Baker Creek Seed Giveaway!

By all appearances here where I am, it seems spring has sprung a little early. Be it February or not, my littles had a blast squirting each other with water guns yesterday while I caught up on yard work, and at the end of a beautiful day, we sat and listened to crickets after dark. Strange indeed.

If the unseasonably warm weather is not the case where you are however, spring is right around the corner, and with that comes garden planning, seed starting, and numerous other preps that need done.

With all of that said, why not do a giveaway to kick start all of the spring activities?

My friends and I with Happy at Home Bloggers have decided to do just that.

 

 

 

“We’re giving away ten packets of heirloom seeds valued at $49, courtesy of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds! This giveaway will begin on Monday, Feb 20 at 1:00 am Central Time and end on Sunday, Feb 26 at 11:59 pm Central Time. Open to US and Canada residents age 18 and over. Please note that seed varieties will vary from the photo.
Enter below by signing in with your email address and following the directions for each entry. We’ve given you a free entry to start! Winner will be randomly chosen by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email sent to the address they used to enter. Winner will have 48 hours to respond with their mailing address. If winner fails to respond, another winner will be chosen. We’ll send the winner’s mailing address to Baker Creek Seeds and they will ship the prize package directly to you!
Good luck!”
For more great gardening posts, be sure to visit my friends!

A Baker Creek Seeds Giveaway

I’ve teamed up with several bloggers to bring you this giveaway from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. We’re all writing about gardening today, so I encourage you to visit each of their blogs for more gardening fun. We might as well feed that spring fever, right? I know we’re all ready for good weather so we can get our hands dirty once again.

Nadine at Making Her Mama

Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead

Michelle at Mid-Life Blogger

Michelle at Souly Rested

Kacey at Rustic Ranch Wife

Angela at The Inquisitive Farmwife
We’re giving away ten packets of heirloom seeds valued at $49, courtesy of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds! This giveaway will begin on Monday, Feb 20 at 1:00 am Central Time and end on Sunday, Feb 26 at 11:59 pm Central Time. Open to US and Canada residents age 18 and over. Please note that seed varieties will vary from the photo.

Enter below by signing in with your email address and following the directions for each entry. We’ve given you a free entry to start. After completing an entry’s requirement, use your browser’s back button to return to this page and move on to the next entry.

One winner will be randomly chosen by Giveaway Tools after the giveaway ends, and we’ll notify the winner with an email sent to the address they used to enter. Winner will have 48 hours to respond with their mailing address. If winner fails to respond, another winner will be chosen. We’ll send the winner’s mailing address to Baker Creek Seeds and they will ship the prize package directly.

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A Clear Vision For 2017

His hand is at work in your life right now like never before. 2017 will be a transformative year for you and your family.

I claim this for my family, and you should as well. I have seen tons of Facebook posts and memes over the last couple of weeks about how bad 2016 was, but I really can’t complain.

For the first time in my life, I was actually kind of sad to see the year change on the calendar. As I am aging, I am realizing how quickly this life is passing by. Little moments of clarity like this can sometimes be a bit overwhelming or down right scary.

My babies aren’t babies anymore, and I hardly recognize the older woman with gray hair and crows feet staring at me from the mirror. But still, I can’t complain. I’m alive. My children are alive. My husband is alive. And we are all doing well.

If 2016 was “bad” to you, take this moment to claim 2017 as yours. What is your vision for this new year? Do you have one? Is it clear?

If you do not have a clear vision for 2017, may I suggest prayer? Pray and meditate on it, and see what happens. There is a lot going on in this world today, a lot of very scary things, but God is never too busy to help you.

I hope and pray that each and every one of you has a blessed and prosperous 2017, filled with clear vision, health, and happiness.

DON’T FORGET TO CLAIM IT!!

Love, Crystal

 

Post Surgical Menopause : What They DON’T Tell you

“Your body will wake up from surgery and in a sense, it will be 25 years older. It will be shocked.”

That was pretty much all the information the doctor gave me before I was wheeled back for a radical hysterectomy when I was 30. Oh, how I wish I would have done more research. Talked to more people who had been through it. Written down questions to ask the doctor.  But, I did not. Hindsight is 20/20. I was utterly unprepared for what was coming.

The surgery was inevitable, but at least I would have been a little more educated as to what was fixing to happen to me.  I was told at 15 this surgery would need to happen, sooner rather than later, and I had put it off for as long as the Doctors would allow.

Yes, I was one of those “lucky” women who has no idea what getting back normal results on her pap smear feels like. Trips to the Gynecologist every 2 to 3 months instead of once a year..

Continue reading Post Surgical Menopause : What They DON’T Tell you

Let’s Not Confuse Homemaking with Maid Service..

In this day and age (oh my God, I sound old) there seems to be a bit of confusion in a lot of households about who does what.

I see it and hear about it and yes, I even live it. Moms, and especially stay at home Moms, are now being confused with a 24-hour maid service.

THIS IS JUST WRONG!!

I am a homemaker. I love being a homemaker, I love everything about it. The time spent with my family, the freedom to homeschool my children, the cooking, and to a certain extent, I even love the cleaning. But we have to put our foot down somewhere.

Continue reading Let’s Not Confuse Homemaking with Maid Service..

Finding Peace Where You Are

Whether you have a perfectly pristine environment at all times, or like the majority of us, your surroundings are a bit more chaotic, you have the ability to find peace where you are right at this moment. 

Is this not what we all desire? That peace that surpasses all understanding? I know I do. Imagine if you will, having the ability to laugh in the face of chaos, smile in the midst of uncertainty, and stand tall in that moment of fiery trial.

Continue reading Finding Peace Where You Are

Tackling Mt. Laundry; & Other Daily Ordeals

“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”     Isaiah 41:10

Yes. I just opened a post about laundry with a Bible verse. Don’t even laugh, you’ve been there as well. Come on now, don’t deny it.

You know the feeling I’m referring to; it’s been an incredibly long week, the days flew by and before you know it, it’s Saturday, you’re SOOO looking forward to  a warm, steamy, relaxing shower while the littles watch t.v., all cuddled up in their blankets and cozy pj’s.

The shower is on and billows of  steam are calling you,  inviting you to step in and allow the heat to melt the stress away..even for just a minute. Undressed and ready to escape into your own little sauna, you reach for a towel and lo…there are none!

You forgot to do the dadgum laundry, and apparently, the littles had a busy week of cleaning up spills with all of your clean fluffy towels!

This is the first of many times today you will have to remind yourself of your spirituality!

Standing in the laundry room, hoping with all hope that you will find a clean towel that has been left in the dryer, you realize that Mt. Laundry is taunting you: “You’ll never conquer me!”

*This is where the first scripture comes into play*  The one I use on average, 5 thousand or so times a day;

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4;13

Huffing and puffing, desperately trying not to “lose it” while continually mumbling the verse under your breath, you begin tossing clothes in the machine.

Okay, so while the clothes wash you will just take this moment to catch up on other tasks that have been neglected. Off to the kitchen you go to refill your not big enough coffee cup  when there it is, a sink full of dirty dishes. Where did they even come from?!? You know you washed them all before you went to bed last night! ( One of lifes great mysteries. Everyone denies dirtying them while you slept.)

Still in your robe, you have washed the dishes, again, wiped down the cabinets, swept the floors, refereed sibling squabbles, fed the hungry masses, and so on. Oh yes, some of us live in a state of perpetual distraction. You look up and it is 3 P.M. What the heck?!

Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, for anger rests in the bosom of fools.”  Ecclesiastes 7:9 

Remain calm momma, remain calm.

You forgot the laundry. Mt. laundry is laughing at you and you still haven’t gotten that steamy shower.  Ugh. After re-washing this mornings load, and finally attaining some clean fuzzy towels, you pass them out to the family and everyone starts their evening routine of bathtimes while you begin dinner.

He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.”   Luke 3:11

We give of ourselves. That’s what we do. It’s the end of another day and finally, you get your shower. As you’re stepping out and attempting to dry off with a cold damp towel that was left lying in the floor by the bathrooms previous occupant, you smile as another scripture comes to mind:

The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands.”  Proverbs 14:1

You made it another day and didn’t “lose your religion”  if you know what I’m saying.

Tomorrow Mt. Laundry. We will meet again tomorrow., but right now it’s time for cuddles and bedtime prayers.

 

How To Break The Cycle Of Emotional Eating

Sometimes the strongest food cravings hit when you’re at your weakest point emotionally. You may turn to food for comfort — consciously or unconsciously — when facing a difficult problem, feeling stressed or even feeling bored. Emotional eating can sabotage your weight-loss efforts, and in turn, make you stressed all over again…so you eat.

What Is Emotional Eating?

Emotional eating is a way of suppressing, or soothing emotions, such as anger, boredom, sadness, stress, loneliness, and grief, to name a few.  Common, everyday hassles of life, as well as major life events, tend to trigger emotional eating. Some triggers may include:  Continue reading How To Break The Cycle Of Emotional Eating

In a Pinch Cheesy Chicken Macaroni

Long days tend to turn into late dinners. Late dinners turn into even later clean up. Later clean up creates a grumpy Momma. We do not want that..

When you find yourself running behind schedule, it is always a good idea to have a stash of “in a pinch” recipes. The following is one of my family’s favorites, well, with the exception of my VERY picky 7-year-old, and all of the ingredients are items you probably keep in your pantry!

Here’s what you’ll need: Continue reading In a Pinch Cheesy Chicken Macaroni

How To Beat The Blues: A Winter Survival Guide

c-swv5slqo-saeed-mhmdiWinter is just beginning, and with it comes the winter blues, or even worse, seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seasonal_affective_disorder

If you have ever found yourself down in the dumps toward the end of the season, the time to start prepping for those dark and dreary winter days ahead is now.

Everyone reacts differently to the cold, extended dark hours of winter. We generally all begin to crave spring as the cold season nears its end , but for some, the winter blues can morph into S.A.D., which is much more serious than just being in a winter funk, or having cabin fever. jbfdcferdeq-andrew-neel

Regardless of how you experience the winter months, there are plenty of proactive steps you can take to stay energized and on top of your emotional game, all the way into spring.

Get Plenty of Exercise & H2O

Okay. So it’s 28 degrees outside, I’m not saying go jogging for frostbite, although there are those hardcore runners out there with the motto of a mailman-  rain,sleet or snow. God love em. I don’t know how they do it. Luckily for the rest of us, there are plenty of other things we can do to stay active during hibernation season. Here is a list of just a few things you can start doing today.

1) Join a Gym

You can usually snag a great deal on a gym membership this time of year!

2) Begin a Simple at home exercise regimen

If joining a gym just isn’t an option, you can make full use of YouTube to find all the FREE workouts your body can handle.

3) DANCE PARTY!

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This one is my personal favorite! Hold impromptu dance sessions with your kids. Not only does the movement get your blood pumping, but there is sure to be plenty of laughter, and you know, laughter is the best medicine after all! Between the movement and giggles, your body will be releasing dopamin, one of the bodies neurotransmitters that regulate mood.

4) Brighten Up your Home

Due to the long nights and short days, we tend not to get as much natural light as our bodies need, and by mid-winter, the melancholy begins to set in due to a lack of vitamin D. Although researchers still do not know all of the causes of seasonal depression/blues, they do know that the lack of vitamin D derived from our exposure to the sun, plays a huge role. So open up all of those curtains and let the sunshine in! Not only will it lift  your mood, it will slightly lower your heating bill, by letting those warm sunbeams reach as far into your home as they can. Win Win!

5) Stay Social

It is so tempting not too leave the house, unless you absolutely have too , because it’s so dang cold out there! Don’t let the temps keep you from going out periodically, for things other than work and grocery runs. Schedule a coffee date with friends, play dates for your kids, and visit your parents. Just get out of the house a few times a month! It makes all the difference in how you feel!

6) Stay Hydrated!

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This one is a given. We all know that dehydration can be mistaken for depression. Unfortunately for our mood, a lot of us tend to neglect our water intake during cold weather because, well, we’re FREEZING, therefore we reach for the hot beverages in an attempt to attain that warm and cozy feeling that only coffee can bring ( or your hot bevi of choice). So, for your mood’s sake, don’t go neglecting the H2O!

These are just a few things you can do to thwart the winter blues, and while they are great tips, if you or someone you know tends to sink into a more serious seasonal depression, don’t wait, please talk to a professional now.

Now cozy up (but don’t sit there too long!), and make the most out of another of Gods great seasons!

Gatlinburg, you’re in our prayers..

I can not even begin too understand what emotions you must be experiencing. We have all followed the news closely over the last 48 hours, in horror and disbelief, at what was unfolding. There were many vacationers, from our small town, who were lodging in the cozy cabins of the Smokies, when the emergency evacuations started. 3d640883-cb54-4926-b53c-4610a7da6005

They kept us informed, as too what was happening all around them. How completely terrifying the rushed ride down the mountain was, with smoke and fire on every side. The feeling of not knowing if they would get down, and out of harms way in time. They told us, in real time, how hot it was in their cars, and of how the back of their throats burned from the smoke that was creeping in through every crack of the automobile.

They all made it home safely, each family with their own intense story to tell. I know this is something they will never forget, and the people here in Mississippi who love them are so glad they made it home safely. The firefighters and emergency personnel did an outstanding job.

So now, in the aftermath that I’m seeing on the news and social media, a painful realization hit me, our friends and family made it home, they experienced the terror on the mountain, but today they are waking up in their beds,, in their homes, while so many in those mountains now have no home to go to.

I know the vacationers realize this, and I’m not making light of what they experienced, not in the least.

I worry that, the residents of Gatlinburg might feel as though they are completely alone, all of the tourists disappeared and went back to their lives, sort of feeling, but to the wonderful people of Gatlinburg- you are now, and will continue to be on our prayers, for as long as it takes, until every single home is rebuilt, and every last business reopens their doors.

The Smoky Mountains have been a second home too so many of us, and your hospitality is unmatched! We love you!

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”        Galatians 6:2, 10