Tuesday, May 31, 2016

What I Had For Dinner

Did you have a wonderful Memorial Day?  Any leftovers? 
Like grilled corn . . . 

Thankfully ours was just grilled with butter and a few herbs. Nothing extra so it was easy to turn into something else tonight. 

And oh my!  But before we go there let me tell you what I cooked the other night.  Because what I cooked the other night was what caused me to cook what I cooked tonight.  HeHe . . . 
Estimated prep time: 20 minutes Bake time: 40 minutes Ingredients  3 cups cooked, shredded chicken 2 cups shredded Cacique Queso Quesadilla Jalapeno 1 cup shredded Cacique Mozzarella 15 oz container Cacique Crema Mexicana 10 oz can fire roasted green chilies 1 cup salsa verde 1 teaspoon cumin 1 teaspoon chili powder salt and pepper to taste 12-16 no-boil lasagna noodles.:
Oh my goodness.  Saw this on Pinterest one afternoon and had to try it.  Ran straight to the store for no-boil lasagna noodles and
 Image result for cacique queso fresco and a couple other cheeses too.  And this Mexican lasagna was soooo good! 

I had some leftover. Used in an omelet on Sunday and yummy it was.  
I was searched for corn recipes mainly corn fritters I found this . . . 
Mexican Street Corn Croquettes + recipe #summerrecipe #corn #mexican:
It was perfect to use up that corn and cheese!
These were so good.  They did take awhile to make because you have to freeze the batter.  But I actually didn't freeze as long as suggested and they were still so yummy. 

I served with a big 'ole hamburger cooked in my grill pan and coleslaw.  

This was a yummy meal.  I felt good that I managed to finish off the corn and the cheese.  That's a win/win for me.  

Did you have any left over corn from the holiday?

Did you see the giveaway I announced yesterday?  That post is here.  The giveaway starts on Wednesday.  Come over and enter and visit my Book Review Blog 'MyReadingJourneys'

Monday, May 30, 2016

Tweekin' With A Little Red, White and Blue

                     Happy Memorial Day
Over the weekend I played around and added some Red, White and Blue to the cottage . . . 
I set the table and decorated the mantle.  This is stage one I'm sure I'll tweek it a few more times before July.  I did move the wagon in from the patio.  You can barely see the handle and a few books. 
I'll share more on another post.  
I guess the room wasn't really photo ready because I didn't tidy the wingback chair.  My slinky throw and my sparkly throw which I love are kinda jumbled up.  On the edge is the quilt for outside I'm working on.  
Let's see the rest of the 'real' tweekin' . . . 
Here's a little close up of the mantle.  The little bunting I made last year from UFO quilt blocks.  Hung it on twine and added some ribbons to the ends.  
The scarf in the middle is really a chiffon (type) scarf from Dollar Tree.  I think I'll go back and get a couple more. It was perfect for this display.  
A close up of the table settings.  The new glass has stars on it!  So excited I was to find a set for $7.00.  You can't buy plastic for that!  A couple were broken.  But I didn't need a complete set anyway.
I'll tell you more about the rest of the table setting in another post.

I have more new things to share . . . 
I was inspired at Christmas to do a Hot Chocolate station. I've carried the theme over and now set up a beverage station. 
See my new glasses.  I added the flags from Big Lots.  The star in the middle was from Dollar Tree.  There are more on the mantle.
I chose some red drinks.  A Mexican Strawberry soda tested by our grandson and given a thumbs up.  I'll have to go buy more.  And I tested the faux Strawberry Daiquiri it s fizzy and yummy. 
A little closer shot with my festive paper lanterns.  They are 3 years old from Dollar Tree.  They live in my laundry room during the year and come out for Red, White and Blue themes.
A little close up of the mantle area.  The red vase is years and years old.  Bought waaaaay back in the day at Big Lots.  I have to strategically set it on display.  The back side which is really the front side has a pretty Christmas Tree on it.  For years I packed it away after Christmas.  And then a few years ago when I began the Valentine's Dinner Dates I had an inspiration.  It stays out year round now using for all my red themed decorating! 

And I have one more last sneak peek . . . 
 Patriotic Quilt:
My WIP Patriotic Quilt.  I really don't plan to reveal it till the 4th
but I wanted to give you a sneak peek.  I still have some hand work to do this week.  The angel needs some hair. He. He. And I need to lay it out baste and quilt it.  I'm planning on simple straight or wavy lines. Super fast!  

I did take a few other shots and a couple of the counter that divides the kitchen from living area . . .         
So that's a little peek.  But before you go check out the giveaway starting on the 1st to celebrate my new Book Blog.  Go over and follow and come back and enter!
The Giveaway is here.  The blog is here.

Linking with Blue Monday, Mosaic Monday,  The Art of Homemaking
Tweek It Tuesday, Yankee Doodle Party,  No Place Like Home Share Your Cup

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Holiday Happenings--Catching Up And a Giveaway

Do you love Holiday weekends?  (Giveaway down at the bottom)
Image result for heartHoliday Weekends . . . 
I've been  . . . 
Playing with a few watercolors and markers to create this . . . 
Watercolor Journal:
I've started a new project practising some sketches in my prayer journals.  My goal was to pretty much cover the words/letters to hide them.  I used paper pencils first, then a layer of highlighter because I couldn't get the look I was going for with the pencils. Then I add some new techniques to me from PicMonkey. 
I softened the edges and added linen texture.  Turned out kind a cool. 

I have a few other projects I've worked on and not photographed.
So I decided today was the day to take a few pictures . . . 
Kind of an applique out of paper.  This will go in the project book I'm making for my daughters Christmas present.  
I'll either add a scripture to the page or a pocket with a tag insert to finish. 
A WIP I want to add some more water color over the lettering. 
and find some new pencils to complete the letters and the borders  I plan to do a bleach technique on the flower.  
If you look at the top you can see the crumpled tab.  This and all my pages are made out of dividers.  They are slightly heavier than paper but not as heavy as cardstock.  I have a bajillion so this is a thrifty project too!
T:  T:    T:
A collection of papers I received in a recent paper swap.  Love them!  Especially this one . . . 
I've been wanting something just like this!  My swap pattern answered my prayers/wishes! 

I did spend some time making the little cottage festive . . . 
    The table is set and ready for a Memorial Day lunch

I've been reading of course.  And made plans for a fun giveaway to promote my new book blog . . . 

My Reading Journeys

Click here to visit.  But don't go yet.  You have to check this out!
Announcing my first Book giveaway!  I have two books that I've read and reviewed and I'll share with you.  Watch for the giveaway post to enter.  

Well that's what I've been up to on this holiday weekend.  What have you been doing?

Linking with Sunday Sketch

Simple Sunday

                                           Have a Blessed Day

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Critter Saturday/Good Fences

                                          This was so me when I was a little girl!!!...and I had a stick horse when I really wanted to get somewhere. When I was five, I graduated to the real thing...been horse crazy ever since.:
maybe one day these will me my girls ( and my horse :):
Linking with Camera Critters,  Eileen's Critters and Good Fences

Friday, May 27, 2016

Someone Like You--Victoria Bylin--Book Review--And Giveaway

                                                    Someone Like You
                                              There is a giveaway.  Click here to enter.
                                                                                                                                                                                                         someone like you - 400
         I would have bought this one because of the cover!
Speaks 'Dreamy' to me.  This is probably the best cover I've seen all year.  
                      The inside's not too shabby either.  

