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Life is good, I take it for granted too often. I have a fabulous, supportive husband and a beautiful son who is always teaching me the simplicity of life. My day is made when samples fill my mailbox. I love discovering a new product and sharing it with others. I'm addicted to coupons and every penny counts. I hope you will enjoy reading my posts and will share your success stories with me as well.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

My Song for the Day - Blessings by Laura Story

My head hurts from crying.  My heart hurts from missing friends.  This is my song for today.

It's not easy being the new person.  It's uncomfortable.  It's a vulnerable feeling.  It's hard.  As painful as this process is for me right now, I know God is making something beautiful out of me through this time.  

While reading a book today the question "What have you built your identity around?" really struck me hard.  For so long my identity has been built around a circle of friends, the fostering community, and work.  The next question was "Who are you if you lose all of this?"  Umm.....whoa.  By moving to Maine, I've lost all of those things that made my identity.  No wonder I'm feeling emotional, lost, and alone.

But then God gently reminds me that I'm a child of His first and foremost.  I'm a wife to the most patient man on this earth.  I'm a Mom to the most beautiful boy created.  And that's all that matters right now.  

Blessings are coming through rain drops and healing is coming from tears right now.  If moving to Maine is what it took for me to find my true identity in Christ, then the painful process of being the "newbie" will be okay.

Groceries Week of January 18 - 24

Whole Foods - this trip was insane.  We went on Saturday afternoon and there had to be at least 300 people in the store.  I was so distracted that I overspent.  If it wasn't so far away, I would take two items back just so I would be under budget this week.  My total spent was $95.30 and I saved $14.73.

Walmart - a quick trip for necessities.  Bradley lives off cottage cheese and yogurt.  My necessity is Bailey's French Vanilla creamer.  It's far from organic and has a ton of sugar but I've yet to fall in love with maple syrup and half & half in my coffee.  My total spent was $15.70.

Smiling Hill Farm - my total spent was $13.02.  I returned one extra half gallon jug which helped lower my total cost.

Yes To Carrots online order - I used the 25% online coupon code combined with free shipping to stock up on some personal hygiene products.  Two shampoos, two conditioners, one face wash, one face moisturizer, one intense hand cream, and one lip balm totaling $49.44.  I'm quickly falling in love with these products!

My grand total spent this week was $173.46 which is $23.46 over my budget.  But since I've been under budget the last 3 weeks in a row, I've racked up a credit of $29.11 which covers the overage this week.  It's really nice having a little flexibility especially when the shopping trip didn't go as I hoped or we just needed to stock up on some items.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Len Libby Candy Shops in Scarborough Maine

We finally met Lenny, the world's only life-sized chocolate moose.  This guy is made out of 1700 pounds of milk chocolate!  You can find him at Len Libby Candy Shops in Scarborough, Maine.  Len Libby's Candies is the third oldest business in Scarborough.  Their chocolatier shoppe is full of delicious, gorgeous, homemade chocolates that melt in your mouth.  The employees are so courteous and helpful when making your selection.  Mike and I each picked out three different pieces each and hands down the almond buttercrunch was our favorite.  Len Libby's also has a great variety of souvenirs, books, stuffed Moose animals, and toys for children.  There is a short video you can watch about how Lenny was made.  This place is definitely a must see if you are in the area.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Hallmark Hall of Fame - Away & Back Review

I was recently able to have a sneak peek of the new Hallmark movie "Away & Back" starring Jason Lee and Minka Kelly.  This movie will air on the Hallmark Channel on Sunday, January 25 at 8/7c.

My husband and three year old son watched the movie with me.  Bradley loved the swans and scenery footage.  I love that Hallmark offers wholesome, family friendly movies and I don't have to worry about language, sex scenes, or violence with my 3 year old.

Away & Back is about a 10 year old girl, Frankie, and Ginny (Minka Kelly) the ornithologist, who are both passionate about saving swans.  Will they be able to convince Jack (Jason Lee) how important these swans are?  Will Ginny let down her guard and fall in love with Jack?  You can find out on Sunday, January 25th by watching Away & Back on the Hallmark Channel at 8/7c.

You can also share the movie trailer with your friends and have a chance to win a trip to a national park of your choice!

Menu Week of January 19 - 23

I've been missing Great Harvest Bread Company from back in SC, BUT I found a new bakery over the weekend.  I'm so happy!!  Big Sky Bread has a huge variety of breads and I love the fact that they mill organic wheat berries right into flour, fresh every day!  And they have several varieties that stick with the 5 ingredients or less rule.  How awesome is that?!

Scrambled Eggs & Applegate Sausage Links
Homemade Biscuits & Jelly
Blackberry Muffins
Fried Eggs & Whole Wheat Toast

Leftovers x 3
Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches 
Egg Salad Sandwiches

Hot Turkey & Cheese Rolls
Supper @ Small Group
Beef Stew & Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Refried Beans with Cheese & Mexican Rice
Spaghetti (without meat) & Garlic Bread

Our Weekend Recap

It was a great weekend despite Bradley and I both having colds and not feeling 100%.  We started Friday off with watching a new Hallmark movie, "Away & Back" that will air next Sunday, January 25th on the Hallmark Channel.  

We did a LOT on Saturday.  It was super cold but the sun was out and we all needed to get out and soak up some Vitamin D.   We picked up sandwiches at Mamie's Farmhouse and then headed to the ocean.   Feeding the seagulls was my favorite part of the day. We let Bradley have a few minutes on the playground and sliding down into a pile of snow at the bottom of the slide was the best part for him.  We had a relaxing night of board games and finishing a puzzle.

This will be my new favorite place to grab sandwiches!

Absolute gorgeousness!  Look at the size of those Whoopie Pies!  
Panera Bread has nothing on Mamie's Farmhouse!!

I never knew the ocean could be so gorgeous even in 15 degree weather!

So cold but so beautiful!
In just a matter of seconds, we went from 2 seagulls to at least 20.
They sure know how to spread the word that food is being handed out.

I was completely oblivious to this seagull right behind me.

Cutest boy ever!!

Every kid should experience sliding down into snow.

He would have done this two dozen times if it hadn't been so cold.

On Sunday, we went to church and then came back home for lunch and naps.  We took Bradley to the movies to see Paddington later that afternoon.  He loved the movie and now we have to find him a Paddington Bear.  Bradley and Mike stayed up to watch the football game on Sunday night.  I love when my husband takes time to give one on one time to Bradley.  It means the world to Bradley but it melts my heart to see Mike taking the time to be an awesome Dad!

Cheesin' before church!

Bradley was so into the movie!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Life with a capital L by Matt Heard Book Review

Wow!  What an incredible book, Life with a Capital L.  Matt Heard does a phenomenal job communicating ten key areas where everyday life can become extraordinary Life.  God intends our life to be much so more than a to do list, being in survival mode, or just trying to make it day by day.  Matt shares so many positive, encouraging thoughts on God's grace, His love, His desire to show us how we can live life everywhere.  

This book came at such a great time in my life.  I had just finished reading Grace is Free by Marci Preheim a couple weeks ago.  That helped me understand God's grace in a whole new way.  Then following it up with Life with a Capital L, allowed me to really grasp how I need to start living my life with purpose.  

God has been showing me what grace really means.  I grew up in legalistic, fundamental churches where grace was something you hoped God would extend to you if you completed x y and z.  I'm realizing there is a huge difference in legalistic obedience and life-giving obedience.  Matt puts it perfectly when he writes "legalistic obedience is a debilitating attempt to get God to love me, earn His favor, impress others, and bolster my religious pride."  "Life-giving obedience is a response to the favor of God that I've already received through Christ.  Obedience to God's instruction, not human rules, enables me to experience Life."  

I encourage anyone who struggles with really understanding God's grace and what your purpose in life is to read this book.  

**Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.  The opinions expressed here are my own.