Thursday, December 31, 2015


Cousins are strange things. They can be many things to all of us. They can be friends. They can be people we spend quality time with for a few days every few years. Or they can be total strangers and mysteries to us.

After our siblings they are often the first group of individuals that teach us about how relationships work. If we are fortunate enough to be the same age, we often spend some time with them during the early years of our lives. And they can be some of those cherished childhood memories.

But one thing about them is that if one of them dies there is something inside of you telling you something is wrong. It doesn't matter if you were close or just people that you talked to at family gatherings. Cousins are one of those strange connections to some of the foundations in our lives. They remind us that we are connected to a group of people other than those we live with and see daily.

That strange something wrong feeling happened to me this week. My cousin Rob passed away this week. Rob and I weren't particularly close, but we were the same age. He was 3 months younger than me.

So since we were the same age, it feels a little odd to think that he is no longer with us. Since I learned of his death I have thought about time that I spent with him. Most of it during visits to my grandparents during the summer. And then those occasional visits his parents made to our home growing up.

I thought about times at the swimming pool and times where we were just playing childhood games at my grandparents home. I thought about the time he came with his family to visit us in Kansas. He found a box of baseball cards that I had. He went through them and told me he wanted to buy some of them. He then asked me where I got them all. And I replied you gave them to me. The look on his face was priceless.

I have thought about the times at family gatherings when he made a point to come over and talk to me. And he always wanted to know what was going on in my life. He always made me feel like he wanted to know me as a person. He wasn't just making small talk like so many individuals do at those gatherings.

So as this week moves on and a memorial service will be held in his honor. There is something special that will be missing at that memorial. The person who always had a smile, a joke, and wanted to know what was going on in my life won't be there. He will be missed.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

There's No In Between

I once had a friend who told me there's no in between with you. You either have the world's greatest luck or the world's worst luck. There is just no middle ground. Now his statement is a bit exaggerated, but there is a little bit of truth in it. Anybody who knows me knows weird things do happen to me. 

I mean how many people do you know who have gone to the public library. Set their coat on a chair, and well when I turn around there is no coat. And then when I go to get in the car there is no car because the car keys were in the coat pocket. Yep, it happened to me. 

Or how many people know someone who goes into an arcade with machines that give out tokens. They stand next to a machine that you can win tokens in. The person doesn't even put anything in the machine to win. And then all of the sudden the machine starts shooting out tokens. Yep, it happened to me. 

Well, today was one of those days when the bad things happened. I received a phone call from my mother stating that my cousin died. Thankfully, I asked for an extra day off this week so I might be able to go to the funeral. I am feeling sad, and well a little less than motivated. But I convince myself that I did need to get a few things completed today. I don't have time to just sit around feeling sorry for myself. So I get myself dressed, and I go out to my car. And this is what I see.

Yes, someone broke the window on my car. And those Doc Martens I got such a great deal on are gone. 

So today has been when of those down days for me, but tomorrow is a new day. And I'm sure it will bring new bright and new opportunities.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Maybe The Journey Was The Treasure

Ever take a trip, and it isn't all that you anticipated it would be? Sometimes things just don't go the way we want them to. It doesn't matter how much we plan, or how prepared we believe we are. It just doesn't work out. Sometimes just maybe the journey was the treasure.

At this point in life most of us know that there are many types of journeys in life. There are journeys we take by some sort of vehicle. There journeys we walk through. And then there are journeys that are life experiences.

I believe that once again one of those journeys has begun. You see there was a clerical error at work. That error occurred over a year ago. I pointed that error out to management and the union. But as is common in many workplaces. They gave me that look. You know that look, when you tell someone that the system they support has made an error. The look that says the system isn't wrong your stupid.

When this error was brought to light yesterday, the look on the faces that I pointed this out to flashed through my mind. I thought about how the situation that has presented itself just doesn't even need to be. I thought about the weird things that have happened over the course of the past year. This past year has truly been an odd journey.

