Sunday, 4 December 2016

Sunday morning this and that . . .


The other day I put my name into Google Search just for the heck of it to see what came up.  It was a very interesting exercise.  Tons of stuff came up.  Some of it related to me, and some of it not related to me.   For instance, I am an artist who likes food.  That's good.  But there is also someone with my name who is a child murderer and another person with my name who was arrested for doing naughties in a hot tub.  The mind boggles.  There were interviews I had done for a variety of food sites, as well as my facebook page, linkedin page, etc.

There are boards with my name on them on Pinterest, and calling me an artist.  That is nice.


To be considered an artist, that is . . . .

 There are obituaries and all sorts.  It's an interesting exercise to do.  The images are even wilder.

There's food, there's art, there's a few pictures of me, there's a half naked woman barbequing chicken . . .  there's this.

I can tell you . . . I've looked worse. 

Don't get me started on the news.  Clearly I am common, or at least have something in common with people I don't want to have anything in common with!

You see some cute things on facebook.  This is one I saw yesterday.   Cute little kitty gif.  I like that it sparkles and snows and the cat is being naughty.

I had never seen a hotdog fly . . .  but now I have.   Clearly I have too much time on my hands . . .

But it's not all bad.

There's some pretty nice stuff also . . .  I love the silence after a heavy snow  . . .  or even better when the snow is actually falling heavily.  Just to stand outside the door and let it collect on your nose and eyelashes . . . have you ever heard the term deafening silence?  That's it . . .



Some things make me smile and even laugh at times.   Probably because they speak to that part of me that can't be trusted around an open bag of potato chips or a cake that's been cut into.  Heck, I can't even be trusted around a cake that hasn't been cut into  . . .

There are videos that make you think.  Videos that make you laugh.  Videos that make you cry and smile and everything in between.

I tell myself I have it because I want to stay in touch with my children . . . but that's not really true.  You could take the children completely off there and I would still be there because I have friends.

855 friends.   Umm . . . not sure I know all of them, or where some of them came from.  But they are there all the same.  My mother would call it a great time waster and she is probably right.  It is.  But I like it.  MOST of the time.

Don't get me started on one of the greatest time wasters of all . . . . Pinterest.  I could spend hours on there . . .  looking and saving . . .  collecting.   Its a safe and cheap way to collect things.  You are free to obsess and compile your obsessions in categories galore.  If you love it, you can have it  all tucked away in a multitude of boards that speak to what?  Our whimsical side?

I prefer to think of it as whimsy rather than gluttony.  But in all truth, it is a bit gluttonous.  I will never ever have enough time left in my life to cook all the recipes I have collected on there, or make all the crafts, or  . . .  well, you get the point.

But it's fun.

Family Fresh Meals.   I can't eat corn anymore, but if I could I would be loving this.  It looks so good.   Drool and click.  You don't really need cookbooks anymore do you?  Its all there for us to look at and collect in a place where you don't have to dust it or step over it.

And I have other fetishes . . .

Not to mention Downton Abby, Cranford, Little House, Waltons, Midwife,  anything even remotely tied to Christmas or cheese  . . .

Cooking.  Crafting.  Daydreaming . . . oh, I do know how to waste time in the most deliciously delightful  ways.  What are some of your time wasters?


Actually I have never met a salad I didn't like . . . 

Its hard to believe that in just 10 days time our mission will be finished.  The 18 months has gone by rather quickly.   It seems like we were only just beginning it and now here we are looking at the end of it.  The time is right however, with Todd's illness etc.  We have enjoyed it very much however and would do it again in a heartbeat.  I am not sure how much we accomplished, but the ways in which we have grown are immeasurable.  And I am thankful for that.

This is the first Sunday of the month and I promised I would bear my testimony on the first Sunday o the month throughout my mission and since this is the last time I will have the opportunity to do that here it goes  . . .

I love my Heavenly Father very much.  Knowing that I am His daughter is amazing.  Believing that I am His daughter is life changing.   How could you ever be the same person once you come to believe that is true?  You just couldn't.   It somehow gives you a strength and a courage you never knew you had.  It  brings endless possibility into your life . . . it morphs you into this amazing creature who can do anything and be anything, but mostly can become the best that you can be.  It is empowering and inspiring.  I am so grateful for this knowledge.

We are all His children.   Knowing that we are all His children helps me to look at others in a different light.   To see their potential as He sees their potential, to love them even when they can't or don't love themselves, and even when they behave in ways that are hurtful or sad. 

I love my Saviour Jesus Christ.  I am forever grateful for His great gift to us in the Atonement.  Because of Him, I can return to my Heavenly Home.  By Following His example and teachings, I can be a better me.

I feel of my Heavenly Father and Saviour's love every day of my life.   I cannot explain it.  It is not something I can give anyone else, but something which they have to want to find for themselves.  I wish everyone could feel the way I do.   It does not mean that I am not sometimes sad, or that I don't sometimes think life is unfair, or unkind . . . or that I don't have moments when I want to crawl into my mama's lap and have a good cry, but it does mean that I know I am never alone and it brings me hope.   I know that even if today is dark and sad and if I am hurting, that tomorrow can be and will be brighter, if I can just hang on that little bit longer, even if it takes a lifetime.  That despite any sadness I might feel, I can also feel an immeasurable amount of light, which can overwhelm the darkness into oblivion.

God is good.  God is just.  God is merciful and kind.  He loves us.  All of us.  No matter what.  No matter when. You cannot sink lower than His infinite capacity to lift you up.   He knows each of us by name.  We matter to Him in a way which is incomprehensible, and yet . . . it is true and unchanging.  I am grateful for that.

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Everyday Maple, Bran and Sultana Muffins.  Seriously tasty.

Have a beautiful sabbath day.   Be kind.  Be blessed.  Be happy.  Know that  . . .

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And I do too!

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Saturday ponderings . . .

Hello December  . . . the month of the longest night and the shortest day . . .

Drearily wrapped in a sombre cloak of grey . . . after all the colour of October and November  . . .  were it not for the gift of Christmas,  we might think you most unlovely . . .

Amidst the grey and ice crystals lurks the "most wonderful time of the year" . . .

With hanging stars and garnished branch . . . and hearth fires all aglow

Sugar . . .  spice  . . .  and candlelight  . . .

Long held traditions  . . . and love for mankind . . .  family and friend and even foe  . . .

light and love  . . .  love and light . . .


hearts burn afresh with the milk of human kindness . . .

hands open to give and to receive . . . oh drear December, unlovely in some ways but ever welcome for she comes to bring  . . .

The greatest Gift of all  . . .

From God to man  . . .  that greatest gift most precious. . . the Birthday of the King . . .from December's hand we take this gift most wonderful, which crowns the end of the year . . .

the Christmas miracle . . .

God  bless us  . . . every . . . one . . .

A thought to carry with you through the day  . . .

All that is of God encompasses love, light, and truth. Yet as human beings we live in a fallen world, sometimes full of darkness and confusion. It comes as no surprise that mistakes will be made, injustices will occur, and sins will be committed. As a result, there is not a soul alive who will not, at one time or another, be the victim to someone else’s careless actions, hurtful conduct, or even sinful behavior. That is one thing we all have in common. ~Elder Kevin R Duncan 
Spiritual Enlightenment


In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Hazelnut and Chocolate Crumb Cake.  Yum!

Have a fabulous Saturday.  May it be filled with light.  Don't forget  . . .

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And I do too!

Friday, 2 December 2016

My Friday Finds

A few of the things I find each week which pique my curiosity or inspire me to want to do something, create something, cook something, or become a better person! I hope they will pique your curiosity or inspire you in some way as well!

A really simple Nativity Scene you can put together using Craft Sticks.  I really love the simplicity of this.  From Rhythms of Play.  A complete Tutorial.

How to manage Credit Card Debt.  Some great tips.  Credit Card Debt can be a real anchor around the neck.  Been there, done that.  Will never do that again.  Lesson learnt.

 Printable Holiday Box.  From Crafts U Print.

Reindeer Book Marks.  No instructions, but inspiration only.  From All Inked Up.  There is also a candy cane holder and a few other bits and bobs.

Great British Chefs.  Turkey and Stuffing Sausage Rolls.   Oh boy these look good!


Insanely fast and easy crochet Christmas Trees.  From All Free Crochet.

From Daily Crochet.  Crochet angels.  I have made these before and they are easy and quick to make and look so pretty on the tree.

Paper Baubles from Mark Montano.  A complete Tutorial.

 From Hello Wonderful.  Free Printable Christmas Favour Boxes.  These are so cute.

Mary Martha Mama.   Buffalo Check Pillow cases wth ties.  I love these!


 Sadie Seasoned Goods.  Cute ornaments made from vintage tea strainers and chandelier crystals.  These are so pretty.  A complete tutorial.


  Inkstruck Studio.  Free downloadable printable water colour Christmas Cards.  These are lovely.


 Cuckoo 4 Design.  A free download  for these lovely poster board snowflakes.

 Make your own Wallet from Paper Scraps.  Gathering Beauty. 


A tutorial for painting water colour roses using watercolour pencils.  From Total Art Soul.  


Christmas Fireplace Decorating Ideas from Country Living.


 Boost your self esteem.   I don't know anyone who couldn't benefit from this.  We could all stand a bit of inspiration and help.

Book Bub.

And those are my finds for this week. I hope you found something of value that you can use. I find lots more than this, but these are things I think you just might like. I hope that you did!

A thought to carry with you . . .

Don't be afraid to fail.
Be afraid not to try.

Spiritual Enlightenment

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Baked Chicken Tetrazzini.  Delicious!

Have a great Friday! Don't forget!

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And I do too!

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Raindrops on Roses . . .


These are a few of my favourite things . . .

I love Craftsy.  Sewing, knitting, painting, etc.  They have tutorials, online classes, patterns, supplies, etc.  If it has anything to do with crafting, its there.

If you like DIY and crafting, you will love Tatertots & Jello.  Run by my friend Jennifer Hadfield its a great resource for all of those things, decorating for the holidays, etc.  Plus she is a really nice person.  Wife, mother of four, daughter, friend.  She is an amazing gal.  Lots of freebies and plenty of inspiration to be found on this page.  When I flew out to Utah almost 8 years ago now, Jen and her mom met me at the airport.  They were so cute.

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That was just one of my favourite trips ever.

I'm a bit of a latecomer to Instagram, but I love it.  Whatever your interest, there is plenty there to inspire.    (You can follow me @marierayner5530 )  If you like Calligraphy, you can follow people who do that and they post little videos and tutorials, etc.  If you like cooking, there is PLENTY of that.  If you like art, plenty of inspiration.  If you just like people watching, there is loads of that as well.  Whatever interests you have, its there.  I love it!

You don't have to be a Mormon to enjoy the Mormon Channel.  And watching it won't turn you in to one.  It is filled with lots of music, videos, television shows, radio shows, commercial free music, etc.  Right now you can see Handel's Messiah performed by the Tabernacle Choir in its entirety.  It is a wealth of good values filled entertainment.  There is stuff there for kids, for teens, for us oldies.   I watch it/listen to it  a lot.


Martha Stewart.  I was always a big fan of her television show and her magazine.  I have several of her cookery books.  Her website is a wealth of knowledge about just about everything you can cook, make, bake, etc.  She might be difficult to work with, I don't know.  You can't believe everything you read.   I like her.  I had fond memories of watching her show with my daughter Eileen.  We called it Home Economics. 


Her Homekeeping Handbook holds a wealth of information about anything to do with keeping a home.  It's my go-to reference for everything.  Stain care, making beds, etc.  If it has to do with keeping a home, its in there!  One of my favourite and most valued books.

Seriously.  You need this book.

Land O Lakes Baking Recipe Pages.  This is one of my favourite baking pages.  The recipes always work and there is everything you need to know about baking there.  I have been a huge fan for a long time now.

Taste of Home.  When I lived in Canada I was a big fan of the magazine and their books, and now I am a big fan of their page.    Lots of cooking inspiration there.

BBC Good Food.  I love the magazine and I love their books, their channel, their webpage, their recipes, their cooking shows.  When I lived down South I used to go to The Good Food Show every year and have a ball.  With live demonstrations and an endless multitude of booths pertaining with everything to do with food/cooking/etc.  They were always great fun.


Canadian Living.     You can take the girl out of Canada, but you can't take Canada out of the girl.  I subscribed to the magazine for several years after I moved over here, but then it got too cost prohibitive to do so.   I still visit the page when I am feeling homesick and longing for inspiration.  Some of my best recipes came from Canadian Living.   But it's not just food, there are decorating tips, etc.  It's just a great site.  I love Oprah.   I wish we still got her show over here.  I watched her for years and years and years.  Since the very beginning.  There was just something about her that spoke to my heart and still does.

I like Ellen too.  But Oprah was always my favourite.

And those are a few of my favourite things for this week! What are some of your favourite sites to look at? Lets share!!!

 The best I could do for glitter nails this year!  I will look earlier next year and start a lot earlier!

A thought to carry with you through today . . .

The greatest prison
people live in
is the fear
of what others think.

Spiritual Enlightenment 

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Easy Drop Danish, along with my recipe for my very own homemade baking mix. Useful for all sorts and no preservatives.

Have a great Thursday.  The Elders are coming for supper tonight.  Not sure what I am going to cook yet, but it will be tasty at any rate.  I always pull out the stops!   Stay safe and stay happy, don't forget . . .

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 And I do too!