Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Happy Wednesday Beautiful People,

Today’s recipe is one of my all time favorite things to make for make ahead lunches, Stuffed Sweet Potatoes.  With this recipe you are getting a two for one deal.  Because I am stuffing these sweet taters with spinach, cooked cabbage (from my daddy’s garden), and Gary’s Slop recipe (one of Jason’s dad’s recipes).  So I guess you could say this recipe is brought to you by the love and help of two amazing men and dads! Without further ado lets get cooking!


Ingredients

Sweet Potatoes

Red Cabbage

Spinach

Gary’s Slop- Saute ground beef with sliced onion and a tablespoon of italian seasoning, drain, add 1 can of Hunts tomato sauce, a shake of Worcestershire sauce, and a few squirts of yellow mustard.

Can of chili beans- add to slop recipe

Tools

Cutting Board (Pampered Chef)

Chef Knife (Pampered Chef)

Baking Pans

Instructions

Wash and pierce sweet potatoes and place on baking dishes

 

Chop and saute red cabbage

Cook sweet potatoes at 400 degrees for 1 hour or until fork tender.  Allow to cook and package up for weekly lunches or serve right way.


What are your favorite breakfast foods or recipes?  Share them in the comments below.

Until next time keep creating sparks of life, love, and happiness.

God Bless,

Laura

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Motivational Monday | Sunshine Bath Bombs

 

Happy Monday Beautiful People,

It’s time for another motivational monday post.  One thing that I have found to be true is that you cannot take care of others unless you take care of yourself first.  Taking time for self care is essential in achieving your goals as well as allowing you to take care of others to the best of your ability.  You can find some ideas on how to create your self care routine by checking out my Self Care Routine Post.  One of my favorite ways to decompress is to take a bath, especially since I have my new bath buddy!  Water has always been a way to reset for me.  From taking a bath, swimming, sitting in the ocean, or standing out in the rain; water is so healing for me.  So today I am sharing with you my latest bath bomb recipe to make create some sunshine in your life.  Make sure you check out my meals and exercise goals for the week as well as leave some comments down below!


 

Stress Relief Bath Bombs

Basic Bath Balm Ingredients:

1 cup citric acid- (You can find it on Amazon or if you don’t want to wait find it in the canning section aisle at the grocery store)

1 cup baking soda

½ cup cornstarch

½ cup melted coconut oil ( Don’t use fractionated coconut oil)

8-10 drops of essential oil(s) (I am using tangerine, lemongrass, and lime from Eden’s Garden)

Silicone molds or paper cupcake liners

Food coloring (optional)

In a  bowl, mix together all of your dry ingredients (citric acid, baking soda, and cornstarch) and set aside.  I am using the bowl from the Pampered Chef Kids Baking Set

 

If you’re using food coloring, now would be the time to add it into the dry ingredients. Just know it will clump up and you will need to use your hands or a spoon to break up the food coloring clumps.

 

Next add your essential oils to the mixture

 

Melt your coconut oil in a microwave safe measuring cup in 10 second increments.  Pour the oil mixture into your dry ingredients.  If you pour too quickly, the liquid will create a reaction with the citric acid.

 

Use your hands or spoon to knead everything together inside of the bowl until your ingredients start to clump together. You will know you are ready to start molding your mixture when it feels like the texture of wet sand.

 

Scoop the mixture into your papered muffin tin.  The back of a spoon works perfectly to press your mixture in place.

 

Let your bath bombs dry for at least 24 hours, use them in the bath right away or pack them in a cute container and use for decoration until your next spa night.


Meals

Breakfast– Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Sandwiches and Banana (Recipe can be found HERE)

Lunch– Stuffed Sweet Potatoes (Recipe coming Wednesday)

Snacks– Greek Key Lime Yogurt, Celery and Hummus, Apples, Applesauce

Dinner Options– Tacos, Egg Salad Sandwiches, Potluck, Birthday Dinner at Kobe’s, Leftovers

 

Exercise– 10,000 steps per day, Yoga, theatre choreography rehearsals.

