Friday, October 31, 2014

"Take nothing for granted, for whenever you do,
  The joy of enjoying is lessened for you.
   For we rob our own lives
   much more than we know
   when we fail to respond or in any way show...

  Our thanks for the blessings
  that daily are ours---
  The warmth of the sun, the fragrance of flowers,
  The beauty of twilight, the freshness of dawn,
  The coolness of dew on a green velvet lawn...

   The kind little deeds so thoughtfully done,
   The favors of friends and the love of someone
   Unselfishly gives us in a myriad of ways,
   Expecting no payment and no words of praise.

   Oh, great is our loss when we no longer find
   A thankful response to things of this kind.
   For the joy of enjoying and the fullness of living
   Are found in the heart that is
   filled with thanksgiving."      ~Helen Steiner Rice

We have had so many exceptionally beautiful days lately. with colors, and smells,
and sunsets, and brisk air.
I for one, wish that Autumn would last for a few more months.
Above pictures taken in Minnesota, last week.
But, since we all know what season is just around the corner, you might
like to try this hot chocolate mix recipe I found.  The blog where it was found,
is here;
The lady on this blog, claims that this mix is "her favorite cocoa recipe
in the whole world!" 
Last evening, when my husband was drinking his mug of this cocoa,
he praised it, too.  So, just in case you are looking for a recipe, you might want to
try this one.  In the recipe, she discloses her "secret ingredient".
PS.  I never realized how difficult it would be to get a good picture
of a cup of hot chocolate.  Mine does not look like the magazine pictures:)

The next season, has beauty of it's own to offer all of us...remember?:)

Another little something for you, from me, who is so thankful for each one of you.  For your
visits, your comments, and all I learn from you weekly...thank you!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

If you happen to empty one of these packages, and you are ready to discard it, you may want
to reconsider.  A while ago, I briefly saw this idea. I can not remember where I saw it,
but it stuck in my mind.  I decided to try it for myself.  With a glue stick and some left
over tissue paper, I simply covered the long box.  I wrapped it in gift wrapping fashion,
smoothing the paper as I wrapped it, inside and out.  I cut a piece of tin foil and placed
it on the bottom of the box.

The blueberry muffins that I had baked, fit in it perfectly.  Six of them, were the right number.

I closed the box and tied it with pretty red and white twine. When visiting our daughter,
I had purchased a package of these adorable gift tags, when we visited The World Market.
I tied it onto the package.

So, here you have it, a "before" and "after" easy, quick recycling project:), from my kitchen
to yours.

And, just in case you would like your own gift tags like these, you can order them
on line on The World Market website.  The nice lady at the checkout told me that they
have a large online market.

Here is where you can order the spoons or lots of other unique and cute items;

Thank you for stopping by.  I'd love to share a box of muffins with each one of you.

Monday, October 27, 2014

It had been almost a year since we last spent days visiting our youngest daughter and family.
They live in the Midwest, and we discovered that the Fall of the year,  is the best time
to visit them.  The last time we left their home, it was a minus 21degrees wind chill factor. 
This time, the weather was exceptional!  We found that Minnesota has miles and miles
of gorgeous walking trails, and we explored many of them.  In cases as the picture above,
the walking paths were built and then corporate parks and housing were built around them.

In this park, pots of vibrant colored flowers continued to bloom, despite the fact that
it was October.

Fallen, colorful leaves though, served as reminders, that winter was just around the

Of course, spending time with this little guy, was the best!  I know many of you have
grandchildren living far away, and you can identify with the joy that comes when you
do  finally get to spend valuable hours with them.  Here, hiking was made easier with this
sturdy shoulder carrier.

No matter how long the walk, or how steep the trail, our happy little companion, just
enjoyed the ride:)

We took coffee breaks at some quaint, old coffee shops.

My daughter took me to see a small shop that sold the cutest cupcakes.  I liked the wire
whisk lighting and thought you might too.

We sat at their kitchen table and were served a delicious meal of tacos.  At the end of a
big day, what could taste better! 

It was so good just being together again.

We took many feeding breaks for a hungry, growing, little guy, and a few for the bigger guy

We visited the town of Stillwater, and sat soaking in the sun, by the Hudson River. 

This bridge separates Minnesota from Wisconsin.  We walked the bridge, crossing from
one state to another.

The sunsets were indescribable!  This is the lake we walked around one evening
after dinner.  We were gifted with one of the most exquisitely breathtaking
sunsets ever, as we walked together.
As family, we are connected by love that distance can't separate, even
thousands of miles.  We treasure our memories today.
Thanks for stopping by!  I look forward to catching up with
each one of you in the coming week.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Sunday evening we had an invitation to our friend's home.  I knew you would enjoy
seeing the Fall decorations and creativity exhibited by the family that live here.
The front door vignette was colorful and tastefully arranged.  Everything said, "welcome".

It was a treat to look around this home and see how they used nature and lighting to create
ambience and coziness.  What a great idea, to intertwine a string of tiny lights, in with the
pumpkins and gourds.

The table scape was exceptionally done in the fall design, with leaves and
pumpkins as the dominant theme.

But, the highlight of the evening, was this beautiful young lady, who happens
to be their youngest child.  She is an excellent cook!  She planned the dinner for
twelve, cooked the dinner, and her and her lovely sister, served the dinner to
the twelve of us.  Now, I have cooked and served many a dinner in my life time,
and I can tell you, for me, to cook and serve a meal for twelve, is a real feat, and
I do it with fear and trepidation:)  Hence, I so admire this young lady.
With calmness, finesse, and great skill, she handled it all.  On top of that, the
meal was exceptionally delicious!!!   How did she do it?  She even baked the
bread that was served, and it melted in one's mouth.

Here she is with her older sister, and her mother.  What a trio!  They pulled this meal off with
such style and grace, that one almost did not notice ALL that was involved.  I admire these
women so much!  I will stand on the sidelines and watch as this young girl works her way
through the cooking world.  Right now, she is working at a lovely tea room in our town,
with a stellar reputation, and I can't help but think she is a big part of that.

Some of the recipes she used were from the "Food Network"
magazine.  Three cheers for that magazine, if all their recipes taste as good as her food

I wish I could remember the name of this chocolate icebox cake she made, but I do
remember the raves I heard about it.  Look how she had each plate sprinkled with
powdered cocoa, before placing the cake slices on it.  Isn't that impressive, especially
for someone as young as this girl is? 

I want to thank my youngest sister for taking these photos throughout the
evening and sharing them with me, so that I can share them with you.
I enjoy seeing young people tackling projects and running with them, in
today's world.  I believe these two sisters could successfully tackle any project,
and do it skillfully, and with smiles on their faces.
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

It was a simple western party, but we were so happy to get together on a Monday evening.

We were celebrating two little guys.  We can't believe they have been with us for five years.

The menu, at their request, was mac/cheese and applesauce (with remnants on their
shirts), they eagerly waited to blow out the candles.  The vanilla ice cream "cakes" were
their request also. 

Their gifts from us...cowboy boots from Colorado, and caps from the Tractor
Supply Store.  We are so thankful for the blessings they are in our lives.

That's it..."just a little something" from me today.

Monday, October 20, 2014

"Well, well...what have we here?"

I was sent this picture of our youngest grandson's introduction to the feline world, via a
weekend visit to the home of his parent's friends.

PS.  The small cookie package is empty, but he liked the noise the bag made.  Grandma's
like me check on things like this;)

Hoping your Monday is a good one!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Can you believe that it is Saturday again?  The weeks rush by so quickly.  In this early
morning hour, I sit by my computer, feeling like my creativity bin is almost empty:)
But, because I like when you all share ideas, I will share a few things I found lately,
with you.  Just some fun little some things for you.  You need to grab a cup of coffee
or tea first.

I found this pad of 12 bows in the craft isle of the Target Store.  By now,
you remember that I like to add pizazz to ordinary things, and make them
a bit more colorful, special, and prettier, and these help with that.

All you need is a glue stick, and to follow the simple instructions, and you can take
a paper bag of any color, and add the "wow" factor to it.

The bows are different colors and designs, and there were many color combinations in the
display.  I liked how this small brown bag looked with polka dots. 

Here I used a tiny white bag, added an orange bow, and a real leaf to hold the tag.  Endless
ways to use these pretty bows.  You can top jars with them, or little boxes. 

Another product I purchased lately, and found it to be a favorite.  In fact, I have it placed
on my bedside table, and it's hydration is impressive.  The cube itself, is so attractive!

I think this company believes in the importance of presentation, too.
I purchased the little cube at the Christmas Tree Shop.
There were different colors and flavors in the shampoo isle.
I chose "pomegranate blueberry". 

These tiny cubes are so cute, that I think they would make beautiful favors for the holidays,
or for a special dinner party.  Months ago, I was helping a friend with favors for a dinner
she was hosting to celebrate her mother's birthday.  I found these faux silver trays.  They
looked so elegant and yet were so inexpensive.  For fun, I sat the cube on it, added a
ribbon and a tag. This favor would add a touch of color and elegance to any table. 
One more thing about these trays.  My friend placed one of her molasses cookies on
each tray, put it in a clear cellophane bag, with ribbon and tag.

Just in case you wish to order these, you can find them here;
(search small silver trays 3286 NSB)

What was only last week, an ordinary olive jar, now became a
container for homemade salad dressing from my kitchen.
The labels were removed, the jar washed with hot, soapy
water, and dried thoroughly.  I used a rub-on design from
my craft drawer, and rubbed it on with a wooden
popsicle stick.  I placed a colorful cupcake holder on top of the lid,
tied it.

The design is temporary, because it will come off if washed with hot water, but
it looks good when the gift is given.  And, because I really like when you all share
favorite recipes,  I will share this dressing recipe with you.  It is from "Taste of
Home" magazine.


1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup of vegetable oil
3 tablespoons of poppy seeds

In a food processor combine sugar, vinegar lemon juice, onion, and salt.  Process
until well blended.  Gradually add oil and blend well.  Add poppy seeds and mix
just until blended.  Refrigerate in an air tight container several hours or a day ahead.
PS.  I do not use a food processor.  I place all ingredients in a large jar and shake

Teaching young children the importance of creating and adding beauty to every day, is
what took place recently, at my daughter's kitchen table.  She hosted a family brunch, and
had fun things for the youngest ones in attendance.

I appreciated their enthusiasm as they eagerly dressed up these
cute little turkeys.  I wondered if it could be possible that someday,
they would be dressing up their own olive jars:)

Nothing though can compare to the exquisite beauty that God, the Master Artist, creates
and shares with us daily, in our world.  It is a gift that goes on quietly, behind the scenes,
without fanfare, and yet it's beauty defies description.

Thank you for stopping by today.  I wish you moments to soak in the scenes around you,
especially in this lovely time of the year.


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