Monthly Archives: March 2018

Deals, Fun, and Yum

Last week I decided to try a deal at Target that I’d found online. The super deal would have been obtained using the cheapest Tresemme shampoo and conditioners at $3.99/bottle but Tiffany has curly hair and needed one of the various $4.99/bottle ones. So I deemed it an okay expense (one dollar more per bottle).

So here’s the deal we did. We got one bottle of Tresemme shampoo and two bottles of Tresemme conditioner (because she uses conditioner more than shampoo) which cost me $14.97 but then I had three one dollar off coupons so that brought it down to $11.97 and entitled me to a $5 gift card. That was the first part of the deal.

Next I purchased two packages of Schick disposable razors at $5.99 per package with only one $3 off coupon which brought my $11.98 purchase down to $8.98 and entitled me to another $5 gift card.

Now since these two deals totaled at least $20 before coupons, I was also entitled to another $5 gift card. So I spent less than $22 and got $15 in gift cards.

Tiffany says the shampoo and conditioner are excellent what I spent on these is comparable to what I would have spent normally and now I have $15 in gift cards to buy other things with at Target.

Oh! And when I scanned in my receipt for the Schick razors, I got another $2 back there. :) So that brings my total down even further.

Then I was in need of some makeup and I just happened to have a coupon that got Tiffany some makeup she needed free. :) Or we could see it we both got ours for half price. :) I like that thinking. :)


Sean got a Nintendo Switch recently. I have played a lot of Mario Odyssey. It’s addictive and fun. ;) You can read the post I wrote about it yesterday. ;) It is a game done right.


Last week when Tiffany and I ran errands, we needed to eat lunch out since we didn’t take any with us. We decided to eat at Pizza Hut since they have their lunch buffet for $5.99 a person. Yes, we ate the pizza and salad bar buffet. :)

THM at Pizza Hut ~ Lifeofjoy.meYep we stripped the toppings off several pieces of pizza.

The staff was great there. I asked if they’d ever heard of a pizza without a crust. The waitress said no and asked a man that I assume was the manager. He said yes as if it were an every day occurrence. :) He made me a supreme in a foil pan without the crust. It was good! It’s a good thing we got filled up because we were out a long time running errands. Since I was concerned about that Target deal and how it would work, it took a long time. Of course, had I simply read the signs listed, it would have been a lot quicker.

Well, that’s enough rambling for today.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Nintendo Switch: Mario Odyssey

Mario Odyssey ~ Lifeofjoy.meOkay, I just have to say it . . . if your children like video games, Mario Odyssey is wonderful. It is only on the Nintendo Switch so that is a drawback. Sean recently purchased one and got the Mario game.

This game, as well as other games, I would think, has some benefits to your children. ;) It helps with coordination and motor skills. It has puzzles to solve but not in the way most people probably think of puzzles. These puzzles are the kind where you have to figure out how to achieve the stated goal.

There are maps, which is a good skill to learn. And there is even an bit of aerobic workout. :D Okay, that one is probably stretching it a bit, but my heart definitely was pumping and I even broke into a slight sweat at one time. :D

I wouldn’t call this an educational game but it is fun and has some good qualities (listed above). I cannot think of any reason that I could not recommend this game.

If you played Mario 64, you will notice some nods to that game. It made me smile. And it had some “flat” Paper Mario type segments with game play like the first Super Mario I played when I was younger. Lots of fun!

OH! And after you beat the big boss and see the credits, there is still some adorable game play left!!! They definitely did this game right! Okay, I’ll stop gushing now. ;)

Hope you didn’t mind my little review of this wonderful game today.

Until next time, God bless

Michele ºÜº

Troubling Paradox

This week the Diva Challenged us to use only Paradox. I usually like and enjoy this tangle but this time I got myself all confused and messed up, which is why I named this post Troubling Paradox. ;)

I used string #71 from Pattern Collections which is just three arches across the tile. I then sectioned off the areas between each section and tangled away. Sometimes I did it clockwise and other times I did it counter-clockwise (or some would say anti-clockwise ;) ).

DC#357 unshaded ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Here’s the tile with the string marked in red.DC#357 String ~ Lifeofjoy.me

I know there are no mistakes with Zentangle but I had a big opportunity for some huge shading or dramatic darkening of a section; the one up in the right corner above. :D

So I blackened it in. :) Here’s the final version.

Paradox DC#357 ~ Lifeofjoy.me

I sure  wish I had used pencil first as it wouldn’t have been so drastic. Then I felt it needed something else so I added a few lines anchoring it to the corner.

Here it is smaller and thus a bit nicer. ;)

Paradox DC#357 ~ Lifeofjoy.meWell that’s all for this week. Thank you for taking time to stop by. Please leave me a comment, it’s really encouraging. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Birthday Meals

Happy Birthday Sean ~ LifeofJoy.meThis week was Sean’s birthday so he got to pick his meals for the day. He asked for pancakes for his breakfast, shocker, the boy loves pancakes. Then his eyes lit up and he asked if I could do Dutch Boys. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem but I had not yet worked out how to do this recipe and stay on Trim Healthy Mama plan. Thankfully I did find a recipe online for a THM version and he loved it. I’ll share it another day, since I didn’t get pictures taken while we were putting it together.

For lunch he wanted Macaroni and Cheese. This too is a feat because although we do make do with konjac noodles most of the time when we want this meal, I didn’t think that would live up to expectations of a birthday meal (mostly my expectations, as I am a tougher critic on a lot of foods). So we opted to have our rare occasion use of Dreamfields pasta. Unfortunately there was only spaghetti shaped pasta at Walmart but we used it anyway and broke the noodles up into small pieces. We did serve this with some bacon and broccoli for a full meal, since I think a serving of pasta is only 1/2 cup we definitely needed something more in our bellies.

We decided to eat our dessert for our afternoon snack–Pecan Pie! OMGoodness! It is sooo good. I use Kristie Sullivan’s original recipe with Sukrin gold syrup and granular gold. We all enjoyed it tremendously. My thought on eating it earlier in the day was so I wouldn’t be eating such richness too late in the evening. (For those familiar with THM, I’m a Turtle Loser, so it is best for me to eat lighter things in the evening.)

Then came the major labor of love. Sean asked for chicken enchiladas. As you can see from that link, it was a simple recipe: cook some chicken, add cream of chicken soup and cheese, then roll up in flour tortillas. Well I cannot use cream of chicken soup, so I had to find a substitute, which I did but it required a bouillon recipe be made. Then there were the tortillas, which I also made from scratch. Then I proceeded to put it all together. The homemade tortillas were not as supple as what I’m used to and they cracked a bit but not in a way that was unusable.

Sean and Tiffany loved them. I think it needs a lot of work but, as I mentioned before, I have pretty high standards. ;)

Birthday Meals ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe took the lone surviving enchilada to work to eat yesterday. He liked it and that is what is important.

The pecan pie did not make it through the night. We all caved in and had a second piece for dessert. So much for my will power! :D

I’m sorry for the lack of recipe here today. I hope to have one for you next week. We are currently in a season of trying some things, which is necessary before I share here.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Lighten Up, Have Fun, Be Silly Daily

Silly fun ~ Lifeofjoy.meNot long ago our middle child, Sean, read something about “active sitting.” When you sit for long periods of time, you should make effort to spend some of that time “active sitting,” which is moving around in your seat.

Our evenings can be quite sedentary. ;) Frequently we replay of one of the television series we like and purchased (because we had horrible internet and struggled to stream anything on the internet). When the opening to the show is playing, we all throw our arms in the air and dance in our seats. It’s silly and we nag the others to join in too.

Silly Walk ~ lifeofjoy.meYou might be wondering what in the world this has to do with marriage, as my posts on Mondays are marriage encouragement. Well, it’s because in marriage you need to have fun and just plain be silly sometimes, daily is better, and several times a day is best. Why? Because it helps lift frustration and gives you some enjoyment. I’ve written about the importance of having fun in marriage; you can read it here.

One important thing to remember though, if it is not fun to the other person, maybe it shouldn’t be said or done. Like snapping someone with a damp dish towel. Now it may be fine for some people to do that and have fun with it, but others may be more sensitive and not like getting snapped with the towel, thereby making that not a fun activity. In which case, it would be best not to do that. You see? When only one person is “having fun” doing something, it is more like bullying.

Now, if you can’t ever seem to have fun doing anything, then maybe you just need to lighten up a bit. ;) Don’t take everything so seriously. Offer alternative suggestions if you don’t enjoy something in particular.

I cut out the title to an article I found in a magazine years and years ago. It said, Find the Fun in What Needs to be Done. This has been before my eyes for a long time and has helped me get through some tough days. Make it a race against someone else or even against your own previous time. Or maybe just the promise of a fifteen minute break after finishing a certain task.

I hope these thoughts help you in some way today.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Grandson Fun and Some Birthday Celebrations

It’s been a long week but it sure did start out fun. Brian, Lauren, and Liam were here over the weekend. It was a nice visit, although it was an aunt and uncle visit rather than a grandma visit. But that is okay because some visits he has pretty much ignored his Aunt Tiffany, so this time he pretty much ignored me. ;)

Michael didn’t get a lot of sleep Saturday night, as he was up for several hours not feeling well. He’d finally felt better about 5:30am and was able to get back to sleep. When the alarm went off at 6 to get up for church, we decided he needed to rest some more and stayed home from church. Brian, Lauren, and Liam  stayed too, so we had a longer visit than usual this time. :)

Tiffany made chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast.

Chocolate Chip Pancakes ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd then I remembered I needed pictures for the blog. :D

March Visit ~ Lifeofjoy.meThey all joked that they were only good for blog content. It was fun for everyone, even Liam. :D

Laughing Grandson ~ Lifeofjoy.meGrandson and Papa ~ Lifeofjoy.meLiam had his first “horsey” ride on his papa this visit, at Michael’s suggestion.

Horsey Ride ~ Lifeofjoy.meLiam didn’t the plate of blueberry pancakes I offered him shortly after they arrived. I left it on the table and later he decided he was hungry.

Sneaky grandson ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe made quite a number of trips. He’s teething some more and was in a bit of pain at times.

Remote woes ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Sean gave him a controller minus the battery pack. He decided he needed some sort of cord for it to work so Michael taped a cord to it for him. :D

Then he discovered the decorative glass pane and had fun with Sean.

Fun times with Liam ~ LifeofjoymeI had the cake for Sean’s birthday celebration at my parents’ home on the coffee table so I wouldn’t forget it. Little guy discovered that it was there and decided to carry it around but dropped it on its side. :p

cake saver frosting ~ Lifeofjoy.meI scraped the frosting off the lid and attempted to put it back on the cake.

At my mom and dad’s, we sang Happy Birthday to Lauren, since we didn’t do that last month.

Lauren first ~ Lifeofjoy.meNext up we celebrated my sister Tracie’s birthday. (Sorry about the bad picture, I was too close to her. ;) )

Sister Bday ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd then we did Sean’s birthday.

Sean's bday celebration ~ Lifeofjoy.meHere’s a closeup of the cake and the “creepy” clown head she and my niece put on it. :D

cake ~ Lifeofjoy.meLiam decided he needed to help Uncle Sean open his gifts.

help with gifts ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt was a fun weekend and very good to see my kids (son, daughter-in-love, and grandson).

Then Tuesday I became best friends with the tissue box. :(

empty Puffs box ~ Lifeofjoy.meI was very stuffy and my nose is now raw!

Tissues ~ Lifeofjoy.meWednesday was a bad day and I decided to just rest. Thankfully Tiffany wasn’t too bad off and picked up my slack. Wednesday night I felt incredibly better, although still stuffy. Thursday was better and I actually felt like doing some stuff.

I’m looking forward to the weekend and feeling even better! I hope you all have a good weekend.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Nice Freebie Printables Resource

Easter Freebies ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis week I want to share an Easter copywork freebie. If you go here to WriteBonnieRose and sign up for her newsletter. It is totally worth it though because she sends freebies a lot. The one I got recently with the links to these freebies, also had about six other freebies.

The Easter freebies are copywork in both cursive and print. As well as pictures to color, if desired.

One of the other freebies is a Bible memorization activity pack that has some different worksheets to help with scripture memorization, like word searches, color by number and such. There are several activities for each scripture verse. The verses are in the ESV though but you could probably adjust it without too much trouble.

There’s even a freebie for language arts of writing prompts about “If I were President.” Lots of different subjects.

I hope you enjoy these freebies.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Tangling My Name

Using Tofube last week set me up nicely for the “What’s in a Name” diva challenge this week. I did as Laura instructed and started with the dots and border, then penciled my name diagonally across the tile because seven letters is a bit long to go straight across. Then I did as Laura did and auraed my name.

Then I checked the focus tangles for Square One: Purely Zentangle and Pattern-collections. All the tangles were grid tangles and I wasn’t sure I wanted to use them but I did anyway. The Square One tangle is Tufton. I liked this tangle; I used it on the bottom of the tile. Pattern Collections focus tangle on Tuesday was Two Eyed, which I used above Tufton.

I only did one square of Ryse Orb, today’s focus tangle on Pattern Collections but I really like it and wish I had done more with it. It is much easier than Two Eyed. Ryse Orb is the one in the upper left corner.

Here is the tile before shading.

DC#356 Before Shading ~ Lifeofjoy.meI shaded the letters like I shaded Tofube last week.

DC#356 Name Tangling ~ Lifeofjoy.meI wasn’t feeling very good yesterday and so this isn’t shaded as well as I normally would. And it appears I didn’t shade all of Two Eyed in places. Two Eyed is one of those tangles that the steps take a lot of focus for me. Drawing it was easier than shading it. My eyes kept crossing. :D I even forgot to put the finished tile in this post until after it was posted. :D I guess I was a bit out of it.

It looks a bit better smaller as you cannot see my lack of blending as much. :D

DC#356 Name Tangling ~ Lifeofjoy.me

I appreciate you stopping by and really appreciate it when you leave me comments.

I’ll be glad when this stuffiness and congestion leave, so I can think straight again. :D Have a great week!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Four Homemade Corn Tortillas ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Corn Tortillas

Easy, homemade, corn tortillas. I use them in a THM-E meal.

These easy tortillas are sooo good. They are much better tasting that the corn tortillas I used to buy in the store. They are okay for use on Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle of eating because the corn flour is treated with lime. So the lime does the work in the corn like the process that happens when wheat dough is in the refrigerator for 72 hours. It is all similar to what happens when wheat is sprouted. :) You can read over on Gwen’s Nest about this corn flour and get the nitty gritty on why it is okay to use on THM.

So, I was a bit of a detective in getting this recipe. I had seen a post about homemade corn tortillas over on Dawn’s site, Oh Sweet Mercy dot com but the recipe was not visible. It was an old post, so I searched for it on the internet archive and found the recipe. :) It was very similar to the recipe on the package of corn flour I purchased.

Now I am going to admit here that I have not seen anyone on THM do anything like this, so I guess you have to use your own judgement on whether you want to give it a go or not. ;) I have seen others use the masa flour in addition to other flours in S and FP tortillas or wraps but mostly with eggs whites and I didn’t want any egg whites.

If you use butter as suggested in the recipe there are about 3g fat and 23g carbs for all four tortillas; per tortilla it is about .75g fat and about 5.75g carbs.

When I told Sean I could make tortillas but it would be easier with a tortilla press, he told me to pick it out and he’d get it for me. :D I got a heavy duty cast iron one. I read somewhere online that the best way, and most authentic way, to press them is with cut grocery sacks. I was opposed at first but they say that it is really the best thing to use for easy removal.

So here is the super simple recipe.

