Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving Turkey Craft

Early morning on Black Friday some of the girls wanted to brave the crowds at the Big Box Stores.  I stayed home with the 2 Littles, Brooklyn and her cousin Kaitlynn so that we could do a craft.

I’ve looked all over my bookmarks and can’t find the original site to credit – and really I’m shocked that I must not have pinned it.  I’ll keep looking though.

What we made were Stuffed Turkeys!


The instructions were to take a small plastic container (I found mine at Hobby Lobby and used a 40% off coupon) and use brown fun foam in the shape of a peanut for the turkey head.  I let the girls cut their own and since they are 4 they wanted to do it their way – and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.  They had quite a bit of fun doing the cutting.

We glued on googly eyes and they cut orange noses from fun foam.  The tail feathers are pipe cleaners folded over and twisted together, then taped to the back. 

Our turkeys were ‘stuffed’ with m&m’s.  And of course, as grandmas sometimes do, I said something that became one of those family sayings.  The girls were VERY interested in eating the m&m’s and I told them they couldn’t eat them all because they would go crazy with all that sugar.  Later I heard Brooklyn telling her mom that m&m’s make you crazy.  sigh….   4 year olds can be quite literal!

I really think this concept could be used for other holidays and animals.  Perhaps a Rudolph for Christmas with his red nose, antlers and cute felt tail!


{Review} Lost Melody by Lori Copeland & Virginia Smith








Lost Melody
by Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith
312 pages
Zondervan Publishers

ABOUT THE BOOK:  The beautiful piano sitting in the corner of Jill King's apartment begs to be played. For over a year, it has sat untouched, ever since a terrible accident shattered Jill's ambition of becoming a concert pianist. The ragged scar on her left hand is a cruel and constant reminder of the death of her dream. But another dream is about to come to life---an unexpected, horrifying dream that will present Jill with a responsibility she never wanted. And choices she never wanted to make. Hundreds of lives depend on Jill's willingness to warn her small, oceanside town in Nova Scotia of a nameless, looming disaster. But doing so could cost Jill her reputation, jeopardize the political career of the man she loves, and ruin their plans for a future together. The fate of an entire community hangs in the balance as Jill wrestles with the cost of heeding one still, small voice.

If you would like to read a chapter excerpt of Lost Melody, go HERE.


MY REVIEW:  This book was so very unlike anything I’ve read before… and I loved every minute of it!

Still putting her life back together after a terrible accident, Jill begins having a very disturbing dream.  A sense of urgency leads her to question whether the dreams could be from God – or are they merely a product of her subconscious?  And is she ready to put everything she holds dear on the line on the off chance that the dream is real?

This book was so thought provoking and I love it when a fiction book can do that.  Even better, the authors also provided an alternate ending, which also led to thought.  Very great book!


ABOUT THE AUTHORS:  Lori Copeland lives in the beautiful Ozarks with her husband Lance. Lance and Lori have three sons, three daughter-in-laws, and six wonderful grandchildren, and two great-granddaughters. Lance and Lori are very involved in their church, and active in supporting mission work in Mali, West Africa.

Lori began her writing career in 1982, writing for the secular book market. In 1995, after many years of writing, Lori sensed that God was calling her to use her gift of writing to honor Him. It was at that time that Lori began writing for the Christian book market. To date, she has had over 100 books published.

Virginia Smith is the author of more than a dozen Christian novels and over fifty articles and short stories. Her books have been named finalists in the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, the American Christian Fiction Writer's Book of the Year Award, and ACFW's Carol Award.

A Certified Lay Speaker for the United Methodist Church, Ginny's messages are always well-received by a variety of audiences in conferences, retreats and churches across the country. When she isn't writing or speaking, Ginny and her husband, Ted, enjoy exploring the extremes of nature – snow skiing in the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, motorcycle riding on the curvy roads in central Kentucky, and scuba diving in the warm waters of Mexico and the Caribbean.


** Thank you to CFBA for providing me with a copy of this book for my honest review.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Favorite Christmas List App

It’s been two weeks since last I posted and really after going that long it’s hard to do the first post back.  Thanksgiving was absolutely fabulous for us and I’m still editing pictures, so until that’s ready I’m going to share a recent find.



This is the screen shot from the App Store for Better Christmas List.  Right now it’s on sale for only 99 cents and I am thrilled with it so far!

In the past I would write the list of who all we were buying Christmas gifts for on paper.  As we came up with ideas those would be written in, then as they were purchased I would circle the gift, then highlight it as it was wrapped.  This app does all that and also keeps a running total of what you’ve spent per person and per “group” that you’re buying for.

This is the first year I’ve used it, but one thing that looks great to me is the ability to archive the year and be able to access it next year, thus eliminating that pesky buying the same gift or even buying the same type of gift for a person two years in a row.

I love technology……   Smile


** This is my opinion and not any sort of sponsored post.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

National Bundt Cake Day–Almond Poppyseed Bundt

Can you believe there’s actually a day for this – who knew???  I *still* say Bundt in the voice of My Big Fat Greek Wedding – anybody else?

The Food Librarian has been leading up to National Bundt Cake Day with her I Like Big Bundts posts – 30 Bundts in 30 Days!  I really, really admire somebody with that kind of ambition and even more than that… the follow through.

I used to make an Almond Poppyseed cake periodically and it was one we loved.  Cannot find the recipe anywhere, so I headed to Pinterest to see what I could find.  I’m very pleased with this recipe and hopefully by putting it on the blog I’ll be able to find it again!



I first thought to leave the glaze off the cake because as I get older I’m finding that I like things a little less sweet.



Seriously – doesn’t this look better?  One nice thing about making a cake that is based on a cake mix is that they always turn out light.



This cake is drool-worthy…..


adapted from Double the Deliciousness

1 Lemon Cake Mix
4 eggs
1 small pkg instant vanilla pudding
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 cups water
1 T poppy seeds
1 t almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 and grease/flour (I used Crisco spray) a bundt pan.

Mix all ingredients together until smooth, then pour into prepared bundt pan.  Bake for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes.  Place your platter on the top of the bundt pan and invert.


1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 t almond extract
1 t butter, softened
about 2 1/2 T milk

Mix all ingredients together on high speed. Add more milk if necessary to reach desired consistency. Drizzle over the cake and enjoy!


** Linking to Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

Monday, November 14, 2011

Orca Bay Mystery–Fabrics Are Ready!

So here I go again, starting a new project when really nothing has been finished in a while.  Sometimes though temptation is just there and you have to go with it.

Bonnie K. Hunter of Quiltville fame is starting a new mystery this Saturday (y’all still have time!!!) and I succumbed to peer pressure and pulled fabrics for it.  I’ve never done one of Bonnie’s mysteries, but I have seen many examples across the interwebs and they are absolutely stunning.

This mystery is called Orca Bay and Bonnie shared the photo that was her inspiration.  She’s also given out the fabric requirements and that’s it so far.



3 Bolds and 1 Neutral – and I should have posed these fabrics a little differently for the photo.  The tans are my neutral and the azure blue, hot pink and blacks are my bolds.  Very, very excited about the colors, which all came from stash!  I will admit to shopping with a friend recently and buying a few tan fat quarters, but since they didn’t have time to sit and marinate I’m calling it all from stash.  Justification – that’s what we do!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Card #11–You’re So Tweet!

One of the common misperceptions of handmade items, including cards, is that it will save you money.  That might be true in the long run, but I’m here to tell you that buying supplies for a card can be rather costly.  We come up with lots of ways to justify it and really the bottom line is that it’s an enjoyable hobby and therefore needs no justification.

But I won’t tell you how much the supplies for my cards cost….

When I bought the items for this card the scrapbook gal and I had a big laugh over me telling her everything was for one card.  And I do know that the stamps and markers will be used for years to come and if I genuinely cared I suppose I could figure out how many projects they are used on and then divide it out.

As if…..



A friend did an amazing thing for me in recognition of Joe and I couldn’t let it go by without sending a card. 

I had a lot of fun making this one – paper piecing the little girl’s dress, using the Copic markers and the colors – oh the colors!  Rather a retro, vintage feel and I just love it.

Oh and on another note – the card holder?  Got that while antiquing with a friend.  I learned that this is called a “frog” and is used at the bottom of a vase to hold flowers in place for an arrangement.  A day spent with a friend can be fun AND educational!


Supplies used for card:  You’re So Tweet set by My Favorite Things; buttons and pattern paper by October Afternoon; Very Vanilla cardstock by Stampin’ Up; blue cardstock by Bazzill


* Linked to Card Makin’ Mamas Be Thankful Challenge, Inspire Me Friday at Joyful Stamper

Thursday, November 10, 2011

{Review} A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander


A Lasting Impression
by Tamera Alexander
426 pages
Bethany House Publisher


A fake. A forger. More than anything, Claire Laurent longs for the chance to live an authentic life, to become the woman she wants to be. And she'll be given that choice. But will it come at too costly a price?

Claire Laurent's greatest aspiration is to paint something that will bring her acclaim. Yet her father insists she work as a copyist. A forger. When she's forced to flee from New Orleans to Nashville only a year after the War Between the States has ended, her path collides with attorney Sutton Monroe. She considers him a godsend for not turning her in to the authorities. But after he later refuses to come to her aid, Claire fears she's sorely misjudged the man. Finding herself among the elite of Nashville's society, Claire believes her dream to create a lasting impression in the world of art is within reach--but only if her fraudulent past remains hidden.

The Federal Army has destroyed Sutton's home and confiscated his land, and threatens to destroy his family's honor. His determination to reclaim what belongs to him and to right a grievous wrong reveals a truth that may cost him more than he ever imagined--as well as the woman he loves.Set at Nashville's historic Belmont Mansion, a stunning antebellum manor built by Mrs. Adelicia Acklen, A Lasting Impression is a sweeping love story about a nation mending after war, the redemption of those wounded, and the courage of a man and woman to see themselves--and each other--for who they really are.


MY REVIEW:  Let me confess up front – the cover of this book made me fall in love with Claire.  What woman doesn’t sometimes imagine herself wearing one of the beautiful ball gowns from the Civil War era?  And this one was spectacular.

That aside, the story inside was wonderful.  Claire Laurent leaves a bad situation and just happens to fall into a dream world.  As liason to Mrs. Adelicia Acklen, who is trying to reclaim her place in society, Claire is delighted to find that Belmont is filled with artwork beyond belief.  Claire works very hard to prove herself worthy of the position, and at the same time starts to fall in love before she herself even realizes it.

While this is a wonderful love story and “girl making a new life for herself” book, what I find myself remembering most is the sentence that God speaks to Claire at a critical time in her life.  I won’t give it away here, but I’ve been applying it to different aspects of my own life and it brings fresh perspective.  The combination of great story and a new way to look at life makes this a splendid book.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Tamera Alexander is a best-selling novelist whose deeply drawn characters, thought-provoking plots, and poignant prose resonate with readers. Having lived in Colorado for seventeen years, she and her husband now make their home in Nashville Tennessee, along with their two adult children who live near by. And don't forget Jack, their precious--and precocious--silky terrier.

For more information please visit

Enter to win one of Tamera's fabulous prizes and RSVP for Facebook Party on 11/15!

** Thank you to Litfuse for providing me with a copy of this book for my honest review.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Fat Quarter Fabric Gift Bag

Sometimes it’s not so much what you’re giving somebody, but how you give it.  And sometimes how you give it is the entire reason for the gift!

I saw a tutorial for a fabric gift bag made from half a fat quarter and couldn’t wait to try it out.  My original plan was to make these bags for all the girls that went on a recent retreat, but unforeseen circumstances kind of paralyzed me as far as crafting went and I didn’t get them done.

I did manage to finish one of them though and as luck would have it a dear friend happens to adore halloween, so gift it I did!



Too cute!  I’m not kidding when I say it took so little time that I swore I must’ve left out a step.  The only thing I will change from the tutorial when I make more is to use my serger on the inside of the bag.  Using that method will cut even more time off the total.



This is what the bag looks like when it’s finished, before it’s stuffed and posed.  The ribbon is actually sewn into the seam, which means any time you use this bag it’s ready to go – no more looking for something to tie it with!



And since I couldn’t possibly give her an empty gift bag I did some of the old standby “pretzels dipped in melted candy coating chips”, then topped with seasonal sprinkles.


** Linking to Fabric Tuesday, Get Your Craft On, Sew Cute Tuesday, Too Cute Tuesday, Handmade Tuesday

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Friday, November 04, 2011

Turning 50!

Oh yes, I turned 50!  My first indication that I was going to be celebrating a milestone birthday was getting an “invitation” in the mail to join AARP.  They are sure Johnny On The Spot with that aren’t they???

And wouldn’t you know – we forgot the camera!  Fortunately all our phones have cameras, so we weren’t totally in the dark.


Birthday K&E

We celebrated in the manner I love more than anything – with my family!  I chose Cracker Barrel as the restaurant of choice and Keith came home with a balloon bouquet, which I loved!!!  We got a LOT of looks from other customers when we set up all the stuff at the table.


Birthday Tiara

This picture shows the tiara, lei and buttons that he also got for me.  The tiara says Birthday Queen and I love it!!!  He also brought pointed head birthday hats for everybody to wear – you can see little Brooklyn looking at me wearing hers.

This flower and awesome little vase was from my daughter – isn’t it unique?  I love it!


Birthday Group Photo

Our waiter took a group photo and even though it’s pretty out of focus I still love it.  So much love sitting at this table right here!

Having never celebrated a birthday at Cracker Barrel I didn’t realize what they would do, but I did get the birthday song from the wait staff (and Brooklyn loved that!).  Our waiter kept saying over and over that I was celebrating my 29th birthday and I kept correcting him and saying no, I’m 50 today.  I guess I’m not one of those that has to pretend about age – I’m happy about all my 50 years!!!

By the time we hit fifty, we have learned our hardest lessons. We have found out that only a few things are really important. We have learned to take life seriously, but never ourselves. - Marie Dressler

I have enjoyed greatly the second blooming... suddenly you find - at the age of 50, say - that a whole new life has opened before you. - Agatha Christie

50 years: here's a time when you have to separate yourself from what other people expect of you, and do what you love. Because if you find yourself 50 years old and you aren't doing what you love, then what's the point? - Jim Carrey

The man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life. - Muhammad Ali