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Artsy Baby

afterlight

 

Did a little painting yesterday.  I think I’m going to put it in the girl’s room.

Did you notice I said, “girl’s”???

Baby #3 is a GIRL!!!

20 weeks

We are THRILLED!!!  Caleb is the best big brother.  He was made to be the big protector of “the sister’s” (that’s what my brother used to call me and my sister).

And Lorelei really has no idea what is going on or why we keep telling her there is a baby in my belly, but I have no doubt that after she gets over the extreme jealousy that we all foresee coming, she is going to love this baby girl!  Can’t wait to put matching dresses on them…ahhhh!!!!!!!

 

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The Happy Thought Project- PRAYER

Do you have a favorite verse about prayer?
Here are some that I love:
1 Chronicles 16:11
Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.

Psalm 145:18
The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

Matthew 7:11
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

I think to myself, what am I missing out on because I am not praying for it/about it? What is my family missing out on because I am not praying for them? What is my husband struggling with that my prayers could be helping?
Jesus just wants us to spend some real time with Him. He isn’t afraid of our requests! He’s never too busy. He never rolls His eyes at what we tell Him (no matter how crazy!). He is ALWAYS there to listen. Don’t you just love that? Have you ever spent time with a friend and you really just needed to talk to them about something on your heart, but you felt like they really weren’t interested in listening? I am sure we have all had times when a friend let us down, or seemed as though they didn’t care. But Jesus will never be that friend. He loves us so much more than anyone on this earth ever will and He cares about every thought and every hurt and every joy of ours! 
I hope you are having a happy Wednesday and that maybe you have been encouraged to spend a little more time with Jesus today. I know I have!!!

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$400 Wilton Armetale Giveaway!!!

I am soooo excited to share this giveaway with you all!

Wilton Armetale is a company that has been around since 1892, creating beautiful, sustainable metal serving items that will just take your breath away!

Armetale metal is a unique, non-toxic aluminum-based alloy, making it ideal for cooking and entertaining.

• Hot foods cooked and served in Wilton Armetale products stay hot longer.

• Cold foods and drinks served in Wilton Armetale products stay cold longer.

The products are perfect for freezer to oven to table serving and will last a lifetime!

*Not dishwasher safe

We had the privilege of trying out the Flutes and Pearls Egg Tray which is just perfect for Easter coming up!

When I opened the box, I was blown away by how beautiful the tray was.  The detailing is gorgeous.  Definitely the prettiest egg tray I have ever seen!

I got the kids involved with a fun recipe. I love that this tray is not just limited to serving eggs.  It’s perfect for so many recipes, including these no bake bird nests.

For the recipe, you will need:

24 oz bag of chocolate chips (or two 12 oz bags if you can’t find the large bag).  You can even mix a bag of chocolate with a bag of white chocolate or butterscotch!

12 oz Bag of chow mein noodles

Candy eggs or jelly beans

Wax paper

Directions:

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, setting the timer in 30 second increments and stirring each time until fully melted.

Next, add in your chow mein noodles and carefully stir until all noodles are covered.  I was also thinking that coconut would be a super yummy add in on this too!

Using your hand or a spoon, plop little nests onto wax paper, add the candy eggs to the top, and let it harden.

Or if you are like us, just eat it gooey and warm;)

Such an easy recipe, looks beautiful and festive on the egg tray, and was a huge hit at our family reunion this weekend.

I am hooked on Wilton Armetale products!

NOW it’s your turn to have the opportunity to win over $4oo worth of Wilton Armetale products!!!

Included in this package:

-Large Round Tray
-Pitcher
-Square Bowl
-Egg Tray
-Gravy Boat with Tray

These are all from our Flutes & Pearls collection.  The value is over $400!  The giveaway is limited to the US and will run for 2 weeks

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Ready. Set. Go WIN!!!

Disclosure: I have received complimentary/free products for the purpose of this review. The opinions are 100% mine. 

Hannah - April 7, 2014 - 12:51 pm

Wow what a great give a way!!! Also those birds nests looked sooo yummy!!

Laura - April 7, 2014 - 12:51 pm

Wow, I love that egg tray!

Amanda Raymond - April 7, 2014 - 1:52 pm

I agree-that egg tray is amazing! I looked at all the products from the other collections, and kept coming back to the egg tray. What a beautiful addition to any table it would be!

Donna - April 7, 2014 - 3:03 pm

The egg tray is gorgeous, but I love the pitcher!!!

Jessica - April 7, 2014 - 3:14 pm

AMAZING egg tray!! its gorgeous for any occasion not only Easter! And that pitcher is priceless!!

Dana Burke - April 7, 2014 - 4:12 pm

Love the timeless and vintage feel of the pieces. I think the serving platter and pitcher are my favorite.

Summer Nelson - April 7, 2014 - 4:33 pm

I love Wilton-Armetale! I have several pieces and use them all constantly!

Hope - April 7, 2014 - 4:35 pm

Beautiful pieces for entertaining!!!

Hope - April 7, 2014 - 4:37 pm

Love the egg plate! Would use it often!

[…] No-Bake Easter Bird’s Nests by The Patriotic Peacock […]

Anna - April 7, 2014 - 7:51 pm

Love the pitcher!!

Jessica - April 7, 2014 - 9:06 pm

Those are some beautiful pieces! And by the way I live your blog!

Lindsey - April 8, 2014 - 10:08 am

Great giveaway! I love your blog and I love the egg tray!

Ann Finneran - April 8, 2014 - 11:12 am

I love Wilton Armetale! That egg plate is gorgeous!

Sandy R - April 8, 2014 - 12:45 pm

I love anything in the William & Mary line, but if I could only have one thing from there I’d go for the large oval tray.

Lauren W - April 18, 2014 - 12:54 pm

I love the pitcher, great for a nice summer drink!

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The Happy Thought Project Day #2- Five Steps to Finding Peace

I love how simple Paul explains peace finding in Philippians 4:4-7

“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! 5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.  Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

God literally gave us the steps to obtaining peace right in His Word.  I don’t know about you, but I will follow the Bible’s peace instructions any day!

The best part is that He doesn’t ask us to do anything crazy.  We don’t have to pray 10 times a day (although, I am sure we would all see amazing life changing events take place if we did!), He didn’t ask us to take a world tour and scout out masters of peace to ask them for advice.

No, He made it so simple for us.  This just shows me even more how much God cares for us!  He wants us to have joy and peace and He doesn’t have ridiculous expectations from us in order to achieve it…how awesome is He?!

Let’s get to the steps.  Paul lays it out for us in Phil. 4:4-7 and I have dissected it and put it into five steps.

Five Steps to Finding Peace:

1.  (vs. 4)  Always be full of JOY

2. (vs. 6)  Don’t WORRY

3. (vs. 6) PRAY

4. (vs. 6) Tell God your NEEDS

5. (vs. 6) THANK Him

Vs. 7- Then you will experience God’s peace which exceeds anything we can understand.

Can you imagine?  Peace that exceeds anything we can understand.

He makes it so amazing that it blows our minds ability to comprehend.

I LOVE my God!!!

 

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The Happy Thought Project- Day #1

Welcome to April 1st!

This is also the first day of “The Happy Thought Project”, which may seem like a big joke to some of us!

But, do not fear, this is NO joke:) Happiness is a HUGE part of our lives and when we have lost sight of where our happiness stems from, when we have lost touch with digging down deep and purposefully finding the joy in even the most difficult of days, that means it’s time to take a step back and retrain ourselves to think positively!

We have all seen many a silly positive quote that made us roll our eyes.  We have all tried to practice being positive, I am sure, only to find ourselves back in the same sad and depressed rut.  So, what is missing then?

I believe, as a Christian, that our true happiness can only be found through Christ.  Without His purpose in our lives, I can’t imagine how I would find the happiness to even get our of bed in the morning.

So, first things first.  I am not going to make any assumptions that everyone reading this and joining in on The Happy Thought Project is a true Christian.

By Christian, I don’t mean someone who does their best, tries hard to be a good person, is helpful to others, and lives a pretty straight, upright life.  Those are all GREAT things to be and I hope that all Christians do strive towards this, but just because we try our best to be a good person does not mean we are automatically given that ticket to Heaven.

The great thing about Christianity though, is that God made it so plain and simple for us to become a Christian, to become a child of His.

There really are 3 main parts to becoming a Christian:

1. Realize that you are a sinner:
“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

2. Ask for forgiveness of your sins:
“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out” (Acts 3:19)

3. Invite God into your heart to save you through Jesus Christ.
“For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

If you are unsure of how to ask God into your heart, here is a simple prayer that you can pray:

“Lord, I stand before you a sinner. I believe you died on the cross for my sin. I believe God raised you from the dead. I am asking you to come into my heart and save me. I accept you into my heart as my personal Savior. Thank you Lord for saving me-Amen”

“That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
If you have any questions AT ALL, contact me!  I would love to talk more with you about this, or any other questions you might have:)
If you are already a Christian, this day is a great reminder of the gift we have been given.  It’s also a reminder that while we are on this earth, our biggest goal is sharing Christ with others!  If you have a friend or a family member who might need to hear this today, don’t be afraid to reach out to them.  Ask them out for coffee so you can chat, or invite them to be a part of this study.
That was definitely #1 on the agenda of starting off “The Happy Thought Project”, because without 100% assurance that we are going to spend eternity with Christ, our search for happiness is meaningless!
For the rest of April, some days there will be blog posts and longer ideas and thoughts and shareable times, and then some days it will be short and sweet.  A lot of us are busy women, mothers, so I know that it can be hard to devote tons of time each day to one particular thing.  I hope by mixing it up a little, it creates interest and gives us the time we need to re-focus on the good in our lives!
Today, since we have already gotten pretty deep discussing what it means to be a true Christian, I want to start today out with a simple challenge.
Find one verse from the Bible, or one quote (this can be one you already know, one you found on pinterest, etc), that stands out to you regarding being happy, being positive, or maybe the lack thereof.  We will be sharing these on the facebook page and also on Instagram (@thePatrioticPeacock), using the hashtag: #TheHappyThoughtProject (so we will all be able to read each other’s!).
Here is mine that I came across this morning and it really seemed to sum up, in a couple of sentences, what The Happy Thought Project means to me:
I challenge you to share something with us that speaks to you about joy, peace, happiness, or positivity.
There are NO wrong answers:) Just share your heart with us!
The verses for today are:
Take a look at those.  We will be looking at them closer tomorrow and dissecting Paul’s message on finding peace.  It’s a good one that you won’t want to miss!  Who would have thought that the steps to peace finding were laid out so boldly in the Bible?!
I am excited ladies!  It isn’t too late to join, so if you are just now hearing about The Happy Thought Project, come join our facebook group!
Happy Tuesday friends!!!

 

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The Happy Thought Project- TWO days!!!

I had to do an update on The Happy Thought Project.

I have created a facebook group page so we can all have a meeting place.

This page is set up so that we can all share with each other as we journey through the next 30 days of training our hearts and minds to be happier.

We will be sharing stories, challenges, verses, devotions, and a whole lot more with each other!

I call it “Virtual coffee” because we are all going to grab some coffee or tea and pretend we are all sitting in the same room, sharing life together for the next 30 days.

I am so so so excited!

I am praying hard that this project will grow each of us in a way we never imagined!

If you are tired of feeling depressed, sad, unhappy, or maybe you just have a constant attitude of negativity but just can’t figure out how to get yourself out of that funk, join us!

Whether your personality tends to lean in the way of pessimism, maybe you were raised in a home where everyone was very negative and critical and that’s all you feel like you know, or you might be going through a stage in your life where you just can’t seem to find the joy in your circumstances.

There could be 10 million reasons why you are feeling just plain down, but whatever your reason, we want you to join us!

God never intended for us to go through life worried, sad, lonely, discontent, lacking peace.  He never said our lives would be easy, but He did give us everything we would need in order to overcome the trials we may face in this life here on Earth.  His mercy is new each day.  He wants to cover you in His goodness and He wants you to experience the peace and happiness that surpasses anything we can understand!

Isn’t He awesome?  I mean, He is just really amazing and He makes it so simple for us.

So, come and see what our crazy happy project is all about.

I promise I won’t force you to post of video of yourself with a ring of flowers around your head, singing Kumbaya….or will I?!?! ;-) ;-);-)

Here is the link to our facebook group.

I am also on instagram @ThePatrioticPeacock and we will be using #TheHappyThoughtProject throughout the course of our study!

Grab a journal and a pen and get ready to join us April 1st!!!

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The Happy Thought Project

We have all heard the saying, “Make lemonade out of lemons”.

Yesterday, March 25, we had yet another load of snow to dump its pure, cold, whiteness all over the ground.  About 7″ of it to be exact.

We were stuck inside all day.  The cold whether has always done a number on me, especially this late in the year when all I can think about is flowers and warmth and being outside, letting my littles run around and play.

I spent the first 21 years of my life in North Carolina and Virginia, but I have spent the past 5 years in the deep, warm south.

It’s crazy to think how easily I have forgotten this cold winter that I grew up having, but the South has spoiled me, and my mind went down the “woe is me” path yesterday.

Instead of thinking about the longer Spring we will have here in Virginia and the milder summer, and the gloriously long fall (that makes the entire year worth it all!), all I could think about was how tired I was of cold and snow and being stuck inside.  I’m tired of wearing jeans and boots and big, bulky sweaters.  I am tired of the herringbone coat that I’ve been wearing almost every day the past 3 months.

Tired, done, over it, sad, angry, TAKE ME TO AN ISLAND!!!

It’s not just the weather, but it seems as though one small negative thoughts can quickly transpire and turn into a lifetime of dark thoughts.  Everything from what I don’t have to my flaws, the things I can’t stand about myself, my spouse, my home….get the idea?  The negative thought train starts off like a slow steam engine and ends up speeding like a race car!

I decided the only thing to do was to drag the clean laundry into the family room and start folding…I mean, doesn’t that just fix everything?!

As I was folding away, a thought popped into my head.  I have been making lemons out of lemonade.

Lots of lemons, for a while now.

I am typically a pretty happy, positive person, but lately, I have let negative thoughts invade my space and I just want them out.

Anyone else feel like this lately?

I just want Satan’s rudeness to leave my mind and my home.

It really is my choice.  Everyday I can decide to let outside factors influence me, or I can focus on all God has done for me.

Easier said than done, but I am going to practice.

After all, we all know that if Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy, and my family is definitely affected by my raunchy tude’!

So, I am going to take charge of my own actions and thoughts.  I am going to pray God’s spirit of encouragement over myself and my family.

Also, I am going to be starting a creative thankfulness journal.  Beginning in April, I am going to take a few minutes each day to renew my heart and my mind by choosing to focus on things I am most thankful, be them little or large.  Then I will purposely take the time to either write them out using words, or draw them with pictures, or create a poem, or just do one word descriptions.  Being a positive thinker takes practice, just like becoming a concert pianist does.  It doesn’t just happen overnight, like a flipped switch.  We have to train our minds to start thinking differently, much like people with addictions.  I am addicted to finding the worst in every situation!  I have to stop my addiction.  I am over it!!!

I don’t care what kind of personality you have or what kind of situation you grew up in.  We can all learn to transform our minds and hearts and renew our thoughts to be in line with Christ!  I can not wait to see how our lives change when we purpose ourselves to have a mind that thinks of the good instead of the bad.

This is the challenge to you all.  I would love to have an accountability group to join me in 30 days of The Happy Thought Project.  Two are better than one…and thirty are better than two!  This gives all of us 5 days to get a clean journal or notebook and prepare our minds and our hearts to be transformed in the month of April!  Can you think of a better month to focus on this?!  It’s Easter month, the time when we will celebrate Christ dying for our sins and rising from the dead so that we can one day spend an eternity with Him.  I just can’t think of a better time to transform my mind and heart.

I would love to hear what helps you, where you struggle.  I would love to be able to share scripture with each other and to encourage one another as women, wives, and mother’s!

Will you join me?

Email me at ThePatrioticPeacock [at] aol.com, message me on my facebook page, or comment on my Instagram account, and let me know you will be joining The Happy Thought Project!  We can blog about it, instagram about it, facebook about it…whatever will help keep you accountable!  But, we do have to have a common meeting place, so I will be posting your blog addresses (unless you choose to stay anonymous) on the blog, and we can link up on instagram by using #TheHappyThoughtProject.  We will also be able to discuss on the facebook page too!  Lots of ways to connect and stay committed!  I am EXCITED and I can’t wait to begin this life changing experience with you all:) Can’t wait to hear from you!!!

Amy - March 26, 2014 - 2:21 pm

Definitely count me in on this! What a wonderful idea!!

Nicole - March 26, 2014 - 2:57 pm

Ahhh!! I love this “project” idea! What a great thing to add to your daily quiet time with the Lord. I can’t wait to go shopping for a cute little notebook and get started! :)

April Griffith - March 27, 2014 - 2:04 am

You know I’m in girl! Rylie goes to 4 days a week of school after spring break and I will worry myself to death about her (and miss her) so this comes at a great time :) I am on it!

Paula Kathlyn - March 27, 2014 - 12:16 pm

Nicole- find our group on facebook! I think this will be the best way for us to all connect :) It’s called “The Happy Thought Project”. Excited for you to join us!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/211135402430321/

Heather D - March 27, 2014 - 12:46 pm

I’m in! Definitely add me to the list.

Paula Kathlyn - March 27, 2014 - 2:07 pm

Heather! Check out our FB group!!! https://www.facebook.com/groups/211135402430321/

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Covering the Big Hole

Remember when builders use to think it was an awesome idea to cute a huge square in the wall above the fireplace?  And then we all got flat screen TV’s and none of them fit.

Yes, well, that’s what our house has.

Since we are just renting, I had limited options as far as covering this hole.

So, I did a huge painting!  Well, not *quite* huge enough, but almost.

Almost counts, right?!

Here is my newest art addition:

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