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Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Funny: {Tim Hawkins on Hand Raising}

Hi there, and Happy Friday!  I hope you all are doing well, and that you're in the mood for a Friday Funny!  :D

Any special plans for the weekend?  We'll be decorating the tree, going to the dentist, going to church, and having a birthday party for my daughter's 16th birthday on Sunday -- so lots of variety for me this weekend!  I have a feeling it's going to fly by too quickly, but hopefully I'll be able to squeeze some downtime in there for reading and relaxing (and for replying to recent comments that have been left here on the blog).  I look forward to chatting with you!  Hope you have a fantastic weekend!  : )

Sweet Blessings, Michelle

Monday, November 26, 2012

Music Monday: {Bethlehem Skies} by Dara Maclean

Dara Maclean has a beautiful, new Christmas album available called Bethlehem Skies.  Needless to say, it's beautiful, and I just can't go without sharing it here.  If you love great music, I wouldn't hesitate on picking this one up!

This is what Dara has to say about the album on her website . . .
"It's such a special project to me. The title track was written with and features my friend, the amazing, endearing, hysterical and ridiculously talented Dave Barnes. This song nearly poured out and begged to be written. When we stumbled upon the line "All of this with me in mind... Under Bethlehem Skies". We were both wrecked in the best of ways and thankful for such a special, worship like, song writing experience. Even more exciting though, was thought of getting to share a message of hope in attempting to capture even the smallest glimpse of the heart of God for His children. To think, even before time began, He had a plan in place and us in mind. Now "Nothing can separate us from His love..."
-Romans 8:38-39

Also, it's the first look into a live project called "Ocean Way Sessions", which was a remarkable and life changing day of making music at the famous and historical "Ocean Way Studios" in Nashville. Everything was live, incredible musicians sat around me and played and I just sang and what happened happened, just like in the old days of music making. All these things combined, in addition to some surprises and you have a musical experience I hope, that wraps you up, takes you on a journey and reminds you of all things home and the reason we really celebrate Christmas."

Praying that you have a fantastic Monday, and that this song will bless you.  Enjoy!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hi Friends!  Just wanted to let you all know that I'm taking a little blogging break this week (not that I post a lot . . . but you know what I mean).  ;-)

I pray that you all have a blessed week, and a beautiful time with your families and loved ones.  Enjoy and be blessed!

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NKJV

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

{Scripture} Colossians 2:7

Photo Credit: Good Morning Girls Timeline Photo (Facebook)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Music Monday: {What Love Looks Like: The Ocean Way Sessions} Dara Maclean Live

I'm so happy to share a NEW Dara Maclean video with you today!  In two words . . . simply beautiful!  Dara's voice is amazing, and the following quote from her website speaks perfectly to why I love her music so much . . . 

"Few artists combine musical depth and the uplifting realities of a life in Christ as well as Dara Maclean. Hers is a joyful mix of pop idioms and eternal truths, danceable beats and the good news.

"I love making music you can move and groove to," she says, "but at the same time, as Christian artists we have a responsibility to speak the truth of the finished work of Christ in love."

A singer of incredible grace, power and control as well as a gifted songwriter, Dara has put together with Dove Award-winning producer Ian Eskelin a debut CD, You Got My Attention, as fresh and vibrant as any in recent years. Just 25, she has forged a sound rooted in the ’70s Motown, funk and soul her parents loved and filtered through a thoroughly contemporary urban pop lens."

I hope you enjoy the video.  Have a beautiful day, and be blessed!

Dara released the first in a series of five videos today from “Dara Maclean Live: The Ocean Way Sessions.” The videos were filmed at Nashville’s famous Ocean Way Studios as she recorded a rare session with the entire band in the room together playing live.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Music Monday: {Go, Tell It On The Mountain} by Francesca Battistelli

Alright, alright, I know it's a little early for Christmas music, but I want to get this recommendation out to you in time for you to enjoy it throughout the Christmas season.  I was a little hesitant to buy a Christmas CD on October 31st, but I did, and I've really been enjoying this one!  Every song is WONDERFUL!  I love it, and if you're a fan of Christmas music and Francesca Battistelli, I think you're going to love it to!

