Archive | November, 2011

Thanksgiving Essential : Homemade Cranberry Sauce

9 Nov

In 11 days, my mom, dad and sweet 8 year old niece will be one a plane from NY to Texas.

We’ll be eating lots of Mexican food because you can’t get good Mexican food up there.

And we’ll be cooking up a storm for Thanksgiving.

Homemade apple pie is my dad’s speciality and he makes it with his granddaughters.  My Sweet P can’t stop talking about making apple pie with Gampers.

And sharing our recipe for fresh, homemade cranberry sauce.  Please…I beg you…don’t buy the canned stuff.  It’s just not good and not good for you.

10 minutes and you’ll be so thankful you did…and your Turkey Day guests will love you for it.


Fresh Cranberry Sauce

1 cup orange juice (or water)

1 cup sugar

1 bag fresh cranberries

Bring orange juice and sugar to a boil.

Add cranberries and return to a boil.

Cranberries will begin popping…and melting with the bubbly orange juice and sugar.

Reduce heat and let it ‘simmer down’….for about 10 minutes…

Chill overnight…and enjoy the sweet cranberries with the tangy orange juice on Thanksgiving Day!

I like to broccoli casserole smothered in fresh cranberry sauce.  I know, I’m strange…and my daughter does it too.

That’s what the holidays are for!

















Fairy Tale Pumpkins

8 Nov

Happy Tuesday!  I wanted to thank Angie for writing so boldly yesterday.  Blogging can be tough and so incredibly intimidating.  Her words touched so many people and we thank everyone for the heartfelt words of encouragement.  Isn’t that what makes a friendship?  Loving through differences and accepting one for who they are…and who they’ve become.

Love you Angie.

Now on to our happy places of creating and dreaming!

Fairy Tale Pumpkins…have you seen them?

I love them.  Adore them.  The unique colors, the fun shapes, the vintage feel.

There is a new farmer’s market where we live…and when I say farmer’s market, it isn’t a true farmer’s market.  It seems more like a street fair with some fruits and veggies sprinkled in.  Nonetheless, it was still lots of fun and a great place for fall inspiration.

Although I did…or my husband did…get out all my plastic bins of Christmas decor over the weekend, I still would like to add something festive for Thanksgiving.  My parents and precious niece will be here from New York this year.  There are no words to contain my excitement.

These are fairy tale pumpkins at the local farmer’s market:

fairy tale pumpkins

Gorgeous, right?  Guess how much??

$50 EACH…one pumpkin…one pumpkin!  $200 for the stack.

I died.  I wanted them.  But snapped a picture instead to store in my ‘dream’ files.

We did find these sweet little pumpkins for my babies.  Found a square pumpkin too…did anyone watch the Squarely Pumpkin on Disney?  My babies were so excited to find an actual square pumpkin.

And these vintage forks:

vintage forks

Love them and I am totally on the lookout for forks now.

Since that day at the farmer’s market, I haven’t stopped thinking about the fairy tale pumpkins.  And yesterday at my grocery store, they had some on sale.  Like major sale.

I didn’t buy any.  I walked away, pouting.

I dreamt about the blue gray pumpkin last night.

I went back to the store this morning…and I have my pumpkins.


I’m working a little something-something today and will show you later this week.  YAY for cheap fairy tale pumpkins!!

And YAY for friends!  Thank you friends for being there for us…Angie and I hope we can do that same for you.






When Friendships End…

7 Nov

Have you every considered what makes someone a friend?  I recently was forced to really think about that.

(Picture via Pinterest)

I even googled it.  Friendships… what do they mean?  Why do they exist?

According to Wikipedia, friendships usually have the same consistent characteristics:

  • The tendency to desire what is best for the other
  • Sympathy and empathy
  • Honesty, perhaps in situations where it may be difficult for others to speak the truth, especially in terms of pointing out the perceived faults of one’s counterpart
  • Mutual understanding and compassion; ability to go to each other for emotional support
  • Enjoyment of each other’s company
  • Trust in one another
  • Positive reciprocity — a relationship is based on equal give and take between the two parties.
  • The ability to be oneself, express one’s feelings and make mistakes without fear of judgment.

The reason for my research and confusion was based on a big surprise and a lot of hurt.  You see I had a best friend of 14plus years tell me via email that she felt it was best we didn’t talk anymore. You ever see the episode of Sex and the City where Carrie gets broken up with by a boyfriend via Post It?  Yeah, that is pretty much how it went down for me this weekend.

Our friendship had a long history and was very special.  In fact, she was one of two people I was celebrating my 40th birthday with this month.  We even had a special girls’ weekend planned together for it next weekend.

Her reasoning for not being friends anymore was that we had different interests now and had nothing in common.   Well, I hate to admit that but it’s partly true.  We are different now in many ways.

Before getting married a few years ago, I used to love to hang out at martini bars, shop all day and dance all night. Maybe I am really lame now?  I loved my prior life…but I really love my chilled out life now. I’m in such a good place and have never been happier. I love having brunch with my husband, taking my dogs on walks and working on home improvement projects.  And I’m not totally a bore–I still get out every so often and love to enjoy good margaritas or a night out on the town!

Perhaps I have changed even more than I realize.  But isn’t that what life is about? Don’t our interests and passions sometimes change over the years?  Am I only allowed friends that are just exactly like me?

I really beat myself up over this all weekend.  The whole thing made me doubt myself as a person.  Should I be embarrassed for who I am now?  Am I not cool enough?  It also got me thinking about friendships.  What makes them?   Are we supposed to think exactly the same way in order to be friends? The Wikipedia definition doesn’t say anything about the requirement of having the same interests.

After a lot of reflection, I realize now I can look up all the definitions of what makes a friend and it won’t matter.   I need to be proud of who I am.  I am a good person.  I am a good friend.    Life is too short to waste time on people that don’t appreciate that.

(Picture via Pinterest)

 I love all my friends and am thankful for those that stand by me.  I hope you never go through anything like this but if you do, please remember to:

Be true to yourself.

And the words of Jim Morrison…

(Picture via Pinterest)




Poor Thanksgiving.

4 Nov


Isn’t this true? Seriously. Christmas decor has been out since September in Texas.

And its been hot too.

I teased my husband the day after Halloween…I said “OH Yay! We can get the Christmas trees down this weekend!”

He thinks I’m funny.

But I’m being serious.

So I laughed out loud this little doodle.

Poor, poor Thanksgiving. Everyone just likes you for the turkey and dressing and a nice long nap on the couch.

Happy Friday, friends! I’m putting up my trees!!


She Made It {Thursday}

3 Nov

I’m loving featuring projects again!

I know it’s November 3rd but I am so ready for Christmas.

Heather at Whipperberry made a Candy Corn Wreath…and now followed the same idea to make this:

whipperberry candycanewreath

I love it.

Vintage. Modern. Christmas-y without feeling too overdone.

Here’s the Candy Cane Wreath tutorial.  Enjoy!

Do you want us to feature one of your projects?  Link up below!

What’s for Dinner Wednesday : Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 Nov

One of my favorite things to eat…and to make.

chicken tortilla soup recipe, grilled chicken, chicken soup food

So easy and delicious.  And your home will smell heavenly.

Today’s recipe is alittle more authentic than another chicken tortilla soup I make.


3-4 chicken breasts, shredded

1/2 c each diced red peppers, green bell peppers, onion

3 cloves chopped garlic

3 T tomato paste

3 cups chicken broth

1 can drained and rinsed black beans

1 cup water

3 T cornmeal mixed with 1 T water (or to your desired thickness)

Salt and pepper to taste


Tortilla chips – our family LOVES Lime Tortilla chips

lots of fresh cilantro

squeeze of fresh lime juice

diced red onion

diced avocado

sour cream and cheese


Saute onion, peppers, and garlic in vegetable oil until soft.

Add tomato paste, chicken broth, water…stir.

Add chicken and black beans.

Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30-40 minutes.

Mix cornmeal with warm water and stir into soup.  It thickens it up just abit and gives the most delicious flavor to the soup.

Simmer for 10 -15 more minutes.

Ladle in bowl…add your fixins’.

Let me know what you think!!

Happy Wednesday!


November already?

1 Nov

Is it really November today?  Wait…where did October go?

The fact it is already November scares me.  It is especially daunting because I turn 40 this month.  Eek!

If October was a fast blur to you too…here is a recap of some of the fun DIY projects we featured last month.



and don’t forget this great picture hanging tip using toothpaste!

Well…see you in November!

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