Thursday, March 5, 2015

Mixing It Up - Homemade Baking Mixes

I love the convenience of mixes when I'm cooking but I don't always like the strange unpronounceable ingredients in some of the mixes I find in the store! So I often make my own mixes. These are just as convenient as bought mixes but less expensive and I know whats in them. 

Here are a few of my favorite mixes.

This was the first biscuit mix I tried and I really liked it

I've also found another biscuit mix - Homemade Baking Mix - that I really like and that uses butter instead of vegetable oil. I sometimes replace a cup or so of all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour as well.

An option I haven't tried yet but will soon is Homemade Baking Mix - Healthified

Another mix I'm glad I found is homemade Cornbread Mix. We love cornbread and it is so nice to have this handy mix available.

Here is the cornbread mix recipe I use.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 cups yellow cornmeal
1 cup sugar
6 Tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

To make cornbread

1 cup cornbread mix
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 egg
1/3 cup milk

Mix ingredients together, pour into pan or muffin cups and bake at 400 degrees F. for 15-17 minutes.

Kitchen Food Storage Deals

I like to make my own cooking mixes and I also like to have plenty of staples like flour, sugar, dried beans and rice. My problem at the moment is that I really don't have very good storage options for a large variety of these staples. With that in mind I went on a search on Amazon for some solutions to my problem and found these canister sets and containers that
look like they would be perfect. And I love the chalkboard labels at the end of this post. Clicking on image will let you see more details about each of the following items.

Oggi 5355 4-Piece Locking Acrylic Canister Set with Spoons (9% off)

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This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation if you make a purchase using these links.

Morning Musing Over Coffee - Pondering the Infinite and Hard Work

If everybody ponders the infinite instead of fixing the drains, many of us will die of cholera. ~ John Rich

When I first read this quote I laughed. But I was also struck with the truth of it. Why do we often place such a high value on the thinker of big thoughts and forget that there is true honor in performing the tasks that require physical labor, sweat and dirt. They are both equally valuable. And sometimes the most brilliant ideas and truths present themselves in the middle of hard dirty work.

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. 
Ecclesiastes 9:10

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 
Colossians 3:23

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Free Car Seat Canopy

I remember when each of my three kids were little how much I appreciated the car seat canopy on my kids car seats. It was nice to be able to it as an added protection from cold, wind or sunshine that was a bit too bright for the baby's sensitive eyes. And sometimes it simply helped provide a calming break from too much overstimulation. I also remember how frustrating it could be if one broke or I had a car seat that simply did not have a canopy.

That's why I'm glad to see this offer to pass on to you. 

Escalate Network wants to give you a promo code for a free carseat canopy (a $49.95 value).

The promo code is "ENBABY” 

Click on "Shop Now", select any canopy you would like (be sure to go to their sizing page so you can get the right size carrier for you). Once you have selected your size, you will automatically be directed to the "shopping bag" where you can enter the promo code “ENBABY” This promo code will take off 100% of the canopy purchase and all you are required to pay are the shipping fees. You can use the code more than once - you just have to open a new browser/window to do so. Due to its nature, this offer can't last long so please hurry.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation if you make a purchase using these links.

Morning Musing Over Coffee - Now

The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The next best time is now. ~ Chinese Proverb

Why is it often so much easier to look back at what we should have done than it is to take a good hard look at the present and make the decision to move forward. There's nothing that can change the past but I do not want to waste the opportunities I have now and then wonder why I didn't take them.  The Bible talks about using our time wisely and being aware of the value of time. 

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. 
Psalm 90:12

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time,
Ephesians 5:15-16

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

How My Indoor Garden Grows

Here's an update on my indoor gardening adventure. The spinach and radishes we planted several weeks ago are looking really nice. The Guinea pigs are enjoying the tender green leaves of the plants that I thin out as they grow and the pots get crowded.

Saturday I planted for more little pots of spinach and placed them on the windowsill of the same window.

My regrowing celery is doing good and I've started a new. I probably should get the first one in soil soon. 

So that's what's growing inside. As soon as this soppy, muddy mess dries outside Doug is planning to get our garden plowed and prepared for early planting. We're planning to expand our garden again this year and I'm excited!


Give Away, Earn Credits, Get Something New!

Check out this really cool way of decluttering and clearing out the things you never use while earning and redeeming credits for the things you really want and could use. What an awesome concept!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation if you make a purchase using these links.

Morning Musing Over Coffee - Are You Causing Brain Damage?

credit: Michelle Meiklejohn

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say "thank you?" ~ William A. Ward

A friend told me about this 24-Hour No-Complain Challenge recently and I've been thinking about it a lot ever since. As pointed out in the post science has shown that complaining and being exposed to complaints is literally damaging to the brain, reducing cognitive function and problem solving capability. So I'm thinking it's time for me to stop causing brain damage by refusing to complain! What if every time I felt the urge to complain I found something to say "thank you" for instead?

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. 
Philippians 4:8

Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 
1 Thessalonians 5:8

TUESDAY - RaRa Linkup, Tell It To Me Tuesdays

Monday, March 2, 2015

Menu Plan Monday - March 1 - 7, 2015

Our breakfasts are typically cereal, fruit and juice and Amanda usually fixes a simple lunch during the week so this menu is mainly dinners. We've been blessed recently with a whole turkey given to us by a friend and it is going to be the base for my menu this week.

SUNDAY - CHURCH FELLOWSHIP DINNER - Slow Cooker Green Beans, Homemade Yellow Cake

MONDAY - Whole Roasted Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Green Beans (leftovers from yesterday), Spiced Sweet Potato Bread

TUESDAY - Broccoli Chicken Casserole (made with turkey), Creamed Corn Casserole, Salad

WEDNESDAY - Dinner at church

THURSDAY - Chicken Tetrazzini, (made with turkey), Salad, Fresh Fruit, Homemade Bread (sharing Tetrazzini with my sister and family)

FRIDAY - Main dish from my sister, Salad, Bread

SATURDAY - Fried Eggs, Sausage, Fresh Fruit, Fried Potatoes, Grits, Juice

MONDAY - Menu Plan Monday TUESDAY -Tell It To Me Tuedays

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This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation if you make a purchase using these links.

Morning Musing Over Coffee: Time

credit: Michelle Meiklejohn

Matthew 25:14 - 28

 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

I've been thinking about this parable lately and it's relationship to the gift of time, who gave it to me and how I use it. 

Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein. ~ Life's Little Instruction Book, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr

Excuses are the tools with which persons with no purpose in view build for themselves great monuments of nothing. ~ Steven Grayhm


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Reading Around the Web - Weekly Roundup of Good Reads

Today I have to share with you a list of interesting, informative and sometimes just plain fun articles that I've read over the last week. 

Whimsical Felt Animals at Love Create Celebrate - I love crafting with felt and these very cute, colorful and yet simple felt animals have my fingers itching to try to make a few myself.

Breakfast Sticks at Buttoni's Low Carb Recipes - Just looking at the picture of these protein filled breakfast sticks makes my mouth water!

The Golden Rule - Loving Myself?? at Sharon Sharing God - How can I properly love my neighbor as myself if I don't properly love myself?

57 Shades of Gray - Aging Gracefully ......... at Debbie-Dabble - With all the hype about 50 Shades of Gray I had to smile at this cute blog post.

Are You In a Tough Spot? at Harvest Lane Cottage - I loved this collection of encouraging verses for those days when life just seems too tough!

Tasty Healthy Carrot Cake at Wholesome Joy Photography - Yummy! Oh so yummy!

What Moms Would Admit if They Were Honest at Faith Along the Way - We need more of this honesty among moms!

7 Ways to Stay Strong When Everything Goes Wrong  at Marc and Angel Hack Life - This site has long been one of my favorite sites and this particular post did not disappoint.

I hope you enjoyed these as much as I did. 

Treasures in Ecclesiastes - Part 7: Morning Musing Over Coffee

Ship your grain across the sea;
after many days you may receive a return.
Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight;
you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.

If clouds are full of water,
they pour rain upon the earth.
Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north,
in the place where it falls there it will lie.
Whoever watches the wind will not plant;
Whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.

As you do not know the path of the wind, 
or how the body is formed in a mother's womb,
so you cannot understand the works of God,
the Maker of all things.

Sow your seed in the morning,
and at evening let your hands not be idle,
for you do not know which will succeed,
whether this or that, 
or whether both will do equally well.

Ecclesiastes 11:1-6

This is such a beautifully written and yet so very practical portion of Ecclesiastes! I love how much God cares about the down to earth matters of our lives.

Basically it seems like these verses can be summed up in just a few points.

1. Diversify or as the saying goes "Don't put all your eggs in the same basket." 

2. Be wise but don't spend so much time analyzing the pros and cons that you don't get anything done at all.

3. Work hard.

4. And having done these things leave it all in God's hands, knowing that His ways are far above ours and we can trust Him with the outcome.

Saturday, February 28, 2015 and Six New Printable Coupons

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Treasures in Ecclesiastes -Part 6: Morning Musing Over Coffee

credit: Michelle Meiklejohn

If the ax is dull
and it's edge unsharpened,
more strength is needed, 
but skill will bring success.
Ecclesiastes 10:10

There are a number of verses in Ecclesiastes that speak of work and of finding joy and fulfillment in the work God has given us. But just as a woodcutter with a dull ax must work harder to accomplish his task so it is with whatever work we find before us. If we do not care for our tools (including our minds and bodies) and develop our skills we will find ourselves struggling so much harder than necessary to accomplish even the simplest of goals. 

Ecclesiastes is such a practical, down to earth, common sense book!  I hope you are enjoying these little forays into Ecclesiastes as much as I am.

Here are the links to the entire series.

Treasures in Ecclesiastes Part 1
Treasures in Ecclesiastes Part 2
Treasures in Ecclesiastes Part 3
Treasures in Ecclesiastes Part 4
Treasures in Ecclesiastes Part 5
Treasures in Ecclesiastes Part 6
Treasures in Ecclesiastes Part 7

Friday, February 27, 2015

Visit - Five Minute Friday

To me the word visit brings to mind warm memories. Memories of large gatherings of extended family who just wanted to be together and visit. I remember the days when someone would simply pull in the driveway, step out to be welcomed with hugs and brought in for coffee because we all wanted to visit. In that time in my life to visit was simply to spend time together  sharing the goings on in our lives, sometime with laughter, sometimes with tears, always with love.

We don't visit much anymore. We post on facebook , tweet on twitter, send a text or email. I think it's time to sit down with someone for a good visit.

If you would like to join this community of writers all writing for five minutes on the prompt of the week please head on over to Heading Home to join in the fun. We write what's in our heart for five minutes without a lot of editing or planning or trying to make it perfect. You can join in the fun by writing, reading, or both. 

SUNDAY - Sunday's Best  SATURDAY - TGI Saturdays

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Treasures in Ecclesiastes - Part 5: Morning Musing Over Coffee

credit: Michelle Meiklejohn

Today's passage is one that has long somewhat amused and somewhat puzzled me. It is such a contrast to how many people (myself included) often view life. 

Do not be overrighteous, 
neither be overwise-
why destroy yourself?
Do not be overwicked,
and do not be a fool-
why die before your time?
It is good to grasp the one
and not let going of the other.
Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.
Ecclesiastes 7:16-18