All posts by Life of Joy

It’s New Year’s Eve! 2020/2021

The links I shared last year for New Year’s planning and review are still good (or updated). So I’m re-sharing that post here today. :) I hope it will bless you and your family.

I believe that we should always trying to better ourselves. The beginning of a new year is a good time to decide what area I want to focus on this year. Children can (and should) do this too. I found some good printables to help.

This first one is from 2014 but it is a good one. So, I recommend printing it out and putting a number sticker over the wrong year or using some correction fluid or correction tape, to erase it, unless you are one of those that can easily edit it before printing. ;) Here is the page describing this printable. The original link went 404 on me but I persevered! :D Click on the picture of the printable on that page and it will open the pdf.
This one is a little different but it goes along with what a lot of people do, creating a word for the year. It also has the individual write down a want, a need, something to share, and something in which to succeed. It’s a nice contemporary printable. At the same link is a New Year’s Eve bingo printable as well.

The same site also has a really cute Year in Review. I have shared this one before, I think but she updates it every year. It is really a nice printable and colorful, although you could definitely print it out in greyscale to conserve on colored ink, if you so desire.

This one is similar to the last. It too is a year in review printable. The author shares her family history with this and it sounds like a very sweet tradition that is a great memory maker. :) Like the previous one, it has you list some of your favorite things, which could be really interesting to look back on after several years and see what changed and what stayed the same.

Then there were a few game ideas that looked interesting as well. This memory game looked really cute! And here is a page with a lot of New Year’s Eve ideas to include children. The idea on the last link for glow stick games was so cute that I’m including a link to that one as well. With the days shorter, winter is a good time to try some of these games, if you happen to live in an area that gets some warmer weather this time of year. ;)

Finally there was a really cute idea for a decoration for a New Year’s party. If you happen to be one that takes their Christmas decorations down by the first, this could work for you. I, however, am not only not home as we go to my sister’s home, but keep my decorations up until Epiphany on January 6th. But it really is a cute idea. You could get a jump on some of the decoration clean-up by taking the ornaments off the tree and changing it over to a New Year celebration tree. Check it out here. :)

Well, I believe I have rambled on quite long enough for today. I hope you have a great New Year’s celebration with your family, whether it be at noon on December 31st, midnight of the first, or some other time. (I knew a lady that changed her clocks and celebrated the new year with her young children at 8pm, so they still got into bed on time. But you could just make it a thing, there are lots of ideas out there and listed above as well.)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


2021 Bullet Journal Setup

I have only used about 2/3 of my bullet journal for 2020. Part of me thinks it a waste to start a new journal but the other part of me thinks that it is a new year and it is good to start fresh. Besides, if I keep going in this one, I’ll surely run out before the year is over and then I’d have to get another one and that would be messy for me. ;) So I start a new year with a fresh journal. :)

Last year I decided to ditch the index. It just doesn’t work for me. I also decided to put collection pages in the front and skip back about 50 pages and begin my daily to do lists and such. This worked out great! I’m definitely doing this again. This year I decided to give myself another ten pages in the front. I had so many pages left in the back that having a few more in the front shouldn’t be a problem.

I start by looking through my current bujo and deciding which pages/spreads I want to do again. I write on my sticky flags the page title and move along. Then when I’ve gone through all the pages, I decide if there are any new ones I know I want to make and make sticky flags for them.

Then I place the sticky flags on the pages I want them. I do this so that I can easily move them around if I so desire, as I’m getting placement figured out.

I usually start with a Year-at-a-Glance on the first two page spread. I don’t really use this very much but it is nice to have all the birthdays, anniversaries, and special days all in one place at a simple glance.

It is interesting to see the different feel I went with for each year’s bullet journal pages. The first year or two I was really into glittery/sparkly feel. However, last year I was more into florals. I use a lot of washi tape because it dresses up pages so nicely and so quickly.

The new one is on the bottom of the picture above. You can see that I’ve used similar washi tape this year as last year, with a floral design. However, the thin ones dividing the months are different. I didn’t like the ones I used last year because they seemed to stick to each other a bit when closed. I struggled to find thin tapes I wanted between months. I may use marker next year. ;) Or who knows, I may go back to glitter tapes next time. :D

I decided that the chore/focus page has served its purpose and I no longer need it in my bujo.

On the other hand, I saw that this one gal does a page for one thing for which she is grateful each month. I decided to add this to my pages and it will be the last page in the front section.

The right side will be the first page of the next section. I may do some art on this page or decorate it somehow or even put a quote or scripture on it. Clearly, I’m not that far yet. ;)

As you can see, the front section takes just a fraction of the pages and now I can flip through the easily to find what I’m looking for.

I hope you liked this look into how I set up my bujo. Some people get all crafty and scrapbooky with it but I use stickers and washi tape to make mine appeal to me. As you can see, there are many ways to use a bujo. I hope this helps you see some different ways.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Steak-Umm Salad

I like to keep Steak-Umms on hand for a quick beef meal for me. I know it isn’t the best but the only ingredient is Beef, so I feel safe eating them. ;) They are a bit fatty but then I don’t need any extra fat on my salad. :D

I start by cutting up some onion, pepper, and mushrooms. Then I begin to cook them in a skillet with just a tiny bit of coconut oil to keep them from sticking. I used two baby bella mushrooms, and about a 1/4 cup or maybe a bit more of each diced bell pepper and onion. I read yesterday in the new Trim Healthy Future cookbook how good bell peppers are for you, so I was sure to include them this time (I don’t always do so).

