All posts by Life of Joy

So Many Pancakes!

We love pancakes around here. Well actually, we like waffles too but you can make twice as many pancakes in a shorter period of time than waffles. So, we have to be able to have pancakes.

Pancakes on Griddle ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Well there is no lack of pancake recipes to choose from. Last Saturday we had the Giant Blueberry Baked Pancakes from Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook page 261.

Then Sunday when we had company for breakfast we had Baked Pecan Pancakes! Yum! They are in Trim Healthy Table (THT) page 338.

Baked Pecan Pancakes? ~ Lifeofjoy.me

My current favorite pancakes are the Chocolate Chip Pancakes THT page 341.

Chocolate Chip Pancakes ~ lifeofjoy.meThere is also Bring on the Buttah pancakes from the Trim Healthy Cookbook (THC) page 262.

I don’t remember which pancakes these were but they were good. These must’ve been an E pancake topped with a bit of jelly and a dab of Greek yogurt.

Pancakes ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe also like Chocolate Monkey Crepes on page 267 of THC. These are fuel pull. Tiffany and I usually do this one during the week when the guys aren’t home. ;)

Chocolate Monkey Crepes ~ Lifeofjoy.me

I think these are the Banana Pancakes, THC page 339.Banana Pancakes ~ Lifeofjoy.me

There are pancakes for any fuel type you want. The syrup on page 480 of THC is good. If you add the tiny bit of molasses it is even dark brown like regular syrup. (Some people, like my Sean, can eat the Sukrin Fiber Gold Syrup on pancakes and such but it does mess with some people’s blood sugar; so if your weight has stalled, you might want to avoid this one.)

I couldn’t find any more pictures of my pancakes, so I guess I’ll stop there. Those are our favorites. I hope you find this round up helpful.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Listening . . . Really Listening

Listen-Pay Attention ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt is important to engage with your spouse. Acknowledging what he’s going through and empathizing is important, being sure not to belittle him at all. It is important to encourage him to continue to share what he’s going through and not just dump your frustrations onto him.

Listen to what he says, even if you think it is not interesting at all. It is interesting to him, so it is important to make it interesting to you. Don’t look down on and talk negatively about the things he is interested in and talks about, even if it isn’t interesting to you. This is something I’m learning. There are just some things that are not interesting to me at all, but are things that Michael enjoys keeping up on.

Since he’s a paint contractor, he keeps informed of the weather. He doesn’t care for the local evening news weather forecasts because, as he puts it, “They are fear mongers.” :D He searches out reliable people on youtube and weather apps for his weather information. Since I’m inside the house most of the time, I’m not concerned about the weather generally. ;) But I make myself interested in it because he’s interested in it. Much like, he likes to see the Zentangles I create, even though he doesn’t like to draw them himself.

Michael and I didn’t do much when we were dating. We hung out together, watch television together, and did church activities together. That’s pretty much what our marriage has looked like. :) We enjoy hanging out together. But we share bits of things we find interesting with each other.

There was a point that Michael was very interested in his ancestry and finding out information about where they were from. I, on the other hand, have know my ancestry and took the scripture to heart that said not to spend time on endless genealogies. I am ashamed to admit that I looked down on his interest, since I didn’t completely understand it. In hindsight, I should have engaged with him over his interest. Lesson learned.

I hope you learn from my mistakes and make yourself interested in the things that interest him. :) Of course that doesn’t mean you have to become a fanatic over his interests and make them your own, just pay attention when he talks about it, ask questions about it, and by no means allow yourself to think about other things while he’s talking to you about it. Stay engaged. At least, that’s what I’m learning to do. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Much Accomplished in Spite of Circumstances

Although this week did not start out the best, I had my sciatic nerve act up on me, which is a first for me; seriously, I could have gone my entire life and not experienced it and have not feel deprived at all. :D Thankfully Michael doesn’t let these kinds of things go without him trying to find some kind of help online. Well, he did. He found a couple of videos on youtube that addressed it. One I can do myself and it is really helps. Of course it means I have to get down on the floor to do it but it really helps. :)

