All posts by Life of Joy

Family Time

Last weekend Brian (our oldest son), Lauren (his wife), and Liam (their son) came up to celebrate Michael and my niece’s birthdays. Michael wanted carrot cake, so of course, I obliged! :)

Brian frosted it for me and then added a bit of decoration to it, sprucing it up a bit.

It was pretty good. It was a THM S (healthy fats) dessert. I don’t remember where I got the recipe but it was online somewhere.


My niece likes the Shopkins real minis. She got two packages (like small mystery packs or grab bags). In one she got Boom Chicka Pop and Pringles sour cream and onion.

The other package had chocolate pudding pack and whipped cream can. I didn’t get a picture of the pudding but the whipped cream was adorable.

They are adorable! Thankfully, both packs were different and both included ones she really wanted. :)


Liam enjoyed being outside. Sean and Tiffany took him outside while we were at our house.

Tiffany and my niece took him out while at my parents.

It was a fun day. I was surprised how loud we were when we all arrived. I nearly had to shout to be heard. :D

My parents close on their old home next week so we’ll be going over and helping get the remaining things from there this weekend. It shouldn’t take terribly long and then it will be done and they can just enjoy settling into their new home just a few minutes from us. :)


I’ve finally gotten some reading done. I read the second in the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series by Anne Perry and am sad to say I didn’t enjoy it very much. I’m hoping the next one will be better.

I started Dark Matter by Blake Crouch and am really enjoying it sans the curse words. There isn’t so much that it is intolerable for me yet and I’m already halfway through it but it is definitely something to be aware of before you pick it up. I’m sure we’ll be talking about it on Joyous Jabbers soon since Tiffany plans to read it too.

I have to admit that it feels really good to be reading again and to be excited about it. I read the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt book on my Kindle Paperwhite and I am really enjoying reading on that device. It isn’t hard on the eyes like tablets and other devices can be. It’s a lot easier than reading on my phone. I read one of the books in the Stormlight Archive on my phone and that was not something I’d like to do again. ;)

Well, I’m going to go for now. I’m not sure what the day holds for me, probably some tangling since I’m a week behind on Inktober. :D

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Youtube Channels to Check Out

A couple months ago, when I was trying to figure out Patreon, I ran across a couple of youtube channels that looked interesting. Now, I have not had time to check these out but thought that I’d mention them to you in case they included subjects in which your children are interested.

The first is probably just interesting to those in older grades as it deals with World War 1, I believe. It is called The Great War. From 2014 through 2018 he did a series about what happened that week a hundred years ago, which is interesting.

The other channel is about various points of history and even some videos about video games and gaming. The channel is called Extra Credits. There really is a wide assortment of videos here to check out. You could use either channel along with whatever other resources you are using for the specific historical time and talk about how the information corroborates or differs.

If you check these out, let me know what you think,

Michele ºÜº

Inktober 2019 Progress

Well, I was doing good keeping up with Inktober 2019 through the first part of the week. Thursday was a full day and after service we attended a gathering. We didn’t get home until nearly 9pm and I still had my blog post to get done. By the time I finished that I was too tired to enjoy doing any art.

Then Friday after the morning service was over, we ate some lunch and grabbed a few needed groceries. I don’t remember what time it was when we got home but I was completely done. I spent the weekend staying off my feet but I also did no art.

I figure I usually only share one tile with you each week, so I’ll just share the two I have finished and the one I have started today.

On Tuesday the 8th, the official Inktober prompt was Frail. I don’t know how the ladies picked tangles to go with that but here they are:

  • Everything is Art Prompt: Bales
  • Tangle All Around (fb):  Praa
  • Pattern-Collections.com: Quad Eclipse

Day 9

  • Everything is Art Prompt: Lola
  • Tangle All Around (fb):  My Swing
  • Pattern-Collections.com: Wrapping
  • Official Inktober:  Swing

(Tangles listed at the bottom are drawn from the bottom of the section up to the number.) My Swing, which is the bottom tangle on the right, was a bit difficult for me to draw. I think it looks pretty good after shading but it was definitely one of those “high focus” tangles. I’m guessing that once the pattern is familiar, it should flow pretty well. The wrapping on the nine wasn’t the best either. ;) Lola on the other hand, was simple and fun to draw. :)

Day 10

  • Everything is Art Prompt: Cubine
  • Tangle All Around (fb):  Windmill
  • Pattern-Collections.com: Pressure
  • Official Inktober:  Pattern

Well, that’s all I have for today. I’ll share the shaded  version of this last one next week, along with any others I get done for the next week. :)

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you have a great day!

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Chocolate Fix

So, after conference last week, I’m a bit tired. I’m not feeling like doing much of anything today. (Truth be told, I’m writing this Monday afternoon and I’m hoping Tuesday will be better since we have to prep for Michael’s birthday this week.) I’m also craving some chocolate and we are out of sugar-free chocolate chips. :(

In my desperation, I opted to make something chocolatey. We had two options: 1) make skinny chocolate with cocoa powder, coconut oil, and sweetener or 2) melt down some unsweetened chocolate and add some sweetener. Tiffany looked at the calories of the coconut oil versus the unsweetened chocolate and deemed the unsweetened chocolate the winner.

So Tiffany was a sweetie and made the sweets, melting down the chocolate in a double boiler.

If you don’t have a double boiler, you can put a heat safe bowl over a pot of simmering water. Add sweetener to taste,  to the melted chocolate. Keep it over the water until the sweetener dissolves. (Taste for sweetness.) We used about a third of a cup of xylitol but I think I would have preferred it a bit sweeter. ;)

Then we spread it out on parchment paper and put it in the freezer to firm up quickly.

Remove when firm and break off pieces.

I decided it could benefit from a bit more sweetness and a little salt, so I put some powdered sweetener and salt in a bowl and dipped the chocolate in it before eating it. :)

This cured my chocolate craving without adding too many calories to my day. :)  I hope it helps you too.

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Conversation

Last week Lori of The Generous Wife shared an older post from her website about communicating with your husband. It was quite interesting and got me thinking about how most of the time I don’t have much to talk about except normal every day home happenings and that can get very boring and monotonous.

Lori says she became intentional with conversation, looking for things to talk about with her hubby. This has stuck with me and I intend to attempt to find something new to talk about with my hubby each day. It may be a bit difficult in the beginning but I think it is important. If you still have children at home, it can even include good things they said or did.

Do you talk about interesting things with your hubby or do you tend to whine, complain, or nag him? I encourage you to join me in upping your conversation game with your hubby.

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

It’s Conference Week Again

For the last several years we’ve been invited to a gathering on the Thursday night of conference week. However, because we live 35-40 minutes from church and we are busy helping in the kitchen and such and because there is a two hour layover between the gathering’s beginning and the end of service, we usually just go home.

This time we were told to just come over as soon as church was over. With such a sweet offer, we decided to take them up on it. It was nice to hang out with the ladies and help as they attended to the final touches for the gathering. Then people started to arrive. Oh My Gracious did they pack a lot of people in the house.

Sean built a fire in the chiminea for them. It was much needed because the house was full and some stepped outside but the temperature must have dropped twenty degrees or more and was a bit chilly outside.

It was a nice time of fellowship but this introvert was ready to hit the road before the night got to late. On the way home we ran into some rain a downpour. Of course, we drive so far that we managed to get on the other side of the rain and beat it home. It started catching up with us as we were making our way into the house and then it poured!!!

It’s been a good week. The ladies that get there bright and early to put out the food are awesome. I’m so thankful that they are willing and able to be there at 6:30am because I am not functioning very good that early. ;)

Funny thing happened with the coffee this year. We always get Dunkin’ Donuts brand coffee. This year was no different. Monday afternoon Michael asked me why we made French vanilla coffee. I assured him that I did not and that it was our regular coffee.

Come Tuesday I was told by another lady that we had French vanilla coffee. We looked at the bag and low and behold, it was French vanilla!!! I told the office and they were stunned too. The last part of the week we had the regular coffee. Michael was right; it was French vanilla. :D


Those pancakes I made last Saturday really have helped us eat properly. We’ve eaten them three days this week for breakfasts. So nice to pop them in the toaster to heat them up. And of course, we had the second batch for breakfast Tuesday.

Well, I’m going to run for now. I’ll try to add some pictures later.

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Active Toddler Link

We have conference this week at our church and are volunteering our help, so I’m going to keep this a bit short today. ;)

Children with a lot of energy have to expend that energy in order to be able to sleep. I saw this post with 44 high energy activities for toddlers. It includes things like laser chase, dance party, and hokey pokey to name a few. There are also some purchasable games that I have not heard of before, so maybe they’ll be some new ideas for you as well.

I hope this is helpful to you.

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Inktober Days 2-7

I shared Inktober Day 1 with you last week. At the time that I am writing this post I have not yet done Day 8. Since we have conference this week and we are volunteering, I’m not sure I’m going to get each day’s tangling done on that day (although I have so far) and this post has priority over my tangling. ;) So I’ll share day 8 next week.

I have been sharing my work each day on my Instagram account (links at the bottom of each post) but scanned them to include here today.

For two years in a row I requested, and received, the Tangle*A*Day calendar by Carole Ohl. Last year when I decided to do Inktober I pulled out the one for 2015 and tangled in October for Inktober. :) This year I flipped through to see if I could find a month with 31 days that was both empty and the days happened to be on the right date. I was surprised to see that December started on a Tuesday. So I’m tangling Inktober there; I didn’t think I wanted to have 31 tiles to deal with. You may remember that I tangled Festina Lente in a sketchbook that is about 6″ square, one page for a week of tangles; I considered doing this again but liked the idea of using the calendar space better. :)

Day 2

  • Everything is Art Prompt:  Tunnel Vizion
  • Tangle All Around (fb):  Line Dance
  • Official Inktober:  Mindless

Day 3

  • Everything is Art Prompt: Toodles
  • Tangle All Around (fb):  Worm Hole Spiral
  • Pattern-Collections.com: Lada
  • Official Inktober:  Bait
  • DoodlewashOctober2019: Fish

 