When these are nearly done to my liking I break up a portion of Steak-Umm and cook it with it.

This only takes a short time to cook. Season with salt, pepper, and a bit of oregano or any other seasonings you like. Get your salad ready. I washed about 4 or 5 leaves of lettuce and tore them up onto my salad plate.

When the beef is cooked, pour it all over your salad. :) Time to enjoy!

Super simple and super yummy. I added some nutritional yeast when I ate it. You can add some shredded cheese if you like.

Steak-Umm Salad


  • about 1/4 cup diced bell pepper
  • about 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 large mushrooms, sliced/chopped
  • about 1 teaspoon coconut oil (or oil of choosing)
  • 1 portion steak-umm
  • 4-5 leaves of lettuce, washed and torn
  • dashes of each salt, pepper, and oregano


  1. Cook the veggies in a skillet with the oil until nearly done as desired.
  2. Break apart one Steak-Umm portion and add to the skillet.
  3. Season with salt, pepper, and oregano or other seasonings as desired.
  4. Place lettuce on salad plate or in bowl and top with the cooked meat and veggies.

I hope you enjoy this quick hot salad.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Foods Affects Attitude

Over the last several days we have not been adhering to our normal way of eating. We have all eaten sugar and white carbs that we don’t normally eat.

One day we noticed that Michael was pretty frustrated. It has been a long time since he has been that frustrated. We finally realized that it had only happened since eating the way we used to eat. And then realized that it must be a blood sugar level issue.

Tiffany is actually the one that put two and two together for us. Once armed with that knowledge, he made efforts to anchor the sugar and white carbs with lean protein a bit more intentionally.

Food plays such a vital role even in our attitudes. Keeping this in mind is helpful to me. It affects children as well as adults.

I hope you have a good week as you plan to celebrate the ending of 2020 and welcome in 2021.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Xmas ~

Merry Christmas (2020)

Well, I have failed so far in taking any pictures but Lauren took some so I’ll get her to forward some to me so I can add them to this post later.

The donuts were a hit for our Christmas Eve breakfast, as was the breakfast burrito bake. We changed things up, just a bit this year and opened stockings and then ate breakfast and then went back and opened gifts. (Sorry about all those “and”s.)

It was fun seeing the gifts my sister’s family received. We exchanged ornaments and this year Tiffany painted the ones we gave. I’ll share a picture later. ;) I was going to buy it but the reviews said that they were on lightweight wood and not very brightly painted. So, odds are that we would have had to repaint them anyway. So Tiffany just offered to paint them to begin with. So I bought the ornament wood blanks and gave them a nice white base coat. Then she whipped them out like it was nothing. ;)

I got an old game out to play with Liam yesterday. It is called Pizza Party. It is really a lot of fun for children. I remember playing it with my nieces and they never wanted to stop playing.

This was the first time he’s played it and we had a ball with it. :) I had forgotten that pizza is his favorite food. So you can imagine, he loved it.

It was a fun Christmas Eve and I’m sure today will be both emotional and fun. Emotional because my dad is in heaven but fun, because we will be intentional and make it fun.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and enjoyable weekend.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Christmas Eve

It’s Christmas Eve! And for us that means it is Christmas #1. :) When Michael and I were first married, we spent the night at my parents’ house on Christmas Eve and opened our gifts to each other there. When we had Brian, the first year we did as we always did. But around the 3rd or 4th year we got Brian and Sean some larger toys that we could not lug to my parents’. So I got the brilliant idea to get up Christmas Eve morning and act as though it were Christmas. Since Michael was already self-employed at that time, work was no problem. :)

It was great! We got up and did Christmas that morning and the kids were able to play with their new toys all day long! At my parents’ home they weren’t able to play with all their toys because there were too may people there and we needed to keep the mess to a minimum. So this was a huge win because if they got something they didn’t want to part with, like a stuffed animal or something else small, they could take that item with them.

Now twenty-five years later, we still wake up Christmas Eve morning and have Christmas here. Then on Christmas day we wake up and go to my sister’s home and have second Christmas. :) This makes our Christmas nice and full! :)

It is probable as time goes on that things will change. This year will be really different without my dad. :D But we will go with the flow as each change comes and let God help us through each one.

I feel sorry for those who have lost loved ones earlier this year. I imagine they have worked through their grief but now the holidays are here and they are having to work through it all again. I have prayed for them. I so appreciate the prayers that our family is receiving that I want to be sure to cover those other friends in prayer too. So Hardings  (Moores) and Roses, know that I am praying for you this holiday season.

I encourage you today to make this holiday memorable. Teach your children the blessing in giving and the blessing of family.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Long Lasting Nails the Quicker Way

Okay this is a real cheat for a post! But it is the only art I did this week other than wrapping gifts and I wouldn’t exactly call those a work of art either. :D

The week after Thanksgiving Lauren introduced me to the joys of nail stickers. She did them for me showing me how to do them.

