Saturday, January 9, 2016

When we need strength to wait.

I would not describe myself as "patient". But, no one can really tell as I am effective as "quietly impatient". I can put on a "good face" for those around me. Cool. Calm. Collected.
But inside, that' a different story. I am a wreck.
My SIL in the photo I took for their pregnancy
announcement. Her and my brother are 
waiting for the most precious gift worth
waiting on.

I have gotten to learn a LOT about being patient the older I am. I think God has gotten a good chuckle on how I have had to learn patience over the years. I am pretty sure that every time I'm shopping I pick the slowest, longest check out line. I can be next, and there will be a manager's override, price check, multiple forms of payment, or technical issues. It is pretty hilarious after the 5th time it happens. It's so much easier to take a deep breath and just wait. The pressure and stress I can cause myself emotionally is much worse. So it's pretty ironic that at church one of our monthly lessons recently for our preschoolers  was on "Patience".  I don't know any child that doesn't need that lesson, and apparently I still need it too.

"Wait for the Lord.  Be strong and don't lose hope. Wait for the Lord."  Psalm 27:14.

Hmmm. I'm pretty sure there is a reason that God wanted us to hear "wait" twice in this verse.

"Wait" - as an act of obedience. Waiting on God to do what He's going to do rather than letting our fear and anxiety put the focus on us instead of Him. Our own needs to have control over our lives or arrogance that we might know better than God can be driven by impatience. I can think of many times I've been so nervous about something that my anxiety literally made me sick. Feeling sick from anxiety is not from God. Waiting, and then submitting to the Lord to guide me through is far smarter than the stress I create all by myself.

"Wait" - to grow our faith. How many people from Bible Scripture can you think of that were required to wait a really long time before they received the one thing their heart desired? I first think of Abraham and Sarah. Abraham was of "old age" when Sarah conceived Isaac. (Genesis 21:2) God was faithful in what he promised them both and to the time he promised. Sarah laughed when God spoke the promise to her. (She waited so long already, and a pregnancy at her age was unimagineable!) I think God seeks to strengthen our faith and our relationship with Him when we are made to wait.

 Isaiah 40:31 says "But they who wait 
for the Lord shall renew their strength; 
they shall mount up 
with wings like eagles; they shall run 
and not be weary; they shall walk 
and not faint" (ESV)

"Wait" - because waiting means there are more good things to come.
If it's not good. It's not over.  

It doesn't take a preschool lesson to understand that God wants good things for us. If we are willing to use the strength only He can provide, and hold on to the hope that following Him provides, there is no need to fear. Our God is with us. He is for us and not against us. That makes waiting feel like a pretty good deal to wait for.

Busy Day Meal Time Savers

Top 10 Meal Time Savers:
If you can’t already tell, we’re in the business of making you prepared and saving you time and money. As the nights are longer and days are shorter, check out the below list of items that you can “grab and go” throughout all of you store’s departments:
·         Frozen Pie Crust – the crust is usually one of the hardest parts of pie assembly. Grab a pre-made crust so you can focus on the delicious filling and baking!
·         Mirepoix & Pre-Cut Squash and Garlic – Mirepoix is the perfect “grab and go” item for your Crock Pot. And pre-cut squash and garlic will save you precious minuets of prep time in the kitchen.
·         Frozen Rice in a Bag – makes rice cooking easy and worry-free, especially if you don’t have a rice cooker
·         Frozen Rolls – fresh from the bakery department and frozen, so you can break these out and throw them in the oven when the dinner menu calls for rolls!
·         Stuffed Cornish Game Hens – not only is all the work already done for you, but these hens are a wonderful alternative to turkey or ham for your holiday table
·         Pre-made Appetizers – a wide variety of appetizers that are already plated and ready to serve can make attending a party while bringing something to share both easy and delicious
·         Cocktail Shrimp Platters – again, ready to serve and be enjoyed!
·         Instacart – depending on where you live, Instacart’s delivery on demand is the ultimate in stress-free shopping during the holidays
!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Crock Pot cooking on the cheap *Whole Foods Market post

