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Upcycling Pillowcases

I have two pillowcases that I have had for a while.  A couple of years ago, I debated over whether I should get rid of them.  That turned into a fleeting thought once my brain went into creative mode.  They were super cozy still, but the white was kind of faded.  I decided that I would bleach them, and even if they didn’t turn out super white, I appreciated the old look.  

sewing, upcycle, home decor, DIY, reuse, burlap

Once again, I decided to put those good, old, warm scarves to use that have been sitting in my closet forever and a day.  I already had the embroidery thread and needle at home, so I didn’t spend any money on this project.  I hope that this quick project inspires you to upcycle your pillowcases as well.  If you decide to take on this project, how about taking pictures, and posting them below on the discussion board. 

Activity: Upcycling Pillowcases

sewing, upcycle, home decor, DIY, reuse, burlap, pillows

Supplies:

  • Wool material 
  • Embroidery thread #25
  • Thick Sewing Needle

sewing, upcycle, home decor, DIY, reuse, burlap, pillows

Directions:

  1.  Cut out six two-inch square pieces of wool. 
  2. Sew the squares an inch and a half apart right up above the opening side of the pillowcase.
  3. Happy sleeping!

 

sewing, upcycle, home decor, DIY, reuse, burlap

The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.

20 By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.

21 My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:

22 So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.

23 Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.

24 When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.

Proverbs 3: 19-24, KJV

Quinoa Burgers

A few days ago, I decided to make my daughter some quinoa burgers, and she said that they came out pretty good.  I have made quinoa bites before, so I was thinking that quinoa burgers shouldn’t be too much of a difference.  I didn’t get a chance to taste them, but I know one thing:  the smell that was permeating throughout the house made me want to eat them.  I decided to let her enjoy these all on her own.

vegan burgers, quinoa, food, healthy living, cheese, spinach

Activity:  Making Quinoa Burgers for Dinner

Total Prepping and Cooking Time:  35 minutes

Ingredients: 

  • (1/2) cup of rice
  • (1/2) cup of quinoa
  • (3) tablespoons of flaxseed meal mixed with 4.5 tablespoons of water
  • (1) can of spinach
  • (3) tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  • (1/4) cup of grapeseed and sunflower oil, or whatever oil you have
  • (1/2) cup of vegan cheese

Directions:  

  1. Prepare two cookie sheets by greasing them with the grapeseed oil using a paper towel or optional, using parchment paper.  (I ran out, so there was no option.)
  2. Boil the rice for twenty minutes.
  3. Boil the quinoa for twenty minutes.
  4. Saute the spinach with grapeseed oil blend.
  5. Mix the rice, quinoa, and spinach in a bowl.
  6. Fold in the flaxseed mix, cheese, and nutritional yeast and stir.
  7. Create patties with your hands.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 22 minutes.
  9. Enjoy!

 

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,

Deuteronomy 7:9, ESV

Self-Worth

One of the main things that the enemy uses against people is self-worth.  His tool is a cycle of our brokenness, insecurities, and self-condemnation to continually run to people and things to fulfill us, instead of running to God.  He blocks out the knowledge that these things will only give us a temporary high, and lead to more emptiness if we are not being filled by God, our Living Water.  He makes us forget that our dependence on these things and people lead us right into the never ending game of idolatry. 

self-worth, approval, God, enough, portrait, grace
Photo by Tookapic on Pexels.com

 

The Source of Self-Worth

We all want to attain it,

From people and things we know.

Forgetting your death has sealed it,

Some thousands of years ago.

 

When we look to an “other” to fulfill it,

Makes us lonely, empty, insatiate.

When we look to the one who revealed it,

Makes us joyful, peaceful, gratiate.

 

All the people and all the things,

Become blessings with two wings.

As we worship the true King,

Giving everlasting springs.

 

Oatmeal Chocolate Delights

Most people who know me have figured out the fact that I don’t bake a lot.  However, it is something that I have wanted to learn how to get better at, and lately, I am becoming a little bit more courageous about this new adventure.  I usually leave the baking up to my daughter, who can whip up something in a minute.  Yesterday’s adventure was oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

I was pleased with the result, and I had to force myself to stop after cookie number three.  The flaxseed meal makes these cookies really moist on the inside.  The bonus to making these cookies is that I had everything at home already.

oatmeal, chocolate, food, cookies, vegan

 

Activity:  Baking Oatmeal Chocolate Delights

Total Prepping and Cooking Time:  45 minutes

oatmeal, chocolate, food, recipes, cinnamon, brown sugar, milk

Ingredients: 

  • (1 1/2) cups of oatmeal
  • (1/4) cup of semi-sweet organic chocolate chips 
  • (2) tablespoons of flaxseed meal mixed with 3 tablespoons of water
  • (1 1/2) cups of flour
  • (1/4) cup of brown sugar 
  • (2) teaspoons of vanilla extract 
  • (1/4) cup of coconut oil
  • (1/4) cup of grapeseed and sunflower oil blend
  • (1/4) cup of sunflower seeds
  • (1) teaspoon of baking soda
  • (1/4) cup of vegan milk (soy, almond, etc.)
  • (1/4) cup of cinnamon

 

DSCN0746 (2)

Directions:  

  1. Prepare two cookie sheets by greasing them with the grapeseed oil using a paper towel or optional, using parchment paper.  (I ran out, so there was no option.)
  2. Whisk together the flour, oatmeal, cinnamon, sunflower seeds, and baking soda in a bowl.
  3. Mix together the brown sugar, vanilla extract, coconut oil, and vegan milk in another bowl.
  4. Pour the brown sugar mixture into the dry mixture.
  5. Add the grapeseed blend and stir.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  7. Use a small cookie scoop to place the dough on the cookie sheets.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 22 minutes.
  9. Enjoy!

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” –Isaiah 52:7

Presence of Peace before the Storm

Towards the tail end of last week, I had what I described a surreal moment of God’s presence. The last time that I experienced something so profound was when I was in the midst of extreme physical illness about three years ago, and I literally felt like I was going to black out.  I’d sat on my bed, criss-crossed, and lightheaded, and starting praying to God for help and deliverance. 

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The situation was so intense, that I laid hands on myself and prayed.  I am not kidding you, sometimes desperate times calls for desperate measures.  I remember asking God to please deliver me as he did the Hebrews boys in the fiery furnace, but if he didn’t deliver and heal here on Earth, then I knew that meant healing for me in heaven.  I knew God was listening.  Immediately, I heard a praise song in my head.  It was literally like a radio playing in my head.  Then, I felt God’s presence all around me, as if he was covering me with himself.

DSCN0707 (2), presence, storm

Fast forward back to last week, and to the point when I was working on a blog post, I could feel the presence of God all around me.  It literally covered me from the crown of my head to the sole of my feet.  After working for so long, I decided that I would go for a walk to the beach, and get some fresh air.  His presence continued to cover me like a blanket.  I watched the sunset, and enjoyed seeing the clear water, and communing with God.  I walked home, and listened to gospel music, and had a worshiping good time in God’s presence.

DSCN0711 (2), presence

Little did I know, God’s surreal presence last week was to assure me for this week that he had my back.  It was the peace before this week’s storm.  Thank you God for your love and protection, and giving us what we need when we need it.

storm, peace, landscape, God, sky, sunset, disciples, Jesus, boat, presence

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” – Psalm 46:10

Have a blessed rest of your week!  

Pear Crumble

How Pear Crumble Came About

My friend and I were out yesterday, and she started talking about how much she had a sweet tooth.  Sweets sounded appealing to me.  However, I know that I have to be careful with sweets, and that my best bet is to create something at home.  That way, I can control how much sugar, honey, and salt is used.  When I got home, I started thinking about an apple crisp that I made about a month and a half ago.  I looked into the cabinets to see what I had, and I decided that I would make what I decided to call “Pear Crumble”.  This baked good that only requires minimal prep time, takes about 45 to 50 minutes in the oven.  As hoped, it hit the spot.  There’s nothing worse than having your mouth set for something, and it doesn’t come out as expected, so that was a nice blessing.  This crumble would serve as a nice topping for vanilla ice cream.

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Activity:  Baking Pear Crumble for Dessert

Total Prepping and Cooking Time:  70 minutes

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Ingredients: 

  • (2) cans of pears – $2.00
  • (1) .75 oz of cinnamon  – $1.00
  • (1) box of oatmeal – $1.80
  • (1) pack of flour – $1.50
  • (1) bag of light brown sugar – $1.80
  • (1)  jar of honey  – $1.70
  • (1) container of butter or bottle of olive oil or vegan butter – $3.69

Total Cost: $ 13.49

Cost per day for two days: $6.75

DSCN0746 (2)

Estimated Duration of Food:  1 day for a family of 4-6, 2 days for a family of 1-3

Directions:  

  1. Pour the pears into a small casserole pan.
  2. Whisk one cup of flour, 3/4 cup of oatmeal, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon in a bowl.
  3. Pour 1/4 cup of oil into the bowl and whisk.
  4. Pour these ingredients on top of the pears and drizzle with honey on top. 
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!

fruit crisp, vegan, apple. pear, oatmeal, brown sugar, dessert

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.

Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Psalms 100, KJV

fruit crisp, vegan, apple. pear, oatmeal, brown sugar, dessert

Breakfast Bread Casserole

Background Story

A few days ago, I decided to make two of what I call a breakfast bread casserole.  Sometimes I get in the mood of mixing different ingredients together to see how they come out, based upon several other meals that I cooked that were similar.  This one turned out even better than I thought.  I love the challenge of tweaking recipes to accommodate my daughter, who is vegan.  What I realized is that there was not a whole lot of substitutions to make for this recipe.  Instead of buying vegan and non-vegan bread, you can just use vegan bread, and call it a day.  The meat and cheese are major substitutes of course.  The only other substitute is using one tablespoon of flaxseed meal, mixed with two and half tablespoons of water in a bowl, per egg requirement.  This is also a great substitute for baking, and if you are like me, and you have to watch the cholesterol for health reasons.  Have a blessed week in the Lord!  Happy cooking!

Activity:  Cooking Two Bread Casseroles for Breakfast

Total Prepping and Cooking Time:  90 minutes

healthy living, vegan recipe, breakfast casserole

Ingredients: 

  • (1) loaf of bread – $3.99
  • (1) pack of Fieldcrest vegan sausages   –  $4.99
  • (1)  .75 oz of parsley flakes  – $1.00
  • (1) .75 oz of onion powder  – $1.00
  • (1)  .75 oz of chili powder  – $1.00
  • (1)  .75 oz of oregano  – $1.00
  • (1) pack of  Pepperjack vegan cheese  – $3.49
  • (1) pack of cheddar cheese  – $1.88
  • (1) 16 oz. pack of ground turkey  – $2.00
  • (1) carton of eggs – $0.88
  • (2) 13.5 oz can of cut spinach – $.75
  • (1) container of butter or bottle of olive oil or vegan butter – $3.69
  • (6) plum tomatoes -$2.00
  • (1) small bag of flax seed meal – $3.69
  • (1) non-dairy milk – $2.59

Total Cost for Breakfast Bread Casserole: $ 33.95

Cost per day for two days: $16.98

Cost per day for three days: $11.32

Estimated Duration of Food:  2-3 days for a family of 4-6, 5-6 days for a family of 1-3

healthy living, vegan recipe, breakfast casserole, food

Directions:  

  1. Place two casserole dishes on the table.
  2. Put butter or oil into two separate skillets, and then place the meat inside both of them with the seasoning.
  3. Cut up six tomatoes.
  4. Drain the two cans of spinach.
  5. Pour oil or butter into a third pan, placing the spinach and tomatoes inside afterwards.
  6. Take eight slices of bread, and cut them into cubes.
  7. Grab two medium-sized to large bowls, placing three cups of non-dairy vegan milk into both.
  8. Place three eggs into one bowl, and three flaxseed mixtures into the other bowl.  (Use one tablespoon of flaxseed meal and two and a half tablespoons of water and mix for each egg requirement.)
  9. Use the meat as the first layer, spinach and tomato as the second layer, and sprinkle cheese on top.
  10. Place the cubes of bread into both casserole pans.
  11. Place another layer of cheese on top.
  12. Pour the milk mixture into both casserole pans.
  13. Place another layer of cheese on top.
  14. Enjoy!

healthy living, vegan recipe, breakfast casserole

I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.

O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.

I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.

This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.

The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

Psalms 34: 1-8, KJV

Pasta Goulash

Just in case you haven’t figured it out by now, I love me some pasta.  I decided to call this mixture “pasta goulash” because I took a mixture of some of everything that I had left in the fridge before it came time to go grocery shopping again, and made a meal out of it.  The funny thing about it is that it actually came out pretty good, and I could taste the spices on each of the main ingredients separately.  I hope that this recipe inspires you to make your own goulash of a meal.  Enjoy!  Have a blessed rest of your weekend.

 

Activity:  Cooking Pasta Goulash for Dinner

Total Prepping and Cooking Time:  60 minutes

vegan recipe, healthy eating, vegan potato mix

Ingredients: 

  • (1) box of spaghetti  – $.50
  • (1) jar of balsamic vinegar  –  $3.69
  • (1)  .75 oz of parsley flakes  – $1.00
  • (1) .75 oz of onion powder  – $1.00
  • (1)  .75 oz of chili powder  – $1.00
  • (3)  ears of corn  – $1.00
  • (1) 13.5 oz can of cut spinach – $.75
  • (1) container of butter or bottle of olive oil or vegan butter – $3.69
  • (1) bag of mini red and golden yellow potatoes -$2.00
  • (1) bag of cello carrots – $.50

Total Cost: $ 18.82

Cost for two days: $9.41

Cost for three days: $6.27

Estimated Duration of Food:  2 days for a family of 4-6, 3 days for a family of 1-3

potatoes, vegan eating, healthy living, red potatoes

Directions:  

  1.  Cut up 1/3 of the bag of gold and red mini potatoes into 4 wedges each.
  2. Pour oil or butter over the potatoes, and sprinkle them with chili powder and parsley flakes.
  3. Place them in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until nice and crisp.
  4. Boil a pot of water, and then add spaghetti and oil to the boiling water.
  5. Drain the can of spinach using a colander to remove excess liquid.
  6. Cut the corn off the stalks, and place them into an oiled skillet.
  7. Cut the cello carrots into spirals using a potato peeler or knife.
  8. Place the carrots and spinach into the skillet with the corn, and sprinkle them with parsley flakes.
  9. Drain the excess liquid off the pasta using the lid of the pot, colander, or strainer.
  10. Place the potato wedges and all of the sauteed vegetables into the pot of spaghetti, adding oil and balsamic vinegar to the pot.
  11. Enjoy!