This journey has shown me, that people don't become apathetic about things instantly. I've learned that most people often think they are right. Even though what they are telling you makes absolutely no sense. The journey has also shown me that people don't really seem to want things to run smoothly. They simply want something to complain about. These are a few of the negative things that it has shown me.

It has also shown me that there is always someone who steps forward and says this isn't right. There is also always someone who will do what they can to help you out. And it has shown me that I can only control certain things. And that I shouldn't worry about the things that are out of my control.

So maybe the new journey will be just as much of a treasure as the last one.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Post Christmas Thankfulness

Christmas has passed. Yes, we all survived another holiday. And it's time to look at some really great things that have gone on in my life recently.

I am thankful that I was able to go visit with my mother this Christmas. Last year I was unable to go, and I felt bad about it. It was the first Christmas without my father. But this year I was able to spend a couple of days with her. It's always good to visit. And it's always good to come home. But my mom does Christmas right. Her Christmas tree is always wonderful.

You can see a few of the decorations closer if you visit the post Merry Christmas to All

And well this year her apartment looked the Keebler elves had taken over because there were cookies ever where. She baked some of the cookies. And well she had a lot of people provided with plates of cookies. I was glad to come home and get away from all of that sugar. I just can't resist all of those cookies.

If you ever spend any time in a vehicle on Christmas day you all know that there is one song that is played over and over. It's fun the first five times you hear it, but after that you ask aren't there any other Christmas songs that can be played? This year the song was Winter Wonderland. I like the song, but I am thankful I shouldn't have to hear it for at least another year. Well, maybe just one more time this year.

I am so thankful for a pedicure. It was exactly what I needed. It always feels great to be able to have someone else massage your feet. And the folks over at Queen Nail in Fort Wayne did a great job with my pedicure. Thanks bunches! You are the best!
I am thankful that it is Monday morning and well there are loads of new opportunities today. What are you thankful for today?

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Dreadful Alchemist

What if an alchemist decided that he was going to change substances into the substances needed to create a nuclear device instead of gold? That's what the book The Dreadful Alchemist by Charles Z. David is all about.

The Dreadful Alchemist

The Story

Like I said in the intro this book is about a physicist who has developed a way to turn substances into the radioactive elements necessary to create a nuclear device. And he is able to achieve his goal by working with the fringe elements of society. He begins working with the nationalist movements in European community who want power and are willing to do whatever they feel necessary to obtain it. 

Ollie is the central character of the book. He's a Scandinavian who has converted to Islam. He doesn't look the part of a terrorist. But he is a true believer. After his new bride's death he becomes radicalized and moves into the underworld of ISIS. He develops his brutality while fighting in Syria. And then he develops a plan. A plan that can release terror on the unbelievers. And one that can throw the world into turmoil. 

His plan is simple in his mind. Use the weaknesses of others to obtain a nuclear device which he could use to destroy the Holy Sector of Jerusalem. And throughout the book there are many individuals who are willing to work with him to achieve his goal. 

What I Liked and Disliked

Overall, I liked this book. I liked how the author took what seems to be an outlandish possibility. The idea of turning non nuclear materials into the elements necessary to produce a nuclear weapon. His central character Ollie is someone you would not fit the profile of someone fighting for ISIS. I like how the author showed that with a little creativity he was able to achieve his goal. He used an individual who would never be suspected to be the villain. 

I also liked that the author actually provided two endings to the book. He presented two possible scenarios that could happen. It was kind of up to me how it ended. I think that it depends on your view on life as to which ending you will pick. Do you see things as being hopeful or unavoidable? 

The one thing that made this book a little difficult for the average reader was the heavy use of scientific terms that some readers may not understand. But then again how do you write a book about developing a nuclear weapon without using those terms. 

I liked how the story moved along at a fast paced, and I liked how the author showed just how easy it was for Ollie to manipulate fringe groups. He was able to tell them what they wanted to hear. And they provided him with what he wanted. I felt like the author pointed out just how creative some individuals can be in order to get what they want.

