When it comes to cold weather... there's nothing better than a delicious bowl of soup to warm your family's hearts. Snow seems to be sweeping across the country... but again we received an inch at best.  Still it's plenty cold outside.  I make homemade soup almost every week during the winter.  It doesn't require a lot of effort and it's so easy to heat up a bowl or two for a quick and hearty warm up.  My chicken gumbo is the favorite around here.  What's yours? If you'd love some hearty and delicious soup ideas... we've got some great recipes for you!   10 Delicious Soup … [Read more...]

For many of my friends this is a BIG week... It's not like Christmas or Easter.... but it might just be second to Thanksgiving... because for them... it's all about the food. If you're looking for some terrific food ideas, be sure to check out this week's Winning Game Foods, or check out my Game Day Foods Pinboard.  Be sure to scroll through all the party links, as they'll be plenty of yummy delights for you to serve up to your friends and family. I hope your week is already off to an extraordinary start! Thanks for coming by! I'm so glad you're here.... Mary Beth from Cupcakes and … [Read more...]

  When I was in college I traveled to Europe.  I saw and did some amazing things.  One memorable event was to see "Carmen" performed. Don't be jealous.  I watched it from the nose-bleed section of the Vienna Opera House in the standing-only section. Have you ever stood in one small spot to watch an entire opera?  Let's just say it was extremely difficult.  I wanted to sit down.  It was painfully tiring to say the least.  There I was, watching this incredible opera after spending a day of sightseeing, shifting from leg to leg.  I remember the standing to see "Carmen" much more than anything from the … [Read more...]

Will you be hosting a Super Bowl party? Whether you're hosting or invited to watch the game with friends or family, this week's featured ideas from Project Inspire{d} are filled with lots of delicious and savory recipes that are sure to please. The next question is.... which team will you be rooting for? 28 Winning and Savory Game Day Foods   Shrimp Pesto Pizza :: Cooking With Curls Crock Pot Turkey Chili by Art From My Table via Carrie Elle Baked Tequila Lime Chicken Taquitos :: Happy and Blessed Home Asian BBQ Pork Taco Boats :: Lemons for LuLu Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Fries :: Grace and Good … [Read more...]

Would you like a great Valentine gift idea that ISN'T red or pink? Skip the Red and Pink with this Bright Valentine Gift Idea I'm so excited to introduce you to my good blogging friend who's here today with an EXTRAORDINARY idea I know you'll love... Light Bulb Valentines Hi, Malia from Yesterday on Tuesday here. I am so excited that Diane is letting me share a project on her blog today! Since Valentine's Day is coming up quickly, I thought it would be fun to create some printable valentines and pair them with a small gift. Supplies: Printable Light Bulb Valentines, light bulb vases,* Sixlet … [Read more...]

Handmade gifts are so romantic... If you're looking for something special to give to your sweetheart this Valentine's Day... stop looking. Though it is a little work, this nearly free project of a handmade box disguised as a stack of love letter is sure to be truly appreciated and undoubtedly will become a keepsake. How to Make a Faux Love Letters Box I know some of you are digging out from your winter blast.  Hope you weren't terribly inconvenienced and found ways to have a little fun, relaxation, and make a few memories.  We, on the other hand, missed the snow and had sunny skies on Saturday and a sunny … [Read more...]

Today we had the first sunshine in what seems like a week.  At least. Oh how I missed the sunshine. To say I was elated to see sunshine in the forecast was an understatement.  I wanted to spend my entire day outside, soaking in every single ray of light and warmth from that huge orb in the sky. However, at a whopping 13 degrees... even at 11 o'clock in the morning... I just looked out the window. Fortunately the temps quickly rose to the high twenties by mid afternoon and I made the most of it. Outside. As the day came to a close, we stood on frozen ice soaking in the beauties of the setting sun … [Read more...]

Do you decorate your home for Valentine's Day? I don't decorate like Christmas, but I do enjoy filling a few Mason jars with treats, setting a pretty table with red, and using my red and white towels in the kitchen.  It's not a lot, but it's enough to infuse some much-needed red into our dreary gray wintry days. If you need a few ideas for adding a little Valentine sweetness and charm to your home, then you are at the right place!  Check out these inspiring ideas... Clever Decorating Ideas for Valentine's Day   Thrifty Valentine's Day Decor by Dagmar's Home Baby Food Jar Bud Vase by Mommiez on a … [Read more...]

I am NOT a hopeless romantic... But I am excited for Valentine's Day.  It's so silly, but I really love all the fun, food, hearts, and whimsy associated with Valentine's Day.  It always gives me an excuse to create something in the kitchen or craft room.  Last year I had a ton of fun creating these Dainty Envelope Fruit Tarts.  Serving them and eating them.... was even more fun! I love these so much... I'm going to give you permission to make some now!  Why even wait until Valentine's Day? Simple & Easy ~ Dainty Envelope Fruit Tarts It's another chilly day in my neck of the woods.  But, it's not going … [Read more...]

  Valentine's Day... It seems people fall into three categories:  Love it. Indifferent. Hate it. Like most holidays... we bring baggage to the day that colors the way we see it.  The twist with Valentine's Day is that it's about love and romance.  And others say it's just a commercial holiday that puts pressure on us. Where do you fall on the Valentine's Day continuum? I decided that Valentine's Day is a great time to shower love and kindness on our friends and family. Those who are indifferent or hate the day... I've never seen them protest a thoughtful gift. And the lovers.... they eat up … [Read more...]

  Have you been facing many challenges and difficulties in your life? Do you resist them?  Do you get angry and frustrated with God?  Especially when circumstances don't change, no matter how hard you pray? My week was full of small challenges... on top of big ones that are already enough. Maybe you identify? Somewhere in the midst of my troubles I have come to realize that my role is not to wiggle out of these situations... but instead to move gracefully through them in God's strength and power. I'm not saying that there aren't ugly moments.  Because there are. I have my melt-downs.  I … [Read more...]

Valentine's Day will be here in a blink! Check out these deliciously sweet ideas for your Valentine's Day celebration. Celebrate with these Deliciously Delightful Valentine's Day Ideas   Happy Camper Valentine's Card Box from Suzy's Sitcom Copy Cat Lofthouse Cookies from Two Twenty One Easy Valentine Chocolate Heart Pops by Pink When Heart Sugar Cubes by Bloom Designs Online Sweetheart Surprise Valentines Day Cake from Virtually Yours Sweetheart Cheesecakes Wafers by Totally the Bomb Origami Heart Bouquet by Ruffles and Rainboots at Growing Up Gabel Valentine's Day Cupcakes by Flavours and … [Read more...]

Winter swept in yesterday... bringing the darkest skies, strong winds, and a small accumulation of crystals to scrape off the sidewalk and windshield.  After a wonderful and unseasonably warm entrance, Winter definitely turned her heel.  One day we're "enjoying" temps in the low 40's with rain and fog and the next... temps are in hovering in the teens. Gosh it feels cold!  Since there is a layer of ice under all this beauty, I think I'll wait a day or two before hitting the walks and roads for my daily constitutional.   Instead, I think I'll roast a chicken tonight to turn into chicken soup.  That sounds sooo … [Read more...]

Many of us are going through something right now.   If we aren't, then most likely someone we are close to needs our support.  That something might be a job loss, a physical or emotional illness, a challenging relationship or a break in a relationship, finances, even death.  The journey is difficult.  And my words sometimes seem empty.   One thing I know for sure..... ...the joy of the Lord is your strength! Nehemiah 8:10 This is true....  The JOY of the Lord IS our strength.     It's not in our doing, striving, reaching, or any other effort. It's HIM...all … [Read more...]

What's your favorite way to enjoy a little chocolate treat? My first choice is always a cup of oh-so-rich homemade cocoa. These delicious chocolate recipes just might break your New Year's resolution. Get Your Fix with These Delicious Chocolate Recipes   Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate from Simply Designing Mini Cups of Cocoa Cheer from Hoopla Palooza Skinny Homemade Hot Chocolate from Cooking in Stilettos Strawberry Chocolate Truffles from Sweet and Savory by Shinee Mocha Fudge from Premeditated Leftovers Chocolate Crazy Cake from Totally the Bomb Snickers Rocky Road Brownies from I Go … [Read more...]

I could hardly believe it!  We had sunshine today... all day! After endless days of gray... it was wonderful.  I decided to brave the cold winds and mid twenties to walk the beach.  There's just a trace of snow on the ground and a wee bit of ice... so unusual for the beginning of January.  But, I love it!  The sunshine was warm on my face and my spirit was renewed. The best lunch hour forever! Next to an hour in the sun at the beach... my favorite Monday fun is Project Inspire{d}! I'm so glad you're here....  Mary Beth from Cupcakes and Crinoline ~ Malia from Yesterday on Tuesday Stephanie from The … [Read more...]

  Did you step into the new year with a new planner and a new plan to make this the best year ever? The success experts encourage us to set goals, to map our days, our work, even our relationships. As you penned those good intentions into your life planner have you set holiness as one of your goals? What?     Who in this day and age, talks about being holy, let alone list it as a life-goal? That's a good question. Most of us would agree God calls us to holy living, but really, making that a penned-on-paper life-goal... whom among us is that purposeful? As obedient … [Read more...]