Sunday, February 28, 2010

Saturday, February 27, 2010

File this in the "For what it's worth" file.....onions!

this info came from an email from my mother in law....anyone ever heard this to be true?????


In 1919 when the flu killed 40  million people there was this Doctor that visited the many  farmers to see if he could help them combat the flu.
Many of the farmers and their family had contracted it and  many died.

The doctor came upon this one farmer and to his surprise,  everyone was very healthy.  When the doctor asked what  the farmer was doing that was different the wife replied  that she had placed an unpeeled onion in a dish in the rooms  of the home, (probably only two rooms back then).  The  doctor couldn't believe it and asked if he could have one of  the onions and place it under the microscope.  She gave  him one and when he did this, he did find the flu virus in  the onion.  It obviously absorbed the bacteria,  therefore, keeping the family healthy.

Now, I heard this story from my hairdresser in AZ.   She said that several years ago many of her employees were  coming down with the flu and so were many of her  customers. The next year she placed several bowls with  onions around in her shop. To her surprise, none of  her staff got sick. It must work..  (And no, she  is not in the onion business..)

The moral of the story is, buy some onions and place them in bowls around your home. If you work at a desk,  place one or two in your office or under your desk or even  on top somewhere.  Try it and see what  happens.  We did it last year and we never  got the flu.

If this helps you and your loved ones from getting sick, all the better.  If you do get the flu, it just might  be a mild case.. Whatever, what have you to lose? Just a few bucks on onions!!!!!!
Now there is a P. S. to this for I sent it to a friend in Oregon who regularly contributes material to me on health issues.  She replied with this most interesting experience about onions:
Thanks for the reminder.. I don't know about the farmers story.. but, I do know that I contacted pneumonia and needless to say I was very ill.. I came across an article that said to cut both ends off an onion put one end on a fork and then place the forked end into an empty jar....placing the jar next to the sick patient at night.. It said the onion would be black in the morning from the germs.. sure enough it happened just like that.. the onion was a mess and I began to feel better.

Another thing I read in the article was that onions and garlic placed around the room saved many from the black plague years ago. They have powerful antibacterial, antiseptic properties.
This is the other note.

I  have used an onion which has been left in the fridge, and sometimes I don't use a whole one at one time, so save the other half for later.

Now with this info, I have changed my mind.. will buy smaller onions in
 the future..

I had the wonderful privilege of touring Mullins Food Products, Makers of
 mayonnaise..  Mullins is huge, and is owned by 11 brothers and sisters in the Mullins family.  My friend, Jeanne, is the CEO.

Questions about food poisoning came up, and I wanted to share what I
 learned from a chemist.

The guy who gave us our tour is named Ed. He's one of the brothers Ed is a chemistry expert and is involved in developing most of the sauce formula.  He's even developed sauce formula for McDonald's.

Keep in mind that Ed is a food chemistry whiz. During the tour, someone
 asked if we really needed to worry about mayonnaise. People are always worried that mayonnaise will spoil. Ed's answer will surprise you. Ed said that all commercially- made Mayo is completely safe.

"It doesn't even have to be refrigerated. No harm in refrigerating it, but
 it's not really necessary." He explained that the pH in mayonnaise is set at a point that bacteria could not survive in that environment. He then talked about the quaint essential picnic, with the bowl of potato salad sitting on the table and how everyone blames the mayonnaise when someone gets sick.

Ed says that when food poisoning is reported, the first thing the officials
 look for is when the 'victim' last ate ONIONS and where those onions came from (in the potato salad?). Ed says it's not the mayonnaise (as long as it's not homemade Mayo) that spoils in the outdoors. It's probably the
onions, and if not the onions, it's the POTATOES.

He explained, onions are a huge magnet for bacteria, especially uncooked
 onions. You should never plan to keep a portion of a sliced onion.. He says it's not even safe if you put it in a zip-lock bag and put it in your refrigerator.

It's already contaminated enough just by being cut open and out for a bit,
 that it can be a danger to you (and doubly watch out for those onions you put in your hotdogs at the baseball park!)

Ed says if you take the leftover onion and cook it like crazy you'! ll
 probably be okay, but if you slice that leftover onion and put on your sandwich, you're asking for trouble. Both the onions and the moist potato in a potato salad, will attract and grow bacteria faster than any
commercial mayonnaise will even begin to break down.

So, how's that for news? Take it for what you will. I (the author) am going to be very careful about my onions from now on. For some reason, I see a lot of credibility coming from a chemist and a company that produces millions of pounds of mayonnaise every year.'

Also, dogs should never eat onions. Their stomachs cannot metabolize onions .
Please remember it is dangerous to cut onions and try to use it to cook the next day ,it becomes highly poisonous for even a single night and creates Toxic bacteria which may cause Adverse Stomach infections because of excess Bile secretions and even Food poisoning.
Please pass it on to all you love and care.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Fives!!!!!!!!!

It is very fun to have you come on Fridays and participate in my Friday Fives.  I feel like I know a little more about you when we've played this little game!  So thanks for participating, and remember to go back to yesterday's post and enter for my upcoming giveaway....It's a Goodness Gracious's a mystery so far, but next week, I'll be sharing what it entails!
ON to Friday fives:

1. Where do you and state, or just state if you feel more comfortable that way. I'm just curious where all my readers are from!

2. Do you play a musical instrument or sing?

3. What is your favorite flower?

4.  When is your birthday?

5. What's your favorite birthday cake?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Some GOODNESS GRACIOUS giveaways....

 Yes, there is a tiny little dilemma in enter a giveaway you leave a enter again, you blog about it and pass the word.  Then all your bloggy friends go see, they enter, then they spread the word, repeat, ........ahem, and your chances of winning go down......not that I'm whining or anything like that.  I'm all over spreading the love in bloggyland, it's just that when I tell you to go enter, well, my chances go down for winning, and up for spreading the love.  You understand, right? Thought so.

Well there are numerous giveaways going on right now that had me saying OUT LOUD...."Goodness Gracious!"....there is some goodness in these giveaways, gorgeous, lovely goodness.  And there  is indeed some graciousness  of these bloggers to be so doesn't it make sense that I would say OUT LOUD, "Goodness Gracious".......I gotta spread the word, because it gets me another entry, because people should know about this!!! You understand, you know you do.  Thought so.

Anyhoo, the first giveaway is over at Live Creating Yourself....Alaina is giving away a PB quilt!!! It is goodness gracious worthy.  Go check it out...and her cute, cute blog!  Tell her I sent you and maybe she will draw my name...just kidding...

And then Victoria, over at Whimsy by Victoria, is having a favorite things giveaway for her blog anniversary......y'all--- just like Oprah!! won't believe the goodness SHE is giving away.  Go look!

Another one.....Holly over at Magnolias and Sunshine is giving away an ITunes gift card worth 25 smackers....and did I mention that I JUST PLACED an order for an IPhone and will get it on timely that I should win this, right????? Well, she wants a few more friends, so go on over and follow her, so I can win it, er, so she can get some of the bloggy love and more blog friends!!! ;D

Some St. Patrick's Day love going on over at  How Does She?  Adorable, and the goodies are FREE!!

And then since you're HERE!!! at Southern Inspiration,  I decided I am going to do a giveaway! I'll be out of pocket for a few days, but when I come back I am going to have a giveaway..........yes ma'am, Sam I am.  So leave a comment here on this post and when I get back I will let you know what it's going to be.  I promise you it will be Goodness Gracious worthy..........yet still a surprise, m'kay???  Leave a comment, and Yep, you know you gotta go and tell someone else about it for an additional's the bloggy love thing to do right??? :D  I'll see y'all when I get back!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Celebrate!, a magazine review

Celebrate  by Hoffman Publications, a publication I've talked about before, is always a welcome find in my mailbox!  It is chockful of eye-candy for the person who loves to look at table-settings, recipes and all the accoutrements for celebrations!!!
I just opened my mailbox today and found my Celebrate Spring issue.....and what fun I had looking through it as it threatened to SNOW here in Texas.......we didn't get snow here where I live, but many places north of us did.  What a refreshment to look at these gorgeous spring pictures of various ideas for celebrating Spring!

I'll just share a sampler of what is included inside.  There are seasonal recipes and I thought this one looked perfect for a spring luncheon or tea....Strawberry chutney over Peppered Goat Cheese Spread....YUM.  Want me to share the recipe???  Then are strawberry muffins and strawberry pie.
These are some of the  holiday options they give for celebrating.....April Fool's Day, Easter, Cinco de Mayo, and Mother's Day.  They missed my birthday, but I won't hold them to it....I'll just email them ! :D
There is an idea for putting Chocolate Mousse in dyed Easter egg halves.  They also suggest some special occasions for celebrations, such as a Princess Party, a Domino Party, a Graduation celebration, a wedding on St. Simon's Island  and a baby shower.....CUTE ideas!
Toward the back of the book they give you helpful information to plan for your party......Centerpiece ideas, Table settings,graphics for invitations and a shower game, and even a color pallette to coordinate your party ideas. There is also a helpful party planner in the back of the magazine.
If you've not seen this publication, you can go to Hoffman Media and check out all their publications...they've got some fabulous ones!  It's a fun day to get a mailbox full of eye-candy!!!  Check it out!

My new best friend.....

I made a new purchase this past weekend........I bought a Shark.
Well, not the kind that swims, rather one that takes care of the dog hair it seems we were swimming IN.  Ever since my son brought Lucie (the mad dog) home, we are feeling like we are constantly fighting the dog hair takeover.  It gets EVERYWHERE.  We now own stock in lint rollers and refills from the sheer number of purchases of those items.  I need a volume discount. But let's not be whiners.....:D

So we were looking at vacuum cleaners, and I seriously considered forking over the money for a DYSON, the kingpin of animal hair removal devices!  After some investigation, my husband and I found this one and we decided it was worth a try.  Now, realize that I am not paid or anyway being rewarded by those people at Shark.  This is just a  good-hearted referral for a product I've found that does an excellent job. You will be amazed at the suction power of this machine!!!!  The Shark Automatic picked up so much dog hair and dirt, I was almost embarrassed.....and no, I am not going to show you the piles of hair vacuumed off of my rugs and carpet.  Suffice it to say, we should be breathing a whole lot easier today!  It costs about $175 at the local discount store......retail says about $200.  BEST money ever spent.  Now, we will see if it holds up it's end of the bargain over months of using it, but for now, I am sold......doesn't cost $500 AND does a good job.  I actually look forward to vacumming, to see how much dirt and dog hair I can conquer!!!  Well, almost.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Touching lives......

This is a post I ran last year about this time, and I was looking back in reflection, thought it was worth repeating.  It was a good reminder to me to look outside myself and see who I can touch today.  Perhaps it will inspire you as well, to touch the lives of others. 
First of all let me just say that I am thrilled for my blog to be up and running again.....I missed being involved in the lives of those few of you who stop by to read whatever inspiration I might be attempting to convey to you. Thanks from the bottom of my heart to those of you who actually missed me....that warms my heart. I thought I'd share today a little bit about my most recent Ladies' Bible study. We've just finished a series entitled A Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George. We worked through the workbook and watched the DVD each week. Mostly we enjoyed sharing in each others lives. The last DVD lesson in particular brought out some terrific lessons that I wanted to share with you all. It was about touching the lives of others. Whether or not you have a Christian faith that drives you, you must agree that we benefit from connecting with others in our lives; we benefit from touching lives in a way that television cannot, that "how to books" cannot, that shopping or redecorating cannot.....we need positive human interaction! And in this last DVD lesson, Mrs. George discussed what is helpful to the ministry of a Christian woman. I thought I'd recap what she said.

1) Learn to work it out.....master your priorities. We only have a limited amount of time, and last time I checked it was only 24 hours per day. And some of those MUST be sleeping. She recognized the Proverbs 31 model for us all to use as a standard. We teach by message or by model....EVERYTHING we do or don't do teaches someone something. Honestly, that made me a little squirmy......something to think about. Also falling under this category is developing yourself. Don't avoid ministry/caring for someone else because you failed to take care of yourself or your own insecurity. Work on your weaknesses. If you feel you can't speak, take a class, or practice speaking. Every little practice helps. The more confident you feel, the more likely you are to touch a life...

2) Learn to reach out....learn the names of people and use them. We like to hear someone else call us by name. Plain and simple. You feel touched somehow if someone feels you are valuable enough to remember your name and use it. And let's face it, the more we use their names, the more we cement them in our brains and are more likely to remember them. Proverbs 11:24 encourages us to be a liberal giver and hold back nothing.

3) Learn to look out....go looking for those that are hurting. When you find one, be direct and intentional about helping. Write notes.....we just really  have to write three lines. That easy, but will be Make a phone call and simply say, "I thought of you, I prayed for you, and I just wanted to let you know."

In conclusion, give totally wherever you are. Wherever you are, BE ALL THERE. Live it to the hilt when you are there. We can all serve, we can all show mercy, we can all be giving. Go forth and be inspired! Just do it.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Fives!!!!


We have such a good time getting to know one another with my Friday Fives....I love it when y'all participate, because it helps us get to know one another better!!!  So here are our Friday Fives!!!!

1 Are YOU a List maker???? Do you love checking things off?  How
does your list work; do you prioritize it, roll over to the next share!

2.If you were having a party, what would  you fill this lovely SLaHOME Savannah Beverage Server with?  Sangria, Lemonade, Iced Tea....what's your favorite if not one of these?

3.Do you enjoy cleaning house?  Do you think you have a good handle on it, or are you always feeling like you have much more to do????

4. Do you love your
Do you have good neighbors...
...are YOU a good neighbor?

5. What are your weekend plans?  Do you take time to rest?
Enjoy your weekend whatever you have planned...ours will be a busy one!!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Pantry make-over

If you will remember my initial post about the pantry, you will remember that I said it was one hot mess!!! Good thing it has a door on it, right?  All those cabinets to the left of the white door (the pantry), at one time held a hodge podge of dishes, coffee and tea fixings, mugs, bowls, etc.  But there were also dishes over to the other side of the kitchen as well.  It just was disorganized.  And my pantry was totally disorganized and way too full, especially since we only have three people in our household.  I've been used to cooking for five for so long, that I've got to learn to buy less, accumulate less, and also needed to get rid of excess stuff I'd held onto for far too, hummm.........needed a do-over!  Please disregard the extra stuff on the countertop......I was working, not cleaning!    So I pulled everything out of my pantry, and everything out of the dish cabinets.....and began a major transformation that has turned out to be fantastic!  But it wasn't until today that I actually finished the project.....because I needed to replace the shelf was old contact paper that looked like this:

Old and dirty and out-dated, this needs a make-over , too!!!  So I picked up some more contact paper, after deciding that it would work the best.  The padded grid covering doesn't allow the dishes to slide in, which is what is helpful for me to put dishes away quickly.  Here's a picture of putting back together to put the food away.  My husband and I had taken a trip to WalMart to pick up tiered shelving for cans and white plastic baskets for holding chips, crackers and the like.
So today, I started putting the shelf paper in the pantry.......can you tell when I bought it, I was ready for spring and flowers??? No more drab skies for me!  I think it will look great in my pantry.

And now it's springy and organized and pretty!  The only dilemma is this next picture.  The picture below is the top shelf in the pantry.  It's nice because it holds all my tall things like the SLaHOME Savannah Beverage Server and my Astoria Carafe, and a few bottles of wine and liquor.  The PROBLEM with it is, that top shelf, which is not yet populated with said items, goes up about three feet!!!  Talk about wasted space!  It's difficult to even get anything up there (of course I have to use a stool anyway since I'm only 5'2".   The only solution I've been able to imagine is to get someone to frame out an open shelf above the pantry door, and use it as a display area........anyone else have any ideas???  If you go back to the top picture, you can imagine a framed- out indention where the wrought iron piece is above the door.  It might even be cool to have a fold down glass front.  What do you think could otherwise be done?  I hate to waste that space!!!
So this is the result of my pantry transformation.....maybe I'll link it up next Monday to Susan's party or Amanda's design dilemma next month.  Thanks for any ideas you have to offer.....sorry to have waited so darned long to post this!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Don't we all have issues???

Some good, some not so good, and I'm away dealing with them......Celebrated my husband's birthday yesterday with carrot cake!  His favorite, but he left this morning, and it is sitting there....need to get it in the FREEZER!  Daughter is pretty sick, and I need to see if another doctor visit is called for once she wakes up.  I have a pain in the shoulder and need to get to the dr. to check on that.  In the meantime, I am trying to get the pantry all prettied up so that I can finally show y'all the renovated dish pantry.......well, that is in the works to show you later this week.  Have a great Wednesday, y'all. It is still chilly, but I am celebrating Mr. Sunshine who has graced us for the second full day! Yay~!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday again.........the weeks go by so fast, don't they???

Oh, but Monday for me usually means a special day to go see my little friends, the Howell quints!
It will be a time of playing, reading books, helping fix five little toddler times.  I am honing my grammy skills for some day when I am actually a grammy!  What better practice, right?

Enjoy your Monday, whatever you are doing!!!!!! 

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Friday Fives!!!

Because everyone says they think this is fun, I'll keep going so we can get to know one another better as blogging buddies.....

1. Do you wear silver or gold jewelry or a mixture of both?

2. Diamonds or Pearls...which would you choose?

3. Dark Chocolate/Milk chocolate or White chocolate? 

4. Do you blog daily?

5.Do you consider yourself technically challenged or pretty technically savvy?

See my announcement below if you are interested in finding out about opportunities for linking up with thought that was only for the big dog blogs???? Good news!!!!!  Here's a new way for ordinary bloggers like you and me to put our toes in the water and try out some linking up with businesses!  You'll want to check out the new kid on the block!

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It's a win/win deal for those of us who would like to try out some new things on our blogs!
Head over to Business2Blogger and sign-up your blog or business to share in this unique opportunity!  Who knows what opportunities this could bring our way!!!  OH, and the best thing??? It's FREE!!!

Thursdays rambling thoughts....

Well, it was worth the effort to make the chocolate dipped fortune cookies w/ sprinkles that I showed you  here! They didn't take long at all, and they were very cute.  The girls came in for Allison's Bible Study group and just LOVED how they looked...and (might I add) TASTED.  I had also dipped in some shortbread cookies into the chocolate (both white and dark) and added sprinkles to those.  I also fixed some empanadas from the freezer and had a pot of chili......there were probably about 12 girls...and they enjoyed it all and cleaned it out and up!!! Loved that they enjoyed it!
It is cold and wet here snow for us in Houston, but just a miserable day to be out and about.  I have a couple of errands to run, but I will at least wait until this afternoon when it warms up a few degrees.  I am enjoying a slow morning with this and this.....and wondering what I will make for dinner tonight.....I'm thinking corn and ham chowder possibly or potato soup. 

Lastly, I thought I'd leave you with a good recipe.........a Valentines Day chocolate recipe!

Strawberry Fudge Balls

1 (8 oz.) pkg cream cheese, softened
1 cup (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate morsels, melted
3/4 c. vanilla wafer crumbs
1/4 c. strawberry preserves
Coatings: 1 c. almonds, toasted and finely chopped OR powdered sugar OR unsweetened cocoa

Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add melted chocolate, beating until smooth. Stir in vanilla wafer crumbs and preserves; cover and chill for 1 hour. Shape mixture into 1 inch balls, and roll in almonds, powdered sugar or cocoa. Store in airtight container in refrigerator up to one week, or freeze up to 1 month.

Don't these sound scrumptious?????? Enjoy!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Some Valentine's Inspiration for you and yours....
These mice are all heart!!! Thanks for the inspiration BH&G  (Wouldn't this be cute with pink and or red candies????  Go to the link for specific directions...thanks BH&G!!
And for some lunch box LOVE???? Look at these great ideas........BH&G rocks for Valentine Inspiration!! I think I will do the fortune cookies for my daughter's Bible study group this evening.....quick, easy and adorable!!!  And edited to add this last link in case you are feeling like you need inspiration as a parent, go watch this youtube video (with kleenex in hand) about loving the Ordinary Moments.....

Monday, February 8, 2010

The domino effect......

What do YOU do about the domino effect?  
Here's what I'm talking about.  The big BUT.  How often do you get stuck in a project because the but is in the way?  You know what I's an example:
I want to replace the couch, but
I really need to first  pick out fabric for the new window treatments to match, BUT
I really need to decide what to do with the wall color, but
then the flooring is an issue, too, but
we don't really have the money for new flooring.

I want to replace the couch, but
I don't want to do it as long as Lucie is a puppy because she seems to chew on things, but
it looks bad, and I really want to replace it but
then I know the chairs might not match and I'll want to at least re-cover those, too.

Or here's another example:
I really want to re-do my master bedroom, but
I need to choose a new color paint.  I need to repaint it but,
there is some sheet rock repair that needs to be done, but
I cannot do that myself.
So, I really want to re-do it, but I feel stuck, and I also want the
master bathroom re-done, but it's got all that old wallpaper that needs to come down, and I can't do that until I decide what I'm going to do with the rest of it........

You've been there right?  You've been stymied by the BUT before, haven't you?
Then there's the other kind of domino effect, where you actually DO get the DIY project started, and the DIY project takes on a life of it's own, because you realize when you get that room painted, the floors sure could use cleaning, and the upholstery spiffed up if not replaced...and on and on.

How do YOU conquer the "buts"?  What gets you past the roadblock that keeps you in a  procrastinating mode, that keeps you from moving on?  What do you do to "get the job done?"  Flow charts, pie graphs?  (oh, see the engineering in the mister is rubbing off on me.......AAACCKKKK......)

Lest you think I sound discontent, or ungrateful.....I really am not.  I like my house, and can live with it the way it is, just fine.  I do crave to channel my creativity and love for decorating into my own house, rather than simply helping others!  I do want it to be pretty!  Yet, I also look at the reality of the fact that this time next year, we will have TWO kids in college, and facing graduate school for both of them, as well.....
WHOA , Nelly, that will stop a DIY-er in their tracks, right?  Although, one could argue, that being a DIYer makes it much more of a possibility because you couldn't afford to have someone in to do the work for you !!!!!!  So I feel just a little caught in the loop.  I can afford to make some changes, and really need to decide how to make those happen without having to take on more than I can afford right now.  So here I've rambled on and on about my dilemna.....and it's really not one.  I know others face TRUE dilemnas today that seem insurmountable....
I'm just thinking out loud here and wondering what YOU do to quell the arguments in your head!  You DO argue with yourself, right?  I'm not alone in that, am I????  What do you do to make things happen, and get over the buts?  Yes, the BUT, it gets us everytime........
And I"m not EVEN talking about the butt, that's a whole 'nother post to conquer!!!! I think I need Jillian's help with that one!!!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday Fives............

It seems y'all have really enjoyed the Friday Fives feature I've been let's keep a good thing going, shall we?

1. Favorite movie?  Do you prefer the theater or a good DVD and the couch?

2. Is the sun shining today where you are?

3. What ages are your children if you have any?

4.What quality do you admire in your spouse or best friend?

5. If you were given $1000, what would you spend it on?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

It's Amanda's party and I'm going.......are YOU?

I'm also linking this one to Blessed Moon's party, because she's not at Blissdom, either....and she rocks, by the way, with her mad photography skilz.....go check her out here.........
So HEY, two parties in ONE from girls who missed out on Blissdom this year!  At least it's fun not being there!!!! :D

Amanda, over at Serenity Now, is hosting a super fun party!  She was feeling a little like she was missing out on Blissdom, so she decided to throw a party!  Isn't that fun for all of  us who aren't going to Blissdom either?
So we get to find some new friends, some new resources and encourage one another even if we aren't participating in Blissdom.  For those who don't know, Blissdom is a blogging convention, of sorts, with speakers, fun, and lots of partying and networking amongst bloggers.  Hey we can do that too, right?  So even though Amanda's party seems just a little bit like tooting my own horn, I decided to join in....and this is why.  Yesterday I blogged about my "why" and my purpose in blogging.  I don't really feel like a particular "niche" blog, just one that does exactly what the title implies.  I love to inspire.  I love to encourage, motivate, befriend, and share what life brings along.  I love to share recipes, helpful hints, some decorating ideas, and whatever else pops into my head, like Friday Fives...(y'all loved  those recently)...that's just the way I roll.
And the first reason that my blog rocks is YOU!!!!!!!!!!! My friends!    I was so encouraged and uplifted by each of you who left comments encouraging me to keep doing what I've been doing.  I don't fit into a particular niche, but you don't keep coming back no matter how many ellipses I use or the number of exclamation marks or parentheses I incorrectly insert!  You guys are what keep me motivated and inspired to keep blogging!  I love that we all are different and yet feel a common thread that keeps us all interested in one another.

A second reason my blog rocks is that I try to use interesting pictures.  They are not necessarily my original pics, because y'all know I LOVE Google Images.  I try to give credit where credit is due, but I feel like pictures, used creatively, hold interest.  I am a very visual person, so I try to make my blog posts visually interesting.  Too much type and no pictures, and I tend to skim, and I miss things.  So, you will find fun pictures on my blog.

A third reason my blog rocks is that I speak of God, my salvation and the hope that I believe in by believing in God. I am motivated by that hope, by my faith, and I share it here.

A fourth reason my blog rocks is that I share some really good recipes here!  I will offer from time to time, tried and true recipes that work for me.  I don't like to work TOO hard when I cook, so when I find a recipe that is delicious AND easy, I am going to share it here!
And the fifth reason my blog rocks is that it is never know what you might find. I don't really fit into a niche, so I don't particularly fall into any particular themes. Sometimes I join in parties, like this one, but often I just blog about whatever interesting thing that pops into my brain.  It may be a Southern Living at HOME idea, it may be a decorating idea, or a great recipe, or a helpful hint, or something I find in a magazine.......or about Lucie, or the quintuplets, or a friend.  So come back, because you'll never know what you'll find, except it is my hope that you leave inspired!!!!

 And a fifth reason that my blog rocks is that I occasionally do giveaways....I think it's really fun to make others happy!  I love great mail days, and I bet you do, too! So you never know when there might be a good giveaway!!!
So the party continues, over at Amanda's....go check it out. You'll be wanting to network and see just who rocks!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

What is this blog all about anyway, dot, dot, dot?

Well,  yesterday, I reached 200 friends/followers.  I like to think of you as friends, because frankly, I am not a leader to follow.   I have always been a follower, whether it be because of the insecurity to just step out and lead, or because sometimes I can be a titch lazy, and would rather have someone else lead the way....until I decide I don't want to follow.  As my husband often reminds me, I can be a little on the stubborn side, a little too independent for my britches.......thanks, honey.  So does that make me a rebel, if I follow when I want and take my own path when I want?  Makes my brain hurt to be too analytical...and my husband the engineer, does it so well!  Maybe I should ask him to analyze and figure it out, but I suspect he already has.
Today is a whole bunch of RANDOM.....

Anyway, like I said, I reached 200 friends....golly gee, thanks!  I never thought blogging would lead to so many great friendships with people I've never met.......oh, but isn't it just so fun!  I never thought that many people would want to READ what I blog about...which leads me to the question in the title...what IS THIS BLOG all about?  I'm not sure I have a niche for my blog.  I write about recipes, about homemaking....I love crafts, but rarely do I find time for them, do them or even post about them.  I DO, however find myself using a lot of know the dot, dot, dot.  Oh, and I use GOOGLE a whole lot for looking up things like "what do you call the dot, dot, dot?"!!! and for images that just might coincide with what I am blogging about for the day. 
But a niche.......a signature, a defining, overarching purpose for this blog?  I am afraid I don't know....maybe you should tell me.  What do you think this blog is really all about?  (brings to mind the song, Alfie...what's it all about, Alfie????)
I do indeed love encouraging others toward getting things done ,like not living in fear,  like being the best you can be, like being a true friend or encourager or being there when someone hurts.  But does that give me a purpose?  I enjoy spurring others onto having the right priorities or perspective, but does that make me a motivational blogger???? 
So whether or not it's really important to figure out what kind of blogger I am, I have been putting some time into thinking about it, and any direction this little blog o'mine will what would you like to see more of at Southern Inspiration?  What could I do that would make you leave feeling like your visit here was inspiring........give me some of YOUR random thoughts, dot, dot!

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Sugar Cookie recipe for Valentine's Day.....

Today I am recovering.....from a solid week of non-stop activity.  We had our church Ladies Retreat this past weekend.  I had been in charge of organizing it and it was such a blessing, but I am feeling like I need a few days of twiddling my thumbs and doing nothing.  It is gray and dreary today, and I am still in my jammies.  Doing absolutely. nothing. except visiting blogs and reading all that I missed out on.  I read a few blogs last week, very few, and made less comments.  I blogged a couple of times, but sure felt like I was unconnected.  I was busy....busy, busy.  I had the Retreat as well as an end of the month SLaHOME party that was also LOTS of fun! Thanks, Sharon!
My daughter wants to make sugar cookies when she comes home......I have a Wilton cookie recipe with icing that is SO easy.  If you've read my blog a while,  you may have heard me talk about it before.  I like it for two reasons: a)you don't have to chill the dough and wait for 2 hours before you can cut out the cookies, and b) the icing dries hard and shiny and will store easily, even if you have to stack them.  For these reasons, these have been my "go-to" sugar cut-out cookies for some time now.  I thought I'd share it with you.  Obviously you can decorate them using any method you like, from just simply iced, to adorned with sprinkles, dragees, piped icing, etc.  It's your cookie and you can decide! ;)
Here's the recipe:

Easy Roll Out cookies

3/4 cup butter

3/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 t. vanilla

2 t. baking powder

2 3/4 cup flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with electric mixer. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. (may add butter extract here if using margarine) Add baking powder and flour (mixed together first) one cup at a time, mixing after each addition. The dough will be very stiff; blend in the last flour by hand. Do not chill. Dough may be tinted with paste icing color for colored cookies. For chocolate cookies, stir in 3 oz. melted unsweetened cocoa. If dough is too stiff, add water a teaspoon at a time.

Divide dough into two balls. On a floured surface, roll each ball in a circle about 12" in diameter and 1/8 inch thick. Dip cookie cutters in flour before each use. Bake cookies on ungreased sheet on top rack of oven for 6-7 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. If you like cookies that are more like tea cakes, make the cookies a little thicker.

Cookie Icing Recipe (dries to a glossy, hard finish and tastes good, too!

1 c. sifted confectioner's sugar

2 t. milk

2 t. light corn syrup

Place sugar and milk in a small bowl. Stir until mixed. Add corn syrup and mix well. For filling in areas, use thinned icing (add small amount of corn syrup until desired consistency). Tint with paste icing color or very small amount of food coloring.

This is a Wilton recipe and I've used it for years.  The picture above is not a picture of OUR cookies....but it is an inspirational pic to go by.  I'll ask my daughter if she wants hers to look like that!  Have a good day, and stay warm!!!!