Sunday, April 29, 2012

National Scrapbook Day

I left the house bright and early and Kim had the room all ready for us.  She made it so festive with balloons and table displays of all the different products CreativeMemories has to offer.  I brag on the company all the time.  I wouldn’t use anyone else’s albums. 

At check in we were told we would find a scavenger hunt game and extra goodies at our assigned table.  As we worked all throughout the day Kim called out names for door prizes and at the end of the day she drew for the grand prize, a new album cover.

 My scrappin' buddy Dawn and I had a Great time today!
Great Food!

Great make and take!

Great albums! 

 Can’t wait for next year!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Getting Ready for National Scrapbook Day!

Besides all the other things I do I also scrapbook.  I’ve been scrapbooking for almost 20 years now and have tons of albums completed,

some partially completed

and some waiting to be started.

That is why I love National Scrapbook Day! It gives me a chance to catch up a little on preserving those precious memories.

So to get ready for the day I needed to collect everything I would need, only my craft room was taken over with quilt projects so it was time to straighten up first!

With a clean room I could now get everything together

Pictures and memorabilia from this past year
Paper, stickers, markers
Cutting tools
New album

I'm so excited!  Tomorrow is going to be so much fun!  Stay tuned for pictures of not only my pages I get done but also all the fun we have throughout the day!  Happy Scrappin!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Happy Birthday William Shakespeare!

Today, I along with my friends at the Woman’s Shakespeare Club celebrated the birthday of William Shakespeare, who taught us never to despair in our resolve to seek the truth and confront the lie, "to unmask falsehood and bring truth to light".

No one knows Shakespeare’s actually birthday so we celebrate it on the day he was baptized which was, April 24, 1564.

Our club has had a very interesting and educational year.  We studied Henry V and throughout the year we not only watched both versions of this play, Kenneth Branagh and Lawrence Olivier but we also had many delightful speakers come.  Some of my favorites were ‘The Philosophy of War in Henry V’, ‘Attitudes of Religious Figures in Shakespeare’s Plays’ and ‘Dining with Shakespeare, an Understanding of 14th Century Kitchens and Cuisine’.

But my absolute favorite thing we did all year was have a tea in honor of William Shakespeare’s mother, Mary Aden.  We dressed up in our finery complete with our best hats.

We ate cucumber sandwiches and scones with clotted cream and sipped our tea as we listened to high school Shakespeare contest contestants show off their skills reciting various scenes from different plays.  We were also entertained by a piano quartet or more correctly stated, 8 hands and 2 pianos.

It was a wonderful day.

There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea. ~Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady

Monday, April 23, 2012

3 Ways to Make it a Good Morning!

Yes, my college roommate hated me.  I would rise and shine at 7 every morning singing and get ready for my day.  Out of sympathy I would blow dry my hair in the hall.   I’m one of the weird ones.  I love mornings.  I’m a morning person.

And over the years I’ve learned that mornings can either make or break your day.  Remember: Stress and anxiety wreak havoc on your immune system.  Enter your day happy and relaxed, and you greatly increase your chances of a healthy, productive day.  The days I get up and follow my morning routine, I feel so much better about everything at the end of the day.  That being said, I thought I would share with you three things you can do to make your mornings a good morning too.

1.       Invest in a coffee maker with a timer

I’ve always loved waking to the smell of coffee in the morning.  I even read in the news that the smell of coffee does actually help wake you up.  (but us coffee folk have known that for years).

2.       Set your alarm earlier so you make time to get in God’s word

By seeking God first in the morning we are focusing on our Creator, the one who made us, formed us and created us in His image and in His likeness.

And when we focus on Him and seek him in the first part of our day… we are taking hold and claiming the peace, the joy, the love that only God can provide to us… and this will last us the rest of our day!

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” -Jesus, Matthew 6:33

“Oh God, thou art my God; early will I seek you” -David, Psalm 61:3

3.       Gather all your bathroom necessities in a basket so you don’t forget anything and your sink vanity is clean and organized.

