Monthly Archives: June 2017

Aquafleur Flez

iamthedivacztI was glad to see there was a Diva Challenge this week, as she said she’s getting ready to go on her summer hiatus. I will continue to post tiles every week, even when there is no diva challenge, so I hope you’ll drop back by throughout the summer.

I was glad Laura picked Aquafleur because I don’t think I’ve ever really looked at the stepout for it and done it as intended. Okay, I know I’ve never done it as intended. It gets a bit messy and chaotic for my liking. But I tried, I really did try to draw it spiraling in on itself but stop short every time. :D I think the way I like it most is all drawn from one point be it in the center or near the base of the original shape/outline. I enjoyed working with it.

My husband, Michael, and I celebrated our 30th anniversary yesterday. It is hard to believe we have been married that long but then I remember that my oldest son is 26 this year and I even have a grandchild and I’m knocked back into reality. :) I used aquafleur on the heart on the card I made him. I didn’t shade it though. I just completely forgot to. :D

FB□1 ~ LifeofJoy.meThe Square One: Purely Zentangle focus tangle this week is Flez. This one reminds me of Meer a bit. It has orbs down the middle instead of a wavy line and then Flux-ish parts where Meer’s lines would be.

I decided to do one large shape and place Flez between the black strips of Aquafleur.

Here it is before shading.

DC#322 ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd here it is with the shading.

DC#322 Shaded ~

I’m surprised by the difference!

You all have been so kind with your comments about my shading! Thank you soooo much. I was afraid to shade my tiles in the beginning, afraid I’d mess them up.  I really cannot say any one thing helped me. I first got Cris Letourneau’s book Made in the Shade, a Zentangle Workbook several years ago and thumbed/scanned through it but didn’t take the time to sit down and work through it.

Then I saw how some were making great strides in their shading by joining Eni Oken’s Shading Zentangle group, so I went ahead and joined. I eventually bought her Shading Fearlessly book and once again thumbed/scanned through it but did not sit down and work through it either. But I started sharing my tiles in her Facebook group and would get the occasional suggestion. I also saw what others did and seemed to start picking it up, little by little. And that is how I got to where I am today. I’m very pleased with this one, even though I didn’t quite do the tangles justice. And I still struggle with sparkle. Well, I think practice will help that too.

Thanks for visiting. I appreciate your encouraging comments.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº



Keto Egg Noodles ~

Egg Noodles

Literally noodles made from eggs, well, and a bit of cream cheese and oat fiber. Yep, don’t mock it until you’ve tried it.

One thing I love during the holidays is noodles cooked in ham broth. We simply call them ham noodles. Well, I’m preparing NOW for the holidays. Yes, I know I’m way early but I figure this is going to take some experimentation. However, I have made these noodles twice or thrice now and we are liking them.

For a simple, quick noodle, these cannot be beat. All you do is take one ounce of cream cheese (which is 2 tablespoons), 2 room-temperature eggs, and 1/4 teaspoon oat fiber and put it in a blender.Egg Noodle Batter ~ Lifeofjoy.meI know this doesn’t look like cream cheese and oat fiber in there with the eggs, but trust me it is. Blend on high for a minute or until completely smooth.

Egg noodles ~ Lifeofjoy.meStop the blender and push down anything stuck on the sides with a rubber spatula and finish blending.

Egg Noodles ~ Lifeofjoy.meNow all you do is pour it onto a rimmed baking sheet covered with either a silpat or parchment paper. I was out of parchment paper and my silpat didn’t fit exactly. Then I will also note that my oven is not completely level. So, if I can make these noodles and they taste good, under these conditions, you can with whatever situations you have.

Bake the egg mixture ~ LIfeofjoy.meIt would be best for it to be an even layer and to be spread thinly over the entire pan. As you can see, I have struggles right from the start but I am baking it anyway. Just 5 minutes in the oven on 350º.

Egg Noodles ~ Lifeofjoy.meAs you can see, some my egg mixture went under my silpat. I was not going to be deterred. I used all but the thinnest bits of noodles. When it is cool enough to handle, release it from the silpat or parchment paper and cut into strips of whatever size you like your noodles, with a pizza cutter or knife.

Egg Noodles ~ Lifeofjoy.meI even get the part that snuck under the silpat and cut it.

Egg Noodles ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhen the noodle is thicker, I cut the strips thinner and when it is thinnest, I cut them wider.

Egg Noodles ~ Lifeofjoy.meEgg Noodles ~ Lifeofjoy.meNow you can use your noodles however you like. Once I used it in Tasty Tuna Toss-Up and Mike and I really enjoyed it. On this day though, I put them in some ham broth and thickened it a bit with a tiny bit of glucomannon (that has not yet been perfected). Everyone enjoyed the noodles and said it tasted like Thanksgiving.


Next time I’ll try it with some parchment paper and see if I can’t get them a bit more uniform. I also want to work with it to see if I can make it a bit more like homemade noodles that my Aunt used to make with just egg, flour, and a bit of water. We shall see. But until then, this will do nicely.

Pork Roast and Ham Noodles ~, I forgot to take a picture of the completed noodles until we were cleaning off the table and putting away the tiny bit that was leftover!)

Egg Noodles


  • 1 ounce cream cheese (2 tablespoons)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon oat fiber


  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, about one minute.
  2. Pour onto a silpat or parchment paper covered rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Bake on 350º for 5 minutes or until the thickest part of the noodle is firm.
  4. When cool enough to handle, cut into strips and use as desired.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Don’t Be Easily Offended

Don't Be Offended ~ Lifeofjoy.meI think one of my love languages must be food. I like to cook for those I love. And I love to eat with them too. ;)

There have been a couple occasions of late where Michael has asked me to make him one of the healing shakes for dinner instead of whatever it was that I had made or intended to make. I have to admit that at first I had to fight off being offended. It’s actually quite ridiculous that I could even get offended at the simple request but I’m just being real here.

He had been out in the heat and needed the cool refreshment from a shake but also knew the ingredients would help sooth his stomach issues.  Of course, I made him the shake but in times past, I can see that I might have made some unkind remark about having worked hard on dinner and why he couldn’t just eat that. That would have been sooo childish and immature.

Love is about doing for others and helping them in whatever ways you can. When a reasonable request is made, I’ve learned that it is best to do what I can with a cheerful attitude.

Now I will point out that he is not one to do this kind of thing frequently. If your spouse is one prone to separate himself and want special things all the time, then you need to pray about how to handle your individual situation.

Then I had another situation where I had worked hard on something for him. He is usually a very observant person. He did not notice the thing I’d done. I simply joked with him about his lack of observation, rather than get upset that he didn’t notice.

In the past, I would have been a bit upset that after spending several hours working on the surprise, he didn’t even notice. But instead of getting offended, I just kidded him and his superb observation skills. We all had a good laugh, which is much better than getting emotional about it.

In the end, getting offended does nothing for anyone and only makes you upset. The best thing is to choose to find a way to deal with the situation and broach the subject with your honey when you are not emotional and upset. Getting offended is not helpful to anyone.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Swimming and a Father’s Day Surprise

Tiffany and I had an enjoyable swim with Lauren and Liam last week. :) The little cutie did seem to be a bit tired but he and Lauren came out in the pool with us and we had fun. We didn’t stay very long, especially since it was the first time out in the water this year. We are rather fair skinned, so we have to be careful not to burn.

Fun in the pool ~

I spent some time cleaning the car for my honey for part of his Father’s Day gift. I cleaned the dash really good and then the windshield. Then after we returned from swimming, Tiffany helped me wash the car. Well, truth be told, I helped her wash the car. I’m too short to reach hardly any of it. So, I did all the rinsing. :)This and That 2 ~ (This is a picture of our vehicle but it was not taken recently.)

Then the next day, I was going to vacuum the car while Tiffany cleaned the upholstery a bit. Well, I could not get the vacuum, so that just didn’t happen but the seats look soooo much better! We use LA’s Totally Awesome concentrate that you dilute for different uses.

So I did not tell Michael about the cleaning of the car when I gave him his Father’s Day gifts. He’s generally so observant that I expected him to mention it to me at some point throughout the rest of the day but I couldn’t wait. I said something but don’t remember what and could not believe that he didn’t notice the total lack of dust all over the dash. We all had a good laugh over it all and how he thought the rain cleaned it so good. :D

Tiffany and I have had some really good conversations this week. We weren’t as productive as we had hope to be this week but we did what was needed. :) God will help us redeem the time and complete the projects set before us.

