Tuesday, November 30, 2010

In which I talk about snow, even though we don't get SNEAUX in Texas!

Nope, we don't get snow or even sneaux in Texas.....except the occasional four flakes that might fall every few years!  But I do have a recipe that's fun for kids, and especially fun to give children as a small gift.  If you add a Dollar Store mug, it makes a cute little gift even for adults!
I'm referring to Snowman Soup....have you heard of it?  Here's a post on it I did last year, and since it's a timely gift-giving idea, I thought I'd share again.  Here's the poem that goes along with it....Put the mix in a ziploc bag, stick in a mug, tie with cellophane and a bow. 

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 (shhh, marshmallows!) , Snowman kisses (shhh, chocolate chips)  and
Stirring stick
  (Peppermint Stick)

 Here's some examples, but there are a lot online if you google Snowman Soup.

And I am a little patchy about my posting these last few days, in case you noticed....lots going on.  However, I do have a quick visit with the Princess coming up that has me pretty excited! Yes, that would be Princess Catherine......look at how she is growing!  I really must check this out myself, so I'm going to make a quick three day house visit!  She needs to see her Peaches, you know!!! :D
Take a look:

Saturday, November 27, 2010

It was a great Thanksgiving!

For Man and Beast......heehee.......Hope you are enjoying your "recovery" from the holiday and know you are blessed!  I know I AM!!!

Psalm 100
Enter His gates with Thanksgiving and His courts with praise!

Friday, November 26, 2010

I guess I'm just tired...

and I didn't even do any Black Friday shopping! We enjoyed a delightful day at the home of some friends of ours....it was a very nice day and meal.  My part of the meal was Carrot Souffle (one of our favorite traditions), an Apple Cake and the rolls.  I just bought frozen roll dough at Kroger's....delicious but oh.so.simple!
There was a feast!

So today, I am trying to get order to my house before I can even think about getting any Christmas decor out of the attic.  I have asked son #2 to get the boxes down before they leave again tomorrow.  He has to get back early to study for a big test coming up next week. 
I am feeling so unmotivated to get all the Christmas decor out. I am having my shoulder surgery on the 29th of December, and I keep thinking, "what I put out, I will have to put away and not sure how fast that will happen after my surgery....this is the first year, I think I will buy a small artificial pre-lighted tree!
Have you ever had a year where you purposefully cut back on how you decorated for Christmas? I am struggling with making this decision and feeling sort of overwhelmed already! 

I guess I just need to get the Christmas music going to get into the spirit!  At least the weather cooled off and it is so nice now.  I'll be making a big pot of chili tomorrow! YUMMO!  Love cold weather and chili, don't you?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesdays with Willow House...

Tis the eve of Thanksgiving
and all thru the house,
The mammas are cooking
And thinking,  "where is my spouse?"
He's likely in hiding, remote close by AND
Gearing up for football, with a beverage in hand.

So Mamma is cooking and all the while,
Thinking of the shopping to come, going aisle after aisle!
With Christmas only weeks away......the lists are so daunting
The decor, the parties, and the gifts are so haunting!
But a great solution for a Mom OR her spouse?
It's shopping online with Willow House!!!

We have a season of savings sale, (good thru November)
And a Very Merry December Sale, you'll want to remember
Add in eOutlet sales and you're in for a treat
You can shop from your seat on not on your feet!!!

Have a fabulous Thanksgiving my friends, and when you're too stuffed to move, check out my website, to find some mighty terrific deals without having to fight the Black Friday crowds.......easy!! Ordering online never was this GREAT until now!  Let me know if you have any questions at all...I'd love to help get your shopping done!  For anyone who shops from my website, and leaves a comment below, I'll have a drawing for a Decorative Card and Photo Display, perfect for using your Christmas cards as part of your decor!!!  It looks like this:

visit my website at southerninspiration.willowhouse.com, and check the eOutlet, the Weekly Deals as well as the regular catalog pages, and the specials on the pics above....there's a WHOLE LOT of Black friday specials, at your leisure!!  Have fun, y'all!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What's YOUR strategy?

I have an appointment with one of these this morning.....

And I'm armed with my list.....

What's your grocery shopping strategy?  do you have one, or do you just wing it?  Isn't it frustrating to finish your shopping and then realize you forgot ONE item?  so how do you deal with your shopping, especially for the holidays?? Do share!  I would love to learn your secrets!  I plan to get there and get it done, before school is out, and before everything is gone...that's as far as I've gotten with my strategy this morning...oh and I've had a cup of coffee...I think I need the fortification of  one more cup!  How about you?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mondays musings....

You know I haven't done my Friday Fives in some time now.....and I was wanting to hear from you......so is it okay if I do my Fives on Monday musing????
I would LOVE it if you would participate....I am starting my week off today by helping a friend.  I love spending time with her, and she needs to get her PetScan today. You've heard me talk about Mary before....would love it if you could say a special prayer for her and another friend with cancer, JohnG.  They are both such special people!
Then tomorrow I need to shop for T'giving food...or maybe I'll do that tonight.  I vowed, after going into WalMart on Saturday (was it crazy where you live this weekend?) that I will henceforth, NOT be doing any weekend shopping until January.  Just so crazy everywhere...of course I can do shopping during the week, so I am thankful for that. 

Ok, so I will get on with my Fives.......
1. Will you be hosting Thanksgiving at your home, or visiting someone else's home?  What will you be cooking?

2. What is your TRADITIONAL food for Thanksgiving...what is a must have for your meal?

3. Is this a stressful time of year for you?  If so, I will be glad to say a prayer for you today!

4. What smells make you swoon this time of year?  What song do you love for Thanksgiving?

5.  Will you shop on Black Friday???????

Hope you will enjoy answering.....I love hearing from all my blog friends...and I hope  your week of Thanksgiving is wonderful!
If you don't shop at the stores on Friday.....you can always shop online at my eOutlet and Willow House website...some super Weekly Deals this week....SL Christmas Cookbook (hardcover) for only $4.96! Check it out at southerninspiration.willowhouse.com!  Enter my name as hostess when checking out if you don't mind...Suzanne Joffrion. Thanks, friends!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Have you SEEN this?

Wouldn't this just be the BEST thing to experience?  I love this and wanted to share it with you.......goes right along with my thankfulness post today.....I am SO THANKFUL for great music!

A week of Thanksgiving!!

I am so thankful for my blog and my blog friends!!
I have been so blessed for the past year and a half or so that I have been blogging to have gotten to know so many new friends, all around the world!  Thanks to YOU for being one of them.

What about you? Let's have a week of true Thanksgiving and post one thing a day that we are truly thankful for....are you IN?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Willow House Wednesday

 Well, Willow House Wednesday had to be delayed again.  Yesterday was not a fun day; I had to have a spinal injection, and it knocked me for a loop.  I thought I'd be able to lay low yesterday afternoon and have some extra computer time...um, no, I was fairly knocked out.  Today is such a better day!

Lots of news for Willow House today!  First of all I am featured on Kitchen Belleicious today; I am a new sponsor over there, and Jessica is spotlighting my business today.  There is also a little giveaway that you might like to go over and sign up for....a little gift certificate to Willow House!!!  She almost makes me blush, the way she lavishes love on me!  Such a sweet girl, and also a La. native as I am...one day I hope to meet her in real life and give her some hugs!!!    She has some great things going on on her blog, too, as well as her  Belleiciouskids blog .....such an inspiring blogger and Southern girl and mommy!  So go on over and check her out.....and sign up for that giveaway!

Ok, on to Willow House news.......what great ideas we have for Christmas gifts....especially if you need multiple gifts.  Not only can you take advantage of our Customer Special, which goes like this.....buy anything for at least $39.96 (regular or eOutlet items) and then you qualify to get one regularly priced item valued at $40 or less for 1/2 price!!! but we have some awesome buys!!!  What retail store does that for you????  And it can be shipped directly to your doorstep.  Kind of like Santa's elves doing your Christmas shopping for you!!
Here are a few ideas for you.....
Buy our Estate Trivet Trio (a rectangular intricately designed trivet as well as two round ones); bake (or even buy) three loaves of bread, wrap in cellophane and a cute, cute ribbon, and you've got three great gifts suitable for anyone!  The Estate Trivet Trio sells for $31.96, so that's three gifts for about $35.00!

We also have some single trivets in our eOutlet, that could be used in the same way.....for only $6.96 each....

The Napa Trivet in the eOutlet sells for $6.96 each

How about another idea?  Buy a set of Yuletide Votive Holders, and you get FOUR!  Divide them up and fill them with various things that will delight the gift recipient....what will it be? Godiva chocolate, Starbucks gift card, a yummy smelling candle,  pretty peppermints, even a gift card to the carwash for that man that is so hard to buy for!!!  Look at these...aren't they adorable??
the Yuletide Votive Holders are even on sale thru November for only $23.96 plus S/H and tax for FOUR!

Another gift idea for you, perfect for personalizing with an etched glass monogram...you can buy the kits at any hobby store and put an initial on the front of the Hawthorne Hurricanes...and guess what? The purchase price of one at $39.96 qualifies you to buy another one at 1/2 price!! Isn't that awsome?  So here's a pic of the Hawthorne  Hurricane in all her beauty!!!

Hawthorne Hurricane....etched with an initial, perfect for a personalized gift! Doesn't that look YUMMY???

One more idea for gift giving, especially for hostess gifts or neighbor gifts.....two different ornaments that we sell are also benefitting various charities that we support.  This set of Gail Pittman hand painted ornaments, not only is gorgeous, and ON SALE!, but some of the proceeds of the sales go to our philanthropic cause of "Cut It OUT!"....a program in which we help hair stylists recognize signs of domestic abuse, and try to help those clients deal with it in a helpful way.  I can tell you more about that if you are interested...here is the special sale for this trio, which normally is sold only individually.  For November, we are selling this trio for only $39.96--and they are all handpainted.

Gail Pittman Hand Painted Ornaments, sold as a trio in November, for $39.96
The second is the Roxy Reindeer Ornament, which will benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research.....Here is Roxy!  He sells for $10.96 this month.

So let me finish up here with a recipe as I typically do here on my Willow House Wednesday post......um, yes, except it's on Thursday this week...she sheepishly grins........

It's a great gift  idea for Snowman Soup......great for Christmas gifts to have for cold, winter days....you'll find that on a post I did before....You'll find it here.  There is a wonderful sugar cookie recipe as well as the Snowman Soup recipe and poem that goes along with it.  Have a terrific Thursday, my friends!!!

Oh, yes, you can find my website at southerninspiration.willowhouse.com, and when you click on the Orange "Shop Online" circle, it will take you to our online catalog as well as our eOutlet and our Weekly Deals.  You will not be disappointed!  If you add my name, Suzanne Joffrion,  as hostess when  you are checking out, then I will also do a giveaway among the shoppers that shop by November 30th.  Products are shipped directly to you in about as quick as you can gather the supplies to wrap them; please come back and let me know you shopped so that I can add you to the drawing.  thanks, friends!
And remember to go on over to KitchenBelleicious to enter the giveaway!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A comparison

 Having just been to the Northeast on my trip with my husband, I saw the "homes" of the Wampanoag Indians as well as the early colonists that came over on the Mayflower, in contrast to  the summer homes in Newport, Rhode Island of the wealthy families that "summered" there.  What a contrast!  Houses made of twigs, bark and logs, versus houses made with marble, stone, granite, intricate wrought iron gates, and such.  Opulence Maxiumus.  And I decided that it made me very thankful for my own home.  What a perfect time to see that, for this time of the year we are reminded to be thankful.  I am thankful for even being able to take the trip with my husband.  I am thankful for the home that God has provided for us, and thankful that I can do DIY projects to it if I so desire.  I am thankful that I don't have dirt floors!! And that I do have electricity, running water and plumbing! 

And I am ever so thankful that God gave me my family.  I look forward to spending time with them over Thanksgiving.  It really doesn't matter so much what we eat, or how the table looks this year.  I love beautiful things, but I am reminded that those things are less important than the things in life that truly DO matter. 
Looks like I went off vacationing and came back philosophical, doesn't it???? =)
So let's lighten up and consider some fun!!!

A friend shared this very fun idea she saw on a blog and I thought it was definitely worth sharing.

Go check it out here, and consider this for a children's table wherever you are having Thanksgiving dinner...what a GREAT idea!  Maybe I'll do this in a few years at Catherine's table!

For additional children's and family fun, I always loved checking out the Family Fun website for things to to for the holidays......look here 
And here, at BH&G

and there are countless blogs, like the one mentioned above, with great ideas.  I am thankful for such great inspiration!
Oh, and lest you think that I am forgetting something else, I am definitely thankful for this child, my new granddaughter!! =)
Y'all have a blessed day!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Marriages and spouses.....

this is not us, my husband doesn't have that much hair anymore!!! :D
What a complicated world we live in, right?  We live in a world where relationships take time and commitment--they are challenged moment by moment. Things happen to try those commitments and the time that it takes to invest in them.  Mom works all day to get it all done, manage the household, get the sweeties all the places they need to go, meals, laundry, etc..... and Dad works all day, too, doing whatever business he is a part of.......both meet up at the end of the day, likely exhausted with at least three or four more hours to pour into the family OR pour themselves into something, be it a couch, a glass (or two) of some adult beverage, a hobby, a computer or television.  Stress invades our little worlds and causes all manner of  complications, both physical, mental and emotional.  (Insert the Mom Song here....imagine it playing in the background...)  Often the first place to bear the unfavorable consequences of all that busyness and stress is the marriage.  Yep, the closest one to you often bears the brunt of the irritable spousal syndrome, yes?  It's natural....we all do it.  Snap at your spouse because you've just had enough and would really rather check out, resign your responsibilities and move to the Riviera......ahhhh, Calgon, take me away.....and our view of our spouse becomes a little skewed sometimes......imagine this thought, which we've probably ALL thought before....."geez, I thought I had only three children, but HE really is the fourth child, it seems..."  Um hum, we've all thought it.   Got attitude?  Yes, likely.  And chances are he has thought...."I didn't bargain for such a high maintenance woman!!"......got attitude? Yes, likely. 

Well, I just want to encourage you today......next year we will celebrate 30 years of marriage.  Some were VERY DIFFICULT years.  They were not all rosy.  But with grace and mercy, we have made it this far.  Will we have more difficult times?  Yes, likely....because we are still sinners.  We are still very different and opposite types of personalities.  He still puts up with me....even though I leave piles sometimes for way too long.  Even though I overschedule myself and then don't have time for the right things.  And yes, he still has a few areas where the thirty years of training doesn't stick...LOL...we are human, we are married, but it still takes time invested to keep the commitment in the forefront of our minds.
We are now empty-nesters....all those years of nursing, baths, homework, sports, band rehearsals, recitals, gymnastics, piano lessons, cleaning up vomit, bandaging hurts, emergency room visits, etc....they are now past us, pretty much.  And we find ourselves with our worlds not so much revolving around our children's activities.  We are faced with one another, and a time to get to know one another again.....we had our first born right before our first anniversary, so we've not known very much life without children.  Hello new world.  I realize that not everyone reading this will relate.  Some of you may still be in the diaper years, the intense years of training, but they will fly by, I tell you.  It doesn't seem like it while each day seems to last much longer than 24 hours...but it does.  They will soon be going to junior high, to High School Prom, off to college!!
And some of you may be in the throes of adolescent years, which are so difficult.  They think you know NOTHING, understand nothing of what they are facing, and that phase will last a few more years.....but the good news is when they reach about 23 or 24, you suddenly get a little wiser, and more desirable to hang around!  Yes, life is complicated.  Life takes  hard work.  Life with a family takes commitment.  But what an investment, what a legacy.

I don't mean to say that if you aren't married or have children, that life is easy, that life is not as valuable because it is.  But I only speak of what I know.  So I encourage you to take a few minutes, at the very least, each day to value  your spouse.  Touch, listen, encourage and affirm...those are good investments.  If there are things in your life that drag you away from those things, then re-evaluate whether they are worth your time.  Take some time to talk face to face and see what the needs of your spouse are.  Again, HARD...but worth the investment.  Our biggest enemy is often ourselves.  We must preserve those relationships and the time it takes to build them.  We must often put off ourselves, even though we would rather not.  In the end, it will be worth it.  In the end, you will find a reward for the sacrifice.  In the end, you will have a preserved marriage.  Take the time today to make that investment.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

We are back....

I didn't want to publicize what we were doing, where we were going since our home would be empty...Now we are home and I can share with you that we went to the northeast, to Boston and surrounding places.  It was definitely winter there, and we did what we could to enjoy!  I have to say it seems like a long time since I was dressed in four layers and not sweating!! HA!  We made the best of the weather and traveled around to sort of avoid the wet, windy weather.  We visited Boston, then up to Kennebunkport and Portland, Maine.  We also drove down to Newport, Rhode Island, and LOVED our visit there. You can read about them here

 The mansions there, or as they call them the "summer" homes, are amazing.  We loved touring those.  And Newport is a beautiful town!!!  I would highly recommend including it in a vacation to the Northeast USA.  We also toured Concord and Lexington. What we enjoyed most, however, WAS the time to just be together, not thinking about work or home, and seeing things we'd never seen before.  That was the best part.  So now we are home, to play catch up with mail, laundry, housework, etc.  I have tried to keep up with a few of my blog friends, but know that I missed many of you and what was happening in your world.  It's a lot easier to semi-unplug when you're away from home, but there were a few evenings, that we enjoyed quiet time and were on our computers.  It was a GREAT week.  More about it later......

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Taking a vacay......

For the week.....hubby and I are spending some dedicated time to ONE ANOTHER!!!!  Cool, huh?
So I'll be back this time next week perhaps.  Y'all have a great time....and I may read and post comments, but no blogging for me this week.
Arrivederci, y'all!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Do we fall short?

I am thankful today!

In Christ Alone
In Christ alone, my hope is found, He is my light, my strength, my song.....
This Cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease.
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand!!!

So, what are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Look at these beautful girls....

since y'all said you didn't mind me gushing over my new grandbaby!!! :D
This is Catherine and her beautiful mamma...my daughter in law.  Isn't this a gorgeous picture?  And here's the newest little fighting Texas Aggie.  I love these girls!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hello plate......there's a LOT on you this week!

Isn't this a beautiful plate?  Courtesy of HGTV.....

Currently, I have a LOT on my own plate, and I am very busy this week, trying to address all that is on it.  I promise to come back and fill y'all in after Thursday........which will be when my Willow House Weekly will be published, with details of my Open House and Sample Sale......which is happening on Wednesday!  
Y'all have a good few days, and I'll be checking back in....until then....save all the good chatting for when I come back!!

Be Back Later.....