Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Relaxing With Candles

Sometimes I think our lives are way to stressful.  From the moment we wake up, until the time we finally lie back down for sleep, our lives are filled with noise, electronic devices, smart phones, traffic, work, children who seem to always need something, laundry, house cleaning, dinner, grocery shopping, and money ... just to name a few of the day to day things that can cause stress.  It seems like I have a million things to do in a day, and it becomes stressful if I can't seem to get anything done.

Most people think of candles as just something we see on a birthday cake, or something we light when we want a romantic evening, or even a life saver, when the electricity goes out during a storm.  But candles have a relaxing property.  There's just something about darkening your room, and lighting a couple of candles that seems to make all the stresses of the day fade away.  I am mesmerized by a flickering flame.  This is true of a campfire too.  I love open flames.  We don't have a fireplace in our home, so a candle is as close as I can get.  When you add in your favorite scent to the mix .... aaahhhhhh!  It helps me to relax and get a fresh start at tackling my daily tasks.

Everyone has seen photos of a bathtub, with candles lit all around. Well, I'm sure that is super relaxing for those who can find the time for an hour long soak in a warm tub.  A couple of years ago, during a power outage, I had to take a shower by candlelight (out of necessity), and that was the most relaxing shower I've ever had!  There's just something about candles!

If you burn candles often, you want to make sure you choose soy or beeswax candles.  Studies have shown that when you allow long-term exposure to the emissions from paraffin wax candles (which are petroleum based) it may cause health problems.  Paraffin wax candles release unhealthy chemicals some of which are linked to causing cancer and can worsen allergies and asthma.  Soy and beeswax are renewable resources, biodegradable and free of toxins.

So the next time you're feeling stressed, try lighting up a soy or beeswax candle and watch the stress melt away.

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Easiest Tex-Mex Cheese Enchiladas You'll Ever Make

I love dinner ideas that only take me a few minutes to throw together and then wait for it to cook.  My Mom taught me how to make these yummy cheese enchiladas many years ago and my family loves them.

Things you'll need:
20-30 corn tortillas
6 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped onion (completely optional)
1 15 oz can of Wolf Brand Chili (no beans)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.  Heat the chili in a small pot and stir in about 1/2 cup of water to thin it out.

While it is heating, finely chop the onion.

Put about 4-6 tortillas on a microwave safe plate or paper towel and microwave for about 1 minute.

Put about 2 spoonfuls of the chili at the bottom of of a 13 x 9 inch glass or metal pan and spread it around.

Put a small handful of shredded cheese and a little bit of onion into each heated tortilla.

Roll it up and place it in the pan.

Keep doing thing until the pan is full.

Then pour the remaining chili on top of all the enchiladas and top with the remaining cheese and onions.

Feel free to leave the onions off of all or some, depending on your preference.  Then put them in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the chili is bubbly.

You can serve this with whatever side dishes you like .... refried beans, mexican rice, etc.  

So, you can see why this meal is a family favorite and a quick "go to" recipe I can make in a hurry that everyone will love!

Please comment below if you make this and let me know how it turned out for you!  

Stuff from Scratch is Always Better

One of our favorite meals as a family is to grill some kind of meat out on the grill and usually it's chicken marinated in a "secret family recipe" (just kidding).  We normally have some type of potato and a good salad or grilled vegetables.  Saturday night, we decided to grill some bone-in pork chops marinated in barbecue sauce.  I made cheesy mashed potatoes and a salad to go along with it.  With four hungry boys around the table, we don't normally have left-overs!  Needless to say, they eat it all.

For so long, as a young wife, I was afraid to try to make things from scratch.  I grew up in the 70s and 80s.  We had potato flakes instead of real mashed up potatoes, and stove top stuffing instead of cornbread dressing.  Everything was instant, but instant isn't always the best.  Over the years, I've learned that it's just as easy to make things from scratch as it is to use stuff from a box.  So, if there are any others out there like me, here's my cheesy mashed potato recipe and it's really very simple.  The best part is that you can add just about anything you want to it to customize them to your taste.  Don't be afraid to try something different.

You just need:  5 or 6 medium potatoes, 1/2 cup of milk, 3 tablespoons of butter, 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, and salt and pepper.  Wash and peel the potatoes (not all the peeling needs to be off, just most) and cut them into 1 inch pieces.   Put them into a large pot of water and bring them to a boil.  Boil the potatoes until they are fork tender (about 10 to 15 minutes).  Drain the water and put the potatoes back into the pot and turn the heat down to low.  Add your milk, butter and salt and pepper.  Mash with a potato masher or fork until they are at the consistency that you prefer.  I like a little bit of lumpiness to them, but you can do it however you like.  Then add the cheese and stir.  Heat until the cheese is melted.  Then you can add any other things you like (bacon, sour cream, chives, etc.)

Now, to some, the above recipe may be a "no-brainer" but I promise you, I was completely scared to make homemade mashed potatoes or anything else for the longest time!  And it seems these days that some young ladies don't know how to really cook.  Maybe Mama's were too busy to teach or maybe work and kids and activities has us too busy to try.  But, after watching a few cooking shows many years ago, I realized it wasn't as hard as I thought it was.

It only takes a few minutes to have a good meal for your family and you don't have to spend hours in the kitchen in order to have a real home cooked meal from scratch.  Time is precious to me, so I don't want to waste any of it.

Friday, August 21, 2015

It Smells So Good In Here!

For Mother's Day this year, David wanted to take me to a shop to buy a couple of dresses.  I told him I really didn't need any right now, and had kind of been thinking about making some candles, but I needed about $100 to get the supplies.  So instead of a new dress, I got candle making supplies for Mother's Day!  I was so excited!  I placed the order and the next week my box arrived.  I had everything I needed to make about 24 candles.  I thought, "Cool!  I'll make me some candles and maybe a few for Mom, and Krista (my awesome sister-in-law).  I can give away some at church and to neighbors!  This is gonna be fun!"

I posted on Facebook that I was making candles, and it just got crazy from there!  Next thing you know, everyone is wanting to know how much they are and do I sell them, etc.  I had orders for candles I hadn't even made yet.  So I set a price and made some labels and there started Aunt Sissy's Scent-sational Soy Candles!

As of today, I've probably sold about 200 candles and have about 24 scents.  After a special request for soy wax melts, I also started making those in clam shell molds. I've shipped candles and melts out to a bunch of different states.

I will say, that I LOVE making candles!  It's very relaxing!  It's also very time consuming, but I enjoy the quiet moments, late at night, after the kids have gone to bed.  It's just me, in the kitchen, making sweet smelling candles, and during the wait times for the wax to heat up and then cool back down, I can catch up on reading, or spend time with the Lord, praying and reading my Bible.

The best part of making candles is the smell it gives my house!  I love it on "Candle Day" when I'm making candles and the scents are filling the air!  Clean Cotton, Strawberry Shortcake, Pumpkin Souffle and Vanilla!  Mmmmm!  The boys will come in from outside and say, "It smells so good in here, Mom!"  They love it when I'm making candles.  In fact, the other day, I started cooking dinner and Josiah came over and said, "Mom, are you making candles?"  I said, "No, I'm making dinner."  He said, "NOOOOOOO!  You're making candles!"  That boy!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Little Bit About Me

Well, for many years now, I've had people tell me, "You should start a blog!" so many times and I was always hesitant, thinking, "No one wants to hear about me!"  But, reluctantly, I have decided to go ahead and jump right in, if nothing else, just to keep a record for myself of my families happenings and things I'm doing.

For starters, here's a little about me:  I'm a 45 year old mother of four boys .... yes, I said four BOYS! I've been married for over 21 years to my best friend, David.  He is the Pastor of Lighthouse Baptist Church.  I love being married and I love mothering and homeschooling our four boys.  I love being a Pastor's Wife, even though there are many ups and downs in our life, there are way more ups than downs and I love being able to serve the Lord.  I volunteer at our church two days a week by working in the office. I like a clean house, but most of the time I'm terrible at making that happen. I like to bake, craft, make candles, use coupons, go thrift store and garage sale shopping and I have a store on Ebay where I sell items I make and buy.  So my life is pretty busy, but I wouldn't have it any other way!  Busy is good!


After 14 years of marriage with no kids, we decided to adopt (a story I will completely tell in a later post) and so we got a late start at being parents, but we have been blessed with some of the best kids in the world!

Nathan is our oldest and he's 13.  He loves to ride his bike and be outdoors.  He loves all the things his daddy loves, like hunting, camping, and drag races.  He's got such a sweet nature about him and he loves his little brothers.

Noah is 11 and he's our little reader.  Since the age of 4, he has been an avid reader and reads during most of his free time.  He loves books and going to the library.

Joshua was actually our first child and he is 7.  He's very active and loving and likes to play with his little brother and his cousins.  He loves spending time with his Nana.

Josiah is our youngest at 4.  He's such a sweet (and stubborn) boy!  He loves to play outside with his best friend, Beckett, and he loves to swim.  He's not afraid of anything (except big dogs) and so we have to watch him close!
This picture pretty much sums up our crazy life!  


I hope to share some of  my daily activities and things our family does together.  I enjoy looking on the bright side of things and being a positive person.  There is so much negativity in the world and I try to surround myself with positive-thinking people.

                                                                      Angela Grice

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