pasta salads

It’s the middle of July and it’s hot here in Southern Arkansas.  I mean over one hundred degrees every day HOT!  When  it’s this hot, I hate turning on the stove to cook meals and no one really wants to eat a heavy meal anyway.  We have started eating a lot of sandwiches and fresh vegetables from the garden and to be honest,  I’m tired of eating sandwiches.

Enter…pasta salads.  I want to make a pasta salad tonight. Now I have to decide which one.

Farmhouse Friday ~ BLESS’ER HOUSE

You are going to love this week’s Farmhouse Friday.  If you use Pinterest,  you will likely recognize this house. There are so many great ideas and the colors are my absolute favorites.  I love everything about this house!

I have given you a sneak peak of the house below.  You can see the entire house tour HERE at Bless’er House.
Farmhouse Friday - Bless'er House - You will love this house!

Farmhouse Friday - Bless'er House

Farmhouse Friday - Bless'er House - You will love this house!


I’m not a  huge Harry Potter fan.  I have never read a Harry Potter book or watched the movies so I wasn’t really expecting to be that impressed with Harry Potter World in Orlando.

I knew it would be awesome because it’s Universal Studios  but I was absolutely blown away.

Hi, my name is Shelia,  I’m a 52 year old grandmother, and I am addicted to Harry Potter World and frozen Butterbeer.

You can check out all of my photos of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter on my Travel Blog @ Southern Blue Traveler.


blueberry lime cupcakes 4

I made some Very Berry Blueberry Cupcakes the other day and wanted to try tweaking the recipe by adding lime.  I like these lime/blueberry cupcake even more than the original blueberry cupcakes.  I love they way the tartness of the lime complements the sweetness of the blueberries.

In this recipe, I made lime cupcakes with a blueberry filling and topped with a blueberry & lime buttercream frosting.


  • 1 box white or yellow cake mix + ingredients on box


  • 1 box (3.4oz)  instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 tablespoon of lime zest
  • 3 tablespoons of lime juice

In mixing bowl, add cake mix plus ingredients listed on the box.  Before mixing, add dry pudding mix, lime zest, and lime juice.

Mix and bake according to directions on the cake mix box.



If you don’t happen to have blueberry jam laying around your house, here is the recipe for the sauce:blueberry2 copy

Blueberry Sauce:

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon or lime juice

Add blueberries, sugar, and lemon/ lime juice to a small sauce pot.  Stir well and cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes.

While the sauce is cooling, take a teaspoon or small spoon and scoop out a small hole in the center of the cupcake.

Fill these holes with your blueberry sauce allowing some to flow over the top.

Top with blueberry/lime  frosting.  If you plan to pipe your frosting onto you cupcakes, you will need to run your blueberry sauce through a food processor or blender. Otherwise, the blueberries will clog your piping tip.



Having been without electricity once for eight days and watching the downhill spiral of our nation on the daily news, I know how important it is to have an emergency food and water supply.  You can check out my EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS – FOOD post HERE.

I have been slowing preparing over the past few years but have recently stepped up my efforts.  I still have a lot to do, especially on securing clean water but I feel a sense of security as I check each item off my to-do list.

In the event of a disaster in your community, you may not be able to get the store to purchase food and water for several days.  Even though it is unlikely that an emergency would cut off your food supply for two weeks, consider maintaining a supply that will last at least that long.


  • You will need at least a 3-day supply of food per family member, including pets. You may want to store more than this amount. Remember, it is better to have extra food that you can share than to run out of food during an emergency.
  • Choose foods that last a long time, do not need to be refrigerated, and are easy to make. Also, try to pick items that are high in calories and nutrition.
  • Try to use as many familiar foods as possible! These foods can help lift the mood, and provide comfort to your family during stressful times.
  • Plan ahead for family members with special diets and allergies, including babies and elderly people. Look for special canned foods, juices, and soups for them. Nursing mothers should have formula, in case they are unable to breastfeed during the emergency.
  • Make sure you have a manual can opener and disposable utensils.

What to Keep in Your Pantry

Farmhouse Friday ~ Fröken Knopp

Farmhouse Friday ~ Fröken Knopp

I love doing Farmhouse Friday because I run across so many amazing homes. I could spend hours looking at home decor and seeing how people create stunning cozy homes.

The same thing happens to me on Pinterest all of the time.  You know….you look at one thing which leads you to another thing and pretty soon 3 hours have passed.

That is how I ran across this week’s house at FROKEN KNOPP .  I was looking at one house, which showcased another house.  This site is not written in English but you really don’t need words to enjoy the beauty of this home.   OF course, you can always translate the page.

FROKEN KNOPP is a beautiful website  with page after page of beautiful photographs.  I picked a few to showcase below but it doesn’t scratch the surface of what the site has to offer.

Farmhouse Friday ~ Fröken Knopp

Farmhouse Friday ~ Fröken Knopp


Very Berry blueberry cupcakes

Don’t these blueberry cupcakes look delicious?  Well, they are!  These are very berry blueberry cupcakes because the cake is filled with blueberries, covered with a blueberry sauce, and topped with a blueberry frosting.

While I was in the blueberry cupcake mood, I also made Blueberry /Lemon Cupcake HERE.  It’s amazing !

For this recipe, I used a white cake mix.  Feel free to use your favorite cake recipe instead.  I made the cake mix according to directions adding 1/4 cup of blueberry jam and pudding mix to the mixture.  I wanted to add a little blueberry taste but not overwhelm it.  Never fear, if you don’t have jam, by all means, use fresh blueberries or blueberry pie filling.

Very Berry blueberry cupcakes


  • Make cake mix according to directions.
  • 1 box (3.4oz) vanilla or cheesecake pudding mix (I love using cheesecake pudding mix)
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • Add 1/4 – 1/3 cup of blueberry jam.   If you don’t have jam laying around, you can use 1 to 1 1/2 cups of fresh blueberries.

Farmhouse Friday ~ GRACIE BLUE

I just love this kitchen / Living area from Gracie Blue.  She originally had maple  pearl cabinets which were painted white.

You can check out the complete transformation HERE along with more photos.

I know you will love it as much as I do.


Now that you have a place to store  your supplies (see Part 1 – Emergency Preparedness – Storage) You will need to address the subject of food and water.  In this post, I’m only going to address WATER.

If disaster strikes your community, you might lose access to clean water.  You should begin with a 3 day (72 hours) supply.

We were without electricity for 8 days once due to a snow storm so 3 days is a minimum but I would at least have a minimum of one week’s supply of water.


Water is the most important thing to store and should be first on your list.  You can not survive without clean drinking water!


  • According to the CDC, you need at least 1 gallon of water per person per day for 3 days. A normally active person needs to drink at least one-half gallon of water each day. You will also need water to clean yourself and to cook. (This means a family of four needs 12 gallons of water in their emergency supply.)  The 3 day suggested supply is only a start, as you build your emergency stockpile, you will want to add more.
  • Don’t forget about pets!
    • Cats and dogs typically need 1 gallon for 3 days.



There are several options for storing clean water:

  • Buy pre-packaged bottled water (the safest, most reliable option).
    • Do not open the containers until you’re ready to use them.
    • Check expiration dates on store-bought bottled water throughout the year. Replace as needed.
  • Fill your own containers of water.
    • Use food-grade water storage containers, like those found at surplus or camping supply stores. If you cannot buy this type of container, you can use 2-liter plastic soda bottles.
    • Purchase a bathtub storage system.  If you are not sure what I am talking about, google “bathtub water storage” and you will see several options and price ranges.  You can purchase one for as low as $20 which is cheap for something so important.


blueberry jam

I love blueberries and I love making jams and jellies so when I get blueberries, some will go into the freezer and some will be canned.

I must confess that though I love making jams, I don’t really eat a lot of it for breakfast.  I do however, use my jams in recipes like muffins and cupcakes.

I usually use my old Ball Blue Book of Preserving for my canning recipes and that is where this recipe for Blueberry Jam comes from.  I did however, add lemon juice because I like to add a little tartness into my sweet jams.


  • 9 cups of crushed Blueberries
  • 6 cups of Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice



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