My Choice Monday

A No-Cheat Coffee Treat!


Almost daily I have the same phenomenon occurring – People ask me quite frequently how I manage to stay on the wacky diet I have…all the time. Well, there are several reasons:

  1. I don’t have much of a choice, medically speaking. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome & Insulin Resistance pretty much dictate eating zero sugar (and hence, no carbohydrates) if I want to be healthy, not continually gain weight, and have the possibility of having a child with my husband one day.
  2. Learning to cook healthy, carb-free meals at home that your whole family can enjoy makes for an easier lifestyle – There is no ‘I have to eat this…So I’ll order you a pizza.’
  3. Once or twice a week, I allow myself a ‘mini-cheat’…Don’t get too excited! 🙂 Occasionally, I add quinoa or farro into a dish I am preparing for Craig and I to provide a little bit of healthy fiber and whole grain. After being without rice, potatoes, and bread for so long, this actually feels like a treat!!
  4. I create my own versions of things I love but can no longer have – like fancy coffeehouse drinks!

Recently, Craig and I were looking at a home with a realtor and she mentioned that the last time she had met with the homeowner, they had had coffee together and the realtor couldn’t believe how delicious the coffee she made was. Well, I happened to notice the kitchen island housed the coffee maker and the coffee she used and took that into account for my own experiment..

The homeowner used regular coffee and blended that with a flavored coffee mix like this one, and then added coffee creamer to complete what I am sure was a delicious deviation from a regular cup of coffee at home. So I thought about it and then decided to create my own sugar free version:


Using about a teaspoon and a half of the Eight O’Clock Instant Coffee, mixed with about two tablespoons of the Hills Bros. Sugar-Free Cappuccino Mix, I add in boiling water and a splash of heavy whipping cream…Oh my goodness! What a treat!!! I have also used the french vanilla cappuccino and love that version, as well.

This little drink has helped ‘fill-in-the-gap’ for me on those days when I just need a Starbuck’s latte – – – aka most days. 🙂 As a side note, if you want a little bit of decadence and are planning a Starbuck’s trip, you can certainly order a breve latte with any sugar-free syrup. Breve just means they make the latte with cream rather than milk – which is much more carb/sugar friendly!!

You can check out more of our healthy and delicious recipes here or by searching ‘recipe’ in the search box on the top right of our homepage.

Have a wonderful day! We’ll be back tomorrow for another chat 😉

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TTC Tuesday

With A Learning Spirit Or A Broken Heart?

TuesdayYesterday at Pure Barre, at 6AM, there was a young lady in the front of the class…drinking a Starbucks Frappuccino…Yes, in the middle of class…While the rest of us were lifting, tucking and burning…She was half-heartedly going through the movements, rolling her eyes, as if saying, “I have better things to do!”.

Again, this morning…again, at 6AM, there was a different young lady at the front of the class…While she wasn’t drinking a Starbucks coffee, she was half-heartedly going through the movements, looking at her watch, rolling her eyes…

Now, it isn’t any of my business how you participate in your workout class. I’m not paying for your enrollment. But, my goodness, as my husband will attest, Pure Barre ain’t cheap! Why wake up in the morning early enough to make a 6AM class, and pay a premium to participate, if you aren’t going to give it your all and get something out of it?

We should be considering the trials and struggles and hardships we face in our lives in the same way. If you’re currently (or have ever been) trying to conceive, you know it is absolutely the definition of a trial, a struggle, a hardship. It is a disciplined routine of waiting, worry, panic, sadness, hope, and despair. It is hard not to get mucked down with depression after months and months and months (or even years) of placing all your hope in finally becoming parents, and having that hope dashed, repeatedly.

Here is what the Bible has to say about the heartaches and troubles we face here on Earth:

JAMES 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds

So, we should be happy about struggle in our lives? Why?

JAMES 1:3-4 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 

Difficulties in our lives are times for learning, growth – a reawakening, if you will. As we face something challenging, we should look to see what God could be teaching us as we navigate through the rough waters. One of the greatest men the world has ever known, the apostle, Paul, says (regarding the perpetual ‘thorn in his side’):

2 Corinthians 12:8-10 Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

What life lessons could we learn through the struggle of infertility? Here are some benefits and lessons Craig & I have gained as we have faced this storm in our life head on:

  • Spiritual Benefits/Lessons/Changes
  • We have used the past 17 months of marriage, without children, to truly build a solid foundation in our relationship firmly (gaining more and more everyday) rooted in the Lord.
  • Our prayer life has greatly deepened. We went from praying separately to (nervously) praying together to holding hands and baring our souls out loud as we have a conversation with God – together.
  • Our relationship with God has deepened. Neither Craig nor I has ever had to go without much. We both come from wonderful, supportive, Christian families, and grew up with equally great siblings. We had everything in the world to be thankful for – but were we, then? I mean, truly, deeply, thankful? Fully appreciative of all the many blessing we had been graced with? No. This difficult time in our life has increased our devotion to the Lord so many times over, I cannot even describe it. If it were appropriate to say the change has been ‘like magic’, I would certainly describe it that way…but it isn’t magic. It’s something so much more amazing. It’s grace.
  • Worldly Benefits/Lessons/Changes
  • Craig & I are truly a team. Dealing with infertility, together, in our marriage has created this strong partnership. We know we can go to each other with any.single.thing, and speak openly and honestly about it.
  • We have a savings account – just for the future Baby Lefebvre – whether by adoption or natural birth.
  • I was able to gain almost a year’s experience as a nanny to (very) young children. This was real world, invaluable, experience I would never have otherwise had. I am now intensely familiar with potty training a two-year old, changing a tiny baby’s diaper while holding his twin sister on your hip, preparing formula, and getting (twin) infants on a sleep/eat/play schedule-all while entertaining a two-year old. Invaluable experience. 

And those are just some of the things we have learned or gained from this angry storm cloud called infertility. I am not, in any way, shape, form or fashion, saying this is fun, ‘not a big deal’, or easy; however, we should absolutely take our trials and grow, learn, and prosper from them.

Just as those two girls in Pure Barre this week were not taking advantage of the workout going on right under their noses, we cannot let the lessons and significant opportunities of our pain and difficulty pass us by. What a waste it would be to sit around and mope (although, the easiest way to pass the time…)… We should be using our time in the tunnel wisely.

james 1.1.12


Thirsty For Christ Thursday

It Only Takes A Spark…


“Pass It On (It Only Takes A Spark)” – that was a favorite song of mine growing up. My mother used to hum it while she played it on the piano for me, and then I learned it and would sing it for her while she played. All I pictured back then was a campfire, but today there is a lot more truth & meaning.

Matthew 7:12

12 “Always do for other people everything you want them to do for you. That is the meaning of Moses’ Teachings and the Prophets.

Today, on the way to work after my work-out, I was in my hurry mode. I cannot STAND to be late, not even a little bit, and to me, “late” is “on time” and “on time” is “early”. If you’re Type A, maybe you understand this concept! 😉 I was on the verge of “late”, but I had not had enough caffeine and so I pulled into the LOOOONG line at Starbucks for my Venti Chai Soy Latte Extra Hot (Thanks, Jenna!) No Water With Whip. I waited and waited…I was anxious because I could see the minutes ticking away on the dashboard clock…But when I approached the window to pay for my drink, the barista said, “The person in front of you paid for your order. Would you like to pay for the person behind you?”


Of course, I said, “Yes!”, and paid for the order behind me – which was actually a dollar less expensive (See good things come to those who do the right thing!;-)), but that little incident changed my perspective for the entire day. It only takes a spark…

Maybe a “little thing” like that doesn’t strike you in your heart, but man, this morning, that simple act changed my whole demeanor for the day. What are we doing each day – things that seem insignificant to us – that make a huge difference in the life of another? And is that difference positive or negative? It only takes a spark…

My favorite radio station (proudly posted on the sidebar of our blog), Victory 91.5, has a segment each morning called, “Scripture & Spurgeon” – referring to the late, great Charles Spurgeon and a dose of correlating scripture. I was really affected by today’s and thought I would share it:

“Short prayers are long enough.”-C.H. Spurgeon

Matthew 6:7

7 And when you are praying, speak not much, as the heathens. For they think that in their much speaking they may be heard.

We’ve been discussing prayer a lot recently, it seems. We ask and ask and ask. We thank and thank and thank. But it’s such an awesome reminder – for US, especially – we ought to LISTEN more than anything else. Maybe if our ears and our heart and our minds are simply open to His Word, we will truly hear his answers.

1 Kings 19:11-13

11 And he said to him: Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord: and behold the Lord passeth, and a great and strong wind before the Lord over throwing the mountains, and breaking the rocks in pieces: the Lord is not in the wind, and after the wind an earthquake: the Lord is not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake a fire: the Lord is not in the fire, and after the fire a whistling of a gentle air. 13 And when Elias heard it, he covered his face with his mantle, and coming forth stood in the entering in of the cave, and behold a voice unto him, saying: What dost thou here, Elias?

It isn’t hard at all to notice an earthquake or a fire, and surely God can be there, as well, but we cannot hear a whisper unless we are listening intently.

Tomorrow, Craig & I are heading to Jefferson, Georgia to witness an amazing woman of God, Joan Hunter, lead a healing & miracle service.


Ms. Hunter is quite an author. After being told she would never even be able to read or write, she has now written more than ten books. She has such an inspiring story! We cannot wait to meet her in person and experience God through her ministry!

After a friend of mine loved and raved about this book by Joan Hunter, I just had to read it.

And I shared it with Craig, and with members of our family, and our friends…and now I’m sharing it with you, because remember, IT ONLY TAKES A SPARK…

Remember as you go through this day, this weekend, the next week…it does only take a spark. Is your spark filled with Jesus and His love, or is it filled with anger, selfishness and this world? We can change the world, as Jesus called each of us to do in His Great Commission – and it only takes one spark at a time!

Matthew 28:16-20

18 And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. 19 Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.

All Our Love,