Saturday, June 26

Why Celebrate a Birthday??



I was thinking, ok, my birthday is coming up, whipty doo. Another year, and I'm grateful for it, but it's nothing to celebrate. Is it?

I mean, what's to celebrate? Why do adult people celebrate their birthdays? Is it vain to want everyone to reward you with gifts and cake for being in this world another year? I got stuck on this last night. Good thing my buddy got me unstuck.

Hubby goes "It IS a special day, God created you and you are thankful for Him giving you life, and giving you another year. Also, I can show you how special you are to me." From what he was saying, I got it. It's not about me wanting to celebrate me, it's about me celebrating life and the gift of life that I've been given. That's worth celebrating. Hey... get my groove on now! Hands up!! Now slide!! Funky chicken! Whoop whoop! 39 and feeling FINE!!

Some say a real woman doesn't tell her age. I'm going to say a real woman can be proud to tell, as each year was a special gift, and she's thankful for how far her creator as brought her.

Tuesday, June 22

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

This song is one of the most beautiful love songs I've ever heard!
My husband brought it to my attention a few years ago that a man wrote this song for the woman he loved. I'll admit, I couldn't believe it. Ashamedly, I assumed, seeming like such a sentimental, emotionally driven song, that it was written from a woman's point of view. Dead wrong.

Can you imagine? Can you imagine your love writing a song saying that he/she knew the joy you shared would fill the earth? Wow! (I go gushy, face in hand).

Ewan MacColl (1915-1989) was a British folk singer, songwriter, poet and actor. Folk music was his main thing. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face was originally a folk song, set to a faster pace than how it's known today. In fact, it's said that MacColl hated the slower versions done of this song, such as the way Roberta Flack recorded it.

Image from Citylife.co.uk 
                                                                                                    
Roberta Flack recorded MacColl's song in 1969,  and took it to the top of the Billboard chart in 1972.

And she won a Grammy for her trouble: Record of the Year.
And MacColl won a Grammy for Best Song of the Year.

So many recording artists have covered this song, from Isaac Hayes, Celine Dion, Aaron Neville, to Elvis! And tons more.

MacColl's family states that the the Songwriter disliked mostly all versions done of it, Flacks included. But he sure didn't turn down his Grammy for her version. Hahaaa, guess he learned to love it!

I've heard several artists' renditions, and while Flack put this song on the map for me, Leona Lewis brings tears to my eyes when she sings this song so tenderly. It's the BEST! Have you heard Leona's version?


(Click video for visuals)







The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face :

The first time ever I saw your face
I thought the sun rose in your eyes
And the moon and the stars were the gifts you gave
To the dark and the endless skies, my love

And the first time ever I kissed your mouth
I felt the earth move in my hand
Like the trembling heart of a captive bird
That was there at my command, my love

And the first time ever I lay with you
I felt your heart so close to mine
And I knew our joy would fill the earth
And last till the end of time, my love

The first time ever I saw your face
Your face, your face, your face

Just beautiful!

(What's your favorite rendition?)

Sunday, June 20

Hot?

There's nothing as good as a really cold drink on a really hot day.  For myself, I've already sweated a bullet or two, but when it comes to avoiding dehydration choice is limited because I'm also avoiding sugary soft drinks. Truth be told, plain water isn't to my taste. And there's only so much diet coke a girl can drink while remaining the proper burpless lady that she is. Ughmm, mmm.

I'm getting bored with all other artificially sweetened soft drinks as well, such as crystal light and squash, so I decided to start making my own summer coolers. Smooth fruit drinks are great and store well in the fridge, but sometimes a thick, chewy, fresh fruit juice can hit all the right spots. 

Here is the recipe for my first Summer Drink Feature: 
Spicy BananaRama
The ingredients needed are:

1 Banana
3 table spoons of low fat natural Yogurt
1/2 tsp of Cinnamon
Sesame Seeds
and Pepper



This drink taste best when your banana and yogurt are cold so having them in the fridge for a bit is useful.  Chop your banana and add it with the yogurt and cinnamon into a blender. Set blender on medium speed until your juice is smooth and bubbly.          Ooh Lovel-ley
Pour into glass, and sprinkle with Sesame seeds and a pinch of Pepper. Do you have any Pretty Straws? You can pick up a pack from any 99 cents/ pound land/ party goods store to make your summer drinking fun. So toss in a pretty straw into this mix and you've got yourself a cold delicious Spicy BananaRama!         Mmmm
Enjoy!

Summer Reading



I'm looking forward to getting stuck in to some, if not all, of these books this Summer. I keep them by my bedside and have two more books to finish reading before delving into these. Has anyone read any of these and found them enjoyable and helpful? What are you reading this Summer?

Wednesday, June 16

Crafting for a Great Cause

Dolly Donations Sending Love to Children in Need

Several posts ago I wrote about how my husband and I would love to be parents, and how we both have the heart for adoption. I've been following families, and have wonderful followers on this blog, who not only have hearts for adoption but have adopted, and are advocates for orphans around the world. And I must say, I've never been SO happy to read about the wonderful homecomings of little ones leaving orphanages and settling in to their new homes.

For all those who are still waiting for their adoption process to be complete, when I make comments on your blog saying that I include your process in my prayers, those aren't just words to replace 'wishing you well.' I honestly pray for you. 

What's stopping my husband and I from starting our adoption homestudy is, well, quite a few things, all of which I can't go into, but a major factor being economical holdbacks. We seriously doubt we would be approved concerning fostering and adoption. But God is good and we're looking forward to breakthroughs and working towards better days.

So I've been thinking, "Well, if we can't take in children at this point in time, what could I do to help orphans, and families who are adopting?" For families I know I can support them with an encouraging word and prayer. With orphans, I had no idea.

Until I found Dolly Donations!

I'm a crafty person who loves making things, and for the last month I've really wanted to make dolls. For years I've collected dolls because they give me such joy, probably residue from childhood. We'll just yesterday, I came across a dolly website that totally blows me away. Dolly Donations is exciting to my soul on so many levels! 

The website is headed up and was created by lovely Sarah, who would love for caring people to make dolls for children living in orphanages!! How cool is that? I can do that! I would love to do that! And I'm going to do this with so much love in my heart. My dolls might not come out all that professionally (I'll show pictures of my progress) but I'm going to put all I've got into it. Would anyone like to join me?? Sarah gives a basic pattern but you don't have to stick to it. And you don't need to be brilliant at sewing. Do you think this is a good idea? Then head on over today!

Tuesday, June 15

Home Made Headbands


Figuring into my new look is an easy, simple hair style that I can wear all Summer, but sprucing up the look with colourful headbands. As some of you mentioned, the headaches you can get with wearing headbands can really be annoying. I was finding that my one and only black headband caused me serious mood changes. So what does a jobless girl, with little spending cash do when she wants perfect fitting, headache-less headbands? Scrap it baby!


Yup, I pulled out my fabric scraps and got down to work.
These are really easy to make, AND they don't cause headaches.

You can make them to match an outfit, a handbag, etc. Here's how I do it.

I first made a paper pattern for the band, and on that pattern I also marked the length I needed for the elastic piece at the back.  (click picture to enlarge)

Now, my head is what I like to call 'full' (some might say big bucket) so I cut this pattern based on my required size :D   It measures 11.5 inches in legnth. And because I wanted my bands to be thick, 6 inches width. Adjust this as best suits you through trial and error.

Trace the pattern on the back side of your fabric, then cut out the fabric piece. Cut the correct legnth of elastic piece you'd need as well. My elastic piece measured 7.5 inches.


 
Fold fabric in half.
(Right side in.)
Then stitch close along the open side. 

Turn entire band inside out.


On one end of the band, tuck in the edges and place one end of your eslatic inside. Sew this straight across once.   

On the second crossing, bunch your fabric back with your finger (careful not to stictch your finger) Sew in this manner one or two more times, just to make the edge that tucks behind your ear smaller. 

Take to embellishing your band with beads, flowers or buttons, stitching on ribbon or bows. Complete this before connecting the other side of the band and elastic in the same fashion as how detailed above.  

So happy headbanding!!
And just think, depending on how your sweetie behaves - these also can be used as sling shots :D  

Saturday, June 12

Will Work For Chicken Wings and Wedges


If you don't know, I've been looking for a job recently. Where as a few months ago I was pretty picky, but now I'm kind of desperate.

I was searching for jobs on-line and saw that my local KFC was hiring. I thought, 'hmmm, besides wearing that dorky orange hat, working there might not be too bad.' So I applied. And this is the letter I received 5 minutes after taking half an hour completing their application.

For KFC Full Time Team Member

Thank you for your application

Evette,

Thanks again for applying for a position with KFC!

Unfortunately your on-line assessments and experience do not match our requirements so we will not be progressing your application. We do however wish you all the best in your continued job search.

Denied! ??
Who can't get at job at KFC?
I have more experience with KFC than the Colonel himself. I was eating KFC's chicken since being in my mother's womb! How can they tell me that I don't have chicken experience?

Do they possible think I'll steal the 'secret recipe' and open up my own chicken shack across the street from theirs? Who can't punch buttons and pick up pieces of chicken? Do they know how long I've been picking up pieces of chicken? Look at my thighs! Does it look like I don't know fried chicken? DOes iT?

What kind of person fails an assessment for boxing up chicken? LOL... Me, that's who.

Uugh, I have now heard it all. I'm not going to give up though, I'll keep searching for work but please pray for me people. This not-good-enough-for-KFC girl has taken a confidence whack! :) thank you.  

Thursday, June 10

Getting My Quiche On

Quiche is big in this country! I've never seen so many varieties as I have living here in England.


But for many years, possibly ten, I've been creating my own home made Spinach and cheese quiche straight out of Brooklyn. And it's absolutely delicious! It takes very basic common ingredients and can be quickly thrown together. So if this looks good to you, here's my how to:

Ingredients:
2 cans of spinach
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
4 to 5 cups of graded mild cheddar cheese
1 bag of shortcrust pastry mix (or flour and butter to make your own crust)

1. Place spinach in a bowl and microwave for 4 minutes. Stop to stir mid way. When finished strain as much water out of the spinach as you can, and set aside to allow cooling.

2. In a large bowl crack 2 eggs, add the garlic and pepper and beat it like it stole your coin purse.

3. Grade enough cheese to fill 4 to 5 (depending on how cheesy you like it) tightly packed cups.  

4. Stir together the egg mixture, cheese and spinach.


(If your spinach is in large pieces, cut it up before adding so that it's not stringy, nothing like sucking spinach strings from between your teeth while trying to look cute in front of your man.)

To prepare the crust you can make it from scratch. Or use half a pack of pastry mix to make one pie bottom

 

5. Roll the dough like you're rolling your burdens away. Pinch a bit off and set aside for a bit of decoration.

6. Lay your dough,  and with a fork poke holes in the bottom - I found this makes the crust flakier.

7. Place your spinach and cheese mixture into the dish.
(Here's where you can be creative and add whatever your mind comes up with, such as cooked sausages, fried onions, etc.)

With this pie, I halfway filled the dish then sprinkled it with chopped ham slices I found at the back of the fridge. Oh yes, Eve is going to work with what she's got. :D Then I placed the rest of the mixture on top.

Remember that piece of dough you set aside? Remember elementary school art class?
8. Roll the small piece of dough flat, then sculpt and carve something cute, like a leaf or a happy face etc. This makes your pie look like you're a culinary expert who knows what she's doing. Ssssh ;)

9. Bake at 375 degrees F = 190 C,  for 1 hour covered with foil. For the last 15 minutes remove foil. Allow pie to cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing to serve. Eat a slice for lunch or as the main veg with dinner.   
  
Here we have Yummy Cheese and Spinach Quiche!!! after my family got to it, the first time round :D

This has been Linked at the following sites

http://terelauritsen.blogspot.com/
http://terelauritsen.blogspot.com/
http://www.thegirlcreative.blogspot.com/
http://debbie-debbiedoos.blogspot.com/

Tagging Game 1: Lesapea Musings

Thank you So much Lisa!!



I was tagged by Lisa at Lesapea Musings
http://lesapeamusings.blogspot.com/

who was tagged by A Reflection By Tuesdai

who was tagged by Fashion And Other Fancies


1. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Right here in Devon, England. It's green, safe, friendly and peaceful.

2. What is your favorite band/singer?

Whitney Houston is Tops! Crystal Lewis is Awesome! And Jordin Sparks is Great!

3. If you could be someone else for a day who would it be?

I've gotten out of wanting to be someone else. You never know what other people are going through, I'll stick with what I have on my plate, it's not all good, but it's mine and it's me.

4. Concert or Broadway show?

Oooh, good one. I'll go with Broadway show, and can I request two more tickets for Lion King? Saw it on Broadway on my wedding night, and it was awesome!

5. Do you have a theme song of your life?

Please, be patient with me. God is not through with me yet.

6. Would you choose a fancy dinner at a nice restaurant or a picnic in the park?

Fancy dinner at a nice place, wearing a pink and white rosey dress and wooden jewellery.  

7. What's your favorite place to shop?

I can't decide between Staples, Michael's and B&Q (Home Depot). I just get excited right at the door.

8. Favorite movie?

Shawshank Redemption is still my all time favorite.


I would like to tag these wonderful folks:

About Michelle Obama and the Obamas' going ons.

Lovely painter living in the Netherlands- Sofia

Brilliant Mom and Jewelery Designer- Kella

Wonderful fashionista of Plus Size fashions - Courtney

And everyone else too! I love too many blogs!
As not everyone likes being tagged or given awards. I hope these 4 do.  

Friday, June 4

Guest Blogger: Interracial Relationships



Hi there, I’m hubby, aka cookie monster, also known as Dom, and I’m honoured to have been asked to be the first guest poster on Eve’s terrific blog.

Eve asked if I’d like to contribute a few words on the subject of interracial relationships, and I certainly would. Eve, as you know is a wonderful and beautiful black gal, and I’m a white guy, and we married in New York in 2005.

We have experienced contempt and antagonism in different ways from both black and white people and in both the UK and the US; but we have also experienced a lot of natural acceptance without any question.

Something Eve said to me a while ago really hit home when she pointed out that a few decades ago in the US, in many if not most States, we simply would not have been able to marry. And that seems crazy. And it made me very appreciative of how far we have come since such days, of the fundamental freedoms and rights we have the benefit of enjoying now, and it made me very aware how very, very grateful we must always continue to be to those who fought hard and sacrificed much for us to have this freedom and right.

And I would add that it is crucially important we never lose vigilance, because the forces of ignorance and hatred and evil are ever marching onward in various guises and under various banners and in all parts. And until that great day when the Lord returns and all things are transformed we cannot take our fundamental freedoms and rights as entirely safe, for, strange as it may seem, they are always under attack.

As Christians, Eve and I allow our views to be informed by the teaching of the Holy Bible, the basis for the Christian perspective on all subjects. The Holy Bible has been, and will probably continue to be, abused in support of racist views, but I have studied the scriptures closely and I know for an absolute fact that in no way does the Holy Bible promote racialism or advocate racism.

Indeed it provides the answer to such evil, firstly by detailing the true history of mankind, one race, and then by showing how God wishes us to live, and then finally because for the Christian we are one in Christ, the ground for our whole existence and outlook.

So, I decided to say yes to Eve’s invitation to post here about this subject not because I believe I have all the answers but because I think it is important to try, to at least try, to actively speak out against racism and celebrate interracialism.

Yes, that’s right, I said celebrate interracialism.

Overcoming ignorance, hatred and evil is something to celebrate isn’t it? Truth, love and hope are worth celebrating aren’t they?

It's stating the obvious, but I certainly don't think interracialism is something that should be merely 'tolerated'; I personally defend it, celebrate it and promote it.

I see people of different races all over the place, I often see interracial couples around, and I see many individuals of mixed race; and in each instance I think “Praise God!”

Tuesday, June 1

A Girl Can Dream

This is one of my dream homes. In New Hope, PA. Priced at $619.995. With 4 Bedrooms, 3.5 Baths, a 2 car garage, it's perfect for me, hubby and a gazillion kids I would love to adopt!

I enjoy looking at nice homes, be they in magazines, newspapers or real estate websites. It's not a constant hobby, but every now and then. I don't live in fantasy, and I'm careful not to lust after the material, but I sure do like to say sometimes, "one day, I wish.."


Do you like this Foyer?  I think it's cool. I can imagine telling  my children not to slide down the banister. Hmmm, I can even imagine me doing it when the kids aren't looking! I would have to change the linoleum flooring though, it's giving me a headache that.

The Music Room and the Office



Isn't this Living Room awesome? I really like the drapes at the windows and the fire place. I would definitely add more chairs and couches, and place a thick & soft throw rug in the center.


Lovely Kitchen, except flooring. Lots of light, wide open space and welcoming. When I was a kid I used to be homeless for a while, so looking at houses is enjoyable for me. I also love keeping house, and making a great living environment for my family means a great deal to me.


 
Dining Room and one of the Bathrooms 


Master Bedroom
Ohhh, check out the columns. And what great space. Really nice. And the view doesn't seem too shabby.
So what do you think about the house?  
[I better add -anyone interested in purchasing this house should contact Toll Brothers, PA, regarding Hopewell Estate]

Town Festival

Wonderful day in my neighborhood the other day. I went to Exmouth Festival that has been a week long event. There was food, children activites, craft sales, music and much more.  

I saw an awesome Funk and Soul band called Sophie Mendoza & The Sonic Blue. Really great sound, plenty surprises, and when they performed one of my favorite songs, Alicia Keys' Empire State of Mind, I would have danced and sang loudly "New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of," right along with them, except I was over to the side of the stage sniffing soaps.


This is Ishbel Ramsay, the creator of Naturally Made Soaps.  Her items are natural, homemade, wonderfully scented, cutely shaped, and with really cute names. I had a really great time at her stall.
I couldn't stop smelling the cupcakes, they all seemed to have different scents. 

Did I purchase anything? Oh yes. I treated myself to a bar of White Chocolate Truffle & Strawberry. I seriously want to eat it! 
 

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