Monday, November 30, 2009


Every year I try to get all my Christmas shopping done and then I like to take a day and go by myself to the Malls. Not to do any more shopping. Just to enjoy the decorations, listen to the music and watch all the hustle and bustle.

Today, I thought I would make a quick dash out to pick up a few more presents.

I thought I would be brave and head over to one of our smaller malls, in hopes that it wouldn't be as crowded.

This mall used to be called Crystal Court and it's across the street from our big mall, South Coast Plaza.

Every year they put up this different kind of Christmas tree. It's three stories tall so I couldn't get it all in one picture.

The top is the tree top and a big Santa, then the middle has a little village built into the bark.

The windows light up and you can almost picture the families going about their day inside.

The bottom has a train going around and through the tree. There is snow all around and little animals hidden throughout.

This is the top of the tree.

It's pretty clever and it is different but I'm not sure if I like it or not. I think I'm more of a traditional kind of girl and prefer just a big tree with lights and ornaments and a star on top.

The mall was pretty empty and I found myself walking around and just enjoying the feeling of Christmas that was in the air.

The music was playing, people were in a happy mood and I saw this sign that pointed me to the man himself! Santa! I just had to go see him.

I saw snow and polar bears playing. I must be close to the North Pole by now.

This friendly guy offered to give me a ride in his sled but I told him I would just walk.

Then I saw it! A sign that said I was there. I was at the North Pole. I saw a house and wondered if I could have possibly found Santa's House.

I moved over a little bit to take a peek inside and there he was! He saw me. He waved to me and shouted out "Merry Christmas".

I gave Santa a smile and I waved back then I quickly walked away. I didn't want him to think I was stalking him. Nor, did I want to take away any time the children had with him.

A short walk down the way I notice Santa's Express was open. Oh how I wished I was a kid again.

I would have loved to been able to hop on the train and have the big bear conductor take me around.

But, I am an adult and so I had to leave the train without a ride.

So, I went into the stores. I loved looking at the tables all set for the Holiday.

I thought this was a cute idea. Brown paper packages tied up with strings as the little gift to your guest.

This table was all reds and whites. I thought it was pretty and could be perfect for a breakfast table setting or dinner.

I think I like the red and white look for Christmas tables. There are so many colors to pick from and so many pretty settings out there it's hard to pick.

What's your favorite color?

As I was walking around and people watching I almost forgot to look up!

Once I did I noticed there were lots of decorations up there too.

Big wreaths hung from every entrance and there were beautiful big pots of bright red poinsettias everywhere.

Even outside was decorated with red and white flowers and larger then life size ornaments with hangers attached. They look like the Jolly Green Giant dropped one of his ornaments for his big tree and it landed right there.

I did get a few presents but mostly I just enjoyed the Christmas season in all it's glory.

I can't wait to get out the bigger malls now. If this little one was so full of the Christmas Spirit I wonder wonder how exciting the bigger places will be.

Now if only I would feel better so I could get my own Christmas decorations out...


I started off my Christmas season of entertainment and joy by going to see the Musical version of Little Woman.

I love this story and every year I watch the movie but I've never seen the stage version before.

I think I love the story of the family being so close and all are such good friends, because that is how my family is.

I feel so blessed to have wonderful sisters and a brother that I love with all my heart. I just can't imagine life without them.

I know that no matter what they will be there for me and I will be there for them.

After seeing the musical I now want to dig out my DVD and watch the movie.
In fact, I think it's time to dig out all the Christmas movies and start watching them.


Friday, November 27, 2009


I think I need to take a few days to rest. I seemed to have caught something while I was in Laughlin.

My chest is hurting, I keep coughing and my voice is going away.

Then, silly me, got up at 3:00am and went out to face Black Friday. It's something my sister, Maureen, loves to do and I always go with her. We have done this for years.

Every year I tell her I'm not going to go next year but somehow she doesn't seem to hear me say that.

I'm going to lay low for a few days and get better. I'll be back as soon as I get rid of this bug.


Thursday, November 26, 2009


As I showed you yesterday, our Thanksgiving table is done with a Turkey theme this year.

So, something I've made for over 20 years was sure to fit right in!

What is it I make? Why, Turkey shaped butters!

Years ago, I walked into a small, but cute, kitchen store. There I found the best molds for butters. Oh how I wish I bought more!

I picked up the Holiday one only. It has two molds for these cute turkeys, two Santa molds and two Christmas Tree molds.

I never dreamed that first time I made them would be the start of a family tradition.
Every Thanksgiving and every Christmas you will find the butter on table is turned into darling figures.

So, these little turkeys are now expected to show up on our Thanksgiving table every year and if they were not there, well, they would surely be missed.

Gobble Gobble. That's turkey talk for Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Normally we don't set a themed Thanksgiving table and we just just plates, glasses and so on that can be used for other meals as well.

This year, I wanted to set a Turkey Table! Something different for our Thanksgiving.

We all have seen these plates that can be found at most TJ Maxx and Marshall's.

Well, by the time I finally decided to go ahead and buy them, I couldn't find them anywhere!

I must have gone to a dozen stores. Some more then once.

I've had the big Turkey and Pilgrims for years. I love them. They are some of my favorite Thanksgiving decorations.

Believe it or not I found them at Big Lots years ago. You would never know it. They actually look nicer them some of the really expensive Thanksgiving decorations I've seen at some high price stores.

Yet, I worried they would be alone on the table this year if I couldn't find the plates I wanted.

One night, before a meeting with my Paranormal group, I had about 15 minutes of extra time and made a mad dash into a Marshall's.

There they were! The last 12 dinner plates and the last 12 salad plates.

I didn't have a cart so I carried them all up front. Boy, I was lucky I didn't drop them because 24 plates can get pretty heavy fast!

I had already purchased the darling amber glass turkey place card holders.

So I was set. That is, until I remembered I didn't have a table cloth to match.

Again, the hunt was on. It was late in the season and just about everything had picked over.

Then tucked away and hidden from view I found a darling table cloth and napkins that looked almost like burlap. Only it was much softer.

Perfect for a Thanksgiving Table!

I added some silver place settings that belonged to my Aunt and Uncle when they were alive, some crystal goblets and napkin rings and the table was set!

Now once the food is all cooked and dished up it will finally be a proper Thanksgiving dinner!


I have one more little "turkey" item to add to the table but it's not ready yet. I'll have to show you tomorrow.
I linked up with all the beautiful tablescapes over at Between Naps on the Porch and her Tablescape Thursday. Run over and take a peek! You are going to flip out over all the lovely tables!



Monday, November 23, 2009


I am first on my way to pick up my sister, Maureen. We are going to weigh in (a day early) and then we will be heading off for a five hour drive to Laughlin.

We won't be home until the night before Thanksgiving so, I'm sure I'll be very busy then, but, I'll do my best to pop in and let you all know how my weigh in went and if I came home a newly made millionaire. LOL

I have to admit, I'm not a big Laughlin fan at all. In fact, the last time I was there I swore I would never go again. To me, it's way to old and smoky. The Casinos are small and run down.

If I'm going to go gamble, I would rather go to Vegas. It's just as far and much more fun.

However, my cousin loves Laughlin. She was forever trying to talk me into going with her. I always refused.

That was, until I saw Debbie Reynolds was going to be there. I love her and have always wanted to see her live.

As a kid, I fell in love with her in The Singing Nun and The Unsinkable Molly Brown movies. As an adult, I fell in love with her all over when she was in Will and Grace.

So, I agreed to go to Laughlin.

Well, as fate would have it, my cousin and I had a falling out and she told me to cancel the trip and the tickets.

No way! Just because I wasn't going with her didn't mean I couldn't go. I called Maureen and asked if she wanted to go. She agreed and so we are off.

I have no doubt we will have a lot of fun. We will share lots and lots of laughs. That's one thing about my sister, Maureen. We laugh over everything.

We plan on doing a lot of walking while we are there too. After all, it's no reason to not stay on plan and work towards our goal of losing 10 pounds by the first of the year.

When I get home, I'll help my other sister, Patty, with the Thanksgiving Day dinner preparations. By then, I'm sure I will be ready to fall into bed and have a good nights sleep.

See you all when I get back!


Saturday, November 21, 2009


I figured that since I don't seem to be able to make it to the gym (not for any other reason then I just hate it) I would stock up on some workout DVDs and do them at home.

I have to tell you that I am really the worst when it comes to working out! So no matter how bad you are, know I'm even worse!

In fact, my first try at doing a DVD was to lay in bed and watch it. After all, I had to see how hard it was before I even gave it a shot!

So the other day I put in the Biggest Losers Boot Camp DVD. It has different levels you can pick from.

As I watched it Bob kept saying how everyone was feeling the burn and getting a great work out in. How doing these steps was burning off the calories and helping them lose weight.

The exercises are done by past winners of the Biggest Loser and they were all saying how much they felt the work out and felt the burn!

Now I've not been a Biggest Loser fan for long and have only watched this seasons show. But, I've seen how they work out. For hours and hours and they do some really hard stuff.

So, of course I was not believing how hard these level one exercises were. They didn't look hard at all. In fact, I figured even I could do those.

Today I put the DVD in and did my first Boot Camp lesson.

Let me tell you.... it's true! Those easy looking exercises really do make you feel burning in your arms, legs, back and stomach!

I couldn't believe it. I wasn't sure if I could make it through them.

The good thing is each exercise is short so you move on to the next one quickly. No breaks! Bob wants to keep your heartbeat up and you moving at all times.

So when we came to the end I was happy. It wasn't that bad. In fact it was kind of fun. WHAT! Did I say that? OK, not fun but surely doable.

I have the Biggest Loser Wii game too. I can't wait to try that out. But, I think I'll stick to this DVD for the time being as it is set up to give you weeks worth of work outs on a timed schedule.

On top of the work out I went for a long walk today too. I am bound and determined to lose weight this week. For some reason I do not seem to be losing this week. I know, I should stay off those scales!

I'm going to weigh in a day early too. I'm going to be going to Laughlin with my sister, Maureen, so we are going to weigh in on Monday rather then miss out completely.

So tell me, what kind of exercise are you doing these days? Do you go to the gym? Do you walk? Do you do the DVDs or exercise at home?

I would love to know what you are all doing.


Friday, November 20, 2009


For the past few years I have not really decorated for Fall/Thanksgiving. I put a few things out but not much.

It's not that I don't love the decorations, because I do. The truth of the matter is, I didn't know where my decorations were.

I put all my boxes in storage and the Fall/Thanksgiving boxes were buried so deep that I couldn't find them. Plus I was to lazy to dig through everything to find them.

Today I went and took out all the boxes. Some were heavy! I kept telling myself I was burning off calories as I lifted them and stacked them all up.

Way in the back I found three boxes full of my Fall/Thanksgiving decorations. I had forgotten how many items I had.

I was excited to bring them home, unpack them and get them out.

I first unpacked everything and put them all the table in the kitchen.

Then I got to work. On the fireplace mantel first.

I think I like the way it came out. Not sure about the candles though. They do look better in person.

I took my photos at the wrong time of the day as the sun was shinning in and casting a glare on everything.

Ol' Tom is standing proudly over by the TV. He is thrilled I'm a vegetarian and he doesn't have to worry about getting cooked this year.

These little skinny Pilgrims make me smile. They also remind me that I want to slim down this Thanksgiving and not to go over board.

A sweet little HAPPY THANKSGIVING sign reminds us to be Thankful for all we have.

I bought these guys last year. I think they are so cute. I wish I was lucky enough to have real ones running around my yards but I don't so I have to settle on these.

Looks like we found where they got the acorns from. The amber colored depression glass plate next to them is holding lots of acorns, pine cones and a candle.

Why, even the little birdcage that is outside the front door got a touch of decoration to it.

I still have lots and lots to put out but that's all I put out so far. I'll post the rest this weekend.

Now for those of you who are waiting for the next low calorie, Weight Watcher friendly recipe that you can use for this Thanksgiving, here it is:

1 16 oz package of frozen cauliflower
1 cup water
1/2 cup low fat cream cheese softened
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
1 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Combine cauliflower and water in pan. Bring to boil at high heat. Reduce to med heat and cook 14 minutes. Drain. Place cauliflower, cream cheese and other ingredients in food processor blend until smooth.

Serve with low fat crackers once cooled.

This is a great recipe that no one will know is actually cauliflower and will never guess it's low calorie, unless you tell them.