Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I Heart Chalkboards

I love anything "chalkboard". I keep chalkboard spray on hand and have used too many times to tell!  I just recently bought chalkboard contact paper.  Oh boy.  Of course, I had the perfect spot in mind to use it.
I have a side of a cabinet in my kitchen that is bare and I felt like I needed something there.  I wanted a chalkboard "something" to post our weekly menu and a weekly family Bible verse.  {My son is 13 and suddenly it is very important to him what we are eating and when.  Thus, the need for a posted weekly menu :).}
The cabinet looked like this:

Now it looks like this:

The contact paper costs $6 for the roll from Amazon.  You can find it here.  I still have plenty left for other projects (Oh, yea!!).  It took me about 15 minutes to measure and adhere it.  The best thing is it won't damage the side of  my cabinet.  As much as I love chalkboards, I won't love it forever, so it can come down when I'm ready (which I'm sure won't be for a very, very long time).

Blessings to you,

Sunday, January 15, 2012

From The Mouths of Babes...

My sweet Holly decided she wanted to have a "ladies Bible study/sleepover".   She started asking me around November.  I was very proud of her desire to lead a Bible study, but being the slacker mom that I can be from time to time, I kept putting her off.  After all, it was the holidays, and we were busy.  And frankly, I wasn't sure if it was more about the Bible study or the sleepover.   But she was persistent.    Finally, I agreed to let her have her Bible study over Christmas break.   She was very diligent and wrote out what she was going to say.  She planned and wrote down a Scripture that each girl would read.  Her topic was very timely: "Jesus's birth".

We picked up the first little girl and my little Evangelist didn't waste any time.  Listen in on the conversation that melted my heart:

{H-Holly, LG-Little girlfriend}

LG:  What is a Bible study anyway?
H:  It's where we study the Bible.  You know, God really cares about you.  He cares so much.
LG: Like He cared about Michael Jackson?
H: Ummm,  I guess.  He cares so much that He sent His Son, Jesus to die for our sins.
LG: What are sins?
H:  They're the bad things that we do.  When Jesus died on the cross, He had so many sins on Him that God couldn't even look at Him.
LG: He had sins on Him? What did Jesus do wrong?
H: Nothing! He took all of our sins on Himself!
LG: Wow, Holly, you sure know alot.

How, sweet is that conversation??!!  

I love how God put this Bible study on Holly's heart and she was obedient.  The girls had a true Bible study that night.  They each read their Scriptures and they prayed.  I wasn't "allowed" to sit in.  But the one time I peeked in Holly was reading the Bible out loud and she stopped at the word "Galillee".
Not sure what she was reading.  But they all had their notepads that Holly provided, with pencils in hand.  
I was reminded that what I saw as an interruption,  was a divine appointment by God.  The seed of God's Word has been planted in these girls' hearts by a fellow 7 year old.  Be still my heart.

I was very convicted by this little Bible study.  Am I as bold about sharing Jesus as my 7 year old? 
It's amazing how God can speak to us through our children.  
So, now she's asking when next month's Bible study is going to be.
How could I possibly say no to this face?

Blessings to you,

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Determined Lady

I am hosting a Girlfriends' 8 Week Weight Loss Challenge with 7 friends.  We just started on Monday, and it has been fun, encouraging, and motivational.  I set up a Facebook page privately for our group.  This has been my favorite part.  I've loved having that sounding board and cromarderie.  But, I'm not going to kid you.  It's been hard!  Drinking 64 oz. of water a day, exercising for 30 min., staying away from sugary treats, eating 3 veggies and 2 fruits, not eating after 9, and recording my food everyday are not habits that I'm accustomed to.  Thus the Challenge!  I was thinking today that I still have 7 weeks left of this.  7. WEEKS.  I don't know if I thought this through. LOL

Funny enough, Holly came home today with a paper from her Proverbs 31 Girls Club that was so perfect for where I'm at RIGHT NOW!  Today, was her first day at the club.  God's timing always amazes me and makes me laugh!

The paper she brought home was a "Parent Page" based on the girls' topic today from Proverbs 31:18.

18 She sees that her trading is profitable, 
                          and her lamp does not go out at night.

"Her lamp does not go out at night."
You see this Proverbs 31 woman was determined.

The paper had this title and these questions:

A Determined Lady

1.  Does she give up as soon as something becomes hard?
2.  Does she dwell on her problems?
3.  Does she control her emotions in times of adversity?

If you know me, you know that I love me some Proverbs 31!  I've been studying her (once again) the past couple of weeks.   I strive to be like her...soooooo-

Will I give up when this diet is getting hard?
Will I dwell on the lattes that I want to drink or the high fat food I would rather eat (a.k.a. my problems)?
Will I bite my family's head off when I'm cranky from dieting or exercising or will I control my emotions?

...Or will I be a determined Proverbs 31 lady?? 

Blessings to you,

I got the 8 Week Weight Loss Challenge idea here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Nutella Hot Chocolate

I am bringing hot chocolate to my daughter's class on Friday for their AR party.  So I needed to find a way to make mass amounts of yummy hot chocolate.

Tonight I decided to experiment.  I plan on putting this recipe in the crockpot, which is better as not to scorch the milk anyway.

I used one tablespoon of Nutella per 1 cup of milk.   To serve a large crowd,  I will use the entire smaller container of Nutella which has 20 tablespoons in it.

The following are stove top directions:
Add the Nutella and a cup of milk.  Stir until the Nutella is blended into the milk.

Once it's blended add the rest of the milk.  Simmer but don't boil until desired heat.  
In the crockpot, heat on low for 1.5 hours.

I promise, IT.IS.YUMMY.

Blessings to you,

Friday, January 6, 2012

Meatball Subs

I've NEVER eaten a meatball sub.  A meatball on bread with no pasta just doesn't sound right.
But today, that all changed.  I decided that I wanted to make my own meatball subs.  So I did what we all do, and I scoured the internet to find and compare recipes.  This is what I came up with:
2 lbs. of ground beef and 1 lb. of ground pork

In a food processor add 3 cloves of garlic, 1 c. of fresh parsley, 2 eggs beaten, 1 small onion quartered, and 5 oz. of fresh parmesan chunked. Process thoroughly.

Set aside and grab your hoagie rolls.  This is my favorite part...Remember how Subway used to make a well in their rolls to add the meats? That's what we're going to do to keep us from losing our meatballs when we eat our subs!

Don't throw away the bread that you take from the middle! Throw it in the food processor for the bread crumbs for the meatballs-genius! You need 1 c. of bread crumbs.

Put your bread back in the bag until you're ready for it to keep it fresh.

Add the bread crumbs and onion mixture to the ground meat.  Combine it with your hands.  Fun, fun.

Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to your pan.  Form meatballs.  Mine were slightly bigger than a golf ball, but smaller than a tennis ball.  Can you visualize that? LOL

Don't they look pretty?  I cooked them with the lid on to help them cook through more quickly.
Then, carefully turn them once or twice as they cook.

Meanwhile, add two 28 ounce cans of tomato sauce to a pot and simmer.
When the meatballs are done, add them to the sauce and let them simmer for at least 20 minutes.

Toast the buns in the oven until golden brown.  Here's my 2nd favorite part...when they come out of the oven, take a large clove of garlic and rub the inside of the roll with it.  If you've never made garlic bread this way, you're in for a treat!  Garlic bread without the butter!

After you've simmered the meatballs for about 20 min. put them in the roll.  This batch was enough meatballs for 10 subs at 3 meatballs per sub.
Put slice provolone or mozzarella on top of the sub and pop them back in the oven for a minute or 2.
Look at how perfectly that meatball fits in the roll!
After you take them out of the oven put the top back on and wa-laa!

Don't forget to serve some sauce on the side to pour on top!

Meatball subs!

Blessings to you,

I'm linking here:

Sunday, January 1, 2012

How We Celebrated 2012

We celebrated 2012 with friends and family at our house.  It was so nice to be home and ring in the new year in a family friendly way.   Here's a peek into our evening.

You can see my theme was blue and white.  All inspired by the blue and white plates and decorations I found 75% off the day after Christmas!

 I love all the Pinterest inspired ideas, like the balloons on the picture frame.  Each balloon was labeled with an hour.  The kids took turns popping them on the hour.  Even though we forgot to pop the 12:00 balloon!

Some other pinspiration was the snowflakes. They were super easy to make, a cost effective decoration, and pretty.

We had a chili station, complete with cheese, sour cream, fritos, and hot sauce.  Chili is always a great way to feed lots of people.  I was able to make it ahead and put it in the crockpot, which freed me to mingle with my guests.

We set up tables out back and enjoyed the beautiful South Florida winter.

I made "baby" lemon bundt cakes and mini apple pies.  Because everything tastes better when it's cute and mini.

I made some staples, like sausage bites.  You'll also recognize the individual cups of bruschetta and 7 layer dip that I served at my Sisters' Cookie Swap.  This is a definite trick to entertaining: find a few good crowd pleasers that you're good at it and stick with them.

Though I depend on the staples, I also try to challenge myself and try at least one new recipe when I entertain. This is bacon cheddar dip a.k.a. crack dip that I discovered on Pinterest.

We had a great time eating, chatting, hanging by the fire pit, playing 4 men on a couch (a must-play at your next gathering of 8 or more people), lighting off fireworks (my apologies to my neighbors!) and just enjoying each others' company!

I love that we are able to celebrate New Years' Day at church in the morning.  And then we were able to come home, reheat chili, veg on the couch and watch the Dolphins' game and sneak in a nap.    I pray that you and yours are as blessed as I am in 2012! I leave you with a verse for the new year:

Philippians 3:12-14
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Blessings to you,


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