I think the Toodles look kind of like fish with the worm hole spiral being the bait on day 3. All but Toodles were new to me and I have only used that one a couple of times. It was fun learning to draw these. :)

Day 4

  • Everything is Art Prompt: Zonked
  • Tangle All Around (fb):  Snow Flower
  • Pattern-Collections.com: Paradox
  • Official Inktober:  Freeze
  • DoodlewashOctober2019: Ice

Day 5

  • Everything is Art Prompt: Jalousie
  • Tangle All Around (fb):  Pezino
  • Pattern-Collections.com: Bud Head 1
  • Official Inktober:  Build
  • DoodlewashOctober2019: Barn

Day 6

  • Everything is Art Prompt: Flukes
  • Tangle All Around (fb):  Kuba
  • Pattern-Collections.com: Ur-Chen

I have to say that Pezino seemed much more like drawing than tangling and Kuba on day 6 took a lot of concentration. I think I probably needed a bit more space to make it look as intended.

I’ve always liked tangling inside the day’s numeral, but usually more like I did on day 2. However, I think I like how days 4 and 5 turned out. :)

Day 7

  • Everything is Art Prompt: Huggins
  • Tangle All Around (fb):  King’s Crown
  • Official Inktober:  Enchanted
  • DoodlewashOctober2019: Apple

I considered blackening in all of King’s Crown or just leaving all open but I really like the contrast with some blackened. I decided I needed to straighten up some lines and it grew into blackening some of it in. :D

Well, that’s it for today. I’m enjoying my daily tangling and hope I manage to get today’s done this this evening but it’ll be okay if it doesn’t get done. I’ll catch up this weekend. ;)

Until next time, happy inking,

Michele ºÜº

Philly Cheesesteak Wrap

When I was in college, I worked summers at the local pizza/sub shop. I absolutely love pizza but I found I got sub sandwiches most of the time. My favorite was a steak sub. I liked and ate others like hot ham & cheese or the Italian sub. I occasionally got a small pizza but it was rare, which surprised even me.

They made their steak and cheese subs with meat like a steak um and provolone cheese. I sometimes get a hankering for a steak sub and will buy a box of Steak Ums. Lately has been one of those times. ;)

I start by chopping up some onion, mushrooms, and peppers because that’s what I like on mine now. :) I get those cooking with some salt and pepper.

I add a bit of oil of some kind since I’m having this as a Trim Healthy Mama S meal. Sometimes I’ll add butter, sometimes bacon fat, and sometimes coconut oil.

When they are almost as done as I want them to be, I break up my Steak Um into pieces and add it to the pan.

I sprinkle on a little oregano.

Next I heat up my wrap. I try not to use too many low carb Mission tortillas because THM says that if you are not losing weight and you are eating these (and other “frankenfoods”;) then try cutting them out for a while and see if you start losing again. So that’s what I’m doing.

Last Saturday after I made the double batch of sourdough pancakes, I had Tiff whip up the batter for Trim Healthy Mama’s Wonder Wraps 2 from their Trim Healthy Table cookbook. They have a bit of psyllium husk flakes in them, so they are really beneficial to my health. :)

I made these on my griddle and then let them cool on cooling racks. Then I placed them between sheets of parchment paper and put them in a gallon baggie. Then I just heat them up in a skillet for a few seconds.

I spread a Light Laughing Cow cheese wedge on the wrap and added the filling.

I sprinkle on some nutritional yeast.

Fold and eat. :)You could definitely add some cheese on the meat and veggies and let it melt but I’ve been going a bit overboard with my meat and cheese intake lately and that’s not conducive to weight loss. :( I was surprised that the laughing cow wedge tasted so good on this.

Steak Ums aren’t cheap but I found the name brand is cheaper than the off brand at my local stores. I don’t use these for a family dinner but use them for lunches on occasion. :)

I hope enjoy this as much as I do.

Philly Cheesesteak Wrap

Ingredients

  • Frozen steak um
  • onion
  • peppers
  • mushroom
  • butter
  • wrap
  • light laughing cow cheese wedge
  • salt, pepper, and oregano
  • nutritional yeast, optional

Instructions

  1. Chop veggies and saute in a teaspoon or so of butter.
  2. When nearly done to your liking, break up the steak into pieces and add to veggies.
  3. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a bit of oregano.
  4. Heat wrap and spread with light laughing cow cheese wedge.
  5. Add cooked meat and veggies and nutritional yeast, if desired.
  6. Fold and eat.
http://lifeofjoy.me/philly-cheesesteak-wrap/

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Compliment Him

It can be so easy to see things that are wrong or could be improved but speaking these things do not bring joy, generally speaking.

I’m making an effort to compliment my hubby more frequently. It is so nice to see him get a big toothy smile on his face when I do.

I wish I had done it more in the past but I cannot change the past. I can, however, change the present and the future. So I’m working at just complimenting some, a few times each week. Then once I’ve gotten a little compliment “muscle,” I’ll attempt a real compliment a day.

Words are not his main love language but everyone likes to hear good things about themselves or when they do something well or they are appreciated.

So I encourage you to make an effort to increase the positive words you are saying to your hubby and see how it blesses him. :)

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº