Sunday, December 27, 2009

New look & features

So you may have noticed I've done some remodeling here.  Getting a whole blog-lift for 2010!  Please note the links at the top of the page, which will take you to the different pages. I created different pages for each, instead of continuing to have everything show up on the home page and then tagging.  Hopefully this will make for a more pleasant read for everyone. 

Let me know how you like it, and if there's anything else I can add/delete/change that would improve Frugal Grace!

Friday, December 25, 2009

To you & yours

Wishing you a very blessed holiday!  
Remember to tell Jesus "Happy Birthday!"

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Healthy Peanut Butter Cups!

Reece's Peanut Butter cups are my son's favorite candy of all time, but I really hate buying them and having him eat all the junk they use in commercial candies.  (Yes, he's 18, but still my baby boy!)  

A friend sent me this wonderful, simple recipe this morning for homemade peanut butter squares.  I tweaked the instructions a bit for cups and will use organic sugar, peanut butter, real butter and dark chocolate chips (gotta have those antioxidants!):

1 box confectioner's sugar
1 softened stick of butter
1 12 oz. jar of peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)

1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • Knead confectioner's sugar, peanut butter, and butter together.
  • Put liners in mini-muffin cups.
  • Fill mini-muffin cups 1/2 full with peanut butter mixture. Press until firmly in bottom of each cup. 
  • Melt bag of chocolate chips in microwave.  Spoon chocolate over peanut butter mixture until just covered - or thicker for us chocoholics  ;) 
  • Refrigerate cups until set well, then invert pan to remove.  
  • Set upright on a platter for serving, or arrange in a tin with wax paper between layer for gift-giving.
Be sure to keep cool to prevent melting in containers.

Yummy & a little more healthy than store-bought!  :)

How to have a peaceful holiday: Wordless Wednesday

I just saw this link today on Dr Oz's Facebook Fan page.
(I loooove Dr. Oz!)

With the holidays upon us, here's one sure-fire way to keep unwelcome visitors away from your doorstep!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Please let me know...

If you're able to watch this without getting goosebumps (or crying), please let me know.  I've heard this a million times, and it never fails to touch my heart.  I don't think anyone could do "O, Holy Night" better than Martina McBride except Jesus himself.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


I can't believe it's after 2am and I've been working on this blog for ~adding hours~ .... WOW
Way too long tonight!!

Please let me know how you like the new look!?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Fill-In: Snow Day Edition!

It's that time again!

1. No, we will NOT worry about the foot of snow forecast for today - hot chocolate & blankies are ready!

2. I loved watching Popoo (grandfather) mix molasses & butter, then dip his homemade biscuits in it at the old kitchen table.

3. I watched the steam rising from the hot cup of coffee (or tea) and thought: "Life is good."

4. Chris is going to be okay, one of these days. 

5. I'll take snow over ice any day!

6. Christmas gets more commercialized every year, at least from my point of view, and that stinks!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to going to the holiday concert with hubby (if it's not snowed out), tomorrow my plans include wrapping gifts and relaxing with my hubby & pups, watching movies and thanking God for a warm home during this weather. And Sunday, I want to be able to go to church (snow can't keep us away!), have lunch and nap!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Spinning out of control

Does anyone else ever just feel like their world is spinning out of control? That's how I'm feeling right about now - just too, too much going on in my life lately.


God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

Reinhold Niebuhr

Huh. I never read the 2nd part of the Serenity Prayer until I just Googled it to make sure I had the wording right in the first part. I used to think this prayer was just something for AA meetings, which frankly turned me off to it right from the git-go since I have a long family history of alcohol abuse in my family. But in the past year or so, I've embraced it as sort of a motto for myself. Accepting the things I can not change - is really hard for someone who has a really, really hard time NOT being in control of things.

Then there are times like this week - and yes, it's only Tuesday, not a good sign. Times when I feel like I have no control over ANYTHING, and I feel spazzed out and like I'm just turning in circles and waiting for the next phone call, or letter, or email to tell me something ELSE has happened that - yes - I can't control! It's not worry, I don't really worry so much anymore. It's just a feeling of helplessness - of too much work at the end of the year, too much craziness with the holidays that have become just....too much, children growing up and out and making mistakes, and parents being sick and dying and family that I don't even know being the only lifeline I have between the past and the near future and ... it makes no sense, I know. That's why I'm feeling so frazzled. I like things to make sense!!!

