Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sunday Inspiration: The True Measure


Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday Favorites: Spice Things Up!

Happy first Friday of Summer 2017!!  Which means it's time for things to heat up.  In honor of that, I'm highlighting a few of my favorite spicy things today. Despite the fact that I prefer things a little more mild.




1.  Pacqui Tortilla Chips


"Pacqui" is the Aztec word meaning "to be happy".  And these chips certainly do make me happy!! No GMOs, no MSG, no gluten, and no trans-fats.  The entire family likes the nacho cheese.   The Man of the House enjoys the Ghost Pepper variety.  (and is eagerly awaiting the return of the Carolina Reaper One Chip Challenge)  While I'm crazy for the Cool Salsa Verde.  Yum!



2. Rocky's Hot Chicken Shack


This is my very favorite chicken restaurant here in town.  I stick to the plain, but the Man of the House has conquered their XXhot.  🔥  And the sides are extra yummy.  Especially the fried okra and pimento cheese grits!



3.  Good Earth Sweet and Spicy Tea



A blend of cinnamon and sweet orange gives this tea the perfect blend of... well, sweetness and spice.  I was introduced to this by my youngest sister and it is one of my two favorite teas.  It's available in black tea or green.  Both are delicious.  (also available in regular or decaffeinated)



Do you like things spicy, or more on the mild side?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

"It's OK" Thursday #2

Today is "It's OK" Thursday!   This is our chance to acknowledge all those things that would probably never make an appearance on your Pinterest boards, but in the grand scheme of things are, well...  OK.



It's OK that I have been feeling a little "off" all week.

It's OK that I overcooked more than a dozen hard boiled eggs when I forgot them on the stove

It's OK to take a nap at 3 in the afternoon, even though there are a million things that I should be doing.

It's OK to wish for one day where I can sleep in and have absolutely nothing that needs to be done

It's OK that I can't seem to find any cute sandals that don't leave my feet achey at the end of the day

Also...  It's OK that I almost forgot to post this today!


Now it's your turn! Add your own "It's OK" Thursday post to the link up!









Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Let It Begin With Me

It makes my heart hurt. 

Everywhere you turn, it seems as if people are...  well...  one big bunch of angry, hurtful, hateful beings.

Being rude to each other in traffic and crowds. 

Posting terribly mean things about others online and calling it free speech.

We consider anyone with an opposing viewpoints or opinions to be ignorant, close-minded, or just plain evil.

We turn our backs on those we see as different or less-than.

Police shooting people.  People shooting police.

Shooting into groups of people for their political beliefs or religious beliefs or sexual orientation (or just because...)

Driving vehicles through crowds.

Blowing up young people just trying to enjoy an evening of music.


ENOUGH!! 




The hate has to stop.  It has to begin with each and every one of us.  We ALL have to be nicer to each other.   Kinder.  More understanding, patient, and tolerant. I realize that's a major over-simplification.  We aren't going to stop the violence, the terrorism, and the wars overnight just by being a little nicer to each other.

But it HAS to start somewhere.

If each and every one of us was active and intentional about being kind, tolerant, and patient.  More forgiving - what sort of change might we start seeing in the state of the world?

I know...  I hear you thinking it.  I've thought it myself.  "But they don't deserve kindness! They are so _____! "




Don't do it because they deserve it.  Do it because it's the right thing to do.  Do it to set the example.  Do it because it has to start somewhere.

  • Rethink before you post that snarky tweet or that negative comment.
  • The next time you want to point out what someone is doing wrong, instead point out something positive you have seen.
  • Bite your tongue.  
  • Pray for someone you disagree with or someone who has hurt you. 
  • Look for opportunities to be kind.  To show patience. 
  • Forgive someone.  Whether or not they have asked for it.  Whether or not they deserve it or not.

It's like the old saying - "Be the change you want to see in the world."  We can't change the entire world.  But we can each change our little piece of it.







Thursday, June 15, 2017

"It's OK" Thursday #1

It's that time of the week...

"It's OK" Thursday!   This is our chance to acknowledge all those things that would probably never make an appearance on your Pinterest boards, but in the grand scheme of things are, well...  OK.




It's OK that I have been meaning to make the same meal for the past three days, but keep forgetting to prepare the crockpot to start it in time.

It's OK that I removed the polish from my fingers and toes last weekend - and still haven't repainted them

It's OK that I thought there are three weeks left in June - when there are only two!

It's OK that Cleveland lost the NBA Finals

It's OK not to have any clue what I'm doing for The Man of the House for Father's Day (or my dad either, for that matter)

Now it's your turn!  Share your "It's OK' post below:





Friday, June 9, 2017

Friday Favorites: Good Taste

Yesterday I made chili for dinner.  Which seems like an odd choice for June.  I usually reserve it more as a cold weather meal.  But, for some reason, when I made the menu for last week it just seemed like a good idea to have chili one night.  And wouldn't you know it - by dinner time the weather was cool and rainy.  A perfect chili night!

