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My Freshly Brewed Life: July 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010

One Year Blog Anniversary Giveaway - WINNERS!!

My Freshly Brewed Life :: One Year Blog Anniversary and Week of Giveaways

I am so excited to announce the winners of my One Year Blog Anniversary Giveaway and reveal the SECRET prize, my gift to all of you, should you desire to receive it.

But first, I must answer the Question of the Day from yesterday's post.  The question was "if time, money or circumstances were of no concern, what is one thing that you would do"?  There are a few things that I would do:
  • I would welcome at least one child into my family through adoption.  I have such a heart for this, yet it would not be feasible now.  Maybe when I am a grandmother!
  • I would travel with my family to Israel.  I would love to walk where Jesus walked and visit the Holy Land.
  • I would write a book!  This is something that is stirring in me.  I may just use some of my blog posts to write a devotional book one day.  Might be easier than a "real" book.
Those are my top three.  Okay, enough stalling, without further adieu, here are the winners:

The Winner of Prize #5
$10 Starbucks Gift Card and Photo Album Set is:

Day One - Comment #20

The Winner of Prize #1
Life, Love, Laugh Picture Frame is:

Day Two - Comment # 27

The Winner of Prize #2
The Busy Mom's Bible is:

Day Three - Comment #19

The Winner of Prize #4
Hope and Butterflies Picture Frame is:

Day 4 - Comment # 17


The Winner of Prize #3

Bicycle Mug & Photo Album set is:

Day 5 - Comment #8

Congratulations to all of the winners.  Please email me your shipping address using the email address on my Blogger profile within 48 hours to claim your prize.  I want to thank all of you who came and participated through your comments.  It was so fun getting to know you all better.  We had quite the party! 

And now, for my secret prize.

As some of you know, I love to paint as the Holy Spirit inspires me.  I have absolutely no formal training.  I attend a church that embraces the freedom of worship expression and I am thankful that, from time to time, I get to paint during our worship services.  If you would like to view some of what I've done, visit my art blog.

Because you have all blessed me so much by welcoming me to this journey of blogging, and for being so sweet with your comments, thoughts and prayers, I would like to gift each of you with a 5x7 print of this:

This art piece is entitled "Awakened Love".
It was painted entirely with my hands during a worship service.
I felt God was awakening my heart to feel His love more.

I know in order for you to accept this gift, you would need to email me your address.  I know some of you will not be comfortable doing that and I totally understand.  Believe me I will not be offended!  But I really felt impressed by the Lord to gift each of you with this picture, to remind you of how very much God loves you, and that He longs to awaken your heart to more of His love.  So if you are willing, please email me your address.  Depending on the response, it will take between 1-2 weeks to get the out.

Thank you all again so much for participating and making my first blog anniversary a whole lot of fun.



One Year Blog Anniversary Giveaway - FINAL DAY!

My Freshly Brewed Life :: One Year Blog Anniversary and Week of Giveaways
Well, they say that all good things must come to an end.  This has been such a fun party, if I do say so myself.  I have enjoyed getting to know all of you better through your answers to my Questions of the Day.  I really hope you will all come back and browse through the comments.  There are some fun and uplifting answers there.

To answer yesterday's question myself on the story behind my blog name. I initially started blogging in March of 2009.  However, that blog never really got off the ground.  At first, I thought that God was calling me to be your typical mommy blogger, writing about the day-to-day joys and struggles with my children and giving advice to other moms because, well, after all, I've had four children and I know it all, right?  Wrong!  Initially, I chose the blog title "Moments for Moms", because all of you know that us moms only have moments to spare, right?  But I quickly realized that by not being home with my children all day (due to working full time) and the fact that I did not know how to take a great picture, that it would be almost impossible for me to keep my blog interesting if I were to blog about the typical mommy things. And besides, two of my kids were teens and most of the moms I followed still had kids in diapers. I quickly began to realize I was no expert at this "mommy blogging" thing.

So as I was going back and forth about what the focus of my blog should be, and deciding whether to use Word Press, Square Space or Type Pad, I began to search for blogs on blogger.  Blogger appealed to me because it was free.  I found some amazing and encouraging blogs.  These woman were all moms, from all walks of life, moms of infants, older children, teens and empty nesters.  What I found were moms who blogged about their children, but also about other things.  So I began to pray and ask the Lord to give me a new title for my blog.  As I prayed, I felt that He was calling my blog to be more of a devotional blog, to share inspiration from His Word and my journey in life.  Because I love coffee, I wanted to somehow incorporate that, but didn't really want a blog design with coffee cups, or the word coffee in the title.  I remembered a Bible Study that I had done a few years back entitled "Fresh Brewed Life".  That title hit me like a ton of bricks.  I wanted to own my domain name, but when I typed that into my domain name search, it was already taken, so I played around with the wording and finally came up with "My Freshly Brewed Life".  I love it because it really allows me to blog about anything and everything and I don't feel limited or that the title of my blog doesn't fit with what I am writing about. I believe it's a title that will stay with me for however long this journey takes me.

Whew, that was long!  So that's my blog story!

And now, for the Question of the Day (and the final question in my beloved blog party):

If time, money or circumstances were of no concern,
what is one thing you would love to do?

Well my lovely followers, this party is coming to a close.  Remember, all comments must be posted by 10:00pm TONIGHT in order to get in on the drawings.  I will be using Random.Org to pick the winners.  I will first draw the numbers of the prizes listed in my original post to pick the order in which they will be given away.  Then, I will use Random Number Generator to pick one winner for each day, for a total of 5 prizes.

I can't wait to reveal the winners, as well as my secret love gift for all of you, should you choose to receive it, on Saturday.

Until tomorrow!

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

One Year Blog Anniversary Giveaway - DAY FOUR

My Freshly Brewed Life :: One Year Blog Anniversary and Week of Giveaways
Hello my amazing friends!  I am getting so blessed by all of your lovely comments and learning so much about all of you.  I am having a little trouble keeping up in commenting back to you all through email, and it's so important to me that I do so, especially with my newest followers.  So just give me a little grace and I will be popping into your in box or onto your blog with some love and encouragement.  I never knew how time consuming a week long giveaway could be, but I wouldn't trade it for anything!  You are all so amazing.  And after all, this week is supposed to be all about you!!

I wanted to feature a a couple more special ladies today.  So without further adieu:


on't you just love my beautiful blog design?  I wish that I could say that I did it myself, but I am somewhat technically challenged, and have an extreme fear of anything "html", so I found a wonderfully talented and amazing blog designer to take on the challenge.  If you've never met Hannah, you will want to stop by her blogs.  Aspire is her personal blog, where she shares about her relationship with the Lord, posts lovely pictures of her beautiful siblings and everything in between.  She is wise beyond her young years and this older, more mature lady has learned so much from her insight.  She also has a design blog, Vivid Design Studio, and a photo blog which will blow you away!  Stop on over and say hello

Finding Joy

I am not really sure if I met Rachel before Hannah, or Hannah before Rachel, but it doesn't really matter.  Rachel is the beautiful, encouraging, wise, determined, laundry loving (inserting a wink to Rachel here) mom of Hannah, as well as her other 6 children.  Rachel communicates God's heart with such pose and grace, and she is open and honest about her journey.  She has become such a sweet blogging friend and I truly hope that I get to meet both her and her precious Hannah one day.  You will want to make sure you stop over to Rachel's place and leave some bloggy love! Oh, she having a fabulous giveaway by the way!

And now for the Question of the Day.  This idea came to me from a recent blog post by my sweet friend Kate over at Dancing About Architecture.  She is another treasure I have found in this world of blogging.  She is always encouraging and positive and makes me smile.  And of course, I would love to meet her too!  Won't you stop on over to her place and say hello?

What is the story behind the name of your blog?

Just two more days ladies!  Looking forward to drawing the winners and revealing my secret prize on Saturday!

Love you all!

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

One Year Blog Anniversary Giveaway - DAY THREE

My Freshly Brewed Life :: One Year Blog Anniversary and Week of Giveaways
Woo Hoo!  I cannot tell you ladies how much fun I am having at my own party.  I wish I could keep it going another week or so, but then I'd have to run out and get more prizes.  Well, it's a good excuse to have another party soon, right?

Thank you all so much for responding to the question of the day yesterday.  I found out so much about your personality in just one word!  Some of you have inquired about how I would describe myself in just one word.  I've been thinking about it all day.  I did not realize how hard this would hard that some of you just couldn't do it!  I would describe myself as:  LOVER!  I am a lover of my Jesus, the sole source of my strength, joy and peace; a lover of my family, the people who, next to God, that I would rather spend all of my time with; a lover of my girlfriends, those who walk beside me in this life and support and encourage me, and make me laugh; and a lover of, well COFFEE of course!  If you know me at all you will know that I absolutely cannot function without my coffee.  And, I don't make my own. I make horrible coffee. So I break the bank to get the good stuff! 

I wanted to share some of the things I've learned about blogging along the way:
  • I've learned how important it is to just be myself.  This is hard sometimes.  I often compare myself to others and wonder if what I have to offer is worthy of reading.  But I have found that if I stay true to myself, and what God has called me to do, then I will be successful.  I have had the greatest success in finding friends like you along the path.
  • I've learned that it really doesn't matter how many followers I have.  Neither does it matter how many comments I receive, or whether someone recently unsubscribed from my blog.  I do not write to gain followers.  I write to uplift and encourage women in their journey with the Lord.  That's really all that matters.  
  • I've learned that I could probably add well over 1,000 blogs in my Google Reader.  There are so many fantastic blogs out there and yes, I read many.  I've learned that it's okay that I don't read them all every day.  I've learned that it's important though to leave comments as often as I can, to encourage other bloggers, and to build relationship with them.  I've learned that I cannot be offended if someone does not comment.  We all lead busy lives and we must lead one another with grace.
  • I've learned that I will have uninspired days.  There are days when there is absolutely nothing happening in my life that anyone would want to read about.  It's okay that I don't post every day. Life happens and this is the way it is.
I've learned so much more, but now it's time for the Question of the Day:

What is one thing that you've learned through blogging that you
could pass on to others?

I am looking forward to tomorrow!

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

One Year Blog Anniversary Giveaway - DAY TWO

My Freshly Brewed Life :: One Year Blog Anniversary and Week of Giveaways
Are we having fun yet?  Thank you for the great comments and love in yesterday's post.  I need to clarify just a couple of things. And please forgive my lack of knowledge.  This is really my first big giveaway so I am not sure what I am doing really.

{1}...My giveaway is open to anyone who follows my blog.  Even if you do not live in the U.S., I want you to be able to participate because you bless me by following my blog.

{2}...I did tell you that my giveaway ends at Midnight on Friday, July 30th.  However, so that I will have time to draw all of the winners and schedule a post for you all to read on Saturday morning, I am ending the Giveaway at 10:00 PM (Pacific Time).  Hopefully this is not too confusing.

Today, I would like to feature three very special followers who have made my blogging experience a joy from the beginning.  These ladies are some of the very first blogs I found when I started this journey, and they in return have been so encouraging along the way.  I even had the joy of meeting one of them just recently. 

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

What can I say about Loren?  She welcomed me to blog land very early on and I absolutely love her.  She has taken the time to pray for me and email me advice and encouragement and is truly a friend who I hope to one day meet.  She is a woman of prayer and if you say you have a need, and she says she will pray, she does!  You will absolutely love her blog!

Heart Choices

I had the joy of meeting Debbie last week while vacationing in Arizona. We had so much fun together.  Debbie is a very wise woman and she is a life giver.  She has walked a "little farther than me" in some areas of her life and has really been able to come along side and encourage me.  I am so thankful she is in my life through blogging and that I got to meet her in person and give her a big hug!

Content in Christ

Beth is a dear sister in Christ and a true Woman of the Word.  Her posts will cause you to think and ponder and leave you hungering for more of the Lord.  Beth loves to worship the Lord, as do I.  I could sit and talk about worship with her for hours.  She has become a very dear blog friend, another person who I hope to be able to meet in person one day.