They lasted for about two weeks. I just peeled them off last Saturday because I had scratched some of them pretty badly near the end. On one day I bent back one of my nails and I was pretty sure it broke. However, thanks to the nail sticker, it stayed together. When I peeled off the stickers I left on that one sticker because I wasn’t sure how bad it was.

Well, I took it off this morning and found that it did break but it wasn’t as bad as I thought. ;) See?

I’m struggling a bit with picking the right stickers for the right nails. Lauren started with the middle fingers, so that’s what I’m trying to do but I’m not finding a good match. So I’m switching to ring finger.

First you lightly sand all the nails, which I did already. Then you apply the sticker without getting it on your cuticle or the skin on the sides of the nail.

Then you stretch it over the end of the nail a bit.

Then use a course file on the edge to “cut” it off.

I really love the snowflake on the red glitter! So pretty.

Then I moved on to the middle finger.

Some of them I used upside down so that they fit my nails better. :)

Tiffany’s nails are too short, so she just used nail polish but she did put the cute little yetis on her big toe nails.

The final step is to put on a topcoat of clear polish.Here is the finished nails. One thumb has a snowflake and the other doesn’t.We watched this as we did our nails.

It’s the first time we’ve watched Elf this season. It has a few crass moments but it is a fun movie. :)

Well, that’s all for me today. Thanks for stopping by. I’ll get back to some Zentangle soon. I’ll be working on my bullet journal next week, so I don’t know if I’ll have a tile to share or will be sharing that instead.

I hope you have a very merry Christmas!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Christmas Week of Special Foods

Well, this week is Christmas and I’m making some things I’ve not made in a very long time. Christmas Eve morning we will have Breakfast Burrito Bake. This is a family favorite and so we are all looking forward to having it. Brian, Lauren, and Liam will be here early that morning and Lauren is the one that reminded me of this dish.

I used to fix Monkey Bread or Bubble Bread with it but I fixed it on Thanksgiving morning and although it was all eaten, it didn’t seem to be a favorite. Since we’ll be having that on Christmas Day at my sister’s house, I decided to make Baked Pecan Pancakes (they are in Trim Healthy Table (THT) page 338) as our sweet dish on Christmas Eve.

Tiffany will be making two apple pies, I think. One will be sugar-free and the other will be Apple Crumble Pie. Then she is also going to make the Pumpkin Trimtastic Roll. I’m so used to our sugar-free lifestyle that I forget that some of these recipes aren’t our old sugary desserts. I hope the pumpkin roll will be liked by my mom.

I’m making a turkey and dressing Wednesday. :D Our Christmas dinner this year was voted to be tacos. So, I’m making a turkey before Christmas. I’m just doing stove top dressing but we like it. :) I’ll fix something like green beans with it and call it good. I spent yesterday thawing the 16 pound bird that Sean got free from a church before Thanksgiving and decided he has had enough turkey at his house, so he gave it to us. :)

When we have had our fill of the leftovers, I’ll sub it in for chicken in some casseroles. Turkey nachos are good if you don’t mind the THM crossover. We always like creamed turkey with leftover turkey.

I’m still considering making cinnamon rolls at some point over the next week and a half. I know my family here would really like them and so would I. I just don’t want to commit to making them by Christmas day. :D

Actually, our family Christmas dinner is taco bar. We are going to have a variety of meats to choose from: salsa chicken, taco seasoned ground beef, and shredded pork. It should be a good variety. Of course we’ll have lots of chips and cheese available. :D

For breakfast Mom makes a hashbrown, egg, and cheese casserole. She’s talked about making some bacon and maybe some sausage with onions to add to it. We’re going to pick up some donuts too. So with the monkey/bubble bread (and Mom’s keiffle, which is small little nut rolls) we’ll have plenty for Christmas morning breakfast. :)

Then on Saturday, instead of our weekly pizza, I’m fixing LASAGNA!!! I absolutely love lasagna! We haven’t had it in years, so I’m looking forward to it. :D

Well, that our week of special meals. What meals do you do special around Christmas?

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Ask, Don’t Assume

This week is Christmas. We have some Christmas traditions, as I’m sure most people do. But in November I like to ask my family what are some of the traditions or activities they’d like to do again and if there is anything new they’d like to do.

I find it is best to have a conversation about these things rather than just assuming that everyone still wants to do everything as usual. And sometimes you find there is something new you can do instead of an old activity.

I’ve learned to reduce the number of things we do. With fewer commitments made during December, we are able to enjoy the month a bit more. It is important to communicate with your spouse about what he likes to do and what he really doesn’t–some can be dropped but some are unavoidable. For the unavoidable ones, talk about strategies to make it more enjoyable to you both.

Communication is soooo important! Take time to really share this week with each other and not so busy being busy that you are frazzled and frustrated. I got my wrapping done last night so that won’t make me all frazzled. Now I can focus on cleaning up the mess I made in my three day wrap-a-thon :D and really enjoy the week.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas week!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº