All posts by Life of Joy

Birthday ~

Daughter’s Birthday Activities

Last week we celebrated Tiffany’s birthday. She loves the water so we decided to go to a local lake a few minutes from home. My parents and sister and her family joined us.

It’s a nice little lake. :)

We waded in the water. The baby and toddler fish were not afraid of us.

It was funny because there were a couple of groups of smaller fish like this and then there were some that were a bit bigger but still swimming in schools together and right in this same area-ish. The bigger ones were several inches long.

The girls (Tiffany included) decided to make a sand donut instead of a sand castle. :D They are a creative lot.

Before we left for the beach though, we had loaded sweet potato fries and chocolate “milkshakes” for lunch. :)

Yeah, they were good! :) We took leftover cinnamon rolls for our snack at the lake. :) Yum!

So we had these babies for breakfast and snack. Definitely not conducive to weight loss but oh so delicious for a celebration! :)

We only stayed at the lake for around two hours but it was long enough that Tiffany had the enjoyment of the water and I got a tiny bit sunburned. :D

We got home and showered and then decided to put together a puzzle. I’d gotten this beauty in my stocking for Christmas. I definitely want to find a similar one of a bit higher quality.

I loved the picture but the pieces didn’t go together nicely at all. But I still like it.

We finished this one and started a new one that I have never even opened before. It has a pretty sunrise/sunset with a lighted bridge. We’re still working on it so maybe I’ll remember to take some pictures of it and share it next week. ;)

After dinner we watched the newest Doctor Dolittle movie. It was okay but a let down from the trailer which made it look amazing. It’s one of the few movies I’d been looking forward to watching.

We had Suzy Q cake in the middle of the movie–yum!

It was a good day and Tiffany enjoyed herself, her gifts, the food, and the outing. :)

I’m going to run for now. We spent the afternoon yesterday at my parents’ with my nieces painting some of her outside decorations. I’ll share some pictures here next week (I hope ;) )

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Dollar Tree Art Supplies

I wish that I had taken pictures one of the last three times I was in Dollar Tree recently! I’m such a horrible blogger sometimes. :D

In the past I’ve gotten Apple Barrel or Folk Art acrylic paints from Walmart very inexpensively. But when I went to Dollar Tree the last several times (all within the last month), we saw that they have paints now. These bottles are bigger than Apple Barrel and Folk Art. They also have washable paint for children to use.

Tiffany needed some acrylic paint for a wall mural she wanted to do in her room on her closet doors. We have a fair amount of paint but she needed a bit more. We’d heard that Walmart was out or very low on paint, so since we stopped at Dollar Tree first and saw they had some paint, we decided to give it a try.

They have some acrylic paint in tubes and since they were out of white in the bottle, we got one in the tube. We also got blue, green, and black in the bottles. She used the black and really liked it. She said the quality seemed a little different from the Apple Barrel she’d finished off, which was a rather old bottle, so she isn’t comparing new to new.

She said that the white paint in the tube wasn’t opaque enough. This week they had white in a bottle, so we picked up one of those. We’ll see how it works.

But all this to say, if you or you children need some inexpensive art supplies, check out Dollar Tree. They have a decent variety crafting items available. Of course, all stores are not the same. The one we’ve been going to recently is the biggest one in our area. Our normal store, a little closer to home, is a bit smaller and doesn’t have the same craft supplies but they still have a good variety. So if your usual store doesn’t have what you are looking for, check out other stores in your area. We have six that I can think of off the top of my head and there are probably more. (Yep, I just searched and there are about 13 to choose from in the Tulsa area.)

They have stickers, hot glue sticks, glitter, wood items, craft sticks, paint, little canvases, pom poms, flowers, “rocks”, posterboard, pens, craft kits, posters, and coloring books, just to name a few items. You do have to look around the store though. The store we were in today had two sections of flowers and floral supplies. They have ribbon of different types in one floral section.

There’s the office type supply section and the school/teacher type supplies are sometimes nearby and other times back by the party supplies. There are coloring posters in the kids section and in the office supply/books section some regular-sized coloring books and even sometimes some extra large ones. There are stickers in several sections as well.

I hope this helps you and your family afford to try your hand at some new crafting endeavors. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Toodles, Pokeleaf, Nekton, and Quabog Tile

Things a considerably better around here but I still didn’t get all my step-outs done this week. Of the seven tangles: Nekton, Pokeroot, Pokeleaf, Toodles, Quabog, Tortuca, and Rain, I only had the step-outs for the first three already made. But then I ran out of baseball card size cards (ATC) and needed to cut some more. I haven’t gotten around to doing that yet. ;)

I went ahead and decided to jump right to the tile for the week. ;) I think my favorite of this week’s tangles is Rain, and I didn’t even use it in my tile. :D I like Toodles but struggle adding more than one to a section. Of course, I struggle a bit with layering Pokeleaf and pokeroot too. Nekton has never been a favorite tangle but it filled in a small section nicely.

I don’t recall ever using Quabog before. The section I used it in was a bit squished so I wasn’t able to “hollibaugh” it enough, intertwining the upper section with the lower one. But it is okay. ;)

So here is the scan and picture of my tile before shading.

