Friday, November 30, 2007

The grocery shopping has been done, the bills have

been paid and now I'm gearing up for Christmas shopping tomorrow. Now I don't always do this, as a matter of fact, this is EARLY for me, I'm one of those shoppers that loves the rush, the adrenaline pumping shopping that comes with realizing that you are 1 week or a few days away from Christmas and have yet to buy a single present. Crazy???? I think so but I don't know what it is about being out there doing last minute shopping that really brings home the holidays for me.

Anyway, I decided to try it differently this year, so tomorrow we're hitting the stores. What's funny is that even though hubby and I both drive we like doing it together, we only go alone for each other's gifts, when it comes to the kids we go together WITH the kids. Ahhhh but you may wonder just how that is possible???? Easy, we hit the stores and switch off kids as we go, let's say me and Nicholas go buy Jasmine's stuff while Curt and Jasmine get some of Nic's......then we go to the next store and switch over, I will take Jas and he takes Nic. It's fun!

We've decided to set a budget this year and not go over it no matter how much we want to. It's so easy to get carried away and end up spending a small fortune on each kid. One thing we do is buy gifts for each kid and then buy some for them together........stuff that they will both enjoy doing.

Here's an example of some of the items that I'm looking at so far, just some ideas for joint gifts.


Moon Sand Kit - My kids are fascinated with moon sand
Motosea Plug and Play - Something I know they will have a blast playing
Playdough Kit - Who doesn't love play dough?
Cranium Superfort Carnival Clubhouse - This is the only thing that they've begged for
Land Before Time "The Wisdom of Friends" - They LOVE Land Before Time
Five Little Monkeys Board Game - They love board games and this would be fun for them
Books - Here's a list of the best Christmas Children's books

As you can see I have a list of just a few items that I know the kids like or want and from there I can pretty much buy anything similar, doesn't mean it has to be exactly the same.


Last night I got into bed and since all my shows were reruns I was happy that my Netflix movies had come in. I had been waiting for so long to see Georgia Rule so it was the perfect opportunity. I LOVED IT.......really truly LOVED IT!

It was such a good movie and I'm not a Lindsay Lohan fan by all means, but this movie was really good. It's a good story, it's heartbreaking at some points and funny at others and it's filmed in Hull, Idaho. LOL
I know I know, I miss Idaho but seeing it in the movie made me miss it even more LOL

Anyway, if you're interested in learning more about the movie, go here for the story or here for the trailer.

Tonight we're all sitting down as a family to watch The Santa Clause 3......can't wait!


It's actually raining right now and it feels good. It's been a long time, now that I think about it, it's only rained once since we moved here back in July, can you believe that???

So it's humid and raining and cloudy and dark and I'm loving it, I have a sweater on and sweat pants with my little winter booties. Hahaha, I know, it sounds weird but I just love them and knowing that there's not many cold days here in Arizona, I always welcome a chance to wear them.

The kids are begging me for some so I'll have to ask my stepmom and my grandmother back in South Africa to make them a pair. I don't know how to, they made mine for me LOL


I'm off to do some housework and then cuddle on the couch with Nicholas for a bit before Jasmine and Curtis get home.

Have a wonderful friday, God Bless,

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Christmas Gift Ideas and some other thingies!

It actually feels like winter today, it's cold and cloudy outside, the house is dark save for the christmas tree lights, a couple candles and a few very soft lights around the house and I LOVE it. Now where's my next book to read????

I have to tell you I finished my third book last night, I did the bookaholic thing, got into the book around 9pm and didn't stop until I was done, which happened to be at almost midnight. I am tired today but you know it was well worth it when a book is good.

I finished "By Arrangement" a 14th century book by Madeline Hunter and I loved it.

Outraged by her unwilling betrothal to a common merchant and infatuated with a handsome knight of the royal court, medieval Lady Christiana Fitzwaryn pleads with her fianc? to end this misalliance arranged by King Edward of England. For personal and political reasons of his own, David de Abyndon refuses to renounce the marriage and begins a gentle but resolute seduction of his innocent bride. As Christiana awakens to the painful realities of her first love and becomes a part of David's London world, she learns to cherish the husband she first despised. David tries to shield her from his old enemies and a mysterious French familial connection as he secretly assists King Edward in planning an invasion of France. This first novel in a planned trilogy intertwines the difficulties of David and Christiana's marriage with a subplot that contains both political and personal peril as well as a lively cast of secondary characters. Just enough historical detail of 14th-century England enhances a love story that culminates in the sacking of a French city and the revelation of David's true identity.
The next books to follow this one are "By Possession" and "By Design" which I have and of course am going to read next.


Yesterday I mentioned going to Africa and I think I got some of you confused with the way I worded it, I am NOT going there for Christmas, I'm going next year May. For some reason I made it sound like it was only a month away, maybe wishful thinking???? Who knows!

I can't wait though, I know time will fly by and before long I will be on an airplane heading home to Johannesburg, seeing my wonderful family, going to Kruger National Park and hopefully Mozambique where I was actually born. I think it would be great if Curt and the kids could get to visit my birth country.

Anyway......sorry for the confusion.

I also mentioned The Cinnamon Bear and gave you a link, well this morning I had a comment from The Erskine Family mentioning that I should direct you to The Cinnamon Bear main page so that you can get ALL 26 episodes, not just the first 6 audio files. YIPPEE! I'm already there and can't wait to start playing these for my kids....we've decided to start on December 1st and listen to one at a time every day through the 26th. I just hope I can keep the kids away from the rest of the story!


Now for some Christmas ideas, I'm trying really hard not to overspend this holiday. With the upcoming trip to Africa we need to save almost $6000 just for the air tickets themselves, so no wasting money on unnecessary stuff. Christmas is one of those holidays where I feel that everyone tends to go way overboard and personally I prefer homemade gifts, so I'm trying to cut down on expenses.

I've been searching around for some ideas and here's some I found:

1. Gourmet coffees with a personal coffee cup
Child's artwork, framed
3. Journal with special inscription inside
4. Homemade cocoa mix in a pretty jar
5. Pretty Stationary set
Home baked bread, in pretty inexpensive tins, include recipe
7. Fancy chocolate bars tied with a ribbon
8. Gardening gloves with a plant or flower seeds in a pretty basket
9. Special coffee cup filled with candy
10. Movie theater gift certificates
11. Board games
12. Specialty cookbook
13. Basket filled with kitchen gadgets
14. Handwritten copies of your favorite recipes
15. Puzzles
16. Personalized cookbook

Now if you're also looking for some great sites with wonderful inexpensive items, you may want to take a look at these, I just get lost there especially with so many cute victorian and such items.
Lakeside Collection
Harriet Carter
Klutz - This one has some great toys and gifts for kids that are inexpensive and just adorable

And those are just a few to look through, I have to say that the Collections ETC is my favorite one though :)

Again, if you're looking for my Slow Cooking Thursday post, it's just below. Have a wonderful thursday everyone, I'll be back tomorrow!

Slow Cooking Thursday

All my slow cooking recipes are now online and starting today, I will add all the recipes shared weekly to my online site too. So if you're wanting to find ALL the slow cooked recipes that have been shared since the first SLOW COOKING THURSDAY, here is the link for you.

Don't forget to add your name to Mr Linky and a link back to your SCT post so others can come by and see your recipe too.

We didn't have Slow Cooking Thursday last week due to it being Thanksgiving and most of us were busy with families or traveling and so forth, but I'm back again with 2 recipes today, one is mine and one was emailed to me by a wonderful lady named Jennifer who learnt about my SCT through her sister who participates.....which I'm embarrassed to say I have no clue who it is, but thank you all the same :)

Here's what Jennifer had to say:

I thought you might be interested in a recipe that's popular here among the Dallas Morning News food staff, who are experts at using their slow cookers well and also producing great gifts from the kitchen.
Credit: The Dallas Morning News

16 ounces bittersweet chocolate or bittersweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup coffee beans, finely ground
2 cinnamon sticks
4 whole cloves
6 allspice berries
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Combine chocolate, cream, butter and coffee in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 40 to 60 minutes, until the chocolate melts. Stir once or twice during the cooking time, just to make sure the chocolate does not stick to the bottom or sides of the crock. Whisk the mixture vigorously when it is nearly melted.

Pour the melted chocolate onto a plate or into a glass bowl and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour, until it is hard enough to form into small balls.

Combine the cinnamon, cloves and allspice in a coffee mill, or, using a mortar and pestle, grind them to a coarse powder. Transfer to a small bowl, add the cocoa powder and mix thoroughly.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Using a spoon or mini ice cream scoop, scoop spoonfuls of the chocolate mixture and roll with your hands into balls the size of walnuts. Roll the balls in the cocoa mixture and place them on the prepared baking sheet.

Place the truffles in the refrigerator from 4 hours to overnight. Sprinkle the truffles with powdered sugar and allow to sit at room temperature for about an hour before serving. Makes about 18 truffles.

Note: Recipe can be doubled.

PER TRUFFLE: Calories 179 (52% fat) Fat 11 g (7 g sat) Cholesterol 15 mg Sodium 10 mg Fiber 1 g Carbohydrates 21 g Protein 2 g

SOURCE: The Gourmet Slow Cooker, Volume II

Now here's my recipe for today, I LOVE Gumbo so this one is going to be a must try for me, probably in the upcoming menu for next week.

Credit: Gooseberry Patch Slow Cooker Recipes

3 T. all-purpose flour
3 T. oil
1/2 lb. smoked sausage, sliced 1/2 -inch thick
2 c. frozen okra
14-1/2 ox. can diced tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
3/4 lb. cooked medium shrimp, tails removed
1-1/2 c. long-cooking rice, cooked

Stir together flour and oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Reduce heat and cook, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes, or until mixture turns reddish brown. Spoon mixture into a slow cooker; stir in remaining ingredients except shrim and rice. Cover and cook on low setting for 7 to 9 hours. Shortly before serving, add shrimp to slow cooker; mix well. Cover and cook on low setting for about 20 minutes. Ladle gumbo over cooked rice in soup bowls. Makes 6 servings.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Christmas is in the air!

Come on in everyone, I have the tree up, most of the decorations out and I also have Hot Gingerbread Coffee waiting for you. Sit with me and enjoy the music playing in the background, don't hold back, just allow yourself to indulge in all things Christmasy.

Usually I don't acknowledge Christmas right after Thanksgiving, I'm one of those that wait until we're well into December but this year it's different, everyone seems to be doing it earlier and I don't like being left out LOL

So here we go, I'm giving you the pictures first and then I'll talk more afterwards:

Christmas tree

Some of my favorite christmas ornaments

Two of my favorite decorations, Santa and Mrs Claus....they actually light up the candles in their hands and move it slowly back and forth while playing christmas music.
What can I say, I'm addicted to snowmen......just love these guys!
Another snowmen holding up our names...too cute!

Our beautiful Angel tree topper!
Countdown to Christmas
HUGE snowman on my bench

Those are just some of the Christmas decorations, I have plenty more but don't want to flood the blog with photos. This weekend we'll work on the outside ones, we have 3 big lighted motion reindeer and hopefully they still work, who knows........we'll pick up some more stuff this weekend I'm sure.

Now here's something really neat, I had never heard of The Cinnamon Bear but while blog visiting this morning I came upon one of the bloggers who had mentioned it and one of her readers actually posted the website for us. My kids are going to love it. All you have to do is sign up for it, download the first 6 chapters and the coloring book and then the next day you get the remaining chapters in the mail. It's a 63 year old children's radio story and I'm so so thrilled to have found it, guess what we'll be listening to Christmas Eve???

And if you want to download the new story "Jonathan Thomas - Christmas on the Moon" they have all the chapters up.


I'm slowly getting around to finishing my snowmen ornaments, I only hope I get to them all in time but seeing that I'm still sick I just don't know.....oh well, whatever gets done gets done and whatever doesn't will have to wait until next year.

The weather has definitely cooled down, we're still in the 60's though and usually by this time in Idaho we would have snow on the ground and temperatures in the single digits. I miss that, I truly do and just can't wait to move back to Mountain Home after Curt retires in 4 years.

Time is just flying by lately and I've noticed that we seem to zip from one day to the other without even realizing it, it was just the weekend an now it's wednesday again...what is up with that???

I'm not going to complain too much because it just means that I'm one month closer to going to South Africa, we are SO SO excited, it's going to be wonderful seeing my family again and showing my children where I grew up at. Don't worry, there will be plenty photos to show.

Anyway, it's time to head out and finish my laundry and get some other things done around here.

Don't forget that tomorrow is Slow Cooking Thursday and I have a recipe to share PLUS a special one I got in the email from a wonderful sure to check it out!



Monday, November 26, 2007

Being sick and having no internet makes Sandra

something something........

Yes folks this was my weekend, no internet and sick as a dog. I have this horrible chest cold, my voice still sounds like I'm either hitting the bottle or smoking 10 packs a day and I have a nagging cough that does it's best to keep me up at night. But I can deal with all that, a little hot tea with some honey and lemon, some cold medicine, a little vicks on the chest at bedtime etc etc.

What I CAN'T deal with apparently is knowing that I have no internet. When did we all become so dependent on the online world??? (Yes I say WE because I don't want to feel like the only one addicted to it)
I had no idea that pretty much everything I do is done online, so when it's not available I feel naked and crazy, annoyed and frustrated and just don't know what to do with myself, which in itself is ridiculous because being a housewife there's always things to get done around here.....but they're boring.....boooorriinnnnng *stomps foot*

So anyway, I didn't have any new Netflix movies to watch and couldn't get online to surf, pay bills, check the bank, do christmas shopping, do my blog, look for recipes, look for crafts, visit blogs, look at Ghost Cams (yes I know, I get so bored at times I go out of my way to find interesting things to do lol).

I pulled out my books and on Saturday I hid out in my bedroom for pretty much the whole day. I felt so rebellious, I had already announced to the kids "Mommy is on vacation today, if you need anything ask Daddy". Doesn't really help because they still come to me for things, I think it's habit but I stuck to it, pointed towards the living room and uttered not a worked.

I read 2 fulls books and am already on my third one....aaahhhh it feels good to read. With the holidays and everything else going on around here I don't really get to sit back and enjoy my books and I totally forgotten how much I love reading.

Highlander in Her Bed by Allie Mackay

What can I say? I'm a sucker for romance novels and especially medieval, historical, hot highlander knights seducing beautiful maidens. HAHA I can't believe I just said that out loud!

Anyway, this book is set in Scotland where Mara McDougall has inherited a castle and also fallen in love with a medieval looking bed which she bought while on a visit to England. BUT, the bed belonged to Sir Alexander Douglas and he is still haunting it, even worse, he has a grudge against the MacDougall and McDougall clans and hates Mara with a passion. Problem is, he falls in love with her and she with him, but how are they going to surpass this when he's....well......he's a ghost.

It was such a cute story, I truly enjoyed it and read it in one day, just couldn't put it down.

Leave a Candle Burning by Lori Wick

This was the third and final book in the Tucker Mills Trilogy and I just loved it so much, I can't even begin to tell you how much I love Lori Wick and her book series, if you haven't read any you have no idea what you're missing.

When the young, handsome Dannan MacKay comes to Tucker Mills to take over the practice of his uncle, Doc MacKay, he feels welcomed by the town, the church family, and his patients. Life seems complete.

Then the steady rhythm of his new life is interrupted. A young cousin has been orphaned, and Dannan offers his home to the child. This act of kindness turns his thoughts to the child’s need for a mother—yet the one woman Dannan is drawn to cannot be his.

