Tuesday, February 28, 2023

{ Blog 365 #59 - Signs of Spring }


Spring is arriving, and we're already seeing signs around here.

I took a walk through my backyard and snapped a few pictures.   Makes me so happy to see these little pops of green everywhere. 



Monday, February 27, 2023

{ Blog 365 #58 - Happy Homemaker Monday - 02/27/2023 }

Good morning dear friends, hope you're having a good Monday morning.
I am super late getting this post up.  I've been trying to work on it all morning, but we are currently without power, and looking at another 2 hours before it's back up.  We had some very strong storms come in last night, so I'm thinking something broke somewhere in town.  
My wonderful husband just reminded me through text message, to do a hotspot from my phone to the computer, and use the data to go ahead and post the Happy Homemaker Monday.  Life saver, because I was completely forgetting that I can do that.  Doh!!!
Anyway, let's get this up real quick and hopefully, I will have power back soon so that I can get my baking going.  
Hope you all have a blessed week.  And whatever happens around us, remember to stay focused on the Lord.  Eyes above, above all else!!!

The Weather:::
We seem to be done with the super cold weather, but that means we are heading quickly into spring, and with it, tornado season.  Last night was crazy.  We had winds of 70mph, and tornadoes all around.  Thankful we were kept safe.  This week looks like the perfect week for starting seeds, and hanging laundry out to dry.
Monday - Sunny, 74
Tuesday - Mostly sunny, 80
Wednesday - Partly cloudy, 67
Thursday - Partly cloudy, 68
Friday - Sunny, 57
Saturday - Sunny, 62
Sunday - Partly cloudy, 70

As I look outside my window:::

Gorgeous blue sky, not a cloud in sight.  The sun is shining, the birds are singing loudly and there is just a tiny breeze left from the crazy winds last night. 

Right now I am:::
Trying to get this post up as fast as I can.   

Thinking and pondering:::
About what I want to do this week.  I want to spend as much time outdoors as possible, cleaning up the yard from winter, getting it ready for spring and summer, and getting the chicken area ready as well. 

On my bedside table:::
My Kindle, TV remote, water bottle and phone.

On my tv today:::
I finished Home fires which I loved.  I am now getting through the last season of All Creatures Great and Small. 
At night, we watch Star Trek Picard, on Thursdays when the new episode comes out.  Hubby watches Battlestar Galactica the other nights, and I sleep through it because I don't enjoy it.  hahahah

Listening to:::
The birds chirping outside, and Elliott purring next to me.    

On the lunch plate:::
Not really sure yet.  

On the dinner plate:::
For dinner tonight, I am making Deep Dish Sausage Pizza.  
Deep Dish Sausage Pizza   

On the menu for this week:::
Have to work on the new meal plan, this week.  I have meals until Friday, and then as usual, I'll go shopping Friday morning, and the new menu will kick in.
Monday - Deep Dish Sausage Pizza, Salad
Tuesday - Instant Pot Beijing Beef, Rice, Egg Rolls
Wednesday - Cheeseburger Sliders, Homemade Fries
Thursday - Bacon Spaghetti, Garlic Bread
Friday - *Grocery Shopping*
Saturday -
Sunday -
On my reading pile:::
Longbourn by Jo Baker.
A prairie Girl's Faith by Stephen W. Hines

On my to do list:::
Kitchen - wash breakfast dishes, put away clean dishes in rack.  Sweep and mop. 
Dining room - Vacuum 
Laundry - wash and hang out to dry, to make use of the beautiful weather today
Baking - Vanilla Cake, French Bread Subs, Sandwich Bread

Plans for this week:::
Blogging, updating food blog.
Clean back porch and yard.
Start seeds.
Clean the house, laundry, etc.

What I am creating:::
I plan on actually starting my embroidery project this week.  I can't wait.   

My simple pleasure:::
Messing around with my plants.  I used to kill every plant I had, and then a few years back, while we were still stationed in Arizona, I started researching and really working hard at understanding the plants I had.  Since then I've been able to grow veggies and keep my inside plants alive, thriving and even propagated some.  Brings me so much joy.   

Looking around the house:::
It is really quiet.  Jasmine is off this week because it's her last week at Target.  She is starting a new job on the 6th of March, which she is very excited for.  It is not retail anymore, it is a great 9 to 5, steady work and steady pay job at one of the top healthcare companies in the States.  We are so excited for her.   

From the camera:::
Old vintage books.  I have a growing collection that is very special to me. 
Bible verse, Devotional:::
From my devotional this morning:
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.   Colossians 4:6, ESV

Sunday, February 26, 2023

{ Blog 365 #57 - Sunday Check In }

 Just a quick check in, to make sure we have a post for today.

We had a pretty quiet Sunday, until late afternoon, when a line of really strong storms came through.  Tornado watches, and winds of 70 mph.  I haven't even looked outside yet to see the damage, but I'm hoping the good Lord protected us through it.

Living in the Tornado alley is always an adventure, I tell you. 

Saturday, February 25, 2023

{ Blog 365 #56 - Right now.... }

Feeling - Congested.  We've had crazy winds the past 2 days, and wind always kicks up my allergy induced asthma.  So I'm doing the wheezing coughing and feeling congested. 

Drinking - Water

Writing -  This post

Thinking - that I'm not looking forward to the severe thunderstorms we are expecting this afternoon. 

Contemplating - reading, or watching tv

Knowing - that God loves me, even when I fall short

Listening - to silence, the house is quiet

Jumping - for joy that we are ready for little chicks

Savoring - the quietness

Resisting - the temptation to have another piece of chocolate

Eating - Nothing right now

Hiding - from the cold foggy day outside

Feeling - content

Friday, February 24, 2023

{ Blog 365 #55 - A yummy stuffed sandwich }

Well hi there friends.

Come in out of the cold, it is currently 30 degrees and not exactly pleasant to be out there.  

So, it is Friday....yay!!!  Friday and Saturday are by far my favorite days of the week, and I'm about to shock you when I tell you my third favorite day, which actually happens to be Monday.  

*collective loud sigh*

But really, it is, I love Mondays and Fridays and Saturdays.

Anyway, that has nothing to do with today's post.  I have to say though, I am quite proud of myself for having a post every.single.day, since January 1st.  Wow!


OK, so, for today, I wanted to bring you a recommendation for a pretty inexpensive dish, that you can definitely stretch and serve to a crowd, or make it even for just one or two people.  It's up to you.  

It uses very few ingredients, but the result is delicious and filling and just ooohhhhh.  Love it ♥

This recipe or rather this dish, is from Brasil and it's known as Buraco Quente.  It's usually made with ground beef, but you can certainly use beef, or chicken or smoked sausage which is what I used for mine.

I mentioned in yesterday's post that if I have to translate exactly, word for word, to English, it means Hot Hole, and I don't know about you all, but that does not sound appealing at ALL when talking about food.  LOL

So, I just call them Stuffed Sandwiches.  Much better!

If you give these a try, do let me know what you thought, if you enjoyed it and all that good stuff.
Smoked Sausage Stuffed Sandwich
Buraco Quente de Linguica

Bread Rolls (I made some of my french bread sub rolls, and cut them in half)
Drizzle of olive oil
1 package smoked sausage
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic
parsley and cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
oregano to taste
1 can Media Crema (table cream)
Shredded cheese

In an oven proof dish, take each roll, cut a small piece off the bottom so that it stands flat.  Place the rolls in the dish, then take a small knife and cut out the inside, creating a hole.  Don't leave the edges too thin, or it will fall apart when you fill it with the meat mixture.

In a saucepan, add a little bit of olive oil.  Dice up the smoked sausage.  I cut it into slices, then cut those slices in half then half again, creating little cubes.  Saute them in the olive oil, then add the onion and garlic and cook for a minute or two until the onion is translucent.

Season with salt and pepper and oregano, add the cilantro and parsley to taste, stir well to combine, then add the can of media crema, give it another good stir and remove off the heat.

Fill each sandwich with some of the sausage mixture, then add a sprinkle of shredded cheese of your choice.
Pop into the oven for a minute or so until the cheese is melted, then serve immediately.



Thursday, February 23, 2023

{ Blog 365 # 54 - Time with God }


I sat down with my Bible, devotional and book, ready to spend some time with God.  It's something I love doing, but even I have moments where I lose focus and get on with other things, therefore neglecting this very important moment in my day.
As I gathered these books, I was reminded that some things are just supplemental, and not really needed for this time.  From those 3 books, only one is the *needed* material.  The Bible!!!

We tend to make everything cute and extra.  We walk around with cutesy notebooks, pretty highlighters, and beautiful devotionals, and while those are sweet to have around, they are not needed to have special time with God.


I am a very simple woman, but even I tend to complicate things at time.  And why?  Because everyone else is doing it, and implying that is how you do things, or what you need.  

I'm not saying that a devotional, a notebook and highlighters are useless, because they're not.  I use them to highlight a specific phrase, or word, that stuck with me, or take down notes on something I learned while reading the Bible.  It helps me to take in the message and to let it sink deep into my heart and soul.

But when you make that time all about those things, then you're taking away from what really matters.

For example, I learned not that long ago, that prayer is not just talking to God and asking for things, and trying to make it all special and using these expensive words.  It is about talking, like you're talking to a dear friend or confidant.  Just talking to Him is prayer.  And when we learn that, it makes it all so much easier.


I'm still using the devotional and notebooks, and yes, even my highlighters, but as long as I remember to put all my focus on the Bible and speaking to God first.  

Doesn't even need to be an hour long, even just 10 minutes out of your day, to sit and open the Bible, or to say Hi to God and thank Him.

I did that yesterday, I carved out time to sit on the couch, talk, pray, thank, read, and just be.  The birds were chirping loudly outside, the back door was open letting in a cold breeze.  (it didn't last long, I had to close the door because we went from 86 degrees the day before, to 30 degrees).

Once that was done, I got on with the rest of my day.  There wasn't much for me to do, the house was clean.  

When I was a young homemaker, I wasn't very good at managing my time.  I tended to get overwhelmed and sometimes annoyed with the tasks at hand, which meant my house would be in a constant disarray, with always something that needed doing.

If I wanted to read a book, or watch something on TV, it meant that I had to leave the dishes, or the dusting, or the vacuuming.

But as I became older, and more experienced in this life of a homemaker, I started managing my time better, and now, I actually find that there are some days that I have so much downtime, that I even get bored.  Crazy, I know!!!



As I was going about my day, I came around the corner into the hallway that leads to the office and our bedroom, and got the fright of my life.  

I had moved these two artificial plants out of the living room, so that I could run my little robot vacuum.  

Elliott, being the cat that he is, loves these.  I often find them toppled over as he bats at the individual blades.  I guess while I was in the kitchen, he had knocked the one down and then hid, waiting for me or Kaia to come around the corner.

I guess I drew the short straw this time  Hahahah


I wanted to show you my Fern, or actually 2 Ferns.  I picked them up at Lowe's from the clearance rack, they were marked down to $1 because they clearly needed help.

I brought them home, cut off all the dead parts, and replanted them.  Just look at the new babies coming up?  How beautiful!!!

You can see them in the picture below, there's 3 of them.  I sat and just stared.  How incredibly amazing is that?


I also gave my To Be Read pile a little spruce up.  I picked classics, the kind of books that we all grew up with and that bring joy and happiness.  I love the illustrations and the stories themselves.  I mean, Little House on the Prairie, The Secret Garden, Wind in the Willows, Beatrix Potter?

As I was picking out the books, I realized that I had a vintage book by Frances Hodgson Burnett, the author of The Secret Garden.  I didn't even know I had it, it was one of the vintage books I grabbed at a local antique store.  So happy I did, and can't wait to get into it.


It's not a long book at all, matter of fact the writing and the pages are quite small, so should be a quick read.  

Might get into it tomorrow, since it's going to be super cold and rainy.


I finished off the day by making one of our favorite, easy meals.  I love a good sandwich, especially if it's stuffed with yummy creamy goodness.

I am putting the recipe up tomorrow, both on the food blog and will share it here for the Blog 365 post.  Does that not look appetizing??  

I promise, you will want to make these for your family.  They are so easy and quick to make, and the best part is that you can easily make them for a big crowd, or even just one or two.  

Buraco Quente de Calabresa  - directly translated it means Warm Hole with Smoked Sausage.  That sounds awful  LOL

Sometimes it best not to try and translate between languages, especially when it comes to food.  


Wednesday, February 22, 2023

{ Blog 365 #53 - A day in the life }


It's been a while, since I've done a day in the life.  It is one of my favorite kind of posts, just to sit down and follow someone's day. I think as homemakers we tend to have a pretty monotonous day, in and of itself.  
There are chores that are not only mundane but repeated over, and over, and over again.  It's not a glamorous life in any way, but it is an important and joyful one nonetheless. 

My days start pretty much the same way.  Early morning, coffee for the hubby and I, food for the furry babies, then back in bed with my coffee and my phone, while I check on Instagram or the latest news on Twitter. 

Once hubby leaves for work, I get up, open the curtains, the blinds and the windows to let in some fresh air.  I get dressed and ready for the day, make the bed, and then get started.

The usual chores await me.  Putting away the clean dishes on the rack, and washing any that have made their way into the sink.  Usually breakfast dishes, or any that the kids have used throughout the night.

It's a chore that I used to really dislike, but I love looking out the window, across our property, seeing the morning come to life.  There are usually birds, barn cats, deer, all sorts of animals on our front yard.   

As I wash, rinse and fall into that rhythmic pattern, I talk to God, think about my day ahead and plan out what needs doing next.  
Today I had some bread to bake, and also wanted to give the kitchen counters and appliances a good cleaning, so that is what I got busy with.



As always, there is a load of laundry to throw in.  I also gave my laundry area a good tidy up, as it seems to become a catch all as people walk by.  Normal life things, right?  

No matter how much we clean or try to keep our homes tidy, there are just things that are part of family life, and everyone deals with it.  It doesn't make you any less of a homemaker if you have a counter with some clutter, random objects on a dining table, or mail on the kitchen island.  It just is what it is.



After the kitchen duties were done, I had some leftover instant pot lasagna, for lunch, and read some more of my book.  

As I did that, the babies slept next to me.  As busy as we homemakers get, it's so important to take some time to relax and do the things that we love as well.  I learned very early on in my marriage, that I needed to add me time to my schedule, and not just pressure myself to focus only on the home tasks at hand.

Everything is important.  Everything has a purpose, and if we don't take time to slow down and take a few minutes to recharge, we won't be any good to anyone else.




After about an hour, I headed back to the kitchen, this time to toss more laundry back and forth, and to get dinner started.

With the prices of food so expensive lately, I am trying to do a meatless meal at least once a week.  Today I chose to make a chickpea and potato curry.  I will tell you, I wasn't quite sure how my family would react, but it was a huge hit, comforting, warm, and so good.  It is definitely going on the food blog tomorrow, and added to my meal rotation.



While I made dinner, I also got the French Bread rising, and then baked.  It will go in the freezer as soon as it's cooled down, and as I've mentioned before, it will be used for sub sandwiches or french bread pizza.  I am actually going to make another batch tomorrow, because it's so easy, and it's delicious too, plus it makes life easier to have these in the freezer.  

It does take some planning, and a little effort to get it done, but I use my bread machine for the dough, and then it's just a matter of shaping, rising and baking.  It's well worth the effort.


After dinner I did the usual picking up, dishes, and doing a quick run through the house, tidying things here and there, before heading to my bedroom for the rest of the night.

Before I end this post though, I wanted to show you these 4 nail polishes above.  Jasmine got them for me at Target.  If you know the brand Essie, you know that these are usually around $10 each, which is ridiculously expensive, so it's not a nail polish brand I ever buy.

But, they are on sale from Valentine's day, for 99 cents.  No kidding!!!  99 cents.  If you have a Target near you, you might want to check if they still have their sale on Valentine's Day items, and check if the Essie polishes are still on sale.

And that my friends, is it.  It wasn't a super exciting day in the life, but for me, it was perfect.  As I got in the shower, I thanked God for today, for a perfect homemaking day.

Our lives don't need to be glamorous, we just need to have joy in our hearts, and love what we do.  That's all matters!

