April 25, 2015

Halfway There...

and my computer turned on!

Outside of taking a few days to work the rice out of the keyboard it seems all is right.  

Thank you, Jesus!

...and thank you ALL for praying!!!

So, now we move on to the halfway mark in the read-a-thon with a survey.

Mid-Event Survey:

1. What are you reading right now?

I have been off task a lot more today because I volunteered to be a cheerleader and that took a lot of my morning but I have been reading on 

Crazy Love by Francis Chan 

and now I am picking up A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry for the evening.  

2. How many books have you read so far?

Just working on two and reading a lot of blogs.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

Finishing anything at this point would make me happy.  LOL

4. Have you had many interruptions? 

Yes.... a lot...

How did you deal with those?

Deal and move forward when the next available opportunity comes

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

No real surprises.

A Treasure Hunt Challenge

We had to find a book cover for each for this challenge....

with a weapon

snow... lots of snow

a tree

Here is what I found...

A Literary Quote

I try to read A Christmas Carol every year.... this is one of my favorite quotes from that book.

Laughter truly is the best medicine!

Join the fun and see what others are sharing as their favorites.

Spring Read-a-thon Underway

Borrowing Em's computer some today while she is studying for her History AP exam this weekend.  She is a generous daughter!  I am grateful.

Here we gooooooo.....

Opening Meme:
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
Reading and blogging from El Paso, TX today... the desert southwest

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

I will be trying to finish up some already started books today so I am reading some from my nook and some from my stacks but the one I have been wanting to start for a long time and have not is Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

My favorite coffee - Community Coffee Pecan Praline flavor and I bought a bottle of Ginger Kombucha for later in the day.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I am a wife and mother of four kiddos (ages 10 to 21)  I bake, sew, crochet, clean house, cook meals and read.  Nothing earth shattering about my life.  LOL

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

I have been doing the read-a-thon for several years now and I think I am finally getting my routine down.  I would certainly read more than I did last time.  I played a lot  and had a busy day last time but I cleared my schedule this year and will be plugged into the day here a lot more this year.  

Check out more readers at the Read-a-Thon official page

April 23, 2015

Computer damage....

Mercy, I cannot catch a break with computers.  I have now spilled water on my newest computer and it is in time out until Sunday.... in rice.... hoping it dries out.  Prayers are appreciated.  I am setting another computer up with a monitor for the weekend for the Read-a-thon just to be able to use something other than my phone for checking the blog for all the fun stuff.  I am on my daughter's computer right now.  She is at school and gave me "permission" to use it.  She really does not mind at all.  

Secret Church is happening tomorrow night and I am scrambling to find a good way to set that up, too.  I was going to use my computer and it would be simple but now I am not and it just got more complicated.  Pray for this event that is being held all around the world.

Dewey's Read-a-Thon happens all day Saturday.  If I long term use of someone else's computer I will be online and if not I won't.... but I will be reading!  All day....

I also got my book in the mail today....

Full weekend ahead for me but in such a fun and relaxing way.

Pray for my computer.... God can even restore those!

Thanks, my friends!

April 21, 2015

May will bring some new into my life...

I have finally decided to take a challenge to cut the sugar.  I have searched and searched for just the right time and the right plan.  Well, there is really no bad time to give up sugar I suppose but the right plan has waltzed right into my life.  It is called Whole30.  

Do I want to lose some weight? 

Who doesn't, right?

But, that is not why I chose this one...

I have Lupus

I have tummy issues

I have skin issues

I have arthritis

I have been sick for a solid month with sinus/allergies and 
am just coming off one of the worst sinus infections I have had as an adult.

I have also gained 15 pounds since last October and it has to stop.

This plan has been proven to help with some, if not all of these issues.

I will begin this plan on May 1, 2015.

I have already started the process of testing recipes and reading the original book that goes with this program.  I have also ordered the new one to be released today to the public.

I have several friends who have tried this and there has been nothing but positive feedback because it is not a DIET... it is a detox/reboot that leads to a new way of life.  It is a plan to detox and reboot the system safely with great whole foods that don't deny the palette or the body of any nutrients.  It is meant to use my own body as the means by which I discover what my body can tolerate and what triggers things my body doesn't love.  Once you detox the system for 30 days on proteins, healthy fats and veggies and fruits then you can start to reintroduce grains and dairy back in to see how your body reacts.  Once you KNOW what causes the problems you can make a conscious effort to cut that in your life for good.  This is EXACTLY what I have been looking for.  

I am starting here...

and then reading this once it arrives in the mail...

and then I am menu planning using the information in these books along with help from other bloggers and friends who are doing the plan and, of course, PINTEREST resources.

I am going to blog it.... 
that is the scary part for me because 
I am making it public and making myself accountable for all to see... 
the good, bad, and ugly.  

Yes, you will get before and after pictures.  

If you have done this or are doing this or are interested in doing this then chat with me...

Shout out in the comments with any advice you have.

All questions about this program should be directed to the Whole9 site where the original author and experts reside to answer any questions you have and get you started on your own Whole30 journey.  I am on the journey, too, and will be checking in with the experts daily.

Wanta join me?

April 20, 2015

Preparing for the Read-a-Thon...

This is a very fast and thorough video guide to prepare for the coming Dewey's Read-a-Thon.  You might enjoy checking out some more of her videos when you have time... she is very "newsy" and cute.  LOL  There is a plethora of Booktubers over on Youtube for your enjoyment, too.

April 18, 2015

Dewey's Read-a-Thon - Spring 2015

It is almost here.... 

As a matter of fact, it has already begun in a manner of speaking!

The official date is next Saturday April 25, 2015 but the warm ups have begun over on the website.

Check out the posts so far here

You can also check out the fun on FACEBOOK, GOODREADS, and TWITTER to catch all the excitement and buzz this week in preparation.

24 hours of reading and blogging about reading and cheering and encouraging and lots and lots of fun challenges are on their way for next Saturday.

Choose a book or two or ten...

Get your food and snacks and coffee and/or tea ready...

Get a good night's sleep Friday night and be ready to READ, READ, READ next Saturday.

I hope you will join us!

Hope to see you there...

If you are joining in the fun would you please let me know in the comments below with a link to your blog so I can visit you to see what you are reading and if you are doing any of those fun challenges?  


April 05, 2015

A Pinterest Win.... and more....

I often find that things I find on Pinterest are hit or miss when it comes to recipes but this particular cake recipe was a complete win and is going in my permanent file.  

Thanks to the Baker Upstairs for her magnificent Fresh Strawberry Cake.  

It was a lovely way to finish our Easter meal today.  

Here are my process photos...

The cake base for the cake uses a strawberry puree.  It is a very fresh flavor!  I love using natural ingredients and making cakes from "scratch"

Putting the layers together... 
you could cut the sections in half and have four layers if you like.  
I chose not to this time out.

My kitchen is hot this time of year because we have not turned the air on yet but I frosted in layers.  I gave it a crumb coat and then chilled it.  

I gave it a second coat of frosting and then smoothed it out.

This is what was left after lunch today...

and a little different angle

It was a huge hit and I followed the instructions to the letter from The Baker Upstairs' recipe.  It is going into our permanent rotation for holidays and birthdays.  It is the perfect strawberry season cake!

A few more pictures from today....

March 27, 2015

Planning for April Meals and Holidays

I cannot believe it is already the last Friday of March.  The week behind us has not been so stressful but with allergy season in full swing I have not been super productive.  I have, however, found some lovely links for you.  I am thinking about planning meals a lot this week.  I am also starting to think toward Easter and Passover.  We started the 1 Peter Study with Love God Greatly and I am continuing to read the Bible through and work through the If:Equip passages and videos to prepare us for Easter.  I have enjoyed my study time a great deal this week.  The more I study the more I want to study.  I have also been listening to some of the daily readings again on YouVersion.  I love that they have audio on many of the translations.  It is good to hear God's word read aloud.

I have spent some time menu planning for the month of April.  I am adding some categories to bring a little more creativity back to our system.  We will do a Pasta night, Asian night, Mexican night, Comfort Food night, Soup and Salad night, Vegetarian night and a CORD night.  CORD stands for Clean Out Refrigerator Day (got that from an old Once a Month Cooking book on the shelf).  I am trying to wean us down to one dessert night a week.  I am also trying to be more diligent in preparing things ahead for breakfasts and lunch.  I am going to add a day each week to make things for the freezer.

With all this talk of food most of my links are food related this week...

The standard things like muffins and waffles are easy enough to make ahead and freeze but here are a few more great ideas that I pinned this week.  I have some standard quick bread recipes that make great breakfast breads and I think adding a coffee cake (Overnight Coffee Cake) every now and then might be a really nice treat.  I want to make something that the kids can just take out of the refrigerator or freezer and heat up.  The less work for me in the mornings the better.  That way they don't have to wait on their arthritic mom to be moving quickly enough to feed them all.  They will be grateful, too!

We eat a lot of eggs so I thought this might be a great option for them... Egg and Spinach Quiche Cups - I would, personally, use whole eggs instead of just egg whites for this one.  I will be doing a test run on these soon.

Kat over at InspiredtoAction has mentioned that she does a bulk batch of burritos to freezer for her family so I took some time to look for a recipe to test drive soon.  This one is the one I like so far... DIY Frozen Breakfast Burritos

I thought if the burritos worked why not breakfast sandwiches so this will be happening soon, too.... Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches

There are days when my children just want a good thick smoothie to get them started so this is a great idea, too,  We can have Smoothie Kits ready to go in the refrigerator for them to drop in and blend.

Now, this idea might be a smaller serving than the kids would prefer but I have a jumbo muffin tin that might make it a better size for those teenagers.  I know my husband and boys are fans of oatmeal so this might be a great quick solution for those hurried mornings... DIY Freezer Oatmeal Cups

After all this work to prepare meals for my family I think I am going to need a little treat for myself once I get the chance to sit down for a few minutes.  A lovely Chai Tea would certainly do the trick.  I found a great recipe at Food52 for an Almost Instant Chai Recipe.

Now, for two more articles for Passover and Easter for your enjoyment...

We have a slower weekend ahead and I have several books in progress that I am hoping to have some cozy time to enjoy.  Stuff in my "to read" stack for the rest of the month and forward...

and a commentary I am starting this weekend for the 1 Peter study...

I also have a great new resource I picked up to help me start to organize my personal recipes that I have written.  I have fallen in love with the Moleskine line of journals since I started my Bullet Journal last semester.  They have them for just about anything you can imagine from cooking/baking to music, wine, organizing, budgeting, etc...  Their website is a writer's dream!

I cannot wait to get started...

Happy Friday!


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