Category Archives: Heidi’s Favorite Things

When You Don’t Feel Strong as a Mom

A few years ago, I had the privilege of meeting Arlene Pellicane in Little Rock. We were both there to record broadcasts with Family Life Today. We didn’t have more than a meal together but let me tell you, this woman has passion!  I think her new book will be a blessing to our awesome readers here at The Busy Mom—so we’re doing a giveaway!

Arlene has a new book out called 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Mom.  We’re giving away a copy to a Busy Mom reader, so read through to the end for more on the book and details on how to enter!

There’s a wonderfully inspiring story in Judges 6 about an unlikely warrior: Gideon.

Believe it or not, you probably have something in common.

The Lord tells Gideon to “go in the strength that you have” and Gideon replies, “How can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” Instead of being the best of the best, Gideon was pointing out he was the worst of the worst.

Can you relate with Gideon? Instead of feeling like you were born from a long line of happy, healthy moms, maybe you come from a dysfunctional family. Broken doesn’t begin to describe it. Yet God delights in working powerfully through weak people; people like Gideon, Rahab and Ruth to name a few people from the Bible.

Don’t let your past family life determine your present family life. You have your own story to write.

I remember when I had my first child, Ethan, I had no idea how to hold a baby. I could put my hands under his little armpits and pull him in close. That was about it. Some of my friends who weren’t even moms seemed so much more comfortable holding my little lump, turning him upside down and right side up and cradling him like a football.

I wasn’t equipped with baby know-how or born with natural instincts. I was just hoping not to drop him! I had a lot to learn. Going in the strength that we have means coming as we are. God doesn’t expect you to be like the culinary mom on your left or interior decorator mom on your right. He wants you to come as you are with all your strengths and weaknesses, and with a willing heart to learn.

The good news is that God will surround you with people who can help you as a mom if you will let them. When Noelle was about three, she would throw a fit every time I tried to wash her face. She’d jerk to the left and right, squirm and complain. It drove me nuts. But when my husband James washed her face, she was perfectly still. She almost tilted her head back angelically while he washed her face with ease.

One day, I humbled myself and asked James, “How do you get Noelle to do that? She’s never still for me.” James replied, “Oh, it’s easy. Noelle knows she can get away with that with you. But she knows I won’t stand for it.”

Of course, my first reaction was, “Well, LA-DEE-DA for you!” But as I thought it over, I knew he was right. There was no fooling around with daddy. So, the next time we were at the sink, I went on the offensive with my new found strength.

“Noelle, from now on, you will treat me like you treat daddy when we’re at the sink or else you will be disciplined.” She pushed me, I gave her the discipline, and our sink struggle ended after a few encounters just like that.

Part of becoming a mom warrior is humbling yourself and learning from others (ouch…even from your husband).

Say it out loud today: I am a mighty warrior mom because of Christ!



Arlene Pellicane is a speaker and author of 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Mom and 31 Days to a Happy Husband. She is also the co-author of Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World (with Gary Chapman). She has been a featured guest on the Today Show, Fox & Friends, Focus on the Family, FamilyLife Today, The 700 Club, and Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah.
Arlene lives in the San Diego area with her husband James and their three children.
To learn more and for free family resources such as a monthly Happy Home podcast, visit

Happy Mom cover

Does it ever seem like you’re taking orders from your children instead of the other way around?

In this encouraging, eye-opening book, you’ll discover how to lead your home effectively…and happily.  Arlene has interviewed numerous happy mom experts like Kendra Smiley, Fern Nichols, Dannah Gresh, Karen Ehman, and Laura Petherbridge.

Organized in short chapters that even the busiest mom can read, you’ll become more:

H – Healthy
A – Action-Oriented
P – Prayerful
P – Perseverant
Y – Yes-Filled

The book includes a “Happy Mom Discussion Guide” to enhance your personal study or for a group study.

Heidi St. John’s Favorite Chicken – Stock Up and SAVE

Hi moms!

Alrightey. I’m a mom of conviction and passion—who also cooks.  :)  If you have followed me for any length of time, you KNOW I love this company! Great food, GREAT customer service—pretty much, you can’t go wrong.

Fresh, delivered to my area, hormone-free—and I can order enough to feed the small army that my husband and I have created all-by-ourselves.  :)

I’m stocking up—again–because a girl can’t have too much great chicken in her freezer!  If you don’t have a deep freeze—consider splitting a case with a friend.  You will be glad you went with this outstanding company… I pinky-promise!  Zaycon is worth it.





You’ll need to find your area and then see if they still have product coming to your neck of the woods. There’s till time… don’t wait.  (I waited too long once, and after I told y’all about it, my truck sold out.)  Boo.




The Busy Mom’s Favorite Beauty and Makeup Products


I’m excited to share with you all some of my FAVORITE Beauty and Makeup Products! Keep reading for body care products, facial care products and makeup!Read More

Shapewear You Can Live IN


I’ve had seven kids. Did I mention that? Our oldest and youngest are twenty years (yes, twenty) apart! Pregnancy was not kind to my skin… and I’ve got the stretch marks to prove it.  I’m good with it—but still.  If you’ve had a baby, you know what I mean. Over the years I’ve tried a few of the torture devices called “shape wear” and I’ve never been impressed … until now.

Last month, a friend took me consignment store shopping in an effort to freshen up my wardrobe.  After saying goodbye to my mom jeans and a few other outdated items, I was introduced to “Yummie Tummie!”  Hello, new friend!

If you’ve been trying to figure out a way to smooth out your figure without flat-out fainting—then check these out!

It’s shapewear you can live in for more than just a couple of hours.

You’re welcome.




Busy Mom’s Favorites {Quiet Time Activities for Kids}

I remember when my first son was really small and I would look forward to his naptime so that I could have a break and grab a shower.  I remember the joy that I felt when he finally settled into 2 naps a day: the glorious 2 hour nap in the morning and the wonderful hour nap right before dinner.  I also remember the terror and fear that struck my heart when he switched to one nap a day and then the disappointment when he stopped napping altogether.

When boy #2 arrived it was the same roller coaster of emotions. When he started showing signs of giving up naps I knew that I needed to find something that would let me have a few moments during the day to regain my sanity and something that would help my boys get the rest and downtime they needed. Quiet time activities were the answer!

If your child has given up naps this list of activities is great way to transition to quiet time!

Quiet Time Activities for Your Non-Napping Children

When my boys stopped napping I knew that they still needed time to rest during the day even if they didn’t need to sleep. I came up with a list of things that they could do in their rooms quietly for an hour while I had some time to get some work done or occasionally get some rest myself.

Audiobooks are our favorite quiet time activity. My boys love listening to the stories and the thing that I love is that I can tell them to listen to X number of chapters or the whole thing before they get up or come out of their room. This keeps them from coming out or yelling down the hall every 5 minutes “Is it time to get up yet?”.  Here are some of our favorite audiobooks:

Other activities that work well for quiet time:

Making the Transition to Quiet Time

My boys usually listen to an audiobook in their beds for about and hour and then get up and play quietly in their room for another hour. It took some time to get to this point. If your children are really young or new to quiet time you may need to start in smaller increments and work your way up to your desired amount of time. Use a timer so that you child won’t have to ask you every minute if quiet time is over. Also make sure that everyone has had lunch and some time to run around and burn off some energy before starting quiet time.

Here are a few other tips to help you get started:

  • A baby gate is a helpful for little ones so that they don’t leave their room.  It gives them a safe, structured place to play.
  • Be consistent: if you are going to transition to quiet time, stick to it. Don’t allow your children to argue or negotiate with you.
  • Rotate activities so that your children don’t get bored. Have things that only come out during quiet time or maybe have a  scheduled rotation.

Do you have any favorite activities or tips to add to this list? What do your non nappers do?


The Busy Mom’s Favorite Devotionals

Busy Mom's Favorite Devotional Books

As a mom that loves reading, devotion titles have always been one of my favorite things to read. I have quite the pile next to my bed, and I choose different ones to read at different seasons in my life.  In my mind, devotionals do not replace time in God’s Word. Most of the time, they draw me into passages that I might not have read otherwise, which I love.

One of my favorite things about devotion titles is that if you’re in a rush, Busy Mom, you can still glean a perfectly wonderful word from the Lord in just a few minutes! Again, I don’t recommend replacing your study time in the Word. But, leave a devotional in the bathroom {aka escape room,} for when you need a moment to calm down and breathe. Leave another on the kitchen counter or window sill for when you’re washing that millionth dish, you can prop it open with a small easel if you like! Sometimes when I go about my day, I lose my focus. Who am I kidding? This happens daily! But, keeping devotion books and something like Scripture memory cards or index cards laying around my house really does help draw me back to God.

I’m going to share some of my all time favorite devotional titles with you here. I would LOVE to hear what your favorites are! I’m sure we will all come to a time when we need a new one on our nightstand.

Five Favorite Devotion Books For Moms

1. Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. God has amazed me through this book. Time after time, day after day, every time I pick up the book, I seem to read exactly what I need to hear. “Thankfulness opens the door to my presence.” This theme of thankfulness and trust is very common throughout this book, and often it is just the reminder I need to stop complaining in that moment and be thankful.

2. Keep A Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot.  Elisabeth Elliot happens to be one of my all time favorite authors, and this devotional of hers definitely ranks as one of the best. “Are you as often tempted as I am to doubt the effectiveness of prayer? But Jesus prayed. He told us to pray. We can be sure that the answer will come, and it will be good. If it is not exactly what we expected, chances are we were not asking for quite the right thing. Our heavenly Father hears the prayer, but wants to give us bread rather than stones.” 

3. More Precious Than Silver by Joni Eareckson Tada. If you struggle at all, if there are trials in your life that seem insurmountable, you should definitely pick up a book by Joni Eareckson Tada, because without a doubt, she has been through the fire; her wisdom and encouragement are absolutely beautiful. Speaking of Proverbs 2, Joni shares, “Why would the Bible make such a big deal about something that is in a way already ours? Why would it send us off searching for God and his wisdom, when we’ve already found God? The Holy Spirit dwelling within us shows that God has placed a hidden treasure in us. Face it: You and I have within our grasp, even inside us, a gold mine. But it’s a gold mine of possibilities. God asks us to roll up our sleeves and dig for all those riches he’s given us.” I don’t now about you, but I always need encouragement to GET in the Word and STAY in the Word!!

4. One Thousand Gifts Devotional by Ann Voskamp. If you know me personally, you will know that Ann Voskamp is another favorite author. Her original book, One Thousand Gifts, changed my perspective totally and completely. If you haven’t be radically changed by the power of thankfulness, I encourage you to start with her original book or her devotional that came a bit later. “Didn’t Chesterton say, ‘I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.’ Isn’t this what’s partly awry in the world? The world needs fewer complaints and more thanks…Giving thanks awakens me to a God giving Himself, God giving Himself to me – for me – a surrender of love.” There is also a place in this devotional to start counting your own gifts, so you will definitely want to keep this book around forever to keep counting your blessings and remembering His gifts.

5. Praying God’s Word by Beth Moore. Sometimes when we only have a few moments to spend with God, we need a little help to know WHAT to pray. I love taking this book and just reading through and praying one Scripture at a time. Beth Moore has taken Scriptures pertaining to all kinds of strongholds that we can have, and written out prayers that are straight from Scripture. Praying the Scriptures is one of my favorite ways to pray. I know I’m praying in alignment with God and His Word if I’m praying His very words!! Here is just one example, if you are feeling unloved, “O God, help me to meditate on Your unfailing love! Help me not to have the sin of unbelief after all You’ve done to tell me You love me and demonstrate Your love for me.” {taken from Psalm 48:9}


Busy moms, no matter what season you find yourself in…maybe you have babies and toddlers underfoot and the only 3 minutes you can find to read a devotional is in the bathroom. I say, go for it! Use that time wisely and get filled up when you can!! Maybe you find yourself with older kids, running every different direction, and you are in the car a lot. Leave a book in the mini-van and pull it out while you wait in the school pick-up line. Maybe you’re struggling through your first season as an empty nester. You, Beloved, have the blessing of unlimited time to dig in to the treasures of God’s Word and I promise you, dear one, He has a wealth there waiting for you!

He has gifts and blessings and encouragement waiting for each of us in those quiet {or not-so-quiet} moments when we choose to spend a moment with Him instead of complaining. I hope and pray you will find one of these recommendations just what you need and that your time with Him will be sweet and refreshing.

What are your favorite devotionals, Busy Moms?


Find more from Candace in her Author Box below!

Heidi St John Firmly Planted Family Devotional For All Ages

The Busy Mom’s Gift Guide for HIM: Gifts for Every Busy Dad


It’s almost Father’s Day!  Don’t you just love it? I do! Except for the gift-giving part. That’s not my fave part of this delightful day dedicated to doting on Dad. I can hoot-n-holler with the best of ’em but I always struggle to find just the right gift for my husband.

This year, I checked in with a few of my favorite guy friends to make a little list of things the special father in your life just might appreciate. Check out the fountain pens, the Star Wars book (it’s not what you’re thinking) and that ever-popular grilling book.  Good dads are a treasure—and even though I love to give a good gift now and then, the best things in life aren’t things.

This post contains affiliate links.  At no additional cost to you, you are supporting our ministry!



DEWALT DCK385C2 20V MAX Lithium 3-Tool Combo Kit with Hammer Drill and Impact Driver

Stanley 65-PIECE homeowners tool kit  – The neighbors will have nothin’ on your man!

Ok. This. This is the ultimate tool for every dad. My dad and his dad both love their Leatherman tools! It’s the ultimate gift that turns ordinary men into MR FIXIT! Check out this Leatherman Wingman Multi Tool . The Wingman Multi Tool is is a mid sized, fully functional, affordable Leatherman tool tha’ts project ready whether it’s used at the campsite, on the job or around the house.
Go, Go, GADGET! Clean our windows!  WINBOT W710, the Window Cleaning Robot, for Framed Windows ONLY   WINBOT is Today’s Solution to Window Cleaning! No more dangerous ladders. No more moving furniture. No more spraying, dripping or mess. Leave all that behind and let WINBOT do the work!


Dual USB & 12V Heated Mug – BLUE  Plugs into your USB port or 12V auto adapter… keeps your coffee steaming while you work or drive! Cool, eh?

“Best Dad Ever” Mug – because every dad needs a great mug that says he’s great.


If dad doesn’t have a Kindle yet, he’s missing out. Really. I mean it. Here’s what other folks are saying about the awesome Kindle:
Amazon Paperwhite Is The Best Digital Reading Experience Money Can Buy” — Mashable
“Not only is it a great ebook reader, it’s the only one even worth considering—great hardware and Amazon’s spectacular ecosystem are an untouchable combination” — The Verge

Star Wars: Vader’s Little Princess In this irresistibly funny follow-up to the breakout bestseller Darth Vader and Son, Vader—Sith Lord and leader of the Galactic Empire—now faces the trials, joys, and mood swings of raising his daughter Leia.

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff No screens, no hi-tech gadgetry. Made by Dad combines the rough-edged, handmade ethos of a Boy Scout manual or The Dangerous Book for Boys with a sly sense of humor that kids love.

The One Year New Testament for Busy Dads
You KNOW I love this! In as little as 5 minutes a day, a busy dad can connect with God and read through the New Testament within a year. This One Year New Testament is a handy trim size that is convenient for busy dads. The New Testament is divided into 365 daily readings with a quick intro and a concluding thought for each daily passage. Application questions focus on the felt needs of busy dads.


Bose “SoundLink” Mini Blue Tooth speaker – This is what my husband was drooling over last week. Bose is one of the best and this baby has great reviews. Shh. Don’t tell Jay.

SOUL by Ludacris SL99 High-Def Sound Isolation In-Ear Headphones  Hubby found these and bought them for our 15,000 mile road trip. He says they are some of the best he’s ever had. Just thought I’d share that fact.

iHome Stereo FM Clock Radio with Lightning Dock for iPhone and iPod  Charge and play lightning-capable iPhone and iPod models via flexible Lightning dock.  The iPL8BN is  a great looking, space-saving speaker system for listening to all your music. Wake or sleep to your favorite iPhone or iPod tunes or FM radio stations through high fidelity drivers in a specially designed Reson8 speaker chamber with EXB expanded bass circuitry. Auto sync feature instantly sets clock to iPhone or iPod time.


For snapshots with rich color from a camera that’s easy to use, the Canon PowerShot SD790IS 10MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom is an outstanding compact 10 MP point-and-shoot. So easy, even a sleep-deprived parent can use it!

Infant Optics DXR-5 2.4 GHz Digital Video Baby Monitor with Night Vision is the perfect gift for the guy who wants to keep a watchful eye out for his little one. Might even use it for date night, (you know the kind where you all stay home but baby sleeps in another room.)  :)

The Baby Owner’s Manual: Operating Instructions, Trouble-Shooting Tips, and Advice on First-Year Maintenance is the perfect mix of wit and wisdom for new dads. We first saw this when our son-in-law brought it to the hospital after their son was born. Priceless!

The New Dad’s Survival Guide: Man-to-Man Advice for First-Time Fathers: FATHERHOOD DEMYSTIFIED! Finally-a manual for new dads that deciphers the immensely confusing world of fatherhood and gives crucial tips and advice from a man’s point of view. No psychobabble, no warm fuzzies-just a hilarious (and surprisingly practical) military-style guide to surviving and thriving through even the queasiest moments of pregnancy, birth, and babyhood.


Mr. Good Lookin’ Is Cookin – the must-have apron for every busy dad who loves to cook! I got one for my husband. Tell that man of yours how hot you think he makes the kitchen!

“Best Dad Ever” grilling and BBQ apron

Home Run Baseball Glove Style Single Oven Mitt This 100 percent cotton mitt was made for wearing while flipping burgers, but you might be tempted to play ball instead!

The Grilling Book: The Definitive Guide from Bon Appetit “Indispensable. Chock-full of recipes tested and approved by the trusted editors of Bon Appétit, it’s sure to make you a master of all things grilling.”

Barbecue! Bible Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades, Bastes, Butters, and Glazes  Here are fiery spice mixtures for massaging into food, sensuous bastes to be brushed on like lacquer, killer marinades, sugary glazes, tangy mops from award-winning barbecue teams, and dozens of sauces, from the classic tomato-based American Sweet and Smoky to a bold Moroccan Charmoula with its medley of fresh herbs and spices.

Bundle – 4 Items: World Harbors Marinade Sauces – Mexican Style Fajita, Maui Mountain Teriyaki, Jamaican Style Jerk, Maui Mountain Sweet ‘n Sour This four-pack of World Harbors flavor is a great sampling of robust taste from local cultures. Each sauce, wildly popular in their own right, comes together to give you a zest to be paired with any of your favorite dishes. Use them as a marinade or side dip!


Keurig! It’s the key to really simple coffee making. Busy dads who need their coffee in a hurry love keurigthis ingenious machine. We use ours all the time for teas, coffees and even hot water. Keurig is just another way to say, “I love you.” (not really.) The Special Edition Brewing System is Keurig’s mid-luxury home brewing system. Yeah. It’s cool like that.

Everything Variety Unique 35-Count Variety Pack, Single-Cup Portion Pack Sampler for Keurig K-Cup Brewers 35 Exciting Sampler Pack, You Are Guaranteed 35 Different Flavors, Flavored Coffees, Extra Bolds, Teas, Hot Cocoas, Decafs Etc… Please note that these are not in gift packaging, but they’re a great way to try new flavors that you’ve never had before.


Muscle Roller Stick – Gives instant relief to sore muscles, leg cramps, or knots! And as much as we love to give massages, sometimes it’s nice to have a break. 😉

Clothes and accessories of their favorite teams – I don’t know any guy who tires of a comfy shirt with his favorite sports team on it.  This link has a huge variety of options and teams!

ACCUSPLIT Pro Survivor Stopwatch – Need a stopwatch to settle arguments over who won the race in the backyard? (Just don’t tell Dad it really wasn’t him!)

Reebok Adjustable Ankle Weight – These are an easy way to make a workout just a little bit more challenging. They’re adjustable and comfortable.

Ladder Toss Game – A fun game for the whole family to enjoy in the backyard on these cool summer nights.


Road and Track Magazine Subscription – From a reader, “I have subscribed to Road & Track for three decades. If I could only get one car magazine, this would be the one. It is the least biased, and unlike most car mags, it still has a “test summary” at the end so you can quickly compare with other models from past issues.”

Car and Driver Magazine Subscription – Car and Driver is for the auto enthusiasts and in-market car buyers, providing thorough evaluations and road tests across all segments of vehicles, as well as information on technology, motorsports, gear and industry news.

Meguiar’s Car Care Kit – Perfect for taking care of his favorite ride! Meguiar’s has put together a kit that will keep your car looking its best. Kit comes complete with the following Meguiars products: ultimate liquid wax, ultimate compound, ultimate polish, ultimate wash and wax, ultimate protectant (with trigger), ultimate black, ultimate quik detailer for those times in between waxes, one microfiber wash mitt, six microfiber towels, four yellow foam applicator pads, and water magnet.

Schumacher SC-1200A/CA SpeedCharge 3/6/12 Amp Charger/Maintainer/Tester – The Schumacher SC-1200A/CA SpeedCharge is a fully automatic battery charger that uses advanced technology to charge up to twice as fast as conventional chargers. Automatically adjusts the amperage rate to charge and maintain batteries efficiently. The 50-amp clamps are compatible with both top and side-mounted battery posts. Its easy-to-read LED indicators show battery charge status at a glance. Quickly charge and maintain conventional automotive batteries, deep-cycle, AGM, and gel cell batteries.

Craftsman Digital Tire Gauge with Bright LED Light – For your gadget loving guy, make checking tire pressure quicker and easier!


Parker Urban Black Matte GT Medium Point Fountain Pen Kit (1760841) – a friend introduced us to thepilot_pen world of fountain pens this year. Hubby and I have had a lot of fun with different inks and styles of pens. This is a great starter kit.  If you know your husband would love a fountain pen, here are a few other options that are a little more cosmo. You know. Because he’s cool like that:

My husband’s personal fave is the Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen.
P.S. Don’t forget ink!

Lamy Studio Fountain Pen – One of our faves. Fountain pens are bringing the art of writing back with flair. Check these out! Your man will look even more manly sporting one of these!

Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player –  Chromecast is the easy way to enjoy online video and anything from the web on your TV. Plug it into any HDTV and control it with your existing smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Send your favorites from HBO GO, Netflix, YouTube, Hulu Plus, Pandora, Crackle, Rdio, MLB.TV, Google Play Movies & TV, Google Play Music, and Chrome to your TV with the press of a button. No more huddling around small screens and tiny speakers. Chromecast automatically updates to work with a growing number of apps.  We love this at our house!