Happy New Year!

Who has big plans tonight? At home or out? We are gathering at my sister's house and we are dividing into groups for a Battle of the Bands! Wii Bealtes Rock Band. In my band there will be one of my daughters, 2 sisters and myself. Oh we have been practicing all week long and I am playing guitar in my sleep! We are so going to win, no kidding. Seriously? We even made costumes! Yep, you know I'll be posting pics of this mess for all to share.
Whatever you do tonight...have tons of fun and, most importantly, be safe. Happy New Year!


Wordless Wednesday

Thank you all so much for your well wishes for my Father. I passed them along and he sincerely appreciated each one. Dad made it home in time for christmas and doing a little better each day. I will continue to spend time with them as much as possible.
I hope everyone had a fabulous, family filled christmas! Ours just could not have been better as the entire family was together. As you can see, our Buggy girl had a great holiday. Here she is posing in the dress that I made her for christmas!


Happy Holidays!

My sincere apologies for being absent the past few days. Also a big THANK YOU to those who have continued to visit and drop on my blog! It seems life has gotten between me and my keyboard.
My father has been very ill and in the hospital. My parents live an hour and a half from me so it's a bit of a hike up the road. So between checking in with them and christmas prep, there is no time left in the day and time is flying by! Hopefully within the next few days I will be able to get back on schedule.
My wish for you all is for a very HAPPY HOLIDAY!


Wordless Wednesday


Book Review And Giveaway

Recently I received an email offering me a chance to review this book. When I read the title of the book, Uncommon Wisdon and Universal Truths from 10 Year Olds and 100 Year Olds, I knew it would be worth a read. I was not disappointed. Beginning at page 1, I was smiling and nodding my head and that continued through to the last page. The book is a compilation of stories, philosophies, beliefs from people all over the country and from both ends of the age spectrum. You will hear people that you know and love as you read these words and absorb the stories.

From the author, Roger Fishman:

My grandfather, Jacob Bloch, was my hero. From behind the cash register of his five-and-dime department store, Jacob collected stories and bits of wisdom that he would bring home to share with his family. His firm belief was that there is wisdom in every single person's life story....I was stirred to honor my grandfather's tradition....and so I set out to listen to and record life stories and wisdom from opposite ends of the life spectrum.

The author has been kind enough to offer a signed copy of his book for me to give away to one lucky person! So go ahead, enter now to win. You have 6 chances to win! Giveaway ends at midnight on January 5th.

To participate in the giveaway simply:

1. Leave me a comment for a chance to win.
2. Blog about my giveaway and leave me a comment with a link to the post. This will get you 2 entries.
3. Follow my blog for 1 entry and if you are a follower already then let me know.
4. Follow my blog via RSS feed for 1 entry.
5. Place my link on your blog roll for 1 entry.

*For each entry please remember to leave a separate comment and make sure that I have your email address.

Christmas Blog Hop!

For the last few years, decorating the tree has become so much fun. My Buggy girl is always around to help and she loves it. Her Aunt Jenn usually pops in to join in as well. This year, Buggy (because she is 5 years old now you know) pretty much supervised all of us, handing out jobs to each of us.
She first brought the tree upstairs, Poppy helped a bit with that. Then she tested each of the boards that the tree base rests on by doing a little karate kicking. She put the tree together and fluffed all of the branches. And the decorating began! She really felt like she had to place each of the ornaments and ribbons or at least tell Aunt Jenn where to place them.
I haven't rearranged anything yet, as I normally do, I might leave it as is. What do you think? It makes me smile every time I look at it.

Thanks to the host of this blog hop; The Frugal Housewife don't forget to visit her blog!
Next stop on the hop is The Frugal Kennedys you really want to stop by for some freebies, giveaways, coupons and all kinds of frugal fun!
Thanks for stopping today and be sure to come back tomorrow for a new giveaway!


Hanukkah Wishes

To all of my friends who are celebrating this week. I wish you A VERY HAPPY HANUKKAH!
For anyone wondering what Hanukkah is about or what some of the traditions might be, Kelly over at Speaking From The Crib has done a very nice post, with the help of Erin at The Mother Load, that explains it clearly and, yes, with lots of humor tossed in. Stop by and give it a read, I'm sure you will enjoy it.

Need Extra Cash for The Holidays?

Do you find yourself a little short for cash during the holidays? Need a little help just until your next payday? In some circumstances, this is a great help and can get you on the right track. It could be for gifts, car trouble, medical emergencies? Certainly there are a variety of reasons to get a cash loans. Fast Wire Cash may be able to provide the extra help you need in a hurry.
Fast Wire Cash is a reliable state licensed lender. They will provide full disclosure of all terms and conditions. You need to be sure that you understand clearly what those terms are. There are several options for repayment, repaying the balance at your next pay is standard, or you may choose to stretch that out a little further. Either way, discuss it fully and understand clearly before finalizing your loan. Each state governs the amount of money that may be loaned against your next paycheck.
Fast Wire Cash offers the option of applying online or over the phone. The whole process can be conducted very quickly so that you may be on your way and taking care of the things you need.


I'm Not Going To Talk About That Anymore

I'm sick of it I say! Sick and tired of reading and hearing and talking about Tiger Woods. Not going to do it anymore! Nope, I don't care really, how many women he's slept with. Maybe we should make a list of who he hasn't. He's a good golfer, lousy husband and, yes, a lousy father. Look what he's exposed his wife and children to, the attention, the loss of any privacy. Tiger, you and I are done!
Climategate? I'm probably not quite done with that. Not surprised, I never bought into global warming. I have long believed that Al Gore is a self serving sham. Over the past several years my beliefs have been satisfactorily verified, to me anyway. I have had many discussions with a farmer friend of mine. A man who lives by the weather. He doesn't set any store in global warming, as I suspected. I do think someone (many someones) need to pay a steep price for using these scare tactics and lies on the people of the world. Shameful! But for now, I've had enough.
I think I'll put a movie on, something festive, White Christmas maybe. I'm going to wrap gifts, beautiful packages with glittering paper and fluffy gold bows. I'm a gift wrapping FREAK! The package must be breathtaking! If they aren't hesitant to rip it open then I did something wrong. It's almost time to start making cookies, some pumpkin rolls. I saw a couple of things I might try this year. I saw a picture in a magazine of a "partridge in a pear tree" which is made with cupcakes. Cupcakes decorated with green, leafy looking, frosting, then stacked. There was a partridge and several pears formed and resting on the cupcakes. I think fondant would work well for the pears and partridge. Really cute! I heard a good idea for serving fresh vegetables. On a platter, arrange fresh broccoli florets in a wreath shape, decorate with red bell peppers cut into whatever shape you like. I'm sure you can toss a few other things in as well. Cucumber slices would be pretty, also a small bowl of dip in the center of the wreath. Yep, I'm going to try both of these.
What are you planning for this year? Any special dishes planned for a gathering?


Gift Shopping Help Is Here!

Sometimes the most difficult thing is figuring out what to give to those on your list. I always have one or two people that are tough to buy gifts for. There are a couple of shopping services out there on the net and I've tried a couple of them but there is one that's a little different. It combines a couple of different things that make it very worthwhile.
The site is itsthoughtful.com and what they do is allow you to create your own homepage which can then be accessed by your family and friends to view your wishlist or your favorites. The site also gives recommendations based on the person you are shopping for. These recommendations are driven by the its thoughtful community rather than just one or two web managers. All of the products are submitted by members of the itsthoughtful community. Members are encouraged to vote for the products they like best. In this way, the products that are most popular are displayed at the top of the lists.
I'm recommending this site to Staci over at Just Bloggled as she is totally stuck on what to give to her sister for Christmas! It might help you out as well.

Wordless Wednesday

How many people does it take? I think our tree is too tall!


Random Tuesday Thoughts

Yesterday I was running errands, the usual, post office, bank, grocery store. The bank was first on the list and I couldn't just go to the drive-thru window, I had to go inside. I hate going inside the bank, I avoid it if at all possible. I have this fear that the bank is going to be robbed when I'm in there! Freakish? I know, but still. Well, all's well, no robberies yesterday at my branch. Everyone was very pleasant and the candy canes were abundantly displayed!
The next stop on my list was the post office....at christmas time. Indeed, the vision in your mind right now was the reality! I had to push my way in through the double doors to get in line. It looked like a Conga line winding through the whole place, except there was no music! I waited inside the post office for an hour to mail my package. But in that entire time there was not one ugly word, no hands thrown in the air in frustration, no one stomping out in disgust. People left the line and came back, the elderly folks were invited to set their packages down to ease their burden. People were sharing pens, stamps, and packing tape! It was such a nice experience.
On to my third and final destination with a very light feeling in my heart. It was getting a bit later in the afternoon and the grocery store was a little crowded. I picked up a handful of items and got in line behind several people. The gentleman in front of me was hanging back in line and was talking on the phone. He had a bunch of flowers in his hand and a few items on the counter. He decided to buy a couple of the poinsettias on display and he and I discussed the choice for a moment. As he put the plants on the counter I realized one was broken and changed it out for him. As he checked out he handed me the latest promotional coupon that the clerk had given to him (you know, buy 20 and get free milk) with a thanks for helping out.
I came home with a smile on my face and a bounce in my step. Why can't we treat one another this way all the time?


Fabric Clothesline Bag Tutorial

Fabric Covered Clothesline Bag


As soon as I saw one of these bags I knew I had to learn how to make them. I think they are beautiful and useful. I also discovered that they are easy to make though they do take a little time. I can't give you exact measurements, I'm a seat of the pants crafter. Of course every bag that I am currently working on is intended to be a different size so measurements are difficult to gauge. I can tell you that you will need to purchase a bundle of all cotton 1/4" clothesline @ 100 feet. You will also need 2" strips of cotton fabric of your choice measuring 10 - 12 yards in total length. Fabric changes within bags can be as few or as many as you choose. This is a great way to use up your scraps.
To begin you need to cover the clothesline with your fabric using a straight machine stitch. See photos. As I am making several color changes on my bags, I cover several yards of rope with my base color then begin forming the base without cutting either the rope or my first color strip. When I feel like changing my color then I cut off the first color strip and add on the next one.
To begin forming the base for this bag, which will be a lunch bag, I began coiling a 5" strip of my rope. At this point you will keep the base flat and use a wide zigzag stitch to join the coiled rope. Don't worry about little imperfections, this project is VERY forgiving. When my base measured 7.5" by 5.5" I began forming the sides of the bag. To do this you must keep the bulk of the project to the left side of your machine and put your hand under the piece so that it forms a right angle to your table surface. See photos. You will sew the remainder of the bag in this fashion.
Continue changing fabrics, covering rope, joining strands to form your coiled bag until you are satisfied with the size of the bag. At this point you may attach any sort of handles that you choose as well as a closure if need be.


Let It Snow!

I'm looking at this out my back window as I sit at my desk this morning. Such a pretty sight, especially since I don't have to go out right now. Love it from inside the house! After my visits this morning I am going to work on a tutorial for the fabric covered rope bags. They are easy to do and all you need is some all purpose, 1/4" cotton clothesline, some fabric scraps and a sewing machine.
Enjoy the day and check back for my tutorial.


Christmas Crafting

Fa la la! There are some things about the holiday season that I always enjoy. Actually lots of things but one of the big ones is creating gifts for my friends and family. This year I think there will be even more of that as it can be pretty cost effective too.

My sister and I have scheduled several "crafting" days with my mom. That is where I am headed today so if you don't see me when you stop by to visit today...that's where I am. I have lots of projects going around my house but here are a couple of things we are working on today. One is a fabric covered clothesline bag and the other is a set of fabric bowls. They are beautiful and I think will make some nice gifts.

I'll be posting pictures when we are finished and I'll be visiting later this afternoon.


Wordless Wednesday


Thank You In November

To all of my fellow EC Dropaholics and to all of those who have taken the time to read and comment on my blog this month I want to say Thank You so much!

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