28 July 2015

Companies that Make a Difference


I want to use my life to make a difference and do something that matters. (Read about it here.) Every day is an opportunity to do that with the abilities and resources we have been given. There are plenty of people that are already doing just that. Here are a handful of the causes and companies I believe in. You should check them out.
A for profit company that provides shoes to children in need based on the terrain of the area, school uniform requirements, and weather conditions.  Additionally, they have moved into the realm of sight. Every pair of shoes purchased will give a new pair of shoes to a child in need. Every pair of sunglasses purchased will help give sight to a person in need. They are meeting a practical need abroad and here in our backyard. I'm a fan. You should also read his book.
They have reusable bags and other items for every possible situation to reduce plastic use to zero. Not only are you saving the environment, you are saving money by not buying baggies all the time and by getting discounts at stores like Target. Plus they are so much easier to carry than tons of plastic grocery bags, are durable for any type of product from canned goods to clothing, and they are quite stylish! 
SIFAT  is a nonprofit Christian organization, provides training in community development in hard places in our world.  SIFAT raises awareness of needs and global issues, providing opportunities for people to get involved personally, both to learn from and to serve alongside those with scarce resources.


http://www.worldvision.org/
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.They work in nearly 100 countries, serving all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender, providing emergency assistance to children and families affected by natural disasters and civil conflict, working with communities to develop long-term solutions to alleviate poverty, and advocating for justice on behalf of the poor, demonstration of God’s unconditional love for all people.

The mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment.


www.ransomcafe.com

"Ransom Café exists to combat Physical and Spiritual Hunger throughout the world by using Quality fresh ingredients in the food we serve, Helping others to learn to cook and about food preparation, job preparedness, participating in community missions, and showing the love of Jesus through acts of service."


www.3strandsglobal.com
3 strands common cause is to fight against sex trafficking around the world. "We will not accept the status quo. We will not accept evils that we do not agree with. We will not close our eyes and pretend it doesn't exist or affect us. Sex trafficking is not just a third world problem - it is in our backyards." Their vision is "To create a global brand that is recognized for unique, quality, handmade jewelry, accessories and apparel. To employ victims of sex trafficking in an environment infused with love, compassion, education and training. To create a brand that consumers can enjoy and promote knowing that their purchases and involvement are helping to free, love and empower girls rescued from sex trafficking."

 What companies do you love that make a difference? Join in & let us know! 
Beth - Our Pretty Little Girls | Michelle - Grammie Time Keri - Living In This Season  
Christina - Waltzing In Beauty | Tara - Mrs. Coach Sims | Lauren - Simply Free 
Jess and Katie - Sweet Little Ones | Whitney - Polka Dotty Place | Becky - BYBMG 
Elizabeth - All Kinds Of Things Sarah - Abiding In Grace | Amy - Go Forth and Mother | Emily - Morning Motivated Mom



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23 July 2015

Coffee Cocktail | Recipe

As you well know, my love for coffee is exponential, as is my husbands love for fine whiskey & bourbon. So when we were at a friends house & the 'Velvet Revolver' was rumored to have both of our favorites in one beverage, I was determined to master this drink! I've played with it a little and love what we've come up with. 

It's hard to find good iced coffee outside of local coffee shops preparing it for you, so when I heard of Icebox Coffee I was thrilled. Not to mention, it's based out of Birmingham, and there's nothing I love more than supporting local businesses!

The Madagascar Vanilla is perfect to grab on the go for a ready to drink treat & the Cold Brew Concentrate is just the thing to keep in your office fridge for late afternoon pick-me-ups since it's already slightly sweet. The New Orleans blend is perfect for mixing with flavors for specialty drinks, especially the one I'm sharing today!

Ingredients:
  • 2 oz Honey Whiskey
  • 3 oz Icebox Iced Coffee (I prefer the New Orleans Blend!)
  • 0.5 oz Orange Juice
  • 0.5 oz Club Soda
  • Splash of Orange Bitters

Directions:
  • Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker
  • Give it a quick shake (not too much - don't want the soda to fizz too much) 
  • Pour over ice
  • Garnish with an orange slice
  • Repeat

Perfect for sipping on the porch with your besties on a hot summer night - and who are we kidding? That's every night in the summer in Alabama! 

What's your favorite way to enjoy Icebox Coffee?

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21 July 2015

Best of the Blog | Roundup


New to this space? Here's a perfect way to see what we're all about :) The top five posts for each of the following categories have been selected for your enjoyment! Click on the circle of the category you want to see more of to see the best of the best!



Looking for all the series we've done here? Check out this comprehensive list.

 Join in and let us know what YOUR favorite posts are! 
Beth - Our Pretty Little Girls | Michelle - Grammie Time Keri - Living In This Season  
Christina - Waltzing In Beauty | Tara - Mrs. Coach Sims | Lauren - Simply Free 
Jess and Katie - Sweet Little Ones | Whitney - Polka Dotty Place | Becky - BYBMG 
Elizabeth - All Kinds Of Things Sarah - Abiding In Grace | Amy - Go Forth and Mother | Emily - Morning Motivated Mom

read more "Best of the Blog | Roundup"

14 July 2015

The Cuckoo's Calling | Review

Back again to talk about J.K. Rowling. If you missed my review of The Casual Vacancy, be sure to check that out as well! I must admit, after reading the other, I was a bit curious if this book would take on the same "adult" theme. Plus the fact that she is just such a gifted author, I had to see what this one was all about! While we all know that this one was published under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith, I can't remove Rowling from my mind. I will say however, that publishing under an alternative name gave her the freedom to just write - not trying to prove anything, or make things very different from HP - but just tell a story. And she does a wonderful job. 

The story is riveting and page turning and takes a lot of twists I would have never even thought of! I like that she keeps you guessing. It's a mystery without being too dark, but it certainly realistic and the way she sets the characters up you feel like you've known them for ages. I would strongly encourage you to grab The Cuckoo's Calling and start out on the Cormoran Strike series with me. See all the books in the series here.


Grab your copy today on Amazon and carve out some time. You'll be sure to finish it in a jiffy.

Do you love books in a series, or is a "one and done" book better? 

 Join in and let us know! 
Beth - Our Pretty Little Girls | Michelle - Grammie Time Keri - Living In This Season  
Christina - Waltzing In Beauty | Tara - Mrs. Coach Sims | Lauren - Simply Free 
Jess and Katie - Sweet Little Ones | Whitney - Polka Dotty Place | Becky - BYBMG 
Elizabeth - All Kinds Of Things Sarah - Abiding In Grace | Amy - Go Forth and Mother | Emily - Morning Motivated Mom

Disclosure: I was not compensated in any way for this review. All opinions are my own, and are based on my experiences with this book and all of J.K. Rowlings' other work.
read more "The Cuckoo's Calling | Review"

10 July 2015

A Reminder of His Faithfulness


After 3 days without our precious girl - no sleep, hardly any food, lots of tears, & countless prayers - there was nothing sweeter than family cuddle time with our precious pup last night. As rough as this journey has been emotionally, physically, & spiritually, it has also been a beautiful reminder of His faithfulness to us. Not only in bringing Riley home safe, but in surrounding us with friends & family & community to do life with daily that love & support us in the fun times & the rough times. We are beyond thankful to have Riley home, and for everyone who shared in our worry, fear, determination, praying, pleading, and jubilation over the past few days. You mean the word to us.
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07 July 2015

UPDATED | RILEY HAS BEEN FOUND!!!

UPDATE:

She's been found and we are reunited! She is doing well and is getting re-hydrated. Minus lots of ticks & a few scrapes & scratches, she is quite healthy -  just tired and happy to be home!! 

Thank y'all so much for all the ways you've spread the word, helped search, prayed for, and encouraged us over the past few days. We are so thrilled to have our baby girl at home with us!!!! And we are thankful for wonderful community!!



Our sweet Riley went missing on Saturday (7/4) and we are searching for her! Please be in prayer with us as we search for her and for her safety as she tries to return home. Spread the word with anyone you know in Birmingham, Alabama - the more searching & praying the better! I've added the link to my Facebook post for easy sharing. Thank you for joining us to find her - y'all are incredible!
 Please spread the word to anyone in Alabama & especially the Hoover area. Keep us in your prayers as we search for our sweet pup!
Beth - Our Pretty Little Girls | Michelle - Grammie Time Keri - Living In This Season  
Christina - Waltzing In Beauty | Tara - Mrs. Coach Sims | Lauren - Simply Free 
Jess and Katie - Sweet Little Ones | Whitney - Polka Dotty Place | Becky - BYBMG 
Elizabeth - All Kinds Of Things Sarah - Abiding In Grace | Amy - Go Forth and Mother | Emily - Morning Motivated Mom

read more "UPDATED | RILEY HAS BEEN FOUND!!!"

30 June 2015

Ocean Water | Copycat Recipe

One of my favorite things about the summer has always been heading over to Sonic for a tasty treat to cool down in the Alabama heat! When we were at Camp Ozark over the summers days off were always spent at the laundromat with an Ocean Water or Diet Cherry Limeade in hand so when we figured out we could recreate one of our favorites I was super excited!
Ingredients:
4 Tablespoons of regular white sugar
4 Tablespoons of water
24 oz of lemon-lime soda (2 – 12 oz cans works great!)
1 teaspoon of coconut extract (add 1/2 teaspoon extra too make extra strong!)
3 drops of blue food coloring

Directions:
In a microwave safe bowl, mix white sugar and water and heat for 30 seconds in the microwave. This should dissolve most of the sugar. Add the sugar mixture to the lemon-lime soda, coconut extract and food coloring to a pitcher and mix gently.

What's your favorite copycat recipe? Join in and let us know! 
Beth - Our Pretty Little Girls | Michelle - Grammie Time Keri - Living In This Season  
Christina - Waltzing In Beauty | Tara - Mrs. Coach Sims | Lauren - Simply Free 
Jess and Katie - Sweet Little Ones | Whitney - Polka Dotty Place | Becky - BYBMG 
Elizabeth - All Kinds Of Things Sarah - Abiding In Grace | Amy - Go Forth and Mother | Emily - Morning Motivated Mom


read more "Ocean Water | Copycat Recipe"