Because of said pain, I did not do a whole lot of moving the first part of the week. That might have compounded the problem but whatever. At any rate, by the middle of the week I knew I had to buck up and get some baking done. We’d been out of low carb bread for a while and it was high time I made some. So I made a loaf of the Wonderful White Blender Bread from the Trim Healthy Table cookbook. I made it using my Kitchenaid mixer instead of my blender because although my Vitamix is amazing, I have not figured out how to make this bread successfully in it. :\  But whipping the egg whites in my kitchenaid with the wire whisk works like a charm and I have many less fallen loaves.WWBB ~ Lifeofjoy.meI made a double recipe of the Peanut Butter Bust-A-Myth Banana Cake (a.k.a. BAM) and baked it in my largest casserole dish, I think it is like 10″x14″ or so. It looked beautiful!!! And about 15-30 minutes later, it deflated. :( But I’m sure it will taste just fine, even if it isn’t the prettiest. AND we’ll have a nice E (energizing, healthy carbs) snack or dessert available.

PJ BAM ~ Lifeofjoy.meThat is only half of it. I’m freezing it because we don’t need it until next week. :)

That was Wednesday’s adventure. Then yesterday I worked on my grocery list for quite a while. I should have started the baking earlier in the cooler part of the day but my head was really wanting to figure out the grocery list.

Michael is working outside in the horrible heat this week and ended up getting a gatorade because the air conditioning in his work van is broken once again. Well, that did not sit well with him, so I set out yesterday bright and early to figure out what I could fix him that would be as good or better than the gatorade . . . Singing Canary for the win. I used Baobab powder for the suggested vitamin C needed.

If you are not familiar with the Singing Canary from the Trim Healthy Mama cookbook, it is a jolt of adrenal nourishing rehydration. It is made with a full lemon for a half gallon container. I had not made this drink before so it took me a little longer to get it done than either of us would have liked but in the end, he left with a thermos full of wonderful hydration. :)

In order to make future batches quicker to produce, I set out to prep the remaining dozen lemons. This included  cutting off the outer most layer of the lemon rind and leaving as much of the white pith as possible. Then I proceeded to cut it into quarters and remove the seeds. Painful business when you have some sores on your fingers/hands. But my baby’s worth it. ;)

Cut lemons ~ Lifeofjoy.meThat’s enough for two and a half gallons of singing canary. Now I just need to prep a few batches of all the other ingredients that go in it, to make it really quick and easy. But that’s a job for another day. :)

I’ve rambled enough for today. I’ll pick up here next time because I baked even more things. To say I am sore, is an understatement. :D

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Summer Fun Ideas

Summer Fun Links ~ Lifeofjoy.meSome time ago I came across this webpage on the Dating Divas site. They have a lot of cool things there if you have never visited their site. Usually I go there for marriage ideas but some of them are moms too and provide some ideas to do with kids too.

Here they have 50 things to do with kids. They have all kinds of ideas including indoor and outdoor activities from scavenger hunts to pajama night to “paint slip-and-slide” and much more. In true dating diva fashion, some ideas even include free printables. :

In case that isn’t enough, here is a list of 101 things to do this summer. This list has a good variety of suggestions with many that are more on the tame side. ;) There are suggestions from “Take a Hike” to “Cloud Watching” or “Stargazing” and “Plant a garden” to “Make Homemade Cards.” There really are a lot of great ideas. You could print of the page and have the kids highlight/check off the items as they do them. With 101 suggestions, it will take a little while. :)

Need even more ideas? Here’s a list of 50 free or cheap things to do this summer. And if you and your kids are still bored or in need of suggestions, me thinks you’re too picky :D but you can find so many more ideas on pinterest.

I hope you and your family will have fun making memories this summer. Read some books, make some food, spend time outside, and be sure to get in some cuddles. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Watercolor Soul Star

I seem to really love Soul Star even though I don’t really do it justice. :D I like it almost as much as I did Cadent and Paradox when I first started tangling back in 2009. It seems that it is what comes to mind quickly and I am enjoying drawing.

This week I got some new art supplies but I’ll share about that next week. One of my new purchases was some watercolor pencils and I’ve been wanting to try them out.

So all I did was tangle Soul Star largely on my tile. Here is the lineart.

Soul Star ~ Lifeofjoy.meYeah, I know, the lineart is not that great. ;) I’m always so thankful for shading. This time I tried my hand at some color. If you remember last week I added just a bit of color. I added a bit more this time around because I had watercolor pencils. :)

So here it is colored.

