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Monday, May 31, 2010

Mexican Lasagna - Recipe

One of my favorite meals to make at home is Mexican Lasagna. It is seriously addictive.

I'm not typically a fan of Mexican food, but this is different. You can control how hot or spicy you make it by the level of salsa you put in it. Since I'm a wimp when it comes to anything hot or spicy, I use mild salsa.

Here's the recipe, modified to my personal taste:
2 lbs Ground Beef (I use 80/20)
1 16oz can Refried Beans
1 16oz can of Black Beans, drained
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp leaf oregano
1 tsp cumin
Lasagna Noodles, uncooked
2 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 cups salsa
2 cups sour cream, not fat-free
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 small can of black olives
2 cups shredded cheese (I use the colby and monterey jack mix for more flavor)

Here's how to make it:
(Heat oven to 350 degrees)

Brown the beef. Drain thoroughly.

In a bowl (while the beef is browning), mix the beans, spices, and 1/2 cup water.
Mix thoroughly and then add to the drained beef.

Stir well.
Remove from heat.

In a 9 x 13" pan, layer the lasagna noodles.
(Spray pan first with a cooking spray so the noodles don't stick)

Top that with 1/2 of the meat mixture.
Add another layer of noodles, and the rest of the meat mixture.

Sprinkle enough of the shredded cheese to cover the top.

In a separate bowl, mix 2 cups of water and 2 1/2 cups of salsa.
Pour that over the top. Use a fork to lift noodles a little so that the mixture gets into the whole pan.

Bake at 350 for 1 1/2 hours.

Mix sour cream, green onions, and olives.
Top the lasagna with the mixture, sprinkle with the remainder of the cheese, and bake for 15 more minutes.
(I don't like green onions and hubby doesn't like black olives, so I omit these when making it for us.)

When it's all done, it'll be ooey-gooey yum-yum-yummy.

Now scoop you up a plate full and enjoy.

(This is a prescheduled post.)


Saturday, May 29, 2010


It's Memorial Day Weekend.................

As you go about celebrating with family, attending picnics, barbeques, and parades, having fun at the lake, or taking the extra couple of days to get caught up on things around the house, please remember the reason for the holiday...........
The wars that have changed people to the deepest part of their core...

The mothers who will never hold their children again.
The fathers, brothers, and sisters who grieve that same loss...

The husbands and wives who are raising children alone because their spouses committed to give their lives for our freedom - and did...

The soldiers, both men and women, who have literally lost their arms and legs to war, to try and make life better for someone other than themselves...

The soldiers who see the faces of dead comrades each time they close their eyes.

The soldiers who suffer in the elements and go without food and sleep for days on end to protect those around them.

The families and friends whose lives have been forever altered because their loved ones layed down their lives to help give freedom where there wasn't any.

The veterans who are now homeless because their participation in a war has taken their senility, removing their ability to function in society.

Please acknowledge these men and women who serve in the military because they want to create a better world for you and me to live in. Try to understand the commitment tied to those uniforms when you see them and let the people wearing them know how much they are appreciated.

(I once heard a kid tell a soldier that he wanted a costume like his to wear for Halloween. The soldier replied, "Son, this isn't a costume, this is a responsibilty." The kid said. "Then I want a responsibility."  Oh, how little they understand....... ) The soldier just smiled and rubbed the little guy's head, "Maybe someday kid, maybe someday.")

I'm remembering my own dad today who served in The Korean War. Although he didn't lose his life to that war, he was greatly impacted by his service to it.

We all love and miss you so very much!

This is a prescheduled post. I hope it works this time.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

When Someone You Love is Hurting

See this handsome guy.........

This is my nephew and I love him like he's my own. Ask anybody that knows me, they'll tell you. If you know me, you know about him.
He is hurting right now. So bad.
And my whole family is hurting with him.
He recently lost his best friend/cousin to suicide and he doesn't understand how to process his feelings.
His pain runs very deep, and it affects my entire family.
I understand his pain all to well, as my own best friend was murdered 9 years ago. It is a deep, gutteral pain that is felt in every fiber of your being.


When someone you love is hurting, especially in this way, the family that has scattered and separated themselves from each other, suddenly find a purpose to draw close to one another again. That happened yesterday in my family.


Yesterday I saw my sister in a whole new light.
For the first time in years, I saw her hurt like only a mother can.
And it hurt me to see her hurting so deeply.
If only you understood how significant that was.


A love for one person, shared by so many, can make you lay aside any ill will you may harbor toward another in an effort to help the one you all love. 


Yesterday I got a call telling me I needed to come home.
I got in the car immediately and did so.
A few months ago, it would've taken me days to get here.


When we decided to move back near home, my husband asked me why I wanted to move back and all I could say was that God was directing me to do so.
He completely understood, and we proceeded to move back.
No questions asked.
He loves me that way.....


Can I just tell you, God's timing is perfect. He knows when we're needed, and where we're needed, and He makes provision for us to be there.


I have to take a little break for a week or so, so that I can be there for my family. I won't be here on the blog, or able to visit yours. I know you understand.


I'm calling on my blog friends to unite in prayer with me for him. His name is Tyler. 

 "Where two or more are gathered in his name, believing, so shall you receive....." 

SHALL, not might, not maybe, but SHALL.

I'm holding on to that for a perfect healing for this child my family loves so much. The pain goes much deeper than I can tell you about here and it has drastically impacted those that love him.


You all know how much I believe in the power of prayer, and I know I can count of all of you to help lift him up.
With so many people praying for him, I just know he'll feel it deep in his heart where it truly counts.

Thank you, each one of you, from the deepest part of my heart.

Monday, May 24, 2010

My Guy

This is my guy and I love him a whole muncho-bunchos.
Two days ago we celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary, and 23 years together. And today is his birthday.

We laugh together, we cry together, sometimes we make ugly faces at each other, and lots of times we talk baby talk to each other. We text funny things to each other all the time. He washes dishes, does the laundry, and goes grocery shopping, so I think I'll keep him for a while longer.:)
We've been on the mountain top together, and we've trudged through a few valleys along the way. We've been close to rich and we've been really close to poor. Whatever we are, wherever we are, it's always together, hand in hand.

He's a funny, funny guy, but I'll never admit it to him. :)
People who don't know him well don't believe it when I tell them the funny things he does. He comes off as so serious to other people, but I get the playful side of him at home.
Happy Birthday my Willy-Billy.
Pookie bear loves you.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Blog Tip for Newbies - Does that 'Followers' Gadget put too Much Pressure on You?

DISCLAIMER: This post is for the sole purpose of helping beginning bloggers to continue blogging without the pressure to compete. If you have no issue with your numbers, this post isn't for you, so please don't take offense. Just realize that there are others starting out here and it helps to not have the pressure of the amount of followers they have yet to gain.
I've been reading many posts on numerous blogs lately about some of the pressures we have as bloggers. This post is not to rehash any of that, but it is interesting just how many blogs have been having discussions on the topic. The comments are always through the roof whenever it comes up.

Something I see recurring in the comments on a regular basis is how so many of the newer bloggers worry about the number on their followers gadget for one reason or another.
Many of them, although relatively new, are already seeing the pressure to 'grow their numbers'.

I've even seen many seasoned bloggers talk about removing the followers gadget from their blogs to take away the competition aspect of it. Some bloggers already have.

Personally, I keep the gadget on my blog so that I can see who is on it. I often click on their blogs to see who is reading mine and see what they're blogging about.

I've found some fabulous blogs by clicking on the icons in the followers on other people's blogs.
So, to establish my opinion - I like them.

(EDITED at 9:45pm: I removed what I had previously written in this space regarding what I don't like about the followers gadget. In rereading it, I realized that it sounded rude and unappreciative, and that wasn't how I meant to come across. To those of you that already read that part, I hope I didn't offend you.)
I blog because I enjoy it. I blog because it allows me to have interaction with others. I blog for me, and if you like me, hop on board - but if I'm not you're cup of tea, well, that's okay, I'll understand.

 If you choose to subscribe to my blog instead of follow me, that's ok with me too. I subscribe to many of you in a reader, so if you don't see my face in your follower gadget, don't assume I'm not following you. I am, but it's more than likely in a reader. I follow many blogs anonymously simply because I started following them before I was a blogger myself and I didn't know to put my name in.
That number on your followers isn't accurate anymore anyway since the popularity of blog readers.
You may show 100 following you, but you could have 500 more subscribing, which is just like following, only without adding to your numbers for everyone else to see. Please don't let your numbers bother you. Everybody starts at the same spot. They've all been where we've all been or may still be.

One of my favorite blogs has less than 50 followers.

So let me ask you......
Does this little widget intimidate you?

(Image courtesy of  Google Images)

If it does, then let me offer you a temporary solution.


You will still be able to see how many followers you have in your dashboard, but it will not be visible to the readers.
When your numbers get to a level that you're comfortable displaying, turn them back on.

Look at mine. Right there on the right. It should be there right about now if I planned this post length correctly.

See - no numbers. I love that!
I could have 200 or 2000. You'd never know by looking, would you?

Wanna do that on your own blog?

Here's how:
1. Go to your "layout" page
2. Click on the edit button
3. You'll see this box pop up.
If you have a white background, follow the directions I typed in the box.

If you have a colored background, you'll need to know the number of the color you have, and that is the number that you will put in the "Content Headlines" box.
You can find that number in your html code for your blog under "background color".

That's all you have to do!

And again, to reiterate:
This post is for the sole purpose of helping beginning bloggers to continue blogging without the pressure to compete. If you have no issue with your numbers, this post isn't for you, so please don't take offense.
Just realize that there are others starting out here and it helps to not have the pressure of the amount of followers they have yet to gain.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Notes from My Prayer List

Hello friends. This is going to be a very different kind of post today.

You know how it is here in blogland - it's such a big, big world, and yet so small at the same time. It's amazing how easily, and how quickly we all start making connections with one another.

We start to care deeply about the people we visit, and who visit us, and we truly start to build friendships.
I know I have.

Well, friends come to the aid of those they care about, right?
Of course we do.

When our friends hurt, so do we. We feel their pain because we've come to know them so well, and perhaps we've been in their shoes and can understand where they are.
And when they hurt, we offer them our prayers.

Do you remember to honor the prayers you promised?

I'm sorry to admit that I myself have gotten busy on occassion and forgot until much later. I've given myself a rule to never let that happen again.

The purpose of today's post is to spread the word about those we've come to know through our blogs who are hurting and need prayer.

I'm personally asking you to say a prayer for these friends and maybe even stop by their blogs to show your support and let them know you are thinking of them.

I firmly believe in the power of prayer, as I've seen what's it's done in my own life.

The lovely Country Lady from At Home with a Country Lady has requested prayer for her daughter-in-law. She is a young beautiful woman who just had a stroke, and the family is understandably beside themselves.
Please, stop and say a prayer for her recovery right now. With a stroke, every minute counts.

My very dear friend Brenda from Cozy Little House is going through numerous trials right now. She shares candidly on her own blog, so there's no need for me to reiterate here.
I will tell you this though. Brenda is mommy to several little fur babies. If you read her blog, you know how much a part of her life they are. A few days ago, one of her cats got out of the yard and has not returned home. She has looked daily for her, to no avail thus far.
Here's her little Bonnie:
All of the other animals have started reacting to Bonnie's absense and they are sensing Brenda's pain as well.
For those of you who have your own fur babies, I know you understand. This kitty has been part of her life for many, many years. Please pray for her safe return.

I wish I could tell you Brenda's story ended there, but sadly, it doesn't. There are much more serious things happening in her life, and I'm sure she won't mind me asking for you to pray for wisdom and direction for her to make some very though decisions.
And then there's Jane over at Mamie Jane's. She's such a lovely person with a wonderful spirit. She's a lover of all things vintage and thrifty and you'll find her attending many parties around blogland. She sent me the best gift EVER, and I'll be sharing it with you all soon.

A few months ago, Jane's husband was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease. Although she doesn't mention it much, she and her husband remain on my prayer list, and I'm asking that you put them on yours too.
This is her husband with his new scooter!

Next is Laura Gunn at Decor to Adore. I'm linking you to the page where I'd like you to start reading if you aren't already a follower of hers. This is the most inspirational story of triumph over tradgedy that I believe I personally have ever heard.
This is Laura AND her daughter, both graduating on the SAME day!

A few months ago Laura had a car accident in which she broke a few bones and hurt her neck. She is continuing to heal from the injuries, but it never hurts to keep up with the prayers.
And if that wasn't enough to deal with while trying to finish her classes, she also lost her 'mother' around the same time. Once you read her story, you will understand who 'mother' is.

The loss of a loved one is never an easy thing at any time.
Which brings me to the next person on my list.

If you know Donna from Funky Junk, you already know this.
But just incase you don't, Donna recently lost her own mother very suddenly.

I'll let you read about it on her personal blog because no words I can say here would even compare to the eloquent sentiments she has spoken herself.
It is hard to lose someone you love so dearly, and sometimes after everything is said and done, and the hectic days turn into silent nights, we forget to continue praying for healing and restoration of heart for those who have been hurting.

 I lost my own dad, who I was very close to, 14 years ago, and I still hurt over it today as if it just happened. I know that the pain is very real. Time will ease the pain, but it won't take it away.

I'm asking you to please remember to pray for these people as they continue to heal and find the new 'normal' in their lives.
If you have someone you know that needs to be lifted up in prayer, please tell us about it in the comments and we'll add them to our lists.

My own list has grown to over 300 people, and I assure you, if you're on my list, you're receiving daily prayer.
Blessings to each of you.

Let me Explain - About My Facebook

I've had numerous people from blogland, mostly followers, send me a friend request on Facebook. I haven't answered those, and here's the reason why. First of all, you have a choice to accept or ignore. I think ignore sounds so ugly, so I don't press that button.

As far as accepting you as a friend, Here is why I haven't done that yet.

My Facebook account using my personal name is one I only use for family and the friends we just left back in Denver when we moved to KY. When I set it up, I hadn't even discovered blogging yet. I set it up to keep up with my niece and nephews, grandkids, and my hubby's kids.
I don't have any business or blog content on it.

So, because I'm getting requests more often, I've decided to set up a page for my blog friends. It will be about another week before I have time to do that and put content on it, but I'll be sure to let you know when I do.

I hope I haven't offended anyone by not accepting your friend request thus far, but now you know the reason why.

Thanks for understanding.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

New in the Shop - Pink & Green 'Free to be Me!' Aprons

I have had a few requests for brighter colored aprons lately, and I promise, they're coming soon. I found some great pieces to make a couple of pink and green ones for you today.

I just added two of these in the shop. When they're gone, they're gone.

Double Pocket
Birdie applique with stitched feet
Fun lime green ball fringe with beads

$35, free shipping

Grab them here: Pink & Green Apron

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

It's My Turn in the Parade! Funky Junk Follower's Giveaway

I'm so excited. I've watched the goodies being offered all week over at Funky Junk in honor of her 2000 Followers Event, and today it's my turn!

Now we all know I've given away plenty of stuff here in blogland. You've all seen my work aprons.

But this one different for me.

It's different because I've decided to venture outside of my comfort zone of work aprons and add a fun new line to my offerings.

I'm proud to introduce to you my NEW BoHo Chic apron line 'Free to be Me!'

'Free to be Me!' is a new fun line of waist aprons with a touch of whimsy.

I started searching out vintage clothes at thrift stores trying to find some unique patterns that I couldn't get at the fabric shops. I was looking for things I could cut up and use as pockets. As I was looking, it hit me - Why don't I make vintage looking aprons with these great clothing finds?

So, I decided I would.

These aprons are made completely different than what you've seen from me before. I've made them to look carefree, with lots of raw edge applique and colorful ribbon and button embellishments.

I call them 'Free to be Me!' because that's how I feel when I'm creating them. I pick the embellishments and trims as I go, and it gives me the opportunity to use a lot of fabric scraps that I couldn't bear to throw away.

These aprons are all one of a kind.

So that means, if you see something you like, grab it then or you'll lose it. And, they're priced from $25-35, with free shipping on the whole line!

I'll be adding 8-10 of these a week to my etsy shop, which you can find on my right sidebar.

Here are just a few I have available now.
(Pop over to the etsy shop and you can see all of the close up pictures)

What do you think so far?

Of course I have a mission to be sure that everyone in blogland has an apron of their own, and I'm starting by offering these for the first time over at Funky Junk's Giveaway Extravaganza.

You have to go over there and let her know which of the following two aprons you'd like to have for yourself.
And remember, if you see something in the shop now that you like, be sure and grab it.
If you happen to win one of these in the giveaway, I'll refund your purchase if you already bought one.

Here are your options:


Hope you win!

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think of the new line.

More Loot up for Grabs

I'm a day behind on the giveaway parade over at Funky Junk, so this post will be a two-fer.

Oh, by the way, I forgot to tell you that you can enter for all the giveaways until Donna closes the party. Keep scrolling down my blog to see each of the prizes and you'll see the link in the posts to get to them.

Missy at The Little Green Bean has been whipping her sewing skills into over drive. She's created some beautiful purses using her own design. You should see how pretty these are, and functional to boot.

Go peek in her etsy shop and see all of the pattern combinations she has offer. And then head back to Funky Junk to let her know which one you'd like to have.


And today's giveaway is one of my favorites. You all know I'm a sewing junkie, and Sherry over at Creations From My Heart is a gal that shares the same love I do.

She has a line of pinsushions she creates that make me heart speed up a bit. I have her creating one for me right now, and I think I've spotted it in one of her giveaway options. (Now if I can just get her apron made, I'd be able to get my pincushion!)

Here are the 3 items she's offering for your prize.

How cute is this? !
Look at all those great pins.
Sherry and I actually met because she noticed that I was using some of the same buttons on my aprons that she was using on her pincushions. We've been on a mutual search for discontinued buttons for a while now. :(

Here is another option. This is the one that looks suspiciously like the one I asked for.
(Sherry, is this like mine? If so, I'm squealing! I'll get on that apron right away now!)
You'll be pleased to know that the pincushion actually consists of everything in the picture. That's right, the little saucer and spoon are a part of it. Isn't that darling?

I'm telling you, I LOVE these.
All it takes is a cutey pincushion to make me a happy girl. Well, that, and buttons. I'm a simple gal.

Here's option #3.
Sherry also makes many other great items, and this is one of them. It's a beautiful memory journal.
All of these are hand embellished. And see the button details................ahhhh, a gal after my own heart........


Tomorrow is my day for the giveaway!

I know you're used to seeing my work aprons, but believe it or not, that's NOT what I'm giving away this time.

Tomorrow I'll be introducing you to my newest line, Free to Be Me. They are a BoHoChic style of aprons that have been upcycled from various carefully selected clothing pieces.
I accidentally (:)) sold
several of them already, so I'm working away on some more today to add to the shop.

All of the aprons in this line are one of a kinds, so if you see one you like once I start showing them, you should go ahead and grab it then.

I am really loving the creative freedom I have to make these.
Each one seems more fun than the other.
You'll get to see for yourself tomorrow!

Now go register for those great prizes before you forget.


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