Saturday, October 6, 2012

Instant Gratification And A Halloween Freebie for our Friends

We've reopened our etsy shop, this time adding a section devoted entirely to printables.  The listings that don't require customization are now available via instant download!  (I was personally pretty pumped about this, since I'm an instant gratification kind of gal myself.) 

We'll be adding printable items regularly, but already have several in the store, so pop on over and start shopping! 

Speaking of instant gratification, here's a sheet of cute little Halloween tags that we thought you would enjoy. Help yourself!  To save the image just click on it, then right click and select "view image".  After that, click the little "plus" sign to make the image full size.  Then you just save the full size image to your computer.

 These tags are perfect for dressing up a bag of treats for your favorite tricksters.  See what I mean?

Thread a piece of raffia, or seam binding, ribbon or baker's twine through the hole, then tie  the tag to a Halloween "happy" for a co-worker, friend, or family member. 

We have more of these in our etsy shop ready and waiting for you to "instant download"! 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Not My Southern Miss

 I'm a proud USM alum, and a rabid fan of Golden Eagle football. I also happen to like winning.  Having a harsh memory of the years when Southern Miss football was hardly worth a mention,I'm here to tell you that winning is a lot more fun.  So it should come as no surprise that I was doing the happy dance to hear that  Anthony Alford had chosen black and gold as his signature colors for the next four years. 

But beyond that, I was also amazed. This young man had drawn so much attention, and was being courted by huge college football programs across the nation.  Add to that, professional baseball teams tried to entice him with massive amounts of money the likes of which most of us have never dreamed.  Most people finding themselves at the center of this level of adoration tend to have difficulty keeping their egos in check.  Not Anthony.  Throughout the entire process he kept his head on straight, maintaining a quiet, respectful, humble dignity.  He made it clear that he wanted to go to college and get an education.  How many people, young or old, would have had the integrity to make that same decision?

Fast forward to Saturday, September 15th.  Anthony, at age eighteen, had been chosen to start for the first home game of the 2012-13 season. The stands were almost completely filled thanks in part to General Hammond's "Fill To The Top" campaign.  The game was broadcast on national television. No pressure there, right?  Anthony scored on the opening drive and the fans rejoiced.  Unfortunately, as often happens in football and in any other sport, the game soon turned, and ultimately didn't go as we hoped.  This was disappointing, yes.  We were all disappointed, probably none of us more so than Anthony himself.

But, what was inexcusable was the behavior of the Golden Eagle fans booing in the stands as Anthony entered the field.  Many of those fans have tried to justify their behavior, claiming they were booing the coaching, not the player.  Whatever. This post isn't a discussion of coaching decisions, but the coaches weren't out on that field trying to concentrate on running plays over the sound of their own fans booing.  No, that was a true freshman named Anthony Alford who was on the field on the instruction of his coaches, giving everything he had to give.

Anthony Alford is a young man of integrity, a wonderful role model for today's youth.  He makes clear distinctions between what's important in life and what's fleeting, obviously unlike a lot of adults.  He took a giant leap of faith in coming to play football for Southern Miss.  I hope he doesn't regret it. Thousands of  Southern Miss fans let him down yesterday.  Shame on them.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Eggs and Peppers with a Twist! Pinterest Experiment Number One

I'm like every other Pinterest enthusiast; I've been building a vast collection of wonderful recipes and projects, and have big plans to give all of them a try!  One of my criteria for "pinning" a recipe is that it must be fairly simple, with a minimum of ingredients.  This is because, in case I haven't told you, I'm not a big fan of cooking.  Eating, on the other hand?  I'm an Olympian in that department.    Anyway, back to recipes and Pinterest.  A while ago I saw a recipe for eggs cooked inside bell pepper rings and it looked like it fit my criteria, so I pinned it and finally got around to giving it a try.  First, let me give a shout-out to my family for graciously agreeing to be my guinea pigs.

This is a photo of the finished product:

And this is how I did it:
As appealing as the original recipe looked, it seemed to me that it might be even better if I added a little touch of cheddar cheese and bacon...since almost everything is better with cheddar cheese and bacon added to it.  First I sliced the pepper rings about 1/4" thick, and cleaned all the seeds and white insides out.  Then I sauteed them for a few seconds on each side in a hot skillet that I had sprayed with Pam.
 I broke eggs into each of the rings and cooked them until they were set, then carefully flipped them over.  You can see from the photo that I had a little problem cutting the pepper rings completely straight, so the egg white escaped under the edges, but we didn't lose sleep over that.

Now, this is where the twist comes in.  I put about a tablespoon of Hormel real bacon bits on the eggs, and then topped each egg with 1/4 slice of cheddar cheese.

The cheese got nice and warm, but didn't melt completely, so I put the eggs into the microwave for about 10 seconds, long enough for the cheese to finish melting.

The bacon and cheese added a little extra flavor and protein, so I only served it with some sliced kiwi and a biscuit.  Now, the best news about this dish is the calorie count!  The  bacon bits are only 25 calories per tablespoon, and the cheese was 90 calories per slice, but I quartered the slices so each egg only had about 23 calories worth of cheese.  The total calorie count for one serving (2 egg rings) only came to 236.  Of course that doesn't include the calories for that biscuit, but you could easily substitute a slice or two of low calorie toasted bread.

The family gave this dish a rating of two enthusiastic thumbs up, so I'm happy to say Pinterest experiment number one was a success!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Righteous or Self-Righteous? The Great Chic Fil-A Kerfuffle

I am not a theologian, just a good old southern girl raised by Godly parents.  I generally try to keep my blog posts light, fluffy and cholesterol-free.  However, as a Christian, I've been a little unsettled by this whole Chic Fil'a cluck fest.  It's really just one more symptom of a bigger disease that's been spreading across this nation.  That disease is Self-Righteousness. 

In Acts 1:8 Jesus told the disciples, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."  What a comfort this must have been to the disciples, but along with that comfort came great responsibility.  That responsibility extends to us as Christians today.  We should all be witnesses to the saving power of Jesus, not just on Sunday, but every day and in every aspect of our lives.  

So how do we do that?  Well, thank goodness, we have some instructions.  We just need to remind ourselves to read the manual.  In Matthew 5 we are told about Jesus teaching the disciples at the sermon on the mount, while reminding them that they would encounter resistance and be persecuted for their beliefs.  He said, "You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."   

Let your light shine, so you'll be a source of warmth, comfort and reassurance in this cold, dark, and sometimes scary world. Keep in mind that people aren't going to be drawn to your light and your message if they think you are going to club them over the head with a fried chicken sandwich.  Let your light shine, but please be cognizant of the distinction between righteous and self-righteous.  

Thanks to a combination of media spin, politicians, and the internet, there is an awful lot of vitriol being spewed in our world.  But, this is really nothing new.  The disciples and followers of Jesus caught all kinds of grief after Jesus ascended to Heaven.  They kept the faith despite great persecution.  Peter wrote his fellow followers a  letter of encouragement.  In I Peter 3: 15 he reminded them  "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect."

With prayer and constant vigilance, we can set ourselves apart, guard against being manipulated,  resist the urge to return evil with evil, and keep our light shining.  My nephew wrote a blog post on this subject that I'd like to share.  Hope you'll take the time to read it:  A Word of Warning for Christians on Chic Fil'a Day