A Shabby Birthday Dinner

Hi, my sweet and lovely friends!
How are you today?
I hope you are well and enjoying this last day in February.
Can you believe March begins tomorrow?!

Yesterday was my dear mother's birthday and in honor of her special day 
I invited her and my dad over for supper.
When I was growing up,
my mom always took the time to make my birthday special 
by having a fun birthday party, decorating the house,
{I would always wake up in the morning to find balloons and streamers}
and making a meal of my choice.
Because of her example I enjoy doing the same for my loved ones
and yesterday was HER day.

I decided to go with a simple, but shabby tablescape
so I used lace, doilies, pearls, vintage glasses, and crystal dishes.

a title just above a Queen.

I placed vintage hankies 
in the center of the table.

And yellow tea roses filled small crystal vases.

I used a lace tablecloth and underneath each crystal plate 
I placed a colored doily.

The loveliest masterpiece
of the heart of God
is the heart of a mother.
- St. Therese of Lisieux -

Out of all the mom's in the world,
I am so glad you're mine!

A mother is like a flower,
each one is beautiful and unique.

I used my favorite vintage glasses for the special occasion.
I found these little lovelies a few years ago at an antique shop.
On one side you will find a southern belle
and on the other side is a southern mansion.

I wove a lace scarf around the light fixture above the table
and hung a few lace hearts for some extra "love."

A mother's hug lasts long
after she lets go.

Along with yellow tea roses. . . 

I filled a beautiful crystal bowl
with pearls, vintage brooches, lace, and other pretty things
for the centerpiece.

A mother's heart
is a special place
where her children
are always home.

Of courses there were gifts.
The darling paper bag was made by a sweet blogging friend
who has an Etsy shop called My Pink Paper Cottage.
She makes such beautiful and unique items.

The menu for the evening. . .

Tomato and Cucumber Salad

Cinnamon and Sugar Carrots

Wild Rice

Tomato and Rosemary Chicken

Fresh Bread. . .hot out of the oven

And for dessert I made my mother's favorite cake. . .
German Chocolate Cake.

I made it from scratch and decided to do something a little different
by making mini cakes for each guest.

First my mother,
Always my friend.
Forever together,
Our love never ends.

I am truly thankful for my precious mother
and it's an honor to be able to celebrate her life.

Thank you for visiting, my friends.
Have a beautiful day!

Our cat family enjoyed a special meal as well.
From left to right you will find:

Hanny {mama}



Unto The Hills Around Do I Lift Up

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, 
from whence cometh my help. 
My help cometh from the LORD, 
which made heaven and earth.
- Psalm 121:1-2 -

Unto the hills around do I lift up my longing eyes
O whence for me shall my salvation come, from whence arise?
From God, the Lord, doth come my certain aid,
From God, the Lord, who heaven and earth hath made.

He will not suffer that thy foot be moved: safe shalt thou be.
No careless slumber shall His eyelids close, who keepeth thee.
Behold, He sleepeth not, He slumbereth ne’er,
Who keepeth Israel in His holy care.

Jehovah is Himself thy Keeper true, thy changeless Shade;
Jehovah thy Defense on thy right hand Himself hath made.
And thee no sun by day shall ever smite;
No moon shall harm thee in the silent night.

From every evil shall He keep thy soul, from every sin;
Jehovah shall preserve thy going out, thy coming in.
Above thee watching, He Whom we adore
Shall keep thee henceforth, yea, forevermore.
- John Douglas S. Campbell -

The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; 
the world, and they that dwell therein.

For he hath founded it upon the seas, 
and established it upon the floods.

Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? 
or who shall stand in his holy place?

He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; 
who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.

He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, 
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

This is the generation of them that seek him, 
that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; 
and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; 
and the King of glory shall come in.

Who is this King of glory? 
The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; 
even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; 
and the King of glory shall come in.

Who is this King of glory? 
The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.
Psalm 24

The more we pursue God's majesty and greatness,
the greater becomes our strength to live victoriously.

Each day we need to take time to look away from ourselves
and our petty complaints and focus our attention on our Creator God.
Someone has observed that it is usually not so much the greatness of our troubles
as the littleness of our spirit that makes us disgruntled complainers.

A worthy starting point is to find inspiration from some part of God's creation.
For the psalmist, it was looking at the hills all around him,
reminders of God's power and authority.
- Kenneth W. Osbeck - Amazing Grace -

Every day I will praise you 
and extol your name for ever and ever. 
Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; 
his greatness no one can fathom.
- Psalm 145:2-3 -

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: 
be not dismayed; for I am thy God: 
I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee;
 yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
- Isaiah 41:10 -

Blessing and love to you 
on this wonderful Lord's Day!


Stephanie's Corner - February Edition

You can never go wrong
with a little pink. . .
a lot works too.
- Dana Dalgetty -

Hello, friends!
It's just me popping in to share some things
that I have been working on and enjoying for the last month.
I also thought I would share with you
some of the pink things that are tickling my fancy.
After all, I love me some PINK!

* * * * * * *

I found these oh-so-cute Converse shoes at Kohl's
and when I saw they were on sale
well, they had to come home with me.

They are made with a soft silk fabric,
and don't you just love the texture?!

My sweet mom gave me some Simspon & Vail Valentine's Tea
and mmmm. . .what a tasty tea it is!

The ingredients are:

black teas
cacao nibs
hibiscus flowers
flavorings and raspberry pieces

And while we're on the subject of tea,
a dear friend blessed me with the charming tea pot necklace.
It's such a dainty piece of jewelry
and right up my alley.

Now don't laugh at this next thing that I'm going to share with you. . .
I have been trying at-home facial cupping for a few weeks now.
If any of you have tried it 
I would love to hear your thoughts in a comment below.

You see, about a year after my son was born 
I started to suffer from severe cystic acne.
He is almost 10-years-old and I still breakout
{oh, the joy of hormones!}
Due to the harsh and very painful breakouts
I have gained some "lovely" scars. . .

Facial cupping has many benefits
and one of them is the healing and fading of scars.
Another couple of benefits is the prevention of acne
along with caring for wrinkles or fine lines.
I have a very small smile line around my lips
and I have been keeping an eye on it since I started using these cups.
Did you know that it has almost disappeared!

Since using the facial cups I have noticed a softening of my skin
and quite possibly a small fading of my scars.
So far I love the process!
I am not expecting a miracle overnight,
but I feel with time I will see more results.

And if you're wondering how it works
well, you simply massage some oil
{I am using rosehip seed oil}
onto your face and then you gently squeeze the facial cup onto your face
and glide in an upward or circular motion.
The cup creates suction and gently tightens the skin as you move it.

A little while ago a lovely friend 
blessed me with this delightful scrap journal.

I set it aside to work on 
when I had some nice quiet time to myself.
Well, the other day I pulled it out
and thought now would be the perfect time to start "playing" 
with all the paper goodies.

There are oodles and oodles of paper goods
and the possibilities for making this book extra beautiful
are truly endless.

When I am done I will have to share it with you

At the moment
I am working on several piano pieces,
but one that has me very excited is a new song by David Hicken
called Nampara.

Please click on the video to listen to it, my friends,
and let me know what you think.

I did a little shopping {again} at my favorite online shop
and got this sweet shirt on sale.

Life Is Sweet.

It's absolutely perfect, don't you think?!
The black cat looks like my Duke.

Speaking of books,
I picked up a few from Tyndale when they had a Valentine's Day special.
They had several books on sale for only $5.00 a piece!
I most certainly couldn't pass up that deal - HA!

Here are three that I am going to read soon
and I must say that I am very excited to dive into 
Melanie Dobson's book Catching the Wind.

Have you read any of them?
And if you have, did you enjoy them?

Well, my friends, I think that is plenty for today.
Thank you so much for stopping by and saying "Hello!"
Your comments always, always, always brighten my day!

Have a sweet. . . 

And lazy relaxing day!

Love and hugs to you!


Give Of Your Best To The Master

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, 
do all in the name of the LORD Jesus, 
giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
- Colossians 3:17 -

Give of your best to the Master;
Give of the strength of your youth.
Throw your soul’s fresh, glowing ardor
Into the battle for truth.
Jesus has set the example,
Dauntless was He, young and brave.
Give Him your loyal devotion;
Give Him the best that you have.

Give of your best to the Master;
Give Him first place in your heart.
Give Him first place in your service;
Consecrate every part.
Give, and to you will be given;
God His beloved Son gave.
Gratefully seeking to serve Him,
Give Him the best that you have.

Give of your best to the Master;
Naught else is worthy His love.
He gave Himself for your ransom,
Gave up His glory above.
Laid down His life without murmur,
You from sin’s ruin to save.
Give Him your heart’s adoration;
Give Him the best that you have.

Give of your best to the Master;
Give of the strength of your youth.
Clad in salvation’s full armor,
Join in the battle for truth.
- Howard B. Grose -

A Psalm Of Life
by  H. Wadsworth Longfellow

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
"Life is but an empty dream!"
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
"Dust thou art, to dust returnest,"
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each tomorrow
Find us farther than today.

Art is long, and time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act - act in the living Present!
Heart within and God o'erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labour and to wait.

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, 
do it with thy might; 
for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, 
in the grave, whither thou goest.
- Ecclesiastes 9:10 -

And let us not be weary in well doing: 
for in due season we shall reap, 
if we faint not.
- Galatians 6:9 -

And whatsoever ye do, 
do it heartily, as to the LORD, and not unto men; 
Knowing that of the LORD 
ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: 
for ye serve the LORD Christ.
- Colossians 3:23-24 -

Have a blessed Lord's Day, friends!


Be A Beautiful Cupcake In A World Of Muffins

Happy Valentine's Day,
lovely friends!
Today I have a sweet treat just for you.

Cupcake, (n.):
a smile with frosting on it.

All you need is LOVE. . .
and cupcakes.

These Lemon Blackberry Cupcakes 
are oh-so-tasty and refreshing!
Here is what you will need to make a batch. . .

For the cupcakes:
4 lemons freshly zested (about 2-3 tablespoons)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large egg whites

For the blackberry butter cream:
1 cup blackberries
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup butter, room temperature
4 cups Confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk or cream

Let's get to baking, sweet friends!

In a large mixing bowl, add lemon zest and sugar. 
Combine them by rubbing it together between your fingers. 
The sugar will look slightly fluffy when you're done, 
and you shouldn't see any large chunks of lemon zest.

Add the melted butter to the sugar mixture. 
Cream mixture until fluffy and combined.
Sift together flour and baking powder, 
and add to the sugar mixture, beating until combined.

In a separate bowl, add milk, sour cream, vanilla, and egg whites. 
Whisk together.
Add the milk mixture to the flour and sugar mixture, 
and beat at medium speed, just until combined. 
Mixing too much will cause the cupcakes to be too firm.

Line a greased muffin tin with cupcake liners. 
Divide the cupcake batter evenly between 12 molds. 
Bake in a 350° oven for 15-19 minutes, 
or until a toothpick inserted into the top comes out clean. 
Allow to cool completely before frosting.

And don't forget the blackberry butter cream frosting!

For the frosting, add blackberries and lemon juice to a small saucepan. 
Over medium heat, bring mixture to a simmer, stirring often. 
Your blackberries will become soft enough 
that they will basically mash themselves while you're mixing. 
Simmer for about 20 minutes, 
or until you have about 1/3 cup of blackberry puree mixture.

If you don't want seeds or skins in your butter cream, 
strain the blackberry puree through a fine mesh strainer at this point. 
Allow to cool to room temperature.

In a large mixing bowl, add butter and blackberry puree. 
Beat together with a mixer until mixture is smooth.

Add in the Confectioners' sugar, 
and beat on medium-high until mixture is smooth and creamy.

Add your milk or cream and vanilla and beat again to combine. 
Test your butter cream now. If it's still too thick, continue adding milk or cream, 
1 tablespoon at a time until butter cream reaches desired consistency.

You can frost your cupcakes with the blackberry butter cream 
as soon as they are completely cooled. 
You can find the original recipe HERE.

Cupcakes don't ask silly questions.
Cupcakes understand.

You're the icing 
on my cupcake,
sweet friends!

A balanced diet
is having a cupcake in each hand.

Life is short, my friends,
so make it sweet!

I hope you have a most beautiful day!
Much love to you!

* * * * *

Today is the last day to enjoy 20% off your order
at Rose Petal Bessings.
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