Monthly Archives: March 2018

Blossoms, Bacon, Banana Crepes, and More

At the end of last week, I looked outside one afternoon and saw Sasha. She is our blue tick heeler that is usually on a leash in our back yard. She has a nice big area/long chain. I won’t go into all the reasons why it is necessary for her to be on a leash; it is not our preference but what is necessary. At any rate, when I looked out front, I saw her . . . this should not be.
blue tick heeler loose ~ Lifeofjoy.meShe must have been loose for a while because she drank most all of the cats’ water that was on the porch. This makes me think she did quite a bit of running around before arriving on the porch. She is a strong dog. If Sasha doesn’t want to go back to her area, she doesn’t. ;)

strong blue tick heeler ~ Lifeofjoy.meI didn’t get pictures of Tiffany and Sasha happily walking back to her area. But trust me when I say, she was quite happy.

I baked some bacon last weekend. I had Sean put it on this platter. Keto Daily Bread ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe thought it was quite humorous, considering we don’t eat regular bread any more and eat quite a lot of bacon. :D

This is the breakfast Tiffany and I had yesterday. It is really delicious banana crepes with chocolate sauce. Yummo!!! (THM Cookbook pg 267)

THM Chocolate Monkey Crepes ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’m not even a fan of yogurt, which is the filling in these yummy things, along with some slices of banana. It was a yummy and filling meal.

I noticed that my narcissus flowers bloomed this week too.

Narcissus 2018 ~ Lifeofjoy.meI don’t recall having ones with the dark orange trumpet in years passed. I really like them but I do prefer the longer trumpets to these shorter ones.

My Bradford Pear trees are blooming nicely as well.

Bradford Pear Trees ~ Lifeofjoy.meSome of the leaves are already opening.

Bradford Pear Tree ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe peach tree is blossoming too! I’m so excited! There are no where as many blossoms as last year but we ended up with nary a peach because of a late frost or two. But that is actually okay because it seems I’ve heard that you should actually pluck the first blossoms to enable the tree to focus on its roots instead of putting out fruit. So I’m thinking that the few blossoms we have is good; it’s producing what it can provide without sacrifice.

Peach blossoms ~ Lifeofjoy.meThese are still very new and we saw some tiny buds still to open. I’m hopeful for some good peaches this year.

Then we saw the plum trees are blossoming too.

Plum blossoms ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis little tree, that is about four years old, is a slow grower. :D But it has LOTS of blossoms on it’s little twigs. We have another one that is younger but much larger and it too has blossoms, although not as concentrated as these. :D

We had a good visit with my sister and her girls this week too. It is always nice to get to spend some time talking with her about what is going on in her life and hear about her homeschooling. I try to encourage her the best I can.

We have birthdays to celebrate this Sunday with my family. My baby sister and Sean’s birthdays are within two weeks of each other, so we will celebrate both this Sunday, which means I get to see Brian, Lauren, and Liam!!! Yay! My little grandson is not quite so little any more. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone. I’ll be making a chocolate cake for Sean and the rest of us sugar free THMers (Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle eaters).

Well, I’ve rambled enough for today.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


I find having routines help me be more productive. It also helped me a lot when the children were still schooling, as it enabled them to know what was expected of them and accomplish it.

I attempted scheduling, you know, with times and everything but that did not work for us at all! Times made it a total bust for us. BUT having the list of things that needed to be done, and even an order in which to accomplish them, was very helpful.

I recently have added to my short morning routine and now I’m getting a lot more things done each day. I’m not following it 100% but I’m getting way more accomplished than without something in writing.

Routines ~ Lifeofjoy.meAbove is my routines from my bullet journal. I don’t mark anything off; it’s just for reference. (It is odd that the brightest colors on the page, scanned the lightest.)

You have some kind of routines now, whether they are good or bad only you can say. For years I had bad routines, ones in which I flew by the seat of my pants and got little accomplished. It feels good to be more productive with my days. I’ve heard it said, many times, that the best way to get a good start in the morning is to plan for it the night before. So I’ve added to my evening routine.

On this Home Organization website, there is some help, ideas, and printables to guide you, if you are interested.

I hope you’ll give writing down your routines a try.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

DC#355 Verve + Tofube

DC#353 Verve shaded heart ~ Lifeofjoy.meWell, this week’s Diva Challenge is to use Verve. Oddly enough, I used Verve for the first time for the challenge two weeks ago.

For today’s tile I decided to incorporate Tofube by Damy Teng, which is the Square One: Purely Zentangle focus tangle for the week.

For the string, since this is challenge number 355, I decided to go with the 55th string on I chose the 55th because there isn’t a 355th. :)

So here is what my tile looked like after adding in verve and the first part of tofube.

DC#355 ~ Lifeofjoy.meI put Verve in the loops created by the string.

Here it is with the “creases” of Tofube.

DC#355 verve and tofube ~ Lifeofjoy.meHere it is after shading.

DC#355 Shaded ~ Lifeofjoy.meI did minimal shading, although I did shade a couple of layers. I wanted it to look a bit puffy. The verve remind me of fish. :D

Thanks for stopping by. I truly love your comments; thanks ever so much.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Breakfast Burrito ~

Sausage Veggie Breakfast Burrito

Nice mix of veggies, sausage, and egg without any one ingredient being overbearing.

Last week I was hungry for a breakfast burrito and was so glad that I still had a Joseph’s Lavash left in the refrigerator. Half of one lavash is allowable once in a while on Trim Healthy Mama in an S meal. So I cut a lavash in half and Tiffany got half and I got half.

Cut a Joseph's Lavash ~ Lifeofjoy.meI put two to four ounces of sausage in my skillet and began to brown it.

Bulk Sausage in Pan ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen I grated a small to medium zucchini into the pan.

Grating in Zucchini ~ Lifeofjoy.meNext dice up a mini pepper or about a quarter of a medium bell pepper. I used a yellow one this time but any color will do.

Yellow Pepper ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd it to the pan and saute.

Cooking vegetables and sausage ~ Lifeofjoy.meDice up one large mushroom and either one some tomato and add them as well. Season with salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast, if desired. (The salt helps to draw out the moisture and cook the veggies.)

Breakfast burrito ~ Lifeofjoy.meYou can either add a bit of oil, like coconut oil, or just a bit of water, if things start sticking to your pan.

Slightly beat two to four eggs. The first time I made this I only used two eggs because we didn’t want egg to over power the taste but even though I wrote looked at what I’d written down previously, I did four eggs before I realized it. 😯 Not to worry though, we were still on plan, the egg did not over power the taste, and we had a lighter lunch.

Beat eggs ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd these to the pan and mix in.

Eggs added to Burrito filling ~ (I was dealing with a very overcast morning, so some of the pictures did not turn out very good.)

When the egg is nearly cooked through, add two wedges of light laughing cow cheese. You could use the pepperjack version if you want it spicy.

Breakfast Burritos ~ Lifeofjoy.mePlace half of the filling on a lavash half, roll and enjoy. :) Tiffany puts hers on he length of the lavash.

Skinnier Burritos ~

And I put mine down the width. Hers are skinnier than mine.Sausage Breakfast Burrito ~

Sausage Veggie Breakfast Burrito


  • 2-4 ounces sausage
  • 1 Roma tomato, about 7 grape tomatoes, or a couple of slices of larger tomato
  • 1 mini pepper
  • 1 small to medium zucchini, shredded
  • 1 large mushroom, diced or sliced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 wedges of Light Laughing Cow Cheese
  • 1 Joseph's Lavash cut in half
  • salt and pepper, as desired
  • Nutritional yeast, as desired (optional)


  1. Brown the sausage and add the vegetables and cook to desired doneness.
  2. Season with salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast (optional)
  3. Add beaten eggs and stir as they cook.
  4. Add the cheese wedges and blend with cooked sausage, veggies, and eggs.
  5. Place half the filling in a lavash half, roll up, and eat.
  6. (If you put the filling in the lavash over the length of the lavash, you may need to cut it in half to eat it properly. 😉 )

I hope you enjoy this yummy breakfast with hidden veggies. :)

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Why Do You Love Him?

Do you ever get lost in the day to day frustrations of life and say things that although you really felt it and meant it at the time, you regret having said anything at all. Yeah, I’ve been there . . . just this past weekend actually.

Saying negative things to or about your husband undermines him. I wish I hadn’t done it but I did. I have apologized but it doesn’t take away the less than wonderful things I said.

I recently saw this article which seems like a really good idea to do, no matter the status of your marriage. In it the author wrote about how she and her husband were having difficulty and went to a marriage counselor. The first assignment they were given was to make a list of things they loved about each other. She said it changed their marriage.

I think we tend to forget the little things but when we force ourselves to stop and think of good things, it seems to make the things that are bugging you at the moment more bearable.

So I encourage you today, take some time and write down some things you love about your hubby. If times are good with you and your beloved, it should be an easy task. If it is a tough time, dig deep; go down memory lane, remember how you felt and why. Then write it down. Maybe even take a moment and connect with your hubby over it. From what I’ve heard, men thrive on admiration and compliments. :)

I hope you’ll take a few minutes and write a few reasons you love him. It can only help. :)

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Yummy Food, Trash Hunt, and Grocery Budgeting

I was looking through pictures of what I did over the last week and saw this one.

Breakfast Sausage Pizza ~ Lifeofjoy.meI took it one morning when Tiffany and I had these for breakfast. It is the Breakfast Pizza with sausage instead of pepperoni. It was really good. We hadn’t had them in a long time. I’ve been trying to cut back on my dairy consumption but that day, I just needed pizza. :) It’s a good one to have any time of day and it is filling!

Tiffany and I have been doing some form of exercise every day, not much, but some. One day we did a THM Work-In, which takes about 20 minutes. Then a couple days we did about three songs on our zumba Wii game. Of course, one day was errands and we get a lot of walking done that day so no other exercise is even considered. We buy lots of gallons of water each week and carry 4-6 of them in the house at a time, so we even get some weight lifting in. :D

Trash Search ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe other day, Michael took the trash out with him when he left for work. (We had to double bag it because the bag was ripped when he pulled it out of the trash can.) About a half hour later he called me and told me this sad tale of woe. ;) He got into town at his first stop and saw the outer bag still hanging on the back of his van but the broken inner bag and all its contents were missing. He asked me to go looking for it to clean up the mess. I wasn’t thrilled about it but I went anyway.

I headed out and got a mile away and still no trash. I turned the corner and began the second mile of dirt road and this is what I saw, in the road up ahead.

Country Life ~ Lifeofjoy.meThey just stood there. I stopped and took some pictures.

Close-up Deer In Road ~ Lifeojfoy.meThese two deer were standing in the road. When the left one bounded off, the second followed. A third came out into the road and then went back from whence it came. It was nice to see while on my hunt for trash. :D

I got to pavement and decided that I’d go a couple of miles more. Then I went another mile or two and called Michael and reported that I had yet to see any trash that looked to be ours. I went back home, still looking along the way but returned home empty handed. So either it came out in bits and pieces and blew off the road sporadically or the whole bag fell out and someone picked it up and disposed of it. No idea which.

I tried another grocery budget makeover last month and am glad I did not pay full price for it. I considered requesting a refund but I felt like God led me to the course and did not want me to seek a refund. I did enjoy the videos and their suggestions but found that since we already eat all our meals at home or from home, many of the suggestions aimed at making it easier to eat at home rather than from a restaurant were not really helpful for me–at least from a money saving  standpoint.

Budgeting ~
(Yeah, I go to 3-6 stores each week but am blessed that four of them are in a one mile area with another only about a mile further.)

I had already planned to look into money saving apps, so the small portion of the course addressing this was not really very enlightening. I’d heard about couponing and sales cycles and coupon stacking already so none of that was news either. The information shared about how to do CVS or Target is already available free and was not even a part of the paid content. So, it was good because it gave me some good hard numbers to work with and aim for but I pack a lot into my budgeted money. I include animal food, vitamins, clothing, birthday gifts, household updates (like new rugs or curtains) and such in my budget. These ladies did not include any of those things, nor did they include their dining out budget to get the whole picture. So, I could do better, but I’m not doing as badly as I once thought I was.

I hope you have a great weekend.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

St. Patrick Freebie and More

St Patrick Unit ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’ve got a few time sensitive freebies for you today.

The first one is a free unit study on Saint Patrick just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Since I’m already an email subscriber, I just clicked the link and was taken to the download page. So click here, sign up for their emails (very few), and get your free unit study.

The second one is a freebie or two when you sign up for the emails (also very few) over at Enrichment Studies. There is an Easter enrichment unit free to subscribers. Down at the bottom of the page under Recommended Resources is a listing of some art works (with samples) with a suggested schedule of use in a free pdf.

The last is a freebie reminder. Don’t forget to check out Homeschool Freebie of the Day (and go back to older pages as well, as some older items are still available). One freebie I found interesting was the “Make your own cartoon printables”. I followed the link but it didn’t go to what I thought it would. So, here is a link to the printables page on that website. It is a pretty cool site and even has some free ebooks, on top of the hundreds of single printables available.

I hope you find these useful.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Siri Magical 8

This week’s Diva Challenge is to use Simone Menzel’s tangle Siri. I checked out the focus tangle on and decided to use yesterday’s pattern focus of Magical 8 by Smita Toke. I also looked at the weekly string on Pattern-Collections and decided to go ahead and use string 68, well something similar. ;)

I went ahead and did my border and string. Then worked a little backwards on Magical 8, since I drew the string before the 8’s. Next I decided to fill Siri in as the background but on a medium scale. I only had four repetitions of the set. Since I drew it into the background, some of the details are lost but it still looks decent. :)

Here is my tile before shading.

