Wednesday, December 28, 2016

5 simple ways to break free from procrastination

Do you find yourself struggling to get things done in a timely manner? Do you have an i'll-do-it-later mind set? Do you put things off until the last minute and then find yourself frantic and stressed to get things done? If this sounds like you, rest assured, you are not alone.

Procrastination may seem harmless, a joking matter even, but I assure you that it is not. The unacknowledged truth about procrastination is that it causes undue stress and depression. I say this because I know it to be true. I know it to be true because I am a recovering procrastinator. How am I in recovery? Read on and I'll tell you how.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Skinny Hot Cocoa

Mmmmmmmmmm.....There's just something about curling up with a good book, a cozy quilt, and a cup of hot cocoa. Dreamy right? 
Unless you're dieting.
That dream comes to a screeching halt the moment you check the nutrition facts.
If you want to wait for a cheat day to indulge, that's OK, but if you are like me, you want it when you want it.

Lucky for you, I have a solution!!!

Why I adore At&t

Y'all it's not often that I post about a company. Especially not one the size of AT&T but this is one of those times that I feel the need to.

Just so you know, I am not being compensated in any shape, form, or fashion for this post and I am in no way affiliated with AT&T other than being a customer so this opinion is really mine. 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

I said it's great to be a Tennessee Vol!!! - Tennessee Pride in the wake of devasation

For those of you that know me, you know that I am proud to be from Good Ol' Rocky Top!!! I love everything about East Tennessee. The people, the mountains, the football (I bled orange and white even in the Kiffin days) but I have never been so proud to be from the mountains of East Tennessee as I am right now.

On November 28th, 2016, East Tennessee changed forever. Our beloved Smoky Mountains burned taking Gatlinburg and part of Pigeon Forge with it.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Dealing with anxiety and depression as a Christian

Dear Christian struggling with anxiety and depression,

You're not alone.

I know what it feels like to struggle.

 I know what it is like to feel the pressure in your chest, not be able to breathe, and shake to the point you can barely hold on to a glass. I know what it's like to have your head spin like a top and your mind whirl to the point that you can't seem to formulate a single thought.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Monday, October 17, 2016

Are you a spiritual toddler? - Learning to walk in faith

"For we walk by faith, not by sight" 2 Corinthians 5:7

As followers of Christ, we are under constant scrutiny by the world. Given the current climate in the world right now, many aren't just watching us, they are waiting to see us fail. That makes it hard to have an active and working faith in the Lord but we must so that He can be glorified in our lives. This is something I have been strongly convicted of lately. I have played it safe my entire life.Trusting in who and what I could see, touch, taste, hear, and do. A few month ago, God challenged me to trust in Him alone though.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A New Idea!!! Today's deals.

I believe in saving money and eating as clean and healthy as possible on a budget and for that reason, I am going to start sharing the good deals I find on the same day I find them.

I'm getting ready to do a post on good financial stewardship so I thought I would start sharing all of the really good deals I come across for those of you who believe in living money wise.

Today I ran across a couple of super great deals at Aldi!! I love Aldi. When they have a sale, they have a sale. 

I do want to let you all know that Aldi's meat sales go fast though. They only buy so much and it goes quick so I suggest that you get there around 10 a.m. on Wednesday mornings but they often restock on Fridays. If you can't get there at that time, it is worth it to see if someone can go for you. Anyway, here what I found today:

Chicken Drumsticks for $.69 a lb
Butternut Squash - $.99 each
Spaghetti Squash - $.99 each

They also have pumpkins for $2.49 each but I didn't buy any.

If you want to check the ad before you go, here's the link.

Love Always,

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Living radically for Christ

Radical - (especially of change or action) relating to or affecting the fundamental nature of something; far-reaching or thorough.

Am I a radical Christian? Do I want to be a radical Christian? The answer to that is a resounding yes!!!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Do you need a fresh touch from God?

Some days I wonder if I'm on the right track. I think things like "Lord, did I hear you right?" or "Was that really you or my own wishful thinking?" Do you ever feel that way?

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Who am I?

I'm really struggling with who I am in the Lord and His love for me right now, so I am going to write like no one is reading because it really does help to get it all down.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The best health move you can make

Guys, if you've opened this, I am assuming you are reading this because you want to improve your health. Congratulations!!! That's the first step to feeling the best you can.

