A look back at October as November Slipped In

Hey!

November seems to have arrived for me quicker than usual. The holidays are just around the corner and I’m still trying to recuperate from the month long writing challenge. If you missed the posts from my #write31days writing challenge on Wisdom From the Animals, you can find all of them here.

October was filled with writing, reading, and teaching. I think, at last count, I was participating in four Bible studies. Obviously, God is working on me and knows I need constant surveillance!

On books, I’d recommend To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee which I reread and  For the Love: Fighting For Grace in a World of Impossible Standards by Jen Hatmaker. I really enjoyed both of these books.

For movies, my recommendations for old releases are The Good Lie about the lost boys of the Sudan starring Reese Witherspoon and The Big Year which is a comedy about amateur bird watchers and the competition to count the most species in a year starring Jack Black, Steve Martin and Owen Wilson. The best new release that we saw was The Martian starring Matt Damon and based on the book by Andy Weir. So excellent!

In the music category for October, I downloaded a lot of Andrew Peterson. I particularly like The Burning Edge of Dawn CD and Behold The Lamb of God CD. I’m pretty excited about Adele’s new music too.

We went to see our son at the end of the month. I was so glad to see my boy. I missed him. He is doing great and school is jam packed with study. He is pursuing his doctorate in Geographical Information Science from the University of Illinois. I have no idea what he does but I’m proud. His advisor is tops in the world in this field so I think he is getting the education he needs as well as an introduction to Chinese since his advisor and most of his doctoral candidate group is Chinese. We ate at some great restaurants in the Champaign/Urbana area and learned a lesson: Never-ever-under-any-circumstance book a hotel room just off campus on a Halloween weekend. Bad idea. 4am. Two nights in a row. Enough said.

Jack got his undergraduate degree from U of I so he was pretty excited to be on campus again. We took the Amtrak train with a sleeper car. An excellent way to travel. You do need earplugs since the train whistle blows at every intersection.

austin and jack

Delta spent almost 2 weeks with my parents in Arkansas. We affectionately refer to her time with them as doggie boot camp.

daddy and delta

That rundown concludes the days of October that fell like fall’s leaves and ushered in November so quickly I barely got a chance to notice.

Blessings,

Mimi

“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 NIV Bible

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Two Cost Saving Ideas Too Good Not To Share

icy tree

I waited on snow that never came yesterday.  We don’t get that white, elusive stuff often where I live and when its in the forecast, everybody gets real excited about the predicted inch.  Bummer! — only very cold rain and a little ice.  I was hoping for a little fun in an otherwise yucky, bronchitis-sick week.  No need for you to suffer without something good.  I’ve got two super-duper-save-you-bucks-easy-as-pie ideas.  Both recipes can be very inexpensive if you purchase the supplies at a dollar store.

Homemade Lotion Ingredients:

  1. 1 and 1/2 — large bottles of lotion ( I used Vaseline Intensive Care)
  2. 1 — large jar of petroleum jelly
  3. Several drops of essential oil  (optional)

Put all ingredients in a bowl and use a mixer to whip it together.  I use my Kitchenaid stand mixer.  The consistency should be like body cream. Put in containers.

This Homemade eyeglass cleaner by Jillee is wonderful.  My glasses are sparkly clean.

Homemade Eyeglass Cleaner Ingredients:

  1. 1 part isopropyl alcohol
  2. 1 part water
  3. 1 drop soap

Put all ingredients in a spray bottle.  Spray on glasses and clean with a lint free cloth like microfiber.

Blessings,

Mimi

“Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one’s friend springs from his earnest counsel.” Proverbs 27:9 NIV Bible

Friday Fun #6

Hey!

The temperature outside is frigid.  I would love to sit all bundled up under a blanket reading but today is a writing day.  I’m making progress on my bible study but the tempo is slow.

  • Beautiful images of our world found here on Distractify.   I couldn’t pick a favorite.  They’re all so stunning.
  • Do you dream of traveling the world to see those beautiful sites in the above link?  How much fun would it be to go around the world meeting and filming a new person each day?  This pair of filmmakers are doing just that. Check it out here.
  • Bored with your job?  Would you like to work for a doggie daycare and be the puppy lifeguard on duty?  Puppy Pool Party here.

     

    A quote from Isak Dinesen:

“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea.” 

 Autumn on the beachbeach in the fall 2

Blessings,

Mimi

“You are the salt of the earth…”  Matthew 5:13

A Nibble or A Choke

Hello!

It’s Catie (I know…I’m still here….but no worries, my Mom will be back soon!)

So recently, I heard this quote and immediately felt that it resonated with my most recent cooking endeavors.

“Someone once told me not to bite off more than I could chew. To which I replied, I’d rather choke on greatness than nibble on mediocrity.”–unknown

I’ve already mentioned that I have a flair for the dramatic. (Yes…you should feel for my husband and parents.) So, I attempted to make the very ambitious Chicken Marsala recipe from the cookbook, SkinnyTaste by Gina Homolka.

IMG_1952In my defense, I had very noble intentions for being so ambitious. You see, Chicken Marsala is one of my mother’s favorite dishes and as you’ll see, she’s SuperMom–What can I say? I live to please.

For any of you who do not know, Chicken Marsala is an Italian dish that involves a breaded and fried chicken that is covered in a creamy Marsala wine and mushroom sauce. Yum!

Actually, the whole endeavor started off rocky. First, I had never tenderized chicken before nor witnessed chicken tenderized in my life. So I was completely unprepared when I got out the breasts, cut them, and proceeded to attempt to wrap them in plastic wrap. However, all I succeeded in creating was a Salmonella ridden wadded mess. I recovered though with the thoughtful guidance of SuperMom.

Next, came the actual hammering of the chicken or “tendering” of it. Apparently, I’m something of a wuss. According to some, I was using about as much force to pound the chicken breasts as I would’ve used to bat my eyelashes–you could say, I was getting nowhere. All was saved though (again), when SuperMom came in to show me how it’s done, and let’s just say she’s no wuss….<>.

Then, I began the actual cooking and frying up of the chicken breasts which was no sweat because I am Mississippi born and raised after all.  I could probably fry just about anything up in my sleep. It’s in my blood. However, the tricky part came after the frying.  I’m using an iron skillet, ( is there really anything better??), but what I didn’t account for was the fact that an iron skillet takes a little longer to cool back down than other skillets. So, when I started making the marsala sauce, I ended up, not with golden and tender shallots and garlic, but burnt unrecognizable pieces of what use to be shallots and garlic glued to the bottom. Cue SuperMom back with her magical powers to fix it!

She cooled and cleaned down the skillet in enough time for me to re-chop the garlic and shallots. (Bet you wish you had a SuperMom!) In the end, despite the fact that apparently I had bought imitation Marsala wine instead of the real stuff, and used beef broth instead of chicken broth (what? I’m learning…) it ended up pretty good (or so SuperMom said…she could be biased though).

We paired it up with baked sweet potatoes (which I forgot to spear before putting in the oven –almost had some ‘splodin spuds…whoops!) and collard greens. Delizioso! (Delicious! For those of you who don’t speak I-talian)

Until next time,

Catie

Friday Finds #5

Hey!

I’m dropping in for a quick Friday Finds post.  I know I’ve been scarce on the blog lately  but my darling daughter, Catie, has done an awesome job filling in for me.  Soon, I’ll divulge what I’ve been doing.  Click on the pics below for more details of each find.

In case you missed the beginning of Catie’s Cooking Challenge, we had grilled vegetable sandwiches with homemade pesto mayo.  Delicious!

sandwich 1With the holidays coming and cards to be addressed, Jones Design Company comes to the rescue with “How to Create Fake Calligraphy.” Looks do-able!

If calligraphy is too much for you, Wordmark.it is wonderful.  You can compare what you want to say in all of your fonts at one time in order to choose the right one.   — Genius!  Thanks, Just a Girl for sharing!

I could look at these winning photos from the National Geographic Photo Contest all day.

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Winning photo by Marko Korosec

 

Last, but certainly not least, 10 Old School Southern Rules to make those of you from the South smile in remembrance and the rest of you think we’re crazy!     https://i1.wp.com/d3j6r9fi0pmzp0.cloudfront.net/style/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/FI_Southern-Rules.jpgBlessings,

Mimi

“I’ve known all along from the evidence of your words that you meant them to last forever.”  Psalm 119:152  The Message

I Believe in a Thing Called….Crock Pot

Hello!

For those who have not read the two previous posts here and here, this is not Mimi but Catie, her daughter, here to blog in her place for one month. To start off, I am currently attempting to boost my cooking skills using the waistline friendly cookbook SkinnyTaste by Gina Homolka.

For my third night of cooking, I delved into the magical world of Crock Pots. Now, apart from marveling at all the pins on Pinterest that my clearly culinarily-superior friends post, I have not had any experience with this cooking style. So, I never understood the draw. However, after this meal, I can say that my life is forever changed.

On the menu: Slow Cooker Santa Fe Chicken.

It was seriously magic. I dropped in the ingredients: chicken broth, Rotel, beans, corn, cilantro, an array of spices, and chicken breasts into the pot and then, and this is the really cool part, I put the lid on it.  Poof, done! I was off the hook for the next 6 hours.

Six hours later when I came back, perfectly falling apart, fully flavored chicken greeted me. We had it as soup for dinner, but while we ate, everyone was excited to try it as a filling in other meals such as enchiladas or nachos. (Did I mention how much my family loves Mexican food?…really, its a problem…intervention, anyone?)

Crock pot chicken

Delicious looking right? I can say, truly from the bottom of my heart, that from this moment on, I am a HUGE believer in the power of a Crock Pot. I just may pin those recipes now on Pinterest with the best of ’em!

Until next time,

Catie

Friday Finds #4

Hey!

I have some fun finds for you today.  Just click on the picture to visit the sites.  Happy Friday!

This peach walnut dump cake looks yummy and easy from Mostly Homemade Mom. The other recipes look really good too!

These pumpkin designs are cool from Alisa Burke.

Halloween and Fall graphics from The Graphic Fairy and don’t you love that they’re free?!

50 Fantastic Halloween and Fall Graphics  //  The Graphics FairyAwesome and inexpensive Halloween crafts from Better Homes and Gardens — I think this wreath looks really easy to make.

Sophisticated Swarm Wreath

I think this idea from My Soulful Home is really clever.

Pumpkins from Scrubbing pads a repurpose http://mysoulfulhome.comBlessings,

Mimi

“Then I was the craftsman at his side.  I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence,”  Proverbs 8:30  NIV Bible