Monday, 6 April 2009

The Simple Woman's Day Book . . .

FOR TODAY, April 6th, 2009 ...

Outside My Window...

The birds are singing up a treat! I was a bit later getting up this morning and they are going full force, although it is still quite dark out there. I don't know how anyone can sleep through it. It's really quite loud, as pretty as it is!!

I am thinking...
About all the wonderful talks that were shared with us during this past weekend's General Conference. When each oen finished I looked at Todd and said the same words . . . "Wow that was a powerful talk!" And . . . each time it was true! There was a tremendous amount to digest but I have to say that some of my favourite words came from President Monson when he said, "Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith." All of the talks were very uplifting and most especially so at this time when so many are experiencing upheaval and despair in their lives, and the world looks like a more uncertain place to each of us.

I am thankful for...
Sharing my life with a man who loves the Gospel as much as I do. This is something that I spent many years on my knees praying to have. It was not an easy journey to get here. It involved a lot of heart ache and sacrifice, which only makes me appreciate what I finally have all the more. Through the years I learned the true meaning of those words in the scriptures which say, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" (2 Cor. 6:14) It is a lonely life, and very heartbreaking. I am so thankful for this wonderful blessing that I now enjoy, the blessing of being able to share my heart and my faith with one who feels the same as I do and who understands.

From the kitchen...
I did make something very yummy in-between watching conference and all the other things I had to do yesterday, but that has to wait for tommorrow! There are the mud pies from yesterday of course, but they are soon destined to travel next door! There are always the hot cross buns to snack on!

I am wearing...
My very oldest pair of PJ's. Comfy, faded and worn, they are one of my favourite pairs.

I am creating...
Yesterday I did this little painting when Todd was at his Priesthood meeting. It's one that's been rolling around in my mind for several weeks now and that I didn't know quite how I was going to do. I call it, "I feel my Savior's Love." You can see the full piece over here. but for now, here is a little teaser just to whet your appetite!

I am going...
I have a pretty busy week lined up. Todd and I are hoping to get to the Temple at some point. We are hoping to go more frequently in the coming year. We're so very lucky to have one fairly close to us. We need to use it more often. I have my package to pop into the post for my Giveaway winner and a few other tricks up my sleeve, to be revealed later. You'll just have to wait and see!

I am reading...

"The Post Office Girl," by Stefan Zweig. It's an interesting book and almost reads like a monologue. It is a "rags to riches and back again" book. I have only just started it, but so far I am liking it.

I am hoping...
That someday pretty soon someone will add a few more hours to the day! There never seems to be enough to get all the things done that I want to get done! I wouldn't mind having a few extra weeks in the year either, oh and while they are at it, could they make me 20 years younger in looks and figure??? (If you are going to reach, why not reach for the moon!!)

I am hearing...
The birds outside, my playlist softly in the back ground, Jess snoring by my feet, my fingers lightly tapping on the keyboard. It is the sound of home . . .

Around the house...
Not a lot. I had a sorthing out in the kitchen the other day. I managed to clear one whole countertop and re-arrange a lot of things. It does look a lot better. I've been trying to make my home look more like a Temple, well not exactly like a Temple . . . that would just be too hard and too expensive, but more like a haven and a place that people want and long to be, if that makes any sense.

One of my favorite things...
Once in a blue moon I like to have a long relaxing soak in the tub. I mostly take showers because they are a lot quicker, but sometimes it's nice to relax in the tub and just let Calgon take me away . . .

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
A little bit of this and a little bit of that. I have work, of course, and am trying to fit bits and bobs inbetween, and here and there. There is no mutual or seminary again due to the Easter Holidays so there is no pressure there to get any lessons done or activities planned. I have a project that I am doing with a friend that I need to get finished and another sock monkey to make. I had hoped to embroider some flour sack cuptowels, but alas, the ones I ordered from a company over here are not what I was hoping they would be. When I was married before, I had done a whole set of day of the week cuptowels, but they have ended up in my ex's wife's kitchen. I have been looking and looking to find some more flour sack towels, but the ones I was able to find over here are far too flimsy. I don't know where else to look. It's not something that's really common over here I guess!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

I thought it would be fun to show you one of Todd and my Wedding Pictures. This is us signing the register. Over here it is not possible for people to get married in the Temple as it is the law that you must be married in a place that the Queen can enter. She can't enter our Temples, at least not without a Temple recommend, and so we have to have a civil ceremony first and then we have 24 hours to present ourselves at the Temple to be sealed to each other in a special ceremony there. We got married in the Wrexham, Wales chapel in the morning and then drove up to Preston to be sealed in the Temple right afterwards. It was a long day to be sure, but what a wonderful day it was. If a picture says a thousand words, I'd say we were both quite happy about it all!

And there you have it, my Simple Woman's Day Book for today. Don't forget to hop on over to the Simple Woman to check out the other day book entries! (Or better yet, do a simple day book entry yourself! It's not that hard and I am betting you would enjoy it!)

When I got the latest issue of Fine Cooking the other day, there was a recipe that jumped right out at me and begged me to make it! This is it. I followed it pretty closely but also added a twist or two of my own. I know . . . I'm incorrigible. I just can't leave anything alone!

*Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Green Olives*
Serves 4

Imagine a moist chicken breast stuffed with a deliciously spicy stuffing filled with sun dried tomatoes, herbs, garlic and salty green olives. Yummo!

one pinch of saffron
(about 15 blades. I used powdered saffron, one small packet)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp mild honey
1/2 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
1/4 tsp cruched red pepper flakes
1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
sea salt
1/4 cup well drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped coarsely
1/4 cup pitted green olives, such as manzilla (not stuffed)
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
4 split, skin on, partly boned chicken breasts
freshly ground black pepper
Tomato vinegar to finish

Pre-heat the oven to 205*C/425*F. Place a rack in the middle of the oven.

Place the saffron in 2 tsp of hot water and allow it to soak for 5 minutes. Place this in the bowl of a food processor, along with the soaking water. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, garlic and 1/2 tsp salt. Pulse. Add the sun dried tomatoes, olives and parsley. Pulse a few times to form a coarsely chopped stuffing. (you do not want it pureed)

Trim the chicken pieces, taking off any of the backbone if it is still attached. Trim off the side flap with rib meat and bones. (You can freeze all these bits to make soup at a later date.) Using your finger slide it under the skin to separate it from the breasts making a small pocket and being careful not to detach the edges. Stuff these pockets full of the stuffing, making sure to distribute it evenly. Pat the skin back in place over the stuffing and then season each breast lightly with some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place on a rimmed baking sheet you have lined with aluminium foil.

Roast in the heated oven for 15 to 30 minutes, until the juice run clear and the chicken is done. Do not overcook.

Remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes before serving. I drizzled mine with a little Tomato Vinegar before serving, and it was delicious.


  1. I'm the first to comment, ha! I love your wedding pictures! That's so cool. Ya'll look so happy!

    There's a sussy for you on my blog!

  2. It's hard to believe that it is Monday morning again. The weekend went by way too fast. I hope your week is off to a great start!
    'On Ya'-ma

  3. Marie, you really go from strength to strength. Your little girl is darling and I can see the apples in her cheeks. Your wedding photo is beautiful. I love the colour of that suit as it is sooooo rich and vibrant. I never knew that the Queen couldn't come into your temple. I learn something new everyday! I hope you know how much loved you are by so many people. How could we not?

  4. LOVE your wedding photo! Sooo sweet to happy and lovely you both look! :o) A great start to the week with lots so see and think about here...And such a cute new illustration. You're on a painting roll again, huh?! Hope we get to chat tomorrow--missed you yesterday! Thanks so much for your great cheer at my place and joining on on the fun giveaway....grand days just now! LOVE YOU HEAPS ((HUGS))

  5. Love the Mondays you know Marie!! Make me feel god as I was talking with you at your home Ha!!
    Love your wedding picture! Nice (and Todd... )You know.
    I went to the Chrch yesterday too and I was so nice you know with the palms and all. I love this week of Easter, we hace a celebration Friday and Next Sunday.
    This year I hope to go more to Chrch Marie Im happy when Im near of God. Really. huggs friend, Gloria

  6. Hi Marie
    I am spending the day inside working on a quilt for a friend and so I will be listening to your playlist from beginning to end. I love t. Also I got a pork tenderloin on the weekend so I am going to make the tenderloin casserole you did. So this is kind of like a "celebrate Marie day" here!
    Hugs, Rhondi

  7. Oh Marie, you are so funny and I love you to bits! Did you REALLY mean you like a soak in Calgon? I usually put that in the washing machine to take care of limescale!

    love as ever, Angie, xx

  8. I enjoyed reading your post.
    I thought conference was wonderful this weekend. I have to dedicate myself more to the temple. I'm determined!

    Loved your wedding photo. It's nice to be happy.

    About those flour sack towels, I have the same problem finding nice ones. All the ones I have picked up are flimsy too.

    Have a great day!

  9. Thanks for sharing your Daybook!

    There's good news: according to Discover magazine, we are adding a millisecond per year to the length of the day! The days ARE getting longer! ;)

    Cheers from Nebraska--America.

  10. Sweet thoughts and words shared. Conference always gives us such a boost to our spirits, and resolve to do better! Love the wedding picture, you both look so very happy! How many years now?

  11. May your week be filled with His Blessings!


  12. Wow!! You have a great Monday post. That recipe sounds and looks wonderful. Love your to check out your etsy shop.

    Have a great week!

  13. I love that photo.

    I didn't know the little detail that the Queen must be able to enter all buildings where marriages are performed. I just know a couple of families who are/were stressed by weddings & sealings.

    My goal is to make our home like a temple. I've shared this thought with some people who are important to me. It's a really powerful motivator on so many levels.

  14. What a wonderful wedding picture Marie. You and Todd look so happy. It's so great that you found each other!!!

    Have a wonderful week!


  15. thanks for sharing your wedding picture. you guys are so cute! i didn't know about the england law where you can't get married in the temple! i had no idea about people over there having to get sealed later. i learn something new everyday i guess!

    and sorry i haven't been commenting-we were out of town for the past few days. i'm back now and i'll be bringin it again:)

  16. I love reading your Simple Woman posts. Conference was awesome and I didn't want it to end. President Monson's words made our world a lot brighter with all so Many are going through. I loved the same quote you did.
    Your wedding picture is beautiful and you sure can see all the love there... How long have you been married? Congrats on finding each other.
    I feel my Savior's Love is precious!

    Enjoy your week!

    Love, Beth

  17. That chicken looks delicious Marie! Now that's a neat bit of information you gave us that the Queen has to beable to enter anywhere you get married, I never knew that.

  18. Marie, it was fun to see your wedding picture and to learn more about you and Todd. My husband and son-in-law took a train trip from Edinburgh to the Preston Temple once. It was quite the adventure for them as they did not know that the Preston Temple is not really in Preston!

    Your quote from the conference is the exact same one that I wrote down and have remembered each day. I added it on Facebook and so many others loved that one too.

    Your art is fantastic your recipes divine. I look forward to reading your blog each day.

  19. That stuffed chicken sounds so tasty!


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