Friday, December 31, 2010

WELCOME TO 2011!!!!


Can you believe it's already 2011? I can't.

I sure hope this year is good to all of us.


Thursday, December 30, 2010


It's that time of year when a lot of us look back on the year we had and make plans or goals for the year ahead.

I just read what I had put down as goals for last year and then what I did all year. I'm sad to report that I didn't meet many of my goals.

Hopefully, this year will be better.

Here are my goals for 2011:

1. Get back on Weight Watchers. I did really good last year and lost about 50 lbs. Then I went off and gained some of it back.

So, now I want to get back on the plan and lose the weight I gained plus more.

2. Clean out my garage. I had this on my goal list for this past year. I did get it cleaned and pretty much put together.

Then, I started to stock pile again. I got lazy and put stuff in there rather then take stuff to storage where it belongs. So, now I need to haul it all to storage and straighten it up again.

3. Watch what I spend and save money. Again, this was on last years list. I didn't do to good in this area.

I really hope I do better this year. I'm going to try really hard.

4. Explore where I live more. I did this last year and I feel like I was really good in this area.

I did go to places I've not been before or I had not been in a long time. Now that I'm a Girl Scout leader I feel like I can do a lot of this and take the girls with me so they can enjoy it all too.

5. Spend more quality time with my family and friends. I feel like the older I get the closer and closer I get to my family and my friends mean so much more then when I was younger.

This should be an easy goal for me to keep.

I don't think I will be having any parties this year. Sadly, my great niece, Trinity, has decided she doesn't want any more.

We didn't have the big Halloween party this year and Jan is her birthday but she is going to have a few girls go with her to spend the night at one of the Disneyland Hotels. She didn't want to have the big party or even a small one.

While this is sad for me, I'm looking on the bright side and figure this will help me save money.

6. Do more volunteer work. I think I did good in this area last year and I think this year I will do even better.

That's about it for me. How about you? What are your goals for 2011 and how well did you keep the goals for 2010?


Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I love having a blog so I can look back on what I did last year. What were the things that held my interest. Where did I go, what did I see and who was I with.

Having a blog is like having a diary, only, all the world can read it.

Last year, I shared my year summed up in parties. The year before that was a year summed up in food I made.

As the end of 2010 is upon us, I thought I was share with you my tablescapes I had through out the year.

Valentine's Day was set with a romantic tablescape. Cupid was in the center and the table was scattered with hearts.

During the winter I was longing for Spring and that is what inspired this tablescape.

April Cornell's lovely tablecloth and napkins was the inspiration for the soft pallet of this tablescape.

Even eating alone, in front of the TV, was a reason to set a nice tablescape for one.

St. Patrick's Day was a great reason to use greens and shamrocks.

A pasta dinner was served upon this lovely tablescape.

Summertime, warm weather and shells turned out to be a perfect reason to set this cheerful tablescape.

The eggs and bunnies came out for Easter Brunch.

Springtime flowers adorned this tablescape.

A beautiful soft blue pallet was perfect for a tablescape by the pool.

Loving the seaside theme was reason enough to set a 2nd, yet completely different, beach theme tablescape.

Red, black and white has always been one of my favorite color themes for a tablescape.

A Cinco de Mayo dinner celebration called for a bright and cheerful tablescape.

This pretty pink and aqua blue tablescape is by far my favorite one of the year. The flowers in my garden went perfectly well with the tablecloth and napkins (that I made).

A tablescape full of cherries is sure to make your guest smile.

Even the end of a beloved show (LOST) was a reason to pull a tablescape together.

To honor our HERO'S on Memorial Day called for a very Patriotic Tablescape.

With a chicken and rooster theme tablescape greeting you first thing in the morning you are sure to start the day off a little happier.

Bright yellow and flowers made a tablescape just the place to entertain company on a warm afternoon.

Yet a 3rd beach theme, made for another enjoyable tablescape.

Thanksgiving dinner is always the perfect reason to set a fun tablescape.

Even having young girls over to make gingerbread houses was a great reason to set a darling tablescape with a gingerbread theme.

Christmas brunch was the reason for my final tablescape of the year.

I hope you enjoyed sitting down to each different style of tablescape throughout the year with me. I had fun setting each one and hope to have many more to share with you next year.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Today I went to Target and headed over to the Christmas clearance sections. There was a lot of stuff left over. You had to really dig around to find the best things as stuff had been tossed around and picked over.

I spent about an hour there going through the rows and rows of items. I thought that since I already knew what I wanted my Christmas themes to be next year I may as well stock up now.

I want to decorate my house in a Winter Wonderland theme. All whites and touches of silver. Shiny, icy, glittery and elegant.

Also, for my Girl Scout Troop, I want to do a Christmas Penguin theme.

I started to stock pile my basket with all sorts of pretty things. Everything at a great price.

Things from ornaments, dishes, wrapping paper and everything else I could think of.

But then it hit me. Why was I doing this? I have a storage full of Christmas items I have collected over the year. I'm sure I could pull together a lovely Winter Wonderland theme without spending a penny.

Plus, I'm not sure how many girls I'll have in my Girl Scout Troop next year. I could buy for the amount of girls I have now and then what do I do if more join?

So, everything went back. One by one, I put each item on the shelf until my basket was once again empty.

I think this is a first for me. Not even one Christmas Clearance item purchased.

How about you? Do you stock pile for the next year? Have you purchased any great Christmas clearance items this year? What was your best item you ever bought at a Christmas Clearance?


Sunday, December 26, 2010


Since we had brunch for Christmas this year and not dinner, I wanted to keep the tablescape very simple.

I went with white with touches of greens and a hint of gold.

The white plates I found this year at Dollar Tree. I love them and they will be used often. The smaller Santa plate I purchased years ago when my sister lived in Colorado and I went to visit her.

Funny how tablescapes get started. I found the green ornament place card holders at Michael's. They came in a package of two and were only a dollar a package. I couldn't pass them up so they started the whole tablescape.

I wasn't sure what I was going to use with them but then I remembered I had the Fitz and Floyd Santa plates. So I dug them out of storage and I used the cream tablecloth and napkins that I had purchased last year and never used.

Now I had the color theme.

I've always loved these plates and I only used them twice before. Both times were for a Christmas Tea that I gave.

I think the little animals are so cute.

I wanted to purchase this darling Santa that was dressed in a pale green from Michaels but when I went back to get him, he was gone.

So, I had no idea what to use for the centerpiece.

As luck would have it, I had gone to my friend Claire's house a few days before and she gave me this darling cream colored church. I put it out with a few white trees and several gold mercury type votives. It was just the centerpiece I needed.

Simple and not taking up the whole table. That way the food could be on the table too.

My sister, Patty, got these cute little pitchers for Christmas awhile ago. So we used them to hold the syrup. Having several small pitchers was great because then we didn't have to keep passing the syrup.

I used our every day flatware and glasses that also were a Christmas gift my sister got a few years ago.

Since I had almost everything already for this tablescape, it only cost me a few dollars. I spent $5.00 for the place card holders and $10 for the white plates.

This years table was much more simple and casual then I normally have, but, it was one that everyone really liked.


Saturday, December 25, 2010


This year we had a wonderful Christmas!

All of my family gathered at my place and we had a delicious brunch. There was so much food! We had Belgium waffles with either blueberries and whipped cream or real maple syrup, an egg dish with different cheeses and chilies, regular and turkey bacon, tamales and orange juice.

Then it was time to open gifts. It took forever to do this because for some reason everyone went way over board this year and bought so many gifts.

I got a 36 inch HDTV for my bedroom, a sewing machine, hundreds of dollars in movie, restaurants and store gift certificates, beautiful blue sheets, a sweet music box, lots of clothes, a Canon Rebel camera. Yes, I already have a new Canon Rebel camera but this one uses actual film. Something I love! I also got a case to go with it and a telephoto lens that goes to both this camera and my other Canon, DVD, a pretty Brighton heart key chain and so much more!

After we ate and opened the gifts, we got to visit awhile then it was time for my two nephews to leave so they could go have Christmas with their dad.

My two sisters, brother in law and I went to the movies to see True Grit. It was very good!

We came home, had dinner and then got out the Wii game. We had a blast playing different sports and doing the Just Dance game.

Everyone is now gone and it's back to being quiet here. I'm tired but it's a good tired.

I had the best Christmas I can remember in a long time! I couldn't have asked for a better day.

I hope you all had a wonderful day too!

Now it's time to pack up the decorations and get the house back to normal. I'll do that tomorrow...maybe.


Friday, December 24, 2010


Hope Santa brings you everything you ever dreamed of and more. Merry Christmas and God Bless You!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I like to bake and make candy at Christmas. I give it to friends and family and it's become one of my Christmas traditions.

Last night I started my "gift" making. The most requested cookies that I make are the snowball cookies.

They are so easy and yet so good!

This year I wrapped them up in cello bags and tied a ribbon with little jingle bells on them.

The candy I made is chocolate fudge. I put it in these cute little boxes I found. The boxes are perfect because they each hold 1 lb. of fudge.

I'll be making much more, but, this is a start.

Do you bake and make special treats for Christmas? If so, what are your favorite things to make?


Sunday, December 19, 2010


This year I threw a Gingerbread Christmas party for my Girl Scout Troop. While it was really just for the girls, I also invited the parents and one of the girls little brother to join us.

I had their Christmas presents lined up for them. I found really cute Gingerbread house bags to put the gifts in. Perfect!

I also got them each this darling little Smore kits. After all when you think of Girl Scouts you also think of making Smores!

Plus, I fell in love with the little felt bags the kits came in. They had a gingerbread boy and a gingerbread girl making the Smores.

I got these at Walmart for only $5.00 each.

The theme was picked last December. My two sisters always take a trip to Vegas around Christmas time and they made a stop at the Williams Sonoma's Outlet.

They found these darling little gingerbread plates and cups. I knew as soon as I saw them I wanted to use them for a gingerbread theme tablescape.

I wasn't a Girl Scout leader yet so I just thought I would have a few of Trinity's friends over and we would have a lunch and make Gingerbread Houses.

I found these sweet little Gingerbread figures at the Dollar Tree. I grabbed them right up because I knew they would go fast. They each were a little different. I just added the kids names and used a glue dot to hold the name. Instant place card holders and also an extra little take home gift for them.

Last year I found these napkin ring holders. I couldn't pass them up, knowing what my theme was. They were only 25 cents each!

I found the red tablecloth at Big Lots. I have some nice red tablecloths but this was only $3.00 and so I figured if this one got stained I wouldn't mind.

After I opened the package I was very surprised to find it was a very nice tablecloth that I would use often.

The centerpiece is a Gingerbread House cookie jar. I found it months and months ago at Goodwill. It was only a few dollars. I also found the gingerbread man sugar shaker there.

The brown big plates were given to me by my sister, Maureen. She found them in the clearance section at Target months ago. She is always on the look out for bargins for my theme parties and luncheons.

Here is a better look at my Goodwill finds.

These darling chair covers came from the 99 cent store. My sister Maureen also found these for me.

The kids each got to take their chair cover home too.

They all sat down and ate lunch first. Once again, provided by my sister, Maureen.

Then I gave them all the gingerbread aprons I made them. Here Trinity is modeling it for us.

I wasn't expecting the little boy to be joining us and by the time I found out I didn't have enough time to make him a gingerbread apron too. So, he got his own special Christmas penguin one. He loved it.

It came from the 99 cent store too.

The kids all got their own gingerbread house to decorate. I just bought the kits and put them together for them the night before so they would be dry and easy for them to decorate.

I had tons and tons of candy for them to use. Some came from the kits (that I got 40% off with a coupon at Michaels), some I had left over from Halloween, some I just bought and some my sister brought with her.

Even though the kids were decorating the houses, some of the parents couldn't help but get in there and do a bit of the decorating too.

I told them that next year I'll be sure to get them their own gingerbread houses to decorate. It became the running joke.

Lots of candy was eaten, lots was spilled on the floor but, most ended up going on the houses.

It was fun to watch the kids decorate their own houses. Adding a bit here and there, until it was just as they wanted.

Each Gingerbread House was so different. Each one made me smile.

After they finished decorating their houses, we all went out to the living room and did our Christmas gift exchanges. The girls each drew names. I gave gifts to all of them. I was so surprised they all gave me gifts too!

The parents were not left out either. I gave them all a few jars of jam that I had made and wrapped in celobags with bright red bows.

We then had Christmas decorated cupcakes that my Co-Leader brought for dessert. Yum!

After playing awhile, it was time for the kids to leave.

We all had a fun time. It came out great and by planning way ahead of time I was able to pull it all off on a very low budget!

I'm already working on next years party. We are going to have a Christmas penguin theme. Can't wait to hit up the after Christmas sales now.