Friday, 14 February 2014

Did you know that...?


For over 135 years, Heinz® Vinegar has occupied a very special place in kitchens. So when it comes to spiffing up, shining up, and washing up, doesn't it make sense to use natural Heinz® Vinegar to clean one of the busiest rooms in your home?

A Great Perk
Great-tasting coffee in the morning, that's what you expect. To eliminate unpleasant lime deposits that can build up and clog the inside heating element of your automatic drip coffee maker, once a month fill the reservoir with Heinz® White Vinegar and run through the brew cycle. Rinse thoroughly with two cycles of water, and enjoy fast, fresh, hot coffee. (Please check with your appliance’s manufacturer’s instructions regarding the use of vinegar for cleaning).

Clean As A Whistle
After fixing a great meal, the last thing you want to face is the cleanup. Heinz® Vinegar is a great solution for that dilemma. Just soak the insides of food-stained pots and pans in full-strength Heinz® White Vinegar for 30 minutes. Then rinse in hot, soapy water. You're free to start planning your next culinary adventure with pots and pans that are clean as can be.
Dispose Properly

It's easy to keep your garbage disposal clean and fresh smelling. Just make some vinegar ice cubes. Mix one cup of Heinz® White Vinegar in enough water to fill an ice tray, freeze the mixture, and then grind the cubes through the disposal. Flush with cold water.

Dynamite In The Dishwasher
Here are two hints to make things crystal clear. To cut the soapy film on your cloudy glassware, place a cup of Heinz® White Vinegar on the bottom rack of your dishwasher, run for five minutes, then run through the full cycle. A cup of Heinz® White Vinegar run through the full cycle of the machine once a month will also reduce soap buildup on the inner workings.
Grease Be Gone
"The Case of the Clogged Drain" is no mystery for Heinz® Vinegar. To help prevent grease buildup and to keep your drains fresh smelling, pour a handful of baking soda down the drain pipe. Add one-half cup of Heinz® White Vinegar. Cover the drain tightly for a few minutes, then flush with cold water.

Non-Stick Stain Remover
Remove stains from nonstick cookware to prolong the life of your pots and pans. Rub the pans with a cloth dipped in Heinz® White Vinegar to remove the white spotty film caused by minerals in the water.

Sweet Smell Of Success
Long after you've enjoyed the day's catch, does something still smell fishy? Just boil a tablespoon of Heinz® White Vinegar in a cup of water to eliminate those unpleasant cooking smells. And onion odors are nothing to cry over, either. Rub some Heinz® White Vinegar on your fingers before and after slicing onions to eliminate the lingering after-aroma. To absorb stale, smoky odors, a bowl of Heinz® White Vinegar placed in an out-of-the-way corner of any room works wonders, too.

Take A Shine To It
To make your chrome fixtures, appliances, and countertops gleam, rub away the streaks and smears with a cloth soaked in Heinz® White Vinegar.

Cooking Tips
Heinz® Vinegars have a great reputation for adding that little something extra to your favorite recipes and sauces. But it doesn’t stop there. Unleash the versatility of Heinz® Vinegar with this selection of helpful and handy cooking hints.

Easy Buttermilk
When a recipe calls for buttermilk and you don’t have any on hand, just add a tablespoon of Heinz® White Vinegar to a cup of milk.
Too Sweet? Too Salty?

To rescue a recipe that tastes too sweet or too salty after you’ve mixed the ingredients, try adding a dash of Heinz® White Vinegar. It may save the day.

Easy Hard Boiled Eggs
Adding two tablespoons of Heinz® White Vinegar per quart of water before boiling eggs will prevent cracking, and the shells will peel off faster and easier when they’re done.

Fluffy White Rice

For fluffier, great-tasting rice, just add a teaspoon of white vinegar to the boiling water. Your rice will be easier to spoon out and less sticky.

Meat Tenderizer and Marinade
A mixture of one-half cup of white, cider or wine vinegar added to a cup of liquid bouillon makes a great marinade base.
Fresh Air - Naturally

In addition to adding flavor to your meal, leave a bowl of Heinz® distilled white vinegar on your counter while cooking to remove all cooking odors. Works great when cooking fish!

Vegetable Revival
To revive vegetables that look a little tired and wilted, soak them in one quart of cold water and a tablespoon of Heinz® White Vinegar.

Fabulous Fish
You can enhance the flavor of your favorite grilled fish dishes by adding a dash of Heinz® White Vinegar. For firmer, whiter fish, soak your favorite filet or seafood steak for 20 minutes in one quart of water and two tablespoons of vinegar.

Heinz® Vinegars can keep everything in the bathroom – including the bathroom sink – sparkling and clean. It's a safe, money-saving alternative that let's you clean up without taking a bath.

It's Curtains
Use full-strength Heinz® Vinegar to wipe away soapy film, mildew, and grimy buildup from your shower curtains. Or simply place your shower and bath curtains in the washing machine along with a bath towel. Add one cup of Heinz® White Vinegar during the rinse cycle. Dry on low for 3 minutes.