With that, I'm going to close this post off, and quickly go put my bread in the freezer, grab my laundry to fold and put the last load of jeans and pants in the dryer.

Have a wonderful, peaceful blessed night, sweet friends.

Monday, February 20, 2023

{ Blog 365 #51 - Happy Homemaker Monday - 02/20/2023 }

Good morning and a very Happy Monday to you all!!!
It's hard to imagine that we are already coming to a close, on this month of February.  
I apologize for being a big distant from the blogging and online in general.  I didn't want to say anything, for security reasons, of course, but Curt was away all of last week for training at a different base, in a different State.  It was just the kids and I.
It made it a bit difficult to blog my daily life, because I didn't want to give it away.  When we lived on a military base, I didn't have an issue talking about it, because I felt very safe alone with the children.  Living off base is different.
Anyway, that is why my posts were a bit all over the place.  But, he is back home and we are back to regular posting.
Hope you've all had a wonderful weekend, and I wish you all a very blessed week ahead.

The Weather:::
Been a bit crazy.  We had some very high winds last week, actually have winds this morning too, but last week they were 50mph, and to say my poor gazebo got slammed around, would be an understatement.  Anyway, we are heading into a week with some pretty warm weather, but lots of rain too.  My kind of weather. 

Monday - Partly cloudy and windy, 78
Tuesday - AM clouds, 84
Wednesday - AM thunderstorms, 74
Thursday - Sunny, 61
Friday - Cloudy, 44
Saturday - Scattered Thunderstorms, 54
Sunday - Scattered Thunderstorms,71

As I look outside my window:::

It's cloudy.  I can see my front yard and the field across.  I can also see my neighbors Alpacas from here.  The wind is quite strong, so the trees are shaking back and forth. 

Right now I am:::
Working on this post, and eating my breakfast.  

Thinking and pondering:::
About my blog posts this week.  I don't want to do mindless, quick posts like I did last week.  I want to get some day in the life posts, and other more *meaty* posts, if that makes sense.

On my bedside table:::
My Kindle, TV remote, water bottle.

On my tv today:::
Not yet sure, I am enjoying Home Fires, and have a few others lined up on PBS Masterpiece.  Will see what strikes my fancy.  
Hubby and I did watch the first episode of the new Season of Star Trek Picard.  Loved it.

Listening to:::
The wind through my fireplace.  It always sounds so ominous.  Also can hear some cars in the distance.  But other than that, it is very quiet in here.  

On the lunch plate:::
I will either make a frozen pizza for us (hubby is off as it's President's Day), or I may make an Oven Sandwich.  


On the dinner plate:::
Tonight I am making a yummy Chicken Pot Pie, with a side of sauteed greens and bacon.   

On the menu for this week:::
Monday - Chicken Pot Pie, Sauteed Greens and Bacon
Tuesday - Instant Pot Lasagna, Salad
Wednesday - Chickpea and Potato Curry, Rice
Thursday - Sausage Rice, Sauteed Cabbage
Friday - Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli
Saturday - Deep Dish Sausage Pizza
Sunday - Instant Pot Beijing Beef, Rice, Egg Rolls
On my reading pile:::
Longbourn by Jo Baker.

On my to do list:::
Kitchen - put away clean dishes, sweep and mop floor, wipe down counters
Dining room - Vacuum 
Living room - Vacuum

Plans for this week:::
Blogging, taking photographs and editing them for upcoming blogs.
Cooking and taking photos to update food blog.
Clean the house, laundry, etc.

What I am creating:::
I have a beautiful embroidery set that my sister in law gave me for Christmas.  I am planning on starting it this week.  

My simple pleasure:::
Embroidering, and it's something I haven't done in many years.  

Looking around the house:::
It is really quiet.  Everyone is home today, and still sleeping.  It's just me and Kaia up at the moment.  I do need to give the house a clean and tidy, just set things in order, then I can relax the rest of the day. 

From the camera:::
One thing I have always done, is to rotate my kitchen appliances.  We all have that one kitchen cabinet that houses all our fancy, or cute appliances, that tend to get forgotten.  I love to rotate them out, so that I can use them and not just have them sitting there collecting dust.
Last week, while Curt was away, I gave my kitchen cabinets a huge organize and clean, and pulled out my Breakfast sandwich maker.  We've been enjoying it ever since. 

Bible verse, Devotional:::
What is your favorite Bible verse?
I want you to think on it today, reflect on it, and hold it close to your heart.  We tend to forget about these things as we go about our busy lives.  
Mine is 1 Peter 5:7  "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." 

Sunday, February 19, 2023

{ Blog 365 #50 - Quiet Sunday }

A very quiet Sunday!
Went to church this morning, and then spent the rest of the day relaxing.  I didn't sleep well the night before, so had zero energy for anything.
But it's ok, some days are like that.
Will be back tomorrow with the Happy Homemaker Monday, and normal blogging again.

Saturday, February 18, 2023

{ Blog 365 #49 - Perfectly Loved }

 My current favorite song.  It is constantly playing through my mind.  

Rachael Lampa and TobyMac - Perfectly Loved

Friday, February 17, 2023

{ Blog 365 #48 - Reminiscing about Arizona's Ren Fair }

 Nick and I were having a conversation the other day, about how much we would love to go back to visit Arizona. 

When we first moved to Arizona, I hated it.  HATED IT!!!  

I did not like the excessive 120 degree summer temps, I didn't like how everything was brown and rocky, I just didn't like it at all.  But as we grew accustomed to Arizona life, God started to work on my heart and taught me to appreciate what I had, and where we were stationed for those 7 years.

Within a year, I had grown to love our home, love our life and love the beautiful state of Arizona.  We have so many fond memories, beautiful places we visited, amazing food restaurants, and everything about life in that *dry heat*  Hahahah

But, one of the things we most miss about being there, is no doubt, the Arizona Renaissance Festival, that happened every February.  We would drive an hour out and spend the day.  We went for every single year we lived there, except for the last year, I don't remember why but we didn't go.  I could kick myself for it now, we should have gone, but oh well.

Anyway, I went looking for the photos and posts, and I did do a post from the very first year we went, back in 2008.  You can find that post here, and go read if you're interested.

 My kids were little y'all.....just look at those babies.  ♥

I don't even know how to describe how much we loved the Ren Fair.  I have gone to a few others over the years, but to me, this has to be one of the best in the country.

Anyway, you can read all about our first time at the fair, in this post.  So wish we could go back, matter of fact, we've already say that if we ever go back for a visit, we are going in February so that we can catch the fair again.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

{ Blog 365 #47 - Cooking Thursday - English Muffins }

English Muffins
English Muffins
Source: The Good housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook

2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
about 5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter
1 egg
2 tbsp yellow cornmeal
vegetable oil

In a large bowl, combine sugar, salt, yeast and 1 1/2 cups of flour. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat milk and 1/4 cup of butter until very warm.

With mixer a low speed, gradually beat liquid into dry ingredients until just blended. Increase speed to medium; beat 2 minutes, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula.

Gradually beat in egg and 1 cup flour or enough to make a thick batter; continue beating 2 minutes. With spoon, stir in enough additional flour (about 2 cups to make a stiff dough).

English Muffins

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead just until well mixed, about 2 minutes. Shape dough into a ball and place in greased large bowl, turning dough over to grease top. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place, away from draft, until dough is doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

English Muffins

Punch down dough. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface, cover with bowl for 15 minutes and let dough rest for easier shaping. Meanwhile, place cornmeal in a pie plate.

With lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough about 3/4 inch thick. With a 3 inch round cookie cutter, cut dough into circles. Re-roll scraps to make 18 circles in all.

English Muffins

Dip both sides of each circle in cornmeal; place coated circles about 1 inch apart on 2 cookie sheets. Cover cookie sheets with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place, away from draft, until doubled, about 45 minutes.

English Muffins

Lightly brush 12 inch skillet with vegetable oil. Over medium heat, heat skillet until hot.

English Muffins

Place 6 circles in skillet; cook 8 minutes on each side or until browned. Repeat with remaining circles. Cool muffins on wire rack. To store muffins for later use, wrap cooled muffins in plastic wrap or foil.

English Muffins