Who Should Read This Book

If you enjoy thriller books with a twist, you will probably enjoy this book. And if you want a book that stays within the pattern of genre, but puts a twist on things you will like this book. And of course this book is timely. Recent events in Paris have reminded us all that we don't know how or when terrorists will attack. If you have an interest in science you may also like this book. The book does show how a mad scientist does make his dreams come true. Even though he doesn't realize the price he will pay for making those dreams come true.


I did receive a copy of this book in exchange for a review, but the opinions are all mine.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Saturday Somethings

So here are a few of the things I really want this Saturday. All of those things that would have been great for Christmas that I forgot to ask for. Maybe somebody read my mind.

Nightmare Before Christmas Hair Clips
I wanted some new hair clips for Christmas. I didn't get any, then again I haven't got all of my presents yet. 

I so want to read this series. I mean that i not who you usually see on the cover of a comic book. The story sounds great too! Has anybody read it? And is it any good?

Do I have to explain why I want this? I mean it's got a zombie on the back. 

 I can never resist the woodland creature so I would love a pair of these.

And the soap looks good enough to eat. 

Let me know which of these you like best.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Italian Subs

So sandwich season is here. It's winter and we all want a hearty sandwich when we are watching those football game. Here's a great sandwich for those football gathering.

Here's What You Need

4 Italian Sausages
4 Subs
1/2 of green, red, yellow and orange peppers sliced
1 purple onion sliced
1 cup of red wine vinegar
4  tablespoons olive oil
1 cup sun dried tomatoes
1/2 cup of tomato juice
1 cup of shredded cheese if desired.

Here's What You Do

Put 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in and heat it up along with 1/2 a cup of red wine vinegar. Then add the peppers, onions, tomatoes. Cook for about 10 minutes and then add the tomato juice and the remaining red wine vinegar.  Cook for another 10 minutes. Set aside and use the remaining olive oil to cook your sausage. (I used sausage from our local meat market Albright's. If you're in the Fort Wayne area check them out. They have great meat products.) While the other is cooking preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Toast your subs for a couple of minutes. Then put your sausage in a bun and then cover it in the pepper mixture. Put them in the oven and bake them for 10 minutes. ( If you want cheese put it on before you bake.) Then take it out and serve.

Need another sandwich

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Can 60 Seconds Get You Beautiful Brows?

This is a sponsored post by Billion Dollar Brows. I received a free sample of their product in exchange for an honest review. And you better believe I will tell you what I think.

The Product

I received the 60 Seconds to Beautiful Brows Kit along with the Best Sellers Kit. The 60 Seconds to Beautiful Brows Kit includes brow powder and a dual ended brush. The Best Sellers it includes a universal brow pencil, a brow duo pencil, a smudge brush, and a brow gel. The total price for the two kits retails around $66.00. I got a good haul there. The kit states that it will work well with all hair colors.

So here’s what the company claims about their products.

The Best Sellers Kit

The kit works with most hair colors. And the universal pencil never requires sharpening as well as going on smooth. The brow duo pencil works well with every skin tone. And the brow gel locks in your look. The smudge brush is great for applying creamy cosmetics.

The 60 Seconds to Beautiful Brows Kit claims that all you have to do is dab some of the powder on the brush and glide it along your brow. Then use the spoolie brush to blend it.

Do They Live Up to their claims?

The first of the products I tried was the 60 Seconds to Beautiful Brows Kit. I opened up the powder and dabbed the brush in. I found that the powder came loose easily, but not an excessive amount. You know what I mean. Sometimes you dip into a powder and well you know that you will use the product up quickly because it crumbles up with the first dip. This product allowed for enough to be used on this application and I knew there would be plenty more applications in the future. I dabbed the powder on my brows, and just as the company claimed it went on smoothly. And I was able to even things out with the spoolie. So far I liked what I got. The kit sells for $24.00 and that seems like a good deal to me.

Next I pulled out the Best Sellers Kit. I began with the universal pencil. It really was easy to use. It was easy to apply and I liked the spoolie at the end of the pencil. I pulled out the gel. I wasn’t sure what it would be like, but it glided across the brow. Next I applied the concealer and highlighter. Both were creamy when applied, and blended in smoothly with the smudge brush.

So, it has lived up to its claims!

I decided to learn a little more about this product. So I went to the website The site was easy to navigate and I really liked that it included short how to videos featuring the products. Some sites have lengthy videos showing how to use their products. These videos were short, sweet and right to the point. In short I didn’t feel like a make-up moron when I viewed the videos.

And I was pleased to learn that this business started out of someone’s living room. I love home grown businesses. And I like it when someone is able to make a living from something they truly enjoy.

I also liked that the site included a store locator. I was able to find where the product is sold in my hometown! I don’t have to go online to order it. I can go purchase it and use it the same day.

Of the two products I sampled I believe that the 60 Seconds to Beautiful Brows is the one I would purchase in the future. Both products have the same quality. But I like how easy 60 Seconds is to use. It just seems to fit into my lifestyle a little more. And it is a little lighter on the wallet.

But if you are a person who takes time to assure that their make-up is perfect each morning you may appreciate the Best Seller Kit. The highlighter and concealer really can add a lot to your beauty routine.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Unwanted Stepchild

I wrote yesterday about that bossy co-worker. I knew that I was in no mood to deal with that individual. It was a day when my buttons could easily be pushed. And so I decided that it would be best if I did as much as I could to stay away from that individual. But as most individuals know avoidance doesn't really work.

Midway through the day circumstances put me right next to the individual I knew I should be as far away from as possible today. We really do have a work set up where we don't need to interact with each other very much. But oh, no, this co-worker has not figured out that yet. I'm working an individual and this busybody member of the human race leans over and tells me I was going to need to move the items out of my locker because the individual I was sharing a locker with was back from sick leave. He wanted his locker back.

Now I knew she didn't know what she was talking about. She rarely does. My supervisor had told me initially that the person I shared a locker with didn't mind. But it annoyed me anyway. And I was in no mood to just go with the flow. But I do my best to ignore her. Then fifteen minutes later my nosy neighbor points out a mistake I made. It wasn't really a big deal. But this individual makes a big deal out of everything. Busybodies usually do. That was enough. I not so politely told her thank you for pointing out my mistake. And she just kept at it. I finally told her to just leave it. In other words just leave me alone!

It was my turn to go to lunch. I needed out of the situation so I was relieved. On my way out to lunch, a co-worker who has a position similar to mine told me we're just the unwanted stepchildren of this work group.

I thought about this throughout the day. And I've decided she's right. You see the co-worker who stated that we are the unwanted stepchildren and I decided to take positions that were non traditional. We decided that we wanted to have more quality time in our lives. We decided that we could comfortably live on the 32 hour work week instead of the 40 hour work week that everyone else believes they must have.

I also decided a couple of things. First I actually feel sorry for bossy co-worker of mine. It must be difficult to go through life only feeling good about yourself when you point out other individuals flaws.

And the second thing I decided is that the herd abhors individuals who are willing to make choices about their lives that make them happy. If you are unwilling to conform to their pattern of behavior, then you must be annihilated at any cost. If they can't convince you to conform in to their beliefs in a conversation, then they will move to other tactics.

So since I have decided to use the past couple of days to vent. I thought I would share a picture that is much more relaxing. And it also reminds me of a more healthy attitude toward life.

Monday, December 21, 2015

That Bossy Co-Worker

It's Monday. And I admit I am not looking forward to going into work this morning. Not because I dislike my job. It's because of that bossy co-worker I have. You know the one with the "Respect My Authority" attitude. The co-worker who points out mistake you make in spite even if they make more of them than you do. The one who tells you you're doing something the wrong way until another co-worker chimes in and says she was doing it the way we are supposed to.

In many ways I am a fairly tolerant person. I can put up with a lot out of people. I understand that people have different motivations.  I understand that people just can't help themselves sometimes. I even understand that the world doesn't revolve around my wishes. (But we all know it should!)

But I don't know today, I woke up and I just feel like it. I don't feel like being understanding. So today just might be the day I have to tell that co-worker to back off. Hopefully, I can be tactful. But on the other hand I don't really feel like being tactful either.

Friday, December 18, 2015

These Are a Few Of My Favorite Things

It's Friday, and even better it's payday Friday. And well, we all know what that means. It's time to treat myself to a few of my favorite things in life. Well, this week these are a few of my favorites. And I may or may not be able to splurge on them, but here we go. And yes, there might be an affiliate link in there, but trust me they are all things I really like.

Upper Left Lace-up Canvas Sneakers by Chic Nova Blue is my absolute favorite color, and I love that these have a sparkly look about them. And they kind of have that galaxy far far away feel about them. You know like your out in space.

Lower Left  Art Nouveau Gift Wrap by Norman's Printery With all of the gift wrapping I've been doing lately I was looking for some different wrapping paper. I love the print on this paper. And even though it isn't Christmas paper. I could put it to use in other ways.

Middle Zombie Ice Mold by Foodiggity Shop I so need these for the days when I do a binge watch of The Walking Dead. I mean come on it just would add to the fun.

Upper Right Handmade Crocheted Umbrella by Mikelina Art I saw this and thought how cute! And then I thought it's like Abby on NCIS. Gotta have one.

Lower Left  Embroidered Silk Feather Headstrapby AHAlife. I've been asking people for new hair accessories. And I want this one. It's perfect for New Year's parties. And well you could build an outfit around it too!

Let me know what you think of the items. And is there anything interesting you think I should be looking at?

Don't miss the chance to be a winner in the Chomp's Giveaway just click on the link below.
Chomp Into Chomps

Chomp Into Chomps

I was fortunate enough to receive samples of Chomp’s Snack Sticks recently in exchange for a review. So I guess this is a sponsored post. While I was provided with the items are no charge rest assured faithful followers, the opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.

The Product

Chomp’s is a beef snack stick that is made from 100% grass fed New Zealand beef.  Why New Zealand beef, that’s simple the beef is higher in nutrients.  The founder of the company, Pete Maldonado, set out to create a healthier version of the Slim Jim that we see at all convenience stores. He came up with a recipe that is gluten-free. And it contains meat that is not pumped full of antibiotics.

What I Liked and Disliked

First off, these snacks sticks are packaged like most of its competitors. They came in the familiar plastic wrap that protects the snack. I was provided with three different flavors  Crankin’ Cran, Original and Hoppin’ Jalapeno. I opened up the the Hoppin’ Jalapeno, or I should say I tried to rip it open, but it didn’t happen. I had to find a pair of scissors to cut the package. I finally got the package open, and I took a bite. I liked what I tasted.  It wasn’t tough, and there was the distinct taste of a jalapeno. I thought this is pretty good.

Next, I decided to look a little more closely at the package. I was pleased to see that the ingredients were all words that I was able to pronounce. That’s not the norm in snack sticks. So I was pleased. The package directed me to the website So I went to the site. I read through the information. Things looked pretty good.

The product claimed to be healthier than its competitors. So I decided to check out their sites. And low and behold the claims were right. Chomps are higher in protein, and I was really pleased to see it was much lower in sodium.

I tasted the the other two flavors. The original flavor had that distinctive beef taste a beef stick should have. And the Crankin’ Cran had a slightly sweet taste. I think that the Crankin’ Cran was my favorite.

I really liked that these snacks aren’t packed full of sodium. I didn’t have the desire to drink a gallon of water after I ate one. I always feel that way when I eat similar products. And I really like that they are healthy snack I can eat on the run. The website prices the items at $11.50 for a 5 pack. And other products cost around that at the health food store. So the price isn’t bad. The two things I don’t like are I don’t know where to find them locally. It would be nice if the website told you how to do that. And the package was a little difficult to open. But overall, this is a great product and I will definitely be looking for Crankin’ Cran snack sticks made by Chomp’s when I’m out and about.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Zombie Quote


I received a copy of the book Lalechka by Amira Keidar recently. This is Keidar's first book based on the true story of a family and their friends who lived in Poland.

The Story

This story begins in the village of Shedlitz Poland in the early 1900's. Three girls meet at school two of them are Christian and the other girl is Jewish. The girls are Zippa, Irena and Sophia. It tells about their lives growing up in a small Polish town. How close they were growing up. Life was pretty good for the most part.

Then came 1939, and Germany invaded Poland. Everything in their home town changed especially for Zippa. But one thing remains constant, the girls commitment to their friendship. Zippa finds herself segregated in the ghetto with her family. Life becomes increasingly difficult for the individuals in the ghetto. Zippa makes the difficult decision of giving her baby daughter to her friends since she was sure that her future was certain death.

The story follows the baby Rachel through her survival story away from her mother. It wasn't easy for the friends to assure that the baby remained safe. And then the Germans were defeated, Rachel was left with no biological family in the area. Rachel is a fortunate child to have a group of individuals who constantly looked out for her well being.

What I Liked

I have read several books about the Holocaust. And this book is the best I've read so far. I liked how this book followed these girls through the lives. I think it showed what life was like before, during and after the German occupation. While the events that occurred during that time period are the center of the story, it doesn't really explain the entire tragedy. 

I liked how the author points out in one point in the story that one of the young girls saw other individuals calling her Jewish friend names. The girl doesn't really understand that way of thinking. I believe that it's not always ignorance of a hatred that always it to occur. I believe it can actually be a lack of understanding of how can individuals think that way. It reminded me of an incident when a neighbor, who is a person of color told me how a neighbor wouldn't even look at him when he moved into the home he lives in. My reply was people still act that way? He said oh yes there are some like that. I just couldn't understand the thought process behind not talking to someone based on their skin color.

I also liked that this story focuses on the relationship between the girls. Because it is the friendship between the two girls that causes them to provide baby Rachel with a home. They take incredible risks to save their friend and her child. And they put Rachel's best interests before their own even when it is painful. That's a commitment to a friend. 

As I thought about the risks the girls were taking, it occurred to me that they were doing this mainly due to their friendship. They were doing the right thing by helping her, but it was because they were friends. It wasn't simply because it was the right thing to do. Is creating meaningful relationships between individuals with diverse backgrounds one of the ways to decrease the likelihood of the recurrence of a genocide. I know that it isn't that simple, but it's an easy starting point I think.

Who Should Read This

This book is appropriate for any age group from young adult up. There are some descriptions of some horrific events that occurred, but those events really did occur. So it is fitting, and it isn't over the top. The story is bittersweet. And there are times you want to tell Zippa what are you thinking? The story is well written, and because the author tells each individuals story from their point of view you won't want to stop reading. 

Disclaimer: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for a review, but the opinions in the review are all mine.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Captain's Favorite Toy

Yes, I love my toys. And I can turn anything into a toy. I mean everything in the home is actually meant for my amusement.

Sometimes my pet human refuses to acknowledge this. And there can be times when it creates a minor conflict between my pet and me. The most recent cause for struggle between to the two of us involves this.

You see my pet put's these in her ears. And well they are just dangling there. And well it's a little bit like string. I just can't resist grabbing it. If my pet is wearing these and a grab them, she pushes me away. How rude can she be! I mean she knows me and she knows that I can't resist string. I love playing with this toy, but every time my pet sees me playing with this it is taken away from me. She has even taken to hiding it from me. So I have been working at developing my skills at opening things. It often takes me a while, but if it is in a box I can knock it around and open the box. But it does take a little work. And I must do this while she is out of the house.

Have any of you had similar experiences with your favorite toys?

Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party 99

 Wake Up Wednesday "Linky" Party
@ Sew Crafty Angel


We are so excited to have so many amazing bloggers party with us.
Check out this weeks Featured linkups.

Thank you so much to all those who share your blog in our party.
Last week we had  467 awesome linkups!   

 Wake Up and be happy, get excited and have fun with us! 
We want to be inspired, entertained, laugh and have a good time!

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Please take time to visit your hostesses.













This weeks 
Featured Bloggers

Time to shake things up around here.
I have had lots of gingerbread recipes and now it is time to switch gears to peppermint.
I can't tell you how excited I am about this peppermint recipe.
Be prepared to drool!

I don’t know about you but I love a hot, steamy mug of hot chocolate almost more than anything. Whether you top your hot chocolate with marshmallows, whip cream, sprinkles, crushed candy canes, a dusting of cocoa powder or even a drizzle of caramel – you simply can’t go wrong with hot chocolate.

Have you guys decorated for Christmas yet? I’m mostly done. I admit that my decorating is always a work in progress. I shop up until the last minute looking at Christmas décor and getting new display ideas. I’m not the type person to buy a ton of new decorations every Christmas season but I can’t resist buying a few new things. .I like incorporating the new items with my vintage treasures.

What is SEO? I feel like I’m not getting views because I don’t understand how to do it (and also because I suck at writing regularly)

Hi everyone.  Today I am going to share a really simple but very pretty little project. A DIY multipurpose gift wrap that can be reused after the gift is opened.  I love being able to stretch my dollars with projects like this. 

Rustic Woodsy Christmas Mantle
Sweet Parrish Place

Hi all!  Today I am going to share the second part of my Christmas tour with you today, my Christmas mantle!  I really love my mantle, and you can read all about how it has evolved since we moved in here.  I have to admit, I had a hard time decorating my mantle for Christmas this year.  I think I decorated it and then took it all down a few times before I finally got it to look the way it does now.

I don't know about you, but I get a little sad when the leaves on the trees start to change color, when the stores start to bring out their fall decor (or even Christmas), and when the kids go back to school...

I love ‘fancy’ (aka expensive) makeup remover. The more I spend, the more I seem to like it. And as much as I’m down for cheap DIY alternatives, never did I think I would make my own makeup remover. I assumed anything I make would either be way too greasy causing my face to break out or not work at all causing me to obsessively rub my eyes. Well, the last two years have proved me wrong, as I’ve been using & loving my own makeup remover daily … and well saved a lot of money.

When you’re headed out to this year’s cookie exchange, putting your cookie’s best foot forward with some style will make them the hit of the swap! Here are a few cookie exchange packaging ideas from our Cookies & Cappucino cookie exchange party. They’re all fairly simple to do, keeping in mind that time is often short during the holidays!

You don’t want to miss out on this amazing (and easy!) recipe for Pralines & Cream Fudge!  I’m also showing you how to package them up for delicious Christmas gifts in Rubbermaid TakeAlongs with an easy ribbon bow and a free printable tag!

This Easy Breakfast Braid loaded with scrambled eggs, ham, peppers, onions, and lot of cheese makes for a super simple hot breakfast idea. Crescent braids are perfect for serving a crowd or a larger family.

Most of us know other homemakers who always seem to be cheerful, even when things are chaotic. Maybe they have 5 kids, a crazy dog (or three), and volunteer on 4 committees, but they are positive and energetic all the time. What is it these happy homemakers all have in common?

In an attempt to keep Owen away from our real Christmas tree, I decided to make him a felt Christmas tree.  So I spent the better part of last Saturday night putting 20 year old Chelsea to shame and knocking out a baller felt Christmas tree– complete with ornaments and presents.

Do you ever over-commit and then find yourself it a pickle for an elegant dessert?  While I love the holiday season and seeing everyone we love, there are days it can feel a bit overwhelming!

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