Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Two Sweet Things

1. ~ Michigan Beach Town Vacation ~ We took our family vacation in early June to southwest Michigan.  We beat the crowds and heat (loved that part!)  It was such a wonderful, pleasant can come along via some photos.

This cottage near Coloma, MI was our home for 3 days.  It was clean, clean, clean...that means alot to me.  You can find information on it at this link, if you are interested.  Scott and Dawn were good hosts of this rental cottage.  We had plenty of room and a full kitchen.  We ate breakfast and dinner here, with a fun lunch out every day.  The laundry room was a big help, with all those sandy clothes.  :)  And it was could easily sleep a couple of kids on air mattresses in there.

Just a 10-15 minute walk through a wooded area to get to our own little beach ~ Hagar Shores, MI

We enjoyed walking down to it our first night there, just after a rain shower moved through.  Beautiful clouds with a sunset peeking through.

Day 1 ~ Saugatuck, MI
The historic chain ferry is a fun way to get to the town from the beach side of Saugatuck.  It is a hand cranked ferry across the Kalamazoo River.  The town is small enough that it is fun to walk and visit shops and sites.

An excellent lunch at The Mermaid Bar and Grill along the riverfront.  Our son Tanner enjoyed his shrimp.
I had read about Uncommon Roasters on  And its charm and Carmel Latte lived up to the reviews.   Trip Advisor is a great way to find good places to eat while traveling.

Oval Beach, an award winning beach in Saugatuck, was our first real beach adventure of the trip.  Feet are so happy in sand and water.

Day 2 ~ St. Joseph, MI
Our daughter and grandboys drove an hour from their home and met us here for the day.  Sweet Carson must have thought the beach was the world's best sandbox.

And baby Sawyer was all eyes and ears during his first beach visit.  So fun to make this memory with them.

We ended the evening with a fire in our cottage's fire pit, roasting hot dogs, making S'mores, and toasting our toes.

Day 3 ~ South Haven, MI
This might have been my favorite place.  The white sands were clean, the light house was gorgeous, and the town was charming.

Walking out on the pier to the lighthouse was a treat.

The shops were fun, Clementines made us a tasty lunch, and the Lord was kind to make it only rain for a few minutes while we were warm and dry indoors at lunch.  Murphy's Antique Mall was a huge treat...possibly the best/cutest antique mall I've ever visited.  We all found a treasure to buy...even our 17 year old son.  :)

The marina was a fun place to sit and breezes and cool boats.

North Beach in South Haven, one of seven beaches in this town.  So clean.  So peaceful.  So beautiful.  My favorite beach of the trip.

And they served Sherman's Ice Cream (a Trip Advisor favorite) at this beach.  Completely delish.  Who wouldn't want to eat ice cream perched atop these adorable vintage stools?
It was a wonderful, peaceful, relaxing trip...I'd highly recommend a Michigan Beach Town vacation.

2. ~ A Handmade Card for our favorite new Medical School Graduate.

Our friend Jacob has wanted to be a doctor ever since we met him at age 9.  And this past month, he achieved that dream at the early age of 24.  I enjoyed making a card for his celebration, using the page of an old hymnal.  Don't you think this song title is perfect?

I didn't have room for the 'refrain' on the front of the card, so added it inside the cover.

Jacob loves the Lord, and will be relying on Him as he begins his residency in Chicago.  So proud of this fine, young man. 

Thanks for stopping by!
Always enjoy your comments!


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Five Fine Things

1.  Freezer Cooking Ahead ~ We got ground chuck on sale for $2.99 a pound.  Score!  So I spent one morning browning 3 pounds for the freezer (quick taco or spaghetti meals.)  I made 2 lbs into meat balls which I froze on a cookie sheet, then put into a freezer bag so I can take out the number I want for a meal.  And the last 1 1/2 lbs. became a favorite comfort food...Blue Plate Patties.  
This is a Taste of Home recipe from 1999.  And they are delicious!  

I fit the recipe to what I have on hand, which usually means a packet of brown gravy mix, canned mushrooms, and no horseradish.  But they are so good with mashed potatoes.  The men in your life will love you.  :)

2.  Things growing at my house ~ This Missouri Primrose perennial was given to me by my neighbor in Michigan back in 1999.  It moved to Chicago with us where it grew and spread for 10 years.  And when we moved to Southern Indiana 5 years ago, a chunk of it moved here with us too.  It's now like a long-time friend.  

My first Gerbera Daisy in a few years.  My favorite color this year is 'coral' so that's why this pretty girl came home with me from Lowes.

I call these Lindsey's Daisies.  They moved here from Chicago with me too, and they always bloom in June, the birth month of our only daughter, Lindsey. 

Our little 4x8 raised vegetable garden is full.  So in order to grow Bell Peppers, I had to plant them in this little plot of ground under our utility meter on the side of the house that only gets afternoon sun.  I didn't know how they'd do...but they have grown 3X bigger than the Banana Pepper plants in my veggie garden in full sun.  Go figure.  Looking forward to yummy peppers in a few months!

3.  Semi-Homemade Salsa
John and I LOVE this salsa.  We like it better than most name brands and we like it better than salsa made from fresh tomatoes and canned.  So I am experimenting by making some ahead and freezing it.  My cilantro will soon be going to seed, and since we love cilantro in our salsa, I knew I had to make some quick.  I made four blender batches of salsa and have frozen them all.  

Easy recipe...ready?
For one blender batch, add 1 can stewed tomatoes, 1/2 rough chopped onion, a spoon full of canned jalepenos, 1-2 teaspoons of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of lime juice, and a handful of fresh cilantro.  Process on the lowest you can, so you don't pulverize it.  When it has a consistency you like, stop the blender.  Bam!  Tastes like restaurant style and is completely addictive.  I've already unfrozen one batch to use, and if it ends up alittle juicy from the frozen tomatoes, then I'll just spoon alittle of the juice off of it.  But I'm thrilled to have our favorite salsa in the freezer, ready for use.  Will def. make more this summer.

4.  The Give-Away-Garage-Sale ~ This morning on my morning walk, I came across a large garage sale being set up.  The lady told me she'd open at 11am (!!) but that I could look around.  She's cleaning out her mother's home of years of pack-rat-ing.  I did pick out 2 things right off the bat, and she quoted me a price I couldn't believe (nothing was priced.)  25 cents each!  I told her I'd be back with money around 11am.  Of course, by waiting til 10:45am, alot of the good stuff was GONE!  I guess I learned my lesson...those who obey garage sale start times miss out.  :)  But that's okay.  The wind chime above was one of my finds.  25 cents.  My back yard is making cheery music now, and I'm thrilled.  Was hoping to buy one in Michigan on our vacation, and this find saved me $20 or more!

Here is one of my other finds.  This adorable, 1950s cookie jar is exactly like the one my beloved Grandma had.  I had purchased one like it for myself for $10 a few years ago at a garage sale, thinking that was a steal.  But this little gal came home with me for $1.  What?!  They go on eBay for $70 and up.  This sweetie will be offered to my daughter first, then to my neighbor whose Grandma also had one.  I used to gaze at it as a girl and think how tasty all those decorative cookies looked.

5.  Our little piece of Paradise ~ My John and I are yard people.  So after living here 5 years, we've finally gotten the yard about how we want it.  Cool mornings and evenings on the patio swing are the best.  So is lunch on the swing.  Enjoying the things that are blooming, and eagerly awaiting the Rose of Sharon and the Butterfly Bush to join in.  There's a new climbing vine with orange flowers coming soon's growing and starting to climb the fence, but is currently hidden by Bee's Balm and Daisies.

Thank you for coming over today to share the fun of my week!



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