Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas is Near

After the tragic events of last Friday in Connecticut, I debated about posting a holiday recipe. I thought about the mothers who wouldn't be baking cookies with their children this year, about the presents that won't be opened under the tree, about the grieving brothers and sisters, aunt and uncles, grandparents and friends, who won't have a vey merry Christmas this year.  I cannot imagine how these people are coping with such a horrific tragedy. I just hope that some how, some way, they can feel the love and prayers and know that so many people all over the world are sending them a collective hug, embracing them in our hearts and sharing in their pain and sorrow.  When tragedy strikes we always seem to come together, we always want to try and help and we try to carry on.  I suppose we try to make life normal again, try and move past the pain, and just function again.  Reconnect to the ordinary. I've been keeping very busy. It's how I'm dealing with it all. Not giving my mind time to wander too much. My packages have are almost ready to mail, most presents are wrapped, the house is decorated (thanks to Sterling).  Our holiday menu is complete and we've picked up everything needed from the grocery store except for those last minute items.

We had our extended family December dinner at our home this past Sunday.  Sterling and I prepped, cleaned, decorated and cooked our little hearts out from Friday until the first knock on the door Sunday afternoon.  Sterling cooked TWO turkeys, his famous baked beans, potato salad, pigs in a blanket for the kids (although the grownups indulged in these too!)  I made deviled eggs and rosemary toast points for the brushetta, several cookies and one of my favorite sweet indulgences, sweet chex mix.  This stuff is SO addictive!!

Here's the recipe I used:



1 box chex mix (12-15 oz) I use corn or rice chex (or sometimes Crispix)

1 can nuts of choice

1 c. butter/margarine

2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. light karo syrup

1/2 tsp. baking soda

I sometimes add M&M's because they make them in every holiday color

Put the cereal and nuts in a VERY large tupperware bowl big or you can use a brown paper bag. Over the stove mix butter, brwon sugar, and karo syrup. Bring to a boil for 1-1/2 min. Remove from heat and add baking soda. Mix well and pour over cereal and nuts. Stir to coat well if using bowl, or shake bag vigorously. Microwave on high for 1 minute, stir or shake bag.  Repeat THREE TIMES. Spread on wax paper and let cool. Add M&M's.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Here Comes Santa Claus!

Every year my company hosts a Come Meet Santa holiday breakfast.  Jonas was SO excited when Santa arrived and was more than happy to sit on Santa's lap and tell him what he wanted this year for Christmas.  Paisley, however, wanted NOTHING to do with Santa until mom was standing behind him, and then she thought his hat looked interesting!  Paisley enjoyed her breakfast and had a pancake in each fist and was content to munch and watch the festivities unfold.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Whole Foods!

One of our FAVORITE places to shop is Whole Paycheck Foods!  They have THE BEST produce ... hands down!!  And if you're looking for a "specialty" ingredient, most assuredly they carry it.  Not that I would EVER make a recipe requiring saffron ... not at $40 an ounce.  They have samples throughout the store if you go on a weekend!  Fine cheeses, homemade gelato, bakery items still warm from the oven.  They make a lobster bisque that rivals any I've had on the east or west coast.  There is ONE indulgence that I always get when we go ... from their deli, they have a curry chicken salad that I could seriously subsist on if that was the only thing I could ever eat again. Flavors to make your tastebuds dance in pure delight.  Definitely not for the weak at heart if you don't like heavy spice, but if curry makes you sit up and take notice, then this is something you MUST try sometime soon.  Spoiler Alert - this salad goes for $19/lb. but they will sell it by the 1/4 pound package.  If there is anyone out there that has a recipe for this heavenly dish that they want to share, I would be forever in your debt!

Heading into work this morning, the radio announcer said that it has been 248 days since we had snow ... not sure why they think this is a bad thing, except that the farmers will be complaining come next planting season.  But ANY day without snow is one day less of winter in my book.  But don't get me wrong.  There is nothing lovelier than snow falling ... I just don't like to "have to" drive in it.  So if I could just sit back with a good novel, fireplace roaring, cup of hot cider and no where that I have to be, it's the most wonderful time of the year!!

Paisley vs. Birthday Cake

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Celebrating ONE!

Our sweet Miss Paisley turns ONE today!  This past year has just FLOWN by with celebrating all of her "firsts" and many more yet to come.  She had severe colic her first 3-4 months, but when that cleared up she turned into the HAPPIEST little gal and is so quick to give a smile or laugh out loud at her brother's antics. She is already demonstrating that she is a force to be reconded with.  Big brother Jonas is so good about letting her play with "some" of his cars and trucks, which she dearly LOVES ... yep, I can see already she is going to be somewhat of a tomboy opting to mimic her big brother and follow in his footsteps. Laura and Jeremy have done SUCH an amazing job raising their two precious children and watching them discover their worlds will be the highlight of my retirement years ahead!

So Happy Birthday, my sweet precious granddaughter!  You make my world complete!  LOVE YOU to pieces!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

December - Holiday Traditions

I ran across this photo while looking for new holiday treat recipes and these cupcakes just had me giggling out loud!!

LOVE the idea of a melted snowman cupcake! 

I'm gearing up for the entire month ahead as we have so many holiday events and traditions to partake in! 

We kicked off this season with our company's annual VISIT WITH SANTA this past Saturday.  Every year it gets better and better.  This year they had a SANTA that had a REAL white beard ... talk about authentic looking!  And each package under the tree had a child's name on it ... in past years they were either just marked boy or girl ... so getting something PERSONALIZED directly from SANTA was quite the treat for the kids attending ... and there were about 50 this year.  They also provided a nice breakfast for everyone, and Paisley had a pancake in BOTH hands and was quite happy with herself !! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Third Time's The Charm

I've just had my THIRD card creation published in Take Ten from Stampington & Company.

My card is featured in the Winter 2013 issue which will hit newsstands on December 1.  I received a free preview copy since my card was chosen to be published.  I am BEYOND excited and am hoping to someday be the cover card or possibly even a guest artist.  Here's my card creation:

Saturday, November 10, 2012

My Sentiments Exactly!

I recently won a prize package during a Paper Crafts giveaway event and on Moxie Fab World  here: http://www.moxiefabworld.com/2012/10/winnerday_23.html.

I won FIVE stamp sets from Technique Tuesdays! http://www.moxiefabworld.com/2012/10/moxie-fab-stamp-of-approval-technique.html

And here's a thank you card I made for Technique Tuesday using one of the sets I received.  Talk about AWESOME! 

So thank you Paper Crafts and Technique Tuesday for putting the awesome into my day! 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bottled Up

I have a passion for all glass jars and bottles.  But with raising a family and now keeping a grandkid-friendly home, you won't find many things made of glass out on display.  But that doesn't keep me from obsessing about pretty breakables!
Diamond  Crown Top Bottles (set of two) $14.99
Set to 3 Glass Bottles with Jeweled Butterfly  Stoppers  $22.45
6 Glass Bottles in a Chicken Wire Basket with Handle  $18.49
Glass Bottles
Petites Fleur  Long Wood Crate with 5 glass milk bottles $9.99  each/ 3  for $9  each
Even mason jars can send me into a tizzy !!
Glass Mason Jars  Ball Quart Jar w/ lids   $20 (case of 12 jars)
And if ANYONE ever comes across some antique mason jars (with those fabulous old lids), don't even call, just pay the price and get me some!  HA!
I think my obsession stems from those morning deliveries
from the milk man back in the 50's !!
Glass Milk Bottles
Or maybe it was those glass bottles of coke back in the same era!
vintage coke bottles
Which leads me to my next obsession ... old clay pots!
french clay pots
But that's another story for another time!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hamburger Baked Beans

This is one of our favorite side dishes that Sterling makes to go with his smoked ribs, which is he making today, so I thought I would post this recipe so that I can find it easily, since it took me over an hour this morning trying to find it for him.  I love the hamburger and chipotle additions, and of course the bacon sends this over the top.

l pound hamburger
1 small onion (chopped)
1 green pepper (chopped)
5 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 large cans pork and beans
1/2 cup dark Karo syrup
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. prepared mustard
1 chipotle pepper, diced

Combine all ingredients and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Friday, November 2, 2012

We had a FRIGHTFULLY good time!

Every year my son-in-law's parents host a Halloween party.  It's their absolute favorite holiday and they go ALL out to get everyone into the "spirit" of things.  Every inch of their home is decorated with spiders, webs, skulls, things that go bump ... well, you get the idea.  And they always dress for the occasion.  Here's this year's costumes.  What a loving couple they make!

And of course, what's a Halloween party without some scary treats!  I remember one year that Marilyn made sloppy joes that actually GLOWED in the dark.  And of course there are always some bat wings, witches hats cookies, cheese stick fingers (complete with fingernails), and jack-o-lantern pizza!  Thanks, Marilyn and David, for helping us remember that Halloween is for kids of ALL ages to enjoy!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

For The Birds

Do you recognize this?  If you do, then you know that this photo alone could strike fear into the hearts of many a viewer.  I remember seeing this image on our small t.v. and would know that what followed would be scary and probably give me nightmares ... but I watched anyway. 

And my favorite Hitchcock movie??  THE BIRDS.  To this day, if I see a flock of birds on a telephone wire, I get goosebumps and immediately these image from the movie pops into my head ...

And here's today's version!

But seriously, if you haven't seen this classic, grab some popcorn and be prepared to be totally amazed by the magic of Hitchcock!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Live in the Moment

Time ... it whizzes by like a runaway locomotive.

I believe in finding joy in THIS moment.   In the here and the now.

Yesterday is behind us and cannot be changed.

Tomorrow is just a fleeting thought and can change in an instant.

So EMBRACE today ... hug your loved ones and spend time doing those things that make you happy!

Monday, October 22, 2012

I Love Mondays ...

I saw this photo and just HAD to share ... as I scrolled down ... not knowing what would appear ... what finally did appear was so unsuspecting and cute that I laughed out loud! 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Happy Birthday to my Daughter

Where does the time go to?  Just yesterday I was holding YOU in my arms and wondering what kind of woman you would grow up to be.  And here you are, having babes of your own - and the kind of mother ANY child would want to have as their own!  Love you sweetie.  Hope you have a fabulous birthday!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sew fun!

My daughter-in-law, Chrysty, has been collecting travel size sewing kits when she goes out of town on business.  Today I put together three altered sewing kits, two using match box holders and one using a the match book idea.  Still a work in progress, but these three samples were easy and quick to make.  These would make such lovely little hostess gifts for the holidays ahead! 
I found that using washi tapes were the easiest to wortk with. Wrapping the little match boxes, even in very thin papers, added extra layers and opening the boxes were a bit more difficult.  So now I just need to get a nice variety of washi tapes to experiment with! 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Day of Creativity

I've been on vacation this past week, loving the time off and enjoying myself immensely!  Today I got to spend the entire day in my craft room which is a good thing as I have a holiday order from a gal for 20 Christmas cards.  I haven't posted my card creations in a while so thought this would be a good time to do so!

And here's a few non holiday cards as well ...