Sunday, November 23, 2014

Holiday Traditions

This time of year is always so busy!

We've been packing up all the Halloween Decorations and storing them in the attic and cellar.  To be efficient, while I'm putting away Halloween, isn't it a good idea to bring out the Christmas stuff?

That's a Lot of trips up and down steps!
There's school, studying and raking SO Many Leaves!  

I don't have very many Thanksgiving decorations.
So the few that I have are grouped together in a corner of the dinning room on the china cabinet. 

This year I've found something new and added the crowning touch to my Thanksgiving display for a mere $3.  On instagram I noticed  this cute banner in a photo @ginasnest took of her fireplace mantle decorations. 
How Cute IS That?  
I immediately 'followed' her and asked where she got it.  She said it was at Target. How much do I LOVE Instagram?  It's great for inspiration!

I do have a few Thanksgiving traditions.  
I like to eat a slice of pie in the morning and count my many blessings. 

Then watch the parades on tv while I'm cooking and baking food for the feast.

 I still get excited when I see that big turkey float!

And those Big Head Pilgrims!!

I Love Snoopy, too!
In fact, my favorite Peanuts special is the Thanksgiving one.  
I absolutely Love it when Snoopy makes his version of Thanksgiving dinner.  
What a hoot!

Good music, too.

It's a new tradition for all of us to go to the Albertson's house on Thanksgiving & Christmas.  
They are my daughter's husband's dear parents, Jackie & Eugene.   
I Love being part of their big family!

Here's a photo of beautiful Ms. Jackie in her warm kitchen with Aunt Francesca rearranging the smorgasbord of the Thanksgiving Feast!

My contributions are cornbread pudding, applecrisp and cranberry sauce.  I've perfected my cranberry sauce recipe over the years.  It's really more of a spicy jam and goes great with bread and turkey sandwhiches.

While it's cooking and bubbling away there's such a delicious scent in the air.  
It's the aroma of Christmas right around the corner.

So what are you looking forward to most about Thanksgiving?  

I hope your holiday is filled good food and fun with family & friends!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Celebrating my Birthday Week

Happy Birthday to me!

So I like to celebrate my birthday for a whole week or more.

 The anticipation, making plans and doing fun things together with friends and my family is how 
I like to Live it UP!

I started off the week watching Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel.  
Cuz everyone knows that the minute Halloween is over, 

It is a little sad packing up all our cherished vintage Halloween treasures so I like to listen to my favorite collection of Christmas music while I take down and pack away all my decorations.

 Before I bring out any Christmas stuff I want to give the house a good cleaning.  

One chilly morning, I got my first Starbucks Redcup of the season before a quick shopping spree at Target.  I congratulated myself in resisting the purchase of any half off Halloween candy by splurging on a glorious tartan scarf instead.

I choose a festive shade of nail polish for my birthday manicure.

While at the Clemmons Goodwill I spied a fantastic wood & wicker picnic basket for $3!!!
It was very sturdy despite one of the hinges being busted and I couldn't help but dream about all the picnics the previous owners had taken it on and what I might pack in there to nosh on while traveling on a day trip, maybe to the mountains.

Over in the book section I spied some gorgeous classics, circa 1950's. This nice man saw me picking them out and gave me the ones he found as well, since they all seemed to be from this lady named Gloria's collection according to the book plate & inscriptions.  Ssssshhh...I'm going to give them to Ems for Christmas!

On my actual birthday, I wake to the wafting aroma of freshly brewed coffee, 
and think, Ain't Life Grand?  

My BFF of 14 years, Donna, 
brought decadent Krispy Kreme donuts over to gobble up together.
Then we strolled around my favorite antique store called, Lost in Time, 
looking at all the cool vintage things.
Birthdays are the Best!
Later on Emily and I hit the Starbucks and I got my FREE  birthday reward.

It was warm that day so we got Frappucinos.  
Gingerbread for me and Caramel Brulee for Emily.  
So Yummy!

On the way home we pick up our order at Marco's for my 
Pizza Movie Party Night!

On Friday we did a bit of shopping at the mall 
then met my other BFF, Christi and her daughter at the movies.  
I'm so LUCKY to have two best friends!
I met both my beautiful BFFs through homeschooling our daughters 
and our daughters are best friends as well!  
I've known Christi for at least 10 years and we both LOVE Bill Murray so we wanted to see his new movie, Saint Vincent, which was a really good movie but not as funny as we were thinking it would be.
Emily & I shared a huge bucket of popcorn for the first time in about 3 years since she had her braces removed last month.  And afterwards we go to Carraba's, another one of my favorite restaurants, for dinner and I always seem to order the same thing there, too, Fettucine Weesie.  

I took this photo at Old Salem Tavern where Donna & I + our girls met for lunch after some Christmas shopping on another beautiful, sunny, crisp fall Saturday.  Of course. I had the chicken pie again with gingerbread for dessert.  It's a tradition!

I got a lot of fun packed into this fantastic Birthday week.

And finally there's this:

I found it while flipping through Instagram 
and it made me giggle.
Anybody else miss Jesse Pinkman, from Breaking Bad?

I still seem to look forward to my birthday every year.  
I feel like it's another year older and wiser.  
Definitely a time to count your blessings and celebrate LIFE.   
Do you like birthdays? 
How do you spend your birthday week?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Highlights of My Week

What a beautiful Fall it has been!  
So many Lovely sunny days with temperatures in the 70's.  

Here's a photo of the table on my back patio.  I grew the itty bitty tiny baby pumpkin on the right and I bought the cute little pie pumpkin.  

We visited the Cobblestone Market in Old Salem for fresh beautiful veg.  What a gorgeous bouquet of fresh picked carrots.

 Afterwards we took a walk around Old Salem enjoying the sunshine and gently falling leaves.
Love those mossy old bricks.

I was able to snap this photo of one of the costumed folks walking down the hill.

This new dahlia finally bloomed in my garden.  
It was worth the wait though, don't you think?  The colors are just so pretty!

I found a cat!  
I just happened to be looking out the window when I saw a blur of orange fur scamper through the gate and up my side walk onto the veranda.  I thought at first that it must be our Lucy that somehow escaped but she was sitting by me looking out the window, too.  Then I worried it could be my daughter's beautiful orange cat, Chester, that had got out, so I had to investigate!
I opened the front door and saw this little poouffy darling with a tail that looked as magnificent as Chester's!  He came right up to me and was super friendly so I scooped him up and brought him safely inside.  I knew he had to belong to someone as he was well fed and well groomed, definitely not a stray or lost like so many of our found/ adopted pets.   We played with him and took some photos to post on facebook to see if any of my neighbours recognized him.  With Sarah's help printing up posters we delivered them to houses around ours and tacked them on poles.  A few hours later, Maxwell, was back in his home which just happened to be the rental house next door to me.
I Love a happy ending!

We celebrated one of my BFFs, Donna's birthday with cocktails and dinner.

Caramel Appletini

  1. Add 1 shot of Caramel vodka to a shaker filled apple cider & ice.
  2. Shake well. Strain into martini glass. Garnish with thin apple slices

Later we had a bonfire with roasted marshmallow's and S'mores.  It was a beautiful night!

One chilly morning, I decided to bake pumpkin bran muffins with raisins and chunks of fresh apple.  Nothing like the aroma of baking treats in the oven.  I've been perfecting my muffin recipe for years.  My secret is a sprinkling of cinnamon & sugar on the top before you pop them in the oven.  I'll email you the recipe if you're interested.

Hope you are enjoying so many fun fall festivities!