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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

A Non-Traditional Hodgepodge

Hello, dear friends.  The day is finally here.  Both girls are arriving for Thanksgiving, God willing.  I haven't told the pups yet, I don't want to come home to a house torn apart due to their excitement. 

Our #1 will be the first to arrive.  The Mister is scheduled to pick her up at the airport, and I will meet them for lunch in Beantown.   Our #2 arrives later, and the Mister again picked the short straw and is assigned to airport duty.  
I'm sure the airport won't be in the least bit busy today.

You know the drill... if it's Wednesday, it's time for Hodgepodge.

1.  Tradition... how tightly do you cling to tradition when it comes to holiday gatherings and celebrations?  For instance, do you always do the cooking, never eat at home, always go to grandma's, never miss the parade, always watch football, never change the menu, always eat at 2PM, etc.?  Have you ever celebrated Christmas or Thanksgiving away from hearth, home, and family?  How did that feel?

We have lived far away from relatives for almost all of our family life.  Over the years, we have established our non-traditional traditions.

The girls usually catch up on their beauty sleep on Thanksgiving morning. 

We then sit down for a big breakfast that includes 
 my world famous, homemade coffee cake.
The recipe has been passed down for generations.
We then go to a movie which had been voted on and debated weeks before.

That evening, we indulge in 'tails and d'oeuvres, overstimulate the hyperactive hooligans, and supervise the Mister's cooking which is whatever meal that won the vote the week before.  

Btw... we never have turkey because none of us like it.

2.  Help... is it easy for you to ask for help or are you a do-it-yourselfer?  How is that a good/bad thing?

It is extremely easy for me to ask for help, even when my requests are welcomed with a disappointed frown and a subtle roll of the eyes.  
It's lucky that I'm not sensitive.

It's a good thing for me to ask and not so good for the guy who has to help me.  He spent a total of nine hours setting up my new computer last weekend.

I told him that it's good for him -
it builds character.

Enter:  another eye roll.

3.  Abundance... what is there an abundance of in your kitchen?

We have an abundance of quirky kitchen utensils and complicated gadgets.  
I have no idea what most of them do.

4.  Name the smallest thing you're thankful for?  the biggest?

Besides my family and friends and our good health that we have been blessed with this year,

the smallest thing that I'm thankful for is:


When I looked at our house for the first time, I could practically see my breath, the house was so cold.  I then spotted the radiators.  The agent explained that the owner was very frugal and that was the reason for the arctic chill.  I told the Mister that I didn't believe her and that I thought that the house had a major (big bucks) problem with the heating system.  

The inspection proved me wrong.  
All was well with the heating in the house.

So, on this cold, rainy morning I am sitting in my home which is as warm as toast and very grateful for our radiators.

And the biggest thing that I am thankful for is:

that I'm not married to him.

5.  Key... what do you think is the key to living a more grateful life?

6.  State your own random thought here.

Have you heard about the new craze tiny food?  I watched this segment last Sunday on my favorite TV show, and I was enthralled.

While I watched, a fabulous idea popped into this old noggin of mine.  What about the tiny food diet?  I could eat this entire cake and not gain a pound.

Will you come to my book signings when I become a world-famous diet cookbook author?

I hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  When I count my blessings this year, my blogging friends are in my top five right before Bravo TV, Photoshop, and Whole Foods Caramel & Sea Salt Gelato.  

Until next time...

Chowdah and Chili got a surprise in the mail yesterday.  Beemie, who writes the blog, A Milkman's Daughter, sent them several darling bandanas.  Beemie has an Etsy shop called Beemie Bags which not only carries the doggie accessories but also adorable clothes for American Girl dolls.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Easy Peasy Christmas Centerpieces - Take 1

Hello, dear friends.  How is your weekend going?  Ours has been very productive so far.  Since it was a clear day yesterday, we took advantage of it by taking care of our outside decorating.  Our Christmas decor is fairly simple - we fill the window boxes with greens and bright, shiny ornaments, we throw some wreaths on the doors and some ready-made arrangements in the planters.

We did well this year.  
It only took us three and a half hours and twenty-seven arguments.

I woke up to a rainy, windy morning.  I don't have the heart to look outside, but I have a sneaky feeling that our decorations are gracing our neighbors' yards.

If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you have probably picked up on the fact that crafty is not in my DNA. I like to find decorating ideas that are easy enough for a five-year-old to pull off so that I have a whisper of a chance of succeeding.

As always, I turn to Pinterest and let my fingers do the walking.  I found so many clever ideas that I am going to do a second post.        


If my paperwhites ever start to grow, I would like to attempt this one.


Cute idea.
Not so sure that mine would look like this.

I've already got those trees, so that's a step in the right direction.


I love the silver bowl filled with the lemons and limes.
Note to self:  buy silver polish.
Note to self 2:  talk the girls into doing it.


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Midwest Living

Midwest Living

sensational color


I could definitely put some apples in a bowl. 

Oh, wait!
Been there, done that!

midwest living

Until next time...

This is how I feel when I try to get crafty.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Friday Files

Hello, dear friends.  I'm sitting here looking out my window on another dreary day.  If things don't improve, I'm going to have to invest in one of those "light" lamps.  Since I don't have a lamp at the moment, I put on the Hallmark Channel, and it seems to be working. 

I am posting this Friday Files a day early because this Supermodel Trophy wife has lots of things going on tomorrow.

Have you ever thought about owning an antique house in New England?  Here are 10 beauties that are for sale.


Take a tour of this gorgeous Victorian all decked out for the holidays in one of my favorite cities, Chicago.

Have you ever thought of offering an alternative to the traditional pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving?  Here are several trifle recipes that would add beauty as well as taste to any buffet table. 


Are any of your Thanksgiving guests gluten-free or have special dietary requirements?  Lots of delicious recipes can be found here.


This twist on boring mashed potatoes just may be the hit of your Thanksgiving dinner.  I know it would be of mine.
Then again, I would eat an old shoe if it was stuffed with bacon.


Are you in need of some Thanksgiving wine recommendations?
You can find them right here.


If you prefer beer, why not try one of the 13 Strangest Beers on Earth?


Want to send your leftovers home with your guests in style?
How cute are these?

If you can possibly stand more Thanksgiving table inspiration, you can find over 50 examples here


If you have any energy left after Thanksgiving, here is some Christmas mantel inspiration.

The Mister and I have had several Friendsgivings over the years. If you are planning one, here is the ultimate guide that can help you plan one.


Need some conversation starters for the holiday party season?  Here are some creative ones to get the ball rolling with the relatives that you only care to see once a year.


Do you aspire to be the hostess with the mostess?
Take some advice from my spirit animal, Patricia Altschul.

Patricia says that when she entertains she likes to set up the bar in the Morning Room.

Mister... if you're reading this, I need a Morning Room.




If you need an idea for a hostess gift, I ordered a few Christmas books from Amazon to give.   



Speaking of books, if you're looking for a good book to curl up with, I just finished this one.


And immediately started the sequel.

Do not begin these books if your family members are expecting you to spend quality time with them.


If you need an idea for a gift for the man in your life who has everything, I found just the thing.

If the Mister doesn't get me a Morning Room, he's getting a pair of these for Christmas.

Until next time...

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