, thoughts and ideas of how you want things to be when you return and the BAM you are faced with sick kids, bills, work, etc.

Doug and I discussed this dilemma. During our vacation we read a couple of books that imPacTed our lives greatly. We knew that coming back would be hard because it is much easier to have your priorities in order when relaxing on vacation. Living a week without a time schedule and work makes life so siMple….but unfortunately that is not reality!

So what do I do? My best advice is to suRroUnd yourself with people who support your new way of thinking. If you can’t find support right away then jot down your ideas on paper to serve as reminders. Place those thoughts on a bulletin board or in areas of the house that you will stumble across during the day to help hold you aCcouNtable. Realistically, even those ideas will only last temporarily and the realness of your day-to-day routine will try to take over. This will be an ongoing process, but no reason to give up entirely. Continue to search for ways to keep you on track and, if all else fails, schedule another getaway (like a day without kids or distractions) in the next 6 months that will allow you to regroup your thoughts!

~Lara

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Super Easy Spinach Ball Recipe

I tried these spinach balls at a Christmas party and just had to get the recipe.  They were DeLicIoUs and I was thrilled to find out how EaSy they were to make!  They are now my “go to” recipe when I need to bring an appetizer anywhere and am short on time!

Spinach Balls Recipe:

  • 2 10 oz. packages of frozen chopped spinach
  • 2 cups of dry stuffing mix
  • 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup soft butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook spinach and drain well.  Combine all ingredients.  Chill in refrigerator at least two hours.  Roll into one inch balls.  Place on cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until slightly browned.

EnJoY!

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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Valentine’s Day Tradition–German Chocolate Cake w/ Homemade Frosting

The one thing I associate with VaLenTine’s DAy is German Chocolate Cake with a homemade frosting.  For as long as I can remember, my Mom made my Dad this double layered heart shaped cake for Valentine’s Day.  It is his favorite cake and we only had it once a year!  What fond memories I have of my Mom smiling as she put the last bit of frosting on the cake.  We were always so excited for Dad to walk in the door, as if every year it was an unexpected surprise to him :)

Oddly enough, when I met Doug I found out that his FAVORITE cake is German Chocolate Cake!  So the tradition continues within my own family.  Outside of the fact that this cake is made with LOVE, it is also extra special because the frosting is one that never disappoints!  Check out my recipe below.  It isn’t too late to whip one up for tonight and surprise your loved one with this cake too!!  Enjoy!!

Valentine German Chocolate Cake w/ Homemade Frosting

1 Box German Chocolate Cake Mix

Follow the directions like normal.  I just pour the batter into 2-heart shaped pans and bake for the same time as 2-9” round pans. Don’t overcook!

Allow the cake to cool before removing from the pans.  You may need to cut off the top of each cake so they are flat all the way across.  If you don’t, after you apply the frosting your cake may become a broken heart :(

Homemade Frosting

3 Egg Yolks—beaten

1 C. Evaporated Milk

½ C. butter—melted

1 tsp. Vanilla

1 C. Sugar

1 ½ C. Coconut

1 C. Chopped Pecans

Beat together your 3 egg yolks, evaporated milk, melted butter and vanilla in a saucepan.  Add sugar.  Once all is combined, then heat on stove for 12 minutes until it becomes thicker.  Cook on medium to high heat, allowing it to boil.  Stir often.

 Make sure you beat the egg mixture BEFORE you begin heating or the eggs will separate. After 12 minutes, remove from heat and add the coconut and pecans.   Add to your cake!

* I suggest making 1 ½ batches of the above frosting so you have plenty to work with.  If you don’t, you will barely have enough to cover the entire cake and the extra allows your kiddos to sample as you frost the cake :)  Enjoy!!

~Lara

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{Love That Never Fails}

My Wedding Day

A few months back, my fellow blogger, Robyn (Jersey Girl) shared a list of her plans in her youth that she was able to say, “Check, check, and check” to.  {Click here for her story}  Well…
My life didn’t go exactly like pLaNnEd.  My check off list in high school/college included:
  1. Get married right out of college.
  2. Have four or five children before age 30 (3 boys and 1 or 2 girls and in that order).

Hey, I’m a planner and that’s what planners do!   Well, man’s mind plans his way, but it’s the Lord’s purpose that will PrEvAiL!   And my plans were obviously not God’s purpose.

So there I found myself single and 30-SoMeThInG.  (I didn’t get married until I was 35.)  What’s a girl to do?  I can actually say that I was very content being single.  Did I want to get married, absolutely, but I really did enjoy all the luxuries of single-hood.  It wasn’t always easy and at times it was lonely, but I was content.

If you find yourself in the single stage of life and wish you had a significant other, here’s some input that may help:

  • Enjoy the FrEeDoM of single-hood.  You get to call all the shots!
  • Develop yourself as a person.  Become a person of MoRaL ChArAcTeR that a future spouse would find attractive.
  • PrAy for God’s direction regarding finding the right person and the grace to help you through!
  • Do all those things that you’ve been wanting to do, but that may be difficult to do once you’re married.  (I was able to visit family in Asia, which may not have been possible as a married person.)
  • Cultivate close relationships with family and friends.  Develop close friendships with other singles.
  • Get yourself in a position of FiNaNciaL freedom.
  • Focus on your career and/or professional life.  Maybe it is time to venture out and take a risk in starting the business/career you’ve been dreaming about.

Fortunately, after the long wait, I was blessed with a WoNderFuL husband.  He’s funny, caring, generous, laid back, and fun to be around.  I loved my life as a single person and I love my life now.  I’m sure to many, my life now may look boring.  My idea of a great evening is hanging out, At HoMe, with my family and friends!  It may not seem exciting to some, but I’m very CoNtEnT and happy.  And I’m not going to MeSs WiTh “HaPpY”!

So, if you’re single and wishing you were not, hang in there.  This song is dedicated to you and anyone, for that matter, married or single, looking for love that never fails.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

;) Robynn

Your Love Never Fails Lyrics

Nothing can separate

Even if I ran away

Your love never fails

I know I still make mistakes

But You have new mercies for me everyday

Your love never fails

Chorus: You stay the same through the ages

Your love never changes

There maybe pain in the night but joy comes in the morning

And when the oceans rage

I don’t have to be afraid

Because I know that You love me

Your love never fails

Verse 2: The wind is strong and the water’s deep

But I’m not alone in these open seas

Cause Your love never fails

The chasm is far too wide

I never thought I’d reach the other side

But Your love never fails

Bridge: You make all things work together for my good

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Filed under Faith, Getting Real, God, Good Life, Hard Reality, Life, Marriage, Relationships

{Crazy In Love}

CrAzY In LoVe.

That describes God and His love for us.  As Valentine’s Day quickly approaches, I am excited to introduce a video series that I am going to be sharing called, “Crazy In Love”.  This series contains 22 daily videos ranging from 30 seconds to 2 minutes.  Each day will focus on an aspect of GoD’s love for us.  You can watch the 1st video at the end of this post.  The remaining videos can be seen on our “Suede Sofa Unplugged” blog.  www.suedesofaunplugged.com

Switching gears…

Here’s an idea for Valentine’s Day sweets.  Serve up heart-shaped, frosted sugar cookies, by placing them in a square {like the 1st picture}, but add the letters “L”, “O”, “V”, “E” to the hearts.  Pile the cookies on top of each other for a plate full of cookies!

Hope you have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

:)

Robynn~

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{Valentine’s Day Popcorn Balls}

Here is a twist on popcorn balls!

My dad would make these popcorn balls on a cold, winter night as the family was hanging out together.  He would whip them up in no time flat!  They were such a treat!!  Here is his recipe.  I’ve just added Valentine’s Day conversation hearts.  Enjoy!!

{Popcorn Balls}

Ingredients:

  • 2 batches of popped popcorn
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 bag marshmallows
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

Prepare 2 batches of popcorn according to directions on package.  Place popcorn in a large bowl.  Melt butter & marshmallows.  Add sugar & vanilla.  Pour over popcorn.  Stir together.  {Optional:  Add 1 cup of conversation hearts, red hots, etc.}  Allow to cool slightly.  Butter hands and form into popcorn balls.

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Master Bedroom Makeover {Robynn}

My family and I had lived in our house for about 1 year when we were asked if we would be willing to have our house on our town’s HoLiDaY HoMes ToUr.  Up to that time I really didn’t know what kind of style I wanted for our master bedroom, so I really didn’t do much with it.  There was no ThEmE, no cohesiveness, no inspiration.  But once we agreed to place our home on the tour I was motivated to do something.  So, out came my magazines {I had not yet discovered PiNtErEsT} and I began scanning the pages to find the style that fit us best.  One thing we enjoy from time to time is to stay in a nice hotel.  So, that was the “FeeL” I was going for.   Here’s the before pictures of my bedroom.  Not a huge disaster, but definitely had no “WoW!” factor.

{Before #1}

{Before #2}

{Before #3}  I liked having these photos on this wall, but I really needed the space for my dresser, so the photos had to be moved.

{After #1}  One of first things I did was to add a rug which helped define the space.  A rug-on-a-rug may seem odd, but this one works especially with the BaSkEt WeAvE design and jute texture of the area rug.  I also added curtains and placed the rods as high up as possible.  This gives the feel of a taller ceiling.

The inspiration for the curtains came from a magazine picture that I ripped out and then tried to duplicate.  Believe it or not, they were made from drop cloths that I got from Sherwin Williams {I bought the heaviest weight they had as I wanted them to have a “starchy, stand up on their own” look.}  However, you can get the drop cloths in a much lesser weight if you want yours to have more of a “just hanging” look.

{After #2}  MiRrOrS add depth to any room.

 

{After #3}

That’s ChiCkY our yellow lab.

These pillows came from HoMe GoOdS.  I just picked beige ones that I liked.

Lighting is a great mood setter!  It gives AmBiAnCe and a sense of warmth.

Blank wall in bathroom.

I originally wanted to find one large mirror, but after looking for over a year I settled on four smaller ones.

Pictures from a wall were moved to my closet for a constant reminder of my girls when they were babies.  I’ll never tire of seeing their PrEcIoUs faces!  Closet #1

Closet #2

The throw fabric came from Wal-Mart.

For the duvet {the cover for my down} I purchased 400 thread count sheets from Wal-Mart.  My mother-in-law sewed them together  like a big pillow slip.  The down was placed inside and voila!  They are SuPeR-SoFt!

These plates came from Home Goods {Marshalls}

 Laying out the plates for the blank wall above my bed.  The hardware used to hang the plates came from Michael’s {I bet Hobby Lobby would have them also}.

That’s one blank wall!

Hardware to hang plates.  Super-easy to hang!!

Place this plate holder around plate’s edges.

Finally a focal point!

These mirrors for the wall behind the bathtub came from Wal-Mart for a little under $10/ea.

Make sure you tape them really good.

I used white spray paint and then I used paper towels to wipe the paint giving them a distressed look.

Hope you EnJoYeD the tour!

:) Robynn~

Here’s a video of the space.  {I give a few more details on the transformation.}

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