Soul Star Colored ~ Lifeofjoy.meHere’s what’s up. I like blues and purples right now. Then I remembered that you should use a color opposite on the color wheel for contrasting. Orange is opposite blue, so I attempted to put orange in the middle but my orange was more yellow than orange. So then I got out some pearly watercolors and added a dab on each orb (I’m thinking I’ll make some large orbs next time I use this tangle–if I remember) and add some in the middle.

Then I went back and used graphite to shade the sections I left white and the one side of the “spokes.” All in all, I like how it turned out, especially for my first use of these supplies.

Here are some pictures I took; I didn’t get natural lighting because it was dark out by the time I finally got this done and that’s saying something considering it’s summer and it stays light so late now.

Watercolored Soul Star ~ Lifeofjoy.meSoul Star ~ lifeofjoy.meSoul Star Tile ~ Lifeofjoy.meSo, what tips do you have for me? Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your kind comments.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Warm Veggie Salad and Roased Okra ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Warm Veggie Salad

Okay, I am probably going to mess with some of your thoughts on salad here, so hold on to your hat. ;) The first time I was introduced to having warm foods on my salad was when I ate in my cousin’s restaurant, where I had Steak and Fries Salad. I loved it soooo much I recreated it at home using chicken since my hubby cannot eat beef right now.

That experience opened up a whole realm of possibilities to me. There was something about adding French fries to a salad that unlocked my salad eating, although I must admit, it wasn’t completely unlocked until the last couple of years or so.

I’ve realized that you can sauté or otherwise cook almost anything and add it to a salad. You are only limited by the items you have on hand. ;)

Today I’m going to share the salad Tiffany and I had for lunch yesterday. We started by putting some cut okra in the toaster oven to roast. Then proceeded to sauté some cauliflower and broccoli for Tiffany (I’m currently cutting back on cruciferous veggies so I didn’t have any).

Cruciferous ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe also sautéed some onions, mushrooms, and radishes for us both, as well as some squash for me.

sauté squash ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe we added some ground beef for our meat choice and cooked it with the onions, mushrooms, and radishes.

Meat and veggies  ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhile that was all cooking away we tore some lettuce leaves. We used some green leaf and some baby artisan lettuces from Aldi this time.  We added some diced colored peppers and some shredded carrot.

Lettuce and Peppers ~ Lifeofjoy.meLettuce carrot peppers ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhen the veggies and meat were cooked to our liking, we added them to the salad.

Warm Veggie Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe could have added the okra too it but we decided we wanted to enjoy that on the side. (For the record, before THM I did not like okra. It’s pretty good roasted and sprinkled with nutritional yeast.)

Roasted Okra ~ Lifeofjoy.meWarm Veggie Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.me

There really isn’t a recipe to write down. Cook veggies to your liking and add them to what cold veggies you want. Tiffany and I have also added cooked salmon to a salad like this. Yum!

Oh! Don’t forget the salt and pepper! It’s the key to a good salad.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Showing Compassion in the Little Things

Caring ~ Lifeofjoy.meFrom time to time, Michael has had soreness or pain. Thankfully I have been relatively free of pain (with the exception of my menses in years past).

Recently I have had some pains surface in my body. One is a pain in my wrist that travels up my arm. Michael had a similar pain within the last year. I think I rubbed it some and prayed for him, and tried to offer what supplements we had on hand that might help. But with my recent pain, I realized that I may not have been as sympathetic and considerate as I might should have been.

I have found that it is always a good idea to ask yourself what you would appreciate if you were in a similar situation. I really like the practice of asking people to rate their pain level from 1 to 10 with 10 being the worst. It helps give perspective into how the person is coping with the pain. I have a tendency to rate my pain lower because I compare it to something horrific rather than just how bearable the pain is for me at the moment.

I guess what I’m learning is to try to be more mindful when he says he has some pain and show more compassion or concern. We tend to minimize things like that around here. This was not always the case. ;) For those who might be concerned for us, we do have a doctor we go to when pains persist or we are unable to get things controlled.

My point is that I’m finding out that I probably could be a bit more compassionate and sympathetic to the one I love most on this earth. Sometimes we get caught up in all we have to do and don’t put forth the extra effort to do nice things for each other. I’m hoping I’ll remember this and be more considerate in the future. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Flower Update

I thought I’d give a bit of an update on my flowers. :) I especially love flowers that come up without any work from me. :)

Here are my sunflowers. I love that some of them are red and some are a mix.