Personal Development/Self Care– Meditation, Daily Bible Devotional, Coloring and or Painting.


 

Please me know if you create these!  Or if you would like to have more bath bomb recipes!

Until next time remember to keep creating sparks of life, love, and happiness.

God Bless,

Laura

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DIY Bath Buddy

Greetings Beautiful People,

Today I am going to share with you my new favorite thing.  Being the obsessive pinterester that I am I have seen countless bath tub trays etc.  So being the crafty people that we are I thought it was about time that we make one and show you all how to make one as well.

For this project you will need:

1 board of your choice

Measuring Tape

Cutting Tools- Table saw, jigsaw

Router

Drill

Screws

Sander or sandpaper

Wood Stain of your choice

Pencil


Instructions:

Begin by measuring your bathtub from the wall to the outside of the bathtub and also from the wall to the inner wall of the bathtub.

Make measurements on the board and cut to the desired length.

 

Next measure the length of the stop that you need.  This will keep the bath buddy from sliding back and forth.

 

After the pieces are cut make sure to sand each piece.  The last thing you want is a splinter in your leg.

After sanding, mark your wine glass holder hole with your drill press bit.

Use your drill press or cutting tool to cut the hole in the wood.

Next measure and cut out the slot for the wine glass stem to slide in and out.

Using a router smooth the wine glass holder spot so that the glass will sit smoothly in the space and not wobble.  We don’t need a party foul in the bathtub.

Attach the block of wood underneath to make the bath buddy stop using a drill and screws.

Lastly, stain and allow to dry.

All that is left to do is pour a glass of wine, add the bubble bath, light a candle, turn on criminal minds (my new binge) and enjoy your bath.

What are some ways you like to relax? If you make a bath buddy let us know and tweet or instagram us photos at @createsparkblog.

Until next time keep creating sparks of life, love, and happiness.

God Bless,

Laura

 

 

 

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Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Sandwiches

Greetings Beautiful People,

Here is another recipe using my favorite Pampered Chef tool the amazingly fantastic BROWNIE PAN!

These are perfect made ahead breakfasts and my choice for the breakfast of the week.

Ingredients

Hamburger Buns or bread of choice- (we had a cookout and I bought way to many)

Dozen Eggs

1 package of bacon

Sliced cheese

Tools

Mixing Bowl

Pampered Chef Brownie Pan

Instructions

Scramble eggs

Add evenly to brownie pan wells

Place 1 slice of bacon in each well.

Bake at 350 F for 30 mins

Place on buns with cheese and mustard if desired.

Pack in baggies to travel or to freeze for a later date


What are your favorite breakfast foods or recipes?  Share them in the comments below.

Until next time keep creating sparks of life, love, and happiness.

God Bless,

Laura

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Motivational Monday | A New Journey

Greetings Beautiful People,

Today is the first day of Motivational Monday!  It is my hope that through my Compulsive Overeating Snapchat Diary (createsparkblog) and documenting my health journey here on the blog that I can maybe help others who are having issues like myself.  So why bring something that is usually kept private out in the open?  Cause I truly believe that one of the reasons God put me on this earth was to help others.  Hi I am Laura and I struggle with Compulsive Overeating also known as Binge Eating Disorder.  This is a coping mechanism to help deal with my anxiety issues but now has turned into a health concern of mine.  My current weight is a product of this compulsion.

To give you a better idea of what I am working against Compulsive Overeating is defined as,

“Some people who overeat have a clinical disorder called binge eating disorder (BED). People with BED compulsively eat large amounts of food in a short amount of time and feel guilt or shame afterward. And they do so often: at least once a week over a period of at least 3 months. Not everyone who overeats is a binger.” 

So over the past 2 weeks I have began the process of thinking about my eating habits and making sure that I eat when I am hungry and not when I am stressed, anxious, bored, etc.  I have found the courage and motivation to share my story from listening to the amazing Laurie Weaver and her podcast, Compulsive Overeating Diary.  Laurie shares her story in episodes in a honest, upfront, no beating about the bush way.  Because of her I started my snapchat diary.  I would highly recommend her podcast if you need a boost to make a positive change.

To make a long story short, mondays will now be motivational monday where I will share with you our meal plan for the week, my exercise plan, and what I am doing for personal development and self care.

So if you are out there and in need of help please know that I am a friend.  I am not a doctor so I am sharing my story with you as inspiration only.  Please speak to your doctor if you are concerned with compulsive overeating and seek guidance.

Together we can end the stigma surrounding compulsive overeating.


Meals

Breakfast– Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Sandwiches and Banana (recipe coming on Wednesday)

Lunch– Southwestern Chicken Wrap

Snacks– Greek Key Lime Yogurt, Celery and Hummus, Apples

Dinner Options– Tacos, Gary’s Homemade Slop, Tuna Salad, Potluck, Leftovers

 

Exercise– 10,000 steps per day and Fitness Marshall Workouts

Personal Development/Self Care– Meditation, Daily Bible Devotional, Reading the Power of Positive Thinking, Coloring and or Painting.


 

So whether or not you are a compulsive overeater or just wanting to make a positive change for the better lets do this together.  Together we can accomplish anything.  So I invite you to listen to Laurie’s podcast, Compulsive Overeating Diarybecome a Brave Companion and encourage others.

Until next time keep creating sparks of life, love, and happiness.

God Bless,

Laura

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Life’s An Adventure | Disney’s Up Mailbox Tutorial

Hello Everyone!

Jason and I are huge fans of Disney’s Movie Up!  So much in fact that when it came to redoing our mailbox we decided to pay omage to the movie by recreating Carl and Ellie’s mailbox as our own.  Wanna recreate these lovebirds’ mailbox for your very own?  Follow along with these step by step instructions and add a bit of Disney flair to your everyday.

For this project you will need:

Old or new mailbox

Wire brush with drill attachment

White spray paint

Purple and maroon acrylic paint

Lime green, black, and maroon vinyl or paint

Vinyl cutter

screwdriver or drill

 

Instructions:

1-Begin the process by removing your old mailbox from its post and remove the flag and save all screws and flag pieces for later installation.

 

2- Using your metal brush with drill attachment, begin filing off any old stickers or writing off of the sides of the mailbox.

 

 

3- Apply 1 to 2 coats of white spray paint to the mailbox and allow to dry

 

4- Next take turns painting hands and placing them on the mailbox

 

5- After the hand prints dry add your names by painting them on or cutting vinyl using a vinyl cutter.

6- Add flag back onto the mailbox and reattach the new and improved mailbox back on the pole.

 

All that is left to do is enjoy your new mailbox and get ready to receive snail mail! Let the adventures begin!

 

As always thanks for stopping by!  Remember to keep creating sparks of life, love, and happiness.

God Bless,

Laura

 

 

 

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#SparksofLove | Our Proposal Story

 

Greetings Everyone!

I know it has been a while since I graced the pages of my blog.  However I have been busier than a one arm paper hanger (name that movie!)  For those of you that do not know!  Jason and I are ENGAGED!  I am so thrilled to say that I am going to be the future Mrs. Jason Sparks.  Laura Sparks has a uber cool ring to it am I right?

So we have been going through the motions of planning our special day because after all September 30th will be here before we know it!  But I thought I would slow down a bit and share the story that everyone and their grandma wants to hear, how Jason proposed.

It was a beautiful Easter Sunday when our engagement story began….

We had attended church service and were heading to lunch with Jason’s family when Jason stopped me to go on a surprise snack picnic to slow down and just take a moment to be in the moment together.  Jason parked beside the courthouse in downtown Newton where he proceeded to escort me to a near by bench.  There he began to explain that he just wanted to take a second out of our busy day to just enjoy the day and take a breather together.  He then proceeded to start pulling out various snacks that he had packed and we shared them together all while talking and laughing together.  Then he pulled the ring box out of the cooler he had brought and as he did he said, “and then there is this…” I instantly came apart and so did he. Apparently everyone knew that he was going to ask but me. Jason revealed that he had asked my parents in November of 2016 for permission and then he had spent 6 months trying to figure out how to propose in the perfect way.  But whatever he had planned never seemed to come together or just didn’t feel right.  So finally he couldn’t wait to ask me to be his forever and chose the perfect place in the middle of the city that we live and love in, right across the street from The Green Room Community Theatre where we met and fell in love, right across the street from the Blue Moon Tavern where Jason asked for my parents permission and right down the street where we share our faith together.

The ring that Jason gave me was his Grandmother Thelma’s engagement ring from the 1930’s.  A beautiful orange blossom design that surprisingly enough almost fit my finger perfectly. Jason then asked me to marry him and of course I said YES!!!  Many laughs and beautiful tears where shed on that beautiful day of hope, life, love, and renewal, and thus their engagement story began……

 

How did your significant other propose to you.  Comment down below.  I just love a good love story!

Until next time, remember to keep creating sparks of life, love, and happiness!

God Bless,

Laura

 

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Spring Has Arrived | Spring Home Decor

Happy Friday Everyone!

Welcome to the 3rd post of the week folks!!!  I finally did it!  I hope I can keep this up for the rest of the month and onward.

Today I am sharing with you ways to can decorate for the Easter and Spring season.  And how you can decorate with a few DIYs and budget friendly buys.

 

1- Create a spring decor wreath from items from the dollar tree and target dollar spot.  Teal burlap and wreath form are from Dollar Tree.  The paper flowers and wooden letter are from the Target Dollar Spot!

 

2- Buy fresh flowers and add a little Easter flair to your flowers-  The flowers are from Walmart and the daisies last forever!  I added a little pop of Easter with these egg picks from Dollar Tree.

 

3- Decorate with spring colored candies

 

4- Spring Banner and Mantle Decor-  I purchased this egg banner at Target for $3.  The easter eggs and flowers are from the Dollar Tree.

 

 

5.  DIY Rustic Vase-  This vase is super easy!  Just take a can, remove the wrapper, and glue twine around the can! 

 

 

6.  Plant some plants you can’t kill- These succulents came from the Dollar Tree lol.

 

 

7- Print Spring Printable- Get this print from Happiness is Homemade

 

 

8- Plant a garden or herbs-  Lemon Balm is growing in a pot from the Target Dollar Spot.  I am learning to grow food from kitchen scraps.  Going to take a chance on some green onions! 

 

I hope you all enjoyed this post and that it inspires you to spring forward with your decor.  Until next time keep creating sparks of life, love, and happiness.

God Bless,

Laura Rhinehart

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ME TIME | Self Care Routine

Happy Wednesday to you all!

One of these days I will be able to stick to a blogging schedule.  And this week I am bound and determine to stick to my schedule and provide content 3 days out of the week.  Life has been crazy lately and it is so so so so did I mention SO important for my anxiety and sanity to make what I like to call “ME TIME” a priority.

One of my goals for the year is to learn to take better care of myself so that in return I can do all the things that I love to do.  Which includes taking care of those that I love.  If we don’t make self care a priority we get easily run down and can’t take care of the important things and people in our life.

So today I am going to share with you things that I love to do for self care as well as anxiety ease and prevention.

 

1- Cook a healthy meal  Nothing brings me more joy than cooking and creating a healthy and yummy dish.  I recently gave Hello Fresh a try and I love it.  I will get an order once a month from now on to spice up my lunch one week each month.  If you want to give them a try use code “CREATINGSP” at check out to get 40% your order!

 

2- Take a Bath  I am such a water lover and nothing eases my anxiety or ends my day on a good note than a hot bath.  I love using bath salts and epsom salt in my bath.  I have recently become obsessed bath bombs that are infused with essential oils.  If you want to learn to make your own check out my recent post on DIY Stress Relief Bath Bombs!

 

 

3- Pamper Yourself-  In addition to soaking in the bath tub I love pampering myself with a fabulous face mask.  These I got off of a website called Hollar if you are interested in checking them out use the link http://www.hollar.com/share/5f35fe to get $2 off your order.  I know $2 doesn’t sound like much but Hollar is like the Dollar Tree they have amazing deals! Check them out today.  I also love getting my hair done, nails done, and my monthly massage at Massage Envy.

 

 

4- Essential Oils-  Essential oils are a game changer!  They have helped me in so many ways and I am going to have a post devoted to my favorite oils coming up soon.  I get all of my oils from Eden’s Garden.

 

 

5- Prayer and Quiet Time–  When my anxiety takes over or I have had a stressful day nothing helps better than to find a quiet place to meditate or pray and let the anxiety and worries go and into God’s hands.  I have also tried to be in more of the moment.  Sometimes I get so anxious and worried about future things that I miss out on the present.  Life is to short to be trapped the future and worried about things that have yet to happen and miss out in the present.

 

I hope this post inspires you to stop and take sometime for yourself.  Because you are awesome and you deserve it!!  What do you like to do for your me time? Leave some comments and inspire others.

Until next time keep creating sparks of life, love, and happiness!

God Bless,

Laura

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Creating Sparks DIY | Toilet Cleaning Bombs

Happy Monday Everyone!!!!

Are you all relaxed and refreshed after trying out our Stress Relief Bath Bombs?  

Today I am going to share with you how to use essential oils to keep your home clean with a DIY All Purpose Cleaner and DIY Toliet Cleaning Bombs.  

First lets gather the ingredients we will need for our DIY Toliet Cleaning Bombs.

You will be creating the same basic bath bomb recipe found of the Stress Relief Bath Bomb tutorial.

Toilet Cleaning Bomb Ingredients:

1 cup citric acid- (You can find it on Amazon or if you don’t want to wait find it in the canning section aisle at the grocery store)

1 cup baking soda

½ cup cornstarch

1/4 cup melted coconut oil ( Don’t use fractionated coconut oil)

30 drops of essential oil(s) Each (I am using Lemon, Tea Tree, Lavender, Peppermint, and Sweet Orange oils from Eden’s Garden)

Silicone molds or paper cupcake liners

Food coloring (optional)- I didn’t want to add any to my toilet bombs but if you want to color your world go for it) 

In a  bowl, mix together all of your dry ingredients (citric acid, baking soda, and cornstarch) and set aside.  I am using the bowl from the Pampered Chef Kids Baking Set

If you’re using food coloring, now would be the time to add it into the dry ingredients. Just know it will clump up and you will need to use your hands or a spoon to break up the food coloring clumps.

Melt your coconut oil in a microwave safe measuring cup in 10 second increments.  Pour the oil mixture into your dry ingredients.  If you pour too quickly, the liquid will create a reaction with the citric acid.

Use your hands or spoon to knead everything together inside of the bowl until your ingredients start to clump together. You will know you are ready to start molding your mixture when it feels like the texture of wet sand.

Scoop the mixture into your papered muffin tin.  The back of a spoon works perfectly to press your mixture in place.

Let your toliet bombs dry for at least 24 hours, use them in your cleaning routine right away or pack them in a cute container and use for decoration until your next cleaning day!

 

Next on the list, DIY All Purpose Cleaner

Ingredients-

Water

White Vinegar

Spray Bottle (Dollar Tree spray bottles are the “bomb” get it…okay onto the tutorial…)

8-10 drops of your favorite single essential oils or blends

 

To your spray bottle add half water, half vinegar, and your essential oil.  I am using essential oil synergy blend in Sunshine Spice from Eden’s Garden.  This smell is so warm and citrusy.  I am officially obsessed.

Give it a mix, grab your microfiber cloth and spray and wipe to a clean and healthy home.

 

Let me know what you think about these and what is your cleaning routine?

Thanks guys for visiting and until next time keep creating sparks of life, love, and happiness.

God Bless,

Laura

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