Friday, August 31, 2007
What does this picture of Elizabeth have to do with this post? Nothing. I just think she's adorably cute and wanted to share!! :)
Do y'all ever procrastinate about anything? My son and I have referred to ourselves as the king and queen of procrastination. HAHA!!
Yesterday I did two things in our home that I have put off and put off. First I needed to clean above the door frames. You know that little section above that door frame that sticks out from the door? I have noticed dust up there and it's been driving me NUTS looking at it. But, of course, I noticed it LAST WEEK and just yesterday finally cleaned it off. LOL!! And you know what? I cleaned that part of every door in our home and it took only about 20 minutes to do it!! Just two quick wipes was all it took above each door frame and ta-da they are clean!!!
The other job that I've been putting off is washing our windows. In the past, I have said that mopping is my most dreaded part of cleaning. Nope. I've discovered that I washing windows is worse!!! That would definitely explain why I haven't cleaned our windows since JANUARY this year!!! Oh my!!! And before that it had been TWO YEARS since they were last clean!!!!!! Yes, it's true!!!! So, I have decided to mend my ways and put myself on a monthly window cleaning schedule!!! When they are cleaned more often, it's MUCH easier to clean them!
Anyway... I started cleaning the windows and I cleaned all of them in our house in about 45 minutes!!! That was MUCH faster than I had anticipated! I was very happy to be done with cleaning them AND that it was much faster that I had expected!!!
So... what dreaded task have YOU been putting off? Tackle it today!!! I bet it'll take a whole lot less time and energy than you think!
Thursday, August 30, 2007
I am FAR from in shape. In fact, I need to lose a good bit of weight. I've been trying to exercise several days of week. Do I like exercising? No. Do I like that it is good for my body? Oh yes! And I want to be healthy so that I can care for my family until I am 100 years old or more!!
I really enjoyed reading Elizabeth's post entitled "The Physical Demands of Homemaking: Specificity of Training" over at A Merry Rose. After I read the article, I was motivated to get up and exercise! I want to be better at my tasks as a homemaker and exercising is a way to accomplish just that.
Do you exercise? Why? Do you feel that it helps you as your role as a homemaker?
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
When I was growing up, I have to admit, I was a horrible help to my mother when it came to cleaning. I don't know how she survived my complaining all the time. I would do jobs half-way just to get through them. I am sure that I frustrated her beyond belief!! She must have prayed for me A LOT because I've come a looooong way from dreading cleaning to actually looking forward to it!!!
The main thing that has helped me come to enjoy cleaning is a schedule!!!! I have a weekly schedule that keeps me focused and there are only a few things that I do each day so that I'm not completely overwhelmed. When Mr. U and I first married, I used to do all my cleaning on Monday so that I would have the rest of the week free. Well, I eventually started loathing Mondays because I was doing SO much cleaning in one day. So for me, that didn't work, but having a schedule does!!
Here's my basic schedule. I say basic because it is subject to change at any time. If I find out someone is stopping by, I may change my vacuuming days around or even have to launder clothes the next day... you get the picture.
Sunday- the Lord's Day
Monday- wash Mr. U's and my clothes
Tuesday- vacuum entire house, clean master bathroom, wash Elizabeth's clothes, bedding and towels
Wednesday- mop kitchen, wash master bedroom sheets and towels, wash Joshua's sheets and towels, scrub shower walls, scrub bathtub
Thursday- wash Mr. U's and my clothes
Friday- vacuum entire house, clean master bathroom, dust master bedroom, wash bathmats in both bathrooms, wash all trashcans
Saturday- enjoy family time :)
Daily I do things like wash the kitchen counters, sweep the kitchen and eating area, make the kitchen sink shine (ode to FlyLady), and declutter any areas that seem to be building a pile of clutter!!!
The whole family has jobs, too. Joshua makes sure that he keeps the hall bathroom and his bedroom clean as well as dusting the living room and taking out the trash (daily). Elizabeth... well... Elizabeth is learning to pick up toys and put them back where they belong. Even Mr. U will lend a hand. He puts away the dishes in the dish drainer every night. (When we first married, Mr. U asked me what job he could do to help me out. I didn't know what so he suggested putting away the clean dishes because he knew that it wasn't my favorite job! How SWEET of that man!!!).
What about you? Do you have a basic weekly cleaning schedule? If so, please share it! I would love to have a post one day linking to all of your cleaning schedules!! What fun!
Monday, August 27, 2007
Now, this isn't a fairy tale, ladies. I'm talking real life here. "The king" is your husband. "Where he lays his head" is, obviously, your bed. What about where he lays his head??
After reading Mommy Bee's post over a month ago entitled A Heavenly Bed, I've been on a mission to make the place where Mr. U, the king of our home, lays his head more comfortable. Mr. U works so very hard. When he is resting at night, I want him to sleep well.
Mommy Bee's post has been swirling around in my head for a while now. The first step I took was to purchase a fluffy mattress pad!!! I was looking online at different mattress pads and knew I could never afford the super nice one I was eyeing. I did, however, find a very fluffy and comfortable mattress pad at Target!!! I put it on our bed last Tuesday night and Mr. U said the bed is very soft! He didn't realize how hard the bed felt before we put this new mattress pad on.
This is only my first step in making our bedroom more comfortable for Mr. U. I love him so much. He is such a good, kind, loving, godly and SUPER SMART man!! I want to take extra special care of him!! After all, he is the king of our home!! :)
Friday, August 24, 2007
Okay, well, my family isn't going on a picnic and neither am I, for that matter. I am hostessing the ladies fellowship at our church in September and I have chosen the theme of "Picnics". That sounded fine and dandy at first. It actually sounded kind of FUN even. But now... I'm lost. What kind of decorating do you do for a picnic when the picnic is going to be indoors with ladies of all ages? We can't very well sit on the floor, nor can we have any three-legged races. (HAHA!! Now that would be fun!!!)
If y'all have any ideas or suggestions, please feel free to share them. I did think of red-checked table cloths and purchased them already. But how else can I decorate (with a small budget, please) to make it nice for all the ladies??
I do have the guest speaker all lined up for the night. Shhh. Don't tell any of the ladies, but our beloved pastor is going to be the speaker!!! He's the most talented, most godly, most HANDSOME pastor I've ever met!! (Please see my profile in the "About Me" section on the right.)
I look forward to any help/advice y'all can give!! :)
Thank you in advance!!!
Photo found here.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Many of us Southerners LOVE iced tea. For fun, I would love to know...
-which brand of tea does your family prefer to drink?
-how much sugar do you add to a gallon of tea?
This should be fun and interesting!! :)
Oh, I suppose I should answer, too! We currently use Luzianne (decaf) and I prefer 1 1/2 cups of sugar, but Mr. U prefers only 2/3 of a cup of sugar in his gallon of tea!! LOL!!
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Ina Garten, also known as the Barefoot Contessa, made these two recipes on her show recently. Her original recipes can be found here and here on Food Network. Typical me, I had to change the recipe around a bit because, well, simply because I can!! LOL!!
Here's my version...
Mexican Chicken Soup
3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2 cups chopped onions (2 onions)
1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
2 1/2 quarts chicken broth
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in puree, crushed
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, optional
12(6-inch) fresh white corn tortillas*
For serving: sliced avocado, sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, fresh chopped cilantro and tortilla chips
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions start to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes with their puree, jalapenos, cumin, coriander, 1 teaspoon salt , 1 teaspoon pepper, and the cilantro, if using. Cut the tortillas in 1/2, then cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch strips and add to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and season to taste. Serve the soup hot topped with sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, extra fresh cilantro and broken tortilla chips.
*the corn tortillas dissolve in the soup and is a thickener for the soup.
Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups milk
3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melteds, plus extra to grease the pan
8 ounces aged extra-sharp Cheddar, grated, divided
1/2 white onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and butter. With a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until most of the lumps are dissolved. Don't overmix! Mix in 2 cups of the grated Cheddar, the onion and jalapenos, and allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking pan.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the remaining grated Cheddar. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and cut into large squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Yield: 12 large pieces
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Mmmmmmmm... smoothies!!! I LOVE smoothies!!
A friend gave me a bunch of fresh fruit this past Sunday. She had taken it to church for a monthly fellowship and she had a lot left over, so she asked me if our family would like it. Like it? We LOVE fresh fruit! And it was already peeled and chopped, too!! Some of it will be used right away and some of it I can put in the freezer for later.
For our smoothies this morning, I threw some canteloupe, honeydew, pineapple and grapes into the blender and blended them up. Next I put in about a 1/4 of a cup of plain yogurt. While that was blending, I drizzled in some honey (taste it to see if it is the sweetness you like). You can also add some ice cubes to make it colder. Yum!
I used fresh fruit, but this can also be used with frozen as well for an extra cold and refreshing smoothie. I shared another smoothie recipe last summer. You can read about that here.
What did YOU have for breakfast this morning?
Thursday, August 16, 2007
No, that is NOT a picture of my microwave!! LOL!! And hopefully yours doesn't look like that one either!!! (Click on the picture for a better view!!)
All microwaves need to be cleaned. Paula over at Of Children and Home has a wonderful and VERY EASY way to clean your microwave!! So... let's all head on over and learn so that we can clean our microwaves TONIGHT!!!
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
I woke up this morning and immediately started on today's jobs around the house. I washed our sheets and towels as well as our son's sheets and towels. I made a loaf of whole wheat bread. I mopped the kitchen and eating area and then scrubbed the shower walls in the master bathroom. The beds are all made with fresh, clean sheets and ready for sleepy family members tonight. The kitchen floor is gleaming. And the house smells of freshly baked bread. Ahhhh... it sure makes you feel good to get things accomplished, doesn't it?
For lunch today, Mr. U took Elizabeth and I to McDonald's!! I LOOOOOOOOVVVE McDonald's!! Yes, I know most adults will not admit to liking it, much less loving it, but I do. My granddaddy used to take me when I was small. He would buy me two cheeseburgers (after I begged and begged) and he would tell me not to tell my mom- which, of course, I always did anyway. LOL!! I guess my love of McDonald's started with him. What fun memories.
Does Elizabeth eat McDonald's food? Oh no!! I take along some healthy food for her- steamed broccoli and sweet potatoes!! If only *I* ate that healthy!!
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Mmmmm... Carrot Cake!!! I really love Carrot Cake. Not only does it taste super yummy, but it just sounds so healthy since it's got plenty of carrots!! Ha ha!!
Our church had Homecoming this past weekend. I took my Mom's Chicken Pot Pie, iced tea ("Southern" sweet, of course) and Carrot Cake, per Mr. U's request.
I had never made Carrot Cake before and Mr. U really likes it, so I decided to try it. I have this "thing" about me... I'm kind of weird... I have a hard time following any recipe. So, true to form, I didn't follow any one recipe for this cake. I combined several recipes for the cake and the icing. Surprisingly, it came out DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!! Mr. U was pleasantly pleased, which means S-U-C-C-E-S-S in my book!
Here's the recipe in case y'all want to give it a try. And if y'all have any changes that you make, please share them!! :)
1 1/2 cups oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups grated fresh carrots*
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple in juice
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 360 degrees. Grease two round cake pans. Mix together oil, sugar, eggs, carrots, pineapple, flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt until well blended. Stir in pecans. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 35-45 minutes or until golden brown (cake should spring back when you touch it with your finger). Cool in pans before turning onto cooling racks.
*Do NOT use carrots from the grocery store that have already been shredded. They are too stiff. Buy whole carrots and grate them by hand for a more moist cake.
Cream Cheese Icing
1 stick butter
2 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pecans
Make sure that butter and cream cheese are soft and at room temperature. Blend all ingredients together very well and spread on your cake layers. Yum!
Monday, August 13, 2007
The ever kind Mrs. B has chosen me as one of her "Nice Matters Award" winners!! I am SOOO honored!! Little ole me!!!
This is what I found out about the award...
"This award will be given to those that are just nice people , good blog friends and those that inspire good feelings and inspiration! Those that care about others that are there to lend support or those that are just a positive influence in our blogging world!"
Thank you Mrs. B!!!
Now... for my winners of "Nice Matters Award"...
-Melissa at Desiring to be a Godly Woman. She's nice in the blog world, yes, but I happen to be blessed to know her in real life!! She's even MORE nice in person!! My dear sister-in-Christ!!!
-Mrs. Pear!! She's a super sweet lady! She is so kind in her emails and in her blog posts. I appreciate all that she shares and she always shares it so graciously.
-Mrs. C at Riverbend Ramblings. Always upbeat and cheerful, Mrs. C DEFINITELY deserves this award!! I always know that I will have a smile on my face and encouragement in the Lord in my heart when I visit her blog.
-Wendi at My Heart is Always Home. Goodness, I feel like Wendi and I are practically twins!!! We both love homemaking and both have recently added a Chinese daughter to our families. What a blessing!! I can see her smiling when I read her posts- now THAT'S not something I run across every day in blogland!!
Please go visit these VERY "nice" ladies blogs!! You will be blessed, too!
I know there are several of y'all that have Etsy shops. Do you like using Etsy? What are the good/bad points about it? Have you actually sold anything?
I'm kust asking for future reference. I don't have anything to sell, yet, but I have a few ideas rolling around in my head. :)
Mr. U and I LOVE to watch The Andy Griffith Show. We have watched reruns after reruns after reruns and we've never tired of it yet.
We just finished an episode and I noticed a few things about his Aunt Bee. She and her friend, Clara Edwards, were at the market purchasing some meat. Clara shared with Aunt Bee about a huge sale on beef, but in order to save, you had to buy the entire side of beef. Aunt Bee bought the side of beef, you know, "to save money", and put it in her deep freezer. The freezer? Well, it was old and ended up being broken and she was left with a big freezer full of stinky beef.
What about THAT taught me a lesson? Well, it wasn't actually the story that I learned from, but when Aunt Bee and Clara were at the market, they both had on lovely dresses, pearls, both had a dainty purse hanging on their arm, their hair in a beautiful updo, and gloves on their hands- at the grocery story!!! They left their homes looking lovely, looking feminine. If Aunt Bee went to that much trouble to look lady-like, I would think I could spend a few minutes tidying myself up to go to the grocery store, too.
Is it necessary that I wear pearls and heels or even gloves? Oh no, not unless I truly want to dress that way. But I think making sure my clothes are clean and pressed is a good place to start. How about my hair? Is it brushed nicely? Is my face clean? Do I need to apply a bit of makeup? What do I smell like? Have I brushed my teeth today? These are just a few things that I could do to make myself more feminine, more lovely. It truly does shock me that there are some ladies who do not even do the most basic of cleaning when leaving their home!!!
What do you wear when you go the grocery store or just running errands? Do you show up in baggy shorts? Or at you dressed up with pearls and gloves? Or are you somewhere in between?
Thank you, Aunt Bee, for setting a lovely example for me of loveliness!!
Friday, August 10, 2007
Have any of y'all ever listened to Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss? Elizabeth and I listen to her almost every day for our "teaching time". I am blessed to be able to hear Miss DeMoss share about the Lord.
On her website, she has lots of wonderful downloads you can print out for free. Things like "30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge", "The Style Quiz", "How to Endure Suffering", and "Evidences of Pride" and many, MANY more!!! All there for you to download and read!!
Nancy Leigh DeMoss has helped me grow in my relationship in the Lord. I appreciate her insight and her always pointing me to the Word of God.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Oh y'all!! I am SOOO excited!! I'm a little late in noticing, but Mrs. Pear is writing a book!!! How exciting!! And guess what?? She needs YOUR help!! So please head on over to her site and help her out with her research for her book.
And guess what else?? She's having a giveaway!! For everyone that helps her, they'll be entered into a drawing for some wonderful prizes. So... don't just sit there, head on over to Mrs. Pear's place!!!
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Oh boy!! This is a HIT with me!! Yummy blueberries in a delicous cake with just a hint of lemon in the glaze!!! YUMMMM!!!!
I'm not sure where I found this recipe, but I've made it several times and I always love it!!
Blueberry Yogurt Cake
2 1/2 cups blueberries
1 T plus 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 t baking powder
3/4 t salt
1 stick butter (at room temperature)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 t vanilla
4 large egg whites
6 ounces plain lowfat yogurt
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 T lemon juice
1 T water
In one bowl, toss berries with 1 T of flour.
In second bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt.
In third bowl, beat softened butter until smooth. Beat in sugar and vanilla until creamy. Add egg whites and beat until smooth. Beat in flour alternating with yogurt. Gently fold in berries. Pour into greased bundt pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 50 minutes. Be sure and test "doneness" of cake by inserting a toothpick into the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is ready!! Let cake stand 10 minutes before turning out.
Once cake is completely cool, stir together ingredients for glaze. Add water as needed for glaze to be drizzling consistency.
Monday, August 06, 2007
Dear Mrs. U,
I enjoyed today's blog posting on creating a "SenseSational" home. Would you ever consider creating a blog entry on the single woman and her home? Some encouragement as to why she should bother doing ANYTHING to/or in her home? What you (and your readers) wish you had done or known before marriage and family, etc. etc. etc. It's so easy to see the point in creating a beautiful, restful "sanctuary" for a husband and children, but when it's just you..........why bother? It's easy to think your time would be best used elsewhere. I bet you could offer ALOT of encouragement, tips, and advice to many women.
anonymous - HA!
Just so that y'all know, I know who this "anonymous" person is...
Please allow me to introduce my sister, Miss F.,pictured here with Elizabeth. (I was going to share more lovely pictures of her, but I'm pretty sure she would kill me! LOL!!).
Okay, ladies, so what advice can you offer to her as well as to all single ladies? It's easy to see why single ladies with children should care for their home because they want to teach their children. But what about single ladies, living on their own with no children? Why should they even bother to "make their house a home"?
To be honest with you, I have never even thought of this before. That's why I'm coming to all of y'all. Please be sure and share ideas to encourage Miss F. in her homekeeping endeavors.
Oh, and by the way, if any of y'all know a SUPER GODLY single man, let me know!! Mr. U and I will be more than happy to check him out before allowing him to speak with Miss F!!! (Oooh... my blogging days are over... she's going to kill me for sure now!!!!)
I sure do love my sister.:)
Friday, August 03, 2007
So, what's a girl to do? The good ol' broom was NO HELP at all!! It seemed to just scatter the dirt rather than helping direct it into a pile to be disposed of!!! No fun!!!
After much looking around, I discovered this...
It's called the Vileda (or O-Cedar) Hardwood Pro™ Microfiber Dust Mop and it's wonderful!! Here's the details from their website:
-Ideal for hardwood floors and other flooring surfaces
-Soft microfiber attracts and holds dust, dirt, and hair
-Rotating head and adjustable handle for hard to reach areas
-Machine washable mop head
It's the BEST!! It cuts my sweeping time in half, too! Can't beat that! And I just throw in the mop head in the wash each week but I do NOT use fabric softener otherwise it will repel the dirt instead of attracting it. Can you believe that I actually LIKE sweeping now? WOW!!
Oh and I'm not the only one around here that likes to use this thing... :)
The handle on this is adjustable, so I can use it at the regular length or I can shorten it for little Miss Elizabeth to use. She LOVES it!!!!
Thursday, August 02, 2007
We actually weren't on "vacation". We were at a week long conference that we go to every summer in Birmingham, AL. It's on the campus of Samford University and it's hosted by Beeson Divinity School. It's called Pastor's School and they have classes and wonderful speakers for the whole family. We look forward to going each year and seeing the same sweet friends over and over. It's a blessing for sure!! And this year we got to introduce everyone to Elizabeth. They were so happy to finally meet her- they had prayed for her for two years!! :)
While we are there, we stay in the dorms on campus. It's a lot of fun and reminds me of my days in college. Oh, and we get to eat in the campus dining hall and BOY DO THEY HAVE SOME AWESOME FOOD!!!! When I was in college, everyone avoided the dining hall because it was pretty much tasteless- but not at Samford!!!! They have incredible food and I REALLY over ate all week long! And the desserts!!! Oh dear, don't get me started!!! I gained 5 pounds just last week!!!!
And before I forget, if anyone reading this lives in Birmingham, do you KNOW how blessed you are to be near O'Henry's Coffee??? I fell in LOVE with this place!!!