December 28, 2011

a few posts back, i shared my latest read, the poisonwood bible.  i haven't finished it.  not even close.  truth is, there are just way too many good books, that intrigue me.  too many titles and excerpts and inviting covers. and, although i wish i was the type of person who can juggle reading several books at one time, i'm just not that talented! 

i'm sliding this dream cottage into this post, because i knew you'd love it and you'll agree... it would be a heavenly reading cottage!  imagine how cozy it would be with a the doors pulled shut, a really good book and a warm-summer rain hitting the rooftop.

for now, my soft couch and polar fleece blanket is my reading sanctuary.  not bad at all.  and i'm 3/4 of the way through this thrift shop treasure (i recently found), "a vintage affair."  it's light and a little fluffy... the pages take me inside of a vintage resale shop in london and to the romantic vineyards in france. it's sprinkled with history and mystery.   

love the book.
love my couch.
love my polar fleece blanket.

December 27, 2011

fresh strawberries in december in michigan is a delicacy.
while shopping at vince and joe's...a gourmet grocery store, which is a good drive south of us, i found these sweeties!
i sliced the tops off and served the berries with strawberry yogurt dip, on christmas eve. 

getting ready to discard the stems and tops of the berries, i suddenly realized how festive and colorful they'd be if i put them in an ice wreath!

this is how it turned out! 
it made me smile, each time i walked by our window.
i guess this is what you could call an upcycled food wreath!
smile, wink, nod.

December 22, 2011

on tuesday, i met my friend rhonda at starbucks, for a little christmas season fun! maybe it doesn't sound like that big of deal to you... (wink), BUT, starbuck's isn't a place either of us frequent.  because, well.... we're too cheap  frugal.  and quite honestly, we'd both rather use our $3. on a gallon of gas then coffee.
ahhh, but 'tis the season for celebrating with those you love, so we both parted ways with our $3.00 and splurged on peppermint hot chocolate and pumpkin latte (something or other).

and.... we enjoyed a cozy game of scrabble!  besides about 100 other mutual interests... this is, for sure one of our favorite things to do together.

i've never won a game with her.  probably because she makes me play with the board upside down like this. 

i did score 42 points, on one play.. (note: starbucks cup sleeve). 

after the game,
we left with warm hearts,
 filled with the spirit of Christmas and promises to meet again, very soon!

smile, wink, nod!

December 20, 2011

as tradition goes..... i made this fantastically simple, scrumptiously delishable, gluten-free carmel popcorn recipe. 
tipping my hat to my cousin lori, for this well-loved, sweet snack!
feel free to copy, paste and print the recipe below!

cousin lori's carmel popcorn

2 cups of light brown sugar
2 sticks of butter or margarine
1/2 c. light corn syrup
bring to boil and boil for 5 minutes

remove from heat and add a pinch of salt and cream of tarter and 1/2 t. soda

pour over 8 quarts of lightly salted popcorn (approx. one roaster pan full).  mix well.   bake for an hour at 200*.  dump out on wax paper and break apart.
store in airtight container.

December 19, 2011

like you, this christmas season is keeping me busy as a bee!
i am way behind in everything. 
the little things.
this season found me busy working at a few different places.  places which i've enjoyed working at immensely.  and, i'm indeed, thankful to have many job opportunities.  especially in michigan's rocky economy. 
i have two days off before i work again... in other words, the next couple of days i'll be flying around (like a bumble bee), getting things organized for the big weekend.

how about you?
are you all set for santa?

smile, wink, nod.

December 14, 2011

over the weekend,
i made my very own youtube video.
want a little giggle?
i thought so...
click here and i'll see you there!

December 11, 2011

dear santa,

forget the flame less candles, i asked for in the previous post.  this is really all i need. 
a volkswagon camping tent.
imagine how much fun it would be to decorate and find camping accessories.  retro, of course. 
i believe this is only available in england.
which is a bit far for me to pick up.  but if it was available in the u.s.a.  i seriously think i would invest in it.
yellow, blue or red.
and it would work wonderful for the out-of-town shows i go to in the summertime.

so what-da-ya say, santa?
swing by london and haul one back on your sleigh.

smile, wink, nod.

December 09, 2011

dear santa,

all i'd really like this year is about 100 of these scented, flameless candles. have you seen any, around the north pole?
 i bought two of them at our local goodwill store... brand new still in the original manufacturer's wrapping.  vanilla scented, for $4. each.  the store had a shelf full, but being the frugal skeptic i am, and added to the fact that "you just never know if what you buy at thrift stores actually work," i tossed just two in my cart.  could i kick myself, with my cowboy boots, now that i discovered how awesomely-terrific these are?  you betcha, santa.  and get this... mine even have a subtle vanilla scent, lingering out of the fake flame.  smells just like sugar cookies baking in my kitchen.  cozy.
i do prefer real candles, don't misunderstand.  but, my better-half has insane allergies and he breaks out in a hysterical fever, knowing the flame is leaving black marks on our really clean walls, ceilings and cupboards.  yes, even soy candles leave a film.  problem solved: flameless candles.

thanks santa.

p.s.  any color will do.
smile, wink, nod.

December 08, 2011

it's been awhile since i've plugged into a book, that made me nose-dive into the pages.  this book has done that.  i just love books that require a better understanding of different cultures, history and thought-provoking issues.  this book is taking me into uncharted territories of the congo/zaire and political turmoil in africa.

another book that is captivating me is, the autobiography of chuck yeager.  it's actually my son's, but i'm reading it as well, so i can pop quiz him on comprehension.  wink.
it is just a really good book.... about his active role in ww2 and being on the run from germany and italy.  on a bike, no less. 

so, what are you reading?
smile, wink, nod.

December 05, 2011

okay, first things first.
this wasn't my big, brilliant, gem of an idea.  
 i found it somewhere in the all-too-consuming land of pintrest.
 i had to use a really scrumptious gluten-free recipe, but if you're not GF, just use your regular recipe.....
are you ready for this?
when the dough is ready to pour in the pans.... chop up pieces of REESES PEANUT BUTTER CUPS and gently mix in the batter. 
the taste of banana, chocolate and peanut butter... served warm is insane.  especially, for the celiac patient, who cannot eat just anything they want.  wink.
you could probably do the exact same thing with muffins.
happy monday, friends!

December 04, 2011

frugal potato's

let's make the most of potato's!
we had a good little crop this past fall.  one thing i enjoy making, freezing and having on hand for busy days is....
you guessed it, twice-baked potatoes. 
for some odd reason, i over stuff the potato and always have tons of the scooped out skins left. 
i know.... such an issue to have... smile, wink.
so, it occurred to me (light bulb moment).... why? just why oh why, don't i make potato skins and freeze them with the leftover skins, instead of tossing the waste out?
and i did.  i stuffed them full of cheese and chopped scallions and crumbled bacon.  and i baked a small plate, just to make sure they were.... well, good.

and they were good.  they were great. 
they never made it to the freezer.

smile, wink, nod.

December 01, 2011

has it really been 35 years since this hot pink, floral scented, wide balled, roll-on deodorant sat on my bedroom dresser? not surprising, but, i forgot about this cheerful, little gem. how about you? 
does this bring back memories for you?
betcha it will, if you were a child in the 70's.
smile, wink, nod.