All Things Thursday Blog Hop #4

Hi Friends! I'm so glad you've come to join us for the All Things Thursday Blog Hop #4! Thank you so much for making my bloggy birthday party so special. Congrats to Kathleen S. for winning the Ramsign Giveaway! Before we get the party started, here are the bloggers I featured this week. Y'all continue to amaze me with your crafty talents and culinary skills.
Click here to see the full post with links to the projects/recipes. Also, be sure to check out the other ladies' blogs to see their features from last week's party. Let's see what you've been working on! Don't forget to visit some of the other links. Everyone loves a sweet comment!
All Things Thursday Blog Hop

All Things Thursday #3 Features

Can you believe July is gone? What an exciting month it has been! I started the All Things Thursday Blog Hop 3 weeks ago with my lovely co-hosts and I celebrated Posed Perfection's 1st Birthday with a Ramsign giveaway! So much to be thankful for! Speaking of thankful, I want to thank you all for bringing your best posts to the party each week. You make it really hard to choose features! So, now I present to you my All Things Thursday #3 Features...
As always, if you love these ideas as much as I did, please follow the links to pin from the original site. Thanks!

In the left corner, we have Salty Carmelitas by Handmade in the Heartland. She warns us they will be addicting and I can totally see why. Yummy!

Next, we have this gorgeous Greek Key Painted Tray by Remodelando la Casa. Cristina did such a great job on this project. Her detailed work paid off!

This Seahorse Beach Sign by Wesens-Art is so clever. I love how she wrapped the twine around the nails for extra dimension and texture. Beautiful!
Modern Christian Homemaker's Zucchini Roll-Ups have my mouth watering. What a great lower carb version of lasagna rolls! I plan on trying this soon.

I like everything about this Fun Drawer Upcycle by Confessions of a Serial Do-It-Yourselfer. It makes me want to go out and find a drawer to repurpose!

Finally, these Hand Painted Glue Batiks by All Our Days caught my eye. I want my kiddos to try their hand at these before the summer is over.

Remember each hostess chooses their own features every week, so you'll want to stop by to see if you were one of the ones chosen. Please come back tonight at 8pm Central to link up your newest posts from the week! We can't wait to see what you'll bring to the party!

Rise & Shine Zucchini Muffins

I love summertime produce. Not only do I love grilling zucchini, but it is also one of my favorite ingredients to use in baked goods. It's texture and water content make muffins, cakes and cookies even more moist and delicious. Today, I'm sharing some Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins with you, per my son's request. He begged for muffins and I was happy to oblige.

Here's what you need: flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, egg, oil, milk, white vinegar or lemon juice (not shown), vanilla, finely shredded zucchini, and semi-sweet chocolate chips

Rise & Shine Zucchini Muffins

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 lightly beaten egg
1/2 oil (I used one individual applesauce + the rest coconut oil)
1/4 cup milk with 1 tsp. white vinegar or lemon juice (let sit for 5 minutes)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup finely shredded zucchini
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin pan or line with 12 paper liners. In large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. In separate bowl, lightly beat egg and add to it the oil (or oil and applesauce), milk and vinegar or lemon juice mixture and vanilla. Pour into dry ingredients and combine thoroughly. Fold in shredded zucchini and chocolate chips. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. 
These muffins turned out so moist and delicious even the Oliver the Cat wanted to try them. Most importantly, they put a chocolatey smile on my boy's face, and that is just about all this momma needs to make her day. Next time I need to double the recipe. These babies disappeared like nobody's business! Perhaps the cat is to blame? Hmmm... I hope you have a wonderful Monday!

I'm linking up at some of these great parties and

Food for the Soul ~ Psalm 86:15

I'm so grateful for this verse and for all the saints that have gone before us. In the midst of strife and struggles, these beautiful words were penned to praise our Heavenly Father. I find it true about the Lord in my own life too. Even when I am faithless, He remains faithful. I pray that these words would be reflected in my walk also. I want to be more compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness~ not for my glory, but for His. Thank you so much for spending part of your day with me. May your week be blessed with sunshine and smiles!

Back to School Shopping is Upon Us

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of White Cloud for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Can you feel the excitement in the air? The store shelves are being stocked with all the latest and greatest school supplies. Protractors, pencils and push pins, oh my! I have always loved going through the rows and rows of fresh new folders, pens and other supplies. School supplies make me happy. That's why the line in You've Got Mail, "I'd send you a bouquet of newly-sharpened pencils, if I knew your name and address," resonated with me. Back to school shopping is upon us!
For some moms, the words "back to school" strike terror in their hearts. Because when they are staring down at a school supply list that resembles the lists we associate with Santa Claus, back to school shopping can be a daunting and extremely expensive endeavor.
Oh, there are some of you who have been collecting supplies all summer long, pacing yourselves. But, most of us, do it all in one fell swoop...which can set us back hundreds of dollars. Between the actual supplies like pencils and paper to the clothes and computers, back to school shopping can be quite the financial burden on families. The National Retail Federation estimates that the average family spent around $700 on back-to-school costs last year. That's pricey, people!
Even though we homeschool, we still do a lot of shopping for the books and supplies we need to start our newest school year off right. Sometimes just some new pencils or folders will motivate us to be more diligent or organized. We may not need a certain Trapper Keeper or scientific calculator to satisfy the lists, but we do need the basics...pencils, paper, art supplies and facial tissue. Lots and lots of facial tissue.
We're coming off a series of summer colds and believe me, we could have used the multi-packs of facial tissue to combat the sneezing and runny noses. I plan on being prepared this school year with plenty of tissues all over the house, since we school in pretty much every, living room, family room, school room...all over. Do you see the stack of books on the sofa? No more running out of tissue and having to use harsh paper towels or toilet paper that disintegrates.
White Cloud Facial Tissues, available only at Wal-Mart, are not only affordable, but they are so soft and soothing. Be sure to check out the White Cloud Facial Tissue page to print off one of their $0.75 coupons before you head out to Wal-Mart to purchase your school supplies.
With lots of designs to choose from, you can help support Children's Miracle Network Hospitals by purchasing some of the limited edition White Cloud multi-packs of tissues, designed by kids at the CMNH.  To see if White Cloud is sold in your local area Wal-Mart stores, check out the  White Cloud Store Locator.
 photo 1162ef5e-4d2d-416a-a97c-75470d9d7477_zpsb860d0db.jpg
So, as you face those seemingly endless back-to-school supply lists, know that you are in good company. Back to school shopping doesn't have to be scary for a Super Mom like you! Think of all the things you accomplish in a day. You can make lunches faster than a speeding bullet and you can help build popsicle stick bridges more powerful than a locomotive.  You'll be getting back-to-school shopping done in a single bound. White Cloud wants to help. Here's where you can find them ~
White Cloud Facebook Page    White Cloud Twitter Page    White Cloud Pinterest Page
What's your biggest back-to-school challenge? I'd love to know how you tackle it!
Visit Sponsor's Site

My In-Between Mantel

As the lazy days of summer are drawing to a close (we've already been buying school supplies), I felt like it was time for a change on the mantel. Gone are the reds, whites and blues. It's official title is My In-Between Mantel, because it's in-between summer and fall. Pretty clever, no?
I started by moving my clock up a few inches. It's a small change, but needed to be done. I'm not sure why I waited so long to do it. Next, I placed the "HOME" blocks in the center to build around them. These were a great find at TJMaxx late last year. I think I paid about $4.00 for them.

I knew I didn't want anything too fussy. So I pulled out my set of 3 candlesticks (that I will paint one day) and my deep maroon candles and set those off to the side.
Searching through my accessories, I found the iron basket from last year's fall side table vignette with the burlap still woven through it. This went on the other side of the blocks after tucking in a small amount of greenery. I have had this basket for many years and still love the scrolly iron work. I think it was from Southern Living at Home.
Finally, I felt like the mantel needed one more item...this chubby little iron bird. Isn't he just so cute?

That's it. A very simple In-Between Mantel. We'll see if I'm inspired to change it up for fall or not. In the meantime, I going to just enjoy the no-fuss simplicity of it.

Thanks for stopping by. I love your visits. Do you have an "in-between" decor for your mantel? Or do you just go from one holiday/season to the next? I'd love to know!
I'm linking up at some of these great parties and

Posed Perfection's 1st Birthday Giveaway and All Things Thursday Blog Hop #3

Hi Friends! I'm so happy you've joined the party! Today is not just any party... It's Posed Perfection's 1st Birthday and the All Things Thursday Blog Hop #3! I'm so excited. I would have never guessed the joy and challenges that having a blog presents over a year ago. Now, if I spend too much time away, I miss catching up with you all and miss sharing the things that make my heart go pitter patter.
Did you see the features today? Here's a glimpse, but you'll want to go here for the full post so you can go see each of this week's featured bloggers. Also, be sure to go to the other ladies' blogs to see who they featured.
So, when we have birthdays, there are usually gifts involved, right? Well, to thank you for all your sweet comments over the last 12 months and for coming to visit me each day, I have teamed up with the world famous Ramsign to bring you a giveaway of epic proportions! That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but these porcelain enamel signs really are awesome. I'm so excited to be able to give away one of their house number signs ($99 value) to one lucky reader.
Source - Ramsign on Facebook
These beautiful hand-stenciled, glossy enameled signs are made of the highest quality. Ramsign's house numbers are absolutely charming and are offered in several designs to complement any decor. Check out their website and Facebook page to see all their beautiful signs. I hope you win! Please enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to have one of these beautiful signs sent to you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I believe it's time to set the party in high gear! Let's see what made your blog awesome this week!

All Things Thursday Blog Hop

All Things Thursday #2 Features

Another great week full of inspiration! Thanks so much for stopping by to see this week's features. There were so many clever projects and delicious recipes my head was spinning. So, let's get on with it, shall we?
Ang at Juggling Act Mama linked up this really neat Easy Extension Cord Wreath. I love this idea for the simplicity and the fun bright color. Decorating for boys' birthday parties can be a bit challenging.
Although I don't do a lot of international travel, I still think this DIY Coin Bracelet from Darling Doodles is such a fun souvenir to make from all your journeys.
Will Cook for Smiles linked up this yummy Cool Cucumber Broccoli Salad for a refreshing take on a favorite summer salad.
I found this DIY Broach Bouquet by Ashley's Dandelion Wishes to be so whimsical and fun. I may have to do a much smaller version from some costume jewelry that's been passed down through the years.
My Sweet Mission's delicious Coconut Cream Pie had me craving this beautiful dessert all week. Coconut cream pies are my weakness.
Finally, Holly at 504 Main shared her Road Trip Safety Tips and Emergency Cards. I always get a little nervous when I have to travel for any long distances, especially when I have to drive alone or just me and the kids. This would put my mind at ease a little bit, except for maybe when my overactive imagination takes over.

Thanks so much, everyone, for linking up these fabulous projects and recipes! We appreciate you stopping by. Make sure you visit the other hostesses to see if your links were featured!
Don't forget to come back tonight at 8pm central to link up anything family-friendly that gives us a glimpse of just how wonderful you are! Tell your friends too! The more, the merrier!  Looking forward to seeing your greatness!

Microwave Alfredo Popcorn

Microwave Alfredo Popcorn by Posed Perfection
Happy Monday to you! Hope your weekend was wonderful. We finished up our baseball season FINALLY. My son actually played a 3 hour baseball game on Saturday, then went directly to an indoor soccer game where he played goalie the 2nd half in his baseball uniform. Truly a utility player! He's officially done with sports for a few weeks. (picture me doing the happy dance) Speaking of things that make me happy...Popcorn! I love it, no matter how it is prepared. This week for a twist, I made some Microwave Alfredo Popcorn. It was a big hit with my daughter...the boys like things a little more standard...butter and salt.
Microwave Alfredo Popcorn by Posed PerfectionAnyway, it is so easy to make. First, you need to pop some corn. My favorite method is using a brown paper bag and kernels of popcorn. Pour about 2-3 tablespoons of popcorn in the bag. Roll the top down about 3 turns. 