I'm not going to talk about diets though...Or exercise...Or sleep.

You may be asking yourself, "What on earth is she going to talk about then?"

Monday, September 26, 2016

Seeking the glory of God.

Have you ever long for a touch from God? The kind of touch that brings you closer to Him and His Glory than you've ever been before?

That's where I am right now.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Overcoming spirits of oppression

I have to share this because I am FURIOUS!!! I'm sharing it because I know I'm not the only person this has happened to.

I have suffered UNKNOWINGLY under spirits of oppression MY ENTIRE ADULT LIFE AND I'M SICK OF IT!!! I had no idea about these spirits and I have always wondered why I didn't feel the freedom and joy I knew I should feel as a Christian. Why was I so consumed with depression, fear, know, all those things we are told not to feel??? What was making me feel so held down, held back, and blocked? Oppression!!! But no more. Oh heck no. I am so glad God showed me this because I was desperate for an answer and to overcome it.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Skinny Pumpkin Spice "Latte"

Happy Fall Y'all!!! I just had to say it. I've been waiting through one hottttt southern summer to say those words. Fall is a southerner's reward for enduring Summer and boy is it a welcome sight!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Getting back on track

I'm a mess. Have I ever told y'all that? Seriously, I am a mess!!!

There have been a few things happen recently that have shown me that I have gotten off track.

I started this blog for two reasons; To share my faith in Jesus and to encourage others through my fitness journey.

I have gotten so off track with all of it!!!

I am back on track though. I wouldn't dare name any names without express permission, but recently some individuals that are very dear to me were having a discussion about needing to lose weight. I sat there and realized that they are why I started this journey to begin with!!! Well not them specifically but people like them. I want to help people overcome the obstacles blocking their pathway to health.

Friday, September 16, 2016

I'll show you my faith by my works

This post is more of a jumbled diary entry than a normal blog post and I'm sharing in case someone else needs these words but this is mostly to serve as a reminder for myself when fear and uncertainty about my future begin to creep in. I want to be able to come back to this and read it so I can put a stop to it right away. For the past 4 1/2, almost 5 months, my faith has been being tested and up until 2 weeks ago, I have been failing miserably. God has shown me that I trust in my own ability more than I trust in Him and His provision.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

More fall freebies!!!

I am so glad fall is right around the corner. I have a post coming later on this week on how to create a free fire pit to enjoy on these coming crisp, autumn  night but for now, I have once again spent my lunch hour nurturing my creative side so

Friday, August 5, 2016

Champion On A Mission

Friends, if I ever have a post go viral, I hope it's this one. This guy has an amazing story!!! It is my honest and sincere hope that if you read this man's story, you will be moved in your heart to help him out. I know this guy personally and his need and this fund sharing account are legit. I pray this post reaches MILLIONS of generous people AND people who need to be inspired because if this guy's testimony doesn't inspire you, nothing will.

Without further ado, please allow me to introduce you to David. David Price Robinson is a self-proclaimed fat man on a mission. His mission is to return to a condition of health. He began this journey July 1, 2016 and has since lost 130 lbs!!! Not only has he lost a tremendous amount of weight, he has become a runner...against all odds. Well, the odds may be against him, but God is for him and is strengthening him on this AH-MAZ-ING journey. Here is David's before and after pictures along with his story.

New Free Desktop Background

The beauty of each season puts me in awe of the Lord but none like Fall. I love Autumn and everything about it. I love pumpkin flavored everything. I love the colors. I love the chill in the air and flannel shirts and leggings. I even love rainy Fall days. I also love making graphics like printables, Facebook and Instagram graphics, and desktop backgrounds. I also love sharing all of these things with anyone and everyone so here's a little gift for all of my fellow Fall fanatics!!!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Psalm 23 Free Printable

This free printable was inspired by one of my besties. I hope you find encouragement in it!!!

Always, always, always remember that you are beautiful and Jesus loves you.

Friday, July 29, 2016

My Little Monograms - be still my southern heart!!!

