Birthday, Dollar Tree Decorating, and Gel Nails at Home

It’s Tiffany’s birthday this week!!! In spite of the stressful time we are going through, I am trying to make it a wonderful celebration.

Of course she requested the sourdough cinnamon rolls. :) This time I’m using the 3-day ferment recipe instead of the 7-hour ferment one. These will be a crossover on the THM plan, which means that they won’t be good for weight loss but they are still on plan. :)

Cinnamon Rolls rising and then ready to bake for Tiff’s birthday breakfast.

We’ve ordered some books that were on sale that we’ve wanted (her more books than me) and these are what she has pre-spent some of her birthday money on. Several have arrived already, so with the clothes that she got at Ross last week, she already knows what her gifts are but she hasn’t been able to wear or read them yet. :D

Tiffany loves to swim, so we are going to the lake and some of the family are going to join us there. I was reminded that the water is going to be cold but hopefully it will be warm enough for her to swim some.

I’m making the Suzy Q (Ding Dong) cake for her so maybe I’ll get some pictures added to that post. It’s Suzy Q because I’m making it rectangular instead of round. ;)


We had this old vine wreath that we put out each fall. It wasn’t decorated very good and most of the additions had come off. We bought three strands of fake ivy and a sprig of magnolia flowers at Dollar Tree and Tiffany added them to the wreath.

I had a metal sign outside and the words came off of the stake. It says, “Home Sweet Home.”. Tiffany repainted the letters and added it to the wreath. It looks nice now. :)


I painted my nails with some gel nail polish (Sensationail) on Mother’s Day. I only had 3 chips in them after a week. At fourteen days my nails had grown out enough that I started itching to scrape off the polish. :D

I don’t know why but I love scraping off the polish. It’s pretty cool when I can use my nails to remove the polish and don’t have to rely on nail polish remover.

Tiffany and I are going to do our nails this weekend; it’s her gift to herself. :) I’m probably going to use the color I just removed. :D I really like it. It is nice and summery.

I’m going to run. I hope you have a good weekend; we’re going to. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Two Free Summer Studies: Bugs and Stars

I found a website that is offering two free studies this summer. They will begin next week.

Backyard Bugs

The first is a study on backyard bugs. Go here for a description and to sign up. I think it looks really interesting and wish it’d been available when my bug-loving boys were little. ;)

Stargazing

The second is Summer Stargazing for Families. I actually signed up for this one and intend to “play along”. It’ll be fun to get Michael’s laser out and share this with my family, even though we are all adults now. :) Go here for a description of the “course” and to sign up.

I hope you’ll check these out and have some interesting endeavors this summer!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Keeko, Scena, Meer, Jetties, Tripoli, and Betweed

This week has not been the best week!!! And that is putting it mildly. So this is going to be pretty short.

The tangles I used this week are Betweed, Meer, Jetties, Tripoli (just one triangle), Keeko, and Scena. I used one big Jetties and then a few small ones in the center of the one Tripoli.

First will be the unshaded scan and then the picture taken in natural, albeit overcast light.

Yes, my huge jetties is not round because I filled the oddly shaped section with one instead of many jetties. :)

Here’s the final tile, shaded (first the scan and then the natural light).

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a better week than me. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Breakfast Options

I have a couple of different meals I like to eat for breakfast for the two main fuel types: two for healthy fats and two for healthy carbs. And on Saturdays we like to have pancakes or some other special breakfast. I thought I’d share my norms with you today.

Healthy Carbs

  • Oatmeal: I like to cook my 1/2 cup oats with 1/2 cup of almond milk and a cup of water. Some times I like it like this and other times I add some cocoa powder.
  • Toast: One to two pieces of toast, depending on the size of the bread. I spread a thin layer of peanut junkie butter (about a tablespoon) and then either some strawberry jam, strawberries, 1/2 a medium banana, or other fruit on top.

In the beginning, these didn’t fill me up for long. But once I added the extra 1/2 cup of liquid to the oats it did. If I’m not quite full enough, I add a cup of chocolate milk but I’m usually okay because I have a quart of oolong tea each morning, which is about two big mugs. Oh, my quart of oolong has a scoop collagen in it. :)

Healthy Fats

When I have fats as my fuel source, I try to have vegetables. My main veggie of choice is either zucchini or cauliflower. I like to add onion, green or red pepper, and mushrooms as well.

  • Two Fried Eggs on a bed of diced zucchini sprinkled generously with nutritional yeast.
  • Breakfast Caulirice: the key to this one is to season it well. The recipe I follow uses some miso, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and parsley (and/or other herbs). Mix seasonings with two eggs and then add to chopped up (riced) cooked cauliflower and cook until eggs are done.
  • Bonus meal: I like to add sausage to sauteed veggies. This is wonderful eaten in an on-plan tortilla and a wedge of light laughing cow cheese (if’ I’m watching calories) or cheese of choice. The laughing cow is good because it eliminate my need for mayonnaise and is a lot lower in calories.

 

These are my breakfast go-tos. On Saturdays I usually make oat pancakes and then have a bit leftover for Sunday mornings. This gives me a good mix of breakfast fuels and provides veggies for breakfast easily a few mornings a week. :)

I hope this helps you in your search for healthy breakfasts.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Miscommunication in Marriage

I read in a book recently about a couple of things that happened to two married couples. They were situations where the husband had done something nice for the wife but when the wife saw what the husband had done, she focused on something that was done “wrong” or merely differently. All the husband “heard” was that he didn’t do it right and wondered why he even tried to do something nice at all.

Scenario 1

Upon reading these scenarios, I could totally see what happened. The first husband had gotten their young daughter ready to leave while the wife was getting ready. Unfortunately he’d chosen one of the child’s “good” outfits and that is what the wife focused on.

I can imagine that when the wife came in she thought how nice his actions would have been if she didn’t have to change their daughter anyway. She could have handled it better by thanking her husband for what he did and finding a nice way to inform him of the use of different outfits. ;) I’m guessing he just put something cute on his daughter instead of thinking about the appropriateness of the outfit for the day’s activities.

Scenario 2

A similar thing happened with the other scenario. The wife came into the kitchen after dinner and saw the husband sweeping the floor and most of the kitchen cleaned. She asked why he didn’t clean off the counters; naturally, he felt unappreciated, especially since he hadn’t finished the cleaning of the kitchen.

I’m guessing that the wife sweeps the floor when she is completely finished cleaning but her husband swept before he’d wiped the counters. His way was not wrong. It just wasn’t the way the wife does it. Now, she should have thanked him for cleaning the kitchen before asking why he didn’t clean the counters but still, it was just a communication error. (This book made it into something else entirely.)

These two situations remind me that my way is not the only way to complete a task and that I need to be sure to express my thankfulness for the help I receive. It also reminds me to watch the tone that I use to ask questions. I can think of a couple of different voice tones that can be used to say the exact same words but change how they are received. One sounds like nagging and ungratefulness and the other sounds thankful and curious.

Something Flylady taught me

I’m reminded of something I learned from Flylady: Housework done incorrectly still blesses your family. It doesn’t have to be done perfectly and it doesn’t have to be done the way mom taught me to do it, as long as it still gets done. ;)

I had to release my expectations on different household chores and allow others to do it their way. Michael does not fold towels the same way I do but that doesn’t make his way wrong and mine right. It really isn’t worth getting upset over or having to do it myself.

I hope this encourages you to express your thankfulness more and be sure to lighten the tone when asking why something was done differently than you’d do it.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Re-opening and Buying Clothes and Such

Let’s see . . . this week has been stressful but I won’t go into that here. Tiffany and I did some shopping on errand day this week. We went to WinCo and then to Ross! Yeah! Ross was open!!!

Clothes at Ross

I’ve been wanting another nice sleeveless top to wear this summer. I got one last summer and love it so much but don’t want to wear it too much. ;) So, this was the reason behind me wanting to visit Ross.

Tiffany and I both got over a dozen pieces to take to the fitting room and try on. We walked to the back and saw the sad tidings that the fitting room is not open at this time. :o This is no bueno!!! I don’t buy things without trying them on first–I just don’t. So we stood there sorting through the clothes we had gathered.

An employee came by and I asked about their return policy–30 days with receipt–and continued sorting through the our bounty. ;) While we were there sorting, several others came up wanting to try on clothes and we shared what we knew. They were all happy to hear the return policy. :)

I ended up getting 6 shirts! :p And I only spent about $42 of my birthday money. I got two that were dressy, two nice sleeveless tops, one casual tank, and a nice yellow one. Each was between $5.49 and $7.99 on clearance. (I tried to take pictures but they did not turn out very good, so I’ll have to try again some other time. ;) )

Dollar Tree

We also went to Dollar Tree and did some looking around but their air conditioner was out and it was a bit too warm in there for us. However we ended up roaming over most of the store anyway, just skipping a few sections.

They now have some brooms, mops, and swiffer-style mops and dusters too. We were in need of a new broom, so we got one. :) Of course, we picked up a few other things too.

Barnes and Noble

Then we popped in Barnes and Noble. :) Happy Place!!! Tiffany got a couple of books and journals and I got a Cauliflower cookbook to celebrate getting rid of a couple of stacks of magazines. :D

Groceries

After that we, it was about two in the afternoon and we still had to stop at three more grocery stores. We were plum tired by the time we finally got home! But we’d had a fun day.

Weed-Eater

Michael picked up some new spools for our weedeater this week, so I was able to trim up the stepping stones up front. I managed to do so just before it started to rain. :)


Exercise: Zumba

Tiffany and I got out our Zumba for the Wii U and did a short class again this week. We were barely able to complete it; we were plum tuckered out. We’ve decided that we really need to zumba once a week, to work on our stamina. :)

Well, I think that is it for me. I’m going to run for now. I hope you have a great weekend.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Revisiting Some OLD Websites with Good Educational Content

I’ve got way too many emails in my inbox! Seriously, thousands and thousands of them. So the other day I was going through and deleting some. But because I’m a packrat, even digitally :D , I couldn’t just blindly delete some things.

I opened some and found some very old links still active. I’ll be sorting through these and deciding what is good to share here and what isn’t. Today I’ve got one that is good, especially for younger children. :)

Learning Treasures is one that I found was still active and still had some working links and cool ideas. There are lots of things to do with younger children and even some for older children. Some links don’t work any longer but there are some good things here. So spend a little time and see what fun you can find.

There are some interesting science ideas as well as some spelling lists and worksheets for grades 1-3. I really liked the parts of the plant salad activity. :) I think the Printables links all work but I haven’t checked every one of them.

One of the links on Learning Treasures site goes to another neat site: Kids Kreate. This one has some nice printables and overall cool things. The homemade stickers made with jello is cool. Most of the links on Kids Kreate are active working links. :)

I hope these are helpful to you. It was interesting to find some active links from emails that were soooo old (2012) :D.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Zen-Untangled Week 17: Isochor, Beelight, and Sez

Well this week’s Zen-Untangled tangle list includes some that I don’t really care for. ;) Beelight, BeeLine, Isochor, Pendrils, Scaribou, Sez, and Shattuck are the tangles of the week. I have to admit that I absolutely do NOT like Scaribou!!! Not at all. ;)

I also don’t care for Pendrils, Sez, nor Isochor. However, I love Shattuck and it is one I like to use. Beelight and BeeLine are two that I haven’t used much and even struggle with BeeLine a bit, when I have chanced to use it. ;)

So choosing three tangles to use on the suggested string this week was a bit of a challenge. Now you might guess that I used Shattuck since it is the tangle that I really enjoy but surprise, surprise, I didn’t. I could have found a place for it in the tile but I just didn’t feel like it fit easily this time.

