14 Novel Gifts Your Man Will Actually Love

14 Novel Gifts Your Man Will Actually Love

I love giving gifts! There is something special about meticulously picking out a gift for someone, wrapping it in anticipation of and watching them open it before your eyes.

But sometimes, shopping for my husband can prove to be a challenge! His hobbies are not necessarily “cheap” hobbies so finding gifts for him that don’t cost a fortune can call for some digging and legwork! Overall, he’s pretty easy to please. But it never hurts to have some stellar ideas in my back pocket for when the occasion calls for it! So, here’s a few awesome ideas you can add to yours!

14 Novel Gifts Your Man Will Actually Love

Wulfram Furnishings Kindling Splitter A handcrafted kindling splitter that is a safer and easier option to the traditional hatchet. Made in Montana! They are 17″ tall and 8.5″ wide.

Character Country Minimalist Wallet The Minimalist Leather Wallet was made with simplicity and durability in mind. At Character Country they use 4-5 oz leather for their wallets. The thickness is durable for decades of use, yet thin enough to sit on comfortably. This wallet folded is 4″ long x 2 5/8″ wide. Everything at CharacterCountry is done by hand, the cutting, dying, and sewing. Doing it this way takes time but creates a superior product. Personalization available.

LaCrosse Weather Forecast Station Full-color display gives you current temperatures & humidity, with a future forecast whether it could be sunny or rainy to snowy. Features accurate, self-set atomic time & date with automatic DST updates. Records min/max values and alerts you to extreme temperatures. Also displays your heat index and dew point.

KomalC Genuine Leather Buffalo Toiletry BagInspired by Vintage designs this toiletry bag holds all you need to carry for those short trips and travels. The Metal zippers add a rich and classy look to the kit and add durability to the product. The Interior water-resistant lining adds life to the leather. the external metal zipper adds grace to the look and is an easy way to store small items. brought to you by Komal Chaudhari, this toiletry bag is all you need to carry your stuff in style.

Kacebela BBQ Tool Set This BBQ utensil set is well made of high quality and sturdy stainless steel, which makes the set extremely durable and last for a long time.

ESV Thinline Leather Bound Bible A beautiful leather bound Thinline ESV Bible with wraparound straps.

House of Cribbage Board 

The handmade cribbage board has been inlaid in Rosewood and Maple wood. The engraved tracks are in Maple wood which are surrounded by Rosewood. The bottom of the box has scratch deterrent maroon velvet felt pad which protects the box from scratches and enhances the stability the of the board. Free Drawstring velvet bag is also provided to protect the board.

D&M Leather Studio Personalized iPad Case Beautifully crafted, 100% hand cut and hand sewn brown leather iPad case with additional storage pockets.

The Power of a Praying Husband In The Power of a Praying Husband, you’ll find the excitement and hope that come from inviting the God who hears and answers prayer into your marriage.

Man Crates Whether your man loves grilling, football, golf, alcohol, ammo, etc! You name it, they probably have a crate for it! These are amazing gifts with so much character – bound to make any man happy!

Dollar Shave Club Membership For an affordable and awesome shave, a membership to Dollar Shave Club will not disappoint! It’s incredibly easy to set up orders and if you don’t need any new products one month, canceling is as simple as a click. As well as shaving necessities, they offer hair care, skin care and more!

KZA Art and Photography For something unique and special, find a piece of artwork that would fit perfectly in your man’s Man Cave!

Bellfyd Tactical Pen 

Built like a tank, this tactical defense pen will never let you down when you need it. The built-in glass breaker allows it to break a windshield, while the sharp tip makes it a self-defense weapon. Most of the time, however, BellFyd Spy Pen is a gorgeous ballpoint pen with a replaceable cartridge that writes smoothly, even upside down. Crafted from tungsten steel, the defensive pen: – Is built for personal protection and self-defense.

Boudoir Portraits 

Perhaps not your first idea for a gift, but gifting specially crafted and tasteful pictures to your husband can be an awesome gift he will cherish forever. Find a talented photographer in your area and set up an appointment! If you are in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana, I highly recommend Jaela B. Photography!


The ideas are limitless! And every man likes different things!

What are some of your favorite gift ideas for your man??

 

 

Want more ideas on ways to love your Man? See:

Practical Ways to Communicate Respect to your Man

67 Different Ways to Say I Love You 

15 Days of Valentine’s 

Unique Valentine’s Day Gifts at Groupon!Groupon.com

Why I Spank!!!

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This past week I had a major mom moment. You know what I am talking about? That moment when we moms lose our cool and become Mr. Hyde and strike terror into the hearts of our family.

Well, I lost my cool in a major way and actually yelled at my little boy. (I say that shamefully and hope that some busy-body doesn’t turn me in to the authorities for being a horrible mother.) I’m not usually the yelling mom. It has happened maybe twice before in the past 4 years. But let me tell you, it was a good yell and I could see the hurt in my son’s eyes when I did it. He was scared. And I was mad!!

Why was I mad? Well, in all honesty, it was my fault for the chaos of the morning that made me boil over with frustration and anger. My little man had been whining and crying and throwing major fits for nearly 2 hours straight. And it had been like that every morning and afternoon for nearly two weeks. He was doing so because I had decided to try out a new parenting/training technique, hoping it would make my children perfect angels and allow me to give up on the spanking technique I normally use. (If I am being honest I wish I never had to spank. I have a bit of what you would call ‘a tender heart’. And the world has begun telling us moms that if you spank then you are abusive. Never, ever, ever would I want to be an abusive mother. The thought makes my heart ache.)
Yes, I am a spanking mom!!! Oh the shame!! How could I? Well, these past 2 weeks of chaos and major fit throwing is why? The past weeks have shown me that the power of the ‘rod’ really does hold great power. Not power in the sense of lording it over our kids and beating them into complete submission. I mean power  as in the amazing work of transforming the heart of my little boys.
Allow me to explain and give some stories to illustrate:
First off, I decided to try the time out/go to your room method that “Love and Logic” speaks of. It sounded like a great idea. For some children I am sure it works wonders, for mine, it was horrible. At first I just thought it would take time to make the method effective but I tried it for over 2 weeks and saw no improvement. In fact, it made matters worse. My little boy would have a moment and I would send him to his bed. He would cry and then slowly build into a major fit. Then he would start yelling, “Mommy, please give me a spanking!! I need a spanking!!”
I ignored him and eventually he would calm down.(After a 25 minute cry session, mind you.) Yet, every 20 minutes or so this would happen. With my usual method of instilling the rod a few times while lovingly telling him the reason for it, he would get right back to being happy and move on. The time out/bedroom method just seemed to make him angrier and angrier and was doing nothing for mending his heart.
And that is how I ended up having a horrible mom melt-down. I could not take the fit throwing any longer. It was driving me crazy!!!!!!! Instead of this method helping both of us, it was creating chaos. (I like many other methods from “Love and Logic”. I just found that this idea did not work for me.) So, moving forward in wisdom, I went back to the use of the rod. Peace and joy began returning to our home and the fit throwing subsided. As usual, we occasionally had a fit here and there but it was nothing like those 2 horrible weeks.
I share this story in hopes to let other moms realize that spanking our children is not a hateful or abusive method of training our children. If used in the wrong way and enforced in anger and frustration than yes, it can have a negative outcome. But when given in love, spankings can help our children realize that choices have consequences and sometimes those consequences can be very painful. I would rather my child deal with the pain 0f a swat on the butt now than going through the pain of a horrible decision that could ruin his life when he is an adult.
Another example: When my son is dealing with anger, I will tell him that the anger in his heart is like a horrible monster that needs to get out. I ask him if he needs me to hug it out, kiss it out, squeeze it out, tickle it out or spank it out. Sometimes he merely needs me to tickle him to help him get happy again. But there have been many times where he has actually told me he wants me to spank him.
One morning, he awoke in a foul mood. He was lying in bed, moping and crying for no reason. It was ridiculous. I just ignored him and told him he could not get out until he decided to greet the day with a smile.
“Mommy, can you give me a spanking?” He asked.
“Do you need me to get the anger out?” I asked.
“Yes.”
“Ok. Two spankings and then we will see if that helps.”
I spanked him twice with our “spanker” and after that he was fine. He got out of bed and smiled.
“Better?” I asked.
“Yes.”
The whole ordeal amazed me. Never had I thought my child would tell me he needed spanked. Yet, he has done so on several occasions. As he gets older I can see the work that the ‘rod’ is doing. He now tells me he doesn’t want to be rude or angry or mean. I can see that there is a struggle going on in his heart. A struggle that I, as his mother am to help him overcome. And many times, the rod is the tool we use to overcome.
I have found that the consistent and loving use of this tool brings peace and joy into my family. All the ‘spanking haters’ out there are probably thinking that I’m lying. But I am being 100% honest. My children are content and more joyful when I spank rather when I do not. My boys are happy, laughing, beautiful people. They know the boundaries and they know the consequences. Instead of striking terror into the heart of my children (as so many seem to think spanking does) it brings peace. I truly believe it is because I no longer have to be on edge. I don’t have to tell my children over and over to listen. I am a happier mother and so my children are therefore happier. * I find it necessary to state that I spend time every day in fellowship with my kids- Building blanket forts, pretend hunting, tickling or reading books. The use of the rod must be counter balanced with sweet fellowship with your children. Without fellowship, you are a spanking dictator. They will not find the love in you discipline if you show no interest in them.*
 Finding Joy in a Bad Experience:
I am glad that I had such a bad experience with a different training method. It reiterated to me that the word is true. God is right when the bible states, “Do not hold back discipline from the child, although you strike him with the rod, he will not die. You shall strike him with the rod and rescue his soul….” Proverbs 23:13.  I have found that when I am consistent and apply the rod in love and gentleness, the heart of my son begins to mend.
Now, I do realize that for some children, the rod may not need to be used as often. My younger son is a gentle soul and I only to flick his bottom once and he usually moves forward in obedience. Yet, with my older son, he has a strong-will that seems to be molded best by the heavy use of the rod. It is the training tool that has helped bring peace into our family. For when our children listen and obey, peace is bound to follow.
In fact, if we are not training our children in obedience than we have failed miserably. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother(which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may go well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-2.  Teaching our children to obey brings blessings into their lives. God honors obedience and I don’t know about you, but I want good things for my kids. And if teaching them obedience will do that than I better do my job and train them. Our children will not learn obedience unless we train them to do so. May we as moms fulfill our God given rules and not be in fear of using the ‘rod’.
*I want to take this time to say that I believe other forms of discipline are indeed effective. I do not think every child should be treated the same. Every child is unique and must be handled with God’s wisdom and guidance. For me, I prayed and took advice from seasoned mothers. Using the rod was what worked for me and my family. Always use discernment and seek God’s help when training the children God gave you*
Methods that have worked for me:
1. Spank for wrong attitudes-disrespect, meanness or disobedience.
2. Ignore whining or  tell them you will not speak to them until they have spoken in a ‘big boy’ voice.
3. If boys are fighting in car or grocery store or even at home- I will tell them that I charge for fighting. They can pay me with chores, toys, or money they have saved.
4. Let their choices make them wise- Examples: 1. When my youngest kept taking his shoes off in the car after I told him ‘no’, I would flick his feet with our ‘spanker’. He wasn’t getting the hint. So the next time he did it, I made him walk barefoot to the house. It was cold and rainy. He did not like it. (Your children will not die being a little cold and their feet will not get frost bitten. 😉 ) 2. My oldest didn’t want to wear a jacket. I allowed him to not. He got cold. Now he knows to wear a jacket.
The two books that have helped me tremendously as a mom and given me good ideas are: 
“To Train up a Child“: Now, this book is met with a lot of controversy and I do not agree with Michael Pearl’s theology at times but his knowledge on child training is wise in my opinion.
“Love and Logic”: This book has so many examples on how to handle different problems. I really liked this book. But as I mentioned before, not all methods worked for me. Many of the ideas are brilliant though. 🙂
May God give you strength and bless you in your Ministry as Mothers.

26 Recipes for Game Day 

26 Recipes for Game Day 

It’s that time of year again and Super Bowl Sunday is just around the corner! When it comes to Football and the Mast household there are different ideas. Kyle LOVES football – and while he tends to prefer College Football he will really watch basically anything that’s on TV. Now me… that’s a different story. I never grew up watching or loving football, or any sport for that matter, and therefore have no real love for the game.

BUT – put me in front of the TV with a plate of goodies and I’ll watch just about anything!

So with game day in mind, I have thrown together some of the best (and personal favorite) recipes of mine for you to feast your eyes on and wrestle with which ones to make!

Let’s Bring on the Food!

(NOTE: This post contains affiliate links. Momentary Calm will receive a small commission on purchases made through links on this page – with NO additional charge to you.)


26 Recipes for Game Day

Game Day Pittsburg Sliders | Olive Jude

Easy Pull Apart Pizza Bread | Sweet and Simple Living

Pigskin in a Blanket | Lauren Miyashiro

Crunchy Taco Cups | Kevin & Amanda

Bacon Wrapped Little Smokies | Tasty Kitchen

Loaded Tater Tot Skewers | Made With Happy

Loaded Cowboy Queso | The Cookie Rookie

Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites | Two Peas and Their Pod

Buffalo Chicken Dip | Passion For Savings

Cookies and Cream Cheese Ball | Shugary Sweets

Individual 7 Layer Dips | The Girl Who Ate Everything

Bacon Cheeseburger Bombs | Pillsbury

Warm Bean Dip | Life in the Lofthouse

Cheesy Enchilada Soup | My Joy in Chaos

Super Easy Bruschetta | Tammilee Tips

Slow Cooker Party Meatballs | Cincy Shopper

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Footballs | Life Love and Sugar

Shop for Conference Champs Gear at NFLShop.com

 

Sticky Cookies | Aryn the Librarian

Skinny Greek Layer Dip | Well Plated

5 Ingredient White Queso | The Baking Fairy

Maple Caramel Bacon Crack | The Domestic Rebel

Crab Rangoon Crescent Cups | Spend With Pennies

5 Minute Million Dollar Dip | The Recipe Critic

Ice Cream Cake Roll | Momentary Calm

Artichoke Dip Stuffed Bread | Tastes Better From Scratch

Cracked Out Turkey Pinwheels | Plain Chicken

I hope you found few ideas to your liking! Give it a go and let us know! We hope you enjoy a Super Bowl Sunday with good food and perhaps some good people! Happy game day from us at the Mast home-

Easy, Homemade Laundry Detergent…That actually Works!!!

Today I am going to share with you the homemade laundry detergent I use. This stuff is great at getting heavily soiled clothing clean. My husband works outside. He gets muddy, covered in wood chips and sometimes gets chainsaw oil over himself. To say the least, his clothes are rather hard to keep clean. Yet, I have found that this detergent does a good job at getting his clothes looking decent again.

Now, it is not a miracle worker. My husband clothes still look like a burly mountain man wears them everyday but I have found that this detergent works just as good if not better as store bought detergent. I do feel it helps keep our clothes a little softer. (I believe that is due to no soap build-up. I’ve read that soap build-up can occur from store bought detergent.)

The reason I started making laundry detergent was because I began cloth diapering when my first son was born. And if you don’t know, cloth diapers need special detergent so as to not ruin the diaper and cause build up in the fabric. (Build up is a bad no-no cause it causes diaper rashes.) And to add, these special cloth diaper detergents can be expensive. I went through a couple laundry detergents, liquid and powder, and found that this was my favorite.

Reasons Why I Recommend this Detergent:

  1. It is simple and fast to put together: Unlike liquid detergents that require a bit of time to whip up, I just measure out the ingredients, dump into a bucket or container, mix and then I am done. Easy and fast.
  2. It did not irritate my sons sensitive skin: My second son had major skin issues due to allergy’s. Not to mention just not so great of skin. (Passed on by me, I am afraid. Sorry for the not so great genes, Luke!) A lot of detergents made him break out. Perfumes in soap made his stomach get eczema bumps. Not a good thing. But this stuff never irritated  his skin. Woohoo!!! Points for mama!!
  3. It gets the job done: Some detergents just don’t get clothes clean. I don’t know if any one else has dealt with that but I want detergent that works if I am going to spend money on it. But I also dont want to spend a fortune on good detergent. *see reason 5.*
  4. It doesn’t have a scent: Perhaps you like your clothes smelling like laundry detergent but my husband and I do not. We just want our clothes clean and odorless.
  5. It is cost efficient: I have not calculated the cost as of yet for how much it is per gallon. (I will do so and give update.) But it is cheaper than store bought brands that get the job done and done well.

Now, I am going to give credit where credit is due. I did not make up this recipe. I found it on Pinterest about five years back. Unfortunately, I can not find the link to which site I originally found it on. I must have pinned it to the wrong board on accident. Oops!!! So in an effort to right that wrong I am going to link you to a site that I found it on when I began searching for it again. Click here for link. I recommend going to this lady’s site because she gives you the recipe for a large and small batch as well as other information that is most helpful. (Her recipe is specifically geared towards cloth diapers. She calls for ‘baby’ oxi-clean but I use the regular kind for day to day laundry.)

I hope that some of you are brave enough to try this detergent out for yourself. If you do, I hope you will not be disappointed. Let me know if you do end up giving it a go and how it turned out for you.

God bless and thanks for stopping by,

~Shiree

*The cloth diaper company I used was Clothdiaper.com.  I highly recommend them. I say that not to make a sell but because I was really happy with the products I received from them. I hope it would be helpful to someone else. 🙂

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Ice Cream Cake Roll

This week I have been filled with a content heart. I have spent every day focusing on my ‘Live for Today’ goals and I have been absolutely blown away by the grace and strength God has given me. It’s so easy to be consumed by our busy days that we forget to lay our day before God and, with specific prayers, ask for His hand to be a part of every moment. It has made this week so much more joyful – even with those little down moments! ice cream cake roll With that being said, I had the motivation, energy, and excuse of a friend coming over to throw myself into the kitchen just for the fun of it rather than the “I have to cook dinner now” mentality. So with my renewed energy, I went for one of my all-time favorite desserts. Ice Cream Cake Roll!

I have been craving this Ice Cream Cake Roll since the last time I made it, but I only like to make it when company is coming as it is SO GOOD it’s hard to not eat all of it in one sitting!

One of my favorite things about this cake is how classic and tasteful it is. The flavor is light and not overpoweringly sweet but absolutely delicious. And, the beauty of ice cream cake roll is that the ingredients are common items most people have in their kitchen already. The only thing I needed to go to the store for was ice cream. SCORE!

Another beautiful thing about ice cream cake roll – it’s EASY!

So let’s go over this… Ice Cream Cake Roll is:

Convenient – Easy – Delicious!

You can’t go wrong! Guess you better go make it right now!

Caylen's Kitchen Recipes ice cream cake roll

As you prepare to bake, a few things you want to have on hand other than the ingredients are:

  • A jellyroll pan (or a cookie sheet with edges)
  • Parchment paper
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • Tea towel

Having these items on hand will make the baking process go much smoother and that much easier!

ice cream roll cake recipe easy desserts

 

So – to start you are going to combine your flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Stir these together and set aside.

In another medium-sized bowl, beat your three eggs with a hand mixer until lemon colored. (If you are really looking for a good workout you can do it with a hand whisk for one holy huge muscled arm! Hehe)

 NOTE: my grandma told me this phrase “beat until lemon colored.” Now, this is the perfect way to describe the color if you are using store-bought eggs. My family tends to buy farm fresh eggs which are MUCH more of an orange than the yellow yolk. In this case, beat until lemon colored doesn’t apply. I beat my eggs for about a minute and a half to two minutes and this does the trick.

After you have beaten the eggs, add the cup of sugar and mix until combined. Then slowly, on low speed, mix in the hot water and vanilla extract. Mix these well and then combine the wet and dry ingredients.

Set the mixture aside as you ready your baking pan. Set the oven to 350 degrees.

First, you will want to spray your jelly roll pan with nonstick spray. Then put a layer of parchment paper down. Press the paper down firmly until sticking well to the pan, and then spray the top of the parchment paper with nonstick as well.

Add your cake mixture to the pan and spread evenly across. Bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on your oven, until the cake springs back when lightly touched.

ice cream roll cake

Allow the pan to cool for about 3 minutes. You want the cake to be hot when you remove it from the pan so try not to let it cool much longer.

While the cake is cooling slightly, lay a tea towel flat on the counter and dust with powdered sugar.

Next, loosen the edges of the cake from the pan and turn upside down on your powdered tea towel. Carefully remove the parchment paper from the cake while it’s still hot and roll the cake up (with the towel) from the wide end. Allow the cake to cool.

While the cake is cooling, I would recommend taking your ice cream out of the freezer and letting it thaw a bit so it’s easier to spread.

Once your cake has chilled, unroll and spread the vanilla ice cream on the cake in a fairly even layer. Roll the cake with ice cream from the wide side once again and wrap with saran wrap and place in the freezer to harden.

ice cream cake roll ice cream roll cake

Once the cake has hardened in the freezer, remove from wrapping, dust with additional powdered sugar and cut into 1” slices. ENJOY!

I personally love the light, subtle taste of a classic ice cream cake roll, but it is also very versatile! You can use

 different ice cream flavors for the filling or even add some cocoa powder to your cake mix for a chocolate ice cream cake roll! Whatever strikes your fancy, give it a go! You won’t be disappointed!

Do you have an ice cream cake roll idea to share? Let us know!

Did you try this recipe out and like it? Show us yours!

Check out all of our recipes in our Recipe Book!

 

Easy, No-fail Pie Crust

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The pie crust I am about to share with you is the one my Grandma always made. I learned to make this crust when I was still in high school. I actually taught myself how to make it since by the time I had any interest in baking my grandmother had already passed.

The only time I ever had this crust turn out nasty was because I left it in the oven for too long and it tasted burnt. (Another reason for a pie crust sheild.) Otherwise, this crust turns out great for me every time I whip it up in my tiny, little, camper kitchen.

If any of you have had a hard time making pie crust and have little confidence in your pie skills, I would recommend trying this recipe. I really don’t see how any one could mess it up. Only four ingrediants and BAM-It’s made, its tasty, and its just the right mix between crumbly and soft. Much like a shortbread cookie.

Please read through the instructions and you will find that I give a little advice on how to make the crust turn out just the way you want it. So, lets get started.

Ingredients:

  • white flour
  • salt
  • butter
  • water
  • lemon juice/apple cider vinegar

*This recipe yields one thin pie crust. I find the thickness perfect for pumpkin pie cause I am only filling the pie pan with crust and not putting more over top as with fruit pies. If making a fruit pie, I recommend doubling the recipe if you want your crust to be nice and thick.

 

Step 1:  Measure out 2 cups of flour. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir.

Step 2: Add 1 cup of lightly softened butter. Cut up into cubes or  use whole sticks. 

Step 3: Using a pastry cutter (use two forks if you do not have a pastry cutter), work the butter into the flour/salt mixture. Do so until it resembles lumpy sand. *I like to get it to a point where it is starting to clump together.*

Step 4: Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Then add 3 tablespoons of cold water.

Step 5: Stir with spoon or use hands to mold the dough into a ball. *Using your hands makes it a little faster and much easier* 

 

Step 6: *Here comes the part where you roll out the dough. I do not have wax paper most of the time so I have a little trick for you that makes this process a lot less frustrating.*  Take a plastic bag from the grocery store and cut it down the sides. Cutting the handles in half, right down the center. Lay bag flat on table and put flour on one side of bag. Place dough (cut dough in half if making a fruit pie that needs a cover crust over top) in the middle of the one floured side and place more flour on top of dough. Fold other side of bag over top of dough. Begin rolling out in a flat circle. 

Step 7: Grab two side of flat dough (still attached to bag) and flip top of pie pan. Walla!! Easy as Pie!! 😉

 

 

 

 

 

Step 8: Form dough into pan and cut off extra dough off of edges.

Step 9: Pour in Filling

Step 10: *If making Pumpkin Pie or others without a top crust, skip this step* Repeat Steps 6-8. Press edges of crust-the part laying along rim of pie pan-press down slightly to form both layers of dough together.

Step 11: Form pie edge by placing your index finger into dough edge and pinching that index finger with the opposites hand’s thumb and index finger. Repeat all around edge until finished.

 

 

 

 

Step 12: For Pumpkin Pie- Bake at 35o degrees Fahrenheit for an hour or until center is firm

For fruit pies- Bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Turn heat down to  350 degrees and bake for another 30-40 minutes.

Take out of oven and let cool for 45 minutes before serving. Serve and Enjoy!!!!

If you are brave enough to try this recipe please let me know how it turned out. I hope that it becomes a family favorite for you. Make sure to take a look at the recipe cards below for ingredients and instructions.

~Shiree

 

 

Live for Today

live for today

Live for today…

These are my thoughts TODAY.

Tomorrow has passed. I can take what happened and learn from it – but I cannot sit and dwell on it or I will miss TODAY.

I can feel guilt over eating too much super yesterday. I can regret not spending enough time with my kids. I can regret responding to my husband harshly. I can dwell on how selfish I was and how unmotivated.

But instead, I choose to focus on TODAY.

I can take what happened yesterday and thank the Lord for it. I can accept God’s grace and remembering what I learned yesterday I can apply it to TODAY.

The sun has yet to rise tomorrow.

How do I know that tomorrow will even come?

TODAY is all I have.

The future deserves a glance- yes.

But TODAY is where I need to focus.

TODAY I will live TODAY.


I get anxious about money.

Lord, what can I do TODAY to save money?

I don’t need to buy this. I don’t need to spend money here. I can do without that thing. I can be content with all I already have. I have done what I can TODAY.

Lord, what can I do TODAY to lose weight?

I can choose a healthy snack. I can eat smaller portions. I can get a little workout in. I have done what I can TODAY.live for today what can i do today

Lord, what can I do TODAY to be a good Mom?

I can put down my phone and sit on the floor and play. I can read books with my daughter. I can sing songs and dance in the kitchen with Lillian. I can bathe her and feed her and give her undivided attention. I have done what I can TODAY.

Lord, what can I do TODAY for my Husband?

I can pray for him and kiss him when he leaves and comes home. I can tell him I am proud of him and I think he is so attractive. I can make him dinner on time and think before I say things. I can focus only on him for a while without distractions. I have done what I can TODAY.

Lord, what can I do TODAY for others?

I can pray for those who have asked for prayer. I can bring a meal to someone who is in need. I can call my friend and chat. I can take time to have a cup of coffee with a friend. I can write a letter to encourage someone. I can send out a birthday card. I have done what I can TODAY.

Lord, what can I do TODAY for you?

You can do all these things and more. Spend time with me. Ask me. Consult with me. Listen to me. Love me. Be open and willing.  I have done what I can TODAY.

Whatever it is – focus on what you can do and accomplish TODAY – because what if today is all you have left?

We know these things, of course. But we often need the reminder.

live for today verses for anxiety

Rejoice in the Lord always! Again I will say, rejoice!

I will lift my eyes to the hills – from whence does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!

God is the blessed controller of all things, the king over all kings and the master of all masters.

There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!

Let your requests be made known to God.

Call on me in the day of trouble.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that day.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.

 

 

Weight Loss & the Devil’s Lie

I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. Even when I was at my healthiest, and by medical standards, at a perfect weight/height ratio, I was absolutely CONVINCED I needed to lose more weight. I was still not as thin as other girls around me and in my mind, I had decided that I wasn’t good enough.

Even as a child of 7 years I can remember off hand remarks from fellow classmates that I ate too much and if I just tried I could be skinnier. Seriously… I was a child. And SERIOUSLY – I was a small child. No chubs on this little girl.

But I remember these moments. From a young age, I was told that I wasn’t good enough and that I needed to be more petite. There was no truth in my mind at such a young age that God made everyone different, that bone structures vary or that as your body grows, you grow into your own skin that was so perfectly designed by God.

Perhaps these ideas do stem from and fester in our hearts due to the society we live in. Either way, I know that Satan is behind every single one of these lies.

As the New Year has come and “resolutions” are being tossed this way and that, I have been overwhelmed and anxious once again by the dreaded word “weight loss.” This is my constant battle. Even when I had no need to battle this demon I did.

 Now, as I take on my role as a mom, I am filled with more guilt and shame than ever. Pregnancy was hard for me and I gained more weight than I am proud to admit. I was sick almost constantly with Lillian and if I ever let my stomach go hungry I would begin vomiting with a vengeance. I was tired and uncomfortable and I dreaded the inevitable throwing up over and over. So I would snack constantly to avoid it. Unfortunately, I didn’t gravitate towards the healthy snacks and no, I didn’t freaking crave carrots so all you perfect, healthy, pregnant people who talk about how they craved veggies can shove it! And working out? Yea… that didn’t happen that often either because I was drained from all energy heaving into the toilet bowl.

Pregnancy stretched my skin to the max, forcing vibrant red stretch marks on my stomach and hips. Heartburn attacked my stomach and ripped through my chest like a fire-breathing dragon.

But I was content in spirit knowing that my baby was alive and healthy – growing more every day. I would take the pain and vomiting and discomfort and ignore everything else because, after the miscarriage, I would do just about anything to have a healthy baby in my arms.

Lillian came as beautiful and precious as ever. She was so worth it AND pregnancy was finally over! Thank goodness!

But as time flew by my weight simply hung on. My body didn’t bounce back like some women’s. I had little motivation or energy to work at it. So when I looked in the mirror I was embarrassed.

weight loss the devil's lies losing weight
Photo by Jennifer Burk

It’s been over a year since Lillian was born and I still feel this way. Even though my stretch marks begin to fade, I realize they will never be completely gone. Even though I’ve lost a little weight, it’s still not as much as I need to lose. That extra skin around my belly feels like an anchor and the daunting task of losing weight feels so impossible and out of reach, I have basically given up.

But as I sat on my couch this week reading my Bible Study I had a moment of enlightenment. The Lord opened my eyes to a truth I already knew but did not apply to this particular circumstance.

Satan is deceiving you. ANYTHING is possible with God.

The devil is the ultimate deceiver and he is never NOT messing with your head.

 If you struggle with weight loss, you better believe that the devil is going to use that weakness against you! He wants to thwart you on the path God has for you and he will do it in whatever way possible.

Do not be deceived.

As you struggle in your heart and mind with your body image, your desire to lose weight and improve your health – do not believe the lies of Satan telling you it’s not possible. It’s too hard. It will never happen. You can’t do it. You had better just learn to be content with your unhappiness regarding your body. Satan, get behind me!

What terrible lies! No problem is unsolvable. No weight is un-losable. The devil wants to drag us to a place of defeat and hopelessness and leave us in a cloud of guilt and depression and misery. For if your mind and heart are clouded with lies, how will you be able to hear God tell you where to go or what He wants for you?

This is his plan. When you are focused only on the displeasure you feel regarding your body and weight, you forget that you are loved and capable of being used by God. AND, you forget that with God you CAN accomplish anything.

In the book ‘Anxious for Nothing,’ Max Lucado says, “Satan is the master of deceit. But he is not the master of your mind. You have a power he cannot defeat. You have God on your side.” When I believe the devil’s lies, I give up. I convince myself that it’s impossible. So I go ahead and eat a cookie and wallow in discontent. But I have forgotten that God is on my side and that the deceiver is simply feeding me these thoughts.

Take Your Thoughts Captive

You CAN lose weight. With God, all things are possible (Matt. 19:26) and that includes your weight loss journey. With His encouragement and His hands before you, behind you and on you, how could you fail?

“…take every thought captive to make it obedient to God.” 2 Corinthians 10:5

weight loss losing weight set your mind on things above
Photo by Rucksack Magazine

When thoughts of hopelessness trickle into your mind, take those thoughts captive and bring them to the Lord. Are these thoughts from God or is the devil trying to deceive me?

