Why I Am Giving Away The Small Stuff

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( Tuesdays I share a picture from our week that inspired me to write a post)

It is time to confess I don’t resell as much of my stuff as I once did. In fact just this week the kids and I filled the entire back of my SUV with items we no longer needed and dropped them all off at a local thrift store.

3 Reasons To Give Away The Small Stuff

You see before I started this blog, reselling was one of my favorite ways to add money to our families income. I would hold a Craiglist blitz weekend and raise enough to go camping for a week. I would list items on eBay and pay for swimming lessons and soccer fees.  I held a yard sale and made enough for my husband and I to go on a couples weekend getaway. I would drag bags of too small clothes to consignment stores and cash out my account to pay for a fun day with friends.

I had time on my hands to do those sorts of things, and I was good at it them,  which caused  people to ask me to help them resell their things and so I started this blog to help them and then I didn’t have so much time on my hands.

We also once lived in an awesome location for yard sales and now we don’t. My children’s clothes were once small enough for a consignment store that was very easy to use and now their not.

My season of life has completely changed and with it my reselling habits has changed. I  now have a reselling limit. If I cannot sell an item for $10 or more to the thrift store it goes (with the exception of Homeschooling curriculum that I sell at a once a year second hand curriculum sale)

My limit reminds me of Crystal’s story about why she doesn’t make homemade tortillas . My time is valuable.  It isn’t that I am earning a lot of money on this blog, but I am  earning some, and each hour I spend reselling instead of blogging takes away from my potential  blog earnings, yet reselling can often yield a higher hourly wage for me than blogging.  It is a bit of a juggling act but by setting my reselling limit at $10 profit minimum,  I have made balancing it easier on myself .

3 Reasons why I am loving My $10 Resell Limit

1. I am supporting local charities

I have been deeply touched by the book  More Or Less  and I have been praying for a way to give from my families excess ( you need to read the book to understand) and giving my small stuff to a local thrift store who uses the money to feed the local hungry seems like a great answer to prayer. A single income family like my own can’t afford to give many cash donations but we can afford to donate the small items we no longer use.

2. The limit makes decluttering faster

Before I use to take time deciding whether an item we no longer used was best sold at a yard sale, or at a consignment store or perhaps some other method of reselling would be better. The process was time consuming, and I often put it off because it took so much time. Now I hold an item up and say to myself “can I get $10 or more for this ” and if not it goes in the give pile. Just this week I was able to go through our entire attic in under an hour collecting the SUV load in the above picture for the thrift store. In my “reselling almost everything days” that same job would have taken hours.

3. I have less stuff around

I use to have boxes of stuff in the attic for the next yard sale, boxes of clothes in the closet waiting for the consignment store to change seasons, and boxes in the family room full of books waiting until I got enough to sell as a lot on eBay. Now I try to snap a picture and sell and item in a local Facebook Buy and Sell group the minute I decide we don’t need it , and  as soon as I have a box or two for the thrift store it is out of the house on my next trip to town.

Your stage of life is probably different than mine. You need to decide what level of reselling  is best for you and your family in your current stage of life. For me and my family that level is sticking to selling big items only and allowing smaller items to fund local charities.

This post was inspired by My Changing View Of Stuff on A Slob Comes Clean. After reading Noni’s thoughts on her changing views on the value of her stuff I began thinking more and more about my own changing views of my families stuff. I highly recommend Noni’s blog A Slob Comes Clean to all messies like myself. 

Need help getting organized? Follow my Organization board on Pinterest.

  10 Ways To Tame Clutter (small)Looking for ways to tame the clutter in your home that you don’t want to sell? Here are 10 of my favorite ways to tame clutter.

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It Is Time For Something New

passioncreate

Summer break  is coming to a close for us this week with our children returning to their homeschooling lessons. I did make last weeks goal and it was so relaxing to just float around the pool and enjoy a good read.

With summer break coming to a close I think it is a great time to transition my goal posts into something new. I have been writing a weekly goal post since the start of  Snail Pace Transformations back in 2012.Sharing my weekly goals  has been a great way to allow you, my readers, a peek into my life but I think it is time for something new.