Place 1/2 cup Masa flour (treated with lime) in a bowl.

Maseca Corn Tortillas ~ Lifeofjoy.meCorn flour in bowl ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen add 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon salt (the original recipe said to use Kosher salt but I used pink Himalayan).

Corn tortillas ~ LIfeofjoy.meAdd 1/4 tsp to 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon hot water and let it melt. Then add to the flour and salt and stir.

Corn Tortilla Dough ~ Lifeofjoy.meIf it is a little too dry, add a tablespoon of water, one at a time, and stir until it comes into a cohesive ball. If it is too wet, you can add a tiny bit (1/4 tsp or so) at a time, until it is not longer sticky. Knead it for a minute or two.

Corn tortilla dough ~ Lifeofjoy.meDivide it into 4 balls, about the size of a golf ball.

Corn tortilla dough ~ Lifeofjoy.meNow, place one piece of your cut grocery bag on the tortilla press (or down on your hard surface).

Preparing to press corn tortilla ~ Lifeofjoy.mePlace your other piece of bag on top of it.

Corn Tortilla Press ~ Lifeofjoy.meLower the top part of the press, if using press.

Using tortilla press ~ Lifeofjoy.meRaise the handle and press on the top.

Pressing corn tortilla ~ Lifeofjoy.meIf you don’t have a tortilla press, you can use a heavy flat bottomed pan.

Remove the tortilla from the press and gently peel the bag from it.

pressed corn tortilla ~ Lifeofjoy.meCorn tortilla ~ Lifeofjoy.meremoving tortilla from liner ~ Lifeofjoy.mePlace on a medium hot skillet, sprayed lightly with oil spray.

Quick cooking tortilla ~ Lifeofjoy.meCooked Corn Tortilla ~ Lifeofjoy.meRepeat the process with each dough ball.

Four Homemade Corn Tortillas ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd there you have it! Four lovely, delicious corn tortillas. These are soft and pliable. Unfortunately to fry them up crispy would make them a crossover. Hmmm, I wonder how they would turn out cut into triangles and baked?

Corn Tortillas

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Masa (corn flour, not corn meal and be sure it has lime in the ingredients)
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp butter (or coconut oil)
  • 5 tablespoons hot water

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in the hot water.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Form into a ball and knead for a minute or two.
  4. Divide into 4 golf ball sized balls
  5. Press between two pieces of cut grocery bag.
  6. Remove from press and bags.
  7. Cook on a medium hot skillet, lightly sprayed with oil to keep it from sticking.
  8. Cook for about a minute on each side.
  9. Fill with your favorite low fat toppings.
http://lifeofjoy.me/corn-tortillas/

In future weeks I’ll share some ways we enjoy these with some low fat ingredients.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Sustaining Love and Laughter

Encouraging Marriage ~ Lifeofjoy.meI got an email from Marriage Today by Jimmy Evans that had some interesting statistics and thoughts. (I hope the link works but fear it will not. Sign up at marriagetoday.com for the Marriage Builder Weekly.

How did you and your hubby fall in love? Then that is probably some of what will keep you in love. Now, the author’s view was that you had fun together and I would say that is probably true in most instances. Michael and I are a bit different thought. :D We just enjoyed being together; we didn’t really do much other than hang with the other. But we’re introverted like that.

He also mentioned having fun and laughing together helps keep a marriage healthy. I have to agree with this. If you don’t have laughter and fun together and only have frustrations and arguments, your marriage is in trouble. Laughing together is bonding and healing, in my opinion.

The other thing he mentioned that struck a cord with me was that being in the same room together, even if you are sitting together on the couch, and not giving any attention to your spouse, is detrimental to your relationship. It says that the people or things you are interacting with are more important to you than the one right beside you. Now, I do NOT believe that you have to spend every moment engaged together but you DO need to give each other your attention and quality time as well as some quantity time too. Five minutes will not cut it here. ;)

So I challenge you to consider how you fell in love with your sweetie and be sure that you are incorporating some of that in your weekly lives.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº