Archive for the 'Tips' Category

Published by Kelly Wilson on 14 Jun 2017

Make ‘em feel loved: How to bake a cake from butter, sugar and flour…

A few days after coming home from the grocery store my younger son, Kyler, said “I feel so loved when I see cranberry juice in the refrigerator.”

I smiled. Kyler loves cranberry juice. But he is the only one in our house who drinks it. When he is home from college, I buy it. I was good to hear that it shows love.

I think my husband feels loved when he smells homemade baked goods in our oven. That’s how his mom showed love. She regularly baked cakes from scratch.

After we got married, when I would take a box cake out of the cabinet he would ask me what was about to do with that. Then he would call his mom to make him a cake. This actually made me jealous, so I set out to learn. She tried to teach me, but she was a cook who didn’t write recipes down and since I didn’t grow up baking from scratch, I didn’t learn well that way.

I was determined to master this skill and I tried dozens of recipes and made lots of cakes that smelled like cake, but they were NOT cake. They were like corn bread  and only smelled like cake. Then eureka! I finally found a recipe that worked.

Cake

That was over 27 years ago. I found my go-to recipe in Woman’s Day Magazine. It was a winner! The first cake that was really a great cake. It has been a staple over the years. I bet I typically bake this cake every other month or so. It gives me (and now you) a way to celebrate and show love. Please make it for “Father’s Day” to show your appreciation! Cooking from your heart is a great way to show kindness.

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour

(You can make half the flour whole wheat to make a healthier cake)

2 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

A pinch of salt

1 cup water

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Two sticks of butter

Two large eggs

1/2 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cake post 3

Directions:

Grease (with butter) and flour a large Bundt pan. Set your oven to 350 degrees F.

Put the water ad cocoa powder into a small saucepan. Cut the butter into small chunks and add to the water/cocoa. Stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a gentle boil and the butter melts.

Mix all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda and salt) in a large bowl.

Carefully pour the water/butter/cocoa mixture into the dry ingredients and stir. (The whole  mixture usually cools down enough so that the eggs don’t cook when added. But if it is still really warm, let it cool down.)

Crack the eggs and mix them into the batter until incorporated well. Next stir in the yogurt and vanilla.

Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan and bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes.  (Test for doneness after 32 minutes, by inserting a toothpick near the center of the cake. If it comes out wet like batter, cook for another 5-7 minutes. If it comes out like the cake is baked, remove from the oven.)

For the icing, I place a half a bag of powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. (I use the Domino Confectioners 2-Pound Bag)  Then I mix 2 teaspoons of cocoa power with 3 tablespoons of milk in a small bowl. Using an electric mixer I begin to blend to sugar with the chocolate milk a tablespoon at a time. Once this starts to come together as a thick icing, I add a pat (1 tablespoon) of butter for creaminess. This is some what of a delicious art, because you may have to add more milk or sugar to get the consistency you prefer. But the tasting makes it worth every iteration. Once the cake cools, spread on the icing and hope your people don’t cut the cake, before you can take a picture and post it on social media.

When you bake this cake, I hope you will feel like a particular person from the New Testament. Her name was Tabitha, which means “gazelle.” She was known for doing simple things that greatly blessed the people around her.

“There was a believer in Joppa named Tabitha (which in Greek is Dorcas.) She was always doing kind things for others and helping the poor.” Acts of the Apostles 9:36 NLT

Happy Father’s Day

Kelly

 

 

Published by Kelly Wilson on 24 Apr 2017

A-B-C Affirmations

Last Father’s Day, my family and I were riding in our vehicle. We stumbled upon something we now call A-B-C Affirmations.

It started because the kid’s dad is great at sharing words of affirmation. These are words that talk about a person’s character traits or ways of being in a positive light. So we decided to give him some affirmations to celebrate his special day.

Someone said, “Hey let’s give one for each letter of the alphabet. We can go around the truck.” I’m not sure who started, but it was really meaningful to him and fun for us. It was so meaningful, that he took out his smart phone and started recording the moment.

For the rest of that calendar year and going forward, we do A-B-C Affirmations for birthdays, Father’s Day, Siblings Day and now coming up Mother’s Day. We even did them for Jesus, at the CHRISTmas party for our Bible study group.

I share this idea in hopes you will take a few minutes to affirmations for your Mom and anyone else you want to show love to. The following will help you see how it works, it’s the list we created in March, for our son KJ’s 22nd birthday:

A – Abiding in the Lord (Said Dad)

B – Believer (Said Mom)

C – Chicken finger lover (Said Koah, his 11-year-old sister)

D – Determined (Said Kyler, his 20-year-old brother)

E – Earth shaking laugh when coaching volleyball and playing 2K

F – Fashion sense – KJ loves the two jacket look

G – Gangster (little OG) Koah says because KJ’s co-workers call his dad the OG

H – Humble

I – Identical to Kenny (Said by his Dad)

J – Jumper – Says mom, per the photo that KJ took touching the ceiling to show his hops.

KJ Ceiling

K- Knowledgeable of history

L – Lively, Lit (hyped) Likeable

M – Me (said again by the name sharing Kenneth Vance Wilson, Sr.) millennial, marvelous

N – Not worried

0 – Opinionated and original

P – Peanut Butter Eater (The whole fam says this because KJ is largely a non-meat eater.) He is also precious, valuable and needed.

Q – Quite the gentleman, quick silver the super hero

R – Road observant (Says mom, to whom he is always giving driving advice)

S – Shopper at H&M

T – Thinker (Says Kyler, a student at OSU)

U – Unafraid

V – Vance-tastic, KJ’s middle name is Vance

W – Westbrook (For similarities to Russell Westbrook)

X – Xanadocious (The quality of xanady) X is a tough letter and we often make up words for this one. I believe Kyler made up this word.

Y – Young

Z – Zealot for Christ

We don’t always write these down, but KJ said I could share them for this post. Thanks son!

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Please let me know how your A-B-C Affirmations go. This can give us all some new ideas!

Continued Blessings – Better Day Kelly

 

 

Published by Kelly Wilson on 09 Jan 2017

Arranged, Tidy, Organized… Yes!

Ironically I’ve not yet seen a top ten list of New Year’s resolutions for 2017 or 2016 from a professional research organization, but in 2015 Nielsen reported that 18% of people want to get more organized and I would guess that holds true every year.

As a person who helps people achieve their goals, I know this is a common one that makes a world of difference. Knowing where your stuff is, when you need to get to it, saves time, money and reduces stress. And having a comfortable and attractive place to live or work makes life better. When I work with clients to help them improve their level of being organized, I use principles from the Bible, because they work.

I wish all of the concepts were laid out in one place. But like many specific topics, they are spread throughout the Scriptures and this makes perfect sense because the Bible has 66 books, by 40 authors and was written over a span of 1500 years.

That said, if you are seeking to get your home, office, calendar and life tidy, logically arranged and functioning effectively please contact me for help and in the meantime, here are a few principles from the One who created the world and all its systems:

You are to bring in the table and set out the things that belong on it; then you are to bring in the lampstand and set up its lamps. Exodus 40:4 (NET)

Your grandmother was right… have a designated place for everything and then put things in their designated place.

Most clutter happens because people don’t know what to do with our stuff. (This happens to everyone I know, myself included.) For example, my daughter brings home papers from school and in the old days they would sit on the kitchen counter. But now we have a designated school binder. It has the wonder pocket tabs.

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Papers that we need to keep for information, or to study for a test, etc., go into the binder and then the binder goes on a cabinet in the kitchen, right it is used. Other papers get tossed or recycled. If she has a cool drawing of project I may take a snapshot of her with the item so we have a record and then it get tossed and she has a really special item she has a keepsake box in her room or it might even get framed and hung.

It does take time and diligence to create a logical “address” for the stuff in our lives, but it is well worth the effort and is key to being organized. In the verse above, God is giving Moses a very detailed set of instructions to set up the place where He would meet with His people. And though our spaces are not as formal as that place, our homes and offices and classrooms and vehicles, etc., will function better if we know where things are and they are logically organized.

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Therefore be very careful how you live – not as unwise but as wise, taking advantage of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16 (NET)

Use your time wisely.

I use to waste time “browsing” online stores for items that I didn’t need and likely couldn’t afford. I’d plan to search for 10 minutes and 60 minutes later, I was mad that I got caught in the time-waste-vortex, because God’s know I have too much to do.

Using my daily calendar helps me waste less time. I think about what I need and want to do, then schedule time to do it. This might include some online shopping, but I try to set my phone timer so that 10 minutes stays as 10 minutes. I use mu calendar for important things and urgent things alike. Reading my Bible first thing in the morning is very meaningful to me. So is watching University of Cincinnati Basketball, which is date night quality time with my husband when he asks me to watch with him. And yes I the usual work assignments and appointments .

Most importantly, I find that praying about how God wants me to use my time, invites Him into the process and He helps me to get more done.

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Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest. Proverbs 14:4 (NLT)

Be focused and balanced…

I love this verse. In a nutshell it says, that a stable stays clean if there are no oxen, but during Bible days oxen were needed to make a living. To me, that means that some amount of clutter is evidence of a productive life. And cleaning, stooping, composting, etc., is required. So yes, you have a laptop or pots and pans or exercise equipment that enable you to do what you need to do. Just arrange them so they are well cared for and positioned attractively.

It is wise to be balanced regarding possessions as you pursue a well-organized life.

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Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. Ecclesiastes 4:9 (NLT)

Get help from a friend or professional to get organized if you need it. I need help with many things because they are not my area of expertise. I am grateful for those who provide support. And – I am grateful that some people are willing to forgo other things or risk embarrassment in order to hire me to help them get organized. I help them to succeed.

It is a privilege and a joy to see a space go from dominated by clutter to arranged, tidy, organized… Yes!

I hope these principles will encourage you to achieve greater organization in 2017.

Kelly

 

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