The lesson?  Always listen to that little voice inside. It knows what it's talking about!



Besides the yummy chili, a few other tasty things crossed my path this week:

Um... have y'all tried these?  Because - Oh. My. Goodness.  They are so, so yummy.  I finally found an M&M to replace the great void left when I could no longer enjoy the peanut ones.  If you like M&M's and caramel - go get a pack.  Like, right NOW!  The only problem I have with them?  They don't perform well on ice cream.  The caramel freezes up and gets too hard to chew. Otherwise... yum!




Earlier this week I tried this recipe from Moms With Crockpots.  It is so simple to make, but tastes like you spend hours over a hot stove.  The mushroom gravy turned out better than I imagined it would.  We enjoyed it served over brown rice with some green beans on the side.  And I am sure it will become part of my regular recipe rotation!





I wouldn't suggest eating this one, even though it is made from edible/food items.  Though, I guess it could be called "food for your skin".  I found this on Pinterest, but unfortunately the link indicated in the pin takes you to a skin care product company and I can find no reference to the masque on their website.  But regardless of that - I have tried this a few times and I am so happy with it!  My skin feels so clean and soft after I use the treatment.


Have you discovered any tasty treats recently?  Share in the comments!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Introducing - It's OK Thursday

We all know that things in life aren't always bright and sunny.  There are things we wish we were better at.  Times when we feel that we come up a little short.  Situations that challenge us, confuse us, frustrate us, and drain us.  The mundane. 

And you know what?  That's OK!!

The Bible tells us that all things, even the not-so-pretty ones, are all part of a plan and that God works all things together for good.  Those things can help us to grow.  To learn.   And sometimes they're just what they are.

But in this Pinterest world - we often feel like anything less than perfect is to be hidden away.  Brushed under the rug.  Embarrassing.  When we might be better served by telling ourselves and each other  "It's OK"  and "Me too!"  That It's OK to be yourself - flaws and all.

Which is why I am launching "It's OK Thursday".  To acknowledge all those things that would probably never make an appearance on your Facebook or Instagram page, but in the grand scheme of things are, well...  OK.



For Example:

It's OK that I was going to make meatballs with spaghetti squash for dinner tonight, but I'm feeling lazy so it's just going to be a simple meat sauce instead.

It's OK that I bought new note cards about 3 weeks ago because I owe my oldest and dearest friend a letter - and I haven't even opened the pack yet.

It's OK that the same cutting board and measuring cup have been in the dish drainer since Sunday because I haven't bothered to put them back in the cabinet.

It's OK that I sometimes just the silliest little things can make me cry.

I would love to have all of you join in and share the things in your life that are OK.  A little honesty.  So... next week (Thursday June 15) write your own "It's OK' post, then come on over and share it with us.

See you then!









Friday, June 2, 2017

Currently... June 2017

June has arrived!  (Which means we are almost half way through 2017!)  Around here the days getting hotter and longer. This month brings Father's Day and the beginning of summer.  But not much else.  Which is perfectly fine by me.  I need a breather after the busyness of May! 





Reading:  The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks - a book recommended to me by my father.   I'm also reading/studying my way through Fervent by Priscilla Shirer.   

Eating:  A little better.  Lots of fruits and veggies. Drinking more water.  May involved a lot of eating out and more than a few barbecue ribs, so I'm trying to make up for all that indulgence.

Working On:  A LOT of crocheted washcloths!  I was blessed with a large wholesale order, and right now working on completing that is taking up most of my time.

Enjoying:  Getting ready for summer!  Between the Male Offspring and the Man of the House, my porch furniture has been cleaned and waterproofed.  We found a good deal on a nice big umbrella to replace the one which was damaged in a storm last year.  I have filled the hummingbird feeder.  And I want to get a new lantern and some plants.  Then I'm ready for a little reading and crocheting outside while enjoying the fresh air.

Anticipating:  So many summer activities:  Spending some weekend evenings at Antler Hill Village on the Biltmore Estate listening to live music.  Our upcoming vacation.  We've reserved a cabin on the lake, and I'm looking forward to some lazy days on the water and a little sight-seeing.  Oh... and seeing the Wonder Woman movie! 

Feeling:  Hmmm, well - Tired.... Happy...  And a little bloated.

What are you up to as June begins?




Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Spirit of Gratitude: May 2017

May was pretty much jam packed!  It seemed as if there was barely time to pause for a breath before we were off to the next thing.  It was one of those months when it would be easy to feel overwhelmed.  But when I  took time to pause and reflect on all that was going on - to indulge in some gratitude, it was simple to see how much good there was in all the busyness.


I Am Thankful For:
Playing horseshoes with friends
Breakfast for lunch at Cracker Barrel
School plays
Musical performances from the Male Offspring
Sunday dinner with the family
BBQ Ribs
There is no longer a snake in my house

Mothers Day
College graduation

Going to the movies with my guys
Date night

Answered prayers
Rainbows

Making vacation plans
Sleepover with the grand kid
Cookouts
The Male Offspring's Birthday



What are you thankful for from May?





Tuesday, May 16, 2017

What A Weekend!

This past weekend was - for lack of a better word - Amazing! 

On Friday evening, the Man of the House, the Male Offspring and I went out for some Mexican food.  And it was oh-so-yummy!  Not much wrong with a delicious bean and cheese burrito and a frozen margarita.

Saturday was a BIG day for our family.  Our beautiful daughter officially graduated from college!!  She was technically done back in December, but this weekend was the graduation ceremony. 
We are so proud of her.  There were a few bumps in the road - like having a baby.  But she kept at it and is now our very own computer engineer.  Now she's considering going back to take the few classes she would need to also complete her electrical engineering degree. 




After the ceremony, we took her and her fellas out for dinner to celebrate. 



Sunday was - of course - Mother's Day.  And my family made me feel extra special. 

The Man of the House made me a lovely brunch of breakfast sandwiches, bacon, strawberries, orange juice, and coffee.  There were lovely cards, gift cards to some of my favorite stores, and some chocolate. 

The female offspring and the grand kid dropped by and brought me a beautiful peppermint and lavender scented soy candle which she made, a card drawn special for me by the grand kid, and a Starbuck's Frappuccino! 



The Male Offspring made my requested dinner of blue cheese burgers and steak fries.  Yummy!

After dinner I took a relaxing bath with the candle from the Female Offspring, and some bath products handcrafted by Southern Belle Soaps and Bath - located right here in North Carolina.  Her soaps are my new obsession! 

Yes, it was a grand weekend.  Although I did eat entirely too much food.  But... worth it! 

I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend also.  Did you do anything fun?


Friday, May 12, 2017

Friday Favorites: Keep Cool

Happy Friday, y'all! The weather this week has been quite warm here.  Much too warm for early May!  I'm looking for a nice cool down this weekend.  In the meantime, all this heat has had me thinking about summer.



I am all about a cute, breezy dress during the summer.  And this week I became a teeny bit obsessed with this Mossimo Multicolor Stripe Trapeze Halter Dress .  It looks a little shorter than I personally like, but as this model is probably several inches taller than myself - it might be just right.  I feel it might be worth a trip to Target for a try on.  Sadly, it looks like my local store is already sold out.  ☹


Since I'm already on the topic of dresses, this Red Heirloom Maxi Dress from World Market is another one that I found and became infatuated with.  I love the bold color.  And the longer length of a maxi dress.


During the warmer summer months I like lighter, quick meals.  Spaghetti Squash with Mushrooms and Parmesan by Pickled Plum has quickly become a favorite.  It's gluten free.  Healthy.  And tasty.  In fact. it's so good -  I forgot to take picture before eating all of it! 

Except for waiting for the squash to cook. it's a fast meal.  (and I'm thinking about trying  some options I've seen for either microwaving the squash or cooking it in the crockpot).  Next time I make it, I'll use less thyme and more garlic.  And perhaps toss in some broccoli or green peas.

And then there's this...


The Starbuck's Midnight Mint Mocha Frappuccino.  Dark chocolate.  Mint.  Imagine someone took a Thin Mint cookie and magically turned it into a yummy cold coffee beverage. Yeh... that.  Yum!

Have a great weekend y'all!!


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Finally... Happy Nails

I enjoy having pretty, painted nails just as much as the next gal.  Unfortunately, once manicured, mine seem to chip as soon as they're dry.  Whether it's from washing dishes, playing with the grand kid or working with my crochet hook - I can count on my nail polish chipping within a day... maybe two if I'm lucky.

I've tried many of the top brands, and until now Essie has been my go-to choice for the best results. 

Until last week on a whim I picked up this...  Wet n Wild Megalast Nail Color,  Base Coat, and Top Coat.

 

First of all - you can't beat the price!  I paid less than $3 each for the base and topcoats, and less than $2 for the color!  This one is Sugar Coat.  It's a pretty pinkish- white shade.  My first coat on was a little streaky, but I took my time on the second coat to get it even and it looked much better after that.

My opinion only improved from there.  I was pleased to see the nail polish last.  Not just one day, or even two.

   
Day Two

I was thrilled to still be chip-free on day three!

Day Three


But when it still looked beautiful on day four, I was amazed!  This was pretty much a record for me.  It's not as if I were being super careful or anything.  It was the usual cleaning, crocheting, etc.

Day Four


On day five, the first chips started to show. And while I could probably manage to get by another day or two if I wanted to thanks to the light, nude color of the polish; I will probably re-do my manicure on day 6.  I have a slightly darker shade picked out for the next round.

Day Five
This set is a win for me!  And I have already recommended it to a couple of people.






*  I received no compensation or product from the company.  All items were purchased at full price by myself and all opinions expressed are my own

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

It's A Zoo Out There... And In Here

It has been a pretty creepy couple of days around here.  This place has always been a bit of a zoo; but this is getting ridiculous!

Yesterday, the Man of the House was outside where he has been pressure washing, sanding, and repainting the garage doors.  As he went to sand one side of the frame, he came face to face with this...

Yep.  That's a little ol' bat.  Who was hanging upside down getting his beauty rest right on the side of our house! YIKES!!

AS if that wasn't enough... today happened.

I was cleaning up in the kitchen.  As I finished up and walked out of the kitchen, this was slithering across the living room floor!



An approximately 5 foot long black snake was IN. MY. HOUSE.  I screamed.  I screamed a little more.  I yelled for the Male Offspring.  I texted the Man of the House.  The snake slithered along the wall and under the little wagon where I keep books for the grand kid. 



The Male Offspring trapped it under a plastic storage bin, where it stayed for a while.  We needed time to figure out our next move.  Finally, the male offspring decided to slide some cardboard under the bin - and the snake - and we carried the entire thing outside.

I'm glad all these critters are the sort which eat other, nastier creatures and nothing terribly dangerous.  But enough is enough!  The only animals I want living in my house are the cat and dog.




Friday, May 5, 2017

Friday Favorites: The Premiere

I thought it would be fun to start using Fridays to share a few of the fun, interesting, bizarre, and funny things I come across in my day to day life each week.  Enjoy!




BEE HAPPY:  I saw this Bee Happy Doormat from World Market in an email this week - and you can "bee-lieve" it will be living on my front porch soon!
worldmarket.com



Fervent: A Woman's Battle Plan to Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer:  I started reading this book by Priscilla Shirer this week.  I'm very excited about using it to help give my prayer life a much needed jump start.
Fervent at BarnesandNoble.com


liveGfree Angel Food Cake mix:  After concluding last year that some problems he was having were likely related to a gluten sensitivity, the Man of the House has been gluten free.  I have been craving some strawberry shortcake.  But it didn't seem right to enjoy it when the Man of the House couldn't have the shortcake portion of the dessert.  This will make it possible for all of us to indulge in that sweet treat... without the gluten induced side effects.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Simple DIY Dryer Sheet Sponges

I love the smell of freshly cleaned laundry.  Whether dried on the line, or in my machine - there is the scent of one particular type of fabric softener which I can't get enough of.  (Oddly, it's the brand which actually advertises that people will become addicted to the scent.  Score one for truth in advertising.) 

I have to admit though - there is also a part of me that cringes at the cost of dryer sheets when it's a use it once and throw it away item.  (That would be the cheapskate side of me.

But no more!  I have finally figured out a way to DIY my own dryer sheets!  OK... they're not exactly sheets.  They're sponges.  But it works the same way as a sheet. 

It uses liquid fabric softener, and stretches it out with water.  Saving me money. And if (unlike myself) you are happy with an inexpensive brand of liquid fabric softener, rather than being picky about using one particular name brand - even better! 



You will need:
    
  • Liquid fabric softener of your choice
  • Water
  • A plastic container with a lid (I used an old one which was headed for the donate pile as part of my recent decluttering)
  • Ordinary cleaning sponges



To Prepare Fabric Softener Sheet Sponges:

1.  Mix equal parts liquid fabric softener and water.  The amount you use will depend on the size of your plastic container and the number of sponges you have.  I used 2 cups of each, which might have been a tad bit much.

2.  Place sponges into plastic container.

3.  Pour fabric softener/water mixture over sponges.

4.  Cover plastic container with lid.  Allow sponges to absorb as much liquid as they will hold.
Store until ready to use




To Use Dryer Sheet Sponges:  Remove one sponge.  Squeeze out excess liquid into plastic container.  Toss sponge into dryer with wet laundry.   When you remove the clothes from the dryer, the sponge will be dry also.  Just pop it back into the plastic container to absorb more liquid for the next use!

After trying these on every type of laundry, except delicates - I have been very happy so far. 

And my wastebasket is no longer overflowing with used dryer sheets!  Yah! 

Now, if I could just find a solution for all that lint...


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