Oh!!! Ladies!!! If there is anything I love it's a monogram...especially if it's affordable!!! I have discovered this little gem of a store so you know I must share it. This girl has EVERYTHING and her prices are UNREAL!!! I mean come on...a stainless steel tumbler ( Yeti, RTIC, Ozark...etc) decal for $5?!?!?!? SOLD!!! Why yes...I am in love with this chevron Power T with monogram pictured here and yes I will have one.

If you've been wanting one of these stainless steel tumblers but haven't gotten one yet, you can also buy the cup and decal here for a mere $20. You can't beat that with a stick!!!

 Y'all this girl can monogram just about anything!!!

Do yourself a favor and check this site out. You can thank me later.

Free desktop background

Here's a free desktop background just because I love y'all. I think I'm going to start doing more stuff like this. Enjoy!!!

Jesus Loves You!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The night I trusted Jesus

I've thought about sharing this different times. The world needs to know about the Gospel. It is because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that I became a child of the most high God. See, the world hates the Gospel. These days, people don't want to hear that they are sinners but the truth is we all are and because of that, we all need a savior. Jesus is the way, the truth and the light. No one comes to the father except by him.

 Every single person owes a sin debt to God that they can't pay. That's the first part of the Gospel. The Good News of the Gospel is that Jesus Christ, Son of God, born of a virgin, came to Earth to be the perfect, spotless sacrifice for our sin. He paid that debt for us. Because of His death on the cross, God's wrath is satisfied...toward those who accept his son. See, if you never come under the blood, God doesn't see the perfection of Christ when He looks at you, He sees your sin and that means you're seen as an enemy. On the flip side of that is grace. See when you accept Jesus as your lord and savior, ask for forgiveness and surrender your life to him, you come under the blood of Jesus. When you accept Christ as your savior, God sees the blood of his Son and recognizes you as his child. The perfect blood of Jesus seals you for the kingdom of Heaven. Once that happens, you are redeemed, bought, signed and sealed forever. Nothing can pluck you from the hand of God after that. On November 10, 1988, I cried out to God for salvation. I admitted to God that I was a sinner in need of salvation...because I had heard the Gospel. The story of my salvation is like this....

My dad was the pastor of a little church close to my hometown and we were in revival at the time. I was sitting on the end of the pew next to my mom when the congregation sang an old hymn called The Life Boat. I was brought up in church so I knew that if a person dies without having accepting Jesus, they will spend eternity in hell. That's a scary truth and it was one I came face-to-face with that night. Anyway, the congregation was singing The Life Boat and there is a part of that song that says "now's the time to get on board while she's still passing by, for if you stand and wait too long, you shall forever die." I will never forget the fear I felt in that moment. Now, I am not saying everyone has to feel fear to be saved but it was the fear of dying in my sin that came upon me that night. When that part of that song was sang, God spoke to my heart and revealed to me that I was in fact a sinner and I knew what I had to do, I knew that I could die that night and I knew what would happen to me if I did without being saved. My heart nearly hammered out of my little chest as I made my way to the altar of that tiny church. I reached the altar, fell to my knees and I cried out. I cried out to God to please save me!!! I remember crying out, saying "God I'm a sinner and I need you to save me!!!" and I remember wanting to know for sure that He had saved me so I asked Him to let my feet tingle. God knew my little heart needed that reassurance and don't you know that my feet started to tingle? I fell to that altar a sinner at 8 years old and rose from that altar a daughter of  the King of Kings!!!

I am so thankful that I am able to share this with you all. It is my honest hope that this touched at least one heart and that if you are reading this and haven't accepted Jesus as your lord and savior, just follow my example, fall to your knees and cry out!!! The joy of know Jesus is indescribable. Don't let the life boat pass you by. We are only guaranteed one opportunity to accept Jesus.

I sure do love you all but Jesus loves you so much more.

Monday, July 18, 2016

In Christ Alone free printable

Hey guys!! I made this really neat picture a few days ago to put in a frame so I thought I'd share it with you. My first free printable..I'm so excited!!!

Avocado Chicken Salad

Oh my goodness y'all, this is sooooooo delicious!!! A friend of mine made it and brought it to work and I've been hooked ever since. If you like guacamole, this will rock your world. I like to eat it alone or on a bed of lettuce but it is also delicious in a tortilla or on some flat bread. Surprisingly, a delicious garnish for this is dried cranberries.

16 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast 
1 ripe Hass avocado
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 yellow onion, small dice
1 tbsp jalapenos, finely chopped (optional)

Bake, boil, or grill 16 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast until cooked through (about 15-20 mins). Once chicken is done, shred in a bowl. 

In a separate bowl or in a food processor, combine the avocado, onion, lime, cilantro and jalapeno until creamy.

Stir chicken into guacamole and enjoy!!!!

If you try this recipe, please let me know how you like it. I hope you enjoy this super delicious chicken salad :) 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Socialism vs. Freedom

I swore I would never do a political post but here I am. I have been sitting here thinking about socialism today. Y'all socialism may sound good on the surface but I can promise you, in the end, no one wins.

Now, I am very well aware that this is probably going to make someone mad and that's ok but here the truth about socialism: nothing is free. Someone is paying for what you have. A person may think the government should fund things like utilities and healthcare but once we start having the government pay for these things, our freedom ultimately goes with it. See, as long everything is privatized and not socialized, us, Americans have a say in the matter. If we end up a socialized nation, we are under the government's thumb. We will be told when we can use our electricity, how much we can use, what doctor we have to see, what treatments we are allowed to receive ( welcome to Obamacare), we will be told what we can eat and how much we are allowed to name it. The government will be in charge...and that is what they want.

The next issue is equal distribution of wealth. This is a VERY short sighted solution to a very long term problem. Margaret Thatcher said it best when she said "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money." Y'all that is a hard truth but it is a truth none-the-less. The top 5% is under no obligation to keep busting their butts to prop everyone else up!!! I sometimes wonder where those that are a fan of socialism think the money to run this nation is going to come from once tax payers get fed up and stop working? Seriously. Socialism ultimately lead to the poverty of everyone except for the government.

I do want to go on record by saying that there is a HUGE difference between needing temporary assistance for a period of time or being genuinely disabled and expecting the government to bank roll your life. It honestly makes me sick at how some people will do anything to keep from EARNING a living!!! Y'all that is out and out wrong. We are supposed to take care of people who really can't take care of themselves but not the pure out-and-out LAZY.  Don't believe me? Here's what the bible says about it:

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 And to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.

2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and earn their own living.

Proverbs 10:4 A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.

Proverbs 12:11 Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but whoever follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.

Proverbs 12:24 The hand of the diligent will rule while the slothful will be put to forced labor.

Proverbs 14:23 In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.

Those are just a few. Please understand the difference between people who WON'T work and people who CAN'T work. These scriptures apply to those who won't bother to earn a living and MOST people in favor of socialism are those WHO DON'T WANT TO WORK!!!

So with that said, keep America a free nation and stop seeking after a free ride.


If God has provided you with the intelligence to do a job, the skill and ability to do a job, the health to do a job, seek a job and do it. And for those that are waiting or TRULY aren't able to work, there is no shame in asking for help, just pay it forward when you can, but to those of you who think the rest of the world should keep you up? Get a haircut and get a real job. 

Love Always (yes I really do love everyone, even the lazy)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

How I quit smoking for good!!!

I'm sure someone reading is expecting medication, hypnosis, meditation, nicotine replacement, etc. but that isn't how it happened. I love having the opportunity to testify to the goodness and greatness of God!!! 

I have been waiting for a while to do this post but I wanted it to be today, July 13th 2016, because today makes one year since I quit smoking and became FREE from nicotine. I stress the word free because that is exactly what happened in a moment. I was set free from the bondage of smoking. 

Here is how it went down:

I had been trying to quit smoking for a solid year...and failing for a solid my own strength. No matter how determined I was to quit, I just couldn't seem to stop!!! I would feel panicky and irritable at the thoughts of quitting but I knew it was wrong so it had to happen. I knew that I was killing myself, I knew that God wouldn't let me be tempted beyond what I could stand, I knew that I wasn't supposed to make provision for my flesh but it seemed like my craving for a cigarette would override any good sense, then I would smoke one, then I would feel like a complete and total guilty failure. It was never ending and totally miserable...until July 13th 2015.

 I got up that morning and smoked my last cigarette in that pack. I didn't stop on the way to work to get any. I don't remember why I didn't. We were really broke then so maybe I didn't have any money, maybe I was running late, I just remember that I didn't stop. I remember thinking about it at work that morning. I remember thinking about how I was sick and tired of being controlled by my flesh. I was so tired of knowing that I needed to have my flesh in subjection to my spirit but constantly giving into my flesh. I was not very happy with myself. I remember, going out to the warehouse for something and as I came back in the office, I remember stopping in front of a thermostat in the hall and being overwhelmed by the presence of God. He seemed so BIG!!!! It was like He was standing right in front with his arms spread and leaned forward a little. He said to me in that moment "Heather!!! Who's bigger? Me or that cigarette?" and when the Lord asks you that question, you say "well since you put it that way", and I went and sat down at my desk and realized in that moment that I would never smoke another cigarette again as long as I live. When God cuts a yoke, when God tears down a stronghold in your life, it's a done deal I couldn't smoke a cigarette now even if I wanted to, 

That's it. 

It was finished.

In a moment, it was done.

After a solid year of trying to quit on my own, God took it from me in a moment.

I had to share this story. It is my hope that if there is someone reading this and you are struggling to do something in your own strength, let God get in the boat because when he does it, that's it, it is finished.

No matter what, please remember that God's grace is sufficient and Jesus loves you so very much!!! Oh and as always, you're beautiful :)

Love Always,

Monday, July 4, 2016

Understanding nutrition - Where do I even start?

As many of you know I have battled with my weight my whole life. I have yo-yoed since I've been big enough to play with a yo-yo!!! It's exhausting. I know I can't be the only person that feels that way just like I know I can't be the only person that has been overwhelmed by the concept of nutrition or eating clean. It can be so confusing!!!

When it comes to dieting you've got one person saying to cut fat, another saying to cut carbs, one saying to cut meat, another saying eat only's maddening. You've got Weight Watchers, Atkins, Paleo, Ketogenic, South goodness I could keep on and on and while every one of these programs work, there's one thing I have found that they all have in common - people rarely keep the weight off. 

Changing my eating habits is the hardest thing I have ever done. EVER. Harder even than quitting smoking. I honestly think that a food addiction is the worst because you need food to live. You can't ever stop using your DOC. But I have found that if I have grace and patience with myself, my thought patterns and habits about food have begun to change over time and even though I'm losing weight slowly now, I'm keeping it off.

I had a bit of a breakdown in Aldi one night while on the phone with one of my dearest friends (you know who you are) and I determined that night that I was sick and tired of being controlled food. I was sick and tired of submitting to my fleshly desires. For some people, their addiction may be narcotics, for some alcohol, for some methamphetamines, but for me it's food. 

Romans 13:14 says "But put on the Lord Jesus, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify it's desires." I knew I had a food addiction. I know compulsive eating is a sin. I also know that Jesus nailed gluttony to the Cross just like he did every other sin but I also know that once we are made aware that we are committing a sin, we are to seek forgiveness and turn from it. Except like any other addict, I struggled (and still do some days...most days) but I also remember Paul having a thorn in his flesh and God telling him that his grace is sufficient. God's grace has proved more than sufficient for me while I'm on this weight loss journey and it's because of that grace that I haven't given up. 

As I said earlier, I had a bit of a breakdown in Aldi and determined that night that I was done with "diets". I have liberty in Christ to ENJOY food. Once that finally sunk in, I have felt freedom to make changes in the way I eat. Here are some examples:

1. I have opted for a 1200 calorie a day diet -  The reason for this amount is because I have a sedentary job. Yes, I work out and clean house and such but for the most part of the day I am sitting behind a computer so I don't need the calories that an active person would.

2. The My Fitness Pal app - Y'all this app has been extremely valuable to me. I strongly encourage you to download this app and use it daily. Be honest when you are entering your food totals every day. Don't enter 1 serving of salad dressing if you really had 3 lol. This app is an amazing tool for allowing us to see where we can make adjustments in the way we eat in order to put better fuel in our bodies. For example, it lets me know that Greek yogurt is a good source of protein and that lettuce and tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C.

3. Eat Clean - Eat 4 to 6 small meals a day to keep your metabolic fire burning. Think of your metabolism like a fire. Fires need fuel, like a log for example. If we want a fire to keep burning and not die out, we have to keep putting logs on the fire. Our bodies are the same way so don't let your fire burn out - keep a log on it.

4. Make lifestyle changes. I know you've heard this before but it's true. That is why "diets" don't work. Make little changes that you can stick with. Just a few at a time. Don't go all out in one day. You will get discouraged when you don't see immediate results, you will get frustrated, and you will say "to Hades with this" and grab a bag of Cheetos, a Mountain Dew and a king-sized Snickers bar. Ask me how I know this lol. Make little changes that you can be consistent with. Consistency is key. It's the little changes that you make over time that allows you to adopt and MAINTAIN a fit lifestyle.

5. Eat flavor, not calories. Herbs are a great way to do this and many, many herbs have additional health benefits. Cayenne pepper is a great example because it contains capsaicin. Capsaicin helps kill prostate cancer cells, it helps relieve chronic pain and suppresses appetite. I like Louisiana hot sauce on tons of things and I put crushed red pepper in frittatas, salads and just about anything else that has meat and vegetables. I know some people may not be as crazy about the heat as I am (however, I am not a five alarm person), there are tons of other herbs and spices that pack huge flavor punches. My favorite ways to add flavor without calories are the hot sauce and crushed red peppers I mentioned but also cilantro, vinegar, lemon pepper, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, lemon and lime juice, and just plain old salt.

6. Take care not to overwhelm yourself. I can't stress this enough. Make a point to learn something new and implement it. Just 1 or 2 new things at a time. Do this every time you go to the grocery store or as you run out of something. For example, I love, love, love Aldi's Greek Olive salad dressing but it packs a huge calorie punch. 2 tbsp. = 140 calories. I was using up 20% or more of my daily calorie allowance on salad dressing and I knew that had to change. I now enjoy Aldi's raspberry vinaigrette which is only 60 calories. Take your time making these changes. Seriously, do a little at a time. Little changes add up to big results.

7.  Invest in a good supplement. Now matter how good we eat, we can't eat enough to provide our bodies with all the nutrients we need. Even good calories will pack on pounds if they're not burned off. Advocare offers top of the line supplements that are tested for quality and purity by a third party lab called Informed Choice. You can learn more about Informed Choice here. Feel free to email me for more no-pressure information at and I will answer any questions you may have regarding Advocare products or business. I really mean no pressure too. I hate to feel backed into a corner so I don't do that to others. If you want to go ahead and place an order, you can do that here.

8. Meal prep is a must!!!! This is the most important part of nutrition. When you create a menu for the week, shop accordingly and prepare your food ahead of time, you are planning for success. Think about this for a minute. If you have lettuce, carrots, cabbage and cucumbers already chopped and sliced and chicken breast either grilled or baked you are less likely to stop at Hardees and grab a Midnight Moonshine burger...once again, ask me how I know this. Keep a carton of boiled eggs on hand for a high protein, ready to eat snack. Make nutrition easy on yourself. Keep it as simple as possible.

9. Watch your ingredients. Fancy food is fun but keep your ingredients in check. Everything you add to your meal adds calories. A healthy chicken salad at lunch can quickly become unhealthy with the addition of cheese, bacon and nuts. I hated it when I found out that my seemingly healthy lunch salad was 800 calories or more.

10. Commit to learning. Knowledge can't be absorbed by osmosis and it doesn't come from good ideas and wishful thinking. You have to put in the work. Do your homework. Think about it, we learn a craft to earn a living so why not learn nutrition to earn our health? Knowledge is power folks. A good place to start is Tosca Reno's Eat Clean Diet. You can find it here. That book is a fantastic resource for anyone that is interested in eating clean or even someone who has been eating clean for years. That book is like the clean eating bible.

Guys, it is my hope that if you have been contemplating changing your lifestyle but feel overwhelmed, this post will ease some of that. Once again, I am going to tell you to take it a little at a time and make lasting changes. If you do this, you will realize one day that you ARE living a healthy lifestyle!! Regardless of your lifestyle though, you are fearfully and wonderfully made by a loving God and you're Be-yooo-te-ful!!!

Love always,

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Non-toxic sunscreen

As promised (but a little bit late ), the results of my homemade, non-toxic sunscreen. My conclusion is that it works!! I am burned in spots but overall, the exposed areas that I applied the sunscreen to are not burned. I made the mistake of not reapplying. Even with store bought sunscreens, you have to reapply and I didn't. I was outside for long stretches of time from 2:30ish until dark.
The reason for this experiment was to find out if carrot seed oil is in fact a safe and effective alternative to the highly toxic commercial sunscreens. God has really been convicting me lately about what I put in His temple (that's me...and you too if you're born again). He has asked me why I would put something in His temple if I know it's bad for it. When God impresses something on you like that, you better act if you want peace. Anyway, I have set out to detoxify my body and home. I will be posting many things regarding this change but for now it's the sunscreen.
The recipe I used is:
2 tbsp coconut oil (this is my carrier oil)
20 drops of carrot seed essential oil
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10 drops of lavender essential oil
I just mixed it up and rubbed it on. I think I'm going to get some red raspberry essential oil and substitute it for the lavender soon though.
Coconut oil has an SPF of 4 which isn't high but it's extra protection.
Carrot seed oil has an SPF of 38-40
Red Raspberry has an SPF 28-50
Please keep in mind that these are all oils and not water/sweat proof so it will need to be applied frequently to keep from burning. That's where I messed up. I wonder if beeswax would make it waterproof?
Now for the deodorant. I used a tablespoon of coconut oil and like 5-6 drops of tea tree oil. This also worked pretty good but y'all, I put these products through a serious test!!! It was soooo hot today and I worked outside in direct sunlight for a long time. I was a little ripe by the time I got done but I'm pretty sure I would have been ripe after all of that with store bought deodorant too. A word of caution though - that tea tree oil is STRONG!!! Wowza. I'm going to try it again tomorrow but reduce the amount of tea tree oil and add some baking soda.
I found out some scary stuff about the majority of store bought deodorants...they are linked to Alzheimer's and breast cancer!!! They are cause our bodies to retain the toxins that God created our sweat glands to release. We are supposed to sweat!!!
So in conclusion, both DIY's worked but the sunscreen needs to be applied frequently and I need to tweak the deodorant so the smell isn't so overwhelming.
Remember you're beautiful and Jesus loves YOU!!!
Love Always,

Saturday, May 21, 2016

All the single ladies...

I have been thinking about the need to post this for such a long time. There have been so many times when the Lord has pointed me to this scripture and I have seen the evidence of disobeying this command in my life first hand and makes me want to beg and plead with all you single gals to PLEASE. GUARD. YOUR. HEART!!!!
I would like to preface this by saying that the intended audience for this post is single, Christian ladies - not women who are already married. To you married ladies, just know I'm rowing that boat with you and I know how you feel. I am in an unequally yoked marriage but I am by no means trying to imply that I don't love my husband because I do - very, very much, but the pain of watching someone you love go through life trying to fill a Christ sized hole in their life with the world is awful. Knowing the eternity they face if they continue on this path is even worse.
The Word of God instructs husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the Church and gave himself for her. Ladies he can only do this if he has a relationship with the Lord to begin with.
The Word also says for wives to submit to husbands as unto the Lord. Now I want to set something straight right away. Biblical submission IS NOT the same thing as worldly submission!!! I can't stress that point strongly enough. Biblical submission DOES NOT mean that you are bowed down to your husband. It DOES NOT mean you are weak and voiceless. It DOES NOT mean that you are a door mat and that you let your man run all over you. Ask Bryan Honto if I let him run all over submission means to lift up or support. Think of Tammy Wynette singing Stand By Your Man. We are also commanded to respect our husbands...even when they don't act in a respectable manner. Girls, this is harder than you can imagine if a man's first love isn't the Lord.
So what's a girl to do you ask? Make sure the Lord is your first love. A wise friend of mine told me back in high school "Never date someone you wouldn't marry. You never know who you might fall in love with." I am now sharing this extremely valuable pearl of wisdom with you.
If you are living your life for the Lord, he will give you the patience and peace you need to enjoy singledom. I am going to be so bold as to say that you can look at this time in your life as a time of preparation. You obviously need to know what to look for in a man so I'm going to do the grunt work for you and give you a list of scriptures for you to look up and study.
The first thing I want you to do is memorize 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7. This is the guideline for love. By inserting our names where the word love is, we are able to keep ourselves in check but you also need to be able to put your potential gentleman's name in there too. If you are dating a man who's name wont fit most of those, move along sister. It may hurt for now but I promise you that it's better to get it over with now instead of spending years in misery.
Here's some more scriptures for you girls to look at so you can know what to look for in your future gentleman:
Colossians 3:19
1 Timothy 5:8
1 Peter 3:7
Genesis 3:16
Ephesians 5:22-33
As you get into these scriptures you will see why I am stressing so hard that any potential man in your life needs to be chasing Jesus with everything in him. Ladies, I urge to live your life in such a way to that any man that wants to holler at you will have to go through Jesus to get to you. Did I do this? NOOOOOOOO I sure didn't and that is exactly why I urge you to do so.
Make him chase Jesus to get to you and remember you are a princess after all. I mean your Father IS the King of Kings so straighten that crown and be still and wait on your prince.
Love Always,

