Saturday, November 30, 2019

Christmas Touches

If you have been reading my blog during recent Christmases then you know that I call the decorating I do, "Christmas Touches."  That's right, I don't spend hours and hours dragging decor out anymore.  Over the years I have decorated almost every inch of our house, had several Christmas trees and enjoyed every minute of it.  But, I have streamlined my decorating over the past 8-10 years and I love it just as much as when I did far more.  I would  call my Christmas decor, elegant and simple and, except for the tree, was all placed in about 2 hours. And, the best part is that the "take down" is much, much quicker.  Yea! it's a "win win" for me. 

I want a warm and welcoming porch no matter the season.  I think an attractive entrance says so much about the people inside the house.  

Just inside our front door, in the foyer, sits our tree.  It is a tall slimline tree with the brightest lights I've ever seen on a tree.  In fact, their brightness makes seeing the ornaments almost impossible unless you are standing right next to the tree. I don't like that but not anything I can about it since the lights do not have a dimmer. ~grin~  This year I went with all Shiny Brite ornaments by Christopher Radko.  I've had a more formal tree in recent years but I wanted a colorful tree this year.  I purchased all these ornaments for 75% off last year after Christmas.  

Just across from the tree is the dining area and I used mercury glass candle sticks and lighted Christmas trees.  With the candles and trees lite, it gives off such a lovely glow.

This plate and Santa pitcher sit on the corner counter in the kitchen.

This Santa graces the top of a long counter in our eating area

along with this glitter pine cone arrangement. 

I always like to have live poinsettias on our informal dining table.  And, I found this cute table runner at Pier 1. 

And, last but not least, this big decorative lantern looks festive on our bar. 

And, there you have it, my "touches of Christmas."  As we enter this special season I pray that you will not be so overcome with busyness that you forget what the real reason of this season is all about. Now, let's all enjoy this Christmas season. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Unexpected Facts About Me

Saw these questions a few weeks back and, once again, thought they would make for a fun blog post.  Guess you can decide if they are "unexpected" or not. ~grin~

Unexpected facts about me that may surprise you:
 Favorite animal? 
I'm not really an animal lover but if I had a favorite, it would be a Goldendoodle.  And, if  I could just have one when I wanted it, I'd have one.  ~I'm not sure that made any sense~

 How old were you when you got married? 
We married on June 6th and I was 19 on July 29th.  That seems better than saying I was 18. ~chuckle~

 How many proms did you go to?
Believe it or not, I NEVER attended a prom and I am living proof that you can live over it and never even feel like you missed anything. 

 Did you make good grades in school?
I made average grades and again, I'm proof that you can thrive being average. ~grin~ 

 Do you like to read?
I do .  3 of my favorite authors are Francine Rivers, Karen Kingsbury and John Grisham

 What was your first job?
Being a checker at the local Kroger grocery store when I was 16.

 What was your first car? 
Well, it was "our" car, a red Pontiac Firebird with a white vinyl top
 Where did you grow up? 
I spent my growing up years in Arkansas, Louisiana and Virginia

 Did you live in the city or the country? 
Except for one house, we always lived in the city

 Do you believe in ghosts? 
No, never had any reason to

 Do you make your bed everyday? 
Indeed, can't start my day without a made bed.  I might not fluff it with the decorative pillows every day, but it is made

 Are you messy? 
I may be a lot of things but messy is NOT one of them!  I'm neat to a fault!

 What’s your least favorite chore? 
Unloading the dishwasher, especially the glasses as they always hold water on the bottom of them.  Soooo aggravating!

 What's your favorite number? 
Hummm.....don't have one but I do prefer even numbers

 What is your dream job? 
Doing what I do......wife, mother, grandmother, caregiver and friend

 If you could, would you go back to school? 
I sure would, I've always regretted not finishing college

 Things people do that annoy you?
Not being punctual
Acting like their cell phone is the most important thing on earth
Not doing what they say they will do when they say they will do it
And, the list could go on but I'll stop here ~grin~

 Do you talk to yourself? 
On occasion, especially if I'm aggravated

 Do you like doing puzzles? 
Not particularly but I know they are good exercise for our brain

 Favorite restaurant?
Hummm........I have several favorites........Olive Garden, Outback, a couple of our local dives to name a few

 Favorite fast food? 
I guess I would have to say Sonic since it's about the only fast food I ever get.  I will run through and get a mini order of their popcorn chicken and a cherry/vanilla Diet Dr. Pepper and I'm "good to go."  I probably do this once a month.

 Have any health issues? 
Oh, I feel so fortunate that I can say NO at this point and I pray I can say that for a lot longer.

 Something you loved playing with growing up? 
Hula hoop, slinky and frisbee - guess that really ages me

 Have you been hunting? 
The first year that Hubby and I were married I decided that I would go hunting with him.  We went squirrel hunting.  He put me beside a tree and told me to just sit there, be very quiet and watch for a squirrel.  Well, it didn't take long for me to decide that it was NOT for me.  I mean, be quiet and sit and watch.  No, I don't think so and I've never gone again.

 Are you friends with people who don’t have the same views? 
Well, I don't base my friendship on a person having my same view for sure.  But, if we are polar opposites in our way of thinking, a close friendship will not likely develop anyway.

 Do you think there is more love or evil in this world? 
 I'm not sure but I do know that evil generally makes so much more noise than love that love often gets the backseat.  What a shame!

 Do you stand up for yourself?
I do and try to be very nice when I do but if you push my buttons just right I might not be so nice. ~just being truthful~
 Are you a parent? 
Yes of an awesome son and daughter who are 2 years and 9 months apart. Our son is 43 and our daughter is 40.

 (If yes) Whats the most annoying thing about being a parent? 
At this stage it's not really annoying, it's just a fact that "once a parent, always a parent" and you never stop being concerned about them.  And, always wanting the best for them, for them to make wise decisions and to always seek God's will for their lives.

 What’s the best part of being a parent? 
Sharing the special bond between parent and child. 

 Are you married? 
Yes, 48 years this past June

 (If yes) How did you and your spouse meet? 
At church a very, very long time ago.

 How many kids did you plan on having? 
I don't know if we ever discussed it but I knew after we had a boy and a girl that two was a big plenty. ~smile~

 Are you a procrastinator? 
NOT IN THE LEAST!  In fact, I try and want to be one step ahead of the game and take care of as much as I possibly can ahead of time.

 What’s a feature you get complimented on the most? 
My  hair and smile

 What are people’s first impression of you? 
That I enjoy people, have a big heart, love to laugh and have a big laugh to prove it.

 Are you a strong person?
Oh, indeed I am!  I have had to put on my "big girl panties" quite a few times in my 67 years and face the situation "head on."  The good Lord has always given me the strength I needed just as I needed it.  He never fails!

These were fun questions for me to answer and hopefully fun answers for you to read.

Monday, November 18, 2019

A Little Advance Prepping

It's hard to believe that Christmas is 5 weeks from this Wednesday.  I know we all say how fast time goes by, but it really does.  And, I think it's true that the older we get, the faster it goes.  Either way, it seems we just celebrated Christmas.

I have never in my life decorated before Thanksgiving but I have this year.  Well, everything is done except our tree.  My "tree fairy" is coming a week from today and our house will be decorated as much as it's going to be.  I have stream-lined my decorating in recent years and it is so less time consuming but, still very pretty and elegant.  Over the years I have decorated every inch of our house to somewhere in-between and now I do what I call "touches of Christmas."  I'll show you more of it after our tree goes up.

Aren't these pretty cookies and especially at Christmas.  These are Maraschino Cherry Almond Chocolate Cookies and you can find the recipe here.  I love to bake and really enjoy making and baking cookies.  Thankfully I have a lot of self control when it comes to eating them or I'd have a problem.  I have made lots of cookies in recent weeks.  I made these on Saturday and they are very good.  They have a shortbread base and I love shortbread.  And, the cherry and almond mix is perfect. 

These are Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies and you can find this recipe here. I love oatmeal cookies and this is a version I had not ever seen or tried.  And, again, I thought with the cranberries that they would be pretty at Christmas time. And, I'm a huge believer in baking ahead and freezing.  I do not want to have to be rushed or overwhelmed and "doing ahead" keeps the fun in it.

Image result for fudge

And, it would NOT be the holidays if I did not make what has come to be known as "Lea's Fudge."  The picture above is an internet picture, I make my fudge in different shaped small pans that hold about a pound each.  I have had so much fun over the years finding different molds and pans to pour it in.  It makes it so much neater and attractive than cut fudge.  A recipe makes 5 pounds, so I get about 5 containers out of each pan.  I have already made 25 pounds this year and am not finished.  And, the funny thing is I do not even like fudge.  So strange that I would enjoy making something that I do not even like.  If you are interested in this recipe, you can click on the recipe tab below my blog header and you will find it, along with lots of hints I have learned over the years.

Image result for wrapped christmas presents

I have been busy doing my Christmas shopping too.  If you can call sitting at my computer being busy.  I know there are some folks who want to "touch and feel" everything they buy but I am NOT one of those folks.  I have had such success in internet shopping over the years that it is the greatest thing since "sliced bread" for me.  My DIL and daughter send me lists for the Grans with links to where the gifts can be bought.  I mean it doesn't get much easier than that.  And, I love that I know the Grans want what we give them.  I have 75% of my shopping done and I spent this past Friday wrapping the gifts that I have.  

I am feeling very good at this point about a most relaxed season and that's my goal every year.  I do not do well being rushed or overwhelmed if I can help it.  I will start doing some advance meal cooking in a couple of weeks as it really helps when family arrives.

I have a fun week ahead.  We have some family coming in on Wed. for a couple of days, I have the Thanksgiving family meal with my Dad and I will be attending the Grandparents performance on Friday.  Yes, tis' the season and I'm in "prepping mode."

Monday, November 11, 2019

Sweet Memories of a 90th Birthday and Other Stuff

I have been preparing for this past weekend for a couple of months.  It was the weekend of my Dad's 90th birthday.  And, since only 10% of folks ever live to see 90, a celebration was certainly in order.

My sweet younger brother and his wife came from Arizona to join in the celebration. Doesn't Daddy look dapper in his pretty sports coat and bow tie?

Suzy, my sweet sister in law was such a help  assisting with the cake, ice cream and punch and serving it to the residents and those that dropped by to see Daddy.  

Our son was the only grandchild that was able to attend, but, he did a good job representing the 5 others.  Daddy has 6 grandchildren and 6 great grans.

Many dear friends stopped by to see Daddy and he so enjoyed seeing them all.

These two great guys are the men that sit at Daddy's table and they enjoy each meal together.  It's part of Daddy's favorite time of day as they enjoy conversing and solving all the world's problems. ~chuckle~  These 3 men represent 266 years!  Yep, Daddy is 90, Mr. WM is 93 and Mr. James is 83.  They have had some life experiences for sure!

The residents all enjoyed the celebration as well.  Most all of them came down to the dining room to participate.

Daddy was "tuckered out" by the time the celebration was over but it was a good "tuckered out."

After the party Daddy took a nap and then came over to our house for his birthday dinner.  These two girlies made him feel very special. 

We took him to breakfast Saturday morning to kick off his special day.  He is now settled in to live out his 91st year and feels very celebrated.

In other news...........these two boys were so cute on Halloween.  Coleman was a dragon and Clancy was a rodeo clown.

Friday night these two went to see David Crowder and Mercy Me in concert.  Bridget graduated from high school with the wife of Mike Scheuchzer (pictured above), a member of Mercy Me.  So, after the concert they got to go back stage and see him and the other group members.  It was a big night for them and their Momma.  Daddy stayed home with baby Case. 

And, Coleman has been wanting overalls for months and finally got some Saturday.  The first thing he told his Dad and Mom was that he wanted to wear them to church and he did just that.  Of course, everyone thought he was too cute in them. ~a country boy~

Image result for LSU tiger

AND, to top off a wonderful weekend our LSU Tigers beat Alabama Saturday night.  It was the perfect weekend all the way around. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Prime Purchases

And, once again, the first Tuesday of another month has rolled around.  And, once again, it's time for me to share my Prime Purchases with you.

Birthday Banner

As many of you know, my Daddy will celebrate his 90th birthday this Saturday.  On Friday, we will treat him to a celebration.  This banner will be hung .  I'm using all black and gold decor  and he'll have a tiered cake with a sparkling 90th birthday topper on it.  Amazon has any and all supplies for any party or event you may be having.



Image result for FITGLAM batwing sweater
I'm trying to remember which blogging friend recommended this cute sweater, but I have forgotten.  But, it is sooooo cute and so reasonably priced and comes in several colors.  I got it in 3 colors.  It only comes in one size and that was a real turn off for me but it looked so cute on my blogging friend that I decided to give it a try.  Well, it fits perfectly but I can assure you that it would not fit everyone perfectly and that's why OS is just not good.  OS usually means it fits no one.  But, this was a keeper, much to my surprise.

Wedge Sneakers

High Heeld Wedge Sneakers for Women - Ladies Hidden Sneakers Lace Up Shoes, Best Chioce for Casual and Daily Wear
Okay, ladies, these are the cutest sneakers with all their glitz.  I love that they are now making sneakers with wedges.  They are very comfortable and really add some "sass" to an outfit.  My little 4 year old granddaughter saw me in them and said, "oh, CiCi, those are beautiful."  Made my day!


Ultra Light  Long Puffer Vest

Image result for Elfjoy women's ultra light vest

I love puffer vests and this one is so cute.  Now, just as it says, it is lightweight, so if you live where there are frigid temps then I don't know that you would want this.  But, for me here in NE Louisiana, it will be great.  And, I love the longer length.  It comes in 3-4 different colors. 

Biolage Styling Thermal Active Spray

I have tried more hair products in my lifetime than the law allows.  And, I always, always come back to this.  I have used it for about 12 years and it is the best.  It is both a setting spray and a protectant from hot tools.  I am so afraid that Biolage is going to quit making it and I've not found anything that I like as well.  It is just what my course, thick hair needs.


Christmas Cookie/Candy Boxes

You have likely picked up on the fact that I do love cute ways to package sweets.  When I saw these boxes, I had to get some.  They will make my holiday goodies all the better.  Don't they say, "presentation is everything?" ~chuckle~  These are the perfect size as well, about 6"x6"x3".

Amazing Wrap Non-Adhesive Tape

This truly is amazing and you get 3 rolls in 1 order.  I first saw this on Shark Tank and knew I had to have some.  It is just like tape but it doesn't actually stick to the item.  It sticks to itself so it is non-damaging and easy to remove.  I'm always needing to hold items together but I can't always use regular tape due to damaging the item I'm taping.  Well, no more.  This is about an inch wide and "works like a charm."  It is re-usable if you care to do so.

Okay, there you have it!  Hope you saw something that you just might need or want.

Have a great week!!!