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My Freshly Brewed Life: August 2010

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Praise The Lord!

Extravagant Grace

I am linking up with eLisa at Extravagant Grace for today's praise challenge.  I was asked to search the word "Praise" at Bible Gateway and share one of my favorite scripture.  
Praise the Lord!  Let all that I am praise the Lord.  I will praise the Lord as long as live.  I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath.  (Psalm 146:1-2)
 He is so worthy to be praise.  I will never cease to praise Him!

I am also to share a link to one of my favorite praise songs.  This one was so much harder.  There are so many great worship songs.  But I could only pick one.  Here is one of my favorites.

He is so worthy of our praise!


All Moved In!

Well, for the most part anyways.  We started early and moved all of the furniture, and most of the boxes into the new house today.  I am exhausted.  It was quite a chore.  At one point, all of the guys got together and debated as to how to get my daughter's piano up the stairs:

(They did manage to get it up the stairs, making her extremely happy!)

We still have a lot of stuff at the old house.  We have a few weeks before we have to officially vacate, so I will be going back and forth and grabbing stuff and cleaning here and there.  Here's a picture of what my kitchen looked like last night:

(I am sure going to miss my kitchen remodel, which my hubby did!)

I just wanted to say thank you all for keeping us in prayer this last week.  We really appreciate it!  I will hopefully be back to a more regular blogging schedule beginning Monday.

Until then, have a great weekend!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Light Breaking Through Darkness

I took this picture when I was in Arizona in July.  I admit, I played around with some of the settings in my Picnik (okay, I will admit, I am not a seasoned photographer and do not know how to use the fancy software all of you do, so bear with me).  I remember the day was hot, but a storm was rolling in.  But no matter how many clouds came, I could still see the glorious light of the sun shining through.  It's rays were so warm and comforting on my face.  God reminded me then that even though I may walk through seasons where it's dark and my vision is blurred, the Son, Jesus, will continually shine through, breaking through the darkness.  This capture seemed fitting for my current season of life.

Lovely Photo - Wordless or Not-So-Wordless Wednesday at Aspire
Today I am linking up with the fabulous Hannah over at Aspire for Lovely Photo Wednesday (even though I commented earlier and told her I was going to wait until next week)!  

Be sure to visit Hannah's blog to link up and see more lovely photos!

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Praise The Lord!

Extravagant Grace

Yes, I know.  I am on a blogging break.  But I came across this and immediately knew that I had to link up.  I am joining in with eLisa at Extravagant Grace for a 31-day Commitment to intentionally give thanks and praise to the Lord in this moment.  As most of you know, I am going through an overwhelming time with this move.  I may not have the strength to muster of a deep, thought provoking post, but I can continue to be purposeful in seeking out that which I am thankful for and offering up praise to the one who is worthy.  I want God to open my ears to hear His voice, and open my eyes to see His work in my life beyond what I can see in the natural.  Will you join me in this commitment?
You are my God, and I will praise you! You are my God, and I will exalt you! Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. (Psalm 118:28-29)
Visit here for more information.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Blogs, An Apology, Resting

Hello my lovelies.  I hope you are all doing wonderfully today!  I wanted to share a few things with you.

First, I have made a few tweaks to my blog.  Nothing that may even be noticeable.  I had my fabulous designer, Hannah, make my posting area just a little wider so that I could post even larger photos and we have tweaked a few other things. I also wanted to take this opportunity to tell you about my other blogs just in case you hadn't visited yet.

Expressions of His Beauty

Expressions of His Beauty is my prophetic art blog.  I am thankful to belong to a church that embraces all forms of art and creativity. Most of the paintings you will see on this blog were painted during Sunday morning worship services.  My art is abstract and I paint mostly with my fingers.  I hope you will stop over and take a look and let me know what you think.

In Pursuit of His Best

In Pursuit Of His Best is my newest blog devoted to my journey to a healthy mind, body and spirit.  On this blog, I will discuss my weight loss struggles, share recipes, and all things related to health.  Please feel free to pop on over there and have a look.  

All of my beautiful blogs were designed by the very talented Hannah at Vivid Design Studio.  If you are in the market for a new blog design, I highly recommend Hannah.  She's absolutely amazing!

Secondly, I must give a big, huge apology to all of my fabulous followers who won prizes during my One Year Blog Anniversary.  I have not forgotten about you.  Life sort of got away from me these last few weeks, and I've been a little emotionally drained over the last month and well, I am admitting that now. I've sort of crawled into a hole.  I didn't mean to.  I hope you will forgive me.  I truly am not a flake like that.  Once I am moved and settled (hopefully in the next week) your fabulous prizes will be on their way.  Also, to those of you who requested a print of one of my art pieces, that will be on its way as well.  I appreciate all of you so very much!

Lastly, I am going to take a blogging break for at least the next week.  I may hook up with a Meme somewhere if I feel inspired to do that, but I just don't have it in me right now to put up anything that I have to sit and think about.  Who knows, I may get a sudden burst of energy and inspiration.  But I wanted to let you all know so you don't think I've disappeared.

Thank you for all of your prayers as I move through this season of my life.  I think I may be grieving the loss of this home just a little, and that is why it's so hard for me to stay on task.  Not to mention we have 16 years of memories built up here and I am trying to sift through it all and declutter as I go.  It's overwhelming, but I have had help from some amazing friends over the last couple of days and there is more help coming.

I pray that you will all have a JOY-filled week!  I will be back soon!

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Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

I just love the Miscellany Monday link up hosted by the lovely Carissa over at lowercase letters.  Won't you hop on over there and link up some randomness today?

{1}...TODAY is the day we get the keys to our rental home!  The kids are excited.  Most of them have not seen the new place yet.  Today we will go over there and begin to scope out the territory and decide who gets which room and where to put stuff.

{2}...I am up to my ears in packing.  I never thought we'd have to sell our home and move, but here we are, 16 years later, moving.  It's a huge task, but I am thankful for girlfriends who come and motivate me to get the job done, and others who lift me up in prayer.

{3}...I am currently looking in the "free" section of CraigsList for couches, a small desk, a dining room table.  Pray that we find some good stuff.

{4}...I recently posted a chair and ottoman we bought at Ashley Furniture a couple of years ago on CraigsList.  I had it priced for $300.  My neighbor had a family member over the other day who was a single mom and loved our chair.  We gave it to her for $100.

{5}...It's supposed heat up here this week.  Wonder what a two-story house with no air conditioning feels like?

{6}...I will be handing over a check for $4,200 for rent plus deposit today.  Hmmm, I wonder how we will eat this month?  I am trusting God to provide.

{7}...Hubby and I had a fabulous dinner/movie anniversary date last Friday.  He took me to see Eat, Pray, Love and it was a good movie.

{8}...I am in serious need of some coffee this morning.  I got up at 6:30a and my head is pounding.  I should be packing, but I'm just too tired.  Maybe I'll go back to bed.

{9}...I've solved my laundry issues.  My 10 year-old daughter came to me last week and asked me to show her how to do laundry.  She's been washing everyone's clothes since.  Now, if I could just teach her to fold and put it all away.

{10}...Speaking of coffee, here is some good news:

Happy Monday my sweet friends!


Friday, August 20, 2010

Celebrating 22 Years!

(Please forgive the poor picture quality.)

Today Lynn and I are celebrating 22 years of marriage.  We met while we were both youth leaders at our former church.  One day he asked me to attend a Christian Concert Day at at our local amusement park.  I said Yes.  And that's how it all began on fall Day in October 2007 1987.  (Thanks Jill for the heads up on the wrong date :-).  After that initial "get-to-know-you-better" date, the very next day we went sailing with his parents on their boat.  From then on we spent a lot of time together talking and getting to know one another.  I remember after our 5th date or so, I came home and told my grandmother that Lynn was the man I was going to marry.  I was so in love!  He loved the Lord, was kind and considerate, passionate about ministry, he new how to cook and do his own laundry, and he loved to teach me about God's Word (I had only been saved about 3 years when I met him).  He was a true romantic and would often bring me flowers and write me love letters, many of which I still have today.

Two and a half months later on Christmas Eve he proposed.  We had expressed our love for one another and talked about marriage, but I had no clue it was coming so soon.  He proposed by having me over to his apartment to open gifts.  When I got there, Phil Keagy was playing in the background, the lights were dim, and he had put long stem roses all throughout the Christmas Tree.  (Apparently, he and his roommate had worked for hours getting the setting just right.)  After he opened his gifts (I think I bought him 5 or 6 things), he handed me a card and a large teddy bear.  The card was so romantic and at the end he wrote, "will you marry me"?  I didn't say anything at first.  I think I thought he was asking that as a "will you marry me someday in the future" question.  He drew my atention back to the teddy bear, and in it's paws I noticed a small box.  I think I freaked at that point.  There in that box was my beautiful engagement ring.  We were married eight months later in August of 1988.

(Wasn't I cute?) 

We have had our share of hardship, but I will say that we love each other more today than we did 22 years ago.  There is something about walking through the tough seasons together that draws you even closer.  We've weathered some storms, but we've had some amazing days too.  I believe the best is yet to come!

 (My handsome groom!)
I adore you, my love, my best friend.  Thank you for sweeping me off my feet so quickly and for being the best husband a girl could ever have.  I love the way you take care of me.  You are kind and gentle.  Compassionate and sincere.  Quiet yet deep.  You are my "steady rock".  Thank you for the way you see me through God's eyes and for helping me realize my true worth and beauty.  I appreciate you so much.  You are the best father to our children.  Patient, loving, fun, full of strength and wisdom.  They adore you too!

Tonight we will be celebrating with an Italian dinner here:

And hopefully, If I am a lucky girl, we will see this:

Or maybe I'll give in and we'll see this:

Have a wonderful weekend friends!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Word Filled Wednesday

(Photo Credit:  Laura DeLeon)

"Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
and come away."  (Song of Solomon 2:13)
WFW is not about books, authors, artists.. it’s about God and HIS WORD ONLY. WFW is about celebrating the gift of creativity through God’s Word.  Join me and other fabulous woman as we link up here:


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Monday, August 16, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

It's Monday!  And that means it's time for some randomness.  Head on over to the lovely Carissa's blog and link up!

Before I forget, I am guest writing over at Hope Journey today.  Hop on over and have a look!

{1}..H.E.L.P.!  I'm drowning.  I am accepting applications.  All you need is motivation.

{2}...I just got up.  I want to go back to bed.  Not a good sign for the rest of my day.

{3}...I have so much packing and decluttering to do.  Six weeks is not a long time, and in between all of that we are looking for a place to live.  It can get a little overwhelming at times.  

{4}...School starts in about four weeks.  However, if we move before then, school won't start until I figure out which school my younger two children will attend.  I am hoping the school they attend now will accept a transfer, at least for this coming year.

{5}...I think I am too exhausted to be random today.  I'd better get looking at my list of things to do.

Have a blessed Monday friends!


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Then Sings My Soul Saturday - Bring The Rain

I am linking up with Amy at Signs, Miracles and Wonders today for this wonderful Meme.  There have been many this past week, including myself, going through change, hard times, illness.  I pray this song will minister to you as it has me.  I want to praise Him in every season of my life, because He is worthy!

May you have a JOY-filled Saturday!


Friday, August 13, 2010

Embracing The Winds of Change

 (Post edited to add my own artwork.)
When the winds of change come, do you turn and walk the other direction, or do you lean into the wind, embracing it, anxious to see where it might take you?
This was my Facebook status tonight, just as I am getting this post written and heading off to bed.  I was reading through my journal tonight and I was stuck on a particular word the Lord spoke to me back in April of this year.  I had been sitting in the Prayer Room, and listening to a song that made reference to letting the wind blow, about not being afraid, and facing the wind. (Misty Edwards, Fling Wide).  This is what God spoke to me:
I am bringing the winds of change.  You have two choices.  You can allow yourself to be caught up in fear and doubt and allow yourself to become immobilized, unable to move, OR you can embrace the winds of change.  Will you choose to trust that I will guide your course?
There are a few "winds of change" that I am facing right now in my life.  My desire is to lean into the wind, to fully embrace it, trusting that God will carry me through.  However, sometimes in my human state and in my weakness, I want to turn, and run in the opposite direction of the wind.  But when I choose to run away, it is no longer the wind of the Spirit of God that carries me.  But it is my flesh that carries me.
I won’t be afraid
I will face the wind
I won’t be afraid
I'll embrace the flame
When the winds come, at times they come with such force and strength that it catches me off guard.  In those moments, will I choose to trust, facing the wind and embracing the flame?  God does not promise that it will not be painful at times, these winds of change.  But He does promise that if we will lean into it, surrender to it, He will bring us through, unscaved and much stronger.
The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit. (John 3:8)
Are you facing the winds of change in your life?  Trust the Lord.  Lean into the wind and hear what the Spirit of God is saying to you in this season.  Then, embrace it and allow the wind of the Spirit to carry you to your next destination.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010


for a fresh touch from the Lord.

for peace and rest.

the truth in His Word.

to know Him and be known by Him.
into the wind.

until I find Him.

to believe even though I cannot see.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Who's In Charge?

Today I am the contributing writer over at 5 Minutes for Faith.
Please click on over and read my post.  Here's a little teaser:

A couple of days ago, I was preparing to leave for work and my 7-year old son was the only person awake in the house besides me. After I got ready to go, I went and talked with him for a few minutes, got his breakfast, and settled him in with a cartoon.  I explained to him that daddy was awake in bed and that he could go and get him if he needed to. As I kissed him goodbye, grabbed my computer bag, and turned to head towards the door, I heard him ask, “But Mommy, who’s in charge”?   

To read more, click here.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Held In The Arms Of Love

I was so honored that Elizabeth from Living on Literary Lane asked me to write a guest post on her beautiful blog this week.  I hope you will visit her blog and read my post!  Here is a little teaser:

I have always been a visual person.  As I've grown and matured as a Christian, God has used pictures and visions to speak to and encourage my heart.

I remember one such time.  I was at a conference and the speaker was talking about the love of God.  You know, the "how high", "how wide", "how deep" and "how long" kind of love.  My mind, let alone my heart could not comprehend this kind of love.  Love was not always displayed to me in ways that I desired.  I had many false concepts of what love was, and in many ways my love was abused, tarnished, taken advantage of.  So for me to think that there was this God up in Heaven who loved me like that was something I could not wrap my brain around.  To read more, click here.

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Monday, August 9, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters
Oh what a beautiful morning
Oh what a beautiful day....

It's Monday and that means it's time for the Miscellany Monday!
Hop on over to the lovely Carissa's blog @ lowercase letters and join in the randomness!

{1}...This morning when I woke up I could hardly get out of bed.  I mean I was literally stuck.  The side I was sleeping on, my arm was asleep, I tweaked my neck and my hips just didn't want to cooperate.  This morning I officially feel old!

{2}...I am beginning to wonder if we are going to have a real summer after all.  We've had a few nice days here in August, but this morning it's overcast.  Don't get me wrong, I much prefer this kind of weather.  I figure it's either going to kick in and we are going to have an Indian Summer in August and September, or this is it.

{3}...Has anyone started Christmas shopping yet?  Or even thought about it?  I am trying to talk my kids into getting a big gift for the entire family this year.  Not sure if I will pull that off, but I really want one of these

and one of these

{4}...I finally caught up on Army Wives over the last couple of nights.  I love this show!

{5}...In not so random news, our short sale was finally approved by both lenders.  We have until September 30th to move.  Please pray with me that we will find a suitable rental!

Happy Monday!


Thursday, August 5, 2010

1st Anniversary Blog Giveaways At Fireflies and Hummingbirds!

I love celebrating the Blogs I love!  Chrissy over at Fireflies and Hummingbirds is celebrating her 1st Blog Anniversary!  As someone who just celebrated my own "one year of blogging" milestone, I know how special this is!  I love Chrissy's blog!  You will want to stop on over to Fireflies and Hummingbirds for a visit and get in on the celebration.  She's giving away some amazing prizes!  Don't miss out!


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Encouraging Sites!

I wanted to take a moment to introduce you to a couple of fabulous sites that have really blessed me lately.  We are all looking for support and encouragement and you will find it in both of these places.  

We all face struggles, disappointments and difficulties in our lives.  Sometimes we feel as if we are all alone in our journey.  5 Minutes for Faith desires to make a difference in your day, by sharing God's love and grace with you on the days when you need it the most.  I have been honored to be a contributing writer for the site over the last couple of months and have been tremendously blessed by the Biblically based and inspiring posts of all of the contributors (and guests).

Do you have five minutes to spare to receive encouragement from the Lord today?  If so, then stop on over to 5 Minutes for Faith and have a look around.  You will be blessed!

Allied Moms

What is Allied Moms?
"We are a Place for Online Christian Moms to
Mingle and Build Their Blogs."

Allied Moms is a place for Christian moms to mingle and build their blogs.  We all need and support and encouragement.  The heart of Allied Moms is to help you, the Christian blog mom, find a place to meet other moms, share your heart, AND promote your blog for FREE!

How do I participate?
It's simple.   
  1. Place the "Allied Mom's" button in the sidebar of your blog, 
  2. Link up your blog, 
  3. Comment on the "getting to know you" question of the day, and be entered to win one of 24 free weekly ad spots. 
  4. Then go and visit other moms on the list, make new friends, and see what they are doing with their blogs.
I linked my blog to Allied Moms about 4 weeks ago, and have won three consecutive weeks of ad space!  I love visiting all of the other blogs that link up, making new blog friends, and supporting and encouraging other woman.  This week, I was invited to write a guest post for their "Encouragement for the Day" section. 

Stop on over to Allied Moms and get to know other mom bloggers!  You will be so glad you did.

Princess Playdate

Visit me over at 5 Minutes for Faith today where I am the contributing writer.
Here's a sneak peak:
On my way to work one morning, I stopped in to get my morning cup of coffee.  While I waited, I noticed a little girl, about the age of 4.  She was all dressed up in a yellow party dress with pink patent leather shoes, and white tights.  She had her hair all done up with curls and she was wearing lots of play jewelry.  As I looked at her, the Lord began to speak to me about this little girl.
*     *     *
Stop on over to 5 Minutes for Faith!  Leave me a comment here or there to let me know you visited!


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Order In The Court

I turned 44 on July 3rd.  As I reflected on being another year older, I began to ask God what He had planned for me and my family in the coming year.  I expected to hear God say, "You are going to do......" and "Your family will......" and "I will give you....".  But, what I heard the Lord speak to my spirit was entirely different that what I expected to hear.  I've been meditating on it ever since.  This is what I heard Him say:
This year will be a year of divine order.  I am calling the disorder in your life into order.  Lean on me and trust me.
I haven't heard the gravel come down yet, and I don't want to.  I believe that God is calling many things in my life into order, so that I can better fulfill His purpose and plan for my life. 

[1]...He is calling my time with Him into order.  God is a God of order.  He does not want me to live a frazzled life, being tossed to and fro like the wind. I love His presence, yet struggle with distractions all the time.  His desire is that I would learn to come to Him, to wait in His presence, and cultivate intimacy with Him in the secret place. He longs to share the secrets of His heart with me.

[2]...He is calling my lack of care and concern for my own health and well being into order.  God desires that I take care of my body, His temple, and treat it the way it deserves to be treated.  I go to bed too late, get up too early, don't eat too healthy most of the time, don't exercise.  I have many changes to make in this area, which will not be easy for me, but with God, I know that I can do it. He wants me to invite Him into this area of my life so that He can help me. I've fought this battle by myself for far too long.  It's time that I call on the Name of the Lord for assistance and strategy!

[3]...He is calling the disorder in my home into order.  There are days when I think I might lose my mind over the state of disarray my house is in.  God desires to bring order to my home.  If I were to ask Him, He would say I had plenty enough time in my day to accomplish all that He has called me to do, yet I find most days I complain about how tired I am after having worked all day, and that there isn't enough time to tidy up, do the dishes or laundry.  But the honest truth is, my home is like this because I've ignored what's needed to be done.  I've used the words "too busy" and "too tired" far too often.  And the fact that I'm moving?  No excuse.  It's time to buckle down and become the homemaker God has called me to be.

