Saturday, February 25, 2017

15 Ways to Keep Kids Occupied On Long Car Trips

We have taken a few family trips with our kids.... and I have found, if you have some fun things to keep kids occupied with, the trip will be much more enjoyable for everyone! 

Here is a list of idea's that my kids love.... 

1. Camera - I give each kid (I started doing this when my youngest was 3 yrs old.) a camera. Make sure it is charged or has fresh batteries (take the charger along with your overnight bag and charge while your sleeping so it will be ready to go the following day.) I let my kids take pictures of anything that interest's them. When we get home, I delete the fuzzy or blurry pictures and use some of their good pictures, along with some of mine, to make a keepsake book for them to look through to remember the trip by. 

2. Silly Putty - All kids, all ages love silly putty! You can also buy different colored silly putty. Just keep it off of clothing! 

3. Bingo Car Game - this works great for middle school kids that know how to read.... Mom mom always had these for traveling when I was a kid! We have a few different sets. I bought mine at our local Rural King store. 

4. Water Wow Books - My two youngest kids (ages 6 & 9) loved these! They are no mess and reusable, which I love and water to fill the pens is so easy to come by on a trip! 

5. Figurines - I bought each of the kids some Figurines to play with ( I thought these were cute since our trip this year was to the ocean!) Any figurines would work, as long as it's something you kids are into. 

6. Sponge Ball Shooters - My kids also love playing with these Sponge Ball Shooters - they are perfect in the car, as the foam balls are attached to a string! 

7. Silly Neon Rubbery Monsters and Plastic Magic Springs and Sticky Hands make for fun car toys also. I got these for Our trip out west and the kids liked them. 

8. Glow Necklaces and Bracelets and Finger Lights are fun to have if you are going to be traveling at night. I forgot these for our last trip and wished I'd have had them. 

9. Books - I let each kid pick out a couple favorite books to look at on the trip. 

10. Notebook and Pen or Activity Book and Crayons. Each of the kids had their own notebook and pen to draw with. If your kids won't keep the pen on the paper when using it - this may not be for you. Older kids could keep a journal of the trip if they wanted to.

11. Stuffed Animal - everyone is allowed to take their favorite stuffed animal, although my youngest is the only one that takes a stuffed animal with her now. 

12. Stick Bots - I bought a stick bot for each of the kids. They are pretty cool in general, but the teen especially enjoyed playing with hers using the stick bot app. 

13. Pillows and Blanket - Each kid takes their own bed pillow or a neck pillow (depending on how much room we have) and a small fuzzy blanket. We love the small lap blankets and use them all the time here at home. It makes tired kids feel cozy and helps them to sleep. 

14. Music and Audio Books - We love Sirius XM and have it in our home and our car! No more commercials and no more flipping channels. It's well worth a subscription if you are taking a long road trip! I also check out audio books on CD at our library for the kids to listen to stories. We like Laura Ingalls Wilder Series and Magic Tree house

15. Electronic Game - If your kid has a tablet or DS, a new game for their device will keep them busy - just remember to take a car charger with you. (we have a rule that if we are driving long hours on the interstate, they may play on their games, but if we are sight seeing - the games have to be shut off)- I want them to experience the trip as much as possible! 

I usually open all the toys from any packaging and put them in a container for the trip. We have a SUV, so the two youngest have the container between them on the seat and the teen keeps her stuff in a book bag with her in the back seat. 

Other things to do on a trip is to stop and let the kids get out and run around a bit. Take a jump rope, sidewalk chalk, or a ball for them to kick around at the rest stop. Stop for an ice cream cone! 

Always keep a water bottle for each child beside them. I also always put together a basket of snacks for the trip and keep it within reach while we are driving! (See my list of snacks here.) 

Most of all, remember that kids are just that, kids! Traveling wears them out and sometimes you need to give them extra grace on a road trip! Make sure you are making memories!

*Note. I generally don't recommend Dollar Tree toys, because they are cheap and often don't hold up well - but for trips, they have worked out great for our family - the kids are excited to get new toys and I love that it's not costing me an arm and a leg!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Snack Ideas for Long Road Trips

When we are traveling - I like to take our snacks with us. It cuts down on stops and on the cost of buying snacks at convenience stores or gas stations. I try to pack a mixture of sweet, salty, crunchy, chewy, healthy and not so healthy snacks..... I want snacks that are easy and that don't make a huge mess! I try to get some snacks that my kids don't have on a regular basis - it gives them something to look forward too and makes the trip more fun! Here we go!

Nuts - honey roasted peanuts, cashews, and roasted and salted almonds are our family favorites!

Fruit Snacks or Fruit Roll Ups

Shaklee Snack Bars - choose from crunchy peanut butter, cherry and almond, chocolate and coconut, or toffee and chocolate crunch.

Snack Crisps - my personal favorite is the barbecue flavored ones.

Beef Jerky

Trail Mix

Raisins - little individual boxes work great!

Starburst Minis - my kids love these and there are no paper wrappers to deal with!

Green Matcha or Pomegranate Energizing Tea (just mix with a bottle of cold water, shake, and enjoy for a great pick me up!

Combos - I like to mix the cheddar and pizza combos together before the trip.

Dried Fruit - Apricots, Banana Chips, Pineapple, Papaya, Kiwi - it's all good!


Energy Chews - a great pick me up for the driver - 

Cheez-its or Goldfish Crackers for the kids

Animal Crackers


Popcorn - sometimes I pop it at home and put into an airtight container. Sometimes I buy the Puffy popcorn. And sometimes, I just take microwave popcorn for a snack after we get to the hotel!

Soda/pop - we usually take a few 16 oz. bottles and split it between us all.

Mini Choc. Chip Cookies - you can get these for $1 at the family dollar store.


Skittles or any candy that you or your family enjoys.

Small individual boxes of assorted Dry Cereal - you can use dry as a snack or use for breakfast at the hotel.

Chex Mix

Little Debbies - swiss rolls, zebra cakes, or oatmeal cream cookies - these are a treat as we very rarely buy them.

Snacks that are better in  a cooler:

Protein Balls - this is a healthy snack you can't go wrong with!

Pudding Cups - I stick with the vanilla, as it is less messy than chocolate!

Cheese Sticks

Frozen Grapes

Yogurt cups or Squeeze Tubes

Juice (try to stick with clear juices that won't stain bad) or Milk boxes/bottles

Always take extra Water Bottles - we love our Shaklee Get Clean Water here at home, but on trips, it's nice to have recyclable water bottles within easy reach that you can toss! If you have room, a small cooler of ice is great also.

Lunch Idea's: If you are wanting to reduce the cost of eating out on a trip - pack a cooler with chicken, egg or ham salad, or lunch meat, cheese, lettuce, and miracle whip. Add a loaf of bread (or round Ritz crackers), a bag of chips, and paper plates and fix your lunches to eat at a picnic table at a rest stop or park.

For Breakfast - keep the cost low by:
1. Mixing up a protein shake or a meal shake for the kids. It's quick, easy, nutritious and keeps tummies full! 
2. We usually always have one morning where we get donuts and milk for breakfast. It's become a family tradition!
3. Buy milk to pour over dry cereal - (don't forget paper bowls and spoons). 
4. My sister always packs an electric skillet and turner and takes eggs to cook her family for breakfast in the hotel room. I personally don't want to cook while traveling so I skip that, but it is a great idea!

I always put these clips in my snack box - they come in handy for open bags. (I also use these at home - they are my favorite bag clips!)

Other things to include are plastic cups (they can be used to drink out of, or as individual containers for snacks), and plastic spoons. Remember to take wet wipes for wiping sticky hands and a small box of Kleenex. In our SUV - both can fit perfect in the glove box within easy reach. I also try to include a couple gallon and quart zip-lock bags, plastic grocery bags, trash bag and a hand towel - those things have come in handy multiple times!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Man I Love

Happy Valentines Day! Today, I want to celebrate my hubby! I have been blessed with a good man! Let me tell you my top ten favorite things about the man I love.

He always does the right thing -even when it's the hard thing to do. He is a man of values and good moral. He is polite, not just around others, but here at home around me and the kids.

He is a man of few words and uses his words wisely. I love hearing him talk. When he speaks, people stop and listen because they know he has something important to say.

He always treats me with respect. I am his equal. He asks and values my opinion, He lets me choose where I want to eat. What I want to do. He always puts me first in the bedroom -enough said! He can tell when something’s important to me, and for the most part, he lets me run wild with my (crazy) ideas.

He is a hard worker. He provides well for our family - we lack for nothing. He is a successful mold maker by day. But he also works hard around our property. He can fix, remodel, and build anything..... and he is extremely good at it. He helps me around the house.... he helps wash dishes, he scrubs the floors, and keeps things looking nice. In all the years we've been together, I have never washed the windows.... he does that for me!

He is a good dad. I love watching him play with the kids. I love that my kids beg to drive to recycling or the gas station with dad. He talks with them about life things -dating, saving and investing money, history, teaches them right from wrong, and to think for themselves. He turns up the music and has dance parties with them in the living room. He takes them on bike rides and for ice cream in the mustang. He spends every Tuesday afternoon and evening with the kids while I volunteer at the local pregnancy center and do my weekly grocery shopping.

He always has my back. It doesn't matter if it's a family member, a business client, or a stranger.... he always stands up for me! He has my back when the kids try to play us off each other, or if they start taking me for granted. He gives me grace, even when I don't deserve it.

He loves me unconditionally. It's no secret that some days life is hard for me- I struggle with autoimmune disorders and chronic stress, and on such days, he physically takes care of me. Even when I feel at my worst, he tells me I'm beautiful. I never doubt his love for me.

He has a great butt and the sexiest smile in the whole world. If I am upset, his smile can make me laugh....

He protects me. He is always ready to shield me from harm. His arms are my safe place. Outside worries melt away. I always feel safe when he is by my side.

He is romantic. Not in the 'go out to a fancy restaurant, bring home chocolates, or plan an extravagant getaway kind of way'. No, he's romantic in the everyday kind of way. Holding my hand when we go on walks, sitting beside me when we eat. Snuggling with me on the sofa every night. Still opening my car door after all these years. Coming up behind me and wrapping his arms around me while I'm washing dishes or cooking supper.

What are some things you love most about your hubby? Brag about him in the comments below!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Best Protein Snack Recipe

Is your family getting all the protein that they need? If they are like the majority of Americans, they most likely aren't! My kids don't enjoy drinking protein shakes..... but they LOVE this Protein Snack! Even adults can't resist!

~ Recipe ~

1 cup (dry) oatmeal or crispy rice cereal

1/2 cup Chocolate or Vanilla Shaklee Life Energizing Protein

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1/2 cup peanut/almond butter

1/2 cup honey

(You can also add other ingredients like flax seed, chia seed, raisins, nuts, etc.)

Stir until everything is moist. Press into 8×8 pan or roll into bite sized balls. Keep in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Around the world, millions of people don’t get enough protein. Protein malnutrition leads to the condition known as kwashiorkor. Lack of protein can cause growth failure, loss of muscle mass, decreased immunity, weakening of the heart and respiratory system, and death.

Protein is the single most important food we eat. The name comes form the Greek “protos,” meaning “first place” or “takes first place.” Every cell in our body contains and needs protein to survive!

All Protein Isn't Alike!

The quality of protein is measured by the balance and amounts of the essential amino acids it contains. If the protein contains all nine essential amino acids in proper amounts to support your body’s health, it is called a complete protein.

Not only does Shaklee’s Protein Powder have all nine essential amino acids in the proper amount and is a complete protein, but Shaklee products also go through rigorous safety tests, to insure you are getting the highest quality protein available! Order your Shaklee Protein here!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Kids Book Reviews

 I have three kids. There is a 9 year age difference between the oldest and youngest. Most of the kids books have been passed down over the years, and many have been torn, colored in, or dog-eared, pages ripped, etc. Some of them were getting so rough, it was time to toss them, so I am trying to find my six year old, books to add to her collection. Here are two of the latest kids books I received to review.

Same Kind of A Different Me
–by Ron Hall & Denver Moore

This book wasn’t near as good as I thought it would be. I liked that it had some depth to the wording, so it is better suited for grade school kids. Although the story line was good, the illustrations were lacking and seemed more for toddlers. The story seemed to be missing a link, tying it all together.

 I do love the saying on the last page, “Nobody can help everybody, but everybody can help somebody,” and I definitely want to instill that into my kids’ minds, but, overall, this book didn't do that phrase justice. It’s one of those books that is not horrible, but, just not great, either.

The Beautiful Garden of Eden:
“A Faith That God Built” series 
–by Gary Bowen 

If your kids like the classic 'The House That Jack Built', they will love the whimsical style of this book!  I myself, loved this book and think that it is a fun and entertaining style. I also love that it’s teaching kids Bible stories in a simple, fun way! I think these books could be a good addition to your young child’s library or your home school book collection!
However, my youngest child is six, and she wasn’t very impressed: she kept saying, “They already said that!” -like she couldn't understand why the book kept repeating the phrases.... 

Please share your book recommendations for six (almost seven) year-olds in the comments!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received these books free from the publisher through BookLookBloggers and Tyndale Blog Network, book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Effortless Ways to Keep Your Home Clutter-Free

Today's guest post is by Emma Hamilton on keeping your home clutter free!

Maintaining a neat, cozy and well-organized living environment is one of the first steps towards a stress-free, healthier lifestyle. According to Dr. Charisse Ward, clutter is among the top-five culprits causing stress, which has a negative impact on one's mindset and greatly reduces their creativity and productivity. Many people share the common misconception clutter is just physical stuff. This couldn't be further from the truth. Clutter represents all those old ideas, intentions, bad habits and relationships, we find it difficult to let go of. Follow our advice and take some measures to de-clutter your living space right away. Here are a few helpful tips to get you started. 

Learn to Let Go

This is the first step towards a clutter-free lifestyle. We all have items in our lives that we feel emotionally attached to, despite the fact they no longer serve their purpose. The truth of the matter is sentimental clutter is the worst kind to dispose of. If you don't feel ready yet to throw away certain items, you can start by removing them from plain sight. Place the articles in boxes, label their contents and stash them in your garage. Soon your emotional attachment will wane off and you will be able to dispose of the stuff without feeling guilty about it.

Clean up Systematically

Carpet Cleaning West London guarantees it is better to take ten minutes each day to collect dirty laundry and toys from the floor than spend your entire weekend, cleaning up the mess that has accumulated throughout the week. Another option is to use the same amount of time each day to purge or arrange the items in different areas of your living space. For instance, on Monday you can arrange the items in your desk drawers, on Tuesday - arrange the clothes in your closet and so on. At the end of the week, you will be left with a neat home and plenty of time to enjoy various recreational activities that don't involve cleaning. Sounds good, doesn't it?

Optimize Storage Space

Optimizing storage space is an absolute must if you insist on living in a cozy, clutter-free home. To free some space on the floor, for example, you can arrange some of the items you possess in boxes and store them vertically, one on top of the other. You can stick labels with the boxes' content to avoid rummaging at random. The same applies to shelves and drawers – place seasonal items you resort to on rare occasions on the highest shelves, while those, you use on a regular basis should be placed in drawers or shelves that can be reached easily.

Contain Clutter by Using Trays or Bowls

This is an excellent idea, especially for teenage girls as they are the ones in possession of a vast range of hair accessories and make-up articles. These often end up on top of the girls' desks, mingled with other items like keys, cell phones etc. Use an old tray to store your rubber bands and hair pins in. Arrange your eye shades, lip glosses and eye-liners in a small box. The same is applicable for jewelry – if you, like me, experience difficulties in counting the pairs of earrings you possess, you can craft a small stand to hang the pieces of jewelry on. This will allow you to quickly find exactly what you are looking for.

Slow Down on Your Purchases

You will never manage to contain clutter if you keep buying new stuff each and every week. Before you make yet another online purchase, take the time to consider whether or not you really do need this particular t-shirt, for example. If the answer is no, don't bother wasting your money, the tee would most likely end up stuffed in a corner of your closet or under your bed. Each time you buy a new piece of clothing or jewelry, throw one of the old pieces away. This, however, doesn't mean you should resort to disposing of items just so you can buy new ones. If you have enough clothes that are good to wear, why waste your money on buying more in the first place? 

As you can see, containing clutter in your living space is not necessarily a easy task. It takes little time and efforts as long as you manage to successfully incorporate it in your daily schedule. This will not only make your life easier, but will leave you plenty of time to enjoy more pleasant activities, like going out for a walk in the park or spending your Sundays, curled up on your clutter-free couch with a good book in hand.

Emma Hamilton works in a small company in London. She often writes for different blogs on organizing and cleaning topics. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Lord's Prayer Book Review

by: Rick Warren
3 Stars

I loved the front cover of this book. I also like the fact that the author takes the time to explain what the Lords prayer means so that kids can understand it. I think too often people are to quick to disregard the KJV because they simply do not understand it.

This book will encourage your kids to not only learn this portion of Scripture but to also apply it in all situations. My 6 yr. old was excited to add this book to her collection.

This book is a great resource to add to your home school library.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through BookLookBloggers, book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Year of 2017

I've never been one for New Years always seemed kinda silly to me.... So many people make a resolution to change, but so few actually see it through.

However, I do like to pick on word or thought to be a reminder to me throughout the year.

The last few years, my thought has been to Choose Joy. We can all stand to have a little more joy and happiness in our lives.... but this year, I was ready for a new thought.... so, for 2017 - I choose to take care of me!

Over the years as a wife and mom, I often get distracted with the busyness of life and have let myself go. When you have a mini farm, animals, grow and preserve your own produce, home school, run a home business, volunteer, have a special needs son, and in my case have cancer, chronic stress, and multiple autoimmune diseases..... taking care of myself is often the last thing I think of.

So, this year, I am choosing to take care of me...... I'm having a relaxing soak in the bubble bath as I'm writing this. I am seeing a nutritionist regularly and taking Shaklee supplements and protein to get my weight in check. I am relying on my hubby and kids to help more with cleaning, cooking and laundry.

We are planning family activities to spend quality time with each other. We have a vacation planned for later this month to relax on an island beach. I am finding time to exercise, and (I promised new bikes for the whole family for my birthday in April.) When I get stressed and have to much on my plate, I am saying no and not feeling guilty about it. I will not explain my reasons to others and will be shameless. I'm going to take more bubble baths, keep fresh flowers on my table, use my candle warmers, watch more sunsets, spend more time in nature and do more things I love. This year, I will not apologize for taking care of me.

This year, I choose to take care of me!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Loving Your Hubby and Ex At The Same Time

I still love my ex husband. Yes, you read that right. I may lose a few blog followers and friends with this post, but there it is.

16 years ago, today in the basement of a courthouse in Athens, Georgia, I married my first husband, Jim - and I loved him. Circumstances beyond my control made our life together difficult, and 4 years later, we got a dissolution.

I still love my ex husband. I will always think of him as my friend, and part of my family. I care about him, pray for him, and want the best for him. Sometimes, out of the blue a memory of him or us together, will come to mind and make me smile. (There are sad memories too, our life together wasn't very easy, but the good memories are what I choose to remember.)

Now before you get all worked up over the fact that me, a married wife, would write such a thing, never mind the fact that that is how I truly feel.... let me tell you something else. 

I am deeply in love with my husband, Stephen. I love him with a passion that I never knew could exist between two people. He is my happiness. I'd lay down my life for him. I trust him with my life - completely. He has my respect, and utmost devotion. My complete love. He is mine, the keeper of my heart. My love, always and forever!

Just because things didn't work out between my first husband and myself, doesn't mean that I stopped loving him. The opposite is true, I still love him. Divorce doesn't always have to be a bad thing.... it doesn't have to end in hate, fighting, or arguments. It doesn't mean that you have to throw out all the good that was there, (no mater how little or much it was). It simply means that part of your life ended.

I've heard it said that "If two past lovers can remain friends, either they were never in love or they still are." Well I'm not sure about that, because I can't speak for my ex, but I know there was, and always will be love on my side of that story.

My life is blessed more than I ever thought possible. Yes, I still love my ex husband. I'll never forget him, or the memories we had - that was a part of my life. Love doesn't just disappear. But, I have learned not to hold onto the memories so tightly that you have no room to grasp for something new. Something better. Something life changing.

"Life happens. Things end. Memories stay. Better things come."  -RK

Stephen has my heart. He is the one I do life with, the one I dream with, the one I tell my secrets too, the father of my children, my provider, the one I lay my head on. My lover. My greatest blessing. My best friend. The one I love.

There's different kinds of love, but I'm here to tell you, you can always make room in your heart to love someone. And sometimes, it's possible to love your ex at the same time as you love your spouse. I'm living proof it can be done.

One man, I will always love and care for....
the other man is my Love - and my Everything!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Enjoy Book Review

Enjoy: Finding the Freedom to Delight Daily in God's Good Gifts 
by: Trillia Newbell
2 Stars

I enjoy reading books and am privileged to review books for Tyndale, Book Look Bloggers and Blogging For Books. I have found some really great and interesting books to add to my bookshelf. Some of them, I will read over and over again... they're just that good! But sometimes, I get a book to review and honestly - it's just not for me..... and that's how I felt about this book

There's really not one certain thing that I didn't like, but it just didn't do anything for me. I guess you could say I was kinda board... it didn't hold my attention, and not to be conceded, but I pretty much already know everything the author talked about in the book.

This is one of the books that will be donated, and hopefully someone, somewhere, sometime, will pick it up and find it useful to them.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Blogging for Books, book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Starting The New Year Off Right

Happy New Year!

Here's to starting the new year off right!
So many people make a new years resolution to loose weight, but quit after only a few days or weeks. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you owe it to yourself to try Shaklee's 180 program!

We know losing weight can be as simple as it is difficult. That’s why Shaklee scientists, who are thankfully also human, designed the Shaklee 180 program to help you break the yo-yo dieting cycle to get healthier and fit for life.

This customizable two-meals-a-day kit contains all you need for your first 2 weeks of the program including:

* Two canisters of delicious Life Energizing Shakes packed with protein to curb hunger and increase energy. (16 grams of proprietary, ultra-pure, plant-based non-GMO protein. Added leucine to help preserve lean muscle and keep metabolism strong. A powerful patent-pending combination of prebiotics andone billion CFU of patented probiotics, and Omega-3 ALA to support heart health).
* One box of tasty Shaklee 180 Snack Bars loaded with protein and fiber.
* A Shaklee 180 Metabolic Boost* supplement to help burn calories naturally and keep your metabolism going strong.
* One Vita-Lea® high potency multivitamin/multimineral supplement – bonus 30 day supply.
* Program support including a step-by-step program guide and online access to tools, tips, healthy recipes, meal plans, exercise programs and lifestyle information to help you lose the weight and learn how to keep it off.

How?  Burn fat, not muscle with leucine.

For weight loss that lasts, it isn’t just about food and exercise alone—you need the right nutrition and the right support tools. Powered by Leucine®, our clinically tested products help you keep muscle you have, burn fat you don’t need and lose inches you don’t want. Real science with real results.

Why leucine works:
  • Supports lean muscle. Leucine is an essential amino acid that helps with protein synthesis to build lean muscle.
  • Muscle = Metabolism. Leucine-enriched protein helps your body preserve muscle mass so you lose the right kind of weight and keep metabolism strong.
  • More is better. More muscle means a stronger, leaner looking you.

 Clinically-tested Life Energizing Shake and Shaklee 180 products:
  • Are Powered by Leucine® to help your body retain lean muscle while you slim down
  • Use ultra-pure non-GMO protein
  • Have absolutely no artificial flavors, sweeteners or preservatives added
  • Gluten free, lactose free and kosher
  • Are low glycemic. Lower GI correlates to a slower rate of digestion and gradual release of glucose, contributing to better weight control

This is the beginning of a new you. 
You'll see and feel the difference.

 SPECIAL DISCOUNTED OFFER through January 31, 2017.  Save over $50 off full retail value ($206.90) at Member price of $150. Free Shaklee Membership with purchase.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Best of 2016

This year there were 48 blog posts at SRKindredSpirits....  There were a lot of different topics.... Things to say on a job interview, Recipes, Visiting Louisville KY, Getting rid of cookbook clutter, Book reviews, Bookcase redo, Why I don't sell, Making an orb, Crochet Christmas tree skirt, Understanding a INTJ, Adoption, DYT experiment, My first speeding ticket, What Instagram really tells you, How to review a product company, Family quality time, A free health quiz, and much more.

Here's the top 10 posts of 2016:

We had our first giveaway here on SRKindredSpirits and it was a success! The Happiness Dare is a highly recommended book!

Once you try these, you'll be hooked! Easy and yummy... you can't go wrong with these cream cheese roll ups!

I wrote this post after reading the definition of the word 'family', it will give you a little insight to my life.

Getting rid of the swimming pool was personal favorite and the relief we felt after the pool was gone was major! You have to click through and read the attached article.... it makes for a great laugh!

I think everyone could use a bit of a slow down in this thing we call life. Have you ever stopped and thought about all the errands you run or the many places you go?

Something so simple, but yet, so often, people don't take the time to do these ten simple things. It does make a difference!

Isn't it funny how most people always want more? From those of us who have been blessed with more.... all it takes to make you happy is enough!

What things are you great at? I really lay my heart out there on this post....

A fan favorite. This post has gotten the most talked about over on Facebook!

And lastly.... this post was the most popular all the way around. How qualified am I really?

What are some things you'd like to see on this blog in the next year? Leave a comment and let me know!

Thanks for visiting us here at SRKindredSpirits... please share our blog with friends and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for updated posts. 

Happy New Year! 
Here's to a great 2017!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas Wishes

May the melody and spirit of Christmas fill your home with joy and peace. May your Christmas be decorated with cheer and filled with love. During this season of giving, take time to slow down and enjoy the simple things. In this happiest of seasons, may you find many reasons to celebrate. 
We would like to extend a big thank you to all our customers, followers, and friends for your support during 2016 and wish you much happiness today, this Christmas, and throughout the New Year!
The Kindred Family

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Unlock Your Dream Book Review

The back cover of this book states:

"We all dream. The capacity for dreaming and pursuing those dreams is a gift given to every individual. But many people cannot even begin to describe their dreams, much less figure out how to bring them to fruition in the face of frustrating obstacles, distractions, and setbacks."

"In Unlock Your Dream Philip Wagner will inspire you to engage in life’s greatest quest: discovering and reaching God’s purpose and dreams for your life. You’ll be empowered, equipped, and freed to give life to your dreams and to live with joy and expectation for an adventurous future."

In complete honesty, I never finished reading this book. It wasn't all bad... Chapter 3 actually had some really good stuff.... such as trusting God and realizing that as we mature, dreams may need to be renovated, edited, and refined. Dreams change.

I especially liked the following quote:

"God never asks us to give up something that is greater than His dream for us!"

However, after Chapter 5, I lost interest. For over a month, I took the book with me, moving it from my nightstand, to the sofa table, picking it up, and sitting it down. That happens sometimes.....

I'm not saying it is a bad book, it just wasn't good for me. I'll add it to the book shelf and see if it will catch hubby's interest....

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Blogging for Books, book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Understanding Architect (INTJ, -A/-T) Personality

Ever wonder how to understand yourself? What is your personality? Why is it that you do the things you do?

The last few years I have studied different types of people. It's easier to read others than myself, but I have gradually come to terms with who I am.

According to 16 personalities, I am an Architect (INTJ, -A/-T) which means that I am an:
 Introvert, iNtuitive, Thinking, Judging and I am both Assertive (-A) and Turbulent (-T) at the same time.

 I am self-assured, even-tempered, refuse to worry too much and do not push myself too hard when it comes to achieving goals.
 But am also self-conscious and sensitive to stress. I experience a wide range of emotions and tend to be perfectionistic and eager to improve. I spend time thinking about the direction in which my life is going. Life is very stressful for me.

 It is very rare to be me.... only .8% of people who are woman are (INTJ, -A/-T)! This test explains so many things about me.... how I can be a starry-eyed idealist and the bitterest of cynics, a seemingly impossible conflict all at the same time!

Architects are defined by their tendency to move through life as though it were a giant chess board, pieces constantly shifting with consideration and intelligence, always assessing new tactics, strategies and contingency plans, constantly outmaneuvering their peers in order to maintain control of a situation while maximizing their freedom to move about.

Architects do what they think is right, and sometimes that comes across as cold – it’s important to know that Architects don’t make these decisions lightly. They spend a tremendous amount of time and energy trying to understand why and how things go wrong.

We can be ArrogantJudgmentalOverly analyticalWe loathe highly structured environments – Blindly following precedents and rules without understanding them is distasteful to Architects, and they disdain even more authority figures who blindly uphold those laws and rules without understanding their intent. We can be Clueless in romance

Politeness Is Artificial Good Humor. Architects may go so far as to see many social conventions as downright stupid. Architects do not want to bother reading anyone they think isn’t on their level. Architects tend to have set opinions about what works, what doesn’t, what they’re looking for, and what they’re not. These discriminating tastes can come across as arrogant, but Architects would simply argue that it’s a basic filtering mechanism that allows them to direct their attentions where they will do the most good.

Architects tend to prefer to work alone, or at most in small groups, where they can maximize their creativity and focus without repeated interruptions and questions.

So, what's your personality? 
Take the quiz and leave a comment telling us your type!

Some of my favorite quizes are:

-here's a fun little experiment my oldest daughter and I tried!
- you can find the book review here!
 - get recommendations and health tips that fits your health goals, needs and budget.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Good, But Not Great

You know there's a lot of things that I'm good at, but not any one thing that I'm really great at....

Back in 2012, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that is cancerous - for which there is no cure. Since then, I often find myself thinking about the meaning of my life..... 

"What do I love, and what would I like to accomplish in my life......?"

That's a hard question.... 

I love to sing... and would love to sing lead or background in a band. But how in the world do you get discovered.... I actually auditioned for a small group in 2015, and was given the gig, but they were located a few hours away and I would have been away from my kids and hubby 3-4 days a week.... I just can't do that right now, my family is too important. 

I love plants and nature. I love making flower arrangements. (I have even though of opening my own florist shop...), but we live in the boonies and I would hate the tied down feeling of running a store with set hours.... I guess I'll keep fresh flowers on my table and make an arrangement here and there for a friend or party, as I'm asked.

I love to travel and enjoy long distant driving/traveling. I love looking at the different scenery. Staying in hotels don't even bother me - It's an adventure!

I love photography, especially of plants and nature. I have also taken graduation pictures and portraits. 

I love to eat good food. I can cook (pretty good, I might add...). I can garden and preserve food...... but I do that to feed my family, it's not a task I love to do, but it does give me satisfaction in caring for my kids and hubby... kinda like folding laundry, cleaning the house, washing dishes, and grocery shopping.

I have baked and decorated quite a few cakes in the last 20 yrs. You can see some of them here, and here, and here!

I enjoy some crafts, landscaping and home interior design. It is all something I enjoy doing in my spare time... in moderation. I do enjoy putting my ideas to life, but not so much that I'd want to do it on a daily basis. And not really for other people.... too me, decorating is a personal taste kind of thing.

I can play piano and harmonica, but I'm not very good.

I have written well over 500 poems and have gotten some poetry published.... although I don't enjoy English/language, the words used to come easy.... I always thought I'd publish my very own book of poetry, but after looking through my poems, many of them were written about my personal life and thoughts.... who in the would would be interested in that?!?!

I write this blog.... its okay. Although it would definitely be better if people would actually read, comment, and share it! It's not something that I really enjoy, just a way for me to put my thoughts out there.... I guess my thoughts aren't really important to most people!

I own my own biz and while I love the awesome products and I love helping people, but I don't enjoy sales all that much! I do get satisfaction from helping to provide for my family with my own home business.

I can run a hobby farm... raising chickens, milking goats, bailing hay.... I've done it all.

I'm a momma to 3 beautiful kids, and while I love them more than words can say, I don't find being a mom an enjoyment. 

I am an introvert. I enjoy being alone, but I also enjoy a little attention now and then....

I love spending time at home on our little piece of heaven! My home is my happy place - a place that I can shut the outside world out and just be me. 

I volunteer as a Crisis Counselor at a local pregnancy center.... something I do to give back.

 I love antiques and abandoned places. I have quite a few antiques and since we practice a cozy minimalist approach to life - we try to keep life simple, limit the things we bring into our home, and not to keep things we don't love or need.

In the past, I have....

  • Been a bank teller which I did enjoy..... although working in a restricted place with set hours would be extremely hard for me to do day in and day out. I enjoy the freedom of setting my own hours with my home business.
  • Worked at a cemetery. It was peaceful and relaxing.... funerals make you ponder life.
  • Been a secretary.
  • Baked bread in a bakery.
  • Planted and harvested crops at a produce farm.
  • Worked as a hostess in a restaurant.
  • Drove a truck hauling 63 ft. wedge trailers - driving truck was something I did with my ex-husband. Our monthly load was to Long Island, New York.... driving through the Bronx was always a trip, but overall, I loved it!
  • Worked at a greenhouse. I loved the smell of the greenhouse, the warmth of the sun, the beautiful flowers... my love for floral arrangements and plants is from a direct result of that job.
  • Taught at a Christian school, and while I loved the staff, teaching was a job out of necessity, not something I loved, but rather something to pay the bills.
... all good jobs, but not really what I want to do with my life.

Why is it some people in life have a calling... they know exactly what they want to do. Others have something that they really excel at.... they are so good at what they do, it just comes natural....

Why is it that I'm good at a lot of things, but not good enough at one thing to make it work???

I've never been very consistent in my life.... I guess you could say being married to the same man for 10+ years is an accomplishment in my life.... but that's probably got more to do with him being the most wonderful, loving, romantic and respectable man in the world, than it has to do with me accomplishing anything! 

I'm not sure that I'll ever figure out, what the meaning of my life is.... or what I want to be "when I grow up".... ha ha!!!

I just know that, I want to be, and do, more than what I am now....

I think my ideal life would be to travel, sing, and photograph my family and nature.... now if I could only make that a reality with a big hunkin' paycheck to go along with that.... any ideas?

*did I mention I love simple things... drama stresses me out.... simple is good always

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