Friday, December 26, 2014

The Beauty of Christmas

My oh my, how time does fly... I know I have totally been negligent here. I have had so many things to say and so many ideas to share, but honestly, I had to rank my priorities and although, this is a great outlet for me... Life did come first.
What a beautiful Christmas we had... I hope you did too. The family was gathered, there were wonderful smells and yummy foods. The lights seemed a bit extra special and lovely. The smiles absolutely melted this Moma's heart. My cup was running over and still is... Truly.

I have an eagerness within me, to rearrange, to neaten, to tidy the nest, but the family is wanting to linger a bit longer in the loveliness of the season. And I'm trying to allow another mellow, fun filled day.

My head is spinning with ideas, and anticipation of what this year might bring to our little homestead.  So for now, I wish you health and happiness, love and peace that this holy time brings. May God bless each and every one of you throughout the coming new year.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tammy's Pumpkin Roll

(pumpkin roll pic is not mine)

A favorite dessert that is made often around our family is the Pumpkin Roll. It usually begins right around Thanksgiving, someone will bring one to a dinner at church or to one of the family Thanksgiving meals and it continues throughout Christmas! It's a winner! 
Our church put out a cookbook many years back and it is one of my go-to recipe books. Many ladies submitted recipes, sharing their speciality dishes. This comes from a dear lady that I love. I used to babysit her son when he was young and every once in a while he comes to stay with me. I adore him! 

For the Cake:
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 cup walnuts (chopped) *optional*

Preheat oven to 375* 
Line a 15x10" jelly roll pan/cookie sheet with wax paper. Spray with nonstick spray.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt together. 
In another bowl, beat eggs and sugar until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Pour and spread evenly over the prepared pan. If desired sprinkle with nuts. 
Bake for 13-15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. 

Now, here's the only trick to this!

Once baked, let cool for a minute or two. 
Have another sheet of wax paper sprinkled with powdered sugar laying on the workspace. 
Turn your cake onto that wax paper. Gently remove the paper you cooked with. Sprinkle opposite side of roll with more powdered sugar. Carefully roll your pumpkin roll up in the wax paper and allow to cool completely. This will help ensure you will have a nice roll to your finished dessert. Else if you don't roll it while warm, it will NOT roll once cool. 
I sure hope this makes sense to you. :)

Now! For the yummy filling!
1 package of cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
6 Tbsp. butter (softened)
1 tsp. vanilla
more powdered sugar for sprinkling

Beat all together till smooth. 

Once your pumpkin roll is completely cool, unroll carefully. Spread cream cheese mixture over roll and gently roll back up. Sprinkle with a bit more powdered sugar. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Slice and sprinkle with more powdered sugar when serving.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Creamy Shrimp & Pasta

Last night my husband and I had an afternoon alone for a couple hours. We could have gone out to eat together, because when you have a family of 6, it doesn't feel like too big of a deal to only pay for TWO people at a restaurant. But... I am TRYING to get a budget system going in our home again and so I was good and pulled out a package of shrimp that I had bought at Walmart for around $6.50. 
We were recently talking about favorite foods and he said, "I don't know if I have ever told you that I REALLY like shrimp!" Ok.... I kinda knew it, but to be that exuberant about it, I thought, hmmm... Mental note!
So, I pulled out the shrimp and a sauté pan. 
Here's the list of ingredients:
1 lb shrimp
2 Tbsp butter or olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup-1 cup white wine
1 cup cream
1/2-1 cup parmesan 
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper
AND... if you like, some chopped bacon is a terrifically yummy addition!

(If you are a follower of THM, this would be a THM S)

Pasta of your choice or steamed veggie

Add fat to sauté pan. Once melted, add chopped garlic. Cook till softened,  fragrant, and infused. Only a couple minutes. 
Add shrimp. Cook them just till opaque and then remove them from the pan. 
Add white wine. 
Let the wine cook in the garlic butter and let it bubble for a couple of minutes. 
Pour in cream, cheese, herbs, and seasonings. 
It only takes another few minutes to bring this all together and it will thicken slightly.
Pour shrimp back into sauce. 

While this is happening, and obviously, it only takes just a few short minutes, have your pasta/veggies prepared. I only had the shrimp and sauce this time, but next time I make it, I plan on pouring the sauce over steamed broccoli. Mmmm.
Add a side salad and bread if you like.

My husband is a big eater and we had plenty for supper and for him to have a large helping to take to lunch today!
A few GOOD ingredients and we ate VERY well for less that one meal at a restaurant. 

Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fire Cider

Fire Cider! What a name, huh? It will burn whatever is ailing you, out of you! So bring on the fire!
I've not felt my best today and I can tell you, I sure wish I had started this weeks ago. I could have used it today!
I just read this when I googled 'fire cider' It comes from Mountain Rose Herbs and it says...

Fire Cider is a traditional remedy with deep roots in folk medicine. The tasty combination of vinegar infused with powerful anti-microbial, decongestant, and spicy circulatory movers makes this recipe especially pleasant and easy to incorporate into your daily diet to help boost natural immune system processes, stimulate digestion, and get you nice and warmed up on cold days. 

They also suggest adding honey to final product... I've not tried that. This is how I always make mine. 

The ingredients are:
Hot Peppers
Apple Cider Vinegar

For some reason, the ginger didn't make the initial pic... but here she is in all her potent beauty! These ingredients pack a powerful punch, I'm telling you!
I used to call this a Health tonic. I may have even blogged about it... but a friend of mine called it Fire Cider and I thought that was an awesome name!

This is what you want to do. 
Equal parts.
If you have 1 cup horseradish, use 1 cup peppers, 1 cup garlic, 1 cup onion, 1 cup ginger... you get the idea. 
I didn't even measure when I made this. I just layered it. 
Once I filled it to the neck of my jar, I poured in the ACV (apple cider vinegar)

If using a metal cap, use some plastic wrap to help it not rust your ring. 
Shake this daily and let it set out and ferment for about 2 weeks- 1 month.
Once finished, strain the juice from the veggies and store. 

This stuff will absolutely knock out what ails you. Of course, always use good judgement about your health. This is good stuff and it is good for you... 
Hopefully you get what I'm saying. 
I do NOT claim to be a doctor, nor do I claim to be an expert in naturopathy. I'm just a mom and wife trying to take care of my bunch. 

To use, Shoot a tbsp or two as a daily preventative. 
Or if you can't shoot it, mix it in some tea or juice. 
If you already have signs of illness, take it several times daily. 

Fire Cider! Make it. Get it ready for the cold and flu season and stay healthy this year!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Trim Healthy Mama: Eggroll in a Bowl- Chasity's Way

THM'ers I have found the BEST food out there. 
A fantastic S meal, that is loaded with yummy, healthy, goodness, that will leave you satisfied, happy and hoping for leftovers for tomorrow's lunch!

This is how I make it my way!

I used 2 lbs of grass-fed beef 
1 head of red cabbage (I cut slivers with my knife, but you could use food processor if you like)
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
2 tsp ginger, chopped fine (you can use powder, if so, use less)
1 large head broccoli, kale, spinach or some other green
(If I had carrots at the time of making this, I would use them... about a cup of shredded carrots)
1/4 cup tamari sauce
2 Tbsp sesame oil
Chicken stock

I browned my meat and onions in a large skillet til cooked through. 
I added in my cabbage, broccoli, garlic, ginger, tamari, sesame oil, etc. 
Pour in a little chicken stock. Not enough for soup, but enough to help cook down the veggies a bit and help the seasonings flavor your food. 
If it begins to dry out before you have finished wilting your veggies, you can always pour in a bit more stock. 
Salt and Pepper (a must)
Let rest slightly.
Serve warm.
Let your tastebuds dance and sing. 


Monday, October 27, 2014

Lindsey's Dilly Carrots

My precious friend Lindsey makes "Dilly Carrots" We have had them before and they are great. They are a yummy snack and so good for you! 
Here's how she makes them.
You will need:
Dill Seed
Filtered Water
(I made a half-gallon batch)

Cut the tips and the ends off the carrots and then cut the carrots in half. Once cut in half, cut them into   sticks. Depending on the size of your carrots, it could be one or two cuts per half. Don't make them so tiny they won't hold up during the fermenting process.

There'a good snack size!
Begin to fill your jar with your carrot sticks.

For a half-gallon jar, I used four large garlic cloves. I quartered them and tossed them in about midways through.

And if your kids are home like mine, you might be giving a spelling quiz right in the middle of your project. 

Now take a Tablespoon Salt. I use Real Salt. It's my favorite.

1 Tablespoon of Dill Seed!
This is important. We have made these with dried dill, and we didn't care for them... but dill seed seems to make a huge difference.

Once everything is in your jar, fill your jar with filtered water. We use a Berkey... But if you don't have a water filter, you could use spring water.

Allow your dilly carrots to set for 3-5 days out to ferment and then you can put them in the fridge and begin snacking. They are a yummy snack and a super way to add a few more fermented goodies to your everyday diet. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

{ this moment } 10.24.14

{this moment}

. . . . . . . . .
{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
. . . . . . . . . .
Connecting with Soulemama this morning

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Soaping again

Another beautiful thing happens when the air begins to chill. I feel the need to fluff my nest. The need to put a little more useful things by. The desire to create a haven. 
Soaping is part of that. 
The first two pictures show my Holiday Spice Soap
It has turned out so nicely and I will look forward to using this and gifting it as well. 
Here's my recipe.
Btw, if you are new to Soap Making, I have a Soap Making 101 tutorial that will take you STEP-BY-STEP through the process. My friend Ashlee taught me, I teach you and we all win! Right? 

Holiday Spice Soap
12 oz olive oil
12 oz coconut oil
7.5 oz shea butter
6 oz canola oil
5 oz cocoa butter
3.5 oz corn oil
2 oz castor oil

6.5 oz lye
16 oz cold water

1 T cinnamon
1 T cloves
1 T cocoa

.25 oz Rosemary Essential Oil
.5 oz Orange Essential Oil
.5 oz Clove Essential Oil

At trace add your Essential Oils and then bring back to trace. Ladle half the batch into your pan and then mix spices into the remainder of the batch and ladle on top. You can use a butter knife to make swirls or figure 8's through your mixture.
Allow to cure 6 weeks before use.

Oatmeal and Honey Soap
1 oz beeswax
2 lb lard
6 oz olive oil
4 oz coconut oil
2 oz cocoa butter

16 oz cold water
6 oz lye

1 T. Honey
1/2 cup pulverized oats
1 T scent (I used an oatmeal and honey scent from Brambleberry)

At trace add honey, oats, and scent

I really love the flecks of oatmeal in this one. It will be a nice, mild, facial cleansing soap.

Happy Soaping!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Emergency Candles: Do it Yourself

As we begin to enter the cooling off of the year and realizing there are times when we could use extra candles, I found an idea through Pinterest that I was determined to replicate!
You only need a few items and you are set!
I've made links for them throughout the post in case you are interested in ordering any of them. I plan on ordering more wax soon! 

First you will need these candle wicks. You are only using 12, so you will have plenty extra for other projects or for another set or two of these emergency candles!
Every time I hear half-pint, I think of Little House... don't you?

You will need a dozen half-pint jars. You can buy these or you can use some you have or you could even look around for them at yard sales and thrift stores. No matter how many jars I have, if I see some in good shape at a thrift store... they go in my buggy. I use them for EVERYTHING! 
Not. Even. Kidding.

You will also need wax. I bought this, the wax is a 5 lb bag of Soy Wax, found here.
It's inexpensive and melts and pours super easy.
Begin pouring your wax in. It took the whole bag for my 12 candles. I poured in half and then started my double boiler.

I have a candle wax pitcher, but you could use a #10 can with a little squeeze on one side so you could use it to pour. Or an old pot. Whatever you can fit into another pot with hot water, sorta the double-boiler method to melt down your wax.

While your wax is melting down, take your jars, the wicks and your glue gun and pat a bit of hot glue on the anchor of the candle wick. Stick it to the center (or close to the middle) of the jar and proceed for all 12.

If it is not perfectly centered, do not fret. It's fine.
Take your melted wax and pour into your candle jars.

Once poured, get a bit of aluminum foil and tear it into a small square. Make a small opening in the center and slip your wick right through. This will help the wick stand up straight while the wax cools.

If your kitchen is cool, like mine... you will see the translucent wax become opaque. 

Once completely solid, pull off your foil and snip your wick.

Done and Done!
The great thing about these is that you have a basic candle, not a fru-fru, smelly one, but one that will burn for 40-50 hours! This is great! If you burn it around 4 hours at a time, your candle could last about 10 days! Not bad for the very small amount you paid for this little jewel!
Total Price:
Soy Wax- $14.69
Candle Wicks- $8.69
Jars (if purchased and really depending on WHERE you purchased, I'm going to estimate)- $10.00
That equals $2.78 per candle!

If you, like me, have jars picked up from thrift or left over from canning, then the price drops considerably! Making things 
This is a great project that is fun for your kids to help you make. Also you are teaching them to be prepared. Something, in these days and times, you can't be TOO much of. 
Hope you enjoy!

Monday, October 20, 2014


Wow.... Is that word even enough?
 Honestly though, I can't think of a word to even explain how I am feeling. You guys and your outpouring of love and affection have truly overwhelmed my heart. I am so grateful for your kind words. Your calls, emails, messages and face-to-face talks have touched me. I know I don't face this fight alone. I know there are many others who struggle or have struggled with these same issues. It is a hard fight. I know, I'm still fighting and will be fighting for a long time, I'm sure. I know that the Lord and His goodness have allowed me to say what I've said and to do what I've done so far and with His great strength, I will be victorious... WE will be victorious! 

So, it's just a short note this morning to tell you how much I appreciate you. This little ole blog, even on its BEST day has NEVER experienced this kind of love and affection. 

So to you...


Y'all have blessed my heart in a way, I will never be able to express. 

Anyone interested in joining me on your journey to being a Trim Healthy Mama or a Trim Healthy Man? Check out the book here on Amazon! (Affiliate link included)


Friday, October 17, 2014


I am a 38 year old vibrant woman, trapped in a very obese body.
I know this is no shocker to anyone who has seen me. But the feelings I'm about to pour all over you through my words... you may not realize. 

I started out as an chunky child. I grew into a hefty teen. And then into an overweight young lady. Now, I'm an obese almost middle-aged woman. How did I get here? 

In my whole life I have been 'the sweet one'.  I'm the sweetie. I've always been ok with that, because I enjoy being sweet... I will say though, I have always longed to be beautiful too. Not just 'on the inside' Or, 'You have such a pretty face.'  Thanks, but you know what else is there or meant to be said. 

I've allowed my weight to creep up and leap up all my life. I finally ballooned in the past year. I'm not going to share my weight with you yet, simply because I cannot bear it. It is physically painful for me to speak it aloud or type it...
You will know soon though. 

I remember as a young person my family trying to encourage me to lose weight. As a little kid, I remember getting 'the look' at me because I wanted to eat so much. It was comforting. It still is. It was a pleasure. I had no self control over it. I'm just learning that now. Sigh... 
I went to weight watchers as a kid, as a teen, as a young adult. I went to weight clinics. Telling me to take this pill or drink this shake and don't eat. I tried my own things here and  there.  I even got to a point that I had made a promise to myself that I would lose some weight by my wedding anniversary as a gift to myself and my husband. Unable to do it by control, after the first 20 or so pounds, I began vomiting almost every time I had a meal. I lost. And then it all came back plus more. 

See, all this life of mine, I have been controlled by food. By not allowing myself to be self-controlled. It was a horrid, vicious, terrible feeling.

Now let me tell you who I am inside. I am strong. I've always been told how strong I am. There have been precious few things in my life that I have wanted that I did not achieve. I was very active despite my weight. I played softball, I learned to water ski. I remember very patient parents who would go round and round and round in the boat because I would not give up trying. I HAD to accomplish it. I HAD to do it. I couldn't accept the fact that I could not do it.
And eventually I did it and I did it WELL!
I then learned to drop a ski and before long I could even come up on one ski. It was something I wanted and I did it!
I played volleyball. I was in the band as a color-guard. I made color-guard captain in my senior year of high school. I made homecoming court, I made prom queen. I was outgoing and alive. I loved living!

I still do...

Although I have allowed hurt and pain to overcome my efforts. I allowed it to drown out that woman inside. If you really know me, you are allowed to see my real self. I have become timid though, because I am inside such a fat person. A person whom is hard to recognize. 

It became easier for me to stay away from people because of the embarrassment of myself. I felt ashamed that I have hurt my family because I am so big. I know that my husband and children honestly do not look at me that way... but I feel like it. I know they would be proud for me to be thinner, but they LOVE me unconditionally.  And for that I am beyond thankful. I don't think I would have been able to finally get to this point if it weren't for their love. 

One day I hit an all-time low. My family and I went to an amusement park. I wanted to share with them some of the most fun things I loved as a girl. I went to ride a ride with my kids and I could not fit. Right there in front of TONS of people, I was trying to get myself in a ride. I was so humiliated. I wanted to break down and cry right there in the amusement park. I wanted to run away and hide. I couldn't believe I had allowed myself to be so selfish that I was now hurting my family and having to be embarrassed publicly because *I* could not control myself enough to stop gaining weight and now I couldn't share in my favorite ride with my kids. 

I didn't change right then... I just held on to that hurt.

I've had to come out of my shell. I've had to get back into civilization. I've decided it's past time. My kids and my husband need it. I need it! There are people I love and I can bless... but I can't do it when I am hermitizing myself out of fear or shame. It's punishing everyone.

So, the change had to come.

Today I am thrilled to say that I'm down 41 lbs. I wrote the above months ago, when I determined I would begin. I still have lots to lose, but finally, I'm headed on the right direction. 
Thank You, Lord!! 
And thanks to Trim Healthy Mama 


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Trim Healthy Mama: Chocolate Pea-nutty Shake

I've been following Trim Healthy Mama for a few months now. I'm always looking for new, yummy ideas. 
I needed a light lunch, since I had fried eggs with ham for breakfast. Yum! 
So I am going to have a salad with this. 

Here's what I made! 

 Chocolate Pea-nutty Shake
3/4 cup fat free cottage cheese
1 cup almond milk
1 Tbsp cocoa
1 tsp peanut butter extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
Truvia to taste
6 or so ice cubes 
Blend on high

I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Crafting in Autumn

I've had a vision in my mind for at least 7 years now... 
It was on my mind as I went to Missouri many years ago.
I have been patient and waited for just the right thing.
I wanted an old tool box and wanted to fill it with 'pretties' to set on my table. 
I took a few pieces of floral foam and placed it in the bottom of the toolbox. I did not add glue or anything that would be permanent. I then started building the box up with fall foliage. 

The children and I worked on it together, that makes it even more special to me. We hot glued some little pumpkins and gourds to stems, as well as some pinecones and ribbons. 
I just love it.