Permanent Fixtures
To return the shine to your chrome, stainless steel, ceramic, or plastic fixtures, dampen a sponge or cloth with Heinz® White Vinegar and wipe away the dull film. Polish with a soft, damp cloth

Scattered Showers
Here's an overnight project designed to make your morning shower a little more brisk. To remove lime deposit corrosion from the showerhead, simply soak it in a container filled with full-strength Heinz® White Vinegar overnight and replace.

Soft, Shiny Hair
After shampooing, rinse your hair well with one cup of water and a tablespoon of Heinz® White Vinegar. It cuts the dulling soap residue and restores the shine, leaving your hair soft, shiny, beautiful.

The Super Bowl
Cleaning the toilet bowl. The one chore we all like to avoid. Trust Heinz® Vinegar to remove the unsightly ring. Pour in one cup of undiluted Heinz® White Vinegar. Let it stand for five minutes. Flush. Mission accomplished.

The Top Floor
For shiny, streak-less floors, use a solution of one-half cup Heinz® White Vinegar and one gallon of water to mop tile or linoleum. For really tough stains, apply undiluted Heinz® White Vinegar directly on the stain.

Tub & Tile
When bathtub and tile film builds up and rubs you the wrong way, it's time to make it vanish with Heinz® Vinegar. Simply wipe the surface with Heinz® White Vinegar and rinse with water. Enjoy the sparkling difference.

Laundry Room
Put hard-working Heinz® Vinegar through the complete cycle in your laundry room and see how useful it can be for freshening your clothes, killing odors, and pampering baby's clothing and bed linen.

A New Wrinkle
To help get rid of unsightly hem marks that remain after altering hemlines, gently rub them away with a Heinz® White Vinegar-dampened cloth. Then run a steam iron across the crease or telltale line. No more lines.

All Washed Up
Heinz® didn't forget the baby in the house. All-natural Heinz® White Vinegar is the perfect solution for breaking down the uric acid and irritating soap residue in all your baby's clothing, blankets, and sheets. To keep them soft and clean, add one cup of Heinz® White Vinegar to each wash load during the rinse cycle. And for the rest of the family's clothes, the same formula will do the trick.

Colorful Personality
Because some bright colors in fabrics tend to run, immerse them in full-strength Heinz® White Vinegar before washing. Your garments will remain true to their colors. Follow manufacturer's cleaning instructions and test first on an inconspicuous spot.

Come Full Cycle
For an all-around-and-around way to freshen up your washing machine, once a month pour in a cup of Heinz® White Vinegar. Run through a normal cycle, without clothes, and unwanted soap residue will vanish.

Easier Ironing
Starch buildup and corrosion’two problems that are easy to iron out with Heinz® White Vinegar. If starch buildup is making your iron stick, simply wipe it clean with a moist cloth soaked in full-strength Heinz® White Vinegar (making sure iron is unplugged and cold, of course). To keep your iron free of corrosion and calcium deposits, occasionally fill the water reservoir with full-strength Heinz® White Vinegar and steam-iron a soft utility rag. Repeat the process using water, then thoroughly rinse out the inside of your iron.

Ease The Stain
Don’t cry over spilled cola or wine. Within 24 hours, apply undiluted Heinz® White Vinegar directly to the stain (on washable 100% cotton, polyester, and permanent press cotton fabrics). Wash and dry as directed according to the manufacturer's care tag instructions.

Timely Touchups
To help remove light scorch marks on fabrics, rub lightly with undiluted Heinz® White Vinegar. Then wipe with a clean cloth. Using the same technique, you'll get great results on underarm deodorant and stains left by anti-perspirants.
Up In Smoke

The party's over, but a smoky odor permeates your clothes. Did you know Heinz® Vinegar can absorb all the bad smells? Pour two cups of Heinz® Vinegar in a bathtub of hot water, hang your clothes above the tub, and let the odors disappear.

Family Room
The effectiveness of Heinz® Vinegar will really hit home when you discover how useful it can be in the busiest room in the house. Welcome Heinz® as a special member of your family… and notice how Home Sweet Home it can be.

Called On The Carpet
To bring up the color and nap in carpets and rugs, brush heavy traffic areas and dirt spots with a mixture of one cup of Heinz® White Vinegar per gallon of water. Then blot dry.

Come Full Cycle
For an all-around-and-around way to freshen up your washing machine, once a month pour in a cup of Heinz® White Vinegar. Run through a normal cycle, without clothes, and unwanted soap residue will vanish.

Did your Pet Just Say "Ooops!"
Pet stains can really be pet peeves. Undiluted Heinz® Vinegar poured straight on the stain is a great solution. Wipe clean with strong strokes, then blot with cold water. You've cleaned and deodorized all in one step. And your dog or cat will make a detour around the accident scene.

In Full Bloom
To extend the life of flowers in your house, add two tablespoons of Heinz® White Vinegar, plus three tablespoons of sugar per quart of warm water. Cut flowers will bloom longer than springtime. Stems should be in three to four inches of water to really do the trick.

The Dust Bowl
Just when you thought we had exhausted our list of helpful hints, we've come up with another really cool one. You can keep exhaust fan grills, ceiling fan blades, and air-conditioning grills dust-free and circulating fresh air by wiping with full-strength Heinz® White Vinegar to cut the grease and dirt.

