Google Website Translator Gadget

Monday, January 31, 2011

Making the Best of Winter: Put on a Happy Face

Gray skies are gonna clear up,
Put on a happy face;
Brush off the clouds and cheer up,
Put on a happy face.
Take off the gloomy mask of tragedy,
It's not your style;
You'll look so good that you'll be glad
Ya' decide to smile!
Pick out a pleasant outlook,
Stick out that noble chin;
Wipe off that "full of doubt" look,
Slap on a happy grin!
And spread sunshine all over the place,
Just put on a happy face!
Put on a happy face
Put on a happy face
And if you're feeling cross and bitterish
Don't sit and whine
Think of banana split and licorice
And you'll feel fine
I knew a girl so glooming
She'd never laugh or sing
She wouldn't listen to me
Now she's a mean old thing
So spread sunshine all over the place
Just put on a happy face
So, put on a happy face


I am joining Sally for Blue Monday

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Valentine Cupcakes

Hello Friends. 

I hope you had a fun and restful weekend.  I didn't do much of any thing this weekend and that is just fine with me.  It's nice to slow down every once in a while, don't you think?

I did bake some cupcakes on Saturday.  I've been on a cupcake kick lately.  I think because cupcakes have built-in portion control.  Not that I should be eating cake, but who am I kidding?  Life without sweets is no life at all.  

Ashlee enjoys my cupcake kick, too.  For my birthday, she gave me a cupcake charm for my Pandora bracelet.   

I also made some Valentine cupcakes Saturday.  No, I'm not being redundant.  I crafted these cupcakes out of leftover fabric from the Valentine's Day garland I made.  I know, I know.  We all know about my ineptitude with fabric, but these actually turned out.  

I used the tutorial on Brenda's blog.  If you have never visited Brenda, you are missing out.  She is just so sweet and boy is she talented.  I think if I could work one-on-one with her, I may actually figure out how this whole sewing thing works.  

Now, my cupcakes are no where NEAR as adorable as Brenda's but I am fairly happy with them.  I couldn't figure out how to make the little dimple in the top like hers.  It required a needle and thread and knowledge of how to use them.

I made two of them and placed them on the mantel.

I will be joining Mary for Mosaic Monday.  


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Alphabe Thursday: P is for Prognosticator

P is for Prognosticator: to predict or foretell future events.

Do you believe in physics, fortune tellers, weathermen? I don't put much stock in prognostication because

I've survived too many ends of the world as foretold by Nostradamus

The weather forecaster's success rate is less than impressive.

There would be a lot more rich psychics if they were able to predict the winning lottery numbers.

The only prognosticator I believe in…..the only prognosticator I pin my hopes and dreams on....the only prognosticator worth his weight in a groundhog.

You’ve probably heard of Punxsutawney Phil. The most famous groundhog of all, but I’d like to tell you about Phil’s cousin, Buckeye Chuck. Buckeye Chuck is a native of Marion, Ohio. He began predicting the arrival of Spring in the 1970s.

From late September until early April, Buckeye Chuck spends his time hibernating. On February 2, against his will, Chuck emerges from his sleep to predict the weather. In 1979, the Ohio legislature made Buckeye Chuck Ohio's official groundhog.

According to Ohio History Central, using groundhogs to predict the weather came from a long-held German belief if a hibernating animal sees its shadow on February 2, six more weeks of winter will occur. In the United States, this tradition evolved into Ground Hog Day.

Generally, wild groundhogs live to only two years of age while domesticated ones commonly live to ten years of age. While groundhogs rarely live more than a decade, some people contend that Buckeye Chuck is the same groundhog that has predicted the weather for more than thirty years.

Visit Jenny's blog where we celebrate a new letter each Thursday.

We have a Winner!

Melinda from Mullings from Melinda...

Come on down!

Please email me with you mailing address.  

Congratulations!  La 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

It Must be Monday

It must be Monday.

Not much got accomplished at work today.  I was so sleepy during my commute home in the dreary cold.  While trying to stay awake, I planned my evening.  The Plan: throw some potatoes in the oven and while they bake take a quick cat nap.   

When I arrived home, Ashlee was squealing there's a bird in the house.  You know it's a harsh winter when the wildlife start coming in to stay warm.  Thanks to my dad and brother Chuck, the bird is back on the outside looking in.

The cat nap?  Maybe next time. 

I'm still exhausted and am going to call it an early night, unless another critter finds its way into the house.  I promise to catch up with all of you tomorrow. 

There's still time to go here and enter my giveaway.
even if there's a bird in your house.  

Pets on Parade

Happy Monday!

Bosco is excited about being featured in today's post. He donned his favorite blue kerchief for this special occasion. He's such a diva....what do they call a male diva????

Bosco is the center of attention at out house. He is fun-loving, affectionate, and loyal.

Bosco is more than a pet, he is a family member. His favorite activity is going to Fred's Ice Cream shop in the summer for a special dairy treat.

I'm a dog person, for which Bosco is very appreciative. However, my cousin Melanie loves all animals and she has some unusual pets.

Hedgehog, Bubbles.
Isn't she sweet?

The critters and I will be joining the following ladies' parties:
Sally's Blue Monday

Remember to go here
to enter my giveaway.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Hello Friends!

Are you having a wonderful weekend?  It is very cold here, but the sun is shining brightly.  Today is the fourth Sunday in January so I am joining Betty at My Cozy Corner for Cupcake Sunday.  Won't you join us?

Today, I'm sharing gingerbread cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.  This is a new recipe for me and I found it on  

 Gingerbread Cupcakes
5 Tablespoons Butter, softened
1/2 Cup White Sugar
1/2 Cup Molasses
1 Egg
1 Egg Yolk
1 1/4 Cups All-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon Cocoa
1 1/4 Teaspoons Ground Ginger
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Allspice
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Cup Hot Milk

Preheat oven to 350* F (175* C).  Prepare cupcake pan.

Cream butter and sugar.  Add molasses, egg, and egg yolk.

Sift dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture.  Stir just long enough to combine.  Add hot milk and stir.  

Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cupcake pan.  Bake for 20 minutes or until the cake is slightly springy to the touch.  Cool

Cream Cheese Frosting  
2 Tablespoons Butter, softened
2 Ounces Cream Cheese, softened
2/3 Cups Confectioner's Sugar, sifted
1/4 Teaspoon Lemon Extract

Cream butter and cream cheese together.  Add confectioner's sugar and beat until fluffy.  Add the lemon extract and beat.

My frosting would not get fluffy and was very wet, more like a glaze.  I think my butter and cream cheese may have been too soft.  I ended up using closer to 2 cups of confectioner's sugar and putting the frosting in the fridge to make it set up a little.  It still wasn't the consistency I wanted.  I will have to work with this recipe a bit to get it the way I want it.  

Jordan sacrificed himself to be a taste tester,  He said these cupcakes are good.  I will wait to have one for dessert tonight.  

 There's still time to enter my giveaway.
Enter HERE.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Making the Best of Winter: Snow Cream

It's snowing tonight and we're expecting 2-5 inches accumulation by morning. Then the temperatures are going to plummet and the winds are going to be howling. My commute from work was long but uneventful and I am thankful for the latter.

I decided to make the best of this winter weather front by making a special treat for dessert.

You scream
I scream
We all scream for Snow Cream!

I always make sure I have an extra can of sweetened condensed milk in the pantry for just such an occasion. This is easy to make and it is really very good. Here's all you need:
Caution: pictures with poor lighting.
Bowl full of FRESH snow
Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
Vanilla Extract

Mix & eat!

Out of Sweetened Condensed Milk? Visit Jerri for her slightly different recipe. I'm going to make the next batch using her recipe. I sure hope it snows this weekend!
Did I say that????

I will be linking to Foodie Friday.

Have you entered my giveaway yet?

Enter here


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Alphabe Thursday: Letter O

O is for Orange. According to CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta, our daily diets should consist of seven different colors. I'm pretty good at getting in my daily brown food, chocolate.

I do try to make my foods colorful. After all, pretty food is usually more flavorful. The best place to look for vibrant colors and bold flavors is in the garden: fruits and vegetables.

There were Orange carrots in the homemade
chicken noodle soup I ate for lunch.

Pumpkin Pie is Orange, as is a Pumpkin Pie Martini.

I do believe Orange may be my flavorite food color!

I am submitting this post as my Alphabe-Thursday homework for Miss Jenny. Please join our class for more O posts by clicking on the button above.

While you are here...

enter my giveaway.


Valentine's Day Tablescape

The snowmen from this tablescape had to go! This month's tablescape has a warm, romantic Valentine's Day theme. I broke down the table so it is round and intimate. I used two tablecloths, a red one underneath covered by white lace.

Disclaimer: There is nothing expensive about this tablescape. I did not use crystal, china, or expensive linens. However, it is very romantic, pretty, and cozy. The white plates, flowers, and glassware are all from the Dollar Tree.

I believe I have an unexpected guest for dinner.

I will be linking to Tablescape Thursday.

Remember to enter my giveaway here.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Valentine's Day Mantel

Hello Friends.

I worked on bringing a warm romantic feel to the living room mantel this weekend. With Valentine's Day less than a month away I am again embracing the deep reds into our house.

Frankly, the mantel sat bare for the past several weeks because I didn't know how I wanted to decorate it for the winter months.
My mantel is always difficult for me because it is so deep. It measures 18 inches (46 cm) deep. That is a lot of space to fill. It either looks too bare or too cluttered, making the room seem unbalanced. The good thing about using the color red is that a little goes a long way.

I didn't want to spend a lot on Valentine's Day decor so I decided, in keeping with my New Year's Resolution to learn something new, I would craft some new items. Thank goodness for my creative crafty blog friends such as Ami, Brenda, and Jen. They are such an inspiration.

First, I made this sweet garland, which helps pull everything together. It was so simple and I was able to do it while watching TV.
I bought a 3 yard (2.74 meters) piece of cording at Jo Ann's, choosing the least expensive since it wasn't going to show anyway. It took about 1 1/2 yards (1.37 meters) of material. I chose three different designs in red, white and pink. Simply cut strips of material and tie them around the cord.

For this vignette, I put together a simple floral arrangement in a milk glass dish I bought at auction last summer. I used white silk roses, and red hearts I purchased at the Dollar Tree. I coupled the arrangement with a snowman candle I already had and a sherbet dish filled with peppermint candy that was leftover from Christmas.

Candy continues to play a major part in this vignette. I used Hot Tamales and Good & Plenty to partially fill this vase and to hold a white taper candle in place. A little red ribbon finishes off the look. I bought the red glass piece at Hobby Lobby in their clearance aisle for less than $7. The pretty perfume atomizer was a Sweetest Day gift from Jordan. I scattered red silk rose petals to complete the look.

I will be joining Tabletop Tuesday, Ruby Tuesday, Rednesday and Beth's Valentine's Mantel Party. Please visit these lovely ladies' blogs and say hello.

Remember to enter my giveaway here.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

“The ultimate measure of a man
is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience,
but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
Remember to enter my Giveaway here.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Making the Best of Winter: A Giveaway


This giveaway is now closed.

The sun is shining over Marion, Ohio today. Yahoo!

I've been in a mid-winter funk these past few weeks and we aren't even at mid-winter. The lack of sunshine, warmth, and fresh air makes it a bit difficult to keep my resolution to make the best of each day.

The time has come for me to shake the funk, to get a new attitude, and to celebrate the day, the week, the month and YOU.

The day: The sun is shining and that is worth celebrating.

The week: This is the week we celebrate a great American, Martin Luther King, Jr.

The month: This month marks the 50th anniversary of my birth. YIKES!

YOU: I am so fortunate and thankful for all of you who visit my blog each day. You are all so special to me and I think about you throughout the day, especially during my commute.

The Giveaway

Each one of you deserve a little pampering, lots of love and a surprise or two. This giveaway includes it all.

You will receive the following:

This beautiful bottle filled with
lavender mineral bath salts

Set of three petite vanilla candles

Inside this wrapped box is something
very special just for YOU!

I wonder what is in that box? Don't you just love surprises? Would you like to win it? Here's how ~

You do not have to be a blogger to win, just make sure you leave your email address in your comment. This giveaway is OPEN to international readers, too.

1. Answer the following question: How are you making the best of winter?
2. Become a follower or tell me you already are.
3. Add my giveaway button (below) on your sidebar with a link back to this post.
4. Blog about this giveaway with a link back to this post.

Remember to leave a comment for each entry. The giveaway will end January 26, my birthday
. Good luck!