Hello, friends!  Thanks for coming by! This past weekend we had the hottest and steamiest days so far this summer.   At this point everyone's looking for ways to stay cool.  What's your favorite way to cool off and get a reprieve from the summer heat? If you're like me, spending time by the lake is great, swimming in the pool, drinking lots of water is wonderful.  But... finding a cool and refreshing treat is the best!  Check out these summer fresh frozen dessert recipes shared with us at last week's edition of Project Inspire{d}!   And be prepared to fill up your Pinterest board with all these clever … [Read more...]

    Do you talk to yourself? I remember working with a gal who talked to herself.  More often than not, I would stop what I was doing because I thought she was talking to me.  And then she would say, "I'm just talking to myself."  Usually, she was walking herself through the steps of her tasks.  It seems kind of quirky doesn't it? However... developing a lifestyle of talking to oneself isn't necessarily a bad thing. In fact... talking to yourself can be a good thing. If you read Psalms, you'll notice that some of the psalmists (writers) did the very same thing. Why am I so … [Read more...]

  Thank you  to Parrot Uncle for sponsoring this post. All the creative thoughts and ideas are mine.   Do you need some small space decorating tips?   In order to make my new small space feel spacious and inviting, I implemented a few easy small space decorating tips I've learned through my many moves.  Just having moved from a furnished beach apartment to a small unfurnished two bedroom apartment not five minutes from the beach, my goal was to furnish and decorate this small space AND make it feel like home on a next to nothing budget.  A tall order for sure. Maybe you have been … [Read more...]

  Hello, friends!  Thanks for coming by! We had a very busy but good weekend and hope you did too. The weather has been humid and hot. It sure makes me grateful for air conditioning... though I only turn it on for a few minutes each day.  Have you noticed? The sun is setting noticeably later each night. It makes me sad to think summer is starting her hurry towards fall. In order to savor every moment... I'm planning on stealing a bit of time each day to sit by the lake or walk the water's edge.  It restores my soul like nothing else.  What do you do to enjoy the last remaining days of summer? I've … [Read more...]

  One of my favorite things to do is "play" in the yard and garden. Creating a garden is like making living sculpture. When the weather is warm, I love to be outdoors and soak in all the goodness of this too-short season.  If you've got the itch to make your outdoor living area more beautiful, you're going to LOVE the features from this week's Project Inspire{d}!  Be sure to pin your favorites, too.     12 Great Yard and Garden Ideas to Inspire You   Curb Appeal Reveal ~ Mom Home Guide Fabulous Plants You Must Have ~ At Home with Jemma Simple Garden Flower Arrangements ~ On … [Read more...]

  I'm sure you've noticed, too. This week has been filled with vitriol and gall.  Anger and hate.  Worry and distress. It makes my head and heart hurt.     In the midst of everything... this verse has been swirling around in my head. “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”  John 13:34-35 This verse is directed to Jesus' followers. Those who were traveling the countryside with Him when He was alive and … [Read more...]

  When strawberry season comes I cannot get enough strawberries. We eat strawberry shortcake for at least one meal a day during that short time. I know. Do you know anyone who could possibly eat so much shortcake and keep loving it?     So when I was presented with strawberries for the Ultimate Recipe Challenge, hosted by my blogging friend Kim, I knew I had to create a recipe that was different... I'm sorry dear sweet strawberry shortcake! AND... all sweetness aside... it needed to be a savory dish. Have you ever roasted fruit? The roasting process intensifies the flavor … [Read more...]

  Hello, friends!  Thanks for coming by! I have a long history of pulling out the sewing machine each summer.  It seems there's always something I want to whip up.  It started when I was learning to sew and continued on through my college years when I was always sewing up a new simple summer dress, skirt, or shorts for a date.  I never made anything complicated.  There wasn't time.  Between work and the beach... a few hours was all I had. If you only have a few hours... you too can have fun creating with fabric this summer.  You don't need to get out the sewing machine for every project.  Why not make a … [Read more...]

  A few days ago, my little neighbor, who is nine, asked me if I knew how to make a cooty catcher. Except... she didn't say cooty catcher... she held up her hands and moved her fingers and asked me, "Do you know how to make one of these?"   I confess... at first I wasn't sure what she wanted... And then I guessed, "Cooty catcher?" I told her I did.  Though really I couldn't quite remember... it has been a FEW years since I made one. I knew I could do a quick Google search and my memory would be restored. Next thing you know... I got out a piece of paper and whipped one up to … [Read more...]

  Hello, friends!  Thanks for coming by! A belated Happy Canada Day to my friends north of the border and Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans! We took a little vacation at the end of the week to host some friends to our beautiful sunny shores.  It was an amazing and very busy time.  There isn't much better than spending time with people you love who live so far away. Are you hosting family or friends this holiday? I love it when friends put in a request for one of their favorite foods.  It's so fun to cook for people who want to enjoy my cooking. Today's features include 12 delicious recipes … [Read more...]

    When things go wrong, what do you do? More times than I can count, I'll talk to someone close to me. I'm not suggesting that there is anything wrong with that.... except that GOD should be our FIRST go-to person/place. You see... we need others... even more... we NEED God.   When things go wrong... we need a safe place. There's only ONE safe place we can count on. God. He must be our safe place. What a stack of blessing you have piled up for those who worship you, Ready and waiting for all who run to you to escape an unkind world. You hide them safely … [Read more...]

  Don't you love it when you drive down the road on a beautiful breezy day when the sun is shining bright and you see one of those bigger-than-life American flags waving out over the road with all its might?  Or how about passing a house with the front porch festooned with red, white, and blue bunting, and giant urns filled with red geraniums and lots of small American flags?  These are the kinds of sightings that make my all-American heart beat faster. I wanted to create that same kind of feeling for the Fourth of July with mason jars and flowers. And I'm pretty happy with the … [Read more...]

  Hello, friends!  Thanks for coming by! Are you enjoying your summer?  We've been really busy the last several weeks, but this weekend we decided that we need to be more intentional about going down to the lake for walks and sunsets.  It's funny how "life" gets in the way, yet when we lived elsewhere, it was what we missed the most. These warm days will be quickly fading, so we need to make the most of our beautiful summer weather. What kinds of things are you doing to make your summer special? One thing that's fun to do in the summer is cookout! I just know you'll want to whip up these fabulous … [Read more...]

    Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life,  Psalm 23:6a Have you ever thought about God, in His goodness and love, pursuing you... every day?!   Maybe you learned the 23rd Psalm... even memorized it as... Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. That's the way I memorized it as a small child. And then I read that the literal meaning of that verse is not, follow... but pursue. When I think of pursuing something or someone I think of a cop car, bar strobe flashing, flying down the road at a high speed... … [Read more...]

  Raise your hand if you like quick, easy, and inexpensive party ideas. Me too!  That's why I just had to share with you this super simple and inexpensive... yet extraordinary 4th of July dessert idea.  Plus a few extra tips to make your Fourth spectacular! Whether you just entertain a few friends or the whole neighborhood... you are going to LOVE this!   Here's how it all came down. I just made a quick trip into Walmart to pick up glitter, jars, and Mod Podge for this amazing 4th of July mason jar post I am cooking up for the blog.  As I was running from one end of the store to the … [Read more...]

  Hello, friends!  Thanks for coming by! Happy First Day of Summer!!  I love that it's the longest day of the year!  Yay for sunshine and staying up late and doing all things summery.  On the other hand... tomorrow begins our descent into darkness.  I'm sorry for being so dismal... but the ride up to summer is slow and wonderful and the ride down is too much like being on the highest ever rollercoaster plummeting to fall.  I just want to savor this time... forever... and the strawberries, too.  Because yes, strawberry shortcake is my favorite food and there's nothing better than local berries.  Yum! Now … [Read more...]

    Just between us... do you sometimes feel like God doesn't care? It's okay... you're not alone. We all feel like that sometimes. As I was preparing to write this post, I had a sense that you needed to be reminded just how much God cares for you. God. Our big God.  The Creator of the universe. The One who had you in His mind's eye before you were even conceived. Yes... that amazing, powerful, just, strong, amazing, faithful, loving, and tender God... He loves you and cares for you intimately. And... Just in case you need further validation... here are some scripture verses … [Read more...]