My parents came for dinner this week. We had yummy Bacon-Wrapped Chicken, fried green beans, and a simple salad. I had a keto pound cake for us and fixed each of my parents a 3-2-1 cake. We had a really nice visit and I learned some things about my parents’ families. It was a good night.

As usual, I forgot to take some pictures. I tried looking for a picture of our car to put here but I don’t have a good one on my computer yet. Then I tried see if I’d already shared one before but my internet is currently a bit slow, so that is also out.

Thanks for sticking with me in this pictureless post. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº



Summer Reading

Uncle Sean's Turn ~ Lifeofjoy.meDuring the summer it is a good idea to keep your kids reading to help them not lose any ground academically. Here’s an article with some helpful tips on how to prevent, what the academic world calls the summer slide and some tips on how to find reading material that is a good fit for your child. Don’t worry, it’s a short read. :)

Need some ideas to help you encourage your children to read? Here are several.

  • This Summer Reading Challenge looks fun. It has a checklist of not only things to read, as in different sources like an ebook, a comic book, or even a recipe but also includes a checklist of different ways to read, like with a flashlight, to a pet, and at the library. There may be one or two you want to change out but I thought it was a nice free printable.
  • This is a simple bookmark with colored dots to punch as your child reads a book.
  • At this site you can download and print a Summer Reading Bingo and she gives ideas for using it as well, especially waiting until the Summer reading needs a little infusion to keep going.
  • Then there is this fun challenge to read in 100 different places or to different people.
  • Here’s another bingo card to print.
  • And don’t forget your local library’s Summer Reading Program. Also check with the bookstores in your area. I remember Barnes and Noble used to have one that rewarded the children with on of 6 free paperbacks for reading a certain number of books.

If you need book suggestions, just do a search on pinterest. I saw lots of ideas there, for all ages.

And remember to take time for reading yourself. Kids do what they see others do. :)

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº


iamthedivacztFor this week’s diva challenge of drawing aura tangles with our non-dominant hand, I chose crescent moon and nipa. I really like these two tangles, so I hoped I would be happy with the outcome.

I drew my dots, border and string with my dominant hand (my right hand). I just kind of threw any old lines on there for my string, so it came out really odd. I decided to put Nipa in the middle and let Crescent Moon scallop around it.

Here it is before shading. You can see I have VERY wiggly lines. ;)

Nipa and Crescent Moon ~ Lifeofjoy.meTo better camouflage those wiggly lines, I decided to shade with my dominant hand. It needed lots of help. :D

Once again, I think this looks better a bit smaller. In real life, it seems shaded quite a bit darker. I wonder what is up with that. I may have to work on the settings a bit.

Shaded Nipa and Crescent Moon ~

My daughter said she liked it and that it looked very 3D. She also said that my wiggly lines added to its wonkiness. :)

Well, I’ll just keep it short this week. My days have gotten away from me of late and I don’t have a lot of time. I sincerely thank those that take the time to stop by and to leave a comment; they really do mean a great deal.

Please stop back by next Wednesday, as I’ll post a tile even if there is no Diva Challenge.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Breakfast Lasagna ~

Breakfast Lasagna

We like to have this filling breakfast as a special treat on a Saturday morning. Pancakes, eggs, sausage, and cheese all in one.

This may not be the prettiest meal but it is good enough that it is requested by my kids. I adapted this recipe from ibreatheimhungry. She used her cream cheese pancakes and a dozen sausage links. I make my baked pancakes and use bulk turkey sausage, since at this time Michael cannot eat pork. I probably use a little bit more cheese than the one cup in the original recipe as well. I make a couple other alterations that I will tell you about in a bit.

The only problem I have with it is that my baked pancakes are clearly thicker than her cream cheese pancakes and it towers over the pan. When I make this I use my largest sheet pan but I may have to divide it into two smaller pans in the future, to get them a bit thinner. ;)

Breakfast Lasagna ~ Lifeofjoy.meBrown the sausage, scramble the eggs, and shred the cheese.

Breakfast Lasagna ~ Lifeofjoy.meBreakfast Lasagna ~ Lifeofjoy.mePlace a piece of pancake in the bottom of an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish.

Now here’s where I deviated a little from the original again. I butter the layer of pancake because the first time it was a bit too dry and . . .

Breakfast Lasagna ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd a little sukrin fiber gold syrup.

Next add half the eggs and half the cheese.

Breakfast Lasagna ~ Lifeofjoy.meThan add another layer of pancakes.

Breakfast Lasagna ~ Lifeofjoy.meBreakfast Lasagna ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd a little butter and syrup and then the cooked sausage.Breakfast Lasagna ~ Lifeofjoy.meLast layer of pancakes, piece it together as necessary.Add a little butter and syrup.

Breakfast Lasagna ~ Lifeofjoy.meTop with the remaining egg and cheese.

Breakfast Lasagna ~ Lifeofjoy.meBreakfast Lasagna ~ Lifeofjoy.meBake in the oven at 350º for 8-10 minutes.

We have cut this into four pieces for four adults but none of us eats the whole portion until the next meal. ;) So this can be easily cut into 6 servings or even 8 servings for adults and serves even more when children are involved.

Breakfast Lasagna ~ Lifeofjoy.meBreakfast Lasagna ~

Breakfast Lasagna


  • One batch of pancakes (baked)
  • 8 eggs, scrambled
  • 1 pound bulk sausage, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded.


  1. In an 8x8 or 9x9 pan layer as follows
  2. Pancakes (lightly buttered and drizzle of syrup)
  3. Eggs
  4. Cheese
  5. Pancakes (lightly buttered and drizzle of syrup)
  6. Sausage
  7. Pancakes (lightly buttered and drizzle of syrup)
  8. Eggs
  9. Cheese
  10. Bake 350º 8-10 minutes

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Father’s Day

I am blessed with two wonderful men in my life. First my dad, who worked hard and followed hard after God. He moved halfway across the country following God’s leading in his life and doing all he knew to do to become and do all God has for him to accomplish in this life.

Mother's Day ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe taught me the importance of a relationship with God, putting Him first in my life. He also taught me the value of hard work, that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing right, and to do all you need to do to provide for your family.

Love Dad's Day ~

I’m so blessed to have him as my daddy! Thank you for believing in me and do all that was in your power to help me succeed. I love you bunches!

The other man is the love of my life! He picked up the baton from my father and has continually shown me, by his example, to follow him as he follows Christ.

Dad's Day ~ Lifeofjoy.meI love this picture of him with Liam because it is just who he is. He gets down on the floor and plays with him, without any nudging or suggestions from me. We made a decision, early in our marriage, that he would be very present in our children’s lives and would deal with any financial limitations that incurred.

Michael helping with my flowers ~ Lifeofjoy.meI love that he knows how to be silly but isn’t afraid of hard work. This one was taken just before Mother’s Day and he was helping me with the smaller flower garden by removing all the weeds I’d tossed. (I love that smile . . . oh and gotta love the hat that allows his head to still breathe. :D )Miahael and Tiffany ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd I really love that I can count on him to do something totally ridiculous to get me to laugh when I might be feeling a bit down (which thankfully, is not very often).My love ~

You might wonder what all of this has to do with marriage. A man is the head of the wife and should be a good spiritual leader in that he has his own personal relationship with God and encourages her to do the same. He is the father of their children and should be present in their lives, and by extension, the lives of his grandchildren.

But more than all of that, he and his wife go through life together and are there for one another through good times and bad. It is very helpful if they can learn how to encourage one another.

My Wonderful Husband and I

I Love You ~ Lifeofjoy.meFinally, I just want to take a moment today and  let him know how much I love and respect him for all he does for our family!

I hope that you told your sweetie how much he means to you yesterday. If not, it’s never too late.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº



Animated gifs are free from <a href=”” target=”_blank”></a>

Antique Mall Fun

Last weekend I went to the antique mall with my mother. We had an enjoyable time walking down each and every aisle, viewing all the stuff in each cubicle. I loved this cook ice tea pitcher and glass.

