Head over to All Things Heart and Home... my new blog home~
We’re having a bit of a crisis … we’ve been at the hospital with my daughter whose 14 weeks pregnant. (Emma)
She’s passed out a couple of times in random places (in a parking lot after pulling over to keep from fainting while she was driving, and on the concrete steps outside of her apartment) and was found by very nice strangers.
We’ve now been admitted to the hospital and she’s being monitored by a group of Cardiologists. (She has a heart condition called SVT)
I would love prayer for the Drs. to have wisdom in finding out what’s going on…
Love to you…be back soon. Hopefully.
Oh Happy Day!!! All Things Heart and Home is UP and RUNNING!
I’ve finally moved over to my brand new blog home: http://www.allthingsheartandhome.com/
If you’ve subscribed to me here and didn’t get directed over there then I’m soooo sorry! I think you’ll have to subscribe all over again! Just head over there and click on the Subscribe button in the upper right corner! Come on over I’ve got some coffee and something sweet to nibble and we’ll take a moment to inspire each other as we live the legacy we want to leave…one day at a time…
love and can’t wait to welcome you into my cozy new space!!!
So it’s Foodie Friday over at Design’s by Gollum and I think today’s theme is CAKE!!!
I am a sucker for a good cake and let me tell you…this is a good cake! It’s Chocolate Chip Banana Cake…
It’s easy to make and from my experience…it’s a crowd pleaser!
This icing recipe makes it easy to have a pretty impressive finished product!
Here’s the recipe…
Chocolate Chip Banana Cake
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3)
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temp.
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
6 ounces mini choc. chips
Preheat oven to 300 *. Grease and flour 2 round cake pans.
In medimum bowl, mix flour and baking soda and salt. Set aside.
With electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternating with the buttermilk. Stir in the bananas and mini choc. chips. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place directly into the freezer for 45 minutes. When cake is cool frost…
12 ounce bag chocolate chips
1 cup half and half
1 1/2 cup butter
about 5 cups sifted powdered sugar
Combine the chips, 1/2 and 1/2, and butter in a saucepan. Stir over low heat until melted and combined. Put in mixing bowl and mix in the powdered sugar (it will be thin frosting).Put the bowl in the freezer for about 30 minutes…mix again with mixertil it’s a good frosting consistency. (If it’s too thin…chill some more and mix again)
Try this and DO put the cakes in the freezer when they come out of the oven, this is to make the cake moist…this has been tested and it’s true! The cake really is more moist when it’s put int the freezer!
Have a yumalicious weekend Peeps…TTFN~
Outdoor Wednesday! It’s spring time all over the country and everyone’s headed outside! I took some backyard pictures when I visited my baby sister last week and the week before at Todd & Darlene’s. My backyard isn’t fit for public viewing Peeps, but maybe you could get some ideas from these great outdoor spaces!
Deb and Dean put in a BIG waterfall and pond a couple of years ago! They did this ALL by their little selves! It’s stunning in person~
Years ago I got a couple of little bird feeders and attached them to my deck, Deb came over and saw the birds and decided she wanted birds…so as always, she researched and just look at her bird area, I feel very sorry for my poor birds! This isn’t her only bird space. She’s got feeders for humming birds, several bluebird houses (is that what you call them Deb?). Birds of all kind flock to her yard.
And here is Darlene and Todd’s back yard. They have a really fun pool area that I’ll show you more of sometime!
I love jasmine on an arbor!
Look at these very happy snowballs! These things are huge! Are you getting your outdoor space ready yet? If so, what are you doing??? (I’m working slow but sure on mine!)
Okay NOW an UPDATE on Reba and Barbara Jean…
The Husband has been working with our wild cats every night. They are now eating out of his hand! (Yes, it’s grilled chicken breast!)
And he’s even gotten Reba to play with him!
Please note: Reba’s belly…I took this picture last Tuesday night. Wednesday night Reba didn’t come to dinner. Barbara Jean came, but Reba didn’t show. Thursday night…no Reba. The Husband got a big flashlight and looked under our porch and the neighbor’s porch…no Reba. Friday night…no Reba. Distressed. That’s what we were. Distressed. TO BE CONTINUED…
ps…I’m launching my brand spankin new website next Monday! (When I say we I mean Jon, my talented son-in-law!!!) More info. to come but I have to tell you, we will be having a little give away every day next week!!!
This is a super easy thing to do for a little gift…for teachers, for the new mom, for your friend at the office! It’s too easy to even call a “craft” ! I’ve seen some people use stickers but you know how I love scrapbook stuff!? I bought these rub-ons that were super cute and then I just … well you know, rubbed them on!
This one’s going to Baby Elliot’s nursery!
How about doing the little ones for goody bags for a class going on a field trip!?
I used tiny ribbon and confetti yarn to pimp out the little necks of the sanitizers!
So much you can do with these! Have fun!!!
Living the legacy I want to leave, even in the darkest times. While this is the most grueling and painful way I will live out my legacy, I believe it may be the most important.
My parents have done and Daddy continues to do an amazing job at this. The way they lived/live day to day taught me more than words ever could. Many of those lessons weren’t ones they would have chosen to teach. Like how to grieve.
When we lost my brother I watched them go through all the stages of grief. The loss of their only son put them on a long and excruciating journey that won’t end on this side of eternity. But it’s a journey that eventually brought out their beautiful and tender sides. Broken. Forever changed. But not cynical and bitter. I’m fairly certain I couldn’t do the same. But I watched them. And I remembered their journey when just five years later Mom left this earth quite suddenly and all the light went out of my world for a long time.
The dark times are the hardest times to live my legacy. My natural knee-jerk reaction to pain is to kick and scream and curse and numb myself. And I’ve done those things more than once, but always in the back of my mind I knew I was leaving someone else with my anger, bitterness, harshness and even my addiction. Someone is always watching, whether you’re a parent or not, there is always someone watching. Someone who needs you to first be honest with your pain but eventually to move through it. (I don’t for a moment believe in stuffing your pain and pretending it’s not there. My favorite book when grieving my little brother and my precious mother was A Grief Observed. C.S. Lewis was brutal in his honesty with God and that helped me with my own anger and doubt.)
If we live for very long we’ll experience grief, financial devastation, illness, unanswered prayers, disappointment with God, even a loss of faith. The legacy we leave isn’t in escaping the dark times; it’s how we respond while in those dark times. I have a good friend from the blogosphere, Sara, aka, Gitz (her blog is Gitzen Girl) Gitz has a profound impact on my life and I feel a strong connection to her although I’ve never met her face to face. She lives with Spondylitis. Here is her explanation of the disease…” it is an autoimmune disease that usually starts in your early twenties and begins by attacking your joints. It is progressive and systemic,…” (Read more about Spondylitis here.)
Gitz lives with pain. Every day. She inspires me to look for the beauty and grace in my world. She brings life and joy to the shadowy places in my days. When I found her I was still neck deep in suffocating grief after losing my mom, Watching Gitz live her amazing life was key in lifting me out of a self destructive pit. She’s honest and thoughtful and that young woman is living a beautiful legacy. I’m changed forever because of the life she lives and so honored to know her.
I didn’t want to write this. It’s hard for me as I’ve failed time and time again. But buried deep in my heart is the prayer that if and when my journey leads me into the dark, I will even there, live the legacy I want to leave.
Cinco De Mayo!!!
And it’s Cinco deMayo Foodie Friday with lots of links over at Designs by Gollum, you’ll be sure to get some great ideas for your Mexican Fiesta! Today I’m posting about an early Cinco de Mayo party I went to in honor of my bud, Leontta! Leontta’s actual birthday is on May 5th! Here she is with her sweet baby Leland~
We got together over at Todd & Darlene’s my friends who are the BEST hosts in the world! They have this finished downstairs where we usually have our parties…it’s got everything, Kitchen-bedroom-bath-den/game room! All looking out over the pool area! They don’t know it, but that little part of their house is where The Husband and I plan to retire!
We had Chicken and beef Fajitas…
Ruthie’s Enchilada’s (Recipe to follow!)
Ruthie’s homemade Guacamole (Recipe to follow!!)
My Refried Bean Dip (Julie, is this your recipe or mine?!?!?) We started doing this when we were 19 years old! It’s easy…I’ll tell you in a minute!
Had to add another picture of that precious Leland and his Auntie Gigi!!!
Please someone take note, I grilled the chicken and for the VERY FIRST time in my 47 years did not make chicken jerky!!!
Before I give you the recipes…I had to show you how very helpful The Husband is…Todd are you out there, do you see how helpful your friend Mike is?????
1 3-4 pound chuck roast or good crock pot roast (Cut any fat away)
2 packages of taco seasoning (I use Mild McCormick’s)
1 large can crushed tomatoes (28 ounces)
10 small flour or corn tortillas (I use the flour)
1 lb of cheddar cheese graded (you can use light cheese)
Put the roast in the crock pot, cover with taco seasoning and tomatoes. Finish with enough water to cover the roast completely.
Cook for 4-6 hours on high or 8 hours on low until the roast can be pulled apart.
Take the roast out and let it cool. Put the sauce in a sauce pan and reduce until the sauce is a nice consistency. (it will thicken in the oven so do not go crazy reducing, you just don’t want it runny)
Pull the roast apart so that it is shredded. You do not want big chunks. Take a ½-1 cup of the sauce and moisten the meat. Lay all the tortillas out and put a generous portion of meat down the middle. Sprinkle a small amount of cheddar cheese across the meat and roll and place in a 9 x 13 pan. These freeze well.
When all the enchiladas are placed in the dish pour the enchilada sauce you reduced over and top with cheese.
Cook at 350 degrees uncovered until hot all the way through. (Around 20-30 minutes)
3 ripe avocados
Here is a little trick: cut a ring all the way around the avocado to the seed. Pull apart. Stick your knife in the seed and pull it out. Now hold the avocado in the palm of your hand and using a sharp knife make little slices so that it is minced inside the skin. Then take a large spoon and scoop it out and it is all sliced up!
2 cloves of garlic minced
Recently learned that in a recipe when it calls for a clove that is equivalent to one teaspoon.
1 lemon juiced
1-2 tablespoon (heaping) light sour cream (you can use mayo)
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of Worchestire Sauce
1-2 Roma Tomatoes diced small
Julie & Robin’s Refried Bean Dip
1 can (31 ounces) refried beand
8 oz. sour cream
1/2 packet taco mix (low salt)
1/4 cup salsa
Mix everything~ sprinkle cheese on top~ Microwave for 5 minutes…
Serve with chips (well, duh!!!)*****You can use Fat Free Beans and Sour Cream & Baked Chips if you want to have a really low fat dip!!!******
Maybe you can get an idea for your dinner on Cinco deMayo!!! Happy Weekend Peeps~ I’m off to help Baby Sister with my niece’s wedding!!! Such fun!
It’s that time of year Peeps!!! Strawberries abound! Naturally, I took a perfectly healthy berry and sugared it up a little. Time for Strawberry Cake!
Made it to take to my sweet friend, Leontta’s, birthday party!
The recipe is super easy, using a white cake mix as the base~
The icing is easy too! Just butter, confectioners sugar and mashed strawberries!
And here’s the great thing: this cake is so forgiving. I over-cooked the cake a bit (sometimes multi-tasking isn’t a good thing for me!) but even over-cooked, the cake was moist. The mashed strawberries and jello in the mix make for a super moist cake, even my cake was melt in your mouth!
Next time you’re at the grocery store grab some strawberries and try a strawberry cake. I’ve included my recipe just in case you don’t already have one! (Watch for “***” to see what I do that’s a snibbit different than the recipe!)
Preheat oven to 350*
1 package white cake mix 1 package (3 ounces) strawberry-flavored gelatin powder
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup mashed strawberries
Combine cake mix and gelatin powder in large bowl. Beat in oil, eggs, water, and strawberries. Beat on HI for 30 seconds~then on MED. for 2 minutes. Pour into 2 9 inch round greased and floured cake pans. (Pat bottom of pans gently on counter-tops to even the batter in the pans!)
Bake 350* oven for app. 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
*******I use 3- 9 inch cake pans therefore adjust baking time…start checking with toothpick at about 20 minutes!*********
Cool and frost with strawberry icing…
1/2 cup butter
1 pound confectioners sugar
1/4 cup mashed strawberries
***** I make 1 and 1/2 recipes of icing~ I like to have LOTS of icing!!!)*****
Beat butter and confectioners sugar together until smooth. Add strawberries. Spread between cake layers, then frost top and sides! Decorate with extra (washed & dried) strawberries!
TTFN Sweet friends~ Have a BERRY happy Wednesday! And Happy Birthday Leontta~
A Dream in the Waking World…
“Don’t you think a dream would feel shy if she were found walking around in the waking world.”(C.S.Lewis~Till We Have Faces)
I finished this book a few months ago. It’s my daughter, Stephanie’s favorite book. To me, it was a bit like attempting to swallow the ocean. C. S. Lewis was nothing if he wasn’t deeeep.
But this line resonated with me. I wrote it down and have been toying around with it for weeks on end. What about it rings true?
It’s sometimes how I feel. A bit out of my element even in the most routine of days. Sometimes after staying inside myself, inside my thoughts, traveling in the pages of a beloved book or writing my own pages; when I venture out into someone else’s world, I feel a little shy. Like I’m displaced.
I love the person who feels at home anywhere in the great big world. I like to watch those people from the sidelines. Watch how they relate with ease, work a crowd, and go from one stage in life to another without even a hiccup. I love those people but I’m not one of them.
When I was in my twenty’s I tried to be one of those people. They were after all the achievers. The leaders. I wanted to be those things and I so despised my own tendencies. I always felt like the “dream…found walking around in the walking world.”
I spent half of my thirty’s tiptoeing around in the “waking world”, not quite fitting in. Finally, as I was pushing forty I relaxed into my own person. The one God created. I stopped feeling like I was less-than because I wasn’t like other women. I began to see myself through His eyes and actually kinda liked what I saw.
Now, I love and appreciate other women and their strengths. I find myself praying, “Wow God, you did such a great thing when you gave (her) (this or that) strength!” Rejoicing when I see someone with an attribute I admire. Rejoicing, not trying to make it my own.
I’m a slow learner. I was just wondering this morning where you are on this journey? Do you sometimes feel like a dream found walking around in the waking world? Like you aren’t content with the person God made you to be? Or are you relaxed and comfortable in the skin you’re in!?
My prayer today is for all of us to embrace who we are and allow God to use us as He sees fit~ Love to you~
I love all the paper and cut-outs and do-dads in the scrapbooking section. But alas I don’t scrapbook. So I’m always looking for things to do with all that fun stuff! I found these scrumptous paper flowers on big sale at Michael’s the other day. I had no idea what I’d do with them but most of the time, when I trust my gut and buy something I love I find something amazing to do with it! Then I saw this A-dorable idea over at Hospitable Pursuits and my imagination just went nuts with these little paper cut outs!
First I put them together with these tiny brads (JoAnn’s has a whole line of these little things for a dollar a pack!) Then I cut a small magnet strip from a roll of magnet tape! You have to bend it a bit to adhere to the paper but it worked great!
Next easy craft: thumb tacks! I glued these together with Mod Podge, yes you can use it for projects like this! then put a dot of craft (or jewlery) glue in the center and dropped some little beads on top! Add a nice drop of craft glue on the back of the flower and put a thumb tack smack in the center! Let dry ~
Now for the third easy thing to do with these paper flower cut outs! Book Marks! You know how I adore book marks, I make them all the time! Check out my All Things Crafty Category for some more book mark ideas! But this one may be my most favorite I’ve EVER made!!!
I put the flower together with one of those tiny brads. Fold my ribbon under and using a craft knife I made a little hole in all layers of ribbon then put the brad through and fastened at the back of the ribbon.
