Tuesday, December 30, 2008

From our House to Yours

As 2008 comes to an end I begin to think of all the things that have happened over this year. I would have to say the thing that has touched my heart the the most is also the thing that has mad my year the hardest.... caring for my Mom.

I want to give a shout out to all my friends who have been there to help me keep my sanity. I'm not going to mention names because you know who you are....I'm just going to say thank you for the morning cappuccinos, phone calls and offers to sit with my Mom.

Sorry I've been lacking in the blogging world lately. The family has been here and we've been busy cooking, playing games and catching up with all are grand kids and kids. It was a great time. Here are a few pictures. Anyone know what this is?

Here is a picture of my grandson Jason making his birthday cake. He wanted to make a three tried cherry flavored wedding cake for his birthday. By the way HAPPY 10th. BIRTHDAY JASON (today is his birthday). He left yesterday to go motorcycle riding with his Dad for the rest of the week. He loves to ride his dirt bike. He scares me he is such a dare devil. There isn't an once of fear in this kid!

This is about as close as I could get to getting all the grandkids together for a picture. That's my grand daughter Becca in the back with the hood on (she lived in her new jacket all week). from left to right you have Jason holding Tyler and Corey holding Josh.

This is my littlest grandson Josh having a blast eating all the marshmallows until his Mom finds out. Oh Grandma always gets in so much trouble. It's a good thing she didn't see the bowl of whipped cream with blue sugar I gave his brother.

This is my oldest grandson Troy who doesn't like his picture taken at all.

We all had a lot of fun playing Apples to Apples.

Check out these smiles.

From our family to yours we hope you had a wonderful Christmas and we wish you a New Year filled with God's many blessings.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Drum Roll Please!

Drum roll please......the winner is Stephanie from Homegrown Hospitality. Congratulations!

Mark and I want to thank all of you who played so if you also e-mail me your mailing address I will send you all a small gift (please put small gift in the subject box)It is the season for giving after all.

Don't forget to contine leaving us comments you never know when we will be doing our next give away.

Happy Holidays to all and to all a good night!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Boiled Cookies

Wrapping, Shopping,Baking oh my! I'm still not done. How many of you are done? I still have a couple more gifts to find, a little baking left and a whole lot of wrapping!

Some of you have asked for the recipe for boiled cookies also known as no bakes.

Boiled Cookies
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 lb. butter
dash salt
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 cups quick cook oats
1 tsp vanilla

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a full boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove form heat add peanut butter oats and vanilla. Stir until peanut butter is melted. Using two teaspoons quickly drop on waxed paper and let cool.

These cookies may not look good but they taste great. If any of you are making bags of coal or reindeer poop these work great and the kids love the cookies! I hope your family enjoys these as much as my kids do.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Christmas Rush is here!

Well the Christmas rush is still on. More shopping, more baking, more presents to wrap....Oh when does it stop!

Today was none stop. My son Jason and his girlfriend Tiffany came over in the morning and we went to the store to pick up a couple more presents I still needed to pick up. I hope I don't think of anything else!

After I got what I needed we went back to my house and we baked cookies and made candy all day. It was so much fun having someone to help....I usually do all the Holiday baking by myself. They were both a lot of help Jason made the fudges and Tiffany made the cookies. We made chocolate and peanut butter fudge, swedish cream wafers, spritz cookies and then Jason wanted to make boiled cookies my families favorite anytime of the year. I've been making these since my boys were just little.

Yes you can still bake in a kitchen that is only half there. Here are a few pictures of Jason and Tiffany cooking.

Jason making fudge

Tiffany making Spritz Cookies

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Pictures of our drive to the Retreat


This is Pyramid Lake on the way up to Frasier. Mark was driving so I took pictures.

Here we are coming into Gorman

Everything looks good so far the roads are nice and clean no snow or ice as we start into Lebec

Here's what the road looked like as we drove up the mountain

Look close and you'll see all the kids playing in the snow along side of the road.

Here's our driveway


Wish I had a bunny with those prints!

Friday, December 19, 2008


We are at the retreat and boy is it cold. Poor Mark...we couldn't make it up the driveway in 4 wheel drive so he's been out plowing the driveway since we got here. When he's done there he gets to fix the frozen pipes.

I took some pictures I will post later today right now I need to go help Mark. Hope your staying warm!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Here we go again...more Beads!

I went to JoAnn's today to get more pastry bags to make more Hot Chocolate Cones. You'll never guess where I ended up. YUP the bead isle. I'm so bad I just HAD to have more beads.

Here is a picture of the crocheted necklace I made. Click on the picture and you will be able to see it much better. Now that I've made my first I have so many ideas for the next one. I started a green stone one this morning while I was waiting on the caregiver to get here. I'll show it to you tomorrow. I'm loving that I can get these done in a evening.

