Monthly Archives: January 2017

Fat Bomb Hamburger Soup ~

Hamburger and Roasted Veggie Soup

Versatile soup with lots of flavor from roasted veggies that can either be made deliciously fatty (aka fat bomb) for those on keto, low fat, or somewhere in between.

Today’s recipe is a wonderful soup that has lots of flavor added by roasting veggies. The first time I made it, I didn’t have any brussels sprouts and it was good like that as well. This time I had some frozen brussels sprouts to use. You can eliminate whatever veggies you want or substitute veggies. But this combination was really good.

There’s a lot of chopping to be done, so be sure to give yourself enough time to do so. If I were smart, I’d chop the veggies earlier in the day, so I don’t have to be concerned about time. We don’t like big crunchy veggies in our cooked food, so it takes me a little longer. ;)

Begin by preheating the oven to 350º. Cut the brussels sprouts in half or even quarters, if they are large. The ones I have today are small so I only cut them in half. Dice mushrooms into large pieces. I used about 6-8 mushrooms.

Hamburger and Roasted Veggie Soup ~ Lifeofjoy.meDice a large bell pepper. I like the yellow or orange because they add a little color contrast and different colored foods have different nutrients. I got a good deal on the mixed color peppers, so I used an orange one today. I cut it into about the same size chunks as my mushrooms.

Hamburger and Roasted Veggie Soup ~ Lifeofjoy.meDice about 1/3 of a medium large red onion.

Combine these four veggies on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with melted coconut oil, olive oil, or oil of your choosing. Season with salt and pepper.

Hamburger and Roasted Veggie Soup ~

Hamburger and Roasted Veggie Soup ~ Lifeofjoy.meMix them up and spread the evenly on the pan.

Hamburger and Roasted Veggie Soup ~ Lifeofjoy.meRoast for 25-30 minutes. Remove when they are as cooked as you like them.

Meanwhile, brown your ground meat over medium low heat. We used ground turkey which is leaner than ground beef, so we added a bit of coconut oil to it as we cooked it.

Hamburger and Roasted Veggie Soup ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhile that is browning, get to dicing the celery. ;) We dice our celery pretty finely. Once again, we don’t like crunchy veggies, so these are rather small. Also mince the garlic.

Hamburger and Roasted Veggie Soup ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd the celery and garlic to the cooking ground meat. If you are on keto, do NOT drain the fat. You may even need to add a little if you used a lean meat like we did. ;)

Once the celery is pretty well cooked, add the broth, tomatoes (which we will puree next time with the hand blender before adding because, we don’t like chunks :D ), tomato paste, oregano, bay leaf, and either cayenne or chili powder.

Combine and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes. (We accidentally put in too much tomato paste! Way too much!)

Hamburger and Roasted Veggie Soup ~ Lifeofjoy.meStir in the roasted veggies and chopped parsley and serve.

Hamburger and Roasted Veggie Soup ~ Lifeofjoy.meHamburger and Roasted Veggie Soup ~ Lifeofjoy.meHamburger and Roasted Veggie Soup ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd because everything is better with cheese, I added just a bit of freshly grated Parmesan on top of my bowl. :)

Hamburger and Roasted Veggie Soup ~

Hamburger and Roasted Veggie Soup


  • 200g brussels sprouts, cut in half
  • 125g mushrooms, diced (about 6-8 medium)
  • 200g yellow or orange bell pepper, diced (about 1 large)
  • 125g red onion, diced (about 1 small red onion)
  • 1/4 cup oil (olive, melted coconut, or your preference)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound ground meat
  • 2 large stalks celery, finely diced (about 70 grams)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, pureed (14-16 ounces)
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • pinch cayenne pepper or 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)


  1. Preheat oven 350º
  2. Combine brussels sprouts, bell pepper, red onion, and mushrooms on a rimmed baking sheet with oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Roast for 25-30 minutes, stirring after about 15 minutes so they don't brown too much on one side.
  4. Brown ground meat in a dutch oven or large pot, over medium low heat.
  5. Add celery and garlic, cook until celery is softened.
  6. Add broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaf, oregano, and cayenne or chili powder.
  7. Bring to a boil.
  8. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  9. Add roasted veggies and chopped parsley.
  10. Serve.

