Thursday, February 11, 2016

Beef A Roni Recipe - DELICIOUS!

It's that time of year again! Time to update my recipes and look for some new ones to take the boredom out of dinner time. I had some luck over at Pinterest and found a good many that I would like to try. Sometimes my eyes are bigger than my grocery budget! Now to make my next menu and slip several of these new meals in there!
I have a confession to make. I LOVE FOOD. I don't mean that I sit down and just stuff my face though. I really enjoy food. The taste. The aroma. The entire process. Whether it is made at home, take out or going to a restaurant for a meal. I love to try new foods, savor the classics and melt away with the comfort foods. And the less fuss, the better. By fuss, I mean an over abundance of bells and whistles. It can be simple (few ingredients), easy to make and still taste wonderful! To coin an old phrase, sometimes less is more!

Several of the BIG food topics floating around now are eating healthy (or eating clean), budget recipes and gluten free. Because of my health issues I have to follow certain guidelines with the foods I cook and eat but I will admit that sometimes I cheat because I just HAVE to eat some cheesecake or get a take out burger!
I would like to share some of these recipes here so that you can enjoy them too! One of the first recipes I want to share is something I found on Gal on a Mission. I have always loved Beef a Roni but as long as I can remember, we always bought it in the can. Easy, yes but I wanted to fix it and know exactly what was going into it! 

I was very pleased how easy it was and delicious it turned out to be. I served it with roasted potatoes (recipe later) and a tossed salad. Plus there was enough left over for a week's worth of lunches and/or snacks. So if you like left overs, this is your dish!  

  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • ½ tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 14 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 pound of macaroni noodles
  1. Cook the macaroni noodles according to the instructions on the package.
  2. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and add in the all of the spices. Make sure the ground beef is fully cooked.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste and tomato sauce. Simmer on low for about 10-12 minutes or until the noodles have finished cooking.
  4. Stir in the noodles.
  5. Serve with Parmesan cheese (optional)

The recipe calls for tomato sauce which is another sore spot in my cooking lately. I wanted a tomato sauce without all the extras. Something simple and once again, something that I know exactly what is in it! We will discuss homemade tomato sauce later in another post.

Monday, February 08, 2016

More Trees And a Few Birds!

Well, here it is another new month. Another new week. Another new blog post. And I still have my trusty coffee with me through it all! I am feeling pretty good about myself and the fact that I have been keeping up with my blogging after that long lull. I realize just how much I enjoy it.

I have had trouble with my email and have been getting a lot of notices that people are sending me emails that cannot be delivered. So I sent each person an email explaining the problem. THEN I find out that Blogger or Google is trying to send me a copy of the comments I leave on other blogs and THAT is the email that cannot be delivered! Pssst. So to those of you who got a strange email from me, I wish I had found this out sooner. To Blogger and/or Google, cut it out!

I was able to get some stitching done on AAFG. I was a little more careful this time and stopped working on it when the hand cramps started instead of pushing myself onward and making them worse.  

I got some stitching time in on And Heaven and Nature Sing. I am enjoying stitching this design!

 A surprise to myself, I pulled out Backyard Birds by La D Da and got some more done on it also! A wonderful Springtime piece.

We had some lovely weather last weekend and the first part of the week. There are buds on the trees and the birds were singing like it was Spring! I loved it. The feeders were empty from the birds gathering for food during the snow storm we had a couple of weeks ago. Before I could get myself up and out the door to fill them all up again, my husband comes in and tells me that he has already done it for me! It's those little things..........  

Thanks for stopping by! Until next time, may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart!

Sunday, January 31, 2016


Before I begin my weekly post, I want to let you know that I have listed my charts for sale over at my sale blog. Please read the directions carefully and if you have any questions, you can email me with them.
I was able to get a little more stitching time in on AAFG. I have been working on this piece on weekends when I have time and on Wednesdays. I remember now why it has taken me this long to get this far on AAFG. Hand Cramps. Usually I can shake out a hand cramp and continue stitching but on this piece, I get some really whoppers that don't want to go away.

I have a new start. And Heaven and Nature Sing by Kathy Barrick. I did not get any Christmas pieces stitched last year. This is such a beautiful design and I am looking forward to working on it.  

After much thought I finally decided that I am going to take on another series of designs! I want to do A Most Suitable Name series by Jeanette Douglas! I just love these little ladies and it should be no problem to do one or two each month!

We are finally getting over that last cold blast that came with a generous helping of snow and ice! It is still cold in the mornings but by mid day it warms up. I am just hoping that we don't see anymore snow or ice this season. Maybe I am just getting old and grumpy but one time a year is my limit now. I am already making my list of things to do and get for nesting season! Seeds, feeders, specialty foods and maybe a new woodpecker house that I have been wanting!

Thanks so stopping by and until next time, may you simple days and an uncluttered heart!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Snow Days are for Stitching

Is it Monday again already? Time certainly does fly!  We have had some extra cold weather lately considering the mild temperatures we were having.  We even had a little bit of snow around the mid part of last week. Nothing to get panicky about. There was no accumulation but it was pretty coming down. Then we got hit hard by a bigger storm several days later! A lot of ice and snow! Very pretty if you could stay indoors and watch it but a real mess to get out in! In anticipation of the storm, I filled up my bird feeders the day before.  

While we were stuck in the house because of the storm (did I mention that I was not going to try to go out in that mess?) I got a little bit done on AAFG. I am almost finished with the last part of the top section then I will move on to the bottom half. Half way finished on this monster! I can honestly say that I will think MORE than twice before taking on another BAP again! lol.

Speaking of AAFG. This was one of the charts that had mysteriously disappeared and I had searched for it everywhere I could think of. I finally reordered it. The day before the new chart arrived, I found the original one in my closet!!!! If I had not re-ordered it though I would probably still be looking for the original! 

 I joined the Joyful World SAL at The Snowflower Diaries blog (link in my sidebar). I had seen this little fox and blackbird floating around the internet on various blogs  that I follow. I thought he was adorable but I kept telling myself that I had enough to work on. And I do. But I finally caved. I have the fabric, some of the threads and I still need to print out the chart. If and when I decide to pick it up, I can. It might be nice to have a smaller project to work on so I can see a finish more often while working on these larger ones.

 This will probably be the last picture of the Our Father by My Big Toe that I post until after I have it framed this Spring! I finished it up this past week! It is not finished in this picture but close enough. I really did not want to work on other projects until I got this one finished up and set aside! Now I can start working on some of these others!

I am working on gathering some of my charts that I am either finished with or know I will never get around to stitching. I will be putting them on my Sale and Trade blog soon. I will let you know when they are up and ready!

Until next time, may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart!

Monday, January 18, 2016

My Favorite Things

Even though it is still Winter, the Bluebirds are already shopping for a suitable place to raise a family! I always keep my fingers crossed that at least one couple will choose one of the birdhouses in our yard!  

I decided that it was time to pull some of those WIPs  out and work on them some even if each one only gets several hours a month. I do this every year then I get tired of working on them but this year I am going to do my very best to stay strong! I really don't like to use the term WIP. I prefer to refer to them as "in my hoop". Some of these have sat around so long because the charts mysteriously disappeared! I got tired of looking for them and just reordered the ones that were still available!  Among the ones I pulled out was And A Forest Grew by Rosewood Manor. This is my oldest WIP. There a few others that I will share as I work on them.

I was able to get some more stitched on the Our Father by My Big Toe. I am pleased with my progress on it and how it is turning out. The Our Father and the Apostle's Creed are basically the same design so I wanted to make them look alike by using similar colors but I also wanted each to be different in it's way so I used different fabrics. Who knows, I may finish this one up before my next round of infusions!  

I noticed that I have some new followers! Fun! I hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy posting on it. Until next time, may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

It's Stitching Time!

I finally have some stitching news to report!  

I was able to finish up The Apostle's Creed by My Big Toe which was an infusion project that I did during my Vasculitis treatments.  

I started on The Our Father by My Big Toe as my current infusion project. I am working on Our Father more often because I don't want it to take 1.5 years to finish like the first infusion project. I am so sorry for all the wrinkles. I did not lay them out very well.

On both of these I changed the colors around. The colors the designs called for were beautiful but I just needed some ZING! Also, I have not used all of the bottom borders because of fabric space and because of the excitement to finish them!
I have already picked out my next infusion project and have it kitted and ready to go!
I am trying to continue stitching from my stash as much as possible. I bought these because I fell in love with them and letting them sit in boxes unstitched just doesn't do them justice! I buy a few here and there but not as often.
My doctor and I decided to re-adjust the time frame on my treatments and since then I am finally feeling more like myself again after battling all of my health issues over the past several years.  I am looking forward to Spring and catching up on some gardening, tending to my roses, growing some tomatoes and herbs, watching my nesting birds, stitching and just "gently" enjoying life again.

Thank you all for not giving up on me and patiently waiting for my return. I love my blog and I love my followers! You guys are the best. Until next time, may you have simple days and uncluttered heart.

Monday, January 04, 2016

Life Really DOES Go On!

As many of you know I was diagnosed with a life threatening form of Vasculitis in September 2013. Vasculitis is inflammation of the veins and arteries and can invade your vital organs, depending on what type of Vasculitis you have and the severity.

I still remember the day I was told of the diagnosis and told I should get my affairs in order. My husband and I drove home in a state of shock. I turned to him and said "What did she say that I have? All I heard was life threatening." I had never heard of this auto immune disorder before.

The past several years have been a period of learning for me. Learning that I can't do everything I once did anymore. Even on my good days I have to limit what I do or my body will pay dearly for it. I have learned to listen to my body and know when I need to rest.

 I learned to change my priorities. Knowing that you have a life threatening illness can change everything. You can either live in denial or accept it and move on as best you can. I chose to move on. I have learned to balance my emotions by remaining as positive as I can.

I have learned that things I never thought would happen to me, can and very possibly will because of the Vasculitis. So far this past year I have had cataract surgery on both eyes and a total hip replacement. Both because of the Vasculitis.

I have also learned that the good days are precious and I appreciate each one of them more than I ever did before. I have learned to find joy in the little things that I never noticed before. Each day is blessing for me. It is what I choose instead of feeling grief over the life I left behind.

I am not perfect. I am only human. I still have my bad days when breathing is a challenge or one of my many other symptoms (or other auto immune disorders) rears it's ugly head. Occasionally, I have a pity party where I cry for hours and wonder "why me?".  But when all is said and done, I realize how lucky I am that it is not worse and how grateful I am to still be here.

I still have my stitching to comfort me and keep me calm. I still have my backyard birds to serenade me and I still have my blog that waits patiently for those good days when I can post updates! I still have my faith which only grows stronger every day now. I still have my friends and family who stand by me (even if they don't totally understand it all) because they care. Most of all I have my wonderful husband who helps me, sits with me during treatments and is always there to support me in silence and I couldn't do it without him.

I know this is a lot about me and something that many of you have never heard of before now but if I can touch one person who has it or make one person who has never heard of it aware of it then I have succeeded.

I realize that this is was started as a blog for my hobbies and I promise to keep it that way. Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read about my life. You are all very special to me which is why I wanted to share this with you. 

Until next time, may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart.  

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!

This is the same post I make almost every year. Sometimes I adjust it depending on my needs or life situation. So far it has worked for me.

A New Year is right around the corner! A brand new clean calendar! It is up to each one of us what we do with it. Each year I make the same basic goals with a possible extra or two tossed in for good measure. I prefer to use "goals" instead "resolutions" because I feel I am taking already important things in my life and putting my focus on strengthening them. 

1. To make an effort to learn something new every day. The joy of knowledge is indeed a blessing no matter what you choose to learn.

2. To make time for myself. It's amazing what 15 minutes sitting on the deck with a hop cup of coffee and watching the birds can do for my soul. A little time each day to refresh my spirit is all it takes.

3. To take time to appreciate each day. Too often we forget to see the beauty around us and take the simple things in life for granted. My continued goal is to look with my eyes but to see with my heart. To simply enjoy life and all that is part of it.

4. To enjoy my family and friends. I am lucky to have each and every one of them in my life.

5. Organize and Simplify! Two keys words I always yearn to make a part of my everyday routine but often lose focus on. Organize does not mean that I have to go on a cleaning rampage each day. It just means I need to get my life and things that are part of my life in some sort of manageable order so that I feel comfortable instead of constantly overwhelmed. Not putting things off until the last minute can contribute greatly to this cause. Simplify! Just what it means - plain and simple! Stop making a mountain out of a mole hill, do what I can and leave the rest, don't take on more than I can handle or feel will leave me stressed out!

6. To Remember. So many people have come and gone from my life over the past years and I want to keep their memory alive.

7.  To keep my faith alive and strong.

8. A Random Act of Kindness. Like so many others, I was raised to do them. Only back then they were called "manners" or just plain "consideration for others". So many people still do these and without even realizing it. For the New Year coming up, I challenge myself along with each and every one of you to make RAK's a regular part of your life and to become more aware of them. Whether it means opening a door for a person, buying a stranger a cup of coffee, taking the grocery cart back inside the store or something else. Let us all strive to bring back those values and in doing so we will give back and make someone's day a little brighter!

9. To Forgive. Things happen that cause hurt, anger and resentment but often the people who cause these emotions don't care. We are the ones left with bitter feelings that only mount up and make us more and more miserable. I will the let the past remain in the past and let go of these feelings so that I can move on with my life.

10. To use kind words and patience more often. I will try to live by the good old standard "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

And of course the New Year would not be complete without a few just plain fun goals!

1. Start taking more trips. Even day trips can be fun.

2. No pressure. Keep the fun and joy in stitching. This is why I started in the first place!

3. Take more pictures.

4. Continue to write in my gratitude journal daily.

5. To update my blog more often.

Have a safe New Year's Eve! Thanks for stopping by! Until next time, may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart!