StrawberryI saw this idea on Pinterest and thought it looked like an easy-to-make treat for the Fourth of July!
These are just chocolate dipped strawberries with a dab of sugar sprinkles.

Here’s what I used:
-Two containers of strawberries (about 40 pieces)
-One 11 ounce package of Ghirardelli white chocolate baking chips
-About 5 ounces of blue sugar sprinkles
-Wax paper

Here’s what I did:
Washed and dried the strawberries

Melted the white chocolate chips. You can do this on the stove top or in the microwave. I used the microwave, in 15 second intervals, stirring in between until the chocolate had a smooth consistency. Be sure not to overheat. The chocolate should not be hot, just warm enough to be melted.

Dip the strawberry into the chocolate about 2/3 of the way up, and set on wax paper. Because these will be set on their sides, the chocolate will solidify with a flat bottom. This can be a good thing because they will sit nicely on a plate without rolling all around. However, if you’d rather they be evenly dipped on all sides, you might try to find a way to hang them while the chocolate hardens. Hmmm… As I’m typing, I was thinking that maybe Barbie could help us out with this if only she had some little clothespins we could borrow… Whoops, thinking out loud again! But seriously, a strawberry hanging apparatus is an interesting idea, and one that I’ll have to look into next time!

Okay, back to work. As the chocolate cools, it will begin to harden. When the consistency is still a bit sticky, gently roll the bottom 1/3 of the strawberry in the blue sugar and set again on wax paper. I found that gently rolling works a bit better than plunging it into the sugar, as the latter method causes the chocolate to kind of bunch up on the end.

So basically, this is a two-dip process. It works best if you dip in small batches so you can get to the sugar before the chocolate solidifies completely. If the chocolate is completely solid by the time you get to the sugar dip, you can apply a bit of warm water to the bottom third to melt it just enough so the sugar will stick.

Once I got the timing down for the second dip, the process went pretty smoothly. These are easy to make and will provide a colorful dessert for your Fourth of July Celebration!

Strawberry-plate

On the journey toward Home,

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Homesick

by Lynn on June 22, 2015

Homesick

Today marks eight years since my mom went to be with the Lord and I still miss her every day. And while the grief has softened over time, her absence leaves a conspicuous void in my life. I catch myself longing to call her—to hear her voice and to talk with her again. I yearn for those familiar encouraging words, or the gentle wisdom she was gifted with. I want to tell her about my day and to hear about hers. I miss the maternal connection, now broken by death, and life is just not the same without her here.

But the sting of death just reminds me that this world is not my home. I was designed to live in a place where God dwells and my soul longs to be there. For Christ followers, this yearning for home will one day be satisfied. Jesus said that all those who put their trust in him are destined for eternal life, and the fulfillment of that promise is the hope of our salvation. It is the promise God makes to bring us back into his presence. And we’ll not only be reunited with him, but with each other as well.

The Christian band MercyMe sings about this temporary separation between believers and the glorious reunion we look forward to. In essence, we feel a bit homesick.

A few years ago while Christmas shopping, I found the little embroidered tea towel, pictured above. It had such a sweet sentiment that I gave it to my sister for Christmas. A variation of “home is where the heart is,” the stitching reads “Home is where your Mom is.” Once I thought about it, I found the sentiment pretty accurate! My home is in heaven and my mom is already there, so home really is where my mom is—and I can’t wait to get home!

On the journey toward Home,

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Remembering Those Who Sacrificed All

by Lynn on May 24, 2015

Memorial-DayOver this Memorial Day weekend, we honor the brave men and women of our military who sacrificed all to secure and maintain the freedoms we enjoy.

President Bush had some poignant words for this day in 2003.

On Memorial Day, Americans place flags on military graves, walk past a wall of black granite in Washington, D.C., and many families think of a face and voice they miss so much. Today, we honor the men and women who have worn the nation’s uniform and were last seen on duty. From the battles of Iraq and Afghanistan, to the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam, to the trials of World War, to the struggles that made us a nation, today we recall that liberty is always the achievement of courage.

And today we remember all who have died, all who are still missing and all who mourn. And on this day, especially, our nation is grateful to the brave and fallen defenders of freedom. In every generation of Americans we have found courage equal to the tasks of our country. The farms and small towns and city streets of this land have always produced free citizens who assume the discipline and duty of military life. And time after time, they have proven that the moral force of democracy is mightier than the will and cunning of any tyrant. – George W. Bush, Arlington National Cemetery, May 26, 2003

While we enjoy the company of family and friends this weekend, let us pause to remember those who never made it home to their own families. May we also remember those who returned home wounded and broken, and to pray for healing of all service members and their families who continue to mourn.

On the journey toward Home,

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pink bridal bouquetIn today’s Do-it-Yourself world, many brides are taking a hands-on approach to wedding decorations and flowers. This post will cover step-by-step instructions for making a hand-tied type bridal bouquet. While a true hand-tied bouquet is a little more complicated, these tips will provide some easy short cuts to achieve the same look. The instructions are for fresh flowers, but the assembly and wrapping techniques can be applied to silk bouquets as well.

DIYBouquet2Materials and supplies: You’ll need fresh flowers of course, a clean bucket for hydrating, flower food, water, floral tape, ribbon, and some sharp scissors.

pink flowersFlower selection: Using flowers of different sizes and textures will make a more interesting design rather than creating a full bouquet of the same flower. Select one or two medium sized focal flowers and then some smaller flowers to fill in spaces between the focal flowers. In this example, we’ve chosen multiple shades of pink (monochromatic), using roses, alstroemeria, stock, tulips, and calla lilies.

DIYBouquet4Preparation and hydration: Whether flowers are purchased at the flower market, the supermarket, or cut from your own yard, the first order of business is to hydrate. This is a simple but important step that will extend the life of the flowers. Prepare a clean bucket with about 3 inches of water mixed with floral food. Commercial grade floral food is generally available at flower markets, but is also frequently attached as a small packet on store-bought flowers. Follow the directions on the package.

DIYBouquet5With a sharp knife or scissors, cut stems about one inch at an angle, and immediately place into the prepared water. Allow flowers to hydrate for at least an hour.

Design and assembly: The goal here is to give the bouquet a nice round shape and to make the distribution of color and texture even on all sides. As you begin to assemble, remove extraneous leaves and rose guard petals (the outermost petals). For stock-like flowers, remove the lower foliage.

DIYBouquet6Start with a small cluster that will be the center of the bouquet, and wrap with floral tape.

DIYBouquet7Prepare additional small clusters of 3-4 flowers each, and wrap with floral tape.

DIYBouquet8Arrange the smaller clusters around the center, one at a time in a circular fashion, wrapping with floral tape as you go. Each cluster should be paired with the center at an angle. This is what will give the bouquet a round shape.

DIYBouquet9After several clusters are added, the round shape of the bouquet will be evident, and the stems will be spread out in all directions.

DIYBouquet10

Single stems can be added at the end to fill in any “holes,” and then a final wrap with floral tape to reign in the stems. Once wrapped, the stems can be cut to make a suitable handle of about 8 inches.

DIYBouquet11Ribbons wrapping: The floral tape is covered by wrapping the handle with a wide ribbon. We wanted to use a pink organza ribbon which is fairly transparent, so we wrapped first with a double faced white satin. Start with a length of ribbon about 12 inches above the handle area, leaving the ribbon on the roll through this process. Fold the ribbon at a 90 degree angle just below the bottom of the floral tape on the handle.

DIYBouquet12Wrap the ribbon around the handle, moving it upward as you continue around until the wrap reaches the top.

DIYBouquet13The ribbon may need to be twisted to keep it tight and it will partially overlap itself as it moves up. At the top, hold the wrap with your thumb, extend the ribbon length out another 12 inches and then cut it from the roll. Tie the two lengths together in a double knot to keep the wrap tight.

DIYBouquet14The two remaining ribbon lengths can be tied again to form a bow, or used as streamers. In our example we wanted a pink bow, so we cut them off. A second ribbon overlay and pearl pins make decorative accents on the handle.

DIYBouquet15The finished bouquet can be lightly misted and should be stored in a cool area until needed. Since the stems are still exposed, a heavy beer glass or mug with a bit of water can keep the bouquet nicely hydrated, and keep it from getting crushed until it is ready to be used.

We hope you found these tips useful and informative! Special thanks to my sister Lori, for her expertise and help with this post! You can find all of her wedding floral creations at her web site, The Gardens at Pemberley.

DIY wedding bouquet
I’m linking up with Tip Me Tuesday!

DIY TipMeTuesday

And Handmade Tuesdays!

DIY Handmade-Tuesdays-handmadep

And Pink Saturday!

On the journey toward Home,

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Come as You Are

March 21, 2015
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Our world is full of brokenness. Even though many of us have good lives, there are still plenty of things from our past or in our present that continue to cause pain, fear, or regret. Scripture tells us that the Lord is near to brokenhearted, the needy, the poor, and those who are crushed in […]

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Dressed for Battle

February 22, 2015
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A few days ago I was reading through the comments on a facebook post of Sheila Walsh, who suggested to her readers that they make a contribution to a shelter for abused women, rather than spending the money on seeing a recently released movie which normalizes this theme. For anyone who has read her books […]

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Tickled Pink Life – Four Year Blogging Recap

January 19, 2015
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January 2015 marks the fourth anniversary of my blog! To start year number five, I thought we’d journey back a bit and revisit some posts from the early years. I’ve selected some of my favorites as well as some posts that were the most popular with readers. These are loosely grouped together by topic, so […]

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Christmas Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

December 24, 2014
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These tasty little treats are the perfect blend of sweetness and tartness. My sister-in-law made these cookies for Christmas one year and they were so awesome that I now bake a batch nearly every year. They also make great Easter cookies! Cookie recipe: 1/3 cup butter 1/3 cup shortning 2 cups flour 1 egg ¾ […]

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Pink and Green Vintage Style Guest Room

November 22, 2014
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You know that room in your house where you put all the stuff you need to do something with, but just don’t have the time to do something with it now? The one that stores boxes that need to be gone through, files that need to be sorted, records that need to be shredded, items […]

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Autumn Inspired Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

November 15, 2014
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Since my cooking and baking skills are somewhat lacking, I like to find instructions on the internet that are simple for me to follow. I don’t know enough about baking to understand how to alter ingredients to change texture or density, so I was happy to find a great recipe from TastyKitchen.com for moist vanilla […]

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