Have you known the Love of God?

A Pileated Woodpecker showed up in our backyard!

Have you known the love of God?

He will go to the ends of the earth for you.

He stays up late and gets up early to be with you.

He paints beautiful pictures and creates unique companions for you to revere and enjoy.

He entrusts you with your life, your gifts and all. And gives you freedom to choose what you do with them.

Have you seen some of his creations? He has a sense of humor! He wants you to see them with wonder and surprise.

Oh, the beauty of our Lord.

The love he has for you; to take the shame and blame for you.

To take the pain.

Then waits for your response, hoping it was enough for you.

S/F Chocolate Bark

Okay, I was having one of my hankerings; you know, it’s 3 pm and I’m hungry but not sure what I wanted to eat. So I started searching the internet for healthy snacks. I found this one from Delish but made it my own by using pumpkin seeds and Stevia instead of pistachios and sugar.

What’s so great about this recipe is that you can add anything that suits your fancy as far as ingredients go. And the best part is, you get to lick the saucepan when you’re done and eat all the little pieces that don’t quite make a serving.

Let me know what you think?

S/F Chocolate Bark

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy!
  • Print

Ingredients:
8 oz Baker’s Unsweetened Chocolate
1 tbsp Coconut Oil
Pumpkin Seeds
Dried Cherries
Shredded coconut, unsweetened
Liquid Stevia to taste
Pretzels
Sea Salt

Directions:
Line baking sheet with parchment paper. On stove top in a sauce pan, melt coconut oil, chocolate and stevia until smoothe on medium low heat. Spread mixture onto parchment paper, add pumpkin seeds, cherries, coconut and sea salt on top. Freeze for 1/2 hour. Break apart into pieces with a knife. Freeze until ready to serve.

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Yellow Rice

Quick Meal Idea for Back to School!

Back to School time at our house is a very busy time of the year. In fact, since my husband and I are both teachers, we usually don’t show our heads socially anywhere until late October as we prepare for the new school year and our new students.

However, eating healthy doesn’t have to be time consuming. This meal was simple. I bought a fresh rotisserie chicken at my local Shop Rite, added some yellow rice (one of my new favorite side dishes) and some fresh fruit. Voila. Easy!

How do you prepare healthy meals during back to school?

Yellow Rice

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy!
  • Print

Ingredients:
1/2 c white rice
1/2 c brown rice
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp garlic
1 3/4 c chicken broth (I use Knorr)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp Chopped cilantro

Directions:
Drizzle extra virgin olive oil in a sauce pan on medium heat. Add garlic and brown. Add rice and tumeric, stirring until coated. Then add the chicken broth. Cover and let simmer for 20 min. Mix in the cilantro when the rice is done cooking and broth is completely absorbed.
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Fall Painting and My New Workspace!

One of Behr’s 2020 colors of the year, Charasmatic

So when my son left for school to another state yesterday, I decided to repaint his room from aqua blue to this serene yellow and reclaim my workspace.

My husband and I loved this color from Behr 2020 collection called, Charasmatic. It’s a warm yellow, but not too bright. It’s perfect for doing my schoolwork or if I need to work virtually from home. His bed is still in there for when he comes back to visit, and for when I need to take a nap!

Are you doing any fall projects this year?

Summer Fahita meets Fall Soup

Welcome Fall!

Late summer into fall has to be me and my husband’s favorite time of year! The cooler weather arrives and the best holidays are coming up. Besides that, school starts and with both of us being teachers, I need to get creative with food preparation.

Usually I will make 3 or 4 meals during the week and throw in take out for chinese or pizza and a rotisserie chicken and we are covered for the week. One of my favorite ways to spice up meals is to add something leftover to something new as shown above. Soup that I made a couple of days ago was paired with a fresh fahita bringing a new meal to enjoy.

Our 2020 Family Christmas Photo!

2020 Christmas photo

It was no small task to get the five of us together in the 2 week window that we had when my 21-year old visited us from CA this summer. To prove my point, it was only because his flight was canceled (thank you, God) that he stayed an extra day and we made it happen on our back deck. Not the scenic view I was planning for but I’m grateful that we got it and will be ahead of the game come Thanksgiving time, when I plan to send out my Christmas cards.

Ranch chicken cheddar soft pretzel!

