My love and I at zoo ~

Touch can be Stress-Relieving

This week is Thanksgiving in the USA. I hope that you are preparing to make it a good memorable day. :)

With all the planning, preparing, baking, going, and doing, it can get a bit stressful, so be sure to take some time to breathe deeply and cuddle with those you love. :)

Did you know that touch can relieve stress? Well, good touch that is. ;) Lately I’ve taken to getting up close to Michael and saying something like “love me.” :D Or I sit on his lap in his chair and have him hug me. He has also been more touching as late, kissing the top of my head or running his hand across my back as he passes by me in the kitchen.

My encouragement to you this week is to not get so rushed and busy that you get frustrated with the ones you love (and especially the ones you live with). Spread things out enough throughout the week or get enough prep work done ahead of time, so that you can enjoy the special time with family and friends (who are one and the same for me :) ).

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Shopping and Self-Care

It’s been a good but rather normal week, meaning not much to write about today. And then I think back to last weekend and remember, hey! Michael and I went out on Saturday! Yay! I do have something different to share. :D Well, I did share about this some on Monday, so it’s not really news, now is it. Oh well. ;)

I won’t repeat myself from Monday, so if you are interested in where we went to eat, pop on over to Monday’s post.

We also did a little shopping looking for items for Michael to put on his Christmas wish list. He saw this mug that he loved the look of, but would it pass the grip test?

Ultimately it did not pass the grip test and we did not find any red mugs that met his approval either. :p (He had a very serious tester face on there.)

We did find some things that made him smile. (He loves to laugh.) On one of his new video games that he plays online with some people that he has played with for over a decade, he has a ghillie suit and loves it. Well, he found this hat while we were shopping and just couldn’t keep from putting it on and making us both laugh.

Oh what a loon! :D I love him abundantly.

Tiffany and I visited my parents one day this week. It was so nice to be able to drop over for a bit and just chat. Then the next day we saw them at the chiropractor’s office (they were coming as we were going) and we talked more as if we hadn’t just spent a couple hours together the day before. :)

When we’d arrived for my appointment, one of the gals told me that I have a delightful family. :p I think so too.

Of course that appointment was just the beginning of our errand day! We made seven more stops. We had about three more we should’ve/could’ve done but we were both tired . . . and just plain done. We were both so thankful that I’d put dinner in the crock pot before leaving the house that morning.


You know, I’m an odd duck. Yep, I am. The vega testing revealed that I am stressed. I don’t think I’m stressed but my body thinks I am. Thankfully there is some kind of cut-off switch somewhere that doesn’t let my conscious mind know that is the case. ;)

It appears that some of the reason I’m not losing weight very easily is because of the stress. There are some other things going on too. I had him see if there was some supplement I could take to help my eyesight because I’ve just felt like something is amuck with it for a while now.

As it turns out, my body tested positively to a couple supplements and I’ve begun to take them. It seems that vitamin B5 will do a lot of good for my system and I have begun to take several capsules of that daily. Oil of Oregano is another supplement that tested as being helpful to me right now. It sure is a good thing I like oregano because a while after taking it I get a little oregano flavor burp . . . interesting. At any rate, it is supposed to help in a few areas as well. (I love it when one supplement will help in different ways.)

Another thing I was admonished to do was that double 4-letter word–exercise. Walking is a good stress reliever, as is yoga/stretching. So, I am making a daily walk a priority and when weather is against that, I have some Wii “games” that will help. Of course, Tiffany can help me with that too.

There is a lady at church that told me about a classic stretching show she does most every day and although I don’t get the channel, I did find it online a few weeks ago. I’ll look for it again and have it ready to use because the weather is supposed to be colder and maybe even rainy the next few days and I may not be able to prod myself out the door. ;)

Well, that’s it from me today. I hope you are ready or all planned to be ready for Thanksgiving next week. I know I am. :) But then Christmas will be here before we know it. I got some more of my Christmas shopping done today and hubby picked the items from my list that he wanted the kids to help him get for me, last night. :) That’s a first! Usually they are the second week into December and then scurrying around. :D

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº


Uncle Sean's Turn ~

Helping Children (Toddlers) Talk

This week Tiffany came across this youtube channel, Learn with Adrienne. She is a pediatric speech language pathologist. But let me tell you, this girl is good!

