Thursday, September 29, 2011

Beefy Calzones

I have a  recipe for you....because it's on my menu of things to make within the next week or so, and apparently there's a few of you out there who have missed my regular recipe posting! =)  Roast is on sale this week, so I'll be stocking up and roasting for future recipes like this one......

These calzones are always a hit with my family. =)  I make my own pizza dough and double the sauce to make sure we have plenty for dipping. I also frequently toss in 1 cup of frozen green pepper/ red pepper/ onion blend instead of the onion and bell pepper called for. I have made them with ground beef, but our *favorite* way is with leftover roast beef. Either way, they're good! These freeze well also.  Try them.  You'll like them.  If you don't, your kids will! ; )

Beefy Calzones

Beefy Calzones. Photo by Sweet Diva


    • 1 lb ground beef or 1 lb beef roast 
    • 1/4 cup onions, finely chopped
    • 1/4 cup bell peppers, finely chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
    • 1/2 cup A-1 Steak Sauce
    • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
    • 2 (11 ounce) packages refrigerated pizza dough
    • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded ( 8 oz.)


  1. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, cook beef, onion, pepper and garlic until beef is no longer pink, stirring to break up meat;drain.
  2. Keep warm.
  3. In small skillet, over medium-high heat, heat tomato sauce, steak sauce & Italian seasoning to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  5. Stir 1 cup tomato sauce mixture into beef mixture; set aside.
  6. Keep remaining tomato sauce mixture warm. Unroll pizza dough from 1 package; divide into 4 equal pieces.
  7. Roll each piece into 6 square; spoon 1/3 cup reserved beef mixture onto center of each square.
  8. Top with ¼ cup cheese.
  9. Fold dough over to form triangle.
  10. Press edges together, sealing well with tines of a fork.

  1. Repeat with remaining dough, filling & cheese to make a total of 8 calzones.
  2. Bake at 400* for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Serve with warm sauce. Garnish as desired. Serves 8.
     Notice my new banner?  Come back next Thursday for another recipe.....I've put myself on schedule! =)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

40 Days for Life

Sept. 28 - Nov. 6

"If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." 
~ 2 Chronicles 7:14

I've been trying to slowly get back on schedule with my blog posts (really, I have!) for several weeks, and get back on schedule with two of my favorite link-ups at Mom's Mustard Seeds and Faith Barista.  The fall-out of being involved in so many activities, taking trips right before our school year began, school actually beginning, trying to put ideas for Sweet Diva (blog, store, classes) into action and schedule new sewing classes among scheduling my own children's extra-curricular activities has made my brain feel like the ball being thrown furiously about in a pinball machine!

I heard about the 40 Days for Life organization a while back and have been wanting to participate in the next campaign since.  I almost missed it, but thankfully, through a friend's Facebook post, I didn't. =)

There are few issues that I feel as passionately about than abortion and the sanctity of human life.  So passionately, in fact, that I find it hard to discuss or debate about in person because my emotions get the better of me and I end up sounding like a bumbling idiot! ; ) I think I might sound like a bumbling idiot more often than just on passionate issues =), but there's something about writing that allows me to express myself in the way I intend....and find that it has become an outlet that helps the quiet, shy side of myself ~ who is often intimidated at putting myself in the spotlight ~ find my voice.

Today, I begin participating in a commitment to prayer and fasting ~ taking action for those who cannot defend themselves, taking action Biblically and peacefully to make a difference in the fight for LIFE.  What better issue to bring me out of my fog and get my blog back on track?

I have always been passionate about this fight, but once God took me from a young woman who wasn't sure she would have children (fear and insecurity over my abilities be a good mother) to a calling that has so blessed and consumed my heart and soul, the fight became even more personal.  I love being a Mom, I love children......and what our society & culture is doing breaks my heart.

As I begin this 40 day journey, I am prepared for a closer walk with my Lord and call on His name for change and protection for His weakest, most fragile little ones that are at the mercy of those whose actions can take their precious lives.  It's not too late to join me, even if you're reading this after the official journey has begun......jump in when you can.  The sincere efforts and prayers of God's people are not limited to our program dates and times and will not return void.  

Let me know if you do join our vigil.  I'd love to encourage you!


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

♫♪ A Very Sweet Music Tote ♪♫

I've had this music tote in my head for way too long, and finally forced myself to make time to actually make it!  Perhaps I shouldn't have used my favorite colors for it.....I think I might keep this one for myself! ; )

It measures approximately 13" wide x 14" high, has two outer pockets, is fully lined in black and has 4 roomy inner pockets in the ♥hot pink♥ contrasting fabric.  ♥Hot Pink♥ makes me happy, but other colors are just a request away! =) =) =)

It took me a while to find music note fabric that I actually liked and once I did, it was quilted by yours truly! The tote has a heavy weight inner lining so it will stand up to whatever you might want to put in it {music, perhaps? ; ) }!  I think I will put music in it, but might even use it for other things as well.....because I like it that much!!

 The back looks just like the front, only without the embroidery.

A view of the inside & my favorite ♥hot pink♥ fabric (did I ever mention that I like ♥hot pink♥?)! =) 

My favorite part of this tote is the embroidery on it, but it's not the only option available!  As always, I love special requests! ; )  Here are a few other designs I came up with......I had a hard time deciding which one to use.....which one is your favorite?

I don't think Blogger wanted me to do this post today....I have spent a ridiculous amount of time getting these photos to load right side up!!  So, if you're reading this, feel free to comment....any comment {as long as it's rated "G" ; ) } to reward me for my efforts....if I wasn't determined to lose a few pounds, I would be having a therapy session with lots of chocolate right now! ; )

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

And whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. ~ Colossians 3:17

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Linking up with:

PhotobucketGet Your Craft On Tuesday
handmade projects

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Baby Gators Need To Snuggle...... I made something new for them, even though I'm not a Gator......because I try to be ♥sweet♥ and thoughtful like that! ; )

This very ♥Sweet♥ little rag quilt is perfect for the baby destined to become a little Gator!! You're never too young to start showing off your team spirit....even if your colors ARE orange & blue! ; )

It features nine three-piece squares ~ 2 focal prints, a flannel layer in the center and minky dot on the back. Each square except the center embroidered square has been sewn with the traditional "X" to achieve the quilted effect. Center minky square has been embroidered with the phrase, "It's Good To Be A Gator Girl. I can also do a name or inital monogram if desired.

All exposed seams have been hand clipped, and the quilt has been washed once in mild, non-toxic detergent to initiate the a ragged and frayed, Shabby-Chic look that we all love.

Approximate measurements are 18" x 18", which is the perfect size for a little one's special "Lovey" or security blanket (won't drag on the ground!), or even to use as a changing pad in an emergency. :)

These little "Loveys" have been so popular, and are so fun to make....even for teams that I may or may not cheer for....and I even have coordinating burp cloths in the works!  I have to admit it IS cute & living in Gator country, I felt the pressure to get this one out first....... but rest assured, a red and black version will be coming soon!! =)

It's Crafty Tuesday, and I'm linking up with all my Crafty Friends! =)

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

And whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. ~ Colossians 3:17

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Linking up with:

PhotobucketGet Your Craft On Tuesday
handmade projects

Monday, September 12, 2011

Multitude Monday: Gifts 350 - 362

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." 
~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

350.  cooler weather (90 degrees is better than 100 + !!)

351.  2 Etsy orders.....just in time

352.  oversleeping (not good for my planned schedule, but desperately needed!!)

353.  wondering why the house was so quiet, and then finding out (three kids, separated.....each in a quiet spot & in deep concentration ~ Bible and devotional books open ♥)

354.  My husband in his Awanas shirt (because few things are as attractive as a man serving the Lord)

355.  The beach at dusk

356.  Dinner picnics at #355

357.  The way the moon shimmers on the water as the waves tumble into the shore

358.  A grateful heart for those who sacrifice everything....

359.  ....for the freedoms we have in our country

360.  Days of remembrance,

361.  the courage to move ahead after crippling tragedies,

362.  and the Hope we have in Christ of the days to come, for all who have been redeemed by His Grace.

"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."
Rev. 21:4

Saturday, September 10, 2011

"Every Time I Breathe" ~ Big Daddy Weave

Have you ever experienced this ~  you sometimes hear a song over and over as you frenetically make your way through life, but never really HEAR the words on a deeper level?  As a person who is most often drawn to the words of a song & the depth of the message it carries, it always surprises me when I finally really HEAR a song that I've listened to, and even sung along to, countless times.

Last Friday night, our family went to the last Jacksonville Suns game of the season.  It was Family Faith night, and after the game, we were treated to fireworks and a concert by Big Daddy Weave.   My husband got off work late and we briefly considered changing our plans, but decided to go anyway.....because, after all, we're talking fireworks & a free concert!!  We arrived after the 4th inning, which worked out quite well for me...... I only had to sit through five innings ; ) , we ended up paying no parking fee, and we paid a discounted entrance fee ~ $12 for all five of us. =)  The five innings was enough for the kids and myself, and we still got to see the concert at the end.

The most valuable part of my night ~~  hearing and singing the words of this song for the first time with not just my ears, but with my heart as well ~  and then turning to see my 11 yr. old son singing them, too.....eyes closed and face lifted heavenward, every part of him worshipping with sincere praise to his Savior. ♥

I pray he never loses that love he has now and I pray, that as the song says, I will live the love I have for the Lord every day of my a gift of devotion and thankfulness to for His Grace and Mercy......and as an example to the ones He has entrusted to my care.

"Every Time I Breathe" by Big Daddy Weave

I am sure all of heaven’s heard me cry
As I tell You all the reasons why this life is just too hard
But day by day, without fail I’m finding everything I need
In everything that You are to me
Every time I breathe You seem a little bit closer
I never wanna leave I wanna stay in Your warm embrace
Oh basking in the glory shining from Your face and
Every time I get another glimpse of Your heart
I realize it’s true, that You are so marvelous God
And I am so in love with You
Yeah, so in love with You
Now how could I, after knowing one so great
Respond to You in any way that’s less than all I have to give
But by Your grace, I wanna love You not with what I say but everyday
In the way that my life is lived
Wrapped in Your mercy I wanna live and never leave
I am held by how humble, yet overwhelmed by Your majesty
Captured by grace now I’m finding I am free
You are marvelous God and knowing You is everything

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Is Anybody Still With Me????

I know......I disappeared.

I've been tired (exhausted).  Sick.  Tired.  Busy.  Tired.  Overwhelmed.  Tired.

Do you see a trend here? ; )

I've logged on to Blogger many times.  And stared at the screen wanting to post, but what do you post when the words won't come?

You don't.  Or, I don't.

You stare at the screen, you read some posts from your favorite blogs, and you stare at that blank screen some more.......and then, you log off.  Because you can't bring yourself to post when there's no inspiration ~~ or, maybe there is, but it's behind a closed door......waiting for healing, for a rested and rejuvenated spirit, for the fog to lift so that the words that are there can find their way to your fingertips again.

Perhaps the fog is clearing a little, because here I am.  Perhaps the door has been unlocked, but it's not completely open.

Today, we're headed for a day in the country.  Or, as close as we can get.  A day ahead to spend with the ♥sweetest♥ kind of ♥friends♥ favorite ones.  The ones that just "get" you without even trying, the ones that you don't have to explain yourself to because their hearts are so much like yours.  A day of fresh air, sunshine, laughter and fun.  A day of breathing deeply & enjoying wide, open spaces......of watching my kids hang out with their favorite friends, too, and delighting in their freedom to run, play, and be loud and rambunctious without fear of disturbing neighbors whose houses are too close and ears too sensitive to the noise that healthy kids make.

A cake is baked.  Picnic packed.  And three kids whom I adore are anxiously asking, "Mom, can we leave soon?!  We don't want to be late!!"

Mom doesn't want to be late, either.

Just wanted to slip you a note under that let you know I didn't disappear for good. ; )

Claiming this verse this week, because I know the promises in His Word to be true, and rest my weary soul in the rejuvenating comfort of His love and grace:

"For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every languishing and sorrowful soul.” 
Jeremiah 36:25