This is a trick I learned from one of those “how to be organized” books I’ve read.  I have a portable caddy under my sink where I have my, facewash, lotion, deodorant, vitamins, bottled water (I can’t stand the taste of tap water) make up and perfume.   When I get ready in the morning I just pull out the caddy and then return it after finished.

It’s a short and simple list but it works.  So tomorrow when someone says ‘good morning’ you can say, ‘yes, it is!’

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Commissioned Work

I was sitting in my chair letting Carol snip and cut my hair. Actually I was paying her to.  She has been my hair stylist for over a year now and I just love her.  I was sharing with her the fun I'm having with my little shop at and she asked if I did pillows?  I've never done a pillow before but I was pretty sure I could handle it until she said she wanted it to be personalize for her grand-daughter.  At first I didn't think I could because I don't have an embroidering machine but she was thinking more along the lines of appliqued letters.  I said I could totally do that and this is how it turned out.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dream Books

Do you keep a dream book?  I guess you could say Pinterest is the dream books of today.  But I’m talking about the old fashion kind where you cut out pictures of things you’d like to have or do.  One of my favorite creative persons, SusanBranch wrote a post about them today.  So I got mine out to share with you. 

 I hope everyone is having a wonderful day.  And remember we are so lucky, we have plenty to do, many many things to love, and lots to hope for!

Monday, April 16, 2012

My Daily Schedule

5 Week Challenge, Week 2

Last week I started following Courtney's 5 Week Challenge.  In week 1 I took the challenge to write down everything I ate.  I was pretty successful and it showed me why I have gained 20 lbs in these last two years. This week is a time management challenge.

Courtney over at Women Living Well is challenging us to write out a list of what we need to get done this week .  Being so complex as I am I definitely need a schedule to follow or I’d never get anything done!  I have found when I sit down on Sunday evenings and write down everything that needs to be accomplished for the week I am more calm throughout my days.  One person who has helped me in the area of schedule making is Flylady.  Check out her site here:

I don’t have a very consistent weekly schedule except Mondays when I plan my menus for the week and then go grocery shopping for the week.  I try to get this done before 10am.

I do try to follow a daily schedule though:
                6:30 coffee/Bible devotions and memory
                7:30 get dressed, straighten bathroom, make bed, start load of laundry if needed
                8:00 check menu for dinner, read e-mails and facebook

                Practice guitar
                Work on blog
                Work on projects for my Etsy shop
                Check emails/facebook

                5:30 start dinner (I turn on the news while cooking)

After Dinner:
                Cat boxes
                Take out trash
                Straighten livingroom
                Clean off desk in kitchen
                Check calendar for tomorrow
                Check emails/facebook 

9:30 Bed time (I set an alarm on my phone to remind me. LOL
                My husband and I read in bed and lights out around 10:30 or 11

Thanks Courtney for this weeks challenge.

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Fish Recipe for Friday

Happy Friday!  Do you come from a family that eats fish on Fridays?  I do and I was wondering why. Not why I come from a family but why we eat fish on Fridays.  I mean, where did the custom come from?  So I Googled it.  Don’t you love the information age?!

So I looked up “why we eat fish on Friday”  and lo and behold I got way more than I was expecting.  Of course you do have to take the internet with a grain of salt.   Friday was named for the Greek goddess Freya. She was an ancient goddess whose sacred symbol was the Fish. Her Holy Day is on the day that was named after her - Friday.  Freya's Day (Friday) is set aside to honor her by eating Fish on her special day.
Well, when Christianity came along Christians replaced Freya with Christ and now you know why Christians eat fish on Fridays.
Funny how the meaning of a tradition can get lost but the tradition remains.
Anyway so I thought we would have “fish” for dinner tonight but I’m substituting with shrimp.
A few years back David and I visited the home of Tabasco, Avery Island, LA.  While there I picked up this wonderful cookbook.

Tonight’s dinner is Eula Mae’s Chicken and Ham Jambalaya. 

