Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Pleasant Interuption

No pictures today. I am headed out on a little post Christmas break. I will be taking off for a couple of days to the beach! A friend of mine called with an invitation to join her at the beach for a few days. If my camera arrives before I leave, I will definitely return on Monday with some pictures. Some of you may be thinking, the beach in the winter? Well here in the south we had about 80 degrees on Christmas day. It is a little cooler now, but I will be curling up on the beach with sweats and a blanket, and a good book, and perhaps getting some blogging thoughts and projects together. I hope each and every one of you have a wonderful new year! So for now Happy New Year, and don't forget, there will be a giveaway when I return. Looking forward to that 100th post. Blessings! Jackie

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Belated Christmas Present

No pictures today, but thought I would tell you that I am getting a fantastic late present from my wonderful husband. It is a new CAMERA!! I can't wait. It is on its way to me, so hopefully I will be sharing much better photos in the future. The cleaning is continuing here with packing up Christmas decorations today, and some much needed cleaning. My sweet son the artist has agreed to help today. We will be taking a little break to visit some shops that have lots of handmade stuff. He is checking out some more ideas to incorporate in his art work. We are making the most of his last few days here before he returns to school. Have a wonderful day! Jackie

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Cleaning

I am praying that each and everyone of my blogging friends had a wonderful and blessed Christmas! We did at this house, now it is time to start some of what I call my Christmas cleaning frenzy! Something about taking down the decorations, looking forward to a new year, makes me want to clean!!! Maybe I feel as if I am making a fresh start for the upcoming year.
I thought I would share with you a few goals for the year and look forward to getting inspiration from each and every one of you.

I will be coming up on my 100th post in the next week or so, so stay tuned for a giveaway. I am not sure what it will be yet, but I have a few things in mind.

I would like to share more recipes, budget decorating ideas, and hopefully be sharing a few crafts that I will be making. I know I am planning to get back to the basics, and try to keep myself a little more focused on truly important and lasting things in the upcoming year. I need to be more about doing things that have some eternal value as opposed to the temporal.

My daughter will be coming up on her first anniversary at the end of January, so I will be taking a look back, and remembering all of the fun we had preparing for a wedding on a modest budget. Stay tuned if you are in need of some ideas. I hope that each of you have a blessed and restful week after Christmas! Looking forward to hearing from all of you in 2009.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Keeping It Real!!!!

This Christmas will definitely be one to remember, that I did not have it all together. I think we could safely say that this is may qualify to be the Christmas that I was least prepared!

This would be the scene in my kitchen at this very moment.....
so I can prepare these for friends.

A quick but delicious gift to give.

Remember, I won this a while back from Kate at My Messy Nest.

It has been the inspiration and instruction,so I could make these for my sweet daughter to give as gifts.

Lastly I will leave you with this recipe for the Cranberry Almond Coffee Cakes above. A classmate of my daughters mother made this for us one Christmas probably about 12 years ago, and I have been making and giving them at Christmas every year. They are simple, delicious, and relatively inexpensive to make.
Cranberry Almond Coffee Cake
1 Cup Margarine 1/2 Tsp. Almond Flavor
1 Cup Sugar 2 Cups Plain Flour
2 Eggs 3 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Cup Sour Cream 1/2 Tsp. Salt
1 Can Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
1/4 Cup Sliced Almonds

*Cream margarine & sugar until fluffy *Add eggs and almond flavor*Continue beating*Sift together flour, baking powder and salt*Add to creamed mixture alternating w/sour cream *Pour batter evenly into 2 pans*Spoon cranberry sauce on top*Sprinkle w/ almonds. Bake 350 for 35 to 40 minutes.

Top with the following glaze: 1 Cup Powdered Sugar * 1/2 tsp vanilla * 2 Tbs. Milk

Drizzle over cooled coffee cakes.

It is may prayer that each of you have a blessed and wonderful Christmas, as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour. I will be away until Monday. Jackie

Unexpected Break!!!!

This is how I have felt for a large part of December! Please don't misunderstand, I love the REASON that we celebrate, but expectations of myself and others tend to overwhelm me. I miss the traditions that were in place when I was younger, because those I love are no longer here. Definitely a much simpler time, but they are experiencing a continual celebration. I have learned over this past year.... I have not learned to do the Empty Nest thing very well at all, and that has to change. God has been showing me this very clearly, so I will be listening to HIM more carefully than I have in the past month. It is definitely not about me but about HIM.

The tree is finally up, but I will not reveal the actual date this finally happened. Let's just say my wonderful son, the artist helped me. After several set backs while stringing lights we finally have a Christmas tree, with some presents!

One of my favorite ornaments. A little blurry, but it depicts the wise men. My sister gave me this several years back.

Another favorite.

This is what my sewing machine looks like right now, so I had better run! Have a blessed and wonderful Christmas week. I will be back next week to hear about all of the wonderful ways you celebrated the birth of our Lord and Saviour. Blessings to you all and Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Cheer

I am finally getting with the program, Christmas that is. Yesterday and today, I have cleaned and began adding some little Christmas touches here and there. This little wreath is hanging above my kitchen sink. The pictures seem to be extremely bad today, you see I spent all my camera money at the vet. Stella is still on the mend and is slowly coming around. She is still not quite herself, and sparing you the details some things are not quite like they should be.
This is in the corner of my counter in the kitchen.

I love these acorns that I found at HL for .29 each after Thanksgiving.
Remember that 90% off day.

I stitched up these little red and green napkins to go with the red place mats on the breakfast room table.

I promise my mantel looks much better in real life!

A close up of my garland.
I added red berries, bird nests and feathers to this wispy pine garland.

I promise that mirror is not dirty, the glare just makes it look that way.
Hopefully by this evening a tree will be joining the other decorations.
Have a wonderful day!

Monday, December 8, 2008


Stella is HOME!!!!! She is still a little under the weather, and it is probably going to take at least a week before she starts feeling normal again. Thanks again for all the well wishes for her. The Vet says she was a real trooper as much as she had to be poked and prodded on. Now we are going to try and get some Christmas decor happening at this house. I am working tomorrow and Friday, and worked today, but I plan to spend the other two days decking the halls and making some Christmas gifts. I have finally gotten around to putting all my fall decor away. A little clean up is needed and we will be getting the tree up. Just a little later than expected! Have a blessed week. Jackie

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Stella is still at the vet, and has been since Thursday AM. She got hold of some bone and it has hardened in her colon. They have cleared about 90% but she is still very pitiful. I have been over there trying to feed her and get her to drink. My hopes are that she will be able to come home this afternoon. I know this sounds gross and the vet has been very honest that he has had a dog to die from this. Thanks for all the well wishes . We are missing her here. Have a wonderful weekend! Jackie

Thursday, December 4, 2008

One of Those Days!!!!!

You know it is going to be a tough day when.............
The dog jumps in the shower with you!
The dog is in obvious pain.
She throws up we are on our way to the vet. Update later.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What do you do.....

.....when the tree needs to be put up, the mantel needs to be decorated, the house needs to be cleaned, the Christmas cards need to be sent, and everything seems to be piling up around you?

Why you defrost and organize the freezer!

Of course you also see if you can get the water dispenser to start working again,

and I did!and you make a pot of soup from the ham bone and tomatoes you found in the freezer, that you feel need to be used before they get any older!
Do any of you have any moments of what seems like total insanity? Now you know I have these moments, thankfully not too terribly often. Something about the new dryer(that is not the same color of any of the other appliances in my laundry room) just seemed to do it to me today. This is definitely keeping it real. Jackie

Monday, December 1, 2008

What I Didn't Want for Christmas

We spent a wonderful Thanksgiving with our daughter and son-in-law. My son was with us also and we had a wonderful family weekend! Ours was blessed with family and friends, and I hope yours was too!

We had so many PUMPKIN desserts! Pumpkin bars, pumpkin cheesecake,a pumpkin roll, and a pumpkin caramel pie!

Now on to what I didn't want for Christmas......We returned home with lots of dirty clothes. I immediately started washing. I was checking a load in the dryer, when I detected a slight smell, and then when pushing the button to restart, NOTHING. Time for my handyman husband to step in. He checks everything with his little checking tool and everything is checking out OK. This just can't be! How can a 20 year old dryer be conking out now? We try again and it starts, so I am convinced the praying did the trick, only to open it, and have it happen again. A little further checking has led to the conclusion that the motor is truly dying. He says it will work for now, but I had better start looking. FAST! Not exactly the purchase I would like to be making, but hey it can't run forever. So there you have it.....what I didn't want for Christmas! I am still blessed and thankful! This week I hope to share about some of my Christmas preparations, and what I am checking off my list each day to insure an unstressed and blessed Christmas celebration! Have a blessed week. Jackie