So I went with an easy one, Beelight. I followed Holly’s sample mixed up the direction that I pointed the arches. I think it turned out pretty nice. Although I’m not good at auras, I enjoyed tangling with Isochor when I made the step-out for it this week. So I thought it would go nicely in this string and give me some much needed aura practice–so in it went.

I decided to go with sez for my third tangle. I went and got some sesame seeds and dropped them down on the section and replaced them with dots as actually directed by the tangle instructions. I struggled a bit with the shading for this one.

Well here is the tile before any shading both scanned and a picture taken in natural light (on our nice sunny day).

It kind of looks like a Wall-E type character looking at me. :D

Here’s the shaded scan and natural light picture.

I like how this turned out and, more importantly, I enjoyed tangling it. :)

Have you ever seen the tangle Scaribou? It is definitely a weird one (kinda looks like caribou heads, I guess).

Well, I’m going to run for today. I really appreciate you stopping by and I hope you have a great week.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Suzy Q Cake

Last year for my birthday I had a hard time picking between the Italian Cream Cake and the Ding Dong Cake by Carolyn Ketchum of All Day I Dream About Food. I opted for the Italian cream cake because the ding dong cake used a boxed Swerve cake and that wasn’t available to us.

Well, this year I got the brilliant idea to use the THM Trimtastic chocolate cake in place of the cake mix. It is an easy recipe and is made in a food processor. (I only use an inexpensive one.) It whips up quickly.

Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook pg 296 or on the THM membership site.

It is healthier because it has zucchini in it. :) Yay! Veggies that taste good!

You start by processing the zucchini a bit, to break it up a little. Then you add the remaining ingredients and blend until the zucchini is not detectable. :)

We didn’t get a picture of how it looked in the processor when done. But here it is in the pan. Because we are going for a Suzy Q-like cake, we baked it in a 9×13 pan. Then cut it into two pieces. We’ll use parchment paper next time though, as some part of it stuck almost every time. ;)

You can still see some bits of zucchini in this one that Tiffany made and it still turned out delicious!

Next we followed the cream and “frosting” directions here. Now, Tiffany is the one who prepared this and she doesn’t quite have the frosting down yet but it was still yummy in spite of how it looked.

You could make any of your favorite chocolate low carb cakes for the cake part. We love the moistness of the Trimtastic. And you could make it in round pans, as Carolyn did on the swerve site for a ding dong cake. Or you could make it in a sheet pan, spread the cream on top and roll it up and then pour the ganache all over it for a swiss cake/ho-ho style cake. So many delicious presentation options. :D

We have enjoyed this cake so much that we have made it three times in a week!

I believe this is the cake Tiffany wants for her birthday in a couple of weeks, so hopefully I will remember to get some more pictures. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

PS. For those wanting to try this with standard sugar, just substitute a devils food cake for the cake layer and powdered sugar in the same amount as the swerve confectioners in both the cream and the glaze layers; I think that will work but taste to be sure. ;)

Worship: It Does a Body (and Marriage) Good

It is peculiar times we are in right now. Some churches have begun having services again but others have not here in Oklahoma, USA. I have found that I have really missed corporate worship!

A “friend” on facebook shared this link to a virtual choir singing The Blessing. It really ministered to me. There’s just something about harmony that moves me. :)  I watched on other virtual choir, not long ago and I’ve come to realize that I really like this and am now on a quest to find more.

Another song that has really ministered to me, for a long while now, is Spirit Lead. It truly is my heart cry!

I always feel so much better after having spent some time immersing myself in some wonderful worship music. It does my marriage good. :)

This is another favorite. :) (I may have shared it before; I honestly don’t remember.)

I hope these songs minister to you.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº