Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Topping

sweet potatoes

This tasty sweet potato dish is a perfect compliment to your Thanksgiving turkey (or ham). It’s not only delicious, but nutritious too. Sweet potatoes are high in many nutrients and vitamins. Sweet potatoes don’t have any fat or cholesterol (except for the additional ingredients that are in this dish), they contain fiber, high amounts of Vitamins A and C, and moderate amounts of calcium and iron. (See nutrient value here)

Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Topping

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup evaporated milk
¼ cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla Topping

Mix sweet potatoes, sugar, eggs, milk, butter and vanilla together. Pour into a well-greased two quart casserole dish. Cover with topping. Bake for 30 minutes at 375°.

1 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup coconut
1 cup pecans, chopped

Combine ingredients and mix well to form crumbs. Sprinkle over the potatoes.

Serves 6

Its Thyme for Fall_cover

It’s Thyme for Fall!

This booklet contains 9 herbal blends, 33 fall recipes and 9 crafting recipes.

Get ready for your Thanksgiving meal with a Turkey Basting Blend. Herbed Olives and a Sweet Potato Soufflé complement your turkey, with desserts of Brown Sugar Pumpkin Pie and a Grated Apple Pie.

Want to get a head start on a few Christmas gifts? The Pumpkin Spice Latte Body Scrub and Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub are quick and easy, getting you ahead of the upcoming Christmas frenzy.


Today, I choose Gratitude

Embracing Life Tribe

AGH_FB_Today, I choose gratitude!

Often people ask how I manage to be happy despite having no arms and no legs. The quick answer is that I have a choice. I can be angry about not having limbs, or I can be thankful that I have a purpose. I chose gratitude. Nick Vujicic

Nick Vujicic’s conscious choice to be thankful that he has a purpose, despite not having any limbs is both inspirational…and humbling. If I had no arms or legs, would I be able to make the choice that he did? Would I chose gratitude?

If I’m at all honest with myself, I’d have to say that I doubt it. I’d probably be so busy moaning and groaning about my horrible life. I’m not mobile. I have no arms to feed myself. I have no legs to walk and run. Waa waa waa. I can hear myself now and I cringe when I picture…

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Today, I choose Gratitude

Source: Today, I choose Gratitude

Pumpkin Delight – It’s Thyme for Fall

It’s Thyme for Fall! The fall chill drifts through the air, getting us in the mood for nights of fireplaces and hot chocolate, sweaters and boots, and of course…the season of pumpkin anything.

Pumpkin Delight

1 29 oz can pumpkin 1 13 oz can evaporated milk 1 cup sugar ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice ½ tsp cinnamon 3 eggs 1 box yellow cake mix 1 cup pecans, chopped 1 cup butter, melted

Whipped Cream


Beat together pumpkin, milk, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and eggs.

Pour into a 9 x 13 glass baking dish that has been sprayed with vegetable oil.

Sprinkle the dry cake mix evenly over the pumpkin mixtures, then sprinkle on pecans.

Drizzle melted butter over the top.

Bake at 350ºfor 1 hour.

Chill. Cut into squares. Top with whipped cream and enjoy!

Its Thyme for Fall_cover Thyme for Fall brings you 9 herbal blends with thyme in them and 33 recipes for delicious and tasty delights (Cranberry Conserve, Thyme Lime Chicken, Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Topping, Spicy Pumpkin Molasses Pie…and more!). Also included are 9 crafting recipes such as Peppermint-Thyme Foot Scrub, Pumpkin Pie Lip Balm and Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub.
Only available here: http://www.trishafaye.com/herbs_and_holidays

Release Day – A Second Chance

It’s here! A Second Chance is available, just in time to celebrate the 5-year anniversary of my own Sudden Cardiac Arrest. And yes, many of my own experiences and journal entries in the five years since have been sources of inspiration for Jenny’s story. (With some fictionalizing, much name changing and a lot of embellishments added.)

A Second Chance is the prequel to My Wildest Dream, where Jenny decides to leave Crafty Hands, follow her own dreams, and be true to her inner self. Once she figures out exactly who that inner soul truly is. (My Wildest Dream releases in January 2016.)

The 1,825 days – or 43,800 hours – or 2,628,000 minutes – since my heart started beating again has been an adventure. While no, not all of it has been easy, nor would I want to repeat a few instances here and there, I am truly grateful for my own second chance at life – a chance to create a meaningful one full of passion and possibility.

Here’s a snippet from A Second Chance. I hope you enjoy it and that it raises a few questions in your own life. Celebrate life and enjoy every breath you take!


If there’s not something in your life right now that gets you excited to jump out of bed each and every day, it’s time for a new direction. Life is meant to be lived. Life is about expanding your boundaries and squeezing out every bit of your passions and talent each and every day. If things are not working out right now, that’s okay. Decide to chart a new course, a new you, and a life full of possibilities. Brad Gast

A Second Chance_coverJPEGSeptember

The wolves howling on my phone told me it was Carla calling without even seeing her face appear on the screen. “Meet me for dinner sometime this week? I have a book I think you’d like.”

“Any night but Wednesday or Friday,” I answered. “I have to close those nights.”

“Thursday? At Chili’s?”


Thursday night couldn’t get here fast enough. This was the kind of week that cried out for a frosty, cold margarita. Carla looked up with a surprised look on her face when I ordered one. “Whaaaat? You don’t usually order alcohol. What’s up?”

“It’s been one of those weeks. Annoying customers, a manager that got on my last nerve, and a few coworkers that I could just about strangle.”

“Your manager being a jerk this week?”

“Not so much that. It’s just that sometimes I wonder how he gets through the day. I have an appointment next week and I submitted my form three weeks ago to have Tuesday off. The schedule comes out today…and he has me working that day.”

The server approached with our drinks and Carla reached for her sweet tea. “Remind him about it. Tell him he screwed up.”

Things were so cut and dried for Carla. She never had a problem speaking up. “I told him. It’s fixed. But it’s aggravating because this consistently happens. Once here or there wouldn’t be bad. But over half the time? That starts to get old.” A nice long sip of the frosty beverage in front of me soothed my inner beast. At least temporarily. “And then there’s Vicky. I was ordering today, so I could see when people went in the break room. Vicky took six breaks today. Six! And at least two of them were close to thirty minutes.”

“How does she get any work done at that rate?”

“I have no earthly idea. When I was clocking out for lunch, she was at lunch in the break room. She got up from the table, punched back in, then went and sat back down at the table to finish her conversation with Shauna.” Another big gulp of slushy margarita slid down my throat. “Oh good Lord, those women drive me crazy sometimes.”

“So…what would you rather do?”

“I don’t have a clue. Anything but Crafty Hands. I want out of there so bad.”

The server sat a steaming plate of fresh grilled tilapia covered in mango sauce in front of me, distracting me. “All it needs is a little sprig of fresh rosemary on the top.” I glanced over towards Carla’s meal. “Those sizzling fajitas look good too.” Those were the last words we spoke for a while as we each dove into our dinner.

Carla groaned and laid her fork down. “I can’t eat another bite. I’m stuffed.” She tipped her glass up and emptied the last of her tea. “Oh, I almost forgot your book.” She rummaged around in the bag she’d carried in with her, pulled out a paperback and handed to me.

The Joy Diet, by Martha Beck,” I read aloud from the cover. “Have you read it?”

“Yes. I really enjoyed it. I thought you would too.”

I barely heard her as I scanned the blurb on the back.

Carla kept talking, even though I hadn’t acknowledged her earlier statement. That’s one thing about Carla though, she doesn’t need much interaction. She can keep the conversation going pretty much on her own. “I marked a section for you.” She pointed to a little yellow sticky note protruding from the center of the book. “Some of it seemed to match the questioning you’ve been going through lately. The author talks about being truthful with ourselves and how we can disengage from our experiences.”

“I don’t feel that I’m disengaging,” I countered. “I’m trying to dig deeper and be more real.”

“You are now. But maybe before you were, to some extent.”

“Maybe,” I reluctantly agreed.

“In the section I marked, she talks about words Virginia Woolf wrote long ago. Something about ‘living behind a pane of glass’. It’s how we distance ourselves from our reality, and that while living behind this pane of glass is numbing and empty, it also feels safe.”

Touché! How much of my life did I spent behind this numbing pane of glass? I’d never knew that I’d done this. Thumbing through the pages, I glanced at some of the headings. “Guess what I’ll be reading at bedtime tonight?”

Carla began humming a familiar tune and I knew the words as they fell from her lips. “…I…have become comfortably numb…”

“Pink Floyd,” I chimed in. The wheels in my head were already turning. I was thinking of the distancing I’ve allowed in my life. To live an authentic life and be true to myself, I must know myself – my true being – without the cloak of protection this gauzy layer provides me. So, what is my true being? What do I want to do with my life?

A Second Chance is available at Amazon

Planning to be a Trail Angel

FB_quote from attila the bunWould you like to be a trail angel?

Most of the hiking activity is wrapping up to a close, with the approaching winter months. Some of the passes in the northern portions and higher elevations are already getting some snowfall and experiencing plunging temperatures. But this is the perfect time to start thinking about what you can do to be a trail angel. There’s about five or six months before thru hikers start hitting the trail. That’s plenty of time to plan and then you’ll be set next spring and won’t be rushing around in a flurry trying to figure out how you can help.

A few matters to mull over and decide are:

How much time to you have to devote to being a trail angel? Unlimited? Occasional evenings here and there? A weekend a month? One day a month?

What are the financial resources that you’re able to share with others? Deciding on an approximate dollar amount that fits your budget helps direct the magic that you’ll share. It might help you decide if you’ll purchase meals for hikers, make some homemade snacks, or only provide transportation when needed.

From Trail Angel Mama, here’s a snippet to get some ideas starting to circulate through the gray matter. We’ll come back next week and share some more specific ideas to be a trail angel.


Would you like to be a trail angel and provide a little kindness to hikers on the long journey? The magic you provide can be small or large. It can range from something as simple as a ride into town, or a bottle of water to larger gestures such as a warm meal or a soft bed for one night.

You can do as much, or as little, as you’d like.

You don’t even have to live near one of the major hiking trails, although close proximity does make it easier to lend a helping hand.

There’s a touch of controversy about trail angels. A few vocal opponents claim that these gestures of trail magic diminish the hiking experience. These protestors feel that hikers should make the entire trip on their own, without help or cushy evenings under a stranger’s roof. Some state that the hikers have come to expect these kindnesses.

Those in opposition to trail angels certainly have the privilege of their own opinions. They may be right – there may be a few on the trail that are making the trip with the expectation that strangers will provide many pleasures and amenities to help them achieve their own desires of completing a hike of several thousand miles.

However, none of the hiker’s that the Holman’s crossed paths with had any of these thoughts. One comment that was often repeated was how appreciative all of the hikers were.

One thing to keep in mind is that the trails this year, at least on the PCT, experienced record numbers of hikers. While numbers have increased annually since the book Wild, by Cheryl Strayed, was written, once the movie was out, the numbers increased dramatically.

A book by Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods, about his experiences on the AT, is now released as a movie, also. Will this increase the number of hikers on that trail also? Probably.

But the question remains, will this increased activity keep escalating, or holding steady? Or, will the numbers drop back down once the excitement generated by the increased promotion of thru hiking dies down? Time will tell.

Thru hiking is not a new venture. Emma Gatewood hiked the AT – not once, but three times, and the Oregon Trail, from 1955 to 1972. She had a lot less equipment and less preparation than many of today’s hikers. In the book, Grandma Gatewood’s Walk, by Ben Montgomery, he tells of how she headed off to hike the AT for the first time in 1955. This then 67-years-old great-grandmother started hiking with one change of clothes and less than two hundred dollars. But even though she made her journeys so many years ago, she still wrote of the kindnesses she received from strangers – rides, meals, help along the way –years before the terms ‘trail angel’ or ‘trail magic’ were used.

All we can advise, from this side of the page, is to look within your heart. Is this something you want to do? Why do you want to pass along trail magic? Search deep and know why you have this desire. If the answer is still ‘yes’…than carry on and do it. Don’t listen to the naysayers, or the people in your life that may try to dissuade you. Follow your own heart and your own journey.


Trail Angel Mama is available at Amazon and at Barnes and Noble

Happy Wednesday!

Have a great day full of blessings. We’re here, we’re alive and breathing. What else do you have to be thankful for today?

Source: Happy Wednesday!

Welcome to Embracing Life!

Source: Welcome to Embracing Life!

New Release! Trail Angel Mama

ail Angel Mama_coverIt’s live! TRAIL ANGEL MAMA is available as an ebook now!

Here’s a short excerpt for your weekend reading pleasure:

A mid-May snow storm in Wrightwood left four hikers cold, wet and looking for a warm room for the night. We got a call from Zach and Mike headed right into town to pick them up. By the time he got there, they and their packs and sleeping bags were soaked through.

A roaring fire and a hot dinner greeted our guests when they arrived. It was an easy meal for me to fix; baked spaghetti, salad and garlic bread. A batch of fresh baked brownies was a dessert that everyone enjoyed.

With our tummies full and the fire keeping everyone warm, we sat around exchanging stories. These newest four were a diverse group, as I’m seeing most are.

Zach, or ‘Face’ as he’s called on the trail, isn’t a newbie hiker. He hiked the Appalachian Trail (AT) in 2011. He’s 29-years-old, from Mississippi and likes to garden and make homemade mustard.

Jack, with the trail name ‘Catwhacker’, is a 25-year-old from Oregon. He’s an environmental engineer and he’s taking this time on the trail before he starts his master’s program in August.

While female hikers traveling alone may be the minority on the trail, it’s not unusual to see them. Rachel, or ‘Gazelle’, is an adventurous 23-year-old from Canada. She lived in Asia for a year and wants to live in New Zealand in the future. She’s working her way, a mile at a time, back toward the Canadian border and home.

Ram was the oldest in this group of four. He also traveled the furthest of this group to hike the PCT, being another one that came from Israel.

As much as we all enjoyed meeting one another and sharing stories, our hikers were exhausted. After hiking a 29 mile day, through a light snow storm over Mt. Baden-Powell, then eating and sitting around a fire, energy levels dropped and we all headed to bed by 9:00.

This guest room of ours is starting to get a work out.

After a sound night’s sleep, everyone was up by 7:00. Most of the hikers are fairly self-sufficient and these four were no different. While they fixed themselves breakfast, Ram made his first cup of American coffee, and they discussed when they were going to move on. Catwhacker was waiting for a resupply package that afternoon. They debated about waiting for his package to arrive and then leave in the afternoon. After looking at the weather forecast, they decided to hang out in Wrightwood for another day.

Just a note, Zach – or ‘Face’ on the trail – made it to the Canadian border on September 15th. Congratulations on a successful thru-hike, Zach!


For more tales from Trail Angel Mama, here’s the link for the ebook at Amazon.

Guest Post: Stitches From the Past Bring Cash

Earlier this month I was a guest blogger at Write Naked. (No, I kept my clothes on while I wrote this post!) Go take a peek, and you’ll see one of my favorite things – some 1934 quilt squares that I picked up for a song at a yard sale.

Source: Guest Post: Stitches From the Past Bring Cash

October 2015

Past blogs