Nutella Peanut Butter Cookies

Anyone who knows my family knows that we love our peanut butter.  I mean, we buy the giant 5-pound Peter Pan canisters at Sam’s, for cryin’ out loud.  

Nutella?  Well, we may or may not have been known to just grab some by the spoonful.  

So combining the two was sure to be a hit!

nutella peanut butter cookies

I think what I love most about these cookies, though, is the texture.  They have this wonderful, melt-in-your-mouth-ness. 

Heavenly.

nutella peanut butter cookies

Nutella Peanut Butter Cookies
Yields 2
An easy recipe with a great texture!
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup butter, softened
  2. 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  3. 1/2 cup sugar
  4. 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  7. 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  8. 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  9. 1/4 tsp. salt
  10. 1/3 cup Nutella
Instructions
  1. Cream the butter, peanut butter, and sugars in a mixer for several minutes until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix till well-combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt and whisk together.
  3. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture until it just barely comes together.
  4. Scoop the Nutella into a microwave-safe bowl and nuke it for about 30 seconds. Drizzle this over the cookie dough and fold/cut in the Nutella just to the point where the dough is marbled.
  5. Cover the dough and place in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Remove the dough from the fridge and form into balls. Place about an inch apart on a cookie sheet (I used parchment paper on mine for easy clean up!). Use a fork to make criss-cross marks, gently pressing the balls down to about half their "starting" height.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes, but keep an eye on them. You only want them to bake until the edges are just barely starting to turn a light brown. Allow them to cool for a few minutes, then place them on a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Notes
  1. The original recipe from Six Sisters Stuff recommended 8-10 minutes for baking, but this was not nearly long enough in my oven.
Mormon Mavens http://www.mormonmavens.com/

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Putting Things Away

Confession time:  I’m not a naturally tidy person.  I have a hard time putting things away in their proper place.

Don’t get me wrong–I love a neat and tidy house.  I’m just not good at it.

I also confess that I’ve let my house go a bit.  Especially during 2017, which was a particularly stressful year for me.  My priorities were all out of whack, my stress level was through the roof, and I felt ineffectual at home.

But lately I have felt a strong pull towards putting in the extra physical and mental effort (yes, it does take mental effort too) to keep things more orderly.  I have been setting my house in order, which is no small task when you’ve let your house go a bit…for a long time!  I’ve been dejunking, organizing, cleaning.  The effort has been, well, a lot of effort!  But the results have been so liberating.  It reminds me of this scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 93:43:

And now a commandment I give unto you—if you will be delivered you shall set in order your own house, for there are many things that are not right in your house.

Delivered!

Yes, I felt delivered when I finally cleaned out my laundry room and threw away/donated the items that had been stuffed on shelves or tucked into corners.  Delivered when I finally tackled my gross cleaning closet filled with unused or empty cleaning bottles.  Delivered when I let go of items in my closet, kitchen, craft room, and pantry that hadn’t been used in years and are now either in the garbage or on their way to a donation site to bless someone else.

putting things away in my cleaning closet

My cleaning closet now….man, I wish I had taken a before pic because it was MESSY!!

And while that scripture certainly hits the nail on the head for the physical order in my home, there’s another kind of order that I had not considered.

As I sorted, straightened, and cleaned my cleaning closet (ironic that it was one of the worst-cleaned areas in the house…the cleaning closet!) my mind began to wonder.  How did I let it get this bad?  Isn’t it so much nicer to have fewer things to keep track of? I can’t believe how relieved and happy this is making me–just putting things away in their proper place.

Putting things away in their proper place.  

I’m not quite sure how my thoughts then progressed (probably the Spirit, right?) but I began to think of other things that need to be put away.

Grudges.  Offenses.  Stress.  Judgments.

….and so on.

And where is the proper place for these?  If I put these “away” would I feel the same kind of relief, peace, and deliverance?

Duh.

