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February 29, 2012

The Economic Domestic Old Fashioned Way

I finally did it, I made my own laundry soap. Thanks to Maryjane from The Beehive Cottage I had a recipe to follow and the results were amazing. 
" Les Lavandières" or The Washer Women
Jean Francois French painter, 1814-1875
(Ahem, I am not this "Old Fashioned" in doing laundry)

 So, I am telling all my friends, "I used to mix Ariel laundry soap to my laundry detergent for that really clean scent but now I saved money and I have enough soap for about 150 loads. I purchased the Zote bars at the 99 Cent Store and the remaining ingredients at Walmart. The total costs were $10.46. That's less than 7 cents a load.I found the Fels Naptha bars that Maryjane uses at Walmart after I bought the Zote bars. Well, next time I will try the Fels Naptha. I am so proud of this I wanted to share it with you".

The recipe calls for:
1, 4 lb. box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda,
1, 4lb box of Arm and Hammer baking soda
1, 4lb. box of Borax
and 3 bars of either Zote, Fels Naptha, or Kirk's Castile's (the soap has to be shredded or grated, I used a cheese grater)
Once the bars are grated mix together all ingredients.

It has to be stored in a tight container so I am using the pastel buckets from Home Depot. Open the bucket and breath-in the smell of "Clean"!! It only takes 1-2 T. of soap for a super clean wash. (I used 1.5 T. of soap for each load) I washed my sheets so when I climb into bed I will be surrounded with this wonderful scent. You have just got to try it for yourself.

Thank you, Maryjane.
Visit her blog at The Beehive Cottage for all her wonderful ideas and recipes.
Click on the picture for the Beehive Cottage
and Maryjane's Homemade Laundry Soap recipe


February 25, 2012

Bridal Dresses

The day when every woman is a princess is on her wedding day. Oh, she goes to such extremes in preparation of music, menus, and flowers until she is satisfied and then change her mind. But not with her dress. She will not change her mind once she has found the right one. "This is it"! She might designate others in preparation for food and music but not her dress; that dress she will take care of on her own and entrust to no one. It will be in her closet and you know she will look at her dress over and over in anticipation of her wedding day. The day when she is the princess. The day when she is the beautiful bride.
I love the front buttoned look on this dress. A very nice touch.

An old fashioned petite look. 

This dress is a classic beauty. 

The lace at the bottom of this dress is absolutely stunning. The bolero is simple and very pretty.

I like this dress the lace is pretty which gives it a very soft look yet stylish.

How beautiful it is to wave. It makes for a lovely picture of the bride smiling and waving happily to those that love her and wish her all the happiness in her new life of matrimony.
Ahh, everyone knows that every bride is the picture of beauty defined.
ps. don't forget to wave


February 23, 2012

Remember the Jimmy Choo Shoes

Oh! Remember how much fun we had shopping the other day and Amy and Jennifer liked the Jimmy Choo shoes, well, visit Danielle's French Madame and see the Jimmy Choo Bag. Danielle's posts are fun but don't stop at the fashion blog visit her at her Paris Pastry blog.
Then stop by the Jimmy Choo Outlet, after all,
It's a girl's world with so many shoes to choose from at the outlet. 

Jimmy Choo Zebra Printed Platform Sandal
You will want to treat
Your feet,
Jimmy Choo Eliza patent sandals
To something sweet,
Jimmy Choo Quiet patent leather pumps

Jimmy Choo Shoes!

You can visit our shopping adventure by clicking on the Jimmy Choo shoes below.


February 20, 2012


One of my family's favorite songs to pray with is "CRISTO YO TE AMO". I have sung this song in the grocery store and at work, just singing unto the Lord and people have stopped and expressed "I love that song! It is one of my  favorites". And we will begin to talk about the song and other songs that move us. This song is heard on our cell phones, in our home, in our car, and of course, on my playlist, "I don't know where I would be if I didn't have You, if I had not met the God that loves me".
"What Happened to Your Hand?" Artist Unknown

How like a child to ask, "What happened to Your hand?" They want to know what hurt you and they ask with compassion in their eyes, feeling sorry for your hurt. I know what happened to His hand, He took the nails for me, He paid the great debt I owed for my sins. And I am sorry for the hurt He suffered. I know what happened to His hands, He loved me so much He engraved me into the palm of His hand so He will not forget me. Every time He moves His hand, looks at His hand, He will see me. I would like for you to try a little project. When you wash the dishes or brush your hair or whatever it is you are doing, tie a red ribbon around your hand. Do you notice the ribbon with every movement your hand makes? The Good Lord sees me engraved into the palm of His hand continuously. And unlike the ribbon that can be untied, put away and forgotten, the engraved nail prints do not come off or get wiped off and forgotten. We are always on His mind and heart.
What happened to His hand? He loved me, is what happened to His hand.

Isaiah 49: 14-16
14. But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.
15. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.
16. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.

By: Gadiel Espinoza 

Cristo yo te amo
Cristo yo te amo
No hay nadie como Tu, Jesus 
(repeat verse twice) 

Y, no se donde estuviera

Si yo a Ti no te tuviera
Si no hubiera conocido
A el Dios que me ama
(repeat verse twice) 


Christ, I love you
Christ, I love you
There is no one else like You, Jesus

And I don't know where I would be
If I did not have You
If I had not met
The God that loves me


"Cristo, Yo Te Amo", Gadiel Espinoza

February 17, 2012


I had listened to the message by Brother Lambeth, "The Number One Friend of God", and I prayed to be the number one friend of God like John was the beloved. In the message Bro. Lambeth stated, "The mountain is big my friend but where on the mountain are you at? Like Moses on top of the mountain with God, or as Peter, James, and John with Jesus, or are you like the other disciples at the bottom of the mount?" Before service I prayed, "Lord, I want to climb the mountain and fellowship with You". And tonight's service was exactly what I needed. Little did I know the message preached by Brother Morgan was going to be about Abraham and Isaac climbing the mountain to worship the Lord in a sacrifice. The servants stayed at the bottom but Abraham climbed the mountain and took his son with him. "God I want to climb the mountain", I prayed again and wept all service long, "God, I want this!" The altar song was "Zion Is Calling Me to a higher place of praise, to stand upon the mountain and magnify His name". I have got to climb the mountain I do not want to stay at the bottom and be satisfied being near it but I want to be on top of the mountain with Jesus. I Must Climb Higher in His Presence. I believe it is on the mountain I will get my answered prayers and my miracles.

"Darlene, we need to talk and we need to talk on an equal basis", said Ralph.
"I'll just pretend that I am asleep", I thought and I did not open my eyes.

Ralph left the room and I sat up. Oh! I was so mad. "How dare he say we need to talk on an equal basis. I am the one who suffered here", I said to myself as I got up to see, "What is he doing in my house?" He is standing outside on my porch beside my patio table. I stopped at the dining table and looked at Ralph as he turned to face me and he asked me point blank, "Where were you when I needed you?"

I awoke from my dream a bit perplexed, "Does Ralph need me?" I asked myself. That thought stayed with me all morning while at work. A few hours later I got a phone call.

"Hello", I  said.
"Dar, Dad's in the hospital and I can't get a hold of anyone." said Ralph. I could hear in his voice he was worried.
"And what has that got to do with me, he's your dad not mine", I replied with angered pride!
"I was trying to get in touch with the kids, maybe they can go see Dad for me and tell me if he's okay".
"Well, I'll tell the kids after work (which meant he has to wait until the end of my work day) and if they want to see your dad then I guess they'll go, later. But I have to get back to work. I am really busy". Then click.

"Darlene, that was so mean", I scolded myself as I remembered the dream and the question that I had asked myself when I first awoke, "Does Ralph need me?" I left work immediately and went to the hospital (which I was going to do anyway but I did not want to state the favor I would be providing (Pride is so ugly). I spent several hours with my ex-father-in-law and then gave him a ride home, tucked him in bed, sat on the bed and chatted until he fell asleep. Before I left I sent Ralph a text to let him know his dad was okay,  I gave him a ride home from the hospital and spent the day with him. Now I wanted Ralph to know I drove his dad home and was doing all I could for his dad, because he (Ralph) needed me. "I will stop by tomorrow and see if he needs anything."
"Thanks, Dar. It means a lot to me that you were with Dad", came his reply.
"Ok, nite."

At another time, I awoke from sleep because I heard a song being played in my room. I heard the music and the last phrase, "But then most of all, I do love you, still". No, it was not the alarm; I use the buzzer sound. The song was not loud for it did not wake my kids. I sat up so sure I heard music. Not only did I hear the song I FELT the song, "But then most of all, I do love you, still" I even heard the swelling of the music after those words. The kids were still sleeping soundly as I checked to see if they had music playing. I came back to my room and no more music was heard. It's crazy, but I could sense this was for me and, believe it or not, the Lord was letting me know what my heart needed to feel and hear. I went to the Internet and listened to the song. "Still" by the Commodores. It is really sad. Too many mistakes and words unsaid.

I believe restoration is going to happen. My heart's desire is going to happen.

Joel 2:25

 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten...

Is. 54:7b
...but with great compassion I will gather you. 

Is. 54:8b

...with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,”
   says the LORD, your Redeemer.

I can't wait! It is just the small things that tell me he still loves me.
"But he isn't here." SO! 
"And he's done..." SO!
It's not about me! (I want it to be) but it is about God and Ralph. Sometimes I ask God, "Does it hurt You that he is out there?", and "How much longer, Lord?", "Does it hurt You that He left You?", "It hurts me, Lord, I can only imagine how it tears You apart". 

"I want to know what God is doing", in frustration and overwhelmed by my situation I asked Pastor this question in a meeting with him and his wife.
"Sister Darlene, that's a tough question", he tried to say as I interrupted him.
No, it's not. You are the man of God, the Lord shows you, and what He has showed you has come to pass in the life of others, now I am asking for me and my situation with Ralph, "What is God doing?", I asked again.

All of a sudden, Pastor had a different look to him and he spoke in a direct manner. I knew the Lord spoke to Pastor and I was about to hear from the Lord a message, but was it the message I wanted to hear? I was afraid, and yet, I needed to know for direction and for patience if the message was what I was hoping for. Hope against the world but Hope that is Alive through Jesus Christ my Lord.

Pastor said, "Ralph is coming home. He is going to pray-through in these altars. It is going to be a really bad situation for Ralph in his sin. When God gets a hold of him Ralph will... but, when he comes home he will be so glad to be home."
"Okay", I said, "that is what I needed to know; Ralph is coming home and will be saved. Alright, I can endure this for Ralph".

I have been waiting for almost four years. This April will be four years since... and in this time the Lord has been so good to me. It's crazy, but I am thankful for my trial. Had it not been for the path I had to take I might not have seen what the Lord could bring my through. I would not have seen this side of the Lord. The side of a God that took care of me, strengthened me, and comforted me. The road was and is hard but God has always been good. 

Lady, morning's just a moment away
And I'm without you once again
You laughed at me
You said you never needed me
I wonder if you need me now

So many dreams that flew away
So many words we didn't say
Two people lost in a storm
Where did we go?
Where'd we go?

We lost what we both had found
You know we let each other down
"But then most of all
I Do Love You

We played the games that people play

We made our mistakes along the way
Somehow I know deep in my heart
You needed me
'Cause I needed you so desperately!  (Does he need me?)
We were too blind to see
But then most of all
I Do Love You

(I added the song on the playlist for me because...)

I believe in miracles. And I believe my miracle is soooo close, I can almost touch my miracle. 
Hebrews 11/1
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
I will always love Ralph, my one and only love.
God bless you, Dear.

My in-laws never left my side through these trying times. They are dear to me. They really take care of me for Ralph. When he asked for a divorce he asked his parents to take care of us; and they have done so. It truly is a testimony unto the Lord, how close we are. And we have included them in pretty much everything. She told me tonight she will be making a homemade dinner for me with tortillas so we can spend time together. And I am there for them at anytime. They hug me and begin to pray for me sometimes, "God, bless my daughter-in-law..." Then they squeeze my hand and smile. He is coming home, friend. I have so much to be thankful for. You are going to see it so soon. Just watch what God is doing, that is what I am doing; watching the dusty trail for my miracle to see him coming up the road.

"Still" by the Commodores

February 15, 2012

The Good Egg

I love going out for breakfast more than going out for dinner. My favorite breakfast place isThe Eggery restaurant in the Uptown Plaza, (it used to be called the Good-Egg). They are throughout the valley but none can compare to the Good Egg on Central and Camelback Rd
Come on inside and see how nice is this place.
The insde
Careful, watch your step.
 They have a "Country Charm" setting but not a "Country Cafe" look.

 On our left, a private room with morning light. Seats around forty-five people.

Our server, April, she is so friendly people request to be seated in her area.

 Old booths in solid oak and vintage lighting.

The large banquet room, I took pictures from the mirror to try to capture the full size of the room but did not do it justice for size, the room is pretty big. It seats approximately 85-100 people. Do you see the lighted dome in the mirror? 
Whalla! A close-up look.
Does it bubble-out or in? Go back to the previous picture to find out.

And the food? Oh! Taste and see...
 Kristen ordered the crepes.

 I ordered the spinach omelet.

The service is friendly and attentive. The homemade cinnamon rolls are steaming and streaming with icing, large enough for two. You owe it to yourself to pay a visit to the Good-Egg. A small secret, just around the corner in the same plaza  is one of my favorite antique stores, The Antiques on Central, 36 E. Camelback Rd. 
(Shhhh, The antique store is one of my secret getaways. Shhhhh)


Kristen Payan's "La Vie Amoureuse Photography"

This is my second restaurant review. The first review was Oregano's

February 10, 2012

Bless My Sole

happy valentinesAs you know I work part time at McDonald Floral & Gifts and for us Valentine's week began last week. It is Crazy in the floral world!!! So, I want do my Valentine's post early. I will not be wearing any high heels soon after the holiday, my feet will be sore from the Crazy! Valentine Madness! By the way, did you remember your Valentine? Stop by the crowded shop and we will gladly fill your order. 

Bless my sole, Lord, bless my sole this Valentine holiday. They are going to need a little TLC! Maybe I need a NEW PAIR of shoes! wink-wink! ;-D 

Red is the color of love and I love these shoes!
Okay so! The journey of a thousand miles starts with the NEW Pair of Shoes!! AMEN!!

Pretty Bebe shoes.
Awaaay, in a manger my closet is room for these shoes!! AMEN!!

Guess is my favorite shoe designer!!!!
Better than chocolate is a new pair of GUESS shoes!! AMEN!! Uhh, is that a Spiritual? Well, it is if you consider how happy I am in the Lord! He blessed my sole. Can I get a witness? AMEN!!
I find peace in the midst of a storm tossed life,
With New Shoes on my feet,
I can over come each misery and strife!!

These remind me of a heart. 
Lord, I want a heart after these shoes!! AMEN!!

The Ballerina Red. Amazing!
When I think of these shoes, "I can dance, dance, dance, all night!!"
The Gran Finale
Mmwah, Mmwah, Mmwah!

Lawd, Bless My Sole this Valentine's Day! 
God bless the path you take in your high heels. 
Behold old things are passed away and all things look better in a brand New Pair of Shoes!
Sistah, stand up in ya New Shoes and testify!

Links Embedded Within Each Picture.

February 08, 2012

Because It Matters

There are somethings in life that I can walk away from and then there are others I will strive for, live for, and fight for, to have the very best in my life. I have three children and I have prayed, fasted and travailed to keep them safe and saved. I will continue to do so. My walk in the Lord is another thing I will not lose, nothing else matters to me more than the favor of the Lord! Nothing else! The song says,

"If I lose it all,
And I am left with nothing,
If I Have the Lord,
I know I will make it through.

(Sister Courtney Kelly sang this song in the Sunday morning service and the presence of the Lord just filled that place as people were raising their hands in worship to the Lord.)

But if I lose it all? Honey, I have lost it all. I have been there. The only thing I had left was the Lord. I came to Glendale, Arizona, with twenty dollars, wondering how am I ever going to make it? How am I going to provide for my children, pay the rent, pay the bills, or buy gas to get to next job interview? Because I have the Lord, He helped me make it through.

Feeling totally abandoned and without anyone to turn to for assistance I found the Lord making a way for me. I had help from the church to make it to Glendale and the help I needed for the first month here. But what do I do for the future? Pastor said, "Live as if everything is going to depend on your response to the situation you are in". He said, "Smile. Be happy because God is so good." Smiling was not easy but loving the Lord is easy.  So I tried to smile everyday and did not want to show any hurt. I know I was not always successful in smiling. Sometimes the frown muscles refused to lift upward. But, here goes, ss-mmm-ile.

"We will pay your next month's rent", said Department of Economic Security (D.E.S.).
"What?", I thought in my heart. I can remember looking down at my folded hands thinking, "It hurts sometimes when everything works out right because it means THIS is what and where I am supposed TO BE and it is not a nightmare I will awake from." I said to the lady from D.E.S, "Thank you for helping me. It means a lot, thank you".

"Sister Payan, we want to sponsor your kids to go to Heritage Conference", said a family in the church.
"Thank you, I really appreciate it."

"There is a 250.00 deposit for the electricity to be turned on", said Salt River Project (S.R.P.).
"I can't afford the deposit", said I.
"I am seeing your history from when you used to live here before, let me see if I can do something about the deposit", said S.R.P..
I waited while he put me on-hold, silent prayer, "God show me You are in this because it is so hard to face it all alone".
S.R.P. came back and said, "We waived the deposit and we will turn it on this date for you".
Tears streamed and I could not speak. I whispered, "Thank you", to the man on the phone, and when we hung up I wept.

And just in time for the following month's rent, I received my first paycheck and tax return.

Because I have the Lord, He helped me make it through.

The enemy of our soul has taken enough from me, but no more. And I am getting it all back! God promised and I am hanging on to His promises. I told the Lord, "Lord, I will worship as though it already were. I am seeing with eyes of faith and not fear and doubt". I will lose no more, I will not lose anymore! I am standing my ground. Correction, I am standing on the Word. I will lose no more. Usually, I panic and it grips my heart with a hurtful pang whenever I hear some news, but I began to respond to my heart with, "This is part of what the Lord is doing and it will be worth it all when I see the finished work". I am getting it all back!

He's the only reason I Live

Verse 1:
I've been blessed with many things,
God's been so good to me.
I have family and friends who share in all I do.
But if I lose it all and I'm left with nothing,
If I have the Lord,
I know I'll make it through


He's the only reason I live,
But oh what a reason,
He's the only reason I live,
But oh what a reason.
There's nothing in this world worth living for,
It only leaves you empty and longing for more.
He's the only reason I live,
But oh what a reason.

You may have tried a lot of things,
To find real happiness,
But if you've looked very long, you know it can't be found,
Until you find the Lord in the power of His spirit.
He'll be your reason to live,
And He'll never let you down.
Joy Elms

It matters to me, to have the Lord in my life. And these are four of the reasons why.

Because it matters to me, so very much, to find favor with the Lord...
I am what and where I am supposed to be for when God moves.
God bless you.

Thank you, Courtney, for singing, "He's The Only Reason I live". 
It blessed my soul and reminded me of what matters and to hang on. 
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