Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Grandmother's Love

As many of you have read, i consider my Grandmother my rock. She is and always has been a very important person in my life. Since moving back to TN just over a month ago, I have been lucky enough to be able spend time with my Grandmother each week. Sometimes it's just an hour but lately it's been several days in a row and I am so grateful for this time.

I always LOVED spending time at my Grandmother's house. I asked my Mother, as an adult, why I spent so much time at Grandma-ma's house growing up, did she and Daddy take lots of trips or what? She said, well you loved spending time at Grandma-ma's. You always asked to go and visit and wanted to spend the night and wanted to spend weeks in the summer.

I encourage each of you to reach out to your family and grandparents, they love you. If you just spend a few minutes with them every now and then it will add a smile to their face and they will talk about it for weeks. Please ask your children or grandchildren to make them cards, letters, etc they will cherish them and look back on them when they are feeling lonely or sad and it will brighten their day once again. If you have single family members that are older, remember them as well, they may not have children or grandchildren to say Hi, I love you, I miss you, here's a special made card for you, etc. Just acknowledging them will make their day.

My Grandmother is fading each and every time I see her. Last night as we sat in her room, just she and I, she said "you know Scarlet, everything happens according to God's Plan, in His own timing, I think he planned for you to move back here and have time to spend with me right now. I am so thankful for Him and His timing". She is such a remarkable woman, even in her state of mind, she is thanking God. She never fails to tell me she loves me and thanks me for visiting and I never fail to tell her that I love her too.

I know God has a plan for my Grandmother. I know that soon she will be walking, running and skipping the streets of Gold. She will be pain free, will no longer need a walker, wheelchair, or even her ankle and knee braces. She will be wearing a smile and living in a mansion in heaven. Having just read "Heaven is for Real", I know she will be celebrating in Heaven with so many family and friends and she will sit with Jesus. I am so thankful for my faith and the faith of my family. I am praying for Grandma-ma to be pain free, lucid and content until she draws her last breath. At 91, I would love for her to live forever but know she will live eternally in Heaven.

Please join me in praying God's peace over my Grandmother, Dorothy Gertrude Walton Gatlin McDaniel today.

Have a blessed day!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Week 2, Day 8 Lifestyle Plan Update

Today I am starting Week 2, Day 8 of my Lifestyle Plan and have lost 6 pds. Life is good.

This weekend we had some dear friends come up for dinner and honestly had a couple of things not on my plan but still lost 6 pounds last week. YAH! This week I have good meals planned and even brought my lunch with me today as I visit with my Grandmother at the Assisted Living in Covington.

If you are on the Lifestyle Plan or doing your own Plan, be sure you are staying hydrated, drink your water, eat every few hours and get moving! Even a little exercise goes a long way, you just need to get your heart rate up.

When I got to the Assisted Living this morning my Grandmother and her friends were having their morning exercise with ball toss in a basket, so they all thought they were playing basketball from their wheelchairs. Grandma-ma did great, she made every basket, they kept moving the basket further and further away and she made everyone. Great Job Grandma-ma! Maybe I'll wheel her around outside to get my exercise in a few minutes plus give her a chance to get some fresh air.

Emily posted a passage from Proverbs 31 this morning and it made me think of my Grandmother. It says "She is CLOTHED in STRENGTH and DIGNITY, and she LAUGHS without FEAR of the FUTURE" Proverbs 31:25.

Grandma-ma and I are off for a morning push/walk around the property.

Have a Happy Monday!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Day 5 - Family Time, Lifestyle Plan, What a Week!

Sorry you haven't heard from me in several days, I've been out of pocket in Covington with my Mother, Aunt and Grandmother. We have laughed and cried this week. My dear Grandmother is 91 and suffering from a variety of issues including Congestive Heart Failure and CLL. She is getting quite forgetful on top of her illnesses. Crossroads was called in on Wednesday and we've spent a lot of quality time at the Assisted Living with her this week.

Yesterday was a like a scene from Steel Magnolia's, we took my Grandmother in the Beauty Shop room at the Assisted Living, Teresa cut and washed her hair, I dried and curled her hair and together we styled her hair. Mother took care of sweeping up the floors for us. It had been a while since my Grandmother had a hair cut so Teresa gave her a really cute stylish cut.

I have very few memories in my lifetime that do not include my Grandmother. Yesterday I found myself with a sewing kit and making her a decorative bag to velcro around the armrest of her wheelchair to hold her personal items. She had a decorative custom bag made for her walker several years ago but hasn't been able to use her walker since the first of the year. My Grandmother was a seamstress by trade, owned her own business and worked out of her home. Over the years, she's made me countless outfits, dresses, doll clothes, Halloween costumes, decorative pillows, tablecloths, etc. She could see a picture of something and make it without a store-bought pattern. She is so talented, it amazes me.

My Grandmother always believed in me, encouraged me, and taught me to be the person I am today. She read her bible and lived God's Word. I am so thrilled to be close enough to visit her on a regular basis now, several times a week. I always try to bring up stories from my childhood  and teenage years that she remembers and I love to see her face light up when she is thinking back on those times.

With the craziness of this week, I tried to stay on my Lifestyle Plan throughout the day as much as possible, I don't think I drank enough water but still feel good and confident on the Plan. Today is Day 5 and I have lost 5 lbs since Monday. I know that is mainly water weight but still makes me feel good. I try to weigh every 4 days, twice a week. For me, since I started the Lifestyle Plan on Monday, I will be weighing Mondays and Thursdays but this week, it was Mon/Fri.

I ask you to join me in praying for my Grandmother, my Role Model, my Rock. She is such an important person in my life, I pray she is rested, pain free and lucid for as long as she can be.

I will keep you updated on my progress and on my Grandmother. Have a blessed Friday and a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lifestyle Plan- Day 2

Good Morning!

Just to keep you updated, Day 1 went well. Day 2 is stating off with a bang as well. This is the day the Lord hath made, I will Rejoice and be glad in it!

Today's Meal Plan:

Breakfast = 2 eggs, 1 slice of light bread

Snack = Orange

Lunch = Grilled Chicken Salad with Fresh Strawberries

Dinner = Blackened Tilapia with Peppery Green Beans and for dessert, Baked Cinnamon Chips (40 cal flour tortilla, cut into triangles, sprayed with cooking spray, sprinkled with splenda/cinnamon mixture, baked at 400 until crisp).

Snack = Granny Smith Apple

Today I plan to drink another 96+ oz. of water. Water is key, flush your system and keep yourself hydrated.

Tip: You can make your own blackening seasoning with dry spices as long as you do not include salt or sugar. It just so happens, Terry made a big batch of blackening seasoning during his taste testing last week for Hadley's and it's salt free so we will try it on our Tilapia tonight.  Yum!

Today, I am heading back to the home office to finish the Employee Handbook for Terry.

Day 2 in my devotional: Interested or Committed? I'm Committed, how about you?

Happy Tuesday and have a blessed day!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Day 1 - Lifestyle Plan

Good Morning All! Started my day on the scale, check.

Planned my meals for today. I always like to plan ahead, prep anything in advance to keep it easy and keep me from changing my mind. This afternoon I will be planning my meals for tomorrow and maybe the next day. I'm super excited and can't wait to see the results!

Today's Meal Plan:

Breakfast = slice of Sara Lee Light Wheat w/Honey Bread, toasted in skillet with cooking spray and cut fresh slices of cheddar cheese = Cheese Toast. Yum! Working on my second glass of water and we are off to a great start.

Lunch = Homemade Tuna Salad on mixed green Salad with fresh Fruit.

Dinner = Grilled Chicken Breasts with fresh Vegetables.

Tonight Terry and I will take the dogs for a walk then come back and do our nightly bike ride through the neighborhood. We are really enjoying our new neighborhood.

Remember, to email me if you would like a to start the Lifestyle Plan sjnx10@gmail.com.

Today I am working for my husband on his Employee Handbook so it's off the Home Office on the other side of the house to do a little work. I have a desk in the Kitchen, my hub of the house, where I sit and write my blogs.

Praise Report - I received a text this morning from the Architect I worked freelance for in Destin, he still needs assistance and I am going to work for him remotely a few hours every week. Translation, I'll make some pocket change while seeking a new job.

I am praying that you all have a FABULOUS Monday! I'll keep you updated on my progress.

Have a blessed day!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Lifestyle Plan

Make a commitment today to change your life! It’s as simple as starting your Lifestyle Plan, making healthy food choices, making the decision to be good to your body and reaping the benefits full circle.

When you eat healthy foods, it can not only help you lose unwanted pounds, but your completion will be healthier, your energy levels will go up, and you will find yourself more inclined to smile and enjoy life.

In 2007, I had a life changing event. I had to have an emergency hysterectomy. Following my recovery and purging my body of all the hormones and medications I had been prescribed the previous years I made a decision to change my life from the outside in. After years of dieting, I sat down and wrote my 07-07-07 Lifestyle Plan. While on the plan I lost over 60 pounds, averaging 3 pounds a week, losing over 65 inches overall.  My family physician in Florida gave the Lifestyle Plan a thumbs up and was very impressed my progress. My skin looked beautiful, I felt amazing, had energy and was excited to start each and every day.  I followed my Lifestyle Plan for a couple of years before I allowed stress, working multiple jobs and life in general to get in my way. I fell off the Lifestyle wagon.  

Today, I made a decision to start my Lifestyle Plan fresh and new.  I’ve recently made a few modifications to the plan and very excited to start it up again. I welcome any of you to join me on the Lifestyle Plan. I will give updates on my progress. If you are like me, you don’t like having your picture made, you do not discuss your weight, what size you wear or anything personal like that with others and I will not ask you to do that either. I do ask for your own benefit you take a photo of yourself before you start the plan so you can have a before and after photo. I also ask that you measure yourself or having a family member, friend or medical professional take your measurements. You will be tracking your progress and I hope you feel confident to share your progress with me.

The Lifestyle Plan is simple; you eat 3 meals a day with 2 snacks. You watch your portions and eat fresh, healthy and delicious foods. There are no boxed mixes or liquid only meals to purchase. You eat real food at home or in restaurants. If you do a lot of traveling, not a problem, you can still stay on plan.

You will keep a food and exercise journal. Don’t be nervous, I am not athletic and do not do extensive exercises. I am not a member of a gym so I get my exercise in my home and neighborhood. You do whatever works best for you as long as you get your heart rate up every day and get moving.  You can walk the neighborhood, ride your bike, do WII or DVD exercise videos, turn up the music and dance or follow a zumba routine, just get moving for at least 20 minutes a day (more if you can).

Did you know you burn calories doing housework, loading and unloading the dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, etc.? There are many websites were you can get a free pedometer that you can clip to your waist and keep track of your steps. You will be amazed how many steps you take in a day from getting ready in the morning until you go to bed at night.

I will pass along recipes and you can create your own delicious meals on a regular basis, like Honey Mustard Chicken, Peppery Green Beans, Turkey Meatloaf, Mashed Cauliflower, Simple Salads, Mini Cheesecake desserts, etc.

I can honestly say I eat more while on the Lifestyle Plan than I ate before I started my plan. If you are like me, you need to maintain metabolism and the easiest way to do that is to feed your body on a regular basis even when you are NOT hungry with healthy, portion controlled foods.

My heart is telling me to share my plan with others so they can change their life, one bite at a time.  Email me at sjnx10@gmail.com if you are interested in receiving The Lifestyle Plan program. I will email to you at no charge.

Join me and make a commitment to make a Lifestyle change that is achievable. I am back to Day 1 tomorrow, Monday, August 22, 2011 and can’t wait to get started. I will keep you updated on my blog so stay in touch.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Who is in your heart?

Yesterday, I was watching Emily's two children, Jonah and Georgia while she attends a church conference in Memphis. Jonah is 2 1/2 and Georgia is 6 weeks old. Jonah told me he wanted to do arts and crafts (i.e. make something for Mommy & Daddy) and I suggested we learn a bible verse to go with our arts and craft project so he brought me his bible and we started talking. He told me Jesus just wasn't in his heart today. I asked him why and he said he's just not. So I read and sang Phil 4:4, "Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice", we drew pictures of a tree, birds, flowers and the sun and he said Jesus made all of these things. I asked him again if Jesus was in his heart and he said "nope, not today", so we talked so more, I read more bible stories from his children's bible and we had a time of worship, we both started singing while we worked on pictures for his parents. After his afternoon nap he ran into the den and told me that Jesus was in his heart now.

It is amazing to me what children pick up and learn from their parents, family, Sunday school class, friends, radio and TV at such an early age. Jonah has been memorizing and quoting scripture and singing christian songs for months. When his parents got home yesterday afternoon he sang his bible verse for them, only he said it was Phil. 12:12 instead of Phil 4:4, gotta love a child that can memorize a verse and song that quickly and sing it in tune.

Today, I ask you to think like a child, who is in your heart?

The Help (along with a family recipe)

Mother and I went to see "The Help" Wednesday. What a great movie! It made me think about my childhood. I was raised in Memphis, TN not Jackson, MS, but still a southern town. I went to Little Miss Manner's class and was raised as Southern as they come, my name says it all (my Mother loved Gone with the Wind).

Just like many of you, I grew up with "help" in our home. My Mother had help during my childhood until we lost my Father when I was in high school. Lela Franklin was a part of our family and we loved and respected her. Lela had 17 children, the youngest were in high school by the time she started helping my Mother when I was a baby. She would cook, clean, and watch my brothers and I when Mother had to leave the house. Her husband was a Baptist Minister and I remember going to their church for special events, it was always fun, they had "live" music as my Mother called it and danced around a lot during their worship service.  When Lela was sick or had a commitment with her family or the church, she would send one of her older daughters, Maylena or Josephine to come in her place. They never cooked as good as Lela but we still loved and respected them. One of my favorite memories with Lela growing up was in the afternoons, Lela would wait to do the ironing until her "stories" (aka soap operas) came on and would set up the ironing board in front of the TV. She watched channel 13-ABC so All My Children, One Life to Live, General Hospital (and I think The Edge of Night). When I would get home from school, she would let me sit with her and I got to iron the pillow cases (yes she ironed our sheets)... I loved sitting and watching her "stories" with her and ironing the pillow cases. I always loved and respected Lela and her role in my family. She was like a member of our family and I will always cherish our time with her.

My Great Grandmother had help from Miss Willie throughout my childhood as well. Willie would come during the week and many times during family gatherings to help my Great Grandmother out. She was part of the family. Willie was always there every Christmas Eve, she chose to come and help my Great Grandmother set up dinner, serve and clean up then my Great Grandfather or an Uncle would take her home to be with her family. Growing up with someone of different colored skin in our home was not weird, different or uncommon. We saw that she loved us and we loved her and treated her with respect. Willie will always be remembered as part of my Great Grandmother's family.

Many of you have someone that comes into your home and cooks, cleans and/or is a Nanny to your children today. Always be sure to respect them, treat as you want to be treated, pay them appropriately, and show your appreciation to them especially in front of your children. We all come from different backgrounds and have different monetary income, so no matter your financial status or situation, always treat those in your home like you would want to be treated. If you haven't seen "The Help" I highly recommend you read the book and see the movie.

I would also like to share our family Southern Chocolate Pie recipe with you. Now this is not Ms. Hilly's Special Chocolate Pie that Ms. Minnie made for her in the book/movie but a delicious Southern Chocolate Pie. Give it a try next time you want to make something chocolate.

Southern Chocolate Pie:

1/4 cup cocoa
4 TBSP self-rising flour
1 1/2 cups sugar (set aside sugar for your Meringue, see recipe below)
3 eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 stick butter
1 TBSP vanilla
pinch of salt
Pillsbury Refrigerator Pie Crust (or any ready to bake pastry pie crust)

Brown pie crust at 400 degrees and set aside. Mix sugar, cocoa, flour and salt. Separate eggs (reserve whites). Mix egg yokes and milk together. Then mix all ingredients together in a large saucepan. Start cooking on high temperature stirring constantly. Reduce heat when mixture begins to thicken. When thick add butter and vanilla. Pour into browned pie crust.

Beat egg whites in glass bowl until stiff. Add 2 TBSP sugar per egg white. Pour Meringue on top of chocolate pie and let brown at 350 degrees.

Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Grilled Pineapples Anyone?

If you are like me you love fresh pineapple. Have you ever tried Grilled Pineapple?

We take a fresh pineapple, core it, cut into thick rings, brush it with melted butter and grill it to along with our pork chop, steak, chicken breast or burger. There is noting like Grilled Pineapple. It is a unique texture and adds great flavor to your meal along with a pop of color to your dinner plate.

We also use the pineapple juice (you can use canned or bottled pineapple juice as well) as a meat marinade. Tonight we are marinating a T-Bone steak in pineapple juice with a little Cavender's Greek Seasoning, after first tendering the steak to make it tender and delicious.

Try Grilled Pineapple the next time you fire up the grill...

Bon Appetit!

Do you SHINE?

Do you SHINE?

1. to give forth or glow with light; shed or cast light.
2. to be bright with reflected light; glisten; sparkle.
3. (of light) to appear brightly or strongly
4. to be or appear unusually animated or bright, as the eyes or face.
5. to appear with brightness or clearness, as feelings.

1. a characteristic of a person, animal, place, object or idea.

Today I read a devotional on "Beauty" and it made me think about things. I asked myself do I Shine? I thought I would share this with you. 

"We all have imperfections. We live in an imperfect world. Our created purpose is to let God's light SHINE through every facet of our being, expressing His colors and beauty through us in ways no one else can.
If you look at a ring under a microscope every day and you become very familiar with every flaw, you might be embarrassed by it. But that is not how God meant the beauty of diamonds to be seen. The beauty of a diamond is seen when someone else holds it up to the sunlight and everyone can see it sparkle.
We are created to SHINE with the light of God's creative genius. When you appreciate yourself in all your uniqueness, you will dare to hold your life up to the light. You will dare to live out the beauty you were created to express...cleaned and polished with the forgiveness of God." - Connie Neal.

I am inspired to SHINE in everything I do today and every day; how about you, do you SHINE?

Monday, August 15, 2011

What does"Family" mean to you?

What does "Family" mean to you? To me, the word "Family" means Love, unconditional love.  "Family" surrounds us at all times teaching us life's lessons, giving us the tools to make the right decisions or choices and invest in our well being, comfort and love. 
Today I am so thankful for my family. I am thankful for Christian parents that raised me in the church and allowed me the opportunity to hear the word of God, worship openly and see Christ through their eyes. I watched their walk with the Lord and received encouragement to make my own personal decision to follow Him as a child and continue my walk with Him today. We are all children of God so you are my brothers and sisters in the Lord. 
Your family dynamics may be different, I know that ours definitely is. My father passed away when I was 15 and my Mother never remarried. My immediate family are huggers,  say "i love you" and strive never to miss a milestone event in each others lives. Terry was adopted-twice and met his birth Mother and siblings as teen; he is very loved and due to his circumstances, part of a large family. His adoptive parents were Christians and raised him to know the Lord. He is so thankful to have had them for his first 13 years before they were killed in a car accident; thankful for another Aunt/Uncle that adopted him for his teenage years and thankful for his married family. We have so many friends that we call family as well as our church family from Memphis, Charlotte, Destin/Santa Rosa Beach and Jackson.

Family can mean different things to different people. Yesterday we spent the afternoon with our some of our family; Alice, Alicia & Sloane. We love you all very much and are so blessed to have you in our lives. 

My prayer today is that you love and appreciate your "Family" no matter if immediate, extended or inclusive. God loves you and I love you too!

"May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else just as ours does for you."   I Thessalonians 3:12

Have a blessed day!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Deviled Eggs Anyone?

I don't know about you but whenever I'm boiling eggs for a recipe, I like to add a few eggs to the boiling pot and make Deviled Eggs. Traditionally we only have deviled eggs on Holidays, family functions or church pot-luck's but today I made Deviled Eggs and thought I would share the recipe. Deviled Eggs are one of the easiest recipes to make and always are a hit with family and friends.

Deviled Eggs (12 Deviled Eggs):

6  large eggs, boiled, peeled and cut lengthwise
3 TBSP Miracle Whip or Mayo
1 TBSP Sour Cream (optional)
1/2 Tsp Ground Mustard
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Sugar
1/8 Tsp Pepper
1/8 Tsp Cavender's Greek Seasoning
1/8 Tsp Garlic Powder

Fill a saucepan 1/2 full with water, add eggs, be sure water covers eggs, boil, once water has boiled turn water off leaving eggs in hot water (no more than 15 minutes from start to finish), drain hot water and place eggs in  cold water covered in ice to cool and/or place eggs in refrigerator to cool. Once cool, tap large end of egg on counter to crack shell and roll egg softly in your hands to continue cracking and shell should come off in large pieces, rinse and set aside. Continue with all 6 eggs. Once all shells are removed and eggs are washed off. Cut each egg lengthwise, place yellow yoke in a mixing bowl, place your cut egg whites on your egg plate. Add your miracle whip, sour cream, salt, sugar, pepper, garlic and Cavenders, stir until creamy. Using a small spoon, spoon yoke mixture back into each egg. Sprinkle Paprika on top, cover with Saran Wrap and refrigerate until serving. I prefer to let the Deviled Eggs sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.

If you want to kick it up a notch, add a pinch of crush red pepper or horseradish to your yoke mixture.

Bon Appetit!

Creamy Potato Salad - Easy!

If you are like me, you love cream potatoes, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, basically any hot potato but you may not be a big fan of regular cold chunky potato salad. Today, I made my Mother's Creamy Potato Salad and it is just delicious. I grew up with this recipe and my favorite time to eat it is when it's still hot! The flavors are enhanced after refrigerating but as a child, teen and adult if my Mother is making her Creamy Potato Salad, I want to lick the bowl and be the first taste tester while it's still hot.

Here's the recipe, try is and let me know what you think. It's my favorite Potato Salad recipe and it's super easy to make. It's one of those recipes you really can't mess up, it always tastes fantastic!

1 lb of Idaho or red potatoes, peeled and diced into small pieces
1 cup Miracle Whip (you can substitute Mayo)
1 Tsp. White Vinegar
1TBSP Black Pepper
1 TBSP Cavender's Greek Seasoning (I add a little more)
1/2 TBSP Garlic Powder
1 Tsp. Sugar
3 Eggs (boiled and finely chopped)
1/2 cup Onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup Green Bell Pepper, finely chopped

Boil your peeled and diced potatoes for 30 minutes or until done, drain and set aside. While potatoes are cooking, mix together with a spoon your vinegar, black pepper, Cavenders, garlic, sugar and miracle whip. Once your potatoes are drained add to mixtures and stir by hand, it will be creamy. Add your finely chopped eggs, onion and bell pepper, lightly stir. Place in your serving bowl, sprinkle paprika on top and refrigerate until serving.

Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Friendship is something to be cherished and treasured. I am going to meet one of my best friends for lunch today and just can't wait. A friend loves you at all times, unconditionally, is there to celebrate your ups and there to comfort you when your down. Friendships grow over time and never seem to really fade away. Friendship is like a living plant, you have to water it and nurture it to make the plant grow, you have to make an effort and stay in contact, ask "how you doing today" or "I've missed you so much" when time has passed between conversations or visits. A friend is someone you can lean on and your friend can lean on you. A friend can finish your sentences and laugh with you uncontrolably without saying a word. 

My Mother reminded me the other day of her friend Carol and how they become friends immediately when my parents married at a young age in 1955 and moved into apts in Memphis. My Mother had made a homemade lemon ice box pie and was out hanging up clothes on the line when an upstairs neighbor came down to do the same and Mother offered her a slice of pie while the clothes dried on the line. They have been best friends since 1955 and their friendship continues to grow. They are both older now but never forget to check in on other, a friendship Can last a lifetime. I am thankful and blessed that my parents showed me through their friendships how to be a true friend.
I am so blessed to have to so many wonderful, treasured and cherished friends in my life. I thank God for each and every one of you. I don't know about you but my friends have become part of my family and I'm part of their families. Never take your friends for granted, you can always count on them. My prayer today is for all my friends and their families and I pray our friendships continue to grow and blossom over the years.

F = Fun loving, Faithful
R = Risk being real, even misunderstood
I = Interested in the welfare of others
E= Expect the best of others, Empathic
N = Natural relationship, Non-exclusive
D = Dipliamtic; Delightful; Durable
S = Sympathic; Supportive; Stable
H = Helpful; Hopeful; Happy
I = Interdependent by helping others
P = Patient; Protective of Confidences; Personable

"A friend loves at all times". Proverbs 17:17

Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Do you want a Push-Up?

How many of you know what a push-up is? The orange kind they used to sell on the neighborhood ice cream truck that would come around your neighborhood. I got one today, well a popsisle brand of a orange push-up and it just didn't taste the same as it did as when I was a child. I have some many fond memories of my childhood,  playing my friends in the neighborhood and my friends in my Grandmother's neighborhood in Covington. We all loved the ice cream truck and push-ups. We would hear the music, ask for change and run to the edge of the yard to wait on the ice cream truck to make it to our yard, oh what fun. We also climbed trees, rode our bikes throughout the neighborhood, played on our backyard swing-sets, played kickball and kick the can, we built tree houses and were told to be home by dark. If we lived close enough we would walk to school or the neighborhood store and get candy. Then after dinner, we would ask for empty glass jars, punch holes in the lid with a ice pick and go outside and catch lighting bugs. Times have changed so much and looking back I always loved time outside with my friends.

Summer also reminds me of Summer Church Camp. Oh the many many memories of Primary Day Camp, Kids Camp and then Youth Camp. As a youth I went back to Primary Day Camp and Kid's Camp as a counselor so I never really outgrew summer camp. At Primary Day Camp, we always ended the week on a Riverboat Ride with Ken Carter singing. The church bus would never start without a prayer and a song. I can remember the smell of the air, the cabins and bunk beds, naming our cabin, cabin decorations, colored bandanna's, the camp songs, the adventures, the camp romances between the campers-passing notes do you like me? I like you during our morning and evening sessions, holding hands in line for the concession stand, playing ball, swimming, sometimes lake time depending on which camp I was attending. The bonfires, the skits the counselors would put on, rejoicing and singing everyday and our worship services in the evening. I can still hear "Get your elbows off the table, round the room you must go, you must go, you must go" at each meal. I still have my Mickey Mouse Sleeping Bag Cover (just the cover) in my "Hope Chest" of memories. I will never forget Ms. Methel and her megaphone!

Oh fun Summer Memories, from push-ups to church camp, I wouldn't trade any of those memories for the world, how about you?

Have a blessed day!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Turkey Spaghetti

Good Morning. Many of my friends have asked for my Turkey Spaghetti recipe so here it is. It's easy, delicious and semi-homemade.

1 pkg 1-1.25 pds Ground Turkey Breast (you can use ground turkey-it's a little less expensive but has more grease). With the Turkey recall, check brands or ask your meat dept to freshly grind you some turkey).
1 can Tomato Sauce
2 jars Bertolli Organic Tomato, Garlic, Basil Spaghetti Sauce
1/4 cup Basil (fresh-chopped, or dried)
1 TSBP Sugar
1 TSBP Parsley
2 TBSP Cavender's Greek Seasoning
1/4 cup dried chopped onion or 1/2 small diced onion (hint: to keep from crying when cutting onions freeze them for 20-30 minutes before cutting)
Optional: Mushrooms (fresh-chopped or jar-drained)
1 box Angel Hair Pasta

Brown meat on medium heat, careful not to let it stick, drain any grease (should be little to none).
Add dry seasonings, onion and can of tomato sauce (and mushrooms if you prefer), let simmer on low-medium for 8-10 minutes. Add jars of spaghetti sauce, turn on low and let simmer for 30 minutes to 1+ hrs. The longer you let it simmer, the more flavorful your meat sauce but if time is of the essence, your meat sauce will be delicious after 30 minutes.

While the meat sauce is simmering, prepare your Angel Hair Pasta according to pkg and set aside. Blend your cooked pasta and meat sauce in a large bowl, top with fresh shredded Parmesan Cheese and serve with a fresh Salad. I prefer to make a Italian Salad with mixed greens, garlic cheese croutons, Parmesan cheese and add black olives.

Bon Appetit!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Church Home?

So not only is there the unpacking, arranging furniture, organizing drawers, and accessorizing your new home when you move to new city, there is also the search for a new church home. Today we started our mission to find a new church home. We went to Northside Assembly, which happens to be down the street from our house. It was very casual, newer facility, everyone was friendly, arrived just before the service started and it was a good. The music was good, they had a praise team leading worship, the kids sang two songs from their recent series and they put on quite a performance with their hand motions and everything, Pastor Carter delivered a really good sermon and then Communion. Looked for but didn't see my friend Kim Thompson Borders to say hello - her family attends Northside.

In Florida we attended a smaller non-denominational church and Terry really likes the small church feel and interaction, I grew up in a large church so I am good with any size as long as the church meets our needs and we are able to worship, fellowship, and be involved. We have not made a decision after this first Sunday but hopefully within a couple of weeks have a new church home in Jackson.

Have a blessed day!

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Saturday's the one day a week you typically can sleep in (a little). I awoke this morning to Terry making breakfast. It's always a good day when you smell breakfast cooking and your not the one doing the cooking.

Why is it when you wake up on Saturday, you think "I so need to clean the house"? Well, as I was pondering that this morning, I received a call from my Mom saying she was on her way up to visit which meant I had to do a quick clean before she arrived; it is so nice to have her so close (45 minutes away).  We finished hanging things up in the guest room, looked through old family photos and had quite a few laughs and made a big pot of my spaghetti recipe so she could take some home with her (recipe to follow). I had hoped to get a little shopping in today while she was in town but she wasn't up for it.

Saturday's...lazy days to get a lot accomplished, that's my motto. Today got a lot accomplished, visited with my Mom, ran some errands, dinner is already cooked just need to make a salad and then tonight was can relax and enjoy a movie or two on the sofa.

Have a great Saturday!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Summer Salads

Delicious, easy Summer Salads can add color, flavor and texture to any meal. I prefer to use butter lettuce or packaged butter lettuce mix. I add fresh fruit in lieu of veggies in many of our Summer Salads. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, grapes and orange pieces are colorful and delicious additions to your basic salad. Add some roasted pine nuts, almonds, or pecans to add flavor. Goat cheese, feta cheese, or your basic shredded cheddar also can be blended with your fruit, greens and/or nuts or used as a topping for your salad. I prefer to use a balsamic or oil/vinegar style dressing to keep it on the lighter side, my favorite dressing is Brianna's Home Style Blush Wine Vinaigrette. I have a recipe for homemade similar vinaigrette that takes longer to make so I just get Brianna's when available.

You can have a Summer Salad as a side item or your main dish, just add grilled or baked chicken , pork chop, steak, or any other protein to your salad and you have a delicious lunch or dinner meal.

We are having a Summer Salad with strawberries, grapes, pineapple and roasted pecans to go along with our Teriyaki Glazed Pineapple Chicken Breasts for dinner tonight, yum!

Check out the Saturday Farmer's Market in your town for delicious summer fruit, produce and other delicious homemade items.

Have a blessed day! :)

Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas, it's what for dinner! (last night)

Before Baking

1 pkg boneless, skinless chicken tenders (uncooked)
2 cans Green Chile Enchilada Sauce
Sour Cream
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 pkg flour tortillas

Brown chicken in a skillet, then cut into small pieces, season chicken as desired (I used Cavender's Greek Seasoning). In a bowl mix together 2 cans green chile enchilada sauce with 2 Tbsp of Sour Cream, pour 1/2 over the browned chicken, reserve the other half of sauce.

Spray cooking spray in a 9x13 baking dish. Preheat oven to 400.

Take each tortilla and spoon a small amount of chicken mixture in each one (in the middle of the tortilla), roll up and place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat until you are out of chicken mixture. Top with remaining green chile sauce. Add desired amount of shredded cheddar cheese.
Bake covered for 20-25 minutes. Uncover, let sit 5 minutes, top with additional cheese if desired.

While your Chicken Enchiladas are cooking, I prepare refried beans and spanish rice and serve with chips and salsa. You can also purchase the Old El Paso Enchilada Dinner mix (approx $3.99), 1 pkg of sour cream, 1 pkg of boneless skinless chicken breast tenders and get similar results, it comes with red enchilada sauce and we prefer the green chile sauce.

DELICIOUS! This dish contains 6 enchiladas.

After Baking

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Jackson, TN

We had a hard decision to make about a month ago, but after alot of talking, praying, pros/cons lists, and heart to hearts with family, friends and business associates, we made the decision to relocate from Sunny Sandestin/Santa Rosa Beach, FL and move to Jackson, TN where Terry received an amazing job offer. It has been 10 days since the moving truck unloaded the boxes and pulled away from the house and all the boxes are unpacked, picutres are hung, furniture is in place and today my afternoon project is recovering and making new cornice boards for the windows this afternoon (how-to's coming soon).

Chocolate and Sandie are finally starting to settle in and enjoy their new digs. Terry is loving his new job (Hadley's) and is working from his home office until the restaurant is open (November). I am job hunting through my contacts and leads. I have a tentative interview next week for a Architectural Sales Rep position with a tile company and have submitted my resume for a Facilily Project Analyst in Millington. Through some new contacts recently given to me, I will be exploring positions in Marketing in the Jackson area and will be doing some door knocking next week at the local architectural firms to see if there are any openings.

Each day has been filled with some project or another at the house, I took a break on Monday to spend the day at the beautiful Memphis Zoo with our Goddaughter, Sarah and her Mom and friend, Teresa. We have been burning up I-40 making several trips to Memphis to visit friends and family, made a trip to Covington last week to visit family before the virus got around and are hopeful to go back this weekend to check in on everyone if they are all well.

We have great neighbors, they have introduced themselves, brought us homemade cakes, offered to help with some of our projects, etc.

God has truely blessed us with this move and we are thankful and excited about our new adventure in Jackson.

Have a blessed day!


Welcome to my blog, Designed by Taste. I plan to incorporate creative ideas, delicious recipes and "how-to" decorating tips in my daily blogs. Thanks for joining in and hope to hear from you soon.

Today's tip of the day: Stay indoors, turn on some music, hug your babies, and enjoy a glass of Orange Iced Tea.

Orange Iced Tea Recipe:

2 Family Sized Tea Bags
1 cup sugar
Water as needed
2 oranges (sliced in cubes-approx 16 cubes)
Decorative Tea Pitcher

Brew 2 family size tea bags in small pan of water. Once boiling, remove from burner and cover with lid to steep for 10 minutes.
In a decorative pitcher (approx 1/2 gallon size), add cold water  to fill 1/2 of pitcher and add 1 cup sugar.
Squeeze juice from 5-6 cubes of orange in pitcher, add remaining slices to pitcher. I like to reserve a few slices for my glass(es).
Pour hot tea (after steeping) into pitcher and stir until sugar is dissolved.
Serve over ice and enjoy (I add a straw and a cube of orange to my individual glass of tea as well).

Have a blessed day!