Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year! (And Gulf Coast Snow)


Yesterday hubby & I celebrated our anniversary! We went out for a nice quiet dinner after he came home from working hard all day. Then we came home & he hooked up the plumbing to our kitchen sink because...the day after Christmas, while Ari and I were battling traffic in an attempt to go to the mall (WHAT WAS I THINKING!!!), and had just pulled into a (rare) parking spot, we got a call that went little something like this: "while you were out 'leisurely' driving to the mall (???-*#@*!!! Yes, I did preceed this by saying we just celebrated our anniversary AFTER this transpired. Christmas miracle? Maybe... ;-)), the kitchen sink caved in...". Well, all's well that ends well. The sink got fixed Monday evening.
AND I DIDN'T HAVE TO DO MUCH COOKING FOR A FEW DAYS!!!
(Kind of soothed my frazzled nerves that resulted from my "leisurely" day at the mall AND the "leisurely" comment.)


Here's a few photos of the snow when we got back from our trip to visit family (in Loozy-ana y'all):



My car


A couple of views of the backyard. Those hibiscus flowers must be in shock!

The patio furniture. Notice the citrus trees in the background. I think they survived.


"The Survivor". My lonely little winter tomato plant with a tomato hanging on for dear life.
The view from our front door and the front yard.

I just wanted to add that while sitting, listening to a couple of family members singing Christmas songs ala duet during our Christmas dinner visit in LA, my heart swelled with pride to know I was blessed enough to be a part of my family. That heart swelling thing happens often while gazing at family members...I'm such a marshmallow inside. All covered in a cool, crispy, crunchy porcupine-y shell :).

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Never Say Never

Hahaha! My last post, before we went out of town for a few days, spoke of how we don't have white Christmases in Houston (very often anyway). Well, yesterday evening IT SNOWED!!! I love it! I'll post pictures as soon as I can but for now, I have to concentrate on finishing up some Christmas gifts that I'm working on so I won't be blogging too often until that's done. And cookie making tomorrow also. Busy, busy, busy. But aren't we all this time of year?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

White Christmas in Houston? Not Likely

I heard this cute song on the radio and thought I'd share the lyrics. So cute and so true! I've spent more than one Christmas here growing up on Galveston island and in the Houston area wearing SHORTS! I found the lyrics at christianoriginals.com. Enjoy. And if you have snow, savor it while it lasts...there's nothing like sweatin' on Christmas day ;-).
Merry Christmas y'all.

White Christmases In Houston
song lyrics from the album Merry Christmas by Branded

If you dream of horse-drawn carriages
Dashing through the snow;
Before you move to Texas
There's something you should know...

That they don't have White Christmases in Houston.
I've lived here most my life and I should know.
I've prayed and I've pleaded for way too many years
But they just don't have White Christmases down here.

I've heard of winter carnivals in Aspen.
It looks just like a winter wonderland.
But remember while you're freezin' throughout this Christmas season
We'll be down here with Christmas cheer and flip-flops in the sand.

I've seen all those Christmas shows on TV.
Blankets of white powder; my, how grand!
But while you've got snow and holly, I'm feastin' on tamales;
Sittin' on my back porch with an iced tea in my hand.

That they don't have White Christmases in Houston.
I've lived here most my life and I should know.
I've prayed and I've pleaded for way too many years
But they just don't have White Christmases down here.

And the Winner Is...

Joan!!! Congratulations! email me: tjssweethome@hotmail.com to let me know where you would like me to send your Pocket Purse! Thank you all for participating.
Also, Joan (as most of you did) voted for an apron to be my next giveaway item (to be held in 6-8 weeks)! I guess I better get busy sewing...

This was so much fun!!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Super Easy, People's Choice Giveaway!!!

Just a few more hours until midnight!!! Can't wait to see who the winner is!

I've decided to do a giveaway. A People's Choice giveaway! The first giveaway item will be this cute dark denim, daisy embellished pocket purse. It would be perfect to give as a gift to any little girl (or the young at heart!) in your life. The rules for this one are easy.

1) Visit my Etsy shop, http://www.tjssweethome.etsy.com/ and look around. Then decide which section/category you would like my next giveaway item to be from (pocket purses, etc.). Come back to my blog and leave a comment with your choice. That will enter your name for the drawing for the pocket purse this time and if your name is drawn, an item that would fit the section/category you chose will be the next giveaway item to be held in 6-8 weeks! Be sure to leave a way to contact you in case you win! (To clarify, choose a section/category. Not a specific item. The specific giveaway item will be of my choosing. ;-) )
2) Mention this giveaway on your blog along with a link back to my blog and this giveaway info, and receive another entry! (Let me know in your comment that you will be doing so, along with your blog address ;) )
3) If you don't have a blog, you can simply refer a friend or family member to my blog for the giveaway, but make sure each person lets me know you referred them. This will give you an extra entry per person referred. (Again, make sure they let me know you referred them so you can get the credit!! And the entry! )
And for a whopping FIVE extra entries...
4) If you see something you like at my shop and make a purchase, that will earn you five more entries in the giveaway for the pocket purse for each item you order!! (Just be sure to let me know when you comment so I can follow up!!!)

Spread the word! The more the merrier! This giveaway begins today, November 18, 2008 and ends on Tuesday, December 2nd 2008 at midnight.
Good Luck!
***This post will remain at the top of my blog until the giveaway is over. Scroll down to see all new posts!***










A Little of This and a Little of That

Is it December already!!!

How was your Thanksgiving? We had a great time, a full house and many full tummies. Much to be thankful for!
I know you all have been waiting with bated breath Free Smiley Face Courtesy of www.FreeSmileys.org to see my window treatment that cost me just a little over $2. OK, maybe not. Anyway, here it is: I found this fabric on sale for $1 a yard, took all 2 yards and 26 inches they had left on the bolt and came home with the intention of making something else out of it. But then creativity took hold of me. I grabbed a tension rod that I had on hand and played with the fabric a bit before just folding it in half and then hanging it over the rod. Then I found a string of pearls laying around that belong to my DD (a good reason to pick up after yourselves children!) and draped them over the rod as well. A bit of ribbon from my ribbon stash and...there you have it.

On my way to type up this post, I passed by my window of African violets and thought I'd share their beautiful blooms:



















Pretty Babies!


Before I sign off, be sure to check out the great recipes Joan is sharing on her blog! Also, The Vintage Rose is showing off some beautiful handcrafted cards. Planning on doing a little quilting? Scrapbooking? Spy out all the vintage looking quilting blocks and other neat items the SunBonnetSueLady has to help you get started on those one of a kind Christmas projects!


Let the baking and ornament hanging begin!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Have the Happiest of Thanksgivings Y'all!


I hope and pray you all have a bountiful and blessed Thanksgiving spent with those you love! I will be spending the day with my parents, my brother and his girlfriend, my sister and her brood and my oldest son and his family! Also my hubby and baby girl of course!
Free Smiley Face Courtesy of www.FreeSmileys.orgFree Smiley Face Courtesy of www.FreeSmileys.orgFree Smiley Face Courtesy of www.FreeSmileys.orgFree Smiley Face Courtesy of www.FreeSmileys.orgFree Smiley Face Courtesy of www.FreeSmileys.orgFree Smiley Face Courtesy of www.FreeSmileys.orgSadly, my youngest son is in Mississippi and won't be with us but I hope he has a great day with his temporary "family". "See" you Friday! Free Smiley Face Courtesy of www.FreeSmileys.org

Monday, November 24, 2008

Wonderful Weekend


We had a wonderful weekend! My honey is taking this whole week off for Thanksgiving so the whole family will be at home~I love it!

Anyway, we started it off right with a hearty homemade breakfast on Saturday. (Have I ever mentioned that we enjoy good food?!)


I started cooking the turkey bacon that Ari loves...




Then mixedup a little egg mixture for french toast...







Cut some thick slices of homemade bread, dunked 'em & threw 'em in the hot pan...




Mmm mmm good!

That gave me just the right amount of energy to head to the thrift store later on to see what treasures I could find. ;-)

and the dollar store

and W*M* (that's a dirty word around here. But that's another story.).

Stay tuned for my less than three dollar bathroom window treatment! Woo-hoo!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Chewy Sugar Cookie Recipe

I wish I could say I came up with the recipe because they are so darn good! Remember for my healthy version ;) just add 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour in place of 1/4 cup of the white flour. I don't roll them into balls either, I just scoop a measuring tablespoon full, scrape it across the edge of the bowl so that it's a flat, even tablespoon full (for uniformity) and then, with a butter knife scoop the dough from the tablespoon onto the cookie sheet. I dip the bottom of a juice glass in granulated sugar and then flatten the cookie dough with the bottom of the glass. They turn out round enough for me this way. (except when I put them too close together on the cookie sheet, then they sometimes take on a squarish shape from running into each other as they spread ) Anyway, secondofwett here's the recipe you requested. Enjoy!Free Smiley Face Courtesy of www.FreeSmileys.org

Pomegranate Rooiboos Tea and Sugar Cookies or "Can Sugar Cookies be Healthy?"

Yesterday I made the sugar cookies. Realizing I was out of flour before the last 1/4 cup was added to the cookie mix I kinda panicked. Well, I have whole wheat flour, and it's only 1/4 of a cup. Do I dare? Will they notice?

Yes I dared. No they didn't notice. In fact, Ari said, "these cookies are amazing".

Am I implying that sugar cookies can be healthy? No. Healthier? Maybe. With a little whole wheat flour thrown in and sipping a cup of healthy pomegranate rooiboos tea along with them, they can't be all that bad for you. Tee hee.

Join Rachel Ann and The Company Girl Coffee that she hosts on Fridays. (link above) Guess what I'm serving? You guessed it. Pomegranate rooiboos tea and sugar cookies!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Agenda du Jour

"It's Thursday! That's almost as good as Friday!", I used to say on Thursdays while I was working outside the home. Well I still feel that way but in a different way. I enjoy the weekends for the opportunity they give me to spend time with my family. While I was working outside the home, the weekends were not only an opportunity to spend time with the fam, but also as a little taste of how I wished everyday to be (minus the "must catch up" mode that blanketed my mood). Now I'm working at home, doing things I love to do and working it around my family and home life, which feels very natural to me. But to keep things on track and remain productive, I have to meet each day with a plan.



My plans for today include:



1) laundry-delicates & bed linens

2) making important phone calls

3) working on knitting and sewing projects

4) baking sugar cookies for Ari (her favorite!)

5) figuring out what to have for dinner...hmmm?

6) tweaking my daily schedule

7) cleaning bathrooms

8) more cleaning in preparation for Thanksgiving guests

9) exercise-30 minutes :-]

10)doing my best to stay on track with my healthy eating plan :-/

11)various other things that are sure to sidetrack me and demand my attention!!!



What are your plans for today?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Our Thanksgiving Menu

Early preparations have begun for our Thanksgiving meal. This is the first time in several years that we have hosted the dinner at our house since we were without an oven for a while (can you imagine!?!?) Now we have two (to make up for lost time I guess). During the interim, we made do with counter top convection/rotisserie ovens and had Thanksgiving dinner at Cindy's house (thanks Cindy!).
Tonight we are going shopping for ingredients. So far, our menu looks a little something like this:

Appetizer
Hot spinach artichoke dip with assorted crackers/tortilla chips

Salad
Green Salad with assorted dressings

Meats
Ham
Turkey with cornbread stuffing
Rib Roast

Sides
Candied yams
green beans
mashed potatoes
pasta salad (yoo hoo...mom?)

Bread
homemade french bread/rolls

Desserts
Blueberry pie (Cindy)
pumpkin pie

Assorted beverages
and
whatever anyone else would like to bring.

What are YOU having for Thanksgiving dinner? Please share!

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Day Filled with Favorite Things

Yesterday was so enjoyable. The weather was cool and cloudy; my kinda weather! My day went a little something like this: after seeing Mike and Ari off to work and school, I had my usual breakfast with God. Then, homemade oatmeal cookies ( tried these, they were yummy and got rave reviews. Sadly, I didn't have a good standby oatmeal cookie recipe so I went on a search. Anyone have a great recipe?)....

carefully placed into their jar (I love this pumpkin shaped jar, it's huge!




















Next I set about prepping dinner. A pot roast with carrots, potatoes, onion and celery into the crockpot and bread dough working in the breadmaker...
















A little work on an apron (not this one in particular!)

Later in the afternoon, a visit from a handsome gentleman caller...






And just about the time I'm too tired to think anymore, a little work on a knitting project. [See the remote? I usually knit when the remote is in hubby's hand so I don't get too involved in the assortment of sports he watches (NOT!)]
Nighty-nite!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Our Coffee Shop

We like coffee...alot.



Recently, hubby bought us a nifty cool new coffeemaker after we went out of town for four days and came home to find our coffee pot had never turned off like it was supposed to and had been HOT for those four days. (I knew it had been making weird noises.)
So, we got a Keurig.








It cost a pretty penny, ahem several hundred pretty dollars to be specific but hey, we like coffee.








This is our coffee station. Notice the nifty coffee K cup holer he found this past weekend...it rotates so you can load cups on both sides. We have decaf on one side and an assortment of regular on the other.



In less than a minute, we can have a steaming, fragrant cup of coffee.




This is the K up close for your viewing pleasure ;-)...

















Our coffee habit has now become a more expensive habit.






















Saturday, November 8, 2008

Oh Brother!

This past week, I spent a frustrating day trying to sew on a machine that just was not cooperating. So, I set out the next day to buy a simple machine to use until I could get the old one working for me. Why is nothing ever as simple as you think it will be?




Shop #1-My very smart hubby discouraged me from going to W**M*** to buy one so I went to a fabric store. They had one on sale that worked with the amount that had been OK'd by hubby. But it wasn't in stock. So, I asked where there was a shop nearby that they recommended.



Shop #2-I went to a privately owned shop where there was no machine that I wanted in my price range-more like 3 times my price range. Frustration continued to mount.



Shop #3-I quickly stopped in another shop. Same finding. I made the second frustrated call to hubby.

Back at home, without a new machine, I called another shop (soon to be known as Shop #5). The nice lady said they did have a machine in my price range. That evening, hubby & I went over the info that the lady at Shop #2 gave me regarding their machines. Hubby OK'd the more expensive machine. (I've been sooo blessed to have hubby!)



Next morning, as I was planning to go back to Shop #2 and purchase the machine, I made a quick call to my mom who makes a living sewing. Surely she would have an opinion an sewing machines and could offer a sound, unbiased opinion. She wasn't there but my dad told me what he knew and told me the shop that carried the brand she used (Shop #5). Off to Shop #5 I went, note pad with questions written down in tow.



Shop #5-Had the machines alright and again, the kind I wanted was well out of the (new) price range I had been ok'd to spend (again by 3 times the amount-can I drive to the mall in that model?!?!). So, to make a long story short, after four hours in that shop, I walked out with a brand new machine. Here it is in all it's glory...




The vintage model is in the cabinet that the new machine is sitting on...

I really want to figure out how to use the older model so I have a backup when necessary. I'm sure it's me and not the machine. Now excuse me please while I go sew...

Ushering in theTerrific Two's

Last weekend we finally celebrated baby Jesse's birthday after having to put it off for a month due to Hurricane Ike, our evacuation and all that ensued afterward. I made little cupcakes sprinkled with colorful sugar. We all enjoyed time together, watching Jesse play with his new toys and the balloons. He did not like the hat..."it hurts".

















It only looks like he's blowing, he's saying "noooo"...


















Test driving his new car...






"Our" baby is growing up. I guess I'll have to call him "big boy Jesse" from now on instead of "baby Jesse".




Nahhhh. Mothers (and grandmothers) know-no matter how big or old, they will always be our babies.

Friday, November 7, 2008

What a Revelation!

I have been studying the book of Revelation. No, I don't understand it all, anymore than I understand everything throughout the rest of the bible. But this time through, more is making sense because I, 1) have prayed for wisdom and 2) am actually taking the time to study it. It used to scare me, and parts of it don't sound too pleasant still, but this morning when I read the last two chapters...it brought tears to my eyes. I can only imagine...or most likely, in my human-ness, I can't begin to imagine.

Are you ready?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Weighty Issue...

For several weeks I have been so busy that I have not weighed myself. I just figured that since I have been so active since being laid off from work (which was a desk job) that the fact that I was eating whatever I wanted would be balanced out by the new activity in my life. Well, no. I finally weighed myself yesterday and found I had gained a few pounds. I am already way (or is it "weigh"?) over what I would like to weigh and to find that I am gaining? That just won't do. So, just a few short weeks before the biggest eating season of the year, I am back on the wagon of weight loss. I normally follow the Somersize plan which allows you to eat yummy meals without measuring, counting and weighing stuff. And I started yesterday, immediately after weighing myself! Wish me luck!

A favorite beverage that I drink without sugar or cream and sometimes iced is Yerba Mate' tea. I usually mix it with another tea that has mint or flavorings that I enjoy since the Mate' has a taste on it's own that I haven't quite grown accustomed to. Try it for the health benefits and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bzzzzz....

That's the sound I've been making lately. I've been a busy little bee trying to work on and complete the crafting projects I have in the works. A couple of them can be seen on the sidebar under my Etsy shop (the top two-afghan & pom-pom scarf). And with Thaqnksgiving and Chrismas coming up, we've had to stop & take some time to plan menus and gift giving.

It's finally chilly here...45 degrees! I love it!
This past weekend, Ari & I took a little trip to Galveston to visit my sister. Over a month after hurricane Ike ravaged the tiny island, it is still a mess in many places. As we drove into the island, we saw things like this (keep in mind many of these were taken by Ari while I was driving)...
On the side of the causeway


We could see straight through this house...







One place we had to check out was the apartment complex we lived in (on the water) when my daughter was born, looked like this (our apartment was the top right)...

One of the piers pushed up against land... Walking through the neighborhood to get to the apartment complex was eerie, like walking through a ghost town (we parked a few blocks away because of all the debris still on the roads). and very sad. I had lived in Galveston most of my life and had never seen it like this before. Ari
kept asking me if I was crying, no I think I was in shock but it was very sad. She kept saying she felt like she was in the movie I Am Legend.

Moving on, after our visit, we drove down the seawall a bit but it was beginning to get dark...

The Flagship Hotel...


The driveway to gain access to the hotel collapsed (I know it's hard to see) the connecting structure in the distance is a walkway that is still there...



Murdochs Bathhouse, a souvenir shop that Ari and I spent beautiful afternoons looking around, pretending we were tourists and rocking on the deck overlooking the ocean and enjoying the breeze...gone...











Part of Murdochs used to rest on these pilings above. Now completely gone.
A sad, sad day for us mixed with the joy of visiting family in their home that survived the storm.

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