Friday, May 29, 2009

devo anyone??

want a quick and fulfilling daily devotional?
our daily bread is bible based and pertinent to our everyday lives...and you can read it online, download it to your PDA, listen to it online or even go old school and order a free devo book that they will mail.

another great resource available online that my hubs and i have used for years, is the oswald chambers devo, my utmost for his can read a few of these HERE.

if you have a fav christian author, like max lucado or beth moore, many of them have their own websites that you can read devos there too...go spend some time in god's word. find some renewed strength.

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Living a Colorful Life

Add a few colorful plates to your walls.

Set your table with colorful dinnerware

Brighten any room with a colorful lamp

Add a Colorful Chair to your room.
Bring a little color into your life!

xoxo, Cathleen

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Monday, May 25, 2009

another fab recipe from my fav little friend, steph, at LIVE.LOVE.EAT. i read this and had to pass it on...i plan to make this recipe this weekend!!!

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

From the Barefoot Contessa, this was one of the best pasta salads I have ever tasted. It was so flavorful due to the roasting of the veggies & fresh simple ingredients like garlic & lemon juice.

I made this last Sunday a few hours before both sets of our parents came over for a BBQ & there just wasn't enough. Everyone devoured it & would have had more. This was so delicious I am planning to make it again this Memorial Day weekend as we have a couple of friends coming over for another BBQ. C'mon by!!!!!

1 small eggplant, peeled & 3/4-inch diced
1 red bell pepper, 1-inch diced
1 yellow bell pepper, 1-inch diced
1 red onion, peeled & 1-inch diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup good olive oil
1-1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lb orzo

For the dressing:
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/3 cup good olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

4 scallions, sliced thin (white & green parts)
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (optional)
3/4 lb. good feta, 1/2-inch diced (optional)
15 fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss the eggplant, bell peppers, onion & garlic with the olive oil, salt & pepper on a large baking sheet. Roast for 40 minutes, until browned, turning once with a spatula.

Meanwhile, cook the orzo in boiling salted water for 7 to 9 minutes, until tender. Drain & transfer to a large serving bowl. 3. Add roasted vegetables to the orzo, scraping all the liquid & seasonings from roasting pan into the pasta bowl.

For the dressing, combine lemon juice, olive oil, salt & pepper & pour on orzo & vegetables. Cool to room temperature. Add the scallions, pignolis, feta & basil. Check the seasonings; serve at room temperature. Makes 6 servings.

{My Thoughts}

Instead of using plain feta & adding fresh basil, I just bought the feta already with basil & tomato. While it was wonderful, we plan to enjoy it next time without the cheese for an even healthier dish. I also feel the same way about the pine nuts. While they're delicious, I think it's optional. The dish would be even healthier without them. I also reduced the amount of olive oil to 1/4 cup on both the veggies & the dressing.

It was nice to make this ahead of time & leave it be at room temp. Of course, if you add the cheese make it the last thing you do.

{Click Here to Print Recipe}

Come on back tomorrow night for the amazing Grilled Chicken Piri Piri that paired so perfectly with this delicious salad. Just in time for Memorial Day Weekend!

visit steph at for more super fab recipes and ideas!

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Friday, May 22, 2009

finding nature

the weather is nice and the kids are out of go looking for some fun and new places to explore!! is a very simple, easy to use site that allows you to search by city and state of zip code for great outdoor experiences, like parks, nature attractions and other outdoor events.

so check it out HERE...and find a few new things to explore!
danyele @ a thorn among roses

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

recipe for achy feet

tired and achy feet? grab a water basin and a few items from the pantry...and you have a great start to wake up those toes and make you relax in the meantime.

run a nice basin of boiling water and let it cool to warm...and pick a recipe!!

java foot soak
brewed coffee is not just for drinking any more...add 2 cups of coffee to each gallon of water

springtime soak
1 cup lemon juice, 1 tbs of olive oil and 1/4 cup of milk...mix well and add to one gallon of water.

garden soak
do you have fresh blooming flowers in your garden? add some fresh flower petals to warm water and soak away...and it will smell so nice!

honey soak
one cup of honey per gallon of water

your momma was right foot soak
1/2 cup of epsom salts for each gallon of water...soothes tired, achy and swollen feet.

skin softening foot soak
1/4 lemon juice
2 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup water
bit of cinnamon
mix together and soak your toes.

happy feet and happy times. enjoy! and let us know

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mod Podge Mad

I used to think Decoupage was some hokey kind of old-lady craft. But, recently, I’ve seen the light. Decoupage is amazing in it’s versatility and the options for creativity with it are endless.

Here’s just a sampling of projects I’ve done lately:

I used fabric for this phone faceplate.


These barn stars were covered with scrapbook paper and then sealed with polyurethane.


This is my house number, once again using scrapbook paper. (You can see more of my $70 front porch makeover here.)


These thrift store cast-offs got a new life thanks to spray-paint, some turquoise beads and decoupaged scrapbook paper.


You can even use decoupage to make signs. I printed off the word “Family” on my computer and then cut it out with a craft knife to make this old light fixture backplate into useable word art.


Once again, I used scrapbook paper to cover this 69cent metal index card box. After sealing it with spray sealant, it is going to be a recipe card box for a new bride.


Decoupage is so much fun! Try it and see what you can create.

You can find more of me and my crazy, cheap decorating ideas over at BlueCastle.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

family calendars

google calendar is one of my best friends, i'm not gonna lie. in a family of 6, it's imperitive that we all be able to access the calendar at any point, add appointments and see if there's free time for planning.

google calendar is amazingly simple and can easily be synced with your cell phone calendar...and can be accessed anywhere there is internet access.

here's what my calendar looks like for this month...minus a few things
{{look at the 1-7 below on the calendar too}}

a few must knows about google calendar...and how to use it most effectively:

1. flight itinerary and information can be added directly on your calendar using most reservation services. when you open the event in the calendar, your full itinerary is available.

2. don't you have late fees? set up events and reminders in google calendar for movie returns, library book due dates, form submissions, etc.

3. sports...i have a separate calendar with the sports schedules and inside each entry is the location and field number as well as any other info so in 3 weeks when i have to remember what soccer field we are on, i can open the calendar on my phone and know right at the fields.

4. search calendar! what a great know you scheduled a doctor appointment and can't find it? use the search. or you can't remember your last hair color, the search option allows you a quick look.

5. individual calendars can be shown on one main calendar...i sue different colors for each calendar so when you view it you can see the compiled calendar, including all of hubby's business travel, girls sport dates, doctors appointments, and reminders.

6. print it! you can print the entire calendar to keep on the refrig or you can print each kids calendar for their room...just click on the calendars you want shown, and hit print.

7. long term and short term planning is easy peasy. you can view the calendar by the day, the week, the month or the year!

if you have gmail, you can add your google calendar to the gmail main will look something like this:
so if you're ready to get started, head on over to HERE and let google calendar set you up on a little schedule! i have to say, i rarely forget to email grandma...and it's all because i love her...and google calendar!!

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

{Party People!}

I have to admit it, it's no secret to those around me or who live with me. I get a little {crazy} when it comes to birthdays. I subscribe to the idea that birthdays are a very big deal. And I mean a VERY big deal.
I'm already thinking about party themes for my Twinkies 2nd birthday which is in September. Please don't judge me. Planning + Organization + a little Craftiness = FABULOUS!!!
So, while it is still a little premature to share some of my party ideas, I thought I would share with you a few birthday hats I made for my dear friend's little twin girls 1st birthday. It is so easy, and you may have most of the supplies on hand.
Here is what you will need:

Craft Foam - Cone Shape
elastic string
scrap fabric
fuzzy trim
pipe cleaners {on a side not, I totally crack up when magazines call them "chenille stems"}
Paint {optional}
Glitter Spray Paint {optional}
Craft Flowers {optional}
Brads/Buttons {optional}
Goldfish or other snack item to bribe small children while you work...or for yourself.

Here is where you start....

I like to get all of my pieces and parts together 1st and then decorate, organization is key party people! I pre-painted these hats hot pink using craft paint. If you decide to work with any type of embellishment, start assembling them if required. I wanted to use craft flowers and a brad to embellish the top of the hat.

Using your craft fabric cut a design you would like - the options are endless! Bugs, cupcakes, numbers, etc. I chose a butterfly.

I drew a butterfly on my fabric, cut it out and then glued ribbon as the body of the butterfly.

Snip the top of the cone shape so that you can thread pipe cleaners through the top of the hat. I chose about 5 pipe cleaners and twisted them together on the bottom so that they do not go completely through the top. You could also use tulle for your Little Princess.
Cut elastic string to size. Staple the string onto the sides of the hat. Keep the staples as close to the bottom of the hat as possible so that you can cover them with your trim. After you have stapled, knot the elastic to ensure it does not slip.

Now, start applying all of your decorative parts and pieces with your craft glue - craft flowers, fabric cut outs, trim, etc.


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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009

ladies and gentlemen, start your engines...

it's may in indiana...and all the buzz around my home state is the indy 500. so, since it's the greatest spectacle in racing, why not get all fab'd up too?

if you go to the track, you have to look good, so this headband from zoom berry is a great start at only $10.

how about a fun monogram for you little dude {or your big dude's garage??}
i found this cute thing over at freckled hound for $41.

black and white flip flops are a must for the track in indy...from gaudy little secret.

the little dude has to be super cute too during the month of may...look at this adorable bib and burp cloth set from handmade for children {$11]
this is an indiana state quarter, cut and some little tidbits added to make a fab little indy 500 necklace...can be found at cut coin jewelry.

have a great month of may...and don't forget to watch the indy 500!

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Thursday, May 14, 2009


confession: i am a runner wanna be. it's true.

one of my friends {and former high school students} trained for a team run...and they stinking got 4th place!!!! go campus crusade!!!!! { stinking rock my face off}
anyway, jenn was not a planned runner {just a rec runner and jogger} prior to signing up for the team run. jenn and i had coffee and now, i'm uber inspired to get my booty in the running mode...and RunThere makes it super easy.
RunThere uses google maps to allow you to make routes and view others routes.
you start at any address or point of interest. you can save your start points and name a variety of routes too!

you can also compare routes that you have saved or that others have saved on RunThere.
and you can do an exercise log to keep track of all your on and off running days.

no matter what i do, something is better than nothing right? so if i run 1/2 mile and then walk 2 miles and then run again, it's exercise. so i'm keeping track now and you can too!

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

stinking calories

i hate counting i just don't do it. the problem is that all the fast food establishments know i won't go to much effort to find out what's going into my bod, so i keep eating that seemingly healthy chicken sandwich thinking it's the best choice on the menu, when often times, it's not. is a fab site that lists thousands of restaurants and places you would potentially buy food...even the local 7 eleven and your gas station. or you can search brands for foods you make at home. if it's food, it's probably here. and i'm not gonna lie, it's not so good sometimes!

for instance, movie theater know you love it! and once you start eating, you can't stop. check this label, though:
i'm sorry...did you see that right??? a medium sized butter popcorn popped in coconut oil is 910 calories...holy fatness batman!!!

i tell the kids that knowledge is power, so i guess from now on i need to educate myself a little on my dining choices...soft or hard taco...beef or chicken, etc. there are lots of surprises in there.

forced to grab something quick...sometimes the salad isn't the best choice. crazy but true. the sesame chicken salad at mcdonald's with the low fat dressing is 440 calories while the bbq snack wrap is only 240 calories and if eaten with a bag of apple dippers and no caramel sauce at 35 calories, you are up on the game.
check out and make informed food choices...and don't forget the drinks too!!

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