Sunday, April 30, 2017

Stuck in the Mud

Most of you know that fishing is one of Mr. Handsome's hobbies. His childhood friend introduced him to the sport when the two were in middle school, and it has been a favorite past-time of his ever since. I often go with him, but only if the weather is decent. He went last weekend when it was cold and rainy, so I stayed behind.

When he came home, I was thrilled to see that he had caught about 20 fish, enough to have a fish fry and freeze some for later. I met him outside to help him unload his gear and found him shoveling mud out of the driver seat of our car. "I ventured a little too far off the gravel road and got stuck in the mud," he explained.

Oh my. That's a lot of dirt.

I took a deep breath and decided it wasn't worth getting angry at him. He's an adult who doesn't need to be disciplined, and he clearly felt pretty bad about it already. So I went inside, grabbed some supplies, and helped him clean up the mess. I have to laugh because this whole fiasco is a perfect illustration for my vlog about not sweating the small stuff (something I fail at all the time).

A little bit of rug shampoo went a long way, and the car looks as good as new. Well, maybe not's a 10-year-old vehicle, after all. Sure am glad I invested in rubber mats! And in the future, perhaps a car with a dark interior would be a good idea.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Vlog #5: Plans For Pets


Good afternoon, blog readers! It's a beautiful day here in Tennessee, so I decided to film a vlog outside. This video is in response to the questions that many of you have asked about whether we have pets and what's up with the cats that roam around our property. I'll show you my favorite cat (also pictured below), and I'll introduce you to two of my childhood pets. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Movie Review: 'The Resurrection of Gavin Stone'

Do you enjoy reading my movie reviews? Two weeks after screening Champion (in theaters May 19th) Mr. Handsome and I had the chance to screen The Resurrection of Gavin Stone, an inspirational comedy rated PG.

A former child actor who has allowed himself to be deceived by the empty promises of fame and fortune, Gavin Stone is sentenced to 200 hours of community service at a megachurch. He quickly becomes involved in the annual Easter production, through which Gavin learns what it means to be given a second chance.

Mr. Handsome and I thoroughly enjoyed The Resurrection of Gavin Stone. The acting is quality, the characters are dynamic, and the plot is both entertaining and meaningful.

Starring Brett Dalton (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Neil Flynn (Scrubs, The Middle), D.B. Sweeney (The Boxcar Children, 24), comedienne and YouTube sensation Anjelah Johnson (Mom’s Night Out) and professional wrestler Shawn Michaels, The Resurrection of Gavin Stone will be released on DVD and BLU-RAY May 2nd (trailer below). Look for a giveaway soon.

Photo/video courtesy of


Last week, I was invited to breakfast with our pastor's wife and daughter. We had a great time chatting, and just before I left, they showed me the latest additions to their family: five baby ducks! They were simply adorable. They have raised ducks before, and they plan to keep them until they are full-grown and then hand them over to a farm.

The pastor's wife told me about the ducks she raised when she lived in a different state. When they had grown big enough, they would follow her down to the creek to go for a swim and then follow her back home again. She ended up having to let the ducks go, but several years later, while she was canoeing, a duck came right up to her and followed her the entire time. She thinks it had to be one of her ducks! If we ever own a house with a bit of land, I think I'm going to have to raise ducks. They're just so darling.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Mr. Handsome's Grilling Tutorial

Mr. Handsome is the grill master at our house. We have a very small grill that sits on our little outdoor table and uses camping-sized propane tanks, but it gets the job done (quite well, actually). Mr. Handsome has seen me film cooking videos for the blog and wanted in on the fun, so he created a grilling how-to video for you all, complete with some of his amusing, dry humor. Learn how to grill the perfect burger (and make Texas toast and green beans). Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Laundry Confessions

The other afternoon, I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off, readying the house for dinner guests. Our laundry "room" is a tiny closet off our kitchen, so I decided to multitask and throw a load in while I prepared the meal.

We have a 30-plus-year-old, top-load washer that doesn't have all those newfangled features and settings, so I usually dump the detergent in and allow the basin to fill about 1/6 of the way so the soap and water mix before throwing my clothes in. Well, on this particular day, I did that and then ran over to the kitchen sink to wash some veggies, planning to return to add the clothes after about a minute.

You can probably guess where this is headed. I busied myself in the kitchen and never ended up adding the laundry to the washer. Thirty minutes later, the washer finished its cycle, and I walked over to find the lid open and the basin empty. I immediately realized what had happened. 

By that point, Mr. Handsome had returned from work and was vacuuming the living room, so I told him about my little blunder. "You know," he said. "I walked by the washer and saw it running with the top open and nothing inside, and I just thought to myself, 'This must be why my wife never asks me to help with the laundry. There are just too many things I'll never understand.'" We both had a good laugh.

Has anyone else made a similar mistake?

Monday, April 17, 2017

Mr. Handsome's Great-Grandmother

Mr. Handsome and I spent Easter weekend with family. We saw both our immediate families, as well as both sides of Mr. Handsome's extended family. All the ladies attended a bridal shower for my almost-21-year-old sister-in-law, who is getting married in early summer. (Remember when I posted pictures of her engagement party?)

Last week, my mother-in-law called and informed us that her grandmother (Mr. Handsome's great-grandmother) would be at the shower and suggested we bring one of Mr. Handsome's paintings for her.

Almost 102 years old, Great-Grandma lives alone, and she is a spitfire. She and Mr. Handsome have a special bond because they both have a dry sense of humor and enjoy poking fun at each other. When I handed Great-Grandma the wrapped painting, one of the great-aunts, who has a similar sense of humor, exclaimed, "I think it's a baseball!" As she was leaving, Great-Grandma reminded me to be sure to thank my husband for the baseball.

Amidst all the joking, Great-Grandma truly was touched to receive such a heartfelt gift. She has a dozen grandchildren and a few dozen great-grandchildren, and she gives all of them (plus their spouses) presents  at Christmas, but very few of them acknowledge her. We're not sure how much longer she will be with us, but we want to make her feel special while she's here.

*Have you been down the Oregon Coast? The scene pictured in the painting is Heceta Head Lighthouse, located in Florence, Oregon. It is based on the photos we took of the lighthouse when we visited last October.

Friday, April 14, 2017

2 Million Pageviews

Just reached 2 million pageviews on! (2,075,803 to be exact.) I am grateful for all my lovely readers from across the globe. Check out my video message below. Wishing you and your family a blessed Easter.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Homemade Vaseline

A couple years ago, I started making homemade Vaseline as an alternative to store-bought petroleum jelly, which is a bi-product of the oil industry. It's easy to make, works great, and only contains three simple ingredients. And did I mention it smells incredible?

Homemade Vaseline

2 Tablespoons (1/8 cup) beeswax pellets
4 Tablespoons (1/4 cup) olive oil
4 Tablespoons (1/4 cup) coconut oil

*Makes 1/2 pint

Heat all ingredients in a saucepan on very low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat immediately once beeswax has fully melted (only takes 1-2 minutes).  

Immediately pour warm liquid into jars. Allow jars to sit, undisturbed, until hardened (takes several hours). After the pot has cooled, you can rub the Vaseline residue off the inside of the pot and use it as a moisturizer on the spot. (No need to waste it.)

Use as you would Vaseline.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Movie Review: 'Champion'

Over the weekend, Mr. Handsome and I had the privilege of screening the movie Champion, slated to hit the theaters on May 19th.

Rated PG, Champion opens as dirt track racer Sean Weathers (Andrew Cheney) is at the height of his career. A single parent to daughter Gracie (Faith Renee Kennedy), he has scores of fans and appears to be unstoppable. But when Sean allows a rivalry with another racer to shift his focus and take hold of his emotions, he finds himself in the midst of a tragedy and must fight to pick up the pieces of his shattered life.

In an unexpected turn of events, Sean meets Jack Reed (Gary Graham), a successful businessman who failed as a father. Sean must work to become someone his daughter can look up to, while Jack must learn how to forgive the person who robbed him of his chance to reconcile with his son.

We thoroughly enjoyed Champion, and we highly recommend it. The film illustrates the life-changing power of forgiveness, a message that desperately needs to be shared. Check out the trailer below, and look for a DVD giveaway in the near future.

Photo/video courtesy of

Saturday, April 8, 2017

'To Joey, With Love' Giveaway

A few months ago, I shared my review of the film To Joey, With Love. I received two copies of the DVD to raffle off to my readers, but I'll admit they have been sitting in my desk drawer ever since. It's about time to give them away, don't you think? Follow the prompts on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 7, 2017

Perfect Pork Chops (Recipe)

Last week, one of my readers asked if I have a good pork chop recipe, and I do! This is my go-to meal when I'm looking for something simple and tasty. I'll often throw it in the oven along with some veggies and then do at-home exercises while it cooks. Gotta love efficiency!

Perfect Pork Chops

Pork chops*
Seasoned salt
Soy sauce

*I use center-cut chops or boneless chops that are about ¾-inch thick.

Grease bottom of baking dish with olive oil (I use a glass pan) and add 3 Tablespoons of water to keep pork chops moist. Sprinkle both sides of pork chops with spices and a small amount of soy sauce (about 4 drops per side).

Lay pork chops flat in baking dish, and bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes (depending on the thickness), pulling them out of the oven to flip halfway through.

Pork chops are done when the juices run clear. (You can cut into the center of one of them to figure that out.) Cooking perfect pork chops takes practice, so don't beat yourself up if they turn out a little drier than you would like. (As Mr. Handsome would say, just add BBQ sauce. My homemade BBQ sauce recipe is listed with my Buffalo Wild Wings style wings recipe.)

The tricky part is that the outsides can look perfectly moist while the insides are already dry. The USDA recommends that pork chops be cooked to an internal temperature of 145F, although I'll admit that I rarely use a thermometer for this recipe anymore.

Enjoy your chops!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Easter Decorations

My sister-in-law Anne is at it again with her holiday decorations! She put up her Easter decor just a few days after St. Patrick's Day. What do you think? How does your family celebrate Easter?

Monday, April 3, 2017

Vlog #4: Is It Really a Big Deal?

Happy Monday! I took the weekend off from blogging, but I'm back full speed ahead. Last week, I posted a vlog called Lessons in Marriage that I filmed with Mr. Handsome. The video prompted some great discussion, and a few of my readers asked for clarification on one of the points I made. Rather than type up a lengthy explanation, I decided to film another video (embedded below).

I also want to point out that these "lessons" are not exclusively for married couples. They can also apply to other family members that you live with or see on a regular basis. As always, I love hearing your thoughts in the comments section.