Jul 31, 2017

Trim Healthy Mama - Treeces

Good morning, lovely ones! I hope you had a relaxing weekend. I'm not sure that mine could be described as relaxing; but it was full, fun and productive! And I made a new Trim Healthu Mama recipe: Treeces. It is their version of a Reece's peanut butter cup. It was one The Salesman thought he'd try. He took one bite and gave it back and told me he did not care for dark chocolate...

These were easy to make as it combined Skinny Chocolate with a peanut butter mixture. I've started making the Skinny Chocolate regularly and enjoy eating it, too. The Treeces were tasty! They have the look of a Reece's peanut butter cup and are a satisfying substitute.

The tops of mine were not as smooth as the picture in the cookbook. And for some odd reason, I'm having trouble posting my picture of them, so I will come back and edit the post to add a visual later. . My friend Lisa, brought fresh sweet corn by the house Friday morning and tried them and really liked them.

I would recommend this Trim Healthy Mama candy. Yum!

Jul 28, 2017

For the Love of Lamp Lights - Paramount Theater

Happy Friday! Hope you have had a great week!

I had the pleasure of going to a performance at the Bristol Paramount Theater this last week with friends. It was a fun time being together! The Art Deco style of the theater was beautiful and, of course, I loved the lamp lights. I was told this first one, located in the hallway outside the theater, was an original Tiffany.



The last two pictures are from inside the theater



The ladies sitting room was absolutely gorgeous; but *someone* was out of storage space on her phone and has no pictures to share...

If you are interested in reading more about the history of the theater, this link is for you:  Theater History

Happy weekend friends!

Look up!


Jul 26, 2017

To Fill Her Shoes

There seems to be a juxtaposition to life. Sometimes life feels like a dream.  The lovely daydreams intertwined with the reality of life.  The good. The bad. The happy. The hard.

I've been thinking much of my mother lately and her legacy and how very much I miss her even though it was twenty eight years ago today that she went to live with Jesus. I am thankful for her life and influence and I am thankful for the memories.  But no thing or no one can seem to fill the void of a mother's presence or love.

Nobody can seem to fill a mother's shoes.

Over the years, there have been people interwoven into the tapestry of my life that have influenced me and touched my heart in a motherly way. I want to share an encounter that touched my Spirit.  Last week, at a business meeting, a lady I met and visited with briefly, made an impact on my life.  Does that sound cheesy? I mean, we met at the spinach artichoke dip at a business meet and greet and did not talk a lick of business.  We talked children and family and life. We clicked and connected and conversation was easy and enjoyable. When the meeting started, I found out that she was in charge of the meeting...Talk about an impressive presentation... Anyway, when we left the meeting, she came over to me on our way out of the room and drew my head close to hers and shared how glad she was to have met me and how much she enjoyed our conversation...

It was a moment in time for me. A moment that today, as I remember my mother and would love to feel the touch of her hand drawing me toward her and speaking kind words, means much. A gesture of love and acceptance and approval.

We have such power to bless with our words and our actions. There are so many days that I mull over words that have been spoken to me and I struggle. I wonder why some words were spoken. I wonder what some words or actions mean. Not all words and actions are as lovely as the kind lady who drew my head to hers and spoke words of appreciation and approval.

I want to be that kind of lady that blesses with my words. One of my mother's favorite verses was Proverbs 25:11:

"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver."

Just this morning, I texted a friend to ask for forgiveness because I didn't feel like my words were fitly spoken. I want to think more before I speak. I want to speak words that bless and encourage. I want my actions to draw others in, not push them away. I want to be intentional with my words. I want to listen to others and keep some thoughts to myself. I want wisdom and knowledge and understanding.  I want many good things.

I miss you, Mom, and I am thankful for you.

I am so thankful for the memories of you that I hold dear.
I am blessed today because of you, and wish you were near.
I want to have a mothering heart,
In each encounter, from the very start,
To love and see in others their best
And let all dissension rest,
Yes, to love and see in others their best.

Let my words and my actions bless,
And keep me from making a mess.
Please let my words be fitly spoken,
And not flinging any that are broken.
Let my words be fitly spoken,
Mend and heal all that is broken.

Thank You, LORD for sweet memories,
From my dear family tree.
My mother's love and life,
Has deeply impacted me.

Amen.


Jul 24, 2017

Trim Healthy Mama Wise Shepherd's Pie



Good morning, lovely friends!

The Wise Shepherd's Pie is a must make recipe! It is in the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook on page 134 and it is an S meal.  S is for satisfying.  And indeed it is!  This recipe is made in a 9 x 13 pan (considered a family serve) and even though there are only two of us at home, the first time I make a recipe from the cookbook, I am trying to make it just as it is in the cookbook, and then based on how we like it, change the size, if needed. This recipe is Salesman approved! I will be making it again in the family serve portion.

The salesman did notice that the topping was not the normal shepherd's pie potatoes and asked what it was as he was asking for a second serving.  I wish you could've seen his face when I told him fotatoes!

I recommend this recipe. There were a few options listed with the recipe, and I chose beef over lamb and venison and green beans over peas and used the beef broth instead of the chicken broth.

Yum!


Jul 21, 2017

For The Love of Lamp Lights - The Purple Iris


Good morning, friends!  Hope you have had a great week!  The whimsical lamp light shared today is from a local store, The Purple Iris. Hope your weekend has has whimsy!


Look up!


Jul 19, 2017

Anniversaries and heartaches and transitions

And it in a seeming blink, we just celebrated 29 years.  I mean how can it be that I got married the same year I was born?!?  Seriously though, don't the years just fly by? From young love to marriage to children grown and living on their own, to caring for my dad in our home, to just the two of us in a very big house.  You see, we are in a time of transition.

Transitions are not always easy; but transitions are necessary.

Are there any of you out there who have already navigated this season of the empty nest? Anyone who has loved and survived well? Any tips, pointers, words of wisdom?

Not all those words in this post title seem to go fluidly together; but it is an honest title for this post and for the week and for me.  It's been an interesting week... And it's been an interesting 29 years.  We have had good times; but we have also had heartaches and are now in a season of transition.

This last week, I lost my laptop of 5 years to a dousing from a cup of spilled water. All it took was one spilled glass... Did I have my laptop backed up? No... I have purchased a new laptop and have had the old hard drive removed and my non-techie self is going to try and recover the lost computer. I feel lost without my pictures.  I wanted to show you a picture from our wedding, so I will post a link here to another anniversary post With A Cute Little Picture

So today is just a short post because:

Anniversary
Trip
Twenty nine years!

It's our 29th anniversary.
Love and my man, are still a mystery -
It's our 29th anniversary!

As we encounter the empty nest,
I pray we are favored and blessed.






Jul 17, 2017

Trim Healthy Mama Giant Blueberry Baked Pan Cake

Good Monday morning, friends! I hope you had a relaxing weekend!  I'm starting this week off with another fabulous Trim Healthy Mama dish.  I have made this Giant Blueberry Baked Pancake several times over the last two weeks and have eaten it for breakfast, lunch and dinner meals. It is delicious! I usually add fresh blueberries to the top and homemade sugar free syrup...mmmmm!

It is considered an E meal - energizing!  It is easy to make and I had not tried it because it had cottage cheese in it...  As much as I like cottage cheese, I couldn't imagine putting it in a recipe to bake...well, I was wrong.  This giant pancake is delicious! There is enough in the 9x13 pan for six generous servings!




Jul 14, 2017

For the Love of Lamp Lights - Southern Market

Good morning! Happy Friday to you!  I hope you have had a good week.

While waiting for scheduled maintenance to be completed on my car, I did a whirlwind of fun errands which included looking for lighting for the dining room and breakfast room.  Have I mentioned that I really enjoy lamp lights?!?



I hope you find what you are looking for this weekend!

Look up!


Jul 12, 2017

Do The Thing

Good morning! I hope you are doing well. Do you ever feel like you have an army of thoughts in your head and you wonder where to start? It's kinda like looking at the to do list and trying to prioritize where to start...

What needs to be tended to today? 
What should have been done yesterday?
What needs to be taken off the list?
What could be moved to tomorrow?
Then there are all the added tasks that get penciled in throughout the day as they come from other people...

Many times with blogging, it is like that, I sit to write and it seems to go a different direction than the thoughts I'd had or, maybe it is easier to do what I've been thinking of rather than just sitting and moving with the rhythm of what I hear HIM speak.  Am I the only one out there like that? Seriously, it would be easier to share what I heard HIM say Sunday; but I believe HE gives me bread for today.  So, in keeping with not wanting to eat stale bread, I make it to the keyboard and start typing, hesitating because sometimes it's easier to share what you have already been mulling over, than to share fresh bread.

