Happy Thanksgiving y’all!

Happy Thanksgiving from our house to yours sweet friends! We hope you have a blessed and wonderful day.

Love and hugs💗

#ThankfulGratefulBlessed

#BlessedBeyondMeasure

I Am Grateful

My Gratitude List:

My Jesus tops the list.

My Bible, the word of God.

My hunky hubby.

My 3 precious girls, and my 2 awesome son in laws.

My family and friends. Where would I be without y’all.

My Trophy of Grace blogging family.

My Ladies Small Groups.

My mentor.

My Spark in the morning, lol but for real. It gives me energy and clarity.

The beauty of sunsets everyday.

Thankful for being able to buy the groceries we need, the kitchen to prepare the food to nourish our bodies.

Our home that keeps us safe and dry, cool in the hot, humid summers and warm in the winter.

The dry cleaner who does my husband’s clothes because I can’t starch them enough, haha. He likes them to walk on their own lol.

The doctors who care for me. They give me the right treatments for my body and the medications and supplements I need.

My health, although I have challenges there is still always something to be thankful for. I may have to look a little harder and longer on rougher days but they are still there.

Thankful for my arms, while they might be a little flabby these days 😉 they are perfect for hugging and lovin’ on my family.

Hot water to shower with.

Clean water to drink.

The mere fact if you just open your eyes this morning, that’s a gift and a blessing.

Your worst day with God is better than your best day without Him.

My advice is just be present in the moment sweet friends, even in the tough times there are still blessings in disguise we just have to look for them.

Lastly,”Every good and perfect gifts comes from above.”

What are you grateful for?

Seeds of discouragement can’t take root in a grateful heart.”

Happy Thanksgiving y’all!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

2 Turkey Pardons Coming Right Up

Y’all!!! I just can’t even!! LOL🤣 This just cracks me up.

“Bread & Butter, the turkeys that will be pardoned by President Donald Trump, hang out in their hotel room on Monday.” Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo

All these years I never knew this was a thing until my Dad and I were talking about Thanksgiving and turkey.

“The turkeys arrived at the Willard Hotel on Sunday to enjoy a luxurious stay in a historic D.C. suite ahead of Tuesday’s time-honored White House tradition in which the sitting president publicly spare 2 lucky birds from becoming Thanksgiving dinner.”

These hobnobbing turkeys stay in the hotel until they go to “Gobbler’s Rest,” an agricultural education facility at Virginia Tech University.

This tradition goes back to President Lincoln. His son grew attached to a turkey that happened to be brought to the White House and Lincoln unofficially pardoned the turkey from his demise and so a tradition began.

There will be no “Bread & Butter” served up this holiday season but I do love your siblings 😉

Have a great day y’all!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

Gluten Free Cornbread Dressing

One of my favorites, Cornbread Dressing. Oh it makes my heart so happy.

Personally, I prefer cornbread dressing over stuffing. My grandmother who was an amazing cook, use to make oyster dressing for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was so gross, like a nasty moist glob in a bowl🤢 She always thought I loved it…..like she thought I loved the prune juice she use to make me drink every day🤢 She’d say “Tori, did you have a BM today?” LOL🤣🙈 Sweet memories.

Moving on…now that I gave you a laugh. If I don’t make my homemade GF cornbread I use Krusteaz Gluten Free Honey Cornbread Mix. It’s so easy and delicious.

I use this cream of chicken. Walmart now carries their own GF cream of chicken which is ok I just prefer this one.

Preheat oven 425 degrees.

2 Boxes Krusteaz Gluten Free Honey Cornbread Mix.

– Cook cornbread to directions on box and then crumble

2 Pacific Cream of Chicken

1/2 Large onion chopped (Or more of you desire)

Optional Add- Celery ( 1 cup chopped)

4-5 Boiled Eggs diced

6 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs chopped bite size

-Boil chicken and save chicken stock.

Garlic Salt and Pepper to taste. Sage optional.

Add in chicken stock as needed to add in a little moisture.

***I usually put a little bit of chicken stock on the top of the dressing before I put in over.

Mixed all your ingredients together.

Spray pan(s)

Bake for 15 minutes on 425, then LOWER to 375 for 35-40 minutes depending on your oven.

Check to make sure the middle is done, if not, cook a few more minutes and then enjoy! 😋

Serve with Cranberry sauce.

Hope you enjoy our Cornbread Dressing.

Happy Thanksgiving y’all!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

Be Thankful And Say So

Psalm 100:1-5 “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all you lands! 

Serve the Lord with gladness! Come before His presence with singing! 

Know (perceive, recognise, and understand with approval) that the Lord is God! It is He Who has made us, not we ourselves [and we are His]! We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and a thank offering and into His courts with praise!

Be thankful and say so to Him, bless and affectionately praise His name!

For the Lord is good; His mercy and loving-kindness are everlasting, His faithfulness and truth endure to all generations.

Today I’m reminded of these beautiful verses when I found myself upset about something.

When you have a certain thing you’re believing and praying for and then you think you have an answer but only to find out it’s a partial answer, it can be discouraging.