To keep the ribbon from fraying I put Fray Check (found in the sewing notions at Walmart) on the edge of the ribbon. But a tiny bit of clear nail polish will do the same thing.
Aren’t these darling…I’m thinking party favors!!! Teacher’s gift tucked inside a good book! Bible Study or Book Club little prize! Oh I love cute things I can give away!
So there you have it! 3 fun things to do with these whimsical paper flower cut outs even if you don’t scrapbook!!!
Love to you Sweet Peas and prayers for you to have a productive and joyful day!
I’m linking this to Metamorphsis Monday over at Between Naps on the Porch! Head over there to see some great before and afters
Hi Peeps! Mother’s Day is just a few weeks away. Too early to think about it? No way!!! Just give me a minute of your time…
As most of you know, I lost my my mom very suddenly in 2005..
She was only 65. I miss her every single day and so wish I could go back and tell her so many things! One thing I did that I’m really thankful for is a box full of some of my memories of her…
I wanted to share it with you with hopes that one of you may consider doing this for your mom…(I posted this idea in more detail here.)
Memory boxes are kind of a big deal these days. When I gave my mom hers, I filled a trunk with little things. This past December I gave my Dad one and used a leather tote to hold some little things that represent my memories of him as my dad.
But I thought it would be fun to cover this box to give you an idea about making your own memory box…
Now, you know how to cover a box! Use your trusty Mod Podge and just wrap the thing…don’t stress if it gives you a few wrinkles! (Use Mod Podge to glue the paper onto the box and as a top-coat on top of the paper once it’s on the box!)
I added some little birds that I had from my really cute Bird Magnet Craft!
If I was doing this one for my mom, I would tuck in some little things that reminded me of the ways my mom showed me love…
I did this 15 years ago when I gave her the trunk full of memories…here is what I tucked into her box then along with the little notes I put with each thing…
This may seem like a trunk full of random things Mom, but each of these little things represents a significant way you have impacted my life…
The Spatula … this is a pleasant reminder of lazy Saturday afternoons when you would bake up a batch of wonderful chocolate chip cookies…the aroma, the taste, the warmth of home. You passed that along to me…the warmth of home.
Spools of colored thread…this makes me remember all of the clothes you’ve sewn for me over the years~ In second grade my teacher told me that I was the best dressed little girl in the whole class! Now, I love to sew for my children. It’s one way, I can show them love. Thank you for teaching me how…
Candle ...this makes me think of the many nights you spent awake with a sick daughter. Ice chips for a nagging cough, a humidifier for a stuffy nose, Vicks Vapor Rub for congestion. I always knew that I could call on you, even in the middle of the night if I needed you, and you would be there.
Potpourri…this reminds me of the beauty you brought into our home. Like the potpourri made with a mixture of flowers, herbs, fruits and oils, there was a mixture in our house too, beauty with attention to detail. You taught me how to make a house a home.
Candy dish…makes me think of the many confections you made for us. Divinity and fudge at Christmas time, beautiful cakes on every special occasion…you were never afraid to attempt anything. I loved watching you even in the kitchen you were creative…
Wool Scarf…makes me think of the warmth you showed during my childhood and beyond. Remember all the times you’ve talked me through a crisis? Remember all the times you were with me when I was most vulnerable? I can always count on you. Thank you
Dish towels…make me think of all the hard work you did when you kept our home clean and neat. So much work for one person. I was always so proud to have my friends over. I want my home to say welcome and be a place my children are proud of…
The Sunflower…You’ve always planted flowers and vegetables and this pretty sunflower can serve as a reminder of that. Flowers are one of my passions and it was your love for them and how you always had them arranged so beautifully here and there throughout the house, that made such an impression on me~yet another gift you passed along…
The Nativity…By far the most important gift you gave me…your faith. For as far back as I can remember, your faith has been strong. To live your life required a strong faith and you passed that faith on.
Thank you for all the gifts you’ve given me.. Those gifts, which became the very threads of my essence. God hand picks parents just as surely as he creates the child they give life to … I’m glad God picked you for me. I love you mom~
This really is an easy thing to do and I think something your mom would be so happy to get…and I can promise you, you won’t regret doing it. Just a thought Peeps…love to you today and prayers too…
Today is A Beautiful Life Friday over at Inspired Rooms. Thank you Melissa for hosting~ I’m linking this, the latest post in my “Living My Legacy” series because I believe that all of us, every day, are living the legacy we will one day leave. I’m determined to live mine with beautiful intention. Blessings to you today Peeps~
Have you ever spent time in someone’s home and when you left there you carried a bit of it with you? I have a friend, Darlene, who is an entertaining queen. She and her hubby Todd have this amazing home and when they entertain…they really entertain. Darlene is…what’s the word? Exuberant! Darlene’s house feels exuberant. When I leave Darlene and Todd’s I feel exuberant too! Giddy, happy, hopeful. She has a gift. She builds people up. Pours positive energy into them. She loves on you from the moment you walk in the door. And no kidding, I take that with me when I leave. That’s what I mean by I want my home to be a place you leave and take the heart of it with you… I have a sneaky suspicion that when we visit family or friends we always take the heart of their home with us. And that’s not always a good thing. Ever been somewhere and left feeling torn down? Disliked? Less than? Small? Oh, Sweet Ones my deepest desire is that no one will ever feel that way when they leave my home. I want the heart of my home to be hopeful. Positive. Accepting. Loving. I want them to feel better about themselves than when they came in. All of my decorating, baking and making little things isn’t without purpose. I’m: setting the stage for more important things…things like making people feel loved right where they are in life. I never want to make someone feel less than or bad about themselves. This post is less about accouterments like decorating and menus and more about attitude. My bud Darlene has a beautiful home with lots of beautiful things. All the bells and whistles, hers and Todd’s house is the epitome of my ‘dream home’. But never, ever once have I felt the least bit of snobbishness or “I’m better than you” from Darlene or Todd. They have this way about them that focuses on you. Builds you up. Makes you feel content where you are. It’s darn weird really, but I have said more than once, “I’m so glad God blessed Todd and Darlene. They can so handle it.”A gracious attitude focused on the other person goes a long way. Kind, gentle, loving words poured into those who are in your home gives them something to take with them when they leave. That’s what I continually pray I do in my little home… and what I so desire to do here in my tiny corner of the blog world peeps. Love to you and prayers as we are living the legacy we want to leave…one day at a time~If you would like to meander around the other posts in this series go to All Things Legacy~
This is a fun and super easy dip that you can make for cheap! Not to mention that it’s not too fattening and feeds a million people! We had this at our Southern Comfort Food Couples Shower last week and it was so good I wanted to make it again for The Husband and I!
This recipe comes from my daughter Bethany, but you can find TONS of slight variations of this online!
4 cans Blackeyed Peas ~ Drained
2 cans white corn ~ Drained
1 med. can diced tomatoes ~ slightly drained
24 oz. Salsa
1 small zesty Italian Dressing
1 large Vidalia Onion ~ chopped (if you don’t have Vidalia’s …I’m sorry, use any sweet onion!)
1 large Green Pepper ~ chopped
Mix and refrigerate overnight ~ Serve with big freetoes or baked scoops!
This full recipe would feed maybe 40-50 people as an appetizer. I cut it in half for The Husband and I and will take some to Stephie and Jon …
Didn’t I tell you it was easy? Just mix…
And serve…(after it sits in the fridge overnight!)
Bethany is getting married at the end of May and like the rest of us around this fam, she’s on a Wedding Diet! She told me that with the left-overs from the shower, she’d been making turkey wraps for lunch…I had to try this! So I found good ole Bob Green’s “Best Life” whole wheat flatbread…
Some turkey breast, sharp provolone cheese and added a bit of the dip…
I’m not fond of the photo of the wrap, but let me tell you it was good!!! And if you leave off the cheese well I’m pretty sure you’d burn a few hundred calories eating it! (This is me in denial!)
Happy Friday Peeps! If you want some more yumalicious food ideas head over to Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday!
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