Embracing Everything Emma

Enjoying Life One Baby Step at a Time…

Fashion Friday: Shopping for Daily Deals November 30, 2012

friday

It’s Fashion Friday! I am so excited to start this regular post on Fridays and hope you all are excited, too. I always want to incorporate fashion into this blog since it’s a big part of what inspired me to start it and this is a great way to make sure it happens each week. I’m sure you’re wondering what kind of fashion topics I will cover. Good question! The options are truly unlimited and I will cover any and all. So let’s get started:

I like to shop. It’s true. Sometimes it comes close to being an addiction. I try to go out once a week and shop for deals, mainly for Emma. It doesn’t mean I always find something but it does mean that I’m always looking. Every once in awhile I stumble upon something amazing and almost can’t believe it myself. It’s a sure fact that if I didn’t look as often as I did that Emma wouldn’t have as much as she has. There’s no way we could afford retail prices for all the clothes and accessories she has. Here are some tips I have for finding great deals on clothes and getting the most bang for your buck:

*Be fashionable. By saying this, I mean don’t just focus on typical baby fashion. By no means am I saying it’s wrong, but if you limit yourself to a onsie and cotton pants you will be sorely disappointed in the deals you find. There are only so many of these in the world. Be willing to broaden your horizons and picture what’s in, not only for kids but for adults, too. Chances are if it’s popular with adults, it will be with kids also.

*Be realistic. When you go to dress your toddler, please do not expect them to want or even be able to walk around in 2-3 inch heels. Don’t expect them to stay in something covered in sparkles that rub their waist or stomach every time they move. Being fashionable and uncomfortable do not have to go together, especially not for a small child. Don’t impose unrealistic expectations on your little one when it comes to what they wear.

*Be thrifty. There is no need to spend an arm and a leg to make your child a fashionista. No one ever said you had to break the bank to make it happen. The best tip is to buy stuff a little at a time until you have multiple outfits to choose from in the closet. You can mix and match based on what you have. Mixing and matching is my favorite! Take time to shop the clearance racks, local thrift stores, and yard sales. Also, keep in mind that your friends with kids may be more than willing to let you borrow their child’s clothes, purchase them, or even have them. It never hurts to ask what they’re doing with their child’s clothes once they’re done with them, whether permanently or for a season.

*Be patient. Please do not go out and think if you’re looking for a specific outfit and only have 10 minutes and $7.50 that you’re going to find it. You could but chances are that you will not. For Easter last year, we had a dress for Emma that we bought at Wee Cycle It and we needed a cover up for it. We hadn’t found anything that we loved quite enough to buy so we kept looking. Sure, it would have been easy to go out and buy something new for $10-$15 but I wasn’t going to take that bait. I wanted to find what I wanted and find it for a deal. We finally found the sweater we wanted in the bottom of a Goodwill bin for $1. I was tickled pink. Emma’s Easter outfit this past year, shoes and all, ran under $5. Score!

photo-42

Here is my most recent favorite outfit for Emma. I’m in love! I found the ALL of it on clearance or on sale and didn’t pay full price for one article of clothing or accessory. Many of this outfit is winter based and but can be used some in the spring and summer months. It’s also not an outfit sold together meaning it’s ready to mix and match. Here is the breakdown:

Shirt: Old Navy clearance for $3.

Shorts: Old Navy  clearance for $4 (those are corduroy baby!)

Shoes: Target clearance for $4

Tights: Old Navy clearance for $3 (those are heavy tights- not thin ones)

Hair bow: Over the Rainbowtique sale for $2.80

Total cost: 16.80 spent/$32.70 saved

At 9 a.m. (EST) TODAY, I will begin having a poll on my facebook page and I want YOU to take part in it! I want to find out what interests you and what fashion topic you want to hear me talk about next Friday. Then poll will be open all day so don’t miss out!

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A Linkous Christmas Tradition- Advent November 29, 2012

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year! I love spending the time with family, being reminded daily the birth story of my Savior, giving to others, and in all honesty; I do enjoy getting gifts, too. I’d lie if I said I didn’t. Even though I enjoy receiving these gifts and am thankful for each one of them, I never feel quite as good about receiving as I do about giving. I’m never quite as fulfilled by “stuff” as I am the quality time and memories I share with my loved ones during the holidays. For this reason, JR and I decided to start the tradition of advent last Christmas. We were so excited! Last year, Emma knowingly participated in less than .01% of what we did but it didn’t matter. Memories were made and we had fun doing it! This year we are really excited because Emma is starting to get the hang of it. Emma will begin to understand some of the things we do, although not all of them, and we can’t wait to sit back and enjoy the ride alongside her!

The Linkous Advent Calendar

Last year, I looked for an advent calendar and had trouble finding one I really liked and/or paying the prices they asked. I just couldn’t imagine paying that price for something, quite frankly, I could do myself. For FREE. I set out to make my own advent calendar and am proud of it, if I do say so myself. Here is how I went about making it with supplies I already had without spending a dime:

  • I love to scrapbook so it wasn’t too hard for me to come up with paper I already had. I used a 12×12 sheet of sparkly green paper. It just screamed Christmas.
  • For our rehearsal dinner, we sent out handmade invitations. I had to buy brown paper for this and had quite a bit leftover. I finally put it to good use when making each individual advent box. I measured a trial one to the length I wanted it to be and once I found that size, I used my cutter to duplicate it- 24 additional times. After I finished cutting them, I used a border trimmer to make a more defined cut. I used this same paper to create borders at the top and bottom of our calendar.
  • I took each piece of brown paper and used hot glue around the edges. I put it all over the bottom and ¾ the way up the sides with none on the middle, the top of the sides or the top at all. This is where my slips of paper for advent would go each year and I wanted to create a pocket for it. For the border pieces, I hot glued the entire piece of paper before placing it. I measured each piece before placing it to make sure there was even distances between each one.
  • The next thing I did was use sticker numbers to label the 25 days of advent. I didn’t have enough of one color so I alternated each day between silver, red, and orange. I really like the way the stickers turned out. I also had leftover holiday letter stickers that I used to make the “advent” sign at the top and the “Merry Christmas” one at the bottom. I love leftovers! It didn’t hurt using some tiny glitter stickers around that, too.
  • I had other remaining stickers that were holiday based from my many years of scrapbooking. I put a different sticker on each day, ranging from Christmas trees, to snowmen, to winter attire. and more. I had some extra space on the side at the bottom so I added two more brown pieces of paper with some large Christmas stickers. Voila!
  • The final thing I did was hole punch the top middle and run a piece of red ribbon through it to hang. At this time, it’s hanging on the outside of our bathroom door in the kitchen. This way we see it every day and are reminded to do our advent. Last year I put it on the fridge and didn’t like it nearly as much.

Linkous Advent Example

Along with our calendar, we had to come up with HOW we were going to do advent. Several people have gifts every day but we are pretty certain that Emma will receive more gifts on Christmas day than she probably should between our families and us. For this reason, we decided that we would develop an advent calendar based on doing and not so much on receiving. Also, for each day we will do a devotional that we have printed off. We keep this in our den near our advent calendar so we can get to it easily each evening. Here are some ideas of what each day holds in our advent calendar:

  • Meet and take pictures with Santa
  • Cook a special Christmas breakfast
  • Bake homemade cookies for the neighbors
  • Put together a food box for the food pantry at church
  • Visit Speedway in Lights
  • Sing Christmas carols
  • Mail out our family Christmas letters and pictures
  • Decorate the Christmas tree
  • Hang a ribbon for our Christmas cards
  • Read the story of Jesus’ birth

Friday can’t come soon enough! It’s not too late for you either. You don’t have to have a calendar to do advent. You can just put a list on the fridge. Remember- it’s more about DOING and not so much about anything else. Take the holidays to enjoy the time with your family and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas with those you love.

What is your favorite advent tradition?

 

If You’re Not First, You’re Last November 28, 2012

I remember a lot of things about growing up in the Puckett house. One of the biggest things I remember is that I was first child. Along with that comes a lot of personality that shaped me into who I am today. I totally believe that a lot of our attitude is shaped by our birth order and some confusion really comes when you have a middle child parent trying to raise a first-born child. It’s two different people trying to work together but not understanding one another or the reason for why they are the way they are. I think I will understand Emma better than JR in this regard. This isn’t to say he won’t do as good, I’m not saying that at all. I feel, however, I will have a lot of “aha” moments in understanding why Emma is the way she is. I was a first-born and JR was the baby. We were not only raised different but our birth order was different, too. You can tell so much by how we are based on that alone. Today I wanted to help you understand your first-born child. It’s a helpful post because the reality is, if you have kids, you will definitely have a first-born. It’s non-negotiable. Here are some tips on understanding the first-born child:

The Perfectionist Child

We are perfectionists. This one comes as no surprise and I’m pretty sure anyone who knows me well will laugh at this one and say “of course”. It is common for the first-born to have a deep desire for perfection that goes far beyond just wanting things done well. Your first-born will more than likely be extremely hard on themselves without you having to be. They will strive not only for your approval but with a desire to complete any and all tasks 110% and nothing less.

We are people pleasers. Not only will your child be a perfectionist, he or she will also want to please you. To a first-born, they are extremely proud of a job well done and want their parent(s) to be proud, also.  For example, if you praise your child for their hard work on a certain task and then go and change it or do something as small as wiping a missed spot on the newly windexed table, that’s enough to make your child question his or her self worth. To a first-born, they want to do things not 110% but also with your approval and actions are worth just as much as, if not more than, words.

We are natural leaders. Over half of the United States Presidents have been first-born children. This should come as no surprise with this attitude that embraces a first-born child. Most first-borns will be take-charge kind of people who want to lead and lead well. Keep in mind that through this leading, a first-born will struggle with expecting perfection from their followers as well as wanting to please them. It can cause a lot of confusion for a first-born child. The key is teaching your child to balance and realize all the different personalities, not just their own.

We are reliable. If you ask a first-born to sit and watch the paint dry, you can come back in two days and be sure to find them there. If you have a meeting, those who show up regularly will more than likely be first-borns. I find myself very reliable but struggle with being late. My mom is a first-born and struggles, too. I’m almost certain this is in our DNA.

We are aggressive. We will not only fight for what we believe in but fight until the death. We are competitive when it comes to getting something done and having to compete with someone else to make it happen. This can be a HUGE downside of a first-born child as it often times pushes people away and makes communication difficult. Often times, our excitement for something to be completed overwhelms us and has the tendency to come across as aggressive. Be sure when working with your first-born child to work on their approach and how they respond to certain situations. It’s ok to be passionate and excited as long as it comes across in the right way.

I hope these tips help as you raise your first-born child. I would love any and all advice regarding first-born all the way down to the twentieth. Every child is different and shaped to serve their family in an awesome way. The key is finding out HOW to use their gifts and the best way to do so.

What is the biggest character trait you notice about your child/children and their birth order?

 

 

Holiday Cheer with an Over the Rainbowtique Deal! November 27, 2012

Bow Assortment:                Mickey & Friends, Angry Birds, & The Little Mermaid

It’s closing upon the holiday season and I’m excited to share with you all kinds of new products straight from Over the Rainbowtique! My friend, Noel, sent me several bows and I wanted to share them with you! All these bows make great gifts as well as accessories for your child. It matches up perfectly with the hairbow holder we featured a few weeks ago. This last shipment of bows may be my absolute favorite. They are just precious and so unique. I love that you cannot find these easily anywhere else, if even at all.  I hope you love them as much as I do and are able to get some great deals yourself as we continue on some Christmas specials from Noel as I do a review today at Embracing Everything Emma.

Our Little Angry Bird

Angry Birds! JR loves angry birds and has a shirt, too. While we were at the beach I found this shirt for Emma on clearance at Target for less than $2! I knew it would be so cute with JR’s and I asked Noel about making a bow to match it. The great thing about the bow is it doesn’t have to be an angry birds shirt; it can be any shirt that matches the colors in the bow.

It’s Mickey!

Mickey Mouse & Friends! As we prepare to go back to Disney, hopefully soon, we want to start preparing early with some bows from Over the Rainbowtique. Emma has a cute Mickey Mouse shirt for this upcoming summer and this bow will be perfect. Right now, she has a Minnie and friends shirt that looks great with it that Mimi and Papous got her while we were in Disney this last time.

Under the Sea…

The Little Mermaid! Ariel is my personal favorite, therefore, Emma has multiple outfits with her on it. It just made perfect sense to get a bow that was decked out in the Little Mermaid. When we go back to Disney, they will have Prince Eric’s castle finished and Emma will be able to meet Ariel face to face, with her bow.

It’s Christmas Time!

Christmas! It’s time for the holidays! We got her this awesome bow with gingerbread men on it. We bought Emma what seems like 40 Christmas style shirts last year and this bow looks great with all of them. There are little pink and red dots on the bow, too, so it doesn’t have to be green color shirts. Perfect!

Gobble Gobble!

Thanksgiving! Alright, so this holiday has come and gone but Noel made sure we got this bow in time for Thanksgiving this year. That meant so much to me! She messaged me every day until it showed up two days before Thanksgiving and she shipped it the weekend right before. Talk about just in time! This is something I love about Over the Rainbowtique. It’s a personal, small business that cares about the customer and makes the customer their priority. It makes me feel extra special!

The great thing, as always, about these bows is they are great quality. We have over twenty bows from Over the Rainbowtique and they all are wonderful, every single one of them. They are also able to be used long beyond age one or two or even three. They are able to be used over a long period of time, making them extra worth the money you spend on them. I hope you’ll check them out today! Noel has been kind enough to offer a promotion for  20% off in honor of the upcoming holidays when you use the code “bowsale20” at checkout. Be sure to place your order by Monday, December 10th, to get this deal! Go to Over the Rainbowtique and start shopping today!

 

Crock On! Review, Giveaway & Cyber Monday Deal! November 26, 2012

I am excited about today. It’s been a long day coming, too. My great friend, Stacy, over at Stacy Makes Cents, released her first e-book last Monday and today is the day I share it with you! I was able to do a review for one of her recipes and after falling in love with it, I have seriously been dying to get my hands on this recipe book for months now! It goes without saying (even though I’m going to say it) that Stacy is an amazing cook. The first time we went to Barry & Stacy’s house for dinner I knew we had a good thing going. A great friendship AND great food are a wonderful combination. All of Stacy’s recipes here are HER recipes that she has made. That just blows my mind. I don’t make many recipes that are “my own”. Well, I don’t make any. All my recipes are usually someone else’s and I call them my own or change them enough to call them my own. Ha! Either way, I guess I should work on that one…

Recipes

Stacy’s Broccoli Soup

Soups

  • Mexican Chicken Chowder
  • Stuffed Pepper “Stoup”
  • Deluxe Potato Soup
  • Hominy Taco Chili
  • Broccoli Soup
  • Creamy Chicken Chili
  • White Beans & Ham

Stacy’s Buffalo Joe’s

Sandwiches and Wraps

  • Cheeseburger Sloppy Joes
  • Chili Pork Wraps
  • Carolina Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches
  • Pulled Beef Barbecue
  • Buffalo Joes

Stacy’s Pineapple Pork Loin

Main Dishes

  • Mexican Chicken Spaghetti
  • Black Bean Lasagna
  • Enchilada Lasagna
  • Chicken Tetrazzini
  • Cheeseburger Pie
  • Maple Sesame Chicken
  • Swiss Steak
  • Sloppy Chicken
  • Beef and Broccoli
  • Italian Pot Roast with Noodles
  • Spicy Creamed Beef
  • Pineapple Pork Loin
  • Cream Cheese Chicken

Stacy’s Garlic Smashed Potatoes

Sides

  • Cheesy Sausage Potatoes
  • Broccoli Casserole
  • Baked Beans
  • Pizza Potatoes
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Garlic Smashed Potatoes
  • Creamy, Cheesy Corn
  • Coconut Sweet Potatoes

Stacy’s Honey Baked            Apples & Pears

Desserts

  • Upside Down Apple Pie
  • Honey Baked Apples and Pears
  • Granola Apples
  • Fruit Cobbler
  • Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding
  • Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Lava Cake
  • Pumpkin Apple Cake

Today I want to do two things for you- I want to first off give you a review of two of the wonderful recipes in Stacy’s new cookbook, Crock On! A Semi-Whole Foods Slow Cooker Cookbook, and give YOU the chance to win a copy for yourself! The best news? You not only get one chance but TWO as Stacy has been generous enough to give away two cookbooks today. Wow, thanks Stacy! Without further ado, here is my review of two of the meals in Stacy’s cookbook, Crock On!

Mexican Chicken Spaghetti

Oh. My. Gosh. This meal is seriously to die for. I love spaghetti noodles but have never been too crazy about the marinara sauce for them. I’m a white sauce kind of girl. This meal has helped make spaghetti possible and likeable at the Linkous house for all parties involved! I highly recommend making this if you like (but not limited to): spaghetti, chicken, Mexican food, cream cheese, and food in general. Seriously…sooo good! And if you think you’re going to get the recipe out of me, think again! You’ll have to wait for the cookbook for this wonderful meal! Below is the review I gave for Crock On! Did you know I wrote a review for it? Well, I did. I am handing out autographs to the first 50 people so ask quick. Ha!

I made the dish with all the listed ingredients. It was very easy to do- I love sticking food in the Crockpot and just letting IT do all the work! At 6 hours, I came home from work and was worried at the amount of water remaining in the Crockpot (possibly from the thawing of the corn) and just put 2 cups in with the noodles. This worked perfectly! When it finished, I tasted it and LOVED the taste, even before the cream cheese. The cream cheese definitely gave it a creamier taste and we enjoyed it thoroughly!

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Lava Cake

When we received the preview copy of Crock On! from Stacy, I knew this was the other recipe I wanted to try before writing this post for you all. Like the good wife I am, I asked JR first what he thought and as he started salivating, I was pretty sure it was a winner. If it was a winner BEFORE I made it, you won’t even believe how amazing it was once I actually made it! I may win wife of the year award for this one. The only sad part was Emma wasn’t able to experience it (we’re not giving her peanut butter yet). Well, sad for her but not for me. I won’t lie- I enjoyed the extra for myself. I’m sure once she has it, though, I will never have seconds again.

Details about Crock On! A Semi-Whole Foods Slow Cooker Cookbook

*How to enter today’s giveaway: send an email to embracingeverything AT gmail DOT com with your first and last name. Please limit one entry/per person. The giveaway will end this upcoming Friday, November 30th, and I will allow Emma to draw the name of the winner to keep it fair. I will send an email to the lucky winner first thing Saturday morning.

*Stacy’s cookbook is an e-book, meaning you get it online and save it as a PDF file. You will not receive a hard copy of this cookbook. You are more than welcome to print this FOR YOURSELF (not someone else) but be prepared to use a lot of ink since there are pictures for each meal.

*Stacy’s cookbook is called Crock On! for a reason: it’s for Crockpot recipes. She has an intro in the beginning of the book that explains the different sizes she recommends you have for this cookbook. Each recipe has instructions on which size to use for that particular recipe.

*Tell your friends!!! Stacy does an amazing job and it’s only fair that we share this wonderful knowledge with other people! Make sure to SHARE this blog post today on your facebook, twitter, pinterest, email and more so the word can get out about this amazing new cookbook! Can you tell I’m excited about this? Because I seriously am. If I could buy stock in Crock On! I totally would.

*Let’s face the news. There will only be TWO winners of Crock On! from this contest but don’t worry! You can still get a copy for yourself! Be sure to buy one for yourself, your mother, your sister, your friends, and more. They are selling for $5 each which is a STEAL for a good cookbook. I have a Crockpot cookbook that I bought for $15 and the recipes in it don’t even compare to the ones Stacy has. Since she is so awesome, Stacy is also giving a special discount you all! If you order today through Friday, you will receive 15% off your order. Woohoo! I love a good deal and luckily Stacy does too! Here is a link to my affiliate page. You buy it and I’m blessed enough to receive some of the proceeds from it. Win for everyone! This will end Friday, November 30th as well. The code to use is  iloveerinn15. Don’t forget to ORDER HERE!

I look forward to all the great meals your family has after buying (or winning!) Crock On! Enjoy and get crockin’!

 

Week of Thanksgiving Day #5: Turkey Galore! November 23, 2012

Well Thanksgiving has come and gone and my prayers are that each of you have had a wonderful time with your friends and family this holiday season. I’d imagine that each of you have overcome the turkey coma you entered yesterday and are ready for more leftover turkey. The only question is what can you make with your leftover turkey beyond the expected turkey sandwiches. Well, fear not! I have put together a compilation of recipes for your leftover turkey that will keep something new and fresh coming with every day of turkey remains.

Do you love anything spicy and Mexican style? I know we do at the Linkous house! I thought the Southwestern Turkey Soup recipe looked really good and made turkey not so turkey, if you get what I’m saying. If we have any leftovers this year, this will be the FIRST thing I try!

I love pasta. It’s my one big carb weakness. The thought of being able to use leftover turkey to make a pasta dish makes my mouth water. Yummy in my tummy! The Turkey Tetrazzini is second on my list of what to make with leftover turkey. If I don’t get to try this one, I expect to hear some reviews from those of you who do try it!

The last recipe I found to try is very intriguing to me. I’ve never been a huge Reuben fan but I know JR and my dad both really like them so I thought why not? If you’ve got leftover turkey and really like sandwiches, this might be a way to make sandwiches but mix it up and make it “new”.

I hope you’ve enjoyed all these new recipes and have found some to use to freshen up your after Thanksgiving meals. Be sure to check out all the recipes below!

What is your favorite thing to make with your leftover turkey?

Southwestern Turkey Soup

1 ½ cups shredded cooked turkey

4 cups vegetable broth (If you are able to make fresh turkey stock, I would do this instead!)

1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes

1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chili peppers

2 roma tomatoes, chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed OR 1 tsp garlic salt

1 tbsp lime juice

½ tsp cayenne pepper

½ tsp ground cumin

salt & pepper, to taste

1 avocado, peeled & diced

½ tsp dried cilantro

1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, Mexican mix, Monterey jack, etc)

In a large pot on medium heat, add the turkey, broth (or stock), canned tomatoes, green chilies, fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic, and lime juice. Next, add the cayenne pepper, cumin, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for 15-20 minutes. After finished, stir in avocado and cilantro and simmer another 15-20 minutes until slightly thickened. After put into bowls, add shredded cheese. Enjoy!

Turkey Tetrazzini

1 (8 ounce) package cooked egg noodles

2 tbsp butter

1 can (6 ounce) sliced mushrooms (I hate mushrooms so I will NOT add these)

1 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

2 cups chopped & cooked turkey

1 (10.75 ounce) can of condensed cream of celery soup (I’m not a big fan of canned anything so I will probably substitute here with a broth or stock of some sort)

1 cup sour cream

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and then bring a pot of water to a boil and add pasta. Cook for 8-10 minutes and drain. Melt butter in a skillet and sauté the mushrooms for 1 minute. Add the salt, pepper, turkey, condensed soup (or stock/broth), and sour cream. Placed noodles in a 9×13 baking dish and pour the sauce mixture evenly over the top. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Turkey Reuben Sandwich

1 cup sauerkraut, drained

10 ounces turkey

2 tbsp butter

4 slices marble rye bread

4 slices Swiss cheese

4 tbsp thousand island dressing

Warm the sauerkraut and turkey and set aside. Spread butter on one side of each slice of rye bread and then spread the thousand island dressing on the other side. Divide the sauerkraut, turkey, and Swiss cheese on two slices of bread with the butter side down. Stack the remaining two slices of bread with the butter side up. Heat a skillet over medium-low heat and grill sandwiches until lightly browned and the cheese has melted. This will be about 2-3 minutes on each side.

 

Week of Thanksgiving Day #4: How to Be Thankful November 22, 2012

There are a lot of things about Thanksgiving that make it so great. The family. The food. The day off. There are so many things to be thankful for and only one day to focus on it. Or it is?   Today I want to talk about how to be thankful and how to be more grateful for the things that we have in this life.

T-            

Take more than one day or one month to be thankful. It’s not enough to focus on it for one day or one month. It should be something you do every day or multiple times every day. Being thankful is a great character trait to have and something that reminds you daily of how lucky you are. Having trouble starting? Here’s one: if you have a fridge with food to eat, a roof over your head, and clothes on your back, you are in the top 25% of the world’s wealth. There are 75% of people in the world living with less than those three things. If that doesn’t make you thankful, I don’t know what does.

H-           

Hope for the opportunity to be something someone else is thankful for in life. I’m not saying to be selfish here and make it about you, but we should strive to be the kind of people that others are thankful for and not a burden to have in their lives. It’s just as important to be a blessing to someone as it is to blessed. Never forget to bless others like they have blessed you and beyond.

A-           

Always thank God for his generosity in your life. Just as easily as He has blessed you, He could take it away. Because He loves and cares for us, He wants to bless us. We should want to thank Him in return for caring for us like He does. Try to begin all your prayers with thanksgiving to God. I can only imagine that it’s great to hear “thank you” and not always “give me”.

N-           

Not only should you want to be a blessing to others, you should want to tell other when they are a blessing to you and when you’re thankful for them. Time goes by so quickly and sometimes we are never given the opportunity to tell others how they have positively impacted our lives. When you’re given the opportunity to tell someone you’re thankful for them, be sure to do it. You never know if that may be your last chance.

K-           

Keep a record of the things you are thankful for in life. I love the idea of a Thankful box. The way it works is that every year, every member of your family writes down (5) things they are thankful for that year and puts it back in the box. Every year you’re able to look back on all the things you were thankful for in years past. We plan on starting this tradition today. Be sure to check out this link from Stacy Makes Cents on how to make and use your box.

S-           

Share with others why you are thankful. It’s not enough to think it, we should share it with others. When we’re thankful and tell others how thankful we are, it not only allows us to reflect on the great things in our lives but encourages others to see the good in their lives, too. We should all reflect on the good things in life, even if it’s just one. One is better than none and we all have at least one thing to be thankful for in our lives.

These are ways to practice being thankful on a regular basis. Join me as I work harder to be thankful more than one day each year. Happy Thanksgiving to each of you!