Wednesday, August 12, 2020

{ Loving well in a Broken World by Lauren Casper - TLC Book Tour }


Paperback: 240 Pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (February 18, 2020)

How can we love our neighbors amid so much division and hurt?

Loving your neighbor as yourself would be easy if your neighbors were all people you understood, people you agreed with, people like you. But what about playground bullies, colleagues, refugees, online adversaries? They’re all our neighbors, and Jesus said to love them. Every one. But how?
Lauren Casper believes the key is the lost art of empathy, stepping into other people’s shoes and asking what if?what if it were my child? What if it were me? Casper helps us discover how to
  • identify our blind spots and tune our hearts to the stories around us;
  • seek and extend forgiveness with grace and humility; and
  • engage in diverse and meaningful relationships.
Following these steps will enable us to connect in simple but life-altering ways, to respond to conflict with grace, bring about needed change, and shine God’s unconditional love into a dark world.


Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Thomas Nelson

About Lauren Casper



Lauren Casper, author of Loving Well in a Broken World, is a writer, speaker, and advocate. Lauren’s essays, known for their vulnerability and personal story-telling style, have appeared on The Huffington Post, the TODAY show, Yahoo! News, and several other publications. Lauren serves on the board of her local Community Anti-Racism Effort; a non-profit dedicated to working toward an inclusive and equitable community. She makes her home in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with her husband, two children, and one fluffy dog.

Connect with Lauren

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


REVIEW:
If there is a book that needs to be read right now, today, while we are facing such craziness around us, it is this one. 

Loving well in a Broken World focuses on recognizing the need for empathy, something that seems to have completely disappeared from many hearts, around the world.

I have often said that the problems we are facing today are due to a lack of empathy, a problem with each individual, a spiritual problem rather than a race or cultural issue.

We have all read the Bible and one of the most well known commandments is to love your neighbor as you love yourself.  As a Christian I know I need to do that, but I will be the first to admit that it is not as easy to follow through as you may think.

Lauren Casper brings these thoughts to light, and tries to teach us to have compassion, to have empathy, to not just look at the world around us and think that it is up to others to change it.  We have to look within ourselves and start by changing our own prejudices and generalizations. 

How many times have you turned on the news and thought "Where is the compassion and empathy for others?  Why doesn't anyone care about others anymore?" .

If each of us were to extend grace to the situations around us, we could begin to heal the world around us.

Casper encourages us to find our blind spots, to tune our hearts to the stories around us, to look at the internet with different eyes keeping in mind that although it is online, it is still real life, with real people behind the keyboard.

As Christians we are to be a light in this world, to offer compassion, to extend a helping hand  and to teach others how to be compassionate and loving.  If we flood more love and light into the world, we will soon remove the darkness that seems to have seeped into every corner.

Wonderful book.  I believe it should be on everyone's shelves this year.

Thank you to TLC Tours and the Thomas Nelson publishers,  for providing me with a review copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, August 10, 2020

{ And in the blink of an eye, I am 46 years old }


This was the first year that I feel like I blinked, and my birthday was upon me.

As I've gotten older, I haven't paid much attention to birthdays, they just don't seem to have the same expectations as they did when I was younger.  That's not necessarily a bad thing, I think we just change as we get older.

This year however, it feels like I celebrated Christmas, blinked and it was the 10th of August.

So here we are, 46.  Goodness!!!

What have I learned over the past year?

That I'm stronger than I thought I was.
That my faith was nowhere where it need to be, and the past few months have changed that. 
That I may not think or feel my age, but my body reminds me daily that I am no longer a 20 year old.
That jowls are to be embraced, whether we want to or not.
That I no longer enjoy a glass of wine as much as I used to.
That wearing shorts is not really for me anymore, I much prefer dresses and skirts.
That I am now the one squinting at the fine print, where it used to be my parents and as a child I would laugh thinking it was funny.


That God is, always has been and forever will be, the love of my life.
That now more than ever, joy and contentment is rooted deep within us and not in the outside world.
That I've always been a dog person, and still am, but God taught me that my heart has place for other animals too. 
That maybe I am a cat person without ever realizing it.
That life passes us quickly and we need to grab it tightly, enjoy every minute and not waste it on things that don't matter.


That every morning is a new beginning, and new mercy from God and a chance to start over.
That forgiveness is something we need to apply to others, but also to ourselves.
That nature is by far the biggest stress reliever and is free for all of us to tap into on a daily basis.
That family is everything.
That I have the choice to choose to be happy each day and to not let outside forces affect me.
That I have no control over unexpected events, but I DO have control over how I react to them.


That there is always a positive in each negative we face.
That my intuition is important, even if I think I have it wrong, it always ends up being exactly what I thought it would be to begin with.
That there is no perfect weight, embrace, accept your body as it is. 
That perimenopause will knock you around like you've never thought possible, but you can get through it.
That you shouldn't allow the enemy to steal your joy, don't give up doing what you love.

I know there are numerous other lessons I will continue to learn as I age and I can't wait to go through them, and learn them, no matter how difficult they may seem at the time.

Now let me show you what I got for my birthday.  With our current situation, I asked my husband not to buy me anything, but he was adamant that I needed something, so I compromised and told him to get me some yarn and some books.

For some it may seem trivial, not enough for a birthday or whatever.  But I have never been a girl that likes expensive things, expensive meals or outings.  I am perfectly happy just sleeping in on my birthday, being surrounded by my family and getting a few little goodies that I enjoy.

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You know how much I love my Gooseberry Patch cookbooks, and have been collecting them for years.  At our local Christian book store, they were having a huge sale on some of their books.  The cookbooks were all 3 dollars, and I was going to grab just 2  but my wonderful husband just kept grabbing LOL

Here are the ones I got:
Gooseberry Patch Slow Cooker to the Rescue
From Grandma's Kitchen
America's Comfort Foods
Super fast slow cooking
Secrets from Grandma's kitchen
Mom's very best recipes
Hungry is a Mighty Fine Sauce

The only fiction book I grabbed was this one from Amy Clipston.  It was on sale for a dollar. 

A Seat by the Hearth by Amy Clipston

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From my sweet girl, I got a new set of Winter Pajamas from Cath Kidston.  How beautiful are they?  I can't wait to for the weather to cool down so I can wear them.

_MG_8839

_MG_8840

She also knows I love stones, and got me these two stunning ones.  How neat that the one on the right looks like a heart.

_MG_8841

She also got me this gorgeous tote bag.  What can I say, I have a healthy obsession with Florals and especially when they look like Cath Kidston.

_MG_8842

I also got this beautiful Leo bracelet  and a stunning necklace, from my daughter as well.

_MG_8845


I am so blessed with the family I have.  My sweet girl is also taking us to dinner tonight, her treat, for my birthday. 

So another year in my pocket. 

Welcome 46, only God knows what is ahead for me, but whatever it is, I will face it head on, with the help of God and the faith of a warrior. 

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 08/10/2020 }

Good morning dear friends, and a very happy Monday.  
I am waking up this morning, as a 46 year old.  I can't believe time has gone this fast, I feel like we were just celebrating Christmas and now here we are, my birthday.  So crazy!
I hope you've all had a wonderful weekend.  Mine was quiet but wonderful too, my husband took me to Hobby Lobby and our local Christian book store for some goodies for my birthday.  I will show you all that in a separate post, later this afternoon.
Anyway, let's get right on with our Happy Homemaker Monday.  Wishing you all a blessed week ahead!!! 

♥♥The Weather♥♥ 
Still hot, which is making me look forward to Fall and cooler temperatures.    

Monday - Sunny, 100
Tuesday - Mostly sunny,  99
Wednesday - Mostly sunny, 100
Thursday -  Sunny, 100
Friday - Sunny, 103
Saturday -  Partly cloudy,  99
Sunday - Partly cloudy,  98


♥♥How I am feeling this morning♥♥

 Well it's my birthday so I am feeling thankful and blessed to have reached 46 years of age.  The perimenopause symptoms are still hovering around but I am not allowing them to bother me today.


♥♥On my mind♥♥ 
New crochet projects.  By the way, I didn't forget about the crochet I wanted to sell, I have a few ready, just need to take photos and post them for you all here.


 ♥♥On the breakfast plate♥♥
 Just a cup of coffee with Funfetti Creamer, will probably have some toast later this morning.


♥♥On my reading pile♥♥ 
I am now in the book of Ezra in my Bible

These are still on my reading pile:

Loving Well in a Broken World

Also got a few cookbooks and a new Amy Clipston book this weekend, you will see those in the post this afternoon.



 ♥♥On my tv♥♥
 My Portuguese Soap Quer o Destino. 
Documentaries on Magellan TV, random videos on Youtube. 
 
♥♥On the menu this week♥♥ 

Last week's meals are posted on Youtube, you can see it below and if you enjoy it, please give me a like and subscribe. :) 
Our daughter Jasmine is taking us to dinner tonight for my birthday, she is such a sweet girl and has a heart of gold.  We are so blessed to have her. 

Monday - Out for dinner
Tuesday - Chicken Strogonoff, Rice, Beans
Wednesday - Jalapeno Cheddar Sausages, Homemade Hotdog Buns, Macaroni Salad
Thursday - Galinha na Frigideira (Portuguese Red Pepper Chicken), Fried Potatoes
Friday -  Hot wings
Saturday - Chicken Curry and Rice
Sunday - Ikea Meatballs, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans





♥♥From the camera♥♥
 Loving my Blue Salvia.




♥♥Looking around the house♥♥ 
Kids are still asleep, hubby and I are the only ones up.  Looking through my bedroom window I can see the sun shining through the trees, bathing the backyard with yellow light.  I love early mornings.  


 ♥♥Chore I'm not looking forward to today, or this week♥♥ 
So, we just noticed yesterday that our kitchen floor seems to be wet, but it seems to be coming in from underneath.  We have to call a plumber today to come out and take a look.  I hope it isn't anything serious, we really can't afford a huge repair right now.  


 ♥♥To relax this week, I will♥♥ 
I have so many new books to read, and a lot of new yarn to start on new projects.  So excited to get that going.


  ♥♥Something I want to share♥♥  
I have so many of these saved to share.  Love watching them, especially lately, it makes me forget the current world situation and focus on simpler times.




♥♥On my prayer list♥♥
Our situation, hoping for a decision to be made.
Our country, the world, this whole covid situation.

Monday, August 03, 2020

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 08/03/2020 }

Good morning sweet ladies, how was your weekend?

I had a pretty good one, well, nothing super exciting happening but I believe that in this season of my life, a quiet relaxing weekend, is more than I could hope for.

I apologize for not visiting your blogs last week, honestly did not have the time, and as you also know I haven't been feeling very well the past two or so weeks.  Thankfully seem to be getting over that hill.

Not much to update you all on, we are hopeful for a resolution to our situation this week, also I started my Youtube channel back up and have uploaded a grocery haul and a weekly meal video.  If it's something you enjoy watching or think you would enjoy, be sure to go on over and take a look.

Right, I am in a bit of a hurry this morning, I need to get my daughter to work in about an hour and still have to get this post up, make some breakfast and get dressed.  It's one of those busy mornings.

Hope you all have a blessed, wonderful week!!! 



♥♥The Weather♥♥

Cooled off a bit last week, and we even had some rain, a power outage and all that fun stuff.  However, even with a bit cooler weather in Texas, it still means humidity and clamminess, which is so yucky.   

Monday - Partly cloudy, 89
Tuesday - Partly cloudy, 90
Wednesday - Partly cloudy, 96
Thursday -  Partly cloudy, 99
Friday - Mostly sunny, 99
Saturday -  Mostly Sunny,  100
Sunday - Sunny, 100


♥♥How I am feeling this morning♥♥
Not too bad.  One of the symptoms that bug me the most is the irritability, to the point where I can irritate myself LOL  Usually when that dissipates, I know I'm back on track, thank God.                       


♥♥On my mind♥♥
Oh goodness, so much.  Projects I want to get done in the house, the job situation, our future, our country, school starting on the 17th, etc.                  


♥♥On the breakfast plate♥♥

Just had some coffee with Peppermint Mocha.  Will have some toast when I return from dropping Jasmine off.        


♥♥On my reading pile♥♥
I am now in the second book of Kings in my Bible

These are still on my reading pile:

The Doctor of Aleppo
Loving Well in a Broken World


♥♥On my tv♥♥
Started my Portuguese Soaps again after about a year of not watching any.  So glad I did though, I've missed hearing my language and feeling closer to my heritage. 

Also, been watching some wonderful documentaries on Magellan TV.


♥♥On the menu this week♥♥

You can see last week's meals on the youtube video.  This week I need to work on a new meal plan, I am actually thinking of doing just Portuguese meals the next two weeks. 

Monday - Copycat Wingers Sticky Fingers, Macaroni and Cheese
Tuesday - Deep Dish Sausage Pizza
Wednesday - Cheesy Tuna Pasta Bake, Salad
Thursday - Chicken Curry, Garlic Naan
Friday
Saturday -
Sunday -


♥♥From the camera♥♥

My girl and her kitty.  She loves this baby.        



♥♥Looking around the house♥♥

It is not as bright as it usually is in the mornings, but that is due to the cloudy skies.  I do see the big bright orange ball of the sun, peeking over the tree branches in my back yard.
I have some laundry baskets with clean, folded laundry just needing to be put away.  Also need to vacuum and dust today. 


♥♥Chore I'm not looking forward to today, or this week♥♥
Oh the dreaded bathroom cleaning.  Ugh, just not my favorite chore at all, but one that is very much needed to be done in a household, right?


♥♥To relax this week, I will♥♥
Reading, crocheting, watching my Portuguese Soaps. 


♥♥Something I want to share♥♥
I've been enjoying sharing these videos with you all, and I hope you're enjoying watching them too.  This new one is called The Irish Linen Industry - Growing Flax and Making Irish Linen.  Such a neat process to watch. 




♥♥On my prayer list♥♥

****  My husband's job situation.  I am praying for a breakthrough this week, that he either gets to keep the job he so loves, or that another job even better than this one, comes along. 
****  Our country.  

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

{ Say Yes to What's Next by Lori Allen - TLC Book Tour }


Hardcover: 240 Pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (July 14, 2020)

From the star of Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta, now filming its eleventh season for TLC, comes a book and a life-makeover movement for women approaching fifty and beyond.

Move over, girlfriend, Lori Allen is here to help you say yes to what’s next! Star of Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta, Lori Allen uses her confidence, wisdom, and signature humor not only to help young brides on their most important day ever but also to model to them and their mothers how to live out the coming years as the best of their lives.

Lori Allen is owner/operator of one of the biggest and busiest bridal mega-salons in the country, Atlanta’s Bridals by Lori. But she’s also a wife, mother, grandmother, and breast cancer survivor.
Whether you’re feeling invisible, disappearing into the fabric of your couch a little more every year, or simply being indecisive about what’s next, Lori offers herself as the poster child of what to do, not do, and how to see your way through the unexpected.

In Say Yes to What’s Next she addresses essential issues, such as
  • don’t let yourself go,
  • marriage is awesome, but it’s no fairytale,
  • keep your mouth shut and your heart open to your kids (and they’ll bring you grandkids),
  • make time to parent your parents,
  • maintain a close circle of girlfriends,
  • get off the couch and live your passion,
  • take charge of your money, and
  • what to do when life gives you a faceplant.
Say Yes to What’s Next is a life makeover and therapy session from a relatable you-can-and-you-should-do-this straight-shooter as Lori helps women shape their own futures with confidence, style, and sass.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

About Lori Allen



Lori Allen opened Bridals by Lori just two weeks after graduating from the all-female Columbia College in South Carolina. Four decades later, she is one of the world’s foremost experts on bridal couture and the central figure of TLC’s reality show Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta, filmed on site at Lori’s bridal salon and shown in more than 120 countries.

Lori’s role as a bridal expert, successful female business entrepreneur, TV personality, and breast cancer survivor has led her to interviews by top-tier media outlets, including CNN, ABC’s Good Morning America, NBC’s Today, and the Wall Street Journal. She currently resides in Atlanta with her husband, Eddie, and, thankfully, not far from their son and his wife, daughter and her husband, and granddaughters.

Connect with Lori

Facebook | Instagram


REVIEW:
Oh boy!! 

If you want to get down to the nitty gritty of this ageing stuff, you have to get your hands on Lori Allen's book.

I laughed, I cried for her and I nodded constantly throughout the book.  It reads almost like a letter from an old friend just checking in and basically telling you what they've been through the past few years.

Lori is well known for her show Say Yes to The Dress.  Always impeccably dressed, with an air of confidence and assurance about her, but behind the expensive clothes, the jewelry and the big smile, is a woman who has gone through a lot, and I mean a LOT.

It happens to us all.  As much as we want to hold on to our youth, soon enough we start noticing changes, changes in our way of thinking, our way of feeling and especially in our physical appearance.  Those seem to be the toughest ones to endure, especially if you look in the mirror one morning and realize that you now have the all so prevalent jowls.  THAT was a tough one for me, it seemed like they appeared out of nowhere.

Very early on in the book, Lori shares with us her journey, fight and eventual victory over breast cancer, and a double mastectomy.  I felt her pain through the pages.  She takes us from the moment of the phone call after her mastectomy, to her first visit with her oncologist, the treatments and everything in between.  I so appreciate this as a woman because I think that breast cancer is one of those diseases that as women we all worry about, but aside from knowing woman who have been through it, we don't really have much insight into the steps, the process, the ups and downs and all the nitty gritty that follows such a diagnosis.

She then goes on to give awesome advice on everything from marriage, to growing older with grace, those pesky chin hairs that appear out of nowhere.  Filled with life experiences, stories and advice for us older women, Lori puts forth a book that every woman should have on her bookshelf.


Monday, July 27, 2020

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 07/22/2020 }

Good morning dear friends, hope you've all had a wonderful relaxing weekend.

I could have had a longer weekend, to be honest.  Why does it seem that the days fly right on by, you blink and they're gone?  But, anyway, here we are Monday morning and the beginning of a brand new week before us.

I want to ask you please to send a quick prayer up for us, for Curt especially.  Today at 1pm he has his final meeting with the new commander.  A decision will be made about his future whether he remains in this job that he loves, or whether he is let go.  We are confident in God's provision, no matter what the outcome.

One thing is for sure, after two months of this desert, we are so thankful to finally be moving forward one way, or the other.

I wish you all a blessed week ahead, may the Lord keep you and protect you, not only from this virus but from any attack the enemy may be trying to form against you.

Now, let's see what we have going on in our Happy Homemaker Monday posts.




♥♥The Weather♥♥
Thankfully not too hot this past week, and looks like a bit of a cooler week again.  I'm happy for that. 

Monday - Sunshine and clouds, 94
Tuesday - Scattered Thunderstorms,87
Wednesday - AM Thunderstorms,93
Thursday -  Mostly sunny, 97
Friday - Partly cloudy, 90
Saturday -  Mostly Sunny,  89
Sunday - Partly cloudy, 91


♥♥How I am feeling this morning♥♥
I am ok.  I've mentioned my crazy perimenopause symptoms and they are still going on.  I've now upgraded from just night sweats to hot flashes and oh my word, hearing about them is one thing, actually feeling them????  A big NO from me.  Hahahah                     


♥♥On my mind♥♥
Not going to lie, our situation outcome today.  Much as you trust in God, you can't help but think about it, it's just our human way.  I will be so glad when we can move on and not be in this limbo of not knowing.                     


♥♥On the breakfast plate♥♥
Just had some coffee with Peppermint Mocha.          


♥♥On my reading pile♥♥
I am now in the second book of Samuel in my Bible.  Finished Say Yes to What's Next.   Aside from the review books I have down below, I also pulled out one from my shelf which I want to reread.  I have had it for maybe 15 years or so?  It is The Power of a Praying Woman by Stormie Omartian

The Doctor of Aleppo
Loving Well in a Broken World


♥♥On my tv♥♥
You're probably sick of seeing the same list posted here, and I wish I was coming in this morning with a super cool and fun new list, but alas, nothing has really changed.  Sorry. 

Sid Roth's It's Supernatural
Homemaking vlogs

The Chosen
Crime Documentaries



♥♥On the menu this week♥♥

Cooking very simple meals.  I am cutting back on my grocery budget and trying not to spend too much money, also making sure to cook from the freezer and pantry when I can.  I will mention down below how I am using freezer meals or leftovers in those meals.

I am also restarting my Weekly Meal videos on Youtube, so if you haven't yet subscribed to my channel, go on over and give me a like, I would very much appreciate it :)

Monday - Chili, Tortilla Chips or Rice (Had a big batch of leftover Bean stew in the freezer, so used that, plus added in some hot sausage and some other seasonings)
Tuesday - Grilled Burritos, Cilantro Lime Rice  (Leftover Chili from night before will be used)
Wednesday - Sausage Cottage Pie, Sauteed Zucchini (Zucchini from the garden)
Thursday - Pepperoni Pizzaz, Garlic Bread, Salad
Friday -  Chicken Teriyaki Bowl
Saturday - Cheesy Tuna Pasta Bake
Sunday - Quesadillas, Guacamole, Chips and Salsa


♥♥From the camera♥♥
Can't wait to get into this one.      




♥♥Looking around the house♥♥

House is quiet but for the hum of the air conditioner going.  Curt is working in his office and getting ready for his meeting.
Jasmine is asleep but will be up shortly for work, and Nick is awake but laying in bed.
I'm thankful for older kids, because the house stays clean for the most part, which means Mondays are no longer a tornado looking zone when I get up.   


♥♥Chore I'm not looking forward to today, or this week♥♥
Not a particular chore that I am not looking forward to inside the house, although, I have a lot of weeds that need pulling in the garden and that is definitely not a chore I look forward to.


♥♥To relax this week, I will♥♥
Reading, crocheting, rinse and repeat.  I have also restarted my Youtube Channel back up and am thinking of even doing some vlogs in August.  Not sure how that will go, but we will see.  I think it will be a good hobby for me, something fun and something to keep me entertained. 
I did add a grocery haul on Friday, and yesterday I put up a little Channel Trailer too.


♥♥Something I want to share♥♥
Ok so this is a pretty neat video for those of us who love reading and love Bibles.  I used to find my Bible quite intimidating, truthfully I still do at times, but that is a whole subject for another day.
Anyway, Cat Woods has a myriad of stunning Bibles she uses for her study time etc.  In this video she shows us some of those and also talks about how her Bible transformed her. 




♥♥On my prayer list♥♥
****  For my husband.  I pray that the Lord allow him to keep the job that he so loves, but if it is not His will, then I pray for peace and understanding for my husband.  Ultimately for God's will to be done that's it.   
****  The President, Vice President and everyone in the administration.
****  Our police men and women, first responders and military.
****  I pray for healing for this nation, I pray the veil is lifted from people's eyes, that they turn to God that they stop the violence and senseless killing and destroying of property.  


Monday, July 20, 2020

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 07/20/2020 }

Hello my friends, how are you all doing this Monday morning?

I woke up to such a beautiful sunrise, pink and purple skies and the most gorgeous morning. I've had my cup of coffee, have gotten the kitten taken care of and am now going to sit and hopefully get this post up without him jumping on the laptop.

I hope you all have a blessed Monday and that your week is filled with love, blessings and joy.



♥♥The Weather♥♥
The heat has been unbearable, my poor tomato and zucchini plants are suffering.  Thankfully we are not hitting triple digits again this week, but still staying in upper 90's.     

Monday - A mix of clouds and sun, 97
Tuesday - Mostly sunny,  94
Wednesday - Partly cloudy, 90
Thursday -  Mostly sunny, 93
Friday - Sunny, 94
Saturday -  Mostly Sunny,  93
Sunday - Mostly Sunny, 94


♥♥How I am feeling this morning♥♥
I am feeling good, last week was not a good one for me, too many allergy flare ups and perimenopause symptoms.  Thankful to have gotten a pretty good night's sleep and waking up feeling semi normal.                  


♥♥On my mind♥♥
Menu planning, thinking of inexpensive meals.  Also thinking about the youtube videos with my weekly meals and when to start those up again etc.  Just a bunch of work related stuff, my husband's job situation is still not resolved but God has been working in other ways and we are seeing it come to light in our lives.                   


♥♥On the breakfast plate♥♥
Just had my coffee, will probably have some toast or a slice of the Zucchini Bread I mad over the weekend.        


♥♥On my reading pile♥♥
I am now in the first book of Samuel in my Bible.  Also almost done with Say Yes to What's Next. 

The Doctor of Aleppo
Loving Well in a Broken World


♥♥On my tv♥♥
This doesn't change much at all, mainly because I tend to stick to the same kind of videos on Youtube.  I haven't really tuned into the normal TV channels, in a long time and don't think I plan to for a while.

Sid Roth's It's Supernatural
Homemaking vlogs
Gardening vlogs
The Chosen
Crime Documentaries



♥♥On the menu this week♥♥

Have meals until Friday, then the new meal plan will kick in, so not sure yet what I'll be making.

Monday - Cajun Alfredo Pasta, Garlic Bread
Tuesday - Smoked Sausage and Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli
Wednesday - Baked Parmesan and Provolone Spaghetti, One Hour Skillet Focaccia
Thursday - Torta de Frango (Chicken Pie), Green Beans with Bacon
Friday -
Saturday -
Sunday


♥♥From the camera♥♥
Back to crocheting which I absolutely love.  This is a new blanket I'm working on, using up yarn I already had on hand.    




♥♥Looking around the house♥♥

Curt is in the office, teleworking, replying to emails etc.  Nicholas is in the office on his computer playing a game.  Jasmine is still asleep, she works at 11am today so she is sleeping in a little later.
Marley is sleeping by the boys in the office and Elliott has the crazies so he is dashing back and forth around the house.
The house is looking a little dark because it's cloudy outside, but here shortly I'll open all the curtains and some of the windows to let in a bit of cool air, before the heat of the day kicks in. 


♥♥Chore I'm not looking forward to today, or this week♥♥
I need to give the bathrooms a really good cleaning, like a deep clean, and that is not a chore I enjoy.  Much as I love being a homemaker, bathrooms are not my thing. 


♥♥To relax this week, I will♥♥
Keep reading, reading and reading.  Love that in some of our desert seasons in life, God uses those moments to remind us to do the things we love, the things we stopped doing because we were too busy with other non essential things.
Reading and crocheting are at the top of my list and I have renewed love for both, which makes me very happy.

Which things have you stopped doing or given up, that you have recently picked back up, or wish to get back into? 


♥♥Something I want to share♥♥
This is a pretty short video but I found it so interesting and thought some of you might as well.  I love watching things like this on Youtube, the history of the world is so rich and it's fun to go back and see how things were done in different eras.



♥♥On my prayer list♥♥
****  Our finances and my husband's situation.  The final decision on your job has still not been made, he is awaiting a meeting with the new commander.  We are leaving it in God's hands, and we do have other options available.  God is so good. 
****  Our country, the President.
****  Our police men and women, first responders and military.


Saturday, July 18, 2020

{ The past few weeks in photos }

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Hello everyone, welcome back to my little corner of the world.  You may have to dust off the cobwebs or maybe even machete yourself across the dense jungle, for it's been quite a while since I've actually sat down and compiled a little update post.

Life has been, well, LIFE.

It's 2020, and that is all I need to say.  I'm sure you can nod along and completely understand that life has just been completely unexplained and unexpected and crazy.

So, I've been in hiding, behind God's word, behind my four walls and allowing myself to stay focused on positivity without allowing the insane outside world to creep into my life.

You know what I mean?

I think at this point we are all in some sort of limbo here and there, and just looking to make it through the last few months of 2020, until we can come out the other side breathing, alive and thankful for surviving the craziest year of all.

In the meantime, while doing background things behind the blog lens, I've taken photos here and there, shared some Instagram stories, cooked and baked and so on.

Not much has changed over here on the blog, aside form the header, I try to switch it out every few months so it doesn't get boring.  I also added a pretty floral background, and I've also started using Amazon Associates Program, just to try and bring in a little change here and there.  Trust me, I don't plan on getting rich over anything, but I get asked often about the things I have at home, or where I got a certain book or kitchen gadget, so I figured I can start linking to them and maybe making a little and I mean little, commission here and there.

Please don't feel that you have to click on anything or buy anything, I won't be offended at all if you don't want to do any of that. :)

But I did feel I should let you know that any link I put up, is an affiliate link.

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A few months ago, I heard the phrase "We are all in the same storm, but in different boats."

I found it so poignant to our lives, because though we are all in this crazy year together, the truth is that we come from different backgrounds, we have different needs, different wants, different houses, different lives and so on.

Some people find that strange, but I find a certain beauty to it all.  Each individual doing their own thing, living their life happily in their environment, albeit under the same cloud of darkness.
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Deep down we all want the same thing.  To live a happy, healthy, long life with our families.  At least that's what I want, I don't want to be rich, never have, but have always wanted to have enough money to pay my bills and buy food and a just a little extra for this or that.

Some people take vacations all the time, we have never been in the position to do so.  Some people have lush gorgeous huge mansions, we have always lived quite simply.
Some have beautiful landscaped gardens, I aspire to have one, one day, but for me it's always been about prioritizing, one thing at a time.

Dreams I have many, but I will achieve each and every one, at a slower pace, all in God's timing.

I am just happy and content living in my little bubble, and that really is the ticket to a happy life isn't it?  Contentment and joy, even through hard times.

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My girl is so sweet and has the most beautiful giving heart.  She is always coming home with something for me or her dad, mostly me, but I think it's because she knows I love little things for the kitchen, for the bath or the home.

The past week or so, my perimenopause has been brutal, the symptoms have hit me again full force and throw on top of that allergies, and I've just not been feeling very well.

She came home from work the other day and handed me a bag and said "I was going to buy myself some more work shoes, but I put them back and got you something instead because I know you're not feeling well momma."

It was the most beautiful bible case, with such a perfect scripture for our current life situation.

Walk by Faith from 2 Corinthians 5:7

How sweet is that?  How may times do we question if we're doing the right thing, being the right parent, teaching them the right ways?  Then they grow up and show you in these small gestures, that the morals and values you instilled in them from childhood, are alive and well.

Makes this momma's heart very happy.

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Lots of crocheting has been happening too.  Some stuff for selling, and a new blanket for myself.  I can't believe how much I had missed crocheting, and only wish I hadn't stopped for almost 2 years, but I think we all go through these phases in life, when something just seems to drop off in lieu of other priorities and then life calms down a bit or something happens that makes you go back and grab that very dropped art, for comfort and joy.

Crochet has been that for me.

Sitting at night with the hook in hand, working a row or two has been pure bliss for my soul.

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Lots of reading going on as well, in my daily Bible reading, I am now in 1 Samuel, having started from Genesis back in beginning of June, and am really loving it.

Also working my way through my pile of review books.  Currently finishing off Say Yes to What's Next.  It is a quick read and filled with little tidbits and information and tips for us older ladies.  I can't wait to review it for you all.

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This one above just came in on Thursday.  Loving Well in a Broken World:  Discover the Hidden Power of Empathy by Lauren Casper.  Boy is that one needed for our current world situation isn't it?

I often say the problem we are facing right now is not color or political party derived, but rather a heart problem.  There is no empathy anymore, it's quite sad.

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These last two above are not review books, but we popped to Tractor Supply earlier to get some Wasp killer, boy are the wasps angry this year, aren't they?  We just can't seem to keep them under control.

But, anyway, there is a small thrift store nearby, and we hadn't been in there in a very long time, so popped in just to have a browse and I grabbed these two books.

I love Beverly Lewis and anything Amish so of course October Song had to come home with me, as well as the Martha Peace book The Excellent Wife.

I said to my husband "Oh look I'm taking this one, I'll finally be a good wife to you.", to which he quickly replied "Well it's about time."  Hahahahahah

Love this man LOL

Anyway, I just wanted to come in real quick, have a chit chat and show some photos and share a little of what I've been up to.

Oh also making yummy food while trying to keep a pretty low grocery budget, which has been great.  I haven't bought a lot of meat for the past 2 months.

Last night I made some Copycat Wingers Sticky Fingers and they were divine and an immediate hit with the family.  It will be up on the food blog today, and is now on our list of must makes.

I'll leave you with that image, and I'm popping off into the garden to water it (it's been extremely hot around here) and to see if I have any zucchini ready for harvest.

Have a blessed weekend friends.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

{ All Things Reconsidered by Knox McCoy


  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (June 2, 2020)
Popular podcaster and author Knox McCoy offers readers a unique blend of humor, Bible stories, pop culture references, and personal stories that show how asking tough questions and approaching life with a willingness to reconsider ideas can allow them to grow in their faith.

What would it mean to really examine what you think you know about yourself and your beliefs? To not just rely on the generic platitudes you’ve always recited to yourself but to look more deeply into why you think what you think?

After exploring how pop culture shaped his life and carved out the foundations of his faith in his debut book, The Wondering Years, Knox McCoy began to think more deeply about those foundations and how they had evolved, changed entirely, or stayed the same. The result of this soul-searching led to a book about the necessity of reexamining our ideas and identities throughout our lives and how we grow as a result.

In a look back at his own life and the fundamental convictions—both secular and spiritual—he’s pondered over the years, Knox deploys his signature self-deprecation and an academic approach of understanding the absurd, whether discussing the social hierarchy of Sesame Street or the cultural allergy to participation trophies. Along with these voyages into the humorous and the mundane come deeply vulnerable revelations from Knox’s heart as he interrogates his own foundational beliefs. His stories will encourage readers to think about their own convictions and how reconsidering them leads to a deeper understanding of what they believe and why.


Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

About Knox McCoy



Knox McCoy loves laughing and making people laugh. Really anything that’s laughter-adjacent, he’s into. He’s also super into the word swashbuckling, and his dream is to one day use it in a bio.
Knox began podcasting in 2011 as a way to talk more about popular culture, and to his extreme surprise, he’s still doing via The Popcast with Knox and Jamie and The Bible Binge.

As a resident of the South, Knox’s heritage is to enjoy football and barbecue, and he does so with great passion. He also enjoys zombie movies, police procedurals, and a good Netflix binge.
Knox lives with his wife and three kids in Birmingham, Alabama, where he works as the swashbuckling cofounder of The Popcast Media Group.

Connect with Knox

Website | Twitter | Instagram



REVIEW:

“Faith demands the reconsiderations of doubt. It is our obligation to not be so lazy in our faith that we forget to doubt. But also not be so lazy in our doubt that we forget to build an actual and realized faith.”

 There are certain books that take you out of your comfort zone, and make you stop, think and rethink everything you know or think you know.

Knox McCoy is a popular podcaster, being one half of the Podcast Knox and Jamie.  Pop cultureand his topics are usually about reconsidering how and what we think, and how when we do so it may lead to a bigger growth in character and a new look on life.

In a world where we are very often told what to think, and when to think it, it is refreshing to be told to rather think for our ourselves and maybe give credence to the fact that there are numerous ways to approach, and think about all that is around us.

McCoy touches on subjects such as:


Do we believe in God because of the promise of heaven—or the threat of hell?
Does prayer work? Is anyone even there?
Participation trophies.
Being an introvert.

What if we just rely on our own thoughts?  Or what if what we believe about a certain person, or subject, is merely what we've been told to believe, learned to believe or watched others believe our whole lives.

Digging into our soul at times can be uncomfortable and distracting, especially if your ideas do not match with the narrative, but when we do really dig inside, we often find the deepest part of ourselves that needs to be tapped into, released and allowed to speak up.

The author uses self deprecating humor to bring across some humorous situations as well as more serious subjects, in order to teach us to release those preconceived notions. 

If you're looking for a funny, thought provoking book that is just right for the current times we live in, All Things Reconsidered by Knox McCoy is it. 

Thank you to TLC Tours and the Thomas Nelson publishers,  for providing me with a review copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, July 13, 2020

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 07/13/2020 }

Good morning friends, and a very Happy Monday to you all.

I am taking today to relax, do absolutely nothing.  I was on my feet all day yesterday, giving the house a good clean and then had family over for dinner last night.  My lower back is killing me today, it's been a long time since it's hurt like this which means, I overdid it.

Isn't it weird when you think you can still do all the things you've always done, but then your body reminds you that you are not as young as you once were?  Hahaha

Anyway, let's see what we have going on in our happy homes.

Have a blessed week everyone :)




♥♥The Weather♥♥
It's been so gross, so so so gross and hot.  Friday 114.  It's like being back in Arizona all over again.  More triple digit weather incoming this week.  Y'all I am not ready for this.   

Monday - Partly cloudy, 105
Tuesday - Partly cloudy,  106
Wednesday - Partly cloudy, 101
Thursday -  Partly cloudy, 99
Friday - Sunny, 98
Saturday -  Sunny,  98
Sunday - Sunny, 98


♥♥How I am feeling this morning♥♥
Sore, my lower back is really bothering me.  I'm thankful for a clean house which means I can take the day off.                


♥♥On my mind♥♥
Honestly, not much of anything this morning.  I'm just going with the flow and letting life happen.                 


♥♥On the breakfast plate♥♥
Having a cup of coffee right now with White Mocha Creamer.      


♥♥On my reading pile♥♥
I am now in the book of Joshua in the Bible.  Been really enjoying reading through the books of the Old Testament.

Also, a few review books are on the shelf.

Say Yes to What's Next
The Doctor of Aleppo
Loving Well in a Broken World


♥♥On my tv♥♥
Sid Roth's It's Supernatural
Homemaking vlogs
Gardening vlogs
The Chosen
Crime Documentaries


♥♥On the menu this week♥♥


Monday - Cajun Alfredo Pasta, Garlic Bread
Tuesday - Carne con Ejotes (Pork with Green Beans), Rice, Beans
Wednesday - Copycat Wingers Sticky Fingers, Fries
Thursday - Smoked Sausage and Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli
Friday - Hot Subs, Potato Salad
Saturday - Breaded Ranch Chicken, Cilantro Lime Rice
Sunday -  Pasta with Vodka Sauce, Salad


♥♥From the camera♥♥
My avocado plant.  




♥♥Looking around the house♥♥

Curt is in the office, he is teleworking from home.  Kids are both still asleep, Jasmine is off work today so no need to rush off in the morning.  The dog and the cat are both still sleeping, and I'm sitting on my bed listening to my morning prayers on TV and typing up this post.
It is cloudy outside so the house seems dark where usually, it would be nice and bright already.            


♥♥Chore I'm not looking forward to today, or this week♥♥
Don't think I have a chore that I'm dreading this week.  The pool is clean and ready to be used again so I don't have to worry about that.     


♥♥To relax this week, I will♥♥

Definitely have a swim, crochet, read, the usual I do when I'm able to relax.       


♥♥Something I want to share♥♥
Yesterday's Elevation sermon was so good, but so incredibly good that I just have to share with you all.  Pastor Dharius Daniels delivered one of the best sermons I have ever heard.  It was called "I didn't see that coming".  It applies fully to the situation Curt and I are in at the moment, and I'm sure it also will apply to many of you out there, whether in this season of the pandemic or any other situation you are facing in your life at the moment.




♥♥On my prayer list♥♥
****  Our situation is in God's hands.  I am believing, claiming and receiving a breakthrough this month.
****  Our country, the President.
****  Our police men and women, first responders and military.

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