Saturday, November 30

The Sun Sets on November!

Couldn't help but quick get this last day of November posted.... just to capture tonight's amazing beautiful spectacular sunset that closes out the month....

Our God is an Awesome God!

Friday, November 29

Daniel's Toy Box

We have some very special friends we've know, well forever! Many of you have heard me talk about Terry and Howard. We've made lots of memories together over the years and we truly are grateful for their friendship.

Well their grandson, Daniel, is very special to us as well and, whether he likes it or not, I think Jerry's adopted him as his unofficial grandson! So on one of their visits here last Summer, Daniel was playing with Brayden and they were getting toys out of the toy box that Jerry had made for Brayden....  Well seems Daniel hinted that he really liked that toy box... so of course what did Jerry do..... yep.. made Danny his own toy box!

Since Danny is a bit more "mature" at the ripe old age of 7... rather than cute heart handles he made on Brayden's toy box, Jerry comes up with an amazing idea. .... he put a checkerboard on the top lid.... and engraved Daniel's name on the front...

Inside he made a ledge to hold Danny's hot wheel cars

And even made a way to store the actual checkers

Best part was the "secret" compartment in the floor of the toybox

Look how he even made the handles out of the same checkerboard pattern

So we buzzed up to Wildomar to spend time with them 
and Jerry presented his woodworking project to Daniel.... 
was sooo cute to see how tickled he was over it...

... especially when he discovered the "secret compartment"....

and the roll of life savers!!!

So the rest of the evening was spent teaching 
Daniel how to win at checkers!
It was awesome!
We love you Danny!

Thursday, November 28

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We are so very grateful to God for the awesome family and friends we have... I know that's easy to say as everyone does, but do want you to know how truly thankful we are. I hope you are spending time with those you love and treasure.


Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire.
  If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don't know something,
  for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
  During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations,
  because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge,
  because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes.
  They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you're tired and weary,
  because it means you've made a difference.

It's easy to be thankful for the good things. 
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks.

Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive. 
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles, and they can become your blessings.

 And now...An Ode To Thanksgiving:

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey be plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!

Wednesday, November 27

Orange Blueberry Bread

Ya gotta make this for T-Day morning treat tomorrow.... while that turkey is cooking away... try some of this awesome Orange Blueberry Bread... all these recipes I'm getting as you can see are either from 30 Handmade Days Blog or Your Home Based Mom... love it!

orange blueberry bread

If you're in the mood for a little sweet bread .. and perpahs you have some oranges on the counter and blueberries in the garden that needed to be used.. here's an obvious answer as to what to do next....  orange blueberry bread is a match made in heaven.

This bread is amazingly moist and just the right amount of sweet and just the right amount of orange.
The orange bread stands perfectly well on it’s own but the addition of the blueberries gives it even more flavor and fun! Here's a great hint I never knew: Always give the blueberries a dusting of flour before putting them into the batter so they don’t all sink to the bottom.

Before removing the bread from the pan, while it is still warm you spoon a glaze of sugar and orange juice over the top for even more orange goodness.

Orange Blueberry Bread


Orange Blueberry Bread
Slice and enjoy!

Orange Blueberry Bread

Orange Blueberry Bread
  • 1/2 C butter
  • 1 C sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • rind of 1 orange
  • juice of 1 orange plus extra water if needed to make 1/2 C
  • 2 C flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 C blueberries
  • Glaze
  • juice of one orange
  • 1/4 C sugar
  1. Mix together butter, sugar and eggs.
  2. Stir in rind and juice.
  3. Add in flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Mix until combined and moistened.
  5. Pour into a greased 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean
  7. Glaze
  8. Combine juice and sugar in a small pan. Heat to dissolve sugar.
  9. Pour glaze over top of hot loaf.
  10. Let stand for 10-15 minutes before removing from pan.
The Orange juice glaze is amazing!

Tuesday, November 26

Pumpkin & Chocolate???

Pumpkin and Chocolate... yep!. You either love it or hate it!  However, in my opinion nothing beats the combination of cream cheese and pumpkin... that is until you add that incessant chocolate craving and combine it all into one decadent dessert -  Pumpkin Brownies.

I found this awesome recipe on My Baking Addiction... A sweet and spicy combination of pumpkin and cream cheese is layered between rich, fudgy brownies and topped with chocolate ganache to create an indulgent treat that’s perfect for any Fall feast!

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate; coarsely chopped
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

For the Pumpkin Swirl

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Ganache

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream 


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Microwave chocolate and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl at medium (50% power) for 3-4 minutes or until butter is melted. While the chocolate is melting, prepare the pumpkin layer. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, pumpkin puree, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer well combined and smooth. Set aside.
3. Once the butter is melted, remove the bowl from the microwave and stir until chocolate is melted. Whisk in sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt. Gradually add in flour; stir until just combined.
4. Spread 3/4 the batter into prepared pan. Spoon pumpkin filling by tablespoonfuls evenly over batter. Spoon remaining brownie batter over filling. Use a knife or wooden skewer to cut through the batter several times in different directions to create a swirled pattern. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes - do not overbake
5. Remove to cooling rack to cool completely. Before serving, prepare the ganache.
6. To make the ganache, pour the chopped chocolate into a medium mixing bowl, set aside. Pour the heavy cream into a microwave safe measuring cup (Pyrex) and microwave on high for about 1 minute or until bubbles begin to form on the surface. Take care to not overheat because the cream will boil over. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and allow it to sit for about 3 minutes. Use a small whisk to combine the mixture into a smooth chocolate glaze. Spoon the ganache over the brownies.

You can imagine presenting these Pumpkin Brownies to a Thanksgiving table would lead to plenty of oohs and ahs! Who could possibly resist the swirled center and glistening layer of chocolate?
Let me know where you stand – pumpkin and chocolate, pumpkin and cream cheese, or all of the above?

Monday, November 25

Chocolate Chip Treasure Cookies

Since it's going to be the most "eating week of the year"... thought I'd feature some great recipes.... so gotta start with dessert of course!  Well, not that cookies are a normal "dessert" but more an all day treat!.... so go with the favorite... chocolate chip (but these are with a twist!).... they're called Treasure Cookies.... found them on 30 Handmade Days Blog....

Super delicious Treasure Chocolate Chip Cookies from

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cups coconut
  • 1 package semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, flour and baking powder.
  3. In a large bowl, beat sweetened condensed milk and butter until smooth.
  4. Add graham cracker crumb mixture; mix well. Stir in coconut, chocolate chips and walnuts.
  5. Drop by spoonful onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  6. Bake 9-10 minutes or until lightly browned
Super Easy!

Friday, November 22

Painter's Tape Inking Technique

So you guys who came to our Fall Festival last month... remember the technique table that Lynette hosted... she taught the masking tape inking technique .... well I found some great cards on Lyssa's blog as she had a challenge with her club gals.... you can use basically any type of tape... but  painters tape or masking tape work the best.

You can even use Washi Tape....
 Just press the sticky side of a strip of tape into the ink pad
 (doesn't hurt it, never fear) and then press it
ink-side down onto your paper.
You can reuse the same strip of tape several times before
it gets too inky to be effective any longer.
And of course, this works best on well-inked pads.
This technique lends itself to all kinds of creativity.
You can even mask off the center of your card
(shown here using a Festive Flurry Framelits die cut),
then radiated the tape strips out from the center.
It takes a while, but the finished effect is gorgeous!

So if you haven't tried this technique yet--
go get some painter's tape and give it a go!
There's a reason it's been all over
the internet lately--it's super fun!

Thursday, November 21

Christmas Candy Boxes!

OK I admit it... I'm really getting into the Christmas projects and love so many of these ideas I'm seeing.... very cute and simple.... check out these candy boxes...

They are made with the retire Fancy Favor box. The reindeer ears are from the Sizzix Die Bigz Autumn Accents die. The Santa tag is the Ornaments Keepsakes Frame Lits and the bird punch!


I super love the idea of using all the punches for
different pieces to create a character!
Who thinks of these things?????

Wednesday, November 20

One Year Ago

Can't believe it's been a whole year now since my little mishap.... seems like yesterday, yet it seems like eons ago... do you ever feel that way about things? Anywho... glad to report that my wrists, hands, fingers etc are all in tact.... strength continues to improve ... unfortunately my appetite was never affected and that continues to be in full bloom!!!

Here's my photo I posted of me holding my "Get Well" basket that my boss sent me! No face shots were allowed since I pretty much was black, blue, yellow, green and blue.... not to mention my lovely hair-do.... hee hee hee.

Guess I can't get out of cooking
over the holidays this year...
but that's a good thing!

Tuesday, November 19

Rosette Christmas Tree!

You're gonna flip when you see this..... well, I did at least...... rosette Christmas Trees!

The big one is all the layers in the tutorial. The smaller one is the last 9 layers of her tutorial. It takes a lot of paper. You really need to make sure you have at least 1 dark layer alternating. In the smaller tree, I used 3 different patterns, a light, medium and dark one. On the bottom, I put a painted dowel to lift it off the table a bit.

Monday, November 18

Ms Claus makes an Appearance!

I know it' s not even Thanksgiving yet.... but have you already noticed the Christmas commercials on TV??? amazing... so since they've already started.. thought it wasn't too weird that I would start posting more Christmas card ideas..... so here's one that caught my eye....

Why does Santa get all the attention???? Well, this surely will put the focus on the Ms......


this that adorable or what??????

Friday, November 15

Turkey Cookies!

It's taken me a while, but think I'm finally getting into the festive mood.... especially when I saw these darling turkey cookies... too stinkin' cute... and Brayden should have fun making these!!

Thanksgiving Turkey Cookies!


1   roll (16.5 oz.) Pillsbury® refrigerated sugar cookies or 1 package (16 oz.) Pillsbury® Ready To Bake!™ refrigerated sugar cookies (24 cookies)    1   container (16 oz.) chocolate creamy frosting     Candy corn     Orange decorating icing     Miniature candy-coated chocolate baking bits    


Step 1Bake cookies as directed on roll or package. Cool completely, about 10 minutes.  
Step 2Spoon chocolate frosting into 1-quart Ziploc® Brand storage bag; seal bag. Cut off tiny bottom corner of bag. On each cookie, pipe frosting on outer edge of half of cookie. Arrange candy corn over frosting for feathers.  
Step 3Pipe orange icing onto each cookie to resemble turkey face and feet. Use orange icing to attach baking bits to turkey face for eyes. Pipe black gel on baking bits for centers of eyes.  



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1 roll (16.5 oz.) Pillsbury® refrigerated sugar cookies  
1 container (16 oz.) chocolate creamy frosting    
Candy corn    
Orange decorating icing    
Miniature candy-coated chocolate baking bits  


Step 1
Bake cookies as directed on roll or package. Cool completely,
about 10 minutes.

Step 2
Spoon chocolate frosting into 1-quart Ziploc® Brand storage bag; seal bag.
Cut off tiny bottom corner of bag. On each cookie, pipe frosting on outer
edge of half of cookie. Arrange candy corn over frosting for feathers.

Step 3
Pipe orange icing onto each cookie to resemble turkey face and feet.
Use orange icing to attach baking bits to turkey face for eyes.
Pipe black gel on baking bits for centers of eyes.
Gobble Gobble!!!

Thursday, November 14

Amazing Fall Wreath

LeeAnn Greff has done it again... now I wanna copy and create this wreath for sure.. look at the beautiful fall colors she's used here....

Fall Rosette wreath

I promise me this... to take some time and create this soon and very soon!

Wednesday, November 13

Fingerprint Balloon Pillow!

Take a look at this adorable fingerprint balloon pillow... perfect to make some memories in addition to a darling decorative pillow! Found on the I Love to Create blog!

They started with a blank pillow cover found at Ikea.  It was a few dollars and it has a nice zipper in it which is great for washing.  They created a freezer paper stencil of a bike. You cut the paper and then iron it onto the fabric to seal it on.  You can usually use paint with these stencils, or if you're feeling lucky just use fabric marker pen.. it's faster!

With a stencil it's super easy.  Even if you color out of the lines,
 it won't show because the stencil is forgiving.

Peel it off and your image is perfect.  After you remove the stencil,
add a few lines for balloon strings.

Then color your finger with Tulip fabric markers
and stamped it to create ballooons.

You can also use the Scribbles fabric stamp pads
to get a wider variety of colors.  The finger stamping is really easy.
You can't do it incorrectly.

And here's the finished pillow.

 I think it would make a cute shirt as well.
Ya think???

Tuesday, November 12

Boxes and Bows and Bags!

I'm getting ready for my Secret Santa Workshop to be held December 7th and this year I'm going to have a few more projets than cards... thus calling it a Workshop rather than a Stamp-a-Stack.

Here's a sample of the Tag a Bag Boxes that the gals will get to make one of their choice....




And for the Bags.. I previously featured my Elf Bags at my Fall Festival, but in case you missed it.. here they are again...


Did ya catch that gift tag???
Have Your Elf a Merry Little Christmas!
You better sign up quick...
seats are filling up!

Monday, November 11

Gobble Gobble!

This is too dang cute... made from the Sizzix Gift Bow die... a little turkey treat cup!

Made by Melissa Davies
It is super-easy to create him!
Use #2 and # 4 from the Sizzix die
as well as a few extra punches.

1. Begin by cutting one (#2) and one (#4) of the following colors: Cherry Cobbler, Pumpkin Pie, Crushed Curry, Garden Green and Cajun Craze to create the feathers.

2. Adhere the two pieces of each color together.

3. Cut one (#2) and two (#4) to create the body and wings.

4. Punch (2) 1" circles in Whisper White.

5. Punch (2) 3/4" circles in Basic Black.

6. Punch (1) Modern Label in Cherry Cobbler. Cut in half.

7. Fold a small piece of Pumpkin Pie and punch with the wing of the Bird Punch.

These little guys can be used for treat cups (as shown), decorations, party favors and more!

Friday, November 8

Simple Variations on Thinlit Theme

I'm loving the new Thinlits Card dies... aren't you? Here's some great ideas from Lyssa Zwolanek displayed on her blog:

You can start with a basic card and adjust to make one with extended panel... so it more than doubles the usable writing space on the inside of the card.... see directions at end of blog


Yes another option, the basic card can be used with the flip-fold at the top or bottom of the card, or the card can be turned on it's side, as shown below.

Isn't this a great color scheme? I love it. Primrose Petals, Crisp Cantaloupe, Raspberry Ripple and Blushing Bride with Pear Pizzazz. Can't beat that adorable Crisp Cantloupe ruffled trim, either!
There's an easy technique for lining either the whole card or a part of it with patterned papers. Just tape it to the cardstock before running through the Big Shot. Just don't tape down the "circle" edge of the card.

Here's a list of the stuff you'll need to if you want to make these cards.
Circle Card Thinlit Die
2 1/2 inch circle punch
Stippled Blossoms Stamp Set
Blessings from Heaven Stamp Set
In Color Design Series Paper
Crisp Cantaloupe 3/8" Ruffle Stretch Trim
Basic Pearls Jewel Accents
You can extend the normal length of the back panel of the card so that it is long enough to fold over and tuck back under the flip-flop part, by cutting your cardstock slightly less than 5.5 inches tall. The length should remain the normal 8.5 inches of a regular card.

The slightly decreased height will enable to you to pull the cardstock through the die so the right hand edge of the card is actually sitting on top of the die and sticking out, as shown above. Run it through the Big Shot like normal, with the new Magnetic Platform, or with the Multipurpose Platform with all tabs closed.

When it comes out, you'll see how that extended panel did not get cut off by the die--but it perfectly scored and just the right length to fold over.
You now have a flip-fold card that's much
larger and has more interior writing space!