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Howdy-do Sugar Pies and Happy New Year! My, oh my! I sure do love the start of a sparkling, brand new year! I love it because we get a clean slate and new hope to accomplish our goals and dreams! To me it’s like a breath of fresh air…invigorating even! You know darlin’, the chaos, challenges and disappointments of last year are behind us (Yay!!). If you fell off the horse (so to speak) last year it’s time to pull yourself up  by your cute cowgirl bootstraps, get on up on that saddle and ride again! NOW is the perfect time to get back to good Old Fashioned basics. Back to what really matters. Back to living a simpler and sweeter life. Back to creating a home that glows with cheerfulness and down-home goodness.

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Right after Christmas I always take some time to ponder and pray about the upcoming year and often the Lord puts a word in my heart as a theme to wrap my thoughts around. Wanna know what the word that popped into my heart is? LOVE! That’s right, Love! You know Sugar, the main ingredient to creating a sweet, cheerful, happy home for you and your family is love. Love needs to be our motivating force in all that we do.

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Tending to hearth and home is a gift of love!

When we tidy up the kitchen, put fresh sheets on the bed, sweep and mop the floor, wash and fold laundry, get things organized, put fresh flowers on the table and cook a meal with a cheerful countenance we are showing love to our family. We need to remember on those days when we feel so weary of doing the same things over and over that we are doing them because we love our family. We must not become bitter or resentful for doing those very things that will make our dear ones feel loved and cared for. Yes, there are days when we don’t feel like putting forth the effort to make our homes sparkle, or even to put a smile on our face, but sitting around feeling lazy or grumpy in a house full of clutter and dirty dishes in the sink surely won’t make us feel any better either.

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Darlin’ there are some important things I’ve learned about our “feelings”. Sometimes they can be good and other times they can get in the way of what we really want in life. We want a clean home but we don’t “feel” like cleaning it. We want to lose some weight but we don’t “feel” like starting our diet today. We want to start exercising but we don’t “feel” like it because we’re tired or it’s too cold outside. We want to finish a project we started a long time ago but we don’t “feel” like it because we want to do something new. We want our closets organized but we don’t “feel” like going through the hassle. We want to be a cheerful, perky, wife and mama but sometimes we don’t “feel” like it, instead grumpiness shows up on our face and comes out of our mouth. Sometimes we get too comfortable with our “feelings” to make a change for the better, but then we miss out on our best life.  Dr. Phil says “behave your way to success”.

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Let’s not let our unproductive “feelings” get in the way of taking care of our home, family and ourselves. Let’s not let our I-don’t-feel-like-it feelings dictate our life! Do you remember when you were a kid and some other kid, perhaps a brother or sister tried to boss you around? We’d respond by saying “you’re not the boss of me!” Well, that’s what we need to say to our feelings when they stop us from accomplishing what we want in life! Don’t let your feelings be “the boss of you”! We have one life! This is it darlin! Decide what you want for your life, for your home and relationships then do what you need to do. Let Love be your motivating force. You can do this! It takes some gumption, grit and grace but you have it in you! Tell yourself “I’m gonna do it, that’s all there is to it!” Say “no” to your “I don’t feel like it” feelings and yes to a more productive, delightful life! The hard part is starting, but then it gets easier and even exciting once you start seeing results! Just start! Take a deep breath and Git-R-Done!

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Be the loving mama and wife you want to be.

Speak with encouraging words. Give lots of hugs. Say “Good Night” prayers over your dear ones.  Make time for fun and laughter. Be a good listener. Pray for your family. Forgive. Say you’re sorry when you’ve wronged someone. Treasure your relationships. Look for ways to be a blessing. Tell your hubby how much you admire and appreciate him. When you make a decision to commit your time to something, ask yourself if it will benefit or be a detriment to the well being of your home and family. Always choose what’s best for your family. Smile! Sing! Hum! Enjoy your home…enjoy your family…enjoy your role as mama hen! A happy mama brings sunshine into the home. Practice being the mama you want to be (even if you don’t “feel” like it!) and you will be! (Remember…”Behave your way to success.” ~Dr. Phil)

“To know that you are adored by your mom is a treasure that gives you strength for a lifetime.” Angela Thomas

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A Cozy Home = LOVE

Creating a cozy home sends a message of love to your family and friends. Make good smells come from the kitchen. Let fresh sheets on the beds give your little darlin’s sweet sleep. Stock your cupboards and pantry with food to nourish your family. Prepare for things in advance to relieve last minute stress. Hold hands while you say grace before a meal at the dinner table. Clear the clutter and make your house sparkle! Make tending your home fun! I’m all for changing the atmosphere to brighten the mood and lift your spirit! Put on a cute apron, some 1940’s music and light that yummy smelling candle, you’ll feel like a perky vintage housewife! That’s a good thing!

Gals, it’s up to us to set the thermostat in our home:

The setting on “Cold” = indifferent, emotionally unavailable

The setting on “Hot”= angry, critical

The setting on “Just Right”= cozy, cheerful, loving…a place your family wants to come home to!