The Woodworker
Varnished woodwork and furniture that have become dull and cloudy can be renewed by rubbing them with a soft cloth moistened with a solution of one tablespoon of Heinz® White Vinegar in a quart of lukewarm water. Buff up with a soft, dry cloth, and the luster shines through again. And telltale white rings from wet glasses will disappear if you rub them with a mixture of equal parts olive oil and Heinz® White Vinegar.

Timely Touchups

To help remove light scorch marks on fabrics, rub lightly with undiluted Heinz® White Vinegar. Then wipe with a clean cloth. Using the same technique, you'll get great results on underarm deodorant and stains left by anti-perspirants.

Around the House
Versatile Heinz® Vinegar has an outdoor life, too. But that's no surprise. After all, that's where it all starts for us. With sun-ripened corn and apples and cool, clear water. So discover the Great Outdoors right in your own backyard.

We Do Windows
Streaky windows clouding your view? Clearly, Heinz® Vinegar can brighten your day. Just use it full strength in a spray bottle and wash streaks and film away. Dry with a soft cloth.

A Burning Issue
Let Heinz® Vinegar take the sting out of sunburn and soothe your minor skin irritations. Just sponge it on to cool down summer's sizzle.

A Dandelion Free Lawn
A natural alternative to using expensive and potentially toxic chemicals. Fill a spray bottle with undiluted Heinz® White Vinegar. ’When dandelions start to pop up, spray the center of each flower with the vinegar. Spray once directly on the plant and again near the ground so the vinegar can soak into the roots. This will kill the dandelions and keep them from growing back. It is best to do this on a sunny day when no rain is expected for a few days, because the rain will wash away the vinegar.

Better Fuel Mileage
Here's a bright idea. For longer-lasting and brighter-burning propane lanterns, soak new wicks for several hours in full-strength Heinz® White Vinegar and let them dry before inserting. Now see how much brighter things are--on the same amount of fuel.

Don't Be A Pest
Ants may be on the march, invading your territory, but you can deter them without using strong, harsh insecticides. Spread a solution of equal parts Heinz® Vinegar and water all around their points of entry- door jambs, windowsills, and foundation cracks. CAUTION: Be careful not to spill vinegar on your plants or shrubs.

Cut The Grass
To kill unwanted grass and weeds growing in sidewalk cracks or on driveways, just pour on full-strength Heinz® Vinegar. It's a natural alternative to using harsh lawn chemicals.

Get Out Of Tough Scrapes
Scraping ice off your car's windshield--one winter chore you'd like to avoid. If you have to leave your car out overnight in the winter, coat the windows with a solution of three parts Heinz® White Vinegar or Heinz® Apple Cider Vinegar to one part water. And they'll be frost-free.

Renews Shoes
Rescue your shoes from the damaging effects of salt stains. To remove salt, pour undiluted Heinz® White Vinegar on a damp cloth and wipe into the affected areas. Then polish with a soft cloth.


To loosen rusty bolts and stubborn spigots, soak them in full-strength Heinz® White Vinegar.

Sticky Situations
When decals or bumper stickers have outlived their usefulness and you want to remove them, wipe them repeatedly with Heinz® White Vinegar. Let the vinegar soak in. In a few minutes the decals should peel off easily.

The Lime Fighter
After working with garden lime, you can neutralize its harsh, drying effects on your hands by dousing them freely with Heinz® Vinegar. Then follow with a cold water rinse. No more rough, flaking skin.

Preserving Tips
For pickling, vinegar is necessary to properly preserve foods by inhibiting the growth of food spoilage bacteria. All Heinz® Vinegars are "pickling strength" (5 percent acidity), which means that they are at an acidity level that is recommended for successful, safe, home preservation of foods. Below are some easy pickling and canning tips and recipes that are sure to help you make recipes that will win raves.

Select slightly under-ripe fruits.
Use varieties of cucumbers grown especially for pickling. Do not use cucumbers with a waxy surface for pickling. For best flavor and texture, pickling cucumbers should be used within 24 hours of picking.

Avoid soaking produce.
Use pure granulated pickling salt. The iodine and additives in table salt may make the pickling liquid cloudy or cause discoloration.

Select standard canning jars, caps or lids. (Jars from commercially packed foods are not suitable.) Be sure jars and closures are free from nicks, chips or cracks.

Never re-use canning lids. Canning jars, however, may be used again.

Don’t use copper, brass, iron, or galvanized utensils when cooking pickles. These may react with the acid and salt in the liquid and cause undesirable changes or form hazardous compounds.

Old Fashioned Butter Cake

This particular recipe is a 100 year old treasure!

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
How to:
Preheat oven to 180*C. Grease and flour two 20cm baking pans and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Add butter, milk, and vanilla. With a hand mixer, beat for 2 minutes, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Add eggs and beat for 2 minutes more.

Pour batter into prepared pans, dividing equally between the pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven.

Cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then turn cakes out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Frost with your favorite frosting. I used my favorite chocolate frosting.

"Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Frosting
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 3 cups powdered sugar (confectioners' sugar)
  • 1/3 cup milk (plus an additional few drops to make a nice consistency)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
How to:
Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating on medium speed to spreading consistency. Add more milk if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting

Let Me Call You Sweetheart

I am dreaming Dear of you, day by day 
Dreaming when the skies are blue, When they're gray; When the silv'ry moonlight gleams, 
Still I wander on in dreams, In a land of love, it seems, 
Just with you. 

Let me call you "Sweetheart," I'm in love with you. 
Let me hear you whisper that you love me too. 
Keep the love-light glowing in your eyes so true. 
Let me call you "Sweetheart," 
I'm in love with you.  

Longing for you all the while, More and more; 
Longing for the sunny smile, I adore; 
Birds are singing far and near, Roses blooming ev'rywhere You, alone, my heart can cheer; 
You, just you. 

Let me call you "Sweetheart," I'm in love with you. 
Let me hear you whisper that you love me too. 
Keep the love-light glowing in your eyes so true. 
Let me call you "Sweetheart," 
I'm in love with you.

I said a Valentine Prayer for you!

I said a Valentine prayer for you
and asked the Lord above
to fill your heart and bless your soul
With the precious gift of love.

I asked Him for sincere love
The kind that's meant to stay
Just like the generous love
You give to those you touch each day.

I prayed for love from family
And from every cherished friend
Then I asked the Lord to give you
His love that knows no end.

Love is patient,
Love is kind.

It bears all things,
Believes all things,

Hopes all things,
Endures all things.

Love never fails.

1 Corinthians 13:4,7,8

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day My Friend!

Happy Valentine's Day 
My Friend 

This is a very special day
It comes but once a year
One of love and happiness
Of sunshine and good cheer.

I'd like to take this time to say
How much you mean to me
A friend so dear and wonderful
The way that it should be.

Life would be so lonely
If you were not around
You are the dearest friend I know
The best that can be found.

I'd like to share this happy time
And send this card your way
To my very, very special friend
Have A Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Thoughtful Thursday...

Let us return to our home and rebuild a vision for 
godly descendants that stretches into the future...

If we want wholehearted womanhood to become
reality again, we must be willing to forsake
the glittering paths of fame, recognition and celebrity.
If we want beautiful girlhood for our young ladies--
a time of innocence, joy and delight in service--
then we must be willing to demonstrate it in our
homes and live it beautifully for the watching world.

We are daughters of the King!
We are building a kingdom that will have no end.

We are shaping cultures--for good or ill--as we go about our daily tasks.

Let us purpose to follow Christ wholeheartedly, embracing
the servanthood He demonstrated to us.

Let us purpose to put to death the grasping desire for fame
that our godless culture has raised up as its idol. 
Let us be women of purpose and vision, serving Christ from
hearts that overflow with love for His people and for the lost.

--essay from Jennie Chancey,
Queen of the Home by Jen McBride

Thursday blessings!!

"She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness."
-Proverbs 31:27

Prayer for Lovers

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

To be in love....

  • “To be in love is to love an ideal within yourself. To love is to love no ideal but love within itself.” James Stephen Cathcart
  • “Real love is a pilgrimage. It happens when there is no strategy, but it is very rare because most people are strategists”. Anita Brookner
  • All goodness in the world comes from love. Simon Soloveychik“A happy man marries the girl he loves; a happier man loves the girl he marries.” Anonymous
  • “Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it”. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • “If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don’t, they never were.” Kahlil Gibran“When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live life.” Greg Anderson 
  • “Long after moments of closeness have passed, a part of you remains with me and warms the places your hands have touched and hastens my heart for your return.” Robert Sexton 
  • “It is the passion that is in a kiss that gives to it its sweetness; it is the affection in a kiss that sanctifies it.” Christian Nestell Bovee

A Valentine for God

Monday, 10 February 2014

In celebration of Carrot Cake Day ......

To: everyone
       In celebration of Carrot Cake Day ......

Carrot Walnut Cake

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/8 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 4 cups grated carrots

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 drops of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon milk

How to:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch round cake pan. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, set aside. In a medium bowl, cream together the 1 cup butter, brown sugar and white sugar. Stir in the eggs and the orange juice. Add the sifted dry ingredient, mix well. Finally, fold in the walnuts, raisins and carrots. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, until a tester comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack.

To make the frosting, in a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy, add vanilla and confectioners sugar until smooth. Spread over cooled cake.

Happy Carrot Cake Day!!

by: JustAmy 
3 February

Write your own prayer

I’ve never heard the audible voice of God. But as I was meditating on the bold, miracle-embracing prayer of Jabez in I Chronicles 4:9-10 recently, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart: “Write your own prayer.”

The result was my Prayer of Jeanette:
  1. Change me to think and behave, but especially to love, like You;
  2. Use me to create that which glorifies You and enlarges others’ hearts;
  3. Love me in ways only You can love, so I know it’s You;
  4. Protect me from darkness of thought and word;
  5. Empower me to achieve far more than I alone am capable of, so others will acknowledge You and love you;
  6. Make me fruitful—full of fruit—colorful, sweet and nourishing;
  7. Prosper me—cause me to go forward, increase me—so that I may impart more than I take. In Jesus’ Name, so be it. 
Have you considered writing “The Prayer of (your name)?” Just as writing our goals helps us achieve them, writing a life prayer may enable us to see how our loving Father works in our behalf year by year.

