Hello from England!

Welcome to my blog!
We are a christian family living in the Sunshine state (before that we spent four years in England and two years in Turkey).

My posts are of everyday life and my love of crafting. I hope to inspire you in some way to share your talents too.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to leave a comment.
Cheers and God's blessings to you and yours!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Gotta Love It

Wednesday of this past week was a special day.  I had two friends over that were invited (three showed up), and we had blueberry scones with lemon curd (see previous blog), Lady Grey tea, Earl Grey tea, chicken salad sandwiches and homemade bread complete with fancy teapots and teacups/saucers.  I'm still working on stocking my kitchen with the basics from our move back over the pond.  I needed a bread recipe with minimal ingredients since my husband used all my eggs up and my daughter used up all my all-purpose flour in making me breakfast last Saturday for my birthday breakfast.  Loved it!

Below is a photo of my bread.  I think it turned out great!  It was a success too.  A bit too crumbly to use with the chicken salad, but a nice addition with Annette's pasta salad and my chicken salad.  Gotta love it!

The recipe was found through Pinterest (gotta love it!) and you can see it by clicking HERE.  It's a fun website called "Lavender and Lovage" (love the name).

Of course, I had to put my own twist on the recipe that only calls for three ingredients (self-rising flour, milk and margarine/vegetable shortening).  I added on top oats, basil, poppy seeds, and flax seeds.  What a saving grace it was to find the recipe.

I mentioned a third visitor to our tea/craft day.  Below is a picture of him/her:

Being in a new state, it's all about learning what is in your environment.  We've been warned of black bears (don't love that) in our neighborhood, fire ants, snakes, tiny frogs, and lizards.  This little guy must have been chasing a bug because I did not invite it to the party.  Thankfully, he's between the screen and glass.  Gotta love that it wasn't in my house!  Been there, done that in Turkey.  Ick! 

I mentioned above a chicken salad sandwich spread.  This far surpassed my expectations as I'm used to making tuna salad.  I used two recipes (one HERE and another HERE) for referencing.  I combined some of the ingredients and came up with this recipe below.  I must say the next day I had zero issues eating the leftovers and looked quite forward to it when lunch time came around!  And the apples weren't brown at all the next day either (love it!)

Dayna's Chicken Salad Extraordinaire:

2 cans chicken breast (find in the canned tuna section)
1/2 - 3/4 C Mayo (low fat if you prefer), more or less to achieve desired thickness/moisture content
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 medium apple diced (not peeled)*
1 tsp celery seed
1/2 C craisins
Fresh parsley (2 Tbsp)
Green onion (3 Tbsp)
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp mustard powder
Almonds (optional)
*halved grapes can be used in place if you prefer

Chop and dice all solid ingredients except craisins, add all liquids, stir well in a bowl.  Serve chilled.

Check back soon to see the crafts we made...and I do love it that you stopped by!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

It Only Took Four Years

Moving takes adjustments...I have fond memories of living in England and think of it often.  My neighbor had hoped to teach me how to make scones.  Time ran out and here we are in Florida and I never learned (or paid the 50gbp to take a class from an actual tea room).  

I decided it was a good time to make scones.  I found a recipe from "Emily's Tea Room" (those from Mildenhall area know what I'm talking about).  I'm trying to be more cautious of eating healthier, so I "halved" the recipe.

It was easy to follow (sorry, you'll have to private message me for the secret recipe, haha).  I do have to say though, that the dough was incredibly sticky.  Maybe it was because I cut the recipe in half??   It shouldn't have mattered but somehow it was affected.  I did end up adding almost another cup of flour with my incredibly sticky hands!  It was all worth it in making blueberry scones.  They turned out great!!  Here is a photo of the scones with some delicious Lemon Curd (from Sandringham, UK).  Deeee-lish!

I purchased some bird seed a couple of days ago, but realized I didn't have a bird feeder.  Then the Girl Scout in me kicked in and I made good use of the pinecones in our yard.  It proved beneficial as we had a cardinal visitor this morning checking out the goods.  The third item in the tree is a bird house from Bewilderwood:

I did ask my sweet baby girl (age 11) if she wanted to help me make the pinecone bird feeders.  She politely declined.  [sad face]  It only took four years for her to not be as excited about homemade crafting with her mom...*sigh*

Thanks for stopping by.  Check back real soon to see what I did today with two AWESOME ladies here at my house.  It involved eating the blueberry scones, drinking tea and crafting...

Friday, January 23, 2015

A Special Day

Did you hear?  Today is my special day.  It's my birthday!  It has been a wonderful day so far (a great week for that matter, but I could do without the cloudy/rainy weather). 

I found my punches and went to work making some cards this week!  
Here are the supplies I used to make a couple of birthday cards:

If you can see it, there's some glitter spray on the front of the cards:

Here is the inside of the card:

I also wanted to make some thank you cards for special friends who celebrated lunch with me the day before my birthday.  I used the new Lotus Blossom stamp set from the Sale-a-bration catalog.  I got them FREE!  You can too while supplies last!  Just message me how if you are interested (you don't have to host a show):

I love how they turned out!  The paper I used was from Creative Memories.
Lastly, here are some funky colored roses from a friend.  I made no enhancing or color changes to these.  How fun are they?  

Thanks for those of you who are thinking of me and have sent me birthday blessings.  I'm SO blessed to have you be a part of my life!

Friday, January 16, 2015


January is somewhat of a busy month for my family.  My growing up family, that is:
My sister's birthday is the 1st, my father and best college friend on the 11th, mine is the 23rd, our dog is the 12th, my cousin and his father on the 21st...  It's one of the few months I remember ALL the special dates for those special people!  (The second busiest month is June.)

I came across a funny article from a school friend (Darcie) on FB.  It's called "40 Effed Up Things About Being 40."  You can find it HERE.

Most of them (No, not all of them thankfully) I can related to on a daily basis.  I am glad to say they didn't all apply.  I found the funniest one to be #5, #6, #7 and #14.  Thankfully, #31 doesn't apply to me because I CAN touch my toes.  But in reality...where has it all gone?  I agree that the 30's zoomed by and seem like a blur.  Oh that's right, we were busy raising kids.  That'll do it!

On the flip side, here's an article of "Things I Can Do at 40 That I Couldn't Do When I Was 20."  Several I could relate to.  #32 is a biggie for me...I hate drama.  There were also many of those on the list that might stand out to some, but are common to me being a military spouse and our constant moving.  (Talk to strangers, adjust to changes, say "no" to stuff, and so forth).

I do pride myself that I can make decent meals. I'm proud to say that in the past 7 days, I have cooked supper 5 of those (and one night was leftovers).  I made my mother's sweet and sour chicken 2 nights ago.  I think it's been almost a year since I made it.  The kids weren't fond of it last time.  But this time around it was a roaring success with my daughter.  I was glowing inside!  I also made my grandmother's spaghetti pie.  Everyone liked that!  I'll post those recipes below.

I do like to try new things.  Once again, I never am a slave to the kitchen. So if it's a meal that will take more than 30 minutes (crock pots don't count) of me standing there and doing things, then it won't be put on my table.  Here is a photo of the blueberry dessert I made last weekend for our neighbor's cookout.  It's been popular with strawberries, but I didn't have any on hand and I had blueberry pie filling instead.  I also didn't have cream cheese on hand, so I substituted yogurt and cool whip:

It was super easy.  And I used my new Polish pottery teapot recently with Annette when she visited last week. Isn't it cute??!
Here's the recipe:

Crushed pretzels (more or less depending on the size of your dish)
1 cup yogurt (I prefer vanilla flavor)
2 cups cool whip (I used lite)
One can blueberry pie filling.

Layer the pretzels first.  Mix yogurt and cool whip together.  Again, add more if you have a larger than 8x8 dish.  Lastly layer the pie filling on top.  Chill!

This is NOT as good the second day as the pretzels get super soggy.  But it was a nice and light dish.  It might be more to your liking to add 1 Tbsp sugar to the yogurt/cool whip.   But I tried to keep it healthy.  Yeah, right, with pie filling?  Ok, you could add REAL blueberries all over the top and knock off several calories.  Your choice.

Here's a side view:

See?  Simple!

I do have to share a quick funny story about blueberries.  My college roomie, Carol, in our first year at college in the dorms suffered a tragic restless night.  I sat up in the middle of the night and shouted "BLUEBERRIES" and laid back down.  What was that about?  I'll never know...I think she's scarred for life!

Anyone want more recipes?  Sweet and sour chicken?  Spaghetti pie?  I am taking requests.

If you have a google account, please click FOLLOW on the right hand side or leave a comment requesting as such.  Share this page with a friend please!

Thanks for stopping by!  The laundry monster is calling my name.  Drat!

P.S. My craft room is almost unpacked!  Woot woot!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Yum yums...

We were invited by our neighbors for a cookout.  We had a great visit getting to know them.  It was a bit chilly, so only the grill master was outside making the sacrifice so those inside could enjoy the warmth.  Yes, it does get cold in Florida!

I shared a corn dip with our new friends as well as a light blueberry dessert.  They both seemed to be well received.  The hostess also had a cheese dip.  It was a Rotel cheese dip with sausage in it, and also had a new ingredient for me - cream cheese.  Wow!  It MADE the dip fabulous! 

I took some photos of how I made the corn dip.  My craft room isn't ready yet for creativity, so it's currently coming from the kitchen.  All ingredients to be used are pictured below with the exception of minced garlic that I later added and Lime juice (which I didn't have on hand, but I think would have been the icing on the cake so to speak) :

I drained the corn and rinsed off the black beans with one of my favorite P. Chef tools:

The beans before rinsed...ick! 

I visited a couple of websites looking or a corn dip or corn salsa.  I ended up combining ingredients from both.
They are as follows:

1 can corn (frozen would work too)
1 can black beans rinsed
1/2 Cup onion of your choice (red, yellow or white)
Diced tomatoes (I used 1/2 a tomato, you could use canned diced as well - drained)
2 Tbsp Lemon juice
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp red pepper
1-2 Tbsp cilantro (I used McCormick, but fresh would have been better - more or less to taste)
1-2 tsp Weber Roasted Garlic and herb seasoning
1 - 2 garlic cloves (I used store-bought minced, 2-3 tsp. to taste)

Mix all well and chill at least a couple of hours before serving with Scoops, Tortilla chips of your choice or even Triscuit crackers.

I usually don't follow "recipes to a T", so feel free to be flexible with what you like when you make it yours. 

Here's a photo of the finished product:

Thanks for stopping by!  Check back soon for my Pretzel and Blueberry dish I took too.  Thanks S and N for a lovely time!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

A funny thing...

I think time is a funny thing.  Of course, not in the hysterical way, but more in the mysterious way.  We have done SO much since the kids' last day in England schools (Oct 30th).  We've flown across the ocean, made some major purchases, and moved into our house with 10 11 crates of belongings.  My family and I were discussing how we can't believe we've been in our house 1 day shy of 2 weeks!  It feels like we've been here much longer than that.  And even though we traveled to Kansas for 2 weeks, it seems like we've been in the states more than 2 months.  It's amazing - the concept of time.

We love our new home.  The majority of the boxes inside are unpacked.  Enough to have plenty to entertain us over this Winter break.  I was even a little giddy (to myself) as I came across my craft boxes and unpacked them.  I was excited to think of how I'd be arranging my creative supplies now that I have more room in this house.

Our dog is quite at home too.  He has been on excellent behavior and is like a horse trotting in open fields with all the backyard space.  

The kids go back to school on Tuesday of this next week.  I will be glad for them to get out of the house, make new friends, and get in a routine.  I'm sure that time has gone by too fast for them.  Funny, for me it hasn't.  It's been great spending all this time with my husband and kids.  Surprisingly, we haven't been on each others' nerves as I thought we might.

I don't have any new crafts to post on here yet.  Although, I found a card from last year that was appropriate for the season.

I hope you have a truly blessed New Year.  I know 2014 was hard on several of my friends, and time isn't a funny thing to them - but precious indeed.  I hope they find a cure for cancer this year...and for Ebola to be cured, war to stop, and for peace to reign.  I wish you much happiness and good health for 2015.  R.I.P. T.M.