Friday, November 30, 2012

I am baking ahead this year and freezing the baked goods.  I have found that gives them a more moist taste, and doing it all ahead gives me a calmer spirit.

Now, why the can of Carnation Evaporated Milk?  I like the size of it(5 fl oz size).  After I used the evaporated milk, I took off the label.  I baked "Erna's Apple Pie Muffin" recipe in them.  Oh dear, this is such an amazingly good apple recipe!  Ask my husband, he will agree.  You can find it here...
... - 57629

When you spray the inside of the can, add batter, and bake, the loaf is easily removed.  After the loaf is removed, I wash the inside of the can and put the loaf back in.

 I put the cupcake paper on top of the can, and I added a thick red rubber band around it to hold it.  I found these gingerbread muffin papers from last Christmas, and I think they look cute on the can tops.  I made a tag, with gingerbread stickers from Michaels.

I also had these snowman muffin papers from last Christmas, and put them on another can. 
Who would have thought that an empty can of milk, apple bread, and a muffin paper could look so cute?

Snowman tag from Michael's Store too.

I purchased some coffee bags from Michaels, for 35 cents each.  I cut out pictures from an old Christmas magazine, a Christmas sticker, and added a clear bag of mini apple muffins.
I punched a hole in the top and tied with a bow.
Another fun way to give baked goods as a gift.
 A few months ago, I found this pack of 24, oven safe, paper bakeware, mini free standing baking pans, at T.J. Maxx store.  Their website is ...
I baked the tiny loaves of apple bread in them. They looked so good sitting on the Christmas plate.  I never baked such small loaves before.  I baked them for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

I put the loaf in a clear cellophane bag(which I found in the cake section of the A.C. Moore store).
I decorated it simply with a ribbon, some faux greens and berries.
I liked this tiny gift and will have fun giving them away in a few weeks.

Since I doubled the recipe, I used some of it to bake some small bundt cakes.  I set them on my dollar store plates, added some powdered sugar and a tiny faux poinsettia.
I will wrap the baked goods carefully and put them in my freezer until Christmas.
Just thought I would share these few simple ideas with you today.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Today in the early morning hours,  I stood outside and stared at the brilliant light from the moon and the starlit sky around it.
It was a new day.  I have been given another gift.
The world was quiet, and my heart was still.
In this busy season of life, I was reminded of the prayer of my heart.
I don't want to be too busy to miss the wonder of the season. 

In God's Heart

"A room of quiet~

    a temple of peace;

A home of faith~

    where doubtings cease;

A house of comfort~

   where hope is given;

A source of strength~

   to make earth heaven;

A shrine of worship~

   a place to pray~

I found all this~

  in God's heart today."

~author unknown

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My good friend is a gifted decorator!  She uses nature from the outside to decorate the inside.
This arrangement is on her kitchen island, and I thought it looked so pretty.
She wants to add some greens to it to complete the look, but I thought it did look complete. 

 This was the centerpiece she created for her table.  Once again, she brought the outside in and placed it in a clear glass, and set it on a white ironstone plate.  Perfect touch!

At our home, I used the outside to decorate my front porch, by using my old clay pots, adding sand to the inside, then cutting greens from a bush at my back door.  Then I cut some branches of red berries from my mother's tree.  The white branches with tiny lights were used at the front of the church, for our daughter's wedding a few years ago.  I stuck them down into the sand with the branches.  Front door decorations and I didn't spend anything to do it.  It was snowing this morning when I snapped this picture.

I am hoping  the weight of the pots, with the sand will keep them where they are, even in the wind.

This is my mother's tree in the early morning today.  We had our first light snowfall, and the little red berries look beautiful, covered with white snow.

Winter weather is back, and to me it seems like it just left.  The view was pretty from out of our window this morning.
My friend used bright red poinsettias at here family room window. 
She does not have excessive decorating touches...just a few
 touches of brilliant red to brighten up her tan and white room.  This year, more than ever my philosophy is to keep it all simple.  I don't know why, although maybe it is my how one thinks at my age:)  Come to think of it, she is my age too, and maybe that is why she chose simple too, this Christmas.
 This old urn was sitting on the wooden chest, across from the window with the pointsettias.   I like how she added the gold ornaments, red stars, and then a sprig of red pinecones.  So creative, and so simply beautiful!
 A few miscellaneous ways to decorate for
Christmas using nature's finest.
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, November 26, 2012

A gathering at my brother's farm.
The old agate basin held the floating apples and candles.
One had to wonder how many Thanksgiving holidays the basin had been a part of, in it's long lifetime? 
Apple napkins and white plastic plates added to the festive feel of the evening.

Sandtarts were placed on the kitchen counter, and this little one can hardly believe that they were free for the taking.  Afterall, it was our extended family Thanksgiving celebration, and this was a part of it.  Carefully, she makes her selection.

A break from auditing, and from separate colleges, gave these cousins time to relax and catch up.

The men gathered around the pot-bellied stove:).   Just like in great-grandpa's day.
I am sure the one old rocking chair has it's own stories to tell, of times just like it in the years past.
There were games and prizes to go with it.
This little guy feels like it must be his lucky day, in that he got to pick out a piece of candy just for him.

The hostess of the evening, our sister-in-law, welcomes one of the two new puppies to join the group this year.  Her son and his wife recently got brother and sister puppies, and all ages seem to warmly welcome them to the gathering.

The perfect way to end the evening festivities, was with the most brilliantly, beautiful sunset.
Our hearts were filled with gratitude as we left the farm, for our long drive home.
Thank you for stopping by, and for the privilege of sharing another one of our farm events with you.  We feel most blessed to have a farm on both sides of our family, and whenever we have an event at one of them, it feels for us, like we are stepping away from daily life and stepping into another time period, and that is why I like to share it with you.  Both farms have lots of history behind them, and both offer us a step back into that history, with every visit.  Oh, if only wall could talk:)


Saturday, November 24, 2012

 The small wooden table was given to their mother when she was their age.  Now, it was their turn to gather around it, with their little plates full of turkey and filling, and cranberry sauce. 
It was a most special evening celebrating our Thanksgiving day.

Beside their table, was the adults table, adorned with a beautiful red and white vintage tablecloth and old red glassware.  Candles added ambience to it all.  Underneath each place setting was a question card for everyone to answer. 

Our oldest daughter and her husband hosted the meal.  The blurriness of this picture was probably an indication of how she must have felt inside, preparing a turkey dinner while helping to care for five little ones.  Thankfully she has a very helpful husband(who by the way, cleaned the house for her), and a stepson who was in the kitchen helping with the final details.  Their family offers warm hospitality with every visit.  This evening was no exception, as they graciously welcomed my husband and I, and her two grandmas.
Before the dinner, reluctantly, and at the coaxing of their mother, the little ones shared songs and words from their Thanksgiving program at school.  We loved watching their expressions, when they finally realized that this WAS going to be a part of the evening festivities:), and they might as well do their part.

Two weeks ago, this great-grandma learned the "beginning steps" of the world of the "Kindle", and these little ones were thrilled to offer her their help.  They were so involved in the moment that they did not realize that I took a picture.  Young and old alike, taking part in the world of technology...younger than more confidence than the older.

Moments of tenderness with another one of their great-grandmas.  Four generations in one house, sharing our hearts of thanksgiving.

Father and son are thankful for the holiday time together. 
Good food, laughter, time to share, games around the table, health and strength for it all...for this and more, we have most thankful hearts.  Truly each are treasures we never want to take for granted. 
Thankful for all of you, too.  Hope you have an enjoyable weekend!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Last week one evening, I was on the road heading home.  It was late in the afternoon, and dusk was setting in.  I had my mind on getting home, because I was tired and it had been an extremely busy day.

For some reason, I glanced to my left as I was passing a big dairy farm, and the sight I saw, instantly took me back to my childhood.  Does that happen to you?  Something, oftentimes unexpectedly, can instantly transport us back to another year of our lifetime.  I saw cows on the hill above the road, walking as in a line(a long line), headed back to the barn.  It was milking time and they were headed home:)

 This sight reminded me of the years I spent visiting my uncle and aunt's farm, as a child.  My parents would pack us all in their blue Chevy staionwagon, and we would head for the country.  Oh, I can still remember the fun that we anticipated as we drove the forty-five minute drive.  It always felt like an adventure to us, as we were town folk.  My uncle and aunt lived on a big dairy farm, and every visit offered new and interesting happenings. 
One of those happenings, were when our cousins invited us, in the late afternoon, to head to the meadows and help herd the cows up to the barn, to be milked.

We would "encourage" the cows to head back to the barn.  For our cousins, this was a normal event, for us it was more fun than an amusement park adventure. 

That was then, and this is now.  Cows are still walking back to the barn at dusk, and milking is continuing to take place.  Without a doubt, the processes have drastically changed, and most likely the farmer who owns the cows, no longer has names assigned to each cow.  Now they have numbers. 

Life is so full of changes, just like my grandma would repeatedly tell me.  Now that I am a grandma, I know that better than ever.  But, what has not changed, is that cows are still heading back to the barn at dusk, and that I love to head home at the end of every day.

Going is what makes today the biggest travel day of the year.  People are headed home, whatever that home may be. 

I pray that you will in some unique way, experience a warm, personal "welcome" from someone this Thanksgiving holiday.  That someone lets you know that you are special and that they are truly glad to see you.   I pray that in your heart you find time to stop and reflect on your blessings in life, and sincerely thank God for them.

Home..."May its doors be open to those in need, and its rooms be filled with kindness.  May joy shine from its windows, and His presence never leave it."  ~Jewish home blessing

Happy Thanksgiving dear friends!

"Gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder."  ~G. K. Chesterton

Tonight I will draw a name for my wreath giveaway.  Please feel free to leave a comment on my previous post.

My husband drew the winner's name this evening, for the gently used Christmas wreath.  It is Kim from..  Congratulations Kim!  I never met Kim in person, but I have been visiting her blog for a few years.  Her gardens, her decorating abilities, her kind heart, and her organizational skills, are so inspiring to me.   She too, enjoys finding good deals at flea markets and consignment shops.  You are in for a treat if you have time to visit her.
I hope you enjoy your wreath over the holidays, Kim. 

Thank you also to everyone who entered, and for the kind comments you shared. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

 It has been a busy week and I have been delinquent in posting and visiting my blogging friends.
I can not believe that it is already the week of  the Thanksgiving holiday.
It is my very favorite holiday of the year.  Celebrating with family and friends is more of a blessing than I ever realized in my younger years. 
Yesterday, once again we gathered at the old farmhouse for an early Thanksgiving dinner.
I wanted to share a few pictures of my neice's kitchen window and the clever way she decorated it.  The kitchen sink underneath the wide windowsills provides the perfect place to display a beautiful fall colored vignette.  Washing dishes here seems like an enjoyable happening when one is able to look out of these ground level windows.

The adult table was tastefully done by my sister-in-law and her artistic ability to put together tablescape creations, using pumpkins, corn, leaves and candles.
Ground corn filled each glass jar, while a tea light added an extra pretty touch.

My sister-in-law and her sweet little granddaughter.  Here she looks relaxed and rested, even though she has just served a dinner to twenty five people.  How is that possible?
Another one of our neice's little guys finds the Thanksgiving meal to be a highlight, in that he can eat lots of ice cream and no one stops him:)
My handsome nephew and his newborn son.  We were so happy to welcome the little guy to our family celebration.
This year was the first year that my mother-in-law brought a Kindle to our dinner.  You see, she is just venturing into the technical world of sorts, due to the patient teaching skills of our oldest daughter.   I am so proud of this lady, that in her 80s she is learning some new skills. 
She is most happy to now know how to play Scrabble on the Kindle, with her grandchildren living throughout the United States.  I love seeing her determination to beat them at this game and then the thrill she gets when she acturally does:)  Right Matt?

Now, onto another subject.  Those of you who just might have been visiting ..."justalittlesomethingforyou" over the years, have learned that I do like thrift shops, flea markets, and antique stores.  You also know that I like lighting of all kinds and find decorating with lighting a festive way to add ambience to home and tablescapes. You also have learned the fact that I am a giftgiver, always was and probably always will be.  So...
in light of all those facts, I have come up with an unique giveaway.

I found a gently used but beautiful faux Christmas wreath.  I found some new, but purchased at the end of Christmas sale last year, tiny pin lights, and recently I purchased a unique strand of glittery Christmas stars at a lovely old mill gift shop in our area.

I put them all together, liked the way it look, showed the wreath to my daughters to get their approval, then decided to give it away on my blog(if of course, only if you do not care if you receive a gently used).  As you can see from the first picture, the wreath does have a center iron holder.  I set a pillar candle on it, a crystal bowl on it, a glass pedestal dish, and they all looked nice on it.  So, if you win this lit wreath, you can choose to set whatever you wish, as long as you can plug it in.

I think it would look nice to fill a glass pedestal dish like this one with a cake or cookies, and serve it over the holidays.  Or, you could put a glass hurricane lamp on the center and burn a pillar candle in it. 

I will include this red pillar, battery operated candle with the wreath, just in case you want to use it with the wreath.  That too was purchased at an end of Christmas sale last year, and put away until this Christmas.  It has never been used and does look nice with the wreath if you prefer that type of look.

All you need to do is to let me a comment about this post.  I am well aware that comments are time consuming and many of you do not have the time to leave them on a weekly basis, but just for this giveaway, leave a comment as to what you think of someone who chooses to give away a gently used gift(but please be kind:)

 The reason for this giveaway is, in light of the Thanksgiving holiday, to let each and every one of you who visit here, know how thankful I am for you.  I am thankful for what I learn from you, the inspiration I gain from you, and the friendships I have been given by knowing you all.  Blogging has been a journey I never pictured myself on, but contine to thank God for each day.

 We will draw a name on Wednesday evening, and ship it to you via my good friends at the postal store, wherever you may live.

Thank you for stopping by.


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