Friday, January 20, 2017

{ My Friday }

January 20, 2017

Another *hyggelig* day in my home.

With the buzz surrounding the Presidential Inauguration today, I felt that there was so much going on, so many emotions at the forefront and all sorts of feelings, positive and negative, happy and sad.

January 20, 2017

I turned my TV on at 7:30am and have had it on all day long.  I have watched every single moment of this Inauguration.  It has nothing to do with my political views of beliefs, but a lot to do with the fact that I find it such a beautiful thing to witness.

The whole ceremony is so poignant, so important for the country, and everything that happens, the speeches, the swearing in, the public watching, the flags waving.  It is just amazing and I have always made it a point to watch every Presidential Inauguration.

January 20, 2017

But with the TV in the background, I made sure to also take note of my surroundings, and in my journey to a Hygge lifestyle, I try to ground myself and enjoy those little corners of my home that incite a huge deep breath out of my soul.

January 20, 2017

I watched, I smiled, I listened.  And I don't mean to the TV alone, I actually listened for the Lord's guidance in my life and in some important decisions we have coming up.  There's always plenty of those aren't there?  Hence the need for a Hygge full life :)

I worked on my Mandala, and enjoyed moments of my ever growing puppy, on my lap, as he slept and snored.

January 20, 2017

I made brownies.  From a box, because it's what was at hand and was quicker, but I gave it my own personal touch by adding vanilla essence and espresso coffee powder.  They were divine, and I may or may not have had two, with a big dollop of whipped cream.

I may also have totally indulged and enjoyed that intake of calories.

January 20, 2017

I caught him laying in the sun, on the mat by the front door.  Just laying there, watching the birds out in the yard, and the sunshine.  He has the sweetest eyes, the sweetest face and I can't help but hug him and shower him with kisses.

For dinner, we had Domino's pizza.  Yes we're still working on saving money, but I had Free Pizza rewards that I had completely forgotten about, and this was a nice little reward for our little family.

We sat, we ate delicious pizza, we laughed, we talked and we enjoyed every minute of it before the kids retreated back into their bedrooms.  If you have teenagers you know how rare it is to get them to come out and actually sit down and spend some time with you.

Right now I'm watching the Inaugural Ball on TV and I'm about to work on my menu plan for the next two weeks, I started it but I want to go over it again and see what I can tweak and change to save some more money.  Tomorrow morning it's grocery shopping and this time I'll have a grocery haul for you, might even do an actual video one.  Let me know what you prefer, video or just stick with the pictures like I usually do.

Alright my friends, I hope you're all having a beautiful Friday night, and I'll see you all tomorrow back here on the blog :)

Thursday, January 19, 2017

{ Cooking Thursday - Sloppy Joe Sliders }


Welcome to another Cooking Thursday!!

I have to tell you, I almost forgot about this hahah I haven't done it in so long that I was going about my day, and then all of a sudden it hit me and I scrambled to the couch and onto my computer.

I think it's going to take a bit for me to get back in the swing of things, so please bear with me, and if I forget a feature on a specific day, let me know on Facebook, I'll be sure to come and get it posted :)

So for today's recipe I decided to tell you how I made my Sloppy Joe Sliders. I served them for dinner a few nights ago, it was one of the days that I was feeling really unwell with a headache, and wanted something quick and easy.

January 17, 2017

I don't even have an actual recipe for you, it's *THAT* easy to throw together.

I used a pound of ground beef and made my usual homemade sloppy joes, you can also use the canned sloppy joe mix if you wish.  Just make the meat however you make it.

Next I placed 12 dinner rolls on a greased aluminum foil sheet, on a baking sheet.  I spread the meat mixture over the rolls, then topped it with sliced pepper jack cheese (it's what I had on hand, but you can use your favorite).  I placed the tops on the rolls, then in a separate small bowl, I melted about 4 tablespoons of melted butter, added in some parmesan cheese, about 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, some mustard and a little garlic powder.  I brushed this mixture on top of the rolls, then baked them at 350 for about 10 minutes, just long enough for the cheese to melt and the tops to get nice and brown.

That's it!!!  Easy peasy :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

{ Hygge }


I recently came across a word that seems to be everywhere, at the moment.

The word is "Hygge"!!!

Do you know what it means?  Well it's a Danish word, usually pronounced as hue-gah. When I first came across it, I wondered what it was and why it seemed to be featured so prominently on Pinterest, in Vlogs, Blogs and just the internet in general. So I did a little digging into what it is, where it came from and what it signifies, and what I came to find out is that it is MY word for this year.

Hygge is a feeling or mood that comes from taking pleasure in making ordinary, every day moments more meaningful, beautiful or special. {Hygge House}

It is the absence of anything annoying, not nice, things that bring us grief or anger, sadness, annoyance or feeling overwhelmed. It is the pure act of being in the moment and enjoying your surroundings.

It was first documented in 18th-century Denmark, and it is now a very important part of Danish life.

Simple elements, small things that make your home look cosy. Lots of candles, and wood and nature themed.


Sitting by the fire enjoying the crackling sounds.....


Fairy lights and a homemade orange slice garland, just hanging there, letting the light through as if rays through a stained glass window.....


Or a simple handmade quilt draped over a chair, just sitting in the corner of the room.....


It's plain dried sticks in a beautiful, delicate vase that seems to be hand knitted.....


Or the tea set that sits on the baker's rack, waiting to be filled with boiling water and scented tea leaves.....


It's the crochet you so enjoy doing, the colors, the textures, the way it brings brightness and joy to a room.....


And often times, it's the cup of tea or coffee you sip in the afternoon when you need a little pick me up......


Or that simple candle you have lit.....


That is Hygge!!!

That is the pure joy of being in the moment and surrounded by simple things.  Letting all cares drift away, and for that single minute you focus on what is in front of your eyes.

I've been feeling this way for a long time, then my husband retired from the Air Force and our lives were turned upside down, nothing made sense, everything was different, and harsh and new, and we struggled to know where we belong.  In a sense, we still do.  In our hearts we will always be a military family, but to the world we are just every day civilians, same as everyone else.  That's not a bad thing, not at all, but when you've devoted your life to a certain way of living, it's very hard to be thrown into the open without knowing where to go from there.

When that happened 3 years ago, I lost my Hygge....I lost that sense of contentment and being in the moment, of seeing only the positive.

I allowed life and it's horrid phases to get to me, to blind me to what I have around me.

When I decided to get back into blogging, about two weeks ago, it was because that feeling had come back.  I felt like my old self again and that right there, that was pure joy.

So Hygge is my word for the year, and for the rest of my life, if I'm to be honest.  See, Hygge is not something you get, or find, it's something you feel.  It is our conscious choice to be in that moment, to stop, to smell the flowers, to let the world go by and to slow down enough to enjoy that

I'm going to take a page from the Danish folks, and really do my best to live up to this.  You'll probably see a lot more on this word and this concept coming up on my blog.

I invite you all to join in, live your life to the fullest, let 2017 be the year where you really enjoy *cozy* and everything it signifies. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

{ Tuesday January 17, 2017 }

January 17, 2017

Rain is pouring down outside, it started around 4:30pm.  Steadily and unwavering, it's pitter pattered on, completely oblivious to it's impact on the ground it's hitting.

Luckily for me, I'm a huge lover of a good rain, even if at times I myself have asked if it wasn't enough, or if it couldn't let off for a bit.  I have friends who live in areas that are going through droughts, and for them, I wish it would head their way, but alas, I can't perform miracles, so I just sit back and enjoy what nature is bestowing upon us.

It's been a slow day.  A day of me dragging myself around, getting things done, though at an almost snail pace speed.

My head hurts.  It started hurting yesterday evening and it's been here all through the day, some times hurting more than others, but nonetheless, just like the rain, steady and unwavering.

I think I'm getting a cold.  Another.  I mean, can't just have one cold without another on it's heels can we?  It's like going to a party without inviting all your friends, they want a chance at some fun as well.

January 17, 2017

On a good day, I'm usually off the couch by 8am, dressed and onto housework.

Today I dragged, I sat around, watched some vlogs, watched some Netflix and started a new crochet blanket.  By the time I looked at the clock it was 9:30am.  So I forced myself off the couch, threw on some comfy warm pajama pants and a tank top and did a quick tidying around.

January 17, 2017

Thankfully yesterday I had most of my housework done, so was able to go slower today.

I have this problem though, which I'm sure most women do.  I feel incredibly guilty if I'm sitting down on the couch for even 10 minutes.  I feel like I should be doing something, cleaning something, tidying something.  The feel of guilty is crazy because neither my husband nor my kids care if I'm sitting down for any amount of time, seeing as everything that needs to be done is.

Do any of you know what I'm talking about?  It's sometimes impossible to actually enjoy doing nothing.

January 17, 2017

I worked a bit more on the crochet project.  I'm loving it already.  If you're wondering what I'm making, it's the Mandala Madness, and I'm using the leftover yarn from my Sophie, the same one I used to start the Demelza blanket which has kind of been set aside for the time being. 

On Netflix, I watched or rather, started watching Killer in the Family.  It's quite interesting, it's almost like a documentary but featuring a different family killer in each episode.  They look into the red flags, the things that set them off and why they did what they did, as well as interview the family of the victims etc. 

I actually watch most of my shows while doing something else, in this case, working on the crochet mandala.  I just switch back and forth between the two.

So, yes, not a very productive or exciting day but it was nice nonetheless.  I finished my menu plan and grocery list, I worked on a list of blog post ideas, did some schooling with the kids and then it was time to get dinner done.

I decided to go with something quick and easy, so made some oven fries and some Sloppy Joe Sliders.

We also still had some Lemon Dream Cake from the weekend.

I'll have both recipes up tomorrow morning. 

Also, if you have any ideas for upcoming blog posts or anything you would like me to feature or post about, let me know :)

Monday, January 16, 2017

{ How I make the most of my Kitchen Appliances }


We've all done it!!!

We see a new kitchen gadget we like and we can't wait to get it.  Maybe it's that George Foreman Grill you've always wanted, or a Rotisserie, or that nifty pasta maker.

I love cooking, I love my kitchen, and over the years either I've bought numerous appliances or I've received them for Christmas or my birthday.  But here's the thing, there is only so much space in our kitchen, so a lot of them end up in the back of cabinets, or tucked away and then unfortunately forgotten.

Out of sight out of mind right?

I'm here to tell you how I keep those appliances in use, without forgetting to use them. 

January 16, 2017

My cabinets are filled with gadgets and appliances and things I love, but I completely forget about them if I don't have them out on the counters or in plain sight.

So a few years back I decided that I had to come up with some sort of system.  A way to not just let them sit hiding somewhere and never see the light of day, and also to make sure I am getting my money's worth.

Take the George Foreman Grill for example, I love it but I don't have room for it to be out on the counter, and I also don't want my counters looking super cluttered. 

January 16, 2017

See how it's dirty?  Well that's because I pulled it out earlier to make use of it for the next menu plan and hubby saw it and decided to cook up a steak for his lunch.  He wouldn't have even remembered it existed had he not seen it sitting there on the counter.

So what do I do, what is my trick?

January 16, 2017

It's very simple.  I menu plan for two weeks at a time, so every two weeks, I look through my cabinets and shelves, pantry etc.....then I pull out one or two appliances for those two weeks.

I try to then plan my menus around them so that I'm getting good use out of them.

As you can see above I have a pasta maker which I haven't used in a while.  I'm going to pull it for next week's rotation so that I can make some homemade Fettucine pasta.

January 16, 2017

When I'm done, I replace those with something else.  So essentially I'm rotating my kitchen tools every two weeks, using them all and even trying out new recipes because sometimes it makes me go and research something to make.

I keep my breadmaker on top of the fridge, so this week I'm going to pull it down a day or two and make some bread for the freezer.

January 16, 2017

And I'm not only talking about the big things like the grill, or a breadmaker or crockpots etc.  I'm also referring to the small gadgets that we buy and shove somewhere on a shelf only to be forgotten, until we move.  You know I'm right, I bet you have things hiding in your kitchen you don't even remember buying or receiving as gifts.

January 16, 2017

The gourmet onion cutter above, right behind the french fry cutter, is something I completely forgot I had until I was looking through the pantry.  The kids and hubby love the blooming onions, so I'm going to pull that one out and use it sometime this week.

January 16, 2017

This Iced Tea Maker was a gift from my husband many years ago.  I don't use it all the time, but right after I took this picture I thought "what the heck am I thinking?  I've been making iced tea in a pitcher for the past few weeks when I could be using this". 

And that ceramic wok?  Perfect for a nice stir fry or even some yummy sesame noodles.

January 16, 2017

The hamburger press down below, and the french fry cutter are both coming out for the next two weeks.  And when I took this picture, I saw my breakfast sandwich maker in the background and remembered that I have some sausage that I need to use up, so going to get some English Muffins and make a ton of freezer breakfast sandwiches.

January 16, 2017

I'm currently planning my next menu, I even asked hubby for help and the first week are all meals he chose on his own.  I'll finish off the next week using items I'm pulling out.

Oh and don't worry about counter space, because as I rotate them, the ones on the counter go in the cabinets and come out again when it's their turn to be used.

I've found that this seems to work for me.  I'm sure there are other ways people make use of their kitchen tools/gadgets/appliances, but this system has been the best for me.

So as you can see, there's no need for you to feel like all your favorite gadgets are not being used, with a little organization and some planning ahead, you'll be happily using all those tools again, in no time. :)

Happy Homemaker Monday - 01/16/2017

Good morning friends, hope you've had a wonderful, blessed weekend :)

The rain is finally dwindling down here in North Texas, goodness it's been ongoing for a few days and the mixture of rain and ice has made things quite yucky around here.

I don't have a lot planned for today, but usual homemaking and the sort, so let's see what today brings. 

Happy Homemaker Monday

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The weather:::
Cloudy at the moment, still all wet outside from the crazy storms we've had, but we're looking at dry weather for the rest of the week.  41 degrees right now and the rest of the week we'll be in the high 50's and 60's.   

On my reading pile::: 
Finally made it to the library and these are the books I picked up.  I'm starting on "And the trees crept in", today.  

  Weekend January 15 and 16, 2017

On my TV:::
Not sure, there are so many shows I want to get through and just not enough time in the day, but I am pretty certain I'll find something to watch while I do my housework.  I don't know how you all do it, but I find it so much easier when I have my laptop near me and I can pop in something to watch while I do dishes, or cook etc.

On the menu for this week:::
I am going to be menu planning today, I have meals until Friday and then Saturday morning I'll be grocery shopping.  I'm trying to cut back a bit on our grocery budget since now we have to say $3000 until April for our taxes.  Blech!!!

Monday -  Beef Curry 
Tuesday - Old Fashioned Sloppy Joe Sliders, Potato wedges 
Wednesday - Grilled Tilapia, Rice, Salad 
Thursday - Rissois with Fries
Friday - Chicken Sandwiches, Potato Salad
Saturday -
Sunday -

On my to do list:::
Laundry......Washing kid's bed linens
Living rooms.....tidying up, vacuuming
Bedrooms......strip kid's beds.  Make my bed.  Vacuum all bedrooms
Bathrooms.....toilets, sinks, bathtubs, mop school today
Blogging.....Happy Homemaker Monday post, How to make the most of your appliances

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
I'm still working on the Demelza, but actually wanting to start another Sophie because I enjoyed the last one so much.

Looking around the house:::
Needs a bit of TLC this morning, but only because we had family over for dinner last night and so it always gets a bit out of control, lots of dishes to do etc.

From the camera:::

Weekend January 15 and 16, 2017

Something fun to share:::
I came across a super fun site.  If you're looking for fun things or interesting things to do around your state, then go check out Only in Your State.  It will give you tons of information on some of the most visited or interesting places to visit.

What I'm wearing today:::
Black jeans, checked black and white shirt, black flats.  

One of my simple pleasures:::
Reading blogs, but old blogs like the kind of blogs we had when we first started on this blogging journey.  I am not liking the new blogs, they're too business like, it's all about telling people how to blog and what to talk about, competition, who makes more money.  Just not what I enjoy.  Matter of fact I came across one giving some blog ideas for posts and one of the ideas was "Rant or bash a blog".  Like really????  Come on!!! 

Bible verse, Devotional::: 
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Read Isaiah 41

Sunday, January 15, 2017

{ Weekend in Review }

Weekend January 15 and 16, 2017

Good afternoon friends, how is your weekend going?

Well here in North Texas we've been dealing with quite cold temps, lots of rain and icy weirdness all over the place.  There's been fog, there's been icy roads and thunderstorms, so I've tried not to leave the house too much.

Weekend January 15 and 16, 2017

Weekend January 15 and 16, 2017

Weekend January 15 and 16, 2017

Weekend January 15 and 16, 2017

Yesterday I got up, had my coffee and puttered around a little, got the dishes going and tidied up a bit and then went to pick up my sister in law and niece, and we headed to the base commissary.

I had to pick up a few things and so did they, so we made a morning of it.  Right after the commissary I ran to the library to pick up a few books.  I was really missing the library and books and all that goodness, and even though the weather was pitiful, I just had to go.

I dropped them back home and by the time I got back to my own house, I was in no mood to do anything at all.  I slipped into some very comfy warm fleecy pj pants and sat down with a cup of coffee to watch some vlogs and do a bit of reading.

Weekend January 15 and 16, 2017

These are the books I picked up.  As you can tell by two of the selections, I'm back on a history, tudor, Henry VIII kick, and I absolutely adore Phillipa Gregory so got The Taming of the Queen and Three Sisters, Three Queens.

I also picked up And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich.  I've never heard of this author but the book looks so good.  Weirdly enough for me, I never used to be into mysteries or scary books but the past year I've been enjoying them.

Here's a summary of the book:

When Silla and Nori arrive at their aunt's home, it's immediately clear that the "blood manor" is cursed. The creaking of the house and the stillness of the woods surrounding them would be enough of a sign, but there are secrets too--the questions that Silla can't ignore: Who is the beautiful boy that's appeared from the woods? Who is the man that her little sister sees, but no one else? And why does it seem that, ever since they arrived, the trees have been creeping closer?

Does that not sound good?  I think I'm actually going to start with this one.  If any of you have read it, let me know what you thought and I'll also let you know what I think of it :)

Weekend January 15 and 16, 2017

I didn't do much else yesterday, just really relaxed with the family.

This morning I slept in a little, had a little breakfast and then it was right onto homemaking and the usual faffing around.

I started by making a Lemon Dream Cake for tonight.  I'm having my brother and his family over for dinner so wanted something good for dessert.  I am going to make Chicken Fried Steak and Mashed Potatoes with Gravy and my sister in law will bring her yummy Caesar Salad.  Can't wait.

Weekend January 15 and 16, 2017

I've got laundry going, I've cleaned and tidied the whole kitchen, swept and mopped.  Got the bathrooms done, the living rooms tidied, just need to vacuum.

My husband made us a yummy brunch of crispy bacon and omelettes.  It was delicious.

Now I'm sitting here relaxing for a bit while I wait for the last load to finish in the dryer, then it's onto folding and putting away and finishing up some chores.

Still on the to do list:

  1. Mop the bathroom floor
  2. Prep the potatoes for dinner
  3. Prep the steaks for dinner
  4. Set the table
  5. Make some koolaid and sweet tea
  6. Clean out the turtle tank
  7. Put away laundry

It's 3pm and I have about 3 hours before they arrive for dinner, but I want to get as much done as I can in the next hour and a half.  I'm thinking I may even go ahead and make the steaks or at least the breading and egg dip part, so that it will be quicker getting everything fried and ready for dinner.

And that's it friends, another weekend gone by, just a few more hours and we're at the start of another week.  Oh boy!!!!

Also, I wanted to ask you all for your opinions or advice.  We just did our taxes and last year we owed the IRS 30 dollars which was a little annoying but not a problem.  This year, apparently we owe them close to $3000.  I don't even know what to say, I feel like we're in a hole and trying to get out of it and there's always more dirt being piled on.

Apparently we make too much according to the IRS.  For those of you out there in the same boat, can you give us some suggestions on how not to owe taxes next year, or even how to get a return, though I'll say that I would be fine with getting nothing back but not owing anything either.

So, yeah, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Right, I best get on out of here and get cracking on with my chores.  Have a wonderful rest of Sunday and I'll see you here tomorrow morning for another Happy Homemaker Monday :)