Friday, June 28, 2013

Faithful Friday!

About a week ago, I read a devotion that truly got to my heart and my mind... soon after, I saw this and it actually linked perfectly and so I was happy to find it.  Here is what it said...
"A few hundred years after Jesus personally taught His disciples about the innate hunger of the human heart for the Father, Augustine personally attested to the same.  He wrote, 'Thou hast made us for thyself O God, and our hearts are restless until they rest in thee.'  ...Everyone who has ever lived has attempted to prove that he or she is the exception to the rule.  We seek to fill the hole in our soul with pleasure and power and entertainment and friendship and status and wealth.  But in our attempt to be in a league of our own, we find that we have struck out.  Only God can satisfy the longings of our hearts..."

I feel like God lets you see or read things that he wants to impress upon your heart.  Reading this, for me, was such an amazing reminder of how true it is that the world is so distracting.  I say that in the sense that it is so easy to try to find satisfaction in and fill our lives with material or less meaningful things.  When we do, even if it holds us for a while, we quickly learn that the only sure way to have our hearts feel completely full and whole is to satisfy them with God as the focus of our lives.

Just some thoughts that have been on my mind in my walk with the Lord.

~I am also excited to be linking to Faithful Friday on Joy's beautiful blog, Doodlebug, which I am so glad I found recently and love!  You can read her post and enjoy her blog and inspirational posts here :)

Happy Faithful Friday!
I hope you have a beautiful day and a wonderful weekend!!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Peach-Strawberry Cobbler {from Stephanie's Recipe Box}

It doesn't get much more sweet and summery than Peach-Strawberry cobbler!

Since the day I saw her post, I have been telling myself I need to make my dear friend Stephanie's delicious looking cobbler recipe!
She has been such a blessing to my heart over the past several months.  Her blog, The Enchanting Rose, is just as delightful as it sounds and Stephanie has been an encouragement to me in my faith, crafting, life overall, and baking!  I am so thankful she shared this wonderful recipe for everyone to enjoy too.  I know we did, and I'm so glad I tried it.

This was so much fun to get in the kitchen and make!  A true Summer experience, especially refreshing served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
I was so excited to get started on the cobbler.  We used juicy strawberries and Georgia peaches!!
In all honesty, I was a little nervous too because I don't have much experience making cobblers.  My Mama grew up in the country, though, and used to make cobblers all the time with my Grandma, so she helped me. 
It turned out so beautifully... the smells from the oven were so wonderful and the bubbling of the fruit beneath the cobbler crust was mouth-watering as it came out of the oven!

The recipe can be found here on The Enchanting Rose  :)

Thankyou so much Stephanie!!

This cobbler is amazing and was a joy to make- and to eat!  I think I might be addicted after this- there will be many cobblers to come baking in our oven this summer.

If you try this recipe, I hope you enjoy.  I definitely recommend it.

Have a blessed day!!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer, Sweet Summer

Today, we welcome a new season!  Happy first day of Summer!

I always get so excited with the coming of another season.  It's such a blessing and just something to look forward to.  Isn't God so thoughtful and creative to give us four different seasons to look forward to?
I'll admit, growing up in such extreme heat every Summer has made me always wish that Summer would go by fast.  It was never my favorite season... but as I get older, although the temperatures haven't gotten any cooler of course, I focus on the beauty of summer instead:  that it is the time of year when you get to do the most, have the most fun as a family, and do and see so much more outside.

Thinking of the start of Summer, I feel like it is especially nostalgic.  I love the gift of looking back on summers past and dreaming of the one to come.  Ultimately, I think each season is about what it means to each of us.  So, I thought that I would share what Summer is to me {in photos}...

days at the beach, days at the pool, ice cream & snowcones
evenings watching fireflies light up the night
watermelons and watermelon trucks you see
in small towns
crops growing tall under big, open skies
coolin' off with iced tea and lemonade
porch swings, quiet times on the
front porch
sunflowers through the pastures
the 'bee charmer' scene from "Fried Green
lazy days floating along the river
fresh peaches, peach pie!
picnics and being outside
roadtrips, scenic drives, making memories

That is Summer to me, and a little bit of Summer in the South.
I am looking forward to this whole Summer and all the memories and days I can't wait to spend wrapped up in it. 

I would love to hear what Summer is to you!!

Hope you are having a wonderful first day of Summer!

{all photos courtesy Pinterest}

Faithful Friday!

I hope you have a blessed and beautiful weekend!!

{photo courtesy Pinterest}

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Back to the Fifties

One of the things I enjoy so much about blogging is sharing places I have been that I've found neat or special... because I know that I love to read other blogs about those kinds of places! ...whether it's a post about a vacation or just a neat park or restaurant someone has been to.

This past weekend was a blessed and fun weekend!!  I hope that yours was too!  We had family in and they are staying this week with us also so we took them out and went to a truly neat place on Sunday, Father's Day- a restaurant.  It was called Johnny Rockets.  I have been there before, but we ate and ordered outside so I never went in.
Going inside this time was so much fun.  If you've ever been in one you know what I mean...  it's hard to describe, so I took some pictures instead.  But overall, I would say that it was just such an amazing and fun atmosphere...

Everything was decorated like the fifties!!  Old fashioned tables and chairs, checkered floors, shiny red booths, red bar stools and a old fashioned counter at the front, fifties posters framed along all the walls, mini juke-box machines at every booth (my favorite!), and even the little "bus-boy diner hats" that the cooks and servers wore. 
I felt like Marty McFly, like I had traveled back to the 50's!  It was an awesome atmosphere and we enjoyed it so much.


And the food was amazing, too.  That, combined with the feel of the place, made for such a neat experience- a true taste of old-fashioned Americana♥  I can't wait to go back and have just about the most old-fashioned/soda-shoppe experience possible: sit at the counter and order a malt or a milkshake.

Just thought I'd share a fun part of my weekend :)

Blessings to you & I hope you are having a wonderful day!!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Strawberry Smoothie

I wanted to share something I have been really loving lately!  A fruit smoothie that is healthy and delicious in my opinion.
I know I wrote a post a few weeks ago, or maybe a little longer, sharing the banana smoothie I made.  Some people don't love bananas though, so here is another one I am really liking.

This is really not a "recipe" because I kind of just throw things together in our mixer and enjoy... but I have enjoyed them so much, so I just thought I would share the way I make them and what I put in in case you may be looking for any ideas for a healthy smoothie to make at home.

This is a strawberry & fruit smoothie overall :)


2 packs of applesauce (I used the 2 of the little lunch size cups, but it comes out to a little over a cup)
1/2 cup of mixed canned fruit (I let a little of the juice from it pour in)
3-4 large sliced up strawberries

To make it more "smoothie" like, I will sometimes put it in the freezer for about ten minutes to make it a little thicker.  I just love how I can take it in the cup as it is to go and it's so convenient too.
So simple, but so good!  The juice from the mixed fruit adds a little kick that is so good also.  In the end, you have applesauce, strawberries, and bits of peaches, cherry, and pear from the mixed fruit.

Just wanted to share something I've been loving!  And I'm feeling better when I drink them... your body definitely appreciates fruit instead of soda.

Hope you have a blessed day!!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Faithful Friday!

Add caption
Do you sometimes get this amazing feeling?!  Isn't it an incredible thing when you see evidence in a moment or an event or an answer to a prayer where you can see God working in your life!
It is exciting and a comfort... these reassurances that the Lord is watching over us and truly feeling this in our hearts is something I am so thankful for.
Have a happy, blessed Friday!!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Heat & Hidden Blessings

The heat is really starting to get high here... it's already reached over 100 in some parts of the South and right here in our state.  It has still been fun these past few days being outside.  You kind of learn to live with the humidity and the hot when you are having fun I guess...  I went out for a long ride on my bike yesterday morning.  Then about an hour later, we all went to play tennis at a court nearby.
It was a lot of fun to spend our day this way!

Still, the only comfort when we are out there is coming home to a cold house and drinking an ice cold lemonade.  We usually keep it really nice and cool in our house.  At night we always put it in the 60s.
Last night though, we noticed it was feeling unusually warm inside even though the A/C was turned "on".  About an hour passed and nothing changed.  We eventually discovered that our A/C is broken!!  During a heat wave.
Needless to say, it was a hot night.  I'm just so thankful we at least have fans throughout our house to keep us somewhat cool.  Even so, without the air condition it is still pretty sweltering in here.   As I type, I am lying on the floor right in front of  the big fan in our living room... "the best seat in the house" right now, haha.
If not for that and ice water, putting my face in the freezer's cold air, and Blue Bell ice cream, I don't know what it would be like.  Even our dog is feeling it... more than anything though, I think I'd like to go to the pool!  It's times like this I really miss our old one.

Seeing the positive in situations has been something God is leading in my heart, and yes it's hot, but I have also been thinking of some good that has come out of our A/C being broken.

~Last night, I couldn't fall asleep because of the heat in the air so I stayed up until 1:30 reading.  It was nice because it gave me a chance to just relax and read and a way to escape from thinking about how hot it was, too.  I got to read about travel among other things and just enjoy laying there.  If it had been cooler last night like usual, I'm sure I would have just gone to sleep because it would have been cozy and cool and I would have missed out the fun of staying up and reading late.

~We will probably ending up spending more time outside today because from what it feels like, I think it feels better outside than inside.  At least outside there might be a breeze.  That means more time outside as a family or walking or riding and being in fresh air.

~Better appreciation for those before us, particularly the ladies who lived in the old South in the Gone With the Wind era... they had no air-condition, or fans, and to top it all off they lived in some of the most humid places and had to wear petticoats and huge, heavy dresses.  I'm melting just thinking about it.

~Most importantly, this has allowed me to recognize how easy it is to take for granted something like a cool home.  I got up this morning feeling so hot and sticky and awaiting the moment later when someone comes to fix it.  Then I thought for a moment... I thought of the families who have to live everyday in these hot summers without any air-condition.  I thought of my own family who lives a few hours farther south than us, who have lived in their early 1900's home for way more summers than I have even been alive and have made it without air condition or even ceiling fans.  I thought of, ultimately, how much I need to appreciate something I don't think of as often as I should.

With that in mind, I think I can handle the heat.  I'm thankful for this day... whether it holds a swim, a trip to the park, a fixed air condition, or a lot of lemonade to keep cool.

Is there a hidden blessing in your life right now??

Wishing you a blessed and beautiful day♥

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Faithful Friday!

Maybe not the recipe for a perfect life (because no life is perfect), but definitely the perfect recipe for life!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The "Million Dollar Mermaid"

Today, I read that Esther Williams passed away.

I know I'm not close to being from her era, but I am thankful to grow up around old classic films of the 1940's and 50's when she acted.  Esther Williams was an actress in that time, but she was also quite known for her talents in swimming and diving, which she excelled at sometime before she even became an actress.
In all honesty, I have only seen a couple of her films... the first for me was the most memorable.
It was called "Million Dollar Mermaid".  She played the biographical role of Annette Kellerman, a young woman who became a professional swimmer in the late 1800's into early 1900's after overcoming a physical disability of her legs as a child, and who accomplished great feats such as swimming the entire English channel at age 18. 

The day I watched that movie when I was a little girl, my Mama told me all about Esther Williams and how she was known for her swimming...I remember thinking how beautifully she swam, just like a mermaid (and wished I could be like her one day), and also how classically beautiful she was with her shining hair, bright eyes, and big smile.
If you haven't seen it, I would recommend it even if only for the fact that it's a beautiful movie with all the amazing and synchronized swimming.  I got to watch it again recently when I was home sick from school for a day and it came on TCM; it was neat to have it sort of come back to me and also see it from a different perspective.

What's kind of strange about her dying today is that just two days I ago I had a random curiosity about how old she was now and looked her up. I had no idea she was still living, but it was neat to see that she was.  So it was kind of a shock this morning when I saw she has passed away now.  She was 91.


Every little girl, it seems, has someone either in a film or anywhere really who they see and dream to be like when they grow up.  I guess she was mine. I love swimming, I always have, and I think in my mind I still dream of swimming as gracefully and lovely as she did.  I am sad to know she has died... I didn't know a lot about her personal life, but from what I saw, she seemed to me the epitome of class and vintage beauty, as well as talent and kindness. 

Rest in peace Esther Williams. 
Thank you for the inspiration.
.          .          .

Thank you for reading.
Wishing you a blessed day!

{all photos courtesy Pinterest}

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Summer's Comin'

Now that it's June, it seems like the signs of summer are really starting to show.  You know that feeling you start to get when the beginning of a new season is so close!?
I've seen some things recently that let us know every year that summer is coming!

{photo: Southern Living}
Some of them are pleasant and exciting...
Snow cone stands & pools opening up, the fresh peaches, cotton and corn fields growing, everyone in flip-flops, barbeques starting, and a big one:  fireflies (or lightning bugs) starting to show themselves♥

{photo: Pinterest}
Some not...
Heat and humidity and heat, and did I mention humidity?  Such is life in the South ;)
June bugs everywhere at night (from which I usually run screaming, haha), grass getting dry, infestations of mosquitos, and bad weather. 

My prayers are with those being affected by awful weather, like the families in Oklahoma.  I'm asking God to help me to remember to be thankful for my safety when others are going through the tornadoes in other states.  There have been a few in our state, too, but not around our area.
I am very grateful we haven't had any really dangerous weather yet, but towards the middle of summer we usually will get some scary stuff.  So far, we have only had bad thunderstorms.  Just a few nights ago, I woke up to a clap of thunder and flashes of lightning lighting up my room and although I fell back asleep, they lasted through morning.  I find some summer thunderstorms refreshing though- it's just that the winds can be scary sometimes.

Focusing on all the good signs of summer, I am so excited it is practically summer and will  be in just a little over two weeks!
I think I will write a post about all the lovely things about summer to welcome the new season when it officially turns summer. For now, though, I'll just get excited about it inside :)

.              .              .

I think out of everything this summer, aside from the things I hope to talk about in that post in a couple of weeks, I am most looking forward to taking family vacations, especially one in particular!
Are you looking forward to something specific this summer??

I am just loving the freedom and simple joys of each day.  The past couple of days I have been working on a puzzle.  I just finished and am about to start another one.  It's funny though, as excited as I am about summer, I seem to be doing all winter themed puzzles so far.
I really love puzzles.  They are so relaxing and I love piecing them together.  Plus, they bring back great memories for me.  The person who got me into doing puzzles was my Grandma... I used to do them with her when we visited her during holidays or in summer at her house and ever since then I have enjoyed them.  But when I do puzzles, I love thinking about her and how I used to help her when I was little.

Just a few words and thoughts about what I have been up to, and of course summer :)

I hope you are having a lovely and blessed week!!


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