Those that want to see what I get up to during the week can follow me on  Instagram, where I try to post at least a picture each day of something me or the family is up to. I also try as best as I can to reply to  all comments left. Facebook is also another great place to interact with me,I try to ask my followers there a question each and every day and interact with those of you that answer.

Mondays here will be switching over to encouraging  fuel to help you and me, power through our week. The fuel will either be quotes that I have found encouraging  that I hope will encourage you as much as they encourage me, or a few thoughts on how a book I am reading is encouraging & inspiring me, or links to blog posts I read that inspired and encouraged me that I think will encourage and inspire you, or a few words from my heart that I hope will give you positive fuel for your week ahead.

My mission here at Snail Pace Transformations is to help moms find the time and money they need to pursue their passions while maintaining balance in their lives, but to pursue passions you need more than time and money management tips you need inspiration and encouragement, I am hoping Monday’s posts will bring you just that.

10 Ways Thrifty People Save Money On Workout Clothes

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I run, I bike, I swim, I kayak, I walk, I hike, and  I have a small dresser full of workout gear and accessories   in my dining room to prove it.

10 Ways Thrifty People Save Money On Workout ClothesYes, my workout gear is in my dining room. It got moved there when my husband use to work late and I worked out early and moving the workout gear to another room was a way of keeping the peace. But you didn’t come today for marriage tips you came wanting ways to save money on workout gear.

10 Ways Thrifty People Save Money on Workout Clothes

1. Buy on clearance.

I rarely ever pay more than $5 for a workout top and I am able to keep them in that price range by continually searching the clearance racks every time I am in Target and TJ Maxx.

2. Stay Away From Pricey Designer Brands

Names like Danskin, Avia and Champion make up the majority of my workout gear. These brands work well and cost less than designer label workout gear.

3. Own just what you need

I workout daily, sometimes twice a day (yes I know I have a problem). I know I need exactly 4 hot weather outfits and 4 cold weather outfits to get by between washes, no more, no less.

4. Take care of what you buy

I have a drying rack in our upstairs bathroom and I use it for all my workout gear. Lycra and moisture wicking fabrics last longer when you allow them to drip dry.

5. Search for coupons and discount codes and cash back deals if shopping on line

I bought my last workout shirts from Walmart.com I made sure to check all of my favorite cash back companies to see who was offering the best cash back deal.

(psst. don’t forget to check out how many Swag Bucks you would get per dollar too if you were to shop through their site to see if you might be better off getting Swag Bucks towards gift cards than a cash deal)

6. Buy your workout clothes with discount gift cards

TJ Max is one of my favorite places for buying inexpensive compression gear and running bras. When I know I am getting close to needing new ones I check cardpool.com for a discount gift card, that lets me save money before I even walk in the doors.

7. Shop online outlet stores

When I was swimming laps in the morning I met a lady who gave me a great savings tip for all swimmers. She told me to swimoutlet.com to save money on swimsuits and swim gear. If you know of another great online outlet store for workout clothes share it in the comments.

8. Keep your eyes open for New With Tag deals at Online consignment stores

I know very few people who are interested in second hand workout gear, but did you know that both Twice and ThredUP offer a New With Tags section that can be a great source of inexpensive new workout wear. Best part if you are not a member you get $10 for both ThredUp and Twice when you sign up through my referral links.

9. Cash in points from point reward programs for gift cards towards purchasing your workout gear.

Swagbucks offers a variety of gift card options for stores that sell workout gear, including my 3 favorite sources for inexpensive workout gear, Walmart, Target and TJMaxx.

Set a goal to earn so much a month, I have plans that can help you earn ,$25 to $50 a month or more each and every month and you could earmark the points for gift cards for workout gear

10. daily deal sites

My favorite site for workout gear deals is Zulily. They have sales almost daily on different brands of workout gear. Over the course of a month Zulily will run sales on workout gear that suits almost every figure type and budget.

Linked to Saver Tip Tuesdays, Thrifty Thursdays,

thrifty exercise (small)Want to make working out as thrifty as your workout clothes? Check out 10 Ways Thrifty People Exercise.