What item will merit the #1 spot in your life prayer?
by Jeanette Levellie 

Sunday, 9 February 2014

I’m up in heaven mother, enjoying God’s glorious views....

I’m up in heaven mother
Enjoying God’s glorious views
I’m conversing with you now mother
Through a porthole, of a poets muse

I can feel your sorrow mother
Your anguish and your pain
I plea with you, don’t cry for me
For we’ll be together once again

Let the tears you cry be joyous ones
I am now happy where I am
I’m just so proud to be here
Serving as, my Heavenly Father’s lamb

I also have my halo on
It gives off a divinely glow
It’s ok to hold me in your heart
But please let my spirit go

I still love you mother
You are still the world to me
When God calls for you to be here
We’ll be together for all eternity

I am smiling at you mother
As you go about your days
Just cast your eyes towards heaven mom
And to God sing out with praise

Next time that you think of me, mother
Just smile and please don’t cry
You know that we will meet again
In my heavenly home on high

Just place your fingers to your lips
Point them, into a gentle breeze
I will feel your love and kisses mom
I’ll cherish each and every one of these.

Strawberries & Cream Heart Cake for your Valentine!!!

by Ali
Strawberries and Cream "Heart" Cake |
Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Yield: 8-12 Servings

Strawberry Cake Ingredients:
  • 16 ounces frozen whole strawberries (2 cups) 
  • 3/4 cup milk, room temperature 
  • 6 large egg whites, room temperature 
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract 
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour 
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar 
  • 4 tsp. baking powder 
  • 1 tsp. salt 
  • 12 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened 

Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
  • 2 (8 oz.) bricks cream cheese, softened 
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened 
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract 
  • 6-8 cups powdered sugar 
Topping Ingredients:
1 (16 oz.) bag conversation hearts

To Make The Cake:
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans, line bottoms with parchment, grease parchment, and flour. (**I used two 6-inch round cake pans, although there is enough batter for three 6-inch cake pans if desired. You can follow Wilton's guidelines for cake sizes and batter here.

Transfer strawberries to bowl, cover, and microwave until strawberries are soft and have released their juice, about 5-7 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Place strawberries in a fine-mesh strainer set over small saucepan. Firmly press fruit dry (juice should measure at least 3/4 cup); discard strawberry solids. Bring juice to boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until syrupy and reduced to 1/4 cup, 6 to 8 minutes.

Whisk together strawberry juice, milk, egg whites, and vanilla in bowl, and set aside.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed until combined. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, and mix until only pea-size pieces remain, about 1 minute. Add half of strawberry mixture, increase speed to medium-high, and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to medium-low, add remaining milk mixture, and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Give batter final stir by hand, being sure to mix in any clumps on the bottom of the pan.

Scrape equal amounts of batter into two prepared 9-inch round pans, and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. (Or if using 6-inch round pans, pour 2 cups of batter into each prepared pan, bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, baking 25 to 30 minutes.) Cool cakes in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans, discarding parchment, and cool completely, about 2 hours.

Use a knife or a cake leveler to level out the cakes so that they are perfectly flat. Then add a thick and even layer of frosting on top of the first cake, and set the second cake on top. Continue to frost the entire cake with a very thin layer of frosting for the "crumb coat" (to seal in the crumbs). Then go back over the entire cake and frost with a thicker layer of frosting for the final coat. Layer with conversation hearts, beginning at the bottom and working your way to the top and center. (**You will want to work as quickly as possible so that the frosting stays moist for sticking.**)

Serve immediately, or store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To Make The Frosting:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar and vanilla and mix at low speed until combined. If you need to thicken the frosting, add more powdered sugar. If you need to thin, add a teaspoon or two of milk.

**For easier slicing, I recommend placing the hearts in vertical rows instead of alternately spaced. You also totally don't need to eat ALL of the hearts. They can be decor. ;)

Interior with Woman Teaching Child to Pray

Interior with Woman Teaching Child to Pray 

by: Pierre-Edouard Frère. 

A few weeks ago, I wrote about what our priorities as Proverbs 31 Women should be. I stressed that our families and homes are our ministries and that few women with young children can handle more. But I do think there is one other type of ministry many mothers can handle: Prayer.

Now if you're still at the stage where your kids are really young, need your almost constant attention, and you're finding it difficult to get in any prayer time at all, please do not add anything more to your plate. Focus on serving your family while balancing this ministry with talking to and worshiping God and reading his Word.

But if your children are a little older, there are plenty of opportunities to become a prayer warrior. The Bible tells us to pray continually (1 Thes. 5:17)- yet how many of us truly do this? If you make prayer a ministry in your life, however, not only will you obey God, but you'll set a holy example for your children.

You can:

  • Pray first thing in the morning, before rising from bed.
  • Pray at the breakfast table, with your children.
  • Pray before you begin reading to your children, or start homeschooling, or before sending your children off to school.
  • Pray while you do household chores, including the dishes, the laundry, the floors, the dusting, the vacuuming - you name it!
  • Pray before eating lunch.
  • Pray before sending your children outside to play.
  • Pray before helping your children with their homework.
  • Pray before driving off to run errands.
  • Pray every time you hear a siren or see an emergency vehicle.
  • Pray while you prepare meals.
  • Pray before dinner, with your family.
  • Pray before beginning family time in the evening.
  • Pray in the shower. 
  • Pray with your children, while tucking them in for the night.
  • Pray before tucking yourself in at night.
  • Pray if you have trouble sleeping.
Really, we have almost endless time to pray. The trick is to put our minds to it - to train ourselves to remember to pray. A few things that help me:

* If the kids aren't in the room, I pray.

* If someone comes to mind, I pray for that person.

* If I hear of an emergency of any kind, large or small, I pray.

* I pray whenever someone is coming or going. (For example, when I hear my husband hop 
   into the shower before work, just before he comes home in the evening.)

* When doing manual labor, I pray.

* When I feel anything strongly (frustration, anger, love...), I pray.

* If by chance I have a moment alone, I pray before doing anything else.

Read more about prayer:
Developing Your Prayer Life
Let Your Kids Hear You Pray
Impress Him Upon Your Children 

Saturday, 8 February 2014

The 50 Best Quotes About Friendship

By Mandy Zucker

  • Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity. – Khalil Gibran
  • True friendship is when you walk into their house and your WiFi connects automatically. – Author Unknown (Internet, probably)
  • True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils. Strive to have friends, for life without friends is like life on a desert island… to find one real friend in a lifetime is good fortune; to keep him is a blessing.
  • The language of friendship is not words but meanings. – Henry David Thoreau
  • Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together. – Woodrow T. Wilson
  • Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend. — Albert Camus
  • True friendship comes when the silence between two people is comfortable. – David Tyson Gentry
  • Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one. ― C.S. Lewis
  • Friendship consists in forgetting what one gives and remembering what one receives. – Alexander Dumas
  • Be slow to fall into friendship; but when thou art in, continue firm & constant. – Socrates
  • Friendship is like money, easier made than kept. – Samuel Butler
  • A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow. – William Shakespeare
  • Anybody can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathise with a friend’s success. – Oscar Wilde
  • I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better. – Plutarch
  • Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit. – Aristotle
  • A good friend can tell you what is the matter with you in a minute. He may not seem such a good friend after telling. – Arthur Brisbane
  • There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate. ― Linda Grayson
  • Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down. – Oprah Winfrey
  • A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you. – Elbert Hubbard
  • Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends? – Abraham Lincoln
  • Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. – Marcel Proust
  • An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind. – Buddha
  • It’s the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter. – Marlene Dietrich
  • My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me. – Henry Ford
  • Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything. – Muhammad Ali
  • Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over. – Octavia Butler
  • There is a magnet in your heart that will attract true friends. That magnet is unselfishness, thinking of others first; when you learn to live for others, they will live for you. – Paramahansa Yogananda
  • Love is blind; friendship closes its eyes. – Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival. – C.S. Lewis
  • I think if I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired, don’t take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff. – Jon Katz
  • The friend who holds your hand and says the wrong thing is made of dearer stuff than the one who stays away. – Barbara Kingsolver
  • I value the friend who for me finds time on his calendar, but I cherish the friend who for me does not consult his calendar. – Robert Brault
  • Sweet is the memory of distant friends! Like the mellow rays of the departing sun, it falls tenderly, yet sadly, on the heart. – Washington Irving
  • How many slams in an old screen door? Depends how loud you shut it. How many slices in a bread? Depends how thin you cut it. How much good inside a day? Depends how good you live ‘em. How much love inside a friend? Depends how much you give ‘em. – Shel Silverstein
  • Growing apart doesn’t change the fact that for a long time we grew side by side; our roots will always be tangled. I’m glad for that. – Ally Condie
  • Friends are the family you choose – Jess C. Scott
  • We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at last one which makes the heart run over. – Ray Bradbury
  • Never leave a friend behind. Friends are all we have to get us through this life–and they are the only things from this world that we could hope to see in the next. – Dean Koontz
  • Tis the privilege of friendship to talk nonsense, and to have her nonsense respected. – Charles Lamb
  • The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • A friendship that can end never really began – Publilius Syrus
  • No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow. – Alice Walker
  • In prosperity our friends know us; in adversity we know our friends. – John Churton Collins
  • You can always tell a real friend: when you’ve made a fool of yourself he doesn’t feel you’ve done a permanent job. – Laurence J. Peter
  • Every friendship travels at sometime through the black valley of despair. This tests every aspect of your affection. You lose the attraction and the magic. Your sense of each other darkens and your presence is sore. If you can come through this time, it can purify with your love, and falsity and need will fall away. It will bring you onto new ground where affection can grow again. – John O’Donohue
  • You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you. – Dale Carnegie
  • Some people go to priests, others to poetry, I to my friends. – Virginia Woolf
  • The real test of friendship is can you literally do nothing with the other person? Can you enjoy those moments of life that are utterly simple? – Eugene Kennedy
  • Friendship improves happiness, and abates misery, by doubling our joys, and dividing our grief. – Marcus Tullius Cicero
Do not save your loving speeches for your friends till they are dead;
Do not write them on their tombstones, Speak them rather now instead. – Anna Cummins

Friday, 7 February 2014

Creating space for God

by Sherry
Life is crowded.

If I could write down all of the responsibilities that pull at me, plus the list of all of my creative ideas and good intentions, it would be infinite.

It’s like the house that is over-filled with furniture. After a while there is no room to walk, no room to function. My mind and heart can seem so cluttered that I feel as though I am being squeezed from every direction. How can a person function on this earth, with all of these cares and pressures, without blowing up and going bonkers?

There is one way: by creating space for God.

No matter if there is not one square foot left in my earthly tent, I am going to carve out a huge room for Him, because…

…He deserves it. He is the Master, my Creator, my King, my Savior, the Lover of my soul. 
There is no one else in my life that deserves my attention more than He does, no one.

…I can’t live without it. I don’t know about you, but often my smiles hide insecurities and pressures and all sorts of other ugly things. There are huge cracks in my walls and chinks in my armor. I don’t even understand who I am or where I am going most days. Don’t waste your time telling me about a new self-help book or a new counseling method or a new way to meditate that can help me; I already know there is no help outside the Helper. But when I open wide the door to Him, He comes right into the middle of my chaos, and He fellowships with me, and He puts things in order. I wish you could see the before and after pictures…

…My family deserves it. Yes, I know that it takes every minute I have available to take care of all of them, but if Mommy does not have a God-connection, then they better watch out! Jesus is the One who makes this chick tick, not food or reading or writing or running or crafting, or anything else. Mommy needs time with God or she will not be Mommy, she will be a foul, hateful, self-seeking mess.

Having said all that, there are certain rules to my space with God. For one thing, if there has to be a sacrifice made to spend time with Him, it is on my end, not on the end of the people I love.

In other words, my husband and my children are not going to have to fend for themselves while Mommy seeks God’s face, but Mommy is going to go without a little sleep, or, if things are quiet and everyone is content, she is not going to be found sneaking off to do something “fun” before she has laid face-down before the throne.

And that is another thing; given the opportunity, I choose God first, fun second. If my time is limited for reading, watching movies, or listening to music, then every book I read will be about serving or glorifying Him, every movie will encourage me in godly living, every song will be according to Philippians 4:8:

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

Here are some of the ways I have built room in my life for Him:
  • I have put the kids down for “quiet time” and taken the first half-hour for reading the Word and praying, often while nursing an infant to sleep. 
  • When my husband worked the late shift, I would put my children to sleep and then wait the hour or two until he came home from work spending time with God. 
  • Being an early riser, I have found that I can sneak out of bed a half hour or so before everyone else and enjoy my Master while the house is still quiet. 
  • I have determined to take every available moment to include Him in my daily life; while I am pushing a humming vacuum, or folding a pile of towels, any task where my mind does not have to be directly engaged. 
  • I play godly tunes, especially the type that is based on actual scripture, often, and prefer this to all other types of music. 
  • I have Bibles stationed all around my house, and one in my purse, so that God’s Word is never far from me. 
  • When I find my mind is too noisy to concentrate, I write scriptures down, or I read from a little book I have written in that has reminders, quotes from famous preachers, etc. that will help me to slow down and focus.
Folks often assume that a mom that stays home and dedicates her life to her family is ineffectual for the Kingdom of God and is not engaged in being a witness or making disciples. I beg to differ.

If I have diligently sought the Lord and am seeing Him work in my life on the micro level, then the macro is more powerful. I have all sorts of testimonies of wonderful things God has done through me because I have been diligent to cultivate a sensitivity and a humble familiarity with His ways, every day learning to rely on the power of His Holy Ghost. Mothers at home are not wastrels of their faith, they are magnifiers. As they grow in Christ, their very lives testify to His glory and goodness, they don’t even have to utter a word.

So each day I listen so that I can obey, so that He can be glorified in me, and He can feel welcomed into the spaciousness of my crowded life.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

The best gift for your children

Connect with your children by disconnecting from distraction .

Children need the attention of their parents, but technology is a constant distraction!

The lure of gadgets like iphones, ipads, blackberries etc along with the rising use of internet, addiction to social media (facebook, twitter etc.) & humongous information flow is gradually creating a distance in relationships.

Now, Many no longer like to wish or talk in person on special occasions. They are happy to wish via sms or a 140 character tweet. Parents are finding increasingly difficult to spend time with children.

Earlier – in the pre social media days, the spare time was used to spend time with children – teach them in their studies, play with them or just listen to the happenings in their world. However now a days all that time is being eaten up by swanky gadgets. There is no more time time left for children. Parents are happy to splurge on gadgets for their children.

Spending time with children DOES NOT only mean taking them out for a movie or eating out in a fast food restaurant of their choice. Of course this is time spent with them, BUT definitely not quality time.

Remember, Children need your time and attention more than anything else. They are growing up. Spend time teaching them, listening to their stories and gossips. Try answering their innumerable simple questions (like What should I become when I grow up?)~ the answers to which are definitely not easy.

Do not miss out on the precious moments, priceless life experiences of the time spent with your child. Create beautiful life experiences . You will make a world of difference in their lives. They need your time and attention more than anything else. Give it to them.Otherwise it will be too late when they are grown up become BUSY like you…By: Kapil Jain

Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. 
    Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16.. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and 
      no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. 
      Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come...

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

This is something we should all read at least once a week!!!!! Make sure you read to the end!!!!!!

Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio .

Monday, 3 February 2014

Sweet Heart Valentine Heart to crochet!

Sweet Heart Crochet Pattern

Stitches Used:
ch: chain
sc: single crochet
decrease: join 2 sc stitches to make one (video here)
increase: do two sc into one sc space (make two stitches
where you would usually make one)


•any yarn, any weight; the bulkier the yarn the larger
the heart and vice versa
•crochet hook recommended for yarn that you’ll be using
•embroidery needle for weaving in tails

Finished Size:
Depends upon yarn used, but using

worsted weight yarn with a size H (5mm) hook the heart
is approximately 4" wide and 3" tall.

The heart begins from the bottom point.

*Tip: after each row is completed, count your stitches to make sure you have the correct 

Foundation chain: 3 chains plus 1 turning chain.

Row one: 3 sc then make one turning chain; turn work. 
There is a single turning chain at the end of every row and you always turn your work at the end of each row.
Total stitches in the row is 3.

Row Two: One increase in the first sc, sc in 2nd sc and another increase in the last sc.
Total stitches in the row is 5.

Row Three:
One increase in the first sc, sc in each 
previous sc and do another increase in the last sc.  Total stitches in the row is 7.

Row Four: Repeat as above with an increase in the first and last sc and do regular sc for the middle stitches.  Total stitches in the row is 9.

Row Five: Repeat same process as previous rows.  Total stitches in the row is 11. 

Row Six:
No increases. One sc in each previous sc.  
Total stitches in the row is 11. 

Row Seven:
One increase in the first and last sc and 
regular sc for the middle stitches.
Total stitches in the row is 13.

Row Eight: Repeat as above with two increases.  Total stitches in the row is 15.

Row Nine: Repeat as above with two increases.  Total stitches in the row is 17.

Row Ten: No increases. One sc in each previous sc.  Total stitches in the row is 17.

Row Eleven: One increase in first and last stitch with regular sc for middle stitches. This is your last increase.  Total stitches in the row is 19.

Rows Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen: No increases  just three rows of 19 sc each.
Now you will start making the right lobe of the heart.

Row Fifteen: 9 sc, chain 1 and turn. Remember, at the end of every row you need to chain one for your turning chain.

Row Sixteen:
One decrease (combine the first 
two sc into one). Finish row with sc.
Total stitches in the row is 8.

Row Seventeen:
Begin and end with a decrease.  
Decrease with the first two stitches of the row and decrease with the last two stitches of the row and regular sc for middle stitches.
Total stitches in the row is 6.

Row Eighteen: As above, begins and ends with a decrease and regular sc for middle stitches.  Total stitches in the row is 4.

Row Nineteen: Only two decreases.  Total stitches in the row is 2.

Snip your yarn and weave in the tail.  (See picture below for weaving in the tail).

Now to make the left lobe of the heart.  Put a slip knot on your hook.

Row Fifteen Part II: Sc into 9th sc from the left side.  There will be one unused sc in the middle of row fifteen.

Complete row with 8 more sc, chain 1 and turn.  Total stitches in the row is 9. 

Row Sixteen Part II:
Sc into first 7 sc then do a 
decrease (combine two stitches into one) with the last two stitches.  Total stitches in the row is 8.

Row Seventeen Part II: Begin and end with a decrease. Decrease with the first two stitches of the row and decrease with the last two stitches of the row and regular sc for the middle stitches.  Total stitches in the row is 6. 

Row Eighteen Part II:
As above, begins and ends 
with a decrease and regular sc for the middle stitches.  Total stitches in the row is 4.

Row Nineteen Part II: Only two decreases.  Total stitches in the row is 2.

The heart part is done but don’t snip your yarn yet!

Starting where you just finished your last decrease, sc all around the outer edge of the heart. (One sc in the space at the end of every row. Sometimes it is hard to find the right space, just do your best and try not to make two sc into one space.) When you reach the tip of the heart do
3 sc in one stitch to make a nice point. (Remember your original three sc in your first row? Stitch your 3 sc increase into the middle stitch of those three.)

When you reach the cleavage of the heart do a decrease (combine two stitches into one) to gather it in a bit.

When you get back to your starting point snip your yarn, pull the tail through and weave it in.

Your done!

Leave it plain or have fun experimenting with different edgings. You may need to add some increases at the widest part of the heart when you are doing edgings.

This is how I blocked my hearts:
*Spread a towel over a firm pillow.  *Use straight pins to shape the heart.
*Mist with water and pat down.
*When completely dry remove pins.

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