Bee on Sunflower ~ Lifeofjoy.meSee the bee? I love catching interesting photos like that. :)

Here you can see one of the blossoms blooming and then there is another bud beside it. If you look down a bit lower you can see one that doesn’t have much red in it at all.

Unfurling sunflower and bud ~ Lifeofjoy.meHere you can see how these self-planted (or maybe bird planted) sunflowers really desired to live in spite of their shallow planting.

self-planted sunflowers ~ Lifeofjoy.meYou can also see how the “grass” is encroaching on the flower bed. We’ve had a bit of rain, which the flowers are enjoying, but my right wrist/hand/arm is challenging me right now and I cannot get rid of the weeds and such. I am afraid I may end up with one of those “natural” looking flower beds again this year and I really don’t want that. So, we’ll see.

As you can see in that last picture, my marigolds are doing well. My lovely vincas are too.

Pink vincas ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe white ones are doing well too. And you can see my ?mini coleus? are doing well too, in spite of the pesky “grass.”

white vincas ~ Lifeofjoy.meMy new rose bush is doing pretty good too.

Yellow Roses ~ Lifeofjoy.meJust look at that flower!

Yellow Rose ~ Lifeofjoy.meSo pretty!

Unfortunately my lilies did not bloom this year. :(

Not Lilies ~ Lifeofjoy.meBut there is something growing next to them, other than the weeds. ;) I’m not sure what it is right now.

Unknown Plant ~ Lifeofjoy.meYes, that is the plant steak there. I just forget what it says. :D And that is Darcy. I’m not sure what he was waiting for.  (hee hee)

Here was a pleasant surprise . . .

Pretty Pink Flower ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’m not sure what it is but it is one that we planted last year and reseeded itself! Love that!!!! As you can see, it won’t be a lonesome flower. It has some other stalks coming up too.

Pretty Pink Flower 2 ~ Lifeofjoy.me

I saw a hummingbird at the mimosa tree this week but by the time I got the telephoto lens on, it was gone. But I did catch some butterflies in action. :)

Butterfly & Mimosa ~ Lifeofjoy.meMimosa & Butterfly ~ Lifeofjoy.meButterfly Mimosa ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Well, that’s my flowers. :) I hope you liked the update. If you know what that pretty flower is, let me know in the comments.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Civics

Vote ~ lifeojoy.meThis coming week is the primary elections in Oklahoma. I don’t generally vote in the primaries. In order to vote in the primaries you must be registered for a specific party. The reason for this is so that people from the other party can’t get the weaker candidate on the ballot to oppose their candidate. If you want to see if your state is having primaries this year, you can check this webpage.

It is important to teach your children about civics and their responsibilities as a citizen of this country. In Oklahoma it is one of the few requirements we have for educating our children. One way we teach children about civics (and really most everything) is by what we do. If we spend time researching which candidate to vote for and go vote, we show our children that we place importance on it.

If you are looking for a curriculum to teach your children about our government and how it works, the HSLDA has some good information on teaching civics here.

I hope this is helpful to you and reminds you to check into your state’s upcoming elections.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

 

 

Fun Font

I started a tile a few days ago and got caught up doing other things and did not get back around to it. I went to pull it out today and it had gotten a big oil stain on it. :( Won’t be finishing that tile.

My wrist has been bothering me a bit, so I don’t exactly feel like drawing much right now.

I found this font on pinterest and love it! I’ve used it a lot. I used it on a Father’s Day card to my hubby last week. (I did it on white card stock but it didn’t show up very good, so I colored the background so you could see it here better.)

I used a glitter pen and it looks really nice in real life. :)

I went outside and took a picture of it in the sun this morning. :)

Glittery Father's Day Card ~ Lifeofjoy.meGlittery Card ~ lifeofjoy.meYeah, it doesn’t show up very good but Michael liked it. ;)

I love the curls and the fat lines.

I found the font on pinterest. I only wish the lower case letters were shown too.

Journaling Addict FontHere’s the link to journaling addict, who is the source of this photo. I really appreciate that this picture is online because I’ve enjoyed creating things with this lettering style.

Well, that’s it for today. I hope you have a good one.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº