Birthday Celebration and Christmas Wishlist Shopping

We celebrated Michael’s birthday this week. He is looking good in his new clothes we got him.Michael ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’m sooo proud of him. He has really slimmed down on Trim Healthy Mama.

I made him a THM Carrot Cake. It was pretty good but I cooked it a little bit too long so I thought it was a little dry but everyone loved it. Here is the only picture of I got of it, unfortunately you cannot see much of the cake (and Sean is the one who took this, as I handed the camera to him before brought out the cake).

Michael's bday ~ Lifeofjoy.meOne day this week Tiffany and I went Christmas list shopping. We went to Ross and found some outerwear she loved. Unfortunately the thing about Ross and stores like it is that if you don’t buy it now, you may not get it.

I found this poncho-ish top that felt so good and handed it to Tiffany. At first she just laughed but I convinced her to try it on anyway.

Tiff Poncho ~ Lifeofjoy.meShe decided she loved it and had to have it! In spite of how funny it looks.

Poncho ~ Lifeofjoy.meShe found some other things she loved and I went ahead and bought them. Then she put them on her list stating that I am the store.

I found some things I like but not sure if I want any of them.

List Items? ~ Lifeofjoy.meI also saw some artwork that were inspiring. I took pictures so I could attempt to recreate them myself. :)

Artwork Inspiration ~

Even though we hadn’t finished scouring the rest of the store, we were starving and headed out to eat lunch, a couple hours later than lunch time. ;)

After lunch we decided to stop at Barnes and Noble for some browsing. I am in need of a new 5-Year One Sentence Journal. I’ve been looking on Amazon and found several that are a bit larger than the original one I’ve used. I wanted to see them in person. Unfortunately they did not have any of the 6×9 size. I did, however, find this nice looking one and it has a little more daily space to write in.

One Sentence Journal ~ Lifeofjoy.meI also found this calligraphy set with lettering book included. I’m not sure if I want it but it looks nice. And it is priced enticingly. ;)

Calligraphy Set ~ Lifeofjoy.meI love Barnes and Noble, as does Tiffany. We spent quite a while there and were finally just too tired to continue.

Then the other night, as I was in bed and would roll over to my other side, I got quite dizzy. I nearly fell down when I went to the restroom. The next morning when I got up, I was quite dizzy. We prayed for me, quoted some Bible verses on healing, and went about my normal morning routine, fighting dizziness as I went. Thankfully, by the afternoon I was feeling normal again.

I tried on some pants and shorts that are a size smaller and they fit!!! Whoo hoo! Unfortunately tops aren’t moving as well but I’m sure they will sooner or later.

I get to see my grandson and son this weekend, as well as my youngest sister, her family, and my parents. I’m looking forward to it. It’s been several weeks and I miss them. :)

I hope you have a good weekend.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Urushiol Oil

Yes, it is a tongue twister, urushiol oil. Do you know where it is found?

urushiol oil ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt is the oil in poison ivy to which so many people are allergic.

Here some other pictures of it, so that you can be fully aware of what it looks like in different stages.

Urushiol Oil ~
New leaf growth
Poison Ivy Fall Colors ~
In the fall it changes colors.
Urushiol Oil ~
In a large patch

Did you know that the peel of one fruit also has this oil? AND if you are sensitive to it in poison ivy, you probably are to the peel of this fruit as well.

Urushiol Oil ~

Mango! Sean is a bit of a picky eater, so the fact that he tried and liked mango is wonderful.

Urushiol Oil ~

One day he felt a bit of a burning/tingling sensation on some parts of his lips. Within 24 hours it got red and started swelling. Then bumps formed and start oozing. Of course, there is the annoying itch! Then it begins hardening; the end is much closer at this point.

This happened to him after we’d had a new recipe and thus the new recipe was blamed. This process lasted for about 5 days or so!

Then a few weeks later, I saw this article: Mango Mouth. I forwarded it to Sean to read, to see if he thought this was the cause of his situation.

Then a couple of weeks ago I asked what fruit he wanted me to buy on grocery day; mangoes, grapes, and honeycrisp apples. The mango sat here for a week or more so one recent Saturday I told him he needed to eat it. The next morning his lips were a bit red and swollen! We realized that it was indeed the mango. The new recipe and suspected greek yogurt were off the hook but for the next week he was dealing with the nasty effects.

All this to warn you about the peels of the mango. Wear disposable gloves if you buy a fresh mango or save yourself the trouble and buy frozen or already cut mango. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Artoo, Triloop, and Palrevo

The diva challenge this week, in celebration of Laura’s son’s birthday, is to use the tangle she created in his honor named Artoo. This tangle is easy enough but I underestimated it when I drew it. ;)

Square One: Purely Zentangle’s focus tangle is Palrevo. It seems to be a good background tangle. So I added it to this tangle as well.

I also checked the daily pattern over on and found it to be a fun loopy tangle called Triloop. I didn’t do too badly on my first attempt at it but it could take a while to figure the best way to shade it. Like Artoo, I think this tangle is best drawn larger. I thought I’d drawn it large enough but think it would look better drawn even larger.

Here it is before shading.

DC#337 ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd then I attempted to shade it. Wish I had drawn Artoo larger. I will probably draw Triloop larger later. It is definitely challenging to shade. :D

Here it is shaded.

DC#337 ~ Lifeofjoy.meI rotated it because after I’d shaded it I liked it better this way but I see I could have shaded under Artoo a bit more darkly.

I hope you will leave a comment, they are so encouraging. I appreciate you stopping by!!! Have a great day!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Skillet Salmon

Quick, easy, healthy, and tasty meal. Eat is as an entrée or on a salad as we did here.

Pearl and Serene, the authors of Trim Healthy Mama, recommend eating fish, especially for stubborn losers. So since Tiffany loves salmon, I decided we’d have some for lunch. Salmon causes Michael’s heart to race, so I need to fix him another kind of fish when we have it for dinner.

So here is my quick way to make a tasty salmon. First, thaw the meat. If it isn’t quite thawed when you are about ready to eat, you can put it in some water to help it thaw quicker.

Skillet Salmon ~ Lifeofjoy.meSkillet Salmon ~ Lifeofjoy.meHeat some butter in a skillet.

Skillet Salmon ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd salmon. Mine wasn’t completely thawed but no worries, it thawed in the pan. ;)

Skillet Salmon ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd fiber syrup gold or nature’s hollow honey with maple flavoring. Basically you are looking for a sweet syrup.

Skillet Salmon ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis is what we used.

fiber syrup gold ~ Lifeofjoy.meCome to think of it, it doesn’t really have a maple flavor, just sweet, so use sweetener of choice.

Skillet Salmon ~ Lifeofjoy.meCook until you see it start to turn opaque on the edges and then flip it over and finish cooking.

Skillet Salmon ~ Lifeofjoy.meI cooked it on too high of a heat and was distracted by cutting the lettuce for the salad, so ours was a bit blackened but still yummy. :)

Skillet Salmon ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis only takes about 10 minutes or so.

Skillet Salmon


  • salmon
  • tamari or soy sauce
  • fiber gold syrup or other sweetener of choice
  • salt and pepper
  • tad of butter for frying


  1. Heat butter in skillet and add salmon.
  2. Add tamari or soy sauce and sweetener.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook until edges are opaque and then flip and cook until done.

If you try this one, I hope you enjoy it too.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Celebrating Him

This week is my beloved’s birthday! The big cutie is the birthday boy. :)

I am such a blessed woman. When we got married, he drove me to work and then went on to wherever the job site was with the painting company for whom he worked. He would then be back to pick me up when I got off work and we’d ride the thirty minutes home together.

When I got pregnant we’d decided that I was going to stay home with our children.  And his boss decided that he needed to cease his painting business and accepted a different job. He gave Michael all of the work leads that he had. And thus Michael started his own painting company. It was a bit of a scary time, being pregnant and knowing that I was going to quit my job after the baby was born, and Michael starting his own painting business.

Easter2 ~

We decided early in our marriage that we were not going to always be striving for bigger and better things; we would be content in whatever state we found ourselves. We valued our time together and wanted Michael to be completely involved in the lives of our children.

Grandson Love ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’m very blessed to have a man that seeks after and serves God with his whole heart.

He’s lost a bit of weight and is looking really good. Of course that means he is in need of some new clothes. :D

Celebrate Him ~ To say he is swimming in these clothes is an understatement. Without the belt, the pants would fall right off. :D He has dug deep into his trunk and found a couple of things that fit a lot better than what he has been wearing. ;) I got him a few.

Michael ~

I love this man incredibly and am so thankful that we get to do life together. I hope his birthday is wonderful. I’m making a Trim Healthy Mama carrot cake for him. I hope it is good and that he enjoys it.

I hope you’ll celebrate your man on his day. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº




A Tough Week

Last week was a busy week. I managed to get some pictures to share with you.

Here are some of the breakfast we served.

Conference ~ Lifeofjoy.meHere’s a little better picture.

Conference ~ Lifeofjoy.meConference ~

Conference ~ Conference ~ lifeofjoy.meI had some wonderful help. Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of all the wonderful help I had.

Conference ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd here are a few pictures I gleaned from other people. ;)

Here’s Gwin and I.