She shares some great ideas for how to read books with your child, which amazed me. We watched another video where she shared ideas on things to do with masking tape and again, amazed me.

I think this channel is a great resource for anyone with any interaction with young children. She’s very inspiring.

She does have a website where she tells about the online class she put together to help you help your toddler to communicate. I haven’t done much more than watch a few of her videos but they were very inspiring.

I hope you’ll take a minute and check out her channel and watch at least one of her videos.

It looks like the channel started in July of 2015 and hasn’t had a lot of new videos this year, but I think what she has available is very useful.

We watched these:

I hope you find this as interesting as Tiffany and I did and that it is useful to you.

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Purk, Cyme, Diva Dance, Opus, Yin Cut and Another Painting

I almost just took the easy way out and posted about my Bob Ross painting this week. I did the Ebony Sunset from season 1 episode 3.

I had so much trouble with it though! You’re supposed paint it black and let it dry. Then you are supposed to put some red and brown on as the wet base. I really struggled a lot with this one. I need to try it again. I may try it on a smaller paper; the large paper leaves me a bit unbalanced with the overall picture. Oh well, here it is . . .

Well on to this week’s tangling. I decided to to the prompt from Today’s Tangles: Keeping it Classic. I forgot to snap a picture of the string but here it is after I did some tangling.

Here it is after shading.

I used a some of Cyme in one section, then Yin Cut in a big section, Diva Dance, Purk, and Opus.  I followed Rick’s lead and did some sproings in the Diva Dance. Well, that’s it for me today. I hope you enjoyed my art. Have you tried painting with Bob Ross? All his PBS shows are on youtube. Have you tried the sproings in diva dance? Rick did them on the rock and roll version but I don’t see why they couldn’t be done in any version.

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Pasta Again :) (Goulash)

So at this point I guess I’ll admit that when there is a meal scheduled that we don’t feel we have the energy to make or time to make, we switch it up. And a lot of those times we end up with a pasta dish of some sort. We love pasta.

Yesterday I started painting late in the afternoon and didn’t get it finished until after five. At that point I was too hungry to wait to cook the spicy sausage and butternut squash dish, so we went for “hamburger helper” which is what we call pasta dishes. ;)

So like other pasta dishes, we diced some onion, mushroom, and bell pepper and cooked them in an oil-sprayed frying pan and added water to keep them from sticking. ;)

cooked onions and mushrooms ~
We actually had diced green pepper too but I didn’t get a picture of it. :(

Meanwhile, we cook up the ground meat; we use cheap ground turkey. Brown it and then rinse it.

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd also boil the pasta. :) This time we used the brown rice macaroni noodles. I really love these! Be sure to measure out the proper serving amounts. We actually use a scale and weigh in grams to get every gram we have coming to us.

Season with salt and pepper. I also used some oregano. Oh, and a little nutritional yeast (don’t add it if you don’t want to ;) ).

When the macaroni is done, drain it and add it to the meat and cooked veggies,

along with an eight ounce can of tomato sauce.

Stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

Those in wanting a crossover, can add some cheese but it is fine without it. We add nutritional yeast and more salt individually. We also serve with a side salad.

Pasta Again 🙂 (Goulash)


  • ground meat
  • ~ 1/2 onion, diced
  • ~ 1/4 bell pepper, diced
  • ~ 2-4 mushrooms, diced
  • brown rice macaroni (248 grams which is about half the bag)
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sprinkling of oregano
  • spray oil


  1. Boil pasta and drain.
  2. Brown meat and rinse with very hot water.
  3. Spray skillet with a little oil (we use olive oil spray) and cook diced veggies until desired doneness. 🙂 Add a few splashes of water as needed to keep them from sticking to the pan as they cook.
  4. Add rinsed meat and seasonings of choice.
  5. Add drained macaroni and tomato sauce.
  6. Stir to combine.
  7. Serves 4

This is an easy and tasty THM-E meal. I hope it helps you include a few more healthy carbs in your menu.

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Take Time to Relate

This weekend Michael and I went out for a few hours. We still have some of those restaurant gift certificates I bought us for Christmas a few years ago, so we picked one (Olive Garden) and headed out.

You might think that it would be difficult to eat low-carb at Olive Garden (a pasta restaurant) of all places, but I’d heard that they offer zoodles (zucchini spirals) or you can ask for your chosen sauce/dish be put over broccoli. I was optimistic and if it didn’t work out, I just planned to enjoy myself on this rare day out with my honey. :)

They sat us in a very chilly spot, mostly because they had a couple of very large parties coming in, I’m guessing. If I’m chilly, it’s pretty  chilly. ;)

We had a very nice waiter who was obviously pretty busy elsewhere in the restaurant because we didn’t see him often but he did check on use several times regardless. I asked him if they had zoodles; they seemed to have a particular dish with zoodles, so we gave it a try. Zoodles Primavera with grilled chicken.

Michael likes his food really really hot and wished this was a bit warmer. I like my veggies really really done, so I would have preferred them a bit less al dente. But all that aside, it was really good and filling. We got the house salad to go along with it. I did eat a bite or two of the breadsticks, just to see if they were very good but I definitely could have gone without it. If we ever go again, we’ll definitely ask them to hold the bread. ;)

I realized as we drove into town and actually had time to just talk, just the two of us, that we don’t really have much time to do that. It takes a little priming to actually get to talking/communicating. At first Michael thought I had some issue I was trying to bring up. I explained that I was just conversing and he gradually relaxed and we communicated. :)

So my encouragement for today, try to find a time to have a real conversation with your hubby at some point throughout the day at best or at least once a week. Make this conversation one where you don’t talk about the children or to-do lists or issues, you know what the touchy subjects are . . . think about the things you talked about before you were married, hobbies, or some tidbit you picked up. (Here’s a post I wrote a few weeks ago that gives some more ideas.)

All this to say, conversation helps you feel closer and builds your relationship. Don’t forget to converse with God too, because He really helps you in all aspects of your life. :)

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Weather, Games, and Books

I love fall! Yes, Autumn. Not Winter. Don’t get me wrong, I love a nice big snow for a couple of days but then it starts getting all dirty and then it can just go away. However, if it is going to be bone-chilling cold I would like to have some nice white snow to show for it.

Well, we had all of a couple of days of fall and then the bottom dropped out and it got really, really cold–yes even here in sunny Oklahoma. We had some sleet and it was pretty because it was white frozen precipitation, but thankfully the majority of it was gone quickly and the temperatures are rebounding, although a bit slower than I’d like. ;) Yes, I’m a bit particular because I do not want any temps in the 70’s until next May. :D

We got together with family and celebrated my brother-in-law’s birthday together. I made him the no-bake blackberry cheesecake he likes and a sugar-free strawberry one for us. The cousins played some Luigi’s Mansion co-op; they seemed to enjoy it.

I am surprised that I like Luigi’s Mansion as much as I do. I didn’t really care for the first one but this one has the same feel as Mario Odyssey, which I thoroughly enjoy playing. It isn’t dark, like it could be; it’s very light and light-hearted.

Speaking of games, I started playing the Little Shop hidden object games again. It is fun to play them again. I like the visual exercise. :) I got it from Gamehouse several years ago in a super pack where it had all 6 of them for one low price. With a quick google search, it seems that you may be able to download and play these for free somewhere on the internet. This game has a play option that you unlock that you find every item in the scene. I like to do that when I’m struggling to find certain ones but I also like to beat my own record. :)

We are doing a bit of bookshelf reorganizing, moving one of the bookcases out of the extra room that we refer to as the library since I put all the books in there after Brian moved out, and putting it in Tiffany’s room. She’s thrilled about this because it is a very pretty bookcase, has lots of room, and she needed more space. But I’m struggling a bit because we now have stacks of books sitting around until we go through them and decide which ones I want to keep, which ones the kids want to keep themselves, and which we will trade in for in-store credit at our used book store.

