Friday, December 30, 2011

~ A New Year's Wish ~

Here's a fun thing to do ~ click on the words below:

Next.............Have a glass of champagne ~

Have some fresh flowers displayed ~

Light some candles ~

Share a dance ~

Share the love!

Laugh ~

Give thanks for all you have ~

Wishing you love, peace, happiness, abundance, joy and all good things for the new year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

~ I've Been Hacked! ~

I guess this should be "X Rated"....I'm so angry that I continue to have problems with my old email. I have tried to advise everyone of the new email addy and I changed it on my blog, etc.  My sincere apologies to any of you that have received SPAM.  It's disgusting and a definite waste of time.  After I get all my contacts moved over, I'm going to delete each one on the old addy.  Hopefully, that will resolve the issue.

Not a good time for this to happen....I guess there really never is though.  I shall return!

Friday, December 23, 2011

~ The True Meaning of Christmas ~

I think we all love Santa, Christmas trees, the lights, decorations and all that this special holiday entails. However, take a look at:

The true meaning of Christmas ~  I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

~ Happy Birthday Cake ~

 Yesterday was my son-in-law's birthday. My daughter had a gathering for him last night and this is the cake I made.  I tried Ina Garten's Chocolate Cake ~ to die for!  Honestly, I love her and this cake. It has butter, buttermilk, sour cream and coffee in it ~ so, besides the chocolate, it has to be good, right? 

Chocolate Cake
adapted from Ina Garten

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, shaken, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
2 tablespoons brewed coffee
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup good cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease your cake pans.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and 2 sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. On low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture alternately in thirds to the mixer bowl, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until blended. Fold the batter with a rubber spatula to be sure it’s completely blended. Divide your batter between your cake pans – use any extra to make some cupcakes. I used 6″ round pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool for 10-15 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.  I sliced each cake layer into 2 layers and, while warm, brushed Kahlua over them. Yum!
I used a regular cream cheese frosting and surrounded the frosted cake with Piroutte cookies that were filled with Hazelnut.  Decadent!  ;-)
And of course, I took some red wine...his favorite.

Cake with a few candles on it ~  Yes, he turned the big 5-0.  :-)  My daughter added some small candles just for fun.

 I'll be joining ~

Friday, December 16, 2011

~ My Christmas Boy ~

I took my boy, Forrester, and my daughter's dog, Maddie, to be groomed yesterday. I wanted to take a few pics of him and, as usual, he hates the camera!  I had to get little bites of chicken to entice him to pose a bit and he still managed to turn his head. 

I think this is good, however, his eyes look funny ~ not sure why they look this way as they are beautiful and brown. He does NOT have cataracts! 

"I'm not sure the chicken is even worth this ordeal.  She keeps dragging out that camera!"
(Please disregard the Christmas decor in the back...still figuring things out.)

"Let me try looking the other way ~ "   (See, his eyes look normal in this pic.)

"I really don't think the chicken is worth it!"

He was trying to write a letter to Santa later.  I'm sure it wasn't pretty regarding his Mom. ;-)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

~ It's The Little Things ~

I'm feeling more and more that I just want this holiday season to be peaceful, happy, warm, fun and enjoyed.  I see so many people rushing from here to there, spending tons of money looking as though they are about to explode...and not from happiness, from stress.  I want it to be more about the reason for the season and enjoying family and dear friends.

I want to enjoy a Christmas program at church, see little children's eyes light up with the sight of a tree and all the lights.

There's so much joy with little ones around!  My grands are teens now. :-)  Where did the time go? Love them dearly and it's different now but it's still the best to be in their presence.

I want to take time to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea or a glass of wine with friends.

I want to take the time to bake cookies and other goodies and share with others. Something homemade means the world to me and I'll bet it does to your friends and family too.

If you're having guests, schedule some time to really be with them. The dishes and laundry can wait an one will even notice.

Keep Christ in Christmas!

Make it fun and really special for the little ones!  You will have such joy being with them.

I love having all the lights off in my living area, beautiful Christmas music playing, candles lit, something to drink and just sitting and enjoying the tree and the twinkle lights. I can watch the sappy Christmas movies every year, regardless of how many times I've seen them. I love to leave anonymous cards on neighbors doors, wishing them a Merry Christmas. It's so much fun to pay for the person behind you in a drive-thru. Be extra nice to those working in retail ~ not an easy job. Those are some of the little things I love!

Make it a season of love, joy, peace and happiness!

Many of the photos were found on Pinterest, some I already had.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

~ A Little Sneak Peek ~

Just a little sneak peek before the reveal of my white cabinets.  I am very pleased with the change and am anxious to find hardware to add. It has been quite an experience! The first day, Monday, 2 painters came about 10:30 a.m.  One stayed and it was almost 8:00 p.m. when he left. Mind you, everything was wrapped in plastic...could barely get to the bathroom & the refrigerator was wrapped up like a package. He still managed to get paint in areas where it should NOT have all over the mirror in my bathroom. I found lots of places that were not touched or just barely painted. The apt Mgr and the owner of the painting company came over Tuesday morning and inspected all the cabinets.  Then yesterday another painter came and did the touch-ups, etc.  I asked him to leave paint here for me...I knew I would find more areas that the "perfectionist" in me would find lacking. I'm in the midst of a huge clean up, washing all the dishes & crystal, redoing the shelves and putting things away. I've almost climbed Mr. Everest with all the ups (and downs) on the step stool. ;-)  This old body is not accustomed to that.  Just shows I need to be exercising more!

Just had to throw this one in!  It's my little red tree that makes me happy while I'm cleaning ~ :-)

Now, I'm thinking that I'd like to paint the kitchen a different color to enhance the white.  Of course, it will NOT be these painters that do it!

Thanks a million for all of your encouraging words ~ I really appreciate each and every one of you.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

~ What I Did Today ~

Can you believe this?  I had to take EVERYTHING out of all the kitchen and bathroom cabinets as well as clear off the counters, remove pictures, you name it.

I just tossed the shelf lining on top of more "stuff".

I so hope the tables hold up!  :-)

Just a part of the glass ware/stem ware.  This is just like packing to move ~ which I did twice last year ~ except it's not going to be wrapped and boxed up.

I will not share the bathroom items ~ towels, other linens, body care, make-up, meds, you know what it's like!  The end result is going to be wonderful though and all of this work, worth it!  I know all of you are a jealous wreck that your home is not looking like mine. ;-)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

~ Saturday Smile ~

To say I'm a bit frazzled is putting it mildly. :-)   Tis the season, right?  Seriously, I was not in a good place on Tuesday due to the bankruptcy announcement by AMR.  I do realize that we, as humans, are not in charge...God is. He will handle it in a perfect way.  Early Wed morning, my daughter's oldest dog, Coco Chanel, had a seizure and was very ill. She was 17 so we knew time was limited with her, however, it doesn't matter how long you've had a pet, it's never long enough. We took her to the emergency hospital and she crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. It's very difficult to adjust ~  I did thank her for choosing that day as Thursday was my birthday and I would not have wanted it to happen then.  I had a wonderful day of calls, cards, emails, etc. and feel very blessed to have such incredible family and friends.

I went over to the apt office to pay my rent and spoke to the manager. She's new and a very nice person!  I advised her that my lease renewal forms had not been received and we discussed that. I asked about having lighting outlets/ceiling fans installed in my bedroom and the living room. She said of course, they would contact an electrician right away. It's so weird that there's only 1 ceiling fan and it's in the room I use as an office/art room.  I really want a pretty chandy in my bedroom so now that will be possible.  The biggie??  I asked to have all the cabinets painted ~ the kitchen and both baths. They are currently an oak ~ so 80's and yucky, IMHO. The painters are due here Monday morning!!  I just cannot wait to have them finished....they will all be white.  What I must do is remove EVERYTHING from all the cabinets!  Just like packing to move ~ which I did twice last year and it's not fun. The end result will be so worth it though!  I feel like a kid at Christmas with these improvements ~ so fun. :-) 

My daughter & s-i-l put my Christmas tree up last Sunday and then she decorated it. I'm still adding ornaments but the rest of the decorating will have to wait  until after Monday. I just love the twinkle lights on the tree ~ they are clear and so peaceful to me. I love turning off all the other lights and just enjoying the tree.

I haven't really had time or felt like reading blogs and responding to everyone so please forgive me for not dropping by. I will be better after this house "re-org".  :-)  I'm grateful for everyone that takes the time to stop and leave a does make my heart happy!

Have a blessed Sunday ~