Welcome I don’t fit the societal norm, I know. I am female and shopping for clothes, shoes, make-up, and accessories are not my thing! Read on to find out the whys, and which store that is my one exception! Note-I may receive compensation for affiliate links and advertisements seen in this blog. I am NOT affiliated with any of the stores mentioned in today’s blog and did not receive paid endorsements from these companies. For further information, you may read my terms and disclosure page.
Food For Thought I always joke with my husband about how easy he has it with me. I tell him I’m low-maintenance, well, at least I am in some ways. He doesn’t have to have the hard conversations with me about credit card bills or how much my clothes cost or how much I spent at the nail salon. I wouldn’t be completely honest, however, if I said I didn’t shop and spend completely for spiritual reasons, although that sounds more noble. Growing up, our family had very real reasons to be frugal with our money, and that meant not a lot of money to spend on extras, and sometimes not even for new clothes. And let’s face it, shopping at the dollar store didn’t have the same shopper appeal for me as my friends who got to go to the city and shop at the malls. Also, I’ve always been a “big girl” and it is no fun walking into a store to find they don’t carry anything in your size. Do any of you remember that store 5-7-9, ugh? Not to mention, I was incredibly self-conscious and my low self-esteem focused on thoughts like, it doesn’t matter, you’ll never be pretty anyway. And those are just examples from my younger years. It hasn’t gotten much better as an adult, even though there’s a little more money, I have access to almost unlimited stores and shops, and attractive clothing comes in all sizes now. But even at work I didn’t really fit into the conversations about designers of certain purses or shoes, which store their outfit came from, or what was happening on Next Top Model. I might be mildly interested if I heard about a big sale at Kohl’s. Maybe my dislike for shopping is just a carry over from my childhood experiences, or my overly anxious personality. Maybe I’m deeply modest, both in spending and appearance. Sometimes it makes me sad that I don’t take shopping trips with girlfriends, because they sound fun and make me feel like I’m missing out on something I should be doing. But really, it doesn’t matter. I don’t mind that you saw my outfit at Target when you were picking up the toilet paper and dish soap. I don’t mind that my makeup comes from CVS, I don’t wear makeup that often anyway. I don’t mind that almost all of the shoes in my closet are for hiking and exercise. I have so many foot problems, there’s only about 3 brands of shoes I can wear anyway. I don’t mind that I didn’t spend $500 on a purse that will usually sit in the floor board of my car-you know, where those muddy hiking boots just sat. So it’s true, I don’t really like shopping. But I’m happy to say that I’ve finally reached a point in my life where I don’t try to force myself into liking or doing certain things, just because I think it’s what I’m “supposed” to be doing.
Now having said all of that, there is one store I can spend WAY too much time and money in…Hobby Lobby! I like to consider myself creative, so this is a magical place for me! I love the scrap-booking and paper art supplies. I love the drawing and painting sets. I love the home decorating and inspirational artwork. I like the new seasonal items. And, surprise! I love the cake and candy making products. I may not even have an occasion I need to bake for, but I can get inspired just by looking at all the brightly colored products in the cake creations aisle. I can’t even believe all of the items out in this area now. It used to be cake pans, food coloring, and some idea books. Then came the candy molds. Now they have all flavors and colors of candy melts, designer cupcake wrappers, cute display stands, and so much more. I’ve always loved making art, and with all of this, food becomes another medium for art. I like the sound of that! Inevitably when I go to this store, I can stay for hours and always seem to leave with more products in my cart and more ideas in my brain than I planned.
Today’s Scriptures Please do not misunderstand my message today. I’m not saying that shopping is wrong, or even the enjoyment of shopping. Remember, a Proverbs 31 woman has to do the shopping for her family. I’m also not saying you shouldn’t make yourself look professional for work or presentable for the public. I think for some who love shopping, however, it is a good idea to understand the motives behind the activity. Do you seek to impress others with your appearance or purchases? Do you find spending money a comforting activity, the way some of us (um, me) turn to food and eating? Is the love of shopping leading to debt or marital strife? And just because shopping isn’t an activity I enjoy, doesn’t mean that I don’t have other activities that force me to ask very similar questions! Here are some verses that help me think about my focus when it comes to shopping and what my motives may be:
James 2:2-5 “Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, ‘Here’s a good seat for you,’ but say to the poor man, ‘You stand there’ or ‘Sit on the floor by my feet,’ have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thought?’ Listen my dear brothers. Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?”
Galatians 2:6 “As for those who seemed to be important-whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not judge by external appearance-those men added nothing to my message.”
1 Samuel 16:7 “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Today’s Recipe Today I have a triple treat selection for you, inspired by the cake and candy creations department at the local Hobby Lobby. We have a trio of cake balls to make, but these are so versatile, you can adjust the cake, frosting, and candy melt flavor to your preferences or occasion you are making them for. I like cake balls instead of cake pops because I don’t have to worry about them falling off the stick and they’re a little less work this way. They are a great addition to a dessert table, but work well for showers and birthday parties. The recipe is not hard for these cake balls, but they are time consuming. Set aside at least several hours if making one batch, and if you decide to make several batches, you will need at least a full day, if not two. Another note, you will have extra icing and possibly candy melt, but I listed how much to purchase so you would be sure to have enough. I buy my cake mixes and frostings at the grocery store because they are much cheaper, but I get the candy melts, flavorings, and decorations at Hobby Lobby because the selection is great.
- For the Red Velvet Cake Balls
- Red Velvet cake mix and ingredients on the box to prepare it
- Container of ready-made cream cheese frosting
- 2 12-oz packages of milk chocolate-flavor candy melt
- 1/2 12-oz package of red (vanilla flavor) candy melt for drizzle
- For the Birthday Cake Cake Balls
- Rainbow Chip cake mix and ingredients on the box to prepare it
- Container of ready-made buttercream frosting
- 2 12-oz packages of birthday cake-flavor candy melt
- Container of assorted rainbow sprinkles
- For the Mint Fudge Cake Balls
- Chocolate Fudge cake mix and ingredients on the box to prepare it
- 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract
- Container of ready-made fudge frosting
- 2 12-oz packages of chocolate mint-flavor candy melt (this is available in dark or white)
- 1/2 12-oz package of dark chocolate candy melt for drizzle
Directions for preparing cake balls are same for all flavors:
- Prepare (if making the mint fudge, be sure to add the teaspoon of peppermint extract to your cake batter) and bake cake according to package directions for a 9×13 pan. Allow cake to cool completely. Once cooled, crumble cake into large mixing bowl, making the crumbs as fine as possible. Stir in 3/4 of frosting flavor (do NOT use the entire container or the ball will have too much moisture and be to soft to hold shape well) and mix will with spoon or rubber spatula, being sure the frosting is blended in well. Line a large baking sheet or tray with wax paper. Using a medium cookie scoop, start shaping your cake balls and place in rows on baking sheet. (Even though you are using a cookie scoop, you will still need to use your fingers to pack the cake tightly.) Place the cake balls in the freezer for 30 minutes. In a microwave-safe container, melt candy coating in microwave. I melt only one package at a time, until I see how much I need. Microwaves vary, but I melt for one minute, take it out and stir, then place back in for 30 seconds and it is usually enough time to melt it all. Watch closely, because candy melt can burn quickly and then it is unusable. Stir coating until it has a smooth consistency. Take cake balls from freezer and using a metal spoon, dip one cake ball at a time in the candy melt. Do not stir the cake ball, but rather use the spoon to bring the candy melt on to the cake ball. Tap spoon on the side of the bowl to get off excess candy coating. Place coated cake ball back onto wax paper. If adding sprinkles, do this now while the coating is wet, so the sprinkles will stick. Repeat this process until all of the cake balls are dipped. Place in refrigerator to set additional 30 minutes. If you are going to do a candy drizzle, you may add that after the original coating has set. Melt candy according to previous directions. Using a spoon, gather a small amount of candy melt and drizzle back and forth across the cake balls to get the desired effect. Allow and additional 15 minutes in the refrigerator to set the drizzle. I recommend storing in the refrigerator, especially if you are in a warm and humid environment.
- (Links and prices were verified on 7/25/17 at 1:30 pm CDT)