Mar 16, 2018

For The Love of Lamp Lights - Gastonia NC Post Office

Happy Friday! I hope you have a wonder filled weekend!

The Gastonia, North Carolina downtown post office.  This is the post office I would mail packages from when we lived in the historic district.  Such beauty: the lamp lights, the architecture, the windows, the brick, the ironwork, the trees...  

Beauty is all around us.


Mar 14, 2018

Unicorns, Skittles and Daises

Upon occasion lately, I've found myself saying that life isn't unicorns, skittles and daises.  I do not mean to be Eeyore, and I realize it is not the most upbeat line; but, there have been many times when it has seemed reality.  If I dwelt on the challenges of the last few months, it would not be described as anything resembling unicorns, skittles or daises.

How about you? Can you relate?  Anyone else out there that has been facing a season of challenges?

Business concerns.
Health concerns.
Parenting concerns.
Ongoing situations.

I feel as if I experienced a real respite from reality and, this weekend, was filled with unicorns, skittles and daises!  It almost makes me laugh now, just thinking about the party that seemed to be themed on a thought that had become a staple in my mind! We traveled to North Carolina for a very special event: The Salesman's youngest niece turned seven, and her parents hosted a surprise, unicorn-themed, birthday party.  My sister-in-love deserves some kind of award for all the creative ways she celebrated their youngest daughter.  And you all know how I like to celebrate with parties!  We arrived early so I could get in on the pre-party fun! I realize that party planning and organizing may not be your thing; but, it is mine.  I enjoy every bit of it!

And family is such a blessing.  And we had a good time being with everyone.  I'm going to share some of my favorite pictures from our trip.  We did have one business appointment while in the Motherland; but, no pictures from that, I promise!

This was my favorite of the birthday girl holding every unicorn that I had carefully displayed on one of many tables.  This seven year old truly enjoyed them. It made me so happy.  And I also love how gently my sister-in-love is touching her daughters arm in this picture.

So we have unicorns, and although they are not daises, we enjoyed these blooms:

And her face says it all - she was surprised!


Unicorn horns...


 And a bonus with The Salesman's oldest niece:

I pray that in a reality that may not always be unicorns, skittles and daises, that you do experience the joys and happiness and pleasure of the good that is sprinkled along the way.  Life is challenging and difficult and reality sometimes stinks; but, I do find myself being grateful for the times when there truly are unicorns, skittles and daises.  This last weekend was proof that the proverbial does exist.  And as I settle back into my reality, I choose to be grateful for times when the LORD shows me that what I have even begun to think does not exist, truly does.

Mar 12, 2018

Cinnamon Pecan Baked Pancake - Trim Healthy Mama Review

Good morning! How are you? How was your weekend? I hope it was relaxing! We traveled out of state to see family and attend a very important 7 year olds birthday party!!! Family is a gift and this weekend was full of gifts.  Victoria Leigh had to work though, and we missed her.

And this delicious recipe made the road trip with me! When we travel, I always pack my Trim Healthy Mama foods to take with me.  I should say, I always like to pack food or snacks to take with me.  If I pack goodies, and I get hungry, or someone else does, it is easy to eat and continue traveling.

Since I first tried this recipe, not quite two weeks ago, I have made it four times.  Yes, it is a keeper.  I was a fan of the Trim Healthy Mama Giant Blueberry Baked Pan Cake; but, I think I like this one better!  Here is the link for the Blueberry baked pan cake review I did back in July.

The Cinnamon Pecan baked pancake is a family serve recipe made in a 9x13 pan and it is suggested for six servings.  I sometimes cut them smaller pieces and eat them as a dessert at the end of a meal. Yum.

From the Breakfasts and Baked Goods chapter on page 338 of the new Trim Healthy Table cookbook, it is a satisfying and no special ingredients recipe.  It is very easy to make and takes only 30 minutes in the oven to make your home smell amazing.  My friend, Cheryl, came over to visit Wednesday afternoon and she thought the house smelled wonderful!

Cindi came over for lunch last Monday.  We had planned to go out; but minutes before it was time for me to leave, a contractor that I'd been waiting on for a while came by,l and we made a quick last minute change of plans to eat here. Cindi like the cake! Lucky her, she got to sample several different Trim Healthy Mama dishes that day.

Ok, back to the Cinnamon Pecan Pancake - I would give this a thumb up.  Very tasty with butter and maple syrup.  The Salesman tried it once.  I used the Super Sweet Blend as my sweetener of choice, and it is a recipe I will make again.

On to the pictures!

Hot out of the oven and still in the pan:

On the plate before adding butter or maple syrup. It has a nice texture:

 Served with a side of turkey bacon:

 And some maple syrup:

 It makes a great meal. Or a dessert.


Mar 9, 2018

For the Love of Lamp Lights - The Raspy Peach Boutique

Happy start of the weekend to you!

I do enjoy traveling; but this week, I am looking up at lamp lights in my tiny Tennessee town. I stopped in a store this week that has moved to a new location: The Raspy Peach Boutique. I enjoyed the lights as much as the clothes and accessories and decor.  It was nice to browse.  I didn't buy anything; but I sure enjoyed looking.

I'm always encouraged when I look up right where I am.  I hope that wherever you are, you too, will look up!

Mar 7, 2018

Say Goodbye to the 1980's

Happy middle-of-the-week, friends!!! How are you? Are you having a good week? I hope so!

I am saying goodbye to the 1980's wallpaper in my laundry room! Yay!  Thanks to my dear friend, Tracy, who came over to show me how to take the 1980's paper off the walls and ENJOYED doing it!!! Get this - she also called to see if she could bring me Starbucks, and when I declined, she arrived with a plant. She is the best! And to my youngest darlin' daughter, Victoria Leigh, who stayed with me until every hint of the 80's was gone, thank you!!! My family and friends are the best!!!

The home remodeling projects continue! We started in January.  I do see a light at the end of the tunnel and I am not complaining! Things are getting done!!! This first picture shows the laundry room bathed in the morning sunlight.

 This is the best picture of the wallpaper that reminds me of the 1980's...

 And this is what the room looked like after Mr. Eddie did the drywall repair. I wish I could say that he needed to repair the drywall because of the age of our home; but there were some areas where the 1980's held on tight to the walls...

And of course I had to share this picture, look at the lamp light lines on the wall and louvered doors - I thought it was beautiful.

I do believe there is beauty to be found everywhere.

And yes, there is much work left to do.  Cabinet and louvered doors came off today.  I still have another cabinet to clean out and then all the cabinets will be empty!  Then there is painting, new flooring, windows - it's all good!

I hope you find beauty in your everyday.

Bless you, friends!

Mar 5, 2018

Black Bean Soup from a friend

Happy start of the week to you!

How was your weekend?!? It was a busy one here; but oh, so good!!! Saturday started off with an early morning phone call, and by 11:30 am, five people had been to our home... Have I told you before that I love living in the city??? I do.  We have so much more company, friends, and visitors drop by, than when we lived in the country.

My mentor friend, who came by after her gym workout, stayed almost four hours!  We had the best visit and she ate lunch with me and then we put my living room back together!!! Do I have great friends, or what?!?!  The living room looks so good! The only thing left to paint in the living room is the door that goes to the Jesus room! WooHoo!!!

And she made me feel so good about the lunch I served: a new lasagna recipe, spinach and provel salad, and pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese icing - all Trim Healthy Mama approved! And she did not seem to mind all the extra *things* that were being stored in the dining room.  Good friends are like that, you know!

Now that the living room, entry, hall, kitchen, master bedroom and bath are done, there are just four rooms that are needing to be finished! My hope is that two of them will be complete today.  The Jesus room and the dining room are holding the extra rooms belongings today.

So, since it's a busy day, I just wanted to share that I am thankful for my friends.  I love to share what I make and  bake with my friends!  I am also very blessed when my friends share with me!  The gifts of love seem to come at just the right time.  My friend Lisa shared this delicious black bean soup with me not long ago.  It was a cold evening and the warm, tasty soup was delicious.  She sent the cilantro and a lime slice to squeeze on the top, and I enjoyed every bite.

Do you have a favorite black bean soup recipe? Please share, if you do!  And, do you and your friends bless one another with food?  The day my daddy passed, I was so blessed by those who ministered to our family with gifts of food.  Seriously, there was a lovely spread of food within no time after he passed, and it seemed to be all of my favorites.  Friends are such a blessing.

Happy Monday!

Mar 2, 2018

For the Love of Lamp Lights - At the dentist

Happy Friday, friends!!!

I hope your week has been wonder filled.  My week has been full of paint, paint snafu's, more paint problems, a painter and drywall guys, flooring estimates, contractor consultations, trips to Lowe's, more trips to Lowe's and Home Depot, family, new recipes, friends, the gym, TJMaxx, work, and the dentist - because I obviously didn't have enough to do.

Waking up with a toothache is not a good thing.  It was four days from the time my tooth started aching till I was able to see my dentist.  I have the best dentist ever.  Minus the fact that he doesn't work Friday's or weekends.  His office staff is above and beyond. 

Even though I worked in a dental office growing up, I did not like, and I continue to not like, going to the dentist. Dr. John was the best employer, and I had the best job working for him in high school that anyone could even dream.  But, the sounds of the drills, the drills themselves, the taste of metal in my mouth, the pain, the noises....oh my! No part of actually going to the dentist was enjoyable to me, except the people who work there.  Growing up, working in a dental office, the people were great, and the good part of going to the dentist continues: the people that work there.  

I got some not so great news at the dentist about my aching tooth...

But, I did notice they had redone their room where you can brush your teeth and gargle mouthwash with the most elegant gray tile and this new lamp light.  And pardon my elbow of my white ribbon sweater in the picture...

I believe there is beauty to be seen everywhere.

Look up!