Recipe Exchange: A Lovely Cup of Tea


Today I’m doing something different for the Recipe Exchange with Little House on the Prairie Living. I’m going to share how to make a pot of tea. I’ve been asked this question so many times after I’ve served friends some yummy tea.

I was NOT a tea lover until I moved to Ireland. The people are so very hospitable, that when you say no to tea, a meal, they serve it to you anyway. It’s such a part of their Irish charm. So…eventually…I grew to tolerate and then enjoy tea. And now I love tea so much that I call myself a tea snob. Of course it’s also because I drink only BLACK TEA, made the IRISH way, even though I live in the STATES.  Many Americans don’t love black tea, and many ties it is because of the way it is made…dipped and squeezed…which leaves for a bitter cup of tea. Or they use Lipton, which is basically colored water.


Isn’t our china beautiful? :>

So if you want to enjoy a lovely cup of black tea, first start with a teapot. You can make it in a mug or cup using the SAME method, but somehow I believe it always tastes better if you make it the traditional way, in a teapot. And it really is true that the process and patience of making proper tea, is part of the point…to take a break, take a moment to ponder and step back from whatever is pressing around you. I LOVE this treasured moment it takes to prepare my comforting liquid.

So, first of all, if you want a really good cup of tea, use Bewley’s or Barry’s. But they aren’t so easy to find here. We recently found Barry’s at Cost Plus World Market. Many stores have British PG tips. You could buy the Irish Breakfast at Trader Joe’s or British Tetley at Ralph’s, but they are weaker than the real imported Irish teas.


So fill your teapot with HOT tap water and put the lid on it. Heat your filtered water, just to a boil in a teakettle. Pour the water out of the teapot and put in your tea bags or *loose tea leaves. Many people use one tea bag for the pot and one for each person, but I typically use 1 or 2 for the whole pot, depending how large it is. Pour the boiled water directly over the teabags, cover and let steep for 5 minutes. (If you over boil the water, you will have issues with the oxygen of the water, and it’s important to warm your pot first as both of these steps affect the flavor of your tea). After the 5 minutes, remove the tea bags or leaves, but do NOT squeeze. Serve with milk and/or sugar. I put my milk in after I pour the tea, the Irish way, and no sugar. The British like to put their milk in first and maybe add lemon. I do not like lemon in my tea!


And enjoy your yummy cup of tea!


*For loose tea, use the same measurement idea, but by teaspoons, not bags. And use a good strainer that allows the leaves to breath and expand, not squish them. More tips here. If you prefer no leaves in your tea, you’ll need a strainer with smaller holes, otherwise, pick one you like.


You can serve your tea the Irish way with soda or brown bread with jam or cheese, a pastry, tea biscuits (cookies), or anything you like. I’ve had my tea with just about anything you can think of!

I’m also an American from the Northwest, so I  also LOVE OREGON CHAI! It’s the one time I like my tea sweetened….mmmmm. So yummy!

I’d love to hear about your tea loves and routines. :>


And just a few more days of my JANUARY SALE left in my SHOP! So pop on over for the SALE! 15% off EVERYTHING with code:15OFFJAN


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Tip Junkie

Walking Redeemed

Feminine Adventures

Modest Mondays: Future Outfits


Another shlumpy week with no outfit photos to share, so I thought I would share a couple of “new to my wardrobe” items I’m excited about for Modest Monday with the Modest Mom. Later you’ll see them become a part of actual outfits!

I bought this BEAUTIFUL floral top at a little shop on the birthday trip to Solvang last month with my sweetie and mother-in-law. I just couldn’t look away from it’s loveliness, and decided it would be my “birthday trip special purchase” of the day! It was only $12.50 after all. It just screams my personality with it’s femininity, flowers, understated ruffles and fabric flower And it’s high enough that I don’t have to wear a modesty top with it…BONUS!

Oh, so lovely! Let’s look at it again…sigh.


I may pair it with this skirt from Old Navy…


But the waistband may be too bulky…we’ll see.

I bought this little pouch at a friend’s Thirty-One party and I’m thinking of adding a strap, so that it’s a bona fide purse. I did buy the coordinating wrist strap. Sadly this print is going bye bye…my favorite.


I bought this beautiful lace top at Kohl’s with their last $10 off $10 or more. I just LOVE those coupons!!


I may pair it with this navy linen skirt I bought for $1 at WalMart…


What new items have you recently added to your wardrobe?


Walking RedeemedFeminine Adventures

Recipe Exchange: Hash Brown Patties


One day I was thinking about potato pancakes. Someone probably mentioned them, who knows. Anyway, they were on my mind for a couple of days, along with the memories of my childhood friend and her dad and his potato pancakes. The other thing is, I’m a HUGE breakfast girl!! I LOVE breakfast food! Especially crispy, yummy HASH BROWNS!!! Yum,Yum, Yum!!

So I started melting these 2 ideas together in my head…and dreams. Then one day, I just gave it a go. I began experimenting. And what I came up with is my new favorite breakfast food, HASH BROWN PATTIES.!! I don’t eat them very often, but they’re a great Saturday treat! I usually pair them with a couple of scrambled or boiled eggs.

I think you’ll enjoy these too, so I’m linking the recipe for them to the Old Fashioned Recipe Exchange with Little House on the prairie Living. They’re easy and yummy!


Hash Brown Patties

2 cups hash browns

1 egg (stick with one, too much egg will make it too runny on the griddle and too mushy, less crispy)

handful of shredded cheese

A dash of salt and pepper

bacon bits or pieces if you have them

1-2 pats of butter

**Mix everything together in a bowl. Melt half of the butter on a griddle or in a frying pan on medium-low heat. Place spoonfuls of hash brown mix on the griddle and form into 8 or 9 flat circles. If you don’t flatten them the potatoes inside may not fully cook, plus you’ll miss out on some of the crispy yumminess. And then…LEAVE THEM ALONE until they’re crispy on the first side, about 10 minutes. If you give them too much attention, they will not crisp up, and if you cook them too quickly, they will not be cooked all the way through. When the first side is the desired crispiness, add the rest of the butter to the uncooked sides and flip them over. And once again, LEAVE THEM ALONE! I can cook 8 of these on my large griddle, so they’re all ready at the same time. Yay!

The ingredients:


Everything mixed together.



Cooking the first side, see what happens when you have too much egg?



Happy eating everyone!

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Growing Home


Inspiration with LBD Project for Uganda


Source: LBD Project

It all started with browsing Pinterest. I kept seeing this girl with these outfits, pretty typical for Pinterest, right? But I never clicked on one or repinned any…then one day, I DID! I know that many people NEVER click all the way through to the original website that posted the photo, but I often do. Yes, I love this pink top, and this wasn’t even the original outfit that led me here. But what a surprise…and blessing to discover that this about SO MUCH more than fashion!

The LBD Project.

This sweet girl, Tatiana,  is doing something unique and valuable. Something Christ might even do. She’s wearing the same dress for 365 days. Why? For the people of Uganda. Many of them have only one set of clothing…just ONE. So she’s (sort of) pretending she’s in the same boat. Of course, she gets to spruce hers up with different accessories, but still, every day as she puts on the same dress again, she’s reminded of the people of Uganda. She prays for them, she’s saving money to send to them and encouraging us to do the same. And another girl began her own LBD journey through May.

So what is LBD? Little Black Dress, because her ONE dress is black.

One girl.

One dress.

One year.

I just love her sweet heart for the Lord and His will!

“The ‘giving’ love. The ‘it’s not about me’ sort of love. That’s the kind of love I want to show you, and the world, and these children.”

Source: LBD Project

You know what else? I saw that she was from Prinville, Oregon and thought that was interesting, since I’m from Oregon and know people from Prineville. I shared about her on Facebook, and it turns out she’s a friend of the Sweet Flower Girl from our wedding almost 14 years ago! She’s now about to turn 17!! It just keeps getting better!!

So visit her LBD Project blog and read about her journey. It’s just begun! And maybe you’d like to GIVE and help her reach or surpass her goals.

And I love that she posted this video on my birthday!

If this story doesn’t make you smile today, you have a heart of stone! I mean, I don’t see how anyone can read her blog without smiling! Happy Tuesday!  :>

Growing Home


Modest Mondays: Everyday Purple Dress


My sweetie and I have been sick, so no church and no outfit photos. :<  I also spent TONS of time working on a Grab Button for my blog and some other things. My brain is on overload!!

But rather than skip Modest Monday, I thought I would re-share an old post from when I blogged through iWeb. Don’t ask if you can read those old posts, because they are unavailable for now with Mobile Me disappearing and other issues. Blah! Anyway, I thought I’d share an outfit I wear a lot when it’s warm out, and the past few days have brought the return of our usual summer-like weather. I’m still praying for more cooler temps and rain before the heat kicks in for the loooong months ahead though. Of course, when I say that, everyone cringes and screams “NO!” But I would think we can all put up with 2 months of Autumn-like weather when we have sun the rest of the 10 months! :>

Anyway, here’s a dress I’ve been wearing a lot lately, and my original write-up about it.


“Once again I’m linking up with The Modest Mom for Modest Mondays. Today I’m sharing what I wore on Friday, because my Sunday outfit was a repeat outfit I’ve already shared.

I can’t remember where I bought this dress recently. I’m sure it’s from a discount store like Marshall’s/Ross or Target/Walmart. Actually I think I remember that I bought it at Walmart, even though I don’t shop there much anymore. I love that it at least has little sleeves, since sooo many dresses these days are sleeveless. I get tired of wearing cardigans or having to make my own sleeves. And cardigans just make me hotter in the land of heat. So this was a nice find. I wear a tank top or Cami Secret panel I’ve adapted to work better, with most of my dresses, since almost all of them are too low. I added this necklace with interchangeable pendants, and used the one with green and purple to match my purple dress. The shoes? Black Sanita Merrie, Mary Jane style clog.”




How do you practice modesty?


Recipe Exchange: Brownie Peppermint Pie

Photo: Oh So ShAbBy By Debbie Reynolds shares Brownie Peppermint Icecream Pie, So yummy! Ingredients 1 package fudge brownie mix (8-inch square pan size) 1/2 cup vanilla or white chips 1/2 cup 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate baking chips 1/3 cup caramel ice cream topping 1 pint peppermint ice cream, softened 1 cup heavy whipping cream 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract 1/4 cup crushed peppermint candies  Directions Prepare brownie batter according to package directions; stir in vanilla and bittersweet chips. Spread onto the bottom and up the sides of a greased 9-in. pie plate.  Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes. Gently press down center of crust if necessary. Cool completely on a wire rack.  Drizzle caramel topping over crust; spread evenly with ice cream. Cover and freeze for 4 hours or until firm.  Remove from the freezer 10 minutes before serving. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat cream, confectioners' sugar and extract until stiff peaks form. Spread over ice cream; sprinkle with crushed peppermints. Yield: 8 servings.  Nutritional Facts  1 piece equals 664 calories, 37 g fat (15 g saturated fat), 83 mg cholesterol, 322 mg sodium, 81 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 7 g protein

From Oh So Shabby on Facebook

I’m here to finally share my birthday dessert from 3 weeks ago for this week’s Recipe Exchange with Little House on the Prairie Living. I also put it off from Tuesday this week because I posted for our little sweetheart’s birthday instead.

It’s a very easy recipe and perfect since I like to have Peppermint ice cream for my birthday. Someone shared the recipe on Facebook, so that’s how I found it. I felt silly, like “Why didn’t I think of that? :> I have tweaked it a bit, by the way. So here you go!

Brownie Peppermint Ice Cream Pie

1 package fudge brownie mix (8-inch square pan size)
1 pint peppermint ice cream, softened
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/4 cup crushed peppermint candies (if desired) I may use my peppermint pieces on top next time.
Prepare brownie batter according to package directions. Spread onto the bottom and up the sides of a greased 9-in. pie plate. I had to weigh it down with parchment paper and beans to make it stay up the sides, until it cooked enough to stay. About half the cooking time. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes. Gently press down center of crust if necessary. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Spread crust evenly with ice cream. Cover and freeze for 4 hours or until firm.
Remove from the freezer 10 minutes before serving. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat cream, confectioners’ sugar and extract until stiff peaks form. Spread over ice cream; sprinkle with crushed peppermints. Yield: 8 servings.

Here are the photos from my first try, not quite as perfect, but it tasted GREAT!!!!
























We topped each slice separately, knowing the leftovers would be going back into the freezer.









It didn’t get to freeze the full 4 hours, so ours was a bit melty…









But, oh so yummy!

Do you have a favorite birthday dessert?








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Growing Home

And don’t forget, 15% off EVERYTHING in the SHOP for the month of January!sticker

Loss and Hope


Source: Last.FM

Today our little sweetheart turns 15 on the 15th, but we won’t be spending it with her. Sadly, the last birthday we spent with her was 11 years ago and I’m not gonna lie to you, I did sob (aka: the ugly cry) a bit today thinking of her and missing her. I so want to be with her celebrating today. No matter what people think or tell you, we never fully “get over” losing a child. We can heal and we can move on, but we will always feel their absence in our lives. Even if we could have had our own or adopted other kids, we would still feel her absence Every.Single.Day.


Source: Ebay

(I know it’s watermarked, but she shows that same fun-loving smile as our sweetheart in this one. That face just grips my heart…but also makes me smile!  Karen Dotrice from “Mary Poppins”, “The Gnome Mobile” and “The Three Lives of Thomasina” looks so much like our little sweetheart in these 2 photos.)

She was such a joy in our lives with her spunk and sweet liveliness! Even with the hard things in her little life, she had such a love of living. We could all take lessons from her on that! We recently heard that she is doing well, and that soothes our hearts some, as we weren’t sure what her life was going to be like after she left us. It makes such a HUGE difference to know she’s safe! And some of my tears today were happy tears, knowing that some of the worry is eased for us. For the first time in 11 years, we have the  comfort of this knowledge, and we’re so thankful to God for giving it to us!


In February, I’m planning on going to a conference I recently heard about called, “Choose Joy” where there is even a session covering Failed Adoptions. I’m looking forward to some good sessions, more healing and possibly meeting someone in the same boat…because I have never met ANYONE else in the past 11 years who has been through a failed adoption while also being childless, like us…NO ONE!!! I sympathize with the way Sarah in the Bible must have felt…so hopeless and alone. But my God is a God of HOPE!!! Maybe I’ll meet a new friend/pen pal/supporter, as I continue a lifetime of healing from losing our precious, little sweetheart. That would be so great!! If you think of me in the next couple of weeks, would you please pray for me? I know God is in control and I am so very thankful to have that assurance. I also know He cares…about us and her, but sometimes it’s hard to grasp. Thank you for “listening” friends. :>











Modest Monday: Gray Jumper – 60’s Style


Monday has arrived once again and that means it’s time to get back to Modest Mondays with the Modest Mom. I fully intended to get back to it last week, but C’est la Vie…

So yesterday I wore a 60’s style gray jumper I picked up somewhere a while ago…maybe from Mervyn’s? It’s been too long to remember. I do love the cuter 60’s styles like you see on Gidget or in Hayley Mills films! And it was a little chilly, but warmer this weekend, so I wore leggings, but not boots and just a little cardy.





Dress: Mervyn’s?

T-shirt: Kohl’s

Cardigan and Tights: Maxx Plus

Shoes: Sanita

Necklace: The Parable Christian Store

Earrings: Kohl’s






P.S. When I previewed the post, I noticed that outfit in the top picture is crooked. But I’m NOT retaking the photos! :>


And here’s a great blog post at Walking Redeemed about modesty in case you’re interested. I’m continually learning more about being modest the way God calls us to as His followers.

Walking Redeemed

What are your thoughts about modesty?

My New Stamp!







With the busyness Thanksgiving, Christmas and visitors, I realized that I never shared with you my new stamp for the business that I bought on Small Business Saturday! Do you know what that is? Through American Express, you register your credit card,  spend $25 at a small business and they reimburse you! Whoo Hoo! We’ve participated in these for the past 3 or 4 years now. Unfortunately, I didn’t think about setting it up for MY SHOP until it was too late to register it. : {


Anyway, I DID get to spend my FREE money though! I finally decided to buy  something I’ve been wanting for a while now, but hadn’t decided who to buy it from…A STAMP FOR TRULY SKRUMPTIOUS!! So I’m finally showing you how fun it is!








Isn’t it fun?



And have you been over to the SHOP for the 15 % OFF everything sale? Coupon Code: 15OFFJAN












God Looks at the Heart

And I am certain that God who began the good work within you will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns ~ Philippians 1:6

Philippians 1:6

Source: Uplifting Words

Confession time: Even though I did the 31 Days Challenge in October and was hoping it would help get me back into the habit of daily spending time with God,  I was never really consistent, and then I slacked off even more with Thanksgiving and Christmas. Big Fat Fail! And this is too important for me to fail, especially in this day when even Christians are ignoring God’s words in favor of selfish desires. I must be more consistent! In my heart I still had the same desire, so I decided to start again with the new year, and really stick to it. Then a friend had them same idea decided to put together a Facebook group to help us all be accountable to each other. It’s only 10 days in, but so far, it’s been great and I haven’t missed a day! I’m on the road to building a habit! Oftentimes that is the biggest hurdle: building a habit, so I’m on my way! I’ll be checking in here periodically with my progress, another form of accountability for me. I know that God looks at the heart and knows our desires, but I also know that He desires obedience and a close relationship with each of His children who have chosen to follow Him. So I must do more than just strive to read and listen to His words, I must do it!



We Need Christ!

Source: Becoming Janey

My Verse!

Source: Holly’s Hobbies

Acts 4:12

Source: Fontenot Four

What are you tackling for the New Year?