Things I Love Thursday: Popcorn


I’ve become addicted to popcorn lately. And not just any kind of popcorn. I want fresh popped popcorn. Not microwave popcorn. Not even movie popcorn. I want it fresh popped on the stove.

I started popping my popcorn on the stove a few months ago. It’s SO easy and SO much cheaper. You put a bit of oil on the bottom of your pot, pour in some kernels and turn on medium heat. Then, you wait. Once you hear/see the first pop, you plop the top on and shake. And, you don’t have to shake hard. You just have to keep the kernels moving a bit. Please note that you put the top on once it’s started popping and not before. Condensation occurs and will totally mess up the process if you put the top on too soon. And, make sure you take off the top as soon as it’s done popping, or you have soggy popcorn.

One of the coolest things about popping popcorn fresh is that you have total control over how much you make. You can make a little or a lot. It’s totally up to you. Just make sure you don’t ~ahem~ put too much in or it pushes the top off the pot.

I serve it with a little bit of butter and salt. Yummmm….

So, how do you like your popcorn popped?

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Things I Love Thursday: My BFF

My BFF, Katie B, is an amazing woman. She’s an awesome woman of faith. An incredible mother. A loving wife. And, above all, a lifelong friend. I LOVE her. MUCH!

Today, Katie starts yet another chemo plan. In Houston. At MD Anderson. Far away from me.

I don’t like it.

I don’t like that I’m not near her. I HATE that she has cancer. I DESPISE that she has been fighting this particular battle with her liver for two years. I quake with ANGER and FEAR when I remember that we almost lost her last year.

But I LOVE her. I LOVE her children. I LOVE her husband (in a totally appropriate way of course). And, I LOVE that God has put me in her life and her in mine. I LOVE what I have seen God do for her and because of her during this journey. I LOVE the people I’ve met because I walk with her. I LOVE how the Body of Christ surrounds someone who is hurting. I LOVE the closeness I feel to my heavenly Father when I am on my knees praying for her. Through my relationship with her, I have learned much about God’s LOVE.

Today is a big day. Katie begins a very aggressive treatment plan. The first 48 hours will be crucial to see how her body reacts to the drugs. I am asking, no begging, that everyone who feels comfortable take a minute to pray for her today. Pray for her body. Pray for her soul. Pray for God’s healing power. Pray His light shines even in the darkest moments.

I am setting my alarm for 8:30AM when the treatments are supposed to begin and for every hour after that. I plan to stop and pray for her each time the phone beeps at me. Can you set your alarm for a special time today? And, at that moment, when the beeping starts, will you pray for her? Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

For more info, visit Katie’s Caring Bridge Page.

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Things I Love Thursday: Losing It! Ladies

I was seriously struggling tonight trying to figure out what I “LOVE” right now that I haven’t talked about. What haven’t I shared with my Thursday readers?¬†I really do feel like I have readers who only read me on a certain day of the week. I find that VERY interesting. What is major in my life right now that I LOVE.

It came to me. I LOVE Fridays when I get to check in with all the Losing It! Ladies. Twitter #losingit10 These ladies and I have formed relationships over the last few months as we’ve shared our weight loss journeys with each other. They amaze me and inspire me with their willingness to share their trials and triumphs. We celebrate weight loss. We cheer when someone has maintained. And, we encourage when someone hits a bump in their ¬†journey. We have become a true community. A community of women who all aspire to be better stewards of the one body God has given them. A community of women who want to share what they’ve learned with others who understand their journey. A community of women who always have time to give a shout of congrats or encouragement.

I LOVE the LOSING IT! Ladies. Come by tomorrow and meet them!

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Things I Love Thursday: Contigo Travel Mug

This mug has helped me lose 24 pounds. It seriously has.

I fill it every morning when I get up.

I fill it again before I leave the house.

I fill it again when I get to work.

I fill it again, and again, and again, and again while I’m at work.

I fill it for my ride home.

I fill it for dinner.

I fill it for evening time in front of the tv.

That’s TEN fills. It’s a 12 oz mug.

What am I filling it with? WATER!!

That has made a huge difference in my weight loss journey.

Why this mug? Because it keeps the water COLD COLD COLD for hours. Seriously. Even in the Georgia heat, it keeps water cold forever. We were at the outlet mall for three hours yesterday afternoon. I left this mug in the car with cold water in it. It was over eighty degrees outside. When I got back in the car, I still had cold water. Ya, it’s a good one.

I checked out the Contigo site. They’ve got lots of great mugs. Even some for kids. We love them at the House of Hills.

Do you have a mug you LOVE?

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Things I Love Thursday: Neighbors

I have awesome neighbors. Like, seriously awesome neighbors.

You know the kind that a quick phone call or text will have them running to your aid.

The kind that call you at midnight to tell that your garage door is open because they care about you.

The kind that will take your kid to the pool because they know you need to work.

The kind that are always up for an impromptu get-together.

The kind that fix you a meal in a time of need.

The kind that will pick you up a gallon of milk since they are going to the store anyway.

The kind that always have extra popsicles in their freezer so that every kid can have one.

The kind that share their sunscreen and pool snacks.

The kind that will come over and try baked beans so you can write a blog post about it.

Ya, I’ve got awesome neighbors.

I love them.

Oh, and that beans blog post. It’s coming soon. Promise.

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Things I Love Thursday: Fresh From the Oven Cookies

I made these cookies this morning for the Princess’ end of the year party this afternoon.

I had run out of chocolate chips. I know this utterly shocking for those who know me well. I NEVER run out of anything. So, I used chocolate chunks and toffee bits. Oh my!

They looked amazing. They smelled amazing.

I’m doing well on my LOSING IT goals, but these cookies… they were calling my name.

“Kathy….Kathy…You must eat me. You MUST!!!”

So I DID! I ate a FRESH FROM THE OVEN CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIE!

It was SO GOOD! Like ambrosia on the tongue. Absolutely heavenly…

Now, I will go record my calories like a good little girl. Might have to take another walk this afternoon.

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Things I Love Thursday: The Princess Loves to Read

Today is the Accelerated Readers Awards at the Princess’s school. She’s finding out what I already know. That she is in the TOP TEN of the second grade for points. I’m not sure exactly where she landed, but I know she’s pretty close to the top.

This is her AR hat. They proudly wear their hats on Fridays with patches on them for all their points. Pretty impressive huh?

You know what? An award, an impressive hat. Those things don’t really excite this mommy.

What excites this mommy is knowing that her baby LOVES LOVES LOVES to read!!

That she’ll find a quiet place on vacation in all the cousin mayhem to enjoy a good book.

That she enjoys just laying around reading every once in awhile.
No technology needed.


That she shares her love of reading with whomever is around her and will always read to the younger cousin.

That’s what I love today. I love that my Princess LOVES to read.

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Things I Love Thursday: Food Network Magazine

There has been a serious food theme lately here at the House of Hills so I thought I would share my FAVORITE cooking magazine with you.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Food Network Magazine. Love it!

When the last issue arrive in the mail last week, I actually had to fight My Sweetie for it. Not really fight, more like we both wanted to read it and we had to take turns. This month’s issue has lots of burger recipes in it. Hello! Who doesn’t love burger recipes! I can honestly say that I sit and read this magazine cover to cover within twenty-four hours of it coming in my door. LOVE it!

Here are some of my favorite things.

1. The layout is AWESOME. They have some amazing people working on this magazine. Recipes have great pictures. Everything is easy to read and find. It’s great.

2. Each issue has this fun insert in the center – like a mini-cookbook you can pull out. It always has fifty recipes of their highlighted food in it. This month’s is burgers. Fifty different variations of a burger – cool! A previous month had pancakes and waffles. Their whole-wheat pancake recipe is now my go-to recipe. It’s yummy. There have been all kinds of neat things. I pull all these out and put them with my cookbooks.

3. There is a “Weeknight” and a “Weekend” cooking section. They have great recipes. The weeknight ones are of course easier and take less time while the weekend ones are a bit more involved and are usually something you might not have tried but would like to.

4. All my favorite Food Network Stars are in there. I heart them.

This is also one of my favorite magazines to take to the pool and share with the neighbors. We all get great ideas out of it, and it starts great food discussions. I so enjoy talking about food.

Do you get Food Network Magazine? What do you love about it?

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This is just my opinion. I pay for my magazine. Nothing for free here. **sigh**

Things I Love Thursday: Pudding

I’ve been Losing It for ten weeks. Some days have been better than others of course. But, I’ve found if I can find lower fat/sugar substitutes for some of my favorite things, then I don’t crave them as much.

One such thing is the fat free/sugar free chocolate pudding from Jello brand. I know, you’re thinking what’s the point in eating it if it’s got no fat or sugar. Well, here’s the thing. Since I took the full fat/full sugar items out of my diet, it kinda hurts my tummy to eat them – for real. This pudding gives me just enough of a chocolate fix without adding too many calories or hurting my tummy.

It’s become a thing I love.

What do love for a sweet snack?

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Things I Love Thursday: Sleeping Mask

This is my child last night before bed. She was in heaven. The Princess goes to bed at 7:30. EVERY night (well, most every night). She needs MUCH sleep to be a happy girl. And, she wakes up between 6:00 and 6:30 EVERY morning no matter what time she goes to bed. This is GREAT during the school year, and not too bad during vacation now that she can get herself up.

The problem with going to bed at 7:30 (besides the fact that she can hear the kids playing outside) is the fact that once Daylight Savings Time starts it is VERY bright in her room. VERY bright, even with the curtains pulled and blinds shut.

She has been begging me for a sleeping mask. Begging. I finally remembered to pick one up at Walmart. Just $5. No big deal. It was in the travel section.

Last night, fell asleep within fifteen minutes. No whining about it being to light. No tossing and turning while trying to fall asleep. AWESOME!

Definitely a thing I love.

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