(I like some measurements in grams because it is more precise, but usually only with baking. However the base recipe for this used grams and I forgot to re-measure into cups.)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Blessing Through Frustration

Blessing Him ~ Lifeofjoy.meThere are times that you see things you’d like to change in your spouse. Rest assured, you cannot change him! The absolute best thing you can do is to pray. I know! That seems like it is just not enough. It seems like that won’t make any difference but trust me, it will!

Did you know that when you do something nice, out of the ordinary, for someone that it does something to you? Well, it does to me at least. I have this friend that when he is upset with someone, I mean really upset or doesn’t like them at the time, God will have him bless that person by paying for something for them. :D It is similar to praying blessings on the person only taken a step further by you being a blessing to the person.

So, the next time your beloved frustrates you, find something nice to do for him. It could be offer to get him a drink, rub or scratch his back, make his favorite food, or even flirt with him. Then take a moment and pray about that situation. Ask God to change you if you are wrong and change him if he is. Seriously! It could very well be that you are the one that needs more change than he does. I hate to admit that but unfortunately it is true. That is really how I pray it too. “God, he is really frustrating me right now. Change me if I am wrong and change him if he is wrong.”

It is hard to show him respect when you think he is wrong but we don’t really have a choice. The Bible tells us women to reverence/respect our husbands. It tells them to love us. We need love so that is what we try to give them, all to often. But what they need is respect. I’m still learning all this, even after nearly thirty years. Of course, I didn’t know in the beginning what I’ve learned in the last five years or so, which is why I share it here, to help others get it earlier in their marriage. (For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn is a good book to learn about how to respect your hubby.)

I’ll leave you with the reminder to look for ways to bless your man each day. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Liam, Snow, KonMari, and Holiday Treats


Grandson Fun ~ Lifeofjoy.meSure do miss this little cutie! I guess I got spoiled over the holidays, seeing him so much that going a week and a half without snuggling him and hearing him laugh was definitely felt. But I’m a big girl and I will live. I’m just very thankful that they live close and not in some other state. Although I have been told that if we only lived closer to them, I’d get to see him so much more. :D But alas, we are where God wants us to be. I’m a good soldier and go where I’m bidden, not where my heart leads me . . . but that’s a subject for another day. ;)

Liam loves applesauce! He will eat bowls of the stuff.

Liam loves applesauce ~ Lifeofjoy.meSee that jar of applesauce? It was brand new before we opened it to feed some to Liam and nobody else had any. He loves the stuff! Needless to say, Grandma bought a couple more jars to keep on hand for the little guy.

We got some snow before Christmas. It was hardly anything. I wasn’t even going to take a picture but a friend of mine was saying she just got a dusting but I was like, NO, WE JUST got a dusting. So I took these to document the dismal snow we had.

Dusting 12/16 ~ Lifeofjoy.meOf course, this was after the sun had been up and melted a bit away, so I decided to take one in the back where the sun had yet to make what had fallen disappear.

First winter snow '16/'17 ~ Lifeofjoy.meBut it was snow, all the same.

Then last week, we got some real snow. Still only a little by what the Northern states get, and I’ll not even mention what Canada gets, but snow enough that Sean and Michael stayed home from work.

Sandy on the porch in the snow ~ Lifeofjoy.meEvery time that door opens all of cat kingdom thinks it needs to come to the door. So frustrating some times, because they can trip you up. They’ve never been inside, as they are outdoor work cats–their job is to keep down the varmint population. They have shelters available to them.

Better snow, about 4" ~ Lifeofjoy.meI love snow! My only sadness is that our sleds are no more. Sean looked for some sleds online last month, to no avail. (I think he didn’t look very hard though; certainly they sell them reasonably priced somewhere.)

Now I hear tales that it is supposed to rain for the next several days while it is cold. My thinking is this, if it is going to be cold, there should be snow! :) I do not like ice though. I need to remember to ask Michael if we have gas for the generator should the unthinkable happen and we get ice. I do have to admit though, ice is pretty.

Ever since I folded all of Michael’s t-shirts the Konmari way, I have been wanting mine done too but wasn’t sure that my huge t-shirts could be folded down in such a way that it would save me any space. And I procrastinated. Yes, I know that comes as a huge shock, but I am a professional procrastinator . . . oh wait, that is a horrible confession . . . I am a recovering procrastinator. ;)

At any rate, last Friday while Sean was busy decluttering his room, I folded some laundry. I went to stuff my shirts in the drawer like usual and since they were all clean, it was a very tight fit. I got frustrated and finally took the plunge! Oh how I wish I’d have had a picture of the pile but alas, even after two years of blogging five days a week, I still forget to take pictures, although I am getting better. Anyway, I pulled the drawer out of the dresser and put it on the bed. Then I went to my grown children and asked them to encourage me to do the hard thing.

You see, I have found that when I really want to do something, deep down, even when I don’t want to do it right then, if I get someone to encourage me to do it, it is easier to do it. So I literally tell them what to say to encourage me, they happily oblige me, and then they may seek more information and then they really do encourage me in their own words. It’s awesome! I love my family!

Soooo, they all encouraged me to go fold those shirts and organize that drawer. I went and dumped them on the bed and proceeded to fold a few. I placed them in the drawer to see how they would fit the best and decided on a course of action. Then I began folding. AND THEN my back started hurting . . . time for a break!

Yes I did! I took a break! Some time later, I cannot even tell you how long but I’m pretty sure it was over an hour later, I went back and folded some more. I think I even ended up needing another break before I could finish folding them all. I know, you don’t even have to say it, I’m a wimp. :D But hey! I got them folded, organized, and put away. See aren’t they pretty?

Folded Neatly ~ LIfeofjoy.meI managed to fit 26 t-shirt in this drawer and now I can see them all. I had forgotten I had several of these in there until I dumped them all out. I tend to end up wearing the same shirts over and over . . . and over and over . . . and over and over . . . and over again. This way, I can see at a glance what’s there and wear something different instead of what is on top and easy to get.

During the Christmas season I got some new tea. I wasn’t sure I liked it at first, but as with many teas, I kept drinking it and by Christmas, it simply tasted like Christmas in a cup. ;) Well, the sweets of Christmas anyway. It’s called Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride.

Sugar Cookie Tea ~ Lifeofjoy.meThey only sell it during the holidays, much like my Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark. I’ll definitely be looking forward to having it again next year. And speaking of peppermint bark, my sweet daughter-in-love Lauren got me some when she was out shopping after Christmas, since I didn’t get a single piece for Christmas. It was marvelous!!! Thanks Sweetie!!!

Well, this is WAY long today. I guess I just had a lot to say! :D

Have a great weekend and stay warm.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Music Can Be Helpful in Other Areas

Music ~ Lifeofjoy.meI read this interesting article about how music is helpful to other areas of learning. Evidently learning to play music helps the child be more well-rounded. It may even help ADHD.

It didn’t specify any particular instrument, just learning to play music. This doesn’t have to be expensive. I’ve purchased recorders from Dollar tree before, complete with the cleaning rod. :) A simple ‘learning to play the recorder book’ is all that is really needed. I had never played the recorder before but found an inexpensive book and learned with the kids one year. If I’d have read this article way back then, I probably would’ve made it more of a priority.

It’s a short article. Give it a read.

I’ll leave you to it.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Orbs-la-Dee and Paushalöv

iamthedivacztThe Diva is back with a UMT (Use My Tangle) challenge this week, even though it isn’t technically the first week of the month. ;) This month’s chose tangle is Orbs-la-Dee by Anneke van Dam. It is pretty simple and yet with a bit of difficulty. Okay, the only difficulty I really had was getting my initial waves to line up . . . well, and then there was the drawing of the orbs, which I don’t seem to be able to really make very oval . . . and then there is the shading of the orbs . . . but yeah, it’s a simple tangle and I enjoyed drawing it. :D

FB□1 ~ LifeofJoy.meThis week’s Square One: Purely Zentangle and Shading Zentangle focus is Paushalöv by Amy Broady. This too is new to me. But I have to admit that I LOVE this one a lot!!! Shading it is . . . yeah, it’s my challenge. ;) Have you guessed that my current area of learning is shading? I love Zentangle because it is done in black and white which means that I don’t have to figure out color. :D

For Christmas I got Eni Oken’s gem book. I really prefer them in printed format so that I can tangle without being on my computer or any other electronic device. I do so much on this wonderful thing that my eyes need a break from it. At any rate, I look forward to playing around with some color but am thankful for the boundaries of Square One: Purely Zentangle.

At first I thought I’d do some waves of Orbs-la-Dee on the bottom and then on the top of the tile and some Paushalöv in the middle. But I also got Eni’s ebook on Overlap, and so, even though I haven’t finished reading it yet, I decided to try a bit of overlap, somehow. Thus the 3 large partial orbs at the top. They too are overlapped rather than side-by-side as in the tangle below/over them but I don’t think it matters.

Then I decided to give Paushalöv a go as a border, at least along the bottom. Then added a bit at the upper part of the sides. I look forward to drawing this tangle a bit larger in the future. I really like it though because it is super simple and flows so well!

Without further adieu, here is the unshaded picture of this week’s tile.

DC#298 ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd here it is shaded.

DC#298 ~ Lifeofjoy.meThat was a lot of orb shading and I haven’t quite perfected that yet, although this certainly did give me some practice. Seeing it this large though, I see where I overlooked some of those smaller orbs with my blending stump. :D Oh well, you can’t see it that well in person. ;) Overall, I’m pleased with it. And it was fun to do. Paushalöv really is fun. If you haven’t done that one before, do give it a try; it’s super simple.

I did manage to make some Zentangle posts the last several weeks, during the diva challenge break. If you’d like to see them, you can click here or on Wonder Wednesday on the menu bar and scroll past this post. However, if you’d like to see some pictures of the fun we had over the holidays click on home or “Life of Joyhere or in the banner to scroll back through all the posts for the last several weeks.

Well, I guess that’s it for this week. Thanks in advance to any that take the time to leave comments. You, your kind words, and any tips you have whereby I might improve are greatly appreciated.

Happy New Year to you all!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Egg Roll in a Bowl ~

Egg Roll in a Bowl

This is a lot like the filling I put in my Egg Rolls with ground meat instead of chicken breast. Since it is not in a wrapper, it is low carb.

I got this recipe from recently and I loved it. We’ve made it a few times already and I still really like it. :) It is also really easy to make. Much easier to make than egg rolls, too. :)

Start by heating sesame oil in a large skillet.

Egg Roll in a Bowl ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd the minced garlic, diced onion, and white part of the green onions, sliced and sauté until onions are translucent.

Egg Roll in a Bowl ~ Lifeofjoy.meEgg Roll in a Bowl ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd the ground meat (it can be any meat you like: chicken, turkey, beef, pork, whatever), ground ginger, salt, pepper, and sriracha.

Egg Roll in a Bowl ~

Egg Roll in a Bowl ~ Lifeofjoy.meCook meat through. Then add the sliced cabbage (or package of coleslaw). I add one shredded medium carrot to my sliced cabbage because that is what is in a package of coleslaw veggies. :) You don’t have to if you don’t want to, it’ll be less carbs without it.Add the Tamari sauce or soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar. I don’t have rice wine vinegar so I use the seasoned rice  vinegar I do have. :)

Egg Roll in a Bowl ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhen the cabbage is wilted, it is ready to serve.

Egg Roll in a Bowl ~ Lifeofjoy.meAs you can see, the cabbage melds right in with the meat. At first it looks overpowering but it really shrinks up.

Egg Roll in a Bowl ~

Serve with sliced green onion tops and toasted sesame seeds.

Egg Roll in a Bowl ~ Lifeofjoy.meI served it with tortilla chips and pork rinds last night. I meant to add some shrimp to it and forgot all about it. I bet it would really be good though. There’s always next time. :)

Egg Roll in a Bowl


  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 5 green onions, sliced
  • 1 pound ground meat
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 14 ounces sliced cabbage with grated carrot or coleslaw package
  • 3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar or vinegar of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds


  1. Heat sesame oil in large skillet.
  2. Add diced onion, minced garlic, and sliced green onion (white part)
  3. Sauté until onion is translucent
  4. Add ground meat, ground ginger, salt, pepper, and sriracha.
  5. When meat is cooked through, add cabbage (with the carrot), tamari or soy sauce, and vinegar.
  6. Sauté until the cabbage is wilted.
  7. Serve with toasted sesame seeds and sliced green onion (green part).

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Be the Best You, You Can Be

You can only change you ~ Lifeofjoy.meSo many times in marriage, we are focused on our spouse and what he or she could or should do differently. But there is nothing you can do about that. You can only change you.

Stop and think about your attitudes and actions of late. Is there room for improvement? Or can you praise God for helping you make some positive changes?

I want to be the best me that I can be. That means that I need some refining. ;) It also means that I need to ask help when I get overwrought.

Long Errand Day ~ Lifeofjoy.meLast Saturday was pizza day. I try to make pizza, in some form, once a week. Since we’re doing keto again, after a break for the holidays, Sean had been looking forward to it and had mentioned that he would like the kind that the crust is made out of tapioca starch. Well, that pizza, when purchased from the store, runs about $12! Yes, you read that right. $12 for a frozen pizza. You might recall that we tasted this back when it was on sale for half price. He was fine with us saving money and attempting to make it from scratch, at home.

When Saturday evening dinner time rolled around, something happened to me. Even now, I am unsure what happened but it appears that I became overwhelmed and emotionally compromised. You see, that pizza when made from scratch, still has more carbs than I should eat in one item, so I needed to make a different crust for myself. The trouble is that meant TWO new recipes at a time when I was already beginning to feel hungry.

I finally realized what was happening to me and told my family how I was feeling and my children offered to help. They made the one crust and I made the other. Neither was too difficult but doing both alone would have been more than I could handle that day.

Theanine ~ Lifeofjoy.meSOOOOOO . . . all that to say, it is important to make your needs made known . . . ask for what you need. And sometimes that means taking a moment to assess what it is that you are feeling, why you are feeling it, and what you need to fix the situation. I also took some sepia and l-theanine to help stabilize my mood. Before dinner was ready, I was okay again.

Sometimes there are thoughts that are causing us trouble. In church yesterday, our preacher said that it is our job to take every thought captive, based on 2 Cor. 10:5. So, if there is a thought that is causing you to be out of sorts, take it captive-don’t let it keep running around freely in your brain, causing you trouble-and think about something else. Yes, on purpose, find something else to think about. If you are having a hard time, sing some song. Any song, a silly song will do. Just put your mind on something else. That is taking the thought captive.

I hope you are encouraged to fine tune your attitude and be the best you, you can be.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Our New Year’s Eve Celebration

We had a wonderful evening last Saturday, New Year’s Eve. We went to my parents’ home. I made the Wonton Taco Bites and took chips and Dean’s French Onion Dip. I love Dean’s dip! Tracie brought BBQ meatballs (which I ate way too many of), little smokies, and mac and cheese bites. Mom made some pinwheel rollups, and some yummy pizza crescent rolls. That one is definitely a keeper!

After a bit of snacking, we started playing games.

New Year ~

Of course, there were some playing video games. :)

New Year ~

Tracie, Lauren, Tiffany, and I played a game of Super Racko. Sondra joined Tiffany and we played another round.

New Year ~

Then Daddy, Sean, and Mom joined us for a game of Skip-Bo. Liam took a quick nap.

New Year ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen we played Heads Up. I think it was the highlight of the evening; it was certainly a lot of fun!

New Year ~ Lifeofjoy.meAs you can see, Liam got passed around quiet a bit.

Vehicles were packed up and then it was time to count down to the new year. Time to don the top hats, tiaras, and beads. Ready the horns and glasses of sparkling grape juice.

New Year ~ Lifeofjoy.meCheers!


New Year ~

Hugs and Kisses

New Year ~

And then we’re out the door and headed home.

New Year ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe had a fun night! Time to go home and go to bed. It really didn’t make a difference that we live 25 minutes away or that the next day was Sunday. We always leave promptly and always have, even when we lived just 5 minutes or so away.

I hope you had a wonderful New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Benefits of Reading

Reading ~ Lifeofjoy.meI recently came across this article that shared eight benefits from reading. I thought it was a good reminder. I thought I’d shared something like this before but cannot find it, so I’m sharing this link with you today. It is a fairly short read but should encourage you to encourage your children to read a bit more.

Technology Good? ~ LifeOfJoy.meWhile looking through my previous posts I found a couple on the same basic subject that  were worth bringing to your attention. The first is about how we read differently on electronic devices than paper format and shares how some of the people that have enough money to purchase the top of the line electronics limit their children’s use of them and some go so far as to send them to schools with no screens at all. Pretty interesting to me.

PS119:11Finally, I wanted to remind you of this post about how reading the Bible should be taught to every individual, not just Christians. I also share some about how the brain is helped by memorizing scripture.

I hope I’ve given you some valuable information to consider and it blesses you.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Icanthis, Joki, Printemps

The Diva is still on holiday, so tFB□1 ~ LifeofJoy.mehere is no Diva Challenge this week. Square One: Purely Zentangle and Shading Zentangle both have the new official tangle, Icanthis as their focus this week. WZTV has not yet posted its new tangle for the week but Icanthis was its tangle last week. So I guess I’ll try my hand at Icanthis, even though I don’t really care for it very much.

At first I thought it was rather easy but then around the sixth and seventh steps and the shading and I didn’t like it again. ;) I do not see me using this tangle much at all. It will probably only get used when I need a tangle to resemble a leaf. Who knows though, I may like it better if I practice it in my drawing book later.

Last week I purchased Eni’s ebook on overlapping and I tried to add some of it here. Albeit I was a bit time crunched as I got to go pick up my grandson and spend the afternoon with him. :) Grandson love ~ Lifeofjoy.meAll those toys and he’s chewing on his fingers. :D

I tried my hand at Joki but since it was the first time I’d attempted it, I put too many swirls in the middle but there are no mistakes with Zentangle, just opportunities for creativity. ;)

Then I decided to add some printemps. When I shaded it I drew some printemps with my stump for some light ones in the background.

Here it is before shading.

Icanthis, Joki, Printemps ~ LIfeofjoy.meAfter I scanned it in, I realized that I hadn’t finished Icanthis, it was these last steps that made the tangle more difficult for me.

Here is the finished tile.

Finished Icanthis, Joki, Printemps ~ Lifeofjoy.meIf you have some suggestions for shading, I’d appreciate it.

I appreciate all those that take the time to comment, you are most encouraging!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº