The Simple Joy of Thanksgiving Podcasts


Thanksgiving can be so stressful for women. In this classic series of programs, Jean Ann shares tips & ideas to help you reduce stress this Thanksgiving!

The Simple Joy of Thanksgiving Part 1

The Simple Joy of Thanksgiving Part 2

The Simple Joy of Thanksgiving Part 3

Shopping for Thanksgiving: Your Home

Shopping for Thanksgiving: Your Menu

Shopping for Thanksgiving: Wine & More

Thanksgiving Wrap-up

Easy Fall Decorating Projects


Decorating your home for Fall is SO easy. And the best part is the way these decorations carry you all the way through the end of November! You can decorate with pumpkins, leaves, Autumn flowers, gourds & simply add a few Halloween touches for October. Remove Halloween & you are ready for Thanksgiving! Nothing could be easier!

Still stumped for ideas? Well, the good folks at BHG to the rescue with these easy ways to decorate your home for fall! Cool weather is here & cold weather is on the way. Create a cozy & welcoming feel to your home with these incredible ideas! Enjoy!

Easy Fall Decorating Projects

Give Teach Train: 3 Steps to Help Women Grow


Step 2: Teach

Give a woman a fish, you feed her for a day. Teach her to fish & you feed her for a lifetime. In the first post of this series, I explained why we must sometimes give women fish, sometimes for many days, before we are able to teach them to fish for themselves. Some women are so unsure of themselves, so beaten up emotionally, mentally, spiritually that they lack the strength & confidence to “fish” for themselves. If we try to force them to do it themselves before they are ready, we may do more damage, weakening their already fragile self esteem in the process. Sometimes, it only takes a bit of time to help a woman see her worth, her abilities before you are able to teach her ways to grow even more. Unfortunately with some women, it may take time to help her grow strong enough to move on to the next step. Patience is always the key.

Given time, though, a woman will become strong enough for you to teach her how to fish. Let me give you an example: over the years, I have taught many Bible studies for women that were either new to the Church or had simply never read the Bible. In the beginning, I know I must go slowly, explaining everything to them so they don’t become lost or confused. I never want anyone in a class struggling to understand what was being said in verse 5 while we are now discussing verse 8! When we begin, I often need to explain how the Bible is laid out, Old Testament/New Testament & what the difference is between the two. I talk about the Gospels & their message. We spend time on basics with them asking questions. If you are an experienced student of Scripture, you might be stunned that a person wouldn’t know these things. However, I would never expect a first year math student to open a calculus book the first day & begin discussing equations! I would never hand a person a book in a different language & expect them to understand what it says! I have found I must give them the fish each time, strengthening them until they are able to study on their own.

My goal is to help them develop a hunger for Scripture so they begin studying it on their own. They may still have basic questions, may still need help but we all need to continue our learning in any area if we are to continue to grow.

We can’t simply teach a woman to fish & then walk away, regardless the area of study. We must continue to help her with the learning process, ready to answer questions when necessary. And helping her to stretch herself so she continues to grow.

As women, we need to support & challenge one another. We need to see who needs to be fed & who needs to be taught. And we need to be ready to step in to help when help is needed. When we work to do this, we are ready to move on to Step #3 & that is when things get very exciting!


50 Fun Ideas for Your Best Halloween Party Ever


Autumn is a great time to entertain. While summer is wonderful for outdoor parties, sometimes the heat drives everyone inside. When the temps begin to drop, our energy rises & we feel the need to renew connections with family & friends. We gather so much during the Holidays but Halloween gives us the opportunity to entertain before the rush of the Holiday season.

Not sure how or where to begin? Good Housekeeping to the rescue with 50 fun ideas to help you throw a fabulous Halloween party for your family & friends. Relax & enjoy yourself & remember, YOU should ALWAYS be the #1 guest at your party!

Halloween Party Ideas

Give Teach Train: 3 Steps to Help Women Grow


Step 1: Give

They say if you give a woman a fish, you feed her for a day. If you teach her to fish, you feed her for a lifetime. At Simple Joy, we go a step farther. If you train to teach others how to fish, you feed the world. However, you must often give her a fish before you proceed.

I agree. Feeding a woman day after day does nothing to help her grow in the long run. Unfortunately, some women (myself included at times in my life) are in such a weakened condition that we must be fed first. We must regain our strength before we are in any shape to be taught anything.

Scripture tells us that we must feed new believers mother’s milk before they can move on to solid food. Like babies, they must begin with simple food, then move on to something more substantial. Babies need to grow, they need to become stronger & what they are fed helps move this process along.

The Scripture verse is telling us that we need to begin slowly with someone who is just beginning the process. We need to feed them simple information, rather than overwhelming them right off. We also must see to their immediate needs before we begin teaching them anything.

Soup kitchens & other organizations that feed the homeless & hungry often share a faith-based message with those that come to eat. I think it’s interesting that they wait to begin preaching until people have eaten. They know people can’t focus on your message when they are hungry. So many women are starving today. Many feel overwhelmed. They feel hopeless. They think they have no value. Too many are literally starving. Before we can teach them to fish, we must understand what emotional, physical or spiritual hunger is starving them & see to those needs first. Once we have moved them from “mother’s milk” to “solid food” once we have strengthened them enough, THEN we can begin teaching them to fish. However, as long as they are hungry, we are simply wasting everyone’s time & possibly doing even more damage.

Our first step must be helping women regain their strength emotionally & spiritually. We must help them recognize their worth, build their confidence, boost their self esteem. We must strengthen them deep within their core so there is a solid foundation on which to build. Only then can we move on to teaching them ways to sustain themselves for life!

Offer women the food they need & watch them grow in ways you never thought possible!

FREE This Week: Busy Moms DTG Digital Book

Busy Moms’ DTG offers insights into God’s wisdom and faithfulness gleaned during practical experience in the trenches. Features a month’s worth of daily devotions with Scripture verse & activity.

Download Busy Moms’ DTG Now!

Today’s Featured Book: Brides’ Devotions to Go


Sarah James tells every bride she works with that planning a wedding is like having a part-time job. It’s fun but it’s also a lot of work! Brides’ Devotions to Go is an upbeat devotional that brides rely on for girlfriend advice and a good laugh.

Every day, brides are given a spiritual boost and a break from endless decision making. Each devotion contains pertinent Scripture and sanity-saving advice told through stores from Sarah’s own wedding and from her experience in the wedding industry. Planning ideas and tips are included.

Download Digital edition of Brides’ DTG for only $3!

The Simple Joy of Autumn


Autumn is my favorite time of year. I always feel a sense of renewal when the leaves begin to change, the days grow shorter & the weather becomes cooler. Even living in SoCal has not lessened my love of Autumn. The change of seasons may be more subtle but they are apparent. I find myself energized, preparing our home for winter, pulling out my sweaters &, best of all, BAKING!

I decorate our home for Autumn, adding touches of Halloween when October arrives. I begin thinking about Thanksgiving & the, GASP, Christmas! Yes, this time of year not only increases my energy but my creativity as well!

To help you enjoy Autumn, to relieve the stress it brings with a return of school & busy schedules after a relaxing, slow paced summer, my friend, Shaunna Privratsky & I have put together a collection of articles & recipes for you & your family. Just click the link below to download your FREE copy! And keep an eye out for our FREE Thanksgiving & Christmas e-books! Enjoy!

The Simple Joy of Autumn

10 Cozy Ways to Make Your Home Smell Like Fall

apple basket

Autumn is my favorite time of the year. I enjoy preparing my home for the Holiday season & the cool weather ahead. I also begin entertaining more in the Autumn. Yes, I entertain in warm weather but my entertaining tends to be outside in the Spring & Summer while Autumn & Winter bring my guests inside.

A home closed up for winter can begin to smell a bit stale.  Of course, when I bake, our home smells like chocolate or cinnamon. Unfortunately, I don’t always bake. Yet I still want my home to have that warm welcoming fragrance whenever someones enters. Hmmm, what to do?

Good Housekeeping offers a solution with these 10 ways to make home smell like Fall. What a wonderful cozy idea! Enjoy!

Autumn Scents

Autumn Pumpkin Wreaths 24″ Seeking New Home

Autumn is my favorite time of year. I love the changing colors (yes, we do have trees that change colors here in Southern California), the cooler weather (although that takes longer for us) & the clothes. Sweaters are one of my favorite things.

I begin baking more & I decorate our home with Autumn decor, including my wreaths. This year, I have a large selection of wreaths for Autumn in a variety of colors, ribbons & decorations. In this post, I wanted to share my new Autumn Pumpkin Wreath.


I began with a brown mesh wreath. I had the wooden pumpkin sign & wanted to use colors that would compliment it.


I had ordered the orange gingham ribbon early in the summer & I knew it was perfect for this wreath. I have used the red & navy versions of this ribbon for a summer wreath & I really like the way it handles.


I wanted some green to pick up the green in the sign. So I added some olive deco mesh ribbon.


In the past, I only used animal print ribbons on my animal print wreaths. I had wanted to use it as an accent on a wreath that wasn’t just animal print ribbons. I think it goes well with the Autumn colors in this wreath.

This wreath is currently hanging in my home but I am looking for the perfect home for this wreath. The wreath is 24″ across. Has a brown deco mesh base, olive deco mesh ribbon & 4 different ribbons : orange gingham, animal print, solid brown & soft gold. This wreath is $40 & available for pick-up in SoCal (we live in Anaheim) or can be shipped anywhere in the U.S. (a recent wreath went to live in Hawaii!)

If you are interested in having this wreath come live with you, simple contact me & we can discuss the details.

I also want everyone to know that I do custom wreaths. If you are wanting specific colors for your wreath, contact me with your ideas. I want you to have the perfect wreath for your home this Autumn, Halloween, Christmas or throughout the year!