Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Mugs & Muffins :: Secrets to a Happy Marriage (by Pam Phelps), Recipe and Giveaway!! {GIVEAWAY - NOW CLOSED!!}

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Welcome to this first OFFICIAL Mugs & Muffins, for the year!! 
Good Morning!!  To YOU, on this a very chilly Northeast Winter's Morning... perfect time to gather for some warm fellowship, even if it is online - this morning.  Amen?

 I'm very happy you all decided to come back and hang out here, with me, for this.  ** as some of you are aware (and I know, because of your recent responses, either by this blog and via comments or by personal email...) you know that I am hoping to try something new and that is to host a REAL LIVE Mugs & Muffins some time soon - in my home.  Those details are still prayerfully being ironed out...

And, as far as I am aware... you all are very excited and supportive.  Which really excites me!  Many of you - regretfully - are unable to attend due to distance, etc., but you sure would come if you could! And that is very bittersweet for me.  I sure do appreciate the "best wishes" that have been sent my way.  So, again... I'm very, very excited about this as a real possibility.

In the meantime... we're here today around the proverbial table and Valentine's Day has just passed us by.  That's okay.  It's cold outside but warm indoors.  We've much to be grateful for and of course, we can still talk about this topic of Love &  Marriage today and get away with it - because we can and we should.  But before we get into our topic... let's pass around this plate of Yumm!!

And, be sure to have your mug full (coffee or tea!) and ready to roll, as we get started.

The recipe for these muffins will be included at the end of this post.   And, as you read - be ready to share your own "one secret to happy marriage" as part of the GIVEAWAY - at the end!
Sometime ago, I was reading one of my current favorite blogs.  My blogging friend, Pam, who authors this particular blog, was sharing her and husband's secrets to a Happy Marriage - 35 years going strong.  Actually, I should clarify this with her... because, honestly I'm not sure if she has been married for 35 years or if they have just been together for that long...
UPDATE to add:  I have clarified this with Pam and she and her husband have been married for 35 years.  ((I'm impressed!))


When I first read this list... I felt compelled to print the list out and hang it on our "non-existent" headboard.  (ahem, the wall above our bed)  It stayed there for awhile and then it soon got moved to the bathroom wall - where it would actually be read on a more regular basis - where time would be taken to dwell on it.  lol!  All that to say, this list has served my husband and I in very real ways.  Gentle reminders!!

Special thanks goes out to Pam (and her husband) for granting me special permission to share this list here, with you all...today!

Secrets to a Happy Marriage - by Pam Phelps

  1. Pray together.
  2. Honor each other.
  3. Never speak disrespectfully to each other.
  4. Support each other in front of the children.
  5. Go on dates; even after 35 years it is important to go on dates together, even if it is just a walk in the park, or a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
  6. Hold hands … even in public (yes, we're "those" type of people)
  7. Laugh  and LAUGH SOME MORE!!
  8. Don't take yourself so seriously; Crush that spirit of offense under your feet.
  9. Enjoy your children and grand-children together.
  10. Look at the other persons point of view. Sometimes we can get in a rut of our own way of thinking… stop pause and turn your thoughts in a different way.
  11. Stop complaining… please refrain from the moan, the complaint, the sigh, the sarcasm.  The Lord grew weary of the children of Israel behaving this way, and our fellow human beings get weary of hearing us do the same. Negative, frustrated, complaining expression of fear and woe takes a person out of the atmosphere of faith, and into the atmosphere of heaviness.
  12.  Resist having a critical,  negative, correcting or controlling, spirit  
  13. Speak gently
  14. Speak kindly
  15. Bring each other special things.. cup of coffee in the morning (my hubby does that for me), glass of cold iced tea in the afternoon (I do that for him), a late night snack, a pair of slippers, a blanket, a sweater, all these are considerate kindnesses that bless.
  16. Learn to become interested in each others interests.  Its not always easy to get my thoughts geared into tractors, motorcycles or trucks.. I make myself get up and look… listen and participate.  My hubby does the same for me.
  17. Look and smell nice for each other.
  18. Forgive… really, let it go.
  19. Don't expect each other to be the same as each other.. enjoy your differences, its okay; its natural to be very different from each other and  yet still be one of heart and mind.
  20. Learn the differences between men and women and allow these differences in each other.
  21. Men are men, don't resent them for it Ladies.
  22. Women are women, don't resent them for it Guys.
  23. Enjoy the differences that God gave you rather than allow frustration to enter in.
  24. Be an encourager. 
  25. Look for each other's gifts and talents and thank the Lord for them.  We create a blessing for ourselves, when we see through God's eyes the blessings of someone else.  I thank God every day for my husband, for his gifts, his strength, his goodness and kindness.  If you don't think you see these things in  your spouse, ask the Lord to show you all the good things that are there.  Pretty soon you will.  Cultivate those things with thanksgiving.
  26. Get rid of pride.
  27. Put on humility
  28. Be strong and helpful, not weak and needy.
  29. Its not about winning or being right.  Its about loving and being patient.
  30. PRAY!! I know, I said that already… its a good way to start and a good way to finish; I have found the only way to navigate anything in life is to Pray.
Isn't this a great list?  I'm so glad I printed it out... all of these are wonderful and much needed reminders.  No matter where you are in your marriage relationship.

So, the two suggestions on this list that stuck out to me (and for us, as a couple) are #8 and #16.  For myself personally, I can really struggle in the area of taking myself way too seriously.  My husband will often encourage me to "lighten up"... and there are times and days when I can or do and I'll have to remind him of the same.  For number 16 - it is the same way  We can get so busy do, do, doing our "own thing" that what the other is involved in or cares about - gets set on the back burner, forgotten about (in our minds and what have you)  - in that if it matters to them (so much!) it should matter to us, at least, somewhat, if not just as much.
My husband and I can certainly grow in this area of "supporting" each other's likes and interests...a whole lot more than we already do!

In example: I'm scared of sitting down and watching a football game or poking my nose under the hood of a car - and he's scared of washing the dishes or hanging the laundry.  LOL!

I'm half kidding here (my husband is wonderful), but you know what I'm talking about.  There are ways to do this "better" - even though it will never be made perfect.

One of our secrets that I would toss in here, to add to this list, is that it is all in the little things.  Simple as this.  My husband, Scott, and I will fill each other's toothbrushes at night - whoever gets to the task first.  It is just a little thing... but it matters.  And, when we forget - we should also "fail" to remind each other that the other forgot. :)
Another might be in a certain way I pray for my man!!  I  used to be VERY faithful in this... I should do this more often or at best, get back into this more consistently.

I guess I'm sharing more than one, here.  But another I thought of and while we won't wake up this way... we will often fall asleep, at night, holding each other's hand.  It just gives us both a sense of togetherness, a unity (our affirmation and commitment) and especially if we've just had a disagreement or whatever - that words may be tense - we still love each other and we're here for one another... it's just a nonverbal way of communicating that we still love even though there are no words.  It's hard to stay mad at someone, if your holding each other's hands.
How about you??  What are your thoughts, after reading through, this list?

:: Giveaway::
Today's giveaway is very simple.  A bit of "red and white", like I've mentioned...nothing too Valentine-y... but something that is still appropriate for the topic shared, today.
 I think these two imPERFECT coffee mug cozies -lovingly handmade by me (something NEW!) - paired with a 1 lb. bag of Dunkin Donuts Dark Roast (ground) coffee and a small bag of Lindt chocolate truffles - will make anyone's heart skip a beat.  That is, if you're anything like me. :)  The two coffee mugs are not included in this giveaway.  ** And, I apologize, there is no photo of the chocolate and coffee - but, I promise - they are included!!
In order to enter today's very simple giveaway I simply ask you share your own "one secret" to add to this list or maybe share one or two on Pam's list that really resonates with you.  As well, feel free to share a small story, related to your marital relationship that would be a blessing to us all..

I'd like this time of leaving comments be done graciously and interactively.  So - for that I say the more times you comment - you'll receive as many chances at winning.  Let's engage with one another... as though we're sitting in the same room and sharing our hearts - there!

This GIVEAWAY will extend through Wednesday, the 18th of February - and end at or around 10:00 pm, EST.  Facebook comments are also welcome!!  Spread the love... ask your friends to join in, the more the merrier.
 **The winner will be announced, shortly thereafter..

This Cherry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake Muffin recipe is a tweak of the tried-and-true favorite recipe; one I've shared here before, on the blog, under this title: Cherry Coffee Cake

But today I'll also include my little tweaks and what I did to make them into muffins.  By the way -- these are really good while still a tad warm, because as you can tell.. as they cool - the cream cheese firms up.  My own personal observation - but I want to be honest.  You might want to keep that in mind.  Wow!! Eat them warm... DELICIOUS!!   If I may say so myself.
~Cherry Coffee Cake~

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup butter
1 egg

((cream cheese, cubed, into small cubes - I didn't measure out, to start.  Maybe 2-3 oz. total.))
1 (21-oz.) can of Cherry Pie Filling

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter

Powdered Sugar
Hot water
almond extract for flavor (opt.)

Mix together flour, sugar and baking powder.  Cut in butter.  Break egg into 1 cup measuring cup and fill with milk; beat.  Add to flour mixture.  Put in a 9x13 (greased lightly) baking pan.
Divide the batter between 24 paper-lined muffin tins.  Add one small cube of cream cheese on top of the batter, one for each muffin, before spooning pie filling on top.

Mix topping by cutting butter into flour and sugar, making crumbs.  Sprinkle crumbs over top of pie filling.** and you won't use all of the crumbs.  The leftovers can be thrown into a freezer bag, for the freezer, to use another time.

Bake at 375* for 30-35  15-20 minutes (for muffins).  Be careful these don't get too dark, you may have to rotate trays in the oven for part of the time.  They will also feel/seem under baked. Let cool and remove from pans to a cooling tray.  They'll be fine!!

Mix hot water and powdered sugar to desired consistency...and drizzle over top.

Again, these are amazing,  warm straight out of the oven!!

*** One special note or two about the Coffee Mug Cozies.  They probably should not get wet, nor go inside the microwave.  Neither of those two scenarios have been tested!  lol!  They also are "no-two-alike" and so, selected buttons and hand lettering may vary from the photos shared.  Look for these being an added "new feature" in my Etsy shop!  Down the road...

Thank you so, so, much for coming by here today!!  I really do appreciate you as my readers.  Please pray for our little family.  We have some things on the horizon - we would appreciate your prayers for, as well... our son, Caleb, has been sick since Wednesday afternoon with an intermittent headache, tummy ache and earache... that we haven't been able to stay on top of.  We may be seeing a doctor later today!!
Have a wonderful week, stay warm and God bless!!


  1. Good Morning Bevy, How wonderful is this post and so funny on today... the 16th of February, Ron and mine's 22nd Wedding Anniversary... Wow, 35 years for Pam and Her husband... an inspiration for sure..
    One thing that I would like to share is the years dont come easy... you have to stay strong to the Vow you took and NEVER, NEVER forget WHY you fell in Love with that person.. I know personally, I have felt over the years that my husband put on a front (a different kind of man) to win me over... Flowers, kindness, romance, and just different was the man I met then we were together 5 years before we married, Once we married I noticed things starting to change, I wasnt as important to him.. He was getting content, or more so taking me for granted... this has been one of MY biggest complaints...and in turn it caused me not to care, to ignore, to be somewhat withdrawn and OH how we struggled... But you know, to be Super HONEST neither of us had GOD leading our marriage for many years, then I took that giant step, and started going to church, then he followed... Mothers day 2012 Ron was saved and we both were baptised together and life began anew... Oh wow, what a blessing it has been... Are things better because of it? YES, YES, YES..... don't get me wrong, we still have moments, but mostly from the outside world.. someone pulling of our time, or saying harsh things... and we get tired and forget our focus, and there we go... Have a moment... LOL... but we always try to bounce back, never stay mad or upset... and always forgive each other... and hug each other...
    So my ONE TIdbit to add to the LIst would be ... NEVER Forget Why you fell in love! and before You each say the BIG I DO... be sure GOD is leading this thing called MARRIAGE...
    THe muffins look delish, and I would like to PASS on the GIVEAWay... please... I am not a COFFEE drinker, so I think it should go to someone who really could enjoy it ... such a lovely gift though... Loved the cozies.... you are so talented... Bless you sweet girl... and keep warm it is pouring the Snow here in Ky today, just like it was 22 years ago when RON and I got married... now that is a reminder from up above for sure... lol... GOD is GOOD.... have a wonderful day...

    1. When I first read you comment here, Connie!! My eyes welled up with tears. Isn't have Christ #1 - in your marriage - what makes all the difference. I love reading and knowing more of your story. It's beautiful!

      Happy, HAPPY Anniversary, today - 22 years? you're an inspiration as well...

    2. Thank You Bevy, just being super Honest... and taking life day by day, moment by moment...

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks for coming by, today Brenda... You're always a blessing!! Love you!

  3. Secret of a happy marriage- a husband that does the Hoovering so that you can take a break occasionally, seriously, give and take.

    1. Amen!! I agree - in the give and take. And by using the word Hoovering - you mean vacuuming...I am pretty sure! :)

      thanks for coming by and sharing your thoughts here, today!

  4. Remember your husband will have areas of weakness (Just like you/me), and when those weaknesses are causing problems, DO NOT PERSONALIZE IT, but see it for what it is, a human weakness. Then you will know how to pray for him, rather than try to change him. Believe the best in your husband!

  5. Ask questions, good questions, when conflict is rising or you feel hurt. What did you mean by that? What were you thinking in this situation? Why did you choose to do it that way? Can you help me better understand....?

    1. You two are a beautiful couple (to know, personally and to "watch" - if you don't mind, me saying so!)... such a inspiration and godly example to glean from.

      Thanks for coming by, here today - Jane!


  6. I LOVED this, Bevy! The muffins will be appearing in our home one day soon!

    One thing I would share would be to make it a practice to spoil your man rotten! I've told my husband probably close to 100 times or more in the almost 43 years we've been married that I spoiled him so much that no one else would want him because of all they'd have to do to keep him happy. :) And that has been my practice. He works so hard ...always has...and I've always tried to spoil him and to be his cheerleader.

    #14 is one that speaks to me from your friend's list. Speaking kindly of/and to each other is so important to keep unity in the home.

    Hugs to you, Bevy. Thanks so much!

    1. Wow!! 43 years...

      you made me chuckle in this - spoiling your man rotten!

      and those chocolate cookies over on your blog today - YUMM!! Thanks for the recipe, there!!

    2. I loved how you SPOILED your man... this made me smile and it is so true... and 43 years now that is inspiration... loved it...

  7. What a great list!
    I applaud each one of the points.

    I laugh at my husband all the time. He is one of the funnest people I know. And boy, has come in handy so many times in our 36 years of marriage.

    To help me remember to pray for my husband, I ALWAYS pour him, his first morning cup of coffee. While I add the cream and sugar, I pray for him and then lovingly hand it to him.
    I have done this for years and he doesn't even know!
    Laughter and Prayer have been a daily dose around our home.

    This has been fun Bev! Thank you and thank you to Pam for sharing.


  8. I think my husband looks more handsome today than he did 24 years ago when we married, and I tell him that as often as it crosses my mind. Seriously, a man with whom you have history becomes more and more attractive over the years! I also appreciate when he tells ME that I look pretty. Sometimes I catch him staring at me, and if I ask "what?!" he'll just comment "you look so nice today! I was just thinking that...." Sigh. It makes my day :)

  9. Hi Bevy, What a delight I had reading your post and the comments. It blessed me in every way. Thanks for sharing and linking me. I loved reading what the other ladies had to say about marriage. It would make a nice little book to put together these thoughts of women on marriage. The cupcakes look marvelous, and I am going to pin these, because I definitely want to make them. I think your mug cozies are just adorable. May the lady who wins them be very blessed.
    Have a wonderful week Bevy; talk to you soon.
    Love and Blessings Pam

  10. I am thankful for you and for Pam. :) The first on her list is the BEST advice ever. And...to not ever let the sun go down on a disagreement. Those are my two top faves in the marriage advice category. Hugs to you both. With Love, Camille

  11. Oh Bevy, this is a good one! Thanks for sharing. I love Pam's list and want to print it out, too :) I shared your post on my FB page...I hope you don't mind.


  12. Hi Bevy, loved Pam's list...really great advice...one thing I might add, which is a version of #16 is to show your husband your interested when he wants to show you something or read something to you or share something with you. (that means stop what your doing for a moment and actually pay attention to what he might be saying) This is something I can improve on. We will be celebrating 40 years this year. Since I'm not a coffee drinker either I will pass on giveaway this time, but I love the idea of the Mugs and Muffins


Thanks for coming by, today! You're visits always mean so much...

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