Nov 23, 2010


Thanksgiving is fast approaching.  In fact, my sweet potatoes are cooking now, so I can make my pies tomorrow.  Tomorrow will be a very busy day with all the preparations for the "feast" on Thursday.  We all know we should be thankful each and every day, but this time of year we all make a point of "counting our blessings" and they are many.  I recently came across this Thanksgiving Prayer and want to share it with you.

Also I am taking this time to catch up on the ESN scavenger hunt for this week which is T.H.A.N.K.S. The idea is to find an item in the ecrater stores that begins with each letter of the word THANKS.  This should be an interesting search. Here goes.

For "T" since I love to cook and am in my element this week cooking a big meal. I chose:
The Taste of Home Cookbook from Mystery Lane Books

For "H" I chose a beautiful, fun Hat.
This custom embroidered hat is from Embroidery Fashions Boutique

For "A" since I am anticipating putting up my Christmas tree and decorating this weekend, I chose:

This angel with Red Poinsetta robe from Pence's Christmas Tree Farm

Back to the Butterfly theme, I chose a Necklace for  "N".
A Beautiful Gold tone Butterfly Necklace from Elisia

 For "K", it naturally back to the Kitchen.  For those of you who are "crafty" and like to make things. 

Kitchen Decor to Crochet by Lil Bit of This n That

And for  "S" I found this Silver-plated Holiday  cheese Spreader.  How cool is that for the up-coming holiday parties and get-togethers?
Silver Plated Cheese Spreader from My Book Barn
And this completes my THANKS scavenger hunt. Wishing all a happy Thanksgiving and many blessings to be thankful for. Look for the small blessings each day.

All That Glitters...

I have been so busy the past 2 weeks that I have missed the ESN scavenger hunts.  So I am playing catch up tonight by going back to the search for "Sparkles".   This makes me think of "a few of my favorite things."  Two things that I NEVER get tired of are Christmas Lights and Firework Displays.  Every year it is a thrill for me to ride around town to see the houses and yards all decorated and lit up for the Christmas season.  I remember my Daddy taking the whole family driving around San Antonio to see the Christmas lights.  This was way back when it was a lot more expensive to put up the outdoor decorations and it was usually the more affluent areas where you would find the most lights.  One year my aunt and cousins were visiting from out of state. Daddy loaded all of us into the car--a two door Chevy club coupe.  Back then; we hadn't heard of seatbelts and it was not uncommon to pile a bunch of people in a car and go.  Iit was cold weather so being close was not uncomfortable.  I'm sure we were crammed in and wrapped up, but we had a lot of fun.  As we drove around areas were we considered the homes to be mansions, we saw some outstanding displays in yards and Daddy would comment,"Mr. Moneybags lives there" or "That's Mr. Deep-pockets house!"  We laughed when my cousins thought that those were real names of the residents.  Daddy's wit was of a very dry sort.
One time in the 50's we took my grandma who was pretty much house bound out to see the lights.  It was a bit late in the season and most of the actual Christmas lights had already been taken down.  The surprising thing is that Grandma didn't even realize it, because she was so awe struck by all the normal city lights.  Maybe we should all step back and appreciate the every day things with fresh eyes.  So many things we take for granted because we are so used to them being there.
The other things that I always enjoy are Fireworks displays.  I have seen many fireworks. The furthest back, I can remember is at Fort Sam Houston on the 4th of July when Alaskan Statehood was official and the next year when Hawaii was recognized as a state.  Since then, we have seen the fireworks over Lake Livingston (TX) when my kids were young and over the Mississippi River as a finale of the New Orleans World Fair with my youngest daughter, at the Ft. Worth botanical gardens with kids and grandkids, and one year at New Year's in the Church Parking lot courtesy of  the man who ran a fireworks stand across the road. One of the best I've seen  was this year's 4th of July when hubby on the spur of the moment said let's go out to see the fireworks at the high school.  We got there just as they started and it was an outstanding display.   When we lived near Lake Livingston, I remember my youngest and I were writing letters to grandma. I told her to draw a picture of the fireworks to send to Grandma. She jumped up and down excitedly, threw up her arms and said, " Look Grandma!" "See the fireworks!" "Boom!" "Boom!" That is sort of the excitement I feel over seeing fireworks.

If you are still looking for Christmas "sparkle" for your house be sure to checkout Pence Christmas Tree Farm
They have so many beautiful ornaments including these Pink and Silver Starbursts.

Or checkout My Book Barn for set of 4 vintage glass ornaments.
These bring back some memories.

Or you can add some sparkle or glitter to your surroundings with these lavender soya tea lights from White Oak Art Designs

And how about these USB lights from Frandy's to add "sparkle" to your computer work area?
I am so excited about getting out our Christmas tree this weekend and putting all the treasured ornaments on it, turning on the lights and seeing the "glitter" and sparkle.  It is so fun to me to put up the tree and enjoy each ornament and little what-not.  So many of them have special memories of times gone by and special people that are associated with them. It will also be fun to put the big Santa out on the porch and the lights over the camellia bushes in front of the house. Will post pictures later.
Check out the ESN photos today to find something to add glitter and bling to your life.

Nov 9, 2010

In the Kitchen

I must say that, even though I mostly enjoy everything I do, being in the kitchen is a special thing for me. Of all my activities, planning meals and cooking are special pleasure. 
I am looking forward to cooking Thanksgiving Dinner.  I mean a Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner with Turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, and home-made sweet potato pie.  Hubby will probably smoke the turkey on the outdoor charcoal grill, but I will make the southern style cornbread dressing and giblet gravy and all the trimmings.  I'll cheat and buy cranberry sauce in a can this time and probably make the green bean casserole with mushroom soup and the canned french fried onions.  That is easy to do and a usual hit.  The problem is not to cook too much when you don't have very many people around to do the eating.  We will have to get busy the rest of the week and invite some added guests to help us out on the eating part.

For the ESN scavenger hunt this week we are looking for things In The Kitchen.
I know that many are cutting back on spending this holiday season and I was just noticing how many really neat small gift items that are shown on ESN photos when I search kitchen decor.  Cleos Collectables has all sorts of neat decorator items for the kitchen.  There are items for any theme, such as these lovely theme based items.

Set of 2 Ritz Fat Italian Chef Kitchen Towels

These kitchen linens which richly compliment a grape themed kitchen

The Perfect plaque for someone's coffee themed kitchen.

Or you may know someone who collects salt and pepper shakers.  If so, take a look at these shops.  You might find themed salt and peppers to match someone's kitchen or the ones they need to make their china set complete.
made in Occupied Japan

Comycgyrl has this unusual and collectible
Occupied Japan Anthropomorphic Whimsical Eggplant Grape Turnip Salt and Pepper Shaker Set

And these Westinghouse Gemco Milk Glass Salt and Pepper Shakers with Butterflies and Flowers

Gemco Salt and Pepper Shakers

Vintage Japan Gingerbread Couple.

And this too, too precious Gingerbread Man and Woman among many others.

From England, Apple Design

Or this elegant English Set from Eccentric Thrifter
         might appeal to you. 

You can find even more Salt and Pepper Sets Here

Another thing I love, myself, that would be a great gift idea is cookbooks.  You can find holiday cookbooks like Santa's Favorite Cookies.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Or a good basic "how to cook" book
                                                                                         like many of us learned to cook by, 
                                                                                     such as the Sunset "Good Cook's Handbook"
from My Book Barn
from Book Worm Bargains

Search Recipes on ESN to find more.

I wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope you all enjoy the good food and the time with family and friends. Be sure to count your blessings every day.

Nov 4, 2010

Warm Fuzzies To Make You Cozy on Cold Winter Days

Wow, this week we have had a sample of what we can expect this winter here in Southeast Texas. It doesn't usually get very cold here temperature-wise, but just like the humidity in the summer which causes the heat index to rise, the damp, dreary days have a coolness that is bone chilling. That's how the weather was yesterday: Cool and cloudy with a mist or drizzle all day long. By contrast, today the sun is shining and the north wind is blowing and the air is dry again. Hubby remarked this morning that the temperature was the same as yesterday, but it sure feels a lot warmer and nicer.

On cool days, I enjoy cooking hearty soups or stews, spaghetti with a robust sauce, or a big pot of pinto beans. Or course, you have to have rice and/or cornbread with the beans. In these parts, "Red Beans and Rice" is a favorite. Growing up in South Central Texas, we were not so big on rice and ate corn bread with our beans. I have found that you can speed up the cooking of the beans if you cover them with water--after washing and sorting them, of course--and bring them to a full rolling boil.  After this, you turn off the heat and let them sit--or is that set?--for one hour.  After the hour, you add your seasonings, spices, meat, sausage, whatever and more water.  You bring them to a boil again and then put on a lid, turn down the fire and let them simmer until the beans are done.  This usually isn't too long. Maybe 2 or 3 hours.  I like to put a bit of onion, some garlic powder, a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar, some chili powder, maybe some herbs like thyme and if it is plain beans a couple of slices of bacon.  I have been known to add a finely diced carrot to "sneak" in a bit of veggies and sometimes we have link sausage sliced or diced up in the beans.  Another good thing to add might be some browned and crumbled hamburger meat. Guess this is a "dash of this and a pinch of that" recipe.  Haven't cooked beans yet that weren't enjoyed by all, though.

I have enjoyed cooking this week and also doing the scavenger hunt for ESN to find warm, fuzzy, and cozy items. I have found some neat items among the photos at ESN and encourage you to take time to visit the Ecrater Networking Site to shop or to promote your own ecrater store.

First, I found a soft, warm, fuzzy faux fox fur stole.  I would so love to just feel this luxurious faux fur.  How warm and cozy can you get?  I don't think we really "need" this in our climate, but it would be so appealing on a cold winter day and I know some of you could really use it.

Regina Glenara Faux Fox Fur Capelet Stole

from Gigi's Consignment Closet

Here's something to keep  you snug all day long and how appropriate with Thanksgiving coming up. 
Attitude of  Gratitude Sweat Shirt

Hunting is a big thing in our area through the fall and winter. And Camo anything is all the rage.  We even have had camo guitars in our music store.  Of course, there are always the jokes about not being able to see them.  Don't know how warm, or fuzzy, or cozy this might be, but here is a sample of camo for "your little hunter" or would be hunter.  It should keep the cold north wind at bay.

Camo for the Hunter in your family at Eccentric Thrifter

And this beautiful scarf is one of the many in various colors you can find at Eccentric Thrifter.  Just perfect to keep you warm and cozy when wintry winds blow.

Handmade Double-sided Scarf Off White Cream Loom Knit at Eccentric Thrifter

And lastly,  a neat, collectible  soup mug for those delicious  soups, stews, and even  red beans that warm you from the inside out.

Campbell's Soup Mug available at

 Bargain Express

Happy Shopping to Everyone and may your winter be filled with warm, fuzzy, cozy things.