Thursday, January 29, 2015

Grace at Home No. 139


Welcome, friends!  I'm so glad you're here for the Grace at Home party.

I'm stunned that today is the last Thursday in January.  The weeks are flying by so quickly, aren't they?

Here are a few highlights from last week's party.

Christine from CD's Country Living re-purposed an old shutter into a practical piece for her kitchen. I like the fact that the shutter is both decorative and useful!


The Bajan Texan created a lovely moss letter for her mantel and shares the simple technique.  Isn't it pretty?


Apparently lots of people are trying to get organized at this time of year, and a couple of organizing posts caught my eye.

Unable to find a planner that worked well, Susan Gay from Quite Simply made her own.  She shows us everything inside and shares the way she made it.  Great inspiration!


And Heather from Encouraged at Home explained how she simplified her wardrobe and is saving money.  This post really inspired me to take a good look at my closet!


Looking for a cool Valentine's decoration or project?  I love this one from Christianity Cove.


And if you're in need of some soul nourishment, I hope you'll read "When Longing for More is Good by Amy from Wasteland to Graceland.  Lovely thoughts inspired by a beautiful winter scene--you'll be inspired by the words and the photos!


Those are just a few of my favorites.  Thank you to everyone who joined the party!  I'm so grateful for each person who links up each week. If you've been featured, feel free to grab the "I was featured" button (the code is right over in my sidebar).  I'd be so proud if you displayed it!

 

Now for this week's party!  Grace at Home is a place for you to share anything related to making your home a place of grace. I invite you to link posts about
  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!



Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The fastest, easiest homemade cookie


It's hard for me to believe that the Super Bowl is right around the corner.  How is the time flying by so fast?

We love to host Super Bowl parties at our house, but I don't do elaborate decorating of any kind; I just let the game and the food take center stage.  I like to serve foods that can be eaten without utensils, so cookies are my desserts of choice.



Usually I'll make brownies and chocolate chip cookies, but I like to include an option without chocolate as well.  My favorite is a recipe that I began making years ago, when my boys were very small.  The original recipe had a name, but I've long since forgotten it--because my boys always called them "World's Fastest Cookies."  Seriously, it takes longer to measure out the ingredients than it does to make the cookies!

Here's the recipe:

World's Fastest Cookies

Ingredients
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 1/4 cups corn flakes
1 1/4 cups crispy rice cereal
 (or use 2 1/2 cups of either cereal)

Directions
Bring the syrup and sugar to boil in a saucepan. Don't cook; just bring to a boil so the sugar can melt. Remove from heat. Mix in peanut butter; stir until smooth. Mix in cereal. Quickly drop by spoonful onto wax paper. Cool. Makes 2 1/2 - 3 dozen.

TIP:  Spray your measuring cup with non-stick cooking spray before measuring corn syrup and peanut butter.  Those sticky substances will slide right out!

These are so yummy! They're always a crowd-pleaser, and believe me, I've made them for many crowds!

And if you have a handy beagle, she'll be glad to clean the pan for you.




Have any game-day recipes that you're willing to share?  I'd love to see them!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Grace at Home No. 138


Welcome, friends!  I'm so glad you're here for the Grace at Home party!

Last week was packed to the brim for me: I was out of town for most of it!  I have the great privilege of serving on the Board of Trustees for the Christian ministry Renovar√©, and we had an important Board meeting this past week.  So this week I was especially grateful for those of you who joined the Grace at Home party--you kept this community going even when I didn't!

It's January, and lots of us are feeling energized and extremely practical.  I love the fact that lots of the posts last week reflected this.  Here are a few posts that caught my eye.

Marian Vischer gave some great advice about how to dress when you're between sizes.  This is part of Marian's new series, "The Real Gal's Fashion Files."


With her characteristic wit and charm, Kari from A Grace Full Life explains how to create your own head shot.


Want to see a wonderful DIY project?  Check out these lamps made by Pat from Life at Lydia's House.  You'll be amazed!


Kendra from Joy in Our Home shared a recipe for French Onion Soup that looks perfect for these cold days!


I like fresh bread with my soup, and Bernadette from Barefoot Hippie Girl provides a tutorial called Breadmaking 101.  She's been making bread every week for years, and she shares her technique.


Reading about soup- and bread-making made me think of wanting to have friends over, and I was inspired by this wonderful post on hospitality by Patti from Old Things New.  Love it!


And I loved this post by Gayle from Solitary Me.  You'll be inspired on how she learned--in a hotel lobby!--about the best gift you can give yourself.


Those are just a few of my favorites.  Thank you to everyone who joined the party!  I'm so grateful for each person who links up each week. If you've been featured, feel free to grab the "I was featured" button (the code is right over in my sidebar).  I'd be so proud if you displayed it!

 

Now for this week's party!  Grace at Home is a place for you to share anything related to making your home a place of grace. I invite you to link posts about
  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Grace at Home No. 137


Welcome to the weekly Grace at Home party!  I'm so glad you're here!

This week has been exceptionally busy for me, so I'm glad for this time to stop and celebrate God's grace to us and ways we reflect that grace in our homes.

Here are some highlights from last week's party:

Jamie from All that sRocks shared a simple approach to meal planning:


Erin from It All Matters Mom shared 10 ways to save money on groceries--a really helpful list!


And Becky Kopitzke from Time Out wrote a wonderful post about what our children will remember--I love this!



Those are just a few of my favorites.  Thank you to everyone who joined the party!  I'm so grateful for each person who links up each week. If you've been featured, feel free to grab the "I was featured" button (the code is right over in my sidebar).  I'd be so proud if you displayed it!

 

Now for this week's party!  Grace at Home is a place for you to share anything related to making your home a place of grace. I invite you to link posts about
  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!



Friday, January 9, 2015

The truth about a product review


I am participating in a Vibrant Influencer Network campaign for L’Oreal Age Perfect. 
 Opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with 
L’Oreal Age Perfect and do not earn a commission or percent of sales.


My husband snapped this photo of me and our sweet 8-year-old friend right after Thanksgiving.  While I know I'll never again have skin as smooth as a young girl's, I want to do the best I can with what I have.


So I was excited last fall when I got the chance to review a new product from L'Oreal.  After a few days of use, I found it to be a lovely product, and I promised to let you know how it worked for me. 

As it turned out, though, my sensitive skin had a reaction to the product.  The product is hypo-allergenic, of course, I developed a mild rash and had to stop using it.   

Bummer, huh?  

Actually, no, and I want to tell you why.

First of all, the rash cleared up right away, so there was no harm done.  But it's so much better than that.

If you're like me, you're a little skeptical of sponsored posts.  It's always seemed to me that if a company provides a product to a blogger for review, of course the blogger is going to say wonderful things about the product.  I don't think anyone ever means to be dishonest, of course, but are the reviews completely honest?

Well, here's the completely honest scoop about what happened with me.  I developed a rash after using the product.  I reported the results to the coordinator of the review project, and she reported it to L'Oreal.  L'Oreal recorded my experience, informed me that the rash might be caused by the fragrance in the products, told me that they appreciated my feedback and are monitoring the feedback, AND offered to send me another line of products to try.

Can you believe that?

So while I had to discontinue the use of the cell renewal products, I've been enjoying L'Oreal's Glow Renewal line, and I've found them to be wonderful.

There's a daytime lotion that contains a broad spectrum suncreen, SPF 30--so important for a redhead like me!
And the night cream is light and lovely but deeply hydrating.  


Here's what I especially like about these products: they are extremely hydrating, but not at all greasy.  I can't stand to wake up in the morning feeling as though there's a layer of cream on my skin.  These products absorb so well that my skin just feels soft and smooth.

You should know that these products, just like the Age Renewal products, are fragranced.  The fragrance is light and dissipates quickly, so it hasn't bothered me.  If I were to develop a reaction to this product, I'd be sure to let L'Oreal know about it.  I for one would love to see the company develop a line of fragrance-free products designed specifically for sensitive skin.

All in all, I give L'Oreal's products a big thumbs-up.  It makes me happy to see products such as these that are department-store quality available at affordable prices.

And I'm so glad to know that companies like L'Oreal that sponsor product reviews like this one are actually listening to feedback and want to be responsive.

What about you?  Have you tried any new products lately?  Had good or bad experiences that you'd be willing to share?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Grace at Home No. 136


Welcome to the first Grace at Home party of the new year!  I'm so glad you're here!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and that you're ready to face 2015 with grace.

Almost all of the links from the party were Christmas-centered, but here are a few non-Christmas posts that caught my eye.

Lauren from Bless 'Er House made a weathered wood hook rack, and she shares DIY instructions so you can make your own.


Val from Love My DIY Home shared a great project--an old dresser turned into a TV/entertainment stand.

Kimberly from LouLou Girls shared the kind of recipe I'm looking for right now--Sesame Chicken Lettuce Wraps.  Looks delicious and healthful!


That's just a sampling.  Thank you to everyone who joined the party!  I'm so grateful for each person who links up each week. If you've been featured, feel free to grab the "I was featured" button (the code is right over in my sidebar).  I'd be so proud if you displayed it!

 

Now for this week's party!  Grace at Home is a place for you to share anything related to making your home a place of grace. I invite you to link posts about
  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!