Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween Weekend!


I hope you have a safe and fun Halloween weekend!

Here's a little treat (that I discovered from on the brink...of something beautiful blog) that will help you remember this year's festivities!  Go to for the free download!
Here's to ya getting lots of yummy candy!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sweet Potato Overload!!!

You may have noticed that I'm cooking a lot of sweet potatoes!  A coworker brought a box to work, and I had to see how many things I could make from a simple sweet potato.

First up...
Spicy & Sweet Potato Chips
I sliced two sweet potatoes and laid them on a cookie sheet (spray sheet with nonstick spray).  I drizzled extra virgin olive oil on the potatoes and seasoned them with salt, pepper, Lawry's, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
I broiled them on high for a couple minutes, then I baked them at 450 degrees for a few more minutes.
They were sweet and spicy and slightly crunchy...super yummilicious!  I promise!

(The sandwich was a bbq chicken sandwich.  I cooked the bbq chicken in the crockpot.)

Sweet Potato Bread
I've never made or eaten sweet potato bread, but I had to give it a try!
I used this recipe.  It turned out pretty good.  It's moist and sweet.  You can tell it has sweet potato in it, but I wouldn't say it's overwhelming.  The hubby liked and so did my coworkers.

Let me know what else I can make with sweet potatoes!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Portabella Mushroom Sandwich

Last night we had a portabella mushroom sandwich and a baked sweet potato for dinner.  mmm mmm

To make the sandwich, I bought nice size mushrooms and washed them.  I brushed each side with olive oil and seasoned each side (salt, pepper, basil, Lawry's).  I cooked them in an iron skillet until each side was dark brown and juicy.

I put shredded cheddar on the bottom of the bun(whole grain sandwich flat for under 100 calories!), then laid the mushroom on the cheese and topped the bun off with tomato slices, fresh avocado, and chipotle mayonnaise.  yummers!
(photos taken with excuse quality :) )

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ladies' Retreat

If you live in or around the Texarkana, Arkansas/Texas area, I invite you to join the Ladies' Day Out Retreat!

8:00-9:00 Breakfast, Registration, Fellowship
9:00-9:30 Welcome, Keynote Speaker- Lynn Silvey
9:30-9:45 Travel Time
9:45-10:30 Session I
10:30-10:45 Travel Time
10:45-11:30 Session II
11:30-11:45 Travel Time
11:45-12:30 Session III
12:30-2:00 Lunch, Fellowship, Door Prizes
2:00 Award Dolls from Silent Auction, Closing- Lynn Silvey

To God Be the Glory in My Prayer Life- Robbie Shepherd
(Letting God lead you in your prayer time and journaling)
To God Be the Glory in Life’s Difficulties- Jenny Rankin & April McCright
(How God can sustain and direct you through some of life’s most difficult times)
To God Be the Glory in My Story- Marla Stanton
(Everyone has a story and you can learn how to share it)
To God Be the Glory in the “Quilt” of My Life- Marleena Wilson
(How God brought her from Finland, met her husband, became a Christian)
To God Be the Glory in My Home Life- Diann Rankin
(Glorifying God in your marriage and raising children)

Silent Auction of award-winning ceramic dolls made by Susie Arnold to benefit Lifeword Media Ministries.

Breakfast, snacks, and lunch will be provided.

Registration fee is $10.
Contact Diann Rankin (, 903.832.1232) or Robbie Shepherd (, 870.772.2444) for information or to register.

Documentary Film Fest

Last week I attended the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  I had a 3 day pass and tried to watch as many films as possible.
Here are a few docs I really enjoyed that you should check out:
Grown in Detroit
Bouncing Cats
Mister Rogers & Me
Old People Driving
Bowling Blind
Hungry is the Tiger (the filmmaker said their website was, but I can't get the link to work)
Bag It
Men Who Swim
Songs From The Nickel

Monday, October 18, 2010

Festival of Trees

The annual CARTI Festival of Trees raises money to provide the best radiation care for patients, including those who are unable to pay for treatment.  This year I donated some items for the event's silent auction! The event's organizer contacted me through etsy, and I was delighted to contribute!

I challenge you to donate to a worthy cause that could benefit from your craftiness and talents!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Veggie Sides

One thing I always miss about the summer is the end of farmers' market season.  Here are two dishes that you can make with items that are still available (given you can get potatoes year round) and one drink to sip.

Baked Potato Chips
Slice some potatoes
Spray a pan with non-stick spray (I used olive oil spray), and lay the potatoes flat on a cookie sheet.
Drizzle olive oil on the potatoes and season (I used garlic salt, pepper, and Lawry's seasoning).
Bake at 450 degrees until crispy!
These were super yummy; we loved them!

Pumpkin Squash Casserole
Cut pumpkin squash into chunks.
Spray a casserole pan with nonstick spray, and lay the squash inside.
Cover with a can of cream of chicken soup.
Cover the top with shredded cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees until the soup is bubbling and the cheese is melted.  The squash should be easy to chew but not mushy.

Arnold Palmer (guilt free version!)
While there are still a few warm days, enjoy a cold drink!
Brew strong tea and put it in the fridge to chill.  Sweeten to taste with Splenda.
Make lemonade with Crystal Light or another low-cal mix.
Mix the tea and lemonade together (equal parts).
For an extra punch, add crushed pinapple (juice included).
This is one of my husband's favorite drinks, but honestly, I'm also a little leery of it!

What kind of dishes are you making before the cold gets here?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Wedding Weekend

My older brother is getting married tomorrow, so I'm taking off for the weekend and headed south.  I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!  I've had fun catching up on what everyone has been doing and am glad to be back in blog world.

Here's a little love song for ya:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Free iPhone Wallpapers

Thanks to Creature Comforts' blog post, I now have some snazzy (and free!) wallpapers for my iPhone.  They're also available for the iPod touch and iPad.

Head over to to pick from a ton of different designs.

Here's a few of the ones I liked:

Now I just have to make up my mind about which one to use!  I may have a different wallpaper for each day!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Gypsies Touched My Heart

In September I spent some time in Romania working with gypsy communities.  My company helped the gypsy people start a broadcast last year.  It is broadcast in the dialect of the Romany (another word for gyspy) and is completely cultural to their people.  They play music, read poems, and tell funny stories like a variety program.  The hope is that not only will the Romany communities hear the radio broadcast, but that also the people of Romania will learn about the people that they so often push out of their villages.

Gypsies around the world face persecution from their non-gypsy neighbors.  They are pushed out of cities and refused jobs.  Many churches even prohibit gypsies from attending services.  Gypsies have a history of being seen as thieves and dishonest people.  It is true that many steal and live the lifestyle of an outsider, but they see this as their only option to survive in a world that refuses to accept them.

I am here to say that the gypsy people have an incredible amount of potential and talent.  The gypsies that produce the radio program are reaching out to other gypsies to encourage them to live a life void of violence and turn to an honest lifestyle that would ultimately glorify God.

Let me tell you the story of Nusfalau.  The gypsies have a village on the outskirts of the town of Nusfalau.  The gypsies there were so violent that the police feared entering the village.  One day a missionary reached out to the gypsies, and their lives were changed.  The gypsies from Nusfalau are the ones who produce the radio program, and they are the ones going into other gypsy villages.  I visited Nusfalau and walked the streets and talked to the people.  That would not have been possible at one time.  But Jesus changes lives.  Today the police know that the gypsies of Nusfalau are different people, and the change came from knowing Christ.  Gypsies are even becoming missionaries to non-gypsies!

I hurt for the gypsy communities that are being pushed out of France.  I know that the French are tired of the poor conditions that the gypsies live in, but how else are they to live if we don't reach out to them?  We have a role to play in bettering society.  Racism still exists today.  It's time we see that and make a change.

Here are a few pictures I took on my trip:

On may way to a gypsy village, this song came on my ipod, and I thought it extremely fitting for the strong spirit of the gypsy people.

Monday, October 11, 2010

This Is Your Captain Speaking...

I'm back in the beloved United States of America!  I've been in Europe and Asia for the past month and have had a great time, but I'm so glad to be home (sleeping in my own bed!).  I'll share more about my trip when I have time to sort all my notes and pictures!

I'm behind on what's going on in blog world and have a lot of catching up to do.  What crafts are you trying right now?  I still have a busy month ahead with my brother's wedding and work events, but I'm hoping to find some time for the pile of craft projects I'm wanting to try.  I bought some cute fabric before I left on my trips and have ideas for Christmas presents.

So, fill me in...what's going on?!
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