Stop and Smell the Roses

Hey everyone!  I hope you are all enjoying your Sunday and look forward to a beautiful week ahead. When I was thinking about writing this post, I knew what I wanted to share but was having trouble coming up with a catchy title.  After I mulled a few things over in my mind, I decided this old standby "Stop and Smell the Roses," was perfect for this post.  I think too often we get caught in the rat-race of the every day, and it all begins to blur.  I don't want to go through life with blurry vision.  I want to seek and find joy in everything.

For the last few years, this metal piece has been adorned with pics of our children and grandchildren and displayed from Fall through Christmas somewhere in our home.  I moved it to my craft room door a couple of months ago and filled it with family pics.  I'm pretty sure this is where it will 
stay all year long.
I'm always humbled and filled with joy when I look at these faces.... our children and grandchildren.  They are all so kind, caring and thoughtful.  I truly believe grandchildren are the "sprinkles" on frosted cupcakes.    Simple frosted cupcakes are delicious and good, but add some sprinkles and you are sent to a whole new level of goodness!

This is Phoebe, our 12 year old granddaughter.

She is not only a little beauty, but quite the athlete!
Phoebe will be going to the Jr. Olympics with her volleyball team in July!  We love this kid so much and are so proud of her.
We are proud of you, too, Abby!  You do the best job of turning the lowly plastic bag into amusement 
for yourself and for us.

And once you wear yourself out playing, you are content to sit and cuddle.  She does a good job of taking a selfie, don't you think?  
Just sitting and stroking her soft fur seems to bring such calm and pause to ponder 
what's really important.

Fresh-cut flowers from the yard or your favorite market, bring such joy as they fill your senses
with their beauty.

The Man has gotten very good at picking up bundles of these beauties and surprising me.  He knows just the right ones that make me extra happy.

Sunflowers always make me smile.

My grandmother always said that yellow was truly a special color but never explained why.  
Now I believe it's a very special color, and I choose not to explain it either.  
The joy comes with just letting it be "special."

I find so much joy and contentment in planning and preparing good food.  The last time I did a 
What's Cookin'? post, this deliciousness was on my menu plan for the next week, and I promised to share after we tried it.
One Pan Balsamic Chicken and Veggies | Cooking Classy

Well, it was delicious!  I served it with brown rice, and we loved it.

With the leftover balsamic chicken, I made a nice dinner salad....the fresh strawberries were 
The Man's idea, and they were a perfect addition!  There is something so joyful about cutting and preparing food, if you take the time to allow the joy to take over.

Have you ever tried this Krusteaz mix?  The Man found these at the store, and he got a couple of "atta boys" for this!  I cannot believe I didn't take a pic, but trust me, these were delicious!

This is a recipe from Jane at Blondies Journals.  It's called Roasted Chicken Provencal and uses
chicken thighs.  Sorry, I forgot to take an "after" photo, but we had it with ranch beans & cornbread.....so delicious!  The wonderful aroma filled the kitchen and our olfactory receptors.  Don't you just love wonderful smells coming from your kitchen?

Bow-Tie Pasta w/Chicken, Broccoli & Sun-Dried Tomatoes...recipe from 
This dish was a bit of a stretch for The Man.....not much of a pasta-person except for lasagne and the occasional spaghetti & meatball meal.  Let's just say that he ate it, said it was good, but preferred to put it on the "only occasionally" list....lol!  That's okay, I had a couple of great lunches with the leftovers!
Please do yourself a huge favor and purchase a good wedge of Parmesan cheese to either 
shave or grate over this pasta.  You will not be sorry!
This chicken dish is now one of our very favorites.  It takes a bit of time to prepare because there are
several steps....3 different things the chicken pieces get coated and dipped in before searing, but definitely worth the effort!

Our kitchen, breakfast area and family room are all open, so I truly enjoy having pretty and interesting things to look at when I'm preparing food.

This is a completely different look for our mantel, but I'm finding it to be soothing somehow.  The colors are soft and muted, except for the deco spheres, making it feel comfy.

We continue to have lovely weather, which is another reason to "Stop and smell the roses."  Spring has chosen to stick around for awhile this year.  All of us Zonies know it won't be like this much longer, but we can enjoy it while it lasts.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week and takes the time to enjoy even the little things
that life has to offer.

I often party with these lovely bloggers:

Dee at Meatloaf and Melodrama for Merry Monday
Cindy at Dwellings--The Heart of Your Home for Amaze Me Monday
Maria Elena at Our Home Away from Home for Tuesdays at Our Home

Marty at A Stroll Thru Life  for Inspire Me Tuesday

Suzy at Worthing Court for The Scoop

Jemma at  At Home With Jemma for Thoughts of Home on Thursday

Pamela at From My Front Porch to Yours for Treasure Hunt Thursday
Richella at Imparting Grace for Grace at Home


  1. Great post, Carol! Your granddaughter is beautiful and yes, we all need to be reminded to stop and smell the roses! Glad to hear the weather is nice for now! It's been beautiful here as well. Enjoy your week!

  2. Sweet and mindful post, Carol! Phoebe is such a cute girl. My oldest grand will be 12 in July, where does the time go? I'm sure we are all trying to savor every moment of spring that we can, right!! May you have a wonderful week as well! Blessings, Cindy xo

  3. You have the most beautiful grands! I know you are so proud of them. And little Abby...she's so cute with her plastic bag! They sure do love their bags and boxes. All those meals you made look delicious! And yep...I've tried those Krusteaz mixes before and they are so good!

  4. What a great post, Carol...filled with many lovely things to be thankful for. Phoebe is simply adorable and I can tell you are a proud grandma! Your food dished look so delicious and I really love your mantle d├ęcor. My hubby brings me flowers too...we have them trained right, don't we? (smile) Have a wonderful week :)

  5. Carol, I always love catching up with you. Your are truly blessed with a lovely family....and a sweet kitty! Your food looks amazing and lemon bars are my favorite!

  6. Carol,
    Your inspiration and passion for life are the fuel for success! We are what we think and well I guess what we eat and by the looks of things you are on track in both of these areas! Love this positive and pretty post:)
    You my dear are a total amazing inspiration:)
    Happy Monday!

  7. All the food looks so good. I'm getting tired of eating the same things. That is awesome about the Junior Olympics. I know you're so proud!

  8. Your granddaughter is just adorable! Congrats to her for going to the jr. olympics! That is amazing. Your hubby, The Man is a keeper for sure! Flowers really do brighten up a home and I think if I can find a chicken breast in my freezer I am making the balsamic chicken....my mouth is watering right now...and the lemon bars too....yumyum!!!

  9. Great post! Your grandaughter is so pretty! Congrats to her on the Jr. Olympics... that's awesome! Your delicious looking food has my mouth watering! All looks so yummy! Hope you are doing well! :) ~Rhonda

  10. Carol, I'm officially ashamed for not cooking more. Your dishes all look so delicious.

    How cool for your grand daughter to be going to the Junior Olympics! Will you go and watch?

    I love your thoughts on just letting something be special.

    Happy Thoughts of Home to you today. :)

  11. Pretty granddaughter! Good luck to she and her teammates! Your dishes look delicious.

  12. Our grandchildren make us so proud! I love this post for so many reasons, your gentle spirit, great food, and you just being you!
    Thank you again sweet friend for joining us at TOHOT!

  13. Hi Carol,
    I will come back as most of your pics are not showing up for some reason. That
    happened on someone else blog too, so think google or blogger is probably tweaking
    something. But I got the gist of the stop and smell the roses and I could not
    agree more.........

    Will let you know when I come back and hoping the pics will come up.
    Blessings hon, Sounds like you are doing well........

  14. Hi Carol-
    Thank you for sharing this at TOHOT
    That is amazing your granddaughter is going to the junior olympics!
    Woo hoo!

  15. Hi Carol,
    Came back and got to see all your pics but 2, the krusteaz mix, we love those!
    and one of your food items. Anyway, lovely post, and those are some of the things
    I enjoy as well.........life is good! That is very cool that your granddaughter
    is going to the jr. olympics. Now am guessing that is your son's daughter??

    You take care hon, and have a great weekend.
    Blessings, Nellie

  16. Best of luck to Phoebe and Abby gave me a smile! I am a bit late to the TOHOT party this week due to my college semester finals but I'm so glad that I didn't miss this. Have a wonderful week.


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