Food for the Soul ~ Romans 15:12-13

Hello there, friend. I'm so glad to have you visiting today. With warmer temperatures and whipping wind this weekend, I watched as many of the beautiful leaves from our tree were blown away for the season. This is what happens right before winter comes. It seems as though they just changed color and now they are almost all gone. Based on past experience, I can hope with assurance that the tree will bud again in the spring, it will flower and then be the lush green we expect in the summertime. Another few months will pass and we'll get a hard freeze which will send the leaves into their splendor of fall colors. The cycle continues.

Romans 15:12-13 ( A great passage for the first Sunday of Advent... the Hope Candle)

Even more reliable than the patterns of the life cycle of the trees is the One who created them all. Based on the truth of His Word and my experiences with His faithfulness in my own life, I have a hope that stands firm when the winds of adversity blow. Our God is faithful and just, and He fills our hearts with hope, joy and peace! If you've never experienced the hope that can only come from knowing Jesus, I pray that this is the year you'll unwrap His Gift of Salvation.

May your heart be blessed by God's Word as you start this first week of the Advent season.

Need some direction for reading Advent passages in the Bible this week? Here are a few I plan on reading with my family:

Isaiah 11:1-10; Isaiah 7:10-14; 9:6-7; Isaiah 11:1-5; Jeremiah 33:14-16;

 photo signature_zpsd4bb4d5b.png

How to Make a Merry "Kissmas" Countdown

It's the start of the most wonderful time of year! I love getting ready for Christmas... the decorations, the baking, the party planning, the giving of gifts... all of it. One sweet way to build the anticipation of the big day with your kiddos is with an advent calendar. I've seen lots of cute ones online, but this Merry "Kissmas" Countdown has been a favorite with my kids for many years.  We have often used it in conjunction with scripture readings about the birth of Christ, to remind them that the sweetest gift ever given was Jesus.

This Merry "Kissmas" Countdown is a sweet way to number the days before Christmas!

I'll show you just how easy it is to make one for your family. Are you ready to start counting down to Christmas?

How to make a Merry "Kissmas" Countdown

Here's what you'll need: plastic wrap, Hershey's kisses (your kids' favorite flavors...have you tried the candy cane ones? YUM), some ribbon, and scissors.

How to make a Merry "Kissmas" Countdown

Start by spreading out 4-5 feet of plastic wrap. Count out 25 Kisses and space them out along the center of the long sheet of wrap.

How to make a Merry "Kissmas" Countdown

Next, fold the sides over to enclose the kisses.

How to make a Merry "Kissmas" Countdown

Cut about 26 four to five inch pieces of ribbon and start tying off in between the kisses.

How to make a Merry "Kissmas" Countdown

Create a hanger out of the ribbon and hang up in your designated spot. Now, wasn't that easy? Prepare to have your heart swell 2 sizes when you get to exchange a Hershey's Kiss for a kiss on the cheek from your kiddos each day. This is especially sweet when it comes from your big tweens.

It would be easy to add a meaningful activity to each day's Kiss. Simply make a list of scriptures to read and/or seasonal activities to do that coordinates with the day.  Do you do Advent Calendars in your family? How have you used the time before Christmas to build the excitement of celebrating the birth of Christ?

 photo signature_zpsd4bb4d5b.png
I'm linking up at some of these great parties and

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving! May your heart be overflowing with love and gratefulness today and always!


 photo signature_zpsd4bb4d5b.png

Creative Ways Link Party #30 and Features

Well, another week has come and gone. Thanksgiving for those of us in the US is tomorrow. I can hardly believe how quickly the year has flown by. Before I go on and on about what's been keeping me busy, I first want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being such a loyal group of readers. Many of you that come here each week, I truly consider my friends. You are a blessing to me and I am grateful for you.


While I didn't get anything out on the blog this week, rest assured I've been working my patootie off. I spent our first free weekend cleaning, rearranging, purging, crafting and doing some holiday decorating. I should have some projects to show you real soon. In the meantime, are you ready to see what your friends in blogland have been up to? I'm ready to see all your Creative Ways!

Before you share with us, I have to show you some of my favorites from last week's party!

If you still have a little energy left before the big day tomorrow, you could whip up some of these beautiful Natural Leaf Chargers by An Extraordinary Day. Aren't they pretty?

I want to go to Goodie Godmother's house for Thanksgiving to have some of this Salted Caramel Apple Pie. Doesn't it look delicious?

What a fun after-Thanksgiving project! The Painted Apron brought these adorable Creations Christmas Cottages to the party. 

When you're tired of the turkey leftovers, it's time to whip up a batch of these Spicy Beef Emanadas by BeBetsy! Great flavor packed into a portable meal! 

I am in love with the simple beauty of these Rustic Handmade Clay Christmas Ornaments by Making It in the Mountains. The design possibilities are endless!

I'm convinced that Shamene of Say it With Cake is a professional baker. Just look at the perfect layers in this Apple Spice Toffee Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. Who needs dinner? I'm having cake!
If you missed these wonderful posts, be sure to click through their links to check them out! What have you been working on this week? I can't wait to see!

I've started adding the features to my Creative Ways Link Party Features Board on Pinterest. Hoping that will bring your posts even more exposure! I hope you'll follow along! (The features from the last few parties are on there as well!)


Link Party Guidelines
  • Please link up to 3 of your family-friendly DIY Projects, Crafts or Recipes...your Creative Ways
  • Please link to a specific post on your blog, not just your home page.
  • Please do not link up Etsy shops or giveaways.
  • Please follow Posed Perfection by clicking on one of my pretty, colorful buttons on the sidebar, and let me know so I can follow you back.
  • I'd love for you to add the party button to your post, a visible link back on your post, or a link on a party page. We want your creative friends to join us too!
  • Be sure to visit at least 2 links and leave some comment love. 
  • By linking up to this party, your are giving authorization for your projects/recipes to be featured with a photo and a link back to your blog.
    Posed Perfection
    <a href="www.posedperfection.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1212.photobucket.com/albums/cc454/pianoprincessdesigns/creativewaysbutton_zps0fd67676.png~original" alt="Posed Perfection" width="250" height="177" /></a>

    Are you following me on Facebook? If not, I'd be thrilled if you popped over there to "like" my page. To have a better chance of getting my posts into your Facebook feed, leave a comment or like a post when you see it too.  I can't wait to see all your Creative Ways!

     photo signature_zpsd4bb4d5b.png

    Food for the Soul ~ Psalm 92:4-5

    Hello, dear friends! I'm so happy to have you visiting today! Have you had a good weekend so far? Ours was rather dreary, weather wise. But, there's a silver lining to all the clouds... I was able to stay at home (no more ball games this season ~ Hallelujah!) and clean, organize, and rearrange things. Basically, I got to nest. I took the time to take care of the material things the Lord has blessed me with. 

    I find that when we are running around, going from activity to activity and not spending much time at home on weekends, we tend to let our responsibilities fall by the wayside. I usually stay on top of the laundry, the dishes, and the cooking, but all the other clutter stuff just doesn't get taken care of and then it multiplies... exponentially. In the process of the clutter multiplication, my joy is zapped. I am no longer able to enjoy the things the Lord had graciously bestowed on me. I am no longer being a good steward of the things He has entrusted to me. 


    This weekend I took steps to get things under control. With the holidays upon us, I don't want a disorganized, messy house to keep me from practicing sweet hospitality. I want to enjoy all the pretty decorations of the season without being stressed by the clutter. I want my home to reflect the beauty of the Lord.  Mostly, I want to strip everything away to get to the heart of this blessed season... Thankfulness and Christ.

    Wishing you all a wonderful week! May you be filled with the joy of the Lord!
     photo signature_zpsd4bb4d5b.png

    Creative Ways Link Party #29 and Features

    Hey Friends! It's been a chilly week around here, how about in your neck of the woods? The cool weather doesn't seem to be slowing down your creative juices, though! You keep bringing awesome posts to the Creative Ways Link Party to share with us all. I'm so glad you're here again this week...


    Here were just a few of the stellar linkups from last week:


    Love this clever PB-Inspired "Joy to the World" Globe by The Crazy Craft Lady. Looks almost exactly like the original and gets me thinking about Christmas decorating!


    What could be better than a Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake? Such a simple and beautiful cake by The Painted Hinge.


    BrePurposed turned a castoff utilitarian file drawer into this amazing Arles and Aztec statement piece.


    I love homemade cranberry sauce. Hello Creative managed to make it even better with The BEST Cranberry-Pineapple Relish. I can't wait to try this flavor combo!


    Simply beautiful is what I'd say about the Give Thanks Centerpiece by Garden UP Green. 


    I can hardly wait to make up a batch of these Turkey and Stuffing Sliders by The Kitchen is my Playground after Thanksgiving!

    If you missed these wonderful posts, be sure to click through their links to check them out! What have you been working on this week? I can't wait to see!

    I've started adding the features to my Creative Ways Link Party Features Board on Pinterest. Hoping that will bring your posts even more exposure! I hope you'll follow along! (The features from the last few parties are on there as well!)


    Link Party Guidelines
    • Please link up to 3 of your family-friendly DIY Projects, Crafts or Recipes...your Creative Ways
    • Please link to a specific post on your blog, not just your home page.
    • Please do not link up Etsy shops or giveaways.
    • Please follow Posed Perfection by clicking on one of my pretty, colorful buttons on the sidebar, and let me know so I can follow you back.
    • I'd love for you to add the party button to your post, a visible link back on your post, or a link on a party page. We want your creative friends to join us too!
    • Be sure to visit at least 2 links and leave some comment love. 
    • By linking up to this party, your are giving authorization for your projects/recipes to be featured with a photo and a link back to your blog.
      Posed Perfection
      <a href="www.posedperfection.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1212.photobucket.com/albums/cc454/pianoprincessdesigns/creativewaysbutton_zps0fd67676.png~original" alt="Posed Perfection" width="250" height="177" /></a>

      Are you following me on Facebook? If not, I'd be thrilled if you popped over there to "like" my page. To have a better chance of getting my posts into your Facebook feed, leave a comment or like a post when you see it too.  I can't wait to see all your Creative Ways!

       photo signature_zpsd4bb4d5b.png


      Creamy Southwestern Soup

      Hi there, friends! Hope your week is off to a great start. We've been bundling up under blankets all weekend... first at the baseball fields on Saturday and then Sunday afternoon at home. With the chilly and damp weather we've had, even a snow flurry or two, it was definitely the right atmosphere for a hearty soup! So if you're looking for a new soup recipe to add to your lineup, you've come to the right place. This Creamy Southwestern Soup will hit the spot!

      Although hearty and delicious, this Creamy Southwestern Soup will have them begging for seconds!

      Creamy Southwestern Soup

      1 lb. ground beef
      1/2 cup chopped onion
      olive oil
      Garlic salt
      4 oz. cream cheese
      1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes (I pulsed mine in the food processor a few times.)
      1 small can diced green chiles
      1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained
      1 small can shoe peg corn, drained
      16 oz. beef broth
      1 tsp. taco seasoning
      1/2 tsp. cumin
      salt & pepper to taste

      Over medium heat brown onions in olive oil. Add in ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Drain off the fat. Reduce the burner to low. Cut up the cream cheese into cubes and add in to the ground beef, smashing in with back of spoon until no lumps remain. Add in tomatoes, green chiles, black beans, corn and beef broth. Season with cumin, salt, pepper and taco spices. Stir to combine and allow to heat through completely. Serve with corn bread or tortilla chips.

      Creamy Southwestern Soup is perfect for the chilly nights of winter!

      This soup is both filling and delicious. It's got meat, spices and veggies...what more could a soup need? It's really easy to customize to your tastes too. I hope you love it as much we did! Now, if only it would warm up our toes as much as our tummies... ;-)

      Need more soup ideas?


       photo signature_zpsd4bb4d5b.png
      I'm linking up at some of these great parties and
      922c8fdfb37479da2e12010a9125b1650b89943c51c51d203d

      Food for the Soul ~ Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

      Happy Sunday to you! I'm so pleased to have you visiting my little ol' blog today. We just finished off our fall baseball season with a very chilly tournament yesterday. While I'm glad the season is finally over... before it gets any colder and any more busy, I am sad that we won't be seeing many of the families on a regular basis for a while. I'm so thankful for the sweet friendships that have come out of my kiddos playing on sports teams. It makes the time spent shivering in the bleachers so much more enjoyable when you like the people you are surrounded with. I have been truly blessed by the people the Lord has put in my life over the years, both physically and virtually. Know that my heart smiles each time I think of you.


      Celebrate the gift of friendship today! Perhaps it's your childhood friend, or college roommate, your sister or your spouse.  Whoever is in your life to sharpen you or comfort you, God has placed them there for a reason. Our earthly friendships are but a glimpse of the sweet fellowship we can have with Jesus. Have a wonderful week!
       photo signature_zpsd4bb4d5b.png

      Creative Ways Link Party #28 and Features

      Happy Wednesday to you! Is it chilly where you are? We had an arctic blast come through here and it seems to be hanging around. Thankfully, it's just the temperatures that have plummeted, and no precipitation. However, if it doesn't warm up, we'll have icicles hanging from our noses on Saturday at my son's last baseball tournament of the season. Anyway, I guess you didn't come here for the weather report, so let's get this Creative Ways Link Party started!


      Before you share with us what you've been working on, here were a few posts that tickled my fancy from last week. (Does anyone still say 'tickled my fancy'?) These were some of the posts that I highly esteemed... ;-)

      One Bite Apple Pie Tartlets by Domestic Superhero would be my downfall. I fear I would eat 100 of them...but I'd enjoy every single one. ;-)

      These Beaded Wrap Bracelets by The DIY Dreamer are already underway in my house. My little crafter is working on one right now.

      Pizza on the Grill by All Kinds of Things sounds delicious. Love the shortcut she gives us!

      I may be making up a bunch of these Monogram Gift Tags by Shop Girl. Too cute!

      These Ginger Bread Cupcakes by With a Blast look delicious. How could you go wrong with that cinnamon cream cheese frosting?

      This Thanksgiving Tablescape by Anderson & Grant is so very pretty. I love all her special touches like the napkins and the beautiful leaf favors. 

      If you missed these wonderful posts, be sure to click through their links to check them out! What have you been working on this week? I can't wait to see!

      I've started adding the features to my Creative Ways Link Party Features Board on Pinterest. Hoping that will bring your posts even more exposure! I hope you'll follow along! (The features from the last few parties are on there as well!)


      Link Party Guidelines
      • Please link up to 3 of your family-friendly DIY Projects, Crafts or Recipes...your Creative Ways
      • Please link to a specific post on your blog, not just your home page.
      • Please do not link up Etsy shops or giveaways.
      • Please follow Posed Perfection by clicking on one of my pretty, colorful buttons on the sidebar, and let me know so I can follow you back.
      • I'd love for you to add the party button to your post, a visible link back on your post, or a link on a party page. We want your creative friends to join us too!
      • Be sure to visit at least 2 links and leave some comment love. 
      • By linking up to this party, your are giving authorization for your projects/recipes to be featured with a photo and a link back to your blog.
        Posed Perfection
        <a href="www.posedperfection.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1212.photobucket.com/albums/cc454/pianoprincessdesigns/creativewaysbutton_zps0fd67676.png~original" alt="Posed Perfection" width="250" height="177" /></a>

        Are you following me on Facebook? If not, I'd be thrilled if you popped over there to "like" my page. To have a better chance of getting my posts into your Facebook feed, leave a comment or like a post when you see it too.  I can't wait to see all your Creative Ways!


         photo signature_zpsd4bb4d5b.png

        A Golden Autumn Tablescape

        Hello Friends! I'm so happy to see you here today. It's been a while since I've shared a tablescape with you, hasn't it? As you may have seen in a post last week, we had the pleasure of having my parents in town for a long weekend. My mom is all about making things pretty and she loves doing tablescapes. Having her here was just the motivation I needed to do a little more fall fluffing before we start preparing for Christmas decorating. She and my daughter were instrumental in getting this Golden Autumn Tablescape pulled together.

        Embracing the golden hues of Autumn, this tablescape paves the way for a cozy dinner with friends and family.

        It all started with these old wooden buckets I picked up on clearance at Dillard's this summer for just a few dollars each.

        Golden Autumn Tablescape ~ wooden bucket fall arrangement

        While I was working in the kitchen preparing dinner, the girls were creating these beautiful rustic arrangements with faux leaves, gourds, berries, dried lotus pods and artichokes. (I got the artichokes in a Bountiful Basket one week and never got around to cooking them. I just let them dry out on the counter to use in floral arrangements. No sense in wasting them, right?)

        Golden Autumn Tablescape ~ wooden bucket fall arrangement

        Next, the runner was brought out and we started looking for some candles. The little golden votives were a find at the Dollar Tree a couple of years ago when I put together a Casual Fall Tablescape.

        Golden Autumn Tablescape

        Out came my trusty white dishes, layered with some ticking-striped napkins... another fun clearance find from the same shopping trip as the wooden buckets.

        Wooden bucket arrangement with bowl of apples

        We added in a bowl of apples for more color and a little more interest.

        Golden Autumn Tablescape with pinecones at place settings

        Each place setting was adorned with a pinecone. For an extra sweet touch, a little tag with a handwritten name could welcome each guest.

        Golden Autumn Tablescape with pinecones at place settings

        Here and there along the runner we scattered some small pinecones and added in a few white dishes to fill in the space.

        Golden Autumn Tablescape with rustic fall bucket arrangements

        The table is all set. A wooden cutting board with some yummy breadsticks beckons the guests to come to the table to partake in a delicious meal prepared by loving hands. Are all your Thanksgiving plans set? Are you hosting at your house this year?
         photo signature_zpsd4bb4d5b.png
        I'm linking up at some of these great parties and