I hope this Thanksgiving finds you all feeling grateful and blessed.
I haven’t been as active as I was previously due to a thousand little reasons and a few big ones. During the more difficult seasons of life, I find that I draw inward and even stop writing in my daily planner. Just getting through each day can seem to be a struggle.
As a result of this particularly difficult season that my family has been in over the last few months, I am actually feeling more grateful than usual.
Without going into a ton of detail, my mother fell and broke both her arms, then found out she has the very earliest stage of colon cancer, and one of my children has been struggling with depression and all that goes with it. Even though these are things that are not good, I am thankful for my family who will step up and help out when we need them. I am grateful for doctors who are so intelligent, discerning, and thorough in what they do. I am thankful for true friends who know that sometimes all I need is to know that they are there when I need them. I feel blessed that my husband’s job offers good benefits which make finding help easier. I am most grateful that my God never leaves my side. I can come to Him in every moment and cry out to him in joy and despair. I am loved and cherished by my Savior who died for me. For that, there is nothing for which to be more grateful!
Every one of us will go through hard seasons in life, but I pray that I will always be able to find things that make me realize how truly blessed I am. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!!
This image is the property of the linked blog. Please, visit her blog for this free printable and many more!
It’s sadly been too long since our beach vacation, but I did discover the best beach towels ever before our last visit to my favorite place. They are from a company called Dock and Bay. The towels are ultra light and fast drying. Personally, I cannot stand coming out of the pool to find my towel is still wet from the last time I used it. It doesn’t get me dry or warm like that. I have bought too many towels over the years trying to find just the right ones. Finally, after way too much money and time, I think I’ve found it! They come in several sizes and shapes. They also come in a variety of colors. I love that they are soft to the touch and the colors are vibrant. Each towel comes in a canvas-type carrying case. We monogrammed the cases so we could keep up with whose was whose I also loved, loved, loved how they were packaged!! The plastic is biodegradable and says you could even eat it, but the directions say it doesn’t taste good so you shouldn’t. I just loved everything about these towels and the company. If you’re lucky enough to still have a vacation planned, go check out Dock and Bay Towels.
On our drive to Hilton Head, I pack snacks for every person. The kids get things like Chex Mix, Fruit by the Foot, chips, Zone bars, peanut butter or cheese crackers, and basically things that are full of carbs. I don’t eat any of those things so I need to figure out what I might want to munch on for the trip. This time around, I packed jars of sugar free pickles, Keto Bars, almonds, and cheese bars. Keto and low carb snacks are much easier to find now, but consideration for how they travel and how your body responds to them must be given. If you’re on a low carb or Keto diet it is still possible to stay in ketosis while on vacation, but it does take a little more planning.
Everyone in my family loves a good deal. My daughters are very into fashion, but they always want a unique look. Whenever we visit Hilton Head in South Carolina we stop at Chella D. This consignment shop is a favorite and a much anticipated stop for our family. We love the ladies who own and run it. Donna and Carol are pure delights! If I lived in Hilton Head, I know I would be a regular. When a regular customer comes in they all talk and laugh and truly care about what’s going on with one another. Even though we only stop in once or twice a year, we are remembered and appreciated. This shop isn’t just a fun little shop, it’s full of treasures. Think Lilly Pulitzer, Gucci, Kate Spade, Armani, Versace, Jimmy Choo, and much more. We always leave with things we love and things we get for a bargain. If you make a trip to Hilton Head, plan a stop at Chella D.
Tomorrow’s holiday provides a theme I thoroughly enjoy- the color GREEN! This has been my favorite color my whole life. When I was tiny, I refused to wear anything that wasn’t green and pink.
I have thought about all the ways to celebrate tomorrow. Skittles and Rolos are great to provide that gold under the rainbow effect. I bought some chocolate coins from Oriental Trading to put into tiny jars. On my kitchen table, I placed Dove mint chocolates in a glass container. I have shamrock’s hanging from the chairbacks and small rainbow and shamrock balloons in containers. Most of my St. Patrick’s Day decorations come from the Dollar Tree. I bought potted Shamrocks for decorations from Publix.
Past St. Patrick Day dinners have included green enchiladas with guacamole and Funfetti cookies. Stuffed green peppers, spinach pasta, pesto, chicken Florentine, salads, lettuce wraps are all good ideas for a green-themed dinner. I like to make a mint or rainbow kind of dessert. Creme de Menthe brownies or rainbow sherbert are good ways to stick with the St. Patrick’s Day theme. If you want to stay with the green-theme, chocolate mint ice cream, pistachio ice cream, green Rice Krispie treats, and any green cookie or cupcake would be perfect.
St. Patrick’s day trivia, bingo, or Heads-Up would all be fun to play tomorrow night.
I woke the children up to a hand-pie breakfast. They are super easy to make, and always a treat. I simply take a refrigerated pie crust and some strawberry pie filling. I cut the crust into thirds, put a couple of tablespoons of filling in the middle. I then fold it over and pinch the seams. A few little slits at the top finish off the preparation. I pop them in the oven at 350 degrees until they are lightly browned. They are piping hot when they come out of the oven, so they need to sit for a few minutes. I served them with a dollop of whipped cream. It was a sweet way to start Pi day. I also made my husband a Keto Key Lime Pie for his after dinner dessert. I love celebrating these types of things even if they’re just in simple little ways. I’m planning some fun for St. Patrick’s Day and Easter is just around the corner too!
This year I decided to go the easiest route of all, and let all the children give the same kind of Valentine card. I went to Amazon and got a 72 count tub of Haribo gummy bears since most everyone likes gummy bears. I chose this free printable from one of my favorite bloggers. We should be able to assemble these very quickly and easily.
photo credit: Haribo
We have a little party planned for Valentine’s Day, and I look forward to sharing those details later.
Don’t forget tomorrow is Mardi Gras. Get those beads and King cakes ready!
I am proud to have several family members who served in the United States military. I am so thankful that they all returned home safely. I know that not everyone is as fortunate. On this day, we honor the memory of those who sacrificed it all for their country and the ideals for which it stands.
John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Thank you to those who sacrificed it all, and thank you to their families. Thank you to every veteran and active Service member who was and is willing to lay down his or her life. May the Lord bless and keep you always.
I’m planning an all new April Fool’s Day dinner for this year, but wanted to share last years for now:
My kiddos love a good prank. April Fool’s Day has been one of their favorite days as long as I can remember. We usually try to do at least one thing to make the day memorable. Last year I fooled them into thinking they were eating an undercooked lasagna, when it was actually a yummy dessert. This year, I pulled off a Crazy April Fool’s Day Dinner which was actually breakfast for dinner. It definitely takes some advance preparation and quite a bit of work (at least with as many people as we have in our family) to pull it off, but it is so fun! I’ve done a dinner menu like this before and I feel like breakfast items are a lot easier. I used the basic idea and the menu course printables from Dixie Delights. I made some changes, but the general idea came from her site.
To do this, I gave my family a menu of 16 items with funny names. They also had 4 different menu course sheets. On each sheet they had to put four items that they wanted for that course. Each item has to be picked once so that all items are ultimately chosen. They had to pick for all of their courses before I even started cooking; because I didn’t want to give them any hints with the smells in the kitchen.
I had one more trick up my sleeve. Number 9 was the CAFD Special. It looked like an egg, but was really just whipped cream and an apricot.
I pulled out a few Christmas plates to serve this. I also found some “Welcome to 2000” napkins that had never been opened in my party stash. We used those as the Mini Magic Carpet.
Overall, we had lots of laughs. April Fool’s Day is just another good excuse to have a little fun together.
I printed out my menu using Waltograph font from DaFont
My children woke up to doughnuts for breakfast. I ran to Publix and got chocolate filled and regular glazed Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I then bought a tub of bright pink icing and piped hearts on the doughnuts.
We made Valentine’s using free printables online from here and Here
Later tonight, we will have dinner and a special dessert while enjoying a movie together.
I hope you and yours have a lovely Valentine’s Day!