Tuesday, March 31, 2009


HBO has a new series starting up. It's called The #1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Did you get a chance to see it last Sunday? It was the 2 hour pilot.

I had recorded it and watched it last night. I wasn't sure if I would like it or not but I did.

It's about a lady named Precious Ramotswe who is divorced and on her own. Her father dies and leaves her all his cattle. She decides to sell the cattle and buy herself a nice house and open up a Detective Agency. Though she has no experience in being a detective.

It takes place in Botswana. Which of course provides us with a beautiful back drop with their wonderful sunsets and wild life.

HBO actually films over there so it's all real looking and not the back lot feel we often find in films that are based out of the country.

I felt like the story took awhile to unfold and introduce us to all the characters. Though it is easy to follow and to remember who is who.

The cases are not presented in a way of trying to get us, the viewers, to figure them out. At least not in this first episode. I'm hoping it does in the future shows though as I love trying to figure out a good mystery case.

I think this show has a lot of potential. It's funny at times, serious in others. Plus it gives a glimpse into what live is like in Botswana.

I'm looking forward to watching this show and getting to know the characters more.

I've never read any of the books before and to be honest I've never even heard of them. But, I'm happy I found this show on HBO. It's always nice to come across a new show that is different from everything else that is on TV now.

If you didn't watch it I hope you will the next time it's on. I'm not sure if it's on demand or not. Give it a try and let me know what you think of it.


Monday, March 30, 2009


Lindsay from The Cross~Stitch House sent me this email today that I just adored. I asked her if I could share it with you and she said yes. So here it is.

I hope it touches your heart just as it did mine.

In 2003, police in Warwickshire , England , opened a garden shed and found a whimpering, cowering dog.. It had been locked in the shed and abandoned. It was dirty and malnourished, and had clearly been abused.

In an act of kindness, the police took the dog, which was a Greyhound female, to the nearby Nuneaton Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary, run by a man named Geoff Grewcock and known as a willing haven for Animals abandoned, orphaned or otherwise in need.

Geoffand the other sanctuary staff went to work with two aims to restore the dog to full health, and to win her trust. It took several weeks, but eventually both goals were achieved.

They named her Jasmine, and they started to think about finding her an adoptive home.

But Jasmine had other ideas. No-one remembers now how it began, but she started welcoming all Animal arrivals at the sanctuary.

It wouldn't matter if it was a puppy, a fox cub, a rabbit or, any other lost or hurting Animal, Jasmine would peer into the box or cage and, where possible, deliver a welcoming lick.

Geoff relates one of the early incidents. "We had two puppies that had been abandoned by a nearby railway line. One was a Lakeland Terrier cross and another was a Jack Russell Doberman cross. They were tiny when they arrived at the centre and Jasmine approached them and grabbed one by the scruff of the neck in her mouth and put him on the settee. Then she fetched the other one and sat down with them, cuddling them."

"But she is like that with all of our animals, even the rabbits. She takes all the stress out of them and it helps them to not only feel close to her but to settle into their new surroundings.

"She has done the same with the fox and badger cubs, she licks the rabbits and guinea pigs and even lets the birds perch on the bridge of her nose."

Jasmine, the timid, abused, deserted waif, became the animal sanctuary's resident surrogate mother, a role for which she might have been born. The list of orphaned and abandoned youngsters she has cared for comprises five fox cubs, four badger cubs, 15 chicks, eight guinea pigs, two stray puppies and 15 rabbits.

And one roe deer fawn. Tiny Bramble, 11 weeks old, was found semi-conscious in a field. Upon arrival at the sanctuary, Jasmine cuddled up to her to keep her warm, and then went into the full foster mum role. Jasmine the greyhound showers Bramble the Roe deer with affection and makes sure nothing is matted.
"They are inseparable," says Geoff "Bramble walks between her legs and they keep kissing each other. They walk together round the sanctuary. It's a real treat to see them."

Jasmine will continue to care for Bramble until she is old enough to be returned to woodland life. When that happens, Jasmine will not be lonely. She will be too busy showering love and affection on the next Orphan or victim of abuse.

From left, Toby, a stray Lakeland dog; Bramble, orphaned Roe deer; Buster, a stray Jack Russell; a dumped rabbit; Sky, an injured barn owl; and Jasmine with a Mothers heart doing best what a caring Mother would do... Such is the order of God's Creation.

Isn't that a great story? So the next time someone tells you they are not sure about wanting a rescue dog and would rather get one from a breeder please be sure to tell them about Jasmine and how great a rescue dog can be.


Saturday, March 28, 2009


I was at the Goodwill when I saw this beautiful silver tray. I loved it the minute I first laid my eyes on it. I had been searching for one just like this. Then there it was.

I picked it up and boy was it heavy. I found out later it was 8 lbs! I turned it over and saw some Hallmarks on it. Then of course I did the magnet trick and it did not stick to it.

I had no idea if it was real silver or not but I knew that real or not I wanted it. So in my cart it went.

Look at how pretty and detailed it is. Of course this picture doesn't do it justice as everything was reflecting off of it.

I did some research and found out it is not sterling, only silver plated over copper. Then I did a bit more research and found it listed for sale for $220. So, even though it wasn't real silver it still was worth way more then then $25.00 I paid for it.

I've also developed a love for milk glass. Don't ask me why? I think it's because I've seen so many ladies in blogland who have collected Milk Glass and have it all displayed together. The whites look so nice in a big group.

Plus Milk Glass goes with everything!
I picked up the vase, the urn and the plate. There were more pieces for sale but I didn't care for them. I left them behind for someone else to treasure.

I think this urn is darling. I may put a little bird nest with some eggs on top for spring. Or I may put some pretty flowers in there once my garden starts to produce more for cutting.

I wanted this little plate because I have cloche jar and thought it would be perfect for under it. I have not tried it out yet to see if it fits but even if it doesn't I can use this for serving cookies or even to hold a candle.

I got this little pitcher after reading a posting on Eddie Ross blog. Have you ever read his blog? If not, you must go there. He used to work with Martha Stewart but now he is on his own. Wonderful tips and ideas can be found on his blog.

Anyway, he had a post about collecting little pitchers to use for when you entertain and serve salads. You can put the dressing in these little vintage pitchers.

So, I picked this one up. I also thought it would be great for syrup for when we have company over breakfast or brunch.

I was thrilled to find these pink depression glass glasses. Now to be honest I am not 100% sure if these are real or not. I do collect depression glass and am pretty good at being able to tell the real from the fake.

I'm leaning on thinking these are reproductions because they seem a little to thick to be real depression glass.

In either case, I couldn't pass these up. First of all they were pink! Plus they were only fifty cents. Well, they were marked .99 but they had 1/2 off green tags and these happen to have the green tags.

Real or fake, who cares. I like them and can't wait to serve some pink lemon aide in them this summer while we sit outside by the pool.

This was the last little item I got. It's such a pretty little dish. Though I have no idea what to do with it.

I just loved the blue with the pink hand painted roses on it. I'll put it in my room for now.

Don't you just love days when you find all kinds of treasures when you hit up the thrift stores. I do.

Well, I think I got my thrift store shopping fix taken care of. At least for the next few days or so.

Oh who am I kidding...I'll be stopping by the very next one I drive by. With new items being put out every day you never know what you will find.

Friday, March 27, 2009


I just love window boxes full of beautiful plants and flowers!

There is just something so cheerful about seeing the flowers hanging on the side of the house with the flowers trailing down.

There are so many different types of window boxes. The kind that you set on top of a shelf.

Or the kind that you just sit inside the window seal.

There are wooden ones.

Plastic ones. Some are even metal ones.

No matter what kind of window box you pick, they are all lovely and add that final touch to your house.

For those of us who don't have a window that would fit a window box, you can always hang one on a fence.

Or you can put one on a vintage window you have displayed out in your garden.

Even if it's a small window box, it will look great no matter where you put it.

Or, you can just put one on the side of your house even where there isn't a window.
I think window boxes really give a romantic look to your house or garden area.

I don't have any window boxes right now. But, I'm going to pick up a few the next time I go to the Garden store. I have several places they would look good hanging.

I like the way they can be changed out for the different seasons too.

Dressing them up with things along with the plants or flowers are fun. Like pumpkins in the fall, flags for the Patriot days and pine cones or lights at Christmas time.

Spring is the perfect time to get a new window box if you don't have one.

I can't wait to get mine. What about you? Do you have any window boxes?


I may not always be the most lucky person in the world but I'm feeling pretty lucky right now! Why you may ask?

Well, because I won not one but two giveaways!

The first package I got was from Laura at Decor to Adore. Her giveaway was full of wonderful Irish items. Tea, tea pot, candy, a necklace, soap, a scone recipe, hot chocolate and some fun little green bits!

Since I'm an Irish gal myself, I was thrilled to win this great package! Thank you so much Laura!

As if that lovely Irish package wasn't enough, I won this beautiful tea cup and saucer set from Jan at Rose Haven. I just adore the pretty little blue and pink flowers on this set.

I already have it in my hutch sitting with my other tea cups and saucers.

Jan was so sweet and also sent me a very cute little vintage looking sewing kit. I feel so spoiled! Thank you very much Jan!

In case, you have not noticed, I post all the giveaways I find on my left side bar. I also list the last date you can enter them. So, if you are having a giveaway and I have not found it yet, let me know so I can add you there for others to see too.


Thursday, March 26, 2009


I've been getting a lot of emails asking me to give up dates on different posts of mine. Sometimes I can be so bad about posting follow ups and for that I'm sorry.

First, I wanted to thank you all for caring enough about what I post to even want the follow ups. It's nice to know that there are people out there who really do enjoy my blog and think about what I write about.

Prayers do get answered! My friend Renee, the pregnant girl that fell down the flight of stairs at Disneyland, is doing fine. Her baby is also fine. She ended up having to stay in the hospital for a few days so they could watch her and make sure there were no problems with her baby.

They were unable to take x rays due to her being pregnant so they gave her an MRI. It didn't show that she had a broken hip. But they still were not sure. Since they don't really do much for a broken hip, unless it's bad enough to need surgery, they sent her home with a walker and told her to take things easy and rest.

She is now feeling all better and her baby boy is doing great. So thank you everyone for your prayers.

My brother, Gene, who had a major stroke, is also doing well. It's been almost a year since his stroke. His life has changed drastically since that day.

He still can not use his right arm or hand. Though he does have a little bit of movement in his shoulder area. Just not enough to really make a big difference.

He is able to walk on his own and has even been able to walk up and down the stairs. However, it is very hard for him to do this and he gets super tired. He still has gained full use of his right leg and foot. He had to learn a whole new way of walking. Mostly using his hip to move his leg forward.

So, unless he is doing his PT or practicing at home most of the time he is in a wheelchair.

His speech still is not 100% back to normal. Though you can understand him just fine until he gets tired or feels lazy and then you may have to ask him to repeat what he said.

He still has double vision if he doesn't wear his glasses. But, he did just get new lenses and was told his eyes are continuing to get better each time he goes.

He has his ups and downs as far as his moods go. I'm sure it's super hard to deal with all the changes he has had to go through. He also gets a bit depressed that his recovery has not gone as fast as he had hoped for. However, he does still see small improvements every week so he has been very good about trying hard to stay up beat.

I'm super proud of my brother. He has worked long and hard hours every day trying to get better. His outlook has been very good and he has not given up.

I can't even imagine how hard it would be to be perfectly fine one day and then wake up the next day and you are paralized on your right side, have double vision and can't talk. Talk about scary!

It would be great if you keep him in your prayers! He still has a long way to go.

No, I have not found a vintage travel trailer yet. Still looking. But, I'm really kind of happy I have not found "the one" yet. I'm still waiting for our house up North to sell so I'll have the money to get it.

The house I'm talking about is the one my Uncle left to my sister, Maureen. and me. It's been on the market for a long time and finally we got a buyer. We were in escrow and all was going well. Then it fell through at the last minute.

We were pretty lucky though, because, right after it fell through we got another couple that wanted to buy it. They want to build a preschool on the property. So they went to the county to make sure they could, got the approval and made us a bid which we accepted.

It's now back in escrow and if all goes well we should close mid April. So please, keep your fingers crossed that it finally goes through.

On the bird cage garden I did... I'm so excited so many of you are going to plant one of your own. I hope you post about it so I can see how it turned out. Or at least email me a picture.

I did not add any special drainage to the cage as there was an area the water could drain out of. If your cage does not have that, then you would either want to drill some holes or put some rocks down before you add your moss.

