One of my favorite things in life is a morning cup of coffee.  In fact it has really become a necessity for me.  I just don’t feel right before I have had my coffee.  So, when Coffee-mate offered to let me try out their newest flavors of Coffee-mate, I knew I would be a happy camper because I do like a little cream in my coffee.   But, when I found out what the new flavors were: Abuelita® Mexican Chocolate and La Lechera® Dulce de Leche, I knew I didn’t just want to have them in my coffee, I wanted to use them to play in the kitchen and make an awesome new dessert.

hope for homemakers text

Last week, we talked about the first step in Saying Goodbye to Survival Mode: prayerfully setting and focusing on our personal priorities.  And this week I have begun to work on the next steps Crystal lays out in chapter one: clearing the schedule clutter, cutting out time and energy suckers, and counting the costs.  And let me tell you, this has been a challenge for me.  Yes, I have clearly defined priorities now, but I need the discipline to break some habits so I can focus on what truly matters.

I was reading in Proverbs last week and came across this verse:

“He who tills this land will have plenty of food, But he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty.” – Proverbs 28:19

And then the very next verse says, ” A faithful man will abound with blessings”  – Proverbs 28:20a

Traveling with Toddlers - Top Southern California Destinations

We are nearing the end of the summer.  It doesn’t officially end until later, but Labor Day is usually considered, “Summer Over.”  And I am itching to sweep into Fall as much as the next girl, but I have a little more I want to do before the summer is over.  I have been trying to convince my husband for weeks to take a day trip with the family.  And as I was doing some research I discovered that the largest part of Americans wait to take their “summer” road trips until September!  Who knew!  So since, you will be, likely, be heading out on the road this month, I thought it would be fun to give you our top destinations in Southern California for families with toddlers.

I gathered up the advice and suggestions of a number of my mama friends to put together this list.  So you will see what other moms think of various places in Southern California alongside my favorite spots to take our girls.   Feel free to leave a comment with your favorites, too!

Ready to jump in the car with your toddler?  Grab a sippy cup and a spill-proof snack bowl and let’s go!

hope for homemakers text

If we want to get organized and feel more free to love and laugh in our lives, the first thing we need to is set priorities.  They are the anchor, the organizing principle that should set our homes in order.  When we stray from the anchor of our priorities we will feel the tug.  We will not be as happy because we are not doing the things that are truly and most important to us.  There will be a pull we feel, trying to bring us back on track.  And if we ignore the tug, we can sometimes suffer the physical consequences of our wandering.

In the first chapter of Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, Crystal suggests that the first step to moving away from simply surviving is to “Stop Trying to Do it All.”  We get run down when we try to say yes to everything that comes our way, every opportunity, every request, and (even) every standard.  “Yes” is what gets us into trouble.  She encourages us to begin to create margin in our lives by beginning to say, “No” to the less-than important things in our lives.


I can’t believe it has already been a month since the last 7 Year Itch update!  This summer is almost over for us and it was so fast!  I am excited because it is finally getting cool enough to go outside in the evening without feeling like going immediately back indoors.  Sadly we haven’t made much progress on our remodeling projects since last month.  {frown face}  But patience is being worked as we slowly get the projects done.  I got lots of inspiration from last month’s linked-up projects and I am so excited to share with you what we did get done.