12/14/18

Christmas Cat Toys

HOME
is where the cat is.


Hello, my lovely friends!
Today I thought I would share 
some cute little cat toys
that I made for our 6 cats.
After all, 
I can't leave them out 
of the Christmas gift giving.


To make these fun stockings, ornaments, 
and Christmas trees,
I simply used felt, decorative trim,
and jingle bells.
Once I sewed the pieces together,
I filled them with catnip.


The pom pom trim on the tree
is perfect for our cats curiosity.


Oh, look. . .
it didn't take Burrito long
to find the toys.


My dear friends, I have to tell you 
that I've had these toys hidden in my dresser drawer
because the cats can smell them a mile away!
When I pulled them out for pictures,
I tried to be "sneaky" and quick,
but as you can see, it didn't work.
Burrito was rolling all over the toys.
Naughty boy. . .


Then he laid on top of them
trying to keep me away.


Like I said, naughty boy!
I was able to gather up the toys
and now they will stay safely hidden
until Christmas.


These little toys were easy and fun to make.
If you have some furry feline friends in your life
well, these would be a delightful Christmas gift for them.


And before I bring this post to a close,
I thought I would share a few photos
of our 6 precious cats.
It's been a while since I've given an update on them.

Crazy Cat Lady?
I prefer the term
dedicated feline enthusiast.

Stripester is still very "motherly"
and tends to take care of the other cats.


This is Melly all tucked in.
Yes, she actually tucked herself in.
There is one word that describes Melly perfectly:
Quirky.


Buttercup has affectionately been renamed to "Buzz Buzz"
because she buzzes around the house like a bumblebee.
This cutie pie can't sit still. . .
unless she is sleeping.


Duke is just as handsome as ever.
He is one of the sweetest cats
and can definitely be a big ol' baby at times.
He gives the greatest hugs.

When all else fails. . .
hug the cat!


And Mama Hanny 
is happy and healthy.
She spends most of her days playing outside
and her nights all curled up in a cozy spot by the fire.


The two boys, Duke and Burrito,
found my jean skirt and decided to play in it.
They are looking at me like,
"Hmmm...us?! We're not doing anything!"
Silly cats!

No matter how bad your day is,
your cat {or cats}
will always make you smile.


Thanks for stopping by
for some feline fun, my friends.
Have a beautiful weekend!

{{{hugs}}}
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12/12/18

A Spool Full Of Love

"Christmas is a togethery
sort of holiday,"
said Pooh.

"That's my favorite kind,"
said Piglet.


Hello, sweet and faithful friends!
I'm so glad you're here.
Today I thought I would show you
a fun little Christmas ornament
that is a cinch to make.


I found the large wooden spools at Hobby Lobby
and they came in a package of 4.

I purchased two things of greenery,
one red and one white.

The metal snowflakes were found in the 
miniature Christmas tree aisle.

And the finishing touch was a Scrabble letter
which can be also be found at Hobby Lobby
or antique shops.


To begin with,
I tied a strip of lace around the spool.
Then I clipped off some greenery
and hot glues it onto the lace.
After that I applied the metal snowflake
and topped it with the Scrabble letter.
Easy peasy, right?
No sewing involved,
just hot gluing.
{{smiles}}


These would make lovely little gifts
for friends and family since
you can easily customize them with the letters.

Happy creating,
my friends!


Have a most beautiful day!
Love and hugs!
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12/10/18

Pumpkin Caramel Poke Cake

Life is too short
to say no to cake.


Hello, friends.
Boy, do I have a treat for you today!
This pumpkin caramel poke cake is
oooooh-sooooo-goooood,
and it's the perfect treat to serve to guests. . .
or yourself.
A moist cake,
creamy frosting,
and ooey-gooey caramel,
what's not to like?!


These are the ingredients you need:

1 box, spice cake mix
1 cup canned, pumpkin puree
1 cup water
3 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup caramel ice cream topping, divided
1 {8 oz.} pkg, cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup Confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 cup whipped topping
{I whip my own, but you can use Cool Whip)

Let's get to baking, my friends!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Lightly spray a 9x13 pan with baking spray and set aside.
With a hand or stand mixer, 
mix together the cake mix, pumpkin, water, eggs and oil 
stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. 
Mix until nice and smooth. 
Pour batter into the prepared pan
and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, 
or until toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean, 
and crumb free.

As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, 
while it is still hot, 
poke holes into the cake with the end of a wooden spoon. 
In a microwave safe bowl, heat up a 1/2 cup of the caramel sauce 
for about 20-30 seconds, just to warm.
This will make is easier to pour over the cake.
Pour the warm caramel sauce over the top of the hot cake, 
making sure to get the majority of the sauce into the holes of the cake. 
Let the cake cool completely.

Once the cake is cool, prepare the cream cheese frosting. 
With a hand or stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese, 
powdered sugar and milk until smooth and creamy. 
Add the whipped topping, and fold into the cream cheese mixture. 
Spread the frosting over the top of the cake, 
gently pressing the frosting into the holes of the cake. 
Smooth out evenly.
Drizzle the top of the cake with the remaining 1/4 cup of caramel sauce. 
Refrigerate any leftovers
{if you have any}.


Nothing says HOME
like the smell of baking.

PRO TIP:
Keep cake moist
by eating it all in one sitting.


Thank you for stopping by!
I hope you have a very "sweet" day.
{{{hugs}}}


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12/9/18

'Tis The Lord! O Wondrous Story!

Who is He in yonder stall, 
At whose feet the shepherds fall?
Who is He in deep distress,
Fasting in the wilderness?


Who is He the people bless
For His words of gentleness?
Who is He to whom they bring
All the sick and sorrowing?


Who is He that stands and weeps
At the grave where Lazarus sleeps?
Who is He the gathering throng
Greet with loud triumphant song?


Lo! at midnight, who is He
Prays in dark Gethsemane?
Who is He on yonder tree,
Dies in grief and agony?


Who is He that from the grave
Comes to heal and help and save?
Who is He that from His throne
Rules through all the world alone?

Chorus
'Tis the Lord! O wondrous story!
'Tis the Lord! the King of glory!
At His feet we humbly fall,
Crown Him! crown Him Lord of all!
- Benjamin Russel Hanby - 

{picture of the manger scene drawn by my son 4-years ago}

Lift up your heads, O ye gates;
even lift them up, ye everlasting doors;
and the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. 
Selah.
- Psalm 24:9, 10 -

Have a blessed Lord's Day, lovely friends!
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12/8/18

Lady Of A Thousand Treasures - Book Review

Miss Eleanor Sheffield is a talented evaluator of antiquities, 
trained to know the difference between a genuine artifact and a fraud. 
But with her father’s passing and her uncle’s decline into dementia, 
the family business is at risk. 
In the Victorian era, unmarried Eleanor cannot run Sheffield Brothers alone.

The death of a longtime client, Baron Lydney, 
offers an unexpected complication when Eleanor is appointed 
the temporary trustee of the baron’s legendary collection. 
She must choose whether to donate the priceless treasures to a museum 
or allow them to pass to the baron’s only living son, Harry—
the man who broke Eleanor’s heart.

Eleanor distrusts the baron’s motives 
and her own ability to be unbiased regarding Harry’s future. 
Harry claims to still love her and Eleanor yearns to believe him, 
but his mysterious comments and actions fuel her doubts. 
When she learns an Italian beauty accompanied him on his return to England, 
her lingering hope for a future with Harry dims.

With the threat of debtor’s prison closing in, 
Eleanor knows that donating the baron’s collection 
would win her favor among potential clients, saving Sheffield Brothers. 
But the more time she spends with Harry, the more her faith in him grows. 
Might Harry be worthy of his inheritance, and her heart, after all? 
As pressures mount and time runs out, 
Eleanor must decide whom she can trust—
who in her life is false or true, brass or gold—
and what is meant to be treasured.


My Thoughts
My dear friends,
Lady of a Thousand Treasures
was an enjoyable read.
I appreciated the fact that the story itself was clean
and an audience of young and old can enjoy the book.
The historical aspect of the story was very well researched,
rich with detail, and all around quite fascinating.

The characters were well portrayed,
especially Eleanor.
I greatly appreciated her honesty,
integrity, and purity.
Eleanor herself was a breath of fresh air.
She was a lady that loved antiques
and she knew exactly what she was doing
when she handled old items.
Her love for antiques can almost be felt
through the writing of Sandra Byrd,
and that love flows onto the reader.
While I enjoyed Harry,
I never could connect with him.
I felt like he needed to be more present in the story.

Like I said,
Lady of a Thousand Treasures
was enjoyable.
My only fault in the book
is that there were some parts in the book
that seemed to drag on and on,
and I found myself skimming over the words
in order to get to a more engaging section.
Overall, I would give this book 4 stars.

** I was given a free copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers for an honest review.
All thoughts are my own. No other compensation was received. **
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12/6/18

Our Christmas Tree Adventure

Fresh cut Christmas trees.
Free sleigh rides.
Sweet hot cocoa.
Warm memories.


Hello, and happy day to you, sweet friends!
Last weekend my husband, son, and I
enjoyed a day in the woods finding a Christmas tree,
and I thought I would share our adventure with you.

We piled in to our Jeep and headed up the mountain. . .


My dear husband enjoyed finding roads
that haven't been driven on.


Up, up, up we went.


The day was incredibly clear
and oh, the views were just beautiful!


I loved seeing the snow blow
across the mountain tops.


We came to a spot where the trees had burned in a fire.
For some reason I found the bare branches
to be quite pretty against the snowy scene.


Even when there aren't flowers or leaves on the trees,
beauty can be found in the bareness of December.


We continued our search for a Christmas tree
and along the way we found an old Jeep.


We hopped into the "ol' classic"
and found ourselves being driven by our son.
{{smiles}}


But then this happened. . . 
I think we will wait a few years
before we let "Junior" behind the wheel again.


We enjoyed walking on the mountain side.
The sun was beautifully bright 
and the sky was crisp and blue.


The snow crunched beneath our feet
and the air was frosted with our breath.


The best things in life
are the people we love,
the places we've been,
and the memories we've made 
along the way.
- - Unknown - -


I think it's time for some hot cocoa
and sugar cookies.
Join us, dear friends.


After the cocoa break,
we headed back down the mountain.
We actually found our Christmas tree
at the beginning of our journey,
but we wanted to make sure 
we looked at all the trees.
The first one we found was hard to beat,
as you can see. . .


Hubby and son pulled out the saw
and to cutting they went.


We found a cute little Christmas tree
to put in "Junior's" room.


After tying the tree down,
we headed home.

It's the little memories
that will last a lifetime.
- - Unknown - -


Thanks for coming along on our adventure,
sweet friends.
May you have a most blessed day!
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