What it's about . . . (provided by Litfuse)
Single mom Julia Dare has a lot on her plate.
A brand new Christian, Julia is busy trying to run her own business, spend time with her widowed mother, and raise her young son, Max, despite his father’s less-than-ideal influence on him. When a big account from her event-planning business sends her to the Caliente Springs resort, she’s shocked to come face-to-face with Zeke Monroe, the resort’s general manager and her college sweetheart.
With his faith in tatters, Zeke Monroe is determined to keep the historic Caliente Springs resort running despite financial difficulties. But when Julia walks back into his life, he can’t ignore the feelings she stirs up. As they work together on an important client’s dream wedding, the fate of the resort soon depends on their success. When Zeke and Julia are pushed to their limits both personally and professionally, will their history put up walls between them or bring them together?
And I thought . . . 
The story was almost as dreamy as the cover. This was just a fun read.   Complete with two romances!
 To me it wasn't the typical romance kind of story where the couple slowly gets together and then drama tears them apart and then they get back together at the end.  
Zeke and Julia were a couple during their college years.  Julia broke off their relationship and ended up with Hunter Zeke's nemesis from college 
Whoa.  A bit awkward when they meet again and still have feelings for each other some 5 or so years later.  Especially since Julia has a son. 
As Zeke and Julia both struggle with work related situations. Julia has a brand new business as an event planner.  Zeke is managing a resort that's seen better days. 
Zeke and Julia join forces as Julia plans a wedding for the resort owners that are considering selling Julia struggles with dealing with her son's father Hunter.  Who is a piece of work!  I had a difficult time with the relationship and character of the father.  Mostly because it was too close to home.  (Hunter was out of touch with reality and didn't have any parenting skills!) 
All the while Zeke is struggling with keeping the resorts doors open.  Fighting his feelings for Julia.  And struggling with his feelings about God.
While all this is going on Julia's widowed mother becomes involved with the owner of the resort where Zeke and Julia are working. 
Someone Like You is filled with not only sweet romance (no bedroom scenes) but struggles with faith, forgiveness and redemption.  
And there's some humor too.  A terrorizing goat named Lady Bug that wrecks havoc for Chet the grizzled old Cow Hand.  
The pace was steady and the story kept me interested from page one all the way to the end making this a 5 star book!
Here's a little about the author . . .Victoria Bylin
Victoria Bylin writes contemporary and historical romances known for their realistic, relatable characters. Her work has finaled in contests such as the Carol Awards, the RITAs, and the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award. A native of California, she and her husband now make their home in Lexington, Kentucky.
Find out more about Victoria at
I received a complimentary copy of Someone Like You from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. 
To read more reviews or purchase visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble or ChristianBook(dot)Com.  This reviews is posted on these consumer sites and on Good Reads.
This review is be posted at MyReadingJourneys
This review will be linked on  FaceBook , Pinterest and blog linky parties (See the list on my Blog Party Page)  

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Good Fences

Starting with Wow . . . 
Horse Gate:
My source was Pinterest.  The caption said Shania Twain Twitter.  Guess it's her house!  Great gate.
The EquiSafe LED Lighting System is the latest addition to our extensive product line. The lighting fixtures are available in two colors, white or black, to create a nice blend with the customized fence color. The lights use only 1-watt LED light bulbs, and will continue to illuminate for over 50,000 hours.:
Another one found on pinterest.  Very cool lighting!

Big isn't always better, these small barns are packed with style and personality. Is your dream barn big or small?:
Gorgeous.  The wall is amazing. 
Small rustic horse barn
I could live here.  Might have to build a second one for the Cowboy!
<3 I need to find someone with horses that'll let me ride them all the time this summer!! Bareback<33:
And before I go I wanted to invite you to my new Book Blog . . . 

My Reading Journeys
I'd love you to visit.  Stop over for a visit.  And please follow!  Click here,  Following helps me get enough traffic to be able to post all my book reviews on the new blog!  Come over and join me!

Linking with Good Fences and Blue Monday.  

A Super Big Announcement . . .

 . . . I know you've been waiting patiently.  I've finally after weeks published . . . 
               My Reading Journeys
            As soon as I'm able to gather 100 followers then I'll be able                               to post all my reviews on the book blog!  
               I'd love you to come over and visit and follow me! 
                                         Click Here

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A Daughters Dream-Shelley Shepard Gray-Book Review And Giveway

                                                             A Daughter’s Dream
What a lovely story.  I have fallen in love with the Charmed Amish Life Series by Shelley Shepard Gray.
I have had the pleasure of reading Book one and Book two and I look forward to more of this series!

                                       a daughter's dream-400
                                                                                 Click Here

A little about the book from the back cover . . .
n Shelley Shepard Gray’s second book in her Charmed Amish Life series, a young teacher and farmer discover they have much in common, especially when it comes to healing old wounds from the past…and finding love in one another.
Rebecca Kinsinger has always dreamed of being a teacher. But when she’s given the opportunity she’s been waiting for at Charm Amish School, she’s dismayed to discover that teaching is hard work—work she’s afraid she’s not very good at.

That is, until Lilly Yoder joins the class. A thirteen-year old who’s just lost her parents, Lilly is in need of someone like Rebecca. For the first time since starting her new job, Rebecca feels a sense of purpose. But when she meets Lilly’s uncle, Jacob, his good looks and sweet, easy-going temperament are hard to ignore. How can she even entertain romantic thoughts of Jacob when his niece is her student?
Suddenly becoming Lily’s sole caregiver, Jacob Yoder never thought he’d be a single parent—or a farmer. Having been living in Florida as a carpenter, Jacob feels more at home wielding a hammer than a backhoe. The only bright spot in his life is Rebecca Kinsinger. As Lily and Rebecca develop a bond, Jacob’s fondness for the pretty teacher grows, too.

But when a fateful accident brings them together, Rebecca and Jacob must choose between duty and desire. Will they follow the path before them? Or set out to find true happiness…and true love?

And I thought . . . 
 I didn't want to put it down.  Although this is book two in the series if you haven't read the first book you'll still enjoy this installment.  I enjoyed it even more because I had read the first book.  It was like coming home.  The sub-characters in the story and Rebecca the main character of this story were introduced in book one.   

The main characters Rebecca and Jacob 'hit it off' when the first meet.  Their romance is sweet and fast.   Jacob's young niece Lilly even has a little budding romance going with Peter a boy in her school. 
Peter is a little bit of a 'rebel rowser' but seems to get his head on straight once he meets Lilly.  Even before meeting her though he begins to mature when he gets a job at the lumber mill in town which is a focal part of the series.  

I am looking forward to the next book which is comes out in September.  This story is about Rebecca's sister Amelia and promises to be another great read!  An excerpt/sneek  peek is at the end of 
A Daughter's Dream.  

The author also included a little background information and tells the reader about how she became an author.   

For more information about the author and her other writings visit her website.  

The Charmed Life is a great series.  You won't be disappointed.  

A Daughter's Dream deserves my 5 star rating. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from LItfuse in exchange for my honest review. 

This book is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Christian Book (dot) Com visit one of these retailers to read more reviews or purchase.  Click on the bold type for a direct link to retailers.

Hunting Hope by Nika Maples-Book Review

                                         Hunting Hope PK
A little about the book . . . (provided by Litfuse)
Hope is not an accident. Sometimes it has to be hunted, and hunting it takes courage.
Hope hunters know how to excavate hope from hardship. There is dirt underneath their fingernails and sweat on their shirts. They rake through the rubble of an unwanted situation, digging into difficult circumstances because they have come to expect that adversity will produce good. They believe that light always triumphs over darkness. They have learned to walk through winter with their eyes on spring.
Nika Maples became a hope hunter after suffering a massive brainstem stroke that left her quadriplegic in her twenties. Doctors warned that she had as little as 48 hours to live, and-if she lived at all-she would never walk or talk again. There was no hope on the horizon. So Nika started to hunt for it. Today, she not only walks, but she speaks to audiences everywhere about the power of hunting hope when a situation appears hopeless. She says hope remains camouflaged in the daily mundane. If we are not looking for it, we will miss it, though it is right before our eyes.
Whether you or someone you know is going through a situation that feels hopeless, you will find encouragement in Hunting Hope. Whether you are experiencing a medical trauma, a financial hardship, or a relational crisis, you will find empowerment in Hunting Hope. As you read, you will cling to 20 truths about God’s character and practise 5 daily disciplines that will develop your own character in crisis.
You will become a hope hunter.
Maybe it doesn’t matter what causes suffering in our lives as much as it matters what suffering causes in our lives. Maybe we were all meant to be hope hunters.
And I thought . . .
Where do I begin.  This was an amazing little book in a mere 228 pages Nika Maples shares wisdom, insight and encouragement!  
This book will touch your heart!  You'll walk away feeling encouraged and confident that God truly is with us  even through our trials.
This book deserves my 5 star rating!
Image result for 5 stars

And a little about the author . . .
Nika Maples
Nika Maples is the author of Twelve Clean Pages, the memoir of her survival of lupus and a stroke that left her quadriplegic at age 20. After learning to walk and talk again, she became a public school teacher, winning 2007 Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year. She holds an MA in English Education from Columbia University and currently is pursuing an MDIV from The King’s University. When she is not traveling to speak, she lives, writes, and laughs as much as possible in Fort Worth, Texas.
Find out more about Nika at
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Hunting Hope.  
I wish to thank Litfuse for allowing me the privilege of reading this book.  I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.  
This review will be linked at the following blog parties The Art Of Homemaking, Classical Homemaking Party, Book Nook at Create With Joy
This review is posted at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and ChristianBook(dot) Com.  Click on the bold type for a direct link to purchase or read more reviews.  
This review is posted at Good Reads. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Cooking/Serving Cauliflower

                                                                Image result for cauliflower
Is Cauliflower a vegetable you serve regularly?
                                            Image result for cauliflower
I am very sad to say that I was never served Cauliflower until I was married.  
Yep.  It's true.  My mother never cooked Cauliflower.  The first time I ever ate it was at The Cowboy's grandmothers who lived in Arkansas.  

This is what she served . . . 
Boiled and served with butter.  That's how I serve it.  It's on the menu for tonight.  I'm also serving what we call Goulash.  

For me Cauliflower is a little hard to serve.  I never know what to cook with it.  I don't know why.  Maybe because it's white.  
I don't know.
Well it's actually not just white.  And the colored varieties are really very healthy.  Check this out . . . 


Purple, Orange and Green Cauliflower appear identical to White Cauliflower, except for their color.  They are all members of the very large family of brassica.  However, Purple Cauliflower gets its color from anthocyanin, a flavonoid which is an antioxidant also found in red wine.  Orange cauliflower contains Beta-carotene, a precursor to Vitamin A, which gives the orange cauliflower additional levels of vitamin A not found in the other varieties.  Green Cauliflower, which is often known as Broccoflower, is highly nutritious.  It contains more protein than broccoli or white cauliflower.  All of these variations of cauliflower are an excellent source of vitamin C.  They also contain folate, potassium and dietary fiber. Cauliflower is also low in calories, containing only about thirteen for every three florets. Enjoy this cauliflower raw or steam it to protect its color, which is loved for its vivid presentation as well as its good taste and nourishment.
This interesting info.  I found here.

Once I was introduced I began serving it raw around the holidays 
and cutting up for salads.  My favorite way is like granny served it.  Even though I never know exactly what to cook with it.   

I do enjoy fresh Cauliflower and I hope to plant some in the fall so I've been investigating Pinterest for some new ideas.  

Here are a few I found. . . 

The combination of meaty, caramelized cauliflower florets and some just-this-side-of-burnt onions has become our go-to winter side dish.:
Oh yum!  Parmesan Roasted.  Yum!  Found here.

Oven Baked Buffalo Cauliflower bites are a crowd pleaser!! Tender morsels of cauliflower baked in a crispy crust and then loaded with buffalo sauce! If you like wings, you love this leaner tastier snack!:
I need to try this idea.  Would be great with a veggie tray with celery and broccoli too. Oh and some wings! Found here. 

This vegan sticky sesame cauliflower is batter dipped and baked (instead of fried!) before being drenched in a sweet and spicy sesame sauce and served over a bed of rice.:  
This one looked interesting!  Found Here.
LOW CARB CAULIFLOWER BREADSTICKS with fresh herbs, garlic, and lots of ooey gooey cheese atop a cauliflower crust looks and tastes like cheesy bread!:

Oh my!  I was looking for a healthy option but my or my.
Check it out here.

                     So many ideas and options!  
          How do you serve Cauliflower?

Are you interested in growing Cauliflower?  I found a few tips. . .

How to Grow Cauliflower in Containers                 How to grow broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, collards, kohlrabi, and kale:
           Source                                                              Source   

Linking with: The Art of Homemaking, Tweek It Tuesday, Classical Homemaking Party on Wednesday and  Share Your Cup  and Our Simple Homestead Hop on Thursdays.
The Pinterest Game