Monday, March 31, 2014

Weekly Menu Plan {31 March}

Oh my. It's 9:23pm and I'm running so late on getting this posted or the menu even planned. It's been a bit of a wild day. Bob had a 6:30am meeting, which is pretty unusual. We are down to one car, due to the brakes going out on the other one (Thank You, God, for keeping Bob and Emma safe yesterday in said car! And for good friends who gave them rides and took care of them!). Then water started dripping out of the kitchen light fixture/ceiling fan this morning. Yikes! The plumber isn't sure whether the culprit is the master washroom shower or the washing machine. He'll come back tomorrow to dig in and find out. 


So, let's get on with the show. Oh, and Happy April (in just a couple of hours)!

Monday - Creamy Italian Crock Pot Chicken with Mushrooms, Penne, Sautéed Spinach

Tuesday - Tacos, chips, , salsa, guac (depending on how torn up my kitchen ends up being from the plumbing repair)

Wednesday - Chicken Stir Fry

Thursday - Leftovers

Friday - Turkey Burgers, sweet potato fries (I read about these Turkey Burgers in the book Bread and Wine, mentioned here and cannot wait to try them.)

Saturday - Angel hair pasta with shrimp, basil and tomatoes, salad

Sunday - Snack-y supper

I think I'm going to call it a long day and head to bed early.

Blessings and love. xo

I'm linking up with Menu Plan Monday. Hop on over if you'd like additional menu ideas.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Tropical Traditions Moisturizing Cream {Review and Giveaway}

If you've read this blog for long, you know that I believe this statement: Tropical Traditions: The Best Place to get Virgin Coconut Oil. I have posted several times about using coconut oil in my home and every product that I have ordered from Tropical Traditions has been of the best quality and something that I can highly recommend to my friends and family.

I was sent a new product for review and am happy to share it with you today. Tropical Traditions Moisturizing Cream is a wonderful product. I was able to try out the Lavender scent and it is divine. If you are a fan of Lavender, this is a great product to have on your nightstand, near your kitchen sink, in your purse, in your school bag, in your gym satchel, in your car or wherever you keep your skin cream. This moisturizing cream is thick and rich, not runny and watery, like some creams you may have tried. I apply this cream to my hands a couple of times per day and it is such a treat. I especially love to apply it right before bedtime because the cream is soothing and the Lavender scent is calming. What a great combination! Several of my children have asked to use it over and over, too. I look forward to trying some of the other scents, as well. (Here are the choices: Lavender, Unscented, Arnica, Peppermint, Citrus, Baby Silk, Vanilla and Coconut)

If you are not familiar with coconut oil or have just not taken the plunge to order some for yourself, these links may help answer some of your questions:
What is Virgin Coconut Oil?
How Do I Use Coconut Oil?
Where Can I Buy Coconut Oil?

And guess what? Tropical Traditions is generously offering my readers the opportunity to win a Moisturizing Cream of their choice!!! 

It's giveaway time, friends! 

This giveaway is over and the winner is #64 Donna K.!!! Donna, I don't see your email address, so please get in contact with me (scarlettroyce(at)gmail(dot)com) in the next 48 hours to claim your giveaway prize.

Giveaway Details:

1. Mandatory Entry (leave me a comment telling me you did so, along with your email address so I have a way of contacting you if you win) - 
Subscribe to the Tropical Traditions Sales Newsletter 

2. Additional Entries (leave a comment for each one) -
Follow Tropical Traditions: 
Follow The Scarlett Thread:

This giveaway is open to anyone 18 and older in the United States. It will end at 11:59 p.m. ET on April 4, 2014. The winner's name will be posted on this blog post and will have 48 hours to respond. 

Disclaimer 1: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

Disclaimer 2: This post contains referral links. If you order by clicking on any of my links and have never ordered from Tropical Traditions in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you. Thank you!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What I Wore

Well, this is not exactly what I personally wore, but some outfits I've put together and shared on my Pinterest Fashion Board

This outfit would be great for a date night on the town.

I love this colour combination for spring.

Hooray for spring!

And there are these cute pieces from NoVae Clothing . . .

I love this 3/4 length sleeve cardi.

And the Fringe Tank for layering.

And these LA Idol Jeans are fun!

And I would love these Chuck's for so many outfits!

I'm linking up with The Pleated Poppy for WIWW. Hop on over for more outfit inspiration.

Blessings and love. xo 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. 
Any purchases you make through these links bless me and my family. 
Thank you!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Weekly Menu Plan {24 March}

Happy new week! 

Here is what I'm planning for our suppers this week.

Monday - Beer and Cheese Soup, biscuits

Tuesday - Zippy Beef and Ziti Skillet, sautéed Brussel sprouts

Wednesday - Pizza, salad

Thursday - Chicken Souvlaki, Greek salad, warm pitas

Friday - Leftovers

Saturday - Turkey Burgers, sweet potato fries

Sunday - Snack-y supper

Linking up with Menu Plan Monday. Pop over and check out what the other ladies have on tap for this week.

Blessings and love. xo

Today only! FREE Shipping from Tropical Traditions

This is a perfect time to buy some of the heavier items, like the 1 gallon Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil - on sale now for $75! There are lots of wonderful products on sale right now, so this is a great time to stock up on your favourites or try out a product that has been on your wish list. 

1 quart Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil - on sale for $29.50
Organic Coconut Flour - on sale for $9.99
1 pint Coconut Cream Concentrate - on sale for $11.99
Lavender Moisturizing Cream - on sale for $13.50
Organic Fair Trade Baking Cocoa - on sale for $9.99
Organic Whole Cane Sugar - on sale for $5.59
Organic Raw Honey - on sale for $10.49

Through midnight EDT, tonight, March 24th, all Tropical Traditions ground shipments within the United States will be FREE with the use of our FREE Shipping coupon! A minimum order of $12.99 is required.

NOTE: To take advantage of this special, you MUST enter coupon code 24314 in your cart before checking out and choose either Ground or SmartPost from the drop down list of shipping options! For customers in Hawaii and Alaska, please choose the USPS free shipping option. FREE shipping is NOT applied automatically. This coupon cannot be used in combination with gift certificates.

Disclaimer: This post contains referral links. When you purchase through these links, you bless our family. Thank you!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring and Happiness!

Good morning, friends!

Happy first day of spring! Isn't a new season SO exciting?! The birds are giving their chirpy concerts. The snow is melting. There are signs of all the shades of green and buds and new life.

And . . .

Happy International Day of Happiness! 

Did you know that the United Nations has declared March 20 the International Day of Happiness? I don't know about you, but I think that is a phenomenal idea! 

In my seeking and asking the Father what "on earth as it is in heaven" looks like here on planet earth, happiness is one thing that keeps coming up. There are multiple verses on joy, rejoicing, blessing, blessed, favour, and yes, even the words "happy" and "bliss". I think we as believers in Jesus have bought all kinds of lies from the enemy of our souls and have disregarded the fact that we are to know and experience and share and spread the happiness of heaven! I get goose bumps just thinking about what a difference it can make if we align our thinking with the Father's thinking and heart. 

He is love and He is happy!

I recently made a statement in a conversation with Emma: 'I am so tired of grumpy Christians!' 

Now, maybe that makes me sound grumpy, too. Perhaps. But when I see all kinds of griping and whining and complaining and general grouchiness from those I know to profess Jesus as their Saviour, mainly on social media, I have to ask some serious questions. Why are we so sad, depressed, whiney, grouchy? And who are we kidding? Why are we surprised if we don't have our non-believing friends flocking to Jesus? Why would they want our miserable lives? They already have that. Or maybe they don't. Maybe they feel like they're actually better off than we are. They have a positive outlook, their health, a loving family, a stable job. 

Why would they need Jesus when all we ever do is bitch about our lives? 

So, here's a perfect opportunity to start fresh. The first day of a new season. And the day that people all around the world are declaring and celebrating happiness.

So, let's celebrate our new life in Jesus Christ. Let's get this party started. Let's choose to be happy. Happiness should not depend on our circumstances. Happiness should not depend on how much money is in our bank accounts. Happiness should not be based on our weight, our closets, our cars, our houses, our careers. 

For those of us who know and follow Jesus, we are happy. 

Declare that over yourself right now: I AM HAPPY!

If you truly cannot find anything to be happy about, please leave a comment or email me (email address found in sidebar). I would like to pray for you and come alongside you to live this life of happiness together. We are loved by God and have so much to be thankful for.

Here's a little fun to get you started:

To see what some are doing to celebrate this day, check out this video . . .

Blessings and love. xo

Monday, March 17, 2014

Weekly Menu Plan {17 March}

Happy Saint Patrick's Day to you and happy last official week of winter! 

I have done absolutely nothing to mark St. Paddy's Day, unfortunately. Just a lack of planning on my part. We have had another snow storm in the past 24 hours and now have 8 inches of snow on the ground! It is lovely and peaceful, as always. 

Here's what the plan is looking like for this time around:

Monday - Grilled chicken, cous cous, Greek salad

Tuesday - Cheddar Beer Soup, Irish soda bread (I'll get the Irish celebration in, after all!)

Wednesday - Smothered Steak, mashed potatoes, green beans

Thursday - Leftovers

Friday - Beans and cornbread

Saturday - Rustic Lasagna, Caesar salad, garlic bread

Sunday - Snack-y supper

How are you celebrating Saint Patrick's Day? Or how will you celebrate the first day of spring?

Have a wonderful week!

Blessings and love. xo

Friday, March 14, 2014

Our Spunky Girl

We had a fun time celebrating our sweet Ava this week! First, just a little flashback to a few years ago . . .

Oh my heart! This is seriously one of my favourite photos of all time. Wasn't it just yesterday???

Okay, okay, on to the present. First, here is Maya expressing her excitement over a surprise that she had actually kept from Ava. 

Bob and I took Ava out to dinner Thursday night, just the three of us. You would've thought we had given her a million dollars. She was so happy and thanked us at least twenty-seven times.

 Ava, like Austin before her, is a huge fan of Meerkat Manor. When we went to the zoo a couple of weeks ago, she was very disappointed that the meerkats were no where to be found. So a couple of meerkat gifts has made up for that, I think. 

It was a very cold day, so we had this going all day. It's the first time we have ever had a real fire on Ava's birthday.

Emma did her magic and made Ava's requested strawberry cake. She used this recipe, which was delicious.

Happy 9th Birthday, precious girl! You are beautiful and spunky and smart and loving, and we love celebrating you!!! xo

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

My Current Reading List

I love to read but the older I get, the pickier I get when it comes to books. I have a hard time finding books that I truly want to read or that I enjoy. Here are some that have been hit with me (and in some cases, my children) lately.

I just finished reading Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness by Eric Metaxas to the children for our read aloud. We enjoyed learning more about the lives of George Washington, William Wilberforce, Eric Liddell, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jackie Robinson, Pope John Paul II and Charles W. Colson. I learned something new about each one of these great Christian men, especially Jackie Robinson. I highly recommend this book, whether you have read great amounts about these men or nothing at all. 

I had started Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, also by Eric Metaxas last year via audiobook. I was thoroughly engaged with learning about this German hero who was against Hitler and all the atrocities committed against the Jews in his country in the 1940's when, unfortunately, it was due back to my library and I was not able to renew it at that time. We have the book checked out now, although Emma has commandeered it and is thoroughly into learning more about this incredible man and his story. She has commented that it is good to be introduced to Germans who were against Hitler, as it is easy to forget, at times, that there were some who didn't join forces with him. I hope I will get the chance to finish it soon.

Another one that I was so glad to have the chance to read lately was The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Emma read this one probably soon after it came out and had commented that it was very good (she was around 11 years old or so back then). I had not read it, though, until last month and am so glad I did. I, of course, wanted to read the book before I see the movie, but even if there had not been a movie, I am glad I have read this book. I won't spoil anything, for anyone who hasn't read it yet, but wow, it is so unique in the way it is written, the perspective from which it is written and the story itself. I highly recommend it.{For those who do not read books with colorful language, you probably want to skip this one, as it is includes a hefty amount.}

Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes by Shauna Niequist is a book that I'm currently reading - and absolutely loving. I knew as soon as I read the introduction that I would connect with this book. Shauna is a wonderful writer and I almost feel like I'm in whatever scene around her table or in her kitchen or in the cooking class that she is describing. And I want to make each and every delicious-sounding recipe right now (except the pork - I'm not that into pork). I mean, Blueberry Crisp, Goat Cheese Biscuits, Enchiladas, Dark Chocolate Toffee and Dark Chocolate Mousse and more, not to mention all the talk about, you guessed it, wine and bread. My mouth is watering the whole time I'm reading this delightful book. The deep fellowship she shares with her dearest friends is something we all crave. And the way she weaves her faith into the chapters, the true Bread and Wine, is simple and organic.

And in my to-be-read stack:

The Shack by Wm. Paul Young - I read this when it first came out and thought it was profound then. I want to read it again because my faith has opened up so much since that time, and I think that I will see it, not in a whole new way, but I'm sure I will enjoy it even more or glean a somewhat different message from it.

Cross Roads by Wm. Paul Young - When I checked out The Shack from the library, I noticed another book by the same author and decided to check it out, as well. I am looking forward to reading it for the first time. The theme is healing. Have you read this one? If so, what did you think?

Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman - I listened to this audiobook last summer and absolutely loved it. Pamela is an American who lives in Paris with her husband, Simon, who is Dutch but grew up in Great Britain. In Bringing Up Bébé, Pamela shares her experiences of discovering that not only is there French fashion and French food, which most of us are familiar with, but there is a whole new experience of French parenting that is very different from our American version. This was such a delightful, fascinating book that I have the book checked out from the library to peruse again (and it may warrant a separate post from me soon). 

What have you read lately that you would recommend? I am picky, but I always welcome new ideas.

Blessings and love. xo

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support! 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Weekly Menu Plan {10 March}

Hello lovely friends! How are you this week? We had a busy and wonderful weekend with several friends. I love opening our home to friends and providing a safe and relaxing haven for them. What marvelous relationships and memories we can create by opening up our homes. It truly is a special gift.

The next couple of days we are suppose to experience very spring-like temperatures (60-66 F./15-18 C.). And then possible snow. I think the time change tricks us into thinking that it's spring. But that is still another week and a half away. And who says it can't snow in spring? (Remember, we used to live in Canada, where it often did snow in spring.) We're celebrating a birthday this week, so it's an extra-exciting week for us!

Here's the plan:

Monday - Beef Stroganoff, pasta, green peas, salad (I made the Stroganoff from leftover roast and gravy from last week!)

Tuesday - Real Simple Cassoulet (from a wonderful book I am reading - more about that tomorrow)

Wednesday - Out to eat for a birthday dinner (possibly!)

Thursday - Pumpkin soup, crusty bread

Friday -  Beef Fajitas, Spanish rice, chips, guacamole

Saturday - Snack-y supper

Sunday - Grilled chicken, Greek couscous, salad

Hop on over to Menu Plan Monday, where I'm linking up, for more menu ideas.

Have a great week!

Blessings and love. xo

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Breathing Room

We've desperately needed some margin in our family lately. Life has been hard. We've had lots of questions. The Father has been quiet. Near but quiet, if that makes sense. 

So we cancelled everything for the weekend and created some margin. 

It was brilliant.

And just what we craved. 

Breathing room.

We knew a snowstorm was looming on the horizon, so we felt a need to get out of the house. We packed some sandwiches to eat in the car and headed to DC to the National Zoo. It was a beautiful day, a little chilly, but a perfect day for enjoying the outdoors and God's creativity.

This guy is Luke. And he's a new father. I found out after our trip to the zoo that the day after we were there, new lion cubs were being born (and yes, the zoo's website said actually 'March came in like a lion . . . ' haha!). You can view the new cubs on the Lion Cub Cam. We hope to go back in early summer when the cubs will be ready for visitors.

The biggest exhibit (and the only line we had to wait in) at the National Zoo right now is the Great Panda exhibit. Giant pandas Mei Xiang and Tian Tian are at the National Zoo under a Giant Panda Cooperative Research and Breeding Agreement and they have a new baby, Bao Bao! They were sleepy on Saturday when we were there.

This was all we could see of baby Bao Bao, but how cute she is! You can see her on the Panda Cam.

After walking around the zoo for several hours, we were ready to sit down and enjoy supper somewhere.  We had just seen an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives that highlighted a restaurant in DC called Comet Ping Pong. Since we were only about 10 minutes away, we decided to give it a try. What a fun place! Not only was the ping pong a great activity for while we waited for our table, but also the pizza was some of the best we have ever eaten! We highly recommend The Smoky.

We also skipped church on Sunday to go and explore a local city. Unfortunately, it started raining earlier than we thought, and we really only had time to briefly walk around the downtown area. Then we popped into Union Jacks to enjoy a pub lunch. We had a favourite pub we would go to in Canada, which we have missed,  and to our delight, this one is just as good. We will go again when the weather is more favourable for walking around and exploring a bit more.

Then came the snowstorm, although not quite as dramatic as predicted, which meant Bob was home from work on Monday and we had a THIRD family day together. Ahhh.

We joined Elliot, who has become a fireplace cat, for some much needed relaxation in front of the crackling fire. 

The Father was so good to remind us to take time to be together, to rest, to abide in Him and to enjoy life. 

We needed it and plan to do it more often.

Blessings and love. xo

Monday, March 3, 2014

Weekly Menu Plan {3 March}

We've had some unusual activities the past three days. My menu plan changed quite a bit last week, due to said activities, which included a visit to a restaurant featured on Guy Fieri's Triple D! What fun! More on that soon.

On to the plan for this week . . .

Monday - Grilled cheese sandwiches

Tuesday - Grilled shrimp, pasta, sautéed spinach

Wednesday - Bangers and Mash, salad

Thursday - Leftovers

Friday - Italian Slow Cooker Roast, served on tortillas with tomatoes and sour cream

Saturday - Snack-y supper

Sunday - Something on the grill (to be determined)

Hope all is well with you. 

Blessings and love. xo

Linking up with Menu Plan Monday. Laura has lots of free printable planning resources to share today.