If you have a moment, and don't already follow their lovely blogs, I would encourage you to visit these amazing friends of mine and say "hello".

Now, on to the question of the day, which you can use for your lovely comment for another chance to earn a prize!!!

If you could use one word to describe yourself, what would it be and why?

I can't wait to read all of your answers!


Monday, July 26, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Yippee!  It's Monday and I get to be random!  I love the fact that I don't have to think too hard about this post!  If you would like to join the fun, visit Carissa over at lowercase letters!

{1}...Considering most of you probably haven't had your Cup of Joe yet, I am sending you this:

{2}...I am in the process of declutteirng my home to prepare for our move in September (hopefully).  I can't seem to settle down in one room and finish it before moving to the next.  My house looks like a complete disaster.  There are boxes and piles everywhere.  Is this normal, or am I ADD? 

{3}...I am looking for a new skin care product which is Paraben free.  I am having trouble locating a line of product that I like.  I was trying out Avalon Organics, but am not crazy about it.  I love Philosophy, but only a couple of their products are free of Parabens.  Any recommendations?

{4}...I wish I had kept up with my bike riding.  I am looking for ways to get in exercise out doors and this would be perfect.  There are so many benefits.

{5}...I am celebrating my One Year Blog Anniversary with a week of giveaways.  You can stop on over and take a look here.

Happy Monday friends!


Sunday, July 25, 2010

One Year Blog Anniversary Giveaway - DAY ONE

My Freshly Brewed Life :: One Year Blog Anniversary and Week of Giveaways
Hello to my fabulous followers! I am so very humbled, thankful and honored that you choose to take time to read my blog. When I first started blogging a year ago, I had no clue of the tremendous blessing that blogging would become in my life. I cannot imagine a day (well, I can, but just one) without each of you. You have taken the time to encourage, speak life, pray for me and my family, and just leave kind comments along the way. I wanted to do something to let you all to know how very much I appreciate you! I wanted to do a fabulous giveaway with lots of elaborate prizes, but I don't have that much knowledge about how to network and ask people who would be willing to donate said fabulous prizes. So, instead, I have picked up some things over the last few months that I thought you might like. They are not elaborate, but are heart felt. 

On Friday, I will be giving something very special away. More on that later! So, without further ado, here are the prizes being offered: 

 This is a beautiful wall hanging.  It says:
LIVE Simply
LOVE Generously

When I saw this, it made me smile!


Here is the product description from Amazon.

Is not this the cutest mug you've ever seen?

Together with this:
(This is a set of three 4x6 photo albums
Each holds 24 pictures.)

This has got to be one of the most precious picture frames ever!
Don't you think?


 A $10 gift card to the BUCKS, along with
another one of these:

So what do you think?  Not elaborate, but nice, huh?  And Friday, I will be giving away the best prize of all.  I am not going to tell you what it is until Saturday, when I reveal the winners of all of the prizes. But, I will tell you that EVERY person who leaves a comment during the week will win one!  I am so very excited about this!

To enter my Blog Anniversary Giveaway, all you have to do is:

Follow my Blog.  This is MANDATORY.  I am after all celebrating my followers.  When you comment, let me know that you follow, and how you follow (Google Friend Connect, RSS, Email, etc.)
(Mandatory Entry)

Comment on my post each day during the week.  I may have a question for you to answer.  For today (Monday), please tell me how you found my blog and what you love about it. (One Extra Entry)

Place my "Giveaway Button" on the sidebar on your blog.
(One Extra Entry)

*The giveaway ends at Midnight (Pacific Time) on Friday, July 30th)

That's it.  Pretty easy, huh? The winners will be drawn using the Random Number Generator, and I will also have my daughter draw a particular prize for that person. If you do not want the prize that you win, I will happily give it to the next person. And just to be be fair, you can only win once.

I am excited to celebrate with all of you!

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

One Year Blog Anniversary & Giveaways!

