July 29, 2022

Wrapping Up July


Photo credit: Kyrstin

Happy Friday, my friends! Welcome to the last weekend of July! How was your week? Our week was busy and cooler, with some welcome rain. Flynn enjoyed her art camp at the local art gallery. She also had tennis and piano lessons and helped Madison at her store. Throw in some tubing with a friend, and her week was packed! Mocha and I had some free time along with Kirby. I wish I could say I used it productively, but aside from laundry and some cooking, I can report that Netflix has some interesting documentaries available. 

Same for this one! Thanks, Kyrstin!

Our pizza nights continue to evolve. Last night, Flynn had a friend over for tubing, so afterward, we made pizza! My favorites were the cheese and the tomato basil! We also made chicken alfredo and pepperoni with half steak. I essentially used leftover things from the fridge and turned them into pizza! 

These two had a breakfast date this week! These girls who used to play Barbies and dress up and shared a room with two twin beds are both married women now. But they are still the best of friends. Could a mother be happier?

The weekend looks to be lovely weather-wise. We are invited to Madison and Nicolas' house for dinner and some peach dessert tonight! Tomorrow is mass; after that, Flynn is invited to spend the night at Peyton and Chris' house. She is so excited! Sunday, for me, is blissfully free. We will see what the day holds. I hope you enjoy your weekend, my friends. Thanks for visiting. I am always glad you do!

Oh! I am thrilled to report that another of my blogger friends has returned after some time off! Wendi has a beautiful blog RIGHT HERE if you want to pop over.

Billie Jo

July 27, 2022

Summer 2022 Summed Up In A Snapshot


My Jeep with the top open ~ Harry Styles on repeat~ Wendy's Pineapple Mango Lemonade

What is your snapshot, my friends?

Happy Wednesday!

Billie Jo

July 25, 2022

Monday Morning Coffee Talk


Good Monday morning, my friends! How was your weekend? It was lovely here in PA. We had a few quick showers in between perfect lake weather, and last night we had a great soaking rain! Steve and I have been spending our early mornings by the lake lately. We had a little firepit area put in down there and are loving it. Mocha already knows exactly where to go when I put her in the grass. She runs right to my chair!

Last night we celebrated the start of Shark Week! My kids are such good sports to always indulge me in my random parties. We sat around and played Shark Trivia, then Shark Week Uno...it is a real thing!...and enjoyed junk food like Swedish Fish and Gummy Sharks and Shark Fin Brownies with too sweet KoolAid! (I didn't put enough water in, I guess!)

I found most of the decorations on Etsy, and some came from Target. I keep all my holiday and party things in a deep drawer in my kitchen. I always have a random supply of assorted plates, napkins, and party favors!

Well, that is about it for today. I am working on some laundry and running Flynn into town later for an Art Camp she attends at a local art gallery. She is very excited! I am not one for scheduled activity overboard, but she loves art, and I know she will enjoy it. Tonight I am making some sauce for homemade pizza. I will add a salad, and dinner will be served. After that, we will watch some Shark Week and then the guilty pleasure that is The Bachelorette! Have a wonderful Monday, my friends! Thanks for visiting!
Oh! I am such an advocate of Blogging and am happy to see an old friend has returned! Please hop over and visit Chrissy, who has a beautiful blog right HERE.
And feel free to share any new or favorite blogs too! 

Billie Jo

July 22, 2022

Friday Photos

 Friday. The weekend is here! Do you have anything fun planned? Or is your calendar blissfully clear, allowing for uninterrupted leisure activities? We are a mix of both, I suppose. Tonight we are boating and tubing with some friends. Tomorrow during the day is free, then after mass Steve and I are going to get our second Shingles Vaccine! This is date night in your 50's, friends! Actually, though, we are going to dinner after with my bestie Heather, who also happens to be a pharmacist. Hence, the jab. Sunday is free until after dinner when one of my favorite weeks of the year begins. Any guesses? Madeline? Any guesses???

Yep! Shark Week! I have always enjoyed making ordinary days extraordinary, especially when I had a houseful of little ones. Shark Week was a fun week during the summer that we could look forward to and enjoy together. After an evening outside, we would shower and bathe, get dressed in fresh, clean jammies, and gather together to watch a program about sharks. Yes, we could do that any other time of year. But the excitement of knowing many other people were doing the same thing made it much more fun. Sometimes we would have special snacks or wear new shark shirts too. My kids are grown for the most part, and I may be the most excited now, but they humor me. And so, a modified version of Shark Week is still a thing here in our house. If you want to join in, here is the schedule.

Have a wonderful weekend with your people, my friends. Stay cool and cozy! Leaving you with some phone photos of the past week here in Pennsylvania. We met this duck family while we were swimming off the boat. They were not a bit shy! 

Thanks for visiting!

Billie Jo

July 20, 2022

Just Starting To Think


I know! I know! We have so much more of summer to enjoy! And I am here for it. Promise. The great thing about late July is it is no longer considered entirely abnormal to start thinking and talking about fall and Halloween. Not that being normal is all that important to me. I left that train long ago. This time of year has always been a favorite of mine. For me, the anticipation is as much fun as the season itself. So it begins, my friends. Summer with a side of autumn, please! And a great big scoop of Halloween for dessert! 

Have a cozy, spooky Wednesday, my friends!

Billie Jo

Pinterest is ready for it too!

July 18, 2022

Monday Morning Coffee Talk

 Good morning, my friends. And Happy Monday! I am cozy on the couch this morning, looking outside at the RAIN! Here in Pennsylvania, summer has been gloriously lovely. But we needed rain. Badly. Today is one of those rainy, cozy summer days, and I am not complaining! I have loads of dirty laundry separated into piles on the floor to keep me busy. I also have some fresh blueberries in the fridge that need to be used up, so I am thinking of making some lemon muffins and adding them to those. With a dusting of powdered sugar, they will be perfect for a quick breakfast or with my afternoon coffee. 

 My planner has a few things penciled in for this week: a hair appointment for me, tennis and music lessons plus a church group field trip for Flynn, and the groomer for the pups. I am also planning a few things for one of my favorite weeks of the year coming up...Shark Week! Although the kids' enthusiasm for this tradition has diminished through the years, I still enjoy watching it; they are good sports about it too! 

Well, that is about all I have today! Have a great day, my friends. Thanks for visiting!

Billie Jo

This weekend we spent a great deal of time on the lake. Late afternoon and early evenings are our favorite. 

July 15, 2022

Ordinary Days Of Summer

Hello there! Happy Friday. Just a few photos to share today. This week has been refreshingly ordinary. When my children were young, and our days were much more scheduled according to naps, walks, and meals, I took ordinary for granted. Maybe because I loved it so. Every day was very much the same, and life existed within the walls of our cozy home. 

Thankfully, I still have two of my four living at home, but as they get older, we have less structure and more spontaneity. Not a bad thing, of course! Instead, something different I am learning to embrace. How many will be here for dinner? Does Flynn have tennis? When does Rhett work late? Who has appointments this week? These are things that add variety to our days. And so, when we have a week with nothing much on the calendar, I appreciate it a bit more. This was one of those weeks.

Our favorite neighbors wandered over for a visit.

We took a moonlit boat ride on a lake that was as smooth as glass and as quiet as can be.

And I made a fresh, delicious quick meal with veggies from the produce stand. ~If you are curious, it is spaghetti squash with homemade sauce and zucchini sprinkled with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Madison taught me how to cook spaghetti squash. Cut it in half lengthwise, but be careful! It is like carving a pumpkin! Scoop out the seeds. Drizzle with avocado oil, and sprinkle salt, pepper, and garlic powder on top. I threw some herbs from my pots in, too...basil, rosemary, and parsley. Put on a baking sheet, flesh sides down. Poke some holes in it with a fork, and bake at 420 degrees for about 40-45 minutes. When it is done, let it cool, then take a fork and start shredding the insides. It will look like thin pasta!~

I made some quick sauce with olive oil, garlic, and chopped onions. I added a big can of crushed tomatoes, some tomato paste, fresh herbs, and some sugar to taste. Once that got simmering, I sliced a zucchini I had right into the sauce. That simmered until the zucchini was soft, and our house smelled amazing! Then I topped the spaghetti squash with some sauce and cheese. Easy and delicious!

Well, I suppose I need to go start my day. Tonight Peyton and Chris are coming over for a boat ride and a fire. We are planning on hotdogs and smores! I will work on my scrapbooking, visit my momma, and relax for the remainder of the weekend. How about you, my friends?

Whatever you are up to, enjoy!

Billie Jo

July 13, 2022

What's Inside my Dutch Oven And Flynn Cooks Dinner

Hello! Yes, I know we are smack dab in the middle of cookout season, and believe me, we are enjoying all the hotdogs, hamburgers, and chicken you can imagine. But, sometimes, we enjoy a delicious comfort meal together on a cloudy day. This past week, Flynn pulled out her new cookbook and chose this recipe to make for dinner. It was delicious! I am so proud of her! The recipe is Chicken Pot Pie from this cookbook right HERE ON AMAZON. I am not affiliated with it or Amazon; I just love it, and so does Flynn! 


And then there is this. Last night I made this easy, quick, delicious dinner for my people. It is Shrimp Tortellini, and it is good! Here is the RECIPE. I followed it exactly, except I omitted the horseradish and used fat-free cream. I served it with bread and a Ceasar salad. And the people rejoiced. LOL.

Ok. That's all for now, my friends. Have a wonderful summer Wednesday!
Thanks for visiting!

Billie Jo

July 11, 2022

Monday Morning Coffee Talk

Good Monday morning! I am on the couch sipping my coffee, which has Pumpkin Spice creamer, thinking about the things I do this time every year. After the Fourth of July, time seems to speed up, and before we know it, summer is a pleasant memory wrapped up in our hearts. Autumn is my favorite, as you may know. Always. As I get older, though, I find the lazy days of summer taking their place in my heart. I am learning to embrace these lovely summer days' slower pace and less structure.

However, every year around this time, I start thinking about things I want to do before I can unpack the tubs of autumn pumpkins and colorful leaves that make our home cozy for fall. I always do my scrapbooking in July or August, so soon, I will haul out my supplies and start that. I print pictures monthly and organize them into piles, so they are ready to go. I also begin looking through Flynn's curriculum and planning the first few months of homeschooling. I actually love doing this! I love sitting with a fresh new planner and all the books and manuals around me. I also start looking for new fall recipes to add to my binder. 

This time of year is bliss for an autumn-loving, summer-enjoying person like me. I am reminding myself to live in the moment and enjoy the beautiful days of summer. I am also able to start planning for my favorite time of year. I never understand all the people that say, "Only 12 weeks until Halloween!" I mean, I don't want it to BE Halloween. I want it to be time to think about, plan for, and enjoy all the Halloween things! 

Meanwhile, I will enjoy the fresh herbs, vegetables, and visitors of summer.

How about you, my friends? Are you thinking about cozy autumn afternoons yet? 
Have a wonderful summer day!
Thanks for visiting!

Billie Jo

July 8, 2022

Fun With Friends


You know you have a true, lifelong friend when... a) She and her family drive eight hours to spend time with you. b) You don't feel you have to clean the entire house before they arrive. c) You come down in the morning in your jammies and no makeup. d) You are beyond sad when they leave. My answer? All of the above! 

My beautiful friend Danielle, who has an amazing blog right HERE, and her awesome husband and son are visiting here this week, and my entire family is so thrilled. We have had the best time talking, drinking coffee, playing games, boating, eating, laughing, and just being. There was lunch at a tearoom, coffee at a favorite coffee shop, a pizza-making contest, a fire with music and smores, and so much more. 

I pray everyone finds a friend like Danielle. Someone who laughs with you, who loves to drink coffee, and watches old game shows with you. Someone who gets you and loves your whole family too. Someone who, were it not for these things called Blogs, you never would have known existed. Someone who lives the same life as you do in her own part of the world, but you wish were right next door.

Thanks, Danielle!
We love you guys!

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!

Billie Jo

July 6, 2022

Fireworks, Family, Food, and Friends


Just like that, The Fourth of July came and went. We were blessed with a beautiful day for celebrating and enjoyed food and fun together. We ended the day with the most spectacular fireworks display, complete with a patriotic playlist supplied by Madison. It was simple, cozy, festive, and fun!

As I looked at the sky and watched the brilliant display of colors, I was reminded that although our country is currently divided and the news is filled with ugliness and hate, we, as a people, have been here before. And we have come through the darkness together. When it gets to be too much for me, and I feel overwhelmed and helpless, I listen to the words of a wonderful friend and priest who told me, " BJ, turn off the news, look away, and pray." And that is what I intend to do. 

Have a cozy summer day, my friends!
Oh, and if you are interested in a mindless but entertaining guilty pleasure, Big Brother starts tonight!

Billie Jo