That’s where I found myself this week. I was complaining to myself and as God would have it He had someone very special to me call and just “check on me.” Just at the right time…It was just what I needed. He always knows what we need when we need it.

Even in the midst of pain and suffering we can still come boldly to the throne and be in the presence of God.

We have the choice; to live and camp out in our suffering, become isolated and complain and blame or we can choose to live with a grateful heart despite our suffering. If we do the later, He can’t help but move on your behalf.

I’ll tell ya, my circumstances didn’t change at all but my heart sure did with one phone call of encouragement.

We have so much to be thankful for and yet so often we find ourselves complaining…..and a lot of time it’s about little things or things we can’t even change.

Complain and remain. Praise and be raised.

If we just turn our complaining into praising our hearts change, our minds shift, and while our circumstances may not change we do.

Sometimes God doesn’t change our circumstances because He is trying to change our heart.

The devil hates for us to have thankful hearts because he knows it will help us overcome life’s trials and walk in victory.

Are you ready to walk in victory?

A thankful heart helps to grow our faith and trust in God because we view our trials as a way grow closer to God instead of further away from him.

There are many people in my life that are having problems and some very serious stuff I might add. But I want to remind you of the provision of God. Things in our life may not be perfect but we serve a perfect and holy God and He loves you and me with a perfect love.

We need to practice a grateful and thankful heart. How does one do that? You meditate on the good things in our lives instead of the bad. It’s easy to see the bad but focusing on the good changes our heart and outlook.

Let me ask you, who or what are you thankful for in your life?

His Word says “Be thankful and say so.” So why keep it to yourself? You should say so! Tel them and tell them often. Don’t just save it for Grateful November, be an encourager every day.

Be thankful for the Lord working on your behalf even when you can’t see it. Praise Him for what He’s done in your life.

Be thankful and say so.

You never know what people are dealing with, a smile, a call, a compliment, or a hug could make such a difference.

Sweet friends, use your words for good and don’t focus on the bad or negative in your life.

How can you be a blessing?

What can you do to make a difference in someone’s life?

Take some time and think about how you can make a difference and give God praise for all the many blessings we have.

Be thankful and say so!

Sword Of The Spirit

1 Chronicles 16:34 “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.”

1 Corinthians 1:4 “I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.”

Psalm 107:8-9 “Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.”

Psalm 100:4 “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.”

Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Hope you guys have a wonderful week!

Big hugs,

Nicole 💗

Home For The Holidays- Some Of My Favorite Things

Welcome to the Hopkins Homestead Traditional Christmas.

The smell of Christmas is in the air. Yep you guessed it, Bath And Body Works “Winter” plugs in and their “Fireside” candles are my favorites. I stock up enough to last me all year long.

Did I mention I’m addicted to Bath and Body Works? My husbands jokes and says he’s created a Bath and Body Quicken category in our budget🤣🙈 He simply doesn’t appreciate me, I’m saving him so much money. I only buy them on sale and always have a 20% off coupon….he should thank me😜

My tree isn’t up yet, it has to go in the corner and I have to take my favorite chair out. It will go up first part of December as well as the outside decorations😍😍Yep, that’s a Christmas movie on the TV. I had to have some unexpected surgery last week but I’m gonna say if you have to have surgery this is the best time to recovery, all the Christmas movies on TV, keeps your heart happy and laughter is good medicine.

Our builder put tile around the fireplace but we decided to change it several years ago. We had our Worship Pastor change it out to the stone. It’s the same stone that’s in the church. The same church our daughter was married in. I think it’s just the little touches that no one may even know about that make your house a home. Sweet reminders to me💗

One of the things I always hope you feel when you come in our home is love, joy, and peace. So I try and surround myself with sweet reminders.

I’ve always loved opening our home for family, friends, ladies smalls groups, and company parties. It’s one of the things that makes my heart happy, to serve and love on others.

Another Kirkland’s picture, purchased on clearance a couple years ago.

Actually Kirkland’s has prolly thrown up in my house🤣 Love and Hope 💗💗 There’s a funny conversation piece in the bathroom you can’t see, it’s a Dirty Santa gift……an emoji Pooh 💩 plunger. It always gets the laughs and the occasional text or post🤣🤣🤣I’ve had these little mailboxes since our girls were little. They maybe old but I just can’t part with them. I paid $4.91 for both….after Christmas deal!😱 Store in the original box.

You can’t have Santa 🎅 without a sleigh. The sleigh and present lights up real pretty. A gift from a dear friend.

Special gift from a friend😍

The Sant clause picture below was another after Christmas deal from Kirkland’s a couple years ago, ridiculous price. It’s bigger than it looks. Side note…. I think I need to move my table over, it’s off center 😬

This was a little table I had that was super cute already but I wanted to chalk paint a bedroom set and I had never done it, so I thought I’ll try it out on the table first before I destroyed a bedroom suit, LOL. It actually turned out great, I did it like 4 years ago. Chalk paint is so easy and changes the look of everything.

The little Santa and deer are very special to me because it was my mother in laws, who has since gone on to be with the Lord. We miss her dearly.

I was so excited when I came across that Santa and deer picture at Kirkland’s a couple of years ago, it just made the entrance to our home so much more special to me and a reminder of loved ones who have passed.

This our Snowman ⛄️ it’s on its last leg I think. We bought it the same time as the mailboxes, $4.91 😱 I’ll continue to do what I can to save Frosty ☃️ I love him 😍

A great find from last year on eBay. Vintage Fitz & Floyd Santa cookie jar, perfect condition and original box. So cute and great deal!😍

This guy has always been one of my favorites too, bought him same time as the Snowman and mailboxes. $14.91😱😱😱 Still looks great! The dogs kinda freak out at first and my grand dog, Gus will dart past it like a bolt of lightning because he’s scared of it. He’s a bulldog with irrational fears 🤣 It’s so funny.

New gift from a precious friend. It’s very special to me😇

These jars get used all time, I just change the look for different seasons. Bought them years ago from Kirkland’s. Would love to find another set somewhere.

The red polka dot gift is actually doubles as a drink dispenser, it’s just too cute to not use as decoration. Another after Christmas deal years ago. I think we paid $4.91 or $9.91. Either way it was a steal! I always think of the Grinch when I see it for some reason. I love the Grinch with Jim Carey.

The little hot chocolate station doesn’t look as cute as usual, it’s just out. There’s so much more stuff in the attic I couldn’t get it all down and go through. But it will get the job done this year. I keep Hershey kisses in there but it might be missing a few 😉😋

It’s Elf, need I say more! 🎄😍 My oldest daughter bought me the picture a few years ago. I love it! The Elf candy dish I got at Hobby Lobby last year….it might be missing some candy too😉

#TheTable, many a meal has been ate here with family and friends. Old stories told over and over and new ones. Lots of games, birthdays, and holidays.

This is one of the many things my ever so talented middle daughter has made me. Love it so much!

This is another things she’s done for me. I love it😍

There’s so many things you can do to make your house feel like a home and don’t cost that much. Especially when you have a daughter with a silhouette 😉 But seriously you can find this kinda stuff on Amazon, Etsy, and other online sites. Buy and apply and it just makes it so homey.

A fresh coat of paint can completely change a room.

Throw pillows on your couch and if your tired of your olds ones now you can buy pillow slip covers. Or even go on Pinterest to show you how to make them. How easy is that?!?!

I love some Kirkland’s too, I mean really who can resist?!?! You can always find good sales and coupons for them.

Then there’s TJ Maxx, Hobby Lobby, Home Goods….Ohhhh my word! It’s like Heaven.

Hope you enjoyed our little Home For The Holidays and Some Of My Favorite Things.

Making your house a home can be so fun and honestly not so expensive if you are patient and look for sales…..you can create you and your family a little haven. Something you love coming home too and sharing with others.

I also suggest saving some monies for after Christmas shopping, you truly can get some of the best deals! Just FYI 😉

I hope this holiday season is filled with love, peace, and joy. God bless you sweet friends! Happy early Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

Oh no! They’re up again!

I love that phrase and want to be that person, don’t you?

Do you know who you are in Christ?

How does the devil see you?

Does he see you as a mighty warrior of God, or does he see you as a wimpy Christian and can whip you in a minute?

The answer lies within you.

How do you see yourself? Pause and really think about this.

As a grasshopper? Or giant for God?

As a little kitten or a mighty Lion?

My friend let me tell you how God sees you.

God loves you perfectly and has an everlasting love for you.

Jeremiah 31:3 “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.

If you doubt His love for you I suggest doing a study from the Bible about the love of God. If it takes you a year to get this deep inside you, that’s fine just keep studying it until you know deep down on the inside of you.

Also, begin saying out loud to yourself every day, multiple times a day that “God loves ME!God loves ME just as I am. I am growing and changing more into His image every day….from glory to glory. God loves ME.”

You can even put your own name in the sentence. There’s just something about saying it out loud and hearing your own voice declaring “God loves _____!” Try it.

Your identity is found in Jesus, all things have been made new. You are a new creation my friend.

2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

1 Peter 1:23 “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

You are perfect in His sight. Let that sink in a minute. Sometimes the last thing I feel is perfect, but to my Savior I am, and you are too💗

Colossians 1:22 “Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.”

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

You are a child of God and a joint heir with Jesus. 

2 Corinthians 6:18 “And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty.

Galatians 3:26 “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 4:7 “Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.

You are uniquely made and have a God given gift and destiny.

Psalms 139:14 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

1 Peter 4:10 “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

2 Timothy 1:6 “For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Sweet friend God sees YOU, as more than a conqueror! You are a son or daughter of the Almighty God, the King of Kings! You are equipped with the very power of God.

If you are a Christian then the SAME POWER THAT RAISED CHRIST FROM THE DEAD LIVES ON THE INSIDE OF YOU! Yea, let that sink in. So remind the devil of who you are and Who’s you are!

Once you learn who you are the devil can no longer boss you around and you become an enemy to him and when your feet hit the ground every morning he says Oh NO, they’re up again!” Be that person!

Ephesians 3:20 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power  that is at work within us.”

Hope y’all have a blessed and wonderful weekend!

Big hugs,

Nicole 💗