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Monday, April 30, 2012

Spring Events : First Watermelon of the Season

There is something about slicing into that first watermelon of the season that marks the change of seasons.   We had our first taste last Saturday.  Here in  Florida spring started early (earlier than last year)  and a mild summer is already upon us, hence an early watermelon harvest...

No matter.  Still yummy and colorful for spring/summer.  A little "red lipstick" for any plate.  :)  Pick up one at your local farmer's market and enjoy!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

SUNDAY : A Day of Worship and Rest

This has been the greatest desire of my heart that the Lord has fulfilled... To God be the glory.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Spring Summer Dress Clearance Sale 25% Off Ends May 28, 2012

One of my Ebay consignors wants to end all of these dress listings in May.  Be sure to shop this 25% off sale going on now through May 28, 2012.    Here are just a few.  Most are NEW with original tags still attached, purchased at Dillard's. Never worn.  Here are just a few.

Click HERE to see all of the listings.

Mrs. T.'s TidBiTs and Treasures

Mrs. T.'s TidBiTs and Treasures

Mrs. T.'s TidBiTs and Treasures

Saturday: Five Favorite Finds Online

Technology:  Rival Crockpot Recall

Ladies and Gentlemen, check your crockpots!  Rival has issued a recall on some of theirs.  Click HERE for the details.

    Good Health:  Reboot Your Life
    A blog / site about good health, juicing and eating more fruits and vegetables.

    For the Spirit:  Thoughts on Jesus

    No link this time, just a photo that was posted on Facebook this week.

    Home Business:  Etsy
    Ebay and Amazon are not the only internet sales sites.  Etsy is primarily for selling  and buying homemade / handmade items but you can also sell vintage items (20 years or older)  and supplies for handmade items.   Several of my crafty friends do very well selling items on this site.  Check it out.

    Just for Fun

    My favorite post this week from my blog:  4 True Events in our Family

    Don't Just Wish : Always Ask, Pray and Dream Big

    Friday, April 27, 2012

    My Red Lipstick Rule

     Some of you probably wonder what my "red lipstick" rule is since I mention it often on food /recipe posts.   Always have a little bit of red on your plate.  It can be anything, even the color OF the plate, but berries, tomatoes, red peppers, red grapes, radishes, watermelon [use your creativity] brightens up your meal just like a bit of red lipstick on your lips does to your face.    I never leave home without it.  :)

    Project 52 Week 17 : Green

    I knew just what I wanted to photograph for this week's Project 52 assignment.  This barren sycamore tree was a photo that I took with my iPod Touch for Week 5 / Shadows.   Its enormous leaves were all over everyone's lawn the entire length of our street.  This photo was taken in early February.

    Here is that same tree yesterday (12 weeks later) for this week's P52  theme Week 17 / with all of its new spring growth.  [I am #24.]  What a remarkable change.    The sky really was this blue and the leaves that green.  :)

    How like the seasons of our lives... sometimes they feel barren or dormant, then we burst into full bloom.  It can happen at any age--the teenage years, 20s-30s, midlife or sage stage.  Nature can become a parable if we pause and think and pray for eyes to see as the Lord sees.  :)

    Jeremiah 17:8 like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit. 

    To view my other photos in this  fun weekly photo project, click HERE.

    Thursday, April 26, 2012

    Organization : Your Kitchen Pantry

    There have been times when I had no idea what was in my pantry because so much was scattered here and there.  I spent a couple of hours several weeks ago and re-organized everything so I can tell at a glance what  I have on hand to make meals.   

    Here is my system from the ground up:

    Floor:  Chips (in basket), large containers of protein mix, soups, George Foreman indoor grill, wine, some large glass items (i.e. spaghetti sauce), paper napkins (I buy one large package every 6-9 months since I use cloth napkins regularly).  If glass breaks on our tile floor, it EXPLODES, so don't want to take a chance of someone accidentally knocking glass off a shelf.

    Shelf 1:  Canned items.  Blue container holds sprinkles and baking cups. More in our air conditioned laundry room (I keep one slat of a vent open in there so it doesn't get unbearably hot in the summer since our extra freezer is in there).

    Shelf 2:  Cereals, pastas, crackers, tea, rice.  More cereals and crackers are stored in our laundry room.

    Shelf 3:  Boxed goods, couscous, rice pilaf, stuffing mix, packaged seasonings (in box), dried legumes (box)

    Shelf 4:  Lazy Susan holds extra Pam, vinegar, Parmesan cheese.  Bottled dressings, sauces, Crystal Light mixes, Stevia, peanut butter, baking items i.e. coconut oil, sugar, chocolate ships, cake/muffin/brownie mixes

    Shelf 5 (top):    More baking items--flour, shortening, frostings, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar...

    When we bought this house 14 years ago, I was thrilled to have this large pantry that stays hidden behind closed doors in the kitchen.  It is about 6 feet long x 1 foot wide and goes from the floor to the ceiling.  It isn't obtrusive in our kitchen below which we all like, but holds a vast amount of items.  I have hung special gifts from special friends on the narrow wall space next to the pantry.

     I had someone build me an open-shelf pantry when we lived in a condo before moving here.  They don't take up much room but sure hold a lot.  When I say I "shop my pantry" I really mean it.  :)  It allows us to have a storage area when stocking up on grocery items when they are marked down, getting the most for our $$.  I hope you have a pantry for extras but if not, devise some sort of storage for them that is attractive and useful for you.

    We only  have three living at home right now but I still keep the pantry and freezer stocked.  We are able to give generously to the many food drives in our community, my husband's work, church, etc. when asked without it being a burden.  There's always plenty to help out a new or sick mom with a home-cooked meal or have friends and family over for dinner.

    Proverbs  6:6-8 
    Go to the ant, O sluggard, Observe her ways and be wise, 
    Which, having no chief, Officer or ruler, 
    Prepares her food in the summer,
    And gathers her provision in the harvest. 

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012

    BOOKS TO GIVE : Orlando Friends ONLY

    UPDATE 5.31.12:  All books not crossed out have now been donated except for the encyclopedias.

    I'm in the process of cleaning out my  Ebay / Amazon book listings (merging most to Amazon) and giving away lots.  I've already got two boxes for charity pick up ready to go.  Here are quite a few more that homeschoolers and families may want for their libraries.

    Let me know via email or Facebook  [posted 4.25.12] if you'd like any of these books as soon as you can.    They will be going to the library next week if no one wants them.

    Each book is in excellent to very good condition.  Many are gift suitable.

    A big red or black X on the item means that someone has requested it and it is no longer available.

    Be sure to check out my other books for sale that are listed on Amazon and Ebay.  If you are a member of PaperBack Swap, you can see other books that I have to trade HERE.


    A complete set of World Book Encyclopedia (1988 edition)  PLUS the 2-volume dictionary

    History, Spanish, Algebra

    Children's Books

    Nancy Drew

    Handy Manny Table Cover

    Puzzles & Games






    Bible study




    (The Mickey Mouse item is a photo album, not a book.)

    Aldi Product Review: Butternut Squash Soup

    I recently tried this product [Butternut Squash Soup] from Aldi and it was delicious!  $1.39 for a 32-oz. box of  specialty soup [that's four cups of soup].   This is the kind of soup that you do not add water to and need to refrigerate after opening.  I had never tasted Butternut Squash Soup but was very impressed with the flavor.  Serve it with some crackers and fruit and you have nice light meal; or serve as a side / appetizer with your main course.  I had it as a light lunch one  day and served it with salmon salad a day or two later.  My husband said he liked it, too.  :)

    The soup is 110 calories per cup.  Homemade soup, I'm sure, is delicious but it is 397 calories a cup AND is a lot of work to cut up the hard butternut squash.

    HERE is the nutrition info.

    Try it.  You'll love it.

    Remember, Aldi offers a double guarantee with their products.

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012

    Don't Just Wish , Always ASK, PRAY, and Dream Big

    One of my favorite bloggers recently included a post about asking and receiving a birth announcement acknowledgement from the President of the US.  It got me thinking of some events that have happened in our family.

    I am a huge proponent of asking and praying  for something that you want or need.  A "no" answer is OK with me but you never know what the answer will be.  Some amazing examples of that have happened to our family:

    Our family was sitting in a movie [George of the Jungle as I recall] one evening with the children  when they were younger and one of them started not feeling well so we needed to leave the theatre only part way through the film.  While we were on our way to the car, I asked my husband about getting a refund.  He thought they'd never agree, but I went back, explained the situation, and asked.  They did not refund but  cheerfully gave us not one, but 4 rain checks for a  movie any time of day so we could all return together!  :)

    Years ago, I was given a sweet gift of a Thomas Kinkade sun catcher. I love sun catchers and stained glass.  As I admired it I realized that the scripture reference on it was incorrect.  [The light shines in the darkness is from JOHN 1:5, not Psalm 1:5.]  I took it back to the store where it was purchased.  All I really wanted was a replacement. Come to find out--ALL of the inventory with that verse on it was incorrect.  The manager thanked me profusely, pulled the items and gave me a refund.  He let me keep the item which I still have since there were no other sun catchers in stock.  Who knows? Now that Thomas Kinkade passed away recently :(  , this may be a collector's item now.

    About 2 weeks later, I received this in the mail... a new Thomas Kinkade book ...

    and a letter thanking me for letting them know of the error.

    This is one of our favorite family stories.  Year 1999. My  husband told us that someone who works with him had invited NBA player Kobe Bryant to her son's birthday party and he came!!  Our younger  son who was about to turn 5 years old heard the story at the time and wanted to do the same, so he invited NBA player Horace Grant to his birthday party.   I prayed a lot for this since it was so important for our little one.  The party came and went and our son was SO disappointed; he was certain that Horace would show up.  A day or two after the party we received a letter from Horace saying how sorry he was that he could not attend the party  AND this autographed T-shirt from him!

    Another Birthday Surprise:   Zorro Treasures

    Our older son was about 9 when this happened.  We had introduced him to Zorro (from the old Guy Williams / Disney movies).  At that time there was very little on the market related to Zorro. This was before the Antonio Banderas movies came out.   I called Disney World here in Florida and asked if they had anything which they did not. The VERY nice lady who answered referred me to the Burbank, CA studio.  I called there and the VERY nice lady there thought there might be something in the archives.   I gave her my address and thought I'd never hear from her again.  Well, about 2 weeks later we received a large manila packet filled with autographed photos of Zorro (Guy  Williams) on Toronado, postcards and other items from those classic movies.  I wrapped them up and gave them to our son for his birthday plus a black cape, mask and black hat.  What a cool surprise!!  I wish I had a photo of them to show you but they are safely stored away in his "treasure box".

    It is now my habit to never "wish" for anything, but  ALWAYS ask, pray and dream big--even for the "impossible".  How about you?

    Eph. 3:20-21 Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,  to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. 
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