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We just returned from another amazing trip. This time we ventured into Portugal. We spent a week in the most south-western point in a village called Sagres. Unfortunately, it was extremely windy and on the cool side so we were unable to spend everyday at the beach, as I had envisioned. However, we made some wonderful memories with the kids.

It’s a Miracle . . . Berry.

As you may know, Matt is a finder of things. Cool things. New things. Techie things. Blue things. Sometimes he tells me about things like Fury Cows, Wampa Ice Scrapers, Hamburger stuffers, and the most awesome golf clubs. He helps keep me “in the know,” you know? His latest find is called the Miracle Berry. I admit, when he told me about this berry, I was not interested in it. It makes sour or bitter food palatable.

Limes. You can eat a lime after you eat a berry. Grapefruit too. And vinegar, if you are wondering.

Matt bought a package of Mberry. Thanks to modern technology, the berry comes in a tablet. You chew it and let it coat your tongue. Then you can eat all that food that you would otherwise not eat. Gavin said the tablet tasted weird. So it took him a few minutes just to chew it up.

We tested the berry out. Matt put together a platter of food to experiment with. And vinegar. I have to say that this is a very curious berry/tablet. I ate a lime like it was a strawberry. The vinegar had a sweetness that I cannot describe. However, I will say that the smell of the food item remains. Just before I took a sip of vinegar, I inhaled the vinegar in my cup. Bad idea! I recovered and then took a sip. I warned everyone else to NOT smell the vinegar first.

It’s such trickery! Your nose, your brain, and your tastebuds just will not agree with one another.

If you see Mberry or miracle berry, you may want to experiment with it, too.

Tapas or Appetizers?


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The other day we decided to eat out for dinner. Walldorf is a town just down the road from us and has a few restaurants along the shopping area. Matt and I felt daring and decided on La Tortuga. It’s a Spanish Restaurant and has a nice ambiance. I’d been there before with a friend and I had enjoyed it. So, I was excited to bring the family there to try Tapas. When we got the menus I realized that Tapas probably wouldn’t be a great idea after all. The look […]

DIY: Corn Tortillas

To prevent drying during pressing, cover with a clean, damp towel.

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Last year we bought another kitchen gadget. The tortilla press. I have to admit, I absolutely love this little guy. You can use it for much more than corn tortillas. I have also used it to make pitas. And what’s not to like? You make a ball and then smash it down. It’s a lot like playing with play-doh. That’s probably why the kids like using the press. Homemade corn tortillas are worth it! 1. They are so easy to make. 2. There are only two ingredients: Masa Harina & […]

My New Friend

DSC03370This is a photo of my new best friend. It is a strong anti-acid that is helping my stomach heal. Thanks to each small tablet, I am able to eat without constant burning pain all day long.




If you know me at all, you know that I am a very trendy person. I am all about what is and what is not hot.

Just foolin’. I had you going there for a sec didn’t I?

I am, however, superbly keen on some of the newest trends that are ridiculous, dumb, hideous, and nonsensical. The kind that make you laugh out loud or perhaps you hear a slight whimper and realize that it escaped from your own lips.

For example, when traveling a couple of years ago from Athens to Frankfurt, I actually saw a woman wearing “Hammer pants.” Let me refresh your memory “Du du du du, du du, du du. Can’t touch this!” Apparently M.C. Hammer’s pants made a small comeback in Europe that year. I saw them several times. Continue reading

Ollie Chandler Collection

Ollie Chandler Collection

Title: Ollie Chandler Collection
Author: Randy Alcorn
Genre: , ,
Description: This series of books covers life in Oregon for newspaper columnist Jake Woods, his friends, coworker Clarence Abernathy, and, of course, Detective Ollie Chandler. The series kicks off with Deadline, where Jake Woods has to deal with his beliefs as he struggles with the murder of his two best friends. This is followed by Dominion, where Clarence Abernathy also struggles with faith and doubt, while dealing with issues of racism, gang violence and the murder of his sister. Finally, the series closes out with Deception, where Detective Ollie Chandler has to deal with what he believes while investigating the murder of a university professor.

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Whit’s End Mealtime Devotions


Title: Whit’s End Mealtime Devotions
Author: Crystal Bowman, Tricia Goyer
Genre: ,
Description: This is a series of 90 devotions designed to be used throughout mealtime with your family. It is broken down into 64 "anytime" devotions, 15 "holiday" devotions and 11 "theme" devotions. Each of these follow the same basic layout: 1. Mealtime Prayer - a prayer based on the day's devotion 2. Appetizer - a tidbit of information to peak interest 3. Main Course - a small "byte" to further peak your interest, followed by a scripture reading 4. Table Talk - questions for discussion 5. Vitamins and Minerals - a short, close-out scripture

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Pure Joy

Do you like Almond Joys? Or Mounds? Or Bounty?

If so, this is the recipe for you. I couldn’t pass this one up. It is as healthy as you are going to get, when indulging in a candy bar. It even has the Matt stamp of approval. So, you just know they rock!

These are so easy that I also made these for Cookie Wednesday, along with those yummy Chocolate Crispy Bars.

Pure Joy

Pure Joy


  1. 2 cups finely shredded, unsweetened coconut
  2. 1/3 maple syrup
  3. 12 whole almonds
  4. 6 oz. dark chocolate, melted
  5. 1 tablespoon coconut oil


  1. Place coconut and maple syrup in the bowl of a food processor. Process for 2 minutes, until coconut is very moist and is firm enough to keep a shape.
  2. Place a cooling rack on top of a large baking sheet. Using your hands, take about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the mixture and form it into an oval. Place on the cooling rack. Repeat with remaining coconut. Place an almond on top of each coconut mound.
  3. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and coconut oil and mix until smooth. Using a large spoon, drizzle enough chocolate over each mound to cover. Refrigerate for 10 minutes until firm. You can dip the bottoms in the remaining chocolate. Turn upside down on rack and refrigerate again. En-Joy!

The right kind of coconut is key here – finely shredded, unsweetened. I could not find this type and had to substitute it with shredded, sweetened coconut. It worked, but not well, as they photo clearly shows. This recipe yields 12 bundles of joy. However, I only produced 9. Mine were a little larger due to the coconut problem. But they still taste amazing!