February 28, 2013


This weeks theme for the Winter Photography challenge is Blue/Breath. Blue isn't too hard for me to capture, I have a lot of blue things in my life. My car is blue.

My house is blue.
I have blue counter-tops in my kitchen and there was a lot more blue before we redid it. 

I have a blue bathroom.

It's a love hate relationship with this bathroom. I actually refer to it as the Blue Beast. By the way these stall showers are great for washing your dog.

My favorite blue of all is the sky. Especially during winter.

You know Winter is ending soon when the birds become more active.

There's nothing better than when the warm sun peeks through the frosty trees and the blue sky begins to show.

I'm linking up with :

February 24, 2013

Chips on Fish

So you may know about the British classic Fish & Chips. I'm a fan. Whenever I try a new brewery it's something I love to order. If they do a good job with their Fish & Chips then I know it's a good brewery. I shared a recipe a while back that I use, you can find it here. Today's recipe is a twist on the classic because the chips are literally on the fish.

This recipe is super simple. A lady at work told me she had it for dinner one night so I came home and tried it for myself. You could use any kind of chip you like. I've only tried it with Salt & Vinegar so let me know if you try another and how it turns out.

You could eat this with a side salad or roasted veggies. I think we had roasted veggies and Olive Cheese Bread. If you've never tried that bread it's AMAZING. I'm officially addicted to it. Thanks Pioneer Woman! You can find the recipe here.

You could use any kind of olive you like. I don't use the black olives and I've even used garlic stuffed before.
Oh my, you've got to try it!

Here's the recipe for the Chips on Fish. Enjoy!

February 19, 2013

Winter's Treasure

Kristi & Rebecca are doing a great job hosting another seasonal photography challenge. It's fun to see how others interpret the theme for the week. In case you missed it the first week's theme was Black/Shadows, last week was White/Minimalism and the theme this week is Silver/Treasure.
This is our first winter in PA. We've heard more than once that winters in PA are awful. 
Since we survived winters in Colorado & Nebraska we've been just fine 
and it really hasn't been that bad. 

Winter here has brought many treasures with it. 
Gleaming sticks of glass glisten and sparkle in the sun. 

I could spend all day watching the icicles melt away. 
We have a creek that runs through our backyard that provides a peaceful background. 

 Along the creek Winter hides treasures waiting to emerge come Springtime. 
Blanca of course is one of my treasures and she happens to be
 the best treasure hunter I know. We love exploring together. 
The crisp air of winter causes the creek water to crystallize and purify life.  

 Oh how I adore Winter's treasure!
 It is silvery and shines like diamonds. 

Each treasure is different from the other, special in it's own way. 
You better enjoy it while you can because soon it will be taken away.

February 18, 2013

Hold ALL things Loosely

I am blessed in so many ways. I've lived a very FULL life even though I'm young. A lot of times we measure our worth by material possessions. It can be a struggle not to compare our own possessions to others. I never really thought I was "materialistic." I guess I just think of myself as a collector of memories. I treasure things that have a memory or a story. Special things that others might not think are so special. The truth is every single thing that I have no matter it's value to me or someone else isn't really mine. All that I have was loaned to me by my Father in heaven.  All that I have on this earth is temporary, not everlasting. My life,  my health, my family, my dog, my treasures, my computer, this blog, my friends... they don't belong to me. It can all be taken away. That's why I'm reminded to,

I've been burglarized. It was the worst most violating feeling. They took things that I cherished like my grandmother's precious jewelry that I had stored away in a handmade jewelry box my husband made for me. All of it gone, including the box. You might remember reading about this when I shared Blanca's Story.  They also took from me an entire box of cards and notes I had collected throughout out the years. The box was a locked treasure chest that I guess they thought was locked because it had valuables in it. They didn't even take our TV or computer. Why? Why did they have to take my memories?

Since being burglarized it's been hard not to hold things tight. There are very few things that I have left of my grandmother's. I did have a very special deviled egg dish that was my great grandmother's. I adored that dish so much and have used it many times. Deviled eggs are one of my favorite foods.

My health has been failing me and I've been pushing myself to be normal, to be my age. Before I had surgery a few weeks ago. We had been working hard redoing our kitchen and one evening when my husband was away I decided to carry some boxes down from upstairs to put in the kitchen. It was one of the last boxes we needed to unpack. I was bringing the last box down and started to feel myself weaken and the box slip from my hands. The box went tumbling down the stairs. Praise God I didn't. I knew I needed a break but just kept pushing. The only thing that broke in that entire box was my grandmother's deviled egg dish. Sometimes our bodies do fail us no matter our age.

My husband came home to find me balling on my knees. I held that dish tight. I had big plans for that dish in my new kitchen. I was going to put in on display and share it and it's story with others. My heart is broken. But it's just a dish. It doesn't really matter. I can't take it with me when I die. There are so many losses that we suffer on this earth. That's why we must remember what Corrie Ten Boom said,

“Hold everything in your hands lightly, otherwise it hurts when God pries your fingers open.” 

February 14, 2013

Love Day Thanks

How do I even begin to express my Thank you? To all those who have prayed for me, supported me and sent love my way. I feel truly loved.  People I don't even know have shown great care and concern for me. About a month ago I was referred to an oncologist. I've been in a great deal of discomfort both physically and as you can imagine mentally.

About two weeks ago I went in for a 2nd surgery of this kind. Crazy enough my  1st surgery  was one year ago today. Such a LOVEly memory.  This most recent surgery was successful but I'm still waiting to hear more details about the diagnosis from my doctor during the follow up appointment. There have been times that I haven't even been able to get myself a drink.  I haven't been able to barely walk on my own. I have felt pretty much worthless. With all that being said I still have HOPE, PEACE & JOY.  My mom and my husband have been so sweet to care for me during this time. The staff and volunteers at the hospital took excellent care of me too. They gave me a handmade bear!

This bear was made by volunteers and not only brightened my spirits but gave me something to squeeze and brace against. This bear has been going with me everywhere. I'm so thankful for those volunteers! A sweet volunteer even wheeled me out of the hospital when it was time to go home.

I don't really consider Valentine's day to be a romantic holiday, it's a day to remember all those that I love. I'm so thankful for the wonderful people in my life now and look forward to all the amazing relationships that I will have in the future. I was happy to feel well enough to create some Valentine's. I actually thought I felt so well that I wanted to make a few batches of cookies to ship out to those I love. That was a BIG mistake. It resulted in a very messy kitchen and lots of tears. I'm so happy my husband came to the rescue and cleaned everything up telling me that I shouldn't have even tried to do that in the first place.

I've had lots of time to enjoy the critters out the window. The squirrels especially have been fun to watch. I took a picture of them chasing each other and added some graphics and text, then printed them off at CVS. It's a super fun and easy to create a card.  You can glue the printed picture to card stock so you have a place to write a note.

Hope y'all enjoy today and take time to tell all those you love how much you love them.

February 8, 2013


This recipe might surprise you as it did me. I've never really been a fan of beets, which is the STAR of this comforting soup. A lady at work makes it and was kind enough to share some with me. I loved it so I had to have the recipe. Unfortunately I can't remember the title of the book it came from. I did change it up a little bit though. I believe it's a Russian dish. I made it a couple nights before I had surgery. My mom is a huge fan of veggies and since she was coming to help out I knew it would be perfect for her. She LOVED it!

I suppose I never was a fan of beets because I only ever had canned. Fresh is the BEST. Yes they did scare me but aren't they beautiful? Supposedly they're a super food.  I honestly was intimidated. But you just peel them up and if you want you can even use the leaves. If you decide to use the leaves they go in towards the end of the cooking process.

One thing that you're going to want to make sure you have on hand is lemon juice, either fresh or bottled.

Why? Because beets stain, be prepared. This will help get the stain out. You might also want to wear gloves when you slice up the beets.

Before you go preparing all those veggies. You might want to put the meat in the freezer. Unless you have a food processor this needs to be cut into small cubes by hand. Freezing it for just a little while will make this much easier.

Next prepare all those yummy veggies. Trust me this is worth the effort. I prefer the soup chunky. If  you're blessed to have a food processor please use it. After the veggies are all chopped up get the meat from the freezer and chop it up.

I hope whether you're a fan of beets or not you'll try this soup. It's quite delicious and satisfying. I would say you could even cook the meat and add everything else to the crock-pot and let it cook away all day. Serve it with a crusty bread and enjoy.

February 5, 2013

Tidbit Tuesday (Kitchen Cabinets)

A few days ago I shared our Kitchen Redo. I still look around and wonder if I'm in my house. We went back and forth trying to decide what to do to brighten the space. It seemed like doing anything to the cabinets was going to be a huge risk. I mean what would we do if we didn't like it? We don't really have tons of experience in this area. Finally we decided to just go for it.  It was the best decision and I'm so glad I went through with it. We used the Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformations kit.

Rust-Oleum 1fl oz Interior Satin Light Base Paint Paint and Primer in One

There is a wealth of information available online, so many reviews and stories. I highly recommend this kit! It comes with just about everything you need. You can choose any color you can imagine (you don't have to choose the ones off the box). Then you take the kit up to the paint counter and they add the color to the base. We got the large size and even had a little left over. I have a couple tidbits to help you out if you decide to to be brave and redo your cabinets.

#1 Follow through with the entire process. I completed the first step and was afraid wondering if It was working. I completed the second step and was really freaked wondering what I got myself into. I completed the third step and thought, oh my I don't think I like this. Thankfully I kept going and the last step really made it. The directions say that the glaze step is optional but I can't imagine not doing it. I didn't like the way it was looking without the glaze.

#2 Don't paint the entire back of the cabinet doors.

It helps to have a spot with no paint so that you can flip the door over sooner and paint the other side and not worry about smudges or dents. It also gives the doors character and depth, something unique. You will want to paint the frame of the inside because it provides a finished line.

#3 When you take the drawers and doors off label them. I use letters and numbers. For example I will put the letter O on the inside of the door and the letter O on the inside of the frame where the door goes back. Another reason why you shouldn't paint the entire inside of the door is that you don't have to move the labels around. When I was reading the cabinet transformation instructions it said to draw up a sketch of where each cabinet door goes. Your time is precious just do it my way it will save you.

#4 Finally caulk is your friend. Get the kind you can paint over. It's super user friendly and smooths and cleans up easy with a little water. Any gaps, holes, or screws you want to cover just caulk, smooth and then paint.

February 1, 2013


I'm excited to be participating in this season's Nurture Photography Challenge. Each week there will be a different theme to capture. I always enjoy the images others share and learning and growing in my own photography. As the title of the post says, this week's challenge is Black/Shadows.

 I took these photos a few weeks ago around our property.
Even in the darkness there is light and life. 
 Blanca loves to come along and tries to be the star of every shot. Of course she is irresistible. 

It's been hard lately for me to get her out of the house on a walk. So I just let her run free. 
It's such a blessing to live in an area where I can do that safely.

I'm recovering from surgery right now 
and these health problems I've been dealing with 
have been really tough. 

It's important for me to continue to do the things I love
 and enjoy my surroundings. I hope that if you are going through a tough time 
you can find comfort in the scripture above. 

Be sure to check out the challenge when you get a chance. Anyone can be a part of it.