Interview with Stark and Cort Howell & Gregory Schell

In my last blog post, I told y’all about some of my adventures in Mayberry.  Ok, technically, it’s Mount Airy… but essentially, it’s Mayberry.  I also told y’all that I would be posting an interview with some men that I got to meet and feel very blessed to have become friends with!  They are none other than Stark and Cort Howell, and Gregory Schell.

I got to meet these three gentlemen during Mayberry Days 2019.  It was there that I first heard of their movie project, Mayberry Man.  I was immediately intrigued, and have since become a team member and then a team leader, doing what I can to help out with this amazing project!  I’ve been telling people about the movie, but I am so excited to be able to share it with you directly from them!  I hope you enjoy hearing from them as I did!


Me:  Hey, y’all!  Thanks so much for agreeing to do this interview!  Before we get started, though, I would love to introduce each of you and tell a little about you!

Stark and Cort Howell are two of Hoke Howell’s three sons.  Hoke played Dud Wash on The Andy Griffith Show.


Gregory Schell is the son of Ronnie Schell, who appeared in two episodes of The Andy Griffith Show, and also played Duke Slater on Gomer Pyle, USMC.


Stark is Writer and Director of Mayberry Man.  Cort is Producer.  Gregory is Co-Producer.


The son of an actor, Stark grew up around the entertainment industry in Burbank, California.  His early artistic talent grew into a love for all forms of art and led him to choose Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA for his formal art education.  It was then a natural transition to apply his craft within the entertainment industry where he has spent the past twenty-eight years as a director and storyboard artist in the field of animation.  His credits include work in both television and theatrical releases for studios such as Walt Disney, Warner Brothers, Nickelodeon and Universal.  Drawing from his artistic talent coupled with a classical art education, Stark has applied his craft in varied arenas over the years.  His freelance career has included work in film as well, including writing and directing an award-winning documentary.


Cort Howell is one of the most successful independent direct response television producers of all time, with campaigns generating over $2 billion in sales.  Cort has the ability to craft stories that drive people to purchase products and change behaviors on a massive scale.  His client list includes Zumba, Murad, NutriBullet, Guthy-Renker, Beachbody, Jenny Craig, and bold entrepreneurs looking to catch lightning in a bottle.  The Jordan Whitney Report recognizes Cort as one of the 5 most influential producers in the industry.  As a filmmaker, he has previously written and produced an award-winning independent feature film.


Photographer/Filmmaker Gregory Schell was born in Los Angeles, California and received his Bachelor’s degree in Film Studies at UC Santa Barbara and his Master’s degree in Film/Photography at San Francisco State University.  He has directed a number of feature-length documentaries including “The Far Shore” which played in numerous international film festivals, and “Mayberry Days,”  which chronicles the 50th anniversary of the Andy Griffith television show as it is celebrated in Griffith’s hometown of Mount Airy in North Carolina.  The film continues to screen at the famous Mayberry Days Festival.

Me:  So, Stark – I’ll start with you, since you had the original idea for the Mayberry Man project.  What gave you the inspiration for this particular project, and how has it come about?

Stark:  Our father had attended some Mayberry events in the 1990’s, so I was aware the festivals existed, but I had never attended one until 2018.  When I did, I was struck by the family atmosphere and how it was like stepping back into time into Mayberry.  I immediately thought it could provide a wonderful backdrop for a story that could touch a lot of people.  And by including some of the original stars of The Andy Griffith Show as well as the fans, I thought it could be a special film that would have a lot of meaning to people.

Me:  Can you give us a summary of what the film is about?

Stark:  Mayberry Man is a modern day feature-length family comedy that will include stars from the original 1960’s classic television series The Andy Griffith ShowIn Mayberry Man, Noah Stone is a self-centered movie star who gets arrested for speeding in a small Southern town.  The judge, knowing a small fine means nothing to a rich movie star, sentences Noah to spend a week at Mayberry Fest, an annual celebration of the classic television series.  Immersed in this modern-day version of Mayberry, our movie star is forced out of his Hollywood bubble and given the opportunity to discover the true meaning of friendship and family.

Me:  Cort, what did you think of the idea when Stark presented it to you?

Cort:  Any project associated with The Andy Griffith Show is going to have to meet a very high standard, so I approached the project with caution.  But after reading the script, I knew we had an excellent foundation to build on.  Then it was just a matter of how best to raise the money to make the movie without compromising on the qualities of the story that make it true to the Mayberry spirit.  That’s when we decided the best way to approach the project was to partner with the fans, people who appreciate and understand the Mayberry spirit.


Me:  What has made you decide to do this film independently instead of selling the idea to Hollywood?

Cort:  First of all, it can take years to sell a film concept or script in Hollywood.  I’ve seen countless quality scripts go unproduced for a variety of reasons.  The surviving stars of The Andy Griffith Show aren’t getting any younger, so timing is one factor.  Our father passed away more than 20 years ago and it’s a shame that he isn’t around to participate.  By producing a film independently, it can be done for a lot less than a typical Hollywood movie.  And by partnering with the fans, we can do it more efficiently than your typical independent feature film.  And on top of that, we are making this movie for the fans, so an independent filmmaking approach allows us to maintain full control of the production so we can do things that traditional filmmaking would never allow.  We’re putting fans into the film, we’re breaking up our production on the calendar to involve fans in multiple cities, and we’re not going to depend on celebrity talent to make this film marketable.  We know we have a fan base that will appreciate this movie so long as we deliver something that is fun, professionally produced, and stays true to Mayberry.

Me:  What role do each of you play in the production of this film?

Stark:  I am the storyteller—the writer and director.

Cort:  I am producing, overseeing the business side of the production and marketing.

Gregory:  I am co-producing, as well as helping with the myriad of behind-the-scenes responsibilities. 


Me:  Greg, how do you feel about being a co-producer for Mayberry Man, and what are your thoughts on this project?

Gregory:  I’ve spent the past 7 years attending Mayberry festivals with my father and getting to know the fans.  Fans quickly become friends, and the next thing you know, we are all one big family.  So when Stark invited me to help with the movie, it was a perfect fit.

Me:  How do the people involved with The Andy Griffith Show feel about Mayberry Man?

Cort:  Every Mayberry actor or family member we’ve spoken with has expressed support of the project.  They have all agreed to appear in the film.  Many Mayberry family members have also joined the project, including Dixie Griffith, Karen Knotts, George Lindsey, Jr., and Laura Hagen (widow of music composer Earl Hagen).

Me:  Any ideas on who the main star of the film will be?

Cort:  We have a couple of strong lead actors in mind.  Casting can make or break a film.  It’s sort of like cooking—there are many wonderful and delicious foods and spices, but they don’t all belong in the same dish.  So we have to take our time and make sure we are bringing together the right combination of talent.  Since we are crowdfunding this movie, we won’t know our budget until we are close to completing our crowdfunding campaign.  So that also limits our ability to consider celebrity talent.  If we raise enough money, then that opens up a lot more possibilities with respect to the talent we can attract.

Me:  I know that Allan Newsome will play a big part in this story. Could you tell us a little bit about his character in the movie?

Cort:  Allan is being asked to play Allan, the Floyd the Barber tribute artist, so we can’t think of a better fit. Stark has written the script to leverage Allan’s natural talents.

Me:  Where will Mayberry Man be filmed, and when will production begin?

Cort:  Production will begin in May 2020 around the time of the Mayberry in the Midwest festival taking place in Danville, Indiana.  Additional production will take place in and around Mount Airy, North Carolina, during the 2020 Mayberry Days® festival. We will also shoot several days in Los Angeles, most likely in September.

Me:  Since you are producing this film independently, you are doing a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money for the project.  Could you tell us a little more about that?

Cort:  Kickstarter and other crowdfunding websites have provided a wonderful way for creative people to fund new projects.  For filmmakers, it allows us to bypass the standard Hollywood studio system and work directly with fans who are most interested in our project.  Studio films cost tens of millions of dollars and make hundreds of millions by appealing to the masses in the US and around the world.  By using Kickstarter and partnering with Mayberry fans, we can focus on making a quality project for a relatively small audience without worrying about losing money because the fans ultimately decide how much money the movie will cost to make.



Me:  What are some of the ways the fans of The Andy Griffith Show can get involved in the Mayberry Man movie?

Cort:  We want to make it possible for every Mayberry fan to participate.  For $10, you can get your name in the closing credits and enjoy a free pre-release online screening.  And the more your contribute, the more rewards you can get.  A digital download of the movie, an autographed DVD, t-shirts, attend a red carpet premiere, and you can even be in the movie.  We also have levels where you can get a speaking role in the film, put your whole family in the movie, or get a producing credit.  We also have sponsorship and product placement opportunities for business owners.  Additionally, we also have a way for fans to participate without any money out of pocket by becoming an official Mayberry Man Team Member.  Team Members get a custom Kickstarter link that they can share with others and when contributions come in from their link, they earn credits toward Mayberry Man rewards.

Me:  Will Mayberry Man hit the big screen, or will it go directly to streaming services?

Cort:  We will definitely do private screenings of the movie in Mt. Airy, Danville, and Hollywood.  It will also eventually end up on at least one streaming service.  However we will need to wait and see on whether we will go with traditional theatrical distribution or straight to digital.

Me:  I have heard some people express concern that you are trying to remake The Andy Griffith Show. What is your response to that?

Cort:  That’s an easy misconception that we are always quick to correct.  We would never try to remake The Andy Griffith Show.  I think that would only upset and disappoint the fans.  We think it’s much smarter to pay tribute to the show with a movie that includes some of the original stars, acknowledges the loyal fans, and includes a story and themes consistent with Mayberry.

Me:  What do you hope people will take away from Mayberry Man?

Stark, Cort, & Gregory:  We want people to get the same feeling they get from watching The Andy Griffith Show.  If we do that, we’ll call it a success. 

Me:  It has been great to chat with you gentlemen!  I hope we can do this again sometime!  Thank you again so much for taking the time to answer these questions!  I know everyone will love hearing from you about this project!  Wishing y’all the best of luck with everything!  I look forward to Mayberry Man, and to seeing y’all again soon!

Mayberry: My Hometown


Indulge me for a moment while I finish singing “My Hometown.”  Mayberry may be a mythical town, but it is very much alive.  It is alive in our hearts.  It is a place where people are kind and help each other.  A place of love and life.  A place where you’re always welcomed home.  THAT’S Mayberry.  It’s everyone’s hometown.


September of 2018, as I watched the Mayberry Days parade being streamed live on Facebook, I promised myself that – if it were humanly possible – I would be watching the parade in person in 2019.  I grew up watching The Andy Griffith Show, and have a deep love and respect for it and most other classics.  I had already begun collecting autographs, but I really wanted to meet some of these people.

In September of 2019, I kept my promise to myself.  My birthday gift to myself this year was a trip to Mount Airy, North Carolina, for the annual Mayberry Days festival.  Let me just say… I think Mount Airy is my Disneyland.

For those of you who don’t know, Mount Airy is Andy Griffith’s hometown.  And it is also the inspiration for the town of Mayberry.  There are a few places of key interest in Mount Airy that were mentioned in the show… including Snappy Lunch, and the granite quarry.

I spent the first day walking around downtown Mount Airy.  The charm and history of the place is captivating!

If you ever make a trip to Mayberry (AKA Mount Airy), trust me… no stop there is complete without a pork chop sandwich from Snappy Lunch and a Coke float from Walker’s.  Just take my word for it and thank me later.

Snappy Lunch is world famous for their battered, fried pork chop sandwiches.  Just take a seat and don’t bother looking at a menu.  You can’t go to Snappy Lunch and not get a pork chop sandwich.  It’s an unwritten law.  Ok, I may have made that last part up, but it should be a law!  Haha!

If you’ve never tried a Coke mixed the old fashioned way… OH, MY GOODNESS.  You don’t know what you’re missing!  Dave is the very friendly owner of Walker’s, and he goes the extra mile to give you that old fashioned soda fountain experience.  Those Coke floats might be just a little too good… I could literally go in and get one every day!  When you go in, be sure to ask Dave to share some of his stories with you!


Another Mount Airy tip – walk on down Main Street.  You’ll think you’re leaving town, but trust me.  Walk just a little further, and you’ll find yourself at the Mayberry Courthouse and Wally’s Filling Station.  Of course, the show was filmed in California, so these are not the originals from the show.  But it feels like stepping into the world of Mayberry.  Be sure to take a squad car tour when you go to Wally’s – it’s a lot of fun and very informative!


You also have to stop in the courthouse beside Wally’s and have your picture taken in Otis’ cell.  Just remember, it is definitely no fun when that iron door slams shut on you.  No more carefree hours, no more doin’ what you want, whenever you want.  No more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.


But then again, the key is hanging on the peg outside the cell door, so you can just let yourself out as Otis always did.  (Although just for clarity’s sake so no one worries about getting locked in by accident… the cell door doesn’t actually lock, so you’re safe to close the door all the way!)


If you were to ask me what my favorite part of Mayberry Days was, I would be torn.  I loved every minute of it!  But top of the list would have to be the sweet people that I met!  Ronnie Schell was the first star I ever met, and is now one of my favorite people in the world!  He played in 2 episodes of The Andy Griffith Show, but he is most known for his role as Duke Slater in Gomer Pyle, USMC, which spun off The Andy Griffith Show.  I also knew him from other roles.  All that to say, when I got back to my hotel room from meeting Ronnie after his show at the Earle Theater, I was overwhelmed and nearly in tears because this was quite literally a dream come true for me.  Little did I know then how much time I would get to spend with Ronnie!


If you want to meet an angel on earth, meet Betty Lynn!  She played Barney’s girlfriend Thelma Lou in the show, and is the sweetest lady you could ever hope to meet!  She will start crying when she sees how many people come to see her – overwhelmed by the amount of love she is shown.  And then she will have you crying when she starts expressing her love for her fans.  Although I didn’t have as much time with her as I would have liked, the time I did spend with her, I will never forget!

I met several more stars than I managed to get pictures with (including Margaret Kerry and LeRoy Mack McNees), but I did meet and get pictures with Dixie Griffith (Andy’s real-life adopted daughter), Joy Ellison, Dennis Rush, Keith Thibodeaux (also played in I Love Lucy as Little Ricky), and Maggie Peterson.

My time at the autograph session was cut short, but then more personal time with this group of amazing people was provided when God opened a door.

I entered the Mayberry Idle contest, and placed 2nd.  This meant that I got to sing in Colonel Tim’s Talent Time at the Andy Griffith Playhouse that night.

Before the show, I sat backstage, wondering how this was really happening.  As I waited to go on stage, Margaret Kerry and I chatted, and she gave me a little pixie dust for good luck.  (If y’all don’t know, she was the original model for Tinkerbell.)  After I sang, I stopped to speak to Margaret again.  Someone tapped me on the shoulder and told me that Betty Lynn was looking for me.  They informed me that she had come in asking who had been singing when I had sung, and told me to go speak to her.  In shock, I knelt beside her wheelchair and confirmed which song she had been asking about, and told her I had been the one to sing it.  When she found out it was me, she said “Oh, my goodness!  You have a beautiful voice!”  Like I said earlier… my time with Betty Lynn may not have been long, but I will never forget it!

After singing, I spent probably 2 hours hanging out backstage with Ronnie Schell, his son Greg, and Cort and Stark Howell.  Honestly, I just didn’t want to leave.  I soaked in every moment before I left.


My Mayberry story does not end here.  But that’s for another time.  In the meantime, God has continued to open doors and allow me to spend more time with this amazing Mayberry family.  I’m excited to announce that I will soon be sharing an interview with Stark and Cort Howell and Greg Schell – to share about their upcoming project.  (Which I am very excited about!!  It’s gonna be good, y’all!)

Mayberry may look different for different people.  I definitely do not expect everyone to have the same experience in Mount Airy that I did!  As I write this, wearing my Barney Fife button on my Mayberry shirt, with my Mayberry jacket laid over a chair, you may think I’m a bit obsessed.  But for me, Mayberry is a place where dreams have come true, talents have been encouraged, possibilities have seemed endless, and friendships have been forged.  And that is why Mayberry is my hometown.


Love and prayers,



Interview with Jocelyn Hudon

If you know my tastes in entertainment, you know I love inspirational, period romance.  And Hallmark movies.  So, it’s not much of a surprise that I would love the Hallmark Channel original series, When Calls the Heart.  (And this series also happens to be inspired by books written by my favorite author, Janette Oke.)  When I heard that When Calls the Heart was getting a spinoff show streaming exclusively on Hallmark Movies Now, I was unsure if I would pay to watch it.  Boy, am I glad I did!!  If any of my Heartie friends have been in doubt – it is 250% worth the small amount to watch When Hope Calls!

I am very excited to post this interview with one of the leading ladies of When Hope Calls.  Jocelyn Hudon is a very talented actress, and a very sweet lady to talk to!  I hope you enjoy hearing from her as I did.


Me:  Hi, Jocelyn! Thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview!

First of all, I know you must be very excited to have a starring role in one of Hallmark’s newest ventures, When Hope Calls! Could you tell us a little bit of how this came about?

Jocelyn:  Hi there! Yes! I just auditioned for it! It was an audition for two episodes of WCTH, a movie and a potential for a spin off series.

Me:  Were you nervous about the reception of the show by the Hearties, or did their devotion to When Calls the Heart give you confidence that When Hope Calls would be well received?


Jocelyn:  No, not at all. Everyone is so supportive and we kind of got an instant, already built in fan base. 🙂 


Me:  Before the show even aired on Hallmark Movies Now, people were already shipping your character, Grace, with the town veterinarian, Chuck Stewart. Now that the show is airing, there is no doubt that sparks are flying between the two characters. What are some of your favorite things about the couple’s relationship?

Jocelyn:  I love fighting with Chuck. I love the tension and that nothing comes easily.

Me:  In what ways would you say that you and Grace are similar or totally different?

Jocelyn:  We are very similar. I am very positive like Grace, free spirited and I love kids. In real life I don’t have a sister so that is probably the biggest difference and hardest to relate to.

Me:  What developments would you like to see take place in Grace Bennett’s life?

Jocelyn:  I would like her to continue on the path she’s on! I love that she has a job and she’s pitching in. I would love to see things with Chuck progress as well.


Me:  How do you feel about the relationship between Grace and Lillian?

Jocelyn:  They are SOOOO different. It’s kind of like Yin and Yang. I think it will be great that some people can relate to Grace and others have Lillian to relate to.  🙂 

Me:  Any favorite memories on set that you could share with us?

Jocelyn:  We rode around in ATVS to get to set.. So we would be in hair and makeup for hours and then get on an ATV with no doors or windows and fly off to set and of course by the time we get there our hair is all over the place haha.

Me:  What does the town of Brookfield mean for you personally?

Jocelyn:  Me PERSONALLY? It’s epic! It’s my first lead in a series so having this entire town built is insane. We did nothing in a studio everything was in this little town that we lived in for almost four months.

Me:  Any chance we will see a second season of When Hope Calls?

Jocelyn:  I hope so!


Me:  Hallmark fans will remember you from several other Hallmark films, my favorite of those being From Friend to Fiance. What is it like getting to work for Hallmark?

Jocelyn:  It’s amazing I LOVEDDD filming From Friend to Fiance. Hallmark is so generous and easy to work with and I always love their content.

Me:  Any new Hallmark projects for you on the horizon?

Jocelyn:  None!

Me:  How did you get into acting?

Jocelyn:  I just kind of… started. I finished University and a post grad (not for acting)and one day was like.. NOPE I’m going to act. So I have been learning as I go but I think it’s going pretty well.

Me:  Fans love to know birthdays so we can shower love on your special day… would you mind sharing that date with us?

Jocelyn:  Nov 18!

Me:  What are some fun facts about yourself? Favorite ice cream, hobbies, likes, dislikes (just for examples)?

Jocelyn:  I love tollhouse cookie dough brownie ice cream. I have a puppy mini golden doodle named Rupert who is extremely polite and my best friend.

Me:  One last question… who is your biggest inspiration?

Jocelyn:  Angelina Jolie.

Me:  It has been lovely to chat with you, Jocelyn!  I hope we get to do it again when Hallmark grants our wishes and gives us another season of When Hope Calls! (Hint, hint, Hallmark!)  Thank you again for taking the time to answer these questions.  I look forward to seeing you continue to pursue your dreams!

“Please Walk, Don’t Run…”


Billy is 3 years old, playing with his cars and trucks. Everyone asks him – “What are you going to be when you grow up?”

Billy is in middle school. Everyone asks him -“What are your plans for high school?”

Billy is in high school. Everyone asks him – “What are you going to major in at college?”

Billy is in college. Everyone asks him – “When are you going to get married?”

Billy gets married. Everyone asks him – “When are y’all going to have kids?”


This is a story I heard in a sermon last night, and it really hit home with me. At every stage of life, we’re being pressured to decide on the next.

In this society of speed, we’re running through life.

How many of you have said that time is flying by? I know I have. In reality, time isn’t flying. WE ARE. Never has a minute lasted 30 seconds.

While there is something to be said for planning ahead, there is also much to be said for not rushing through the stage of life we are in.

We’ve been taught it’s best to be out in front. But if you think about it… if you’re alone in front, who is there to talk to when you get tired? Have you ever tried to talk to someone while they’re running? Kinda hard, isn’t it? How about when you’re walking alongside someone? You can easily talk. If one falls, the other can help them up. If one gets tired, the other can drag them along.

See, my point is – we need people in this life. We were never meant to be an army of one. Shocker. God never intended for us to have to do it alone. We need to have someone that we are pledged to walk through life with.

I know it has only been within the past year that I have found that… and I’m 23 years old. So if you’re reading this and thinking “That’s nice, if you have it,” your people are out there. They just may not be where you’ve been looking. But don’t give up, ok?

You know a minute ago when I said it’s hard to talk to someone when they (or you) are running? It’s also hard to hear. So if you’re running through life, it may be hard for you to hear the voice of God. Woah. Scary, right?

One thing that has been pointed out in this sermon series I’m listening to (Stride by Michael Todd) is that Jesus never ran anywhere. Everywhere you see Jesus going, He WALKED. Think about it. If Jesus had been running through the towns, the woman with the issue of blood would never have been able to reach out and touch the hem of His garment and be healed. He wouldn’t have heard blind men calling out to Him and stopped to heal them. The widow wouldn’t have had her dead son restored to her, because Jesus would have been going by too fast to notice the situation.

How many things do you think we’ve missed by going too fast? For me, it’s a sobering thought.

While I’m encouraging you to walk, not run… I’m not telling you to just stand idly by. Don’t take me wrong… I firmly believe there are times when we are supposed to stand. I’m thinking of stories in the Bible where it was said “Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.” So I’m not saying it’s NEVER right to stand. But I’m saying… don’t rush your life. So many mistakes can be made that way.

One of my friends’ dad said this last night, and I loved it. Without the peace of God and a friend willing to sit on the couch and watch a movie with you… a fancy sports car in the garage isn’t going to fulfill you. What are you working towards? Why?

Don’t take me wrong, there’s not one of us in my group who thinks it’s wrong to have a fancy sports car or make a lot of money. But we all know the value of true friendship. And we know that our walk with God and with each other is far more valuable than any earthly possession we could have.

I want to learn to walk through life. And I’m gonna be honest. In this day in time, with social media and television and magazines and just society as a whole setting what they think should be the standard… it’s hard to not succumb to the pressure of feeling like we have to keep up. But why do we? I mean, really? To quote a song – “Who decides the test of what is really best?”

I hope you were able to get something out of all my rambling. I know this is impacting my life, and I wanted to share it with y’all.


Love and prayers,


The Power of I Am

Lately, I have discovered the power of claiming my identity in Christ.  Not to say I always get this perfect.  But claiming who I am in Christ and not allowing my flesh nature to have the predominance has totally changed my life.

One night recently when going to bed, I started claiming my identity once more.  Speaking out loud – “I am more than a conqueror thru Christ Who loves me.  I am a new creature in Christ Jesus – old things are passed away, behold all things are become new.  I am created by God, and redeemed by His blood.”  As I spoke these affirmations, two words stuck out to me in each sentence.  I AM.  I AM.  I am.  Do we even grasp the power in those two little words?  Not only am I claiming these things, I’m claiming them now.  Present tense.  Not someday.  Not was.  Not maybe.  Not I want to be.  I am.

As my mind pondered the power of those words, a very powerful portion of scripture came to mind.

“And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?  And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”

Exodus 3:13-14

I AM.  What are some things God said about Himself?  “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8)  “…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)  “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)

He is Creator.  In Him, we live and breathe and have our being.  He is provider.  He is our Father.  He is our Savior.  He is our Friend.  He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  Anything that is good, you name it – HE IS.  That’s what I call power!!  But you know what’s cool?  I have been adopted by Him.  Therefore I become a part of Him.  Therefore, I have His Spirit living in me.  Therefore, He gives me everything that I need for life and Godliness.  Therefore – wait for it – I HAVE THE POWER OF GOD LIVING ON THE INSIDE OF ME!!!!!!!  I now have His DNA in me.  I am now a little piece of Him… just as any child is a piece of their physical parents.  So, since HE IS, I AM.  Just let that sink in for a moment.

In 2 Timothy 1:7, we are told that “…God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”  1 John 4:18 – “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment.  He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”

So you know what?  That fear holding you back – that’s not from God!  Did you know God wants you to succeed?  Did you know that His wishes for us are far greater than our small human minds can comprehend?  See, this is where we go wrong.  Or at least I do.  Too often, I try to think with my natural mind.  And of course, that isn’t gonna line up with God’s thoughts!

He tells us very clearly in Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are you ways my ways, saith the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Can we, just for a moment, try to wrap our tiny little minds around the fact that the God of the Universe thinks about us, and wants to bless us, and to give us life more abundantly?  “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)

“But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:10)  See, we have to stop thinking from the natural.  We have to be LED BY THE SPIRIT.  “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16)

“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:12)  Now this is just cool!  God has given us His Spirit so we could know the things that He has FREELY GIVEN TO US.  You know the catch here?  WE HAVE TO ACCEPT IT.  WE HAVE TO CLAIM IT.  WE HAVE TO ACT UPON IT.

“Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritualBut the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:13-14)  Again – y’all….. walking by faith is very often NOT GOING TO MAKE SENSE to our natural minds, or to anyone around us!  They’re gonna think we’re nuts!  It’s truly no different than if you were great at algebra, some kid who is just learning how to add is going to think you’re crazy for using letters instead of numbers in mathematics, right?  Well, same thing.  By being led by and walking after the Spirit of God, you have accessed a higher level with so many more rewards!!!

I hope all of this is coming together to show how POWERFUL God is, and that WE HAVE ACCESS TO THAT POWER.  Don’t ever let anyone convince you any different.  “And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossbile, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” (Mark 10:27)  In Matthew 17:20, Jesus said… “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

Y’all, it’s not being arrogant to claim the fulness that God has for you.  No more than it would be arrogant for you to claim the millions of dollars that someone left to you in their will.  You know who would start hating on you when you got that money?  The people who are jealous because they didn’t get it.  The thing with the fulness of God though – it’s just as available to them as it is to you.

I want to issue a challenge to you.  I want you to start claiming who you are in Christ.  And start claiming the fulness that He has for you!  And start calling the things that be not as though they already were (Romans 4:17).  SPEAK them into existence.  I remember when my parents were paying off their house, my mom kept a note with the mortgage papers.  The note read “Debt free, and glad to be!”  She was claiming our house being paid off.  And then one day, that which she had been speaking over the situation came to pass.

Speak out loud over your situations.  That thing that you’re scared to step out to do, say “God did not give me a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”  And why is fear not of God?  Because fear has torment.  And God doesn’t want us to be tormented!

One of my favorite songs that we have sung in my church’s praise band has these words in it.


I AM a child of the Most High God, and I am going to claim and walk in the fulness He has for me.  Are you?  Won’t you please join me?  God loves you, you know.  He loves you so much that He sent His only Son to die in your place thousands of years before you were ever born.  He has already paid the price for the sins you have committed.  All you have to do is accept it.  It is a free gift.  And it comes with some amazing benefits!  Think of it this way.  You’re in jail, on death row… and someone has come along and paid to have you released, and your record wiped clean, and is offering you an opportunity for a new life.  You would be crazy to not accept it, right?  Well, God is offering the same thing, because He loves you.  All you have to do is accept Him and His love.  Thank God for this gift!!  And tell other’s about it.  It’s free to all!

Who does God say you are?  Dig into His Word to find out, and CLAIM HIS SALVATION.  Then CLAIM THE FACT THAT YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD.  Now, LIVE LIKE IT.


Love and Prayers,



Claiming My Identity

Hello, everyone!  Gee, it has been a while since I have had time to post on here.  So much has been happening in my life recently, and I can’t wait to share my heart’s thoughts with you now!

Last September, I wrote a post called “What if I Show Myself Love”.  In that post, I shared that I was starting to discover the power of loving myself.  But I also very readily admitted that this was a struggle for me.  Since that time, I have continued to struggle with it – all the while seeking to gain ground in this area.  Well, a few weeks ago, something marvelous happened.  The truths that I had known all my life FINALLY sank into me.  (Hey, it takes some of us longer than it does others.)  I was driving one day, and I started praying, “God, thank You that I am not enough, but You are more than enough!  Thank You that my righteousness is as filthy rags, but I am clothed in Your righteousness!  Thank You that I can do nothing on my own, but I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!  Thank You that I am more than a conqueror through You.”  I kept praying and claiming the promises that God gave me in His Word.  I claimed my identity in Christ.  Since that time, I continue to do this.  To choose to view myself as God sees me – not as I see myself.  Not to say that I always do this, or that I always get it right.  But by claiming my identity in Christ, I am suddenly able to love myself in a way that I never have before.

You might ask why I am thankful for and embracing my weaknesses.  The answer is quite simple.  2 Corinthians 12:9.  “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.  Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”  What I learn from this verse is that my weaknesses are just an opportunity for God to show how powerful He is!  I CANNOT do it on my own.  But I don’t have to!  Nor should I!  By acknowledging my weaknesses, I am giving God the room to show how mighty He is.  And now I get to operate through His strength!

At the beginning of the year, I gave myself some life goals.

  1. Draw closer to God.  This is something that I will work on every day for the rest of my life.  But I do feel that I have entered into a whole new stage in my walk with Him.  (And in case you didn’t know, walking in close fellowship with God is THE BEST.)
  2. Attain weight loss goal.  Eh… I’m afraid I still have a lot of work to do here, but I WILL get there!
  3. Get a job.  Move out.  Since the beginning of the year, I have made some strides in this direction.  I went to a staffing agency, seeking employment in an office type position.  There were none available at the moment, so I went another route.  I started working as a substitute parapro in the local school system.  I was blessed to land a long-term job immediately, so I had steady employment for several weeks.  During that time period, I took the GACE test to become qualified as a Paraprofessional – and I passed!  Although I don’t think working in the school system is my calling, I love knowing that I was capable of passing the test.  Whether or not I use it, I now have that qualification under my belt – and on my resume.  Since I completed the long-term position, my employment has been sporadic (since I am only a sub).  I will continue to pray and look into things and take steps that I feel the Lord guiding me to take.  I can’t wait to see where He leads me!
  4. Become healthier emotionally and mentally.  It is obvious from the first part of this post that I am making progress in this area as well!  I am so very thankful to be discovering the power of claiming my identity in Christ!  I have also been taking vitamins that are supposed to help with hormone disorders – and I can see that they are helping as well.  It is definitely true that your emotional and physical and spiritual health are all linked together!
  5. Continue writing and publishing.  This one is huge for me.  But I am extremely excited to report that I have finally completed a rough draft of the sequel to my published novel!  This is the first book I have ever completed on my own, so this is a major accomplishment for me!  The first book in this series, Love in the Rain, is available on Amazon.  It was cowritten with my dear, talented friend Cleopatra Thomas, who recently released her first solo-project, Christmas with Cocoa.  (Spoiler – Christmas with Cocoa is really good!)  It took forever for me to get this sequel going in the direction I wanted it to go.  But the first draft is now completed and being read by my beta readers, and then will begin the fun of rewrites.  Hopefully, someday soon I will be able to announce the release of Love Grows.  The completion of this project is not the end of my writing career though.  I look forward to continuing to share my stories with the world!


Although not in my listed goals for the year, another of my passions which I am continuing to pursue this year is my singing.  For a short time in 2018, I took vocal lessons.  I gave them up, however, realizing that this teacher – although greatly talented – was not a right fit for me.  I have continued to work on my singing on my own – recording myself and listening to the playback and finding flaws and singing the same song over and over and over again.  I am also very grateful to have the opportunity to continue to sing in the praise and worship band at my church.

I say all that to get to this point.

Yesterday, I spent a good deal of time singing along to karaoke on YouTube.  I made several recordings, which helped me discover something about my voice… my voice is far too sweet to pull off Loretta Lynn’s “You Ain’t Woman Enough.”  I sent that voice clip to a friend, laughing at my “lullaby voice” singing this stand-strong song.  My friend immediately asked if it was me singing in the clip, and I confirmed that it was.  She said “Wow I hope you don’t take this in a bad way but your voice has improved so much!!  Not that it was ever bad!!  Girl you sound SO good!!!  It sounds so clear and smooth!!”  I thanked her, but also told her that it may have been the better quality recording that made a difference.  This morning, I sent a YouTube link of a different cover I had sung and posted yesterday to my mom.  (link here)  When I told her what my friend had said about my voice, my mom called me.  She said she noticed it too.  What she said next is my whole point of telling y’all this story.

My mom said that I am more confident at this stage of my life than I have ever been before.  Not cocky, just sure-footed, per say.  I am being bold – stepping out and expressing myself – and it is showing in every area of my life.  Whether it be me stepping out to take the GACE, or the confidence with which I sing.  She also said she thinks singing in the church band and the way our former music director used to work on my singing during practice have helped develop me as a singer (which shows that I am surrounded by people who push me to be better).

Maybe this story doesn’t mean anything to y’all, but to me, it means a lot.  It shows how my attitude has started changing since I started claiming my identity in Christ, and learning to love myself.  I have become more confident in the gifts that God has given me (writing and singing) because I am more sure of who I am in Him!  And this change inside of me is making a change in how I live my life – thus changing my outcome.  There is so much more I want to share with y’all of what has been going on in my heart and mind, but I’ll save it for another post.

If you get anything from this at all, I hope it is to claim your identity in Christ.


Love and Prayers,



Interview with Angela Cartwright

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a classic movie and tv show fanatic!  My collection is huge, and I am constantly adding to it. Growing up, my favorite movie was The Sound of Music, and my love for the classics has only grown from there! I am excited to finally post this interview with the legendary Angela Cartwright. It was such an honor to get to interview her, and I hope you enjoy hearing from her as I did!


Me:  Hi, Angela! Thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview!
As a fan of classic television, I adore The Danny Thomas Show (AKA Make Room for
Daddy). You were very young when this show began. Can you tell us how you came to
get the role of Linda?

Angela:  I went on an interview. I had immigrated with my family from England and we had just moved to California after a year in Canada. Our next door neighbor had kids in commercials and became friendly with my Mom, telling her she should take Veronica and myself to meet this agent. We did, and voila… I got the first thing I went on and never stopped working. Danny was going to get remarried and they were looking for a daughter to Marjorie Lord. I was on that show for 7 years.


Me:  What was it like working with Danny Thomas?

Angela:  Danny was rather loud and gregarious. Very different from my father. He always made us laugh and was a force to be reckoned with on the set. Always creating and always rewriting the scenes.

Me:  Do you have any special memories from this show, or any favorite moments in the

Angela:  We shot the show in front of a live audience every week, so every week was a new adventure. I was 4 when I started the show, but as I got older I remember working with all the greats in classic television… from Lucille Ball, Bob Hope, Andy Griffith, Joey Bishop, Bill Bixby, Hans Conreid. We always had great stars on the show.

Me:  The Danny Thomas Show ran from 1953-1964. Then The Sound of Music was released in 1965. Lost in Space ran from 1965-1968. You were one busy young lady! How did you feel about being so busy as a child?

Angela:  I loved it, and I really didn’t know any difference. I’ve always been that type of person that is happier when I am busy.


Me:  Now, I have to confess – The Sound of Music was my absolute favorite movie when I was a kid. As in, I had to get it from the library every time we went… which was practically every week! I believe I drove my family crazy with this film. How do you feel about having played a part in a film that has become so iconic and has been a favorite of
several generations?

Angela:  Well of course it is an honor to be part of such an iconic film. People tell me all the time how much the movie makes them happy, how it is a family tradition to watch it every Christmas, and how much they love the film. It is so beautifully filmed, Robert Wise was a genius. Do Re Mi was the first music video ever filmed. I have taken a group on a very exclusive tour of Salzburg where we go to all the locations and I
tell them all what went on the behind the scenes. Everything looks the same as it did over 50 years ago, and people know so much about the movie. We always have a blast. I think I’m doing the tour again in late 2019, its just being finalized. Follow me on Instagram or Facebook for the latest news on that trip.

Me:  You played Brigitta von Trapp in The Sound of Music, but you were also auditioned for the role of older sister Louisa. If you could have chosen ANY role in the film, what role would you play?

Angela:  Hands down Brigitta. She was the most interesting to me. Deep feeling and observing everything.

Me:  What was it like to work with Christopher Plummer and Julie Andrews? Were the cast members close to each other?

Angela:  We all loved Julie. She was so electric and funny and kind. You can tell in the movie how much we all adored her. Chris was more reserved, but I had a good repoire with him while filming. I was only 11 so it wasn’t like I was hanging with Chris after the days work.

Me:  Do you have any favorite scenes from The Sound of Music, or any behind-the-scenes
stories that you would like to share?

Angela:  Oh, I have many stories. It took an entire year from recording the music to learning the choreography to filming in Salzburg. Dancing on the steps was something I have not forgotten to this day and running all over Salzburg filming Do Re Mi was so fun. As cold and hard as it was the lake scene was very memorable.


Me:  You had many adventures as Penny Robinson in Lost in Space. What are your thoughts on this show? Who was your favorite person on the set of Lost in Space?

Angela:  We all got along famously. I can’t call out a fav… Bill Mumy and I enjoyed being kids though and we are still friends to this day. In fact, we have written two books together. The first one is “Lost (and Found) In Space” which has behind the scenes pics and then our comments about our memories while filming the show. We remembered some of the most amazing things. It was like looking through your yearbook and remembering your youth. The other book is called “On Purpose.” it’s a fantasy adventure novel. Its a really good story and we both put a lot of time into making it right. I also created 23 paintings of the characters in the book and Bill wrote a soundtrack of 27 songs for the book. You can buy it with the paintings and the music and our
signatures in a deluxe version. You can find out more about it here:

Me:  Are there any special memories or perhaps a funny story you can share from this show?

Angela:  There are many stories in the book I just mentioned “Lost (and Found) In Space”


Me:  You and your sister Veronica were both busy with shows at this time. Did the two of you ever visit each other on set?

Angela:  Yes… while I was on Lost In Space and she was on Daniel Boone our paths would cross quite often. We were close growing up and always shared each others successes.

Me:  Do you have a favorite role that you have played?

Angela:  Well I loved Brigitta…even among 6 other von Trapp kids each one of us had our own personality. Penny Robinson was another favorite. Brave, adventurous and a lover of animals.

Me:  There were so many wonderful shows going on in the 50’s-80’s. Where there any other shows that you were in at the time? (I know your sister Veronica played Violet
Rutherford in Leave it to Beaver – giving Beaver his first kiss!)

Angela:  After finishing Lost In Space I appeared on many shows as a guest star. High School USA, Scout’s Honor, Airwolf , Room 222, Logans Run, Love Boat, Adam 12 and then another season called Make Room for Granddaddy when I was a teenager. There were others… I kept pretty busy. But after Beyond The Posiedon Adventure I wanted to take a step back… to be a wife and a mother. While my kids grew up I opened a boutique and pursued my photography and art. I’ve never regretted taking that time out of my life to pursue my other dreams. And stay tuned… you never know where I may turn up next!

Me:  Ok, we all know and love the song from The Sound of Music… “These are a few of my favorite things!” What are a few of YOUR favorite things?

Angela:  Playing with my grandkids, rain, chocolate, lights and moonlight.

​My links.
facebook…. TheAngelaCartwright
twitter……… acstudio
instagram… theAngelaCartwright
pinterest….. acstudio
ON PURPOSE a novel by Angela Cartwright & Bill Mumy​

Me: It has been lovely to chat with you, Angela! I hope we can do it again someday! Thank you again so much for taking the time to answer these questions. I know my readers will love hearing from you! Wishing you the best of everything! Here’s to many more years of happiness!

Welcome, 2019!


Happy New Year!! A new year is a time when many people make resolutions… But instead of “new year’s resolutions,” I’m giving myself a life goal. Ok, so maybe that’s the same thing spelled different. Or differently, if you want to get technical. Anyway. What are some things I want to work on in my life?

Draw closer to God.

Ah. Definitely top of my list. Although I love the personal relationship I have with my Heavenly Father, I want to draw closer to Him. Learn more about Him. Become more in tune with Him. Serve Him more fully.

Attain weight loss goal.

In 2018, I made it halfway to my weight loss goal. In 2019, I am determined to lose the remaining weight I need to lose to have a healthy body.

Get a job. Move out. 

At 23 years old, I feel it is time for me to start making my own life. Within God’s plan for me, of course! I am looking forward to exploring the life He has ahead of me!

Become healthier emotionally and mentally.

I struggle badly with seeking approval from others. And I rarely find it. I’m such an old soul in this Millenial generation… no wonder it is always the older people who really like me.

Throughout 2019, I want to remind myself that it’s ok to be different. And it’s ok if people think I’m wrong. I am who God made me to be. And that means I am going to reach specific people – even if everyone else who knows me thinks I’m weird or just plain wrong.

I have to work on not letting every little thing get to me. I spend far too much of my life mentally and emotionally distraught – when I shouldn’t even be looking for validation from people anyway.

Continue writing and publishing.

Yes, I’m scared. Honestly, because I’m worried I’m not good enough. But I know this is something that God placed in me… and if it’s His doing, then the people who need to be reached by it will be. It may not be for everyone, and that is ok.


I don’t really know anything else to say at the moment. Just know I’m praying for you. And I love you –  because God loves me so unconditionally. “God bless us, every one.” Happy New Year!

Love and prayers,


Christmas Baking Recipies


Tis the season! I did a LOT of baking this year… I never seem to get any complaints when I give my baking as gifts.

The recipes I am about to share below are the same ones I used for Friendsgiving – things just got crazy after that, and I haven’t had a chance to post them! Also, I tried something new this year. I have never made gingerbread men from scratch! So, I thought I’d give it a whirl. And apparently, they were a hit! My mom said she thinks they were possibly the best or close to the best gingerbread cookies she’s ever tasted. And I got great feedback from my church family on the goodies I shared with them. So, score! Without further ado, here are some of my favorite holiday recipies!


First on the list, an Apple Pecan Cake. I found this recipe several years ago, when I was bored with our usual desserts. We’ve loved it ever since, and it’s a pretty big hit with anyone who has ever tried it! My pastor loved the one I made for Friendsgiving, so I made him one for Christmas. Here’s the recipie!


1 1/2 c. cooking oil

2 c. sugar 

3 large eggs

3 c. self rising flour

2 tsp. vanilla 

3 c. chopped fresh apples 

1 1/2 c. chopped pecans

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Cream oil and sugar. Add all other ingredients and mix well. Put in greased and floured Bundt pan and bake st 325° for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

*My notes: I use Fuji apples. And just FYI, I’ve found that 3 large apples is 3 cups when chopped. Also, you may have a different experience, but I tried using PAM in the Bundt pan once… And let’s just say the cake didn’t turn out too well. So, I prefer to use Crisco and flour. Also, as with any fruity cake, you might want to add just a few minutes of baking time. If it is even slightly undone, the cake will want to crumble from the moisture. This is usually another 5-10 minutes in my oven, but every oven cooks differently. (I know. We have 2 ovens, and they don’t cook the same!)*


Next up is my recipe for sugar cookies! I have been using this recipe for so lomg, I don’t even remember where I got it! I will also post the recipe for the gingerbread cookies I made this year!


3/4 c. butter, softened

1 c. sugar

2 eggs

1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 1/2 c. self rising flour

In a large bowl, mix together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour. Cover and chill dough for at least one hour. Roll out dough on floured surface to desired thickness. Cut. Bake 6-8 minutes at 400°. Cool completely. Enjoy.

*My notes: I personally prefer a SOFT sugar cookie. A lot of people call them tea cakes. The time I cook them varies slightly due to thickness and which oven I’m using, but I usually set the timer for 4-5 minutes and then just watch them until the edges are JUST turning golden. Another thing that my dad likes me to do is to sprinkle a little bit of extra sugar (not a lot) on top of the cookies as soon as I take them out of the oven. It adds just the right touch of extra sweetness. These cookies are always a hit! Yields approximately 3 dozen cookies.*


3/4 c. unsalted butter

3/4 c. brown sugar, packed

3/4 c. molasses

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. cinnamon 

2 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. allspice or cloves – I used allspice

1 large egg

3 1/2 c. self rising flour

  1. In a saucepan set over low heat, or in the microwave, melt butter, then stir in the brown sugar, molasses, salt, and spices.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a medium-sized mixing bowl, let it cool to lukewarm, and beat in the egg.
  3. Stir flour into the molasses mixture.
  4. Divide the dough in half, and pat each half into a thick rectangle. Wrap well, and refrigerate for 1 hour or longer. The dough may be sticky and hard to roll if not thoroughly chilled, so make sure it’s cold before continuing.
  5. Preheat your oven to 350°F. (Lining  the pan with parchment saves effort on cleanup.)
  6. Once the dough has chilled, take one piece of dough out of the refrigerator, and flour a clean work surface. Roll the dough 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick; the thinner you roll the dough, the crispier the cookies will be. Flour both the top and bottom of the dough if it starts to stick. 
  7. Cut out shapes with a floured cookie cutter, cutting them as close to one another as possible to minimize waste.
  8. Transfer the cookies to ungreased cookie sheets. Bake the cookies just until they’re slightly brown around the edges 8 to 12 minutes, or until they feel firm. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for several minutes, or until they’re set. Transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.

*My notes: Again, I like soft cookies. So, I baked these for 8 minutes, then took them out and let them sit on the pan for 2 minutes, then transferred them to the cooling rack. Prior to baking, I decorated them with mini chocolate chip morsels to create the eyes and mouth and buttons. Yields approximately 3 dozen cookies.*


Last on the list is the recipe for Brookies! These are a HUGE hit with my young adult group – especially one of the guys. (So, girls, if you want to build up some Brookie points with the special guy in your life…. Haha! Just teasing.) They are delicious!



  • 6 tbs. butter, softened
  • ¼ c. brown sugar, packed
  • ½ c. white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. self rising flour
  • 1 c. chocolate chips 


  • 10 tbs. butter, melted
  • ½ c. brown sugar
  • ¾ c. white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ¾ c. cocoa powder
  • ¾ c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ c. chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven 350 F.
  2. Line a 8 X 8 pan with grease parchment paper, set aside.
  3. To make the chocolate chip cookies dough, in a large bowl cream together butter, brown sugar and white sugar.
  4. Beat in egg and vanilla extract.
  5. Stir in flour until well combined.
  6. Fold in chocolate chips. Set aside.
  7. To make the brownie batter, in a large bowl cream together butter, brown sugar, and white sugar.
  8. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract.
  9. Stir in cocoa powder until combined.
  10. Stir in flour and salt until all flour is incorporated.
  11. Fold in chocolate chips.
  12. Spread brownie batter into prepared pan into an even layer.
  13. Drop the cookie dough by the spoonful over the batter until covered.
  14. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Remember it will continue to cook as it cools so be careful not to overbake. Check it at the 30 minute mark.
  15. Remove from oven and place on a cooing rack to finish cooling.
  16. Once cooled, cut into squares and serve.
  17. Store in airtight container

*My notes: In MY oven, I have to bake these for 40 minutes, then cover them and cook them for another 10 minutes in order for them to be cooked properly. Adjust cooking time to your oven and personal preference.*


So there you have it! Some of my favorite go-to recipies! Now wow some people with your skills! Merry Christmas!

Love and prayers,




Well, it is the end of Thanksgiving week.  I hope y’all each had a wonderful holiday!  Although I am already in Christmas mode by the time Thanksgiving rolls around… ok.  Let’s be real.  I am always in Christmas mode!  Anyway.  I do feel that Thanksgiving is important.  It is more than just another holiday.  It is a way of life.  Curious about the definition of the word, I just Googled “thanksgiving.”  The very first definition is “the expression of gratitude, especially to God.”  There are so many scriptures in the Bible about being thankful.  One of my favorites is Philippians 4:6.  “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”  God blesses us so much.  Do we thank Him for these things, or do we simply continue to ask for more?  A quote that really helped me turn thanksgiving into a lifestyle is “What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for today?”  Just as we need to feel that people appreciate us and what we do, we should be giving that consideration ourselves!  I think you’ll actually find it makes you happier as well.  Because it puts more of your focus on God and on the other people around you – instead of on just yourself.  Thanksgiving is a choice.  I’m not saying I always hit the mark.  But I try!

This week has been a crazy one for me.  Monday, I ran errands.  Tuesday, I baked a cake, then went to my voice lesson, then had to make two trips to Walmart, then baked ALL AFTERNOON.  I was in charge of desserts for my church’s young adult group’s Friendsgiving meal.  Because of the required second trip to Walmart, I was running half an hour behind.  So… I was thirty minutes late getting to the dinner.  But according to the group, the brookies I made were TOTALLY worth the wait!  (By the way, if you are like me and didn’t know this – brookies are brownies with chocolate chip cookies on top.  I had eaten them before, but I didn’t know what they were called!  You learn something new every day, right?)  We had a wonderful time of fellowship together.  Wednesday, I was doing housework ALL. DAY. LONG.  By the time I finished, I was so exhausted that I had almost lost my voice.  Seriously, my voice was barely above a whisper.  When I woke up Thursday morning, I was still so tired that I didn’t feel like talking.  (If any of y’all know me, you KNOW I am not feeling well if I don’t want to talk!)  So, my Thanksgiving Day was spent in my pajamas, watching movies.  Surprisingly, I did not watch Miracle on 34th Street.  It wasn’t an intentional oversight, I just didn’t happen to watch it!  Friday was spent shopping.  I did manage to buy myself a new dress, and I found a few Christmas gifts.  Nothing big.  Today, I am going to watch the Georgia Bulldogs and Georgia Tech football game on tv.  Should be an interesting game!

We all have so much to be thankful for!  For a roof over our heads.  Food to eat.  Our family and friends…  The list is endless!  As for me, this week, I have been especially thanking God for the gift of life!  My niece was born early Wednesday morning via emergency C-section.  Having heard the story, it is plain to see why the hospital staff is calling her a miracle baby.  If even one thing had been different, this precious baby girl would not be with us.  God brought everything together just as it needed to be, and we now have this beautiful baby girl added to our family.  I have not yet gotten to meet her, since our families live halfway across the country from each other.  But from what I hear, the nurses have already nicknamed her Sassy.  This spunky little thing didn’t want to miss out on any holidays this year!  So, I had something to be especially thankful for this Thanksgiving.

What are some things that you are thankful for?

P.S. ~ If anyone wants me to share the three dessert recipes I used this week, let me know in the comments below.  They were a huge hit!  I think I racked up on brookie points.

Love and prayers,