But now I sit here, thinking I just figured I'd write a blog entry since I haven't in a few days. I started typing the first thing that came to mind. I went to trusty Google to look up a verse, and I realize that has God used this time - right now, tonight, as I sit here feeling like my life is spinning out of control. He allowed me to come upon that particular version on Google, the version with the second part instead of the other "516,000 results for serenity prayer" that only have the first verse.

I can feel him saying "Take a deep breath. It's ok. You don't have to spin with it all...just come sit awhile with me and let me do what I'm doing in your life - with you, for you, and because of you. I have a plan."

Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins

1. Good times: Ain't we lucky we got 'em.

2. I need to declutter my home.

3. Sleigh bells ring only in Christmas carols.

4. Sometimes I really wish my kids were still little.

5. Once more, same as before!

6. Are you ready for the end?

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to resting after a day of cleaning & making Christmas gifts, tomorrow my plans include an early Christmas get-together at my mom's, and Sunday, I want to lay on the couch with my dogs and nap after church!

Monday, December 07, 2009

I want to try these...

I have been wanting to try some wall graphics in my house for some time. I'm hoping to get the chance to finally do it for FREE through Verging on Forty's give-away! She's teamed up Graphique de France to give away FIVE Home Decals to 5 winners, just for signing up to their newsletter!

Just visit Graphique de France and scroll to the bottom of the page to register for the newsletter. Then hit up Verging on Forty and let her know you've entered!

~crossing fingers that I'm one of the five lucky winners!~

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Rainy Day Ramblins

This year, I haven't been in the Christmas spirit like a lot of folks I know. I didn't rush to get my tree up the day after Thanksgiving (which I usually do every year). I have bought exactly ONE gift thus far ~glancing at calendar~. I just put up the first of my decorations this past Thursday night, after a sudden wave of Christmas Cheer overcame me while in the holiday section at Walgreens. I went in to pick up a $5 prescription and somehow came out with $60 worth of Christmas stuff! I hate when that happens.

Today I've been debating on whether to even put up the big tree this year. I bought two little porch trees, and was thinking maybe just one of those on a table in the living room. The thought of this makes me feel like my grandmother, who stopped putting up "real" trees years ago. She had a little one that she would put in the den on a little round table, with tiny little decorations on it - if she felt like decorating it at all. Sometimes, it would just be a simple little tree with lights. I always felt sad for her, not having a big tree like when we were little. In my mind, it somehow signaled that she was giving up on life - that even the simplest thing like decorating a tree wasn't worth the effort. I would try to get her to allow me to put up a big tree for her every year, and she'd have none of it. I used to think "This may be her last Christmas, and she'll have spent it with this sad, tiny little tree!"

Now, in my old age, I think I've realized that she was just TIRED!! She practically raised 7 grand-children along with her 1 daughter (my mom), plus all the assorted strays that we'd bring to her house on a regular basis. You can imagine the Thanksgiving through New Years season with 7 grandkids, their spouses or significant others as they grew up, great-grandchildren as they came along... I think around 75 years old, she decided enough is enough - no more of this holiday madness! Her little tree was sufficient cheer for her little house, and it was quite beautiful in it's simplicity.

So today..."Big tree, or no big tree. That is the question."

I *have* gotten into the spirit by printing up some nice business-card tags for homemade gifts. I'm going to make some cocoa and coffees for those friends that might enjoy that sort of thing, some body scrub for all the special ladies in my life, and for the men...uhhh...what do men like that I can make at home & put in a pretty jar?? (any suggestions?)

I found the templates for my cards at Avery Design & Print Online - since I had some Avery business-card stock in my desk that would never get used for anything else. I made not only the gift tags, but cute little instruction tags for each mix. They turned out really nice, if I do say so myself!

Oh, by the way - Nana (my grandmother of the tiny trees) just turned 99 in October. I guess she wasn't giving up on life at all! ;)

Give gifts that make a difference this year!