 

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Printable Coupons Now Available

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$0.75 off flavor/variety Cascadian Farm product
See the coupon above. You can click on it and get it right here from my site! I am so excited about offering printable coupons to my readers. It seems like such a great service to offer considering my goal here on Snail Pace Transformations is to equip my readers with ways to save money and time so they can pursue their passions.
A great way to save money is with printable coupons, so I am happy to be offering you printable coupons from

and a few more coupon companies. You will find an up to date listing of available printable coupons nestled under the coupon tab found in the menu at the top of the blog.

I am hoping in the near future to provide you with a once a week listing of the best printable coupons available but remember the current coupons are just a click away under the coupon tab.

 

Hearing Loss & Why I Owe A Lady At Sam’s An Apology

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I had a hearing test last week. I have to admit I was expecting the test to show an easy fix to my growing list of things I don’t seem to hear, like compact wax or …..well I don’t know what really so when the hearing specialist started showing me samples for hearing aids I was shocked.

Turns out I have reverse-slope hearing loss where I can hear high pitched sounds, but not the low pitched ones. Turns out reverse slop hearing loss is  extremely rare, so rare that most hearing specialists only see a small handful of people with it  in the span of their entire careers.

I don’t know a lot about it yet, but when they put a pair of demo hearing aids in my ears  I was so shocked at all the sounds I had been missing around me that I don’t really remember ever hearing my entire life.

Hearing Loss & Why I Owe A Lady At Sam's An Apology

One of the first sounds I heard made me realize I was holding on to a grudge way too long, and I needed to apologize and get over it.

Dear Lady At Sam’s Club

Do you remember me? I am the lady who about a year ago cut you and your cart off down the nut aisle . You swore up and down at me , saying how rude I was, and how selfish. I honestly, couldn’t figure out why you were so angry with me. I was so rattled at your anger that when I got to my car I shed a few tears.  I know I bumped into your cart but I didn’t hear it coming.

You see it wasn’t until they put sample hearing aids on me at Sam’s Club this week that I realized just how hard to believe  the words “I didn’t hear your cart coming ” were.

I never knew shopping carts made such a loud rumbling noise when you push them around Sam’s club. I am sure most people can hear them approaching from quite the distance, but I learned this week that my hearing is not that of most people.

You probably thought I stepped in front of you on purpose as an action of my need for a super sized bottle of nuts being more important than your mission for whatever was in aisle 4, because surely I could have heard your loud cart approaching and therefore would have waited to reach over and grab what I wanted until you passed by. Truth was I didn’t hear you or your cart, but I did clearly hear your high pitched screaming that resulted when I ran into your cart, which is probably one more reason why you didn’t believe me when I said “sorry, I didn’t hear your cart coming up behind me” , but instead continued to yell at me about my selfish ways.

The whole situation makes me realize now, we really can’t judge a person by what we see on the outside.

Lady at Sam’s club I am sure if you knew tore a strip out of a person with reverse slope hearing loss, you would feel like crawling under a rock right now. Lady at Sam’s club I am sorry for holding a grudge, and I know I am holding one since you were the first person who popped in my head when I could finally hear sounds I was missing, not how much clearer my husband’s voice sounded. Lady at Sam’s club perhaps you were having a very bad day one in which you felt a million miles behind and me jumping in front of your cart, caused every  bit of tension you were holding on to come to an ugly head that you felt horrible for later.

Truth is I will never know your side of the story and you will never know mine, but I won’t give your actions another thought after today because that day with hearing aids in for the first time I was reminded….

give grace, give love, give mercy, give forgiveness because you can’t see all that a person is dealing with on the outside, we might look 100% fine, but physically or emotionally we might be struggling with more than one issue that hinders us from doing what seems like the most lovable choice.

 

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How Having A “Good Enough” Attitude Saves Money

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Last week I showed you pictures of some of the items we have fixed in the last year with replacement parts from Amazon, and how much money we have saved doing that.

After that post went live I was vacuuming when I had a thought, sometimes how we save money is by either not replacing what is broken, or by what my husband calls “good enough” fix jobs.

how having a good enough attitude can save you money

 For instance my vacuum. The on/off switch broke years ago, it is constantly in on mode unless unplugged, so we simply plug it in when we need it and unplug it when we don’t.

fridge drawer fix One of the drawers in our fridge cracked over 5 years ago and I have held it together with see through packing tape for years. I made sure the drawer was good and dry, cut a piece of packing tape to generously cover the crack, pressed it down hard to make sure it stuck really good, and it has I made the fix years ago and it is still going strong.

car seat fixThe drivers seat of my car got a rip along the edge a short while ago. This week I got some duct tape in a similar color and I intend to do a similar fix to my driver’s seat as I did to my fridge drawer.

quick purse fix

 The zipper pull fell off one of my favorite purses, so I used a ring from a free key chain as a replacement.

 Yes, it is true, these “good enough” fixes may not be aesthetically pleasing, but when you are on tight budget, they really do help stretch money further.

It is all a matter of priorities. Would you rather spend money on a new fridge drawer, or would you rather put that money towards a larger money goal like getting rid of the car payment, or going camping for the week as a family, or ……….(fill it what you would rather do).

 Does your family do “good enough” fixes?

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One Summer Fun Goal: August 4 to 10

(post contains affiliate links see disclosure)one summer fun goal for the weekLast Week’s Goal

I did take a me day.

It was more of a long afternoon than a day, but still I enjoyed it. I shopped Goodwill, went for lunch at Panera Bread, did a bit of blogging, and finished it up with some Target clearance shopping.

This Week’s Goal

Buy a new pool lounger

I have yet, this summer,  to enjoy a lazy summer evening floating in our above ground pool while reading a a book. This is that week! Temperatures look great, only problem last season’s pool loungers did not survive the kids, so time to buy a new one and hid it when I am not using it.

What I read this week

NOTHING ….I think I might have read a paragraph all week.

What I Am Reading

In Paperback Form

The Wholehearted Wife :   I am really enjoying this title so far. It is a great reminder that to love your spouse fully you must love yourself fully.

On My Kindle Paperwhite

How To Homeschool 9th and 10th Grade: (didn’t read a single page of it this week I am having problems letting go of summer time and preparing for the next school year) It is almost that time of year again and my second child will be entering 9th grade this August. I want to start off his highschool years on solid footings so I am looking forward to reading this title.

On My Kindle App

The Choice Is Yours: Life Happens: Walking With God Is A Decision. Not a page read, but I have enjoyed what I have read so far.

An Announcement I Am Excited About

$1.00 off one bag of BROOKSIDE chocolate

If you look up in the menu above you will see a new menu tab labeled “coupons” where I talk about all the posts in which I have ever mentioned coupons.

Below that tab is a list of all the printable coupon companies that I am now offering to you right here on the blog for printing ease.

Savings.com

Smartsource

Redplum

Hopster

I am hoping offer a once a week coupon post in the near future that will highlight the best coupons from each of these sights but for now they are all available for your to view and print when ever you want.

 

5 Yard Sale Finds Worth Reselling For Profit On eBay

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Back before I started a blog, and even before I renovated 3 homes with my husband in 4 years ,I sold items on eBay on a fairly regular basis to help pay for my children’s activities or I would save it up and pay for something bigger like a family camping trip.

5 yard sale finds worth reselling for profit on ebay

I still do list the odd thing on eBay now and again, but it is usually items that we already own and no longer need. When I was doing eBay more regularly it was yard sale items that I bought with the intention of reselling for profit.

5 Yard Sale Finds Worth Reselling For Profit On eBay

It took me a bit of trial and error to figure out what sold on eBay and what didn’t. In time I began to stick to the five items I am going to mention below.

A word of caution: what I find in my area to be low enough priced to resell for profit might not be what you can find in your area.

Below are the 5 items that I found low priced enough over and over again to resell for profit and I mention them because I believe them to be available almost everywhere. However this list is not exhaustive, you are probably going to be able to find more than 5 items,  for instance I know of women who resell yard sale found clothing on eBay and do amazing with it, however when I tried it, I flopped. Looking back it is probably because I am not a fashionista , so I don’t know the trendy brands that people really want, you however might be a fashion queen and so reselling clothes will work for you.

My suggestion is to study eBay completed listings and sold listings for at least a few hours before you head out your first time yard sale shopping with the intentions of buying things to sell on eBay. I also suggest that you take it slow. Invest perhaps $5 to $10 the first time you buy specifically for reselling and then don’t buy more until you list and sell those items.  There is a learning curve to eBay but thankfully it doesn’t have to be expensive to get into it and start learning. My rule was to never buy and item I couldn’t  resell at my next yard sale for the same price if it didn’t sell like I thought it would on eBay.

A  good book to read and learn the complete ins and outs of eBay is eBay For Dummies.

Check out my post: Successfully selling on eBay for a few pointers to get you started on your eBay selling adventures.

That said here is my list of 5 items I have bought from yard sales and resold on eBay for profit over and over again and I am fairly certain most people could have success with reselling these items too.

1. Books

I have always had the best of luck with Children’s books, especially selling about 1 dozen books of either the same author, or the same subject and reading level if non fiction. Another type that does well are the leveled readers such as the “step into reading” series.

If you put around 1 dozen leveled readers in a lot on eBay right around the time teachers are stocking their class rooms for fall (July and August), or homeschoolers are getting ready for the new school year they will usually turn a tidy profit, especially if you were able to pick them up for .10 cents to .25 cents which is the going yard sale rate in my area.

Board book sets also do well. Just make sure they are from quality authors and not the ones you find at the dollar store. A few good ones are titles from the Bright and Early Board book series , as well as those by Max Lucado, and Sandra Boynton. I always found I made more per book when I sold them in lots of 4 or more titles at a time.

Always make sure the books are free of creases, rips, writing and musty or smokey smells. They should be in like new condition to obtain the most profit.

Another great idea that works for book selling is to browser through what book series are popular currently and then look for those at sales. Don’t buy them unless you have the whole set,  unless you get a steal of a deal because partial sets do not sell as well and you could end up with books that either won’t sell or sell for very little profit.

2. Maternity Clothes

Maternity clothes are about the only clothes I have ever had luck selling. Look for classic pieces women could wear to work like black skirts and pants, as well as trendy items like maxi dresses and skirts. Jeans do well too, just make sure they are current style. I always stuck to brands like Old Navy and always managed to sell them.

I found that items like dresses sold best separately, however if you find a bunch of clothes that are all the same size and make into great mix and match outfits then selling them as a lot might be best as first time moms who are starting their maternity wardrobes from scratch will buy them. Again condition is everything you want the clothes to be free of stains and rips and look like new.

3.  Current Homeschooling Curriculum

I wouldn’t go older than 3 years if you are taking your first chance at selling homeschooling curriculum. You really have to know what is popular and what isn’t before you get into reselling homeschooling curriculum.

You run into homeschooling curriculum more often than you would think at yard sales and it is usually undervalued. You might want to dig in those piles of old text books a bit more closely because that is often where you will find current homeschooling curriculum mixed in.

For instance I once found a family selling 2 entire years worth of Alpha Omega Lifepac’s and 90% of the booklets were still sealed in their original packages.They had them right beside a bunch of books that were older than.

4. Little Tikes Doll House Pieces.

The Vintage  Little Tikes Doll House Pieces (look up on eBay to view) are hard to find but even if you just find one in a .25 cent bin pick it up because it could be worth between $5 and $20 depending on how rare the piece is.

The houses themselves are expensive to ship and therefore usually don’t sell well on eBay so I usually sold those separately through another avenue of reselling, since you often have to buy them with all the pieces at a yard sale.

The vintage Fisher Price doll house pieces also do well, but you don’t find those at yard sales as readily as you do the vintage Little Tikes doll house pieces, at least not where I live.

You will make the most profit by selling these pieces individually as buyers are usually trying to complete sets.

5. Lego

All types of Lego generally sell well but I had the best of luck selling Duplo figurines. Winnie the Pooh, Dora, Buzz Light year, basically whatever figure is based on a popular children’s movie  or TV show generally sells well. Duplo Train tracks and vehicles also do well.

I would often buy a box or two of Lego during one day of yard sale shopping  spending perhaps $5 to $10  and then go home and divided into several different eBay auctions, one for the figurines, one for the cars ,and all the bricks went into my children’s Lego and Duplo buckets.

I can think of only one time when I had an auction for Lego that didn’t sell and it  was a very large piece (an alligator that picked up blocks when you pushed it along the floor).  Lesson learned stay away from the large Lego items like tables and such, at least for eBay.

These 5 items have turned me a profit time and time again on eBay for very little investment, best part is if they don’t sell on eBay I can sell them off at my own yard sale for what I paid for them and I am out nothing but some time.

Have you ever sold on eBay? If so what has sold well for you?

Wanting to make money at home? Follow my Selling & Earnings Tips board on Pinterest.

Linked to Saver Tips Tuesday, Thrifty Thursday,

how to prepare items for sale so that you get top dollar (small)The most important part of selling things on eBay is getting your item ready for sale. Read How To Prepare Items For Sale So That You Can Get Top Dollar for tips on preparing your items for resale.

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Bread Machine Stuffed Pizza Bread

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bread machine stuffed pizza bread

This recipe started out as ham and cheese pockets found over at Money Saving Mom, which I first made for my family a year or so ago.

One day however, during a week when I was trying to put off going to the grocery store as long as possible the ham and cheese filling was replaced with the pepperoni, seasoned hamburger and cheese that we had on hand.

The new combination was a big hit and soon I was making half the batch with ham and cheese and half with peperoni and seasoned hamburger.

A lazy afternoon arrived and I just didn’t feel like rolling out 20 pizza pockets (we have 2 bread machines a normal batch makes 10) and a idea was born out of pure laziness.  I decided to swap the “pocket” for “bread”.

I made 2 long loaves out of each batch of dough and filled them with the toppings. My family loved them. 2 long loaves feeds all five of us for dinner when served with a veggie platter or fresh fruit.

I generally get both bread machines going at once so I can make up 2 batches and freeze one for a quick meal later in the month. If your family is not as big as mine (I basically feed 5 adults now) you might even have leftovers to freeze if you only have one bread machine.

Here are a few tips for making bread machine stuffed pizza bread

 

Divide the dough into 2 for pizza breadPlace all ingredients in your bread machine and then set to “dough” setting. When it is done then divide the dough into two even sized balls, and set aside while you get all your ingredients for the stuffing out.

roll dough out for stuffed pizza breadRoll the dough out into a pocket that is longer than it is wide. When mine are rolled out they are about the size of a regular cookie sheet, so that when folded shut you could fit the 2 pockets side by side on one cookie sheet (although I cook mine on 2 sheets because I have the oven room).

preparing to close the stuffed pizza breadNext go ahead and stuff the stuffed pizza bread with what ever topping you want. Pictured here is a mix of pizza sauce, pepperoni, seasoned hamburger, mozzarella, cheddar, and parmesan which is a family favorite, but you can mix it up however you want it. Stuff pizza bread night is a great night to use up those  little bits of this and that leftover in the fridge and freezer.

Here is a tip before you fold over your pocket wet all the edges with a bit of water using either your finger or a pastry brush. This will help seal the dough better decreasing the chances of the toppings oozing out of the bread pocket.

closing the pizza breadAnother tip for ensuring a tight seal on the stuffed pizza bread, is to use the back side of a fork to pinch the dough together.

bread machine stuffed pizza bread yumOnce your pocket loaf is made, place it in oven that has been preheated to 350 degrees until golden brown which takes about 15 to 18 minutes. Cool for 5 and then slice and serve.

Looking for more ideas for your bread machine? Checkout my Bread Machine Recipes board on Pinterest

Linked to Thrifty Thursday, Weekend Potluck,

Bread Machine Stuffed Pizza Bread

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 4 Tablespoons dry milk
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons yeast
  • 1 cup warm water

Instructions

  1. Place the above ingredients in bread machine and run it on dough cycle
  2. divide the dough into 2 even sized balls
  3. roll dough out until it is about 1/4 of an inch thick and is longer than it is wide
  4. place your ingredients of your choosing (mine were pepperoni, seasoned hamburger, mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, pizza sauce and parmesan cheese) on one half of the long piece of dough making sure to leave about 1/4 of an inch all around the edges without toppings
  5. using either a finger or a pastry brush wet down the edges of the rolled dough and then fold one half over the half with toppings and seal by pressing down a back side of a flat fork into the dough.
  6. Place the now long pizza bread pocket on a lightly greased cookie sheet
  7. put in an oven that has been preheated to 350
  8. cook for 15 to 18 minutes until the bread is slightly golden in color
  9. let it cool 5 minutes before slicing.
  10. (freezer friendly can freeze when fully cooled if you wish)
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 bread-machine-recipes-and-tips (small)Been a while since you got that bread machine out of the back of the cupboard? Take a peek at my Bread Machine Recipes and Tips page and put that bread machine to work for your family.

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It Is Time To Tell My Story

the lesson found in sea glass

For 40 years I have lived as a daughter of an alcoholic, then this spring my alcoholic dad died.  I have kept my story hidden for many years because forgiveness made me love my daddy so much I couldn’t allow his drinking to destroy his relationship with his grandchildren. I wanted them to love the good side of their grandaddy and so I set firm boundaries to keep them safe from the dark side; the side that was caught in a love affair with a dark amber liquid that brought out the worst in him.

As of late however, God has made it clear it is time for my secret to come to the surface. I am trusting God to give my children the same ability to forgive and give grace as I have.

My dad’s death has  stirred so many emotions in my heart, good memories, bad memories, things said that should never have been said, things I wished were said, but one thing that keeps me from falling too far into a sea of regret about my childhood is the fact that as an adult God helped me to forgive my father.

Not only did I forgive him but God help me gain a new understanding of my father. We might have had a strange relationship over the last few years  before he died that existed only through the written word of snail mail but I looked forward to his letters,  and through them I was finally able to separate who my dad really was from who my dad was with alcohol flowing through his system.

God used so many things to heal my heart to the point where I no longer feared my father  but instead had empathy for him, one such item  God used to help me  was sea glass.

I had collected and cherished a growing glass jar of sea glass for decades before it struck me I was  collecting pieces of the very vessel that held the liquid that took my father from me, destroyed my family and robbed me of many childhood years.

Yet knowing what I know now I continue to collect sea glass in fact now I love it even more.

Why? Because God spoke to me through sea glass in a powerful way that helped me love my dad despite his addiction and also allowed me to give myself to God fully for complete healing.

Through the process of being tossed around in the storms that life gave it and through the sand and salt chipping away at its shinny surface and its rough edges that ugly daddy taking vessel became  beautiful pieces of  smooth glittering art that is collected and treasured.

And that is exactly how God works on the human heart. He uses life’s storms, life’s sand and salt to remove our sharp edges and form us into something beautiful.

My life will forever be touched by the dark side of alcohol, but I don’t have to spread the pain one generation further.  I took hold of God’s hand years ago and allowed Him to smooth down the sharp painful parts of my history to a beautiful smooth finish that instead of spreading pain to those around me can spread joy.

I am not perfect yet. I still have  many sharp points  left, but that is what grace is for. God covers me with His grace when a I cause pain to a loved one with a sharp point I didn’t even know I still had. He also convicts me and brings me to my knees to repent and ask forgiveness, and through that process the sharp points left get a little smoother.

Are you living a shattered life due to someones addictions you cannot control?  Give your sharp broken pieces to God and let Him take you through the waves of forgiveness. Let Him use the salt of your tears and the sand of time to mold those pieces into something treasured by all, something so valuable that sea goers spend hours searching for just a few pieces of it and when they find one they hold it up to the light to enjoy its beauty then they bring it home with them to put it on display as a piece of art to be valued.

Your are valuable, You are worthy, You are a work of priceless art created by God.

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