31 Days of Heart and Home: Recipe Exchange Tomato and Hamburger Casserole

It’s Tuesday and you know what that means…Recipe Exchange with Little House on the Prairie Living! This is a great go-to meal, using items you have on hand. It is especially good with green veggies like broccoli, peas and Brussels sprouts, and I love it when I have olives to throw in! It’s basically meat, pasta and veggies, easily adaptable to different tastes and available ingredients. My favorite pasta for this is the rainbow twirls/corkscrews kind, the sauce loves to stick to it! You’ll see photos from 2 different days and versions here.

Here’s what I’ve done:

1/2 lb. hamburger (the photo shows a Ziploc of local Harris Ranch meat I split into sections and froze)

2 cups uncooked macaroni pasta (this will change, depending on the type of pasta)


3 cups corkscrew pasta

2 cups broccoli and carrot mix


1/2 of a 12 oz. bag of peas

1/4 cup black olives

1 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
1 tsp. spaghetti seasoning

1 tsp. parsley

**Cook pasta to al dente. Steam veggies, unless you are using peas. Brown hamburger and drain off fat. Add tomato sauce, spaghetti seasoning, veggies, olives and parsley to meat. Stir together on low heat and toss in pasta. Serves 4-5.

This is the type of meal I love to make because it’s fast, uses the staples in your pantry and has leftovers for our lunches the next day!

And if I make too much pasta and veggies, I can just toss in some bacon and olive oil, season and enjoy!

Post image for Old Fashioned Recipe Exchange 10/16

Growing Home

Homemade Projects ~ Add Yours! {10-16}

What’s for dinner at your house?

31 Days of Heart and Home: Modest Mondays

First of all today, when I committed to writing everyday for 31 days, I knew it would be hard, but I figured, “I’m just giving up 4 weekends, I can do this.” But I was reminded of the toll it takes on life after just the first weekend.  I had committed to NOT blogging on the weekends for a reason, it gets in the way of life! We all need a break, a rest, and time with family, and I really need to protect those weekends out of respect for my sweetie, and for myself. So, I am changing my part of the challenge to something that works for me. My own challenge hasn’t changed, and will be daily, but the writing has changed. So here’s the difference: I’ll still write 31 posts on the same topics, but I’ll skip weekends.

That brings us to today and Modest Mondays!I decided to dress for Autumn, not realizing another heat wave was here until I walked out the door!

I probably bought this top at Mervyn’s, my favorite store for clothing…oh how I miss it.

This beautiful necklace is an old style from our very own local Lisa Leonard Designs and the earrings came from Kohl’s.  And the shrug is a find from Fashion Max.

I always call this my Thanksgiving top because of the great Autumn colors in it!

Today’s scripture for me is:Psalm 71:1 “In You, O LORD, I put my trust; Let me never be put to shame.”

Because of circumstances in my childhood, I’ve always had a hard time trusting, and let’s be honest, no matter what your circumstances, people let us down. So I can always use a reminder and encouragement that I need to trust God. It’s something I have to work at daily. And part of trusting God is believing that He tells the truth, so I also need to continually work on trusting that His words are true. It’s hard to do that at times when things happen that are difficult to get through. It’s hard to trust that He still loves us and wants the best for us, but it’s also easier to get through those time knowing that He is there for us and does want the best for us. So it’s something I’m always working on.

Another good reminder is this: Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

Even every new project requires some trust, that the idea you’ve dreamed up will really work and turn out the way you planned it. But without trying you may miss out on something great. And it’s a great way to practice trusting, which makes it easier to trust next time!

Source: etsy.com via Tiffanie on Pinterest

31 Days of Heart and Home: Girl’s Night Out


After a long break of not getting together, I’m excited for a Girl’s Night Out tonight with friends! A friend and I decided to put together a group of ladies who might be interested in building deeper relationships with us and on the same Friday every month. We haven’t met for about 5 months because of busyness on that week. And let’s face it, summer is always sketchy because of vacations and such. So…we’re launching it again tonight and it will be a great time, I’m sure! It’s always fun for us ladies to have time with other ladies, visiting and laughing! :>

Aren’t these pictures great?!!

What are you doing this weekend?

Perhaps tea with a friend?


Or writing a note to someone to let her know you’re thinking about her?




31 Days of Heart and Home: Healing and a Peek at a Project

I was so excited to wake up this morning to rain!! It’s doesn’t rain much here in California, in fact we don’t get  much more than everyday sunshine here. So this Oregon girl is very excited when we have a rainy day, or half day, like today, but much better than the 15 minutes of yesterday. Typically, history shows that if you have a “harsh” summer, very hot and dry, you get a “harsh” winter. That usually means early, and lots of, snow, which began in September for some states. For us that means more rain and maybe cooler? I can’t wait!! If I can’t have snow and colored leaves, I’ll take rain!

Wondering what I’m working on for the shop right now? I’m very excited about this darling-ness!! I love it when the perfect product practically falls into my lap!!

So much fun!

I love today’s scripture! There are 2 actually:

Jeremiah 17:14 “Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; Save me, and I shall be saved, For You are my praise.”

Luke 5:31-32 “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.
I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.’”

It ‘s such a joy to know God was ready to heal my soul when I repented and turned toward Him for forgiveness of my sins, He heals my emotions and hurt and has the power to heal my body. Most of all, it’s a blessing to know that one day, I will live in His presence and all will be healed for eternity!! I will never be sorry that I have made the choice to follow Christ, no matter what I think it may have cost me. He is worth it!!









What have you been doing this week? What kind of weather are you having in your neck of the woods?

31 days of Heart and Home: Fondue, Creativity and Focus

Living in a small town means you have less access to some things…like pretzels with cheese sauce. So I’ve been on a hunt for a recipe to make my own. Along the way, I’ve seen so many different cheese sauces for different things. I love the one they serve at a local restaurant as a dip for chicken strips, and I would live a non-spicy version for chips. It’s hard to escape spicy when you live in California…ugh! My body hates it even more now that I’m older! So I finally found this one that may serve all of my needs. Supposedly you add more milk depending on the consistency you want, so we’ll see, but it really did seem like I may have found my recipe!!

This first time around, I allowed it be a bit thicker and served it as a fondue. I wasn’t even looking for a fondue recipe. I already have a great one. But, guess what? This one doesn’t use alcohol…bonus! And I am not a sweet and savory person, but I loved the grapes and cheese together!! Tomorrow I’ll try thinning out some of the leftovers and see what happens. :>

I found the original recipe for Nacho Cheese Sauce on Pinterest and here’s the site: Kitchen Simplicity. I adapted it to be non-spicy. Go to her blog for spicy ideas!

Cheese Sauce (Fondue, Pretzel, Chips)

  • 8 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk, divided
  • pinch salt

Before putting pan on heat, toss together cheese and cornstarch, in a medium-sized saucepan, until evenly coated. Stir in 1 cup evaporated milk and salt. Melt, stirring often, over medium-low heat until thickened, smooth and bubbly. Stir in additional evaporated milk, if needed, until desired consistency is reached. You can adjust the thickness according to your needs. Thicker for dipping and thinner for drizzling. Easy!

I’ll mix it up next time and use half colby/jack and half cheddar for a smoother consistency. And freshly grated is better than the bagged I used. But I was perfectly happy with the version I made tonight!

Being creative in the kitchen and with my wardrobe, and making time for God, both give me the focus and creativity I need to craft things for my shop.  Quieting my busy thoughts, so I’m able to tackle each task. But I’ve also decided I don’t need to be as busy as I thought I wanted to be originally. I like a steady pace much better than the frantic one that comes at times. And as I’ve taken pressure off of myself, creating has become more fun again! I’m enjoying this time of taking stock and figuring out what I want from my daily schedule and shop at this point.

31 Days of Heart and Home: Natural Deodorant and Seeking God

For a few years now, I’ve been looking for a deodorant that actually works, and doesn’t leave some weird smell, like Tom’s.  I even made my own, but it ended up being too much like Tom’s. Yuck!

But then…wouldn’t you know it? My sweetie sees that GNC has some deals going and decides to order some things. He just happened to buy this deodorant made from salt. I’m not even sure why. But I do know that we finally have a non-antiperspirant that works!!!!!!!! I love the simplicity of this product…salt and aloe!!! And it works better than an antiperspirant! Success!

I’ve also started using diluted vinegar as my shower spray to prevent mildew. So much better than inhaling the chemicals. Just make a half and half mix in a spray bottle and spray away! I sometimes soak lemon or lime in it for 2 weeks for a nicer smell, but it honestly doesn’t bother me anymore after a few years of using it for various things. :>

And today’s verse is:

Acts 17:27 “God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find him, though He is not far from each one of us.”

One of my goals during these 31 days is to seek God, so this is a great verse for me in the first days! It’s also a good reminder that those who don’t yet know Him are seeking Him also, and for me to be in prayer for them. And if I am seeking Him, I can be a better picture of Him for them. That is, after all, what my name means: “Appearance of God.” It can be overwhelming, but also a good challenge, to be an example of who He is!

What is God saying to you today?

Homemade Projects ~ Add Yours! {10-9}

31 days of House and Home: Modest Monday

Okay, I’ve decided I’ll go ahead and incorporate Modest Mondays with the Modest Mom into the 31 Day Challenge. So here’s today’s post. One of the items I bought during our free time on the Women’s Retreat was a lovely linen tiered skirt on clearance for $1!! Yay! So I wore it to church yesterday.

I paired it with a yellow top I found at a thrift store several years ago and my go-to black cardigan, also from a thrift store. The necklace came from a local store and has interchangeable pendants, so you just swap out the pendant depending on the color/style for each outfit. And the flower in my hair was a gift from my mother in law.

And my brand new Sanitas, even though their the same style as my old ones that became worn out.

What are  you wearing?

The scripture for me today is 1 John 4:4 ” The man who says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

It can be so easy to say we know God and follow Him, but turn around and disobey His commandments because we want to do “fun” things like everyone else, or we don’t want to look to different from others. But the Christian life isn’t a popularity contest or a place to do anything we want. So many people are telling us that we only have one life, that we should do whatever makes us happy, that we’re in charge of our own “destinies.” No wonder we’re as confused as the rest of the world! If we’re listening to the ideas the world is spouting at us, and if we’re not spending time seeking God in His word, it can be hard to remember what He has commanded us to do, or easy to ignore what He is saying to us. All we may hear, is the loud “voice” telling us to grab whatever we want, be happy and ignore God. I know that some think God is only interested in rules, but He is more interested in our hearts than anything! He knows that joy is more important than happiness, and that there is an amazing life waiting for believers to live with God forever! So I’m choosing true freedom and a life of serving the One who loves me more than any other could! So the question is: Do I want to be a liar, in front of God and the world? Because every day is a struggle obey God instead of just doing my own selfish thing. I’m so thankful that God is gracious with me in this, because it really is an everyday struggle to choose to obey, even though I am deeply loved by the One I struggle to obey.

What is God telling you today?


31 Days of Heart and Home: Beauty for Ashes

This weekend I attended our church’s Women’s Retreat, and it was great! It was hard to have it fall on the first weekend of the 31 Days project though.  I just need to show myself grace though, as I AM implementing the Home and Heart commitments, even if I did miss a day in my blogging! Much, much time in God’s word this weekend with a Beth Moore study, and sweet fellowship with the women.  And we’re getting our new-to-us entertainment center set up! Yay! I have been wanting something better than our 3 different units for sooooo long! So, since we are de-cluttering and organizing, I took a peek on Craigslist, and found a $45 unit! We had the chore of unloading the others and unhooking everything and now we are beginning to reap the benefits as we put things away and set everything up. It looks so much better! It feels like we’re making some progress, and I know that will help motivate us to keep going. :>

Finished photos coming soon…

Beth Moore brought up one of my life verses this weekend, along some of the circumstances that have made it one of my life verses. Absolutely nothing in my life has come easily and I’ve gone through much suffering at different times. Without God, I never would have made it out of my teen years. But along the way, God has given me this verse, and hope.

Isaiah 61:3 “To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”

What a blessing to have that promise from God!

Here’s a fun anecdote from our free-time shopping yesterday. I was paying for my purchases, and the girl asked if I wanted to buy a bag, (we have a new law where they don’t provide plastic bags anymore). I said no. She asked if I just wanted to put them back in my cart then…big pause. I told her that, no, I’ll use my bag that she’s holding in her hand. She laughed and told me she thought it was a blouse!! :> That’s why I posted a photo of my pretty bag from Bath and Body Works!

And it folds up into a little pouch!








Do have a funny misunderstanding story like that?

31 days of Heart and Home

It can be very rewarding to de-clutter. Taking down old cards from their displaying spot over the fireplace draws attention back to this lovely old framed postcard I bought at a craft faire  I worked last year! i absolutely LOVE this postcard!!! And my 2 NEW cards match so well!I love it when I’m able to bring the loveliness back to a room. And a job like this, that only takes a few minutes to perform, but has such a nice reward, should not be left for so long! :>


All of this work we’re doing will decrease our stress levels, helps us enjoy life more and enable me to be more productive in my handmade business. These are the benefits I’m most excited about!


A bigger change to our house began when our OLD, but loved davenport gave up on us a few months ago. We spent some time figuring out what we wanted and what we were willing to pay for it. Then…we stumbled upon a rummage sale with a davenport in a color we liked, a price we liked and in great condition. We are the second owners of this little gem we paid $25 for…no typo there, only $25…SOLD!Did I mention it also came with FREE DELIVERY?? Yep, it did! Yay!
So say hello to our new davenport:

I tend to have a temper, so God’s words are perfect for me yet again today!

Proverbs 14:29 “He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, But he who is impulsive exalts folly.”


Proverbs 16:32 “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”

I’m constantly working on this issue, so it never hurts to hear these words!

What are you tackling today?

Cycle in Style

So a few weeks ago, someone from England ordered several of my Miniature Bicycle Vases. After he ordered, he told me that they’re for an event he’s hosting. He gave me the website for their business and the event, and it sounds like such a fun idea, so I thought I’d share it with everyone. They even have a bicycle that makes smoothies!

It doesn’t take long!
Underseat steer recumbent

The name of the event is Cycle in Style:

“As part of the Chatsworth Road Festival we are organising a ‘Cycle in Style’ ride. Based on the world movement of ‘Cycle Chic’. Come and join us for a relaxed ride.”

He said he’d share photos of the event after it’s over, so I’ll share those later. I think the first arrivals receive the vases with a flower inside, so they can Cycle in Style!

Wouldn’t it be fun to participate in this fun bike ride?! Pop on over to my shop to see all of the vases I have left!

Truly Skrumptious on Etsy!