Monday, May 31, 2010

Recently my husband and I were on another one of our sightseeing drives and we discovered this adorable sweet shoppe. I was so impressed with the contents and the decor of this little place that I asked the friendly girl at the counter if it was okay to take pictures so I could share it with you. She was thrilled with my interest and happily obliged. The tiny cupcake creations(shown above) looked so appealing.

There were shelves of cookbooks and of course that made me happy. Unique cookbooks of every color, size and content.

Sitting on the counter was this beautiful stand filled with colorfully decorated ceramic cupcakes that looked real enough to eat. What a perfect addition to a sweet shoppe's counter.

Another one of the refrigerated cupcakes displays with each one decorated with tiny goodies.

To the back of the store was this big display area, providing the privilege for anyone to decorate their own cupcakes.

With many flavors and colors of icings, and lots of toppings to choose from. What fun for all ages to decorate to their heart's desire.

Another cute item on display were these artistically done necklaces. Each one was displayed in a plastic cupcake container and had different designs. I wanted to buy one of each for my granddaughters.

For all of you plate addicts, there were shelves of festive, fun plates with many different dessert creations on them. Here too, I wanted to buy one of each...for me. Just dreaming. I liked the large red and white cupcake cookie jars.

More of the plates on display. The lighting and the glass shelves created the perfect backdrop for each piece.

Pastel wooden tables and chairs graced the central part of this shoppe. What thought and originality went into creating this place. I wanted to sit down and spend the evening here. Old fashion glass candy jars lined the one wall, filled with many different kinds of candy. I just could not imagine how excited the children would feel to discover a shoppe like this.

On glass lit shelves in the back of the shoppe were birthday hats extrordinaire. I am sure one would feel extra special to wear a hat like this on their birthday...maybe on my 60th birthday:)
Hopefully you enjoyed this tour of the sweet shoppe we discovered. Really it gave anyone who visited it a feeling of fun and happiness. So much so, that I decided to have a Memorial Day giveaway so that you too, could share in my fun. So you too, could have your own "sweet creation" to celebrate parties with, or just to have your own little ice cream party with friends.

This Partytime Sundae Topping Carousel includes 6 bowls, spoons, covered bowl and stand. I will include some fun ice cream toppings with it. Your part...just share a comment on my blog today or tomorrow. All the names will go in a crock and my husband will draw a name tomorrow evening...June 1, Tuesday evening giveaway deadline.
Happy Memorial Day to you!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A few months ago I saw this simple idea on a blog. I visit many blogs and I just cannot remember the blog that I saw this on. If you visit my blog and it was your idea, please let me know. The idea stuck for me, and a few days ago, I created this centerpiece for my kitchen table. I used a glass candlestick holder, a crystal punch cup, e-6000 glue, sheer ribbon and some tiny crystals.

I glued the crystal cup to the top of the crystal candlestick holder.
I tied a sheer green ribbon onto the handle of the cup. I knotted some wired tiny crystals to the bottom of the sheer ribbons. Added a tea light candle and two lacy votive holders from a friend, and I had a centerpiece without spending money.

I thought you would like to see the fine detailed work that is on the white hanky I bought a few years ago at an antique mall. I think it is the perfect linen to use with this new candle creation.

On the pots of my front porch, the hybrid impatients are growing beautifully. Their vibrant red color just makes me happy when I see them.

The sweet potato vines must like the Peter's bloom buster feed that I give to them. I like the look of my flags that I displayed on this Memorial Day weekend, in the pots.

I am excited when the flowers in my pots grow and multiply. Since I do not profess to have a green thumb, each month the flowers live, I feel like an accomplished gardner:) Seriously, when I visit your blogs and see your gardens, I realize the above is not true of me. For today, if you come to visit, these two bright colored pots will be there to greet you.

Today, whatever you do, I wish you moments of relaxation, inspiration, fulfillment and fun. And, people you love to spend moments with.
Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Sitting on my porch last evening, while the storm was flashing it's lightening strikes across the sky, I was thinking(no I was dreaming) about the coming holiday weekend. I wish I was going to be sitting on the beach on my comfy beach chair reading one of the books on my growing list of "must reads". I would still be sitting as the evening sun would be setting over the ocean. I would have lots of iced lemonade in my insulated thermos, and some homemade chicken salad to go with it. Oh, this would certainly be a pleasurable way to spend Memorial Day weekend.

...or, I could sit on some Adirondack chairs on the side of this rolling mountain stream. This location would also be perfect for catching up on my reading backlog. I would have lots of hot coffee in my thermos, and some homemade blueberry muffins to go with it. I just know I would not tire of sitting at this location in the warm sunshine of the mountains.

...or, I would be so happy to spend the day horseback riding through the magnificent Rocky Mountains with my friends. I would anticipate the prepared dinner cooked on the grills at the top of the mountain, after a few hours of riding. I would take in every bit of scenery on the ride, and bask in the Spring sunshine. This too, would be a perfect way to celebrate the upcoming holiday weekend.

...or I could stay at my favorite place on this earth, and celebrate the Memorial Day weekend here, remembering the hundreds of thousands of men and women throughout history, who have given their lives to provide the freedoms I hold dear. The men and women who today, continue to give their lives for that freedom. The ones that do not get to sit on the beach, or by a mountain stream, or on horseback in the Rockies, but on in the midst of war ravaged countries on duty for us. What a privilege it is for me to sit on my porch this weekend, in a land that is still experiencing freedom, especially after watching the news accounts on Somalia yesterday.
Wherever you choose to spend your days this holiday, may you too remember those who continue to provide our cherished freedom.
Happy Memorial Day to you and your family!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"I have eaten the first fruit of the season, and I am in love."
~ James Wright

The strawberry jelly that I made last night. The recycled Bonne Manan jars that I used.
I make my strawberry jelly using Certo, the liquid pectin.
I use the quick and easy freezer jelly directions in the box.
I use this recipe because it was the one my mother always used, and because it is quick and simple. Mostly I make it this way because it is what my family requests year after year.

Strawberries can be dressed up and served beautifully like this photo from a page in Victoria Magazine...

...when used as a garnish in serving a refreshing drink.

...or served with other fruits of the season in this attractive way on a page of Country Living Magazine. However and whenever they are served, it brings me happiness. Hoping to have some strawberry shortcake this coming holiday weekend. The roadside stands in my part of the country are brimming full of this sweet, luscious fruit.
We are so blessed!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"The act of being generous with our listening is a gift that our world is longing to receive. Can you imagine the reasons this is true? For one thing, in our isolated world, people long to be heard. From the moment we enter school we are encouraged to participate-to talk, to share opinions, to give answers. But with everyone caught up in expressing his or her own thoughts and feelings, there are far too few listeners to hear. The bottom line is that when we take the time to really listen, others feel valued. What a wonderful gift to be able to give. And best of all, it is free."
~this is a paragraph from a book I read and found to be near the top of my favorite list. It is titled, "One Simple Act"
Discovering the power of generosity.
written by Debbie Macomber, a #1 New York Times Bestselling Author
I have been thinking about the subject of "listening" lately. When I read her chapter on "Static, Stories, and Chow-Chow...The Art of Listening", I realized that I found someone who was expressing some of the same thoughts that I was thinking.
I have learned many things from my husband over the years. One of the best things he has taught me by example, is how to be a good listener. He has the ability to look at me, to tune into what I am saying, to ask questions, to listen intentionally. What a gift! It seems to me, that in today's fast paced world, what we hear when we meet with people, and what they are really saying are two different things. A quote in Debbie Macomber's book is a discovery that she made; "Becoming generous in listening can transform our relationships."
Listening friends are real gifts in my world.
If you happen to need a good book to read this summer, here is one you might enjoy.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Earlier today, I did a post on the graduation ceremonies that we were privileged to attend this
weekend, at the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY. I just received these three
photos and wanted to include them in today's post.
Pictured above is my nephew and his girlfriend at the Graduation Ball on Friday evening.

My nephew with his sisters after the Saturday morning graduation.

My nephew with his parents(my dear sister and brother-in-law), on Friday evening.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Graduation and Commissioning Ceremony

United State Military Academy

We had the privilege of attending this memorable event. Our nephew graduated in this ceremony.

It was a weekend that will always remain in our memory as a very special time.

Picture above...the graduating class of 2010 entering the stadium for the last time as cadets. The

seats in the stadium behind the cadets and the platform were empty. Seating was prohibited in

that area. The rest of the stadium seats were filled with people. The pomp and circumstance of the

morning was most impressive.

The graduation speaker was the President of the United States.

What a privilege it was to have our picture taken with our nephew after his graduation. It will be

the last time he will be dressed in his cadet uniform. It struck me as we stood here in the bright

sunshine with this young man, that it was just a short time ago, that we babysat for him as a

toddler. How did it all happen so quickly? We felt so honored to be a part of this important

moment of his life.
Throughout the beautiful and historic grounds of this great institution, the graduating parties

began. The day's weather was perfect. The landscaping of West Point grounds created the perfect

backdrop for outdoor dining.

After our lunch was served, the pinning ceremony was next on the agenda. Here these young men

were commissioned and pinned. These pictures were the first that were taken of them in their

uniforms as Second Lieutenants. They looked so handsome. Our nephew is the one with the yellow

band on his hat.

Here he is showing us his diploma. I thought as I saw it, how differently it would appear to him,

than it would to me. He knew the blood, sweat and tears that went into it, during the four years

at West Point. Isn't that how life is? What others see is often not the "real picture".

Our heartfelt congratulations go out to this young man. He faces a turbulent and unknown future

in this world. We promised him our love and our continued prayers as he enters the next leg of his

journey. We definitely felt it was a great honor to be part of these moments in his life. Another
special privilege on this weekend, was to see so many Veterans from past wars that have served
our country. Truly, our hearts overflowed with gratitude toward all who have given, and
continue to give to provide our freedom.

Friday, May 21, 2010

I thought you might like to see one of my friend's accomplishments. Last summer she grew this Morning Glory in her back yard. I know many people do that, but hers seem to favor the spot that they were planted in, and reproduced in abundance.
I learned that many people think of them as a weed, and they are related to the bindweed, which is a wild morning glory. The flowers will greet you in the morning and then fade by the afternoon, throughout the summer. I learned this from I think it is an interesting place to visit.

This is a play house her husband and their good friends built for their grandchildren, a few years ago. Being the creative and talented people that they are, they used old barnsiding and tin to complete this project, and knowing them, I am sure they did it all for $ 20.00...okay, that may be an exageration. But, they always amaze me at how they create without spending very much. She dreamt about this little house for years before they built it. I think the porch and the rocking chair certainly add charm to the project. What a beautiful addition to one's backyard. I am sure when their grandchildren were younger, they spent many fun hours in it.

Wishing you some of your own "dreams that come true" this summer.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


"A friend understands what you are trying to say-Even when your thoughts aren't fitting into words."
~Ann D. Parrish
~Picture captured by my daughter last week. I think it is an award winning picture of two precious little girls.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

It was a clear and sunny Spring Sunday afternoon. As we do at times, my husband asked if I wanted to take a drive. There are so many scenic, country roads in our part of the country. However, during our routine weekdays, we rarely travel on them. And, as we often do,
we pulled into the Retirement home where his mother lives, and picked up her. She also,
enjoys these drives. We drove for almost an hour, until we came to this lovely village.

At the center of this quaint village was this old historic old Inn. We chose to walk to through
the Inn, to the back porch, where we found round tables and comfortable chairs. It was the
perfect place for a light Sunday evening dinner, and quiet enough for us to talk.

Here we are. What makes this a special event and worth sharing blog space, is
that two of these wonderful people in my life, both had heart issues that required
hospitalization in this last month. Hers was of a much more serious nature. It involved
a heart valve replacement, and his was of lesser seriousness. It was atrial/flutter of the heart.
Both of them are now feeling better than they expected to be. Both of them are so thankful
to have had the excellent medical attention that was given them, and both of them have
a new appreciation for their healthy hearts.
Me...I am just so thankful for both of these dear people in my life, and can't imagine
life without them, making me more appreciative of this time of sitting and sharing together,
without a hurried time schedule. Funny how illness and hospital stays of loved ones, can
add a new dimension to time spent together.

When I glanced to my left from the table where I was sitting, this is the scene I saw through
the rails. The largest amount of huge rocks that I've ever seen, with water running under them.
People were on the rocks, enjoying the late afternoon sun. With the afternoon breezes, the
sound of running water, some cups of coffee on the porch and spending time sharing with people I love...
what could be better!

I stood up and took this picture. See what I mean. I've heard those rocks have been there
for a very long time. I am going to look this place up and read about it's history, and how all
those rocks got there. It was a beautiful place to visit on a perfect Spring afternoon.
Just a reminder...look around at those in your family, and take time to let them
know you love them. Time spent with my husband is more treasured than ever, and I no longer take his health for granted.
Thanks for your visit here today.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

It was an end-of -the year dinner.
It was for 12 guests, and it was taking place in a private room of a restaurant.
My role...dress up the table by creating a centerpiece and favors which would add
color and a personal touch to the table at a low cost:)
This is one of my favorite requests. Thankfully, I get to do this quite often.
Here is the favor I went with;

I took this gorgeous Peony photo that I shared with you on a previous post. It was
captured by my uncle's camera.
On my printer I copied it, using the wallet size prints.
I try to think of as many ways as I can to use the beauty captured in photography.

I cut out each small print, stamped each one with the above sentiment, using my stamps and
black ink pad.
Then I took my glue pen and outlined the edges of each print, and dipped each edge into
a pie pan of extra fine glitter, outlining each small tag with sparkle.

I baked a double recipe of a favorite chocolate cake in my medium size bundt pans.
When cooled, I sprinkled with powdered sugar and put one in each clear cellophane bag.
I turned down the top and put in one staple. Then I glued the completed
tag over the staple.

I used my previously mentioned glass bowl and goblet centerpiece, and filled
it with shades of pink Peonies from my little garden.
The pinks of the tags and the pink of the centerpiece added the touch of color
that was needed for the cream colored linens on the table.

I added a few votives on the table.

Simple, inexpensive way to add a touch of "I care" to an end of the
year appreciation dinner.
As always...the best part of any dinner is the people that grace the table.
My part was secondary, but I shared it with you, in case you ever need to
dress up a table.


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