Archive for November, 2012

Gifts You Can ~ Bake This Christmas

~ More great resources to help you save money and enjoy more of your life ~ all in keeping with my new book Fresh HopeCleveland.

I’m continuing the theme of “gifts you can make for Christmas.” Why? Because so many people overspend on gifts for one reason or another. Whatever the reason, don’t — I repeat, don’t get yourself in debt this Christmas. Save that for another year — just kidding! Staying out of debit means you can sleep at night, you’ll have greater peace of mind, improves your credit rating, and helps with your debit ratio so you can get that house you’ve been saving and praying for. Being debit free also gives you choices which in turn brings you power and options for your life.

Tips for Baked Goods Presentation

 I visited a Joann Fabric store yesterday and saw something wonderful that would be perfect for your  home baked gifts. I noticed they had decorative paper baking pans for all your holiday goodies. This way your home baked goods will look fabulous! Give it a try!

Gifts to Bake This Christmas

Snowflake Cookies

~ makes 5 dozen cookies using your cookie press. Decorate using all sorts of colored sugar. Bake 350 degrees for 10- 12 minutes. Enjoy!

2-1/4 c. flour

1/2 t. salt

1/4 t. cinnamon

1 c. butter (softened)

3 oz. cream cheese

1 c. sugar

1 large egg yolk

1 t. vanilla

Combine flour, salt, + cinnamon in bowl. Beat butter and cream cheese in mixer on medium speed until smooth.

Gradually beat in sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk and vnilla with mixwer on low. Gradually add flour mixture just until blended.

Instert snowflake or desired disk into cookie press (using 1/3 of dough). Pipe the dough 1-1/2″  apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Decorage; bake; cool on wire racks.

Cranberry Date Bars

These have always been a big hit at the holiday. They’re topped with an orange glaze and have 2 grams of protein in each bar! The recipe makes 32 or so bars. I put mine into holiday liners and pack them into gift boxes.

1-12 oz. package of fresh cranberries

1 8-oz. package chopped pitted dates

1 t. vanilla

▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪

2 c. flour

2 c. rolled oats

1-1/2 c packed brown sugar

1/2 t. baking soda

1/4 t. salt

1 c. margarine or butter, melted

1 recipe Orange Glaze

Filling: in medum saucepan comtine cranberries and dates. Cook, covered, over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes or till cranberries pop, stirring frequently. Stir in vanilla. Set aside.

In large mixing bowl stir together flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Stir in melted butter till well blended. Pat half of the oat mixture on the bottom of a 13x9x2 baking pan. Bake 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Carefully spread filling over baked oat mixture. Sprinkle remaining oat mixture atop. Pat gently. Bake for 20 – 22 minutes more or until golden. Cool on a wire rack. Drizzle with Orange Glaze. Cut into bars.

Orange Glaze: In medium mixing bowl stir together 2 c. sifted powdered sugar, 1/2 t. vanilla, and enough orange juice (2 to 3 T.) to make of drizzling consistency. Makes 3/4  cup.

Have fun making these goodies ~ your children might like to help you especially with the Snowflakes Cookies!

God Bless You!


November 30, 2012 at 2:17 pm 1 comment

Xmas Gifts You Can Make

~ More great resources to help you save money and enjoy more of your life ~ all in keeping with my new book Fresh Hope … Cleveland.

Greetings! Now since the Christmas season is offically in swing, I want to share with you some great gifts you can make this holiday. If cash is tight, you and your family will enjoy making some of these things. And if cash is plentiful, you’ll still enjoy these projects. These ideas make great inexpensive gifts that you can have fun making with family or friends. This year whatever you do, don’t get yourself in debit for Christmas!

From the text of my book Fresh Hope … Cleveland on page 16 – item #2 in the Services in the Community section under At Home lists the following idea.

Make Cards and Gift Tags

Make your holiday and birthday cards. Also make your holiday gift tags (I’ve added this text). Card stock can be brought very inexpensively. This could be a great family project. Purchase card stock and art supplies here in the Cleveland are at Hollos Papercraft at 1878 Pearl Road in Brunswick. (Look for other art supplies in your area.) Low prices and a large selection of art supplies will make the drive well worth your time and gas!

Gifts to Whip Up in the Kitchen

Besides making cards and gift tags, you can make some of these yummy treats — dipped apricots, apple butter, or Kahula Hot Fudge Sauce. The recipes are below. Give them in artfully decorated boxes and jars and you’ll receive many hugs of thanks this year.


Dipped Apricots

This is a simple recipe. After the chocolate has dried, pack into tissue paper and foil-lined boxes.

Dip dried apricots in melted dark or semi-sweet bits.  Dip in chopped pichachos.

Apple Butter

You’ll need sterile jars with lids and a foley food mill for this recipe. The process takes about 3 – 4 hours altogether.

12 – 14 cooking apples (16 c. chopped)

2 c. cider

2 c. sugar

1 t. cinnamon

1/4 t. cloves

Dash nutmeg ~ add all spices to taste ~ add the nutmeg and cloves carefully in small amounts into the apples.

Cook apples on top of stove until they are done; make into sauce with foley food mill (will be thick). Put the sauce back into the pan and cook — and cook – and cook until is very tick and rich in color. Put in sterile canning jars.

Kahula Hot Fudge Sauce

Everyone I’ve ever made this for loves it — loves it! This flavorful sauce is wonderful over ice cream. I also make a killer chocolate cake and I don’t ice the cake. Instead I serve the cake with vanilla ice cream and this Hot Fudge Sauce!

3/4 c. butter

12- oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips

1-1/3 c. evaporated milk

2 c. sifted powdered sugar

1/2 c. Kahlua

1 t. vanilla

Melt butter in medium saucepan. Add chocolate chips; when melted add evaporated milk. Add powdered sugar slowly (make sure it’s sifted or it will be lumpy.) BEAT with electric mixer for 1 -1 2 minutes or until smooth. Heat to medium heat- not boiling. Then add Kahlua and vanilla stirring constantly over heat. While hot, pour into hot sterile jars.


God Bless You!


November 27, 2012 at 2:28 pm Leave a comment

Black Friday + Cyber Monday Deals on My Book!

~ More reasons to buy Nanci’s new book Fresh Hope … Cleveland. It’s on sale!

Shop Black Friday weekend + Cyber Monday DEALS

~ I’m offering deals on each book you buy at my Xmas “Blessing” Book Tour — buy a book and “BLESS” someone like a single mom, single woman, someone unemployed this Xmas.

Sale Prices through Tuesday, November 27

Book prices are reduced from $20 to $16 through Tuesday, November 27 –11:59 p.m. That’s a $4 savings! Whaaaaaa Hooooo!

So what are you waiting for?

Put down the turkey leg and pumpkin pie and shuffle over to your computer and order several copies of Fresh Hope …. Cleveland — NOW!

Nanci’s blog:

Details: XmasBlessing” Book Tour tab

God Bless You!


November 24, 2012 at 2:29 pm Leave a comment

Better Than Black Friday ~ Xmas “Blessing” Book Tour

~ More on Nanci’s new book Fresh Hope … Cleveland.

If you’re a Black Friday Shopper you’ve got it all wrong! Instead, I’ve got a way for you to enjoy the leftover turkey, watch football, and bless someone right from your own home. Hey, you won’t even have to take off your slippers for this shopping event! Now that’s livin’!

New Rules for Home-based Black Friday Shopping

Anytime from now, November 23, until December 5, you can take that good feeling way down in your heart and bless someone else this Christmas. Sorry, this version you won’t get any sugar cookies left at the fireplace but what you will get is a satisfying feeling being part of the solution for someone else’s difficulties this holiday. “Giving” and “Blessing” someone else is really what Christmas is all about. Isn’t it?

Details: Xmas “Blessing” Book Tour

Be a part of the Xmas “Blessing” Book Tour between November 23 – December 5. Make someone’s life brighter and filled with “Hope” this year for a single mom, family with kids, or someone unemployed — buy them a copy of my new book Fresh Hope …. Cleveland. Really anyone could use my book. I’ve shared all the resources  in my book at the Resources in Fresh Hope tab so you can see how helpful my book can be.

Join the Xmas “Blessing” Book Tour

See the Xmas “Blessing” Book Tour tab for the details on how to shop from your home computer and join the Xmas “Blessing” Book Tour.

Bless Someone Else This Holiday!

God Bless You!


November 23, 2012 at 1:07 pm Leave a comment

Thankful Tuesday: What are you thankful for?

~ More thoughts in keeping with Nanci’s new book of resources  Fresh Hope … Cleveland.

Somewhere down the line they made the attitude of being thankful a national holiday. That says a lot about the importance of chosing ‘thanksfulness” for our lives doesn’t it?

After a little research I found that the United States first began to celebrate Thanksgiving as a national holiday during President Lincoln’s term in office. It actually took 242 years to make Thanksgiving an official holiday. Here’s more from Wikipedia.

History of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has officially been an annual tradition since 1863, when, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens,” to be celebrated on Thursday, November 26.

The First Thanksgiving

The “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated by the Pilgims after their first harvest in the New World in 1621.  This celebration lasted three days, and was attended by 53 Pilgrims and 90 Native Americans. Back in the day, the New England colonists were accustomed to regularly celebrating “thanksgivings”—days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought, though the 1621 events were likely not a religious observation.

Thanksgiving Today

Our country was founded as “One Nation Under God” and Thanksgiving originally was all about “Giving Thanks” to God. Today it’s sad that the orginal idea of acknowledging God has given way to turkey, football, and Black Friday. And by the same token, it’s given way to living our lives without God.

Thankful Tuesday ~ Share  Your Thoughts

What are you thankful for today, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving? I’m a nine year breast cancer survivor and I’m thankful to God for making these last nine years possible. I’m also thankful that God loves me and has a wonderful plan for my life. He loves you too and has a wonderful plan for your life as well.

What about you? What are you thankful for? Does God fit into that plan? If you’d like to know more about having a personal relationship with God, please see the Relationship with God tab on my blog.

Xmas “Blessing” Book Tour

Be a part of the Xmas “Blessing” Book Tour between December 1 – 5. Make someone’s life brighter and filled with “Hope” this year for a single mom, family with kids, or someone unemployed — buy them a copy of my new book Fresh Hope …. Cleveland. See the Xmas “Blessing” Book Tour tab for the details.

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

God Bless You!


November 20, 2012 at 9:07 am Leave a comment

FREE Help for Local Job Seekers ~ November 17

~ More resources in keeping with Nanci’s new book Fresh Hope … Cleveland.

Today, you get two posts for the price of one! I found something that could be very helpful to job seekers so I wanted to share it with you. The workshop is TOMORROW!

Tomorrow — Saturday, November 17, from 9 a.m. – noon, a FREE workshop will take place for job seekers. A panel of recruiters will be on hand at the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center in Brecksville to answer questions candidly about what they are looking for from a candidate in various scenerios related to obtaining employment (see bullets below).

Issues to Be Discussed at Workshop:

  • Conduct initial phone interviews
  • First meet potential candidates
  • Get a referral from someone they are networked with
  • Review online applications
  • Review applicants’ resumes
  • Ask behavioral-based interview questions
  • Raise difficult questions about previous jobs
  • Receive a job applicant’s follow-up call or email

Cuyahoga Valley Career Center ~ 8001 Brecksville Road, Brecksvill, OH 44141


Register for Workshop

1. Online:

2. E-mail: Patricia Coyne at

3. Call: Patricia Coyne at 440-746-8233.

I hope this information is helpful!

God Bless You!


November 16, 2012 at 1:39 pm Leave a comment

Great Quotes ~ they say it all!

~more reasons to learn, enjoy, and be encouraged by Nanci’s new book Fresh Hope … Cleveland.

The easiest way to be encouraged is by reading and absorbing the words of others. Words of truth can bring light to your path and open your heart to receive a huge bit of wisdom. The beauty in a great quote is this: it can take you on a journey without you ever having left your home. A great quote teaches you something and can point you in the right direction because it works to encourage and lift you higher at any time ~ wherever you are. Great quotes can take you to the moon Alice! And they can certainly bring you back down to Earth as well. Here’s a great example of that in this quote. “Our problem is really not our problems: it’s how we respond to them.”  ~ Joyce Meyer, Christian speaker and author as heard today on her TV show “Enjoying Everyday Life.”

Here’s another fantastic quote. “But God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn’t come through.” – Author Francis Chan, Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God.

Did you know there are lots of great quotes in my book to help you? They will bring you wisdom, make you laugh, and will enrich your life as you read my book Fresh Hope … Cleveland: Resources to Help You Navigate through Unsettled Times.

Join the Xmas “Blessing” Book Tour ~ December 1 – 5

Come by my blog on December 1 – 5 ~ and make someone else’s holiday a brighter one ~ Join the Fresh Hope … Cleveland Xmas “Blessing” Book Tour. See all the details on this blog at the Xmas “Blessing” Book Tour tab.

Make it a great day!

God Bless You!


November 16, 2012 at 11:03 am Leave a comment

Older Posts


November 2012

Posts by Month

Posts by Category