First gather all your ingredients: 

1 ½ lbs chicken, raw and cut in small pieces
½ lb ham, cooked and cut in small pieces
2 lbs raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped bell pepper
4 tsp minced garlic
16 oz Can of whole tomatoes, chopped liquid reserved
1 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 tsp Tabasco pepper sauce
2 cups raw white rice

In a large pot heat oil, add chicken and sprinkle with salt pepper and cayenne. When done transfer to large mixing bowl.  Add ham to pot and stir till slightly browned.  Add ham to chicken.

 Add the onion, celery and bell pepper (Holy Trinity) and garlic to the pot and cook scraping the bottom of pot to loosen any browned bits.

Return the chicken and ham to the pot reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 min stirring occasionally. 

Add the chicken broth and reserved tomatoes with juice, cover and simmer for another 20 min. 

Add rice, shrimp and Tabasco, cover pot and simmer for 25 minutes until rice is tender and fluffy and the liquid is absorbed.

Bon Appetite and Happy Friday!

Here are some pictures from our trip.  It really is a beautiful place.
Avery Island, LA Sept. 2007

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Trick to Remember Aperture

I finished another quilt for my Etsy Shop!  And so I decided to take it outside to take photographs of it.  Spring is such a nice time to take pictures. The green in all the plants is so vibrant and you usually can find a little color in the blooms around.  Irises are my favorite flower and here in Texas they are blooming everywhere!  So I stuck my quilt up on the fence and took a few pictures.

 As I was going in I noticed my cat lounging among the flowers and thought how nice of him to pose for me for me like that.  I’m just learning the art of photography and the more I experiment with the functions on my camera the more fun it gets.  At the present I keep my camera setting on P (program mode) I’m learning about aperture (F-stop) because it’s what makes that one item in focus and all the rest blurry giving the subject that “popped-high definition” look.  The way I remember it is; the lower the F-stop number the fewer things in focus.  So I set my F-stop at 4.4 and got Merlin in focus and St. Francis blurred.
Meet Merlin

I've been told that if I use a telephoto lens, I'll get an even more dramatic effect. Can't wait to try that.

Monday, April 9, 2012

5 Week Challenge

Courtney’s post this morning at Women Living Well  was a real answer to prayer.  I’ve been so frustrated this spring because half my clothes I bought two years ago after losing 50 pounds don’t fit anymore!  I’ve gained 20 pounds back these last two years and all I can blame it on is my lack of discipline. 
Courtney is starting a 5 week challenge with 5 different disciplines for each week: mind, body, spirit, work, and time. Week one will be a healthy habit body challenge, and it could not have come at a more perfect time. Check out her post here

My goal this week is to track my food.  When I originally lost my weight I was so good about this but when I met goal I got lazy and quit.

So Wonderfully Complex,

Saturday, April 7, 2012

My New Look

Blogging is fun.  I enjoy sharing all Im learning and experiencing.  Today I spent the day searching the internet on how to design my own background and header.  I love the new look.  I've got a lot of learning still to do, like making my tab links work but so far so good.  What do think?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Home Style Chicken Dinner

It seems most blogs I follow have a place for recipes.  I love good easy home comfort recipes and this is one I found years ago.  I can’t even tell you where I found it.

Any way I call it Home Style Chicken Dinner and serve it at least once or twice a month.

The first thing before I begin is gather everything I’ll need, not only the ingredients but all cooking tools as well.

Dried basil
Lawry’s seasoned salt
Garlic powder
Olive oil
4 chicken breasts
6 small red potatoes
2 med sweet potatoes
1 med green bell pepper
3 small tomatoes
Cooking spray
Chopping block for vegetables and one for meat
Knife for cutting vegetables
Small bowl for mixing seasonings
Measuring spoons
Meat pounder
Large mixing bowl
Two large wooden spoons
13x9 baking dish

Preheat oven to 400° F

Pound out chicken breasts

Cut up the vegetables into bite size pieces place in large mixing bowl

In a small bowl mix together

2 tsp basil
1 tsp seasoned salt
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp pepper
2 Tbs olive oil
Cover chicken with a couple tsp of season mixture and with the rest toss the vegetables

Spray 13x9 baking dish
Pour vegetables In dish and place chicken on top
Baked uncovered 45-50 minutes.

Simple good and oh so easy!