…a few of my favorite things…

My friends.  We sit with just 9 days until Christmas.  Nine!  Why does is seem like we have all the time in the world & then “BAM!” out of no where, we’re almost out of time?  If you’re feeling behind, I’m here to help.  In the spirit of Christmas with a little inspiration from The Sound of Music together with a little Opren {that’s Oprah & Ellen}…I give you…

My Most Favorite Finds – 2016

  1. This has been at the absolute top of my chart for years now.  It is my absolute favorite!!  My dry, winter skin needs SO much help.  You have no idea.  Cracking, itching, awful.  This year is particularly bad with all the extra hand washing I’m doing.  And this little treasure is the best I’ve ever found.  L’Occitane Hand Cream.  Hand down the very best!  $28 very well spent.  And if you signed up for eBates {which I know you did} you’ll get 3% back on each one.  
  2. I received this as a gift from seven of the most amazing women in my life.  Scattered all over the planet, they coordinated this gift as a comfort when Sweet Ginger began his chemo treatments.  It is most wonderful throw blanket in the entire world.  Softness does not even begin to adequately describe it.  It is cozy, weighty, 100% lovely.  If you have someone on your list who might need a luxurious throw, this! is! it!!  Pottery Barn’s Ruched Faux Fur Throw.  Regularly priced at $149, it is on SALE today {Dec. 16} only.  What a steal at $104.  Don’t miss this deal!
  3. This year I did my first Whole 30.  It was a good experience and I am sure that after the holiday eating is over, I’ll be looking at another go around.  I really did feel better, sleep better and have way more energy while on it & I think I could go again here in the new year.  Anyway, while doing that I discovered my next favorite find – Bubbies Sauerkraut.  It may be a bit more expensive than other sauerkrauts out there, but for good reason.  This is true sauerkraut.  Made with cabbage, water, salt.  That’s it.  Naturally fermented like our great grandparents would have eaten it.  Delicious!!!  You can pick it up at lots of you favorite food stores in the refrigerated section.  
  4. These past few months I have become somewhat of an expert on winter head ware.  Living in the frozen tundra with a completely bald bald has required us to find the most fabulous hats known to man.  While the absolute best have come from an amazingly talented friend, the next best have to be the ones from Love Your Melon!  Hands down.  Warm, soft, comfortable.  And 50% of profits go to cancer research. Winner, winner.  They come in a multitude of colors and styles, but are so popular that they are often low or short on their most populars.  Luckily they restock often and add to their styles regularly.  They range in price from $30-$45.  A great deal on such a wonderful hat…with a fabulous cause.
  5. My final favorite find for this year is Isaiah 41:10.  “Do not fear, for I am with you.  Do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  Especially over the past few months, I have needed this reminder almost daily.  Do not fear.  Do not be dismayed {agitated, discouraged, disheartened, frightened, horrified, rattled, scared, unnerved, upset}  God is with me, he is my God, he will provide the strength & help necessary and he will hold me up when I ca no longer stand on my own.  This doesn’t mean that every moment is rosey.  It doesn’t mean that in the end this will turn out the way that I think it should go.  It means that however it goes, I’m not alone.  This verse.  So for my final favorite find, I have a FREEBIE for you.  Simply click the “like” at the bottom of this post {or better yet leave me a comment!} and download your free printable.  Simply download & print on your home computer & printer.

printable

I hope you have a wonderful eight days of shopping or relaxing by the fire sipping hot cocoa, whichever.  I hope you enjoy this list of my most favorite finds.  Buy one for a friend or for yourself, no matter, you’l be glad you did!

And if you still need to sign up for eBates & start getting some cash back in your wallet, click here.  Get shopping straight away because they’re giving you an extra $10 just for signing up & shopping.  Don’t delay.  There’s money waiting!!

Day 1 :: O Little Town of Bethlehem

December 1.  Christmas season is officially upon us.  We received a beautiful blanket of snow overnight.  Looking past our Christmas tree into the glittery field definitely puts me in the mood for a little Christmas!  The most wonderful time of the year!

 

Today I’m listening to O Little Town of Bethlehem & doing a little reading from Micah 5.  Here’s a link to the song on YouTube, if you don’t have it in your iTunes library.  And from a good ole’ fashion Baptist hymnal, here is the music.0285=285

Micah 5:2 says “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.

Hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus, the prophet foretold he would be born in Bethlehem.  Bethlehem.  A dot on a map.  Not significant in any way.  Certainly not worthy to hold the promise of the coming Messiah.

Side Factoid {if you like that kind of thing, which I very much do} :: Beth•lehem signifies the house of bread.  Fitting for the Bread of Life to be born in the house of bread, don’t ya’ think?!?

So lowly, map-dot Bethlehem.  This is one of those things that is most surprising about God.  He seems to chose the nothings for some pretty important assignments.  Luke 1:52 says “he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate”  God loves to exalt the less-thans.  And Bethlehem would definitely fit in the less-than category for cities.  Bethlehem had nothing in it worthy to have this honor of being the birthplace of the Son of God.  I’m pretty certain there were cities that had prestige, perhaps winners of great battles or places of successful commerce & immense growth that would be more fitting the honor of Jesus’ birth. But God chose Bethlehem.  Christ would give honor to the place of his birth and not derive any honor from it.

Another Side Factoid ::  The chief priests and scribes that King Herod called on when the wise men arrived, knew this prophecy of the Messiah’s birth place well.  {Matthew 2:1-7}

Here’s the thing I see about God on this first day of December.  First, He keeps his promises.  He said Jesus would be born in Bethlehem & all those hundreds of years later, He was!  And second,  He uses the most unusual places & unworthy people to make His promises come true & tell His great redemption story.  He uses what, in the eyes of us humans, is less than worthy on its own to accomplish His work.

If you’d like to join in on the advent fun, here is the link to the free printable Christmas Carol Advent Cards I’ll be using this month at my house.  If you’d like a more traditional advent set, head over to yesterday’s post for Classic Advent Cards or the Names of Jesus Advent Cards.  All free.  Just print them off and enjoy!

Advent Cards :: free printable

Can you believe that tomorrow is already the first of December?  Every year, I think I have so much time to prepare for Christmas & somehow it sneaks up on me each and every year.

This year, I decided to throw together some advent cards to prepare for Christmas…& remember it’s meaning.  A little walk through Scripture day by day as we get closer to the 25th.  I started with this set.  It is the classic Christmas story from Scripture.  A great place to start when looking at what the Bible says about the day we celebrate as Christmas.  Classic!

Classic Christmas Cards

 

And then as often happens in my world…I got a bit carried away.  Heaven forbid I do anything just a little.  It’s a blessing.  It’s a curse.  So I also came up with this set with a different name of Jesus for each of the 24 days leading up to Christmas morning.  I absolutely LOVE this set with it’s different Scripture passages than what I am normally reading at Christmas time.  I see these as a great reminder of who we are celebrating this season…Jesus!

names of jesus advent

 

And again because I seldom just stop with “that’s good enough” {hence the name of my blog} I took it another step farther.  And let me tell you, this may be the creme de la creme of my advent card ideas.  Perhaps you’ll hate it.  That’s ok.  I adore them.  I decided to create a card for each day leading up to the twenty fifth of December that paired a Christmas carol with a Scripture passage.  I.  Know.  Why haven’t I thought of this before.  I’m so very, very excited to listen each day to the carol and read over the passage with my family.  I.  Know!  So here’s that set.   Some of the carols are old familiar ones that you’ve likely heard a bazillion times & know by heart.  Others may be brand new to you.  I’ve tried to include the artist who sings it {or at least the one who sings it that I’m familiar with}  so that you can easily find it.  All should be available on iTunes.  {please note this set will not print out in numerical order…it makes me a bit anxious 😉 but it is what it is…good enough}

christmas carol advent cards

I printed these off on some 65# white cardstock.  Then I cut them apart using the cutting guides on each sheet and used my ever-trusty corner rounder from Creative Memories to finish them off.  So easy!  I think we’ll have all 3 sets around the house this Christmas.

I hope you enjoy these} and that the Scripture of the season fills your home.  Jesus is the entire reason for everything we are preparing for this time of year & taking just a moment to learn a bit more about him & the story we celebrate is a treasure worth unwrapping!  Let me know which set you like best & how you’re using them this Christmas!

Names of Jesus Advent cards pdf

Christmas Carol Advent cards pdf

Classic Advent cards pdf

 

Thankful Cards // part 1 :: Free Printable

Let’s call this a freebie Friday!  Because we all love Friday & we all love freebies!  Especially free printable!  Am I right?

I need many, many reminders to focus on being thankful. I forget sometimes to count my blessing & thank the giver of those things.  Sometimes I’m counting other people’s blessings instead of my own.  Which is utterly stupid, because I have enough blessings to not need to worry about other people’s, but that is the ridiculousness of me being a human.  I don’t count every single blessing of others, just the ones I’d kind-a, sort-a like to be counting in my blessing column.  Ugh!  So yucky!  Truth is my blessings column is probably full enough, if I’d just take a second to really look it over.  Silly humanness.

So to try to remind myself to spend some quality time this month actually thanking the giver of all for every amazing thing he has provided to me in this life, I decided to make some little scripture cards.

IMG_2340And {this is where the freebie part comes in} I’m sharing them with you.  Today I’m including the first 8 thanksgiving printable.  {hopefully more will follow leading up to Thanksgiving}  Scripture that reminds me to look to God and be thankful.  In all circumstances and situations because he is my strength when life is hard & for that I should be thankful also.  So enjoy these little cards!  Print them out on some nice cardstock {i use 65 lb.} and cut them using the cutting guides.  I used my decades old Creative Memories corner rounder to give them a little softness.

IMG_2342Hang them up where you’ll see them.  Or read one each day.  Or memorize them.  Definitely share them with your kids around the dinner table.  And be thankful.  Because we have SO much to be thankful for.  Enjoy!!

UPDATE

More FREE Thanksgiving printables available for download here & here.  Enjoy!