Sunday, November 29, 2009

Holiday Mood

We've started decorating for the Holidays.  G was so good to help, he carried all the boxes up and down for me then helped me put the tree together. 
By the time he put the topper on the tree though, he was done. 
Any more house decorating was not on his agenda.  Fortunately, my neighbor A. came over and helped me put up lights around the house.  I'll take pics of the house lit up tonight and upload them.

I'm glad the decorating part is DONE.  I end up thinking about when to start everyday.  that's one less thing I have to think about.  It's all about relaxing and enjoying the season now (along a little gift shopping).

Friday, November 27, 2009

Virtual Cookie Swap

        Kathy from Bermuda Onion and Julie from Booking Mama have been running a series of the Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies.  Today they are asking that we join in and post our own recipe for a Virutal Cook Swap and link to the Virtual Swap here.

The idea behind the Cookie Swap came from the new book out called    by Ann Pearlman.

Since today is the day to share cookie recipes -- a traditional one for Kathy's blog and/or a chocolate/candy recipe for Julie's blog, here are my entries in the Swap.
Chocolate Coconut Macaroons
2 2/3 c flake coconut, firmly packed
2/3 c sugar
1/4 c unbleached flour
4 egg whites, unbeaten
1 c sliced almonds
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
8 oz semi sweet chocolate chips (mini or regular - I use the mini size)

Preheat oven to 325.  Combine coconut, sugar & flour.  Stir in egg whites, almonds, 4 oz of the chocolate chips, vanilla & almond extract.  Form balls from rounded tablespoonfuls & place 2" apart on lightly greased cookie sheets (I use parchment paper).  Bake 20-25 min. until golden.  Remove from pans while hot & allow to cool. 

Melt remaining 4 oz chocolate chips in double boiler, stirring until 2/3 melted; remove from heat & continue stirring until completely melted.  Drizzle the chocolate over the cookies and allow chocolate to set.

Pecan Caramel Surprises
1 c pecans (3 1/2 ounces)
1/3 c plus 1 tbl granulated sugar
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, sliced
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 c flour
24 soft caramel candies
3/4 cup confectioners sugar

Using a food processor, grind the pecans and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar for 20 seconds; transfer to a medium bowl. 
In the food processor, pulse the butter, remaining 1/3 c granulated sugar and the vanilla until combined, scrapingthe bowl once or twice.  Add the flour and pulse to combine.  Stir into the pecan mixture.

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 325.  Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Roll 1 tablespoon dough into a ball, press a caramel into the center, then roll to enclose the caramel.  Repeat with the remaining dough and caramels;  place 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.  Bake until lightly colored, about 15 minutes.  Let cool for 15 minutes;  coat with confectioners sugar while warm.  Coat again just before serving.




Sunday, November 22, 2009

On being Mrs. S. Claus

Timing is everything.  I worked hours creating my list of 52 books for the 2010 A-Z Reading Challenge and at about 1/2 way I couldn't think of any more books that would fit into the alpha slots I needed so I decided to go to the library for inspiration.  When I got there I found it was the first day of the Friends of the Library used book sale!


I managed to find 7 good selections that would fit into the empty alpha slots I had and with the 5 books on my TBR list at home, I now have 12 books in my TBR list which will give me one book a month to read of my own.  The rest of the 40 books will be either library books or mp3 e-books.  It's a perfect combo for me.
Once again in case you missed it....
here is the link to my Reading Challenges Blog...
Adventuring through Life Reading Books

I still have  5 authors that I haven't found books for, letters O, U, V, X and Y.  If I can't use the letter on their last name, I will use the letter for the first name of the author, but I've 10 months to find what I'm looking for so I can take my time searching for what I want.

On to Mrs. Claus.  Today is the day I work on my Christmas list.  I'll also bring out some of my decorations; snowflakes for the hallway, greenery and lights for the mantel and staircase.

Heck, some of my neighbors already have their tree up and outside lights going every night.   We are almost one month from Christmas and the holiday does fly so I'm becoming more patient with starting the season early.  It's a cozy time of year for folks, let them enjoy it. I may even join them and put my tree up earlier this year.

and ...since I haven't blogged in so long, I've missed my
Sunday morning blog hopping
I've been doing a lot of research for my book challenges this week so I will share some of the fun book blogs I found.

** They have a lot of book giveaways **
Booking Mama
J. Kay's Book Blog
Melody's Reading Corner
Reading with Tequila
The Book Chick

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Preparing for 2010 Challenges

In 2008 I completed 4 reading challenges and read 49 books, 15,979 pages in one year.  I had so much fun with them I'm signing up for some challenges in 2010 to read 52 books in one year.  If you like to read and want to stay motivated to read I suggest looking around for a reading challenge that fits your style.
Here is the link to my Reading Blog:  Adventuring through Life Reading Books

I've been working on my lists for the challenges all week and have a lot of work left to do but I will share what I've done so far.

I have signed up for the YA (Young Adult) Reading Challenge.
Here is the link to sign up hosted by J. Kaye's Book Blog and you can find all the rules and sign up links for the challenge at this link.

The second one I've signed up for is Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge - Its a bit deceiving, the rules include cozy mysteries which is what I will be reading for this specific challenge.  This is hosted by Book Chick City and you can find all the rules and sign up links for the challenge at this link.  ** I can't pull the picture button for this one. I'll keep trying.

 The main challenge I've signed up for is the mother ship :) .  All the other reading challenges will roll up into this challenge to complete the 52 books I will read in 2010.

This is the A-Z Reading Challenge.  It's a challenge to fit in the books you want to read and to get books to fit from the other challenges.

This reading challenge is hosted by Reading with Tequila and you can find all the rules and sign up links for the challenge at this link.

What are you waiting for?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

So Far This Week....

I've kept busy this week.
First Monday-- here's my new hat that came in the mail that I won from Buzztime !!

Love the hair huh?  I almost look like Carrot Top!  UGH.

Tuesday.  I joined the Berea Knitting Club -  I took a knitting class in October and had so much fun with it and have found knitting to be soothing and relaxing so I decided to join the Berea Knit Club.  They meet once a month at the Berea Museum 2 miles from home. 
Tuesday was my first meeting.  They are all very nice people.  I received 2 carry bags, a pen, a magnet and a book "Casting Spells" by Barbara Bretton.  I can't wait to read it. (more on that tomorrow)  So Tuesday night was the annual 'Auction' night.  Everyone who wanted to could bring in their yarns and other knitting items that they know longer want or use to be auctioned off.  The money is split between the owner and the club.  We used a real auctioneer.  If you live around Berea you have probably seen him at estate and county fair auctions.  He's very good and very funny.



Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I WON AGAIN !!

I won and didn't even know I was trying.   A few weeks ago we were playing buzztime at Tony K's and some football trivia game came on.  I started playing and guessed at everything, I barely understood the questions so the answers were beyond me.  Apparently winning had nothing to do with how well a person did.  Looks like names were randomly drawn to win prizes.  I didn't win the biggest prize - I won a baseball cap with Buzztime embroidered on it.  I took a picture of me wearing it but I'm too tired to upload it tonight.

It's only 9:00 and I'm exhausted and ready for bed.
I'll upload pics tomorrow and have some news on what I've done this week.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Gotta Lot Going On

Two weeks have flown by.  I spent most of my time creating new jewelry pieces for the consignment shop I sell at "Treasures From The Heart" in Olmsted Falls.   Kim is having her Christmas open house this weekend so I needed a lot of new sparkly Christmas items for my shelf.  But in-between creating and working I had a few chances to play with my new camera and I've got to say I LIKE IT!!!



We celebrated my nieces birthday.  Happy Birthday T!


My darling daughter A. showed up with her boyfriend M.  to celebrate with T. I'm so glad she moved back from Phoenix.

 Last weekend I went to the International Gem show and had a blast.  I spent more than I should have but G convinced me it was ok since beading is my hobby and I enjoy it soooo much.  Here's some of my new found stash !!!

I can't wait to play with them all, but I promised myself I would clean up my office first.  It's such a mess I don't even know where to start.  how does life get so unorganized.  I guess I'll have to start with boxes to separate the keep from the no longer useful.  wish me luck, I'm one of those that find it hard to throw things away even if I haven't used them in years.


Saturday, November 07, 2009

I WON AGAIN !

I won in the Mega Million drawing last night !
ok, so I only won $3.00 but at least I can say I'm a winner. :)

I can't wait to see the new 3D movie - A Christmas Carol.It looks like I'll have to wait a couple weeks since G wants to go, but doesn't like opening weekend crowds. Darling daughter wanted to join us with her boyfriend but we can't seem to get our times to work out. If they can wait a couple weeks, we may be able to double date :)


Friday, November 06, 2009

Helping me Work

First pictures with my new camera !!! eeeee! I like it.

I've had a sore throat this week. I have the good fortune of being able to work from home to keep my germs to myself.Here are a couple photo's of my helper 'SLY'. We have a table set up in the office so she can watch for birds. She is wonderful company.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

I WON!!!

Look what I won! I bought some tickets for basket raffles at work for United Way and I won one of the 12 baskets!!
My basket had a Sony 8.1 megapixel camera, a Sony camera case, a 2gig memory card, an HP Photosmart printer, a pack of 100 4 x 6 inkjet photo paper, a memory box and photo album!
phew. that's a lot of fun stuff. I'm sooo excited about it. I love camera's!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Under a Harvest Moon

Have you ever taken a cooking class ? ever been interested in one?

I am soooo excited, tonight I'm taking a one night cooking class at our local high school under the adult education evening class program. Here's what we're cooking tonight !

Harvest Pumpkin Soup,
Apple and Caramelized Walnut Salad,
Scalloped Sweet Potatoes,
and an Apple Brown Betty.
YUMMY !!

Get out and enjoy life = it's a real adventure if you put your mind to it.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Happy Birthday Ann !! and Paulo and Don

Nov. 1 is a big day in our family. Daughter, Brother and Brother in Law share the day to celebrate. Ann had friends and family over at her place for food and fun.
Happy Birthday Ann **May all your wishes come true** Love, Mom

Behind the Times

I just spent the weekend visiting folks in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. We stayed at a hotel that was so far behind the times the rooms did not have any internet service ! I was shocked that I couldn't play with my laptop while sitting in my hotel room.

So now all my photo's are behind schedule but I still wanted to put some up because they are just fun. So Happy Halloween Everyone!
I didn't even have time to show my birthday celebration before we blasted off for our visit.
I hit a big number this year *55* and it started off fun with a lunch at one of my favorite restaurants 'Clementines'. Here we are having lunch and that great dessert showing at the top.
My daughter and I then spent the afternoon shopping. Later, the three of us went to a new concept restaurant for dinner. Called Steak on a Stone. A huge hunk of steak is brought to your table 'RAW' and it's sizzling on a 750 degree stone so you cook it one slice at a time. it was fun and different.