I literally just made this up with what I had in my freezer

I came home from my walk on Sunday morning and chicken flatbread pizza was calling my name. However, after checking and rechecking my freezer, there was no flatbread to be found. So I had to get creative. Soft pretzels, course salt, chicken, cheddar cheese, and ranch dressing, that’s it! This was SO delicious with a broccoli slaw salad, dried cranberries, apples and italian dressing on the side.

What to do when you’ve turned into the Mother you don’t want to be

I recently read an article written by Lily Kreitinger titled I have turned into my Mother! She wrote how her six-year-old daughter began acting like her “mini-me” and not in a good way. She went on to list the six different mom types that we can become when we regretfully become our mothers but also action items so we can change who we want to be going forward.

Phantom Mom:

You may have had a Phantom Mom if you spent a lot of time in your room while she spent a lot of time in hers and got birthday cards addressed “To Whom it May Concern.” You know when relationships get past the point of no return and find quick ways to bow out when things get too close for comfort.

Action item: Find one or two people you can trust, who can provide the encouragement and support you have been trying to find.

China Doll Mom:

The second type is the China Doll Mom. This mom wants everyone to “turn their frown upside down” because she can’t deal with pain, anger or “bad feelings.” You may have had this kind of mom, if instead of friends you have “pet projects.”

Action item: Find a group of friends with whom you can be yourself. You will find that vulnerability is not scary, and that it is the courageous path for true connection.

Controlling Mom:

The Controlling Mom is very easy to spot. Mother knows best. You’d better stay here in the tower, little Rapunzel, because out there, the world will eat you alive. You may have had a controlling mom if you find yourself volunteering on every committee, juggling work, family and friends’ requests and end up each day exhausted wondering when it will be your turn.

Action item: Find out what you like. Say no to your neighbor when they ask you to babysit. Sing Let It Go at the top of your lungs.

The Trophy Mom:

The Trophy Mom will tackle the coach and pin them to the ground if she feels you have been cheated out of an opportunity to shine at the championship game. You do not dare disappoint her. Ever. How do you deal with Trophy Mom’s voice in your head? With this action item:

Action itemWrite a list of everything that you heard that is a lie. “Failure is not an option.” “Give it your all and make me proud.” “We are not quitters or losers.” Then, write a list of what you know to be true starting with “I am good enough, and I don’t have to be perfect.”

The Still-the-Boss Mom:

My mother-in-law, may she rest in peace, was one of these. She would come into my house, plan a menu for my guests, cook and serve the meal and assign seating at my table. She had a hard time treating her six children as adults. If your mom wants to be the boss, whether she is living or just a voice in your head, follow this action item:

Action item: Find a group of people who recognize your amazing talents and qualities and see you as the amazing adult you are.

The American Express Mom:

The American Express Mom, says it all. You don’t leave home without her. My mom is one of those. I’ve been married for ten years and she still does my laundry when she comes to visit. She expects a phone call every week and wants me to check in when I’m going on vacation, just to make sure I’m safe. Hello, we live 3000 miles apart. What difference does it make if I’m in Minnesota or Hawaii? To detach myself, I had to set hard boundaries for now. I am pretty sure I am banned to enter Mexico and I will soon hear a knock on the door when she sends out a SWAT team to rescue me from the people who have brainwashed me out of her power.

Action item: Set boundaries. Define specific things that you will do and will not do and the same for her. This will likely be hard, but it is worth it.

I love this article because, in the end, Lily admonishes us to try to come to a place where we can understand our mom as she did to us only what she knew how to do. We can forgive her and love her for who she is and not who we want her to be.

To learn more about this topic, read The Mom Factor by Henry Cloud and John Townsend.

Which type of mom do you most relate to?


Zucchini Spiralizer!

Low carb zucchini noodles replace any kind of noodle in your pasta recipes!

I am so excited about this kitchen gadget that I had to make not only it’s own post but a video, to boot! You know what I’m going to be eating for the rest of the summer!

When I first got this spiralizer I was about ready to throw it into the garbage or at least return it. But then I figured out how to use it. For some reason, I thought it was electric because it had 3 buttons. It turns out that these buttons manually adjust the blades so you can make spaghetti, fettucini or ribbon noodles. I like the spaghetti noodles best. I think they’re actually more like linguini noodles :).

If you’re not pouring something hot on top of them like meatballs and spaghetti sauce, I recommend that you place them in a collander in a sink and pour boiling water over the zucchini noodles so they become “al dente” like pasta.

Definitely recommend this tool for the kitchen. Do you know the possibilities here, folks? Endless possibilities!