I'd like to issue a Bloggy Challenge today! Instead of giving gifts this year that will, most likely, end up in next summer's yard sale - why not give a gift that will make a HUGE difference in the life of a stranger? It's so easy, and you - and the recipient - will feel so great for doing it! Just visit Samaritan’s Purse Christmas gift catalog and pick one or two or ten to give.

Here are some of my favorites…

  • Feed a hungry baby for a week $9
  • Give an orphan a month of loving care $35
  • Rescue a child from bondage and abuse $75
  • Provide care for AIDS orphans and widows $45
  • Supply a community with clean water $18 (for a family)
  • Bibles and Christian literature $15
  • Or choose "Where Most Needed" and make a donation of any amount. It was so hard for me to decide that this is the option I chose.

I wonder how many donations we could get if we all teamed up and wrote one post on our blogs with our favorite gifts of love and a link to Samaritan’s Purse?

Oh, and if you purchase a gift by Sunday at 9pm EST, you have 10 extra entries into this Sondra Roberts purse giveaway at Like A Warm Cup of Coffee! (retail value $107)

Please leave a comment and let us all know what your family chose to give!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Random Dozen

I am joining Linda today for Random dozen. I think I should have had a few more cups of coffee before doing this one...

1. Which Wizard of Oz character are you most like? The Scarecrow, definitely! I seem to have lost my brain lately...

2. When you're deciding what you're going to wear each morning, which item do you select first? Why? Pants...because if I have jeans to wear I'm good, can match up any shirt with them. If not, then I have to wear scrubs (thinking work days here) and then I have to find a shirt that matches.

3. What kind of animal do you think the world could live without? Are snakes considered animals? I really dislike snakes....a lot. Or rats. Since snakes eat rats, that would work out perfectly!

4. How many Christmas trees are in your home? None yet...well, there is one in a box in the attic. I want to have a couple of little trees this year, in addition to the big living room tree. However, I haven't made any progress in the tree direction at all.

5. Would you prefer to be emotionless if it mean you didn't have to feel a heartbreak? No way! Who would want to miss out on FEELINGS? What a boring life that would be.

6. Do you ever experience holiday let-down or depression? Most every year.

7. Do you like Michael Jackson's music? Yes, I thought he was a great performer and had a lot to offer through his music. Off the Wall was bangin'!

8. Why is it that we never judge people who have their teeth fixed for cosmetic reasons, but every other cosmetic procedure has a stigma? Hmm, I've never really thought about it.

9. Enjoy horseback riding? I haven't been on a horse since I was little. It's one of those things I keep saying I'm going to do, but never get around to it.

10. Shoes--practical or stylish? Yes, please. ;) But if I have to choose - practical.

11. What was the name of your first pet? Feel free to post a pic. First one I can remember was a mutt named Mandy (after the Barry Manilow song). Yes, she came and she gave without taking... ~sniffle~

12. What percentage of your Christmas shopping is done? Ha! I have one small gift for hubby (more like a stocking stuffer) and 1 for stepdaughter. And that is all I've done!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

'Tis the Season for great music!

Over at ExemplifyOnline, Kristen is treating us to some wonderful Christmas themed fun this month!

Today's is listing your Christmas Playlist. Here's mine, so far:

Oh Holy Night – Martina McBride
TSO – Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24b (and the whole Christmas Eve and Other Stories CD)
Mary, Did You Know? – Michael English (I get chills just typing that one!)
Santa Claus is Coming to Town – gotta love The Boss! (Bruce Springsteen)
Do They Know It’s Christmas – Band Aid
Happy Christmas (War is Over) – John Lennon
Holly Jolly Christmas – Burl Ives
Let it Snow – Dean Martin
Breathe of Heaven – Amy Grant
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel – Nicole C. Mullen
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Sarah Mclachlan & Bare Naked Ladies
Joy to the World – Natalie Grant
Away in a Manger – Casting Crowns
Anything by Mannheim Steamroller
Anything by Bing Crosby!

What are your favorite Christmas tunes??

Link up with Exemplify's Christmas Playlist for your chance to win the new Casting Crowns Christmas CD

be sure to check out the fun stuff the rest of the month there!