Live As If Everything Is A Miracle

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ShareYourMiracles  #CollectiveBiasmiracles from heaven

Do you know how great your life is? Do you take the time to acknowledge the little things and moments that happen around you every single day? Are you grateful for them?
You are probably wondering why I’m asking this.
Two nights ago, my daughter and I watched the movie Miracles From Heaven and it was so good. If you haven’t seen it- you have got to see it.  I got my DVD at Walmart. Make sure to have a tissue box handy.
Miracles From Heaven is a true story about a young girl (Annabel Beam) suffering from a rare digestive disorder who finds herself miraculously cured after surviving a terrible accident. While fighting for her daughter’s life, Christy Beam, loses faith and turns her back on the church. Until the accident…Family
Six years ago, I became a single mom. Tomorrow marks four years since the kids and I moved to Nashville. The move was scary and uncertain but I had faith and through God’s strength I was able to push through.
“Okay, God, do you have a plan?” I asked. What is you plan?
Let me tell you, miracles have been around us throughout our entire journey. By miracles I don’t mean big momentous events. I’m talking about the everyday miracles we sometimes don’t even recognize. Like the random acts of kindness we experienced the minute we set foot in Tennessee. A smile and a connection with a stranger at the store. The neighbor who helped us carry a heavy couch. My daughter’s music that brought tears to my eyes. All miracles.
Miracles are all around us. We just need to open our eyes and hearts and learn to live our lives as if everything were a miracle.  We need to be aware of how much we’ve been given.
As a homeowner, one of the chores that’s on my to-do-list every week is mowing the lawn.  0.35 acres of land, to be exact. I don’t mind the chore in the spring or fall (it’s a great work out)  but in the summer heat, the chore  leaves you drenched, hot, itchy and exhausted. This summer has been especially brutal, with temperatures and humidity levels reaching into the 100s. The other day,  I dreaded mowing the lawn so much but it needed to get done. Half an hour into I was miserable and felt sorry for myself. I was even a little angry.
“Why do I have to deal with this every single week when the other ladies on my street don’t?”   Why me? Why do I need to have so much on my plate? Sometimes, I allow negative thoughts to take over my mind. When this happens I have to remind myself how lucky  I am to have two healthy legs and arms to do yard work week after week. My good health, my beating heart …. truly a MIRACLE. miracles
So many people are bound to wheelchairs and hospital beds. They are in pain or they no longer feel or have their limbs. Instead of complaining about yard work I should be grateful for my strong body. This train of thought gets me out of my misery instantly and I no longer feel sorry for myself.  I’ve learned that when I’m grateful,  my focus shifts  from what I  lack in life to the abundance that is already present.
Gratitude is my reminder of how “rich” and fortunate my kids and I are. No, we don’t have much money – in fact, we are on a very tight budget. We do not live beyond our means. We don’t drive fancy cars or wear designer clothes;  but I cannot tell you how much we count our blessings. We have each other. We have love and faith.

Whenever I can I remind my kids that increasing ones gratitude is one of the most important goals of life. Gratitude makes us happier.

       Live as if everything is a miracle.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to seek out more, as that’s also part of life. But… doing so already being really grateful and joyful for what we have now is the way to go.
What’s great about being grateful for the little things in life is that even on the worst days there is always something we can be thankful for, and usually there is more than one thing. Gratitude helps us focus on the good in our lives even when things aren’t going great.  If you think about it, there are always blessings and burdens in life, no matter what the situation is.

Each day when the sun rises, we are given a choice about how we are going to live that day. Will I allow myself to be grateful for what I have and make the most of it, or will I dwell in negativity, and allow it to pull me into the belief that whatever I might want to happen just can’t, or won’t?miracles from heaven

This movie is an excellent reminder to stop and acknowledge the miracles that happen all around us daily. Miracles From Heaven is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and digital. When you buy the Miracles from Heaven DVD, $1 of your purchase will be donated to the Children’s Miracle Network.

Who is going to watch #MiraclesFromHeaven?

“Real” Mom Casting for LITTLE DEBBIE

Hey Moms!  Here’s something I wanted to share with you. It looks like an interesting and fun project.



Genuine: The Real People Company, powered by Strickman-Ripps – a NYC based casting company that specializes in finding “real people” for commercials, web videos, and print advertisements – is currently CASTING a special project for Little Debbie featuring Moms and their families.

If you are interested, or know anyone who might be interested in participating,  submit your info via this online questionnaire:

College Cooking Skills & Tools

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BigLotsReady  #CollectiveBias

collegeMy daughter, Christy, an incoming college junior, has got it all – a lovely room, stove, fridge, counters, cabinets. Now we’re talking!collegeLet me tell you, this girl loves her full size bed and takes full advantage of her kitchen. She cooks every day. Although it’s more work for her to cook her own meals, I know she eats a lot better for at least half the cost of the meal plan at school.

Last year was her first year in a college apartment. When she moved in, her roommates had already lived there for a year, so the kitchen was full of essential equipment. This year, two of the roommates moved out taking some of the kitchen stuff with them.

