The Time I Felt Like Royalty

Jan on Cruisewatermark

My husband and I went on our very first cruise a few months ago. I had heard many stories about how wonderful cruises are. Boy were they ever true. From the time we met our cabin attendant until we got off the ship, we were treated like royalty. They called me “Madame Janice” and my husband, “Master Tim”.

This cruise was a gift to us from our church family. We celebrated our ten-year anniversary as the pastors of our church and they surprised us with an all expense paid vacation to Haiti and Jamaica on the Royal Caribbean cruise line. We were blessed with a junior suite and balcony overlooking the ocean.

The food was so amazing. Yes, I ate more than my share of desserts on this trip. I had one with lunch and dinner every day. Good thing we took the stairs as much as we could in place of the elevator.


The captain’s night was so much fun. I felt like a princess getting dressed up for this special event and going to dinner with my “Knight in Shining Armor”.

Tim and Jan cruisewatermark

We so enjoyed getting to know our new friends that were seated at our dining room table. It’s as though they were hand picked just for us. I have to admit, I did pray and ask God to hand pick them for us before we left for the cruise. I’m so glad God cares about the little things in our lives.

One of the highlights of the cruise was going to Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica. It was a blast. The water was a little cold but it didn’t take too much time to adjust to it.

Jan Tim Dunns River watermark

jan tim dunns river 4


Every part of this trip was like a dream come true. Will we cruise again? You bet we will. We are trusting to go again next year for our 35th wedding anniversary. I highly recommend going on a cruise. It’s so romantic and you get away from real life for a little while. No cooking, no cleaning, and no phone calls. That’s my kind of vacation!

Good Food & Friends

pats salad

There’s nothing like good food and friends. The other night I had the opportunity to spend time with friends that I haven’t seen for quite some time. It was so much fun spending time together. I am so grateful for the many friends God has placed in my life. There are some friends that no matter how much time you are apart, when you come back together it’s like old times.  We enjoyed an amazing salad and delicious sandwiches as we reminisced. Why is it that salad tastes so much better at someone else’s home?

I came home feeling refreshed after spending a few hours with my friends and I had a new recipe for salad. I would say it was definitely a win/win situation.

If Trees Could Talk


This is my favorite tree. Many times when I drive by it I think to myself, “If only this tree could talk it would have so many stories to tell”. This tree has seen many seasons come and go. It’s been through many storms and seen many beautiful sun shiny days. On a beautiful day, as you can see in the picture, it makes me think of a tower of strength. On a dark and gloomy day, it looks like it belongs in a scary movie. It’s evident in it’s old age it’s been through a lot. However, it’s still standing.

my favorite tree 2

I just imagine how beautiful it must have been at one time when its branches were filled with lush green leaves. It probably provided shelter for small wild animals. Who knows, maybe it even held a swing for a child to day dream as they were gently flying through the air.

Some day the tree will be gone, but it’s memories will live on.

This tree reminds me of my own life. I only hope that my life will represent strength to those who pass by. As I get older, I have so many stories to tell. I’ve been blessed with many sun shiny days. I’ve been through many storms, yet, by the grace of God, I’m still standing.

Wake Up Call

Four years ago a close family member died of a massive heart attack. He was only 53 years old. He was a loving and very giving person. But unfortunately, he made poor eating choices and it cut his life short. Believe me, that was my wake up call. That is what sent me on my quest for eating healthy and taking better care of myself.

Choosing what we eat is so very important for our health. We can’t compare ourselves to others and excuse our poor choices. I wish I had known what I know now when I was in my twenties and thirties. I think I would have chosen to eat healthier then. I’m thankful I know now. I’m actually enjoying making healthier choices. Our taste buds really can change. Now I actually crave healthy food.

Eating healthy doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy great tasting food. It just might be a little more work to figure out how to cook healthier. Believe me, it’s worth it. One of my favorite things to eat is chicken fajitas. Instead of eating them on flour tortillas, I use butter leaf lettuce. I think you actually taste the flavor of the chicken more using the lettuce versus using tortillas. I have low tolerance for gluten so the less gluten I eat, the better I feel.

I have had so many people say to me, “I can’t give up soda or sweets or bread or…”. For me, it was sweets and soda. I had to finally come to a place where I was sick of being sick and tired. When my family member died, “hello”, I realized I had better start making wiser choices for myself immediately.

You truly can do whatever you set your mind to, especially if you ask God to help you. I’m amazed at how He will give you the will power if you will do your part. I was a Dr. Pepperaholic. I thought I couldn’t give it up and truthfully I didn’t want to. But it was mind over matter. I chose to start drinking coffee every morning (I had never drank coffee before) because I knew my body would crave the caffeine. Unfortunately, I was drinking a little coffee with my flavored creamer. Happy to say that now I drink one large cup of black coffee every morning. Yes, I drink it black and I look forward to my coffee when I wake up. The rest of the day I drink water with freshly squeezed lemon.

For my sweet tooth, I have some healthy choices that taste amazing but aren’t harming my body. I put a blog up the other day about making a chocolate shake. My three little grand girls absolutely love the shakes too.

Start with a few small changes and grow from there. Your body will thank you. By the way, a couple of years ago my triglycerides were 198 and now they are 130.

Don’t wait for “A Wake Up Call” from your doctor or a family member. Choose now to take care of your body. It’s the only one you get.

What are you doing to make healthier choices?

Everybody Has a Story


We as humans are so quick to judge or form an opinion about someone when we first meet them. Is that really fair? Of course not. I’m sure I’ve missed out on some pretty awesome friendships because of this. When I was in my twenties, I thought old people (in their mid to late forties and up) were from a different world. There’s no way they could even begin to understand where I was at in life. Shame on me!

Now, that I am one of those “old” people I realize how wrong I was. I still feel like I’m in my twenties or thirties in my mind, but as I’ve mentioned before, my body tells me otherwise. All I have to do is look in the mirror and reality hits big time. But getting older doesn’t mean I have to be out of touch with reality. I still love to have fun and do a lot of the things I did when I was “young”.

Not only do we judge people by their age, but how they look or act. I am still learning not to form an opinion by first impressions. I need to get to know them. Everybody has a story. There are reasons for their actions and maybe even their appearance. Do we write them off because they are different? I want to be so careful not to judge a book by it’s cover. I’m learning to appreciate getting to know people and their stories. My life has become so much richer as I have grown in this area.

What are you thoughts on this?

Kale Salad

Check out this amazing recipe from my friend at

The Bohemian Sprout

Kale is such a powerhouse of nutrients. I’d tried so many recipe with kale, and while many of them were okay, none were wonderful. I’ve finally found a recipe that we love and make often.


Salad ingredients

  • 1 or 2 bunches of Kale torn into bite size pieces (any variety)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large apple peeled and sliced (honey crisps are great in this salad, but any variety will work)
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries (I usually use no sugar added, organic dried cranberries but was out, so instead I used Craisins. I think you could even use raisins in this recipe and it would be good.)

Dressing ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger (minced with juice included)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinager
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • salt and pepper to taste

Wash kale then mix with 1/4…

View original post 220 more words

Trust and Obey

I love the old hymn, “Trust and Obey”. I’ve learned the truth of this song down through the years. I’m realizing more and more that nothing takes God by surprise. Once I learned to walk in obedience to God’s Word and trust Him, I found true joy and peace. (Not that I have arrived, this is a daily journey and I am still learning how to trust and obey.) I don’t have to worry about tomorrow. God is already there.

Some people seem to think that being a Christian is boring. When I realized Christianity is more about relationship with my Heavenly Father than about a bunch of rules, I started enjoying my faith so much more. Knowing the creator of this world in a personal way is pretty amazing. When you really love someone, it is a natural thing to want to please them. I love God and it makes it a lot easier to trust that what He says is what is best for me. When I study the Bible it teaches me how to live my life successfully. God wants me to have an abundant life. He knows that if I will do what He says I should do, I will succeed in the life He has planned for me. Is my life perfect? No. But I can honestly say I love my life. I am truly blessed beyond measure.

I am so grateful that God loves me and so often speaks to me through His Word, the Bible. Sometimes when I talk to Him, He speaks to me in my heart. It’s just a knowing.

open bible 2

If you are going through a hard time right now and questioning, “Is God real?” or “Does He care about me?” I can tell you from my experience that God is real and yes, He does care about you. Try pouring your heart out to God. Tell Him exactly how you feel. His shoulders are big enough to handle whatever you throw at Him. God is not mad at you. He loves you and wants a personal relationship with you. God is not trying to ruin your fun. When God tells you through the Bible that you shouldn’t do certain things, it’s because He sees the big picture and He knows how it will hurt you in the long run. After all, He created you. He knows what is best for you.

How to make a Million Dollar Pie

The first time I had million dollar pie was at my mom and dad’s. A friend had made it and shared it with my parents. It was so delicious and I just had to have the recipe. Fortunately, my mom had the recipe and shared it with me. Every time I have made million dollar pie, it has been a huge hit!

Watch the video below to see step by step instructions on how to make this amazing pie.

Million Dollar Pie

1 can of crushed pineapple (thoroughly drained)

1 can of condensed milk

3 tablespoons of lemon juice

½ cup of chopped nuts

1 tub of cool whip

2 graham cracker pie crusts

Mix all ingredients together and put in pie shells. Refrigerate for a minimum of two hours before serving. Enjoy!

Equipment I frequently use:

Light Kit:

Light bulbs:

Shure MV88 iOS Digital Stereo Condenser Microphone

Lightening Extender Adapter

You can find my kitchen aid mixer here:

The Instant Pot I used in the video can be found here:

Pansinpot I used can be found here:

Air Fryer:


The 8 quart instant pot can be found here:

Steam Release Accessory

Sealing Rings for instant pot lid

Silicone Mini oven mitts

Pyrex bowls

Gluten Free Flour

Cooking Pot

Tramontina Reverseable Grill Griddle/Quick Defrosting Tray

My Anova Precision Cooker:

My Foodsaver:

You can find Pyrex dishes I use in my instant pot here:

You can find my Ninja here:

Egg Steam Rack:

You can find my Vitamix here:

Grapeseed Oil can be found here:

The Henna I use can be found here:

Electric Heated Gloves

My sound machine:

Want to support me in creating more videos? Purchase your items by clicking on the links above and I’ll receive a small percentage of the final sale. Thank you!


This video and/or description contain affiliate links. These links have the potential to earn me a small commission which is what helps to keep the channel running and helps me have the opportunity to continue making videos such as this one. Thank you so much for your support.


Real Talk


jan on tree 2watermark

Why do we treat those we love the most disrespectfully at times? We wouldn’t dare think of saying certain things to people we don’t know that well or use a certain tone with them. But when it comes to our family, the ones we love the most, we will allow reckless words and or rude tones to come out of our mouths towards them when we are frustrated or tired. Do we care more about what strangers or friends think of us? People will come and go in our lives but we always have our family. We need to work hard at respectfully loving each of our family members especially when we are tired or frustrated. We shouldn’t take their love for granted. I think we feel “safe” to act however we want because our family has to love us.  Love your family. Respect them, even when they get on your last nerve. Tell them you love them every day. Hug them. You never know when it will be your last opportunity.

Yesterday afternoon I was babysitting our two youngest granddaughters. I asked if they wanted to help me make “How to” videos for Healthy Chocolate Shakes and Date Bars. They were pretty excited about it. I think a big part of their excitement was getting to eat the results. However, we got busy preparing to make the videos. It was going great and then the girls started arguing with each other. We had to start the video all over. We ended up having to restart several times. Finally, exasperated, I said with a sharp tone, “Look, if you can’t cooperate then we just won’t do this.” I heard myself on the video saying this and boy was it a reality check. I sounded mean. I thought to myself, had this been someone else’s kids I would have laughed it off. I very quickly deleted that video and determined to enjoy the girls and not lose my cool with them again. We ended up making the videos and had fun watching them together and eating the shakes and tasting the date bars.

I think it would be great if we could all play back videos when we are frustrated with our kids, grands, or our spouse. It might help us hear and see just how we really do treat those we love the most. We are so blinded to ourselves. I pray often that God will reveal things in me that are displeasing to Him. I am thankful for that video moment yesterday. When I had the girls today, I really thought twice about what I said or how I responded to them. Will I mess up in the future and use a sharp tone again? Probably, but I hope it will be rare. I want to be much more aware of my tone in the future and guard my tongue. Not saying I shouldn’t correct my granddaughters when they need correcting, but when I do, do it in love.

Proverbs 12:18 says, “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” My desire is to bring healing to my family through my words (and tone) not pain.

%d bloggers like this: