Category Archives: Holidays

mayonnaise is the secret to mix up an ordinary grilled cheese

grilled cheese

i am getting that know..the holidays! minus the stress.  the anticipation of in all the goodness of the the most wonderful time of the year:)  it starts now~with our calendars doesn’t it?  is your filing up as fast as mine? cookie baking with the girls..the morgan christmas..parties..checking the lists..organizing the calendars

whoa girl!  remember it is not a race…it is a journey!   i am getting ahead of myself…thanksgiving first.

most of us have been practicing gratefulness through out the year and i really think that turns up the volume on thanksgiving for me..what about you? to planning out our table for thanksgiving.  we are determined to have a sit down this year.  isn’t this stunning?  thanksgiving al fresco might be possible in missouri.  it is either stunningly warm or freezing.  this is the vibe i want for our table this year.  woodsy..a little glam.  simple.  rustic.  less fuss to detract from what is really important.

Baby Its Cold Outside
the pretty blog

i might be becoming an amazon prime addict with all this bed “time” on my hands.  i am addicted to the food network…my two new favorites are jamie deen’s home for dinner and trisha yearwoods southern kitchen.  i might have ordered trisha’s cookbook georgia cooking in a oklahoma kitchen

if i did believe in reincarnation i would come back as a southern girl…just sayin!

.. and my first silpat too!  i am dreaming of becoming a foodie and going back to a simple life of cooking, cleaning, loving on my peeps and creating.

but all within boundaries of peace!  i don’t know about you but i crave this!

so today i wanted to share with you our latest simple comfort food dinner in our soon to be series Soul Supper Sundays!
it is a collision of jaime deen’s grilled cheese and panera’s.    we had panera’s all natural white bread cut thin.  then we grated sharp cheddar cheese…no packaged cheese around this house anymore!

grilled cheese 4

there is something different about fresh grated cheese minus the binders or whatever stuff they put in there to keep it that way.

take two pieces of the panera bread…or even better yet homemade bread.  yum! sprinkle your grated cheese all over it.  spread mayo on each side of the bread.  yes you heard me.  AHmazing!

grilled cheese 3

grill it just like you would a grilled cheese. i was a starving marvin for some food so nikki bought potato soup from panera and blended it in the blender for me and voila! perfect.  the kids got creamy tomato as their sidekick to the grilled cheese.  it was super comforting.  super yummy!  a difinite addition to our Supper Soul Foods…coming in the weeks ahead.

grilled cheese 2

mayonnaise is the secret to mix up an ordinary grilled cheese .. and of course the real grated cheese:)

cheers to a simple comforting soul food to enjoy with family…. xotiff


how to SLOW down & find the beauty in the holiday’s & a giveaway

CMH2 Home Collage Words

let’s switch gears on monday shall we?  i have something FUN to share:)  from my beautifully hearted friend jeanne oliver!  i know you love her too right?
read on and just soak up the beauty of these photos won’t you?  oh..and pin pin…:)

keeping it cozy

jeanne oliver designs

life in grace

jennifer rizzo

na-da farm

thistlewood farm

city farmhouse

raised in cotton

ok…pure loveliness right?
READ on…..:)

Course description:

Join eight of my friends and me as we celebrate loving on your home, friends and family through the holidays.

You will be encouraged as you hear honestly from each woman about the times things did not go as planned during their holidays.

You will hear honest discussions about their own journey of hospitality.

You will walk away inspired as you hear about the traditions and special moments from their childhood and how they create special moments with their families today.

You will be able to watch beautiful videos with gift giving ideas, decorating projects and favorite family recipes.

We all want to create authentic moments with our friends and families.

We all desire for the ones we love to leave our homes knowing that they were welcomed and loved.

My hope is that this course will help you slow down and find the joy and beauty in the holidays.

*There will be 30+ project videos

These will be incredible videos that include everything from cooking, gift giving and decorating

*Tons of beautiful house photos from each of the nine women

*Supply Lists and PDFs for each project

*A digital recipe book of the recipes shared in this course

:::the beautyFULL hearts that will be sharing:

CM2 round collage NAME WHITE-1

i am giving to myself some real time to SLOW down and enjoy a course for ONCE!  i am done with being so crazed that i can’t take time to be all present and enjoy being taught
and what better than to learn how to SLOW down & find BEAUTY & JOY in the holidays.  to LISTEN!

SO…jeanne has so humbly offered 2 spots for YOU to be a part with me and join these authentic women as they share their STORY with us!



got this from miss jeanne herself…loved it

To enter all you have to do is leave a comment on THIS post telling me what makes you feel special during the holidays.

For additional chances to win you can…

*Blog about the course

*Facebook about the course

*Pin the course to Pinterest

*Tweet about the course on Twitter

Come back and tell me each time you do one of the above for additional chances to win.

we will choose on wednesday from random number generator…and a few super simple FALL fun recipe’s for you that i LOVE!


:::to REGISTER now just click on the PAYPAL link below…looking forward to seeing you there sweet friends!


 course is 58.00!!

in His grip of grace


a bit of shop news:

we are on a skeleton shop for another week or two then will re open fully.  we are still taking some customs and our HOLIDAY signs are in the SHOP too:)


nikki hit it out of the park with this design…the words bring me to tears.  enough said:)


our I Am His sign is being placed in so many nurseries and we are soooo humbled.  what powerful words for children to see daily.
this sign is our original design.  the words of course are not ours but the design is.  first seen here on the House of Belonging:)


we had a custom with a wood sign on the GRATITUDE sign so we shot it real quick…i LOVE the wood frame:)



what does coffee breath have to do with it & a giveaway


sitting here in paint clothes my breath smells like coffee unwashed hair all thrown up in a messy list of to do’s is literally a mile long with launching MOXIE..getting orders caught up… dishes dirty are forming roots on my counter…i just nod my head when the kids are talking to me and sleep… well i blink and it is another day…somedays..ok many days i say WHY can’t life be less busy

self says.. remember you have a book review…oh yes - add that to my list.  a bit ago jeruselum asked me if i would review her book A Homemade Year : The Blessings of Cooking, Crafting and Coming Together.  well long story short – the book came in the mail and it had me at
the cover — look at it will you?  ADORABLE!  a mix of fun fonts & color.  quotes at the beginning of each chapter which i looove.  the photography ( by jeruselums sister judea) is stunning..infectious.  easy to read–whimsical…useful and understandable and before i realized i was smiling:)  relaxing into the book was effortless.  Jeruselum engaged my momma yearning for connecting with God and my family.  p.s. i love the smell of new books…i mean really love

this book is like holding the controller.  it lets you change the channel from “shoulding” to wanting.  i believe women have a deep longing to create heart and home but are torn between home and work…even when the work is out of the home for all of us home business moms!

well girls..only WE hold the controller!

jeruselum takes you on a year long journey in the frame of a liturgical year and most importantly from her experience.  she’s done all of this.  she knows!

we are making that wreath this week…btw:)

Jeruselum gives us permission to celebrate in the midst of laundry,dirty dishes, children and the scarcity of this crazy world.  it is ok to go back to a simpler time and immensely enjoy our upturned faces to the sun and inhale deep the fragrance of life. to enjoy our children..our homes..our gifts of creating and cooking

why have those things become an inconvenience?

The Homemade Year gives you way in which you can not only GIVE to your people but CONNECT with them over TEACHable subjects.

this book is the perfect companion to a heart longing to take her family on a year long journey – the journey of daring to live greatly in your piece of the world with your persons.  giving you some new tools to use on how to get to point a to point b.

with so much of the “church”today using guilt and shame to get action from the people this excerpt was a breath of fresh air…Jeruselum commented on a quote from Penny Carothers…

i’ve always elevated the lives of others above my own spiritual aspirations…this mistaken believe parallels my long-held view the spirituality has to look a certain way to be legit.
Jeruselum went on to say– i loved reading those words because i too have gone through seasons of thinking that legitimate spirituality only fit into one very tight fitting box.  my prayer is that A Homemade Year is the kind of book that will free you from just that sort of mistaken belief, from the phantom one-size-fits-all box.  instead i hope this book inspires you to seek and experience God in a different way at your own pace.  this book is meant to act as a guide, to encourage, and to teach – but never to induce guilt, to depress, or to intimidate.

the book makes me long for the kids to be little again. looking back i would create more sacred connections in the everyday with homemade blessings. I will use this book throughout the year and it is a perfect gift to give my daughter to use with my 4 grandbabies.

I would LOVE to give a copy away to one of my FRIENDS.
simply leave a comment of one simple past time that you would like to bring back
i will announce the winner on friday

jeruselum is the auther of the blog jolly goode gal.  it is a sweet place:)

oh…i did finally brush my teeth..xo

A Homemade Year:The Blessings of Cooking, Crafting, and Coming Together
by Jerusalem Jackson Greer
©2013 by Jerusalem Jackson Greer, images by Judea Jackson
Used by permission of Paraclete Press,


a Raggedy Ann inspired birthday party…

your a grandma? with shock and awe it comes rolling out of peoples mouths. all. the. time.
followed by

you look so young.  well when you hit your 40′s ya start to go south…but i am young at heart..a little.

i will let you in on some secrets in an upcoming post (not to be a snob) but there are things one can do to not get stuck in a time warp.

speaking of grand children –  two of the four little hoodlums (as my friend sasha calls her kiddos)

well i am saying that affectionately but they really are hoodlums..they get into everything..fight and pull hair..steal food
out of the fridge..paint nail polish on everything they can..and sneeeaky..they are the sweetest thing that ever i looked into
and their smiles make my heart smile and i can take the longest deepest breaths of their smell.
they are my grand flesh..a living part of crazy little me..and so when they asked to have their little party at my house why…i couldn’t say no.

i made them each a little sweet “heart” T….

Chelsee & her brother who is growing a Duck Dynasty beard…he is not cutting it until March!! cracks me up!!

my daughter Chelsee…momma to my 4 grandbabies and the two hoodlums;)

auntie Nikki & miss K

auntie Grace & miss Khloey

thier momma wanted to do a raggedy ann party and she began with their names on garlands and that’s
where it stopped and we took over.  We ended up not using Raggety Ann herself .. just her colors
and being so close to Valentine’s day and all…red was everywhere.

Since it was just a small family party at our house we didn’t have anyone to impress so we didn’t get out the china.
happy birthday to my Khloey and Karalina…you are my favorite 2 & 4 year olds in the whole wide world and
you are some lucky girls to have such a young looking grandma…..wink wink

i will do a post with the recipes and such that we served next week..

Check back on MONDAY for a ginormous giveaway and some New HOUSE of BElonging news!!!
eek…double eek!!  follow us on INSTAGRAM to be the first to know about new stuff in the shop!

more on the RE-BOOT in the coming weeks too….stay TUNED!



a vicarious route with a pocketful of promises

I finally managed to get up early on winter is 5:30
I think it appropriate on the last day of the year to rise early and reminisce…after all a new year brings
with it promises of new beginnings and aren’t we all in need of a few of those?


“The secret to a rich life is to have more beginnings than endings.” – By Dave Weinbaum

as I look back I’d have to say this has been a powerful year for me.  Traveling with God over this last year has allowed me to see myself and my story thorugh a new pair of eyes. Eileen Caddy once said when you feel that you have reached the end and that you cannot go one step further, when life seems to be drained of all purpose; what a wonderful opportunity to start all over again, to turn over a new page.

you can read the some of my beginnings here here here and here

so here I am at the end of a page and the end of a powerful year and the horizon looks pregnant with possibilities.  I look out over the horizon and can only make out what appears to be many roads but this time with a new vision instead of looking at a land if full of giants…which it will be but instead choosing (key word) to focus on it as full of possibility!  expect the miracles..expect God to fulfill His part of the covenant.  EXPECT God–

a vicarious route to some essential part of herself that she does not yet fully recognize or understand yet …. Sarah Ban Breathnach “Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” – By Carl Bard

I am learning through a daily practice of slowing my heart down to really listen–then talk with God.  LOTS more listening than talking if you know what I mean?

I am traveling through each day with a suitcase more full of peace- a child like trust- knowing i am loved for who i am and not what i do or don’t do- a sense of belonging finally-acceptance of who i am and what i am called to do within all of my insecurities, quirks and weirdness


at the dawn of 2013 I possess a greater sense of vision..a pocketFULL of powerful promises and as I lay my hand over them I know they are living words and they are what will get me through the valleys that will be low and the mountains that will be high.

“Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling.” – By Margaret B. Runbeck  

so if you have been feeling like life is one series of false starts….why not make this beginning of 2013 the year to get started
oh I know…everybody starts at the new year and a few weeks down the road it is back to the same ol`routine.  well…i began and quit many times but no matter how many times life knocked me down ( and I do my fair share of causing myself grief ) grace pulled me back up again.  Mark Twain has a good point–
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret to getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks and then starting on the first one.” – By Mark Twain

“When you feel that you have reached the end and that you cannot go one step further, when life seems to be drained of all purpose; what a wonderful opportunity to start all over again, to turn over a new page.” – By Eileen Caddy

so let’s turn over a new page together–blessings and love to each of you who have taken words out of your busy day to leave here on my heart.  You have each had a part in writing my story over the last year.
while my route maybe vicarious I wouldn’t have it any other way because deep down that girl I know is becoming more and more recognizable.  I am humbly uber excited over the coming months..for the new things that are coming and that I am surrounded by some pretty amazing warrior women..I am thankful at the close of 2013.

what is ONE..just one promise that you can put in your pocket right now to take with you in 2013?

xotiff —  “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” -A popular Chinese Proverb