Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Go! Go! Gadget Tuesday - Let's Talk Popcorn

I'm not sure if I have ever let it be known, but I love popcorn.  It is one of my favorite snacks, well, besides chips (regular, bbq).  I am not really a sweets person I would rather go for salty.  Now, this leads me to this new gadget (I have had for a while) I found at Sur La Table.  

It is a very great popcorn popper for the microwave and no oil is needed.  It is so easy to use and clean-up is a snap.  I cannot have the conveniently packaged popcorn because I cannot have dairy  (the butter) and a few other ingredients (which is a discussion for another time).  The 'poptop' popcorn popper allows me the fun of a popcorn snack without making me sick.

If you are looking for an easy-to-use popcorn popper.  This is definitely the ticket. 

**this is not a sponsored post

Have a Happy Tuesday!


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Impossible Dream?

In the mornings I try my best to have a quiet time.  Though not always successful I read a devotional, my Bible, and have a time in prayer.  I also keep a book handy to write in; not necessarily a journal, but an everything book.  In it is my schedule for the day; goals for the week/month; inspirational quotes.  You get it - an everything book that I keep with me all the time. 
I was looking through my book for a little inspiration and came to this reading that I had copied and glued in the front.  It was a reading from 'Guidepost 2016' about pursuing ones dreams (something I am still working towards today). It reads:
“For with God nothing will be impossible.”  -Luke 1:37 (NKJV)
“A speaker at church talked about the courage to pursue our dreams.  “What dreams I have, God put in my heart, so that makes it a mandate that I respond to them because they’re from God.  And remember, you will not know how the dream will be fulfilled, only that through your actions it will be”.
I thought back to when I’d found the courage to pursue a dream.  For years, I’d wanted to write for Guidepost, but had no idea how to go about it.  Then a friend read about the biannual Guideposts Writers Workshop competition and urged me to enter.  I was hesitant.  Seeing my reluctance, she added, “God doesn’t give you the dream without giving you the courage to take the action to pursue it.”  With that, I wrote my story and submitted it.  Accepted or not, win or lose, the point was to act on my dream, to do something about it, toward it.
I’m happy to report that my entry provided the opportunity to fulfill my dream of writing Daily Guideposts devotions, which I’ve done since 1999.
Dreams can be opportunities to step out in faith, not knowing how the dreams will be fulfilled, and that can be scary.  But just as the speaker said that night, “If your dreams aren’t big enough to scare you, then they probably aren’t big enough.”
Written by:  Melody Bonnette Swang

So, in the past year I have pursed one or 2 of my dreams.  It has been challenging and scary at times, but at least I took that first step and I can say that I am pursuing my dream(s).

Some days are easier than others.  Some days I feel like giving up.  That's when I need that little bit of inspiration; that little push.  So, sink or swim I am continuously pursing that dream and finding a use for the gifts God has given me. (Oh, and I never read anywhere that the journey would be easy.)

On this Monday I hope these words will encourage you to pursue your dreams.  Work at what makes you happy.  

Happy Monday

Saturday, September 23, 2017

First Day Of Fall 2017

Welcome the First Day of Fall 2017

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Go Go Gadget Tuesday

It has been a while since Gadget Tuesday.  I wanted to bring it back because there are so many fun kitchen/cooking gadgets out there (good and not so great).  This day, this gadget is one of the best.

I have made the most wonderful gadget discovery.  I was at my favorite stores, Bread Beckers. (The Becker family has a wonderful store of whole grains, natural foods, cookbooks, classes, on-line videos, and more.  Check out their web site -  As I was checking down each isle to see if there could possibly be something that I needed (ha, ha, there is always something I find that I need), this little number jumped out at me. 
 It is a 'Chef' Salad Dressing Emulsifier.  
Why is this gadget so special?  Well, the first reason is, I am a salad lover.  I could eat some type of salad for lunch and dinner.  The second reason is, I love to make fresh dressings and vinaigrette.  This little gadget makes it fun and easy (oh, and in my opinion you need more than one).

All that is needed to create your own dressing is: 
1. Pour your ingredients into the bottle
2. Squeeze the trigger                           
The stir stick blends the ingredients automatically.

There are recipes on the side of the bottle. Score!

Other features are:
   *easy to use
   *It has a leak proof lid for storage
   *Dishwasher safe (easily to disassemble for cleaning and easily reassembled)
Lastly, I will leave you with my favorite dressing recipe (and of course happens to be on the side of the bottle).

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
1/3 cup white vinegar
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced garlic
salt & pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients in a dressing bottle or small mason jar or if you have my favorite dressing emulsifier - shake, stir, or pull the bottle trigger.  You now have a great dressing and a happy salad.

Have a Wonderful Tuesday!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

5 Months of Happenings or My How Time Flies

There is an old saying that is, oh, so true for me right now; “My, how time flies when you’re having fun.”  And boy have we been having fun.  This post is going to quickly recap the craziness that has been my life for the last 5 months.

Let’s get this calendar of events started with the month of February. February was the month that we moved from the home we have had for 14 years (Do you know how much stuff you accumulate in 14 years?) to our new home we had built in the North Georgia Mountains.  We broke ground in June of 2016 and the house was completed on February of 2017.

Moving on to the month of March.  This month did not slow down.  It was moving at warp speed.  There were boxes to unpack, getting settled, and making our new place look like home.  And the fun did not end there. 

March 25th I was on the road to a very special baby shower in Tennessee. Then leaving Tennessee for a Food Photography Workshop in Charleston with 2 of my favorite people in the world - Helene Dujardin and Tami Hardeman-Boutté.  I believe (and Helene can correct me if I am wrong) I have worked 12 workshops and there has never been a dull moment and always a good time.  The added benefit is the attendees.
(*side note: Helene and Tami are doing a Food Styling and Photo Workshop in Tuscany, Italy, September 27th to October 1st. What a wonderful workshop that will be.  To find out more and how to sign-up click on this link: Tuscany, Italy Workshop )

March Workshop:
Helene doing her magic

Tami creating the most beautiful sandwich ever
attendee practicing technique

and let's not forget the beach

March is out and April is in:
April was the month for birthdays – my middle son is at the beginning of the month. My birthday comes in the middle (was not ready to turn 59).
Matthew with his son Julian
The day after my birthday a new member of the family arrived:  Lillian Grace Stephens 7 lbs. 2 oz.
Lillian Grace
Trip to West Palm to meet Lillian
Proud Papa

May was a Mother's Day Lunch and a visit from family.  

We start off June with a visit to the Booth Western Museum in Cartersville, GA. for an extended exhibit of work by Ansel Adams.  If you ever have a chance to visit this museum you will not be disappointed.  It is kind of a hidden treasure.

Next came a week with our oldest grandson.  I loved this week and wish it had lasted longer.  It was like Summer Camp – hiking, biking, swimming, kayaking, paddle boating, games, art, late night movies.  It was quite a week.  I am already planning next year. 


As a family, we sent the end of June out with a bang.  We celebrated a long overdue Family Reunion to break in our new home.  There was food, fun, and just spending time together. The rest of the week was spent at the lake, pool, and a trip to Blue Ridge for a train ride.

Well, this ends my story of the 5 months of adventure.  Stay tuned for more happenings, more fun, and more recipes.
Ya'll Come Back Now, Ya Hear

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Charleston Workshop Continued

Here are more shots from the January workshop.  The weather was perfect. The meals, as always, were great.  Each day was packed with instruction and fun. Helene, John, and Gina did a great job.  I believe it just deserved a second post: from food styling, going to meet the fishing boats, making gnocchi, and the beach.  It was quite a week.

Thanks so Much,

**A side note:  
    There is another work shop coming up in March.  If you 
    are interested go to workshop link for all the information.