Clapham Auction Spring Social 2016


Ashley Stiernagle
– Altiros restaurant in Geneva
– Graham’s ice cream shop
– fox jewelers “jewelry repair package” or something of the like
– corepower yoga in Glen Ellyn

Megan Walker
– Lands End

– Marcels in Glen Ellyn
– co hosting with Jessica Sanders for cookie party?

– Suzette’s
– Fran Tarkington football
– foursome @ Sand Creek Country Club

Lynn Smith
– Restorative Yoga for 6 in local Home Studio
– Shaklee “Get Clean” bundle
– 3rd Coast Sailing
– De-clutter Service

Carolina Dalmas
– Clapham Book List hard to find book bundles by grade

Annie Claud
– American Girl Doll (or gift card) with Clapham uniform and tote.

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Jennifer’s Superfood Breakfast


I recently went over to my friend’s house to take a class from her about how to prep and eat fermented foods and the benefits they have to our health.  It was an lively 3 hours of eating foods, prepping new foods for the fermentation process and learning about the chemistry behind food and our body (more on these topics in future posts).  I received a text from her the night before the class reading “don’t eat breakfast”.  Super!  But I was wary…I was sure it would not be pancakes with syrup.  It turned out to be fabulous, filling and so good for the body.  The recipe follows.

I promise you…it is Delicious!!!!!



Heat up a healthy fat/oil in a medium sized skillet.

Cut up 1/4 red or green cabbage.  (my slices are about 1/4 inch thin 2 inches long)

Shred 2 carrots on large holes of box grater

Optional – throw in two slices of bacon chopped up into 1/2 inch pieces.

Throw above into skillet and cook.

Meanwhile chop up about a 1 cup of Kale and throw it into the skillet.

Cook until cabbage is flexible but not too limp or soft.  It should still have some crunch. About 3 more minutes.

When you have about a minute left, make a well in the center of the skillet and add nuts/seeds to roast – pumpkin and sunflower seeds are delicious but you can use whatever you have.

Toss in 1/3 cup of freshly chopped parsley (this is super, super good for you).

Season with large grain salt like sea salt or kosher.

Turn out onto two plates and dust with tablespoon of nutritional yeast (also super good for you – buy it at Whole Foods, adds flavor and can also be used on popcorn among other things)

Crack two eggs into the skillet to fry (here is your protein).  Think about making 1/2 piece of toast each for your carbs.  (Remember carbs = energy.  You need some.)

And if you like garlic, mince up one to two fresh garlic cloves and divide on top of each plate.  Super, super good for you!

Add the eggs to the plates and eat!

Posted in Health is Wealth | 2 Comments

New Year….New Passwords

It is time to upgrade internet passwords and its time for a super strong one.  Hackers are getting really good at getting into people’s email accounts and soon to be bank account and cloud accounts.  If you use cloud computing, you are at risk of having someone hack/delete/steal a lot of your personal information.  And if you use online banking and someone gets your password, your bank probably wont insure the money they wire transfer out of your account.

If you have a few minutes, read about how this technology expert got hacked in a little over an hour ARTICLE HERE


A strong password is 6 to 8 entries and inclues 1 to 2 numbers, 1 to 2 capitals, 1 to 2 symbols and does not repeat itself from account to account.  Your amazon account should be different from your facebook account and for sure from your bank account.

So a strong password might look like this   rjoh3:16N  but how to remember that?  EASY

1. pick an easy favorite name (but not your pets name or mothers name or your name…a new name), a character in a book, a short one word book title, or even bible verse works great because there is a natural connection to the numbers.  In our example, its John 3:16

2. pick a natural point to break the name in two so its not a word, which is easy to hack.  You can see here that I put the scripture reference in the middle of John.

3. pick a letter that relates to the website you are visiting to uniquely identify this login.  This letter or letters will change for each website you visit.  Here I picked r for Relevancy.  Put the letter at the front or end of your password.  This ensures if someone hacks your gmail account, they wont order 200 books on amazon with your same one-click password.

4. lastly, pick a random letter to capitalize.  Now you have a strong and memorable password.

When you are ready to change your passwords, do it all at one time.  This will help you memorize your password because you will retype it so much and decrease your frustration because you won’t have to be trying to remember what sites you changed and which ones you did not change.





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Chicago Proposes Sex Ed For Kindergartners

Just in case you missed it.  See Link HERE as reported by ABC News.

Chicago Proposes Sex Ed For Kindergartners CHICAGO — Chicago public schools students get their sex education in the fifth grade as most do in the U.S., but CPS wants to change that, so the instruction begins at age 5.

Parents who are uncomfortable with the new policy will be able to opt out.  CPS says the curriculum will conform to each age group. For example, kindergartners through third graders will learn about their anatomy, all living things that reproduce, and appropriate and inappropriate touching. While fourth graders will focus on puberty and HIV/AIDs. It’s not until after fifth grade that teachers will lead discussions about human reproduction, contraception and abstinence.

The proposed policy follows the “national sexuality education standards” put together by four health organizations.

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Ash Wednesday 2013

God is constantly, tenderly marking His people for Himself.  In Genesis we find Him recording how many people from Jacob’s family went into Egypt to be saved from the famine…about 70.  And we find Him counting how many came out of Egypt in the Exodus even though there were several hundred thousand.  They were each important and He wanted them Numbered.

Circumcision was the mark, ordained by God, to distinguish the Jewish Nation.  And in the New Covenant, we are “sealed with the Holy Spirit”.

When Israel was violently but justly taken into captivity, God did not rescue them because of their hardened hearts toward Him, but He did still mark them by counting them too.  Right down to family lines, their numbers are recorded as taken away…but only for an allowed time and never forgotten.

Ash Wednesday is this week and we find the community of the saints seeking to be marked.  An ash on the brow marks us as the walking dead, fully unable to save ourselves.  We are made from dust and to dust we will return.  But the form of the cross gives us hope.  Though life is short, eternity is long and the cross reminds us of Christ who has been raised to give us hope.  He is the Firstfruits of the dead, who has gone before us to show us our hope has a guarantee.  It has a seed.

You see, hope without a seed is just liking wishing on a star that can neither hear you or effect you.  But yearning for something with a seed – that is a promise, a small piece of proof that our wishing is not in vain and in fact is not wishing at all but true hope.  A proposal for marriage without a ring leaves the woman uncertain – was this a whim, is he serious, is he caught up in emotion later to recant?  But when the proposal is followed by a gift and one at an expense, then the woman knows for certain his offer is real, well thought out and backed by not only words but careful thought, expense and sacrifice.  The second proposal is better because it comes with a guarantee of the promise.

The season of Lent is a time to reflect upon this hope and also the great expense at which it came.  May your reflections be blessed during this holy season.

Joel Chapter 2 is the traditional scripture read on Ash Wednesday.

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Pasture Hens and Eggs: You are what they eat.

You are what your hen eats.  Hens that are raised in fields lay eggs that are significantly more healthy for you.  Here are the facts about their eggs as compared to “cage free” or any other eggs:




  • 1⁄3 less cholesterol
  • 1⁄4 less saturated fat
  • 2⁄3 more vitamin A
  • 3 times more vitamin E
  • 7 times more beta carotene
  • 21 times more omega-3 fatty acid

Pasture hens are busy eating bugs, grasses, worms and other proteins and nutrients that get into their eggs.  This is NOT the same as cage free.  Cage free just means free roaming in a covered low lying barn with no access to outside space or even light.

You can find pastured hen’s eggs in grocery stores in Chicago like Whole Foods under the brand “Vital Farms”  or through a co-op.

Here is the catch.  At last check, Whole Foods sells the eggs for a whopping $8.00 a carton.  I get mine through a friend’s co-op for $5 a carton.  But even so I am committed to start spending more on nutritious food.  Out of all the industrialized countries in the world, the US spends less per capita on food than any other nation.  We are the wealthiest nation in the world but we are misers about our food.  Let go of the guilt and go ahead and know that you are eating super food when you eat eggs.

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Bible Study 2013

Is your faith you dry?  Do you feel like God is 1,000 miles away?  Does the Old Testament seem boring?   Do you wish you could  make connections or seen the big picture themes woven through all the books in the bible?  Do you read books about the bible but then fail to actually read the bible?  Would you be excited if I told you in 2013 you would be eager to read your bible?

Well – if any of those are “yes” then perhaps 2013 can be a year of change for you. You are invited to join my friend and I as we try a new bible study that in 10 weeks includes the following:

  • flexible time commitment:  the a workbook includes a low time commitment and bigger time commitment path for each week.  There are no in person meetings.
  • online video: discussion video library includes a video for each week.  You watch at your own pace.
  • a blog: discuss as a group, have some fellowship and keep encouraging each other to press on.
  • No boring bible reading plans! This is a new study by Precepts Ministry designed to keep you highly engaged in your bible.  
  • low commitment: 10 week commitment will get you from Genesis to Ruth.  There are no in person meetings.  If its not for you, then that is ok you are done!  If you like it, another 10 weeks finishes up the Old Testament and one more round of 10 gets you all of the New Testament.

Are you interested?  We are shooting to start roughly January 21, 2013.

And if its not your season, then thanks for just thinking about it!


  • see the “Look Inside” button here for the first week’s lesson
  • watch a video at  (click the video button in the text box)
  • COURSE DISCRIPTION: Cookies on the Lower Shelf™ is a Precept Inductive Bible Study series that covers the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation in three, 10-week segments. This series is designed to help you see the Big Picture and give you the context needed to get the most understanding from future studies! The series also has a flexible format to meet your needs. With options to follow the main narrative or read the entire Bible, you can go as deep as you choose. Part 1 covers Genesis to Ruth, Part 2 covers 1 Samuel to Malachi, and Part 3 walks through the New Testament. A must-have for individuals and groups desiring to read through the Bible this year!
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In the Twlight of Advent

It is the final stretch of Advent and my candles are brunt nearly to the ground with all this waiting.  The chill of winter has now set in.  Dusk arrives earlier and earlier.  It seems a completely different season since the first wick was blackened.

After the horrid news of Sandy Hook…it is a completely different season.

My heart longs for the next coming…for an end to this mess of a world…for judgement of the wrongs, for things to be made new.  For that everlasting Peace which mankind will never usher in.  Yet I remember a conversation held with one of my mentors – a spirit filled African American woman now a great-grandmother.  Upon mentioning a longing for heaven some time ago she looked at me with intensity and said “Oh Stacy…Not yet…my kids don’t know the Lord”.

And so we wait.  This Advent season we wait with especially heavy hearts.  And God Himself waits hating the evil even more than we do yet staying His hand so that more of His children can Enter In.

I am reminded that Christ Himself – the creator of all things – called Heaven “Paradise” while hanging on the cross.  I marvel that He who has seen every strip of pristine beauty on this earth was inspired to use “Paradise”…not home…not just “heaven”…not only “with me”…but in Paradise.  I wonder, if I had a greater concept of heaven, maybe I could understand the divine balance of this world and adsorb evil with more hope…with more perspective of eternal things because this world is hard to take at face value.

I also do not miss the point that the beauty of “Paradise” is spilled from the mouth of the God/Man hanging on the Cross. It is a picture of our Advent, our waiting for the gift of Everything if we can withstand this messy yet temporal world.  To him who overcomes, I will give My throne.  The overcoming precedes the giving.  The tale-tell fingerprint of God is the commingled promise of goodness with enduring, just as Christ did for us.  But for the Joy set before Him, He endured.  And so but for the joy set before us, we endure.  Our eyes see things here dimly and this body of dust likened, in all truth, by the Psalmist to parched grass can hardly comprehend Paradise.  But I will lift up my eyes and believe by faith that heaven has a greater part than this present darkness.  This is how all things work for good for those who trust Him.  With great endurance and much Faith.

Hope is the first Advent candle lit.  God knows we need Hope to keep the Advent watch going in the darkness.

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Is the Cross Enough

I am convinced that every Christian is eventually lead down that narrow path to the place where God asks that particularly pointed question “Is the cross enough for you?”  Our circumstances are our ever changing lens by which we see it, and are our dictionary by which we describe, receive and respond to this question.  God works to materialize the fullness of the cross to us…death…physical pain…spiritual pain…separation from God – to increase our awe.   And all this to ransom me.

And then He starts asking if that is enough for me or for you?  In your success, does the cross still outshine your achievements like the sun blinds out the moon?  Are you distracted by your works or in awe of God’s light projecting though and illuminating them?  Can the Cross still captivate you when competing with your success?

And the difficult times…which God will not or has not yet changed for you – is the cross still enough to lift your heavy eyes to Him?  Is His great goodness from 2,000 years ago too old, too dull too far back in your testimony to encourage you or sustain you in those desperate moments?

There are hard times when the pressing down of the soul by the here and now all but closes out any historical event – happy or sad – from my own human memory, let alone from a few thousand years ago.  There are times when the present moment feels like breathing through a straw from the bottom of the ocean.  And somehow, God is asking in that moment, “Am I enough?”  I’d like the healing before the answer.  “How about a breath of air from fresh skies with free lungs, without saline or salt or choking it down?!”  But it is precisely in that moment that I can be honest.  “It is not enough, it is barely enough…I have been here so long, show me how it can be enough.”

As we wait in that place we have the opportunity to move history into reality.  With little else to give thanks for, we go back to the foundational blessing, the original blessing and elevate the Cross of Calvary.  We make it our present moment.  It must become new to us each morning.  Isn’t the Cross bigger than any healing or delivery we could ask for?  Haven’t we already won the greater prize?  Isn’t there enough in that to have Joy and Thanksgiving even at the bottom of the ocean?  It is a blessing to hang on by a thread and see that the Cross must be enough.  May we all hang on.


* May I quickly mention that Joy and giving Thanks has very little to do with one’s emotions.  For anyone dealing with Grief or Depression or Forgiveness or other major trials, feelings follow after much time.  There is a great difference between Happy and Joy in the thriving person and Joy and Hopelessness in the healing person.  For both, Joy is possible because Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.  In the healing person, the goal is leading with your theology and gaining short periods of Joy.  As healing is granted, longer and longer of periods of Joy will come.


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Holiday Card Time!

Tis the reason for the season!

Although we would all like to think of Thanksgiving and Christmas as cozy winter nights lazily spent around a freshly lit fire nice and toasty in one’s most stylish UGGs, by now most of us have learned better.  Its a machine.  The Holiday Machine.  It takes Martha Stewart like skills and her small posse to pull off the feasting, the gifting, the communicating, merry making all the while surviving the much beloved but at times completely stressed out family while maintaining your best performance of holiday grace and cheer.

Your only tools for surviving the machine is a good game plan and time.  Lots of extra time.  That time begins now!  Below you will find a cheat sheet of some of this years research and tips!  Enjoy!

CHRISTMAS CARD WEBSITES – the holiday card sales are on now! 40% off cards for “limited time”,
Super easy website for making custom photo cards.  You can download their app for MAC computers to make uploading photos super simple from iPhoto.  They also have great sharing tools for those photos once you loaded them so your time and energy is well used. 20% off till November 13th
bought by shutterfly, this is their higher end division, think nicer card stock, better printing, colored envelopes as an option and etc.  You’ll find its super popular if you read the back of cards you get this year.  Someone please email my husband and tell him I want this calendar for Christmas! $25 off till November 12th for holiday cards
New to us, this will be our vendor this year. Their niche is using all independent designers who submit their work to Minted. You can pick your grade of card stock, get a proof, order a sample and get printed envelopes.  Really fun designs and if you want to feature your pet on your card, this site is hands down the winner.  save 30% with holiday code HOLIDAY2012 through December 31st.
HP’s answer to online printing. Comparable to Shutterfly.


You’ve gone through all the hard work of making a card, now get a stamp that suite your work!  If you live in a major city like me, then take my advice and order them online!  No reason to stand in line only to find out they don’t have that one in stock.  At last check it was only $1.00 to have them mailed to you in their overly pristine shrink wrapped cardboard backed, just-in-case-your-collecting-them, totally NOT cost effective packaging. Sigh

Here is what the creative geniuses (and I use that term loosely) at the United States Postal Office are offering us this year for holiday stamps. Even bigger sigh.  Conversely you can pay over $1.00 for a truly artistic 45 cent stamp at  (anyone who voted for bigger government in the last election, please email me and explain what exactly is the value being provided?  Government can’t even get stamps figure out?  Or the DMV?  Or….I digress.  Sorry!)

Costco is offering the Rudolf forever stamps which would give you a slight discount.  At any rate, if you can find a cost effective stamp to match your card you earn top marks.



Not that you will have time each season to do all this but if you are ahead of the game and are, like me, addressing and writing cards out over the next several Monday Night Football games, here are some tips gleaned from this awesome book The Art of the Handwritten Note ($12 on amazon):

1. Love at first sighthand addressed cards are more eagerly opened than their computer generated counterparts.  Take it up a notch by getting envelopes that are not white.  Labels and white envelopes have the feeling of being mass produced.  Your card will for sure stand out against the rest if its color pops and is hand labeled.  People know this takes time.  But beware.  Handwriting the outside sets an expectation for the inside of the card so if you are not going to make an attempt for item #3 below, go back to the labels.  Tip:  splurge on a wonderful pen or pack of fine line sharpies to energize you for the task.

2. Use their name and your names – I cannot overstate how much people really enjoy seeing their first name.  For example, Stacy and John Creswell is more appealing than The Creswell Family.  Similarly, signing a card from John and Stacy is more personal than The Creswell Family and more meaningful because did 4 year old Victoria really send you the card being part of the family?  For Grandma, yes.  But for most of your recipients, no.  Take note, a common mistake: is to address the card with the man’s name first as in John and Stacy Creswell (probably because this follows the well know and correct convention of Mr. and Mrs. John Creswell) BUT, as I was once told by an etiquette expert, “a man should never be separated from his name”.  It should be addressed Stacy and John Creswell.

3.  Sign your own name inside the card and write their name in a small note – I know, now we are really talking about a lot of time.  But, if you must, just pick your top 10 list and do it for them and automate the rest.  People always read what you write over what a typed card says.  Your handwritten one liner is where you get to say “we are specifically thinking about you!”  This effort on your behalf is appreciated by them and gives you permission to tell them all about your trips, kids, new job, bigger house and newest news.  It also seals your good will toward them specifically.  Some people write a one liner and sign their cards but when they don’t use my name I do wonder if they didn’t just blast off 200 of them and randomly stuff them into cards.  I don’t mind.  Life is so busy and I do enjoy getting caught up over the holiday but for you to go to all that extra work and not communicate to your recipient that YES! you are thinking of them specifically is a missed opportunity.  Narrow down your work by making a repeatable one liners for good friends and one for acquaintances that you wedge between their first name and yours.  And for those truly special friends, I am sure you will have something unique to say on the tip of your tongue.

4. Grace for you and them – so this year you added a new baby, job or house.  There is just no time.  Give yourself a break and automate everything!  And if someone sends you a card with not one drop of original ink on it – so what, they loved you enough to share their life with you.  Your standards and expressions of love and friendship are your own for each season.  No false guilt for anyone.


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