Of course, it was cloudy out when I was ready to take pictures outside again. :DThen I shaded it and this is how it turned out. I kind of like it. :)

I didn’t want to have a solid black fill, so I left it with lines behind toodles and pokeleaf.

Well that’s it. I think Toodles kind of looks like some kind of bird head–like a woodpecker or something. :D

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you try your hand at some tangling; it can be a great stress reliever. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Copper Pot and Tomato Paste

We got a copper pot from Aldi several months ago (it seems like a very long time ago but I don’t remember when it was). It was desperately needed, as the pot we had of that size was pretty scratched. However this is my first copper pot and I don’t know all the ways of such a thing. I figured I could just use it like any other non-stick pot.

Here’s a picture of the copper pot that I used to make the chocolate ganache for the Suzy Q cake last week.

A few weeks ago Tiffany made the pizza sauce in it and it tasted off. I just thought she didn’t season the tomato paste properly. Then the next week the same thing happened. Then last week I made the pizza sauce in the copper pan and it tasted nasty. I had to add and add and add things to make it edible. I wondered if something happened to the tomato paste we got at Aldi recently. It was weird.

I realized that these last several times were the first times we’d used this copper pot for pizza sauce, I think. So we decided to use a different pot last weekend. It still had a bit of an odd taste, according to Tiffany, but not anything near as bad as the previous weeks.

So, I’m not sure yet. I’m going to have to do some more testing to be certain. But I did notice that our copper pot now has some scratches, so maybe that is what is causing the bad taste.

At any rate, this is just a notification that you may not want to cook tomato based recipes in a copper pot! Just saying! :D

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

The Wife Challenge

I was reading Ephesians chapter five in the Amplified Bible, one day last week and came across the scriptures about wives relationship to husbands.

Verse twenty-two wasn’t to much different than what I’ve heard before.

22 Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord. (AMPC)
I thought that was it. But of course, I finished reading the chapter that day and came upon the last verse of the chapter, verse thirty-three, which reads,
33 However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly].(AMPC)
Wow, this is really a great list. It is a list that I should pay attention to. The respects and reverences part isn’t what jumped out at me. The Amplified uses multiple English word equivalents to clarify the Hebrew and Greek word meaning and context. So it is these words that made the meaning of respect and reverence a bit more clear. ;)
  • notice him
  • regard him
  • honor him
  • prefer him
  • venerates, which means regard with great respect, revere
  • esteems, which means respect, admire, value, regard
  • defers to him
  • praises him
  • loves him
  • admires him exceedingly


I’m challenging myself to use this list as a daily reminder. I think I will note an instance where I did one of these, either journaling or in my bullet journal.

I hope this scripture helps deepen your relationship with your hubby. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Birthday, Dollar Tree Decorating, and Gel Nails at Home

It’s Tiffany’s birthday this week!!! In spite of the stressful time we are going through, I am trying to make it a wonderful celebration.

Of course she requested the sourdough cinnamon rolls. :) This time I’m using the 3-day ferment recipe instead of the 7-hour ferment one. These will be a crossover on the THM plan, which means that they won’t be good for weight loss but they are still on plan. :)

Cinnamon Rolls rising and then ready to bake for Tiff’s birthday breakfast.

We’ve ordered some books that were on sale that we’ve wanted (her more books than me) and these are what she has pre-spent some of her birthday money on. Several have arrived already, so with the clothes that she got at Ross last week, she already knows what her gifts are but she hasn’t been able to wear or read them yet. :D

Tiffany loves to swim, so we are going to the lake and some of the family are going to join us there. I was reminded that the water is going to be cold but hopefully it will be warm enough for her to swim some.

I’m making the Suzy Q (Ding Dong) cake for her so maybe I’ll get some pictures added to that post. It’s Suzy Q because I’m making it rectangular instead of round. ;)

We had this old vine wreath that we put out each fall. It wasn’t decorated very good and most of the additions had come off. We bought three strands of fake ivy and a sprig of magnolia flowers at Dollar Tree and Tiffany added them to the wreath.

I had a metal sign outside and the words came off of the stake. It says, “Home Sweet Home.”. Tiffany repainted the letters and added it to the wreath. It looks nice now. :)

I painted my nails with some gel nail polish (Sensationail) on Mother’s Day. I only had 3 chips in them after a week. At fourteen days my nails had grown out enough that I started itching to scrape off the polish. :D

I don’t know why but I love scraping off the polish. It’s pretty cool when I can use my nails to remove the polish and don’t have to rely on nail polish remover.

Tiffany and I are going to do our nails this weekend; it’s her gift to herself. :) I’m probably going to use the color I just removed. :D I really like it. It is nice and summery.

I’m going to run. I hope you have a good weekend; we’re going to. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Two Free Summer Studies: Bugs and Stars

I found a website that is offering two free studies this summer. They will begin next week.

Backyard Bugs

The first is a study on backyard bugs. Go here for a description and to sign up. I think it looks really interesting and wish it’d been available when my bug-loving boys were little. ;)


The second is Summer Stargazing for Families. I actually signed up for this one and intend to “play along”. It’ll be fun to get Michael’s laser out and share this with my family, even though we are all adults now. :) Go here for a description of the “course” and to sign up.

I hope you’ll check these out and have some interesting endeavors this summer!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Keeko, Scena, Meer, Jetties, Tripoli, and Betweed

This week has not been the best week!!! And that is putting it mildly. So this is going to be pretty short.

The tangles I used this week are Betweed, Meer, Jetties, Tripoli (just one triangle), Keeko, and Scena. I used one big Jetties and then a few small ones in the center of the one Tripoli.

First will be the unshaded scan and then the picture taken in natural, albeit overcast light.

Yes, my huge jetties is not round because I filled the oddly shaped section with one instead of many jetties. :)

Here’s the final tile, shaded (first the scan and then the natural light).

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a better week than me. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Breakfast Options

I have a couple of different meals I like to eat for breakfast for the two main fuel types: two for healthy fats and two for healthy carbs. And on Saturdays we like to have pancakes or some other special breakfast. I thought I’d share my norms with you today.

Healthy Carbs

  • Oatmeal: I like to cook my 1/2 cup oats with 1/2 cup of almond milk and a cup of water. Some times I like it like this and other times I add some cocoa powder.
  • Toast: One to two pieces of toast, depending on the size of the bread. I spread a thin layer of peanut junkie butter (about a tablespoon) and then either some strawberry jam, strawberries, 1/2 a medium banana, or other fruit on top.

In the beginning, these didn’t fill me up for long. But once I added the extra 1/2 cup of liquid to the oats it did. If I’m not quite full enough, I add a cup of chocolate milk but I’m usually okay because I have a quart of oolong tea each morning, which is about two big mugs. Oh, my quart of oolong has a scoop collagen in it. :)

Healthy Fats

When I have fats as my fuel source, I try to have vegetables. My main veggie of choice is either zucchini or cauliflower. I like to add onion, green or red pepper, and mushrooms as well.

  • Two Fried Eggs on a bed of diced zucchini sprinkled generously with nutritional yeast.
  • Breakfast Caulirice: the key to this one is to season it well. The recipe I follow uses some miso, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and parsley (and/or other herbs). Mix seasonings with two eggs and then add to chopped up (riced) cooked cauliflower and cook until eggs are done.
  • Bonus meal: I like to add sausage to sauteed veggies. This is wonderful eaten in an on-plan tortilla and a wedge of light laughing cow cheese (if’ I’m watching calories) or cheese of choice. The laughing cow is good because it eliminate my need for mayonnaise and is a lot lower in calories.


These are my breakfast go-tos. On Saturdays I usually make oat pancakes and then have a bit leftover for Sunday mornings. This gives me a good mix of breakfast fuels and provides veggies for breakfast easily a few mornings a week. :)

I hope this helps you in your search for healthy breakfasts.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Miscommunication in Marriage

I read in a book recently about a couple of things that happened to two married couples. They were situations where the husband had done something nice for the wife but when the wife saw what the husband had done, she focused on something that was done “wrong” or merely differently. All the husband “heard” was that he didn’t do it right and wondered why he even tried to do something nice at all.

Scenario 1

Upon reading these scenarios, I could totally see what happened. The first husband had gotten their young daughter ready to leave while the wife was getting ready. Unfortunately he’d chosen one of the child’s “good” outfits and that is what the wife focused on.

I can imagine that when the wife came in she thought how nice his actions would have been if she didn’t have to change their daughter anyway. She could have handled it better by thanking her husband for what he did and finding a nice way to inform him of the use of different outfits. ;) I’m guessing he just put something cute on his daughter instead of thinking about the appropriateness of the outfit for the day’s activities.

Scenario 2

A similar thing happened with the other scenario. The wife came into the kitchen after dinner and saw the husband sweeping the floor and most of the kitchen cleaned. She asked why he didn’t clean off the counters; naturally, he felt unappreciated, especially since he hadn’t finished the cleaning of the kitchen.

I’m guessing that the wife sweeps the floor when she is completely finished cleaning but her husband swept before he’d wiped the counters. His way was not wrong. It just wasn’t the way the wife does it. Now, she should have thanked him for cleaning the kitchen before asking why he didn’t clean the counters but still, it was just a communication error. (This book made it into something else entirely.)

These two situations remind me that my way is not the only way to complete a task and that I need to be sure to express my thankfulness for the help I receive. It also reminds me to watch the tone that I use to ask questions. I can think of a couple of different voice tones that can be used to say the exact same words but change how they are received. One sounds like nagging and ungratefulness and the other sounds thankful and curious.

Something Flylady taught me

I’m reminded of something I learned from Flylady: Housework done incorrectly still blesses your family. It doesn’t have to be done perfectly and it doesn’t have to be done the way mom taught me to do it, as long as it still gets done. ;)

I had to release my expectations on different household chores and allow others to do it their way. Michael does not fold towels the same way I do but that doesn’t make his way wrong and mine right. It really isn’t worth getting upset over or having to do it myself.

I hope this encourages you to express your thankfulness more and be sure to lighten the tone when asking why something was done differently than you’d do it.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº