Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thanksgiving Countdown!!

Happee Saturday, sweet friends!!

Can you believe that tomorrow is November 1st????? I, for one, cannot!!  Where has the year gone???

As one who can allow things to stack up a bit at holiday time, my goal this year is to DE-STRESS the holidays at our home!!


Sounds good, huh?



WELL…I am going to do 1-2 posts each week dedicated to this end!  They will include decorating tips, planning help, and of course menus and recipes!!

We have a crowd over here each Thanksgiving (although last year we snuck over to Texas!! hee-hee!)  I want to make an extra effort to make this Thanksgiving especially lovely and visually appealing without added stress!!


Let’s get started!!!

We don’t do Halloween here at our casa, but LOVE decorating for fall, Thanksgiving and Christmas!!

Lots of people have just been too busy to get their fall decorations out, BUT there is still time!!!!

Pumpkins and gourds are great to decorate with, and add so much to an entryway or vignette, and are a real guest pleaser!!

Here are some neat ideas from Better Homes and Gardens for a bit more primitive use of these seasonal wonders!!  BHG is a great online resource for lots of neat ideas!!  You can click the link, scroll through the slideshow and get instructions on how to do these if you’d like!

Simply painted with cute folk art designs


 I absolutely LOVE this idea!!  So whimsical and silly!  Make a LACE FACE!!!


This is really neat and so original!  Just nail small pumpkins to a board, and make quilt designs with a black sharpie!! 



A close up of the designs


Another adorable face made with metal jewelry findings!!  How cute would it be to make a few of these in different sizes and line them up??!!  Those grandies would love them!!


An assortment just displayed randomly on shelves
with big eye appeal!



And last but not least, this beautiful paper cutwork pumpkin!  Might want to use one of the flameless candles in this one!


Taking the stress out of the holidays helps us to focus more fully on their meaning, and to really enjoy the presence of loved ones and friends.

Preparations need not be extravagant to be welcoming and help set a tone for these special days!!

Love n Hugs to you!!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Tea Shop Goodies Winner!!

Ladies…we have a WINNER!!!

And the winner is….


My lovely friend, Bonnie, who can be found at

One Designing Woman!!!!

 Bonnie is a such a sweetheart and her blog is full of loveliness!!!  Hope you’ll pop by to meet and congratulate her!!  She is an interior redesigner and shares her wisdom for design, life, and finding the joy in each day!

CONGRATULATIONS, BON!!  Email me your address, and I will get your package in the mail next week!!!

Have a joyful Saturday!!  Loved hearing what you all had to say about Disney!!  If you ever make the trip down, make sure to let me know and maybe we can meet for lunch or something!!



Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It’s A Small World, Bear Jamboree With Food and No Wine!!


My Mother-in-Law celebrated her 70th birthday last week, and I helped her by taking her to the Epcot Food and Wine Celebration.  She has a “Gourmet Club” that meets once a month, so this would be right up her alley!!

We got in for free courtesy of our oldest daughter Sam’s friend who works at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

This was a most unusual trip to Disney as we had no children accompanying us!!  How weird is that??  We had a great time, but didn’t get to do even half of what we wanted to do!!

***WARNING:  photo heavy!!!***

To start off with, this little fella is in a beautiful water setting at the Polynesian Resort, one of the original Disney hotels.  Isn’t he irresistible??IMG_0743   

Here is some of the rest of his home…so very lovely!!IMG_0747

And just look at this beauty!!  The Polynesian has a beach and he seemed quite comfortable strutting around and having his photo taken!IMG_0748

My Mother-in-Law and daughter Sam on the boat to the Magic Kingdom


The Contemporary Hotel…another original hotel and the only one the monorail runs straight through!


The Grand Floridian which is where Hulk Hogan’s show “Thunder in Paradise” was filmed years ago.  I LOVE the look of this hotel!!IMG_0749

It wouldn’t be a trip to Disney without Main Street in the Magic Kingdom, all dressed up for fall!!

Our destination was the food and wine event, but my MIL really wanted to go to It’s a Small World, and the Country Bear Jamboree…and since she was the birthday girl…WE DID JUST THAT!!  The castle was on our way!


Here is the amazing Cinderella’s castle!!  What a beautiful blue sky Florida day!!  You can see why I love this state!!


Inside “It’s a Small World” . Disney’s attention to detail is simply unrivaled!!  Sheer delight to take it all in! 





More fall dressing, with a touch of Halloween. 


 These baskets of fruit look so real, but are faux!!IMG_0757

 A carved pumpkin Mickey!IMG_0759

We found a wonderful glass artist in the crystal shop on Main Street.  He was so cordial and did amazing work.
Here he is working on a Christmas ornament.


After he was done with this ornament, he took a few minutes to show me his glass sculptures and the beads his wife makes.  He was also very encouraging to me, and convinced me to get back to making beads myself!!  What a blessing!!

Glass work is just so fascinating!!



I LOVE this sword display, also in the crystal shop.


A different angle on the swords.  The craftsmanship in the handles is awesome!


We went to the Country Bear Jamboree, and then hopped on the monorail to go to Epcot.

We went on Spaceship Earth, the big sphere at Epcot and my MIL loved it!  We then ate at The Land, and had a wonderful meal.  Any veggies served there are straight from the greenhouse on the property.  Nice and fresh!!

We were quickly running out of time and it was quite crowded, so we were only able to make a couple of stops.

We stopped at the Twinings tea shop.  It is so cute!


This adorable fireplace and kettle are inside the tea store.


I purchased a couple of goodies in here for YOU, my bloggy friends!  Nothing huge, but straight from the HOUSE OF MOUSE!!  More on that at the end!!  I couldn’t capture the real charm of this store, but at least you get to see a little glimpse.


Last stop and at the end of a long line is the bakery in France.  Epcot is divided into countries and England and France were all we made it to!  Hubby had given us an assignment to bring home 2 Napoleans from this bakery;  another charming store!


First up in the case is what I would buy for me!!  Cheesy croissants, tarts, sandwiches, cheeses galore!!  YUM YUM!!



And then come the sweets!!



We got to see a bit of the fireworks show as we were walking towards the exit.  It was a great display with other effects as well! 

All in all we had a wonderful time!  My MIL said “DELIGHTFUL” which was exactly my goal for her!!

Mission accomplished!!  For us it was just what the title of this post says!!  Everything except the wine!!

Now for the “tea goodies”!!!

Just leave a comment telling me if you have been to Disney World or not, and if you have what your favorite thing to do there is!!

You will then be entered in the drawing!  I will announce the winner on Friday!!

Have a joyful day, sweeties, and be a nuisance to the devil, ok???




Friday, October 23, 2009

Great Vintage Finds!!


When me and Maddy headed out to our favorite little shop in Deland a few weeks back, I found a few treasures that just made my heart leap for JOY!

First up is this vintage French sheet music, and vintage hymnal.


The music is wonderfully tattered and losing it’s binding…hence it’s charmIMG_0730 

 It wasn’t marked with a price so I “stole” it for $1!!  More soul delight!!IMG_0731

 I wonder what wonderfully talented musician’s hands turned these pages through the years…Won’t be too long until it’s 100 years old!  Maybe many different hands…maybe even a small French child…OH, can’t you just picture it??IMG_0733

I do not play an instrument myself, but I love looking at musical notes!!  I think they’re so pretty!!



Next is this lovely vintage hymnal!  I have it opened to my most favorite hymn of all…  IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL!! 

The edges of the pages are golden with age and add so much to it’s vintage look!IMG_0727 

Love this embossed lyre, too!IMG_0741 

 1935…I wasn’t even a twinkling in my Mother’s eye yet then!!  In fact, she was only 6 years old when this was published!! IMG_0740 

And lastly, this wonderful linen map of my home state, Florida and the islands in the surrounding Atlantic ocean and Caribbean!!  I LOVE this!!  I don’t know if it is really old or not, but it sure has tons of visual appeal and a vintage look!



Love this little mermaid!  IMG_0737

And this little compass!!


I’m not sure what I’m going to do with this, but it may become a pillow.  I may be starting up on online pillow boutique!  We’ll see!  Pray for wisdom for this decision for me, OK?

Hope you enjoyed my pretties!!
Have a glorious weekend and spread some of your sunshine around!!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Quick and Easy Fall Centerpiece and Creamy Soup Recipe


Hi Sweet Friends!  Thought this morning I’d share an easy centerpiece I made out of necessity!

Since I have our Keepers at Home Club meetings here each Thursday, and my dining room table is our “project table”, I needed to have an easy to relocate fall centerpiece, as oppposed to the more elaborate ones I prefer.

This two tiered basket had been used for fruit in my kitchen, but was retired not too long ago, and was stored in the garage pending it’s new life…either at Goodwill, or ….perhaps here!???

I had some fall stuff I hadn’t put out and thought I could combine it with this basket for an attractive, easily moved centerpiece. 


So I just started to add it all in…and was quite pleased with how it was coming together


And the end result!!  I LOVE it!!  I added two candle holders I got last year at Kirkland’s for more impact.


Well, (I told you I like it more elaborate), so I just had to add some of my pinecones from North Carolina!!!  OK…I’m done…hands off!!!  Easy to move, remember…(as she smacks her hands!) LOL!!IMG_0716


TA-DA!!  Paula Deen’s Creamy Squash Soup!!


Ya’ll are going to laugh at me…first, since my rooster soup mugs are new and I was pretty pooped out…I FORGOT TO USE THEM!!  ACK!!!  This soup is really pretty and would have looked so much better for the photo in the MUGS!!! 

Then I almost forgot to take a picture for my girls before I dove in for my first creamylicious bite
BUT, that just shows you that I DO think of you, because even though my mouth was waterin’, I quickly put my bowl down, grabbed the camera and snapped!!  All for you, my sweeties!!  All for you!!

This bread is absolutely PERFECT with this soup. It is from WalMart and is whole loaf 9 grain Italian bread.  All I did was cut through the middle of the loaf horizontally, buttered the halves, and put it under the broiler for 5-7 minutes.  The I cut about 2 inch wedges suited for dippin’!!  Mmm Mmm MMM!!

Now for those of you who may be “squash” soup skeptics, let me just say this…this soup is different, but delightful.  Hubby says if you like sweet potatoes you will like this.  It does not taste just like sweet potatoes, but has a similar essence of flavor and texture…certainly a winner for a cozy fall night.

Here is the recipe…oh one more thing…the sour cream may sound strange…but it sure adds to this soup!!  So does a little freshly ground pepper and a dash of salt!


1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon butter
3   cans chicken broth (13 3/4-ounces each)
2   carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup diced onion
2 lb Butternut Squash, halved, peeled and seeded; cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3-1/2 cup light cream, you can use heavy if desired


Place squash in saucepan along with carrots, onions, and broth then add in the salt.  Simmer 40 minutes uncovered.  Puree soup in a blender or food processor along with 2 tablespoons butter.  Pour a little hot puree into the 1/3-1/2 cup cream so not to curdle the cream; add to soup.  Serve in a wide mouth shallow bowl with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.

Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 40 min
Difficulty: Easy

Let me know if you make it!!

{Have you lifted your heart in thanks to God yet this morning? }   {{smile}}