Antique Mall ~ Lifeofjoy.meYep, totally fake! Tiffany says, “That ain’t even right!” So I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t give in and buy it. :D But even now, it still brings a smile to my face and I can see it on a table on a porch beside a rocking chair. :D

I found this book that I absolutely loved reading to the kids!

Yipes there go my stripes ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt was packaged with a Ty elephant which I did not want. Otherwise, I would have bought the book, even in its condition. I think Mom thought I was a little odd for being so excited to see this children’s book but then I read her a few pages. We were both cackling over it for a bit because I kept repeating my favorite lines which are spoken by the zebra, “Yipes, there go my stripes, and lots and lots of the leopard’s spots!” Of course, I cannot even begin to describe the tone of voice I use for this . . . maybe very very nasally or a bit like a New Yorker. Oh well, it’s a fave and I hope I get it one day soon.

Then I saw this neat mug tree.

Antique Mall ~ Lifeofjoy.meLook at the mugs. They are owls. Of course Tiffany, who really likes owls said they were kind of creepy owls. So, once again, I’m glad I didn’t get it. ;)

Antique Mall ~ Lifeofjoy.meI did find a few things Mom was able to get for me for my Christmas stocking. :) I’ll forget about them by then and I’ll be like, Oh Yeah! I forgot about these! :D

Over the years, Michael has purchased me frogs for various special occasions. So I’ve taken to buying some for him. This frog was so cute, but I just couldn’t buy it. :D

Antique Mall ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe sign said Kisses 10₵ 5₵ 1₵ Free

It was cute, but I don’t have anywhere to put it.

Then just before we left, we saw this Superman and took a picture of it and sent it to my sister. We decided it needed to have someone in the picture with it to show how big it is. So I took this one. We were both dog-tired. Mom said if she’d have know I was going to post these on here, she’d have smiled a little. :D She’s beautiful even without the smile. That’s one classy lady. Lookin’ pretty good for someone old enough to have a 50-something year old daughter.

Antique Mall ~ Lifeofjoy.meLet’s see . . . we helped my baby sister move yesterday. There were enough of us and she had so much done already that it wasn’t that bad. They bought a wonderful two-story house that has sooo much character that it reminds me of a house we lived in when I was young. Nope . . . you guessed it, no pictures. We were too busy and tired and I completely forgot to take any.

Tiffany and I are headed to my son and daughter-in-love’s today to swim for a while. Hopefully, I’ll get to see this little cutie while we are there.

Miss him ~ Lifeofjoy.meAt least, if he is napping while we are there, we will get to see him Sunday, since it is Father’s Day and we will probably all be at my parents’ house.

I’ll run for now. Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº



Geography Helps

US Map ~ Lifeofjoy.meI remember when the kids were young, I found a small game download that was really good and simple for geography, especially United States geography. I cannot even begin to tell you what program that was now.

First I want to share a neat old book that you can use to help teach your child about the states. Be forewarned though, it is from 1896, so the statistics will be out of date but it still has some valuable information.

Rhymes of the States

I did a quick search recently and want to share what I found. I bet you can find some app for your electronic device be it phone, tablet, or laptop. Here are the websites I found.

  • Owl & Mouse –I think this might be the creators of the maps games that I was able to download for the children when they were young. It is a HUGE resource, especially for early learning, as well as maps and things.
  • Sheppard Software–This one has a variety of levels to learn geography and landforms around the world. There seems to be something for each state on the left sidebar but my internet is lagging right now, so I cannot fully check it out.
  • World Geography Games — This one has mountains, oceans, and other landforms as well as the US geography.
  • Seterra Geography Games — This has LOTS of world geography as well as US geography, which is also broken down into sections so your child doesn’t get worn out doing all 50 states at once.

All of the above are very simply games without a bunch of extras. They are about learning the geography and practicing it. Some of them also have trivia quizzes, I think. The are all on-line play.

I found one other website that had some old games. The one that caught my eye was Amazon Trail. I believe these are available to download. Might be worth checking out. ;)

And finally, I thought this article I wrote a couple of years ago about how we handled the summer and it has a link to how to use cards for some math practice.

Well, I’ll wrap it up for today. I hope you have a great day with your children.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº