Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Stupid Mouth..........

Dear Followers -

"My stupid mouth has got me in trouble. I said too much again.". These words are sung in a John Mayer song, but sometimes they should be my theme music. I somehow became the person that even strangers will talk to for no good reason. I also, somehow became the person who talks back. I find myself more often than not thinking to myself, "why the heck didn't I just keep my loud mouth shut?". In an effort to be helpful I fear I rarely am. Just today I found myself having what I thought was a private conversation. Turns out, it sure was public. I sent apologies as soon as I could and I only pray that no one's feelings got hurt. In a world where we can communicate at all hours of the day via skype, IM, texting, cell phones, fb, blogging and an endless list of other options it somehow seems we fail to truly communicate.

The Bible is sure to warn us on our tongue and the power it has. Psalm 34:13 states " Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.", Psalm 141:3 tells us, "Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord, keep watch over the doors of my lips.", repetitiously we are told what a huge weapon our tongue is. I know that with today's lesson I am reminded how quickly I can stumble in this area. While I shoulder the blame in my lack of discipline over my tongue I also know that our enemy is tricky. He would like nothing more than to defeat me when I feel so strongly about God's purposing in my life. I keep replaying the verse found in John 10:10 " The thief comes only to kill, steal, and destroy.....".

Keep your tongues as you do your hearts. With ALL diligence. (Proverbs 4:23)

- Keepin' it real <3

I Hate the Process. I Love the Product.

In the wise wise words of the amazing LMFAO, "I'm sexy and I know it.". Don't judge. To follow up on my last post, Beauty and the Inner Beast I want to give some hopefully helpful tips for those who struggle with the motivation to take care of them selves the way they should. It isn't easy to get it together and make it to the gym, yoga studio, etc. It isn't simple to do all the menu, grocery, and calorie planning required to really cut or add pounds. While I was working with a trainer it felt like all I ever did was grocery, menu, and work out plan. I was exhausted before I ever made it to the gym. Something that I have found helpful in keeping up with the calculations of calories taken in vs. burned is LiveStrong. It is a free site with many helpful tools, tips, and testimonies. There is also an "app" that can be down loaded to your smart phone.

It's just as much mental as it is physical when it comes time to break a sweat, resist a treat or make a financial investment. It has been studied and proven that when we work out there is a chemical produced that helps out with our mental state. You are free to "wiki" those stats if you like. I've learned that while I hate the process (most of the time), I love the product. After working out for a certain amount of time our bodies begin to feel ill if we don't. That is something I have experienced in the last year after working with a trainer for close to six months. Something that I decided looooong ago was that I can spend $5-$7 on a fast food meal or I can spend it on a day pass to a gym. Now, let's be real......sometimes I spend it on the fast food. I'm not super human! You don't have to be a member at most gyms to work out in them. I was very spoiled at my last gym. It was amazing and had so many benefits. I may, due to this spoiling have become a gym snob. I know, I know, I hate it too. In an effort to find a gym in my new city I've began gym hopping. For me, working out in a gym seems to be one of the best ways to keep me working on my health. I get bored easy and need an environment I can change up frequently. Before you commit financially to a gym I would suggest doing two things.
  1. Make a list of the things you are looking for in a work out, facility, etc. Example: Trainer Availability, Hours, Distance, Financial Commitment, etc.
  2. Gym Hop. If your area offers several facilities it is worth visiting them all. It is also a good idea to ask around to see what locals and members have to say. Also check out each gym's web site. Some gym's have a fancy web site and a not so fancy facility. That's why it is so important to check out both.
I hope this gives you some encouragement and thoughtful tips
 when it comes to gettin' your "I'm sexy and I know it", on!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Beauty and the Inner Beast

Beautiful - Lovely - Gorgeous - Cute

So many of us complain about our appearance . Everything from weight to hair color to height to shade of skin . It would seem that the majority of those complaints can be corrected in an instant . If you disagree with your height you wear higher shoes or elongating clothes . If you do not prefer your hair color you can go to the store and for a low, low price change it . Feel as though your skin tone has you blending in with the wall? Well sit out side a minute, a hour or even in a high powered light box and boom you're a bit different than you where before . Weight however is another story . You may be able to cause it's fluctuation instantly, but when you do, it will only last for an instant . I'm not a supporter of extreme diets, though I am tempted by them . Who wouldn't want to become leaner, more muscular, etc. in only ten days with a little pill doing all the work ?

Having lived in my share of female dominated environments I do believe I've heard of every diet that is . I've seen people go to extremes to drop or gain pounds . I've also had my share and perhaps your share as well of people giving their unsolicited and solicited opinion on my appearance . With each compliment or critique I've done my best to take it with a grain of salt . Decide for myself if I am o.k. with how I appear . After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder is it not ? And who has to look at me more than, well me? With all the different compliments, critiques, diets, work out plans, trainers, and self evaluations I have forever battled and perhaps continue to battle with this one question; "At what point in all of this conversation are we , am I saying to God, I disagree with your choice." ?! At the end of all the public images of what is healthy, beautiful, and "well proportioned" only you, God and perhaps your doctor, know what is well and good for you . The sad truth is for some of us gluttony or lethargy has gotten the best of us and it may be good for us to loose or gain some lbs. If it is deemed to be good for that change to be made, then I doubt change would serve it's purpose if it only last momentarily. If it can be "solved" by a quick fix, is it really solved ? If change is truly necessary it will require a life style change . The idea that my habits today will be my children's habits tomorrow does not leave my mind when it comes to health and nutrition.

I was talking with a dear pregnant friend of mine just a few days ago about work outs, food, taking care of your self, family, and sometimes the world . We discussed our insecurities, pride points, and the volume of the voices of those that surround us . As females a friend and I can be the exact same weight and height yet wear different sizes. It's about those BEAUTIFUL God given curves ladies! We are unique with every luscious inch of our being. I love fashion, magazines, and television shows that are fashion focused, but I realize that the majority of the female brain(s) can not see these things and not compare themselves . They can't gaze upon a magazine cover with out feeling less beautiful than they are just because they find no similarity between the cover girl and themselves . These covers might as well be our dearest friend yelling in our face "you are not beautiful", for most female brains that is. I wouldn't dare sum everyone into one category . But for those of us that struggle with "that voice"......Loves, beauties, SISTERS, let go of the comparison and thank God for the BEAUTIFUL and WONDERFUL creation He has made you to be . Yes, I believe in working out. Yes, I believe in eating healthy a majority of the time . Yes, I believe there is such a thing as too much working out and too much concentration on what you are eating . I saw a sign once that said something to the effect of "Treat your body well. If you do not where will you live?". I would repeat it often to my girls that had health issues, body issues, etc . I continue to repeat it to myself when I am tempted by the desire to work out till I'm sick or to starve myself . Only YOU, God, and perhaps your doctor know if you are treating your body like a temple. According to 1 Corinthians 3: 16-17 that is what we are, God's temple . Made by His design with His breath .

I have worked with trainers, doctors, friends, programs, diets and I don't even know what else . I have battled illnesses that kept me from eating for long periods of time . Heck, I've even had a parasite!! Yes, a evil little creature eating my nutrients and what felt like trying to kill me . I got that dern amoeba from a salad no less . Yet, my body remains, give or take several pounds a curvy, luscious and strong temple . For me at the beginning and end of my days I have to answer that question in my head, "Am I saying to God, You are ugly?" by being the one who speaks and thinks worse of myself and how I am created . If I believe the Bible to be the inerrant word of God, and if I believe, Genesis 1:27 to be true; then yes, when I speak ill of my own image I am saying to God, "You are ugly".

As I practice my own preaching I encourage you to embrace Psalm 17:15. It's a verse the Lord highlighted for me while in college . It's come to my insecure aid many times . I at times have to repeat it to myself when times get tough, the voices get loud, or the enemy gets sneaky, but I am a reflection of my creator and to speak ill of my reflection is to speak ill of He who created me . That's something I just can't tolerate from myself or anyone else .

and am still....
I was then.....

......fearfully and wonderfully made
......and apparently a little sassy !
So, the next time you go to speak ill of your self or another just remember, that's my beautiful friend you're talking about and I won't tolerate it.

Verses Referenced Above:
Genesis 1:27 KJV "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created he him: male and female created He them."

Psalm 17:15 KJV "As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness."

1 Corinthians 3: 16-17 KJV " Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's spirit dwells in you ? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.

Psalm 139:14 NLV Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous--how well I know it.

Psalm 139:14 KJV - "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well."


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sometimes Things Change Over Night

In the struggles of life it's nice to know that things can change over night . I went to spend some time with my mom this weekend, some good ol' fashion girl time . When I returned home I was anxious to see how my plants with stood the Saturday storms . Much to my surprise they all fared well and even had new sprouts . My strawberry plant, which at the moment I am growing inside the house shot up at least two inches, OVER NIGHT!!!

3/13/12 - day they got planted


This little plant that started out with what looked like two twigs of mint only twelve days ago, has now sprouted up to about four inches tall and now proudly bears four or five twigs and some blossoms . Soon, I will need to re-pot it into a larger container and hopefully by June I'll have some actual strawberries . For me this was a sweet reminder that God has the power to change things over night . We never know what is at work beneath the surface and it's our job to continue watering, cultivating, and caring . Whether it is for ourselves, others or something else all together. Allowing Him to prune away the bad so that something beautiful can rise to the surface .
 There will be times that it seems He is taking forever to grow us .
But He can also bring beauty to the surface over night!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Pain As A Necessity

Pain is like an alarm clock we didn't set. It is our body alerting our mind to something that requires attention, repair, care, or maybe even replacing. If you type the word "Pain" into a search engine you will come across thousands of links, definitions, symptoms, causes, and remedies. While Pain is seemingly a negative word it isn't always so. For women, one of the most physically painful things they will experience is that of child birth. I believe most women will also tell you the most joyful thing they have experienced is child birth. Pain is a necessity. As much as it disheartens me to admit it. With out pain alerting us to life hindering or even threatening issues might go unnoticed. I think the same is true of our emotional, mental, and spiritual "pains".

For those that keep up with my blog you know that there's been a lot of introspect, evaluation, and revelation during this time in my life. Yesterday after a long and rough work out, a little too late I realized I had aggravated my RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis). I'm not sure if I pushed too hard, didn't stretch enough or drink enough water, either way the damage was done. After I took pain relievers and applied topical aid, I laid in bed consumed by my pain. For those unfamiliar with RA, just to give you an idea, when it is at it's at it's worse my joints are similar to that of the "Michelin Man". The aggravated joint(s) instead of working with my body to heal are instead working against itself. It's a type of auto immune disease a person is born with. Most days, at my age it isn't a issue, but when it is I sure do slow down quick. As I did my best to lay perfectly still and let the anti-inflammatory do it's job I meditated on all the different kinds of pain a person can go through. If at that moment my body was telling my mind "something is wrong, fix it!", what are all other expressions of pain saying ? I think of painful break ups, rejections, failures, etc. Why does it hurt so much ? When someone or something causes us pain, is that pain trying to tell us that "something is wrong, fix it"?

For me what I've decided after all this thought is that if it's causing too much pain then something isn't as it should be. In my life it applies not only to physical, but mental, emotional and spiritual. The pain is telling me that something in or around me needs some specific attention if I want the pain to lessen or leave. And indeed it is in my control to lessen or relieve some of the pains in my life. I encourage you to evaluate whatever "pain" consumes your thoughts. Evaluate it through the idea of  the pain alerting your mind to something that isn't as it should be and be brave enough to treat it with the proper care it deserves.

Could pain and should pain be avoided ? I don't think so.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us that "To every [thing there is] a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven;".

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Can't Change the Past. Can't Predict the Future. So, What Do I Do With Today ?

What do you do in the mean time ? Yesterday I was sick. This morning I woke up sad about a few things that still lingered from several days ago. While I absolutely am an advocate of embracing what you feel when you feel it, I am not an advocate of holding onto things that could poison you from the inside out. In a effort to release the poison and perhaps avoid another bad day I prayed admitting to the Lord how upset I was. I asked Him if possible to help me turn my mood around and to love today for whatever it is or will be. After my confession I went on to finish drinking my nalgene of water (morning ritual) and making some hot tea. It's a dreary day with a odd mix of warm and cool breezes. So it's a perfect morning for hot tea. My friend had sent me a picture of our other friends daughter who is four and forever entertaining us. She had picked out her own outfit which included a bathing suit cover up, Christmas socks, and some mittens. My response was that with this kind of weather I support her desire to be prepared for all possibilities. Clearly she is more on top of the weather than the local weather man.

I finished my morning "to-do's" of making the bed, walking the dog, brushing my teeth etc. and called to check in with my g'parents (another morning ritual). I sat listening to the rain on the roof and looking out at the dreary sky; I was for sure my attitude wasn't going to get any better with this as my back drop and all the worries in my mind weighing so heavy. I did some reading, more praying and then went to check the mail. My FAVE was awaiting me. Those of you who know me well know that nothing makes my day like a Fashion Magazine waiting for me in my mail box. Shallow ? Perhaps. I don't even care. I love me some fashion and beauty. Back in the day when all my mail went to my office I would justify putting off e-mails to skim my newest magazine by calling it "research". I was working with teenage girls and vote it was totally applicable research.

I came back in from the dreary outside and sat down with my hot peppermint tea in one hand, my fashion magazine & Jack Davis in my lap with the sound of the rain drizzling on the roof. I quickly realized the Lord has answered my prayer. He let me know almost immediately that the things of the past that make me sad today can't be changed. Even if I hold onto them longer than I should. That the fears, questions and worries of the future, I can not predict no matter how many worry lines I let them give me. And that simple joy's are awaiting me, if i would put off the weight of the things out of my control. So, what am I to do with today ?

 Rest - "In returning and rest you shall be saved;
In quietness and confidence shall be your strength." Isaiah 30:15
Enjoy - "And also that every man should eat and drink,
 and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God." Ecclesiastes 3:13
Trust - "And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee:
for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee." Psalms 9:10
Joy - "Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation." Habakkuk 3:18

What will I do with tomorrow ? - "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthes 6:34



Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pre-Planning is the Key - Pre-Planning Tip 2

I do my best to keep up with what I'm eating and why. As I've mentioned about 100 times by now, I love cooking when I can. However, for the longest time I struggled with the idea of making a full meal for just one person along with the never knowing who may show up just in time for a meal cooking became a total balancing act. As I've mentioned in my past post, Spring Has Spring Part 2 I really hate wasting things, especially food. In an attempt to prevent such things while also always being prepared for unexpected dinner guest I learned that preplanning is the key. I vote it is also a wonderful money saver. Today for example, I purchased five good portions of prepackaged sirloin at my local grocer for seven dollars. That breaks down to about a $1.40 per steak. That's a bargain and I won't be told otherwise! To keep from wasting and to not feel like I HAVE to cook the meat the day I get it I have started separating. This works with any type of bulk packaged meat such as chicken, ground turkey or beef, fish and steak.

With pre-cut meat such as chicken, steak and fish you just wash the meet after taking it out of the store package and then place each piece in it's own freezer baggie. With meat like ground turkey or beef I usually pat it into a burger sized patty and then place them individually in freezer baggies. Bam! When it's time too cook all you have to do is grab the amount you need thaw, season and cook!
This keeps you from feeling the rush to cook EVERYTHING you bought at the store the day you bought it, helps with portion control and waste.
I hope this little tip helps you with your meal, menue and grocery planning !

Spring has Sprung - Part 2

While working on my newest experiment in gardening I wanted to be sure
 and not forget which seed was in which planter. I want to label it, but I
still want it to be cute and creative, of course!
Supplies: Glue Gun, Empty Seed Packets, Kabob Skewers,
Scissors, cardboard fr the bottom of a dept. store bag.
I really hate wasting things. I enjoy finding multiple uses for a item, it makes me feel smart. I reused the seed packets as the labels, I used the parts of a shopping bag for 3 different projects now and who knew kabob skewers could have so many uses beyond kabob's?!
After gathering my supplies I plugged in the glue gun and began some cardboard cutting. I trimmed the top of the empty seed packet to make it match the already printed label.
Then I cut the cardboard to match the size of the packet.
I hot glued the packet shut and then glued it to the cardboard.
I then hot glued half of the skewer about 1/4 of the way from the bottom of the card board. I gave it a solid about of hot glue in an attempt to keep it secure during light wind, etc.

After all the glue had dried I placed it in my plant. I think they look super cute on my front porch as apart of my Spring decorations. Now, I just have to make sure they get enough sun and water.
I'm hoping that I've inherited my Mamaw Davis' green thumb.
She had an amazing way of being able to make anything grow.
I'm wishing now I had taken more notes from her on gardening.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spring has Sprung

Well, at least my front door looks like it has. As I've mentioned before I love arts, crafts, and all things home made. Today was such a beautiful day I wanted to celebrate by decorating my front door. I however was too tired to make any more trips to town. So, I looked around the house for what I might have I can refashion. I found a extra wreath I'd bought at Christmas from the "dollar" that I hadn't used. Some ribbon from a store bag, and flowers that I bought when I got my very first apartment and a few other odds and ends.

I tossed it all into the floor and started letting the creative juices flow. Side Note: I totally burned my toe with the hot glue gun. I was multi-tasking and forgot the glue gun was in my hand and hot glue dripped out onto my toe. Burned like FIRE. I mean, what else would it burn like?!

Here's what I used and how.
I untied the ribbons from a store bag that I had kept, "just in case" I need it for something.
My wreath needed 2 of the ribbons. I do not know the size of the wreath.
I apologize for that missing detail.

Then I used wire cutters to remove the clip from a Gerber daisy I had bought when
 I moved into my very first apartment. I at the time had used them as decorations
on a shower curtain. I am very glad now that I kept them for a unknown future use.

I hot glued the ends of the ribbon to the wreath to secure them.
I then hot glued the daisy to the wreath as well.
And TAH-DAH Spring Wreath in my favorite color of PINK!!

I also came up with a idea for summer wreath. I'll tell you about that later :-)
Hope this inspires you to do some Spring decorating in your favorite spaces.

Grow Where You Are Planted

I've found myself saying this to others in the past and recently to myself , "Grow where you are planted". I saw it one time in a friends mom's kitchen. The phrase has never left my mind. Make the most of where you are, don't waste time, continue to grow and fight being stagnate.

Today, I took it literal after I went to my grandparents to celebrate my mamaw's birthday. While I was getting some things from my car I saw this delicate, little, bright flower
growing up from under the gravel.

How could something so delicate be blooming through something so rough ?
It caused thought about some long harbored desires to grow my own flowers, veggies and fruits, but my lack of farming space and past apartment living has kept me from it. Today after seeing this beautiful site growing from rock, I decided to try some new techniques, pot growing. Don't call the police it's not what you think. I have wondered if I could grow some of my favorites in a flower/plant pot for a long time. Today I decided to take action.
After a quick trip to the local "dollar" type store and
 Wal-Mart I scored some cheap and simple supplies. I will report back as soon as
I see some progress on whether this works or not.

The tins and yellow planter cost a $1 each. The Flowers $.76 Cents.
Seeds $.25 each pack & potting soil $3.50.
The other items I already had.

I want to do my best to embrace where I am for however long I am there. Following along with the idea of working on the "small things" believing they will lead me ot the "big things".
 Each stage in life has held it's own time line and purpose for me. Something different than myself or my best advisers imagined. In my efforts to "grow where I'm planted", I'm doing both literally and actually. If such a delicate and bright creation can grow through the rough gravel people drive over every day, not that my situation is rough as rock, but it sure hasn't been easy, maybe I can too!! I've always felt as if I walk against the wind, maybe I've actually been growing through the rock instead ?!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Why Do Tomorrow What You Can Do Today ?! - Party Planning Tips 2

Every now and then I get a bit of the domestic goddess/ultimate party planning bug cooking, cleaning, crafting and other what nots. When I'm in these moods I wanna make/bake things from scratch and put some real thought into what meals I'm planning for the next several days. I also love making a center piece or give away that will go with the meal if I'm having guests.

One of my former college roomies majored in FACS (in simple words Home Ec.). She seemed to always have tips for the rest of us on grocery shopping, meal/menu planning, nutrition, etc. Sometimes, no wait, lots of times I wish we still lived together. I still find myself texting or calling her for cooking, ingredients, grocery, etc. tips. She is the one who taught me how to know when a avocado is ripe. It has proven invaluable information and I have sense paid it forward in sharing that info with others.

There are so many tips that had they not been passed down to me I would've never thought of them on my own. So, I feel it is my duty to continue passing on these handy tips, ideas, and so on. Some of my favorite tips are time savers or multi-purpose tips. Especially when I'm working on a event, party, or get together at my place. However, not all tips have to be saved for a large gathering. You can use them in your every day.

For instance, I love a salad!!!! The only problem with the "normal" side salad is there is little to no protein in them. Which if you are a regular work out person you need a lot of. One quick and easy add in would be boiled eggs. If you are trying to stay away from fat you can leave the boiled yoke out of the salad and just use the boiled white. Boiled eggs will last several days in your fridge. So, one morning or afternoon when you are making a meal you can turn on a extra eye of the stove and boil 3 or 4 eggs at one time while you are making the rest of your meal. It only takes about 5 minutes once the water is boiling. You can also let them cool in the water they boiled in to save time. Turn off the heat source and leave the pot on the eye. If they cool in the same water they where boiled in there is less chance of a egg bursting in a way that it may not be able to be used.

Another amazing source of protein that is low in fat and calories would be turkey bacon. Again, you can make it while you are already at the stove working on another meal or make extra when you are making b'fast. You can put your extra bacon into a baggie or storage container and put it in the fridge for several days. Whenever you are ready for your salad or sandwich you can just pull your already made turkey bacon out and add it on. I am always sure to get turkey bacon that is low sodium. One of the issues with any bacon is the amount of sodium in it. Sodium is needed to curate the meat, but you can get low sodium turkey bacon and it cuts the salt in half, but taste just as amazing. Many professional trainers will not support your eating of any bacon. I'm not good with being told I CAN'T have something, so, this is my "cheat".

Hope these two little tips help you in some way!!

Party Game & Prize - 2 for 1 - Pre-Planning Tip 1

I'm currently working on the planning of a bachelorette party for a dear friend. I'm all about creative ideas, bargains, and something different. So, I've thought long and hard about the when and where for her special party. Now, I'm working on the what, the what games will we play ? I am working with my co-host on some creative and fun games, but for the moment we've decided on at least one oldie, but a goodie. I don't know the real title, but it's basically the "don't say all the words you want to say or I'll take your (pin, ribbon, sticker) game". To "2 for 1" the game I've tied some ribbons to a hair tie.

It's cute to use the colors of the wedding or
 sweet baby hair ribbons according to the
type of shower you are hosting.

The game goes like this: Every one gets 2 or 3 (pins, stickers, or ties).
They place them on their person in a easily seen spot (shirt, wrist, hair).
Let everyone know the list of words that "can't" be said. The list is usually about 5 -10 words.
 For a bridal shower it would be words like bride, groom, veil, bouquet, etc. Words that are naturally going to be said on purpose or accidentally at a bridal shower.
As the evening goes on each player listens to conversation
 and when someone says one of the
 selected words you take their pin, sticker or whatever.
At the end of the evening the person with the most ties wins.

Who couldn't use a extra hair tie?!

For my event we are using the hair ties as the prize for the winner as well.
Doing this helps keep cost down and makes double use for one item.
Who couldn't use a extra hair tie or thirty?!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Workin' on the Small Things

So, I've been trying daily to work on my "small things". For those of you that don't read my blog regularly you can click here to know what I'm talking about when I say "small things".
As I do my quiet time I've been asking the Lord, "what might the small things for today be ?". With each passing day I am seeing more and more small things all
of which when I put my heart into them have been fruitful
 and such blessings in their own indvidual ways.
Today's small things are home made dog biscuits. True Story.

Yes, such a thing as dog bone shaped cookie cutters really do exists.

I LOVE making things from scratch when it's possible. It just makes me feel more accomplished and creative, even when I'm just following a recipe. I have always loved to bake so,when my papaw was left in charge of me he would let me make "cakes". It usually consisted of flour, water, and some sort of chocolate chip or raisin. He always ate them as if they tasted amazing. He's continues to be so good to me and patient with my silly ideas. Most of you know by now my grandparents love Jack Davis like he is a actual grand child. Mamaw is always wanting to give him human food. So, I try to keep them stocked with dog friendly snacks and foods for when Jack hangs out with them. They will be excited to recieve this bag of snacks to keep for their great-grand-dog! Here's the recipe I used incase you wanna make some for your favorite K-9 compainion. They will keep for a week or so, but don't last forever because they do have perishable ingrediants.

In a large bowl- mix well -
 oats, butter & boiling water
let stand for 10 minutes
Dog Treat Recipe
1 Cup Rolled Oats
 1/3 C Butter
1 C Boiled Water
3/4 C Cornmeal
1TBSP Sugar
1-3 TSP of Beef or Chicken Bouillon
1/2 C Milk
1C Shredded Cheddar
2-3 C all purpose or whole wheat Flour
1 Egg beaten

Stir in cornmeal, sugar, bouillon, milk, cheese and egg - add a cup of flour at a time until stiff dough forms

Preheat & Bake at 325 for 30-45 min.
                 use cookie cutters of preference - place on greased baking pan

I have a few friends and family in the area that are dog owners, so to continue my "Small Things" effort,  Jack and I are going to try to visit a few of them soon with these fun treats. That's another thing I love, gifts!! Giving, receiving, making, shopping for, wrapping and of course unwrapping.
I am fairly certain "gifts" would be one of my top 
Love Languages, if I ever took the Love Language test. My family has always made things like Birthdays, Christmas, Valentines, etc. special. One of the ways being with gifts. My mom is possibly the best gift wrapper I know. I can recall Christmas morning as a child and seeing all the beautifuly wrapped gifts in my stocking or under the tree. As much as I wanted to open them, I almost didn't
 want to open them becuase they where so pretty. It isn't the money spent on a gift
that gives it worth in my opinion, it's the thought that went into it.

Gift bags from Target's Dollar Spot

 The cutest thing to see is a gift that a child has wrapped with so much love and care. Or to see a gift from a husband to a wife that somehow ended up wrapped with duct tape. Give me a diamond in a brown paper bag and I'll give it back to ya.....probably.

All of this to say, are you working on your "small things" ?
Are you putting into action the gifts He has given you ?
Both your internal gifts as well as your tangible gifts.
On this rainy and dreary day I'd love to encourage you to do both. It is always so amazing to me
how God is waiting right there with His hand wide open to overwhelm me with His giving heart. The most overwhelming gift He's given me recently is allowing me to serve Him and follow His leading in my "Small Things" endevor. In Matthew 25:21 it is written, "His lord said unto him, Well done, [thou] good and FAITHFUL servant: thou hast been FAITHFUL over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.". I am a huge fan of The Actors Studio with James Lipton and one of his questions for the famous and talented is always "If heaven exsist, what do you hope to hear God say when you enter the pearly gates?", Matthew 25:21 would be my answer. I'm, of course, still searching for my next "Big" thing, but in the mean time I'm loving what He is teaching me with the
"Small Things". 

These treats have been taste tested and Jack Davis approved.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Lazy Man's Pesto

Now, I'm a lover of home made goods,foods, arts, crafts, quick tips, etc. But you will not find me normally blogging about them. I have a friend that blogs on such things and it is far more her forte than mine. When I have arts, crafts and food ideas I tend to send them to her for posting. You can check her blog at .

However, now and then I will share some of my idea's with you just for funsies!! When I lived in Lynchburg there was a well known little coffee shop just down from the University called The Drowsy Poet, you can check them out at Anyway, they have two things that I would travel the seven hours for any day of the week, 1. The Milton Milkshake and 2. The Dante. Both in my opinion are things that will change your taste buds and make you forever unhappy with anyother coffee/shake or mushroom swiss based sandwhich. Now, that desire to drive seven hours is at times over turned by the idea of paying almost 4 bucks a gallon on fuel. So, several months ago I decided to get creative at home and make my own  form of the Dante.  Pesto is a easy and tasty addition to many sandwhichs, but sometimes I just don't feel like making a batch only to let half of it ruin in the fridge.

May I introduce to you the Lazy Man's Pesto, a Stacie Creation :-)

Per here is a "normal" spinach pesto recipe
2 cups fresh spinach leaves , well-washed and stemmed
½ cup fresh parsley , preferably Italian flat leaf
½ cup walnuts or ½ cup pine nuts , toasted
¼ cup parmesan cheese , freshly grated, not canned
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Blended w a food processor or Magic Bullet
Per ME here is a Lazy Man's Pesto
Fresh Spinach Leaves - well washed and raw
Mushrooms - well washed and raw
Chopped Onion - well washed and raw
Slice of swiss cheese
Olive Oil
Garlic salt
Ground pepper
Instead of blending all the items you will place them on top of the baked chicken
with Raw Chicken season with Garlic Salt, Ground Pepper and Olive Oil
Bake on 400 Degree's for 20 min. (i used a thin slice chicken breast)
After baked- remove from oven place on top of your choice of bread/bun
layer on top of chicken spinach, mushrooms, onions and cheese
return to oven and let cheese melt remove while cheese is still firm and kinda sweaty (not a liquid)
Continue Dressing per your preferances top with another piece of bread and enjoy!
I like to make home made potato chips or squares to go with mine!

Hope you enjoy and are inspired to create your favorites at home with your own spin as well!!!