My Freshly Brewed Life :: One Year Blog Anniversary and Week of Giveaways
This month, I am celebrating one year of blogging.  I actually started blogging in March of last year, but I never really got it off the ground.  I came over to Blogger in July, met all of my wonderful followers and found some fabulous blogs to read, so I want to celebrate YOU, my amazing followers!  I cannot tell you how humbled and honored I am that you choose to read my little blog. I know your time is valuable, and there are some fantastic blogs out there. I am so privileged that I get to have this cyber relationship with each of you.  My heart is that you are encouraged and strengthened by what the Lord gives me to share, and that I bring a little ray of sunshine into your lives!

All next week (July 26th through July 30th), you will have a chance to win some wonderful prizes.   I guarantee you will love them!  Make sure you come back here beginning Monday to enter to win.  All you have to do to enter is 
  1. Follow my Blog (Mandatory)
  2. Comment on my post each day during the week (extra Entry)
  3. Place my "Giveaway button" on your sidebar (extra entry).
I will list the prize you are entering to win in my post.  Remember, that entire week will be dedicated to YOU, my blog readers!  You are all so special to me.



Friday, July 23, 2010

TSMSS - I Am Beautiful To You

(*Please pause the player in the top right side bar to listen.)

I am linking up with Amy at Signs, Miracles and Wonders for "Then Sings My Soul Saturdays".  I came across this video today of a song called "I Am Beautiful To You" from the Kansas City International House of Prayer.  The words blessed me so much.  I pray you will be blessed as you listen and know how beautiful you are!

What do You see when I don’t see
What do
You know when I don’t know
if anything I knew was real
And with those eyes, unfailing eyes
You see my broken side
or do
You see in me what’s beautiful 

So come and walk in the room
And take this broken piece of clay
And turn it into something
On my knees I will stay
I know there is no better way
To come and hear that I
am beautiful to You 

Who is that calling out to me
Is it the voice of my Beloved
Who is that gazing up at me
Is it not the gaze of my Beloved 

So come and walk in the room
And take this broken piece of clay
And turn it into something
On my knees I will stay
I know there is no better way
To come and hear that I
am beautiful to You

(Words and music by Ben Woodward.)


Thursday, July 22, 2010

I'm Back, Blog Friendships & Awards!

 (The Sky over Phoenix on my vacation.)
Hello friends!  Well, I am back from a week long vacation to Phoenix.  Me and a girlfriend braved the extreme heat to visit one of our best friends who moved there over three years ago.  It was very hot.  Close to 112 most days. It's the kind of heat that causes you to gasp when you walk out in it.  But we survived. We had a great time hanging out, watching movies, eating chocolate, drinking coffee, shopping and had some fabulous pampering!

 (My two BEST friends - Laura & Kristin.
Kristin lives in Phoenix.)
On Monday, I had the privilege of meeting Debbie of Heart Choices. Debbie's blog was one of the first ones that I began to follow when I started blogging about a year ago.  She has always been such an encouragement to me.  From the moment we said hello, and gave one another a big hug, I was instantly connected!  We shared about our lives, our families, blogging and some of the trials we've walked through. I love how God brings to us those who can take our hand and walk with us along the way.  Debbie is that to me. She's been in places where I'm going and I know she will be with me every step of the way. Thank you Debbie!  If you haven't visited her over at Heart Choices yet, hop on over and say hello.  You will love her as much as I do!

(Debbie and Me!)
I also wanted to take a moment to thank a couple of wonderful ladies for some recent bloggie love!  Jinnia over at Jinnia awarded me the "Sugar Doll" blog award back on July 5th. (Sorry I didn't acknowledge this sooner, but I forgot to star it in my Google Reader and forgot about it until the next award.)

And, Jen over at Finding Heaven has awarded me the "Blog With Substance Award".  

Thank you ladies! I am humbled and honored that you read my blog.  I truly appreciate you both!

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Word Filled Wednesday

The Lord will perfect that which concerns me;
Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever.
(Psalm 138:8)
All of HIS promises are YES and AMEN!

Visit Internet Cafe Devotions for more of God's Word today!


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters
Hello friends!  So excited to participate in the Miscellany Monday, hosted by the lovely Carissa at lowercase letters!  I have been on vacation in Arizona over the last several days, so my randomness will be based around that (and may not be so random afterall).

{1}...I am a Peets Coffee lover and never thought I would enjoy any other coffee.  But this week I was introduced to Dutch Brothers and absolutely fell in love!  I never though I could enjoy a drive up coffee window so much.

{2}...It's amazing how much sweat can drip down a person's neck just going from the house to the car (which is parked in the garage). I think I could fill a bath tub with it. It's been between 112-116 the entire time I've been here.  Needless to say, I am looking forward to returning to my lovely California weather.

{3}...I am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed in a few days.  I love my Tempur-Pedic mattress and pillow, especially after spending a week on a couch! 

{4}...I got to eat lunch here this week.  I didn't have the burger though. I had the chicken strips. We don't have this out in California. 

{5}...Next to spending time with my fabulous girlfriends, these were the highlights of my week:

(A facial at the Kohler Academy.  It was close to Heaven, I am sure!)

(A fabulous pedicure, except they almost burned
off my toes with the Parafin Wax! No, these are NOT my toes!)

Happy Monday to all!


Friday, July 16, 2010

The Heat Is On!

Hello friends!  On Wednesday night, a friend and I flew to Arizona to visit one of our best friends who moved there about four years ago.  I have to say, that the heat out here has been shocking!  Yesterday it was 116!  I have never been in a place that has been so hot, and so appreciate my California weather. But, we are having a great time just hanging out, talking and watching chick flicks.

Yesterday, my friend introduced me to
I wasn't sure about it at first.  A drive up, little tiny place that serves coffee.  But I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised!

Today, we will be hanging out inside mostly as it's supposed to be well over 100 today. We do plan on visiting the local AVON store.  I have never been in a place where you could actually walk in and buy AVON.

On Monday, I am meeting up with Debbie at Heart Choices.  I am so excited to be able to meet her. She's been an amazing encouragement to me and a wonderful cyper friend. I can't wait to give her a big hug!

I just wanted to pop in and let you all know where I was, just in case you were missing me.  I will be back in town on Wednesday afternoon and hope to have a couple of cool things to announce! 


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Called By A New Name

This evening my girls were entertaining themselves with an App on my iPhone called, “What Does My Name Mean?” They were having a great time finding the meaning of their names, their siblings and friends. This got me thinking about my own name. By birth, I am “Barbara”, which means “Stranger”. ...

To read more, visit me over at 5 Minutes for Faith today where I am the contributing writer. Make sure you leave a comment letting me know you stopped by, or you can leave one here as well!

Have a great day friends!


Monday, July 12, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters
I absolutely love participating in Carissa's Miscellany Monday post.  It's the one day I don't feel bad about just being random. 

{1}...So my son had a friend over last night and wanted to watch a movie.  So we put one on, but most everyone in the room was either on their iPod, iPhone or in front the computer (guilty)!  So in the end, it was just a lot of noise while I was trying to think random thoughts for this post.

{2}...On Wednesday I will be leaving for Phoenix to visit my very best friend who moved there about four years ago.  I am so excited, but am not sure I will come back alive.  I do not do well in the heat.  Here is what the weather is supposed to be like while I am there:

Oh and while I am there, I am hoping to meet Debbie of Heart Choices.  Anyone else in the Phoenix area who would love to meet a blogging buddy?

{3}...I hate to admit this, but I haven't folded a load of laundry in weeks.  My dear husband eventually gets around to it.  I am just so tired and for whatever reason folding the laundry takes too much energy.  Although, I am getting tired of looking at piles of this every day:

{4}...I was thinking about giving myself a tan.  Not in a tanning booth, but either using a spray or lotion.  I think I would wear more tank tops in the Summer if my arms were tanned, because somehow the tan would take away from the flabbiness of my arms.  Has anyone ever tried any of these products?  Do they work?  Do they turn your skin orange?

{5}...I was browsing the internet the other day and look what I came across.  I wonder if the iPod comes one when you roll the toilet paper.

Have a wonderful week ladies!