Wednesday, June 25, 2014

So much clarity as of late ...

For the past year I've been writing ... and stopping ... and starting again ... and stopping, and so on. You get the picture. 

Writing has been a passion of mine for many years, but not something that I seriously considered attempting, until about a year ago. Having a desire and actually getting it all down on paper (or computer screen - I actually do both) has been the challenge. I have known what I wanted to write about, but it just didn't seem .... complete. I have a lot of content on that original idea, and it's material I intend on using, but I was feeling uneasy. As if it wasn't enough, as if there needed to be more to the story. Feeling so strongly compelled in those thoughts, I was blocked. I didn't know what else to write or how to get the massive jumble of ideas that were in my brain organized in a way so that it seemed doable, interesting and organized. For the past few months my book project has been set aside, due to the mental block. 

This week I've been feeling so incredibly pushed to proceed. As much as I resisted, I felt more pushed. Knowing how much I want to complete this project, I decided to ask for guidance and Heavenly inspiration. Knowing that Heavenly Father knows the desires of our hearts, I knew that He was aware of how passionate I am about my project. Calling on His help along with the guidance and inspiration from my angels, I am so happy to say that I'm finally ready to proceed. 

I have always been well aware of the content I wanted to relay, but it almost seemed like to much content or material that I could not merge together to make it seem one. This evening as I was sitting outside praying and pondering over it, it came to me strongly. How all the pieces could and would fit together. It finally all seemed so clear and easy. Quickly I grabbed my notebook and began writing some notes, thoughts and ideas. It felt so good to move forward. 

Yes, I literally write. To me the actual process of "writing" is therapeutic. I do the bulk of the actual book content on my laptop, but I hand write notes, thoughts, ideas, references, etc. a lot. I love to write. Call me old school. 

The very next thought that came to me once I finally felt "unblocked" was .... I think I want to use a pen name. That is not something I had considered until tonight. As much as I thought .... Nahhhhh ... I also thought ... Yes!!! So the next question is .... What name? I have some thoughts and ideas that I'm excited to use and one of the main inspirations for this book project has a huge impact on that name. 

I'm excited again ... Very very excited again. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Good Times Indeed ...

Things have just been kinda really good this week. It's been a bit of a busy week, having a friend in town that I wanted to spend some time with (which was such a WONDERFUL time), I've been feeling really good the past few days (told my friend they were good medicine for me) and last night was the high schools spring scrimmage game, which our boys won. Whoop!!!

Monday being Memorial Day, there is no school. Excited about that. I am so ready for summer break. June 6th is the last day of school. Monday I think I may take the boys to the Ritz Carlton pool for the day. Having a club membership there allows us to their amenities like the Spa, Gym, Pool. etc.  We have been wanting to go and I think with this heat and having a day off, that will be the perfect place to be floating along the lazy river pool they have there.

Speaking of the Spa, so I was there this past Saturday for my monthly appt. The facial that I have been getting for the past few months has been wonderful. It's the organic facial and all the products that she uses are from the Eminence Organic Skin Care Line.

 I went ahead and purchased them to use at home, and I have to say .... I LOVE THEM. I especially like the coconut milk cleanser. My skin is not particularly sensitive, but I do tend to react (get a bit pinkish) to some products, and this is a wonderful gentle very moisturizing cleanser and it smells AMAZING.

47.00 (I do get a 20% discount on everything in the Spa Shop so I only paid 38.00)

My second favorite product is the Yam & Pumpkin facial enzyme peel.  Not only does it smell good enough to eat (like sweet potato casserole), it works wonderfully. I can actually feel this product working on my skin when I use it. Being 46, I'm fortunate that as of yet there aren't really any little lines or wrinkles (knock on wood),  but I know the time is coming and I'd like to prevent as much as possible. The Yam & Pumpkin peel does a great job.

52.00 (I paid 42.00)

My next favorite would have to be the Chamomile Toner. It smells so gentle and lovely and it's has such a refreshing feeling to it. I bought 2 of these, I keep one in my bathroom and the other one I keep in my frig and it feels amazing when I spritz my face with this when I'm feeling especially hot here in warm sunny Florida.

36.00 (I paid 29.00)

There are a number of other products from this line that I want to buy on my next visit that they were out of when I was there. 

As I mentioned earlier, summer break is around the corner and I can't be more thrilled. I just love summer break and having my boys both home (my oldest is at the high school & my 13 year old is still homeschooling). My oldest will still have football over the summer, but I think it's only 3 days a week and relatively early in the morning so he will be done and we will still have the day left to enjoy. 

This coming year will be the last year of homeschooling. It will be Dylan's 8th grade year. For 9th grade he will go to the high school like his brother did. It's a bitter sweet thing for me, I'm excited to be done finally (once it's all said and done it will have been 13 years of homeschooling), but I'm also sad that it will be done. Does that make sense?  To be honest though, I'm probably more on the excited side.  I plan to stay very involved with the school, as I am now with Austin's sports (I am on the Athletic Boosters and stay very involved with what is going on at the school) and I will probably sub teach a couple days a week. I can't imagine staying home 5 days a week if my kids aren't here. I think I'd get bored, I really need to stay active and involved. I don't like sitting around at all. Maybe the first month would be OK spending time cleaning out the house, organizing, baking, etc .... but much more than that and I am sure that I'd be going crazy with boredom. Working 2 - 3 days a week will be just enough to keep me stimulated and that will still give me 2 - 3 days a week to do other things that I am working on. I think it will be a perfect fit. 

OK friends, time to say good bye for now. Off to get this day started. Hope everyone has a wonderful and long Memorial Day weekend. Wishing my dear friend was still here to spend it with, started missing them an hour after I left them. 

Until Next time ... 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

A new passion of mine

Being the lover of all things vintage that I am, the day I discovered Cath Kidston, I instantly fell in love with her things.

I discovered her by watching one of my favorite YouTuber's Jennifer Ross @ Organized Like Jenn or @ The Buzzy Bee Buzz.  Jenn was gifted one of Cath Kidston's mugs and shared it on her channel. I found it to be just beautiful and decided to look her up. What a treat I was in store for. The line is extensive and covers everything from kitchen, to phone covers, clothing, wallpaper, etc.  If you love feminine things, I would highly recommend checking her out. 

This is a London based company, so it does take a little longer for items to arrive. It took close to 3 weeks for the items that I ordered to arrive, but well worth the wait. 

I had been wanting a new iPhone case for some time and I just fell in love with the ones that she offered. I got this one. It's the first time I've had a case that closes up like this, but I was wanting one because I tend to randomly dial friends by accident. With the cover closed, now when the phone is in my pocket, there are no accidental dials. 

I also like that there is a little pocket on the inside. For the times that I just need to run up to the school, or the store real quick, I don't want to have to take my purse or grab my wallet and my keys and my phone. I now keep my license, debit card and some extra cash tucked in here for those quick trips. 

Additionally I bought this beautiful mug. How pretty is that? I just love it.  It's a nice larger size mug as well. I am going to order another one in a different print.  

Today I just placed an order for this little lovely 

For those that don't know me well ~  I ADORE bags.  All kinds of bags, handbags, tote bags, beach bags, etc. I'm not big one of clothes, shoes, make up, or accessories, but I do love my handbags. Looking forward to getting this one when it is delivered. This is the Large Spray Double Zip cross body bag. This is a little Mother's Day gift to me, from me : ) 

You need to do the Europe/US currency conversion to know what you are actually spending when you order.  Surprisingly, shipping is not terribly expensive at all.  

I have a feeling there will be many more Cath Kidston items in my future.  You can also purchase "some" of her items from Amazon, but they do ship internationally, so it will still be a couple weeks or more for your items to arrive.  

Do any of you know of Cath Kidston?  Do you own any of her things?  If so, please drop me a comment and let me know what your favorites are. 

See you all again in a few days. 

Be Blessed ~ Roberta

Monday, April 28, 2014

What Spring looks like in Florida

Hot with a 100% chance of more hot 


Doing a little remodel here at the old blog spot. Was going to make things private, but changed my mind. Will be adding my You Tube and other buttons back as well.

Check back in with me to see what I'm up to.

Be Blessed Friends & See you back here soon.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Photography Anyone?

Photography has been a passion of mine for years. I go in spurts ... 

I shoot with a Canon, not because I think Canon is better than Nikon or any other brand, it's just what I use. I do love my Canon. I've had my current set up now for a few years. About 3 years ago, for Christmas, my husband gifted me with a really nice SLR that takes beautiful quality photos. There is so much you can do with this camera. As is life though, I played around with it for a few months and then set it aside. I pick it up here and there, but I would love to use it more than I have been. 

A few weeks ago at church, the Young Women's group held their yearly fund raiser auction/talent show. For the auction aspect of it, whomever would like to, can enter an item that is auctioned off and all the proceeds go towards the Young Women, to help pay for their summer camp or any other fun activities they may want to do. 

Most of the items entered are baked goods, homemade candy, someone donated a homemade lasagna dinner, sewing items such as tote bags, bibs, etc. One of my friends, who is an amazing photographer - actually the photographer that I am having do my oldest sons Senior pictures - donated a photography class. Oh, did the hands ever start flying up when that came up for bid. I myself was in on that action, but considering I had already spent a bit of a bundle on other items, I stopped bidding at one point. Being the generous lady that she is, she offered to give the class to anyone who wanted to take it for the final bid price, up to 10 additional people. I added myself to that list and will be attending the class with 6 other amazing lady friends from church the morning of May 5th for 4 hours. I'm so looking forward to this day. 

Her best friend, who is also a photographer that I know, is giving the class with her. One shoots with a Canon and the other a Nikon, that way everyone is covered. We just have to bring our cameras, camera bag and a notebook for notes. Lunch is also provided ~ Bonus !!!  

These two ladies do amazing work and I am lucky to have the chance to learn from them. They each have their own thriving photography businesses. It's going to be a fun day.  

I was talking to my friend just this past Tuesday evening about photography actually. I told her that I had come to the realization that I do not like to photograph people. I wondered if that was odd?  She said that every person has their own inner artistic eye that is drawn to different things. One of her own daughters is the same way and does not like to photograph people either. I prefer to photograph nature ... flowers, bugs, the approaching storm clouds,  a beautiful tree with natural light flowing through it, or animals. Those are my personal preference.  I also actually enjoy photographing food. I'm sure that has to do with my book since most of it is recipes and food related.  

Next summer, for my sons Senior trip, we are going to Europe. This is something that I have wanted to do for a few years now. Finally talked my husband into it and my son is eager to go for his graduation gift as well. It of course will be the four of us. We are currently working on the locations that we will be visiting. Germany for sure, which I am MOST excited about. I am planning on taking a lot of photos of this trip and many from Germany to use in my book, so this class is very timely.  

In anticipation of using my Canon more, I purchased this great camera bag from Cheekylime (by clicking on the picture you will be taken to their website if you want to see more). It also has a long shoulder strap, which is vital for me, especially when taking pictures. 

I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who send me comments and emails regarding my last post on the RA.  It's nice to get to talk to others with common issues and to share what works in regards to making day to day life easier and more beautiful.  I appreciate you all, I truly do. 

~ Hope you are having a blessed day friends ~ 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I wanted to pop in and wish you all a wonderful and blessed day today. I hope that you have many things in your life that you are thankful for. 

Today we are going to one of my sisters houses to enjoy the holiday. I am taking this ... 


  • CRUST:
  • 1/2 (14.1-oz.) package refrigerated pie crusts 
  • Parchment paper
  • egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted 
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • large eggs
  • 3 cups lightly packed, cooked, mashed sweet potatoes (about 2 1/2 lb. sweet potatoes) 
  • 1 cup half-and-half 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
  • egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar 
  • (7-oz.) jar marshmallow crème 
  1. 1. Prepare crust: Preheat oven to 425°. Roll pie crust into a 13-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate; fold edges under, and crimp. Prick bottom and sides with a fork. Line pie crust with parchment paper; fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake 9 minutes. Remove weights and parchment paper.
  2. 2. Whisk together egg yolk and cream; brush bottom and sides of crust with yolk mixture. Bake 6 to 8 more minutes or until crust is golden. Transfer to a wire rack, and cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
  3. 3. Prepare filling: Stir together melted butter, 1 cup sugar, and next 2 ingredients in a large bowl until mixture is well blended. Add sweet potatoes and next 4 ingredients; stir until mixture is well blended. Pour sweet potato mixture into prepared pie crust. (Pie will be very full.)
  4. 4. Bake at 350° for 50 to 55 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean, shielding with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning. Transfer pie to wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour).
  5. 5. Prepare meringue: Beat egg whites and next 2 ingredients at high speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until foamy. Gradually add sugar, 1 Tbsp. at a time, beating until stiff peaks form.
  6. 6. Beat one-fourth of marshmallow crème into egg white mixture; repeat 3 times with remaining marshmallow crème, beating until smooth (about 1 minute). Spread over pie.
  7. 7. Bake at 400° for 6 to 7 minutes or until meringue is lightly browned.
  8. Note: Pie can be made up to a day ahead. Prepare recipe as directed through Step 4; cover and chill up to 24 hours. Proceed as directed in Steps 5 through 7.

And these from The Pioneer Woman ( These are WONDERFUL mashed potatoes) I made them for the first time 2 years ago (and I was skeptical) and now they are my go to recipe every time. FANTASTIC!!!! 

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Prep Time:
Cook Time:


  • 5 pounds Russet Or Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • 3/4 cups Butter
  • 1 package (8 Oz.) Cream Cheese, Softened
  • 1/2 cup (to 3/4 Cups) Half-and-Half
  • 1/2 teaspoon (to 1 Teaspoon) Lawry's Seasoned Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (to 1 Teaspoon) Black Pepper

Preparation Instructions

Peel and cut the potatoes into pieces that are generally the same size. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer and add the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 to 35 minutes. When they’re cooked through, the fork should easily slide into the potatoes with no resistance, and the potatoes should almost, but not totally, fall apart.
Drain the potatoes in a large colander. When the potatoes have finished draining, place them back into the dry pot and put the pot on the stove. Mash the potatoes over low heat, allowing all the steam to escape, before adding in all the other ingredients.
Turn off the stove and add 1 ½ sticks of butter, an 8-ounce package of cream cheese and about ½ cup of half-and-half. Mash, mash, mash! Next, add about ½ teaspoon of Lawry’s Seasoning Salt and ½ a teaspoon of black pepper.
Stir well and place in a medium-sized baking dish. Throw a few pats of butter over the top of the potatoes and place them in a 350-degree oven and heat until butter is melted and potatoes are warmed through.
Note: When making this dish a day or two in advance, take it out of the fridge about 2 to 3 hours before serving time. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 20 to 30 minutes or until warmed through.
I'm also taking a Corn Pudding Casserole. This is a basic recipe with the Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix. and Cranberry relish. 
And now I am off to make the meringue for my pie and to start the corn casserole. 
Again ..... Happy Thanksgiving to you all and please have a safe and blessed day. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Getting unstuck and soaring to new heights

Do you ever feel stuck? Or bored? Or frustrated?  It’s not that you don’t LOVE the life that you have and you live, it's just that you feel like - "I GOT that. I'm GOOD there. I'm an ACE at doing this mommy, wife, homemaker thing".  Trust me, I ADORE my life. There truly is nothing in my life that I would change. I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams. I have spent the past 18 years being a wife & homemaker, the past 16.5 years being a mother, and the past 12 years homeschooling. I've pretty much got this covered. I think that it's BECAUSE I finally got to the place were I felt "I GOT this", that I felt like ... "OK, what's next for me to conquer"? There is no way I will ever give up any of the roles that I have loved and cherished for the past 18 years of my life, but I was ready to ADD something new. I needed to grow as a person. I was ready for "a promotion", if you will. But what? Do you feel like there is something more? Some greater sense of meaning or excitement. New connections? New adventures? New possibilities? 
Figuring out what that "thing" is ..... Ahhhhh ....... there in is the problem. It took me a couple years to figure that out. I called it my midlife crisis. I knew there was something more that I was supposed to be doing, something that was going to help me feel whole. A new hobby? Go back to school? Take up gardening? What was it? None of the traditional things sounded right for me. I needed something with depth that would allow me to reach the next level of my personal spiritual growth. Not only my personal religious growth, but my Spiritual growth as well. 
Change can be hard and scary at times, especially when you have no idea what that change is supposed to be. Why not just do everything how you usually do? Why not stay in your comfort zone when it’s just so comfortable there?
Do it for the possibility. The possibility that if you make one minor change you may set the stage for major fulfillment. Sometimes even the smallest shift in thinking or doing can create the biggest opportunity. 
But how? That was the most frustrating part for me. I knew change was needed, but I just couldn't figure out how to get there. Now I realize it was because I wasn't ready, not completely ready and the timing was not right. I have come to accept and gain extreme comfort in the reality that this life does not run on MY timing. This life runs on HIS timing and the quicker I realized that, the quicker change came. Coasting along enjoying the "comfort" was what I had to do until I finally got to the place where the change finally started to kick in. Here are some of my thoughts on how to make it happen and some MAJOR things that helped me get to this new "comfort zone" that feels really comfortable. 
1.  Challenge your beliefs about what you can and can’t do. Don't limit yourself because you may not have any formal education. Begin today, learn of what interests you. Research and study. As a homeschooling mother of 12 years I have become pretty good at planning lessons and curriculum  Teach yourself all that you want to know. I know folks with 3 degrees from major universities who still can't work in this economy. That piece of paper and tens of thousands of dollars spent is not what MAKES you successful in life. 
2. Challenge your ideas about how things should work. Sometimes when you decide how things should be you limit your ability to be effective in the life your supposed to be living.
3. Have a vision. Keep a journal, create a video, sketch—anything that lets you explore what excites you most.
4. Look for opportunities in hard situations. Avoid a victim mentality, and opt instead for a “ready for a new beginning” attitude.
5. Remove something from your life that doesn't serve you to make room for something better and new. You never know what you might let in when you let something else go. This was HUGE for me and really hard, but looking back, WOW ... what a blessing. 
6. Commit to something you always say you’ll do but always fail to start—and then take the first step right now. Want to learn to take great photo's of your family? Learn how and put a plan into motion to save for the equipment that you need. Want to be a writer? Than do it .... start writing and researching writing techniques and styles. 
7. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Positive energy creates positive results. I hate the way being negative makes me feel. It's like a cancer growing inside of me. Yuck!!! Release any old angers or grudges. Let them go. They are not worth the limits they will put on your future growth and the wonderful person you are preparing to become. 
8.  Identify the blocks that keep you from breaking a bad habit. Anytime you improve your habits, you pave the path for personal growth and excellence.
9.Forgive someone if you’ve been holding a grudge. Sometimes it's hard to let go of anger towards others when they have hurt you. Trust me .... I KNOW!!! But refuse to allow someone who brings no good into your life to have that amount of control over you. It's freedom. 
11. Get out and about . You never know what possible new interests may be lurking right in your own back yard. 
12. Offer to help someone else. Sometimes it’s the best way to help yourself, and not just for the warm fuzzy feeling it provides. You never know what you’ll learn through the process. One of the best ways to stop thinking of your own troubles is to focus on other people. This is very encouraged and taught in my church ... Mosiah 2:17 says .... And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn awisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the bservice of your cfellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.
13. Do something you enjoy alone. This is something that I have grown to cherish and look forward to. As I am in my mid-life years and my whole person is changing due to the changes within me, I am craving solitude. Time away and alone, quiet time to just "be". I try to spend an hour a day tucked away in my room alone treating myself well. As women we have spent many years nurturing others, now I include myself in that nurturing. Whatever my soul is needing I give it. 
14. Find a mentor. Ask someone who does what you’d like to do for tips.
15. Attend a conference. Check online to see if there are any local conferences or events coming up in regards to things you think that you may be interested in.  
16. Learn how to do anything that interests you on eHow, Instructables, youtube or wikiHow.
17. If you blog, find other bloggers in your niche and email them to introduce yourself.
18. Search to find the most influential people in your niche, then initiate contact them or follow them to be inspired through Twitter or Facebook
Even just one small change can have a ripple effect into every area of your life. Of course it’s up to you to decide what’s possible. You need to make a conscious effort to be aware of what you are needing. As I said, for me it took a few years, a few very frustrating and challenging years, but once you find that next phase in your life ..... Oh, I can't even tell you how good this feels. A new found peace and comfort right here within my own comfort zone.

For me it's been a number of things ... letting go of certain things in life that were not growing me, that included friends that I did not feel that I was able to grow and better myself with. Isolating myself from a lot of others and becoming dependant on my husband to be my "best friend". This in itself has done wonderful things for our already wonderful marriage. It's grown us closer together and I truly understand what people mean now when they say that their spouse is their best friend. Focusing on the priorities in my life and not on people or situations outside of my main focus. Writing about something that I love.

Writing has become a true passion for me. My mind seems to always be in "writers" mode. I find that almost everything that I am doing I am writing about it in my head. Leaving the homeschool review team at Mosaic Reviews was something that I needed to do to open up my writing to the things that I felt passionate about writing about. I wanted to get my blog back to it's original and true purpose and not about meeting a deadline regarding something that I probably truly wasn't even passionate writing about in the first place. And aside from my blogging, writing my book. It's a process for sure and it's taking a lot of research, a lot of time, a lot of patience and a lot of planning, but I LOVE IT!!!! It will be over a year before it's even finished, maybe even two years, but you know what .... that's OK. Because this whole process is wonderful and I am enjoying it so much. I will actually be sad when this part of that project is complete because I am enjoying it so much. I wish I had more time in my days to spend on it, but being a homeschooler, wife and mother, there are other things in my life that are my priorities. The difference now is that as I go about my day doing all those things that I love, I am happily working and anticipating when I will be able to find some time to work on my own personal project. As I think about ideas and jot down little notes in my writers notebook as they come to me so I don't forget them, I feel happy and content knowing that life is better than it was 6 months ago, a year ago, or even 2 years ago. It feels complete, full and satisfying. This is what true happiness must feel like. 
Be Blessed my friends ~ Roberta