So here is the funny story that is prompting today's thoughts:

Last week, as we made spur-of-the-moment plans to have friends over for dinner because the rain was spoiling our original plans, the friend suggested a cook-off, and I immediately responded: "No way! You already have Betty Crocker in your name and I will go ahead and send you the prize because that is one contest I am not even going to enter!" We laughed, and our friends brought over so much delicious and wonderful food for dinner, it made hosting super easy!  Good friends are blessings.  Good friends that have Betty Crocker in their name, make the evening delicious too!

So, over the week, I've thought about how quickly I responded to her joke about having a cook-off. And the thought has crossed my mind about how easily and quickly I can dismiss some thoughts that I have when faced with challenges.  Now granted, my life is not a dinner party, cook-off, get-together-with-my-friends-everyday-party.  There are tough days. There are decisions to be made. There are situations to address.  There are people and problems and issues.  There is self and sin and the pull of the world.

But, I believe GOD has tucked dreams and thoughts in my heart, and they are GOD sized dreams and hopes and thoughts.  Do you have dreams and hopes that you feel have been tucked in you? Those thoughts that come across your heart and mind that you know that you did not put there.  They are too big, too bold, too grand for you. Or at least that is what I hear when I think about the possibility of moving forward on some of the hopes and dreams of my heart.  I can hear my response spill from my lips as fast as I responded to my Betty Crocker friend: 

No.
Someone else is already that.
Someone else has already won the prize.
I could not compete in that arena.

Anyone else there? I do hope that you are not feeling like a pinball in an overtime game.  But friends, I feel that GOD is calling me, us, to do some of the dreams HE has placed in our hearts:

TO LIVE OUT OUR CREATIVE ART
GOD has placed hopes and dreams in our hearts.

I am challenged as I write, to place some of the thoughts, hopes and dreams that I feel that HE has placed in me, at the top of the priority, to-do list, and with my hand over my mouth that wants to give a list of excuses as to why I can't, and just say:

I am willing to do the thang.  Or thing.

And let HIM show off.  A GOD sized task can not be accomplished on our own.  Hallelujah!  Glory!

We were placed here with purpose, with reason and with intent.
And it is the enemy that tells us that we are broken and already spent.
Sisters, brothers, fathers, mothers, you have purpose, reason and intent.
From the heart of Our Father, you have been lovingly sent,
To live out your hopes and dreams!
It does not mean all will happen without a hitch or seam,
But let's be willing, let's go and do, 
What HE has called us to!

GOD, I pray today, that YOU would light holy fires in me, in us -
If we have just been a passenger on a bus, 
That we would not be looking for the easy way out,
But that we would be vessels that YOUR glory may shout!
May we accept the GOD sized task,
No matter what YOU ask.

Hallelujah!

LORD, could we just be willing to say we can't; but YOU can
Even if we can't see the how, moment-by-moment, we will follow YOUR plan.

Amen.

We desire, we long to be
A holy people that whole-heartedly follow Thee.




Jul 10, 2017

Trim Healthy Mama Chocolate Big Boy Shake


Good morning, friends! I hope you had a wonderful weekend!  My weekend was filled with wonder. Have I mentioned that I like to plan and organize? Probably, several times, right?  Well Friday evening late, Victoria invited me to Bristol to spend the day with her on Saturday until it was time for her to go to work. It was a spur-of-the-moment trip; but it was so much fun!

After arriving at her house, we drove to Abingdon, Virginia to go to a farmers market that she enjoys, and bought fruits, vegetables and fresh ground sausage for a delicious brunch meal that she baked for us while I had fun organizing her laundry room a bit.  We laughed and shopped and napped and planted lavender and had a short visit with a friend.  It was a good day.

Before I headed out the door for my short drive to Bristol, I made a Trim Healthy Mama Chocolate Big Boy Shake - it was delicious! It is considered a fuel pull meal for the plan and I must say, it is my current favorite.  I'm thinking why have I been doing this plan for six months and just now tried this delicious drink?  It does have a secret ingredient in it that is very good for you and I'm afraid if I tell you what it is, you won't want to have some with me.  Each time I've made the shake, it makes more than my glass will hold and I share it with The Salesman or Victoria or a friend who has stopped by.  The Salesman is not a fan of the drink, which means more for me.  It is delicious and nutritious!

