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Dinner & a Power-Couple from Target

Hello to another beautiful, Summer day!

We’ve been at my Mom’s house at the lake these past couple of days visiting family who are in from Texas! (I’m currently writing from the patio/porch with a gorgeous view!!!) My Mom is one of 10 kids and my two kiddos always find it fascinating that they have so many distant cousins! So fun!!!

Yesterday, before we packed up and headed lake-side, I decided to throw together a casserole and landed on this simple crowd-pleaser. I assembled all of the ingredients at home and baked it off in the oven at my Mom’s house.

This would be a great dish to serve if you have leftover chicken or even roast beef! No reason you couldn’t get creative here!

Secondly, in honor of functional beauty products (can I get a quick celebration?!), I have to share this power-couple!!!

On recommendations from two separate friends, behold: Amopefoot tool (pink tool on the right) & O’keeffe’s foot cream (blue tube on the left).

I love a good, spa, pedicure as much as you do BUT sometimes I just don’t have the time to make the appointment and GO! So, using these products at home will allow me to skip the spa for an extended time.

Can I get a hand clap?!

I found both of these products at Target and both very reasonably priced. BONUS: Target currently has a $5.00 coupon for beauty products. You can find it on the cartwheel app.

Soul Food

Turmoil, fear and stress abound in this world today. If you are personally facing such things lately, I am praying super-natural calmness over your heart and mind. There is nothing quite like the sweet peace we are offered from Our Heavenly Father and I pray you are lavished in it today!!!

Thanks for gathering,

-Mandy

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Dinner: Quick & Easy

I wanted to follow up with you all on this dish I posted last week: Easy Baked Ravioli. It absolutely lived up to its name and it was quite tasty! Pair it up with some garlic toast and a side of fresh fruit and you’re done! Quick & easy!!!

Soul Food

I found myself awake super early this morning, alone with God and my thoughts and we landed in a place somewhat different and new. As I prayed and listened in the dark, now turning to light, I’m settling in on this bottom line: there are situations in our lives we simply cannot control or change.

Shocker, right?!

I want to work on being okay with this fact. My deepest desire is to keep moving forward regardless of opinions, silence from once-thought friends, or any other form of expression the enemy of my soul may try to use to paralyze me.

Can I encourage you today, in the same way? You have purpose. Move forward; do not remain…

Thanks for gathering,

-Mandy

Enough to Feed a Crowd

We kicked off our Memorial Day Weekend fun with a gathering at a friend’s house. What a blessing new friendships can be! The hosts took care of the protein and we were in charge of bringing a side. I didn’t want to prepare the same-ol’, same-ol’ so I was delighted when my husband recommend a 7-Layer Salad! He’s got great taste! 😉 I quickly took to Pinterest for some 7-layer inspo and it was not long before I landed on the prefect-looking recipe.

Here is how it turned out YUM!

I did add crispy bacon to the top but I think that final pic is on my husband’s phone, LOL!!! Here is the link to salad…you’re going to want to try this one, ASAP. It was large enough to feed a crowd and oh.so.good. The dressing-you guys-trust me. I will definitely be making this again soon.

The rest of the holiday weekend was spent at the ball field and rounded off with time at the lake enjoying family, the swimming pool, and sunshine.

The Memorial Day weekend is a special one as we Americans take the time to honor and remember those who lost their life defending our freedoms. Thank you, to all who have served and who are still serving this great nation.

God, bless the USA.

Thanks for gathering,

-Mandy

It’s Been a While…

Dear Gathering Friends,

It has been a while since I’ve taken to the blog and I do apologize!  I am not sure how much detail I’ll get into about the serious delay in this post BUT I am confident this post will help me get going in the blogging direction again!!!

After my last post, my husband came down with a “mystery illness” that hung on to him for a solid three months.  As a family, we were definitely concerned and so in a nut-shell, that’s where I’ve been since last September.  Gasp.  It’s now May 23rd.  It has been a season and we are confidently on the other side of it.  Even though doctors were never able to give us a diagnosis, we KNOW God healed my husband, 100%, right around Christmas-time.  <insert all of the praise and glory here>

During those trying three months, and up until this very day, God has been doing some work in me as well (strengthening, sustaining, heart-healing, etc.).  Since last September, my inspiration has seemingly been “on-hold”.  Not gone forever, I’ve discovered, just paused.  So today, I am proclaiming with my words, my inspiration to write and blog, be restored, in JESUS’ name, AMEN.  I have zero guarantees what tomorrow will look like but I will be trusting God’s timing and the moving of God’s Spirit to guide me-in all areas of life.

For now, I’ll quickly share what I am doing for dinner this week and then leave you to it!!!

Meal #1: Salsa Fresca Chicken, fresh watermelon and Sweetcorn Spoonbread

Meal #2: White Garlic Chicken & Veggie Pizza with a fresh side salad

Meal #3: Baked Ravioli Casserole, Garlic toast and steamed broccoli

For meals #1 & #2, I streamlined using chicken.  I purchased an extra pound or two so I could get both meals out of one.  You know I love it when I can do that!  :)))  I also love the fact that both the chicken and the spoon bread baked at the same temp, for almost the same amount of time.  BONUS SCORE!

Thanks for gathering, friends.  If you feel inclined, leave me a note or a message and let me know how I can be praying for you today.

-Mandy

Zuppa! And a touch of Autumn

Happy Friday to YOU!

I hope your weekend plans are shaping up to be excellent! Unfortunately, we are in, nursing a sick husband back to health.  In between times of taking good care of my patient, this afternoon I ran out to Target for some necessities and came home with some additional goodies….I mean, afterall, it IS Target, right?!  Tell me what you think about this place setting?  I think it gives our breakfast table a nice touch of Autumn.  🙂 I still want to add some greenery to the napkins but it’s a good start.

PlaceSetting.JPG

Now, onto the Zuppa!  I SO enjoy Zuppa each and every time I visit the Olive Garden and I wanted to see if I could replicate the Italian, hearty, goodness at home.  This recipe did not disappoint!!!!  This recipe will be a great one to make again very soon because of these lovely, cooler temps.  Ahhhhh….I just love Fall.

I paired the soup with this Caprese Garlic Bread.  Another WINNER in our recipe book.  If you like the sweet, goodness of balsamic vinegar, you will love this bread as well.  ❤

Zuppa

I’ll finish up this entry with a final thought—food for soul if you will: In my Bible reading today, I wrapped up the story of Esther.  In her day, she became queen and was used as a vessel to save God’s people (the Jews) in a beautiful display of obedience.  Even though she was most likely very afraid to take the leap of faith and unsure about the consequences of speaking up, she went ahead and did it anyway. God would have, and always will, get His plans accomplished.  YOU might just be the one in the right position today.

Go ahead, be like Queen Esther and take that step of obedience and faith…because “Who knows, perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.” -Esther 4:14

Thanks for gathering,

-Mandy