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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

How is your Heart Health?

“Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” Psalm 86:11

When the Lord looks at your heart, what does He see? Some days I am ashamed to admit that it certainly isn't as pretty as it is on other days - my patience is tested, my heart gets broken, and my faith in people, myself and God is put to the test!

Everyone has an outer life and an inner life ~ our outer life is public what people see. Our inner life is made up of our thoughts, attitudes and motives. Only us and God know what’s going on inside ~ we can't hide anything from Him and often we can't hide everything from those who are closest to us forever because things always come out in the open eventually. Too many of us go around everyday pretending ~ acting one way, yet on the inside, we’re thinking something totally different,  our heart and actions don’t line up.

We have to understand that God looks at the inside, e can fool a lot of people, but we can’t fool God. God would rather us be open and honest than for us to go through life pretending or wearing masks. This is hard for our human self/flesh because it usually means making changes in our lives that we have avoided ~ relationships, commitments, finances, etc. Take an inventory of what’s going on inside of you ~ Are you at peace? Are you overlooking your offenses? Do you believe the best in people? Are your heart and actions lining up? If not, submit your ways to the Lord today and ask Him to give you an undivided heart. Live a life pleasing to Him and walk in His blessing all the days of your life!

Dear Father, I humbly come before You today and ask that You search the deep places of my heart. Show me if there is any area where I need to line up my heart and actions. Help me to be authentic in You today in Jesus’ name. Amen.

5 of my favorite Valentine's Day desserts.....Including the the full recipes!!

Stawberry Cheesecake Bites
Every nibble of these sweet honey-topped morsels features crumbly shortbread crust and classic cheesecake filling. The sweetest part? The naturally heart-shape strawberry slices.
Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups shortbread cookie crumbs (about 30 square cookies)
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
4 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
Honey (optional)
Sliced strawberries
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with heavy-duty foil or parchment paper, leaving 1 inch of foil hanging over edges of pan; set aside. For Shortbread Crust, in a medium bowl combine crushed cookies and 1 Tbsp. sugar. Stir in melted butter until combined. Press mixture into the bottom of prepared pan. For Filling, in a very large bowl beat the cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until fluffy. Beat in flour until combined. Add eggs and vanilla; beat on low speed until just combined. Stir in sour cream. Pour filling in crust-lined pan. Bake for 40 minutes. For Sour Cream Honey Topper, in a medium bowl stir together sour cream, honey, and vanilla. Remove cheesecake from oven. Spread mixture over hot cheesecake. Bake for 10 minutes more. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 1 hour. Cover; chill at least 4 hours. Use foil to lift uncut bars from pan. Cut into 54 bites. Top each square with a strawberry slice. If desired, drizzle with additional honey.

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Cakes
The romance of chocolate-covered strawberries takes a delightfully elegant turn in this luscious Valentine's Day dessert recipe. Upside-down cupcakes are smothered in rich ganache and topped with fresh strawberries.
Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup strawberry jam
1 recipe Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache
12 medium strawberries
3 ounces bittersweet and/or milk chocolate curls

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Valentine's Day Crafts that are great for gift giving! There is a gift idea here for anyone ~ co-workers, teacher, neighbors and friends!

This craft pulls double-duty: It keeps the kids busy, and you'll have a cute, sturdy decoration ready in under an hour. Click here for tutorial.


Save those toilet paper and paper towel rolls to make these sweet-and-simple cardboard tube piggies bearing heartfelt Valentine's Day messages....you could even fill them with candies even.  Click here for tutorial.

Paper plates and yarn are two extremely versatile craft components. "Sewing" the yarn heart into the plate will be a fun and simple way for a kid to show someone they care. Click here for tutorial.