[4]...He is calling our finances into order.  God does not want us to struggle financially like we have for the last few years.  We have hit some dead ends and have had to face some very tough situations. But despite it all, I  know that God still desires that we be financially free.  God is in the rebuilding process and, if we are faithful, He will remain faithful to us.

[5]...He is calling my speech into order.  It hurts the heart of God when I am constantly critical or negative about myself.  It is reflected often in my speech and cannot make for a good atmosphere to those around me.  When I refuse to see myself through the eyes of a loving, forgiving God, and instead choose to believe the lies the enemy tells me, I am telling God that He created something so unworthy that it cannot be loved. This grieves God's heart.  It's time for me to rise up, taking every thought captive, binding my mind to the mind of Christ, and believe once and for all that what He has written in His Word was written for me!  He said it, do I believe it?

I do not want to stand before Christ when I get to Heaven and hear Him talk about all of these things which I couldn't seem to get a handle of.  I don't want to miss the greater thing that God has planned for me, simply because I couldn't get to a place of order in these areas.  And God is so good to gently show this to me.  He does not condemn or judge, or cast me away from His presence. But He continues to beckon me to come, to sit at His feet, releasing these areas back to Him.  I am claiming the victory of divine order this year.  After all, if it was on God's heart to reveal these areas to me, I know it's within His power to help me conquer these mountains.

Are there areas in your life that need a little Heavenly ordering?


Monday, August 2, 2010

Monday Miscellany

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

It's time for another Miscellany Monday hosted by the lovely Carissa at lowercase letters.  I love Mondays, but only because I get to do this!

{1}...This weekend was the annual "Festival of the Arts".  I get irritated because I try to go places, like Target, Peets Coffee or to church and alot of the streets are blocked off.  It's so not fair.  I mean, come on people, I live here. I should be able to get from point A to point B without having to take a detour. Even though I love arts and crafts, I never go.  Too many people and I would spend way too much money.

{2}...In a few weeks, I am whisking my hubby away for the weekend to celebrate our 22nd Anniversary.  Shhhhh, don't tell him.  It's a surprise.

{3}...Took my 10 year old school shopping. Her favorite store, Justice.  They have these cute jeans called Jeggins. They are basically leggings in jean style.  With my daughter being so skinny and petite, they look great on her! I splurged and bought her two pair.  They were $37.00 each, although I did have a 40% off coupon AND because of how much I spent (picking up a few other things), I have $80 in "free" money to use later.

(Picture courtesy of Justice)

{4}...We have a family of worshippers.  My teeange age son and daugther both lead worship in our House of Prayer.  Kaylie, my 10 year old, loves to sing and is teaching herself to play piano.  All of my children (with the exception of my 7 year old) and my husband play guitar.  I am a little jealous.  I sing, yes, but no where near the level they do.  And I do not play an instrument.  Maybe now that my daughter had a piano given to her, and my little girl is teaching herself to play, I can do that too?  Time, oh where is the time?  Oh, if you would like to see a clip of my little girl playing and singing, I posted one on my Facebook page.

{5}...I am usually very good at menu planning and visiting 5 different stores to get the best deals on everything for my meal planning.  But over the last few weeks, Monday has come and I've had nothing lined up and no motivation to do it.  I'd rather sit here, typing my Miscellany Monday post, than try and create a grocery list.  Maybe I am bored with our food rotation and need to change it up a bit?  Any ideas?  What are you having for dinner?  Want to share the recipe?

{6}...Okay, so I've been desperately looking for a new skin care line of entirely Paraben free products.  I have tried a couple and just wasn't happy with them.  Imagine my delight when I walked into The Body Shoppe over the weekend and found this

Absolutely NO Parabens and it's supposed to help my older skin look younger.  Bonus!  I can't wait to try it.  I put some of the moisturizer on my hand and I loved it.  Oh, and to put in another perk for this fabulous store (which I never shop at, until now), they are campaigning to fight human trafficking, which is very dear to my heart.  Matter of fact, if you go in and sign their petition, they will give you $5 off of your purchase.  You can read about the petition and sign it on line here.  I love that I get to partner with this store to fight for the rights of young women in this way.

Well, I'd better get my rear in gear and start thinking about meal planning.  Have a blessed Monday friends!