Thursday, May 31, 2012

Today, I'm dreaming~

If you know me at all, you know how much I love & adore South Carolina.
More specifically, I love Isle of Palms {IOP} & Charleston.

Throughout my whole life, I was always content with Indiana...
never had any desire  to live anywhere other than the good ol' Hoosier state.

Then there was South Carolina.
Need I say more.

Several years ago, we were wanting to vacation someplace new ...
someplace we'd never visited before.
After hearing a friend gush & gush about Charleston, 
it sounded like it would perfectly fit the bill.
We like visiting places that are rich in history {we are homeschoolers, you know} ...
& let me tell ya, Charleston is off the charts in the category!!
They get an A++!

We also don't mind the beach ... or the ocean ...duh?! 

And if it's a pretty place, easy on the eyes, bonus!
Again, A++!
In case you haven't been there or haven't heard,  
the beauty of Charleston, SC, is said to rival classic European cities.
Whoever said this knew what they were talking about.
Think old money, historic homes, high class ... mixed with southern beauty & charm.
It's all that & more.

Now, can anyone guess what {or where} I'm dreaming about today?
Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding!!
Right answer ... SOUTH CAROLINA.
South Carolina dreamin' ... & truth be told, I dream of it nearly everyday!

Today, I woke up with this beautiful home on the beach on my mind.

This is on our beloved IOP, at the far end of the beach.
We walked right past this beauty ... cause right behind it, you are on the water!
Wouldn't it be tough waking up & having to choose which deck to view the ocean 
from each morning?
What a terrible problem to have.

Here's a very unflattering photo {of hubs looks fab, as usual} 
with crazzzy, wind-blown hair, taken right behind the gorgeous aqua house.
See, told ya, right.on.the.water.

 And just right down the way, there's this.

This is just steps away from our week's 'home away from home.'
When we weren't on the beach, we were standing on the balcony looking at
all this beauty.

Now, are you convinced how easily it is to slip into daydream land?
See why I spend entirely too much time scheming how I can sneak off to SC?
If there weren't 13 hours separating us, I'm afraid you'd find me taking up
permanent residence.

 One man's daydreaming is another man's day.  ~Grey Livingston


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Turkey Spinach Roll-ups

This is quickly turning into a new fave around here.
It's healthy, quick & easy.
And when you take a cold lunch to work everyday {my hubs & twin sons}, 
any variation from a regular lunch meat sandwich is a welcome change!

The ingredients are tortillas, cream cheese, spinach {or some type of greens}, 
onion, shredded cheese, & turkey.

I like the large burrito size tortillas, but any size will work.
For the cream cheese, choose the flavor that you like best ...or use the plain.
You can even substitute mayo, mustard, etc.

Spread a thin layer over each tortilla ...then add turkey.

Next, add your toppings:  shredded cheese, spinach {or greens}, & red onion.

After filling each tortilla, roll tightly & place into the plastic bag that the tortillas came in.
Seal the bag & refrigerate for at least a half hour.

Slice each roll-up on a diagonal for a pretty presentation.

To add additional flavor, use various kinds of tortillas.
These turkey spinach roll-ups were made with plain flour & tomato basil tortillas.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Deep-fried Veggies

Can anyone say FAIR FOOD?

One of our favorite summer activities is visiting the Indiana State Fair in August.
We love going through the animal barns, even though it's hot, smelly, & a haven for flies.
The festive atmosphere & the unexpected events throughout the day always add up 
to a day full of family fun.

I must admit, though, we mainly go for the food!
Yep, that good ol' greasy fair food.
Course, by the time you leave, you don't care if you evvver eat another meal 
cause your stuffed, hot, & miserable.

Every now & then, James gets a hankering for one of his fair faves ...deep fried veggies.
So, we experimented & came up with our own recipe.

Wash & chop your desired vegetables.
We used the ones that come in an order at the fair:  
mushrooms, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, & zucchini.

For the batter, combine pancake mix, water, parsley flakes, lemon pepper, salt & pepper.
You'll need to base the amount of batter on the amount of veggies you've prepped.
Start with 2 cups of pancake mix, following the box recommendation for water.
You want the batter to be a bit thick so it will adhere to the veggies.

After the batter is prepared, drop 5-6 veggies in at a time, coating thoroughly.
Drop in a deep-fryer with oil that is hot & ready.
Remove when the veggies are golden brown, then sprinkle with salt while veggies are hot.
Serve with ranch dressing.

Here's what Jeff Foxworthy says about the state fair:

"If you ever start feeling like you have the goofiest, craziest, most dysfunctional family in the world, all you have to do is go to a state fair. Because five minutes at the fair, you'll be going, 'you know, we're alright. We are dang near royalty."

Ha ... that's about the truth! 
There's never a dull moment ... & there's plenty of good food!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Give Thanks & Take Nothing For Granted

I blog for various reasons.

One main reason is to remember.
Another reason is to express my gratefulness.

This particular blog is a delightful mix of both.

This month has been an overflow, an abundance of blessings straight from the hands 
of my family & friends ...
& in one extra-special blessing from a stranger.

Each & every time I think of the kindness poured out by people who love the Lord ... & love me, 
I feel so overwhelmed.
I certainly don't feel I deserve to be a recipient of any of this generosity, but my heart 
is filled to the brim with gratefulness.

This delightful basket was given to me by my friend, Jenny.

I love every item included: a notebook, hand towel, devotion book, & a jar full 
of brownie mix {a special mix of a more healthy version}...& I LOVE the handmade gift tag!

Next came these fresh flowers from my son, Gunnar.
He said as he gave me these, "Here, Mom ... thought it had been a while since I brought you flowers ...
you're the other woman in my life."
Yep, I'm now the other woman.

 Next came this card in the mail was a card thanking me for sending a card.
How sweet was that?!

This sweet gift was from my friend, Aleisa ... just a 'thinking of you' gift.
{The bag was so cute, it deserved a pic!}

I love it ... every time I look at it, it will remind me to say a prayer for her.

The message on the card touched my heart.
{She has such a way with words.}

 A few days ago, I got another beautiful card in the mail!
Thank you, Carissa you so much.

And lastly, here's my surprise gift that came from a sweet "Call Her Blessed" reader, Tamie!

Tamie, from Idaho, sent me this note in February:

"I know that we don't know each other, but I wanted you to know how much I look forward to reading your blog.  I truly appreciate your scriptures and knowledge and guidance and recipes!  : )  You are surely an inspiration.  Thank you."

I cannot even begin to tell you how shocked I was to get this note!!
It made my day whole week, in fact!
It was encouragement right at the very time I needed it.
I seem to struggle so much to 'find my voice' in the blogosphere ... & none of my blogs come easy!!
I had been wondering if I should even continue blogging.
What perfect timing.
Tamie words were fitly spoken.

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. Proverbs 25:11

After corresponding a bit back & forth, Tamie shared that she crochets for a Russian orphanage & asked if it would be alright for her to make me a hand-made gift!!
Again, I was overwhelmed!!!!!

I felt like a kid on Christmas morning when this package came in the mail.

She asked for my kitchen colors ... & they are a perfect match!
What a beautiful package of 2 hot pads & 2 dishcloths, perfectly tied up with a bow!

Isn't it amazing how God chooses to show His love to His children?
When He fills our heart with His love, we can't help but share it with others.

By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” 
John 13:35

CS Lewis says it this way: “Is any pleasure on earth as great as a circle of Christian friends...”

 Life is full of give and take. Give thanks & take nothing for granted.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sweet 'n Salty Snack Mix

We learned about this highly addictive snack from friends of ours a few years ago.
It's tasty x 10 ... & very easy to throw together.

The ingredients are mixed nuts, cashews, & white chocolate chips
in whatever proportion you like ...a little more of this, or a little more of that, it's up to you.
Course, you can mix it up by adding in other things to suit your taste 
{milk chocolate, raisins, dried fruit, etc}.

I mixed it all together, then put it back in the nut containers for storage.
The extra, I put in a plastic jar that fruit came in.
{I love reusing these fruit containers ... I don't ordinarily buy fruit like this cause it's too
expensive, but I got several of these for free by using coupons!}
This batch is what I made to take on our recent vacation ... it's great for a road trip! 
{Ganna blog about the vaca soon, I promise.}

Make this snack!
It's so yummy ... & healthier than potato chips.