Saturday, June 22, 2013

Be Healthy, Eat Peppers!


Peppers come in a WIDE variety from Bell Peppers to Hot Peppers

In Texas, we are able to easily purchase any variety you might want. However, in other parts of the United States or the world, only a select few peppers are available. Wherever you are in the world, consider the potential healthy benefits of these vegetables that are really considered a fruit.

Beneficial For Persons With:                                             

  • Heart Disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Arthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
  • Lupus
  • Diabetes
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Cancer

Peppers Help Maintain or Improve Health

Peppers are full of vitamins and minerals the body needs to maintain nutrient stasis or stability. They come in a variety of colors: red, yellow, green, black, orange, brown, and purple. It is interesting that each color represents a different family of phytochemicals. These phytochemicals have antioxidant abilities to help neutralize free radicals that damage cells in the body. As a result, they can help prevent or reduce symptoms of pain and inflammation.

Peppers are also a rich source of Vitamins A, B6, C and K, fiber, Lutein and Zeaxanthin, Beta-carotene, Lycopene, and minerals.

Daily add Color, Flavor & Crunch to your meals with a healthy cup of a variety peppers!

Sunday, June 16, 2013


THANK YOU RITA! for the reminder on this Blog Hop. I couldn't find my NOTE anywhere!

Back in April, Rita with Toltec Jewels invited participants to share in celebrating their favorite elements of Summer. We could share "jewelry and/or beads, of course, but also pretty photos, a
summer recipe, a campfire song, a craft, family memories, a poem -- anything you like!"  A very broad spectrum of ideas came to mind because so far this summer has been FULL and it's only just begun.

A Much Needed Vacation

In July, my husband and I are going to Cabo San Lucas for a week!!!!! We've never been & can hardly wait.  Everybody pray for no hurricanes until later in the year --- well, how about pray NO HURRICANES AT ALL! 

Here's a taste of the awesome beaches!!! Isn't this pretty?!!  Looks relaxing! :)

In preparation for this trip, I decided to make an anklet to wear on the beach.
 Reminds me of the beach, what do you think?

In the meantime, I was thinking of this lovely, light summer cake I used to make for my kids. Who are now all grown up, married, & doing their own things. But it's a very tasty cake and yet very very easy to make. On hot summer days in Texas, we enjoy this taste of cold & sweet! One of the best things about this cake is that you can make it a day or two ahead. Just keep it covered in the refrigerator & you'll be good to go! :)

Raspberry (or Strawberry) Jello Cake


  • white cake mix
  • raspberry or strawberry jello - the large box (you can use any flavor you desire but these are the two my kids preferred)
  • cool whip or whip cream
  • sprinkles if desired


  1. Prepare white cake mix according to directions & bake in a 9x12 pan.
  2. Remove from oven & using a serving fork poke a plethora of holes in the cake.
  3. Let cake cool for about 30 min.
  4. Prepare jello with only the hot water - do not add the cold water into the mix. Stir the jello mixture until jello is well dissolved.
  5. Pour jello mixture evenly over cake. It will be fairly saturated.
  6. Place cake in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours or until jello is set.
  7. Remove cake after about 3-4 hours. Cover top with cool whip or whip cream. Sprinkle with candies if desired & replace in refrigerator until ready to serve. Cover with saran wrap or foil. 


On a much different note -------   MY CACTI ARE BLOOMING!!!!

                   I have been waiting for years for this cactus to bloom & it is HERE!!!! finally

I've been waiting 13 years for this to bloom! :)

These bloom yearly!

Pretty soon the blossoms will fall & the prickly pear will ripen for us to make jam with!

The bees love these blooms!

The hummingbirds love these cactus blooms!

& they love these Aloe Vera blooms too!

LASTLY,  Here is one of the beautiful Deer that's eating my flowers. :(  She was born on our property last year. This year she has a fawn & snorts at us from time to time to let us know this is HER PROPERTY & she means business!!! It's really hilarious!

I took her picture at 9 pm out my living room window. She knew I was there & she's watching me!

Thanks Rita for hosting this Blog!  It was fun to reminisce a little & to stop to "SMELL THE ROSES!"  Come & join me in blog hopping!!!

The Summer Elements Blog Hop Participants: 

Toltec Jewels (Hostess)
Marlene Cupo         
Cheri Reed              
Ailsa Cordner          
Robin Reed             
Nan Smith               
Sherri Stokey           
Christie (Charis Designs)
Carolyn Lawson       
Susie Harris              
Andrea Glick-Zenith 
Nelly May                
Melissa Trudinger     
Dini Bruinsma           
Kathy Lindemer       
Cory Tompkins        
Gina Hockett           
Karen Martinez       
Jasvanti Patel           
Solange Collin          
Karla Morgan  (ME) 
Anindita Basu           
Alicia Marinache      
Andrea Trank          
Dyanne Everett-Cantrell
Mischelle Fanucchi   
Tanty Sri Hartanti     
Shaiha Williams        
Mary Govaars          
Becca Sirevaag        
Lennis Carrier          
Regina Wood           
Sue Kennedy           
Kathleen Breeding   

Thursday, June 13, 2013

ZnetShows Baby Conch Creation

The baby Conchs were in the mail last Sunday when I got home at 2 a.m. ---- YEAH!!!

Aren't they cute?!!!

First, I made a Celtic Chainmaille bracelet of silver and gold.

Second, I added all the beads - baby Conchs, Czech & Chinese crystals, Malachite chips, and Citrine.

Asymmetrical earrings to match with a tiny bit of Celtic Chainmaille. 
 The complete set. It sounds so musical when worn! I love it!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Blu Mudd Design Team Reveal!

In April, Moriah Betterly of Blu Mudd put out the word on her Facebook page! ---- Make a beautiful creation with one of her interesting & unique ceramic pendants! ---- Sign me up!

We had to choose one pendant from the selection & design a necklace around it.

My pendant

My thoughts were on silk and beads with a little wire wrapping. I took one of my husband's ties apart for the silk. I used a variety of beads in my stash: blue dyed shell, pearls, seed beads, jasper, Czech crystals, agate, and silver. Then silver wire seemed to look the best with the pendant. So the work began.........

Thursday, June 6, 2013

ZnetShows June Partner Challenge

 Whew! Excitement is in the air! Summer has arrived in Texas in full force - we're already in the 90's.

Then..... Bill with ZnetShows asked if I'd be interested in participating in a June Partner Challenge. That sounded very interesting! So I told Hope Smitherman - SIGN ME UP!

Partner Challenge??!! How's that going to work?  -  Each partner will pick 7 items from ZnetShows for the other partner. It's a SURPRISE package!! Hopefully interesting & definitely a challenge!  :)  Could be very Exciting!

Inspiration:  THE BEACH - ZnetShows has provided us with a few pictures of inspiration on their pinterest page. These beautiful shots really make me wish I was at the beach! 

My Partner:  Christina Miles  -- woohoo! As some of you might know. Christina was one of the winners in the BSPB #7 AND a double winner in the last Znetshows Challenge. So how cool is that!!!!

Challenge:  All designs must be in by July 6th! Not much time to get your beads & get to work!

Stay tuned to see what all the ZnetShows Design Team Designers create .........

ZnetShows Mini-Challenge of Baby Conchs!

"I'm so excited and I just can't hide it! I'm about to lose control and I think I like it!" 

Bill with ZnetShows has done it again! He's asked a few of the jewelry designers to work on a mini-challenge with the mini sea glass conch shells. They are tiny, about the size of a penny, and OH SOOOOO Cute! I can hardly wait to get them in the mail! Woohoo!

A few months ago, Bill had a sea glass challenge and a few of the designers used these cute little "babies" in their creations. That's where I first saw them & fell in LOVE!

So stay tuned ........

Sunday, June 2, 2013


Metallic Seed Bead Splendor

by Nancy Zellers
published by Kalmbach

Recently I received this book from Kalmbach to review.  I found it to be an extremely interesting and very beautiful book!  Sometimes I feel like metallic can be gaudy, but that is obviously NOT always the case! The 29 projects in this book have something for everyone and are rather elegant, NOT gaudy.

Nancy begins the book with a fabulous, yet simple explanation of metallic beads, the differences and the similarities. This I found useful in how I would make my choice on which beads to use with a particular project. She even explains how to determine whether a bead will hold up over time or will damage easily based on your skin type. Good to know!!!

There are great pictures, photographs, and illustrations of bracelets, earrings, necklaces, charms, and pendants.  Each project is laid out with materials, stitches, and directions for the project with details and tips. These are very easy to follow, especially for those of us who don't regularly seed bead.

For example, I love the Opposites Attract Bracelets on pages 19-21. She shows how to make two bracelets with peyote stitch by using opposite colors in each pattern. By alternating the color this way, two unique bracelets are made and yet similar if you look hard enough. I love making adaptions of projects I see pictures of or read about. There are so many possibilities with these bracelets, I honestly can't wait to give it a try. Then if you throw in the color contrast, you can really let your imagination run wild because you wouldn't HAVE to use metallic beads!

 Isn't this interesting looking? Just let your imagination run wild!

There are also simple projects for the beginner. For example, the St. Petersburg Choker and Earrings on page 22 or Going Baroque With Pearls bracelet on page 41 are simple enough for a beginner to do. 

 Pretty and dainty, too!

I'm definitely no expert, but recently I adapted the Going Baroque With Pearls bracelet to make an anklet for the Anklet Blog Hop hosted by Kashmira Patel. I didn't have any metallic beads that matched pearl beads I had and since it was extremely late the night I decided to give it a try, midnight, I couldn't really go to the store for beads. However, I was able to lengthen the bracelet to an anklet (10 inches instead of 7) and change the beads with a little adjustment in numbers. It worked very well!  The best part is I can repeat it any time with other colors and beads.

Then there are projects for the more advanced beader; The Dragon Pearls Necklace and Earrings on page 68 or the Gold Lace Cuff on page 29.

At the end of the book, Tools For Beading, is a great page of information for the beginner seed beader. It is very informative and easy to understand. This is followed by 7 pages of Stitch Basics which are a great reminder and very helpful to those of us who only seed bead occasionally. I was able to refer to these pages throughout the book refreshing my memory on certain stitches I haven't used recently.

It's a great book for all! I highly recommend it. You can even go to Kalmbach for another preview of a few pages and projects. :)

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Raspberry Jam Crumb Cake

This recipe was inspired by my love of coffee cake. Of course, this cake tastes great with a good cup of coffee! But it also pairs well with a fantastic cup of hot tea, cold tea, hot chocolate, or milk as well.
It is absolutely best eaten hot straight from the oven with a bit of butter. One of the best things about this recipe is it only takes about 15 minutes to put together. Of course, it bakes for another 20-25 minutes depending on your oven.


  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  •  1 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup - 3/4 cup Texas Pepper Jam Raspberry Sweet Jam
Note:  For a sweet & spicy flavor, use Texas Pepper Jam Raspberry Chipotle Jam.

Crumb Topping
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Grease 9 inch cake pan.
  3. Cream butter, sugar, and eggs.
  4. Add milk.
  5. In a separate bowl, sift flour, salt, baking powder then add to creamed mixture. Do not over-mix.
  6. Pour into greased cake pan.
  7. Drop dollops of jam on top of batter then gently swirl jam into batter with spatula.
  8. In separate bowl, cream butter and sugars together.
  9. Blend flour, salt, and cinnamon. 
  10. Whisk flour mixture with creamed mixed into lumps.
  11. Sprinkle crumb topping on top of cake batter.
  12. Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Do not over-brown crumb topping.

Anklet Blog Hop - The REVEAL!!!

In April, I heard about the Anklet Blog Hop that Kashmira Patel was hosting. How fun! Since, I've never made an anklet before, I  HAD  to join in!  Yes, it has been a blast!   &  Very interesting too! I've never looked at my ankles so much :)))

The first anklet I did out of chainmaille. It's the European Rosette pattern. Next I added coral & tiger's eye chips. It dangles on the skin so nice!  This anklet turned out to be 10 inches, which from everything I've read is average for an anklet or else I just have big ankles!

At first, I added only a few beads, but then decided it didn't look finished so.....

Added more beads to finish the bracelet. I think it looks better on the ankle & it definitely feels great.

Since I was on a roll, I still had time before the reveal & was looking at a new book that Kalmbach sent me to do a book review on: Metallic Seed Bead Splendor. (Book Review will be coming soon!) I couldn't resist making another project! Page 41 is "Going Baroque with Pearls". Well.....

The pearls and seed beads I have didn't really look right together, therefore.... it was time for adaptations!  Purple crystals & iridescent pink/purple seed beads.  Sorry seed beaders - I'm still learning the names of all the crystals & seed beads. There are sooo many!!!!

This anklet is also about 10 inches long. It looks so good on the ankle and is so pretty, I think I'll make earrings & a bracelet to match.

This was fun! I've learned some new techniques & a new style of beading that I love. Thank you Kashmira! :)))

Here is a list of our wonderful hostess and the 27 participants. HAPPY BLOG HOPPING! :)

Name  Blog
Kashmira Patel
Kaushambi Shah Will post on Kashmira's blog
Jean Wells
Mischelle Fanucchi
Shellie Grindie
Ginger Bishop
Monique U
Cynthia Machata
Kay Thomerson
Mimi Gardner
Anindita Basu
Rita (Toltec Jewels)
Gina Hockett
Tammie Everly
Jessica Murray
Dyanne Cantrell
Ema Kilroy
Emma Todd
K Morgan
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson
Cheri Reed
Rochelle Brisson
Michelle Buettner
Sandra McGriff
Stephanie Weiss
Shelley Graham Turner
Vickie Foley
Lynda Carson
Roxanne Mendoza

Sorry for the long length of "blank" that follows but it has something to do with the way the list of participants copied & I can't get it to delete off. :(