Favorite Things for Summer Giveaway

favorite summer things 2

Want to know my favorite thing about summer? Well let me think…SUNSHINE!!! (You know I love it when I interrupt myself to blurt out my answer.)

I love sunshine coming in through my windows. I love sunshine beaming down on my face. I love warming up in the sunshine. And I love laying in the sunshine, soaking up Vitamin D. (Responsibly, of course. Don’t go all “harmful UV rays” on me. God made the sun, the sun is good, we need Vitamin D from the sun, amen and amen. I don’t overdo it, but still, sunshine is my very favorite thing about summertime.)

Now, women shall not live on sunshine alone. (I mean, we also need butter. Duh.)

In celebration of summer (and sunshine!) (and sure, butter. why not?) – I’ve teamed up with 11 other bloggers to share many chances for you to win some of our very favorite things for summertime. What’s included in our Heavenly Homemakers favorite summer things giveaway?

  • A “Night Owl” Flexi-Clip from Lilla Rose (valued at $14.00)
  • A Half-Tee Tank from Deborah and Co. (valued at $17.99)
  • 1/2 pound of Vanilla Beans from Olive Nation (valued at $39.95)
  • Bug Block Bar, BeeSilk Stick, and Peppermint Lip Balm from MadeOn (valued at $29.10)
  • Stainless Steel Fruit Slicer, Pastry Blender, and Mini Slotted Turner from Paula’s Bread (valued at $24.99)
  • My very own Oh, For Real Cookbook (valued at $25.95)

Altogether, that’s over $150 worth of my favorite items for summertime. You can win all of it!

summer giveaway4

Why are these my favorite things for summer?

  • I keep my hair pulled back in my Lilla Rose Flexi-Clip all summer long.
  • I wear my Half-Tee Tank from Deborah and Co. under my summer dresses and tank tops for modesty and comfort.
  • I start a batch of homemade vanilla extract with Vanilla Beans from Olive Nation in June so that it will be ready to give as gifts at Christmastime.
  • I safely protect my family from mosquito bits with MadeOn’s Bug Block Bar – and I use BeeSilk Stick, and Peppermint Lip Balm every single day of the year.
  • I use a Stainless Steel Fruit Slicer, Pastry Blender, and Mini Slotted Turner from Paula’s Bread for fresh summer produce and fun summer dishes.
  • I use my Oh, For Real Cookbook pretty much alllllll the time.

Simply leave a comment on this post for a chance to win this entire package. I will draw a random winner on Monday, June 1. Be watching for a post stating the winner!

Are you new to Heavenly Homemakers? Sweet! I have the greatest readers ever, and I’d love for you to be one of them. Subscribe (for free!) to receive our daily(ish) newsletter which includes everything from easy real food recipes to encouragement in your marriage or parenting to really ridiculous thoughts that you should read at your own risk.

Here’s my latest craze: coming up with recipes that are delicious but low in sugar. Check out the low sugar treats I’ve come up with so far, then be watching for this Low Sugar Strawberry Cheesecake Parfait recipe coming within the next week or so. It is incredible!

Strawberry Cheesecake Parfait - Coming Soon

See you back here soon!


Want a chance to win even more of these wonderful Favorite Things for Summer Giveaways? Click around on all the blogs below to see what they love about summer and to enter their giveaway too!

1. Thriving Home // 2. Happy Money Saver // 3. Happy Home Fairy // 4. Heavenly Homemakers // 5. Kitchen Stewardship // 6. Nourishing Joy // 7. The Nourishing Home // 8. Intoxicated on Life // 9. Tried and Tasty // 10. The Frugal Girl //11. Mommy Hates Cooking // 12. Stephanie Blue

favorite things summer 1

Here’s a little bit about each of these bloggers:

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Thriving Home

Friends and stay-at-home moms, Rachel and Polly, began Thriving Home in 2012 as a way to encourage and equip moms in several areas of home life. They share healthy kid-friendly recipes, evangelize about freezer cooking as well as documenting many other topics relating to running a home and family including a few spectacular parenting failures from time to time. Swing by to join in on their crazy journey through parenthood.


Tried and Tasty

TriedandTasty.com is a premium and well established recipe blog with a friendly, conversational writing style paired with magazine quality food photography. The recipes are typically very health conscious, with rich and decadent desserts occasionally included for good measure. TriedandTasty.com has a loyal following of ‘foodies’ and is gaining new followers every day thanks to its recipes being featured on the websites of high profile magazines, news outlets, popular Facebook pages, Pinterest boards, and more.

logoHeavenly Homemakers

Laura Coppinger and her husband have four sons ages 10-17. HeavenlyHomemakers.com is dedicated to inspiring women daily with healthy (and easy!) recipes, homemaking tips, spiritual encouragement, and good ol’ clean fun.

logoMommy Hates Cooking

Mommy Hates Cooking is a national cooking and lifestyle website that encourages families to take back the dinner table. Through her easy-to-prepare (yet looks like you spent all day in the kitchen) meals and her knack for breaking down meal planning, Kristy has become the busy-mom’s resource for the modern family.

Kitchen Stewardship Chalkboard Logo - BlackKitchen Stewardship

The mission of Kitchen Stewardship is to present healthy living in bite-sized baby steps, challenging people to make positive changes in their kitchens without being overwhelmed, and providing tools to balance a family’s health, budget, time and the environment. Katie Kimball and her team share family-friendly whole foods recipes, weekly challenges, and science-geek research on what’s healthy and what’s not.

logoNourishing Joy

Nourishing Joy is dedicated to real food and natural living. We’re on a mission to equip and inspire parents like you with the tools to make intentional, thoughtful decisions that work for YOUR family easy. Or at least easier.

happyhomefairy facebook pageHappy Home Fairy

Julie Brasington is the creator of Happy Home Fairy, a popular blog focusing on encouraging and equipping moms to choose joy on the parenting journey. She shares easy craft ideas, FREE printables, simple recipes, corny jokes, holiday fun, thoughts on raising her 2 boys, and honest, heartfelt messages to uplift the weary mama. bbb

Happy Money Saver

Happy Money Saver is a website that has a growing population of readers who are passionate about saving money, homesteading, gardening, cooking from scratch, freezer meals, DIY projects and embracing their dreams.

logo3Stephanie Blue

At Stephanie Blue, I blog about my passions: natural living and essential oils. My purpose is to bring hope to moms and help them discover ways to strengthen their families physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially.

frugal girlThe Frugal Girl

The Frugal Girl is all about living cheerfully (and well!) on less. Get recipes, DIY tips, painting ideas, photography tips, green living inspiration, and more from Kristen, a homeschooling mom of four.

IOL_Header_Design_no_taglineIntoxicated on Life

Intoxicated on Life is a resource for families who are looking to raise healthy families – body, mind, and soul. They cover a wide range of topics from healthy gluten-free recipes, to godly parenting, homeschooling resources, and more!

TNH Grab buttonThe Nourishing Home

The Nourishing Home provides family-friendly GF recipes, free weekly whole food meal plans, helpful cooking tips and techniques, and lots of encouragement to help you in your journey to live a more nourished life.

Leave a comment on this post to enter to win our $150 package of my favorite things for summer. Now let’s all go outside and get us some sunshine. Woohoo…summer!

This post contains affiliate links.

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Cinnamon Sticks for Summertime ~ 10 Great Uses and 10 FREE Cinnamon Sticks (Through Monday Only!!)

cinnamon sticks flower pot 2

I have had the most fun day today. We bid farewell to the last of our graduation guests yesterday (sniff), then I spent the entire day today playing with cinnamon sticks. Say what??! Trust me. I’m pretty sure you’ll want to spend a couple of hours playing with cinnamon sticks too after you read this and see all of the {free} cinnamon stick summer fun to be had.

How did this cinnamon stick fun all come about? Well, we’ve worked with Amit from Olive Nation for the past few years – offering you all a discount on high quality vanilla beans to make Homemade Vanilla Extract. Last week he told me he’d like to offer all of us here at Heavenly Homemakers some sort of deal on another of the products he carries. Then he let me know that he had a huge supply of cinnamon sticks to share with you all – FOR FREE. I couldn’t say no to that, now could I?

Olive Nation Cinnamon Sticks

Just like Olive Nation’s vanilla beans, I could tell a big difference in the quality of their cinnamon sticks – so big a difference that I took a picture of them side by side. Olive Nation’s sticks are bigger, more fragrant, and just overall much, much nicer than others I’ve purchased from other sources. This doesn’t surprise me. Olive Nation products always rise above the rest. (Yet their prices are still reasonable. I love this.)

So now…free cinnamon sticks for everyone sure is a fun treat! But cinnamon sticks in the summer? I typically think of them as something to use in the fall. This led me to do a little research. What can we do with cinnamon sticks in the summertime?

THIS is the part where I become giddy. I have found so many awesome uses for these this summer! Not to mention I’ve discovered that cinnamon sticks are wonderful for our health. Cinnamon can help lower cholesterol levels, aid in pain relief,  help with digestion, help us avoid bladder infections, and help regulate blood sugar levels. And that’s just the beginning.

First I’m going to share 10 great ways we should all use Cinnamon Sticks this summer. Then I’m going to tell you how to get a free package of 10 high quality, fragrant cinnamon sticks. (Oh my goodness, this job of handing out ideas and free stuff is so much fun!)

Special thanks to my son Asa who used his talent with his brand new camera to help me get some wonderful shots of our cinnamon projects today.

10 Great Uses for Cinnamon Sticks - The Summer Edition

10 Ways to Use Cinnamon Sticks in the Summertime

1. Use Cinnamon Sticks as a Natural Insect Repellent.

Insects don’t like the smell of cinnamon (silly little bugs). Plus they don’t like the feel of powdered cinnamon. Grate a cinnamon stick then sprinkle it around any place (inside or outside) you’re trying to get rid of ants or other annoying bugs. You can even sprinkle it around your kids’ sandbox to keep the bugs away. Brilliant!

Want to avoid mosquitoes? Put a small citronella candle inside a jar. Tie or clue cinnamon sticks around the outside of the jar. Light the candle outside while you’re sitting around visiting and enjoying the summer weather. Insects are turned off by the smell of the cinnamon and citronella, and you can enjoy the scent plus the freedom from bugs!

Cinnamon Stick Citronella Candle

2. Treat an insect bite.

Bugs already got to ya? Mix up a little bit of honey and ground cinnamon. It will alleviate pain and itching. At the same time, this honey/cinnamon combination will disinfect the area while moisturizing and healing. Amazing.

3. Make a Cinnamon Stick Flower Pot

This is not only a great way to repel bugs inside and outside – it is super adorable! Hot glue 25-30 cinnamon sticks around a flower pot. Tie a ribbon around the cinnamon sticks to complete the project. I can’t stop staring at my flower pot in all its cuteness!

Cinnamon Stick Flower Pot

4. Make Cinnamon Apple Infused Water for a refreshing detox drink on a warm day.

Or use fresh or frozen pineapple with cinnamon sticks instead. Either way, you’ll have a cool, refreshing drink that is good for your system. Simply slice one apple (any variety) into a quart jar. Add 1-3 cinnamon sticks. Fill jar with water. Allow mixture to sit for a few hours to infuse. Chill and serve.

Refreshing Apple and Cinnamon Infused Detox Water

5. Start a batch of Cinnamon Extract for Christmas gifts.

I am so excited about this one!! After all my years of making Vanilla Extract, I’m venturing out to make other extracts – beginning with Cinnamon Extract. (Watch for other fun extract recipes soon!)

How to Make Cinnamon Extract: Place three cinnamon sticks in one cup of brandy, rum, or vodka. Store in a dark place (such as a kitchen cabinet). Shake the jar about once each day for two weeks. Voila. Merry Cinnamon Extract Christmas to the family this year. (Don’t tell them how easy and inexpensive this is.)

Homemade Cinnamon Extract

6. Make All Natural Cinnamon Orange Cleaning Spray.

Here’s a fresh idea for non-toxic cleaning!

Fill a quart jar about 3/4 full of distilled white vinegar. Add 3-4 cinnamon sticks and 1-2 oranges worth of orange peel. Secure lid. Store in a dark place (such as a kitchen cabinet) for two weeks, then strain out cinnamon sticks and orange peel to transfer liquid to a spray bottle. This is so simple and inexpensive!

And here’s another great cleaning option: Put a Cinnamon Stick into a cleaning bottle with attached sponge (like the purple one pictured below) for a fresh, cleaning fragrance.

Cinnamon Orange All-Purpose Cleaner

7. Grate a piece of cinnamon stick into yogurt or add it to a smoothie for a refreshing summer meal or snack.

What a great way to add deliciousness to a cool treat! You can also grate cinnamon into your coffee or tea.

8. Make Cinnamon Pancake and Waffle Syrup

Yes, yes, yes. Make this. Bottle it up for gifts or enjoy it at your own breakfast table. It is super easy to make and crazy delicious.

Cinnamon Pancake and Waffle Syrup Recipe

1 1/2 cups water
3 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
1 cup sucanat

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Cover and allow mixture to steep for 15 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks. Store Cinnamon Pancake and Waffle Syrup in a jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Cinnamon Pancake and Waffle Syrup

9. Make Cinnamon Infused Sugar

It does not get any easier than this. I’ll be including a jar of this sugar with my Christmas gifts of Cinnamon Extract. I should also include a loaf of bread and a stick of butter – then my recipients would be set.

Cinnamon Infused Sugar Recipe

1 cinnamon stick
2 cups sugar, brown sugar, or sucanat

Put the cinnamon stick into a jar. Cover it with sugar. Secure a lid on the jar. Shake the jar once each day for two weeks. Use cinnamon infused sugar on buttered toast, in coffee, or any way you would typically use cinnamon sugar. Continue to refill the jar with sugar as the cinnamon stick will continue to flavor it for quite some time.

Cinnamon Infused Sugar

10. Boost your energy!

Feeling tired, lethargic, or low on energy? Pull out a cinnamon stick and give it a whiff. It’ll help you find your focus. Who knew? Easiest energy boost ever. From now on, I’ll be keeping cinnamon sticks at my desk. Hmmm…just took a whiff of one right now. Perfect.

You Can Reuse Cinnamon Sticks

Save $$. Get more than one use out of your cinnamon sticks!

To reuse your cinnamon stick, simply rinse it under hot water then allow it to dry. Run the stick over a grater a few times to release the flavor. Do this up to 5 times before discarding. Way to get a lot of bang for your buck!

And now for the freebie. (We do have to pay shipping on this freebie. It’s only fair. Read all the details below for my suggestions on getting the best deal possible.)

This weekend only, we can all get a free package of 10 high quality cinnamon sticks from Olive Nation!!!

Here’s how this works:

Click here to find the special sales page created just for us. (That’s my referral link.) Add one package of ten free cinnamon sticks to your cart. You can check out directly, paying a small shipping fee (about $4.00). Your free cinnamon sticks will arrive within just a few days! Or, I recommend the following…

More Deals and Discount Options:

I recommend getting more bang for your shipping dollars by ordering more products like additional Cinnamon Sticks or some Vanilla Beans to make homemade vanilla. I also really like all their varieties of tea.

  • Use the code home to receive 10% off your entire order.
  • OR, if you spend $50 or more, you can use the code FREESHIP to avoid paying a shipping fee altogether. (Free shipping is always the way to go if you ask me. I love these cinnamon sticks so much and I super love the Olive Nation vanilla beans. I have gifts to make with cinnamon sticks and vanilla beans. So I’m going to order those and go for the free shipping along with my free cinnamon sticks!)

Important to Note:

  • You may only use one coupon code per order, so figure out which is best to go along with your free cinnamon sticks: Get 10% off with the code home; or get free shipping on a $50 order with the code FREESHIP.
  • The free cinnamon sticks are only for the first 1,000 of you who order. Don’t put it off or you might miss out!

Want another freebie to go with the free cinnamon sticks?

Download a page of free printable labels to go with the gifts you might choose to make: Cinnamon Extract, Cinnamon Sugar, Cinnamon Orange All Purpose Cleaner, and Cinnamon Pancake and Waffle Syrup. Attach them to your jars and bottles, tie with a ribbon, and you’ve got an adorable, inexpensive, and useful gift!

cinnamon printable

Download Your Free Cinnamon Labels Here.

Leave a comment to tell us what you’re going to make first when you get your free cinnamon sticks!

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Graduation Party A’ La Awesome

You know how boring I am when it comes to picking paint colors for my walls? (“Eh, should we go with white…or off white?”) That’s pretty much how I think when it comes to throwing parties.

For our son’s graduation party last week, I was thinking of serving something exciting like eh…cake and punch? Thankfully, I teamed up with two other moms for the occasion, celebrating our three graduates together in our church fellowship hall. This meant that the buffet table was amazing and if you can believe it – since mine wasn’t the only brain involved in the planning – the tables featured none other than…decorations. (I mean, I would have at least pulled out some table cloths. Though I would have had a very difficult time choosing between white or off white.)

Aside from pitching in on the overall cost and the work involved in putting something like this together, my only food assignment was to order a cake and cupcakes and to arrange for a popcorn machine.

Check out these cupcakes! We were soooo pleased with these – and would you believe, they were made by a 10 year-old girl who is already running her own business? These trays were completely empty within 30 minutes of the party starting. Obviously, I didn’t order enough. They were incredible cupcakes!

grad party 1

We chose to put a scripture on the cake instead of the graduates names. Asa’s biggest request was that he didn’t want a freaky frosting color that would turn all the guest’s teeth freaky colors. Therefore we went with white frosting with a white border. Hmm. Now I’m wondering if we should have gone with off white. (Relax. I’m kidding.)

grad party 2

The popcorn machine was running the entire two hours of the party, and our friends set up a fun stacked oreo cake.

grad party 3

The most amazing part of the food buffet was the Crostini Bar the other moms came up with. I’d never seen anything like it. It was gorgeous!

grad party 6

The table featured crusty breads, meats, cheeses, dips, spreads, grapes, and meatballs.

grad party 4

See how much better that is than a simple table of cake and punch? Though I will say that I’m noticing several lovely shades of white and off white in the bread baskets there.

grad party 5

Last but not least – my favorite part of our graduation party: Our very own godly graduate:

grad party 7

Asa was so honored by all the people that showed up to celebrate with him that day. Over 200 people came and went. It was every kind of awesome.

I cannot tell you how much we loved this day. God is so good to bless us with such a wonderful celebration with so many wonderful people. I’ve been reveling in the memories all week long (in between taking naps).

So, what’s your favorite: white or off white? (That is soooo not a real question. I just couldn’t resist.)

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A Surrendered Heart: It’s a Choice

Welcome to A Surrendered Heart: A Wife’s Journey to Love the Jesus Way. Click on the “Leave a Comment” button on each post to add your thoughts, experiences, and suggestions to the discussion. If you are a newsletter subscriber, please click through to this post on my website to add your comments to the discussion to be read by everyone. I look forward to hearing what you have to say! God be praised for the gift of marriage and for allowing us to grow in Him.

Read Lesson 1:  Why I Married This Guy
Read Lesson 2: So, What Does Your Husband Do?
Read Lesson 3: How Selfish is Your Prayer?
Read Lesson 4: Serve Because I Want To

Surrendered Heart Lesson 5

My husband is not perfect. (Beginning first with the fact that he chose to marry an imperfect woman. That would be me.)

Every day I have to choose how I respond to each imperfection displayed in my husband. When he is forgetful, how will I respond? When he isn’t working within my time frame, how will I respond? When he doesn’t see things from my point of view, how will I respond?

It is way too easy to respond to imperfections with annoyance and frustration. If you’re like me, you’ve found that if you’re annoyed at one thing, it’s very easy to become annoyed with twelve other things too. I certainly don’t need to be a “shrug everything off” wife, offering a giggle and a kiss each time my husband’s human side shows. But nothing justifies my ugly and sinful response. Nothing.

You and I have some choices to make. We can choose to love the Jesus way – in complete surrender – letting the Holy Spirit be at work; or we can take a nice long soak in an ugly puddle of selfishness. Why we would ever choose the latter is beyond me. But because of our human tendency to look inward as we try to problem solve without the help of Jesus, I fear that you and I too often find ourselves plopped right down in that muddy pit.

Too often we can find ourselves in a state of fear, worry, and frustration as we refuse to give up the control that ironically – we don’t even have in the first place. As we make our choices, we need to recognize this truth: When we refuse to let go of control, we are very much out of control. When we let go, surrendering our hearts to Jesus’ control – everything suddenly becomes peaceful. Problems may not vanish, but the peace is there, even if it passes understanding.

So how do we do this? How do we choose the right way? How do we make the choice to love our husband the Jesus way?

Luke 92324

Download Follow Me Printable Here

Two key points come from this verse:

  1. We must deny self.
  2. We must take up our cross daily.

Today. Then again tomorrow. And also the day after that. We have to deny our selfish thoughts and actions daily. Jesus commanded this because He knew that Satan would see to it that our selfish side would constantly fight to win our mind and heart focus. We must make the choice daily to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Jesus.

The result? Peace. Joy. Love. The fruit of the Spirit at work in a surrendered heart.

Take some time now to put your godly choices in writing.

Today I Choose

Download Today I Choose Printable Here

If you and I choose to let the Spirit work in our hearts – loving our husbands (and others) the Jesus way will be a peaceful and joyful effort. It is a choice. Which choice will you make?

Up For Discussion…Share With Us!

  • Share some ways you find that it is easy to love your husband!
  • What does it look like to “deny yourself and take up your cross daily?”
  • What ways can you choose to love your husband in a more Christ-like way?
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Low Sugar Lemon Loaf ~ a knock off of a Starbucks knock off

Ever had the Starbucks Lemon Loaf? Me neither. But I’ve seen it in their display case and it looks divine.

Recently I came across a recipe knock-off for the famous loaf. Therefore, I decided to make a knock-off of the knock-off. I’m guessing that by now, this recipe barely even resembles the Starbucks variety – except for the part about it being a loaf and being lemony. But yay for recipe inspiration! My family agrees that this recipe is a keeper.

Pucker up, by the way. This bread packs a wonderful, lemony punch. I don’t recommend that you eat this Lemon Bread with Lemon Water unless you want to make funny faces at your family all through breakfast. Come to think of it – definitely do eat the lemon bread with the lemon water. Take selfies. Report back to me.

Or you could just have this bread with coffee or milk. But that would just be sooooo normal.

Low Sugar Lemon Bread2

Low Sugar Lemon Bread

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup sucanat or brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup melted coconut oil

Stir together dry ingredients. Add eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, melted butter, and melted coconut oil. Mix well and pour into a buttered loaf pan. Bake in a 350° for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Poke hot loaf of bread with said toothpick several times, then pour lemon glaze over the top to coat completely.

Allow the loaf to sit in the pan for 10-15 minutes before removing. Cool on a plate.

Lemon Glaze

3 Tablespoons honey
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Stir ingredients together in a small saucepan over low heat until well combined. Pour over warm bread.

Low Sugar Lemon Bread

Ever tried the Starbucks Lemon Loaf? (P.S. I don’t even like the taste of Starbucks coffee. Is it just me?)

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54 Ounces of Organic Coconut Oil – As Low as $18.67!

carrington farms coconut oil

Here’s a super price for you on coconut oil that is:

  • organic
  • unrefined (has a light, coconut flavor)
  • cold pressed

If you buy it straight from Amazon today, it is $21.97 – a great price for coconut oil of this quality! But if you add it to your subscribe and save order, you’ll get a 15% discount – making it as low as $18.67. Snatch this up!

Grab your tub of Carrington Farms Extra Virgin Coconut Oil here.

This post contains affiliate links.

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If I Only Had a Brain


I miss you. How are ya?

Me? Well – I’m wonderful, relishing in all the goodness of our weekend. Our company is wonderful. Graduation and all the celebrations were wonderful. I loved it all so much and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

However, I am so tired I can’t finish my…


Just ask my family. I’ve been saying the dumbest things ever since the graduation party ended yesterday. I’ve been giggling over pretty much nothing. And today I drove us across town to Malachi’s piano mini-recital only to realize that once we were inside the building – I had taken us all to the wrong retirement home. So just picture me completely brainless and loopy. That pretty much sums it up.

We’re eating leftovers, playing games (that I’m definitely not winning), and visiting with the four guests that are remaining after all the hubbub of the weekend. It is awesome and I love it!

I have pictures to share, so as soon as I find my words and a smidgen of energy, I’ll be back. Happy Gratituesday!

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My Favorite Soaps Are BOGO! Plus Free Shipping Weekend at Tropical Traditions!


These soaps from Tropical Traditions are my very, very favorite! They are absolutely pure and safe for the skin. They are also beneficial for the health of our skin because they are made from coconut oil. This weekend, they are on sale buy-one-get-one-free - so I recommend that we all stock up!

soap tropical traditions 2

Oh, and guess what else?! It’s a free shipping weekend at Tropical Traditions, so if you spend at least $19.00, enter the code 11515 and you’ll get your order shipped for free. Love this!

Our family also has these Liquid Soap Pumps at our bathroom and kitchen sinks. They are buy-one-get-one-free right now too.

soap tropical traditions 1

On a soapless note, Tropical Traditions Organic Raw Honey is 50% off. This is a deliciously creamy honey!

soap tropical traditions 3

Enjoy these great deals from Tropical Traditions, especially taking advantage of their free shipping offer (code 11515).

One more thing:  New customers with Tropical Traditions automatically receive a free Virgin Coconut Oil Book (full of great information and recipes) with your order.

So, awesome deals all around. Have a great weekend! We’re celebrating Asa’s graduation with a houseful of family on Saturday, then a church fellowship hall full of many, many loved ones on Sunday!

This post contains referral links.

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My Favorite Cheesecake Factory Salad Makeover

Who goes to the Cheesecake Factory to get a salad???? This girl. I’ve only been there a few times, but I found a salad there that I love soooo much. This begs the question: A salad? At cheesecake factory? Why?

See, here’s the thing. When one goes to the Cheesecake Factory, one wants to enjoy the cheesecake right? Therefore, eating a salad as a meal preceding the cheesecake makes perfect sense. One must save room for the cheesecake! That is how I discovered this salad. Or a salad much like this.

I believe the salad I ordered at Cheesecake Factory had chopped apples and some chicken in it too (but it’s been about a year since I’ve been there so I can’t remember all the specifics). Add those to this if you like. All I know is that this salad is so good that our family devoured a huge bowl of it – two days in a row. And I want to make it again tomorrow.

Helpful hint: Want to get your kids to like salad? Add BACON.

BLT Chopped Salad with Feta Cheese

BLT Chopped Salad with Feta Cheese

6 cups chopped mixed greens, lettuce, or spinach (any combination you like)
2 chopped tomatoes
1/2 pound bacon, cut into bites, cooked, and drained
1-2 cups sweet corn, cooked and cooled
1-2 chopped avocado
4 ounces feta cheese crumbles


2 Tablespoons olive oil
Juice of one lime (about 2 Tablespoons)
salt and pepper to taste (I  put in a few shakes of each)

Toss salad ingredients into a large bowl. In a small jar, shake together dressing ingredients. Pour over salad and toss. Serve right away!

This is a perfect spring or summertime meal. I think I could eat this every day. And believe it or not, I don’t even have to have cheesecake afterward. :)

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All Kinds of Great Deals from Lilla Rose (and our giveaway winners)

The 3 winners of a free Lilla Rose You-Pin are:

1) Sue D: slrdowney@
2) Karen: bluebarnbulletin@
3) Lynette Karg: netteshome@

Ladies, email me and I’ll forward your info to Paula at Lilla Rose!

And now everyone, look at this!!

Color Basics Sale

Thursday and Friday, Lilla Rose is offering free shipping on orders over $40, and 10% off their very pretty new “Color Basics Line.”

The best news yet! You may combine this sale with the Heavenly Homemakers’ Buy 3 Get 1 Free Special!! Here’s a reminder about this offer:

Special offer for Heavenly Homemakers readers only!  Get a FREE SURPRISE FLEXI when you place an order for three or more items!*

*Place an order for three or more items through Paula’s website, then message her to redeem your free surprise flexi! Offer valid for U.S. customers only and expires May 16, 2015. This is for both new and Paula’s returning customers, but if you already have another Lilla Rose consultant, please stay with her; I’m sure she will appreciate it! Thank you!

Help support LIFE! All proceeds from purchases made through Paula’s website through this promotional period will be donated to pro-life and adoption ministries. Read more about this fantastic opportunity to bless others HERE.

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