Oh how I love my slow cooker for cold weather meals for my family. Pinterest is my go-to place for recipes. Whole Foods for my bulk food purchases of quinoa, popcorn, dry beans and rice. With all the prep and mess of Thanksgiving, I think I'll take a break from cooking and use the slow cooker this week! Here's some ideas to save money using your slow cooker (or Crock Pot) from Whole Foods Market! *sponsored post

Check out WholeFoodsMarket.com for some great Thanksgiving meal ideas, including how to brine your bird, carve your turkey, breakfast ideas for morning guests, and showstopping dishes to impress. 

source

Value Meats and the Return of the Crock Pot:
Every day, Whole Foods Market offers exceptional values, and during the holidays, who doesn’t want a quality cut of meat at an exceptional price? With the weather turning a bit cooler and the nights lasting longer, now is the perfect time for braising and roasting, and the perfect opportunity to return to our old friend, the Crock Pot! Below are 5 tips for Slow Cooking Success:

·         Go budget-friendly – ingredients like beans, whole grains, and spices available in Whole Foods Market’s bulk section, let you buy the exact amount you need and experiment with many products at once for a great price
·         Trim the fat – too much fat left on meat will give you an unpleasant texture, and having to skim lots of fat at the end of cooking is not enjoyable
·         Think ahead – keep “kits” of chopped fresh veggies and meats in the freezer. That way, you’ll be ready to toss these ingredients in the Crock Pot in the morning in no time at all, with dinner ready by the time you come home!
·         Stay on Trend – save money while staying trending! Cheaper cuts of meat are all the rage at the top rated restaurants right now, and a crock-pot is the perfect tool to master these cuts at home. Thighs, beef chuck, brisket, shin, shoulders, oxtail; when cooked nice and slow these can be the most delicious bites.
·         Sear First – don’t forget to sear your meat first. Browned meat taste better, and the slow cooker does not get hot enough to get that done. For optimal taste, sear first then slow cook to lock in the moisture. (Except when it comes to chicken)

Recipes:
·         Slow Cooker Classic Pot Roast
·         Slow Cooker Pork and Cider Stew
·         Braised Beef Ribs

Monday, November 23, 2015

Fire Safety for Kids

There's always time to discuss fire safety with your kids. With the holidays come increased risk of accidents related to burns and fires. Here is a great info graphic brought to you by contractor quotes.us. You can find more tips and activities at their site here
fire safety for kids infographic.png

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Black Friday Shopping tips

Black Friday Shopping has started. Yes. Now. As soon as the ads have been leaked, it has started. If you are like me, and have little time and little money, this is kind of a big deal. In the past, my family has gotten about 80% of our Christmas shopping done on Black Friday. The rules and methods are changing now with some stores opening on Thanksgiving day. The addition of Cyber Monday, and sales starting even weeks before Black Friday, has made this a whole new game.

Here's a few tips based on tips I found over at LOZO.com. I'll break them down for you and add my "real life" input. (If you want their whole story, you can find it here.)

1. Start shopping online first. BF traditionally was about what was available in-store, but now you can find basically the same deals online. Starting early, like two weeks before Black Friday, will give you a good gauge on what's a deal and what's a usual discount. You need to see how low will they go pre-sales and then check them on Black Friday fliers and after. If that's too much documenting - check your prices online before you go to the store. (I'm known to actually search for the item when I'm there.) About everyone will price match to have your business. If they don't - have it ready to "add to cart" and check out online. Make sure your price takes into consideration shipping, as if it isn't free shipping that might be a reason a store would not match, but I have rarely, lately had anyone even ask anymore. It's kind of a given that if you find if for less somewhere else - they'll match it. I have gotten zero attitude about price matching at Target and Best Buy. These guys want your business. If you can bring a flyer or printed copy of the item and price - even better. Amazon, our go-to for almost everything we buy, is usually already at the lowest prices that Best Buy and Wal-Mart have so make sure you do your legwork and try to find other competitors that may have it listed less.
Amazon is still my top choice for online shopping, especially for gifts.

2. Cash back sites will multiply your savings. I have done this in the past, and I am terrible at remembering, but it's a no-brainer. Sites like Ebates all have cash back rebates if you purchase through their sites. Plus it's a great place to find coupon codes and deals on the internet. It's free money to click the links on their page that take you to the sites you want to buy from. Sign up for an account now at Ebates and you'll get a $5 credit to your account after your first $25 purchase. Click here.

3. Make a list. You have to know what you need to buy or the impulse purchases will run over your budget as some of the deals out there are hard to pass up. Just a word from an experienced Black Friday Pro - this is the best time of year to find deals on outerwear: coats, hats, gloves, scarves; electronics. (LED T.V.'s, game consoles, games) Pajamas for the whole family. Toys. jewelry, and
clothing, and small appliances. I wait until Black Friday to buy my kids their winter coats if it is at all possible as until winter clearance rolls around it is the lowest they'll go.

4. Utilize your apps. Your smartphones have access to many apps that can help you find deals quickly. From scanning barcodes, and pictures, to having circulars listed all in one app, you can use your smartphone to shop smarter. If you have an Android, even Google goggles is a great resource for deals. If you have the Amazon shopping app there is a barcode option you can use to scan anything you may be looking at to check the price comparison, and Redlaser will scan a barcode and search other online sites for you for comparison. Check out a list of some good apps to have on iphone at appolicious.com

Here's a few Black Friday Ads some out today to get you started.
Kohl's
Target
Amazon

*This post may contain affiliate links.

Target Black Friday and FREE Shipping 2015

*contains affiliate links* WCM's may receive a small commission for each purchase made through this site. Thanks for your support.



Target Black Friday deals are out. Start making your lists, and see the one-day deals coming up at this link. 

And there's no shame in online shopping with free shipping for all orders now until December 25th, 2015!! That beats standing in lines and dealing with crowds hands down. 

Save an extra 5% off holiday decor, 20% off Kitchenaid, cutlery, and tools and gadgets through 11/14, and it's Holiday Home Prep week all week with 20% off Home decor, furnishings and accessories. Save an extra $10 when you spend $50 or an extra $25 when you spend $100 with promo code HOME.

*affiliate links WCM may receive a small commission for each purchase made through this site. Thanks for your support.





Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Versona Store Now in New Market

*The following post is a paid review. I was compensated with a gift card. All opinions are mine.
 

Fall is definitely here, and I'm shifting through my closet to pull out the scarves and sweaters. (but keeping the shorts handy for afternoon - it's a Kansas thing.)
Sadly, my fall clothing selection is quite the disappointment, and could use some updating.

Versona asked for Wichita City Moms to review the new location at New Market Square on the North West side of Wichita off of Maize Road. This is a little bit of a trip for me in Andover, but I was all for it, because I love accessories, shoes, and bags, and Versona is known for all of those.

You may have seen my previous post on the Versona that opened in Bradley Fair. This was the first Versona to land in Wichita, the New Market location is the second. (Read about it here.)

If you have never been in a Versona store before, don't be intimidated by the upscale, department store feel. I'm talking sparkling chandeliers and Marble floors. It is pretty. This west side location is no exception. It just glows from the front windows! The good news is that there are no chandelier, marble floor prices: just great quality, selection, helpful service and prices you will love! My favorite place hands down for sunglasses, and any time I need just the right piece(s) of jewelry for an outfit or occasion this is my go-to place. (I am still carrying the wallet I bought on my first visit! See it on my previous post.)

The obsessive-compulsive, neurotic freak that I am loves that the store is color grouped, meaning all items in the same color family are in sections together. The biggest decision is do I start with black? Or white?

They also have lots of cute home accessory items and accessories for your accessories. (Something for anyone on your Christmas shopping list.) Head over to the markdowns for even better deals, and see the great variety of scarves I think I've seen anywhere! From lightweight to wool!

I picked up a light weight aztec styled fringe sweater and plaid flannel infinity scarf. (Got the sweater in the mark down section for $19.99 cause that's how I roll). I went over my $25 budget by about $9 with tax. Thanks Versona for the opportunity to review the new location, and if you have a chance to check it out they are located in New Market Square off of 21st street West and Maize Road. The store is next to the Michael's just South of Target. See a mall directory here.

Can't make it to either store location? They now have online shopping available at their website. See that here, shopversona.com


*I received compensation for my review, all opinions and shopping selections are my own.