Monday, December 31, 2012

Good-bye 2012

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2012 held laughter, tears, joy and sorrow.  I am sad to see it go but at the same time the excitement and anticipation of a new year with new possibilities brings happiness.

Tonight we will get cozy.  Play a board game or two.  Spend the evening quietly, perhaps with a glass of wine to toast in the new year with our cats and old rottweiler.  The tree is down, the decorations put away so as I mentioned here, it is time for hibernation and rest.

Thank you for stopping here once in a while to read, laugh, encourage, cheer me on and lend, on occasion, a sympathetic ear.  Your thoughtfulness has amazed me and I clearly can not understand why our little part of the world is interesting enough to return time and time again.  For that, I thank you.  My readers.  You truly warm my heart.

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

May 2013 bring much peace and love to you and yours and as a reminder for the last time this year, please remember to give your loved ones a hug!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday's Blessings

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this week I loved the .....

smell of :  pumpkin pie

sound of :  Christmas music

taste of :  turkey

sight of :  sunshine and clear roads for travelling

feel of :  being on holidays

this week I am thankful for .....

-  time with my Mom

-  2012 coming to an end

-  strength

Have a blessed Sunday and remember to give your loved ones a hug!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Saturday's Snaps

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Have a wonderful Saturday and remember to give your loved ones a hug!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Sharon's Spice Cake

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My friend Sharon over at sharnymcclarny posted this recipe a while back when she made it for some company that was coming to arrive that day.  Well seeing it is the Christmas season and the scents of allspice, I believe, are strongly related to this time of the year, I just had to give it a try.

The very best part of this recipe is that Sharon saved it from a 1981 Woman's Day magazine!  As you can see by her post, this recipe was tooted as one of the "Easiest Cakes Ever" and it was.

So simple and yet oh so delicious!  The caramel frosting is just perfect with the spices in the cake.  It reminded me of a spice cake my Grandma use to make.  What a treat that it brought back those memories.

Dumping all ingredients in to the pan, mixing them up in the pan and baking it in the same pan ... well, it can't get much easier than that.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Using an 8 or 9 inch square pan mix ....

1 1/4 cups of flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt

Mix these dry ingredients well. Then pour .....

1/3 cup oil
1 tbsp vinegar
1 cup water

over the dry ingredients.  Stir well with a fork, making sure the ingredients are all mixed thoroughly until smooth.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in pan on a rack.  Spread with the caramel frosting below.


1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp milk
3/4 cup plus 3 tbsp confectioner's sugar

In a small saucepan melt butter, add brown sugar.  Stir over low heat for 2 minutes.  Add milk; bring to a boil.  Remove from heat, cool.  Slowly beat in confectioner's sugar until smooth and of spreading consistency.

AMAZING!  I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this recipe.

If you try it, stop over and tell Sharon thanks!  Remember to give your loved ones a hug!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thrifty Thursday

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The last thrifty Thursday of 2012!  Next week I will be starting something new on Thursdays since I do not frequent yard sales, garage sales and thrift stores much during the deep winter.  I will re-start Thrifty Thursdays once the warmer weather hits and I get 'garage sale fever' again.

So for the upcoming months in which I care to hibernate more than anything else, I will present you with Three Pins Thursday!!!!  I love Pinterest and since my pinning has become an obsession, I thought I would share my three favorite pins for each week.  I am hoping it will motivate me to try making/doing/trying  the pins that I post as they are really starting to pile up on my boards.  I hope you will like to join me and perhaps share one of your favorite pins in the comment section each week.  I would love to see your favorites as well!

But for now here are the last thrifty finds for 2012.  A cute Mama and son snowmen set.  One of my favorites.  Cost $1.99.

Next up another little set of snowmen....on a sled!  Too cute!  I love the little guy with the earmuffs that are made with wire....and the stuffed teddy riding on the back!  LOVE IT!  Cost $ 2.99 with original tags still attached and priced at $24.99 from Target.  A steal I tell ya!

If you are lucky to live in warmer areas of the world where thrifting continues throughout the winter months, good luck in the hunt!  For those of you who are like me and hibernate for the next few months, stay warm and to everyone, remember to give your loved ones a hug!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

It's Over

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Another Christmas has come and gone.  I contemplate wondering where we will all be at this time next year.  Time passes, things change and we can only be thankful for today and of years past.

The gifts have been exchanged and oh what lovelies were had.  The turkey and all the fixings filled our tummies along with so many wonderful baked treats that are only made this time of year.

Now comes rest.  Once family members return home, the tree and all the decorations will slowly be packed away.  The house tidied and items placed back in their pre-Christmas spots around the living room.  Once all this has been accomplished, which I like it to be done by the 1st of the new year, then the time to rest will come.  The settling in with knitting or to catch up on some reading or much needed napping.  The time to relax and the glorious hibernation after the flurry of activity and excitement in the month of December.  We have a long winter yet ahead of us.  Time to dream and plan for spring and gardens and flowers and waiting for the trees to begin budding ... but for now, for now, these old bones need to rest and rejuvenate.

From this old homestead to yours ... we hope your holidays were filled with family, food and fun and we hope your time to rest is close.  Enjoy those leftovers, those gifts and those moments of doing absolutely nothing and please always remember to give your loved ones a hug!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

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Please remember to give your loved ones a hug!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Eve!

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As the sun sets, trees are lit across the world, stockings are hung and children will be tucked into bed tonight with visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads, my heart goes out to those who are not spending such a lovely night.  Those who are hungry, homeless or who have just lost someone they love and I feel so blessed.  Blessed to have people in my life who love me and care about me, a home, a job, pets (albeit naughty ones), clothes to wear and food to eat.

These thankful thoughts always bring me to Linus from Charlie Brown who said .....

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel, a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.

- Luke 2:8-14

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May we remember those who are less fortunate tonight and say an extra prayer for all who are struggling in every way.  May they find peace tonight even if it is fleeting.  Peace to celebrate the reason for the season and find some joy in their lives.  

Hold your loved ones close, we never know what the future brings.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sunday's Blessings

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this week I loved the .....

smell of :  roasting chestnuts (wink to my Mom)

sound of :  Salvation Army's Christmas kettles

taste of :  pumpkin spice cookies

sight of :  Lucas

feel of :  hugs from Lucas and Mom

this week I am thankful for .....

-  a visit with my son

-  safe travels

-  a hug from my Mom

Have a blessed Sunday and remember to give your loved ones a hug!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Saturday's Snaps

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The last weekend before Christmas, so have a wonderful day and remember to give your loved ones a hug!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Dough

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Between hubby and I we only have 3 nieces and nephews .... on hubby's side, one niece (who has a son and daughter of her own so a great niece and a great nephew for us as well) and on my side of the family, two nephews.

Hubby's niece always gets something homemade by me for Christmas.  She is close to my age and we are very casual in gift giving.  She usually asks for a knitted hat, a knitted cowl, homemade jam/jelly or a crocheted afghan which I am more than happy to make for her and her husband.   Her son and daughter and  my brother's two boys are always given cash now that they are older.  Years ago we limited the gifts to $20 so it would be a burden for any of us and it has worked well for many years  BUT  I try to find clever ways in giving the $20 so the gift is a little bit different each year.  I have wrapped the bill in toilet paper rolls so the gift looks like a holiday cracker, I have placed the bill in a small box, which was then placed in a larger box, and then another larger box .... etc until there was one big honking box, I have put the bill in an old CD case to try and fool them ... so each year, I spend more time devising a plan on how to wrap the $20 than I do earning the $20!!!

Well this year, I found a fun and easy way to give them their $20.  I spotted this idea pinned to a friends board on Pinterest and knew I just had to do it!!!

Saving my one dollar bills was actually easier than I thought it was going to be and I didn't even notice the money missing from my budget which was a bonus!

Once I had gathered enough dollar bills, I rolled each bill and tied them individually with a festive ribbon.  Next I typed up the little saying on my computer and finding a clip art gingerbread man on Google images, I printed everything out.  Sorry, for some reason the red candy cane border will not show up around the saying .... ugh, computers!

Gingerbread men with yummy icing,
Are oh so good and extremely enticing
I set out to make a dozen or two,
But ran out of time, oh what do I do?

So instead of the cookies, I tied with a bow,
Your own personal serving of Holiday Dough!

Merry Christmas!!

I filled each Ziploc baggie with 20 - $1 bills, sealed the baggies and stapled the saying and the gingerbread man on each baggie.

I think they turned out ADORABLE and the baggie sure looks like it is holding more than $20!

Now only if a secret Santa would do the same for me but use $100 bills.  Remember to give your loved ones a hug!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thrifty Thursday

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It's time for Thrifty Thursday!  First up a little wooden angel holding a snowman.  Love the saying...."There's my snowbuddy!"  A steal at 25 cents.

The big snowman was a gift from my Mom a few years back and he stands about 3 feet tall.  The wooden tree behind him is my thrifty find.  They look cute together and was so happy to find it for $2.00.

Happy thrifting and remember to give your loved ones a hug!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Homemade Hearty Hamburger Soup

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The other day, I had mentioned making homemade soup on a blustery, snowy day.  Well the soup turned out delicious and I thought you might like the recipe or file it away for a day when soup sounds good.

My recipe is easily adaptable and oh so many ingredients can be added or omitted.  This is one reason why I love homemade soup .... anything goes!  I believe any soup can be good when using good, wholesome ingredients.  Soup is a complete dinner or lunch in a bowl and one of my favorite meals to serve in winter.


1 pound of hamburger, browned
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon of olive oil (for browning the onion)
3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 bay leaf
2 cups of water
3 cups of beef broth, either homemade or from a can
1 can yellow or green beans
1 large can diced tomatoes (28 oz)
2 cans of condensed tomato soup
1/2 cup of Velveeta cheese, cut into cubes
1/2 cup barley
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh or dried parsley

Optional: fresh mushrooms, peppers, pasta, diced cabbage, carrots or any vegetable you might have in your fridge!


Saute onions in olive oil.  Add hamburger and brown until crumbled.  Drain well.  

Add all ingredients to a large stock pot and simmer on the stove for approximately two hours or to a large crock-pot.  If using a crock-pot leave on high for two hours then turn to low for approximately six to seven hours.  I use medium barley and the barley seems to take the longest.  If the soup tends to be on the runny side, add a small can of tomato paste.  Mix it in well. 

Serve with homemade bread slathered in homemade butter. (the 'slathered' butter isn't healthy but the soup makes up for it!) Oh so delicious!

This will generously serve 8 people.  

Enjoy and remember to give your loved ones a hug .... along with homemade soup!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tuesday's Tip

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Today is a tip that has to do with laundry and dryer sheets.  How many of you use them?  Or do you use vinegar in the rinse to get rid of static cling?

I found a new idea from somewhere on Pinterest (I forgot to pin it so credit to whoever first thought of it) and have started using it.  WOW ..... it works oh so very well.  It is ......

Cheap aluminum foil!!!  

Did you notice how cheap mine was ..... the cashier explained that it was because it was expired .... EXPIRED?!!!  Seriously?!  I did not know that aluminum foil could become expired.  Oh well, I stocked up .. expired or not!

Tear off a piece about 6 inches long.  

Crumple it loosely and that's it!

Throw it in the dryer with you load of wet clothes and when they are dry there is no static cling.  

This is what it looks like when removed.  You can keep re-using the same piece of foil until it starts to flake.  Then replace it with a new piece.  You will never have static cling in your clothes again.  

Remember to give your loved ones a hug!

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