Thank you for all your compliments on my cakes. I don't really decorate that many any more. I started out doing them for fun. Then people started to contact me to buy them. Selling them was an honor but it quickly turned into a "job" and became very stressful, which in turn, made them not fun to do any more.

So, I raised the prices up really high thinking no one would want to pay that amount for my cakes. Well, they did. Talk about stressful! I thought I would have a heart attack. I was worried about making sure the cakes came out perfect because people were paying so much money I couldn't give them a bad cake.

Then I quit selling my cakes all together. I would only make them when I wanted to and for my friends and family. Once in awhile I will do a cake for pay but not very often.

I took all the Wilton Classes at Michale's and then I joined a local cake club where I learned about classes offered by some of the top cake decorators. You know the ones you see on The Food Network. I took several classes from the best of the best decorators.

So for those of you who want to learn how to decorate cakes I would advise to do the Wilton classes to see if you even like it. If you do, you can always take more advanced classes other places.

I think that should about do it for the questions and updates. I'll try to be better in the future about my updates.

If you have any other questions, about me or anything I post about, I hope you will continue to email me or leave me a message asking your question and I will be more then happy to answer them for you.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I know every Wed I always say that I can't believe another week has flown by but it's true! It seems like just yesterday I wrote the last post on A BETTER ME and here we are again!

Well, how did your challenge go? Were you able to get in the three days of exercise? I have to admit I only did two days! I know, I know! I'm here writting these posts and trying to help you all stay motivated and on track and then I don't even do it myself.

What's that saying? Do as I say and not as I do. Ya, that's it! So do as I say and not what I do.

I'll try to be better next week.

This week I thought I would talk about beans. Don't ask me why. I'm not sure. Except that I eat tons of beans. Remember I'm a vegetarian and don't eat meat so a lot of my protein comes from eating beans. Plus I love them.

If you are someone who does not like ask beans I have to ask, have you tried all of them? There are so many different kinds. Even I don't like all of them.

There are black beans, fava beans, navy beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, soy beans and lima beans. There may even be more but that is all I can think of right now.

Beans come canned, dry, frozen or fresh. Though I have to admit I don't think I've ever had fresh beans or even frozen ones. I have either canned or dried ones.

They can be eaten alone or added to salads, soups, stews, casseroles, side dishes, pastas or rice. You can make hummus or dips and spreads out beans.

Beans are good for you. They are low in fat and high in protein. They help to lower your cholesterol. There are lots of nutrients such as iron, foliate and other B vitamins. They provide you with great soluble fibers too.

Beans are also a low glycemic index food. That means they won't spike your blood glucose levels.

Eating lots of beans has been linked to decreases in ones risks of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancers.

One serving of beans is 1/4 of a cup of cooked or dried beans. One serving of beans equals eating one oz. of meat for your protein. We only need 5-6 oz. of meat or beans a day to stay healthy.

Below is a recipe I got out of one of my Vegetarian cook books called Perfect Vegetarian. I bought it from TJ Maxx. I hope you give it a try. Sorry for the photo quality. Looks like my scanner is acting up.


14 oz or 2 1/4 cups dried black beans
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/2-1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2-1 tsp. chili powder
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 carrot, diced
14 oz. fresh or canned tomatoes, chopped
1 bunch fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
salt and pepper

Soak beans over night and drain. Place in a pan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 mins, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until tender. Drain well, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Heat oil in a skillet. Add the onion and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring so as not to burn. Cook until onion is softened.

Stir in the cumin and chili power. Continue to cook for a minute or two. Add the red bell pepper, carrot and tomatoes. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Add 1/2 of the cilantro, beans and the reserved liquid. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 30-45 mins or until very flavorful and thickened.

Stir in the remaining cilantro and serve.

I hope you enjoy this Chili and will find ways to add more beans to your diet.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Spring cleaning has been taking place at our house. Though I must admit, it's really my wonderful sister, Patty, that does the cleaning around here. Yes, I'm spoiled! I know it.

The kitchen was taken apart, everything gone through and anything expired tossed out.

Sadly all these spices were expired and no longer good.

Patty thought it would be best to just purchase the spices as we need them rather then buy all of them at once, only to have them end up expiring again before we even used them. I agree. That makes more since and is much more cost effective.

I asked her what she was going to do with the spice holder. She said "I don't know, donate it or toss it out"

Quickly I shouted "Don't throw that out!" I knew I could turn it into something useful.

I threw all the spices out, took the labels off and washed the jars.

The chrome was a bit off color so I took the lids and holder outside and gave it a good coat of white paint!

It looked new and fresh again.

My first thought was to put it in my office and fill it up with glitters of all colors.

But, since I don't do a lot of crafts I figured that would not be the best use for me.

Then I thought it would look pretty cute to use them as vases and put one flower in each jar.

I still think that that would be cute but I doubt if I would use it like that very often.

So I thought about selling it as I still thought the pretty colors of glitter in the jars would be great.

Then it hit me! I had tons of dragees in the pantry. You know those little balls used in cake decorating.

I had them in several different colors and some even in different shapes other then just balls.

So in they went! Yes, it's a perfect fit for me.

Before you ask, yes it's true, CA does not sell dragees. They claim the silver and gold in them do not digest and stays in your system. If you ate lots of them it would not be good for you. But come on! Who is going to sit down and eat cases of these things?

I ordered them off eBay. Some came from other states. Some even came from England and Canada. So if you live in CA, now you know where you can get them too.

The funny thing is, it's not legal to sell them in CA but it is legal to buy them and eat them. So no, I'm not breaking any laws.

But, they did open my packages from England. Customs opened them and tested them to make sure they were not anything I shouldn't have. They did that twice. I know because they seal up the package and put a note on there telling me what they did.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Most of you know I enjoy making and decorating cakes.

When I first started to learn how to decorate cakes I also learned a love for cake plates, pedestals and holders.

The funny thing is, with the kinds of cakes I make I never used any of my cake plates or pedestals. So they just sit up on top of a cabinet looking pretty.

I took them down today to wash them (Spring cleaning even hit me) and I thought I would share a few of them with you.

I love this one. The top says "Life can be uncertain, eat dessert first".

I think the little birds are darling and the twisted vine that goes around the edge is reminiscent of a birds nest.

The stand also has that same look with a few little berries laying there waiting for the birds to have a snack.

I got this up at the Apple Farm in San Luis Obispo, CA.

I also got the little candy/nut holder and thought it looked cute on top. It isn't a set but they did have it displayed together so I couldn't pass it up.

I think I may use this at the baby shower I'm planning with the bird/nest theme.

I also got this polka dot cake pedestal at the same time. I like polka dots and thought this would go with several different styles/colors of cakes. I think it would be cute with the cake I made above.

The only bad thing, with these pedestals is, they often are not strong enough to hold bigger cakes with fillings inside. They will either tip over or break. So that is why I don't really use them.

The cakes I make are heavy. Heaver then you would think a cake would be.

I got this Mary Engelbreit one off of eBay. I always planned on making a smaller cake for my girl friend who loves Mary Engelbreit.

Hmm, maybe I will do that this year for her birthday.

I love the base and the hanging hearts. The plan was to not only make the cake for her but to give the stand to her as part of her gift. I think she would like it.

I fell in love with this one when I saw a cake made to look like this. The person used black, white and red and it looked like the base with cherries hanging on it.

It was also another win I got on eBay. This is the most expensive cake pedestal I own.

I think we have all seen these colored glass plates. Believe it or not I got this at Big Lots.

I was throwing another baby shower for a friend who was having a boy. We had a tea party and of course the color was blue. So I used these to put the tea sandwiches on.

I got both sizes and stacked them on top of each other.

So you see, you don't have to use these just for cake.

I found this at a thrift store. I thought it was darling and couldn't leave it behind. It's small though. Not really for cakes.

But again, it had the bird on it and you know how I have a thing for birds, bird cages, bird houses and all things to do with birds.

I think it would be great to stack it on top of one of my other pedestals and use it for cookies, mini cupcakes, sandwiches or candy.

This one has pretty flowers on it. I don't even know where I got this one. But I do like the colors. It reminds me of Spring.

I think I need to start using my cake plates/pedestals more often. They can be used for so many different things. Even to hold candles or used in decorating as a place to give an item a little lift.

No matter what they are used for or even if they are just to look at, I love them.

So I say, "Let them eat cake! I'll take the plate instead."