Conference ~ Lifeofjoy.meI had my tennis shoes on and when I walked, the wind blew open my jacket . . . oh well!

Here’s one of my love helping me in the kitchen.Conference Kitchen ~ Conference ~

I am excited to say that I managed to LOSE weight during conference week!!! Whoo hoo!!! :p That is a huge accomplishment! I ate a salad every day, although some days it was very small. I also ate rather light in the evenings.

I managed to get my grocery list made after finishing the clean-up after service. Then went to lunch with a great group of people at Chuy’s. I didn’t leave the restaurant to start my grocery shopping until about 3:30! Oh my! But I have a jewel for a husband who offered to pick up some things for me. So I gave him the Walmart portion of the list and I took the Sprouts and Aldi portions. I still ended up having to drop by Walmart because I forgot to put a couple of things on his list but was able to run in the door of the garden center, grab the couple of items I needed and run back out.

By the time I got home, got the groceries put away, and made a quick dinner, I was exhausted. We were supposed to go to a star viewing after dark but neither Michael nor I were up to it. I wish I’d have said a proper good-bye at lunch.

Unfortunately Tiffany was still coughing badly on Saturday, so I asked her if she wanted some cough syrup. Michael ran to the local Family Dollar and got both some daytime and some nighttime formulas. Sunday morning she got up and took a shower and fainted! And she had hives break out all over her body! It was a fight all week long. Thankfully, they were nearly gone yesterday and we were both able to get some rest.

Of course, I’m running errands by myself once again but I’ve learned something about myself, I can do it. ;) Yes, I prefer the company, but I can manage it alone. :)

It was so nice to have some cooler weather this week! I made soup twice! We had a chicken tomato bisque and a chicken chili. Both were deemed keepers and are from the Trim Healthy Mama cookbooks.

Well, I better run. I still have a menu and grocery list to make.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº


This week’s diva challenge is a monotangle, so I won’t be combining it with any other focus tangles or challenges. I’ve not really used Striping before. But when I saw it as a monotangle, it reminded me of some tiles I’d seen on facebook using a line technique for getting your mojo back when you’ve gotten in a drawing slump. Here’s a link to the video of what I’m talking about.

I guess I should have taken a scan of the lines I drew for the “string” but alas, I didn’t. I did like Ellen said in the video and just drew some random lines. Then I started adding some wider lines than what she demonstrated in the video since I was going to blacken some in for my stripes.

I decided not to give all of them the sparkle but to keep some of the stripes solid. I also decided not to fill the entire square. I liked how some of the shapes were well defined and not muddied by more striping close to them.

Here it is before I added any graphite.

DC#336 ~ Lifeofjoy.meHere it is after shading.

DC#336 Shaded ~ Lifeofjoy.meHmmm, it might look better smaller. ;)

DC#336 Shaded ~ Lifeofjoy.meYeah, I think I like it better that way.

Thanks for stopping by and a huge thank you if you leave a comment! :) It means a lot.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Seasoned Eggs ~

Seasoned Eggs

Such a different and tasty way to have eggs. The flavor combinations are endless.

I recently followed Trim Healthy Mama’s Stubborn Losers Menu. When I decide to follow a menu, I go all in! I eat everything the way it is listed, which means taking a chance on different foods.

One of those foods was how to fix eggs. I like an egg with a runny yolk but all the white cooked. I am not a fan of egg whites but the stubborn losers’ menus were designed to help me get the scales moving. In order to do so, the menus do not abuse calories, which I have done more than I can admit.

So I tried their recipe for Big Fried Egg Trick from page 243 of the trim healthy mama Cookbook. The thing I want to share with you today is what I learned about how to season eggs from that recipe.

So, once you get the eggs in the pan, it is really just a matter of sprinkling on whatever seasonings you like.

Seasoned Eggs ~ Lifeofjoy.meI used oregano, onion powder, salt, pepper and nutritional yeast. (I store my nutritional yeast in that shaker that I got from Dollar Tree.)

Seasoned Eggs ~ Lifeofjoy.meSeasoned Eggs ~ Lifeofjoy.meFlipping the large egg is the hardest part but I usually just flip it in pieces.

I cooked it a bit long because I was taking pictures. :p But it was still yummy!

Seasoned Eggs ~ Lifeofjoy.meSeasoned Eggs ~ Lifeofjoy.meSeasoned Eggs ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt’s really better when the yolks are a bit runnier. :)

Seasoned Eggs


  • Eggs
  • Oregano
  • Onion Powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Nutritional Yeast


  1. Spray a skillet with oil.
  2. Add eggs.
  3. Season the way you like
  4. Cook, as desired

The flavors are only limited by your imagination.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº