Ladies Tea Time

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There aren’t too many activities more wonderful than a special tea time with a good friend! This image is such a sweet representation of those lovely moments I’ve shared with dear friends, whether over a cup of tea, a simple meal or simply a good chat. Looking at this brings me instantly back to those moments and a smile to my face!

Haven’t we all had those special times with our friends? :)

Image: Facebook/Wonderful Pictures

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Modest Monday: Pink Roses Dress

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Finally, a sort of Modest Monday Post! It’s always tricky getting time for photos as my Sweetie is only available during daylight hours on the weekends. Then we might be too busy or I might not feel well enough, so I’m happy to get a couple of okay photos this week. We traveled to a Valentine’s day wedding over the weekend and barely arrived at our room in time to change and race to the wedding, so no daylight photos. But I decided to go ahead and have my Sweetie take some indoor photos anyway of this gorgeous dress. :)

It was HOT and it turned out that my fringe needed a bit of a trim, so it isn’t laying right. Ah well. C’est la vie.

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We celebrated marriage, did some swing dancing and had a refreshing time away. It’s fun witnessing people getting married as a way to celebrate the day for LOVE!! :)

I Love the femininity of this dress, the colors and the flowy-ness. So pretty! I actually bought it on clearance a couple of years ago for $8, but had never shortened the waist to work for me. I’m so glad it finally ready to wear, because I love it! The wedding attire was split, with half wearing their colors of blue and purple, and half wearing pink or red. It was fun and festive! :)

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Love Day

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This time of year we are all focused on LOVE. And tomorrow we’re celebrating the love between two friends as they pledged their lives to each other. Such a fun way to celebrate LOVE and marriage! We’ll be remembering our own wedding, others we love…and the most important love…our Lord’s love for us. Unconditional, all consuming, gracious and forgiving. There’s so much more even to His GREAT LOVE for us! What a blessing!

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So, as I celebrate the beginning of our friends’ brand new marriage, my own 16 year marriage to my Sweetie, most of all I’ll celebrate the love of my God and Saviour, without whose love I would be lost and alone, but instead am cherished and cared for. I’m so thankful there is LOVE!! :)

Brownie Shortcake

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Last weekend I made an early Valentine celebration dessert since we’ll be at a wedding on Valentine’s Day. Let me say, a wedding is going to be a fun way to celebrate!! :)

I didn’t make anything heart shaped or dyed red or pink. I just made some brownies, topped them with sliced strawberries and finished it all off with whipped cream. This is now a new favorite dessert!! There’s something so refreshing about this lighter dessert. The yummy chocolaty-ness paired with the fresh strawberries and sweet whipped cream.  It’s the perfect combination! I was dreaming of another bite! :)

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Brownie Shortcake

Ingredients:

*Brownies baked to your liking

*Strawberries, sliced and mixed with a bit of sugar to create a syrup (you could skip this step if your berries are super ripe)

Whipping cream, whipped with a bit of sugar (or not). I like to over whip my cream a bit as it holds up better and is more luxurious).

*Layer and enjoy! My Sweetie LOVED it!!

Always perfect with a cup of tea!

Happy Valentine’s Day! Spend some time with your Sweetie, and your little sweeties too! :)

Lord’s Day Scriptures: God Supplies Our Needs

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Our God supplies our needs. He does. It may not always feel like it, especially when we mix or confuse wants with true needs, but He ALWAYS provides the things we really need. And what do we need most of all? To choose to follow Him. To choose to follow Christ. Our one, biggest, most important need is to follow Christ, to repent of our sins and obey and serve our Lord. That’s it. I may think I need this or that even just the basic needs, I may think I can’t endure anymore suffering, but the truth is that all I need is HIM!! I’m going to try to remember that this week!

There are riches and glory in Christ Jesus that we can’t conceive of. He’s the BEST, and the best for me…and for you!

Happy Lord’s Day!

Dreaming Of Winter

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A couple of weeks ago, during our millionth heat wave since moving here ten years ago, I came across my photos from my Oregon trip last February…and I was dreaming of winter. We don’t have winter here, only spring or summer weather, and I really miss seasons. I like variety! I always looked forward to each new season for the change and/or relief it brought. Also it’s beauty. My friends here think I hate the sun and that rain is my favorite, but that isn’t true. I used to appreciate the sun when it came out after the long rainy months. And my favorite type of day was always a cool, crisp, sunny autumn day with pretty, crunchy leaves underfoot. It’s just that the only change in weather we have is rain. And I LOVE GREEN more than brown when it comes to vegetation, and rain makes things green!.

So, while others have been trying to force winter out since the very first day December 21st, even those near us who have either spring or summer EVERY day, I’ve been longing for those days when we would pray that it would snow…and sometimes we woke up to find it had! :)

Last February, while I was visiting family and friends in Oregon, we had a blizzard that snowed some of us in and kept us from seeing each other. That was the sad part, especially since that was the whole point of my trip. :( But it WAS tons of fun having snow and winter again!!

The day started with brunch with friends…and snow beginning to fall:

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I didn’t wear appropriate clothes and shoes for snow that day:

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We were snowed in at one of my favorite places in the world, and almost stayed the night until my cousin-in-law’s husband came and rescued us.

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Snowy beaches are always fun!

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Snowy Whale Park

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Becoming more blizzardly:

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Everyone’s favorite spot becomes even more magical at night and snowy.

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At least we’re supposed to get a decent amount of rain this weekend. :)

DIY Bootbox Dollhouse

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We don’t do much shopping on Black Friday anymore, as the deals aren’t as great and too many stores have tried to take over family time on Thanksgiving, just as they’ve done on Sundays. But there are a few things I shop for on that day, and after a few years of searching, I FINALLY found a new pair of boots to replace my worn out old ones I’d had for longer than I should have. I knew I needed new ones, but it was hard to find what I wanted, and in my size. So many brands of shoes do NOT make my size…ugh! Any way, I finally found a pair and I love them!

Here’s comes the real reason for this post though. You don’t want a big, long post about my boots, right?! :)

Before I throw out things like shoe boxes, I try to decide if there is any reason to keep them, like for storage maybe. So I let it sit as I pondered. (I love words like ponder)! A couple of weeks later I had the idea of making a dollhouse with it for a special 7 year old in my life for Christmas. It sounded like so much fun I couldn’t wait to start brainstorming and collecting items I could turn into furniture and such!! I won’t tell you how many nights I was up too late because I just couldn’t stop working yet. I was having too much fun! :)

So I’ll try to share with you all of the details of how I made everything and created this adorable Bootbox Dollhouse that was a hit!

Here are the basics. Because it was a nice large box, I was able to create four rooms and a pretty front yard with the attached lid.

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The front of the house with a front door:

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And a bonus dollie for her:

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She likes toadstools just like me, so I covered her house with this scrapbook paper.

The back of the house:

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The side:

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And I made a clasp with these pretty flowered thumbtacks I found at a Japanese store in LA and a hair band so she can close up the house:

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The yard:

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With flower gardens, grass and a path…

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A shady umbrella, a pool and a kitty cat..

I made the pool from an idea I found online out of four plastic bracelets with some cardboard and paper glued to the bottom.

And a baby carriage from the Dollar Tree. I also cut the “stem” off of a cupcake pick or something from there to use as a toy teddy bear and threw in a horse.

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The kid’s room…

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Plastic bottle lid (I saved a lot of these) as a toy holder with baby bottles, a butterfly and a rocking horse. All party favors from Dollar Tree.

A matchbook dresser covered with washi tape and those same tacks as drawer pulls. I glued beads to the other ends to cover the sharp points.

I didn’t take a photo of it, but I made a mattress out of a foam piece mailed with something, and covered it with a piece of stretchy fabric.

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Furniture from DT and embellished with washi tape. I crocheted a little blanket for the bed and decorated the wall with some clearance flowers from Michael’s I had. Then I threaded a string through two pom poms, made a tiny loop and hung them with a cut off sewing pin.

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I used a little crocheted throw rug and hung two hats that like to fall down, on more flowered tacks I poked through four tiny squares of cardboard and super glued to the wall. The girl’s hat is from clearance cupcakes I bought just for the hats! The boy’s were found by my Sweetie somewhere.

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The hat hooks. And I call this little bear a balloon!

The bathroom:

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I adore the floor in this room! I glued an aloe vera lid to a white lid to create the toilet, a pizza box spacer with a lid glued to the top for a sink (need to add the faucet I noticed after I gave it to her), a frame sticker for a mirror, another Chinese umbrella for a decoration and a raised yogurt lid glued to a cupcake paper for a bathtub.

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I poked a flowered tack through the center of a miniature cupcake liner, attached a string and used my same trick to glue it to the ceiling.

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The living room:

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A cute washi tape bunting adorns this room. :)

Another matchbook dresser, a chair made from a jewelry box, a twig heart from my stash and a frame sticker with Elsa added. (Anna’s my favorite, but Elsa’s my buddy’s).

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The lamp was both challenging and fun. It’s probably my favorite of everything I made!

A flowered tack through another mini cupcake liner, poked into the end of a q-tip, with the other end poked into the rubber base and a cardboard square base is glued on so it stands.

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The chair is a nut cup glued to lid that is decorated with more washi tape. Washi tape is your friend! :)

I created shelves out a of one half of a jewelry box and a couple of cardboard pieces. And my husband brought home two mini frames free from a garage sale. One of these, plus another picture from a Frozen tag became a TV. I wasn’t planning on including a TV, but when I saw the frame, it was too perfect!

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The Kitchen:

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More Dollar Tree furniture decorated with washi tape and a paper doily tablecloth. A brrom in the corner from an old dollhouse stash I found recently. Another sink. A fridge made from jewelry boxes and cardboard, with food stickers glued inside and a stove made from a box covered in paper, with  sticky velcro circles as the burners. Another internet idea. ( I discovered some ideas when I was nearly finished implementing my own ideas). :)

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I made a cake by gluing two different sized lids together, then gluing some mini pom poms on top. And fused the apron fabric to another piece of fabric so it wouldn’t fray, then cut it out and hung it.

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I had SO much FUN working on this and figuring things out! SO FUN!!

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Now my 8 year old buddy wants one, so I’m on a search for another bootbox…and the wheels are turning…

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Dollhouse Preview

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Okay, it seems like it’s taking me nearly as long to edit the photos as it did to make this sweet dollhouse for my little 7 year old buddy for Christmas. Not really, but longer than expected, so here’s a bit of a preview for you!  I’ll try to get them finished, posted and all of the little details for you real soon. :)

This was one of the most fun projects I’ve ever made!

Recipe Exchange: Tea Cup “Cookies”

Truly Skrumptious:

Need a fun activity idea to do with kids? Here’s a fun one I wrote nearly two years ago!

Originally posted on Truly Skrumptious:

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It started with a picture on Facebook, and the opportunity to make and serve them! I have a family in my life that loves miniature tea parties. It started when they were all much, much younger, and I helped the mom with childcare regularly while she homeschooled the oldest kids. Our tea parties began as a girl event, but as the boys saw the tiny candies we were eating, they joined in on the fun, one by one.

This is the original photo, using products from Austraila. If only I had those marshmallows, which are also sold in Ireland, or were when I lived there 18 years ago.

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The Pioneer Woman shared a story a couple of weeks ago about her boys shunning scones as girly food, until she disguised them as “Sugar Biscuits” and it completely reminded me of the oldest boy from this family. The tea…

View original 241 more words

Healthier Chocolate Chip Nut Butter Cookies

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We’re trying to be healthier this year. Eating more fresh, organic and from scratch meals. Although I’ve always cooked most of our meals at home, I have taken shortcuts, so we’re working on making the time again for life without the shortcuts. It’s been hard, but definitely worth it. Actually we’ve been working on this for awhile, because it’s a process, or a journey, not a destination. Finally having that concept take hold in my brain is making a huge difference. I don’t give up if I slip up, I just keep persevering. The modern idea of a diet is NOT what we’re striving for, but healthier habits and realistic, every day living. So I was THRILLED to FINALLY find a healthier cookie recipe for splurges that aren’t exactly splurges!

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It’s protein packed, which means I can only eat two at a time maximum, and has no refined white sugar and no flour. And it’s still skrumptious! If you knew how many I’ve tried, you’d understand my joy!! Yummy!

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So here’s the recipe:

Healthier Chocolate Chip Nut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup nut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate Chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  3. Using a large spoon to drop batter onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet (making sure you leave plenty of room in between each).
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes

I added about 1/4 cup flour because I was worried the batter was too wet, but next time I won’t. And I’ll under cook them a bit, because I like cookies that way.

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We bought these lovely mugs in Ireland about 14 years ago, and we still love them!

But they were so great I almost cried, since I’ve searched for sooo long! Not as sweet as you might be used to, but I think it’s easy enough to get used to, especially if you’re being more careful already anyway. Our bodies do adjust. I’m very happy with them and don’t need to continue my search. :>

I’ve also committed to being in God’s word everyday, even if it’s only 5 or 10 minutes. That’s the real key to getting healthy…and everything else of course!

How do you build healthy habits?

**HERE’S where I found the recipe.**

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