Family, Lifestyle

Best Marriage Advice I’ve Ever Received….

It was only about 6 weeks away from my up and coming marriage to my wonderful fiancé now husband.

(Below: My husband and I on our wedding day) Screen Shot 2020-06-29 at 2.21.00 PM

I was in Europe on a  trip with family, walking and enjoying the beautiful scenery.

My parents had recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary only six months prior and I had the thought “let’s talk marriage advice with dad.”

I happened to be talking and visiting with my father, and I straight up asked him “So what marriage advice would you give me?”

Without skipping a beat he said “Sometimes you just gotta shut up!” 

I giggled for a minute because it wasn’t exactly what I thought he’d say, but then he continued on by saying:

“When you get mad and upset you can say things that really hurt and you can never take those words back….so it’s best to stay quiet before you hurt the person you love.” 

I LOVE this advice!

Even better, my father, who is wise in so many ways, was the first to let me know that his own advice is a struggle for him, and perhaps that is why he shared it with me. 

My father and I share similar attributes in our personality. We try our best to be kind and pleasant, but we both can get a bit “moody.”  Sometimes that moodiness can make for an unpleasant relationship with a spouse if we aren’t constantly working to control emotions. Screen Shot 2020-06-29 at 2.22.48 PM

(Above: my amazing parents who have now been married 56 years)

I can tell you with complete honesty that I agree 100% with my dad’s advice, I regret that I haven’t always followed it and have said things to my spouse that I now regret.

However, it’s a conscious effort to watch my words, and my HOPE is that as my husband and I continue to grow in our marriage, that I can learn to “hold back” anything hurtful.

My hope is to think through my words, for we all know, words can cut deeper than physical wounds at times. 

Now I must note, that if you’re in an abusive or unhealthy relationship and you are simple “cowering down” so as to not upset a spouse that isn’t healthy either. There MUST be constant communication in a marriage. And yet, that communication should more on the constructive or positive side. 

Trying your best to “shut up” if you have only mean things to say can be challenging at times, but the reward is to not have the extreme REGRETS of speaking hurtful words.

Did you ever watch the Disney movie Bambi as a child?

Do you remember what Thumper said?

Thumper’s mother reminded him to say “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” 

Just think how many world problems we could save if we watched our words and learned when to “shut up” so to speak.

(Below: Our Engagement picture)

Screen Shot 2020-06-29 at 2.21.38 PM


So now I ask you…what is the best marriage advice you have ever been given? 

Do you agree with the marriage advice I was given? 


Would love to hear your thoughts on this matter!




Christy Lee

Food, Gluten-Free, Lifestyle, Recipes

Gluten-Free Homemade Oreos!

If you want a delicious homemade Oreo cookie and you are gluten-free….I have just that!

The best part?

If you DON’T have to eat gluten-free, then you follow the same instructions, just swap out the cake mix for regular devil’s food cake mix, and don’t use xanthum gum and you are GOLDEN!

For the step-by-step video on how to make these TASTY Oreos watch below:


For written step-by-step instruction, read the following:

oreo ingredients

(minimal ingredients makes for a simple recipe with these tasty Oreos) 




-Gluten-free Devil’s Food Cake

-3/4 cup shortening/crisco

– 2 eggs

-1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum


*Duncan Hines cream cheese frosting OR your favorite frosting recipe.



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray Canola Oil on cookie sheets and set aside. 
  2. Combine cake mix, crisco, eggs, and xanthum gum. 
  3. Mix well, this is easiest to do by hand with a wooden spoon, or sturdy spatula as it makes a stiff batter. 
  4. Scoop 2 inch balls on cookie sheet. 
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. 
  6. Let cool on cooling rack. 
  7. When cool, place Duncan Hines frosting between 2 cookies OR for a less chocolate flavor scrape Duncan Hines frosting on top of just one cookie. 
  8. Enjoy!! 

oreo complete

**The cookies are a bit thicker than regular, but if you don’t use the xanthum gum they will be extremely flat and crumbly.

***Another yummy idea is to put ice cream between the cookies instead of frosting.


I hope you enjoy cooking and enjoying delicious food with your loved ones!


More Gluten-Free Friday Flavors coming next week!




Christy Lee

Family, Lifestyle, Miscellaneous

When We Come Out of the Shadows

The idea for this poem came to mind when I was listening to the radio. They played the song by Linkin Park “Shadow of the Day.”

I’ve heard that song a lot.. but it hit me and I started thinking about the BIG shadow that we are all in right now… the Covid 19 pandemic.

And then it went even deeper and I thought about my own “shadows.” Eight month ago I had a baby early due to a heart condition … I’m still in that shadow but I’m finding that hope.

We ALL have our different “shadows” that we step through.

I hope this poem can remind you to push through and find that HOPE.

Snuggling my precious premie baby hooked up to all her many monitors.

When We Come Out of the Shadows

When we come out of the shadows,

The world will be brighter than before.

The sun will consume our entire souls,

Life will not feel the same.

When we come out of the shadows,

We will do all we can to stay in the light,

We did our time, in dim surroundings,

We will be ready to reappear with an even stronger spirit than ever before.

When we come out of the shadows,

We will vow to recommit ourselves.

Nothing will be taken for granted,

The struggles we endured may have scarred us forever,

Perhaps in a more beneficial way versus an unfavorable way.

Because now those shadows have passed on,

Those shadows that were hard and uncertain.

Shadows that we wondered if we would EVER come out of,

Shadows that were lonely, that were hard, that tested the VERY core of the human spirit.

When we come out of the shadows,

The daylight will illuminate the world.

The light that will seep into us will be indescribable,

The shadows will be left behind , in the past, where they belong.

For now you see… those shadows, shaped you and me,

Those shadows were a test, and at times seemed unbearable,

Still….the idea of HOPE carried us onward.

Knowing that there WOULD be light at some point, someday….brought Hope.

When we come out of the shadows,

The world will be forever changed within our hearts.

Our souls will breathe in peace and and our hearts will swell with gratitude.

The shadows had to happen,

The shadows had to take time,

Because of the shadows, there is a beautiful light,

A light that will forever be brighter than EVER before,

A light that will continue to embrace us through life’s journey.

When we come out of the shadows you’ll see,

Life is JUST EXACTLY how it was meant to be.

The shadows were there, and when they dissipate,

The brightness of HOPE and LOVE will shine beyond description, and as obscure as it may seem,

We will recognize, those shadows were there for a reason because it shaped us into who we are now,

When we come out of the shadows, life begins again.

A new start, a new beginning, with an overhanging luster of Hope that can never be achieved again.

We will come out of the shadows,

We must Hang on to that Hope. 

The shadows are but a season,

The light is close.

Do what you must, work through it with all your might,

Push yourself out of those shadows,

For you will find that light.


—Christy Lee Austin

My baby girl in the NICU


Baby girl was so tough and strong to deal with her rough beginnings.

Family, Lifestyle

Celebrating Father’s is Such an Honor

Hopefully you were able to find your father a wonderful Father’s Day gift.

Even more … hopefully you were personally able to let your father know how much you love and care for him.

It’s such an honor to celebrate father’s… a father and mother are the biggest key players in your growing up years and beyond …. to set aside a specialty day just to focus on ALL that our parents do for us is such a blessing!

My wonderful mom and dad the day I was married.

To summarize how I feel about my own father … I will end with this quote:

“A father is neither an anchor to hold us back nor a sail to take us there, but a guiding light whose love shows us the way.” —unknown

Oh how I love my father who is such a “guiding light,” in my own life.

Happy Father’s Day to all and hopefully everyday we remind our dear dads how much we love and appreciate them!

Until next time,


Christy Lee

Gluten-Free, Recipes, Uncategorized

Gluten-Free Sweet & Sour Meatballs

Gluten-Free Sweet & Sour Meatballs are a family favorite around our house.

This recipe is tasty and delicious. Hopefully you enjoy this gluten-free meal, and remember if you don’t need it gluten free you can just swap out the gluten free breadcrumbs for regular.



1 lb hamburger

1/2 cup gluten free bread crumbs

1/4 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons Braggs Liquid Aminos

1 egg

Black pepper to taste

8 ounces crushed pineapple (reserve juices)

Sauce ingredients:

With reserves pineapple juice, add water to get 1 1/2 cups of water and pineapple juice mixed together.

2 teaspoons liquid aminos

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup brown sugar

3 Tablespoons vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

Create a cornstarch slurry with 1 cup water and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch mixed

Sauce instructions:

1. In a saucepan combine all ingredients and stir constantly for 5-10 minutes over medium heat.

2. Once the sauce has thickened a bit it is ready to be poured over the meatballs.

Directions for Meatballs:

1. Combine all ingredients into a large bowl (do not include reserves pineapple juice). Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix ingredients together well with your hands.(gloves)

Meatball mixture

3. Form meatballs into circles … just a bit smaller than a golfball.

4. Place meatballs on cookie sheet pan.

5. Place meatballs in oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

6. Take meatballs out of the oven .. pour sauce mixture over meatballs and cook for another 5 minutes.

7. Serve meatballs over rice or noodles.

8. Enjoy your meal!

*Yields abt 15-20 meatballs*

I hope you enjoy eating a tasty gluten free meal!

Until next time,


Christy Lee

Clothing & Accessories

Day 23: Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Is your dad the “handy-man” of the house?

If your dad is “fixin” up areas of the house for the family..this gift is perfect for him!

Get your dad these awesome personalized leather work gloves! 

Screen Shot 2020-06-17 at 8.55.48 PM


These amazing work gloves ship for only $22.98

What a wonderful gift because they will last through the years, and have such a deeper meaning to dad.

To purchase click here.


More coming tomorrow!




Christy Lee

Food, Lifestyle

Day 21: Father’s Day Gift Ideas

If your dad likes popcorn, especially a variety of types of popcorn … this gift will speak to your dad.

Check out the “popcorn of the month club.”

For a total of $98.00 you can get your dad a seasonal popcorn of the month package that comes every 3 months.

Each time you get a popcorn package it will come in a two gallon selection with three different flavors!

Can you say yummy!

You can benefit from this as well too right?!!

To get dad his seasonal popcorn of the month club deliveries, click here.

More coming tomorrow !!


Christy Lee

Clothing & Accessories, Miscellaneous

Day 20: Father’s Day Gift Ideas

If the husband or father in your life dresses up in a suit and tie, this is the perfect gift to give him! 

This personalized Men’s Tie from has an area where you can write a personalized note to dad.

Screen Shot 2020-06-13 at 10.44.42 PM

The tie comes in a variety of colors and sizes. 

Just think how fun it will be for dad to wear this tie, and to be able to flip it over to see that custom message. 

This tie comes at a great price and ships for only $19.98


To purchase this tie, click here.


More ideas coming tomorrow!

You have less than a week to find dad that perfect gift…good luck!




Christy Lee



June’s Goal: The Sound of Silence

How often do we take time to be silent ?

I ask that question because I can personally answer that by saying … very rarely do I listen to the sound of silence.

With the recent pandemic and riots and everything else that has been happening in our world … it seems like I’m constantly hearing noise.

As I was talking to a friend … on Marco Polo to be socially distant, she mentioned how she had put her kids to bed, and then went out on her porch to just sit on silence to just think without the noise and distractions of technology and everything else.

When she said that she just craved the silence … I realized … she was meant to tell me this.

Because as isolating and hard as the pandemic has been for us and I’m sure many others … I have come to understand that we all CRAVE that silence.

We live in a fast paced world and when do we ever get a minute to just think and sit and be still?

However, I know it’s crucial to remember that taking a moment to get lost in our thoughts —actually recharges us and gives us that “lift” we all need.

In fact, I’ll be honest that I feel guilty when I just sit in silence because I have so many things on the “to-do” list.

So June’s Goal for the month… is to take time for silence.

Enjoy the quiet stillness around you.

Take a minute to breathe and relax.

It’s a challenge to make a habit of this “silent time,” and yet, I can see the benefit.

I hope you yourself can take time for “the sound of silence.”

In the end, you may realize just how much you too “crave” that time to get lost in thought.

I hope to update you on how my monthly goal goes.

Until next time,


Christy Lee