Monday, May 16, 2016

Things I Love: Briarwood Safari Park

Y'all I have to tell you about this little gem hiding right here in the Lowland area. It's called Briarwood Safari Park. I have driven by a sign for this place almost every morning for a year now and had never really given it much though but Saturday morning I was out going to yard sales and happened upon it. Little did I know the treat I was in for!!!

The first thing I would like to do is dispel the rumor that there is only one person feeding these animals and that they are poorly treated. That is a whopper of a lie!!! I hope the person that said that reads this because I'm calling them out on that lie.

The first thing you will notice when you arrive at the park is the gorgeous scenery. This place is so pretty!!! When you visit, pack a cooler with lunch because I promise you will want to take advantage of one of the many picnic areas at the ranch.

The next thing you will notice is the extremely friendly staff. These people are not only friendly to their guests, they LOVE those animals!!! I was there for hours watching and observing, planning on writing this. The love and care this staff has for these animals is so evident in the way they interact with them and talk to them that I don't know how anyone could say other wise.

Yaulanda and Cherie
George and Cowboy Steve

George Nease
                                       George and Yaulanda hard at work!!!                                          

J.R., Cowboy Steve and Teresa

These are the staff members that would let me take their picture lol.

I was also privileged enough to meet the Bonnet Belles of Blountville, a Kingsport chapter of the Red Hat Society, and let me just tell you, these ladies know something about F-U-N!!! I had an absolute blast with these women. I hope to become a Red Hat someday. They say I'm a Red Hat in training lol. Bless them, they're wonderful!!! 

The wonderful Bonnet Belles of Blountville
The park is actually a 120+ acre wildlife habitat and most of the animals are very free range. You will see what I mean when I post the pictures. The few animals that are caged are caged for their own safety and protection. The ride through the park takes about an hour and is so much fun!!! The animals walk right up to the wagon or your car and eat right from your hand. If you are a germaphobe, you should probably just observe because you will get licked lol. 

Do you even selfie??

These critters eat goooood!!!

"Hey ladies...Can I catch a ride?"

Chillin' out max and relaxin' all cool ( name that song)

I wasn't even kidding about the animals being very free range

This pond is especially for the Water Buffalo

This guy is literally 1 in a million

These critters love Ms. Nancy

I feel a kinship with the Buffalo. Well, I look like it anyway lol.

I had this guy eating out of the palm of my hand (pun intended)

Well y'all, I hope you enjoy these pictures even though my photography game is far from being on point. This place is so amazing. It takes petting zoos to a WHOLE. NEW LEVEL!!! If you live in the East Tennessee area, I can not stress to you enough just how worth your time and money this place is. I'm going post more pictures on Facebook in an album for those who want to see them. Here is a link to the website if you would like more information. 

Remember that you are beautiful, Jesus loves you and He loves the animals too!!!

Love Always,

P.S. J.R. has allowed me to offer my readers a free bucket of food but you have to present this coupon. Just click on it and print!!!