Yes, it’s going to be tough. It’s going to require you to work hard. You will have to fight temptations, train your body, and learn self-control. So you must “fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8

Maybe you feel you can’t do it. And maybe you’re right. But God CAN. Trust in the fact that the Almighty God loves you and wants you to be happy. He wants you to be healthy and content with the body HE created so you can better share His word.

These are the truths I know. These are the truths I am repeating to myself every day.

 I will start my day with prayer and truth, asking for God’s help each day, knowing that I can lose the weight with Him beside me. Holding my hand and guiding me each step of the way. I know there will be times I mess up and get discouraged. But overweight or skinny as a rail, I can be happy and content knowing that I am exactly where God wants me, with an open and willing heart ready to serve Him in whatever way He desires.

Yes, there are certain areas of my body that will never be the same after having babies.

 But stretch marks and a little extra skin are the evidence of a miracle. A little extra weight does not define you.

I know that I want to be a mom that plays with my children without hindrance or pain. I know that I want to have more babies. I know that I want to go where God calls without being worried I won’t be able to keep up. I know that I want to be as healthy as I can be for my family. I know that I want to be a good example for my own daughter as she goes out into a world filled with body shaming bullies.

We are made beautiful because of Jesus.

If you are in a good place and feel content with whom you are – Praise the Lord! I pray for continued protection over your heart and mind.

If you are living with the lies of the devil, believing you cannot succeed, I pray that you use God’s truth to destroy and blow away every sliver of deceit that Satan has planted in your mind.

God IS capable. You CAN do it. He will help you.

Rest in Him.

You are not alone.

“Your challenge is not your challenge. Your challenge is the way you think about your challenge. Your problem is not your problem; it is the way you look at it.” –Max Lucado

“Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.” Proverbs 4:23

 I have been listening to the devil’s lies for too long. But this week my thought pattern has shifted. I have a sense of peace knowing this area of my life rests in God’s hands. I will no longer believe the lie that I can’t lose the baby weight and extra pounds so I might as well give up.

If you have stuck with me through this whole post, I hope that as this year progresses you will encourage me not to give up and to keep working towards my goal. I know there will be times I will feel tired and discouraged. And if you are reading this and struggling with similar issues, let me know so I can encourage and pray for you as well.

(Looking for a quick and efficient workout, check out Shiree’s weekly workout plan HERE)

Feeling the need for extra encouragement?? Check out Live For Today for guidance on weight loss, saving money, being a good wife, mother and more!

Want someone to pray specifically for you? Email me! I’d love to pray for you

“You’re Loved No Matter What” Book Review

Today I am struggling with another form of a stomach bug. I have been having writers block, not knowing what to write and not feeling at all like wanting to write a blog post. In all honesty, sometimes getting the gumption to write for an audience of a handful of people can be discouraging. Yet, God reminds me that this blog is more than just a platform for writing, it is a way to be a witness and an evangelist to the world. It is more than just words. The way I feel like I could do that today is by giving you my honest opinion on something.

So, as I mentioned in my last post, I have been reading the book, ‘You’re Loved No Matter What’, by Holley Gerth. I finished it and am ready to give you all a book review. Hopefully the opinion I give will encourage you to read it. It is a much needed message many women need to hear.

I first bought this book a month or so back because I could feel the dissatisfaction bubbling up in my soul. I couldn’t figure out why I was so glum and borderline depressed. Everything my kids did irritated me and my husband was driving me bonkers. Can anyone relate? No matter what I did, I couldn’t shake it. I was so frustrated with myself and wanted to curl up in a ball and go to sleep for a very long time.

By God’s grace I skimmed over a book review on a fellow bloggers site. She was reviewing Holley’s latest book, ‘Fierce Hearted‘. The book was not what I wanted to read at that moment but I decided to look up Holley’s other writings. When my eyes fell across the title, ‘You’re Loved No Matter What’, I knew I had to read that book. Because in all honesty, I read the title and doubted that to be true. How could I be loved no matter what when I was grumpy and inadvertently failing at life at the moment. I doubted God’s love everyday. And I knew it was not supposed to be that way. The doubt was eating at me and stealing my peace.


To say the least, I loved the book. It started out a little dry and at first I wasn’t sure if I should keep going but I believe the Spirit kept tugging at my heart to go on. I am so glad I did. The first part that struck home for me was her discussion on guilt. We all deal with it and those of us wanting to be perfect mom’s and wives, we struggle with it a lot. On page 50, she talks about a discussion she has with a friend that helped her battle with the guilt she kept experiencing….

‘..I asked her, “What replaces guilt?” She answered with one simple word: gratitude. Huh. That’s not what I expected. I was thinking more along the lines of my usual ”try harder.” But the more I pondered in the coming days and weeks, the more what she shared began making sense to me. For example, let’s say I go out to eat with my husband and feel guilty for spending money (even though it’s a special occasion and the meal fits our budget). That guilt keeps me from saying, Thank you, God, for my husband. Thank you, God, for this delicious food and those who prepared it. Thank you, God, for the blessing of this amount that we can set aside for celebrations.” Every time I make a list of all the things I feel guilty about, I discover each one offers ways to be grateful instead.’

That really spoke home to me on so many levels. If you are like me I can feel guilty for the silliest things. Yet, it is so true that there is more to be grateful for than guilty.

Holley goes on to speak more about grace. Saying on page 55, “You go to bed knowing that you’re are cherished just as much as when the day started.” Speaking about how everyday, when lived in grace rather than guilt, can be lived well, even though the mess ups and bumps along the way are still there.

Why is it so hard to believe that God cherishes us? I even feel guilty for thinking like that because maybe that’s pride creeping up in me. May be it is better to think that God merely tolerates me? It’s not!!!!! I’m sure it breaks His heart when we doubt him day after day even though His love and care are never failing.

God’s love. What a wonderful gift!!! And it’s not love that is from obligation. It is love that seeps from the very heart of Him. I love how Holly put it in chapter 4. – ‘We are born into families, but we pick our friendships. When God says you’re his friend (John 15:15, John 15:13), he’s saying he wants you. For many years I thought what God felt toward me was obligation. He had to love me. He had to put up with me. But when he calls us “friends,” it changes everything.”

I could continue on and give you more and more excerpts of the parts I liked about this book but I would rather you read it for yourself. If you found my review helpful and end up buying the book because of my review I would love to know about it in the comments below. Thank you all for reading and I hope God’s love is a truth spoken to your heart today.

~Shiree

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Does God Really Love Me?

Has anyone heard of choosing a word for the New Year?

Instead of making New Year’s Resolutions you pick one word that embodies the the work you most want to see God do in your life the coming year. I heard of the idea from Margaret Feinberg in her book, Fight Back With Joy. A book I strongly recommend along with the bible study. 🙂

I haven’t found the need to choose a word for the new year until this past week when I started reading the book, “You’re Loved No Matter What” by Holley Gerth. (I will do a book review for all of you when I finish it. 🙂 )

This book is about escaping the need to be perfect. Almost everything Holley has talked about in this book has been extremely helpful and spot on. Yet, the part that really started working in my heart the past few days has been the part on how much God really loves me.

That might seem ridiculous considering that as a Christian it is pretty much a no brainer that God loves us. Yet, I seem to struggle with this concept more than I like to admit. When the times in life are bright and good and nothing painful is going on, I bask in God’s love, content, feeling as if I have finally begun trusting. When the times become heavy and heartbreaking, however, my faith in God’s love begins to falter and I begin to doubt. And to top it all off, there is always this aching thought in the back of my mind that keeps me wandering if God is really disappointed in me… I know He is mad at me. He has to be. I’m mad at myself. 

To my shame, I actually asked God if he was giving me and my husband such a hard time this past week because we were doing something wrong.

“Are you punishing us?” I cried, “Do you just not care? What is the point of praying to you because I’m continuously praying for peace in all of this but it never seems to come?”

And then it hit me. I don’t actually believe that God loves me!!!! When bad times come, my true colors shine through and they reflect a heart that doubts God’s love.

I believe He tolerates me. When I am doing well and not failing miserably he smiles and gives me a pat on the back, glad that I’m not screwing up…for now. But when I’m not doing things right… When I’m angry at my kids, impatient with my husband and mad at life, God is bitterly disappointed in me. Forget about actually loving me, why would He?

How can you have joy when you don’t believe in God’s love? That is the whole essence, the embodiment of the Christian life. God’s love is the reason for everything. God’s love is why Jesus came. God’s love is why we still wake up every morning. Joy is the byproduct of that love.

I have been longing and practically obsessed with the working of joy in my life. Joy has been my word, more or less, these past 5 months of my life. Yet it still seems to elude me. Sure, I can write a good blog article about it but I still have yet to grasp it. It has frustrated me to no end. And now, I feel a sense of relief. I know now. I lack joy because I lack the knowledge of God’s love.

I understand now why Paul wrote his often qouted text to the Ephesians- “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father…that He  would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith and that you, being rooted and ground in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19

Paul knew that without a real knowledge of God’s love for us, we would never change. God’s kindness/love is what leads us to repentance and pushes us on to be who He created us to be. (Romans 2:4) Without love, all that we do for the kingdom of God is folly. We are a noisy gong or a clanging symbol if we don’t have love. (1 Cor. 13:1)

We have no power to love others if we have not first come to the full knowledge of God’s immense and over-powering love for us. We love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

To put this into the reality of our life we must first dig deeper into our own hearts and search out our minds. Trusting in and believing in God’s love is much easier said than done. So many of us are believing the lie that in order for us to keep God’s love we must perform. We must do ‘All The Things’ in order for God’s love to be ours. If we don’t measure up we can never truly be in God’s good graces.

This is my problem. I have never come to believe God loves me because through the years I have been told what a good Christian should do and how they should act and what they should say. The ‘Do Not’ list is extensive as well. I am incapable of measuring up. I have unconsciously believed that Jesus died for me and I am saved, but it is now up to me to insure God loves me. I must be and do better for Him to accept me because He saved me out of pity and obligation. Right?

Wrong!!! God loves me when I am good. When I am bad. When I am angry. When I am glad. When I am kind. When I am mean. When I do not pray. When I do pray. When I am excelling and when I am failing. He loves me everyday-Despite what I do or do not do. While I was yet a sinner, Christ died for me. (Romans 5:8)

If you are like me and lack joy in your life, perhaps it is a time to dig deeper and admit to yourself that you need to find hope and trust in God’s love again. You don’t need to be better, or do better, and get it right all the time. Stop trying to do what God’s love must do for you. No wonder so many of us deal with anxiety today. We are anxiously trying to be ENOUGH. So stop trying and just abide. Abide in God’s love.

I pray that we as women of God would come to the full knowledge of how much God loves us. I hope and pray that the pain of trying so hard and never measuring up comes to an end. May we trust that God loves us. And may it change us.

So as you can guess, my word for the coming year- LOVE!!! 

~Shiree

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