Thursday, January 31, 2013

Delicious Pairings with Starbucks and Walmart

Yesterday, I invited a few family members to a little book party I put together.  I had the opportunity to sample Starbucks' Willow Blonde Blend coffee, and Walmart's Lemon Sliced Loaf Cake, and wanted to see what the others thought about them.

My husband and I both frequent our town's Starbucks retail store and he regularly drinks Starbucks brand coffee at home.  He prefers flavored coffees like carmel and vanilla. I was curious what he'd think of the Willow Blonde Blend, as it features complimentary notes of citrus flavor.  I wondered if he, as well as my other guests, would be able to pick up on them with the addition of the Lemon Sliced Loaf Cake---a citrus-flavored treat.
Before the party, I shopped for the coffee at Walmart.  They have a special display in the bakery section featuring certain coffees that are meant to compliment the flavors found in some of Walmart's baked items.  I didn't have a hard time finding the display, but it was up a little highI think I would have preferred it at eye-level since there are several things to read on it.  I knew where to find the cake as I'd seen it before when shopping, but never would have thought to pair it with the coffee.  It was three aisles over from this display so the intended pairing wasn't obvious.
Jamie brews a great pot of coffee!
When it was time for me to try the coffee and cake, I was surprised by the bold flavor of the coffee.  I assumed, as did my guests later on, that a "blonde" blend would be lighter in flavor.  Instead, it was surprisingly rich.  We were not at all disappointed by the quality of the coffee.  One of my guests later commented on the lack of bitter aftertaste that she was used to in other coffees she'd tried.  Starbucks proved, once again, to be our favorite brand.
Unfortunately, I was disappointed by the lemon cake.  The lemon flavor in the cake was barely detectable, which made it difficult to pick out the citrus notes in the coffee.  The cake had more of a buttery flavor and was fairly dry---even though it looked moist in the package.
My guests were also not able to detect the citrus notes in the coffee.  We all agreed the cake changed it's taste, making it lighter and sweeter.  We found ourselves wishing we had something with a stronger lemon flavor to try out.  Since we knew the citrus flavors were there in the coffee, we were curious to experience them!  
After our taste-testing experiment, we took turns sharing book reviews.  Mom talked about a story of a princess that she's enjoying and I received applause for finishing Little Women.
We all really enjoyed our time together, sharing good books and treats.  Maybe we'll pick another #DeliciousPairings combination a couple months from now and do it again!

For more information visit: 
Starbucks on Twitter and Facebook
Walmart on Twitter and Facebook

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™.  All opinions are honest and are my own. #cbias #SocialFabric

Linking with:
Tea Time Tuesday @ Rose Chintz Cottage 
Teach Me Tuesday @ Growing Home
Titus 2sdays @ The Time Warp Wife  
Tabletop Tuesday @ A Stroll Through Life
Courtship Connection
Whole Hearted Home Wednesday
Wise Woman Linkup @ A Wise Woman Builds Her Home  
Inspire Me Wednesday @ Mama Buzz
Whatcha Work Up Wednesday  

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Strengthened by the Service of Others

"He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength." 
                                       ~Isaiah 40:29

Yesterday morning I felt weak.
The demands of homemaking and mothering have been weighing heavy since I had Brenna six weeks ago and I just didn't think I could handle the day planned for me.  When I did get the opportunity to glance up at the clock after what seemed like hours of morning duties, I realized it was only 8:00 a.m.!  The thought of such a long day ahead was overwhelming.

Jamie and I have lived in Eastern Oregon almost our entire lives.  A few years ago, we had the opportunity to spend about 18 months in the Seattle area.  When we had to move back to Oregon, it was a huge disappointment and we've all been living in a little bit of a depression ever since.
One blessing about the move, however, is that we've been able to live within a couple blocks of my mom.  She is, of all our family, the most involved in our lives, and often takes the kids for a day of fun at Grandma's.
What a relief and a blessing it was to be able to ask her to take the eight oldest for the day.  It was humbling to ask for that day of rest but the baby and I needed it badly and I am able to handle today a lot better than I would have otherwise.

God does give us strength when we ask for it.  Often times, it comes through the blessed service of the people He's placed around us.

Thank you, Mom, for loving your family by serving them.  I have a lot to learn from you!

Hope In Every Season is on Facebook!  If you like what you've read here, please follow me and keep up with the latest posts.

This article was published in the 99th edition of The Christian Home Magazine.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

DIY Candy Jars Homemaking Link-Up Weekend

Who still has Christmas stuff up?  Up until the day before yesterday, that was me!

Usually I get my stuff down and put away before the first of the year but with new baby Brenna here this year, I sorta slacked off!

Anyway, it's all away now and my living room is back to it's Shabby Pink self again!  I even have candy in my candy jars!
These are so easy and inexpensive to make---I think everyone needs a set!

To make these, I used two dollar store candlesticks and two lidded jars from Walmart.  I took the plastic suction piece out of each jar lid and spray painted them pretty colors.  After they dried, I glued the jars to the candlesticks and added some pretty ribbon! 


I hope you'll join me this weekend for my Homemaking Link-Up Weekend!  I've got the linky up a little early as we're celebrating Lynzie's 13th birthday this weekend!

Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl!
Finally, the most important part of this post.  I was made aware of a sweet couple who are wanting to adopt a little girl and have come up with a creative way that we can all help just a little.  Please visit my post on the Hill family and pray about what you can do to take part in their adoption plans.
Hope In Every Season is on Facebook!  If you like what you've read here, please follow me and keep up with the latest posts.


Also linking with:
HOME @ Rose Chintz Cottage 
Thursday Favorite Things @ Katherine's Corner
Strutt Your Stuff @ Somewhat Simple 
Pearls and Lace Thursday @ Faith, Grace, Crafts
Transformation Thursday @ Shabby Creek Cottage 
The Homeacre Hop 
Thrifty Things Friday @ The Thrifty Groove 
Inspiration Spotlight @ Dear Creatives 
Show and Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home 
Beverly's Pink Saturday 
Friday Free For All @ Young & Crafty 
Show and Tell Saturday @ Be Different, Act Normal 
Weekend Wrap Up Party @ TT&J 
Watcha Work-Up Wednesday 
Craft Schooling Sunday @ Creative Jewish Mom 
Sundae Scoop @ I heart nap time 
Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch 
Craft-o-Maniac Monday 
Motivate Me Monday @ Keeping It Simple 
Make the Scene Monday @ Alderberry Hill 
Inspire Me Monday @ Create With Joy
Masterpiece Monday @ BoogieBoard Cottage 
A Round Tuit @ Creating My Way to Success 
Monday Funday @ C.R.A.F.T. 
What's In the Gunny Sack? 
Teach Me Tuesday @ Growing Home 
Titus2sday @ TimeWarp Wife 
Tip Me Tuesday @ Tip Junkie 
Tutorial Tuesday @ Hope Studios 
Tabletop Tuesday @ A Stroll Through Life 
Tuesday Linkup @ Courtship Connection 
Women Helping Women @ Teaching What Is Good 
Watcha Work Up Wednesday 
Homemaking Linkup @ Raising Homemakers 
Wholehearted Home Wednesday
Encourage One Another @ Deep Roots at Home 
Wise Woman Linkup @ A Wise Woman Builds Her Home 
Inspire Me Wednesday @ Mama Buzz
HOME @ Rose Chintz Cottage 
Sunday Linky Party @ Petite Hermine 
The Creative HomeAcre Hop 
Think Tank Thursday @ Saving4Six 
Family Fun Friday @ Moms and Munchkins 
Saturday Nite Special @ Funky Junk Interiors  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Forgiving Grace

"You are my hiding place; you shall preserve me from trouble; you shall surround me with songs of deliverance."  ~Psalm 32:7

God is our hiding place!  How sad that so many feel they must hide from God...even many Christians believe this to be true.

An unbeliever has much to fear if they are defying God and His word.  They will face devastating consequences.

"If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned."  ~John 15:6

However, the believer need not fear God but take refuge in Him instead!

"For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion;  in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me;  He shall set me high upon a rock."  ~Psalm 27: 5    
God is a loving and merciful God to those who don't blatantly disregard Him.  He wants to "preserve us from trouble" and He uses the Holy Spirit to speak warnings and guidance to our hearts.

For those with addictions or struggles that need to be overcome, He wants to surround them with "songs of deliverance."

"Blessed is he who's transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.  Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit."  ~Psalm 32:1-2
We don't have to live in fear of God's judgments if we have trusted Jesus for salvation and forgiveness of our sins.  Unfortunately, many of us, when faced with the shame of our sin, distance ourselves from God because we're afraid our transgressions have changed God's feelings toward us.

Believing Christian, next time you feel that guilt that tries to push you away from God, I encourage you to come close to Him instead.  Rather than the wrath you're afraid of, you'll find Him singing over you a cleansing song of deliverance!  

Hope In Every Season is on Facebook!  If you like what you've read here, please follow me and keep up with the latest posts.

 This post was featured in Issue 98 of The Christian Home Magazine.

Linking with:
Teach Me Tuesday @ Growing Home 
Titus 2sday @ Time Warp Wife 
Tuesday Linkup Party @ Courtship Connection 
Women Helping Women @ Teaching What Is Good 
Wisdom Wednesday @ Simply Helping Him 
Wholehearted Home Wednesday 
Encourage One Another @ Deep Roots at Home 
Wise Woman Linkup @ A Wise Woman Builds Her Home 
Desire to Inspire @ A Royal Daughter 
Legacy Leaver Thursdays 
Essential Friday @ Essential Thing Devotions 
Inspire Me Monday @ Create With Joy 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Making Baby Blankets and Snickerdoodles --- Homemaking Link-Up Weekend

Thanks for stopping by my Homemaking Link-Up weekend today!  Please link up at the end of the post and take a button so your friends can come back and say Hi!
New baby Brenna is one month old today!  She and big sister Kynthia are getting along great!
Since we had her just three days after I finished up my Christmas sewing, I haven't been able to show off my completed projects yet.  So, I decided to do a little belated Christmas post!  Here are the receiving blankets I made for baby Brenna.
This is one side of Brenna's quilt.  The pinks were given to me by my friend Audra at Brenna's baby shower.
Here's the other side.  Isn't it adorable?!
Here's Kynthia's quilt.  The two pink fabrics were scraps from one I made our cousin Sophie last year.  Sophie is just a few months older than Kynthia.
This is the reverse side of Kynthia's.  I also made her a pillowcase from the bear fabric above.
Kynthia's first baby doll got a matching blanket!
So...since I was thinking Christmas anyway, (and since I'm about ready to finally take down all the Christmas decor) I decided to make a little holiday treat.
I'd never made Snickerdoodles before and my friend Kerry gave me a GREAT recipe!
Cocoa with candy canes is a Christmas tradition at our place!
This is one of my new decorations this year.  Isn't this vintage tree just adorable?  The vendor had a couple more at her booth---wish I would have grabbed them!!
I didn't get to use these pink Christmasy napkins that I picked up early last spring on clearance.  I'll save these for something special next season!
Thanks so much to my professional background team---Ha!
Hope In Every Season is on Facebook!  If you like what you've read here, please follow me and keep up with the latest posts.


Also linking with:  Beverly's Pink Saturday
Blue Monday @ Smiling Sally
Tea Time Tuesday @ Rose Chintz Cottage 
Tabletop Tuesday @ A Stroll Through Life

Thursday, January 17, 2013

"Mrs. Bradley's" Fruit and Nut Cake from Great Grandma's Kitchen

Last week, I started a series called, Great Grandma's Kitchen, where I share some of the recipes I found in box of my great-grandma's and great-great-grandma's recipes and cookbooks.  I made Banana Date Cookies and have received lots of compliments on them.  My kids LOVE them!

I've made my great-great grandma's Dark Fruit Cake before and everyone loved it, so I thought I'd share that today---with a few changes made.

Mrs. Bradley's Dark Fruit Cake was obviously a hit as you can see from the wear and stains on this card!  I found this in her daughter-in-law Annabelle's recipe box.  Annabelle was my great-grandmother.  I think it's a really neat recipe, but it's also at least 75 years old so there were a few changes I needed to make so it would be more baker-friendly today.  See the little scribbles on the card?  There are a lot more on the back.  Since my grandpa was the only child, I bet those were his scribbles!
The Mrs. Bradley referenced here is Mrs. Cora Jean Lasiter Bradley, my great-great grandmother on my mother's father's side.  I wish I had a photo of her!  I do, however, have a quilt that she made my great-grandpa when he was a little boy.  It's one of my most treasured things!
One reason I chose this recipe is because I need to use up this gigantic jar of molasses that my daughter bought at Christmas time!
In fact, it's a great recipe to use up several of the extra ingredients we have lying around from Christmas baking!

"Mrs. Bradley's Fruit and Nut Cake"

1/2 c. butter                             1 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. molasses                        3 eggs
1/2 c. coffee (juice or water is fine too)

Mix these ingredients until well blended.  Then add:

2 1/2 c. flour                           1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda                   1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon                      1/4 tsp. cloves
pinch of mace (optional)

Mix well and set aside.  In a large bowl, combine:

4 c. raisins                              8 oz. figs, chopped

8 oz. chopped dates                1/2-1 c. chopped nuts
zest from 1 orange                 
chopped orange sections from zested orange

Pour batter over fruit and nut mixture and stir until well mixed. 

Mmm!  Look at all that fiber! (Ha!)
Pour into greased cake pan, bread pans, muffin cups, whatever.  I used a fluted cake pan.  Bake at 300 for 2-2 1/2 hours or until cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.  (Baking times reduced for smaller pan size...adjust accordingly).  Cool on rack and serve warm or cooled.

The kids are all excited to have some tonight!

Today I'm joining Coloradolady's Vintage Thingie Thursday, as well as Rachel's Heirloom Recipe Blog Hop at Bubbly Nature Creations.  Please visit both ladies and see what other great things are linked up!

Hope In Every Season is on Facebook!  If you like what you've read here, please follow me and keep up with the latest posts.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Pinocchio Complex

Pinocchio Complex:  Question made to confuse, or befuddle someone.

If Pinocchio says, "My nose will grow now." What happens? A great Cretan once said; "All Cretans are liars." Is he lying or telling the truth?"

Ok, so this article actually has nothing to do with the Pinocchio Complex---but it is about Pinocchio.  I just thought the idea of the Pinocchio paradox was pretty awesome.  You can come back and think about it some more when you're done reading...

"Oh come, let us worship and bow down;  let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.  For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand."  ~Psalm 95:6-7

I've slowly been reading the story of Pinocchio to the kids over the past couple of months.  We're only half way through and it's a wonderful story---but hard to read sometimes as well.  Not only is the language translated in sort of an old-fashiony way, (it was written in 1883 in Italian and translated to English in 1892) but the character of Pinocchio is much less likeable than the cute little puppet boy we know from the Disney cartoon.
Pinocchio finds himself rebelling against his father at every turn.  The real clincher (so far) comes when Gepetto sells his own coat to buy his son a spelling book so he can go to school.  Pinocchio turns around and sells the book so he can attend a puppet show.  After reading this part and sneaking a peek at the astonished looks on my kids' faces, I took the time, of course, to point out the sacrifices that good parents make for their children.  Even horribly selfish children who break their poor parents' hearts!

Every now and then, Pinocchio's "conscience" will pop up and try to steer him the right direction, but he's pretty good at beating it back down again.  I have a feeling that conscience is going to win, though.  We just got past the part where the ghost of the conscience tries to reason with him.  That "spirit" just won't be defeated!  (Maybe it's a Holy Spirit, hmmm???)
Oh, but aren't we all just like that self-centered Pinocchio?  Instead of being grateful to our Maker and obeying Him because of His great love for us, we often toss out His precious blessings in favor of our own pursuits.

Thank God for the Holy Spirit who relentlessly attempts to guide us back home to our Father!

"However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak;  and He will tell you things to come."  ~John 16:13  

Hope In Every Season is on Facebook!  If you like what you've read here, please follow me and keep up with the latest posts.

 This article was featured in the 97th edition of The Christian Home Magazine.

Also linking with:
Teach Me Tuesday @ Growing Home  
Titus 2's Days @ Time Warp Wife 
Tuesday Linkup @ Courtship Connection 
Women Helping Women @ Teaching What is Good 
Wisdom Wednesdays @ Simply Helping Him  
Wholehearted Home Wednesday
Encouraging One Another @ Deep Roots at Home 
Homemaking Linkup @ Raising Homemakers 
Wise Woman linkup 
Legacy Leaver Thursday @ Leaving a Legacy 
Essential Friday Link-Up @ Essential Things Devotions 
Desire to Inspire @ A Royal Daughter 
Inspire Me Monday @ Create With Joy 
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