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“But housekeeping is fun. It is one job where you enjoy the results right along as you work. You may work all day washing and ironing, but at night you have the delicious feeling of sunny clean sheets and airy pillows to lie on. If you clean, you sit down at nightfall with the house shining and faintly smelling of wax, all yours to enjoy right then and there. And if you cook—that creation you lift from the oven goes right to the table.”~Gladys Taber

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“Love is the thing that enables a woman to sing while she mops up the floor after her husband has walked across it in his barn boots.” Hoosier Farmer

The real things haven’t changed…It is still best to be honest and truthful: to make the most of what we have: to be happy with simple pleasures: and have courage when things go wrong.” ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

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Make sure to take care of YOU darlin’!

James 2:8  says “You do well when you complete the Royal Rule of the Scriptures “Love others as you love yourself.” So as we love our family by taking good care of them we must also take good care of ourselves.  Taking care of our bodies by eating healthy, drinking lots of water, exercising, and getting enough rest will give us the energy to do all the loving things we want to do for our family.  We also need to take care of our emotional and mental health. Planning a little outing once a week will give you something fun to look forward to. Maybe it’s just to have some hot chocolate with a friend, or go antiquing just to browse. Or maybe it makes your heart leap like mine to visit a book  or craft store. Sometimes just going for a walk to get fresh air enjoying the beauty of the outdoors will refresh us. Whatever it is that make joy-bells ring in your heart, plan for it! It’s good for you!

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Most importantly spend time with God who is Love. “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these other things will be added to you” Matthew 6:33  The more we fill our hearts up with God’s love the more it will spill over on those around us. The more we spend time with the Lord and read His Word we become more aware of His presence and that He is our strength to do all things. We are not alone in this!

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So Sugar Pie Darlin’s are you ready to get back on the saddle again and ride them happy homemaking trails with me this new year? I think I just heard y’all say YEE HAW!!  Well, I think you just might shout YEE HAW again when I tell ya about my GIVE-AWAY!  I wanted to kick-start the new year off with some of my favorite products.  I’m always on the look-out for things that make life a little easier and delight my heart.  So one of you adorable Sugar Pies is going to win 5 fabulous goodies! All you have to do is leave a comment and let me know what your favorite product or products are. It could be a cleaning product, beauty product, book, craft tool, household gadget, any kind of product that makes life a little easier, makes you feel pretty or just plain ol’ happy! It will be fun for all of us to read what your favorites are and we just might discover some fabulous new products to try!

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1. First, is this darling Cowgirl Boot Bracelet or Boot Bling as I like to say! It’s made by my sister Sherry from Glamarella Junk. What a cute way to gussy-up a pair of boots! Sherry makes so many gorgeous jewelry pieces…you can find  her on FACEBOOK where she’s always showing her newest creations.

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Sherry said one of her clients wears her Boot Bling on her UGG Boot. AdOrAbLe!

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2. 52 Things Kids Need From A Mom, by Angela Thomas: Wow!! What a wonderful book! I cannot stress what an important book this is to read for mama’s and grandmama’s!  The author, Angela Thomas, is mama to 4 kids and has a wealth of wisdom regarding how to make your children feel loved and secure…how to establish a positive, wholesome atmosphere, making memories that last a lifetime, correcting behavior and setting consequences. Even if you don’t win this give-away, this book is a must read! I love the tradition that she does for her kids on Valentines day…and the oh-so-sweet thing she does to bless her children before they go to bed.  Angela is down to earth and shares her ups and downs with her darling southern humor. This book is a heart warmer! You can find this book HERE.

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3. Philosophy’s Sugar Sprinkles Funnel Cake Body Wash: Oh my goodness!! I sure do love me some Philosophy products! The Sugar Sprinkles Funnel Cake is one of my favorites! It smells like fresh baked cupcakes and has glittery sparkles! This scent is a limited edition, I got it at Sephora, but you can find so many other yummy aromas here.

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4. THE MOST AMAZING JOYCE CHEN KITCHEN SCISSORS!!! I think I want to marry these. I mean it when I say these scissors are AMAZING! Have you ever tried cutting open a food package with regular kitchen scissors and they just crumples the plastic? Then you try to pry the package open or grab a knife and slice it open? These are so sharp they will pretty much cut through anything…chicken bones, lobster shells, plastic, thin metal, rubber, fabric etc. The comfy handles are designed for left or right hand use with powerful leverage for quick, clean, easy cutting. They are dishwasher safe too! Of course they are perfect for crafts but mine stay in the kitchen. You can find them HERE.

country-wisdom-book5. SIMPLE COUNTRY WISDOM: 501 OLD-FASHIONED IDEAS TO SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE: Is this not the cutest book cover you have ever seen in your entire life?!! LOVE!! I know I said I wanted to marry the scissors, but I want to marry this too! LOL!  This book is jam-packed with ideas for creating a Welcoming Home…Kitchen Wisdom…cleaning tips…baking tips…darling vintage decorating photographs… gardening….and re-purposing fun junk! If you love Country Living magazine you will LOVE this book!! You can find it HERE.
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The back cover is charming too!

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Well, Sugar Pie Darlin’s Happy Homemaking Trails to you! Remember, to enter the give-away, leave a comment about your favorite products and I will pick a winner January 20th!

God Bless your darlin’ hearts!!

Aunt Ruthie

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