Leave a Candle Burning reveals the joy that comes to those who are willing to trust God’s own plan for their lives.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, ate more than it should be legally acceptable but who cares right??? It's once a year and it feels good to not worry about how much food you're ingesting and how many pounds you've put on......truth be told, I have not even gotten on the scale since last week and I don't plan on doing so until next week, I guess I'm waiting to let some of the added fat work itself out of my body.

Here's our beautiful Cajun Fried Turkey and OH.MY.GOSH was it ever sinful and delicious....crispy skin, tender juicy meat. It was just to die for.

Then I made my stuffing and it was new recipe that I was trying, I can't for the life of me remember which website I got it off, I do remember the Blog owner was Chris in thank you Chris!
But let me tell you something, I usually make the whole Thanksgiving Dinner by myself which means I tend to use the boxed stuffing because's easier and faster?? I know I know, all the true hardcore Thanksgiving Chefs out there are probably turning a nose up at me right now, but it just happened.

Anyway, Jasmine and Nicholas refused, yes, REFUSED to touch the stuffing all these years, they hated it. So I was a little worried that when I made this one they would also not want it and I would have to end up eating the whole thing myself, only not really cause Curt loves stuffing too, but it was just too much for us both. The kids smelled it, took a fork and tasted it and devoured 2 servings. *GASP*
I was in shock but now this will become our Thanksgiving's Cornbread Stuffing and it's honest to goodness, DELICIOUS!

Of course we had the pumpkin pie and the pecan pie and just because they're not that fattening on their own, you HAVE to.....yes I'm sure it's a law HAVE TO put whipped cream on top, or whipped topping or whatever you want to call it. It's just not pie without it for me!

So my thighs are complaining, my stomach is bloated and expanded, my clothes are tight fitting and I'm still sick AND I finally got internet. Yeah I'm happy, I'm truly happy! Oh and thankful for everything and for everyone.....or as Nicholas said "I'm thankful for mommy and daddy and Jasmine and for mommy cooking food". I love my child!

I'm working on my menu plan for this week and I'll have it up this afternoon along with my Gooey Caramel Rolls, so check back on my food blog later.

Right now it's time to get Jasmine from school and then we're doing the Christmas tree and decorations, I know it's a bit early for some and usually I myself wait until at least the 1st of December, but let's face it, it's on a few days away and the kids and I just can't wait any longer.

Hope you're all having a wonderful monday, it's cold and dreary here today, the first time since we got here that it actually feels and looks like a late fall day.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

I'm a day early and a dollar short LOL

No seriously, I'm a day early because I'm taking a break from blogging until next week monday, there's Thanksgiving and all sorts of family stuff going on so I would rather let my family and friends know that I won't be here, than have everyone wondering where I disappeared to.

I'm still quite sick and actually woke up with no voice this morning, my chest burns and I'm congested and boy, just not feeling good at all, but that won't stop me from cooking tomorrow. As usual, it's just us and the kids but it doesn't stop us from having a wonderful Thanksgiving Meal which I always cook.....Curt is in charge of the Fried Turkey and I get all the side dishes and the desserts.

Anyway, since I won't be here tomorrow, there will be no Slow Cooking Thursday post so you'll have to wait until the next week for that...sorry!

Since we're all gearing up for Thanksgiving tomorrow I thought today's post would be one filled with last minute ideas and recipes and all that good stuff.

Turkey 101
Turkey Carving 101
15 Favorite Side Dishes
Thanksgiving Recipes
Thanksgiving Crafts

Those are all from Martha Stewart's website and she has tons of wonderful ideas and recipes available for us.

And what do you do when you have tons of pie leftover??? Well you turn them into Pie Favors for your family and friends.

History of Thanksgiving

Ever wonder what the pilgrims and their Native American guests really ate at the first feast? The truth may surprise you. Contrary to popular belief, they didn't sit down to a meal featuring turkey, corn, cranberries, and pumpkin pie (in fact, they didn't even have forks!).

Travel back to Plymouth and discover some of the humble origins of Thanksgiving traditions we celebrate today and what the original celebration was actually like!

Ballad of the Mayflower

By Linda G. Paulsen There was a ship, Mayflower by name; Hey, Ho~
Took a trip, she crossed the main; Hey, Ho~
Full of people seeking peace,
Praying for freedom to increase;
Hey, Ho, Dee-o, Dee-o! The Pilgrims came to Plymouth Rock; Hey, Ho~
Simple people, strudy stock; Hey, Ho~
To be free they crossed the sea,
Thanked the Lord on bended knee; Hey, Ho, Dee-o, Dee-o!
How when the crops were gathered in; Hey, Ho~
A dinner party did begin; Hey, Ho~
Pilgrims, Indians, pumpkin pie, Turkey, venison, corn, oh my!
Hey, Ho, Dee-o, Dee-o! Bet you thought my song was done; Hey, Ho~
But I've really just begun; Hey, Ho~
Ever since that autumn day,
Thanksgiving has been here to stay, Hey, Ho, Dee-o, Dee-o!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Jar Mix Recipes, Snowman progress and this and that!

Boy I've been busy and you wouldn't think it seeing that I'm finally down with a know the one that has been circling around like a predator, just waiting to attack??? I was pretty good at evading it but I don't know what happened......guess I let my guard down for a minute cause it pounced on me like an orangutan on a banana!

So I'm here, not feeling wonderful, but not dying either, just here, still crafting and cooking of course. If I don't go 100 miles a minute then I don't feel right!

Anyway, a couple of you asked for the recipes for the Jar Mixes I'm making, so here you go, pull out the pencils and paper or just copy the whole thing to a text file or whatever you're doing....get ready to do it.

Minty Holiday Candy Cookies

3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 packed brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup holiday-colored candy-coated chocolate pieces
1/3 cup chopped peppermint candy

Layer ingredients in 1-quart food storage jar with tight-fitting lid in following order; granulated sugar; brown sugar; combined flour, baking powder and baking soda and salt; chocolate pieces; and peppermint candy.

Seal jar. Cover lid with fabric circle, if desired. Attach gift tag and fabric to jar with raffia or ribbon.

Cranberry & White Chocolate Scones

1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup white chocolate chips

Layer ingredients in 1-quart food storage jar with tight-fitting lid in following order: combine flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg; whole wheat flour; and sugar. Place cranberries and chocolate chips in plastic bag; seal bag. Add bag to jar.

Seal jar. Cover lid with fabric circle, if desired. Attach gift tag and fabric to jar with raffia or ribbon.

Now these are the drink mixes, the jars in the picture above are small 8.oz ones.


Flavors: Amaretto, Hazelnut, Vanilla, Irish Creme

Ingredients for Jar

Mix the following 3 ingredients in a small bowl:

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons flavored powdered coffee creamer
1/2 cup dry milk

1/2 cup chocolate flavored drink mix (like Quik)

(flavored coffee creamer is available in several flavors including the ones listed above)

Place Ingredients in Jar in This Order:

Place half the milk mixture into jar.
Place half the chocolate drink mix into the jar next.
Add the remaining milk mixture.
Add the remaining chocolate drink mix.
Decorate the jar.
Attach recipe below to jar. Name cocoa by the flavor you chose.

______ Cocoa

  1. Empty cocoa mix into a large mixing bowl.

  2. Blend very well with a whisk.

  3. Place mix back into jar or a container of your choice.

  4. Place 2 tablespoons mix into a cup. Add 1 cup boiling water and stir until completely dissolved.

  5. Top with whipped cream if desired.


Flavors: Amaretto, Hazelnut, Vanilla, Mocha Almond and Irish Creme

Ingredients for Jar

Mix the following 3 ingredients in a medium bowl:

1/3 cup dry milk
2/3 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar ( regular white sugar, not powdered)
2/3 cup flavored powdered coffee creamer

1/3 cup instant coffee

Place Ingredients in Jar in This Order:

Place half the milk mixture into the jar first.
Place coffee into the jar next, spreading evenly.
Add remaining milk mixture.
Decorate jar.
Attach recipe below to jar. Name coffee by the flavor you chose.

Creamy ______ Cappuccino

  1. Empty coffee mix into a large mixing bowl.

  2. Blend very well with a whisk.

  3. Place mix back into jar or a container of your choice.

  4. Place 2 tablespoons mix into a cup. Add one cup of boiling water and stir until mixture is completely dissolved.

  5. Top with whipped cream if desired.

There ya go, those are the ones I'm making this Christmas. The ones in the jars above are actually Gingerbread Cocoa Mix. It's YUMMY! Just follow the directions for the Flavored Cocoa above and use Gingerbread Powdered Coffee Creamer.

Now yesterday Curt took the kids to a birthday party and since I wasn't up to going I stayed home, of course that meant I would throw myself into cooking and crafting seeing as I had a quiet house and didn't have to worry about kids taking supplies or touching everything around me.
Tell me that is not the cutest thing you've ever seen???? I'm in love with these snowmen and can't wait to get them all done. Oh and BTW Barb, if you have twigs, send them my way LOL
I can't for the life of me find twigs in my yard, is there a Twig Thief lurking the neighborhoods???

Anyway, as soon as I finish this one I'll post the pictures so you can all see what it looks like. Here are the directions too, they're SO easy to make.....just click on the image to see it bigger:

Now while Curt and the kids were gone I looked over to the counter and saw two beautiful Butternut Squashes, just sitting there all cute, one was actually leaning up against the other, not sure if it was tired or just sad knowing what thought flashed across my mind. Butternut Squash Puree! OH YEAH.......Head on over to my Food Blog to see the recipe.

And while they were cooking I realized that I couldn't just sit there and do nothing, I mean, that's not normal for me I actually get the hives if I sit on the couch and pretend to be in order to stop my body from breaking out I looked over to the other counter. I tell you I never realized that looking over at counters could be so interesting or productive LOL

I saw an empty small koolaid plastic canister that I had saved for.....well......for whatever I wanted to do....just as quickly my mind said "Hey, you need a pencil holder for the gazillion pens and pencils around the house AND you have scraps of fabric that would look OH.SO.PRETTY". I jumped off the couch, grabbed my glue gun and set to work, just wait until you see how cute it turns out.

Here's step by step of what I did, Jasmine and Nicholas both want one for their own bedrooms hold their crayons you know?

Take empty plastic canister and make sure you've washed, obviously.....the canister, I meant washed the canister, not YOU. Pick out a fabric you want to use, don't worry that it's too long, we'll cut off the excess at the end.

Using a glue gun, start glueing the fabric around, starting at the top and making sure you're right up against the edge, continue glueing all the way around.

At this point I cut off the excess fabric leaving just enough to go over the other fabric already glued, I did however make a little fold so it looks neater.

At this point you can also cut off the excess fabric on the bottom.

Grab some scraps of cotton lace you have laying around, or ribbon or whatever you could even do raffia like I'm doing for Nicholas one, cause you know, he's a boy and I doubt he would want lace. Actually he probably wouldn't care, but Curt wouldn't be too thrilled! *snicker*

TADA! In a minute I had this adorable pencil holder, is that not the cutest thing you've seen in a while? (probably not, I'm sure you've seen something else cute) Now my mind is in overdrive and I'll probably do this on a ton of empty canisters etc, for the bathroom, for the craft area, for the office area, in the kitchen.......possibilities are endless! You can even find fabric to match the bathroom decor or the kitchen or whatever.....see what I mean??? I'm just babbling on about it, maybe I should write it all down, I'm bound to forget it here in OH, 10 seconds? LOL

So that's what's been going on here, I'm leaving you, for now, so that I can take my cold medicine and start working on my snowmen. I have errands to run too and I really don't feel like going anywhere but what can you do???

God Bless everyone,