Ugly Christmas Sweater Party x 2


A few weeks ago we went to an Ugly Sweater Christmas Party.
The invite said that were not allowed to buy a "new sweater", it had to be found at a thrift store or repurposed.
Lucky for us, my mom has a soft spot for all Christmas apparel, and we only had to browse thru her closet.
Thanks again Mom!:)
Getting ready for the party!
Grainy and blurry, this pic says it all! Ha!
Then this past Sunday, on Merry Christmas Eve Eve, we went to another Ugly Christmas Sweater Party at church!
Hubby and friend Chad modeling their couture.
Love it!
Chad and Wenona rocking the sweaters!
Right after church, Chad whipped out the hot glue gun and starting gluing cotton balls to his wife's sweat shirt for her. True Love!:)
I think her facial expression says it all!
Simple yet lovely decor at church.
Our band at church always does a great job, but this Christmas their words were extra beautifully sang.
We are so thankful and blessed to be part of this church. We absolutely love the people and the passion and mission of our church to reach The Last, The Lost and The Least.
If you ever want to check out a message from our pastor, visit
So now we wind down from the Christmas season and start thinking of resolutions and fresh starts right?
One things for sure.
I'm still really enjoying the Christmas Mugs:)
Happy Friday!

Snow Day


So the weather persons forecasted snow and we actually GOT SNOW!
And in case you don't know what a snow day is like for a small southern town, let me help paint a picture for you.
Pretty much everything will shut down.
Except maybe the grocery store, Dollar General and a gas station.
Half of the population will stay snug as bugs in their cozy houses, watch movies,  make a big pot of soup and drink hot chocolate.
The other half will bundle up, start up the old 4 wheel drive pick up truck and drive around town to see what's happening, stopping by friends and family to see if they are ok, need anything from the grocery store and maybe throw a snow ball at them.
We did a combo of the two:)
That hubby of mine was itching to get out in that snow so badly he could barely sit still!

Later that night we were invited to dinner at our dear friends house, where we were fed a delicious meal of chicken alfredo!

During this season of our lives we are being taugh to really hold on to and rely 100% on God.
Money is tight and emotions are a little sensitive.
When we stepped out in FAITH just a few months ago, we knew that times would be different than we were used to.
And honestly I looked forward to that.
I didn't want to go on one more day not appreciating every.single.thing.
And God is bringing us right into the middle of that.
It's in the small moments that BIG FUTURES are being molded.
We are in the midst of praying and believing for a branch of our church to be planted here in Salem.
We are praying for God's plan to show up in a Big Way to change the lives of people forever and turn this little town upside down for the glory of God.
Will you pray along with us for this journey?
We don't know where it's going, but we feel lead.
And really that's where it starts, isn't it?
"Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun."
Psalm 37:5-6

White Christmas


I've been hoping and praying and wishing and more praying for a White Christmas.
You see growing up in the suburbs of Chicago meant lots of snowy winters, sledding, ice skating and snowball fights.
Well living here in Arkansas is not quite the same.
When I heard there might be a wintry mix around Christmas, I started to get excited.
And then last night's forecast for our area said starting Christmas Day, in the afternoon it will start snowing and will accumulate 6-12 inches of snow!

I am SUPER excited!

From Our Family to Yours,
Merry Christmas!

7 Sleeps


In just 7 more sleeps we will all wake up and it will be Christmas!
Are you ready?

We don't have any presents under our tree this year, by choice.
We are still focusing on the Reason for this season and keeping things minimal.
Spending time in my Bible and hanging on to the Advent Bible study thru SheReadsTruth is preparing Him room.

Everyday has been reminder at our God's love for us and how he sent his ONLY Son to this earth to save a wretch like me and bring hope to the weary.
And I'm not going to lie, sometime I don't feel worthy of that kind of love.
But then there are horrible, unthinkable tragedies like the ones from weeks past and it is so clear that as Christians are work here on this crumbling earth is not done.
We're still here.
People still need Jesus.
And it's up to us to show them His love.

On a lighter note, I want you to see the Cutest Christmas Story ever.


O Holy Night.....


The trees lights are sparkling bright and I'm in awe of the Christmas Tree.
Every year I look forward to this time.
Sitting in the living room, warm drink in Christmasy mug, holiday tunes in the background, and the tree in all it's glory.

However tonight, I'm up, unable to sleep. Getting over the yuckiest cold I've had in a loooooong time and I hear the faint snores of my hubby and beagle down the hall, all tucked in their beds.
And thankfully there aren't any mice stirring!

What is it about being restless that sometime provokes thoughtfulness?
My mind is racing with" I should be doing this" or "I can't believe I haven't already done that."
And I've even started the blame game of "I can't believe an entire year has gone by AGAIN and I'm still this that and the other."

But I'm going to choose to stuff that voice away.
Because it takes away the true meaning of this season.
The season of right now.
Not the pasts failures.
I'm looking towards Him and the BRIGHT future he holds for me and my family.

How can I be so sure you ask?

Because my God is an AWESOME God. He loves and guides and provides and loves some more.
Even when I don't feel it, He's there.

Are you slowing down this Holiday season?
Or is it more like full speed ahead?

We are at a standstill for now, both of us being sick was a big set back.
But it did allow for some great time at home, together.
Sipping on hot soup, taking naps,watching Netflix and devouring boxes of kleenex.
Somehow I felt extremely blessed to be sick at the same time as my hubby.
So that we both had to stop and just BE.

And my Amish friends, whom I love dearly, they whipped me up a little "witch's brew" to help me feel better.
It included:
Apple Cider Vinegar
Red Pepper

Instructions were to drink a tablespoon or teaspoon ( I forget, so I did the tablespoon) every hour.

God bless The Amish and their use of natural remedies:)

I hope you have a great Monday!


Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner- Or A Scarf


Remember last week when my sweet friend Beth did a guest post for me and is giving away a scarf?
Well I randomly picked a name and Mackenzie, you got it girl!
Make sure you email Beth with your address :)
Hope everyone is having a great weekend! :)

Where My Mind Is.......


Now that I am finally "allowed" to be in the Christmas Spirit, it is ON!
I feel like I am breathing, eating, praying, smelling, listening to Christmas!
But I am still holding steadfast to keeping it Real.
It's not about the gifts!
Say it with me.
Christmas, is NOT about the gifts.
Ok then. :)

Do you send out Christmas cards?
I wish I could get a hold of some vintage ones. Something like the scene below is so sweet to me!
But honestly, I usually grab a box of Christmas cards at the Dollar Store.

We put up our tree last night. Don't worry, there will be an entire post, on that!
In the mean time, I'm just sharing some Christmas favorites, random here and there.
Hope your weekend is great!


Turkey Coma


Anybody else out there feeling the after shocks from yesterday's feast?
It was such a delicious day for us!
But first I'm going to back up and fill you in on my birthday :)
The hubby made me my Annual Red Velvet Birthday Cake- FROM SCRATCH!
I was so stunned when I saw it! He never ceases to amaze me with his art skillz!
That was all FREE HAND!
I almost didn't want to dig in and ruin the cuteness. But alas, a girl has got to do what a girl has got to do. :)
And when I dug in, I found out it was NOT Red Velvet.
It was rainbow tye dye velvet cake!
He really outdid himself here.
This cake was seriously such a gift to me. He wakes up super early to get started and spends hours on it! I know he puts a LOT of love into making it special for me.
You are the cream in my coffee honey bun!
I love you!
Ps. Do you guys have a "Special Plate" at your house?
This was big in my house growing up. Birthday's, graduations, promotions etc.
It's definitely a tradition we want to pass on thru the generations.
So basically my day was nice and relaxing. Which if you know me in real life, is exactly how I love it.
Candles lit, Christmas music going, yummy food, magazine reading, Food Network watching.
And we were at my parents house along with my sister from Colorado and it was so nice to be with family.
For those of you who prayed for my dad, thank you so much! His surgery went well and he is recovery nicely. With very little pain- that is a miracle in itself as shoulder surgery can be quite uncomfortable.
My birthday dinner was an early Thanksgiving dinner with my parents and sister. Yum Yum Yum!
Then the next day we went with Teddy's grandparents to a Trout Hatchery Resort.
They had an incredible spread of every comfort food surrounding Thanksgiving.

It was a gorgeous day!
The only problem we have no is no leftovers!
Since we didn't actually have Thanksgiving at our own house, we don't have any of the leftover goodness!
I guess I will just have to make a small feast for us to enjoy over the weekend. :)
How as your day?
Anybody venture out for Black Friday shopping?

Happy Thanksgiving!




Whether you're watching a Football game or the Thanksgiving Day parade, eating turkey or it's vegan cousin tofurkey, with lots of family or alone with a pizza, pumpkin pie or pecan pie, I wish you a VERY Happy Thanksgiving. From our home to yours!

From The Jeters


Happy Birthday To Me!


Today I turn 31.
I cannot believe it!
Where have the years gone?
I was hoping to have some type of clever birthday post- but I don't.......
So instead we are going to celebrate it true Rachel style- a bunch of random.
Because that's exactly how my life is.
How about a list of some (useless) things you may or may not know about me?
1. The first thing I do when I wake up is start the coffee.
2. I was born in California.
3. I have always wanted a vintage VW Beetle.
4. I'm somewhat nervous/scared of chickens.
5. We have 9 chickens in the backyard. ha!
6. When I was in elementary school I used to tell the lunch ladies I was allergic to peas because I hated them that much. They sent a note home and asked my mom about it, that was end of that.
7. I once named a dog after my best friend Emily.
8. When I laugh really hard I usually cry, snort and snot. It's not pretty.
9. I cry at just about anything these days.
10. I have been known to whip the car across 4 lanes of traffic to get to a Starbucks. It's that serious.
11. I love swimming and being in the water. Then I watched Shark Week and it changed everything.
12. I LOVE to read.
13. Whenever I am sick I watch Pride and Prejudice.
14. I like sniffing my Beagle's stinky ears.
15. I smell every bite of food before it enters my mouth.
16. I very likely have some weird thing with smell.
17. I haven't colored my hair in over 2 years.
18. It's going to be hard to make it to 31 on this list because I'm really not that interesting.
19. I'm usually cheerful when I wake up.
20. I used to be a night owl and then I married a farm boy who likes to wake up before the chickens. Ex. 4am!
21. For my 21st birthday my mom and I went a cruise. During hurricane season. Enough said.
22. I'm one of those dorks that could stare at pictures of puppies and any other baby animals all day.
23. I went to Germany twice when I was in highschool and housed 3 different German exchange students. It was an amazing experience!
24. I once learned 40 bible verses in order to go to church camp. Don't ask me if I can remember them now.
25. I have learned how to knit 3 or 4 different times, but I don't keep up with it. This year I hope to conquer that.
26. I played piano for 8 years.
27. I usually let my hair air dry.
28. My hubby is my BFF.
29. I have an enormous amount of fabric and a sewing machine I hardly know how to use.
30. I am a big fan of a spicy crab roll.
31. I love the Frank Sinatra channel on Pandora.
I came across this cute print on Pinterest .
This is so me, it's not even funny.
I really do love BIG mugs!
Well here's to a happy Wednesday!
Today the hubby will be baking my annual Red Velvet Birthday Cake from SCRATCH!
He really is a keeper:)
And I will likely eat some for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Because I am firm believer that on your birthday you can eat whatever you like an it won't go to your hips! :)

Are You Sowing Seeds?


Thinking a LOT about being thankful this week how about you?
I disregard so much and take for granted.
We spent last week in the Chicago suburbs where I grew up and were so glad to get back home to our simple country life.
The hustle and bustle of big city life used to thrill me.
Now it makes me nervous and uncomfortable.
But back in the day I never could have imagined being happy where I'm at now.
But God knew. :)
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all time, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:8
Yesterday our church bagged around 150 Thanksgiving bags to distribute this week.
The bag includes enough food to feed a family over the weekend.
There are families right here in our town who do not have enough food to eat.
That fact blows my mind.
It makes me want to open my doors and feed everyone who is hungry. Or give a warm place to sleep to anyone who needs it.
And yet it scares me too.
The whole idea of "letting in strangers...."
This service that your perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.
2 Corinthians 9:12
This week and this season of our lives is a true testament for all of us.
How we behave during a season of plenty when there are those who have nothing so close to us, says a lot.
I don't say this to make you think you aren't doing enough.
I, am not doing enough.
But I am telling you to appreciate and be thankful for your circumstances and do what you can.
Big or small.
There will no doubt be a time when you are in need.
Give generously, for your gifts will return to you later. Divide your gifts among many, for in the days ahead you yourself may need much help.
Ecclesiastes 11:1-2

On a side note, my dad is having surgery on his shoulder this afternoon.
Would you pray for him to have a smooth surgery and a quick recovery?
I know you will:)

Dear Monday


Dear Monday,
The past 2 weeks have been a whirlwind and I'm afraid this week won't be much different. But it's ok, I totally like it.
This week brings fun things, birthdays (mine!), Thanksgiving, family and friends!
It is definitely the beginning of the BEST TIME OF YEAR!
I am trying to slow down and remember the real reasons for the season, not just the pumpkin pies and peppermint mochas. (Not eaten at the same time of course, yuck!)
Here are a few glimpses as to what the last 2 weeks has been like.
It includes a trip to Branson with friends and a trip to Chicago.
Lunch at one of my favorite places. Neighbor's Mill in Harrison.
It's like a homemade Panera. Yum!
Soup in a bread bowl- yes please!
We got to stay at an AMAZING cabin in Branson that some dear friends own.
It was beautiful and stocked with every comfort of home to make for a really cozy stay.
The views from the deck were gorgeously breath taking.
I really just wanted to let all that beauty soak in and reall absorb how blessed we felt by the kindness of our friends for letting us stay there and making our trip really special.
A little morning coffee on the deck with my sweetie.
And a cookie of course.
Cookies for breakfast while on vacay are totally acceptable right?
This was a sign in the cabin.
It's perfect! " You had me at woof!"

My adventuresome, nature loving hubby decided to take a little hike down the bank and near the water.
To be honest, I didn't want to at first.
But he encouraged me to step our ot my comfort zone and I was so glad I went along.
It was a beautiful morning!
Normally this would all be underwater, but due to a few dry seasons, we were able to walk all the way around the ridge.
And while we were in Chicago visiting my grandparents, we snuck off to Starbucks for a little cake pop and coffee date.
So last week I was not around a computer or internet and my sweet friend Beth did a guest post for me and a giveaway!
Did you see that delicious recipe she shared?
And how about that scarf she is GIVING AWAY TO ONE OF YOU!? :)
She is one talented gal!
Go check out that post HERE and you have until the end of this week to comment or email me for a chance to win that scarf.
Happy Monday!

Guest Post With Beth from Becoming A Virtuous Woman


I am super happy to Introduce you to Beth today.
She was kind enough to do a Guest Post for me while I'm out of town.
So please grab a warm mug of something, settle in and get to know this sweet friend of mine.
Hi, friends! I'm Beth and I blog over at Becoming a Virtuous Woman.
I've been blogging for a little over a year, but this is my first guest post!
I was so honored when Rachel asked me to guest post!
I met Rachel through Instagram and found her blog.
Isn't she the sweetest little thing?  
I love her heart for people and for the Lord.

I've been married for just over a year to my best friend, Tyler.
He is my light and joy, and I'm so blessed that God picked me to do life with him.
We've been on a roller coaster ride this past year, but I've learned what it really means to be a follower of Christ and wouldn't change it for anything.

I love to cook, bake, sew, read, and cheer on our beloved St. Louis Cardinals!
I also run an etsy shop!
I am looking forward to hosting our first Thanksgiving with my family in our apartment in just a few weeks!
Can you believe that the holiday season is upon us?


Today, I want to share with you one of my *new* favorite recipes.   I found this one on Pinterest.  Are you as addicted to that site as I am??  I'll be sharing the recipe for Garlic and Lemon Chicken with Green Beans and Red Potatoes.

  • 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lemons: 1 thinly sliced, 1 juiced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (I used regular salt)
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 3/4 lb trimmed green beans
  • 8 small red potatoes, quartered (I bought 8, but only used 5)
  • 4 chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on  (I used boneless, skinless breasts)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Trim the green beans, slice the lemon, and quarter the potatoes.  (I trimmed and sliced on a newspaper so I could wrap it all up and throw it away when I was much easier!)

Coat a large baking dish or cast-iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Arrange the lemon slices in a single layer in the bottom of the dish.  (I have found that you don't really need that many lemon slices.  A little will go a long way, and if you're like me and don't want your food too lemon-y, you will probably want leave the lemon slices off the bottom.)

In a large bowl, combine the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. 

I learned (from watching Rachael Ray) that if you squeeze the lemon, cut side up, the seeds won't spill into the dish!  Brilliant!

Add the green beans and toss to coat.

Remove them and arrange them on top of the lemon slices in the baking dish.  The add the potatoes to the same olive oil mixture and toss to coat.

Place the potatoes around the edge of the baking dish and on top of the green beans.

Place the chicken in the same bowl, in the same olive oil mixture and toss to coat.  

Place the chicken, skin side up, in the dish or skillet (I just placed them in the dish). Pour any remaining olive oil mixture over the chicken.

Roast for 50 minutes.  Remove the chicken from the dish or skillet.  Place the beans and potatoes back in the oven for 10 more minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

*Notice, the chicken did shrink.  So you will want to use big pieces of chicken {or a bigger pan so you can squeeze more chicken pieces in}.*

I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as I have!  It's fun to tweak things and make the recipe "yours."

You can find me in various places:
Instagram:  @beth_elaine

Stop by and say hi! :)

Oh and since y'all are so awesome, I'm giving away one of my favorite ruffle scarves!
The Autumn Ruffle.

Thank you so much for having me today, Rachel!
I am blessed to know you through IG and your blog.
Beth, thank YOU for sharing with us and so kind of you to giveaway one of your creations!
So if you are interested in winning this beautiful scarf, send me an email or leave a comment and tell us what you love most about the holidays!
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