Go, Tell it on the Mountain is one of my FAVORITES, so that's the one I'll be sharing with you today.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.  Happy Monday, and be blessed!  : )

Francesca Battistelli's 11-track album, Christmas, produced by Ian Eskelin, is comprised of both classics and some newly-penned Christmas tunes. The traditional songs include:  
1. The Christmas Song
2. Heaven Everywhere
3. Christmas Is
4. What Child Is This? (First Noel Prelude)
5. Marshmallow World
6. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
7. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
8. You're Here
9. Joy To The World
10. Christmas Dreams
11. Go, Tell It On The Mountain 

Friday, November 2, 2012

{Friday Share Day} Digital Scrapbooking

Hi there!  Happy Friday!  I thought I'd mix things up a little bit here, and share one of my digital scrapbook pages.  You know, it's kind of like when you were in school, and you got to bring something to share on Fridays.  ;-)

From time to time, I plan on sharing some random things here on Fridays.  That's the plan anyway, and I hope I can be somewhat consistent with it.  And I hope it's a feature you enjoy here.  :-)

Scrapbooking is one of my favorite things to do (next to reading), and I started paper scrapping when my youngest daughter was a baby . . . so almost 15 years ago.  I used to be pretty good at keeping up with my scrapbooks, but over the years, I got further and further behind.  About a year ago, MyMemories contacted me and asked if I'd like to try their product, and post a review and giveaway here on my blog.  Some of you may remember it.  Since then, I've been making lots of pages, and really enjoying it!  It's so fun and easy . . . even for a computer illiterate like me!

If you're interested in checking it out, you can visit the MyMemories website for more information.  And if you think you want to jump in to the digital scrapbooking world, you can receive $10 off the price of the software, by using code STMMMS74342.

So how about you? Are you a paper scrapper? A digital scrapper? Or someone who would like to get started?  How do you preserve your family's memories?

Hope you all have a fantastic Friday and a wonderful weekend!  Thanks so much for stopping by, and be blessed!  :-)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Sweet Treat: {Monster Cookies} by the Pioneer Woman

Photo Credit: The Pioneer Woman
As much as I wish I was the kind of girl who made up her own baking recipes, and that I was oozing with creative baking talent . . . alas, I am not.  But . . . I'm a pretty good recipe follower, and I love to share when I've found a good one.  And this, my friends, is one tasty cookie!  It's called the Monster Cookie, and I discovered the recipe one Saturday morning while watching Ree cook up a batch of these on her Food Network show. 

Photo Credit: The Pioneer Woman
I followed the recipe to a tee (minus the pecans and I used unsalted butter), and I have to admit, I was a little leery about putting in 2 teaspoons of salt.  It seemed like it would be too much for my taste, and I was right.  That being said, the only adjustment I would make is to cut the salt down to 1 teaspoon, instead of 2.  And depending on whether you'd like a soft cookie, or a crisp cookie, just adjust your baking time accordingly.  My personal preference is a softer cookie, so I just didn't let them get too golden brown.  You probably already knew that, but I just thought I'd mention it.  ;-)

  • 2 sticks (1/2 Pound) Butter (salted) Softened
  • 1/2 cup White Sugar
  • 1-1/2 cup Brown Sugar, Packed
  • 2 whole Large Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1-1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 1-1/2 cup Oats (either Quick Or Regular)
  • 1/2 cup M & M's (more To Taste)
  • 1/2 cup Pecans, Chopped (more To Taste)
  • 3/4 cups Chocolate Chips (milk Or Semi-sweet)
  • 1/2 cup Peanut Butter Chips
  • 2-1/4 cups Rice Krispies

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cream butter with sugars until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and beat.
Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and kosher salt. Add to mixing bowl and mix till combined. After that, add in remaining ingredients in whatever quantity you prefer. Add more nuts if you'd like, or more M & M's, more peanut butter chips or chocolate chips.
Add Rice Crispies at the very end, mixing until just combined. Do not overmix!
Use a cookie scoop to scoop balls of dough onto a cookie sheet. Bake until golden brown, then allow to cool on a rack.
Serve with glasses of cold milk.