DC#354 ~ LIfeofjoy.meAs always, I’m happy for shading to cover up my wonky lines. :) I really had to concentrate when I was drawing Siri and I’m certain I didn’t do it justice but I like the effect.

Here it is after shading.

DC#354 shaded ~ LIfeofjoy.meI opted to make the loops of my string into solid shapes instead of empty ones.

Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate it when you leave comments. :)

If you are curious about my site, I write about life happenings on Fridays, raising kids on Thursdays, food on Tuesdays (I’ve change my lifestyle of eating to Trim Healthy Mama, which is a low glycemic way of eating), about marriage on Mondays, and of course, art on Wednesdays. I hope you’ll be blessed and encouraged by the content here.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Wasa Cracker Snack ~

Snack Crackers with Cheese and Peppers

A light snack to keep the munchies at bay. Sweet veggies on a crunchy cracker with a creamy cheese wedge.

On Trim Healthy Mama you eat every three hours or so to keep your blood sugar level. Of course this means that you should not over indulge at any one eating. ;) I love food, so it is often difficult for me to eat slowly enough and drink something with my meal so that I realize that I am satisfied and no longer need to eat.

I start my day with a cup of oolong tea with collagen and sunflower lecithan in it. The collagen is super good for me and gives my body some protein to start revving my metabolism. Michael fixes this for me first thing every morning. :) He’s good like that.

About an hour and a half later Tiffany and I have breakfast. Then about three hours after we finish eating breakfast we have lunch. Another three hours and it is time to eat again. :) I love this way of eating! It is at this snack time where I am the most challenged. My body does not need another full meal. Some days I eat a nice rich dessert at this time because it gives my body longer to burn it off while I am away and moving. Many times I will save my piece of dessert from the night before and eat it for this snack. But I cannot do that all the time or I will never be out of the “losing weight” portion of this lifestyle. So some days I have a lighter snack.

Today I’m sharing one of those lighter snacks with you. It is very flexible but this is the way Tiffany and I prefer it.

Two Wasa light rye crackers. It is important that you have the kind with rye because it is better on your blood sugar than others. (If anything says wheat without the word sprouted, don’t buy it; it is not the right one.)

Wasa Snack ~

Smear half of a LIGHT laughing cow cheese wedge on it. Here again, don’t get the original swiss because it is not the right one. The light swiss is good. However the pepperjack or asiago are okay as well. You are looking for the ones that have 35 calories. I do like this brand better than the Aldi brand because it is more pure and it seems like the wedges are larger too.

Wasa Snack Cracker ~

Next add some sliced veggies. We like peppers with ours. Although I do like cucumbers sometimes.

Cutting Red Bell Pepper ~ Lifeofjoy.meWasa Bell Pepper and Laughing Cow Snack ~

Sometimes we add just a single thin slice of turkey lunchmeat to up the protein a bit. It’s nice and lean and low calorie, which is helpful when you struggle losing weight. ;)

Wasa Snack with Turkey ~

That’s it. A nice little snack to keep the munchies at bay until dinner, in three hours. It is a very light snack so it helps my body release weight more readily.

I hope this idea helps you in your weight loss endeavors.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Are Romance Novels Hurting Your Marriage

Romance Novels ~ Lifeofjoy.meI was thinking about romance novels the other day. I used to read them years ago. There are many levels of them and some are actually okay to read BUT they can interfere in your marriage.

If you are struggling in your marriage, wishing your husband were more like characters in a book, you are not doing your marriage any favors! Those characters are fictitious which means they are not real. They are going to do things that the author wanted. They are not necessarily based on anyone in real life. If you are wishing your husband would do some of these things, your expectations are unrealistic.

Now if he did some things before you were married and stopped afterwards, you might casually mention that you miss it. You might be pleasantly surprised with his reaction. Of course, I did say casually. Don’t argue with him about it. It could be mentioned as a “remember when . . . I sure do miss that.”

But if your hubby has never been much of a romantic, I recommend you pray and ask God to help you. Stop reading those things because they are fueling your dissatisfaction. Then you might talk to your husband. Share with him things you like and wish he would do and then ask if there are things he likes and wishes you would do; it’s only fair. ;)

There is nothing wrong with reading clean romance novels (not erotica) if it doesn’t make you dissatisfied with your marriage or think poorly of your hubby. But if it does, consider how you would like to compete with some unknown person, real or imaginary? Because that is just what you are doing to your hubby, making him compete with a fictitious character and that is not right. So if this is happening I admonish you to stop reading now. Pray and ask God to help you become satisfied with your relationship. Pray for your husband, yourself, and your marriage.

Until next time, God bless,