Friday, December 31, 2010

:: A Few Festive Recipes ::

I thought I would share a few of the recipes I made tonight for our little at home New Years Eve party.

First up one of our Holiday staple munchies.

Crispex Spicy Party Mix ::

12 oz box Crispex cereal

2 cups KIX

2 cups pretzels -broken

1 pound can cashews

2/3 cup oil

½ tsp garlic powder

3/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 ½ tsp chili powder

1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch dry mix (original buttermilk mix)

Mix cereal, pretzels, cashews in roaster : mix oil etc. together pour over cereal mixture. Stir well. Bake @ 250 stirring every 15 minutes for 1 hour


Now if this doesn’t become a favorite of yours I will be shocked. WE LOVE it! I always make a double batch and it always gets eaten. *** Just a note*** I have been known to add other things to this that I have in my cupboard such as cheerios, cheese nips crackers and there is a WONDERFUL cereal out there from Quaker called Crunchy Corn Bran…let me tell you, it is delicious and I ALWAYS add it to this mix! So as you can see, anything goes! So make it and munch away!


My second recipe is a brand new one for me this year. Nigella Lawson is a new favorite chef of mine. I love her carefree, express way of cooking. She is a joy to watch and beautiful inside and out too!


Here is her recipe for Roquamole ::

  • 1 cup crumbled Roquefort or St. Agur
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2 tablespoons finely sliced scallions
  • 1/4 cup jarred sliced pickled green jalapenos
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 bag blue corn tortilla chips


Crumble or mash the blue cheese with the sour cream in a bowl. Mash in the avocados. If they are ripe, a fork should be all you need. Roughly chop the sliced jalapenos and stir them into the mixture along with the finely sliced scallions. Arrange in the center of a plate or dish, dust with paprika and surround with tortilla chips. Dive in!

I topped mine with a few more snips of scallions.



Like I said, this is a new recipe for me. And it was so fresh tasting. The Bleu cheese didn’t overpower and neither did the jalapenos. Give it a try!

The last recipe is a fun, festive drink ::

Pomegranate Soda (Non-Alcoholic)

  • 4 oz. Pomegranate Juice
  • 2 oz. Club Soda
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 1 cup ice

I squeezed real pomegranate juice, you could use the bottled. And just for fun I put the pomegranate juice and the ice in a cocktail shaker. I strained it and then added the club soda and some pomegranate seeds just for fun!

Refreshing ::

Pom Drink2

I am sure you all have your own favorite festive recipes! I just thought I would pass on a few of ours! The good old standbys are great and the new ones are so fun to try!

:: Happy 2011 ::

Until next time, take care.



:: Happy New Year ::

Another year is coming to a close. Wow, when I look back so much has happened in the last year. Some good and some bad…but thankfully mostly good! Tonight we will be spending the night in with our kids watching the ball drop in NYC. The same as every year and we wouldn’t want it any other way.

We all have the sniffles, so we will be sipping on hot chocolate and soup While munching on warm appetizers. Mmmmm~

I want to thank you all for your wonderful, heartfelt comments this past year. Blogging is such a blessing in my life. I have made so many friends, some of these friends I have never met. You all hold a special place in my heart.

It amazes me how kind people truly are. How thoughtful and concerned they can be about someone they have never met. You have all touched me and renewed my faith in the goodness of the people all over this world. I have gotten emails from different towns, states and countries. It truly is inspiring! Thank you! Here’s to a whole new year full of friendship!!

New Years3Resized

I wanted to leave you with a couple of New Years quotes. You know how I love quotes!

"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day. " ~Edith Lovejoy Pierce

“Another fresh new year is here
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
To love and laugh and give!
This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!
I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!”

Happy New Year my dear friends! May you all enjoy safe celebrations! I wish you nothing but the best of blessings in 2011. Make it a year to remember for you and those around you!

Until next time, take care.



Friday, December 24, 2010

Twas The Night Before Christmas….

We are all set for Santa! Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight! …….

Cookies For Santa

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas To All…..

Holiday greetings my friends! The little boys have settled down for the night and the older kids are ready to help me do some last minute wrapping. We are all cozy inside while some rain/ice is forming outside. I hope everyone that is traveling can reach their destinations safe and sound.

I just thought I would share a few festive photos with all of you. A little bit of this and a little bit of that. I received my vintage ornaments and I couldn’t be more happy! Next year I want to do a whole big tree full of lights and filled with them!






LOVE these kind!



A little light on our bedroom dresser~


In our Master Bath~


Just a little snowman that I love~


And here is a wall box that I had custom made by Denise a.k.a Sawdusty. Click HERE to visit her Etsy shop. She makes the most wonderful wood items! I am so happy with my wall box, I will have so much fun changing it from season to season!  Thank you Denise for getting it done so quickly and delivered to me in record time to enjoy for the holidays!


Tucked in a few greens and goodies~


Our basement tree~



Here is an oak nativity that my Dad made for me years ago. I put it out every year. So simple, so special and I love it. Brings our thoughts back to the reason for the season~


A couple more pictures to share. This is the gingerbread house that Owen and I made in Preschool yesterday. So much fun! And it turned out so cute!

Owen Gingerbread

And this is a card that Alex made for Geoff and I. He tucked it into the tree for safe keeping until….as you can see…. “Do Not Open Until Christmas Eve”.


I guess we will just have to wait to find out what is inside! :)

Here is what is burning tonight. Christmas Cookie by Village Candle. We even did some baking today, boy did our house smell doubly yummy!


My wish for you is that your heart is filled with all of the sights, smells, sounds and spirit of the season and that you feel the love and warmth of family and friends around you.

May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through.

Until next time, take care.


Monday, December 20, 2010

We Have A Winner!

Hello everyone and Happy Monday! Today is the day! We have a winner of the beautiful Glass Decor Pillars from Village Candle! Thank you to each and every one of you who entered.

Our 5 year old son Owen drew the winning name~

Owen Drawing The Winner

He was SO excited~

Owen Drawing The Winner2

And here is the name of the lucky winner~

Owen Drawing The Winner3

Congratulations to Jenn a.k.a Busy Bee!! I KNOW you will love and enjoy these candles! May you light them in good health and happiness in the New Year ahead!  I will email you to get your address and then I will pass that information on to VC where they will take it from there! : )

Here are the three Decor Glass Pillar candles that Jenn won~

VC Decor Pillars

Thank you again to everyone who entered and a big welcome to each of you to the Village Candle Facebook page!  It is a wonderful, friendly place to stop by for a visit and a great place to find out about any shipping specials, scent of the month or just to chat about your favorite candles and accessories!

And last but not least thank you to Village Candle! What a fun event this was for me! An honor and a privilege! Keep those quality products coming for all of us to enjoy!!

My husband and I are off to START our Christmas shopping, that’s right I said START….!  Ready….set….SHOP!

Until next time, take care.



Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Review & An Exciting GIVEAWAY!

Hello everyone! I hope you are all doing well. I am sharing some very exciting news with you today! The first part of my exciting news is that I have been given the honor of reviewing a product from Village Candle! I am so grateful for this opportunity. The wonderful people at Village Candle graciously sent me a set of their Décor Glass Pillars, in the “Christmas Tree” fragrance. The fragrance as described on their website is a combination of juniper, fir needle, cedar wood and musk.

*The two photos below are courtesy of Village Candle*



It is true when they say you never get a second chance to make a first impression. When I opened up the box, and anxiously searched through the packing peanuts to find my candles I was so impressed with the presentation! They were packaged in sophisticated red cylindrical shaped gift boxes with shiny silver tops. Needless to say my first impression was a very good one!


When I took the top off of the first cylinder shaped gift box my senses came alive. Even “cold” these scented candles smelled amazing. On top of that they are visually stunning. Any mantle or holiday table would instantly be made more festive by displaying these! I couldn’t wait to set them aglow.

I put together a display with the 6”, 9” and 10 ½” pillar trio in the master bedroom. The aroma of fresh cut trees filled our entire home. This scent instantly took me back to my childhood. Our family always had real Christmas trees when I was growing up. Many special memories came flooding back. The fact that a candle’s scent can be so authentic that it can transport you back to a specific time and place says a lot about the quality of the candles and the quality of the ingredients used to make them.


Village Candles in general always burn incredibly clean and these pillars are no exception. The two wicks burn evenly, the glow they give off is warm, welcoming and beautiful. The wax pool on a Village Candle is like no other candle I have ever seen; there is no wax on the sides. Just clean, clear glass as it burns.


These Décor Pillars are a joy to have in our home. Their charming appearance adds a touch of elegance and sparkle for the holidays.


I was already and will remain a lifetime fan of Village Candle. Their customer service is unsurpassed. I know from personal experience that they go above and beyond for each and every customer. You will not be disappointed in any of their “Handmade in Maine” products.

The second part of my exciting news, as you may have already guessed by the title of this post is a GIVEAWAY! That’s right; one of you will win this exact same set of Décor Glass Pillars in the Christmas Tree scent, a $75.00 value!

In order to enter this giveaway please read below:

· Become a fan of the Village Candle Facebook page:

· If you have a Twitter account please follow Village Candle on Twitter:

· If you are not already a follower of my blog please become one and leave me a comment on this post.

· The Décor Glass Pillars for this giveaway can only be shipped in the Continental U.S.

The giveaway will start today, Wednesday December 15th and go through Monday

December 20th. I will  announce the winner!

Then these gorgeous glass pillars will be shipped out to the winner directly from Village Candle! Good Luck to all of you! So exciting!

I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday! I will be addressing some Christmas cards today. Doing that always causes me to reflect back on the past year. SO much to be thankful for, many blessings to count. This blog and all of you are most definitely blessings in my life. To you I say thank you for filling my heart and life with joy!

Until next time, take care.





Tuesday, December 14, 2010

~My Holiday Music Picks~

A quick post today about the songs of the season! Whether we are decorating our homes, baking cookies, crafting, cleaning  or just enjoying a nice cup of hot chocolate, coffee or tea on a cold winter day what makes everything more festive? For me it is music!

Just for fun, these are some of my favorites~

My Christmas Picks

Quite a few of the songs off of these CDs you will find on the playlist right here on my blog.

The standby classics like Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Burl Ives. To Modern Classics like Celine Dion, Josh Groban and Mariah Carey. To whimsical fun CDs like A Charlie Brown Christmas and Gene Autry.

Barry Manilow is and always will be a favorite of mine. I love his rendition of “Baby It’s Cold Outside”.

And Michael Buble, the modern day Frank Sinatra. What a voice!

I hope your heart is filled with spirit of the season and that your home is filled with whatever sounds you love.

Have a great day!!

Until next time, take care.



Monday, December 13, 2010

A Few Of My Favorite Things

Happy Monday everyone! I was not ready to get out of the warm flannel sheets this morning. Winter makes it difficult to get going for the day. So cold here, but not near as cold as some of the weather reports I have been hearing. I hope everyone is staying safe and finding shelter in these frigid temps.

This past weekend we donated 40 coats, some snow pants and snow boots to our local Peoples City Mission. My husband and oldest son delivered them and the man that took the donation was VERY appreciative. He assured us that everything would be put to good use. My husband and I talked about how all of that clothing was in totes just taking up space in our home, now they will be USED! So happy we finally went through everything.

If you have any winter clothing you don’t need anymore pass it on! :)

I was browsing through some of my older photos and I put together a collage of a few of my favorite things~

Christmas Blog Collage

* Crock Bowls

* Mason Jars

* Battery tea lights and yummy scented fixins

* Wooden bowls and spoons

* Pitchers

* Little antique chairs

* Gameboards

* Holiday greeting cards

I love all the different textures and colors of all of these items.

Are you like me, do you ever wonder what the history is behind some of your favorite pieces? Who owned them, where did they come from?  if only these inanimate objects could talk, I would surely listen!

The holiday greeting cards are in my collage because I love to have them on hand. You never know when you will want to send a little thoughtful note. Have you ever gotten a card out of the blue? Makes your day doesn’t it!?

Here is a close up of my dried crab apples. I added some whole cloves, artificial greenery sprigs, mini pinecones and a couple rusty jingles bells~

Bowl Fillers Xmas

Just a little close up of Santa~


A close up of my little holiday greeting cards. Love the message inside~




On top of my toaster cover~


Maybe you have seen these before. I never had until I went to the Christmas Gathering at Nelly’s Nest. They are little wool pinwheels! I LOVE the colors~



Little snowman, big tree~


The reason for the season~


I hope you all have a wonderful night. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. I truly appreciate each and every one of your heartfelt comments.

Until next time, take care.














Saturday, December 11, 2010

Vintage Christmas Ornaments & Our First Snow

I hope you are all enjoying your weekend. It has been a snowy day and night here. Parts of the Midwest are getting hammered with a lot of snow. I hope everyone can stay inside and do some decorating, baking, cleaning etc. No reason to go out if you don’t have to! Enjoy some time by the fire instead!


I am SO excited tonight and just had to share. I found some Vintage Christmas ornaments on Ebay! These are ornaments JUST like my Grandma’s & Grandpa’s used to have. My Mom & Dad still have a few of these wonderful ornaments on their tree.

Here’s a few photos of the kind of ornaments I am talking about~

Vintage Ornamentsmatte

Vintage Orn2set

Vintage Orn3set

Vintage Orn4set

I cannot wait to get them! These ornaments bring back so many special memories for me. Thank goodness there are people out there who have preserved pieces of the past for people like me!  :)

I thought I would share a few snowy white photos with you~






And here is a little visitor we saw outside our window today. Trying to seek some shelter from the frigid, high winds today I am sure. I think it is a turtle dove. But I am certainly no expert, if any of you know what kind of bird it is please share~


If winter has set in where you are, stay warm and stay safe.

Until next time, take care.