Thursday, December 29, 2011

i really enjoy my tea

You know I really, really enjoy tea. I used to only drink peppermint tea, straight, no milk, no sugar. I loved it that way because you could really taste the flavor so nicely. It was never bitter. Then I bought a latte from a coffee shop. Little did I know that it was simply 'baby tea' (tea with milk and sugar) and easily made at home, even iced lattes.

Then one day someone gave me some different flavors like Vanilla Chai and Cocoa Chai...yummylicious. Of course, my looose leaf tea from Ethiopio is still my absolute favorite and it has never, ever gone bitter. Last semester, one of my professors gave me some loose leaf tea from Kenya I think--that was delicious too. One time my oldest brought home a box of licorice tea---oh that was is so tasty, with out additions too!

Over the holidays, I noticed a display in the grocery store of Christmas Teas. They had the loveliest names like: White Christmas, Holiday Chai, Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning, Merry Mint and even Pumpkin Spice, They are all produce by Stash Tea.

Wow were they a fabulous addition to my collection of teas. Such cozy flavors to sit and enjoy. Another new holiday fav was Ginger Snappish by Bigelow. What a fun name for a tea, right?

I have quite a collection of teas now but I just can't stop myself. Enjoying a cup of tea is one of the loveliest moments of my day.

Do you vary your tea selection by season or stick to reliable favorites?


Thursday, December 22, 2011


 People, Look East
Eleanor Farjeon

People, look east. The time is near
Of the crowning of the year.
Make your house fair as you are able,
Trim the hearth and set the table.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the guest, is on the way.

Furrows, be glad. Though earth is bare,
One more seed is planted there:
Give up your strength the seed to nourish,
That in course the flower may flourish.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the rose, is on the way.

Birds, though you long have ceased to build,
Guard the nest that must be filled.
Even the hour when wings are frozen
God for fledging time has chosen.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the bird, is on the way.

Stars, keep the watch. When night is dim
One more light the bowl shall brim,
Shining beyond the frosty weather,
Bright as sun and moon together.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the star, is on the way.

Angels, announce with shouts of mirth
Christ who brings new life to earth.
Set every peak and valley humming
With the word, the Lord is coming.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the Lord, is on the way.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

perfect christmas treat

Inspired by these delicious goodies, I did some baking last night. I based my recipe on hers but I did not have all the exact ingredients so I did a few changes. They were still incredibly delicioso! You can follow her recipe or mine, either way--I don't think you can go wrong. They are super easy to make too.

Mine had a more brownie-ish texture and needed to bake longer. I have a vintage Okeefe & Merritt stove, so that may be why, I'm not sure. I regularly have to bake things at least 5-10 minutes longer than recommended.

The asterisks indicate my changes.

Brownie Textured Ginger Strips

3/4 cup butter (1.5 sticks)
1 cup packed *brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp *ginger (I grated fresh ginger, maybe 1 tsp)
2 1/2 cups *mixed whole wheat & white flour (they were already mixed in my container but probably half & half)

Beat egg, butter & sugar together. (it will be helpful to soften the butter first-which I did not & it took longer to mix it) Add remaining ingredients.

The dough won't look like much, but trust me, it will expand while baking. Separate dough into two sections. Shape each section into a log and then flatten. I lined my long rectangular baking stone with parchment paper & shaped the dough directly on it. Brush each log lightly with water and sprinkle with sugar. I used *raw sugar. It is bigger and chunkier and actually looked nice.

Once removed from oven, allow to cool slightly, then cut into strips.

I baked at 350 for about 30 minutes.
If you read her recipe--that is significantly longer. Please be mindful of your own oven temperament.

The ends were slightly crunchier but over all, the bars I made had a chewy consistency. Everyone loved them. I think the few changes I made make them slightly healthier too. I wasn't trying to make them healthier--it just happened to be the ingredients I had on hand.
Christmas treats are some of the loveliest treats, aren't they?

This post linked to:
Not Just a Housewife


Sunday, December 11, 2011

an advent prayer

 Almighty God,

You are author of history. You created the heavens and the earth, all that is seen and unseen. In the fullness of time, Your Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth. Open your eyes so that we cannot over look the coming of Your only-begotten Son. Purify our hearts as we await His coming in glory. 
Through your son we pray.

Prayer taken from this lovely book, Christ in Christmas A Family Advent Celebration.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

i am thankful

I have so much to be thankful for in my life. In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday I will list a few.

1. my home
2. my family
3. cheap rent
4. abundance
5. the opportunity to return to school
6. fabulous professors 
7. meeting new classmates
8. the gift of resourcefulness
9. a humorous family
10. the ability to laugh at myself
11. the boots I scored from the thrift store
12. my juicer
13. cheap socks
14. friends in time of need
15. friends in times of joy
16. my one year Bible
17. the gift of a harmonious spirit
18. endurance
19. my running shoes
20. my bike
21. tea
22. words
23. and the ability to use them
24. flip-flops
25. knowing how to crochet
26. yarn
27. fabric
28. knowing how to sew
29. everything within walking distance
30. craigslist
31. my dryer
32. wash and wear hair
33. my serger
34. wonderful childhood memories
35. geocaching
36. good health
37. a name that means purity
38. my daughter, who grows more beautiful every day
39. children who love each other
40. a family that enjoys being together
41. quiet moments
42. tea time
43. my dining chairs
44. the internet
45. access to information
46. my bed
47. the public library
48. rosemary
49. the miniature roses in my garden
50. monarch butterflies in my back yard
51. surprise babies
52. baby curls
53. freedom
54. blankets
55. towels warm from the dryer
56. winter
57. hard times that show me how much I have
58. inspiration
59. creativity
60. brother & sisters in Christ
61. others who passionately serve
62. good dreams
63. restful sleep
64. rocking horses
65. my sewing machine
66. my crochet needles
67. bell peppers
68. access to clean drinking water
69. indoor plumbing
70. fresh fruits and vegetables
71. my apple tree
72. road trips
73. pleasant memories
74. world maps
75. ikea storage furniture
76. the joy of the Lord
77. clean towels
78. my husband-whom I love dearly
79. answered prayers
80. pets
81. milk chocolate chips
82. my grandma
83. my brothers
84. having amazing sister-in-laws
85. slip-covers
86. Valentine's Day
87. God's word
88. people who have taught me how to pray
89. youth leaders
90. free furniture
91. my mini-van
92. gas money
93. oops paint
94. knee socks
95. home made quilts
96. rain
97. summer
98. the colors of Fall leaves
99. a healthy heart
100. cinnamon scented pine cones

Mostly I am grateful for the grace of God that is shown in my life daily by all the blessings I have been given.

Gratitude is lovely.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

in bloom

My garden is still blooming nicely in spots. The miniature roses always bring a smile to my face. They are like a nice surprise when they rebloom. They are like a little glimpse of sunshine when the night falls faster for Autumn.

Yellow and fuscia bring a nice contrast to the green leaves.
The colors are lovely too. Aren't they

I am very thankful for my garden.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

cupcakes for breakfast

Inspired by something I saw on Pinterest, I baked eggs in a cupcake tin for breakfast! It's super easy & makes an easy breakfast to eat. Great for on the go.

Spray tins with non-stick cooking spray OR butter.

Flatten bread & place in bottom of tin. I cut bread into a flower shape with a cookie cutter. 

Crack and empty an egg in tin over bread.

Top with pre-cooked slice of bacon. Season to taste.
Bake @ 350 for about 15-20 minutes depending on your oven.


Next time, instead of bread (& bacon), I will use a slice of ham! That makes this dish even simpler. Place a slice of ham in muffin tin before egg, top with cheese and/or vegetables like an omelet too! I've even seen some with hashbrowns...the possibilities are endless.

This makes a great easy to eat food for toddlers too. (they can eat it like a cupcake!)

Breakfast is the most important meals of the day. 

Don't skimp on a lovely start to your day.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I love adding a bit of decor to match the seasons, even if not much.  I've had this Autumn wreath for years now but it was looking a bit dull. I bought a simple spray of leaves from the local  Dollar Tree to add some fresh color to liven it up. Birdy enjoyed attaching and arranging the new leaves. I also created a bow from ribbon I already had around the house. It was very simple and took about ten minutes max.  

Your front door is the first thing people see before they enter your home. Is yours welcoming and inviting?

I often wonder if what passer-bys hear when they pass our home. Is it something warm and lovely? I sure hope so. My home is not the best and it's certainly not the biggest but I strive for all who enter to feel comfortable, especially those who live here every day. Feeling truly welcome, is always lovely.

1 Peter 4:9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.


Friday, October 14, 2011

toddler capture

 We were waiting in the car after my brother's birthday. The toddler here just climbed up, squeezed himself in and laid down on the dash. I can't believe how much we just LOVE and adore this kid. I am so blessed to be a mother of such amazing children.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

my daughter

 This is my daughter, in front of her new curtains. (I think my middle son took this picture) I thrifted these lovely pieces of unique lace. They were in fabulous conditioned and were home-made I think because one had a different hem from the other. 

I thought they were the most lovely lace panels I'd ever laid my eyes on. They look like they could be vintage, because I've never seen anything like them before. I don't know for sure. 

She loved them. Her 'white' room is coming together nicely.

More than the curtains, is her. This picture made me look twice when I was uploading pix. Something about it...

I have a lovely daughter. I am so grateful to be her mom.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

apple time

MMmmmmm! We finally took some apples from our lovely apple tree and did some baking. I used this recipe and made a delish Apple Crisp.

It really didn't need the recommended amount of sugar, it can be cut by half I think. It's super sweet. I also did not add the water, the apples produced enough of their own juice. I also added my all-time favorite ingredient: nutmeg!!!

I've never made a real apple crisp from scratch before. It was a hit for my family and received rave reviews.

Autumn is naturally the most lovely time to bake apples! Don't you agree?


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

enjoy your family

Babies Don't Keep

Mother, oh Mother,
come shake out your cloth,
empty the dustpan,
poison the moth,
hang out the washing
and butter the bread,
sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house
is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery,
blissfully rocking.
Oh, I've grown shiftless as Little
Boy Blue (lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping's not done
and there's nothing for stew
and out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
but I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
The cleaning and scrubbing
will wait till tomorrow,
for Children grow up,
as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs.
Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep......

~Author Unknown ~ 

I've always found this poem so lovely. It sums up nicely the attitude I've taken, most of my life, toward the debate between tasks of home vs. time with family and people we love.  I want to have a lovely home, and I seem to always be in the process of creating it, but more importantly, I want to enjoy my lovely family.


something beautiful

Something Beautiful

Watching the last of these days disappear
feeling the air get colder
seeing the world get darker.
Memories of lying on the grass
of the sun warming my closed eyes.

Now, the warmth is gone
the sunshine is gone
the world has turned into something new
something colder, something darker
something different,

something Beautiful.

by H. Sokolova 

Welcome to one of the loveliest seasons of the year. We've swept the porch, gathered the sunflower seeds and put a few small pumpkins out. Soon I will hang my fall banner and lights. What about you? What do you do to mirror the loveliness of fall inside your home?


Monday, September 5, 2011

toddler manners

Lately the toddler of the house has been so polite. It's the cutest thing ever. Whatever he asks for he says "Thank you." when he receives it.

The other night he woke up crying and upset and after I consoled him he told me "Thank you."

Another time, he bumped his head, asked me to kiss it and then told me, "it feels better, thank you." How adorable right?

Toddler manners are much more attractive than tween sarcasm, right? Teach them while they are young so they can maintain attractive character habits that will benefit them their entire lives.

Toddler manners are simply lovely.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

beach night

The youth group had an end of summer bon fire at the beach last night. The Mr. and I took a bike ride along a great beach trail all the way to the pier.A great evening for it. He stayed at the pier to fish while I rode back to hang out around the fire. It was neat to see not just youth members but their families as well. (53 youth & 11 parents)  The ktbunch told me the water was nice too, not even cold.

It was another lovely evening of my life.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

queen of the garden

 The Queen of the Garden has bloomed. She is well over six feet tall. Her leaves are the size of large dinner plates. The other sunflowers have also begun to open their faces toward the sun in full bloom and adoration. You can't help but smile when you see them. I notice many passers-by admiring them and giving them their attention.

The sunflower symbolizes the sun itself. That makes sense, doesn't it? Sunflowers convey warmth and happiness, adoration and longevity.

She is quite a lovely sight to see.


Monday, August 22, 2011

happy breakfast

Does your breakfast smile at you too? I really love the freshness of a yogurt parfait. They are simple to make and super yummy. Today I decided to make a few to have with our breakfast.  I used wine glasses (we had a couple sturdy plastic ones). 

I spooned a dollop of yogurt, sprinkled granola, added sliced strawberries and blueberries and then repeated the layers. 

It looks decadent even though it was so easy.

While we were eating, oldest discovered that Birdy's parfait was smiling back at her. 

Everyone should have a Happy Breakfast because a Happy Breakfast is a lovely breakfast indeed.

Monday, August 8, 2011

make your own iced tea latte

I love tea lattes and I loved them iced but I don't love the price. I kept trying to add ice to a regular warm tea latte but it just made it watered down. yuck! I think I've finally perfected my home-made *iced* tea latte recipe.
Boil a tea kettle of water with 3 of your favorite tea bags.
Let steep until cool or refrigerate.
Pour a glass 3/4 full of tea.
Add 1/4 (of the glass) with *cold* milk.
add 2 heaping spoons (or to taste) of *powdered* sugar. 
Don't forget to sprinkle some cinnamon & nutmeg on top!

Regular sugar doesn't dissolve well in the cold tea but powdered sugar will be creamy smooth.
You can add ice after this if you like, since the tea is already cold, it won't melt as fast & water it down. I prefer it 'dry'...that way I get more tea in my glass. ;-)

Save your money and diy.
It'll be lovely.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

summer sun

Summer Sun
from A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson (1885)
Great is the sun, and wide he goes
Through empty heaven with repose;
And in the blue and glowing days
More thick than rain he showers his rays.

Though closer still the blinds we pull
To keep the shady parlour cool,
Yet he will find a chink or two
To slip his golden fingers through.

The dusty attic spider-clad
He, through the keyhole, maketh glad;
And through the broken edge of tiles
Into the laddered hay-loft smiles.

Meantime his golden face around
He bares to all the garden ground,
And sheds a warm and glittering look
Among the ivy’s inmost nook.

Above the hills, along the blue,
Round the bright air with footing true,
To please the child, to paint the rose,
The gardener of the World, he goes.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

the snowy day

It was a pretty warm day today. I saw this book in the living room and decided it was the perfect book to end the evening with. Especially a warm one. How can you not feel cooler while reading a book about a snowy day, in the middle of summer?

K really liked it. It was just enough to keep his attention. A great ending to an absolutely wonderful day.

Books are lovely to end the day with.


Friday, July 29, 2011

quick shot

The Mr. took this shot one evening before we picked up oldest from the art studio. For some reason we were early and it was just the three of us, the Mr, myself and the littlest. We stopped for a burger then took a walk near down the street from the studio, while we were waiting.

We ended up at Colorado Lagoon, which we'd never been to before. There was a little bridge over the water.  We crossed over and littlest really liked it. I put him on my back on the way back and he really liked that too. That's when the Mr. captured this moment.

A lovely little moment it was.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

great bike trail

The Mr. and I finally discovered where this bike trail was yesterday and took it. It's absolutely lovely and I knew the ktbunch would like it too. I took them along it today and they loved it. It's so nice. It smells wonderful, there are lots of birds, flowers, herbs, shrubs and trees. It's a short dirt trail with a few benches along the way. It beats the asphalt river bed though. 
I think I might take that trail when I begin biking to school next semester, even if it is longer...
The scenic view is always a lovely choice.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

garden tour

 Every year I create a garden in an attempt to beautify my surroundings and produce some edible produce. As every seasoned gardener's a trial and error process. 

Here is a glimpse of a few of the better looking spots around the front of my home.

From left to right:
1.a bundle of herbs replanted from an herb bowl my brother gifted me last year: chives, marjoram, rosemary mint and some parsely that has run it's season.

2. vibrant orange flowers planted from seeds from my neighbor's garden.
3.potential tomatoes. I have 3 tomatoe plants this year and these are under my kitchen window, which happens to produce the lushest garden this year.

1. mums, returning blooms from last year.

2. one of my 4 beds on the opposite side of my house. Lots of marigolds, basil, tomato, bell pepper and sunflowers in this bed.

3. 3 different roses in a large pot next to my porch. The tiny one on the left is my favorite because of it's variegated red and orange coloring.

1. baby's breathe, I love their sweet fragrance that is especially strong in the evening.

2. zinnias just starting to bloom. These were replanted from small pots my kiddos planted and gifted to me on Mother's Day.

Having a garden, of any sort is a lovely addition to any home, no matter how large or small.

Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. 
Songs of Solomon 2:12


Wednesday, June 29, 2011


 But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children Psalm 103:17

I went to my grandma's house today and caught this shot of Birdy with her. I am so glad that I did. My grandma has had such a positive influence in my life. She always encouraged me that I could be anything I wanted if I knew how to read. She encouraged me to sew, as an adult, when I showed interest.  Always offering me praise for my projects in a sincere way and instruction when I had questions. Her home was always my home, she would tell me. She never hangs up the phone with out saying: "I love you" and "God Bless you".

My grandma is such a lovely blessing in my life.


Sunday, June 26, 2011


Saturday was Sammy's birthday. Family came over for a low key celebration and we had a lovely time.
I caught this quick pic of the middles with my dad.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

make the bed

I asked my toddler if he wanted to help me make my bed today. I don't know about you but I find making the bed quite a *process*. He heartily agreed. Apparently, his idea of 'making the bed' is for mom to remove all the blankets so he has a large open space to jump and drop himself in dead falls. The faces he makes when he does this are hilarious too. I could get upset or irritated. Of course, I could make the bed much faster if he were not jumping on it but where's the fun in that? I have realized, they are only little for such a short time and before I know it, the days of jumping on the bed will be far behind I choose to enjoy these short moments in life. He has plenty of time to learn how to properly make the bed, for now, we'll just keep jumping. 

My bed is much more lovely with kids jumping on it anyway.


Friday, June 10, 2011

it's friday, i'm in love

My husband had a call back today and we didn't have plans, a rarity these days, so we all tagged along.
Afterward we went to eat at Cafe 101.
The kiddos each had macaroni & cheese which was absolutely delish! We were able to take home lots of left overs because the servings were very generous. We went for a walk afterward and passed a used book store. I needed a hard back book for a new project I want to start soon and found a sweet one for $1. It's written by Christopher Milne, the real 'Christopher Robin' from the Winnie the Pooh series written by A.A. Milne.
The title is The Enchanted Places, which is too perfect for what I want to do....I have mixed feelings though because the book itself actually looks worth reading....& I didn't buy it to read.
Although the driving was tiresome, the afternoon, with my family that I love SO much, was lovely.