Saturday, December 31, 2011

Trying Threaded Comments Again.....

I think I may just have stumbled upon the form of a tutorial for threaded comments that seems to work and is not a third party application.  Many thanks to Artis Tutorial and specifically this post
on adding threaded comments to Blogger Blogs!  The tutorial itself was easy to follow and within 10 minutes I had completely altered my comments and the ability to add a reply!  If you want to see it in action on my blog check out this post, it's comments and my replies!

The threaded comments seems to be working just fine - however if I run into problems I will be sure to post about it here.  Please let me know if you choose to take advantage of this tutorial and try the  threaded comments feature and how it is working for you.

~Keep Life Simple by Mixing It Up! TM
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Thank you for stopping by ~

Friday, December 30, 2011

Gearing Up for the New Year......

Christmas 2011 - typical gift opening chaos!
2012 is just right around the corner - the older I get the faster the years seem to fly by.  I am not sure if it is that I am busier or if it is just that I appreciate what life has to offer more so than I did in my younger years.  Upon reflection 2011 was a pretty good year - full of both ups and downs and I think the trick to having a successful and fulfilling life is how you handle the down times.  One of my personal "downs" for 2011 was when my Grandma had a heart attack.  It really made me realize how fragile life is and to appreciate each and every day as a gift from God.  Grandma is still with us and as feisty as she can be at 85 with a heart condition.  She is still the family matriarch but I see how the individual family roles are starting to be re-defined and re-distributed.

2004 - from left to right:
My Sister, My Mom, My Grandma, Me holding my youngest
and my oldest daughter in front.
Growing up I remember always going to my Grandma & Grandpa's house on Christmas Eve and they would come to our house Christmas morning.  Then it morphed into going to my parents house on Christmas Eve with my parents coming over to my house on Christmas morning.  Now we have settled into the routine of staying at home during the Christmas season and our house has turned into the gathering point.  The roles within the family may have changed, but the one thing that is and always will be is the family being able to get together no matter whose house we may land in.

Christmas 2011, from left to right:
My Grandma, My Mom, My Dog Bella & My Dad
I love that my house has turned into the "family" gathering point and look forward to many more years of family gatherings......

Monday, December 26, 2011

Our Christmas in Five Photos.....

The cookies were put out and the note written to Santa

Santa came during the night!

Mom was up first and made breakfast....cinnamon rolls (shown) and breakfast burritos - yum!

The kids open up the "best present ever" - an X-box Connect & game that Santa brought!

We managed to actually get a quick family photo - yeah!
Still need a photo with the whole family though!
A wonderful time was had by all, this Mom is worn out and still not recovered......maybe I'll be recovered by New Year's Eve - one can only hope!  Thanks for stopping by and sharing our Christmas memories.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~ Christmastime!

Christmas 2003, myself and my two girls at a Christmas Party!
Christmas morning 2006 - this was one of the few times that the whole
extended family was at our house to open gifts on Christmas morning ~
normally we have a couple of different "gift opening" sessions.
Christmas morning 2009
Christmas morning 2010
Coming Soon.....Christmas morning 2011! 
Thank you for stopping by and peeking into our past Christmas memories!

Monday, December 19, 2011

And the Stockings Were Hung By the Chimney with Care......

The hubby declared that my mantle just didn't look like Christmas without the stockings in place.....I searched high and I searched low and finally found enough 3M hooks and sticky tape to hang up all eight stockings!

Dad's, Mom's, Big Brother's, his Fiance's, Big Sister's, Little Sister's, the Dog's and yes even the Cat has a stocking!  Mom & Dad's stockings are the dark colored ones!

I was a little nervous about hanging these up as we had an "incident" last year with the 3M hooks.  Don't get me wrong ~ neither the hooks or the tape failed, but rather our paint job failed!  When we painted our mantle we did not clean the surface first so apparently the paint did not adhere as well as it should have......if you look close you can see the patch job in the center.  A large chunk of paint peeled right off along with the hook that was holding up last year's decorations.

We have since been able to determine that just because your house is new and the paint is fresh you still need to prep the walls to remove any accumulated dust.  We live in a very "dusty" area so we are pretty sure that the dust was to blame.  It looks pretty now, but when Santa visits he will have to leave the filled stockings on the kitchen table right next to his half eaten milk and cookies!
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Almost a "Date Night"......

My hubby and I got an "almost date night" last night!  We both got off work a little early, went to our local fast food joint, planned our Christmas shopping strategy while we were eating, left and then spent the next 3 hours on shopping!  Time alone with hubby (plus the hundreds of other shoppers).

I have to admit that I was surprised at how little traffic there was both on the roads and in the stores!  It seems to me that the stores were much busier in past years.  I know it was the middle of the week and there are still 10 days before Christmas, but I expected more people.  What has been your experience this year with your holiday shopping?

The other thing that I noticed was that the toy department seemed a little "slim" this year in comparison to previous years - in fact I don't think that any extra toys were brought in like the stores usually do.  What I did see was an expansion of the holiday decorations, pre-packaged gift sets and candy.  The electronics department was definitely into the holiday spirit and seemed to feature more than the usual array.

Merry Christmas!
Now for some more of my decorations!  This is the setup that I did on top of my buffet.  I am currently using the buffet as a sofa table (due to space restrictions), but I think it turned out pretty nice.  As with most of my decorations each piece has a little story!  The two Santa Claus figures were a gift from my Paternal Grandma & Grandpa.  They are both deceased so these pieces bring back some wonderful memories.  The little Green sleigh was passed down to my by my Maternal Grandma - she's now 85 and as feisty as ever!  I got the snow bear at my youngest daughter's school Harvest Festival - I won the silent auction for the basket of Christmas goodies.  The large snow globe was a Goodwill find and features the nativity.  The Nutcracker was a gift from my MIL and the reindeer plays music and was a hand me down from her also.  The really tall Santa (all you can see is his legs) was another Goodwill find!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Nativity

Below is this year's nativity scene ~ the actual set up changes just a little bit each year but the main pieces are always the same.  The actual nativity always seems so dark so I tried to put up a string of lights - it looks pretty good when it is lit up, but not so much for these day photos.  I had to use colored lights since I was all out of White lights.  I will have to catch some after Christmas sales this year to pick up a small strand of White lights just for the Nativity.
The nativity scene below was from 2007  - I actually like this display much better than this year's display, however the large angel has gone missing and the small white tree currently resides in my oldest daughter's room - complete with decorations.  I have several of the single pillar candle lights but they are currently in various windows throughout the house.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New Blogs to Follow!

A special "Thank You" is due to Dawn of Creative Cain Cabin!  I spent an hour this morning cruising through her blogroll and found a bunch of new great blogs to follow!


Most of the blogs that I found have some sort of focus on their homes so I spent the better part of the morning "drooling" over various Christmas displays and finding inspiration in their designs. I invite you to take a look at my blogroll and go check out some of these wonderful blogs for yourself.

As for me I am off to do some more drooling and reading.......

A Child's Christmas Village

This is what Christmas and holidays are all about......I got ready to type my blog post today knowing that I would use a couple of the photos I downloaded yesterday (showing off some more Christmas decorations) and I discovered this photo on my computer
At first I was wondering where did this come from and then I remembered that my youngest daughter had been "helping" me with the Christmas decorating.

She had taken a bunch of the decorations and arranged a whole village on the kitchen island.  Then she proceeded to narrate a whole story about what she created.  I didn't realize she had taken a photo ~ but I am so glad that she did, now every time I see this photo I will remember this special moment we shared together exploring her Christmas Village...... 

Monday, December 12, 2011

My Christmas Mantle

One of my favorite things to decorate is my fireplace mantle......

In my opinion, my Christmas decorations would not be complete unless my mantle was decorated.  The mantle I have right now is really narrow so it is somewhat of a challenge to decorate it!  Our previous house had a wooden mantle that was about 7 inches deep so I had plenty of room to decorate it.  I decided to not fight the size of my mantle and just keep the decorations simple.  I really like how this year's mantle turned out!
They are not turned on in this photo, but there are White lights woven into the greenery.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Past & Present

This post was originally published last year and rather than do a new one for this year I thought I would just share this again. The ornaments that are shown here are on the tree again this year and continue to be family favorites. As you can tell from the images, photography is not one of my strong points. I am hoping that Santa will bring me a new point and click digital camera this year and if not I might just have to start using my oldest daughter's camera!

Our tree is primary done up with Red & Silver and I will be taking some photos of it later today along with photos showing off some of my other Christmas decorations.  I have gotten quite a bit of inspiration this year from the various blogs that I follow so the decorations this year are slightly different than previous years.....the family seems to like what I've done and the youngest is happy now that Santa Claus can visit since the house is decorated!
One of my favorite ornaments.

My cat's new favorite spot.

My hubby bought me a whole set of Thomas Kincaid ornaments,
Snowmen & Santas!

From Christmas Past, this was on my hubby's tree when he was a boy.

Christmas Past, a set of these ornaments were on my Grandma's
tree every year. I used to love laying on the ground
and looking up at them.

Handmade by me, while in MOPs.

A little tree bling and my girls initials.
One of my most precious treasures - handmade by my oldest daughter.

Another precious treasure handmade by my youngest daughter.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I'm Tired & Christmas is Creeping Up.....

The house is 95% decorated for Christmas, but I just feel tired this holiday season and can't seem to get fully into the holiday spirit!  Seems like I still have too much on my mind ~ gotta do this, that or the other thing and none of it has to do with the holidays!  Maybe when I get the house finished I will feel more in the holiday groove!

As with many it will be a financially tight Christmas this year so my brain is doing the scramble trying to figure out ways to cut the budget and things I can make!  The hubby is always the hardest to buy  or create something for.  We've been together long enough that I have already made him all of the really neat things I have ran across over the years.  So what do you make for the guy who seems to have everything and no longer collects anything?  He is a techno kind of guy and we are in the process of finishing his man cave (we bought an unfinished house that we are slowly finishing and one of the rooms is the "man cave").  I am thinking something to go in his cave, but not sure what......if anyone has any ideas I'd sure appreciate it!  Gotta dash for now ~

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Country Gourmet Deal of the Day - 11/30/11

Visit us for super savings with our deal of the day! Each of our handmade gourmet food mixes and hand poured wickless wax melts are made from the highest quality ingredients. The deal of the day is a perfect way for you and your family to save on your favorite products or try new additions.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Country Gourmet Deal of the Day - 11/29/11

Deal Of The Day - Comfy Holiday Bundle-
Deal Of The Day
Visit us for super savings with our deal of the day! Each of our handmade gourmet food mixes and hand poured wickless wax melts are made from the highest quality ingredients. The deal of the day is a perfect way for you and your family to save on your favorite products or try new additions.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Deal of the Day - 11/19/11

To Order go to
Click on "Go Shopping", then Click on "Deal of the Day"
Family Chicken Mix

Each of our handmade gourmet food mixes and hand poured wickless wax melts are made from the highest quality ingredients. The deal of the day is a perfect way for you and your family to save on your favorite products or try new additions.

Family Chicken Mix is a perfect blend of fresh herbs and spices added to your chicken and slow cooked. You can also add vegetables and/or potatoes for a hearty comforting meal.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Working on A New Flier....

This morning I have been working on a new flier to use at my Country Gourmet Home Shows.  I have both a banner and a poster sized sign but they are booth too big and unwieldy to bring when I do my home shows.

The banner & poster work better (and were designed for) events.  I think I've narrowed it down to two designs, both are the same with the exception of borders around the images.  I think I am leaning towards the flier without borders, but I am open to your comments.  These are both designed to print out on standard 8.5" x 11" paper or card stock.

I would love to hear what you think!
Dis-regard the pale line on the left....

Dis-regard the pale line on the left - it's not part of the image!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Christmas - Homemade with Love!

One of our "homemade" creations!
This was made by my youngest daughter
(with a little help from Mama)
Whenever possible I love to make homemade presents, crafts and goodies - especially during Holidays!  In my mind there is no better time than Christmas to do so!

I recently found a great resource site which is chock full of Christmas Crafts and all things Christmas.  You can download their Free Ebooks without having to register, check them out at

I am a pretty simple person so I like the craft projects that I can get done in a day or less (I am also impatient and want it done now).  This site seems to be full of quick projects and looks like there are plenty of projects that you can do together with your kiddos (the best kind in my opinion). 
Homemade ornament - this is one of my favorite Treasures!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Walnut Butterscotch Fudge

I have a hard time remembering to take
photos of my creations....
Like many women, I do the majority of my cookie and candy making during the holiday season and this year will be no exception.  Below is an easy Butterscotch Walnut Fudge Recipe that I like to make and so far it is a "no fail" recipe (knock on wood).

2/3 Cup Evaporated Milk
1 Jar (7 oz.) Marshmallow Fluff Cream
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Stick (1/4 cup) butter or margarine
1 Bag (12 oz.) Butterscotch Chips (2 cups)
1 1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Cup Chopped Walnuts

  1. Line a square 8" x 8" pan with foil (or parchment paper) letting ends extend above pan on two sides.
  2. Put evaporated milk, marshmallow fluff, sugar and butter (or margarine) into a medium sized non stick sauce pan and bring to a boil stirring constantly to prevent scorching.  Reduce heat to med or medium low and continue with a slow boil for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat.  Stir in butterscotch chips until melted.  Stir in vanilla and walnuts.
  4. Pour into lined pan and chill 2 hours or until firm.
  5. Lift foil (or parchment) by ends onto cutting board.  Cut into 1" squares (8 across and 8 down).
Yield: 64 one inch squares.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


RSVP Definition
(taken from
An abbreviation often included in invitations to request that the invitee let the host know if he or she will be attending. From the French term, "Répondez si'l vous plaît," which means "please reply."

 One of the benefits of having a blog is that you occasionally get to vent or state a controversial opinion!  This past weekend we had a big dance birthday party for our daughter who was celebrating finally turning 13!  We were able to secure a local hall and a friend of our is a D.J. so we had all of our ducks in row for a great time!  Just over 50 kids were invited and we had pop, chips, dips, candy and cake pops for all.  The invitations were hand delivered one week in advance and each invitation include a typed out note (primarily for the parents sake) of what the party would entail.  The party had been discussed among my daughter's peers (with a date established) for about 2 weeks before the actual invitations went out.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Blog Anniversay Winner! has chosen my blog anniversary winner!  The winning entry was: 
Would love to win this!
The winner has been notified via email! 
Congratulations and thank you for helping me celebrate my anniversary!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sour Cream Cut Out Cookies

Image Courtesy of
These cookies are one of my favorite Holiday Cookies, they are not as sweet as the traditional "Sugar Cookie" so they work great to frost and decorate!

1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Cup Shortening
2 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Cup Sour Cream
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
3 Teaspoons Baking Powder
Pinch of Salt
6 Cups of Flour (approximate)

Cream together the sugar and shortening, add the eggs and vanilla.  Mix well after adding.
Then add the sour cream, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Add the flour gradually (dough will be stiff) until just pliable enough to be able to roll out and cut easily.

Roll out about 1/4 inch thick onto floured surface and use cookie cutters to cut into desired shapes.  Place on lightly greased cookie sheet or parchment paper.  Decorate with colored sugars if you do not want to frost.  Bake in a 350 - 375 degree oven for approximately 8 -12 minutes.  Cool completely and decorate with frosting or royal icing.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Vintage Style

I love all things vintage and the older the better!  I recently ran across a series of Project Gutenberg books which relate to cooking and I was able to pull these images from a variety of books. I love imagining what a typical day in their lives might have been.  I am sure in some ways easier than ours, but I am sure that many ways much more difficult than the lives we live today.