The only place I can think of to put these is with the Lord.  What’s the saying–let go and let God?  Let go of those wasteful, dust-collecting, soul-draining, energy-sucking thoughts and feelings and let Him worry about it.  The weight of those mental loads is really a lot heavier than we realize.  And once that weight is lifted, we can enjoy that sweet feeling of deliverance.

It will have to be a matter of prayer, I think.

Please help me to see him/her as You see him/her.

Please help me to see myself as You do.

Please help me to forgive as I hope You will forgive me.

Please help me to handle this challenge with the Spirit.

If prayer is a form of work, then maybe the best time to pray for these things is when I’m actually working on cleaning my home.  While I’m in the middle of sorting, cleaning, organizing, and dejunking, why not reach out to the Lord and ask for his help in tidying up my mind and heart? 

Because honestly, I’m ready for that kind of deliverance too.

 

 

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Lemon Chicken

 “Deborah, what do you call this dish?”
“Lemon Chicken. Do ya like it?”
  “It’s delicious. I could eat this every day the rest of my life.”

Hmmmm….if you’re a fan of the sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond” then you know exactly the episode that I am quoting from.  If you don’t know, then let me catch you up. Raymond is sitting at the kitchen table and Deborah schleps a plate of Lemon Chicken down on the table.  Ray rolls his eyes and acts like he likes it but…We get a flashback to the day that Debra and Raymond first met, when he delivers and sets up her new futon–it was the 8O’s. You can tell they like each other right from the start. Deborah loosens a screw on the futon and calls the store to complain that it is broken so that Raymond will come back and fix it.  Smooth move.  Eventually she invites him to dinner and she serves her signature Lemon Chicken.  The above conversation takes place and the rest is Romano history.

Every time I see this episode–or any of them with the Lemon Chicken–I want to go and make some.  So I found this recipe in Ann Romney’s cookbook.  It is delicious.  I don’t think I would eat it “every day the rest of my life” because then I wouldn’t be trying more recipes to share with you!  Try it tonight and comment below to let me know what you think.

 

 

Lemon Chicken
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Ingredients
  1. 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (uniform size)
  2. 3/4 c. flour
  3. 1 1/2 t. salt
  4. 1/2 t. black pepper
  5. 2 eggs
  6. 1 1/2 c. seasoned dry bread crumbs
  7. 4 T. salted butter
  8. 4 t. olive oil
  9. 1/2 cup chicken stock
  10. 1 T. Capers
  11. juice of 3 lemons
Instructions
  1. With a sharp knife, carefully slice the chicken breasts in half, cutting parallel to your cutting board.
  2. Place 2 or 3 pieces of the chicken in a gallon sized zippered plastic bag and close. Flatten chicken with a meat mallet to 1/4 inch thickness. You could also use a rolling pin.
  3. You will need 3 shallow bowls or pans for this next step: Combine flour, salt, and pepper in 1 bowl, beat eggs in another bowl, and then place the bread crumbs in the 3rd bowl.
  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Dip the chicken in the flour, then egg, then bread crumbs. Melt 1 T. butter with 1 T. olive oil in a cast iron skillet or saute pan over medium-low heat.
  5. Add 2 or 3 chicken breasts to pan and brown nicely on both sides--about 5-6 minutes total time. Continue this process with the remaining chicken until all are done. Add butter and olive oil by tablespoon for each batch.
  6. Place browned chicken in a 9 x 13 glass dish and place in oven for 15-20 minutes or until juices run clear.
  7. While chicken is baking, wipe out the skillet and melt 4 T. of butter. Add 1/2 c. of chicken stock, 1 T. capers and the lemon juice. Simmer until sauce thickens. Serve this over your baked chicken.
  8. Optional: garnish with slices of fresh lemon.
Notes
  1. If you like Macaroni Grill's Lemon Chicken, you are going to LOVE this! Trust me, I know.
Adapted from The Romney Family Table
Mormon Mavens http://www.mormonmavens.com/

 

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Low Carb “Keto” Hot Chocolate

Yes, you can have hot chocolate while eating low carb/keto!  Since trying out a low carb diet over a year ago, this recipe has become one of my go-t0’s and often serves as my breakfast.

The original recipe is from a pin on Pinterest, but I have tweaked it to my liking.  I make this in my  Back to Basics Cocoa-Latte maker.  I’m on my second one now  (the first one died and this one could at any minute) so I would love any recommendations for good cocoa makers!

cocoa latte maker

If you know of a good quality cocoa-mixing machine, drop a comment!

I have to also mention my very favorite Thermos mug.  I believe I grabbed this one at Target, and it’s been fantastic at keeping my hot chocolate warm for a loooooong time.  I mean hours!   

I have two favorite sweeteners/flavorings for this recipe.  I always use a sugar-free Torani syrup as well as 12-15 drops of NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia.  You can sometimes find sugar-free Torani at Walmart, but I have also seen it at World Market and, of course, Amazon.  My favorite flavors are Salted Caramel and Vanilla.  The vanilla stevia I order on Amazon.

nunaturals vanilla stevia

I’ve also experimented with leaving out the cocoa altogether and using fruit flavored sugar free Torani.  It’s fun to experiment!

low carb hot chocolate

Low Carb Hot Chocolate
Serves 1
Going low carb doesn't have to mean missing out on this cozy treat.
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Ingredients
  1. 12 ounces almond or coconut milk
  2. 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  3. 2 Tbsp. butter
  4. 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  5. 2-4 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream
  6. 12-15 drops stevia
  7. 1-2 Tbsp. sugar free flavored syrup
Instructions
  1. Add all but the stevia and syrup to a cocoa maker or to a saucepan. If using a saucepan, whisk well to keep cocoa powder from burning around the edges onto the pan. (This is a pain and hard to clean up, so that's why I prefer my cocoa machine.)
  2. Add the stevia and syrup to your mug of choice.
  3. When the hot chocolate mixture is heated through, pour it carefully into your mug.
Notes
  1. If I'm drinking this right away, I wait and add the heavy whipping cream at the very end after I've poured the mixture into my mug. Helps cool it down a bit so it's ready to drink!
  2. Using the sugar-free Torani syrups gives you a chance to tweak the flavors. You can also try leaving the cocoa powder out altogether. I did this once with the Salted Caramel syrup and it was "hot caramel" instead of hot chocolate. Delicious!
Mormon Mavens http://www.mormonmavens.com/

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Favorite Things for the New Year

We just finished a kitchen renovation…right before Christmas.  Yikes, was it an adventure!  It’s actually my new favorite thing.  But I’ll share a couple of other favorites first, and then you can see the big reveal!

First off, I am in love with this adorable wax warmer from Scentsy.  (Truth be told, I love any vehicle carrying a Christmas tree!)  It goes perfectly in my new little kitchen nook.  It’s by far my favorite wax warmer I have ever seen!  Holly Berry Cinnamon and Homestead Holiday are great choices for a cozy, seasonal scent.  You can buy Scentsy from my friend, Samantha, here.  

favorite Scentsy warmer

There’s a switch on the cord to turn it off and on; when it’s on, the headlights light up!

I’m also in love with these ecloths.  I first heard of these when I stumbled onto Kathryn’s YouTube channel, Do It on a Dime.  One of my goals for the New Year is to keep things cleaner here at home–to stay on top of cleaning so I’m not facing the housekeeping equivalent of Mount Everest every time I clean.  So when I saw Kathryn cleaning her home with these cloths THAT ONLY USE WATER I was instantly intrigued and hopped over to Amazon to snag a set for myself.  I’m so incredibly happy with them!!    They clean with just water and they also remove 99% of bacteria!! (The list you see is the card that came with the box of ecloths.  I laminated it and keep it in my cleaning caddy with the cloths.)  This quickly became a favorite for me.

Check out all of Kathryn’s organizing, cleaning, and dollar store videos–she’s got some great tips.  Love her channel.  And head over to Amazon to grab your own set of ecloths; I’ve already purchased two more sets for gifts.  I mean, who wouldn’t want these?  

favorite cleaning cloths

I’m actually learning to enjoy cleaning with these babies!

Okay, so here’s my BIG favorite: my brand new kitchen.  When we added on to our home, we did not have enough money in the budget to tackle the very tiny kitchen.  So we’ve been waiting patiently impatiently to get it done.  I’m in love with the result!  I have a few things to tweak (and these pics are also a couple of weeks old, so there are a few new wall art elements that are missing) but you get the idea.

Keep in mind that these pics were taken before we were completely done.  I actually took these really quick the other day to send to a friend.  I thought about taking some new pics today, but we’re…uh…still recovering from New Year’s cookery in this kitchen.  So she’s not camera-ready at present!  But she’s still my favorite!  (Wait, the kitchen is a she?  Does that mean I need to name her?)

I’ll put in some before pics for reference…(old phone had a wide angle lens……new phone does not, so the after pics look a little different)

not my favorite kitchen

Here’s the view from my living room entry way. At this point we were in the middle of emptying the kitchen.

Look at this amazing transformation:

favorite kitchen

Aaaaaaand the new view. SO much more space and I love how open it is!  Don’t mind the stack of wood on the counter….dur!

How about this view from the triple window?

not my favorite kitchen

Why is all my wood the same color???

So much more soothing to look at this new view.  Well, except for the mess in the living room.  We were still adjusting!

favorite kitchen

I can seat 7 at my counter!!

And the view from the bottom of my back stairs, totally blocked with that wall.

not my favorite dining room

But now…..aaaaaaahhhhhh….oh, and look….there’s Henry!

favorite dining area

I do need to show you one more picture though.  I don’t have a before shot of just the space in front of the picture window.  But if you look at the last before pic, you can see that we just had a small sofa in front of that window.  This was a weird space.  Before we added on, that area was actually the dining room and my current dining room was actually our living room.  So, that window area became this strange, not really usable space where people just came and sat (and it was also quite the catch all!).  But now look at it….

favorite window seat

I’ve had more than one person ask if we put in a different window or changed it in any way. Nope! Same window, but now it looks AMAZING!

I’m so in love with this kitchen.  We have several more home projects in the works, but I don’t think anything will make as much of an impact as this very favorite room, my kitchen.

You’ll be hearing more from us each month on our favorite thing/things.  We’re excited to share our finds with you and hope you’ll do the same.  Hope your Christmas was wonderfully magical and that your New Year is starting out with abundance.

Happy New Year!!!

 

(no sponsored content in this post, just my own recommendations)

Old Bay Shrimp Boil

 

I know this didn’t make it in time for your July4th shindig, but we had it for ours and it was amazing.  Have you ever tried one of these shrimp boils/low country boils/whatever boils?  So easy and so much fun to eat.  No plates or utensils required.  Easy-peasy clean up and easy to double or triple, depending on the size of your hungry crowd.  And kids even like it–have pizza delivered if there are a few hold-outs.  This was the first time that I have ever personally been in charge of making the boil–usually my sister Amy prepares it–but she wasn’t staying at the beach for the 4th and my Dad really wanted to have it for a big family meal.  He calls it a “Shrimp Dump.”  As you can see from the picture above, that is a good description.  

Here are a few time-saving tips if you can spare a few more dollars–and it is well worth it:

  • Buy the mini frozen ears of corn–I got store brand.
  • The mini red or white potatoes that are already washed and ready to cook work great
  • This can be cooked on your stove, but we have a propane-powered turkey fryer and it was so great being able to do this instead of having two large stock pots on the stove at the same time.
  • Have your Dad pay for and pick up the shrimp fresh the morning of your meal–ours was caught the night before and they were so fresh and tasty.
  • Use plastic, disposable tablecloths because when you are done with the meal and have put away any small amount of leftovers, you just roll those tablecloths up and toss them in the garbage can, shells and all.
  • I purchased some cute cardboard food trays that were displayed with the tablecloths and these were perfect for guests to put their shrimp shells into.

Get at it!

Shrimp Boil
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup Old Bay Seasoning
  2. 2 T. salt
  3. 1/2 c. minced onion (you can use large Vidalia onions cut in quarters)
  4. 4 quarts water
  5. 1-2 pkgs. of ready-to-cook baby white or red potatoes, skin on
  6. 2 lbs. Hillshire Farms Turkey Kielbasa, cut into 2-inch chunks
  7. 2 pkgs. (6 each) mini frozen corn cobs
  8. 4 lbs. medium shrimp, in shells
Instructions
  1. In an 8-qt. stock pot, bring Old Bay, salt and water to a boil.
  2. Add potatoes and onions; cook over high heat for 8 minutes.
  3. Add kielbasa; continue to cook on high for 5 minutes.
  4. Add corn and boil another 7 minutes.
  5. Add shrimp, shells on, and cook for about 4 minutes. Once they turn pink they are ready. DO NOT OVERCOOK.
  6. Drain your liquid from the pot and pour contents onto your table--make sure the tablecloths are on. You could also use newspaper.
Notes
  1. Original recipe calls for 1 (12-oz.) can of beer, but we don't drink so we just left it out and added a little more water.
  2. We use Crosse & Blackwell Cocktail Sauce and just pour it right onto the tablecloth in as many "piles" as you need.
  3. Also good to melt several sticks of butter and put into small bowls on the table so that guests can either dip their corn in it or maybe their shrimp. Or why not the spuds?
Adapted from Food.com
Adapted from Food.com
Mormon Mavens http://www.mormonmavens.com/

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Southwest Cornbread Salad

 

Here’s a tasty, healthy summer salad that makes a great side dish to just about any cookout or family meal.  I used this for a cookout with my daughter’s in-laws just the other day.  Use your favorite cornbread recipe or do like I did and search our site.  I found this delicious recipe right HERE.  This is now my go-t0 cornbread–delicious!! 

A couple of things to note about this recipe: the pumpkin seeds are a little chewy so next time I am going to make it with sunflower kernels; the dressing is made with plain yogurt, so if you want a little sweeter taste use French or regular Vanilla; if you don’t like lime so much, just reduce the amount. My husband was skeptical about the dressing because of the lime.  Go figure.

And again, thanks for your continued support and patience as we try to work out our crazy lives so that we can cook again…and actually blog about it!

Southwest Cornbread Salad
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Ingredients
  1. 6 T. lime juice
  2. 4 t. sugar
  3. 2 c. plain yogurt
  4. 1/2 c. olive oil
  5. 1 (8 x 8 pan) cornbread, cut in 1 inch pieces
  6. 6 c. romaine lettuce, chopped
  7. 1 (15-oz.) can black beans, drained & rinsed
  8. 2-3 avocados, chopped
  9. 2 c. chopped tomato
  10. 1/4 c. toasted pumpkin seeds
  11. 1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, mix lime juice, sugar, yogurt and oil.
  2. In bottom of a large glass bowl, distribute cornbread cubes to cover the bottom.
  3. Layer the following ingredients in this order: romaine, beans, avocado, tomato and the dressing.
  4. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds & cilantro.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Notes
  1. Dip your serving spoon to the bottom of the bowl to be sure and get all the flavors from the foods! And if you make your own cornbread, try baking at 375 degrees in a convection oven for 18 minutes.
Adapted from Relish
Adapted from Relish
Mormon Mavens http://www.mormonmavens.com/

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Crazy Leftover Soup

 

It was one of those days when I just could not think of anything to fix for supper, it was Sunday so I wasn’t going to the store, so I checked my “home store” and found a couple of packages of frozen Vegetables for Stew (I don’t know why I bought these and don’t even know WHEN I bought them), I had one leftover cooked chicken breast, and of course, I had plenty of Thrive Foods to add to any dish.  And that, my friends, is how you end up with some crazy soup made from leftovers.  And guess what?  It tasted really good!  

Crazy Leftover Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 2 bags frozen Vegetables for Stew Mix
  2. 3-5 T. of chopped fresh cilantro
  3. 1 15-oz. can of Cannelini Beans
  4. 1 15-oz. can chopped tomatoes with juice
  5. 1 cup cooked brown rice
  6. 1 cooked chicken breast, cut in bite size pieces
  7. 1/2 c. THRIVE cooked ground beef
  8. 1 c. THRIVE Sweet Corn
  9. 1 c. THRIVE Green Peas
  10. 1 c. THRIVE Zucchini
  11. 2 T. Bacon grease
  12. THRIVE Chef's Choice Blend Seasoning to taste
  13. Salt to taste
  14. 4 cups of water or more, as needed
Instructions
  1. Dump all the ingredients in a large pot.
  2. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer as long as you would like to. I did mine until the house started smelling yummy.
Mormon Mavens http://www.mormonmavens.com/

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Sweet Corn Cakes

 

Hello from the other side!  We have certainly missed our food blogging with all of you.  As you know, we thought our site may have been hacked, so we took it down for a bit.  Well, for a long bit. Anywho, whatever the issue was it has certainly been resolved through no effort on our part.  We went back in to fix the issues and they were gone.  Thank goodness, because we have been away far too long and are anxious to get back into it.

Today’s post is a favorite comfort food of mine.  I got the recipe from my sister, Amy, who lives in a neighboring state.  We took a trip up to help with some outside projects at their house and she had Slow Cooker Taco Soup simmering away while we worked.  Every once in a while I would come inside to thaw out and the aroma was amazing.  And, as if that wasn’t enough to tempt me to stay inside, I found out she was making Sweet Corn Cakes as a side.  What?!  Oh my goodness, y’all, what a perfect meal for a frigid day full of outside work “fun”.  It’s super easy, too.  

Right at the moment I wanted to post this we discovered that there are still issues with our Recipe Card format, so for now we are going Old School…

Ingredients:
1 box Sweet Corn Muffin Mix
1 15 oz. can cream-style corn
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. melted butter

  1. Mix all ingredients together and pour into a greased loaf pan.

  2. Bake for 40 minutes at the temperature suggested on your box of mix.

 

Notes:  This will be bit squishy, but that’s the beauty of it–and that’s why you use a cookie scoop to serve it.  Double the recipe.  Seriously, it is that good.

Source:  Amy Eason

 

 

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Finding Peace

“Angels, shepherds, and Wise Men sought and found peace from their faith in Jesus Christ. So will you. The Savior’s birth is the gift that makes it possible for the Father to give us ‘peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.'”
—President Henry B. Eyring, First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional

A friend recently sent to me a copy of a talk entitled “Peace in this Life”, by Henry B. Eyring.  What a timely message this is.  Our world is in turmoil; oftentimes our personal lives are extremely challenging for many reasons, both within our control and not so much.  But amidst whatever trials, challenges, another’s choice that affects our lives, or influences that can impact us on a global level, we can find peace.  That one word means so much.  Where can we turn for peace?  We turn to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, whose birth we celebrate this month.  The following quote from this talk was very meaningful to me, as I had just prayed that improving my relationship with my Savior would strengthen me on those days that are especially trying.  I hope it helps you and gives you some direction during a difficult time.

“It is only through following the Savior that any of us can find peace and serenity in the trials that will come to all of us.”

And it just now occurred to me that we should remember that our relationship with Jesus Christ, as well as our Heavenly Father, can make the good days even sweeter.  They aren’t just there for us on the rough days.

Image from LDS.org.

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