2021 Goals · Emily (Me) · Fridge or Pantry · Good Cheap Eats · Homemaking · Pantry Challenge · Recipes · Repurposed Food (Leftovers)

Join Me For Pantry Challenge 2021

One of the ways I’m kicking off 2021 is to participate in the Pantry Challenge with Jessica at Good Cheap Eats. The dates are January 1-31! I’ve been doing this for at least a decade. I love her blog because I get her logic. She helps me see what I am doing right, wrong, and what I can do better. The Pantry Challenge is a fantastic season that my family looks forward to twice a year.

I would love to invite you to go to her blog, read about it, and subscribe. When you subscribe, Jessica will send you the tools you need to participate. It’s been different for us here in Italy. My pantry and fridges/freezers are full because of extra holiday purchases, and we have set some attainable goals for this Pantry Challenge!

  1. We will stick to our meal plan.
  2. We will only grocery shop every 2 weeks…
    • When we do, will will only buy dairy, produce, paper/personal items.
  3. If we don’t have it, we will make it! That happened today!
  4. We will repurpose food and use up our frozen foods.
  5. With the exception of Marque’s birthday, we will not eat out…

All of the things on my list will either save us time or money. In the states, there are coupons, and sales fliers, etc. here in Italy, not so much. We did find a store called AdHoc, which is similar to Costco. That has helped with meat costs, etc.

Here’s a pic of my pantry:

Beside my fridge (to the left of this pantry), I have a dry erase calendar where I place my meal plan, and a dry erase empty square where I write my grocery list. During the Pantry Challenge, we take stock of the meats and dry items we have… and we use our imaginations to make it all last at least a month, sometimes longer.

January 1st we had our traditional New Years Meal. Pork roast (because a proper ham is not common here), black eyed peas, greens/cabbage. Leftovers today, the 2nd, and tomorrow (the 3rd) we will have shrimp tacos.

Earlier, I said we needed something we didn’t have, so we made it. So here’s the story. We love the Pioneer Woman’s Shrimp Tacos, and they call for Mexican Tomato Sauce. Usually we use El Pato, but we ran out and they don’t sell it here. So we made it from this recipe – Mexican Tomato Sauce.

One of the things I have learned from Jessica @GoodCheapEats is that you can make just about everything from scratch… and it’s such a benefit. I’ll let you know how the shrimp tacos turn out.

We’re excited! Come play along… get organized, use what you have…and save money! AND let us know how you do!

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about the Bible In a Year with Father Mike Schmitz. Pray for me. I’d really love to read the Bible in a year!

Love, hugs & Blessings,
LadyEm

#LadyEmCrafts · Book Review · Catholic Bible Journaling · Catholic Book Reviews · COVID · Italy · Quarantine2020

Book Review Wednesday – Ignatius Press Bible Journal

Dear Ones,

I hope this post finds you well. It’s been two weeks since I posted, but y’all, I have had a busy two weeks.
I’m the PTSA President and I was at school nearly every day. Between Teacher/Staff Appreciation, our spirit gear coming in and needing distribution, “spirit week” – which I will show you later this week, and school pictures… it was a lot of fun! I’m so thankful we could bring fun into the school.

I meant to get this up early this morning but today’s been a rather long one. You see, we are about to be told we are closing till January and going to a Google Classroom setting. UGH. I’m heartbroken, and also relieved at the same time. Now, we know and we don’t have to deal with “is it happening” thoughts. Ya know? Here is the latest Italian Decree. It’s not great. But guides the command on how the Italians expect the rest of us to act. It’s their country, after all. If you open it in Google Chrome, you can see the fun… You’re welcome. HAHA

But you didn’t come here for that. You came to see the new Bible Journal I was sent to review. I love it in so many ways… there is just ONE thing I wish was different, but it won’t stop me from using it. I’ll explain. First and foremost, I have literally been praying that Ignatius Press would create a journaling Bible. And when my friend Monica told me about it, I knew I wanted to review it. So thrilled to have been sent this Bible. Because I’ve already given the last one I reviewed away – even though I said I wouldn’t. I’ve loved the Ignatius Bibles since I homeschooled through Seton. And I agree with Mr. Scott Hahn, who said that the NRSV Second Catholic Edition is the most beautiful translation of the Bible. Hands down – agree!

  • WHAT I LOVE:
    • This Ignatius Note-Taking and Journaling Bible a sturdy Bible- in fact, the leather is beautiful.
    • The pages are thicker than a regular Bible and easy to work on.
    • My artwork didn’t bleed through too much, but that doesn’t bother me anyway.
    • I love the off white color of the pages.
    • The maps are great too.
    • I love the size of the Bible – its 6.25×7.25 and maybe 2 inches or so thick. I have super small hands and it’s easy to hold.
  • ONE THING I WISH WAS DIFFERENT:
    • Font Size. 7 pt font is too small for this 57 year old.
    • It’s not their fault I wear trifocals like Mr. Magoo… But that is truly my only issue.
    • Luckily I have access to a bigger version so I am clear on the verses I am working with.

This is my new favorite. In the pictures below, you will see the cover, the comparison of size/font to the last Review from Catholic Bible Press, a blank page, and a page with artwork.

When I journal, I try to plan it out beforehand, and I always try to write a note.

On this page, I used:

  • Sharpie bright yellow highlighter
  • Various gel crayons, water, and paintbrushes.
  • Tim Holtz Sunrise Stencil.
  • Various Stamps from Sweet & Sassy Stamps. One item each from three sets.
  • Gina K Amalgam Ink
  • Distress Ink

The verses I journaled are Psalm 43:3-4 –

As always, I washi-taped a plastic mat under the page I worked on, so that the Bible wouldn’t get wet. I air dried this one, and then I stamped on it, and wrote out: Let Me bring light to the world through God, who’s light and love I share with others! Meet me on the Holy Hill! Walk with me, I am NOT alone!

Dear Ones, I have to hop off to go watch the explanation of the latest decree by our Command Staff. Pray for us over here.

Love, Hugs & Blessings,
LadyEm

Catholic Faith · COVID · Family · Italy · LadyEm · Saints

Happy Humbling Birthday!

Dear Ones,
Today, I am 57. Phew. We had plans to go out with friends, Covid-19 slayed that. Additionally, our son was supposed to have his wisdom teeth out on the 30th and it was moved up a couple weeks. There is a lot of fear we are moving into another lock down. It would not surprise me.

Anyway – I share my birthday with Saint Luke. As in The Gospel of Saint Luke, the Acts of the Apostles, not to mention he was one of Saint Paul’s companions. Read about him – HERE. He authored the Gospel of the Repentant sinners and Merciful Heart. I’m pretty sure he talked directly to Me in much of it. I’m not kidding. The Gospel of Saint Luke is my favorite Gospel, though I love them all. His name means “bringer of Light!”

When I found out bud was having surgery this weekend (10/16), I was like – BOO. I’ve gotta change all my plans. Sigh – you know, because in that split second it was all about me. But as a mother, there is no room for selfishness when it comes to our children’s health. No – I don’t say that because I was beating myself up. But I can’t make anyone feel badly – that’s NOT what Jesus would do. But seriously – my name means INDUSTRIOUS LIGHT (Emily Helen). And I truly aim to live up to that. I was faced with a choice… to be happy today in all it’s changes or to Sulk. And I chose happiness. I choose LIGHT. And that is NEVER a bad choice. I’ll get back to my birthday in a second.

Let me explain how things work in Italy. So – when you work for the Military, in a foreign country, you follow the Base Command’s directives as those directives are based on the laws/directives in the country you are in. If you follow my blog, you know we are in Italy. Our region was the first RED area in Italy this Fall (see Map & Link Below):

Additionally, the numbers are rising daily. In fact, if you look at the Campania Region, the numbers “Resting in Domicile” have doubled in the past three weeks. Below are yesterday’s Numbers. Todays have not come out yet.

So when the region or country changes rules about how they are approaching Covid, we have to follow suit. Further, the Command has requested we not dine out (we can do takeaway) and has given us other directives – all so we can thwart this thing and avoid another lockdown.

Why do I tell you the above? What you need to know is this… Happiness is a CHOICE. My family is here. My neighbors and friends in Italy are fantastic. My family and friends from home are showering me with love. My kitchen and home are all stocked up in case of a lock down. I could feed half the base LOL just kidding – but a lot of them. HA

I’ll admit, being here is lonely at times. But – this weekend has been quiet and full of family time. Bud is healing, though today is probably not his best day. My husband and I made a birthday cake. We took soup out of the freezer and will make some fried eggplant and zucchini later. We will have wine with our neighbors. And my 2020 birthday is NOT ruined… you know? Does it look different – YES.

Friday night, a friend brought us dinner. Veggie and Cheese pizza. AND sweet potato fries. Thanks Dawn. A few people sent cards and/or dropped off sweet presents. My husband bought flowers from he and our youngest… and I ordered a tan jacket with a burberry lining for my birthday. I mean it’s FAR from bad. I will share a few pics, then I will continue my story:

Marque is in fact a leprechaun! haha
Flowers from my guys.
From top left – Wine glasses from Dawn, cards from Kelly and Dawn, Gift bag from my friend Julie and her family, and Flamingo Assortment from my friend Gen.
Literally the best gift ever. Purple Playdoh from the heart of a 3 year old. #imnotsharing

But let me tell you what made me cry. You see that purple PlayDoh. That is from my bestie Ms. C. She is a 3 year old and I adore her. We have similar spirits – which should tell you something about my maturity. Her mama, my friend Julie, left me a bag by our gate, and When she told me that me that her sweet girl had sent me something too…… Y’all, this precious girl – she gave me her play doh. And that is something — you know? How humbling is that?

So I ask you – in the spirit of Light and Salt of the earth – I’m pretty dang blessed. the people I “let in” now, they mean something… And I’m humbled and thankful. Not because of the gift of things, but because of the awareness that I care for people and they care for me too. That, Dear Ones, — THAT is the best gift. Love of others is the gift worth cherishing.

Jesus is the true light! We are to emanate Him. So I say – be humble and shine your light.

Love, Hugs, & Blessings,
Lady Em

#Catholic Bible Journaling · #LadyEmCrafts · Book Review · Catholic Bible Journaling · Catholic Faith

Book Review Wednesday – Bible Journal

Dear Ones,

Happy Wednesday. Happy Feast Day of Saint Callistus I (Pope, Martyr)! Click his name to read more about him.
Today is a sunny day here in Italy. Will be stormy later. Doesn’t that just describe LIFE? I hope you are well, wherever you are. I’m praying for you.

I’m trying to bring some regular “segments” back to my blog. Things like – Monday – Meal Plans (where I share what we are eating for the week. I talk a lot about repurposed foods and Jessica over at Good Cheap Eats. I hope to post more cards and crafts… AND Small Success Thursdays. One of the things I have been REMISS on is not reviewing books. In fact, when I moved my blog back over here, I lost most pictures and so many things… And so I’m going to recreate some of it, and start posting more. I need to get out of my head with this one… and let it fall where it may… so to speak.

On with the Review.

I’m not sure if you know this, but in 2015 a few of us Catholic Ladies in Fort Worth, went to LifeWay Christian to a Bible Journaling class. I remember feeling sad and slightly resentful that the Protestants had so many Bibles to Journal in. We started a FaceBook Group called Catholic Women’s Bible Journaling (CWBJ)… And in 2016, I started writing various Catholic Publishers asking them to create a Catholic Journaling Bible, and Non-Catholic Publishers asking for them to create a Catholic Version of their Protestant Journaling Bibles. Long story short, not because of me, but because of many Catholic Women who worked to get it done, there are now many choices of Bibles to Journal in. Many I’ve reviewed, or received and given away.

Today I am reviewing the NRSV Catholic Bible, Journal Edition by Catholic Bible Press. In June, I was contacted by Bethany who works for Harper-Collins’ Bible Division. She asked if my team and I, from the CWBJ Group on FaceBook would like to have one. I couldn’t believe it. They sent them to our whole team and gave away six in our group on top of that. So exciting.

This Bible comes beautifully packaged. The leather is soft and the binding is sturdy. So beautiful.

I wanted to show you what a page looked like before art. This is one I will journal next. Whether you are a note taker, doodler, or full-blown artist in your Bible, the pages have a good thickness to them and are a mat page (not glossy or waxy at all).

Below, you will find my artwork. I love the Crucifix stamp from Catholic Rubber Stamps. I also used:

I didn’t treat the page with Gesso, and below you can see that it didn’t bleed too badly. I can still do great work on the back. I heated as I went with the Ranger Heat It Tool. Mine is American. But the one on the link above is showing as European. Go to Hobby Lobby or order from Amazon.

The verse I journaled is Philippians 1:19 – For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

I wish I had more time to Bible Journal. Here is the Video of me making the page on a FB Live for the group. It’s on my YouTube Channel: Philippians 1:19 for CWBJ

My bottom line is this – I really like this Bible. The size, the sturdiness, and the room to write and draw. I think you will too. It’s a great price. It’s on Amazon.com too.

Please join our little group on FaceBook. Have a blessed rest of your day.

Hugs, Love & Blessings,
Lady Em

p.s. – here’s a tease…next Wednesday there will be another New Bible Journal review. Ignatius Press y’all. WOOHOOOOO

Uncategorized

Word of the Year…

Dear Ones,

Italy has broken me…

what do I mean?

Well, I had a pretty rough two years since my daddy died, surgeries, etc…. I became depressed and had to take meds on a regular basis. We thought Italy was going to be just what we needed… and we were very overwhelmed and disappointed in the beginning, to say the least.

If you knew me when I was working, you’d be in shock to know I’ve forgotten birthdays, been late or totally forgot about meetings… I forgot that I’d signed up to take visiting Deacon’s to breakfast. I accepted and then turned down a hospitality position at our little Military Parish. SERIOUSLY!

I really was falling further into the rabbit hole of self-doubt and depression, of feeling unloved by people and by God… it’s a strange place for a grown up Christian to be, one who prides herself in loving and following God.

And then it hit me, and I was believing the Father of lies and it was affecting my family. Broken, I turned back to God. I have promised him to stop letting the people and things of our world come between he and I. I have a lot of work to do… which is why it’s no coincidence when I went to @JenFullwiler’s link to choose my word of the year, it was… Are ya ready….

RISE!

No, I’m not joking.

You might be saying, “hey Catholic blogger who rarely blogs, shouldn’t you have shared this at the beginning of the year?” – to you I say – well, I thought about it, but I wanted to wait until I knew I could rise. You see, I have a monumental Ego (which you know) and I feared I would fail. But it turns out, the joke’s on me and I am RISING!

You might be wondering how I will rise? Well, I have committed to praying more, trusting God more, and allowing him to work through me more. It’s not easy because I love being in charge. HA. No, it’s not really funny… but I laugh when I am nervous or fearful. Oh and that brings me to getting rid of the fear.

And it’s amazing when you stay in the word more, how much you are inspired to RISE! Let me share two of the MANY things I have found lately to inspire me in my daily readings.

Life is a whirlwind y’all. Wear a twirly skirt so the wind makes ya look pretty! LOL No, but seriously, we are born to bear the storm. It’s NOT easy, with a capital N, NOT! We do it because God asks it of us.

Do you SEE the promises in this passage?  I WILL GIVE FULL COMFORT TO THEM – y’all God is talking to you and I. NO ONE is without turmoil. I love it when people say to me, “your life is so chaotic”. DUDE, I am no different than anyone else. Your life will be chaotic if it isn’t now… learn from me and my poor handling of things… my mistakes! Handle life’s turmoils with grace and trust in THE LORD!

What am I gonna do? For starters… I’m gonna:

  • Rise to the occasion.
  • Rise above the fray.
  • Rise up off the couch and get things done even if I don’t wanna!
Italy/hard times will NOT win. I will be whole again. I know this, because GOD said so. He is the ultimate Father. Amen!

What is your word of the year?
Share it with me. Link it in the comments if you are a blogger.

Let’s hold each other accountable.  I’m rising… what are you gonna do?

Love and hugs to all, and MANY blessings too!

LadyEm