Friday, April 05, 2013

Ultimate Blog Party 2013

It's Friday, and I think the best way to kick off the weekend, is with a party.

When I first started blogging back in 2006, one of the first places I added to my blog list, was 5 Minutes for Mom.  Since then, I've participated in a few of their parties and link ups, and I think this one is a great way for bloggers to meet new friends, get their blog out there and have some fun at the same time.

So, come on in and let me tell you a little about me, my family and my blog.

I'm a 38 year old mom of two, and wife to my Air Force husband.   I am in love with anything British, honestly believe I was born in the wrong country.  HA!

I love crochet, photography, cooking, baking, reading, period drama, antiques, the pioneer era, zumba and living a simple life.

We are a military, homeschooling family currently stationed in Arizona and very close to retirement, probably as soon as next month.  It's a scary though but it's also exciting and we're looking forward to the next chapter in our lives.

I was born in Mozambique in East Africa, then when the independence war happened, we were forced to leave, first to Zimbabwe, then to Portugal where we stayed until I was 10 years old, and THEN....we moved to South Africa.  I grew up in Johannesburg, did all my schooling, made friends, started working and then one day met my husband online.  

I was Christian, he wasn't.  One thing led to another, and 16 years later here we are, with two beautiful children and a lifetime of ups and downs, deployments, miscarriages and a shared loved for the Lord.

Here's my Sarge.  He is an F-16 Mechanic (Crew Chief) in the US Air Force.  He has been in for 22 years and I'm so extremely proud of him.  This man has taken me on such a journey, not just physically moving from here to there, but emotionally, and I am the woman I am today because of his support and his love.   Wouldn't have it any other way.

Our girl is about to turn 14 years old.  She makes us laugh, she makes us cry, she makes us want to pull our hair out and I keep thinking that we are NOT ready for the teen years, but hey, we're here and it's going to be an adventure one way or the other right?

Our boy is about to turn 10 years old.  I feel like just yesterday I was holding him in my arms, my miracle baby who came along after two heartbreaking miscarriages, a difficult high risk pregnancy, and a few scares along the way.  He is hilarious and the sweetest boy on earth.

Miss Lola 

Miss Bella

These are our furry babies.  Lola and Bella, our adorable pugs.  They make life exciting and interesting and they make us laugh until our sides hurt.  We love these girls to death :)

And now that you know a little about us, let me tell you a little about my blog.  Actually I have two blogs, I have this main one and I also have a cooking blog called Full Bellies, Happy Kids.

It all came about when we were still stationed in Idaho, back in 2006.

I wanted a place to stay in touch with the family, where they could go online from anywhere in the world, and see what we were up to, what the children were doing, how they were growing, etc.

And then the food blog sort of came out of that, but mainly because at the time my children were both very young and as with most parents meal time was a pain in the behind.  They wouldn't eat, they didn't want it, they didn't like it, they wanted a snack 5 minutes after dinner etc.  It became a place to jot down recipes but also to share those which they were eating WITHOUT complaints.


It's grown immensely since then and I have tons of recipes, some from cookbooks, some from online blogs, some of my own creation and a lot of my heritage, Portuguese food.

If you're interest in cooking and yummy food, you can check out my blog, Full Bellies, Happy Kids here :)

But now, I think I should tell you what I do over here in my little corner of the web.

I write about my daily life, I take hundreds of photos and I try to document everything we are doing.  I feel it's imperative to have this online journal so that one day we can sit down and look through everything we've done, places we've been and reminisce about our days.

I share my love for crochet

Favorite crochet corner

I talk about simple life and days gone by

I share tips and recipes for homemade products, like the popular Homemade Laundry Detergent

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I constantly talk about the current period drama movie or tv series I'm engaged in.  And if you love them as much as I do, I even have a list for you.  :)

I'm always busy in the kitchen, making this or that....

Hot Cross Buns

I have a vegetable garden that I'm so proud of, because up until a few years ago I was a Green Thumb of Death.  So it's fascinating that I can grow things, especially things we can eat LOL


And I talk about my journey in pursuit of a closer relationship with God and what He's doing in my life. 


I guess it's just a mish mash, hodgepodge of stuff.  I talk about my life and what I'm doing, I cry when my husband is deployed, I rejoice when my children succeed in a task they've had trouble with, and I just love visiting blogs and getting to know other women of like mind.

Feel free to look around my blog, go through the archives, read my past posts and leave a comment.  I love meeting new friends, and if you let me know where you're blogging, I will come by and say as well.



  1. Sandra- i discovered your blog about a year ago and you are the first place I go to when I turn on my computer in the mornings. I enjoy reading about you and your family's life and I share with you many of the same family values and "happy homemaker" ideas. I have been crocheting since I was 8 years old(mom taught me), I love anything crafty, and being a homemaker has always been the only thing I have wanted to do with my life. Taking care of your family should be a woman's number one priority (in my opinion) and I wouldn't have it any other way. I will continue to read your blog daily (with excitement) and wanted to let you know that you have inspired me in many ways. I am seriously considering starting my own blog,(maybe this summer). Thanks for always helping start my day with a smile and a good feeling in my heart. Take care! Teresa W. Grand Rapids Michigan

  2. HI!!!! I'm coming by since you found ME on the UBP and stopped by my place. :) I love your blog, Sandra!!! I am a crochetaholic, too. And I can't wait to see more of your homemade recipes for cleaning!! Hope you have a great blog party.

  3. Yay! Glad you are joining in the fun too. Just wanted to say hello :-) Have a great weekend!

  4. Nice to meet you! Thanks for dropping by my blog. Our neighbours are from South Africa too and I had a class with a fellow who had to leave Zimbabwe when the trouble started there, so I've heard some stories. What an interesting life you've had! :)

  5. Hi Sandra!
    Thanks for stopping by 'Simple Sojourns' UBP.
    I love your story! My goodness, you've lived all over the world. I look forward to getting to know you better!!

  6. I guess I've read your blog since I first started blogging. I think I may have found you through Katy (The Country Blossom). Anyway, I've always loved coming here, Sandra. You have a beautiful spirit, family, home, and love of the Lord. Thanks for sharing and for your blogging friendship. :)

    This is a great idea. Think I might join the party.

    By the way, I didn't get the email that told how to do the post title. Sometimes I wonder what happens in the web world. Anyway, sorry! I'd love to know though!

    Have a great weekend!

  7. Wow! Your journey is amazing. We have a little miracle baby too. Will you be staying in Arizona once your husband retires from the air force or do you have plans to move somewhere else. My husband is retired from the air forces as well.

  8. Reading through this post got me to thinking how on earth did we start following each other's blog? Was it through one of the UBP?? I've participated a few times over the years. Honestly it feels as if we have known each other always.

    Have fun this weekend. I always enjoy the UBP!

  9. I loved reading thru your UBP post!
    So nice to meet you :)
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  10. I absolutely LOVE your blog and your posts are everything I look for and aspire to do as well! I started my own little blog last year and couldn't quite figure out how to "blog" so I put it down for a little while. I recently started it back again and I actually am doing SO good with navigating through and learning the ropes! Its extremely exciting to share special moments, tips and methods throughout the day, getting and giving support to other Moms just like me! I know there is still alot to learn, but I'm much more comfy with everything now than I was before. I check your blog almost daily and its just so invigorating and refreshing to see a fellow mom nurture and support her family when there isn't much of that these days! I also fell in LOVE with your garlic bread recipe! I shared and linked you up on my blag too! Please come by and visit for a moment and if you were to have any suggestions or encouragement of any kind, it would be an honor!!! My blog is

    Thank you and Happy Blogging!!

  11. Hi Sandra!

    Thanks for stopping by my spot over at Houseful of Nicholes! I can tell right away that I'll definitely be visiting you frequently since I have a feeling (without clicking your list) that you are a lover of Downton Abbey as much as I am, and Dr. Who hopefully.

    I've done the laundry detergent as well, and love finding new and interesting things to do via the web, and all of the wonderful blogs that I'm discovering. Glad to "meet" you, and I'll be back soon. :)

  12. Hello! Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier today (MN Girl in LA) and just wanted to return the love.

    I'm so glad I stumbled across this blog party the other day and have made some GREAT connections.

    I'm not much of a dog person, but I'm so close to being sold on owning a pug, and seeing your pics is definitely helping ;) LOL, they're absolutely adorable.

  13. Thank you for stopping by my blog. What a wonderful introduction post! I met my husband online too. I bet you are a huge Downton Abbey fan. We have watched all of the seasons at my house. I am now following you.

  14. Thanx for stopping by my blog! Nice to meet you through #UBP13!

  15. Hi Sandra! Thank you for stopping by my blog, Shannon's View from Here, and leaving a great comment. Love the feel of your blog and it is a place I will return to often! Happy hopping! #UBP13

  16. Lovely pictures, especially the Pugs! We have a very fat Pug named Zack, so I'm partial.

    Thanks for stopping by UBP13.

  17. Love your details and amazing pictures for the #UPB13! Nice "meeting," you! Have a great weekend!

  18. Thank you so much for stopping by our party, this is such a fantastic UBP post! Your family is absolutely gorgeous and I'm so amazed that you've lived all over the world. I love your beautiful photos and now I'm hungry and need to head over to your other blog to get some yummy recipe ideas! :)

    -Xenia @ Thanks, Mail Carrier

  19. Thanks so much for the introduction to your lovely family! We are also a military family, but in Canada.

  20. Nice meeting you. I am visiting from the UBP and Thank You for visiting me earlier! What an exciting journey you have been on!

  21. Wow! What a great party post #UBP13

    Ninja Mom, here from Today's Every Mom, I'm looking forward to spending some time surfing through your posts.

    I've always wanted to grow a garden, but I too have a "black thumb". And your crochet projects are beautiful!

    Yes, I have a feeling I better grab a cup of coffee before I get lost in your wonderfulness :)

  22. I love your blog, so glad we found each other through #UBP13! & I can't wait to check out your food blog, I love finding new recipes!

  23. Stopping by for UBP, thanks for checking out my blog! Love your blog, your outlook and all the yummies you are whipping up! I am adding you to my must read list! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  24. Very interesting read about you and what you do.

    You have a beautiful family and blog.

    It is nice to meet you.

    Hope you are having fun and a lovely weekend!

  25. Beautiful pictures!

    At first I thought it might be that we were actually neighbors in real life, and what a coincidence that would be. I'm also an Air Force wife, but I suspect we're in different parts of Arizona. The only F16s I usually see around here are in the Boneyard.

  26. Love, love, love your blog! I am following along now.

    I'm surfing on over from the UBP! Hope you'll swing by and pay me a visit as well. Party on! ::: Tossing Confetti :::

    {Big hugs}


  27. So finally to see the face behind the Full Belly, Happy Kids!! I always share your yummy pictures on my facebook page all the time! SO GLAD T MEET YOU! Thanks for stopping by from UBP13!

  28. The bacon swiss garlic bread looks amazing. I think I'll add this to my menu soon.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, too.

    Angi from Tim and Angi's Blog

  29. Thanks again for visiting. I need to check out your food blog now too!

  30. Wow, your pictures are gorgeous! You have a beautiful family, including Miss Lola, she's a cutie!

  31. Your recipes look awesome! And I am so interested in the homemade laundry detergent!

    Stopping by to say hi from the Ultimate Blog Party!

  32. Stopping by from UBP13. Wanted to say thanks for visiting Ideally Speaking as well. You have such stunning photography on your site. Absolutely beautiful.

  33. Hi Sanda! Thanks for stopping by my blog and partying! You have a beautiful family and great crochet skills. You'll have to teach me how you got your green thumb because right now my thumb is only good for killing plants! Ha! Happy UBP!

    ~ Ferly
    Gifts We Use {to grow, love and serve}

  34. Hi! I just found your blog through UBP13 and already I am hooked. I love that you love all things British because well, I'm British!
    My husband was in the British Army for 14 years until he had to be medically discharged so I can understand your apprehension for retirement.

    I too have suffered from several miscarriages (5 to be exact) and a high risk pregnancy. I now have a beautiful four year old son and am 21 weeks pregnant with our first daughter.

    I'm really looking forward to following your blog! I'm also just about to go and check out your cooking blog :)


  35. Following back from the UBP13 :) Thanks so much for stopping by! looking forward to reading your blog. Love your pictures.

  36. So honored that 5 Minutes for Mom was one of your early blog reads. And thank you for still hanging out with us!

    You sound like such an awesome mom and wife... and cook!!!

  37. Thank you for stopping by my blog. I agree several of your recipes are making me drool. They look delicious! The UBP 2013 is awesome - finding so many wonderful bloggers like yourself. Have a blessed day!


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