Before the school year ended, Christy made a list of the things she’ll need for back- to- college in August. The list included a toaster, coffee maker, some bowls, as well as smaller things such as pens, paper, toiletries, laundry detergent, etc.

Last week, we went to Big Lots and found everything  she needed. We also found items she didn’t need but were too hard to pass up. Like this super soft chevron blanket. Let me show you some of the things we bought.

back to collegeBefore we even made it to the kitchen essentials aisle, Christy spotted all this softness. The girl cannot walk past cozy blankets. I can’t really blame her. How cute and modern is this chevron pattern? Big Lots offers such a wide selection of fashionable products.  It’s hard to only pick one.Back to college

college EssentialsNot only is this blanket soft, it will also add a fabulous touch to her room.

back to collegeBig Lots carries lots of comfy blankets, comforters, sheets, throws;  all value- priced to outfit a dorm room or college apartment. Keep in mind, styles and assortment vary by store.  back to collegeIn the electronics aisle, Christy found these cute purple wireless mini speakers. The speakers are portable and rechargeable… perfect for college kids.

college EssentialsAlthough speakers weren’t on Christy’s list, she loves to listen to music while she cooks. She has already tried the speakers at home while preparing her favorite dish: veggie stir-fry with basmati rice. back to collegeNext, Christy chose this Sunbeam toaster for her morning toast, which goes perfectly with the much needed Mr. Coffee. college EssentialsShe starts each morning with a run,  a cup of coffee, cottage cheese or yogurt  with fruit and toast. A coffee maker is essential during finals when she spends up to 12 hours in the EssentialsThe size of this coffee maker is perfect for her small kitchen.


back to collegeHere, she grabbed a few school supplies for her upcoming junior year. During the school year, getting to a store isn’t easy for her since she doesn’t have a car.  Summer is a good time for her to stock up on things she’ll need and I feel better knowing that she has everything she needs for the school year ahead.

college Essentials These bowls will be perfect for her stir-fries, soups,  cottage cheese, and cereal.

college Essentials

We love shopping at Big Lots. They carry a wonderful assortment of high quality back-to-college items.  Really, Big Lots has all the essentials whether it’s for a dorm room, living space, or kitchen area. In addition to smaller college essentials, Big Lots carries mattresses and ready to assemble furniture including desks, chairs and bookshelves. I got so excited when they opened a Big Lots store in our neighborhood. Their cashiers are always friendly and helpful. Did you know you can also shop Big Lots ( online?



As a junior, this will be my second year living in an apartment, and I can assure you that cooking’s not as daunting as it may initially seem. Stocking the right foods in your kitchen is going to take you a long way toward a good start.

I think healthy eating is an amazing stress relief tool that a lot of college students don’t use. Ever since I’ve made it a point to eat healthy balanced meals and drink more water my stress levels are way down. The act of cooking can be relaxing too, knowing that you are nourishing your body and treating it with kindness. Whenever I come back from a busy day of classes, it’s always wonderful to put on a pot of something or other and start heating, mixing, and then experimenting with tastes. It’s a wonderful way to blow off steam. Lots of college students think eating healthy is such a hassle but it’s FUN!


Your first trip to the grocery store should include some products that will get you through an entire semester of eating, in addition to those that you’ll replenish regularly.  Buy staples like olive oil and salt. On move-in day, my mom and I hit the grocery store and stock up on rice, dried beans, lentils, nuts,  sweet potatoes, dried spices, peanut butter, almond milk, frozen chicken, lots of fruits and veggies, yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs and butter. I don’t buy any junk food. If I have it in my kitchen I will eat it.


You’ll need at least one pan (a 10-inch skillet, nonstick) and one pot (large enough to cook pasta and rice), plates, small bowls, as well as a can opener, a paring knife, a chef’s knife, a large bowl (for mixing), a plastic cutting board, measuring cups and spoons, a couple of wooden spoons, a spatula, a baking pan, a cheese grater, and colander.  Plus a few dish towels and tupper wear. You can also add a blender, toaster, and  coffee maker.


My advice, cook simply and often. Lean on lunch and dinner formats like pasta; meat, fish, or vegetables; salads; rice bowls and stir-fry. For breakfast, stick with standards like eggs and toast, yogurt, fruit and oatmeal. Rice bowls are my favorite. They are easy and quick to make and can be changed up with herbs, vegetables, and protein. Something I usually do is chop and cook a bunch of assorted fresh veggies at the beginning of the week and use them all week-long in wraps, tossed into pasta or mixed into brown rice.

Decide if you’re the type who can eat the same meal repeatedly. If so, you’ll save energy by cooking a big batch of chili or lentil soup to fill bowls for days. This type of cooking is perfect during finals.


The more you cook, the more of a mess you make. Make it a habit to wash dishes as soon as possible after eating, especially if you are sharing the kitchen.

Cooking in college is a wonderful thing. I feel so blessed having a full kitchen where I can prepare delicious meals. For me, cooking takes less time than walking to the nearest campus cafeteria.  With the right tools, cooking on your own can be done quickly, cheaply and, most importantly, in a healthy way.