And Victoria sent me home with a big, beautiful lavender hydrangea stem and my shake glass (washed and filled with water) became a lovely vase for the ride home!

I recommend the Trim Healthy Mama Chocolate Big Boy Shake! Yum!



Jul 7, 2017

For The Love of Lamp Lights - Willow Creek Gallery




Willow Creek Gallery

My birthday celebration season officially ended yesterday... I have the BEST friends ever! For the week before my birthday and for exactly two weeks after, I have been celebrated by friends and family.  It has been such a fun time to spend with those whom I love.  My mother loved to celebrate people and holidays and I have carried on that tradition with my friends and family and I just want to say it was fun! All to often I get caught up in the everyday routine and my to-do list and I love to take time to enjoy life. Thank you friends and family for the enjoyment this last month!   On one of my fun outings, I got to choose where to go and I introduced my friends to Willow Creek Gallery.  The owner goes to France and selects items to fill a container and sends it back to his store to sell the goods.  It is not a fancy store, it is more like a warehouse; but I so enjoy the beauty there. I'm looking up and forward to the year ahead.  I hope you are too.

Happy weekend!

Jul 5, 2017

Fireworks

Good day after the 4th of July to you! I hope that you had a wonderful holiday celebrating the independence of our nation.  Our day included family, friends and fireworks.  It was a good day and I find myself filled with Thanksgiving, reflecting on the glorious beauty displayed in the sky last night. My friend picked (what happened to be front row seats for the fireworks display), even though we arrived after hundreds of others! The display was filled with beauty. And the pictures do not even give an accurate description of the fireworks.  My favorite were these golden fireworks that first exploded big, and then secondly, smaller golden circular bursts would appear and then, over and over in a quick and succinct fashion:









The sky was peppered with circles of gold...
It was a lovely sight to behold

And then I feel my heart,
Tending to it's poetic art:

Bang!
The blasts are insane.
Such beauty in the sky -
Only for a moment then they fly,
Away...
For another 365 days.
Away...

There is such glory
In our nation's story.
Such glory.
To a GOD who gives freedom
And invites us openly to HIS kingdom.

Freedom

Is in and through, HIS Kingdom.

The spectacular explosion,
That comes to HIS chosen.
To break bonds,
And help us move on.
HIS kingdom lasts more than one glorious night,
And promises eternal life.

Why would we choose what is earthly, the fleeting?
When eternity with HIM we will be living and meeting?
We have choices.
We hear dual voices.
We have choices.
To celebrate
Or delay, and find HIS better way.

I don't know where you are today or even what you are facing; but I do know that the enemy fights hard to speak his lies to us and if we allow the lies to settle in our belief system, we will be prone to abandon HIM.  I know this is true daily in a battle I fight with food. I hear others talk of it - the food calls their name. It bids them to come and be filled; but there is no satisfaction in eating the bread.  I know food has called my name and I can say no to it.  You can too.  Press on dear sister.  Press in to HIM. Surround your self with Truth.  Be vigilant and pick up your Sword.

The sway of the world is beautiful and strong;
But it is wrong.

Beauty in HIS kingdom can be found
Daily, HIS creation, HIS SPIRIT, HIS WORD, speaks and abounds.
Though I enjoy a magnificent display,
I want HIS glory in the every single day.

Work YOUR holy fire in me.
Let my life be a display for others to see.
Not just once a year;
But daily, Abba Dear.

Put YOUR fire and YOUR holy desire in me
Yes, and amen LORD, let it be.



Jul 3, 2017

Trim Healthy Mama Creamy Grains

Good morning!

I've just discovered the joy of soaking my oatmeal... I love doing prep work ahead for any meal anyway and love the creamy texture that it brings! I've read of the nutrition and digestion helps too. And even The Salesman, who I would consider an oatmeal skeptic because he believes he ate oatmeal to often in his formative years, likes this.  Yes, indeed!

But, just to keep it real this morning, he is having leftover pizza while I enjoy my creamy grains.

I pre-soak with an equal amount of old fashioned oats and water and then add a couple teaspoons of apple cider vinegar.  You must try it. In my opinion.

Happy Monday.