Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bucket list.....2009

Wow, can you believe 2008 has flown by! And here we sit, awaiting the arrival of 2009. Why, just yesterday, we were waiting for Y2K.....and wondering if the computer world (and everything controlled by them) would screech to a halt.

Well, in my relaxation and rest AFTER the holidays.....I decided, by the way, that I did far too much rushing pre-holiday.....FAR, FAR too much. I know I need to plan better, but who could have known that I would be spending so much time in doctor's offices and in physical therapy???? NOT a good combination with December's calendar! I'm hoping January and February hold far fewer medical appts!

But back to the post (I have to remind myself to stay on task.....)

I was thinking about New Year's resolutions and the negative connotations they hold for so many of us. So I thought to myself, that just having a few goals would be good. Nothing set too firmly in stone, but a rally for improvement, for bettering my world, and making my home and household a better haven. So I decided to create a Bucket List for 2009. Wanna play?
My bucket list is a list I am beginning so I can keep track of what I've accomplished and what I still want to do before year's end. And you know the first thing on my bucket list? Buy buckets!! I decided on Christmas morning that buckets would better hold all the fun things I had intended to put into stockings for my family. But the stockings overflowed....they almost busted...and the size was just all wrong. Besides, I couldn't find all the cute little monogrammed bags that my mother in law had made for us a few years ago. And if I had found them all, my daughter in law still would not have one, since she wasn't in the family when they were made. So on my list is buckets.......cute little buckets with everyone's name on them. And have them ready by Oct!
Also on my bucket list is to reach my 100th post, when I will feature a big GIVEAWAY. That should happen about mid February, I'm guessing.
And I 've also decided that if I want to add to my Bucket List as 2009 progresses, that that is just OK......or if I want to remove an item from my Bucket List 2009, then that will work also. I no longer want to feel overwhelmed, too rushed, time crunched or otherwise cranky and irritable. You know that feeling well, I am sure.
So what else is in my Bucket List? Well, let's see, finish the few lingering projects in my kitchen re-do, like a new light fixture, the altering of my kitchen window valances and new blinds. Then I'm getting a new dishwasher, so hopefully that will happen soon. And those curtains need to go back up in the den, along with new blinds. I'd like to paint the hall bathroom, and spiff that area up. I'd like to get the drapes done in my master bedroom, too. Neglected long enough.
I'd like to read a book a month, at least, and read my Bible regularly.
I'd like to write more thank you notes....and notes of encouragement. Send me your address and I'll write to you! ;)
And the last thing I have on my mind tonight is to get back to my walking program and eating well. I've had way too much Christmas cheer and calories.....sigh. But I know how good it will make me feel! So join me, won't you?
Make your Bucket List and let's share with one another and remember to keep each other accountable.....
Let me know what's on your list.
Image above is from Google Images....I just typed in Cute Bucket....haha. I'm nothing if not ingenious! Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Knock out Christmas morning hunger...

Yes, since ya'll asked so nicely, and I didn't want ya'll starving or anything.......never mind the sugar plums you've already been nibbling on....

I give you the Old Fashion Butter Rolls recipe:

3 c. all purpose flour

1 T. baking powder

1 t. salt

1/3 c. shortening (it's a very old recipe and actually calls for lard, in case you are so inclined....)

1 c. milk

3/4 c. butter

1 1/2 c. sugar

1 t. vanilla (nutmeg can be substituted if you'd rather)

Mix all together with fingertips. Knead until smooth on biscuit board. Roll out 1/4 inch thick on board. Spread with 3/4 c. softened butter, sprinkle 1 1/2 c. sugar on top. Roll up jelly roll fashion. Cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Place in a 9 x 13 cake pan; slowly pour enough boiling water over the rolls to cover them. (this is important because it makes the yummy, yummy sauce). Sprinkle 1 t. vanilla over the top. Bake 350 degrees for one hour until browned. Serve with whipping cream. Serve 8-10. We never use the whipping cream because we like them with just the sauce......don't be afraid to lick your fingers.......it's basically a Christmas tradition for us, so we look forward to them all year long.

Merry Christmas Ya'll!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

the halls are decked, the cheer is on.....

I know it's not the night before Christmas, but I'm not sure when I will get to post again. The last minute shopping is almost done-- I have one more trip to the grocery store to make, and a run into WalMart....oh dear. I have to ready my house for my son and daughter in law's arrival, and start cooking. It will be days of cooking, so I thought I'd better stop in to say hi before I fire up the kitchen. It's a balmy 78 degrees here and yet tomorrow will be a high of 40 degrees. Now THAT"S cooking weather! So I'll start by fixing a few goodies, perhaps some fudge, some chubby hubby cookies, some oreo truffles, and some Puppy Chow. The kids will love it!

Then I'll start my annual Neighbor Baking session. Wait, no I'm going to bake my neighbors, rather bake something FOR my neighbors! I usually bake Christmas morning treats for my neighbors...who needs more cookies??? But everyone seems to love things to enjoy on Christmas morning. In fact, I think one neighbor and her husband might go hungry if I didn't fix their breakfast treats.....not that they can't afford it, or that she can't make it, it's just that she counts on my treats for breakfast! So I'll be making Sausage Biscuit Bites (angel biscuits with sausage mixed in), applesauce muffins, some banana bread, and some Christmas morning rolls......biscuit type dough, in pinwheels with a yummy vanilla sauce. Those are my son's favorite, and of course we will have some of all it, too. I'll share the recipes later if I get a chance. Until then, I better get going.....I have a few groceries to buy so I can be prepared to be a cooking elf!!! Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Crunch time for cookies??!!!

I have a sugar cookie recipe that always comes thru for me in a crunch......need decorated cookies in a flash? Well this recipe is great because you don't have to chill the dough! And the icing recipe will dry shiny and hard so that the cookies are stackable even though they are decorated! I don't have a picture to show you because I haven't made any yet, but I am sure I will be making some.....remember Google images is my best friend!! ;)

Here's my favorite sugar cookie recipe:
Easy Roll Out cookies

3/4 cup butter

3/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 t. vanilla

2 t. baking powder

2 3/4 cup flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with electric mixer. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. (may add butter extract here if using margarine) Add baking powder and flour (mixed together first) one cup at a time, mixing after each addition. The dough will be very stiff; blend in the last flour by hand. Do not chill. Dough may be tinted with paste icing color for colored cookies. For chocolate cookies, stir in 3 oz. melted unsweetened cocoa. If dough is too stiff, add water a teaspoon at a time.

Divide dough into two balls. On a floured surface, roll each ball in a circle about 12" in diameter and 1/8 inch thick. Dip cookie cutters in flour before each use. Bake cookies on ungreased sheet on top rack of oven for 6-7 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. If you like cookies that are more like tea cakes, make the cookies a little thicker.

Cookie Icing Recipe (dries to a glossy, hard finish and tastes good, too!

1 c. sifted confectioner's sugar

2 t. milk

2 t. light corn syrup

Place sugar and milk in a small bowl. Stir until mixed. Add corn syrup and mix well. For filling in areas, use thinned icing (add small amount of corn syrup until desired consistency). Tint with paste icing color or very small amount of food coloring.

This is a Wilton recipe and I've used it for years.

Edited to add --my kids are having friends over tonight and decorating cookies is on the FUN agenda....so perhaps I'll show you some of theirs tomorrow! Big kids still love decorating cookies, too!
We've got the chili going on the fire, and I'll make rice and cornbread to accompany. Wanna come?

Also a fun treat to make for kids is Snowman Soup. Psstt, it's really hot chocolate mix.

Mix up some hot chocolate mix or open envelopes of pre-made mix and add to a ziploc bag. Add in a few miniature marshmallows, a few hershey kisses of your choice (remember those bad, bad peppermint ones??? mmmm.....) and add a peppermint stick or candy cane for stirring. Attach this poem, and decorate package as you wish. Ok, I didn't have time to take pics or make a tutorial, so you're on your own here. We call this YoYo at my house, especially when it comes to fixing your own dinner night. YoYo= your on your own, get it???? ;)

So here's the cute little poem for Snowman soup. You can package it with cute snowman stickers, stamps, cute ribbon, etc. Even when it's yoyo night, mom has ideas for possibilities!

Snowman Soup

I was told that you’d been good this year
Always glad to hear it.
With freezing weather drawing near
You’ll need to warm the spirit
So here’s a little Snowman Soup
Complete with stirring stick
Add hot water, stir it slowly
It’s sure to do the trick!

Ingredients: Hot chocolate mix,
Snowballs, Snowman kisses and
Stirring stick

Ok, I'm a lazy crafter and time-crunched, so I googled Snowman Soup and there are all manner of graphics to use for this recipe. Does that me an expert if I can refer you to all the right references??? hmmm.....i doubt it.

Some examples:

These and many more are all available by searching Google Image.....my best friend. Merry Christmas Ya'll!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Charlie Brown christmas....

This image came from I-Love-Cartoons.com......but it reminded me of my Christmas....it's not perfect, but that is not required for worship. God does not expect us to come to Him in perfection. In fact, that's HIS job. He just wants us to come. Limping, blinded, dumb, hurting.....that's ok. So when we expect things to be perfect, we are setting ourselves up for disaster....in fact, we are saying that we know better, that we can do without Him, that we are somehow ok with getting along by ourselves. Um, I'm sure that I cannot do that. I'm sure that I desperately need HIM to work for me in the perfection dept. Because my attempts fail everytime.
Anyway, the reason for Christmas isn't ME anyway. But He blesses us and allows us to come together as families, to come together as friends, to share the "magic" of Christmas that we've determined is surely the way it was back in that fateful night in Bethlehem.
So whatever your traditions are, remember that Christmas brings us to worship. "Oh, come let us adore HIM, Christ the Lord."
Enjoy Him, enjoy your family, and the blessing that you have because of who you are IN HIM.
Have a blessed day.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Shepherd has one less sheep this year!

We have two Nativity sets at the SouthernInspiration Casa........one that comes from Southern Living at HOME (heh, heh, No surprise there, right???) and one that we have had for about 25 years. My hubby was in graduate school and we had only one child, and very little money.....that's another story about learning how GOD provided every single thing we needed from month to month. We might only have 59 cents in the checkbook at the end of each month, but we ALWAYS had, thanks to the faithfulness of God the Provider, every single thing the we needed. We were poor but we were so, so blessed! Anyway, back to the point......I was just diagnosed with thyroid issues, so I'm feeling a little more justified in being an airhead....) where was I? Oh, the nativity set we hand-crafted from a set featured in a magazine like Women's Day.....can't remember. We had more fun making that set with a five year old, and it still holds such value to us and our hearts. Even the younger kids like it, even though they weren't around yet when it was crafted. Well, they were in the thoughts of God, but not yet present in our family!!!

So it's been with us through the years......the dog did get baby Jesus one year and gnawed on Him a little bit, but I figured if he had some exposure to the baby Jesus, it certainly couldn't hurt him, right??? And then one of the sheep did get mauled by our son's ginormous lab puppy last year, but I figured the Shepherd could use a break from tending THREE sheep this year and only tend to two.......that's okay. We could all use a break from responsibility this time of year! LOL....Oh, and we do have an angel that attached to the front peak of the stable.....she needs to be re-glued on there......she will make her re-debut later today or tomorrow, I promise!

So I guess by now, you'd rather just see the picture already rather than continuing to read my babbling....so I give you our two Nativity scenes.....have a blessed day, my friends....

Friday, December 12, 2008

A small corner of my world....

The mantle and fireplace in the den......new decor this year. Who am I kidding? Do I EVER do it the same way from year to year??? Nah......
But at least it's DONE....moving on to the next thing......have a wonderful day!

Edited to add that we really do not use our fireplace anyway so the problem with things catching fire is not an issue. My mantle is only about four inches wide ( I would love to widen it someday and make it a much bigger focal point of the room...one day) so with the mirror resting on it, I cannot really put much there. I guess I could rehang the mirror....I think I took it down to paint the wall or paint the mirror! It used to be gold.... and the fireplace has glass doors, but I don't like the way they look, so I just use the screen as a decorative piece....and it IS Southern Living at HOME.....so of course I have to have it to demo!!! ;)
Anyway, it's not perfect, but it's good for now. Off to finish up things around here.......

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Good and Bad......

This is very good......

These are very good with a spot of tea..........or a few slices of cheese or a holiday cheese spread.

And these, well these are so good that they are BAD, Very, Very, BaD!!!! Have you tried them?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Pennies In My Pocket
Talk about a VERY COOL giveaway.....go check this out. Who wouldn't LOVE a cashmere sweater that is given to them, or a cool duffle bag, or even toasty warm slippers for some toes you love??? Go check it out!!
And then another oh.so.cute&classy giveaway over at the Nesters......some very cute art from a young & talented AR-TEEST........eggs, hats, shoes, stockings, oh, my....
Check it out here!

And there are going to be all manner of house tours and decor tours and share tours that you won't believe! One is going to be happening at the Nester's....and one at Kimba's....and then there is one at Cottage Industry's.....how is one to ever get all the fun Christmas stuff done when there are SO MANY great blogging things to check out!! Here's a link to Kimba, and to Cottage Industry's.....you'll LOVE their blogs if you don't already read them regularly! OH. SO. TALENTED!!!

You can find Tracey at Cottage Industry's blog here.....

Go...while you have a few minutes or an hour and check them all out. You'll be glad you did!

Monday, December 8, 2008


It's Monday, and I look forward to Mondays these days....this is why. I get to go help with my friend's quintuplets. It's such a blessing to see the miracle that they are. And they are just precious! It's a crazy life for sure for them, but they are so blessed and I love helping! You can read about them here.....no the Christmas decorations are still not complete, as we are waiting for my college son to come home to do the tree......but these are GREAT decorations for the everyday...these little ones. I may even decorate for Christmas at THEIR house!!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

I've been tagged?????

My dear friend, Donna, at Designs on 47th St., (who has recently learned to link, and I"m so proud to be her friend) has tagged me........you know, I've never been tagged on my blog before. But from what I understand, it's to help us all get to know each other a little better, or to publicize random things about ourselves! So here's what she tells me to do:

6 Random Things About Myself.~~Here are the rules.1. Link to the person who tagged you.2. Post the rules on your blog (copy and paste 1-6)3. Write 6 random things about yourself.4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them.5. Let each person know they been tagged and leave them a comment.6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.~~~~~~Here are my 6 random things: ~~~~~~

1. I enjoy playing word games and puzzles. I love Scrabble, Quiddler ( a great word game played with a card deck) and other such games.

2. I don't enjoy games that involves strategy or remembering what cards have already been played, etc. That's hard work, and games are meant to be fun! ;)
3. My "grandma" name, when I have grandchildren, is going to be Peaches....that's what my daugher-in-law has dubbed me as....and I like it!
4. I didn't get a manicure or pedicure until I was forty, but I've sure enjoyed my share of them since finding out how wonderful it is!!!
5.I grew up in a very small town, Vidalia, La.
6. I like quiet mornings, with a cup of coffee and some quiet time to ease into the day. I like my coffee with creamer and splenda, and I love to enjoy a magazine or a newspaper as I start my day. I like to pray, too, during the quiet hours.
So, Miss Donna, there you have it. I will have to tag someone now, it seems........I'll be back tomorrow to do that. For now, it's bedtime....nighty, night.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Finally right.....

My friend Donna at 47th Street Designs gave me a few pointers about my arrangement re-do......and you know, she was right. It needed a little brightness, that the magnolias had offered before. So I'm walking out of my bedroom, and I nearly slapped myself upside the head...you know, one of those "I coulda had a V-8 moments"....(remember those commercials?)....I saw the half vase of hydrangeas that I had already stolen from to do this.....and I said to myself...." I like hydrangeas better than I do magnolias today, because these are FREE!!" So I took the hydrangeas into the den and stuck them in, easy as that. I also had a few other feathers that were in the hydrangeas and I added those in, too. This thing is huge now, but I think I like it....it's to the point of saying...."aaaahhhhhhhhh...", just right for me right now. It may change again, who knows, but for now, it's staying, and I'm finishing the Christmas decorations! I MUST FINISH!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Visions of Sugar Plums.....

I am absent today as I create my visions of sugar plums in my house........Eye candy? Well, it is about to explode in my house....will it be perfect? Probably not, and I set myself up for major disappointment when I expect it to be. BUT, it will be for me and my family and it will be festive and fun and holiday-ish. I hope it will not be so over the top that I or anyone who visits will forget the real reason that Christmas is celebrated. I'm ALL OVER the pretty and glittery and red and silver and bright lights.....but I also am very thankful for the reason for the season. The real reason we can even celebrate Christmas is the birth of Christ. It IS a big deal, it IS a reason to celebrate...so bring it on....
I just need a little more time to bring it on.......I don't like to feel rushed...so when I've got the decorating done, I'll be back with pics. Until then, the Google images will be working overtime. Besides, who could resist these little cuties......and the eye candy! See you soon!

Monday, December 1, 2008

An Arrangement REDO.....

This is the before....and the magnolias really were way more yellow than the photo even suggests......um, time to go bye-bye......and the golden dried flowers.....um, way too dusty.....buh-bye.....Remember my Land Sakes Alive trip to Hobby Lobby??? This bag is chock full of redo goodness........so I pulled out the yellowed magnolias, the dusty golden dried stuff....and replaced it with some other albeit faux pretties......and this is what I came up with.
I still want to get a few more feathers, but they were running short that day. I"ll add five more or so.....what do you think? And it's now bigger so I had to move the lamp! Funny how these things projects grow on us, isn't it?????
So give me your thoughts...what does it need? Donna, Miss Expert Flower Arranger, tell me how to make it look more bee-u-tee-ful.......

Edited to add that in the picture it looks heavy with darker green on the bottom half...I may have to check that out and move some of that around, but I don't remember it looking so dark green on the bottom.....I'll go check that out. I do love the feathers...... and those little spiky pink things. It is a little wild looking, but isn't that what makes it look a little more natural, considering it is a FAUX arrangement??? Give me your thoughts....