Tuesday, November 30

I Owe My Life to Chocolate!

Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens
Bright Copper Kettles and Warm Woolen Mittens
la la la la la la la la la... these are a few of my favorite things...
well it goes something like that....

I think Julie Andrews is an amazing talented incredible fabulous singer and actress... but I frankly I think she wasn't completely honest when she sang that song in The Sound of Music...  when it comes to listing your favorite things, no woman in her right mind would have left out CHOCOLATE... give me a break.... don't you agree?

So as the holidays approach, I'm not dreaming of brown paper packages tied up with string..... I'm dreaming of Chocolate... so I did some serious research and came up with these life saving calculations... I do believe you'll appreciate with the Season upon us....:

A good piece of chocolate has about 200 calories.

As I enjoy 2 servings per night, and a few more on weekends.
I consume 3,500 calories of chocolate in a week,
which equals one pound of weight per week.

Therefore... In the last 3 1/2 years, I have had chocolate caloric
intake of about 180 pounds, and I only weigh 165 pounds,
so without chocolate, I would have
wasted away to nothing about 3 months ago!

Once again, I owe my life to chocolate!


Fond Farewell to November....
and bring in December...
I'm ready for chocolate season!

Monday, November 29

Oh Come All Ye Joy Fold...

Oh come all ye Joy Fold.... 
well.. that's not quite right..
but this card is called a Joy Fold Card..

You create 2 cards, one smaller than the other and
adhere them together so that they both open.

One opens from the right, the other from the left...
how easy is that!

I cased this from Debbie Hendersen's Designs... one of my favorite blogs!

Sunday, November 28

Gingerbread Ding Dongs?

Growing up as a kid, we didn't get many sweet treats... not sure if it was just those times as families didn't generally have such luxuries... or maybe it was just our family.. with six kids we were lucky to get the basics... don't wanna sound like I grew up in the Depression.. I didn't, but my parents did so I think that's why they perhaps were more frugal. It actually was a great thing because it taught me to spend wisely and save my money... I quickly learned money didn't grow on trees.. and I hope I taught my kids the same.

However, I wasn't so naive as to know what a Hostess Ding Dong was.. and I loved them!! Frozen was the best... I also loved Twinkies and Cupcakes.. but the Ding Dongs were my very favorite... even to this day when I take a bit it literally time-warps me back to when I was a kid.

So in order to make this Gingerbread project, you'll have to go out and buy some Ding Dongs (too bad so sad!) as it's the perfect treat size for the 2 1/2" circle punch.... plus they're already individually foil-wrapped! That's awesome!

Supplies Used:

- 2-1/2" circle punch #120906 (for the head)
- Itty Bitty Shapes Punch Pack #118309 (circle shape for the eyes)
- Tasteful Trim Bigz XL Die #120893 (for the head band)
- 1-3/4" Circle punch # 119850 (for the smile)
- Heart to Heart Xl punch #119881 (for the cheeks)
- 1/4" Grosgrain Ribbon - Real Red #109034
- Stamping sponge #101610 (to sponge whisper white ink onto the edges)
- Whisper White Ink Pad #101731 (Craft)

Very easy project for beginner crafters.
Your kids would love to make them too
Make them as ornaments or gift tags and
watch your friends be in awe.

Saturday, November 27

Countdown to Christmas!

So we no longer get done with putting the turkey leftovers away and we dive right into Christmas! I'm guilty as ever on this point... I like to get my Tree up this weekend and decorate the house! We'll see if I actually get that done...  in the mean time wanted to start sharing some Christmas ideas with you... and I must admit this is one of my very FAVORITE....

Is this the cutest snowman you've ever seen? 

 I thought it was too precious when I saw it on Connie Babbert's website....

Ya can't help but smile...
that or it makes you wanna stick out
your tongue and catch snowflakes!!!

Friday, November 26

Beer Butt Chicken!

Well if it's 6am now on Friday "the day after".... that means many of you probably are already out at the malls and shopping for those bargains... or did you already do that yesterday? I couldn't believe so many stores were staying open for Thanksgiving Day too or opening at midnight or 3am this morning..... amazing!

I hope everyone had a wonderful time yesterday celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends. We had a quiet day with Allen and Jerry's sister Janet. We switched it up from the traditional Turkey and instead BBQ'd Beer Butt Chicken... yummm.... just love it! It's super easy too. Made a terrific rub for the chicken, prop it up on a beer can half filled with beer and garlic and onion and then slow BBQ it for two hours... yum! So juicy and tender and flavorful!

Here's a couple of pictures preparing "the bird"....
Wish you could smell this rub.. .
fabulous with oregano and chili powder and Cayenne pepper
and even a little brown sugar...

Now he's wavin' bye bye.... hee hee hee

It's kinda weird cuz he almost looks real..... sorta feel sorry for him...

Ya gotta set him up just right ... don't wanna lose any of that beer!

Grill Master Jerry sat right there rockin' in the sunshine and watched him the entire time....
after all it looked like he could just jump up and run away...
like that commercial where the turkey runs down the aisle in the grocery store!!

  It cooks for almost two hours.. every 30 minutes ya add a few more coals...

Think he's nearly done now.. the wings are about to fall off... that's the sign.

It was a gorgeous day too... Allen got there in time to watch the final stages...

And little Frisco made it too.. now he was definitely ready to pounce on that bird!

Poke him with a fork.. he's done!
That skin was so crisp and delicious..
my favorite part!


Then made a pecan pie for dessert..
haven't done that in years so thought it was time!

We certainly had much to be grateful for...
definitely all had our fill and had lots of leftovers to
send home with Allen and Janet!

Thursday, November 25

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Just wanted to send everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving greeting.....

God has blessed us with so many great family and friends
and we are truly grateful.

May your Thanksgiving be filled with reflections
of all that God has given you as well.

Blessings from The Reed Ranch

Wednesday, November 24

Grateful for my Girlfriends!

A group of 15 year old girlfriends discussed where they should meet for dinner. Finally, it was agreed upon that they should meet at the Dairy Queen  next to the Ocean View restaurant because they only had $6.00 between them and Jimmy Johnson, that cute boy in Social Studies, lives on that street and they might see him and they can ride their bikes there.

10 years later, the group of 25 year old girlfriends discussed where they should meet for dinner. Finally, it was agreed upon that they should meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the beer was cheap, they had free snacks, the band was good, there was no cover and there were lots of cute guys.

10 years later, at 35 years of age, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. Finally, it was agreed upon that they should meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the cosmos were good, it was right near the gym and  if they go late enough, there wouldn't be too many whiny little kids.

10 years later, at 45 years of age, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. Finally, it was agreed upon that they should meet at the Ocean View  restaurant because the martinis were big, and the waiters there had tight pants and nice buns.

10 years later, at 55 years of age, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. Finally it was agreed they should meet at the Ocean View restaurant because the food there was reasonable, the wine list was good, they had  windows that open in case of a hot flash, and fish is good for your cholesterol.

10 years later, at 65 years of age, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. Finally it was agreed that they should meet at the Ocean View restaurant because lighting was good and they have an early bird special.

10 years later, at 75 years of age, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. Finally it was agreed that they should meet at the Ocean View restaurant  because food was not too spicy, the restaurant was handicapped accessible and they even had an elevator!

10 years later, at 85 years of age, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. Finally it was agreed that they should meet at the Ocean View restaurant  because they had never been there before.

So no matter your age or how many birthday's you've had...
Be Grateful for your Girlfriends!!!

Tuesday, November 23

Turkeys Everywhere!

Are you tired of turkeys yet?? Hope not cuz it's not even Thanksgiving yet!

Just couldn't resist showing these turkey decorations too.. don't have the "recipe" for them but  you can pretty much see how they're made just by looking...

This one's really cool.. using the Sizzlix leave die cut or the tail feather!

Looks gpod enough to eat!

Monday, November 22

More Turkey Treats!

Well the big day is getting closer... poor Mr. Turkey must be gettin' worried.. Ya know I'm not a vegetarian but I must admit I do feel bad for all those turkeys.... ok Gail, just try not to think about it...

So if you'lre still needing to find some easy little paper turkeys to make... here's another great idea... cute to decorate your Thanksgiving Table or each place setting too! Creations on Paper is awesome...

You notice, there's two different turkey designs here... slightly different from each other... just a difference of what punch to use for the feathers.... they kinda look like a turkey girl and a turkey boy...that or an indian and a pilgrim... ok now I must be gettin' silly...

Here's all the pieces are pictured here .. just glue them all together as illustrated.

Cut 3 of the Window Word or the Modern Label pieces in half for the feathers.

Cut 1 red Window word in 1/4 pieces and use only the tips for his giblets on his head and chin.

Cut the Boho Blossom piece in half for his feet.

Cut a square for his beak.

Supplies Needed:

PUNCH: pgs.186-187 (IBC)
- 1" Circle Punch #109046
- 1-3/8" Circle Punch #104401
- 1/2" Circle Punch #104390
- Hand held 1/8" Circle Punch
- Scallop circle Punch #109043
- Boho Blossoms Punch #110711
- Window Word Punch #105090
- or Modern Label Punch #116630

PAPER: pgs 155-156 (IBC)
- Real Red #102482
- Crushed Curry #115319 (In Color)
or Summer Sun #103124
- Pumpkin Pie #105117
- Chocolate Chip Brown #102128
- Whisper White #100730
- Basic Black #102851
- Creamy Caramel #102514

No live turkeys were harmed in the making of these designs.
Now go have some pumpkin pie.

Sunday, November 21

Holiday Bazaar Craft Show

We had an awesome time yesterday at the Holiday Bazaar Craft Show! Holly and her other teacher friend Holly (yes it was easy keeping track of names) both did an awesome job of raising funds for the Music Education Dept for the Vista School District.

The Bazaar was held next to an Art Gallery in downtown Vista, apparently an annual event sponsored by the Soroptimist International of Vista. There were probably about 30 other booths set up including jewelry and gift baskets and pastries and silk paintings and Christmas pillows and flower arrangements and dishes made into cake plates and serving platters... then of course we had our fun little booth... no one else had anything like our paper crafting projects. Another one of the music teachers came and put out her jewelry and paintings to sell at our booth too and I had taken some of Wanda's jewelry and Allen's ceramics, unfortunately none of which sold....  just don't think it was the right venture for that type of items... BUT we did way better than we thought on all the cards and paper projects... they loved the reindeer boxes and Magic Reindeer Food... many of the stationary card sets sold and gobs of the individuals cards... probably because we sold them for $1 each!

So at the end of the day we made $350 !!! Whoo Hoooo... Waaayy more than we ever expected! Oh and mostly due to my incredible awesome terrific wonderful stamping friends Laura and Ronnie who showed up as soon as the doors opened and bought gobs of goodies!! Thank you girls soooo much.. Holly could not express what that meant to them.. they talked about it ALL DAY LONG!!!.. how awesome my friends were, plus all the gals who donated their cards and goods for us to sell.. We are SO grateful to all of you!!! You made our day!

The best part of the day for me was that Brayden came too... yipppeeee... so I got to play with him all day and show him off to everyone.. he was the hit of the day with the other vendors too... and he was so good.. just cooing and playing and giggling .. and Holly was able to "use" him as an example of our future kids growing up who could miss out on learning music!

Here's some shots of our booth with the sign Holly made ~ oh yes and all day long her and Holly #2 would take turns going outside (yes in the rain) and walk up and down the street with a banner advertising the Bazaar... I kinda thought the Gallery would have had better exposure.. but thanks to the Hollys they brought in alot of customers that way too...

 They dedorated some "Donation" jars too and had a basket of flyers explaing the program so people can understand the efforts necessary to make to save music in our schools....

The Hollys also made some Fall goodie jars and decorated with these cute scarecrow faces and the jars were filled with candies... aren't they just too cute?

Here's the Christmas portion of our table display...

Some of the ceramics and jewelry and paintings...

Holly asked the After School program to have the kids decorate some music instruments.. they were darling.. some tamborines and castanets...

Here's the two  Hollys..

Wanted a shot with the sign in the background too..

Claire my sister came too and helped.. it was so fun to have her there with me.... we took a few minutes during the day and walked down the street to the antique store... good thing I didn't take my wallet with me.. wooh.. could'a dropped a few bills there...

 And the star of the show... Brayden!! He was so good and just was a treat...

He brought Nemo with him too.. they are inseparable...

Brayden feels about Nemo the way I feel about him... just wanna eat him up he's soo cute... isn't this precious picture.. looks like he's gonna have him for dinner!!

The Gallery sponsors were gracious and kind enough to offer to everyone a second try this afternoon.. (think they felt bad because of the rain too and low attendance) ... so the Hollys will be back gain from 10am-2pm today ... I'll go back later too and help them finish up and pack things for home..... hopefuly we wont have much to pack!