The Lighter Side

Simple Summer Suppers (and a give away too)

Simple Summer Suppers (and a give away too)

Update: I loved all of your recipe ideas! Thank you so much for sharing them. I'm going to have fun trying them out (and I'm sure my husband will be grateful to you too!). The random number generator ( chose Jennifer's comment as the winner. If you still want the platter, you can find it on It's on sale right now and you can get an extra 20% off with my friends and family code: holley20!

I enjoyed your answers to the Life Collection give away last week so much that I've decided to do round two!

Finding time to cook is a challenge for me (and I'm sure many of you too). So this week I'd love for you to leave a comment sharing a simple summer supper!

You can type out the recipe or link to it on a site ( is one of my absolute favorites). You can also just say something like, "We love to have breakfast for dinner in the summer."

I'll kick things off with a recipe I came up with a couple of years ago…


Quick Chick Southwest Salad

1 lb chicken tenders (from the grocery deli or you can buy them frozen to cook at home)

1 bag salad mix

1 avocado

1/2 purple onion (or whatever amount you like)

1 tomato

1/4 cup cheddar cheese

Cut chicken tenders, avocado, purple onion, and tomato into bite-size pieces. Combine with salad mix. Top with cheddar cheese and your choice of dressing.

Now it's your turn! If you share a simple summer supper (remember it doesn't have to be a complete recipe like the one above–just an idea) you can win this platter from the DaySpring Life Collection

Life Collection Platter

It has the word "life" in sixteen different languages and John 10:10, "I have come that they might life, and have it to the full" in the middle. You can serve your dinner on it or just let it sit there and look pretty while you go out to eat.

So leave your simple summer supper idea as a comment by midnight on Thursday and you'll be entered to win! And we'll all be forever grateful that you helped us out in the kitchen!

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I need an intervention

Let's say, hypothetically, that someone wrote a profound and deeply spiritual blog post about getting up to spend time with Jesus at 5am and then slept until 7am this morning…

Okay, okay, it's true. I did.  

(And did I mention that I'm supposed to be at work by 8 and it takes me 35 minutes to get there? Yeah, it was one of those mornings.)

I debated about whether or not to share this because, you know, some of you might have a little bit of a delusional idea that I might have some part of my life together.

But in the end I decided that I just can't keep anything from you so there it is. I bet the Proverbs 31 woman would not blog about such a thing and then oversleep. But she had servant girls so it's really not a fair comparison.

Anyway, I'm not going to make excuses. Except I will say that my hubby left at 4am this morning. After he was gone I fell back asleep and the rest is history.

So even though I've already goofed it up, I'm committed. But I need help, serious help. So all of you morning people and converted night owls, leave me a comment and tell me what I need to do. Please.

(By the way, all of this sleep talk reminds me of a story. When I was a newlywed, my husband–the ultra morning person–used to tell me, "You can get up early. You'll be fine!" I insisted that my hair would fall out or some other tragedy would occur if I got up a moment before it was really necessary. One morning he left for work early. My alarm went off, I got a shower, and was eating breakfast when the phone rang. My hubby asked, "Hey, whatcha doing?" I told him I was about to head out the door. He started laughing and then confessed to changing all the clocks in our apartment to an hour later. "See," he said quite cheerily, "You can get up early." Oh, I love that man, but it's amazing he's still alive.)

So if you don't help me, I'll have to ask Mark for assistance and he's likely to take drastic measures again–like installing an eject button on my side of the bed. Let's not give him the opportunity.

At this moment I'm feeling thankful for grace. And thankful for all of you lovely readers who don't judge me. You're not judging, right?

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I’m not cool

I’m not cool

Update: My amazing (and compassionate) friend Mandy has thrown down the gauntlet by sharing her own uncool pics and inviting others to do the same. So visit The Life of Us: The Baker Family and get busy on your blog post. Then be sure to tell us about it. Queens of Uncoolness, unite!  

Congratulations to Cathy Davis for winning the book and carafe from Jeanne Winters!

My blogging has been a bit slow this week because of a zillion things. But rather than bore you with them I'll go straight to a revelation that has come to me anew.

Here it goes…

I'm not cool.

Now, really, I've known this my entire life. I've got lots of Junior High pictures to prove it. I wore white socks with loafers, for crying out loud. But I vaguely had this idea that one day I would grow up, look in the mirror, and finally say, "Oh, yes, Holley you have finally become cool."

Well, I tell you what, it ain't gonna happen.

You may be asking yourself what led to this conclusion. There are many, many examples this week but here are a few.

First, I got to talk to a person I admire (who shall remain nameless) on the phone this week. I answered the phone and they said, "Hello, Holley, this is amazing-person-you-admire." And I said, "Hello, amazing-person-I-admire, this is Holley. Oh, of course it is, because you called ME."

Yes, I really said that word for word.

Second, my pants. I have one really good pair of black pants. The hem has fallen out and I do not know how to sew. I also am not allowed to have a hot glue gun (see previous post on lack of craft skills). Rather than taking them to someone, I save every itty-bitty safety pin I get to hold them in place. Right now I'm up to FIVE. I was in an important meeting today (Love you, Hallmark people) and looked down to see one of the five had jumped ship. Some poor, innocent person will probably get stabbed in the hallway because of my crazy pants.

Also, I still sing to my dog. I can't help it. Tonight I was changing the lyrics to a Christmas song (Walking in a Winter Wonderland.) My voice is terrible, the words make no sense, and it's spring. But I do it anyway. Do you want to know why? Because I am not cool.

I usually try to have something really deep or worthwhile to say at this point (or at least I try). But it's Friday night, What Not to Wear is on, and my in-laws will be arriving any moment. So I'm just going to wrap all of this up by sharing two photos I should probably track down and burn that recently surfaced on facebook reminding me just how deep my uncoolness goes…

Junior High Picture 1  

Oh, yes, those bangs (on the left). I'm most likely responsible for global warming.

Junior High Picture 2 

And just in case you thought I lied about the loafers and white socks, there they are in all their glory. 

If you're wondering, "What's the purpose of this post?" then I'll tell you. I'm sacrificially helping you feel better about yourself because no matter how uncool you may think you are, I think I've got you beat. And if you try to argue with me, I want to see a picture of your loafers.

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Ten Signs You’re in San Francisco

Ten Signs You’re in San Francisco

As a writer, I read everything wherever I go. Here in San Francisco I can't help but noticing some signs that are, well, a bit odd. I've been taking photos of them so you can enjoy them too.

* If you're a subscriber and can't see the photos please go to my blog.

1)  Disturbingly, it appears people tend to treat the toilets quite violently.


2) They must also like to start fires since this sign says, "No Fires – No Barbecues." I really didn't think you could have one without the other.


3) Since you can't make a fire or have a barbecue, there's really no point in taking the dungeness crabs.


4) Besides, the pier may collapse at any moment.But they let thousands of tourists walk on it anyway. We'll all look like we're doing water aerobics when we land in the bay like these stick figures.


5) Almost falling into the pier might make you want to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge. Just in case, there are phones right in the middle of it. None of my counseling classes covered this.


6) But you really shouldn't jump because people would miss you. Your dog would too. And if you were gone, no one would pick up the litter that Fido has evidently been throwing on the city streets.


7) Of course, if you have a really good dog then they'll get a monument like the one at the base of the Transamerica tower. It appears a puppy named "Bummer" and his buddy Lazarus roamed the streets here in the 1860s. And you thought "bummer" was a modern slang word. 


8) If that last caption made you want to do some research, be careful. This sign at City Lights bookstore warns that "Books cause dangerous thoughts" and you should hand them over to the local firemen. Or me. I'll take them.


9) By now, you may be wondering exactly what kind of citizens dwell in San Francisco. There are two types according to the following signs: "Good people" and "Jerks".



10) If this is a bit much to take in, just slow down like they tell you to do on Lombard street–the curviest road in the country. After all, it seems there's nothing straightforward in this terrific town!


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Make Me Laugh Monday (and Tuesday!)

Make Me Laugh Monday (and Tuesday!)

Silly me, if I’m anouncing the winner on Wednesday then of course the contest includes Tuesday. So if you haven’t entered yet, there’s still time!

At Blissdom last month I received a gift certificate for up to $50 from Crocs (the shoe company). After much pondering about what to do with it, I’ve decided to pass it along to one of you!

So I’m having a “Make Me Laugh Monday” contest because, well, it’s Monday and we could all use an extra smile.

Leave a funny comment (a story, conversation, quote, link, or whatever else has made you giggle lately) to be entered. Be a good sport and tell your Croc-loving friends to enter too.

I’ll announce the winner on Wednesday!


p.s. Rain on Me: Devotions of Hope and Encouragement for Difficult Times is on sale at through the end of this week (enter RAINON20 for your extra 20% off).

Rain on Me Cover

Download Rain on Me Excerpt

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More Beautiful Anomalies (Fancy Name for Weird Stuff I Do)

In my first post on this blog I wrote about beautiful anomalies. They're the things about ourselves that we're perhaps a bit embarrassed of but can also (hopefully) be a bit endearing–at least to God. For example, the way your friend snorts when she laughs is a beautiful anomaly.

My beautiful anomalies tend to get worse when I'm busy. This week they have been in full force. I thought about hiding in the closet but decided to share them with you instead…

1) Burn, Baby, Burn – Although I'm not a chef by any means, cooking does relax me when I'm a bit stressed. The drawback to that is that I start thinking while I'm cooking, zone out, and the next thing you know I'm smelling smoke. Last night I made Red Beans and Rice. One side of the little sausage pieces stayed perfectly pink. The other side was beyond "blackened."

2) Did I Just Run Into a Door? – When my brain is preoccupied, my body goes on autopilot. When my husband does this, he's like a 747 with a super computer system. All is well. When I do that, I'm like the little 4-seater plane that really shouldn't be getting off the ground. I run into door frames, get paper cuts, and bruise myself on tables I've had for years. Nothing serious but a tad humiliating, I must say.

3) Giggles – Fortunately, all this busyness is good stuff and I'm happy. When I'm happy I sometimes giggle in my sleep. Yes, it's true. I've woken myself up at times. The weird thing is, I'm not really a giggler during my waking hours. Sure, I laugh. But it's not the bizarre sound that emerges in the middle of the night.

So there you have it, my friends. The latest chapter in my beautiful anomalies. As always, I love hearing yours too. Otherwise I feel even weirder than I already am. And believe me, that's awfully weird at times (just ask my husband and the dog).

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Bible Across America

Bible Across America

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the NIV translation of the Bible, Zondervan is creating “America’s NIV.” They’re traveling by RV to cities across the country. In each city people are invited to come and transcribe a verse to be included.

That sounds very noble and inspiring so the editorial department of DaySpring decided that we would go and be a part of this movement. So we took off, had lunch at PF Chang’s to make sure our energy was up, and pulled into the parking lot so we could make history. The first thing we saw was this RV…

Bible Across America Van Jan 2009

I thought we would get to go on the RV to sign but apparently that’s top secret territory so we had to go in a plain ol’ building instead. Once inside we were told, “We’re working on three books today. You can get in line for 2 Kings, Luke, or Matthew.” The girls all chose the Luke line and then we each got a verse to write. 

During this time I was having a little daydream about being handed a verse like Jeremiah 29:11. I would inscribe it for all time. Mark and I would make it our family verse. We would frame it on the wall. Generations from now the story would be told. 

Then I looked at my paper and this was my verse…

“But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than it will be for you.” Luke 10:14 

All my fantasies went up in smoke, the fire and brimstone kind. I showed it to my boss and he laughed. I showed it to my coworker and she asked, “Wow, what did you do?” So I sighed, picked up my pen, and did my duty as you can see here…

Bible Across America Holley Ann4 Jan 2009

I was a little comforted that all but one of us got a verse that was a little bit, well, odd. I felt a bit bad for wishing for a different verse. After all, they’re equally important. But some just work a little better on their own than others.

Overall, it was a grand adventure and I’d recommend that all of you check out the Bible Across America site and find out when you can be a part of it too. You never know, they might be doing the book of Leviticus when they come to your town.

Bible Across America Group Jan 2009

From Left to Right: Ann, Me, Linn, Susan, Matt, and Trieste (behind the camera)

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Goals that Make You Giggle

Disclaimer: Remember what I said about making New Year's resolutions and not keeping them in my last post? Well, I want to be clear that what I'm about to share isn't about resolutions, it's about goals. (That's what I keep telling myself anyway).

At the start of each year, I spend a few hours praying and planning. So this morning I packed up my computer, grabbed my purse, and headed out the door to Einstein Bros Bagels. My cinnamon sugar bagel and cup of coffee provided adequate inspiration for me to spend the next couple of hours typing away. Everything was sounding quite noble until these suddenly appeared…

* I will have fun and try not to drive myself and others crazy by being too serious

* I will always keep good chocolate in the house

* I will remember that I'm not God and the world will not end if I relax once in a while

You can blame it on the bagel, but I'd like to think Someone gave my heart a nudge and reminded me of a little thing called grace. And I have to admit that these are probably my favorites. (Well, there are a few in my "What I Will Not Do in 2009" section that I liked a lot as well. For example, "I will not have a clean house all the time." That would be true anyway but it was kind've nice to make it official.)

So forget all of the traditional "I will run thirty miles every day in the freezing cold with weights around my ankles" goals that we tend to make. What's a goal that makes you giggle you'd like to set for the year? Think hard, have some coffee and/or chocolate if needed, then share with us here, pretty please with cinnamon sugar on top (just like my bagel)…

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Christmas Open House

Christmas Open House

Every year DaySpring has a Christmas Open House. Each department decorates, serves yummy food, and we all wander around and visit each other. We laugh, eat way too much, and get very little work done for an hour or so. One coworker of mine called it "Christmas trick-or-treating."

The editorial department decided to have a chocolate fountain this year. In this photo you can see senior editors Ann and Susan indulging with me.

Christmas Open House 003

The funny and famous Jon Huckeby was also celebrating with a special guest, his son Keenan. As you can see, Keenan was especially fond of the marshmallows.

Christmas Open House 001

I asked Jon if he had a Christmas cartoon to share with you as a little gift. So you are the very first people in the whole, wide world to get a sneak preview of his Bible Tails Christmas 2009 art…


© 2009 DaySpring Cards

From all of your friends at DaySpring–We hope your Christmas week is full of laughter, love, and sweet memories!

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