Tuesday, March 31, 2015

~ Tuesday Thoughts ~


I have a huge to-do list...do you?  Wanna come over and help me?  :)  I think this photo lists the more important things to focus on.  I know many are preparing for Easter ~ are we focusing on the real reason for the celebration?  Sometimes I think the festivities and the  food, decor, Easter egg hunts and having guests overshadows the most holy occasion of Christianity. Pause and remember...

I went to my eye Dr. yesterday and had plugs done again. If you're not aware of this procedure, it's absolutely wonderful!  I have very dry eyes ~ somewhat due to having had cataract surgery plus horrific allergies. This allows your eyes to make natural tears and is an amazing relief!

I also had to take my car in due to a continuing leak of one tire. They did everything under the sun as far as testing, however, nothing found!  Such a relief ~   They always wash my car when I take it in and wow, did it ever need it!  Sprinkles of rain and then the dust and horrible pollen created a disgusting mess. On a black car, that doesn't bode well.  Don't you think your car drives better when it's clean...and when the gas tank is full?  I kinda think it's saying "Thank you!"  :)

Something I feel led to mention ~ I've seen so many snarky, snippy, grumpy comments on blogs recently. So shocking!  Of course, we're not all going to have the same tastes or decorating preferences. So what if TexasSuzieQ (fake name) loves all white and I prefer a ton of color?  That's really ok!  I honestly think TexasSuzieQ is extremely talented and has great taste in her decor. I just can't wrap my head around someone replying, "Why did you buy that in green, use that flooring, put that rug there?  It looks horrible!"  Lots of similar comments and, like I said, I just can't understand it nor is it ok.  IMHO, if you don't have anything nice to say, move on...don't comment!  Didn't most of our Moms teach us that it's better to say nothing than to say something ugly? 



Kindness does matter!


I'm making a little headway in my efforts to spring clean, organize and clear the clutter. It's very frustrating that I'm a bit limited due to my back problems but a little is worth a lot!


Not sure if you've ever seen something like the info below re: Target. Of course, it could apply to many retailers I'm sure.


Have you planted flowers yet?  I think it's about time to do that here in Texas. I would absolutely LOVE to have my balcony look very much like this!  So colorful, lush and happy ~ brings on a "feel good" moment instantly! 
 

I must stop and get busy!  It's a gorgeous day here in North Central Texas ~ sunshine and lovely temps. I think it's supposed to be in the high 70's today. IF you've made it this far, thank you so much for stopping by!  I absolutely love when folks take the time to visit and leave a comment. Have a wonder*filled week!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

~ Silent Sunday ~


A friend pointed me to this quote today and I had to share it. It’s such a great reminder of God’s Love for His children and the true path to Him. It’s nothing we can earn or achieve; it’s His Gift of Grace. All that is required of us is to trust and believe in Him.


Justice is getting what you deserve. Mercy is not getting what you deserve. Grace is getting what you don’t deserve.
~Stuart Briscoe


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

~ Chocolate Velvet Cake ~



White Chocolate Frosting Recipe

Chocolate Velvet Cake

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels
1/2 cup butter, softened 
(16-ounce) package light brown sugar
large eggs 
2 cups all-purpose flour 
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
(8-ounce) container sour cream 
1 cup hot water *
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Melt semisweet chocolate morsels in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH for 30-second intervals until melted (about 1 1/2 minutes total time). Stir until smooth.

Beat butter and brown sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer, beating about 5 minutes or until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add melted chocolate, beating just until blended.

Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add to chocolate mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Gradually add 1 cup *hot water in a slow, steady stream, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in vanilla. Use immediately.

Spoon batter evenly into 2 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans (pans must be 2 inches deep). Bake at 350° for 40 to 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire rack.

Use your favorite frosting ~  Buttercream, Ganache, Coconut & Pecan are just a few.

Note:

 *
The addition of hot water at the end of this recipe makes for an exceptionally moist cake.  I always like to add coffee to a chocolate cake or brownies ~ I think it enhances the flavor. You can brew 8 oz. strong coffee (hot) and add rather than hot water. OR ~ you can add instant coffee or espresso granules along with the hot water. 
You'll need 2 (9-inch) round cake pans that are at least 2 inches deep for this cake. If your pans are only 1 1/2 inches deep, use 3 pans, and reduce baking time to 25 to 30 minutes. This recipe can be used for cupcakes, pound cake, sheet cake ~ your choice!

 Always add the Love ~  :)

Sharing ~ 





Monday, March 23, 2015

~ Flip Flop Wreath ~


My niece shared this with me.  I think she found it on Pinterest ~ and who would doubt that?  :)



Nothing says Welcome Summer like flip-flops!
Gather:
  • 7-8 Colorful pairs of Flip Flips – check the dollar store, use varied sizes too!
  • Silk flowers
  • Hot Glue
  • Plain Wreath
  • Decorative flat beads/stones
Practice with your layout before you glue anything on. Once you have everything where you want it THEN start gluing. Hang on your front door!

Sharing ~ Savvy Southern Style

Friday, March 20, 2015

~ For your garden! ~


Spring has sprung!  Well, not so much here although we are having some typical spring rains and thunderstorms. I had to have a jacket today.  Now, when it gets to 100 - 110 remind me of this!  :)


We certainly have the mosquitoes too!  I'm sure you seasoned gardeners know about these plants but I was unaware of all of them.  Just thought I'd share ~ let's see if they work!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

~ How to make a Watermelon Pizza ~


Doesn't this look fresh, healthy and delish?  I saw it on FB this morning and thought I'd share.

Watermelon-Pizza

It’s practically a pizza fruit salad. You will need a watermelon, slices of kiwi, peach, strawberries, blueberries and white chocolate. Cut a large piece of watermelon, which will be the base of your “pizza” and place the slices of fruits on it. After that use a pizza slicer to cut triangles out of the watermelon and create pizza slices. At the end add grated white chocolate or coconut on top and your healthy pizza will be ready. Delicious and very cooling for a hot summer day!

I would top the pizza with Feta cheese ~ sooooo good with watermelon! Add blackberries, mango, grapes, nectarines...your choice!

Sharing with ~ 


Thursday, March 12, 2015

~ Thursday Thoughts ~


Do you love tulips as much as I do?  They are absolutely one of my favorite flowers!  A sweet blogging friend, Michele at The Nest at Finch Resttold me today that she had purchased herself a bouquet of 20 white tulips. I think that's awesome!

I advised her that if you don't want tulips to droop, put a penny in the bottom of the vase. Yes, it works! :)  I do like to see a few droop but not the entire bouquet.




~ I thought I'd also share how God blessed me and a young girl yesterday. I had breakfast with a friend, another event with friends I used to work with and errands. I was on my way home and just a couple blocks away. I stopped at a red light. When the light turned green, I started to move forward when a 12 year old girl ran into my car while on her bike!  Absolutely stunned, I jumped out to see how she was...my heart beating out of my chest. Two others that witnessed it came forward too. The young girl, V, kept saying she was ok.  We got her and the bike moved back to the sidewalk area and then moved our cars out of the way. I was so glad this one witness had her wits about her as I sure didn't!  She called the police for me. A lady that was V's neighbor saw her and stopped. Then we called V's parents.  There were several police cars, fire truck and an ambulance ~ quite a spectacle. I was so glad the EMT's checked her out. She had a dime size mark on her left knee and another on her left hand. Thank God that was all! She said she had pushed the button to change the light and "thought she could make it".  Of course, those buttons don't work!  The EMT's and a police officer cautioned her about not wearing a helmet as did her Mom when she arrived. The Mom was very nice and the police told me there was no fault on my part. I finally got home, unloaded groceries, etc.  I kept trying NOT to go to the "what if's" as that thought process doesn't help and can cause more stress. I thought my head would explode for a few hours but it finally stopped.

Anyway, with spring breaks everywhere, nicer weather and kids out and about, be careful! 
~ * ~

We've had this strange bright light in the sky for a couple of days ~ someone said it was the sun!  :)  Such a joy to see plus it was almost 70F yesterday and similar temps forecast for the next 7 days. Makes me happy!
                                                  ~ * ~

Are you watching "The Voice" ?  LOVE it!  Paul Pfau that is on Pharrell's team is a nephew of a girl I used to work with.  I know he has talent and I think it's so wonderful that these young people get this chance to prove themselves.  I think Blake and Adam are so much fun and really make the show!

                                                      ~ * ~

One show that I am sick of is "The Kardashian's" !  I've forgotten how many millions they are receiving in this new contract. At least it's a time saver for me as I don't care to watch it.

                                                      ~ * ~

My daughter has had this antique buffet for several years and just decided to change. Lucky me, I have it now! :)  Will share photos soon. It's white and right now, I'm liking that. If you don't know me well, I am not a "white" loving person. I think it always looks so pristine and beautiful in other homes but this is a first for me. :)

                                                      ~ * ~

Something else that is so different for me is being drawn to a fuchsia pink!  I've always loved red, in decor and clothes. This "pink thing" has happened the past 3 spring/summers and I haven't done anything about it. This year I am!  I'm tired of my current bath decor so I think I'll change it for the warm weather. Saw some gorgeous towels yesterday!  Will let you know when it changes ~ :)


I can't think of anything else to share with you at the moment. I hope you'll go and buy yourselves some flowers and have a wonderful end of the week!

Friday, March 6, 2015

~ Just Keeping it Real ~



We have such a beautiful morning with sunshine and warmer temps in the forecast ~ much different from the past few days.  I know that those of you in the NE or Midwest must think we're crazy here in Texas but 4-7" of snow is unique to us!  I do know that with all the adverse weather we've been experiencing the past couple of weeks I could never live where there's tons of snow or constant rain. We have sleet and ice a lot and IMHO, it's much worse for a rookie like me and makes driving hazardous.  I don't know of anyone that isn't anxious for Spring!


I do apologize for not visiting you as much as I'd like lately, nor have I been posting much of anything that's interesting. Please know that I also realize that you visit blogs for DIY's, home tours, recipes, reno's, new ideas and how-to's, etc. and not for a "Debbie Downer" post. But...like the title of this post, I'm just keeping it real!  The holidays brought joy but also depression. I would not wish this on anyone!  Losing Abby has been profound and, as many know, such a loss is not easy and it's not something you "just get over". Some folks seem to think that time heals all wounds ~ well, I disagree!  Time brings a new normal, with more smiles than tears and less ranting at God. Yes, I've done that a lot! He understands though. :) He has the Master Plan and we don't. I know we'll see her again one day but that doesn't change the missing her.  We've done a lot of things to honor her memory and that will continue. I think that's probably one of the most comforting feelings ~ to do things she would love and to perform RAOK's. Helping others and bringing joy to their lives is very rewarding and also something she would do. She lived life full on in her almost 16 years and would want us to do the same. 



Bottom line, just wanted to be honest about what's been going on and now it's time to move forward again!  I can't tell you how many times we've done this and we'll continue to do so. I do have a few projects that I just haven't had any interest in but I want to finish them. I want to be ready and available to be outside when the temps allow, to take long walks with Forrester again, plant some flowers for the balcony and enjoy a glass of wine or 3 out there! When the heat returns, an icy cold beer in a frosted mug hits the spot too!  I'm not an alcoholic but I do enjoy a cocktail now and then. :)

IF you managed to read all of this, thank you!  I look forward to being more involved and upbeat and visiting you more. I really hope that you'll come back to see me too!