Maddy’s latest fascination and favorite princess is Ariel. She doesn’t have a mermaid dress up outfit, so she got creative and this is her “Bwa” and “tail” for being Ariel.

ariel pose

When I asked about her outfit, she said, “I got it pooyd up high, Mommy. Cause Awiel doesn’t show her boobs to evewyone.” Well, that’s good, right? ;-)

ariel collage

When I asked Maddy what she was doing, this is the response I received:

“Because I want to pwactice my exshercise in da pool.”

This girl bring so much life and joy to our home. :)

What are the BEST deals for Black Friday?

*Note-this post does contain affiliate/referral links. Use them, or don’t. It’s up to you. ;-)

Here are my BEST deals for Black Friday. And as you can tell, I prefer shopping from the comfort of home. Shopping days with little ones are just not super fun. 

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to EatPlan to Eat Subscriptions are 50% off! This means for under $20 you can get a plan for yourself, extend the plan you already have, or gift it to someone you love. These are GREAT for new wives, friends who are trying to learn meal planning or healthy eating, or ANYONE who hates grocery shopping. It will take the stress out and pay for itself 10x over throughout the year. :)

Zaycon Foods has marked ALL of their items at 5% off through December 5th! You can place your order for the BEST boneless skinless chicken breast I have found for MARCH, right now, at the cheapest prices around. There are also deals on beef, pork, fish, etc. Don’t miss out on this!


Cuppow-mason jar tops and accessories are not only 25% OFF, but FREE SHIPPING! They have the coolest “kid” cups, travel tops, etc. These are great stocking-stuffers.

cuppowblack friday 2015

You Need A Budget Software (YNAB) is 50% off now through Cyber Monday. If you need to learn to manage your money, are struggling to find a budgeting system that works for you, or just need an electronic way to manage your cash, THIS PROGRAM WORKS! We have saved more $$$ the last few years since we began using it, and it paid for itself 2x over the first month after we bought it, and I paid full price for it! Oh, and if you use my referral link here, you will get a few more $ off the price. It’s SO worth every penny.

I could probably list a hundred more things, but these are in my top and I think some of the best investments you could make this weekend. Happy shopping!

Are you making this mistake with your LOVE?

1 John 3_18I was struck by this thought the other day as I was exercising and mulling over the Scripture I had read. I was tired and tempted to cut my reps short, just watching the clock countdown. Then I realized what I was doing…er, NOT doing. I was making the mistake of thinking that just by being something was happening.

It’s the same for my “love”. Our love conveys nothing if there is no action attached.

My workout does nothing to produce good in my life if I don’t actually do it. My nutrition fails if I eat junk. However, when my actions and truths are aligned, amazing results are produced!

What an incredible parallel as I consider the way I interact with those I “say” that I love. Do my actions match my words and intentions?

How can you truly show someone that you love them today?

10 Minute Smokey Roast Almonds

Do yourself a favor, and go roast yourself some almonds. It will only take you 10 MINUTES! Seriously, I couldn’t believe just how easy it was to make myself some roasted almonds. Then, season them however you like with no added junk or artificial stuff! 

DIY Smokey AlmondsWhat to do:

-1 lb almonds

-Heat oven to 350F

-spread almonds in a baking pan (I used a glass 13×9)

-bake for 10 min

-drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil (or other oil, or skip this step entirely as the almonds release their own oils when roasted)

-season with spices of your choice!

I tried with this “smokey roast” https://www.plantoeat.com/recipes/1475162 seasoning-amazing on a good cut of beef, and also divine on almonds!! ;-)


Got GREENS-It’s a working lunch kind of day, but I got my GREENS in my salad for lunch. I was curious what kind of benefits I was getting, so I did a little research…

You can’t beat the “pros” of leafy greens:
-helps blood clot with vit K (one cup of raw leafy greens provides 1-day’s supply!)
-helps lower cholesterol (particularly mustard greens and kale)
-helps fuel your body (B vit helps convert carbs to glucose which produces ENERGY for you to burn)
-boost bone health (bitter taste is actually evidence of a high level of calcium!)
-decreased risk of cancer

Go eat some kale, collards, REAL lettuce, even broccoli! NOTE: NOT iceberg lettuce-that’s straight water, guys. ;-)

How many servings of greens do you typically fit into your day?

Joy WILL Overflow!

Sometimes Often I struggle with joy. I like to blame my name (Marla means bitter). But, that’s not WHY I struggle with joy. I struggle with joy because I often place my “hope” in the wrong things. <–things. That’s the problem. The ONLY true foundation for my HOPE and JOY is Jesus. Everything else will falter. Everything else will ALWAYS let me down.

10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

John 15:10-11


This passage gave me an incredible promise-IF I abide in Him, my JOY will OVERFLOW!

I dare you to try it. I know I’m trying it!

FAVE: Lord, I Need You…

This song has been in my head for days on end since I last heard it. The message is so clear, and so in-line with what the Lord has been teaching me [again].

Living with the absolute knowledge of my daily dependence upon HIM is so fundamental for me. When I am submitted and relying on Him, I have a proper posture, and can fulfill my purpose.

Lord, I Need You Matt Maher Quote

Booklook Review: For The Love by Jen Hatmaker


I had no idea when I chose this title just how much I would love reading it. The only reason I was able to poor it down was because I’m dog-tired taking care of our baby girl. Even my husband was amazed that I didn’t just keep reading it straight through! From witty commentary on leggings and man-pris to mouth watering recipes, charges to live in the moment and feeling the passion through Jen’s words about the glory of the church and ministry, I felt as if I was sitting catching up with a dear friend at my favorite coffee shop-I didn’t want it to end, and was utterly disappointed when the final page was turned.

Jen writes about people-both the best and most difficult part of life, right? Well, she shares from her own experience ways to live together better, show kindness, extend grace!

I have already recommended this read to so many friends and family, and will continue to do so. If you are looking for a deep, theological study, I have other titles for you. However, if you want to laugh a lot, cry a little, be spurred on to love deeply and live your life to the fullest, don’t walk, RUN your fingers over to Amazon or hustle your tail to a brick and mortar and grab a copy. I don’t think you will regret it one second!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Husbands, lead!

Mason and I have been in the trenches lately. Between our threenager who thinks she rules the world and our 3 month-old who is really just trying to get used to life outside the womb, we are taking things slow-one day at a time!

Yesterday, Maddy was whining and being obstinate about not wanting to go into Panera together to enjoy a treat. (WHAT? She LOVES getting a treat!) I asked her if she wanted to stay in the car by herself, to which she replied, “Yes. I don wanna go inside.” Mason and I continued the conversation with him saying, “Well, I guess we will go in and enjoy ourselves without you. and then we’ll get arrested and you and Morgan will go to social services and be put into foster care and be split up and…” I interrupted him, “Well, that escalated quickly.” Haha. At least we can laugh about it together! :)

Back to what I was talking about…

My husband has stepped up to lead us in striving toward righteousness through this season, and he has been writing encouragement, sharing his own heart or what he is learning, and often  exhorting me on a daily basis to rise to the occasion. I cannot express just how loved, invested in, and cared for his daily efforts make me feel. I am challenged to be a happy mom, to love my kids well, and to keep a long-term view on life and raising our children.

husbands lead

His leadership in our marriage and our home is crucial for all of us. I have always heard that mothers set the tone in the home, and to an extent I agree that moms do play a strong role in setting the atmosphere, but I have also noticed that in our house, Mason’s presence and attitude is just as, if not more impacting as a family thermostat.
Husbands, lead your wives in truth and godliness! It just might keep her sane and both of you out of jail. ;-)


…on authority and truth…

“Everybody chooses the authority he or she is going to recognize…

we are speaking explicitly from a theological and Biblical authority.

That is the sole authority upon which we stand…

as much as the alternative authority is here sighted as science…science is a project, it’s not an authority.

If you’re gonna go shopping for authorities, then you can find whatever authority will tell you what you want it to say.

The only consistent enduring authority is the authority of God’s revealed truth, and it doesn’t change.

That’s the only reason we’ve got anything to say.”

R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Seminary, ACBC Conference


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