Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Sunday thought... Love

1 Corinthians 13 (NIV)

4  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

5  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

6  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

7  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8  LOVE never fails.

13  And now these three remain:

Faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

I hope you all have a great week,

Friday, June 26, 2015

Summer Fruit Casserole

I've seen lots of freshly picked blueberries this week on social media. Those buckets of berries reminded me of a recipe I haven't made in years! I'm not sure of it's official name. I've always referred to it as "that pineapple stuff." So, to make it sound official, I'm calling it Summer Fruit Casserole.


20 oz can of crushed pineapples (not drained)
1 1/2 - 2 cups of blueberries
3/4 cup of sugar
1 stick of melted butter
1 yellow cake mix

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray the bottom of a 13 X 9 pan. Pour the crushed pineapple into the baking dish and spread evenly. Add the blueberries on top.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the sugar over the fruit. Then add the cake mix. I used the side of a spatula to spread it neatly (thus, the lines). Sprinkle in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. 

Melt the stick of butter and pour over. Use a spoon to pick up the butter where it has pooled and spread it over some of the uncovered spots. You will probably still have exposed mix, but that won't matter. Just cover what you can.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. The edges will be browning and bubbly.

I didn't have any vanilla ice cream when it came out of the oven, but if you do, I'm sure that would make it even better. 

Are you familiar with the website My Fitness Pal? I have been using the app for about four years. It is a great means to keep up with and record food, calories, and exercise. It also has tons of great accessories, including a recipe calculator. I put this recipe in the calculator and here are a few things you might like to know: 

For serving 15 - 233 calories per serving, 7 grams of fat, 40 grams of carbohydrates.
I hope you like it!

Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A gift idea for bridesmaids...

It's official - I'll be the oldest bridesmaid in history come January, but I don't mind. It's been years, probably twenty-five, since I've adorned a flowing, fancy dress for a friend. Remember all those single teachers at my school I told you we were marrying off one at a time? Well, another one is engaged, and I get to be part of it.

If you or someone you know is getting married, consider this cute idea for the bridesmaids. This is the gift delivered with my invitation to be a member of the wedding party. It's a Mason jar filled with manicure goodies, sealed up with the colors my friend has chosen for her wedding.

It's the year of weddings for me. The daughter of one of my closest friends marries two weeks before the one I'm part of and one of my best girl friends from high school will marry in May of 2016. I'm looking forward to each of them! Who doesn't love the opportunity to dress up and celebrate the happiness of those we love?


Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Sunday thought... Father's Day

I can think of an extensive list of fathers who deserve to have a day to themselves, but none more so than mine.

My daddy and me circa 1977

The thoughts in my head swarmed like bees to honey when I tried to come up with one defining memory to share about my daddy.  I tried to isolate one grand story, but I couldn't narrow it down - there are so many. From teaching me to water ski, ride a four-wheeler, balance a checking account (the one I still use to this day) to moving a suddenly single mom and his first two grandchildren across the country and home to Alabama, he has been there for me. If fact, I've been told if I ever let myself run out of gas, he's the one I should call. Most importantly he taught me by actions and example that Christ is the difference maker. He has been there for me and continues to be there for the good, the happy, the bad and the sad. And, thanks in part to my mom and my dad, there has always been more happy than anything else.

My dad retired from the B. F. Goodrich tire plant some years ago. We had an informal lunch for him. This is the poem I found and shared that day:

Fathers are Wonderful People

Fathers are wonderful people 
Too little understood
And we do not sing their praises
As often as we should

For, somehow, Father seems to be
The man who pays the bills
While Mother binds up little hurts
And nurses all our ills...

And Father struggles daily 
To live up to his image
As protector and provider
And "hero of the scrimmage."

And perhaps that is the reason
We sometimes get the notion
That fathers are not subject
To the thing we call "emotion."

But if you look inside Dad's heart
Where no one else can see
You'll find he's sentimental 
And as "soft" as he can be

But he's so busy every day
In the grueling race of life
He leaves the sentimental stuff
To his partner and his wife

But fathers are just wonderful
In a million different ways
And merit loving compliments
And accolades of praise.

For the only reason Dad aspires
To fortune and success
Is to make the family proud of him
And to bring them happiness.

And like our Heavenly Father
He's a guardian and a gentle guide
Someone we can count on 
To be always on our side.

By Deborah Waddell

My daddy James

Happy Father's Day!


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Upside Down Pizza

Sounds interesting, doesn't it? It is... and easy and delicious! The best kind of recipe.


2 pounds of ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 - 15 oz can of tomato sauce
1 envelope of spaghetti sauce mix 
1 - 8 oz container of sour cream
2 cups of mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 - 8 count can of crescent rolls

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brown the ground beef with the chopped onion and drain.

Add the tomato sauce and the envelope of spaghetti sauce mix. 

After mixing, pour the beef into a 13 X 9 casserole dish. Spread the sour cream on top of the beef. Then sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top of the sour cream.

Open the crescent rolls, keeping them all together. This will be the crust. Place them on top as the final layer. Stretch them just a little to get them closer to the edges. There will be a small amount of space not covered. If the holes in the rolls bother you, you can pinch them together. Obviously, they didn't bother me :-).

I cook it between 20-25 minutes or until the rolls are crusty and brown, and the filling has a little bubble to it. It serves 8.

Add a salad and sweet tea, and you're all set. Enjoy!


Monday, June 15, 2015

Beautiful and modest...

If you are in the market for a new swim suit this summer, I know you will want to check out this site I've come across. I'm not sure how I found them, probably Instagram, but it could have been Pinterest. :-) It is called Albionfit. They have fashionable styles and such pretty fabrics in their suits and workout wear. And, the best part - coverage!

This top and bottom are sold separately, so you can mix and match.

Image source: Ablionfit
I love the floral pattern on this suit.

Image source: Albionfit
They also have adorable suits with coverage for children. This is the Who, Moi? suit.

Image source: Albionfit
Is this adorable or what?! You can see the entire line of merchandise here. They are locally owned and operate in Utah. Take a look if you are swim suit hunting!

I hope you have a great week! Hard to believe we are half way through June...


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Father's Day gift ideas...

Father's Day is just around the corner, so I thought I would suggest a few traditional gift ideas!

And, who doesn't appreciate a gift card? Hope you have a great weekend...


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Western Omelet Muffin

Today I'm sharing the first recipe I've tried from the Skinnytaste cookbook.

Skinnytaste Western Omelet "Muffun"

It's a breakfast treat, Western Omelet Muffin. I don't think I mentioned it in my first post about the book, but her recipes are "light on calories, big on flavor." I'm looking forward to trying many more.


Olive oil cooking spray
6 large eggs
6 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
black pepper to taste
3 ounces sliced ham (about 4 slices), finely chopped
2 ounces reduced-fat Swiss cheese, chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped red or orange bell pepper (I used red)
1/4 cup chopped scallions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 12-cup muffin tin with the cooking spray. Beat the whole eggs and the egg whites with a fork. Season them with the salt and pepper.

Chop the bell pepper, scallions, ham, and cheese.

Add them to the eggs.

Pour about 1/4 cup of the egg mixture into each muffin cup and place in oven.

Bake until the eggs set, 20-25 minutes. I actually let mine stay closer to 28-30 minutes.

And, in case you are wondering, two muffins have 119 calories. This is a "freezer friendly" recipe - coded "FF" in the book. I have about seven of them in the freezer. Looking forward to those this week. Add a slice of toast and coffee, and you're set. Here is the link again if you are interested in your own Skinnytaste cookbook. 



Monday, June 8, 2015

Homemade chalk paint...

Remember that gorgeous aqua piano I showed you in Inspiration House #2, the one redone with homemade chalk paint?

Since meeting my friend Michele, and seeing her success with the piano, I've wanted to try using chalk paint myself. She assured me it wasn't hard and shared her recipe and the directions. I have a small sofa table my grandparents gave me years ago, and that's where I decided to start.

Ingredients for the homemade chalk paint:

2 cups of latex paint
5 tablespoons of plaster of Paris
3 tablespoons of water

Now the question was to sand, or not to sand. Michele did sand her piano, but several of the articles I read on line said it's not necessary. I decided to sand. I ended up buying this Skil sander from Lowe's Home Improvement. 1 - I had a gift card :-), and 2 - if I was successful, I knew I would want to do other pieces. I also left with a 3-pack of fine sand paper, paint brushes, polyurethane to seal it, and the plaster of Paris.

I was terrified when it came time to actually sand, but once I got the hang of it, it was actually easy and fun. And, it didn't take long at all.

I wiped the table down to rid it of the dust, and put the first coat of paint on. I let it dry for about an hour. I used a Benjamin Moore color - Shaker Beige (HC-45), mixed half strength. I wanted it to be a creamy, off-white color, and this ended up being a good choice.

I painted the second coat, and again let it dry.

Now it was time to give it the aged look. I lightly sanded it in places where it would logically lose paint if it was old and had been moved around. I probably could have sanded off more than I did.

And finally, one coat of the polyurethane. Polyurethane is thin and goes on easily. But, be sure to let it dry the entire time suggested in the directions - three to four hours. I found a spot that I wanted to fix before the time had passed and it messed up the finish a little.

Back inside...

and finished up for now. Who knows what it will look like in a month. Moving around and rearranging - two of my favorite things to do when I have a few minutes.

I can now say I have successfully repainted a piece of furniture. It wasn't hard at all. In fact, I might even say the process was pretty easy. Those of you who have been on this blog adventure with me from the beginning will remember I'm in the process of updating my son's room. I shared a few of my ideas for the room here. Now I'm thinking I might redo the desk in his room, too!

Have any of you used chalk paint to change up something in your house? Comment below and tell us how it turned out.

Have a great week!!


Friday, June 5, 2015

Fun find follow up....

So, here's how I ended up using my Fun Find from a few Fridays back - succulents...

Succulents have to be some of the most interesting plants. I decided the bowls would make cute planters, so I made a trip to The Plant Lady. The Plant Lady is a local nursery where I like to shop when it's time to summer up our neck of the woods. They have a fabulous supply of indoor and outdoor plants, ferns, hanging baskets, ceramic planters - they have it all. And, because I need all the help I can get with plants, I really appreciate the knowledgeable and helpful staff. They also provide ferns to help us decorate for special events at my high school, so I like to support them in return. I left with three plants. This will be my first attempt to grow these. They promised they are hardy.

If I've identified this one correctly, it is called Green Rose Bud. I Googled it!

Green Rose Bud
This one is Jade. I know I'm right on this one - it was written on the container :-)

And finally, the Flapjack. This one is probably the most interesting of the three. 

Kalanchoe Flapjack
My bowls don't have drainage holes in them, so I covered the bottoms with some left over pebbles to keep them from sitting in water. When I do water them, I'm careful to pour off the extra water. I hope this will work. The directions were to let them completely dry out before watering. 

After almost two weeks,  I'm pleased to report they are still alive and doing well!