I want to thank all of you who have been leaving comments. It so much fun hearing from you more than once or twice a year.

Sue I would love to teach you beading. I have to warn you though it's very addicting.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I Love Sunny CA!!!

Wow what a beautiful day. Today I woke up to a beautiful sunrise and snow capped mountains. It's always exciting when the snow reaches this low and covers the mountain tops here in Ventura County.

I always hope to get these post out in the morning but before I know it the days almost gone. I just put dinner in the oven and had a few minutes to spare before Mark gets home.

I have to admit I am becoming a bead addict. I really need a 12 step program. I am a total craft addict. Do you think it would HELP? I had to go to the bead shop today (didn't you like that I HAD TO) to get a few more beads to finish a couple of necklaces I'm working on. Ok that would have been fine however I started looking around and before I know it it's $100 later. SHHHH don't tell Mark! Of course I bought more than the few beads I needed to finish my projects.

Wait until you see the necklace I'm working on. It's crocheted with beads it's looking really nice so far. Hopefully I will get time to finish it this evening and I'll show it to you tomorrow. I'm really like this crocheting with beads.

I'm hoping to get some crop time in this week. I have a really cute idea for a make-n-take for Valentines Day for those of you coming up before than. I am also going to try and get that cookbook you all have been asking for made. Of course that will take me awhile. I also have a few other exciting things up my sleeve's the New Year so stay tuned.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Come Play in the SNOW

It's snowing!!! So if your one of those ladies who keeps telling me you want to come to a retreat in the snow NOW is the time! Come drink hot chocolate and relax by the fire. What a great way to start the New Year and to help you get started don't forget we are giving you THURSDAY FREE if you visit us on Jan. 1-4. That is an extra 24 hours of crop time!

It's raining out in Oxnard today. I love the rain! I really miss my convertible when it rains. I know that sounds funny but I loved to go to the beach and sit and listen to the rail hit the cloth top. I would be the only one at the was so peaceful and relaxing. The other thing I like to do in the rain is Bake so today I'm going to make my favorite Christmas cookies. I can't make these to early they don't last long!


Cookie Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups flour
1/3 cup whipping cream


1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 drop red food coloring to desired color

Mix cookie ingredients together,chill dough.Roll dough 1/8-inch thick. Cut out 1 1/2 inch circle I use small shape cookie cutters for a special look. Transfer to sugar covered wax paper. Coat both sides. Prick cookies with a fork. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet 7 to 9 minutes at 350 degrees.

Mix together ingredients for filling during this time, and when cookies are cooled place filling between 2 cookies and enjoy!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Missing in Action

Yes it's been sometime since I've posted anything. I've been busy as one of Santa's Elves.

I took a beading class last week and have made a couple of necklaces for Christmas presents. I think I've found another addictive hobby. Just what I needed....Poor Mark! Here's one of them for you to see.

I finally got the Christmas tree decorated. Poor tree was naked for almost 2 weeks. As many of you know we are still in the midst of a remodel and our decorations were in the back of the garage with all our household items in easy way to get to them so luckily I have a friend who had given me decorations for a project I was going to make. Needless to say the project got put on hold and the tree was decorated with thrift store finds and her decorations.
In the midst of all this my Mom's caregiver hasn't been here for the past 3 days. YIKES!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Twas the night before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, I'm glued to the tree.
I'm wondering what Santa brought just for me.
Could it be cardstock or chipboard or lace?
Or a Cricut, I said, with a smile on my face.
And that's when I heard him,
"Hi Santa, " I said
"You know....good little girls
should be in their beds."
"I know I should Santa,
and now I've got caught.
But I was just so excited
To see what you brought."
"Well, let's take a look
in this room where you work.
He shook his head quickly,
And left with a jerk.
I heard him exclaim
as he put it in gear.
"You've got enough crap,
I'll see you next year!

This was in an e-mail someone sent me. It didn't have an author's name but I had to pass it on. It sounded so much like most of us!

I'm going to have to argue with Santa here. It doesn't matter how much I have I never have what I need and I always want more! I am working really hard at getting my stuff cleaned up though. I just have a couple more things to get finished. I just keep coming up with more things I want to's got to stop soon I'm running out of time!

Anything you'd like to see at the retreat we don't have so I can let Santa know? My Santa is usually pretty good at bringing whatever you girl's want.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


A friend sent this to me now I am sending it to all of my friends. Please help us!!!

Here is something cool that Xerox is doing for the troops:

If you go to this web site, you can pick out a postcard and write a message to a soldier. Xerox will print it and it will be sent to a soldier that is currently serving overseas. You can't pick out who gets it, but it will go to some member of the armed services.

Wouldn't it be AMAZING if we could get everyone we know to send one!!! This is a
great site. Please send a card. It is FREE and it only takes a minute.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if each soldier received a bunch of these? Whether you
are for or against the war, our guys and gals over there need to know we are behind
them. . .

Forward this to your friends. If only 10% of you that I have sent it to do this,
that will be 5 cards sent. And that would be great. And you can send more than
one! This is a easy thing that clubs, scouts, youth groups, college kids, etc. can
do to make a difference in someones life.

Take the time and do it now it literally on takes a few seconds of your time.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Hard at work

As you can tell by my messy scrapbook room I've been busy working. Now it's time to clean up and regroup for the next project.

I still have to put the finishing touches on my gingerbread people. Hopefully I can get them photographed and show them to you tomorrow.

I'm so looking forward to when Mark has my scrapbook room here in Oxnard done. It will make it so much easier to get things done. It's hard to be organized when your not sure what box your stuff is in.

I took time out today to bake my Mom some Macaroon Cookies. These are the easiest cookies you will ever make.

Macaroon Cookies

1 bag of coconut
1 can sweet and condensed milk

Put ingredients in bowl and mix together until the coconut is covered. Placing on cookie sheet covered with one of those silicone baking sheets. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes and Voila.

Here is a picture of our naked Christmas tree. We still have not found our decorations. We know they are in our garage with the rest of our house but it is a matter of getting to them. Poor Mark! There is always something for him to do.

I can't wait for it to have lights and decorations!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Hot Chocolate Cones

Where is the time going I still have so many things to get done. I finally finished the album I was making for my Pink Christmas secret sister. Shhhh...she doesn't know it's me yet! I have to have a pair of crocheted beaded earrings done by wednesday YIKES! I haven't even started them yet. How are all of you doing on your homemade gifts this year?

My son Jason delivered our Christmas tree a few days ago and we still haven't had time to get it decorated. That's on my list for today! He picked out a beautiful tree for us and boy does it smell good!!! He showed me that if I popped 3 sap bubbles a day the smell will permeate the whole house. Now if I could just get it to snow in Oxnard!

Here is another cute stocking stuffer I'm making for the grandkids!

Hot Chocolate Cones


Plastic Piping Bags, hot chocolate mix, chocolate chips or peppermint candies crushed, mini marshmallows, chocolate kiss


You need two bags per cone.

1. Add the drinking chocolate to one piping bag -- I put in about 4 table spoons. Tie off the top of the bag with an elastic band (clear ones if you can find them) and snip off the top of the plastic leaving about 7cm plastic above the tie.
2. Insert the drinking chocolate cone into your second plastic piping bag.Hold formally round the top so the chips don't fall down the side.
3. Add in chocolate chips (just as much as you think looks good).
4. Add mini marshmallows on top
5. Add a Chocolate on top of that. You could add a gumdrop, after dinner mint etc etc. My favorite is crushed candy canes or peppermint candies. Then just tie it all of at the top with an elastic band
6.Add ribbon, and tag and a little how to on the bag of the tag (snip of the end of the cone to empty the chocolate into a cup - add chocolate chips, milk and water bla bla bla -- you get the picture)It's so so Easy, Enjoy!

Cupcake Pops

I found this adorable recipe on BAKERELLA'S blog. I hope it's ok I posted it here for you to see. They are just so darn cute. You know I'll have to make these for my Grandkid's! They will be so cute for our Christmas party!
Cupcake Pops and Cupcake Bites

How to Cupcakes Pop!

1 13X9 baked cake (from a box cake mix or from scratch … any flavor)
1 can cream cheese frosting (or about 2 cups equivalent from scratch)
1 flower shaped cookie cutter (1.25" wide X .75" tall)
1 package chocolate bark
1 package pink candy melts or white chocolate bark
bowls for dipping
wax paper
aluminum foil
lollipop sticks
sprinkles, m&ms or something similar for top of cupcake
small plastic treat bags and ribbon to package the Cupcake Pops
candy cups and truffle boxes to individually package the Cupcake Bites
styrofoam block

Bake a cake from a mix or from scratch and cool completely.

Crumble cake into a fine consistency into a large bowl.
TIP: If the texture is too coarse, you can run it through a food processor.

Add can of cream cheese frosting or homemade frosting and blend together using the back of a large spoon. Blend thoroughly.

Roll mixture into 1.25" - 1.5" size balls and lay on wax paper covered cookie sheet. You may want to periodically rinse and dry your hands off in between.
Cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for several hours.
TIP: You can speed this up by placing in the freezer for about 15 minutes.

Remove. Begin to shape into cupcakes using a small flower-shaped cookie cutter. (see below) Take the chilled ball and roll it into more of an oval and then slide into cookie cutter. Push it into cutter until about half fills the cutter and the rest sticks out of the top in the shape of a mound. Then push the shaped cupcake carefully out of the cookie cutter from the bottom. Set right side up on a wax paper covered cookie sheet. Continue with remaining balls.

Once shaped, cover and return to freezer. (5-10 minutes)

TIP: You can leave them covered in the refrigerator overnight if you want to do the dipping on the following day.

While cupcake shapes are chilling, begin to heat up your chocolate bark.
Brown chocolate bark for the bottoms. Pink or white chocolate for the tops.
Follow the instructions on the package for melting. Most recommend heating for 30 second intervals at a time and stirring in between. You can also do the double boiler method.

When you are ready to dip, remove from freezer and set up another wax paper covered cookie sheet.Take the cupcake shaped mixture and dip bottoms into the melted chocolate - just to the point where the mounded shape starts. Remove from chocolate, turn upside down and wiggle so that the excess starts to slide down slightly.
Then lay on the wax paper upside down. If you want them to be lollipops, then go ahead and insert the lollipop sticks while the chocolate is still wet. Continue with rest of the cupcakes. You can also leave some without the sticks. They’re just as cute as Cupcake Bites. TIP: Dip end of your lollipop stick in the melted chocolate before inserting into chocolate bottoms. Not sure if this helps a lot, but it couldn't hurt.

DON'T - get water in the chocolate. Make sure your hands are completely dry. Water will cause the chocolate to separate and mess up all your hard work.
Dry completely. (15-20 minutes)
Once dry, dip the tops of the cupcakes in the pink or white chocolate. You may need to move it around a little to cover all the exposed area
TIP: Let the pink chocolate sit for a few minutes after heating to thicken. This will help it from dripping down the sides of the cupcake.

Remove from the pink/white chocolate and turn right side up. You may need to hold and rotate it if there is any excess so that it doesn’t drip down too far.
TIP: You can use a toothpick to help cover any areas the melted chocolate didn't cover. For the Cupcake Bites - just turn right side up and rest on the wax paper. Then go ahead and put a m&m on the top and add sprinkles while wet.

For the lollipops, Continue holding and place an m&m on the top and add sprinkles. Let them dry in a styrofoam block that you have already poked holes into.
When completely dry, cover the lollipops with small plastic treat bags and tie with a ribbon.

For the Cupcake Bites, place in a candy cup and package in small candy truffle boxes to present individually.
Makes about 50

If you make these send me a picture. I can't wait to see all the cute ideas.

Hope you have a great day!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Your BOYS will love this one

Don't be fooled GIRL'S also love Marbles. I was the marble champ of my block.
I know my older grandsons will love it and so will their Dads. I'm not sure who will have more fun!

a project for bored little kids

For this project, you'll need a shoebox (you won't need the lid), paints & paintbrushes, a pencil, gesso, contact paper, scissors, and marbles. (Kids, you'll need your parents' help for the cutting part)

Begin by painting the entire outside of the box with a layer gesso

Next, on the paper liner of the contact paper draw house shapes. When you're drawing the opening, use a marble as a guide to know how big to make the opening. You'll want to make some of the openings close to the size of the marbles (difficult shots, more points) and some openings a bit larger than the size of the marbles (easy shots, less points).

Cut the houses out of the contact paper (cut out the doors) and place on the side of the shoebox to check size. If necessary, make adjustments to the height and/or width of the houses so that the whole neighborhood will fit on one side of the shoebox.

Peel off the paper lining and position the houses on the side of the box as desired.
Paint the entire side of the box, painting directly over the contact paper.
Carefully peel off the contact paper to reveal the house shapes underneath, white and fresh and ready to detail.
Paint the house, following the outline. Add details such as a scalloped roof, windows, shutters, polka dots, whatever strikes your fancy.

Using a pencil, draw the outline of the score for that house in the middle of the house shape. Carefully fill the number in with paint using a fine brush. (Alternatively, you can find numbers in magazines and collage them on!)
Keep going until you detail and number all of the houses...see example for inspiration.

Decorate the other sides of the box for extra fun...
Using sharp scissors, carefully cut out the doors of the houses. If the cardboard is too stiff, you may need to use an x-acto knife for this. (Kiddos, please ask your parents to do this part for you...)
Ready for round one? Take turns shooting marbles until you reach 100. After you shoot the marble, keep it in place and then try knocking it with your shooter (big marble) into the door. Don't know how to shoot marbles? As your grandpa...he'll be so happy to show you! And he'll probably beat you at this game!