We also found that the weight of the three bookcases, holding soooo many books along one wall, caused some flooring issues. We’d noticed the floor issue a few months ago and Michael and Sean worked on it, thinking they’d fixed it. But when we moved the bookcase this week, it revealed that the issue wasn’t quite solved yet. But since we have moved a lot of weight off that area, it should be easier to fix now. :)

I finished reading Clockwork Dynasty by Daniel H. Wilson. I loved reading about the automatons but there was no final wrap-up to the story. And I don’t really see a follow-up story either. So . . . Ugh!

My Wish items are trickling in. It’s fun. I don’t think I ordered much from them last year but the year before I did. I love it when people see things on there and say they’d like them because that helps me find things I know they’ll like and I haven’t wasted my money by getting things they didn’t like or ended up throwing away. One year I got the boys trial size bottles of axe hair and body products–that was a waste. :( Live and learn.

Well, I’m wanting to do some painting and have to get some of these books moved around, so I’m going to run for now. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Advent Books

I post something about these books every year about this time, so that you have time to obtain them and be ready the Sunday after Thanksgiving. :) This year I’m just reposting it. ;)

It is already November 14th and Thanksgiving is coming soon. I love this time of year but it moves so quickly. Before we know it, it will be a brand new year. :)

One of the things I liked to do during the Advent season when the kids were younger was to read an advent book. The ones I’m showing you today are for the older ones. Of course the younger ones in your family may also enjoy them but there are some tense scenes that may be too much for the littlest members of your family.

I’m sharing this week because you may need to order a book or request it from the library (if your system has it).

Advent Books ~ Lifeofjoy.meI have to admit that it has been quite a number of years since we’ve read this, so I don’t remember much of the story line. I do remember that we enjoyed it. We enjoyed it so much that I bought the sequels.

Advent ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdvent ~ lifeofjoy.meThe book would be started on Sunday, December 3. But if you think you may have trouble reading it every night, I guess you could start early. ;)

Give Jotham’s Journey a try this year, if you haven’t read it before. Next week I’ll share some books that can be read with the younger ones next week.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Munchin Ing

I’ve been itching to do the next Bob Ross painting but my drawers were screaming for me to straighten them/reorganize them. I’m still wanting to paint but I decided to go with the simplicity of tangling today.

I went with the prompt from Today’s Tangles: Keeping it Classic for the week (TTKIC111119), which was to use ING and fill it with one of a few tangles. I chose Munchin.

Instead of my usual straight line borders, I went with curved ones and I like the effect.

Here’s the scan of my tile before shading.

I think it looks better smaller.

Here is the picture I took outside before it got too late.

Then I shaded it and took this scan.

Smaller version.

And the picture taken outside.

I like how the curved border lines look with the straight lines of ING. :)

It was a nice, quick tile to do while watching Christmas movies. :) I hope you are prepping your holidays to be as stress-free and enjoyable as possible.

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Cornbread Muffins in a Jiffy

It’s soup season and with soup I like some kind of bread. Cornbread is nice with chili and Gwen, of Gwen’s Nest, has a tasty low carb, low fat version that I’m going to share with you today.

She shares a single serving but I’m making enough for four. Also, my daughter has a sensitivity right now to flax meal, so I’m following her alternative baking blend version today.

So you start with Greek yogurt. (Tiffany tells me that she’s used regular yogurt on accident before and they turned out okay.)

Add water and egg whites.

Add dry ingredients.

The key is the masa flour that has been treated with lime. Be sure to read that part of Gwen’s post on the recipe page link below. I have found a small package of the masa flour at Dollar Tree, which is nice so that you don’t have so much sitting around, especially if you only make the single serving. Even making a quadruple batch, I have had the package around for a long time! Do yourself a favor and get the small bag from Dollar Tree.

Combine and put in oil sprayed silicone muffin liners and bake. I chose to bake in the oven rather than the microwave. ;)

So, here’s the link to Gwen’s wonderful recipe. I hope you enjoy these too.

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº