Archive | July 2016

Out of Creamer? Try These Coffee Hacks.

CASTLE

Pretty much every time I scroll through my Facebook feed I will see at least one meme about coffee. Here’s a few that I thought were funny…

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In case you didn’t know, coffee is right up there with flour and sugar, an american staple. As a stay at home Mom, coffee is sometimes more than a staple. About once a month, I am convinced that my kids conspire together on how to keep me up all night. I get one down? Another wakes up. I get that one down and two more wake up and so on, all night long! Anyway, it’s on those mornings that coffee becomes more than a staple. It becomes my very best friend. Or “best best friend” as my 4 year old would put it.

So what do you do when you’ve had a rough night and you suddenly realize that you are out of creamer? Do you drink it black? I don’t know about you, but the more tired I am the more I crave a good cuppa. Here are some things I do to spruce up my coffee when I am out of creamer and haven’t had a chance to get to the store (or am avoiding it because, three boys!).

  1. If you happen to have a carton of heavy whipping cream (HWC) laying around, take heart, your coffee is about to get a makeover! I actually prefer HWC to commercial creamers because it can make a regular cup of coffee taste like a latte without all the effort. Just put in a couple teaspoonfuls (doesn’t take much!) or more if you’re feeling naughty, then add some sugar, maybe some spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg and viola! You have a gourmet cup of a joe to help soften the blow of your rough night.

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  2.  No heavy whipping cream? Ees all good. Pour about 1/4 a cup of whole milk (almond milk will work too) into a small jar and heat in the microwave for 15-30 second intervals until it reaches desired temperature (don’t heat to boiling or else the milk will curdle). Pour most (or all) of it into your coffee and then add a wee bit of sugar along with some hot chocolate mix. This recipe tastes similar to a mocha latte. If you want to make it even more decadent, skip the chocolate mix and instead add a few spoonfuls of coco powder to your mug along with a few teaspoons of sugar or stevia. Coco powder is actually rather bitter (but oh so smooth) in it’s natural form so a sweetener of some kind would definitely be wise. Oh! And while you’re at it, add a pinch of salt. Mmm.
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  3. If you don’t have any form of dairy to add to your coffee, all is not lost. Take a hike over to Pinterest and search “bullet proof coffee.” While not my personal favorite, many a Mom has raved about this interesting concoction.
  4. Another great option for when you are out of creamer is to simply head to your local coffee shop. Let someone else do the work for you! My favorite coffee shop is called Side Street Coffee, located in Kaufman, TX. I especially enjoy drinking their coffee because one, it tastes good and two, I know that my purchase will help support local coffee farmers in Honduras. Win-win! Here’s a picture of me and my family at Side Street Coffee:
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  5. Finally, if you’ve had a rough night, remember that while coffee is a great help and blessing from the Lord, it cannot fulfill you or truly prepare you for the day ahead. As with all things created, the Lord wants us to use them and enjoy them, yes, but ultimately the Lord desires us to let those things and experiences drive us to his throne. We were made to worship our creator and find fulfillment therin. Looking to created things for our strength will leave us wanting. So, while you drink your new creation this morning or spend time at your local coffee shop, be intentional and do yourself (and probably your husband and kids) a favor and take the time to talk to the Lord. Ask him for strength, for wisdom. Ask him for whatever it is you need, remembering that he loves you dearly.

    “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” -Matthew 7:11

Blessings!
Grace|Housewife|BoyMom

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Keep Your Chin Up

​Hey there Mama. I know you’re exhausted. I am too. I mean come on, it’s 4 am! Who wouldn’t be exhausted?? I don’t know why your little angel won’t sleep but I’m pretty sure mine is working on a poop to rival all other poops. 
With this being the fourth time I have been woken up tonight, I was tempted to focus on and despair over the lack of sleep. Thoughts like “What if I turn into a Mombie?” and “If he doesn’t hurry up and poop his pants I may never sleep again” are fighting for front and center. But thankfully and definitely because of the grace of God, I am not completely overwhelmed by those thoughts or by this difficult night. Another thought has been knocking around in my head. And tonight isn’t the first time God has brought it to mind. It’s something the Lord has been showing and reminding me of over and over, tonight being no exception. It’s simple really…rather than thinking about what I don’t have (i.e. a good night’s sleep), I should meditate on what I do have and then find a way to use it for God’s glory right now.  
Tonight I have an opportunity to pray for others. I have the opportunity to bond with my baby through hardship. And I have the opportunity to encourage other Mama’s that also might be struggling to keep their hearts in the right place at this late hour. 
So, keep your chin up, tired Mama, not just because it’s what we do as Moms but because if your chin is up, then your eyes are too…put those weary eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith. 
Blessings! 

Grace 

xooxo

Ladies, Adorn Yourselves

((Operation Write Real Fast: I don’t have much time. My oldest just woke up from his nap. I’ve given him a snack but it’s only a matter of time before he wakes everyone else up!!))

 

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I wanted to share with you some thoughts I had this morning on 1 Peter 3. Verses 3 and 4 say, “Do not let your adorning be external-the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear-but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” There are two things that stood out to me regarding this passage.

 

|Observation Number One|

 

Based on the context before and immediately following these verses, the gentle and quiet spirit spoken of, is clearly referring to wives submitting to and respecting their husbands.

Context-Before (verses 1-2): “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.”
Context-After (verse 5): “For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands,”

 

((The baby has woken up but  the pacie has been utilized and I have administered a second snack. Operation -write real fast- is a go. I repeat it is a go!))

 

|Observation Number Two|

 

The act of adorning one’s self with something, whether in this case that be jewelry or a gentle spirit, requires intention and action. We must intentionally choose what we are going to adorn ourselves with and then take action to do so.

 

|Conclusion|

 

It is important that we be intentional in how we relate to and treat our husbands. The Lord desires us to respect and submit to their leadership—surprisingly, even if it is not godly leadership (as we see in verses 1 and 2)! So how do we give them respect and submit to their leadership (even if we don’t agree with their leadership)? By intentionally preparing and adorning our hearts for the day to come. By taking the time to pursue a quiet and gentle spirit.

One of the practical ways we can do that is by recognizing and confronting worldly beliefs that may have crept into our hearts.  i.e. sometimes I find myself having the attitude that women are superior and more competent—and thus I start acting as if I am the leader of our family, rather than my husband. These perspectives very much affect our daily interactions and will affect how well I am able to honor him.  So, if I take time in the morning (or at some point in the day) to examine my spiritual “face” as it were, I will recognize that this belief is opposed to scripture and can then apply the cleansing touch of God’s word. Facial cleanser are not bad! But as we ready ourselves for the day ahead, it is always going to be more valuable to pursue the heart by applying spiritual adornment. Why? Because our inner beauty affects our actions and attitude thus having great impact on others but our outward beauty usually only has great impact on how we feel about ourselves.

So, as you stand in front of the mirror tomorrow morning, maybe putting on some lip stick or blush, take the time to look into the mirror of your soul and adorn yourselves with a gentle and quiet spirit. Your heart matters. It is out of the overflow of the heart that the mouth speaks and your heart is what the Lord sees when he looks at you. 1 Samuel 16:7 says,

“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

Our hearts and the words and actions that flow out of that wellspring have incredible power…the power to give life or death, to bind or rescue. Our words can tear down our husband, undermining his leadership or they can be a great encouragement and catalyst in his own spiritual wellbeing and thus his leadership as head of the home.

One more thing…I want to remind you (and myself!!) that marriage is a picture of the gospel. The husband and wife each have very specific and separate roles to fill and when we try to avoid those roles or take over the other’s role it not only hurts the marital relationship but also mars the picture of the gospel that marriage was created to exemplify. So as you take the time to examine and  beautify your hearts, remember that ultimately it is for the glory of God and that you are taking part in the big picture of redemption that began and is being perfected in Christ!

 

((Okay so this was NOT the short pithy post I had planned and my kids are all DEFINITELY  awake now, but I hope and pray that the Lord will use it for good in your life and marriage. I know that this passage today has been very convicting to me and I am looking forward to better preparing for my days and interactions with my husband. ))

 

Blessings!
Grace|HouseWife|BoyMom