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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Investing Properly In Our Marriages


From our Monthly Contributor, Cassie at True Agape:

With the busy lives that many of us lead we want to make sure that our time and energy is used in the best possible way. This includes in our marriages as well. We want to ensure that what we are doing for our marriages are beneficial and helpful, rather than just something we do in hopes of bettering our relationship. 

I believe if we focus our time and energy to these three areas it will indeed grow our marriages and be mutually beneficial to us and our spouses’. 

1.) Know your man’s Love Language- In my previous post 5 Love Languages to Create a Successful Marriage I explained the philosophy behind the Love Languages and the importance of speaking your spouse’s. In short, your husband may feel loved in different ways than you are showing him love. If you are not speaking his Love Language, he may still appreciate your effort, but sadly you are not getting the most out of your efforts. Knowing and speaking his Love Language is more effective and will draw you two closer together. 

2.) Nurture your relationship- Nurture means “to encourage growth.” As couples we have weaknesses. For some couples that might be communication, finances, amount of quality time or lack of spontaneity. Spend time encouraging growth in those areas. Developing strength in our weak areas helps us feel stronger and more well balanced as a couple.

3.) Work on a goal together- Have you ever set a goal for yourself, worked extremely hard to succeed and then reaped the benefits afterwards? If so, you know all the pride and accomplishment you felt and the growth that took place during the process. Just think how much it would change your relationship if you got to go through that process with your significant other! While working on goals as one unit we can encourage each other, challenge one another and provide accountability. Through the process we become closer, but we also draw on our success for things we want to work on in the future. You start to realize the power of two people! 

In our marriages there are a lot of things that we can attempt to put time, energy and effort into. But sometimes we need to reevaluate to see if that time, energy and effort are truly serving our marriages in a positive way. I truly believe that if we spend time ensuring the three above things our relationships with our husbands will grow tremendously. Often in ways we never imagined! 

Share with us in the comments if doing any of these three things has already enhanced your marriage! 



"Marriage is Not a Destination, But Rather a Life Long Journey"

You can also find & follow Cassie & True Agape Here:



Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easiest Chocolate Covered Strawberries


One of my most popular posts here at New Nostalgia is How to Hull a Strawberry Using a Straw.  In that post I asked for readers to share their favorite way to eat strawberries, and I got one of the best tips for making the Easiest Chocolate Covered Strawberries from a sweet reader.

 Ilyana sent an email and told me that she makes Chocolate Covered Strawberries by melting Dove chocolates.  She said "these are the best chocolate covered strawberries I have ever tasted and friends and family agree.  They're a fav." 

Easiest Chocolate Covered Strawberries 
(a no recipe, recipe)

1. Wash and FULLY DRY berries before dipping. 
2. Bring the berries to room temperature
3. Unwrap a bag of Dove milk chocolates and place in a quart Pyrex measure cup. 
4. Melt in the microwave about 10 seconds at a time, stirring each time until melted.  It melts pretty quickly and stays melted long enough to dip at least a large cookie sheet of large berries.
5. Place on wax paper covered cookie sheet then into the fridge to set.

Yum! (or in Ilyana's words--Crazy Good!)

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Tips:

~Do not get even a drop of water in the chocolate or it will seize up.
~Keep the green stems on and use them to hold on to the strawberry while dipping.  The green makes for a very pretty strawberry.
~When dipping, turn the strawberry into a circle, until the entire bottom is covered.
~You can also use this recipe to dip graham crackers, bananas or pretzels. 
~This would also be a great Valentines Day recipe.

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I am going to make these this weekend for Easter as a family treat. We are going to go to our Saturday evening church service, which is a first for our family. We are going on Saturday to avoid Sunday morning crowds and have time to drive an hour on Sunday to be with extended family.  I thought Chocolate Covered Strawberries would be the perfect Easter treat to come home to.





Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Easy Taco Seasoned Lentils - For Nachos, Tacos, Quesadillas & Taco Salad


I am always trying to find easy family meals that are full of plant protein and that everyone likes.  These Taco Seasoned Lentils have been a huge hit around here, and are so versatile!  I love keeping a big mason jar of them in the refrigerator for a quick dinner or lunch taco salad.

Thanks to Trader Joes, I don't have to worry about making the lentils.  These steamed lentils have been the perfect replacement for ground beef in our family, and we have made sloppy joes, taco meat and meatloaf with them.  If you don't live near a Trader Joes, lentils are super easy to make.  It is a lot like making rice, 1 part lentils to 2 parts water.  Click here for directions.


If you do live by a Trader Joes, they are found in the refrigerator section. They are shrink wrapped so they last a long time in your refrigerator at home.  I'm sure you could freeze them, but I have never had to.  They are delicious just crumbled up on top of a salad for added protein, but I like adding different sauces and flavorings to them.


To make taco seasoned lentils, I just buy a packet of taco seasoning, (or use this recipe), and mix it with the required water.  Heat it up a bit until it smells good.  Then add 1 lb of cooked lentils.  The above picture is what the lentils from Trader Joes look like.  Don't let the dark color on the outside of the lentils bug you, as it says on the package, this is normal.


Separate the lentils and stir them into the taco sauce.  Heat up. It is that simple!  This sure beats dealing with raw meat and draining nasty grease, huh?  


Now your taco lentils are ready to use in whatever way you would like.  Use on nachos, tacos, quesadillas, or for taco salad.  

Easy Peasy!!

Taco Seasoned Lentils

1 packet taco seasoning (or use this recipe for homemade taco seasoning mix)
Water (according to taco seasoning packet directions)
1 lb cooked lentils, (buy precooked or use this method to cook your own)

Put taco seasoning into the pan.  Add water.  Add lentils.  Stir and heat until hot and aromatic, and water has been absorbed.

*sometimes I add corn to them for added texture, color and deliciousness!

{don't forget to pin!}

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