Grocery List Tip & White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

After a somewhat eventful night, Caleb and I slept in an hour later than usual. So at eight we got up and I still had hopes of getting myself ready, him fed and ready, my grocery list completed and us out the door to the story well before snack time. We didn’t even come close to that. I just decided to give up on my ambitious grocery run for this morning and try again this afternoon or tomorrow. It’s funny the stress we can sometimes put on ourselves, and our kids for no real reason. Caleb sensed the rush to get out the door, so he was being an extra little turkey, scooting to spots far away when I grabbed the car seat, and creating messes he’s never made before with his new found standing ability (nothing is safe in my house anymore)!
In the moment I felt like I just conceded defeat, but actually I was a flexible mom who put the needs of my son ahead of my plans.
I knew there must be something good coming from the last couple hours.
For today’s Try it Out Tuesday, I want to show you a great resource for grocery lists. It’s called
The original project came about because a man started to look at the various grocery lists he found in the store while he was shopping and began noticing many hilarious things. For example, how not many people can spell mayonaise mayonnaise, everyone has their own short hand, and the interesting notes that wives wrote for their husbands about actually completing the shopping list this time!
Out of the humour, came a book, and now beyond the book you can download a copy of “The Ultimate Grocery List”. This is a list that I go through every month, and I hardly have to think of anything, I just go through it and see what on that list we need. They think of basically everything!
The first time I looked at the list I laughed at the section called “carcinogens” (which literally means a substance capable of causing cancer) and saw cigarettes down there. The writers definitely have a sense of humor.
Thankfully this list can be edited and personalized once you download it, so you can remove anything from it that you want to.
Click HERE to go download your free copy of the Ultimate Grocery List!
White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
After last week’s High Five For Friday, I promised my white chocolate cranberry cookies recipe (which really isn’t mine at all, but in my little circle of people I’m the only one who makes them).
You can visit the website called “Lovin’ From The Oven” that I took the recipe off of HERE, and check out more of her beautiful cookie photos (the one displayed here is hers as well).
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Combine the flour and baking soda; stir into the sugar mixture. Mix in the white chocolate chips and cranberries. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. For best results, take them out while they are still doughy. Allow cookies to cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

These are truly delicious! Try them out, and explore that cute cooking blog that this recipe is from!


A Trip To Value Village

Most people, especially women love to shop and love to wear new clothes! I am definitely no exception. I was challenged in our Marriage Class when they were talking about how one of the roles of women is to be an administrator, and that especially for those of us who currently live off one income, we need to be good stewards of the finances our husbands bring home. So thrift store shopping has definitely become our style.

This is no problem for me. I LOVE thrift store shopping, It feels like a treasure hunt. I get a huge thrill off finding something I love, is in perfect condition and paying hardly anything for it.

So yesterday afternoon when the weather didn’t turn quite as warm and sunny as we had expected, we took a little trip down to our local Value Village.

In the picture above, I tried to create a mannequin from my tall lamp! I included this picture more for a laugh, since it didn’t really work! The shirt and the belt were bought at Value Village and the cardigan, which is older (as you can see by the safety-pin holding the one seam together) is from Superstore originally.

I found some new white skinny jeans, and already spilt some coffee on them! Don’t worry, I’ve gotten coffee our of whites clothes MANY times!

So in the above picture I bought the white jeans, brown ruffle cardigan, the pattern shirt and that little belt.

In the below picture was a pink pattern shirt I also bought.

Everything was in brand new condition. Here’s what each would approximately be brand new (some I looked up, some I knew from previous shopping experience. The Aldo belt is still online).

Suzy Shier Pink Dress Shirt – $30

White Skinny Jeans – $40

Evidence Pattern Shirt – $25

Aldo Belt – $20

Red Cardigan – $32

Total: $147

I paid at Value Village: $38

I just love a good deal! That’s a savings of $109!

Ok now here is a cute story of while we were there. Andrew took Caleb and showed him a rack of clothes to see which thing he would be drawn to. He pulled out these green, yellow and white basketball shorts. Andrew then picked out some other things and held them up to him and he chose the shorts again! Here he is in Value Village gripping those shorts.

So we bought them for him and brought them home and he loved playing with them. Then today, after I washed them, he tried them on. Was he ever cute!

The only person who didn’t find anything was my husband, because he spent all his time watching me try on clothes or helping Caleb. Next trip will be all about him!

Share your best deal stories below! I’m thankful for many ways to stretch our finances and free more of our money up for the things that matter, like creating family memories and helping others!



It’s The Weekend, Where Are You Going To Church?

It’s the weekend, where are you going to church?

Last night we went to our church’s Saturday night service. My husband and I used to go to it every week. It’s kind of the younger, more kicked up service. However, I don’t like saying that because our Sunday worship is absolutely phenomenal and I wouldn’t want to imply that it isn’t!

Anyway, we were back with our babe last night (thanks to an unexpected late afternoon nap) and it was so wonderful to be in the presence of the Lord. We missed Sunday service at church last week, and let me tell you, we missed coming together with our church family to worship. I don’t think we place an unhealthy emphasis on corporate worship, and as a family we value worship and prayer in our home daily, but there is power in coming together and declaring the greatness of God.

Last night as I was at the front of the church, one of the pastors came over and completely read my mail. He started praying over me, and the Lord showed him basically every single thought that was on my mind this week concerning my purpose. The content of the word that was spoken to me isn’t what is important. The take away point is that the Lord is with you all the time, and He wants to speak to you. He can speak directly to you, but my faith was again increased as I was reminded of the reality of the Lord’s power.

So when are you going to church? Did you go last night? Are you going this morning? I hope you take the time out of your weekends to go to church .Do not underestimate the importance of meeting together, the power of corporate worship, and the impact of hearing someone speak to the congregation who has spent time seeking God for what he should talk about.

Let’s just say, if you don’t go to church, you are missing out!

If you don’t have a church family where you live, email and I would be happy to help you look into some great churches in your area!

I know some of you have been hurt deeply by churches, and this won’t be a post where I go deeper into why that happens, but please don’t confuse that with being hurt by God. Churches are made up of people, and people are human. They make mistakes. Even the ones that look like they have it all together usually have some deep seeded things that the Lord is working on.

God’s love is perfect, and as his child, if you ask him for bread he won’t give you a stone. My prayer for you is that you can allow the love of Jesus flood your heart and give church another try. Pray for a good, bible believing church with leadership whose focus is on preaching the Word, welcoming the presence of God and empowering the church. If you ask for a good thing, let’s believe the Lord will point you in the right direction!


May you have wonderful encounters with God’s presence as you worship with your local church family!




High Five For Friday

Another week has finished, so another High Five For Friday is upon us! I’m linking up with Lauren at From My Grey Desk Blog.

1. It’s spring! It’s beautiful and warm. The sun is shining as little birdies are chirping. I love it. We went for a walk around the lake in our city and Caleb took his first ride in a swing. He laughed at it. It was so cute. I will post the video on My Red & Purple Life Facebook page. I am also looking for ways to make my house feel like it’s spring and truly welcome in the warmer days.  Send your suggestions my way! Here is the park day as told by my husband’s Instagram.

2. We took a drive down to Kipling and visited my mom for the day. She had homemade buns and cinnamon buns waiting for us. It was definitely worth the drive! 

3. I have been loving this FC5 Arbonne cooling foot cream. I received it as a gift at Caleb’s shower, and then didn’t think of it again. Then I was cleaning out some of our baskets full of products and make up and I found. Wow, it feels so good on your feet. My feet actually feel energized after using it!

4. We were sitting in the living room and I looked over at Caleb and he was standing up all by himself! It shocked me at first, but then I managed to grab the camera before he tumbled down. He’s quickly gone from standing for a few moments, to starting to walk along furniture. Life has changed, again, in a matter of 48 hours!

5. I made White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies this week. Normally I would consider this a winter cookie, but they seemed to work for spring too! Our student leadership group ate them up quickly! Stay tuned for a recipe on Tuesday!

Have a fabulous Friday and a wonderful weekend!

Worse Than A Speeding Ticket

Yesterday my son and I took a drive to my hometown to visit my mom for the day. That highway always brings back so many memories for me. It’s funny how something as simple as a road can be a landmark of emotion. It reminds me of my first trips with friends who got their licence, my first drive after I got my licence, fun trips to the city with my family, not so fun trips to the city for dreaded doctors appointments, moving all my stuff up to the city, and now it’s the road that takes my little family to see my hometown and my mom and one sister that are left back there.

On my drive yesterday, as my little guy was asleep in the back seat I was reminded of a specific trip I had taken to the city with one of my sisters. I had recently got my licence, and was really just discovering a whole new world of great Christian music. After a day of shopping and an extended visit at Blessings Christian Bookstore, we were on our way back with the new sounds of “How Great Is Our God” coming through the speakers, and we sang at the top of our lungs. Life was good, God was good.

As I was coming around a bend, close to town, I saw the lights of a police car go off and quickly pull over. I glanced down at my speedometer, sure that he must not be stopping me.

Whoa. I was going really fast. (Ok I know most of you are thinking I probably wasn’t that innocent, but this is my version of the story!)

I pulled over, and much to my terror, out got the police officer who was also our neighbor and a wonderful family friend. My heart sank down to the pit of my stomach. embarrassment and shame crept over me like a terrible rash. Why couldn’t it have been anyone but him?

Not only was he a great family friend, but he was also the officer I was partnered with to go into schools and classrooms to talk to kids about D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) and encourage them to be leaders and live lives different from the social norm.

As I rolled down my window, I tried to stop the hot tears from spilling over my cheeks. He told me was really surprised to see me, and asked for my licence and registration. Then he said four words I have never forgotten.

“I am really disappointed.”

Those words dug through my heart like a knife. I was so embarrassed, I thought I would never be allowed to help kids avoid drugs and alcohol, or encourage them to live positive lives because I had now done one of the worst things an upstanding citizen could do. I sped.

Okay, so that was an extreme thought pattern, but I did feel an huge amount of embarrassment. The officer let me go with a warning and a disappointment speech, since it was my first offence. All I could think of is that I would have done anything for it to be some unknown officer who would have written me a ticket. Anything, but disappointing this officer.

Looking back, that was the best person who could have possibly stopped me in that moment. I am now extremely aware of how fast I am going, and try really hard to not speed (I don’t want to say I’ve never sped again, just in case that isn’t true, but I don’t think I have!)

Maybe another sixteen year old would have brushed it off as nothing, but there is something to be said for giving a teen responsibility and letting them know that they are a leader, and their actions affect others.

I avoided my neighbor for a long time after. I couldn’t face him. All I could think is that I had let him down.

We eventually talked and laughed about it, and I assured him that I had learned my lesson.

Sometimes we make a mistake and we get found out. Shame, humility and embarrassment can overcome us in an almost paralyzing way. In a fight to never feel those emotions again, we run from either the leadership position that caused us extra exposure and responsibility, or we hide from the people and accountability that we need the most.

For the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity (Proverbs 24:16)

Though we make mistakes, we cannot be crippled by them. Allowing correction to come and dealing with the embarrassment of those tough conversations only makes you a deeper person of character and conviction.

Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom (Proverbs 11:2)

Although I definitely cowered away from seeing that police officer for a while, I know the Lord allowed me to experience wisdom from that situation. In the moment I thought that was worse than a speeding ticket, but now I know that was a way better lesson than a speeding ticket!

My sister still hasn’t let me forget that, and neither will the highway, but it serves as a reminder to me of the call to holy living that we have as leaders. Whether you are leading teens, a country, a small group or a family, even speeding is setting an example. What example do you want to set?

Covered in Cream

No I didn’t have an accident with my beloved container of 18% cream and lose its precious content to my floor, or my body. Thankfully. Nor is this about my favourite face care or body products that are always cream based for me.

There is something so comforting about cream. When you think of cream in your coffee it just adds richness and delight. Whipped cream on top of dessert or waffles conjures up all kinds of pleasant memories or cozy evenings or happy family breakfasts.

Cream in the decorating sense is something I am completely in to right now. The only problem with cream: it doesn’t hide dirt. That automatically is a no-no for me as we’re in the baby stage. But I can dream right?

Here is my “cream dream” blog post. I would never do all of these things in the same house, because it would just be over load!

In reality…

This is a project that we actually are working on, because we actually could have cream in this sense. We are doing a little transformation with our kitchen. We’re going to be painting our cupboards cream and our trims a latte colour, our doors espresso and our walls are already light chocolate (I kind of want to drink up our colours)!

Here is some of the inspiration we’ve been looking at with our kitchen project.

Read about this kitchen here.

Read about this kitchen here.

So by realistic I basically mean we’d have cream cupboards! These kitchens are a lot nicer and bigger than ours, and our walls will still be dark.

Semi realistic…

Cream clothes! These are just a couple little things, that probably would get wrecked, but they’d be nice to keep around for date nights, outings, etc.

Not realistic…

A cream living room! This has disaster written all over it, but it’s oh so calm and refreshing.

You can read about this living room here.

You can read about this living room here.

I absolutely love the flowers on the coffee table in the last living room. So beautiful.

I guess the most realistic cream thing for me to having in my home are flowers, which I have a picture of some gorgeous cream roses. You can see the photographer’s site here.

This is my little cream obsession. By the time I can actually have a lot of cream in my home, I’ll probably be over it!

What is one colour or shade scheme that you could crazy over?

Little Moments

At our marriage class last week we were talking about receiving a faith vision for your spouse. This lesson was the most impacting to me so far. I know that my husband, my son and our whole family have a call from the Lord, but sometimes I’m not sure where to start praying about it! I can get overwhelmed with my own agenda and find it hard to hear what God wants to say to me about them.

Over this period of Caleb crying more, not sleeping very well, and me walking around with him, I’ve blogged about how I’ve asked for patience and tried to deal with the separation anxiety, and I believe the Lord is granting that to me (although if my husband reads this he’ll be the first to tell you I didn’t have patience last night). Altogether things have been improving.

During these little moments of hugging Caleb, or holding him close to my heart I have felt the Lord say the best way for me to have patience with this, is to use that time when I’m comforting and consoling to allow the Lord to speak his vision for Caleb’s life into me, so that I can pray about it. What better chance then when we are so physically close to one another.

The chances that I do have now (preferably not at 3 am, but I’ll try to be thankful for the opportunities), I hold him in to me so I feel his tiny heart beating against mine, allow his precious fingers to tap on my neck, and feel our cheeks squish together. The words I have felt the Lord speak over Caleb in these moments have been so powerful. I have personal verses that were whispered to me for him, like Judges 6:12 where the angel of the Lord says to Gideon;
“the Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” 

I believe it will be a powerful thing for him to have his mom and dad pray into the vision that God gave us that Caleb will be an anointed, mighty warrior for the Lord. Right now I hold Caleb in my arms and I see a vulnerable child, but God sees a mighty man of valor.

That’s just an example of some of the things the Lord has spoken to me during those times. It is an invaluable time, that I am starting to learn I wouldn’t trade, once he’s settled down!

My prayer for you today is that you would seize the opportunities to grab a piece of God’s heart and vision for your child! It helps the unbearable moments to become precious little moments.