Sometimes It’s About My Tone

Tone Sound ~ Lifeofjoy.meCommunication is a pet peeve of mine. I really dislike it when things are not communicated well. And I definitely do not like it when things are not communicated at all. ;)

One thing I am guilty of is letting my annoyance be known in my tone when I am relating something. I also have to keep reminding myself that there are ways that I can say things that will not bother my husband at all but the very same words spoken differently frustrate him. This is not his fault although I must admit, it is hard to deal with at times.

I’ve realized anew that I need to watch my tone when I speak, especially when I speak to my hubby. Years of miscommunication and frustration from using a wrong tone have caused there to be a short fuse sometimes. Once again, “the fault is mine.” (Yes, I did throw a little You’ve Got Mail quote in there. ;) ) It’s true. I cannot help how my tone has affected others but I can change my tone. I do not need to be overly cautious about it, just remember to have a good tone to my voice, not an irritated one.

This is just me thinking out loud and hoping my thoughts will give you something to consider as well.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Birthday Pie, Ants, Deals, and Visits

For Sean’s birthday the end of last month, he requested pecan pie for his dessert.

Birthday Pie ~ Lifeofjoy.mePecan Birthday Pie ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt was a delicious idea and it did not outlast the day.

We had some little ants strolling around the kitchen counter last week or so. I put out some ant bait made from water, sugar, and Borax out on some cotton balls and within a couple days they were gone.

Then one day about a week later, I felt something crawling on me but when I asked the family, no one saw anything. It kept bugging me and finally Michael looked and low and behold I had an ant crawling around. UGH!!!  Then a day or two later I saw a whole slew of them on the table beside my recliner. They were just milling around. I couldn’t figure out where they were coming from and then I spied this.

Ants on an electrical outlet ~ Lifeofjoy.meDo you see those specks on my phone charger? The ants had created a highway from the electric box up my charging cable to my desktop. Well I put out some ant bait on my desk top but then Michael got smart and put some down closer to them, in that red basket. After a day or so, I haven’t seen them any more. I don’t know if it is just a coincidence with it also getting colder outside or if it is just the ant bait. We’ll see eventually. ;)

Tiffany and her lifelong friend decided to have lunch together/spend some time together. They hadn’t spent much time with each other since around the first of the year, so they decided to get together for a bit. We worked it out so that Tiffany and I would get errands taken care of and then I’d drop her off at their meeting location. I would then do a little shopping and then spend some time reading. I armed myself with books, d’nealian handwriting pages, my bullet journal, and some pens. We also packed lunch since we knew we’d be out for a long time.

Well, then I realized that these two might want to spend a LOT of time together and suggested that if that was the case, that she could catch a ride home with her brother when he got off work; it would be easy for her friend to drop her off there. I figured this would be the way it would work out and proceeded to run to Michael’s armed with my 20% off coupon. :)

I bought me a new Micron 01 pen for my tangling (see my Zentangles on Wednesdays). I hadn’t gotten a new one in ages, and it was about time.

Micron 01 ~

I saw these cute sayings in the checkout of Michael’s.

Woodstrip Sayings ~ Lifeofjoy.meThat dark pink one says, “Life is tough my darling but so are you.”

Then I decided that Mardel is so close by and I hadn’t been there in quite some time, that it was only smart to go by there. I like to look at their Bargain Books. This week I found a cool adult coloring book for $1!

Adult devotional coloring book ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt was a steal at $1. It has a devotional on the left side of the page and then a coloring page on the right throughout most of the book.

Adult devotional coloring book ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen I found some books by some of the marriage bloggers I like. Sheila Gregoire of To Love, Honor, and Vacuum and J.Parker of Hot, Holy, and Humorous. Then there was also a book that they and Paul Byerly (the husband of Lori Byerly of The Generous Wife and blogger at The XY Code and The Generous Husband) all were noted on the book cover (sorry, can’t think of the word right now for when someone is quoted on a book cover). All of these books AND another were in the $1 each section. I got 5 books for $5 and change. :)

Marriage Book Finds ~ Lifeofjoy.meI was excited! :)

When I was leaving Mardel I saw this.

Urban Goose ~ Lifeofjoy.meYep, that’s a goose. It just popped a squat right there in the middle of the parking lot. It did not care that cars drove near it. It just sat there as if it were on a pond. But no water was even in sight. Very strange!

Another day Tiffany and I got to have lunch with a dear friend from church. She is such a sweet lady and it really blessed us to get to know her better. We ate at iHop. We went at an off time, so that we wouldn’t be a nuisance with how long we stayed. ;)

Our sweet waitress could tell right away that we were there for the long haul because we didn’t even look at the menus for nearly the first thirty minutes we were there. :D I got the philly cheesesteak without the bun or fries, and added mushrooms and green peppers, as well as changed the cheese to cheddar. I also got some broccoli instead of those pesky fries. ;) It was a nice plate full of yumminess.

We were there a good long time, 3-4 cups of tea and at least as many glasses of water which I made into lemonade with my stevia glycerite and the lemon wedge brought to me with my tea. We had a very nice visit and were hungry again by the time we got home some seven hours after leaving the house that morning.

That’s a lot of extroverting for two introverts! :D But we both really enjoyed it. Of course it will probably take every bit of the days we have to be ready to extrovert again come Sunday. :D

Well, I’ve gotten long-winded again today. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Gourdgeous Pickpocket

The challenge this week is to use the tangle by Tomas Pedros named Pickpocket. I decided to check the focus tangle for Square One Purely Zentangle and I discovered that it is Gourdeous. This is not my favorite tangle but when I looked at Helen’s recent video for how she use it, I decided to give it a try. I have to admit that it still isn’t my favorite but I think I have a better handle on it now.

I started with the four dots in the corners and added three straight lines and one with a loop in it to help a bit with Gourdgeous. I found pickpocket required close attention but I think it turned out okay in the end.

Here it is before shading.

DC#358 + Gourdgeous ~ Lifeofjoy.meYeah, I don’t quite have the hang of the curly top of gourdgeous. ;) I’ll probably have to review the video a few more times before I get it completely. But it is good enough for this time around.

Here it is after I shaded it.

DC#358 + Gourdgeous ~ Lifeofjoy.meThanks for stopping. I love it when you leave a comment, as it is so encouraging.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Sugar Free Chocolate Almond MIlk ~

Chocolate Milk and It’s Sugar Free

Milk (made from nuts) that is sweet and chocolatey are a favorite of mine!

Sean wanted chocolate milk one day and made this recipe up. Of course, he doesn’t really measure, he just adds a little of this and a little of that but it hits the spot. :)

So he starts by pouring the milk into the glass you wants to fill, so he has a full glass. ;)

Not yet chocolate milk ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen he pours it into a blending cup but you could use a blender. Next add in about 2 tablespoons of cocoa.

Almond Milk with cocoa powder ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen add 3-4 tablespoons of Gentle Sweet (this is a THM powdered sweetener but you can use your favorite one).

Milk, cocoa and sweetener ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe said he usually adds the sweetener first because then he doesn’t have to wipe off the scoop. Then add a dash of vanilla.

Dash of vanilla ~ lifeofjoy.meI may add a small pinch of salt next time to round out the flavor; I just thought of that.

Then blend blend blend!

Blending Chocolate Milk ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe cocoa will be resistant to blending but persevere and it will surrender. :)

Blending Chocolate Milk ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen pour back into your glass and enjoy!

Sugar free Chocolate Almond Milk ~

Chocolate Milk and It’s Sugar Free


  • 1-2 cups nut milk (we use almond milk but cashew or coconut milk would probably work fine)
  • 3-4 tablespoons Gentle Sweet (or sweetener of your choice, best if powdered)
  • about 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • dash of vanilla
  • maybe a pinch of salt?


  1. Pour your milk into either a blender or blending cup.
  2. Add sweetener
  3. Add cocoa powder
  4. Add vanilla
  5. Add the pinch of salt if desired
  6. Blend blend blend!
  7. Pour into your glass and Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this chocolate milk, we sure do.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

A Little Financial Help

Financial Help ~ Lifeofjoy.meFinances are one of the subjects that can cause friction in marriages. So working toward saving money when you can is a good idea.