 

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Psalms 23: 1-3, NKJV

Devotional: Enough for Everybody

Background on the “Enough”

About a year ago, I was looking out of the kitchen window, and I thought that what I was witnessing was a bird fight.  Instead of it being a fight, it was more like bullying.  Bullying among two birds.  One robin decided that he wanted the other robin to leave the grass. (Granted there was more than enough room for both of them.) The second robin(victim) tried to stay there. 

However, the first robin(victim), continued to peck him.  The second robin went over to the bird bath to relax there.  And what do you know?  Mr. Bully came over there and pecked him until he left that area.  Eventually the second robin flew into the happy face tree(someone literally drew a happy face on the tree itself), and stayed there for a while.  This made the bully very happy.

 

 

brown and beige short beak claw foot bird on bird house
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Reflection on Enough

Last week, I saw several birds in the backyard after it rained.  No one had the bullying and victim title.  They were all scavenging for food after it rained.  They knew that there was more than enough to go around.

God revealed something to me in that very moment.  Sometimes we are like the two birds from a year ago.  We feel that we are not satisfied until we are the only star.  We feel that there will not be enough of God’s grace, goodness, and mercy to go around.  We think we have to fight in order to get the blessings, or there won’t be enough.

Other times, we are like the birds from last week, realizing that there is more than enough, God is the one who owns it all, and is running it all. 

The earth is the Lord‘s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. Psalms 24:1, KJV

Even with whatever talent it is that he has blessed us with, he has to tell the door to open and to close.  Some of us will be blessed with a lot, and some of us will be blessed with little. 

birds, God, victim, enough, bully, ducks, tree
Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

“O my people, listen as I speak.
    Here are my charges against you, O Israel:
    I am God, your God!
I have no complaint about your sacrifices
    or the burnt offerings you constantly offer.

But I do not need the bulls from your barns
    or the goats from your pens.
10 For all the animals of the forest are mine,
    and I own the cattle on a thousand hills.

11 I know every bird on the mountains,
    and all the animals of the field are mine.
12 If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
    for all the world is mine and everything in it.

13 Do I eat the meat of bulls?
    Do I drink the blood of goats?
14 Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God,
    and keep the vows you made to the Most High.
15 Then call on me when you are in trouble,
    and I will rescue you,
    and you will give me glory.” Psalms 50:7-15, NLT

However, when we realize that there is more than enough for everybody, then we can look to God, rather than other people to receive the blessing.

Better is little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble therewith.

17 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith. 

Proverbs 15:16-17, KJV

Dear God,

We thank you for the gifts that you have blessed us with.  We pray that you will help us to realize that we don’t have to worry about being threatened by anyone else, because you have blessed all of us with different gifts/talents that are unique to us.  Please help us not to compete, but to work together for your glory.

In your name we pray,

Amen.

Upcycling Canvas Paintings

When we were living at our last residence, I looked around my bedroom, and then I realized that the canvas painting on the wall didn’t match the theme of the rest of the room.  As a matter of fact, it was totally off.  I was in such survival mode for a while, that it had taken about a year for me to figure this out.  

At first, I decided to take the painting to Goodwill.  Then, my creative mind took over, and I thought that maybe I could upcycle the painting for a different purpose.  I decided to make a memo/postcard/picture board, and was pleased with the results.  Remembering that I had some extra burlap material left over, I held it up to the painting, and got to working.  The blessing in all of this is that I had everything that I needed for this project at home already.

painting, upcycle, home decor, DIY, reuse, burlap

Activity:  Recycling a canvas painting

Materials

  • staples
  • stapler
  • any material from home
  • canvas painting from home
  • pushpins

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Directions:

  1.  Cut the material if needed, and then completely cover the canvas painting with it. 
  2.  Cut off any excess material, then fold and staple the ends of the material to the wood on the back of the canvas.
  3. Place your pictures/memos/postcards onto your board with pushpins.
  4. Voila!  You’re done.

She seeks wool and flax,
And willingly works with her hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
She brings her food from afar.
15 She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.

Proverbs 31: 13-15

 

painting, upcycle, home decor, DIY, reuse, burlap
Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com