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.

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

{ My spiritual journey and how I am growing through the darkness }



I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close. You have little strength, yet you obeyed my word and did not deny me. - Revelation 3:8


Let's grab a cup of coffee and sit for a bit.

I haven't done a sit down and talk from the heart, post, in a while.  With everything going on in my life at the moment, I didn't want to really go into it, didn't want to talk about it or discuss it.  I think it's one of those things where you feel that the more you talk about it, the more real it is and you can't really pretend it's not there.

You know that feeling right?

When life comes at you and knocks you off your feet, the last thing you want to do is keep being reminded that you're on your behind.

But, it's also through these hits, that we grow and that we learn some of our most valuable lessons.

I can honestly tell you that the month of June, was one of the darkest and lowest points of my life.  I don't know if I've ever mentioned here on my blog how I've always been very close to God, had my moments of drifting here and there, but never for too long and never too far.

My whole life I have had dreams of fighting evil.  Ok, you can stop laughing now.  I know it sounds absolutely ludicrous, and I can't say that I wouldn't laugh if I read this elsewhere online, or heard it from a friend or relative, but the truth is that I would never tell you something that isn't true.

I don't understand it, never have, though I'm sure one day I may actually find out why this keeps happening.

And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. - Mark 4:39

My dreams?

I'm either fighting evil hand to hand, someone I love is possessed and I'm trying to remove the evil entity from them, or I'm being physically or mentally attacked by evil.  I always win, but the dreams just keep happening.  It used to make me extremely uncomfortable, to the point where I didn't want to go to sleep for fear of having another one of these.

As I've gotten older, they have become less frequent and I've also learned not to fear them.

All this to say, that my whole life I have always felt like I was in a constant state of spiritual attack.  Oh the stories I could tell you where my family itself was attacked with the strangest things.  Maybe one day I'll sit down and tell you those, if it's something you're interested in.

But God has and always will be protecting me and guiding my way.

The month of June was the lowest, the darkest, the scariest and the biggest spiritual attack that I have ever been under.

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” - Deuteronomy 31: 6


I withdrew inward.  I allowed the constant barrage of negative thoughts to take over, and I felt like I couldn't catch my breath.

One morning, I found myself in the bathtub, sobbing.  Just sobbing uncontrollably!!!

It was like I couldn't get my thoughts together, and every time I tried, more and more negative thoughts, fears, worries and anxiety kicked in.  My poor family didn't know how to get through to me.  If you've ever felt completely out of control, that was me, that morning, in that hot bathtub.

As I prayed and prayed, rebuked the devil and his negativity, I started to feel a peace wash over me.

The next week, every single day, every single minute was a mental battle.  I have never, again I say, I have NEVER felt this way in my life.  Over the years I have become very good at recognizing an attack, and quickly thwarting it, rebuking it and not allowing it to take over my day.

This attack however?

Like nothing I have ever encountered.  I could not shake it, I could not stop the bad thoughts, I could not function.  PERIOD!!!


I dropped to my knees, grabbed the Bible and started reading.....

Genesis
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

And I didn't stop.  Every day, I reached for my Bible, continued reading, continued in prayer, and removed all distractions from my life.

I filled my Youtube viewing with Christian documentaries, sermons and prayers.  That is how I filled my days, nothing but God.

The switch didn't happen overnight, I will tell you that it took weeks for me to come out of that fog, for the negative thoughts to stop coming, and for me to feel at peace completely, with our situation, with whatever happens and whatever comes after.

I have grown in this process, and I mean grown in leaps and bounds.

We have gone back to church.  My husband is reading the Bible again, has enrolled in school and is finishing off his Master's Degree in Christian Ministry, and both of my kids have started attending church as well.

This never would have happened if this situation hadn't come up.  I am being completely honest right now.  We were in a comfortable life, and just going with the flow.  But that is the beauty of God, He uses certain moments and allows certain things to happen in order to shake us up out of that slumber.

My husband needed a shake up, he admits it, he knows it and he is so grateful that this happened because it lit the fire under him to move, to change, to persevere to realize that he is worth so much more and he was stuck.

Through all of this, I have heard sermons that seemed to be on just for me.  You know when you are going through something and it seems that everything you come across is directed at your soul?

Yes, that!!!

Here are some quotes that struck a cord and have helped me stay focused on the outcome and not the progress, because we always seem to forget that we only see the now, where God sees the whole plan, the whole future.

♥♥ Your behavior in this season, will either walk you in the favor that God has planned for you, or leave you where you are.
♥♥ We have to decide whether we are going to follow God into promise or stay in provision.
♥♥ God calls us to move in the hardest seasons.
♥♥ Worship and step in the water.  Worship and step in the water.
♥♥ God takes things you thought were over, and turns it around.
♥♥ Unexpected blessings come from unexpected situations.
♥♥ You don't need to know the way, you know God.

I hope some of those touch you the same way they did me.

Whatever situation you are dealing with at the moment, I encourage you to reach out the Lord.  Pray, read the Bible, put pressure in His word.

His plans for us are so huge, so incredibly huge, but we don't see them because we're limited to what is directly around us.  We are not seeing a month, 3 month, a year down the line.  We kill ourselves with worry and anxiety, we make movies out of our lives that are never going to play out.

Letting go of that control is one of the hardest things we can ever do as humans.

I am here to tell you, that it can be done and when you finally let go, it is the most freeing feeling in the world.

I am nowhere near where I want to be spiritually, but I am working hard on my relationship with the Lord, I'm learning, I'm growing and I'm letting God work my life.

While we have no clue what tomorrow brings, nor how everything will turn out on the 29th of July, we are at peace and safe in the promise that the Lord takes what the enemy meant for evil, and turns it for good.

And that is good enough for Curt and I.

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” - Revelation 21:5

Monday, July 06, 2020

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 07/06/2020 }

Good morning friends, how is your long weekend going?

Mine is going pretty well.  It's been a quiet one, as it always seems to be.  We didn't do anything for the 4th.  We usually have a family get together, but this year it just didn't work out because of various reasons.  The pandemic being oen of the biggest since many can't travel or get together with others.

Yesterday we had church and it was wonderful as always.

Curt and Jasmine are off work today, so we are going to take it very easy today, relax and later this afternoon, we are sitting down as a family and watching a movie, it's something that we haven't done in a while.

I wish you all a blessed week ahead, may God bless you and keep you safe.




♥♥The Weather♥♥
We've been hitting triple digits and I can't handle the heat.  I used to love hot weather, but as I've moved into Perimenopause, it's just a huge nope.  Expecting some storms today and I am looking forward to not only the rain that I love, but it cooling things down a bit. 

Monday - Thunderstorms,  88
Tuesday - Partly cloudy,  90
Wednesday - Partly cloudy, 98
Thursday -  Sunny, 100
Friday - Mostly sunny, 102
Saturday -  Sunny,  106
Sunday - Mostly sunny, 94


♥♥How I am feeling this morning♥♥
Feeling good.  This past month of June has been a total life changer for me, so much has gone on, it's brought me down to a dark place, but God used that to teach me some valuable lessons and to restore my soul.  I am so thankful for that.              


♥♥On my mind♥♥
We need to clean out our pool and refill it again.  I think I mentioned that our pool pump stopped working and before we knew it we had a swamp green pool.  So gross.  We've emptied it, have moved it to a different location and today need to scrub it down, and start refilling it.  So I'm thinking about how much work we have to do on that.               


♥♥On the breakfast plate♥♥
Only coffee at the moment, with some Caramel creamer.    


♥♥On my reading pile♥♥
Have gotten in a couple of new books for review:

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

My bible, I have read through Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus and will be starting Numbers today.  So proud of myself, it's a huge accomplishment for me.     


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


♥♥On the menu this week♥♥
Will be making a new meal plan sometime this week.  Meals are planned until Friday, that's when I will be grocery shopping.

Monday - Wingers Sticky Chicken Fingers, Mashed Potatoes
Tuesday - Homemade Potato Gnocchi with Meat Sauce, Garlic Bread
Wednesday - Bacon Carbonara
Thursday - Chicken in Cream Sauce, Butter Rice
Friday -
Saturday -
Sunday


♥♥From the camera♥♥
I have renewed my love for crochet, and recently while praying and asking God for direction and clarity, one thing that was huge loudly coming through, was my crochet.  I have never been one to want to sell it.  I always felt bad about charging anyone for anything, but I also now realize that I could be making some extra money for our home, doing something that I love.

With that in mind, I have decided to go ahead and sell what I make.  It's all still very confusing and I am not sure about the logistics of it all.  I won't be using Etsy or anything like that, I will just use my blog and Instagram account to post what I make.  I still have to figure it all out, but one thing I've been making are crochet placemats.  I'm building a stash that I can then post for sale.  If that's something you would be interested in, keep an eye out.

Also will be selling some of the crochet blankets I already made, and making new ones.  

  

♥♥Looking around the house♥♥

It is quiet, for now.  Both kids are still asleep, Curt is in the office with Marley, and I'm sitting in the dining room working on this post while dealing with a very hyper active kitten.  Please tell me they get over this craziness?          


♥♥Chore I'm not looking forward to today, or this week♥♥
Cleaning the pool.  It's not even the chore of cleaning it in itself, but it's being out there in the heat.   


♥♥To relax this week, I will♥♥

Hopefully swim, though I keep saying that but yeah, hopefully.  I will be working on more crochet as well as reading.                             


♥♥On my prayer list♥♥
****  Our situation is in God's hands.  We have both completely let it go and are just trusting God's plan and His timing.  It will be whatever it is meant to be.  However, his meeting for the 13th got moved up to last week, then when he went in, it got postponed to the 29th.  God knows what He is doing and I am actually laughing my way through this.  I truly believe that He is in control, and if He felt led to postpone that meeting, it will be for a good reason.  Still, I ask that you say a little prayer for us, if you wish.
****  My friend Renee lost her oldest son a few days ago.  He was only in his early twenties and had diabetes, contracted Covid and unfortunately passed away.  Please keep her in your prayers.
****  My niece Tiffany was in an accident on Saturday, along with her husband, her little two year old Eva and their two dogs.  They were up in the mountains driving around and their truck rolled into a ditch.  Thankfully everyone is ok, she did break a finger and Steven hurt his ankle, but not a single scratch or bruise is on Eva, thank the Lord.  Praying for healing for them, as well as help with a new vehicle since their truck was totaled.
****  Our country, the President.
****  Our police men and women, first responders and military.
****  For America as a whole. I pray the Lord heal our nation, open the eyes of the people to the evil that is running rampant and keep us all safe.


Friday, July 03, 2020

{ Menu planning on a budget }



Hey everyone, welcome back to my blog. 

So Monday I mentioned that I was going to be menu planning and doing a post on it, and then as always life got in the way and I didn't get around to it.

If you're looking for general posts on menu planning, there are a few already on the blog, you can do a quick search, over there on the right sidebar, and it will bring them all up for you.

This menu planning was a little different than my usual, in that instead of choosing the meals first and then buying the meat/poultry at the grocery store, I bought the meat and poultry first, and then planned around what I was able to get.

With the current pandemic situation, it's been difficult at times to find what I need, and the prices have also gone up astronomically.

So, we are left with having to just shop what we can and then plan accordingly.


With our current unsure situation, as pertaining to my husband's job, I have decided to start being even more frugal in my grocery shopping, and maybe looking into doing my bulk food shop at Aldi, then adding Walmart or Commissary to just add on whatever I can't find at Aldi.

I went grocery shopping last week, and spent $144 at Aldi, then another $80 at Walmart.

Once I got home, I jotted down what I was able to get meat wise, then worked on my menu from there.


I tried to make simple meals, as well as meals that I can stretch and use leftovers for another dinner.

I'm still trying to figure my way around this, I've spent the last 22 years menu planning one way, and now I'm having to switch it up, not sure for how long, but we will see.

I guess life is full of twists and turns, and we need to adapt and just go on however we can.  So this is it for the near future.

Now let me show you what my menu is, for the next two weeks.

Friday 26th - Alfredo Pasta
Saturday 27th - Feijoada c/ arroz (Portuguese Bean Stew)
Sunday 28th - Leftovers
Monday 29th - Roast chicken and potatoes
Tuesday 30th - My daughter bough us Panda Express for dinner
Wednesday 1st - Smoked Sausage and Potatoes
Thursday 2nd - Brunch, dinner was just whatever everyone wanted.  Cereal, sandwiches etc.
Friday 3rd -  Spaghetti, Salad
Saturday 4th - Grilled Bratwurst, Potato Salad, Fruit
Sunday 5th - Pork al Pastor, Rice, Beans
Monday 6th - Wingers Sticky Chicken Fingers, Mashed Potatoes
Tuesday 7th - Homemade Potato Gnocchi with Meat Sauce, Garlic Bread
Wednesday 8th - Bacon Carbonara
Thursday 9th - Chicken in Cream Sauce, Butter Rice
Friday 10th - *New menu kicks in*


I still have a bit of meat and poultry left in the freezer and will use those towards the next meal plan.

How do you deal with months where you need to cut down your food budget?    Do you have some cheap and filling meals you go to?

If you have any advice, feel free to drop it below, I will take all the advice I can get right now.

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