I signed up for ibotta last month. I figured even if I didn’t save very much, it was worth checking out. Well, I was very surprised that I managed to submit $10 worth of offers in the month and thus make the welcome bonus. So, I earned a little over $20 in the month, which isn’t bad.

It’s like couponing without cutting coupons. Although, I think if you coupon that you can use both a paper coupon and submit it for an offer in ibotta too. I should also let you know that I don’t generally buy name brand items, unless I get a better deal than the generic version offered or I have tried the generic and don’t like it as well.

This past month there were offers for 15ȼ for purchasing any eggs, any bread, bananas, any cereal, flavored milk, juice, and even ham. Some might have been 25ȼ though. There were offers for other specific cereals that were higher. There were large offers for shampoos and such. There are even offers for Groupon and other stores too. So it is a really good idea to check it out. It is easy to use and worth the little bit of effort, in my opinion.

If you decide to check it out, please use my referral code via this link, then I can get a bonus for you doing so. ;)

There are other features that I don’t completely understand. One is the team bonus. If you link your facebook account to it, some how you and your friends benefit from each other’s savings.

So if finances are an area that causes you and your hubby some friction, check out ibotta to relieve a bit of that stress. Depending on the kinds of things you purchase, it may really be worth it for you and your family.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Deals, Fun, and Yum

Last week I decided to try a deal at Target that I’d found online. The super deal would have been obtained using the cheapest Tresemme shampoo and conditioners at $3.99/bottle but Tiffany has curly hair and needed one of the various $4.99/bottle ones. So I deemed it an okay expense (one dollar more per bottle).

So here’s the deal we did. We got one bottle of Tresemme shampoo and two bottles of Tresemme conditioner (because she uses conditioner more than shampoo) which cost me $14.97 but then I had three one dollar off coupons so that brought it down to $11.97 and entitled me to a $5 gift card. That was the first part of the deal.

Next I purchased two packages of Schick disposable razors at $5.99 per package with only one $3 off coupon which brought my $11.98 purchase down to $8.98 and entitled me to another $5 gift card.

Now since these two deals totaled at least $20 before coupons, I was also entitled to another $5 gift card. So I spent less than $22 and got $15 in gift cards.

Tiffany says the shampoo and conditioner are excellent what I spent on these is comparable to what I would have spent normally and now I have $15 in gift cards to buy other things with at Target.

Oh! And when I scanned in my receipt for the Schick razors, I got another $2 back there. :) So that brings my total down even further.

Then I was in need of some makeup and I just happened to have a coupon that got Tiffany some makeup she needed free. :) Or we could see it we both got ours for half price. :) I like that thinking. :)

Sean got a Nintendo Switch recently. I have played a lot of Mario Odyssey. It’s addictive and fun. ;) You can read the post I wrote about it yesterday. ;) It is a game done right.

Last week when Tiffany and I ran errands, we needed to eat lunch out since we didn’t take any with us. We decided to eat at Pizza Hut since they have their lunch buffet for $5.99 a person. Yes, we ate the pizza and salad bar buffet. :)

THM at Pizza Hut ~ Lifeofjoy.meYep we stripped the toppings off several pieces of pizza.

The staff was great there. I asked if they’d ever heard of a pizza without a crust. The waitress said no and asked a man that I assume was the manager. He said yes as if it were an every day occurrence. :) He made me a supreme in a foil pan without the crust. It was good! It’s a good thing we got filled up because we were out a long time running errands. Since I was concerned about that Target deal and how it would work, it took a long time. Of course, had I simply read the signs listed, it would have been a lot quicker.

Well, that’s enough rambling for today.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Nintendo Switch: Mario Odyssey

Mario Odyssey ~ Lifeofjoy.meOkay, I just have to say it . . . if your children like video games, Mario Odyssey is wonderful. It is only on the Nintendo Switch so that is a drawback. Sean recently purchased one and got the Mario game.

This game, as well as other games, I would think, has some benefits to your children. ;) It helps with coordination and motor skills. It has puzzles to solve but not in the way most people probably think of puzzles. These puzzles are the kind where you have to figure out how to achieve the stated goal.

There are maps, which is a good skill to learn. And there is even an bit of aerobic workout. :D Okay, that one is probably stretching it a bit, but my heart definitely was pumping and I even broke into a slight sweat at one time. :D

I wouldn’t call this an educational game but it is fun and has some good qualities (listed above). I cannot think of any reason that I could not recommend this game.

If you played Mario 64, you will notice some nods to that game. It made me smile. And it had some “flat” Paper Mario type segments with game play like the first Super Mario I played when I was younger. Lots of fun!

OH! And after you beat the big boss and see the credits, there is still some adorable game play left!!! They definitely did this game right! Okay, I’ll stop gushing now. ;)

Hope you didn’t mind my little review of this wonderful game today.

Until next time, God bless

Michele ºÜº

Troubling Paradox

This week the Diva Challenged us to use only Paradox. I usually like and enjoy this tangle but this time I got myself all confused and messed up, which is why I named this post Troubling Paradox. ;)

I used string #71 from Pattern Collections which is just three arches across the tile. I then sectioned off the areas between each section and tangled away. Sometimes I did it clockwise and other times I did it counter-clockwise (or some would say anti-clockwise ;) ).

DC#357 unshaded ~

Here’s the tile with the string marked in red.DC#357 String ~

I know there are no mistakes with Zentangle but I had a big opportunity for some huge shading or dramatic darkening of a section; the one up in the right corner above. :D

So I blackened it in. :) Here’s the final version.

Paradox DC#357 ~

I sure  wish I had used pencil first as it wouldn’t have been so drastic. Then I felt it needed something else so I added a few lines anchoring it to the corner.

Here it is smaller and thus a bit nicer. ;)

Paradox DC#357 ~ Lifeofjoy.meWell that’s all for this week. Thank you for taking time to stop by. Please leave me a comment, it’s really encouraging. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Birthday Meals

Happy Birthday Sean ~ LifeofJoy.meThis week was Sean’s birthday so he got to pick his meals for the day. He asked for pancakes for his breakfast, shocker, the boy loves pancakes. Then his eyes lit up and he asked if I could do Dutch Boys. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem but I had not yet worked out how to do this recipe and stay on Trim Healthy Mama plan. Thankfully I did find a recipe online for a THM version and he loved it. I’ll share it another day, since I didn’t get pictures taken while we were putting it together.

For lunch he wanted Macaroni and Cheese. This too is a feat because although we do make do with konjac noodles most of the time when we want this meal, I didn’t think that would live up to expectations of a birthday meal (mostly my expectations, as I am a tougher critic on a lot of foods). So we opted to have our rare occasion use of Dreamfields pasta. Unfortunately there was only spaghetti shaped pasta at Walmart but we used it anyway and broke the noodles up into small pieces. We did serve this with some bacon and broccoli for a full meal, since I think a serving of pasta is only 1/2 cup we definitely needed something more in our bellies.

We decided to eat our dessert for our afternoon snack–Pecan Pie! OMGoodness! It is sooo good. I use Kristie Sullivan’s original recipe with Sukrin gold syrup and granular gold. We all enjoyed it tremendously. My thought on eating it earlier in the day was so I wouldn’t be eating such richness too late in the evening. (For those familiar with THM, I’m a Turtle Loser, so it is best for me to eat lighter things in the evening.)

Then came the major labor of love. Sean asked for chicken enchiladas. As you can see from that link, it was a simple recipe: cook some chicken, add cream of chicken soup and cheese, then roll up in flour tortillas. Well I cannot use cream of chicken soup, so I had to find a substitute, which I did but it required a bouillon recipe be made. Then there were the tortillas, which I also made from scratch. Then I proceeded to put it all together. The homemade tortillas were not as supple as what I’m used to and they cracked a bit but not in a way that was unusable.

Sean and Tiffany loved them. I think it needs a lot of work but, as I mentioned before, I have pretty high standards. ;)

Birthday Meals ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe took the lone surviving enchilada to work to eat yesterday. He liked it and that is what is important.

The pecan pie did not make it through the night. We all caved in and had a second piece for dessert. So much for my will power! :D

I’m sorry for the lack of recipe here today. I hope to have one for you next week. We are currently in a season of trying some things, which is necessary before I share here.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº