Monday, November 30, 2009

Twinkling Candles say it's Christmas Time

I just love the glow of candles.  There is nothing that says Christmas more than a warm glow from a candle.  For years I have bought red, ivory colored pillar candles only to burn them a few times and worry each time that they will drip all over the place or ruin a new tablecloth or runner.   Sound familiar?  Well, I just love these new little creations.  I suppose you could spray these and make them more prim with spices if desired but I like them as is....See what you think.  I bought them at Meijer, kinda like a Walmart or K-Mart.  They were under $10 and I think I will get a few more in different sizes to accent different places for a long mantel/table with greenery to be tucked into without worry.  I think you can find the same ones at

This is what I did with mine.  Kinda of a  long story, but I'm sure you can relate.  I originally saw these star candle holders in a country sampler in someone's house and I did everything but call the owner to track them down. LOL!  My DH even tried making me some with some metal but we just couldn't get all the detail and aging without the proper tools, bless his heart.  However, I made a trip to the farm store one day and there were my candle holders.  They had an insert for a tealight that I removed so I could put my jar candles in them.  Now, I just put these battery operated candles in them.  The best part is you put your D batteries in them swith them to timer and they turn them on when you want them to come on say around dusk.  Then never touch them again, just wait and they'll turn on all by themselves the same amount of time the next night.  I think they stay on for 6 hours and off for 18.   I just love them.  The best part is coming home late and they're waiting for you, to welcome you home.

Here's a closeup of them, I bought the ivory color and they're about 4-5 inches tall.  It's made of real wax and actually looks like a wick inside.  It flickers like a real candle too. 

Here's a close-up of the bottom.

I'm going to get some similiar ones for my windows,  I need at least 12 just to cover the front windows of my house.  Yikes!  I'm trying to get ones with timers like these with either a black base or a pewter base.

Happy Decorating Ladies,
I'm tired after all my decorating today.  Pictures are coming soon, I promise.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thankgiving Blessings

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving I know we did here at our house.  For the first time I was able to cook, host and eat in my own home.  I think that makes it pretty special.  I am so thankful for my family this year. 

I am in the process of decorating for Christmas.  Be patient with me.  I will have tons of new pictures in a week or so.  My husband and I worked on the outside a little last week and I am finishing it up a little at a time.  I still need to put my wreaths in the windows.  I have a lot of windows so I may need to get more wreaths.  I know I will be buying garland for sure this week.  I need to really clean everything before putting out my Christmas primitives.  My husband has had a fire going in our wood fireplace daily and he cleaned it out and soot was everywhere.  While it makes the house cozy and warm, heat not kicking on as much, it sure does make a mess of everything. 

Here's my favorite picture of my kids with my Aunt Princess

This was a centerpiece for our appetizer cheeseball.  My daughter made this pretty much by herself.  I was so proud of her.  We got the idea from Sandra Lee and I thought it turned out great.  We used leaf shaped cookie cutters and overlapped them.  The dough is a can of  biscuits.  We used an egg wash and some sugar with a little pumpkin pie spice.  The cheeseball was a pumpkin cheeseball mix.  We also made a artichoke cheese dip inside the little pumpkins.  It was huge hit!  She was pretty proud of herself too.

She also was in charge of decorating the table.  I helped a little bit, but she made the placecards with some of my scrapbook supplies.  Everyone thought she did a great job.  My son helped my husband with one of his favorite dishes and he also helped peel apples for my pie.  I can't leave him out because he is a great helper too.  I just didn't snap any pictures.  Here's a sneak peek of what's to come!

Blessings to you and your family!

P.S.  If anyone can help me change my background for Christmas I would love some help.  I followed the directions from the cutest little blog like last time and it didn't work.  I've tried it many times and it never shows up when I view it.  I am not using firefox or have an out of date browser so I'm not sure?? Help, please.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A lot to Be Thankful For...

Hello blogging friends, this weekend I had a wonderful time with my sister.  I didn't spend too much as my DH has been having transmission trouble with his truck.  So I wanted to play it safe.  I did buy chenille candy canes that were aged and a cinnamon clove candle.  I'll show you those later. I wanted to get this small pie keeper.  I think that's what you would call it the sides had screens and a lot of vendors had flickering tealights or candles in them.  My sister bought a red wooden box which she plans to put some greens inside.  It was a wonderful show.  I didn't take pictures because it was inside a 4H barn and really dark.  Sometimes you aren't allowed to take them either. 

My thoughts over the last two days have turned to my family.  We found out last week that my son who had chronic leg pain has something called transient synovitis of the hip.  It was a huge relief because it could have been a lot more serious.  He had 2 MRI's all told and the 2nd one showed a reduction in fluid around the hip.  Basically, his body when he was sick at some point starts making antibodies to protect itself and then in children fluid accumulates around the hip.  This was causing his mysterious leg pain.  Interesting, how the body does things for us that sometimes causes us pain.  He is much better now and the leg pain is all gone. 
I'm very Thankful that he is ok and it's nothing more serious.

I'm thankful for...

my son

Then on Monday my husband had surgery to fix his Tachycardia.  He had an ablasion to correct his heart from racing from time to time.  His last episode really scared him and this procedure will protect him from having further damage to his heart in the future.  This recovery rate is longer the older you get.  I brought him home yesterday and I was really worried about him.  He is doing well and is not having any problems.  Again, I told you I had a lot to be thankful for. 

my daughter and my husband

Thanksgiving blessings to your family,

Friday, November 20, 2009

Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie

It's time to start thinking about dessert for Thanksgiving.  While I like to stick with my Amish Apple Pie recipe that I already shared with you  I think this is an interesting twist on a classic pumpkin pie.  A great way to use up that jar of apple butter from the fall too.

Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie




1 cup apple butter
1 cup fresh or canned pumpkin
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
3 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell
Sweetened whipped cream, for garnish


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Combine apple butter, pumpkin, sugar, salt and spices in a bowl. Stir in eggs. Gradually add milk and mix well. Pour into pie shell. Bake for about 40 minutes or until set.
Cook’s Notes:
-If the crust begins to burn, place tin foil around the crust and lower the temperature of the oven.
-A tasty topping for this pie is praline pecans.

recipe courtesy of Paula Deen

Happy Thanksgiving and be sure to check out Colleen's blog for other holiday yummies!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's almost here my favorite time of the year!

Good morning it's rainy here and a good day to be at home and stay inside with a cup of cocoa.  I've been more excited to decorate this year for the holidays.  Fall is my favorite season but Christmas is what it's all about.  The reason for the season, that little baby Jesus.  I have such fond memories of my father and family at Christmas time too. I was trying to think of something I could share with you and then I got a wonderful idea we could come up with things together.  I just love getting comments.  So here it goes what do you do to get in the holiday spirit to decorate your home??

Here's some things I do every year:

First, I peruse my stash of country accents, country sampler magazines and my little folder of ideas that I have collected.  This usually takes awhile.  I usually start this a few days before I plan to decorate.

photo in country home

Next, I take down current seasonal decor and put it away so I have a fresh or blank slate to start with.  Generally, I will take all the everyday stuff off large surfaces.  For example my large buffets and accent tables get wiped clean.  Then I start the layering process which takes days.  I used to put it all up in one day then realized I just have to much stuff and it causes stress to try to do it all at once besides cooking, cleaning etc. 

 country sampler gallery

When everything is clean I open one box of Christmas goodies and start decorating.  I always light a candle, usually a holiday scent.  I'm loving the fresh balsam and spice right now from BBW. Then I put on my holiday music my DH makes fun of me, I'm already listening to it, shhh... don't tell him.   I never seem to tire of it.  LOL!


I start with my garlands, wreaths and swags so I can layer everything on top.  I like simple decorations that look natural without all the mess of the needles.  I do love a fresh tree and we usually buy one but my house has plenty of trees without it.  I put up a tree in every room.  I'm addicted to the slim pine trees and I have 3 of those one of which stays up year round.  Then I have little ones and a feather tree.  I would love to get a german twig tree like this one.  


It's from Walnut Traditions.  I may have to go visit them to get mine.  While we're on the subject of trees I can't help but think of my bedrooms and kitchen they have 9 ft. ceilings.  Maybe we can have a giant tree in one those rooms.  My guest room is afterall, empty?


After I'm done with my layering I begin with my other totes and beg for help from my family.  My daughter will usually with help me with my Santa collection.  I sometimes put my snowmen out at Christmas and sometimes I wait till January just to give me something to look forward to after the holidays.   I try to do something a little differently the same every year but these all a must every year.

1.  Little white lights
2.  candles everywhere
3.  my red/green plaid bows (I'm mad for plaid! LOL)
4.  wreaths for every window (guess I better get shopping this year)
5.  candle lights in every window
6.  My santa collection usually spread out in the family room
7.  themed trees, kitchen with gingerbread etc. 
8.  my manger scene from when I was a kid
9.  sprigs of pine cones and greens tucked here and there
10.  snow and a little village

This year I'm even more excited because I have a whole new house to decorate.  I've never had a front porch so I just can't wait.  Then mantles well, I've got three of them, yippee what else could a girl ask for?

I'll be back soon with a recipe and hopefully some great finds from the Prim show I'm attending with my sis on Saturday.  More inspiration, huh? Until then stop by and tell me how you get in the mood for the season!


Monday, November 16, 2009

Good things come in big packages!

Ladies, I got quite a surprise this week.  My DH got me the best little housewarming gift that a happy homemaker could ask for! The new 90th anniversary Kitchen Aide.  It's candy apple red with a glass bowl and it just makes my heart sing. Nope, I didn't need one but as soon as they came out I've wanted one.  Now this one has a tilt head and is the same size as my white one 5qt. 325 watt.

I wish I could show you some pictures of this little beauty in my kitchen but alas my DH needed my laptop to finish up some of his papers for school.  I'll be getting it back on Friday hopefully for good!!! I had to try it out of course or test drive it whatever you want to call it.  It worked great! I love the tilt head feature.  I'm sure having them both will just make Thanksgiving that much easier.

On Saturday I will be heading out to a Simpler Thyme show.  I hear it's a good one.  Hopefully I'll be allowed to take some pictures.  I should have more things to share this weekend.  Well, off I go to gather some goodies from the store.

Have a great day!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Spiced Cider

Today I thought I would post a favorite holiday drink.  Now I know what you're thinking not really a recipe but it's one of my favorites to serve whenever we have guests.  It's one of those things you can pick up at a store and then fix it almost instantly.  I usually buy mine at prim or gift shops but they have a website too. I just love the ease of it when I'm trying to do homemade pies and cookies from scratch.

Spiced Cider

1 gallon of apple cider
1 mix of mulling spices I use the aspen brand.  I like the original one.

Simmer on low for a few hours in your crockpot.  Serve with a cinnamon stick if desired.

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My Man in Blue

Today as we celebrated Veteran's Day around our beautiful country my DH came home and surprised my DD at school.  He had told me this weekend that he would not be able to attend then at the last minute changed his mind.  She had a program at here school for Veteran's the first of it's kind, I have to hand it to the Asst. Principal it was such a great idea to honor those dads, grandfathers, family that served.  Her face lit up when she saw him.  It was so wonderful to have him here.  I had to share some pictures of them.  Hope you remembered what the day was all about and thanked a veteran for their service. 

God Bless our country!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Latest addiction!

Anybody else out there addicted to candles, tarts and all things fragrant?? I have a problem.  Just ask my DH and my cupboard (or 2) full of candles and tarts.  If I smell something that I really like which isn't every time I shop I usually just get it.  If not than I start obsessing about it and stress myself out for no reason.  LOL! I had read somewhere not sure where I read this that the Bath and Body works scent Leaves was something to behold.  I was thinking it smelled like burning leaves so anxious to smell it, I set out to find it.  It was something all right not burning leaves but apples, my weakness.  The website decribes it as golden nectar, juicy mandarin and red delicious apples are paired with cinnamon sticks, mulled cider spices and freshly harvested red berries.  Pure heaven! I decided to buy it immediately.  The sales lady told me that someone from a distant town had bought up all the big three wick ones so I took my little one home and really enjoyed every hour of scent.  I went online, it was sold out.  I went back the next week sold out! Then my sister and I went shopping and I finally scored some more at a different store in a nearby town.   Now that the holidays are here I have two new favorites Spice and Fresh Balsam, I love them! I also bought Fireside.  I haven't purchased the spice but I plan too.  The Fresh Balsam isn't a typical tree scent it has many other notes inside it.  If you're stumped I think these make great gifts for people. 

Have a wonderful day, and I hope you're burning something wonderful at your house!


Monday, November 9, 2009

Prim Shopping in IN

Good morning! I got this little picture at a store in Cambridge City just down the road from my house.  It's called the Pour House.  They serve delicious homemade soups, breads and desserts there too.  I loved their store.  The prices were reasonable.  I bought a wreath, sampler and runner too.   I love the wreath because it matches my other little pumpkin garlands.  I loved what the sampler said it spoke to me.  I didn't get to go to Cows in the Creek that I've heard so much about from Mercantile Gatherings but it was closed, next time.  I may head out there this week again to see if I can catch it open!  My sister and I went to a pretty nice antique mall there too.  It was such a fun day.  I look forward to many more outings.  I have 3 sisters who live close by and 2 of them are really into decorating their homes like me.  My sister Debbie has a beautiful home, maybe I can talk her into some pictures sometime.  She likes more victorian things.  I think a good way to describe her is country victorian.  My sister Deanna likes primitives like me.  We have very similiar tastes.  We have such fun when we're get together. 

my new wreath

the crow runner

This runner is from G & G country crafts in Richmond.  I went there on Friday.  She has a cute little shop and I was glad to find it as it's not far from my house at all.  Her shop put me in the mood to decorate for Christmas.  There has been so many articles and blogs about that lately.  I have to ask when do you decorate for Christmas?  I tend to get started the day or so after Thanksgiving and then have it done by the end of the week.  It takes me awhile because I have so many totes full of decorations.  It's overwhelming to do all at once.   I really like to enjoy it so my live tree usually stay up until shortly after the 1st and my snowmen stay out till February.  All the rest of the Christmas things get put away by New Years.  I'm starting to make plans for the outside.  I can just see a rope of garland on my white fence on the front porch with a few icicle lights hanging down, candles in the window and wreaths with big plaid bows.  Very exciting indeed!

Leave me a comment about when you are decorating this year.


Amy, I would love to mail out your give away so email me.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Surprise the Winner is!!!!

At home with Amy

Thanks to all my loyal followers who have stuck with me through my move and computer absence.  I really appreciate it!  I promise to bring you more pictures of my house and new recipes that I've tried.

Amy is going to get this really nice Christmas plaid towel to make her kitchen festive and the new Christmas Gooseberry Patch book.  Bake something yummy Amy and remember me!

I'll be back Monday with some more pictures of my recent purchases for the house to show you.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Amy, email me with your addy and I'll get this out to you.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Sneak Peek and Two Recipes to Try!

My version of Pumpkin cupcakes
Notice the candy corn kiss in the center?

Click here for Martha's version

I couldn't resist baking for this face when he missed his party/parade at school and had pains in his leg. I think it worked because it's much better now and all his bloodwork came back good.  Thanks for keeping him in your thoughts and prayers.

I couldn't resist trying these yummy Brownie Pillow Cookies! I got this from freebie in the mail from Southern Living.  I looked for these online but have trouble finding them.  If anyone wants the exact recipe I'll email it to you.  However, it's really easy, take your favorite brownie mix.  I used Hershey's with the Syrup.  Then bake according to the directions.  Let cool completely.  While the brownies are in the oven get started on the cookies.  Take your favorite chocolate chip cookie dough recipe and make it or cheat and use the store bought dough too! LOL! Then chill it for an hour.  When the brownies are done cooling cut them to be about 2 X 2 in size, pretty small.  Put about 1/4 cup of chilled dough on your sheet and put your brownie inside, add more dough to cover the top and try to cover your brownie up.  I added a little bit less and had good results.  I wanted these giant cookies to be done even though your brownie is already cooked.  I baked them for about 18-20 min. at 350 degrees.  Let them cool for a few minutes before attempting to take them off.  Use a cooling rack.  They are ooey gooey and moist on the inside.  They only make about 12 cookies and you should only put 6 on a sheet. 

Happy baking!

Sneak peak for tomorrow, one lucky winner will get this... and something else.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Thanksgiving Makeover

Good morning, it's a little chilly start here in the gold ole' midwest.  Just about like it should be in the Fall.  I wrangled my kiddos onto the bus and fed them some oatmeal, peanut butter toast for my son and some strawberries.  I'm enjoying my coffee and blogs and then I'm off to take my Aunt to the bank and enjoy some more coffee.  LOL!

My DH and I changed our family room around as I mentioned before and I thought I would change up my mantle a little bit for Thanksgiving.  I love Fall the most! I do love Christmas but I won't be decorating until after Thanksgiving.  We really do have a lot to be thankful for this year.  A new home, being close to family and old friends. 

 I added some cornucopias to my mantle and some turkeys.

this little sign too

This little scarecrow I picked up for 20% off at a new shop I discovered that I'll tell you more about later.

This little gathering is in my hallway on top of my sewing machine. 

I did have the bakers cabinet in here and you could just barely squeeze by so my DH put up my mitten chest shelf that I've had for ages and it still looked a little bare so I pulled this sewing machinge out of my guest room to frame it.  What do you all think?? The door on the right houses coats and my vacuum cleaner.  The door frame to the left is the main floor bathroom.

This is the new arrangement.  We moved the cabinet next to the fireplace.  It was in the little hallway where the sewing machine is now (see above picture) I'm not sure about this arrangement at all but you know how it is the furniture can only be placed curtain ways.  I think it detracts from the fireplace as a focal point. This house seemed so big when we bought it.  LOL!  We have discussed buying a big screen TV for the downstairs media room and if we do all our furniture may go down there and I may get some fancy sitting room furniture for this room.  Sound neat?? least a girl can dream.   I would love to get some Johnston Benchworks furniture.

Have a great day and don't forget two more days for my give away surprise!  Scroll down or leave me a comment only one entry per person, please.


Monday, November 2, 2009

A Walk Down Memory Lane...

Where do I begin my friends...I guess I should say I'm starting to feel settled into my new home.  Sure I have things here and there that need to be rearranged or set in place.  I have moved things around from all the photos that I did a few weeks ago.  I still have stacks of books in my library.  My DH and I have been working hard.  He was home this weekend and we spent our time rearranging the whole family room.  It took a lot of time and I couldn't decide what was exactly the right thing.  Truth be told I liked the furniture arrangement before.  Alas, I still have my beloved reading nook and the TV armoire isn't the first thing you see when you come in the door so that's a good thing.

the view out my backyard

This little house is the one I grew up in, except imagine it will life inside and out, bushes in the front, hanging baskets and cute little shutters, that little bedroom window on the right was mine.

On a personal note I have been happy having family close by.  I have been able to spend some time shopping with one of my sisters and going to see my dear Aunt Princess.  She has been so great.  She is 89 but calls to ask if I need anything almost everyday.  I love her so much.  Being around the area where I grew up and then coming home so to speak is comforting and strange all at the same time.  I love it here, I forgot how pretty our little town looks with all the row houses and trees in the fall.  At Christmas they all have the candles in the window.  However, I am lonely though without my mom, feels like something is missing.  I can feel her presence here so much more than living other places.  I guess that's due to the familiar places and things we did together.  I went to a local dept. store the other day walking down the isle to look for a dress for my daughter and thought the last time I walked in here I was with her.  That would have probably been 3 years ago.  You know when you move away for 19 years you aren't usually back there for any length of time.  I still don't really know my way around.  My driving experience here is limited to ages 16-18 so not much of anything.  I was the kinda girl who drove to school rarely and went to the mall and movies once in awhile.  LOL! Those were the days.  Things have changed so much since I left it makes it downright difficult to get around.  The kids are settling into a school routine and like their teachers.  I had to laugh when my DD complained about a strict art teacher and come to find out I had him too! Wow, I'm not so young, it's surprising he is still teaching.  I would love to go visit my old 6th grade teacher, she inspired me to become a teacher,  I remember we were her very first class.  I don't know how she did it, she had a very difficult student who was a bit of a class clown.  She is still at my daughters school too. 

Well, if you haven't had a chance scroll back down and leave me a comment about my blog to be entered in my give away.  You have until Friday and then I will pick a winner! Surprise, surprise!!  I have many more pictures and recipes, shopping finds and things to share with you too.

Have a great day! 

Sunday, November 1, 2009

My 100th Post and a Give Away!

Good morning blogging friends! I have so much to tell you that's been going on in my life here I don't know where to begin.  Let's start with the fun stuff! A GIVE AWAY!  In honor of my 100th post I will be having a give away.  It's going to be a secret though, a surprise.  I promise a little bit of that wonderful holiday coming up will be included because I know we are all getting the itch to decorate for Christmas.  I have some new shops I have discovered over the last few weeks that I hope to be sharing with you soon.  I also have some new recipes that I have tried. 

Now onto some concerns, my DS has been experiencing some leg problems a lot of pain in his right quadricep.  We've passed round one of bloodwork and hopefully he will also get an MRI.  He had this last year and it is very concerning.  He isn't in any sports right now so the doctor doesn't believe it's overuse exactly.  Then my father in law had major surgery on his pancreas this past Thursday so please be praying for our family.

Now on to Halloween...

my girl taking out the pumpkin guts!

the cutest Halloween dog ever! our dog BOO!

my son's pumpkin design

my daughter with her pumpkin

the finished result

my girl with her genie/belly dancing costume

my boy the Ninja

all ready to get the lute!

Our sweet Aunt Princess had some Halloween goodies for us.

We made one more stop and Aunt Debbie and Uncle Jay's house.

It was so nice to have Daddy home to celebrate and go to families houses this year.  I know they enjoyed it too.  I hope this is our new tradition.  Meanwhile back to the give away!  I'm leaving this open to only my loyal followers this time.  Please leave me a comment about what you enjoy about my blog and what you'd like to see more of.  I'll give you a few labels and ideas: all about me, antiques, baking or recipes, decorating, make over projects and thrift store finds, primitive shopping, scrapbooking (if I ever get my room done or unpacked) LOL!  Hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween!

See you soon, I have my 'puter back, Yeah!