Place the bag of corn in the microwave and hit your "Popcorn" setting. When it has about 20 seconds left and the popping starts slowing down, hit STOP. **Make sure you are paying attention to the timer! Don't be like me. I almost always burn the first batch.

I usually have some unpopped kernels, but I prefer that to burnt popcorn any day. To get 10-12 cups, you'll need to repeat this process about 4 times. The result is fluffy, non-greasy popcorn ready to be seasoned however you like it best. Yes, it takes a bit longer than the microwave stuff you buy at the store, but it is so much better for you and totally worth the extra time.
Microwave Alfredo Popcorn by Posed Perfection
Sometimes we go the traditional route with butter and salt...sometimes adding a little Mrs. Dash Table Blend. But this time I went crazy. After I melted a couple of tablespoons of butter and poured over the popcorn, I added in about 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, some garlic salt and pepper.
Microwave Alfredo Popcorn by Posed Perfection
Yummy doesn't even begin to describe this. My daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed every last piece of this.

Need more inspiration for the incredibly versatile popcorn treat? Try making some Sugar n Spice Popcorn or if you're really going for the Easter Candy Popcorn can be customized to any holiday! You're sure to win some hearts.

What's your favorite way to eat popcorn? Are you a traditionalist or do you like the gussied up kind?

I'm linking up at some of these great parties and

Food for the Soul ~ Isaiah 58:11

I need to share something with y'all. Each week, I go through my pictures to find something with flowers or nature represented to put a bible verse on it. Then I flip through my Bible asking the Lord to lead me to a scripture to share. Sometimes I will even google a topic and Bible verses that go with it.

Last week, as I was perusing my downloaded pictures I came across a photo my daughter took of her shadow. For some reason, it really stood out to me and I knew that was the one I wanted to use. So, I googled "bible verses with shadows" or something like that. Several came up, but the one that spoke to me was Hebrews 11:6, even though the word "shadow" wasn't in it. I put that verse on the picture, not quite knowing why, but just that I should. I scheduled the post for 6am on Sunday morning.

We went to church that day to the 9:00am service and the pastor that was speaking that day had Hebrews 11:6 as the Bible verse in the notes. The topic was "Why Does My Faith Please God?" The pastor had many great points punctuated with graphics and pictures, as well as other Bible verses to clarify his points.

After he had gone through a couple, an image of a shadow was put up on the screen and the point he made with it was "Faith acknowledges His presence in my daily life." If I wasn't already feeling stunned about putting the same Bible verse on my post for my weekly Food for the Soul, I was certainly floored by the image of the shadow. His purpose in bringing up the shadow was for us to ask ourselves whether we treat God as our "shadow", knowing He is always around, or is He our LORD. Do we acknowledge our dependence on Him each and every day? Do we spend time getting to know Him and trust Him with our very lives?

Needless to say, I left the service knowing exactly why He had led me to that verse and exactly why the image of the shadow kept coming up. Clearly, I am the one the verse was to speak to. I have spent a lot of my Christian walk on "coast", knowing God is always there, but spending little time acknowledging my dependence on Him or actively pursuing that relationship. But then there was more to come...

On Tuesday, I had a great conversation with a dear friend about how our lives and our habits influence our children and our marriages. My Heavenly Father is calling me out of the status quo. If I make Him my priority, acknowledging my need for Him to be Lord of my life, my utter dependence on Him daily, the habits I form in service and worship of Him will have a ripple effect on my marriage and my children. Right after our conversation we ran into one of her friends and she reiterated the same ideas that God was teaching her in her journey. Triple whammy!

Needless to say, after Tuesday, I felt like God was on the "loud speaker" trying to get my attention... not literally hearing voices...but definitely recognizing the attempts to call me to Himself.

Which brings me to today's post. He longs to satisfy our needs. When we acknowledge Him and seek Him first, He will guide us, He will satisfy us and He will strengthen us. What a great promise! So, have you ever had the "loud speaker" of God get ahold of you to focus your attention to Him? I'd love to hear about it!