Thursday, February 26, 2015

Book Club Tonight!

This month we read "The Night Circus" by Erin Morgenstern.  My choice.  I LOVED it!  It was different, mysterious, magical, evil, love story - all of that wrapped into one book. 
That means it was also my turn to bring treats.  So I decided to make Party Popcorn!  Such a festive idea.
Pop your favorite microwave popcorn and then you melt almond bark and drizzle it over the popped corn.  Before the almond bark sets, sprinkle the popcorn with rainbow non pareils.  And be generous. It is so good - everyone loved it.  You can use chocolate if you prefer.
 Trying to keep with the circus theme, I decided to make a caramel apple pie.
The picture above is the pie before the top goes on. 
I used caramel topping which made it extra juicy. 
The top crust is on and ready to be in the oven.  
My daughter got up this morning, saw the pie on the counter and sent me the following text:  
"Mom, that pie looks perfect."  
Made my day!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Since I was so behind this year...

at Christmas time, I decided to maybe get a start on next year.  I went and spent the evening at Cindy's house (while her husband, Pat, looked at an sd card I screwed up)... and got a head start on next year's ...
 Christmas Cards!
 I bought a lot of tags off of Etsy.com
and decided to put them on the front of card stock...
hopefully being able to use up some of my existing Christmas paper.
I thought they turned out really cute!
Cindy made a pot of chicken wild rice soup - Yummy!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Boy! I really do need to catch up, so here we go...

Some of our holiday events ...
I again organized a cookie exchange at work, so these are my photos from the night I baked...
 Cherry, pistachio, and white chocolate chip cookies...
 Egg Nog cookies...
 My firm treats the paralegals to an annual luncheon and we were allowed one drink, so...
 I chose this one and I honestly cannot remember the name, 
but I do remember that it was good.  
 This was the dessert tray we were served - Mmmmm!
 Dawn (who I work with) LOVES elves and this is her elf display.
So cute!
More cookies! 
I hosted a family holiday dinner (our 3rd annual) and my sister brought Mexican Wedding Cakes.
I learned that this is actually my mother's recipe - I don't remember that but both of my sisters do.  They are older (and wiser) - maybe that's why they remember and I don't.
 I served the cookies from the cookie exchange at my family dinner.
 This is my brother-in-law, Jim.  He looks a little crazy, but he really isn't.  
He's eating a piece of Creme de Menthe poke cake, made by my daughter, Kate.
Very yummy!
Makayla is serving cookies to her grandmother (my sister, Susan).
I was not good about taking photos - I was busy that night.  I wish I had taken more.
On Christmas morning, I had breakfast with Kate and Steve.
She asked that I bring monkey bread.  
Always bring what the hostess asks for, right?
It was definitely gooey and good.
 Do you remember the BOXES of Beanie Babies I found when I moved?
 I gave some to Tiffany and some to Katie - both teachers.
Tiffany, Kim's friend (and my third or fourth daughter) gave them to her class 
as a Christmas gift.
 They loved them!
 The day after Christmas, we met Nicole and the girls at Over Easy for breakfast.
 Kylee was very proud of the fact that she is losing this tooth and she could push it out.
She loved that it looks like a fang.  
I wonder if she has lost it by now.  I offered to pull it, but she said no to that.
While we waited for our food, Myah drew pictures (she's really good at it!) and
Kylee, well, not sure what Kylee was doing other than giving me the "peace" symbol.  
We ended up waiting a very long time for our breakfast, so we were all hungry.
 Keaton made a visit to our house
and he tried on the jammies I gave him for Christmas.
He is the cutest little peanut!
 Kate wanted to do something special for her grandma.
So she had her dad "sneakily" get her grandmother's recipe for homemade mints.
And then she made them.
 This is before they are covered with dark chocolate.
 Here's Grandma opening the tin...
 She was really pleased that someone in the family will carry on this tradition.
We then took Jewel and Dick out for breakfast at Cracker Barrel.

This has just been a smattering of our holidays.
Just as yours, our Christmas was busy and filled with memories.

Happy 2015 - may it be peaceful and memorable!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I finally finished my tree!

I love hodge podge trees. 
This and that. 
Red and green.
Old and new.

Whenever I am home, I have my lights on.
Love it!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Homemade potato soup

I have been wanting to make homemade potato soup for a while now, and I finally did it!  I remember watching my mother make potato soup, so I just started with that, then added my own touches.
I first sautéed celery and onions (blended) in butter.  I have one daughter who is not fond of onions, so I blended them in order to get the taste, but not the chunks of onions.  I peeled, diced, and boiled potatoes at the same time.  Once the celery was almost done, I added a can of chicken broth and brought it to a boil until the vegetables were tender.  I added mashed potatoes (from Costco), milk, and the cooked, diced potatoes.
I then seasoned with salt and pepper.  Once it was done, I added grated cheese just long enough to melt before serving.  I LOVED it.  Taking it for lunch tomorrow!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Moroccan Treasures

When in Morocco, both Pat and I purchased rugs.  They had such beautiful handmade rugs.  Too many to choose from, actually.  Pat sent me a picture of her rug which she placed in her den.  OMG!  It is absolutely beautiful - stunning!
I bought a runner to put on my table.  I wasn't sure how it would look or if I would like it on my table, but I think it looks nice.  I don't think I will let anyone eat on it, though.
The design makes me think of bowls.  I do have a large table, but these pictures and the runner make my table look really long.  This runner is woven out of wool.
When we were leaving Casa Blanca, we had time to kill at the airport, so of course, I went to the gift shop and shopped a little.  I found an ornament to put on my tree...
I had been looking for an ornament, but couldn't really find anything.  This worked out beautifully and it is a great little reminder of my trip to Morocco.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I love decorating my tree - it takes me back in time...

I can't remember every ornament, but I do remember almost every ornament.  They take me back in time.  Some I've made, some were gifts, some I picked out myself, some from vacations, some from my parents, some old, some new.  They make me happy.  And, of course, I love the ones my daughters made in school and the ones with photos on them.  I came across these two ornaments of Myah and Kylee...
 ... and hung them on my tree, of course.  In this first picture, Myah is 2 and Kylee is 9 months.  Such cute little peanuts!
These are their school pictures from last year, and now they are ages 9 and 11.  Wow!  I am still waiting for this year's pictures.  They are growing up, really growing up.  Such beautiful girls - not far from being young ladies.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Putting up the tree

I Love Christmas, but as I age, I find that I don't have the patience I used to have in setting out all of the Christmas decorations.  However, I still make it a point to put up my tree - just the way I like it.  So, today is the day, I started digging out the Christmas lights and tree trimmings.
 Every year I try to do the tree a little different by changing the lights or in the past, 
I've put up a white tree. 
This year I am using red and green lights.
 I bought a new tree this year - I sold my old one in a my garage sale.  It needed to go.
The new one has white lights on it, but I like more - much more - so I started
wrapping additional strands of red and green lights around the tree.
Not sure I will get my ornaments on today, but you can imagine how pleasantly surprised I was to open one of the boxes and find some ornaments from my parents.  I wondered what happened to their ornaments and found that my sisters set aside this box for me.  
So excited and thankful!  
These ornaments will be some of the first to go on my tree.
Check back again - hopefully I will be finished with this task and on to the next!

Friday, December 5, 2014

I have taken an interest in Essential Oils

Both of my daughters have started using essential oils.  So... I have decided to join them and try to  take a healthier approach to some medical/sleeping issues.  In order to keep my oils organized, I decided to use the altered cigar box I made a while back.
 Remember this?
I LOVE this box - it turned out so pretty (if I do say so myself).
I bought a special foam insert that keeps each bottle upright.  
I am so excited with how this worked out.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Another reminder of my Mom

After my mother passed away and the house was being cleaned out, my sisters went through some of her things.  Since I was not able to be there for that, they set aside some things for me - I had several boxes of miscellaneous things that I unpacked after I moved.  I came across a small box with one of my mother's hats in it.  I do remember my mother wearing hats to church on Sunday - not every Sunday - and maybe for other occasions like weddings and Easter, but I don't specifically remember this one.
Kim thought it was great and had to put it on, which worked for me.  I loved having someone volunteer to model it for me.  Kim was surprised that my mother wore hats like this one.  I remember that most of her hats had some sort of netting on them and always matched the color of her dress.
Nice memories.