A Bed That is Made and Why That is Encouraging

Many times I hear myself in “mama mode”…

“Clean the table.”

“Sweep the floor.”

“Was out the bathroom sink.”

“Where are your shoes?!”

“Let’s go! We’re going to be late!” (again)

But on occasion, I am blessed that God sees fit to show me the littlest things to remind me that all of my attempts at this mama thing are not going unnoticed.

The smallest things usually.

MCS-A-Bed-That-Is-MadeLike a bed that is made up nice and neat. Without mama asking. And done beautifully.

My measly attempts as a mama feel hard and I’m positive that most days I am a complete and utter failure. So I am thankful for the fact that today, my attempts seem to be making an impact.

In this made bed I see a future.

A future wife.

A future mama.

A future homemaker.

A future caregiver.

A future nurturer.

A future woman that does…even when she doesn’t want to.

This is what one little made bed shows me.

And I am thankful that God sees fit to include me in His great works by allowing me to peek into the future that He has already laid out.

And because of His graciousness and thoughtfulness, I can do this mama thing one more day.

In His Grace.

Callie

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The Old Schoolhouse 2015 Annual PRINT Edition NOW AVAILABLE

If you haven’t already now is the time to place your order for the Annual PRINT Edition of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine for 2015.

I am in total LOVE with the physical copy that gets printed every year. There is just something amazing about flipping through a gigantic print of the best homeschool articles. The encouragement, the new products, and oh so much more!

You can pick up YOUR copy right now for only * $10.00 (United States). This price will increase to $15.00 in mid-February, so order today to save some money!

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You’ll get a year’s worth of support in over 250 pages in this full color one-of-a-kind PRINT magazine for and by homeschoolers! Featuring original articles by Deborah Wuehler, Todd Wilson, Heidi St. John, and more!

Seriously, what are you waiting for?!

This opportunity will not last long and I cannot believe that you would want to  miss out on some of the BEST homeschool encouragement anywhere!

Expect this to arrive in your mailbox 6-8 weeks from print date which is mid-March 2015.

Once THIS BIG GLOSSY BUNCH OF GOODNESS arrives, clear your schedule, grab a cup of coffee, and get to reading!

In His Grace.

Callie

* $34.95 Canada and $39.95 International

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Fragrance Friday {Scentsy Pick of the Week} – Orange Amber

MCS-FF-OrangeAmber-Collage

For a few years now I have been selling Scentsy smelly stuff and pretty household decorations to those around me. I LOVE the scented wax and all of the pretties that go along with them!

Warmers
Scented Wax
Room Sprays
Scent Paks
Buddies
Laundry Products
Bath Products

Today I am sharing my pick of the week from the current Scentsy catalog, along with the product link on my direct selling site.

- This week I have picked – Orange Amber as my Scentsy Scent of the Week -

I hope you find something you LOVE and please feel free to message me with any questions about the Scentsy products or the company itself, I would be happy to help!

You can visit my personal Scentsy site, Mama Loves Smelly Stuff, any time to check out the current specials, place an order, set up a party and so much more!

In His Grace.

Callie

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A Busy Mom and The Ultimate DIY Bundle


I’m delighted to share The Ultimate DIY Bundle with you this morning. Read on to find out more…

There aren’t enough hours in the day, right? With work, helping the kids with their schoolwork, preparing meals, cleaning up after everyone and putting yet another load of laundry on, there’s very little time for sleep – let alone DIY and crafting! Am I right mamas?! I know…me too…

But do you look at that bare wall in the den and that tatty tablecloth on the kitchen table, and just wish you had a few hours to do something about them? Or do you browse through those wonderful crafting successes on Pinterest and think to yourself that “one day” you’ll have a few more minutes to yourself so that you too can create something incredible?

You’re not alone – there’s a huge community of people out there who are feeling just as frustrated as you are!

Thankfully though, there’s an exciting new product to help you quickly and easily get into (or back into) the creative projects you’ve been desperate to start. It’s called The Ultimate DIY Bundle, and it’s a collection of carefully curated DIY and crafting eBooks and eCourses from the world’s leading authors and bloggers in the industry.

For the crazy low price of just $34.95, you get access to a carefully curated library of over 85 eBooks and eCourses. And let me reassure you that this really is great value: the Ultimate Bundles team (who produced the resource) has spent MONTHS seeking out the most respected experts in the industry and asking them to contribute their premium-quality eBooks and eCourses. These really are the best of the best when it comes to DIY and crafting advice and information.

Topics in the bundle include:

  • Home decor
  • Furniture painting
  • Photography
  • Chalk pastels
  • Handmade gifts
  • Homemade skincare products
  • Cake decorating
  • Photography and photo-editing
  • Paint colors and interior design
  • …and a whole lot more (86 eBooks and eCourses in total) – to help you be inspired or get started with your next DIY or crafting project!

There’s no need to worry about information overload though: The Ultimate DIY Bundle comes with a complete guide to getting started, so that you can know exactly which resource to use for your specific crafting or DIY project and jump straight into it with confidence!

Hurry though! The Ultimate DIY Bundle will only be on sale for 6 days – from 8am EST on Wednesday, January 21 until 11.59pm EST on Monday, January 26.

You can buy with complete confidence because you’re covered by the Ultimate Bundles 30-day money-back guarantee. That means you have a full 30 days to enjoy all the eBooks and eCourses in the bundle, and if you don’t think they provided enough value, you’ll get a full refund.

Not only that, but The Ultimate DIY Bundle comes with 4 awesome bonuses, worth over $118. That’s 3x the price of the bundle alone! These include…

A free $15 Store Credit PLUS 8×10 Art Print from Hope Ink ($43 Value), a free online class from Craftsy (up to $60 Value), free $15 store credit to Fawnsberg.com, and a free sewing pattern PLUS a Premium Video Class from UpCraft Club ($19.99 Value).

So, don’t miss your chance to grab The Ultimate DIY Bundle, and get 85 incredible eBooks and eCourses for just $34.95. All you need to do is take action by midnight on Monday, January 26!

This amazing deal ends in just…

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Pick up your copy right now, before it’s too late. Or, learn more here.

 

I know you will appreciate all of the amazing products in this Ultimate DIY Bundle, I know I will!

In His Grace.

Callie

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15 Ways to Date Your Spouse for Under $25

Mamas Coffee Shop 15 Ways to Date Your Spouse for Under $25

If you have been married more than a year you might already be in need of some ideas that allow you to date your spouse without breaking the bank.

Usually at this stage in a marriage the novelty can be wearing off of that honeymoon mentality and you may have already started a family. Maybe you are down to one paycheck and seriously your marriage needs a boost!

This post will allow you to pick and choose some entirely romantic dates that you can plan before hand or even ones for the last moment, thanks to the babysitter you were just blessed with for a few hours!

I have mentioned some ways before on how you make dates from practically nothing but this post will show you that even with a little cash, you can make a date one that will be remembered with delight and sweet memories.

1. A Movie – it might have to be an afternoon movie, to keep the cost in the right range, but hey, a movie that isn’t Disney?! Yeah…

2. Take a Hike – literally. This one comes in close to FREE if you plan it right. Most local State Parks have free admission but even if they don’t, $10 bucks could get you in for all day!

3. Breakfast – you can do this and then some. Starbucks a favorite of yours? Then head out to share a good cup of coffee and one of their yummy breakfast treats. It is okay to splurge on good coffee…I should know!

4. Lunch – a real meal at a restaurant. Yes, you can do this for under $25. You find the places like Applebee’s that has a special lunch menu and you split an appetizer and maybe even a dessert!

5. Dinner – if you like pizza, then head to the local pizza buffet. Local to us we have Stevie B’s but there is also CiCi’s that does the buffet. Easy, fun, and on the cheap!

6. Go Out of Town for the Day – not possible you say?! I’m not talking another state, well, if you are close enough to the state line…maybe…grab some snacks from the house, put some gas in the car and head out to explore a nearby town. This might require some research but make it an adventure you won’t forget!

7. Movie Night – at home. Make is spectacular and go all out. If you have little ones, make this a special treat for them too…a fun dinner for them and then off to bed early for them. Pop some popcorn, dress it up anyway you want, have some chocolate, put your jammies on, snuggle on the sofa, and just enjoy each other and your movie. A new one or a favorite classic you both enjoy.

8. A Picnic – is always a fun idea. Pick your favorite spot and then pack some delicious treats to enjoy. Splurge on extras you don’t usually have to make it extra special. Don’t forget the blanket!

9. Ice Cream or Frozen Yogurt – is always a nice treat. With so many frozen yogurt places popping up lately, this one would be an easier one to set up. Plan on going well after a meal so that your “healthy” yogurt can be loaded with sweet treats!

10. Go to a Video Arcade – yes, these places still exist. Divvy up your allotted spending money and then set out to have an incredibly fun time! Compete against each other or set some goals to break some old records you might still have.

11. Go Roller Skating – yes, I’m serious. Didn’t you go roller skating when you were younger and it was cool? Then relive those memories with your sweetheart. A few hours of laughs will do you both a world of good!

12. Go for a Bike Ride – bicycles or motorcycle will do. We have a preference for a motorcycle but bicycles are totally awesome too! The point is, taking much needed time for both of you.

13. Prowl through an Old Bookstore – just to see what you can see. This would be fun but mind your spending limit…even if you find that rare gem of a story!

14. Go to a Museum – any museum will do. Most are free but some may cost a little. Stroll hand in hand and really take time to take in the art, the history, the act of being alone yet together.

15. Go to a Carnival – yep, that little one down the street will do just fine. Spend your allotted cash and ride those rides, laugh out loud, eat some carnival food, and make those memories!

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, but these are a perfect way to spend some amazing quality time with your favorite person and not coming close to breaking the bank!

In His Grace.

Callie

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** Coming Tomorrow **

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{Book Review} Why Choosing Him All Over Again by Juana Mikels is Important

ChoosingHim

“A good marriage is not something you find, but something you make.” Juana Mikels

There are days that I know it is wrong to hold onto my anger, but yet at the same time I feel justified for the anger.

Why do I always have to be the one that says, “I’m sorry”?

Shouldn’t he be the one this time? Do I always have to be the “better person”?

The short answer.

Yes.

The long answer.

Yes. Because how Christlike is it to steep in your “justified anger”? If you want to win this man over for Christ, then you need to pray about what ever the situation may be, then approach your man with a heart full of forgiveness.

No, it is never easy to be the first to apologize (and really mean it). But is always the right thing to do.

No matter who starts the argument it is okay to be the first to apologize. And let me share with you why…

There once was a woman named Juana Mikels and she recently shared a story with me. Well, not just me, but it sure felt like it was for me. Her story was in the form of a book. A story that is raw, deep, and true. These are the effect her words had on me as I read Juana’s story.

Choosing Him All Over Again is a story about being lost, then being found, then finding redemption. It is a story about love, Jesus, and salvation. It is about marriage, hope, and truth.

I am not in the situation that Juana was but a lot of the truths that she spoke about were thoughts that I have often had as a wife.

You may ask why this book is so important. Here is why:

The world has such a skewed version of marriage. The world (the devil) sees marriage as a means to an end, selfishness is his end game. But the God says differently. He says that marriage is selfless and service to your spouse.

There are so many books written on marriage. I should know. I have read a lot of them. Unfortunately though, most are based on a secular (of the world) view of marriage and ultimately fail in being any help at all. They have little practical advice and zero Biblical advice.

You know the books:

  • “Do What Feels Right”
  • “Do What You Want”
  • “Say What You Feel”
  • “Live Like You Want”
  • “Marriage is All About You”
  • “Marriage Failing, Move On”

All of these are lies straight from the the devil’s mouth.

The world says that if your marriage is too hard, you can throw it away with a divorce. But God says it is fixable and an institution to be honored. The Bible also says that as you serve one another and keep Christ as the focal point and guiding light, you can make the “too hard” marriage into a marriage that glorifies Him.

In Choosing Him All Over Again we are brought into Juana’s world as she comes thought one of the hardest times in her life, a marriage that is broken and seemly broken beyond repair, she comes from no Jesus to the point of More Jesus and Less of Herself.

As you read Juana’s story you will see that the road often travelled is full of bumps, bruises, and misunderstandings. As you get further into her story you will see that as Juana grows as a Christian just how mightily and amazingly Christ can influence your marriage.

One of my favorite sections of the book is the reminder that physical intimacy is the will of God for marriages. Seriously.

“Make whatever changes you need to make to improve your physical intimacy together and make it as great as God designed it to be.” (page 106)

So Be Your Husband’s Wife Fully with God’s complete Blessing

If your marriage is on shaky ground, broken, full of discontent, anger, or anything that just doesn’t feel right, I urge you to pick up your copy of Juana’s book, Choosing Him All Over Again today. Honestly, even if your marriage seems spot on, grab your copy anyway, it is an incredibly encouraging book for any marriage.

You will have your eyes opened about things in your marriage. Things that you deemed acceptable, well, you might think differently after reading this book.

I have been truly blessed and encouraged with the words Juana has written.

God seriously can do the impossible. Juana proves that in her book.

In His Grace.

Callie

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Cream Cheese Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies {Recipe}

MamasCoffeeShop-Cream-Cheese-Cranberry-Chocolate-Chip-Cookies-2

There is a time and a place for soft, chewy cookies.

And in my house, that is Every. Single. Day.

Seriously.

I came across this recipe and I was impressed with the idea of adding cream cheese into my cookie dough.

I also learned a recent trick to cookie making that I didn’t know before. If you chill the dough, even for a a few minutes, it makes for a better cookie. I know right?! Who knew this?! And if they did, why in the world did they keep this tidbit of information to themselves?!

Also – Do not over bake your cookies. This is a HUGE error when you are looking for soft, chewy cookies. I know, I know, they don’t look done, but you Must Trust Me not this. If you are looking for just the right soft and chewy, you must follow the time correctly in the recipe. Okay? Okay.

Anyway…

As you can imagine, I did not keep the above recipe exactly the same, I tweaked it a bit.

Hubby asked if I could make a cranberry chocolate chip cookie not so long ago and this was the result of time and creativity.

I hope you enjoy the recipe as well as the cookies…they are seriously To. Die. For.

MamasCoffeeShop-Cream-Cheese-Cranberry-Chocolate-Chip-Cookies-1

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) softened to room temperature
  • 2 ounces cream cheese (use the guide on the package)
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips

Directions: 

In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together your butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add in your brown sugar and white sugar and blend until smooth.

Add in your egg, vanilla extract and mix until well combined.

In a separate large bowl combine your flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine.

Slowing add your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients. Mix by hand (using a spoon, lol) if need be to combine completely. Add in your cranberries and chips and mix until combined.

Put the dough into the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes. Too much longer and you will have rock hard dough which will be unmanageable.

Using a large cookie scoop or a kitchen tablespoon, make a ball of dough. As you put it on your cookie sheet, flatten the dough with your hand. This will allow them to bake evenly.

** Very Important ** Bake at 350º F for 8-9 minutes. The dough will look shiny and will still be slightly sticky. But when removed at this time, this will allow the cookies when completely cooled to be the most scrumptious soft batch cookies you will ever eat!

Leave the cookies to cool on the tray for at least 5 minutes, then remove to completely cool on your cooling rack. Grab a glass of milk, coffee, or hot tea and enjoy!

In His Grace.

Callie

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Motivate Your Child Giveaway from NCBP and Thomas Nelson Publishing

There is something about Christian parenting books that stirs up the devil.

He seriously does not want any parent relying on God, The Bible, or good parenting books based on Biblical truths.

I’ve mentioned before that if it is ordained by God then the devil wants nothing to do with it and will do everything in his power to make it fail.

Just look around mama, have you seen the world lately?!

It is not a good place to raise babies. Yet, we are called to do just that. Not just raise those babies but to guide them down the path and pray that they find, hold on, and then preach the good news.

One way for us to do that, is to make sure our parenting is spot on with what the Bible teaches. I, for one, am so incredibly grateful that there are people in the world that hear from God and write down the words He gives them. So in return they can be shared with us.

The National Center for Biblical Parenting is a wonderful organization that helps parents like you and me by providing the resources we need to help us parent the way God intended. Also, Thomas Nelson Publishing prints some of these incredible books just for you and me.

That being said…

To celebrate the release of Motivate Your Child: A Christian Parent’s Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told,  members of the Launch Team are sharing a wonderful giveaway filled with a Go Pro Camera, $50 Mardel Gift Card, $25 Amazon Gift Card, and book bundles from both the National Center for Biblical Parenting and Thomas Nelson Publishing! Three winners will win prizes with a total value of nearly $800!

motivate your child giveaway

Here’s what you could win:

GRAND PRIZE  ($500+ value)

Go Pro HERO3+ Silver Camera ($300 value)

HERO3+ Silver captures gorgeous, professional-quality 1080p60 video and 10MP photos at speeds of up to 10 frames per second. Built-in Wi-Fi enables you to use the GoPro App to control the camera remotely, preview shots and share your favorites on Facebook, Twitter and more. Compatible with all GoPro mounts, you can wear it or attach it to your gear for immersive POV footage of your favorite activities. It’s waterproof to 131’ (40m) and built tough for all of life’s adventures. Combined with stunning low-light performance, high-performance audio and an ultra wide-angle glass lens, HERO3+ Silver makes capturing and sharing your life easier than ever.

NCBP Book Bundle ($115 value)

The Christian Parenting Handbook  and Companion Guide

Parenting is Heart Work

God’s Awesome Story

Hero Training Camp Children’s Curriculum

Thomas Nelson Book Bundle ($90 value):

The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst

Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine

All Pro Dad by Mark Merrill

The Passionate Mom by Susan Merrill

***

FIRST PRIZE ($165 value)

$50 Mardel Gift Card

NCBP Book Bundle ($115 value)

The Christian Parenting Handbook  and Companion Guide

Parenting is Heart Work

God’s Awesome Story

Hero Training Camp Children’s Curriculum

***

SECOND PRIZE ($115 value)

$25 Amazon Gift Card

Thomas Nelson Book Bundle ($90 value):

The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst

Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine

All Pro Dad by Mark Merrill

The Passionate Mom by Susan Merrill

To enter, use the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway dates: January 12, 2015 @12:00am ET through January 28, 2015 @ 11:59pm ET

Terms and Conditions: This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  Void where prohibited by law. Must be at least 18 years of age. This giveaway is in no away associated with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Amazon. No purchase necessary for entry. Odds are determined by the number of entries. Selected winner will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prize or another winner will be drawn.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I am in awe of the amazing prizes in this giveaway!

Do not delay, get your entries in so that you too have an opportunity to win these great prizes!

In His Grace.

Callie

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New Book Launch – Motivate Your Child – You Can Pre Order Now

Oh mamas and papas, read on, you are not going to want to miss all of the incredible goodies that go along with my latest review!

I am excited to share with you about a new book I’m reading this month — Motivate Your Child: A Christian Parent’s Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told. Doesn’t that sound amazing? Isn’t that what you want for your kids?
$150 preorder

God’s Word gives us a better way to parent, one that builds strong internal motivation in children. When parents change the way they parent, kids change the way they live.Motivate Your Child is a practical book that explores a theology of internal motivation and then gives parents real-life solutions to equip their kids for life.

This is the newest book by parenting experts, Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN from the National Center for Biblical Parenting (NCBP), also authors of The Christian Parenting Handbook.

In order to motivate parents to Pre-Order the book, the NCBP is offering a $150 package of resources for FREE! There are video, audio and print items that can be used on a variety of devices. You can learn more on the Book Website.

You can Pre-Order the book now from any retailer, and then follow the instructions below.
Pre-Order from Amazon.

INSTRUCTIONS: Purchase the book. Email the receipt to gift@biblicalparenting.org. The NCBP will send you the link and a special code to access these downloadable products. This offer is good until January 31, 2015.

This is such an incredible opportunity to get ahead of the parenting challenges and get your own heart prepared for the Christian heart-led way to motivate your child.

Keep an eye out for more information coming soon about the release date and my full review of this amazing book!

In His Grace.

Callie

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Favorite Posts from 2014 and Happy New Year!

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It seems that this year has flown by.

Half of our school year is over.

A new year of vendor reviews is starting soon.

My kids are one year older….and so am I.

My wedding anniversary is less than one month away.

And…and…and…well, here’s a recap of some of the blogs most viewed posts along with some of my personal favorites.

I hope you enjoy the peek back at what 2014 was like for me and the blog.

BM-believingGod#1 Most Favorite and Visited post – Free Beth Moore eBooks for Kindle

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#1 Post for Businesses – Abbreviations for Twitter Marketing

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#1 Post for Marriage – 5 Free / Cheap Valentine’s Day Date Ideas

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#1 DIY Post – Upcycled Wooden Pallet Project

ham-and-cheese-pockets

#1 Recipe Post – Easy Homemade Ham and Cheese Pockets 

Those were the most read, most pinned, and most visited posts from 2014. A wide variety of subjects!

Here are a few of my favorite posts:

Marriage Posts

10 Ways to Show Your Husband You Really Care About Him

5 Ways I Show My Husband I Respect Him

Why Being Spontaneous in Your Marriage is Important and Okay

Mealtime Recipe Posts

Crock Pot Potato Soup

Crock Pot {Slow Cooker} Chicken Taco Soup

Mini Eggy Bites

Dessert Recipes

Chewy Brownie Bites filled with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Minis

Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

Cinnamon Bread with Cinnamon Oat Streusel

Homeschool Product Reviews

Middlebury Interactive Language 

Out of The Box Games

My Student Logbook

Well, there you go, a brief wrap-up of the 2014 year for us. Marriage, Cooking, Baking, and Homeschooling.

I look forward sharing more with you in 2015 – So stick around to see what you can see!

Happy New Year!

In His Grace.

Callie

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