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

Monday, June 22, 2015

Mugs & Muffins :: Guest Post, by Kaitlin of Homemaker Design :: Muffin Recipe :: GIVEAWAY {this Giveaway is now CLOSED!}

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Welcome!  Welcome, once again... to this ever-so-random happening of an online Mugs & Muffins event...
at least that is what it seems like it's been.

Random.

I know.  However few and far between, I hope you enjoy these times and that you'll choose to hang around and stay for awhile today - here at Treasured Up and Pondered.  I have some great things planned for you  - I hope!  One...
Our Guest "speaker" and my dearest friend!
A muffin recipe...
A Giveaway with all its (quirky) details... all the way at the very end.

We're going to get started right away!
I'm so tickled that I have a dear friend from way "up North" willing to share with us, here, today.  I got to meet this gal in person - our families mingling over a course of five days, or so, and it was lovely, in every way!!
What my friend is sharing with us today she extends truly from her heart, and I appreciate the challenge she has presented to each one of us!!  

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Hello!!  For those that don't know me, my name is Kaitlin and I blog over at Homemaker Design.  I had the joy and privilege of meeting with Bevy, in person, back at the beginning of April.  When I knew we would be finally meeting each other face to face, there were two things I couldn't wait to share with her.

First a hot cup of coffee and secondly a hug!

Hugs are something many people take for granted or not even think about...but today I'd like to open your mind and heart to how important this little act can be!  So, go ahead... grab your hot beverage...or iced... if the weather is warm enough, take a treat - one of these delicious muffins ;) - and enjoy this little read....my 'hug' to you!

Don't these look fantabulous??
Let's keep going here...on our topic, for the day!

hug

1.  to clasp tightly in the arms, especially with affection; embrace.
2.  to cling firmly or fondly to; cherish
3.  to keep close to, as in sailing, walking, or in moving along or alongside of:
to hug the shore; to hug the road.



Are you a hugger?  Do like to give out an affectionate embrace? Do you enjoy receiving them?  Are you one to shy away, be stiff or one arm pat, in response to a hug?  Or...just maybe...you secretly long for more affection...and would like to both give and receive more hugs in your life?!

I'm a hugger...at least I've been told so, it never really crossed my mind until it was mentioned about me and the words found their way back to me, "Oh, Kaitlin?! Yeah, she's a hugger!"  Funny how you don't see yourself in certain ways until it's through someone else's eyes!! lol!!

I know that many people will say, "Oh, I'm not the 'hugging type'.", or "I didn't grow up that way." and though it's true, something I have learned, is that everyone...yes, everyone appreciates an honest, affectionate, cherished, close embrace!

(I will pause to say, this is directed for a women to women post, in friendship and fellowship - I speak of healthy relationships and am not enforcing this thought on anyone who has or is struggling with any abuse.  I am not familiar with that situation but I still feel the points here are valid and pray that there is healing in this for those who are struggling. ♥)

The first definition of hug, as described by Dictionary.com (a much used site by this spelling challenged blogger! hahaha!) is how I feel we should react to most people we know! "to clasp tightly in the arms, especially with affection; embrace."  It's amazing how this simple act can move people, how it can connect people and yet how it can often be missing in people's lives!


I think there is something amazing about the closeness and affection that is communicated in a friendly embrace! I want to encourage you to step out of your comfort zone, reach out and clasp tightly, with affection, to a friend.  Embracing someone is a way to say "I love you, I care about you, you matter to me" all while saying nothing at all.  A hug can say more then you may be able to in words and often is the best solution when we don't know what to say at all!  A hug can say, "I missed you!", "Welcome!" or "I'm sorry."  There really is no end to what can be conveyed in this simple act and I think it's why I enjoy it so greatly.


The second definition there, is; "to cling firmly or fondly to; cherish".  I know when I read this, I immediately think of a small child clutching a favourite stuffy or blanket.  How in the same action they can both be firmly clinging to and yet cherishing their special item.  I think this describes the kinds of hugs that come in times of great emotion.  Those extra long hugs for good bye, for comfort, for deep regret, for times of amazing joy, long separations being reunited and to say how beloved a person is to you.  It's the kind of hug you give someone that you can't imagine living without yet know that life promises nothing of the sort.  I personally cling firmly, fondly and cherish, my husband, children, closest friends, family and a few other individuals.  I reserve this type of hugging for times of needed emotional support and for those people God has placed especially close to me.

Who do you cling to? Who do you cherish?  Do you tell them...in words or action?  Next time you are hugging a dear loved one or someone you cherish, linger longer.  Hold them just those few seconds longer....you will be pleasantly surprised at what happens!


And the last definition for hug, well I find that one quite interesting. "to keep close to, as in sailing, walking, or in moving along or along side of: to hug the shore; to hug the road."  I think that this definition could very much apply to our relationship with Christ.  The examples that are given, "to hug the shore; to hug the road"  gives us the picture of safety.  These acts, "to hug the shore, hug the road" are used to describe sticking to safer paths, following the course laid out, keeping close to what is necessary.   How true for our relationship with Christ.

We need to constantly "hug" our Lord.  To keep close and alongside Him.  He is our guide, our path and our comfort....He is the ultimate hug!  And though, hugging itself is rarely mentioned in the Bible, there are countless references to loving each other;

Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. -Romans 19:10a

...love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 1 Peter 1:22b

And may the Lord cause you to increase and overflow with love for one another and for everyone, - 1 Thessalonians 3:12a

There was a great deal of weeping by everyone. They embraced Paul and kissed him, - Acts 20:37

(And just a few more you can look up for your reading enjoyment!
 Ephesians 3:14-19, and  4:1-16, 1 Corinthians 13,1 John 4:7-21)


God knows how important love, comfort and care are to us, it's why He is so good to give that to us and why Jesus commands us to do the same to others.  A hug is a simple and dare I say, enjoyable, way to spread His love....as well as receive it!


Hugs have brought me closer to people, strengthened friendships and created some new ones. They have comforted my hurting heart, brought me joy, made me cry and more often than not, made me smile! A hug brought me a dear friend...the simple act of hugging a woman I barely knew, created one of the dearest friendships of my life....

...and as she has now gone on to glory in our Lord, I know she is there, in the arms of Jesus receiving His everlasting hug.


Grace, holding her namesake!
So take time, dear friends, to give a piece of yourself in a warm embrace.  To linger as you hold those dear to you.  And to keep close to our dear Lord.

Blessings, love and of course, a hug to you all! 

 ~ ♥ Kaitlin

In part...this post is dedicated, in memory, of my beloved friend Grace.
A truly beautiful woman.

*********
:: RECIPE ::

I asked my friend.. Kaitlin - if she would happen to have a go-to muffin recipe that she could share with us.  And she delivered. :)

She writes:  Hey - Yes!! Here is Grace’s Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins - they are super moist yet fluffy and they rise well, oh and they taste delicious!!  I used to make muffins all the time but they were never as good as hers.  These are my go to muffins now!! 

And, I say....Isn't that photo of the muffins - just beautiful?  Wow.. yumm!!!
Here is the recipe...
Grace’s Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
2/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
2 eggs

6  medium bananas or 4 large bananas - mashed
1/2 cup sour cream OR 1/2 cup applesauce OR 1/2 cup yogurt

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

3 cups flour (can do  2 cups white and 1 cup whole wheat)
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
Grease or line muffin tray - will make approx. 24-30 muffins (depending on how big you like them)

Beat together the butter, sugar and eggs.  Add in the mashed bananas and sour cream/apple sauce/yogurt, stir.  Mix in chocolate chips.  In a bowl sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Add mixture to wet ingredients, mixing gently until just moist.  Spoon into muffin tray, filling to 2/3rds full (or more...if you're like me! :)

Bake for 25 minutes


Fun alternative: Substitute butterscotch chips for the chocolate ones!!  Kaitlin says... I'm not even a big butterscotch fan and even I LOVED this variation!!

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So, there you have this edition of Mugs & Muffins.
See - aren't you glad you stayed around?
An awesome and encouraging guest post and a yummy muffin recipe to boot.

Oh wait, we planned a Giveaway in here, didn't we?!?!
Don't leave yet!!

:: GIVEAWAY ::
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!!

For the giveaway, today..I gathered a couple of things that I've had lying around to make today's giveaway something special and a bit unique!  Kind of like giving away a tangible sort of hug. ;)  And then... well ... keep reading!

 Let's start with the most important item...

The first on the list, is a book, entitled GOSPEL, by J D Greear - which needs a little bit of explaining as to why this book has been chosen to part of this giveaway!

So... back in April... when our family went to Canada to visit Kaitlin and her family.  We intentionally left behind a copy of this book as part of a hostess thank you, gift!

Recently, Kaitlin - unbeknownst to me... had decided to read it and share her honest opinion about the book over on her blog!  She did a swell job in this post and it's review...and when you have time - I hope you'll find a minute to go back and read her thoughts!!  It's rather compelling..

Today - I have another copy reserved for you!!  :)  And, I know this book will greatly encourage your soul!   I just know it will!

My husband, Scott, and I are still going through it chapter by chapter with our care group (at church) and it's been such a tremendous blessing to us.


If anything.  THIS BOOK is the main reason you should enter this giveaway!!  For reals...

Also included is this little Tea Wallet, made by me, for-  Bags by Bevy!,  This tea wallet holds up to four tea bags -  and with this, I'll include an assortment of teas as well as a bag of HUGS! (candy) **

Here comes the quirky part... there is a slight disclaimer.  Keep reading... ;)


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To enter this drawing... please read carefully... 

If you will...please, mention in the comment below - if there is someone you know you need to reach out to - more specifically! Perhaps by giving a hug or two more often.  You don't need to mention names... that's not the point.

I know I can certainly grow in this area. And - I can think of two or three people, right off the bat, in my life, (right in my own home) where I know I can do better.   Maybe you're like me and this hard for you to do?   Maybe, instead, you're a natural at handing out hugs... and you can easily relate to what Kaitlin had to share.

PLEASE go and check out Kaitlin's blog and tell her hello; tell her where you're from and give her a hearty thank you for all her hard work, here, on the this post!
Listen... If you sign up to follow her blog and you come back here to tell me (in the comment section) -- I'll give you an extra entry point.  
ALL COMMENTS, left here will earn you an additional entry...

Remember, the goal of Mugs & Muffins is to fellowship and to encourage one another... so keeping "talking" as if you really were around a table in fellowship!!

Disclaimer alert:
**Unfortunately, I will say this giveaway comes with a quirky obvious condition and you'll understand why (at least I hope!) as soon as I explain.  The more I thought about it... (after the photos were taken) I realized that the tea and the candy Hugs ... may or may not be such a good idea to have be included in this giveaway.  I guess it depends on where the winner lives!  I may have a hard time shipping these items out of the country as the heat and weather may not cooperate too well!!  I guess we'll see what happens.  Thanks for understanding...


However, to make up for this... there will most likely be a few other little surprise items tucked in along instead... if you don't mind!?!  


Once again... the GOSPEL book will certainly be gift enough.  You will not be disappointed... in any way, shape or form.  Trust me!

All this to say.  The giveaway is open until Wednesday, 6/24/15 - at 10pm, EST.  And is open to residents of the US and Canada.
The winner will be, randomly selected and announced, soon thereafter... hopefully by sometime Thursday, the 25th!!

***
Thank you, again, for your readership and your friendship!  You're a great group of readers... a sense of community...which I love!!

Go out and be generous with those hugs, today... okay?  Have a wonderful week!!

13 comments:

  1. Thank you Bevy for all of your hard work on this and for offering me the opportunity to guest post on your lovely Blog!! I love the give-away and I TOTALLY agree - People - enter for that book alone!! I would enter if I could! hahahah! And I already have a copy! It's THAT good! Thank you Bevy for all of your support and encouragement, my cyber Hug of the day! ;)

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  2. What a joy to come here and be amongst such beautiful women. Bevy and Kaitlin you are a blessing. On the subject of Hugs.. I always end my comments usually with the word Hugs.. and honestly, I don't know why maybe its because I wish I was a more touchy feeling kinda girl.. but I am so NOT.. oh I love to hug my children over and over, (I made that a priority) but to hug people I just met.. or when others hug me really just make me super uncomfortable. I love deeply, and if I send a note, msg, comment with the word hug please know that it is super heart felt.. just not sure if I could do that in person. I am not in anyway a distant person, and I love people but I am just one that has a super hard time doing so. And yes, I came from a non hugging family, married into a over the top hugging family, so now I just choose who and when its needed or should be given. I will never forget my MIL always hugging me, and telling my FIL to give me a hug... After several years, I guess over time he seen me cringe when she came towards me, and he finally said to his wife Tommie she will hug me if she wants to hug me.. and I will never forget the relief I felt. (yes her name was Tommie, she was named after her father) cute I thought. I guess for me it all boils down to this, if your my friend then a simple hug is fine, but if we just met then for me its a big No Can Do and I believe we can become close friends even if we havent met in person. Somehow distance is closed when hearts connect and then when meeting for the first time a hug would be fine with me. And as far as myself using the word Hugs at the end of a statement, I really enjoy your company, chatting, and friendship. For me to use the word Hugs, simply means you are special to me. I think I may have to change that now though.. maybe just a smile would be better. I know, I am over thinking all of this. Anyway, you girls are special to me, your writing and sharing are special as well. So Thank you for accepting me as I am.. Always from the heart.. (that's better than a hug at least for me)... lol.. Have a wonderful day..
    p.s. to each their own I always say.... ;)

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  3. Oh I forgot, Kaitlin what a wonderful way to honor your friend Grace. The muffin recipe sounds fabulous. Great outlook on hugs too. take care.... :)

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  4. Also, I left out people who I would like or need to hug more... I would have to say Jesus... I need to draw closer than I am, and always a work in progress.

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  5. Lovely post, Bevy. Thank you for sharing your friend with us here. Her words have been a blessing. Yes, hug more...I was an extreme hugger in Bible College days....my plan is to hug my family more. How quickly the days pass and in our busyness we can forget to slow down and really take the time to enter into the joys and sorrows of our children. Hugs to you! :) Camille

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  6. Mmm, I loved this post! I used to be a hugger... and I still always love and appreciate it, but I have certainly grown out of the habit of initiating it. Once I got married is when I seem to have stopped so much. Since my Stevey and I are so very affectionate, it seemed to fill up that tank and I don't reach out to others as much. Of course I hug my children, but I don't think enough. So I have been enjoying giving some today. :)
    I am going to try working on this habit again... I do love the way a hug expresses a silent I love you, you are precious.
    Thanks for your work to put this together, both of you!!

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  7. I'm not much for spontaneously handing out hugs to people. I am reserved and usually wait for the other person to make the move! I could improve in this area. A person I could reach out to is my mom who has faced a lot of family and church challenges in the last little while. She could use a little extra love and support right now!

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    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you stopped by. I'll be thinking of you as your relate to your mom and this situation.

      Consider yourself {hugged} today... and be encouraged!! Because of HIS great love for you - He is with you and will never leave your forsaken. Amen?

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  8. Hey girls, yep its me again:) I forgot to mention, I opt out of this giveaway.. Even though its so, so good please know this post has answered some great questions for me... and that is a gift... so please withdraw me from this one... Thanks...

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    Replies
    1. Oh Connie... you're too cute. Well... I would say... it's surely up to you. I would still love to include for a chance at winning. If you wanted you could always regift and give a tangible hug (gift) to someone else if you win. The book is amazing!!

      Let me know. I would love to keep your name in the drawing. I haven't done it yet.

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  9. Hey all,
    Stacey here looking to win me this great book Gospel...it's been recommended to my highly by....the guest blogger herself!!!! So what do I feel about hugs.....well I LOVE THEM.... I always start into a hug with ' wanna hug?' in a higher pitch tone.... and usually it's a good one...I like to squeeze people's love out of them!!!! and let them know that my love is an easy squeeze away!!!! I think for me because it's a genuine, heart felt, loving, and caring way to instantly get to know someone....armour down if you will. Hugs are good for so many different reasons and seasons, from the ... I wanna squish all the little children and their cuteness....to I just wanna love my man like this for ever....to I can't express how the last 18 hours without you has been.... to your my bestie so here is my best.....to life is too short and I don't know how much longer we have so hug away! Does everyone enjoy hugging....nope....and so will I push it on them...nope...because that wouldn't be loving and genuine....hence the high pitch...'wanna hug'. There is just so much about personal touch that transends speach and leads to a deeper connection.
    Like those moments when you have been praying your heart out to God and begging for Him to hear you and just be here...now... in this ...with you. Then there He is, that embrace that only God can give. That one where you don't see or hear Him....but He IS there. You just know it by His embrace....maybe that's what I hope other people feel, His love shinning through me... hugging them, simple, sweet, genuine and true.
    Many hugs to all of you and may His presence abound in yours!!!
    oo Stacey oo

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    Replies
    1. OOOHHH... Stacey... I 'm so glad you came by here, today. I miss you!! And - what's really fun... is I can hear you say all of this...

      You know - the friendship that you and Kaitlin share still blesses me whenever I think about it. Sister's in the LORD for sure... it's beautiful. Thank you for coming by. You know you're welcome to come back again... anytime. I loved your comment. So great!!

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    2. Yeah...gee...nice "comment"...you coulda wrote the post yourself Stacey! ;)

      And I'm glad you two ladies got to meet and spend some serious time together - hard to meet one of us without meeting the other - just wouldn't seem right! ;)

      Some day (SOON!!!?!?!) Bevy - you'll have to take Stacey and I to your favourite stores!! I just read the winner reveal post - that's a perfect piece for your home, just lovely!

      Delete

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

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